Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kindergarten Blues

It's no secret that I am disappointed with my children's kindergarten teacher. She's new and she's not the teacher I requested. (I've decided to write about this because I just really need to get it off my chest once and for all.)

At the beginning of the year Payton and Alyssa would report on how many times she yelled at their class each day. It concerned me. I listened to all they had to say about school, overall, they liked their teacher.  However, it made me sad that Alyssa would take it upon herself to draw smiley faces and put them in the parent/teacher communication folder, to "remind my teacher to be happy."

At first, the teacher didn't want any help in her classroom, she wanted to establish rules and routines on her own. I heard from others at the school that she ruled her students with an iron thumb. Again, I was not impressed.

The class often has substitutes so that she can continue her teacher education. About halfway through the year the principal subbed and decided a pencil or two needed to be taken and broken to maintain order in the classroom. Alyssa told me all about it because it bothered her. "Thankfully, she's only a sub," I thought. Then, I heard that pencils were now being broken by their teacher.

February was a rough month for my kids, especially for Alyssa.

One day, Alyssa told me some of her friends' pencils got broken. For the first time, she told me her teacher was mean. Being the sensitive and compassionate girl she is, this was eating at her. The next day she was very upset when I picked her up from school. Her teacher had broken her pencil. An image entered my mind of the teacher pulling Alyssa's pencil out of her little fingers, snapping it in half and tossing it into the garbage while the entire class watched. That is too harsh for my kindergarten baby. I considered this the entire evening.

Now, I get that it's just a pencil. I get that those are cheep. But, who's paying for them? Not the teacher. Parents aren't buying pencils so the school can punish their children with those. I don't break my children's belongings at home and I don't want their teacher breaking their belongings at school. I am trying to teach my children to take care of their stuff. Don't teachers learn appropriate disciplinary techniques in school? Don't they learn that they don't have to be mean to 5-year-old students to get them to do what they want? If I find myself getting so upset over something that it effects my kids negatively, then I know I have to find a new approach. What she's doing is just plain mean.

I have had it with that teacher! I want to keep my babies home with me. I want to put them with a different teacher. But, neither of those are choices for me.

The next morning I put the kids on the bus, even though, understandably, Alyssa does not want to return to school. I then go about my morning duties and discovered a broken pencil on the living room floor and then another on on the laundry room floor. Only Payton would go that far. He was acting out. It must bother him too to have watched his twin's pencil get snapped. I wanted to hug him close to me and protect him too. Classroom discipline should not cause problems at home.

I put my concern up on Facebook and found that this teacher's actions effected other mothers similarly. It was good to have my feelings validated and I intended to talk to the teacher the following Monday. But, by Monday, I had chickened out and decided not to act on it. I felt like such a wimp.

A few days later, Alyssa tells me that some kids at school told her and Payton that they were going to hurt them real bad when they got out outside. Further questioning revealed it was the three girls that she usually plays with --- her FRIENDS! She didn't seem to know why they said that. My babies are in KINDERGARTEN! Why can't they just have a good, fun year? But the more I thought about it, it occurred to me that it most likely had to do with the "Bullying" play they had gone to see and the girls were probably acting out from that. But, still, why doesn't the teacher say anything to me? I'm their MOM! (Which reminds me that no one ever bothered to inform me when Payton fell from the top of the big slide at the beginning of the school year. Do they think mom's aren't interested in their child. I know I am!)

Anyway, it occurred to me that over the previous couple weeks, Alyssa had told me about a few occasions that her friends (the same three girls) were also being mean to some of the other kids in her class. After asking more questions I learned that she had told them that so-and-so were her friends and not to be mean to them. I wondered if this is why they turned on her that day.

Back at home, I was asked to create a bunch of posters for a ward dinner/activity night. I went out to the garage to find some poster board I had bought awhile ago and discovered an old, fat, big black crayon, which actually made me happy because this would come in handy to outline the images. I brought it in and placed it on a cluttered counter top, hoping my kids would not discover the new crayon. Unfortunately, I later discovered it again all over a child-size chair and bedside table in my daughter's room. I was angry with her and myself. I reminded her for the 100th time that, "Crayons belong at the kitchen table, on paper!" I told her, "It all needed cleaned up!" Then, I went too far with a selfish demand, "Do not touch MY crayons!" (blushing now) Alyssa put it back on the counter all right, after she broke it in half. Hmmmm... I didn't have to wonder who she learned that from.

Last week, I went to help in my children's classroom. Alyssa had a pencil grip that she bragged about to her classmates at her table. I thought it was cute that she was so excited about it. The next day I picked up, this now very whiny, girl from school. I asked her what happened and lots of other questions to piece together the whole story. I learned that she had earned enough points to choose that pencil grip from her teacher's treasure box. This day, she had put it on her finger. Her teacher exclaimed, "That is not a finger toy," took it from her and threw it away. So --- the students earn points for treasures, but then the teacher can toss it if it bothers her? That's just lame! As far as I can tell, Alyssa was totally playing with --- discovering --- a pencil grip at a kindergarten level.

Last week, Alyssa came home with a note from one of her friends. It was an apology from one of the girls that threatened her. It was good to know that the threat had not gone completely ignored.

Last Friday was parent teacher conference. The poor teacher totally open the door when she asked me first thing, "Do you have any concerns about your kids at all?" I was not intending to say anything --- but I did. I said, "I'm not really sure about the breaking the pencil thing because I'm not in the classroom all the time, but, when Alyssa got hers broken it really upset her. I noticed it bothered Payton too because I found broken pencils at home." Her response, "This shocks the kids." Uh, ya?! (I've decided over the past five years that shocking young children isn't necessary!) Me, "It seems to me that it teaches kids that it's okay to break other people's things." Her, "Some kids need to be shocked. It's very effective at getting their attention." Ya, effective in proving that you're bigger. What's it gunna take to shock them later in life? Anyway, I felt she wasn't hearing my concern and I could feel myself getting ready to take her on so I slowed down and tried to word my retort as nicely as I could. "Breaking their pencils seems to show disrespect. It kind of comes off as bullying." I just called her a bully! Ya, I didn't word it as nicely as I would have liked. Her, "I will make sure Payton's and Alyssa's pencils don't get broken in the future." Me, "Thank you." So, I didn't win it for all the kids, but at least mine will be spared. I hope she'll reconsider her technique, but, I'm pretty sure she won't get past the part where I called her a disrespectful bully.

I quickly informed her that my children were reading really well and that Alyssa's reading seems to have just taken off. I thanked her for that. I was careful to continued the compliments because I really didn't want her to feel bad. I continued to remind myself that she's not a terrible teacher, it's her first year, she doesn't have any children of her own, and, I don't have a classroom of my own.

Today, I reported this to a good friend. She listened. But she did not not agree with my assessment that the teacher is good at teaching reading and writing. Her response, "Any teacher that belittles and shames her students to keep control of her classroom does not belong in there." Very well stated! And she's right! I agree with every word. I can use those words myself! And I took those to heart, "Any parent that belittles and shames her child to keep control of them should not be parenting that child." I contemplated my own mistakes as a parent and wished I could do-over the past five years with her words in the back of my mind. But, I will just have to adjust now to comply with the words of my new parenting rule.

I thanked my Heavenly Father for allowing me a glimpse into the heart of this wise mother and pray that I can become a better mom because of it --- I have so much to learn and so much to protect.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"The Great Health Debate" Summary of Speakers 9 & 10

My kids had the day off school so we cleaned our floors with the incentive of signing valentine's for their class party on Monday. So, while they sucked on candy hearts and clipped paper hearts, I sat at the same table and listened to the last 2 speakers of this event.

The first speaker, Dr. J. E. Williams, was the most boring, perhaps because he didn't bring up new ideas. Which made him the most realistic on getting a good diet without going to extremes. Of course, you would still want to be aware of the type and quality of food you put into your diet. After raising his family vegetarian, becoming a raw-foodist and then Vegan, he eventually ate some meat again. And he felt good! After that, he came to the conclusion that adding a small amount of meat back into the diet only made for a healthier body. He noticed his kids health, although already healthy and never sick, seemed to improve with the small addition of meat.

Williams travels the world in search of natural cures and medicine. He studied with some of the most secluded groups of people (Eskimos, hunters that eat almost entirely animal and also eat the entire animal to the Q'ero who eat almost exclusively carbohydrates --- both extremely healthy and fit) in order to learn from their ways that have be passed down through generations.

About raw-foodist, he says this is a good way to drop your cholesterol level but it will eventually drop way too low. You can survive on this type of diet, but not thrive, and does not recommend it at all for women of childbearing age. He recommends eating meat to produce a healthy offspring.

He advises, rather, to be a "Consious Omnivor." To do this, an average American would need to eat less: meat, salt, sugar, processed food and bad fats. Whole fresh live foods, and a little fruit should be our main diet.

He also believes that the food sensitivities that many people are experiencing are from a variety of races, foods and chemicals all coming together --- that all this is too overwhelming for our bodies to handle.

And finally, Dr. Alan Goldhamer, uses water/juice fasting as a major source of healing --- his patients having had remarkable success through this technique at his therapuetic fasting center of 28 years. I would love to take my first childhood friend, myself, and our husbands to this place for a month and come back home with a better, maybe cured, body and a set of tools for eating a healthy diet. I wish... but I suppose it is more feasible that I figure out how to eat right on my own. I would also like to purchase his new cookbook, Bravo, when it comes out. (That would be feasible!) He is convincing!

The diet is purely vegetarian. It doesn't allow for anything processed. "Processed health food is a marketing ploy from people pretending it is good for you. These people just want to charge a lot for an inexpensive item because they can say it's healthier." This means the healthy oils, including olive oil; all salt, including Tamari Sauce (which we use and love) and sugar. He goes on to explain that processed oil, sugar and salt form a highly addictive combination, as addictive as cocaine and alcohol. The food companies know this and use it to their advantage. Rats put on this type of diet gain 49% more weight in only 60 days and birds will eat so much that they can't fly. Then he recommends his book "The Pleasure Trap" which I would love to read (maybe while I'm resting in that fasting center...).

Anyway, a typical breakfast would be a big bucket of fruits and seeds. Lunch and dinner would include a large salad with dark leafy greens (so large that someone walking into the room would be shocked that you are going to eat all of that), a platter of steamed starchy vegetables and maybe a small amount of cooked grains. I'm not too sure about this diet, although, it partly sounds real good. On his site a suggestion was made to get a crock pot and put 1/2 a cup of beans and 1/2 a cup of rice (and water) in it and let it cook on low overnight. That way you have soup all day and it stays good for 72 hours. I can do that! Oatmeal is also allowed (so rolling oats is not making those processed?) At this point, though, I'm convinced that adding a little quality meat would be fine.

As for salad, I don't like salad! I hate making salad --- all that endless washing and chopping! I make it for Eli. Eli loves vegetable salads. I eat salad purely for it's nutrients --- that's why I use spinach and Romain lettuce and refuse to use iceburg lettuce. I even pass on Ranch dressing if there's a healthier option. If I'm going to make the effort to eat all those raw vegetables, then it better be good for me. Perhaps, when I'm detoxed, I'll crave vegetables again instead of bread. (However, that still wouldn't make all the chopping and rinsing go away!)

I would like to post a review with my plan of action with it, but it's late and the weekend has started, so it will have to wait for another day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"The Great Health Debate" Summary of Speakers 7 & 8

My head is exploding with all sorts of conflicting information that I really don't have much of a desire to blog about it. So, hopefully, this will be a really short blog and I won't get all opinionated along the way.

I looked forward to hearing from David Wolfe because I recently discovered that he is the big guy behind promoting the raw food diet. He doesn't eat meat --- "Killing brings about bad Karma." He calls eating raw meat a "silly extreme." (I've personally have only wished for raw milk --- especially once I learned that heating the milk changes the protein into one our body cannot metabolize. But, currently, I'm not convince milk, either way, is a good choice anymore.) He also says that if you do eat meat, do so sparingly. He encourages us to limit our exposure to: mutigans (I'm assuming GMOs), carcinogens, bad Karma and unknowns in our diet.

The main idea is to switch our meat calories to raw food calories. One of his SuperFoods, marine plankton, is full of chlorophyll, EPA and DHA, a range of phospholipids (meat sources are: lecithin,  found in egg yolk; bee products such as Royal Jelly (good for fertility) and bee pollen; and something else I didn't catch.) He also gave a list of vegetarian sources of proteins: marine (krill and muscle) oils for a successful vegetarian, Royal Jelly, bee pollen, blue-green algae, goji berries, maca berry (good for hormone balance and menstruation), phytoplankton and incan berry.

His theory on acid/alkaline foods is that herbs and SuperFoods are alkaline and all the rest are acidic or neutral and that it is important to keep a balance between the two. For example: nuts and seeds are the opposite of vegetables, stems, leaves and roots. Therefore they should be eaten together. Another example would be eating rice and beans together. He says that if you eat meat, you must eat the bone marrow as well, which he doesn't encourage because of all the toxic build up in the bones. And, olives are an excellent alkaline fat source.

Over time your stomach will shrink and it will be able to better utilize the nutrients. "The less you eat, the longer you live," seems to be well-known with everyone that's into health and nutrition. If we want to live longer we need to "be careful what we put in our bodies and protect it from the 75,000 toxic chemicals that we have dumped into our environment since the 1930s."

Some ways to detox our bodies of these toxins are to use designer and normal detoxes which include colonics and month long herbal detox programs. (He says some good ones are Euguva, Health Force, Blessed Herbs and Rise and Shine.) Also, use hot and inferred saunas to sweat it out. (I've heard that that is the only way to remove plastic toxins, but that you can sweat those out by exercising. Maybe a sauna is better at making you sweat?) You can also use Vitamin B3 in 200 mg/500 mg/1000 mg dosages, but I'm not sure how often. 1000 mg supposedly makes you feel like your dying! Combine the vitamin with using a rebounder. Fasting is also a good way to detox. Same as juice fasting and his favorite way to do that is with citrus fruits or apples.

"Digesting is the #1 energy zapper" and raw fermented chocolate (and here for you chocolate lovers) is the #1 longevity food! (Olives and honey are also really good longevity foods.)

Ok, onto Daniel Vitalis, he use to be a vegetarian, turned raw foodist and eventually Vegan, but found it didn't work for him. He informs us that cooking vegetable properly (not microwaving or frying) releases more nutrients, making those foods more nutrient dense, but still, animal nutrient density is 10 times higher because they have already eaten the grass and now those nutrients are compacted in their meat. So now he takes the hunter/gather approach and forges for his own wild greens and hunts wild animals. (He's done a lot of research to learn how humans have eaten throughout history and says we have always eaten animals.) I'm not really sure how much meat he eats, but he never says to eat it sparingly and says that wild greens aren't enough. He does insist on you eating your meat from your local wild whenever possible, otherwise, find a good healthy local source for an heirloom quality healthy animal. He just bought himself a grass-fed cow and intents to eat the entire animal, tongue and all! (The idea of doing that myself just isn't going to happen.)

He says, just as a vegetarian wants to avoid pour quality and genetically altered plants, you also don't want your meat source to come from manufactured animals, "Deficient animals make deficient meat. ... We are eating ourselves into extinction." He also claims those animals to be the reason our skeleton structure is getting smaller and weaker and also our brains are smaller then ever in history. He asks if we ever see a squirrel with crocked teeth and that all these abnormalities in our bodies are not found in history. We do things to hide what is happening to our bodies so we don't really see the big picture.

I did find it interesting when he talked about the main problems with most people's diet is the nutrients they are missing. He says we should get our nutrients from all the Kingdoms of Life: the Plant Kingdom, the Microorganism Kingdom (fermented foods), the fungus Kingdom (he really loves those mushrooms, too) and the Animal Kingdom.

Although he made some good points about eating meat, overall I don't think going on his diet is for me. Also, he ended with this whole doomsday deal. I just didn't think his comments about the world being overpopulated so we all can't eat this superior way was needed. He went on to talk about our diet's making us sterile and pretty soon we won't be so crowded anymore and that's just the way it is. He plans on staying around so his (health?/genetics?/wilderness land?) can be passed down through his generations.

Ok, so at the very end when he's thinking about what he can leave for his posterity isn't a bad idea, and maybe that's something I should do, it's the hopelessness he has for the rest of us --- or is that just for those that don't plan on eating like him?

More tomorrow.

"The Great Health Debate" Summary of Speakers 5 & 6

These two speakers both brought up several new ideas that I hadn't considered before. They also recommend different approaches to health. This post is going to be harder to summarize, but I'll do the best I can for those of you who have shown interest in my thoughts on health and nutrition.

Each speaker had 1 hour to share a huge amount of their knowledge. I took a lot of notes, but, I will be commenting mostly about what makes sense to me, share it the way I understand, and share my personal thoughts on it.

First, I listened to Donna Gates. Her photo is of a pretty young lady with a nice convincing voice. I was surprised to learn that she is actually 64-years old. She talks a lot about fermented food, which I didn't know or really care to learn about until I visited my in-laws at Christmas time and my sister-in-law shared her interest in it and wondered what I thought about it. I didn't know. She explained briefly and gave me a recipe for rejuvelac (fermented wheat water). However, in my research, I came across a comment here and there that made me worry that the risks, however small, were not what I wanted to test out on my family --- I set that idea aside for another time.

However, the more Donna Gates spoke, the more I became convinced that I would feel good about placing my health in her care. She is all about fermenting foods and says that fermenting helps the body to assimilate the food. She explained a little about the history of fermenting and the beneficial role they play in our gut. She also has a "safe starter" she sells on her site (of course).

She doesn't love raw or processed milk. Doesn't like meat. Loves coconut kefir and Natto (fermented soy). She says everything has its opposite and that there is a balance in everything, such as your body should be 80% alkaline and 20% acidic.

She basically recommends all the good quality foods touted by health enthusiast but adds fermenting to it. This is her list of essential nutrients:
  • Fermented foods (it increases the value of a food hundreds of times)
  • Mineral rich foods
  • Protein (from dark leafy greens. These produce anti inflammatories and strengthen muscles)
  • Vitamin C
  • Sunshine
  • Good night sleep
  • Water
  • Air (breath!)
  • Exercise

The next guy's diet description, at first, had me imagining myself in my backyard, sunbathing while sipping from a clear glass of ice water and licking a salt rock and listening to tummy growls. I wondered what and if I would get to eat!

Dr. Robert O. Young studies health on a cellular level --- in the blood and it's pH level. He is against eating ALL and ANY meat saying healthy red blood cells should be even in shape, color and size and that eating animals make those cells lemon shape, which manifests in disease. In fact, he claims we do NOT need PROTEIN! (I've decided he is only referring to animal protein because towards the end he begins talking about eating dark leafy greens, which are full of plant proteins.) "Our body can't digest it's own flesh, so it can't digest animal flesh either... It just sits in our body and rots." ("If you want to kill your children, feed them meat!")

He is against ALL sugar. It doesn't matter whether it is processed or natural (from whole fruit), he says that sugar is a waste product of metabolism unnecessary for ATP (converts/transfers energy). He rather believes that our body runs on electrons, that our body is electric. (Are you singing the Electric Slide!) He goes on to explain that all the energy we need we can get from the sun --- if we have enough chlorophyll in our blood to absorb that energy through our skin and eyes. (I'm assuming it's similar to the way plants absorb energy from the sun). Interesting concept. So --- it's extremely important to eat your greens --- and lots of those. (Oh, let's not forget how important salt is either --- "salt is what keeps us alive.") He suggests making green drinks and raw blended soups and salads from alkaline foods every day --- don't forget the salt! (NOT table salt because of added chemicals and the aluminum (so it doesn't cake), try rock salt or Himalayan salt.

He did comment briefly on other diets: the fruitarian, with sickly looking cells; the vegetarian, which he hates because dairy and eggs are allowed; the raw foodist, which he says is better but still not great; next best is the Vegan diet, which he almost likes; but his "Alkalarian diet is best of all!" Young claims his diet can make you immortal. IMMORTAL! Seriously!(RED FLAG!) As if he's God!

If you recognize the term "alkaline" or "acidic body" --- that is Young's baby. He claims the more alkaline the body you can get it, the healthier you are. In fact, he says, an alkaline body can stay young forever! Wow! That's quite the claim. I even went so far as to wonder if he had his name changed so that he could be called "Dr. Young." (I may Google that some day.) Anyway, I went to his site to check out his alkaline food chart he mentioned (amazingly, it seams you have to buy everything if you want to get anything from this guy, including the book with his chart). I did find this other alkaline food chart very interesting because it includes many healthy foods I've been adding to our diet since we started eating raw! (Those do get a little easier to eat as you get use to the "green" taste.) The chart also includes a lot of fruits, Young says we don't need fruit because of the sugars, so I'm assuming that those would not be on his list. Do take note of how alkalizing the grains are once they are sprouted. I had to refer back to The Word of Wisdom (verse 14) just to see the part about how grains is worded again. As I noted in my previous post, it doesn't specify that you have to ground the grains into flour, so why not sprout those?! (That would mean I would need to go back to the original "staff of life" being the main part of my diet, eating it every day instead of eating it sparingly (as a support) in times of famine and cold (maybe winter is a good time to have wheat ground?)

It did get me thinking a little about Utah and the pioneers, and even today! The Great Salt Lake is full of real salt. We are counseled to eat grains (sprouted?) and all the many natural springs in the mountains (springs being the best source of raw water by David Wolfe --- the big raw foodist whom I'll hear from later tonight.) And sunshine, even in winter. If this is what we need to live a good quality healthy life, it was given to the pioneers all at once in the Salt Lake Valley --- for FREE!

Since I mentioned water, and you do need to drink good quality water, you can buy water systems from his site that add electrons into your drinking water that can help alkalize your body. I read a lot about this several years ago from a Japanese Doctor (I'd post a link, but I can't find it again.) Anyway, he convinced me we needed one, but with the water system costing nearly $2000, my husband was not convinced. (Thank goodness for him!) I thought it would only be a one time cost, but then I discovered the actual filter has to be changed every few months and those ran close to $500 each (if I remember right, you needed 2 of those). Surely, God doesn't expect us to pay money like that for our health! (I haven't checked lately to see if prices on those have dropped.)

If this truly is the diet of immortality and living on it will eventually change me in a "twinkle" --- then he has something amazing. What my heart tells me is that he is on to something but it needs more fine tuning. It bothers me that he seems so business oriented, greedy and full-of-himself. I don't like that he made it a point to invalidate the other nutritionists' research --- especially when it appears they have started using some of his research to fine tune their practices. Some pieces may fit together nicely, but, I keep hearing "Too Good to Be True," and although I will probably glean (his chart) from him, I don't know when or if I will do much more than that.

Besides, I'm not looking for the diet that's going to keep me alive the longest, I'm on a fertility quest!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Short Summary on Health Seminar (First 4 speakers of 10)

The past couple days I've been listening to some well-known nutritional health doctors online. I've listened to Gabriel Cousens (he's a little too extreme for me but very smart and if I did go completely off all animal products, I would read up more on his information), Dr. Mercola (I have loved reading information from his site in the past, but I'm not into raw eggs), Jonny Bowden and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I found them all very informative and for the most part they haven't been too contradictory, for example, they each agree that greens are some of the best foods and that all grains (whole grains only) should be limited in our diet. They are all focused on a nutritionally rich diet free of processed foods and eating what works best for your body. I especially liked the the way Fuhrman presented his information and want to read his book Eat to Live. (I went to the library today to pick it up, but, apparently they don't carry it --- so it will just have to sit in my Amazon cart for awhile. Who knows, I may have a different favorite by the time the other 6 speak.)

The main difference (and not a big difference) in what these speakers had to share was their opinion on eating meat. I'm not against eating meat, sparingly. After posting my last blog about my diet, I found and watched Meet Your Meet. (Warning: DO NOT watch if you prefer to continue buying your meat and dairy from the supermarket. I found this video shocking, horrible and terribly disturbing. So, if you do decide to watch, watch it when small children are NOT hanging on your shoulder, arm, or wherever they hang on you when you're at the computer.) Cousens says no meat at all. But there are nutrients (Vitamin B12, zinc, iron, certain types of omega-3s) that you can only get from meat, otherwise you will need to take some quality supplements. The meat-eaters, or rather, omnivors, all agree that these nutrients are best in their natural form rather than from supplements and they all agree that meat should be eaten in moderation. Fuhrman's meat guidelines are that you should receive less than 10% of your daily caloric intake from it (however, a few people may actually need as much as 15% maximum).

As for a raw diet, Fuhrman was the only one to comment on that. He says eating the majority of your vegetables raw is really good but it is easy to go overboard in these areas: sweeteners, salt, dried fruits and oils (oils are best as a whole food). He also finds it limiting and that when a raw foodist adds some cooked foods, such as vegetables and beans, into their diet they seem to do better.

Overall and so far, I like Fuhrman's addendems to "My Diet Rules" best of all. I also like hearing how much the Health/Nutrionists agree overall. I love what they have to share and that they have so many facts, studies and years of experience to back up their methods.

As a side note: When picking up my kids this afternoon, Payton, putting on his seat belt, says, "After school, Mom, I felt my heart beating." "Oh?" "It was beating hard." "Did it hurt?" "No. It didn't feel good." Hmmmmm... I hope it's not something serious. (I ignored his occasional complaints about his tummy until he started throwing up every other night --- only to find out he has gerd. I will have to fine-tune my ears to this and see if we've got another problem. It does make me feel a little anxious about whether I can get our diet changed for the better fast enough.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Section 89


Eli BOUGHT a fertility book!

Family size is a choice for so many couples --- and even singles. For us it's a matter of money. The thought of buying our eternal family disgusts and frustrates me. It costs to adopt. It costs for IVF. It costs a lot just to give birth in a hospital (so I hear). Each --- a financial risk.

That doesn't mean we can't save some money! My husband and I want more children. The feeling is tugging pretty strongly at our hearts again. The desire feels good and right inside. A few months ago we talked about really trying to get pregnant --- this time with IVF. If we're going to put that kind of money into conceiving then I need to get as healthy as possible --- for myself and our baby.

After years of research, I am convinced that PCOS can be controlled through proper diet and consistent exercise. I have tried to refine our diet a little bit here and there, but NOW is the time to be drastic! I find myself, once again, trying desperately to find the information that will bring success this time around. I want to set goals and create a plan I feel thoroughly good about and stick with it. It also needs to be built around "My Diet Rules" as much as possible.

  1. It MUST be in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. (No red wine or green tea for me, please.)
  2. My family and I will share the SAME meal. It's hard enough preparing 3 meals a day --- expecting myself to create an extra meal for myself is NOT going to happen. I should know. But, more importantly, if I'm going to create a healthy meal, I WANT my family to partake of it as well. I want my family to enjoy health too.
  3. Meals must be EASY to prepare. It must be easy because nights out at the restaurant should be limited. Also, I work at home. When I'm not working, I want to play, spend time with my kids and husband, garden, keep my home in order and learn --- not spend 2-3 hours preparing 1 meal, just to finish that one and start on the next one.
  4. The cheaper the better. I feel very strongly that God has provided health for everyone! Food, supplements and information should be free or reasonably priced. (Hey, even weeds are suppose to be highly nutritious --- if only I knew how to identify and use those!)
  5. Naturally healthy --- that includes growing a garden. The more natural, the better (organic and local...) I also feel very strongly that God provides us with the food we should be eating.  Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food." I'm not saying that I shouldn't ever see a doctor (for example: IVF, broken bones, cancer, etc.) --- but for overall health maintenance, I should look to what I eat; after all, the more natural, the better (eliminate: hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs (at least start with avoiding the big 4: canola, cotton, corn and soy)).
  6. Drink more water. According to Dr. Fereydoon Batamanghelidj, M.D., the author of Your Body's Many Cry's for Water, I should be getting at least 84 oz of water per day, more when I exercise, to stay hydrated. It's very important! I drink water almost exclusively (no alcohol, caffeine, soda, processed juice, etc.) except for fresh homemade juice from my new juicer, raw lemonade (made with raw honey, mmmmmm...) and an occasional 1/2 glass of organic whole milk (a little full fat dairy has been proven to increase fertility, according to my new book).
  7. Sweets must be allowed, at least occasionally. I know this is a danger zone for me and most likely the biggest contributing factor of my infertility. But, completely take me off sweets and I'll binge on those big time. Healthy treats like Raw Apple Crisp seem to be a satisfying substitutes for traditional baked goods. (I have also been experimenting with ice creams made from nuts and puddings made with avocado, but, I'm not satisfied enough to post a link to any of those yet.)
  8. Exercise. Ideally, I would like to do 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day, six days a week. I would like to attend a Yoga class 2-3 times a week and do weights on 2-3 of the other days. For now, I would like to just get going on something again.
I have used these rules to implemented several health improvements in my family, yet, we still have health issues. My husband has asthma and his knees sound like mush. Last week my son was diagnosed with acid reflux or GERD. My poor daughter gets constipated. My personal list includes eczema and hay fever, migraines, osteoporosis, overweight, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarium Syndrome) which causes my infertility and is a precursor to diabetes and heart-attack. (BTW, grandparents on both my parents side have died from heart-attacks.)

In trying to keep our meals within a low glycemic load, learning how to do square foot gardening so that we can afford to eat organically and locally, and baking my own sweets (to avoid hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and GMOs) I came across raw foods. The idea wasn't new to me, I just didn't realize that some people ate raw almost exclusively. It seemed too extreme! At least I felt that way for a few years. About 6 months ago I got curious and took a deeper look into it. This time the phrase "in the season thereof" clicked with new meaning. It seemed to say to me that "in season" definitely includes raw --- NOT cooked and/or processed, not altered.

Wow! It finally made sense to me! The whole concept felt so simple and right that I wondered if it was truly my answer. I've spent a lot of time searching for raw recipes and ideas to add to my family's diet. Some favorites so far are: Raw Tacos, juicing, almond milk, Mediterranean Kale Salad, spinach salad with the yummiest walnut ginger dressing EVER, cabbage salad, Turnip Apple Salad, raw hot chocolate and raw applesauce (leave the peels on). (Check out Elder John A. Widtsoe explanation, also found in the Doctrine and Covenant Institute Manual.) The challenge now is to make raw a significantly large part of our diet (I've read that 80% is recommended).

In my pursuit of fertility I have delved, many times, into nutritional facts to understand what's best. In the back of my mind I am always comparing what I find with The Doctrine and Covenants --- Section 89, more commonly known as "The Word of Wisdom." Today I googled "eating raw and the Word of Wisdom." I came across the most interesting discussion on Latter-day Saints and vegetarianism titled "The Word of Wisdom: the forgotten verses" (I recommend reading it!)" The following includes Jim Catano's personal comments on eating meat (D&C Section 89:10-15):

10.  "...all wholesome herbs," or plants as the footnote explains, "God hath ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man---
11.  "Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
12.  "Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use" and please note---NOT for the constitution, nature and use as was said of the plants but merely for the use "of man with thanksgiving, nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13.  "and it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
14.  "All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
15.  "And these" in repetition of the admonition to limit the eating of animal flesh "God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger."

Hmmmmmm... I never desired to be vegetarian or even thought I should be until I read it this way. So, does that mean milk? eggs? ice cream? Cutting down on most meat shouldn't be terribly hard. I can prepare more vegetarian meals that include healthy plant proteins --- we eat a lot of those anyway. (Eli's not gunna be crazy about this change!)

And what's this about grains? Instead of breaking up the sentence in verses 14 and 15, I read the entire sentence together. I felt enlightened as I read to use grain as well as animal flesh sparingly. Could that be right? It feels right with what I understand about blood sugar spikes, but is that just what I want to hear? That would explain that being tired after eating grain isn't necessary in order to obey the Word of Wisdom. However, until today, I thought obeying the Word of Wisdom was eating grains as my "staff of life," so when doing some earlier research I was excited to learn that sprouting grains essentially converts it into a living vegetable. (Since that discovery, my kids and I have enjoyed eating raw germinated wheat sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and chopped dates; or, dried fruit and raw chopped nuts or seeds as a breakfast cereal, sometimes even with almond milk poured over it.)

I am so excited to know that the way I've been trying to tweak our diet goes right along with the Word of Wisdom. I feel confident in moving forward with the knowledge I have been gleaning from those who have been excited to share their information. I can't wait to google "eating raw and the Word of Wisdom" again and read how other Latter-day Saints are doing it. I'm am so ready to make a change. I want to feel good. I want my body to work!

As a side note, I want to comment on verse 4, "... In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarned you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation---" I want to list 3 poisons that I believe exist because of conspiring greedy men: hydrogenated oils (also known as trans fats), high fructose corn syrup (currently being relabeled simply as corn sugar) and; GMOs (which I wonder if the earth will have to burn to completely get rid of those). In the book The Fertility Diet, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils are listed on the bottom of a good-to-bad food-ranking list --- BELOW alcohol! It's scary that mother's give those to their children so naively. (I KNOW better and am guilty of taking advantage of the convenience!) I feel it is time to completely remove these from my family's diet, I just don't know if I can. (No trick-or-treating, seriously? No chocolate Easter Bunny or boxes of Valentine's chocolates? Nope --- I'm not 100% ready --- but it's time to start somewhere.)

The following are more reminders to myself of why I am changing my family's diet:
President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “The temporal salvation of the children of men is a most important thing, but sadly neglected by many religious teachers. The truth is that the spiritual salvation is dependent upon the temporal far more than most men realize. The line of demarcation between the temporal, or physical, and the spiritual, cannot be definitely seen. The Lord has said that he has not given a temporal commandment at any time. To men some of these commandments may be temporal, but they are spiritual to the Lord because they all have a bearing on the spiritual or eternal welfare of mankind.” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:383.) Obedience to the Word of Wisdom, keeping the “temple of God” undefiled (1 Corinthians 3:16), invites the Holy Ghost to help us resist the temptations of the world.

D&C 89:10–11
The Doctrine and Covenants does not specifically mention heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, other illegal drugs, or the abuse of prescription drugs. President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Such revelation is unnecessary. The Word of Wisdom is a basic law. It points the way and gives us ample instruction in regard to both food and drink, good for the body and also detrimental. If we sincerely follow what is written with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, we need no further counsel....
“Thus by keeping the commandments we are promised inspiration and the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord through which we will know what is good and what is bad for the body, without the Lord presenting us with a detailed list separating the good things from the bad that we may be protected. We will learn by this faithful observance that the promises of the Lord are fulfilled.” (Improvement Era, Feb. 1956, pp. 78–79.)
John A. Widstoe 
One of the most brilliant scholars to ever serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was John A. Widtsoe who had the additional perspective of a scientist as to the merits of a plant-based diet. He wrote in a book on the Word of Wisdom, "It was shown in the history of plant science that plants contain all the necessary food substances: proteins, fats, starches and the carbohydrates, minerals...water [and] vitamins. The Great builder of the earth provided well for the physical needs of His children. Countless varieties of edible plants, vegetables, cereals, fruits and nuts are yielded by Mother Nature for man's daily food. If one uses meat it must be used sparingly and in winter or famine only.... They who wish to be well and gain the promised reward stated in the Word of Wisdom must obey all of the law, not just part of it as suits their whim or their appetite, or their notion of its meaning." (The Word of Wisdom, a Modern Interpretation, 1950)
Just as it was 50 years ago, some Church members today still resist a full embrace of the principles of their divinely inspired health code. Sadly, some even resent the efforts of others who attempt to rise above the current LDS cultural norm, and they sometimes label as "fanatics" those who try to pursue a higher course. In defense of those Latter-day Saints who have a special awareness of health and nutrition, Elder Widtsoe said, "one with an intelligent interest in food and good life habits is in no sense a faddist or 'crank.' Indeed, every one should have such a sound fundamental knowledge of nutrition." (The Word of Wisdom, a Modern Interpretation, 1950)

Ezra Taft Benson
"In general, the more food we eat in its natural state and the less it is refined without additives, the healthier it will be for us." (Ensign 4:66, 1974)
"To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours.... We need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the 'kings meat' ---and whose countenances show it." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson pp. 476-7) His reference, of course, is to the biblical Daniel who, as a student in the Babylonian royal court, opted for simple vegetarian food and whose superior health quickly became visible to others.
"There is no question that the health of the body affects the spirit, or the Lord would never have revealed the Word of Wisdom.... Disease, fever and unexpected deaths are some of the consequences directly related to disobedience.... To a great extent, we are physically what we eat. Most of us are acquainted with some of the prohibitions of the Word of Wisdom...but what need additional emphasis are the positive aspects---the need for vegetables, fruits, and grain, particularly wheat. We need a generation of people who eat in a healthier manner." (Ensign, September 1988, p. 5)

George Q. Cannon
(This should be worked into "My Diet Rules.")
"We can have variety in diet, and yet have simplicity. We can have a diet that will be easily prepared, and yet have it healthful. We can have a diet that will be tasteful, nutritious and delightful to us and easy to digest..." (Journal of Discourses 12:221-4)