Gluten Filled and Gluten Free + a BONUS life lesson

Author by Joanna – from https://burpeesboxjumpsandbeer.wordpress.com.

As I have previously mentioned, I have been following a primarily low gluten/low glycemic index diet. I do not do this for any other reason besides the fact that Jordan has a sensitivity (not a full-blown crap your pants sensitivity, just a mild stomach discomfort) and also because of recovery time with high intensity exercise (which I have greatly increased in the last few months). In case you didn’t catch all of that:

Sprinting backward with a sled + Husband with Gluten intolerance = decrease in gluten rich/ high glycemic index foods.

*Don’t know what glycemic index (GI) is? GI is the measure of how rapidly and how high a given carbohydrate raises a person’s blood sugar in a noted amount of time. High GI foods include any carbohydrate that is easily digested and rapidly releases the consumed glucose into the blood stream (i.e. bread, rice, sugar, or any food containing all of these… pastries, white bread). Foods with low GI include carbohydrates which have a high amount of fiber or protein in them (or eaten with them). Fiber and protein increase digestion time causing the blood sugar to rise slowly and more steadily instead of a burst of glucose/sugar into the blood stream all at once.  Aim for COMPLEX carbs.
*Disclaimer: the source for this information = the many hours of Nutrition courses I have taken and the knowledge I have gained and thus, applied to my life experiences.

With that being said, I have actually decreased my want for breads and pastas and other things. BUT sometimes I cave. Yesterday I was craving carbs! And I don’t mean bananas, sweet potatoes, and apples. I was craving CARBS! Like the ones where a little bit goes a long (bloating) way.

Like this kind! No worries, I used whole wheat pasta :) I haven’t had a meal like this in …. a long time. I made the meat sauce with ground Turkey also for a lower fat option to ground beef. Please read the below side note.

** Side note: as we sit down to eat Jordan casually asks “So what did you put in this that I hate”. Okay, I do have a record of trying to hide nutritious deliciousness  in his meals and not telling him (i.e. flax seed, spinach) but he usually notices somehow (maybe he has a radar for extremely healthy ingredients). So I answered “nothing”. As we ate our dinner and he was about 3/4 through I mentioned that I used ground Turkey in the preparation of this sauce…. Oh the look of disgust. Can’t taste a difference, not sure what the problem was?!?

Here let me also mention that I purchased GF Penne, I cooked GF Penne, I threw out GF Penne. I am sorry, to all you Celiacer’s (no, that is not a real word) I disliked the texture and chalky taste. So I said screw it, and we ate the whole wheat!

Also, I think when diagnosed with Celiac Disease there should also be a mandatory six figure pay increase or glamorous job promotion so you can afford the chalky, inaccessible, extremely high-priced food. If you don’t have Celiac and you CHOOSE to live GF then… sell your car and start walking. But… I digress.

So that was my gluten filled dinner last night. I did however, abstain from wine/beer with dinner. The gluten filled deliciousness was enough to cure my cravings!

This morning J made a smoothie before heading to work. No doubt to pay for our GF living, stolen vehicles, and his wife’s new found crossfit passion. God bless the man! I had half of the fruit smoothie: Strawberries, banana, blueberries, almond milk, nonfat vanilla yogurt and ice (no flax OR spinach).  And a Van’s GF blueberry waffle topped with PB, Crofter’s fruit spread, and blueberries (oh glorious day, no oats).

These are pretty good! I have had the whole wheat one’s and they are better. But for a GF option these are the best I have tried!

Just got on the Crofter’s wagon. Love it!

And I just ate my GF version of last night’s dinner. Not down with this 2 letter acronym? GF=gluten free, now you are.

Just use a spoon to take out the middle of the zucchini or yellow squash, I used yellow because I had a large one. Make sure to leave a base so the filling doesn’t drip out. I took last night’s leftover turkey marinara (literally ground turkey and a jar of whatever marinara I had :/) and mixed it with about 1/4 c. of italian blend cheese and some Parmesan and filled them.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25min. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake for 20 more min.

The need for the above photo is lost on me…. In case you didn’t understand what bake means?!?

YUM! The cheese gets toasted and brown and melts in the center! It was a great GF option to eating the sauce over pasta!!

Emma approves ;)

Today I am giving myself a rest day from exercise. Yesterday I was strangely exhausted and although I am twitching with energy right now I am making myself find another outlet… most notably right now, sarcastic blogging and studying. But alas, the rain has ceased so I think it is time for a walk with the little nugget. I will get back to the gym tomorrow, I have a good workout planned!

Though I hate to disrupt her floor gazing.

Not sure what is on the agenda for this evening… you never know :) Happy Saturday!

Good Eggs: New fertility test says it can measure how many high-quality eggs you have left

by Jessica Ashley

A new test is in town, and it might just give women information about their fertility they never expected to find: Exactly how many “good eggs” they have left.  Even if it could predict how many high-quality eggs we have and how that affects our chances of getting pregnant, is that information we want to know?

Plan Ahead, the first test of its kind to test and predict a woman’s “ovarian reserve,” will be available in fertility clinics in eleven states in the next few weeks. Marketed by Repromedix, it will be available for $350 to women who want a higher-tech insight into family planning than has previously been available.

How does this thing work anyway?
Plan Ahead’s calculations are based on tracking three hormonal tests:

* inhibin B, a protein derived from egg follicles
* anti-mullerian hormone, generated by the cells that surround eggs that have not yet matured
* follicle stimulating hormone, which prompts development of the eggs

These hormone levels are combined with the woman’s age and estrogen levels to create a formula for her fertility. Or at least conceive a score for how many eggs are viable for reproduction.

Do they really count the eggs?
The hormonal tests that Plan Ahead depends upon to derive this score aren’t new to the market, and some experts are concerned about the use and analysis of the anti-mullerian hormone since the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved it for commercial distribution. Adding fuel to this fertility testing fire is the lack of published data by marketing company Repromedix. Although Repromedix conducted a study of 200 women’s ovarian reserves, the results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Some doctors say the test should be clinically established before the idea — or Plan Ahead itself — is sold to women. Although clinical data and FDA clearance isn’t being made available by Repromedix at this point, the company is making a very important point about what the test can’t do: It can’t predict whether or not a woman is fertile or how quickly she will get pregnant. It also cannot determine the rate of deterioration of the viable eggs she does have.

Simply put, it all comes down to the count. All the math and blood tests and money and technology tells a woman one thing: If she’s at risk of having a low supply of “good eggs.”

Why is this count so controversial?
At Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Dr. Ralph Krazer told the Chicago Tribune that he thinks Plan Ahead’s being offered to women prematurely “[g]iven the state of the science.”

In New York, Dr. Zev Rosenwaks took his concerns a step further. As the director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, he questioned Plan Ahead’s value for patients worrying that results could generate false reassurance or panic among women who are tested.

While the science here is fascinating — just think, a mathematical formula that is essentially a peek into the amazing and previously far more mysterious underworld of our ovaries — as a woman, a mother, a person who wants to parent again in the future, I think Plan Ahead carries as many (if not more) anxieties than those other pregnancy-related tests.

Do we need to stress over another plus or minus sign?
I can’t imagine a woman or couple who haven’t been overwhelmed by pounding hearts while waiting for a plus or minus sign to appear on a pregnancy test. And if you’ve been through an amnio, age-related risk assesments, ultrasound and genetic “abnormality” tests, you’re familiar with the worry they produce over issues you never considered when you chose to become a parent. While I’ve been fortunate to be more fertile than I expected that one night after several pitchers of microbrews and mood lighting, I’ve known too many women who’ve experienced the emotional roller coaster of infertility drugs and treatments, hormones and panic in an effort to become pregnant. Sure, the science is incredible and has aided, inspired, guided and gifted many people with pregnancies, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come free or even cheap.

The cost here, I am concerned, is the opportunity for more anxiety to creep into a woman’s biology. While Plan Ahead is geared, the manufacturer says, toward women in their mid-to-late 30s who have already experienced difficulty conceiving and want to test their ovum and themselves to see if they should pursue in vitro treatment, I imagine many more women in that will have their blood drawn for the cause.

Oh yeah. There are plenty of questions. A lifetime of ’em for a lifetime of ovum.
A girl child is born with a lifetime supply of eggs and once she starts menstruating, the eggs are released, with a sharp decline as she moves through her 30s. This basic biology is not new to us, but the cultural move to later motherhood is relatively recent. So how does a test that measures that egg supply factor in?

Will women make different maternal choices if they know they’re lacking lots of high-quality eggs?

Will the question of how many “good eggs” a woman has follow whether she’s got a clean bill of health, is STD-free and even wants children at all?

Will women who’ve chosen to put a college, a career, travel, themselves first in their 20s suddenly feel the necessity to put that all aside if there’s a chance their eggs may not outlast their other ambitions?

As family planning takes this turn, is the science formulating the potential for anxiety more tests could produce for people who want to become parents, if not now then maybe, possibly one day on down the road?

While we’re busy counting “good eggs,” are we also accounting for the emotional responses to Plan Ahead just being available?

What’s your response to Plan Ahead?: Would you take this fertility test if it was available in your city?

Pooping blood

Pooping blood is the result of distended veins (which cause hemorrhoids), which are located in the rectum, and anus’ lower part. In normal cases, they do not cause any problem, but if they get swollen, it can become very painful and then the patient has to treat it. There are two types of hemorrhoids; one is called, “Internal hemorrhoid” and the other is called “External hemorrhoid”. The internal hemorrhoids are present in the inside layer of rectum. The internal hemorrhoid cannot be felt physically and do not cause any kind of pain if everything is fine, but one has to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any pain in anus or rectum, as the pain could be indicating hemorrhoids.

In the case of hemorrhoid swelling, the, the internal hemorrhoid protrudes through the anus. The outer skin, which surrounds the anus, has external hemorrhoids beneath it. It can also be not felt except in the case of abnormality, such as swelling of the hemorrhoid or when the blood clot is blocked in the vein, which is very painful, and demands to cure hemorrhoids.

The Causes

The most common cause of dark blood in poop is the swollen veins, which are caused when there is a strain, causing bloody stool. Pregnancy can also be one major reason of hemorrhoids, as during pregnancy the enlarged uterus put a pressure on the rectum. Treatment of hemorrhoids is very important if one feels pain or bleeding through anus. Another significant cause of hemorrhoids can be constipation too, as hemorrhoids are often associated with constipation that also puts strain on the bowel and stool passing. Liver problem can also lead to the hemorrhoid pain. One must see the doctor immediately to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any such symptom such as problem in stool passing or swelling.

Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids

As the early symptom of hemorrhoids, one may experience bleeding from the anus, resulting in blood in your stool. This bleeding is mostly painless. The bleeding can be seen with the passage of poop, or it can just keep dripping when one uses toilet to poop. This bleeding stops itself after a limited period of time.  To cure hemorrhoids, one must take notice of earliest symptoms.

However, pooping blood may not be the one and only reason for hemorrhoids as bleeding can occur due to tumor, infection, or inflammatory disease of bowel. The symptoms of the problem in internal or external hemorrhoids are different each other and in order to treat it correctly, one must know about the problem in detail. In case of abnormality in internal hemorrhoids, the veins swell and the swelling go to the extent that the hemorrhoid is prolapsed outside the anus. This protruded hemorrhoid can be felt like a lump.

The internal hemorrhoid sticking out of the anus can be pushed back through the anal hole. This may solve it temporarily, but it will not completely cure it in any case, and there will be a time when the protruded hemorrhoid will become so swelled that it could not be pushed back anymore as the lump will be wedged.

Therefore, it is more advisable to take notice of blood in poop at the initial stage. The one suffering from hemorrhoid pain also feels harsh and experience uncontrollable itching inside the anus and every time during the passage of poop, there feels a blockage that rouses the urge of needling for the movement of bowel. The external hemorrhoid pain has a more chronic condition, which is known also as “Thrombosed External Hemorrhoid”. This condition crops up when a blot clot is blocked inside the hemorrhoid and produces great pain and itching. To treat this the blood clot in the vein has to be removed in the first place to allow the passage of blood and ease bowel movement.

The reason behind Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids being painful is that, the blood clot, which blocks the vein, causes increased swelling of the hemorrhoid, which causes increased pain. Doctors treat blood in poop as the pain increases if the patient sits, because sitting causes pressure on the rectum and the hemorrhoid, which has clogged blood clot.

The Cure

There are of course proper medical treatments to treat this condition, but there are some home remedies too, which can be adopted to cure hemorrhoids. To soothe the inflammation of the hemorrhoid and soften the stool, the patient must sit in a tub of warm water. This treatment can be performed regularly for 15 to 20 minutes and after having done with bath tub sitting, the anus area must be dried off with towel as otherwise, further inflammation can occur. As prevention and cure of hemorrhoid, doctors also recommend the intake of plenty of water and other health and fresh beverages to prevent the hardening of bowel movement.

For treatment, doctors also recommend patients not to sit on hard places such as wooden chair or bench for longer period as sitting can worsen the problem. Patients must get rubber or air donuts to sit on as these donuts are soft, and helps to ease the hemorrhoids problem.

Medically, there are many treatments to cure hemorrhoids. Some include oral intakes and other includes surgeries to treat dark blood in poop.  Various kinds of surgeries are used to cure hemorrhoids such as stapled Hemorrhoidectomy, a laser therapy that it used to make the internal hemorrhoids hard.

Hemorrhoids are a serious and painful bowel condition and one must not delay any time to cure hemorrhoids. The pain from your bloody poop can occur in consecutive intervals and patients may ignore it by considering it a normal bowel pain, such perception towards it is wrong as the earlier we go for treatment, the better it will be.

Expansion Program

If you are finishing up a Balanced Health and Vitality workshop series, or have already completed a workshop series with me, congratulations!  You are so awesome!!

You are now eligible to sign up for the Expansion Program.

The Expansion Program is a 60 Day one-on-one counseling program designed to continue the flow of progress you’ve been experiencing and deepen the effects by having one-on-one support from me.

Lasting change takes time, and I will support you fully during our time together to guide and educate you about how to achieve optimal and sustainable health, vitality and habits that breed success. Your state of well-being will be transformed and restored to your true and natural state over time by taking small, but very specific steps, on your personal roadmap to health, joy and success.

Combining a one-on-one approach with what you’ve just learned about health, nutrition, lifestyle and yourself in your workshop, with this expansion of your learning and support you will now cultivate intense focus on the areas of your life where it is most needed to achieve even greater change.

Your body and mind are unique and your nutritional and lifestyle needs are quite specific to you alone. Careful consideration to your health history, stress factors, relationships, exercise, lifestyle and career choices, your greatest goals and fears will be explored to help identify what is the best, most sustainable, roadmap to success and healing for you. I will be your own personal advocate. Through our one-on-one counseling sessions, you’ll receive guidance, support and knowledge on how to be healthy and actually achieve and maintain long-term changes that support you through future challenges and roadblocks that will inevitably pop up.

When you commit yourself to doing the work and following the energy that leads to positive changes, your personalized program will radically improve your health and happiness. Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.

What is LHC?

LHC stands for Lifetime Health Cover Loading. On July 1st 2000, the Australian Government introduced this legistation to take pressure off the Public System. Basically, for every year you are over the age of 30 and haven’t take out Private Hospital Cover, the cost increases by 2% for when you do. Example; if I take out Private Hospital Cover when I am 40 years old, my LHC loading penalty is 20% (10 years over 30, 2% for every year). This means the cost fof my Hospital Policy will be 20% higher. LHC will keep accruing until it reaches 70%, which can make Private Health Insurance very expensive when your at the age when you really need it!

There are alot of rules when it comes to Lifetime Health Cover Loading. Make sure you check all the rules to see how it works:

1. When you take out Private Hospital Cover, your LHC penalty locks in at the percentage you took it up at. It does not keep going up as you age. In the above example, the 40 year old would remain at 20% ongoing, even though he may turn 41, 42, 43 etc. Once you take out a Private Hospital Policy, LHC does not keep accruing.

2. Certified Age of Entry (CAE) is the age penalty that is applied to you, even though you may have become much older in physical years. Once again, in the above example; our person took up Private Hospital Cover at 40 years old. Five years later he is 45 years old, but his Certfied Age of Entry is 40 = 20%. If you were to change from fund to fund, they would check your CAE with the old fund to make sure your LHC loading is correct.

3. Everybody has a 1094 day grace period to let their Private Health Insurance policy lapse before LHC starts accruing for you again. That is one day less than 3 years. So if you drop your Private Hospital Cover, but take it up again within 1094 days there will be no extra LHC loading applied. If you let 1094 days pass, you will get hit with another 2%, and 2% every year thereafter until you take it up again. This Grace Period can only be used once per lifetime. Once you use it all up, you do not get it again.

4. Being overseas is considered the equivalent of having Private Health Insurance, so your Lifetime Health Cover loading does not accrue while abroad. Here are the rules:

If you turned 31 while overseas before July 1st 2000 and then return to Australia, you are given 1094 days to take up Private Hospital Cover before you incurr your 2% LHC loading.

If you turned 31 while overseas after July 1st 2000 and then return to Australia, you are given 12 months upon your return to take out Private Hospital cover before incurring 2% LHC.

If you are covered with Private Insurance and then go overseas, you have 1094 days upon your return take up Private Hospital Cover before LHC kicks back in (considering you havent already used your 1094 grace already). If you leave for less than 12 months, you can simply ask your fund to Suspend the policy. If it is more than 12 months, simply cancel the policy and reapply when you return.

In any of these circumstances, your Health Insurance Fund will need proof of you being abroad. You need to supply your fund with a “Movement Statement” which can be obtained through application from the Department of Immigration. Just to make life easier, here is the application you need to send off to Immigration.

5. If you are a new Australian Resident, you have 12 Months from the day you receive Full Medicare Entitlements to take up Private Hospital cover before Lifetime Health Cover Loading is applied. You must supply your new fund with an Medicare Letter of Eligibility, which can be obtained from any Medicare outlet.

6. And now the golden rule: Once you have had Private Hospital Cover for 10 consecutive years, your LHC loading is removed back to 0%. Even if you change funds in between, all you have to do in maintain the cover for 10 years to remove your Loading.

* When changing from one insurance fund to another, you need to supply your new fund with a “Transfer Certificate”from the old fund. Simply call your old fund and ask them for this Certificate. Once they send it to you, forward it to the new fund. Once the new fund receives this proof, your LHC loading will be adjusted accordingly. Companies like iSelect organise tedious tasks like this for you, so you don’t have to, even though they are a free comparison service to the public.

How to Remove raccoons With Homemade Repellent

Raccoon is a cute looking animal. It is medium in size. Their length varies from two to three feet. Raccoons have an excellent looking grey far and black round masks around their eyes. It lives in burrows made in hollow tree or in bushes. In the city areas it lives under the portico or decks or in attic. Being a nocturnal animal it comes out at night and looks for food. In the locality they spill garbage drums and damage the furniture including the patios, decks etc. rabies and raccoon roundworms are two dangerous diseases spread by them.

As they can climb up quickly and have an outstanding memory, it is not an easy thing to remove raccoons from your house. They are not easily frightened. So, chasing will do no good. However, the use of homemade raccoon repellent is a perfect remedy to stop their destructive activities. A common repellent can be made by boiling Tabasco brand sauce and adding some flakes of chili, sticky dish detergent used in washing, cayenne pepper and a gallon water with it. All the ingredients are cheap and environment—friendly. After the preparation is done, spray that anywhere where you don’t want raccoons.

Another raccoon repellent home remedy is to use substances having toxic odors of high degree. As ammonia has a strong smell which is pungent enough to irritate the raccoons, you can use that as raccoon repellent home remedy. Raccoons have very sensitive noses, lungs and eyes. So they can not stand those odors. You just need to take a piece of cloth and soak it deeply in ammonia and keep that in the trash cans, garbage drums or inside the chimney. Remember that there should not be any air to carry the smell out making it highly toxic.

Getting killer lifestyle – Cancer

Paris, AFP: International health experts agree that due to modern lifestyles in the world next decade about 38 million to 80 million deaths could be.

A study by experts found that the next decade 38 million from non-communicable diseases, 80 percent of 80 million deaths in poor countries will. The study states that non-communicable diseases have become epidemic now.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, 44 percent of premature deaths, heart disease, diabetes (diabetes) and lung disease and cancer are related. This figure is double the deaths from infectious diseases.

Scientists also said that a balanced lifestyle and current drug treatment the three million to 60 million premature deaths can be prevented. Study stated that premature deaths, the most smoke, modern lifestyles and obesity problem is responsible.

Scientists found that aging is also partly responsible for diseases, but by adopting accepted standards of the age of 70 years 70 million people a million premature deaths are preventable. Scientists have asserted that if you put a balanced lifestyle premature deaths could be contained to a great extent.

Eating and Workout

I have been working out all my life (working with weights since I was about 17yrs). As a basketball player went through about 8 training sessions per week. Now I am 30 and just want to stay fit/lean/healthy.

There are many theories out there of what works and what doesn’t (e.g.: High Fat/Low Carb -or- High Protein/Reg Carb/Low Fat. Here is what I found out through my experience, many books I’ve read and classes I took:

Eating after your workout is a great thing. You body needs protein to repair/grow the muscle-cells you have worked out. Just don’t take-in too many calories;

Get out your blender and try a BIG PROTEIN SHAKE made with water, a mixed-in BANANA and a lot of ICE. Tastes like a rich and heavy shake, but is relatively low in calories and has great nutritional value.

Wait some 20 minutes and drink water if you don’t feel full. After working out, your body needs protein, some carbs and a few grams of fatty acids (besides minerals fluids and vitamins). If you still feel a little hungry, try snacking on WALNUTS (small dose please – read the label). Walnuts have a very high content on Omega 3 fatty acids – the kind that our body cannot produce, but which are essential to life and of course: recovering.

A little pre-workout snack is not bad at all – choose snacks with a low glycemic index (suggest to type that into a search engine to get further explanation).

When trying to lose weight lift weights before working on cardio. Here is why: your body takes energy from four different sources.

(1) ATP  (2) Carbohydrates/Glycogen  (3) Fat   (4) Protein

You don’t want you body to get to stage (4) … That means it would take energy from its own substance. But you do want to stay in stage (3) for a while

So you go to the gym, lift weights for about 30-60 minutes, to burn most of the carbs in your muscles and work on Cardio (Bike, Stepper, Elliptical, Treadmill etc.) for another 30-60 minutes.

Always be careful when working out or changing your eating habits. Best thing is to consult a physician to assure that you are fit for physical activity and that you are getting the nutrients you need.

Dump and leave it here!

by (Super) Abuelita

I have been coming to here for almost a year now. I stumbled upon this site accidentally, or so I thought.

When I was feeling upset, sad, or even angry, I could depend on my friends on Shine to bring a smile to my face. Some may think, it’s just a computer, but when I was injured I was confined for two months to my wheelchair. Sometimes, I wondered if I would ever get out of it.
I do believe things happen for a reason. The reason may not be the reason we expected, or wanted, but it happens to us just the same.

I no longer am in my wheelchair. I am going full speed when I go to PT(physical therapy) and I know I have my CHEERLEADERS HERE to keep me motivated. I would like to thank all that HAVE BEEN there for me, tried to flip, but flopped, made me laugh till my sides hurt, gave me the motivation to keep on going, when I didn’t want to go, because it hurt. I thank you all.

Things have changed since I first came here. I will be swimming next month. I can walk now. I have dumped my problems to so many, I would like to be your place to dump, get rid of your emotions, problems, share stories, ask for prayer or anything you want.

Come by to visit,( drink casy’s cofee, she’s expanding, but doesn’t know it yet! LOL) ask for prayer or advice, leave jokes, recipes, whatever you want or need to do, or get rid of.

I want to be here, just like those that have been here for me.

So with all that being said Super Abuelita’s dumping place is officially open!!

Living free from the trash in our lives, is possible. Try it!! YOU WILL BE HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER!!
We need to be the HEALTHIEST that we can be.
You never know how much your HEALTH  means, until you lose it!!

Do you want to be happy

In U.S. society there is a huge emphasis of getting the latest trend item or acquiring more wealth to pay for the next trend item that surpasses the last one. All in the guise of necessity, compatibility keeping with the tenets of capitalism.

“You need this. You don’t have a text pad with your cell phone? You’re still running Windows ME? etc. You don’t have a stainless steel refrigerator? etc”

People will tie themselves to artifacts because they choose to depend on them for their identity. This leads to faulty reassurance of self-esteem through instant gratification. This is what spurs our economy today and is really one of the primary reasons we entered this recession.

People want things now, they want more because this is what the media tells them will make them happy. Its about manufacturing the American Dream through greed, not checks & balances or fiscal responsibility. The Crusade for More will always be there. Money will always be at the root of it. You have to choose to wake up and discern whether or not its a nightmare, dream, fantasy or just a plain illusion or just a marketing tool for those that are lost with who they are.

Finding someone that doesn’t choose the play the crusade game by media rules helps with the stress because you can rely on them to raise your self-esteem when you are feeling down and connect with them on that intimate level. This companionship should be the real emphasis.

You have to pay attention to the little things, the burnt chicken that you eat anyways, being thankful for clean drinking water (where in some parts of the world people don’t have access to), the dandelion that was plucked by the neighbors 4 yr old daughter and blown in your face. (“Thanks for the weed kid:P”)

Taking life a little bit slower is a lifestyle in itself. Taking things for granted; however, certainly seems to be huge catalyst. Its not easy ,you just have to discipline yourself to notice and evolve the initiative and selflessness to care about something more than yourself.