what to expect when you try something new

To live life at its fullest, at times we may have to try something new.  The downside to trying something new is that, at first, you suck at it.  For example, the first class I took in martial arts.  I didn’t even know how to make a fist.  The teacher, several years after the fact, confided that he hoped I didn’t come back for a second class!   I may not be the quickest learner, but I am persistent AF.  By the end of my first year in the class, I still wasn’t very good at it, but I knew how to make a fist.  I knew what it felt like to punch someone!  I also knew what it felt like to get punched!  Which is a skill I highly recommend.  When you get punched, you need to maintain your composure, and that’s like the most difficult thing to do in the moment.  It’s easy to just fly off the handle and let your emotions take control.   I ended up in that martial arts class for 17 years.  I won gold medals in tournaments.  I was even in this commercial for Lily Lau’s Kung Fu Tournament from 2001.  It’s literally one second that I’m in it.  Second #52:   But, at first, I sucked at it.  Another thing I sucked at first at was Tango.  This is a more recent endeavor, as I like a good challenge.  The first class I was literally stepping on everyone’s toes.  Each dance partner I had was, in the nicest way possible, telling me what to do.  I HATE being told what to do;...

Body Positivity

Ok – I need to get this off my chest!  A few months ago I posted something on our FB page that received some harsh comments: The last thing I want to do is “fat shame;” I want to explain myself. First of all, you are beautiful.  No matter what your size is or what your skin looks like, you are beautiful.  Big, small, and all shapes in between. Our media has for too long glorified an unrealistic body image, especially for women, but men too.  How many times have you been watching a movie and thought to yourself, “Hmmm.  Everyone in this police department looks like they were recruited from a fashion magazine.”  Soooo unrealistic!  I actually appreciate some of the newer shows that show regular people – of all backgrounds and sizes and shapes.  I love it.  I love to see diversity.  I really do think all people are beautiful. BUT – yes, there is a “but” – being overweight is a health symptom.  As a health practitioner, it’s something that indicates to me some type of imbalance in the body. Can you tell if someone is overweight based on how they LOOK?  Sometimes.  But not always.  Some people can hide excess fat very well because they are tall or have very little muscle tone.  In Chinese medicine, there are 5 elements:  water, fire, earth, metal, and wood.  People who have a more ROUND shape tend to be more weighted (no pun intended) in the water element.  I can think of several examples of people who are water element folks who are in excellent shape!   Sammo Hung...

A New Season for Healing

  On my daughter’s birthday morning I saw a text from my best friend that her husband was in a coma and they were pulling the plug the next week.  His chances of recovery were not good and he wouldn’t have wanted to live like that.  I was devastated.  I also loved this man as he had been in our lives for nearly 20 years.  * That must be the hardest part of growing older, is witnessing your friends dying.  After a couple of days with lots of tears and lazing around watching cat videos, I knew I had to make a decision.  In sadness, it’s easy to stay in that mood.  It’s like a swamp you can get stuck in.  No; I had to try to find happiness again.  * I didn’t try to stifle the grief; I respect the moments of grief.  Like when your mind takes a trip down memory lane and you realize that was it.  It will never happen like that again.  * Like when we watched people go off the diving board at Barton Springs one time.  We would give each person a “walk up song,” kind of like what they do for MMA fighters before a match.  “That guy is a Metallica song, for sure.  No, Def Leppard.”  “I’m thinking ‘Rhiannon’ by Fleetwood Mac.”  “Yes, perfect!”   * Jon would also send texts to me with the most random, funny things, like a photo of a guy crossing the road (in LA) holding a whole, live rooster, or that he had “asked for, and received the senior discount at El Pollo Loco.”...

Low-Sodium Diets: Not Worth Their Salt

Why does salt have such a bad rep? The word “salary” is derived from salt, as salt was used to pay wages in ancient Rome.  Have you heard of the phrase “salt of the earth?”  That’s what Jesus called his homies.  Salt has been used in many of the world’s religions in purification rituals.  The words “salad,” “sauce,” and “sausage” are all rooted in the word “salt,”  their inherent deliciousness depending on it.  The early American pioneers used salt to preserve their food and probably ate about twice as much salt as we do today.  When the colonists were denied salt by the British as a Revolutionary war tactic, they figured out how to make it on their own.  The human quest for salt, throughout history, has led to the creation of the main trade routes and therefore, human civilizations have sprung up along these lines.  And now salt is bad? Salt, you may remember from chemistry class, is made of sodium and chloride, held together by a ionic bond that breaks down upon digestion.  Sodium is found in many other food sources, good and bad, but chloride is not found in many food sources, save salt.  Chloride helps regulate water pressure in our cells and it also produces hydrochloric acid, a necessary ingredient for digestion. Do you have acid reflux?  Most people who suffer from this problem are actually lacking in hydrochloric acid. DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN “LOW-SODIUM” AND “LOW-SALT” The war on salt began around 1972 when the National High Blood Pressure Education Program began to warn people of the danger of eating too much sodium.  Many of the...

Seaweed – the superfood you need for calm energy

When I was in college and struggling to turn my health around, I read a nutrition book that suggested eating seaweed.  So, being the “A-student” I am, I bought some nori sheets (what is used to wrap up sushi) and wakame to put in soups and crumbed dulse to use instead of salt on my food.  The first time I ate a meal that contained a large amount of seaweed I noticed an instant feeling of relaxation.  I kept eating it regularly because I instantly felt good whenever I ate it. Turns out it wasn’t just in my head:  seaweed, also known as micro algae or sea vegetables, has been considered a superfood and an essential part of one’s diet in Asia for thousands of years.  Some types of seaweed are considered medicinal in Traditional Chinese medicine to shrink goiters.  Seaweeds are full of macro and micro-nutrients:  vitamins A, C, D, E, K and calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron.  It’s also the best real food source of iodine:  a trace mineral that is essential for thyroid and breast health. Newer studies are proving that there is a link between reduced risk of breast cancer and thyroid disease and increased dietary iodine.  Here’s another link showing how in this sector of Korean women, the ones who ate more seaweed had significantly lower risk of cancer. The average Asian person consumes 25 times more iodine – probably due to the prevalence of fresh seafood and seaweed in their regular diet – than the average American person.  They also have roughly 1/3 the chance of breast cancer than Americans. So, “seaweed...
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