An exquisite shop in an enchanting town

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We were hot, sweaty, and a bit jagged, after having just arrived on the “jeep-boat-jeep”  from Monte Verde, Costa Rica. One of the first things we were told when we got to Essence Arenal Organic Farm and Hotel, was to go around the corner to La Gavilana art gallery and shop. Hotel concierge Vanessa, (the once ice skating girl from Chicago, now expat) said, “it’s owned by an American girl and it’s very nice.”

Continue reading “An exquisite shop in an enchanting town”

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Be curious, adventurous, and let Mother Earth hold you

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A million shades of green

20130324-181847.jpgWhat can I say about the rainforest? It is beyond describing. Hiking through the Santa Elena forest for 4 hours was transforming. The sound of the rainforest birds and animals is unlike anything else I have heard. The two of us were almost the only humans within sight for hours. We walked looking up at amazing trees, vines, bromeliads, birds, and butterflies. we walked looking down at beetles, centipedes, and ants. I felt a detoxification and healing happen as we were immersed in the magic of hundred year old trees. I picked one beauty, I think a Ficus, to have an energy exchange with – what a moment of purification and gratitude.

What have you done for your body lately?

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If you are like me, I have been neglecting my body most of the winter, and actually more like abusing it. Maybe it is the season that causes me to want to eat all those homey foods and scarf up all the desserts at parties and have those warming Jameson sips.

I decided it was time to give back to this vessel that has been carrying around my soul through this wet and cold time. So I took a week off from: alcohol, dairy, gluten, sugar, processed foods, and caffeine.

I used Ann Louise Gittleman’s book “The Fast Track Detox Diet” which made it easy to organize meals. I was able to eat veggies, fruits, organic meats, eggs, and nuts. It was important to keep a well stocked frig of organic ingredients so as not to add back in pesticides, antibiotics, etc.

It was also helpful to have a partner for support during the seven day diet and Ander was more than willing to jump on the bandwagon. After the strengthening of our livers by eating nurturing foods, we were ready for the 1 day fast. This consisted of drinking alternately, water and a cranberry drink mix every hour on the hour. We kept our day open to deal with the all day event, but ended up going to “Watchmen” for part of it.

Now we are in the home stretch – three more days of the diet with the addition of yogurt with probiotics.

The whole diet and fast was not too hard actually. I did have one full day of headaches which I believe was due to caffeine withdrawal.

I think there is something to be said for setting a goal and challenge and successfully completing it. It does wonders for the self esteem. It feels nice to take off that big, heavy coat of Winter and be able to bound into Spring a little lighter and clearer.

A world without men

I just read that most endocrine disruptors were never tested for their impact on human health and this stuff is in our perfumes, plastic wrap, baby bottles and more. Now some weirdness is entering the population – read on.

“Gender-bending industrial chemicals are skewing the birth ratio in favor of baby girls. Could a world without men be a few short generations away?

Last summer a team of Scandinavian scientists announced that twice as many girls as boys are being born in the Arctic, a region said to serve as a “pollution sink” for the rest of the planet. Earlier in the year a report from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences determined that the ratio of male-to-female births has substantially dropped in the United States and Japan, yielding about 250,000 fewer boys than would have been born had the sex ratio circa 1970 endured. In both cases, researchers pegged environmental exposures as a probable factor in the shortage of boy births.

As more and more research reveals a decline in the number of bouncing baby boys born each year, scientists are zeroing in on a class of synthetic chemicals known as endocrine disruptors.”

Read more at: Common Grounds

Go green for a long life

I just read this post and like the suggestions. Here is an excerpt:

There are places in the world where a concentrated number of people routinely live to 100. From the lush valleys of Ecuador to the peaceful island of Okinawa to the pristine hills of the Himalayas, these centenarian clusters all have something in common: an environment conducive to a healthy, long life-clean air, pure water, and nature unspoiled by the modern world.

In our Western world, we have to contend with the toxic by-products of our technological advances. Not only have we made our environment cancerous for ourselves, but we have also made it harder for other organisms in nature to thrive. By living in harmony with nature, we bring health to ourselves and to the planet.

Here are suggestions from the article:

1) Make our world less plastic
2) Unbleached paper for the planet
3) Green your clean routine
4) Eat with an environmental edge

Go to Dr Mao for the full explanation of each point.

Danger: do not drink hot tap water

The claim has the ring of a myth. But environmental scientists say it is real.

The reason is that hot water dissolves contaminants more quickly than cold water, and many pipes in homes contain lead that can leach into water. And lead can damage the brain and nervous system, especially in young children.

Lead is rarely found in source water, but can enter it through corroded plumbing. The Environmental Protection Agency says that older homes are more likely to have lead pipes and fixtures, but that even newer plumbing advertised as “lead-free” can still contain as much as 8 percent lead. A study published in The Journal of Environmental Health in 2002 found that tap water represented 14 to 20 percent of total lead exposure.

Scientists emphasize that the risk is small. But to minimize it, the E.P.A. says cold tap water should always be used for preparing baby formula, cooking and drinking. It also warns that boiling water does not remove lead but can actually increase its concentration. More information is at www.epa.gov/lead or (800) 424-5323 (LEAD).

Source: nytimes

“A month of merry can pile up…”

“Naturopathic doctors believe that doing no harm is the best way to go.” What a concept! I just read this on http://milliesays.wordpress.com/.

I love her recommendations on what to do after the Holiday binge!

dry up for a while. a month full of merry can pile up like a bowl of rancid jelly so take steps tout de suite to cut the sugar, fat and alcohol to dissuade the cellular metabolites from settling in for a long winter’s nap. dash on, dance on, prance on you vixen straight to your favorite cold winter activity followed by a warm up in a steam, sauna, detoxifying hot house of some tradition. pick a date, like today and give the calorific extras a break. exchange the creamy liquor soaked coffees for hot lemon water or dandelion root and leaf tea first thing in the morning righto and like a comet your liver will be functioning smoothly again by the time the valentine’s cupid rings at your door.

Read more of her great advice at Millie Says.