Posts filed under ‘delicious health’

Helloooo, Sugar!

Why do you butter me up, buttercup, just to let me down?

and

Ah sugar, ah honey honey
[You are my candy…]
And you got me wanting you

and

Pour some sugar on me…

All popular lyrics, all probably written by sugar addicts. It’s not hard to imagine: lovesick songwriter, writing the lyrics as she snarfs down a pint of icecream or as he drowns his sorrows with a wine spritzer.

Ok, just having some fun there but – really – you know those sugar cravings? The ones that seem to take over beyond any reason, or hang around on the periphery of your consciousness until you take those fateful steps towards your hidden stash, vending machine, or corner Starbucks? Sugar cravings love to come alive around 3-4pm, right after dinner, or (and?) when you get home from another stressful day at work. Or when you’re bored. Or sad.

It’s not your fault. We’re genetically programmed to crave sugar. Way back when, that probably translated into us raiding bee hives. These days we can bypass the stings and just make do with a chocolate chip cookie… or three.

Sugar cravings are the result of a constellation of factors and they’re very unique to you. No two people, no two bodies are alike. Your life habits, food choices and patterns, emotions, brain chemistry, blood chemistry, stressors, time of day, and nutritional deficiencies all feed into it. Pun intended.

While we tend to associate “sugar cravings” with baked goods, chocolate, and candy, I include artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and pasta, bagels, most cereals, and other refined-carb-heavy foods in there as well. Sugar can wreak havoc on your body, contributing to or directly causing stress, anxiety or depression, energy slumps, yeast infections, autoimmune symptoms, migraines, diabetes, IBS, and a weakened immune system. Sugar feeds cancer and has even been connected to alcoholism. My personal pet peeve regarding sugar is that it saps me of my fabulous natural high when I do choose to have some. Not so sweet.

The good news is that you can rid yourself of sugar cravings in as little as a week. You can learn to deconstruct your cravings, learn about your body’s signals and what they’re telling you, and harness that deep power to your advantage so that you can have uplifting, steady energy throughout the day. No more guilt trips or dreading the scale. No more jittery nerves. No more crashes and burns. No more distracting cravings.

Wouldn’t it be great to no longer be a slave to sugar but just enjoy it when you feel like it, without g-u-i-l-t? The process is fascinating, fun, extremely effective, and deceivingly simple.

If you want to get there, join me on September 17th for my live webinar, Sugar Blues! Click here for details and to sign up. I may not give this webinar again, so join me while you can! It may just change your life.

And if you don’t, don’t say I didn’t try to help you, sugar.

September 10, 2009 at 4:55 PM Leave a comment

Hear ye! Hear ye! F*R*E*E 5-Day Virtual Conference: Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2009

National Chronic Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2009

F*R*E*E 5-Day Virtual Conference
September 14-18, 2009

Do you live with an invisible illness or have it in the family? Cancer, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Lupus, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression… they’re all invisible… they’re all very real.

Join one or join all 20 free seminars, for F*R*E*E! Get inspired and get tons of tips on living with an invisible illness, or join with a family member / friend to show support.

Read more and join the Virtual Conference from here.

September 6, 2009 at 11:42 PM Leave a comment

Interview with Lisa Copen, Founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

Lisa Copen joins us today as the founder of National
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
. This year it will take place over September 14-20, 2009 and there are lots of ways to get involved, including a free 5-day virtual conference. Lisa is on a blog tour to help people know about the event and how it can specifically encourage you. Read on!

Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen

Thanks so much for joining us today, Lisa, here at Delicious Health’s blog!

LC: Thank you for the honor of being here. I read a lot of blogs, but recently
I’ve visited more than ever before and I’m amazed at how the quality and quantity of blogs on health and illness matters have grown over the last couple of years. Both the readers and writers of blogs have changed how people perceive different illnesses, because they reveal not just the symptoms of illness, but the daily lives of the people who live with them.

Yes. Speaking of awareness, tell us about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. That’s quite a mouthful!

LC: It is. A lot of times we just call it Invisible Illness Week. Our mission
is to have a designated time, worldwide, in which people who live with chronic illness, those who love them, and organizations are encouraged to educate the general public, communities, health care professionals and government officials about the affects of living with a disease that is not visually apparent. Through programs and resources, we seek to recognize the daily challenges of more than 100 million adults and children who live with invisible illness.

Its also a great chance for people with any illness to be involved in a national
event to increase the understanding of their own particular disease. They can use our event to blog about the emotions of living with their illness, for example, how they often may look perfectly fine but are in deep pain.

Explain to our readers what a virtual conference is.

LC: A wonderful opportunity to “attend a conference” without every
having to get dressed! The main part of the Invisible Illness Week is our 5-day virtual conference–which is completely free–September 14-18. There are 20 speakers who are experts in their area and with chronic illness they will be giving a 40-minute presentation and then taking live calls. The seminars are M-F, 4 times a day on a variety of topics: going to college, marriage, applying for disability assistance, cleaning, finding the right job, faith, preparing for surgery and many more. All are free, listened to live or later, and even downloaded from itunes to your ipod or purchased on a CD.

That sounds amazing. So, do you have last year’s seminars available?

LC: They are available. Before 2008 we used a chat room for seminars so we
had written transcripts, but now one can hear 2008’s workshops directly from a computer, at tunes, or on a CD.

I know many of us would love to opportunity to go to a 5-day conference but ironically, because of our illness, things like traveling, finances, sitting
that long, etc. it’s just not possible, so this is an ideal solution.

Tell us why you started Invisible Illness Week? What made you see this as necessary?

LC: For a few reasons. I began Fest Ministries in 1997, a Christian organization for people who live with any kind of chronic illness or pain, because I saw the need to connect with others who are going through a similar journey in their life. We are also the sponsors of Invisible Illness Week. I witnessed a lot of people who were very bitter and frustrated because they felt so alone and invalidated in their pain. Some people even had spouses who questioned whether the illness existed at all.

I also saw lots of family members, caregivers, doctors, churches, etc. who
wanted to reach out to people with illness, but they said all the wrong things.
Eventually they distanced themselves from their loved ones because they just didnt understand illness or how to respond to it.

The fact that illness and pain is invisible to see can make it hard for healthy
people to understand. And those with illness can easily become bitter when their loved ones believe it is being exaggerated. It makes for a sad situation all the way around and I thought communication could be a helpful first step.

Having lived through chronic, excruciating pain and having being told through most of it that I “looked great,” I can relate. It was frustrating, isolating, and disheartening, to say the least.

LC: It is, isn’t it? Even those of us who cope rather well with our illness
on a day-to-day basis can still have moments of frustration. We may park legally in a disabled parking spot and we get the look from someone walking by. A friend may ask, So are you all better now? People don’t always comprehend the difference between being sick and being chronically ill.

animated

 

So this is what made you decide to start Invisible Illness Week? To start some communication about these different issues and emotions?

LC: Yes, I wanted to bring people together to encourage one another. I saw
people burting with joy when they had every reason not to and I knew they could encourage others.

It really doesn’t matter what illness we have, where we live, what age we are,
how long ago we were diagnosed, etc. The fact that most of our illnesses are
invisible and not seen by people gives us a lot more in common that most of
the physical symptoms of our specific illnesses ever could.

What illness do you live with, Lisa?

LC: Rheumatoid arthritis is my main disease I struggle with. I was diagnosed
in 1993 at the age of 24. A few years after my diagnoses I started having symptoms of fibromyalgia and was later diagnosed with that. Unfortunately, I’ve never experienced any kind of remission that all the doctors hoped for, so the last sixteen years have been a real challenge. I know I could be worse off now and that in some ways I’ve been very blessed, but I’m also going through the emotions of my illness becoming more visible. My illness isn’t just painful every day now, but it’s hard to do dishes or drive because my hands and feet are becoming more and more deformed. I take a lot of medications that have slowed the disease progression down, but I’ve been in a new season this last year and have many surgeries in the near future.

I heard that you type with just a few fingers.

LC: Yes, it’s true. I use just three fingers and my two thumbs to type. One
adapts. I think I still can type about 50 words a minute, but sometimes my fingers start to go numb. I have a voice program I can use, but I am a fast talker and tend to get impatient with its limitations.

How can people get involved with Invisible Illness Week and find out more information?

LC: Thank you for asking because just by helping us spread the word, for example, sharing about this blog post or by linking to it or posting it on Facebook, is the perfect ways to help our grassroots cause. I probably don’t have to tell you that we don’t have a marketing budget! When people introduce their friends or family to her virtual conference or retweet out our twitters or articles, they are making a significant difference. We also have some fun items to help spread the word like buttons, and tote bags, silicon bracelets that say “Invisible Illness, Visible Hope,” awareness pins, and of course bumper stickers.

Our theme this year is “A Little Help Gives a Lot of Hope.”

We are also accepting blogs from people to be featured on our site as a guest
blogger. And we have a place to sign up to commit to blog on the topic of invisible illness on one’s own blog. You can join our cause on Facebook and share it with others, tell people about our video, our twitter facts about illness, things like that. Tell your doctor, counselor, pastor, colleagues; we have brochures available too.

Some people call their local newspaper and share about the week, their support group, or their illness experience. Since it’s listed in Chase’s Annual Events, journalists can tie in the personal story with the annual event.

How has blogging and twittering and other forms of social media made a difference? Has it helped in how you’ve been able to let people know about Invisible Illness Week?

LC: Absolutely. Exponentially! For example we’ve done a series of tweets on
20 things not to say to a chronically ill person and 20 things to say. Our twitter hashtag is #iiwk09 to find Invisible Illness Week tweets easily. A lot of interesting conversations have been spurred by these tweets. Be sure to follow us @invisibleillwk on Twitter!

We have over 1600 people who have joined our cause on Facebook. And we have some amazing prizes we are giving away to people involved in these different outreach areas.

There are so many people who feel really alone, as if no one in the world can possibly understand how much they are suffering. What would you tell these people?

LC: If I could I would just give them a long hug and sit there beside them
to listen first. Listening is one of the hardest things to do! I struggle with
it myself! But I know that is what people need.

Secondly, I would also validate that they are right–no one really can understand what they are going through. Illness is a unique and lonely experience. That said, there are a lot of ways to connect with people who understand more than they may expect; they just have to find them. There are lots of ways online to connect when you can’t drive to a support group. Our social network is Rest Ministries Sunroom and I recently began Illness
Twitters
to connect people who Twitter about illness or health issues.

You have written a book that gives 505 ideas on how people can reach out to someone who is ill, right?

LC: I do. It’s called “Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.” It’s actually a very helpful book because even though I wrote it, I still refer to it frequently for fresh ideas on how to encourage someone who is hurting. Too often I get stuck in the rut of not being able to think of anything other than another meal. Food is a nice gesture, but there are so many more creative and memorable ways to show someone you care. We also have cute little JOY gift certificate cards that you can give a friend when you are offering to do something for them. JOY stand for “Just Offering You” and one can fill out what they are able to offer (errands, laundry, taking your child for a play date, etc.) and when the best time is for them to volunteer to help.

That’s a terrific idea! I would imagine that it would be easier to accept help from someone if it looked like a gift certificate. Sometimes asking for help is really hard to do.

LC: Yes, that’s the idea. The cards are a perfect addition for a women’s ministry, a support group, or really anyone who wants a way to say, “I’d like to help. Here is what I am able to offer to do.”

What are some suggestions you have for approaching an invisible illness with positivity versus hopelessness?
 
It would take me a book to answer that (smile) but here are some of my best tips:
 
Learn the balance between being a good advocate for your health/illness and well-informed and digging too deep into the information on the internet and symptoms. You need to be well-educated, but not obsessed about your illness and all the things that “will” happen to you. You may never experience some of the symptoms or the severity and there is not “normal” for any particular illness. Each individual is different.
 
Have reasonable expectations of others and be honest with yourself about your communication skills. People will say the wrong thing or not react to your symptoms or comments the way you wish they would. Truthfully, do you even know what you want or need?  Whether you need to improve communication with your spouse, kids, parents or friends, learn to do it with grace and not get too emotional about it all. Learning to say, “I need to find a place to sit down” to “I am just going to stay and hour” is part of a lifelong learning process, but the sooner you learn it the easier your life will be.
 
Find a friend who understands some of what you are going through. Whether it is a loved one, someone from a support group, or an online friend, it really only takes one person who speaks the same language to help add perspective to your situation.

Search your soul for what is going to get you through those darkest moments when a friend, medication, or a cup of tea comes up short. For me, that is my faith in God and the ability to know there is a purpose in it all. Knowing I am doing my best at living health with an illness, yet my body still turns on me, makes me feel out of control. It’s these times I most heavily rely on knowing God is in control and I’m not just spinning in a universe without meaning.

Thank you again so much for joining us today, Lisa. And thank you for starting National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I know that you have your own health struggles and that you are also a wife and mother, so I know it can’t be easy to do it all.

LC: Honestly, it’s not, but it has always kept me going too and I couldn’t
do it without my husband’s support. Thank you for hosting me at your blog today! I hope all of your readers will visit us at National
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
and let your friends know about our free 5-day virtual conference! We’re going to have a great time!

August 26, 2009 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

How to Take Charge of Your Health and Your Life

I originally entitled this article “The 5 Secrets to Taking Charge of Your Health and Your Life.” The marketers told me to do it. But you know what? These aren’t secrets. But they might as well be secrets, because TOO FEW OF YOU (probably including you, reading this article) ARE TRULY HEALTHY!

Headaches, low energy, moodiness, gassiness, weight gain around your middle, achy joints… For most people, these are not the “inevitable” side effects of life and aging as you may presume. You can take simple steps to help alleviate these symptoms and others.

So, what are these 5 steps to getting truly healthy? Here they are:

  1. Fabulous food. Refuse to settle for fake food, the very same food that has become a staple in our Standard American Diet (otherwise known as “SAD”). Lay off the Caffeine, the Refined foods, Artificial additives / colorings / flavors and alcohol, and Pesticide / hormone / gas-laden and genetically modified foods. In other words, no more C.R.A.P. The real stuff is unbeatable – in flavor, in nourishment for your body and for your soul’s satiation, and in price as well. Food? Seems pretty straight forward, right? But true health demands that you address the other aspects of your life that can either feed or deplete you…
  2. Real relationships. You Tweet and Facebook all day long, but where’s the real-life love? Family, friends, soul-mates, your community. Get out there, get involved, get real. Also let toxic relationships go and die a natural death. Really, you’re doing yourself – and the other person – a favor.
  3. Mojo & movement. Rev it up. Sweat it out. Our bodies want… crave… live to move and groooove. Let it have some fun. This does not mean you have to become a gym bunny (boringgg). Carry your groceries home. Take a hike. Go jump in a lake. Remember how joyous and alive you can feel when you move. Sorry, I have to say it:  just do it. Even if it’s just standing 15 minutes a day, which is the best I could during my health crisis.
  4. Wonder-ful Work. Work shouldn’t be a four-letter word. If it is, and has to be in the shorter term, find a creative outlet that reminds you who you are and what it means to express yourself fully in this world. Ultimately, however, seek out that less-traveled path and find your true passion. I promise you – there’s nothing quite like it.
  5. Know Your Self, HealThy Self ™. Get to know yourself again. Stop thinking for a minute and let your true, subtle Self emerge from all that chatter in your head. Reconnect your head to your body. You know your body best. It’s always sending you signals. Learn to listen to them. Heed them, before it has got to scream so loud that it’s “too late.”

If any one of these areas is broken, it can severely impact your health to the point where it won’t matter how much broccoli you eat.

So what’s it going to take?

Do you have to have a major, sneak-up-on-you-and-whack-you-in-the-face type of wake up call at the ripe old age of 32, like I did, to pay attention to your life, and your health, at this level? Or are you more in tune with your reality than that?

Ask yourself…

“Do I want to live my life stuck in this so-so, mediocre state (or worse) like I’m doing now, or do I want to be high on life pretty much all the time?”

It’s your choice. What’s it going to be?

***

© 2009 Delicious Health, Inc.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?
You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

“Simla Somturk Wickless is an integrative health, nutrition, and lifestyle coach whose mission is to transform busy bodies into healthy, balanced beings (TM). To learn how to increase your energy, tame your stress, and take back control of your health, register for her free monthly eZine at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com.”

July 1, 2009 at 6:00 AM Leave a comment

7-Day Cleanse July 24-30! Real food, real delicious, real deal.

Improve the way you look and feel with Cook! SF and Delicious Health!

We’ve teamed up to provide you with a fad-free, healthy, gentle yet effective, deeeee-licious 7-Day done-for-you cleanse menu… delivered to your door! [For San Francisco Bay Area clients only… stay tuned for future locations.]

Based on the best-selling book, Ultra Metabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman, the Cook! SF One Week Cleanse (July 24-30) provides you with delicious, and YES!, satisfying meals designed to help you lose weight, increase your energy, and reduce internal inflammation.

Cook! SF delivers fresh, mainly organic meal kits to your doorstep at work or at home. Delicious, all-local ingredients are fully prepped and ready-to-cook. With their easy instructions, you’ll “chef up” a gourmet meal in 20 minutes! And for the very busy, Cook! SF also offers a large selection of fresh meals that just need gentle reheating.

Here are some of the great foods Cook! SF provides for you during your cleanse:

  • Halibut with Lemon Caper Dressing with sauteed baby pea shoots
  • Organic Chicken with Roasted Lemon and sauteed organic kale
  • Spring Vegetable Stir Fry with organic shitake mushrooms, snow peas, asparagus, carrots, chives, parsley, garlic, scallions and lemon and a side of organic brown rice penne

 

* Special Offer from Delicious Health*

Sign up for the July 24th Cleanse by July 11th and receive $20 off.  Use Coupon Code:  cDH 0709

Sign up by clicking here today.

Last day to sign up for the Cook! SF Cleanse is July 18th.
Currently available for San Francisco Bay Area clients only.

Contact Cook! SF at 415.513.5328 with questions or visit http://www.cooksf.com/p-218-cook-sf-cleanse.aspx

June 29, 2009 at 7:00 AM Leave a comment

Turkey – White Bean Chili over Greens with Caramelized Sweet Potato

I created another impromptu recipe last night from my Mariquita Farms organic veggie box and some staple pantry items.

Here’s the treasure trove of veggies we got in this week’s $25 box (I don’t want to hear anymore that “organic is too expensive” — rubbish! blasphemy! untrue! More proof coming soon…): http://www.mariquita.com/Farmers%20Market/mystery%20lists/Piccino5-28-09.pdf. See this blog post for more info on eating organic for cheap:  https://delicioushealth.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/magical-mystery-box-of-veggies/

This is also a great “chili” recipe for those who can’t eat nightshade vegetables – it has no tomatoes, peppers, or white potatoes. Also great for allergen-free, delicious eating for autoimmune and the allergy-prone. For those careful of the oxalate levels (oxalic acid) in their diet, you can replace the chard with lower-oxalate greens such as the greens of bok choy.

This recipe is very filling, with LOTS of fiber, protein, immune system protectors, phytonutrients, and is a perfect warm/cold combo for a spring-into-summer dish!

If you share this recipe, please include a link to this posting and credit to Delicious Health, Inc. Thanks!

Turkey &  Navy Bean “Chili” Over Greens with Caramelized Sweet Potato
from www.enjoydelicioushealth.com

Generously serves 2

Ingredients

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
8 small spring shallots (can use 1 medium regular shallot instead), finely chopped
4 small spring /green onion purplettes (can use 1 small or 1/2 medium red onion instead), finely chopped
1/4 lb. ground dark meat turkey
1/4 lb. ground white meat turkey
1 can organic navy or any other favorite beans, rinsed and drained (I recommend the brand Eden)
2-3 TBS of water or broth, optional
3 TBS fresh winter savory, finely chopped (can replace with fresh rosemary or thyme)
1/2 bunch fresh basil, leaves rolled and sliced into strips
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
6-10 shakes of Umeboshi Plum Vinegar – can replace with juice of 1/2 lemon plus sea salt to taste
Additional sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

2 medium sweet potatoes , scrubbed/washed, and punched with a fork all around

1 bunch raw baby chard, washed and torn into bite-size pieces, hard stems torn off and discarded (can use any baby or delicate greens, like spinach, or arugula, or watercress for a more peppery punch)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place prepared sweet potatoes on parchment paper on a pizza pan or cookie tray and let cook for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 400 for another 30 minutes. Then turn heat down to 200-350 until the rest of your food is ready to serve.
  2. Warm olive oil over low heat in large saute pan for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add shallots and red onions, saute until tender.
  4. Add ground turkey and saute until browned.
  5. Add water / broth if pan too dry.
  6. Add savory or thyme / rosemary, cumin and turmeric
  7. Stir in the beans. Cook until thoroughly heated.
  8. Season with umeboshi plum vinegar or alternative (lemon juice + sea salt).
  9. Before removing pan from heat, stir in basil and let cook for 1 more minute.
  10. Add black pepper and/or additional sea salt to taste.
  11. Line half of plate with the prepared raw baby greens.
  12. Serve chili on top of the greens. The greens will wilt and shrink in size.
  13. Cut sweet potato open and place on other half of plate. No need for brown sugar, butter, or salt. You’ve got all the natural sugar, flavor, and fats you need in this dish.

ENJOY!

May 31, 2009 at 7:28 PM 3 comments

Mixed Feelings About National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

is Today.

I have mixed feelings about it. The information trumpeted out is helpful, the awareness and support is undeniably fantastic and much, much needed,… but it’s not the full picture as it’s skewed towards western (allopathic) medicine.

If 5% of my healing was thanks to western medicine, 95% of my healing was thanks to “alternative” medicine (with is not my “alternative” – it’s my default when it comes to my chronic conditions).

These include:

Naturopathic medicine, including pharmaceutical-grade supplements to rebuild my deficiencies, get rid of my antibiotic-induced gallstones without surgery, plus oral chelation for heavy metals, and homeopathy for a host of other things

Acupuncture and other traditional chinese medicine branches, such as QiGong

Ayurvedic practices

Chiropractic, specifically the biogeometric integration method

Massage therapy

Guided imagery and meditation

Infrared sauna therapy

and, of course, Nutrition. Always nutrition.

I’ll plan on writing more about each of these modalities separately as this post would be too long if I try to do any of these any justice, but until then:

For a great deal of information about National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, visit the National Fibromyalgia Association’s webpage here:
http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=community_awarenessDay

It’s important to know that while western medicine states that the causes of fibromyalgia “still remain a mystery,” (see website above) it’s not such a mystery if you seek knowledgable sources and find the right fit with practitioners such as a Naturopathic Doctor or Functional Medicine Practitioner (MD with additional training). I am walking, talking proof of that. THAT is what frustrates me. And I can do something about it, so I will, here on this blog, one post at a time, in my capacity as a Health Counselor, Nutrition Educator, and Fibromyalgia + thriver.

May 12, 2009 at 9:01 AM Leave a comment

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