Decmeber Newsletter
Eat Well. Avoid Toxins, Be Happy!
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This has been a fabulous year in so many ways!  As we enter the last couple of weeks, I wanted to share some thoughts to make the round of holiday parties more enjoyable.   Also, on a more serious note, I am sharing some of the recent research on Genetically Modified foods.  
Most of all, I want to wish you and yours warmth and good cheer through the holidays and a healthy, happy, and joyful 2015 filled with many awesome things.   With many thanks for reading my words -- it means more to me than you can imagine!

Eat Well and Be Happy - Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season

This is the time of year when the frenetic schedule of social events can be a little overwhelming and can interfere with even our best of intentions around healthy eating, exercising, and stress reduction. Here are some tips for enjoying holiday parties without overindulging
  • Drink Water – Alternate alcohol drinks with water.  I sometimes drink my water in a martini glass and sip it gracefully.  It makes me feel very elegant.  Also, before heading out to the party, have a few glasses of water. You will feel a little fuller and consume alcohol at a slower pace.
  • Refill your Plate – Yup, that’s right, accept that you will refill your plate at a cocktail party or buffet at least once.  So, on the first trip, pick a smaller plate, don’t overlap your foods, pick two or three tasty items and then, when you are ready, go back for more. Take a moment as you eat to savor the taste of each individual food item. If it is not enjoyable, don’t eat it.
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  • Socialize – The purpose of the party is actually to see people you care about and meet new people.  Set a goal for yourself of who you are going to talk to or how many new people you will meet.   If you make it a game for yourself (how many people can I meet in an hour?) you may get so absorbed in it you will forget to go back for seconds, or thirds or fourths.
  • Practice Compassion and Kindness – If you see someone standing awkwardly by themselves, introduce yourself or even just smile at them.  Remember acts of kindness have been proven to make people feel better and are good for the brain. 
  • Offer to Help – If you see the hostess carrying dishes in and out, offer to help.   Often the best conversations happen in the kitchen over food preparation or kitchen cleanup (and, to be clear, this tip DOES NOT only apply to women).
  •  Enjoy – Be fully present at the event without fretting about the ever growing to do list in the back of your head, the amount of food you are consuming, or what anyone else is doing. Practice observing without judging.   By fully committing to being present in the moment, you will likely have a much better time, eat and drink less, and be happier.
  • Breathe – If you find yourself getting stressed out or eating or drinking too much, take a personal time out even amidst all of the people.  Focus your attention internally on your breath (even while smiling and listening to the conversation) and breathe slowly in and out until you feel grounded, centered and ready to re-engage.

Avoid Toxins - or at Least Be More Aware

The issue of genetic modification of our food supply is complicated and conversations about it can be full of challenges.   While there is no one easy, clear answer about how to avoid genetically modified foods, there is increasing evidence to suggest that they are, in fact, not good for us.

A few facts:
  • When genetically engineered seeds were introduced, Monsanto made the argument that they were not substantially different than regular seeds and, thus, there was no testing done on them.
  • The primary reason that seeds are genetically modified is so that Round Up (a Monsanto product) can be sprayed on them and will kill the weeds, but not the plants.   
  • The current controversy at the polls in many states in this country is largely over labeling genetically modified foods.
  • Many other countries have banned genetically modified seeds and grains.
  • When Monsanto tested Round Up, they tested its impact on the soil, but it is sprayed directly on the plants that are converted into foods.
  • Many processed foods include highly concentrated versions of genetically modified foods, such as soy concentrates or corn syrup as well as much of the food fed to factory farm animals that are then made into food.
  • It is not completely clear if genetic modifications can be removed from our food sources.  There are cases of farmers who do not use genetically modified seeds, but appear to be growing genetically modified plants. This may be happening because the seeds become airborne or for other, unexplained, reasons.
A few more things to know:
  • Round Up is increasingly linked to causing or contributing to  a number of diseases.
  • A major study was recently released that looks at the high level of correlation between increases in a wide variety of diseases and the introduction of genetically modified foods.  While this study points out that they cannot demonstrate causation; it says that the high and consistent levels of correlation are a strong indicator of causation. (The Actual Study)
  • Weeds are now becoming resistant to Round Up.  Larger amounts than originally tested are being used and more toxic weed killers are being proposed for use which likely exacerbates the impact on us and our environment.
While it is not easy to avoid genetically modified foods, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself:
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables.  Remember labels on your produce that start with 3 or 4 are conventionally grown, labels that start with 9 are organic and labels that start with 8 are genetically modified.
  • Read the labels on your food (or use the food scores app) to avoid highly processed and concentrated genetically modified foods.
  • Join the voice of the millions who are crying out for labeling.
Crops in the U.S. that are genetically modified
  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops
Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.

About me

I work with organizations seeking to incorporate health and wellness into their corporate culture, individuals seeking to achieve their goals through health and wellness choices, and communities seeking to make the healthy choice the easy choice. 

I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a strategic planning consultant, a distributor of Ava Anderson Non Toxic Products, and a HeartMath coach.
If you are receiving this newsletter for the first time. Welcome!  It is because I either met you at a workshop or we are contacts on LinkedIn.  Please continue to enjoy this newsletter at no charge, or you may unsubscribe below. Thanks! Wendy
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