Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Having children guru style.

Having children is a "double edged sword." I love them and fear them at once. They, as my worthiness and life's work, no longer lie within my control. It makes me crazy. Those baby years full of love and exhaustion wane and as the sweetness and cuddles move to gumpy pimples and driving, food and drug experimentation, and angst about life, I sit back and tremble for their safety and joys, acceptances and failures. I hate it. Give me freedom, an intervention to help me stop worrying because they still watch me and learn how to cope. And if I am stressed they follow. What a job I took on when I had these babes, wanting each and everyone of them so much and loving them more than I love myself. So, how do I stay well with these thoughts flowing through my little, but compulsive brain? I knit, write, work, walk and continue to wonder.

New Years is here bringing an opportunity to change. I resolve to be better step by step. I hope for more money, more fun, world peace, more joy, excellent health, better weather, cleaner air. You see where I am going. I have very high expectations for me, the world and consequently for the children I love. "Letting go" guru style seems to be key and perhaps this is the resolution I am looking for. Activating that part of my brain through meditation may save me, my kids and my world. Here I have the control I seek and it only entails sitting quietly and resting. Why is this so hard to do? It seems the simpliest of tasks.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hard Times and Healthy Times

Welcome to my world, boring and busy as it may be sometimes. Laundry waiting to be dried, children waiting for dinner and me waiting to be lifted from it all. But today I am smiling because despite the horrible economic news and job losses and such, I am alive, warm and lucky enough to stay home with my kids and dry my clothes in a very big and expensive dryer. Lowered expectations gives me pause for appreciative emotions; a balancing point of sorts. Today though I investigated the differences between recession and depression. Did you know that before the great depression any drop in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was considered a depression? G.D.P has several components: consumer spending, private investment, government spending and net exports (exports minus imports). In technical terms: G.D.P. = C + I + G + (X – M). In fact the idea of recession came to mean something less severe only to differentiate downturns less severe that the great one. Where are we headed this time? Time will tell. But despite this grim news we still must work toward health and happiness and sometimes a difficult time propels us toward fast, complete solutions. So good luck.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home and health in the middle class from the perspective of a true American middle child

I wrote this in Novemeber on the day before the historic election of Barack Obama-the day I was originally inspired to create this blog.

November 3, 2008
Home and health in the middle class from the perspective of a true American middle child, mother of 5, nutritionist and public health professional who lives in Northern California.

Life in USA could change tomorrow. Will we let it? I am looking forward to changes in our homes and health, right here in the middle class and since change is hard I choose to creatively adapt, guide and cheerlead for all of us.

On this rainy November morning, the day before a historic election, I listen to my 8 year old talk about the movie, “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” He is skipping around, explaining, “I keep going back to the middle and then to another part and then the middle again.”

On and on he describes the magnetic rocks and other strange phenomena encountered by the journeyer, the adventure striking his core. While listening I am struck too, not by his story telling which goes round and round, but by his fixation with the middle. I wonder, is the middle the key to health and happiness? Barack Obama speaks to the middle class and because of this he may win the election. We defy gravity by balancing solidly in the middle. Yoga encourages a middle ground between pushing and resting, work and calm. I am a middle child and my middle child defines herself as the balancing factor in our family. So, here in the center I begin my journey to investigate life as a mother, wife, citizen and health educator in America’s middle class; a life style that hopefully grows rather than shrinks when we choose and change our countries direction and leadership tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hunger in America?

Will hunger be the next big issue in America? Malnourished obese parents raising malnourished anemic children, hungry for nutrients and eating plastic foods high in saturated fats. Palm kernal oil and coconut butter filling foods, high fructose corn syrup filling grocery shelves and making us sick when we eat them. We won't be skinny hungry people, but really fat hungry people. Diabetics eating sugar and peeing sugar that can't nourish cells. Sugars stuck behind a wall of fat blocking nouishment. Hunger persists though fat overwhelmingly impeeds the process. But hunger could also look different. We could have bread lines and food scarcities and protein malnutrition. We see this elsewhere in the world without looking very hard. Micheal Pollan and others want to change the farm bill to support small farmers and locally grown foods. Our artificially cheap food impacts our health, land, and animals. Let's consider an agricultural policy that highlights public-health and environmental values. A bill that in Michael Pollen's words has "incentives to produce food cleanly, sustainably and humanely." We the people must feed our people better than we have. With Obama in the Whitehouse, we can get working on it.