So, I’m back from my travels to Arizona and India! I have so many things to blog about, I am overwhelmed… IfHI, India, plus I just saw the movie Sicko…
I am also having some sort of streak of luck or good fortune right now that is hard to believe… Opportunities are coming to me in many areas of life and I’m just trying to find a place for all of them.
With my overactive mind, I of course have lots of thoughts and ideas being generated, but I am short of processing time right now. So, I promise blogs eventually… Just wanted y’all to know I am still here!
As of April, I became the student rep for North American Pharmacal at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Considering that even before I started full-time school there I was already known as “that girl who knows a lot about the Blood Type Diet”, this makes a lot of sense!
I have finished my first year at CCNM. We had three exams in April while classes were still going, then seven more exams during the two week exam period! By the last exam, I was pretty exhausted with studying.
I have really enjoyed this past year and have learned a lot. Principally, I have learned that my destiny is in my hands. There are a lot of people at school (classmates, upper year students, administration, professors, etc) who try to tell you what your experience at CCNM will be like. I’ve heard certain phrases many times: “In fourth year, everyone is burnt out/has adrenal fatigue”, “This program takes a major toll on your health”, “People without a science background struggle most”, “It’s impossible to work while going to school”, “There’s no point in going to class, learn from the textbook instead”, “By the end of four years, you will change dramatically”. The only one of these quotes I believe is true for me is the last. Despite having no science background, I have excelled in the science courses. I have learned a lot about maintaining balance in my life and I am not yet burnt out! I have two part-time jobs which not only help me pay the bills, but keep me sane. I go to nearly every single class and study to understand the material and the result has been that my knowledge and marks are higher than I ever expected.
On Thursday morning I am travelling to Arizona to attend IfHI 2007! Last time (2005), I went to this conference not knowing anyone and not even knowing what direction my life was headed in. I went as part of my 2005 plan to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I met lots of great people and became certain that I wanted to be a naturopathic doctor. This year will obviously be a totally different experience. I am now on my path, know far more people (but haven’t met most of them), and I’m also part of the NAP team. For those of you attending, please come say hello to me if you see me! Hopefully you’ll still recognize me – I have the same face, but I’ve cut most of my hair off.
I am returning to Toronto on May 23rd, then leaving on May 25th for Delhi, India. I am attending a four week program in Northern India called Intro to Traditional Medicine in India in which I will preceptor with doctors in various clinics and learn Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, and Reiki. There are also classes in all these topics as well as yoga! For the first two weeks I will be in Dehra Dun living with a host family, then one week in Rishikesh living in an ashram, then one week in the village of Than Gaon living in a guest house. All my meals are provided – Indian vegetarian diet! Should be interesting…
Anyway, I probably won’t be blogging again until I am back in Canada (late June or early July). Wish me luck!
I recently wrote a reflection paper for one of my classes. I intended to write the paper on the movie The Secret, but the ideas in The Secret, combined with current events and books I’ve read, stimulated me to write a paper about the power of choice, especially in healing. This blog draws directly from that paper.
The Secret is both a book and a movie that explains the law of attraction. This law states that we attract what we think about and/or feel. Two lines from the movie are: “thoughts become things” and “feeling creates the future”. Assuming that reality is influenced by our thoughts and feelings, it is important to identify, request, and visualize what we want to happen, rather than dwell on fears, worries, and what we don’t want. To put the law of attraction into practice, we must “ask, believe, and receive”. The Secret works in every arena: financial, intellectual, relational, spiritual, and physical. The Secret and the law of attraction are all about choice; we choose what we want through our feelings. Choice is the most powerful tool in existence because it is the one power that everyone possesses and that can never be taken away from anyone.
During first semester, I read Power vs. Force by David Hawkins, which focuses on the idea that everything (and everyone) is connected to and therefore a vast collective knowledge is accessible to everyone. The book provides a guide to tapping into it via kinesiologic testing. However, there is also much discussion in this book about the difference between power and force, which I found fascinating. Force is an attempt to control what cannot be controlled. Power actually arises from within and is not applied to people or things, but instead attracts them or creates them. There are abundant examples of both force and power in the news and our lives every day. For instance, the current issue of whether torture or human rights violations are valid tools of interrogation. In this case, interrogators use force to gain valuable information that belongs to prisoners. The problem with this is that the prisoners, despite having all other rights and powers removed, still retain the power of choice. In this situation, the prisoners actually possess power, illuminated by the lengths to which interrogators will go to trying to overcome it.
More recently, I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. The major theme of this book is also choice. The prime movers of the world respond to the exploitation of their creative and productive power by choosing to remove themselves from mainstream society. Despite attempts to force them into cooperation, the power of choice cannot be taken away from them and it cannot be overcome.
Healing is intimately connected with the power of choice. Despite economic status, state of health, available resources, or intelligence, the law of attraction is a tool accessible to everyone, all the time. We must determine our own destiny, rather than rely on others (doctors, medications, family, friends, job, etc.) for happiness and health. This is not as easy as it sounds. The law of attraction is common sense, really, but actually becoming skilled in its use takes awareness, practice, and consistency. Apart from our outlook, attitude, or self-image, thoughts and feelings also manifest in vocabulary, speech, posture, daydreams, worry, fear, choices, and every other area of life. In order to change these manifestations, we must also become more self aware and practice a new way of being.
The corollary of the power of choice is the power of acceptance. While we have unlimited choice to control ourselves, there are many forces in the world that cannot be controlled. In the realm of health, this is especially important because perfect physical health may not be possible in all cases. To achieve true (holistic) health, we must learn the live by the Serenity Prayer, most associated with Alcoholics Anonymous: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I just realized that this month is my five year anniversary with the Blood Type Diet! I did have a “false start” at the diet in summer 2001, but April 1st, 2002 was the first day I truly committed to this lifestyle and I’ve been in hooked ever since.
Living right for my type has changed my life immensely… I have avoided the need for anti-depressants, which, given my heredity and prior emotional lifestyle, is no small feat. I have fallen in love with the many miracles of my body and learned that I am beautiful. I am tapped into a seemingly endless well of energy and passion that makes every day a pleasure. The BTD was the first step on a new career and life path which allows me to reach my greatest potential and help others. Finally, my eyes were opened to a world of knowledge and ideas beyond the BTD that have stimulated and transformed me.
I look better, I feel better, and I do better.
Beta carotene is a great nutrient. It is the precursor to vitamin A, which is important for so many things, mainly immune function, reproductive health, skin health, and night vision. However, vitamin A (a fat soluble vitamin) can build in the liver and be toxic in excessive amounts. Beta carotene, however, is not toxic, at least when taken as food.
Beta carotene is an antioxidant with cancer protective effects. Interestingly, though, beta carotene supplementation has been found to increase the risk of colorectal and lung cancer in smokers, whereas food sources of beta carotene do not (yet another reason to choose foods over pills).
Read more about beta carotene at the World’s Healthiest Foods website
So why am I writing about beta carotene? I LOVE carrots. Love them. When I found out I was a non-secretor (and therefore carrots became beneficial for me) I was thrilled! When I first started BTD, I ate only a few carrots each day. Now I usually eat over a cup of carrots per day, going through about two pounds each week. They make the perfect effort-free snack that can be taken anywhere and eaten anytime without refrigeration.
A couple of years ago a friend at work joked that my palms are orange-tinted because I eat so many carrots. I thought he was joking, but gradually came to realize that other people’s palms are not the same colour as mine! The rest of my skin is pale pink, but my palms and soles of my feet definitely have an orange cast to them… This condition is called carotenodermia and results from deposition of extra beta carotene in the skin – the body is extremely efficient and does not want to waste nutrients. Luckily, this is harmless!
However, I decided to do an experiment. Two weeks ago I ate the last of my carrots and didn’t buy anymore. I had some at a friend’s house later that week, but since then haven’t eaten any at all. I’m still eating all my other regular veggies (kale, red peppers, broccoli, celery, sweet potatoes), which also have beta carotene in them, but not carrots. Today I noticed that my hands are distinctly less orange!
I miss my carrots, so I’ll probably go back to eating them, but maybe in lower amounts. I think I like them more than I mind the orange palms…