Food Dogma. Are You What You Eat?

It seems to me that there is a new type of food dogma happening in the realm of what we eat.

What we should, and should not eat is becoming the new religion.

But hey!  How did this happen?

Food Dogma and Babies

food dogmaLet’s take a newborn baby. In an ideal world, breastfeeding is best. And these days, that is where it starts.  The mother has a decision to make in the modern age, whether to breastfeed or not. There can be many reasons why not, physically, and mentally, and yet, straight away she is made to feel guilty if she can’t or won’t.

This is the first step on the road to food dogma: facing the criticism of those who believe that every baby should be breastfed.

Food Dogma and Toddlers

As the child grows, Mother tries to give it the best foods that she can. From books and magazines, she is told that babies and toddlers need lots of fruit and vegetables. Don’t give them too much sugar, don’t add salt, and on and on. Don’t do this and don’t do that.

If they are lucky, they may have a child who prefers fruit and vegetables to other foods. Yes; it is possible, I have two grandchildren who did that. But the chances are that as they get a little older, they begin to be exposed to sugar and processed foods and even limit what they eat to just one or two main foods. This often means they are living on nothing but chicken nuggets and chips, or cheesy chips.

Again, the Mother is shamed because seemingly her child is not being nourished properly.

Schools

We live in a world that is now dominated by the big food consortiums, who infiltrate schools, hospitals, and community centres at large. So when the child begins school they see other children eating the “wrong” foods and start to be fussy about what is in their packed lunch.

Yes, I know, schools these days are trying hard to ban certain foods, and that is a marvelous move on their parts. But then we have the birthday parties and private outings with other children, and away we go.

We could make the child the victim of what we believe they should eat, and put them in embarrassing situations. But is that good for the child? The balance between that embarrassment and the right foods (as far as the parent is concerned) is a very narrow line.

Ok, so now let’s step forward into the future of that child. It may or may not grow up with the right idea of what it should eat. Then, lo and behold, it becomes a teenager. Need I say more?

Adults with Hangups?

As adults we begin to be more independent, travel, leave home, get married and so on.  All of these bring about necessary adaptations to what we eat.

Many, myself included, find that they have put on weight at some time.

Let me briefly share my story at this point.

At the age of nineteen, I had already married and left home, having married a sailor. I was two hundred miles away. My parents weren’t even on the phone, let alone the fact that there were no mobile phones. I could only communicate with them by letter.

So two factors led to me quickly putting on weight. Loneliness, with my husband being away at sea, and the fact that I was free from the food restrictions that were in place at home with my parents. So the GP immediately put me on a diet, when he saw me. (In those days, one stone overweight was too much!)

Yo-yo Dieting

Thus began forty-odd years of yo-yo dieting. Bingeing and fasting alternately. People who binge eat enormous amounts of sugary, processed carbohydrates. And that is what I did. Especially stodgy bread, cakes and mashed potato in vast amounts.

So, I developed an eating disorder, Bulimia. Which then built up a Food Intolerance. I won’t go into more detail, but I became intolerant to Wheat and Dairy products.

My Cure

The cure for me has been a diet of meat, fish, poultry, some fruit, vegetables, eggs and a little rice or quinoa. I can have quite a variety of enjoyable recipes on the go, and feel well on them. If I slip up, however, and think that I can get away with it, sooner or later I suffer. I put on weight, and have a bloated stomach, nausea and a great deal of discomfort.

Whose Choice?

On the other hand, there are many who find that they do not want or cannot eat meat. So become Vegetarian or Vegan.

But somehow or other, there is a lot of food dogma coming from people who seem to believe that what they eat, is the only way, whether they are Carnivores, Vegetarians or Vegans.

This dogma comes from many places. Every day there is an item in the media about food that may be contaminated, food that is good or bad for us. Anything to make a good article for the journalist writing it.

Where years ago we had preachers from the pulpit telling us that what they believe is how we should live or think. (Yes there are still many of them around.) They have been replaced by foodies.

More Tolerance Please?

Can we please have some tolerance, kindness and understanding about other people’s predicaments?

What if we stop judging the Obese and blaming them, when it is because of the wrong advice they have had from Dieticians and authorities over the last thirty years, with the “Don’t eat fat, eat carbohydrates” or “Eat less, move more”.

Can we stop judging the Mums and Dads who have to give in and let their child have a snack while they are doing their shopping?

How about we stop claiming that the way we eat is the only way?

Can we stop being dogmatic about any kind of food, and allow people to make up their own minds about what they eat? Which means that they eat what feels right for their body and keeps them fit and healthy. Everyone is different.

I believe and know for sure, that what we do need is better education in what to eat and how to cook nutritious meals. Right from when we start school.

Moderation

I also believe that the old fashioned saying, “Eat everything in moderation” is a good basis for health. 

But what we do not need is this focus on what other people are eating, without knowing why.

There have been many diets over the years, and the creators always claim that their diet is best. High fat/low carb; No mixing carbs and fats; No meat; High Protein; far too many to write about here.

Interestingly; There has never been a study as far as I know of very old people’s diet!  So who is to say that it is what they eat that gives them longevity? I have worked at length with Elders, and have seen a vast array of foods that are consumed by them. 

You can explore food issues further in articles on this site Blog

 

Do You Really Need to Lose Weight

 

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A New Relationship With Food.

Food Altar

My new relationship with food.

Many of you will know that I see myself as an expert on food issues and addictions to certain food.

I have written books about it and numerous blogs and even designed a workbook to help people. A lot of my work has been entitled around “What does food mean to you?”

I am an expert because I have been obsessed with food and weight issues for nearly fifty years. And that means that an awful lot of calories, pounds and food has passed my lips.

My bulimia has been anything from living on virtually nothing to eating an entire loaf of bread spread with butter and jam in an afternoon.

Seven years ago, I came across a diet that made sense to me. This way of eating helped me to break away from sugar and carbohydrate addiction, by controlling my intake of those foods.

But, it was all coming from the outside; in. Even though this diet made sense, and there was loads of support, conferences and a forum. As well as the books, recipes and menus, seven years later I have still fallen back occasionally to the old ways. I have still fallen back into the habit of being obsessed with my body weight.

In the last seven years too, I have been working on my personal and spiritual self. It has been quite a trip.

In fact, when I sometimes read the stuff that I have written, I wonder if it was me that wrote it. But at present, I seem to be in a phase where I am catching up with my own advice.

In the last two months, I have been reading, learning, studying and practising with a chap called Dr Joe Dispenza. He has written several books, but I started with one called “Breaking the Habit of Being You.”

He explains that no matter how hard we try if we don’t change our thinking and core beliefs about ourselves, we cannot change the ingrained habits of our way of thinking.

Changing our thinking has been talked about over the years, in connection with Spiritual development. We hear about the Law of Attraction, Quantum theory and the laws of the Universe.

Yet all of these will not work completely unless we are willing to meet them halfway. This can be with illness, lack, addictions, broken relationships, and so on.

JD has gone a step further and explained HOW we could change our thinking, by changing our brains.

When I started to read his books, I became aware of the large amount of headspace my food issues was filling up. I had often tried to change my thinking around several shifts that I have wanted to make in my life. But somehow there has been something lacking.

For me and countless others, Joe has hit the proverbial nail on the head.

If you want to know more, you would have to listen to him on YouTube or read his books. But basically, he works on using the brain, body and mind together, by meditation. Choosing what you want to change, you then do the meditation, and state your intention.

He explains in details why it works, and at his seminars and workshops, you can see the activity in the brain, on the EEG machines that he uses. It is all carried out scientifically and not just pseudoscience.

So, I began carrying out his instructions, and now, two months later I am finding that my attitude to food is changing dramatically.

For example, I am now eating a lot less and satisfied quicker. I am enjoying my food, and am not afraid of it anymore. When fear sets in I simply say the word “Change.”  Doing this brings my awareness to what I am doing and why. I am no longer in the fridge or cupboard wondering what to eat between meals.

I am bringing foods into the house that I would not have before. Yes, there is still a way to go with that because there are still some foods that I fear will bring on a binge. But that will change with continual everyday meditation and choose to use the word change when I find myself in the food cupboard, and I am not hungry.

Most surprising is that I find that given a choice between eating what I know is good for me, and some other food that I have banned from my diet in the past, I am actually choosing the good food.

I surrendered my anxiety over what I eat because I was still in a kind of diet trap. I was still using the diet to control me, instead of allowing my body to say what it wants.

There are probably people who are thinking, “If I did that I would be totally out of control because the sugar would trigger me off.”

I was saying that too until I decided that I wanted to change enough to make a difference in my life. In the past, I would have been afraid to let go, because the addiction was controlling me.

But now I realise that I want to have dominion over my body.  Which has not meant that I am dictating to it what it has, but because I am also respecting its needs, my body is responding with “Thank you for listening to me, I can now let you know what I want!”

And rewarding me for making me aware of the times when if I fancy something sweet, I can have it. Without the fear of losing control.

For many years I have been cooking separate meals for myself and my husband. I still do occasionally, because there are some things that he likes that I don’t.

But there have too many occasions when I have cooked separate meals, and simply do not want mine, and yet would fancy his. It dawned on me that perhaps I would be healthier if I had a little of what I have cooked for him rather than sitting down to something I don’t fancy. Why go on torturing myself, because I am afraid of food!

People with weight, self-image and food problems, have a complicated relationship with food. I have been telling myself all those years that I love food. But the constant input from various diets and slimming clubs has made me afraid of it.

We hear so much about what is good for you, or what is not so good. The media bring mixed messages to people, no wonder we get confused.

We all need to eat. We need to eat nourishing foods and enjoy them. Above all, we need “Soul Food!”

That means that we need to nourish our mind, body and soul. Eating out with friends is a good example of that. Are you eating out with them because of the food, or because of their company?

When I have been not eating particular foods in the past, I have felt almost cast aside. Now I can just eat a little of what the others eat and just be seen as having a small appetite.

Are you eating something that has been slung together for the sake of satisfying your physical hunger? Or are you eating something that has been lovingly prepared?

Yes, there are times when we are in a hurry and may turn to some fast food. But that does not mean that it cannot be nourishing.

However, I digress. The point is that I have realised a wonderful change in my attitude to food and my body since I began the meditations with Joe. It is not Joe that is making the difference, but my intention of making the change. He simply gave me the tools.

I am making good use of those tools, I know that I have a way to go, fifty years of dieting and not eating certain foods, will not be changed overnight. But the important thing is that I am now aware of what the problem has been.

If you are stuck in any area of your life and want to change it, whether that is lack, addiction, or an illness, take a look at Joe Dispenza. I am aware that he is not the only person teaching quantum, but his teachings have hit the spot for me.

Joe Dispenza has written, “Evolve the Brain.”  “Breaking the Habit of Being You.” “The Placebo Effect”.

Recently he wrote “Becoming Supernatural”, and he is touring the world presenting a workshop on it. I am looking forward to attending his London workshop on April 14th. 2018.

 

 

 

 

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Macular Degeneration and Diet.

Eye blue side

 

Firstly let me tell you my story.

I was diagnosed with the early signs of Age-related Macular Degeneration four years ago. At a regular eye test, the Optician told me that I had something called Drusen, which appeared as little white fatty spots on the picture of the back of my eye. He advised me that I should take supplements which he recommended and so I did that.

Being of a tenacious nature and having an enquiring mind, I began to do my own research about this condition and also found out what support was available.

The news was not good because AMD is apparently un-reversible and steadily gets worse. It is genetic and often caused by smoking. The advice was also to eat plenty of greens stuff, and the jury was out on supplements.

Two years down the line after having new prescription lenses and finding that they did not help my vision, I went to the University in Plymouth, where I had volunteered to be a guinea pig for students, and they found a layer of Wet behind the macula. I was sent straight away to the Eye Infirmary, where they said that it was not yet bad enough for treatment (injections in the eye) but that they would monitor it and start injections when it deteriorated to a crucial stage.

Meanwhile, I was experiencing a great deal of stress in my life, which I will not go into here.

On the positive side, the wet was not getting any worse. I was also watching what I eat, and kept mostly to a natural diet, not eating much of the refined and processed products that pretend to be food these days.

Then, in October last year, the source of the stress left my life. In December I went to the Eye Infirmary who told me that they would not need to see me for another three months as opposed to the usual four weeks, because there was still no change, and they would be discharging me on my next visit if there wasn’t any further change. (I found out from the University that it meant that the wet MD was not getting worse.)

On my last visit to the University two weeks ago, they did a scan, and found that the wet had disappeared!  Apparently, the effects that stress can have on Wet AMD is not very well researched or recognised. But the tutor said that she would be telling researchers about my case.

To sum up then; my vision is a lot better. The wet has disappeared. The progression is not as much as was first feared. None of this is my imagination because it is there on the scans. I am now using the distance vision glasses again and managing a lot better.

I claim that the reasons are; because I eat a healthy diet; I do not take expensive synthetic supplements anymore; The enormous stress has disappeared from my life; And I practice Spiritual (not religious) development.

Dr Zoe Harcombe, with whom I developed my way of healthy eating has just sent me this link;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJCLB3D-2cE

It is a talk by a Chris Knobbe.MD. And just about sums up what my own experience with MD is except for the stress factor.

He has been studying the effect on AMD from our appalling modern diet. He gives correlation studies on this.

I could tell you what he says, but the best way for you to find out is to watch the video. It is quite literally an eye-opener.

He does not claim that we can all repair our eyes, but what he looks at is how we can prevent it and reverse it in the early stages with a natural ancient way of eating.

The four main culprits that are very significant in our modern diets, starting from the early sixties are; White flour, Vegetable oils, trans fats, and sugar.

If you think about it, those are the ingredients in our modern day diet of mainly processed foods.  

In the USA the food intake percentages are; Plant foods, 12%: Animal Foods 25% and Processed foods 63%.

He shows the correlation between the increase in these processed foods and MD, from very few cases in the 1920’s to the present day prevalence of it.

He gives a list of diseases that are increasing in the countries that have these monster foods, among these diseases are; diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Obesity and autoimmune diseases. All are amounting to something called metabolic syndrome. Now, with his lengthy research and correlated findings he wants to see MD added to that list.

Because of my own experience, I believe him. I left off the supplements last September and increased my daily intake of green foods. I eat a good diet, and I am aware of my emotional and mental conditions too.

In case you are wondering about my diet, I will say that before seven years ago, I was consuming a lot of the four foods he mentions. White flour, sugar, vegetable oils and trans fats, loomed large in my way of eating. I was a victim of the slimming diet industry, and yes; diet foods contain these ingredients. I dieted on and off for over forty years until I discovered how to eat for my health.

Which reminds me; a lot of Baby Boomers are the ones who were told to eat low-fat foods. That advice happened in the late 1970’s when we were all foxed into becoming low fat eaters. The food industry jumped on the wagon, and it has become conventional to avoid fat.

For the last seven years, I have mostly kept to a natural diet. I eat very small amounts of sugar or even sweeteners. I base my intake on plenty of plant foods and vegetables, one piece of fruit a day, natural yoghurt, (not low fat) animal products, eggs and some amount of natural fats such as butter, olive oil and coconut oil, nuts and seeds. I eat very little in the way of bread but have quinoa and a small amount of rice or oats.

These foods have become my normal way of eating.

Please have a look at the video, before you make any comments or judgements. I do not claim to know it all, but Chris Knobbe.MD, and Dr Harcombe and a good many other researchers and authors certainly know enough for the authorities and many medical professionals to sit up and start to take notice.  

If you want to read any further about a healthy and natural way of eating, and why, the following list of authors have written extensively about the subject. Just google them!

Dr Zoe Harcombe; Robert Lustig; Gary Taubes; Dr Verner Wheelock; and much more about the damage that sugar and our faulty way of eating in the 21st century.

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Food and Diet Books FREE.

Hi there folks. Do you want to change your life with these two FREE books? 

Do you wonder why you get drawn in every year to the mad mad feasting over Christmas, then Fast or starve for the New year?

Every year is the same isn’t it? Beginning around the first of December, it is “Eat drink and be Merry, for January 1st; we DIET!”

How many of you are swearing that you will never do it again? That you will go on a diet to end all diets, and never put on weight again.

But there is a way out of this never ending cycle. Where you can enjoy your food; all food, but understand your body and what it really wants.

These two books will set you on the path of freedom from dieting. They will also point out why we are all in this state of health in the twently first century. How to sort out the conflicting advice, and decide for yourself, with some knowledge of why you are in the trap, and what is best for you. It seems that every writer, club or expert, claims that their diet is the way to go. But these two books will make you become aware of why we behave as we do around food.

They are not special diet books, nor do they tell you what you should eat. They simply inform you of the politics of Dieting and also how food has evolved into the state it is in now.

Once you become aware of how you are being driven to eat the foods that you know are not contributing to good health, then you are on the track to food freedom.

Just to let you know that as promised these two books are FREE on Amazon for the next three days, starting today 2nd January.

Happy Reading.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B011L100OC

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011L100OC

SodDieting

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BUGTBE8

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BUGTBE8

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

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Death to Dieting.

Dieting to Death?

Or Death to Dieting?

As a writer and blogger and somewhat in my everyday life, I am an expert in two fields. Dieting or not, and anything connected to death.

It suddenly struck me today that there is a sort of link between them. Take Dieting for example.

Some people get into worrying so much about their weight that they do indeed die. That is the case with the psychological disease anorexia. This dangerous condition is often started with the desire to be thin and develops into a full-blown fear of food, any food.

But I would like to point out at this time of the year especially, that it is time to put dieting to death or rest.

It is the same every year, isn’t it? Feast until you drop over Christmas and the holiday season, then go on a diet to lose weight. How futile is that?

But this trend is mostly political. Do you think that you would indulge so much every year if there were not so much temptation? Do you think that you would feel the need to diet if you did not see the adverts to diet, by the same people who gave you all the foods that tempted you in the first place?

Isn’t it time to be able to make your own choices, and let your body tell you what it wants, rather than be thrown off course by all the conflicting advice out there?

How did we get here? How did we become a society that is led by the Food giants and corporations to eat the foods that are doing the damage?

Because I too was a victim of this sort of thinking for forty years, I have written two books on these subjects. I am now into my sixth year of taking control of my diet thinking, and even though I have not been perfect, I reckon myself to be an expert in the subject.

And if I can get the technology on Amazon right, they will both be promoted FREE from January 2nd for three days. I will post another blog when they are available, but for now, can I Ask you to ponder over what I have said?

Meanwhile, if you are in a hurry, you can buy them. Or of course you can browse and see what they are about and wait until January 2nd.

They are;SodDieting

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B011L100OC

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011L100OC

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BUGTBE8

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BUGTBE8

 

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MD Conference 2017 Report.

 

MD conference 2017

 

On Saturday September 16th 2017, I attended the Macular Society conference in London with my daughter.

Right from the time we stepped outside the Tube station, I was astonished at how well they were organised. As we stopped to look at our maps of the location of the conference, we spotted two people in yellow teeshirts with Macular Society on them. Every hundred yards all the way to the hotel, on every corner, there were more yellow teeshirted people many with flags to attract our attention.

We were greeted at the Hotel by warm friendly volunteers and shown where everything was. Including coffee and pastries.

The exhibitions were many and helpful and as we entered the main conference room, my daughter remarked that she was impressed by the 600 people who were proactive and not just sitting back and being visually impaired.

At 11 am the conference began with a welcome speech. Followed by three speakers. The first gave a simple illustration of the mechanics of AMD, using a packet of biscuits as an example. When the lowest biscuit in a packet is stale, it crumbles and disintegrates. This is what happens in our eyes, and the cleaning cells wear out and crumble. (Not absolutely accurate, but that is the gist of the talk.)

The next speaker was a consultant from Moorfields who was more scientific. And due to restrictions in time he had to speak very fast. But he gave examples of the many experiences of how AMD can progress, both from the patients point of view and the consultants. He also said that while we question why there are so many cases now, we need to bear in mind that we have an increasingly ageing population. Our bodies are not meant to last that long! Which you can agree with or not.

The third speaker gave a talk on Charles Bonnet syndrome. People with AMD can hallucinate. Some hallucinations can be dangerous, for example one may see a brick wall in front of them that is not there. But there could be the day when there really is a brick wall!  There can be clouds of butterflies or people with odd clothes or shapes. They reckon that it is the brain compensating for the loss in sight. There is research going on about this, but no answers yet. However, at question time a woman in the audience said that, she had had hallucinations for some time, but since she had developed another age related disease they had faded away, and she wondered whether there was a connection and the brain was now concentrating on the more serious disorder.  The Speaker was very interested to hear about this and was going to talk to her more afterwards.

At 1pm, we broke for a delicious lunch of rolls, sandwiches, wraps and fruit. Coffee was in full flow all day long.

After lunch we went to the workshops of our choice. We went to the one on supplements and nutrition. Very interesting. The best thing that you can do with supplements is to study the AREDS reports. I will do a seperate blog about supplement and AREDS in a couple of days.

As far as food was concerned, eat the rainbow, which is what I have said in other blogs before. Include lots of veg, the darker the better, and fruit also darker the better. Red meat, (not processed) is good, especially liver.

It was emphasised that once we have MD all we can do through food and supplements is to slow down the process. But that if we take on a healthy lifestyle early in life AMD along with a lot of other diseases can be delayed if not eradicated. I will add that I believe that even if we do go on to have any disease, if our bodies are healthy in the first place, we stand a better chance of recovery or at least we help our bodies to fight it.

It was also emphasised, how much smoking can damage the eyes.

So for those reading this that don’t have AMD, bear in mind that it is another reason to live healthily.

We then went back to the main conference room and heard another speaker on the latest research. They are now in a position where they can announce success with two people who have received stem cell surgery.  Their eye sight was quite bad but they have now said there is an improvement. There are now another five waiting for surgery. It will be about five years though before they will be putting this treatment out for the public. Even then, at the moment it will only be available for the most suitable criteria.

I could not help but wonder what will happen when NICE get hold of it!!

But, my daughter who stands a big chance genetically of getting AMD was encouraged by the day and learnt a lot about how to lessen the chances of it happening. Especially the amount of time and money that is going into research and finding a cure.

There was an awards ceremony for the best team within Eye hospitals, kindest and most helpful Opthamologist, and the various volunteers within and out of the MD Society.

All in all a wonderful day, and all for less than £25 I must add.

I for one am going to become a paid up member of this marvellous society. You will see their leaflets and booklets with loads of information, in yellow and black enlarged print in the Eye departments of your hospitals. I have come accross their literature in my capacity as a volunteer for my local Guild, Improving Lives. I also belong to one of their loca groups who meet monthly.

There is a helpline for those who are worried and want to talk to someone. And there were also the numerous volunteers who guided us to the hotel, were around with their smart black clothing and scarves or ties with the logo on them, to help and support in many ways in the conference and hotel, many of whom have MD themselves, and prove that life does not end with this condition. We can still contribute to society in a way that will encourage those who are badly affected, and prove that.

So, watch this space for lots more to come as I learn more, and experience myself what can happen in our everyday lives with AMD. Everyone experiences it differently, but it is useful to find out from others how they overcome it.

There are groups on Facebook and here are the links.

First the UK MD group for the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/589067591220411/

Secondly for the USA

https://www.facebook.com/groups/amdcommunity/

I belong to both.

The Macualr Society Website is;

www.macularsociety.org/

 

 

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Can I Prevent Age-related Macular Degeneration?

early signs md

 

early signs md 2early signs md 3

 

 

 

      These illustrations show the progress of how a person with AMD can experience the decline in vision.      

 AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is quite a common condition .

The macula is located at the back of the eye and is the most sensitive part of the retina. When it is damaged the centre of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted or dark.

I MUST EMPHASISE THAT IT IS THE CENTRAL VISION THAT IS AFFECTED AND PROVIDED THAT YOU HAVE NO OTHER EYE CONDITIONS YOU SHOULD NOT GO COMPLETELY BLIND.

Ageing itself can cause damage, and there are two types of AMD commonly known as Wet or Dry.

The dry type is slow advancing, and many people will have it for some time before they notice there is something amiss.

The first signs are that you may find yourself forever cleaning your glasses. Or you may simply put it down to needing new glasses or that you are putting poor sight down to part of the ageing process and ignore it. It is mostly picked up when you have an eye test. Generally speaking, it begins at the age of around 50, but since nothing happens at any certain age, that is not a given fact.

Dry MD can slowly develop and once diagnosed, it can be monitored and you can change your diet and lifestyle to help slow the process down.

However, 1 out of 10 cases develops into Wet MD and can have more serious implications. Although with wet MD there are injections to slow the process down, there is still no guarantee that it will work.

Let me tell you my story.

Nearly three years ago during a regular annual eye test, the Optician showed me the photos of the back of my eyes, and I could see white spots. (Drusen)  He explained that these are signs of Macular Degeneration.

I felt quite alarmed because my Mother has it and I have seen her struggling over many years. But this optician told me about a nutritional supplement that would help to slow up the development. We shall discuss that supplement in the group that I hope to start on Facebook.

I already knew of a Guild in Plymouth which helped people with vision and hearing difficulties, so I went along and found a lot of information about the condition and also what aids there were available.

They also told me about Plymouth University having a department where you could go and have regular examinations and also be a guinea pig for students learning Ophthalmology. Not only that but if there was a serious development, they could contact the Eye Infirmary direct and I would not have to go through my GP.

I rather liked that idea, so I went. And for the past two years I have enjoyed talking to the tutors and students and finding a lot of information. They also have a scanner there, and it was fun to see the back of my eye laid out for interpretation.

They have been impressed with my tenacity and resilience to the situation, and how I stay so positive. But I must admit to being quite alarmed at times when I notice more severe symptoms such as distortion, even to the extent of seeing people’s head’s shaped like ET.

I have a couple of other issues with my eyes, such as double vision which manifests when I am tired and with the added complication of the 6th nerve damage. So, eleven years ago it stopped me from driving. Although I had the problem all my life, as I got older I could not control it so well. But that is another story.

The 6th Nerve damage was caused by the forceps at birth. Resulting in what is commonly called a lazy eye. So I am mostly reliant on my left eye, I often describe it as “I can see all right, but it feels like the brain will not tell me what it is I am seeing.”

Because of the problems with my right eye, the Eye Infirmary are keeping up regular monthly checks. If I lose the vision in that eye, I will be in trouble.

Last July I went along to the University because although the regular eye test at the opticians resulted in new glasses, I was still struggling to see. They did a scan and found that it had developed into Wet MD.

Wet MD is where abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, and these vessels can leak fluid and blood, which can lead to swelling and damage of the macula.

The University fast-tracked an appointment for me at the Eye Infirmary (What a horrible name)

After numerous tests, the EI are monitoring me regularly because when it reaches a critical point, they can start with injections into the eye, which will slow up the progress.

The latest development is that peoples faces are distorted and have taken on a perculiar appearance. I have adjusted my own image here so that you can see what I am seeing. me-now-2016Distortion

 

 

 

You can read in a previous blog how this affects my everyday living.

https://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/experience-macular-degeneration/

Some people have claimed that there is a cure, but I have yet to come across any proven cures. The EI and the University certainly have not found any.

But I was asked the other day about whether MD can be prevented.

It is best to start as early as possible to make lifestyle changes. 

Although none of us can guarantee to prevent any disease in our lives, there are things that you can do to strengthen your chances of not getting it. Or giving your body a better chance to deal with any disease at all.

It is no surprise to me that the answer is the same as with many other diseases of the Western world, such as obesity, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and other modern diseases.

  • Avoid Smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish.

I do all of these things and also take a special supplement called Macushield.

I am considering starting the Facebook group for this condition, both in helping people to try and prevent it and how to deal with it.

Would you please comment either on this blog or in the comments on Social Media if you would like to join us.

There are plenty of MD Facebook groups in the US, but because our health care systems are different in the UK, I think that it will be of benefit to many.

Also, of course, the nature of the condition prevents people from reading on Facebook, and I suspect that many don’t get the opportunity or are not aware of the advantages of it.

But it may be that you have a relative or friend that you could help by belonging to the group.

Would you please share this, because I would like as many people as possible to benefit from a good Facebook group on AMD.

The picture below is the scene without any eye problems!

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Vision and Purpose as we Age.

 

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Many may say that at the age of 72, all you need to worry about is looking after yourself. Your health, your wealth and your welfare.

Yes, folks that is so true.

Taking care of ageing bodies is vital for your health, by *eating sensibly, keeping active and taking good care of the financial situation. Care of your appearance is also important, and hygiene with your personal care and surroundings is essential for general well-being.

Keeping active in the sense of exercise, such as walking, swimming or weight supporting activities, is also something to keep those bones and the cardiovascular system healthy.

And what about your Spiritual and mental wellbeing?

Meditation* is fast becoming one of the ways that people are getting in touch with something more than the outer body and world.

Spirituality, awareness and consciousness is a great purpose as we age.

Yesterday I went to a casual meeting of Damsels, (A national movement called Damsels in Success for women) in which we made up our vision boards for what we want.

Contrary to many older people’s beliefs, there is nothing wrong with wanting things, as long as we are not taking them away from others.

But we were all reminded that our wants are not just about things.

We thought about our purpose too.

We need to think about what we want in the way of why we are here, our legacies to the world in the way of wisdom, service to the planet as a whole and spreading love and peace. How we want to be in our interactions with people, and how we want the world to remember us.

Younger people tend to think about purpose as being what their careers may be or how they can serve the world and make a living doing what they love. That is the natural course of life.

But as we age, it is a good idea to look at our purpose in the last what could be thirty or forty years of our lives.

We had a lot of fun yesterday, and there were some children there too. Adult children and young children alike were absorbed in finding pictures in magazines. Cutting and gluing and arranging the pictures.

Now my vision board is sitting on the wall in my office, and it is going to be interesting to see how it develops.

I did a vision board about two years ago, and three quarters of it came to fruition. So this idea works. It is mainly to help to focus on what you really want in life.

I have published my vision board above for you to see. Some of it is not very clear, but I hope that you will get the gist.

There are holidays that I want to go on and clothes that I want.

On the right-hand side, you can see a picture of an audience. That is a vision I have for speaking to larger audiences. So far they have been quite small.

There is a picture of a choir, well actually I already belong to one.

The picture of Helen Merrin contains the words “Gold not Old”. I am aware that I cannot change my older looks, and the wrinkles, but I want people to see past the wrinkles and see the gold of kindness and support to others.

On the left is a beautiful garden in which I can visualise myself sitting. We only have a small garden where I am living, and gardening is not my forte. But year after year and with some patience, I am gradually building up something like the illustration. But you never know, one day something or someone may turn up to help me make a better job.

There are several little sentences that I found such as “Home is where the heart is”  “See the beauty in everything”  “Why be dull?”

There is also a sentence at the bottom that clinches it all. “Signed Sealed and Delivered”

That means that I believe that it will happen. The Universe always has our best welfare in mind. I never cease to be amazed at the synchronicities that happen every day for me.

I am not saying that life is golden, and things are not tough for me at times, but when they are I am aware of the fact that the Universe does indeed have my welfare in mind because it has everyone’s welfare in mind. We are all part of that whether we are aware of it or not.

What is your vision and purpose for the rest of your life?

*There are blogs on these subjects on my Website, patriciacherrylifecoach.com
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Nutrition for Ageing with Vitality.

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Today we have a guest with us, who is an expert in Nutrition and all things to do with health at any age.

Her name is Jane Hutton. You will find her info in the article. 

Thank you Jane for this very useful and down to earth advice. There is so much information about what is healthy and what is not, that it is good to have something to base our decisions on when we come to making healthy choices. Even more so as we get older.

 So; Over to Jane. 

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“It comes to us all in the end.” Hearing those immortal words has become something of a cliche when we feel a twinge, forget why we went upstairs, or notice a new wrinkle when we look in the mirror. It can be easy to fall into a kind of resignation, viewing a gradual crumbling as inevitable once we cross that mythical line into the twilight zone of middle age. The good news? It’s not. There’s much you can do to protect your body and mind from the ravages of time.

 

Not surprisingly, the most potent weapons in staying fit and healthy well into our later years involve treating ourselves holistically. By that I mean that it’s no good cutting the fat off your pork chop if you’re going to sit in a chair all day. It’s pointless going for a daily constitutional stroll if your diet revolves around microwave meals because you never learned to cook.

 

We are what we eat, to be sure, but what about those common traits of getting older, like smaller appetite or less efficient digestion? Are they linked to increasing ill health? They certainly can be; in purely nutritional terms, your body uses the nutrients from your food to fuel the billions of processes and functions going on every day, so if you aren’t getting all the nutrients you need, cracks will eventually begin to show. Without the deficiencies being addressed, niggles become issues, irritations become illness.

 

Lack of nutrients can cause a lack of appetite, and mean that less digestive enzymes are produced to digest what food is eaten. These two aspects combined can result in a vicious circle where not enough is eaten to provide essential nutrients, the nutrients consumed aren’t all available to be used by the body, and the consequent deficiencies mean that appetite suffers. Indigestion or other gastric symptoms can also be an indication that you’re not getting enough of what you need.

 

Naturally, there is an element of wear and tear as we age, but if we prevent age-related decline by being aware of potential potholes, and put pre-emptive strategies in place, the effects will be minimised, and prevention is always better than cure.

 

So, how do you ensure that you are getting everything your body and brain need for firing on all cylinders? Try to implement these easy tips:

 

  1. Eat fresh, unprocessed food – packaged, refined meals are stripped of nutrients. Remember, it’s not about calories, it’s about nutrients.

 

  1. Buy your food from a local source if possible – if you don’t have a greengrocer and butcher within easy distance, there are many box schemes and local produce hubs. For instance, in Plymouth you could choose from Riverford, Joe Brown’s, The Cornish Food Box Company, and Tamar Valley Food Hubs, plus several more.

 

  1. If you don’t know how to cook, make it a priority to learn. Look on it as an adventure, a creative outlet, and a way to maintain independence. Enrol in a class with a friend, or find a good recipe source and cook up a storm with a friend as a social occasion – cooking with and for others is fun as well as healthy.

 

  1. Eat regular meals, whether you’re hungry or not. If your food is fresh and nutrient-dense, having more smaller meals is just as good as having three larger meals every day.

 

  1. Optimise the digestion and uptake of nutrients – a plant-based digestive enzyme is a good way to do this, or you can take a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a little water just before meals to stimulate digestion. If you have had antibiotics, it’s also crucial to restore your gut flora with a good probiotic that contains several strains – in some countries, it’s common practice to prescribe probiotics along with antibiotics; not so here. The fact remains that our micro biome is essential to health.

 

  1. Exercise daily – this is as important for appetite as your mineral balance. While zinc deficiency can cause reduced appetite and compromised sense of taste, not doing enough can impact on how hungry you feel. Regular exercise naturally has the added benefit of boosting metabolism and keeping muscles healthy.

 

There you have it: just a few quick tips that you can put into practice today to improve your health, prevent illness, and hold back the years. Just a few small tweaks can make a huge difference!

 

 

For more information on personal plans, targeted health advice, or any other ways I can help, you can find me at jane@trinityholistics.co.uk, or on 07841 344934.

 

You can try my recipe hub at www.functional-foodie.com – the free membership allows access to some easy, delicious recipes, while full membership gives access to a growing collection; great for quick inspiration.

 

www.trinityholistics.co.uk

 

www.functional-foodie.com

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Attitude Affects Our Cells.

 

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Are you aware of how much your attitude affects your life?

To some people this is obvious. If we have an “attitude” people can pick it up very easily. This comes into effect particularly with police work for example. If someone displays a certain attitude, they are immediately considered suspicious.

Can you think of a way that you have seen certain attitudes come into play? Someone who gets on the bus or train, for example, can immediately alienate people with an aggressive attitude. Certainly if they have consumed too much alcohol. (That’s putting it politely!)

Have you ever stopped to consider your attitude to yourself?

Did you know that attitude can affect the cells in your body?

Let’s look at Metabolism.

Metabolism is not just about how much you can eat. It is your whole body and your mind.

Attitude has an effect on a cellular level. What we think about what goes into our mouths, affect how the cells metabolise the food. A lifetime of thinking that we need to “be fixed” in some way, can destroy the ability of the cells to do what they have to do.

Thus, affecting weight loss efforts and our ageing.

You may be living your life focusing on how you look, one diet after another, putting on weight and losing it. Eating foods that you KNOW are not good for you all the time can affect the way that your body metabolises it. Carrying on eating these foods and feeling guilty about them, can itself affect your metabolism. A matter of how your thinking can make a difference in your life.

The secret with this is that once you stop worrying about these foods, you could have them. Someone who has never dieted would not worry about the effect that foods are having on their weight, but would probably eat “normal” amounts of them. They may be careful because of the health problems they may cause, but they certainly are not going to worry and get hung up on being a failure when they eat. They get over it!

Marc David writes about this in his book “The Slow Down Diet.”

I spent most of my life, from the age of nineteen and even as a child, believing that I needed to be fixed in some way. My tummy was too big, my bum was too big, I had “child bearing hips”. Then on top of that, I was taught to believe that only Jesus could fix me. I failed at school, I never made the grade, I did not pass the 11 plus! (For the benefit of people in other countries, this was an exam at the age of 11 to determine how you were going to be educated from the age of 11)

So I lived most of my life believing that I was never good enough.

Only now at the age of 71, can I see that I am good enough.

So where does attitude come in?

My attitude of never being good enough has affected my body because I dieted too much. It affected my career as a younger person, because of limited choices. It could have affected my general health if I had not caught it in time.

BUT, in my older years, I appreciate the fact that I can pass on my wisdom to younger generations.

As a younger person, I never knew that my attitude about myself was having such a dire effect. But now, since the age of 67 I have at last learnt that I AM good enough.

I love my body even with the wrinkles and the extra pounds.

I have obtained a level 5 Diploma in Life Coaching at the age of 68.

I am now studying for a level 3 Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy.

My health is good, even though my body does creak from time to time.

I eat whatever I like, but watch the portions and 80% of the time it is REAL food. Funnily enough, because I also listen to my body now, I have a smaller appetite! 

I am happy, healthy, and what’s more, I am living in the Now and have put my past behind me. Most of all I have changed my attitude about myself in my older years. Because of that, I can be a support to people as a Sage in many ways, rather than just relying on the outside world to be there for me.

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