Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Good morning friends of the planet, I love Earth Day because it reminds us that this rock we're standing on is something we really need to take care of all the time.

I came across this graphic on a friend's Facebook page today and thought it was the perfect Earth Day image to share.

What do you think? What are YOU doing to make the Earth a better place to inhabit on this day?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Have You Heard of Oil Pulling?

As I wiped the night’s cobwebs from my eyes and began the slow IV drip of caffeine (wishful thinking) I came across an article that immediately intrigued me.

Turns out that a couple weeks ago FashionLush discovered oil pulling. As of 15 minutes before reading her post I had no idea what this could be. And I’d wager a guess that you’re all thinking the same thing.

Rooted in thousands of years of wellness practices

Here’s the thing. All the parts of our bodies are connected, right? For example, when we eat sugary foods full of preservatives they can (and will) settle on our belly, ass, thighs, hell even fingers can get fatter!

So when we do something good for our bodies – eating organic, exercising – it’s safe to assume the same chain reaction would happen, right? Yes!

That’s the basic theory behind oil pulling so let me tell you a little bit about what I learned when it comes to this strange sounding activity.

What does Ayurveda have to do with oil pulling?

I set to research the act and got about 26 million hits on ‘what is oil pulling’. As a part of the ayurvedic approach to medicine the activity is actually pretty common in some cultures. Now, I’d never heard of Ayurveda either but it sure has a solid history. That’s because the ayurvedic approach to wellness began over 3,000 years ago.

Traditionally an Indian wellness ideal, this style of medicine and whole-body approach has roots in Indian, Greek, Tibetan and Chinese medicines as well. According to The Chopra Center:

“Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.”

Part of that full potential includes oil pulling, sometimes called oil swishing.

How does it work?

There’s no complicated process. Remember, thousands of years ago they didn’t have technology like we have today. But they did have a greater sense of connection to the earth and our place upon the delicate crust of this round rock.

In just 5 steps you’ll be on your way to better health:

1. Purchase organic, virgin (non-hydrogenated) coconut oil. I like the Whole Foods brand commonly found in the vitamin section. Here’s a little on the benefits of different oils.

2. First thing in the morning (before food or coffee) take a teaspoon of coconut oil and begin swishing with it.

3. Continue swishing for 20 minutes. Yes this seems like a long time but try doing it while you shower so the time passes faster. Something to note: as your mouth creates saliva the fullness factor might become overwhelming. Spit out a little if you need to reduce the volume in your mouth and try to swish for at least 10 minutes; but try for the full 20.

4. Spit the oil out. Don't spit the oil down the drain. Coconut oil solidifies and, over time, it will build up on the inside of your plumbing. Not good.

5. Rinse out your mouth and drink a glass of water.

That’s it!

What are the health benefits?

The theory is that toxins and bacteria are pulled out of your body through your mouth and directly into the oil. Clever name what with that whole oil pulling thing huh?

When you remove toxins your whole body is going to start to feel better! And look better too.

Here’s just a few things you could see happen within a few weeks:

  • Whiter teeth
  • Lessened or eliminated halitosis
  • Healed gums and jaw
  • Clearer sinuses
  • Improved sleep
  • Cleared acne/skin conditions
  • Lessened general pain
  • Hormones brought in check
  • Saponification (cleansing) of mucus

Want to know even more? Check out the findings by the Indian Journal of Dental Research on PubMed, this article on Elephant Journal, or read the original post I discovered on FashionLush.

How has oil pulling worked for me?

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know just yet. In fact I discovered the article and all of this information after I’d already had my cup of coffee and breakfast. I plan to start this practice tomorrow morning and will absolutely report back on my personal findings.

However, I’ve become familiar with the vast health benefits of coconut oil (in particular) over the past year or so. As far as I’m concerned I’m willing to give this a try because:

  • Coconut oil is a natural alternative to chemically produced medicines
  • Coconut oil could have positive effects on preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Coconut oil is thought to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties (Look at those Green housecleaning products you buy and note that the surfactants are generally coconut oil. This same theory could apply to our bodies (ie – reduce toxins inside).
  • Coconut oil has a bunch of other positive benefits that you can read about here.

Bottom line, I plan to start swishing, or oil pulling, tomorrow and hope to report back in a couple weeks as to what I’m seeing or feeling. If it does nothing then so be it. But if it makes me feel better, look better and improve my overall well-being then I’m probably in for life.

Have you tried oil pulling? What were the benefits you found from practicing this technique? Did it not work for you? Share your experiences in the comments!

Image courtesy Victor Habbick

Please note: I am not a medical practitioner and I make no claims to that end. Don’t misconstrue this article as medical advice. I’m just a writer and Greenie who likes to try different natural paths to better health and better living. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner with questions or concerns about your health.

• • •

I'm Jenn, a Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger for hire and owner of Copywrite That. I can write your blog posts, articles, emails, newsletters, web copy and more. Contact me today: info[at]copywritethat[dot]com

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How do you feel about Shifting Perspective?

Recently, a friend shared a link to an article she thought I might find interesting. The article was clearly something that would speak to my environmental side as the photo in the link showed a long-stretching line of trash on a beach.

But I dove right into reading it because the title -  “What if We All Quit Judging this Scene as ‘Sad’” – and the image didn’t seem to line up. I was, admittedly, intrigued.

My gut reaction

My instinct was to read objectively and I started out doing so because I like to view things as impartially as possible where other’s opinions are concerned. But the further I got into her post full of a moderately lackadaisical attitude toward her environment masked behind a Zen attitude about our planet, my objectivity went right out the window.

My gut reaction to this woman’s words and images was an emotional one, I will admit. The planet loving (especially the beach loving) side of me felt like it had been donkey-kicked in the side of the head after getting through the post.

If you haven’t already clicked the link above to read the article, please do so now.

Like I said, my emotional ‘punched-in-the-face’ meter was skyrocketing after getting through her tale and photos. I intended to post a comment back to my friend who had shared the link with me but it became far too long winded for a simple comment.

Word for word

Here’s what I was planning to say in response:

“Interesting article. I had no idea this extent of trash was washing up on beaches in the Yucatan. On the one hand I see her point about letting go of looking at it in a bad light, that it is what it is so we need to live with it as part of our everyday lives.

On the other hand that attitude reads as complacency and ignorance.

To just shovel directly through an obvious issue, without doing anything about it is sad; it’s a sad commentary on the human condition. At least that family’s human condition.

What would her take be if all that trash suddenly showed up inside her home and spread itself out across her living room floor? Would she just shovel a pathway to the kitchen and decide to see the filthy waste in front of her as an adventure for her kids to explore?

That beach is the home of some form of wildlife. And we humans screwed it up for those other living creatures. We trashed their living room. And now she wants all of us to embrace it?

In this case, it isn't as much the debris on the shore that's sad, it’s the attitude toward seeing it but not looking at it as an issue that's the sad part to me.”

Further investigation

Like any good blogger I did a little digging on the area where her photos were taken – Tulum, Mexico – to see if there was more to the story.

Turns out there isn’t much information out there on the beach trash in Tulum but the few links I did find were even more eye opening.

First, I came across this announcement:

It’s a year and a half old but I know the issue isn’t miraculously solved considering ‘Not Sad’ article writer posted her thoughts yesterday.

Then I came across a couple more beach cleanup posters – one from 2011 and another on a blog, owned by a Tulum resident, called I Go CentralAmerica:

The fact that this much debris is still washing up on the beaches there after at least 3 years’ worth of cleanup efforts got me thinking even more about the words and images in the original article.

And I realized she was right. I was no longer sad. I was mad. Furious in fact. What was I so angry about? This line from the original article:

Then for safety’s sake, plowed a path from our picnic to the water…

After reading this other resident’s polar opposite take on the issue and learning there could be all manner of items in the debris, up to and including needles, I was outraged at the lack of compassion present in that one statement.

They cleared a path to the water. Not that they brought trash bags and gloves to get rid of even some of the debris on their way out to enjoy the perfect beach day at the water’s edge in their own community. No. They knew the trash could be unsafe so they cleared it out of their way to access the ocean.

The very same ocean that had regurgitated all of that debris onto the shoreline in the first place.

The sad part is their few trash bags, had they filled them, are something that could easily be dropped off at the Centro de Acopio de Tulum (Tulum’s Recycling Center).

Everyone is entitled to their opinion…

But all I could think was that complacency breeds indifference.

The one thing I will agree with her on is that trash is there and that is simple fact. Accepting the fact that trash washes up on shore shouldn’t make a person sad.

Because we should be mad about it; mad enough to effect positive change.

I don’t live in Tulum and don’t suspect I’d be able to get myself there anytime soon to physically help clean up their beaches. So instead I’m writing this article in hopes that more people will be made aware of the bigger issue.

Based on the post I understand that our choices in life did open the door to products made from plastics that enrich our everyday lives. I’m typing this on a laptop right now. But that doesn’t make me okay with knowing hundreds of laptops might be sitting at the bottom of the ocean. How could I ever just accept that?

So when I’m done with my plastic product I don’t intend for it to end up there. Can I stop it if it does? I’d like to think that if my voice joined in with others we could bring about that change eventually. I guess I just can’t come to terms with shifting my perspective to one of acceptance & awareness but lack of action on an issue like this.

I hope everyone gets mad. Then instead of offering your anger to the sea in Zen-like reflection, how about you go and channel your anger into taking care of the problem. Raise awareness however you can and be the change you want to see.

Unless you’re comfortable with seeing that change come in the form of millions of tons of petroleum based plastic washing around in the ocean for years before ending up inside fish you’ll be eating later. Or perhaps in the middle of your living room.

In that case, feel free to do nothing but accept it and move on.

Images Courtesy: 
I Go Central America (photos 1 & 3)
In the Roo (photo 2)

• • • • • • • • • • • Content Marketing Strategist and Blogger for hire, Jenn has over 12 years of freelancing experience. Let her write your next webpage, blog post, article or newsletter. Get in touch with her today info [at] copywritethat [dot] com • • • • • • • • • • •

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wrap It Up! Chicken Salad Wrap Recipe

We've been going to a of hockey games since buying season tickets to the Phoenix Coyotes. Sadly, as any fan knows, arena food is a nightmare and most games start around dinner time. So what's a healthy eating fan to do? Make a protein rich, smart carb and healthy-fat laden, chicken salad wrap for the road! Matt and I will be better fed before we get there and you can do it too! Here's my favorite fall wrap recipe:

Thanksgiving Dinner Chicken Salad Wrap

Feeds 2-3 (I eat smaller meals so there’s usually some left over for the following day).
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes

1 lb organic chicken breast
Organic flour wraps (I like white wraps because they wrap better and its one of the only "bad" white flour items I have in my diet - moderation! - but you can make them with any kind of wrap you prefer)
Rosemary to taste (we grow this so I use fresh but dried would work, a little goes a long way)
Pinch of salt/pepper
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp gravy mix (powdered)
1 Tbsp coconut oil (EVOO works too)
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
Dried cranberries
Crushed almonds
Spinach, lettuce, shredded carrot, bell peppers, onion, etc.

Mix rosemary, salt, pepper, flour and gravy mix on a plate.
Drag chicken breasts through the mixture until coated.
Add the coconut oil to a sauté pan until it becomes liquid (I keep mine in the fridge so it solidifies but you don’t have to, it might already be liquid), spread across the pan.
Pan sear the outside of the chicken until lightly golden brown.
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Cook chicken for 20-30 minutes on a rack (like in a roasting pan) on the center shelf.
Remove when center is white & juice runs clear.
Roughly dice/chop. Add to a bowl and stir in mayonnaise, cranberries & almonds.
Put veggies of choice in the center of the wrap, top with chicken mixture.
Wrap it tight using tin foil (tighter seal and easily peelable if you’re in the car, plus can be washed & recycled later!)
Enjoy warm or chilled.

If you want to eat cold chicken salad wraps don’t forget to allow for the extra time they need in the fridge.

Add it to wraps like this, top a salad with an ice cream scoop full of chicken, or eat as a side dish to something richer like baked butternut squash.

HINT: I like to mix up a batch of chicken salad and enjoy it from time to time over the next few days. This is especially great if you're seeing a game right after work and have minimal time to prepare dinner/drive or take public transportation to the arena. Pre-made chicken and pre-cut veggies assemble as a road-wrap in under 5 minutes.

• • • • • • • • • • •
Content Marketing Strategist and Blogger for hire, Jenn has over 12 years of freelancing experience. Let her write your next webpage, blog post, article or newsletter. Get in touch with her today info [at] copywritethat [dot] com