Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Salmon and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When I first got really sick with rheumatoid arthritis (March 2010), my dear friend Hayley became the salmon chef extraordinaire, and every Thursday night she'd bring me a new salmon dish. What a saint, no? Back then I'd been reading a lot about how omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon help in reducing inflammation and joint pain, along with a list of other great health benefits, including losing weight, preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, improving painful periods, reducing ADHD symptoms, reversing breast and colon cancer, and improving your mood. I was also making salmon for myself weekly, and my mom would make salmon almost every Sunday when I'd go home for family dinner. All in all, during those first four months of being diagnosed I was eating salmon up to 4 times a week.

Since then, as my inflammation and pain have decreased drastically, I'm less vigilant about getting my omega-3s from salmon—usually eating it only once every one to two weeks now. I eat chia seeds and flax seeds a'plenty, along with dark leafy greens, free-range eggs, walnuts, olive oil, winter squash, and occasionally shrimp, which all have a varying amount of omega-3s, but today my doctor recommended I make an added effort to eat salmon twice a week. I've been going to a new doctor who reactivates muscles, and he explained that my muscles will heal faster if I eat more omega-3s, particularly those found in seafood as opposed to those found in plants. It's been incredible to see that as the doctor reactivates the nerve connections, my RA pain lessens. He worked on my lower back last week. Many of the nerves in my muscles are no longer getting their messages to the brain and vice versa. So by stimulating the nerves, the muscles are reactivated to once again work as they should. Today the doctor worked on my left shoulder, and I am thanking the heavens that I am continuing to discover more ways to heal naturally. My shoulder has been in a lot of pain the past few days, so I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings.

So on my way home from the doctor's I bought two pounds of glorious salmon, and I'd say I'm awaiting dinner with quite a bit of excitement. Nothing beats eating freshly grilled salmon outside under the oak trees—plus the breeze is perfect today and the sun is my best friend. Welcome back, salmon of the sea! Who knew I was missing you so? One of my most favorite salmon recipes is found here in a past post. To read more about how much you need of omega-3s, click here for one website of information.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feeling Unworthy Creates Procrastination

Just now I was reading in You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and wanted to share an especially applicable paragraph, as least applicable to me in my life right now as I am writing my thesis and creating my abundant future. I've been noticing patterns of self-sabotage as I work on my thesis and as I get closer to achieving the things I want the most in life. So I thought I'd share this insight, since you may be noticing similar patterns happening in your own life:

If one of my inner belief systems or thought patterns is, "I am unworthy," then one of my outer effects will probably be procrastination. After all, procrastination is one way to keep us from getting where we say we want to go. Most people who procrastinate will spend a lot of time and energy berating themselves for procrastinating. They will call themselves lazy and generally will make themselves out to feel they are "bad persons." (pp.76–77)

Thanks, Louise Hay, for helping put the pieces together for me. It's time to be more gentle with myself when I procrastinate, and it's time to go a little deeper to get to the root of feeling unworthy and release all those false beliefs that are keeping me down.

Most of these negative feelings that we pattern our life after come from experiences we had before the age of 7. So be kind to yourself (I'm mostly talking to myself here), and see yourself as a little child who is feeling afraid or unworthy or unloved. It's a good reminder to me to be a little more kind to and patient with myself. Here's to loving ourselves more!
Source: data.whicdn.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting Chomped

Some of you may remember the post from last year about the queen of our garden, Lady Sunflower, who appeared quite unannounced but much to our delight. We adored her. She spread sunshine over our entire garden. A few weeks ago five new little baby sunflower plants peeked up out of the ground, and instantly became our pride and joy. We just can't wait to see them grow as big and as beautiful as their mama. They are the sweetest little guys, already with fuzzy stems and full green leaves!
Last Monday morning I went out in the garden to check on our plants. I scanned the soil for the sunflowers, but I couldn't see any green. My heart sank. Then I saw them. They were strewn about the garden. One lay motionless (obviously, but you know) and rootless on the opposite end of the garden, two of the babies were still firmly in the ground but their leaves had been chomped off, and two of the plants lay on their side, roots still attached. I was so upset. So angry! But at the same time I knew I wanted these little sunflowers to live without any more deer attacks, so I forgave the deer. I know. I wasn't easy. I said some peaceful prayers asking that the deer find greener pastures and no longer desire our yard. 

And then I replanted. I quickly picked up the little sunflower whose roots were gone and put him back in the ground. I know that many of you may say this was silly because plants can't grow without roots, but my faith was great. I talked the little plant through it and told him how his roots would grow back. Just because something doesn't usually happen doesn't mean it's impossible—maybe no one has ever believed. Well I believed. I could already see my garden with five regal sunflowers, and so this little guy was going to grow his roots back.

Then I went to the plants with roots still attached and placed them near their sunflower brothers, telling them they'd grow their leaves back and that they'd soon be strong enough that the deer wouldn't mess with them. I dusted off the other two plants still in the ground and told them the same thing. To keep growing and soon they'd be strong enough that they would never get chomped like that again.

The well-being of our little sunflower babies never left our minds all that week, and we kept praying that they would be protected until they could get strong enough. I kept seeing all five of the sunflowers watching over our lush garden, and it made me feel so happy and secure that they would be safe.

It's been eight days, and we still have our five baby sunflowers. And the plant that lost his roots is growing back faster than the plant that was uprooted and still had his roots. I believe in sunflower miracles. I believe faith is real, however we choose to use it in our lives.
How many times do you think our Heavenly Father gently picks us up, dusts the dirt off, and replants us? Sometimes our roots are still intact, but sometimes they got chomped clean off. And in all reality, sometimes we're the ones doing the chomping. Some days it seems easy for me to surrender, let go, and trust, but those are usually the days when I have been brought the lowest and am utterly exhausted. Why do I let myself get to that point instead of trusting that He will do the healing? I know that. I think that's what often makes this dance so hard, because knowing we should let go and trust often makes us struggle even more. But I do believe in miracles and I do believe we are each deserving of a miracle. A little sunflower taught me so.