What’s on a Label?

Posted October 22nd, 2010 in Nutrition Articles by Rebecca Lane

Just found this information (page 258 – 260 of  The Hormone Diet by Natasha Turner, N.D.) – think it’s useful:

  1. Check ingredients – look for:
    1. hormone-hindering ingredients (processed meats, white flour, white rice, enriched flour, refined flour, white sugar, hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, shortening, margarines, trans fats, saturated fats, foods containing aspartame and artificial sweeteners, artificial food colouring, preservatives, sulphites, nitrites)
    2. hidden sugars (is sugar the first ingredient? if so, put it back on the shelf – these are some other names for sugar-like compounds dextran, dextrose, diatase, caramel, diastatic malt, ethyl maltol, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, sorbitol, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol, lactose)
  2. Check serving size – is it realistic?
  3. Check amount of carbohydrates: on average female 30-40g/meal; male 40-50g/meal
  4. Check amount of protein: on average female 25-30g/meal; male 35-40g/meal
  5. Check fat content: on average female 10-12g/meal; male 12-15g/meal – beware of trans fats and saturated fats.
  6. Check fibre content – if less than 2 g per serving then NOT a great choice
  7. Check sodium content – choose products less than 140 mg of sodium
  8. Check calorie content – female should eat between 400 – 500 calories per meal and males between 500 – 600 calories per meal (this is a rough estimate)

An interview with Caroline Dupont

Posted October 22nd, 2010 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

I first heard of Caroline DuPont when I was asked to help with cooking at one of her retreats. Once I heard that she had written a cookbook, I went out and purchased the book Enlightened Eating: Nourishment for Body and Soul and read it from cover to cover. I was entranced. Here was someone who had written down so beautifully so many of the concepts and ideas I had been thinking about over the previous couple of years. Now that I had the information in concrete form, it seemed so much clearer and easier to understand. Through her company Health and Beyond, Caroline helps clients with a holistic model of healing that encompasses many modalities, including meditation, yoga, dance, energy work and nutrition. In addition to writing her cookbook, Caroline runs regular Clear-Being Meditation retreats, has produced several meditation CDs, teaches yoga, meditation, whole and living foods cooking and preparation and lectures on many healthy living topics as well as teaching at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She is also currently working on developing courses for the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Arts.  I chose to interview Caroline DuPont because she has successfully merged the two aspects of holistic health that I think need to work together, nutrition and emotional healing. I wanted to find out how her practice had evolved into the successful lifestyle she is living today. I prepared several questions to discuss with her, but when the interview began there was only one overwhelming question that I needed to ask her about.So, as soon as I sat down with Caroline, that’s what came up. How do you help people take responsibility for themselves? Caroline’s response was that once people take responsibility for themselves, you can act as a guide. But until then you’re wasting your breath. You can’t make others take responsibility for themselves, but you can work on yourself and lead by example.For this, she says there are many different layers. On the physical level, she teaches classes in her kitchen because it offers practical experience, and because it lets her clients see how she really lives. Her kitchen isn’t perfect, yet she can still put together healthy, nutritional food. By letting people into her world, they see that this is how she really lives.The next layer is to take responsibility for your reactions to others lack of self-responsibility. Again, there are sub-layers to this. Look at letting go of needing to control others, and of needing to be in control of your reactions. A deeper layer though is to look at those reactions as a mirror back at you. What triggers you? Why are you being triggered? What do you need to be working on?For Caroline, taking responsibility means including her reactions to clients in meditation, because if they are triggering something in her, then it’s about her. That’s the foundation of the work that she does. In that sense, every client is a gift. What do my reactions to my client’s choices say about me? This is TRUE self-responsibility. Don’t spend any external energy around trying to convince clients to change the way they do things. Instead, focus on your own personal growth.For example, if you find that your clients aren’t preparing their meals, look at yourself. Are you taking the time and energy to cook and eat healthy meals? You will keep on seeing the same clients until you’re ready to make changes yourself.When you decide to become part of the “healing” profession it’s a vocation, it doesn’t end when you stop seeing your client. They follow you into your life and into your meditations and dreams. Your job is to do the clearing of whatever comes up.So, being with clients who are willing to be self-responsible coincides with her decision to be completely self-responsible. Your personal journey is mirrored by the clients you attract. The more self-responsible you are, the more you will draw to you people who are willing and able to be self-responsible. It’s an exchange of energy in that we draw to us people who need to learn from us and from whom we need to learn – so we are all learning from one another.I next asked how she incorporates spiritual and energetic work into her practice. Her response was that she tells potential clients in the first interaction that in order to heal you’re going to need to delve into emotional stuff and asks if they are prepared to do that. In addition, all of her marketing material, book and website describe her practice as including nutrition as well as meditation, energy work and movement (through yoga and dance), which leaves nothing hidden from the clients.As to the timing around when you start on the energetic, emotional work, she says you take it one client at a time. First you need to recognize that when you have clients with the same issues or who provoke the same issues within you that these are the things you need to be working on at this time. This is the universe saying “Ok, let’s work on this now.” And you need to do that work.As you become more comfortable, you are able to recognize when a client is ready to do emotional work. You’ll notice that their diet is good, and they’re eating well, but they’re still having physical problems. So, now it’s time to work on an emotional level. Caroline usually starts them off by teaching them some basic meditation skills and sends them home with a meditation CD. For the next meeting, she will focus on body work.I wanted a tangible image of how she actually does body work, so asked what does “body work” look like for you? Usually, she listens to part of their story, and in the middle of a particularly emotion-filled issue, she asks the client “What are you feeling in your body around this issue?” Often, they’ll say that they don’t feel anything. So she has them close their eyes and guides them into their body. Once they can feel their body’s response to the issue she teaches them how to sink into that feeling and be present with it. Don’t try and dissolve it, just recognize it and know that the energy needs to be there. And that it is generally uncomfortable as it moves on to a higher frequency. That’s why we keep on jamming it back down with distractions and our own addictions. By teaching people how to do this on their own, they become no longer dependent on her guidance.She warns that this work is difficult to do because the person wouldn’t have suppressed it if it wasn’t frightening to them in the first place. For her, it’s almost as if she is taking their hand and saying lets take a look at this together – in a sense, sharing their burden for a few steps. Ask them leading questions like, what does it feel like? Have them describe it. Get people comfortable with what they are feeling so that they can start to hear and to trust their body, the energy and be present with it.In Caroline’s mind, this is the true definition of compassion – being willing to share clients’ burdens for a time. Because we are all the same, we have the same struggles. This is why it is so important to her that she goes to bed early, does her meditation, and eats well. This gives her the energy and ability to help others.This interview turned everything I had been thinking on its head! I hadn’t realized that I wasn’t being authentic. That I was going through the motions of being a “Holistic Nutritional Consultant” but not really walking my talk. Caroline made me realize why it is so important to make this my vocation. I know that I need to make several changes to my own lifestyle to place priority on creating healthy meals for me and my family every day. Once I learn how to do that, I can share that information with clients so it’s much easier for them. Then I need to add regular exercise to my routine. I can’t teach others to heal themselves until I’m prepared to do my own work first.I also now understand that attracting self-responsible clients starts with me. Until I am ready and willing to face every issue that comes up in my life, and resolve it, then I can’t help anyone. By choosing to do this kind of work, I need to be prepared to be truly self-responsible – to see triggers for what they are, opportunities for growth. It’s time to relinquish judgments and trying to control my world.From a practical standpoint, I now have concrete examples of how I can set up a process around including energy medicine, artistic expression and meditation to my practice. It has to be part of everything I produce for my business so that not only am I clear about how I intend to do work, but clients will also be clear. I think that my approach can be similar to Caroline’s in that we start in the kitchen with concrete menu plans and recipes, some of which we’ll actually make together. Once the diet has been cleaned up, the opportunity will open to work on the emotional side of healing. Maybe it will come up while we’re cooking in the kitchen!It is time to start living my vocation. I’m developing ways that a busy mom can find time to cook healthy meals for her family. So far I’ve discovered that a lot has to do with having fresh ingredients at hand. Last weekend I did all of my shopping at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and was set for the whole week. Cooking was a breeze. This week, I wasn’t able to go to the Farmer’s Market, so don’t have the fresh ingredients and I’m finding getting around to cooking more challenging. I think that another thing I need to look at is creating weekly menus so that I can get right to work as soon as I get home from school. I can then use these menus (with shopping lists) to help my clients be more organized. That way all of the creative, time-consuming work is already done for me when I’m too tired to do it. I have faith that my family will eat more of the good food once there isn’t so much stress associated with making it.

The Habit of Saying Affirmations

Posted October 22nd, 2010 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief.And once that belief becomes a deep conviction,things begin to happen.”

–         Claude M. Bristol, 1891 – 1951

The last time I blogged, I spoke of the importance of silence in daily life. And I offered the practice of simply being grateful for all that we have as a tool to enter into a state of meditation.Today, I would like to offer another tool that I use to increase my awareness of my body, my health and my connection with the Divine. It’s the habit of saying affirmations.What exactly is an affirmation? It’s a wish stated as if it is already true, like “I live in a world of abundance.”Thinking, saying or writing affirmations is one way to bring about positive change in your life. Amazing things come about when we change our habits. Our habits change when we have a change in attitude. Affirmations are a way we can change our attitudes.Passion is what helps to make your affirmation feel real and comfortable to you. As it begins to feel natural, you make it easy for your affirmation to become true.That’s why I started to add affirmations to my daily meditations – they remind me of my Divine perfection.Using the chakras as a path through my body, I balance each centre with an affirmation. It goes like this . . .  

Root chakra Red I am safe and protected
Sacral chakra Orange I am enough
Solar Plexus Yellow I live my life to the fullest. I am enough
Heart Green / Pink I am loved & connected to all that is
Throat Blue I accept & embrace change
3rd eye Purple I take full responsibility for my thoughts, words & actions
Crown Violet I am fully conscious and open to the will of the Divine

As you become more comfortable with this practice, you begin to take notice of the colours of your chakras – sometimes they’re brighter, other times more dull. If you notice them as dull, send them light. That just means to imagine them as a lightbulb on a dimmer switch that’s all the way down – push it up to increase the intensity of the light. You can also send love to intensify the healing. I find that the practice of gratitude, combined with the habit of saying affirmations, helps me to find balance when my world is out-of-control. I love hearing:

I am safe and protected

I embrace change

I am loved and connected to all that is

In Silence, I hear the Song of my Soul

Posted October 22nd, 2010 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

We live in a world of distractions. Televisions, cell phones, computers, cars, iPods – they fill our every waking moment with noise and activity. Some of us even fall asleep to the drone of the TV. If we could turn off all these distractions, how would our lives be different?Two years ago, I started taking classes at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I really enjoyed being back at school. I loved my classes and meeting new people. But the 90 minute commute was taking an incredible toll on me and on my family. By the time I arrived at school each day, I was so stressed out from the drive that several times I broke down crying in frustration.Friends offered many suggestions – listen to your favourite music, get some talking books – all of which I tried. But nothing really helped.Until one day, I decided to turn everything off. I drove the entire way in total silence.Now, lets be honest, I was driving on the 404 and Don Valley Parkway – so not exactly quiet. But inside MY car – it was quiet.Over the next few days, I found that my car became a sanctuary – a quiet haven where I could be at peace. I started to use my 90 minutes to meditate – with my eyes open of course!At first it was difficult getting to a level of deep communication with my soul and the Divine. But each day it gets easier.Then I started to discover other benefits to silence.Before I arrive at IHN, I drop my children off at their schools. We drive in silence in the mornings.When I first started this habit, they immediately plugged in their iPods and zoned out.  But now they often use this special time to talk about what’s going on in their lives – it’s amazing how many major crises can be avoided if you talk about them.One of the things that we’ve discussed is that God finds it difficult to be heard over their iTunes, Facebook and the television. And that it takes mindful practice to hear the Divine.You see if you fill your life with noise and distractions – you lose sight of your purpose here on earth. Each of us has a Divine purpose – a Divine plan that we worked out  before we were born.It’s not easy sticking to that plan – often it’s painful and we turn away in fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of never achieving our goals, fear that our purpose is too big, too overwhelming.I urge you not to run away from your fears – but instead face them head on.Take time each day to turn off the noise and focus on becoming the wonderful “you” you are destined to be. The mindful practice of meditation is not complicated, you don’t need to be taught how to do it, you don’t need to visit an ashram or study with a guru. Just take a few deep breaths, quiet your mind, and, with intention, dive in. I start the ball rolling by thinking of the things I’m grateful for  –Thank you Divine for this beautiful day, for my children, for my husband, for my beautiful home, for my friends, for your love, for your guidanceIn silence, you’ll hear the song of your soul.