Friday, August 6, 2010

My goodness it has been awhile

Well with having my son, I have had little time to write. Louie is now 9 months so life is a little less hectic. I am very much encouraged to write in these pages about my spiritual growth and to let loose on all things mental, emotional and spiritual. Although I work in the health and wellness field, I feel compelled to write in others areas like the spiritual and emotional and mental because all of these areas are so vital towards living optimally. As time permits, I will be implementing some of my journal pages or writing on various topics that come to mind or are prompted by the Holy Spirit.

Talk soon....


Friday, January 23, 2009

Beyone Dieting: How to Eat for Health & Vitality

A friend of mine recently forwarded this article to me. I have heard of Donna Gates and the Body Ecology Diet through the years and find it interesting how all of our messages are the same. In this article Donna points out some essential points to obtaining optimal health that I feel are worth sharing. In addition, she discusses the need for internal cleansing, which ties directly into my work and dedication to educating people on its vital importance. Enjoy.

Beyond Dieting: How to Eat for Health & Vitality
by Dr. Darren R. Weissman for

In today's article, I'm going to talk about thesecond of the Five Basics for Optimal Health: Food
If you think about the concept of "eating healthy," what comes to mind? For a lot of people, it means going on a diet. But more and more evidence is showing that diets don't work and in fact, they often create a vicious cycle of yo-yo weight loss and weight gain. On top of that, going on a diet is often all about calories, and not about how to truly nourish your body.

To Diet or Not to Diet

The quantity, quality, and frequency of what you eat is critical to your health. So where do you begin, when you want to start a healthy eating program? First, I encourage you to reframe the concept of weight loss to nourishment. Since the standard American diet (SAD) consists largely of high sugar foods and processed foods, we've lost the concept of which foods are truly nourishing for our bodies. In fact, most people today are experiencing symptoms of poor digestive health, like gas, bloating, indigestion, candida, constipation, and abdominal pain. When clients come into my office with these symptoms, I use The LifeLine TechniqueTM to help them release subconscious suppressed emotions that are causing those symptoms. What makes The LifeLine TechniqueTM come alive is when I teach my clients The Five Basics for Optimal Health, one of which is food. No matter what symptoms you may experience -- and even if you are in good health -- focusing on a healthy eating plan is key for feeling your best. Over the years, I have had the privilege of studying many systems of health and healing and the one that I've found the most beneficial is the Body Ecology Diet, created by Donna Gates. What I love about the Body Ecology diet is that it's not really a "diet," but a system of eating that helps your body heal. The list of conditions Body Ecology has been known to help is long: abdominal pain, indigestion, food allergies, candida, MS, autism, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue, and more.

According to Donna, the inner workings of your digestive tract can be thought of as your "inner ecosystem." When I asked Donna to describe the inner ecosystem, she said, "Just like the Earth has ecosystems full of organisms responsible for harmony and balance, our bodies follow suit. Inside your intestines are colonies of bacteria and yeast, both good and bad. The key is to have enough of the good guys to keep the bad guys from overpowering your intestines and setting you up for illness and disease." Donna and I both teach that good digestive health is key for feeling your best. It is your digestive system that breaks down and extracts the nutrients your body needs to heal, to regenerate and to thrive. Yet we've gone off track with nutrition and it's become largely about convenience.

Body Ecology actually teaches us to reconnect with nature and with traditional, whole foods and ways of eating. Donna often says, "while we may be living longer today, we are not necessarily living better. In fact, our ancestors were often more hardy and energetic than we are today." It's not all about our genes either. To learn more about how your subconscious mind and emotions play a role, read my interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton. So while we know your subconscious mind and emotions play a role in your best health, Donna Gates teaches us how food plays a role as well.

How Body Ecology Contributes to Your Best Health

The Body Ecology program is a system of eating whole foods that can work whether you eat meat, are vegetarian, or follow the raw food diet. This means you have plenty of options in how you follow Body Ecology.

The Key is Body Ecology's 7 Principles for Healthy Eating:

The Principle of Balance - is based on the concept of yin and yang, the opposing energy forces from ancient Chinese and Japanese traditions. Body Ecology uses the terms expansion and contraction to explain the yin and yang energy of the food you eat. Let's use sugar as an example for an expansive food. It absorbs into your blood stream very quickly and produces energy, giving you a temporarily open and relaxed feeling. With sugar, however, it is damaging because it is too expansive and therefore, not balanced. This is why many people have a sugar high and then a crash. Salt is an example of a contractive food. When you eat contractive foods, they may make your body feel tight and constricted. This is why many people don't feel well after eating too much salt. It makes your body hold on to water, for example. When you eat too much sugar, you may crave salt or when you eat too much salt, you may crave sugar. This is your body seeking a balance between expansive and contractive foods in the form of cravings.

The Principle of Acid and Alkaline - to maintain health, your blood must be slightly alkaline. The foods we eat and the lifestyle choices we make impact our body's ability to maintain that alkaline state. Stress, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, coffee, sugar, and processed foods make your blood more acidic. Body Ecology teaches you the foods and lifestyle habits that help keep your blood more alkaline.

The Principle of Cleansing - your body cleanses everyday through sweat, tears, elimination, and urine. These are ways you rid your body of toxins. Even illness can be a symptom of detoxification. And anyone who has experienced The LifeLine TechniqueTM understands that we detoxify emotionally as well. Cleansing and detoxification are critical for feeling your best and Body Ecology teaches how to cleanse with nutrition and lifestyle habits. In fact, you can really support your LifeLine TechniqueTM session with Body Ecology to help your body detoxify. Emotional detoxification often brings physical detoxification, so they work hand in hand.

The Principle of Food Combining - your digestive system has many different enzymes that digest different types of foods. If you eat protein with grains or starchy foods (think of the standard meat and potatoes meal), for example, you create a burden on your digestive system. This can lead to slowed or impaired digestion, causing the food to ferment in your stomach or toxins to be released in your intestines. It is these types of conditions that make your body more attractive to pathogens and can lead to imbalance in the body that fosters illness or weight gain.

The Principle of 80/20 - this principle says to eat until you are 80% full and leave 20% capacity for digestion. This principle also says that in every meal, 80% of your plate should be vegetables and 20% should be either animal protein or grains.

The Principle of Step-by-Step - we often overdo things and want to master a new habit in too short a time. Instead of taking on too much and feeling overwhelmed, take one thing at a time and go at your own pace. For example, a great place to start is by reducing or eliminating sugar. Get used to that and then add something else!

The Principle of Uniqueness - you are like no one else and your body responds to emotions and food like no one else. It's important to listen to your body and follow your own inner guidance.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Control Those Cravings

I saw this article today and wanted to pass it along... I have added some comments under some paragraphs in italic... Happy New Year...

Control Your Cravings
The key to weight loss that lasts past the Chinese New Year is kicking those stubborn little urges to the curb.
By Adam Campbell, Women's Health More on this in Health & Fitness

Nobody likes a nag. But try telling that to the bag of snack-size Snickers bars that won't stop calling your name, or the oh-so-salty French fries that keep pummeling your willpower. A craving is like a little devil, constantly encouraging you to indulge. And dieting only turns up the pressure: A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that 91 percent of women reported experiencing food cravings when they weren't on a diet; once they started restricting calories, that figure went up to 94 percent. And we all know that giving in to urges is a ticket to nothing-in-my-closet-fits hell.

Not only that, but it discourages us and leads to a lot of negative self talk.

The good news is that, unlike, say, your mom's constant probing about grandkids, these unhealthy tormentors can be fended off. The reason: Cravings are all about blood sugar. If your levels stay consistent throughout the day, your eating patterns will too. It's when you starve yourself for hours that cravings call. "Your blood sugar can fall too low after just four hours of not eating," says Valerie Berkowitz, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition at the Center for Balanced Health in New York City. So you search the fridge, the food court, even the seat cushions for simple carbohydrates that will give you a quick boost. Trouble is, the resulting blood sugar spike triggers your pancreas to release insulin, a hormone that not only lowers blood sugar but also signals your body to run through the craving cycle over and over. In about half of us, insulin tends to overshoot—that's what sends blood sugar crashing. "This reinforces the binge because it makes you crave sugar and starch again," Berkowitz says. In other words, giving in to a carb craving only leaves you wanting more.

I have also found that adding good quality flax oil to my foods or smoothies helps keep my blood sugars nice and steady... 2 tbsp a day is what I currently use. I often will put ground flax seeds into my salads, on top of fruit or in oatmeals or cereals as well.

So how do you stop yourself from reaching for that Snickers? By following these seven steps designed to stop 99 percent of cravings before they start—and help you muzzle the 1 percent that never seem to shut up.

1. Ramp up your resolve One reason most diets fail is that long-term goals can be deceptively difficult: When the plan is to watch what you eat for the next six months, chugging one caramel latte with whipped cream seems like a minor slip. To avoid that kind of thinking, commit to eating well for a fixed amount of time that you're 100 percent confident you can manage, even if it's just a few days. "Once you make it to your goal date, start over," says Mary Vernon, M.D., chair of the board of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. "This establishes the notion that you can be successful and gives you a chance to notice that eating better makes you feel better, reinforcing your desire to continue."

I personally follow an 80/20 plan. All week I eat clean foods and pick a Saturday, Sunday or sometimes both days to indulge in something I want. But on Monday, I am back at it with my smoothies. I am a huge fan of smoothies and juices.

2. Find meaningful motivation If the main purpose of your diet is cosmetic—i.e., to look amazing in boy shorts—you're unlikely to stick with it for the long haul. The solution: "Arm yourself with additional motivators," says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Connecticut. He suggests keeping a daily journal in which you monitor migraines, heartburn, acne, canker sores, and sleep quality in addition to body measurements and the number on the scale. "Discovering that your new diet improves the quality of your life and health is powerful motivation," Volek says.

Amen on this one. Focus on how good you will feel because you will if you stick to this...

3. Move on after a mistake Okay, you overindulged. What's the next step? "Forget about it," says James Newman, a nutritionist at Tahlequah City Hospital, in Tahlequah, Okla., who followed his own advice to shed 300 pounds. (That's right, three hundred.) "One meal doesn't define your diet, so don't assume that you've failed or fallen off the wagon," he says. Institute a simple rule: Follow any "cheat" meal with at least five healthy meals and snacks. That ensures that you'll be eating right more than 80 percent of the time.

Kiss it, bless it and move on. Your diet should not consume you- you are human- just try and be aware of what situations or events trigger you to want to eat poorly. Avoid those situations if possible or replace your old habits with new ones...

4. Roll out of bed and into the kitchen Sure, you've heard this advice before. But consider that if you sleep for six to eight hours and then skip breakfast, your body is essentially running on fumes by the time you get to work. And that sends you desperately seeking sugar, which is usually pretty easy to find. The most convenient foods are typically packed with sugar (doughnuts, lattes) or other quickly digested carbohydrates (McMuffins, cinnamon buns). Which brings us to our next strategy.

5. Restock your shelves How many times have you driven to the store in the middle of the night to satisfy a craving? Probably not nearly as often as you've raided the fridge. You're more likely to give in to a craving when the object you desire is close at hand. So make sure it's not: Toss the junk food and restock your cupboard and fridge with almonds and other nuts, cheese, fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna, chicken and salmon. And do the same at work. "By eliminating snacks that don't match your diet and providing plenty that do, you're far less likely to find yourself at the doughnut-shop drive-thru or the vending machine," says Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., president of Mohr Results, a fitness and nutrition consulting firm in Louisville, Ky.

Part of my work is to help others find better options for the foods we all love or once loved. If you are struggling with finding better choices at the grocery store or confused about what is good and what is not, let me know. I am happy to come out and go through the store with you or help restock those shelves of yours...

6. Think like a biochemist Cookies made with organic cane juice might sound like something your yoga teacher would eat, but they won't help her fit into her Lycra pants. Junk food by any other name is still junk. Ditto for lots of "health foods" in the granola aisle. "Natural" sweeteners like honey raise blood sugar just like the white stuff. "If you're going to eat cookies, accept that you're deviating from your plan, and then revert to your diet afterward," Berkowitz says. Kidding yourself will only get you into trouble.

Very true. Just because it is in a natural foods grocery store like Whole Foods doesn't mean it is good for you. HOWEVER, I would rather you start buying these more natural food items since most of them do not have artificial colors or flavorings or trans fats. I would much rather have Anne's Naturals Cheddar Bunnies for my kids then the Cheezy Puffs you get at the gas station or regular grocery store.

7. Spot hunger impostors Have a craving for sweets even though you ate just an hour ago? Imagine sitting down to a large, sizzling steak instead. "If you're truly hungry, the steak will sound good, and you should eat," says Richard Feinman, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. "If it doesn't sound good, your brain is playing tricks on you." His advice: Change your environment, which can be as easy as stretching at your desk or turning your attention to a different task.

That is the first time I heard that one. In addition, I have also read that if you crave sugar shortly after a meal, it may have not contained enough protein and too much carbohydrate. See if you can balance out those meals. And by the way, protein does not always have to come from an animal source!!

Monday, December 8, 2008


By Janee Kuta-Iliano

Courage: “The quality of mind that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, etc., without fear; bravery.”

Our economy is in crisis and our shared panic is creating a global emergency. These days, I find myself caught in conversations discussing our economic situation and all the financial hardships we are sure to face. People advise to watch out and beware of the tough times ahead. Many are visibly scared about what appears to be going on. We hear stories and are seeing friends being laid off from work and the news forecasts gloom and doom. The paranoia feels like white noise aggravating the air.

It is clear that the quality of our minds can help us to recover from these difficult times. However, if we continue to believe in what is predicted, the collective thought will surely overcome us and our future will be exactly as we fear.

We can either choose to believe that the worst is ahead. That our future is bleak and that we better hang on to what we have or we can choose to believe that what is happening is exactly what we need as a nation, as a society, as a planet, in order to learn a way in which we can live more harmoniously with one another. Do we have the courage to overcome our fears and help bring peace among one another during such unsettling times?

Do we want to believe that we have lost control over our lives or do we want to believe that we will be okay and prosper better than before? Thoughts are things. What we spend most of our time thinking and talking about becomes our reality.

Living in fear is the opposite of living in love. If we have fear then we cannot love which makes us lose our infinite power. We roll over dead to life’s circumstances instead of feeling driven to do something about it. Everything is in its perfect and direct opposite.

Our lives are all about choice. We have a choice in everything we do and in how we feel. The Bible says that it is sinful (to have missed the mark) to fear and we are asked to not allow evil thoughts to sink in to create a false sense of self. A good friend said that we are on, “God’s economy,” and to not involve ourselves with earthly desires and fears. Let us be accountable to the light and not sow in dead works.

So let us not join and participate in conversations that fuel this combined fear of the unknown. That undoubtedly will attract more of the same. Do we have the courage to remain hopeful and positive? Can all of us keep doing what we do best while living in thanks despite the challenges? “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil by anxious thoughts but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast regardless of circumstances.” (Prov 15:15) Constant gratitude can strengthen our days to remain steadfast to our work and purpose.

Lessons indeed need to be learned and everything does happen for a reason but we really have a choice in how we deal with it. When difficulties arise, when times are hard financially, let us have the courage to believe that we are not our cars, our fancy clothes, our retirement funds or our oversized and overstuffed homes. Let us remember where we came from. Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet they are constantly provided for. Are we not worth much more than birds? Let us remember why we are here and who we really are at our core.

If we let go of what we think should be happening and ride this wave with the right mindset, having constant faith and trust, we will overcome what is happening to us. Let us have the courage to persevere though our toughest times. The choice is ours to make.


Hey, here are some recent Journey magazine articles I wrote. More to come....

Making room for the moment….
By Janee Kuta-Iliano

Being in the moment is where life is most illuminated All anxieties, thoughts and judgment cease. Ordinary sights, sounds and smells come to the senses. Negative emotions disappear and a feeling of awe and wonder appear. Peace and appreciation pervade.

Being in the moment is such a beautiful experience, so why can’t it happen all the time? How can we go from complete awareness to utter chaos in an instant? Calm, cool and collected one moment and freaking out the next. Becoming more present to my life has made me realize how much I have been missing out on.

These past few years have been one of true transformation and healing. We all have our baggage and this just happens to be my time to unpack. Deciding to no longer carry around burdens and making a commitment to actively participate in my life has become my focus. I am devoted to purposefully creating the life of my dreams and being in the moment has become a vital part to my success.

There are reasons why I have not been able to be in the moment that I’d like to share. One major obstacle was my schedule!!! I have spent many years living on a very tight string. My life has been very scheduled with work, activities, commitments, etc. Who doesn’t have a busy schedule these days? Even our children’s days have become overscheduled leaving little room for any of us to get sidetracked.

My unrealistic schedule not only made me late to events, but continually created a sense of panic and had me rushing around all the time. I hated it because I felt like something was wrong with me. My family would tease me about how I was always late to functions. There were times when I wanted to talk to the salad bar guy at Heinens but couldn’t because I had to get somewhere. It almost felt like I was running around with my head down, going over what was next and missing out on all the beauty, wonder and lessons that surrounded me.

After having Jude, my schedule had to change. My daughter has become one of my best teachers because she is always, just always in the moment. I remember early on when she would peacefully sit and grab for bits of dust that floated by her face. I was in awe as she looked at the dust with pure wonder, laughing as she tried to reach for it. Being with Jude has been so refreshing because she truly is going with the flow of life.

Creating a realistic schedule, saying no to events and spending more time doing nothing versus scheduling all these activities has been a saving grace. It is now okay if Jude wants to take a minute to sit on those big red balls at Target whereas before, there would have been no time for it. Downsize, do less instead of more has been my goal and a nice way to help me stay present and in the moment.

Another issue that has personally kept me from being in the moment is holding on to grudges. I would like to consider myself a forgiving person, but when I took a good look in the mirror, was I really? Forgiving others for past issues and most importantly, forgiving myself for things have taken the weight of the world off my shoulders. Talk about lightening up! It has been like freeing up space on a computer. Forgiving has given me room to breathe. Forgiving has allowed me to start really liking myself as a person, which is a very positive thing. When we are peaceful, we are in the moment. This is how we are supposed to be: happy, humble, giving, loving. Not tortured, harassed, dejected and helpless. “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few.” (Matt 9:37)

Living a life of gratitude bears a lot of fruit as well. Our gimmie, gimmie society appears be driven by the idea that the world owes us something. This collective thought pattern keeps us focused on what’s next and how much more. Society expects us to be at a certain place in life at a certain age, so we keep striving and reaching for the next level instead of appreciating what we have now. I realize I am here impress one person in my life, God. Focusing less on myself and living in gratitude for all my blessings has taken the edge off and has begun to reveal powerful insights to life as I go along.

Being in the moment allows us to look at everything with a fresh mind since the mind is like new with each second instead of replaying the same old thought patterns, judgments and assumptions over and over again. Our habits are well-paved paths and cease to exist when we focus on the here and now. So take a peak, explore what is keeping you from being in the moment. Are you overscheduled and running on empty? Do you feel forced to do everything for everyone else but not for yourself? Do you hold on to bitterness that is taking up space in your mind and body? There is an answer to our why. Start letting go of baggage and ask for help. As they say, Let go and Let God. I am overwhelmed at how much it can help.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Foods to Buy Organic and Why

Hello Everyone. I read this article and thought it was really good. A lot of people are asking which foods are best to buy commercially and which ones to buy organic.

Dr. Mercola’s newsletter just recently published an article on the subject and wanted to share it with you. I like Dr. Mercola’s newsletters- you find some answers.

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health, produces the Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides in Produce. It is based on the results of nearly 43,000 pesticide tests.
Organic fruits and vegetables are by definition grown without the use of pesticides. But some find the expense of organic foods prohibitive. Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories in the Guide to Pesticides, the following twelve foods had the lowest pesticide load when conventionally grown. Consequently, they are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume:

Sweet peas (frozen)
Sweet corn (frozen)
Sources: July 30, 2008 Printable Shopper’s Guide

The biggest study ever into organic food – a four-year EU funded project called the Quality Low Input Food (QLIF) project – found that organic food is FAR more nutritious than ordinary produce, and can help improve your health and longevity. You’re likely to hear more about this again, once they publish their findings in full, which is expected to occur by the end of this year.
This study may have considerable impact, as its findings may even overturn government advice – at least in the U.K. – which currently states that eating organic food is no more than a lifestyle choice.

For example, this study found that:

Organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants

Organic produce had higher levels of beneficial minerals like iron and zinc

Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants

The researchers even went so far as to say that eating organic foods can help to increase the nutrient intake of people who don’t eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Food grown in healthier soil, with natural fertilizers and no chemicals, simply has to be more nutritious. It is common knowledge -- though knowledge that is greatly suppressed in the United States. But science is catching up, making suppression of this fact more difficult to sustain. A 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, for example, found that organic foods are better for fighting cancer. And in 2005, scientists found that, compared to rats that ate conventional diets, organically fed rats experienced various health benefits, including:

Improved immune system status

Better sleeping habits

Less weight and were slimmer than rats fed other diets

Higher vitamin E content in their blood (for organically fed rats)

Does this mean that you should ditch all of your conventional produce and meat, and only buy certified organic foods? Well, yes … and no.

What Should You Buy Organic?

Aside from the fact that organic food contains higher levels of vital nutrients, organic foods are also lower in other residues and compounds that are seriously detrimental to your health, such as herbicide- and pesticide residues.

Additionally, the use of pesticides and herbicides in conventional farming practices contaminates groundwater, ruins the soil structure and promotes erosion. They’ve also been linked to the mysterious “colony collapse disorder” that threatens pollinating honeybees around the world. With that in mind, buying or growing as much organic food as possible is not only best for your health, but for the health of the entire planet.

That said, however, certain fruits and vegetables are subjected to far heavier pesticide use than others. And with food prices rising, many are looking for ways to buy the healthiest foods possible at the lowest cost. One such way would be to focus on purchasing certain organic items, while “settling” for others that are conventionally-grown.

This is where the EWG study of pesticide residue on produce really helps.

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

Sweet bell peppers
Grapes (imported)

Conventionally-grown strawberries, in particular, were found to be highly toxic due to a poisonous blend of pesticides in a previous 2007 EU study as well.
But be VERY careful as the list above is for fruits and vegetables. Non-organic meats have far higher concentrations of pesticides than all of the fruits and vegetables. And the highest concentration of pesticides is actually in non-organic butter.

So if you can only buy one organic food item it should be butter. Next priority would be meats and once those are addressed, you will want to focus on the fruit and vegetable list above.
Locally-grown organics are your absolute best bet, but bear in mind that many times buying locally-grown food is your best choice even if it’s grown conventionally, as the environmental impact of shipping organic produce across the globe can cancel out many its benefits. Organic farming standards are also questionable in many parts of the world.
These Conventionally-Grown Foods are Low in Pesticide Residue -- But Watch Out For GMO Varieties!

While you may have heard about the most common GMO food sources, such as corn, many people are clueless about JUST HOW MUCH of your produce is now available in GMO varieties. And, perhaps even worse, just how many deliberate GMO field trials are actually going on, all across the world.

A perfect example of the repercussions of this practice can be seen in Hawaii, where non-GMO papaya seed supplies are now so seriously contaminated by GMO seeds that at least 50 percent of organic seeds test positive for GMO!

That means you have a greater than 50/50 chance of buying GMO even when buying organic Hawaiian papaya…

Although the U.S. does not require GMOs to be labeled, you can still find out whether or not your produce is genetically engineered, by looking at its PLU code. For example:

A conventionally grown product carries a 4-digit PLU code (Ex: conventionally grown banana: 4011)

An organic product carries a 5-digit code, starting with the number 9: (Ex: organic banana: 94011)

A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) product has a 5-digit code, starting with the number 8: (Ex: GE banana: 84011)

Here are a few other fruits that are LOW in pesticide residue, and therefore good candidates to purchase as conventionally-grown, however, double-check to make sure you’re not buying a GMO variety.

Avocado – A new GMO avocado variety is scheduled to be introduced this year that is immune to “stress” and pests, per an Indian state report published in March, 2008.

Bananas – The first GMO banana with extra genes that increase its levels of pro-vitamin A and iron is being unleashed in Australian field trials this year. At Cornell University, researchers are also working to develop a banana that carries the hepatitis B vaccine.

Pineapple -- GMO pineapples, designed to produce greater levels of proteins, vitamins and sugars may already be on the market. Australia applied for pineapple into environment all the way back in 2002. The pineapple is called “Smooth Cayenne,” which has delayed flowering and herbicide resistance. It also contains the tobacco acetolactate synthase gene (suRB) from Nicotiana tabacum.

Kiwi -- The transgenic variety of kiwi fruit is the Actinidia deliciosa from Italy.
Remember, if you can't afford to purchase all organic food, at least aim to buy produce that has a lower toxic load and is non-GMO.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Comfortably Numb- Awakening The True Spirit Within By Janee Kuta-Iliano

So, this is the first time I have worked on my blog!!! My thanks to my web designer, Maria for being so patient with me :) I feel that it is time to start paying a lot more attention to this underused tool so that I can start to get my thoughts out to you as well as bits of information that I feel can be helpful in building a healthier lifestyle. I am sure I will learn how to best use this service, but for now, I am just going to open myself up to all of you, revealing my personal accomplishments and obstacles in this experience of creating a healthier, happier life. So we'll see how it goes.

This is a recent article I wrote in our Journey Magazine. It was the first time I realized just how much I opened myself up to readers. My purpose for doing so was to help people realize that we all have struggles and issues. I wanted to relate to others in similar situations as well as offer ways in which I am dealing with these life issues. They may or may not be of use to you, but we'll see.

It is my intention to grow this blog into an open forum where people can talk to one another and share ways in which to take better control of your health and well-being. Anything is possible, so let's start working together and sharing anything that comes to mind and heart. Be well, hope to hear from some of you soon!


Recently I was with a friend listening to a cover band sing “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd when I had a moment of awakening. You don’t really need to know the words to that song in order to get the drift of its lyrics. The words seemed to describe my life at given moments and the realization struck something deep inside of me. I felt afraid and knew I needed to start doing some serious work on myself in order to figure out why I felt so numb.

Shortly after, I met with a life coach and a therapist to start uncovering these underlying causes of my behaviors and emotions. Initially it was hard to go to a therapist since somehow I learned that going to a therapist meant I should be ashamed of something. I placed negativity on the whole experience but have found it to be a very positive place in which to explore myself and set some achievable goals.

I had known for awhile that something wasn’t right because I found myself getting upset over such silly things but didn’t know what to do about it. For instance, one day, I spilled milk (almond milk that is…) on the floor and you would have thought the world was coming to an end. My reaction to the spilled milk was way over the top and totally uncalled for. So, why was I so upset over something so trivial? The reason why spilling milk on the floor was so frustrating was not because of the obvious, but the spilt milk made me see how rushed my life was and how I didn’t realistically plan my days. With the lack of realistic planning, I was setting myself up for failure each and every day. My life coach asked me to start tallying up the time it would take for me to get all of my things on the “To Do” list completed. I laughed as I quickly saw that I would have to commit to over 10 hours a day getting everything on my list done on top of raising a family and being a wife. My goals for the day were unrealistic and unattainable and it was news to me! I kept thinking that I was not efficient and not doing a good job with my life. But what has really been going on was my lack of realistic planning which was creating all these negative emotions. So the spilling of milk was just the tipping point for all that pent up emotion.

During this unraveling process, I also realized that I was not verbalizing my feelings very effectively. Identifying feelings sounds easy enough, but it has proven to be difficult for me and I would imagine it is for others out there as well.

We all read about how you should practice relaxation and breathing techniques to help deal with stress. I have read it so much that I began to feel like something was wrong with me if I couldn’t calm myself through deep breathing and just letting go. Breathing was not working for me and it actually felt like I was trying to stuff all those negative feelings back into my body instead of expressing them as they came up. I actually felt like something was wrong with me if I wasn’t peaceful and calm each day. Like it was bad to feel disappointed, upset, jealous, angry, tired, rushed, distracted, grouchy, etc. I would beat myself up for feeling anything other then perfect. I was soon able to realize that I wasn’t honoring my feelings. What a relief to let go of trying to be perfect! Now, I am trying to identify what is really bothering me on any given day. What has been amazing is that the quicker I identify what is really bothering me, the faster the emotions and frustrations fade.

Something as simple as identifying feelings has awakened my ability to know myself and see what is really behind my emotions. I realize that I am not my feelings but it takes time to stop such a tiring habit. Imagine being dragged around by your feelings each and everyday? It is completely exhausting.

As I have started letting go of this notion of having to be perfect, I see how hard I have been on myself. It was finally okay to not be everything and everywhere all the time. I now appreciate that I am doing the best that I can with the little time I have. From that, I starting respecting my need for personal time and started scheduling time to take care of me. I made time for personal development and exercise and as I continue do this, the better I feel. Even if it is doing some sit ups and jumping jacks in my spare bedroom for 15 minutes, at least it was something I did for me.

I want to be zen-like and peaceful but that is a process I have to work at. If you leave life up to chance then you will always be hoping and wishing that things turn out they way you want. You have to actively participate in your life and set realistic goals that leave you feeling fulfilled and not overworked and unhappy. Stop setting yourself up for failure. We are human and need to be realistic with what we can do each day.

Figuring out yourself is not brain science, but it is harder to figure out what is going on when the one you are examining is YOU. It is much easier to look at someone else and see the issues, but not so easy when it is you who is figuring you out. That is why we all need help to awaken our true potentials. We don’t need know it all and it is okay to lean on others for help and insight.

This life is whatever you want it to be. Awaken your true self! Start doing the things that make you happy. Identify what it is you want in life and lean on others to help you with the process. We don’t have to be in survival mode everyday. Are you “Comfortably Numb?”

The only thing that separates us is that some of us take action to change the negativity in our lives, while others let life circumstances take them over. You can set a different course for your life if your will and desire are strong enough to take action. This is not as good as it gets. Life can be eventful, fulfilling and full of promise if you start examining what it is that you really want. Be well and know that we all have “stuff” to deal with. You are never alone.

Janee Kuta-Iliano is the director of ALiVE ONE whose purpose is to empower others to take control of their health. She is a Wellness Coach offering Colon Hydrotherapy, Internal Cleansing & Detoxification Programs and whole food nutritional products. Visit her website at For more information contact Janee at 440-478-9802 or