Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Book and Deck Review: Shedding Light on Jyotisha



I watch Julianne's channel on YouTube and have become intrigued by Vedic astrology through watching her New Moon and Full Moon videos. I've always had an interest in astrology of all types and know my sign in almost every version of it, but sidereal astrology, and the Vedic sidereal astrology in particular, has nuances that particularly resonate with me and Julianne does a great job of communicating those nuances.

I was interested enough to purchase her book and waited for this second edition to come out since she was almost done with it at the time my interested piqued to that point. I'm glad I did, and as they say, everything happens for a reason. Reading that book and letting her know about some errors I found in it led to some great conversations with someone who is already a good friend in my life (which is why I felt comfortable reaching out about those errors), and those conversations led to her asking me for my input on the deck she was creating to complement her book and act as an oracle deck and study tool. 

Because of my input, she ended up making two versions of it, and in full transparency I'll disclose that in return this deck was gifted to me, but without strings and that's not why I'm writing this review. I'm also not an affiliate so there's no financial gain for me if you click my links. 

I honestly love both versions of the deck, though the study deck was created out of my preferences for a deck to use for that purpose that could also be used as an oracle, with less imagery that's more of a soft background and Julianne had the brilliant idea of then adding more text to that version than she has on the oracle deck version of it that has more prominent imagery. She has a video up explaining both decks as well and also links below it to both decks. Her book is on Amazon and it's very affordable, and now all of the minor errors I found have been corrected because apparently that's something you can do on Amazon's new self-publishing format. 

This whole set, regardless of what version of the deck you purchase, is a wonderful tool for those who are dipping their toes into Vedic astrology for the first time as she simplifies it here and the deck offers the perfect way to layer all of the information in your chart so you can use the keywords to begin to make your own interpretations of it, or look at the charts of others. Having the deck to go with this wonderful book makes it fun to learn too! And you can get just your preferred version of the deck and the LWB to go with it and learn quite a bit with just that, you don't have to purchase the full book unless you want to go a little deeper, still without going over your head at first like many other books do. 

The card stock of the deck is great, it's from The  Game Crafter and has a linen finish, and it's tarot size, so a nice size for an oracle deck: not too big and not too small. It's got a bit of a matte finish so it slides nicely, and it's just bendy enough to riffle shuffle nicely. It fits into a regular size tarot bag as well, something I suggest getting as it does come in a regular tuck box in a matching design. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

How I Break My Fast



One of the hardest things for people to wrap their heads around when they change to a diet that limits or eliminates sugars and carbs is what to eat for breakfast. After all, in the US we're used to a very sugary carb-based breakfast of cereals, muffins, donuts, waffles and pancakes. That was my mother's first question years ago when I was following the Paleo diet and we visited them because she couldn't imagine a breakfast that wasn't based on the foods I listed above.

Since changing to eating Keto and getting all sugars out of my diet plus doing intermittent fasting (IF) a lot has changed about when and what I eat, even from when I was following the Paleo diet. Then I ate one hardboiled egg and an orange for breakfast, and on weekends we had bacon or sausage with sweet potatoes and fried eggs, and when I was off of it we added in regular potatoes sometimes in place of the sweet potatoes because my husband is the weekend breakfast cook and he wasn't a fan of sweet potatoes for breakfast.

Some things changed with us both going Keto, some didn't. So on weekend mornings we still have the big breakfast with bacon (no more sausage), sweet potatoes with garlic cloves and mushrooms (no more regular potatoes of any color), and he has fried eggs while I have hardboiled ones. I also add seaweed to my breakfast for my thyroid even though I also take supplements for it. 

During the week though, my breakfast now looks like the picture above--a mixed green salad with carrots and onion, seaweed, garlic-stuffed olives and canned salmon. Again, most of this is for my thyroid and the rest of my hormones as well as getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that leafy greens provide. I also have two hardboiled eggs (not pictured) and a cup of tea. 

The other big change is when I eat breakfast because of the IF. I used to eat around 8 or 8:30 am, but now I wait until 10 or 11 am, and then eat dinner around 3 or 4 pm, depending on when my husband gets home. He doesn't eat breakfast until closer to noon, and then eats dinner with me, having a much smaller eating window than I do and sometimes doing OMAD (one meal a day), only eating dinner. I'm still too insulin resistant to do OMAD or a smaller window, and often get hungry around 1 pm, at which time I'll have a handful of nuts and some pepperoni. 

He's losing weight much more rapidly than I am this time, but then as I've said before, this time I have a much longer road to healing than I had before, so I'm not worrying about the scale so much as I am my health. I know that if I keep sugars and junk out of my diet, then eventually the weight will start to melt off like it did before. It is now, but it's slow and since fat is being replaced by muscle as I work out, the scale isn't moving as fast as it did before. But that's okay, for both of us this is about getting healthy for life rather than the short term goal of weight loss. Keeping my eyes on the long goal keeps me from getting frustrated in the short term.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Truth About Groundhog Day


All across the United States, and maybe even all around the world, people wait to see if the illustrious "Punxsutawney Phil", a groundhog, will see his shadow or not when he emerges from his hole in the morning. More often than not, he does because apparently this is usually a sunny day, and today was no exception after almost a solid week of cloudy weather in Southwestern PA (Punxsutawney is only a couple of hours away from where I currently live).

So then, usually it's the gloomy forecast that there will be six more weeks of winter. One year a few years ago though he didn't see his shadow and I heard that there were only six more weeks until spring and remembering the forecast from the year before I sauntered over to my calendar and started counting...and yep, sure enough, in the sixth week after today the Vernal/Spring Equinox occurs. So no matter what, from this day forward there's officially six more weeks of winter in the northern hemisphere no matter what the weather forecasts say.

So, why do we have a famous groundhog and celebrate him on this day? Apparently this is from a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that they brought from their home country of Germany (PA Dutch are Germans, not Dutch, and that's a whole different story of the mangling of foreign languages that happens here in the US). Apparently in Germany, it's the badger that forecasts how much longer winter will last, only there it's four weeks of winter weather from Candlemas Day, which is also February 2nd. 

The most famous celebration is the one in Punxsutawney, PA, which started in 1886 but there are other celebrations around the country now as well, and in Canada where it's also recognized. So, it's a wee bit of fun for those who want something to celebrate in what is normally a cold and dreary winter month. For me, since I know that no matter what it's only six more weeks until the Vernal Equinox and first day of Spring, it makes no difference if any groundhogs or badgers see their shadows. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Is S/He Your Soulmate or Twin Flame?




I get asked this question at least once a day. It seems everyone wants to know if the person they're dating is their soul mate or twin flame, or when they're going to meet such a person. This has become one of the most overused descriptions for a romantic relationship today, and is greatly misunderstood. Why do I say that? For a few reasons. 

First, a soul mate can be your best friend, your sister or brother, or anyone else in your life. We travel with soul groups from lifetime to lifetime, taking on different roles with each other in each one. These can be your most challenging relationships as well as your closest ones because from the perspective of our souls, both are beneficial to our soul growth. 

Second, twin flames aren't that common, and usually one is in this plane of existence while the other serves as a spirit guide. To exist together in a lifetime is quite rare, though it does happen. And when it does, it's not the easy relationship one imagines it will be.

As one who is in such a relationship (verified by several psychics), I'm going to warn you to be careful of what you wish for because you just might get it. To come together in a romantic relationship in a lifetime, you must first have had a lot of hard experiences and learned a lot of lessons, you've been tested quite a bit and grown tremendously through it. Then your real work begins together and it can tear you apart. These relationships don't always last, and if they do it's because you do the work together.

How do you know? You may never know, or you may feel it at a soul level. I find often that people are attracted to each other in relationships that don't last, but there's a longing that never goes away and there was an instant sense of recognition when they met. This signals someone you've had a connection with in a past life who may be part of your soul group, but in this lifetime was only here as part of your growth lessons. 

Or, you may have the strangest but coolest experience you've ever had where you feel the connection literally snap into place as your energy fields seal the connection, which happened to us. Our energy fields become one when we touch, losing their distinction. In our first week together, each time we parted our chakras literally felt like a snap connecting, one at a time, until the final three (5,6 and 7) felt like a zipper being closed on the night we officially became engaged. (Yes, that fast.)

It's been almost 10 years now for us and it's been quite rocky at times, but we're moving forward and continue to learn the lessons and do the deeper work together. But I'll tell you from experience, this is not the easy relationship everyone dreams it will be when they ask if they'll ever meet their soul mate! Quite the opposite. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

My Hour of Power



I remember a few years ago listening to a podcast by Crystal Andrus Morissette from The S.W.A.T. Institute (Simply Women Accredited Training) as she was talking about how women especially need to make time for self-care and take the first hour of their day to themselves, no emails or dealing with anyone else, because you can't take care of others if you don't first take care of yourself. It was a message that stuck with me.

I started to create what I now call my "Hour of Power", the first hour of my day where I shower and dress, then meditate and stretch before doing anything else. It's my time to focus on my inner co-Creatrix, my inner Goddess, to connect with my Higher Self and the Universe and to BREATHE. 

I fell out of that habit for awhile, clearing emails first and reading some of my daily affirmation ones, but I've gotten back on track since doing some reading about how millionaires start their day, and that's also about self-care before letting blue screens come into play, or other people. 

Now, one thing I will say is that was easy for me since my children were in their teens and getting themselves up and going for school, I was self-employed from home, and my husband is the coffee maker of the family. Maybe you have small children and are not such a morning person that you feel like getting up an hour before everyone else to do this. I get it. Then make it your last hour after the kids are in bed, or take an hour after dinner for yourself. Favorite show on then? Record it and watch it on the weekends. TV shouldn't be more important than YOU. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My New Planner for 2020



Anyone who knows me knows that I'm really particular about things, and that I love colorful design. If I could draw, I'd do a bullet journal, aka bujo. But I can't, though I am artistic and have a great eye. So I've been searching for years to find a day planner design that I love. I've thought I found it a few times, but this year as I was searching for a change, I stumbled across an Etsy shop that has the most beautiful planner insert, or refill, designs I've ever seen! I don't have enough words for how gorgeous Manu's designs are, honestly. It's a shop out of Germany named Manu Design Studio, and she offers printed and printable designs in monthly, weekly and daily formats plus extras like the tabbed inserts to go between them, notes pages, etc. 

Now, something this lovely, and with a change in size from personal to A5, which is unavailable here in the US, I needed a very special planner cover and I knew just the shop because Kecheli Notebook has the most beautiful covers for planners, journals and notebooks that I've ever seen, and since I have one of hers already in the personal size, I know they're also top notch quality, designed with a care for detail and sturdiness. Sezin is truly an artist and it shows, using things like handmade lace and mixed materials. 

This custom cover is exceptional, and she has many lovely new designs in her shop, as well as designs that will work for men and women. No matter your taste, you can find one that works for you, and if it's not available yet then Sezin will make it for you! It was a pleasure to work with her on this custom design, something more feminine than I would normally purchase, but it truly fits my style and that of Manu's gorgeous planner inserts. 

Speaking of personalization, I loved the fact that since it's from her printable design, my daily planner insert pages didn't have days, holidays, etc in it so that I could personalize that as well for the days that I observe with the names that I use for them, and also putting the moon phases in on the days they fall in my time zone since many pre-printed planner inserts don't use EST and often place it on the wrong date for me. They also have holidays that I don't observe, or names I don't use for them, so it was refreshing to be able to completely set this up myself. This year, Manu printed it for me. Next year, I hope to have a printer that can handle higher volume and purchase the printable file and then print my own from then on, though it really was very affordable to have Manu print it for me and it didn't take long at all to get here from Germany.

Speaking of the moon phases, I would be horribly remiss if I didn't mention the moon phase stickers from Julie at Symposi Press out of my home state of NH! You can see her New Moon sticker in the curl of the J for January in the bottom right image, and although I bought her smallest ones so that it rather blended into the design, she has other size options and phase options available. Her stickers are also of high quality, and this is my second purchase from her as well. I tried others last year in my other planner and I wasn't as happy with them as I am with Julie's. She has other stickers available as well, and she dispatches them quickly. 

So, my new planner is an international Etsy collaboration that I customized to my needs and desires, and I couldn't be happier! This is the closest to a bujo that I'll get! All of these shop owners are a pleasure to work with and very sweet, often including extras and doing extra special packaging that you just won't find from large companies, which is why Etsy is where I look first now for such things. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My Favorite Tarot de Marseille Deck



During 2019 as I went deep with a focused study of the Tarot de Marseille, I purchased a lot of TdM decks, some of which I liked and some I didn't. I've given away some, and I have a few top faves, but the Tarot de Marsella Robledo Edicion MMXVI by Pablo Robledo is my top favorite. It's a limited edition deck, so it's not always in stock, so when it was last available I actually purchased two copies, one that was opened but virtually unused from eBay and a new, unopened one from Collect Tarot which I've squirreled away in my safe. If it becomes available again, I plan to get one more copy to have on reserve since I do actually use this as both a personal and a working deck. But I do also take really good care of my decks, so these two should last me a good, long time. 

I love the aged look of this deck with a modern feel. It looks like it's been sitting in an ancient tavern for a couple of hundred years just waiting to be found, and yet the rounded edges and modern high quality card stock give it an ageless but contemporary feel. It has what appears to be a UV coating, but it's got rather a matte finish to it with a slight texture, and slides very nicely. This deck just feels really good in the hands! 

Although the fronts and backs are aged, the edges are just white and rather glare, so in order to make the coloring more uniform and really give it that aged look, I edged using Antique Linen from the Tim Holtz Distress Ink collection. I buy the 4 packs of smaller ink pads because I find those work better for deck edging than the larger ones, but try it and see what works for you because I have to admit, I have a whole slew of extra colors that I've never used. However, I buy them at Michael's with 50% off coupons and have them for other uses in the future because I intend to get a lot more crafty after we move to NH and open our shop.

Anyway, if you read with, or are learning to read with, the Tarot de Marseille this is one deck I highly recommend if you can get a copy. If you're on Facebook, you can get in touch and request that Pablo prints another run of it, maybe with enough requests he'll do so. ;)

If you order a reading from me and want me to use this deck specifically, please feel free to request it! 


Friday, January 10, 2020

Mystical and Magical Moon Oracle of the Sidhe



If, like me, you're fascinated by the "wee people", the Fae, also known as the Sidhe, then you'll love the Moon Oracle of the Sidhe by John Matthews with art by Wil Kinghan. I suggest ordering this marvelous and very mystical deck straight from Hallowquest's site if you want the guidebook because if you order it from Amazon you only get a link to download it and then you have to print it yourself if you want a hard copy. My copy came within a week, so it's not a bad wait for mail from the UK to US, and of course it will be faster if you're in the UK.

This is a very special channeled deck because it's channeled by the Sidhe themselves. You have to read the guidebook to get the full story of John Matthews' experience, but it's something you can feel as you do. I also suggest getting the first part of his journey and reading it, detailed in his book The Sidhe. You can order that from Amazon if you have Prime and read it before you get your deck, or order them together from Hallowquest, but but I highly recommend both for rarely do we get such a detailed insight into an encounter with the Sidhe, and rare indeed it is to have such an encounter as John was fortunate enough to experience. The deck is the second part of his encounters, a continuation of what's detailed in the book after a break of a few years.

The deck itself takes you through a lunar landscape marked with glyphs that will trigger your subconscious to deeper levels than many other images, and I do swear that I can feel the energy of the Sidhe themselves emanating from them. They certainly have a very mystical and otherworldly feel, and just looking through the deck made the hairs on my body stand up a bit while making me feel that I was standing there looking down on the rocks under a Full Moon. When I did a reading, the messages flowed into my thoughts and there was no doubt as to the interpretation of the message. 

I have a lot of decks in my collection, and the only other one that has come close to this experience is The Shaman's Oracle, also by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan. This latest collaboration is even more phenomenal and I highly recommend it. 

By the way, I'm not receiving any direct benefit from sharing these links, nor have I been gifted anything, I'm sharing them because I truly love these products and feel the work of the Matthews' is of very high quality and I want others to be able to enjoy them too. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Is Your Brain Inflammed by Your Diet?



First, by diet I mean whatever way you eat. Second, I'm not talking about a specific disease. So, what do I mean? 

I'm talking about that negative self-talk that makes you feel depressed. I'm talking about those poor decisions you make like going through the fast food drive thru window rather than making a healthy meal because you just don't feel like it. And I've been there, that's how I gained back 80 lbs after losing 70 lbs. 

If the rest of your body is filled with inflammation from eating such foods (and if you eat them, it is), then so is your brain and that makes it harder to break the cycle because it's harder to make healthy decisions, and to have the energy to follow through with eating healthier, if your brain is filled with inflammation.

This also leads to a lack of mental energy, brain fog, and depression. It's why it's so beneficial to have a support system, and best if you have a buddy of some sort, to help you get on track in the beginning. If there are two or more of you, then there's accountability and support so that if you're feeling weak someone else can give you the encouragement you need to stick to the healthy choices.

It does not help if you enable each other in unhealthy ways, as I know from experience because my husband and I were very good at doing this. If one of us didn't feel like eating healthy and wanted something like fast food or Chinese buffet, it was easy for the other to give in. We weren't being a team in being healthier and living longer. I had hit rock bottom but was staying there because he hadn't hit it yet, and he was depressed from the grief of so many losses last year, including both of us parents. It was deciding he had to stop eating his emotions that made him start researching keto, something I was resistant to at first as my preference was paleo. 

However, to support him, I finally jumped on board the keto train with him despite my reservations due to my lack of a gallbladder. We're doing what's called "healthy keto" with more veggies and a bit less fat. It's sort of a lower carb version of paleo, really, where we keep processed meats down but also have eliminated high carb foods, sticking mostly with leafy greens, meat, eggs, and nuts. I have to keep an eye on the balance for now of having cruciferous vegetables in my diet because of my thyroid, and not having too much fat because of my gallbladder removal, and add things like ox bile and sea weed into my diet, but I know that I'll get this right for me. 

We're able to support each other in finding the way this works best for each of us as individuals too. He can eat dairy, I can't, so he has things like butter and cheese in his diet. He respects my casein intolerance and that we both like it best when I can breathe easily and don't need steroids, so we cook in olive oil. I'm also allergic to latex, which has caused me to be allergic to avocados and coconut oil, so we can't use those in mutual foods, but he uses them in his own food.

Another change is that he reads labels as much as I do now, and that drives our mutual decisions now much more than price. Things like soybean oil are now completely out of the question, as is "natural flavor" and anything we can't pronounce. Basically, if we don't recognize it as a whole food then we know our bodies don't either, so we don't buy it. We drink coffee and tea black now and have thrown out or given away all grains and sugars that were in our pantry, as well as the rancid oils like "vegetable" oil (Crisco) and canola (rapeseed) oil. That was something we didn't do before because he loves to bake and so those things were still in our house. 

So, the first step to getting over the blocks created by your brain inflammation is to get over your denial and face what you're doing. If you think you're "cheating", understand that there's no gain to you, it's all a loss, and thereby all that you're doing is harming yourself. Then, find a support system, someone to buddy up with or a group on FB. If you want inspiration, watch this video by Thomas DeLauer to help you get started (and I highly recommend his channel, it's very education and inspirational). 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Essential Oils Are Not Safe Internally




I was watching a video on YT the other day with an MD I respect for his healthy diet information, and in this one he and his wife were concocting a keto-friendly beverage in the kitchen when she started talking about what essential oils could be added to it. She's a distributor for a large essential oil MLM that promotes internal uses of their oils and even has a line of essential oils FDA approved for internal use, though they promote many more of them being used this way. Honestly, this doctor lost a little respect from me by promoting this with his wife. 

Why? Because it's actually a very unsafe and unhealthy practice promoted by companies who sell you on being the safest and most therapeutic oils in the industry, and yet in order to taste good enough for you to actually want to use them this way, they've been modified to have the therapeutic terpenes removed. True therapeutic grade essential oils will have a slight turpentine taste from the monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, etc. So these essential oils have actually been distilled either at higher temperatures or for longer times, or both, to create food grade essential oils then sell them as therapeutic grade essential oils. 

Why would they do this? Because if you're not cooking with their oils and using them internally, like in your water as natural allergy medicine or for weight loss, then you won't use enough to buy hundreds of dollars of oils per month and convince others to do the same. It's not because they care more about your health. 

So, what about that FDA approval? Please! Look at all of the prescription drugs that are approved by the FDA every day without enough testing because the watchdog of the pharmaceutical industry got bought out by them in the 1990s, and now they're just a pampered pet of them instead. So basically, if you pay them enough money now they'll approve anything. Same goes for the ingredients in many cosmetics, and that includes those sold by these big essential oil MLMs. I know because I've been a distributor for the top two and I refused to use their lotions after reading ingredient labels and researching the ingredients in them. 

I also used to practice and promote the unsafe and unhealthy internal use of essential oils. Having no prior knowledge, I believed what they told me in the classes I attended, and I passed that along in the belief that I was helping people. I was very passionate about it, and it cost us a small fortune that we never really recouped. I also learned while working for one company the truth of the lies told by the other. And I've learned some truths about the second one as well. I learned to do my own diligent research and not to trust those who are marketing for billion dollar MLMs who just want to peddle oils regardless of the cost to consumers, the vast amount of plant material being used, and the health hazards. (One of my best resources was this four part blog post.)

So what companies do I trust now? There are two whose oils I use: The Ananda Apothecary and Floracopeia. My favorite is Ananda for their quality at a very reasonable and affordable price, their customer service, the ability to choose the size that fits my needs, and the ability to purchase synergy blends that I can dilute myself. There's one company I've seen recommended quite often by other aromatherapists, but my issue with them is that I don't like buying pre-diluted blends. Why? Because if I'm using the oils on my pets or, in the future, elderly parents or grandchildren, then I need to be able to dilute blends at different levels rather than have them pre-diluted for me. 

The companies I use are small ones owned by respected aromatherapists who do care more about my health than their bank accounts, and it shows in the quality of customer service as well as the quality of their products. For example, my first order with Floracopeia contained a broken bottle of oil and they replaced both bottles, not just one, and sent me a complimentary roll-on blend (that's now a favorite blend of mine). Ananda recently included a free promotional oil bottle in my order even though I placed that order the day after that promotion ended, thereby not qualifying for it, but that's when we got paid and I could order. I was very pleasantly surprised by both, though I order mainly from Ananda because of their selection and size options. I do love Floracopeia's bottles, they're unique in the industry, and their oils are wonderful but they are more expensive. I can sleep easier recommending these companies knowing what I know now.

Do your own research, try a few brands and see what you like, and if you're using essential oils internally, please stop immediately and start using real herbs and fruit instead because it's the healthier option. As they say, "on is in", so using essential oils topically and diluting them appropriately will still give you amazing benefits and also save your wallet a bit since you won't use as much. In the long run, you'll also contribute less to the over-consumption of plants that's making some species extinct.

Btw, I'm not an affiliate nor in any way directly benefitting from sharing these companies and links.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Going Keto Over 50



I've written before about my struggle with getting healthier, and the long road back to health that I now face. It's been a real battle as I'm very addicted to sugar, and was raised by sugar addicts in a society that's one of the top consumers of sugars in the world. I've also been very resistant to intermittent fasting because I was hypoglycemic and to a keto diet because I had my gallbladder removed many years ago. 

However, that energy finally shifted for me and my husband starting around the Winter Solstice a couple of weeks ago and we began to do IF, intermittent fasting. I started out with a 16/8, meaning that I fasted for 16 hours and ate for 8 hours, so I didn't break my fast before 9 am and ate nothing after 5 pm until the next morning. During that 8 hour window, I could eat what I wanted when I wanted it, though I was eliminating sugars and eating healthy foods most of the time and it helped to be able to say it's after 5 pm so I can't feed that craving. 

Gradually it started to shift for me and I started eating breakfast at 10 am, still eating nothing after 5 pm, so I moved naturally into a 17/7 schedule and I'm moving into a 16/6 naturally now as well. I find I don't start getting hungry until around 10 am or later now, and I'm not hungry after dinner either, even if that stops at 3 or 3:30 pm. 

We're also getting very solid on going Keto now, eliminating all sugars and starches, and incorporating more leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables into our diet. After just a couple of weeks, we're both noticing a difference in our health and energy. I'm getting bouncy again, moving and dancing, singing, etc., and my face looks younger and more radiant already. Steve actually said that he noticed today that I look more my younger and more beautiful self. I feel it too, I feel the years starting to roll back already like prices at Walmart used to do, entirely possible as the telomeres on my cells may already be starting to lengthen again since we develop new cells every 7 days. 

I know last time I had really great results in a very short period of time, so I know that I can do it again and with this new approach I can do it even better. Having my husband on board so we're working as a team means it's going to be easier and stick better. It always helps to use the buddy system and have a support system, and especially if you can get your spouse on board with you. 

The first time I lost 70 lbs and was doing great on Paleo as I turned 50, but I fell off of the wagon because I opened the door to my sugar addiction again. This time I know to keep that door closed because sugar is only a poison, it's not my friend. At 56 I'm wiser for this experience of the struggle to get it under control again and I intend to prove that having gone through menopause doesn't mean that you can't lose weight, get healthier and turn back the clock to look and feel younger and more vibrant. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020: Our Fool's Journey



2020 begins and this is the year we go on what definitely feels like a Fool's Journey as we leave behind the security of our current home, our friends and adult children, and my husband's thriving business to move to my home state of NH and join  the rest of my family to start over in our mid-50s, taking only what we need and love too much to part with and getting rid of the rest. This is an adventure usually only undertaken by the young. So why are we doing this, and now looking forward to it even more than we were last year? 

First, we've been wanting to do this since my husband's first visit up there in 2011. We actually listed our house then even, but our sons let us know they didn't want to move with us and we weren't ready to leave our teenage sons behind, so we curbed our impulses. Over the years we've weighed the pros and cons and had decided to stay because our sons were all here and would be getting married and starting families. Moving up to NH was impractical, but we kept feeling torn. We did try again last year, but we were thwarted again and events have played out that helped us to understand why the timing wasn't right then, but it did give us a dry run and an understanding of what we need to do for an out of state move to be smooth and successful.

Second, over the past decade we've seen the oil and natural gas industry continue to grow in this area. While this brings a growth in business here, something very good for Steve's business as people move in to new homes and want to do repairs and remodeling, it also brings more contamination to the water from hydrofracking and a huge danger because if the plants blow up large areas need to evacuate. 

Third, the longer we live here, the more we agree that we want more land, clean resources, and a simpler life that we just can't have in this house or in this area. We both grew up in the country in a simpler time and we want to do what we can to return to those roots and step out of the stress of today's rat race. We want things we just can't have in our current home, like chickens and goats, and can't have in this whole region now that water and land are becoming contaminated as hydrofracking for natural gas spreads. New Hampshire is a conservation state because the forests, lakes, rivers and mountains bring tourists, the states largest industry. Zoning is actually centered around protecting those resources in most areas.

Last, but not least, is the loss of Steve's parents and our realization that living here doesn't mean we'll see our kids; quite the opposite is happening, even with the one who only lives a few minutes away. We've actually realized that we'll have more time with our kids when they travel to visit us because while they're up there we'll spend a lot of time taking them around to explore and enjoy the sights and activities. We'll be a destination for their vacations, especially for my sons to visit the rest of my family, and in the future for grandchildren to visit. In the meantime, modern technology offers many ways to stay in touch like texting, phone calls and video calls. 

So we've decided to take the leap and begin a grand adventure together this year, and to see where it leads us. This time we're determined to make it happen!