Monday, October 28, 2013

Blue Zones: Aging in a climate hostile to aging

I have had conversations of late that leave me a little less than disturbed.  Recently turning 32 years old, it is weird to hear people responding with ahhhh and ohhhhh, like I am drying up, wrinkling, and turning grey at the same time right in front of their eyes.  People, 32 is not old!  I am not old!

Our culture has a whacked out sense of age, how we age, and how old is old.  I am pretty sure that 32 is not old in any other culture except in America.  America, who idolizes youth and despises their elders.  America who allows the young, the beautiful, and talented to run our country instead of the wise, wrinkled, and greyed. 

Now this is not a political post nor is it meant to demean anyone, but I remember even as Obama was elected the comments of how beautiful his family is, like the beauty of the Presidential family was something to place our hat on, something to be proud of, something to show the rest of the world that America has it together, you better watch out world because America has a beautiful Presidential family.

Weird.  What is weirder is the concept that most Americans have about aging.  Aches, pains, fatigue, joint problems, medications, losing memory and function, have all become accepted norms of aging.  Leave it to the young and beautiful to run our country because at the ripe old age of 50 years old, it’s all down hill.

I am being a little bit sardonic in my humor and attitude, but we need to shake up our approach to aging as the mentality and ideas of aging impact our health as much as our lifestyles.

Our concept of aging will in fact impact the process of aging.  Symptoms that people simply accept will develop into lifestyle onset diseases.  If a symptom is accepted, it grows and morphs into something even more terrible.  Something that started as a headache, turns into a migraine, turns into a brain tumor.  If, through paying attention to my symptoms, to my body, soul, and emotions, I reject and fight a symptom it will not develop. 

For example, I recently had aches and pains in my hand, similar to the beginning symptoms of arthritis.  Well, I did not simply roll over and accept the symptoms like something was “happening to me.”  I rejected the symptoms.  I simply said, “I don’t have arthritis.”  I rejected all negative emotions, negative thoughts, I forgave those I needed to forgive and broke off unforgiveness and bitterness.

A couple of days of fighting, of my hand not wanting to open and close as it normally would, and the symptoms completely left.  My hand is completely normal.

If I would have reacted to my hand and the symptoms as if something was actively happening to me and that I was a passive recipient of a certain disease (namely arthritis), well I could have developed arthritis. 

If it had not left through forgiveness, speech, and attitude, I would have looked at my diet and changed my diet.  I would have been proactive to find the solution or the root to the problem.

We can all do this in regards to our health.  We can all be actively engaged and proactive in our health.  We can learn what we need to learn about our health, our bodies, and our food.

We can change our perceptions about aging through studying cultures who age well and who even love and embrace the process of aging.

I can truly say that I enjoy being 30 years old more than I enjoyed being 20.  At 20, I had no idea who I was, what I was doing, or what was important to me.  Over a decade later, I know who I am, I know what I want to do with my life, and I am actively engaged in the pursuit of my passions.  It is exciting and exhilarating.  I am glad that I am not 20 years old anymore.  I feel this progression and I think that I am going to like turning 40.  I am going to like seeing my life unfold and come together the way that it needs to.  It is an exciting journey to take. 

In the next few weeks, I am going to talk us through this aging process and help us to embrace and engage in the aging process with grace, joy, and understanding.  Hopefully, we will find a new approach that embraces the process of aging and avoids the typical American pitfalls of aging. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Addiction to being busy: Living the American Dream

Just recently I have been thinking about how many times people greet me by saying, “How have you been lately?  Keeping busy?”  Like keeping busy is the goal and when we are “keeping busy” we automatically have a good, full life. 

I am not sure that my goal is to “keep busy.”  Busy doing what?  Busy building someone else’s dream or building my own dream?  Busy working for money or working for passion?

I guess I don’t mind being busy when I feel fruitful, when I feel like my life is making a difference.  If I am busy and my life counts, like really counts, that is okay.  But I would rather be not busy at all than waste my time and my energy on something that is not worthwhile. 

I would rather not fill my calendar with social obligations or with shopping for unnecessary items or working for someone who is more like a slave driver than a compassionate human being.

When I visit South Africa, I find that the biggest clash of culture comes from the difference in how we view time.  People in South Africa view time very different than people in America.

In South Africa, they know their neighbors.  They actually find time in their schedules to visit their neighbors and know the names of each and every one of them.  They make time night after night to visit friends, family, and neighbors.  In fact, it is hard to find a South African spending time alone.  It just doesn’t happen very often.

It is always a huge transition for me leaving America and going to South Africa.  It is a huge transition coming back.  And I have to say that I like the transition going better than the transition coming back.

I find it hard to fight against the stream of life in America that seems to pull you into a flow, into a place of striving and fighting to achieve and accomplish something huge.  And you forget what you are striving for because you are just too busy to even think.  You are too busy to dream, to imagine, and to plan your life on purpose. 

So life just continues to happen and before you know it, your kids are high school age and about to graduate.  Or you have spent so many years just keeping busy that all of a sudden you are retiring, or you are sick, or you are not where you imagined you would be as a young child.

In America, we are addicted to being busy.  We need to realize and understand how and why we are trying to fill emotional or spiritual voids with business and how to slow down, reflect, process, and heal if we need to.  Healing doesn’t come in a to-go box or a drive-thru window; rather, healing comes when we pursue truth, wholeness, honesty, and integrity. 

The first step to breaking any addiction is to admit that you are addicted to being busy.  The next step is to surrender, surrender your schedule, your time, and your life to God so that He can order your steps and plan your schedule.  You may find yourself more satisfied and fruitful in all that you do instead of frazzled, confused, and pulled in so many directions.

Let’s break the addiction to being busy together and fight against the cultural norm to define our lives based on busyness. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


When I started to have a cycle every month after getting to the root of my diagnosis of PCOS, I had intense cramping and PMS.   I was looking for answers and solutions for my health.

My friend who worked as a massage therapist introduced me to a supplement that contained growth factors.  I was excited because I knew that if I really was able to gain access to stem cells, my body could heal in profound ways.

When I first began my health journey, I read a wonderful book about health at the cellular level.  This is when everything came together in my mind of what my pursuit of health was going to look like.  The book spoke about emotional and mental health contributing to the health of our cells as well as minimizing toxins as another key to cellular health.

Our body has a good chance at healing before the age of 21 years old because our body has access to stem cells as we are growing and developing.  When we turn 21 years old, however, our body no longer has access to stem cells.  At this point, our body becomes very dependent on the nutrients, oxygen, positive attitude and thinking that we are able to produce and give. 

This is why some people age slow and some people age fast.  It is dependent on the lifestyle that you build throughout your life.  You are either building a healthy, life-giving atmosphere in your body, or you are feeding toxicity and damage to your cells. 

Thankfully, with all the advances in technology and our scientific understanding of the body and the world around us, we are gaining great strides in the opportunities for health.  In one area specifically, the introduction of growth factors, we have a wonderful option to give our body growth factors which act like signal molecules to direct stem cell activity. 

Fibroblast growth factor is one specific growth factor that is beneficial and helpful in reversing and reducing the appearance of aging in the body.  Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) is present in a woman when she is pregnant.  FGF directs stem cell activity in the womb and continues to direct the activity through all stages of life. 

When I reintroduced FGF into my nutritional protocol, the results were beyond phenomenal.  My hormones began to balance out and throughout the process of 9 months; my body was healing and balancing to the point where I have virtually no PMS or cramping symptoms.  Also, my cortisol levels significantly reduced and my serotonin increased to the proper levels.

I am so encouraged by how my own body has healed and I have seen significant results in the lives of my clients.  One of my clients had a severe autoimmune disease and was taking painkillers 3 times per day to manage the pain.  Through the process of 3-4 months, she was able to safely reduce her medications and had no pain without pain medications for the first time in 5 years.   This is the power of FGF and giving the body access to dormant stem cells.

If you would like to read more about FGF and how it can help with your health, check out my website:

Next time, we will be talking about the “Addiction to being busy:  Living the American Dream.” 

I would love to hear your thoughts about what we have talked about so far!