MY PET PEEVES: Driving edition

Ok. I am having some technical difficulties today. I had finished  a yet amazing post and it disappeared. None of my revisions show anything. It is a bit strange. So here I am again although I do not expect this one to be as nice as the first.

Anyways, I had been sort of expected to write a blog about driving so here we go. Before I start listing those pet peeves of mine, let me give you some background about my driving experience. Having lived in Europe for a while, I had to learn how to drive a stick. I also took many hours of driving lessons. I had an amazing driver ed. teacher. She taught me many tricks, to be safe and how to always let crazy drivers go in front of you. She would say to me, it’s better than having them behind you. I agree. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to drive in Europe, Canada and here at home. I used to live in the Midwest before we moved to Los Angeles. I can tell you that there is no comparison between the way people drive there (or even DC where I used to travel a lot) and here in our beloved city.

I think the reason people drive crazy around here is because we all come from everywhere and anywhere and so when you put a bunch of bad drivers with different habits in one place, you get the mess that we encounter everyday while driving in our City of Angels.  We have at least 5 lanes  on our freeways.The biggest issue I had when I moved here was how there were pretty much no rules on the Freeway. I was terrified to change lanes. See, where I come from- the normal driver land- the left lane is reserved for speedy drivers and the right lane for slow drivers or people exiting or merging onto the freeway. Here, you can find someone driving 55 miles per hour on the far left lane! No one follow the rules. It’s like being on a racetrack. You will never know who’s coming behind you out of nowhere, speeding, passing you and then cutting you off. So imagine what it is like when you come from a place where everyone follows basic rules, put their signal and show courtesy. I was in sheer panic the first few weeks, and then, I became one of them. It is a bit like Survival of the Fittest. If you don’t blend in and do like everyone else, you will not survive our California freeways. If someone is slow in the wrong lane, then put your signal and pass them. You have to have eyes everywhere if you drive on our freeways or you will surely get into an accident. It is rough out there. You can’t count on anyone to do the right thing. Instead you should count on everyone to do the WRONG thing.

Here are some of my biggest pet peeves about driving in LA:

* Obviously, people who drive too slow in the far left lane. I will usually go on the far left lane if for example I am driving from the Valley to let’s say Burbank and will start merging down to the right lane when my exit is coming up. There are no good reason for a slow driver to be on the far left lane so move over people.

* People who do not put their lights on at night, or when it rains. This just happened to me this morning. It was raining cats and dogs this morning here in LA and it was really foggy as well. I flagged 2 cars today and they were both happy I reminded them to turn on their headlights. The first girl barely noticed me. Of course she didn’t. SHE WAS TEXTING! Can you imagine, texting while driving 65 miles per hour on a wet road in foggy conditions, without headlights on, on the 666 aka the 405 ? I barely saw her in my rearview mirror. People can be so unsafe.

* People who have a hard time staying in their lanes. If it’s late at night, I assume they’re drunk or tired and might call 911 if I think it is indeed a drunk driver. If people cannot stay in their lane and swerve into mine during daytime hours, I’m sure it is because they are texting or eating or whatever. Still it pisses me off.

* People who cut through continuous lanes. There are plenty of good reason why the DOT creates those lines at critical locations. It might be a construction zone or a low visibility zone. People cut through those lines all the time and potentially put drivers in danger. Sometimes, you jut gotta respect the rules!

* Drivers who do not drive the speed limit. Period. Driving slow is almost as dangerous as driving too fast. I once was behind a car that was driving 40 miles per hour. It is actually illegal to drive that slow on the freeway.

* Drivers who do not use their signal! It takes what- a second to lift that little handle on the right side of your steering wheel up or down to let us know where you’re going? So don’t be lazy and just do it.

* Those impatient drivers who try to get into your lane even though they knew way ahead of time they had to get on it. I’m talking about those turn right or left only lanes or the ones to get onto the freeway. That literally happens to me every morning. They end up slowing everyone down because of their selfishness and impatience.

* Not being friendly and courteous to buses, mailman and trucks. Seriously people, let them go. They do so much for us!

* Not being friendly to motorcycles. Just because you’re jealous that you can’t get where you want to go as quickly as them doesn’t mean you should be mean to them. Safety first.

* Not being courteous in general. It doesn’t hurt to be nice and let someone go in front of you if they gave you fair warning. If someone signals me, then go ahead. Also be nice to those trying to merge to get to their exit or those who enter the freeway. We all have to do it so be kind to your fellow drivers.

* Drivers who block driveways or crossroads. COME ON! Really? No. There is just no excuse. Even if it doesn’t have a sign warning you not to block the road, just use your brain and wait a few feet behind.

* People who liter. In LA, you have no excuse for throwing your cigarette buds out the window. 2 words for you: BRUSH FIRE. People who liter in general are just disgusting. Here is an idea for you. We have something called trash bags you can put in you car. Auto stores have all kind of cool accessories for your car that you can attach to the back of a seat, etc. So please be clean and don’t trash our roads.

* Pet owners who keep their beloved pets on their lap in the driver’s seat. This is dangerous for themselves, their dog and everyone else. It is very distracting.

* People who text, put makeup on in their car. KEEP your eyes on the road! I got sandwiched between two cars at a stoplight because the car behind wasn’t paying attention. Here is a tip. We have amazing technology now. Most phones have speech to text or vice versa, safereader that will read your emails, texts, Facebook status. There is also a cool thing called SPEAKERPHONE or BLUETOOTH. Android has a cool app called car mode. Att has a drive mode app that lets people know you are driving if they call or text you.

* Drivers who do not know how to park. I went to the store the other day and 2 cars where taking the equivalent of 3 spaces. People, make an effort to stay within your space. It is not very difficult to do it right.

* People who drive big SUVS and do not know how to park. Here is a hint: if you can’t parallel park it, don’t buy it. If you can’t park it without using the space next to you, don’t buy it. If you’re single, don’t buy it. Why do you need such a big car if you do not have kids or a specific business where you have to load bulky things all the time?

* Young drivers who think their car is a party space. Keep your eyes on the road youngsters. Party when you get to your destination

* Old drivers who really shouldn’t be driving anymore. I hate going to Beverly Hills where I am often stuck behind a Lincoln, Buick or Cadillac driven by an entitled old person who breaks every law possible. They are so obnoxious. A hint: if you’re too old to keep up with everyone else, take the bus.

I am sure I have many more to discuss but this is it for now.

Now it’s your turn, what DRIVES 😉  YOU crazy?

HAPPY  SAFE DRIVING

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Juicing to regain health

Let’s be honest, most Americans eat really bad food. All we have to do is look at ourselves in the mirror. We’re fat, we take pills for God knows how many problems we have. We never really feel good even when we take the pill the doctor prescribed. Of course, if you live in Los Angeles, you will see beautiful people, running on the beach, exercising like lunatics. That is an exception I think. Most of us don’t have time to exercise that way and let’s get real, we love our food.

When I lived in Europe, I was never fat. I ate a lot but alway remained the same weight. Now, I live here (and love it) but let’s just say that I have been a yoyo when it comes to my weight. I get fat, then I diet, they I get fat again. Pretty much since college, this has been my pattern. I am an emotional eater. I admit it. If something goes wrong, I eat. Chocolate is my sin. I love it. No matter what shape it comes in, I will eat it. I love cake. I also love fatty food, anything with butter. But wait a minute….I used to eat that way back in Europe too so what’s the problem? One word: PORTION. I got used to eating a lot more than before. I, of course, have a chocolate addiction but that has been passed from my mother, and probably was passed on from way back! Also I admit, when something bothers me, there is nothing more comforting than food. That also sort of came from my upbringing. We used to sit around in the afternoon and eat cookies, just discussing interesting topics. I still cherish that but I know that my mom is a little to blame for not being able to say ” Hey kids, two cookies is enough!” No, my mom was super cool to me, she would let us eat the whole package! I now realize that wasn’t the best idea.

Thank goodness, I had an aunt (my dear mom’s little sister) who taught me how to be healthier. She taught me about the lemon water cure in the morning. This became a habit of mine when I was a teenager. I love lemons so that’s lucky. Some people can’t drink a whole juiced lemon in 10 ounces right when they wake up. For me, it’s bliss. I feel cleaner afterwards. My aunt also gave me tips on how to keep leaner, eating healthy proteins, etc. My mom was good too, she taught me how to fast for a day. She taught me to fast on a full moon. It is supposed to be the best time to do it. So once in a while, we would do a water fast. It was just one day but you gotta start somewhere!

So, for me, fasting was never a weird thing. I was totally opened to it. Over the years, I have done many many fasts. I enjoyed them very much except for one: the Master Cleanse. I never liked that one. I once fell into hypoglycemic attack because of that fast. Juice or water fasts are the way to go for me. I have gone on a 20 juice fast once and felt better than ever afterwards. I would alternate juice and water on my last week.

I am currently on a longer fast. Today is day 20. I started this fast because I wanted to get rid of bad eating habits. I tried to do so by just eating healthy but for me juice fasting is much easier. When you are addicted, the best thing to do is just fast. My cravings are gone now. My health is better. My skin is better. I am off most of my medications (I have an auto immune disease).

Fasting has been done for centuries and always practiced by animals in the wild. When they are sick, they retreat and stop eating until they are well again. Jesus fasted. Gandhi fasted. You will not die from fasting if you do it the right way. I recommend asking a holistic practitioner for advice or read up on fasting a lot before you start anything. I am a bit unusual. Fasting is a piece of cake for me. Other people might not react identically and if you have a serious condition, you might need to adjust your fast. There are many types of fast. Breuss Juice Fast can cure cancer in 40-50 days. Most chronic illnesses can be cured between 20-40 days depending on how severe it is. My favorite website for information is www.fasting.ws . I highly recommend spending a good week browsing through their posts to really understand how fasting work.

People are very skeptical. I am sure people think I’m crazy to fast. People think, not eating is unhealthy, you need nutrients and vitamins. Wrong and wrong. Fasting is not unhealthy. You are not starving yourself to death, instead you are giving your body the time it needs to heal itself. You give your car a check up every so many miles.  Well, your body needs a good cleansing too. Think of all the bad stuff you ingest, fatty food, saturated fat, sugar, GMO foods, artificial coloring, animal products that are hard to digest and rot in our guts. Your body will be so thankful that you give it a break. It will get rid of toxins for you. It will use its awesome mechanism and do the work for you! All you have to do is give it time! Yes you will have some symptoms such as a coated tongue and maybe headaches the first few days if you are really toxic, aches and pains, but that goes away or even can be avoided if you know what you are doing. As fas as vitamins, calcium, etc. Don’t worry. If you juice fast, you will get all the vitamins and nutrients you need in your juices. You will probably get even more than your regular diet AND it will get to your bloodstream a lot quicker giving you amazing energy. You will sleep much much better. Green leafy vegetables have calcium. Papaya tea will also be a good addition if you are worried about calcium.

When you fast, it is a good idea to help the detox process by dry brushing your skin, drinking lots of water, using a tongue scraper and doing regular enema (I know many of you are scared but honestly if you do just water enema, it is no big deal, no pain, you just lie down and wait) I do not recommend enema from the store. The prepackaged one have too much salt in it and it is unnecessary and uncomfortable. Doing enema will relieve any pains you might have as it will relieve toxins out quickly. Deep breathing and meditating is a good idea. Walking outside is good. Some people can keep doing their regular exercise routine while juice fasting. Some prefer easier exercise such as yoga and stretching.

If you wonder, aren’t you light headed when you fast? The answer is no. I am never light headed. When I did Master Cleanse, I was though. I think the maple syrup just gave me too many highs and lows. I like to stick to Fresh juices because it is the most natural. Now, if you decide to juice, you need to buy a good juicer. You probably need to spend over $100. I personally have a Breville Fountain which I love. I make about 30 ounces of juice in about 5 minutes, cleaning including.

Juice fasting is really not that scary. It is the easiest type of fasting. When you juice fast, you get to keep working, exercising, etc. You can drink more juice if you feel you get hungry. The only rule is to try to get at least 80% of your juice, fresh. That means no bottle juiced. Sometimes I do cheat but I always follow that 80% rule and always get unpasteurized juices. My favorite is from Evolution. They are expensive but if you are on the go, it’s convenient. I also like drinking lots of coconut juice when fasting because it is so good for you and has good electrolytes.

If you are adventurous enough to juice fast to get rid of your symptoms or food or any sort of addiction, I would recommend starting slow. First do a 1 day fast. A week later, do a 3 day juice fast, then 5 day, then 7, 10, 14, 21, 42. I’m the crazy type, I went from 5 to 20 but that’s because I felt I could. Listen to you body! It knows! People ask me, why are you still fasting? My answer is that I do not feel I have achieved optimal health so I continue for as long as I can. I know I am still detoxifying because my tongue is still coated in the morning when I wake up. When my tongue is no longer coated, then I will stop.

Now, a very important thing is how you come out of a fast. People have actually died because they ate a big meal after fasting. What you want to do is eat raw vegetables and fruits for 1/2 the amount of time you fasted (the best on the first day of breaking a fast is watermelon only, then you slowly add more fruits and veggies every day). So if you fast for 20 days, you need to eat raw veggies for 10 days. Then you can reintroduce (if you wish, or you can just stick to a raw diet too) other food, starting with broth, soups, oatmeal. My first food on my last fasting adventure was plain oatmeal. It was the best oatmeal I ever tasted! You should ideally eliminate all sugar and white starch, all caffeine and alcohol. You just cleaned yourself so why trash it again? I know this can be difficult so maybe come up with a plan. My plan (because let’s get real, I love butter and chocolate) is to allow myself once a week to have semi bad food. For me, it doesn’t matter what I put butter on, so I will allow myself to have veggies sautéed in butter once a week. I will allow myself to have something with cheese and I will of course allow myself to eat chocolate once in a while. The other important part of my plan is to intermittent fast when I stray. That means that if I eat bad food on Monday, I will juice fast on Tuesday and Wednesday. The key is to not accumulate toxins. Therefore if you go crazy on food or alcohol, just give your body time to heal itself for a couple of days to put you back on the right track. There is some great information about intermittent fasting out there. Choose what works best for your body.

Eating healthy is a lifestyle. We all stray once in a while and it is alright I guess. We are only human.

I will keep posting my experiences. Please ask any questions regarding this topic in the comment section. If you have something you would like to ask but do not want to advertise it to the world, I will provide my email.

I will also try to post as many links and recipes as possible to help you through your journey!

Remember, you are your own boss. Don’t be scared by what conventional doctors tell you. They will try to scare you by saying that fasting is dangerous. It is false. Trust me. Some people owe their life to fasting. Check out Gerson Therapy. They have a documentary of the same name on Netflix. It is great and it shows how our conventional medicine tries to prevent holistic cure to do its amazing work in the United States.

Happy Juicing!

My Holiday Advice: how to keep it real and fun

Ok I will try to make this short(er) than usual. Ha Ha.

Most of you I hope have read my previous post so I do not need to explain my position on the Holiday season.  Here are some advice to have a great shopping experience and then a great holiday with your peeps.

* Remember, every time you leave your house to go shopping that this is supposed to be a joyful event for YOU and whoever you are gifting.

* Be nice to the people who sell you the items you are buying. They often have to deal with awful customers (I know, I worked retail) so a nice smile or a little chat goes a long way.

* Take your time. Don’t rush. Don’t be annoyed if you’re in line. Make conversation with the person behind you or in front of you.

* If an item is sold out. Don’t be upset. It’s the Universe or God’s way of telling you, it wasn’t really that great or you will find it later.

* Follow your instinct. If someone is trying to scam you, leave.

* Shop at small shops as much as possible. We have great bookstores and little shops in Los Angeles. They are privately owned and the profits feed right back to our local economy.

* Shop at Farmers Markets. They are all over town and have great products. Make it an outting with your family. There are many parties you will go to and bringing snacks, gourmet food or wine is always good etiquette.

* Shop for Holiday food at local stores and farmers. Eat clean food.

* Charities usually have great offers. You can donate in the name of someone or buy a gift that will profit the charity. Some of things on my list were from UNICEF.

* If you buy a calendar, get it from a non-profit organization like Greenpeace or WWF.

* Make your own presents if you are crafty.

* Make your own cards and wrapping paper. Send e-cards to reduce your carbon footprint.

* Take the bus shopping to avoid parking fees and to avoid buying too much.

* Call people. It’s cheap nowadays with cell phones and Skype!

* Rekindle old friendships.

* Don’t forget your trash pick up workers, your postman, your ups driver, etc.

* Don’t forget your kids’ teachers.

* Bake cookies, cake, pies, any of your specialties. These gifts and gestures will be remembered forever.

* Give a service as a gift. My husband one year gave me a handmade coupon book of free services like cleaning my car, doing the dishes, etc (hmmm I have to find it, I don’t think I used all of them). You can offer to babysit, etc.

* Volunteer your time. Last year, we went to a Red Cross volunteering activity where we helped kids pick gifts that were donated throughout LA. You can also work at a soup kitchen. My grandmother in law used to volunteer at her church preparing holiday shoeboxes.

* Take your kids to a nursing home. They usually have activities, and volunteering opportunities.

* Don’t forget our troops and the homeless.

* Take this time of year as an opportunity to remind your kids that people of all faith are our friends. (PS: not all Muslims are terrorists and Jewish or Palestinian People are NOT to be blamed for conflict in the Middle East)

* Spread the joy over the whole month to really surprise people. That’s my favorite thing. I give the whole month, not just on Christmas day.

* If you are sick of old Holiday Songs, go to your music service provider and look for new special songs. Rhapsody has a great holiday folder and I found some neat songs there, like old Johnny Cash, etc.

* Ask people to give you a list so you really get something they want and need. Favor useful gifts over cute useless things.

* Take your own bag when you go shopping.

* Buy from reusable or eco-friendly stores. There a gazillion of them on the internet.

* Don’t go bankrupt over the holidays, keep it simple.

* Don’t overeat.

* Do something for yourself.

* Enjoy your family. Go out to the park. Play games.

* LAUGH….

NOW YOUR TURN! MORE IDEAS PLEASE

🙂

Originality is my convention

We are extremely lucky to live in the Western World. Developed countries have so much to offer to us. We pretty much can get anything we want, whenever we want, however we want. Sometimes, there are so many choices, we get lost or confused…..or annoyed (which reminds me, one of my next posts will be about shopping so stay tuned!). The privilege we have to live in such a society (let’s think about it here for a minute, it is a privilege, many people in under-developed countries envy us) can also be a curse. What I mean by that is that having everything handed to us on a platter makes us lack originality. We have become dull, plain, boring. We do not use our brains as much as we should and we just go with trends. With follow the herd like sheep and don’t question anything really unless it is something extremely important. In the next few paragraphs, I will mention how our society bores and traps us in its conventionality, how it makes us less interesting and most importantly how a buddabamama goes against the norm whenever she can. Some might call it rebellion. I just call it using my heart and soul.

Enjoy.

I’ve always struggled with fitting in this society. I struggled because, I really always wanted to do things that I wanted to do and not be pressured to do otherwise. Let’s say that it probably originated from my odd childhood. I always wanted to burst out of my shell, exit the world I was in. I still remember vividly reading a story in High School called ” The Black Sheep in the Family”. I do not remember who wrote the passage but it described me so well and for the first time in my life, I felt adequate. I thought, wait, maybe more people are like me… How amazing? Maybe if the people around me didn’t SEE me, others would. I just needed to find my blissful environment and like-minded people.

I was never one to conform to the norm. To me the word norm is scary and ugly. In my family weird is more of a compliment than an insult. Weird to most people means odd. What’s wrong with being odd? Creativity is an important part of our happiness. If we cannot create, then why are we here? What is the point of living our lives, just going with what the crowd does, buying what everyone buys, celebrating the same way people celebrate? Why not come out of our bubble once in a while and try something completely different? Why not do something NEVER done before? Why is that so scary? I think it all comes down to comfort. We are so busy, tired, sick, frustrated, what is presented to us is plain and simply appealing because after living our exhausting lives, we do not have time for creation. It takes time, courage and thought to create. No, we don’t have time for that. Instead, look, there is something on the TV, I can just call and order it and it will come to me so fast, I won’t have to worry about anything. I don’t have to come up with my own idea. It would take me forever to figure out how to make something like that….? Right? The good thing though when it comes to products is that the best thing that can ever happen to you to trigger creativity is lack of money. If I don’t have the money to buy something, I will try to make it. Often, if I need something, I will think, “How can I make it”? It is usually an adventure because I am not the  most crafty person. When my daughter was younger, we wanted to buy her a little table and chair so she could do her art. Everything in stores looked too commercial and expensive so I told my husband that we should make it ourselves. He was very reluctant ( he is the least daring person in our family). I had a vision to use an old side table that was passed on to me from my friend Ella. It was a dark wooden table with beautiful legs. I dragged my husband to a store that sold only unfinished furniture. We found the cutest little chair to go with the table. Then we went to Lowe’s, picked a color we know she would love and got to work. My husband was dreading the whole thing. He had so many doubts and fears. We stayed up late, sanded, coated, painted the table while our daughter was sleeping. The results: amazing. She had a great birthday and a decade later, she still has the table (now covered with hair accessories and jewelry) and she treasures the fact that she can pass it on to her daughter or granddaughter in the future. The best part is: I had won my husband over and from that day on, he has been a lot more supportive of my crazy ideas.

That is just one example on how I always think outside the box. I won’t lie to you, I encountered many nay-sayers and people who try to discourage me (my husband used to be one of them).  What I would recommend those of you who are brave enough to be creative is to just ignore, ignore and ignore again those who try to stop you. You could spend an hour trying to explain those people that you have a vision, that your idea will turn to gold, they will never understand until they see it. SO: don’t waste your time on them. If you are lucky enough to have been blessed to have the ability to free yourself from conventionality, then you owe it to yourself to just do it and not worry about how others will judge you. One thing for sure is that you can never please everyone. So why try? The person you must please first is yourself. It took me a long time to come to term with this simple notion.

My husband and I were both raised with some sort of religious upbringing. I was raised in Catholic country with a mother who didn’t care much for organized religion but with a Muslim father. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. What a combination!!! The good thing is that because of that and all the crazy things I was asked to do, I sort of deviated from the whole idea of religion. I mean no offense to those who are religious. I have the utmost respect for people’s choices and free will. What makes you happy, you should continue to do. However, religion is not for me. I do not find any comfort in organized religion. I never believed anything that was sort of shoved down my throat. It makes a lot of sense actually. If something is somewhat forced, you will rebel. When I went to college, I found my peace by taking a non-western religion class and reading up on Taoism and Buddhism. I am not a Taoist. I am not a Buddhist but I identify with those two ideologies the best. But I still don’t go to a Buddhist temple. I am content with my beliefs. They are original. It’s a little bit of science, a little bit of spirituality, a little bit of Buddhism (my blog name is starting to make more sense now doesn’t it?) a lot of nature appreciation, and lots of love and compassion. If I may, I recommend anyone who is reading this and who feels inadequate in their religion or faith to do venture outside the norm. You do not have to be the same religion as your parents. If they love you, they will accept you whatever you feel comfortable in. If you are afraid they won’t, it is not your issue. It is theirs. This is your life. You are with yourself more than you are with them. You will be the one raising your children, not your parents. You will be the one passing on your experiences so make them worthy of them.

All this brings me to our daughter’s first holiday season. We did not live in Los Angeles at the time where so many people have different faiths and no one is surprised if you do not celebrate Christmas. My husband and I had a huge dilemma ahead of us. We were not religious but were both raised celebrating Christmas. We didn’t know what to do so we did nothing. We figured our daughter was young enough that she wouldn’t remember anything. The only thing she really cared about was being loved anyways. By the second holiday season, we had it almost figured out. Because we both enjoyed Christmas as kids and because of the pressure of society and family, we figured out a way to make ourselves and everyone happy. We decided we would celebrate seasons. We decorate our house according to each season. We do have a tree with decorations matching our personality (we have yoga figures, lots or papier-mache animals, pictures of our dog, etc) and we do exchange presents. We keep our decorations sometimes until the end of January. We taught our daughter the meaning of Christmas, Jesus, etc, even though we are not Christians. There is nothing wrong with educating our kid about every religion. She knows about Ramadan, she knows about Jewish traditions, she knows most religions. We however put no pressure on her. We figured, if we do our job right, she will make her own choices. And she did. One important thing for us around the holiday is to bring our creativity to the season. We make collages with things we love that represent the season and holiday and hang them on our walls, we make our own crafts, we make our own wrapping paper sometimes. We shop in odd stores. We buy useful things. The holiday season is a celebration for everyone. I do not like to buy things that will only benefit the receiver. As much as we can, we buy things that will make an impact somehow. We also do not like the pressure around Christmas. Family can be stressful sometimes. My husband always tells me story how crazy is Christmases were, having to spend so much time in the car to go from one part of the state to another just to spend Christmas with everyone. We don’t do that. The world won’t end if we don’t follow the traditional schedule. We eat whenever we want, with whoever with want. One year, we got Middle Eastern take out and ate in our car before we unexpectedly decided to drive down to see my husband’s grandparents. It is to this day the best memory I have of Christmas. (This is for you Luella, whenever you are). The best things in life are not planned, they come out of blue or come out of pure sheer creative craziness.

So, we have originality in product creation which can range from kitchen stuff to jewelry, clothing, anything for the house, anything, you name it!, originality in our own personal choices such as religion, traditions (what is your own personal touch on birthdays, holiday celebration?). Now, let’s touch on originality of thought pattern. People sometimes find me unpredictable and to be honest, I like it that way.  I sometimes piss people off because I hate planning and I will just call someone up at the last minute and see if they are free. If they are not, I move on. Never upset because I know I am unusual. That’s just how I like it. I can be extremely traditional but also very “out there” in my way of doing things and seeing the world. I like to question everything. I tend to first go against the crowd until I have time to analyze things. I never rush to buy new popular things. I do not have an iPhone. It took me forever to even get a smartphone. I do my homework carefully before getting into anything but most importantly I will listen to my gut. Being used to going against the norm makes it easy to do this. I am sort of a pro at it. It does take time to feel completely ok with oneself. There is so much doubt at first. We are human and we want to please one another. We are also creatures of habit who sometimes just need to be part of group. It is only natural. Fear not, with a little bit of practice, you will soon find comfort in being different. Different changes the world. Originality is our future. Status Quo is an old thought. 2012 is a time for evolution, change, higher consciousness.  We don’t have to just be fed whatever is giving to us, we can stray from that and get better nutrients for our brain. If there is just a slight question or doubt coming to your mind, then it is worth exploring. Under no circumstance shall you dismiss it! *smile*. I was raised eating meat at least 3 times a week. Now I am a Vegetarian, close to being Vegan, except for my love of cheese. My eyes were opened by allowing myself to watch very uncomfortable documentaries (that is a whole other post). I question and study what I hear or read from news network. Pretty  much, a good rule of thumb is to question everything and anything that is on TV. Curiosity goes hand in hand with originality. If you dig into whatever it is you are watching, buying, thinking, you will most likely be better off. It is quite ok to not go with the crowd. You are born alone. You will die alone. It is ok to be alone in your search for truth and it is ok to be the first to come up with an idea.

My advice to everyone who is reading this is, don’t sweat it. Embrace yourself and explore your mind and your choices. I do things that seem strange all the time. People think I am crazy, only for a few years later to realize I was right all along. Ask my husband, he has tons of stories, especially when it comes to odd health remedies or advice on food/bad food. I think original people are ahead of their time. Do not give up on yourself because no one understand you. Your time to shine will come. But always remember that what matters the most if that you are staying true to yourself by being original. No one can ever take that away from you. So cherish it. Don’t be ashamed of it.

Now because I love you all so much, I leave you with one of the songs that inspired me while writing this. Remember, this world was made more fun for all of us to live in because of amazing people who dared to dream and explore, think out of the box, or challenge authority!

Doctors and their puppeteers

This post is more than an opinion. It is personal.

Yesterday, I asked my husband to give me some ideas about what I should write next in my blog. I told him, “Think of things that I always talk about”. He started by saying things like, “The way people drive”, etc and I thought, nah, only people in L.A. will care about reading that. (I am now however thinking about writing something about it later, just for my LA peeps). I needed something bigger. Then he said the magic word: doctors.  Just this week, I had just had a long conversation with a lady who explained to me her and her family’s experience with doctors. It was such a sad story and I felt so much sympathy for her. We both agreed that doctors just don’t listen. Below, you will see what else I think doctors do and do not do.

Let me start by saying that I believe that anyone who has the privilege to be a doctor, should do whatever in his power to use his position and skills to better people, not make them worse. As a general rule, if you decide to get a degree or train for a particular job, it should be because you want to contribute to our society in a positive way, not because you want to make a lot of money. I get very frustrated when I hear young people say they want to be lawyers or doctors because it makes a lot of money. I believe that their good income is deserved, yes, as a reward for their long course of study and their special skills, but it should also be because they are bringing the PEOPLE relief or help. Do not get me wrong, I know that many people want to become doctors because they want to help people. I do not doubt that their initial intentions are good. The problem we have here is the way our medical and pharmaceutical industries function.

In the old days, things were much simpler and revolved more about being healthy than money. I still remember how our family doctor took care of everything. We rarely went to see specialist. General practitioners were so much better than they are now. They also made house calls which of course now does not exist anymore for obvious reasons (more money is made from calling 911 or going to the ER: hospitals, doctors, EMT, so many fees). Let’s be honest here and come out and say it, the problem is money. Think about it. In the old days, yes we waited a long time at the doctor’s office, but that was because doctors took their time. It wasn’t really abnormal to spend more than 30mn, going through a thorough check and then discussing options with our trusted doctor. He always remembered who we were, didn’t need to look at his chart and never rushed us out because he was running behind.  People waiting were understanding because they knew they were going to get their problem resolved and get the best care they could get.

Pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are probably the main reason why things are so much more complicated, less efficient, less personal, more costly, and honestly not as good as what they once were. It’s not just about convenience, it’s about quality. While, there are some doctors who only care about money, most doctors want to try to do what is best for their patients but often cannot because of the 2 evil giants that control them (make that 3 if you include restriction and guidelines from medical boards). I have a doctor like that. She apologizes every time I see her because she cannot spend a lot of time talking to me. She times her visits and I therefore often leave with questions unanswered, making my visit unsatisfying. She, however, pockets my money everytime, regardless of how satisfied I am. Very often, there will be a pharmaceutical representative sitting in the waiting room, patiently sitting there, their suitcase at his feet, ready to give his sales pitch about some new drugs they want my doctor to prescribe me. This is all a very elaborate plan. They give samples to the doctors. Doctors give samples to the patients. Patients agree because, well, samples are free (and we all know how expensive prescription drugs are). If they like the sample, then they will most likely ask their doctor for more. Who will profit from this? Everyone? No, wait, if you think that patients are actually benefiting too because they end up having a good drug that will take care of their problem, think again. First of all, medicine exist to treat symptoms. It is not a cure. Let me repeat that. IT IS NOT A CURE. It covers symptoms, make them disappear for a while maybe but the minute you stop taking it, whatever your problem was often comes back, sometimes right away, sometimes months or years later. Yes, that includes antibiotics too. Doctors prescribe antibiotics as if it was Halloween candy. Antibiotics do not kill viruses and yet most doctors will prescribe them anyways. Sometimes it is just to please the patient. People need to realize how useless it is to go to the doctor when they have a cold or the flu (flu shots are another way for pharmaceutical companies to make money). We need to realize and re-learn that our body are well capable of healing itself for most problems. One of the many benefits of letting the body do its magic is that symptoms will not return.

Watch this movie, it’s funny and is a pretty accurate portrayal of pharmaceutical rep:

I was lucky. I had an amazing doctor when I was a kid. He saved my life once, came to my bedside when I could not breathe, giving me a lifesaving shot and rushing me to the hospital. He was caring, loving and to this day, I am so thankful for everything he did for me and my family. My husband also had an amazing doctor. I know some of you probably remember your childhood doctor too. I have yet to meet anyone with the same compassion and listening skills. See, doctors do not listen anymore. They might hear us, but they do not listen. I have way too many stories about doctors missing or ignoring important symptoms, thinking they already have the answer. “Here, take this pill and be on your way”, they say, only for you to return a few weeks later with the same problem or a new problem which might have been caused by the first pill you were prescribed. Again, the fact that doctors are on a deadline because of the pressure they feel from the Two Giants is a reason but what they learned in medical school is actually probably more to blame. As I started to discuss before, medical students learn to treat symptoms, not the root of the problem. Western medicine is not our friend. I sincerely believe it is one of our worst enemies. Rarely a doctor will tell you to eat healthier, etc (they might even recommend bad food, ie scolding kids who do not drink milk or vegetarian because of protein). It is much easier for them to prescribe a pill for your cholesterol than to sit and explain and try to convince you that if you would just stop eating junk, your body might have a chance to regulate itself. Doctors of course have huge liability. I can understand why doctors take the easy route. Doctors are not all to blame. Our media, our modern society driven by capitalism, having more and more things, eating more (do we really need the portions that provide us our daily recommended amount of calories in one meal??), sleeping less (overworked society), stressing more ( failing economy, etc) are only a few examples of things that just drive us to take the easy way out, take the pill the doctor prescribed or worst yet, self-medicate, drink a glass of wine, smoke a cigarette, etc.  Medical school today I am sure is not what it is used to be 50 or 100 years ago. Progress and technology bring us better ways to diagnose and treat but it does not bring us any more wisdom. 

Chinese medicine and other alternative medicine, such as homeopathy, Ayurvedic, naturopathy focuses more on healing the body naturally, meaning that it supports our system in a healthy way while it is doing its work to bring us back to health. For thousands of years, people have used many methods to rid themselves of colds, aches and pains, viruses, and even worst illnesses. Animals heal themselves naturally by retrieving into a remote location, protecting themselves from predators, and stop eating. They follow their instinct and fast until they feel better. Our mothers and grandmothers usually have the best remedies and often cure problems a lot faster and for a lot less money than conventional medicine. Alternative medicine practitioners have a tremendous amount of patience and a great love and respect for the human body. While a conventional doctor rushes you to get to his next patient for example, a certified homeopath will sit down with you between 1 to 3 hours and ask you all sorts of questions, let you speak, and listen carefully to any clue that will help him or her find the best way to bring you back to health.

About ten years ago, I went through a very frustrated time where I was in excruciating pain for 8 months before someone realized I had a tumor growing inside of me. My doctor ignored me for months, giving me some absurd reasons for my pain and suffering. She also refused to administer tests on me, because she was convinced she knew there was nothing wrong with me. It pretty much took a scream of extreme pain for her to give in. A tumor the size of a grapefruit was discovered. I was rushed to the hospital, my doctors fearing it would cut my blood flow. That was only the beginning of years of struggles with doctors until I took things in my own health. I unfortunately hear too many stories like mine, or even worse, people dying because doctors just won’t listen. If you are a woman, you probably have a story of a doctor telling you it is all “in your head”, only to realize later than you were right all along. Women, men have to be advocate for their own health. Parents need not to listen to doctors about what is best for their child, they need to do their homework and do what is best. Children need to be advocates for their elderly parents. While at the hospital, I witnessed first hand what happened when no one is there to check on nurses and doctors. They tried to remove additional organs from me. Thankfully, I was awake enough to speak up and say no. I was however discharged from the hospital with an infection. I had been complaining of pain but they discharged me anyways, only to call me 2 days later to say they had made a mistake and to put me on antibiotics right away (I had already gone to the doctor by then). Sadly, it takes unfortunate events like this to wake people up and make them realize that the best doctor sometimes is yourself. It is YOUR VOICE. Elderly people, left all alone in a hospital in a geriatric wing will often die prematurely because of the lack of care, or resistant bacteria lurking in most hospitals.

Doctors are not your best friends. Doctors is just a profession. Some take their job seriously, some stress at work and make mistakes, some just don’t care, some do not know how to handle the pressure of the medical, insurance and pharmaceutical industries. You have to learn not to trust anyone but your own instinct. I am in no way saying that you should never go to the doctor. What I am saying is that your body and your mind have the ability to do a lot more than you can imagine. Use your intelligence. Take a stand for your health or your loved ones. Do your research. Then listen to your gut. If you have a life threatening condition, you will know to go to the E.R or to seek treatment so you do not die of course. Some conditions require drastic measures. Even if you must have surgery, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself, and recover quicker. You are the boss. Your body is yours and yours only. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, do not let anyone step on you and intimidate you because of the degrees hanging on their wall. Do not take a pill just because that same guy with the degree on the wall say you should take it. I have had doctors give me pills they should not have given me (because they were not even aware of all the side effects). Overdose of prescription drugs is on the rise and the number one cause for accidental death in young people in the United States. Pharmaceutical companies are evil. They do not want us to get healthier. They make their money from us being sick. This is not  a conspiracy, this is how it works. It is simply about money and profit. They do not want you to hear about some natural remedy (that could very well be the cure for your problem) Companies are not people. If they go our of business, no one will die. You, however, could die if you do not take the appropriate steps to be your own advocate. Learn to say NO. Learn to say, let me read about it and I will get back to you. Learn to say, I will get a second opinion, or three or four!! You know very well that when a commercial for a new drugs ends with the warning, this maybe cause…..fill in the blank (death sometimes), it means you should stay away, so just don’t do it. There is always an alternative out there. There is always a solution. I am lucky. 2 or 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with yet another tumor, with 30% chance it was cancerous and 70% non cancerous. I was obviously recommended to have my thyroid removed right away. I said no. I did my homework. I also (that’s the lucky part) have a great surgeon who was on my side and agreed to just “watch it”.  Sleep on it is a great advice.

I leave you with that. I will be back to discuss fantastic ways to heal our body, good doctors or alternative healing advocates.

Peace, Health and Love, always.

Muse is always grandiose

I’m so excited for this category: music. I am a real music junkie. I am truthfully one of the most eclectic persons you will meet when it comes to music. I am willing to listen to anything as long as it sounds good to my ears. There are no genre I will completely reject. Well, except for heavy metal which I never listen to. I used to be a lot more close minded, especially when I lived in Europe. I never would have thought I’d be listening to and let alone enjoying country music. But that was just me being oblivious to genres of music that I had not been exposed to. I will discuss many different styles of music, artists and songwriting in this category but today, I dedicate this post to one of my favorite bands: Muse.

The words I would use to describe MUSE are: grandiose, spectacular, passionate and intense. I don’t think I have ever listened to any of their songs that didn’t express these words. I mean, come on! Whether it is their new song Supremacy or Uprising, Resistance, Exogenesis, Guiding Light, Supermassive Black Hole or Invincible,  MUSE finds a way to automatically lift you higher, making you feel, well, yes, almost invincible. I love music but I have never encountered a band that had that kind of power on me. I could write a novel just describing the emotions, the imagery that MUSE’s music and lyrics evoke.  There is only one song that I can think of that triggered that kind of reaction in me and that was Behind The Wheel – live version at the Rose Bowl- from Depeche Mode. But I was watching it so the power of the crowd and obviously Dave Gahan amazing stage presence probably had something to do with it.

I think MUSE came at the exact right time in our history. People, at least young people, crave a revolution. They are fed up. They wish they can be invincible. They wish they could conquer the world or change it. They are slowly believing that they can. MUSE gives them more confidence. It makes them want to speak up, finally ask for the truth. Their music makes them demand answers or at least makes them search for answers.

It’s no wonder so many MUSE songs have been used in movies or movie trailer. The most recent one is the Skyfall Trailer. There is no doubt when you listen to it that Supremacy was just made for that movie. The sound, the lyrics. It just fits.

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Of course there was Supermassive Black Hole for the thunder baseball scene in Twilight.

I personally think that United States of Eurasia and many other songs should be used in movies. I know for sure that if I was a movie maker I would try hard to get any of their songs in my work to transform it into a chef-d’oeuvre. It would actually be a dream job for me to work as one of those guys who get to pick songs for movies. Who would even call that a job? Every time I listen to a meaningful song that transforms me or reach me so deeply, I make a little movie in my head, imagining what scene would go well with it. Songs to me are like books, they inspire you. Guiding Light for example is that kind of song for me, it just makes me sigh and just feel so good and make me want to move mountains. Resistance and Uprising, well of course, make me want to change the world. Those two songs just make you want to get up your bum and do something about something.

Other MUSE songs are so powerful and emotional that they might make you hurt and feel good at the same time. For me, this is Exogenesis Part I Overture, Part II and III. It makes you feel free but not without first going through struggle. Part II has a very classical beginning, followed by a strong uprising feel. Part III again has a very classical beginning, a romantic part and then the song start bringing you hope and strength, it gives you that push to finally let go and be what you need to be. Then, of course, there is I Belong to You which is so sassy. It teases you and of course has an amazing part in French which brings romanticism and melancholy to the song. That part just makes me melt every time. It just brings images of French movies to mind. I Belong To You tells a story almost more than any other songs because of its ups and downs. If I had to match a movie with how this song makes me feel, I’d say Inglorious Basterds (particularly the card game scene)

I think MUSE is also so successful because they are masters at using crescendo and decrescendo. I hate to repeat myself but I do not know many other BANDS who can do this so perfectly and beautifully every time.  Obviously if you are not familiar with MUSE’s songs you might not know what I am talking about but if I were you I would start with the two previous discussed songs to get a good idea of their genius. Of course, Matthew Belamy’s voice doesn’t hurt either. It has a very powerful voice. He is lucky to have a very commanding voice which obviously helps when singing about revolution and being invincible! He can also bring so much emotions to his songs. One of my favorite songs in their most recent album is Follow Me because it is such a great legacy he is leaving to his son. The heartbeat at the beginning just makes you humble and happy for a minute, wherever you are. You just can’t resist being touched by a human heartbeat.  Madness is my other favorite. It is so sexy, you just have to love that song.It almost gives me chills. Every time I hear a new MUSE song, pretty much, I ask myself, how did they pull that off, AGAIN. Listen to the last two tracks of 2nd Law, and you’ll know what I mean (2nd Law Unsustainable and Isolated System).

School uniforms

This is not the first time it happens, but this is the first time since I started this blog. I am glad I can come home and finally share my views on school uniforms.

As I was driving down the street today, I saw 3 girls walking to school in what I would call very inappropriate outfits. The problem really was the length of their skirts. They were walking to their Catholic High School, just a normal day for them. For me, however, it was another moment of outrage. Why do school uniform have to be so short for girls?

I feel like I have some experience regarding this issue so I can comment on it without reservation. So let me start by saying that I used to teach in a Catholic school. Of course, like most, if not all, catholic schools, girls and boys had to wear uniforms. Girls wear skirts, usually khaki (sometimes navy blue) color skirts. They are also almost always unbelievably short. Back in the day, when I first took the training to teach at a Catholic school, we were also trained to enforce the dress code (which I hated doing by the way). We had to make sure that everyone was wearing their uniforms but most importantly, we had to make sure that the girls’ skirts were not too short. We were actually taught to take a ruler and measure the length of the skirt and to reprimand anyone who had skirts which length didn’t fit the standard. What comes next might shock you a bit. One day, I noticed that one of my students, a junior, had an unbelievably short skirt. I told her that she needed to get a new one as soon as possible. A few days later, while she was sitting in front of my desk (first row), not only did I notice that the poor girl had not followed my instructions but on top of that, I could clearly see what was under her skirt. She obviously did not have her legs crossed. After class, I asked her to come to my desk. I told her that she had to be more careful, cross her legs because it was not appropriate and that she was lucky I was a female teacher. The next day, her mom came barging into my classroom, yelling at me, telling me I had embarrassed her daughter and that she had had that skirt for 2 years and had never got dress coded. I said to her, ” I am shocked that you would not want me to warn your daughter about this and also, you child has grown in 2 years and her skirt obviously is too short”. I was completely baffled at the mom’s reaction. But really what is the most worrisome is how no one ever questions the decency of those uniforms.

I understand the reasoning behind uniforms. It supposedly prevents bullying. You cannot tell someone’s socio-economic status by looking at them because they are all looking uniform. They also represent tradition which is obviously a big deal in many religious or private schools. What I do not understand is why uniforms have to be so explicit. It is obvious that, regardless whether a kid breaks some dress code rules or not (that is really a whole other topic), skirts are too short anyways. Why can’t school require girls to wear skirts just at the knee? I figure that this way, hopefully we’d see girls walking around with skirts just above the knees since no one seems to follow any rules anymore. Why would a catholic school not take more effective steps to prevent leg exposure which I am sorry to say but sexualize girls more. Doesn’t anyone remember Britney Spears video, Baby Hit Me One More Time? Well, I am sorry to say but the girls I saw this morning had skirts as short as Britney Spears, if not shorter. I cannot even imagine how awkward it must be to be sitting down. Also, I would never let my child go out with such a short skirt on. So what are the parents thinking? It’s OK because they are going to school? It’s OK because it’s a uniform? It’s OK because it is a Catholic school? I have arguments to rebut every single of these arguments.

Instead, I’d like to focus on what I think is the answer: eradicate the idea of uniforms in schools all together, ESPECIALLY private schools. I think we live in an era where kids need to express themselves. It’s not going to hurt them to express themselves even if it means they want to dye their hair pink or wear all black. It is part of life, part of discovering oneself. We’ve all gone through some crazy phase, we’ve all experienced and most of us are no longer stuck or doing these things we experimented. I once dyed my hair black in high school. I wore a LOT of black. I didn’t go as far as some people who painted their nails black or had tongue piercings, etc. But my point is, it is a healthy thing to let our kids be weird, or just be creative. Guys might not care, but there is some sort of pleasure in being able to pick your own clothes in the morning. You check the temperature, whether it is rainy or sunny, what you’ll be doing, who you want to impress if you have a crush on a boy in your class. Why take these things away? Because it is a distraction? I wholeheartedly disagree. I was always a straight A student and God knows I am weird. I know many people who were considered out of “the ordinary” in high school or college who are now very successful.

Another thing, kids who go to schools that do not impose uniforms on them actually dress more appropriately if you ask me. Public schools actually have strict dress code. I know for a fact that the three girls I saw this morning would be sent home in most schools because their skirts were too short. Most schools do not let you show a bra strap or wear spaghetti tank tops. They don’t even let you wear tights or leggings! However, you can wear whatever you want, logos (as long as it is not offensive), colors, and I don’t think they care what color hair you have.

So it’s an easy choice for me. I vote for removing uniforms from schools entirely. I’m sick of seeing slutty  looking girls walking around. Think about how happy child molesters must be. Parents don’t think of that? Girls are vulnerable. Why put them more at risk? Why expose them to the world in this manner? Doesn’t it just perpetuate the stereotypes we are trying to eradicate? Women are not just some piece of ass or breasts or legs.

Sound off.

Our beloved pets need help too!

I want to dedicate this post to all animal lovers.

During a disaster, once we have located our loved ones, figured out where we are going to sleep, etc, we need to worry about our pets. Having taking the American Red Cross Disaster training, I know first hand that shelters do not allow pets unless they are a service pet. We all need to have some sort of plan for our animal best friends. They, after all, are there for us when we are sad, sick, had a bad day, etc. They cheer us up and make our lives so much more complete.

During a big disaster, such as the storms that hit the East Coast, it is more difficult to find a neighbor or friend to take care of our pets because they might find themselves in the same situation: without a roof, without power, etc. Some people unfortunately will even refuse to go to shelters because their pets are not welcomed, putting their own lives at risk to be with their beloved pet.

This was a very troubling issue for me when I took the ARC training but I do understand the reasoning.This, however, simply brings up a very fundamental problem about the way our society treats animals. Some people do not seem to have any respect for animal life. We have seen over and over again stories of insensitive and cruel people torture or kill animals for play and game. A most recent story happened in Los Angeles suburbs where a man put his pet on fire, killing the poor innocent animal. Sometimes people think that their actions are harmless or even funny such as the ridiculous New Year’s Eve Tradition of the Opossum drop in Brasstown which was thankfully prohibited today by a judge.

I think we all ought to have more respect for animals, all animals. This topic is so broad and this is the first of many posts. I will discuss zoos, aquariums, seaworld, animal testing, etc.

ok, so I will be back but in the meantime, big shout out to all people over there who have been working back East, dropping food and supplies to abandoned or lost pets. They have rescued many animals. They are true heroes. A special shout out to HUSH doing a great job in Staten Island.

Go hug your 4 legged friend now.

Petraeus Scandal

Last night, i was having a conversation with my husband about the whole Petraeus affair story. We were watching CNN Anderson Cooper 360 which I used to be addicted to. Now, because of my busy schedule, I am lucky if I get to catch it once a week.

News networks just thrive on these sex sandals. I think they truly find sex scandals even more appealing than disasters ( earthquakes, hurricanes, storms like Sandy). I think the main reason is that people are secretely obsessed with sex. Most men probably wish they could have an affair. People are also nosy, gossipy and they love to be able to judge politicians because it is their way to finally get back at them. Think about all the power politicians have, all the things they probably plot behing our backs, ok maybe because it is “the way it is done in Washington”, but still, when they finally get caught doing something, we turn up the volume, grab our computers and go read more about the infamous stories.

Yes that is what I did. I am only human. I also am a news junkie in general so when a story breaks, I am compelled to go read about it in as many places as I can.

As I was watching Anderson Cooper talk about the story and do a fabulous job (as always) interviewing his team of political consultants, all I kept thinking was, what drives men to do such stupid things? Like my husband said, why would Petraeus throw his whole career away for this? Why risk it? I think we all know the answer to this question but still, every time, it baffles us; “Oh, he had such a bright future ahead of him” (hint: Weiner), “He has such a beautiful family/wife” (hint, countless celebrities with hot wives, for ex. Tiger Woods), “But he is the PRESIDENT!” (hint Clinton).

The other thing that came to mind was (and please excuse my harshness) what must have gone through Paula Broadwell’s mind? I read an article where they showed a picture of Broadwell with her husband. I thought, “why on earth would she go have an affair with Petraeus when she has a good looking husband waiting for her at home?”. The husband seemed loving too as I read how he took her away for her birthday, getting her flowers before dinner. Ok, maybe he is a bad husband, who knows, appearances can be deceiving, but still, Petraeus, 20 years her senior and not so good looking. Like I said to my husband jokingly, if I was having an affair, I’d would have one with Magic Mike rather than the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Then, AC 360 showed pictures of Jill Kelley. Truthfully, I was not ready for this. I was expecting her to look a bit more classy. She instead reminded me of a Real Housewife of New Jersey.

The whole story is just a plain mess. But, last night, before any of the new development about General Allen, I looked at my husband and said, ” Jill Kelley is probably more guilty than any other person involved” and look at that, I happened to be right.

The bottom line is, someone’s career is destroyed, someone who was most likely doing a great job. All because of sex. All because of bad judgment. I think all men who have power should be required to see a therapist weekly, whether they have problems or not. Just to keep them in check. Bill Clinton was a great President. Weiner probably would have run for president in 2016. If only we could have kept a shorter leash on them to avoid the mess they got themselves into.

 

PS: look at this: a good summary of Petraus story: http://petraeusaffair.tumblr.com/

🙂

 

My reasons for juicing ( AGAIN!!)

On November 6th, I said that if Barack Obama won the election I would fast.
As we all know, Barack Obama won. Some of you might also know how much I love Barack Obama. He is my biggest role model. I have so much respect, love and trust for the man. Meeting him was on of the highlights of my life because I had never shook someone’s hand and ever instantly felt a sense of peace. I had never met anyone so humble. That was back in 2007. Before he got the nomination, before he was president. I have been following him and his presidency closely, supporting his choices almost 99% of the time and even when I didn’t, I sat and tried to understand his struggle, his rationale, his decisions. I never thought in my life I would trust a politician. I don’t like politicians. Normally. But Barack Obama is different. I admire his life, his past, his origins, his work at the grassroot levels before anyone knew who he was, his family, his cool, his love for Lincoln. He is pretty much the person I wish I was.
Anyways, so when I woke up on November 7th, even though I knew it would be hard, mostly because I had been living a very unhealthy life and had drunk so much alcohol the previous night ( I had to celebrate), I gladly ate nothing when I woke up, went to work and started what my husband called just a few minutes ago (and what prompted me to write this–bc as a coincidence it was the  1st name I came up with for my blog) my journey.
Miraculously enough, so far it has been the easiest fast I have ever done. I was SO surprised. When I got hungry the first day, I said to myself, “you have to go on, you cannot let Barack Obama down”. I know it sounds silly. What I really meant was, I cannot let myself down. If I can’t even do this, follow my own word, in honor of the person I admire the most, then I am really lost. Many times in the past 6 years, Barack Obama has been an inspiration for me and gave me the strength to keeping pushing when all I wanted to do was give up. I guess, I never let go of that Fired Up, Ready to Go attitude.
Barack Obama gave me back the faith I had lost in 2004 when John Kerry lost the election and fell into depression for 6 months.
So here I am. Day 7. Sipping on my delicious celery kiwi apple juice, thinking how lucky I am to have met that wonderful man who has been my inspiration for years now. I have many times felt ashamed of my habits when I am too depressed to eat healthy. This win was a good time to push through, to give myself an ultimatum to get back to who I used to be, or rather a new better me. I am not saying I will succeed but at least, I had the strength to try again.
This week has been challenging, all starting with my neighbor who got upset for me cheering for Barack Obama’s win at 8:30pm, my kid got sicker than she had ever been, I had to find 900 dollars to fix my car, work with a very annoying husband, who is still however my best friend, deal with a broken phone,  but that deal I made with myself is what got me through. I cannot and will not disappoint myself. Because I know Barack Obama will never know and wouldn’t be really upset if I hadn’t kept my word, but I will.
Now, I would like to encourage everyone who has never done a juice or juice/water fast before and who has any kind of ailments or addictions, chronic illness or cancer, to give it a shot. Do not believe what the mainstream media tells you, that it is unsafe, blah blah blah. I once went on a 20 day juice fast, I was able to get rid of all my Lupus symptoms and meds. Unfortunately after 6 months, job loss, etc, I fell off the wagon and started eating crap again because I am an emotional eater.
After 7 days, I have already been able to cut my meds in half, I slept last night for the first time in months without having to take a pill before bed. Some of my pains have gone away. My skin is better. My hair looks like crap but I know it is because I don’t drink juice enough and am lacking some vitamins but I am broke right now so… but that’s an easy fix, some flaxseed and my hair will be ok again.
Anyways, here I am, I wanted to share my story with you once again, hoping it inspires some of you to take care of yourself. We poison ourselves everyday with what we put in our mouth. At least, try it for a couple of days maybe, give your body a vacation. It will give you so much in return. At the very least, buy organic, stay away from GMOs, don’t eat too much sugar, and when you do, the next day, fast because otherwise it will become a craving.
Love, peace and JUICE!
xo