Tag Archive | Happieness

Choosing your expectations

Choosing your expectations

If you’re convinced that the world is against you, then you’ll find plenty of evidence to support your assumption. If, on the other hand, you’re certain that you’ll encounter support and assistance, you will.

When you look for excuses and reasons to complain, you’ll surely find them in abundance. When you look for possibilities, and goodness, love and kindness, you’ll find no shortage of those things.

What you see in life is made up largely of what you’ve already decided to look for. What you experience each day is driven by what you expect the day to bring.

You can choose the quality of the life you live by choosing your expectations. You can select the life you experience by choosing the way you experience it.

Make life helpful and supportive by living in a helpful and supportive way. Make life good by appreciating and adding to the goodness.

What you expect at the deepest, most sincere and unquestioned level, is what you get. So expect the very best of life, and live to make it so.

— Ralph Marston

5 Foods That Can Help With Depression

5 Foods That Can Help With Depression

It does not say cure depression, it says help with. When people are depressed they often reach for comfort foods, like candy, chips, ice cream, and chocolate. Nutritionists say this is the wrong answer, eating these foods can help alleviate symptoms, plus there is an added bonus of feeling good about doing something proactive for your health.

1) An omelet or scrambled egg, the yolks are rich in B vitamins, they are a good source of protein, and B vitamins help your brain to function at optimal levels. Similar options: fish, poultry, wheat germ, and lean beef


2) Nuts and Seeds, they are a great source of magnesium, which helps produce serotonin, which helps you feel good. Some examples include: cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflowers seeds, almonds, and peanuts

3) Cold water fish, excellent source of Omega 3′s, which contains the fatty acid DHA, which helps your brain in a multitude of ways. Some examples include: salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, and anchovies


4) Ancient grains, which are complex carbohydrates, they take longer to digest which helps stabilize blood sugars, which helps stabilize your mood. Added bonus, they are full of fiber, which helps you feel full longer. Some examples include: amaranth, millet, quinoa, spelt, barley, and teff

5) Green tea, technically a drink, not a food, rich in amino acid L-theanine which can help improve focus while calming the body

Knowing what to eat for your body produces great long-term effects, it helps to resolve feelings of helplessness or powerlessness against the disease that is hurting you, always do the best you can.

Source: http://healthyliving.msn.com/diseases/depression/5-foods-to-eat-when-youre-depressed-18?pageart=2

Thanks to Positive med for another great find.

Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin so I would recommend a Magnesium Spray, Gel, or a bath with Magnesium Salts. We as a society are severely deficient in Magnesium. Cranky kids are much happier and more relaxed after a a bath with magnesium Salts, just like mom and dad. A scoop in the nightly bath can make a huge difference in falling asleep quickly and easily too.

Vitamin D3 is so much more than a Vitamin and had been shown to have huge mood improvement benefits so get some sun and in the winter supplement. Many knowledgeable physicians now recommend at least 5000IU/ day in the winter months. Now many patients will find that it is part of routine care during hospital stays.  Next to sun on bare skin, Sub-lingual tablets or sprays are the most effective .

The Holy Grail of Anti-Aging

The Holy Grail of Anti-Aging


Anti-Aging is not one thing, it is everything.

Brain Care is not one thing, it is everything.

What you eat, what you think, what you drink, what you do or don’t do –  all affect how your brain ages. As your brain ages so does your body, mind and spirit.

Taking care of yourself in always – takes care of your brain. Taking care of the brain has the most anti-aging affects on all of that, that is you – body. mind and spirit.


This video provides an excellent explanation and illustration of why and how brain anti-aging is the Holy Grail of total Anti-Aging.

When I started this blog it was to share Self Care Choices that I know work.

Doing the research to back up what I know leads me to new gems of wisdom and this video is one of them.


What I find ironic is – all of this information for making a few Smart, Simple, Affordable, Effective SELF CARE CHOICES  is ANTI-AGING.

Yet  ANTI-AGING  is not the intention – helping each of you know about choices that work is.


They are one and the same!


Lupus – The Impact On The Body

Another one of those auto-immune diseases that was unheard of 50 years ago.  Our bodies are now attacking us in ever-increasing numbers. So many things are different than 50 years ago. So is it one thing or a combination of things that have spawn the Age of Auto-Immune Disease?

We have the knowledge to categorize the symptoms and because there is big  money in treating symptoms but not in curing disease, that is where the focus is.

Some major changes that may or may not be part of this Auto-Immune Disease epidemic that have become part of the North American Culture and the more developed Nations since the Second World War.

Plastic, Plastic Everywhere

Mass Immunizations

New Chemicals/Toxins created yearly in the range of 100,000/ year now.

GMO Crops and foodstuffs

Processed Food

Fast Food

Pop and other beverages replacing water as our main consumption of liquids

Fluoridated Water

Reduced Iodine in Salt

Bottled Water

Prevalence of Electricity in homes.

Power Lines


Wireless Technology

Man created building products – eg. OSB Board, Manufactured wood

Food made of petroleum products

Butter Substitutes

Reliance on Commercially produced produce

Exponential Increase in the number of Gas/Diesel motors

Pharmaceutical Solutions for every imaginable symptom



Just to name a very few.

The answer to this puzzle may be a combination – or none of the above.

Auto-Immune Disease is destroying more lives and affecting a greater number of  lives daily and we are all at risk until the underlying causes(s) can be determined. Do whatever you can to support and promote research into finding the causes so we can create a better future.



Who wouldn´t love to remove all the toxins from their body? Well, that’s a detox, and my personal way to cleanse my body is drinking detox water, lots and lots of water. Our body is so amazing, that in no more than 3 days, you´ll be as good as new. Here are some ideas of how to add a little flavor and antioxidants to our detox water!

Detox water

Lemon juice helps to cleanse and alkalize the body, it is a powerful detox drink; you just have to squeeze fresh lemon juice into your glass.

Mint helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion as well, and it also adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar to your water.

Detox water

Cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties, add a few slices to your water for excellent rehydration, as well.

A little Ginger goes a long way, it helps cleanse out your system, aids in digestion, and settles your stomach

detox water

Remember that Detox is an instant, magical solution. Detox is an ongoing process, which provides amazing health benefits, by simply using water…as simple as that! What are you waiting for? Go get your first glass of water, and start your water detox right away!

Thank You to Positive Med for another great article.

Stop the bottled water epidemic please – buy a good water filter – filter your own tap water,  make your detox water and drinking water.

We are wasting resources, filling landfills and creating a bunch of plastic that takes forever to break down. In Europe they have opted to continue using predominantly glass so they don’t have to be concerned with leaching of toxins, wasting resources that can be better used elsewhere, or dealing with increased disposal issues.

As individuals we can choose – simple choices often have some pretty big results. A freind was complaining about having to constantly dispose of used water bottles accrued by the family every week. They switched to home filtered water and funky reusable bottles. They as a family of 4 were buying the 24 – 48 paks of bottled water going through  80 – 110 bottles a week. They have found they are saving over $150.00 every month at a minimum and don’t have to deal with the mounds of bottles.

I hear the kids are planning a family ski trip to be paid for by this little ongoing windfall.

The Development of the Brain

The Development of the Brain

To truly understand autism, one must begin with a clear understanding of how the brain develops. Research during the 1990’s clarified this process in a way that we had never realized before. The most important factor that we must take into consideration is that the brain is not complete at birth, but continues to develop throughout our lifespan. The majority of this development happens to us between the ages of birth and 6 years.

At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons, virtually all the nerve cells it will ever have. It also contains a trillion glial cells, which form a kind of honeycomb which protects and nourishes these neurons. However, the stabilization of the pattern of wiring between the neurons in the brain has yet to occur for most of these cells. The brain has laid out a network of what is required for the basic operation of the body’s organs so that the infant will survive. It is neural activity, driven by a flood of sensory experiences coming directly to the child from the environment, which takes this rough blueprint and progressively refines it.

During the first years of life, the brain undergoes a series of extraordinary changes based directly on experience from the environment. When a baby is born, it can see, hear, smell and respond to touch, but only dimly. The wiring for vital life functions such as heart rhythm and breathing are in place in the brain stem, but all of the other connections between neurons in the brain are limited. Within the first few months of life, the brain’s higher centers create millions of new synapses. By the age of two, a child’s brain contains twice as many synapses and consumes as much energy as the brain of a normal adult.

These synapses are all formed through sensory input. Each time a child listens to a sound, looks at an object or reaches out to touch something, tiny bursts of electricity shoot through the brain, knitting the neurons into circuits. The specific genetic code and the experiences the child has already had come into play. When we combine our knowledge that sensory stimulation from the environment is the method through which our brain is wired after birth with the fact that the level of sensitivity to sensory stimulation from one child to the next is going to differ due to their genetic make-up and to the assaults their body has experienced to date, we open a whole new concept in our understanding of the development of autism in a child. The specific sensory input that each infant is exposed to from birth on will affect the wiring of his/her brain. The specific genetic code of that particular child will determine the level of response to the sensory stimulation, which will also determine the wiring of the brain. The assaults which the fetus experienced in the womb, such as a virus, set the sensory system on alert, thus heightening the sensory response and in turn affecting the specific wiring of the brain. Assaults, such as the effects of vaccinations and antibiotics that happen after birth, will also set the sensory system on alert, raising the level of sensory response and creating a different level of synapses in the brain. This means that every brain will have its own unique wiring. This process of wiring the brain continues on through the preschool years of the child. Everything that happens to this child during that time will have an impact on the actual make-up of his/her brain.

So we have a child who is born into a home in which he/she is held and cuddled by his mother most of his waking hours. His brain will develop differently from that of the child who is left in his/her crib, baby seat or baby swing to entertain his/her self when awake. Whether the holding and cuddling is a positive experience or not will be determined by the level of sensory response of that particular infant in that particular moment. Some children may feel constrained in the arms of their mothers because their tactile and/or olfactory response is higher than that of another child who may experience only comfort and love. The child who is on the extreme end of the sensitivity response may scream and become rigid every time that anyone tries to hold them because the experience is so overwhelming it becomes unbearable. Their mother’s arms are not a safe haven because of their genetic code and the assaults that their body has experienced. The differences in these children’s responses has nothing at all to do with the mother’s actions or reactions, but rather is based directly on their own biological reality. However, the choices that we make as parents to provide sensory stimulation and to respect the response that we get back from our infants will play a major role in the final brain that is produced.

Experience is the chief architect of the brain. Deprivation of any kind for a child, whether it be of nutrition or stimulation, means that the actual brain suffers. Typical children, who are not touched or who do not play, produce brains that are 20% to 30% smaller than those normal for their age (Perry, 1995). Children who are abused or experience high levels of trauma early in life develop brains which are tuned to danger (Schwarz & Perry, 1994). At the slightest threat their hearts race, stress hormones surge, and they anxiously track the nonverbal cues that might signal the next attack. Children born to mothers who suffer from depression show markedly reduced activity in their left frontal lobe, which serves as the center for joy and other light hearted emotions (Dawson, Hessl & Frey, 1994). Infants who are exposed to early pain and stress react more strongly to pain as toddlers, while premature infants who were exposed to multiple painful stimuli in neonatal intensive care units exhibit hyperaglesic responses to subsequent pain, an increased level of sensitivity that outlasts the initial pain by hours and even days (Porter, Grunau & Anand, 1999).

Autistic children, with their higher response to sensory input develop larger, denser, and heavier brains than their peers. High levels of magnification reveal that their brains have more minicolumns than a typical brain and that these minicolumns are smaller than normal. The direct result of this construction is that these brains are overwhelmed by information coming in from the environment which would not affect most people. Other brain research has indicated that there is more white matter in their brains, which will also result in a heightened response to sensory input. This reveals a double-edged sword in the midst of brain development. A heightened level of response to sensory input creates a brain that reacts at a higher level to sensory input. Once this brain is constructed, we can do little to change it. This is the main reason I do not claim to “cure” autism. A major factor of autism is the amount and size of minicollumns in the brain. Once created, they will not change. The gifts that come with this construction such as the heighted level of intelligence, awareness and morality are there to stay. Our work on the SCIO does not affect these gifts other than freeing the individual to share them with us.

The growth of a child’s brain drives children to actively construct their own learning, which in turn, creates further growth. If one takes the time to closely observe our babies, one can see this process in action. Their eyes survey all that a room has to offer. Their hands reach out to grasp anything that is within their reach. Items that can be lifted are brought to their mouths to be further explored. They twist and turn and roll their bodies in an attempt to get as much information in as possible. On the other hand, children who are not safe, whether because of their unique biological make-up, physical pain due to medical difficulties, or unsafe environments, construct a different type of learning, which focuses on developing coping skills which either limit the amount of stimulation that the brain receives or protects them from what is happening in the environment. They may choose to use repetitive behaviours such as rocking or sucking one’s thumb to produce endorphins which block the reactions to sensory input in the brain. Or perhaps they may choose to be quiet so as to not draw attention to oneself so that they are not picked up, or exposed to abuse of any kind. These processes take place automatically, with little acknowledgment on our part. However, each of us will deal with the input from these experiences for the rest of our lives because of the construction process of the brain.

It is repeated experience that strengthens the connections in the child’s brain so that actions and reactions become unconscious, or in other words, done without actual thought. This gives us the opportunity to do without the input of energy that thought requires. We write effortlessly without thinking about the shape of the actual letter or the direction that the pen is going. We type without looking at the keys. We drive without being conscious of what our hands and feet are doing.

Our little ones seem to know that repetition is necessary as they repeat the same actions over and over again until they have them mastered. They are content to listen to the same bedtime story every night for weeks on end, or watch a video repeatedly. They will climb up on the arm of the couch and jump down only to run back to the arm and do it all over again. They ask the same questions over and over again, no matter how many times we give them an identical answer. It’s an incredible process that we each do automatically, on our own, as toddlers. As adults, we experience the power that repetitious action has in our lives as we find ourselves almost at work with no memory of the drive thus far or complete several different tasks simultaneously with our mind on one. It’s only when we do something that is totally new to us that we have to consciously think of each movement. The more we do this new activity, the more unconscious it becomes.

The repetition that people on the autism spectrum engage in differs from that of the rest of us because it is not used to learn but to protect. If we want learning to take place we must make the effort to put them into situations that are safe so that they do not need to concentrate their energies on protection. This means we ensure that the environment is NOT overwhelming, that our interactions with them are those of acceptance, understanding and total respect, and that we DO NOT expose their bodies to any more assaults, if at all possible. It’s not that difficult a job to do if we make the effort. However, it will never happen without clear understanding of this whole process.

 A portion of the impairment in social interaction found in people with autism also develops through this process. As the brain develops, our reactions to each other and to the world are created and stored through the actual experiences we have. We learn how to live, how to interact with each other, how to protect ourselves from pain, and how to define and accept ourselves, by the way that we are treated and through the information that we are given as small children. Much of this information is gathered through the experience of watching our family members interact with one another. More is added through actual experience with our peers. When one’s energy is focused on self-preservation, due to the heightened level of sensory input, most of these lessons will be missed. It may appear to be a problem that is innate, but in reality it is something that develops over time through actual experience.

 The title of the book “All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is a good synopsis of the process of brain development because most of the connections in our brain are have been created by the time we reach grade one. This is why early intervention for those on the autism spectrum is so important. However, it is also why we must be extremely careful in the type of learning that we share with these children. Placing them in situations in which they will be traumatized by too much stimulation or by the treatment that they receive is going to have a LONG TERM impact on their brain. The lack of understanding and the drive to “fix” these children can be disastrous We must be very careful.

For the next five to seven years of life, the brain enters a new phase in which the neural connections are strengthened and consolidated through experience and repetition and in which excess synapses, which are not being used or are damaged, are pruned. During this period the brain also rests as it prepares itself for the next big struggle for the brain is not complete at this point.

At the beginning of puberty (approximately age 11 for girls and 13 for boys) the brain suddenly produces a whole flood of grey brain matter in the frontal cortex, and the process of building neural connections begins all over again. Those who comment that teenagers appear to be brainless at times, aren’t as far from the truth as one would think, except for the fact that it is not that they don’t have a brain, it’s that their brain is not completely connected. Again actual sensory experience is the architect of these new connections, and again the process takes a number of years to complete. In many ways, the level of difficulty and frustration experienced by our toddlers is mirrored during adolescence as the years of 13 for girls and 15 for boys resemble the “terrible twos”. These years are the most difficult to go through, both for the teens themselves and for their parents. By age 15 and 17 respectively this building process draws to a close and the brain begins again to strengthen and consolidate those connections which are used the most often, and prune those that are not needed.

Puberty is a tough time for those on the autism spectrum. When your brain and body are working at an extreme level, the anxiety that you experience is naturally going to be higher than those who have a more typical reaction. Anxiety leads to the need to use more of the protective behaviors. People who don’t understand the purpose of these behaviors believe that regression has occurred. It hasn’t. It’s not what is stored within the brain that is important at this point, it’s what the body is dealing with in the moment. Parents and teachers throw up their hands in futility. The group home business begins to boom. Psychiatric drugs are administered and begin to do their own type of damage. Segregation from the regular classroom becomes the norm. The barriers to success as adults are firmly put into place by society that has no understanding of what is going on.

The development of the brain continues on throughout the rest of our lives, but not at the level that we see during years of preschool and puberty. Each of us have our own unique brain, created directly through the experiences we have throughout our lives. Isn’t this a neat thing to celebrate!!!