Guilt Free Zone…

By definition guilt is a feeling of remorse for some wrong whether real or imagined. Why does guilt kick in so easily over the most meaningless things in our lives? Why do we look upon guilt as an annoyance? As something we should strive to be rid of? Let’s examine how it can be a truly positive emotion in our lives. Guilt is actually an emotional warning sign that is the result of  normal, moral, childhood development. It can be extremely beneficial when it is triggered by something rational. It is responsible for developing a better sense of behavior and can also be helpful in preventing us from repeating the same mistake. Through proper emotional development we are able to recognize anothers’ pain and feel remorse if we have been the cause of it. This is only possible if we ourselves have a truly high moral standard. But how do we know the difference between real, which is useful, or imagined, which can be very destructive? What feelings do we let go of? We can start by viewing guilt as that which can help us grow and mature. Let’s look at guilt as a sign of when we have been hurtful to others by having said something offensive. Guilt can help us keep our priorities in order. An example would be working an 80 hour week at the risk of losing our family and friends. Of course there are exceptions but when there is an alternative and we choose career over everything else, guilt can remind us of what is really appropriate and healthy. We can redirect our moral compass by asking ourselves honestly, are we really not able to change our schedule? Why do we feel guilty when we over indulge? Could it be our conscience reminding us that this is not acceptable behavior? So when does imagined guilt become irrational or unhealthy?  Take a careful look at the situation and see if a guilty feeling is arising from something rational. Take for example a new mom who is suffering extreme guilt for having to return to work fearing that this may damage the development of her child. Inflicting this type of self-guilt in spite of the fact that there is sufficient evidence that normal child development is not hindered by both parents working. Try questioning whether it is teaching us something we should correct or are we striving for perfection and blaming ourselves for not meeting up to a certain standard. Irrational guilt can keep us from moving forward in life. In a relationship it may be helpful to put yourself in the other person’s shoes thereby reversing the situation. Would you be hurt in that particular situation or would you feel that the other person was making sacrifices for your benefit. In dealing with guilt we have to accept that we cannot change the past but must strive to not become caught up by the same mistakes in the future. In this way guilt will disappear and not return when a certain situation reoccurs. Making amends to those whom you may have offended can prevent obsessive self blame and, personally, has always been a positive and uplifting experience.  

Cauliflower..

Cauliflower…It is a member of the brassica family which includes broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Most of us are familiar with white cauliflower but the orange, green and purple versions are now becoming familiar and available. It is extremely low in fat and carbohydrates but extremely high in folic acid (great during pregnancy), vitamin C & K, magnesium, phosphorus and a host of other vitamins. Cauliflower is heavy on fiber which is beneficial for digestive health. Great as a substitute for mashed potatoes or in combination with sweet potatoes and turmeric. Look for florets that are a good size and seek out a head that is still surrounded by green leaves and free of any brown spots.

The Summer Conservatory Garden of Central Park

The Conservatory Garden is located at 105th Street and 5th Avenue. It was first opened in 1937 and designed by Gilmore D. Clark.  Open to the public till dusk, it is free and is an incredible way to spend the afternoon. Spread out over six acres, the grounds contain fountains, benches, restrooms and sections of English, French and Italian inspired gardens.  Free from runners and bicyclists, you may even find yourself in the middle of a wedding shoot.                                                                            

 

Healthy Weight Loss Tip #15

Stock up on Frozen Vegetables: Because of our busy schedules we sometimes do not have time or forget to shop. Keeping a good supply of frozen vegetables to lean on can make having a healthy meal so much  easier.  Tests have shown that frozen vegetables,     because they are frozen when fresh, can sometimes         be more nutrient rich than vegetables that have been     lying in the refrigerator.

Telomeres?… Tell me more!

Within our cells, our genes are arranged in an organized manner. They are arranged in twisted molecules of DNA called chromosomes. Alexei Olovnikov, a Russian theorist in 1971, was the first to recognize that our chromosomes replicate at the tip. At the very tip of our chromosomes lies a portion of our DNA called Telomeres. It is this portion of  our chromosomes that it is now believed to hold some of the secrets of how we age and possibly what brings on certain diseases. A visual of a telomeres might be compared to the plastic tip of a shoelace. Just as this plastic tip keeps a shoelace from fraying, telomeres keep our chromosome ends from fraying. In so doing they prevent our DNA from scrambling and entangling its genetic information. Put simply they help our chromosomes remain stable. As we age our telomeres become shorter. This shortening prevents the cell from dividing which in turn brings on aging along with the possibility of disease. Please do not get alarmed. It was formerly believed that this was the natural order of things and was irreversible. It has now been proven that these telomeres can be lengthened no matter what our age. Recent studies have shown that healthy living can actually reverse this process. In a 5 year study participants were encouraged to eat a whole food plant based diet low in unhealthy fat and refined carbohydrates, walk at least 1 hour a day, include stress management techniques (yoga and meditation) and spend more time with loved ones both family and friends. After 5 years there was a 10% increase in the length and strength of these telomeres. Hope is that since it has been proven that it is possible to reverse this shortening we can also expect aging to become a much more positive experience.