So what has shame to do with health? just Everything! Just think about it. How do you feel when you feel shameful, hurt and angry. Your body is tight, your shoulders are up around your ears, you have a knot in your stomach and a tightness around your chest, your breath is shallow, your thoughts are dark and maybe the big hammer is hammering away with messages like – “Gosh you are so stupid!” “Why did you do that?” “Will you ever learn!” “You are so fat!” “Why can’t you never do it right” …ad nauseam…
And how about “old” shame? Stories that have been in our families — maybe for generations? Addictions, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect – shame we feel deep inside, shame that makes us feel different and inherently defective, flawed and bad. The feeling of shame we hide from the world, we want no one to see it, we keep it hidden in the darkest corner of our soul. We overwork not to feel it, we overeat and drink to numb it out, we sabotage ourselves, we criticize ourselves, the world, our children and our spouse. We pretend to be happy and hide our vulnerability.
It affects us deeply to feel shame, on a cellular level, it even affects our immune system. It affects the choices we make, it affects how we sleep, how we eat, how we show up in the world, how we love, how we parent. When we feel shame it is easy to chose to comfort ourselves with red wine and creme cake. Shame rubs us of health and happiness. It takes away our energy and focus on life. We are caught up in a web. All suppressed emotions – are not just suppressed, they actually build up in the body causing havoc inside – stress, depression, anxiety, addiction …….
In my life it was addiction and abuse that was my secret shame. I never talked to anyone about it, I hid it from the world and smiled while I desperately….desperately, tried to hold the shame down so no one could see it or find out that I was actually flawed, defective and not good enough.- But it was like a beach ball it kept coming back up.
Shame works like a really effective defense mechanism. While I was “busy” thinking it was me who was defective and flawed, focus was away on my true feelings. Feelings of anger and pain for having been abused and for having had an addicted mother who could not be there for me.
But shame can only live in the dark, shame thrives in the dark – as soon as we bring it out in to the light, talk about it to someone who will listen with empathy and without judgement, it dissolves! It is not about blaming or acting our feelings out! – It is about feeling those emotions connected to the experiences we have had, sharing them, going through them, having a benevolent witness to those feelings. When we do that, we feel like a ton of weight has been lifted from our shoulders, we forgive, we feel love and connection, we feel joy and we move on.
When we feel shame it’s like an alarm clock – it’s time to stop up and figure out what is going on. We are not born with shame – feeling shame is just telling us something is wrong – something needs our attention. We need to shine love on it, be gentle with it and reach out for help and connection.
Vulnerability is not a weakness, it’s a strength and it’s beautiful- it’s here we come from the most authentic place within us.
Dr. Brene Brown is a researcher in shame and vulnerability – she is such a great inspiration and I absolutely love her. I have devoured her 2 books ” I just thought it was me, but it isn’t ” and “The gifts of Imperfection”. I recommend her books wholeheartedly! Find them in Anne’s Favorite’s
Where I live in beautiful British Columbia there is a very famous and very very sinful cake called a “Nanaimo Bar” – it is rich with sugar, loads of butter, eggs ect – creamy, coconutty, sweet and I love it. I have created a healthy version of it that is just as creamy and the taste is heavenly. You would never know – it tastes just as sinful as the real Nanaimo bar, but it has no butter, no white sugar, no flour, no cream, no eggs!!
This version is made only with the healthiest ingredients so it is a cake that is actually good for you and it can satisfy the sweetest tooth. The kids love it and it feels great to serve something like this to the kids knowing it is not full of bad things.
Made of 3 layers.
1. layer: 1 cup (2 1/2 dl) of walnuts, 1 cup (2 1/2 dl) of dried coconut flakes, 8 pitted dates, 2 tbs agave sirup, 80g of melted dark good chocolate ( 80%)
Blend it all and press it into a cake tin like this
2.layer: 1 1/2 cup of raw unsalted cashew nuts -( soak them in water for 4 hrs or even better over night in the fridge) 4-5 table spoons of agave syrup, beans from half a vanilla pod. 1/3 cup of coconut oil melted, 1/3 cup of coconut butter. Blend it all together to a smooth cream.
Once the coconut/cashew cream has been blended into a smooth cream add it as a 2nd layer to the cake like this
3. layer: 1/2 cup of coconut oil. 100 grams of good dark chocolate, 3 table spoons of agave syrup, beans from half a vanilla pod -melt over low heat in a water bath and mix. Let it cool slightly and pour it over the cashew/ coconut cream. Put it in the deep freeze for a couple of hours before serving. I leave the cake in the freezer and take it out 1/2 -1 hr before serving.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a documentary called “Food Matters” it is one of those documentaries that stays with you forever, you talk about it, you recommend it to anyone and everyone who will listen. It has had a profound impact on the way I look at food today. Food Matters exams how the food we eat can either help or hurt our health. It is an eye opener in a big way !
Hippocrates said ” Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”
The people behind Food Matters are now out with a second documentary called “Hungry for Change – Your Health is in your Hands”. This week is the world online free premiere of the documentary! It is free from March 21-31 2012. During this time you can watch the 90 min long documentary online for free. I really recommend you see it!
>>> click this to sign in and get direct access to “Hungry For Change”
It is wildly encouraging and comforting at the same time, that there are so many things we can actually do ourselves to benefit our health. This documentary shows you just how much food matters!
Ryebread is something we eat every single day in Denmark, for breakfast, for lunch and sometimes even for dinner. Every packed lunch in Denmark includes Ryebread. We are raised on the stuff and it is seriously healthy. According to research it prevents certain cancers like colon cancer and prostate cancer – it is good against diabetes as it helps regulate insulin levels in the body. It is great for your digestion. It keeps you full because of its really high fibre content. And it taste so wonderful. Actually more than wonderful!!!
Yes to begin with it is a bit time consuming to make Ryebread because you have to make the sour-dough, but once you have that you are set, equipped to make delicious Ryebread for the rest of your life.
Remember each time you make Ryebread, to take a portion of sourdough from the new dough, and set aside in the fridge.
People in Denmark have sourdough they have had for generations – mine I started 4 years ago and call “him” Herman – he has his own life! If he gets too sour and grumpy I feed him more flour and a bit more water and he is happy again.
I leave him in the fridge to rest and take him out at room temperature to play.
So here we go Sourdough
100g of rye flour
100g of wheat flour
1 teasp salt
2 dl water
1 teasp of honey
1 dl of youghurt
1/2 teasp dry yeast to kickstart – (you can make the sourdough without yeast but you must be patient. I am not, I love Ryebread too much and want it in the oven to bake, so I can eat it ;-))
Mix this together and cover with a wet cloth for 24 hours, leave on the kitchen table and make sure the cloth is always wet so the dough does not dry out. Put it in the fridge over night.
After 24 hours add a little more flour and a little more water. Set aside again for another 24 hours with a wet cloth.
The dough should be bobbely, slightly sour and alive by now. Ready to go.
1 portion of sourdough
1 l of water
1 dark beer
300 grams of unbleached flour
400 grams of dark rye flour
375 grams of rye kernels
200 grams of flax seeds
200 grams of sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons of salt
I sometimes add almonds or pistachios it looks and tastes great!!
Mix it all together
Leave it out on the kitchen table overnight covered with a wet cloth.
The next morning take a portion of sourdough aside in a container and put it in the fridge till the next time you make Ryebread.
Put the dough in to 2 well greased bread pans and leave to raise for 1-2 hrs on the kitchen table. Bake in a 350F oven for 1 1/2 hrs
Carefully take them out of the bread tins. Try even though it is really hard to let them cool before cutting and eating.
I LOVE markets – let me loose in a market and I go wild. Markets stimulates all senses – I love the smells, the colours and textures – meetings the farmers and all the people bringing in their specialities with pride and love. Wow for me that is the best, it is such a treat. I wish I could go to the market with my basket every day filling it with delicious organic produce.
There is something about buying from the people who are directly involved and love what they are selling you – the real thing!!
This is one of my favourite markets in the world – Granville Island Market in Vancouver BC
I read something (link follows) from a very inspiring woman, Bronnie Ware, that really made me think! Bronnie is a nurse who worked in palliative care for many years caring for people who were dying; so she was with them for the last 3 to 12 weeks of their lives. She is currently working on a book that is soon to be released called ” Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”.
In her book, Bronnie talks about the process these people went through and in spite of this their amazing capacity for emotional growth! All the emotions that these people were going through before they came to acceptance and every single patient found their peace before they departed! When she asked the patients if they had any regrets or if there was anything they would have done differently, there were 5 things that came up again and again.
Food for thoughts – this is important for every one of us to think about! We often live our lives as though we are here forever and take life and the people in it for granted.
According to Bronnie Ware, the 5 things that came up for people again and again were:
1. They wished they’d had the courage to live a life where they were true to themselves — instead of living a life others expected of them.
Apparently this was the most common regret people had. When they looked back they could see how many dreams had gone unfulfilled. Most people had not even honoured half of their dreams! The moment you loose your health it is too late. It was clear to them that health brings a freedom few realizes, until we no longer have it.
2. They wished they had not worked so hard. This was something that came from every male patient, Bonnie Ware worked with. They missed their childrens’ youth and missing out on spending time with their spouse.
3. They wished they had had the courage to express their feelings. To keep peace with others they suppressed feelings and settled for a mediocre life never becoming who they were truly capable of becoming. We cannot satisfy everyone and if we try we become dissatisfied and bitter.
4. They wished they had stayed in touch with friends. Often they did not realize the importance and benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was difficult and sometimes impossible to track them down. Many had been so wound up in their own busy lives that they had let important friendships go.
5. They wish they had let themselves be happier. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits and there by missed out on the fun. Fear of change had made them pretend both towards others and themselves that everything was okay and deep within they longed to laugh let go and have fun.
The full article is (click here) – I have already signed up for the book.
Depressing to think about – hmmm… maybe, but wouldn’t it be even more depressing to one day be the one saying ” I wish I had………..”?
I am going to chase more dreams. I am going to look my kids deeper in the eyes, hold their hands, tell them more often how much I love them and how amazing I think they are. I am going to take more time to honour my friends. I am going to turn off the auto pilot of my life and go cruising. I am going to laugh more. I am going to write that book. I am going to tell the people in my life how much they mean to me. I am going to learn to dance tango with my sweetheart and skateboard down the street. I will remember to treasure the moment and live my life mindfully and with passion.
Following your heart and fulfilling your dreams adds to good health! When you follow your dreams you become fulfilled and happy – and hey, that’s what world needs!
What dreams do you need to act on to feel fulfilled ?
29 days ago a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be part of a group for 30 days. The idea was to email each other every morning and write 3 things each, we are grateful for. It has been fun! So often we focus on all the things missing in our lives and we miss the many things there are to be grateful for.
This morning my friend send this youtube to me. It made me laugh and I joined in the dance.
I think this is such a fun idea and I want to share it with you – hope you enjoy it too! Thanks Kelly!!!
This salad is addictive – it tastes of summer and the flavours will make your heart sing.
The kids love it too and beg me to make it – so as soon as we see water melon for sale, this is the dish we make.
One small water melon
1 dl of raw sugar
1 dl of balsamic vinegar
a good bunch of fresh mint
a sprinkle of sunflower seeds
In a small pot bring the balsamic vinegar and raw sugar to a boil and reduce for about a min. Set a side to cool.
Cut the water melon in to chunks, chop fresh mint and add to the water melon. Pour over the cool balsamic vinegar reduction and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds.
Perfect light lunch dish or as part of a meal.