It’s summer time, which means that your inner zen takes control, and dreams of lush green forests, cool lakes, warm oceans and tropical gardens become reality. Be a sustainable citizen, consider the environment, and tool around in an electric car. While camping, keep the bugs away with natural herbal products. Join me and my guests this week, Rusti (Paula) Wolintz, realtor extraordinaire, BFF and electric car owner to be. Bonnie Rogers, expert herbalist and founder of Bonnie’s Herbals, and Brian Horowitz, my co-host today, who is the host of The Rock and Roll History Show. Our discussion takes us from consumer concerns about plug-in vehicles to how lavender can keep mosquitos away. For more information, go to bonniesherbals.com, electric-vehiclenews.com, and rvvagabond.com.
By Susan Lutz
In 2005, my second child was born with Down syndrome. He underwent surgery on the third day of his life to untangle a defective digestive tract. Without the surgery, he would not live. I knew organic food and lots of exercise would have to be the huge part of his recovery, growth, and development. To believe in this principle was one thing – to implement quite another.
After discovering the benefits of breast-feeding with my first child, I pumped breast milk for my son, freezing the colostrum and bringing fresh bottles to the hospital every day. He received the milk from a drip in the NICU until he was able to eat on his own. After a few weeks in intensive care, an ultrasound exposed two cysts on his bile ducts. Left untreated, the doctor said, the cysts most likely would turn cancerous. As the surgeon drew me a picture what and where bile ducts were, she apologized and said, “I’m sorry, but he’ll need surgery again.” All I heard was a voice in my head that said, No he will not.
Through the years, I traveled between different paths in search of a healthier life. I figured I could get by with a “pretty-good-kind-of” healthy life. There was always room for beer and chocolate and if in small enough quantities, just about every other unhealthy food choice. My first child changed all that. Not long after her teeth came in, I noticed brown spots: rapid, fast-growing tooth decay. I took her to acupuncture. In our sessions, the acupuncturist talked about diets. It was the first time I’d ever heard of the terms alkaline, acid, and ash in the context of our bodies. He said if my daughter’s body changed to alkaline, the carries couldn’t survive.
I went and bought my first juicer – determined to make a difference without the invasive use of surgery. I doubled the amount of organic greens and found creative ways to hide celery, parsley, and kale in smoothies. After a few years, my daughter’s adult teeth came in straight, white, and free of cavities.
Believing my son’s cysts were going to go away amounted to nothing unless I took action. I searched for an alternative doctor, especially one that would implement diet as part of healing. I located a naturopathic doctor more than seven hours from my home. We set up a consultation on the phone. He gave me a list of vitamins and other things that might help. Then, he said one thing, as the acupuncturist did, that made the most sense of all: if the body is in balance, no cyst can live. I got the juicer out again.
At nine months, I took my son to check on the cyst in an ultrasound. If the cyst grew, there would be reason for concern. If the cyst had stayed the same size or, was smaller, we’d have reason to know something was going right. Since I couldn’t make heads or tails out of an ultrasound, I watched the doctor’s face instead. I held down my son’s tiny penis down with rough, brown paper towels. It was quiet. My son was calm. The doctor had a very blank look on her face. She moved the wand back and forth across his belly. “They’re not there,” she said.
“What?” I said.
“I can’t find the cysts,” she said. “They’re gone.”
Books and information about Down syndrome listed very matter-of-factly what limitations he could have: speech deficiencies, slow to walk, heart problems, digestive difficulties, fine and gross motor skills challenges, crooked teeth, physical abnormalities, lagging in emotional development, to name a few. Although he seemed to have high level of cognitive development, his walking and gross motor skills were very slow to develop. He struggled with a lot of mucus. Smaller nose and ear tubes made it even harder to breathe. At a young age he contracted a case of bronchitis, which put him in the hospital. Balancing the lists of “what ifs” with the reality of the child in front of me is a constant battle in raising my son.
Each health challenge raised the bar. What more could I do? What more could my son do? I installed therapy machines in my garage and converted my living room to an all-out gymnasium. I measured every step as a tiny victory, every green vegetable eaten a step in the right direction. Several times a day, we worked his lungs through laughing, respiratory therapy, (even crying worked out his lungs!) extracted phlegm and pushed his lungs to work harder.
Deciding what is best for me is one thing because I feel the effects when I make questionable food choices or slack off in exercising. Choosing what to give my children is confounding. Getting all those greens into a child is a daunting task. Yet over many trials, spit ups, tummy aches, and dodging food matter thrown at me, my children and I have settled into a healthy, organic diet that seems to satisfy and push of them to thrive. We eat sprouted lentils, avocados, alfalfa sprouts, celery, parsley, cucumbers and other greens for breakfast; we try to drink another super-green juice for lunch and dinner; and I work hard at limiting the sugar in their diet.
Looking back, I can see what a huge blessing, though uncomfortable, challenging, and painful, all the health challenges were. My children are now thriving. My son climbs, plays soccer, runs track, and plays baseball and basketball. My daughter glows and her smile – white and brilliant – shines. The issue of health care never stops. No diet solves everything; no exercise cures it all; I still indulge on less-than-perfectly-healthy foods. I’m no health guru, just a mom with kids that needed a solution.
I know the miracle was also fueled by of those who care for my children and me: family, coaches, and doctors, even the clerk at the health food store. The combined strength, healthy organic food, community and family support, and the tenacity of my children’s spirit make for a powerful cure.
What steps can you take to enhance the flow of chi? How do you create functional, sustainable and balanced spaces in your home by using Feng Shui techniques? What does the color green represent on the BAGUA MAP, and how many shades of green are there? Find out by tuning in, as this week’s guest, and friend of the show Anjie Cho and I discuss how to put some Feng in your Shui. Her new book: 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces, is a must read to bring zen and harmony into your life. Anjie is a LEED certified green architect, and is a BTB Feng Shui practitioner. For information go to holisticspaces.com. Her new book is available on amazon.com
Mind over matter is a truism. Joseph Mauricio brought his zen to this week’s show, as we touched on meditation, and how we all need to take time to slow down and clear our minds of the stresses of daily life. Joseph is the founder of Lifework Mindfulness Based Coaching Service, and the The Living Meditation Project. He is also a performer, storyteller, and he does stand-up as well as sketch and improvisational comedy. He has worked with Michael Moriarty and Alan Ginsberg, and has studied with Sakyong Mipham at retreats in the US and abroad. Find out how comedy and meditation connect to bring balance to one’s life. Visit www.josephmauricio.com to get more information about meditation classes and comedy shows, as laughter is a great way to release the zen in you.
Part 1: Ann Delmarmo
Americans use about 2,200 paper napkins per person each year, that is a lot of unnecessary waste in landfills. Enter Ann Delmarmo, one of the founders of 2GreenMinds, a company that produces a product called eco-kins, a napkin you can take everywhere, and re-use on a daily basis. Find out how an idea sprouting from necessity is helping solve a problem of unnecessary waste. Tune in to get more info on Ann, 2GreenMinds and where you can get eco-kins.
Part 2: Anjie Cho
How can we nourish our spaces and ourselves? Anjie Cho, founder of Holistic Spaces, Feng Shui architect and green designer, explains how simple it is to feed our mind and body in order to create more balanced spaces that give positive energy or “chi”. Learn about EMFS, and how you can reduce your exposure to electromagnetic fields that emit from your smartphones, TVs, computers, tablets and transmission lines. Go to www.anjiecho.com for more information.
My co-producer Abba Carmichael steps in to host TMSOG, and chats with Tony Sirna co-founder of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, a highly sustainable community, which encourages members to live off the land, off the grid and reduce consumption. They are a stellar example of being one with nature and being mindful of Mother Earth. Tune in to find out more about how Dancing Rabbit Eco Village is a model for eco awareness and preservation of the planet. Go to www.dancingrabbit.org for more info.
Religious belief and practice to the environment go hand in hand, as GreenFaith.org brings all faiths together to heal the planet. The moral and spiritual side of eco issues come to the forefront, as Reverend Fletcher Harper helps shed some light on the importance of environmental stewardship. Congregants of churches, synagogues, mosques, Buddhist retreats and more help practice conservation and promote social justice by working together, as one, to keep Mother Earth clean and green. Go to www.greenfaith.org for more information.