Tag Archives: organic food

Cleanse eve: again….

Okay, this is it…eat, drink and be merry tonight for tomorrow we go back to a cleaner, more conscious and healthier way of eating and drinking. Here is a quick recap:

Peppers are a colorful and tasty choice

Peppers are a colorful and tasty choice

~Focus on whole foods, as close to their original state as possible.  This means you will be shopping the perimeter of most stores(this may be obvious to most but in case you haven’t noticed, produce, dairy, and fresh foods like fish, meat and poultry are all around the sides of the store: boxed and canned foods are all in the center aisles)

~Eat organic foods whenever possible. If cost is a limiting factor, at least be sure to buy organic versions of the fruits and veggies on the “dirty dozen list”. Go to http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/2013s-updated-dirty-dozen-produce-list for a complete list of ‘clean and dirty’ food.

~Avoid white sugar. You may have small amounts of honey(organic, locally grown), agave and of course stevia.

Whole grains galore! Be imaginative and try new ones.

Whole grains galore! Be imaginative and try new ones.

~Avoid white flour(choose whole grains), white pasta(pick whole wheat), white potatoes(choose sweet, yams and purple), and white rice(choose brown and black)

Avoid alcohol. Choose herbal teas, organic fruit juices, kombucha and the like. I will republish a recipe for a wonderfully satisfying elixir that you can sip on each evening in lieu of that glass of wine, beer or cocktail.

Some of my favorite teas

Some of my favorite teas

Avoid caffeine. I know, this is the hardest for many of you. If you are seriously addicted to it and going without would cause terrible withdrawal headaches, you have several choices: one, gradually cut down by 1/2 the amount you consume each day or two until you are completely off or two, do the best you can.  Try new herbal  teas: there are SO many choices! I have over 15 types in my kitchen cupboard so that I never get bored. Oh, and let’s be clear: green tea does have a small amount of caffeine but it is so incredibly healthy for you, go ahead and include it during the next 10 days.

For some of you, it might be wise to eliminate gluten if you think you may have some issues with its consumption(common ones are bloating, weight gain, fatigue, eczema). For others, dairy might be a problem: gassiness, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramps are common symptoms of lactose intolerance.

We have heard from a bunch of you and we are excited that you will be joining us during the next 10 days. Remember we will be giving away a copy of “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin to one of our participants. All you need to do to be eligible  for the drawing is to be sure that you are signed up as a follower of our blog and write two comments about your progress/thoughts/etc on the cleanse. 

Looking forward to hearing from you, as always.

Bon appétit and Namaste.

Sunset over Willamette


Filed under Kyle Bell McAvoy, Whole Eating, Women's Health & Happiness

Reflections on the week

I had the good fortune to attend an all day summit on Saturday entitled “Universal Responsibility and the Global Environment: an Environmental Summit”. The original draw for me was that the Dalai Lama was going to speak throughout the day, someone whose message of compassion and tolerance is well known throughout the world. My expectations of the summit were greatly and quickly exceeded.

His Holiness, the Dalia Lama in Portland, OR on May 11, 2013

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in Portland, OR on May 11, 2013

The morning panel consisted of the Dalai Lama; our governor John Kitzhaber; the Executive Director of the Oregon Environmental Council: Andrea Durbin, David Suzuki: well-known scientist and environmentalist, and the moderator: David Miller, host of Think Out Loud( a daily radio show on our local NPR affiliate). The conversation was lively and focused on what we are facing as humans in terms of the environmental issues so prevalent throughout the world. Much has been written about the changes we are seeing in the earth’s climate and it is difficult sometimes to know how each of us CAN make a difference in our daily lives that WILL make a difference globally.

Briefly, the panel highlighted the need to shift our measurement of success from the GDP(Gross National Product), which relies primarily on the movement and growth of the economy,  to one that measures our happiness and how we interact with the environment and with others on a more sustainable manner.  Over and over again, the conversation returned to the intricate relationship the human species has with nature and its cycles: it is only in the past 100 years or so that we have distanced ourselves from farming and become more focused on our JOBS and on the cities we have built. That distance sometimes allows us to forget that we depend on ‘nature’ to give us the air, water and food that we need to live.  As David Suzuki so succinctly put it, “why has the environment become a political issue? all human beings need air and water to live: let’s start from that premise and work forward”.

At Menopausibilities we have talked about taking the time to reflect, to eat organically, to pay attention to the chemicals that we are exposed to , to be aware of the many hormone disrupters that are so prevalent in the world around us. Yet each of makes decisions every day that affect the quality of our lives: we ‘vote’ with the choices we make: where we shop, what we buy, how far we drive to go to work, whether we carpool, whether we shop locally or always look for the bargain and neglect the wider impact of our choices.

Candace and I at one of our favorite local farmers' markets: always a source of inspiration!

Candace and I at one of our favorite local farmers’ markets: always a source of inspiration!

As for me, I do try to buy organically and shop locally whenever I can but of course there are times that I don’t. I love the idea of the 80/20 or 90/10 rule of living(or eating or what have you): 80 % of the time striving for the best practice, 20 % perhaps not reaching that high bar: but that is better than most and a step in the right direction! It became quite clear to me by the end of the summit that I have some changes to make, ones that are doable and will have an impact.

First and foremost, I am going to compost again. I can’t believe that I ever stopped actually, having lived in Oregon for over 30 years…but laziness set in so now I get to start this practice again. I went and bought my silver compost bucket yesterday and I have already filled it to the top with scraps from all of the veggies and fruits that I have eaten….uh oh, now I must get my bin in place. That is my next step and I am determined to get this in place by week’s end. Then I will feel much better about creating a smaller carbon footprint plus some rich compost for my vegetable garden, which my husband and I just planted yesterday: more about that in a future post!

For now, wishing you time to reflect on the choices that you make each day…and hope that we continue to believe that we CAN make a positive impact,  even when we make seemingly small changes. As always, we would love to hear from you and some of the choices and changes you have made.



Filed under Essentials, Kyle Bell McAvoy, Women's Health & Happiness

MUST READS for Gifting Balance this Christmas

As promised, and in time for Christmas giving I have put together my all-time “must-reads”  that not only speak to me of balance but help me find and sustain it in the midst of the slings and arrows of daily living….many of my best picks for mind, body and soul balancing guidance  can be easily-peasily ordered online from our Menopausibilities Women’s Health Shop. Okay here’s my list of essential, can’t stay in balance without fantabulous reads.

The Wisdom of Menopause, Christianne Northrup, M.D.

Hormone Balance Made Simple, John R. Lee, M.D. (any of the books by John R. Lee including: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About MenopauseWhat Your Doctor May Not Tell You About PreMenopauseWhat Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer: How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life  (w/ David Zava PhD.)

The Cortisol Connection, Shawn Talbott

 Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, Dr. Jim Wilson, N.D.

The Mood Cure, Julia Ross

The books that speak of balance are essential to finding it in your body, mind and soul.

The books that speak of balance are essential to finding it in your body, mind and soul.

MIND and SOUL Balancing

The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin

Gift From the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindberg

Sex and the Seasoned Woman, Gail Sheehy

Women, Food and God, Geneen Roth

Magnificent Mind at Any Age, Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, Cheryl Strayed

The Art of Happiness, Dalai Lama

Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Body Balancing:

True Food
, Andrew Weil, M.D.

Fight Fat After 40, Pamela Peeke, M.D.

Super Nutrition for Menopause, Anne Marie Gittleman

The Thyroid Diet, Mary J. Shomon

French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano

Stay tuned, next post for Kyle’s TOP Books of Balance for the NEW YEAR!! May your days be merry, bright, and above all in balance!!

Christmas coming on - not hot flashes!

Give the gift of Balance this Christmas! Happy Holidays! Candace, Rye and Dave


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Filed under Candace Burch, Women's Health & Happiness