Posted by: audrat123 | January 30, 2011

Chocolate Bread with Chocolate Butter

This recipe is designed for bread machines.

1 cup warm milk

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg
3 cups white bread flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Place ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by
the
manufacturer.
Select Basic or Sweet bread cycle and start machine.

Makes one 2 pound loaf.

Chocolate Butter

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Cream butter with electric mixer, beat in cooled chocolate until well
mixed.
Spoon into serving container with lid and chill until firm.
Serve with warm Chocolate Bread or other breads such as brioche or
croissants.

Makes 3/4 cup.

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Posted by: audrat123 | January 30, 2011

Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflés

nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Spray 8 ramekins with cooking spray and sprinkle them with the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

3. Combine flour and salt in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and cook until thick, about 3 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Whisk in the instant coffee, vanilla and egg yolks. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

5. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until the eggs are foamy. Gradually add half of the granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Continue beating and slowly add the remaining sugar.

6. Gently fold 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Spoon the batter into prepared ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and set.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Serving Size: 1 soufflé

Posted by: audrat123 | October 7, 2010

Gluten Free Candies

Credit for this list goes to: http://surefoodsliving.com/2010/10/gluten-free-halloween-candy-quick-list-2010/

ADAMS & BROOKS

  • Scooby Doo! Fun Pops (lollipops with picture of Scooby Doo)

AIRHEADS

  • Airheads Bars and Airheads Bars Sour
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour.”
  • Airheads Pops and Whistle Pops

ANNABELLE’S

  • Big Hunk
    • Package statement: “made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Abba Zabba
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Look
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • U-No
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”

 

CADBURY ADAMS (now part of Kraft Foods)

  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Extreme
  • Sour Patch Xploderz
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that handles peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy and wheat.”

 

CE DE CANDY

  • Smarties (USA only, not Canada), Smarties in a Pouch, Tropical Smarties, X-TREME Sour Smarties, Easter Smarties, Smarties Parties, Smarties Double Lollies, Smarties Mega Lollies, Smarties Pops
  • Bubble Gum Smarties
  • Candy Money
  • Love Hearts

FARLEY’S AND SATHERS

  • Super Bubble and Super Bubble Blast
  •  Trolli Gummi Bears, Trolli Sour Brite (Frite) Crawlers
     

    • Made in allergen-free facility but packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.
  • Jujyfruits, Jujubes
     

    • Made in allergen-free facility but packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.
  • Now and Later regular
  • Now and Later Soft
  • Brach’s Candy Corn and Gummi Candy Corn (not flavored candy corns — see below)
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
  • Brach’s Caramel Candy Corn, Caramel Apple Candy Corn, Chocolate Caramel Candy Corn
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and/or soy protein”
  • Brach’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and/or soy protein”
  • Heide candies — Jujyfruits, Jujubes, Cool Grape, Red Raspberry Dollars, Wild Cherry

FERRARA PAN

  • Lemonhead
  • Red Hots
  • Chewy Lemonhead and Friends
  • Tropical Chewy Lemonhead and Friends
  • Applehead
  • Grapehead
  • Cherryhead

FRANKFORD CANDY & CHOCOLATE COMPANY

  • SpongeBob Gummy Krabby Patties
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, and wheat.”
  • Gummy Body Parts
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, milk and soy.”

HERSHEY

  •  Milk Chocolate Bars
  • Milk Chocolate Bars with Almonds
  • Milk Duds
  • Heath Minis
  • Kisses, Special Dark Kisses
  • Almond Joy
  • Mr. Goodbar
  • Baby Ruth
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy and Hard Candy Sticks
  • Jolly Rancher Doubles, Pops and Mini-Stix
  • Reese’s
  • Pay Day
  • York Peppermint Patties

IMPACT CONFECTIONS

  • Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes 
  • Warheads Extreme Sour Hard Candy

JELLY BELLY

  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

JUST BORN

  • Mike & Ike
  • Hot Tamales
  • Peeps Pumpkins and Ghosts
  • Peeps Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Covered Pumpkins

 

MARS

  • M & Ms Plain
  • M & Ms Peanut
  • Snickers
  • 3 Musketeers and 3 Musketeers Mint
  • Milky Way Midnight Bar
  • Dove Milk Chocolate and Dove Dark Chocolate
  • Dove Peanut Butter

NECCO

  • SkyBar Twilight Saga Chocolate Truffle Heart
  • SkyBar Twilight Saga Peanut Butter Wolf
  • SkyBar Twilight Saga Caramel Cullen Medallion
  • Mary Janes
  • Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses (orange wrapper like taffy with no ingredients) 
  • Wafers

 

NESTLE

  • Butterfinger
  • Raisinets
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Baby Ruth

PEARSON’S

  • Mint Patties

POPCORN EXPRESSIONS

  • Kettle Corn Snack Bags

RIVIERA

  • Spooky Candy Rings (eyeballs, Frankenstein heads and other shapes on rings)

R.M. PALMER COMPANY

  • Palmer Tricky Treats — Googly Eyes, Boneheads, Pumpkin Patch
    • Package statement: “Manufactured on equipment which also processes wheat, peanut butter and tree nuts.”
  • halloweeneyeballcandyCreepy Peepers (white wrapped balls that look like eyeballs with various colors of eyes and red veins — no ingredients listed on individual pieces)
    • Package statement: “Manufactured on equipment which also processes wheat, peanut butter and tree nuts.”
  • Peppermint Patties
    • Package statement: “Manufactured on equipment which also processes wheat, peanut butter and tree nuts.”

RUSSELL STOVER

  • Marshmallow Pumpkin, Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin, Marshmallow Football
    • Package statement: “Products have been produced on shared equipment with peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.”
  • Coconut Cream Pumpkin
    • Package statement: “Products have been produced on shared equipment with peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.”

SPANGLER

  • Dum Dums
  • Chewy Pops
  • Saf-T-Pops
  • Circus Peanuts
  • Candy Canes
  • Chewy Canes
  • Shrek Ogreheads

TOOTSIE

  • Charleston Chew (including minis)
  • Charms Blow Pops, Sweet Pops, Zip-A-Dee Mini Pops, Fluffy Stuff Pops
  • Charms Flat Pops
  • Dots 
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Rolls and Fruit Rolls
  • Junior Mints
  • Junior Caramels
  • Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum, Tear Jerker Sour Bubble Gum
  • Sugar Babies and Sugar Mama
  • Sugar Daddy
  • Caramel Apple Pops

WONKA

  • Bottlecaps, Everlasting Gobstopper, Runts, Fun Dip and Fun Dip Sour, Pixy Stix, Sweetarts (regular), Tart N Tinys, Nerds, Spree
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg.” (Sweetarts)
  • Chewy Runts, Chewy Gobstopper, Laffy Taffy Stretchy and Tangy, Giant Chewy Sweetarts, Mini Chewy Sweetarts, Sweetarts Chewy Twists, Chewy Tart N Tiny, Chewy Spree
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that also processes wheat.” (Giant Chewy Sweetarts)
  • Laffy Taffy, Laffy Taffy Rope, Sweetarts Chew
  • Giant Chewy Nerds
    • Package statement: “Made on equipment that also processes peanuts, nuts, milk, wheat and soy.”

 

WRIGLEY

  • Starburst
  • Skittles, Skittle Sour and Skittle Crazy Cores
  • Lifesavers Hard Candy and Lifesavers Pops
  • Lifesavers Gummies, Big Ring Gummies regular and Sweet and Sour
  • Hubba Bubba Gum, Glop, Max, Pop

Natural/specialty candies:

AMANDA’S OWN CONFECTIONS (www.amandasown.com)

  • Chocolate shapes and chocolate lollipops

ANNIE’S

  • Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks (Flavors: Tropical Treat, Berry Patch, Sunny Citrus, Summer Strawberry)

CHOCOLATE DECADENCE (www.chocolatedecadence.com)

  • Chocolate Halloween shapes and chocolate bars
    • except pretzel items

CRISPY CAT

  • Mint Coconut Candy Bar
  • Toasted Almond Candy Bar
  • Chocolate Marshmallow Candy Bar

DIVVIES (www.divvies.com)

  • Boo x2 Chocolate Ghosts
  • BinGo! Divvine Chocolate Bar
  • Benjamint Crunch Bar
  • Halloween Jelly Beans

 

ENJOY LIFE (www.enjoylifefoods.com)

  • Boom CHOCO Boom Dark Chocolate Bar, Crispy Rice Bar, Milk Bar

INDIE CANDY (www.indiecandy.com)

  • Halloween Chocolate Lollipops
  • Halloween Crystal Lollipops
  • Halloween Gummies 

PURE FUN (www.organiccandy.com)

  • Halloween Pure Pops

SURF SWEETS (www.surfsweets.com)

  • Gummy Worms, Gummy Swirls, Gummy Bears, Fruity Bears, Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Sour Berry Bears

YUMMY EARTH (www.yummyearth.com)

  • Lollipops, Candy Drop, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms

Looking for non-candy ideas for Halloween? Read How to have an allergy-free Halloween

Posted by: audrat123 | September 20, 2010

8 Keys to Maintain Balance

These keys are based upon truths that are spiritual, mental and physical. My new age upbringing shows in this one.

The Keys are as follows:

1) We must acknowledgement our self perception – We are each unique and come with our own set of past experiences.

2) Our truth is based on the conditioned by what we perceive.

3) Maintain personal integrity – Accept you may not understand or like where someone else is coming from, nor are you required to.

4) Be true to you, not what you perceive others would see you as.

5) We must acknowledge our value – Your value is how you fit within the world. 

6) Accept your power – True Power comes not from the ego. True Power is gentle. In Truth, power is graceful, not of abusiveness or negative. True power is intentional.

7) Take hold of your value, your perfection, your power, your grace. What this means is to effect change we must embody it. You must walk your talk, not hide who you are.

8) Remember to breath and that each breath is cleansing. When we do not breathe because we are tense, our energies compact, becoming more and more sluggish. As a result, our manifestation becomes sluggish or even stalled.

Posted by: audrat123 | September 13, 2010

The power of Release

 A powerful healer and often a difficult task.

Through surrendering what is painful we allow ourselves to work toward the most important goal – life without fear and restriction.

Often we hold on to disappointments, to situations and people that hurt us, as a means of self-protection. Ultimately however, attachments like this repress us. Our Spirit suffocates by the thick walls we build. It is a real energy zapper to live a life of regrets and with fear of being hurt/failure etc. The weight of the walls we build is costly and affects our health on all levels.

As one door closes, many more will open if you have faith in yourself and your life plan. Know that this process is not a quick one; it has to be backed up with loving action and positive thoughts. You are restructuring your thought patterns and releasing emotions that will likely seem painful at first. The end result is worth the effort.

Exercise:

Choose a situation that has been weighing on you that you are ready to surrender. Pull the situation up and look at it. How has this affected you? What restrictions have you placed on yourself by carrying this with you? Why do you continue to be attached to it? Once you have been honest, reevaluate the situation again and turn it around.

What positive lessons can your carry with you from the experience? Did it make you stronger?  Focus on the positives you can take away, and envision holding onto these and let the rest go. Reaffirm this through releasing the emotions surrounding it, cry, yell, write, or whatever you need to do to let it go, and then back it up with positive thoughts and actions. When you are ready say:

“I release you or this situation in love and light, releasing all hold or impact on my life.”

You will feel the release. You will feel lighter, stronger, and more confident.

Posted by: audrat123 | September 7, 2010

USA PATRIOT Act: Advantages and Disadvantages

History and Overview

            September 11, 2001 is the most horrific example of terrorism on United States soil that Americans had ever witnessed. More than 2800 people died as a result of that attack.  Then president, George W. Bush, declares a “War on Terror (2001).” The event becomes a catalyst for the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. Americas are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent this tragedy from happening again. Approved by an over whelming majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives the act is signed into law on October 26, 2001 (Doyle, 2001). The name of the act is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (2001).

The act gives more authority to law enforcement and intelligence agencies to gather evidence against terrorism (2001). The view of federal money laundering is altered to incorporate overseas activities (2001). The penalties for existing federal crimes increases and adjustments are made in federal procedures concerning terrorism (2001). Immigration laws adjust to make it harder for terrorists to enter the Unites States, and authorization gives the ability to detain or deport terror suspects (2001). The act increases the capability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to respond to threats of terrorism (2001). The document also contains several sunset provisions; essentially this is a date of termination for all or part of the act unless legislation extends it (2001). Some Titles of the act are currently without sunset provision because of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Yeh & Doyle, 2006). The 2005 act makes 14-16 sections of the original act permanent that should have expired. The new act additionally expands law enforcement and intelligence agencies ability to fight terrorism (2006). One section extended was the definition of “agent of foreign power” as any non- American who employs terrorist activities and is not a member of a terrorist group or organization (2006). The act extends federal crime codes and any forfeiture acquired from terrorist activities (2006). The USA PATRIOT Act is relevant but discriminatory to the rights of American. The advantages and disadvantage of the USA PATRIOT Act is an overview of the sacrifice of American rights versus terrorism.

The Advantages of the USA PATRIOT ACT

            Protecting American’s against foreign and domestic terrorism is the main focus of the PATRIOT Act. The act gives an official definition of domestic terrorism as any person who commits a violent act or intends to harm human life within the United States (Doyle, 2001). This is the first time domestic terror has a legitimately definition. Additionally, the document takes laws that already exists and have been very effective for drug related crimes and applies them to terrorism (Platfoot, 2009).  For example, law enforcement and intelligence agencies can ask a federal judge for business records or to obtain a search warrant where ever terror related activities occur (ACLU, n.d.). The act does provide an easier way to investigate. By streamlining communication between agencies, it allows them to communicate and share information about various terrorist activities (Platfoot, 2009). Agencies can perform a ‘sneak and peak’ and delay notification for up to three months (Doyle, 2001). The act does specifically states that any surveillance must be to prevent international terrorism and not to prevent free speech (Platfoot, 2009). If a terrorist is caught tougher federal crime penalties mean the terrorist stays behind bars. To keep up with modern terrorism there are provisions that permits new technologies to match new threats, such high-tech computer surveillance equipment (Platfoot, 2009.). As of 2005, 395 people were charged with crimes relating to terrorism with more than 212 convictions (Ryan, 2005).      

The Disadvantages of the USA PATRIOT Act

            American policy makers must respect the Constitution to protect American rights. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are for everyone, regardless of class, or position. Even if that person is a part-time cook or a full-time policy maker these rights exist regardless of war or peace. These laws and American rights are being assaulted by the USA PATRIOT Act.

            Shortly after September 11, George W. Bush invoked presidential powers giving him more authority and the ability to summon the reserves (ACLU, 2003). A war-like framework created the USA PATRIOT Act to fight terrorism by giving up American civil liberties (2003).  Centralizing the power of law enforcement and intelligence agencies stream lines efficiency but gave unchecked powers to investigate people to combat terrorism. The act is so vaguely worded that agencies can investigate not just acts of terrors but any act of violence or threats that include public officers or property (2003). The Bush administration also reclassified terrorism to include regular domestic criminal acts (2003).  This act also placed the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency, in control of domestic intelligence gathering (2003).

            The PATRIOT Act is a consistent assault on the First, Fourth, and Fifth Constitutional Amendments.  The violation of the First Amendment’s free speech is by the ‘gag” command given when agencies request records held by a third party and then prevent them from telling the individual (2003). An investigation of an individual can include accessing records that support First Amendment pursuits like the library, the bookstore, the doctors, or even the Internet (2003).  The Fourth Amendment is a protection against unreasonable search and seizure. By far this is the biggest violation of individual rights within the PATRIOT Act. Agencies have easy access in a “sneak and peak,” searching a home or business and the agency does not have to show probably cause (2003).  Plus the act permits a delay in notification that breaches the Fourth Amendment.  Failure to notify also goes against the Fifth Amendment right to due process (2003). These powers given by this act remain unfiltered and unchecked. Because of the lack of checks and balances, Americans are giving up their civil right protected by the Constitution and often aren’t even aware of it.

Freedom by Surrender

            Promises being made to keep the average American out of harm and the reach of the unchecked powers of the USA PATRIOT Act aren’t resonating truth any more. The law compromises to protect American’s against terrorism. The Act is about America against Americans. The lack of accountability for implementation of this law is staggering. Document release by the Supreme Court in 2006 show the arrogance of the government and its desire to protect the PATRIOT Act. The documents show the government’s attempts to censor quotes from previous Supreme Court cases (ACLU, 2006). The courts rules that documents once made public cannot be prevent from publication (2006). The necessity to edit Supreme Court documents in the name of national security is absurd. The USA PATRIOT Act and its lack of accountability is asking Americans to withdraw their liberty. The founders of the Constitution fought in the Revolutionary War to give Americans these rights. Rights worth fighting and dying for are still valid today. American’s cannot gain freedom by surrendering.

References

ACLU American Civil Liberties Union of Rice University (n.d.) Are You Willing to Give Up Civil Liberties for Security? Retrieved from: http://www.aclu-houston.org/rice/patriotAct.html

ACLU American Civil Liberties Union (2003) What is the USA PATRIOT Act? Retrieved from: http://www.aclu.org/national-security/surveillance-under-usa-patriot-act

ACLU American Civil Liberties Union (2006) Supreme Court Unseals Document in PActriot Act Case, Retrieved from: http://www.aclu.org/national-security/supreme-court-unseals-documents-patriot-act-case

9 11 by the Numbers (2010) New York Magazine. Retrieved from: http://nymag.com/news/articles/wtc/1year/numbers.htm

Bush, George W. (2001) Address to Congress and the American People Following the September 11, 2001 Attacks (“War on Terror” Declaration). Retrieved from: http://www.history2u.com/bush_war_on_terror.htm

Doyle, Charles (2001) Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis if the USA PATRIOT Act. Retrieved from: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/7952.pdf

Platfoot, Keith (2009) Patriot Act Stop Terror. Retrieved from: http://www.thelantern.com/2.1346/patriot-act-stops-terror-1.89039#5

Ryan, Kevin V. (2005) PATRIOT Act Has Major Advantages. Retrieved from: http://www.dailycal.org/article/18771/patriot_act_has_major_advantages

Whitehead, John W and Aden, Stephen H. (2002) Forfeiting “Enduring Freedom” for“Homeland Security”: A Constitutional Analysis of The USA PATRIOT Act and the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism. Retrieved from: http://www.wcl.american.edu/journal/lawrev/51/correctedaden.pdf?rd=1

Yeh, Brian T. and Doyle, Charles (2006) USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act 2005:  A Legal Analysis. Retrieved from: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33332.pdf

Posted by: audrat123 | September 3, 2010

The Akashic Records

Akashic comes from akasha- the Sanskrit word meaning hidden library. This hidden library is a record of all history, past and future. It can reveal the future because time is not linear, it is cyclical. It only appears to be linear because our corporeal state. The Akashic records exits in the ethereal realm.  We each can gain access to these records because each of us has a spark of the divine within us. The spark is the key; the Akasha is the door that leads hall of records where we can access the information. The Akashic records are stored in layers, like a funnel. The overall or big picture is the top layer and the detailed records are underneath. The big picture is the description of our soul’s path or overall journey through this existence. We usually access this information from the bottom of the funnel getting bits and pieces of past lives mixed in with our own current life. They come across jumbled and usually don’t make sense. Sometimes it seeps into our current life and manifests as phobias, feelings of déjà vu, affinities or attachments to things. Ever meet someone who has a thing for a particular era and they don’t know why? Or met someone who is overwhelmingly terrified of something, but never had a negative experience with it, in this life? These are all sign that past life issues are seeping in through the funnel and making themselves known. The best way to deal with these issues is to research your own Askashic record. Find out what past life is influencing or interfering with this one.

We access the records through the veil of the subconscious. Access can be blocked by mundane worries, anxieties, emotions or the stress of everyday life. The best way to retrieve this information is to meditate. Meditation is a very effective way to tap into the subconscious. You must be in a very relaxed state where nothing is distracting the mind. We are often in this state just prior to falling asleep or waking up. For many people they need to do some release work before they can enter this state of meditation. A very easy way to release mundane worries is through visualization.

Releasing Visualization

  1. Take a deep breath; try to full your lungs to capacity. Hold to the count of three. Then release. Repeat 3 times.
  2. Close your eyes and visualize what is stressing you. One thing at a time. Then see it as a moving photo, like in Harry Potter.
  3. See the end of the photo catch fire and burn completely.
  4. While that is happening say “I release you in love and light.” Or something similar to that.

Once this visualization is complete you should be able to relax enough to try to get access to the Akashic records.

Remember: It is important to set aside the mundane self. This will allow you to reach a high vibrational  state in your mediation and allow for freer access to the records.

Posted by: audrat123 | September 2, 2010

BREATHING TECHNIQUES

During stressful situations we rarely stop to think about what is happening to our bodies.  The pressures of the moment keep our minds occupied on almost everything but our physiological functions. Consequently those functions often become irregular, leaving us in an unhealthy state. When we are in this state we have a greater chance of getting sick and less of a chance of success.

Among the many physiological functions adversely affected by stress is our breathing. Even when stress is minimal few people retain a habit of natural, full breathing which is required for maintaining a good mental and physical state. Proper breathing is essential for sustaining life and cleansing inner body systems. By learning proper breathing techniques stressful situations may be handled better. Mental and physical health will be improved

BREATHING: THE IMPORTANCE OF OXYGEN

Oxygen plays a vital role in the circulatory and respiratory systems. As we breathe, oxygen that is inhaled purifies our blood by removing poisonous waste products circulating throughout our blood systems. Irregular breathing will hamper this purification process and cause waste products to remain in circulation. Digestion will then become irregular, leaving tissues and organs undernourished. Improper oxygen consumption will lead to fatigue and heightened anxiety states. The irregular breathing elicited during stressful situations not only makes them harder to cope with but also contribute to a general deterioration of health. By the careful control of our breathing pattern, we may not only rejuvenate our systems but counter the unhealthy effects of stress.

BREATHING METHODS

Breathing methods are useful to settle the body and mind and create a heightened sense of awareness. Breathing exercises have been practiced for thousands of years in the East. The West began studying the effectiveness and importance of them a few decades ago.

The following breathing methods can be helpful for reducing anger, anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, muscular tension and stress.

PROPER BREATHING.

While breathing is a function most people take for granted, rarely is it practiced in a proper fashion. Before beginning any technique it is essential that you learn how to breath properly and fully:

Lie down on a rug or blanket on the floor with your legs straight and slightly apart, your toes pointed comfortably outwards, arms at your sides not touching your body, your palms up, and your eyes closed. This is called a “relaxed body” position. Take time to relax your body and breathe freely.

It is best to breathe through your nose, as the tiny hairs and mucous membranes filter out dust and toxins from the inhaled air. Keep your mouth closed as you breathe.

As you breathe, your chest and abdomen should move together. If only the chest seems to rise and fall, your breathing is shallow and you are not making good use of the lower part of your lungs. As you inhale you should feel your abdomen rising; it is as if your stomach is filling with air. As you exhale, the abdomen comes back in, like a balloon releasing all of its air. This inhale and exhale process should continue comfortably and smoothly. The chest and abdomen should rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. The chest should move only slightly.

DEEP, RELAXED BREATHING.

Although this exercise can be practiced in a variety of poses, the following is recommended for beginners:

Lie down on a blanket or rug on the floor. Bend your knees and move your feet about eight inches apart, with your toes turned outward slightly. Make sure your spine is straight.

Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.

Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose into your abdomen to push up your hand as much as feels comfortable. Your chest should move only a little and only with your abdomen.

Continue step three until it becomes rhythmic and comfortable. Now smile slightly, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, making a quiet, breezy sound as you gently blow out. Your mouth, tongue and jaw will be relaxed. Take long, slow, deep breaths raising and lowering your abdomen. Hear the sound and feel the texture of breathing as you become more and more relaxed.

When you first begin this technique, do it for five minutes. When you become more comfortable with it, you may extend it up to 20 minutes.

Upon ending a session, stay still for a few minutes and try to keep the entire body relaxed.

The purpose of this technique is to develop a good, relaxing breathing method. It may be practiced anytime, especially during stressful situations.

THE RELAXING SIGH.

Sighing and yawning during the day are signs that you are not getting enough oxygen. A sigh releases a bit of tension and can be practiced at will as a means of relaxing.

Sit or stand up straight.

Sigh deeply, letting out a sound of deep relief as the air rushes out of your lungs.

Let new air come in naturally.

Repeat this procedure eight to twelve times whenever you feel the need for it, and experience the feeling of relaxation.

 THE CLENCHED FIST.

This exercise will stimulate your breathing, circulation and nervous system.

Stand up straight, hands at your sides.

Inhale and hold a complete natural breath as described above.

Raise your arms out in front of you, keeping them up and relaxed.

Gradually bring your hands to your shoulders. As you do, slowly contract your hands into fists so that when they reach your shoulders they are clenched as tight as possible.

Keep the fists tense as you push your arms out straight again very slowly.

Pull your arms back to your shoulders and straighten them out, fists tense, as fast as you can, several times.

IMAGINATIVE BREATHING.

This exercise combines the relaxing benefits of deep, relaxed breathing with the curative value of positive auto-suggestions.

Lie down on a rug or blanket on the floor in a “relaxed body” pose.

Place your hands gently on your solar plexus (that point where your ribs start to separate above your abdomen) and practice deep, relaxed breathing for a few minutes.

Imagine that, with each incoming breath of air, energy is rushing into your lungs and being immediately stored in your solar plexus. Imagine that as you exhale, this energy is flowing out to all parts of your body. Form a mental picture of this energizing process.

Continue on a daily basis for at least five to ten minutes a day.

THE ROLLING BREATH.

The following exercise requires a partner and is effective in relaxing and energizing you.

Lie on your back. Have your partner put one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.

Inhale and exhale as in deep, relaxed breathing, but each inhale is taken in two stages abdomen, then chest. Imagine that you are breathing into your partner’s hand as you fill your belly with air. When your abdomen feels full, continue breathing into your chest. Watch your partner’s hands as it rises.

Exhale fully through the chest and belly simultaneously.

Repeat. It is important to keep a rhythmic rolling effect between abdomen and chest. Breathe at your natural pace, however.

Any of the above techniques can and should be practiced every day. Being a natural preventive measure for stress, there are very few side effects. It will take some time before you observe any profound changes within your body and mind taking place, but practice diligently and patiently. You will eventually realize that you have more energy and are much more relaxed.

Posted by: audrat123 | August 25, 2010

Understanding the Basics of a Gluten Allergy

If you aren’t familiar with having food allergies, dealing with one is a bit like juggling. Substitutions become the corner stone of your diet. It can be frustrating and even over whelming to learn what you can and cannot eat. I am very familiar with food allergies, especially gluten. I am going to list some of the basics. Some you might already know and others you may not.

  1. Gluten is a protein that was only recently discovered (1998).  Previously it was thought to be just a wheat allergy or irritable bowel.
  2. Less than two years ago the only way to test for Celiac was an intestinal biopsy, today there is a blood test.
  3. Celiac is the primary disease that causes a gluten allergy. You can have gluten intolerance and not be allergic. With gluten intolerance your bowels are irritated by gluten, but not damaged. With Celiac the bowels cilia are stunned. They don’t function and they don’t absorb, which mean you aren’t getting any nutrients.  It is also the reason the bowels swing from constipation to diarrhea.
  4. It is a myth that if you’re heavy or over weight you don’t have celiac or a gluten problem. Many people who suffer from this disease are overweight and lose weight once on they change their diet.
  5. Do not assume that if you are symptom free, you can’t have the allergy. If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with celiac, you need to be tested.  It runs in families.
  6. If this gluten allergy isn’t corrected there can be sever consequences. You can develop Leaky Bowels.  The bowels become irritated, ulcerate and leak into your blood stream. This is not only dangerous it is toxic. They also believe untreated Celiac can be related to Crohn’s disease.
  7. It is not uncommon for someone with Celiac’s to also be a diabetic.
  8. Know and understand Gluten Ataxia. This is a reaction to gluten sensitivity, where it does damage to the cerebellum of the brain often mimicking symptoms of a stroke.
  9. Do NOT cheat every now and then. It can take as little as 1/8th of a teaspoon to cause damage to the intestines.
  10. Foods that are gluten free have come a very long way! Many companies are making wonderful breads, pizza crusts and bagels. But the food will cost you 2-3 times as much. Sticker shock is inevitable. My pizza crust costs me $8 for 4 personal sizes. My bagels are $5. The bread I use to make grill cheese sandwiches if $5 a loaf. Doughnut are $7 for dozen (they are so good, my friend say you can’t tell they are gluten free).
  11. The best advice I can give anyone who has a gluten allergy is to make out a menu. It can be a struggle to cook on the fly when you have just been diagnosed.
  12. If you want to make things from scratch, make a large batch and freeze the rest. It will make life so much easier.
  13. Yes, there are bread machines with a gluten-free setting. I found mine on Amazon.
  14. Keeps snacks handy when you are headed somewhere and you are going to be tempted by gluten. If you have a substitute ready, it makes temptation much easier to handle.
  15. If you can’t find it in a local store look for it online. There are some great places to shop for gluten free product online. Gluten-free Mall is one of them.
  16. Know that you are not alone. There are many groups and places for you to connect with others. There are wonderful magazines, like Living Without. You can eve request gluten-free cook book from the library.
  17. Be patient with yourself and know that grieving is part of the adjustment process. We are surrounded by gluten, in various forms everywhere we go. It will take some time to let go of old habits and embrace new ones.
  18. Know that from this point on you will get better and healthier.
Posted by: audrat123 | August 24, 2010

A Basic Understaning of Islam

It should be of great concern to all of us when a group start to self identify with the stereo types project at it by the global main stream. This is the case for the Islamic religion, Muslims.

Rationally most of us understand there are all types in all religions. Not every Catholic is pro-life, not every Witch casts spells and not every Muslim is a terrorist. So what is it about this religion that makes most Americans so nervous? Is it the fact the extremists are so violent?

I take a different approach. I believe much of the fear is based in ignorance. Most Americans who aren’t Muslim know next to nothing about their beliefs or religion.

Here are a few basic facts:

1) “Islam” means “peace through the submission to God”.

2) “Muslim” means “anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God”.

3) There are five pillars of practice in Islam. These practices must be undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered a true Muslim: A) Shahadah – declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that Muhammad is the last prophet of God. B) Formal prayer five times a day. C) Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. D) Poor-due “tax” – 2.5% of one’s savings given to the needy at the end of each year. E) Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.

4) There are six articles of faith in Islam. These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are belief in: A) the One God. B) all the prophets of God. C) the original scriptures revealed to Prophets Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. D) the angels. E) the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter. F) the divine decree (or destiny).

5) Muslim women wear the head-covering (hijab) in fulfillment of God’s decree to dress modestly. From a practical standpoint, it serves to identify one as attempting to follow God in daily life and, therefore, protects women from unwanted advances from men.

6) Muhammad is respected as a prophet. He is not regarded as the “founder” of Islam, but rather as one in a long line of prophets from Adam to Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Jesus. Islam therefore did not begin with Muhammad, whose role was that of a “messenger” who received and passed on a revelation from God.

7) Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God. The Qur’an has many stories about Biblical characters which are very similar to those in the Old and New Testaments.

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