Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New discoveries

Photo courtesy of
Bing images
I have never been what I would describe as militant about anyone's food choices. I respect everyone's right to make those choices for themselves, whether that means you're a card carrying, true blue meat eater, or whether you're an all out vegan who wouldn't think of touching anything that got within light years of a living, breathing animal, or whether you're somewhere in the middle.  Live and let live has always been my preference.  I will admit that I have some vegan friends who are rather aggressive with their beliefs and approach.  I make it clear that I'm not open to being preached to or chastised over what I choose to eat.  I am a capable adult and make those choices for myself.

That being said, I do have interest in eating in as healthy a manner as I can manage, with my own food preferences and slightly odd food issues (allergies) taken into consideration.  Recently, I have been exposed via a client of mine to the whole scary world of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs).  In the process of researching this topic, I was stunned to learn that the highly touted label of 'organic' doesn't necessarily mean the food you're eating is healthy for you, OR that it is truly organic. 

Take honey as an example.  In order for any United States company to make a true claim that their honey is organic, they have to be able to prove that their bees are deriving nutrition, pollen and water from proven organic sources within a 50 mile radius of their home location.  I don't know if these stipulations apply in other countries, but just that one fact stopped me in my tracks and made me reconsider some of the food purchases I've been making over the years.  With that as a simple guideline, given that a huge number of crops that provide cross pollination to bees in the U.S. are likely to be GMO crops, honey produced in the U.S. can't really be truly labeled as 'organic'.  See what I mean?  Scary!

Spelt Grain
Courtesy of Bing images
This client, fortunately, is a wonderful U.S. company, Berlin Natural Bakery in Berlin, Ohio that produces a wide range of spelt products that are Non-GMO Project Verified.  I am happy to report that I can source their products here in my local area and plan to make a big shift in my own household to their breads, pastas and more.  This is a simple thing that I can do and feel good knowing I am consuming healthy foods that have not been genetically tinkered with.  It's a small step, and some may argue that everything else I eat can't be proven to be equally healthy and 'safe', but for me, it's a good step in the right direction. 

Another fairly new avenue [to me] for health and holistic maintenance is essential oils. I have some clients and dear friends who are masters at this art and science, and I am learning fascinating new details and knowledge almost daily from my contact with them.  As a former licensed massage therapist, I always used essential oils in my practice, but didn't give a great deal of thought to the healing properties of those essential oils.  Looking back, I wonder why I didn't delve more deeply into it, but at the time I was more focused on establishing my business and being successful.  My clients enjoyed the aromatherapy aspects of the oils that I used and that was great.  Now, having connected with two amazing women who have successful aromatherapy and essential oil businesses, I am being exposed to a whole world of health benefits I never realized essentials give us.

We all know that scents give us visceral, emotional reactions.  The smell of baking bread or chocolate chip cookies in the oven will take us right back to happy childhood memories.  The smell of freshly cut grass kicks us into thoughts of hot, lazy summer afternoons walking behind the cranky push mower, sweating like a fiend and looking forward to a cold drink at the end of the chore.  Perfumes bring to mind specific people.  Every scent has some personal tie in our minds and memories.  The wonderful thing about essential oils is that they're not just delightful to smell - they're full of amazing healing properties.

Photo courtesy of
Bing images

I am a novice at this and can only refer to my friends Julie Nelson of Aromatique Essentials in Australia and Sheen Perkins McKeever of Agape Oils and Essential Oils by Nature in Wilmington, North Carolina as the true experts in the essential oils field.  One good example that I've learned is that the ages old resin, Frankincense, has the following powerful properties: it is antiseptic, antifungal, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic.  Wow, right?!  It is also a wonderful ingredient that can be incorporated into aromatherapy for its calming influence.  What I am learning that is so exciting is that essential oils can be efficacious for so many ailments, ranging from aches and pains such as arthritis and bruises to more serious complaints such as respiratory issues and such dread modern issues as MRSA infections.

I consider myself quite fortunate to be connected with these wonderful people running these progressively thinking companies.  Through working with each of them, I am learning and being exposed to ideas, products and information that are changing the way I live my life...changing it in a healthy way!  Because learning and growing always excites and makes me happy, when I stumble across topics of this nature, it is my first wish and impulse to share the information.  I hope many of you will take time to click on these various companies I've mentioned and do some research, and discovering of your own.  These are small steps to take, yes, in the broad scheme of all the toxins that we are bombarded with in our daily lives, but we all have to start somewhere.  Why not take those first steps in directions that taste and smell good? 

Happy eating and happy fragrant moments!


  1. Good points Dawn. The "organic" label is often just a marketing tool to charge a premium for a product. People would be surprised to find out how little it can mean. Truly "100% organic" food typically costs more than most would pay and in some cases isn't even possible (beef for example, has typically been subjected to some amount of antibiotics just to maintain health standards) It can mean higher quality, but not necessarily.
    Good insights on aromatherapy. Amazing how a smell can alter your mood entirely!

  2. Following from Get Your Blog Followers. Thanks for the links. I will def check them out. I have type 1 and my son is off all processed foods. So healthy is exactly how we are living our lives here on our farm. :)

  3. I've honestly never paid attention to any of those things. For me price is a big factor in purchases & organic labeled products, whether they're 100% or not, are way too costly. I'll definitely check out those essential oil companies, sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Brent, I agree with you on the 'weasel wording' with marketing campaigns. It is truly appalling what the government is doing behind the scenes with our food supply, so it does pay to be informed about what we eat.

    Robyn, another thing about spelt grain - it is approved by the American Diabetic Association as appropriate for diabetics, as it is a very low glycemic ingredient. That's another reason I wanted to source Berlin Natural Bakery products here locally, because my Mom has Metabolic Syndrome. Anything that helps keep those insulin levels on an even course is worth looking into!

    Anahid, honey, I'm right there with you on expense of organic products. We have two natural food stores here in Knoxville - Earth Fare and Fresh Market - and while I love the wide range of products I can find there, I can't afford to do the majority of my grocery shopping with them. During spring & summer months, I hit local Farmer's Market stands for fresh produce, but the rest of the food I purchase has to fit my budget. I think most of us fall into that category, but I do make an effort to educate myself about healthy options. This topic just amazed me with the intentional misinformation that is being perpetrated!

    I'm glad all of you found this article interesting - it is near and dear to my heart in regards to a holistic, healthy approach to live. :)