Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aspartame Sweetener: The Bitter Truth

Good morning all!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far. I just wanted to take a moment to share with you an extremely enlightening blog article by my friend Lille over at ~Woodstock Lily~. She is constantly a source of inspiration, hope, and positive energy, if you don't know her already please go check out her blog. You'll be a fan, I promise! :)

Anyway, the other day she posted about the dangers of Aspartame in our everyday foods.

I personally have terrible reactions to anything in food or beverages that is not "real" sugar. Nutri-sweet, aspartame, stevia, etc. Makes me sick. All of it. While it's not a life-changing issue for me, it does bring it's fair amount of ridicule because people refuse to believe that it's truly bothering me. Most seem to think that I "just don't like it"... ridiculous! 

After reading her post, I am so happy that I have been listening to my body and the cues it's been giving me loud and clear about it's aversion to artificial sweeteners. (Stomach cramps, nausea, etc.) Check it out, inform yourself, and take care of your body! It's the only one you get...

You can click HERE to read the original post, and I have also pasted the text below for your convenience. She's included some really informative reading for a more extensive look into the dangers of aspartame, be sure to check those out too!

Have a great week!!

"Aspartame: White Death" by ~Woodstock Lily~

"I feel an obligation to my readers to share what I've learned about aspartame, and a new name manufacturers will be listing it under, Neotame. Aspartame is found in 1000's of products we use everyday, and with the new changes being allowed in ingredient labeling laws, we may not see it on the ingredients except under "natural flavors". Carmel coloring is another deadly ingredient that is listed as a natural flavor on many products including all cola beverages. You may want to read recent findings about it here. Carmel Coloring and Cancer

People, this is scary. Aspartame was originally named Neotex-II and was formulated for a chemical weapon. The chemist who developed it accidentally discovered it tasted sweet when he licked his finger. Aspartame is 40 times sweeter than sugar and is cheap to make. This poison causes brain tumors, birth defects, blindness, infertility, miscarriages, and tons of other breakdowns to the human body. It's a poison!!

Below is a video from Truther Girls, "Neotame: Chemical Weapon in your Coffee" that spells out the truth about what is in your diet beverages, and most all processed foods. It's time we all take responsibility for what we put in our bodies. You are better off using regular sugar but I caution you here, as well. The fact of the matter is that sugar, and high fructose sweeteners made from corn, are in my opinion, and many other natural health specialists, another form of "white death", too. If you are pregnant DO NOT use Aspartame. Do not consume or give your children chewing gum or diet drinks. Please read your labels and eat more real food. There's a reason they call it Die-t food.

Neotame: Chemical Weapon in your Coffee

For more information and sources to read, Truther Girl has a post, "Neotame, a Sweet New Poison" you can check out for yourselves (below) about how this has been allowed in our foods and is killing us. It is eye opening, and I beg you to read it, and watch the video above. Please feel free to link back to me about this, and post this on your blogs or facebook pages. I welcome your comments and experiences with this white death masquerader.

"Neotame, a Sweet New Poison""

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Red Tent - My thoughts on

First off, I absolutely love Anita Diamant's writing style. Very easy to read, which is what I'm all about. Some of her lines made me stop, re read and sigh with mental notes to remember that particular order of wording strung together, but already, I've forgotten. I think I'll refer back to it and write them down at some stage.

While half way through this book I started to question my initial pre-conceived ideas about this story. First off, I thought, because it is based on the biblical story of Dinah, (someone who is not mentioned much in the bible for other than the fact that she was raped) I had believed it was a "Christian/religious" book.( Think Francine Rivers style ). Yet the amount of idol worship, pagan rituals and some very *ahem* heated relations graphically explained in the story made me question what genre this book actually falls into. The book is a fictitious depiction of Dinah which is based rather loosely on the story of Jacob's wives from the Bible. I feel this is important to point out as it is in no way to be taken in truth. Purely imaginative.

The story is so right up my alley with the whole sisterhood-bonding thing I love. Written in three parts, part one is dedicated to the 4 wives of Jacob who all play a role in mothering Dinah. We hear their stories, their loves and losses. We grow to love and identify with these characters in a short space of time which is a huge compliment to Diamant's writing. We find ourselves bonding with these woman while reading/living their most intimate moments, as women, together, in the red tent.

Part two is Dinah's childhood and coming of age, where a piece of me felt grief at not hearing more about these other women whose characters had been so developed.

 I am not certain whether my earliest memories are truly mine, because when I bring them to mind, I feel my mothers breath on every word.

We are introduced to more women who play a life altering role in Dinah's journey, gaining more insight into each of their own remarkable stories.

Part three without giving too much of the plot away is Dinah's young adult life away from her homeland and family in Egypt. Her experiences as a midwife and adaptation to a new culture. More women in her life that again, begin to shape and support her in her life.

I enjoyed this book immensely and missed the characters once I was finished. I loved parts where Dinah felt at peace by water, because I could relate to this.

I stood by the water's edge until the last trace of daylight had drained from the sky, and later, after the evening meal, I returned to savour the smell of the river, which was as heady to me as incense, heavy and dark and utterly different from the sweet, thin aroma of well water.

4 stars from me...and only not 5 because I wanted to actually read more about some of these characters. I felt their lives were somewhat ripped from the page after being introduced and developed so strongly.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What a year can bring...!

pst... I'm currently staying here... http://tatty-global-tefl.blogspot.com Travellers, seekers, see you there... Tatty x

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writing a Book is Not a Walk in the Park

Before you decide that getting a book deal or writing a book is your golden ticket to whatever, I invite you to read this in The New York Observer. Don't get me wrong. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity. It has been my dream to be a published author since I was...I don't know..ten years old? Now that I am actually in the process of having a book published, I realize that dream and reality are quite different.

So you want to be a published author? Are you willing to commit your life to it? Are you willing to put your children, husband, social life and everything else on the back burner for it? Are you willing to sit at your computer for LONG hours writing endlessly with very little social contact?

The reason I love blogging is that it's so interactive. I write something, you write something and we have this nice, little exchange. There's none of that with book writing, apart from the feedback you receive from your editor. I had to laugh when I read the article above. So much of what the author described was true for me. Whatever subject you choose to write on, be prepared to be stuck with that subject for one, two or even ten years in some cases. By the end of it, regardless of how much you LOVE your topic, I guarantee you'll be saying, "I'm so sick of writing about this I could SCREAM!" or "This is SO BAD, who on earth is going to read it?!"

I became consumed with the idea of writing this particular book years ago. I imagined I would write it during a few lovely weeks at my family's lake house. I'd sit out on the picnic table in the sun, birds would chirp around me as I lovingly put down my life in words.

Boy was that dream shattered quickly. First of all, you need to decide how you want your book published. I chose traditional publishing, even though I was warned numerous times that it was a tough road to publication. Everyone has to decide what's best for them. I followed my intuition on this one and stuck the tough road out. Second, if you choose this road, forget the book. If you are going to publish any work of nonfiction, you need a proposal. Mine was around 95 pages and included my book concept, a marketing plan, sample chapters, production details, a section on the competition and a section on how the book would be promoted. I knew nothing about this when I started. I had to find it all out online and through books as I bumped along the road to publishing. I spent the good part of a year just writing the proposal. I hadn't even gotten to the book yet. Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write by Elizabeth Lyon became my bible. In the early stages, I hired a writing coach in Seattle at The Writer's Workshop who gave constructive feedback on my proposal and, more than anything, helped me stay on task by holding me to deadlines.

My husband, the former monk turned yoga teacher, played an important role in this process, too. He was my sounding board, my life coach and my cheerleader. His calming nature and belief in what I was doing really helped me get through it. He'd sit for hours listening to me read back what I had written. During a private yoga session with a client who already had two books under her belt, he got word of a freelance editor in Seattle who used to be an acquisitions editor at a major publishing house. While we were out staining our fence one hot, summer afternoon, he said, "You really should call that woman." So I did and I'm so glad I did.

It helped to work with a freelance editor who had been on the other side of publishing. I learned so much from her. She helped me refine my proposal. The thing is, working with a freelance editor is not cheap and there are no guarantees. You could spend a great deal of money on advice, coaching and editing and still not have a book deal in the end.

As many before me have probably mentioned, a lot of it has to do with timing. But more than timing, you need serious commitment. If you are really committed to your project, you are willing to take whatever time and whatever measures are needed to see it become a book. You need to believe in what you are writing about and it helps if you have a reason for writing it or an author's purpose. In my case, I'm writing my story because I believe I have something important to share that will help others realize their own purpose or potential.

On occasion, my husband has entered my writing room and found me, head on the keyboard, completely burned out from writing. In most cases, I haven't showered, eaten, nor seen the light of day. He's had to wing it for meals and housekeeping has completely gone by the wayside. But he never complains. Instead, he comes over to the computer, kisses me and says, "I'm proud of you, you are doing a great job," or he gently lets me know that perhaps I should turn off the computer and come to bed.

After several years, and through what I call "some mysterious workings of the universe," I not only received agent representation, but I also a got a book deal. Some of my friends believe it happened a little too easily for me, but what they can't see is that I put in a lot of legwork. I believed, with every ounce of my being, that it would become a book. I never veered once from this goal. I put every single ounce of myself into it. It was not a walk in the park. In fact, while writing my story, I had to relive quite a bit of pain and I often wondered why I was putting myself through it all again.

I've finally finished writing the book, 287 some pages of it. Yet it is not REALLY finished until it's sandwiched between two covers or until I can walk into Barnes and Noble and hold a copy of it in my hands.

No, it was definitely NOT a walk in the park, but neither is life. And, truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Note: Lessons from the Monk I Married is due out in bookstores across North America in spring 2012.

This was reposted from my blog: Lessons from the Monk I Married