Puppy Love, Making Love, Finding Love; Modern Misconceptions about those four little letters

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I’ve said ‘do what you love’ for years. But, I keep seeing this phrase extended. So, I decided to make some revisions.

Do what you love, Judge what you do, Only true love can heal you.

If your ‘love’ is killing you, then it’s not love. Modern day ‘love’ making has been demeaned to a point, that it now means something different. ‘Making love to your woman’, doesn’t exactly sound classy.

Modern ‘Love’:
L: Lust
O: Only tonight
V: V.D.
E: Experience

Love has in many ways been dwindled down to just mean sex. But sex without love will only hurt you. It’s portrayed as wholly sufficient in itself, but people like sex as much as they like people. There are people you like, and people you don’t. Sex solely depends on the person your with and your relationship with them. It’s just not about a physical action, or anyone off the street would do.

I knew guys who had a glorified/incorrect perception of sex when they were teenagers. Unfortunately, since they thought it was just about the physical, they started having sex when they were thirteen/fourteen years old. And ya, it was a bit of a let down. They described it as ‘kind of weird’. And that’s because a guy’s sex drive is not just driven by their body, but their mind. Try having a guy think about his grandma and get pepped up. It’s not going to happen because their mind would be revolted. Now, one could say that’s because she’s not physically attractive, but you can take a sexy women who is cruel, clingy, and obnoxiously loud and she can turn a guy off.

Physical attraction is based on mental attraction. Ever found someone to be attractive until you talked to them? Ever found someone to become more attractive after spending time with them? Physically, nothing has changed. Love is a mental game. Your head sends signals to your body that will turn you on or off. Thirteen year old boys are far from being mentally mature. They don’t have the necessary mental connection with their partner, so, as a result, it’s just ‘weird’.

When people don’t know the mind drives the body, they start working on physical stimulants to enhance the experience. Unhealthy addictions can result from only physical sex. People want a loving connection, and sex is just the closest thing they know how to get. But, sex is only valuable when there is respect, trust and love between the couple. If it’s only physical, it will feel unsatisfying (though the feeling may not be instant), driving people to want more and more. It’s a never ending cycle. Without a mental connection, sex will always be lacking. It’s the equivalent of having a cardboard cut out of a person instead of a real one. But, there are a lot of people (if not most) who grow up in a home without real love. As a result, they don’t know there’s anything different/better. Family’s just keep repeating the same history, and re-living the same pain.

It’s basic human nature to want to feel connected, liked, and valued by others. That’s what sex does in a healthy, stable, and committed relationship. One where the person is physically and mentally attractive. Building a quality relationship can be simple, but it’s hard. Start doing the right thing even for the really small things. As a result, you’ll start respecting yourself. This leads to a boost in confidence. Then, you’ll be able to work on your flaws, and appreciate your strengths. You’ll start wanting to take care of yourself, because you’ll start liking yourself. You’ll be able to effectively judge what you do, and not end up pulling a Kesha. Only when you like yourself, will you be able to like someone else.

Love is not a feeling, but actions, and a healthy mindset. True love can heal anything. It requires a deep foundation and a decent amount of time. It’s a rare thing, but if you start investing now, the payoffs are exponential.

Good Luck out there

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Posted in advice, best years, Dating, emotions, health, relationships, sex, your life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Liar Liar

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You know when you lie… at first. But there seems to be no limit of things humans can convince themselves of:

I’ll start my diet tomorrow
The light was still yellow
He does love me

How do we distinguish little white lies from little seeds of destruction?

One time when I was walking into a store, I saw a couple coming up next to me. I knew they were talking, but as they approached, I couldn’t really hear their conversation. I didn’t think much of it until the girl smacked the guy completely out of the blue. I was a bit concerned until I heard the guy say ‘What? I was just being honest’. I had to keep from smiling, but I realized, there are certain lies I don’t really mind.

This surprised me, but I knew it was true. People like a certain amount of professional courtesy. Sometimes we want people to go, psh, what? You look great, or It’s no problem, I don’t mind helping you move. And, in return, we help, listen, and flatter even if we don’t feel or think it. It’s not all about us. Sometimes we tell little white lies in order to put others first. I don’t like these kinds of lies, but they just don’t seem that bad. What makes these lies different from ‘bad’ lies? From lies that deceive, hurt, and damage?

I believe the difference is intent. Why did they lie? For personal gain, for power, just to inflict pain? But people don’t admit why they lie, so it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. The resulting effects of their lie, is a good way to check. Is it like, aww, he lied and said the party was her idea so that she got all the credit (She’s out of my League). Or was it like, he lied about ‘accidentally’ tripping after running up next to Alexi, (My Best Friends Girl), and then pretended to like her, so that he could just mess her up later. He might have seemed sweet (which is what he was going for), but his intent was to cause the girl pain.

Lies with bad intentions just get bigger and worse with time. It always ends bad. Habitual liars are becoming all too common. They do it for the control. Changing behavior is difficult, but I know if people stopped believing them, it would be a step in the right direction. Lies hurt the liar too. Tank Turner basically thought he was evil by the end of the movie because he lied so much/played the part so well. He eventually lied in order to get the girl with (who he thought was) the good guy. He had good intentions, he shouldn’t have done it, but that type of lie was different.

So, next time your confronted with a lie, either from yourself or someone else, ask, what is the purpose of this lie? What will it accomplish? Who will it hurt? What’s the point? Why was it said? Who does it help? It doesn’t matter if the person says they had good intentions, or that they were sparing your feelings. These are not valid excuses. Work through the questions and you’ll find the right answer typically has nothing to do with their reasons. You just know what their motives were. That’s why that girl smacked the guy. She knew he wasn’t ‘just being honest’, he was just being mean.

Good luck out there

Posted in advice, best years, Dating, emotions, Forgiveness, health, your life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweet n’ Spicy Curry

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I found this recipe at:

http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/04/curried-carrot-cauliflower-soup.html

and had it a few weeks ago. It’s gluten free, low calories, and easily digestible. It’s a curry, carrot, cauliflower soup.

The recipe is :
“2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
2 small onions (or 1 large one), chopped
1 to 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
6 cups water
sea salt, to taste
coconut milk
chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add onions and a dash of salt and cook until the onions are soft and starting to change color. Then add the ginger, garlic, and spices and saute a minute more.

Then add the carrots, cauliflower, and water. Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes. Then puree in batches in a blender until smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve each bowl with a swirl of coconut milk and chopped cilantro for a garnish.”

It’s pretty spicy, so I use a little less curry powder. The soup ingredients reminded me of my moms roasted chicken and curry. That was not as spicy as the soup though. Anyways I altered the ending so that it mixed the two recipes. But it’s way faster than roasting a chicken. The soup fills you up, but it’s not as spicy, and it feels more like a meal.

Alternative ending:
2 Apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup to a cup, cooked chicken
honey

While the soup is simmering, chop up two apples and combine them with raisins in a small pan. Add enough water so that the apples/raisins don’t burn, and boil till the apples are soft. When the soup is done, stir in the apples and raisins, then add the chicken. After you serve the soup, add 1/2 tsp. to a tsp. of honey to your bowl.

You should aim for raw, unfiltered, and locally produced honey. When you add it, it will help digest the soup. If you want the soup to be vegan, you don’t have to add chicken either. The rest is just based on personal preference. You can play around with the ingredients till it tastes right to you. And Enjoy!

Posted in advice, best years, celiac disease, food, gluten free, health, weight, weight loss, your life | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Changing in Your Relationship? thoughts for Valentines

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He was tall, with dark features, and ruggedly handsome. I felt my heart skip a beat every time he smiled or laughed. Every girl wanted him, but to my amazement, he wanted me. I had to contain my excitement when he approached me and asked me out. His confident demeanor and sweet charm were intoxicating. I was six. And even though my mother put an end to our little plans after class, who ever forgets the first person they liked? In light of Valentines Day, I was reminiscing through a few old memories. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about how many people get stuck on old memories. They want everything to stay the same as the past. They refuse to let go and move forward. They hold onto a misconception that people don’t change.

There are different forms of this. I’ve known girls who have multiple close guy friends, and wonder why they can never get a decent boyfriend. Then there are those with 5,000 facebook friends, but wonder why they don’t have close friends. There are also girls who waste years sitting around for a guy to finish a program/degree/boot camp etc. only to be met with a different man than who left. They then ignore that hes’s different, that he’s changed, and that he’s not the person they fell in love with. This isn’t a gender issue, guys and girls get themselves in the same situations. No matter, I would like to address these types, as it seems fitting for the date.

1) Girl with one to multiple guy friends: Now, I see lots of girls being friends with guys above and below their level. They know they will never have the one above their league, but they try anyways. This wrecks their self confidence, so they use the guy below their league to dote on them and make them feel better. It’s a constant see saw of giving to the guy above their level, and taking from the guy beneath their level. The top guy is stringing her along. She is stringing along the guy beneath her, and he is probably stringing someone else along…

Everyone knows when someone likes them and is trying to get with them. They know when they have no intention of getting with them, but just flirt a little to keep the person pining after them. This is cruel, and will kill your self esteem if you do it. If you admit it or not, and no matter what excuses you come up with, you know your putting the person in pain. This will mess with your head. You’ll start acting all powerful, when you really think your weak. You’ll act like everyone likes you, even though you think no one would like you if they got to know the real you. And you’ll act smarter than everyone else, when in fact, your miserable, don’t like the people trailing after you, and think your pretty worthless. How smart is that?

You’ll become an arrogant, cocky, know it all, that really has no self esteem, good relationships, or wisdom. So don’t do it. Sever (in a proper, respectful way) relationships with those you know you do not want to be with. Don’t defend, I know you know when you do it. And it’s not nice, it’s not helping, your not doing them any favors, it’s not fixing them, and it doesn’t matter what you went through together or how long you’ve known them. You need to end it.

Now, if your the one pining, it’s a bit more complicated. Gents, you can work and successfully win the heart of a girl who didn’t seem interested at first (Pitch Perfect). Or, you could be the guy who they are never going to be happy with (Scarlet Johansen in He’s Just Not That Into You). If the girl randomly comes onto you, starts flirting, and wants to hang out with little to no warning, and will kiss or touch you like it’s not a big deal, when you think it is, then she’s just playing with you. If you have slowly been building up their trust and your relationship is slowly getting stronger in a logical progression, then it could be legit. Oh, and kind of common sense, but if the girl seriously/strictly tells you she’s not interested, and not going to be, then just drop it.

Ladies, yours is simpler. Never follow/chase/pine after a guy. He’ll not only stop respecting/liking you, but you’ll never be able to have a decent relationship with another guy. You’ll always have this larger than life guy that inhibits you from liking anyone else. I mean really connecting with someone else. Even if they end up settling for you, (which happens a lot), you’ll never feel happy. You’ll always know you weren’t good enough, just a backup plan. Sometimes they will hang around because they have feelings for you. If you take a step back you’ll find out. They’ll either step up and be the man, or let you walk away. At least you won’t waste years trailing after them.

2) Lots of social media friends, but no real friends: This one’s easier. People can only be spread so thin. The more people your friends with, the more shallow the relationships. Building a strong relationship is a lot of work. When I find another girl I want to be friends with, there’s quite a few things I do. Of course people usually argue back saying ‘your over-analyzing things’, and ‘friendships should be natural’. Yes, you should have a natural connection with someone you want to be friends with. But you can get a lot out of a good friendship, and since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, it naturally requires effort and hard work.

The results are worth it. My friends will go ‘geez, I haven’t had a friendship like this since I was a little kid’. Which is good news, because that means they don’t have to know what your doing. One of the biggest things is don’t use tech in your relationships. I absolutely can not stress this enough. When your texting, you start talking about personal things way faster then when your in person. I mean unless you’ve been drinking. It’s all about the foundation. Don’t rush things. Don’t start drinking when your first hanging out, or you’ll get to know them too fast. Think of it this way, the faster you become friends, the faster your relationship will end.

Kids are probably different, but I wouldn’t doubt if they spend a lot of time together before they start telling each other personal things. So, don’t rush/force it, or you’ll invade each others personal space, and you naturally won’t feel comfortable with them. You can go as slow as hanging out once ever 3-6 months. At first it will be awkward, and slightly uncomfortable. But, you’ll start hangin g out more and more, and you’ll feel like you’ve known each other your whole lives, and you’ll be able to communicate and relate on a level that’s deep, stable, and comfortable. And then the relationship will be long lasting.

But, you can’t just do this with anyone. Sometimes you have to be single (friend wise) a while before you meet someone of good friend quality. It’s well worth the wait. Especially when you know she’s not going to steal your guy, stab you in the back, or be self absorbed when the two of you hang out. Added bonus of not using tech, you actually ‘catch up’ when you visit. When you don’t tell each other what your doing every second, you have new things to talk about. When you have some stable good girlfriends, guys become less crucial. So then you can actually have a decent relationship with one. This all goes for guys too. Good relationships take work, but are definitely worth it.

3) Time wasters: Too many girls wait around for guys to finish programs/degrees/camps/whatever. I could see this as a possibility if you have been married for a while. But, I knew teens/young 20’s who would wait years (during a very important time of their life) for their boyfriend/fiance/love interest to come back. But time and environments change people. Often, when they finally returned, they were no longer the person that left. They weren’t the person they fell for. I knew girls who stayed with guys they had grown completely incompatible with. They held onto relationships that should have ended way sooner.

They continued to view the person as an image from their memories. They wouldn’t see who they had become, only who they used to be. They wouldn’t adapt or change. It’s a dangerous situation to be in. And a heartbreaking one to watch. People will do the same thing with friendships. As their friend slowly changes, they refuse to see it. I’ve had to distance myself from people who refuse to see me any differently than when I was that six year old girl. It’s unhealthy and can hold you back. Don’t be friends with people who see you only as you once were. Whether you were better or worse in their memories, it will just mess you up.

There are people who could get away with murder because their group of peers refuse to see the negative traits they are exhibiting. They can only see them as the good kid they used to be. And, there are people who continue to think terrible things about themselves, because their peers knew them at a bad point in their lives. No one sees who they have become, so they themselves think they are bad, when they are actually a good hearted extraordinary individual.

If I went to the first guy I liked, (wherever he may be), and started treating him exactly the same as the version from my memories, it would not end well. Take some time to evaluate your relationships. Are you with them, or just a memory of them? Think ‘how would I see this person if I met them today?’. You might like them less, or you might love them more. Maybe some of the things they’ve done should be questioned, or some of the great things they’ve done should be acknowledged. Especially today, figure out who your really with, not just who you think your with. Learn, Grow, Live, Love.

Good Luck out there, and Happy Valentines Day.

Posted in advice, best years, Dating, emotions, health, relationships, Uncategorized, Valentines Day, your life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ptch Perfct; the unfortunate side effects of editing

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Warning: This article contains movie spoilers for Pitch Perfect.

Honestly, I think Pitch Perfect was an awesome movie. One of my all time favorites. But this isn’t about me, oh no. This, is about the movies underlying messages and their forces for good or evil. I’m exaggerating a bit, but based on how many times I saw the movie, I know the makers had a captive audience. They could have really had its message heard loud and clear. And that would have been great, but some of the biggest ideas in the movie got edited out. So, in order to make amends, and fix the movies message; the following, is the subsequent plot with the cut scenes added back into the film.

Becca and her dad.
When Becca is in the kitchen talking to her dad, he says ‘And you thought quitting was the answer?’ This was after she left the semi-finals. She replies, ‘Seriously, you can say that to me?’. The part they edited out, was that Beccas’ parents didn’t just get divorced. Her dad left her and her mom when she was younger. This is a huge part of the movie. It’s why she shuts people out. She would rather not have friends/a boyfriend, than have them abandon her when she needs them. But, she also picked up neglectful tendencies from her dad. When relationships get hard, she just leaves. She also can’t sit through movies because she gets bored, and stops paying attention. Which is why it was a big deal when she sat all the way through The Breakfast Club. She was resolving some of her issues.

Basically, the main problems she has in the film, are a direct result of what her dad did to her. One of the biggest problems with their relationship, is that it was portrayed as ‘right’ for her to get advice from him. I don’t think anyone should take relationship advice from someone who abandoned their wife and kid. It was also unhealthy for her to build a relationship with him by the end. It’s not like she had to completely cut him out of her life, but the closer they are, the more likely she is to repeat her family history.

Now to those who say the dad has changed/don’t you believe in forgiveness? I would like to suggest you read another post I have on forgiveness. But, if you say he’s different, he’s not. Here are some reasons why. When Becca called him out on abandoning her and her mother, he didn’t apologize. Which means he never has. He said that’s not fair, and started coming up with excuses. He still thinks it’s all about him. Instead of saying abandoning you was the worst mistake of my life, he said, well me and your mother just didn’t work. He wasn’t thinking about his responsibilities to his kid, but what made his life easier. Then, he tried to continue to control her life by making her go to the university he taught at. When she got arrested, he never asked her if she was okay or if she was hurt. Nope, he just started yelling at her. He was still just thinking ‘how does this affect me?’, not, is she alright? She was only in the situation because of his California offer. But, again, he refused to take responsibility for trying to control her life, and instead went back on his promise. So, just a few examples.

Becca and Jesse
This was a great representation of a healthy relationship, except for one part. And that part was when Becca went to Jesse’s dorm and said, ‘I know your mad because I yelled at you’. To which he replied, ‘you think I’m mad because you yelled at me?’, and each time I thought, well isn’t he? It kept bugging me. I couldn’t figure out what he was upset about if it wasn’t the yelling. Until I saw the cut scenes. In the original version Becca didn’t leave the semi-finals and go back to her dorm. She left and then went out with Luke (the radio station guy). He had invited her earlier, so she accepted his invitation.

They didn’t have much fun and only talked for a few minutes. She also found out that Jesse kept bugging Luke to play her music, so that was why he did. But since they took this out of the movie, no one knows that’s why Jesse was miserable over spring break, won’t return her calls, and was like ‘You think I’m mad because you yelled at me?’. He knew she had issues, and was okay with working on that, but he didn’t think she would just start going out with another guy and act like it was nothing. However, since she did, he was ‘done with it’.

This is why she had to make a big deal about the fact that she liked him. She had to work hard, not because he was oversensitive, but because she really messed up, and that was a terrible thing for her to do. But, the movie no longer shows a healthy way to deal with a person who treats you like Becca treated Jesse. It just made him look touchy, when he actually did exactly what he was supposed to do. He didn’t start yelling at her, or get all emotional. He just went, you don’t like me/aren’t treating me right, so I’m not going to let you treat me like that anymore. Brilliant. But, unfortunately, they took this out. He set up appropriate boundaries, which is a rare thing nowadays. So I think this would have been great for people to see.

I still think it’s a great movie. It just would have been more realistic/beneficial for people to watch if it had certain scenes left in. Oh and if he had kissed her at the end. Well at least he tried to kiss her first, (when they watched Breakfast Club in her dorm), that’s better than most. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it (though I kind of spoiled it). If you have seen it, hopefully now the movie will have more takeaway.

Good luck out there

Posted in classroom, college, College and Drinking, Dating, emotions, Forgiveness, health, music, Pitch Perfect, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Music Alter Your Relationship?

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There is much debate surrounding musics ability to change one’s personality. Do you pick your music based on your personality? Or, does music change your personality, which then affects which music you pick? There are many who believe that music does not affect them. However, I think most people agree that you are what you eat. And even if your mood decides your meal, that meal will still affect you back. I think you pick your music like you pick your food. The choice is up to you, and your wants, mood, and personality. But, music/food will affect you, and your wants, mood, and personality, after consumption.

Studies have proven that a dose of music can affect you in the short run. So, they concluded that music has no long term effects. However, how many of us only listen to a dose of music? Music is consumed on a daily basis, if not hourly. So couldn’t long term consumption, affect a person in the long run? Besides, one choice in the short run, can affect you in the long run. So even if it only affects you in the short run, there could still be long term repercussions.

This is why I think the music you listen to, is important to your overall well being. Now, one song might not do much, but when you know every word, to every song, on a cd, it could start affecting you just as much as your diet. Some of the most vulnerable to musics’ effects, are kids. As a result, one of my musical concerns is Taylor Swift. Just to clear things up, I’m not necessarily talking about her. I don’t know her. I’m talking about her image, what is represented through her, and its effects. The next puzzlement I get is that people think she’s the ‘good’ one. She’s currently the nice little wholesome girl who does things right. She might have a good heart, have good intentions, and genuinely care about others, and at the same time be blatantly wrong about good, healthy, relationships.

I do like her songs, but I think it’s unwise to hear them frequently. If you had her cd on repeat, you would probably start feeling upset, lonely, and it would make you miss someone from a very bad/unhealthy relationship. Unfortunately, she promotes jerks. She subsequently portrays respectable gentlemen as boring. Now, you shouldn’t date someone who is nice, but bores you, just as much as you shouldn’t date someone who is a jerk, but thrills you. Either one is a recipe for disaster. I don’t want younger girls meditating on her songs, because I don’t want them following in her relationship footprints. I mean, she had already dated Gyllenhaal and Mayer by the time she was 19! They’re what, in they’re 30’s? I think Gyllenhaal was 29, only a decade older, but in what world is that fair? Honestly, what 19 year old girl would stand a chance if Jake Gyllenhaal had access to them? … none come to mind. Which is why they make laws about this stuff. It’s barely legal, let alone ethical.

The one guy I think might have been a gentleman, was Lautner. But, she pushed him away. This is typical of girls with low self esteem. When they meet a great guy, they don’t think they’re enough for them. They break it off because they think once the guy realizes the girl is not good enough for them, they’ll break up anyways. So, they beat them to the punch.

Now, however, she continues to sing ‘you look like bad news, I have to have you’ (from her song 22). The problem is not with her singing about all her crazy, dysfunctional, and very painful situations. The problem is people think she’s a good girl, and that’s how they behave.

Good, is not singing that in the future, you can see the person who hurt you, pathetic, drunk, alone, and ranting about the same old bitter things (from the song mean). That’s a terrible lesson to teach young girls. Good, is hoping the person who hurt you, gets helped, stops hurting people, stops hurting themselves, and can have a good life by doing good things.You might not want to ever have a relationship with them, (totally fine), but you shouldn’t hope they suffer pain and misfortune for the rest of their lives. Or her song, ‘Better than Revenge’, teaches girls to hate/blame the girl your guy cheated with. First problem, why are you with a cheater? Second problem, why is this not his fault, but the girls? She sidetracks from the main issue, (bad relationship), and attacks a symptom, (the girl).

I hope her underlying messages change in the future. Kelly Clarkson has definitely done so from, ‘My Life would Suck without You’, to ‘Mr. Know it All’, to ‘What doesn’t kill You’, to ‘Catching my Breath’. She moved away from troubled relationships to loving/living life in a healthy way. So I’m rooting that she’ll turn around too, and not repeat the pattern by taking her pain out on younger/inexperienced boys. I’m also hoping people realize she’s still just a kid who’s been through a lot, and shouldn’t be followed when it comes to relationship advice. Love should not mean pain. It should build you up, not tear you down. Again, I don’t know her, but who does? Not many. So I can only analyze what she promotes, and the effects of her music on millions of young relationships. I don’t know, but that much consumption could have a bit of an impact.

Good Luck out there

Posted in advice, best years, Dating, emotions, health, music, relationships, What your looking for in a partner, your life | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All ‘Nuts’ are Not Equal; avoiding toxins in your diet

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Nuts have lots of healthy benefits. Protein, vitamins, and nutrients, turn them into a tasty and healthy treat. But, in recent years, the way nuts are consumed, has drastically changed. Nut allergies (especially peanuts), have been increasingly on the rise. There are theories that say it’s because we’re too clean, making our immune systems bored, so they attack nuts, just because. So, after adding pesticides, herbicides, sugars, preservatives, and countless chemicals, you have a reaction to the nut, and they say your immune system is the problem? Ya, that makes a lot of sense.

I think real healthy nuts are great for you, but I need to make a distinction. When I say nuts, I don’t mean peanuts…

“Why the Nut that is Not a Nut Can Be Dangerous:

For starters, the peanut (arachis hypogea) is actually not a nut at all. It is a bean — and a peculiar one at that. It is part of the legume family, and while most of the beans found in this family grow in pods on sprawling, climbing vines, the peanut plant is a lonely bush that matures its pods underneath the ground in a root system. It is primarily due to the peanuts’ direct contact with the soil that they have become harmful, and even dangerous, to your health.
While actual nuts like almonds and walnuts have strong, hard shells that protect them, the legume known as a peanut has soft and porous skin. When the environment surrounding the peanut becomes warm, humid and wet — as it does in most regions of the U.S. where peanuts are commonly grown — a fungal growth occurs. The fungus itself is not dangerous, but the poison it releases, known as “aflatoxin,” is. This cancer-causing agent attacks the liver and is one of the more deadly food-borne toxins in existence.
Largely because of the regions they’re commonly grown in and the fact that they’re relatively easy for pests to attack and penetrate, peanuts are also one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides. So the standard peanut packs a double-whammy risk to your health.”

There are a lot of people who argue the positive attributes of peanuts too. I think it’s better to just go with a real nut. However, if you really want peanuts, with a bit of hard work, you might be able to find some of decent quality (grown in dry grown, not sprayed with pesticides, etc.).

Now, onto the real nuts. Even if a nut is labeled as organic, healthy, or even raw, that doesn’t mean it is good for you. One of the best ways to check for quality, is your immune system. It’s designed to let you know if there is a problem. A few years back I had some Cascadian Farms cereal (healthy company). It had been a while since I had cereal, but the second I had it I got a headache. Now, the box might say organic, whole grain, or whatever else, but I knew something in it was unhealthy, if it made me feel sick. Researching further, sure enough, I found that General Mills had bought out the once healthy company, and added maltodextrin (and who knows what else) to the cereal. Yet I’m sure those companies would say it was my bored immune systems fault.

On a related note, labels are allowed to say nuts are raw, that are not. The U.S. federal government ruled that minimally processed and insecticide treated nuts, can still be labeled raw. So, for the sake of your health, don’t trust labels.

Now, an important step to creating a healthy nut is the soaking/sprouting process. Nuts can be hard on a persons digestion. Soaking/sprouting can help in multiple ways.

“Why Soak or Sprout?
Grains and seeds are rich sources of nutrients—but when they are soaked or sprouted, they can become nutritional powerhouses. In a nutshell, here’s why: The germination process (sprouting) produces vitamin C and increases carotenoids and vitamin B content, especially vitamins B2 (riboflavin) , B5 (pantothenic acid), and B6 (pyridoxine). Even more importantly, sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all seeds that inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Sprouting also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in all seeds. This is important because these inhibitors can neutralize your own precious enzymes in the digestive tract, which is one reason many people seem to get a stomach ache or excess bloating after consuming large amounts of seeds or grains. Sprouting can also inactivate certain toxins found in seeds.”

Basically, un-soaked nuts can be toxic, even if it’s in small amounts, while soaked nuts, have incredible health benefits. There has been a lot of debate over this issue. Personally, I think big companies don’t want a demand for soaking/sprouting because the process would cost them a lot more money. If soaking sounds too strange to you, try giving it a shot once, and see if you can feel the difference. It also improves the taste of the nuts. If you do it, try to make as large a batch as you can. I can handle making it once in a while, but it’s not something you should have to do regularly.

Whatever the studies, research, or hygienic theories say, you know how you feel. Experiment with it, and figure out what works for you. The main point of being healthy, is feeling healthy.

Good Luck out there

(health benefits of nuts)
http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/2009/06/01/soaking-nuts-and-seeds/
(nut allergens/theories)
http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/food-allergy/peanut/peanut-allergies-increasing.htm
(cascadian cereal)
http://www.iherb.com/Cascadian-Farm-Organic-Granola-Oats-Honey-17-oz-482-g/32185?gclid=CNvDpa_WrrUCFY6PPAodhTMAvw
(cascadian buyout)
http://ecochildsplay.com/2008/02/10/who-owns-your-favorite-organic-brand/
(U.S. raw nut laws)
http://www.rawnutsandseeds.com/2010/02/are-nuts-you-eat-really-raw.html
(Why the nut that is not a nut, can be dangerous)
http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/04/12/12/peanuts_most_are_carcinogenic__amp_pesticide-contaminated_but_there_are_safe_sources.htm
(why soak or sprout?)
http://blog.healthfoodemporium.com/diet/soaking-and-sprouting-for-nutrition-457

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