Monday, June 25, 2012

Spice Up Your Life with Turmeric

For a while now I have been fascinated by the medicinal value spices have played throughout history.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote about nutmeg.
When I came across an article on curcumin and its anti-inflammatory properties I perked up and started some research on it.  Curcumin is derived from the rhizome of the herb Curcuma longa.  The plant grows similar to ginger and contains a chemical compound called polyphenol.  The powder of the root is from a common spice known in the west as turmeric, in Hindi as haldi and in Japanese as ukon.  It is mainly used as an aromatic and to color foods like yellow mustard or added to spice mixtures such as curry and/or garam masala.
Turmeric is known for its yellow-orange color and pungent flavor.  Besides its valuable contribution to our taste buds, it has been used as a natural remedy in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for 1000s of years.  Curcumin has been known to combat all kinds of human diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.  It can be especially useful in the application against joint pain and stiffness.  That certainly drew my attention.

Nutritional Profile of Turmeric
1 TBSP.         (1.9 gms)
Calcium           4.00 mg
Iron                  0.91 mg
Magnesium     4.00 mg
Phosphorus     6.00 mg
Potassium     56.00 mg
Sodium            0.001mg      
Zinc                 0.10 mg
Thiamine         0.003 mg
Riboflavin        0.005 mg
Niacin              0.113 mg

A more complete nutritional profile is available on the Whole Foods Website:

Health Benefits of Tumeric:
·         Improved digestion
·         Stronger liver
·         Cleaner blood
·         Helps control inflammation
·         Arthritis
·         Cataracts
·         Type 2 Diabetes
·         Gallstones
·         Cystic fibrosis
·         Psoriasis
·         Joint Stiffness
·         Irritable Bowel Syndrome
·         Alzheimer Disease

For a more complete healing profile listing, please visit:
Besides using turmeric in cooking to spice up your food, you can also make a delicious drink, called “Golden Milk.”
You can watch this video:
or just make it by warming 1 cup of milk, adding 1 tsp. of turmeric paste (the video also explains how to make the paste by cooking ¼ cup turmeric for 7 min. in ½ cup of water; then store in a glass jar in the fridge) and sweeten the milk with some honey or maple syrup.  Add 1 tsp. of coconut oil or sesame oil (turmeric absorbs better when it is in contact with fats).  This drink is very calming and over a period of time, you experience the benefits of more flexibility in the joints.
One thing to watch when using turmeric is that it can stain anything it comes in contact with.
There is a reason why India has less health challenges than we have in the Western world.  The use of health enhancing spices is part of their way of life.
Here are a few more delicious ways to add turmeric to foods:
  • Add turmeric to egg salad to give it an even bolder yellow color.
  • Mix brown rice with raisins and cashews and season with turmeric, cumin and coriander.
  • Although turmeric is generally a staple ingredient in curry powder, some people like to add a little extra of this spice when preparing curries. And turmeric doesn't have to only be used in curries. This spice is delicious on healthy sautéed apples, and healthy steamed cauliflower and/or green beans and onions. Or, for a creamy, flavor-rich, low-calorie dip, try mixing some turmeric and dried onion with a little omega-3-rich mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Serve with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama and broccoli florets.
  • Turmeric is a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils.
  • Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue by adding some turmeric powder to them.
  • For an especially delicious way to add more turmeric to your healthy way of eating, cut cauliflower florets in half and healthy sauté with a generous spoonful of turmeric for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Healthy eating!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Yesterday we celebrated Father’s Day.  It was also the 25th birthday of our son Jason who just recently became a father.  Sleeping doesn’t come easily for the young family, since little Jaya is often colicky and wakes up after only short naps.  As a grandmother I don’t mind to help care for the baby during the day to give the mother a break.

I don’t know where the expression ‘sleeping like a baby’ comes from.  For some babies that has a whole different meaning.  When they are cranky and have stomach aches from gas or indigestion, sleeping doesn’t come so easily.

I also like to reflect here on the meaning of father’s day.  It hasn’t been established officially until 1972 when President Nixon declared Father’s Day a national holiday.  There were many attempts before on the state level where people requested a day to honor their fathers, mainly to complement mother’s day.

Even though we want celebrate our earthly fathers for their dedication and care for their children and raising a family we also want to honor our heavenly parent, God, on that day.  It is from Him that we have life and the purpose for living.  He determined for eternity the position of father and mother to represent Him here on the earth.  With his heavenly laws and spiritual principles he envisioned for us to live together and learn from father and mother our way of living.  With the parents as the example children grow up to become well-adjusted and happy members of the family and can make a positive contribution to their larger community.

Amazing what thoughts come to mind on a dark and cloudy day. Since it was storming with heavy rain for most of the day, we cut the cake inside.  When finally the sun came out again we had to try out the father’s day present, a new hammock. 

We proudly present father and daughter while they were napping in the cool afternoon breeze.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What Propaganda?

I believe we can assume that propaganda has a negative connotation.   Propagandas has an ideological goal, it is to persuade a large amount of people to a certain belief or goal.  The word propaganda comes from the word propagate which means to spread, proliferate or publicize.   In the ancient Greece Aristotle recognized that an appeal to emotion was useful in persuasive rhetoric.  Propaganda grew out of early persuasion and rhetoric.  It was first used in 1622 to describe the propagation of the Catholic Faith.  In that way it had no negative implication.  Only after the protestant movements started to challenge the Catholic faith, propaganda took a new meaning.

In today’s society the internet is the perfect tool for viral proliferation of any ideas.  It works especially with human psychology, mainly man’s weaknesses.  Media creators and advertising rely heavily on knowledge of human psychology.  Since propaganda plays a great deal on the human emotions we cannot deny its impact, and certainly cannot reason it away.  Let’s look at some ways propaganda is influencing our lives:

Definition and Purpose of propaganda

One web site states that Propaganda is the manipulation of public opinion.  Others say that it is persuasion by design with the goal to systematically and consciously promote certain ideas and to advocate certain actions based on ideas  According to another website, propaganda often exaggerates events or plainly changes them.  What means one thing to one person can be perceive completely different by somebody else.  In any case propaganda seeks to change people’s mind and influences their outlook.

Propaganda Techniques

There are various types of propaganda techniques, and I found them being used to inducing fear, exaggeration, hype, repetition, scarcity, and slogans. Then, there are the seven types of propaganda introduced by a website of George Mason University (GMU):

7 types of propaganda

·         Transfer                                The act of relating something or someone we like or respect with a product. Symbols are constantly used in this form.

·         Testimonial  The use of well known, respected people to endorse a product or service.

·         Glittering Generalities       The act of referring to words or ideas that evoke a positive emotional response from an audience. Virtue words are often used.

·         Plain Folks                           The use of everyday people to sell a product or service. Speakers in ads appear to make the person to be one of the people.

·         Bandwagon                         Attempts to persuade the target audience to take a course of action, "Everyone else is taking." "Join the crowd." This technique reinforces people’s natural desire to be on the winning side.

·         Name Calling                       The use of names that evoke fear or hatred in the viewer. This technique links a person or idea to a negative symbol.

·         Card Stacking                     Strategy of showing the product's best features. Telling half-truths and emitting or lying about its potential problems.

History of Propaganda

The word propaganda was first used in 1622, when Pope Gregory XV established the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, a commission designed to spread the Catholic faith worldwide to describe the propagation of the Catholic faith. There was no malice intended in spreading the word of God for what the Catholics considered the only true faith; however, the emerging Protestant religions began to challenge this notion. By the end of the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church had achieved a solid grip on the communication of ideas. The Church, in close cooperation with the universities it controlled, began to identify and attack what it considered heresy.

Since then propaganda has taken on a much broader meaning, and refers to any technique, whether in writing, speech, music, film or other means, that attempts to influence mass public opinion.

The GMU website goes into a long explanation regarding the roots of propaganda and also describes the rise of propaganda in modern times.

Through the mass media we are constantly bombarded with ideas, advertisement and other suggestions.  I like to mention here a passage from Napoleon Hill’s latest book Outwitting the Devil.”

“One of my most effective tricks is known to you as propaganda.  This is the instrument of great value to me in setting people to murdering one another under the disguise of war.

The cleverness of this trick consists mainly of the subtlety with which I use it.

I mix propaganda with the news of the world.  I have it taught in public and private schools.  I see that it finds its way into the pulpit. I color moving pictures with it.  I see that it enters every home where there is a radio.  I inject it into billboards, newspapers, and radio advertising.  I spread it in every place of business where people work.  I use it to fill the divorce courts and I make it serve to destroy business and industry.

It is my chief instrument for starting runs on banks.  My propagandists cover the world so thoroughly that I can start epidemics of disease, turn loose the dogs of war, or throw business into a panic at will.”

“Propaganda is any device, plan, or method by which people can be influenced without knowing that they are being influenced, or the source of the influence.

Propaganda is used in business for the purpose of discouraging competition.  Employers use it to gain advantage over their employees.  The employees retaliate by using it to gain advantage over their employers.  In fact, it is used so universally and through such a smooth and beautiful streamlined technique that it looks harmless even when it is detected.” 

These are the answers of the Devil whom Napoleon Hill questioned in length regarding tricking people into drifting and guiding them away from the truth.

That sums up the purpose and the origin of propaganda.  It is to causes division and confusion.
I found the book very provoking, especially since it was written 73 years ago and describes a lot of parallels to our time today.  I will write more about my impressions on “Outwitting the Devil” in a later blog.  I believe that Napoleon Hill was way ahead of his time, and has very cleverly observed the work of the Devil in our society.  It couldn’t be any other way, since no one other person, organization, or even government could have such a far reaching influence.

How can we prevent coming under the influence of propaganda?  Think for yourself, be responsible and discover a definite purpose for your life.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Law Of Assumption

I don’t believe anything happens by accident.  Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the “decision is like a goal.”  I was still reflecting on it when I came across a booklet on the “Power of Awareness” by Neville Goddard.  He wrote this script on 1952.  Neville, as he is known in metaphysical circles, was way ahead of his time.  It took more than 60 years for his ideas to become more widely accepted; most people still don’t have any clue about spiritual laws.  In chapter 3 of the book, he writes about the law of assumption (LOA). It is to me a very clear description of how faith manifests and how we create.

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

How to apply the LOA and to experience transformation:

·         It starts with a changed state of consciousness (consciousness is defined as what man thinks, desires, loves, and what he believes at his core being)

·         Next is an intense, burning desire (we must be willing to be different with full intention)

·         Assume the desire to be the present fact as if it is already fulfilled (our dream becomes reality by acting as if)

·         Persist in feeling and assuming the desire until it is manifested (we rebirth ourselves in the process)

·         Think from the end result rather than think of it (thinking from it manifests the spiritual process while thinking of it is only mental or physical observation)

·         Let it happen with the least effort (remove all resistance, negative emotions such as doubt and limiting beliefs)

·         Achieving the new state of consciousness becomes apparent to all (our new attitude and behavior becomes visible through our actions)

Neville makes these point an absolute requirement for the LOA to be manifested:  

“You must be the thing itself and not merely talk about it or look at it.”

~ Neville Goddard

This understanding takes a new twist on the Law of Attraction which was featured in the movie “The Secret.”  It is with imagination that we create our world and it is with imagination and following an ideal that we can become our true selves and be responsible human beings.  Neville calls imagination a redemptive power.  Human beings are the only creatures who have the choice to grow by imagining themselves as that which they want to be or to remain in the present concept of themselves.  Practicing the imaginary life will eventually led to the “ideal life.” 

“In today's rush we all think too much - seek too much - want too much - and forget about the joy of just being.”

Eckhart Tolle

It is amazing to me how many different approaches there are in regards to transformation and the laws of creation. 

Napoleon Hill called it “The Power of Definite Purpose:”

Dr. Wayne Dyer calls it the “The Power of Intention.”

Even science has now discovered that it is not only our genes which determine our lives.  Dr. Bruce Lipton:

 “I want people to understand that we are creating this world, that we are creating our own lives.”  His teaching on the “Biology of Belief” has been published on YouTube. 

Another scientist, Amit Goswami, along with Quantum Physics, explains that man’s self-awareness and consciousness creates his world.  It is in the nature of observation and paying attention to our surroundings that they become significant and therefore exist.

This is a time where we have to find new ways to actively participate in the creation of our lives.  Especially, here in America, we have the rights to pursue happiness by the laws of the constitution.  With the law of assumption it is certainly possible to achieve it.

WARNING: The Law of Assumption can also work against us when we are driven by negative emotions such as judgment, prejudice and/or limiting beliefs.