Awakening Internal

Personal growth through the eyes of love


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What Are GMO’s Anyway??

You hear a lot about GMO’s these days.  What is the best way to avoid GMO’s?  Eat organic, whole foods!  What exactly is a GMO?  Genetically modified foods have had foreign genes inserted into their genetic codes.

“Genes change every day by natural mutation and recombination, creating new biological variations. Humans have been exploiting this for centuries—shuffling genes in increasingly systematic ways and using extensive crossing and artificial selection—to create many combinations that would never otherwise have occurred. Just about everything we eat is derived from livestock, crops, and microorganisms bred specifically to provide food. Humans have also redistributed genes geographically: the soybean is native to Asia but is now grown throughout the Americas, and the potato, native to the American continent, is grown throughout the temperate world. DNA has never been “static,” neither naturally nor at the hand of people.

Genetic modification is an extension of this. However, unlike conventional breeding, in which new assortments of genes are created more or less at random, it allows specific genes to be identified, isolated, copied, and introduced into other organisms in much more direct and controlled ways. The most obvious difference from conventional breeding is that genetic modification allows us to transfer genes between species.”  Leighton@campden.co.uk

The average American’s diet relies heavily on corn, not so much in its vegetable form, which is okay in moderation but in its more toxic forms like high-fructose corn syrup, which is found in a lot of the fake, processed foods available in your grocery store or restaurants.  If you are vegan or vegetarian, you probably get soy in your diet as a protein substitute.

Potential benefits of genetically engineered food include:

  • More nutritious food
  • Tastier food
  • Disease and drought-resistant plants that require fewer environmental resources (water, fertilizer, etc.)
  • Decreased use of pesticides
  • Increased supply of food with reduced cost and longer shelf life
  • Faster growing plants and animals
  • Food with more desirable traits, such as potatoes that absorb less fat when fried
  • Medicinal foods that could be used as vaccines or other medications

Potential risks include:

  • Modified plants or animals may have genetic changes that are unexpected and harmful.
  • Modified organisms may interbreed with natural organisms and out-compete them, leading to extinction of the original organism or to other unpredictable environmental effects.
  • Plants may be less resistant to some pests and more susceptible to others.

It is easy to see that there are perceivable benefits to genetically modifying our foods.  It is less apparent to many that there can be a huge and detrimental impact upon our health by eating the same.  So…what should we do?

  1. Remove processed foods from your diet and eat whole foods.
  2. Eat animal protein that is organic and naturally raised.

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It’s virtually impossible to provide a complete list of genetically modified food (GM food) in the United States because there aren’t any laws for genetically modified crops!

Some estimates say as many as 30,000 different products on grocery store shelves are “modified.” That’s largely because many processed foods contain soy. Half of North America’s soy crop is genetically engineered!

 

Rapeseed – Resistance to certain pesticides and improved rapeseed cultivars to be free of erucic acid and glucosinolates. Gluconsinolates, which were found in rapeseed meal leftover from pressing, are toxic and had prevented the use of the meal in animal feed. In Canada, where “double-zero” rapeseed was developed, the crop was renamed “canola” (Canadian oil) to differentiate it from non-edible rapeseed.

 

Honey – Honey can be produced from GM crops. Some Canadian honey comes from bees collecting nectar from GM canola plants. This has shut down exports of Canadian honey to Europe.

 

Cotton – Resistant to certain pesticides – considered a food because the oil can be consumed. The introduction of genetically engineered cotton plants has had an unexpectedly effect on Chinese agriculture. The so-called Bt cotton plants that produce a chemical that kills the cotton bollworm have not only reduced the incidence of the pest in cotton fields, but also in neighboring fields of corn, soybeans, and other crops.

 

Rice – Genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Rice containing human genes is to be grown in the US. Rather than end up on dinner plates, the rice will make human proteins useful for treating infant diarrhea in the developing world.

 

Soybean – Genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides – Soy foods including, soy beverages, tofu, soy oil, soy flour, lecithin. Other products may include breads, pastries, snack foods, baked products, fried products, edible oil products and special purpose foods.

 

Sugar cane – Made resistant to certain pesticides. A large percentage of sweeteners used in processed food actually come from corn, not sugar cane or beets. Genetically modified sugar cane is regarded so badly by consumers at the present time that it could not be marketed successfully.

 

Tomatoes – Made for a longer shelf life and to prevent a substance that causes tomatoes to rot and degrade.

 

Corn – Resistant to certain pesticides – Corn oil, flour, sugar or syrup. May include snack foods, baked goods, fried foods, edible oil products, confectionery, special purpose foods, and soft drinks.

 

Sweet Corn – Genetically modified to produces its own insecticide. Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said that thousands of tonnes of genetically engineered sweet corn have made their way into the human food supply chain, even though the produce has been approved only for use in animal feed. Recently Monsanto, a biotechnology food producer, said that about half of the USA’s sweet corn acreage has been planted with genetically modified seed this year.

 

Canola – Canola oil. May include edible oil products, fried foods, and baked products, snack foods.

 

Potatoes – (Atlantic, Russett Burbank, Russet Norkatah, and Shepody) – May include snack foods, processed potato products and other processed foods containing potatoes.

 

Flax – More and more food products contain flax oil and seed because of their excellent nutritional properties. No genetically modified flax is currently grown. Herbicide-resistant GM flax was introduced in 2001, but was soon taken off the market because European importers refused to buy it.

Papaya – The first virus resistant papayas were commercially grown in Hawaii in 1999. Transgenic papayas now cover about one thousand hectares, or three quarters of the total Hawaiian papaya crop. Monsanto, donated technology to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, for developing a papaya resistant to the ring spot virus in India.

 

Squash – (yellow crookneck) – Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM but they are not popular with farmers.

 

Red-hearted chicory – (radicchio) – Chicory (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum) is popular in some regions as a salad green, especially in France and Belgium. Scientists developed a genetically modified line of chicory containing a gene that makes it male sterile, simply facilitating the production of hybrid cultivars. Today there is no genetically modified chicory on the market.

 

Cotton Seed Oil – Cottonseed oil and linters. Products may include blended vegetable oils, fried foods, baked foods, snack foods, edible oil products, and small goods casings.

 

Tobacco -The company Vector has a GMO tobacco being sold under the brand of Quest® cigarettes in the U.S. It is engineered to produce low or no nicotine.

 

Meat – Meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed.

 

Peas – Genetically modified (GM) peas created immune responses in mice, suggesting that they may also create serious allergic reactions in people. The peas had been inserted with a gene from kidney beans, which creates a protein that acts as a pesticide.

 

Vegetable Oil – Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say “Non-GMO” or “Organic,” it is probably genetically modified.

 

Sugar beets – May include any processed foods containing sugar.

 

Dairy Products – About 22 percent of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH).

 

Vitamins – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is often made from corn, vitamin E is usually made from soy. Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well as vitamin D and vitamin K may have “carriers” derived from GM corn sources, such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin.

So, on this note, like I said at the beginning of this article, the BEST way to avoid GMO’s, is to eat organic, whole foods.  Stay away from processed food and it is very important to cook at home as much as you can; by cooking at home, you know exactly what you’re getting!!

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share or comment below!  I love hearing from each and everyone of you!

Visit my website at http://michelle-manning.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/

Sources

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-313X.2001.01119.x/full

http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002432.htm

http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/gm-foods.php#ixzz1urCkFYvD

http://www.bmj.com/content/318/7183/581.short

http://archlinux.arch.ttu.edu/w/images/d/d8/Genetically_Modified_Foods.pdf

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/285/5426/384.short

http://promitheas.iacm.forth.gr/lm/?p=2463

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A Season With My Sister

Life is full of experiences; the good, the bad and the ugly.  I have found in my own life that each season or experience is for a real purpose, to learn important life lessons that prepare me for and guide me to the next step in my process.

I was a stay-at-home mom for 15+ years and decided to go back to work, part-time for my sister who was a financial advisor for a leading investment firm in the industry.  My role was to do her marketing and to build relationships with her clients, which was right up my alley!  The marketing really tapped into my creativity, which hadn’t been tapped into since I took an art class is high school.  Having the opportunity to work with my sister, for about a year, is a time in my life that I will ALWAYS treasure!  We worked together all day, then a few evenings during the week we would get together to go for a run, go to Target or sometimes go to a ballgame together.  This is a picture of us together one night after work at a local, men’s softball game.

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One night my sister had her house to herself and she invited me over after work to have a spa night, so I bought products for us and took them over.  This was one of the best times we ever had together! This is a picture of us that night with a mud mask on and it is blurry but you can see by the smiles on our faces just how much fun we were having.Image

My sister and I were polar opposites, but learned to embrace our differences and enjoy each other, or so I thought.  During the holidays in 2011, things became strained between us due to lifestyle choices being made in my immediate family.  I respected her opinion, but I still had to make the right decisions for me and my family and this did cause a huge strain on our relationship.  This was only magnified in the spring of 2012, after a year of me personally, struggling with serious depression that was debilitating at times, I was in a really bad place and not handling life very well; during which, she made the decision to completely shut me out of her life (my other sister came to the same conclusion also). This hit me like a ton of bricks and really backed me into a corner, which was good for me personally.  The reason I say that??  I always put SO much stock in what my sister’s thought of me, my life, my decisions…everything at every level.  I stayed in constant doubt because I didn’t trust myself and found that I really needed some time to work some things out, make some hard decisions and to learn to trust myself.  This ultimately lead me to get out of my nearly 20 year volatile, abusive and very unhealthy marriage and make a healthy, peaceful and loving home for my two youngest children that are still at home.  This also lead to me making a career change and getting into school to become a holistic health coach, which was my dream career but I was always afraid to pursue it. I reconciled with my parents, which I had been estranged from for about 5 years and we now have the most beautiful relationships, more beautiful than I could ever imagine.  My spiritual life has been transformed to a place that I am blown away with on a daily basis. I also took this opportunity to reflect internally and grow by leaps and bounds, I now trust myself, love myself and I like who I have become.  Who have I become?  I have become a woman that sees others through the eyes of love, who loves with such intensity, who is strong, compassionate, forgiving and patient.

The last half of 2012, I reached out to my sister on several occasions to try and reconcile and it just didn’t work, she just wasn’t ready.  I knew that this season in our relationship wasn’t only for me, but also part of her process too and out of that I told her that I was here, waiting for her when she was ready and that I loved her. Another year passed, another set of birthdays, mothers day, summer at the pool together, days of running and bike rides, another season of ball games, another year of spa nights.  This past Christmas Eve, I’m sleeping in my daughters room, my parents are in my bed and at 1:19 am, my mother comes through the door and with panic in her voice, she says, “Michelle get up, it’s your sister, she’s in the hospital and they don’t think she’s going to make it!”.  I jumped out of bed, so confused…hospital? Not going to make it? Has she been in an accident?  I looked at my phone and her husband had tried to call me and so I called him, he said “get to the hospital now”.  We took off to the hospital immediately and arrived around 1:45 am. My world was spinning, didn’t feel like this could be possible, surreal.  When we enter the family room, her husband told us that there was nothing that was pointing to my sister making it.  My mom, dad, sister and I went back to see her and when we pulled the curtain back, I was shocked by the way she appeared, she was intubated and an emergency pace maker had just been implanted and she was not conscious.  As I was getting ready to walk up to her bed and speak to her, her spirit reached out to me.  We were talking to each other, without talking.  We were exchanging thoughts and I was so caught up in my conversation with her that I’m not even sure what else was even going on.  I vaguely remember mom standing over her and telling her that she loved her and crying; mom’s cries, I can still hear them, my dad…the look in his eyes, I’ll never forget it, it breaks my heart every time it crosses my mind and my other sister and I spoke to her briefly.  We were only with my sister for a very brief time, when the life transport team from another hospital arrived to take her to their hospital and they asked us to go back to the family room while they assessed her.  As we were walking back to the family room, I was lead by something in my spirit..my intuition to go somewhere so I could be alone, so strongly that I don’t remember even walking by the family…I was on a mission, the pull felt strong and hurried.  The waiting room was full, so I took off outside and stood by a tree right outside of the emergency room.  My sister’s spirit was there, waiting for me.  I begged her to come back, even demanded that she come back, but as soon as I had those demanding thoughts, she allowed me to feel a PORTION of the love, peace and FREEDOM that she was experiencing and I’ve never felt anything like it, not even close.  Immediately my thoughts to her were, “I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t stay here either” and just like that I felt her spirit leave.  When I walked back into the emergency waiting room, my other sister met me and placed her hands in mine and said, “she’s gone”, I said “dammit, I knew it!”.  My beautiful sister was 41 years old, from what I understand she ran 3 miles the day before and for some reason she became sepsis.

My reason for sharing this heartbreak with you is because I want you to see how my sister and I being estranged for the last two years of her life, not only worked for the betterment of me personally but was a way to prepare for our tragic loss.  Through the space created between us, I reconciled with my parents which enabled me to really be there for them during this horrific loss, my children and I were the only immediate family they had.  My spiritual life is at a place that my sister was able to communicate with me, which brought much healing to me personally and it was just an amazing experience, feeling just a portion of the love, peace and FREEDOM that she was now fully immersed in.  The spiritual transformation and experience that I had with my sister the night that she left us, gave me the insight and strength to be strong for my parents and to take care of them.  My sister’s death, which in our human mind seems untimely, but this was and is part of her process.  I would also like to say that the last two years of her life doesn’t at all define our relationship, it was a hiccup.  She loved us all so much while she was here and can and does love us beyond our wildest dreams now.  This is how I choose to remember my sister and it makes me smile!

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Take my life experience and make it your encouragement, we’re all on a journey and honor where you are right now, whether it’s where you want to be or not.  There are days that I miss her so terribly that I feel like I am just going to die, but I sit in my place of grief and honor it with love and by listening and reflecting.  There are days that I am constantly reminded of sweet memories with my sister and I sit in my place of enjoyment and honor it with love and by listening and reflecting.  There are days that I want to call her and cut up and play with her by “punching her buttons” and so I sit in my place of longing and honor it with love and by listening and reflecting.  There are times that I can’t move and feel as if I can’t breathe and so I sit in my place of feeling lost and honor it with love and by listening and reflecting.

We are all on our own personal journey, so not only is it healthy for you to honor where you are on your journey, but it’s also healthy for you to honor where your loved ones are on their journey.  Our losses, heartbreaks, new jobs, new kids, EVERYTHING works together for our good!  Every experience is used to build stepping stones to get us to the next level; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Remember this and KNOW this when you are in a difficult season of your life.

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Thank you for reading and following!  Do you have a story about a season in your life and the lessons you learned and/or the growth that took place from your experience?  Are you in a difficult season now?  Do you need support around your difficult season? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Through The Eyes of Love ♥

Michelle Dancy, CHHC, AADP
Awakening Holistic Healthcare
http://awakening-internal.com
 
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