Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Go in depth ...

Hi darlings. This link has been making the rounds and I want to share my perspective. So let me get right into it, shall I?

John Oliver is amazing. He's witty, bright, engaging, makes some hilarious and compelling comparisons ( I laughed out loud at the milk thing :)) rocks an accent ... which is why I can see why the video appeals so much. 

Also, Dr. Oz has made himself a really easy target over the last few years by really deviating from an explanation oriented, whole food, bodywork and exercise for a healthy life format, which is how his show initially took off, to what appears as a supplemental infomercial format of his shows today. It is completely irresponsible of him to claim any diet supplement is a miracle anything.

That said, I personally don't take any supplements at all, with the exception of high dose vitamin C when I have a bad cold. I don't juice, I don't take extracts of all the latest fruits, I don't drink green smoothies or anything of that nature. I used to for a few years a long time ago but chose to stop based on personal research and belief. 

As often as possible, I use whole farmed foods, farmed herbal teas & organic fair trade spices as my life force, vitamins and medicine.

I also wholeheartedly believe in science and western medicine and if I have to take an antibiotic or aspirin or something else to help me as a last resort, I absolutely will. 

Now, this video is very well made and highly entertaining. The two main stats were 38 deaths in one year from Tryptophan and 150 from Ephedrine and 16,000 illnesses. Along with the milk comparison of course :). The main point being about lack of regulation and lobbying etc.

I would like to share some statistics with you regarding the very highly regulated pharmaceutical industry. This comes from Harvard University from the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (JLME), edited by Marc Rodwin and supported by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

"Every week, about 53,000 excess hospitalizations and about 2400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier."

Every week.
53,000 hospitalizations.

Every week.
2400 deaths.

Occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier.

I just want you to think about this.
Let it really sink in. Then, think about 38 deaths a year and 150 deaths as mentioned in the video.

Then there is also this statistic:

"Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death."

Here is the article: 


I am writing this because I believe videos like this, entertaining and well produced as they may be, are completely misleading. And the sad part is that in today's bits and bites world, people just consume and share things that are only such a small and incomplete part of the story. 

The pharmaceutical industry has been trying to minimize the natural supplement industry for a very long time because it is a competing industry that has taken many, many dollars away from them. Which is fine, all in a days business matters.

My issue is not with businesses trying to make a buck, even though it costs people their lives sometimes. My issue is with people. It is with people who live unhealthy lives, who eat terrible food from abused animals and an abused earth, drink terrible things, engage with negative and abusive people, have lives that are toxic and leave it up to others to be responsible for their well being. People who don't read labels and for example, think that because it says organic or natural on the label of their their herbal tea does not contain flavour or colour or other things. The list goes on and on in the way we mistreat ourselves and shirk our responsibilities.

The more regulatory bodies we put into place because we are too busy to regulate ourselves, to know on our own where our things come from, the more we destroy our society. The more we destroy ourselves as self sufficient, capable human beings.

We don't need more regulatory bodies. We don't need more supplements, we don't need more variations of the same drugs. We don't need more.

We need to plug back in to our human lives.

We each need to know the farmers who raise the animals for the meat we eat. The farmers who grow the fruits and vegetables. What they put into the soil. The farmers who make our milk and butter. THIS is our medicine. THESE are our supplements. WE need to know what we are putting into our bodies and not because another agency has inspected it and deemed it safe because it has been shown over and over again that doesn't work for the most part in either industry, pharmaceutical or supplement. 

We've also lost faith in our Doctors and Medical system and with good reason. That system, just like many other modern ones, has become the equivalent of mass agriculture. See as many patients as you can, drug 'em up, no time for talking, personal issues, don't remember anything about you, next...in and out as fast as possible...

There is very little humanity left in the medical profession and that needs to come back in. So yes, please give me the flowery language as well as your expertise because it will make me feel better and that's the point.

Anyway, I can go on about this subject for a very long time but at this moment it is making me tired because it is huge and not for one article so I just want to close with this:

Please, please don't rush through your life. Don't fill your brain with 50 different articles in one day. Don't just pick up snippets here and there and adopt them as truth. Go in depth. Read one book instead of non stop media online. Develop your patience. Care about your body. Listen to its needs because you are unique in the world. As much as possible, unless absolutely necessary, don't take things in pill or concentrated forms. Take the time to know what real food is. Cook. Eat well. Love well. Work less. Learn to care and know about what you put into your body and on your body. Take time to sleep. Be less busy. Talk less. Read and know different points of view. Make choices from real understanding that comes from time invested in wanting to know.

Take the time. You are worth it.

That's it for today kids. Nap time. Much love to you all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Looking for the quiet ...

Well, here I am. A little bit against my will. I had to force myself to open this page ... to start typing. It took me a while.

I don't know what to write. Odd way to start a post, I know.

I  have been receiving many inquiries, for which I am so grateful, asking me when I will write again, sending me your e-mail addresses to make sure you are still on my list since you have not received a post in a while ... gently prodding me back to this page ...

I just don't know what to write, so I am writing just that. I hope it doesn't disappoint too much after not having heard from me in a while.

If I am to be completely honest, I have not spent enough time looking for the deeper stories. The long & intricate stories strolling  languidly in my head have been fragmented.  I have been spending too much time condensing them into bites that fit into various status updates. Filling my head with random information, as we do these days from one subject to another ... retaining only bits and pieces ... surface stuff, clear away from depth. I have been avoiding the full stories because they take too much time in one place. Such is our plight these days. We spin and spiral and spew micro bits of ourselves out into the universe and we miss the whole and we're not sure why. We're on autopilot, our index fingers gliding across screens over and over ... opening the same pages constantly, repetitively, looking for the next update, the fragment.
Pavlov's dogs ...

I get caught up in this spinning and whirling once in a while, although I must admit, this one was a long one. I went deep into the intellect, deep into the issues of society, the issues of soul, deep into the myriad human experiences and became discouraged. I got caught up in the collective mind, which today is diseased for the most part. I became lost in the noise that we have become.

I'm looking for the quiet again. It's good to be here.I missed nature, the sound and color of living things.

This winter was long.

Remembering the quiet on the back roads in Ayer's Cliff ...

Thank you for your gentle prodding dear readers, with much love - O

Monday, January 13, 2014

A tiny light shines on a surface we least expect ...

There are days, in which I am pierced with feeling
Not sharply, which contradicts
That is my life
A sort of infiltration that sweeps over me
Reminding me of the beauty
Reminding me of the fragility

It fills me with sweetness and sorrow simultaneously
It asks of me
It shows me possibilities and time
It asks me to look
I am sometimes afraid to open fully
I feel my human mind will be overwhelmed

I am saddened by what I fear we have lost
I catch glimpses

Brief gifts of that familiar thing that connects us
That we recognize

There are days, in which I curse the same feelings
The ones I don't like
The ones I am afraid of
The ones that remind me of loss
Of my inability to control things

And despite all illusion of choice, choice is temporary, and on life's terms
Choice is yours until it ends
Until life reminds
That time is fleeting


We get so close, a glimpse
Walking a surface
There is recognition

It is time to tell stories again
To each other

To listen to the sounds of this beautiful human voice
Our voice
The one we share
The one most of us have forgotten

It is time to sing again
To dance
To touch
To look into the eyes of our friends an fellow humans
To stand close again

The only choice we have is love

Sometimes, a tiny light shines on a surface we least expect
Sometimes that surface is our soul

I ask, how can I heal when I am being healed
I answer

- Oana Silaghi-Bedikyan

Thank you for reading dear readers. Happy New Year.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stories told ...

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

Hi dear readers. This is where I have been the last little while.

On mountain tops doing yoga ...
In supermarket parking lots looking up ...

Crashing wedding parties with great friends ...

In awe ...

Looking up at the moon ...

More awe ...

Looking up through teepees ...

Walking and breathing ...

Watching seasons ...

With my Heron friend ...

Just looking up ...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The only truth is love ...

I have been thinking a lot about the state of us lately. Us. You and me.

I generally do not read the news, or watch it for that matter. I rely on conversations with people to inform me of things that are going on on the world. I do this because when I keep up with current affairs through the news system we have cultivated, I feel hopeless. I become overwhelmed with all the terrible things we are doing to our earth and to each other. I actually think this is the point of much of media. To dishearten us and to make us feel as if things are so huge, so bad that what we do as individuals, can make no difference. We rely on faulty governments, run by people with agendas that have lost heart ... lost sight. Sight of the fact that we are one family, living in one house. A living family sharing one living earth.

"God gives us love; something to love he lends us." Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Often times, we only realize what is important to us, when things we take for granted or love, are taken away.

We take for granted the fragile structure upon which civility depends.

We fight amongst ourselves and try to prove our points and impose our views on others. We are convinced we are right and try to silence or hurt those who differ.

Between agriculture disasters, human rights, technological espionage, pharmaceutical & agro intimidation, climate issues, mass extinctions, educational policies, population crisis ... I don't know where to turn.

We take and take. We pollute. We fight We destroy. We consume.

There is no way out for us. 
We are too many. Too damaged.

This is how I feel when I watch and read the news. I get caught up in it once or twice a year.

So I turn it all off and I go back in time.

I go and make bread with soaked flour. I make sauerkraut and take comfort in the fact that organisms older than man are still here and doing their thing for my kraut to be sour. I talk to my friends and family. I hug my husband and thank Creator for the privilege. I squeeze Napa. I fast to remind myself of hunger. I fast to slow down. I do yoga to remind myself of my body and the miracle of strength and movement. I meditate. I go see my farmer and butcher and fishmonger and listen to their wise words. I engage in my community. I work with my crystals and show tremendous gratitude for my beautiful clients. I knit. I turn off my computer. I garden. I scale down.

What I realize, is that there is no other way. We have to live smaller lives. Slower lives. Lives with much less consumer choice. Lives with depth and meaning. Lives where we are considerate and care for each other and all that lives on the planet we share. Lives where we care about the welfare of the animals and plants that we eat. Families and friendships have to mean something again. We have to be able to tolerate discomfort in relationships. We have to bring back eccentricity. Character. Honor. Valor. Curiosity. Respect. Diversity. Love. 

Could we even fathom only taking as much as we need?

We have to fundamentally understand that we are one unit. There is no separation. When we harm others we harm ourselves. When we silence others, we silence ourselves.  When we harm our planet we harm our home. The only one we have.

We have to love. To love our home, and all things in it. There is no other way.

The only truth is love.

It all starts, and ends, there.

Alright. I need a hot chocolate.

Join me will you?

Time to dish.

Cocoa with Saffron for your Soul

Here is what you need:
  • 1/4 cup of fairly traded dark cacao
  • A cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of saffron 
  • 1 liter of whole milk, full fat please 
  • Maple syrup to sweeten to your liking
Here is what to do:

Quite simply, bring the milk to a slow simmer & mix in all your ingredients. Allow to simmer together for about 10 minutes, stirring to make sure there are no cocoa clumps. Then remove the cinnamon stick and drink and contemplate what you love.

Peace & Love


Friday, August 30, 2013

Thank you Summer, hello Fall ...

There are many words in my mind. Many topics. Many feelings. Many things I have wanted to say here over the last little while.

I have wanted to talk about cities and how we forget what we're made of.
To talk about farms and futures.
Not being able to get butter from grass fed cows here in Montreal.
Crystals and energy.
Local herbal teas that I make.
How change takes place. 
Goat necks.
Cow necks.

And I intend to talk about every single one of these things.

As soon as I am back.

I am off dear readers, to recharge after an exceptionally busy summer filled with amazingly spectacular healing arts clients, #365daysofyogaadventure, local herbal teas (TWO WEEKS AWAY!!! :)), crystals, drums, meditations and lots and lots of food from the heart. I am off to the ocean to park my behind in the sand, inhale that ocean air and fill my brain and heart with beauty.

Thank you Summer, hello Fall.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rainy days and cows ...

Sitting here, warm and toasty in the kitchen, feet cozy and looking out the window (and typing...typing also) on what is our third day of rainy weather (with no end in sight, I'm afraid) I'm going to declare something to you. Here I go. You see... I have this thing for rainy days ... and cows ... I really do. People scowl. They complain. They hunch. They take up umbrella wrestling. They give stink eyes. It's June, they say. It's summer, they say. I'm moving, they say...
Well... I fly in the wet face of such sun dancers, (with galoshes on) and say, not me, dear readers. I completely love these days. I love the sun too, don't get me wrong, but these days, they are a little gift.  I miss them so much in the winter and I am thrilled at the first hint of drops, the soft gray light, the rolling thunder, the change in air. In my world, there has always been something magical and calming in the sounds and stillness of a rainy day. The patter of drops against the window. The muffled sounds of tires across asphalt. The swishing sounds trees make as they sway in the wind, leaves dancing delightedly. And everything is so green. Alive and growing. 
Water is a life giver, a cleaner, it moves things along.
If you are in the countryside, rainy days bring a green beyond words, droplets everywhere reflecting life, quiet animals and tiny birds shaking off wet wings. The air is filled with humidity, the scent of earth...
Oh, what? Yes, yes ... the cow thing... yes ...
Well, believe it or not dear readers, I really do have this cow thing. I rarely come across a cow in all of his (or her) splendor, where I do not stop to say hello and admire. Yes, I talk to cows. I wave at them and smile. I love them. Everything about them. The way they stand, sit, chew, swat flies, nurse young ones, flare nostrils, poop ... I love to see them in the different seasons, landscapes ... they are just so perfect ... I just want to stay and look at them forever. Now put rainy days and cows together .... whoa.
So that's kinda' the cow thing... which also translates over to a sheep thing but that's for another time ...

An open window brings sounds of droplets and smells of cool earth ...

Everything green rejoices ...

Cows! My lovelies ...

Look at them ... look at the little one in the center ... look at her ... ouff aman aman ...

They are so the best. I love them.




Sheep. Next time ...

Look at them ... bebeks ...


I've written about rain quite a bit. Like a lot. It's contemplative weather. It's also the perfect time to bake a beautiful loaf of the best bread ever and eat it straight out of the oven, warm with lots of butter.
Isn't it? :)
Time to dish.

The Best Simple Bread Recipe. Ever.
The second rising ...
Fresh out of the oven and brushed with goat butter ... I am telling you ...
Cooling ... hard to resist ...
Sliced and curvy!

At last ... we are together ...

So here it is dear readers. The bomb bread. You make it by hand, no machine and it is so easy. The actual work time is 15 minutes. The rest is waiting.
Here is what you need:
  • 6 cups of really good, organic white flour (or you could do half white, half whole wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons of local honey
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of grassy olive oil
  • 2 packages of instant yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups of very warm water
  • Melted goat butter, just enough for brushing the loaves
This is what to do:
  1. Mix 3.5 cups of the flour with the honey, salt and yeast in a big bowl. As big as you got baby! Then add the warm water and stir well, with a wooden spoon (or whatever spoon floats your boat) for about a minute until everything is smooth. Then, stir in the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, until you have a rough dough that is easy to work with.
  2. Flour your counter top or other workspace, then on your dough goes for you to lovingly knead it for 10 minutes. You'll know  it's ready when it is elastic and it feels bouncy in your hand. When ready, place it in a oiled bowl (big one) and it's rise time! 40 minutes in a toasty place (I put mine in an oven that I had pre-heated to 175F.
  3. Now is the time to grease the loaf pans. 2 of them. I grease mine with olive oil.
  4. Punching time! After 40 minutes, take out the bowl and punch down the dough baby! Not insanely hard, now is not the time to get out your aggressions... just enough for it to flatten. Then divide the dough in two, flatten each half with a rolling pin (or your hands, I do mine with my hands, like a pizza dough) until you have a rectangle of about 18x9 inches.
  5. Rolling time! Starting at the short end (the 9" end, to state the obvious) roll your dough up tightly, pressing down with your thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch the edge of the dough to seal after each turn and when you are at the end, fold the ends under the loaf.
  6. 2nd rising! Place your now dough log into your pans, seam side down and use a knife to slightly mark the top of the bread on the diagonal. Then, brush it with the melted goat butter. Oh yeah baby. Let it rise for 35-50 minutes.
  7. Now, oven at 425F and bake! For 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. Check it at 25 ... it should be golden brown and hollow when you tap it. As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush it again with goat butter! Quick!
Let it cool and then slice it up! It is so good dear readers. I know the instructions are a bit wordy but I promise you it is so easy to do and so amazingly good you will thank me.
I'm off to the cycle now ... all this bread ... and butter ... thighs expanding ... totally worth it ...