SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

May 31, 2013

Our World’s doing something Right

Contrary to media coverage, world’s wars are dwindling



Gwynne Dyer

Imagine for a moment that all the wars of the world have come to a peaceful conclusion. Most violent crime against people and property also has been eradicated. The worst outbreak of violence in the world in the past 24 hours has been a fight in a bar in Irkutsk, Russia.

  • What item do you think will lead the international news for the next 12 hours, or however long it takes until something fresher come along? The bar fight in Irkutsk, of course. “If it bleeds, it leads,” says the axiom, and the world’s media follow it slavishly, so they will always give you the impression that the world is drowning in violence. It is not — but people think it is.

Stop people at random and ask them how many wars are going on in the world right now. Most people would guess around a dozen, although they wouldn’t be able to name them. The right answer is two, and one of them, Afghanistan, is probably approaching its end.

There are close to 200 independent countries in the world, and only one in a hundred is currently at war. They are both primarily civil wars, although there is some foreign involvement in each case. The Syrian civil war is extremely destructive of lives and property, the war in Afghanistan less so, and in both cases the fighting occasionally slops over their borders, but that’s it.

There are a number of other countries where there is a lower level of civil conflict: the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, or Colombia (although the latter is now engaged in peace talks to end the 50-year conflict between the state and the FARC guerillas). But the Sri Lankan civil war is over, the Iraqi civil war is at least over for the moment, and the many little wars of West Africa are all over.

Then there is Somalia, the world’s only failed state, where 20 years of violent anarchy may finally be drawing to an end. But the scale of the fighting rarely has risen to a level that would qualify what has been happening there as a full-scale war. Not, at least, what would have qualified as a full-scale war back in the days when that sort of thing was still common. Most of the time, Somalia’s conflict has been more like gangland wars on steroids.

There is terrorism in various places, like Boko Haram’s bizarre campaign to impose Islamic law on Nigeria (where only half the population is Muslim), the Pakistani Taliban’s campaign of murder against their Shia fellow-citizens, and the Naxalites’ long and forlorn struggle to make a Communist revolution in India. All nasty, but none of them real wars.

And there is, finally, the famous “war” on terror, which these days amounts to little more than overzealous law enforcement at home and selective assassination by drones abroad. Like the “war” on drugs in Mexico, it is only a metaphor for an activity that is not really a war at all.

  • So that’s it: two real wars, and a clutter of lesser conflicts that really do not merit the term. In a world of seven billion people, only a few hundred million have even the slightest experience of organized violence for political ends. Why, then, do so many people think that the world is still overrun by war?

The media are partly to blame, but they also are manipulated by various governments that raise the specter of war for their own ends. Wars that have not happened and are never likely to fill the imaginations of the public: a war in Korea, a U.S. and/or Israeli attack on Iran, Western or Israeli intervention in Syria, a war between China and South-East Asian countries over islands in the South China Sea, a U.S.-Chinese conflict in the Pacific, and on and on.

A lot of people, some in uniform and some not, make a living off these mostly phantom fears, and they contribute to the general impression that the world is still a place where war, however deplorable, is the normal state of affairs. It is not. We live in an era where, for the first time in history, no great power genuinely fears attack by any other and where the number of actual wars can be counted on the fingers of one badly mutilated hand.

Almost 90 million people died in the world wars and other big wars (including the Russian, Chinese and Spanish civil wars) of the first half of the 20th century, out of a world population that was one-third of what it is now. In the second half of the century, the death toll dropped steeply to 25 million or so, most of whom died in colonial-independence wars and civil wars.

  • And so far, in the 21st century, the total is less than one million people killed in war. What we have on our hands here is a miraculous and mostly unsung success story. There will doubtless be more wars, but they may be small and infrequent. We are obviously doing something right. We should figure out what it is and do more of it.

Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

(My Comment:

I have never written about ugly stuff like war and discord among masses of people and felt good about it for it has to be a downer.  Yet that is what most of us are indeed living with, bad information.  Brilliant piece Mr. Dyer – – you have made my day!    Jan)

Why isn’t Guantanamo done?

Guantanamo could be closed if Obama really wanted to do it

                                                            Joe Nocera


Late last Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours before President Barack Obama made his big national-security speech — in which he said, for the umpteenth time, that the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be closed — a group of American lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees filed an emergency motion with the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. The motion asked the court to order the removal of “unjustified burdens” that the military command at Guantanamo has placed on the detainees, making it nearly impossible for them to meet their lawyers.

Lawyers used to be able to speak to their clients on the phone, or could visit them in Camp 5 or Camp 6, where the “no value” detainees have been confined for years. (The smaller group of genuine terrorists is held in separate quarters.)

Not anymore. Today, if a lawyer asks to speak with his or her client, a meeting — and even a phone call — must take place at another location. And before they are moved to the location, the detainees are searched for “contraband.” According to the legal filings, the search includes touching the genitals and the anus of the detainees — which, as the military well knows, violates the detainees’ Muslim faith and will cause them to refuse the meeting. If the detainee does decide to go forward with the meeting, he is then shackled hand and foot, and chained to the floor of a van, in a purposely painful, bent-over position.

The detainees are all in solitary confinement. They are shackled when they are taken to the shower. They cannot speak to their families unless they allow their genitals and anus to be searched. In other words, an already-inhumane situation has become even worse on the watch of the president who claims to want to shut the prison down.

In his speech on Thursday, the president hit all the right notes. He talked about how holding detainees for an indefinite period without charging them with any crime has made the prison “a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.” He noted that it has hurt us with our allies. He even mentioned how absurdly expensive the prison is — nearly $1 million per prisoner per year. “Is this who we are?” he asked.

“History,” he concluded, “will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism.” He’s right about that. But he will not be immune from that judgment.

In his speech, Obama blamed his failure to close Guantanamo — which, please recall, was one of his most strident campaign promises five years agoon laws passed by Congress.

But Congress didn’t make it impossible. The president could have jumped through the hoops Congress now requires and continued moving prisoners out of Guantanamo. But he didn’t. Instead, he froze all transfers, including 56 men from Yemen whom a national-security commission that Obama himself established had “cleared” for transfer. The government, the commission essentially said, had no national-security interest in holding these men. Yet Obama continued to let them rot in that Cuban hell. And you wonder why they are on a hunger strike?

Or, for that matter, why the military command at Guantanamo has no compunction about instituting punishing new “burdens” on the detainees even as their commander-in-chief decries what goes on there? (For the record, a military spokesman denies that the heightened searches include genital and anal touching.) Indeed, the current commander of the prison, Rear Adm. John W. Smith Jr., was just named to a cushy new post at the National Defense University. Thumbing one’s nose at Obama, as virtually everyone in Washington has learned by now, has no consequences.

  • It is my belief, shared by many lawyers who have followed the legal battles over Guantanamo, that the president could have shut the prison down if he had been determined to do so. One reason the prisoners can’t get out is that the courts essentially have ruled that a president has an absolute right to imprison anyone he wants during a time of war — with no second-guessing from the other two branches of government. By the same legal logic, a president can free any prisoner in a time of war. Had the president taken that stance, there undoubtedly would have been a court fight. But so what? Aren’t some things worth fighting for?
  • Whenever he talks about Guantanamo, the president gives the impression that that’s what he believes. The shame — his shame — is that, for all his soaring rhetoric, he has yet to show that he is willing to act on that professed belief.

Joe Nocera writes for The New York Times.

(My Comment:

Joe Nocera whom I very much enjoy reading and admire, has been far kinder to President Obama than I would have been had I written a similar piece.  I am deeply opposed to our imprisoning these people in another land, not ours.  Why do that?  So we don’t have to look at them?  We all know that they are there as does the entire world.  It is one of our greatest shames in our entire history.  I am ashamed and do not condone this.   Why do we go on allowing it?

How can a nation claim to be law abiding  and simultaneously be so derelict in justice?  These people would prefer death to the existence which they are being forced to endure.  To force feed them is simply beyond belief to me. 

We should all demand that every one in government be held accountable for this atrocious act against  fellow human beings.  This must come to an end.  All that talk rings hollow and cheap.   Jan)

May 30, 2013

Politics via Abraham

Dear Friends,We’re having wonderful dialogues with Abraham in city after city this year. Here’s a link to a recent discussion with a politician that gives me renewed hope for our political process!
It is really good! Click Here to watch the video.And, we thought you might like to see where we’re headed this summer and fall in case you want to join us in one of these beautiful cities where the weather is always beautiful while we are there!

With love and appreciation for all that you contribute to this glorious co-creative experience.

(and Abraham and Jerry)

Abraham-Hicks Vortex of Attraction Event Schedule

June 1, 2013 – Stamford, CT
June 8, 2013 – Boston, MA
June 15, 2013 – Chicago, IL
June 29, 2013 – Phoenix, AZ
July 6, 2013 – San Diego, CA
July 13, 2013 – North Los Angeles, CA
July 20, 2013 – Long Beach, CA
July 27, 2013 – San Francisco, CA
August 3, 2013 – Portland, OR
August 10, 2013 – Seattle, WA
August 17, 2013 – Denver, CO
August 31, 2013 – Chicago, IL
September 9 – 20, 2013 – Mediterranean Cruise
September 28, 2013 – Stamford, CT
October 5, 2013 – Boston, MA
October 12, 2013 – Washington, DC
October 19, 2013 – Philadelphia, PA
October 26, 2013 – Atlanta, GA
November 2 & 3, 2013 – Asheville, NC*
(*Special pricing of $500 for this Two Day Event)
November 9, 2013 – San Antonio, TX
December 7, 2013 – Phoenix, AZ

Make your plans now to join the Leading Edge conversation with Abraham and Esther.

“Anything That You Can Imagine is Yours to Be or Do or Have.
As you ask yourself why you want it, the essence of your desire is activated,
and the Universe begins to bring it to you. The more intense your positive feelings,
the faster it is coming to you.” – Abraham

Abraham-Hicks Publications™
(830) 755-2299

Earth’ll die B4 ROUNDUP-ready

We must be ready for this important vote – – please watch this. . . . .  .     .    Jan

Research Reveals Previously Unknown Pathway by which Glyphosate Wrecks Health

Glyphosate Is This a Primary Culprit Behind the Massive Surge in Sickness?
Can it cause digestive issues, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, liver diseases and cancer? They might tell you it’s safe and minimally toxic, but new research suggests it could be the most significant environmental toxin linked to most of your health problems…

Story at-a-glance

  • While Monsanto insists that Roundup is safe and “minimally toxic” to humans, new research argues that glyphosate residues on and in food enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease
  • Glyphosate inhibits enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances, which, according to the researchers, is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals
  • The currently accepted dogma is that glyphosate is not harmful to humans because the shikimate pathway is absent in all animals. However, this pathway is present in both human and mammal’s gut bacteria, which play a massively important and heretofore largely overlooked role in human physiology
  • Rather than using in vitro DNA modification, a new breed of genetically engineered wheat is designed to produce double-strand RNA, by which the plant can silence specific genes. Research has shown that molecules created in the plant, intended to silence wheat genes to change its carbohydrate content, can match a large number of human genes and potentially turn them off as well

*Fed ‘Bill’ 4 Sustainable Farms


Bill would help grow sustainable, local farms


Advocates of sustainable farming and regional food systems are applauding the Local Farm, Food and Jobs Act, a federal bill they say has the potential to expand markets for farmers and get more healthy food in the hands of consumers.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine, introduced the twin bills in the Senate and House early April, hoping their provisions will make it into a five-year farm bill later this year.

The lawmakers originally introduced their act in 2011. However, Congress failed to agree on a new farm bill last year, extending the previous bill instead.

  • “Sen. Brown’s bill will boost income and market opportunities for Ohio farmers, secure funding for critically important programs that support family farms, expand new farming opportunities, and invest in the local agriculture economy,” said MacKenzie Bailey, policy program coordinator for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, in a written statement.

The act has 33 co-sponsors — all Democrats — including Sen. Jon Tester from Montana, the Senate’s sole working farmer. More than 280 organizations have endorsed the bill, including Local Matters, Ohio Environmental Council, Slow Food Columbus and OEFFA.

  • “Local and regional agriculture is a major driver in the farm economy, yet producers face significant infrastructure, marketing and information barriers,” said Ferd Hoefner, policy director of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, in a statement.
  • “The bill addresses those barriers and makes smart investments that expand economic opportunities for farmers, increase jobs, and improve healthy food access in rural and urban America,” Hoefner said.
  • The act offers something for each of the seven titles in the farm bill, including proposals addressing crop insurance, farm credit, nutrition, rural development, research and extension, horticulture, and livestock, the sustainable-agriculture coalition said.

It would create an insurance program for diversified and organic farmers who grow crops that are not covered by traditional crop insurance. It also would enable schools to purchase local food, and food-stamp recipients to spend their money at farmers markets more easily, Local Matters said.

In addition, the act invests in sustainable agriculture programs, such as the Farmers Market Promotion Program, that were stranded without funding when the 2008 farm bill was extended, the sustainable agriculture coalition said.

“For an investment of just over $100 million a year, the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act can help a growing sector of the food system flourish,” Hoefner said.

That figure compares with $40 million for local food systems in the 2008 farm bill, he said.


May 29, 2013

EEM Flipping a Breech Baby


Flipping A Breech Baby!

By Rose Mattax, LCPC, EEM-AP

breech baby1One Thursday afternoon, I received a call from a lovely young woman named Stacey (the names have been changed) whom I’d been seeing as a client for a number of years. But this time Stacey was calling on behalf of her sister, Jenny, who was pregnant with her second son.

Jenny was due to deliver the baby, already named Mark, any day. The problem was that Mark was in a breech position, with his feet sitting firmly on top of Jenny’s cervix. Stacey explained that a caesarean section had been scheduled for the following Monday to surgically remove the baby.

With a sigh, Stacey asked, “Is there anything you can do to help?”

“Supposedly,” I replied, “but I’ve never personally turned a breech baby before. Why don’t you come in Saturday afternoon, and we’ll see what we can do.”

After the call, I immediately hopped onto Facebook and posted a query to the Eden Energy Medicine Facebook Group page. This page is a phenomenal resource for Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) practitioners. I always find a mix of fresh ideas and important reminders about much of what we’ve learned in our EEM training. My question that Thursday was if anyone knew how to help turn a breech baby using EEM.

As usual, my question garnered a number of responses from several different practitioners, and in this case they were all saying pretty much the same thing. Basically, I was reminded of Donna’s advice to spin the second chakra counterclockwise (although some babies prefer a clockwise spin). A few other suggestions seemed relevant, especially to hold the main Neurovascular Points in order to reduce the expectant mom’s stress.

When Saturday came, I felt well prepared to do what I could. But as fate would have it, Stacey and Jenny got caught in an awful traffic jam, and by the time they arrived, we had a scant 30 minutes to work together.

Determined to give it my all, I asked Stacey to hold Jenny’s main Neurovascular Points while I commenced with spinning her second chakra in a counterclockwise direction. This seemed to meet with Mark’s approval, as he was a very busy baby while I worked; we could actually see him bouncing around. At one point, his head was so prominently protruding near the top of Jenny’s uterus that I could actually pat it gently. It was a wonderful way to connect! I also spoke to Mark throughout the chakra work, letting him know we were excited about his arrival.

“Every time I’ve done a chakra clearing on a pregnant woman, I can feel the child responding. The energies of the unborn child are distinct from those of the mother, and the child’s response makes me happy.”

~ Donna Eden, Energy Medicine,(p. 286)

However, as we worked, I began to pick up a strong, almost visceral, sensation of worry in Mark’s body. Not cerebral at all; it was a definite physical sensation that seemed to emanate from the core of his little body. Quietly, I asked Jenny if she was worried about anything other than the breech birth. Jenny and Stacey shared the story.

Jenny’s first son, Leo, was delivered the traditional head-first way, but it had been a traumatic birth because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Everything turned out fine, but the wrapped cord had necessitated the use of forceps and suction, which really upset Jenny. She was worried this would happen with Mark.

“Well, no wonder your baby is standing on his feet,” I said. “He feels your worry!”

Immediately, I checked the energy flow in Jenny’s Stomach meridian, since its emotional polarity is worry versus trust. Indeed, it was in a state of over-energy, so I took time away from spinning the second chakra to sedate Jenny’s Stomach meridian.

Then, with the few minutes we had left, I gave Jenny’s second chakra several final counter- clockwise spins. By then, Mark had become very calm, perhaps deciding it was time to take a power nap in preparation for the big event on Monday. I wished them all well and asked Stacey to email me as soon as Mark was born.

  • Monday morning, the day Jenny’s c-section was planned, I received an email from Stacey with these words in the subject line: YOU DID IT! It turned out Mark had flipped over the weekend.

But Mark apparently hadn’t yet gotten totally enthused about joining us; it was still a somewhat challenging labor. Mark was born Tuesday morning, weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces. He was 21 inches long, and mom and baby were both happy and healthy.

By the way, Jenny had never experienced Energy Medicine of any kind before. I think this was a very good introduction!

Submitted by EEM Advanced Practitioner, Rose Mattax, May 2013.

(My Comment:

What a joy to know there is this energy in the world which can enable success through the tuff times.           It is both encouraging and enthralling, each time I hear one of these stories.   Donna and her gifts are     such a great a blessing. 

Doesn’t it sound like a miracle?  And look what it saved both in misery and expense not to have to go through a C-section, for both the mother and the baby.    Jan)

EEM Classes start

Filed under: EEM Foundation classes starting — Jan Turner @ 12:30 am

You have no idea how I wish I could be there, but maybe some of you could could do this.  Jan

EEM Foundations Classes
 Greetings Jan,

Energy Medicine Foundations
Energy Medicine Foundations
Our bodies have a natural ability to maintain wellness and joy. The key is keeping our core energies balanced. Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden sees nine major energy systems, and the Eden Energy Medicine Foundations Classes will teach you how to work with these energies and unlock the body’s natural healing power!
The Foundations Classes are a one-year program designed by Donna Eden and her most senior staff members. Come learn about energy testing, meridian energy, pain management, chakras, the auric field, the five elements, and much more! There are no prerequisites to enroll. Sign up today!

“The best news about Energy Medicine is . . . it is available today.”   


~ Christiane Northrup, MD

Foundations Class locations near you:
EEM Foundations Classes: Enhance your own health and vitality! Chicago, Illinois
taught by Dr. Sara Allen,
Debra Burchard, and Marjorie Fein

Class begins June 6Canton, Michigan

taught by Julie Lappin

Class beings June 13

Explore the class locations worldwide by clicking here!

Learn to unlock your natural healing power!  
  The Foundations Classes will teach you how to:

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Increase brain health
  • Reprogram your body’s response to stress
  • Alleviate symptoms of common illnesses
  • Add new healing tools to your professional toolbox
  • Help your family and friends feel better

The classes are the groundwork for those students who wish to complete the Eden Energy Medicine Two-Year Certification Program by taking a second year to become Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioners.

UK EEM Foundations 2012

Step into this great frontier of healing and enroll in a Foundations Class today! 
Vicki Matthews ~ Director of Education
Laurel Camden ~ Foundations Classes Coordinator
email: | Phone: (541) 482-1800

Supplements lack safety regs

Product safety

Supplement poison calls on the rise


The Central Ohio Poison Center received nearly twice as many calls last year about dietary and herbal supplements as it did a decade ago. Critics say supplements are lightly regulated, heavily marketed and widely available at health retailers and drugstores and via the Internet.

The poison center, which is housed at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and serves half of Ohio’s counties, received 611 calls about supplements in 2012, up from 323 in 2003. The supplements in question include weight-loss products and energy boosters, not vitamins and minerals.

The surge in call volume is due in part to far greater prevalence of the supplements than in the past, said Henry Spiller, the poison center’s director.

For example, the percentage of the U.S. population taking at least one dietary supplement grew from 42 percent in 1991 to 53 percent in 2005, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

  • Spiller was a co-author on research published this month in Pediatric Emergency Care that found a 274 percent increase in poisonings from dietary and herbal supplements in children younger than 6 between 2000 and 2010.

The researchers evaluated data at 12 poison centers in five states — Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas — and found that the total number of reported exposures among those younger than 6 increased from 1,017 to 3,798 in that decade.

Officials with the Central Ohio Poison Center say the number of calls about dietary and herbal supplements has increased.

The dietary-supplements industry recorded more than $30 billion in sales in 2011, according to Nutrition Business Journal.

“Clearly, there is increased availability,” said Spiller, noting a shift in buying from bricks-and-mortar stores to the Internet. Often, he said, the thinking among consumers is, “‘If it’s ‘natural’ and it’s for sale, it’s safe.’ That is not necessarily so.”

Since 2004, the poison center has logged 54 hospitalizations requiring intensive care as a result of dietary-supplement use, although the annual number has declined sharply in recent years. The number of calls linked to weight-loss supplements also has dropped, from 215 in 2003 to 90 last year. That’s because of a 2006 ban on the sale of the appetite-suppressant ephedrine as a dietary supplement, Spiller said.

Still, only a tiny fraction of adverse reactions to supplements is ultimately reported, said Dr. Marvin Lipman, the medical editor of Consumer Reports. Another problem, he said, is that many over-the-counter supplements are spiked with prescription medications, including some used to treat erectile dysfunction.


Under a 1994 federal law, dietary supplements do not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they are marketed, as long as they don’t make specific health claims.

“As long as you don’t cross that magic line and claim that you’re curing a disease, there’s really no one watching,” Spiller said. “It’s really ‘consumer beware.’”

Still, dietary supplements continue to draw fresh scrutiny after the December 2011 death of a Maryland teenager linked to toxic over-caffeination. The girl had consumed large cans of Monster Energy on two consecutive days.

Another product that has provoked recent controversy is Jack3d, a powder that’s marketed as a workout enhancer and contains dimethylamylamine, a synthetic compound that the FDA said has been linked to adverse effects and deaths.

Despite such concerns, it’s difficult to pull such supplements off the market, Lipman said.

Poison calls

The Central Ohio Poison Center has received far more calls about dietary and herbal supplement ingestion in recent years, though fewer of the calls involve products used for weight loss. Calls for problems with supplements received by the poison center since 2003:

Consumers should look for seals on dietary supplements indicating that their contents have been verified by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, Lipman said. Less than 2 percent of supplements receive such a designation, which does not guarantee that the product is effective.

Advertising for dietary supplements on sports- and talk-radio programs has increased significantly in recent years, said Don Caster, owner of Raisin Rack, a natural-food store in Westerville that gets about 30 percent of its revenue from dietary supplements. He said his store deals only with reputable companies.

“The really good companies are not run out of someone’s basement anymore, like they were 40 years ago,” he said.

Caster said the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to make sure the advertising of any product, including dietary supplements, is truthful, substantiated and not misleading.

He said consumers have a responsibility to research products they’re buying and use them properly.

Some consumers have the mindset that if two capsules work, “I’ll take four,” Caster said.


May 28, 2013

Obsessive Eating


O B S E S S I V E       E A T I N G

Some people go to extremes, eliminating even healthy foods that they don’t think fit in their diets


Moderation matters, even when it comes to healthy living. • There are people who starve their bodies based on their decision to eliminate all foods that aren’t organic and local. There are others whose twice-a-day intense workouts consume their free time at the expense of family and friends. • This behavior isn’t classic anorexia, and it’s not necessarily tied to a desire for thinness. But experts say that the psychological roots of it are similar, that this “disordered” thinking can be tied to obsessive-compulsive disorder, rigid thinking and perfectionism.

We’re living at a time when exercise and diet information is more abundant than ever. And those who are disciplined in those regards often are revered, making it more complicated to recognize when someone tips from making good lifestyle choices to bad, said Sondra Kronberg, a clinical nutrition therapist at the Eating Disorder Treatment Collaborative in New York.

  • “In this culture around us, fitness and health, it’s sort of like that’s become a religion,” she said. “It’s sort of a way of being connected and defining oneself.”

Excessive exercise often accompanies “orthorexia,” a desire to avoid foods perceived as unhealthy or impure, said Kronberg, a former board member of the National Eating Disorders Association.

Orthorexia is not an officially recognized diagnosis, but those who work in the field say they see plenty of adolescents and adults whose behavior fits the description.

  • Kronberg said those who wonder whether they are taking their health habits to an extreme should reflect on how much time they spend thinking about body image and about eating and exercising. And they should ask themselves if they miss out on good parts of life, such as parties and dinners, because of their food or workout “rules.”

“It’s not about your career; it’s not about your family. It’s not the root of all happiness,” Kronberg said.

Jennifer Carter, a counselor and sports psychologist at the Center for Balanced Living in Worthington, said it’s probably unusual for individuals with eating disorders to be motivated only by a desire to be healthy.

Contributing factors could include past trauma, low self-worth and neurobiological factors, she said.

Dr. Terrill Bravender, the chief of adolescent medicine and director of the eating-disorders program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said orthorexia in adolescents sometimes can be overcome when patients understand that they’re harming their bodies.

  • Limited diets can decrease muscle mass, deprive the body of essential nutrients, slow the brain and the gastrointestinal system, and decrease blood pressure.

A lot of young people arrive at orthorexia because they’ve learned about unhealthy lifestyle choices in health class, or because high blood pressure or high cholesterol has been diagnosed in a parent, he said.

“A doc says, ‘Cut back on processed food,’ and then the child interprets that in a very concrete way, thinking all saturated fat, all processed food must be bad for you and might kill you,” Bravender said.

If you spend enough time on the Internet, he said, you can find “evidence” that anything you eat is bad for you.

Dr. Megan Schabbing, an OhioHealth psychiatrist, said anyone who takes diet or exercise to an extreme could benefit from an evaluation from a physician.

“People who have obsessive-compulsive traits may be more prone to over-exerting control in terms of diet and exercise,” she said. Anxiety could be another concern.

Not everyone who goes to extremes has a psychiatric disorder, but it’s good to screen for them, she said.

For more information on eating disorders or to find help, visit http://www.nationaleating  .     @MistiCrane

(My Comment: 

We’ve all seen the heart-breaking stories of young, beautiful girls who waste away from eating disorders and anorexic behaviors – – but this as it is showing in this article is not that.  Instead, what appears to be happening is some strong-arm scare tactics   to perhaps bring about compliance with usual and normal living routines which allow everyone to be more “comfortable” with the status-quo.  

At least in my mind,  personal choice criticisms outlined herein are being harshly critical.  When one observes the high numbers of  our huge masses of uninformed, obese and dysfunctional people  who haven’t a clue as to how they got that way, and take no action – – one questions if those experts aren’t looking in the wrong direction. 

The illustration heading this article demonstrates the choices being  eliminated or overlooked;  therefore disparaged  by inference by our so-called experts.  But if our health-chasing dieters and exercisers are in fact only exercising their personal choice  in eliminating grains and dairy – – that is not a choice too many of those experts showcased here at “smokinchoices” would disagree with. Nor would I.    These are sometimes tedious and difficult choices to make, while trying to bring them selves into alignment with their perceived health goals.  Looks like damned if you do and damned  if you don’t.    If one is a hammer, everything kinda looks like a nail!   

To many, giving up grains and dairy appears unacceptable and out of the norm.  Perhaps the “Hammer” specialists could be a little gentler and/or broader in acceptance of some of these efforts when they seem to make others uncomfortable.  Ditto with organic and “local.”  My Gawd, it it were extreme like only drinking parsley water or some peculiar type of bizarre bugs they  eat – – something weird – – but, dairy, grains, organic and local?.  .  .  all sane, efficient and enlightened choices  which can enable  superior health.  No one would question that balance is important, but so is personal choice and the effort being made by these choosers to improve themselves.   The serious threat of ‘body harm’ is seriously overblown, it would seem.  Jan)

Know how Denmark’s different?

If You don’t know the difference – you’re in for a surprise

They are about Five Million strong while we are in the neighborhood of 315 Million, and of course, a little bigger in size. . .but the rest will surprise you.  Got this in my email from “Bernie Buzz”.   Jan

What Can We Learn from Denmark? What Can We Learn from Denmark?

Danes rank among the happiest people in the world and enjoy a quality of life that many Americans would envy with universal health care, inexpensive prescription drugs, strong family-leave laws, free higher education and a national commitment to be carbon-free by 2050. That’s why Bernie invited Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen to Vermont where big crowds packed three town meetings last weekend.

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