Rubbish can be a positive thing

Disposing of waste is a personal political act, not a task that we should hand over to others to process.

When we live, as most of the West does, in a highly developed social system where waste is removed from our door and we never have to consider it again (unless the garbage collectors go on strike), then we develop this notion that waste is someone else’s responsibility.

ITALY-RUBBISH/

Rubbish protest in Naples, June 2011 

We applaud local body organisations that find ways of recycling or minimising waste. We like that fact that local playgrounds are made surface-safe by chopped up old tyres; we like to hear that plastics are rendered into pellets for use in new products; we like to hear that glass is ground down and reused as weed suppressants in wineries.

It makes us feel good to live in a country that has that kind of commitment to waste reduction. The good guys simply take it away.

We’ve stopped viewing rubbish personally

What we forget is that our environmental choices right at the beginning created that waste. Yes – we’re the ones who made it. When councils or local bodies deal with our rubbish we stop feeling any responsibility for it. Yet there are many ways we could individually reduce what goes out to the gate on rubbish day and live a more sustainable lifestyle. It simply needs some creative thinking.

Buying in bulk and using our own re-usable containers, is one option towards a sustainable lifestyle. Buying foods in their near to raw state is another. Why have we become so fixated on consumer products that we think taking a one-use amount of coffee (in a plastic packet), placing it in a coffee maker and chucking out the dregs with the packaging, is cool? Okay, George Clooney makes compelling adverts, but what’s wrong with grinding beans?

Kids often lead the way in environmental recycling

School children in New Zealand are often challenged to create something useful out of waste materials, and some of them come up with innovative re-uses for what others would chuck away. Few adults, however, take their ideas seriously, or see them as the start of a sustainable lifestyle. It’s just too much hard work to think of creative ways to recycle.

I’m no saint in this either. I watch the one-serve cat food tins opened morning and night for our VERY fussy cat and wonder how to recycle them. The nearest I came was to make some spluttering Christmas candles filling them with recycled wax and essential oils. Not one of my successes!

One rubbish recycling  success

When we were still using milk from plastic containers, I dramatically reduced the number of bottles going out into the waste one Spring. In fact, I ended up raiding neighbours’ recycling bins for the raw material … . I thought I would share the process with you today.

Mini green houses for growing seedlings–and they reduce waste, too.

Love to hear how others have recycled in a way that others (including ME) could take up.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Diabetes cure around the corner?

A thrilling announcement has been made from scientists in New Zealand and the UK who have been investigating the cause(s) of diabetes for over 20 years.

They have discovered that a little known hormone called amylin may be the reason behind why some people are unable to digest sugars efficiently.  Normally cells in the pancreas produce two hormones – insulin and amylin, but in some individuals, instead of working together as the hormones are supposed to, the amylin clumps and slows the efficiency of process of digestion.

Knowing the cause, scientists now believe they can better target new diabetic medications to cure diabetes. Given that diabetes is proclaimed to be occurring in epidemic proportions, the question still to be answered is why? Why is amylin reacting in a way that upsets the natural rhythm of digestion? Is it overload of sugars and fats in our systems? Is it a different cause – some hiccup in our energy or electrical body vibrations?

To find out more about this break-through: READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Heather Sylvawood – Amazon Author

Why is this potential cancer cure being kept secret?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

The big ‘C’ is such an emotive subject that I have avoided it in this blog. There are all sorts of claimed cures from healing your internal environment by eating raw to taking high doses of medicinal herbs packed into capsules. Some people have miraculous results; others still perish. Even using conventional medical practices of cut, poison and burn, there are still those whose cancer does not respond. Or should that say: “whose bodies do not respond”?

cancerousand

Today, I’m breaking my embargo. I want to share what I believe is exciting news. Take a read of this article: Cancer treatment could use immune system to fight tumours, and Dendritic cells (DC): the key to cancer immunotherapy.

Dendritic cells – key to healing cancer?

I became aware of this breakthrough via an email newsletter I have subscribed to from Cancer Defeated. They’re on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CancerDefeated so you can check them out for yourself. And here is a link to the Newsletter that explains about Dendritic cells and how they work towards a cure and about the work of Bill Henderson, author of How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home.

Of course Cancer Defeated does peddle some of those capsules I talked about earlier, but the information is definitely worth reading and backed up by scientific research, such as the two articles I highlighted above.

Cancer cells merely a product of our own body

For decades I believed, like many others, that cancer was something that “invaded” our bodies. At very least it was something we were putting into our bodies that encouraged cancerous cells to multiply excessively.

Now scientists are realising that cancer is our body’s reaction to an imbalance in our immunity systems. “In normal cells, cell division is balanced by cell death, but cancerous cells continue to divide and accumulate, damaging nearby tissues.” Read more: http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Ca-De/Cancer.html#ixzz383FDvRxO.

That means when cells divide they do so to replace a dead or dying cell. And that’s a perfectly healthy thing to happen because we need to heal and grow. But something triggers cancer cells to ignore that process and keep replicating quickly without a corresponding number of them dying off.

Our abused body immunity can’t cope with cancer

Scientists are looking at potential cures that will right the body’s immunity system balance and kill off mutant (cancerous) cells; from a slightly different perspective herbalists are looking for foods that support the system to bring back immunity strength. In reality, they are both searching for the same thing.

 

Conventional medicine slow to accept cancer alternative treatments

Dendritic cell therapy is another method that trials show could halt the spread of cancerous cells by creating healing cells that kill off the cancerous cells, even on advanced cancers. The important point to take from this is that scientists are making progress, but acceptance of this progress by ruling medical bodies is slow to take root:

“Cancer researchers have been interested in this idea for decades – and variations of the idea are already used in some alternative clinics — but only recently did the cancer vaccine concept start making real progress in mainstream medicine. The so-called dendritic cell vaccine has since been described as a newly emerging but potent form of immune therapy for cancer treatment,” according to Cancer Defeated Editor in Chief, Lee Euler.

“The good news is the FDA recently approved the first dendritic cell therapy, called Provenge. A few alternative cancer clinics have used their own form of dendritic cell therapy for years, but FDA approval means it may now be available from mainstream oncologists. Better late than never.”

Cancer tumours and treatments explained

Here’s another useful website with lots of information on cancer and treatments: http://www.biooncology.com/. Useful for finding answers your doctor may not have thought to answer or you to ask at consultations. If you search using the word: “dendritic” you will find five articles that mention or refer to it.

Big question:

Does anyone know if dendritic cell therapy treatment is being offered in New Zealand? There could be many people out there who would like to know.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

The Game of More is changing to a Game of Better

Today I found out an answer to one of life’s profound questions: Can we stop the World buckling under the weight of debt? This is a Must View video.

As I launched into becoming a more aware world citizen living a more environmentally friendly life, I kept getting tripped up by the traps of consumerism along the way. You only have to look at what I found out about solar energy to realise that even the most obvious solutions have been grabbed by commerce and turned into an industry weighed down by profit.

So why is profit so important? Why does every step in the production of anything have to include making a profit above and beyond what is necessary to sustain life (comfortably) for the people who put their energy into making the product? Where does that profit go? And why is the World buckling under the weight of debt?

OK I have ideas on that, but changing the system in order to make it happen? Today I found out an answer. Human beings made the economic mess and we can fix it.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Which way are you looking? Life or death?

Warning: This is a morbid topic. Readers of a sensitive disposition may find the content disturbing.

It’s easy to be a young adult – most of your goals and dreams lie ahead of you. You start sentences with: “When I go to ….” or “As soon as I finish training I will …” Then along comes one of your dreams: a wonderful partner and then the family, along with the mortgage, the insurance, garden and house maintenance, school costs, and before long your head is filled with “get-by” rather than “chase your dreams”.

remember

Of course, when you’re a young adult you don’t see life as easy. You spend most of your thinking time on trying to uncover the rules for success, until you realise that in most circumstances there are no rules, mostly only good timing. Then you begin to value those dreams again – the ones that don’t rest on having to earn mega-bucks.

Counting time as dreams run out

Your perspective on when you’ll do things in life changes. Instead of seeing life ahead as an endless reservoir of time to do things, you start to count the time you have left. You also notice that certain dreams have passed their use-by date. There is now no way I can take up tap dancing or climb a mountain when my knees creak and throb as I climb a ladder.

Until I was 50 I kept reassuring myself that I had half my life ahead of me. Once I reached that magical life-number I realised that I couldn’t kid myself any longer. Instead I tallied the years until 100 and thought about how much I could cram into them. I also started looking back and valuing what had already passed.

Looking back and looking forward

In effect I turned my back on death and started valuing life, whereas, previously I had looked at death and counted the life I had left. That was until I realised usually death doesn’t come with a ‘just a minute I haven’t finished this’ option. You die, you’re dead, your energy passes on to who knows where – there is nothing more you can do here on earth. If I haven’t finished a project, tried an activity, or hugged a loved one, time has run out and there’s no going back.

But it’s not all that bad. You won’t have any worries, and you probably won’t have any way of influencing the people left behind to deal with what you left behind. Isn’t that a weight off your mind? No need to control circumstances and happenstance.

Damn the bucket list

Recently I‘ve found some of that relief sneaking into my thinking. It doesn’t matter if this book gets published; what matters is that I wrote it. It doesn’t matter if I haven’t travelled to half the places on my dreams board. I won’t give a damn when I’m dead.

Our bucket lists and dreams boards are pegged in the now, not against some fast running-out (although unknown) bucket of time. It’s being happy now. And for me, being happy now is writing – writing novels, short stories, non-fiction and blogs. Even travelling, I find a bit irksome, if I’m unable to find time to write. Writing is my passion and my passion equates to my happiness.

So this is me being happy …

HeatherROI

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Is Wheat ‘Poison on Your Table’?

by Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

What if I told you that somewhere in the world wheat is being grown that has been treated with a deadly chemical, and we could consume it without knowing?

What if I told you that the chemical is an industrial toxin called sodium azide and the US Poisons Centre warns medics against giving CPR to victims of the deadly poison?

Grain ears in wheat field

Clearfield Wheat Treated With Poisons

According to The Alternative Daily, “Clearfield Wheat being grown in the Pacific Northwest is a semi dwarf strain of wheat that has had its seed and embryos exposed to a chemical, sodium azide, which is an industrial toxin …

“The makers of Clearfield wheat claim that their wheat is a result of “enhanced, traditional plant breeding techniques,” making a distinction between genetically-modified wheat. However, although no gene splicing techniques were used, many other methods were, such as the purposeful induction of mutations using chemicals, high dose x-ray and radiation techniques to induce mutations coupled with cross breeding.”

Where is This Wheat Used?

Newspaper and a cup of tea, shallow focus

We have no way of knowing where the wheat-based ingredients in products we eat come from or where the manufacturers sourced their wheat. And it’s not just bread-based ingredients that present that risk.

Unless you’re gluten-intolerant you’re unlikely to look at the preservatives and taste enhancers in the products you buy. So this incredibly altered Clearfield Wheat could be used to produce products with any of these numbers on them: 1100, 620 – 625, 1400 range if made from maltodextrin (more common in Europe), malt products, some soy sauces and malt vinegar.

Our Internal Eco-system at Risk From Poisons

As we are becoming increasingly aware, the body eco-system is incredibly resilient, but also incredibly sensitive to substances like poisons. If we continually bombard it with substances foreign to the body it eventually surrenders and we get dis-ease.

InstantNoodlesSoup1

Of course we as consumers are partly to blame, because we’re always ready to buy the newest, fastest food available. We buy into the market and the market responds because manufacturers understand our “new/fast is best” mentality will fall for their advertising.

How Poisons Sneak Into Our Foods

Fats need preserving in order to last the time it takes from manufacturer, to shipper, to distributer (often in another country) to retail shelves and finally to your shopping bag. It’s totally understandable that manufacturers look for preservatives to stop foods going rancid. Cooked meats, dairy and some vegetables go rancid or decay within a few days if stored without refrigeration, and only last a few days more inside a fridge.

It’s also totally understandable that manufacturers are going to look for the cheapest form of preservative in order to make the greatest amount of profit. And what preservative enhancing products do we produce in abundance in the world? Wheat, salt and sugar.

Why Do We Like Poisonous Fast Fat Foods?

In order to reach a stage where the need for preservation became imperative, as a species, human beings had to move from eating for life to eating for pleasure. Pleasurable eating has all to do with taste.

According to A. Drewnowski, author of Why Do We Like Fat, “Diets rich in fats tend to be more flavourful and varied, they also are high in energy.” So in the past centuries, human beings, who were focused on surviving, got hooked on the taste and energy-giving properties of animal meats. Given an active lifestyle where a few hours sleep during the hours of darkness was the only sedentary activity you did, such a diet was practical. Besides, the food was consumed unadulterated except for cooking over a fire. No preservative in sight.

hamburger

Have you ever wondered why we find those adverts of burgers, shining with fat (it’s usually a painted on chemical in the pictures) and dripping with preservative-packed mayo so appealing? They are a promise of a flavourful experience. We know this if we’ve eaten meats and dairy products before. If we had only ever tasted a vegetarian/vegan diet, would those images appeal?

Taste is Also a Learned Thing

Human beings who have discretionary spending are continually expanding their taste sensations. Foods from other cultures are readily available and exotic herbs and spices are integrated into our diets weekly if not daily.  Fast food sauces include them and in their advertising using images of exotic places to sell the product. They sell the concept of visiting the exotic location – “the taste of”. However, many of these exotic foods contain preservatives, whiteners, wheat flour thickeners, flavour enhancers and soy.

If a desired exotic food tastes strange or repellent when we first try it, we work through the challenge by trying it again and again until the taste is familiar. I often think back to my first taste of yoghurt. My mother made a batch from a ‘bug’ she’d been given. It was sour, so sour it put me off for years. Manufacturers, however, started producing flavoured yoghurts – they knew it had to fit our modern, sugar-skewed taste buds. Now I eat an organic, Greek natural yoghurt, but even that has 3g sugar per serve, whereas my mother’s natural yoghurt had none. I’ve learned to like it because I have come to believe it’s good for me!

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Is ‘consumerism’, like religion, not to be discussed in polite conversation?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

George Monbiot in The Guardian  has thrown down a challenge when he states: “It’s the great taboo of our age – and the inability to discuss the pursuit of perpetual growth will prove humanity’s undoing.” Monbiot takes the position that the insatiable demand for growth is reflected in our demand for energy which underpins our ability to grow and make new. Read his thoughtful article here.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/27/if-we-cant-change-economic-system-our-number-is-up

 

Heather Sylvawood’s view on consumerism

DebtGap

Many of us assume that a constant upward trend towards more and more (consumerism) is inevitable. And it is – under our current economic system.The creation of new and often better technology, research and improvements to the living conditions of most all starts with an organisation/person/corporation assuming large amounts of debt (borrowed money) in the expectation that this debt will be repaid with profit once the product is developed, the house is built, the land becomes productive. It would be simple if only the debt had to be repaid, but unfortunately our economic system expects interest for the use of the money. So the objects/products/houses must all come into being as having more value than they actually represent.

Worse – The current purchasing power of the people for whom the new stuff is being produced is insufficient to buy the new objects/products/houses. So guess what? They go into debt and pledge future income to paying off these items at their already inflated values. Often the people who can least afford the consumer goods are the ones pledging a greater proportion of the weekly income to paying off these inflated products. This leads to a cycle of boom, where lots of bank credit is created, and bust, when our ability to pay interest on the debt reaches crisis point.

How to distribute money more equitably

Another entrenched belief is that the only way to distribute wealth equitably is through taxation. This is not a welcome alternative for those who have grafted themselves onto the rich side of the tree. Besides, taxation is a tool of the current economic system and has proved to be a dismal failure in closing the rich-poor divide. There are however, alternatives.

Last century a homespun economist Clifford Hugh Douglas, whose observations and theories explained this phenomena, said that the problems fundamental to economic depression are those of unequal distribution owing to lack of purchasing power. To solve these difficulties Douglas proposed a system of issuing to every citizen dividends, the amount of which would be determined by an estimate of the nation’s real wealth; the establishment of a just price for all goods would be the result. The theories became the founding doctrine of the Social Credit parties and were adopted by Alberta, Canada.

The perfect channel out of debt

One of the Channel Isles, Guernsey, is reputed to have created its own credit when it was virtually bankrupt and was unable to do even the most minor repairs to its miniscule infrastructure. Instead of taxing its already financially stretched population, it printed its own currency to cover the necessary repairs. The tradespeople on the island were paid in Guernsey currency and that was accepted by Guernsey shopkeepers who suddenly had need to employ others who were paid in Guernsey currency.

According to Wikipedia: “Public services, such as water, wastewater, the two main harbours and the airport are still owned and controlled by the States of Guernsey. The electricity, and postal services have been commercialised by the States and are now operated by companies wholly owned by the States of Guernsey. Gas is supplied by an independent private company.”

Because the Isle no longer required taxation to operate its public services, large numbers of companies, head offices and corporations based their businesses in the 78 sq kilometre island. This brought more affluence to the country without adding one cent in interest as debt to anyone. This of course is a system based on similar accounting principles as the current where the Futures Markets take the whole money-debt thing to extreme lengths by gambling on the future possible returns from a crop that has yet to planted or a technology that has yet to be invented.  In other words, we’re not happy with plain old debt we use today, we have to gamble our future away.

Consumerism has blinded us to an amazing truth

Mankind made the current economic system – so mankind can make a different one.

Our economy is NOT written on tablets of stone. It is merely a tool that no longer serves us, and it forces us into consumerism so we exploit more and more of our planet. We could stop, but we all need a deeper recognition of the consequences of NOT stopping.

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

 

What’s going onto your skin in make-up?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

ManukaBergamotYlang

Going natural protects your body from cosmetic nasties

In this blog I have mentioned on occasion a number of alternatives to using chemical-based make-up and cosmetics. So it’s heartening to see similar well-researched articles appearing in main-stream press.

What’s on Your Face? Cosmetics Uncovered, by Sophie Barclay for the New Zealand Herald, continues the bad news about the ingredients of the products that are supposed to stop us aging and keep us attractive.  Barclay has researched the topic thoroughly and lists the worst offenders and the safest product lines, long with the ingredients that do us grievous bodily harm. Check out the article for yourself.

I have no recipes for make-up – I’ve given up pretending I need to be attractive to the opposite sex. However, there are some things I like to do to my body.

Avoiding tinea or Athletes Foot

I used to buy a cream from the chemist on a regular basis to clear up Athletes Foot. Somehow any bit of physical activity encouraged the fungus between my toes. Well, I have to tell you I have not needed any for over six months because I follow this process.

Into 1 tbs of olive oil I mix 10 drops tea tree oil/manuka oil (the active ingredient), 10 drops Ylang Ylang oil (for fragrance) and 10 drops Bergamot oil (because its supposed to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels – but also smells nice). I rub my feet and between my toes with this oil every morning and often at night. Feet smell great even after being in socks all day, and the oil keeps the skin of your feet soft.

EssentialOilsOliveOil

Lavender oil could add extra antiseptic strength to the recipe

I suspect you could substitute other oils, like lavender, for the fragrances, but I’m a fan of tea tree oil as it is supposed to be an antiseptic. Olive oil is an oil kind to the body, so use it freely. Quality olive oil won’t dominate the other essential oils even though they’re added in such small quantities.

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author