All posts by beagarth

I am a poet, visual artist (ceramic sculpture, drawing and painting) and editor. My art has become more and more surrealistic and in its way, Goddess oriented in philosophy (i.e., nurturing of the planet and each other plus honoring the spirits and symbols from the unconscious, metaphysics etc.) with a good dose of the Surreal. I focus on exploring feelings and body language many of us might otherwise miss. The art of relationships is a passion of mine, between us humans and the creatures around us, as well as with the Earth itself. I find art to be very healing, and it is this fact that really drives me. I also enjoy sharing art, poetry, social and political philosophy, and an interest in ecology and nutrition/health with others. I have thus created a progressive online magazine (Eos: The Creative Context) where like minded people can share their work.

Genetic Mutations: Methylation Issues and SOD3

I just joined a site called Livewello.com. It enables one to convert one’s 23 and me genetic mutation info in a more meaningful form. If you haven’t done something like this, a service such as LiveWello could help you figure out some of the underpinnings that may be undermining your health. Services like LiveWello provide low cost interpretations of your genetic data that could help you and your doctor get to the next stage in your healing, as it hopefully will for me.

By looking at my genetic data through LiveWello, I just discovered I not only have a whole bunch of methylation issues (which I kind of suspected anyway), but I also found one in particular that could provide a key for me to feel a lot more energetic and healthier.

Apparently I have a genetic mutation that makes it difficult for me to process/make superoxide dismutase (SOD3). This mutation makes it very hard for my body to protect my cells from oxide radicals. This can increase central nervous system toxicity by inhibiting oxygen when dealing with nitrous oxide. It also can age one pretty quickly.  Apparently its somehow based on one’s copper/zinc ratios. So I want to find out more about it!

My  next step is to order some gluten free SOD. I recall taking it for a while a  few years ago and indeed it did make me feel better!

Further, I want to ask my doctor to test me for my zinc and copper ratios. Certainly I have read elsewhere that an improper copper and zinc ratio can increase histamine/amine issues and IMHO, brain fog and migraines! Who knows, maybe its even interfering with my being able to get to sleep at night.

All of this to me is good news in my quest to become more migraine and brain fog etc. free! Since after all, knowledge is power.  I will meanwhile investigate the meaning of SOD3 more thoroughly and write more about it in the near future. My hope is that this investigation of SOD3 can help a few other people who are also suffering from frequent migraines etc. too.

 

Apple Coconut Ginger Hermit Cookies

These are delicious! Without much sweetener, and made entirely gluten free with no eggs or dairy (unless you choose to use butter for the oil). Mainly I have to be careful not to eat too many at a time since I can’t handle eating any kind of sugar very much at all ! So yes, I eat one or two and freeze the rest (unless my bf gets to them first!).

Preheat oven to 350′ F.

Note: This recipe can be whipped together mostly in one bowl.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Flax seed, grind in seed grinder
2 Tbsp. chia seeds, also grind
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds, also grind
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter (melted)
2/3 Cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp powdered ginger root
1 1/4 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
one peeled chopped apple

Instructions:

Grind the seeds — each separately if you have a small seed and nut grinder.
Then put the seeds in a bowl, and add in 3/4 water. Mix with a wire whisk.

Meanwhile, melt coconut oil or butter in small pan on the stove.

Then add in to the bowl with the seed mixture:
2/3 cup maple syrup and the baking soda and salt plus the powdered ginger root.
Whisk again.

Then add in the melted oil and mix well so the oil does not separate from the cookie batter.

Then add in the dried shredded coconut and mix again followed by the sorghum and amaranth flours. Use a large spoon at this stage. The batter should be adhering to itself very smoothly in a kind of springy way that chia and flax bring to any kind of dough.

Finally add in the peeled chopped apple and mix well with the large spoon.

Now if the oven is preheated, you can oil your cookie sheet and place large rounded tablespoons of the batter on it. Its wise to leave some space between cookies, however the batter mostly puffs up rather than spreads. Hence the word “Hermits” since they are round backed! Though you can flatten the batter so it makes thinner cookies, I find the humped form more interesting.

Bake on an oiled pan roughly 15 minutes and then remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

If you have histamine/amine sensitivity, you might want to wrap each cookie with saranwrap after the cookies have cooled, and place in a closed container in the freezer. However, it might not be crucial since there are no eggs. And if you used the coconut oil, no animal fats either.

If you want the cookies to be sweeter, you could add in a little stevia, or indeed, you could halve the maple syrup and use stevia for the other half of the sweetness. I didn’t, since my bf is allergic to even the smell of stevia! But likely you won’t have that problem. I find its nice to lessen the amount of sugar even in one’s sweets if you can. I use maple syrup since I have less problem with it than cane sugar. I have also found I just do not tolerate honey or other types of sugars like agave etc.

Light and Delicious! I am loving what magic chia and flax seeds bring toa recipe!

How I Ground as a Sensitive Person in an Insensitive Environment

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

Bea overlooking ocean photo by Chris Arcus
Bea overlooking ocean
photo by Chris Arcus

What is it like to be a sensitive creative shamanic person in today’s Western world here in the center of the south San Francisco Bay Area? The short answer is that it is just not very simple or easy given the insensitive ego dominated environment around here.

How do I cope?  By going on regular walks, doing my art and writing poetry, plus doing Hatha Yoga regularly with deep breathing and meditation all make a world of difference. In addition, it helps to talk with my lover and friends, play with my cats or poke around in the garden.

IMHO its hard for anyone to be grounded around here in the land of Ego Supreme. This is after all Silicon Valley! Where dreams of big deals in the Silicon Industry can possibly become Reality. A place where rents are sky high even if not everyone’s income is.  A place with a higher than usual population of those not even capable of appreciating the value of a sensitive such as myself, or even of the arts in general.

Though after talking with my friend Erik in Japan, and reviewing the current state of the world, it seems like this problem is endemic world wide, especially for those who live in areas affected by the current dominate “Rogue Ego” Western  paradigm.

People such as myself who live more in the weird and are sensitive to Spirit are often either not seen or at least studiously ignored. Unless they too  have “Made It Big” of course! Although amazingly we make more impact than we think just by being who we are despite what is  consciously acknowledged.

As an artist and poet I see this constantly. For instance, one can often be in a place where you jump through all kinds of hoops  and still remain invisible to the community at large. I have seen this countless times. The unfortunate thing is that for some it can lead to tragedy when a person despite following his or her Goddess given path, is not supported or acknowledged except perhaps by other artists. Poverty and lack of recognition has a way of killing the spirit if you are extremely sensitive and have not developed ways of coping or fitting in to the everyday world. It is particularly dangerous if one does not recognize one’s strength connecting with the Inner Self and Spirit. Though honestly IMHO Rogue Ego can also kill the Inner Spirit of a creative sensitive person just as effectively if we lose connection with the Inner Self and our sense of how we are all interconnected. We are given gifts that we need to humbly share, whether those gifts are large or small.

On the positive side, this lack of awareness or support by the egoic money driven community at large gives one more privacy and freedom for sensitives and creative writers and artists which might not be as easily achieved in other circumstances. However even oddballs such as I like to feel  one is part of a supportive community.

Thus to help preserve myself, I have tried (as much as is humanly possible) to create my own environment with my own rules. I follow natural law and practice the ideals of having respect towards others with harm towards none, so things work better even if the people that I work with are not sensitive like me. They appreciate the magic I bring to their everyday  lives, particularly when it comes to my helping them circumvent or resolve a crisis. And for those that are more like me, I have often felt compelled to create (or help create) events and places where we can  meet and showcase our talents. This website for instance being potentially also such a place for connections and interconnections.

I have also felt compelled to create my own sacred creative space I can go into apart from everyone else except perhaps for my  lover and my cats. There I have complete freedom to dream and create  or simply meditate without interference from others.  In order to fully recharge I need my isolation and creativity to help ground myself in my center while connecting with the Earth, Spirit and the Universe.

Like many other creative sensitives, trying to ground  given who I am is truly a balancing act of the Inner and Outer worlds since I am neither fully an introverted isolationist, nor fully extroverted.

Nevertheless, I think this is a dilemma that Shamans have had throughout time since part of them is showman and story teller, healer of wounds, deep researcher and gatherer of herbs, adviser of damaged psyches, leader of dances and rites, makers of creative images, words and objects while still absolutely needing their time off by themselves traveling engaged  between worlds. The image I like best is of the Shaman  hanging upside down from the World Tree. This is considered to be a vehicle for travelling between worlds. Not so very comfortable, and certainly not very dignified. But quite effective!!

Now as the World Self carries its inhabitants to the Brink, we as Shamans and Sensitives can act as pathfinders and leaders creating the path back to our Inner Self with a new appreciation for Spirit and Earth and our Interconnectedness as more and more of us begin to realize we need a more human Earth and Soul interconnected Gestalt.  IMHO the survival of Humanity after all needs us to learn to let go of fear and begin to re-embrace the planetary Inner Self.

Part of this role IMHO is to realize that we are powerful beings  despite what the surrounding culture tells us. Humanity and the World’s Creatures really need us! And we need our own positive connecting with who we are and what we are capable of. We  need to dream the dream of our own success and inner strength, learning  to connect our inner beings with Spirit with thankfulness and love despite all appearances to the contrary.

We can after all create our own success, love and strength, whether it is acknowledged by others or not, though more than likely the more we ground and believe in ourselves, the more likely it is we will become acknowledged by others too. Just in the Nick of Time, more than likely! But without a moment to spare!! As the Age of Big Money and Rogue Ego go to bigger and bigger excesses destroying the very Planet and Interconnectedness we all love and need.

Definitely this is high drama as the World rediscovers itself in this next turning approaching the birth of a New Age–which for now I am calling the Age of Compassion. And just in the Nick of Time for me personally and perhaps for you too as we learn how to connect with the Inner Self in more and more positive nurturing creative ways!

 

Super Energy Veggie Detox Smoothie

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

I have started making a veggie smoothie to give myself more energy. Being 65 years old and having gone through everything that I have, I have noticed my energy has gone down the drain, especially after being ill with the flu for a month in January and still dragging through most of February. I now feel better, but want to feel better yet.

Solution: nutritious veggie detox smoothies! It is early days yet, but it really seems to be helping me feel a lot better!! So I have the energy to do the things I want to during the day with a spring in my step instead of feeling like a weight is pulling me down. And then at the end of the day I am no longer tired, wired and achey, and can finally sleep–not historically an easy task for me.

To be honest I started making this detox green smoothie in response to yet another migraine I had the other day. I felt so much better afterwards that I decided to make this part of my usual routine. I am really hoping this continues to help me avoid more migraines!!

Today I looked up the health benefits and they are astounding! Using the power of fresh green vegetables augmented by chia, flax and super green foods (moringa and chlorella or spirulina) this drink has an amazing lineup of nutritional benefits–of which I will delineate later.

This super energy veggie detox smoothie is not the only thing I am doing to improve my health, however it appears to be an important new addition!

Already I feel very satisfied. My intransigent low blood sugar seems to be far more under  control and honestly I want to finish this post so I can go out and enjoy the rest of my day!!

Ingredients (this is enough for two or more people, depending on your level of use. Halve the recipe as it suits you if its just for yourself):

Put ingredients into a blender as we proceed:

2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp fresh ground flax seed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
Stir or blend for a moment and let sit a few minutes as you take out your vegetables and other ingredients from the cupboard and fridge.

Add in:
1 to 2 teaspoons moringa powder
1 to 2 teaspoons chlorella powder or spirulina powder (or just use more of the moringa powder if you are sensitive to the  chlorella and/or spirulina)
(Note: start with less since these are powerful green detoxing energetic foods–and not that tasty til you get used to them!)

Then lightly chop veggies and place in blender as you proceed:

1 stalk celery chopped
roughly 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fennel
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup fresh dandelion greens, or  some other green chopped (or skip this step if you don’t have it)
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 1/2 cup green lettuce, chopped
1 apple (optional) also chopped

Then blend ingredients well and drink!

Note: if you can’t fit all ingredients in blender, blend some of them and then add the rest. I also add in some extra water afterwards so I can clean out the container and pour into my glass so I can get all the health benefits rather than washing some of it down the sink.

Anti-Migraine/Anti-Histamine Olive Leaf Tea

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

Here’s a quick anti-migraine, anti-histamine, anti SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial  Overgrowth) tea I am finding helpful. Its not the only one I use, however it is a goodie:

1/4 cup dried or fresh olive leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root

2 teaspoons dried (or better fresh!) holy basil

2 teaspoons dried (or fresh) skullcap

Boil two cups of water. Turn off heat and remove from burner. Add the above ingredients and let steep 20 minutes. Strain and drink!–or better yet, almost bring the water to a boil and pour over the ingredients in a teapot. Place on a warmer device and let sit 12 hours before drinking. This will give you the maximum benefit of the olive leaves.

Dandelion/Barberry/ Wormwood/Ginger Detox Tea

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015 

This herbal tea works great against aches and pains, aids digestion and helps against migraines in my experience, as well as that of my bf.

According to ancient and present herbals, dandelion and barberry are wonderful at helping the liver detox. Dandelion also helps with peristalsis, plus aids the kidneys by increasing urination while putting potassium back in. Recent studies reveal that dandelion is also very anti-inflammatory. My body can attest to that!

Besides being a powerful liver and spleen detoxifier, barberry also helps against food sensitivities plus helps kill off nasty infections like SIBO (Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth).

Wormwood is a powerful bitter that aids the digestion while helping to heal the liver and spleen. It is also a powerful vermifuge–helping to both prevent and knock out several  different kinds of bacteria, microbes and parasites. Interestingly I recently learned it also helps prevent and ameliorate migraines. It seems to be very balancing in my experience despite its bitter taste. Now I actually like it. Never thought I would!

The ginger warms up the above cool detox mix of herbs plus is on its own a very powerful anti-inflammatory.

Recipe:

Make a decoction by simmering the dandelion and barberry root 25 minutes. Then add in the chopped Ginger root the last five minutes. Use 1 tablespoon of each of the roots for 1 quart (boiling) water.

Bring the water to boil, covered. Then reduce to a simmer. Finally turn the heat off and add in 1 tablespoon wormwood. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes before straining off a cup of tea now and then.

This is a very powerful tea. Best to start slow with it to get used to it. I often dilute it half and half with water. It is worth getting used to it in my opinion despite the bitter taste. Certainly it has been a lifesaver for me.

Nevertheless, given the tea’s power, its best not to use it every day. Skip a day now and then. The old herbals I have suggest a maximum of 10 days on and then a week off. I prefer say 3 or 4 days on and then a day or two off. Or just every other day, assuming one feels one needs it of course!

I have found that besides helping me against migraines and the itchy bitchy hives and welts of histamine sensitivity, it also helps me not have so many body aches plus it protects my kidneys. I have one of those unfortunate conditions many women get with histamine sensitivity, wherein the kidneys and bladder can just get inflamed by what I eat without an infection. This tea has really helped me against that! Plus I find it guards against developing an actual infection too.

Naturally you should ask your doctor’s advice before trying anything new.

On Overcoming Yet Another Migraine

"The Poetry Genies" by Bea Garth, copyright 2015
“The Poetry Genies” by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

You might think that with everything I do to watch my diet, exercise and otherwise take care of myself, I would no longer get migraines. However I still do. Usually I don’t get so very  many of them like I used to, but every once in a while I get a spate of them.

This current one that I have right now seems to be related to the fact I prepared a cake for my mother’s 100th birthday. It was a wonderful event, even though she unfortunately was too ill to show up. She was honored by at least 50 of her relatives as well as most of her children.  My partner Chris and I danced to the live jazz band. Everyone commented on how energetic and  well we looked. And certainly I felt that at the time. Later on that evening we visited my mother with my brother Donald. Mom  was soundly asleep. Apparently she had had many visitors that day. Her small table was filled with happy birthday cards, to which we added ours.

I had made a lovely gluten free rice based coconut cake for the event so we would have something safe to eat, as well as others in our large family who are gluten sensitive. And although it seemed to be just fine that day, the sugar content seems to have made my health more fragile today, two days later. No doubt eating some of the crumbs from the cake before I froze it last night after it had sat out all afternoon on the day  of the birthday celebration, did not help amine wise. No doubt it did not help my fight against the SIBO (Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth). Even my bf is struggling a bit, no doubt the sugar did not suit him either.  It does look like I will have to give the leftover cake to someone else. Even though it tasted great it is poison to us now!

So now I am drinking some olive leaf detox tea after having consumed a green smoothie and finally putting some attention to this blog. Its helping make the pressure behind my left eye more bearable.

Shortly I plan on doing some Hatha Yoga and deep breathing  to help too. Apparently it increases one’s serotonin, which helps in cases like migraines or what otherwise would be potentially sleepless nights.  Plus it plain calms and centers my nervous system in a way nothing else does. It truly does make me feel at one with the Universe. Similar to doing my art, but perhaps more  focused in its way…

I am eternally grateful for the work of the Low Histamine Chef to point me in the right direction in matters like this. I had already made a lot of progress on my own before reading her work, but she has done the research, talked with the leading doctors and other scientists and advocates in the field, and has documented her path from extreme low to glowing health. In addition she has written some very informative antihistamine cookbooks. Her theory is that its best to not just eat low histamine foods. Rather its important to add in other high histamine anti-inflammatory foods too–slowly of course, especially at first, while balancing it with low histamine anti-inflammatory foods and herbs–plus meditation. The idea is that this helps balance and feed the whole body. If one just eats low histamine, then one is in danger of producing too many histamines on one’s own just to get the energy one needs.

Of course, neither she nor I are doctors. If you plan to try some of these remedies/suggestions, its important to consult your doctor first.