Mary's Blog

Time to Celebrate

 

Mary's Gone Crackers at Berkeley Bowl

I’ve started to see our new packaging on store shelves and it’s very exciting. I’m especially enjoying seeing a blend of the older style design with the new. I love the artwork from our original packaging but I also knew it was time for a change. So much has changed in the food landscape since we started our company 10 years ago. Actually, what I should say is that so much has changed in the consciousness of the consumer in the past 10 years. People everywhere know about gluten (although few seem to know what gluten actually is, looking at Jimmy Kimmel’s research!) and are caring more and more about truly healthful ingredients. We seem to be at a tipping point around GMO ingredients as well and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the country goes in the direction of Vermont in demanding that GMO ingredients be identified as such.

What I have lamented for a long time is that the consciousness of the gluten free consumer, and the gluten free providers has not seemed to be making as much progress. The need to get a gluten free oreo, pizza, or donut has overridden any desire for real nutrition. Feeling “normal” and getting a big dose of American junk food has been a priority. Of course my premise has always been that there is no need to compromise—great taste and great nutrition are possible.

So I was heartened to read the article below, especially the following section that quotes a top pasta chef in New York:

Mr. Ladner did not set out to become a champion of haute gluten-free cooking. “Over the last maybe three or four years, most of my creative energy has been going to mitigating dietary restrictions,” he said. “We just decided to embrace it. It was a philosophical change that really, really changed our world in a wonderful way.”

He says the diet is prompting many of his fellow chefs to explore new grains and cooking techniques . . . .

The attention to grain and gluten at the highest levels of gastronomy shows a merging of two main thrusts of American eating: one based on health and the environment and another that celebrates pleasure and deliciousness, Mr. Ladner and others say. (Highlights added.)

Read the NY Times article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/dining/gluten-free-eating-appears-to-be-here-to-stay.html?emc=eta1

Yea!! Not only can we count on the gluten free options to expand, we can also look forward to more variety of grains, something Mary’s Gone Crackers has advocated since our beginning.

One of the reasons it was time to change and update our logo and packaging is that I felt it was time to celebrate, play and be more joyous. Our company has survived and thrived, our food and our mission are loved everywhere we go, and our message of Conscious Eating is spreading! So when you see our new packaging on the shelves in your local stores, give us a little cheer and taste the party inside our box!

 

With love,

Mary

 

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Happiness

I love this article about happiness.
10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

All the things we hear repeatedly about how to keep ourselves, or get ourselves, healthy turn out make us happy too!  Exercise, sleep, being in nature, meditation, smiling, gratitude (and a few surprises), all add up to a happier person.  Of course after reading this I want to go deeper—what does it actually mean to be “happy?”  Is it feeling balanced?  Joyful?  Calm?  Hopeful?  I wonder how we all define happiness.  I suspect that being healthy—having no “dis-ease”—and being “happy” can actually describe similar states of being.  We all have good days and bad days—days when we are upset, scared, or sad; times when we would hardly describe ourselves as happy.  I think of health and happiness as being our true nature and that, like bad weather, negative emotions or illness block out the clear sky like clouds or a rainstorm.  Behind the “bad weather” the sun and the moon and stars are still shining, but we can’t always see them.  How quickly those storms leave, or how able we are to remember that the sun and the moon are still there even when we can’t see them, I believe is an indicator of how “happy” we are.

And I know that when the body is out of balance and the brain is fogged up by too much junk—sugar, alcohol, refined foods, excess computer time, excess work time, etc.—we are not able to feel really good and really happy.

As a healer and now a food manufacturer, I have been on a quest for much of my life to understand and learn about what health and happiness truly are.  I am VERY grateful to all the teachers I have had along the way:  people who have helped me to understand my body and my psyche and get clarity on what works best for me.  Lately, I am most grateful to my yoga teachers and to myself for getting myself to yoga class.  I am always full of gratitude at some point during class when I start to feel SO good, and am so happy that I have taken the time to give myself that gift.

And I am also very grateful to all the fans of Mary’s Gone Crackers—what a gift we all get every day from all of you.  I hope you find lots to be grateful for this holiday season.  As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

In good health,

Mary

 

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Accidental Recipes – My Vegan Pesto

Gluten Free Ingredients for Mary's Pesto RecipeMary's Vegan Pesto

I was thinking about some of my favorite things that I’m making on a regular basis these days and how they came about “accidentally.”  I meet and then cook for so many people who have special food needs, including myself, of course.  For one person it’s no nuts, for another it’s no dairy, for someone else it’s no egg yolks.  The permutations and combinations of food issues can be endless.

For one dinner I wanted to make pesto — but with no walnuts or parmesan cheese.  So I used toasted pumpkin seeds in place of the walnuts and to spice it up a little bit more.  But then there was one day that I didn’t have seeds so I made the following vegan pesto recipe, which is now my standard:

  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil, washed, stems removed
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro (or parsley, if you don’t like cilantro) washed, stems removed
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, or to taste, finely chopped or pressed
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup organic delicious olive oil or more

In a food processor, add basil and cilantro or parsley.  Process until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  With processor on, slowly pour olive oil into the bowl until well blended.  It should be pretty creamy; add more oil as needed.  Chop up garlic and avocado and add to bowl, blend until thoroughly mixed.  This will lighten the green and really integrate everything.  Scrape down sides of bowl and blend again.  Add lemon juice and salt to taste, mix one more time.  Enjoy!

I’m not sure how I decided to add the avocado, but it really works when there is no other fat source.  The combination of basil and cilantro is wonderful as well.  I love this recipe on gluten free pasta or salmon or stir fry and quinoa.

Enjoy!

Mary

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GMO — What’s the Big Deal?

 

We’ve been naturally genetically modifying our food for hundreds of years, so what’s the big deal, right?

This sort of ignorance in the discussion of GMOs makes me cringe because it shows that Monsanto and their ilk have successfully spread dis-information to further their corporate cause. There is a huge difference between the natural genetic modification we have practiced for hundreds of years and the bio-chemical genetic modification pushed on us by the genetic engineering industry today.

In a recent article “Why GMOs Can Never Be Safe,” Dr. Mercola States:

“Compared with natural genetic modification, artificial genetic modification is inherently hazardous because it lacks the precision of the natural process, while enabling genes to be transferred between species that would never have been exchanged otherwise.”  — New York Times Bestselling Author Dr. Mercola

Claiming that GMOs aren’t harmful is like claiming that global warming isn’t happening; all evidence contradicts the denial, no matter how hard corporate giants like Monsanto lobby to shut down our curiosity.

 

Natural genetic modification

Also known as selective breeding or artificial selection, natural genetic modification has been practiced by farmers and livestock owners for centuries. Plants with the most desirable traits are carefully reproduced until those positive traits are ubiquitous. The resulting breeds are called varieties or cultivars, and combining two varieties results in a hybrid. Thus, when you buy a certain variety of tomato seeds, you’re investing in a naturally modified plant that has been carefully crafted to yield the tastiest, reddest, juiciest fruit, which may also stand up to bugs the best — or whatever other traits have been chosen to enhance.

This agricultural method originated with Charles Darwin and his seminal book Origin of Species. By manipulating natural selection, the human race has been able to produce food to our liking for centuries. This practice traces all the way back to the ancient Romans. Because it happens in the natural environment over time, natural genetic modification is a fairly innocuous practice that allows organisms and their environment to adjust holistically.

“…while artificial genetic engineering is uncontrollable, random and unpredictable, natural genetic engineering is quite precise and repeatable because it is regulated by the organism as a whole. This regulatory system has evolved over hundreds of millions of years. Under steady state conditions, proof-reading, DNA-repair and other mechanisms ensure that the DNA remains constant and stable.” — Mae-Wan Ho, Institute of Science in Society and Department of Biological Sciences

 

Artificial genetic modification

Artificial genetic modification, or genetic engineering, is not just a lab-controlled version of natural selection. It’s a far more sinister process. Natural breeding practices take place only between like species: tomatoes with other tomatoes, for instance. Combining two different tomato varieties to create a redder hybrid with fewer seeds is certainly possible with natural genetic modification.

But when it comes to artificial genetic modification, sophisticated manipulation of plant genes is enacted in a lab, moving genes from one organism to another instantly, and combining genes in new ways that might not even be possible with natural selection. You can’t get a banana-shaped tomato from splicing other tomatoes together in nature.  In a lab, however, you could force a tomato into a banana shape by artificially inserting the “shape” gene from the banana into a tomato. You’d indeed get a banana-shaped tomato.  But at what cost?

“The genetic engineering and associated tissue culture processes are imprecise and highly mutagenic, leading to unpredictable changes in the DNA, proteins, and biochemical decomposition of the resulting GM crop that can lead to unexpected toxic or allergenic effects and nutritional disturbances.” — GMO Myths and Truths, an examination published by Earth Open Source

One of the most disturbing effects of GMO crops on our ecology is the drastic decline in the world’s bee population. Multiple studies (including this Purdue study) have now confirmed that bee die-off is most likely due to the use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, prevalently used on US corn and other crops. Bees rely on our country’s vast corn crops as a primary protein source, particularly in the Midwest, and of the 92 million acres of corn planted in 2012, 94 percent were treated with neonicotinoids. What do pesticides have to do with GMO? Well, the short story is that Monsanto, in an effort to provide corn farmers with “magic corn” that would automatically resist the corn pests that rose up in the ’90s, now controls the market with corn hybrids pre-treated with neonicotinoids. And because Monsanto owns the market on corn, these are the GMO seeds that the great majority of farmers in the US are forced to use.

Bees are essential crop pollinators, so their die-off can and will have major negative consequences for many of our beloved national crops such as apples, cherries, strawberries, and almonds. But GMO crops aren’t just affecting our bees. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has recorded that feeding lab animals GMO foods results in issues that span the spectrum from infertility to immune problems to accelerated aging to major damage to internal organs. In fact, according to the Iowa Source, many animals, when given a choice, will instinctively choose non-GMO foods.  We should follow the lead of superior animal instincts when it comes to what we choose to ingest.

Despite the precision required to alter genes in a lab, artificial genetic modification is considered to be a very imprecise process in a holistic view of agriculture, because this process is devoid of the influence of nature and time. In the “real world,” the plant’s environment would affect its growth, and vice versa. When manipulated by man in a lab, there’s no way to know how the plant’s altered DNA will eventually affect the environment and those of us living in it.

And as the use of GMO crops continues over the decades, we’re starting to see that even the original goals of the insidious GMO industry are not working out as well as companies like Monsanto had hoped. For instance, while GMO corn has been genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant (aka “Roundup Ready”) and to produce its own insecticides (Bt toxin) — and therefore never need additional pesticide application while growing — the very opposite is turning out to be true. Over time, we’re seeing that GMO crops actually require more pesticides than natural crops ever have.

Ultimately, GMO pushers can’t control or predict how the DNA of altered plants will affect the humans and animals ingesting them, so when you eat a GMO food item, you’re playing Russian roulette with your very DNA. In this way, genetic modification is actually quite the opposite of natural selection.

So remember that when someone casually mentions that GMO crops are the same as it’s been for hundreds of years!  Nope!  And here’s a great link for ways to make sure that you and your family are avoiding GMO ingredients:
www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/6-easy-ways-to-avoid-gmos

In good health,

Mary

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FDA Defines “Gluten Free” for Food Labels

 

FDA Defines “Gluten Free” for Food Labels

Mary’s Gone Crackers is pleased to hear that the FDA has (finally!) announced the safety standard for labeling products gluten free in the United States. Establishing the U.S. standard as less than 20 parts per million (ppm) is consistent with the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s labeling guidelines set by the World Health Organization and is followed in some other countries, including the European Union and Canada. (Learn about the history of food labeling and other countries’ standards here.)

We are happy to say that Mary’s Gone Crackers’ gluten free products have consistently exceeded the 20 ppm standard and we are certified gluten free by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG).

While responsible and knowledgeable companies will certainly comply (and everyone must comply by August 2014), those with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance should continue to read food labels and question manufacturers if you have doubts. Not everyone understands all the places that gluten can be found in ingredients, or the many ways that a product could be contaminated with gluten, even if it doesn’t contain gluten through its ingredients list. Certification through third-party testing, like Mary’s Gone Crackers has through GIG, offers more assurance that the standard for safety has been met.

Since launching our company in 2004, awareness of “all things gluten” has skyrocketed in the U.S. This decision by the FDA will support continued awareness and for that we are grateful.

In good health,

Mary

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Choosing to Support Local, American Family Farms

 

I’ve been traveling for the past few weeks and the final leg of my journey home includes a small propeller plane ride from San Francisco airport to the little Chico airport. Flying at only 19,000 feet, we get a great view of Northern California—from the Pacific Ocean east to the agricultural splendor of what the locals call the North Valley—the large swath of checkerboard fields fed by the Sacramento River. From the plane it’s easy to distinguish the bright green rice fields from the darker, more textured almond and walnut orchards. California grows more than 70% of the world’s almonds and is the second largest rice growing state in the US. Rice is the largest crop here in the Sacramento Valley and Mary’s Gone Crackers buys all of our organic brown rice (over 3 million pounds!) from a family farm less than 50 miles from our own dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facility.

Another of our unique and super-local ingredients is the prune extract that we use in our love Cookies.  A neighboring organic prune plum farmer makes this syrup and introduced me to it several years ago.  It adds the perfect moisture and flavor to our yummy vegan cookies.

I personally love knowing the people who grow our ingredients and I am especially pleased that many of our ingredients are grown here in the US.  All of our products are manufactured in California and we employ over 200 people now in our very busy production facility.  “From the redwood forests, to the gulf stream waters…” or in this case, to the rice fields of northern California…what a rich, abundant country we live in!

In good health,

Mary

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Your Facebook Questions Answered (Part II)

 

Recently we asked a simple question on Facebook:

 

Q: If you could ask our Chairman & Founder Mary Waldner for advice on one thing, what would it be?

 

I was humbled by the number of questions fans wanted to ask me and intrigued by the variety of questions they asked. Our Resident Nutritionist Valerie helped to answer a few questions since we received so many, and below I’ve compiled several responses that I’d like to share:

 

Facebook Questions #1-6

 

Ruth B., Ruth L., Diane, Lisa, Salma & Adoree all asked me similar questions so I thought I’d answer them together. The process of starting our business—going from making a product in my kitchen, to manufacturing on a large scale—was a long journey. The decision was in 1999, after I’d been making the crackers by hand for many years and seeing that people loved them. Not just gluten-free eaters either, but everyone, from kids to teens and adults everywhere I went. I knew I was watching an unusual response and decided we needed to make them on a bigger scale. I also knew that even if I gave everyone the recipe, no one would bother to make them because they were labor intensive, so I had to make them for everyone! I’ve always enjoyed feeding people healthy food. My crackers are unique too so I also knew we had something special.

From 1999 until 2004, when we actually launched the company, was a very busy time. My husband worked on a business plan and I learned about the right equipment to turn my hand-made process into something more automated. We also looked for investors, learned about the food industry and distribution, packaging, designs, how and where to buy bulk ingredients, naming the company, developing a logo, talking to lawyers about corporate structure, and tried to find a manufacturer who could make the crackers in a gluten-free facility for us. We made lots of cold calls and asked lots of questions to very generous people in the industry who took the time to explain. Any time someone suggested we call someone, we did. I look at my notebook from back then and some of the contacts I made are still people we are doing business with today. Perseverance was the name of the game. We were committed to our vision and did whatever it took to make it happen!

As far as what I would say to women wanting to start their own business, some of it is the same as what I’d say to men: do your homework, know your market, understand why your business or product is needed in the world, and identify why and how it will succeed. Think BIG because you are going to be working really hard to make this happen. The world needs optimistic, big visionaries!  DON’T do this alone. Make sure you have lots of support. As far as special advice to women: you deserve to be successful and have the right to take up space and create your vision, just like men do all the time. Women tend to feel less deserving or entitled than men, so beware of that in yourself.  Know what your skills are and what areas you will need help. I could not have done this without my husband Dale — his skills are completely different than mine, so we made a good team.

 

Shannon, I tried to answer the first part of your question above; however I did not have to substitute ingredients in our industrial version of the crackers. We only had to change the process a bit and add more water to the recipe to get the dough to flow through the specialized equipment. I originally fought the change in the water amount, but it turned out to produce a better cracker!

The first gluten free cracker I made at home was the Original Cracker and I do not make them at home anymore, thankfully! It’s much easier to open a box from our dedicated gluten-free facility! I eat the Mary’s Gone Crackers® love Cookies® (which are vegan) out of the box too, but I still experiment with new flavors and new ingredients in my home kitchen.

 

Mary and her Son Jacob

Daphne, That cute guy is my son! I am a lucky mom.I’m still leading new product categories although I have input from our sales and marketing teams, data experts, and our employees. I’m always motivated by what I want to eat, what ingredients I want to use, and what we can make that is unique to the market. I want to make quality products that people are looking for and need to nourish their mind and bodies.

 

Angela, Going gluten free is an opportunity to eat more healthfully! But start with the good, healthy basics like protein. Studies have also shown that when people eliminate gluten from their diets they often lose fiber and don’t replace it with gluten free whole grains and beans – this is important. It’s essential to make sure your family is getting enough fiber every day.

When you decide to buy gluten free packaged foods, look at the nutritional label and notice the fiber content and the sugar content. Cereals often claim to be whole grain but don’t actually have much fiber in them. Ideally, we should be eating a minimum of 35 grams of fiber per day. Use brown rice or quinoa pasta. Stay away from GMO ingredients like corn, soy and canola unless they are certified organic.

I love making pesto, which adds a nice flavor to vegetables and fish. I also use lots of onions and fresh or dried herbs in my cooking. The cleaner my food, the more awake my taste buds have become. Lots of times I’ll use just a little sea salt and let the fresh flavors of the ingredients speak for themselves.

As I changed all my cooking to gluten free I thought about all the food that I’d loved and instead sought out a way to make gluten free versions, or improved versions. When I really want some great bread I’ll use breads from Anna’s bread mixes. (Lots of fiber and great ingredients.) I’ve served rolls made with her mix at Thanksgiving that no one knew were even gluten free! I’ve developed my own flour blend that I use, but Bob’s Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills have good versions as well.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. I’ve made some heavy, leaden baked goods on the road to developing something delicious. Try to sneak in bean, coconut or nut flours into whatever you are making—adds more fiber, protein and a deeper flavor. Remember to have fun with your food and teach your husband (and kids) to have fun too — you’ll be cooks for life!

 

Jennifer, I loved going to Virgin Gorda, a little island in the British Virgin Islands. I also loved going to Ecuador—to the mountains and the rain forest. There we visited some of our quinoa growers in the mountains! I love going to our friends’ land in far up-state New York where it’s quiet and beautiful and we can play in the river. I also love visiting Manhattan. I guess I’m flexible!

Thank you to these fans who shared their comments and questions with me on Facebook! I’ll be answering more fan questions soon, so if you have questions for me, make sure to post your question below in a comment on my blog or on our Mary’s Gone Crackers’ Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/MarysGoneCrackers

 

In good health,

Mary

 

(Image Credits: © 2013 Facebook and © 2013 Mary’s Gone Crackers, Inc.)

 

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Finding My Fountain of Youth: My Take on “Going Gluten Free”

 

Image Credit: © 2013 NPR.org – Gluten Goodbye: One-Third of Americans Say They’re Trying to Shun It

I’ve been eating gluten free for 19 years now and as I like to say, I’m a different person than I was before. I had been struggling with fatigue, regular bouts of digestive pain, low level depression (and more) without even knowing because it was just normal for me. I began to realize that something was wrong in my late 20s and started on my healing path. I was 43 before I found the answer.

Many doctors and alternative healers later, the answer came from my chiropractor! I would’ve never had the energy and effort that it’s taken to shape and grow Mary’s Gone Crackers before going gluten free.  I’m younger and healthier and happier the older I get! I have certainly found my fountain of youth.

When I see the “fad” or gluten free trend these days, (something I could never have imagined 19 years ago) I feel gratitude on some level for the incredible increase in awareness that has happened in our country. I watch and read the media’s response and see how once in a while they get it right, but not most of the time unfortunately. An important lesson when reading other stories in the media — if they’re getting so much wrong about gluten free, what are they missing about Genetically Engineered Organisms (GMOs) or environmental degradation or Afghanistan?

I’m saddened for the people who are jumping on the gluten free bandwagon without understanding or purpose; People assume they’ll lose weight, feel better, and be cooler and trendy. The reality is they’re probably unknowingly eating gluten in a sauce or another product and not changing their dietary habits at all.  Others simply replace gluten-filled
foods with other unhealthy items or gluten free junk food — may be an improvement if gluten is an issue, but not really on a healthful path.

However, I also know that there are lots of people on a journey like I was — people who’ve been sick for a while, whose doctors have not been able to help, and who read, listen and think that maybe gluten might just be their problem. They research more and take the plunge. I meet lots of those people and they’ve been transformed. “This inflamed, itchy, flaky scalp I’ve had for 20 years — GONE! Body aches and brain fog — GONE!” Chronic diarrhea, migraine headaches, psoriasis, liver problems, anemia, thyroid disease, osteoporosis…. the list is endless really. How wonderful is it that more people will be able to discover the source of their pain and eliminate it from their lifestyle?  It’s wonderful that increased awareness about what we eat is often the source for most (if not all) of our health issues!

I know that for many, their journey will end there, but my real hope is that this increased awareness will take us on a deeper exploration to discover the real problems and real dangers in our food — factory farming, GMOs, highly refined and processed ingredients, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers — all the POISONS in our food and water! I’m imagining that this trend to say “goodbye to gluten” is just the first step in a deeper awakening and remembering how we are supposed to be eating. How our grandparents and great-grandparents ate not that long ago. Everything was organic.  Most was local.  Food was safe and nutritious and nourishing — not part of our entertainment, not something to stuff in our mouths while we are busy doing something else. Food was something we enjoyed with others, something we prepared ourselves; we took time to attend to it because it’s important, life affirming and it’s about love.

So look out all you gluten free-ers! You’re on your way to being the leaders of the new Conscious Eating® movement in America!

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Earth-Friendly Conscious Eating®

 

As spring starts to make itself apparent all over the country (whether that’s a “warm” 40 degrees in Burlington, VT or a warm 72 degrees here in Northern California) our planet is bursting into song —bunches of flowers exploding everywhere, green and red leaves emerging from seemingly dead branches, sweet fragrances floating on the breezes. When we take a moment to look around, stepping away from our daily routine to appreciate the bounty that is bursting forth all around us, it’s hard not to notice the abundance that is our earth.

Conscious Eating® helps us to remember that we are creatures of and on this earth, as dependent on the delicate balance of life as all other beings. Like all animals, we eat what grows on the earth to stay alive. It may be hard nowadays to recognize that the food we are eating was once a living plant or animal from the earth. Read the labels of what you are eating and drinking and see if you can identify their sources. If the list of chemicals is longer than the actual food ingredients, or if you have to work hard to even figure out what the origin of the “food” is, you might want to make different choices. Look for food that is as close to the sources as possible — whole, ancient grains, fresh plants, unprocessed meats.  Take a break from meat and dairy for one meal, or one day. Play with new ingredients — we’d love to offer suggestions as to what to do with those unfamiliar vegetables! Post your questions on my blog or our Facebook Page!

This Earth Day, remember that your real home isn’t a house, city, state, or country, but a PLANET!  Little steps towards reclaiming your true nature as a human being will make a big difference in the quality of your life!

Love,

Mary

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Rocking the Boat

 

I was in the bank severalweeks ago opening a new account, and got to talking with the woman helping me. She had watched her mother “become a new person…have all kinds of energy” after removing gluten from her diet. She knew it was an issue for her but she was terrified of changing her diet. Why? The process of making something fully conscious − we talk about “Conscious Eating®” − can be challenging. Something can float around in our awareness for a long time; we know it’s there, but don’t fully acknowledge it or admit it to ourselves. We’re rocking the boat, and who knows where that will take us?

This 37-year-old woman I was speaking to was about to have a biopsy done because she’d been so sick. In fact, she had debated even coming to work at the bank that morning because she felt so terrible. She was experiencing brain fog, exhaustion, digestive pain, bloating, flu-like body aches — the list went on. Nevertheless, she was hesitant to change her eating habits. “Just the idea of change… having to give up the food I like…” she said.

It was a feeble explanation however, because in the next breath she commented on how many gluten-free food options there are, on her mother’s delicious homemade gluten-free meals, and eventually admitted that she knew there wouldn’t be much she would have to do without. Yet her anxiety was real.

Some action – a change in behavior – is required though if we are to face the thought of Conscious Eating® fully. Maybe we project onto our loved ones that they won’t accept us if we change. We try to talk ourselves out of paying attention or being fully present with who we are, our truth. The mind wants safety, stability, familiarity — even if we are in pain, are ill and KNOW in every fiber of our being that we need to change.

There’s still hope though; that hint of desire to push through the fear and to overcome, or a willingness to step into the unknown. (Isn’t life fun?) All we have to do is listen to our inner truth and trust and change can be good!

The woman from the bank called me a few days ago. She had a long talk with her husband and they decided to go gluten free as a family. She has already lost 10 pounds in three weeks and she feels great – can’t believe how great! She wanted me to know that her four-year-old daughter isn’t begging just for cookies all day anymore. Instead she asks for our crackers, pretzels and love Cookies®!

This woman pushed through her fear, got support from the people who love her, and in return she grew personally. She chose life, forward movement, increased awareness – she chose Conscious Eating®! It’s a process, an evolution.

As I write this, today is my 62nd birthday. I never envisioned my life as I am today, but here I am! I’m still growing, paying attention, and choosing to learn what choices I have yet to make still. It’s easier to trust myself and it’s easier to listen, but the evolution is ongoing.

Where is your challenge, your cutting edge, your truth? Sit with yourself for five minutes today and see where you’d take yourself! And share your journey — I’d love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

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