Thursday, April 26, 2012

One Inspiring Mom Takes on Foreign Invaders in our Food

I am weeping tears of relatedness, inspiration, disbelief, sadness and frustration. I am watching Robyn O'Brien's Ted talk on California's Right to Know.
After her baby's allergic reaction, she learned that a food allergy is the body responding to food as a foreign invader. So she asked "Is there something foreign in our food?". Her talk answers this question.
Watch the video.

Pass it on.
Share it with everyone.
It is "the most patriotic thing we can do".

The facts are that between 1997 and 2002, just 5 years, peanut allergies have increased by 2X.
Our food is genetically modified with synthetic proteins that our bodies see as foreign invaders.
We get allergic reactions, sickness and cancer.
We have the highest cancer rates in the world. 1-2 men are expected to get cancer. 1-3 women are expected to get cancer. 90% of breast cancer is from environmental causes. Only 1% is genetic.
If you move here from another country you increase your chance of getting cancer by 4X.
Companies spend 60% of their profits on health care.
There has been a 265% increase in the rate of ER hospitalization by doctors (not parents) of children with severe allergy reactions to FOOD.
Food that is on the shelves of our grocery stores, that the FDA said is safe, that our government says is safe even though the rest of the world says no.

The food we eat is NOT allowed in Europe and other countries. And this big food companies change the formulas so that they can sell there.
If they do that for them, why not do it for us? Because we allow it.

Robyn did not just ask a good question and find the answers...she shared the answers and took action to make a difference. I am so inspired into action, more action to have USA food, and our children, be safe.
One person can make a difference!
Eat organic, whole foods as much as possible.
Be relentless about not supporting toxic food.
Contact the White House now.

And take action in your home:

Thank you for reading and for being an active American in healthy food for all.
Zen Honeycutt
P.S. I am completing my book about a boy who takes on his allergies. Finding her talk just put the fire in my belly to get it published ASAP!!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I cheer as we drive by a telephone pole plastered with KONY 2012 posters. My kids wonder why I am cheering and I tell them,"There is a very sick man who captures children in Africa and makes them go to war. The posters I just saw were put up last night by people who want him to stop. They want the government to know it's not okay. Children should be taken care of. Mommy put up posters last night too."
Ben smiled a very fulfilled looking smile. "Thank you Mom."

"Mom, I can get the bad guy, " Bronson declared. "I can."

"That's great Bronson. That's the point of these posters, if one of us does something, and then one more...we can stop him."

"I can stop him because I am good at fighting," he added with gusto. A three year old. What imagination.
I am inspired by how brave and confident he is. He can stop him.

It occured to me then, that a lot of people at one point, that week that the KONY video was circulated, A LOT of people believed we could stop him. We were all inspired. We were passionate, ready to take action, and sharing with everyone. April 20 seemed so far away to wait to take action. We wanted him stopped now! 100 million people around the world saw and shared the video. The most viral video ever.

Then the news hit of the founder of Invisible Children having a breakdown, running naked in the streets. It was devastating to the movement. It was devastating to me. There was an unspoken embarrassment for so fervently promoting anything related to a man who can't keep his clothes on. People found all kinds of reasons to make him bad, immoral and wrong. I even debated heatedly with a Facebook friend. It deeply disturbed me how wrong this person made Jason Russell and how it all seemed a cop out for actually participating in causing a global movement. I was sad for days. Not just for the children, but for humanity.

I got today that the great disappointment many of us felt, the betrayal of the founder action's, the fizzling of the movement, was actually a breakdown in our commitment to have leaders with integrity.
What we want, as a people, is leaders with integrity. That is great. That is inspiring! That is a good thing to be committed to. Sometimes there will be breakdowns. President's will have affairs, congressman will lie, activists will get drunk and act out. So what?

The question is, will that stop US from taking action on the areas of our society that we are committed to?
What I realized, last night as I went out with posters in hand, by myself, was that I wasn't promoting Jason Russell. I was taking a stand for children.
Children being cared for, fed and safe is a commitment that is universal. No matter what you think about Invisible Children, what KONY is doing is worth doing something about stopping him. Every single person in the world that heard about KONY, deep inside, wanted to do something last night.
Some did. Some didn't. Some were stopped. So what?

Whatever you did, and it doesn't have to be putting up posters, how can you expressed what you are committed to?
How can you let the government know that children deserve, no matter where they are born, to be cared for?

Zen Honeycutt

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Extreme Food Allergies

If you are reading this you know someone with allergies. Everyone does now. Either it's you or a family member or both. Weird allergies too,like being allergic to cantalope or yeast. I know people who are allergic to almost everything, and others who are allergic to one thing, food preservatives or dyes, that is in almost everything. There are the really challenging ones like gluten/wheat, dairy and eggs. Our family has all three, plus the life threatening nut allergy. Eating can occur like a whole lot of No's to us, especially at a party or in the grocery store...just a sea of food we don't eat.

Recently we took Ben to an iridoligist (reading the health of the body through the iris) and found out carrageenan is now in the mix of no's. Carrageenan is a food thickener and it's in almost all the good stuff. Our son gets a red stain around his mouth and swollen painful red lips for a's embarrassing for him and is affecting his self expression. Until now we didn't know why...but it's looking confronting...

Want to go to the park and enjoy an ice cream after ward? Opps, can't son. You are allergic.
Want to have a chocolate milk at your friend's house? Nope sorry.
Dressing on your salad at a restaurant seem harmless? No way.
Pepperoni on that pizza or lunch meat in your sandwich? No gonna happen.
Dip on that Chip? Whip Cream on that pie? Forget it.

Geeesh! I could just cry. It is so challenging to police every food. Plus, the iridologist could see immediately that the cause of all the allergies is that my eldest son's stomach is too acidic (and probably the others, considering they all have allergies). That means that 80% of his foods should be from an alkaline list, a list which makes no sense to me at all. There is no obvious reasoning to it. Blueberries are acidic but raspberries are alkaline. What? Lemons are Alkaline forming? HUH? I printed out 12 pages of food to meal plan with. Days of just throwing something together and the kids being happy with fries and chicken are over.

That's a good thing though, really. It's that laziness that got us into this situation in the first place. Giving them oatmeal for breakfast (highly acidic and can cause cavities), lunch meat sandwich, corn chips (and carrots which mostly come back uneaten) for lunch and a hot dog and fries for dinner and being okay with them taking one mouthful of peas to represent the greens, is what causes high acidity in people in the first place. Highly acidic people have immune disorders, multiple allergies, get sick a lot, are fatigued and have a slew of symptoms that you can check here:

and here

Some say it is the base cause for cancer. Others say it is the cause for all sickness and disease...disease is dis ease...the body out of balance, too acidic.
Under stress, acidic conditions cause the stomach (our first line of defense) goes on attack against more and more foods, most likely the ones that it is most exposed to...therefore making switching the diet extra challenging. Sometimes it even occurs that we crave that food, some kids who crave milk are actually allergic to it, but the body is under stress and relates surviving with the milk even though it is attributed with the stress. Ugh. I know.
So how do we take the stress out of surviving food today?
How can we come from a place of inspired eating?

As a parent it is up to me to create with my son. Today it is going to look like a high lighter and the twelve pages of foods. I will ask him to high lite his top twenty alkaline foods and his top ten acidic foods. He can still have the acidic ones in small amounts (less than 20%) but it will still be a big shift. When I think about a normal plate, 90% of the foods used to be acidic. Beef tacos with corn shell, rice, beans...all acidic. The smattering of shredded lettuce accounted for maybe 2% of the meal. Yikes.

Then I will meal plan with what we have and shop for the rest. An adjustment to our food budget will need to be made, and negotiations with the kids about not going to Del Taco and Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream will definitely need to be creative. Watermelon, highly alkaline, is going to be a daily food here.

See it can be managed, can even be inspired. When I stop pulling my hair out I can see that this is actually the opportunity to shift the current and future health of my entire family for their life time. By being present. By creating!

"How you do anything is how you do everything." -T. Harv Eker

How we eat is how we live life. By being present to what we eat, planning, making food fun, and getting their palates used to fruit and greens as the main portion of the dish, they will be healthier in their twenties and thirties and beyond. We will all be more present to life, to what matters to us...and live a created life.
What if we made faces with the fruit and grew more food? What if we visited farms weekly and the kids picked out their favorite veges? What if they made up their own salad recipes?

It inspires me to think of what food choices they will make later in life by being aware of and responsible for their own alkaline and acidic levels. Rather than food tempting them and them succumbing to it repeatedly and having guilt and sickness afterwards, they are going to be masters of food, masters of their life. The future is then one of empowerment for them, for us.
It is my honor to lead them in mastery.

List of alkaline and acidic foods:

Foods with Carrageenan:
Ice Cream (except for Breyers)
Sour Cream (except for Daisy)
Cottage Cheese (except for Old Home)
Flavored Coffee Creamers
Chocolate Milk
Soy Milk
Light Mayo & Mayonnaise
Salad Dressings
Slim Fast Shakes
Chicken (ex: pre-cooked chicken to put on salads, rotisserie chicken from the grocery deli, etc.)
Sandwich meat
Frozen entrees (ex: any entree with chicken, also random meals like Lean Cuisine's pumpkin squash ravioli).
Buitoni pastas
Chip and Veggie Dips (ex: french onion, dill dip, spinach dip, etc.)

And the adventure continues. What do you do to make life fun and inspiring even with food allergies?
Love and Joy to all,

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Showtime!

Five auditions in one week. That's alot of driving through Orange County to LA. Everyday after school we packed up the car with snacks, a pee jar just in case (gotta be prepared in traffic!), DSI games, grabbed the headshots and resume. His little brother comes with and naps or watches a movie. Bodee prepares in the car. I am a showbiz Mom.
Which doesn't mean anything except I drive my son to auditions just as a soccer Mom would. I encourage him with smiles before he walks into the audition and I high five him on his way out. The experience can be daunting sometimes, however, it's not for the lazy.

First, there is the last minute emails and calls from his agent, hardly ever even a twenty four hour notice.It takes some finagling to clear the calendar for four hours to get to and from an audition in LA and still have everything in life handled. Yes, I will take a Super Mom tee shirt, thank you very much. Sometimes it means taking Bodee out of school an hour early...not so super you may think. Good thing he is an A student.
Then there is the drive up, almost two hours in traffic, and the way home is a guarantee of a stop and go sea of red tail lights. Finding parking, I feel like a turkey buzzard looking for scraps. I circle around a few times, swoop in and pray to the parking gods that I won't get towed for parking in the grocery store lot or bless the world when I find metered parking less than three blocks away. Bodee skips and runs along the cracked sidewalks of LA to the casting lounge, excited to get there. At the audition the room is packed with bodies of curious children and tired parents. The kids play their DSI's or lean over and talk about their games together. There is always the boy with the afro, the cute blond, the stocky boy, maybe even a redhead. They are all cute, but of course, I think none cuter than mine.

There are usually several auditions going on and gaggles of gorgeous girls and shockingly sharp and good looking men rehearse their lines. Real characters dressed in bike messenger outfits and sweating in cowboy chaps, lean against walls and shift back and forth impatiently. I could be impatient too. I could be annoyed by the traffic or the way the casting assistants yell out names. I could criticize and make life miserable for my son. But I don't. Because I am inspired by his gumption. I am inspired by his willingness to be up for anything. I am inspired that when asked by a recruiter if he wanted to be on TV or movies, he said YES and followed through with acting classes.

Rather than survive it, I create that it is exciting with him, we play rock paper scissors or try to guess what the improv lines might be. We talk about giving it 100% and his face lights up. Bodee is one cute face of many and we have no idea what they are looking for. Will this be the one?
Then his name is being called...usually within a few minutes...and he is walking up to the door along with three other boys. They line up, the door opens and they walk inside a room. I never see who is in the room, and my Mommy Tiger instincts really had to give up a lot to get over that one. I hear the boys shouting their lines through the door, usually they are just playing, and then within a few minutes he is out again, smiling and satisfied. "I did 100% Mom!" he says.

One time, he went into the room for directions with only adults. It was a pizza commercial and he was the only child at that time of the call. There was Bodee, surrounded by towering adults, confident and ready to go. I was amazed by my son. It takes courage to do that, to generate with strangers in a moments notice, to put yourself under scrutiny and to "turn it on" and go with the flow of directions from a complete stranger from second to second. He doesn't ask about the jobs later, whether he got them or not, he is too busy playing and doing what he is doing in the moment. There is no disappointment or regret. He just lives in the moment and enjoys it.

I would love for Bodee to have success in all his endeavors....and I know he might not. He has booked two commercials in the past year, but there are no guarantees for the future. I don't know if he will ever book anything, ever again. What I do know, is that he is successful in being courageous. He is successful in being creative and energetic. He is fulfilled by having confidence and determination. He is the kind of person, that when they say "It's Showtime!", he steps through his fear and into being an expression of himself.
He inspires me.

Zen Honeycutt