my life in prose


I started on an-all- out anti-inflammatory campaign a few months back.  Being on a low glycemic eating plan means a lot to me. For as many years as I care to remember, I waged a losing battle inside my own body. My work in teaching only exacerbated the anxiety, metabolic imbalance, brain fog, mood swings and fatigue.  I distanced myself from the band aid solutions of conventional doctors.  Conversely, as I began to understand and apply natural alternative approaches to healing, the better I began to feel.

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”  Hippocrates

Holistic practitioners believe the body is able to heal itself, only it needs the raw materials to do so. This also involves eliminating harmful foods and customs in order to prevent oxidation damage, inflammation and blocking of amino acids and essential minerals from doing their work.

Finding consensus among holistic philosophies is unrealistic, so I arrived at the list below according to the research I’ve done so far. Most of the points come from Dr. Peter Glidden who has been a Naturopathic Doctor for twenty five years related to holistic medical nutrition.

As a result of this lifestyle change, I feel less prone to moodiness; I experience greater mental clarity; I feel less stiffness around the joints; it has cleared up my digestive issues and all my headaches have disappeared.

I have found the majority of people I share this with, resist change and would rather adhere to their long established habits than get better.  I’ve learned in this regard to keep my expectations low.

What to Avoid

  1. Wheat
  2. Rye
  3. Barley
  4. Oats
  5. Any Oil in a Bottle — Vegetable Oils, Olive including Coconut Oil
  6. Deep Fried Foods – frying foods at a high temperature causes oxidation
  7. Carbonated Beverages — Washing your food down with carbonated drinks blocks the absorption of the nutrients you consume
  8. Well cooked red meat — eat red meat rare or medium rare only
  9. Luncheon meats because they contain harmful nitrates
  10. Skins of baked potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes
  11. Sugar, Fructose, Artificial Sweeteners
  12. Most refined high carbs even “Gluten Free”
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“Some walks you have to take alone.” — curiano.com

Humility helps us realize we are not as indispensable as we imagine. The more we put others on a pedestal in order to pull them in, or the more time we dedicate to those who are manifesting love avoidance, the more we feel taken for granted.

Part of the problem of being codependent is codependents seek to make themselves indispensable in order to secure a place for themselves, but this pursuit precipitates the opposite effect. As Mari Ruti, says,

“There’s no greater test of our respect for our friend’s autonomy than letting someone know she is free without protest when that’s what she needs. This is one of the greatest gifts – one of the greatest acts of love we can ever give. Love is bighearted. It wants what is best for the other even if the best doesn’t involve us.” *

Letting go is a part of loving. If you’re always with someone, you’ll never know how strong your connection is.  Though letting go can seem too much, we can derive inward consolation as Ruti explains,

“Letting a friend walk away before we are ready to let go is one of the hardest things we will ever do… It might help us to remember that friendship can die without us having done anything to kill it.  It’s better to lose a friendship than to watch its initial passion turn into a faint shadow of its former self.”

Whenever we sense disparity of feeling, even in friendship, it is time to let go. It is a needless weight upon the heart. We become desperate for someone’s affection, at the cost of our dignity.  We approach the friendship according to what we want to hear, rather than what is being said or done. Roger de Bussy-Rabutin uses a metaphor to help us read where we stand with another when he says,

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.”

~ vincenzo ©

*in these two quotes by Mari Ruti, I have substituted the word, “lover” for “friend” in order to contextualize the quote to my present situation

when you show yourself vulnerable

and your friend pulls away

your deepest feelings fly into a tailspin

it hurts when someone treats you special

then at once their affection, it fades away

coz soul friends, they don’t come around every day

when you don’t know what to do

you can play the victim

or you can stop doing what doesn’t work

let your friend go where they need to be

stop chasing her and with time

learn to embrace your inner strength

make your life a resting place

feel the carathis of your pain

when true friends understand they are free

they will find their way back to you

and if they do not, do yourself a favor

just learn to let it be

~ vincenzo ©

Much of my personality was shaped growing up in an emotionally dysfunctional and disconnected environment. My physical and educational needs were being looked after, but there was something missing like a wilted plant receiving water and sunlight, but deprived of nutrients.  My “friends” were always competing to be the best athletes as if that was all that mattered. I was always trying hard to win recognition, but due to my underdeveloped athletic skills, I never got close to getting it nor playing on the school team.

Now as an adult, I am learning to turn my insecurities into strength by not allowing others to quell my love and creativity.  Just because society rejects your sensitivity, doesn’t mean you have to reject it.

~ vincenzo ©

Heightened sensitivity has occupied a prominent place in my head and heart.  As a boy, I’d often gaze at the reflection in windows or mirrors to look at my face. Although I could vaguely recognize or detect it, invalidation permeated my environment. Little by little the emotionally toxic world sowed self-doubt within my sensitive nature. I tried to decipher what triggered the contempt. Why were only some children targeted while others favored? Was it my dark skin, my slower speech or my hesitancy?

When growing up, resources about emotional issues were scarce. Internet was still in its mother’s womb. In order to survive, I grew up out of touch with my emotions. By example, I learned to express pain as little as possible. To complicate matters, communication was minuscule in my family of origin. Thus, I felt unworthy, though I pretended none of the antagonism was having any effect on me.

Self-esteem comes with healing. A background full of pain, anger and sadness often creates dependency without realizing it. When Christ’s love becomes a reality, you begin to feel less compelled to seek approval, and yet it takes time to process insecure attachment, especially when it is the driving force behind all your endeavors.

~ vincenzo ©

“From the first moments of life, our being strives to be in harmony with our surroundings and with each other.” ~ Dr. Sharon Keller

I know what it is to want to belong and yet be unable to. When you face the tears and ongoing agony of a long term unnamed condition, you value every insight that comes your way. I remember being a socially receptive child, but as I grew older, I began feeling more out of place without knowing why. I put on a facade, yet below the surface, I couldn’t make sense of the loud, hard-hitting, competitive climate that prevailed each day.

I adopted a cool detached persona in order to survive. As a loyal people pleaser, I found it exhausting to keep in step with boisterous community standards. There was no escaping the commotion: The desire to be left alone, the necessity of down time, the strain of trying to make sense of social dynamics – made daily life a painful boot-camp existence.

Without a plan of action, having a highly-sensitized temperament is debilitating. It adversely affects your relationships when your heightened emotional responses include unresolved codependency issues.  Without meaning to, you approach love from a place of scarcity.  From a subconscious level, this insecure attachment interferes with your strong need for connection.
~ vincenzo ©

Although writing usually helps clarify my thoughts, sometimes it clouds me over with angst. I not only encounter complex issues that resist translation, I come into collision with my own perceptions. No matter how the words arrange themselves, they look back at me with trifling glances. The deeper I excavate, the less justice accorded to the lived experience. I tackle it in bits and pieces – save it to draft, then return to it another day. I find I can only devote so much time before I’m consumed with heartache and fatigue.

When we believe we are undeserving, we can involuntarily open ourselves to unsuitable company without understanding the damage it may cause. These unsuitable personalities have abilities to decode susceptibility and hoodwink others through false assurances. While being charming on the surface, they are volatile, combative, and disrespectful of boundaries. They maintain a persistent self referential attitude and suck away energy like vampires.

Abusive episodes operate within cycles and begin with measured doses of seductive sweetness, followed by days of increasing tension, then finally erupting into violent verbal and/or physical attacks. They’re called cycles because the sweetness, tension and acting out become a recurring pattern played over and over again like an endless loop cassette.

You come to a startling realization. What seems real is imaginary. You hold on tightly, only to discover it brings instability, desolation and untold stress. This kaleidoscope of emotional upheaval erodes the soul with unpredictable bouts of dissonance.

You let go. You move on. You grieve. You open up to others. You isolate yourself. You realize many are called but few confidants are chosen. In real time grief is too alien a subject. Society at large fails to acknowledge or comprehend it. There is an unspoken aversion to it. Online, writers convey their thoughts through a generic-sounding-scientific lens. Cold and sterile. Colorless depictions.

Grief is an inner work. I came to realize I needed God to give me a new viewfinder, for mine was passed broken and looking through it, I only grew more anxious and fearful, even when reading the Scriptures. It was when I was at dead end of myself with no sense of direction did Christ answer my prayer.

~ vincenzo ©

*parentheses mine

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