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What exactly is Feminism today anyway?

Originally posted on Cynic No More:

First wave feminism I understand. Second wave feminism I understand. Once we get into the modern era of feminism, I get very confused.

What exactly does the modern feminist stand for? Can’t figure it out. I’ve read feminist blogs and they only served to confuse me more. Contradictory ideals. Comments on the blogs from women also claiming to be feminists saying the blogger had no idea what they are talking about. Still can’t figure it out.

There’s such radically different ideologies under the feminism banner. I’ve watched interviews with sex workers and pornstars. They say sex is freedom of expression. They are in control of their bodies and sexuality. They love their work, it’s a lot of fun. They consider themselves feminists. But then you’ll have other women who say that porn industry encourages objectification and violence towards women. They can’t both be feminists, can they? So who is right?…

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Finding your own healthy diet

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a kid I ate a lot of junk food and had a noticeable pot belly. I got so used to sucking in my stomach in public that it almost became an automatic reflex.

Sound familiar?

I think many adults can relate. And as adults we tend to get even chubbier as the years go by. The metabolism slows down, and so do we. I don’t know all the latest theories about weight gain and loss. But I do know what actually works if I want to slim down.

I’m not huge on food. Some folks invest a lot time and energy on the ephemeral pleasure of eating. It baffles me. Master chefs might want to stop here. These diet tips probably won’t work for you. Nor will they speak to those happy with their weight and body shape.

If you are satisfied with your weight, then skip this article. But if you’d like to shed a few pounds, read on.

The Clue

The first big clue about weight loss came when I lived in India. I was there for two years. And shortly after arriving, I began to lose weight, quite dramatically. Everyone noticed. Teachers, students, even Indian office workers would say that I’d “reduced,” which was a sort of cute way of putting it.

The foods that I mostly cut out were

  • meat
  • fats and cooking oil
  • ice cream

The cow is sacred in India, so it’s not commonly eaten. And grease, well, there’s plenty of that but I steered clear. I’d heard stories about Indian restaurants and street vendors reusing their oil, which taints it with all sorts of nasty micro-organisms that can wreak havoc your digestive system. As for ice cream, I had no freezer. Problem solved.

My food was prepared by a local cook. He delivered a tiffin three times a day. The tiffin included a tiny piece of fish, lots of flat bread, rice, dal (chickpea sauce), veggies and misti (an Indian sweet). Looking back, I was probably malnourished. I was young and didn’t know any better. And the weather was hot for most months, so I didn’t have much of an appetite. For a little treat I nibbled on a chocolate bar every day. And maybe some Maggi instant noodles or processed butter on bread. And still I was thin as a rake.

Fruits and vegetables from a farmers market. c...

Fruits and vegetables from a farmers market. circa 2007, USA, California, Long Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coming home to North America I remember a friend being startled when embracing my skinny bag of bones. I’d lost fat and muscle. It felt good in a way. But it couldn’t last. Not in the overindulgent West.

Later, while writing my doctorate in Ottawa, I was on a strict student budget, so ate simply. Modifying my old Indian fare, I had coffee, cereal and milk in the morning. Noodles, tuna, veggies, all mixed in a single pot for dinner. And the occasional serving of Häagen-Dazs for those dull days. And yes, I did stay thin. But it was a good thin.

After graduating I moved in with my folks. It was nice to live in a house again, but what a tremendous diet change! Suddenly food was everywhere. All types, all quantities. And guess what? I began to gain weight again. Fast. A friend came to dinner and said I was “quite portly,” and he was right.

So here’s what I do when I want to lose weight:

Morning

  • Coffee (as much as I like) with a tsp. of sugar or honey
  • Cereal (any sugar-slathered corn duds I like) with 2% milk
  • The occasional eggs on toast, without bacon

Lunch

  • I always skip lunch at noon because my cereal is taken mid-to-late morning

Dinner

  • Late lunch/dinner of a tuna sandwich around 5 p.m. Add a bit of margarine OR a bit of mayonnaise. Not both. Calories are calories. And we have to make sacrifices somewhere. I do, however, gobble up the extra tuna that I don’t use in the sandwich.
  • Another favorite meal is brown beans, fleshed out with a bean medley on toast. Maybe add a bit of ketchup. It’s not glamorous but it’s cheap and definitely low cal.
  • Some nights I eat instant noodles mixed with tuna (or egg) and lots of veggies. Add cheese powder or seasoning and maybe a slice of processed cheese. Sprinkle with a quality soya like KIKKOMAN.
  • I also eat the occasional frozen dinner. Mostly noodles of some sort. But they’re not very satisfying.
  • Once in a while I’ll have some fresh chicken and veggies pie, the unfrozen kind without preservatives.
  • Once in a while, salad. I should probably eat more of this but I find the preparation is too much hassle. And I’m not wild about bagged salads. Sometimes I add tomatoes and other goodies to bagged salad, but still, I don’t enjoy food preparation too much, so this is not my norm.

Other Stuff

Obviously I eat more than the above. I honestly can’t remember everything I eat, and it changes through the seasons. But here goes:

  • Through the day I snack on fruit. I like bananas best. But any fruit will do. Carrots and celery are also great snacks. After dinner I might have a few shrimp. Maybe a small amount of cheese. Or possibly just some chick peas. I may also eat toast with a bit of margarine if my stomach is grumbling.
  • When invited for dinner, I choose to eat whatever is served. Meats, fancy deserts, etc. That doesn’t happen too often throughout the year. But I do gain a bit during holidays like Christmas!
A jar of Ovaltine from the UK (2006), a mug of...

A jar of Ovaltine from the UK (2006), a mug of ovaltine made with hot milk and a tablespoon of the powder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Midnight snack

  • I love late night food. It’s a quiet time and things literally taste better. This is my danger zone. If I’m going to fall off my diet, it’s at the midnight hour. So I have to recognize that. I suggest we all recognize our danger zones, and change our habits accordingly.
  • One thing I find helpful is to microwave a bowl of frozen veggies instead of diving into the ice cream or flavored yogurt. And if I still want to eat, I drink something like a meal replacement powder (with lots of vitamins) in milk. Or fill up with a mug of Ovaltine (made with water, and a bit of milk as a creamer). I may also eat simple bread with margarine. But that’s probably not the best.

The other night I got bored and fell off my diet, big time. I thoroughly enjoyed two cups of ice cream with lots of sundae topping. But I didn’t beat myself up over it. Whenever I falter like that, I think, Well, you probably needed it. Tomorrow is another day. And when tomorrow comes, I try harder not to fall into that pattern again.

We can choose. It just takes conscious awareness. Try thinking like this:

If I eat this food, later on I will feel this way…

Spiritual elements

Sometimes I wonder if overeating is, in part, a spiritual issue. When I spend time with over-eaters, later I often sense in myself a compulsion toward unrestrained eating. Let me theorize for a moment. Or do some theology. Whatever. It almost seems like a spiritual presence that compels others to overeat comes to me. Please understand that this is not intended to insult anyone in any way. It simply has been my way of reflecting on my experience.

Image via Tumblr

You don’t have to agree with the idea that there might be a link between negative spirituality and overeating. Many would argue that my experience comes from learned behavior, mimicking, or some other social dynamic. And many would add that my interpretation of that experience comes from my analytical bent.

However, I see human beings as partly spiritual creatures. And I believe it’s incomplete to reduce everything to biochemistry, psychology and social learning, as do so many medical doctors and health gurus.

In Catholic theology the compulsion to eat more after being with over-eaters could be partly explained in terms of spiritual attack or spiritual obsession. And in Hinduism, as karma transfer. I realize this is beyond the ken of most people. Industrial culture is, one could say, immersed in a kind of techno-materialism. I just put these ideas out as food for thought. Thinking about overeating as a biological, psychological, social and spiritual issue might help some to discern previously unrecognized factors contributing to their unwanted behavior.

Exercise

The other half of losing weight is keeping fit. I don’t go to health clubs. They’re not my scene. I wouldn’t like rubbing up against machines that complete strangers have been sweating on. And I imagine the vibes at those places are pretty thick.

So I fit my exercise into my daily routine. I do a lot of household chores. I mow the lawn with a manual push mower and clippers. I rake the leaves. I don’t hire someone to shovel out the driveway in winter. Every few days I walk about 30 minutes, or ride my bike to Mass. I often park the car around the corner from busy parking lots and walk a minute or two to my destination. It’s amazing how even this can help.

Feel better!

I hope my story helps you to find your own healthy diet. Remember, everyone is different and these are just suggestions. So be sure to get all the essential nutrients you need. But I suggest minimizing things like excessively greasy food, chips and ice cream. I’ve been both skinny and chubby, and can honestly say that I feel better, all around, when I’m not carrying those extra, unwanted pounds.

Copyright © Michael Clark. All rights reserved.

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Does Your Home Have A Radon Problem?

radon

radon (Photo credit: oparvez)

The following comes from a Canadian source, but it seems the Radon threat is just as bad in the US. Scientists generally agree that Radon is the second mostly likely cause of lung cancer, after smoking. The real horror, however, is that Radon occurs naturally in the soil, beneath unsuspecting homeowners. — MC

By News Canada

All homes contain some radon gas. The question is whether your home’s radon level presents a danger that can be avoided. The amount of radon gas present in your home will depend on various factors such as soil characteristics, geographic location, a home’s construction type, foundation condition, and weather.

It’s almost impossible to predict your home’s radon level based on these factors, but the good news is that a simple test can tell you if you’re in the safe zone or not. There are a number or testing kits available to the Canadian public. Health Canada recommends that the radon test performed in a home or public building be a long-term measurement for a minimum of 3 months.

Alpha Track

These detectors use a small piece of special plastic or film inside a container with a filter-covered opening. Air being tested diffuses (passive detector) or is pumped (active detector) through a filter covering a hole in the container. At the end of the test period the container is sealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. The testing period of an alpha track detector is usually 1 to 12 months.

Electret Ion Chamber

Two versions of this detector exist: one for short-term tests of a few days or weeks and another for tests of several weeks or months. The detector is exposed during the measurement period, allowing radon to diffuse through a filter-covered opening into the chamber. Results can be read in the home using a special analysis device, or mailed for laboratory analysis. This type of detector can be deployed for 1 to 12 months.

Continuous Monitors

This detector plugs into a standard wall outlet much like a consumer carbon monoxide detector, and continuously monitors for radon. It allows the homeowner to make radon measurements in different areas of the home. After being plugged in for an initial period of 48 hours, the device displays the average radon concentration continuously. This convenience comes at a price though: continuous monitors are generally more expensive than other radon-testing devices.

Charcoal Detectors

Like most testing kits, charcoal detectors need to be exposed to home air for a specified time period. Charcoal detectors consisting of a charcoal-filled container covered with a screen and filter are exposed to a home’s air for two to seven days. They are then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.

You can find Canadian radon testing service providers listed in the yellow pages, on the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) website at: http://www.crpa-acrp.com/biz_directory/radon/ or on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) website at: http://www.neha-nrpp.org/Canada_Measurement.html. You can also find out more about radon at Health Canada’s website, http://www.healthcanada.gc.ca/radon, where you can order the free booklet Radon – A Guide for Canadian Homeowners.

All homes contain some radon gas. The question is whether your home’s radon level presents a danger that can be avoided? The amount of radon gas present in your home will depend on various factors such as soil characteristics, geographic location, a home’s construction type, foundation condition, and weather.

It’s almost impossible to predict your home’s radon level based on these factors, but the good news is that a simple test can tell you if you’re in the safe zone or not. There are a number or testing kits available to the Canadian public. Health Canada recommends that the radon test performed in a home or public building be a long-term measurement for a minimum of 3 months.

Alpha Track

These detectors use a small piece of special plastic or film inside a container with a filter-covered opening. Air being tested diffuses (passive detector) or is pumped (active detector) through a filter covering a hole in the container. At the end of the test period the container is sealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. The testing period of an alpha track detector is usually 1 to 12 months.

Electret Ion Chamber

Two versions of this detector exist: one for short-term tests of a few days or weeks and another for tests of several weeks or months. The detector is exposed during the measurement period, allowing radon to diffuse through a filter-covered opening into the chamber. Results can be read in the home using a special analysis device, or mailed for laboratory analysis. This type of detector can be deployed for 1 to 12 months.

Continuous Monitors

This detector plugs into a standard wall outlet much like a consumer carbon monoxide detector, and continuously monitors for radon. It allows the homeowner to make radon measurements in different areas of the home. After being plugged in for an initial period of 48 hours, the device displays the average radon concentration continuously. This convenience comes at a price though: continuous monitors are generally more expensive than other radon-testing devices.

Charcoal Detectors

Like most testing kits, charcoal detectors need to be exposed to home air for a specified time period. Charcoal detectors consisting of a charcoal-filled container covered with a screen and filter are exposed to a home’s air for two to seven days. They are then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.

You can find Canadian radon testing service providers listed in the yellow pages, on the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) website at: http://www.crpa-acrp.com/biz_directory/radon/ or on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) website at: www.neha-nrpp.org/Canada_Measurement.html. You can also find out more about radon at Health Canada’s website, www.healthcanada.gc.ca/radon, where you can order the free booklet Radon – A Guide for Canadian Homeowners.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/wellness-articles/does-your-home-have-a-radon-problem-1961379.html

About the Author

For over 25 years, News Canada has been providing the media with ready-to-use, timely, credible and copyright-free news content. Editors, broadcasters, web and video content providers rely on News Canada for newsworthy content to effectively enhance their websites, newspapers and broadcasts. Content is made available to you, the media, in the format you need, when you need it.

www.newscanada.com


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Did I Just Commit Adultery in My Dream?

Dream by Erathic Eric via Flickr

By Mark Virkler

Sexual dreams happen, even to Christians and even to happily married Christians. Sometimes those dreams include someone other than that Christians spouse. So, is it adultery if you dream about having sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse?

Why do we have sexual dreams?

First we need to understand the reason we are having the sexual dream. There are a few reasons. Some can indicate sin, but others do not. So, why do we have sexual dreams?

1. The Bodys Natural Rhythms

Our bodies go through sexual cycles. This is not just women and their menstrual cycle. Both men and women will have times of increased sexual desire and decreased sexual desire due to hormonal changes in their bodies. What the body goes through physically can be reflected in our dreams. This is natural and not an indication of sin.

2. The Incubus and the Succubus

Demons are real and they can attack in our dreams. Throughout church history and still today there are records of people being attacked by demons we refer to as an incubus (a demon that takes male form) and succubus (a demon that takes female form). This, as well, is not a sexual sin, but rather a spiritual attack.

3. Symbolism

Not everything in a dream is to be taken literally. In fact, our dreams are filled with symbolism. The Bible has numerous examples of people having symbolic dreams which needed interpretation. Sometimes the sexual nature of our dreams has nothing to do with sex. The sexual nature of the dream is actually a symbol for something, possibly the unification of two things in our lives. In this case, since the sexual imagery is just a symbol, it is not sinful.

4. Sin

Dreams are often influenced by our conscious lives. If we are thinking about adulterous activities during the day, its not surprising that we would dream about them at night as well.

We’ve examined several different reasons a married person may have a sexual dream. Three of those reasons are not sinful, but the fourth reason is. If we are reading or viewing pornography or otherwise fantasizing about illicit sexual encounters, then we are likely to dream about that. However, the truth is that we committed adultery long before we had the dream. In Matthew 5:28 Jesus tells us, But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If that is why you are having sexual dreams, then you need to repent and ask for forgiveness. But there is good news. In 1 John 1:9 we are told, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/did-i-just-commit-adultery-in-my-dream-6386024.html

About the Author

Mark Virkler is with Christian Leadership University. CLU is an Online Bible College offering Christian education and college degrees including a Christian counseling degree and Masters of Divinity. http://www.cluonline.com


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Jews Lead Nation Accepting Gay Marriage

Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released (2/26/14) a new study of a decade of changes in attitudes on LGBT-related issues which revealed a 21-point jump in support for same-sex marriage from 2003, when one-third (32%) of Americans supported same-sex marriage, to 2013, when a majority (53%) of Americans did.

The PRRI study, “A Shifting Landscape: A Decade of Change in American Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Issues” found that of all the identified religious groups in the poll, Jews are more supportive of same-sex marriage than any other religious group.

Thus, 83% of Jews favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally compared to 73% of those with no religious affiliation, 62% of white mainline Protestants, 57% of Catholics, 46% of Hispanic Protestants, 35% of Black Protestants and 27% of white evangelical Protestants.

Moreover, 58% of Jews strongly favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry (a full 22 points higher than the next highest category, the religiously unaffiliated).

Amazingly, Jews are only 3 points behind LGBT Americans in their own support of marriage equality (86%).

Even more amazingly, only a quarter of Americans believe Jews are friendly toward LGBT people, a third believe we are unfriendly and 41% do not know or refused to answer the question.

Jews are perceived by non-Jews to be only 1 point friendlier than evangelical Christian churches and 6 points less friendly than African-American churches; when in reality Jews are much more friendly than those two groups.

The size of the gap between Jewish support for gays and these two church groups is a giant 56 points when compared to evangelical Christian churches and 48 points compared to African-American churches.

The Union of Reform Jews was the first national religious organization in the U. S.to accept a LGBT congregation as a member.

Rabbi Maller’s web site is: rabbimaller.com


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The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Copyright © Linda Stuart 2013. All rights reserved.

Forgiveness Nurtures Love

The embodiment of Jesus’ love for mankind is found in the words he spoke from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

In Luke chapter 7, we are taught a powerful lesson concerning forgiveness. Jesus is invited to dine at the house of a Pharisee named Simon. While he is there, a sinful woman comes to Jesus and washes his feet with her own tears, wipes them with her own hair, kisses them and anoints them with perfume. The Pharisee, being a self-righteous man, observes the woman’s actions and says, if Jesus were a prophet, he would know “what sort of person this woman is who is touching him”. Luke 7:39

In response, Jesus tells Simon a parable about a moneylender whom had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii and the other owed fifty.

Luke 7:42 “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?”

Luke 7:43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

Then Jesus says to Simon, when he entered the Pharisee’s house, Jesus was not given water to wash his feet, nor was he given a kiss, nor was his head anointed with oil by his host. However, this woman who has washed his feet with her tears has loved much, and for this reason her sins, which are many, have been forgiven.

Luke 7:47 “But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Forgiveness Sustains Health

Dr. Frederic Luskin of Stanford University’s Center for Research in Disease Prevention has found through recent controlled studies that forgiveness training can be an effective way of reducing anger and distress associated with feeling hurt. According to the Stanford Forgiveness Project, this may have important implications for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Research suggests unmanaged anger and hostility can be harmful to, not only a person’s physical health, but also one’s psychological and emotional well-being. In studies involving heart attack patients, research shows that patients whom acted in a more forgiving way were often able to demonstrate less anger and hostility, and thus reduce morbidity and improve overall quality of life.

In his new book “Forgive For Good” (Harper Collins, 2002), Dr. Luskin outlines nine steps to forgiveness. One of the principles central to these nine steps is: “Forgiveness is for you (the forgiver) and not for anyone else.” As Dr. Luskin explains in his book, forgiving someone for a past wrong does not necessarily mean the offending action is being condoned, nor does it necessitate reconciliation with the person who has caused the offence. According to Dr. Luskin, forgiveness is about finding peace for oneself.

Can these two notions — forgiving offenders through God’s example or forgiving for the sake of one’s own health — be reconciled? Perhaps what modern medical research fails to take into account is the healing power of loving one’s fellow human. In offering forgiveness to an offender, we help to mend and strengthen the fabric that pulls all of humanity together. Whether or not spiritual and scientific approaches to forgiveness can be harmonized, one thing is obvious — forgiveness is a powerful act of love that benefits both forgiver and forgiven.


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Beat Addiction with Meditation to Lead a Happy Life

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdzjJyb7LLr2Erf4JLMSbBy Chamunda Swamij

We all suffer from addiction in some or the other form. However, addiction can become fatal when one gets addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and more. If one is not addicted to the drugs, cigarettes or any other typical vices, then they might be subconsciously addicted to fear, rejection, or to different negative patterns.

Although, it is easy to understand how harmful narcotics such as drugs can harm your life, it is important to realize that even ‘harmless’ addictions can prove to be harmful when they start interfering with your life. For an addict to get recovered, his/ her will power is the most important. Nothing in the world can make an alcoholic become sober if one doesn’t want to become so.

Meditation is an age old practice that can help an addict to break free from all types of addictions. The first step involves recognizing the fact that he/ she have a problem. Most addicts usually deny the fact they have a problem with addiction, despite being told by everyone that something is wrong with them.

When meditating to get rid of addiction, it is important to bear in mind that it will take some time to recover. Besides practicing meditation, addict should also use prescribed medication by the doctor. Practicing meditation can help you to focus the addiction being tossed away. This will help you in the long run, and help the addict to stay away from addiction and get over the problem.

Different types of meditation techniques could be used to get rid of addiction. One of the most effective amongst them is mindfulness meditation that promotes personal control and has been shown to positively affect attention besides candidness to all sorts of experiences. In fact, meditation may be helpful for dealing with different symptoms of addiction.

During drawing and detoxification an addict may encounter several mood swings while getting impatient to relapse. This is when one requires maintaining patience in order to hear the true inner voice by calming down the chaos or the damaging voices that might prompt you to relapse. Meditation has proved to be extremely effective during such situations and can augment your chances of retrieval considerably.

We need to understand that addictions are like trash and rubbish. They set a negative impact in our life and keep us away from enjoying life to the fullest. Practicing meditation over a period of time can help you to get rid of addiction completely.

As an conclusion, we find a place www.chamundaswamiji.com that can help everyone to overcome their addictions.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/meditation-articles/beat-addiction-with-meditation-to-lead-a-happy-life-6804963.html

About the Author

Chamunda Swami Ji has defined with deep knowledge about human addiction situation that empacts their life to destroy it. He has also explained a solution of the addiction situation. According to swami ji Meditation is the perfect way to get rid of this addiction easily with the support of family & friends for motivating and fight away this evil. To contact with Swami ji visit at www.chamundaswamiji.com

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