Moringa & Me

 

Have you ever heard of Moringa?  I think I saw something about it several months ago but since I was doing research on something else at the time I didn’t pay much attention to it. But upon a recent visit with family in California, my sister-in-love mentioned that she had been taking Moringa seeds for a few weeks and asked if I knew anything about them. Auntie SBF is diabetic and suffers from both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She said that since she had been taking the Moringa seeds she had noticed that the inflammation and pain in her joints had gone down, that her blood sugar levels were stable and that she had also lost a little bit of weight. Since this was the second time the topic had come up and Auntie SBF was giving me live testimony about it, I promptly set about educating myself on the mysterious Moringa.

It turns out that Moringa is a tree native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and has a multitude of benefits and uses; from water purification to herbal medicine to treating malnutrition. It really is quite interesting and I encourage you to read more about it here.

Dealing with some health issues of my own about a decade ago brought me to the firm belief that each of us is responsible for our own health. We have unlimited information at our disposal and really have no excuse not to self-educate ourselves on the things that affect us. In as such, I have become my own best “doctor”. After all, who knows my body better than I? So after just enough research to peak my interest, I bought some Moringa seeds of my own.                                                                     

My research discovered that Moringa is packed with nutrients like Vitamins A, C & E, calcium, and potassium. It contains protein, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, polyphenols and ascorbic acid. It fights inflammation, supports brain health, protects the liver and helps wounds to heal faster.  These points alone had me convinced that Moringa seeds were worth a try. Then I found that Moringa also helps with weight loss and that was it. I was on board. Mr. SBF even decided to give them a try! I promptly ordered some seeds from Amazon so they would be waiting for us when we got home.

As soon as we were home, I began taking two seeds per day and Mr. SBF began with one. Let me say right here, Moringa seeds have a very distinct flavor. Mr. SBF and I both agree that they are bitter at the end but for me, they can be overpoweringly sweet. I personally have to chew them with a mouth full of food or the sweetness simply gags me. Mr. and Auntie SBF don’t seem to have that issue with them though.

Other than the flavor, I didn’t notice any other effects from the seeds right away but Mr. SBF did. He noticed an increase in energy almost immediately as if he had just drunk a shot of espresso. On the other hand, after just a couple of days, we both saw a decrease in number when we stepped onto the scale. WooHoo! After about two weeks, though, the weight loss flattened out and we didn’t notice the seeds having any other effects on us. So, I went back to my research and decided that I would order some Moringa powder which is the leaf of the tree, dried and ground into a powder that you add to liquids or foods of your choice. It is now considered to be a “super food”.

Once I received my powder, I immediately began using it. I simply make a cup of “tea” out of it and enjoy it at some point during the day. It has a nice mild “green” flavor. Once I began drinking it, in addition to my two seeds in the morning, I noticed that I did feel like I had more energy and I began to see both a decrease in numbers on the scale as well as a decrease around my middle. Yay Moringa!

It has been a few weeks now and both Mr. SBF and I have recently increased our seed intake. I am up to 3-6 seeds per day and he is up to 2-4 per day. I continue to drink the powder as well. We are definitely reaping the benefits of this amazing plant and I will update you later on our progress. In the meantime, maybe take a look at Moringa for yourself and give it a try. If you do, I’m sure you’ll be glad you did!

Don’t forget to check back with us here for updates on our progress!

 

***Disclaimer: Information shared here is the express opinion and personal experience of the author who is neither a doctor or healthcare professional.

 

Weight, Struggle and Love

I find women’s clothing sizing methods to be extremely bizarre. You go from Girl’s sizes to Junior’s sizes, to Women’s sizes and on to Plus sizes. Girl’s sizes are identified by even numbers, Junior’s by odd numbers, and for Women’s and Plus sizes, it’s back to even numbers. Seriously? Who came up with this?

All my life I have struggled with my weight. I am five feet two inches tall with German bones. And when you’re only 5’2″, a few pounds up or down on the scale makes a big difference in your appearance.

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of my body and when you’re self-aware from a very young age, it has an effect on your self-image. For me, my physical body-image has almost always been negative.

In junior high school, I was in the double digit sizes for Junior’s clothing (size 11 or 13) and for someone who’s 5’2″, this is chubby. I was painfully aware of my weight while going through puberty which did a number on my self-esteem. By the time I entered high school, I was sure that no boy would ever be interested in me and that I would never get married (which was extremely tragic to me because what I  wanted most was to get married and have children).

The summer between eighth and ninth grade was kind to me and somehow I managed to lose some weight. When I went new clothes shopping for my Freshman year, to my surprise, I was a size nine! I was ecstatic and my self-esteem was boosted significantly. I concentrated on my studies and tried not to concern myself with boys. In the middle of my Sophomore year, I got a part-time job as a file clerk in an office. I was quiet, kept mostly to myself and most of my co-workers thought that I was in college. I didn’t tell them otherwise.

When I started my Senior year of high school I was a size five. Imagine my elation. Even a fair number of schoolmates noticed…and commented. But the boys still avoided me. I remember talking to my mom about this. She chuckled a bit and said, “Honey, the boys avoid you because they are afraid of you!” What the heck? I thought she was crazy.  She then explained to me that my self-perception was askew and that I was so used to seeing myself as “chubby” that I couldn’t see myself for what I was. And according to her, I was petite, thin and full of sex appeal.  She said that this coupled with the fact that I was a serious-minded girl made high school boys “turn tail and run”. What?! Now it was my turn to laugh.

The funny thing is, she was right. On graduation day a boy I had a crush on during Freshman year walked up to me, gave me a hug and said, “I wish I had asked you out but I was always afraid of you.” Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to fall over! Instead, I laughed and told him that it was okay because there was a guy that I worked with who wasn’t afraid of me.

I was still working for the company I had gotten a job with during Sophomore year and by Senior year I had come out of my shell a little bit and had gotten to know a few people. One in particular. He was some years older but took a genuine interest in me. Some may think that’s creepy but that man and I got married.

After I gave birth to our first daughter (Girl1), my mom took me shopping for my birthday. I needed some new clothes because not many of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. Before I got pregnant I was still a size five but four months after I had my daughter, I was a size two, the smallest I had ever been. And can you believe that I still complained about my thighs?

It’s been a long time since I’ve fit into a size two and I have spent my whole life learning to be confident in and with my body. I still fail in this area at times but I try not to obsess over my clothing size and concentrate more on choosing things that flatter my body. And perhaps more importantly, I am confident in who I am.

My sweetheart has seen me at my best and at my worst, has loved me through thick and thin, through three pregnancies and encourages me when my skewed self-perception gets the better of me.  It’s been thirty years and he is clearly still physically attracted to me and tells me on a regular basis that I am beautiful. He is my biggest fan and my longest admirer. He is mine. And really, what more could a girl ask for?

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