Facebook Pages is dead, join my Facebook Group!

Did you know that when I post an update to this blog’s Facebook Page, only about 10 people see it? 20 people on a good day. After nearly 1,500 people have clicked “Like” for this Page over the years, only 20 of you (at most) are typically allowed to see my Page posts in your News Feed. Largely, this is because Facebook wants me to pay for my posts to be Promoted. Paying Facebook per News Feed appearance would ensure that my posts would show on more of your News Feeds when you log in and scroll down. Notice that I still said “some” and not “all”.

I have never paid for my Facebook Page posts to show up on your News Feed because this blog doesn’t make money. If this blog made money, I wouldn’t have set up a GoFundMe for my yoga teacher training, would I?

When my Facebook Page posts show up in your News Feed without paying is called “organic reach”. As in, it reaches people “naturally” because they “Like”ed a Page. In November of last year, Facebook finally announced that organic reach is dead. Facebook Page posts will not be seen by anyone who has “Like”ed a Page unless the Page owner pays, starting in January. I will now be required to pay for you to see my posts, even though you said you “Like” my Page and want to see my posts. It’s not for you to decide anymore. This action took effect some time within the last week or so. I can vouch for the impact already.

Obviously, I can’t pay. So you probably won’t see my Facebook Page posts anymore.

There are a few different routes we can take here if you’d still like to stay in touch via social media.

Twitter – who is on Twitter personally? I am, but I haven’t been on as often since it got very crowded. I’d love to connect with you there, so Reply to me there @_conscientious and let me know you’re a reader!

Google+ – are any of you on G+? I am, but I only use it personally – I don’t use the Page functionality. Feel free to Follow me there. Or whatever it is called on G+?

Instagram – follow me on IG, regardless, because I post there a lot. I basically do little mini-blog posts there. About yoga, nutrition, what my kids and I do. I heart Instagram!

My preferred option

Join me in the NEW! Living Consciously Facebook Group – What is the difference between a Facebook Page vs Group? In a Group, we all join the group and talk to each other. It’s not just me posting, although I will typically post to get the conversation going in various directions. I will moderate the Group (no being mean to each other! I will remove people if needed). But we can talk about and share articles about natural remedies and essential oils and avoiding GMOs and yoga and drinking wine at the end of the day! I am looking forward to it!

Join my Facebook Group: Facebook Page vs Group - Living Consciously BlogTo join:

1) either click this link to be taken to the Group or search for “Living Consciously Blog” on Facebook and click on the “Closed Group” option.

2) Look for the “Join Group” button and click it.

I’ll have to Approve your membership in the group, which should happen within a few hours.

3) Invite your friends to join the conversation!

 

Other ideas? I am open to your suggestions about how to connect outside of this blog to chat or to share information on living more consciously. You can also email me at jenny{at}living-consciously{dot}com.

 

New daily emails from Conscientious Confusion!

It’s Saturday, which means I get to talk about blog housekeeping stuff!

I’m so excited that about 10% of my readers already get blog posts via email so that you don’t miss any posts! Considering how weirdly sporadic I am about posting when I’m not doing #NaBloPoMo, email is probably the only way you’ll consistently keep up with new content about essential oils, being fit, eating well, alternative health, and random confusion that I write about the dilemmas I encounter as I strive to live consciously.

For those of you already subscribed to blog post emails:

You’ll notice the format changing a little bit. It should look “cleaner” and more well-designed. Yay! It’s also easier to Forward to a Friend, share on social media, and Unsubscribe (although I hope you won’t!). Remember, you still only receive an email when I publish a new blog post, typically 2-3 times per week.

If you’d like to sign up to receive blog posts via email now:

Please do! Here’s a nifty embedded form, or you can also click here to sign up on a separate page:

I hope that if you’ve been receiving emails, you enjoy the new experience! And if you’re new to blog posts via email, let me know what you think. I’d particularly like to know what you think of the mobile experience.

 

Electrodermal Screening for food sensitivity

For this series on What a Naturopath Does, I am working with K6 Wellness in Dallas. My son is being treated free of cost so that you can see how a naturopath works and know what to expect when visiting a naturopath. I am learning a ton and hope you do too!

The first question I get when I talk about taking my son to a naturopath for his food sensitivity issues is: how does the naturopath determine what foods he is sensitive to? The short answer is: with a computer. What kind of computer? Computer systems that do electrodermal screening. At K6 Wellness the IQS and ZYTO systems are used.

You probably remember seeing pictures of my son holding a metal “hot dog” (as he calls it) next to a computer.

Electrodermal Testing by a naturopath on a preschooler
My son holding the “metal hot dog” while doing electrodermal testing

There’s a really technical way to explain all of this, but here is how I understand it (a more in-depth explanation can be found on the K6 Wellness web site):

  • Every atom has a specific electronic signature or “electronic identity”, the frequency at which it vibrates. The food we eat, the supplements we take, what we put onto and into our bodies in any way — all of these substances have unique electronic identities composed of the frequencies of their individual components.
  • Our bodies themselves also have a certain electronic identity when healthy and at rest, which is different from when they are in distress.
  • Through contact with the skin (when my son holds the metal “hot dog”), the machine reads the currency of the body. The machine then broadcasts the specific electronic logarithm of an “item” or substance into the body, then again measures the frequency of the body’s reaction to each “item”. Is it neutral or does the body react negatively?

This is how we can determine what things Little Sir’s body has trouble tolerating. As I mentioned in my previous posts, we made an effort to reduce his exposure to the things that caused his body to react negatively for a short period of time while he took a supplement and a specially charged homeopathic remedy to help his body learn to accept these problematic substances. The second time we went back and did electrodermal screening, his body reacted negatively to a much smaller number of items as the homeopathic solutions we had been using were already taking effect.

Does it work?

1) It seems to be working for us. All the issues that we went to the naturopath to resolve either cleared up immediately or are in the process of being alleviated. See my earlier post about how this is not a quick fix, but a process with the end goal of restoring the body to a point where it isn’t reacting negatively to food.

2) At the very least, it isn’t harmful. This methodology doesn’t lead to a barrage of drugs with scary side effects. It isn’t invasive. And for us, even the food avoidance was only temporary, leading to much more food freedom eventually.

3) Naturopathy offers positive and healthful treatments to the problems uncovered. I like that we aren’t going through drug after drug, filling his little body with all kinds of chemicals just to see what has the least amount of side effects or “if it works”, which is what happened to me when I went to a gastroenterologist years ago. I like that the solution isn’t to become attached to a drug for life, but instead to train the body away from the intolerances.

I have Googled “electrodermal testing” and there is one very scientific-looking web site that attempts to discredit the process, but in the end the author has 3 problems with electrodermal testing.

a) The author is a medical doctor and doesn’t like that the treatment leads patients away from commercial medications (which mean big buck$ for the doctor and drug companies). Obviously, if you are dealing with cancer or another potentially serious illness, you should probably see a doctor specializing in your condition. But I am talking about simple food sensitivity or mild intolerances.

b) The author lists the emotional distress of identifying the body’s issues and/or being told to avoid certain things as a “harmful effect”. Would we also say that being told by an oncologist that you have cancer and should stop smoking is a “harmful effect” and therefore a patient should not be given that information due to the emotional distress of being told to stop doing something and receiving bad news? I do not think that being unhappy with what is uncovered in an investigation is a reason not to investigate.

c) The author asks “Where is the evidence?”. I would argue from my personal experience that we do have positive evidence of success from our experience, but remember that the majority of scientific studies are funded by drug companies in support of prescribing more medications for particular ailments. I doubt we’re going to see Merck funding a study on naturopathy.

I hope this post might help answer questions regarding how K6 Wellness has been working with us on my son’s food intolerances and clarify why I don’t think it’s crazy at all. In fact, once we save up a little, I am hoping to go through this process myself at some point.

All the Drama: on the Internets and IRL Episode #4

All The Drama On The Internets

I have not posted this week yet because there has been so much drama and sadness, and then a little anger thrown into the mix, both on the internets and in real life. As you know, I am typically a very peaceful person so it has all been inside my head. I’m going to give you a bulleted list of things that are currently bringing me down so that I can clear my head and focus on hope.

Petty Nutrition Mis-information

#KFCKidsMeals. I am going to start with the most petty drama on the Internets and I am going to make this one quick. KFC paid for a bunch of bloggers to come out and try their new kids meals and tweet about it. They decreased the overall calorie count of the kids meals to 210, and that was a main talking point. Nevermind that the meals are still nutritionally vacant, fried, and full of PHO’s, artificial colors, and nothing resembling a real chicken. Some people got mad that bloggers would even pretend these meals were good for people. Other people defended the bloggers. Arguments ensued.
Hope: Let’s all just agree that if you are convinced by the hashtag #KFCKidsMeals that fried meat-composite is a good nutritional choice for your kids, you are gathering your information from the wrong sources, my friend.

Blows to Feminism

Steubenville. Specifically, the reaction of the city and the media to the verdict. Instead of confirming that justice had been served in the conviction of two young football players who raped a 16 year old girl and posted photos of the rape on social media, or at the very least remaining neutral, I was horrified and depressed that the reaction seemed to be sympathy for the men. It was all, “Oh, they were such good football players and now their careers are ruined! What a shame!”. There was also a huge backlash on Twitter blaming the victim of the rape. What a shame?!! Shame on HER?! Are you kidding me? What a shame that our country has so little value for that 16 year old girl and such an apparently low value for women’s sexuality in general. What a shame that women are still seen to be at fault for sexual attacks. Shame on us for raising boys that still believe that women are objects to be used and tossed away. They had an awful lot of confidence to post those pictures and it not even occur to them that anyone would have a problem with it.
Hope: I was encouraged by this post from A Holy Experience about 25 Things Our Sons Need To Know About Manhood. Oh look, I have a son that I will be raising to fight against this kind of treatment of women.

Pycon. As a woman who worked in IT and programming throughout my corporate career, I was often the only woman in my department. I went to conferences in my early 20’s. I feel that, as a woman, I have the right to raise a complaint when I am sexually harassed (and I am…we all are, constantly). But the thing that depresses me is that Adria was fired from HER job for raising a complaint. Not just the man who made the remark, but the woman who was insulted was fired. What is this, 1960? The last time I worked in corporate America I had to sit through 2 days of sexual harassment training videos and exercises. Everyone did. Those videos told us that it was OK to report sexual harassment. I think we all know that we can be fired for what we blog, but Adria’s company knew she blogged at But You’re A Girl before they hired her. I feel like this case just exemplifies how women are really treated in the workplace. We want to think we are equals, but then something like this happens and I have to think that maybe we’re just wishfully thinking.
Hope: Sometimes when I get discouraged about women in the workplace, I read tweets from my friend Blessing @ThinkFeminist on Twitter. She is a huge encouragement! And there’s also the #workingmomchat at 7pm CST on Twitter.

My own perception of safety

In the last few weeks there have been 3 aggravated sexual assaults on women in our neighborhood. Not the kind that comes from domestic violence, but unexpected attacks from a single rapist (same perpetrator of all three, confirmed with DNA evidence) who had apparently been closely watching the women’s patterns and following them to find them alone. Two of these women also go to my church. One I knew personally. I am not full of fear because I still have a trust in God that whatever He allows for me is His plan. But I am discouraged because this seems to bear out the kind of feeling I got from the news stories regarding women. I know that in the Congo and in Uganda, rape is the #1 tool of violence. Are we heading in that direction here, even in Dallas?
Hope: Our pastor wrote a blog post addressing fear. Some of my friends organized a prayer walk in the neighborhood where all three rapes occurred.

Walmart is moving across the street

I know, it is petty of me to even write about Walmart in the context of rape and discrimination. Don’t worry, friends on Facebook have pointed out that they don’t agree with my outrage. But let me ‘splain. To me, this is a moral issue. Sure, I am concerned about our property values. Yes, I am concerned about the crime rate in our neighborhood. I am annoyed that Walmart didn’t have to ask anyone before deciding to build a 90,000 square foot store less than a 1,000 feet from my door. The traffic is going to be killer. But in the larger picture, to me Walmart is symbolic of things that corporate America is doing wrong which I refuse to support with my consumer dollars. I wish that no one supported Walmart for this reason. The culture of “cheap” that Walmart has created into a religion exploits workers in their U.S. stores and in the manufacturing plants that it supports overseas (since at least 60% of Walmart’s products are imported from China and other overseas locations). Child labor, injustice, discrimination, profitting from the poverty of the underprivileged and less educated… I could rant on and on about this, but instead I have created a Pinterest board on My Problems With Walmart. Check it out. Let me know if you have additional articles to Pin.
Bottom line, this is probably about my own weakness. I am afraid that if they build that giant store within walking distance of my house, I am going to be tired and hungry one day and I am going to cave in and go to Walmart. Then I will feel guilty for days for supporting Walmart. I don’t want that temptation.
Hope: If you do live near me, please sign our petition. We need the 2,000 signatures by April 4. Honestly, it might do nothing at all, but it’s our only shot.

~~~
Thanks for letting me get all this off my chest! Supportive and encouraging comments welcome. Flaming comments, probably going to be deleted.

Review of Food On The Table

I’ll be writing more later this week about my transition from Work-At-Home-Mom to Stay-At-Home-Mom after losing my part-time job, but suffice it to say that for some reason this change has thrown me off a bit. You’d think that having more time when the kids are napping or playing would mean that I get more blogging done, but the reverse has been true!

I feel like I’m really not organized when it comes to planning the household chores. OK, I don’t plan at all, really. One thing I’ve been the most terrible at since having my second child (uh, 11 months ago) is meal planning. I did a post on how I’ve done my meal planning in the past. You might have noticed it was fairly labor-intensive. I have enjoyed E-Mealz in many ways and I’ve got some really good recipes from that site. However, they seem to focus mainly on Mexican food, salads, and white sauces for vegetarians. I like Mexican food as much as the next person, but vegetarians DO eat things other than Mexican, E-Mealz! And no one in my house will eat white sauce or salad of any kind except me. It also seemed that most of their recipes were actually meat recipes with fake-meat substitutes thrown in. Have you ever tasted fake meat products? They are disgusting. So we had to avoid most of those recipes too. Ultimately, I could only use about 1-2 recipes from each 5-day meal plan.

Through the new ad network I’ve signed up with, I have just learned about Food on the Table, another meal-planning program that also has a corresponding iPhone app. I think this might be what I am missing! Having a dedicated app saves me several steps in my previous process in migrating the meal plan to my iPhone so I can take the shopping list to the store.

I tried Food on the Table this week and here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • When they say it’s a 60-second signup, they’re not kidding!
  • The limited version of the service is free (I was paying $5/month for E-Mealz). To get access to more recipes, you can pay to upgrade to Premium which is $5/month for the first 3 months and $9.95/month for the future. Less if you pay quarterly or for a whole year.
  • Online or iPhone app interface is convenient
  • When you select the stores you shop at, it automatically finds the sales and you can pick recipes based on the items on sale at the store you are going to!
  • You can restrict recipes by prep time, by what kind of meat or Meatless 
  • You can add additional non-menu items to the grocery list in the iPhone app. It even has a voice recognition option so you can add items without typing. When I spoke “organic milk” it not only added it correctly, and in the correct category on the list, but also suggested the item was on sale at the Tom Thumb I selected as my favorite store. OMG LOVE!!

Cons:

  • Side items are chosen separately from the main dish so it’s up to you to figure out how to pair things. This is actually just fine with me, because I rarely used the side item recommendations with E-Mealz. (side note: vegetarians don’t eat coleslaw for side-dishes at every meal, E-Mealz)

Yet to see whether the recipes this system provides are any good taste-wise. I will be making two of them this week and I’ll let you know! So far I am in love with it and I am seriously considering purchasing the Premium version.

NOTE: As an ad network affiliate, I get something like $1 if you actually buy the Premium version by clicking one of my links.

Barnes & Noble: I’m sorry your Nook sucks, I still love you!

Lately I’ve found myself at Barnes &’ Noble a lot. For one thing, it’s the closest, least crowded place with fast, free Wifi near my house. Plus, they don’t seem to mind if I bring my own coffee into their store. I’ve found myself there on most of my Mother’s Day Out days when I need to do some focused writing.

They also have a great kids’ area. Yesterday when I forgot it was a state holiday, we couldn’t go to the library so we headed to Barnes &’ Noble where Little Sir played with their Thomas the Tank Engine train table for at least 20 minutes straight (which is a record for him).

Train table at Barnes & Noble

This past weekend, Christian and I were blessed with an overnight date night getaway by my parents, who came into town to stay with the kids. After we had an early sushi dinner, we found ourselves at Barnes &’ Noble looking at books and reading things to each other. We used to love to do this while we were dating.

While we were there, I got to try out several of the demo Nook reader options. I have a Kindle and Christian has an iPad, so I guess I expected the Nooks to work similarly. At least, that’s what I thought I’d heard.

Boy, was I disappointed! From what I could gather without the help of anyone at the store (the first time there was no one around and the second time there was an employee there who made it clear that she had no idea how these things worked, and couldn’t actually make a sale either, even though another customer was trying to buy one. I guess that employee was just required to stand beside the Nooks?), there appear to be three levels of Nook: the SimpleTouch, the Color, and the Tablet. I could not tell the difference between the Color and the Tablet by playing with them. Apparently the difference is the memory and the additional capabilities of the Tablet.

The touchscreen response of the Nook Color and Tablet both seemed seriously under par in comparison to iPad and iPhones. Half the time, no matter how hard you tapped on something, the screen didn’t respond or it responded by overcompensating. Christian and I both tested this poor response on multiple demos by attempting to play the Ms PacMan game that came on the machine. It was literally impossible to play the game with such a poor touch response.

In all 3 of the models, the usability of the menu navigation was terrible. At least with the SimpleTouch, the navigation was a lot like the Kindle so I was able to figure out how to least read a book. But with the Color and the Tablet, I never could figure out how to close an app that I was using. There was no “X” inside the app and the “home” button only took you to different parts of the app itself, never to the home screen or a menu.

I would like to give you a more in-depth analysis of the Nook models but honestly, I gave up after about 10 minutes. If I have to spend more than 10 minutes figuring out how something works, or if it requires me to take a class or read a manual, that is not a well designed device. I’m afraid that owning Apple products has spoiled me in that regard. I know that easy-to-use, flexible products are possible so I am not willing to waste my time learning more confusing products.

If you have a Nook, feel free to defend it but for me, I’m happy with my Kindle, even if it is a 1st generation model.

And Barnes &’ Noble: I still love you, despite your inability to create a good e-reader. I will see you again on Thursday!

How to subscribe to my blog!

I’ve had a few friends tell me that since Google Buzz has gone away, they don’t get my blog posts in their email anymore. This is true, so I thought I’d give you a few other ways to get the blog without leaving your Google email/Gmail. I am going to list them for you based on how you use the internet.

If you really only read this blog.
Aw, ya’ll are sweet! Really, though, this mainly applies to my family. If you liked getting the blog posts in Google Buzz so you can keep up with me, all you have to do now to keep getting only this blog in your email is subscribe to my email feed. Here’s a special box:
Enter your email address to subscribe to Conscientious Confusion:

Every time I publish a blog post, it will be emailed to you. Almost exactly the same as Google Buzz except without the “Comment” feature right at the bottom.

If you are keeping up with several blogs and no longer have time to visit every one individually.
I’ll tell you my secret: Google Reader. It’s an RSS reader, but don’t let that terminology worry you. All you have to do is go to reader.google.com when you are already logged in to your Gmail. It is part of your existing Google account, so you won’t have to register – you just tell it what blogs you want to follow by using this button:

Just type http://www.living-consciously.com into that box and you’ve got my blog!
You can even copy-and-paste that bold text above if you are having trouble spelling “conscientious”!

I hope that Google Reader helps you discover and follow lots of new bloggers – I know it’s been a lifesaver for me as I’ve discovered more blogs that I love over the years. I also love that it works great on the iPhone or other smartphones – you can access reader.google.com from your phone and have the exact same interface that you have on the computer.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Blogging from my iPhone

…sucks! I can’t wait to get out internet back, hopefully tomorrow! So far, my iPhone has survived it’s bath, although the music no longer plays. It’s a good thing it did survive because the wait for a 4G is apparently still around 2 weeks, even though there are something like 4 Apple stores within 15 miles of my house. I’ve also tried Radio Shacks, AT&T stores, and Best Buy. Hasn’t this phone been on the market for around 3 months?! Why the shortage, Apple?!

I dropped my iPhone in the bathtub

…again. You might remember that I did this once before. Only that time the toilet. So I guess this is better except that we don’t have internet here at the new place until Wednesday so I’ve been blogging and doing my parttime work from my iPhone. And there are 2 days of NaBloPoMo left! Holy crap!!

Do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?

Yet another NaBloPoMo writing prompt.

Answer: computer

A long time ago, my typing speed surpassed the speed at which I am able to write with a pen or pencil. If you know me in real life, you know that I talk fast. I think fast, too. So if I want to get something written down quickly before I forget it or get distracted, the fastest way for me to do it is to type.

Another fun fact about me: I hold my pen or pencil weird. I hold it completely vertically.

I hold my pen weird when I write

 It looks really weird and it hurts to write that way for a long period of time. I have tried and tried to change it but I can’t write the “correct” way. And why should I? That’s what the laptop is for!