My left foot

feetThis is a tribute picture for feet because I have finally after many, many years got my left foot working again. I knew it wasn’t right, that the arch seemed frozen. A Rolfer had told me years ago that my foot was like a brick. I couldn’t really rise up on the ball of the foot very well and it created strange pains when I tried. Then after doing some great body work classes, a two day workshop with Debby Rosas the co-creator of NiaNow and classes with Femke Koene, exercise kinesiologist in Wellington I realised I was using my left foot like the bottom of a cane and landing completely flat with it, not rolling from the heel through the arch and pushing off with the ball of the foot. I was using my left leg like a cane. There’s a really good reason for this. I had had to walk with a cane before and I had used my left leg in the same way once I could drop the cane. 

In 1997 I had a bacterial infection that ate away the cartilage in my right hip joint. Yes this was very, very painful. To make a very long story short I walked with a severe limp and constant pain for seven years. During that time I had two hip replacements on that same hip. The second one finally worked. But I had developed some really bad walking strategies to avoid pain and try not to limp during those seven years. So once I was no longer in pain from the hip I still had lots of dysfunctional patterns of movement in my body from trying to avoid pain and walk normally. I’d worked on my body alignment and functionality with Rolfing, Feldenkrais and changed a lot and felt like I no longer limped, but things were still not right. The body has ‘pain memory’ and has to be gently convinced that it no longer needs to protect us from pain even though the source of pain is no longer there. It’s the same thing really as emotional healing where our old behaviour patterns and beliefs continue to be used even though the situation is completely different from before. So once I realised what I was doing and I certainly knew why, I gently began to get my foot moving again in a normal, flexible way. That process took a very short time. Getting to the realisation of what was going on took years and years but fixing it was super fast.

Twelve pies a week

“A hundred years ago, when pies were often eaten at breakfast as well as at supper, many American housewives baked a dozen or more fruit pies every week.” This is a stunning statement from that great cookbook, The Joy of Cooking.

Reading it a few years ago I laughed in surprise and shared it with my husband, which was a mistake because now he often says, “Where’s my pie?” or “How are all those pies going?” But today I did get one of my twelve-pie quota completed, a fresh apricot pie complete with a latticed, woven crust. It looked so good coming out of the oven all bubbly and golden that I had to take a video of it. Check out the relaxing pie video at the bottom of the post.

We have a lovely little apricot tree that came with our house. All the apricots came ripe while we were away for three days romping at the beach and laying about reading. So when we came back from the classic New Zealand Summer weekend there was our carefully netted tree with half of the apricots rotted. It had been unusually warm over the weekend and off they went. The morning was spent picking and sorting our crop and deciding what to do with what was edible but damaged. Using my IPad and a recipe app I was able to find a fresh apricot pie recipe, grabbed some premade pastry from the freezer and before you know it I was away in domestic pie world. I opened the good, old Joy of Cooking cookbook that I brought with me from America for the details of how to do a lattice crust. There was that quote again, twelve pies a week.

I don’t make twelve fruit pies a week or even in a year but today I have made one and a video and finally posted to my blog. Not bad I say. This housewife is more of a Joy of Living kind of gal and I feel really good about that.

Getting professional help

I was really pleased to finally do a post after not posting for over two years. Consistancy is the  most important thing in Blogging and Social Media they say. I was aware that I was falling down badly on that most important part. Then once again, the Universe provided me with just what I needed when I needed it, an email saying that WordPress was running Blogging 101 for free. My loyal readers will remember that Free is my favourite price. I am getting professional help and once again pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

Which is why I am posting again in record breaking time. This is my first assignment; post about myself, my blog and why I’m doing a blog. Here we go; I’m an artist, entrepreneur, health and wellness advisor, gardener, wife and lover of life living in New Zealand. I was born and raised on the otherside of the world in the US. I have lots of knowledge and opinions and a blog seems like a good place to share those things. I like giving practical advice about things to eat that may make you healthier. “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” One of the early clever guys said. My blog is called AuntBeetle because I was called Beetle Bug as a child. It was one of those nicknames that stuck. My nephews and their families call me Aunt Beetle. I’m Aunt Beetle and I’m here to share some info and ideas with you.

One persons weed is another’s gourmet treat

image    Miners salad2

Miner’s lettuce, a yummy weed and Miner’s lettuce all dressed up with feta, activated nuts, avocado and dark oak leaf lettuce. So very YUM!

As a gardener I spend a lot of time on my knees pulling out weeds that I don’t want in my garden, but I absolutely adore the edible weeds that arrive in early Springtime. These healthy early arrivals in the garden get me happy and excited. This year I’m so excited to see that Miner’s lettuce is here in my New Zealand garden. It’s a California transplant just like myself. It got its name from the early California Gold Miners who relished it as a first edible green of Spring and a preventer of scurvy. Miner’s lettuce is said to be high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and protein. What a glorious weed that is! Fresh out of the garden and onto the plate this little beauty is going to be so much more powerful than any of the tired old produce that the supermarket has to offer. And it’s my favourite price, free!

Immune system as video game

I love this video. It’s like a 50’s black and white version of a video game. Little immune system warriors are ganging up on and blowing up the big bad cancer cells. It’s so cool and it’s real life. When our immune system is working correctly we are destroying and getting rid of cancer cells all the time. I always think of the immune system cells as like the bouncers getting rid of the drunks that are out of control. Cancer cells are out of control and taking over where they don’t belong just like weeds in the garden or bullies in the schoolyard. And we are designed and able to deal with them and get rid of them. But we need to give our body what it needs to do the job it’s designed to do. We also need to not make the job any harder by putting more junk in our bodies that also has to be dealt with. I put chronically negative thinking in the junk category as well.

Start healing yourself before you are diagnosed with an illness because once you are diagnosed you will be overwhelmed with information and fear and it will be much harder to do.

This is absolutely terrific advice from one of the all time greats of the personal healing movement, Louise L. Hay. I’m not sure which of her books has that advice in it but I always remember it and actively practice it. I still don’t do everything perfectly that I could to be as optimally healthy as possible. But when I started trying to seriously change I was still smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, being a negative cynic and generally living life a bit on the edge. But when you’re in your thirties and making more money than both your parents ever did you tend to feel bullet proof. Now in my sixties I know the “mortal coil” of the human body can go at any moment. I also know from firsthand experience that it can suddenly become a thing of pain and sadness. Fortunately I also now know that we have wonderful and varied ways of making our body more healthy, vibrant and happy. Our bodies are designed to be self healing. The proof is simple. If you cut yourself, it heals. If you scratch yourself, it heals. Tires don’t do that. We do.

Some people like to say how it doesn’t matter if you do all the good things to make you really healthy because you can still get hit by a truck and die. I think those people have never been ill or injured for any long periods of time. I’d take the truck and a fast exit any day over lingering illness.

“Quality of life” is a really important phrase. Being healthy in mind, body and spirit improves my quality of life. Quality of life is what I now work at. New Years resolution; To continue to improve the quality of my life and share what I’ve learned along the way.

Raw Yummy Christmas Nuggets Recipe

xmas ballsRaw food is all the rage with people who actively work to have the best possible health. I get the concept, that cooking destroys the goodness in most food, but I don’t eat an all raw diet. This may be one of the few things that I’m actually moderate about. I’m not by nature a moderate person, I enjoy extremes. But when it comes to food I like warm at least. It’s too cold here in New Zealand. The weather is raw enough. Having said that I’ve come up with a fantastic raw recipe for the holiday season. I wanted something that didn’t have too many exotic ingredients, had the traditional spices of the holiday season and was relatively easy to make. The only exotic is the coconut flour, available at health food stores or online. Don’t use regular flour. If you want you can try oats ground up, that might work.

What you need

Juice of one orange which comes out usually about 2/3 of a cup or 100 ml

2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cardamon

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp grated orange rind

1 cup of pitted dates

¾ cup coarsely ground almonds

½ cup coconut flour

What to do

Combine all the spices, orange rind, the juice and the dates in a food processor until a smooth paste forms. Add ½ cup of the ground almonds and the coconut flour and pulse to incorporate until it all sticks together. It will be pretty stiff. Put it into a bowl and mush it around if it still needs mixing to incorporate all the bits. Put the last ¼ cup of ground almonds on a plate. Now make little balls of the date mix and roll them around to cover them in the ground almonds. Done. Yum. Serve and accept the applause.

For your most favourite family and friends you can add my current favourite, amazing supplement, NutriVerus. It’s an all natural, real food powder that will make these yummy nuggets the most healthy thing you will eat all day. As long as NutriVerus is not cooked it will stay powerful. For more info or to order it online go here:

Have a yummy, fun, loving holiday season.



Tis the season to breathe

‘Remember to breathe’, is one of my most favorite pieces of advice.  Christmas is a very stressful time for the majority of people in the Western world and more and more information is coming out about the harmful effect of stress on our bodies. Most breathing techniques are for rebalancing and de-stressing the body. I like this technique because I can use it while I’m in line waiting to be served or sitting in traffic waiting to move. It’s from one of my most favorite people on the planet Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk that lives in the South of France. This is from his book; Touching Peace, Practicing the Art of Mindful Living.

“…breathe in and out, focusing your attention on each breath. Without thinking of anything else, you say silently, Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. If you want, you can just say In as you breathe in, and Out as you breathe out.”

Nice, I feel calmer just typing that.

“Then, when you feel ready, try the second verse, Breathing in, I see myself as a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh. When you breathe in, say Flower and when you breathe out, say Fresh.”

He has a whole series of these saying. There was some traffic trauma that I needed to wait to be resolved the other day and I got into improvising while I sat in my car waiting for the drama to be sorted out.

Breathing in I am a cloud. Breathing out I am free.

Breathing in I am a tree. Breathing out I am grounded.

Breathing in I am a commuter. Breathing out I am moving.

Breathing in I am a shopper. Breathing out I am being served.

Always good to combine a little positive visualisation in there. Remember to breathe and have a fun, loving holiday season.