24Jul

    Touch the Secret to Healing?

    The genuine, comforting touch of a persoin can make all the difference in the healing process.

    The genuine, comforting touch of a persoin can make all the difference in the healing process.

    In recent years, the word ‘touch’ has been developed and been assigned negative connotations.  The word is associated with items of sexual harassment and abuse; mostly negative affections are acknowledged, and positive reaffirmations often get thrown to the wayside.  However, according to an article for The Huffington Postcompleted by a life coach, the removal of this negative viewpoint on the word is crucial to finding true happiness in one’s life.

    The article was prompted by feedback received from one of the life coach’s clients.  The client indicated that the coach’s regular physical contact in accompanying their sessions helped heal even more than the words and advice the coach issued.  Prior to this, the coach didn’t really notice the persistent touching they issued; it was an unconscious effort, which resulted from growing up in a physically affectionate family.

    As soon as this realization was found, further thought was pursued.  Based in Los Angeles, the coach shortly realized that most individuals automatically apologize if they even get too close to someone else in their travels about the city.  The coach found this sad, as they recalled the benefits they received from the physical contact pursued by their parents.  A simple stroking of the back could ease stress and increase a healthy understanding of the individual’s sense of self.

    But touch and physical contact has shown to be little more than a dirty word to the general public, in the opinion of the coach.  It seems that society—particularly in the United States—has developed a fear of touching.  Apologies are issued before physical contact even occurs, based in the conception that it is an invasion of privacy.  The term is now most often associated with sexual harassment or abuse.  However, in the coach’s childhood, touching was associated with connection and unity; it was a means of communication and a gesture of caring and friendship.  When the coach first arrived in the United States, this disconnect between their definition of touch and the general public of the nation was brought to attention.  The coach’s lawyer had originally believed the coach was hitting on him, as their inclination towards touching was obviously perceived as uncommon.

    However, that was not the case; the coach had simply been raised that touch is the first and most important language we learn to express.  As infants and children, we demand to be held.  With time, as observed by the coach, some are told to stop reaching for touch, as they are a big boy or girl now and should no longer require that validation.

    For the coach, this is a completely incorrect message to send.  Through the power of touch, individuals can decode emotions; touch is more versatile and sophisticated than verbal communications.  To ignore it is to let some part of a person’s individuality behind.  To truly find happiness, we must become comfortable with reaching out for others and encouraging reaching out in return.  Caving to the fear of touching due to a concern of having affections returned inappropriately leads to a shell of a life.  Actions speak louder than words—a message of love will be received much quicker through a hug than through the uttering of the words—and, therefore, touching should not be viewed as a negative, but as a pursuit of health and happiness.

    22May

    Smaller Portions in America Could End World Hunger

    This portion control cheat sheet can help you eat and waste less food.

    This portion control cheat sheet can help you eat and waste less food.

    According to an article recently completed for Chef 2 Chef, most professional chefs are far more focused on feeding people and forget all too frequently the prevalence of world hunger.  Members of any branch of the food service industry cannot deny that, on the path from the delivery dock to the customer’s plate, a lot of aspects of foods and products go to waste.  For further proof of this, the article references a study completed by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United States, which indicated that approximately one third of the food that gets produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted.  In the United States, this statistic increases to one half of the food created.  The amount of food wasted could go towards feeding the millions in the world who have far too little food.

    The first issue addressed by the article is why the United States is particularly guilty on this offense.  According to Civil Eats, a blog completed by Amber Turpin, the food grown and farmed in the United States is done in massive quantities and trucked all over the country.  This process naturally leads to surplus and spoilage due to travel constraints; often the food is thrown out before it could have been safely consumed.  In addition to this, in relative terms to the rest of the world, food is cheap in the United States.  When the consumer can upgrade to the large fry for only one dollar more, they are inclined to do so; however, buying more doesn’t increase what we can eat and often results in more thrown away food.  Alternatively, in nations where food is expensive, waste is a far less common problem on the consumer level.

    The article also offers up its own explanations for the heavy reliance on waste in the United States.  Often, consumers seek to make recipes that involve odd ingredients.  The ingredient is purchased and only used rarely to repeat the recipe.  This process results in the rest of the product being thrown away once the expiration date has come and gone.  There is also a cultural expectation that food must be visually appealing to be consumed; the slightest sign of imperfection results in further unnecessary waste.

    Several solutions are presented, most of which are to be taken on the part of chefs.  Developing relationships with local farmers could work symbiotically, with fresh produce no longer going to waste.  Reasonable proportions should be presented in every meal; or, as an alternative, allow customers to choose their own portion sizes.  Composting should be engaged and education should be sought on how to store food to get the maximum usage out of it.  Solutions are offered from the Environmental Protection Agency, where sustainable practices are encouraged.  Feed hungry humans and animals with any leftover or unnecessary food.  Compost can also be sought, to meet the needs of soil.