Pure Joy

This 4th of July was particularly joyful because I truly appreciated the people in my life, and the time that I am privileged to have in enjoying them. Visiting my Dad, Riad and I were joined by my two sisters and one of their husbands. Our children and overseas guest had made their own plans, so we did not have the usual frustrations that come with hauling a bunch of teenagers with cantankerous attitudes bouncing off the walls of the family van. Each sister had brought what they had for a potluck, and Riad was kind enough to endure the 100 degree heat to grill the hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken. Rather than sit sweltering outside, we chose to sit in the AC and feel comfortable in catching up with each other’s lives and joking with my little nephews.

Earlier and again later in the day, I tested out my knee on another 8 mile bike ride, and found it to be recovered, alhamdullilah! It is funny how when the threat of loss is posed and then rescinded, one feels compelled to more thoroughly utilize and appreciate what capacities one has. My gimped leg really affected my options for athletic activity. I could not play tennis, golf a whole course length, work on certain fitness apparatus at the gym, carry a load of laundry without undue delay in taking each step from the second floor of my home to the basement washing machine, nor run. Going down stairs was tedious, and I knew I’d cinched my recovery when I could again lilt down them. Now my mind is thinking about initiating a gradual running program to improve my conditioning. With Ramadan coming in two weeks, I am increasingly focused on the mental and physical preparation it will require. Yet, although it will be a challenge, as the days will be so very long, I am really looking forward to them starting July 20th-August 19th.

Purifying the self in every aspect, is sure to benefit me. As Allah has promised that fasting is better for us, if we only knew, http://www.islamicity.com/ramadan/Fasting_in_the_Quran.shtml the benefits are physical and metaphysical. Besides having to wean off the caffeine, I tend to abuse, I will hope to be more mindful of avoiding as many processed foods as possible. Last night, my husband shared some delicious nuts from Jordan as we watched a video. They were so tasty, and I later realized that they were probably laced with MSG. I kept craving more, in spite of suspecting that they were not very healthy for me, but I wanted to eat more. Around dawn this morning, I’d had an unusual headache, and I recalled associating MSG—and its multiple names that it is disguised by—with ALS, MS, and a host of other diseases. The neurotoxin collects in the body and is not metabolized in some people, and I may have a genetic predisposition toward this. Here is an article that shares more information http://www.rense.com/general52/msg.htm and a listing of aliases for MSG that I intend to print and post on my refrigerator to inform my children to be wary of

 Monosodium Glutamate

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

Hydrolyzed Protein

Hydrolyzed Plant Protein

Plant Protein Extract

Sodium Caseinate

Calcium Caseinate

Yeast Extract

Textured Protein (Including TVP)

Autolyzed Yeast

Hydrolyzed Oat Flour

These ingredients are prevalent in so many of our foods, including a favored potato soup from a brand featuring a bear and my kids’ favorite tortilla chips. Since noting this, I’ve opted for homemade potato-leek soup and Trader Joe’s organic corn tortilla chips, as this also eliminates the GMOs also typically found in processed food (sometimes I refer to them as non-food) products.

 As the days for Ramadan approach, I’m also deliberately putting dinner later on the schedule since we will break fast around 8:30 p.m. at its commencement. Also, after investigating a 24 hour gym, we did not like the fast talking sales rep and apparent shell-game with payment options. We opted to suspend our regular gym during August, and we will have to improvise on how to maintain muscle with night time workouts. That is why the running idea seems appealing as well, for cardio and to burn off the carbs we are bound to indulge in as compensation for fasting.

With appreciation for each day, I’m inclined to read more about using foods to combat maladies increasingly affecting myself, family, and friends. I’ve added another title to my Kindle collection, The Phytozyme Cure, by Michelle Schoffro Cook. I’ve not started it yet, but hopefully it will motivate me to get cranking on the articles I have to write. Deadlines are approaching, and I need to buckle down. So much to do, and stamina is still an issue. I pace myself though, and fully hope to procure something brilliant from the cosmos, inshaAllah.

Gifts are to be used, knowledge shared, and joy spread. Giving joy is a form of sadaqa, a type of charity, that demonstrates gratitude and expectancy that blessings will pour from this act of faith. I have so much to be grateful for, as-serah wa derah, the apparent good and the covert bad, because even what seems bad may actually be good in the long run.

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