Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I Am On My Soapbox Again

My follow-up opinions are not so much in response to the articles, as they are to the many comments I’ve read.  Comments often tell me all I need to know. They’re an education, in and of themselves.  I write to create dialogue among the masses, especially with my friends. Good and bad, every opinion matters, and we must all be heard to gain clarity and understanding of our past, present and future.  Cheers! – paerki

Let’s Be Real

Can’t we just say it’s better to eat healthy and for your disease type?  Why must we add a layer of unnecessary drama?  I can appreciate labels (I wear mine proudly for all to see), but when it comes to eating… Why do that to yourself?   Life is hard enough!

I know too many vegans, vegetarians, paleos and celiacs (gluten-free) who are almost militant in their behavior.  They come off with a cultish mentality.  It can be a real turnoff to an individual who really should choose one or more of these diets to improve their overall health.  I can almost understand why a subset of our culture resents us, thinking we are weird.  (I live a gluten-free lifestyle, not by choice, and I love it – now.  Even if I could go back to eating gluten, I wouldn’t do it.  I choose to embrace a vegan diet, something I’ve been gradually moving towards over the past several months.)

It’s not my intention to offend anyone, but I don’t have a mental breakdown every time gluten or dairy enters my life, which is rare.  I have witnessed some strange behavior from dieters and it’s creepy, almost freakish.  Here we go adding another layer of drama to our lives.  Don’t do that to yourself because the stress alone will kill you – seriously!  You’re almost canceling out your healthy eating habit.

If you eat something you shouldn’t, take the proper actions to remedy the situation without making others feel uncomfortable.  If you’re at a restaurant, inform the staff of any problem you had with your food.  If it happens again, you know what to do?  Don’t go back!  Going the emotional route is only going to make things much worse.  As I always say, think balance and moderation with every aspect of your life – definitely with food and exercise, but also with your communication, too.

I welcome diet related articles, videos, etc., but with every post must come responsibility and some mention of exercise because food and exercise go hand in hand.  A healthy diet alone is not going to save the day, keeping you strong and thriving.  We’re always looking for the quick fix, some magic cure to aid in our constitution and it’s there, but it’s not what you think.  Stop looking at those late night infomercials to help solve your eating/exercise dilemmas, and just begin exercising.  Pick yourself up and go for a walk – many walks!

You don’t have to go to a gym to keep fit.  I spent thousands of dollars on memberships and exercise equipment.  However, I am one of those rare people who followed through with my goals for shedding pounds and building mass.  Exercise was once a religion to me, but not anymore.  I keep fit by walking, running, hiking and cycling, and yoga.  I meditate, too.

I have friends who eat poorly and exercise often and they are much healthier than some of my friends who’ve chosen just to eat healthy (I don’t approve of this regime).  I have other friends who are dealing with a myriad of problems/symptoms due to autoimmune disease, but make excuses for not eating healthy and/or not choosing a diet that down the road will prove beneficial to their long-term goals of good health and longevity.  Don’t justify your laziness.  Stop believing in your lies.  Strip down, look in the mirror and tell yourself the truth.

There’s a whole series of low impact exercises that will strengthen your core, and they work!  I am proof positive because those are the ones I relied on for putting me back on my path to good health, keeping me medication free.  (BTW:  Attempting a diet for 3 to 4 weeks is not going to prove useful to your resolve.  It took me 4 to 6 months before I saw any strong signs that my gluten-free diet was working, but with years of consuming gluten, that’s to be expected.  It’s important to practice patience, and that’s no easy feat.  Meditation will help with the latter.)

If you don’t exercise, as far as I am concerned, you’re in trouble. If you’re going to 'booze it up', you can 'exercise it up', and you had better, otherwise you’ll regret it in the long run.  If you’re drinking for the wrong reasons – sadness and depression, I understand, but get help!  My final advice – water, water and more water.  Keep yourself hydrated.  Be healthy, America, and it begins with a healthy diet, exercise and a mind that’s free of clutter because only then will you be able to control the stress in your life.  Here’s to better living.  (Reference: Is It Better To Eat Paleo Or Vegan? Dr. Mark Hyman Explains)

Education

A few of these comments are poorly written. I believe your English teacher might have failed you. For every teacher that shines, there is one that doesn't, and that is a serious problem. (I base this on the stories I hear from my friends who are teachers. I am also a product of public schools.)

Often teachers are hired to be babysitters. There are too many times when a teacher can't teach because he/she has to deal with an out-of-control student. Much of this can be attributed to poor parenting. A parent plays a key role in a child’s success. Nurture your children’s self-esteem by teaching them manners and respect – for all things. Your child should not come to school looking like a whore or pimp, either. What does that say about your parenting abilities?  Volumes!

Just as much as parents must be accountable, so should teachers. In most jobs, we are paid according to our performance. Why should it be any different for teachers, but how do you measure performance, especially when you have parents who are not doing a great job at home? It’s a two-way street. It’s clear the system is broken.

I utilize public transit often, and what I see on the buses is frightening. I would medicate half of the students. Many lack social graces – civilities, etiquette, deportment, etc. What bothers me most, many can’t communicate well. That’s a deal breaker for me. Language is how we express ideas and concepts. It shapes our thoughts and opinions of others and of the world we live in. It’s hard not to judge someone who speaks 'swell' and not well.

I have met my share of families living in poverty who still manage to thrive, because although their child is going to one of the 'bad schools', these parents insure their children are getting educated elsewhere – through quality television (Discovery, History and PBS), library, etc. If you want your child to succeed, you’ll find a way to work around a defective school system. It’s unfortunate many have to do that, but for the parents who do it you have my respect and empathy because you apparently know the importance of a quality education. I know some of you were not afforded that opportunity, as history illustrates.

As for home schooling – well, let’s just say I am not a fan. Stop with the excuses! Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Don’t run from the system, but be a part of changing it.  Let’s work together on behalf of all students.  (Reference: Baltimore City Teachers Protest Last-Minute Performance Evaluation Changes)

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.

Homeland

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Baltimore City (Maryland)

World AIDS Day (Dec 1, 2013): Many scientific advances have been made in HIV/AIDS treatment. There are laws to protect people living with HIV/AIDS, and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, there are still individuals who do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and... Continue Reading

Evergreen Museum & Library

Thank You For So Much Beauty (Mar 15, 2010): Do you realize how much beauty you bring to the world? Do you know how awesome you are? Really?! Do you?! I am in awe of your work. I love your use of rich and vibrant colors, some even electric. The faces are what really capture my attention; they are delicate... Continue Reading

Baltimore Book Festival

A Culture Of Hate (Jan 9, 2011): Weekends fly by so quickly, or so it appears. However, this particular weekend seemed unusually long, and I think it had something to do with the gruesome events that took place on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona. I am shocked by the horror that unfolded, a young man throwing his entire... Continue Reading

Station North Arts District

A 'Seagull' Of Memories (Mar 7, 2010): When I see gulls (known to many as seagulls), I think of the shoreline. I have wonderful childhood memories of playing in the sand in Ocean City; building sand castles, and coming back later in the day to watch the waves crash into my creativity, only to go back the next day to... Continue Reading

H.P. Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens

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I love photographs! They have this amazing ability to tell stories of fun places, special moments, memorable events, and exciting places. They give us reason to pause and remember friends, family, coworkers and so many others. One photograph can conjure up a flood of memories taking us on a journey. They help us remember the past, enjoy the present and ponder the future.

On a cold and rainy day I love sitting in my living room with a roaring fire, a glass of wine, classical music playing in the background and my many photographs scattered about me. I love sifting through what I call my special collection, which refers to my favorites. They remind me of the saddest and happiest moments of my life. They remind me of challenges and overcoming.

My large collection of images are a testament to a life lived. Life happens all around us so it’s important to collect special memories, and what better way than with a photograph.

Edith Ann

Mind Body Green (Feb 6, 2014): To the haters, I feel so sad for you – mournful for your lack of empathy and understanding. No one is shoving anything down your throat. This is reality. What's wrong with this photo? This is life! For every photo shown of gay people kissing, there are millions and millions... Continue Reading

Peabody Institute

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Sherwood Gardens

Mural - Mural On The Wall (Mar 14, 2011): All are beautiful in my eyes, as they are striking masterpieces that enhance many communities, especially those challenged by poverty and abandonment. They fill in the gaps for neighborhoods lacking funding and manpower, providing just a bit of hope when... Continue Reading

Browns Orchards

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Patterson Park

Selfie (Jan 19, 2014): I was asked the following question by one of my Facebook friends… "I have to ask you this Paul, do you have a personal photographer who is with you constantly?" This question is worthy of a blog post, so here it goes. Enjoy! Good question, and one I am asked often enough and don't mind answering... Continue Reading

Charles Village Festival

Yielding To Signs (Mar 28, 2011): Sunday was the perfect day to be outdoors. The sky was a bright baby blue and absolutely stunning to look at, especially when it became the backdrop for seagulls and blackbirds, effortlessly soaring and plummeting in between wind gusts. It was magical, a hypnotic visual sensation... Continue Reading
There are many people in the world affected by disease. I never thought I would be one of the many. However, at any given time life can change. Mine did! There were many twists and turns, but I made it through and you can too. I am a Celiac on the move living life one meal at a time. Learn more about my life as a Celiac. Celiac Disease is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. In short, I have an allergy to gluten, and the treatment is a lifelong scrupulous avoidance of it.

No matter what, know this: You are never alone. There are people out there who’ve struggled, endured, made it through and are sharing their message of survival. No, they might not be at your side, but their spirit is out there in words, attempting to help others on their journey. Let’s all unite by sharing our individual stories, remedies for healthy living, food and recipes to keep us strong, and let’s find the laughter too because it can be some of the best medicine. Always remember, there is power in numbers. Check me out: A Celiac On The Move

Stony Run Trail

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Alpaca / Lama Farm

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BMA (Sculpture Garden)

Bittersweet (Sept 7, 2013): I’ve been estranged from my parents for close to 20 years, but yesterday I learned my father passed away. I sincerely hope he found joy in his advanced years – more importantly, peace. For those who mourn his passing, focus on the memories and the joy he brought to... Continue Reading

Jones Falls Trail

City Of The Silent (Mar 18, 2010): Underground in permanent stasis they speak no more. Many have departed this life, leaving behind a legacy for all to enjoy, cherish, honor and, with a little luck and ingenuity, replicate. For me, this quiet region of slumber still has a pulse, and you can feel it when you walk these... Continue Reading

Country Drive

A Happy Life Begins At Home (Apr 19, 2010): My home is very important to me. My life between these four walls of privacy I value like no other. It’s immeasurable, and absolutely priceless. It’s an oasis with a cocoon-like feeling, shielding me from the outside manipulative forces of violence and pollution. It allows... Continue Reading
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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