Archive for May, 2019

Is Chernobyl still dangerous?

Posted: May 26, 2019 in History
Tags: ,

cher_3The 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl is being commemorated in Ukraine. Even now, decades after the meltdown, the impact of the explosion at reactor 4 of the Soviet power plant is still being debated. Indeed, efforts to contain and secure the stricken plant are ongoing.

A vast exclusion zone remains in place, 30km in radius. However, this is now a nature reserve, and reports indicate that wildlife is returning to the area.

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leafy_veg_storesThe fresh produce section of a grocery store promises what few other aisles can whole foods, largely unprocessed, full of nutritional benefits like fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Part of that “pure food” message is spread by tiny nozzles mounted above leafy greens that spray water all over vegetables in timed intervals.

There are, of course, perceived benefits to doing this. Psychologically, shoppers probably like seeing produce that’s shiny with water, presuming it’s going to remain fresh. Some stores even pipe in thunderstorm sound effects to complete the visual.

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vegemite_11082015The VEGEMITE brand has a history spanning over 90 years. Its story began in 1922 when the Fred Walker Company, which would later become Kraft Food Company, hired a young chemist to develop a spread from one of the richest known natural sources in the Vitamin B group, brewer’s yeast.

After months of laboratory tests, Dr. Cyril P Callister, Australia’s leading food technologist of the 1920s and 30s, developed a tasty, spreadable paste. It was labelled ‘Pure Vegetable Extract’.

The Spread That Could

The Fred Walker Company initiated an ingenious plan; to have the Australian public officially name their spread. A national competition was launched, offering an attractive 50 pound prize pool for finalists. Unfortunately, the name of the winning contestant was not recorded, but it was Fred Walker’s daughter who chose the winning name – VEGEMITE – out of hundreds of entries. In 1923, VEGEMITE spread graced the shelves of grocers Australia wide. “Delicious on sandwiches and toast, and improving the flavours of soups, stews and gravies,” was how the spread was first described and marketed.

The reality was that Marmite, a thick, dark English spread, already dominated the Australian market and Australians were reluctant to even try Fred Walker’s locally made product. Poor sales of VEGEMITE spread resulted in its name being changed in 1928 to ‘Parwill’. Walker was determined to emulate the success of Marmite and the logic behind the re-branding strategy was simple; “If Marmite…then Parwill.”

Walker’s innovative method of marketing was, however, unsuccessful. Parwill failed to gain momentum across the country. It would take Fred Walker 14 years of perseverance and a change back to the original VEGEMITE brand for Australians to embrace what would later become an Australian icon.

The Spread That Did

In 1937, a limerick competition with substantial prizes including Pontiac cars was just the promotion to not only encourage entries, but also sales of VEGEMITE spread nation wide. Following the successful promotion, the VEGEMITE brand gained official product endorsement from the British Medical Association in 1939 and began advertising in the British Medical Journal. Medical professionals and baby care experts were even recommending VEGEMITE spread as a Vitamin B rich, nutritionally balanced food to their patients. By 1942, exactly twenty years after it was first developed, the VEGEMITE brand had become a staple food in every Australian home and in every Australian pantry.

During World War II the Armed Forces were buying VEGEMITE spread in bulk, due to the product’s nutritional value. Fred Walker’s company had to ration VEGEMITE spread on a per capita basis across Australia in order to meet the demand. It’s well known that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and so the reduced supply of that ubiquitous VEGEMITE flavour grew in the hearts of Australians. Once World War II had ended – coupled with the post-war migrant and baby boom, VEGEMITE spread was well and truly a part of Australia’s history, and its heart.

The Song Of Australia

In 1954, a trio of bright, energetic youngsters burst into song on radio to a toe-tapping jingle named ‘Happy Little Vegemites’. Two years later, Kraft Foods developed the infectious song into a television campaign, which continued intermittently through to the late 1960s. For the next decade, Australians were informed through advertising of the nutritional benefits of VEGEMITE spread for people of all ages, and it wasn’t until the dawn of the 1980s when the original ‘Happy Little Vegemites’ commercials, re-mastered and colourised, were broadcast to an entire new generation of Australians who were offered the chance to revel in the VEGEMITE brand’s nostalgia – and have a rose placed in every cheek thanks to what has become Australia’s second, unofficial national anthem. This commercial was brought out again in 2010 to remind Australians of their love for the iconic brand.

The Spread We Love

There aren’t many products or brands that have been embraced in the same style, or with the same amount of love, as the VEGEMITE brand has been. And there are certainly not many that continue to. The world may be forever evolving but one thing that remains the same is VEGEMITE spread’s relatively unchanged recipe. It’s loved by children, teenagers and adults. It’s still consumed by our troops overseas. It’s carried in the suitcases and backpacks of Australian travellers, as a small reminder, and a small taste, of home.

There’s a reason over 22 million jars of VEGEMITE spread are sold every year and it’s because there’s no other concentrated spread out there so full of Vitamin B and nutrients, so pleasing to the palate and so intrinsically linked with Australia’s past and future as the VEGEMITE brand is.

VEGEMITE spread can be enjoyed in many ways, and is not just limited to toast and crackers. Visit our recipe section to see the varied and versatile ways you can incorporate VEGEMITE spread into your diet.

Questions and Answers

Question: What is Vegemite made from?
Answer is: What it’s made from. According to the brand, the recipe of Vegemite is relatively unchanged. … This brewer’s yeast extract is indeed a by-product of beer manufacture and, along with salt, malt extract from barley, vegetable extract and B vitamins, it’s what gives Vegemite its unique flavour.

Question: Why is Vegemite black?
Answer: Vegemite is a thick, black, salty spread made from leftover brewer’s yeast. The yeast is combined with salt, malt extract, the B vitamins thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate, as well as vegetable extract, giving Vegemite the unique flavor that Australians love so much

Question: What does Vegemite smell like?
Answer: But ask someone to tell you exactly what the yeasty spread smells like, and they’ll probably answer: "It smells like Vegemite". Or maybe: "It’s a sort of meaty-but-not-meat-smell". Its fragrance is certainly distinctive Vegemite doesn’t smell like anything else.


coleman_mustard_powder“Many people think that the ‘heat’ in Colman’s comes from the addition of horseradish, but there’s no horseradish in it. The pungency comes from the mustard seeds themselves.” Mustard grows wild in many parts of the world, from Europe to Asia.

Drop a dab of this yellow dynamite on your naked tongue, and in less than two seconds you’ll feel the heat in your sinuses like the afterburner from a jet engine.

“It’ll blow your socks off and make you breathe better than you have in years,” laughed Sheela Kadam, co-owner of The British Emporium, a specialty food store in Grapevine, Texas, where Colman’s mustard is a staple item on the shelves.

The Colman’s company calls its hot mustard “The Not-So-Mellow Yellow.” And indeed, one taste of this fiery English condiment will convince you that not all British food is as bland and boring as it’s reputed to be.

“Colman’s is the classic ‘clean’ English mustard, where all the heat comes from the mustard itself,” said Barry Levenson, curator of the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum in Wisconsin. “Many people think that the ‘heat’ in Colman’s comes from the addition of horseradish, but there’s no horseradish in it. The pungency comes from the mustard seeds themselves.”

From a Tiny Mustard Seed

mustard_seedsMustard grows wild in many parts of the world, from Europe to Asia. It was cultivated by the ancient Greeks and also mentioned in the Bible. Mustard has been grown in England since Roman times, but it wasn’t until 1720 that a process was developed in England for grinding and sifting the oily seeds to produce a dry spice with the texture and consistency of milled wheat flour.

The real popularity of mustard powder in Britain dates from a century later, in 1814, when Jeremiah Colman—a flour miller himself—first created his own pungent blend of ground-up brown and white mustard seeds at a water mill in Stoke Holy Cross, south of Norwich, England. The product was soon a commercial success, and Colman’s business continued to grow. In the early 1850s, the Colman’s mustard factory relocated to the outskirts of Norwich, where it remains a center of mustard production today.

Colman’s mustard was originally manufactured as a dry powder, or mustard “flour,” that could be used either as a spice itself or mixed with water (or other liquids) to produce “made” mustard, for use as a cooking ingredient or table condiment. Later the company also started producing its own “made” mustard, the condiment that is now called “prepared,” “wet,” or “pre-mixed” mustard. This beloved British condiment is often served in little ceramic mustard pots, at home and in restaurants, as an accompaniment to roast beef and other cooked meats.

For decades Colman’s dry mustard powder has been packaged in a distinctive yellow “tin”—a re-usable metal spice box—with bright red lettering and the company’s bull’s-head logo on the front. The “prepared” version, marketed as Colman’s Original English Mustard, comes in glass jars. Both products are available at most gourmet food shops and large supermarkets in the United States, although you might find the dry powder located in the spice section of the store and the prepared mustard on the shelves with other similar “wet” condiments.

Use It, Don’t Lose It

coleman_mustard_spreadThe beauty of having dry mustard in your kitchen cabinet is that you can make it up at a moment’s notice, I recommend combining equal parts of Colman’s dry mustard and a liquid such as water, wine, vinegar, beer, milk, or cream, then letting the mixture stand for ten minutes, for the full flavor to develop, before using it. “I’ve even heard of people mixing it with champagne!"

Wet or dry, Colman’s mustard can give a flavorful kick to casseroles, soups, stews, sauces, relishes, dips, marinades, and many other recipes. Stir a tablespoon of the prepared mustard into a cup of mayonnaise, for a spicy sandwich spread. Add a teaspoon of it to your favorite salad dressing. Use it to perk up baked beans.

Just don’t slather gobs of Colman’s all over your hamburger or hot dog, unless your tongue is coated with asbestos. A little goes a long way.

Colman’s is also an essential ingredient in classic deviled eggs. “The British food term for something that is ‘deviled,’ like eggs or sauces, stems from the addition of hot mustard to the dish,” It suggests that there was a bit of devilry going on in the kitchen, or that the devil had a hand in it.”

I also found a mouthwatering use of Colman’s dry mustard for making English roasted potatoes. “Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks, and parboil them until they’re half-cooked. Then rub them with olive oil, some salt and black pepper, and plenty of Colman’s dry mustard powder. Place them in the pan around a chicken or joint of beef, and roast them in the oven, basting the meat and potatoes with the meat juices as they cook. When done, these potatoes come out all crispy, with a wonderfully flavored crust.”

Connoisseurs’ Cult

The enthusiasm for Colman’s mustard has grown into a cult of connoisseurs in Britain and abroad. Several websites (see Sources) also offer a variety of Colman’s products for purchase online, along with recipes, cooking tips, and souvenirs.

Colman’s souvenirs? That’s right. You can buy all sorts of products sporting the Colman’s logo, from aprons, tea towels, and mugs, to mousepads, wristwatches, and teddy bears. One of my favorites is a bright yellow ceramic mustard pot shaped and painted like a tin of Colman’s mustard. The best selection of these souvenirs can be found at Colman’s own quaint Mustard Shop in the historic city center of Norwich, England. Inside this replica of a Victorian spice store, you’ll find a mustard museum in the back and plenty of Colman’s food products, memorabilia, and gift items for sale in the front. Some of those souvenirs are also sold on the Internet.

No matter how you cut the mustard, Colman’s “not-so-mellow yellow” is hot stuff!

Recipes

Mustardly Deviled Eggs

These spicy appetizers are perfect to serve with a casual brunch or even a picnic. For an even spicier recipe, add a teaspoon or two of habanero hot sauce.

  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons English Red Mustard (see recipe)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the eggs lengthwise in half. Scoop out the yolks and place them in a boql. Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayonnaise, onion and the English Red Mustard and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the fillling among the egg halves, mounding it slightly. Garnish with dried pepper flakes or paprika powder. Arrange the eggs on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

Yield: 3 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

Mustard Barbecue Glaze

This recipe comes directly from Colman’s. Use it to finish pork or lamb chops on the grill.

  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Colman’s dry
  • (powdered) mustard
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated gingerroot
  • 1 garlic clove, put through a garlic press

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Use as a sauce to mop over pork, beef, or chicken on the grill or in a barbecue smoker.

Yield: 3/4 cup

Heat Scale: Medium hot

Hot Crab Dip

This recipe also comes directly from Colman’s. Use the dip with crackers, tortilla or potato chips, or sliced celery or carrots.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Colman’s dry
  • (powdered) mustard
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat

Combine all of the ingredients except the crabmeat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted and the mixture is well combined. Add the crabmeat and heat until warm. Serve warm.

Yield: Approximately 2 cups

Heat Scale: Medium

English Red Mustard

This recipe comes from Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. If you want it really hot, use piquin chiles.

  • 4 tablespoons cracked brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Colman’s dry
  • (powdered) mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 small dried hot red peppers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup beer

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl, then whisk in the water and beer until the mixture is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days, for the mustard to thicken and “ripen” before using. Store in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator.

Yield: Approximately 1/2 cup

Heat Scale: Hot

NOTES: You can order this mustard from Walmart and Amazon with free shipping, I recommend Walmart


civet_coffeeKopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, has become an international sensation. This exotic coffee sells for $30-$100 per cup and $100-$600 per pound. Retailers of this coffee market it as a rare product sourced from wild civets’ feces. They claim that suppliers need to forage for the partially digested coffee beans in the wild, which only allows 1000 lbs of kopi luwak to be produced each year, justifying the high price. This may have been how the coffee was originally sourced, but due to the increasing international demand, this story is now far from the truth. In order to satisfy the global demand, “civet poo coffee” is rarely sourced from the wild; it has become an industrialized product. Wild civets are instead held captive and force-fed coffee cherries to produce an estimated 500 tons of this “farmed” product annually.

The global Kopi Luwak market drives the illegal and inhumane civet trade.  In the wild, civets are solitary and nocturnal omnivores. Their diets consist of insects and fruit, including coffee cherries. In order to satisfy the demand, suppliers of Kopi Luwak capture civets from the wild and keep them in cramped cages, feeding them almost exclusively coffee cherries. The civets become very distressed from being caged in close proximity to other civets. The extreme stress and unhealthy diet leads to severe health issues and the caged animals frequently die.

Wildlife Alliance has rescued over 200 civets from the illegal wildlife trade. However, the international demand remains high, and civets increasingly disappear from the wild. With your help, we can save these animals before it’s too late.

You can also make a difference by sharing the truth behind civet coffee on social media and ensuring that your local coffee shop does not support this cruel trade.


fake_meatIf you’re vegan, it’s a question you probably get from time to time. And if you’re not, it’s probably something you’ve wondered: Why do vegans eat fake meat? And the answer is simple. First, most vegans grew up eating meat, and since many family traditions center on food, vegan meat alternatives allow people to enjoy familiar dishes and some of their favorite comfort foods without compromising their values of kindness and compassion.

Second, most people don’t go vegan because they don’t like the taste of meat. By switching to vegan versions of chicken, fish, burgers, and more, you can still enjoy your favorite flavors without supporting an industry that treats animals like garbage and pollutes our water and air.

Even if vegan meat isn’t for you, there are plenty of other delicious sources of plant-based protein. But remember, vegan meat is just meat made from plants. Wheat, soy, and peas are common ingredients in these products, which are cholesterol-free and typically high in protein and fiber.

Ready to give vegan meats a shot? Here are my top picks. Be sure to try a bunch to find your favorites!

Field Roast Frankfurters
franks
Everything you want and nothing you don’t.

Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble
beef_crumbles
Delicious savory crumbles, totally free of soy and gluten!

Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices
torfunky
From Tofurky’s mouthwatering variety of deli meats that are perfect for sandwiches!

Gardein Fishless Filets
fishless
Definite crowd pleasers.

Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon
bacon
Because bacon doesn’t have to come from a pig.


Field Roast Smoked Tomato Deli Slices
roast
Packed with flavor.

So good!


nomoons_fingernailsTurns out the size of the moons on your nails reveal the current state of your health!

In case you’re wondering what moons are, they are the rounded shadow located at the base of your fingernails, closest to your fingers.

According to palmistry, overly large moons can mean an overactive thyroid and high blood pressure. Small or no moons are thought to predict, the opposite; an under-active thyroid and low blood pressure.

Scientists have found that a lack of a fingernail moon may indicated you are low in Vitamin B-12 or in iodine which feeds the thyroid. You would not want to be in this boat, as Vitamin B-12 deficiency has been linked with lack of energy, depression, and loss of coordination and memory, among other things. Iodine deficiency has been linked with breast cancer.

An article on Fingernail Analysis in Natural Health Techniques tells us what your moons ideally should be sized like. “There should be 8 of these. The lunulae on the little fingers should be missing according to Eastern Medicine Philosophy. The one on the thumb nail should be 25% or less than the total length of the nail from base to flesh line at the top”.

Small or No Moons: There is not much research on this topic but one study has shown that missing moons are associated with various systemic disorders including issues with your thyroid or pituitary gland, iron deficiency, chronic renal failure, depression and possible B-12 deficiency. Have your iodine and Vitamin B-12 levels checked. Have your blood pressure and thyroid function checked.

Missing Lunulae missing

Normal to Large Lunulae 
normal_to_large

Large Moons: Have your thyroid and blood pressure checked. It’s difficult to tell if your moons are overly large, so there is no need to panic if your blood pressure and thyroid have been normal!


eds_pots

EDS-HT is considered the most “benign” form, that is, it’s generally not fatal, but the chronic pain, injuries, and other symptoms it causes can easily take over a person’s life. POTS is a form of dysautonomia, or dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of connective tissue disorders that can be inherited and are varied both in how they affect the body and in their genetic causes. They are generally characterized by joint hypermobility (joints that stretch further than normal), skin hyperextensibility (skin that can be stretched further than normal), and tissue fragility.

The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are currently classified into thirteen subtypes. Each EDS subtype has a set of clinical criteria that help guide diagnosis; a patient’s physical signs and symptoms will be matched up to the major and minor criteria to identify the subtype that is the most complete fit. There is substantial symptom overlap between the EDS subtypes and the other connective tissue disorders including hypermobility spectrum disorders, as well as a lot of variability, so a definitive diagnosis for all the EDS subtypes when the gene mutation is known, all but hypermobile EDS (hEDS) also calls for confirmation by testing to identify the responsible variant for the gene affected in each subtype.

For those who meet the minimal clinical requirements for an EDS subtype, but who have no access to molecular confirmation; or whose genetic testing shows one (or more) gene variants of uncertain significance in the genes identified for one of the EDS subtypes; or in whom no causative variants are identified in any of the EDS-subtype-specific genes, a “provisional clinical diagnosis” of an EDS subtype can be made. These patients should be followed clinically, but alternative diagnoses and expanded molecular testing should be considered.

Please remember that an individual’s experience with an EDS is their own, and may not necessarily be the same as another person’s experience. Diagnostic criteria are meant solely to distinguish an EDS from other connective tissue disorders, and there are many more possible symptoms for each EDS than there are criteria.

What are the symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes?

Clinical manifestations of an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are most often joint and skin related and may include:

Joints

Joint hypermobility; loose/unstable joints which are prone to frequent dislocations and/or subluxations; joint pain; hyperextensible joints (they move beyond the joint’s normal range); early onset of osteoarthritis.

Skin

Soft velvety-like skin; variable skin hyper-extensibility; fragile skin that tears or bruises easily (bruising may be severe); severe scarring; slow and poor wound healing; development of molluscoid pseudo tumors (fleshy lesions associated with scars over pressure areas).

Miscellaneous/Less Common

Chronic, early onset, debilitating musculoskeletal pain (usually associated with the Hypermobility Type); arterial/intestinal/uterine fragility or rupture (usually associated with the Vascular Type); scoliosis at birth and scleral fragility (associated with the Kyphoscoliosis Type); poor muscle tone (associated with the Arthrochalasia Type); mitral valve prolapse; and gum disease.

Each type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is defined as a distinct problem in connective tissue. Connective tissue is what the body uses to provide strength and elasticity; normal connective tissue holds strong proteins that allow tissue to be stretched but not beyond its limit, and then safely return that tissue to normal. Connective tissue is found throughout the body, and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are structural problems. An analogy: If one builds a house with faulty materials, say half the necessary wood or with soft aluminum nails, it is certain there will be problems. Some problems are more likely to show up than others, but because those materials were used everywhere and are not necessarily visible, one can be surprised by where a problem shows up or how serious it is.

It is much the same thing with an Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and connective tissue.

The connective tissue a person with EDS is built with is not structured the way it should be. With a badly-constructed or processed connective tissue, some or all of the tissue in the EDS-affected body can be pulled beyond normal limits which causes damage. Connective tissue can be found almost anywhere, in skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments, blood vessels, organs, gums, eyes, and so on.

The problems resulting from one’s body being built out of a protein that behaves unreliably can be widespread and in a wide range of severity. It shows up in places that seem unrelated until the underlying connection to an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is recognized.

What are the types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

There are thirteen defined types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, as well as a number of mutations identified as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome that fall outside the current system. The major types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are classified according to the signs and symptoms that are manifested. Each type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a distinct disorder that “runs true” in a family. An individual with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome will not have a child with Classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

How is an Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome diagnosed?

If you think you might have one of the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) or hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD), and particularly if someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed, ask your doctor if a diagnosis fits your symptoms. If they choose to, any doctor who can diagnosis a disease is able to diagnose EDS/HSD; but most likely you’ll be given a referral to a geneticist, because EDS are genetic disorders and geneticists are most adept at distinguishing between those diseases, as well as in doing any testing necessary to differentiate EDS/HSD from the more than 200 other heritable connective tissue disorders.

A diagnosis is important because, although EDS/HSD are not curable, they are treatable. Knowing the type of EDS/HSD gives you and your medical team some idea of where problems might come from and why they’re happening. When eventually there is a cure, you’ll know to use it. And as more of us are diagnosed, EDS/HSD gain the attention all of us need, increasing the likelihood of expanded research that might lead to finding that cure.

Your path to an EDS/HSD diagnosis starts with an examination. There may be physical testing: using the Beighton Scale to assess how mobile your joints are, a search for abnormal scarring and testing your skin to determine what it feels like and how much it stretches, as well as any additional tests your particular doctor feels are needed. There’s likely to be a look into your medical history to look for conditions and problems associated with EDS/HSD, and a discussion of your family to help determine if an EDS/HSD was inherited.

Diagnosis of an EDS subtype comes by finding the one that most matches your symptoms. There are clinical criteria that help guide diagnosis; your signs and symptoms will be matched up to the major and minor criteria to identify the subtype that is the most complete fit. There is substantial symptom overlap between the EDS subtypes and the other connective tissue disorders including HSD, as well as a lot of variability between them. So a definitive diagnosis for all the EDS subtypes—except for hypermobile EDS (hEDS)—also calls for confirmation by testing to identify the responsible variant for the gene affected in each subtype. These molecular testing results also provide the basis for genetic counseling for our families, guidance on treatment options for ourselves, and help in reaching research goals.

The genetic basis for hypermobile EDS is still unknown, so an hEDS (or HSD) diagnosis rests on the criteria and what your doctor finds during your examination. The hEDS criteria also established serious consideration of joint hypermobility with all related symptoms and conditions, with hEDS at one end of the spectrum. HSD can be no less consequential than hEDS, either to your health or concern for treatment.

How prevalent are Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes?

At this time, research statistics of the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes show the total prevalence as 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 5,000 people. Recent clinical experience suggests that Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may be more common. The conditions are known to affect both males and females of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

How are Ehlers-Danlos syndromes inherited?

The two known inheritance patterns for the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes include autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive. Regardless of the inheritance pattern, we have no choice in which genes we pass on to our children.

What is the prognosis of someone with an Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

The prognosis depends on the type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and the individual. Life expectancy can be shortened for those with the Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome due to the possibility of organ and vessel rupture. Life expectancy is usually not affected in the other types. There can be a wide or narrow range of severity within a family, but each person’s case of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome will be unique. While there is no cure for the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, there is treatment for symptoms, and there are preventative measures that are helpful for most.

 


Listen while you read to enhance this article

TotemWolf_1This article dives into wolf totem and wolf symbols as a guide to uplift and inspire anyone who is connected with the majestic animal. If the wolf is your totem, this page helps understand your animal connection and learn more about the wolf as a helper in life.

To understand totem wolf symbols, one must first understand the heart of the wolf. This takes time because the wolf has had to endure many false stereotypes, misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Not at all the picture of ferocity or terror, the wolf is a creature with a high sense of loyalty and strength. Another misconception is that of the “lone wolf.” To the contrary, the wolf is actually a social creature, friendly, and gregarious with its counterparts.

The wolf is an incredible communicator. By using touch, body movements, eye contact as well as many complex vocal expressions,  the wolf makes his point understood.

Those with totem wolf symbols are of the same inclination,  they are expressive both vocally and physically. Those who have the wolf as their totem animal are naturally eloquent in speech, and also have knack for creative writing.

A quick-list of totem wolf symbolic attributes include…

Wolf Totem Meaning Keywords
  • Loyalty
  • Cunning
  • Intuition
  • Intelligence
  • Independence
  • Compassionate
  • Communication

Totem wolf symbols belong to those who truly understand the depth of passion that belong to this noble creature. The wolf is a representative of deep faith, and profound understanding.

TotemWolf_2Further, the wolf possess a high intellect, and have been observed using strategies about hunting, habitat and migration.

Wolf Totem Symbolism in Culture and History

 

In history, the totem Wolf symbol appears with the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Legend has it that the two founding brothers were raised and suckled by a she-wolf. Her name was Lupa, and immortal she-goddess of the Romans. She not only nurtured the brothers who would launch Rome, she also is said to have trained other Roman heros so they would be cunning and fearless in battle. This goddess is a great reminder of the wolf’s ability to both nurture and be tough. It’s also a symbolic nod to giving all the knowledge and resources we can to those who need it in order for them to succeed in the world.

In Norse mythology, the Wolf is a symbol for victory when ridden by Odin. Their names were Freki and Geri. Much like Huginn and Muninn, Odin’s oracular ravens, Freki and Geri also offered Odin otherworldly wisdom. They did this in by traveling far ahead of Odin then returned to report news on the ground. This allowed Odin know the best hunting grounds, as well as the status of the people. Odin’s wolves would also join him on the battlefield, and were one among many supernatural creatures who aided the Valkyries in transporting fallen warriors to Valhalla.

As a Celtic symbol, the Wolf was a source of lunar power. This means it has knowledge that is not clearly seen by most other creatures. Celtic lore states that the wolf loved having this advantage of uncommon knowing and uncanny intuition. So much so, it is said the wolf would hunt down the sun and gobble it up so that the moon’s power would come forth. This, in legend, made the wolf consummate hunters. With these remarkable senses, the wolf was seen as a guardian and ally to the Celts. Indeed, the Celts became friendly with them, and relied on them. 

TotemWolf2_3In Asia, the wolf guards the doors that allow entrance to heavenly, celestial realms. The wolf is also said to be among the ancestry of Genghis Khan. This legend grew to the point where all ancient Mongols believed they were descended from wolves. In Japan, the wolf is considered very lucky. Offerings of rice are placed in kamidana (small shrines devoted to the spirit of nature, including animals). These offerings were intended to appease the wolf, and incourage them to hunt down pests that distrubed Japanese crops.

When this gracious creature appears to us, and serves as a totem in our lives, the wolf beckons us to ask these questions:

Potential Questions Your Wolf Totem May Ask You

♦  Are you thinking about a different form of education?

♦  Are you being a true friend, and are your friends being true to you?

♦  Are you communicating yourself clearly to others?

♦  Are you being loyal to yourself?

♦  Are you incorporating strategies and planning to achieve your goals?

♦  Are you spending enough quality time with yourself, friends and family?

Take some time to know more about the wolf, you will be amazed at the knowledge these regal creatures can share with you.

TotemWolf5_4These messages are modern-day applications to what the wolf may be trying to tell you. Education is mentioned because the wolf is extremely clever at getting what it wants. Whether you gain your education on the job, conventionally back in school, or even voluntarily reading books – the wolf will guide you towards the good stuff you need to know. This guidance comes from a strong motivation to hunt down resources for survival. Learning from any kind of education – including our mistakes – is a great leg-up to our own survival as humans.

Those connected with the wolf take three things very seriously:
1) Work
2) Play
3) Protecting who or what they love from harm.

The wolf totem also asks us to incorporate play as a means of learning. Sure, wolves have spectacular communication skills, but often, the opt to show rather than speak. And they often show in frolic and fun. This is especially true with their offspring. Perhaps you have a young one in your life that is getting rebellious or taking a path that you feel might not be the best. Consider ways to apply fun and humor into this young person’s life. As you do, be clever about tying in a moral, or helpful advice to this person. To be true, wolves know how to make a point, whether verbally or in play…so the wolf will help you in this matter.

That said, the wolf gets its message out loud and clear with tough love. A nip, a bite, a growl from the wolf – and it gives one pause. Wolves are not violent by nature. But if threatened, they can conjure hair -raising fear within their foes. When I say ‘threatened’ I’m talking about a wolf defending territory, and that covers a lot of things. In our modern-day lives, the wolf often lopes through to help us protect what is dear to us. Defending territory can mean standing up for our beliefs. It can mean protecting our livelihood. It certainly applies to guarding the ones we love against threat. So which would the wolf have us do? Employ fun for problem solving? Or bear teeth and growl to chase away threat? That, my wolf totem people, is for you to hash out with the wolf. You’ve already got half your answer, because the wolf has shown itself to you. That’s powerful. It says you already have established a wolf connection. The next half to figuring out what the wolf is telling you is to go into its energy. Go into the wolf dream. What do I mean by that?

TotemWolf6_5There is an old Haudenosaunee (Northeastern Native American tribe) song that is sung when communication needs to be made with anything (animal, human, alive or otherwise). The Dream Song. The song explains that everything on this planet is living its own dream. From a blade of grass to grizzly bears, each is experiencing everything in their own separate perception, which is very much like a dream state. The only ones who are free from this singular view are Medicine people of the tribe, because they came move in other dimensions. Animals move out of their dream into expanded view when they help mankind, and/or when they pass from this world into the spirit world where they work together to help the earth (and all its inhabitants) grow and become better.

I guess I got lost in the Haudenosaunee dream song. My point is this: If you want advice from your wolf visitor, then get into the wolf dream. How? Sing your own dream song. Get into your own dream state. Then move your dream-mind into the forests where the wolf dreams its dream. You will find it, because the wolf has already made efforts to find you. Once your dreams have connected, respectfully ask for help. Wolf is remarkably intelligent, so don’t dumb it down. Ask for solutions that will help you and help your clan (whether it be work, family or even the global community).

Sound like a bunch of hogwash? If you do, then I’m pretty sure dream-weaving with wolf won’t work for you. Regardless, I’d recommend suspending doubt and giving it a try. 

Whether you were just curious about totem wolf symbols and meanings, or you really wanted to learn from a wolf connection you’ve had…I hope this article has been helpful on your journey.

May all your wolf experiences be howling with wisdom.


single_happyScientific research has shown there are numerous physical and mental benefits to being single. But some people still find the idea terrifying.  I notice that many people are afraid of being alone. There are many people who feel like this they are hardly afraid of anything more than being alone, like it’s the worst case that could ever happen.

Some people jump from relationship to relationship because they are hooked on the pleasant feelings they get from the attention, but this means they are also at a greater risk of falling for someone toxic. This is because being with someone who is wrong for them is better than being alone.

 
I know people who have never been single in their life. And if you think about it, it’s a weird fear, you know, I think if you are alone, if you are single, it is a good opportunity to get to know yourself and learn to love yourself more. If you get all of your self-confidence and self-worth from what someone else is telling you, you’ll become dependent on it.
For example, it’s wonderful to hear that you’re lovable, beautiful, and amazing, but if you’re not telling yourself the same thing, you’re only getting validation from outside. Then if your partner cheats on you, leaves you for someone else, or even dies, this stream of validation disappears. 
You will feel like you’re in withdrawal and this is a bad feeling, But this is not because being alone is so bad, it’s because you are dependent on the validation of the person in the first place.

 
If you approach relationships in this way looking to replace the feelings of validation you lost from a former partner with a new one – you’re more likely to feel animosity about your exes. These will be people who don’t talk to their ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, They remove them, they’re dismissed, It’s like getting the new fix. It’s very hard to break this toxic cycle, but it can be done by embracing being single when the chance comes around. This is because developing emotional independence will actually help you become more emotionally stable.

If you understand yourself first of all, you will be able to understand others much more. You’ll know about your needs and your expectations, and you will understand why certain people act the way they do.
Learning about yourself will also help you in the future when you do find the right person. You’ll realize that relationships are about giving, not receiving, and you’ll feel more confident because you know you can overcome it if the relationship doesn’t work out.

 
"I believe I’m strong enough to handle it, so I take a higher risk in the relationship at the end,"
Imagine two people who love themselves and love each other dearly, who just give love to each other instead of asking for it. It’s a beautiful relationship, and this is what a healthy relationship is.