TRUTH from our friend on huffpost the other day...

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TRUTH from our friend on huffpost the other day…

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04/18/2016 09:43 am ET | Updated 1 day ago

It’s Time to Stop Hating Your Body

What is your history with your body? What is your relationship with your physical presence in the world?

These are hard questions to answer. Because the answers usually hurt.

For most of us, if we’re honest, our relationship with our bodies is one of the most complicated and conflicted of our lives.

Many of us, when we think of our bodies, have a laundry list of complaints. From the way we look, to the way we move, to the illness we may carry. When we step back, then, and boil all those complaints down, our bodies become the source of two deep emotions: hate and fear.

“I hate the way my thighs rub when I walk.” “I am so afraid I will get cancer like my mother.” “I know boys don’t like bony girls.” “I hate getting old.”

We all have it. I know I sure have it. I can’t even fathom the number of times I haven’t gone to the beach because I didn’t want to get in a bathing suit, or that I’ve looked in the mirror, pulling my face this way and that, then letting out a big groan. Or how many times I’ve shamed my body, out loud, to others, cursing either the way it looks, or the way it’s changed as I’ve gotten older.

We all have that list of things that we say, to ourselves, and to others about the way we hate about our bodies. What we fear our bodies will do to us, to our lives. And we play out that dialogue, every single day, over and over.

Take a moment, and think to yourself, honestly about how many messages you send to your body every day that are negative. I know for me, it can be too many to count.

This has become a cultural way of life, our hating ourselves. And bonding with each other over the shared disdain of our physical presence. Then, we pass it on with each generation.

Think about what the world tells you about your body? What are the messages you have gotten about how to treat your physical self?

If you carry extra weight, the world says you’re lazy. If you are too thin, the world says you’re neurotic. If you have illness, the world says you’re weak. If you can’t bear children, you’re to be pitied. Yet, if you grind yourself into the ground through work, lack of sleep, “killer” workouts, the world applauds your efforts.

We, as a society, embrace our duality. The body is separate from “us.” It is something to be mastered, denied, beat up, overcome.

Think about exercise. We are supposed to “whip ourselves” into shape. “No pain, no gain.” If it isn’t hard, or painful, or torturous, it isn’t good enough. We stopped making exercise an enjoyable expression of movement and vitality, and made it into a form of punishment that is rewarded by an appearance obsessed society.

Make no mistake, we are obsessed with beauty. We will do most anything to achieve it. We have pills, and shots, and workouts, and lasers, and surgeries to try and fix those things about our bodies that aren’t good enough. And we tell ourselves that all the time; as I am, I am not good enough. So, we spend millions on trying to achieve our society’s ideal of perfect beauty. Because without it, we think we are too old, or too big, or too small, or too ugly to be loved. And while I look at myself in the mirror, contemplating how much acid it would actually take to peel off the years my face has earned, I have to look at what my body, our collective bodies, are hearing: “I hate you enough to inject you with toxins, to burn you, to cut you, because you aren’t good enough and it’s making me miserable.”

We hate our bodies for aging in a world consumed by youth, and yet we are terrified of dying. We curse our skin for sagging, our backs for aching, our eyesight for growing dim… all while popping vitamins and tonics trying to allay our fears of showing and feeling our age. We refuse to see that we can’t not die and not grow old at the same time.

What about sex? What words come out of our mouths about our bodies and their sexuality? Usually, that we aren’t desirable as we are. We will be, when we lose those ten pounds, or get waxed, or tone up our ass. Because nobody’s going to want to see thisnaked. But we forget that we are living, dynamic beings who don’t just want to have sex with each other because of how we look. OK, maybe sometimes. But when we are in a grounded, honest space, we want to have sex with each other because of how we feel, and how we feel with that other person. Sex is a union, a gift of sharing all of who you are with someone else, not just the perfect parts. Because perfect is boring. Messy is chaotic beauty at its best. It’s not the perfect push up bra, or the gap between your thighs, or the world’s longest erection. It’s your messy, human, divine self, and that’s beautiful.

We have come by these views honestly, by way of social conditioning over great spans of history. Not just the obsession of what lies in the mirror, but also the message that the physical is our burden to bear. Most all patriarchal religious systems teach us that the body is something to be overcome. In Christianity, is it to overcome the desires of the flesh that lead us to evil. In Buddhism, it is to overcome the physical needs of the body that weaken our ability to meditate and hinder our transcendence.

Think of how often you refuse to listen to your body. Whether its message is about food, sleep, stress, pain… how often do you “push past” what your body is trying to tell you? How often do you ignore your own physical needs? And how often do you brag about it, or receive praise from others for doing so?

We are lost in the duality of ourselves. We need to recognize that our bodies are an integral part of our being. We cannot exist without them. And we cannot expect our body to carry us through life, while we beat it up, day after day, without breaking down.

In Andrew Harvey’s book, The Direct Path, he says “How can we not fear and despise the body that is the source of so much anxiety and distress?” It’s natural, given the messages we tell ourselves every day. So, we have to change the conversation. Both with ourselves, and with each other. It will be hard, feeling almost impossible at times. To rid ourselves, as Harvey states, of all the cultural, sexual, and religious assumptions that teach you physical self-contempt.

But we must. We must stop the self-contempt.

We must learn to be compassionate to our skin.

We must be respectful to our bones.

We must be grateful to our hearts.

We must be in love with our own smiles.

We must come to see our bodies just as we do our spirits; an incarnation of the Divine in this form, so that it can express itself.

We are uniquely, beautifully, strangely us. And we need to start loving each and every part. Even those parts we want to transform. Especially those parts we think make us unattractive, unworthy, unlovable. Lean into them. Love yourself anyway. And never let yourself hate your body again. Because, really, one day you will be without it. And then, we will all realize the beautiful gift that it was, each and every lump and bump.

So, just for today, love who you are. Just as you are. Because you are beautiful. Because you are strong. Because you are compassionate. Because you are worth loving.

Fall in love with yourself. There’s no more important person on the planet for you to be in love with.

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Happy Healthy(?) Valentine’s Day <3

images-5As Valentine’s Day approaches, there are so many many many posts and articles and stuff about Chocolate and Roses and Candy and Sweets and Whipped Cream and Cake.  Why does LOVE have to be synonymous with gluttony and indulgence? How about showing some love for yourself and your loved ones by making something really truly SWEET?  Try a delicious natural alternative for dessert tomorrow.images

Red Velvet (mmmmmmmm) is one of only two kinds of cake that I really do like and actually eat.  It is one of my absolute favorites to splurge on especially when it has cream cheese frosting on top! (Just ask my dear friend Courtenay Taylor about that bridal shower incident that involved too many mimosas, a red velvet cupcake, and the pavement! eek those were the days).  But really, it’s delicious and BAD FOR YOU.  Did you know that it is  just a super rich and moist chocolate cake but with ONE WHOLE (1 oz) BOTTLE of red food coloring??? At least that is how much Paula Dean’s recipe calls for (  I’ve used this recipe myself, back in the day, BEFORE I knew I had so many food sensitivities.  It’s a great recipe, but now I’m afraid my guts won’t abide it (sad face).  I’ve realized that so many things can cause disease in the long run if you’re not careful, so I avoid it now, like the plague (love ‘ya Paula! you’ve been through a lot lately so, I ain’t hatin).images-2

Just for fun, let’s talk about how bad food coloring can be for you.  Ouch. Well, suffice to say that a few of the long term effects can be chromosomal damage, brain damage, bladder tumors, thyroid tumors, hyperactivity, neurochemical/behavioral effects, agression, asthma, allergies, insomnia, lymphoma, eczema, hives, and oh my! the list goes ON and ON.  Most of our widely used food colors are banned in Europe, Sweden, and Norway, and many were even attempted bans by our own FDA.  Many more are indeed banned here depending on how they are administered.  It’s poison.  Not for eating.  Not food.  (For more info about that horrid stuff go here

So the other day I was really excited when I saw online a recipe for food coloring-free Red Velvet Cake! Yay!  This seems like a really yummy recipe using guess what instead? BEETS!  I love beets.  Especially when they are in season and available locally!  Again, Yay!  Here is the recipe that I found for “All Natural” Red Velvet Cake:

Oh, oh, oh…! I won’t go on a tirade (although I really can’t help myself), but beets are so good for you!  And, hello! NOT IRONIC, they are heart shaped and good for your…guess what? yesssss!  HEART!  lol.  That’s just the beginning.  They fight cancer and are basically a SOOOPER FOOD! (For more info regarding beets and your health go here:

I have never tried this recipe, mind you, but I sure plan on trying it soon!  I love the way the chef/author talks about all the harm that the food coloring chemicals can cause!  I also love the “science talk” about how when using wonderful beets for color, there are required things like ACV and citrus etc to calm their acidity.  Real health, kitchen, homemaker stuff.  My fave!  Although I have one caveat…when I try it, and I will, I will make this cake gluten free.  Ack! what? No, it’s not hard.  In pretty much ANY recipe you can substitute the regular flour 1 for 1 with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour! Then add 1/4 of xanthan gum as a binding agent.  It is that easy.

Bobs-Red-Mill-Gluten-Free-All-Purpose-Baking-Flour-039978014528So, I challenge you!…  Try to make it will you?  And then let me know how it turns out?  Maybe not for Valentine’s Day, as that is tomorrow!  But soon.  Red Velvet Cake is always good!  Birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers (right Courtenay?), or 4th of July!  There’s a good chance that I will make it first though…we’ll see!

But whatever you bake tomorrow, try to LOVE YOURSELF.  Be wise and eat well.  You’ll be glad you did.images-4

xo, Coby (#mrsdrdahl)


Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 ( Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp ( or find us on facebook (
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PS: for fun,  here’s a candid shot from that fateful cupcake episode! The story you ask?  Well, my cupcake fell – rather I dropped it!  Not eating it was NOT an option.  So, I picked it up off the ground and ate it anyway.  No big whoop right?  “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt!”  I was NOT missing out on that delicious red velvet with cream cheese frosting dammit!  I still get grief for that – but it sure makes a good story at a party!  Here we are, just minutes prior to the red velvet cupcakes, Me, Courtenay Taylor, and Warner Takaki (neither of whom eat gluten or dairy much anymore either :).  Love you gals.  Cheers!<3261_21123708421_1503_n



Valentine Myths & Food by John Copeland

Friends of SMHA, following is a fantastic summation of
Valentine’s Day myth, ritual, & food throughout the ages
By John Copeland
Valentines Day
Both here in America and many other parts of the western world, every February 14th, in the name of St. Valentine, many of us send cards, candy, flowers and gifts to our loved ones.  But why do we celebrate his holiday? 
We do know that in ancient times mid-February was associated with love and fertility.  Ancient Athenians knew it as the month of Gamelion and the time to celebrate the marriage of the Greek Gods – Zeus and Hera.  In Greek mythology Zeus was the supreme ruler of the ancient Greek Gods while Hera was the Goddess of women, marriage and childbirth. 
Eight hundred years before the creation of Valentine’s Day, ancient Romans celebrated the Ides of February as the festival of Lupercalia to honor the Roman Gods of fertility – Lupercus and Faunus and the legendary founders of Rome – Romulus and Remus. Have you noticed, ancient Romans are involved in nearly every holiday we observe? They conquered the known world and knew how to have a good time doing it, I guess.
One of the unique customs of Feast of Lupercalia was a “love lottery.”  In the days of the Roman Empire, young boys and girls lived a strictly separated lives.  During Lupercalia  all the young marriageable girls would place a chit of their name in a big urn.  Each young man would draw out a name of a girl from the urn and became paired with her for the rest of the year. Quite often, the paired couple fell in love and married.

Needless to say, the love lottery remained popular even in early Christian times.  In an effort to end these pagan festivities, Pope Gelasius ordered a slight change in the lottery. Instead of the names of young women, the urn contained the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the urn, and the goal was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year.  This was really a cultural wet blanket to the young men and women of Rome and the Pope’s idea quickly fell out of favor.  So I guess, in the end, his idea worked.
Pope Gelasius next looked for a suitable patron saint of love to take the place of Lupercalia.  He found Valentine and although the new saints lottery was not popular, the mid-February holiday in commemoration of St. Valentine was still used by Roman men to seek the affection of women.  It became a tradition for men to give women they were attracted to handwritten messages of affection, containing Valentine’s name.
On this Valentine’s Day are you looking for love? Looking to keep the love you’ve found? Looking to reunite with a lost love? Being a romantic at heart, I say, Look no further!
I have searched through my library and come up with a few surefire techniques from our ancestors for finding and attracting love. 
To attract a man, hold a peeled apple under your arm until the fruit becomes saturated with your scent; then present it to your lover to inhale. (It worked in Shakespeare’s day.)
Think of the one you love while you swallow a four-leaf clover, and your love will be returned.
Swallow the heart of a wild duck.
Upon hearing the first coo of a dove in the spring, take off your left stocking and look in the heel of it. You will find a hair the color of your true love’s hair. 
Hide the dried tongue of a turtledove in a girl’s room; she will love you forever.
Put a symbol of your affection in a bouquet. For example, if you want to show your loved one how strong your love is, give him or her an oak tree. OK, perhaps an oak leaf or two will do just as well. 
Want to flatter your honey? Hand him or her some fennel. 
To prove that your love is forever, surprise your valentine with red salvia.
Hard boil an egg, cut it in half, discard the yolk, and fill the egg halves with salt. Sit on something you’ve never sat on before, eat the egg, and walk to bed backwards. You will dream of your future mate.
Pull a hair from the head of a girl you like, and she will love you.
Roast hummingbird hearts, grind them into a powder, and sprinkle it on your beloved.
Okay, maybe we should try something different.  Hopefully, your prospective lover hasn’t had you arrested at this point for pestering them will disgusting bird innards.
Since the beginning of time, people have gone above and beyond to try the latest love potion. The very word, aphrodisiac, comes from the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, who has inspired cultures throughout the ages to achieve her legendary heights of delight. History is full of stories of ordinary people using bizarre stimulants for their love live: powder from the horns of rhinos, bat blood mixed with whiskey, crocodile dung . . . you get the idea.  Do any of these so-called aphrodisiacs have any real effect? Read on and you’ll be surprised. . .
Pliny the Elder recommended hippopotamus snout and hyena eyes.
Horace touted dried marrow and liver.
In Elizabethan times, prunes were so highly regarded as aphrodisiacs that they were served for free in brothels.
Casanova championed oysters.
Napoleon treasured truffles.
The Maharajah of Bikaner ingested crushed diamonds.
Okay, I know this getting a little outrageous.  But, do love potions work, you ask?
Well, in 1989, the US Food and Drug Administration banned advertisers from promoting pills or potions because testing had shown that none worked no matter what the contents—whether fennel or dried beetle bodies.
Any that appeared to work did so only because the user believed they would—the stimulant lay only in the users’ mind. In other words, it’s the imagination that creates its own exciting possibilities and the body that leaps forward to fulfill the fantasies.
Here’s the Last Stimulant You’ll Ever Need
Love is the most magnificent of aphrodisiacs. Although it is certainly no more easier to get a hold of than some of these potions, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
And if your out there looking for love – stop. Many experts agree that searching for the perfect mate is doomed. Be flexible and commit to the unknown. 
However, if you must look, then carry the heart of an owl with you at all times.
A Happy Mirthful and Love-filled Valentine’s Day to you all.
John Copeland
Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 ( Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp ( or find us on facebook (