poniedziałek, 6 listopada 2017

Getting Started on a Raw Vegan Food Diet

I had been a pescetarian for several months before becoming vegetarian. I have been a vegetarian for over a year now and I am slowly heading in the direction of a raw vegan food diet. I would love to go fully raw. Raw diet is so rich, vibrant, colourful and fresh. This is what I need at the moment. Right now, I am eliminating certain products from my diet: butter and bread spread, oil, eggs, diary, pasta, flour, sugar, coffee. Step by step I will be eliminating my favourite cooked meals from my menu, for example spinach and mushroom tortellinis, cooked potatoes with fried onion, battered oyster mushrooms with cheese rolls, panckakes with apples. I want to estalbish a new, healthy and raw eating routine. I am taking baby steps and I would like to keep you informed on my progress. I think that writing about my new adventure on my blog is a very motivational thing. It helps me to stay focused and determined.

sobota, 28 października 2017

Is anorexia the outcome of cultural pressure and the product of contemporary beauty trends?


The fact that media words and images appeal to people’s self-perception, self-esteem, and their sense of aesthetics is undeniable. Cultural pressure to be thin which is put on especially young women is ubiquitous nowadays. It is mass media who promote contemporary patterns of beauty, demanding almost disproportionate slimness. It is unquestionable that the quality of being slim is associated with attractiveness, however the majority of current TV commercials, fashion magazines and fashion shows display the models who are conspicuously underweight, sometimes even emaciated. (According to Health magazine, April 2002, 32% of female TV network characters are underweight).[1] Every female magazine features the newest and “miraculous” diets, advices on how to lose unwanted kilograms and to maintain “ideal figure” as long as possible. Consequently, a lot of people are brainwashed into believing that being slim is a pass to the world of happiness, success and beauty. At the same time those who are particularly vulnerable find themselves in insurmountable clash between the way they look like, and the model of body build which is being constantly propagated. As a result, more and more women, as well as men, struggle to attain perfect body image launched by the mass media culture. It often happens, however, that their desperate striving for appointed goal slipps out of control and that they fall prey to an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia. Should it be understood then, that anorexia is relatively recent disorder appearing in response to the latest craving for thinness and to the current cultural demands promoted via press and television?
            In the next parts of my essay I shall try to examine different sources, and to probe into the history of the disorder, in order to give answer to the aforementioned questions and thus to dispel certain misconception about the disease. At the beginning however, I would like to concentrate on the nature of anorexia itself by giving its short explanation. In crude terms anorexia can be defined as an emotional disorder, especially affecting young women (there is low percentage of affected men too), in which there is abnormal, irrational fear of putting on weight, which in consequence causes the person to refuse completely to take nourishment. It is extremely tricky, often chronic, and life – threatening eating disorder, which causes the affected person to refuse to maintain “minimal body weight within 15 percent of an individual’s normal weight”.[2] It can be said that the most striking and essential feature of the illness is a distorted body image, causing people suffering from anorexia to perceive themselves to be obese irrespective of their actual weight. The other salient characteristics of the disease include intense fear of gaining weight, avoiding food and calories at all costs, and amenorrhea (absence of menstrual cycles). Anorexics usually suffer from extreme weight fluctuations, fatigue, stomach ulcers and anemia. The starvation experienced by persons with anorexia nervosa can cause damage to the vital organs such as heart or brain. Pulse rate and blood pressure drop, furthermore people affected by the illness may experience irregular heart rhythms or even heart failure. Malnutrition and basic components deprivation causes calcium loss from bones, which in consequence become brittle and prone to breakage.[3] In addition sufferers from anorexia develop depression, hypothermia (sharp fall of the body temperature), and lanugo (the appearance of hair over the body, similar to the hair on a new born baby).[4] In the bleakest scenario, people with anorexia deprived of medical treatment or not subjected to it on time may literally starve themselves to death.
            It has been noted that anorexia nervosa is classified as the psychiatric condition characterized by the highest mortality rates, killing up to six percent of people who have fallen into the iron – tight clutch of the disorder. Anorexia is considered to be “therapeutically vexing disorder”, since its determinants lie not only in sociocultural and psychological sphere, as it has been frequently concluded, but as it has been recently discovered, they are also rooted in biological and genetical structures of the organism. Such discoveries partly dispel common claims stipulating that anorexia can be viewed solely as a by – product of the 20th and the 21's century culture, as a dysfunctional western theme, a living reproduction of the sociocultural order and demands. The problem of the disorder has been often located within “a persuasive set of rules for living dictated by a contemporary, very persuasive society”[5]. The relevance and truthfulness of such statements is undeniable. Just a brief glimpse on the history, provides one with an outline how female’s bodies have altered throughout the centuries to meet the ideals, and to imitate the paragons of beauty launched in the particular historical periods.
            It is unquestionable that the established canons of beauty have shaped and impacted social values for ages. About 15 to 10 thousand years ago, in the Paleolithic period, it was desirable for women to be grossly corpulent. Figures and statues of goddesses dated back from this period, strike with its excessive abundance of shapes. The quintessence of Paleolithic symbol of feminine beauty is the Venus of Willendorf, whose body is immensely fat, and whose sexual characteristics are exaggeratedly accentuated.[6] Some historians have put forward an argument suggesting that Paleolithic period was a time when voluptuous female sexuality was particularly permitted and encouraged. In the Greek and Roman period practicing sports, especially athletics was commonly widespread. Both men and women partook in physical activities. Thus, the embodiment of ideal female body was not overly curvy, but flexible and fit. It was desirable for a woman to to be little “softer”, but certainly not plump and as a result of it, the self – pronouncing of sexual features has vanished by this point. In the Middle Ages bodily denial termed as ascetism was the only acceptable attitude towards life, advocated by the people. Medieval art encapsulated the canons of the ideal female body pertaining in those times perfectly: spindly arms and legs, pallid complexion, and protruding round belly emerging surprisingly out of skinny body. According to critics such an image of female body was to represent purely procreation and not sensuality or sexuality. In the Baroque era in the 1600 and 1700’s, an age of decadence and sensual indulgence, obese women came into vogue again. Eating was no longer considered to be sinful, and obese women stood for comfortable, sedentary and luxurious style of living. Though baroque women were not as overweight as the Venus of Willendorf, yet the archetype of the ideal woman was endowed with a lush and rounded body. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s fashions accentuated slim waists, which were “crushed” tightly with corsets to astonishingly narrow sizes, so that women frequently suffered from internal organs distress and fainted a lot. The epitome of the Victorian female ideal was deadly pale, frail and “consumptive” woman.[7] In the response to the following cultural demands as well as to the complex sociopsychological factors involving the confinement, forced leisure of the middle – class women, cases of anorexia had been observed fairly frequently. [8]It was the postwar period which brought the revival of sensuality and sexuality. The so called golden age of the late 1940’s and 50’s launched voluptuous women, often recognized as femme fatales. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s it was slender and waiflike women who were commonly popular. The quintessence of such a woman was undoubtedly Twiggy. She represented a time marked by androgynous fashion, emancipation, time when women were obtaining access to contraception, making political and legal inroads. In any case however, it can be asserted that the archetype of Twiggy has won the victory over the kind of sexuality embodied in femme fatales of the 40’s for the present time.[9]
            Ideal woman’s body dictated by the current fashion is tall and strikingly slim, it resembles much the beauty of the Victorian period and that of the early 70’s. On the basis of the cited examples it can be seen to what extent cultural pressure, fashion can manipulate people and stir up things generally. It also emerges that cultural demands imposed on people in the second half of the 20’th century are significantly responsible for the enhanced occurrence of anorexia. The descriptions of various female ideals which were glamorized in particular periods present glaring discrepancy between voluptuous and slender body used to have been perceived as perfect. On the basis of this discrepancy it has been observed that only in times when women were regarded for their aesthetic, cultural or spiritual attributes were the cases of anorexia reported. In periods where women were prized mainly for their biological functions and curvaceous shapes, incidents of self – starvation were purposeless since anorexia had no cultural ground to appear. This view is best supported by Camille Paglia, who in her book Western Art speaks of the two modes of treating human form: the Apollonian, which accentuates the intellectual, aesthetic and spiritual qualities and the Chthonian which emphasizes the biological, preservative aspects. She states that when a culture glorifies the Apollonian and underestimates the Chthonian that eating disorders are contracted. She believes that “It is when vital functions such as child bearing, nursing or menstruation are perceived as contrary to a desired feminine ideal that anorexia may be used as a means to deny a significant aspect of the self.” As a result of it, she continues, eating disorders can be viewed as the price paid by women for the achievements of the modern civilization. On the basis of the already mentioned arguments it can be proved that to certain degree anorexia is an outcome of cultural pressure since the vast majority of people who suffer from it, develop it, in response to their desire to fulfill a culturally imposed ideal body image which stresses thinness. [10]
            It should be pointed however that apart from cultural factors, there are other factors contributing to the disorder. Recent research shows that there is a considerable biological components which lead to the manifestation of the disease. “Biological origins of anorexia range from genetic factors to neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances”. Investigations into the etiology of anorexia show that genetics play a significant role in predisposing a person to developing an eating disorder.[11] First of all, it has been observed that in people affected by anorexia or bulimia neurotransmitter levels are abnormal. Furthermore in people with eating disorders certain hormones functioning is atypical.[12] Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine have all been found to exist at abnormal levels in individuals with anorexia.[13] Experiments conducted on laboratory animals with serotonin show that when it is released into either the ventromedial hypothalamus or lateral hypothalamus ( both responsible for eating behaviors and the sense of satiety) eating ceases and this results in gradual starvation.[14] It can be observed that, sufferers from anorexia have excessive amount of serotonin produced. Studies also show that there is genetic predisposition for developing anorexia. Females in a family which has a member affected with eating disorder are more likely to than average woman to develop an eating disorder themselves. According some studies “about half the risk of developing anorexia is inherited.” It can be supported by the fact that identical twin sisters were more prone to both developing an eating disorder then non – identical twins. While majority of people put blame on the media, modern culture, fashion and society for promoting ideal beauty as dangerously thin, already presented arguments show that it is only a part of the reason for eating disorders.
            Studies point out that the environmental conditions can also bear the responsibility for developing anorexia. It appears that parents who are preoccupied with their children appearance and weight and comment about it often provide extremely risky environment which in turn can distribute to an eating disorder. Other behavioural research show that parental disorders (depression, eating disorders, and other mental problems) are often passed on their children through this environmental, yet genetically intertwined fashion, and hence such children are more vulnerable to obsessive dieting. Apart from the biological factors (hormonal disturbances, genetic predispositions), psychological factors are also inextricably intertwined with anorexia occurrence. It has been discovered that anorexia is more likely to appear when the “ I – function”, which  means a sense of self, is not agreement with external reality. As a result, the body presented by the I – function is distorted and therefore perceived differently from the way others can see it. Frequently, a person with disturbed I – function suffers from depression, caused by constant feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and excessively low self – esteem regardless of their appearance and actual position in life. Scientists claim that the reason of I – function’s distortion may range from genetic to environmental impacts.
            While enlisting potential sources of anorexia it should not be forgotten to mention triggers of the disorder. The occurrence of anorexia can be triggered by a shocking, traumatic event like death, divorce, unsymapathetical comment from someone or by some devastating experience like sexual abuse, family problems and by other stressful yet detrimental situations.[15] Some research suggest that personal temperament is fractionally responsible for the vulnerability to eating disorders. It has been evidenced that some personality types for example: obsessive - compulsive, sensitive – avoidant are more susceptible to anorexia than others. [16]
            On the basis of what has already been discussed it would be misconception to claim that anorexia is a disorder solely reflecting current preoccupation with thinness and personal control in a context of food abundance. Cultural pressure is unquestionably essential factor in creating body image which necessitates having recourse to diets and nutritial deprivation, however biological, psychological and family factors are equally important. The second question: Is anorexia a creation of modern civilization? remains still unanswered however. Although cases of anorexia were noted much earlier, it was not until Victorian period that the name anorexia had been coined and ascribed to the mental illness resulting in self – starvation. It was Sir William Gull (1816 – 1890), physician of Queen Victoria who best described anorexia nervosa and invented its name.[17] Contrary to the commonly held belief that anorexia is a disorder of our times, it should be said that it is relatively “old” disease. A number of scholarly works which were published in the last few decades present cases of voluntary self – starvation dating back many centuries. Interestingly, the frequency of the acts of willful self denial vary in different periods of history considerably. Judging on it, it is easy to discover the correlation between cultural demands and the frequency of anorexia occurrence: “certain combinations of social, economic and cultural factors may have facilitated or inhabited the expression of psychopathology through anorexic behaviour.”[18]
            The brief description of female ideals which I have already provided should not push one into believing that anorexia appeared as late as in Victorian era. In fact, first cases of purposeful self – starvation appeared in classical Greece. These early abstainers, were usually male hermits who abjured the entire material world. Dismissing bodily needs was a part of a ascetics, which various gnostic sects advocated in the wake of the decline of independent city states which were submerged into large empires.  The Greek scholar Dodds (1970) postulates that as citizens lost their sense of public effectiveness in the government of the “polis”, they diverted their desire for control to the private sphere, including their corporal selves. Here willful self – starvation can be viewed as manifestation of dissatisfaction, disappointment and as a means of rebellion towards the world. It was at this time that Eastern religions influenced European through the philosophy of gnosticism, which proclaims a dichotomy between spirit and body. The body, according to it, is a part of material world and should be treated as evil, while the soul imprisoned in that body, is to be considered holy. The depreciation of the body was not strictly confined to male recluses in those remote times, but seems to have been adopted by wealthy Roman ladies later on[19]. For example, St. Jerome became the spiritual leader of a group of women, many of whom starved themselves to death in 383 A.D., thereby becoming the first recorded victims of anorexia.
            With the fall of the Roman Empire and gnosticism, there was also decline of self – imposed fasting. During the ensuing “Dark Ages” cases of anorexia are hard to be found. The most reasonable explanation of it can be the fact that in Middle Ages, everyday life reverted into its most basic biological level with a premium placed on female, physical qualities and procreative capability, as the population had to face up to recurrent plagues, and attacks by marauding armies. In contrast to the relative rarity of anorexia during the “Dark ages”, anorexic behaviour seemed to have reached almost epidemic proportions during the Renaissance, particularly in the Southern Europe where urban centers, and their concomitant sophistication and wealth flourished. Most cases of anorexia occurred due to religious reasons, and the willfully fasting women were called “holy anorexics’ since they castigated their bodies, and sought refuge in religious orders. [20]
            The trickle of cases of anorexia swelled to a respectable stream of self – starvation in the Victorian period. The reason is well – known: Victorian ideal of beauty imposed on women the necessity of being slim and ethereal. What is more, at this time the industrial revolution produced a return of wealthy and urbane middle class with cultural and aesthetic aspirations. Numbers of cases dropped during the world wars and the depression, only to reemerge with alarming frequency in the late sixties.
            This very cursory overview of the relative frequency of self starvation may also reveal a pattern regarding social factors which appear to influence its use to express deeper psychological issues. It is of interest that self starvation was unknown in the Western civilization until the appearance of gnosticism which accentuated not only the dichotomy of mind and body but also the relative evil hidden in the body founding its vent in the bodily desires. The denial and privation of the corporeal self seems to emerge only after it has been separated and placed in the opposition to the spiritual self. It has been observed, that even today cultures which do not make this distinction and regard the body highly are not affected by eating disorders. It has been put forward that another contributing factor to anorexia is the creation of an affluent, prosperous society where biological survival is guaranteed. This is best supported by the fact that those historical epochs which were characterized by privation did not exhibit cases of anorexia. This theory can be additionally augmented by certain regularities observed by Selvini Palozzoli (1985). He found that during The Second World War, in Italy, when food was scarce, no cases of anorexia had been reported. Only as the economy recovered in the post war period did such disorder start to be noted again.[21]
            The following examples mixed with a fraction of history and medical information, indicate that anorexia is not a new disorder since it can be traced back many centuries ago. Self starvation stemmed not only from cultural and fashion demands, it was frequently dictated by philosophical attitudes, religious beliefs, what is more it was giving vent to rebellion and desperate act of self expression frequently. I believe that the phenomenon of anorexia has existed in almost all epochs, appearing periodically and then diminishing again. Anorexia did exist in the past but was not as rampant as it is nowadays partly because of the fact that people in the Victorian period for instance, were not so much mesmerized with screaming commercials, advertisements and emaciated models, as we are at present. Mass media often flood people with harmful contents, contents which distorts perception and filters through mind. As a consequence, the 1980’s saw the social epidemic of anorexia, and since then it has multiplied tremendously, so that in 2000 there was over eight million people affected by eating disorders.[22] In my opinion mass media impact and cultural pressure play extremely important role in creating and augmenting fashion for obsessive dieting. However, on the basis of what has been mentioned before it must be explained that the causes of anorexia can go many different ways. Multifaceted physical, psychological and biological factors contribute to the disorder equally. Physical, emotional traumas, loss and grief, brain chemistry, physiological effects of dieting, copying styles are altogether responsible for anorexia occurrences.     

The Bibliography

1. http://www.anred.com/causes.html

2. http://familydoctor.org/063.xml

3. http://www.nus.edu.sg/osa/guidance/selfhelp/eatingdisorders04.html

4. http://www.stumptous.com/thoughts.html

5. http://www.cyberpsych.org/pdg/pdghist.htm

6. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro98/202s98-paper3/Hirst3.html

7. http://www.essays.cc/free_essays/e1/vrk35.shtml

8. http://www.cpa-apc.org/Publications/Archives/PDF/1997/Mar/goldblom.pdf

9. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro03/web2/arutigliano.html

10. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anorexia_signs_symptoms_causes_treatment.htm

[1] http://www.anred.com/causes.html
[2] http://familydoctor.org/063.xml
[3] http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anorexia_signs_symptoms_causes_treatment.htm
[4] http://familydoctor.org/063.xml
2 http://www.nus.edu.sg/osa/guidance/selfhelp/eatingdisorders04.html
3 http://www.cpa-apc.org/Publications/Archives/PDF/1997/Mar/goldblom.pdf

[6] http://www.stumptous.com/thoughts.html
[7] http://www.stumptous.com/thoughts.html
[8] http://www.stumptuous.com/thoughts.html

[9] http://www.stumptuous.com/thoughts.html
[10]  http://www.cyberpsych.org/pdg/pdghist.htm
[11] http://serendip.brymawr.edu/bb/neuro03/web2/arutiglian/html
[12] http://www.cyberpsych.org/pdg/pdghist.htm

[13] http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro98/202s98-paper3/Hirst3.html

[14] http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro98/202s98-paper3/Hirst3.html

[15] http://www.anred.com/causes.html
[16] http://www.nus.edu.sg/osa/guidance/selfhelp/eatingdisorders04.html


[18] http://www.cyberpsych.org/pdg/pdghist.htm

[19] http://www.cyberpsych.org/pdg/pdghist.htm
[20]  http://www.essays.cc/free_essays/e1/vrk35.shtml

[21] http://www.cyberpsych.org/pdg/pdghist.htm

[22] http://www.essays.cc/free_essays/e1/vrk35.shtml

piątek, 27 października 2017

Best homemade smoothie ever

I have just made a smoothie tonight. It came out so good that I decided to share my newly-invented receipe on my blog. The smothie is rich, delicious, packed with vitamins and nutrients and wonderfully refreshing. If you care about the state of your body, mind and soul; you should know that food is energy and frequency. We are what we eat. If you want to have gorgeously smooth skin, clear mind and soul, you should eat and drink healthy. I like to experiment both in the kitchen and in life. I do not like following the recipes and the rules. My new smoothie is transcedental. It is inspirational. It smells with roses and freshenss of pink watermelons. It will catapult your senses to a new dimension. When I drink it, I feel sun rays and gentle wind. I can see rose gardens and coconut trees. 

Here is the recipe


  • Half of a fresh, middle-sized watermelon
  • 1 kiwi 
  • 1 pear
  • 3 plums
  • 2 tablespoons of rose water
  • splash of honey
  • 2 glasses of coconut milk
 Dump the ingredients in the smoothie maker. Hit "blend" button. Make sure there are no lumps in the drink. It ought to be velvety. Done! Enjoy the transcendental watermeloney-rosey  freshness.

środa, 18 października 2017

Gdy zrypią Ci życie, boisz się kochać

Gdy zrypią Ci życie, boisz się kochać

Moj golf mokry od łez,
W misce podgnite grejpfruty,
Których czasu nie miałam obrać i zjeść,
Gdy umysł cały zatruty.

Zatruty smutkiem i żalem,
Lękiem, że w nicość zastygnę,
Losu własnego nię będę kowalem,
Od kochania całkiem odwyknę.

A pragnę Ciebie tak mocno, 
całą swą duszą i ciałem,
Listy ślę do Wszechświata
By wlał we mnie odwagę i wiarę.

Odwagę by miłość Ci wyznać, 
by strach odjąć przed nieznanym,
By przestać wreszcie uciekać
Przed namiętności oceanem.

Autorstwa własnego