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www.homoliciousliving.com  Hello Pod listeners!  Welcome to Episode #22.  In this episode Cathy will share her story, meaningful events in her life and how they made her the person she is today.   Delicious Dish: Today's Delicious Dish is about how to balance your PH naturally. Our pH balance is extremely important.  Most people are too acidic, & getting you back to a more alkaline state is a major piece of the healing puzzle. pH stands for power of hydrogen, which is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body.  The total pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 considered to be neutral. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline.  Our ideal pH is slightly alkaline - 7.30 to 7.45.  You can test your pH levels regularly by using a piece of litmus paper in your saliva or urine first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. By including pH balance in your health and healing you can balance all your systems and get your body working for you not against. 1. Digestive System - Most digestive disorders, such as indigestion, nausea, bloating, gastric reflux, are symptoms caused by excess acid in the gastric region and not enough alkaline minerals in the intestinal tract. If the alkaline minerals from enzyme rich foods are missing then the pancreas will become exhausted, and once the pancreas is exhausted, it loses the ability to decode the food and tell the body what to do with it. This will lead to a degenerative spiral of entropy where organs become confused and inflamed. 2. Circulatory System - Acidity is the principal cause of heart disease. It is well established that many fats are extremely important and essential for cardiovascular health. Good fats can actually help heal the inflammation that underlies arteriosclerosis. When the arteries thicken with plague it is not as a response to good fats, it is inflammation created by the internal acidic environment. The body responds to the acidity by lining the vessels with fatty plaques to prevent life-threatening leaks, which arrest imminent death, but strain the heart because the aperture for the blood to flow through is narrower. When the heart becomes completely exhausted, this is known as a heart attack. 3. Immune System - Acidic environments are breeding grounds for viruses, disease, and sickness. 4. Respiratory System - When the tissues and organs are overloaded by acidity the transport of oxygen is strangled. This suffocation means the cells cannot breathe properly. Every cell in our body needs to breathe new oxygen and to clear acidic carbon dioxide to function correctly. When the ratio of acidity is too high then wastes in the form of mucus and infections and viruses build up in our lungs, which leads to colds, bronchitis, asthma, etc. 5. Skeletal System - Arthritis is one of the most disabling diseases in developed countries. The word arthritis means "inflammation of the joint" and is used to describe pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. The two main form of arthritis are Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. Both forms are related to pH imbalance and accumulation of acid deposits in the joints and wrists. It is this accumulated acid that damages cartilage. When the cells that produce the lubricating synovial fluids and bursa fluids are acidic, this condition causes a dryness that irritates and swells the joints. When uric acid builds up it tends to deposit in the form of crystals, like broken glass in the feet, hands, knees and back. 6. Integumentary System - Commonly known as the skin. When the body's pH is out of balance the buildup of acid causes inflammation and the skin is less able to function as a natural barrier against infection. As a result, the skin tends to develop lesions and sores open to the surface of the body, and the formation of skin eruptions occur like pimples or rashes. 7. Nervous System - Acidity weakens the nervous system by depriving it of energy. This is also known as 'devitalizing' or 'enervation'. It makes the physical, mental, and emotional body weak. 8. Excretory System - This is also known as the urinary system. It is made up of multiple organs, the main one being the kidneys. The kidneys perform the task of filtering fluids and purifying our blood. If the body is overwhelmed by excess acids, compensatory mechanisms spring into action, one of them is the pulling of alkaline minerals from your bones and dumping them in the blood. If this occurs frequently enough, the minerals build up in the kidneys in the form of painful kidney stones. 9. Muscular System - When acidity increases in the muscle cells, it disrupts the metabolism breakdown of glucose and oxygen to energy. This means muscles perform poorly in an acidic environment. An alkaline system on the other hand allows for much better aerobic metabolism and energy for the body's recovery from strenuous exercise. 10. Reproductive System - Still much research is being done to discover the exact link between sexual dysfunction and acidity and also infertility and acidity.  Many health experts that claim acidity is correlated with three different disorders in reproductive health: Decreases male and female arousal. Decreases sexual enjoyment and particularly female satisfaction/climax. Decreases fertility and increases the tendency to miscarry. There are many more diseases and disorders that are associated with an acidic condition - cataracts, osteoporosis, gout, cancer, migraines, constipation, morning sickness, stroke, allergies, diabetes, obesity, etc.  With this awareness of how acidity affects us, we can all choose to make informed and empowered healthy decisions for wellness and inner peace. Here are our top 15 alkaline foods: Asparagus Avocados Beets Broccoli Brussel sprouts Cabbage Cauliflower Carrots Celery Cucumbers Kale Lentils Onions Spinach Sweet potatoes "It's the journey that brings us happiness not the destination so keep on stepping!" Cathy’s story We all have life experiences that shape and define us.  I would like to share some impactful things in my life and what I learned from them.  Childhood and how I was taught to be treated I grew up as an only child, and my family was just my mom and dad. My mom is Asian and my dad was white, and there was almost 20 years age difference between them. They both grew up very differently, with their age and cultural backgrounds. They were hard working, strict, and I also never saw them very affectionate with each other. I didn’t hear a lot of “I love you’s” even though I knew they did. Their level of communication was minimal and usually if I heard an argument, it was very quick, and they both just ended it with saying “fine” and walking away from each other. I grew up with a sense of doing what looked right and what was best for the family I never developed who I was, and wasn’t asked about my thoughts and feelings and always did what others wanted me to do. The impact:  I learned to cultivate my worth off of what other’s thought of me, not what I thought of myself. How I taught others to treat me and my first weight loss I gained weight during my freshman year and I wasn’t happy with my fitness level.       I had a boyfriend in college who didn’t make me feel good about myself, and from my child hold I didn’t have a strong sense of self or good self-esteem.       My boyfriend told me I would look great if I lost 30 pounds; not the nicest way to say it, but he was right. That summer when he was away for work, I worked on getting in shape, and I didn’t tell him what I was doing. During that time away from him, I developed my self-esteem, did things for myself, and got a lot of positive attention which I wasn’t used to. Three months later when he returned, he was shocked and pleasantly surprised at how fit I was. A few weeks after that I broke with him. I realized that it was better to be single and treat myself well, then with someone who wasn’t positive and kind. The lesson:  I valued myself, my physical and emotional well-being, and I figured out how I wanted to be treated by others. What I decided I wanted to do for my first career In college, I changed my major 3 times in the first two years, so I decided I needed to figure out what I wanted to do, and what I could make a living at. I decided to focus on the engineering drafting and design courses I took in high school because I enjoyed the process of starting with a blank sheet and creating a drawing to build parts and assemble machines. I researched, and applied to a technical school, and was already enrolled for my junior year at the university I attended. I called my parents, and told them I wanted to drop out of college to go to a technical school; that conversation didn’t go well and they told me “no.” I told them I wasn’t asking their permission, and was merely letting them know what I was doing. That was the first time I told my parents what I wanted to do. I made a promise to myself to get a job in an engineering before I completed my certification, and I did, and when I was offered a full time job with my firm, I was very happy to no longer need financial assistance from my parents. It was at that point that they were proud of my decision, but up until that point they thought I was ruining my life by dropping out of college to go to a technical school. The lesson:  I listened to my inner voice and went after a goal that no one but me believed in, and it paid off. A physical hurdle that uncovered an emotional hurdle, and my second weight loss I had a knee injury, and after surgery and physical therapy, and I hired a personal trainer who changed my life. While reviewing my fitness goals, he asked me what I wanted out of life, and that question stumped me. I had been so defined by my relationships with others that I had no defined sense of myself. I realized I was falling back into my pattern of doing what I thought others wanted me to do, so I knew I needed to reprioritize myself. After my son was born, I used the techniques my trainer taught me and lost the 55 pounds I gained during pregnancy and an additional 35 pounds from before my pregnancy, which took about a year to lose 90 pounds. I was able to get into best shape I had been since college. I once again found my inner strength and sense of self. The lesson:  It transformed how I viewed my own power to take control of things in my life once again. My outside and inside healed, and I found my second career Because of my personal fitness journey, I decided that I wanted to become a personal trainer so that I could help others. I worked for a large exercise company and then ran my own training business.       I was able to teach my clients the skills and techniques to be successful in their health and weight loss. I also learned to develop my ability to be a mentor and cheerleader, and to be their never-ending source of positivity to keep them motivated and on task. My proudest moment as a trainer was with one of my first client named Beth, who was in her 40’s and started at over 300 pounds. She was a college rowing athlete and hadn’t been able to run, but after months of training with me, I saw her running on the treadmill. When I ran over to her to celebrate her accomplishment, she was so full of pride, and that was a high that I felt over and over with the future successes of my clients. I loved just being a witness to them realizing whatever goals they set for themselves. The lesson:  The fulfillment I got out of my job was incredible, and that sparked my passion of teaching and coaching. Family life and my sexuality After I had gotten married and we decided to start a family, I experienced sexual fantasies about women during my pregnancy. I’d never had fantasies like that before and I had no idea where that came from. I talked to my husband about my fantasies, but after our son was born, they went away. About 6 months after my son was born, I began to have sexual fantasies about women again, and decided I wanted to explore what that meant. When my son was about a year old, my husband and I separated and I explored my sexuality. A year later I realized I was a lesbian, so we divorced. I called my parents to let them know and they were confused and in disbelief, first they thought they did something wrong and then they thought there was something wrong with me. It took many years of healing and continuous communication from my end, to re-establish my relationship with them, and they both eventually accepted it. The lesson:  Being true to myself and feeling comfortable in my own skin was such a wonderful state to finally achieve. Dating women, some good and bad choices After realizing I was gay, I jumped into my first relationship with a woman, way too soon. We weren’t a good match but I just wanted to be in a relationship to somehow prove to myself that I made the right decision to pursue my newly found sexuality. When my first relationship ended terribly, I quickly got into another relationship with a woman who was the opposite of my first girlfriend, but I was still trying to prove to myself that I had made the right decision. Both relationships moved too quickly physical and emotionally and we moved into together within a few months of dating. Once the second relationship ended, I had a series of girlfriends that never lived near me, either in other cities or even states. I didn’t realize it until much later, but I chose woman I couldn’t possibly live with because of my fear of how I moved too quickly in the previous relationships. I lived alone for over 5 years, and it was the best thing I ever did for learning who I was and what I wanted. My next relationship started well, but I quickly lost my voice and compromised my wants and needs, in order not to “rock the boat.” I taught her how to treat me, by not speaking up and demanding what I wanted. I felt lost and unhappy, so of course the weight came back. About 6 months before the end of that relationship, I realized I needed help to get myself back on track, so I went to see an incredible therapist.       He challenged me to stop making excuses and to look at where I was today, not my wish list of where I might be in the future, because that just made me procrastinate. When I took control back in my life, I ended my unhappy relationship and felt like I could breathe and was at peace once again. I worked with my therapist for another 7 months, rediscovered myself and reprioritized the things that were important to me and my life. I became a mentally and emotionally healthy and whole person again. I took the time I needed to find myself again, and about 6 months after that, my Cortney walked into my life. The lesson:  I found myself again, my voice, and how I decided I was going to teach other how to treat me. Where I am today, my current career and my third weight loss Although I loved my job as a personal training, I decided to change my career due to an unsteady schedule and income. I was interested in a career in law enforcement and was happy to learn I could use some of my skills from my engineering and training background. Once I was hired, it seemed like a natural fit for me, because I’m a protector by nature and have always enjoyed helping others. I’ve done a lot of self-work and have unveiled the best version of myself I’ve ever been. I have a clarity of who I am and what I want to accomplish and it’s such an amazing feeling. I’ve gotten my body back to a healthy level, and continue to move forward with my physical fitness goals; have lost about 50 pounds in 18 months. I’m pursuing more education so that I can develop more of my training desire to understand and help others. The lesson: We all deserve to live the truest lives we can and to find happiness, surrounded by people that love and support us, and that’s what I want to do with my life and that’s what we aim to do with our HOMOlicious Living podcast. Well that’s my story and I hope you enjoyed it and found something helpful from the experiences and lessons I’ve learned.  I would love to end with a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt,  “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.  This is how character is built.” Things that make you go Hmmm? Or Mmmm…: This week’s Mmmm  ….   The Bidet Toilet. Well that’s it for today's show and we hope you join us next week. Thank you: We would like to give a shout out!  A huge thank you to: Mind Body Green article, How to Balance Your pH to Heal Your Body, by Marcus Julian Felicetti Thinx, :Period Panties for Modern Women” Diva Cup, “Being a Woman Just Got Easier” Pierced Hearts Tattoo Parlor, Seattle.  Pierced by Jeremy. No Bones Beach Club restaurant, Ballard Miyabi Sushi, Japanese Cuisine Wikipedia article, Bidet Quote of the week: We will leave you with a quote: “Be brave.  Take risks.  Nothing can substitute experience.”  - Paulo Coelho  We would love to hear from you, so check us out on Facebook or at www.homoliciousliving.com. Subscribe, rate and review us, and share your topic ideas. Have a HOMOlicious day!

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