Why Women's Health is Fracked Up

One of the greatest growing threats to women's health today is the environmental and social devastation caused by fracking. 

The landscape of the United States is changing irreversibly and rapidly. Over the past 20 years I have driven back and forth across this country from coast-to-coast 7 times and have seen first-hand the increasing devastation caused to our environment from the boom in gas and oil wells, and 95% of new wells are being fracked.

Hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, is on the rise in the United States in a shocking way. This is the process of injecting pressurized water, sand, and a dangerous cocktail of hundreds of industrial chemicals deep into mined gas or oil wells in the Earth to stimulate greater production. 

Over 12 million people in the United States currently live under a half-mile from active gas and oil wells, facilities, and processing plants today, in the highest threat radius, including nearly 3 million children in schools and daycares. 

Modern high-volume hydraulic fracturing was only developed 20 years ago, and in the past decade it's increased at a rapid fire rate due to advanced fracking technology and horizontal fracking practices, that even run right under the homes and neighborhoods of communities around the country. 

The long-term repercussions of fracking on our health are unknown and may take decades to truly reveal themselves, as diseases like cancer can take many years to develop, and the consequences of pregnant women being exposed to extreme toxins will be passed on to the future generations. 

What a Waste

A single fracking operation can use more than 9 million gallons of freshwater, and there are over 1.3 million active drilled gas and oil wells in the US today.

Over 700 chemicals are used in the drilling and fracking process and most are undisclosed due to proprietary trade secrets, yet many of the detected chemicals are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, and cause environmental pollution.

The wastewater from fracking is even more toxic and dangerous than the process itself, as it creates an enormous volume of radioactive toxic fluid that must be disposed of somewhere, and is not safe for humans, animals, or the environment.

The water is usually either trucked to treatment plants to filter it, or dumped back into the earth through deep well injection at high pressures which can lead to earthquakes and groundwater contamination, while a small amount is recycled into other fracking operations.

In addition, there can be contamination of the environment by the leaking of fracking fluids from the thousands of trucks used to transport the toxic liquid from the drilling sites to the treatment plants and disposal wells. In some cases these trucks travel extensively between states, such as how much of Pennsylvania's used fracking fluid is being trucked to Ohio, which has more deep injection wells. In other cases, such as in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, used drilling liquids are actually sprayed directly on public roads for de-icing.

There have been many recorded incidents of wastewater spills and explosions, as well as illegal dumping of wastewater and radioactive "filter socks", which are used to separate solids from the post-fracking liquids. 

The irreversible and immediate pollution of our water resources by fracking causes devastating environmental impacts, and effects all life and future generations, while the operations also cause significant air and noise pollution, as well as a myriad of health concerns.

We are facing a global water crisis today, and billions of gallons of water are being destroyed and removed from our water system by fracking. Yet, the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act, a federal law to protect public drinking water, does not apply to fracking operations, and fracking wastewater is exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations. 

Water is the blood of the Earth that sustains all life, all plants, all people, and is recycled through our whole planet's biosphere. Our health depends upon access to clean fresh water for drinking, food, and washing. 

Hormonal Havoc

One of the biggest dangers to human health from the byproducts of fracking are reproductive and developmental toxicity, which disproportionally impacts women's health in communities near gas and oil wells. 

Due to the sensitivity of women's reproductive organs to environmental triggers, exposure to industrial chemicals may lead to increased breast cancer, infertility, and fetal abnormalities, among other complex systemic health issues. 

The toxic soup created by fracking is full of endocrine disruptors which mimic female sex hormones and disrupt hormones. This can result in not just reproductive and developmental problems, but also interfere with immune functioning and cause neurological disorders.

Fracked Up

Fracking negatively impacts women's health on many levels from the destruction of our homes and environment, the polluting of our water, air, food, and land, to the wide-scale sex trafficking, assault, and prostitution happening in "man camps" in large oil production sites. 

It's noteworthy that the term "frack" has also become a slang word for having sex with or taking advantage of someone. This exemplifies the connection between the violent raping of the Earth's natural resources and fossil fuels, to the abuse of women's bodies, health, sexuality, and lives even in the name itself.

Intensive oil and gas drilling and fracking operations bring thousands of workers to the areas, who are mostly single young transitory men, and many registered sex offenders, which results in drastic increases in violence, murder, rape, prostitution, and sex trafficking in the local regions. 

The male workers are housed in vast "man camps", which are often huge areas of mobile houses, RV's, and barracks set up by the energy corporations.

In North Dakota, over 100,000 men have flooded in recent years to set up home in the man camps of the Bakken Shale, resulting in skyrocketing violence and sexual assault, particularly targeting the indigenous women and youth from the region, many who have become victims of rape, assault, and sex trafficking.

Native women and children are being murdered and disappearing at devastating rates, due to the complacency of the oil companies, and the government is doing nothing about this. 

Sex trafficking is crime upon humanity, that effects women, children, families and communities, and disproportionally effects the indigenous population. Due to the man camps proximity to reservations, and the reduced legal prosecutorial abilities of Native governments, cases are less likely to be tried, even if a sexual abuser is known and identified. 

Studies have also shown increased rates of sexually transmitted infections in areas with fracking. Research at the Yale School of Public Health has shown that Ohio counties with large-scale fracking have 21% higher rates of gonorrhea and 19% higher rates of chlamydia than the same state's counties without high shale gas activity. 

Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

New research has been released showing that prenatal exposure to fracking chemicals caused abnormal mammary gland development and pre-cancerous lesions in the female offspring of mice (Endocrinology). The scientists tested various levels of chemical exposure on the mice, from the potency that would be found in drinking water in areas near fracking, to the level found in wastewater pools on sites, and every level resulted in breast abnormalities. 

In Texas, there are highly elevated breast cancer rates in the counties that have active fracking sites, despite statewide reductions in the overall breast cancer rate. Yet this is considered inconclusive evidence to show direct causation, and the Texas Department of State Health Services insists there is no reason to be concerned. 

Pregnancy Problems

Proximity to fracking operations have been associated with multiple challenges with fertility, menstruation, pregnancy, and infant health. Exposure to fracking chemicals, has been linked to decreased sperm count, miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, and low birth weight. 

Studies in Pennsylvania have found a 25% increase in low-birth weight and decreased infant health with babies born to mothers living near active fracking sites. In response, a spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition insisted that "It’s dangerously misleading and inflammatory to suggest that natural gas development has done anything but improve public health.” (Science)

Tragically, the health problems from exposure to these chemicals during gestational periods isn't always evident during pregnancy, birth or infancy, as seen with the mice in the breast cancer study, who's offspring didn't develop breast lesions from prenatal exposure to fracking chemicals until puberty and maturation. 

Pass on the Gas

It's absolutely essential that the United States government and concerned citizens work together to stop this violent destruction of our environment and health due to fracking. Otherwise, we are set to experience an increasing boom of oil and gas fracking, that will destroy our land, homes, water, air, health, and future, and spread into new states.

Women are leading the way in environmental activism to address the concerns about fracking, yet are more likely to be dismissed, belittled, and threatened. 

A study in the UK showed that 58% of men supported fracking, while only 31% of women did. In response, the chair of UK Onshore Shale and Gas made the claim that the reason more women were opposed to fracking than men were because they were more likely to be uneducated and lacked understanding of the science. This kind of belittling sexism is rampant from fracking proponents.

We must stop the spread of fracking in the US and invest into renewable forms of energy, divest money from big banks that support fossil fuels, and demand that the U.S. government protects our water, air, and communities now. 

It is clear that fracking disproportionally effects the health and lives of women, and women's health is an vital marker for the health and future of a nation. If we seek to grow a thriving country, we must prioritize the wellbeing of women and protect the children who are the future of this land. 

This boom has been lauded by the energy companies and lobbyists as an answer to cheap and domestic energy production, reducing our dependency on foreign oil, as well as causing less air pollution than the coal industry. But is cheap energy today worth thousands of years of radioactive waste, the destruction of our precious water resources, and the compromising of the health of our people?

Resources

2017 Map of Oil & Gas Activity in the U.S. - Fractracker Alliance

Water Use Rises as Fracking Expands - Scientific American

Fracking Fact Sheet - Honor The Earth

Don't Frack With Our Health - Breast Cancer Action

Are Breast Cancer Rates Elevated Near Texas Fracking Sites? - EcoWatch

Prenatal Exposure to Unconventional Oil and Gas Operation Chemical Mixtures Altered Mammary Gland Development in Adult Female Mice - Endocrinology

Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Birth Outcomes in Pennsylvania, USA. - Epidemiology

Hydraulic fracturing and infant health: New evidence from Pennsylvania - Science Advances

Fracking Women: A Feminist Critical Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing in Pennsylvania - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics

Extreme Extraction and Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women in the Great Plains

Counties With Fracking Have Increased Rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections - Yale School of Public Health

State Policies on Use of Hydraulic Fracturing Waste as a Road Deicer - OLR Research Report

Fracking Chemicals Linked to Serious Reproductive, Health Risks - Center for Environmental Health

Women Linked to Fall in Support for UK Shale Gas Extraction - The Guardian

Fracking? Women "Don't Understand the Science" - The Times

Why You Need Your Own Online Platform for Change

Create Your Own Online Platform For Change

Raise your voice, speak your message, share your truth - just not on Facebook, Instagram or corporate platforms.

To all the change-makers, visionaries, activists, and leaders of the new paradigm - PLEASE CREATE YOUR OWN WEBSITES!

You need your own website, you need a blog, and a place to safely write and host your own podcast, videos and more.

THEN you absolutely can and should share the links to your posts, voice, message, and words that you share and PUBLISH on the site you OWN, through social media.

DO share your blog and site links to Facebook, Instagram and across all social media.

Just don't depend on them to keep it up or host your carefully crafted words and work you just invested all your time into.

This way you cannot be censored by Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or anywhere else.

This way people can share your link and it will bring people back to your own site.

This way if a post on a social media site gets deleted or removed, you will not lose all your work and effort.

Do not depend on any corporate owned social media site that you use for FREE to host your change-making, truth-telling, new paradigm message.

Social media is an amazing way for us to connect, and you can repost your blogs on here to be shared as well as the link, but a homebase that you own is essential.

Social media is free corporate controlled territory. We can't control the algorithms, posts getting removed, and social reach. We may wake up tomorrow and our favorite social media site could be gone (happened with Tribe years ago).

And posting on the next new social media site instead of Facebook isn't going to protect you.

Posts can get removed from any site, just because they haven't yet or is less likely to doesn't mean they won't.

Your website is your own virtual real estate.

Honestly your website can be hacked or can come down too. So it's good to back-up all your writing in multiple places. But it's much more likely to stay up and safe on your OWN SITE, and there are ways to ensure that that is much less likely to happen.

I've been witnessing many women and POC being increasingly and righteously frustrated with FB and IG silencing your words, and turning instead to other platforms like Patreon and Medium. I have to be honest - I don't trust those platforms either because they are not YOUR OWN.

You need your own publishing platform through your own website, and there are ways to do this very inexpensively, including have private membership areas, and more. I'd like to offer my support to help you figure out how to do this.

I am really passionate about supporting visionary women leaders and changemakers to create your own online platform and share your voice, message, and offerings through your own online platform.

If anyone wants support or advice on how to do this please contact me I'd love to offer guidance, resources and encouragement.

Remember independent publishing has always been a critical part of any powerful social revolution!

We have the power to become savvy independent publishers through the internet today.

Become independent of the corporate culture and media.

Through decentralization the web of change becomes more powerful.

Take charge of your message and own your power!

This is why I am so passionate about women becoming entrepreneurs, creating websites, and having personal authority so that we are not silenced, hidden or dismissed.

So please do share your message, raise your voice, and speak your truth on your own website - THEN copy, paste and share to social media!

Many blessings, 
Kara

P.S. Another reason why to publish your words on your blog is that you will get traffic to your blog for YEARS from a post there.

For example, I get MORE traffic to my blog from Pinterest than Facebook, and I get massive traffic to blog posts from Pinterest that I published years ago - even though I only have a tenth of the followers on Pinterest that I do on Facebook and I'm not very active there.

Google and the other search engines are where I get the majority of links to my site from, plus direct links and from people sharing my content in private groups, forums, and interest sites across the web.

Posts on Facebook become irrelevant and hard to find very quickly. Posts on personal Facebook pages do not get searched through search engines.

Posts on your blog can gain traffic and visitors for YEARS.

Some of the most trafficked pages on my website are blog posts I wrote 1, 2, and 4 years ago!!! They still get traffic and thus they come up high on search engines.

Our words have more power and longer lives on our own sites.

P.P.S. My online course The Healing Arts Business Academy is a GREAT program teaches you how to create your own online platform with ease. It walks you through how to get clear on your message and mission, create and grow your own website, blog and independent publishing channel, launch your own offerings, and SO MUCH MORE! Check it out here.

Conscious Parenting: Healing the Future

Conscious Parenting: Healing the Future

Parenting is one of the most challenging and inspiring jobs on the planet. Raising conscious children today is of great importance, as the children of today are the change-makers of the future.

They carry the seeds of hope to grow up and be the creators of the healing solutions and transformation that is needed to bring peace forth in the world.

Yet modern parents know we face more obstacles, choices, and pressure than ever before, and without the level of social support that we truly need.

As a mother of 3 children, ages 17, 6 and 1, I have been navigating the realms of parenting now for nearly 18 years, and have kids in 3 very different stages of life.

It's been a passion of mine to study and learn about conscious birthing and parenting, and have experienced the joys and challenges of trying to implement these practices while raising kids in a culture that makes this very difficult. 

Through my work as a birth and postpartum doula for over a decade, and a childbirth educator for nearly two decades, I've immersed myself in being an advocate for maternal, infant and family health and wellbeing. 

There is abundant research today from the fields of epigenetics, pre- and perinatal psychology, attachment parenting, quantum physics, heart intelligence, and neuroscience showing how the way we birth and raise our children directly impacts their longterm health, emotional resiliency, psychological foundation, and our overall level of cultural violence and addiction as a result. 

We live in a dominator culture, in which patriarchal, classist, and racist worldviews have become so deeply embedded in our healthcare, child rearing, education, and culture to the point that many people are blind to the challenges that disenfranchised people face. 

The most disenfranchised people today are the babies and children, the ones who are too young and small to speak up for themselves, to articulate how the way they are being treated is not okay, and who lack any options to get themselves in better situations. 

The babies and children of today are suffering the most from abuse in our cultural institutions and society.

Human infants are also the most vulnerable and helpless of all babies born to mammals, and for the longest amount of time. 

The advanced consciousness of human beings, and the large nature of our brains, actually puts us in the position of being born while still in an extremely defenseless state, which means that our potential consciousness is at risk of being oppressed and manipulated while still in our helpless infancy and extended childhood. 

Thus it is up to conscious parents and adults today to speak up for those who cannot speak. We need to advocate for the babies, the children, and to see why many adults today are hurting and suffering because of the lack of love, support, and protection they did not receive as youth. 

It's time to create changes in our culture that begin with shining light on how violence begins in pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the early years, when babies are subject to invasive and abusive procedures in the womb and immediately upon being born, and how women are abused in childbirth by the dominant culture model that says the doctor knows best and performs procedures against a mother's will or without consent. This sets us up for a lifetime of being traumatized from hierarchical powers. 

Conscious parenting is a way to change the tides of violence and start respecting children, including babies, as being fully conscious intelligent people.

It's realizing that how we treat and care for children creates changes in their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual expression of self.

The study of epigenetics now demonstrates how the environmental impacts upon a being bring forth changes in the gene expression more than the genetic code itself. 

This now verifies that gentle parenting supports our children to feel more love, empathy, compassion, understanding, and calm, because a positive environment creates biological and chemical changes in the brain that support health and wellbeing.

Bonding with our children is an essential role as the primary caregiver and parent, to create a strong life-long relationship of trust and love. 

Listening to our children, at every age from infant to teenager, is vital to help them feel heard, attended to, recognized and cared for.

Calming ourselves is necessary, as parents we are our children's models, and our emotions are like a tuning fork, vibrating and resonating with our children. 

It's of the utmost importance that we learn skills to diffuse distress, anxiety, fear, tension, trauma, and anger, and model ways of transforming our challenging emotions and coping with the stresses of life in resilient ways. 

I can tell you that parenting is hard work. It's the most challenging thing I've ever done, and I am not calm and cool all the time.

I cannot believe the challenges that parents have to face today, and the increasing threats and challenges that are newly occurring for today's infants, toddlers, children, youth, and teens.

This is why I believe learning conscious parenting skills is so essential and so lacking in today's world. 

We are learning as we go. We are needing to do the best we can, and then support each other to do even better. It's the most important work ever to be done.

It's time to let go of what society expects and tells us we need to do as parents, and start paying attention to our children and what THEY need. 

Love. Hugs. Laughter. Listening. Play. Rest. Nature. Creativity. Encouragement.

It's time to refocus on what childhood is supposed to be about. 

Conscious parenting is not about thousand-dollar environmentally-friendly strollers, organic onesies, and ergonomic baby-carriers - it's about being present with our children, bonding with them with loving care, protecting them from trauma, raising them with empathy, and holding them when they are crying or scared.

It's about bucking the system, and listening to our intuition to recognize what is right for them and us. 

It's about re-envisioning health care, parenting plans, educational expectations, and advocating for a healthy environment and communities. 

Mostly it's about tuning into our children, whatever their age, and recognizing them as conscious individuals that we are in a family partnership relationship with and listening to them, and to our guiding inner spirit, as to what this unique being really needs for them to thrive, love and live up to their best potential. 

It's time to really see the world from a new perspective - the way a child sees the world, and then use our advantage as adults to advocate for the children and care for them with peace and compassion. 

The babies of today are the world-changers of tomorrow. Let's help them get the best start possible by listening to them and supporting them now. 

Many blessings, 
Kara


A Few of My Favorite Books on Conscious Parenting:


Join the Soul Conscious Parenting Seminar

In this new 2020 Visionary Women Seminar, I will be sharing powerful practices that I have used as a parent for tuning in to the soul messages of my children and supporting them to find their unique paths, confidence, and trust in their journey.


Note: This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products that I have personally enjoyed and found beneficial. If you purchase through my affiliate links I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which goes to help support this website and blog. Thanks so much!

Anticipating Bliss: The Healing Art of Optimism

The Healing Power of Optimism

There is a healing power to optimism. 

When you wake up in the morning excited about the day, grateful to be alive, and spend time anticipating the blessings coming your way you actually create a cascade of emotions, and hormones in your brain including oxytocin, dopamine, and growth hormones - which help to heal your cells and activate your brain in positive ways. 

So each day give thanks for the things in your life that make you happy: your joy over spending time with your beloved, gratitude for making progress on your goals, a safe comfortable home to live in, great work that makes a difference in the world, good food to eat, or the experience of enjoying the beauty of nature. 

We can literally change our minds by taking charge of the way we feel. 

It's not always easy, life is increasingly stressful in the modern world, but we can flow with our emotions and not let stress take over permanently. 

Every morning focus on what makes you grateful and what you are excited about in the day ahead. 

At the end of each evening, remember what blessings and joys you experienced that day and be grateful. 

This trains our minds to attune to the heart frequency of love and bliss, and creates healing in our whole bodies. 

As healers, teachers, coaches, entrepreneurs and leaders in the world today, we need to be catalysts for positive change in the world. 

Women's wellness today is especially dependent upon decreasing the increasing swells of stress hormones, and allowing our bodies to experience the blissful feelings of oxytocin rushes from connecting deeply in ecstatic deep trust with ourselves, with our lovers, and with life. 

Feel good about your life because you are a warrior for making it this far! 

Know that you are a goddess because you are a powerful woman capable of incredible magic and power in your life in your own beautiful unique soulful ways!

Our thoughts are the more powerful than our genes in determining our health and wellbeing. 

What we think and believe triggers hormonal changes and determines whether our brains, blood and bodies are flooded with oxytocin, the blissful chemical of love, bonding and trust, or cortisol, the chemical of protection which in excess creates further anxiety and tension, and all their hormonal partners. 

As winter is coming to an end in the Northern hemisphere and the promise of spring is unfolding, it's a powerful time to remember the exalted nature of rebirth. 

We have the power to create transformation and awaken to bliss, in our own lives, in our work, in our relationships, and in our communities and world. 

Believe in bliss! 

Be grateful to be alive!

To be in a body is a blessing! 

Try an experiment right now, speak aloud these words with feeling and trust: "I am grateful for all the blessings coming my way today!"

Now, pay attention and see what manifests in your life in the next day. 

Be open to unexpected surprises, meaningful interactions, and bursts of inspiration guiding you to new opportunities, or greater appreciation of the love in your life. 

Awaken the Power Within Your Pelvis

Awaken the Power Within Your Pelvis for Vital Sensuality, Energy, Pleasure, Passion and Health

There is a vast source of energy ready to be enlivened within your pelvis. 

The pelvis is the gateway to life and to pleasure. 

It is the throne of which our body is based upon. 

It is the place of deepest connection between lovers. 

The pelvic floor is associated with the root chakra, the energy center of the body connected with security, home, sexuality, ancestry, groundedness, sense of place, and relationship to the Earth. 

One of the best ways to start awakening the power of your pelvis is to bring your awareness to how your body physically feels through your pelvic area. 

Find a quiet place to rest and either sit comfortably with your spine straight, or lie on your back with your knees up and your feet flat on the floor.

Center yourself, breathe deeply and rhythmically, and pay attention to your body.

Bring your awareness to your pelvis and notice how you feel:

  • Are your hips tight?
  • Do your pelvic bones feel aligned?
  • What sensations do you feel in your pelvic floor and perineum?
  • How do your sexual organs feel?
  • Are you tight in your low back or thighs? (Often if you have restricted mobility in the pelvis, the muscles of your low back and legs are tighter to compensate.)
  • Can you feel movements in your pelvis when you breathe?

Bringing your awareness to your pelvis is an important first step to awakening our total pelvic power for it creates an essential link between the brain and the pelvis. 

Are you ready to tap into the passionate potential of your pelvic power? 

Learn more about how to unlock the vitality and wellspring of your root energy center through practices such as womb massage, spiral dancing, and more in the Women's Healing Arts Teacher Training.

Discover how to open your pelvis for optimal birthing power in the Awesome Birth Teacher Training

Awaken the root of your sensual energy and unleash your vibrant health to create the manifestations of your dreams into reality! 

Maple Cinnamon Doughnuts: Organic, Gluten-Free, Naturally-Sweetened Donut Recipe

There's something special about doughnuts. 

They are ever popular in New England, and having moved back to my homestate of New Hampshire this year, I've been adoring the farm fresh apple cider doughnuts when I pick up my raw milk (so good together). 

My teen son is also working at the busiest donut shop in the state, and he comes home smelling like coffee and donuts. Which makes his 6 year old younger brother hug him and go "Mmmmm, you smell so good!" 

When my 6 year old came into the room wearing his chef hat and apron saying that he was ready to make donuts, I couldn't help but say yes.

That's how we baked up this recipe that is a healthier home-baked organic doughnut that my chef helper said were "The best doughnuts ever!". He especially loved the frosting, and I love that it adds extra protein. 

I love being able to make up organic versions of popular treats that are healthy to enjoy, fun to make, and delicious to eat - satisfying cravings and nourishing our bodies. 

These are baked, not fried, which is super easy with a donut pan, and makes baking extra fun for kids. 

Organic Maple Cinnamon Baked Donuts Recipe

Organic Maple Cinnamon Donuts

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. 

Grease muffin pans for 12 donuts (I use grass-fed butter and the donuts pop right out super easy and golden brown). 

 

2 c. oats, gluten-free, ground into a fine flour

1/2 c. coconut sugar (or favorite natural sweetener)

3 T. maple syrup

1 T. baking powder

1 T. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 c. milk (favorite dairy or non-dairy)

1 egg

6 T. cashew butter, melted in bain-marie (warm water bath)

 

Maple Cashew Frosting

6 T. cashew butter, melted in bain-marie,  I like Thrive's organic raw cashew butter

2 T. coconut oil

2 T. maple syrup

 

Mix oat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt in bowl. Mix milk, maple syrup, and egg in small bowl. Add to dry ingredients, mix, add in warm cashew butter, mix, and spoon into greased donut pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, remove from pan, cool more, and then frost with maple cashew frosting. 

Enjoy warm or fresh baked. Makes 12 regular sized baked donuts. 

Gluten-free, protein-rich, naturally-sweetened.

Can substitute milk with any non-dairy version (coconut, almond, rice, hemp, etc) and egg with flax egg or aquafaba to make vegan. 

Use organic and non-GMO ingredients for a happy belly! 

Too cold to go shopping to get your donut ingredients? 

I have been really loving my Thrive membership this winter, and got most of my ingredients for this recipe from their natural foods wholesale delivery without having to venture into the negative-degrees arctic blast to get my gluten-free oats, spices, nut butters or baby's diapers.

Get 25% off your first order through my link here to Thrive Market. They are also a super nice company that is focused on conscious prosperity, gives away lots of freebies with qualifying orders (this month I've gotten 3 free books and a couple cases of organic bars free with my orders, plus free shipping). Plus, the owners are based in Ojai, fought off the recent fires, and have given away tons of free memberships recently to families effected by the recent extreme California fire season.  

Stay warm and enjoy your donuts! 

Organic Maple Cinnamon Baked Donuts Recipe
Note: This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I love and use. I may get a small commission if you order through my link. Thanks for supporting my independent blog! 

She's Gutsy: How the Microbiome Rules Women's Hormones

The microbiome is a virtual endocrine organ, and the master regulator of hormones, especially estrogen for women.

The Marvelous Microbiome

Fascinating new research has come out about the microbiome in recent years, which is the synergistic community of 100 trillion microbes that live within our bodies, and how the gut microbiome rules women's hormones and menstrual cycles.

The gut is now recognized as another brain in our body which sends signals to all the organs of our body, and our gut health directly effects our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

It's absolutely amazing that even without thinking about it, the trillions of (mostly) good bacteria within our gut microbiome is working to support our health and whole body nutrition and functioning. 

The microbiome actually is 10 times the amount of cells in our body than actual human cells. We are mostly our microbiome and interconnected with the natural world around and within us. 

I believe that our interdependence upon the microbiome within is demonstrative of how we are so intertwined with the lifeforce of nature.

It shows just how much we are a part of our environment, and how our inner community and outer community are both vital to create balance and health. 

The incredible community of bacteria within our digestive tract is absolutely essential for optimal health, immunity, digestion, mental focus, emotional wellbeing, and hormonal balancing. 

The Microbiome Endocrine Organ

Scientists have now identified the gut microbiome as an organ all of it's own - and not only that but it's an endocrine organ, and considered the master regulator of our hormones! 

In fact there is a secondary microbiome within our gut microbiome that is especially pronounced in women called the estrobolome which governs the levels of estrogen, the primary female reproductive health hormone, in our body. 

Imbalance in the estrobolome causing estrogen dominance can lead to all kinds of women's hormonal challenges from PMS, to PCOS, infertility, mood swings and bloating, as well as may lead to a higher risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer

The new research coming out about how vital our gut health and a healthy microbiome is for women's health and hormone balancing is vitally important because disruptions to our microbiome from synthetic hormones, chemicals, and artificial foods can cause systemic health challenges that can be hard to identify.

Glyphosate & Hormonal Havoc

Glyphosate is the #1 most common herbicide and crop desiccant used today.

It's the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and is now present in 75% of our food supply and has been tested to be present in 93% of American's urine.

It's not only in GMO crops, but sprayed on most crops, as well as in public parks, apartment complexes, lawns, all non-organic grains, water supply, and finds it's way into our guts, urine, bodies, and babies.

It kills enzymes and microorganisms thus destroying the microbiome in our guts, causing disruption of our nutrient digestion, immune system, wellbeing, and mood.

Glyphosate has also been shown to kill embroyonic, umbilical and placental cells, causing challenges to fertility, and adversely effecting development of a baby during the critical primal period. 

Did you know that even eating 100% organic doesn’t protect you from the negative effects of glyphosates and GMO’s?

Even if we eat organic, we're being exposed to it by living in the modern world through our environment, and cross contamination of organic foods by this pervasive weed killer.

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The F-Word of the Year: Because People Still Don't Know WTF Feminism Is

Feminism: The F-Word of the Year

What the f***? 

Merriam-Webster has declared that the 2017 word of the year is feminism

Because apparently people still have no clue what a feminist is.

Thus it's been the most searched word in these past 12 months on the Merriam-Webster site, to beat out complicit, empathy, and hurricane.

Hopefully people actually learn that the dictionary definition of feminism is: "the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" or "organized activity on the behalf of women's rights and interests".

I can only imagine that millions of people were SHOCKED to discover that feminism does NOT mean: "Total global takeover by women in order to dominate all men and destroy civilization as we know it" nor "a secret society of witches who dance naked under the moon while brewing cauldrons of magical con-cock-tions made with severed penises and testicles".

These same people must have been surprised to learn that a hurricane is not just a fruity alcoholic cocktail served in New Orleans, but a tropical cyclone with high winds.

Well, thank goodness we have the internet so people can learn the true meaning of words. 

For it seems that in this time increasing amounts of people make assumptions about what things mean, rather than actually reading and learning the deeper meanings (as I'm sure many people will do who will comment on this article on Facebook based upon the headline without actually clicking to read these paragraphs).

Yet, there is hope for the perpetuation of greater knowledge, as Twitter recently doubled their tweet space to allow up to 280 characters - though that move created controversy as some declared that 280 characters were "unreadable".

At this rate, the word of 2020 might just be literacy.

Equal Rights?

You see, feminism is the desire for those of the female sex to have equal opportunity in politics, business and life. Crazy talk, huh?

But women already are equal! Right?

Nope. Sorry. Not yet. Not in the USA.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was proposed in 1923 to add to the US Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for all sexes.

Here now, 95 years later, it has never passed despite ongoing attempts.

That's right, women are still NOT considered equal in the USA, thus continuing to permit discrimination in a myriad of ways including the gender pay-gap, control of women's reproductive lives, higher insurance rates, and so much more. 

Not to mention other countries where women are not allowed to go to school, to show their skin, to drive a car, and it's legal to murder your wife, daughter or sister. So sure, we got it pretty good in comparison to some places, but we can do much much better. 

In my junior high literature class, during our study of the art of debate, I choose to participate in a discussion on the ERA (obviously on the pro-side). 

It was an eye-opening topic to research, and I even wrote a letter to the National Organization for Women (NOW) seeking any information to help me understand the stalemate on this proposed amendment. They responded with a lovely supportive letter encouraging my studies, a packet of information, and sent me a vintage '70's button pin saying "ERA YES" which I victoriously wore to class on the day of the discussion. 

During the live debate, I was startled to see the intensely emotional responses to my articulate key points for women's equality by my fellow students.

Two boys had ganged up to work together to debate just me, as they were furious that I was advocating for women's rights. In opposition to my well-prepared positioning they started turning red with anger, and shouting out infantile arguments like, "Women are stupid!".

They were even more mad when I won the debate.

Double decades later, people are still unsure of what feminism means, as the Women's March on DC, the #MeToo movement, and the release of "Wonder Woman" and "The Handmaid's Tale" all have led to spikes in the search for this word's meaning. 

The greatest uptick of "feminism" searches came in response to the statement made by KellyAnne Conway, Trump's White House Counselor, when she said she didn't identify as a feminist this year because she thought the term was "very anti-male" and "very pro-abortion".

This is a great example of an assumptionator (a word which I think should be added to the dictionary in 2018, as it's a rising trend today, meaning someone who habitually makes assumptions without learning anything about what they are talking about). 

Feminism is NOT anti-male.

Feminism is an ideal for women and men to have EQUAL rights, not for women to trump men. Women do not want to have a higher rank or standing than men, they just want to have access to the same opportunities that men are granted in today's society. 

Yet, this is clearly misunderstood by many more than just the President's token female ambassador (or is that Ivanka?). 

Feminism is Needed Today

I've dealt with sexism all my life. From men and women. 

Like the time my male coworker who was habitually late to his job because of a heroin addiction got a raise months before me, because he was male, even though I worked harder, did a better job, and covered his shifts repeatedly when he was too messed up to show up. 

Or the time in high school that I was subjected to an all-girls assembly where we were lectured on how to cross our legs because we were told female students sitting with uncrossed legs was a distraction to the male teachers. 

Or the time when my first son was a baby, and I was a live-in dorm-head at a high school boarding school and the male Dean told me I shouldn't be working there because I was a mother, I should just be baking cookies. 

Even now in 2017, when I posted an article on my Facebook page about how totally biologically false information about women's bodies was being spouted by a male celebrity today, I dealt with comments from people saying I was "obviously a man-hater". 

Really? Dispelling myths about how a women's reproductive system actually works is hating on men?

I love men. Men are amazing. I have a great husband and three sons. This year I moved back to my hometown and live near my father. 

While my work and passion is for women's empowerment and wellness, my personal life is one in which I am surrounded by males whom I love and adore (and who outnumber me, as the only other female in the vicinity is the neighborhood stray cat).  

I am grateful for conscious men in my life who support my work, my writing, and want to see me, and all the women in their lives succeed in fulfilling their dreams. 

Women's issues effect men as well. All people are born from the body of a woman. All men who love women suffer when they see their beloveds abused by a system that allows widespread sexual violence and rape culture to spread. 

Yet in 2017, I also saw another "women's empowerment" teacher write online about how she did not identify as a feminist because she feels it promotes the victimization of women, because wanting a women president or equal pay is crap, and that advocating for women's rights is "femi-nazi propaganda".

I have a whole lot to say about this but didn't bother responding as her husband was the one jumping in the discussion to attack her commentators, saying he was totally qualified to respond for her - because he was her husband (eye roll). 

Though people responded that the ACTUAL DEFINITION of feminism is for EQUAL rights, those against feminism seem to think that they can make up their own definitions of what it means based upon their assumptions.

Claiming that feminism victimizes women is like telling women who are speaking up about a lifetime of sexual abuse in the #MeToo movement to just shut up and get over it. 

Calling the desire for a female president or equal pay for women crap is like saying you believe that men deserve to earn more money than women, even if the women's job is harder and she works longer hours, because penises are the ultimate symbol of American prosperity.

Calling feminism "femi-nazi propaganda" is spouting a hateful derogative term coined by Rush Limbaugh, an ultra-conservative radio-show host who believes that feminism was created by "unattractive women".

Another "women's empowerment" advocate posted on social media recently that she wasn't a feminist because she didn't want to fight for equal pay, she wanted to just stay home and let her man chop wood and carry water. 

Really? Women, be careful what women's empowerment leaders you follow, for "empowerment" has been just as co-opted as the word "feminism" and people don't seem to understand WTF that means anymore either. 

Empowerment is about growing stronger in confidence and claiming one's rights.

If you're a women who likes having the the right to own property, vote, work in a government position, access contraceptives, or be able to keep your own paycheck - thank a feminist for your empowerment.

Feminism supports men too. Do men deserve to have to pick up the slack for women? To have to support women who don't want to lift a finger to do any of the hard work of life?

Is this the 1950's or the new millennium?

I'm not sure sometimes, after all we STILL live in a culture in which etiquette says that a married woman should be addressed as Mrs. Husband's First and Last Name, and in which over 70% of American's believe that women should take their husband's name after marriage, and over 50% believe the government should legally enforce that. Yes, we live in a culture in which women are expected to be erased of their own names after marriage - first and last - oh but just for formal addresses, you know for all the important events in one's life. 

Well thank goodness people are googling the real meaning of feminism, and hopefully more people can understand that feminism means the equality of rights for all sexes.

Don't let political pundits warp the true meaning of the word through their negative assumptions and derogatory statements that are designed to keep us apart. 

Word of the Year

I'm glad that feminism is the word of the year because it means people are open to learning and actively looking for clarity and greater knowledge. 

Because hopefully some people will understand that definitions matter, and that making your own assumptions about what other people believe or what things mean is being complicit with the spread of fake news, and lacks empathy for the real challenges facing women globally today. 

Let's be clear - feminists want equal rights for ALL people.

Men can also be feminists too. 

Feminists may have different opinions about specific issues such as abortions, military drafts, and unisex bathrooms, but equal access to jobs, pay, insurance, and healthcare, as well as protection from sexual violence are issues that I believe most feminists can agree upon. 

It's not about taking any power away from men, or having power over men, it's about being partners, collaborators, and co-creators in the pursuit of a balanced culture. 

It's about speaking out against a system of oppression that disenfranchises people, and that locks-arms with racism and classism, and creates an impediment to peace, prosperity and justice for all. 

You can be a feminist and live YOUR life however you want whether that's in an apron or combat boots, but if you say "I'm not a feminist" you are standing up FOR a corrupt system that perpetuates sexual violence and hate.

You can be a feminist and be a stay-at-home mother. 

You can be a feminist and be a stripper.

You can be a feminist and embrace all the feminine things in life that you enjoy.

You can be a feminist and LOVE MEN. 

You can be a feminist and have a man in your life who chops your firewood and stokes your fire. 

You can be a feminist and support women's empowerment while also not trying to actively break any corporate glass ceilings. 

It doesn't mean you have to act like a man, or reject the unique aspects of female biology and cycles. 

You can be a feminist and advocate for men's rights too. 

It just means you think all people deserve fairness and respect. 

It means that you believe women deserve equal rights. That's it. 

If you are against feminism you are supporting the inequality of women. 

Basically, if your not a feminist you're a male chauvinist, regardless of your gender.