If you have a physical or mental health condition that has altered the way you look or behave, it may scare people. Have you had friends or family members change how they interact with you or perhaps distance themselves?

A recent incident with an old friend got me thinking about this topic. In the Glass Half Full Facebook group some have shared their stories. I invite you to share your experiences either in Facebook or in the podcast notes on the Glass Half Full website.

Any style of yoga can be made accessible and provide healing for someone with a physical challenge, someone experiencing anxiety and/or depression, or someone with a larger body.

Three yoga teachers – skilled in making yoga more accessible – share their stories. Rose Kress, of LifeForce Yoga, experienced relief from years of anxiety and chronic pain when she began a yoga practice. Her teachings focus on mood management incorporating both yoga nidra and the use of mudras, or hand gestures.

Erica Chaney, of Big Bliss Yoga, began her yoga journey in a restorative class where she felt like she learned to breathe more deeply. Today Erica’s teaching focuses on making yoga more accessible to people with larger bodies.

Clarissa Hidalgo was first introduced to yoga by a fellow patient at a Multiple Sclerosis clinic at UCSF. Now Clarissa primarily works with private clients with a range of health conditions, i.e. fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, cerebral palsy, as well as MS.

To learn more about accessible yoga, check out this earlier podcast episode and the organization’s website.

Vocal problems can occur for people with all types of conditions — Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, stroke. Acute laryngitis is very common while chronic laryngitis affects over 20% of the population.

Christine received a diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia and now experiences some relief with botox shots. Hanna, who has SMA type 1, uses assistive technology to help her communicate. Check out her website to watch a video demonstrating how she uses the technology.

We’ve got Jill Nussinow, R.D., The Veggie Queen, sharing tips about nutritious and medicinal mushrooms as well as Adam Strauss, creator of The Mushroom Cure, talking about his years of treating anxiety and OCD which led to his discovery of psilocybin’s therapeutic powers.

To dig deeper into the awe-inspiring mushroom world, check out weekly online articles at Spirituality & Health.

Psilocybin is also being used for end of life care.

A brand spanking new podcast episode will appear…hopefully before the end of the week. It will be Food = Medicine: Mushrooms. But, for now…check out these Food = Medicine podcast episodes:

An interview with Sandor Katz – the Fermentation King

Food = Medicine (1) – featuring two mostly plant-based consuming friends, one with DM1, the other with DM2

Food = Medicine (2) – an interview with Jill Nussinow, R.D., The Veggie Queen

Food = Medicine: Cooking with Love – featuring a chef who prepared special foods for her father with Parkinson’s disease, an organic farmer, and a chef who prepares foods with cannabis

Selective memory? I remember many things. Like that amazing dinner we had last night at a posh vegan restaurant somewhere in London. I even remember the name — Vanilla Black. But I have no idea what I had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner three days ago.

It probably wasn’t as memorable. Not as pretty. Not as tasty. And maybe not as healthy.

Depending on our metabolism, our digestion may move slowly…sluggishly…so it’s prudent to have a sense of what you eat, how much, and when. How can you know what may have disagreed with your system if your memory isn’t always keen?

Last year when I started using the Health Storylines app, I took quickly to the Food Diary feature. Having the app on my home desktop computer as well as my smartphone allows me to capture my meals quickly without relying on three-day old memories.

The feature also provides space for you to record any type of physical reaction to the meal.

Another way I use the feature is to scan how I’ve been eating the past few days — have I consumed enough greens, fruits, and other healthy whole foods? Am I limiting my intake of processed foods?

Because I can’t rely on my memory. 😉

Just a few things to mention. It’s your time to catch up on missed episodes while I’m away. Check the website for links to The heat is on: how weather affects our health and Accessible Yoga.

For more tips on how to beat the heat, visit the Brain & Life website.

Don’t forget to sign up for the email newsletter and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

In this third of a series podcast episode, Valerie Sans shares how her cancer experience had a dramatic impact on her life. After surgery and chemo treatment, she left a career of teaching to co-found a travel company, French Escapade, and explored alternative healing modalities including the Budwig Diet, homeopathy, immunotherapy, Beljanski Protocol, acupuncture, Papimi, and a more plant-based diet.

For those of you unfamiliar with sophrology — which includes me — here’s an introduction. Valerie talks about meeting with a sophrologist as routine in the French healthcare system.

If memory serves me correctly, the phrase garbage in, garbage out refers to the quality of computer programming. But it can also be applied to how we eat. Think about it. You’ve heard we are what we eat, but…our poop definitely reflects what we eat. Indeed!

Okay, I crossed that line. I talked about poop. Since we now have poop emoji maybe the discussion is not as profane as it was when I was growing up.

I can’t remember ever being asked by a doctor about my poop/defecation/elimination routine. If you had diarrhea, you talked about it but it was not an in-depth conversation regarding the size, shape, and color of it.

In the mid-90s, when I first went to an acupuncture clinic, there was deep talk about some deep shit (ha!). Until that point I’d not really shared anything about my daily multiple bowel movements. I assumed I had IBS which every other woman I knew seemed to have. But the acupuncture practitioner spent time listening to what my diet consisted of – both food and beverages. She seized on my large glass of fresh organic orange juice each morning.

Even though I started eating a vegetarian diet in college, I still had some GI issues. Once I gave up the daily juice (huge blast of sugar in my system) and the inexpensive veggie restaurant meals, my GI system got some welcome relief. I became the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) poster child for the perfect one poop a day.

Another eye opener for me happened just a few years ago at a Stanford University Neuromuscular Patient Conference. A young charismatic gastroenterologist introduced the Bristol Stool Chart to us. She reviewed how to use it and gave it her MD blessing. Finally, there was a language to use to talk about poop and not feel juvenile.

Health Storylines Stool Diary Tool

The Health Storylines app has a Stool Diary feature that uses the Bristol Stool Chart to help you maintain a record of your elimination (or poop!). Now, why would you want to do this?

Lots of reasons. The first that comes to mind is to use it along with the Food Diary so you have a better understanding of what you eat and how your system responds. Garbage in, garbage out.

The second reason is cautionary. Just today I was reading an article, “How to Lower Your Risk of Cancer” in the April 2019 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter. Warning signs for colon and rectum cancer include diarrhea or constipation and bright red or very dark blood in your stool. Warning signs for esophagus cancer include black stools.

If you listened to an early podcast episode about a friend who battled colon cancer, you’ll recall she ignored some early signs of blood in her stool. Your body often sends you messages that you should be mindful of. Keeping track of what you eat and how your system responds is a good way to keep that conversation going.

In the second part of this podcast episode series Jeanette Marin shares her story about a thyroid cancer diagnosis and how it changed her life. Jeanette is married with 4 children and a stand-up comic.

To see Jeanette perform, follow her on social media: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.