|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
June 2012 (119 posts)
NPR's food blog, The Salt, talked to a food science expert who says there isn't much evidence that trace residues--which often show up on foods on EWG's signature "Dirty Dozen" list--are dangerous. For instance, just 1 of 744 apple samples tested had a pesticide residue level higher than the government limit, and most were far below the permissible level. (Check out the post to see other results, including for fruits and vegetables in baby foods).
Unsurprisingly, the guide says you'll lower your exposure to chemicals by eating organic produce--but with summer superfoods like blueberries and bell peppers (which, in their conventional versions, are both on the Dirty Dozen list) now in season, it's a relief to know it's better to eat them than to avoid them.
Dr. Oz's list of foods you should always buy organic
How genetically modified foods affect your health
Cut your grocery bill and save the planet
Hm? She was talking directly to my soul, obviously, but also to the neuroscientist Richard Davidson, who has studied the way we can change our brains. According to Davidson: "based upon everything we know about the brain in neuroscience... change is not only possible, but change is actually the rule rather than the exception. And it's really just a question of which influences we're going to choose for our brain. But our brain is wittingly or unwittingly being continuously shaped." (For more of the scientific nitty-gritty, listen to or read the entire interview here -- you will not be disappointed. Even if you are the type of person who is wired for disappointment.) Davidson explains that in his work studying the brains of meditating Buddhist monks (and more recently, preschool-age children), he's learned that happiness and serenity can be learned, and that after enough practice, brains can actually be changed for the better. He says, "I think that's very important and I think that most people still don't think of qualities like happiness as being a skill rather than it's typically conceptualized as a fixed trait and some people have more of it; some people have less of it."
What works, according to Davidson, for Tibetan monks and preschoolers alike, is to practice meditation and mindfulness -- to cultivate self-awareness. I know that in my family we are having a lot of tantrums -- the preschooler; uh, her mother -- and the idea that we can step back, examine our feelings, and teach our brains to deal with them in more productive ways is intensely appealing. Happiness is a skill we could all stand to develop. It's like the old maxim goes: You can never be too happy or too mindful. (That's how it goes, right?)
Richard Davidson on Beating Anxiety and Finding Happiness
5 Things Every Happy Woman Does
Good new: all of us smile-hungry humans have been invited to be part of a worldwide interactive art work: just upload this app and smile and, well, the whole world will smile with you. Pretty much, anyway. Yoko Ono (yes, that Yoko Ono) has been thinking about this project since 1967, when she said, "My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world.” She just had to wait a few decades for the world of social media to catch up. Now she's launching this #smilesfilm app, with the ambitious, crazy, and awesome goal of collecting every smile in the world. Happily, the smilesfilm website shows everyone who's uploaded a smile (and you can see where they're from on the interactive world map). It's like a trip around the world and an instant pick-me-up all in one. Convenient. Smile.
The Smile That Can't Be Stolen
6 Reasons to Smile Right Now
And good thing, too -- since I just read that the most successful people are those who use their mornings efficiently. After all, as Laura Vanderkam writes, "Mornings are a great time for getting things done." Yeah! Take that, you ridiculous people who get to sleep in until the - gasp - double digits on weekends! Feh to you!
Vanderkam, who has written much about time management, has a great run-down at Fast Company of ways in which to be more efficient in those wee hours. Weirdly, she doesn't suggest allowing any time at all for feeling sorry for oneself about being up so early. Instead, she suggests a five-step process for reassessing mornings. One of her recommendations: Picture Your Perfect Morning. This may include steps for personal growth, like reading through a sacred text or training for a marathon, or it may be more about professional growth: using that quiet time to organize and strategize, or even taking an online development course. She also shares very practical steps you can take to make your morning dreams a reality without being too self-defeatingly ambitious.
How to Have More Productive Mornings
17 Ways to Be More Efficient in the AM
I'm so excited to tell you that for the first time starting this week we will be simulcasting SUPER SOUL SUNDAY around the world on the web.
SUPER SOUL SUNDAY is my favorite show on OWN and the real reason I wanted a network. My conversation with spiritual "intuitive" Carolyn Myss was so insightful, inspirational and filled with multiple AHA moments for me, I wanted to find a way to expand the platform so that SEEKERS around the world could all share at the same time. This show is for those of you who want affirmation and inspiration for walking the path to a better life.
What I know for sure, we're all on the same Human Road, and whether you're in your 20's and trying to figure things out, as @CoWayBo tweeted me recently, or if you think you've got it all figured out and just need assurance SUPER SOUL SUNDAY will surely bring you insights that will bring you greater clarity, direction and ultimately purpose. Who doesn't want more of that? I do. That's why I continue to reach for the teachers who've been inspirational in my own life and others who I think can bring spiritual perspective to our human condition.
So, calling all who seek Happiness, Wellness, Fullness and JOY!...Join me this Sunday for an encore of DeVon Franklin at 10am. Those of you who saw him no there's no hyperbole when I say he is GREAT! Followed by an all new Carolyn Myss at 11am. These are eastern times, adjust according to where you are in the world.
Then Facebook your comments afterwords. I'm building a network and need your feedback, on OWN of course.
Reair of DeVon Franklin at 10a eastern.
Second hour, all-new SUPER SOUL SUNDAY with Carolyn Myss at 11a eastern.
Simulcast on Facebook and Oprah.com.
Grateful for your support,
The Deutsch Blog shares an email from Max's mother, in which she writes about how Max (who is also a junior ambassador of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where he has been treated since birth) was not only scared, "He was also very sad that summer would be in rest in recovery instead of playing baseball, golf and traveling. Around bedtime he asked if I would stay up with him and talk. He wanted to make a 'CAN DO' list. So we wrote out all the things he can do so he could focus on those. Then he said we definitely had to 'Fun Up' the house." You have to read the whole email for this family's list of ways to "Fun Up" their house -- surgery or not, these are some seriously amazing ideas. And I love the idea of a Can Do list. Instead of grumbling about how we don't have any friends inviting us to summer in the Hamptons (seriously, people, where are you?), perhaps we could all do to make our own Can Do lists. What's awesome about this summer? About this life? If you can't see the world before August, can you arrange for a visit to the sprinkler? Can you bravely conquer a reading list? Can you "fun up" your own house/office/existence? It's a pretend question. You can. You know you can.
And don't forget what Max told his mother: "I don’t have a choice. I have to go through it. I don’t like it and it’s still scary—but I have to. So I think I might as well go through it with a good attitude." We should probably all say this to ourselves every day. We should scrawl it on our front doors, to remind ourselves as we go out into the scary world every day: "I might as well go through it with a good attitude."
(PS - By all reports, the surgery was a success, and it looks like Max is going to be enjoying a pretty rocking summer in his Funned-Up House.)
How Positive Energy Can Change Your Life
Maintaining an Upbeat Vibe
For some Americans, nuns are an integral part of their religious community. For others, they're teachers. Those without personal interactions with the sisters might say somewhat vaguely that those are the women who sing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" in The Sound of Music. Still, most people don't know a whole lot about nuns' everyday lives. This week on Our America, Lisa Ling talks to women of all ages who have pledged themselves to God. Tune in on Tuesday, June 19th, at 10/9c to learn what draws them to this lifestyle—and what they miss about the lives they leave behind.
Are you reading Wild with us this summer? Oprah and author Cheryl Strayed are answering YOUR questions about this unforgettable memoir.
Colleen McMillan Asked: Can you tell us how you came up with the title?
See Cheryl's Video Response:
Do you have a question for Cheryl or Oprah about Wild? Ask away here!