7 Reasons to Cut Back on Coffee

7 Reasons to Cut Back on Coffee

Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington at Real Food for Life

Coffee is for Bugs not Your Body!

Caffeine is a natural insecticide that plants have been using to  protect themselves from insects for thousands of years!

That caffeine in your steaming cup of coffee has been put to much better use  in driving away or killing insects in your backyard, rather than  getting you going in the morning.

7 Reasons to Cut Down on Your Coffee or Caffeine Consumption 

1. Caffeine was developed as a poison.

Over millions of years, plants have developed various powerful compounds to  stop insects from stripping away every bit of greenery from the planet. Many  plants are obviously poisonous or extremely inedible to protect themselves.  Other examples of slightly toxic substances include oxalic acid in  leafy greens and capsaicin in chili peppers. When you consider the fact that we  consume 12,000 tons of caffeine a year, the amounts in these other foods are  miniscule in comparison. A good rule of thumb for health is to avoid or reduce  poisons.

2. Caffeine exhausts the adrenals.

Whereas a dose of caffeine in a small insect may stun or even kill it, in  humans it just gives us a little “buzz.” This stimulation is what many people  depend on to get themselves going with their morning coffee, but it is short  lived.

Since it really is just stimulation, an excitement of the nervous and  glandular system, it’s not producing any long term energy; and as soon as that  little high wears off, you are reaching for another shot.  Do this enough  times and your nervous and glandular system, particularly the adrenal gland, is  exhausted.  You have to keep increasing the “dose” to have energy and  eventually nothing works and you crash.

3.  Caffeine is addictive.

The fact that you can get caffeine withdrawal symptoms if you stop is an  obvious symptom of addiction. Most people don’t want to be addicted to  anything!

You probably think you don’t drink enough to be addicted, but research shows  you probably already are. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed  that low to moderate caffeine intake (as little as one small cup of coffee per  day) can quickly produce withdrawal symptoms.

4.  Caffeine often comes with sugar and other health hazards. 

Raw coffee beans by themselves don’t taste good, so sweeteners are  usually  added. This is usually white sugar or some artificial chemical  that tastes  sweet.

Some people consider white sugar to also be a chemical poison.

At the very least, sugar is definitely a dumb carb and not a smart carb.  Other than the  simple sugars, it has no micronutrients like vitamins or  minerals to help your  body. Also it has a high glycemic index so it  goes quickly into the system,  creating insulin spikes and insulin  resistance, which eventually leads to  weight gain.

5.  Caffeine toxicity has been linked to, well, almost  everything.

The above four points are pretty well known. Caffeine toxicity, on the other  hand, doesn’t seem to be as commonly discussed. If you do a  medical search for  “caffeine toxicity” on Google Scholar, you get 44,000 entries.

Caffeine has been associated with studies in a lot of conditions  including:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • insomnia
  • psychosis
  • anorexia
  • sleeplessness
  • headaches
  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • depression
  • bedwetting
  • birth defects in rodents

6.  Caffeine is used as an insecticide.

Back to my original point. Over 20 years ago James Nathanson,  assistant  professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, reported in Science magazine of this  important function of caffeine. The study determined that  caffeine  combined with other insecticides increases their killing power. In one  test, a small dose of caffeine increased known pesticides potency by 10  times. Caffeine appears to produce the destructive effect by  suppressing certain enzymes in the insects’ nervous systems. In man, caffeine is  now classified by many scientists as a neurotoxin. That means it is definitely  not “good” for your nerves.

Do you think that maybe you have other pesticides in your system that  caffeine could react with?

7.  Coffee cups destroy the environment.

The world drinks 400 billion coffees a year. We toss away 100 million cups a  year which, if we are careful with our trash, ends up in landfills.

The paper in landfills, like all organic matter, decomposes without oxygen,  and thus produces methane which has 23 times the heat trapping power of CO2.

The plastic coating of the paper and the polystyrene coffee cup lid, after  its minutes-long use, will continue to exist for hundreds of years. Plastic  coffee cup lids contain the toxic substances styrene and benzene, which have  been documented as suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins. That’s also bad!

You Could Choose Worse!

If you are going to choose a drug, caffeine is certainly better than alcohol,  nicotine, cocaine or narcotics.  Narcotics used to be readily available in  the drugstore but new understanding has caused their restriction, so most people  have moved into caffeine and alcohol.

Coffee does some have specific uses: They would tend to be medicinal.  Caffeine, for example, is added to many cold and pain medications to increase  their speed and potency.  This decreases overall medicine use.

Coffee also has some great social benefits. The coffee shops around the world  seem to fulfill a universal urge to come together to talk and eat and drink. In  the crazy world we live in, coffee shops are often a tiny oasis of comfort and  calm. That being said, perhaps we could be drinking alternate beverages with  less caffeine.

You Could Choose Better: 5 Caffeine Alternatives

1. Green Tea

Green tea has one-half to one-sixth the caffeine of regular brewed coffee. It  has about half the caffeine as a Coke or Pepsi. Some specialty green teas have  even less caffeine than this.

What green tea has more of is all kinds of health benefits,  including prevention in cancer and  heart disease. Maybe this is why green  tea is the second most popular beverage in the world (after water) and the  most popular health beverage. Green tea is considered a critical element in  the development of the British middle class, women’s liberation, girl guides,  charity organizations, and the American Revolution.

2. Herbal Beverages

Other than in bars, it is now socially acceptable to drink herbal drinks in  public!  They are often called “herbal teas” although technically they are  not.

3.  Ice Cold Orange Juice or Lemon Water

Both will give you smart carbs with natural energy and will also reduce your  risk of heart disease. Most other fruit juices have additional health benefits.  Lemon water is also highly alkalizing. It will take a bit more time or energy to  have fresh juice but you won’t be spending time making coffee.

4.  Dandelion Coffee

The nice thing about this is that it can be absolutely free. Dandelion root  has a host of health benefits.

5.  Power Foods:  Pick One, Any One

There are whole foods that will give you the energy and clarity that you are  trying to get with coffee. They are probably in your kitchen right now. Below is  a list of great choices for breakfast or a snack. Take your pick from the list  and enjoy the energy and health benefits!

  • Apples: One of these per day will keep the doctor  away!
  • Bananas
  • Raspberries Contains the anti-carcinogenic  substance, ellagic acid.
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts: The crinkly  powerfood with the highest antioxidant activity of any nut.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: The alkalizing seed.
  • Quinoa: This nutty-flavored powerfood is pronounced  keen–wa.
  • Oatmeal  Much more health benefits than just fiber.

 

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The Morrigan, Phantom Queen

The Morrigan

The Phantom Queen

The Morrígan (“phantom queen”) or Mórrígan (“great queen”), also written as Morrígu or in the plural as Morrígna, and spelt Morríghan or Mór-ríoghain in Modern Irish, is a figure from Irish mythology who appears to have been considered a goddess, although she is not explicitly referred to as such in the texts.

The Morrígan is a goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty. She sometimes appears in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors, and in the Ulster cycle she also takes the form of an eel, a wolf and a cow. She is generally considered a war deity comparable with the Germanic Valkyries, although her association with a cow may also suggest a role connected with wealth and the land.

She is often depicted as a trio of goddesses, all sisters, although membership of the triad varies; the most common combinations are Badb, Macha and Nemain, or Badb, Macha and Anand; Anand is also given as an alternate name for Morrigu.

There is some disagreement over the meaning of the Morrígan’s name. Mor may derive from an Indo-European root connoting terror or monstrousness, cognate with the Old English maere (which survives in the modern English word “nightmare”) and the Scandinavian mara and the Old Russian “mara” (“nightmare”); while rígan translates as ‘queen’. This can be reconstructed in Proto-Celtic as *Moro-rīganī-s. Accordingly, Morrígan is often translated as “Phantom Queen”. This is the derivation generally favoured in current scholarship.

In the Middle Irish period the name is often spelled Mórrígan with a lengthening diacritic over the ‘o’, seemingly intended to mean “Great Queen” (Old Irish mór, ‘great’; this would derive from a hypothetical Proto-Celtic *Māra Rīganī-s). Whitley Stokes believed this latter spelling was a due to a false etymology popular at the time. There have also been attempts by modern writers to link the Morrígan with the Welsh literary figure Morgan le Fay from Arthurian romance, in whose name ‘mor’ may derive from a Welsh word for ‘sea’, but the names are derived from different cultures and branches of the Celtic linguistic tree.

Invocation of Morrigan

Morrigan Morrigan Three times Three,

Hear the words I ask of Thee.

Grant me vision, Grant me power,

Cheer me in my darkest hour.

As the night overtakes the day,

Morrigan Morrigan Light my way.

Morrigan Morrigan Raven Queen

Round and round the Hawthorn Green.

Queen of beauty, Queen of Art,

Yours my body, Yours my heart.

All my trust I place in thee,

Morrigan Morrigan Be with me…

Morrigan As The Triple Goddesss

The Morrígan is often considered a triple goddess, but this triple nature is ambiguous and inconsistent. Sometimes she appears as one of three sisters, the daughters of Ernmas: Morrígan, Badb and Macha. Sometimes the trinity consists of Badb, Macha and Anann, collectively known as the Morrígna. Occasionally Nemain or Fea appear in the various combinations. However, the Morrígan can also appear alone, and her name is sometimes used interchangeably with Badb.

The Morrígan is usually interpreted as a “war goddess”; W. M. Hennessey’s “The Ancient Irish Goddess of War”, written in 1870, was influential in establishing this interpretation. Her role often involves premonitions of a particular warrior’s violent death, suggesting a link with the Banshee of later folklore. This connection is further noted by Patricia Lysaght: “In certain areas of Ireland this supernatural being is, in addition to the name banshee, also called the badhb“. Her role was to not only be a symbol of imminent death, but to also influence the outcome of war. Most often she did this by appearing as a crow flying overhead and would either inspire fear or courage in the hearts of the warriors. There are also a few rare accounts where she would join in the battle itself as a warrior and show her favoritism in a more direct manner.

It has also been suggested that she was closely tied to Irish männerbund groups (described as “bands of youthful warrior-hunters, living on the borders of civilized society and indulging in lawless activities for a time before inheriting property and taking their places as members of settled, landed communities”) and that these groups may have been in some way dedicated to her. If true, her worship may have resembled that of Perchta groups in Germanic areas.

However, Máire Herbert has argued that “war per se is not a primary aspect of the role of the goddess”, and that her association with cattle suggests her role was connected to the earth, fertility and sovereignty; she suggests that her association with war is a result of a confusion between her and the Badb, who she argues was originally a separate figure. She can be interpreted as providing political or military aid, or protection to the king—acting as a goddess of sovereignty, not necessarily a war goddess.

There is a burnt mound site in County Tipperary known as Fulacht na Mór Ríoghna (‘cooking pit of the Mórrígan’). The fulachtaí sites are found in wild areas, and usually associated with outsiders such as the Fianna and the above-mentioned männerbund groups, as well as with the hunting of deer. The cooking connection also suggests to some a connection with the three mythical hags who cook the meal of dogflesh that brings the hero Cúchulainn to his doom. The Dá Chich na Morrigna (‘two breasts of the Mórrígan’), a pair of hills in County Meath, suggest to some a role as a tutelary goddess, comparable to Anu, who has her own hills, Dá Chích Anann (‘the breasts of Anu’) in County Kerry. Other goddesses known to have similar hills are Áine and Grian of County Limerick who, in addition to a tutelary function, also have solar attributes.

Morrigan Poem

by Anne-Christine Johnson 

 When the crows shriek thier frightening warnings,       

When autumn ends, and Winter falls,  

You will see a Lady a wondering,

weeping through the saddened fields.       

She is turning the Silver Wheel of the seasons.


When the crows heed their endless calling,  

Look to the Moon to see a Lady, dancing in the blackened clouds,

And when at night you see her coming, fall in wonder of what  

beauty she possesses, and shed your tears.  

The Great Queen is walking her footsteps once again.    

Morrighan, Morrighan, you’ll call her by name.


When the old earth opens from beneath your feet,   

crows will catch you before you fall and place you in

Her cauldron,  where rebirth waits and death awakens,   

your prophecy you will find. What you see is Her,

walking the shadows and howling to the Universe,  

forewarning Her arrival.


Black hair falling to Her feet, fill the ocean and become the waves,

Her legs become the forest; Her breasts become the mountains.     

Her womb becomes your ancient home.

Morrigan

by Danielle Dee
The Morrigan is a goddess of battle, strife, and fertility. Her name translates as either “Great Queen” or “Phantom Queen,” and both epithets are entirely appropriate for her. The Morrigan appears as both a single goddess and a trio of goddesses. The other deities who form the trio are Badb (“Crow”), and either Macha (also connotes “Crow”) or Nemain (“Frenzy”). The Morrigan frequently appears in the ornithological guise of a hooded crow. She is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann (“Tribe of the goddess Danu”) and she helped defeat the Firbolg at the First Battle of Mag Tuireadh and the Fomorians at the Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh.

Origin

The origins of the Morrigan seem to reach directly back to the megalithic cult of the Mothers. The Mothers (Matrones, Idises, Disir, etc.) usually appeared as triple goddesses and their cult was expressed through both battle ecstasy and regenerative ecstasy. It’s also interesting to note that later Celtic goddesses of sovereignty, such as the trio of Eriu, Banba, and Fotla, also appear as a trio of female deities who use magic in warfare. “Influence in the sphere of warfare, but by means of magic and incantation rather than through physical strength, is common to these beings.” (Ross 205)

Eriu, a goddess connected to the land in a fashion reminiscent of the Mothers, could appear as a beautiful woman or as a crow, as could the Morrigan. The Disir appeared in similar guises. In addition to being battle goddesses, they are significantly associated with fate as well as birth in many cases, along with appearing before a death or to escort the deceased.

There is certainly evidence that the concept of a raven goddess of battle was not limited to the Irish Celts. An inscription found in France which reads Cathubodva, ‘Battle Raven’, shows that a similar concept was at work among the Gaulish Celts.

Valkyries in Norse cosmology. Both use magic to cast fetters on warriors and choose who will die.

During the Second Battle, the Morrigan “said she would go and destroy Indech son of De Domnann and ‘deprive him of the blood of his heart and the kidneys of his valor’, and she gave two handfuls of that blood to the hosts. When Indech later appeared in the battle, he was already doomed.” (Rees 36)

Compare this to the Washer at the Ford, another guise of the Morrigan. The Washer is usually to be found washing the clothes of men about to die in battle. In effect, she is choosing who will die.

An early German spell found in Merseburg mentions the Indisi, who decided the fortunes of war and the fates of warriors. The Scandinavian “Song of the Spear”, quoted in “Njals Saga”, gives a detailed description of Valkyries as women weaving on a grisly loom, with severed heads for weights, arrows for shuttles, and entrails for the warp. As they worked, they exulted at the loss of life that would take place. “All is sinister now to see, a cloud of blood moves over the sky, the air is red with the blood of men, and the battle women chant their song.” (Davidson 94)

An Old English poem, “Exodus”, refers to ravens as choosers of the slain. In all these sources, ravens, choosing of the slain, casting fetters, and female beings are linked.

“As the Norse and English sources show them to us, the walkurjas are figures of awe an even terror, who delight in the deaths of men. As battlefield scavengers, they are very close to the ravens, who are described as waelceasega, “picking over the dead”…” (Our Troth)

“The function of the goddess [the Morrigan] here, it may be noted, is not to attack the hero [Cu Chulainn] with weapons but to render him helpless at a crucial point in the battle, like the valkyries who cast ‘fetters’ upon warriors … thus both in Irish and Scandinavian literature we have a conception of female beings associated with battle, both fierce and erotic.” (Davidson 97, 100)

The Morrigan and Cu Chulainn She appeared to the hero Cu Chulainn(son of the god Lugh) and offered her love to him. When he failed to recognize her and rejected her, she told him that she would hinder him when he was in battle. When Cu Chulainn was eventually killed, she settled on his shoulder in the form of a crow. Cu’s misfortune was that he never recognized the feminine power of sovereignty that she offered to him.

She appeared to him on at least four occasions and each time he failed to recognize her.

  1. When she appeared to him and declared her love for him.
  2. After he had wounded her, she appeared to him as an old hag and he offered his blessings to her, which caused her to be healed.
  3. On his way to his final battle, he saw the Washer at the Ford, who declared that she was washing the clothes and arms of Cu Chulainn, who would soon be dead.
  4. When he was forced by three hags (the Morrigan in her triple aspect) to break a taboo of eating dogflesh.

Encyclopedia Mythica

The Morrigu

 by J. Laskey 

She haunts you in your dreams

When you wake you can’t even scream

You hear the wind in the midnight sky

Upon which the Morrigu shall fly

She is justice and everything right

Look out for more than dreams tonight…

Between both worlds the crow awaits

This perfect twist of fate Life or death, living or dead

You can’t escape the places you’ve tread

Mark my words, make no mistake

It’s only everything she will take…

Morrigan’s Image Representation

“The Mare-Queen” is often shown as a black raven or hooded crow, who feeds on the killed warriors after battle. She appears also as a caillech, one-eyed old woman. As a shape shifter, she would often appear as a raven or red cow. But sometimes when she is hot and looking for love she is also an attractive young lady.

Morrigan’s Role

The origins of the Morrígan seem to reach directly back to the megalithic cult of the Mothers. The Mothers (Matrones, Idises, Dísir, etc.) usually appeared as triple goddesses and their cult was expressed through both battle ecstasy and regenerative ecstasy.

The Morrigu is prophetess of all misfortune in battle and has knowledge of the fate of humanity. She is also the messenger of death as the dark lady/washer at the ford : Morrigan is seen washing bloody laundry prior to battle by those destined to die.

Her personality is associated with the sometimes frightening aspects of female energy.

As a protectress she empowers an individual to confront challenges with great personal strength, even against seemingly overwhelming odds. Roman chroniclers reported that Celts went into battle naked, exposing tattoos to summon their magical forces.

Morrigan’s Signs & Symbols

Sacred animal: Cow and Mare, Raven and Crow

Ford of a river

The Colors RED and BLACK.

Weapons like spears,swords and shields.

Blood

Blackthorn

Additional Information on Morrigan

Attributes: archetypal Goddess of war, death and passionate love.

Representation: as a black raven or crow, who feeds on the killed warriors after battle.

Relations: Wife or Lover of Dagda, Daughter of

Offerings: Blood sacrifice

“Shrine of the Forgotten Goddesses”

Saint of the Day for August 24 is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the “cream” of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the Bible to contemporary novels.

In spite of her high society background, Elizabeth’s early life was quiet, simple, and often lonely. As she grew a little older, the Bible was to become her continual instruction, support and comfort; she would continue to love the Scriptures for the rest of her life.

In 1794, Elizabeth married the wealthy young William Seton, with whom she was deeply in love. The first years of their marriage were happy and prosperous. Elizabeth wrote in her diary at first autumn, “My own home at twenty-the world-that and heaven too-quite impossible.”

This time of Elizabeth’s life was to be a brief moment of earthly happiness before the many deaths and partings she was to suffer. Within four years, Will’s father died, leaving the young couple in charge of Will’s seven half brothers and sisters, as well as the family’s importing business. Now events began to move fast – and with devastating effect. Both Will’s business and his health failed. He was finally forced to file a petition of bankruptcy. In a final attempt to save Will’s health, the Setons sailed for Italy, where Will had business friends. Will died of tuberculosis while in Italy. Elizabeth’s one consolation was that Will had recently awakened to the things of God.

The many enforced separations from dear ones by death and distance, served to draw Elizabeth’s heart to God and eternity. The accepting and embracing of God’s will – “The Will,” as she called it – would be a keynote in her spiritual life.

Elizabeth’s deep concern for the spiritual welfare of her family and friends eventually led her into the Catholic Church.

In Italy, Elizabeth captivated everyone by her own kindness, patience, good sense, wit and courtesy. During this time Elizabeth became interested in the Catholic Faith, and over a period of months, her Italian friends guided her in Catholic instructions.

Elizabeth’s desire for the Bread of Life was to be a strong force leading her to the Catholic Church.

Having lost her mother at an early age, Elizabeth felt great comfort in the idea that the Blessed Virgin was truly her mother. She asked the Blessed Virgin to guide her to the True Faith. Elizabeth finally joined the Catholic Church in 1805.

At the suggestion of the president of St. Mary’s College in Baltimore, Maryland, Elizabeth started a school in that city. She and two other young women, who helped her in her work, began plans for a Sisterhood. They established the first free Catholic school in America. When the young community adopted their rule, they made provisions for Elizabeth to continue raising her children.

On March 25, 1809, Elizabeth Seton pronounced her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, binding for one year. From that time she was called Mother Seton.

Although Mother Seton was now afflicted with tuberculosis, she continued to guide her children. The Rule of the Sisterhood was formally ratified in 1812. It was based upon the Rule St. Vincent de Paul had written for his Daughters of Charity in France. By 1818, in addition to their first school, the sisters had established two orphanages and another school. Today six groups of sisters trace their origins to Mother Seton’s initial foundation.

For the last three years of her life, Elizabeth felt that God was getting ready to call her, and this gave her joy. Mother Seton died in 1821 at the age of 46, only sixteen years after becoming a Catholic. She was canonized on September 14, 1975.