Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What is in a name?

I am really paying attention to who I am and what I want in life and it has brought a lot of change and a lot of new imaginative images into my mind and seen through my actions. The past few weeks I have thought of three factors that have shaped me and may shape me in the future.

Factor #1: The chances of me getting a tattoo are slim to NONE!!! To be honest I have always known this. The Jewish religion states if I am to get a tattoo I will be unable to be burried in a Jewish cemetery. This may be a law many disagree on but I believe in it. Your body is a temple and should be kept as pure as possible so that your soul can arrive to the gates where you may or may not meet Hashem. I am not the type of person to look at others with tattoos in jealousy, disgust, disrecpect or anything like that. In fact a good tattoo can be a turn on for me. The reason this has been in my head is because I think about the necklaces and rings I have had and have at the moment and realize I kind of want something permanent but I don't know what. This lead to thinking about tattoos and what I would get. I had decided on getting Stitch tattooed onto my wrist with him holding the world which led me to think I need bigger space than the rist and as I was sitting with my moms friends I saw one of her friends has this awesome eagle tattoe on her back. FYI if you met this woman you would understand why a woman over the age of 60 still looks good with a tattoe on her back. So I thought of getting the tattoe on my back. Again I wouldn't really think about getting a tattoe considering I hate needles, I hate pain and I really really really want to be burried with my family. I just think about the thought of a permenant expression of who I am.

Factor # 2: I really really really really really really (*100 obnoxiously) want to be more intuned with my religion. People question what it is to be more religion and the truth is that this is a factor that is defined only by the one who chooses to define their own religion. For me I don't know what exactly it means but it starts with being here in Israel and finding myself. I already know when I get back I am doing some serious synagogue searching. FInding a synagogue in San Diego where I actually feel like myself. I haven't wanted to since leaving Utah at all. In Utah I had just about the perfect synagogue in the palm of my hands with a group of people that I grew to love to spend time with every Friday and on Holidays. Coming back to San Diego I just knew I wasn't going to be able to find that but now, now I think even if I just get close it will be enough for me to just start delving into learning more and being a part of a community. I also know that being closer to my religion means experiencing and learning about ecery aspect of the Jewish relgion. There is so much I don't know about and after my trip to the graves of the Rabbis and to Saruks mother who is respected as a spiritual woman in her town and after being with people who see themselves as socially, culturally and ethnically Jewish I have learned that religion isn't always about going to Shul every Friday or having to cleanse yourself before a wedding (a womans tradition of bathing in the mikvah (holy bath). Being Jewish or being of any faith for that matter means defining yourself in that category. FYI Athiests and Agnostics are included as well. Just cause they say they don't have a religion doesn't mean they don't. They define themselves as Agnostic or Athiest meaning they believe in something there for they have a religious belief. For me I know to define myself I need to find my balance between the extremists on each side of the spectrum. I am Jew what kind of Jew is the question I am asking myself.

Factor # 3 is my name. Over twenty four years ago for some unknown reason my mother decided to name me Nicole Sharon Recht. Ever since I was a little child I have been proud of being Nicole Recht. Nicole is who I am Recht is where I am from and will always be a part of me so yes I take pride in that. as for the Sharon all I can say is I have always questioned it for many reasons. For one thing it just doesn't sound right. Another issue I have is that both my brothers have middle names after family members. My older brother Danny Max for instance should be proud to be named after his grandfather Max. My grandfather was a hard working man who appreciated lifes some gifts, who was a great father from what I here about him and who left an impression on many. My little brother Adam Lee is named after his Grandmother Leah. My grandmother was apparently like myself, stubborn as can be. She was also stricked, caring and mysterious in her own right. As for me I am named after..... No one? At a young age I never liked my middle name but I never thought anything of it until my mom started talking about her Aunt Sarah. Now for some odd reason I took to the name. she would mention her walking all the time being an aunt she loved and would tell some stories. The more she would talk and the more I learned about her I realized that I like Nicole Sarah a whole lot more then Nicole Sharon. I have seen myself as Nicole Sarah for years now and recently I thought of legally making it official. I have done my research on the name and aside from the obvious reason of changing my name to pay tribute to my great aunt who sounds amazing I also would love to pay tribute to the biblical Sarah who sacrificed her happiness for her husband by letting him marry another woman to bare a child. She gave this woman a home as a servant yet treated her as though she was a queen and then after struggling for years she had a child of her own Izhak who becomes the father of Judaism. To top everything off after struggling with health and after changing my life I would love to believe that it is time to define myself the way I would like to be defined. I would love to be Nicole Sarah daughter of Shoshi who takes pride in her religion and family and who fights to be a strong giving person. So I have come to the conclusion that I am going to make it legal when I get back to the states and change my name on my birth certificate. It will be interesting to do so especially after coming back from Israel.

anyways tomorrow I am arriving in Eilat to start a new journey on a hike of a lifetime with a group of people I hope will be great company and I am sure they will be.

Till Next Time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The American Israeli Understanding

This blog is something I have been trying to comprehend since Sophomore year of high school when I came back to the states.
Imagine coming back from a very simple yet tough life where people learn hard, work hard, and in return get political conflict, exhaustion, warfare in some areas, and a minimal amount of income. Imagine being in that world and not worrying about it to much, enjoying what you have, loving that you are a part of a country like no other country, you are friends with just about everyone around you and although dealing with people on a business level sucks all you have to do for help is ask the person next to you (heck sometimes you don't even have to ask).
Lastly Imagine leaving all of that, going back to a world where everyone is living in a bubble, you lived in that tiny bubble yourself so don't judge to much, and imagine them not knowing what it's like to worry about the important things or not knowing how to truly be someone who if I were sitting next to you on a bus and just said hello they would acknowledge that.
I came back to a world of worrying about which car will be the first car, "what does she think about me?" "Mrs. Edid is being such a hard a**," "My mom won't buy me the dress I want." and so on. Again I don't judge and honestly I am that person as well.
The other type of person I see is the person who leaves Israel for the bigger life in the states. They either embrace this crazy lifestyle of needing to have bigger and better materialist items and showing off or they realize it really wasn't worth it to begin with.
Watching all of this puts my thoughts and actions into perspective. Everything to me now is something I truly think about. This happened when I came back to San Diego sophomore year in fact for my 17th birthday it was about a car. growing up in a community where the lexus and range rovers are given to children as though they are candy I knew my father would look for any car I wanted and before Israel I totally wanted the hotest car out there. In fact I idealized my cousin who talked about a mustang, red with black top with the works so I totally wanted to go that route. I got back and realized why would I want a mustang when I should think about safety and other important factors in a car. I still in my spoiled sense got exactly what I wanted. A beautiful Nissan Altima that has driven me to the end of the universe and back while I torture the poor baby. The difference between my spoiledness through the mustang is that I wanted what everyone else expected me to want as a spoiled child when I wanted a hot brand new mustang rather than a safe, beach friendly, spacious car with one heck of a trunk that has fit my entire life at a point.
Speaking of the point, I should get to mine. Coming back many years ago I had no one who understood. Not one person who was able to explain what was going on in my mind. I have found Israeli's who finally realized why they loved Israel which was close and friends who even though they didn't understand they tried to understand, and friends that never needed to get it. For some reason it was always hard for me to sit there with no one truly there to get it.
After some time I just closed off until recently. For some odd reason I decided to open up a little more. It's a slow process but the more I do so the more I become open to people the more I find that there are those who do understand. I have had conversations with people who have moved from the states to Israel and experience the same thing I have. I have seen them return to the states and experience those emotions and I have met with people who have moved to the states after growing up in Israel and understanding it as well as moving back to Israel because they miss the simplicity of living this simple life here.
I have found that each person like myself can't really pinpoint what it is about the lifestyle here that makes you change everything you see. Your whole perspective of all the little things change, you start looking at others differently, and you change what you feel is needed in life. What I have noticed and you can correct me if I am wrong, there is something although you become proud of the change there is just something that urks you. You look at others in judgement, you look at the material items with appreciation yet with regrets for having them, and most importantly you can't understand why in the first place you were like that to begin with.
At the age of sixteen, when I was a crazy teen not understanding my emotions or thoughts this is what I went through with no one there to explain it all. For a year and a half I tried to understand how I could be so spoiled and so protected without appreciating any of it, how I could want it all with no purpose for it and why I chose to live as that type of person. To add to it all I began almost hating everyone I saw stuck in that little bubble. I couldn't understand my hatred, I am not one who enjoys hatred but for some reason I would look at the rich snobby kid next to me with disbelief and disgust. The more I talk to others the more I realize what was going on in my mind. Most of the people I have talked to are adults, more mature than the sixteen year old girl I was so they have more of an understanding of it all. This has put everything into the beaming light that has just turned on in my tiny brain.
It's not hatred, it's not confusion really, and it sure isn't terrible to think the things I did. I just needed to put the thoughts all together to realize a few things. What I realized was this:
- I was spoiled because my parents love me and there is nothing wrong with that.
- I didn't appreciate it because I was a child.
- I saw others and judged them because I was judging myself.
- I don't need to figure out where to go from here, I need to figure out how to take my lessons and use them NOW.
- I don't need to no where to go from here but how to use my lessons in the here and now.
- It was never about anyone else, It was about me, myself and I and learning who that is.
- Lastly, everyone goes through their own lessons, whether or not that makes them a better person is their choice. For me, I hope it all makes me a better person, I hope it makes me a person who appreciates everything I gain, I hope I become more open once again and most importantly I hope to continue to learn more from others that have something to tell me.
Cat Cora
Lenna F. Cooper
I truly have to say thank you for those who understand my rambling. It's hard to live in a world where you can't really see what you need to in order to live life the way you want to but if you open your eyes, if you allow yourself to see what others see and feel you will be able to be the person who inspired to be as a child. Although wanting to be the next Golda Meir has changed to the next Lenna F. Cooper mixed with a little Cat Cora but the rest is still the same and sometimes it takes others to see it.

Till Next Time

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Relief For That Time of the Month

Warning in advance: This may get a little to close and personal especially if you are a guy who just doesn't understand the female body. If you are uncomfortable feel free to read my other blog posts.

For those who want to continue allow me to remind you that I had been rather sick in the past after losing a lot of weight in a rather fast period of time. This also lead to me being Hormonally empty inside which also meant I had no menstrual cycle. For two years, for two beautiful two years (saying this while PMSing by the way) I have been bleeding free, cramping free, and saving money not having to go to the store to by tampons or pads. It was a couple years of greatness in my opinion. 

Now here is the thing of having two beautiful years of being menstrual free: YOU HAVE NO HORMONES IN THE BODY or they are out of wack. This can be a huge issue that can lead to cancer, osteoporosis, and infertility along with other side effects. Needless to say although I do miss the days of not having to worry about whether or not I have enough products stashed and knowing that when I am angery it's just cause someone pissed me off rather than because I couldn't watch my shows or because the waiter forgot my water. The truth is when I was menstrating naturally I didn't have a lot of cramping or bloating. It was rather easy to go through with it every month unless you were everyone else around me. A few months ago due to Osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis) in my lower spine and body it was time for my doctors to actually to some extent force me to attempt the pill. I HATE PILLS (especially this one)! Being on the pill is seen to actually do the complete opposite for a person with a normal cycle but for me a was diagnosed with Amenorrhea (absent cycle) which if put on the pill can be reversed. There are however differences in naturally occurring monthly periods and chemically forced menstrual cycle. As mentioned I would have a pretty easy cycle for myself when it occurred naturally but on the pill things have changed. I have beyond painful cramps, bloating that makes me look like I have gained 5 pounds, headaches and at times my anxiety levels will reach an all time high (especially at night) and the biggest change is the excessive cravings. I crave every fat there is, along with every type of meat there is. 

Why am I being all personal with you all to the point of it being Taboo? I love researching how to change the position I am in and being the all awesome nutritionist that I am I did it looking for foods and supplements I can find which has also lead to me writing about it so for those women who are having similar issues with their cycle may gain a tip or two that helps them. Here is what I have learned: 

PMS stands for Premenstraul Syndrome. It is a syndrome that varies from woman to woman and it's unknown why it exactly happens although there are some theories placed. One of the theories from  studies show some correlation with bloating to the Hormonal changes that happen in the body. As your bodies hormones fluctuate it also is given signals to reatin water and salt causing you to bloat and to crave salty foods like salted nuts, chips, and sodas. Another theory I stumpled upon is that your body is in such dier need for nutrients and minerals that it just can't keep up. A woman who experiences abnormal pain is believed to need more Vitamin K, A woman who is tired, moody and/or constipated may be low in their Vitamin Bs and an Iron deficiency can also be the cause of the tiredness along with breathlessness and is seen to cause the exreme side effect of birth defects when pregnent or infertility. 

So? What can you do to help yourself? Listen to your body and give it what it needs. My body has been craving all of the above and more like Fatty Acids (Omega's which help distribute these nutrients) So I eat fish. Go to a fish joint and get a delicious Ahi tuna or stay at home by finding the freshest fish put it in the steamer with some lemon and pepper and if needed light salt (salts not wise while menstrating) and enjoy.
For the listed Vitamin K, the darker the green the higher the intake. Go for some kale or spinach add it to the side of that fish you just cooked up. Sauteed the kale with some garlic and lemon and you have deliciousness and you can do the same with the spinach or you can find kale chips just about anywhere today. 
Need your Iron? As a meat eater myself I say splurge on the steak or lamb. As someone who appreciates those on a Vegetarian diet go for the herbs, chocolate and seeds (from gaurds, sesame, or sunflower).  For those going for the meat liver is your best bet but I despise liver so if you can do so any Jewish or New Yorker deli will have some liver dish you can go for. For me I like getting a filet or any lean cut of beef and putting it on the grill with a light mustared sauce (mustard, stevia, spice and lemon) or I love doing a cocoa mole sauce which I couldn't explain even if I tried but is a great place to look. For the vegetarians go for some homemade granola with whole grain oats, nuts and some dark chocolate
Your Vitamin Bs are found in numerous foods mainly in high protein foods. You can find a great amount of B Vitamins in chicken and turkey along with beef and fish. Vegetarians will be glad to know that Vitamin B is found in Lentils, whole wheat products (especially wheat bran) and in chickpeas. blend in some lentils with that kale and you have a great side or grab some Hummus from the store. Here in Israel my new favorite way to get some B Vitamins in me is a trip to Abu Hassan. It's a Hummus restaurant with the best Hummus in Israel, literally! It has been voted the best Hummus in Israel. 
Lastly be aware of your salty sweet cravings. these are the two cravings you really don't want to give int to too much. Your body is already retaining water and holding on to the salt that is already in your diet which is also the reason for your sugar craving by the way. If you want something sweet really badly go for some fruit. Apricots, strawberries, oranges and citrus fruit are great choices. For your salty cravings go for some goats cheese. Goat cheese is high in calcium which is needed for the bones and it is easier for the body to digest then cows milk and the natural saltyness of goats cheese will help you settle that salty craving. 

Aside from food there are other ways you can enjoy some healing from your PMS symptoms. Here are five ways you can start feeling a little better during that time of the month. 

- Go for a walk
- Try a new work out like yoga
- accupuncture 
- rest! 
- a warm bath 

Needless to say I have had a bath the past few days every morning, am going to get some accupuncture done tomorrow and going for a walk soon. I hope this helps you as much as it has me. 

Till Next Time!



Saturday, February 2, 2013

The importance of a birthday

I was born February 3rd, 1989 which is Today here in Israel. I take pride in my Birthday and every year I expect to celebrate in some way. For some this isn't the case. In some cultures birthdays are celebrated in groups, celebrating once a year with the peers your age. Some people don't even know how old they are and others just don't care. To me all of this is just down right disgusting.
All the time there are celebrations for someone or something. For myself I can't even count the holidays I have stacked up in my year. As an American I celebrate Presidents day, Memorial day, Mothers and Fathers day, Grandmothers day, Thanksgiving and many others. As a Jew I celebrate Passover, Purim (celebrating not being killed in Persia by getting drunk drinking wine dressing up and reading the story of Esther), Chanukah, Tu B'shvat (holiday of trees), and again many others. As a hopefully to be Israeli I celebrate Yom Haatzmaut (independence day),  The Jewish New year, Itzhak Rabin Rememberence, Yom Hashoah and Victory Day (holocaust remebrence and soon after the celebration of Victory of WWII), and many others. As a human being I celebrate the birth of my parents, brothers, cousins, grandmother, and friends.
Others may celebrate something else. In China the celebrate the Life and mourn the death of Qu Yoan a famous scholar during the Dragon Boat Festival, In the Phillippines they celebrate Bonifacio Day, a day remembering the heroism of Andre Bonifacio and commemorating his death. He is known as the father of the Phillippine Revolution. In Mexico Cinco De Mayo Commemorates the victory over France in 1867 and in many cultures people celebrate All Saints Day remembering the Saints of their Religion.
As you can see we have many celebrations and remembrence days. We celebrate others and we commemorate days of importance, so why is it that some don't want to celebrate their own greatness?
Even the lowest scum on the planet should celebrate their birthdays in my opinion. Each person brings something to this world and on one day, on one special day they have the choice to do so. Even Hitler (although some may find this offensive) has the right to celebrate the fact that he gave the world technology that couldn't have been imagined before his time.
Today I am taking the time to celebrate. I am going to go out with my mother and maybe others and celebrate with them, I am going to remember that on this day my mother gave birth to me and that I should celebrate this because A. I am just that awesome. B. I have worked hard to be a good sister, daughter, grandaughter and friend. C. Because who else could have taken a disorganized platoon with a shotty Platoon leader and turned it into an Honor Platoon many years ago. D. Because today is the only day where I can throw away every negative memory and say "these are the great memories I have, These are the memories of myself giving, myself being, and myself changing at least one life in the world."
Instead of asking for a million and ten gifts from others I truly only ask for one special notion: Celebrate yourself on your birthday in any way you wish worthy of your greatness and celebrate others as they turn a year older and a year wiser.

Till Next Time!