Blog: Mindfulness and the Brain

What are some of today’s challenges that that impact our daily life? What are the pillars of a healthy mind?

My podcast guest this week, Ajamu Ayinde, brought us into the field of emotions and mind as we deal with the COVID -19 virus. Ajamu uses transpersonal hypnotherapy to foster our imagination and inner resources. And for me, that is important. All the wise sages of our species acknowledge the simple yet profound wisdom that “We are an inside job”. Our inner awareness and development are more important in most ways than the attributes of our outside life. Which brings us to mindfulness practices.

Richard J. Davidson, professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin and founder and chair for the Center for Healthy Minds, makes a compelling case for how our current challenges impact us. Statistics prove we are distracted, lonely, depressed and some of us are experiencing a loss of meaning.

He describes four pillars of health that can assist us in resetting our inner programs of loneliness, depression, distractibility, and loss of meaning or purpose.

In brief:

  1. Awareness; being aware of our mind’s thoughts at the moment is necessary for real transformation to occur.
  2. Connection: not just about having lunch with a friend or receiving a hug but showing kindness and patience, lending a hand, all contribute to our connectivity.
  3. Insight: listening to our inner narrative towards relationships. What do we sound like to ourselves? If we find we are negative, which can weaken our biology, can we find a way to turn them around, manage them differently?
  4. Purpose: when we wake up excited our biology responds in so many positive ways. When we laugh and engage in what truly matters to us we soar.

COVID-19 has turned some of our worlds upside down. Dr. Davidson suggests that three minutes of a day of quiet, focusing on the breath, maybe a prayer can change the way we respond to distractions, disruptions, and fosters a healthier mind.

I hope you enjoy his discussion as much as I did. The Host offers good reminders for today’s world as we still face uncertainty through this COVID-19 pandemic.
Do you have any mindful tips you find helpful? We’d like to hear from you. All comments are appreciated. Thanks again and enjoy. Judith


Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Dr. Leesa Sklover, Composer, Music Therapist

Description: My guest, Dr, Leesa Sklover, combines her talents in music, composing, singing, recording with the sounds that come from our oceans. Not just whales, but the clicks of lobsters add to the overall composition in delightful ways, connecting us through our wonderful senses. Sound moves us. We are enchanted by the sounds of whales and dolphins as we roam the deep blue seas. Her recording: Ode to the Arctic Angels is included in this podcast, a beautiful gift.

About My Guest: Leesa Sklover, Ph.D., LPC, C-IAYT, MA-CMT, IKYTA, A recording artist, of contemporary country and pop, and interspecies music, a film composer, Licensed counselor, music therapist, Ocean activist most of her life. A certified yoga therapist, Kundalini yoga teacher and sacred music and Eco Music artist. She worked at Canyon Ranch Spa for 12 years, in many hospitals and private practice for over 20 years, currently offices in Branford, Glastonbury, Shelton, and NYC. She is on the board for Cetacean society international and lectures and performs at workshops and conferences. She has been a professor at Sacred Heart University and the Master’s program at The Graduate Institute.,, 917 860 0488

TranscriptPod Transcript Dr. Leesa Sklover

Food Additive Highway: short video

Do you have three minutes today? I hope so. From the Center for Public Integrity, this short video explains how food additives get through the FDA process and into our food. Our bodies take the food we eat and turn it into essential nutrients and structures in ways that are truly amazing. Yet we eat food that has little life force.

Your comments are always welcomed…
Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, Writer, Speaker, Holistic Health Consultant and Workshop Presenter, Master Gardener. © all rights reserved. Including photos.

GMO’S: The Science and The Myths: Part 6





GMO”S: The Science and The Myths: Part 6

In today’s post I want to tackle the sticky subject of cholesterol. Levels have been lowered, drugs are passed out and yet does the research prove cholesterol is the culprit in CVD, cardiovascular disease?

Again I am going to refer to Dr. Seneff’s research at MIT.

In an interview with Dr. Mercola, one of the top health websites in the world, she addresses this issue.

Heart disease, I think, is a cholesterol deficiency problem, and in particular a cholesterol sulfate deficiency problem…

Dr. Mercola continues, “through her research, she has developed a theory in which the mechanism we call “cardiovascular disease” (of which arterial plaque is a hallmark) is actually your body’s way to compensate for not having enough cholesterol sulfate. To understand how this works, you have to understand the interrelated workings of cholesterol, sulfur, and vitamin D from sun exposure.

Cholesterol sulfate is produced in large amounts in your skin when it is exposed to sunshine. When you are deficient in cholesterol sulfate from lack of sun exposure, your body employs another mechanism to increase it, as it is essential for optimal heart- and brain function. It does this by taking damaged LDL and turning it into plaque. Within the plaque, your blood platelets separate out the beneficial HDL cholesterol, and through a process involving homocysteine as a source of sulfate, the platelets go on to produce the cholesterol sulfate your heart and brain needs. However, this plaque also causes the unfortunate side effect of increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

So how do you get out of this detrimental cycle?

Dr. Seneff believes that high serum cholesterol and low serum cholesterol sulfate go hand-in-hand, and that the ideal way to bring down your LDL (so-called “bad” cholesterol, which is associated with cardiovascular disease) is to get appropriate amounts of sunlight exposure on your skin.”

She explains:

“In this way, your skin will produce cholesterol sulfate, which will then flow freely through the blood—not packaged up inside LDL—and therefore your liver doesn’t have to make so much LDL. So the LDL goes down. In fact… there is a complete inverse relationship between sunlight and cardiovascular disease – the more sunlight, the less cardiovascular disease.”

“What this also means is that when you artificially lower your cholesterol with a statin drug, which effectively reduces the bioavailability of cholesterol to that plaque but doesn’t address the root problem, your body is not able to create the cholesterol sulfate your heart needs anymore, and as a result you end up with acute heart failure.” (

Cholesterol plays several important roles in our biology. For example, the cholesterol in the cell membranes protects those membranes from ion leaks. Ions travel back and forth maintaining specific cellular concentrations. If we don’t have enough cholesterol, then ions leak and the cells have to expend energy trying to get the ions back where they belong. This causes our cells to become tired. This phenomena is being looked at in Alzheimer’s, “brain tired”.

Next, heart muscle needs a huge amount of energy. Cholesterol in the cell membrane protects the cell from leaks. The ions that are needed for muscle contraction create byproducts, garbage so to speak. Sulfates help pick up the garbage. Also these cells need sulfate too so the heart beats in an organized fashion. With decreases in sulfate we see possible arrhythmias.

Another important metabolic pathway is disrupted by glyphosate, the ENOS pathway which makes sulfate which then causes the release of cholesterol from the skin. The end result when this pathway is disrupted is a cholesterol and cholesterol sulfate deficiency.

When we don’t have enough cholesterol sulfate, remember our skin is the largest
manufacturer of cholesterol sulfate from sunlight, and now we know glyphosate disrupts the synthesis and transport of sulfur when we eat food contaminated by roundup and in the food itself, problems occur.

Plaque buildup may actually be the way the heart cells can receive cholesterol sulfate. It needs the stuff that creates plaque for the heart muscle contraction because our exposure to glyphosate in digestion, air, water, interferes in the synthesis of sulfate needed to help the heart with its energy needs. Sulfate deficiency means we are not getting enough sulfate through our digestive process. Though our body compensates by forming plaques, that is not a good thing in the long run as it can lead to CVD.

Whew! complex biochemistry is helping to explain why roundup in particular and its chief component glyphosate should be banned from our food supply, along with other pesticides known to be harmful to all species. Please support legislation to ban roundup, 2,4-D and other dangerous pesticides in our food supply. Other countries are doing so. Why are we lagging behind? Why are we afraid of food labeling?

Your comments are always appreciated. Oh, by the way, buy organic as much as you possibly can. Every purchase we make casts a vote. What is your vote going to be today?

Enjoy this beautiful day. Judith

GMO’S: The Science and The Myths: Part 5

GMO’s: The Science and the Myth: Part 5
In my last post I discussed the detrimental role from the use of genetically modified organisms (roundup that is genetically placed into our seeds) and the use of roundup on our crops, specifically as related to the increases in Autism and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Today I would like to go one step further and look at the implications of the disruption of essential amino acids, specifically tryptophan.

Essential amino acids have to come from our diet. Our bodies take the amino acids from our food during our complex digestive process. These specific amino acids are the building blocks for many substances in our bodies. Tryptophan, for example, is one of the key building blocks for synthesizing serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. Glyphosate disrupts the ability of our gut to utilize tryptophan in the manufacture of serotonin.

Serotonin helps regulate appetite, sleep, and prevents depression. It has been proven that it is vital to a positive human experience.  Its inhibitory action promotes reduction in pain, fear and increases dopamine levels. Dopamine is associated with normal drives and pleasure.

What researchers are discovering is that low serotonin levels in the brain lead to deficient impulse control, intermittent explosive disorder, and severe unrestrained aggression. We have had deep tragedies in our country. It is hard to understand the level of aggression and destructive behavior we see seem to see nearly every day in our news. If glyphosate disrupts the gut bacteria synthesis of tryptophan from food then how do we maintain our serotonin levels? And could many in our society, be eating the wrong type of food such as fast food, non-organic food, be experiencing some of the effects of low serotonin levels? How many folks do you know with bipolar disease? Is it well controlled with medications? Which clinics are creating dietary plans that are free of GMO substances? What results are they having?

  1. Glyphosate disrupts the amino acid synthesis into more complex molecules such as serotonin and results in low serotonin levels.
  2. Serotonin system can be damaged in utero. Evidence points to a correlation between high use of alcohol, cocaine and inescapable fear when pregnant, which can lead to post natal traumas. ADHD, disruptive behavior in pre-K are not uncommon today. They can be the result of this disruption in the manufacture of serotonin from an essential amino acid, tryptophan, not only from drug use and fear but from diet.
  3. Low serotonin levels linked to depression, insomnia, obesity.
  4. Low serotonin is a marker for autistic disease.

The good news is that there is a food revolution happening. As Ocean Robbins and his father John Robbins reminds us:


And finally: “The planet is under pressure and our choices have never been more important. The Food Revolution Summit is an informative and empowering platform which highlights ways to set a new pattern for the future of the planet.”

– Paul McCartney

Check it out. We can make a difference. Judith

GMO’s: Myths and the Science

Andrew Kimbrell participated in the
mini GMO summit.  He is an attorney, founder and director for The Center for Food Safety. He reviews some of  the claims made by the GMO industry and refutes them. Lets look at a couple of them today.

A consistent message given to us by makers of pesticides and genetically engineered crops is this: “There is nothing new here.”

I mentioned in my previous post that genetic engineering is new and complex. Genes are complex. Injecting pesticides into the gene pool of plants is new. What are the consequences and are we and other species the guinea pigs?

Fact: Andrew Kimbrell, attorney and director of The Center for Food Safety, states: the genetic modification of plants creates very different plants. It is not a precise insertion (check my previous post) as these companies would have us believe. We are mixing and matching the genetic makeup of living things which we have not done before. For example, they attach promoter viruses which happen to already be resistant to ampicillin, once a significant antibiotic used to fight infection in animals and humans.

He also states: the genetic makeup of plants is enormously complex. There are “zillions and I mean zillions of elements that are used by the organism to develop those traits, and to carry those traits on from generation to generation.”

When the materials injected invade a cell and drop off the DNA, there is no predictability on where it is going to go in the DNA of that plant.

Isn’t it ironic that these foods, described as nothing new have patents on them? Which by definition makes them unique.

The Merriam Webster dictionary states:

“secured by letters patent or by a patent to the exclusive control and possession of a particular individual or party”

Another site states:

“A patent is a temporary government-granted monopoly right on something made by an inventor. The historical purpose of the patent system was to encourage the development of new inventions, and in particular to encourage the disclosure of those new inventions.”

I think the discrepancy is obvious: We are told  genetic engineering and the process of placing pesticides in a gene is nothing new when in fact the very companies that make them run to the patent office to protect their new and unique creations and thereby secure exclusive control and possession of them.

2. Genetically modified seed with a pesticide will reduce the use of pesticides.

Fact: The use of Roundup alone has dramatically increased over the past several years. This practice creates resistant weeds which then requires more pesticide use.

I have even heard scientists explain that the soil almost becomes addicted. As weeds grow in spite of the pesticide use, creating  super weeds that become more and more resistant, then more pesticide is needed which each passing year. “115 million more pounds of Roundup was used because of genetically engineered crops.”

In fact a new concern is hitting the internet airwaves. These companies, specifically Dow, want  to use 2,4-D, an element in agent orange, a plant defoliant used in the Vietnam war, to fight these super weeds. this agent already has a body of research for toxicity to the environment as well as documented health issues in out veterans.

As Mr. Kimbrell so poignantly points out we are approaching the problem from the wrong perspective. Let’s stop the use of GMO’s, the pesticides involved and go back to organic practices. Why not? We have serious research that is pointing to the increasing incidence of many diseases with the advent and use of roundup and GMO’s as well as other agents such as 2,4-D.

Today I have included a petition from I hope you will join the petition to express our concern to our government.

I encourage you to speak up and out against these practices.

Thank you. Judith