An altar in various religions is a place, table, or  piece of furniture near which people bow down to the highest representative of their religion, give thanks, pray, and offer gifts of reverence. I, too, have been standing in front of various altars, lighting candles, and connecting myself with superior beings or principles.
Since my teenage years when I started meditating, I enriched my meditation place with pictures, photos or objects. At some point, a wise man told me that I could as well give away my worries and successes, because both are part of life, but not really mine. In other words, I am not my problem, but much more. And I am not my goal, but much more. That impressed me a lot, and I’ve gotten into the habit of symbolically placing certain issues through a photo or note with words on it, or mentally in front of an actual as well as an inner altar. This helps me not to think about the same thing over and over again. With this act I give the request full of confidence into the great hands of fate and of life. Light, fire, candles are for me the most powerful and important components of an altar.
My other method of surrendering and releasing a challenge or energizing and affirming a desire is to use gems that represent the element of earth. For example, I have just received a reminder from the tax office, due to some missing numbers and the wording and energy of this letter sounds negative, so I set it down on my altar and put some gems on it until the matter clarifies. I didn’t put it away in a drawer where I could forget it but it is also not in my head any more taking up energy.

With love


From V to VGF

Dear Friend,

why I suggest you try going gluten-free at least for two weeks…

As a vegetarian & vegan for thirty years I thought I had arrived at a high, comfortable and often quite blissful healthy nutritional plateau. I didn’t expect changing much for the rest of my life. One and a half years ago I experienced a few symptoms, which I thought were related to menopause and I consulted with Audrey Fontaine a nutrition expert living in Sonoma, California.
I asked her how I could sail through menopause without the symptoms I was experiencing and if she had any advice or supplements she would recommend. She looked at me and said ‘I don’t think these symptoms have anything to do with menopause. This sounds like a gluten intolerance. Why don’t you try going gluten-free for six weeks.’

Well I did…
From excruciating wrist-pain to mobility after ten days, still stable
From bloating to normally extended tummy after ten days, still stable
From traffic anxiety to calmness and trust after two weeks, still stable
From 7 hours of sleep average to 6 after four weeks, still my average
From 4 pounds lighter after six weeks, same
From 4 rounds on the tracks to a 10k six months later, still able to do it

But the most amazing experience, the one that will keep me on a gluten free path for the rest of my life happened after two months.
One day I literally felt as if a spider web was pulled out of my brain. I picked up an old Sudoko game book which I still had from a few years ago. I started to fill out the very tough extreme ones and for the first time I was able to solve them. Now 18 months later I have moved on to even more difficult ones, and my interest in math which was quite strong when I was young got rekindled.
The other big improvement for me is that I remember names again. Before I thought of an actor, like George Clooney and saw his face in my mind and couldn’t connect a name to him. That was scary.

And one more story about the anxiety symptom. A couple of times I made exceptions and the next day I felt more anxious. Ok, could have been self-fulfilling prophecy. But the most convincing one happened recently. I woke up and felt anxiety about going out into my day. But I hadn’t eaten any gluten. I went through my day not feeling great. When I came back at night, my boy-friend said ‘well the only thing we ate that was new was that vegan cheese.’ I dug through the plastic recycling bin and sure enough, it contained wheat.
I hadn’t checked the label of this vegan cheese sold here in Germany as the vegan cheese in the US I bought never had wheat in it.

It hasn’t been difficult to feed myself. There is enough out there for me to eat. And I learned to bake vegan-glutenfree cookies and cakes, pizza and pancakes for special occasions, and once a week I bake a seed heavy bread.

Gluten intolerance can cause over hundred different symptoms. In my case the intolerance was caused by a slow build-up over years and I would have never connected the dots. Perhaps trying gluten-free for at least a couple of weeks might help you if you have anything that bothers you. I would be interested in your experiences. And if you are already eating gluten-free I would love to know what changed for you.

Happy Eating,