Have you heard of oil pulling? It’s an ancient practice found in Ayurvedic medicine that flushes out toxins from the body by cleaning out bacteria found in the mouth. The philosophy behind it is that all disease starts in the mouth. You swish a spoonful of oil in your mouth for fifteen to twenty minutes once a day, in the morning, then spit it out. You don’t eat it or swallow it.
I first heard of oil pulling in an email that was sent to me by my Mum, but it wasn’t until some time went by that I actually decided to give it a try in mid-December last year after I did some further online research. I’ve been oil pulling now for a little over two months and I’m happy to report I’ve had positive results from doing it. The first noticeable thing was that my teeth became whiter (this is one of the first signs that many people experience during the initial stages of oil pulling). I continued to experience improvements, including clearer skin.
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find all kinds of success stories and testimonials from people who have done oil pulling and their various (sometimes multiple) ailments vanishing that they’d had for years – asthma, diabetes, chronic congestion, sinus problems, arthritis, rheumatism, skin conditions, etc. – some since childhood. (For women in particular, PMS symptoms including cramps and skin breakouts have gone away or have drastically been reduced with oil pulling. Myself, I have had improvement in this area also.) If you’re looking for an informative resource about oil pulling, instead of doing online research or in addition to, look no further than Oil Pulling Therapy by Bruce Fife.
I read a lot – I think not as much as I used to, though I still find the time to read books that interest me and for pleasure. A lot, if not most, of the books I read I borrow from the library. I love going to the library. I even have fun finding a book using the Dewey decimal system. That wasn’t always the case, though: I remember how it used to boggle my mind when my Dad tried explaining it to me, even showing me, and I’d pretend I’d understand. Mostly by nodding and peering at the code on the end of the book spines, when really I was just scanning the titles and hoping I’d find the particular book, with my mind drawing a blank the entire time. I probably wasn’t fooling anyone, but my seven-year-old (or thereabouts) self thought so. Maybe this is why I take delight – to the point of geeking out; I even researched how the Dewey decimal system is organized – in finding a book using it and because I actually do understand it now and know how to navigate a shelf. The worst thing that could happen now is when a book is misplaced, and even then that’s not so bad.
When I was first getting started in blogging, back in 2006 and well before I had even conceived of the idea of a food blog, I reviewed books I read. I read all kinds of books, so there was always a variety. Sometimes I miss writing and blogging about books I’m reading. I love talking about books, as they’re often a source for interesting conversation and discussion. I also love to learn about what others are reading, and it’s how I sometimes discover new reads I’m not sure I would have heard of otherwise.
With this in mind, this post is my personal reading highlights for this month. I’m mostly reading biographies and historical fiction at the moment. I would love to hear what you’re currently reading, so leave a comment below!
I found again an old notebook of mine that I’d started in 2007, for keeping track of books one has or is reading. It was with fond memories as I read about my discovering of Twelfth Night and The Count of Monte Cristo within the same month, and it astonishes me just how much their respective impact is still with me. Monte Cristo is still among one of my favourites of all time (and, coincidentally, ties in with one of the books I read this month that I’ve included). Twelfth Night was just part of the beginning of my exploration of Shakespeare and the development of my passion for his work.
I have started to use again said notebook, keeping track of what I read this month and in December, noting the last book I read in 2012 was P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves in the Offing: a delightful read with wonderful language. I would stop reading more than once just to savour a particular passage, or read it over and over such as this sentence (that I’ve since committed to memory): “He shall feel upon the mantle of his cheek the blush of shame and remorse.”