Category Archives: Guest Blogger Adventures

Inspirational Writer in Mexico–Don Karp

 

the bumpy road

Don Karp has written The Bumpy Road, A Memoir of Culture Clash Including Woodstock, Mental Hospitals, and Living in Mexico.

Where are you from? 

Hometown is Syracuse, NY. I spent 12 years living in W. Mass before moving to Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico. It’s in the central volcanic region, an hour south of Mexico City.

What brought you to Mexico?

The culture—fiestas, food, music, celebrations. And the temperate climate.

How has your life changed?

I live more cheaply and made some sacrifices. My life is enriched with more vital food, beautiful nature, and people more open and accepting.

How has your belief system changed?

I’ve become less judgmental and more open. Because of this, I have had a greater number of opportunities unfold.

How have you changed?

I am more solitary and happy with that. I am healthier and happier.

What challenges have you overcome?

The first ones involved getting it together to move here. I’ve learned to speak Spanish, and survive on a very low retirement income.

What challenges are you still facing?

Building an email audience for my publications.

What keeps you going?

My motivation comes from a desire for leaving a legacy—a body of published work that helps many people, based on a varied life experience. Perseverance is a part of my nature.

What accomplishment makes you the proudest?

Self-publishing my memoir.

What things do you miss about your life before?

Mostly I miss the ability to organize projects with people. In Mexico, the culture is largely not accountable enough to do this. I find that working on projects is how I develop intimacy with people.

What have you found is no longer important to you?

Hot showers.

What do you consider the defining moment in your life in Mexico?

Self-publishing my memoir.

How do you spend your free time?

Mostly hiking the wonderful mountain trails,

Do you have a business or offer a service?  

My site lists the memoir, contains my blog, information about workshops and speaking engagements. The memoir is available from Amazon; the blog, Letters from Mexico is here,  If you are interested in personal coaching, here is my US phone number: (413)366-1023. You can email me here.

How has Mexico been an inspiration to you?

In many ways. The friendliness of the people with their emphasis on community and family has made me feel more at home. The extreme suffering economically and politically, but yet retaining a general joyful attitude about life is very inspirational to me.

What is your current writing goal?  

I am revising and updating my memoir, and have three more memoirs planned, each for a different audience with a different theme. My blog, Letters From Mexico, is to become one of the books. My hope is to build an audience to fund professional preparation and to help with the title, cover art, and editing.

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Filed under Guest Blogger Adventures, Inspirational Writers in Mexico

Blogs About Mexico Worth Reading–Letters From Mexico

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Don writes Letters From Mexico about his experiences living in Mexico since 2003.

What brought you to Mexico?

I was invited by a guy I met while volunteering at a folk fest. He lives in Connecticut and Mexico and invited me to come to the 1st Turtle Island Bioregional Congress. I did and then had two follow up visits, staying in the community that organized it. On my third visit, I was crying when it was time to go home (back up north). This signaled to me to begin the process of getting ready to move to Mexico.

What was the inspiration for your blog name?

Letters From Mexico was inspired by a previous blog I started when I moved here in 2003, to keep in touch with family and friends in El Norte. I did a Google search, and the only Letters From Mexico was by Cortez.

What area of Mexico and topics does your blog primarily focus on?

I live in the volcanic region of central Mexico, south of Mexico City and East of Cuernavaca, called Tepoztlan. (Try and pronounce that one!) Most of my topics relate to the Mexican culture, and how this differs from the US.

Why do you blog? 

My blog is primarily for retirees in the US who are interested in moving to Mexico.

The site has some information and a lot of my personal experiences about travel and living in Mexico. Hopefully, it will help make the decision about coming here.

What is your favorite blog post? 

Maybe because it was my first post—Get Lost! Is my favorite. It was inspired by some experiences, and by the image of a T-shirt that’s pictured on the blog.

What has been the most difficult for you to blog about?  

My Daily Life in Mexico was the most difficult. I feel that topic is what my audience wants to read about, but I prefer living it to writing about it.

What has been the best experience you’ve had in Mexico?  

I play in blues bands. We had a gig called Scorpio Dance Party. It was to celebrate my birthday and that of a friend. I promoted it for a month, working every day. I’m proud to say it attracted 70 people and all had a blast! I learned that I was able to organize and carry out a project.  

What has been the worst experience you’ve had in Mexico?  

I spent a night in an immigration prison cell in Acapulco. I learned it’s important to have my papers up-to-date.

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What advice do you have for those planning to move or travel to Mexico?

I think preparation should include research: reading books, online material, and talking to friends and relatives who have traveled or live in Mexico.

It’s best done in small steps, in my opinion. For example, don’t buy a house during your first week traveling in Mexico.

Sign up to subscribe to my blog and you get to download free Mexico Travel Tips.

If you are currently in Mexico, how long do you plan on remaining?

Although I am flexible, at this point I consider Mexico my home base. I’d say I’ve not been around a lot. I explored living in Guatemala, but find Mexico more diverse, with hotter music and food.

I’ll stay here until and unless I find something I like better.

Where do you see your blog going?  

My goal is to have the site be interactive, and with the help of my audience, become a published book. I published a memoir and am now revising and updating it. I have plans for two other memoir related books, for different audiences, and these may have blogs.

Where can you be found? 

Twitter and Facebook

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Filed under Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures

Blogs About Mexico Worth Reading–Call it Kismet

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Jules, a blogger at Call it Kismet, was born in Eastern Kentucky and is currently cruising the Pacific coast of Mexico on our live-aboard sailboat.  Here’s what she has to say about her life.

What brought you to Mexico?  

Opportunity to sail in a different country.

How has your life changed?

My stress level had lowered dramatically.  Mexico has a very casual vibe. We don’t have a car, so no traffic problems.

How has your belief system changed?

 It hasn’t.

How have you changed?  

I am learning to become more patient and not so time-obsessed.

What challenges have you overcome?

Living in a small space (boat) with my husband and 2 dogs has simplified my life.

What challenges are you still facing?  

I still miss shopping at Target and Marshalls.

What keeps you going?

Good friends we have met along the way and travel with keep me from getting lonely.

What accomplishment makes you the proudest?

Shedding our material life. We had two beautiful homes and two cars. But it was all just “stuff”.

What things do you miss about your life before?  

Being close to family. But my parents died recently, so I don’t feel the desire or need to return to the US.

What have you found is no longer important to you?

Material things like houses and cars. And shoes. I now wear flip-flops every day.

What do you consider the defining moment in your life in Mexico?

When I got my residency card I realized that Mexico truly and legally is HOME.

How do you spend your free time?

All my time is free time. Since we move around a lot, I go “Urban Hiking” to explore the local towns.

How do you maintain yourself/your family financially?

 Retired.

How have you overcome fear?

No fears.

How have you grown as a person?

I am a work in progress but am mellowing out.

What skills have you learned in Mexico?

A bit of language-learning. I take classes at marinas sometimes and went to Spanish School in Taxco for 6 weeks.

What skills do you still have to master?

The language.  Each summer, during hurricane season, we plan to continue our travels inland for 3-4 months and take Spanish classes in different areas.

What inspires you? What angers you?  

What angers me is the vast overpopulation of homeless animals. But I am inspired by the groups that are raising awareness and helping with spay-neuter and rescue.

What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

What is your current goal?

 Just going with the flow for now.

How do you make your life meaningful?

I surround myself with good people.

Do you volunteer?

Since we move around a lot, it is difficult to volunteer, but I frequently donate $$ to animal welfare groups.

 

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Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures

The Benefits of Paleo and Keto Diets for Cancer Patients

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Today, I’d like to share a guest blogger post from Virgil and the team at mesothelioma.net about the Paleo and Ketogenic diets, specifically their benefits for cancer patients.  While we here in La Yacata don’t follow a strict Paleo diet with corn featuring such a large part of our diets, we do consider ourselves more Paleo than we were in the US and certainly healthier as a result. Without further ado:

The Benefits of Paleo and Keto Diets for Cancer Patients

The paleo and ketogenic diets are more popular than ever before and for good reasons. They have been shown to be beneficial in a number of ways, from cutting out processed foods to helping people lose weight. Now, there is also evidence that these diets may provide important benefits for people living with and being treated for various types of cancer, like mesothelioma or lung cancer.

The Paleo Diet and its Health Benefits

The paleo diet has a pretty simple basis: don’t eat anything our Paleolithic ancestors wouldn’t have eaten. The Paleolithic was before agriculture, so that means no grains or dairy. Instead, on the paleo diet, you eat meat, game, poultry, fish, vegetables, seeds, fruits, and nuts. Although there may have been beans and legumes around 10,000 years ago, the paleo diet avoids these as well.

Perhaps the best thing about the paleo diet is that it relies on whole foods and eliminates processed ones. There is no vegetable oil on this diet, and no junk food or packaged foods. The elimination of dairy, grains, and beans is more controversial, but the idea is that 10,000 years is not a long enough time to have evolved to digest them properly.

Some of the known health benefits of the paleo diet include:

These can all be benefits for cancer patients, but there are more specific reasons to try the diet if you are battling cancer. The paleo diet is very low in sugar, which has been found in studies to negatively impact the survival rates of cancer patients. The negative effect is greater for any patients who are overweight, and the paleo diet can help with weight loss as well.

In another study, researchers actually found that some types of cancer cells, including squamous lung cancer cells, are highly dependent on sugar for growth. With less sugar, tumors may grow more slowly, which obviously benefits the patients.

Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet is similar to the paleo diet. The idea is to eat fewer carbohydrates and more fats. The philosophy behind the diet is totally unrelated, but it ends up being very similar in terms of what you can eat. The idea of the diet is that eating more fat and fewer carbs forces the body into ketosis, a state in which it burns fat. On the keto diet you eat similar foods to the paleo diet, but also leave out potatoes and alcohol and you are allowed to eat dairy. The basic guideline is to consume 75 percent of your calories as fat, 20 percent as protein, and only five percent as carbs, although there are some variations.

The keto diet has been proven to be an excellent tool for weight loss, for improving sensitivity to insulin, and for reversing the course of type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown in research to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and to reduce seizures in children who have epilepsy.

For cancer patients, there is evidence that the keto diet can be beneficial too. In animal studies, tumors shrank when the animals were fed a keto diet with restricted calories. In other studies specifically with cancer patients, the keto diet was found to enhance the effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, making them more effective.

There are few risks of trying the keto or paleo diets, as both are more healthful than the typical American diet. However, it is always important to speak to your doctor before making any drastic dietary changes. This is especially true for cancer patients. There may be some risks that you aren’t aware of and that your medical team can warn you about. You may also want to work with a dietician or nutritionist to get started to ensure that your diet is balanced and has adequate nutrients for you to heal and fight your cancer.

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Filed under Guest Blogger Adventures, Health, Natural Healing