The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Healthy Mother's Day

Neolithic groups (stone age) worshiped the mother. Ancient Germans worshipped the virgin Hertha holding her child. Scandinavians worshipped virgin Disa holding her child. In ancient Egypt it was Isis with infant Osiris. In India, Devaki had Krishna (also by virgin birth). In Asia, Cybele and Deoius. Chinese holy mother Shing Moo held her child in arms. Christian missionaries to Tibet, China, and Japan found that holy mothers depicted with splendid light around their head and holding a divine child had been worshiped long before they got there.

In Rome, the goddess was Demeter, meaning Earth Mother, wearing wreathes of braided corn in her hair. In ancient Greece, Demeter was called Ceres, the great mother with baby at breast. From her name "Ceres," we get the word "cereal" (grains), "which made man different from wild animals."

In the spring in ancient Greece, celebrations were held in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. Christian Europe celebrated the spring festival of "Mother Church" who (they believed) would protect them from harm. During the 1600's, England celebrated "Mothering Sunday" on the 4th Sunday of Lent, honoring the mothers of England. All cultures worshiped the divine, the Mother, who gives life and food, compassion and love.

So. How to celebrate this Sunday on Mother's Day? I'm in favor of some goddess worship, probably involving some rocks and food and chocolates and compassion and love. Not so original, but time tested and universal:

  • Visit Mom (or a Mom) and give her a massage (if she wants one). Neck, hands, feet, back. Good for circulation for giver and receiver. Touch can be healthy. Ask her stories.
  • Teach her a Nice Neck Stretch
  • Make her (and you) something healthy to eat. For light teas, try cinnamon, cloves, grated orange peel, or ginger in hot water.
  • For a cold treat without unhealthy junk food, mash a frozen banana with crushed raw walnuts or flax seeds. Use a food grinder or get free exercise by mashing them yourself in a bowl. It will taste like creamy ice cream. Flax seeds and walnuts have been found to be effective to help bone health as vegetarian sources of omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids. Raw walnuts (as part of a general low fat and cholesterol diet) have also been found to have a beneficial effect to decrease cardiovascular disease risk, among other benefits. This treat has fiber and is non dairy, both associated with lower breast cancer risk.
  • Goddess worship often is helped with chocolate. The primary chemical in chocolate is theobromine. "Theo-" means God and "broma" comes from a word meaning food. The theobromine in chocolate was named for "food of the gods." Theobromine is an antioxidant, weak diuretic, stimulant, and mood booster, opens breathing airways, and relieves coughing. Dark chocolate has more theobromine than lighter chocolate, with flavonoids and phenolics, plant substances that are good for the heart. People who get a kind of vascular headache called migraine do better not to eat chocolate. For others, get plain cocoa, unsweetened, not junked up with sugar. Add the unsweetened cocoa to the frozen mashed banana and walnuts for a healthy sweet wonderful treat that tastes better than you would expect. For exotic flavor and more health benefit, add fresh grated ginger root.
  • Sit outside in the air and sun to have your tea and frozen banana. Warnings on the dangers of overtanning are important for preventing skin cancer for people who work outdoors, who over-tan for cosmetic purposes, and a few other populations. Another group to consider is those spending too little time outdoors. Sunlight exposure and the Vitamin D it makes your skin produce, is increasingly documented as crucial to bone density, healthy immune function, positive mood, sound sleep at night, relief of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, MS, Parkinsons, polycystic ovary, diabetes, and other health issues. A nice massage and tea and chocolate outside in the sunlight could be made into a wonderful Mother's Day. Nice excuse to buy a hat.
  • Make Mom (or a Mom) some homemade healthy skin lotion. Commercial products have preservatives, dyes, and chemicals. Try combinations of grape seed oil, tea tree oil (very small amount), vitamins C and E, ginger, honey, tea, fresh aloe, and fragrances from oils, fruit, flowers like lavender, or leaves like mint. (Don't wear citrus oils like lime out in the sun.)
  • Help out at a woman and child shelter. Or help at a men's shelter to help the guys get back on their feet to help their own families.
  • Celebrate Mother Earth - go out and pick up litter. It's good exercise. Bend right.
  • Make a trip to look around a home improvement center to see about some do it yourself solar projects, even if only to replace a few lights.
  • Go do gardening for your mother, or your mother Earth. Lift and bend right, reach right, carry in healthy ways.
  • Do some cooking, shopping, vacuuming, and cleaning for Mom (or a Mom). Water their plants. It's good exercise for you and a nice thing for them.
  • Be good to each other - all the children of Earth.
  • Follow the advice of the unknown who said, "The most important gift a father can give his children is to love their mother."
  • If that doesn't work, take the advice on the side of aspirin bottles: "Take two aspirin, and keep away from children."


Goddess Mother photo by Rosa y Dani
Santo Island Mother photo by Graham Crumb

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.