Tag Archives: vitality

Your Body’s Cells Listen to What You Say

ripple effectImagine a rock dropping into a still body of water that causes ripples outward in all directions. The same thing happens in your body (which is made up of 70% water) but with a thought instead of a rock. Thoughts are forms of energy reverberating into the space around you, including deep within your cellular structure. Your cells listen to what you say or think and respond accordingly, like ripples across a lake. Your cells listen to thoughts and words of other people as well.

One day in the early 1990s I was asked by a friend to accompany her to a Mensa meeting where she was speaking on Parapsychology. I thought she’d give a standard lecture to the high-IQ crowd, but she began the talk by requesting a volunteer from the group. She then “tested” the volunteer’s arm strength by having him hold it firmly out to the side while she pressed on it to see how strongly he could resist her pressure. His arm remained strong and steady. The volunteer was then sent out of the room and out of earshot. The group was instructed to think negative thoughts about the volunteer, even if he was a friend. The volunteer was then brought back into the room. Once again he was asked to hold his arm firmly out to the side and resist the pressure placed on it by my friend. This time he had no strength whatsoever. His arm collapsed down to his side.

Another volunteer was called. After the same routine the volunteer was sent out. But this time, the group was instructed to think the highest, most positive, loving thoughts about the person, how very much she was loved. The volunteer was brought back into the room. What do you suppose happened to her arm as she held it out for testing? It was stronger than it was before.

In these situations, the conscious mind isn’t listening, but your deepest cellular structure is. And because your cells are paying attention, you can speak to them. We all can speak to them. We can speak directly to an area of stagnation or congestion. We can speak to tumors. You can say, “All of my cells work together in harmony for my highest health and longevity. All of my cells communicate effectively with each other for my optimal health and vitality. Any cells not for my highest wellbeing and health leave me now.” Others can say on your behalf, “All of your cells are completely whole, healthy, and working together for your highest health, longevity, and wellbeing.” Your cells are listening.

For more on cellular health and numerous other fascinating topics, read my recent book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer: Every Woman’s Guide to Health, Vitality, & Wellbeing.

To Meat or Not to Meat? That is the Question.

real foodNone of us has escaped the controversy over whether to eat meat or not. I’m frequently asked what I think, and I wish I could tell people to never touch it. Protect the animals and save yourselves. But I can’t. Not yet anyway. Here’s why.

I believe quality protein is necessary to help the body heal. This includes grass-fed hormone-free beef and lamb, chicken, organic chicken liver, eggs, salmon or any clean fish you can find, including sardines. This doesn’t include any conventionally-raised meats or eggs, those that come from filthy factory farms, including farm-raised fish.

I don’t think tofu or other soy-based foods are quality protein. Though they’re quite popular, they simply don’t have the oomph necessary to make a body strong. I’ve not once met a long-term vegetarian who was robust, healthy, energetic, mentally and emotionally balanced, with great skin and hair. ‘Tis true… I’m sorry.

Nonetheless, some of you will be interested in a macrobiotic diet, while others will try vegetarianism or all raw food. John Robbins is an eloquent advocate of vegetarianism and author of Diet for a New America. He makes me want to be vegetarian. (Indeed, I’ve given it a try but became dizzy and anemic with roller coaster blood sugar levels.) Robbins tells us that meat, dairy, and egg consumption raise cancer rates. As I researched this, I felt that additional studies are needed with a focus on organic, grass-fed and pastured animals, free from hormones and antibiotics. There are many pollutants and additives in meats that don’t belong in your body, and I believe they can raise rates of cancer. Excess hormones, toxins, and chemicals in meat and dairy products can contribute to cancer, so I completely avoid conventionally raised meats, dairy products, and eggs. This supports health and also humane practices (which is so important in this day of mass cruelty to animals raised for food).

If you are a vegetarian or are thinking about becoming one, be sure to eat what is found in nature. Avoid pasta, processed “health” foods, sugary snacks, and soy products such as soy cheese, soy milk, soy ice cream, and tofurkey style “meat.” Soy is safe in fermented form such as miso and tempeh. It’s been marketed heavily as a health food but soy phytoestrogens can disrupt endocrine function, increase your need for Vitamin D and B12, and it’s likely GMO unless it’s organic.

The Healing Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

mushMaitake, Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps, and Coriolus (Turkey Tail) are a few healthy and powerful mushrooms. Substances in these mushrooms have been found to increase immune function. They also stimulate “natural killer” immune cells that destroy cancer cells.

This group of medicinal mushrooms have been known to stop the spread of cancer, prevent kidney damage in the case of chemotherapy use, and many of them have natural antiviral, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Both cooked and raw, they contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant that helps heal free radical damage. Medicinal mushrooms can be added to many dishes such as soups, cooked greens, rice, and scrambled eggs. They can also be sautéed and served as a side dish. When I use them, I put them in any dish you might put ordinary mushrooms in.

I also order medicinal mushrooms individually in powdered form then mix them together to make my own tea powder. Currently, I’ve been using a blend of maitake, reishi, and coriolus. I buy each of these separately, then mix them together in equal parts. I add a teaspoon of the powder mix to hot water and drink it, just like tea. It has a healing, earthy flavor. It will support your body to halt or considerably lessen colds, sinus infections, bronchitis, and coughs.

You certainly can grow your own mushrooms. I haven’t gotten around to that adventure yet. If you’d like to order them or get the powdered form I use, you can find them online. I like to use www.mushroomharvest.com. You can also try www.invincibleherbs.com.

Nourish Your Body with Real Food

nourishIf we think about how to truly nourish your body with real food, we can start by asking what does your body tell you? What does it need to be supported? Fresh water, of course. Fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits, those are crucial. Fresh meat, chicken, fish, and eggs? Ask your body. Yogurt, cheeses, nuts? See how you feel after eating them. What about grains? Do you feel good when you eat rice or other whole grains? How is your digestion afterward? Begin to notice what your body (and mood) tells you, then nourish yourself with those foods in their whole, natural state.

I’m a huge proponent of eating real food, which we’ve lost sight of in our convenience culture. Real food isn’t found in a package. Not in a box, can, jar, or plastic wrap. It’s found in it’s whole form shortly after collected from nature. No factories or billion-dollar corporations are involved.

What about eating everything raw? I think this depends on your own personal digestion and constitution. I do better with slightly cooked vegetables, not raw, despite many fervent claims that raw is best. Raw juices and even raw foods can be difficult to digest for some, not to mention the concentrated sugars in the juices, so see how your own body responds to them. I get a lot of raw greens in my morning smoothie, but I make sure to add some protein (lately, chia seeds and/or nut butter).

If you wonder which road to take, raw or cooked, talk about it with your natural health practitioner, but avoid the fanatics who’ve made food choices and eating into a new religion. One reason we’re addressing nourishing your body with food is for your optimum health, so getting the raw or cooked controversy settled in your own heart and mind will be helpful. Personally, warm food is more nourishing for me, but what does your body say?

As for dairy, meats, grains, and so forth, listen and pay attention to your own body’s response. What happens to your digestion, your mood, any physical aches and pains after you’ve eaten certain foods? Noticing in this way, you’ll be able to optimize your health and lifestyle for your best personal wellbeing.

Chakra Health: Your Personal Wheels of Light

chaIn Sanskrit, chakra translates to “wheel of light.” The body has many chakras, but seven of these wheels of light are traditionally used for healing. The first chakra is located at the base of your spine while the seventh chakra is at the crown of your head. Each chakra has a role and point of view. In her book Wheels of Light, Rosalyn Bruyere says, “Each of the seven traditional chakras has a physical, an emotional, a creative, and a celestial component. Besides these, each chakra has its own purpose or particular viewpoint based upon the area of consciousness it influences.”

The chakras are swirling vortices, “energy centers” that connect with your internal organs and endocrine system. They affect your physical, mental, and emotional state, reacting to every thought, word, feeling, choice, and action. These energy centers respond to exercise, the food you eat, sunlight, the way you allow yourself to be treated by others, your thoughts and feelings about your relationship with the outer world, and they respond to chaos and confusion or peace and calm.

Dr. Valerie Hunt and Rosalyn Bruyere conducted studies at UCLA and found that the human electromagnetic energy field is generated by the chakras. Bruyere says, “Our research at UCLA was significant on more than one level. It was perhaps the first attempt made in our country to examine an electrical manifestation, a magnetic field phenomenon, as connected to the healing process.” She also says, “Health is generally defined as absence of disease, but this is really an unsatisfactory definition. The word ‘health’ means ‘wholeness.’ Health implies much more than freedom from disease. A complete definition of health must include vitality, appropriate feelings, clear thinking and reasoning, and a willingness to embrace change.”

In addressing “wholeness,” in striving for health and embracing change, the energy field and chakras are important. There is a flow of energy through the chakras in your body that has a natural balance. But when the body isn’t well, or when the emotions, mental state, or spiritual state are compromised, the complementary role of each chakra is also compromised. To try to heal yourself without addressing your chakras would be like trying to swim in oil. You might be able to look as if you’re doing it, but you’re actually bogged down and covered in muck.

The healthy flow of the chakras can be enhanced through what is commonly known as “chakra balancing.” Many healers specialize in the chakra system. When I see people in person, I always balance the chakras and energy field. One way you can help keep your chakras balanced is to leave your tech devices behind and go outside to sit on the earth. Connect with nature and allow yourself to be brought into balance. Breathe into your heart center. Soften your lower belly. Take a deep breath and sound out “AAAHHHHH…..” until you have no more breath. Listen to your higher guidance. Trust your intuition. You’ll be amazed at how much more centered and balanced you’ll feel.

The Tastiest Way to Eat More Broccoli

broccoliI originally found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten. I’ve never been able to eat raw broccoli, not even smothered in some sort of dip or disguised in a salad, so this method of roasting was a real find.

Because of this recipe, I pick up broccoli and lemons almost every time I shop for vegetables. The rich health benefits from eating broccoli are widely known, so let’s get right to it.

4 to 5 pounds broccoli (organic only!)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (make it organic!)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

The following 3 ingredients are part of the recipe, but I skip them. It’s up to you!

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I’m a non-dairy person, but I’ve tried it with the cheese and it’s delicious. If you use it, be sure to get organic cheese.)
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Cut up the broccoli into your desired bite-sized pieces (about 8 cups). Place in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Roast for 20–25 minutes.

Remove from oven and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, and lemon juice (and the pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil if using). Serve hot. You’re going to love it!

Insomnia? Sleep Well to Nourish Your Body, Mind, & Spirit

sleepYour body heals during sleep. It rejuvenates, renews, and recharges, mending what needs mending. 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. is a peak time to deeply nourish yourself after a busy day. If you’ve suffered from insomnia, you can sleep well to nourish your body, mind, & spirit.

If you’re not asleep by 10 o’clock, allow yourself to deeply rest from then on–stop work, turn off all electronic devices, no food or TV. Instead, deliberately calm your mind. Read an enjoyable novel, meditate, write down your thoughts, listen to a mind-balancing audio designed for sleep–begin a ritual to send signals to your mind that it’s time to prepare for deep, restful sleep.

Getting to the root cause of insomnia and returning to balance and wholeness is the holistic approach that sustains your body, mind, and spirit. (Using street or prescription drugs is like applying a bandage that remains on the surface and doesn’t truly heal. You know it.)

Here are 16 ways to sleep well, beginning with natural nutritional supplementation.

  1. Get adequate magnesium and calcium. I take a food-based magnesium supplement before bed and within 20 minutes I can hardly keep my eyes open.
  2. L-theanine is an amino acid that calms the mind and can be taken in the morning and again before bed. It’s especially good if you have a racing mind.
  3. Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics (available online) reduces cortisol levels to lessen stress and help you sleep–important for anyone living a high-stress lifestyle.
  4. Hyland’s Calms Forte is a homeopathic remedy that can help calm nerves and promote restful sleep. Find it online or in any natural foods store.
  5. MyoCalm PM by Metagenics is a combination of herbs and minerals for overall relaxation and sleep with no side effects.
  6. Drink relaxing tea, such as chamomile, in the early evening. There are several relaxing herbal teas specifically for bedtime at www.mountainroseherbs.com.
  7. Exercise daily, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk.
  8. Avoid caffeine during the day, or have green tea only in the mornings. Even chocolate in the early evening is enough to keep some people buzzing late into the night.
  9. Clear your bedroom of clutter, including computers, electronics, and television. Some people say they have to have the TV on to sleep. Really? That is a health problem waiting to happen!
  10. Stop answering the phone in the evenings if conversation activates your mind. Turn off your phone and all wifi at night. I know, it will cause anxiety initially, but you’ll get over it in a few days!
  11. Move electronics away from your bed and if possible, don’t have any in the bedroom. I have one electronic device in my room–an air filter–and I keep it many feet away from the bed.
  12. Calm your mind and spirit in the evenings by turning off the computer and television at least an hour before bedtime. Yes! Just do it.
  13. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Your body will thank you.
  14. Write down your thoughts and feelings to get them out of your head and onto paper. This way, they don’t swirl manically through your brain at 2:00 a.m.
  15. Meditate for a few minutes before bed to clear your mind.
  16. Put some sleep inducing music on your iPod and get your headphones ready. My favorite site for the best sleep-promoting CDs is www.monroeinstitute.org. You’ll find numerous amazing CDs for every sleep issue.

Finally, turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. Get the unfolded laundry out of there, pick up the papers on the floor and put them in a different room, remove anything from under the bed, get comfy sheets and change them often.

If you still don’t sleep well through the night after you’ve tried these suggestions, see an acupuncturist, herbalist, naturopath, homeopath, or holistic practitioner. Each can help you with sleep disturbances. There is great hope and a solution waiting for you!

The Best Breakfast Smoothie for Optimal Nutrition

greenLooking for a way to easily get leafy greens into your diet? To build your health and vitality quickly and easily? Or to start your day with a strong nutritional foundation? Try my favorite breakfast smoothie!

This tops every other quick breakfast: bagels, muffins, granola bars, toast with peanut butter, cold cereal, a cup of coffee, or whatever else you grab on your way out the door. (Not to mention the donuts and pastries eaten by the tons every morning by people dancing with dis-ease in body and mind!)

Place all ingredients into blender except for the whey, which is fragile and should be added at the very end on low mixing speed.

Choose your base liquid, 1-2 cups to achieve desired consistency:

  • Organic nut milk (homemade is best)
  • Raw organic milk or goat milk
  • Coconut water
  • Water

Add the following:

  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup raspberries, strawberries, cherries or other dark red/purple/blue berries
  • A handful of greens: I usually use kale, but you can use spinach, chard, beet greens, or whatever leafy greens you want.
  • 1-inch piece raw ginger or 1 TBSP ginger juice
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds or a protein powder of your choice—try for 30 grams. (I’ve used Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder because many protein powders have poor ingredients or a soy base. Don’t use soy, ever, unless it’s fermented and organic.)
  • 1 tsp Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil or other pure, high-quality fish oil
  • 1 scoop Garden of Life Perfect Food “Super Green Formula” or similar green powder
  • 1 TBSP Buffered Vitamin C powder (I use one from Allergy Research Group.)
  • ¼ tsp probiotic powder (get a top-quality acidophilus blend)
  • 1 scoop whey protein, added at the end and mixed in lightly (I use Natura’s Beyond Whey or Designs for Health Whey Cool)

Optional additions:

  • Coconut powder, shredded coconut, coconut milk, or a spoonful of coconut oil
  • Raw cocoa powder
  • Banana
  • Any other organically grown fruit–peaches, apricots, papaya, etc.
  • Vegetables–grated carrots, celery, greens (kale, spinach, etc), beets, parsley, or whatever else you’d like to add
  • 1 TBSP almond or cashew butter
  • 1 TBSP maca powder
  • 1 scoop PaleoCleanse by Designs for Health (a detoxification vitamin powder)
  • 1–2 TBSP ground flax seeds (I’ve used Barlean’s Fortiflax)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • organic plain, unsweetened yogurt

At the end, after I’ve poured the smoothie into a glass, I put 3 drops liquid Vitamin D on top. (I use Bio-D-Mulsion Forte by Biotics Research Corp.) If supplementing with Vitamin D, you need to have your levels monitored so you don’t get too much or too little.

Enjoy! Your body and mind will thank you!

Revitalize Your Body with Gua Sha

guaGua Sha means “to extract toxins” and has been used in China for over 2,000 years to alleviate stiffness and pain, bring back mobility and circulation, heal digestive disorders, release toxins and stagnant energy, and generally revitalize the body. It is also known to treat tumors and cysts. Most acupuncturists are trained to use this technique.

During a Gua Sha treatment, strokes are made over your skin with a smooth-edged tool such as polished jade, although an item as simple as a lid from a jar can be used. Gua Sha is done in areas of congestion, tightness, tension, or discomfort on your neck, shoulders, and back, but sometimes on your chest and abdomen. Blood gets released from peripheral capillaries while fluid under your skin is pushed, creating space. Toxic fluid from deep in the tissue rises to the skin’s surface into the space. This causes the skin to turn red or take on the coloration of bruising. It is not bruising though, and clears up in a couple of days. It is actually a welcome sight to see this “Sha” coming to the surface of the skin, because it indicates the release of old, trapped energy. The color of bruising is a sign of healing.

Gua Sha is not painful. Instead there is a sense of relief as the stagnant energy is freed. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the freed energy is also called qi, pronounced “chee” in China. Stagnant qi is associated with pain and areas of oxygen deprivation. In the case of breast disease, Gua Sha is a way to increase oxygen in your tissue while moving stagnant energy and releasing toxins. It is believed that exposing the Sha — indicated by the discoloration that occurs — removes disease from deep within the body.

If you’re in pain, or have recently had surgery or other traumas that have areas of stagnation around them, ask your acupuncturist to “gua sha” you. You’ll be glad you did!

Self-Healing with Energy

lightThe earth offers us food, clothing, and shelter, and it also offers healing energy. The idea of drawing healing energy from the earth might sound odd, but when we connect deeply with the earth and either imagine, sense, or hold the intention to fill ourselves up with its energy and light, a natural balancing occurs within us. We become more serene physically, mentally, and emotionally.

One method you can use is to stand tall and imagine roots extending from your feet, anchoring you deep into the earth. A more powerful and healing way to do this is to stand barefoot on the ground. Feel the bottoms of your feet connecting to the living planet beneath you.

Another way is to imagine dropping an anchor of light into the center of the earth extending down from the base of your spine. Then, imagine drawing bright light energy up from the earth into your body. Alternatively, sit on the ground, “drop anchor,” and absorb earth energy upward into your body.

Just as you can pull energy up from the earth, you can also pour light into yourself from above. Simply visualize light pouring into you. It can be golden, blue, green, silver, or whatever color you imagine. See or sense it as energized, refined, and uplifting, filling your entire body.

These practices can be used by anyone regardless of their beliefs. Whatever your image is of God, the universal awareness, or even if you don’t consider yourself to be spiritually connected at all, you can use light and energy from the earth to heal and balance you on many levels.

Page 1 of 212