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Walk Through New Worlds

Walk Through New Worlds

Who would have thought that taking the right kind of walk can not only clear stress, and energize mind and body but even bring you face to face with satori? Satori brings a sense of living in the fullness of your being, moment by moment. So often, we think we need to make decisions about what we are going to do in the next hour, the next day, the next year. We worry about how to discipline our bodies, get the work done and pay the bills, as well as a thousand other things.You can find yourself walking in new ways, with different rhythms. Aches and pains diminish. You sense a new relationships developing—to yourself, your surroundings and the world as a whole. I am passionate about taking two quite different kinds of walks which I’m keen to share with you because they have brought me much pleasure as well as so many other benefits. They are, each in their own way a lot of fun to. FREE FLOW Once a day, regardless of the weather outside, and whenever it suits you, go out walking for the sheer pleasure of doing it. It can be fun to walk in sunshine, but just as wonderful to walk in rain—unhurried and unburdened by the need to ‘look good’. Look around, smell the air, notice the way your body has begun to move. The next step is likely to sound weird, but try it: When you see a tree, say silently to yourself, ‘Tree.’ When you see a flower—‘Flower.’ This simple naming practice helps you become aware of where you are in space and time. And it does this in a wonderful, spontaneous, improvizing way. As you walk, life takes on an unexpected, exciting feel. Meanwhile, futile internal monologues begin to fade away. One of my favorite books was written by a musician named Stephen Nachmanovitch. It is called Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art. It’s a superb book. If you are interested in creativity on any level—and I don’t mean just being an artist, but any and all kinds of creativity—I highly recommend it. In a chapter called ‘Inspiration and Time Flow’, Nachmanovitch describes this first way of walking I want to pass on to you. (Of course, you are probably unlikely to be walking down a street in a foreign city as he describes, but much of what he writes about this way of walking is relevant no matter where you are.) It reminds us all that it is not impossible to live our lives moment to moment, fully present with real awareness and joy. Here is what Nachmanovitch writes: A walk, following your intuitive promptings down the streets of a foreign city, holds rewards far beyond a planned tour of the tried and tested. Such a walk is totally different from random drifting. Leaving your eyes and ears wide open, you allow your likes and dislikes, your conscious and unconscious desires and irritations, your irrational hunches to guide you whenever there is a choice of turning right or left. You cut a path through a city that’s yours alone. This brings you face to face with surprises that are destined for you alone. You might discover conversations and friendships, meetings with remarkable people. When you travel in this way, when you walk in this way, you are free. There are no ‘have tos’ and ‘shoulds’. You are structured at first only by the date of the plane departure. As the pattern of people and places unfolds, the trip, like an improvised piece of music, reveals its own inner structure and rhythm. Thus do you set the stage for fateful encounters. I’ve got to add here that some of the most important ‘fateful encounters’ he speaks of are likely to be brand new encounters with yourself, in ways you may never have dreamed of. INSTANT ENERGY IS YOURS This is the second of my favorite walks. It’s a way not only of relieving stress, but of energizing yourself, learning to be present in the moment and, like Nachmanovitch’s walk, releasing your mind from the habitual chatter that prevents our feeling fully alive. I learned this technique from a Belleruth Naparstek’s “Meditations to Relieve Stress” audio. Here’s how it goes: Choose a place where you will be able to walk without meeting a lot of people, so you allow yourself to connect with your surroundings the way a child might. You don’t have to smile or relate to anyone. Instead, you will be drawing in energy from your surroundings. What will amaze you is just how much vitality you can absorb from your environment when you are not wasting your own energy with meaningless social contact. So, just for 10 to 15 minutes, let yourself retreat inwards and see what amazing things happen. GETTING EARTHED Begin your walk by shaking out your body a little. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Take a deep breath and let it out with no effort. Now look around you, at the sky, the earth, the trees, grass, rocks or flowers—whatever you find around you. Take another slow, even breath deep down into your abdomen. Now, aware of your breath going steadily in and out, start walking at a comfortable pace, opening all your senses to your environment as if it were part of you. Let yourself enjoy the light, the mist, the colors, the rocks and sand; whatever is there. Let yourself become aware of the way things move in light and shade, so you are in effect feeding on the richness of your surroundings. Let your body move easily and gently, so it feels as though it is dancing with your surroundings. Allow yourself to experience everything you see and feel, smell and touch, as though you are doing it for the first time, with the curious mind of a child. Feel the air on your skin, smell the fragrance around you in all its layers and textures as you walk. Continue to be aware of the ground beneath your feet, and how your breath going in and out feels. Notice how well the earth supports you. Enjoy the feel of your body in motion. See how heightened your senses become to the colors and the fragrances. Notice how clear your vision has become. This simple focus, this increased awareness of the sound of your own feet on the ground, the feel of your breath, the movement of your legs and torso will become more acute, more intense, more nourishing and more satisfying. LIKE MAGIC Colors become more and more intense, richer, clearer. You can find your senses opening as you become ever more aware of everything around you. You may even sense that you are immersed in a wonderful new ocean of reality. That the trees and the rocks, the air you breathe, and the sky have become part of you and you of them. Indulge yourself. Smell the air, feel the ground, immerse yourself in the sea of life and generosity in which you find yourself. Now, simply draw the energy of the earth into you. Let it fill you up. Breathe in the beauty of the sky. Take in every sight and sound, deep into your heart, as you become aware that you are attuned to everything around you. This energy is available to you whenever you want it. All it depends on is your own willingness to connect with the sea of life of which you are a part. Whenever you do, the whole world feeds you, belongs to you, nourishes you at every level. Continue to walk as long as you like, easily and blissfully, aware of your feet on the ground, your breath moving in and out, and the part you play in this wonderful sea of reality which belongs to you, and you to it. BACK TO SOURCE Both of these walking techniques are wonderful. Don’t just read about them—print up these descriptions and carry them with you. Then have a go. See what happens to you. Even better, take a look at where I learned about them. Stephen Nachmanovitch’s book is the best book on creativity I have ever read. I have read it at least 12 times. (As a present for Aaron who loves listening to audio books, I even made a recording of most of the chapters and gave it to him.) When it comes to Belleruth Naparstek’s work, her recordings are unparalleled in the world for their transformative power. You can purchase the one below on CD. Better still, just download it and put it on an MP3 player so you can begin using it today. You can find them below: Free Play - Stephen Nachmanovitch’s Improvisation In Life And Art - Stephen Nachmanovitch’s book is the best book on creativity I have ever read. I have read it at least 12 times. To find out more click on the links below. Order Free Play - Stephen Nachmanovitch’s from Amazon MEDITATIONS TO RELIEVE STRESS imagery for mastering anxiety; guided imagery to pump up feelings of love, safety and protection; a soothing, walking meditation for the fidgeters among us who can’t sit still; and affirmations for use anytime. (72 min.) Order Meditations To Relieve Stress at iTunes Order Meditations To Relieve Stress at Amazon

Secrets Of Ageless Skin

Secrets Of Ageless Skin

Your skin doesn’t age by accident or just because time passes. It loses tone and texture when the order, energy, physiological and biological integrity of your body’s living matrix becomes undermined. Many factors can cause this to happen. But none is more insidious or sinister than chronic high levels of blood sugar and insulin which now threaten the majority of the population of the developed world. Stop this from happening to your own body, and you can not only slow skin aging. You can reverse its signs. You will also help yourself avoid degenerative illnesses and prevent weight gain. WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD Sugar destroys your skin. And I don’t just mean the white stuff that sits in bowls. Most of the foods we eat these days—from pasta and bread to packaged cereals and bagels—within a few minutes of entering the body flood the bloodstream with glucose. The reasons for this are simple and genetic. Yet for almost four generations, they have continued to elude most scientists, nutritionists, government bodies such as the FDA, and doctors. Grain-based foods and sugary foods are a recent invention. For over a million years of evolution, the human body never encountered them. Because genetic adaptation is a slow process—it can take one hundred thousand years for a significant alteration in even one gene to take place—our bodies do not have the ability to deal with sugars and starches in quantity for long periods. Yet such foods form the majority of stuff that people buy and eat. Our packaged convenience foods are based on them. Most are also riddled with junk fats and chemicals. These days, even smoked salmon and luncheon meats have sugars added to them. These manufactured products make up the largest portion of most people’s diets. When the body is forced to handle them (and most governments are still trying to sell us the false notion that a high-carb diet is good for health), it rebels. What form this insurrection takes depends on our genetic vulnerabilities. For some, it can show up as adult onset Type II diabetes. Others get fat and experience energy swings, high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol issues, and/or chronic fatigue. When it comes to skin, these carbs and sugar itself fabricate wrinkles, sags, puffy faces and lackluster complexions. This produces a situation where, even when you know all of this, you can find yourself with so little energy that you wonder if you are able to do anything about it. THE WRINKLE MONSTER When it comes to carbs and sugars, the wrinkle monster is two faced. To escape his insidious attacks, you need to understand and conquer both. First there is the all-encompassing glucose-insulin battle you need to win, probably after years of living and eating the way that, for the past 60 years, we have been urged to do by the powers-that-be. The monster’s second face focuses on the way excess glucose damages the body’s proteins. It attacks skin cells and collagen fibers leading to what are known as advanced glycosylation end products or AGEs. These nasties act like terrorists, wreaking havoc within your living matrix. AGEs cause the skin’s collagen proteins to cross-link, producing wrinkles, sags and bags on your face. Defeat the first face of the wrinkle monster and the second loses a lot of its power. Your skin will respond by literally rejuvenating itself. So will your whole body, and in medically measurable ways too. ALL POWERFUL HORMONE Insulin is the most important hormone in determining how quickly or slowly your body ages. This was one of the most important discoveries made during the past half-century. It began with the work of a brilliant American endocrinologist named Gerald Reaven. In the 1980s, Reaven identified a collection of abnormalities—high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol levels, and others which physicians commonly worry about, as they are viewed as biomarkers of illness and aging. These abnormalities, which generally occur together, have now reached epidemic proportions. They are major triggers in the development of degenerative diseases from heart disease and diabetes to including the dreaded skin-wrinkling and rapid aging. Professor Reaven named this collection of abnormalities Syndrome X—insulin resistance syndrome—which is now more widely known as Metabolic Syndrome. Although this condition often remains hidden to the person who falls prey to it, Metabolic Syndrome is a life-threatening, rapidly aging, perversion of body metabolism which we bring on ourselves—in small part by a sedentary lifestyle, but, most important of all, by having lived for decades on a carbohydrate and sugar-intensive diet. What is scary is that 95 percent of the population of English speaking countries still do. WORTHY OPPONENTS In your body, insulin and sugar are antagonists. In other words, they are meant to balance each other metabolically. All carbohydrate foods—from muffins to breads, cereals and packaged convenience foods—turn into glucose when you eat them. Insulin has two jobs to perform: First, when glucose from these foods enters the bloodstream, it is supposed to control blood sugar levels. Second, it is meant to see that glucose gets turned into the energy your body needs for health. In a healthy body, where blood sugar is balanced and in control, you have a good supply of ongoing energy. You don’t suffer from energy or mood swings during the day or at certain times of the month. It is insulin secreted from the pancreas which manages this. It responds to the level of glucose present in the blood from moment to moment. The more glucose there is, the more insulin it secretes to balance it. The less glucose present, the less insulin gets shunted into your blood. MASTER OF ENERGY Insulin’s second job is equally important. It has to do with getting all this circulating sugar into your body’s cells, where little energy factories there known as mitochondria can turn it into ATP—the currency your body uses to run metabolic processes, to make hormones, to repair damage to DNA and keep the body functioning well. The way it does this is interesting. On the surface of each cell there are receptor sites specifically for insulin. They are like locks that only the “key”, namely insulin, can open, so that this important pancreatic hormone can carry out its second major task: Escorting glucose inside the cell so its mitochondria can get on with their energy-producing. It’s a great system. But it was never designed to handle the onslaught of carbs and sugar which, for three or four generations, we’ve been forcing it to handle. After years of breakfast cereals and toast, sugary sweets and treats, the pancreas is forced to produce so much insulin in an attempt to limit high levels of sugar in the blood that it becomes trigger-happy. Day after day, month after month, it secretes so much of the hormone. This continually forces blood sugar to drop too low, which causes those awful 11 AM and 3 PM blues. We get hungry, eat more carbs—trying to get back our energy—and wonder why we suffer. The pancreas can also grow weary of the task after a while and give out. HERE’S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE When high levels of unused glucose circulate in your body, they seriously disrupt the functions of the living matrix and cause rapid aging of skin and the whole body. For when glucose cannot be turned into energy in your body, it poisons it. Habitual eating of high-carb meals and snacks shunts massive doses of glucose into your bloodstream. In an effort to maintain balance, the pancreas produces more insulin, keeping insulin levels too high for too long. This creates insulin resistance, interfering with your body’s ability to turn glucose into energy. You feel fatigued, may gain weight easily, become prone to cellulite and develop the medical abnormalities associated with Metabolic Syndrome. This also stimulates your liver to produce more triglycerides and pour them into your bloodstream. All this can produce mood swings and hormonal distortions. This distorts cholesterol levels and balance, increasing your risk of heart disease. It also bombards fat cells with extra calories they need to find a place for. If you are genetically prone to weight gain, you not only grow fat. You find it more and more difficult to shed weight. This in turn creates yet more insulin resistance, and can even start destroying the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas. The energy, chemistry and physiology of the living matrix become disrupted. Cells no longer receive clear communications in this polluted medium. They become unable to effectively do the jobs they are meant to do. Skin shows the effects of all of this. It loses radiance, thins, sags, wrinkles and ages rapidly. Blotches appear. Spots, too, if you are genetically prone to them. You start to look tired, old beyond your years and, before long, you start to feel as bad as you look. Sorry for this long list of bad news. But it is important that you get a handle on how all this happens. The good news is you can actually reverse all of this by altering the kinds of foods you eat. DO WE NEED CARBS? A diet high in cereals, grains and sugars (the diet of 90% of the Western world) is the fastest way to ruin skin, get ill, age rapidly and get fat. Grains and sugars can undermine your immune system and make you susceptible not just to colds, but to degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and coronary heart disease. Now, this is revolutionary stuff—as yet it’s known only to an elite few. On learning all of the above, the question most often asked is this: “Is a diet that is mostly or completely lacking in cereal-based, grain-based, sugar-based carbohydrates a healthy way of eating?” It’s little wonder that most of us don’t know this. For more than half a century, we’ve been told that we need lots of carbs for health and energy. WE DO NOT! Eating a diet that is low in convenience foods and grain-based, sugar-based, cereal-based carbohydrates but rich in low-sugar fruits and green vegetables, plus good quality proteins and good fats—coconut oil, butter from grass-fed cows and extra-virgin olive oil—ensures that you are never going to have a shortage of fuel for your body, nervous system or brain. You will not have to wrestle with insulin resistance, food cravings, blood-sugar-related health problems, weight gain or a poorly functioning immune system. What such a way of eating can do to regenerate and rejuvenate skin and slow skin wrinkling, sagging and spotting is little short of fabulous—no matter what your age.

Fever Power

Fever Power

Like many old wives' tales the adage `sweat it out' is beginning to look like good advice. For generations medicine has tried to suppress fever, believing it to be a state detrimental to the body. Latest findings show that fever can not only significantly strengthen your body's defense system, it appears to be a critical component in immune function. As such, so the new findings indicate, when it occurs naturally, for instance as a response to infection, it should not be completely eliminated by drugs the way we have been wont to do. Fever weakens the force of invading enemies and is a potent positive force for fighting infections. Some scientists now believe that, because of its many immune-supporting characteristics, even when fever is artificially induced in a healthy body by saunas, Turkish baths or vigorous aerobic exercise it can act as a powerful prophylactic to aging, it can increase vitality and it can help provide you with a high level of well-being. This approach to fever is anything but new. Ancient Greek physicians considered fever a beneficial sign of vitality in an organism. They believed that disease was the result of an imbalance between the four humors - blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile - and they considered fever a means of burning off the bad humors and clearing the body of them. To this end they employed sudorific (sweat-producing) herbs, steam and hot baths to induce fevers in their patients. Such practices went on well into the seventeenth century when the famous British physician Thomas Sydenham commented that `Fever is Nature's engine, which she brings into the field to remove her enemy.' Then in the middle of the last century, with the discovery of antipyretic (temperature-lowering) drugs such as aspirin doctors began to insist on reducing fevers when they occurred. Drugs such as aspirin not only lower bodily temperature, they also eliminate many aches and pains associated with fever, thanks to their analgesic properties. This makes patients feel temporarily better. So gradually both doctor and patient began to lean heavily on the use of these drugs to suppress fever, and fever came to be considered a negative thing - something to be eliminated as rapidly and effectively as possible. Recently researchers such as Matthew J. Kluger, a professor of physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, have begun to examine the phenomenon of fever afresh and to ask questions such as: Just what happens when the body is plunged into a feverous state? Why did evolution develop the phenomenon of temperature-raising fever in its creatures? What is the purpose of this remarkable response? What Kluger and others have discovered is that fever's occurrence is not a sign that something is wrong with your body's temperature control system. Instead, a superbly modulated deliberately chosen temperature has been created at which several important physiological and biochemical events occur to heal the body. fever's bounty Among their known benefits (and there are probably many as yet unknown), even slight elevations in temperature not only increase white-cell concentrations, they make the body's defense army of white blood cells more mobile so they can reach any site of infection quicker. There is also considerable evidence that fever makes them more effective in engulfing and destroying invading microorganisms. Indeed it appears to make many other immune functions more effective too. For instance interferon, one of the body's natural anti-viral, anticancer (and therefore probably anti-aging as well) chemicals, about which we have heard so much in the news lately, has been shown to be more effective at elevated temperatures. Of course illness is not the only way that many of the beneficial effects of fever can be brought about. EP stands for endogenous pyrogen which is a low-weight protein produced by leukocytes to help destroy infection in the body. After a good workout of aerobic exercise substances appear in the blood which have identical characteristics to EP. Naturopaths have long insisted that fever is an important force for healing the body. They claim that controlled overheating of the body also increases the rate of metabolic processes as a whole and stimulates the functioning of the endocrine system. Since Hippocrates - some 2400 years ago - doctors have been using artificial methods of inducing fever, for instance giving the herb Echinacea or putting people into sweat baths or steam baths and applying hot compresses, to improve their vitality or stimulate the body's natural healing processes. The new fever research has begun to explain why many of their time-tested methods work. It is also beginning to lend credence to the beliefs of the Turks and Russians that periodic steam baths are strengthening to health and vitality, and to those of the Scandinavians, who have used saunas as a means of both stimulating immune response and spring-cleaning the body from within. words of warning Despite new findings that fever is of benefit to the body, there is every indication that it needs to be treated with respect and that your physician is the best guide to dealing with any illness. For extreme fever can have a damaging effect on a body. And there are some people in whom the benefits of fever may well be outweighed by the risks involved. For instance, in a pregnant woman a high fever could potentially damage her unborn child and young children with very high fever can be subject to convulsions. Also, fevers in very old people have to be carefully watched because of possible damage they could do to the heart. fever as a prophylactic Provided you are fit, aerobic exercise such as cycling, running, walking very briskly, swimming, rowing or dancing is probably the best way of all to benefit from small elevations in temperature. Saunas too can be helpful provided you are in good health, don't overdo them and provided you follow the basic guidelines. A sauna helps make your joints more supple while it soothes your muscles and refreshes the mind. It is also an excellent adjunct to any serious anti-cellulite program for a woman. And early spring, when one's body is suffering from too much heavy winter food and clothing, too little fresh air and exercise, is an excellent time to make use of it. Here are the guidelines: Give yourself lots of time. It will do most for you if you take it leisurely so you have time for several sessions in the heat, with short rests in-between and a rest of at least thirty minutes - preferably an hour - after you are through. Never take a sauna until at least two hours after a meal and never take a sauna during a juice fast. (It is an excellent idea to use the sauna the day before a juice fast or special eliminating diet begins, however.) Never take a sauna if you have the symptoms of an illness. Wear little or nothing in the sauna - a towel wrapped around you is more than enough. The more you wear the less effective will the heat treatment be. Take off any jewelry and your watch. They become very hot. Stay in the sauna room for only 5-10 minutes at a stretch. Then plunge into cold water or take a cold shower and rest before going back in. Don't water the stones during your first session and be sparing with the moisture you put on afterwards. Lie down in the sauna room if you can or sit quietly. Once you are used to the heat you can move to a higher bench. Take at least a half-hour rest at the end to let your body readjust to the normal temperature of the room. This is just as important as the sauna itself to make sure you reap all the benefits. Don't towel-dry yourself afterwards. Instead let the air dry your skin naturally. Then you can have a shower.

The Zen Of Infinite Reality

The Zen Of Infinite Reality

When I was six years old, I had my first love affair. Yes, really. Of course, not until years later did I recognize the experience for what it was. But like every first love, it changed my life forever. My father was a jazz musician, so our house was equipped with the best possible sound equipment. He and I loved to listen to music—just about any music available—at full volume, of course. This, my mother, could not stand—which made it, even more, exciting. While my playmates roamed the hills of Hollywood skinning their knees, I would lie on my belly in our living room, listening to music as loud as I could make it. One day, combing through our vast supply of records, I came upon Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." The name meant nothing to me. But I liked the colors on the cover, so I put it on the record player, turned up the volume and flopped down in front of our huge speakers. Strange, mysterious, discordant sound flooded my body, opening a secret door to somewhere deep inside me—a mysterious inner world I had never entered. I didn't know such a place even existed. I trembled with fear and excitement while Stravinsky's music continued to wind its way through my body. I flushed hot and then cold. My heart raced, then calmed. I lost all sense of place and time as I rode the waves of an imaginal sea of sound into unexplored worlds, too numerous to name. I have no idea how long all this lasted. Eventually, even the "boat" carrying me along on vivid images began to dissolve like sugar in water. In a perfect union, the sounds and the child-that-had-been-me swirled into a vortex and became lost in each other. We shared the excitement, fear, longing, fierceness, and sadness. As lovers, we had come together—music and child—in an immediate, passionate, all-encompassing union. Eventually, I found myself at the center of this whirlpool. Then, even the ecstasy of the movement vanished. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I tumbled—not into Wonderland, but into an experience of unspeakable stillness. Zen practitioners claim this experience is available at any moment to each one of us. For me, it was an indescribable event—beyond space, beyond time, outside thought. Without the slightest possibility of ever being able to describe it, I knew that everything was as perfect as it was meant to be. In the words of Zen Master Daisetz Suzuki, in this place, I would eat when I am hungry, sleep when tired. I knew that "it was fine yesterday and today it is raining." In the words of Julian of Norwich, I was sure that "All things shall be well, and all things shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." My affair with Stravinsky lasted more than four hours. At least, that's what my mother said. "Don't tell me you are still listening to that awful music." She had to raise her voice to be heard above the sounds. "For God's sake, turn it off. Do something useful." So I did something useful. I went to school, then to university where I learned, at least, some of what you are supposed to learn. I earned praises for top marks, went to work, won prizes, gave birth to four children by four different men, raised them on my own, wrote books, made films, gave talks, led workshops, created products for companies, made television programs and so on and so on. In effect, I did what millions of men and women do—I became the breadwinner, the caretaker, the nurturer of people's lives. Through all the years between six and now, my passion for music, painting, books, poetry, architecture and movies has never left me. Far from it. During all of these years, the epiphany of emptiness that Stravinsky brought to me that day and the sense of absolute stillness has never faded. It has made it possible for me to create so many things as well as to explore new places and ideas. It's invited me to move beyond thought towards a place of unity with the rest of the universe. All this continues gnawing at me. I suspect it will never go away, just as the urge to breathe never goes away, no matter how long we try to hold our breath. What I did not know—and this took me scores of years to find out—is that the rabbit hole into which I had unexpectedly tumbled has for millennia, been, described by every culture and religion in the world in one form or another. Nor had I any idea that, at any moment in time, regardless of the circumstances of our lives, it is available to each of us. To Zen Buddhists, this wordless, timeless space represents ultimate reality: That which can only come through immediate experience. In Suzuki's words, "For the sake of those crucial experiences Zen Buddhism has struck out on its own paths which, through methodical immersion in oneself, lead to one's becoming aware, in the deepest ground of the soul, of the unnameable Groundlessness and Qualitylessness—nay more, to one's becoming one with it." It is a state in which nothing is thought or contrived, longed for or expected. It reaches out in no particular direction, yet it knows itself able to handle the possible as well as the impossible. Concentrated, yet so expanded too, such power is both purposeless and egoless. As such, it can be called truly spiritual. Why? I believe because it is charged with an awareness that spirit is present everywhere. Because the cosmos is present everywhere, we too are present everywhere. We can have direct experience of this, and access the power that continues to create the universe itself. And we have full access to that power of creation to use in our lives, in whatever way we choose. The Sufis call this state fana—the annihilation of your individual selfhood. When you experience fana, your everyday personality becomes transparent, so the larger being that you are shines through. You soon become absorbed in an all-encompassing fascination for the moment. Life is lived in the NOW. Cutting-edge physicists speak of a holographic universe in which we live but seldom access because we are plagued by endless mental concepts that blind us to so-called reality. This blinds us to the experience of Samadhi—"a non-dualistic state in which the consciousness of the subject becomes one with an experience of the object." This selfless absorption and total surrender of Samadhi is characteristic of children when left alone to follow their instincts. It is available to each one of us, regardless of age or condition. Honoring whatever brings you bliss in your life opens the door to it. That day, when I lay on the floor lost in Stravinsky, without recognizing, I became conscious of it what would inspire me most: The beauty of art—whether it be music, words, stories, sculpture, buildings or what-have-you. Why? Certainly not because I had any idea that art was supposed to be valued as part of what grown-ups refer to as culture. I couldn't have cared less. After all, I was a kid who, when not entranced by what I was seeing, hearing, feeling or touching, spent the rest of my day learning card tricks, wrestling with my huge dog Tuffy, and trying—unsuccessfully—to sell packets of chewing gum which my grandfather gave me to neighbors' kids. Nope—I loved the beauty and wonder of art in all its many forms because, unlike the world around me, with which had little in common, it had grabbed hold of me and would never let me go. It demanded of me both a submission as well as active participation in the making of it. I now believe that my first love affair at the age of six became the harbinger for how I have lived my life. At any moment in time, regardless of the circumstances of our lives, fana is available to all of us regardless of age. Honoring whatever brings you bliss opens the door to it for you.

Secrets Of The Breath

Secrets Of The Breath

Even more important than the food we eat is the air we breathe, and the way we breathe it. They can affect how we feel emotionally and physically, and how we look—even the cells of the skin are dependent for their metabolic processes on a constant supply of enough oxygen. How much energy we can call on, and even how clearly we can think—all these things depend greatly on how we breathe. Because breathing is the only one of your body's functions that can be either completely involuntary or voluntary, the breath even creates a bridge between how our conscious and unconscious function. This makes it possible, by becoming aware of your breathing, to discover how you’re feeling and what is taking place in your body. Even better, once you master a few simple breath practices, you can use them to raise your energy level as well as to alter your thinking and your moods. MAGIC MIXTURE FOR LIFE The air you breathe is not a chemical compound, but a simple mixture of gases: 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 95 percent inert gases, and 3 percent carbon dioxide by volume, plus a carbonic acid content that varies between .02 percent and .06 percent (when it is higher, the oxygen content is lower). In addition, it contains traces of water, a little ammonia, various mineral salts, and ozone. This curious mixture is the most necessary stuff in the world to all forms of life. You can live for several weeks without food, several days without water, but only a few minutes without air. BREATHE ENERGY Throughout history the breath has been associated with energy, force, and power of both a physical and metaphysical kind. In the Bible, the word translated as "spirit" can also be translated as "air." It is the invisible life force, the energy the Chinese call chi and manipulate in acupuncture treatments. The Sufis refer to it as barales. It plays an important role in their techniques of meditation. The Yogis call it prana. They insist that breath is responsible for the extraordinary control they are able to exert over mind and body. Prana actually means breath, respiration, life, vitality, wind, energy, and strength. The word is also used to mean soul as distinguished from body. Yogis believe that if we are able to control our breath we can also control pain, emotions, and physical health, as well as supernatural phenomena. We tend to think that the energy we have comes from the food we eat. But as the ancient traditions teach, air, not food, is the primary fuel for driving the human engine. Without the oxygen air contains, your body would not be able to break down the nutrients you take in through your foods in order to produce energy and to nourish your cells. When air is first taken into the lungs, it fills the tiny bronchioles. Oxygen diffuses through their membranes into your bloodstream and is carried throughout your body to every cell of every organ and tissue. Your blood is capable of absorbing up to four times as much oxygen as water can, as long as there is enough iron available to produce haemoglobin, which carries the oxygen through the bloodstream. One of the most important common symptoms of iron-deficiency anaemia is the inability to catch your breath—you simply cannot get enough oxygen. BREATH OF EMOTION The link between the way you breathe and your emotional state is well established. Not only do your emotions affect your breathing. Remember the last time you were frightened and you gasped for breath? Or how, when you are excited, your breathing becomes shallower and faster than usual? How you breathe can bring on, or turn off, emotional states. Here's an experiment that shows this: Start to breathe very shallowly so only the shoulders and top of your chest show any signs of movement, and pant in and out quickly for about forty-five seconds. At the end of that time your heart will be pounding and you will have all the feelings of anxiety and fear. Or try it the other way around. The next time you are in a difficult situation and you feel you might lose control, stop. Take three or four long deep breaths from the abdomen and let them out slowly. Then take another look at the challenge. You'll find your mind and feelings a lot calmer. The art of normal breathing is something I think every woman concerned with protecting her good looks and preserving her health should know. When your lung capacity is developed and used to the full, you will have more energy, suffer less from fatigue, and be able to think more clearly. It will also make your skin glow with health and your eyes shine. And it is not as difficult as you might imagine. It involves no more than learning a few new habits. Let's look at four that you can start developing right now. Then we'll go on to some specific breathing techniques for specific effects. THE ART OF FULL BREATHING 1. When you breathe, breathe with your whole chest and abdomen too. Most of us breathe only with the top part of our body, which means we are not fully lowering the diaphragm and expanding the lungs and so are not making use of their full capacity. This kind of restricted breathing stifles emotional expression and is often linked with anxiety, depression, and worry. To check for abdominal breathing, put your hands on your tummy. Does it swell when you breathe in and sink when you breathe out? It should. Lying flat on a firm surface, practice breathing fully and gently until you get the feel of it. 2. Make sure that with each out-breath you let out all the air you take in. By exhaling more of the carbon dioxide, you will get rid of more of the cells' waste products and you will be able to make full use of each new breath of air as it is taken down into your lungs. 3. Take up some kind of aerobic exercise—such as running, bicycling, or dancing—that demands full use of your lungs every day. 4. Use the following exercise for five minutes twice a day to increase your lung capacity, slim your middle, purify your blood, and help you learn the art of fuller breathing. You can also use it whenever you feel tense or need to clear your head: Resting your hands on your rib cage at the sides, just above the waist, breathe out completely. Now inhale gently through the nose, letting your abdomen swell as much as it will to a slow count of five. Continue to breathe in through the nose to another count of five, this time letting your ribs expand under your hands and finally your chest too—but don't raise your shoulders in the process. Hold your breath for a count of five; now slowly let it out through your mouth as you count slowly to ten, noticing how your rib cage shrinks beneath your hands and pulling in with your abdomen until you have released all the air. Repeat four times. Most of us have forgotten how to breathe fully. Time taken to relearn it is time well spent. As you do there are all sorts of delicious little techniques you can add to it—from sensuous breathing that makes your whole body tingle, to quick fix breathing that banishes anxiety. They raise the whole breathing thing to a whole new level...More to come soon.

Power Healing For Women

Power Healing For Women

In the next few minutes, I want to share with you white hot secrets about two natural plants that you can use to alleviate menstrual, peri-menopausal and menopausal issues gently, safely and effectively. Not once in the last 20 years have they failed to do their job. Both plants have been used to help women for centuries and their therapeutic actions have been scientifically validated. Motherwort The first, and one of the most remarkable natural healing plants on the planet is Motherwort—Leonurus cardiaca—commonly known as Lion’s tail. It gets its name from its ancient reputation for reducing anxiety. Motherwort has all the feel of a loving, caring mother when you take it. It can calm your nervous system while acting as a tonic to your whole body. This lovely blessing from nature is full of mind-altering natural biochemicals which studies in China have shown to have a regulating effect on the womb and the heart, bringing calm all round. It’s effective for easing hot flushes, banishing insomnia, and restoring elasticity to the walls of the vagina. It’s also an excellent natural treatment for many heart conditions in both men and women. Let me tell you how it’s used: Motherwort is rich in alkaloids and is bitter when drunk as an infusion. It’s easiest to take as a store-bought tincture, but you can also grow the plant yourself and turn it into a homemade herbal vinegar. Take 10 to 25 drops of the tincture made from the fresh plant every 2 to 6 hours, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herb vinegar as you need it. How To Use There is something so calming and balancing about motherwort that it is hard to imagine if you’ve never used it. It’s a blessing during any stressful time. For best results with hot flushes, use it regularly for 12 weeks or more. That being said, just 10 drops of the tincture in a little spring water will often ease a hot flush while it is happening. Motherwort is also a great help when you awaken in the night in sweat and have trouble dropping off again. Use 10 to 20 drops of the tincture (keep it at the side of your bed with a glass of spring water) and swallow some each time you wake up. Sometimes, it even helps banish bad dreams. Want to know more? Motherwort improves circulation and strengthens tissues that have lost elasticity. You can use it to rejuvenate the tissues of bladder, womb and vagina, for instance, when you take it a couple of times a day for as little as 2 to 4 weeks. Finally, it’s great for clearing cramps when the menstrual flow is light to moderate or even completely absent. Use 5 to 10 drops of tincture or ½ to 1 teaspoon of the homemade vinegar every few minutes until the cramps have gone. Then repeat whenever you need to. There’s one important caution you need to be aware of, however. Motherwort is not an herb to use when a woman is experiencing menstrual flooding, since it can aggravate this tendency. Chaste Tree The other amazing natural plant I love is Chaste Tree. Its proper name is Vitex agnus castus or Monk’s Pepper. Chaste Tree originally gained its name from its ability to calm the lascivious desires of men. On women, however, it exerts the exact opposite effect. It can stimulate your libido while balancing your emotions and energizing your whole body. Chaste Tree is one of the most helpful plants in the world for peri-menopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women. It does the job, whether your hormones are deficient or in excess, thanks to its actions on the pituitary that harmonizes any imbalances. Chaste Tree is better known in Europe and the Orient than in Britain and the United States. There, its berries have been used for centuries to help protect from and even cure cancers of the breast and womb, as well as to reduce breast lumps and tenderness. It can banish edema, clear skin problems, moisten vaginal tissues that have dried, and clear hot flushes. Unlike many healing plants, Chaste Tree is not rich in phyto-hormones. It relies for healing on the glycosides, micronutrients and flavonoids it contains to work its wonders. This humble plant goes deep in its effects on your body and psyche but, like most natural treatments, will take time, so be consistent with its use. Expect results after using it daily for 8 to 12 weeks. In a year to 18 months you can stop using it completely as improvements are likely to have become permanent. Here’s how Here’s how to use it. As a homemade infusion, drink one cup of tea made from its freshly ground berries a day. In capsule form, take 1 capsule 3 to 4 times a day. Or use 15 drops to 1 teaspoon of a tincture 1 to 3 times a day. German researchers discovered that Chasteberry stimulates progesterone synthesis, and this in turn balances excess estrogen which can trigger hot flushes. Chaste Tree’s anti-inflammatory capacities have been known to shrink fibroids when used regularly for 12 to 36 months. Sluggish digestion and constipation are no match for the Chasteberry, which can restore digestion easily and permanently, provided you take it for long enough. It can even clear skin troubles that develop as a result of hormonal change, and banish fluid retention. To top it all off, this amazing plant is known for its ability to clear depression and balance mood: Typical PMS problems, from migraines and depression to ordinary headaches and anxiety, yield slowly but often permanently to Chaste Tree. This usually takes about 6 months, but it is wise to continue with the plant for another 6 months afterward to make benefits permanent. Make sure you choose only the best products. There are too many poor wannabes on the shelves. Here are the ones I recommend. Use them. I think you’ll love them as much as I do. Here are the ones I recommend Eclectic Institute, Motherwort Organic, 2 fl oz Fresh, ORGANIC Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) flower top. ORGANIC grape alcohol content: 45%. Filtered water. Fresh Herb Strength: 1:2. Order Motherwort Organi from iherb Gaia Herbs, Vitex Berry, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps Healthy hormone levels are necessary for a woman's physical and emotional wellbeing. Chaste Tree Berry, also known as Vitex, has long been used to support hormone production and balance. Gaia Herbs uses certified organic Chaste Tree berry to provide a full spectrum herbal extract for women's health. Order Gaia Herbs, Vitex Berry from iherb

Road To Transformation

Road To Transformation

Those who choose to take part in Cura Romana’s online programs often fascinate me. Savvy about health, and keen to learn more, most are drawn to the program at first because they want to shed their excess weight permanently. But they want a lot more too. The majority are seeking personal transformation at every level—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Most are clear about how important health is to this process. They want wellbeing to blossom, then to continue to get better and better. They are often keen to create a new loving relationship with their body. They want more joy in their lives and more authentic freedom just to be who they are and feel good about it. Whew! A LIFE TRANSFORMED The goals that people tell us about while on one of our online programs are surprising, to say the least. But they bring me much pleasure as I work with these people. In many ways, their desires and goals sum up the kind of life change which I have long shared with others in my talks, workshops, books, and TV programs. Maybe this is nothing more than serendipity. In any case, I adore it. Why? Because, from a personal point of view, I find it so exciting and rewarding to work with such people—to stand beside them and take part in the life transformations they have committed themselves to. Just over four years ago, before we created our online programs, I was working one-to-one with individuals. The experience was a rich one for me. It affirmed that my goals for designing a worldwide internet based Cura Romana were clear: I wanted to build safe, gentle, rapid weight loss programs for men and women of any age. Instead of putting strain on the organism the way conventional slimming diets do, it had to encourage better hormonal balance, bring greater balance to the autonomic nervous system, and foster radiant wellbeing on every level. I was also determined that the program should not only help people recover their body’s natural shape. It needed to act as an entrance into healthy transformation and to enrich one’s quality of life. Finally, I wanted to design a protocol that could banish food cravings and show participants how to make excess weight lost on the program stay lost. PATH TO WELLBEING The story of how I became involved in all this goes way back to my early twenties. Already mother of three, I was seriously ill. In truth, I’d been unwell since late childhood. Twice, I had come close to dying of pneumonia. And, in addition to various other ailments—both emotional and physical—I began to struggle with my weight at adolescence. Then, in my mid-twenties, I was given the greatest gift that could have ever have been offered me: I met and became close friends with more than a dozen of the finest doctors and scientists in the English-speaking world—including two Nobel Laureates. Every one of these remarkable men and women generously shared with me their vast knowledge of natural healing, as well as the fundamentals of biology and physics when applied to living things. FULFILLING A DREAM From early on, I had been passionate about finding answers to my personal health challenges. These experts/friends could not have been more helpful in my search. Without their teachings, their patience and their guidance, I doubt that I would ever have been able to find my way, raise four healthy, happy children on my own, and accomplish the other things I have done since then. Many years later, when I was just beginning to design the Cura Romana programs, I made good use of what I had learned from them. I sat down to work out an easy-to-use program for safe, hunger-free, rapid weight loss, as well as gentle detox. I knew that such a program could not only help people recover their natural shape and weight, but transform their health and enrich the quality of their life. I was also determined to design a program that could help protect someone who, after getting rid of excess fat, would be free from having to regain it. So I called on the fundamentals of natural health I’d learned from my doctor and scientist friends—then combined this with my own research and discoveries made since then. FOOD SENSITIVITIES AND WEIGHT GAIN When it came to preventing someone who has lost weight from regaining it, the work of another British physician, Richard Mackarness, proved central to accomplishing this. In the mid 1970s, I had the privilege of participating in Richard’s research at Basingstoke Hospital. There I learned first-hand about the wide-ranging negative effects and implications of food sensitivities and food allergies. Working closely with Mackarness, I witnessed not only stunning physical reactions—sickness, pain and allergy flare-ups—caused by introducing a food which a particular body cannot handle. I became familiar with— even experienced firsthand—the emotional and psychological effects human beings can suffer when eating such foods. Reactions can be anything from mild depression and a sense of self-loathing to emotional breakdowns. Sometimes, even serious mental disorders can be triggered when a particular body reacts to a food or drink it can’t tolerate. A physician of great vision, author of many papers and books including Not All in the Mind, Richard Mackarness fought for, and single-handedly achieved, recognition for “clinical ecology” to be accepted as a respected medical discipline in the UK. He and his colleagues, Theron Randolph MD and Herbert Rinkel MD, established that food intolerance, food sensitivities and food allergies often cause a wide variety of illnesses. I suspect you can guess which one is right up there at the top of the list: weight gain and obesity. SLIM FOREVER Much of what I learned from them also stood me in good stead while building Cura Romana’s unique six week Consolidation program. That follows the Essential Spray+Food Plan for rapid weight loss. It is during the Consolidation process that participants learn the way to make sure that the fat they’ve shed need never return. Each body is unique. Foods that work for you may be anathema to me. To put it simply, during Consolidation you learn how to identify which foods your unique body “loves” and which foods it “hates.” Discovering what foods your body thrives on, and what foods it cannot handle, is essential to lifelong weight control. This discovery also brings other benefits, including an intensification of your body’s natural capacity to heal itself. While working out our Consolidation process I discovered something equally important. At first this amazed me: We are able to eat as much as our bodies want of the foods we thrive on, provided we minimize or eliminate the foods it can’t handle. This leads to no longer having to worry about weight gain. It can also put an end to calorie counting and food addictions forever. ONLINE POWER Right from their beginning, our Cura Romana programs have been designed to become multi-dimensional, internet-based experiences. I recorded audios and videos to guide participants day-by-day from beginning to end. Our programs are meant to become transformative gateways both to effective weight loss and optimal health. They are meant to help people rediscover their body’s natural size, shape and weight. This is why they provide powerful step-by-step guidance, so participants can move beyond the pain of past failures, frustrations and self-criticism towards a leaner body and a new sense of authentic freedom. My major frustration while writing the first Cura Romana book, as well as my New Cura Romana Weightloss Plan (which has just been published), has always been trying to come anywhere near to being able to give my readers the hands-on guidance that participants receive on the online experience. If you choose to follow the protocol using the new book, it’s absolutely essential that you read the book through twice and mark up everything you need to know. However you choose to do it, please remember that Cura Romana works only if the protocol is followed to the letter. You need to be well-informed and completely confident that you know what you are doing before you ever start it. You see, Cura Romana’s online programs are continuously evolving—something that cannot happen in a book. They become ever more effective, graceful and easy to follow. In no small part, this takes place thanks to the thousands worldwide with whom we continue to interact on both our Journey Programs and our Inner Circle Gold—during which I mentor each participant individually. HOW THEY WORK Day-after-day, the online programs guide you thanks to new audios and videos that you receive from beginning to end. It’s like having the benefit of a personal coach, without the huge cost you’d expect to pay for one. All four programs provide you with continually updated manuals plus the Essential Sprays you’ll need. You also get access to a Library for learning more, a Sanctuary for inner work, and two Kitchens with recipes—together with a first-rate help facility. Cutting-edge information is added regularly, enabling us to introduce you to new ways of thinking and living over the nine or twelve weeks while you are working with us. Our online programs have turned out to be a watershed for me, representing as they do my more than four decades of immersion in natural health and personal transformation. Many on them ask that we develop another program for people who have no need to lose weight but want to experience the same wellbeing and transformation that Cura Romana offers. We would like very much to be able to do this in the next couple of years. For the moment, we are deeply immersed in completing several new books and designing a new lesliekenton.com website which should go live within the next three weeks. In next week’s blog, I’ll share with you the frustrations, longings and self-limiting issues which prompt people to begin their own Cura Romana transformation. More often than not our most powerful transformations begin with a desperate need to end suffering. In the meantime, if you want to experience the best that Cura Romana has to offer, please do consider joining Aaron and me online. These Cura Romana protocols continue to bring participants experiences of renewal and transformation. They often expand creativity and fuel the capacity to live each moment from the core of our being with joy. They often help clear false beliefs that hold us back from fulfilling our potentials. When I tell you all this, it is not because I am trying to sell you an online program. It’s because I would so love for you to have the chance to experience all this for yourself.

The Wonders Of Exercise

The Wonders Of Exercise

Let’s talk exercise. It’s time we did. For there is no area of health more misunderstood than exercise—its benefits, its drawbacks—what it will and won’t do. The medical profession continues to feed us the party line: It begins with “every calorie is unique…it doesn’t matter where it comes from…if you want to lose weight, all you have to do is burn calories through exercise.” This is absolutely untrue—in fact, exercise can sometimes be seriously detrimental to those who are considerably overweight. Nevertheless doctors, and the media, keep telling us that it works. And, like sheep, we just keep trusting them. MEDICAL IGNORANCE What happens? Well, when people find that it doesn’t work, they get depressed. They feel like failures. They stop exercising and start eating more because they’re disheartened. They figure that exercising is no use. This makes metabolic syndrome—Syndrome X—worse than ever. For metabolic syndrome and chronic high blood sugar levels are what makes us fat, and keep us that way. That’s the bad news. The good news about exercise is this: Whether you’re overweight or not, exercise done regularly, for as little as 15 minutes a day, is absolutely the single most important thing that you can do to improve your overall health. TRUTH ABOUT CALORIES Because of the media, the medical profession, and purveyors of diet supplements, just about everybody still believes that energy expenditure—and therefore calorie burning—comes with exercise. However the truth is that during physical activity, only the smallest amount of energy expenditure takes place. Exercise accounts for no more than 5% of the calories you burn, unless you happen to be a top athlete. I think this will surprise you too: The greatest percent of calorie burning takes place, not while you’re moving, but while you are sleeping. This phenomenon is called “resting energy expenditure”. Depending on how heavy or light you are, resting energy can account for as much as 60% of your total daily energy expenditure. Another way your body expends energy by burning calories is thanks to the “thermic effect of food”. This refers to the energy it takes your body to digest, absorb and metabolize the foods you have eaten This thermic effect accounts for about 10% of the energy that you burn during the day. So you can see by contrast just how low, in fact virtually insignificant, is the amount of calories burnt during most physical activities. TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD The idea most people have—that if they exercise they can lose weight—is also nothing more than a pipe dream. So what does exercise actually do for you? The answer is: some pretty wonderful things. Exercise enhances sensitivity to insulin. This helps your body make use of the fat that has accumulated in the liver and around other organs improving insulin sensitivity and lower ing insulin levels. It also improves both leptin signaling and leptin sensitivity in the cells., calming food cravings, improving muscle tone, and making you feel more vital. Exercise builds muscle. Most people, including most medical doctors, still wrongly equate BMI (Body Mass Index) with body fat. The truth is BMI does not measure the difference between muscle and fat, or between subcutaneous fat (the inessential fat) and visceral fat. Many studies looking at body composition before and after periods of exercise show that the percentage of fat goes down. But this is only because muscle has increased. As this takes place, a person’s metabolic facilities are also improved. PREVENTING ILLNESS We are often told that we need to change our diet in order to prevent heart disease. Indeed this is quite true: However, the metabolic transformations that take place during regular moderate exercise are an even more powerful force than dieting for preventing disease—including heart disease. To take things further, exercise is actually a more effective force in preventing heart disease than losing weight! A study of almost 40,000 American men demonstrated quite clearly that physical activity was more important in preventing heart disease than being normal weight. These major gifts of exercise are more important than people realize, but they have nothing to do with controlling weight. Let’s look now at how exercise works, biochemically and physiologically. NEW ENERGY FACTORIES Regular exercise activates your sympathetic nervous system. This , in turn, tells your muscles to make new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the amazing little energy factories inside muscle cells that burn glucose or fatty acids, to produce vitality for your whole body. Regular exercise plays a big role not only in building new mitochondria, but in getting rid of the old, inefficient mitochondria. Old mitochondria do not function properly. As a result they produce free radicals to undermine your health and encourage rapid aging. Regular exercise clears away the old and helps your muscles make clean and efficient use of the energy stored within the new. This too improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances metabolic health all round. STRESS BUSTER Regular exercise lowers your stress levels. It’s true that blood cortisol levels go up temporarily when you start to exercise. This is a good thing, It keeps your blood sugar and blood pressure up while you are moving. They come back down quickly afterwards. In fact, one of the long term benefits of regular exercise is that it reduces blood pressure. This is thanks to exercise’s ability to lower stress levels all round. Regular exercise also encourages your body to release feel-good chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. This makes regularly moving the body one of the most effective treatments for depression, far better than drugs or psychotherapy. The way exercise increases endorphins always fascinated me. This was what made me become a regular runner. I was determined to experience what is known as the “runner’s high”. And I found it wonderful. WHAT EXERCISE IS BEST For a long time we’ve been told that the best kind of exercise is low-intensity, long interval, aerobic practices, now known as “cardio exercise”. We learned that cardio worked the heart in a beneficial way, and provided all sorts of cardiovascular benefits by pumping more blood to the heart, slowing heart rate, and increasing peripheral muscles. The one thing it was never able to do—although we were misled to believe that it did—was bring about weight loss. Recently, however, a number of studies have shown that high-intensity interval training, where you use an extreme activity for a very short period of time interspersed with a short recovery—as well as plain old weight training—brings equal improvements both in waist circumference and blood vessel flow. So the bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose. Just do it. BE CAUTIOUS Whatever kind you decide to try, you need to do it regularly—at least five days a week. Why? Because the wonderful metabolic effects of exercise—which tell your mitochondria to divide and make new mitochondrial factories for vitality—slow and decline when you miss even a day of exercising. Miss two weeks, and your insulin sensitivity is likely to decline as well until it reaches the level it was before you started exercising. So whatever you decide to do, do it regularly. You need only do it for short periods, but do it every day. A FINAL WORD It is not only the overweight by the way who suffer from insulin resistance—metabolic syndrome. So do 40% of normal weight men and women, especially those who have fatty livers. Recent research shows that fitness not only helps mitigate the effects of overweight on visceral fat. In fact, it mitigates many other health complaints also provided you are consistent with doing it. This is also likely to increase your longevity. And...great news...if you are overweight, but not obese, exercising regularly can help you live significantly longer than that emaciated model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Recent research shows that overweight people with BMIs between 25 and 30 tend to live longer than skinny people with BMIs of less than 19. DO WHAT YOU LOVE The most important thing for you to decide is what kind of exercise you want to do. It can be as simple as going for a walk each day for half an hour—not a power walk, just one where you feel the movements of, and a connection with, your body. It can be dance. It doesn’t have to be vigorous. It can be rebounding on a mini-trampoline. It can be moderate weight training, for 15-20 minutes a day. I personally like cycling on a wind-trainer. This is a device that your bicycle fits into. It allows you to regulate how hard you choose to pump while the wheels spin but the bicycle remains static. I use a wind trainer because I don’t like cycling on roads. The other exercise I do is on a Concept 2 rowing machine which I was given many years ago. I use it five days a week for 20 minutes at a time. I love doing it: It enables me to move my whole body, and brings me a rhythmic feeling of being completely connected to it. What exercise you do depends entirely on what you love. So begin to experiment. Let go of the idea that exercise is going to make you thin. It will not. What it will do for your health, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and to slow the aging process, is fantastic. It can also be a lot of fun. Discover the joys and great gifts that come with moving your body. The time is now. REFERENCES P. Wen et al., "Minimum Amount of Physical Activity for Reduced Mortality and Extended Life Expectancy: A Prospective Cohort Study," Lancet 378 (2011) S. Ludwig, "The Glycemic Index: Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease," JAMA 287 (2002) Stensvold et al., "Strength Training versus Aerobic Interval Training to Modify Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome," /. Appl. Physiol. 108 (2010) P. Little et al, "Skeletal Muscle and Beyond: The Role of Exercise as a Mediator of Systemic Mitochondrial Biogenesis," Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 36 (2011) K. J. Acheson et al., "Protein Choices Targeting Thermogenesis and Metabolism," Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93 (2011) Shaw et al., "Exercise for Overweight or Obesity," Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. CD003817 (2006) M. J, Gibala et al, "Physiological Adaptations to Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training in Health and Disease," /. Physiol. 590, no. 5 (2012) A. McAuley et al., "Obesity Paradox and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in 12,417 M a l e Veterans Aged 40 to 70 Years," Mayo Clin. Proc. 85 (2010) Bajpeyi et al., "Effect of Exercise Intensity and Volume on Persistence of Insulin Sensitivity During Training Cessation," /. Appl. Physiol. 106 (2009)

Vegetarian Truths And Secrets

Vegetarian Truths And Secrets

For ten years I was a vegetarian—a way of eating for which I have the highest respect. My vegetarian diet, at times even vegan, helped my body heal damage that had been done to it when I was a kid. I had been raised on junk food before junk food as we know it today even existed: I was never breastfed. I survived on pasteurized cow’s milk mixed with corn syrup, then as soon as I could wield a spoon, Rice Krispies smothered in sugar. Then I feasted on greasy eggs and white toast in truck driver cafés, usually at 5am. For my father was a jazz musician. I traveled with him from one gig to the next from the time I was 4 or 5 years old, not attending school, often covering 200 or 300 miles a day to get to the next job. As a result I was never well. So, in my early twenties, while living in Paris with my three children, I went looking for health help. And I found it. FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH I researched the work of gifted British doctor Sir Robert McCarrison, who initiated the first epidemiological investigations into the relationship between diet and the development of disease. I investigated the theories and practices of Max Bircher-Benner MD, creator of the world famous Bircher-Benner clinic in Zürich. There, for almost a century, people suffering from chronic degenerative conditions went to have their lives transformed by changing the way they lived and ate. Bircher-Benner’s work had changed the eating habits of hundreds of thousands by the end of the 19th century, by teaching people to eliminate white bread and meat, and to eat a balanced diet of raw vegetables, fruits and nuts. I was fortunate enough several times to visit the clinic which, for 40 years after his death in 1939, was run by his niece—the charismatic Dagmar Liechti-von Brasch MD. She and I became good friends. At the clinic I learned the principles of good vegetarian eating from Bircher-Benner’s son, Ralph, whose job it was to look after the publications that flowed forth from the clinic and were printed in many languages throughout the world. I learned about the powers of natural healing, then put them into practice, changing my own life and improving the lives of my children as they grew up. DIGGING DEEP Meanwhile, I read many books and papers, listened to dozens of lectures from physicians and scientists, and interviewed scores of doctors personally who were involved in the new exciting field of lifestyle medicine. I was impressed by their work and by the work of many others including Dean Ornish MD, director of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. Ornish and his colleagues went so far as to measure the effect of comprehensive lifestyle changes on patients with coronary artery disease. These patients were introduced to a meat, fish and poultry-free, ultra-low-fat vegetarian diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, coupled with stress management sessions and regular exercise. By the end of a year, over 80% of the patients had experienced regression of their arterial fatty deposits without the use of drugs. During the same year, the control groups of patients, who had no lifestyle intervention, experienced a substantial progression of their illness. Change a person's way of eating and alter their lifestyle, and you can not only largely prevent degenerative conditions, of which overweight is a major one: you can even reverse degeneration after it has occurred. Certainly, a well-designed vegetarian way of eating can play a major role in the process. HERE’S THE RUB Given the surprising benefits that many people—including myself—have experienced from a properly constituted vegetarian way of eating coupled with lifestyle change, why, then, do so many devout vegetarians eventually become ill, obese and disillusioned with this way of eating? The answer to this is likely to surprise you, since so little has been written about it. I have written a lot about Paleolithic man’s way of eating, our genetic inheritance from him and how important it is that, in choosing the foods we eat, we respect this genetic inheritance for the sake of our health, our mental strength and emotional wellbeing. As you know, until the agricultural revolution took place, Paleolithic man was primarily a hunter. He killed his food—be it animal, insect or fish—then gathered whatever plants, nuts, fruits and vegetables were available to him. He ate mostly fat and protein. He would go for long periods between kills, living off his own fat stores. His body handled the processing of the foods he ate primarily in a ketogenic manner—relying on fats, not glucose, to supply him with energy. ENTER THE GATHERERS At the same time, and after the agricultural revolution began, a large number of people became primarily gatherers. The gatherers got most of their nourishment from what grew out of the ground in the form of fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds, most of which they ate fresh and raw. Unlike the hunters, who derived their energy from fats, gatherers relied on glucose from their foods to supply their energy. The early gatherers were vegans. Only when man began to domesticate animals and birds so that eggs and milk were available did some of these vegans become vegetarians. To this day, both vegan and vegetarian diets are practiced in certain cultures throughout the world. Some contemporary vegans and vegetarians stay healthy. But it is common knowledge that more and more these days develop deficiency diseases, experience rapid aging and end up with serious chronic diseases. Why? DANGEROUS CONVENIENCE Because the foods most vegetarians and vegans eat now are a far cry from those that our original gatherers collected and consumed. Like more than 90% of today’s omnivores, the majority of vegetarians and vegans have now come to live on denatured, processed convenience foods. Such foods are just as dangerous to vegans and vegetarians as they are to the rest of humanity. Yet the majority of vegetarians and vegans remain completely ignorant of this. They still think that, by not eating animal products, they are protected from all the chronic illnesses that now plague humanity. What’s worse, for a few of these people, vegetarianism has become a religion—a source of self-righteous congratulation which they ignorantly assume sets them above the rest of us human beings. Here’s the secret and bottom line: If you want to thrive as a vegan or vegetarian, you will need to fashion your way of eating as close as humanly possible to the way our gatherer ancestors did. This means saying no to convenience foods. It also means becoming savvy about how to get enough of the nutrients that are low in vegetarian and vegan diets, and making sure you supplement your diet with them. FOLLOW THE GATHERERS When it comes to spring-cleaning the body, following a vegan or vegetarian diet for a period of time can be a great help. This is how Bircher-Benner and the other great physicians who worked with high-raw diets were able to work their healing wonders. BUT... If you decide to follow a vegan or vegetarian way of eating long-term, you must eat as your gatherer ancestors did. I see serious health problems in some vegetarians and vegans I mentor on our Cura Romana programs—yeast overgrowth, cancers, hypothyroidism, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, anemia, food cravings, and chronic fatigue to mention only a few. Some people cannot manage a vegetarian diet because of enzyme deficiencies. Others have food sensitivities to grains and cereals or milk products, but do not know it because, like almost 99% of non-vegetarians, they are eating masses of convenience foods which none of our bodies can handle. HOW TO BE A HEALTHY VEGETARIAN Stop eating manufactured foods and processed foods, be they cookies, cakes, crackers, soft drinks, packaged salad dressings and other ready-in-a-minute packaged foods. Replace sugar in all its forms with good quality, pure stevia for sweetening. Avoid all chemical sweeteners. Stay away from anything containing high-fructose corn syrup. Read labels carefully. Never drink sodas or diet sodas. Forsake all “white foods” such as white flour, all products made from it, and white rice. Eat only free range and organic eggs. Buy or grow organic vegetables and fruits. Eat your fruits and vegetables in their fresh raw state as often as possible. Use no food additives such as MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein or aspartame. They are full of neurotoxins. Avoid all processed vegetable oils made from corn, soy, canola, cottonseed or safflower. Choose only natural oils such as coconut, extra virgin olive oil and butter from grass fed cows. Never drink fluoridated water. Avoid rancid nuts and grains which you find in granolas and elsewhere, as they block mineral absorption and impair good digestion. Never eat sprayed, waxed, irradiated fruits and vegetables or GMO foods—particularly GMO or non-organic soy. Take only food-state supplements, never chemically-made vitamins. Make sure you supplement any vegan or vegetarian way of eating with extra zinc, vitamin B3, iodine, omega-3 oils and vitamin B12. TO LEARN MORE: Crane, Milton G., Sample, Clyde J., Regression of Diabetic Neuropathy with Total Vegetarian Diet, Monograph, Weimar Institute, Weimar, California, USA. Crane, Milton G., Shavlik, Gerald., ‘Newstart’ Lifestyle Program. A Survey of the Results. Monograph, Weimar Institute, Weimar, California, USA. Fraser, G.E. Vegetarian Diets: What do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases? Am. J. Clin. Nur, 2009: 89: 1607S-12S. Lustig, Robert, Fat Chance. The Bitter Truth About Sugar. Fourth Estate/Harper Collins, London, 2013. Ornish, Dean, Reversing Heart Disease, Random House/Century, London, 1991. `Unusual Heart Therapy Wins Coverage From Large Insurer' New York Times, July 28th, 1993.

Cellulite - Clear The Sludge - Part 2

Cellulite - Clear The Sludge - Part 2

Last week we looked at intermittent fasting for clearing cellulite deposits and keeping them away. It’s an enormously valuable tool. But the important first step for creating a cellulite-free body is to clear as much of the tissue sludge that creates it as quickly as possible. How? By using the most powerful natural detox protocol I have ever found, for 2 or 3 days. Then, in CELLULITE PART 3 next week, I’m keen to share with you how to go about creating in your own life an on-going intermittent fasting food style which helps make peau d’orange a thing of the past while rejuvenating you—mentally, emotionally and spiritually. IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER Cellulite is always a manifestation of the wrong kind of lifestyle for health and beauty: eating wrongly (or too much), living under prolonged stress, hormonal imbalances, being exposed to too many pollutants, and all the other things that we often assume we can get away with, but never really do. Also, cellulite exists—whether or not one wishes to call it cellulite or something else—despite the fact that the majority of adamant medical voices loudly deny its existence. It is real enough for the woman who, in spite of being lean and well, reaches down and pinches her thigh only to find it puckers, ripples, and looks like the skin of an orange. Cellulite differs from normal fat in three ways: It doesn't disappear just because you slim down and exercise regularly as ordinary fat does. Cellulite areas hold different kinds of fat than ordinary fat tissue. Radioisotopic examinations show that, while the components of ordinary fatty tissue change every eight days, gel-like cellulite remains almost stagnant. CLEAR THE SLUDGE Quite simply, cellulite is a pollution problem. It is the result of a build-up of wastes settle in specific areas of a woman’s body. Where distortions in female hormones are present, we tend to collect cellulite deposits as part of our secondary sex characteristics—on our thighs, hips, buttocks and so forth. Cellulite areas not only contain fat. When you examine a layer of cellulite under a microscope, you find that the fat imbued with water and wastes is held there by a fine network of hard fibrous adhesions. Settling in the subcutaneous (subsurface) layer just beneath the skin, cellulite areas have been surrounded by a cushion-like network of connective tissue known as septa. When the septa tighten down on fat cells present in the area or when fat cells push upwards this forms adhesions—a kind of sclerosis of the connective tissues, which get worse with the passage of time. You can liken it to an overstuffed cushion which, with wear and tear, bursts out above the structural support, tightening down even more on the support. All of this leads back to an impaired lymphatic system. When blood and lymph flow in the body becomes restricted as a result of sludge stored in the body, septa fibers continue to thicken while cellulite deposits in the subcutaneous layers of the skin get worse. It’s time to begin the process of clearing this sludge. It’s time to activate the body’s ability to deliver fresh nutrient-rich blood to skin, and restore good lymph flow so it carries away wastes and toxins from the tissues. THE AMAZING ROHSÄFTE-KUR In my opinion, the best contribution German nature-cure experts ever devised for this is called Rohsäfte-Kur. It’s a protocol you can also use when you find yourself feeling "dead" because of too much stress, too little sleep, or fatigue. It is also the best way to begin clearing cellulite. What is it? It’s a raw juice fast, in many ways superior to a water fast. On it you drink plenty of freshly made raw fruit and vegetable juices. These raw juice meals have remarkable properties, in no small part thanks to the living enzymes they contain in high concentration. The program can make you feel super-alive—mentally clear and sparklingly aware of the world around you. A Rohsäfte-Kur as short as two or three days can make a woman look years younger. It is the best way I have ever found to begin eliminating tissue sludge quickly. Of course you must consult a professional practitioner before beginning—especially if you are on any pharmaceutical drugs. You should not stay on it for more than two or three days unless you are under proper supervision. All that being said, we’re ready to get the ball rolling. In addition to their enzyme content, raw juices made from organic fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements to help bring biochemical balance to the cells of skin and muscles, since on your Rohsäfte-Kur the assimilation of these nutrients becomes almost total. To do a Rohsäfte-Kur properly, you need a juice extractor—an excellent investment for long-lasting health and beauty. Some juicers have attachments so they can be used as a blender and shredder for vegetables, although I prefer dedicated juice extractors—either centrifugal or masticating juicers—which are slower speed but reduce oxidation. HERE’S HOW The day before you begin, eat lightly. Have some low glycemic fruit such as berries for breakfast and a salad for lunch and dinner, perhaps with a little cottage cheese or some yoghurt. This helps prepare your body for the juice fast. You can also take a mild laxative the night before if you wish. FIRST THING IN THE MORNING: A tisane: take a cup of herb or flower tea such as Maté, peppermint, camomile, nettle, rose-hip or solidago— goldenrod—which is particularly good, but often hard to come by, for eliminating excess water from the tissues if you tend to retain it. BREAKFAST Prepare a 250ml glass of organic fresh fruit juice chosen from berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples or pears. Dilute this with enough clean filtered water to make two glasses. Sip slowly until you've drunk both glasses. MID-MORNING Drink a glass of herb tea or homemade vegetable broth if desired. Here is my favorite recipe: Leslie’s Home-made organic vegetable bouillon or vegetable broth. You can use green vegetables to make your own, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bean sprouts, asparagus, mustard greens, spinach, watercress, ginger, garlic. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with herbs and sea salt as desired then store in the fridge, reheating as needed. This is a good drink if you're feeling weak or headachy when your body begins the natural process of cleansing itself after years of following the inaccurate advice we have all been given. LUNCH A 250ml of fresh vegetable juice made from organic vegetables such as carrot, celery, spinach, kale or cucumber, or a mixture of these. Again dilute with half clean water to make two glasses and drunk slowly. MID-AFTERNOON Another herb tea or homemade organic vegetable bouillon as desired. DINNER Same as lunch. BEFORE BED If you are hungry, take a few raisins (not more than a dozen) chew each one slowly, and another tisane, or glass of spring water if you prefer. OVERVIEW In other words, throughout the day you will be drinking between one and a half and three pints of juice, teas or homemade vegetable broth, depending on how much you feel you want. The reason that half of the juices are vegetable and half of them fruit is that fruits are the natural cleansers of the system and the vegetables are the revitalizers. As with any true fast, if you experience feelings of discomfort such as headache (a sign that you are quickly eliminating wastes), take whatever pain killers you feel you need and tuck yourself away in a dark room to rest until it passes. If you take a lukewarm bath (not hot) in the evening; this will help you to sleep well. It is important that all the juices you drink be freshly made and drunk right away. If they are allowed to stand in a room for a few minutes they oxidize and lose much of their therapeutic and nutritional value. When you choose your vegetables and fruit, make sure they are fresh and carefully washed in running water. You can mix juices in delightful ways, and as a final addition, try a teaspoonful of fresh lemon juice or fresh cream added to each glass. Fresh finely minced herbs such as basil or chives sprinkled in also add something special. GREAT HERB TEAS Here are a few herb teas that are particularly good for helping to clear cellulite, either because of their blood purifying capabilities or because they are natural diuretics and encourage the elimination of excess water from the tissues. Maté Tea is a tonic for the kidneys, a tension soother, and is so satisfying to drink that you feel less inclined to eat. It is nice taken plain or with a squeeze of lemon in it. Solidago Tea (wild goldenrod) is an excellent natural diuretic and a mild stimulant. It is a favorite for spring-cleaning the system at the Bircher-Benner Clinic in Zurich but it can be hard to find these days. Nettle Tea is another diuretic and tonic, excellent for the lymphatic system. It doesn't taste as nice as solidago, so needs to be sweetened with a little stevia. COMING NEXT WEEK Next week, we will not only look specifically at how, after carrying out a Rohsäfte-Kur, you can create for yourself a simple, doable way of spacing meals that can help clearing cellulite long-term and keep it away. We will also expose as yet little-known nutritional mistakes most everybody makes which need to be corrected—not only for keeping cellulite at bay, but for protecting you from early aging and all those degenerative diseases which now plague the Western world. See you then... I have also included some great tea's to try below: The Tao of Tea, 100% Organic Famous South American Herb, Roasted Maté Maté (Ilex Paraguariensis) is an evergreen plant of the holly family (Aquifoliaceae). Although the plant does produce small flowers and fruit, only the distinctive oval shaped leaves and stems are plucked for processing. Toasty, smooth and full-bodied with light cacao taste. Will provide at least 3-4 infusions. Maté contains vitamins (A, B1, B2, C and E), mineral salts, 15 amino acids and high levels of antioxidants. Its chemical constituents also include alkaloids (such as caffeine). Maté is known to help cope with stress and is beneficial for the nervous and immune systems. Order The Tao of Tea: Roasted Maté from iherb Traditional Medicinals, Organic Nettle Leaf Herbal Tea, Caffeine Free Nettle plants grow in the wild throughout much of Europe and North America and are now also grown on farms. Fresh pressed juice of the herb, and tinctures or tea infusions of the dried leaves are commonly used in Europe. Organic Nettle Leaf has a pleasantly refreshing and slightly bitter taste. For maximum benefit, herbal tea must be properly prepared. Pour 8 oz. freshly boiled water over 1-2 tea bags in a cup. Cover cup and steep 10 minutes. These steps directly influence the amount of beneficial components that will end up in your teacup! Gently squeeze the tea bag to release the remaining extract. Drink 3-4 cups daily. Order Organic Nettle Leaf Herbal Tea from iherb BEST LIQUID STEVIA Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply. IMPORTANT - Do not be fooled by the artificially made Stevia products such as Truvia and Purevia. These products are not the natural Stevia plant. To learn more read my post here called beware of Truvia. Click here To View Part 3 – Cellulite: How To Live Cellulite Free

Meet The Helpers

Meet The Helpers

The right kind of herbs can be a great asset not only during times of heavy pressure, but also to help increase your body's adaptive energy so you can take a lot more pressure without cracking. Hans Selye, the father of stress, did not believe this could be done. Now, thanks mostly to research carried out in Russia we know it can - provided you know your herbs well and choose the right ones. There are two classes of herbals that are helpful when it comes to stress. The first are the adaptogens. These are agents which can help protect you against mental and physical fatigue. The second group are the problem solvers such as valerian - an excellent alternative to tranquilizers when you need some extra help, or echinacea, which is an immune booster should you feel yourself in danger of getting a cold or flu during very demanding times. Rather like people, each herb has its own personality. Get to know them; they can be great friends for stress and overall health, enhancing your energy levels, protecting you from fatigue and illness, and helping you to unwind. Let's look at the adaptogens first. medicines for the well The adaptogens include a wide variety of natural substances. In practical terms, they improve your ability to adapt to all forms of stress, while at the same time helping to normalize its biochemical effects. Taken as ‘medicines for well people’ adaptogens can be remarkably helpful in keeping you youthful and full of vitality. Russian researcher II Brekhman at the Institute of Marine Biology Far-East Scientific Center of the Academy of Science in Vladivostock has probably done more than any other single scientist to find natural substances with adaptogenic properties, and to test their effects both on animals and humans. One of the first natural substances which Brekhman and his coworkers investigated which had this ability was Panax ginseng. Probably the most well-known and highly respected natural medicine in the world, the ginseng root was first used for medicinal purposes more than 4,000 years ago ‘to restore the five internal organs, tranquilize the spirit, calm agitation of the mind, allay excitement, and ward off harmful influences.’ for perfect harmony Over-processing and heat treatments destroy many of the beneficial effects of the adaptogens; as a result, most of the ginseng you find on the market is pretty useless. You need to choose your products carefully. There are three true ginseng plants: Panax ginseng, which is the original Korean/Chinese plant: Tienchi (Panax noto-ginseng) which is another Eastern version of the plant: And Panax Quinquefolius, or American ginseng. The active chemicals in ginseng are compounds called ginsenosides, of which there are thirteen. They lie at the core of ginseng's anti-stress properties. When choosing ginseng you need to look for a standardized ginseng extract with a guaranteed percentage of ginsenosides. Panax ginseng comes from Korea or China. The best quality roots are the big red ones which are six years old. Second are the white roots and third are the red grown in Japan, so look for country of origin when buying them. The whole roots are best to take, with root pieces and extracts following in that order. Ginseng tablets and powders often contain ‘fillers’ and are much less potent. American ginseng - Panax Quinquefolius - is usually less effective than Panax ginseng, unless you can get large old roots which are hard to come by. Unlike most other stimulants in common use, ginseng does not produce a sudden rapid rise in blood sugar followed by an unpleasant dip in energy. Nor is there any danger of becoming dependent on it. Also, Brekhman and others have found that ginseng acts as a stimulant without causing insomnia, and that it not only helps stave off fatigue but also strengthens the organism as a whole. The beneficial effects of taking ginseng multiply and build up over the period in which it is used. And ginseng's benefits last long afterwards. siberian ginseng Another adaptogen which has now been widely investigated, particularly in the Soviet Union, is eleuthrococcus senticosus or Siberian ginseng. Members of the same family, but really a different species, eleuthrococcus' therapeutic properties were only discovered in the past 50 years. Like ginseng, it has the capacity to strengthen the body's ability to resist illness, degeneration and fatigue, while never upsetting its natural functions. It is also a mild stimulant, the stimulant action lasting between six to eight hours. But its tonic effects are accumulative - they come gradually over a few weeks. They include increased stamina, better sleep patterns, better memory, cleaner thinking and improved athletic performance. Brekhman and many Russian researchers believe that eleuthrococcus is an even better adaptogen than ginseng. But there have so far been very few well-controlled studies to validate their claims. The best form of eleuthrococcus senticosus comes in extract direct from the Soviet Union. It has been carefully low-heat processed to preserve its biological activity. amazon power The most exciting herb I have come across for a long time is suma (Pfaffia paniculata). Locally known as Para Todo - "for everything" - suma has been used by Brazilian Indians for centuries as an aphrodisiac and general tonic. Recent research shows that, like good ginseng, the wild root of the suma plant also has strong adaptogenic proprieties. Suma is well worth looking at as a nutritional support to raise your energy levels, enhance your ability to be very active - both mentally and physically without fatigue or damage - and detoxify your cells as a prevention against premature aging and degeneration. Apart from the adaptogenics, which strengthen the organism against stress, there are two general herbs which can be a real help during times of heavy pressure - echinacea and valerian. daisy with a difference The immune system plays an important part in protecting from stress-damage. For prolonged stress can interfere with the immune system and you can become highly susceptible to infectious illnesses. That's where echinacea comes in handy. Known as Purple Coneflower, echinacea is a member of the Composite (daisy) family with potent antibiotic and anti-viral effects. The roots of two species, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia, have long been used against infection, and in detoxifying the body, by native peoples including the American Plains Indians. In recent years, the herb has been heavily researched in Germany, where numerous scientific studies now verify its health-promoting abilities. In Germany there are now more than 200 prescription products based on echinacea or its derivatives. Echinacea is able to amplify the activity of the immune system not only by helping an ailing body to recover swiftly, but by helping protect from infections such as colds and flu during the long winter months. I find it a welcome friend taken daily as a preventative during ‘flu season’ as well as a great boon to recovery if you feel yourself coming down with an infection. perfect calmer There is one more herb that can be enormously helpful especially when you become so wound up that you find it difficult to come down. Valerian, Valeriana officinalis, lives up beautifully to its folk reputation as a natural tranquilizer. Recent research confirms this common herb has a remarkable ability to normalize the workings of the central nervous system. Scientific research confirms that valerian is a superb natural sedative. One of the major problems with drug-based sleeping pills is that, while they will put you to sleep, they can also interfere with the quality of the sleep you get when taking them, and leave you with a ‘hangover’ of fatigue in the morning. Researchers found that valerian not only significantly improved sleep quality it also left subjects with no hangover the next morning. But it is just as good as a de-tenser. I find it particularly helpful when I have been traveling across time zones as a help in readjusting my sleep patterns. Get acquainted with a few of the best herbal stress-helpers. They are good friends to have around when you need them.

Kill Sugar For Great Skin

Kill Sugar For Great Skin

Want to have ageless skin whether you’re 35 or 80? It’s easy, I promise you. First, change your way of eating from a diet of packaged convenience foods to pesticide-free, whole organic foods that are unprocessed. Next, never use canned fruits in any recipe that needs sweetening. Instead, go for fresh top quality stevias. Then use organic spices and herbs to create great flavors for all your dishes. The sugar content of any food is most deliberately hidden by food manufacturers who, if they list it at all, give it a name that shoppers will not recognize. It’s essential to be very cautious when looking for alternatives to sugar itself. These fall into three main categories: Artificial sweeteners—which you must avoid like the plague if you value your skin and your health. Sugar alcohols. So-called natural sweeteners. Here’s what you need to remember: The first group never to use are the artificial sweeteners—each very harmful in its own way. These include aspartame—the worst of the lot. You’ll find it in Equal and NutraSweet, as well as hidden in all sorts of packaged foods and sugar-free gums. Then there is sucralose. It is also nasty. It’s the main ingredient in Splenda. And of course, there is good old saccharine, which you’ll find in Sweet and Low, as well as many other artificial sweeteners by different names. There is much evidence to back up how dangerous these are. Avoid all of them completely forever about your skin and your health. The second group of sugar alternatives are the sugar alcohols. They all have “ol” in their name—such as xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol and lactitol. These sugar alcohols can spike blood sugar, so beware. Just because some product label says “sugar-free” this is not necessarily the truth, nor can you be sure it is calorie-free. Probably safest of the lot is xylitol, but only if you use it occasionally and sparingly. (By the way, xylitol is deadly for your cats and dogs.) The third group of sugar substitutes is often referred to as “natural sweetener”. This is a misnomer if I have ever heard one. Take, Agave Syrup and Agave Nectar which are even worse than the dreadful high-fructose corn syrup. It’s absurd to refer to these products as “natural”, despite all the advertising hype that tries to make you think that they are. Higher in sugar content than almost any other sweetener on the market, Agave has virtually no nutritional value. As for honey—this has become seriously distorted because of the hideous damage being done to bee colonies. You want to avoid honey as well unless you can gather it from your own hives. So what are your safest choices? Stevia is number one on the list. This is an exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America. This plant has been used to sweeten herbal drinks since pre-Columbian times. It’s a godsend for enhancing health and reducing your sugar intake. It’s great for sweetening drinks and baking dishes. But make sure you use only the best. All sorts of so-called stevias such as Truvia and Purevia continue to be promoted by multinational corporations. They call themselves “all-natural sweeteners”. In reality, they have been manufactured only from “certain active ingredients” in the stevia plant, not from the whole plant. As a result, they are distortions of the real thing. Don’t use them. Another good natural sweetener is Lo Han Guo, which comes from a Chinese fruit. It’s more expensive than stevia. Sugar of any kind is a killer both in terms of your health and your good looks. Make these changes now and in as little as three weeks you’ll be amazed at how much better your skin looks, and how much better you feel all round. You may be surprised after a month or so to find you no longer even want sugar once your body has quite naturally eliminated its sugar cravings. I find this happens to many, many people. It feels like breaking free from a control mechanism that once undermined your life and your sense of self. Try it and find out for yourself.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men
-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

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