Oops! Somethings Missing. Please check and try again

Articles

449 articles in 6 major categories

Motivation From Within

Desperately Seeking Pleasure: How Kids Teach Us to Stop Striving and Start Living

We think we must teach our children about discipline - particularly self-discipline. But have you ever watched a baby at play? If a baby sees a toy he wants across the room, he doesn't stop to consider whether it's worthwhile going to get it. Neither does he begrudge the time taken to crawl across the room. The seeing, the crawling, the taking it in his hand are all of a piece, all part of the experience, all a source of pleasure. For a young child there is no separation between the work of seeking a reward and the pleasure of having it, as is so often the case in my life. Like most adults, I have learned to live for goals. I have lost the great joy of the seeking itself by relegating that part of my life to the `unpleasant duty of working for what I want.' Yet many of life's pleasures are to be found as much in the seeking as in the finding. Young children have helped me see this - although I am a long way from putting it into practice in everything I do. As parents, we feel obliged to correct our children when they make mistakes in speaking. Yet so often the words they coin seem much more sensible and charming than their proper counterparts. `It's a froggy day,' Jesse used to say when he meant `foggy.' `Where are the `ouches'?' Susannah would ask when she wanted to hang something on the clothesline. (She had once caught a finger in a clothes peg and her great-grandmother had consoled her by saying, `Ouch, that hurts.') Then there were `flat tireds', the things you get when your car runs over a nail in the road, and the `constructions' which you read to find out how to use something for the first time. Aaron, my youngest, announced one day after playing with one of our Burmese cats `Mummy, guess what, pussy cats have dangerous toes'. Children have also taught me to express anger and not be afraid of it. Watch two children fight. They sling the most appalling insults at each other. One gives the other a whack and swears not to play with him or her again. Two hours later they are best friends once more. They know so much better than we do how to forgive. Somehow they will seem to understand that being angry with someone, no matter how important it seems at the time, is not half as interesting as all the things you can do, see, say and make together as soon as the anger has passed.

Osteoporosis - Silent Killer

Osteoporosis: The Silent Killer & How to Stop It Now!

Osteoporosis is a terrible disease. A progressive loss of minerals, bone mass and bone density, it affects men as well as women, and can result in fractures of the hip, shoulder, ribs, vertebra, forearm or wrist. In women, it is believed that bone loss begins several years before menopause and then gets worse afterwards, creating an ever-increasing risk of debilitating breakages. Osteoporosis is now the most common bone disorder. Worldwide, the illness causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually—in effect, a fracture every 3 seconds. SILENT KILLER In Britain, the incidence of the illness has increased six times in the past 30 years. One in three women and one in eight men develop it. In the United States, statistics are even worse: The illness currently costs the country more than 11 billion dollars a year. 25% of women whose hips fracture die within two years—not always directly from the fracture, but from ending up in nursing homes where inactivity, alienation and loss of control over their lives defeats them. Today, more women in the industrialized world die of fractures related to bone thinning than from cancers of the womb, cervix and breast put together. Now for the good news: Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable naturally, so take heart. Bone loss is no simple disorder. And it is most certainly not another so-called estrogen deficiency disease, as mainstream medicine would have us believe. Neither is it preventable or treatable by drinking milk or stuffing yourself with calcium supplements. In fact, both of these actions can actually make the condition worse. A FEW FACTS Osteoporosis regularly occurs in men who are deficient in testosterone and in women who are deficient in progesterone. Black women have less bone loss than white women, big women less than small women, and fat women less than their skinny sisters. Meat-eaters are at greater risk of the disease than vegetarians. A high calcium intake has long been toted as essential in preventing bone thinning. Yet people in third-world countries whose daily intake of calcium is less than half our own have a very low incidence of the disease. Couch potatoes are far more prone to the condition than men and women who get regular exercise—particularly weight bearing exercise. Osteoporosis is a complex condition. To prevent it, you need to understand it. And, despite all the fear-mongering surrounding the disease, learn the ropes. Then you can take action to halt bone loss and to reverse it no matter what your age. BEWARE OF DRUGS Most people believe that a prescription drug plus megadoses of calcium supplements are the answer to strong, healthy bones. But bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva carry serious side effects, including—believe it or not—an increased risk of bone fracture! Users of prescription drugs have more osteoporosis than people who do not take any medication. Bone loss is by no means inevitable as we get older, despite our being told that on average we experience about 1% loss of bone mass a year. But, like hypertension and insulin resistance, bone loss is another silent killer. How do we stop it in its tracks? It’s easier than you might think. MEET THE BIG FIVE Together, specific nutrients—omega 3 fats, vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, magnesium, and calcium help build the nutritional foundation for creating and restoring bone strength. They need to be supplied in good balance by eating natural foods and shunning the packaged convenience stuff that fills supermarket shelves. I call these nutrients the big five because, together with putting yourself on a program of regular weight bearing exercise, this combination forges strong healthy bones. Vitamin K2 is especially important, by the way, since one of its major physiological skills is moving calcium into your bones and teeth and removing calcium from parts of the body where it does not belong, such as your arteries and soft tissues. However the right nutrition can only do its stuff to protect your bones if you also you incorporate weight bearing exercise or whole vibration training in your life. MILK & CALCIUM PILLS—NO GO As for drinking milk? Forget it. We are constantly being told to drink more milk and take more tablets of calcium. Yet in the United States, the intake of calcium by supplementation or through milk drinking is the highest in the world and they have the highest rate of osteoporosis. In Oriental countries such as China where milk is not drunk and the intake of calcium is one of the lowest in the world, osteoporosis is virtually unknown. The Chinese get their calcium the way cows do—by eating green plants. Equally important not to do is take calcium pills. You need to get your calcium the same way grazing cows do by taking in lots of organic fresh greens which are full of it in a form that your body can make good use of. You see, calcium metabolism is a complex process and the absorption of calcium from water or mineral salts tends to be highly inefficient. Only somewhere between 20-30% of the calcium you take in through supplementation or processed foods will even be absorbed. And most of that will either get filtered through your kidneys then excreted in urine or sweat, eliminated through feces, or stored in your body’s tissues where it does not belong, contributing to heart disease. BUILD STRONG BONES Doing weight bearing exercise regularly at least three times a week is the second second thing you need to do if you want to protect your body from bone loss or reverse bone loss after it has started. There is something else important about weight bearing exercise—something I discovered for myself at the age of 50 when I decided I wanted to learn weight training from a Welsh champion weightlifter. It’s this: Working out with weights weights combats age degeneration and makes your body sing. There are three ways of approaching weight-bearing exercise. First, you can get yourself a few dumbbells, watch a good video for beginners and get to work. Second, you can do exercise using only your body weight to carry out the various movements so you don’t need dumbbells at all. Third, you can do accelerating training on a Power Plate. This is a great way to enhance bone density and build strength, and it is easy enough that even the weak and disabled can benefit from doing it. Also called whole body vibrational training, the Power Plate has a platform, which moves from front to back as well as vertically and horizontally. Power Plate training is readily available in studios where you can work with someone who teaches you how to use the equipment and show you how to hone your skills as you become accustomed to the process. You can also buy a Power Plate to use at home, but they are pricy. Having said that, I did buy one three years ago. I’ve used it three to five times a week ever since both for strength training and deep relaxation. In 2013 a research project involving 28 post menopausal women who practiced this kind of vibrational training three times a week for five minutes at a time, in only six months increased their bone density and strength by 2%, while the control group lost 0.5% in bone density during the same period. THE BEST SUPPLEMENTS Calcium, Vitamin K2, Vitamin D3, magnesium and omega-3 oils work together to build strong healthy bones and to restore strength to bodies that have lost strength. The best way to get vitamin D3, which builds bone density by encouraging the body to absorb calcium, is to get out into the sun for half an hour or more each day. If you choose to take vitamin D3 in supplement form, make sure you also supplement with Vitamin K2 to ensure that calcium from your foods are directed to bones and teeth. Vitamin K2 also helps your body remove calcium buildup in other areas of the body where it does not belong, such as the arteries. These two vitamins along with magnesium work brilliantly together to promote healthy bones. By the way, the ratio of calcium intake to magnesium in the body should be 1:1. EAT FOR YOUR LIFE Here is a quick checklist to follow if you want to build bones and keep them strong: Throw out all the packaged processed foods that the majority of the Western world still eats. The sugars, grain based carbs and artificial ingredients they contain deplete your bones of calcium and disturb the balance of nutrients you need most for increasing and maintaining bone density. Never drink sodas—even sugar-free. Eat from 50% of your foods raw and organic. Make green vegetables the cornerstone of your meals and also drink a glass of freshly made vegetable juice once a day. Replace table salt with Himalayan salt, as it contains more than 80% of the mineral elements your body and bones need to thrive—including both sodium and potassium in good balance. Get plenty of animal based omega-3 fats and avoid the golden oils sold in supermarkets or anything containing them like the plague. Use seaweeds in your salads and soups. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, which are rich in magnesium—as are sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and avocados. Use a top quality magnesium supplement daily to work well with calcium, Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. Do weight bearing exercise at least three t imes a week for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Recommended Reading: Ppro The Calcium Lie By Dr Robert Thompson Read The Calcium Lie by Dr Robert Thompson or Dr Kate Rheaum-Blue’s book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life Buy The Calcium Lie On Amazon Here are some of my own preferred nutritional supplements: Zoi Research, Vitamin K2 & D3 Take 1 softgel daily or as directed by a health care practitioner. Buy Vitamin K2 & D3 Nordic Naturals, Omega-3 Purified Fish Oil, Lemon Each serving of Nordic Naturals Omega-3 liquid provides approximately 1725 mg of important omega-3 fatty acids, generously fulfilling the daily recommendation by international experts of a minimum of 500 mg per day. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good nutrition and overall wellness. Since the body cannot produce these fats, they must be consumed through diet or supplementation. Buy Nordic Naturals Source Naturals, Magtein, Magnesium L-Threonate Magnesium (Mg) plays an essential role in supporting cognitive function and brain health as well as bone support. Suggested Use 3 capsules daily, preferably 2 capsules during the day and 1 capsule 1-2 hours before bed. Start with 1 capsule daily and gradually increase to 3 capsules day Buy Source Naturals

Down With Carbs - Fat Rules. The Low Carb High Fat Revolution

Expose the False Beliefs Blocking Solutions to Obesity

Valid discoveries in medicine depend on the ability of researchers to make accurate observations in relation to the subject they are studying. As the famous French scientific historian Claude Bernard pointed out more than 150 years ago, “To have an idea about a natural phenomenon, we must first of all, observe it. All human knowledge is limited to working back from observed effects to their cause.” Scientists with preconceived notions assume that they already know the cause and this makes it impossible for them to make valid observations.  They are only able to see what they expect to see. FALSE BELIEFS ARE DANGEROUS This is what has happened to obesity researchers in the past 70 years. They have not diligently searched for and observed what makes us get fat and what to do about it. Instead, virtually all of the research projects that have been carried out since World War II have taken as a given three false notions—all three of which have only contributed to making us fatter and sicker in the Western world: That obesity, heart disease and other degenerative conditions are the result of a high fat diet. That we need to eat lots of carbohydrates to keep up our energy and stay healthy. That weight loss is a simple matter of calories in/calories out—in the words of the Unites States Surgeon General, “overweight and obesity are the result of excess calorie consumption and/or inadequate physical activity.”   These beliefs have continued to prevent us, and the so-called experts, from learning the truth. Happily, this situation is beginning to change, albeit slowly. Such false beliefs still reign supreme amongst most doctors, research scientists, and the media. These mistaken notions (and many more which accompany them) continue to rule scientists, Big Pharma, multinational food corporations and—thanks to television, magazines and newspapers—the great majority of human beings. LIFE-CHANGING FACTS If one takes the time to plough through the voluminous research and declarations about obesity, its cause and its cure, a completely different set of conclusions demand to be drawn: Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating or lack of exercise. Obesity is not caused by gluttony or lack of willpower. This disorder is the result of an as yet unidentified disequilibrium in the hormonal regulation of fat metabolism. This is the major issue that must be addressed if we are to find a cure for chronic overweight. Taking in excess calories is not the cause of gaining weight, nor does expending a lot of energy on exercise prevent it. As a result of their effect on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, sugars and starches are undeniably the dietary culprits in the development of diabetes, coronary heart disease and obesity, as well as the major contributors to other diseases of Western civilization including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Cereal, grain, and sugar-based carbohydrates distort hormonal regulation of homeostasis, fostering obesity as a result of their effect on insulin balance and their ability to bring about insulin resistance syndrome—‘syndrome X’. Because they stimulate insulin secretion, carbohydrates increase hunger and diminish the energy the body expends on metabolism and during exercise. With the exception of chemically distorted oils and fats full of trans-fatty acids, the traditional oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and butter in no way contribute to obesity. Quite the contrary: They can not only prevent it, but enable the body to shed fat and keep it away permanently by supplying the body with ongoing energy for work, athletics, and play. DAILY OVERLOAD The most signification change to human diets in two million years began with the agricultural revolution, where man went from a carbohydrate-poor to a carbohydrate-rich diet as cereals and quickly digestible starches entered our foods. The more these carbohydrates became refined in the past three hundred years, the more problems they have caused; not only in terms of burgeoning waistlines worldwide, but in the development of chronic degenerative diseases of civilization. Similarly, the overwhelming increase in sugars and fructose—such as those found in so many convenience foods and in the form of high fructose corn syrup—has to be a major contributor on both counts as well. In the eighteenth century, we ate between 10 and 20 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today, we consume between 150 pounds and 200 pounds of sugar a year per capita. How revolting does this sound? Especially when there are so many delicious, nutritious proteins, vegetables and healthy fats out there that we could—and should—be eating, for better health, looks, and the ability to unlock our full potential. The standard dietary advice still goes something like this: “We need to eat a minimum of 120 to 130 grams of carbohydrates a day to remain healthy.” This figure, which most nutritionists still propound as though it were a decree from God, was arrived at since researchers supposed this to be the quantity of glucose that the central nervous system and brain makes use of on a carbohydrate-rich diet. KETONES—NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Such information is out of date and inaccurate. Even the 2002 Institute of Medicine report Dietary Reference Intakes, which still blindly adheres to the outdated daily recommendation of 120 to 130g of carbohydrates a day, then goes on to acknowledge that the brain can function perfectly well without them. In truth, it often functions far better when carbs and sugars are reduced to a mere 25 to 50g a day. The central nervous system and the brain work great when fueled by ketones. Ketones are substances produced by the liver from fats—those released from one’s own fat stores and from fats and oils that people eat. A moderate, controlled level of ketones in the bloodstream allows the body to function superbly well on minute quantities of carbohydrate foods. This is called a ‘state of nutritional ketosis’. Energy increases, clarity of thought improves, and cravings for foods vanish as one’s body becomes keto-adapted. The transformation can be life-changing. Yet almost nobody in the medical, scientific or media world is bothering to pay much attention to all this. NUTRITIONAL KETOSIS By definition, nutritional ketosis is a benign metabolic state that provides the human body with the flexibility enabling us to handle major shifts in available foods. For many years, a ketogenic program has been considered of great value in the treatment of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and even successful weight loss. I myself wrote a book about it in 2002 called X FACTOR DIET... For Lasting Weight Loss and Vital Health. Now, suddenly, ketogenic adaptation is being discovered and celebrated by top athletes and fitness experts who find that when the body becomes keto-adapted and is fed on high-fat (60%+), moderate protein (20%+) and very low carbs (primarily taken from green vegetables), the body gets all the energy it needs—and more—from fats. And, unlike relying on carbohydrates or sugars, after a long run or heavy training, the energy in a ketone-adapted body just keeps coming. Of course, the fats one chooses have to be the best—primarily butter from grass-fed beef, organic coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. My own experiments on myself and others who are not particularly fitness fanatics is that, after becoming keto-adapted, the body persistently tends to shed unwanted fat deposits. One needs less sleep, skin texture improves, even many chronic aches and pains diminish or disappear completely. It’s early days yet, but the promises of keto-adaptation which I first discovered in the late nineties and then wrote my best-selling book about are beginning to validate themselves. Not only is this fascinating metabolic adaptation changing people’s lives for the better. The latest research appearing from doctors and scientists studying ketone adaptation could dispel all the false beliefs and insane dogma about the causes of obesity and degenerative diseases, replacing them with truths that can transform lives for the better on every level. This is my hope. For more information read: The X-Factor Diet: For Lasting Weight Loss and Vital Health Syndrome X has spawned obesity on a scale never seen before. Also known as insulin resistance syndrome, it predisposes us to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and early ageing. Cutting-edge research has recently shown that the major culprit is the high-carb/low-fat diet we have been urged to follow. This regime simply does not suit the way our bodies have evolved. Result: it makes many of us fat. Leslie Kenton's scientifically backed The X Factor Diet provides two fat-loss programmes, together with delicious recipes and easy meal plans to restore normal weight naturally, increase energy levels and make you fitter for life. Join her on a journey towards a leaner, healthier and more beautiful body. Order The X-Factor Diet The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Jeff S Volek and Stephen D Phinney A Revolutionary Program to Extend Your Physical and Mental Performance Envelope. Our recent book 'The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living' was written for health care professionals, championing the benefits of carbohydrate restriction to manage insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes. Order Low Carbohydrate Performance The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living By Jeff S Volek and Stephen D Phinney Carbohydrate restricted diets are commonly practiced but seldom taught. As a result, doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and nurses may have strong opinions about low carbohydrate dieting, but in many if not most cases, these views are not grounded in science. Order Low Carbohydrate Living

Stress? What Stress?

Master Stress: Balance Your Body's Response To Pressure For Optimal Health

What goes up must come down. These words should be engraved on everyone’s brain, particularly those of us who live full and busy lives. We worry about stress, wonder why we don’t do anything about it, and wish it would go away. Seldom do we even stop to ask what it is. If stress gets out of hand it can wear you down, ruin your looks and destroy your peace of mind. Yet stress is the spice of life, the exhilaration of challenge and excitement, the ‘high’ of living with heavy demands. The big secret about stress is that it is not what appears to be causing it that does the damage. It’s how you respond to it that does that. Change your attitude to stress and you can make it work for you rather than against you. In short, chill out. Stress is hard to pin down: fatigue, overwork, loss of blood, physical injury, grief and joy can all produce stress, but none of them accurately describes what it is. The word stress comes from the language of engineering meaning ‘any force which causes an object to change’. Austrian-Canadian scientist, Hans Selye, first coined the word stress in relation to humans back in the 1930s. In human terms it refers to your body’s response to physical, chemical, emotional or spiritual forces that ask you to adapt to them. Selye discovered a typical physical reaction to stress which he called the General Adaptation Syndrome. Its function is to keep your body in a steady state, known as homeostasis. Every stressor you come into contact with threatens to destroy this steady state. The General Adaptation Syndrome has three states: alarm, where the body becomes alert; resistance, where all systems go in order to meet the challenge and protect you from harm; and exhaustion, which happens if stress lasts for too long and the body’s weakest systems begin to break down causing illness, chronic fatigue, even death. you are unique Everyone responds differently to stress. This depends to some degree on your conditioning, and on the amount of adaptive energy you were born with. This is why some people seem to breeze through stressful situations while others quickly reach exhaustion. Selye believed that once adaptive energy is used up, nothing can be done to restore it. We now know that this is not altogether true, but adaptive energy is certainly precious. This makes it imperative to examine carefully how yours is being used and if it is being burnt up unnecessarily. It also makes it important to remember that what goes up must come down. For making stress work for you means being able to switch off at will. This is something that most of us have to learn to do. Learn to move easily between stress and relaxation, and you will begin to experience your life as a satisfying and enriching challenge like the ebb and flow of the tides. Then you will never again have to worry about getting stuck in a high-stress condition which saps your energy, distorts your view of the world, and can lead to premature aging and chronic illness. Humans are natural seekers of challenge. Primitive man faced the daily challenge of survival – when in danger, the body reacted instantaneously to provide the energy needed to fight or flee, then relaxed again when the danger passed. We may no longer need to worry about meeting a saber-toothed tiger, but we still react to stress with the same physical responses – raised blood pressure and breathing, a rush of adrenaline throughout the body. The trouble is that modern life, with its noise, quick pace, social pressures, environmental poisons, and our tendency to sedentary, mental work, presents many of us with almost constant threat situations. This is particularly true in the business world where someone, instead of moving rhythmically in and out stressful situations, remains in the danger state for long periods, with all the internal physical conditions that accompany it. balance it The automatic, or involuntary, functions of your body are governed by the autonomic nervous system. It looks after the changes in the rate at which your heart beats. It regulates your blood pressure by altering the size of veins and arteries. It stimulates the flow of digestive juices and brings on muscular contractions in the digestive system to deal with the foods you take in. It makes you sweat when you are hot and is responsible for the physical changes in your body that come with sexual arousal. This autonomic system has two opposing branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic branch is concerned with energy expenditure - particularly the energy involved with stress and meeting challenges. It spurs the heart to beat faster, makes you breathe hard, encourages you to sweat, raises your blood pressure, and sends blood to the muscles to get you ready for action. The other branch of the autonomic nervous system - the parasympathetic - is concerned with rest and regeneration rather than action. The parasympathetic branch slows your heartbeat, reduces the flow of air to your lungs, stimulates the digestive system, and helps relax your muscles. When you are in a state of stress, the sympathetic nervous system comes into play. The parasympathetic branch is dominant when you are relaxed. A good balance between the two is the key to making stress work for you. Balance makes it possible for you to go out into the world to do, to make, to create, to fight, and to express yourself, as well as to retire into yourself for regeneration, rest, recuperation, enjoyment, and the space to discover new ideas and plant the seeds of future actions. make stress work for you The secret is getting the right balance between stress and relaxation, between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. Unfortunately, few of us get it right by accident - we have to learn. Take a look at the kind of stress you think you are under, eliminate unnecessary stressors, and discover new ways of working with stress. Second, begin to support your body physically with food, exercise and natural stress relievers to enable you to face stress with ease. Finally, learn to relax fully so that you can find the right balance between stress and relaxation and keep it. Not only will this help your body stay in balance and increase your level of overall vitality, it can bring you a sense of control over your life that is hard to come by any other way.

How To Create A Magic Kitchen

Create A Restaurant-Level Kitchen: Bring Raw Food Magic Home

Your kitchen—big or small—should be treated like an artist’s atelier. It needs to be a place where you can lose yourself in creative play. The kitchen has always been the center of a home. In the past it was the place of fire, of inspiration, warmth and imagination. I remember as a child sitting in front of an old Stanley stove gazing into the flames—filled with delightful visions—while my grandmother canned pears, peaches and green beans for winter. My own kitchen, out of which my High Raw food style developed, is more like a sculptor’s studio than a food preparation station. It is a place where Aaron and I can get together with friends, workmates and family to laugh and talk about serious and trivial stuff while we prepare meals together. GREAT FUN Your kitchen should have the atmosphere of freedom in it. Hang quirky things from the ceiling if that inspires you. Put a potted plant where you wouldn’t expect one. Paint cupboard doors in wild colors. Your kitchen should reflect things that delight and amuse you. Ten years ago I bought a gigantic soup ladle, which has hung above my gas hob ever since. It is so big that it would be ideal for a Salvation Army soup kitchen. But it makes me laugh. I like its beautiful shape and am continually amused by the absurdity of its size. With a well-organized, well equipped kitchen, high raw meals are a pleasure to prepare. But there is nothing more annoying than setting out to make a meal in someone else’s kitchen and spending ages looking for a brush to scrub vegetables only to find that the one you used was the floor brush! Let’s look at some of the tools which are most useful for a raw food gourmet. MANDOLIN MAGIC The one piece of equipment I would never be without is a mandolin. I prefer the simple plastic ones that sell for a fifth of the price of the expensive stainless steel variety. They have a v-shaped blade into which plastic inserts fit, each of which has different size knives so you can julienne, make chip-size chunks, slice thin or thick. Unlike the conventional grater, which mashes vegetables and fruits when you use it, a mandolin slices them clean and sharp. Be sure to use the hand-protecting device that comes with either model. If you don’t, and I know from experience, what you will end up with is shredded fingers—yours—instead of shredded cabbage. POWER TOOLS Although it is nice to return to nature wherever possible, you have to draw the line somewhere. Using electric equipment takes the tediousness out of chopping vegetables, gives you a greater choice of textures, allows you to make splendid desserts, nut loaves, sauces, soups and whips, and cuts down enormously on preparation time. I find a few simple machines give full rein to my imagination. These are the raw chef’s equivalent of the oven or the microwave. For those who like an “all manual” kitchen I suggest alternatives, but they really are second best. Apart from a mandolin, the three machines I consider useful are a food processor, a juicer and a blender—in that order. You can get by without a blender because a food processor does many of the same things, but it is useful nonetheless. You can buy appliances which combine the functions of all three, but keeping them separate lets you work on several recipes at the same time and encourages helpers. Choose good strong machines that will stand up to heavy use. If you have a large family, it can be worth investing in catering or industrial models which are sturdier and can cope with larger quantities. SMOOTH PROCESSING A good food processor is a blessing to the raw food chef. There are so many remarkable attachments to choose from—a blade, several coarse to fine graters, various slicers and shredders. The blade attachment is excellent for grinding nuts and seeds, wheat and other sprouts, homogenizing vegetables for soups and loaves, and making dressings, dips and desserts such as ice cream. You can do most of these things with a blender, but if your ingredients are gooey they tend to stick around the blade and you spend ages scraping with very little to show for it. The blade in a food processor is removable and easy to scrape, so you lose very little. The grater, slicer and shredder attachments are terrific for making salads. With their help, you can prepare a splendid Whole Meal Salad for four people and have it on the table in ten minutes. Do experiment with all these attachments because, believe it or not, vegetables actually taste different depending on how they are cut up. YOUR JUICE EXTRACTOR The most important considerations when buying a juicer are power, capacity and ease of cleaning. The fewer fiddly parts to wash up, the better. Some have a removable strip of plastic gauze in the pulp basket which is helpful in cleaning. There are basically three types of juicer: the hydraulic press type, the rotating blade type, and the centrifugal type. Some hydraulic presses are hand-operated and therefore less convenient than the electric kind, but some doctors who prescribe raw juices prefer them on the grounds that they reduce the amount of oxidation that takes place when juices are exposed to air. I have all three myself. Centrifugal juicers are best to start with and come in two types: either they are separators, which operate without needing to be constantly cleaned out, or they are batch operators, which have to be cleaned out after every 2lb (roughly a kilo) of material has been juiced. That gives the separator kind the edge when it comes to convenience; they expel leftover pulp rather than fill up with it. But they tend not to extract juice as efficiently as the batch operator kind. If you decide on a batch juicer, look for a large capacity model which does not require emptying too often. It can be infuriating working with a machine that insists on being cleaned out after juicing only two glasses when you are juicing for six people. One other thing to check before buying a juicer is the size of the hole through which you feed your vegetables and fruits. Some are really too small and it can be a real drag to have to cut carrots and beetroots lengthwise. A POWER BLENDER There is not much to choose between blenders except their power. You will need one of at least 400 watts (anything less will be unable to cope). My favorite has attachments for grating, chopping, kneading etc. which are very useful. Glass models are preferable to plastic, as plastic tends to stain and look tatty very quickly. Look for one that has a removable blade (the base unscrews) for ease of cleaning. I own three and they are all Vita Mix because they go on and on, and will do just about everything with ease. OTHER GADGETS Two other devices I find useful are an electric citrus fruit juicer and a lettuce spin-drier. The citrus juicer has a central rotating cone onto which you press your halved grapefruits, oranges and lemons. Very quick and easy. There is nothing to stop you juicing citrus fruits in a centrifuge juicer, but you need to peel them first. The lettuce spin-drier is a great invention. There are several types, but my favorite is a basket which fits into a container with holes in the bottom and has a lid with a spinning cord. You put the whole contraption in the sink, put your lettuce or greens into the basket, put the lid on, run water slowly through the hole in the lid and pull the spinning cord. This spins the basket and expels the water, in theory cleaning and drying the greens. In practice they need to be rinsed before you put them in the basket, but by spinning you get beautifully crisp non-watery leaves very quickly. BACK TO BASICS A few other gadgets can be helpful if you cannot afford or have basic objections to electrical equipment. But you will be more limited in the number of textures and recipes you can prepare. A sturdy grater—the box type with a fine, medium and coarse face, and a face for grating nutmeg and ginger. Hand coffee grinder—for rendering down nuts, seeds and spices. Meat mincer—the sort you screw to the table, with coarse and fine cutters; good for grinding grains, seeds, nuts and sprouts. A strong stainless steel sieve—for rubbing soft fruits through or extracting the juice from finely grated vegetables. Hand hydraulic juicer A stainless steel “mouli” rotary grinder—with coarse and fine grater inserts; quite effective for juicing finely grated fruit or vegetables. Pestle and mortar—for grinding herbs, spices, flowers, etc. A lemon squeezer Wire salad basket—the sort you swing maniacally round your head in the garden. RAZOR SHARP Of primary importance to raw food preparation are good knives and a good chopping board. At least two knives are essential, a large one for tackling spinach leaves, onions, carrot sticks and so on, and a smaller one for more delicate jobs. The best knives are made from carbon steel. Some enthusiasts disapprove of carbon steel because, unlike stainless steel, it encourages oxidation of cut surfaces, but I prefer them, for although stainless steel knives look nice they do not keep their edges as well and a sharp edge is important for creating beautiful salads. If none of your knives will cut a tomato without squashing it, then they need sharpening! A good sharpener is worth investing in. CHOPPING BLOCK Good chopping boards are hard to find. Either they lose their pretty patterns with repeated chopping, or they warp when they get wet, or they are not large enough to slice an orange on without most of the juice running over the edge. Find a decent sized wooden chopping board if you can, with runnels around the edge. Look in a professional chef’s shop for the biggest you can find. Here is my solution to the problem. When I had a new kitchen installed I kept some big leftover pieces of Formica covered board. You can prepare a salad—or leave the chopped vegetables—on one end, and the peelings on the other. If it’s big enough, it can fit over the sink so you can drop the peelings into a waste bowl underneath. EARTHY VESSELS All told, the high-raw chef uses very few utensils—there are no enormous pots and pans to go in and out of the oven or to wash up. Choose dishes and platters made of inert or natural substances—glass, earthenware and wood rather than plastic and metal. Avoid all things made of aluminum. Aluminum is highly active. When it comes into contact with the acids in some raw foods, such as tomatoes, it can be bleached out and end up in the food producing heavy metal poisoning over time. Here are some of the other things you find in my own kitchen. A special “vegetables only” scrubbing brush A large colander, with feet so that it can stand in the sink to drain Bread pans (preferably glass) for making vegetable loaves Flat boards or trays for making sweet treats Ice cube trays A garlic chopper—achieves much better and quicker results than a pestle and mortar or a garlic press Scissors for cutting up fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, mint and so on Salad bowls of different shapes and sizes Soup plates, fairly wide and deep, for individual “dish salads” Salad platters—you can create attractive banquet-like effects by serving crudités arranged on a large platter, perhaps one with several compartments for dips Several pairs of salad servers A large pitcher for drinks, and a strainer PRESERVING LIFE It is important to store living foods carefully so they stay alive. I keep my seeds, pulses and grains in sealed polythene bags or airtight glass jars. Empty sweet jars make useful storage containers, as do the plastic tubs. But glass is always best. Always cover salads as soon as you have prepared them, even if it is only for ten minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal, to protect from wilting.

Crosslinkers - Oxygen

Unlock the Mystery of How Oxygen Contributes to Skin Aging!

Our body and flesh falls victim to the very molecule which brings us life: oxygen. Of course we could not live without oxygen. In the special energy factories of each muscle cell, called the mitochondria, we use it to burn fuel to give energy. But oxygen in the wrong place, or used in the wrong way, can age you fast. For instance, in the presence of certain chemicals in the body, or ultraviolet light, collagen fibers in the skin can oxidize and become cross-linked, rather than remaining in orderly rows. In this way they lose their pliancy and you form wrinkles. When your skin wrinkles, when rubber windscreen wipers harden and crack, and when the hide of an animal is turned into leather by a chemical process, what has taken place is cross-linking as a result of free radical damage which is a phenomenon that occurs in the presence of oxygen and appears to be central to the aging process in the whole body. In effect cross-linking is simply a process in which undesirable bonds are formed in the presence of oxygen. These chemical bonds can be between proteins (as in the case of cross-linked collagen), lipids or nucleic acids which make up the cells' genetic material - the DNA and RNA. Some cross-linking is necessary in order to give your tissues strength and make them sturdy. But inappropriate cross-links which occur in the aging process only increase the risk of cancer, arteriosclerosis and a number of other degenerative diseases such as arthritis. As Johan Bjorksten, one of the world's most famous age-researchers who formulated the cross-linking theory of aging says, `many of these cross-linked molecules lead to agglomerates which cannot be broken down by any body enzyme, but will increase in the cell and gradually crowd out other constituents, thereby causing continued decline in the cell's activity and the ability to cope with stresses'. From an aesthetic point of view - how your skin looks - such a decline in cellular activity implies a slowing down of the reproductive process in the skin as well as the hardening and bunching together of the skin's supportive collagen which makes it prone to wrinkling and to sagging contours. what causes cross-linking? There are a number of powerful cross-linkers which have been implicated in the aging process in humans - chemicals or energy sources which increase the level of cross-linking and therefore the rate at which your body ages. They include ultraviolet light, acetaldehydes, ozone, ketones (which are found in the blood of diabetics and people on a high-protein carbohydrate-free slimming regime), heavy metal ions such as aluminum, lead and cadmium, X-rays and free radicals (highly reactive atoms or molecules which can form toxic peroxides that damage and destroy cells). Many common environmental influences contain chemicals which belong to this list. Acetaldehyde occurs both in cigarette smoke and as a common urban air pollutant. It is a potent cross-linker. So is the aluminum which may be absorbed through regular use of some antiperspirants, and cadmium, a build up of which can occur in your body when you drink coffee regularly. Drinking alcohol spurs the production of acetaldehyde in your liver which can trigger further cross-linking, as can eating any kind of rancid oil or fat, since these react with radiation or form free radicals as a simple part of their metabolic breakdown in your body. Lying in the sun or on a tanning bed (no matter what kind of ultraviolet rays manufacturers tell you have been filtered out) may well be the single most dangerous practice of all to your skin. It damages the genetic materials of the skin cells, the collagen, and the lipids in the cell walls by causing them to undergo several types of free radical reactions including peroxidation and cross-linking. aging and oxygen question Oxygen plays an important positive part in protecting the body from age-related damage too. `Maximum oxygen consumption' is the way scientists measure your body's ability to transport and make use of oxygen for cell metabolism. As you get older this ability decreases at the rate of about 1 percent a year. The lower your oxygen consumption the less vitality you have and the more susceptible you are to many illnesses. An aerobic exercise program followed regularly over a few weeks can recapture 40 years worth of oxygen capacity which has been lost through a sedentary way of life before. Vitamin E supplements of 600-800 IU a day can increase the utilization of available oxygen by as much as 40 percent. avoiding the cross-linkers Before you even consider what kind of nutritional defense you might make use of to protect your body from the cross-linking process, start by eliminating as many of its known causes as you can from your life - like exposure to the sun when your body is unprotected by a sunscreen, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Then you are ready to consider how you can make use of what is known about the `cures for the random damage free radicals and cross-linkers cause'. protection - the second line of defense It is almost impossible to live in a twentieth century urban environment and avoid all these cross-linkers. So the second move in combating cellular aging is to consider incorporating into your diet fairly large quantities of substances which have antioxidant properties - substances which have an ability to protect the body's genetic materials, proteins, from age-related damage. A great deal of research done in the past 30 years indicates that there are some very effective substances for doing this. According to many of the most respected age-researchers such as Bjorksten, Denham Harman, Al Tappel and others, eating properly and adding these substances to your diet can minimize the amount of free radical damage to your body. These `age retarders' are often called antioxidants because they have ways of combating damaging oxidative reactions caused by radiation, chemicals and free radicals. Some are substances which occur naturally in our foods, although you would need to take them in much larger quantities to make use of their anti-aging properties. They include catechols which are found in bananas and potatoes, the phenolics - found in grapes - vitamins such as A, E, C and members of the B Complex - especially B12, pantothenic acid, B6, and the bioflavonoids which occur in the white soft inner skin or pith of the peel of citrus fruits - as well as beta carotene and some amino-acids such as cysteine (available in eggs), tyrosine and L-dopamine, plus the trace minerals zinc and selenium. Many age researchers now recommend taking fairly high quantities of the vitamins, minerals, food substances and amino-acid `age retarders' as protection against free radical damage and cross-linking. stay away from the cross-linkers Don't smoke. Stay away from people who do, particularly if you are in an enclosed area or small room. Not only does the acetaldehyde cross-link with collagen, the benzopropyrene (another chemical in cigarette smoke) depletes your system of vitamin C, making it unavailable for the production of new healthy collagen and encouraging skin to wrinkle faster. Stay out of the sun unless your body is protected by a high potency sunscreen which filters out both UVA and UVB rays. Never allow your face to tan at all. Protect it with a total block when you are in the sun. (There are some excellent after-shave tinted moisturizers for men and gel make ups for women which give you the look of a healthy tan if you like without causing damage to skin - or harmless `instant tan' lotions). Beware of unsaturated fats. Not that your body doesn't need them, it does. But in small quantities only. Because polyunsaturates are so very unstable chemically, they easily become rancid (as do shell-less nuts which contain them incidentally). And rancid or highly processed lipids are dangerous. The best oil to use for cooking is cold pressed virgin olive oil, a monounsaturate which is remarkably stable. You can get other essential fatty acids from eating fish, shellfish, game, whole grains, avocados, nuts and seeds. Go easy on the alcohol. Better yet, give it up altogether. Not only does it trigger acetaldehyde production in your liver, it depletes your body's supplies of some of the most important nutritional 'protectors' against free radical damage and cross-linking vitamins C and B1. A glass of wine a day can aid digestion - but if you find you can't stop after a glass (and many people can't), then temperance is probably the best choice. Check on heavy metals. Consider having the presence of heavy metals in your body investigated. This can be done in a laboratory from a small sample of hair. An increasing number of doctors concerned with preventive care are using hair mineral analysis as a part of their diagnostic equipment. If high levels of heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, chromium, arsenic and so forth are found they can be gradually removed from the system by careful use of specific nutritional substances such as vitamin C, pectin - a form of fiber which occurs in good quantity in apples - and garlic oil. Banish deodorants. Avoid the use of antiperspirants containing aluminum salts which are absorbed through the skin. Give up drinking Coffee. Besides causing a build up of cadmium, the caffeine in coffee can cause other age-related changes.

Bliss Brings Freedom

Unlock Your Inner Bliss: Follow the Gypsy's Key to Freedom!

I’d like to share with you a life-changing story. Here’s how it begins: “Follow your bliss,” the gypsy said. “Connect with your inner light. Hear the sounds of birds. Taste the ocean’s spray. Listen to the whispers of your soul. Bliss is your key to freedom. Have you forgotten?” The gypsy’s words echoed in my heart. Like most women, I had never followed my bliss. I’d tried my best to do the “right thing”. I’d listened to the voices of others and valued their opinions above my own. And I am not alone in this. Too often, we women have gone on and off diets, lost weight, gained weight, made money, spent money, found lovers, lost lovers, done assertiveness workshops and quit doing them. Every so often, we figure we’ve found an answer to something. Then it melts away from us like a forgotten dream. The gypsy woman on the road was old and wrinkled. Yet her eyes shone with a light so bright you could hardly bear to look at them. What the hell, the woman thought, let’s find out what this old lady has to say. What have we got to lose? That was the day this woman let bliss into her life. That was the beginning of a journey that transformed her body and illuminated her life. You know, most of us waste a lot of time and energy doing what we think we’re supposed to be doing. This takes us far away from connecting with our souls and experiencing bliss. I believe it’s time for each one of us to discover what we love and then follow it. When Carl Jung was searching for meaning in his own life, he asked himself a simple question. “What did I most love doing as a child?” He remembered he adored making little streets and houses out of stones and blocks. So he bought some land at the side of the lake in Zurich, and began to build a house with a tower. There was no rational sense behind his decision. After all, he already owned a fine house. But what he created for himself, by choosing to do this, was a unique, sacred space in which he could both come in touch with the core of his being, and begin to live out his deepest longings. By honoring the whispers of his soul in this way, Jung not only expanded his capacity for bliss. He set the stage for the finest writings he would ever produce during his lifetime, and he embarked on a road to fulfillment he had never imagined to be possible. Long before you were born, you were wired for bliss. You still are. Its oceanic quality brings an experience of oneness and harmony both with the essence of who you are as well as with the world around you. You probably first experienced it when you were floating in the womb: Relaxation, aliveness, security and the sense that your life has purpose and all is right with the world. If you want to live in the fullness of your being and connect with your creativity, vitality, radiance and beauty, now’s the time to invite more bliss into your life. Our capacity for bliss, as well as our need to experience it, is inscribed on the primitive brain—almost as deeply as our need for air, water and food. Bliss happens to be the medium through which mind, spirit and emotions weave a tapestry of meaning. Bliss renews. Bliss cleanses. It makes us feel whole, solid, stable and alive. When we encounter something new, bliss tells us “This is something I want to try.” Then it brings us the courage to go for it. In ancient India, they had a name for it—Satchitananda. This composite Sanskrit word is made up of three roots: Sat means being or existence. Chit translates as awareness or consciousness. Ananda means bliss. Together they describe a radiant, boundless state of being that carries a sense of infinite awareness and joy. Satchitananda brings the capacity to create worlds and forms out of itself. There was a time when such experience was reserved for saints and shamans. No longer. Sometimes we steel ourselves against bliss out of guilt or misguided self-denial. Then we become as mechanical as a sharp-nosed spinster—nitpicking and critical of everything and everyone, most of all of ourselves. Is bliss the be-all and end-all of life? Nope. Is it an essential ingredient in realizing your potentials on every level? You bet. So important is bliss to discovering who you really are, and bringing your most cherished goals into form, that when we deny our need for it, or forget how to experience it, we’re forced to look for artificial substitutes. Addictions arise: to food, drugs, alcohol, sex—even ambition. But these addictions disempower us, taking us further and further from the authentic freedom and satisfaction that is our birthright. All life is lived through your senses. The more awake they are, the more you’ll get out of the multidimensional pleasures of every moment: the aroma of freshly made coffee, the touch of silk against your skin, soulful fingers on guitar strings, waves of orgasm that swell your body and silence your mind. I believe it’s time, just like the gypsy said, to leave behind guilt and self-criticism and begin to live from moment to moment just as you are. The secret to using bliss to enrich your life lies in becoming fully aware of everything you feel, touch, taste, smell, hear and see. Play a little game with me, right here, right now. Ask yourself these questions: What is the moving power behind my life today? What matters most to me? What did I love most when I was a child? How can I begin to live what I love most right now? Explore these questions in an ongoing way. When you go for a walk, lie in a warm bath, or wake up in the night—let yourself feel bliss wherever you are. It’s the perfect antidote to the meaninglessness we feel when we have been following the wrong directives. It’s time to uncover your bliss and discover the marvelous inner freedom that comes with it.

What The Daily Mail Didn't Publish

Multi-Dadding: Overcoming Shockwaves and Controversy to Provide a Loving Home

London’s Daily Mail approached me a few weeks ago asking me to write a piece on what it’s like to have 4 children by 4 different men. The idea intrigued me so I did. The piece wasn’t published since, they said, “It’s not written in the Mail style.” This week we sent what I wrote to all lesliekenton.com newsletter subscribers. Since we had an overwhelmingly positive response to this piece, I decided to share it with you as well. (This is the first time we have ever done something like this.) I hope you will also enjoy reading it. It comes as a personal gift from me to you. Struggling to hold back the tears, my daughter’s voice on the crackly phone line was barely a whisper. “Mama, Dan died this morning,” she said. Dan Smith, biological father to my third child, Jesse, was much loved by all of my children. He had been seriously ill with a rare form of leukaemia. We knew he could die any moment. Still, the news that reached me at my Primrose Hill home that cold February morning in 2010 sent shock waves through me. “We’re already organising the funeral,” Susannah went on. “We want to play jazz music, tell fun stories about Dan and celebrate his life. Don’t worry about being 12,000 miles away, we’ll video all of it for you to watch later.” I would love to have been there to celebrate Dan’s life. It had been a good life. He was an honorable man—one who kept his promises. Dan had long adored each of my four children although only one of them was a child of his own body. Four years earlier, Dan had chosen to move to New Zealand to be near the children. Together they had searched for and found a house for him so that all of us—me included—could spend precious time with Dan and care for him so long as he lived. NOT THE MARRYING KIND I had met Dan 53 years earlier when I was seventeen years old. We became friends. Later, in my mid-twenties, we were briefly married. I was never much in favor of marriage, however. That’s probably why I chose to give birth to four children by four different men. Now I’m being called a trailblazer for what is becoming an increasingly popular brand of mothering, commonly referred to as ‘multi-dadding.’ I am supposed to be what is fashionably termed a ‘4x4.’ Mothering children by more than one man recently hit the headlines with the news that actress Kate Winslet is expecting her third child by her third husband, the rock star Ned Rocknroll. Kate, 37, has a 12-year-old daughter, Mia, with her first husband, Jim Threapleton, and a nine-year-old son, Joe, with her second husband, Sam Mendes. The former weather girl Ulrika Jonsson is a 4x4, and the late TV presenter Paula Yates was a 4x2. While supposedly gaining popularity, this style of mothering is still hugely controversial. I am told that the news that a woman has children by more than one man is still met with a mixture of horror and fascination. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I have never had to deal with either of these attitudes. To tell the truth, I have never much cared what people think about me, how I chose to live my life or the way I have raised my children. Perhaps that’s a good thing, or maybe I am just naïve. One thing is for sure: I’ve always been one of those women so fertile that that a man could almost look at me and I’d get pregnant. I would never miscarry. I rode horses, went surfing and danced all night while pregnant and suffered no consequences. I am told that women like me are often looked upon as monstrously selfish, bad mothers. They are accused of being feckless for having multiple lovers and just plain wrong for not providing their children with a ‘traditional family setup.’ I’m sure some traditional families are genuinely wise, stable and happy. The parents love each other and care for their children with great devotion and joy. But, in my experience, such families are few and far between. KIDS MATTER MOST What matters most in child rearing is neither convention nor family labels. It is the children. Children brought up by a devoted single mother (or single father) who lovingly trusts their own parental instincts and forms honest relationships with each child in their care, thrive. I believe this is far better than desperately trying to hold on to a marriage that doesn’t work ‘for the children’s sake.’ What I find sad is the way an ordinary single woman—not a movie star or media giant—who has children by more than one man and has to bring them up by herself, earning a living and juggling the needs not only of her children but also increasingly of their fathers, doesn't get the attention, sympathy, or anywhere near the admiration she deserves. It’s a challenging job for any woman. I know, I’ve done it. I’ve raised four children all on my own, earned the money for our family, stayed up all night caring for them when they had measles, chicken pox or mumps, then got up the next morning to make breakfast and iron that school uniform about which I was told, “Mama...my teacher says it has to be perfect.” Many a time I worried where the money was coming from to pay for food that week. LION-HEARTED MOTHERHOOD I champion any woman making a life for the children she loves in this way. It is the child that matters most and his or her relationship to a mother, father, or a caring friend. Every woman has a powerful lion-hearted passion to care for and protect her children. Women should trust themselves, give thanks for such power and use it for the benefit of their children. Kids are notoriously smart. They know when they are being fed a line about what they are “supposed” to think and say. They easily distinguish between what’s real and what’s contrived. As parents, if we want to gain the respect of our children we must always tell them the truth and treat them with respect as well as demand that they respect us in return. As far as the fathers of our children are concerned, they deserve the same respect and honesty from a woman as the child does, whether or not she is married to them. I believe that each child needs to get to know its father in its own way and make its own judgements. MY OWN STORY I grew up in a wildly unconventional family of highly creative, unstable people. Until I was 5, I was raised by my maternal grandmother. Later I was raped by my father and had my brain fried with ECT in an attempt to make me forget all that had happened to me. I was always a tomboy. I hated dolls. I loved to climb trees and play football. Yet from 5 years old I was sure that I wanted to have children. When I told my grandmother my plan she said I would need to get married to have children. “What’s married?” I asked. “It’s when you wear a white dress and have a big beautiful cake and promise to love and obey a man,” she said. “Ugh, I’ll never do that,” I replied. “I hate cake.” In any case, I knew she was lying to me since none of our Siamese cats were married, but they gave birth to masses of kittens. At the age of 17, while in my Freshman year at Stanford University, I got pregnant by a 22 year old man named Peter Dau. I rang my father. “I’m pregnant,” I told him. “What are you going to do?” “Give birth and keep the baby.” “You can’t keep the baby unless you get married,” he said. Had I been a little more gutsy I would have told him to get stuffed. But at the age of 17, still wrestling with all that had happened to me in my own childhood, he wielded a lot of influence over me. So I agreed. Peter was all for the idea. Single-handedly I put together an all-white wedding for 250 people in the garden of our Beverley Hills home. I made the decision to wear black shoes under my white satin dress. I felt I was giving my life away by marrying Peter, but I was willing to make the sacrifice since I so wanted this child. As soon as Dan learned of the wedding, he sent me a beautiful sterling silver bowl as a present which I still have. My first son, Branton, was born six months later. When I held this tiny baby in my arms he taught me the most important lesson I ever learned: Love exists. It is simple, real and has nothing to do with highfalutin notions or flowery words. At the age of 18, I realized my life had found its purpose—to love and be loved. PREGNANT AGAIN A year later, Peter and I left California for New York where he was to attend medical school while I went to work as a model to help support us. At that time, Dan left his job as a journalist in Massachusetts and moved to New York to be near us. My marriage to Peter ended amicably three years later. It should never have happened in the first place. Three days after leaving Peter back in California, I stopped overnight at my father’s house in Beverley Hills on my way back to New York. Barry Comden, a man much older than I whom I had known since I was 14 but never had a sexual relationship with, discovered I was in town and came to see me. I made love to him once and knew immediately that I was pregnant again. Marry Barry? No way. I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. (Years later Barry would marry the actress Doris Day.) Nine months later my only daughter, Susannah, was born. It was then that a large tumor growing off of my right ovary was discovered. It had been hidden behind the baby during my pregnancy. It was dangerous and had to be surgically removed. HELP WHEN IT MATTERS Once again Dan appeared in my life. He had always insisted that he fell in love with me from the first day we met. He had written me letters every single day my first year at Stanford. I never answered any of them. I didn’t share his love and I didn’t want to lead him on. He had also sent me book after book which he thought I should read. I read them all and loved them. Dan had always been kind and generous to me. He was always keen to protect and care for me when I needed it. So, when I ended up penniless and alone with two children and in need of major surgery, he offered me a home. I accepted. For several months the four of us lived together in New York. Dan adored Branton and Susannah and treated them as if they were his own. I was longing to leave the United States. I wanted to live in Paris—a city I loved more than any other. Dan was able to arrange a job for himself there as a foreign correspondent. In early 1964 we went. Dan had repeatedly told me that he was sure we were meant to be together forever. I hoped that he was right and believed that if I tried hard enough to be a good wife I would learn to love him as he deserved. On July 29, 1964, we were married in Paris. Like every other man I have ever been close to, Dan knew long before we were married that my children would always come first. I had sat him down and told him that he would have to treat Susannah and Branton exactly the same as he would treat any child of his who might come along. He agreed. On June 12, 1965, Dan’s son Jesse was born. He was delighted. True to his word, never once did he favor Jesse over Branton and Susannah. This was great for all three children who came to know him well and to adore him. When presents were passed out, each child was equally favored. Dan belonged to all of them and they knew it. FATHERS, FATHERS Because Branton’s father lived in America and we lived in Europe, Branton did not see him again until he was 11. By that age I figured he was old enough to make the trip on his own and spend a week or two with Peter. Susannah was not really interested in her father—also in the United States—until she was about 17. She then went to Los Angeles to meet him. A good friendship developed between them which remained until Barry died. A non-traditional, unconventional family? Absolutely, but it worked because there was honesty and there was love—the two most important things in any family, anytime, anywhere. For five years I had told myself that, if only I could learn to love Dan more, then everything would be all right. But I couldn’t. And it wasn’t. Confused and disappointed, at the age of 27, I faced the fact that our marriage had failed. We moved to England and we separated. It was Easter. I went to a Buddhist monastery in Scotland to clear my head. Of course Dan grieved over the failure. But that never stopped him from being a welcome person in our family right up to his death. Years later he would marry Gerda Boyeson, a psychotherapist who died a few years before he did. BLESSED MEN The men who made my life rich after Dan and I divorced were, each in their own way, as special as he had been. Each accepted that my children came before all else in the world to me. I never compromised. I chose men, be they friends or lovers, who brought wonderful things to my children. No man ever came before my children. If any man didn’t understand and accept this, he had to go. One man whom I loved, Graham, taught my children to climb and sail and mountaineer. All my children forged deep bonds with Graham which have remained to this day. Another man, Garth, gave Branton, Susannah and Jesse his much cherished toy collection from his own childhood. Garth took us all on wonderful picnics, introduced us to hidden beaches, sang songs with us and blessed us with his unique brand of joy. Then there was David, a man with whom I lived with for 5 years in my late twenties. David constructed beautiful rooms for each of my children in the tiny house I had bought with the little money that my grandfather had left me, when Dan and I separated. David wrote and recorded songs for each of my children. That was 40 years ago. Last year, Susannah and her partner visited David and his wife in Barcelona where he now lives. AN UNCONVENTIONAL MOTHER Ironically, the only complaint I ever got from any of my children about my not being conventional enough was from Dan’s son Jesse. “Why aren’t you like other mothers?” Jesse asked one day when he was 7. “I don’t know, Jesse, what are other mothers like?” “Oh you know,” he said, “They’re fat and bake cookies.” Jesse even grumbled if, while I was waiting to pick him up from school, I sat on the playground swings. He was adamant that such behavior was not “proper” for his mother. Sixteen years after Jesse was born, I became pregnant for the last time by yet another special man—Paul. I announced my condition to 17 year old Susannah as we were all setting off for a six week holiday in Canada with Graham and his son Ruan. “I’m going to have a baby,” I told her. “Don’t worry Mama,” she laughed, “We’ll say it is mine!” FAMILY CELEBRATION In March of 1981, I gave birth to my fourth child, Aaron, at our home in Pembrokeshire. All three of my other children helped deliver him. While I was in labor, they prepared the most delicious lunch I have ever tasted from fruits and vegetables from the garden. I had insisted on giving birth naturally at home, not in some clinical, cold hospital. Jesse had been born via natural childbirth, at a clinique d’accouchement in Paris. After the experience of natural childbirth I swore if ever I had another child it would have to be this way. As for Dan, one way or another he was always close by. He knew David, Graham, Garth and every other man who was to play a role in my own life and my children’s lives. For many years he spent Christmases with us and with our other male friends when they were there. Dan loved to play saxophone at family gatherings. One year he dressed up as Santa Claus. Aaron, then 5 years old, was completely taken in by the costume and terrified when this rotund man belted out, “Ho, Ho, Ho, little boy, what do you want for Christmas?” It took a lot of reassurance from Aaron’s big brothers and sister to convince him that Santa was really ‘good old Dan.’ UNIQUE & INDEPENDENT As for my children, each of them is totally unique and highly independent. I have always fought hard to encourage them to trust themselves and listen to their own heart instead of doing or saying what the rest of the world tells kids they are supposed to do and say. After graduating with a first class degree from Lancaster University, Branton, now 53, developed a series of successful businesses. Susannah, 50, with whom I have written 5 books and done two television series, is a sought-after voice artist. Jesse, 48, is a highly skilled plastic surgeon. Jesse and I have also written a book together. Aaron, now 32, is a designer and filmmaker. He and I have worked together for the past four years developing Cura Romana—a spiritually based program for health, lasting weight loss and spiritual transformation. Branton and Jesse have been happily married for many years. Both have three children each. As for me, I am probably the world’s worst grandmother. I don't babysit, or do any of the things grandmothers are ‘supposed’ to do. (Including baking those cookies Jesse once complained about.) Why? I’m not sure. I guess because for forty-five years of my life I was a mother. I loved this more than all the books I’ve written, all the television programs I’ve devised and presented, all the workshops I’ve taught, and all the other things I’ve done and enjoyed. Right now, my life belongs to me alone. I love the freedom this brings me. I am passionate about being a catalyst in people’s lives, helping them realize their own magnificence and live out their potentials both for their own benefit and for the benefit of all. Who knows what exciting challenges lie before me. Bring them on!

Your Magnificent Self

Discover the Secrets of Self Awakening & Transform Your Life!

At the core of us - far beneath the illusions, traumas, joys, and chaos of 21st Century life - our authentic being calls to us - the unique, essential self - the very truth of who you are.  It carries only one intention: to help you express as fully as possible your creativity, your love, your power, and your magnificence as you walk the earth. SPIRIT INTO FORM The Tibetan Buddhists have a saying which for many years I didn’t understand.  They say, “The only path to enlightenment is through the perfect human rebirth.”  At last, I think I got it.  I suspect they are probably right.  I have come to believe that each one of us actually chose to come to earth in human form—not just to work of some karma—because we longed to play what is the most creative, difficult, exciting, and challenging—yet infinitely joyous—game of all.  In truth it is the greatest game of all—that of bringing your Spirit into Form. I speak of the Spirit which is unique to you—to each of us—yet, at the same time, is a universal expression of the All That Is.  This is such a marvelous enigma—far beyond the grasp of the mind. PLAYING THE GREATEST GAME How we choose to play this greatest game is as individual as is our authentic being.  It can be played in an infinite number of ways.  It can be driven by curiosity and excitement; it can be riddled with trauma, disappointment and grief; it can be a cause for celebration and wonderment.  Most of us, at one time or another, experience all of these things as we learn to play the game. Often, chronic fatigue, depression, loneliness, and poor health are whispers or shouts from our authentic being asking that we stop for a moment in the midst of all the noise of daily life and listen to the source of being that lies deepest within us.  So are the long-term struggles with weight loss.  They ask of us a question:  Do we dare to lay aside our self-criticism and false beliefs long enough to journey beneath the surface of who we think we are to discover who we really are? What has always been my passion is working with techniques, processes and teachings that support this process of connecting with our authenticity and living more the truth of who we really are.  Learning to do this brings greater health, more joy, more creativity and vitality to the way we live, work, and relate to others.  The more each of us lives from the core of our being, the more - through some mysterious osmoses, do we become catalysts encouraging this process in others. TRANSFORMATION’S GIFTS For the past four years I have been with men and women all over the world working with life-changing programs that not only transforms health.  It also clears away masses of the spiritual static and false beliefs that inhibit each of us from living from the core of our being with all the creativity and authenticity that we long to live out. Watching the transformation process unfold uniquely in each of these people has been an enormous gift.  For me it has been like walking in a garden and coming upon flowers and plants, trees and rocks, which I had never seen before.  never met before.  I am often dazzled by the beauty of it. SECRETS CAN BE TOLD In a world filled with uncertainty and so much fear just now, it is this kind of permanent transformation on an individual level that is most urgently needed.   Let me know if you are interested in learning the secrets of self awakening. If so I will share some of the most important ones with you soon.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 20,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 16 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 27th of February 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.51 lb
for women
-0.91 lb
for men
-0.51 lb
for women
-0.91 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 27th of February 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

sign up for our newsletter

download our free book healthy & lean for life

title
message
date