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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

Make Friends With The Sun

The Truth About Extrinsic Aging: Sun & Skin Cancer NOT the Culprits!

We’ve inherited a fear of the sun. It has developed out of simplistic thinking and a commercially-fuelled set of false beliefs. Here’s the inside story: Ultraviolet light is NOT the fundamental cause of skin aging nor skin cancer. Exposure to the sun is not the main reason that skin wrinkles happen. And here’s some shocking news: The chemical sunscreens we now use to protect ourselves from wrinkles and cancer contribute to both. EXTRINSIC AGING Rough, loose, creviced, wrinkled skin, complete with irregular blotches—it’s known as photo-damaged skin or extrinsically aged skin. It is always blamed on exposure to sun. It is not exposure that causes it; it is the misuse of sun coupled with exposure to mounting levels of destructive chemicals that are the real culprits. To get a first-hand feel for what this looks like, take a look in the mirror at the skin on your bottom. It looks ten or twenty years younger than skin on your face. The difference speaks volumes about what extrinsic aging looks like. How do you avoid it? The ads tell us to smear on more sunscreens. The truth is far more complex. Extrinsic aging means skin damage triggered by external factors—high exposure to UV light from tanning beds or sitting in the sun at the wrong time of the day, chemicals in the environment, and—in many ways—the products you’ve been told to use to protect yourself from them. Mounting evidence indicates that many sunscreens contain carcinogens and that the rise of skin cancers parallels the increase in sunscreen usage Lita Lee, pHD BANISH SUNSCREENS Most sunscreen chemicals which should be protecting your skin from damage actually cause it. They eat up your body’s natural enzymes designed to guard against degeneration. A growing awareness of this in the cosmetic industry has led manufacturers to add free radical scavengers, like vitamin A derivatives and phytonutrients, to their sunscreen products. It’s a bit like sweeping dust under a carpet; this only hides the issue. Chemicals used in sun products and other toiletries do not belong in our bodies. As Rachel Carlson insisted half a century ago, their ubiquitous presence in animal bodies undermines health, vitality, and in this case, beauty too. COSMIC RADIATION The sun produces high energy rays from cosmic and gamma and X rays through longer, lower UV, infrared, microwaves and radio waves. Gamma and X radiation are mostly filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere, although flying in jets at 35,000 feet exposes your body to them in big quantities. This is one reason we need extra antioxidant protection when boarding a long haul flight. When gamma rays—which are also used to irradiate foods and sterilise medical equipment—hit water molecules in a living body, free radicals are generated in large numbers, important enzymes are destroyed and your skin’s natural protective ability is undermined. BREAKING THE WAVES The UV rays—most likely to trigger aging in an unprotected or polluted skin span from 190 to 400nm. They come in three varieties: UVA (320-400nm). Deep penetrating ‘silent-killer’ aging rays. UVA radiation can delve deep into the dermis and wreak havoc with DNA and collagen, triggering degenerative changes especially in light-colored skin, messing up the skin’s enzyme systems and cross-linking its collagen. UVB (200-290nm). Shorter, these guys penetrate more superficially. They can oxidize skin’s natural oils, dry it out and undermine its ability to protect itself on the surface. UVB are mostly responsible for burning. They are what chemical sunscreens try to mitigate in an attempt to prevent sunburn. UVC (280nm and shorter). Highly dangerous to skin. Most of these are filtered out by the biosphere, but you can be subjected to them from most office lighting. FACTS AND FICTIONS Photo aging got its name because it often develops out of excessive exposure to UV radiation. You see it in sun-worshippers on the beaches of Australia’s Gold Coast or California’s Venice Beach. Extrinsic aging mimics the destructive damage all skin is exposed to over time. This damage can happen fast when you hang out too long in the sun, especially between 11am and 4pm. Chemical pollution, long periods of intense physical activity, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs—just like excessive UV radiation—all generate high levels of reactive oxygen species in the skin: Super oxides, hydroxy radicals and hydrogen peroxide. These cause free radical damage, degrade and cross-link collagen, and help produce wrinkles, sags and age spots. Like the rest of these onslaughts, big doses of sun also accelerate the formation of advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs) to interfere with cellular functions and make skin lose elasticity. However, the notion that sunlight is the bête noir in all extrinsic aging is absolutely untrue. REAL CAUSES Our ancestors were exposed to the sun’s UV rays for over a million years of evolution. The human body is genetically adapted to sunlight, and well equipped to handle it. The exponential rise in skin cancers began in the twentieth century—not in all those years of evolution. What’s happening? Two things. With each decade that passes, we are bombarded with higher and higher levels of chemical aggression in our environment, and forced to handle more electromagnetic pollution. Together they produce toxic build-up in our body, stressing its natural antioxidant systems and undermining our immunity. This triggers degenerative processes, increasing our skin’s sensitivity to UV damage. It also makes us highly susceptible to cancers. Yet we continue to assault our skin with more chemicals in the form of irresponsibly formulated cleaning products, herbicides and insecticides, and to use skin and body care products to deliver yet more chemicals directly to the skin. CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL The standard protocol for sun protection is to smear on more chemical sunscreens. Selling them is a $3.5 billion a year business, and growing rapidly. We fear aging and skin cancer so we keep buying. Yet much of what we buy significantly contributes to the damage we are trying to prevent. Sun “protection” products come in two forms—chemical sunscreens and physical sunblocks. A few products contain both. Physical block products literally create a physical barrier of fine, non-reactive minerals on the surface of your skin, rather like micro-fish-scales. They reflect excess UVA and UVB back into the atmosphere instead of letting skin absorb it. They are good and not dangerous. Using them is like wearing a hat or a veil so the sun’s rays don’t penetrate at all. No commercial sunscreens have been proved safe. Their chemicals penetrate the skin into the circulation and add to the burden of toxins to be detoxified. Joseph G. Hattersley Chemical sunscreen products—most sun protection products fit into this category—are different. They do not reflect. They absorb UVB and UVA rays, allowing them to penetrate your skin. Many chemical screens these days have begun to target UVA radiation as well as UVB, but the “sun protection factor” (SPF number) you read on a product’s label will have been calculated entirely by how much UVB radiation the chemicals it contains are able to absorb. Unlike physical sunblocks, chemical sunscreens “absorb” the UVB radiation in an attempt to neutralize. They are rapidly used up in the formation of new chemical compounds which your skin then has to find ways of detoxifying from your system. WAY TO GO To protect yourself from aging and cancers, you need to limit your use of chemically-based sunscreens. Better still, throw them out. Go for a mineral-based sunblock, or use one of the new mineral foundations every day. Based on physical agents like titanium oxide and zinc oxide, these products reflect the light instead of relying on chemicals to ‘absorb’ and transmute it. They are safe, inert, and protective. Other physical screens are commonly used by surfers, skiers, cricketers, and tennis players. But choose your block carefully. Unless the mineral fragments have been milled into micro-particles, they can make you look a bit like Marcel Marceau. GET SAVVY ABOUT THE SUN Here are some important things to remember about tanning and how to protect your skin from extrinsic aging and cancers: There is no way to get a safe tan. Never use a sunbed. They filter out UVB burning rays but let the UVA in deep. They are automatic aging machines which increase your risk of melanoma. SPF numbers don’t tell you about UVA protection from wrinkling and aging. Most only deal with UVB protection against burning. For the safest protection from aging and burning, read labels. Shun chemical sunscreens in favor of physical sunblocks—products based on micro minerals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which won’t absorb the sun’s rays or react with your skin. Apply a sunblock a quarter of an hour before going out into the sun. Water resistant products are not what they seem. Their effectiveness is compromised by sweat and swimming. Reapply your sunblock often. If you are or have been using any kind of AHA’s, Retin-A or Renova or any other pharmaceuticals on your face, cover it with a hat as well as a physical sunblock and don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. Never get sunburnt—the damage it causes continues to get worse for 24 hours after the initial burn appears, and when the burn has been severe, can last a lifetime. Think twice before taking oral contraceptives or HRT. Use of these hormone-based drugs is correlated with a three times greater risk of sunburn and skin damage. Take a tip from the Arabs, who know a lot about sun protection. Cover your body well when you plan to spend long hours outdoors. Always wear a hat. Use one of the excellent non-reactive mineral-based makeup products on your face which last all day, look natural, cover your skin and reflect UV rays, while making your skin look fabulous. Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30 Natural, Safe, and Inexpensive Buy Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30 Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup GLOW TIME™ FULL COVERAGE MINERAL BB CREAM Glow Time comes in six great colors, covers blemishes, minimizes pores, disguises wrinkles and smoothes and brightens skin while providing SPF 25 UVA?UVB PA++ Buy Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup

What Price Convenience

Addictive Fast Foods: Why Our Health Is At Risk From Cheap & Nasty Western Diet of Convenience

Our Western Diet is based on foods of convenience—the fast food items we buy at the local corner shop or supermarket. These products are gross distortions of the REAL foods which human beings have eaten throughout history...foods to which our bodies remain genetically adapted. Our ancestors did not have bread, sugar, junk fats and all the other nutritionally depleted pre-packaged, pre-cooked stuff that we do. They ate fresh wholesome foods. Palaeolithic man’s diet was high in wholesome fats, moderate in proteins, and rich in fiber, thanks to whatever vegetables and simple fruits they could gather. CHEAP AND NASTY The modern convenience foods on which we now feed depleted of natural fiber and filled with chemicals. They are manufactured from grain-based carbs, and altered milk products then riddled sugar and dangerous trans-fatty acids—oils which have been separated out from the foods from which they are taken, then chemically altered by solvents and heat processing. FOODS CAUSE ADDICTION Apart from the destructive power of GMO foods, which are not only destroying human health but the health of the planet, another major change has taken place: Today we also swallow a kaleidoscope of colorants, flavorings, additives and ‘enhancers’, not to mention pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which our ancestors could never have imagined in their wildest dreams. We slurp down chemical pollutants with each sip of our diet cola, and every bite of our pre-cooked meals. Quite simply, this is the fast food diet that 95% of the Western world now lives on. And, next time you upbraid yourself for what you perceive to be your lack of willpower as you reach for yet another biscuit and feel guilty about it, let the guilt go. It does not belong to you. The denatured, degraded, food we eat bears the lion's share of blame, not only for the plague of obesity worldwide, but for food addictions and cravings that lead to illness and weight gain, the development of potentially fatal degenerative diseases, from heart disease and cancer to metabolic syndrome; Alzheimer’s disease; diabetes, and dozens more. DEGENERATION BEGINS It was Weston Price, early on in the century, who first brought the scientific community's attention to the devastating effects the rise of processed foods and the destructive ways in which they damage human health. Price, a dentist, traveled the world recording the changes in the shape of the jaw and teeth which take place slowly but inevitably as each culture discards its traditional dietary practices, based on real food, in favor of our more ‘civilized’ Western fare. Price's many studies—each of which lasted between 20 and 40 years—carefully plotted the onset of degenerative diseases. It is not surprising that, after living on a diet of simple whole plant foods rich in natural fiber and a health-giving synergy of nutrients and micro-nutrients throughout evolution, the human body continues to this day find the foods we eat now anathema to health. Our genes have been attuned to naturally grown, unprocessed foods for more than a million years. Our metabolic biochemistry as human beings is designed for it. Sir Robert McCarrison—brilliant British doctor also charted the relationship between food and health. More recently, two more British doctors, Dennis Burkitt and Hugh Trowell, carried out their own extensive studies, taking Price and McCarrison’s work a step further. They carefully documented the exact sequence of events which takes place when a people's diet changes from simple, primitive, real food to packaged fast foodstuffs. Stage One: The primitive, unprocessed diet of hunter-gatherers, complete with plenty of healthy fats, good quality proteins, plus vegetable and fruit-based carbohydrate is eaten. Degenerative diseases do not exist. Stage Two: Western diet is introduced. Obesity and diabetes become common among privileged groups able to afford foods of commerce, and degenerative diseases begin to appear. Stage Three: A culture's diet becomes “moderately Westernized”. Obesity becomes more widespread, as does constipation, haemorrhoids, varicose veins and appendicitis. Stage Four: Westernized diet is now widespread. Overweight and obesity are common in all social groups. So is heart disease, high blood pressure, diverticular disease, hiatus hernia, cancer and other Western diseases. FRAGMENTED “FOODS” Like our soils, the industrially manufactured foods we eat today—from biscuits and pasta to pre-cooked convenience meals—have quite literally been taken to pieces. High-tech food production works something like this: To create a great variety of palatable foods from raw materials, you have to reduce the foodstuffs—grains and seeds, vegetables and legumes—to simple, malleable ‘nuts and bolts’ that lend themselves to whatever manipulations you want to perform on them. Take soya beans for instance. They were once considered an excellent source of complete protein as valuable as meat or eggs—more valuable in many ways, since they are so cheap. Nowadays more than 95% of soybeans grown worldwide are genetically modified. Food manufacturers still take whole soya beans, in which 30% of each bean is protein, and process them physically and chemically to extract this protein and make it ready to accept dyes and flavorings. hen they alter its texture through more processing until eventually it becomes ersatz meat. This end product—from which soy-based foods from tofu to soya milk are made—is a long way from the natural soya bean. In the course of such manipulations the little soya bean, which, pre-GMO devastation and high processing, once offered asynergy of nutrients, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and fiber. By now however it has now been turned into a highly concentrated artificial material. During the operation, vitamins and minerals are destroyed. The soya bean's proteins and natural fatty acids have been denatured and chemically altered into new forms, many of which are not usable by the body. The soya has also lost most of its fiber too—a vital part of any food's health-promoting wholeness, and something absolutely essential for protection from degenerative diseases and obesity. To this artificial “food”, manufacturers then add a lot of phoney colors and flavors. Canadian expert in food science, Ross Hume Hall, puts it rather well when he says: "The product contains the same number of calories as the original soya protein, but it now consists of a set of naked molecules completely divorced from any natural context." The same is true of the way in which cereals and grains are processed. NUTRITIONAL DESTRUCTION From milk to meat to garden peas—whatever food is involved—processing destroys nutrients. According to official government handbooks, 50-70% of vitamin B6 is lost when meats are processed. 50-90% of folic acid—a vitamin of particular importance to the functioning of nerves and the actions of hormones, especially in the female body—is shed when grains are milled, while more than 80% of the mineral magnesium disappears in the same process. The multi-national food industry covers the packaging of its products with endless ‘nutritional’ information, which would have you believe that any goodness lost in processing can be made up for by ‘enriching’. Enriching is just another chemical whereby a few cheap vitamins and minerals in synthetic form are pumped back into the now fragmented food. It is categorically impossible to restore the health-giving power of wholeness to any food which has been fragmented in this way. BIG COVER-UP Similar nutrient losses happen during other phases of food handling—artificial ripening, transport and storage. Store asparagus for a week and it loses 90% of its vitamin C. Keep grapes for the same time, and they shed 30% of their B vitamins. Freeze meats and you can lose as much as 50% of two important B vitamins— riboflavin and thiamine. These are just a few examples of nutrient losses which occur every day. They are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways in which modern food handling and manufacturing processes have created highly concentrated, calorie-dense foods filled with masses of sugar (more about this in future entries) which are dangerously destructive of health, and promote both weight gain and rapid degeneration of body and mind. REAL FOOD CREATES REAL HEALTH OK, so where do you go from here? It is easy to change your food-buying habits once you clear your cupboards of the manufactured rubbish we all collect. You’ll find the healthiest, freshest, and most natural foods for lasting health at the outside edges of your local supermarket. These include crunchy fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh game and meats, seafoods and eggs. Skirt the edges, steer clear of the middle, and you’ve got the secret to becoming a successful modern-day hunter-gatherer. Remember this: Natural wholesome foods are perishable. They have to be replaced often, unlike the ready-in-a-minute, pre-made stuff that you find in the inner aisles. You will be shopping “at the edge” in another way too: You’ll be looking for foods as close as possible to those that our ancestors ate—with a wide variety of crunchy, living vegetables, especially bright-colored ones. Foods with a long shelf life don’t belong in your body. Processed high-carb foods often have a very long shelf life. This makes them great sales material for food manufacturers and retailers, since they can sit on the shelves for a long time, and are cheap to produce with high profit margins. Virtually all convenience foods and fast foods have been whipped up out of processed grains and cereals, masses of sugar in all forms, junk fats, chemical additives. Avoid them for your sake, as well as the sake of your family. You’ll be able to turn your lives around in short order. Find our for yourself. Try it.

Mantra Magic

Maximize Your Moment: Discover Benefits of Meditation Using a Mantra

Herbert Benson, who wrote The Relaxation Response and Maximum Mind, discovered that measurable physical benefits accrue from practicing any form of meditation which depends on the silent repetition of a mantra - a word-sound. This can be done by repeating any word over and over while the eyes are closed and the body is in a quiet state. Meditation using a mantra has a long tradition. Some mantras are said to be sacred words that have particular sound vibrations which transmit particular powers. Each tradition has its own mantras such as Guru Om, Om mani padme hum, La ilaha illa 'lla or, in the Catholic religion, Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Whether their magic aspects are true or not, the technique works beautifully to replace the habitual chatter that runs through one's mind, worries about things past and things yet to come. Benson suggests you find a word that is pleasing to you. It could be anything, say, `flower', `peace', or `love'. He likes the word `one' as it is simple and has the connotation of unity about it. Here's how. Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed for fifteen to twenty minutes and a comfortable chair that supports your back. Sit down and close your eyes. Give yourself a moment to settle in and you are ready to begin. Simply sit there, feet on the floor and eyes closed, quietly repeating your word over and over to yourself: `one...one...one...' Whenever your mind wanders or you are disturbed by a sound or thought, simply turn your mind gently back to repeating the word again. That is all there is to it. After fifteen to twenty minutes, stop repeating the mantra and get ready to open your eyes. Open your eyes, stretch, and go about your everyday activities. This is a particularly useful technique once you have practiced it a few times because you can do it in so many different places, such as in a waiting room or on a commuter train or bus.

Youth Factors

Stop Aging with These Powerful 21st Century Techniques: No Drugs or Xenoestrogens!

The ageless aging techniques are powerful allies for survival in the 21st Century. Continuing to practice them will help protect you from degenerative diseases and can have you looking and feeling great as the years pass. But we also need to look after ourselves in other ways. Life at the millennium is not easy. We are exposed to aging influences every day of our lives. dump the drugs One of the major actions you can take to protect yourself from premature aging long-term is to stay away from drugs. Many drugs interfere with mineral absorption and undermine metabolic functions. Acid drugs bind calcium and other minerals like zinc and magnesium, making them unavailable for your body to use in its important enzymes which fuel energy and cell reproduction. Without first rate enzyme functions nobody can function optimally. Diuretics - `water pills' - given to eliminate water retention trigger the kidneys to excrete potassium and can lead to potassium deficiency. Although many doctors now give extra potassium with diuretic drugs, diuretics also increase the body's output of zinc, magnesium, and other minerals (something most doctors are still unaware of) so that deficiencies in these elements develop. Antibiotics disturb the balance of intestinal flora, creating disbiosis. The helpful bacteria needed for the production of certain important B-complex vitamins, vitamin K, and for protection against cancer, are destroyed along with the bad guy bacteria antibiotics are trying to kill off in the body. Most laxatives can also be very damaging to the system. Many contain mineral oils which bind fat soluble vitamins K, E, D, and A, leeching them from the tissues. Even when drugs are prescribed by your doctor, keep a close watch on what you are taking. It's a good idea to buy a book on drugs and their interactions so you keep well informed about anything it is suggested you take into your body. reproductive distortions In our modern industrialized world it is all too easy for our reproductive biochemistry to become distorted and youthful functioning to be undermined as a result. In the past 50 years male sperm count in the Western world has fallen by almost half. Meanwhile, women are experiencing the rise of a whole new - as yet largely unrecognized - phenomenon known as oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen dominance is where a woman's oestrogen levels far outweigh progesterone in her body making her prone to cancer, menstrual miseries and menopausal agonies. There are two classes of major reproductive hormones in a woman's body - the oestrogens which are commonly lumped together and called `oestrogen', and progesterone. When these two are in good balance a woman's health thrives. She remains free of PMS and other menstrual troubles. She also remains fertile and able to hold a fetus to full term and menopause becomes a simple transition instead of a passage riddled with suffering. And she is protected from fibroids, endometriosis and osteoporosis. She is also likely to remain emotionally balanced and free of excessive anxiety or depression. When oestrogen and progesterone are not in balance a woman's body becomes oestrogen dominant and all of these things can come a cropper. watch out for xenoestrogens Oestrogen dominance in women and the drop in sperm count in men have come about for several reasons, the major one being the widespread use of oestrogen-based oral contraceptives and the exponential spread of chemicals in our environment. Called xenoestrogens - oestrogen mimics - they are taken up by the oestrogen receptor sites in our bodies to throw spanners in the works. They include the petrochemical derivatives we take in as herbicides and pesticides which have been sprayed on our foods, the plastic cups we drink our tea out of, as well as the oestrogens that come through in drinking water recycled from our rivers. Oestrogens from The Pill and HRT are excreted in a woman's urine. They can end up back in our water supply, as hormones are not removed by standard water purification treatments. To stay vital each of us needs to be aware of the potential dangers of the `sea of oestrogens' in which we are now living. The proliferation of xenoestrogens in our environment needs to be stopped. It is making men less fertile and women more prone to breast and womb cancer, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, osteoporosis, and infertility, not to mention a long list of emotional and mental imbalances. Yet much of the medical profession as well as the general public still remains largely unaware of the effects these dangerous chemicals are exerting on our lives and the lives of animals. As a result oestrogens continue to be prescribed heavily as part of HRT - not only to the handful of women who around the time of menopause may need a little extra oestrogen temporarily - but to thousands of others whose lives would be far better off without it. go for protection You can help protect yourself from excess chemical oestrogens by not microwaving foods in plastic containers, by avoiding birth control pills and HRT, by not drinking from plastic cups, by ensuring that you eat foods grown without chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and by including in your diet foods rich in phytosterols. These plant-based weak hormone-like compounds can help protect us by locking into oestrogen-receptor sites in the body and therefore preventing the much stronger xenoestrogens from gaining purchase in our bodies. Foods with good levels of phytosterols include yams, peas, papayas, bananas, cucumbers, raw nuts, bee pollen, sprouted seeds and grains (such as alfalfa sprouts) plus the herbs licorice root, red clover, sage, sarsaparilla and sassafras. Following a detox regime regularly a couple of times a year can also help detox the system and keep these poisonous chemicals from building up long-term. watch for deficiencies Much free radical damage and many of the problems associated with aging - from depression and insomnia to fatigue, poor eyesight or hearing, fragile bones, stiffness, and aches and pains - are the result of poor diet and the resulting nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies are now widespread in the developed countries of the Western World. They have developed not because we don't have enough to eat but because we have so disturbed the healthy balance of minerals and other nutrients in natural foods thanks to chemically based agriculture and excessive food processing. A number of large-scale research projects show that someone living on the typical diet of convenience foods over the years becomes deficient in vitamins and minerals. As we get older the most common deficiencies are in potassium, zinc, chromium, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin C as well as in protein and fiber. Fiber from fresh vegetables, grains, and pulses becomes particularly important as we get older. Unless the colon functions properly so that wastes are eliminated efficiently constipation becomes a problem so that the build up of toxicity in the body increases the rate at which aging occurs. A national food survey carried out recently in Great Britain showed that the average person is "grossly deficient" in six out of eight vitamins and minerals. And the problem seems to be growing worse and worse as convenience food eaters get increasingly depleted in folic acid, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron. The survey showed that the average person in Britain gets only 51% of the European recommended daily allowance of zinc, and only 71% for iron. Similarly 40% of the people studied received less than the recommended daily allowance for calcium. Nutritional deficiencies produce premature degeneration. Avoid them by avoiding processed foods as much as you can, using sea vegetables in your cooking and salads and adding more  green super foods to your diet. choose fats carefully Most of the fats that we eat today have been severely tampered with. Instead of being in a chemical form which your body can make use of (the cis form) to build cell walls, make hormones, and make prostaglandins - all of which are essential to de-age the body, we are eating trans fatty acids. These `junk fats' found in margarine, golden vegetable oils, and all of the convenience foods that we devour - from ready made meals we pop into the microwave to mayonnaise, breads and spreads - can undermine health. Trans fatty acids make up a large proportion of the fats used in making biscuits, sweets, imitation cheeses, margarine, pastries, potato crisps, puddings, and nearly all the packaged and processed food products you find on supermarket shelves. Experts in fat metabolism now blame our ever-increasing consumption of trans fatty acids and our ever decreasing consumption of essential fatty acids in no small part for premature aging and the growth of degenerative diseases including heart-attacks and cancer. About the best oil you can use for salads and wok frying is extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil. It is monounsaturated and much more stable for wok frying foods and making salad dressings. Canola oil is also good but harder to find. gut feelings Another major reason why vitamin, mineral and protein deficiencies tend to occur as we get older is that poor eating over many years often results in a diminishment in a person's ability to digest and assimilate nutrients from their food. This is why for some even eating a good diet is not enough to supply the nutrients needed. Deficiencies in minerals, a low level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach (essential for the absorption of nutrients), or low levels of digestive enzymes are common causes of the poor assimilation that produce nutritional deficiencies. Food allergies and other allergies are also commonly linked with low levels of hydrochloric acid in the gut. This can be corrected gradually by eating a nutrient-rich/low-calorie diet of wholesome foods and by learning to manage daily stress well using a technique like autogenics. Many experts in natural medicine also suggest drinking the juice of half a lemon squeezed into water or taking a teaspoon of apple-cider vinegar in a glass of warm water, twenty to thirty minutes before meals to enhance digestion when hydrochloric acid is low. Useful, too, are good quality supplements of the major digestive enzymes such as bromelin extracted from pineapples, and papain from the papayas. Papain is soothing to the stomach and very gentle. It helps in protein digestion. Bromelin is an anti-inflammatory enzyme which reduces tissue irritation. The pancreas secretes other enzymes important to digestion such as the lipases, amylases, and proteases. For anyone who experiences problems with digestion a good natural combination of digestive enzymes can be a great adjunct to de-aging. One or two capsules with a main meal will usually do the trick. But make sure you choose only the best as there are many poor imitations on the market. sleep a lot Sleep is a great antioxidant and rejuvenator which few pay attention to. Even age researchers are only beginning to be aware of what a potent effect good sleep can have on de-aging the body. Sleep is every bit as essential as good quality food, regular exercise and a healthy environment in rejuvenating the body. In recent years melatonin, the hormone secreted primarily by the pineal gland during the night hours in the absence of light, has been shown to play a major role in controlling the body's circadian rhythms and awareness of time. It has also drawn much attention from age researchers. Melatonin in supplement form can be used to great advantage wherever time awareness has been distorted, such as when crossing time zones or for people who suffer from insomnia. There are many indications that melatonin also offers powerful protection against the body's most destructive free radical - the hydroxyl radical. Sadly, melatonin has been taken off the market in Canada and Britain - amidst a great deal of hooha about it being "dangerous" because it is a natural hormone. Having looked in depth at the whole issue of melatonin I am convinced that used wisely and appropriately it is an extremely useful supplement and that there is nothing dangerous about it. Hopefully one day soon it will reappear. It is still widely available in the United States and most other countries. new radical quencher Meanwhile, when it comes to continual de-aging of the body, the improvement witnessed in people's lives through melatonin supplementation has made researchers ask an important question: Why would the body only secrete a substance like melatonin - a powerful free radical quencher - at night and not during the day? One of the world's experts on the antioxidant effects of melatonin, Dr Russel Reiter, believes that from a biological point of view the primary purpose of sleep may be to create a situation in which the free radicals which we generate during the day (when our exposure to free radical damage is the highest) can be mopped up at night. And it is during the hours of darkness that the body's natural melatonin levels rise. This could well be the reason why many hard-to-treat problems such as food allergies, multiple sclerosis, and ME, are often tremendously improved by getting a good night's sleep. Researchers investigating sleep have also discovered that when the body accumulates high levels of free radicals, a sense of sleepiness tends to set in. Whenever this happens it is a good idea to give in to it and have a nap. At night if you have difficulty sleeping consider using a natural botanical such as passiflora or valerian to help. Everyone's need for sleep is different and while it is true that many of us sleep less as we get older, regular restorative slumber is important for de-aging the body. Enjoy it. Here is a simple check list you can return to to help you create an ongoing lifestyle to de-age your body. 21st century survival Make Every Calorie Count: Gradually decrease the quantity of foods you eat while increasing the nutrients you are taking in. Choose your meals from real foods - the best nature has to offer: raw vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, pulses and seeds, prepared in simple ways to preserve their innate nutritional richness. Avoid Processed Foods: Nix on junk fats, margarines, refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like most packaged breakfast cereals which tend to be depleted of essential minerals, trace elements and fiber. Go Organic: Whenever possible buy (better yet grow) organic vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts. Foods grown without chemical fertilizers help protect your body from pollution while they keep essential nutrients in good balance, on which continuing health depends. Get Smart About Labels: Read labels carefully. Don't be misled by the word `natural' or `no preservatives'. Watch out for references to hydrogenated fats, aluminum, colorings and preservatives and leave foods containing them on the shelves. Wash Non-Organic Foods Well: Use 1 tablespoon of baking soda(bicarbonate of soda) to a sink full of water. Soak for 3-5 minutes to help clear acid-pollutants from vegetables and fruits. Drink Clean Water: Use a good water filter, buy purified water or the very best natural spring waters. Don't use tap water. Eat Deep-Sea Fish: The fattier the better - sardines, mackerel, and wild (not farmed) salmon are full of healthy fatty acids. Stay away from cod, shellfish and most freshwater fish. They are more likely to be chemically polluted. Avoid Aluminum Cooking: Pots and pans of aluminum can leach this metal into the foods cooked in them. Don't Use Irradiated Foods: Their effects on the body are still largely unknown and highly questionable. Add Superfoods To Your Diet: Make good use of foods and herbs that are rich in natural antioxidants and immune-enhancers which work synergistically to protect you. These include algae, spirulina, open-celled chlorella, Australian Dunaliella Salina, bladderwrack, Irish moss, dulse, alaria, kombu and nori as well as green cereal grasses and the power mushrooms reishi, maitake, shiitake, tremella and cordyceps. Go For Greens: Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts as well as wild green foods like nettles, dandelion and parsley. They are brimming with antioxidants. Minimize Drugs: Use nothing either of prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that is not absolutely necessary, including hormone drugs. Also minimize recreational drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, nicotine and cocaine. Practice UV Protection: Exposure to sunlight is a great ager especially now with the depletion of the ozone layer. Protect yourself. Grow a Garden: Or at the very least sprout organic seeds and grains for salads. This gives you the freshest, chemical-free foods available. And you can sprout seeds even in a tiny kitchen in a city flat. Cut Down on Meat: Not only is the breeding of livestock on a wide scale wasteful of the earth's resources, most meat and poultry sold comes from chemically raised animals given antibiotics and much has become polluted. If you eat meat make it organic. If you eat chicken and eggs, make them free-range. Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is the body's great rejuvenator, it increases antioxidant activities to counter free radical dangers in the body, enhances the production of the anti-ageing pineal hormone melatonin and is essential to de-ageing your body. loving kindness To care for the body, to enable it to continue to de-age, it is essential that we treat life with respect and care - something which Mitsuo Koda stresses in all of his teaching. This begins with caring for oneself. Creating a lifestyle where your body and your spirit get what they need to thrive - exercise, kindness, rest, stimulation, the rewards of being taken seriously and nurtured. This is something that most of us have to learn how to do. We are always saying `Oh I can't take time to meditate or do autogenics,' or `How do I make time to take long walks or pursue a hobby I love when I have so many responsibilities to fulfill?' The answer is simple and absolutely true although it almost always takes a very long time and a lot of suffering for each of us to learn it for ourselves: Unless you take care of yourself first, making sure you eat well and honor your inner values in the way you live, you are incapable of caring for others properly. For me this has been - in many ways still is - the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. Each of us behave unconsciously as we have been taught to behave. If our parents happened to desert us or did not care for us very well then we somehow take on their habits about ourselves and don't look after ourselves properly either. The only way to change this is through constant awareness and continued commitment to nurturing the life within us. This in turn develops our ability to nurture others and the earth. life begins today This is the first day of the rest of your life. It can be an exciting one no matter what your age now, what you want to change, and what dreams you want to bring into reality. Begin by making friends with the cornerstone practices of ageless aging. Use them regularly to make your life work better and enhance your capacity for joy. Finally explore what you love most and begin to do it - even if you can only manage an hour or two a week to start with. The American expert in mythology Joseph Campbell used to urge his students at Sarah Lawrence College to follow your bliss, and participate joyously in the sorrows of the world. It is great advice when it comes to de-aging body and mind. By this Campbell did not mean going out of our way to have a good time or chasing rainbows. Far from it. He meant being in touch with whatever is your particular, individual passion and then pursuing it for its own sake, simply because it brings you joy. This can be gardening, or racing motor bikes, going back to university, traveling, listening to music, dancing or surfing the net. The whole point about following ones bliss and honoring ones passions is that doing it leads step by step down a road towards personal authenticity as well as towards the kind of fulfillment that has nothing to do with external success or the approval of society. This too is like rediscovering the joy of childhood when for hours you could sit and perform a particular act or work with a particular skill as life unfolded moment by moment. When it comes to ongoing rejuvenation of body, mind and spirit, what can be better than that?

Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Release Tension & Breathe Vitality: Harness Body's Potential for Ageless Aging

Too many of us - fitness freaks and lounge lizards alike - experience our body not as a joy or a finely tuned instrument of expression for our inner being, but rather as a prison incarcerating the Self which cries out for physical expression but is rendered mute by walls of chronic tension, fatigue or postural distortions. Most of us live at only a fraction of our capacity for vitality and we have not the least notion of our body's potential for beauty and for pleasure. For exercise to be of real benefit it needs to be an integrating activity which draws together mind and body. We live in an age of aerobic fitness. Joggers pound the pavements summer and winter, dance studios brim with all sizes and shapes of sweaty women in lycra, and every month or so a `new' system of physical exercise appears on the scene. You'd expect to find the world full of strong supple bodies brimming with grace and energy. The reality is somewhat different. The fine muscle tone, buoyant energy and rich mobility of a coordinated, supple and responsive physical body is a rare occurrence in the Western world even amongst those who consider themselves most fit. Instead we are faced with contracted shoulders and sunken chests, distorted thighs and faces which have aged before their time thanks to poor muscle tone and flagging energy. the body as energy Just as it's important to recognize that the aging process as a whole is not only a biochemical phenomenon but is also dependent upon energy changes - structural information that comes to us through our food and our environment, and our mental attitudes and expectations - so a new approach to exercise is needed to make the most of its potential. Thinkers such as von Bertalanffy and researchers such as Szent-Gyorgyi and the American orthopedic specialist and expert in electrobiology Robert Becker have helped to create a new awareness of the physical body and the mind as a single complex. They have demonstrated that it is no longer enough to consider the body as a physiological and biochemical phenomenon alone. Beneath our physiology and biochemistry lies a unifying system of energetics, which is subtle and complex as well as enormously potent in its effect on body, mind and overall vitality. Becker even uncovered a second `nervous system' previously unrecognized by science which he insists controls growth, healing and regeneration of broken bones. This energetic system appears to be influenced by both our environment and by our thoughts. It is currently being used to explain such diverse phenomena as why acupuncture can be used for pain relief and how hypnosis works. So far very little of the new scientific findings about the body as a unified energetic system has filtered down into the awareness of exercise physiologists and teachers. As a result there are still a great many people for whom even a dedicated and dynamic exercise program followed regularly but mechanically does little good. To an unfortunate few it can even be harmful. To make the most of aerobic exercise for ageless aging, you need not gear yourself up for some superhuman effort. You only need to leave behind the mechanical approach to exercise which tends to treat your body as a machine to be put through its paces - and to get back to basics.

Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

Uncover the Causes Behind Inflammation & How to Avoid it

The most dangerous damage your body ever has to handle is inflammation. When your body becomes inflamed this can trigger serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance, and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury, and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute inflammation and chronic/ systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation, however, can be dangerous. It can turn into a festering fire that creates pain, illness, and disability. This is because your body reacts to chronic inflammation by triggering cellular and molecular distortions to pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body. This can bring damage to healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels, as in arteriosclerosis, or your joint tissues in arthritis, or gut mucosa and diabetes. It may even act as a precursor to cancer. When it comes to the treatment of long-term illness—such as heart disease—savvy medical doctors now warn that we’ve been misled. It is inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls and cause heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. So prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol and telling people to restrict saturated fats do not protect from heart disease as we’ve been told. In fact, statins, which the majority of cardiologists continue to prescribe for cholesterol, can seriously damage your health. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. As he says, “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority, often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong.” He continues, “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” So, what are the causes of chronic inflammation in your body? The most common causes include: Exposure to chemical inhalants and pollutants, and electromagnetic exposure to cell phones, smart meters, and towers. Another is taking long-term courses of powerful drugs, from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics, and sedatives, as well as drugs like statins and other pharmaceuticals, the remains of which can literally poison your body long term. Want to protect yourself from inflammation? Become aware of your possible exposure to these things and make changes to help protect you from possible causes. In many ways the simplest place of all to begin is by changing the way you eat, since the typical 21st century diet is right at the core of widespread chronic inflammation. Learn which foods are inflammatory in nature and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. Foods that cause inflammation, which you want to avoid at any cost, are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you;” all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population nowadays reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Buy goat, sheep or buffalo milk, yogurt, and cheese instead. Another category of foods that can be seriously inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods—breads, pasta, cakes, and biscuits made from common grains and cereals as well as all the common convenience foods that line our supermarket shelves. These are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers, and other chemicals that poison your body. And it goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods completely. Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements can help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs is likely to be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age.

Sacred Truth Ep. 69: Olive Oil Corruption

Discover the Confidence Game of Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Its Health Benefits

Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to find a great tasting extra virgin olive oil? I did until quite recently when I discovered a confidence game that’s been going on for years. Let me tell you about it. A worldwide adulteration of olive oils has been taking place for years. Extra virgin oils are being diluted, contaminated, and filled with additives, which destroy their taste, texture, and health value to those of us who buy them. Between 75% and 80% of all extra virgins oils sold in the United States as well as 50% of brands sold in Italy and elsewhere do not even meet the legal standards required for them to be labeled “extra-virgin.” They are being fraudulently diluted with poor quality oils and other substances from North Africa and elsewhere. As a result, many bottles labeled "virgin olive oil" contain very little olive oil. Instead, they are filled with seed oils like sunflower, peanut, and canola as well as liquid fats. These counterfeit oils are then deodorized using chemicals and heat to take away the rancid smells they carry. These processes kill off the magnificent taste of genuine extra virgin olive oil. They destroy this oil’s health-giving properties.  Scientists at University of California, Davis collected 186 extra-virgin olive oil samples from different countries found on the shelves of retail stores in California. Seventy-three percent of these failed to pass an authenticity and valuation test. They’d been doctored with cheaper oils, filled with omega-6s like corn, soya, and peanut oil. They’d been exposed to high temperatures, light, and aging. Some had developed processing flaws because of improper storage and their having being filled with over-ripe olives. With all of this going on, how can anyone find a true, top-quality extra virgin olive oil? We’ll look at this in a moment. In the meantime, there’s some wonderful breaking news about extra virgin olive oil—the real McCoy—that you will want to know about.  For many years scientists had assumed that olive oil’s greatest value comes from its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids. For half a century these people continued to promote the value of one particular monounsaturated fat—oleic acid—on the grounds that it can increase high density lipoprotein (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol, and decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) believed to be "bad" cholesterol. They were so in love with this assumption that they even experimented with it by feeding people pure oleic acid on the assumption that this would do the same thing. Their experiment failed.   Here’s the great news. Intelligent new research has discovered the greatest health benefits we get from a fascinating other source—namely, from the polyphenols that top-quality extra virgin olive oils contain.  How much do you know about polyphenols? These are naturally occurring compounds in fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, and cocoa as well as in extra-virgin olive oil. Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants, which plants themselves rely on to protect themselves from UV radiation and attacks from pathogens. They have marvelous benefits for fighting disease. So far more than 8000 polyphenolic compounds have been found in common plant species.   We now know that monounsaturated fatty acids, which were once believed to be of great benefit to us, come nowhere near close to matching their health-enhancing benefits. However, polyphenolic compounds improve LDL density, increase HDL functions, reduce LDL oxidation, and even enhance blood. So it is they that make unadulterated extra virgin olive oil such a blessing for our health and our enjoyment.  Anti-inflammatories, free-range scavengers, and some polyphenols also carry heart-protecting and anti-carcinogenic properties. They enhance the availability of nitric oxide. This helps prevent the lipid oxidation associated with atherosclerosis. Recently, many studies have indicated that polyphenols can work together to protect against diabetes, endothelial dysfunction, neurodegenerative illnesses, osteoporosis, and many other long-term diseases. And they bring these gifts without creating any known side effects. It's also polyphenols that create top-quality extra virgin olive oil’s unique spicy-peppery and fresh-fruity taste. Their presence even improves the shelf life of top-quality olive oils and helps protect them from rancidity. Try frying top-quality extra-virgin olive oil together with water and see how it goes. This not only preserves the initial antioxidant value of the food you’re cooking; it can even boost a food’s antioxidant content. Finally, if you want to know what polyphenols feel and taste like, then put a tiny bit of top-quality extra-virgin olive oil in your mouth and wait a few moments. You’ll experience a tingling at the extreme back of your throat. This is a sure-fire indicator that the olive oil you are testing is rich in polyphenol. Go for it!  How do you find a truly top-quality extra virgin olive oil you can trust? It can take some serious searching, but here are two brands that I personally trust, which you might consider.  The first is Life Extension’s California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Authentic, unadulterated, and organic, it is grown by a small family in Yolo County California. It is made from handpicked green olives within hours of harvesting. It has also been tested and found to be extraordinarily high in polyphenols—in fact, more than 600 mg per kilo.  The other that I use all the time myself is Bionaturae Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which comes from Northern Italy and is based on five varieties of Italian olives grown on a small family farm where olives ripen more slowly. Within 24 hours of hand harvesting these olives are pressed at a century-old frantolio where expertise and passion have transcended three generations. Of course all the olives are cold pressed, at temperatures no higher than 27 degrees Celsius.

The Power Of Myth

Unlock the Shamanic Wisdom of Ancient Traditions to Awaken Your Giant!

While giving a Shamanic Workshop I was reminded of a charming story about a guy who questioned a shaman about the aliveness of trees and plants. “That sounds like a pretty weird idea,” he said to the shaman, “How can you say these things are alive? If rocks and trees are alive then tell me what do the rocks think of the trees?” The shaman paused and looked out across the cliffs at the sea for a few moments, letting the question sink in. Then he turned back and began to speak. “To tell you the truth, I don’t think they worry much about them. After all the rock people know that the tree people are just passing through.” EXPAND YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS It was—and still is —the shamans who worked magic, the shamans who journey into numinous realms and bring back descriptions of reality that the rest of us miss. It was the shamans who returned from their travels to weave a mythology that inspired the tribe, one that made it possible for its members to make sense of their lives and their dreams, their aspirations and their suffering. Later the ‘shamans’ became ‘prophets’, and ‘seers’ but the sacred technology used to work their magic remained the same. As Joseph Campbell says in volume I of his Historical Atlas of World Mythologies, “It has always been the business of the great seer, known in India as ‘rishis,’ in biblical terms as ‘prophets,’ to primitive folk as ‘shamans,’ and in our own day as ‘poets’ and ‘artists’, to perform the work of the first and second functions of a mythology by recognising through the veil of nature, as viewed in the science of their times, the radiance, terrible yet gentle, of the dark, unspeakable light beyond, and through their words and images to reveal the sense of the vast silence that is the ground of us all and of all beings.” WHAT IS MYTHOLOGY In our own time the word ‘myth’ has been corrupted. You read the word in tabloid newspapers or hear it on television used in a totally different way to its real meaning. We hear a spokesman from some government when asked if he can confirm the story that his country will soon be testing a nuclear device respond by insisting, “Nonsense. That is nothing more than a myth perpetrated by our enemies.” The word myth in its true meaning does not mean something false. A myth is a story which has emerged out of encounters in numinous realms of expanded consciousness and which carries the unmistakable fragrance of what is true in the widest sense. It is a tale that resonates at the level of our soul, one which cannot be reduced to meaning by analytical probing, and one which, in the hearing, transports us to a place of knowing within ourselves that is undeniable. A culture’s cohesiveness is constructed around its myths. Our myths form the very foundations of our world views, values and sense of meaning - or the lack of it. If a culture’s mythology does not nourish its people, bring them joy and meaning, then it becomes destructive. Campbell, who was the greatest mythologist of the 20th century – probably of all time - describes the first two functions of mythology: The first is to awaken and maintain in an individual a sense of wonder and participation in the great mystery—mysterium tremendum et fascinans—which sits at the very ground of our being. The second is to create a cosmology for a people replete with mystical import that is directly related to the environment within which a people live so that a people’s lives have a sense of purpose and meaning. From the earliest of times the shaman has been the instrument by which mythologies, cosmologies and religions have been brought into being. This is because he knows how to travel beyond the limited realms of time and space and move at will between ordinary reality and quantum realms. AWAKEN YOUR GIANT The consciousness matrix embedded within us - the means by which such wisdom and healing and power has been accessed since the beginnings of human history remains intact. A gift once given human kind, it has never been revoked. In most of us it sleeps like a great giant beneath the earth just waiting to be called. In some it has already stirred as we explore the powers of healing and self-help through active imagination, meditation, yoga or prayer in our search for truth and beauty, joy and freedom. Now of course we no longer live in tribal cultures. The borders between peoples, between countries and between ritual practices have become blurred, and broken down. In some cases they have been obliterated altogether. Where our ancestors gathered around the fire of an evening to be dazzled by the mythic tales of the shaman and sink into the safety of a shared cosmology that brought meaning, television has become the ‘hearth’ around which we now sit. Our children are raised on the mythology of advertisers. They tell their tales with great skill and persuasion. Yet their stories, instead of nourishing us from numinous realms and empowering our lives, undermine our power and encourage us instead to place it in the hands of the commercial world that would have us believe that the only way we can be free is to consume what they are selling us. RECOVER YOUR POWER Yes we live in different times. Yes we have different challenges. Our concerns are no longer those of locating an animal on the hunt or performing rituals that honour the gods and goddesses asking them to protect our people through winter. Today’s challenges are far greater. How for instance do we move forward as a global community faced with progressive extinction of animals and plant species on a massive scale. How do we live in a world burdened by massive debts? How do we recover our own power and experience our own freedom when the very political and economic systems we have created are structured in a way that makes us feel powerless? And finally how do we come face to face with earthshaking discoveries and dramatic shifts in worldview taking place as a result of findings filtering down from physics, astronomy, biology and consciousness research? These discoveries are not only wiping out our trust in every religious, moral and political philosophy we once clung to, they are quite literally turning our sense of reality upside down while providing us with nothing new in which to trust. LEAP TO AUTONOMY For me the answer is simple. Yet it has only come from over 25 years spent searching, experimenting, learning, yearning, suffering and discovering: It is no longer appropriate for us to rely on outside ‘experts’ whether they be doctors, priests or politicians. We can listen to their words of course. But we can no longer follow them blindly as human beings have so often done in the past, fearful that if we did not behave like good children some misfortune might befall us. It is time we embraced our journey into individual maturity by learning to activate our own consciousness matrix. Doing so enables us to expand our limited three dimensional, five sensory minds into those of the multi-dimensional beings that we are meant to be. It is time we made the leap - each one of us - into our own power and our own freedom, to learn to build powerful bridges between the truth of our own soul and the expression of our personality. It is time we expanded our vision, helped to heal the wounds in ourselves, in others and our planet, that each of us explored the simple yet profound practices once known only by the great artists, scientists, and shamans and use them to become everything that each of us is destined to be. In the process, I believe, we will recover our power, experience our freedom and gain access to healing wisdom and vision of the highest order. Then, and only then will we be prepared together to meet the challenges that face us and take part in the communal process of reshaping our global future. FIND YOUR TRUTH It’s just that so far not many of us have discovered this. Ancient shamanic skills are surfacing in new forms. They are no longer the province of a few gifted people. They belong to us all. So let us pay respects to tribal cultures from the Inuit of the Arctic and Tamang of Nepal to the Sumatran Kubu and Native Americans giving thanks to them for having preserved living shamanic skills. Then let us then turn these skills - which belong not just to tribal groups but to all people – into power for life. We stand poised at a moment of death and rebirth. These are challenging times worldwide, of terrible suffering, corruption and pain. These are also times of personal transformation of the highest level during which we can choose, if we will, to expand our consciousness exponentially, discard self-recrimination and false notions and discover who each of us really is at the deepest level of our being. It is high time we restored the power of mythology in our lives, demystified the realm of shamanism and made use of its marvellous techniques to help us move forward into a new way of living and being. BEGIN HERE How do you start? Try this: Get yourself a notebook and write these questions then record whatever comes to you without stopping to think much. Just let whatever comes flow onto the page: By what mythology have I been living my life? Has it been my own myth or something I’ve learned from others about how I’m supposed to live? If so, what is my own mythology? Do get back to me about what you discover. I am keen to hear from you.

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 24th of April 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.59 lb
for women
-0.97 lb
for men
-0.59 lb
for women
-0.97 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 24th of April 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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