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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.

Secrets Of The Second Brain

Uncover the Secret of Your Second Brain: Perils, Intestines & Allergies

How much do you know about your second brain? Never heard of it? Most people haven’t. But so important is it to your health, ability to deal with stress, emotional balance and spiritual life, that it is essential you learn about it as quickly as possible. PERILS OF THE GUT Your digestive system is, in truth, a second brain. It boasts more nerve endings than the brain itself. Most people find this astounding. When we eat foods that antagonize these nerve endings, we experience all sorts of physical and emotional states that compromise our lives. If you have any tendency to gain weight, disturbances in the second brain will cause you to do so, and make it very difficult for you to lose weight. Even more surprising—disturbances in the second brain can create extreme symptoms in both adults and children, from disorientation and poor judgement, to deep fatigue, depression, anxiety, slurred speech and more. THE INTESTINE The intestine is porous by nature. A healthy digestive system depends on good-guy bacteria to plug any holes in the gut, neutralize toxins, and metabolize vitamins and nourishment from the food you eat. We are completely dependent upon a symbiotic relationship with these good bacteria to plug any holes in the gut wall, through which proteins—such as gluten and casein—are able to pass and enter the bloodstream. The proper balance of good-guy vs bad-guy bacteria in the gut creates a barrier against toxicity entering the blood to cause problems. When we have enough good-guy bacteria—flora—they enable us to metabolize and break down our food. When, however, we get an overgrowth of bad-guy, opportunistic flora, such as candida albicans, vast quantities of toxins get through the porous gut, creating allergies and other health conditions: inflammation on the skin, food cravings. emotional issues, which are not in fact emotional at all, but biochemical in origin and lots of other problems. What happens is that undigested particles penetrate a “leaky gut”, making the body react to these “foreign” materials—wreaking havoc on our lives. BEWARE ANTIBIOTICS How do we get bad-guy bacteria into our system? By eating lots of grains, cereals, sugar, and using unnecessary antibiotics. Antibiotics, which are far too often used, let the bad-guys establish colonies. Why? Because they also wipe out good-guys. When a course of antibiotics has finished, your body cannot re-establish balanced flora in the body. By the way, babies get their first dose of good bacteria while passing through the birth canal. If a mother has a history of taking antibiotics and an overgrowth of bad gut flora, then the baby’s body becomes colonized with them as well. ALLERGIC TOXEMIA Second brain issues were first identified as far back as the 1920s by the famous allergist, Dr. Albert Rowe. Clinical ecologists know very well that second brain issues are the most common cause of chronic fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, allergies and depression. It was Rowe himself who dubbed these conditions “allergic toxemia”. Later on, when he realized just how widespread negative food reactions had become (and they are much worse today, with all the convenience foods and grains, cereals and sugars we consume) he came to refer to second brain disorders as “allergic tension-fatigue syndrome”. Theron Randolph MD, another pioneer in the field of environmental medicine, charted a myriad of emotional and physical symptoms caused by eating foods with which the body can’t cope, and overgrowths of bad gut flora, resulting in leaky gut syndrome. Randolph worked with over 20,000 patients in a career that spanned 60 years, and published almost 400 scientific articles on his discoveries. CHECKLIST Here are a few questions you can ask if you suspect you are among the many who are unsuccessfully wrestling with the manifestations of second brain issues: Are you chronically tired? Do you struggle with your weight and suffer from food cravings? Do you suffer from chronic anxiety or depression? Do you have allergies, asthma, or eczema? Do you have a child with autism? DIET HOLDS THE KEY Hippocrates (460-370 BC) believed that “All diseases begin in the gut”. In the last 10 or 15 years, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, has made an in-depth study into the nutritional aspects of how the gut works, and how poor gut function seriously impacts not only physical health but brain functions for all children with learning and behavioral difficulties, as well as for adults who are themselves experiencing second brain issues. She has written a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which is an in-depth examination of how to counter second brain problems through diet alone. The book is very detailed and includes a number of recipes. I highly recommend it to anyone who suffers from depression or whose children experience dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, dyspraxia or autism.

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.

Ten Steps To Energy

Unlock Your Unlimited Energy! Ten Steps to Live a More Vibrant Life

“I’ve got no energy.” It’s the complaint I hear most often from men and women...an experience which carries endless consequences: feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and devoid of the sparkle that makes life enjoyable. In truth, energy potential is still there within you. It just needs to be rediscovered and set free. Begin by listening to the whispers of your soul, and the rest will come naturally. I’d like to share with you my Ten Steps to Energy. They work. For some they have even been life-changing. So let’s get started… STEP ONE—GET INTO BODY Did you know that how you think and feel are inextricably linked to how well your body functions? Mind and body are integrated through our nerve pathways, hormones and chemical messengers. The first step, therefore, requires a real change of perspective. Start to see your body as not external to yourself: but as the physical expression of who you are. Decide you matter. Decide that you have a right to energy. You do. STEP TWO—RECORD IT As when embarking on any new journey, it helps to know where you’re starting from. So as you’re starting the energy journey, take note of where you are now. Start an energy diary. Try writing down a few sentences about how you think and feel, where you want to be, and record anything you think may be holding you back. Form a crystal clear vision of what you are seeking to achieve. The clearer your visualization, the easier it becomes to make high energy a reality. STEP THREE—FIND THE DRAINERS Unfortunately, our world is filled with external energy parasites. Environmental poisons—like pesticides, solvents, estrogens, heavy metals, junk foods. Then there are the inner energy thieves: Negative emotions. Addictions. Low self-esteem. With all these energy enemies pitted against us, it may seem like an uphill battle. But don’t be disheartened. Once you have identified the drainers at work in your life, you can take action to fight them. STEP FOUR—DO A HEALTH CHECK Not only are there environmental and emotional energy drainers to watch out for. Biochemical factors may also come into play. These include things like low blood sugar; allergies; anemia; yeast infections; leaky gut syndrome. How do we start addressing these drainers? Identify and eliminate foods from your diet which are causing or worsening these conditions. You might also want to supplement with the nutrients or digestive enzymes you’re low on. STEP FIVE—CLEAR THE JUNK So far you’ve started your energy journey and dealt with the baddies sapping your vitality. Now is the time for bold action. It’s time for a detox—spring cleaning your body from the inside out. Over the years, a less-than-optimum diet results in wastes building up in the tissues. The energy expended on dealing with these toxins is less energy for you to utilize. So it’s time to clear out the junk. Quite literally, throw away all your junk food. Drink plenty of water. Try a fruit-fast for a day or two. Then you’re ready for the next step—making alterations to the kind of foods you were eating before. STEP SIX—EAT REAL FOODS Too few people know that grains and grain-based products are terrible for energy levels—especially in the amounts that many of us eat them in. This is cutting edge science—still ignored by the media and much of the medical profession as a result of pressures from Big Pharma and the multinational convenience food industry, as well as the FDA. Grains, cereals, convenience foods—which most of the western world lives on—turn rapidly into glucose when we eat them. This creates serious health issues: Weight gain in those with a genetic propensity to it, rapid aging, and degenerative diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. This is hot stuff, yet still largely unrecognized by most. A high-energy way of eating shuns them. It emphasizes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, pulses, sprouted seeds and lean, high-quality proteins. STEP SEVEN—EAT MORE SUPERFOODS Next, it’s time to acquaint yourself with some of Nature’s superfoods. To name just a few: Spirulina—seaweeds— chlorella, white tea, immune-enhancing mushrooms like shiitaki and maitake. Tap into their amazing power. You won’t look back. STEP EIGHT—GET MOVING Pick a physical activity that you absolutely love, and get into it. It can be anything you like, so long as it’s regular (done maybe three times a week), consistent (lasting 20 to 30 minutes each time), rhythmic, and uses plenty of large muscle groups. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few suggestions: Walking. Easily incorporated into daily life, and a great option if you’re unfit. Yoga. Incredibly adaptable and practical, especially for frequent travelers. Rebounding (bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline). So much fun, and perfect to do at home, regardless of your fitness level. It may be a little hard to get started, but once you do, you’ll look forward to it. Exercise becomes a reward in itself. STEP NINE—LAUGH IT OFF You’ve learnt the serious stuff. Now it’s time to start living with energy and joy. Laughter is a great way to start. It’s good for your immune system and your entire body. Seek out and spend time with the people whose sense of humor you love. Watch wonderful comedy movies like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger, Roxanne. They will cheer you up endlessly and help you energize your life. STEP TEN—LOOK AHEAD We’ve now come full circle. Go back to your energy diary and the questions you asked yourself in step two. Have your answers changed? Set some more goals, and be specific. Ask yourself positive questions, and record answers when they come. Make a long-term energy plan featuring aspects of the other steps you found most helpful. Remember, the energy process is an ongoing journey. And it’s an amazing one. Enjoy it!

Brush It

De-tox Test: 2 Day Apple Fast & Skin Brushing for Amazing Results!

Some of the simplest techniques for supporting your body’s elimination processes also happen to feel wonderful and can bring delicious relaxation in their wake. Your body is working hard to get rid of all that stored waste, so treat it gently and give it some attention. Your mind will benefit too. Your two day apple fast is a not to be passed-up opportunity for some bodily indulgence of the first order. Skin brushing is now frequently recommended by health practitioners and has a long history for health and healing in the annals of European natural treatments. It is a particularly helpful technique to use during a detox, and can do wonders for your skin used daily afterwards. Skin brushing acts both superficially to draw out wastes from the skin, and deeply by boosting lymphatic drainage (more of this later) and helping to break down congestion in areas where the lymph flow has become sluggish and toxins have collected. It improves the look of skin, helps eliminate cellulite, and tones the whole body. It is an extraordinarily gentle yet powerful technique, and it feels wonderful. Using a natural bristle brush, preferably one with vegetable bristles and a long handle (available from pharmacies, natural beauty shops and health-food stores), go over the surface of your body once with long sweeping motions. Brush across the tips of your shoulders and upper back, then down over the neck and shoulders and down the arms and over the hands – always working in a downwards direction and covering the surface of the skin once. Now brush down over the trunk and tummy and down the back until you’ve covered every inch of your upper body. Then, beginning at the feet, brush upwards in the same long sweeping motions up the legs, front and back, and up over the buttocks. Do this slowly and enjoy the feeling of having the skin of your whole body gently exfoliated. Always brush your skin with a dry brush and never brush your face. How much pressure you put behind the brush should depend on how strong your skin is, your age, and how much stimulation it is used to. Go easy to begin with. Your skin will soon become fitter and then you will be able to work far more vigorously. But you should never go too hard too quickly or you risk being counter productive and will miss out on the benefits of steadily increasing skin firmness and fitness. Skin brushing encourages better circulation, brings energy into ‘deadened’ areas of flesh, smooths and softens skin, and encourages better lymphatic drainage. You are also sloughing off dead skin cells with the brush, so encouraging new cells to come to the surface and make the skin of your whole body glow. detox test Being your body’s largest organ and one of the most important for elimination (almost a third of your body’s wastes can be eliminated through the skin), skin that is brushed regularly yields up the most amazing quantity of rubbish. You can check for yourself just how dramatic is the skin’s elimination of wastes by performing a practical experiment with the help of a flannel. Every day before your bath or shower, brush your skin all over for three to five minutes. Then take a damp flannel and rub it all over your freshly brushed body. Hang the flannel up and repeat the process with the same flannel the next day. After a few days, the smell of the flannel will be quite revolting thanks to the quantity of waste products that have come directly through the skin’s surface. Just think how much better off you are without them.

Dance - Vitality Reborn

How to Reboot Your Life Through Muscle: Overcoming Pain & Injury to Feel Alive Again!

The next time you have a chance, watch an animal move. The rhythmic lope of a wolf whose body almost becomes the motion. The horse in a field, tossing its mane, pounding its hooves and charging about for sheer pleasure. The dolphin who leaps high in the air twisting its powerful body before disappearing into the waves to emerge a minute later with yet another joyous leap. For many years I wondered why most of us after childhood no longer experience this kind of explosive, rhythmical freedom and energy, grounded in the physical body. Why do we often feel only half alive? And why do those of us who are women tend to look upon our body as something separate from ourselves, something to be criticized, judged, or pushed and shoved into shape, instead of celebrating its power and the joy of movement the way animals do? For too many human beings the primary experience of life is one of deadness. And since none of us is able to live with deadness for long we are forced to seek artificial stimulus through drugs or alcohol, compulsive work or sex - just to make us feel alive again. The trouble is, none of the artificial things that we turn to in an attempt to recover our aliveness ever seems to work for very long. Where does the real key lie? MUSCLE MIRACLE The answer to this question may surprise you. It stunned me when I first came upon it because it is so simple. The key to aliveness is found in the body itself. It lies in the same place as the key to burning excess fat is - in muscle. Your muscle is the engine that turns food calories into energy, burns fat and creates an experience of ongoing simple joy whatever you may be doing. Muscle creates the life-energy for you to think, to move and to feel. The power of the horse, the rhythmical gait of the wolf able to run on and on with ease, the wild playfulness of the dolphin - all depend on good strong muscle. To create a firm, beautiful, lean body for yourself, begin to listen to, nurture and develop your muscle. Your body is a potential powerhouse of vitality. If you want to access it, you need to move. People sometimes talk about the body as if it were a machine. In reality your body is nothing like a machine. A machine, when you use it, wears out. Your body was designed to be active. The more you use it wisely the stronger and more beautiful it will become - regardless of your age. I learned all this the hard way—the best way too I guess—but it wasn’t fun. ENDLESS PAIN Several years ago I injured my left leg badly from a nasty fall while walking down a steep incline to board a plane in Munich. The thing was running with water. Amidst a lot of blood and mess I had no idea just how bad the injury was until I found I was in constant pain and could hardly walk for weeks. This injury was followed by another nasty one to my right ankle, then another a few months later when I cracked my sacrum at 5am in the middle of winter getting out of a spa when I tumbled back onto a hardwood deck. Anyway all of this meant that I stopped using my body. In fact my body became for me a source of pain and fear, not pleasure and joy. Where I had once done exercise regularly for the sheer joy of it, I stopped completely—not just for months at a time—for years. I forgot what it was like to experience the joy and feel the sense of radiance I had long been used to from movement I had for thirty years adored doing. I lost a lot of muscle tone and ease of movement and I no longer felt the kind of vitality I had been used to for many many years. LIFE REBORN Then one day, for no apparent reason, I woke from my ignorant stupor and began to move a little just to find out if my body was still alive: to dance to music, to stretch, to cycle on a wind trainer in the garden, allowing my body to feel the sensuous pleasure of swimming gently in our pool or spending 10 or 15 minutes in passive relaxation on our PowerPlate. Slowly, steadily I began to come alive again. I kept asking myself, “How could I have forgotten how simple and joyous moving my body could be, and all of the rewards it brings when one begins to exercise, not because it’s supposed to be good for you - out of some kind of duty - but because you owe it to your body to let it live?” Anyway, I wanted to share my own experience with you and here is the bottom line: No matter what your age or how much you have neglected moving your body, no matter how much tone your muscles may have lost, your body has the most amazing capacity to regenerate and restore its muscles, its vitality and its capacity to provide you with the joyous experience of freedom which is everyone’s birthright. You need only to remember what is possible and begin with kindness and love to let yourself move again.

zazen

Unlock Calmness & Clarity with Simple Meditation: Counting Your Breaths

One of the simplest ways of meditating, this technique involves nothing more than just being aware of your breathing. But don't be deceived by its simplicity. It is a potent tool for stilling the mind and regenerating the body. And concentrating your awareness on the breath is not as easy as it sounds. You need to find yourself a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. You can sit cross-legged on the floor with a small cushion underneath you, or you can sit in a chair if you prefer, but your back should be straight. This straight-back position is a requirement for many meditation techniques, since it creates a physical equilibrium which makes calm mental focus possible. Let your hands rest quietly in your lap. count your breaths Close your eyes. Take several long, slow breaths, breathing from your abdomen so it swells out with each in-breath and sinks in again when you breathe out. Now rock your body from side to side and then around in large, gentle circles from your hips to the top of your head. Rock in increasingly smaller circles until you gradually come to rest in the center. Now breathe in and out through your nose quietly without doing anything to your breathing - that is, don't try to breathe deeper or slower or faster, just breathe normally. With each out-breath count silently to yourself. So it goes: in-breath, out-breath `one'...in-breath, out-breath `two'... and so on up to ten, counting only on the out-breath. When you get to ten, go back and begin again at one. If you lose count halfway, it doesn't matter. Go back and start the count at one again. Counting isn't the point. It is a way of focusing your mind on your breath. After fifteen minutes - sneak a look at your wristwatch if you must - stop. Sit still for a moment, then open your eyes and slowly begin to go about your everyday activities again. If you are like most people, the first few times you do the exercise you will find you lose count often and you are frequently distracted by thoughts or noises. It makes no difference. It works just as well anyway. Each time some random thought distracts you, simply turn your mind gently back again to counting the breaths. Distractions don't change the effectiveness of the meditation. The exercise, like most techniques, is best done twice a day, morning and evening. A beginner will usually notice positive results by the end of a week, but they become increasingly apparent the longer you go on doing it. Some Buddhist monks do this exercise for two or three years before beginning any other form of meditation. beyond relaxation Once you are familiar with the practice of deep relaxation or meditation and with all the benefits it can bring you, you might be interested to go on to investigate other, more complex forms of meditation. There are many, for meditation is not a word that is easy to define. It takes in such different practices. Some forms such as zazen or vispassana (sometimes called insight meditation) demand complete immobility. You sit watching the rise and fall of your abdomen as you breathe, and whenever your mind wanders you gently turn it back to this observation. This simply concentrated attention, which can be likened to the `continuum of awareness' in Gestalt theory, is capable of bringing up many repressed feelings and thoughts that have been stifling your full expression and of liberating them. The Siddha Yoga of Muktananda and the chaotic meditation of Rajneesh, where the body is let go to move as it will, are examples of this sort. They often involve spontaneous changes in muscle tension and relaxation and in breathing, and they demand a sense of surrender to the physical body for the release of the mental, emotional and bodily tensions. These kinds of meditation can be particularly good for someone with a tendency to be physically rigid. Then there are the visualization meditations such as those used in Tibetan Buddhism in which you focus your mind on a particular image, fine-tuning it to the specific beneficial energies or influences this symbol carries (the creative imagery techniques in the next section are also an example of this kind of meditation). They have been used recently to cure serious illness and also in the sports world to improve athletic performance. Another form of meditation is that of "mindfulness," where you go about your daily activities simply being aware of each thing that you do, as in Gurdjieff's "self-remembering," shikantaza or mahamudra. These are just a few of the possibilities worth investigating if you want to go further. Each has something worthwhile to offer, and the mere act of learning a new method and the set of ideas and attitudes that go with it can be an exciting experience as well as tremendously beneficial.

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.

Longing For Freedom

Discover True Freedom: Political Dissident in Concentration Camp

Far too much vitality lies stillborn beneath patterns of addictive behavior, fear and heavy psychological baggage—the kind of stuff we all carry around with us which thwarts our energy and makes life hard work. One of the most moving accounts I have ever read of discovering freedom came from a political dissenter imprisoned in a concentration camp in the early 1940s. He wrote about how he came to experience the true nature of freedom, creativity and wholeness while living in the most inhumane conditions of physical incarceration imaginable. He discovered his freedom in the only way any of us ever will—by coming to live from ever deeper layers of himself. Eventually, he wrote, the very soul of him and his outer personality became like echoes of each other. REBIRTH BEGINS When the distortions we all carry—the false beliefs, destructive parental training, or negative habit patterns formed throughout our lives—begin to fall away, exciting things replace them. Rejuvenation begins to take place—emotionally, physically and spiritually—liberating life-energy and shifting the way we look upon reality, all the while allowing us just to be who we are. Any pretensions or self-limiting assumptions we have been carrying no longer diminish the experience of being fully alive. This is an experience available to everyone and one which I have discovered often takes place in men and women on Cura Romana. I have given a great deal of thought to why and how Cura Romana’s protocol initiates an expanded sense of freedom and possibility in the lives of those participating in out Journey Program, as well as those who work closely with me personally on our Inner Circle Gold protocol. I have no definitive answers. But I suspect that it has a lot to do with a couple of things. The first is the intention with which you enter into and follow your program. A few people are only interested only the fast and effective weight loss as they begin. Others tell is they are at a place in their life where they feel ripe for transformation on many different levels. Meanwhile, many first decided to do the program for weight loss alone report that their Cura Romana experience has spurred in them a desire for expansion and spiritual deepening which they could never have anticipated. BIOCHEMISTRY TRANSFORMS The other factor, which I suspect has a lot to do with the sense of freedom that the program engenders, is most certainly the result of biochemical, physiological and energetic changes that take place in the body and the psyche as greater hormonal, physiological and emotional balance progressively take place in central parts of the brain. It’s important to remember that the diencephalon deep in the brain represents the core of the autonomic nervous system. As it functions better, so do sleep, one’s sense of self, and one’s view of reality on many levels. I always tell people as they begin either of our programs that it is time to consider what you want from your Cura Romana experience. For, like many who have gone before you, you may find you get a lot more from the experience than successful weight loss. Four years ago, when Aaron and I began to work with our Cura Romana programs, we would never have dreamed that the most commonly reported non-physical benefit felt by participants completing the program is an experience of expanded freedom. Many insist that, for the first time in their lives, a burden of “conformity” they long felt themselves saddled with has been lifted away. ‘I am lighter,’ they say, ‘not just in my body but in my being. I feel free just to be me.’ Others say that long-held limiting beliefs have vanished. Others report that their lives and the world look different now—‘like everything is brand new’. Freedom has always fascinated me. I love the smell of the word. I like its sense of possibility. I taste freedom when I listen to the music of Aaron Copland—music that could only have been written in a country that once had vast prairies and seemingly infinite wilderness. I feel freedom in my body when I run along cliffs in the rain. I rejoice in the sense of freedom that comes when, after hours of shifting dead words and sentences, something suddenly comes alive and beauty spills out all over the page. A PASSION FOR FREEDOM I believe that each of us longs for greater freedom. Rightly so. Like air, food and water, freedom is a human birthrights. Yet we often have little idea how to go about finding it. In the search for freedom, some end up sniffing cocaine or drinking too much alcohol. Others dance all night at a rave. A few turn to philosophy. Or maybe they head off to India or California to sit at the foot of some guru, hoping he or she will hand it to them. All these things—from rum and cocaine to raves and yoga —offer a taste of freedom. Some, such as drugs and alcohol, are more transitory than others. When they wear off, so does the sense of liberation they once promised, to be replaced by what I call a false-freedom hangover. Others run deeper. The taste of freedom they offer encourages us to pursue them. The move towards the freedom they offer may be slower, but the liberating gifts they offer lasts longer. What’s important is that every experience of freedom, whether temporary or long-lasting, brings in its wake a sense of our being released from imprisonment—our being able, even for a short time, to respond to life spontaneously with the whole of our being. ENDING THE WEIGHT STRUGGLE When beginning their Cura Romana program, most participants have been struggling with their weight. They dislike—even hate—their bodies, and suffer a sense of shame about themselves. These are heavy burdens to carry. Often, people labor under false beliefs about the impossibility of changing things. They can be plagued by frustration or anger. And—although seldom aware of it until this begins to change—they experience a deep disconnection between mind and body. Some feel imprisoned by cravings and addictions—not only to foods, but to other things too, such as wine or cigarettes. They feel themselves at the mercy of compulsions and unconscious habit patterns which undermine belief in themselves as autonomous human beings. They’ve forgotten that, like all of us, they have been born with free will. The most freedom-restricting belief of all is the notion, which many people have, that what they want and need can only be found outside themselves. This false belief, more than any other, is what prevents us from experiencing the depth and power of our magnificent essential being which enables each one of us to forge the life we want. For many, Cura Romana has begun this process. It is the satisfaction that Aaron and I get from helping people discover and live out their natural birthright to freedom that makes us so passionate about the work we do with our participants. AUTHENTICITY AWAITS US Freedom is a unique state of being. There is a boldness to it. You dare to say what you think and feel, yet you can listen to the words and hearts of others who think differently. It brings with it a sense that you trust yourself, as well as the Universe, even if you comprehend neither. It liberates you from the slavery of conforming to other people’s rules, imprisoning ideologies, life-draining addictions to foods that do not support high-level health, and from the crippling influences of negative emotions that may once have strangled you. The way in which such authentic freedom blossoms in each of us is unique to the individual and full of surprises. However it takes place, the freer we become, the more self-determining our lives become, and the more exciting. When challenges arise, instead of looking upon them in fear as crushing forces, we start to see them as worthy opponents. We discover that wrestling with them helps us break through to an even wider experience of liberation. In an outer way, to be free means to enjoy liberty of action under a government which is not despotic and does not encroach on individual human rights. More important, in an inner way, becoming free means liberation from the relentless forces of doubt, self-criticism and fear that we all inherit from growing up in emotional and educational environments that split our mind from our body and teach us not to trust ourselves. These environments tell us that we are supposed to put our faith in ‘experts’. They teach us not to honor the splendor of the individual human soul. They say that each of us teaches what we most need to learn ourselves and creates what we most love. This is certainly the case with me and freedom. The most important thing I have learned from listening to my own longing for freedom is how essential it is that each of us learns to live our life in authenticity right from our the very core of us. We come to trust ourselves and honor who we are without ego or comparison. The more we live this way, the more beings around us are encouraged to do the same. I’ve also learned that, when we become aware of the sea of powerful cosmic energies in which every one of us is immersed, it supports our individual journeys towards authentic freedom in ways we have never dreamed possible. GIFTS FROM THE UNIVERSE The Universe is filled with compassion on which each of us can draw when we need support. Each of us has the power to create whatever we want. Authentic freedom knows no age-barriers—no limitations. Neither is it the province of an elite few while the rest of us ‘get by’ hoping that a few crumbs of this precious stuff will fall our way—if only we are patient enough, virtuous enough, or spend enough money buying all the right products. Here’s the bottom line: freedom is free. It belongs to all people. The demand for it is encoded in our very genes. This is what makes us long passionately to discover it. Go for it. It may well be the greatest gift of all.

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 13th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.76 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men
-0.76 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 13th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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