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Green Power: The Power Of Raw Juicing

Green Power: The Power Of Raw Juicing

If you’re not yet nourishing yourself with green power, it’s time to take the leap. Green helps create vibrant health and dazzling rejuvenation. It costs little and its gifts are easy to access. If you’re looking for a simple but life-changing move you can make: go green. There are two intense substances which contain virtually everything you need to live at the highest levels of wellbeing. One is blood. The other is chlorophyl. These fluids are nature’s most potent carriers of the ineffable life force. Without them, no living thing would exist. They have something remarkable in common. It was Nobel prize winner Hans Fisher who first pointed out that the hemoglobin molecule and the chlorophyl molecule are virtually identical, except that at the core of this pigment that gives human blood its color and oxygen-carrying capacity, you find the element iron, while the molecular core of chlorophyl is magnesium. So close is the relationship between blood and chlorophyl that when we feed crude chlorophyl to anaemic animals, it can restore normal red blood cell counts within 15 days. Yet chlorophyl which has been chemically refined to remove its “impurities” shows no corrective effect on anaemia. On the contrary, it can poison the bone marrow – the site of red cell production. Green supplements such as spirulina and chlorella are fine – if expensive – but they fall way short of what you can get from drinking the life-blood of a green plant itself. Spinach, cabbage and nettle juice – all rich in chlorophyl – are successfully used to treat heart disease, gum disease, cancer, allergies, atherosclerosis and many other conditions – even depression. To make use of green power from plants, you need to go straight to the plant itself. Here’s the surprising news: even green juices lovingly gleaned from your favorite juice extractor fall short when it comes to turning your body on to green power. To create a good alkaline balance, rejuvenate your body, regenerating your life and make you look and feel great, you need access to the totality of whatever greens you are using – not just make your juice and toss the fiber away. Much like whole foods, superb, life-enhancing green liquids are only made through whole juices. This means you need to harvest their goodness with the help of a powerful blender – something I value so much that I consistently travel the world with mine. The fiber that is thrown away in ordinary juicing holds some of the most valuable treasures of a green plant. Ordinary juicing creates a fractured food, discarding much of the potent protection the plant has to offer against aging and illness by protecting the body against toxicity. It wastes a lot of the plant’s powerful anti-oxidants too. Get into whole juicing and you can toss out most of the expensive supplements you’ve been relying on to keep going. Whole green juicing does it far better. Fresh, green, organic salads are great. I love them, but the body assimilates many times more vital nutrients from whole juices. Why? Because, blending green leaves with water in a powerful blender breaks down the cell walls of the plants – these are some of the strongest molecules in nature – setting free their life-giving elements. This is something neither conventional juicing nor chewing salads give us access to. Green leaves are far and away the most nutritious part of most plants. In addition to vital minerals and vitamins, they carry traces of alkaloids in combinations specific to each plant species. These nitrogenous organic compounds of plant origin have important physiological and psychological actions on human wellbeing. Taking in the minute quantities of alkaloid mixtures from green leaves strengthens the immune system and promotes mental and emotional clarity. It even fosters greater spiritual awareness. Your supermarket, your greengrocer, and your garden offer a wide variety of green leaves ideal for whole juicing: kale, bok choy, mitsuna, lettuces, radicchio, spinach, turnip greens, grape leaves, chard, silver beet, celery – the list is virtually endless. Many vegetable tops that we throw away like turnip greens and the tops of lettuce are great for this purpose. So are herbs like parsley, mint leaves, lemon balm, basil, young dill and fennel. Best of all, next time you go for a walk in nature, don’t forget the wild edibles like purslane, sorrel, dandelion – both the greens and the flowers, chickweed, and even young stinging nettles. These free foods are wonderful sources of green power to help you transform your life. Just make sure you know the wild plants you pick and are able to differentiate their leaves from non-edible or poisonous species. What is the secret of making green power drinks taste great? You can add some fruit if you like, or honey or agave for sweetening. Experiment to find out what tastes best to you. Personally, I like my whole juices straight up, with the addition of a little stevia – the only calorie-free, natural sweetener in the world. It comes as a white powder which looks like sugar but is 200 times sweeter and carries none of the negative effects of sugar. It also comes as a liquid and in a green powder form made from the dried leaves of the stevia plant. A South American plant, stevia itself is an excellent source of green power. It grows happily in the garden or a pot sitting in your kitchen window. Just add a few leaves to your blender along with a mixture of edible greens, a few ice cubes and a cup or two of pure water. Blend and enjoy. Drink a couple of glasses of green power each day. It keeps well in the fridge or a thermos, so you need only make it once. You’ll be surprised at how life-changing this simple, inexpensive practice can be for you and your whole family. Kids love green drinks spiked with a banana or pineapple, apple or orange.

The Kronos Challenge

The Kronos Challenge

To ageless aging players, the most insidious foe you will ever have to pit your wits against is Kronos - the god of time. There appears to be no way to destroy what Milton called his `silent touches'. We can, however, go a long way towards softening them. As science probes the secrets of the cell and begins to decipher the genetic code, theories about slowing down the process of aging are rapidly turning into practical techniques for doing so. Researchers have already been able to do this for animals and in some cases even to reverse age-related changes. Now they can also double an animal's life span. The patterns of age-changes in humans appear to be very similar to those of the animals they are working with. the three faces of aging There are almost as many theories as to what aging is all about as there are scientists studying the process. Generally speaking, however, research falls into three main areas about which there is much agreement: `genetic clocks', random damage and the immune system. First, there seems to be some kind of internal genetic `clock' or `clocks', the control for which is probably centered in the cells themselves or an area of the brain, that appears to `switch off' specific vital functions at certain times. This could account for a number of `life events' that tend to occur around the same period in almost everyone, such as the way women go through menopause. Just where and what these age clocks in the body might be is still debatable. Once we learn what they are, and how to manipulate or to reset them, we should be able to reprogram predetermined occurrences so that our bodies age much more slowly. But there is, as yet, very little in the way of practical treatments or advice from age researchers on how to do this. The second major area of age research and practical methods designed to slow aging lies in the process of cumulative wear and tear your body goes through - the kind of random damage on a cellular level which is triggered by external agents such as ultraviolet light, air pollution, poisons in food or in the environment, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or simply the by-products of metabolism in the body. These influences result in the formation of free radicals - highly reactive molecules which do serious damage to the body. Alex Comfort once referred to these free radicals as `promiscuous' because, `like delegates at a conference, they seem to race around frantically combining with everything'. They are a major cause of `cross-linking' which makes your body's protein tissues age rapidly and results in wrinkled skin, stiff limbs and a degenerating cardiovascular system. About combating age-related changes in this area there is much information and even a number of practical suggestions of what you can do now. the all-important immune system Central to the whole question of aging is the third area of intensive research, which investigates the role that a gradually weakening immune system plays in aging. As you get older your immune system, which is responsible for protecting your body against invasion, illness and allergy, gradually loses these capacities. Its function declines and your body becomes more susceptible to illness, bacterial invasions and deterioration. A poorly functioning immune system is also much more likely to attack your body's own cells in error. This produces what are known as `auto-immune' disorders such as arthritis. When your body is not able to repair random damage done by wear and tear, you get into a kind of vicious circle of age decline where the immune system is further weakened. In turn, it is less able to protect your body from further random damage. A lot of people have come to believe that this downward spiral is an inevitable part of growing older. But is it? There are a number of very good treatments that appear to offer support to the immune system and prolong its potency. Some may even help prevent aging and repair random damage at the same time. They can play an important part in any well-informed bid to keep Kronos in his place. An editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association not long ago stated that, `Nature did not intend us to grow old and ill'. We are instead, it said, supposed to `die young in old age, but free from disease'. You can look and feel great at 60 or 70 and beyond; you need never lose brain power as the years pass. Time doesn't have to take its toll. how old are you? Not an easy question to answer. For, regardless of when you were born, you are at least three ages: your chronological age as measured by the calendar, your psychological age and your biological age - probably the most important of all. In fact, the latest research into aging indicates that the rate at which you age has but little to do with the simple passage of time. There are far too many other variables, like genetic inheritance, the food you eat, the way you live, your mental attitude and the number of pollutants in your environment - to name only a few. Interestingly, the things you do to achieve a state of high-level wellness and vitality just happen to be the things which many age researchers insist are important in slowing down body degeneration. But, some insist, there are a number of other things you can do as well. The most important of all is to eat less. Weight does add years! secrets of the long-lived Dr Alexander Leaf, from Harvard Medical School, spent several years studying three cultures where the people were exceptionally long-lived (some claimed to be as old as 140), but who at the same time showed few signs of degenerative changes traditionally associated with age. They were the Vilcabamba Indians in an Andes valley, the Hunzas in a mountainous part of Kashmir, and the Abkhazians in Soviet Georgia. They suffered neither tooth decay, heart disease, mental illness, obesity nor cancer. Leaf wanted to find out what these peoples had in common and to discover the secrets behind their youth. He discovered that they led extremely active lives, regardless of their age, and that they had vigorous sex lives well into their 80s and 90s. Men and women of ninety or more also spent many hours each day in physical labor - for physical fitness was an inevitable consequence of the active life of these peoples. They also ate a very low calorie diet. While the average Briton or American eats somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 calories a day, his Vilcabamban brother contents himself with a mere 1,700. Also, in all three groups, their diet was low in fats and in proteins from animal sources and high in fresh foods, a great many of them eaten raw. All of their foods were grown organically, as these people had no access to artificial fertilizers. They had never heard of sugar but ate mostly rough grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. eat less and stay young More than 80 years ago a researcher at Cornell University, Clive McCay, noticed that brook trout which were growth-retarded as a result of being underfed lived far longer than normal-sized trout. He experimented with rats to see what effect feeding them on a very low calorie diet from birth would have on their life span. He found that these animals on a calorie-deprived diet - which was carefully supplemented with nutrients so the rats did not suffer deficiencies - had increased life-spans. This was by far and away the most exciting practical discovery anybody had made in the area of how to make an animal live longer. But it was relatively useless to human beings since nobody would attempt to restrict a baby's diet in the same way from birth, because of the possible risk of brain damage. Also restricted animals are smaller than fully-fed ones and a small percentage of the restricted group tends to die very young. So for many years McCay's findings were largely ignored by those looking for concrete anti-aging methods. In the 1980s, however, a number of studies in the United States and Australia were begun into the effect of calorie restriction on life span of `middle-aged' animals - studies not begun on the animals until, in human terms, they are in their forties. One of the scientists who did much in this area was Roy Walford, a professor at the University of California Medical School and one of the world's leading experts on aging. In projects which Walford described as `undernutrition without malnutrition' - administering a diet low in calories but high in basic nutrients such as vitamins and minerals - he was able to add 40 percent to the maximum life span of mice and keep fish alive 300 percent longer than usual. underfeeding improves immune responses The exact mechanisms by which dietary restriction extends life is still largely a mystery. But researchers do know that a low-calorie-but-nutritionally-potent diet substantially improves immune system functioning - in effect, by rejuvenating it - so that signs of auto-immune responses are markedly reduced. It seems also to protect the immune system from the usual age degeneration an animal is subjected to so that its ability to combat disease and eliminate toxic materials from the body, which ordinarily declines to a level of 10 or 20 percent of what it was in youth, occurs only very slowly. Instead, the immune response of these highly nourished but underfed animals remains excellent. Their bodies, unlike those of `normal' aging animals, are able to repair much of the age-related damage that occurs at a cellular level and are prevented from turning against themselves. Restricted animals also show increased intelligence and have a much lower incidence of degenerative illness such as cancer and heart disease. What disease does occur comes only much later in the animal's life. And how great a calorie restriction appears necessary to bring about these beneficial changes? The diet of Walford's mice had been restricted by about a third of the calories they were raised on. Walford's work and the work of other scientists using calorie restriction has generated a great deal of excitement about what human beings might do now to lengthen life span and to avoid age degeneration. Many age experts have begun to recommend that healthy people who have already attained their full growth and maturity could benefit from restricting their calories to somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day (depending on how active a life you lead). But cutting down on calories is only half the formula. It just won't do to go on some slimming regime you find in a magazine, you need high-potency nutrition with it. Processed foods play no part in any such diet. The foods that you do eat have to be superbly high in nutritional value: fresh fruits and vegetables (as many as possible eaten raw), whole grain cereals and breads, pulses and seeds with very little fat and only moderate protein. Your food intake has to be balanced and no salt should be added to foods - salt is something that in animal studies has been shown to shorten life span considerably. Such a diet is, by its very nature, also high in fiber. Most experts also insist that you supplement your diet with a full complement of essential vitamins and minerals. is ageing all in the mind? Perhaps more than you might think. Psychologists have found that many of the changes that take place in our bodies and minds associated with aging depend on our `programmed expectations'. In our society it is assumed for instance that, at thirty the first wrinkles appear, at forty `middle-aged spread' sets in, and at seventy the mind begins to lose its clarity. But according to studies only 12 percent of the population has even the slightest predisposition to the kind of changes that result in senility; yet as people get older they become increasingly worried about it until they may work themselves into a kind of vicious circle of depression and anxiety which results in decline. How you age may have a lot to do with what you expect to happen. Change your expectations and that can change too. regular fasts can help too Periodic fasting of animals is another way of restricting calories which has shown itself to be useful in increasing their life span. This is a fact which I find particularly interesting because European experts on fasting have for a hundred years been saying that, done sensibly and regularly for short periods and in combination with a nutritionally excellent diet, fasting will make you live longer and reduce the incidence of illnesses. Roy Walford tended to be slightly more liberal with his own calories than sticking to a rigid 1,500 a day. But he then fasted for two days a week in order to end the week with the recommended number of calories. He claimed that a healthy normal weight adult will lose weight on such a regime but only very slowly until you are, say, about one fourth to one fifth of the weight you were when you started. Such weight loss appears to have no disadvantages (unless you fancy yourself slightly plump for aesthetic reasons) and indeed may be an important factor in the way such a calorically restricted, but nutritionally superb, regime appears to improve immune functions. And because the weight loss is so slow - it occurs in normal weight people at a rate of, perhaps, six pounds a year until they reach their `plateau' at which they remain - there is no chance of becoming flabby or tired from it. Indeed, such a regime tends to create the most extraordinary amounts of energy, according to people following it. raw power for youth A diet high in raw foods (where they make up 75 percent of the calories you eat) has quite remarkable rejuvenating abilities. It raises the micro-electric potentials of the cells, increases oxygenation and eliminates stored wastes and toxins which interfere with proper cell metabolism and cause cross-linking. It will also keep you mentally alert, make you lose excess weight and it tends to eliminate feelings of depression associated with aging. regular exercise keeps you fit Your body was made for use. When you regularly pursue an aerobic form of exercise, you help to protect your cardiovascular system from arteriosclerosis (which is otherwise inevitable) and you increase your metabolic rate, which helps protect against fat - a precursor to many degenerative diseases. Exercise also protects you from disturbances in blood sugar such as adult onset diabetes and from high blood pressure, and relieves many mental conditions often associated with age such as depression. Aerobic exercise improves circulation and optimal oxygenation of the tissues in your body - one of the most important measurements for health and vitality. exercise makes you look younger As far as good looks are concerned this increased circulation brings to your skin cells a better supply of the nutrients needed for their proper functioning. It also more efficiently carries away wastes, which can contribute to genetic damage in your cells, and to cross-linking of the collagen which produces wrinkles. Albert Kligman, one of America's leading dermatologists, believed that exercise may serve another purpose in retarding skin aging as well: if you keep yourself really fit you may lay down more fibrous proteins in the dermis, that deep layer of the skin where the structural network of collagen and elastin fibers gives strong young skin its firmness and cushiony feel. Then your face will preserve its youthful contours. Another way in which vigorous exercise helps to hold back skin aging is connected with the relationship between muscle and hormone production in the body. The amount of physical activity you get is a significant factor in maintaining optimal functioning of endocrine glands which provide hormones that are not only vital to youth and energy, but keep the skin smooth and soft in appearance. When you don't work out regularly, muscle mass declines. So does the amount of steroid hormones from the adrenals and sex glands - in direct proportion to the decrease in muscle mass, not (as was once believed) simply as a result of the aging process itself. Rebounding, swimming, dancing or running for 30 minutes or more several times a week can prevent these degenerative musculo-skeletal changes from happening and help you maintain optimal levels of hormones essential to skin softness and resiliency. When you are inactive, even for as little as 24 hours, your muscle mass starts to deteriorate. the exercise-age controversy Lounge lizards are forever congratulating themselves on the fact that they don't `waste their time' exercising. They cite well known studies which are purported to show that exercise will make you die younger. It's a great excuse. The trouble is that when you examine some of the research they refer to you find that it is all based on the popular method of examining death records of athletes - a method that is faulty in a number of ways. For instance, there was a study carried out at Michigan State University comparing 629 varsity athletes with 583 non-athletes, which showed that there was no difference in life length. Another at Harvard involving some 6,300 athletes showed that they died significantly earlier than the non-athletes. Their definition of the athlete was someone who was active athletically while at university. But the problem is that just because a man plays football or runs during his university career does not mean that he continues to exercise afterwards. Most athletes give up their training once they leave the atmosphere of the university. This was demonstrated by an interesting study carried out at University of Auckland in New Zealand. Looking at the training habits of 100 athletes out of season, Michael Colgan and his team of researchers found that only 34 of them continued training once the season finished. Studies examining the death records of former university athletes are of no use in determining what effect regular exercise has on life span. The only studies that are able to assess the effect of training on aging are those which attempt to measure how active a person is throughout his life, such as the one published in 1977 by Charles Rose and Michael Cohen from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Boston. With the help of relatives who were able to rate their level of physical activity from sedentary to very active, researchers - using the death records of 500 men - discovered that men who continued throughout their life to exercise in their leisure time lived 7.1 years longer than those whose level of activity had declined with the passing of the years. Other studies have shown that ordinary athletes who continue to exercise even as they grow old (up to 90 in some cases) show much less physical degeneration than non-athletes. They shrink in height only half as much, have a far better musculo-skeletal system, less body fat, and better heart and lung function. hydrochloric acid and aging A decline in hydrochloric acid in the stomach is a common event with the passing of the years. It results in an inability to break down proteins in your foods into their constituent amino-acids so that the body can make use of them for rebuilding tissue and making enzymes and hormones. This can be remedied by taking food supplements of HCL and digestive enzymes with meals containing protein foods. This is especially true with animal protein foods. diet, exercise and rejuvenation Not only can changing to a highly nutritious diet and getting yourself into a program of regular aerobic exercise help retard your own aging rate and make you feel great, it can also rejuvenate your whole body, quite apart from whether or not you choose to make use of any of the other anti-aging devices now available - from nutritional supplements to organic-specific antisera. Your body is not the fixed size and shape you may believe it to be. It changes slowly with use. And these changes can be for the better or for the worse. Most of your body's cells completely renew themselves so that the cells you have today are not the ones you will have five years from now. I have seen bodies and faces with flaccid muscles and loose skin be transformed in a few months by those two simple things, diet and exercise. They are far more powerful than any of the more sophisticated and more expensive rejuvenation treatments and really they will cost you nothing more than commitment and a little time.

You & Make Up

You & Make Up

Make up is the icing on the cake. Wear it if you love it. Play with it to discover new ways of expressing the many faces of you. When you don't feel into it, let your face go naked. That, too, is a path to freedom... the colors The idea that makeup color - say an eye shadow - is only to be used on the eyes, or a blusher only on cheeks, is absurd. Color is color, and it doesn't matter what you call a product provided it serves the purposes you want it to. The colors that you use on your face should all give support to each other, so they work together to create an overall effect that is pleasing. the whole process of making up may sound complicated, but with practice it should take very little time - no more than ten minutes from start to finish There are two basic possibilities: warm color schemes and cool ones. The effect of a warm color scheme on the face - which includes the earth colors such as browns, greens, beiges, golds, yellows, apricots, coppers, oranges, and peaches - is to enliven it, making your face look healthier and stronger and more glowing. Warm colors look wonderful on older women, too, because they accentuate youth. This is why some of the best foundations and powders now contain yellow pigments. A little peach or apricot blusher can make almost any face look younger, whereas bluish-pink blusher applied to a face over forty can age it drastically. The cool colors - the blues, purples, pale ivories, silvers, fuchsias, berries, magenta, blue-pinks, and whites give a look of delicate vulnerability to a face, especially when they are applied, as they should be, over a very pale foundation. But to wear them you have to have perfect skin and you have to be young; otherwise they can make you look tired, older, and even unwell. the moisturiser Every good makeup begins with a fine moisturizer complete with sunscreen lavishly applied over clean skin and then given a chance to settle in. You need to wait for your skin to take to the moisturizer before you put on your foundation, otherwise you will end up with a flawed finish and your makeup will not last. `Taking' time is usually between two to five minutes. In addition to the ordinary moisturizers, there are also tinted ones on the market. These products are halfway between moisturizers and foundations. They impart some color and also provide you with some measure of protection from water loss. They give a very light cover but can be a nice way of simply adding a healthy glow to your skin. Some of them also contain sunscreens. When choosing a tinted moisturizer, look for one that is not too far away from your own skin tone or you will find it doesn't blend in and cover well. A green moisturizer will soften a florid skin, toning it down and making it look more neutral. Green will also help conceal red blotches and spots on your skin. A mauve-colored moisturizer can improve a dull complexion and brighten the face of someone who is too pale. An apricot-colored corrective should be used only by the very few women who are really sallow. When you use a corrective, put it on with a sponge that has been dampened and then had all the excess water removed from it by wiping it against a towel. Among the tinted moisturizers are the `color correctives' - products tinted a specific hue in order to change the look of your own, natural coloring. They are worn under your ordinary foundation. the foundation Once your moisturizer has set, you are ready for the foundation. But why all over? Instead you can wear it only on parts of your face such as around the eyes where it gives a good base for eye shadows, on your chin,and on your cheeks. The advantage to this is that you still get the wonderful, delicate shading of natural skin, rather than that all-over deadness that can come from covering your whole face with one opaque color. Or you can wear two shades of foundation: a lighter one in the center of your face (on the nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin) and the slightly darker one of the same tone around the outside (near the hairline and along the jawline). This has the effect of preserving a natural-looking gradation of color and still lending the finished look of a well-made-up face. A foundation is not meant to give strong color to a face. It is supposed to be flat and neutral. About 80 per cent of Caucasian skin should wear one foundation color: a flat, true beige with neither pink nor peach overtones to it. It will look good on all ages of `northern European' skin, because it gives a neutral canvas on which to put your eye and lip colors. If your skin is olive or yellowish or very dark, then choose a foundation as close to its natural color as possible but slightly flatter. When testing out color, put it on your naked face and then again go out into the daylight to look at the results before buying anything. The kind of foundation you choose depends on what kind of skin you have, as well as on personal preference. Dry skin does best with a cream or oil-based liquid foundation. Aging skin needs the finest of liquid foundation. Anything heavily oily collects in the lines and makes you look haggard. Oily skin demands a water-based liquid or cream or a cake or block-type makeup. Put a little foundation in the palm of your hand and then dip the sponge into it and apply it to your face, brushing it lightly over your skin again and again until everything is well blended into your skin. the concealer Now is the time to deal with any problems you want to conceal, such as black circles under your eyes, or discolorations here and there. Concealer creams and sticks are good here, although some of them are greasy and, particularly under the eyes, tend to sink into tiny lines and make matters worse. Put your concealer on with a flat wedge-shaped brush and smooth into the skin until it blends perfectly with the surrounding areas. If you add a little powder here you will get just the finish you need to make the undesirable area fade into the surrounding skin tones. the magic of light and shade The secret of making light and shade work for you is simply to apply both sparingly and only where it matters to your face, and always to blend well into the surrounding area. Whatever part of your face you want to bring out or emphasize, you apply a light color to, and whatever part you want to minimize, you cover with a darker shade. Here are some of the things you can do with shading: To minimize a jaw that is too large or too square, apply darker shade along the jawline, blending it under the jaw and fading into nothing at the sides of the face. To shorten a pointed chin, apply shader to chin only, blending underneath into the neck and fading to nothing at the sides. To fade a double chin, put shader on the double chin and blend it skilfully. This will make it recede into the background and look less prominent. To give more interesting shape to a square face apply shader in the temple area and all around the jawline, carefully blending. To minimize a nose that is too large, apply shader in a single stripe down the centre of the nose, carefully blending into the color at the sides so that no definite line appears. To slim a broad nose apply a shader - preferably a slightly darker foundation or cream - in a stripe down each side of the nose and blend it carefully into the skin to make the nose look narrower. For most women, one of their best features is the eyes. Perhaps this is because eyes reveal so much of what goes on inside. Makeup for eyes should emphasize this and show off the eyes' beauty and color. There are lots of ways to use eye makeup to improve eyes, but all of them begin with the same principles. Use neutral tones such as slabby browns (without red tones in them), flat greys, and greyed greens, or even terracotta, for establishing the shape of the eyes (the darker shades to define the sockets and the lighter beiges or yellow, peach or apricot, or pink, on the lids and under the brows). All eye shadows are best applied to skin that has a foundation on it even if you don't put foundation on the rest of your face, and powder shadows hold best over a light skimming of translucent powder too. All eye shadows are best applied with a brush, whether they are liquid, cream, or powder. You will get a better, longer-lasting finish from them this way. the eyelids Apply the lighter shade of colored shadow you have chosen to the section of the lid nearest the lashes, and then brush it out, fading it away to nothing towards the eyebrows. Now you can have the darker shadow in the socket to define the shape. Remember that colors on the outer edges of your eyes will tend to widen the look of your face and open your gaze. Finally put on your eyeliner. A good way of emphasizing eye shape without looking too obviously made-up is to use a pencil in the same tone you are using for your eye shadow, dotting it all along the upper lashes and then just under the lower ones so the two lines meet at the outer corners and form a little triangle. This kind of liner looks good when it is gently smeared with a brush or fingertip to blend it into the surrounding area and keep it from looking hard. You can also use another color line drawn on the inside of the lower lid if you like. The other way of applying eyeliner is with a brush, in which case you use liquid or cake liner and get a more definite line. It is drawn just above the roots of the upper lashes and just below the roots of the lower ones, again meeting at the corner. Many women use black eyeliner, but usually a gentle grey or slate or muted brown is better. the mascara Mascara makes eyes look more glamorous. It seems to create an aura of mystery about the eyes when lashes are darkened and thickened. Unless you are planning to walk in the rain or to go swimming with your makeup on, you are better off using a mascara that is not waterproof. eyebrow sculpture Before you begin, brush them first one way and then the other to remove any loose hairs or makeup, and clean the skin around the eyes thoroughly. Now put moisturizer in the area, before you reach for the tweezers. Brush your brows into shape and take a good look at them. Start by removing stray hairs between the brows and the stragglers but never pluck from above the eyebrow. And always remove only one hair at a time, pulling it in the direction in which it grows. When you have finished with one brow, apply antiseptic or a simple toner to it before going on to the next one. This will help soothe the irritated skin. Don't try to apply makeup for an hour after plucking. the lips Most women tend to pick lipsticks that are too bright or too pink to flatter their coloring. There is certainly a place for fire-engine reds and vivid fuchsias, but for everyday wear you are probably better off with a muted brownish pink or a softened melon or salmon. Shop around until you find four or five lipsticks in differing tones that look good on you. Frosted lipsticks are for the very young. Older women are usually better off with cream lipsticks, since frosting shows up wrinkles on the lips and the see-through ones don't give enough definition. When applying lipstick, use a pencil or a lipbrush to outline your mouth first, so you get a good, sharply defined edge. Then apply your lipstick and blot it and apply again if you want it to stay. Alternatively use a pencil all over the mouth as well as for outline and then apply a clear gloss. It looks fresh and simple and the color tends to last. the cheeks The best colors for everyday wear for most women are terracotta, apricot-brown or dusky peach, because they make the skin look particularly healthy. Used high on the cheekbones it accentuates a well-sculptured face. Used across the cheeks it gives a simple warm glow. the powder A little translucent powder that imparts no color but gives a smooth, matte finish can actually make a face look younger. It is also an interesting effect to powder only parts of your face, such as the sides below the cheekbones, the nose, and the forehead, and then leave a sheen on cheeks and chin. Always use a powder that gives no color, just a matte, smooth finish, and always brush away every speck of excess once you have applied it. the finishing touches Last of all, after you have applied your makeup completely, you need to set it with water. This step is very useful, for it will make a face last far longer than it otherwise would. Spray your face with spring water from an aerosol can or with a fine mist from a plant-misting bottle. Then blot gently once with a tissue.

Autogenics

Autogenics

A thorough, comprehensive technique for relaxation and personal transformation, autogenic training - developed in the early 1930s by the German psychiatrist Johannes H Schultz - consists of a series of simple mental exercises designed to turn off the body's `fight or flight' mechanism, and turn on the restorative rhythms and harmonizing associated with profound psychophysical relaxation. Practiced daily, it can bring results comparable to those achieved by serious Eastern meditators. Yet unlike meditation, autogenics has no cultural, religious or cosmological overtones. It demands no special clothing, unusual postures or practices. When you practice autogenics, emotional and spiritual detoxification happens in just the way physical detoxification occurs on Clean Sweep Diet, and once again the whole process is generated from within. freedom from within Johannes Schultz was a student of the clinically orientated neuro-pathologist Oskar Vogt, who at the turn of the century at the Berlin Neurological Institute was deeply involved in research on sleep and hypnosis. Vogt remarked that some of his patients who had been subjected to hypnosis developed the ability to put themselves in and out of a hypnotic state - or rather autohypnotic, since it was self-induced. These people experienced remarkable relief from tension and fatigue and also tended to lose whatever psychosomatic disorders they had been suffering from. Drawing on Vogt's observations, Schultz went on to design techniques that would enable people to induce this deep mental and psychological relaxation at will. Schultz found that when men and women enter the autohypnotic state they experience two specific physical phenomena: the first was a sensation of heaviness in their limbs and torso, and the second a feeling of diffuse warmth throughout the body. This warmth is the result of vasodilation in the peripheral arteries and the sensation of heaviness is caused by deep relaxation in the body's muscles. Schultz reasoned that if he taught people to suggest to themselves that these things were happening to their bodies, they might rapidly and simply be able to experience a state of passive concentration, which in turn would exert a positive influence over the autonomic nervous system, balancing energies of mind and body, helping a person experience a high level of relaxed vitality and freedom from premature degeneration, and gradually clearing away negative thought and behavior patterns that have been interfering with a person making full use of his or her potential. organismic abandon Schultz discovered - as have many since - that in a state of passive concentration, all activities governed by the autonomic nervous system, once believed to be out of man's control, can be influenced by the person himself. This happens not by exercising any conscious act of will but rather by learning to abandon oneself to an ongoing organismic process. This strange paradox of self-induced passivity is central to the way autogenic training works its wonders. It is a skill which Eastern yogis, famous for their ability to resist cold and heat, to change the rate of their heartbeat, levitate and perform many other extraordinary feats, have long practiced. But until the development of biofeedback and autogenic training, and the arrival of Eastern meditation techniques, this passive concentration largely remained a curiosity in the West, where active, logical, linear, verbal thinking has been encouraged to the detriment of practicing our innate ability to simply be. Many experts on the psychological processes of aging believe that it is overemphasis on the use of the conscious will in the West that makes us so prone to premature aging and stress-based illnesses in the first place. get warm and heavy To help his patients induce the autogenic state, Schultz worked with the sensations of heaviness and warmth. Later he added suggestions about regular heartbeat and gentle quiet breathing - two more natural physiological characteristics of relaxation - and then went on to suggestions of warmth in the belly and coolness of the forehead. These six physiologically-orientated directions - heaviness and warmth in the legs and arms, regulation of the heartbeat and breathing, abdominal warmth and cooling of the forehead - form the core of autogenic training. A person learning autogenics goes through each of the six steps, one by one: "My arms and legs are heavy and warm, my heartbeat is calm and regular etc" each time he or she practices. Because of the body and mind's ability with repetition to slip more and more rapidly into the deeply relaxed yet highly aware autogenic state, the formula becomes increasingly shortened until after a few weeks or months of practicing you can virtually induce a state of profound psychophysical relaxation at will. Once you have mastered the exercises, they can be practiced anywhere - even sitting on a bus. balance life energies A key principle on which autogenics is based is that the body will naturally balance its life energies, biochemically and psychologically, when allowed to repeatedly enter a relaxed state. The benefits of being able to do this are virtually endless. Some of them come immediately - such as being able to counteract acute stress and fatigue, refresh yourself and clear your mind. People with high blood pressure who learn autogenics report drops in systolic blood pressure from 11 to 25% and more, as well as 5 to 15% in diastolic pressure. Brain-wave activity also changes so that you get a better balance of right and left hemisphere, leading to improved creativity at work and a sense of being at peace with oneself. Other benefits come more slowly over the weeks and months and years that you practice. Recoveries from bronchial asthma and a whole range of other psychosomatic disorders have been reported, as well as the elimination of self-destructive behavior patterns and habits such as drug taking, compulsive eating and alcoholism. As a result, autogenic training is now given as a standard instruction in Germany and Switzerland. let's begin The basic autogenic exercises are simple. Taking up one of three optional postures - sitting slumped rather like a rag doll on a stool, lounging in an easy chair, or lying on your back with your arms at your side - make sure you are reasonably protected from noise and disturbances and that your clothes are loose and comfortable. It is easiest to learn autogenics lying flat on a floor or on a very firm bed. Once you have got the basic exercise under your belt you can do it just about any time, anywhere, sitting up or even very discretely on a bus on the way to work. If you like, you can record the autogenic exercises that follow on tape very slowly and play it to yourself in the beginning. I generally find, however, that it is better to learn it very simply from the words that are in the box below. go within Lie down on your back in bed or on the floor. Make yourself comfortable with whatever pillows or covers you need to do so. Close your eyes gently. Take a deep slow breath and pause for a moment. Now exhale fully and completely. Let yourself breathe slowly and naturally. Feel your body sinking back into the floor. Now repeat the following phrases to yourself slowly and silently letting yourself savor the sensations of heaviness and warmth as you do. The first phrase is: My left arm is heavy... my left arm is heavy... my left arm is heavy... my right arm is heavy... my right arm is heavy... my right arm is heavy... Let go of any tension in your arms as you say to yourself: My left arm is heavy... my left arm is heavy... my left arm is heavy... repeating each suggestion three times. Continue to breathe slowly and naturally, remembering to exhale fully. Say to yourself: Both arms are heavy... both arms are heavy... both arms are heavy. Let go of any tension in your arms. Then say: Both legs are heavy... both legs are heavy... both legs are heavy... As you continue to breathe slowly and naturally, say to yourself: Arms and legs heavy... arms and legs heavy... arms and legs heavy... arms and legs warm... arms and legs warm... arms and legs warm... feel it Feel the warmth flow through to your arms and legs as you say to yourself: Arms and legs warm... arms and legs warm... arms and legs warm... Continue to breathe slowly and freely while you repeat silently to yourself: My breathing calm and easy... my breathing calm and easy... my breathing calm and easy... my heartbeat calm and regular... my heartbeat calm and regular... my heartbeat calm and regular... Feel your strong, regular heartbeat as you say the words to yourself. Continue to breathe easily and say to yourself: My solar plexus is warm... my solar plexus is warm... my solar plexus is warm... Feel the muscles in your face relax as you say to yourself: My forehead is cool and clear... my forehead is cool and clear... my forehead is cool and clear... Enjoy the feeling of softness and calm throughout your body and say to yourself: I am at peace... I am at peace... I am at peace... the return When you have finished the exercise you are ready for the return. It will bring you back to normal everyday consciousness: Quickly clench both fists, take a deep breath in, flex both arms up in a stretch, then breathe out slowly and completely, returning your arms with unclenched fists to your sides. Now open your eyes. Lie for a moment with your eyes open and just allow yourself to BE HERE NOW WITH WHATEVER IS, then get up and go about your life. When first learning autogenics, you will need to repeat each suggestion three times and the entire exercise itself needs to be repeated at three different periods each day. The best time is just before you get out of bed, just before you go to sleep, and at some other moment of the day. If there is no way you can lie down during the day you can always do the exercise sitting in a chair. If you are practicing in public such as on a bus or at your desk in an office, draw your fists up to your chest by bending your elbows rather than bringing the whole arm above the head for the return. autogenic triggers Before long you will find that even the simple suggestion "my right arm is heavy" will trigger the psychophysical relaxation process in the whole body. Some people get feelings of heaviness and warmth right away. For others it can take as long as a week or two of practicing three times a day for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. To everybody it comes eventually, and with it comes a profound sense of relaxation. Canceling the training session occurs when you clench your hand into a fist and raise your arm straight above your head, or bend your arm and draw your fist to your shoulders, at the same time taking a deep breath and then stretching. This trains your body to return to normal consciousness right away. Meanwhile your temporary excursion into the realm of deep relaxation keeps working its magic. autogenic training made simple Here is an aid memoir for practice. Repeat each suggestion 3 times: MY LEFT ARM IS HEAVY... MY RIGHT ARM IS HEAVY BOTH ARMS ARE HEAVY... BOTH ARMS ARE WARM... BOTH LEGS ARE HEAVY ARMS AND LEGS HEAVY... ARMS AND LEGS WARM BREATHING IS CALM AND EASY... HEARTBEAT CALM AND REGULAR MY SOLAR PLEXUS IS WARM... MY FOREHEAD IS COOL I AM AT PEACE the return: CLENCH BOTH FISTS TAKE A DEEP BREATH FLEX BOTH ARMS UP IN A STRETCH BREATHE OUT SLOWLY RETURN ARMS UNCLENCH FISTS OPEN YOUR EYES LIE FOR A MOMENT WITH EYES OPEN BE HERE NOW WITH WHATEVER IS. Repeat each suggestion three times, repeat the exercise three times a day. discharge the blocks Although autogenic training brings about a `low-arousal' state similar to yoga and meditation, where parasympathetic activity dominates, it stems from exercises meant specifically to induce simple physical sensations leading to a state of relaxation of a purely physical nature. The benefits which come with practicing it go far beyond the physical: in addition to slowing the heartbeat, reducing blood pressure, regenerating and rejuvenating the body, autogenics triggers changes in the reticular activating system in the brain stem which can result in what are known as `autogenic discharges'. These are a spontaneous way of de-stressing and de-aging the body, eliminating old tensions and wiping away thought patterns that may have been inhibiting the full expression of your being. Autogenic discharges can manifest themselves as temporary twitching of the arms or legs - much like the twitch experienced occasionally on falling into a deep sleep - during the session itself, or increased peristaltic movement - stomach grumbles - or various transient feelings of dizziness or visual or auditory effects. These phenomena are harmless, quick to come and go, yet an important part of throwing out life-accumulated, stressful material stored in the body or psyche. cleansing reactions A few people - I among them - when they first begin autogenic training, go through two or three weeks where a lot of old stress and emotional rubbish gets released through autogenic discharge. Old feelings of discouragement or depression, laughter or anxiety can sometimes rise to the surface. It is important to be aware of this possibility and to be aware of what is happening if it does occur. It is only the psychic side of detox that will help renew, refresh, and rejuvenate you, as old stress you have been carrying about with you rises to the surface to clear permanently. Because of this discharge phenomenon, some psychologists in the English speaking world who teach autogenics like to work on a one-to-one basis with their students in order to help them gain perspective on what is coming up from their consciousness. In Germany and Switzerland this is not considered important. There, autogenic training is taught as a matter of course both to adults and school children with no such psychological back up. The important thing to remember is whatever surfaces is likely to be very old indeed, stuff you've been carrying around for a long time and which you are far better off without. three's the charm Begin your practice of autogenics on day 2 of 10 Day Rejuvenation Plan adding it to Clean Sweep Diet. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to run through autogenics while you are learning it. Afterwards the exercises can be done much more quickly - eventually in two or three minutes if necessary. Rather like Pavlov's dog, who learned to salivate simply because the bell sounded and the food appeared together so many times, the magic of autogenics depends on your continual repetition of the exercise again and again, day after day. Once the initial period of learning is completed, you can then choose to practice the exercises once or twice a day whenever you like. In the process you will have gained a lifelong skill that is invaluable for de-aging the body and mind. Within 10 days to 2 weeks of practicing autogenics,most people feel a steady and increasing release of creative energy, and a sense that great burdens are being lifted away so that - often for the first time - they begin to feel more free to live their own life by their own values. It is rejuvenation at its very best. the zen of now There are two important aspects to making autogenic training work for you. The first is a real acceptance of your current circumstances or position - knowing that anything that you feel just now, whether it happens to be fear, anxiety, joy, frustration, inadequacy or environmental stress, is OK for the moment. It is only through acceptance of 'what is' now that we open the gateways to change. The second important thing about autogenic training is self-discipline. You need to make time to do the exercises each day and to establish a routine.

What Shamanism Means To Me

What Shamanism Means To Me

Shamanism is an ancient and universal method, using simple tools and techniques, for connecting with the universe—both seen and unseen worlds—and moving beyond the limitations of rational thought into realms of sheer awareness. It helps us forge powerful relationships with the world around us—both seen and unseen. It helps us rediscover our links with our ancestral energies, power animals and helping spirits, all of which can enable us progressively and efficiently to come into alignment with our own soul energy, our destiny and our place within the order of the universe. Shamanism is useful for healing, for creativity, for visioning and for nurturing all life. HEALTH AND SHAMANISM At its essence, health is nothing less than a process of unfolding which enables a human being progressively to become more and more who he or she truly is, and to express the unique divine spark of their soul more fully in day-to-day life. I have seen this happening again and again, as participants in my Journey to Freedom workshops apply the skills they learn to their everyday lives. I continue to marvel at the exponential growth that takes place for them. When core shamanic techniques—which are tens of thousands, more probably hundreds of thousands years old—are applied to self development and the expansion of consciousness, this invariably results in improved health, joy and discovering one’s life purpose. The way in which this happens is not through a steady process of change, but through a series of quantum leaps which resemble the metamorphoses of caterpillars into butterflies—or the mythological phoenix, whose body is consumed by a fire of his own making, out of which a new being emerges in full beauty and glory. QUANTUM LEAPS In physics, the word quantum has very specific properties; it means a bundle of energy. Quantum leap is the term used to describe the movement of an electron from the orbit of one atom to another in a very special way: It moves from one place to another not by a linear process, as we expect change to take place, but by a discontinuous jump. In other words, it leaves one place and arrives at the next without passing through the space in between. By doing this, a quantum leap transcends the rules of time and space, as well as negating some of the linear laws of Newtonian physics—which for so long, scientists believed to be inescapable restrictions of reality—in the process. CREATIVE ENERGIES The kind of quantum leaps in growth and total health I witness among those who learn core shamanic techniques, and then apply them directly to the unfolding of their soul’s purpose (like the quantum leaps recorded sometimes in the lives of great mystics, artists and scientists), are similar in nature. The transformations they experience in their lives are discontinuous—progressive ‘rebirths’, which cannot be described either by the laws of mechanistic science or classic psychological theories. They are changes that take place from within in an individual way—changes which do not depend on following any external set of values, or on following any religious or philosophical set of beliefs. These are changes of the soul. TRANSFIGURE YOUR LIFE Although the changes which take place in a person’s life from working with these tools are unique to them, I have noticed that they all have certain things in common. First is their discontinuous quantum leap nature. Second is the fact that the major shifts I witness are not simple changes, for simple change implies the ability to change back again to one’s previous state. They are true transfigurations, which can only be described as passages out of a more limited way of operating in and experiencing reality, into another ‘reality’ in which health, creativity, joy, and their capacity to give and receive love have made a quantum leap. This kind of change, rather like leaving the womb to be born, is a leap to a higher order of being. SHAMANISM AND ME My work with shamanism developed as a result of my immersion—for many years—in intensive shamanic training, while I was teaching courses in core shamanism in Britain and Ireland as Guest Faculty on the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. By then, I had spent some thirty years studying meditation traditions and methods, and experimenting with other techniques for self-development. My Journey to Freedom workshops grew out of my conviction that shamanism, properly taught and directed towards the expansion of human health and creativity, was the most efficient method I had ever found. Practicing shamanism demands two things: First, a clear focus of intention—knowing exactly what you are wanting Spirit to bring help with—and second, deep compassion for all life. This makes it unique as a spiritual practice. The shaman is a spiritual activist, and shamanism is very down to earth. Its gifts are immediately applicable to day-to-day life. It is neither a religion nor a philosophy. WHAT LIES AHEAD The shamanic process has been described by various cultures using different names. The name is not important. What is important is this: Each of us appears to have encoded within our genes the ability to access personal power for healing, wisdom, divination and creativity. Following a series of severe accidents to my lower body, which took place over several years, I had to set aside my Journey to Freedom workshops. I could not travel—for quite a period, I could not even walk more than a few feet, and then only with a lot of pain. At last my lower body is almost completely healed, so I will be able to begin teaching again before long.

Motivation From Within

Motivation From Within

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

The Mystery Of How I live My Life

The Mystery Of How I live My Life

I continue to be asked about my personal life—not only what I think, but what I eat, how I live, what I do, how I exercise (or not, as the case may be). This week I decided to answer some of the questions I get. HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED? I probably need a lot more than I get. I tend to sleep no more than 6 hours a night. I’ve always been someone who wakes up at first light. By now I’m so used to getting up at 4 in the morning that I even wake up at this time in the dark of winter. Occasionally, I feel myself wanting to go to bed and stay there. Whenever this happens, I do it. I’ve been known to go to bed at 7 o’clock in the evening maybe once a month, and sleep through till 7 in the morning. Sheer bliss! I wake up excited about the day—eagerly looking forward to what I have to do. This may sound good, but it’s a characteristic of me which many would like to see vanish. Most people need time to wake up. For some reason, I wake up instantly. And I am disgustingly cheerful in the mornings. I don’t know why. This is one of the most unpleasant things you can do to people who wake up slowly and need to be treated very gently. When my children were growing up, this was their major complaint about me as a mother. HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO YOU GET? A lot. I cycle on a wind trainer for an hour a day while breathing a huge bag of oxygen that takes about two hours to fill up each time I use it. Often used by top athletes, Aaron and I wanted to explore the values of this, so we purchased the system. We found it to be a remarkable experience. When you take in pure oxygen while cycling, provided your heart rate is above 115 bpm, the oxygen goes right into your cells and DNA. It’s wonderful. What other exercise do I do? I love weight training. We have a room in the house that is totally dedicated to gym equipment, weight training, cycling, etc. I do this not out of a sense of duty, but because I have the kind of body that needs exercise, or it just doesn’t function. WHAT FOODS DO YOU EAT? I do not eat grains or cereals. I never eat sugar in any form nor cow’s milk products, including cow’s milk yoghurt, cheese, cream (pity about this because I do adore cream). When you investigate what milk is like now, you will find it is nothing like the milk that our parents and grandparents drank. (I’ll give you some links to explore this in a moment.) I don’t eat processed foods or packaged convenience stuff. I make green drinks by gathering leaves fresh from the garden—kale, celery tops, herbs of all kinds—then put them into a VitaMix, and add a rounded teaspoon of Spoonable Stevia by Stevita. This takes no more than 5 minutes to do, and it is delicious. I don’t eat much fruit. This is because I was raised on junk food as a kid including massive bowls of Rice Krispies for breakfast smothered in sugar. As a result, I’m very sensitive to sugar and carbs, both of which my body hates—so I avoid them completely. We grow our vegetables and fruits organically in the garden. I only eat certified organic meats and poultry and freshly caught sea foods, never farmed fish, all of which are fed on dreadful stuff. I would not touch a GMO food if my life depended on it. DO YOU DRINK OR SMOKE? I had my first drink in a bar in New York at the age of 12. My parents figured I should be allowed to drink whatever and how much alcohol I wanted. This meant that by the time I was 18, I was bored out of my mind with alcohol. I also smoked from the time I was 14, because I thought it made me look older. When I was 21 and pregnant with my daughter Susannah, I looked in the mirror one morning, figured I was old enough, and quit smoking. After 2 days without cigarettes, my vision was clear, and I could smell and taste things. At that point I said to myself “Why on earth was I ever smoking?” Since then, I’ve never had a cigarette. I drink very little—perhaps the odd glass of extremely good wine once every 3 or 4 weeks, or one of Aaron’s delicious homemade sugar-free margaritas. (see recipe below). I figure if you’re going to drink wine, you should drink only the best. If you eat chocolate, you eat only the best and blackest chocolate in the world, and very small quantities of it. Then it is a great aesthetic pleasure. When we don’t drink or eat the best of anything, we tend to drink and eat too much. This advice also goes for the men too. Choose only the best. I confess that I have not always chosen the best men in my life. But most of those I’ve had close relationships with have enriched my life enormously. HAVE YOU BEEN IN HOSPITAL? Yes—3 times. When I was 7 years old, I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out. This was the general practice in the United States for kids at that time. Around the same time, I broke a collarbone, and was taken in to the hospital to have it set. Then when I was 21, I had surgery for the removal of a large tumor that had grown off my right ovary while I was pregnant with my second child. This is the extent of my hospital experience. One of my sons, a successful and gifted plastic surgeon, is constantly saying to me, “You need to get some medical insurance.” I always reply, “Why do I need medical insurance?” Over the years I have learned so much about creating and maintaining health from mentors and friends who were also scientists and doctors. These people helped me change my life and my health. I raised all four of my children with no antibiotics. When they were sick I cared for them in a natural way. I care for myself the same way. The human body has a spectacular capacity to heal itself when given half a chance. DO YOU HAVE A DOCTOR? This question often makes me laugh. I don’t have a doctor. Please don’t faint at this news. I did have a number of very bad injuries to my lower body, starting about 15 years ago and lasting about four years. At that time, I saw some physiotherapists and consulted a doctor who was an expert in natural medicine. But I haven’t seen a doctor since. I do not have smear tests or mammograms and never have. HOW ABOUT STRESS? Ah yes...I know it well. Of course my work contributes to my health since I continually learn about tools and techniques that can enhance my own health and the health of others at the very highest level. So in a way, my work only makes my health better. But I am a very intense person and can easily become stressed. I forget that I need not only to be dynamic, but also to let myself slip into the restorative mode. When I become conscious of this, what I do is curl up in bed for a day or two with a good book—or lots of great movies. I love doing this. Movies help me to shift out of an overwhelmed, stressed mode fast. Often they are even better than meditation. I also need to meditate frequently to maintain centeredness, because without this, nothing in my life works. DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN? Yes. I have used Environ skincare products for 25 years. They are nothing like the luscious, sweet-smelling sensuous products many mainstream cosmetic companies send me. Environ products are workhorses. And they deliver the support that they promise. At 73, I think my skin is pretty good. When it comes to makeup, I use Jane Iredale mineral makeup. I have found it to be the best in the world. I also use her stuff as protection from the sun. I won’t use sunscreens that get absorbed into the skin. Jane’s products are wonderful. I am totally devoted to them. WHAT NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS DO YOU TAKE? I take omega-3s in the form of Carlson Labs, Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon Flavor. I chose this product because I’ve investigated the purity of omega-3s and find it to be the most rigorously purified source of omega-3 available. I also take a daily food-state multiple vitamin/mineral called Source Naturals, Life Force, Green Multiple. I used to take Mercola’s multivitamins and minerals, but have recently become a bit disillusioned with them. I think he charges too much for them. I also believe that it is a good idea never to take the same supplement for too long. The body thrives on change—giving it new, good-quality food-state products every now and then. Being a total iHerb fan, I order these from iHerb in the United States and have them sent wherever I am in the world. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR BODY? What a great question. I think I am happy with my body, considering that it seldom gives me real trouble. I am able to exercise and work with heavy weights without suffering negative consequences. I do continue to strengthen my lower body because of all the severe accidents I had which for a few years created severe pain in my legs. I think I’ve never been as kind to my body as I should have been, given all the kindness that it has shown me. This is something that I continue to work on improving. I think the human body is a magnificent gift. My belief and personal goal—as well as my goal when working with other people—is to help bring the Spirit which is unique to each one of us, yet at the same time universally divine, fully in to my physical body, so that Spirit and physical body become one. It’s a process I call transfiguration. WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE The process of bringing one’s unique individual Spirit and into the body is what helps each of us discover who we really are. The more I can come to do this myself, the more can share this life-changing experience with others. This is my greatest goal and my passion. We human beings seldom come to respect and honor ourselves as we should. Another thing that I’m devoted to is finding ways of communicating the magnificence of the human spirit and the splendor of all life, even if we find ourselves in the most horrific of circumstances. I love helping others discover their own truth deep within and come to live life trusting in themselves. RESOURCES Danger of Cow’s Milk Products The Weston Price Foundation - Milk Mercola.com - Milk Aaron’s Sugar-free Margaritas It’s very simple: To a handful of ice in our Vita Mix he adds four jiggers of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 4 jiggers of Silver Patron Tequilla (never a cheaper substitute), 2 jiggers of Grand Marnier, a couple of jiggers of water and—crème de la crème—a dropper or two of English Toffee Sweet Leaf Liquid stevia from iherb,com (so much more delicious than the usual sugar or syrup, which is really rather revolting). He turns on the Vita Mix for 30 seconds while he rubs the rim of each glass with one of the lemon or lime skins, then plunges it into a saucer of sea salt or himalayan salt to coat the rim. This makes Margaritas for 4 people. Favorite Granulated Stevia Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling Order Stevita from iherb Most Delicious Liquid Stevia Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Add this delicious stevia to water, tea, coffee, margaritas, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order Sweet Leaf Stevia from iherb Favorite Omega 3s Carlson Labs, The Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon, 16.9 fl oz (500 ml) From Norway: The finest fish oil from deep, cold ocean-water fish. Bottled in Norway to ensure maximum freshness. Refreshing natural lemon taste. Take by the teaspoonful, mix with foods, and try it on salads! This product is regularly tested (using AOAC international protocols) for freshness, potency and purity by an independent, FDA registered laboratory and has been determined to be fresh, fully-potent and free of detrimental levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB's and 28 other contaminants. Order Calson Labs Omega 3s from iherb Favorite Food-State Multiple Source Naturals, Life Force, Green Multiple, 180 Tablets Source Naturals Life Force is an award-winning, scientifically advanced multiple, formulated with natural energizers and antioxidants. It is the only multiple to help bring balance to all 12 deep metabolic systems. Life Force Green Multiple delivers all the high potency nutrients of Life Force, plus 52 green superfoods: sea grasses, high ORAC fruits and vegetables, immune-stimulating mushrooms, flora, enzymes and antioxidant herbal extracts, for your SystemiCare health program. Order Life Force Multiple from iherb

Sensuous Foods That Heal

Sensuous Foods That Heal

Time to eat more! More what? More foods that heal. Organically grown plant foods, together with good quality fats and proteins. At last, the focus of nutritional healing is beginning to shift from an obsession with food groups, vitamin pills and much-hyped superfoods—from chia seeds to acai—for which we have been paying through the nose. Who needs them when so many delicious, readily available plants bring us natural healing phytochemical compounds. Their powerful, health-giving actions are well backed up by medical research. Get to know the health benefits of these easily obtainable foods. Make use of them and thrive. CRANBERRIES FOR CLEARING Cranberries are one of those wonderful red/orange/yellow fruits rich in flavonoid antioxidants and high in flavor. Native Americans have used them for centuries as both food and medicine. They have anti-fungal properties. They are anti-viral too. Cranberries, fresh or dried, also help prevent as well as treat many urinary infections such as cystitis. They knock out the Escherichia coli bacteria that glue themselves to the walls of the intestine and the bladder. An as-yet-unidentified phytochemical in cranberries prevents them from sticking. Cranberries also boast a natural antibiotic—hippuric acid. Eating them carries this little gem into the bladder and kidneys. MANGOS FOR DEPRESSION Mangoes have long been known as “food for the gods”. It was Paramahansa Yogananda who wrote in his autobiography, Autobiography of a Yogi, “It is impossible for the Hindu to conceive of heaven without mangoes.” He probably knew nothing about the biochemistry of this sensuous fruit, but he certainly got right its uplifting qualities. Mangoes are rich in anacardic acid— phytochemicals that bear a strong resemblance to drugs used to treat depression. This makes them a great way to start the day— especially if you can get them tree-ripened and organic. ASPARAGUS TREATMENTS Asparagus has long been used in ayurvedic medicine as a remedy against indigestion. Not long ago, researchers compared the therapeutic effect of asparagus with a commonly-used drug in the prevention of nausea and hiatus hernia, heartburn and gastric acid reflux. They found that asparagus was just as effective as the common drug remedy, yet it had no side effects. Asparagus also boasts excellent diuretic properties, too. It stimulates the digestion and is used to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis. A member of the lily family, asparagus was used by the ancient Greeks to treat kidney and liver troubles. It is one of the best natural remedies for PMS-related bloating and is a top source of folic acid, the antioxidant glutathione, and vitamin C. All three are associated with a reduced risk of cancer and a myriad of age-related degenerative conditions. FENNEL FOR PMS As well as containing potassium, fennel (bulb fennel) is full of phytoestrogens. These are the natural plant hormones which help protect from the onslaught of dangerous estrogens in the environment and from the negative effects of estrogen-based drugs, which continue to be doled out far too often to women. As a result, fennel is useful not only in helping to regulate menstruation, but also in calming PMS. It even stimulates the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers. When you buy fennel, look for the fattest stems—they have more flavor and contain more phytohormones. PEPPERS FOR ANTI-AGING Peppers go back at least 7000 years in their many forms: bell peppers, pimentos, cherry peppers, paprika, piquin, Anaheim, jalapeno, chili, cayenne and aji, to name a few. They became part of European fare when Columbus returned from the New World and introduced them to the court. By the mid-seventeenth century they were widely cultivated in Spain and Portugal. All peppers are rich in vitamins C and E and the carotenoids to help protect against degeneration and the damaging effects of toxic chemicals in the environment. The hotter peppers are rich in an alkaloid called capsaicin, which is known to decrease pain, enhance digestion, detoxify the body and protect it from ‘flu and colds. Eat peppers raw as crudités, bake them and add them to stews and soups. Their magnificent color and health-enhancing capacities are a wonder to behold. BASIL FOR SOOTHING Basil has remarkable healing properties. It calms the stomach and brings a calming quality to the whole body. Basil is rich in monoterpenes. These are phytonutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. It also contains lots more plant chemicals, which soothe stomach cramps and quiet upset stomachs, including eugenol—known for its ability to ease muscle spasms. Finally, basil is both antiseptic and mildly sedative. CHILIES FOR PAIN Most people think of chilies think in terms of herbs and spices, not of health. But chilies are a great addition to any health-enhancing diet, even in the smallest doses. One small chili boasts one hundred percent of the daily recommended dose of the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as nearly two hundred percent of vitamin C. These nutrients help fight free radicals and therefore help protect against heart disease, cancer and early aging. They also strengthen immunity. In addition, chilies contain a plant chemical called capsaicin, which helps prevent cholesterol issues. Throughout history, chilies have been used to relieve pain. Recent research shows capsaicin can temporarily block chemically transmitted pain signals in the body. That’s why you find it in natural ointments useful for relieving arthritis and nerve pain. You’ll even find it in nose sprays for clearing headaches. There is good evidence that capsaicin may also soothe pains of the mind and soul, since it triggers the release of mood enhancing endorphins by the brain. GINGER FOR PMS The spicy, sweet ginger root is one of the greatest of all the natural health supports from the vegetable kingdom. It’s well known for its ability to calm an upset stomach and banish travel sickness. It is also brilliant at alleviating the symptoms of colds and flu by increasing circulation and calming fevers. It even eases PMS and headaches and has heart-protecting properties thanks to its ability to discourage the clumping of blood cells. To prevent or clear nausea you can use half a teaspoon of dried ginger or a tiny piece of fresh ginger. It relives indigestion and flatulence. Ginger stimulates circulation, and is used in natural medicine to counter rheumatism. In a study done in Denmark in 1992, researchers confirmed what ayurvedic practitioners have long known—that ginger relieves the pain of arthritis and rheumatism without side effects. Many scientists studying this amazing root believe that ginger works its wonders in no small part thanks to an ability to block inflammatory tendencies in the body. ROSEMARY FOR SORE MUSCLES Rosemary has a natural ability to soften the skin. When used in a carrier cream and rubbed on the body, its essential oils are a great help in relieving muscular soreness. But what I like best about rosemary is the way it revitalizes the senses through its pungent odor and taste. GREEN LIPS FOR INFLAMMATION With their beautiful blue-green shells, these sea gems—when harvested from unpolluted water—are not only a highly nutritious form of protein. They are rich in vitamins and trace minerals. In addition, green-lipped mussels are a great source of mucopolysaccharides and the free radical scavenging enzyme superoxide dismutase. Extracts of green-lipped muscle have been used successfully to treat inflammatory diseases from rheumatoid arthritis to osteoarthritis to eczema and emphysema. But eating them is even better than using extracts. Recently, they have even taken their place in the growing arsenal of natural cancer treatments. Always eat them cooked. MEET GOOD MEAT The problem with domestic meats is that, in many countries, most of them are laden with hormones, toxins and antibiotics. When you routinely eat non-organic meat, you can end up not only with a high level of uric acid in your body, but a tendency to form a lot of mucus and to build up toxic chemicals in the body, including hormones and antibiotics. This is why I buy only certified organic meat. The difference in flavor is remarkable, and I know that the animals I am eating have been carefully raised and are free of both excess fat and the toxicity that most domestic farm animals carry these days. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY I was a vegetarian for twenty years. I believe that a vegetarian diet is ideal for many people. I discovered in my mid-thirties, however, that vegetarianism was not ideal for me—probably because my ancestors, being Nordic, spent most of their lives living on fish, salted meat and whatever vegetables they could dig up from the frozen tundra. Our genetic make-up determines to a great extent what works for us and what doesn’t. When I added fish and game to my meals, my energy levels soared and I looked and felt better. Each one of us is unique. This not only determines what kind of foods we thrive on, it also determines what kinds of foods are best for us at any particular time of our life. For instance, many women at menopause find they do better by cutting meat out of their diet. Others discover just the opposite—that they need more protein. It’s a question of ‘suck it and see’. Don’t hesitate to shift from eating more vegetables at one time of your life to more fruit at another, and more fish at another. The human body is always changing, as are our needs for various foods. The magnificent variety of organically-grown, healing and health-enhancing foods to choose from makes the process of finding which foods serve you best a sensuous delight.

Moon & Ovarian Cycle Rites

Moon & Ovarian Cycle Rites

Quite literally, the menses is the period of waxing and waning between one new moon and the next. Once menstruation begins at puberty, which is a woman's first rite of passage, the ebbs and flows which her body goes through each month are the stuff of which the second movement in her life's hormonal symphony is made. This part of her life has one major goal - childbearing. Its success depends greatly upon the two major steroids - the oestrogens and progesterone - working in close communication with her body's major control centers, the pituitary and hypothalamus. Only since the late nineteenth century have women's menstrual cycles - the menses - been investigated scientifically. The name menses also comes from a Greek word - meaning `month'. It in turn is derived from an even older word meaning `moon'. master controls A neural nuclei in the limbic brain, the hypothalamus, is the control center for homeostasis. It balances and oversees biochemical and energetic changes throughout the body. The limbic system in which it sits is the most primitive part of the brain. It is the part which deals with emotions and with our sense of smell, with our passions, and with all the unconscious interfaces that take place between mind and body. The actions of the limbic lie beneath the level of the thinking mind. This is one of the reasons that the hypothalamus is often referred to as the `seat of emotions'. When excited, the hypothalamus triggers desire - for food, for water, for adventure, for sex. Its actions can also be influenced by inhibitory thought patterns. In a woman frightened of becoming pregnant, for instance, the fear itself - via the hypothalamus - can dampen sexual desire or even disrupt menstrual cycles so she remains barren. The hypothalamus also responds to alterations in the electric and magnetic fields of the earth and of moon, and to other planetary events, as well as to electromagnetic pollution in our environment and the positive stimulus of energy medicine. It reacts to bodily changes that take place as a result of meditation, and its activities are influenced by spiritual practices - which is a major reason why women who meditate regularly tend to develop greater emotional balance, as well as why repeated experiences of joy or stillness can dramatically improve various female complaints such as PMS and hot flushes in both menstruating and menopausal women. sacred cycles There are three main branches of the female endocrine system involved in menstruation. The first is the master gland, the hypothalamus. It releases gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). The second is the anterior pituitary, which releases follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) - both of which are secreted in response to GnRH from the hypothalamus. The third is made up of the oestrogens and progesterone which, during a woman's non-pregnant childbearing years, are secreted by the ovaries in response to FSH and LH. It is the symphony of interactions and feedback mechanisms between these three branches that bring about the blood ritual of menstruation. All of the hormones released during a menstrual cycle are secreted not in a constant, steady way, but at dramatically different rates during different parts of the 28 day period; a cycle which like everything else in a natural world involves birth, maturation, and death, only to lead to new birth again - in this case, of the egg a woman's body produces. Menstruation itself is simply the elimination of the thickened blood and blood filled endometrium in the womb - the lining developed in preparation for a possible pregnancy. For when a pregnancy does not occur, this lining is shed at monthly intervals under the control of oestrogen and progesterone with a little help from their friends GnRH, FSH, and LH. When ovaries are not stimulated by the gonadotrophic hormones from the pituitary, they remain asleep, as they were during childhood and as they become again after menopause. For the first 8 to 11 days of the menstrual cycle, a woman's ovaries make lots of oestrogen. Within the ovary itself are little things called follicles - partially developed eggs. One of these will be released each month in hopes of meeting up with the sperm and creating an embryo. It is oestrogen which prepares the bloody lining of the uterus and causes the follicle to develop in the ovary, bringing it to the surface of the ovary and preparing for the release of one of the eggs. The word oestrogen, like the hormones produced in a woman's body which belong to this family - oestrone, oestradiol, and oestriol - comes from oestrus, a Greek word meaning `frenzy', `heat', or `fertility'. It is oestrogen which proliferates the changes that take place at puberty - the growth of breasts, the development of a girl's reproductive system, the reshaping of a woman's body. It also alters your vaginal secretions, making them more viscous and less watery, and it causes your body's temperature to rise at the time of ovulation, by about one degree. Each girl baby is born with all the primary follicles she will ever need. At the time of puberty, a girl's ovaries contain about 300,000 of these follicles. And while each woman only produces one or two fully developed eggs each month, somewhere between 100 and 300 follicles have to start developing in order for one to become fully grown, so a woman can lose between 100 to 300 follicles a month. However, since she started with 300,000, she will have enough to last all her reproductive life. On day one of each monthly cycle - that is, the day of the onset of menstruation - first the production of FSH and then of LH increases. This increase in hormones from the anterior pituitary triggers a group of ovarian follicles each month, causing accelerated growth in the cells surrounding them. As cells around the eggs grow, they secrete a follicular fluid which contains a high concentration of the oestrogen oestradiol to bring about many other changes, developing the potential of one of the follicles so that it becomes capable of being fertilized by the male sperm. It is not the oestradiol alone secreted by the follicle which brings about the maturation of the egg, however. Luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary continues to be secreted to help the process along until after a week or more, when one of the follicles outgrows all of the rest. This is the one that will become the female egg ready for impregnation. The remainder of the follicles now begin to involute. LH becomes particularly important at this stage in order for the final follicular growth to be completed and ovulation itself to occur - that is, the release of the egg into the fallopian tubes for its journey down into the uterus. So the rate of secretion of LH by the anterior pituitary increases markedly, rising 6 or 10 times then peaking about 18 hours before ovulation - the release of the egg into the fallopian tubes for its journey down into the uterus. The production of FSH also increases at this time, and these two hormones act together to cause a swelling of the follicle during several days before ovulation. Finally ovulation takes place usually around the fourteenth day, in the middle of your cycle. enter progesterone LH also alters the cells around the egg follicle, so that now they secrete less oestradiol, but progressively rising amounts of progesterone. This means that the rate of oestrogen secretion begins to fall about day thirteen, one day before ovulation occurs. But as small amounts of progesterone begin to be secreted, very rapid growth of the follicle takes place. Beginning with this secretion of progesterone, ovulation occurs too, triggered yet again by the luteinizing hormone from the anterior pituitary. During the first few hours after the ovum has been expelled from the follicle, more and more rapid physical and chemical changes take place to the egg in a process called luteinization. At this stage - known as the luteal stage of a woman's cycle - the follicle becomes known as the corpus luteum, or yellow body. The cells around the egg begin to secrete larger quantities of progesterone, as the level of oestrogen decreases. Some of the cells around the egg become much enlarged. They develop inclusions of lipids or fats which give them their distinctive yellow color. From now on, development becomes rapid until seven or eight days after ovulation, when it peaks. As soon as a follicle releases an egg, the ovary switches over from pumping out oestrogen to primarily making progesterone. Progesterone is only synthesized when you ovulate. In fact, ovulation changes the whole ball game. No longer is there a need for further build up of the womb lining. The challenge now is to hold on to the secretory endometrium, and to render it capable of nurturing a fertilized egg long enough for it to grow into a baby. That is progesterone's task. The progesterone released with the egg has a negative effect on the other ovary. Its release tells the other ovary: "Hey, we've got an egg out now, so you don't have to worry about producing any." For even though women have two ovaries, they usually produce only one egg a month. The business of fraternal twins - that is, both ovaries releasing an egg at the same time - only happens once every three hundred months, which is why fraternal twins are so rare. The corpus luteum, which forms each month, is a tiny organ with a huge capacity for hormone production. It releases large quantities of progesterone, plus some oestrogen, which cause a feedback decrease in the secretion of FSH and LH by the anterior pituitary, so that no new follicles begin to grow. But as soon as the corpus luteum degenerates at the end of its 12 day life - which is about the 26th day of the female sexual cycle - this lack of feedback triggers the anterior pituitary gland to secrete several times as much FSH, followed a few days later by more LH as well. This in turn stimulates the growth of new follicles to begin the next ovarian cycle. And at the same time, a fall in progesterone and in oestrogen secretion trigger menstruation. peaks and falls From day 1 until about day 13 of a woman's menstrual cycle, the level of progesterone in her body is very, very low. Yet the point at which a follicle is released, it continues to rise dramatically until day 21 to 23, at which point it begins to fall down again to its lowest level, as menstruation begins around day 28. In addition to maintaining the endometrium and shifting down activity in the other ovary, the progesterone provided each month travels to other parts of a woman's body to fulfill other roles. It protects her from the side-effects of oestrogen for one thing, helping to protect her from getting breast cancer, from retaining water and salt, from high blood pressure, and from becoming depressed. Progesterone also brings surges of libido. You still hear a few so called experts say that oestrogen increases libido. But think about it. Which hormone would you rely on for sex-drive - oestrogen, which is present before the egg is made, or progesterone, which comes after the egg is released and is ready for fertilization? Libido increases with progesterone surges. When this rhythmic cycling of oestrogen and progesterone during each lunar month gets out of sync (and many things in modern life can cause this) then all sorts of things can go wrong - from infertility to PMS, depression, bloating, endometriosis and fibroids. For the oestrogens and progesterone, each have their characteristic roles to play, and for a woman to be healthy they must balance each other. the last and the first So do all the other steroids: This group of hormones to which cortisol, aldosterone, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and the oestrogens belong, is intimately involved in how you feel both physically and emotionally, as well as how rapidly your body ages. Steroids have a characteristic molecular structure which resembles cholesterol, from which they are all ultimately derived. Cholesterol is the vital fatty substance that has had such a bad press in recent years, but which is absolutely essential to life. Out of each steroid hormone made from cholesterol, yet another - and following that another - can be made in a knock-on effect. For instance, pregnenolone is the steroid manufactured directly from cholesterol. It in turn becomes a precursor to progesterone, as well as to other hormones. Natural steroid hormones such as progesterone, made by biosynthesis in your own body, have this remarkable capability to act as precursors. In other words they are capable of being turned into other hormones further down the pathways as and when your body needs them. Progesterone is mother of many other hormones. It can eventually be turned not only into various oestrogens, but also into cortisol - the anti-inflammatory hormone - and into other steroids such as corticosterone or aldosterone, with equally important jobs to do. All of these conversions happen through slight alterations in the shape of a molecule, thanks to the actions of enzymes, each of which carries out a specific task. But these conversions can only take place if the molecules on which the enzyme is acting "fit" precisely - both electromagnetically and stereochemically - into its structure. All of these changes which take place through the magic of enzymes occur in the presence of vitamin and mineral cofactors such as magnesium, zinc, and B6, which catalyze each enzyme reaction. They are all carefully modulated by elaborate feedback mechanisms as well. The names and chemical transformations from one steroid to another are not important to remember. What is important is that you get some sense of just how complex hormone synthesis and interactions can be, and how important it is to have sufficient cofactors as well as `primary' hormones, such as pregnalone and progesterone, to be able to synthesize others. A rich hormonal symphony? Immeasurably. Yet all this still does not even begin to take into account the myriad pathways by which these steroid hormones interact with other hormones, or master central mechanisms within the hypothalamus and pituitary, or psychoneuroimmunological pathways by which hormones effect our emotions, and emotions our hormones. sabotage It is in coming face to face with the rich textures of such hormonal symphonies that the synthetic progestagen drugs can come a cropper. When you look at the structures of their molecules, in every case you find that although they resemble your body's homemade hormones, their shapes have been altered slightly by adding extra atoms here or there at unusual positions. It is this that has enabled them to qualify as patentable drugs. However, unlike the natural hormones - which they attempt to mimic, and which not only fulfill their own functions by binding with their own receptor sites but also act as precursors for a myriad of other hormones with other important jobs to do - the progestagens are end-product molecules. They are also completely foreign to the living body. Unlike nature's own steroids they can also not be augmented or diminished as necessary to maintain balance, and to keep the body's hormonal symphony flowing smoothly. They also cannot easily be eliminated when their levels get too high. Although the synthetics can still bind with the receptor sites of the hormones they are made to mimic, they don't fit as well as the homemade steroids do into the enzymes meant to act upon them. This means they are not under the watchful eye and control of these enzymes, nor of the body's self-regulating capacities. Drug-based oestrogens and progestagens in contraceptives and HRT cocktails can significantly disrupt a woman's normal hormonal cycles by introducing foreign elements into her body. They also virtually wipe out the moon cycles to which a woman's natural fertility and spiritual balance are inexorably bound from puberty onwards. So although in the short term they may temporarily do a job such as provide birth control or quell heavy bleeding in a menopausal woman, in the long run they only sabotage hormone balance, by turning harmony into dissonance - a dissonance capable not only of causing disruptions in a woman's health and physical body, but also of creating emotional and spiritual confusion in her life. This, sadly, is not something you will find described in the Merck index that warns doctors of a drug's side-effects, however. For the spiritual aspects of health and healing tend to be all but forgotten in the linear thinking that underlies most twentieth century medicine. In the mechanistic western world of drug-based treatments, where we are trained to take a pill for whatever ails us, this concept can be a little strange for some women to grasp. Especially if they are well educated, intelligent, and if they have been urged from puberty to rely on oral contraceptives - even told they are irresponsible if they don't. Or if they have been filled with fear that if they don't take HRT as menopause approaches their life is going to fall apart. friends and lovers Quite apart from their biochemical actions, rather like people, hormones have characters with highly individual personalities. To the biochemist, the `personalities' of the oestrogens and progesterone will always remain a mystery. He is interested in nothing beyond their molecular configurations. But many women come to know these personalities well - by allowing intuition and instinct to be their teachers. When progesterone is surging through the body, a woman can feel high. Provided her body is producing enough of this steroid, she is likely to feel great. Your senses are keen when progesterone is running. Smells smell sweeter - or more horrible. Touching, sensing, tasting, hearing, are all richer experiences than usual. In the presence of progesterone, women have a desire to do something, to create something, to work in the garden, to dance or sing a song, or make love. Sometimes progesterone surges can feel like falling in love. They can bring feelings of balanced wellbeing together with excitement - a desire to explore new worlds, and to try new things. This can happen during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle after ovulation, when the follicle turns into the yellow body (or corpus luteum), but it becomes far more intense when you are pregnant. It is a high level of progesterone that makes a woman feel on top of the world during the last months of pregnancy. At this time the placenta churns out an amazing 300 to 400 milligrams of the steroid, while during the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle it will have only been producing 20 milligrams or so a day. I suspect that among those women who seem to get pregnant over and over and who so love the whole experience, you are likely to find high progesterone levels. You also find them in women who have trouble-free menstruation. Sadly the opposite is true too: When progesterone is low - as it is in a growing number of women now, who have been subjected to manufactured hormones and who, living in the polluted world, have become oestrogen dominant - women never seem to feel well even during pregnancy. Many have all sorts of troubles with their female organs and cycles including PMS - sometimes from puberty right through to death. when oestrogens flow The oestrogens have quite a different character. When oestrogens peak in the menstrual cycle just before the `fall' of ovulation, a woman feels less independent. She is more willing to adjust herself to the needs of others. She is more inclined to see herself in relation to men too instead of as a woman in her own right. When the oestrogens are running, women like to attract a mate not so much to draw him into her body as to comfort, admire and care for her. Her ovaries seem to be smiling - `whatever you want, I'm happy to give', they seem to say. A few women who by nature are high oestrogen producers feel quite dependent on others for approval, and for the definition of their being. While such an experience can be lovely and make a woman feel highly `feminine', it can also go too far. However, in these women, when menopause finally arrives and oestrogen levels drop dramatically, often they find to their surprise and delight that for the first time in their lives they begin to feel complete in themselves - as though they don't need anybody else to validate their lives. Provided they are otherwise well, menopause can be sheer joy in the sense of freedom it brings these women - that is, once they get over the shock of being such a `different person'. From a biological point of view, there are many important actions that progesterone and oestrogen exert upon the body and psyche. Since these are little known among women and doctors alike it is worth looking at a few: Effects of Progesterone Effects of Oestrogen Increases libido Decreases libido Prevents cancer of the womb Increases risk of womb cancer Protects against fibrocystic breast disease Stimulates breast cell activity Maintains the lining of the uterus Proliferates the lining of the uterus Stimulates the building of new bone Slows down the resorption of old bone Strengthens skin Thins skin Is a natural diuretic Encourages salt and water retention Brings antidepressant effects Can produce headaches and depression Encourages fat burning and the use of stored energy Lays down fat stores Normalizes blood clotting Increases blood clotting Concerned with the procreation and survival of the fetus Concerned with the development and release of the egg Precursor to important stress hormones End-molecule steroids The reproductive hormonal menstrual cycle of a woman between puberty and the menarche is a superbly ordered natural work of art. It becomes so much a part of our lives that unless we have some particular difficulties with PMS or fertility, we hardly give it any thought. Not, that is, until things begin to alter. Once they do begin - in most women sometime between the age of forty and fifty - they usually change gradually, until finally a woman senses that something deep in her being has shifted. Such feelings herald the coming of menopause - the third phase of a woman's life.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 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 21st of February 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 21st of February 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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