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How To Raise A Nature's Child

Unlock the Power of Your Child's Full Potential: Trusting Nature in Parenting

The most rewarding thing I’ve ever done was giving birth to four children and learning how to be a successful mother.  "Your children are not your children," the Lebanese poet Kahil Gibran wrote. "They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself...You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth."   I love this quote, not only because—having brought up four children by four different men all on my own—I believe it’s  just about the most accurate description of parenthood I have ever heard.  It also emphasizes the 'lightness' that develops when we give up trying to be perfect, and come to trust the processes of Nature while feeding, healing, and guiding each of our children towards what works best for them at any moment in time.   Like the seed of a plant that has encoded within its genetic material the characteristics that will, in time, produce a full-grown flower, every baby comes into this world carrying a package of incredibly rich potential that encompasses his or her unique nature.  I call it seedpower.  It holds far greater physical, creative and spiritual energy than any of us could hope to experience in ten lifetimes.   Each child is like the brush stroke a zen painter makes to represent one leaf on a shaft of bamboo. The leaf he paints is totally singular—like no leaf that has ever existed before. Yet within this uniqueness, your child’s universal beauty is to be found, as well as life energy of the highest order.   When my first son Branton was born, I was 18 years old in university.  Like most parents, I had some harebrained idea that we parents need to mold our children from the outside.  We need to impose on them our ideas about what they should act like, think like, look like, and all the rest. Of course, this never works—but when we are young and naïve as I was, we just don’t know any better.   With a bit of luck, sooner or later we come to realize that what most certainly does work is not trying to mold a child at all, but listening to the whispers of each child's seedpower that comes from within. By doing this, we can respond to our children by offering whatever at any moment seems most useful to them, in the form of food, health, guidance, education and so on. This is infinitely easier and more successful all round.   Taking on the job of guardian for any child from birth to adulthood involves having to make 'contractual agreements', which of course must be re-negotiated from time to time as a child grows. Like every contract, the parent/child relationship is always a two-way deal. It has to be fair on both sides. It also has to nurture both people involved. How well your own contracts develop and how much joy there is for the both of you in fulfilling them depends to a great extent on how clearly the agreements between the two of you are understood. Let me show you what I mean.   In establishing 'contracts' with my own children, I was sure of a few things. First, I was committed to supplying them with wholesome food and clean surroundings, as well as physical warmth and safety. I also wanted them to have the right to their own opinions, even when they markedly differed from my own. In return, I expected them to appreciate the home, food and care I provided for them, although I knew it would never be perfect.  I also demanded that they be as honest and respectful of me and my decisions as their age would allow.   What I never asked of any of my children—and I think this is where so many parents go wrong—is that they love me. Trying to get into that particular agreement creates nothing but trouble. Whether or not your child loves you is fundamentally beside the point. Our responsibility as a parent is to use our best judgment and physical resources to help our child grow, and to discover his or her unique gifts.   Early on, I decided that I would try to do my best for my children, but they were stuck with me as a parent for better or for worse—complete with all my warts. And while I didn't expect them to love me, I did expect them to know that whatever I did, I did because I believed it to be right. Whenever some decision I made or action I took turned out to be wrong, I always owned up and asked for their forgiveness—just as I forgave them their mistakes.   What I discovered, quite by accident, was that there is a certain magic to all this. You see, when you decide to give up all claims to being a so-called 'good parent', or having your child love you, this creates a vast expanse of freedom for you both. What’s more, not only do children eventually end up loving you of their own accord, they develop a lot of respect for you—whether they agree with you or not. Most important of all, they come to feel safe, because they know that even though you can be unreasonable at times and unbending, your strength—on which they rely for security—remains uncorrupted by flattery or the kind of emotional blackmail which even very young children are masters at. In time, your children learn that your strength is there to serve them. It’s a discovery that can bring a sense of joy, even during the most challenging of times.   Now, of course, all my four children are grown up.  My daughter Susannah and I have written five books together.  My youngest son Aaron and I work together, developing internet sites which some say can be life-changing. My other two sons—Branton and Jesse—now have families of their own, including six unique and highly independent children.  This makes me a grandmother.  I adore all of them. But I confess that I am probably the world’s worst grandmother.  I don’t bake cookies, babysit or do any of the expected grandmotherly things. Why? Well, I loved being a mother more than anything in the world. But I’ve done that. So now my future belongs to me. I sense there are lots more adventures that lie ahead for me now.  I intend to be free to explore them.  What I find so wonderful is that all four of my children respect and understand where I’m coming from and, without judgment, bless me for just being who I am.

Nourishing Body & Soul

Nurturing Nature's Child: Unlocking Your Child's Optimal Health

Being healthy means a lot more than just not being sick. A child that is healthy experiences a sense of grace in his life. He feels at ease. He has access to all of his being - his imagination, his intellect, his physical strength, and his ability to connect with the world around him through his senses. Buoyant health depends on there being a high degree of biochemical and emotional order in his life. These days, such order is not always easy to come by. It begins with the way you feed your child, and ends with creating structures for his day to day life that establish a safe arena - emotionally, physically and spiritually - in which he can operate. When you do, the child develops a sense of trust in himself, a huge resistance to illness, and a sense of real connection with his outside world as well as an excitement about his life and what is going to happen next. This is what real health is all about - nurturing Nature's child, body and soul.

Helen Lost 20 Kilos On Cura Romana

Hear Helen Musset’s 20K Weight Loss Story on Cura Romana

Helen Musset, who was on Leslie Kenton's Cura Romana lost 20 kilos while on the program. I was lucky enough to interview her about her experience in this short audio conversation. Many people find it hard to understand the transformation that occurs through out the Cura Romana program as it almost always seems to good to be true. I hope this sheds some light into this process from someone who has been through the program and experienced it's powerful weight loss properties as well as it's ability to provide tremendous personal transformation. I hope you enjoy. Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana Any man or woman wanting to restore the body's natural weight and form while enhancing wellbeing and increasing vitality, protecting themselves against premature aging, and deepening the connection with the core of their being to support transformation on every level in their life. Learn More About Cura Romana

Nature's Finest Treatment

Secret of Cold-Water Therapy: Kneipp's Healing Revolution

What is Nature’s most powerful healer? The answer will surprise you: WATER applied to your skin’s surface. Would you consider pouring a stream of cold water over your face to banish fatigue and prevent skin from wrinkling and sagging? Would you walk in ice-cold water up to your knees every morning to increase your vitality and ward off aging? Have jets of cold water directed against your back and legs to help you shed fat? Extraordinary as these practices sound, they are natural methods of treatment with over a century and a half of clinical validation behind them. They are part of one of the most elaborate, effective and well-researched European methods of healing, health enhancement and age-retardation in the world: Kneipp therapy. KNEIPP’S GENIUS Applications of hot and cold water have long been standard treatment for regenerating energy, curing headaches, improving lymphatic function, and even eliminating hangovers after a night of partying. In no small part is this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, a Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with water treatments. In 1855, Kneipp was sent to the tiny Bavarian village of Worishofen to supervise a Dominican nunnery. Many of his friends insisted that the church had only sent him there to get him away from his fascination with water-healing, in the belief that it was interfering with his clerical life. There he acted as father-confessor to the nuns, revived the village's stagnant economy, and advised farmers on how to improve their agriculture. But Kneipp’s fascination with health and healing prevailed when later he was made parson of the village. Despite the fact that his days were filled with ecclesiastical duties, he found his time increasingly taken up by a growing number of ailing people who had heard of his ‘miracle cures’, and either didn’t have enough money to pay for medical care, or had been given up as ‘hopeless’ by their physicians. Kneipp treated them with his water techniques. He then taught them to treat themselves, gradually developing a complete system for prevention, cure and rehabilitation based on the theory that a human being is a unity of body and soul, and that whenever this unity is threatened, or whenever the harmony of nature is disturbed, illness ensues. As far back as 1900, Kneipp's water therapy was being practiced all over Europe. Since then, his methods have been researched, applied, refined and adapted to contemporary needs by medical scientists—most of them German—who have established the basis of Kneipp’s water techniques worldwide. AMAZING BENEFITS Still little known in English-speaking countries, Kneipp therapy is practiced in some seventy spas and thousands of hospitals in Europe. Treatments are supervised by physicians highly trained in the various methods it involves, the most important of which is a complex set of water applications which have profound regenerative and protective effects on the body. Far from being some kind of far-out alternative therapy used only by nature freaks and old women, Kneipp hydrotherapy is supported by government health-insurance schemes in Europe, and even subsidized by the state both as a preventative treatment against aging as well as a means of curing and rehabilitating the seriously ill. Kneipp therapy is used in many applications—from affusions, where water in a steady stream is poured over specific parts of your body, to hot and cold compresses—as a treatment for conditions from arthritis, abscesses and heart disease to asthma, diabetes and allergic eczema. All of Kneipp’s methods greatly increase your vitality, can enhance athletic prowess, help you handle stress better, banish insomnia, and counteract a myriad of negative effects connected with the aging process. SECRETS OF HYDROTHERAPY This is the secret of using cold water applications on your body. You need to be warm to begin with, and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water in these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. THE PRINCIPLES Not every water treatment has to be administered by a professional in a clinic or a spa. One of Kneipp's most important principles was that hydrotherapy should be simple enough that any healthy person can benefit from it—as a prophylactic treatment against aging, to improve the condition of the skin, to eliminate stress and to treat minor ailments from a headache to a cold without professional help. Simple at-home water treatments fortify your body against sickness in general, improve circulation and calm frayed nerves. FOR GREAT SKIN An affusion is literally a pouring of running water over a particular area of the body. Affusions stimulate blood supply to the skin, restoring lost tautness and freshness to sagging or faded skin. It is a popular natural treatment in Europe amongst men and women who want to retain (or reform) their youthful good looks. It helps prevent premature aging of the skin, eliminate feelings of fatigue and can even cure a migraine. Here's How Make sure your body is in a well-warmed state to begin with. Then, using a hose with an opening of about ½ inch (it can be a bathroom hand shower with the head removed) turn on the cold water so that a sheet of water is delivered to the skin when the hose is held 2-4 inches from it. (There should be no great pressure of water.) When an affusion is done right, the water flows smoothly and evenly and with no `splashback'. Now, resting your neck on a towel and bending over a sink or the bath, begin by circling your face with the water from just below the temple. Then go back and forth from one side of the face to the other. Guide the stream several times from up to down starting at the left side and working towards the right. End by circling the whole face again. The entire process is done with cold water and should take only a couple of minutes. Pat your face gently to remove excess water and then let it dry completely in the air. TO BOOST VITALITY AND STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY There are several techniques designed to increase vitality and bring protection against illness and age-degeneration. Which you choose depends on your current state of stamina and health. They range from the body wash, which is gentle enough for almost anyone, to the cold Blitzguss, which top athletes and other very fit people favor. The Body Wash This is quite different from the usual cleansing wash you carry out in the bath or shower using a flannel. It involves the uniform spreading of water over your skin with a rough linen cloth. Afterwards you do not dry yourself. Instead get into a warm bed for a few minutes. It helps relax the body while bracing and strengthening it. It also activates natural warmth, eliminating and protecting you from the build-up of toxic substances in the blood and tissues which can cause cellular damage and age-related problems. Here's How Having dipped the linen cloth into cold water, begin on the back of the right hand and sweep upwards over the shoulder then down again on the inside to the thumb. Now turn the cloth over and wash the inside of the hand and arm to the armpit, and finally the back of the palm. Dip the cloth in water again quickly and carry out the same movements on the other arm. Then, quickly dipping the cloth in water again, with half a dozen vertical movements wash over the chest, abdomen and the fronts of legs. Another dip and do the back (or have a friend help here since it is easier). Finish your body wash by quickly rubbing the soles of the feet. The whole procedure (which must be carried out in a warm room) needs to be very quick (only thirty to forty seconds). Then remove excess water from your body's surface, dress warmly and move about, or get into a warm bed for a few minutes. This is a superb way of refreshing yourself after a long day before going out for the evening. WATER TREADING This takes a couple of minutes. In Bad Worishofen there are beautiful pools at the clinics and hotels and even in the woods, where you can take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in water every morning, summer and winter, even when there is snow on the ground. If you are lucky enough to live near the sea or by a brook, both are ideal. But you can get the same results at home using a bath filled with cold water. Here's How Dressed warmly, but with your legs and feet naked from the knee down, step into the water and `walk on the spot', lifting first one foot and then another up out of the water. The reaction will be either a pleasant warm feeling flooding the feet or a sharp cold ache, followed by warmth. Begin by treading water for only thirty seconds or so, then work up to a couple of minutes as your system gets stronger and more resilient. Immediately afterwards put on dry warm socks and shoes and move about. (By the way, this is also an excellent treatment for insomniacs when done just before going to bed.) BLITZGUSS A real Blitzguss has to be done by a professional in a special shower using a powerful water-force. But you can get many of its beneficial effects in the shower, particularly if you happen to have a hand-held shower which you can direct on to different parts of your body. This is something I do every morning after exercising. Here's How Take a warm shower until your skin is glowing with the warmth. Turn off the hot water and use only cold, directing it over your face, down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. This process should take no more than thirty seconds. Get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This will leave your skin glowing with warmth, thanks to the reaction against the cold water. Practiced every day or so, it will also strengthen your immune system, not only against age-degeneration but also against colds, flu and other illnesses. Blitzguss greatly increases vitality. This is a favorite of top athletes in Germany. It is also my favorite of all the prophylactic treatments with water—and I am a long way from being a top athlete. But I had to work up to it in the beginning by starting with the body wash and with water treading (which I still do when I feel tired but unable to sleep). It’s best not to use Blitzguss until you are already quite strong. DE-STRESS FOR BETTER SLEEP The next two techniques are particularly good if you feel stressed or you tend to wrestle with insomnia at the end of the day. Wet Socks A favourite of Kneipp himself, this is an easy way to apply a foot compress. It is extraordinarily relaxing. Here's How Wet a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out so that they are no longer dripping. Put them on and then cover them with a pair of dry woolen socks, then get into bed. Leave the socks on for at least half an hour, although it doesn't matter if they stay on all night should you fall asleep. Once you begin to experience some of the extraordinary benefits from these simple treatments, you may find you want to explore some of the other natural therapies which are also carriers of vital information for health and ageless aging. They include air baths, saunas and Turkish baths, herbal treatments using the adaptogens and dry skin-brushing. Not only can each one of them leave you feeling vibrantly well and looking good, together with good nutrition, exercise and relaxation, they are some of the means by which your body/mind/spirit can restore balance and help keep you well, youthful and vital, long after those around you have succumbed to the ravages of time.

Come Join Me In The Sacred

Unlock Sacred Energy and Listen to the Universe's Whispers

The journey of a lifetime begins when you make friends with the sacred. And the sacred is everywhere. You don’t have to travel to Stonehenge or Machu Pichu to find it. Neither do you need to swallow a consciousness-altering drug. Sacred energy continually pours forth from the center of our universe, which according to religious traditions as well as leading edge science is both right here and now yet everywhere, at any time too. The problem is that most of us have become blinded by the mechanically-orientated worldview we inherited. We have forgotten how to experience the sacred. TAKE THE QUANTUM LEAP Rediscovering this is the simplest thing in the world. It happens through a shift of consciousness—a break in time and space through which each of us can witness the sacred realms come into being. Sometimes this takes place spontaneously. It is given by grace. You can also create structures in your life which invite it to happen. Organise the space you live and work in, for instance, to make a place in your life for rituals which honor the radiance of the world around you and within you. Doing this can be a lot of fun. Think of it as adventures, a game, a childlike exploration of new worlds. CRACK IN THE COSMOS Can I share with you my own life-changing call to sacred reality? It happened when I was 18 years old—just finishing my second year at Stanford University. Five months earlier I had fallen in love for the first time with a man three years older than I. I found myself in the unenviable position of having to leave him to go to live in New York. I knew it would be a long time before we met again—maybe never. We had only one day to spend together in San Francisco before my plane left. So we went for a walk in Golden Gate Park. I had been in the park many times before, visiting the Japanese garden or the museum. But I’d paid little attention to what was around me, except in the rather vague way we all “appreciate” being amidst trees, grass and flowers. That morning, the sacred realm cracked wide open for me. As he and I wandered across grass, through trees, knowing that in a few hours we would no longer be together, I felt as though death was sitting at my shoulder. I had no idea why. I loved this man with an intensity I would never have dreamed possible. I could hardly bear the fire that burned in my flesh when he touched me, let alone the surges of power that flooded my body and psyche when he held me in his arms or whispered in my ear. Right from the moment we had met, the love between us had arisen. Both of us sensed that this love between us had somehow always existed and would forever. SPLENDOR IN THE NOW That morning, we crossed a road and stepped up on to the curb. In front of us a group of old men were bowling on the green. They were dressed in the shabby clothes the old sometimes wear—garments which, like long trusted friends, they had lived in for so many years they did not want to be parted from. None of these men paid the least attention to us, absorbed as they were in their game. All at once, the scene before me shifted from that of a pleasant ordinary morning spent in nature—nice trees, green grass, a small knoll behind the old men rising to a copse above—to something at once ecstatic and at the same time terrifying. Space expanded in all directions. A million tiny holes appeared in reality—each emitting light. The air and grass, the pavement we had just crossed, the bodies of the men in their shabby clothes, the clouds above us, and the trees around us, trembled in radiance. Time burst wide open, breaking in great waves over the lawn. My heart seemed to grow to immense proportions. I did not understand what was happening. I knew that I had never experienced any of this before. In some way that seemed totally crazy, I was all—at the same time—being wiped out and brought back into being in a brand new form. LISTEN TO THE WHISPERS When an experience of the sacred arises spontaneously—frequently at times of great emotional joy or loss—it can be both blissful and awe-filled as well as mind-blowing. In whatever guise it shows itself, the sacred is a far cry from some “orchestrated” experience of pink-flowers-and-soft-music that the false purveyors of control with their glib proclamations offer us. It’s an experience full of beauty and terror, fascination and majesty. In the presence of an overwhelming power you find yourself standing before a mystery that is wholly other. I had no understanding about what was happening that morning in Golden Gate Park. The only thing I was sure of was this: I had experienced an epiphany in my life and that I wanted to live more and more in close connection with this new reality. GREAT MYSTERY In 1917, Rudolf Otto published one of the most important books on spirituality ever written, Das Heilige—The Sacred. In it he describes the awe-inspiring mystery—mysterium tremendum he calls it—that we feel in the presence of sacred energy. He characterises it as “a perfect fullness of being, a flowering which dissolves away our conditioned thinking and breaks down all the barriers to our being fully present in the moment.” Every time we are touched by the sacred, it urges us to live a little more from the deepest levels of our own being. Experience of the sacred opens the door to a whole new way of living and perceiving reality. Create time and space in your own life for the sacred and you automatically take the first step towards discovering the truth about who you are at the very core of your being. This is always a magnificent truth. And it is just waiting for you to uncover it. Otto characterises the qualities of the sacred as numinous (from the Latin numen, i.e. god), for they are brought about by the sudden revelation of some aspect of divine power within the paraphernalia of day-to-day living. Such is the nature of the sacred when it appears in your life. One minute you are waiting for a bus, standing under a tree you have stood under a hundred times before. The next, this tree has become suddenly something else as well. It has been transmuted in some mysterious way into a “supernatural reality”. Of course it is still a tree to you and everybody else standing there. In fact, nothing in particular may distinguish this particular tree from all the other trees on the street. Yet because it has, at that moment, chosen to reveal itself to you in its sacred form, your immediate experience of it is transmuted into something wild and free, great and wonderful. It’s as though the tree has opened its secret nature to you and become a repository of all that is awesome. So much is this the case that experiencing the sacred can make it hard to catch your breath. It can even, for a time, make you wonder who you are and what on earth you are doing there. FEAR OF THE SACRED Our modern world feels profoundly uneasy before such experiences. We are the only age in all history to be living in a desacralized culture. Limited worldviews impose themselves on our lives, forcing us to live in an almost totally profane world. Today, a tree is nothing but a tree. The wind is only the movement of air caused by nothing more than mechanical shifts in currents. As far as rocks are concerned, what could possibly be more mundane or less sacred? So we make fun of “primitive” people and their “quaint” superstitions. At the same time we exploit their land and force the deadening mechanistic values of our materialistic world on them. Whats the real truth? Rocks too have consciousness, as does everything in the universe. What we forget is that cultures for whom the sacred speaks to them through ordinary objects know very well that a rock is a rock. They don’t venerate the rock itself, or the wind. They worship the aliveness of all things and the spirit of each—something totally other and infinitely vast in its beauty. They know that whenever and wherever the sacred erupts in our lives, no matter what form it takes, a deeper, wider, richer, dimension of reality is asking us to dance with its power and celebrate its splendor. SAY YES TO THE SACRED Most of us have to relearn how. Once we do, we find ourselves continually renewed, energised, and ecstatic in the presence of sacred energies. It’s as though a wild blessing has been given us—a blessing that both nourishes and heals us. We humans have a profound need to plunge periodically into these sacred and indestructible realms which are the eternal present. It’s a need so deeply ingrained in our very being that when we are unable to fulfil it from time to time we end up living in a nihilistic wasteland. Then our lives become narrow, no matter how many fast cars we buy, how many drugs we take, how many lovers we have. Eating, sex, and getting up in the morning become nothing more than physiological events in a mechanical existence. Reawakening an awareness of the sacred in your life and making room for it turns these things into much more than mundane functions. Each one can evolve into a sacrament—the meaning of which is a communion with the sacred. As it does, our vitality, joy and creativity go on and on expanding. WILL YOU JOIN ME? Sacred truths have long guided my life and work. Each year they become more and more important to me. I’m keen to hear from each one of you about your own thoughts and experiences about and in relation to the sacred. I’d like to if, when and how you have found the sacred permeating your own life. Shall we share with each other beliefs and events that may awaken us to the experience of the mysterium tremendum? Do let me hear from you.

Secrets Of Quantum Health

Unlock Ingredients for Health & Vibrancy: Cruciferous Veggies

I never met a vegetable I didn’t like. Of course, it took me a while to realize this. Like a lot of people, I grew up fed on mushy Brussels sprouts, canned spinach and revolting beetroot salads, as well as other nameless horrors served in truck drivers’ cafes and as school meals. Only when I began to make vegetable juices, exuberant salads and cook my own vegetables did I discover just how delicious vegetables can be in their many incarnations. For a long time, cooked vegetables have had a bad rap. Some of this is the result of our not being able to buy an abundance of good quality organic vegetables. As a result, most of us have come to think of vegetables as flavorless things which everyone knows you’re supposed to eat because they’re good for you, but nobody can face them. When vegetables are cooked properly, they have a marvelous flavor of their own. LIFE FORCE CAN BE YOURS From the humble turnip to the leaves of radiccio, vegetables are superb sources of light energy form the sun—the same light from which your living body is made. Their beauty is the beauty of life force itself. When they have been grown in healthy soils and eaten either raw or with as little cooking as possible, this energy becomes your energy—an energy which can’t be measured in chemical terms but its potential for enhancing health exceeds even that of phytonutrients themselves. Steam vegetables, stir-fry them, bake them, purée them, eat them raw—however you go, vegetables are not only one of the most important food groups in relation to health; they are some of the most delicious. BEYOND ANTI-OXIDANTS Low in calories and riddled with fiber, certified organic vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants from Vitamins C, E and phytochemicals, helping to protect against the free-radical damage that produces degeneration and rapid aging. Not long ago at Tufts University, scientists developed a method of determining the anti-oxidant power of specific fruits and vegetables by measuring their ability to quench free radicals in a laboratory test tube. We can now test a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity. Using the ORAC test, we can categorize a fruit or vegetable according to its overall anti-oxidant power. Fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are at the top of the list, along with vegetables like kale and spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. The antioxidant capacities of a high ORAC fruit or vegetable goes way beyond its vitamin and mineral content. COLOR ME RADIANT By now independent researchers have identified hundreds of health-enhancing phytochemicals to inhibit blood clotting, balance cholesterol, detoxify the body of wastes and poisons, reduce inflammation and allergies and even slow the proliferation of cancer cells. These amazing nutraceuticals, work synergistically. This means that the wider the variety of low-sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables you eat, the greater will be the protective health-enhancing benefits you. Eat more spinach and leafy greens such as silver beet, kale or collards, and you tap into a rich supply of the carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein to help protect your eyes and brain from degeneration. In an interesting study of 356 older people reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that eating good quantities of these leafy green vegetables—the equivalent of a large spinach salad each day—reduced their risk of macular degeneration by 43%. (This is the age-related retinal disease that has you holding a menu three feet away from you in order to read it.) SIGN OF THE CROSS I always think the word “cruciferous” sounds like some kind of a crunchy salad. In fact it is used to identify vegetables, including the brassicas, which get their name from the fact that they carry cross-shaped flower petals. These same vegetables—including bok choy, mustard greens, collards, turnips, swedes, broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower, boast high levels of all sorts of phytochemicals and vitamins, plus special kinds of precious fiber. For a start, they are rich in indoles, especially indole-3-carbinol, which has the remarkable ability to increase your body’s production of detoxifying enzymes. This is one of the reasons why women who eat a lot of the crucifers—four or more times a week— have a very low incidence of cancer of the breast and of the ovaries. Indole-3-carbinol, and probably other plant factors too, in cruciferous vegetables both help clear the body of the forms of estrogen that have a negative effect on it, as well as dramatically decreasing the body’s production of these forms of estrogen. But beware: indoles are highly heat-sensitive. To get the best from them both in flavor and in their health-boosting powers, it is best to eat them raw, lightly steamed or wok-fried. PROTECT YOUR DNA Another study from the Journal of Neuroscience reported that eating a good portion of spinach each day delayed the onset of age-related memory loss. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts, rich in sulforaphane and indoles, protect DNA from damage. Scientists estimate that each of the 60 trillion cells in the human body, each one suffers 10,000 free radical “hits” each day. And this is on the increase as a result of increasing chemicals in our environment. Phytonutrients help protect us from oxidation damage. Eating large quantities of fresh organically grown vegetables is breakthrough stuff when it comes to establishing radiant health. So make friends with the colorful vegetable kingdom. Build your daily meals around them by eating salads, by drinking juices, by cooking them in ways that preserve as much of their innate life-enhancing abilities as possible. So much for the technical stuff. Now, let me share with you a few of my favorite vegetable recipes. Try them and see what you think: perfect purÉes I’ve never been able to figure out why the most common puréed vegetable is mashed potatoes, when there are so many other vegetables, like beetroot, swede, spinach, beans, carrots, and celeriac, which purée equally well. The secret of great vegetable purée lies in what you add to it. You can either cook the vegetables and purée them on their own, or you can mix them together to make bright-colored complements for fish, poultry and meat dishes. One of my favorites is celeriac, which I think goes beautifully with any kind of game or fish. Carrots too make a wonderful purée, as does spinach. Even beetroot, which I think tastes ghastly in its normal boiled form, brings wonderful color and flavor to a meal when puréed and seasoned properly. What You Need 450g of root vegetables 1/2–3/4 cup of organic, sugar free coconut milk 75g of butter 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional) 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley A handful of raw cashew nuts Sea or Himalayan salt Freshly-ground black pepper Here’s How Cut off the top and bottom of the vegetables and wash thoroughly, but do not peel, as much of the nutritional value in vegetables is in the skin itself. Slice each vegetable about 1/4 inch thick and cut each slice into 4–8 pieces. Place them in an electric steamer or a steamer pan over boiling water. Steam for 15–20 minutes until they grow tender. Put the cooked vegetables into a food processor or blender. Add the butter, garlic, vegetable bouillon powder, parsley and cashews and blend, adding enough coconut milk to give your purée the consistency you want. This usually takes about 2–3 minutes. Taste and season accordingly. You can make these purées the day before and then gently reheat them with a knob of butter on top. Asparagus A member of the lily family, asparagus was used by the ancient Greeks to treat kidney and liver troubles. It's one of the best natural remedies for PMS-related bloating and a top source of folic acid, the antioxidant glutathione and vitamin C. Not only does asparagus appear in early spring with a very short growing season—which makes it seem ultra-desirable—it is another powerfully healing vegetable. Asparagus has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy against indigestion. When researchers compared the therapeutic effect of asparagus with a commonly used drug in the prevention of nausea, hiatus hernia, heartburn and gastric acid reflux, they found that asparagus was just as effective as the common drug remedy, yet had no side effects. Asparagus also has great diuretic properties. It stimulates the digestion and has long been used to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis. And it has sedative properties. When shopping for asparagus, look for bright green, straight, fresh-looking spears with compact tips. Stay away from the woody, stringy or streaked spears and those with spreading tips. These are sure signs that they're not really fresh. Bring the asparagus home and rinse it in cold water. You can use raw asparagus in salads by cutting it into 1/2" pieces, and also as crudités with dips. But the thinner asparagus is better for this. And it must be very fresh and crunchy if you're not going to cook it. Because the tips of asparagus cook much faster than the tails, it's a good idea to steam it in a tall, lidded pan designed specially for that purpose: but don't worry if you don't happen to have one. I like to serve steamed asparagus with wedges of lemon and shaved Parmesan, plus a little garlic salt and pepper. You can also use homemade dips, pestos or mayonnaise including aïoli and serve asparagus hot or cold. BAKED ASPARAGUS serves 4 to 6 I love baked asparagus. This recipe makes a great starter to a formal meal, but I like to eat it on its own as a meal in itself. What You Need 3 dozen organic asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled if necessary 2–6 tablespoons of melted butter Sea salt or Himalayan Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste 1 lemon, divided into 6 wedges Here's How Place the asparagus side by side in a flat, rectangular baking dish and drizzle wipe with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or with foil. Then bake at 225ºC (430ºF, Gas Mark 7) for 20–30 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the asparagus – that is until the spears are browned and tender. Add a little extra melted butter just before serving if it is needed, and a wedge of lemon to each plate. This can be served warm or cold. snow pea AND ALMOND STIR FRY A great combination of crunchy almonds and delicate green mange tout, or snow peas. What You Need 250g of snow peas 2 tablespoons coconut oil or boiled-down soup stock 50g of almond slivers, toasted or raw 125g of mushrooms 1 teaspoon of tamari 1” finger of fresh ginger, shredded fine Here’s How Top and tail the snow peas. Heat the oil or boiled-down stock in a wok or large frying pan. When hot, add the almonds and ginger and stir fry for 3–5 minutes. Now add the remaining ingredients and continue to stir fry for another 2–3 minutes. Serve immediately. Other Ways to Go Great candidates for stir frying include Chinese cabbage with cashews, sprouts with tofu, carrots with fresh parsley, cabbage and onions. Do try some of my favorite recipes and let me know how you get on with them. Also, please let me know if you have any other of your own wonderful vegetable recipes you want to share with us.

My Love Affair With Plants

Discover the Magic of Herbs: Transform Your Life & Health!

For more than a million years, our ancestors lived with herbs. They cooked with them, healed with them, used them to scent their bodies and sanctify their prayers. On a molecular level, the human body recognizes herbs when we take them. Get to know the nature of a few specific plants and they will enhance your life immeasurably. In a very real sense, we can come to know an herb the way a woman knows her lover. The spirit of a plant meets the spirit of a human. Expect magic. You won’t be disappointed. A FINE ROMANCE My own passion for herbs began when I discovered the help they could bring me and my family. Simple plants such as nettle or golden rod (Solidago virgauria) have a natural cleansing and diuretic effect on my body. Traveling on airplanes, my ankles used to swell up. I discovered when I got home and made a cup of golden rod or nettle tea, the swelling would vanish. Fascinated, I began to read about what herbs can do for the immune system. I began to experiment with other plants—goldenseal and echinacea, burdock and shiitake mushrooms. I began to give herbs to my whole family whenever any of us threatened to come down with flu or a cold. I discovered that, provided we took them in time, one or a combination of plants would clear the problem before the full force of any illness hit. A doctor friend, Gordon Latto, taught me that gargling with red sage and sticking a clove of garlic in its paper shell in between the teeth and the inside of the mouth for a few hours a day would clear a sore throat and nip throat infections in the bud. I began to wonder just how many other remarkable things plants could do for us. THE SUPERB ADAPTOGENS I was lucky enough to meet with the famous Russian scientist I.I. Brekhman, expert in adaptogenic herbs, who won the Lenin Prize for Science. From him I learned that the adaptogens such as ginseng, eluthrococcus or Siberian Ginseng, and Suma from South America strengthen a person’s ability to resist illness as well as making it possible for us to work and play longer and harder without experiencing the negative effects of prolonged stress. That was thirty years ago. Since then I have come to use herbs and flowers, fresh raw juices and vegetables, water and tender loving care to help the body protect itself from illness, heal a sickness when it struck, calm an agitated mind, induce slumber when unable to sleep, clear depression, and care for my skin. I have also learned to use herbs to decorate my house and sanctify my working space. I also fell in love with photographing them. Meanwhile, I raised four children without antibiotics or over-the-counter drugs thanks to the blessings of herbs. DAZZLING POWER The classic definition of an herb is ‘a non-woody plant which dies down to its roots each winter’. This definition is far too limiting. It was probably made up by 19th century European botanists who had never seen the rainforest in which, of course, there is no winter to die back in. Neither had they ever heard of woody trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, ginkgo and elder, which provide us with some of the best-selling herbs on the market these days. My own definition of an herb is simply a medicinal plant. It can come from any climate and be a leaf, a bark, a flower or a root. It can be home-grown or wild—a weed, a spice, a plant which is used for its healing, culinary or beautifying properties. So powerful are the health-enhancing capacities of herbs that a vast number of common prescription drugs have been derived from a mere 90 species of plants. According to Professor Norman Farnsworth—leading American expert in pharmacognosy at University of Illinois —74% of common drugs have been developed directly out of traditional native herb folklore. In the United States alone, the annual sales of prescription drugs developed from plant products used by tribal cultures is already in excess of $6 billion. Unlike prescription drugs, whose side-effects can be devastating, most herbs are both safe and simple to use. Most carry no side-effects at all. MEDICAL FAILURE The way we have thought about health and healing for the past century—what the experts call our biomedical model—has come to the limits of its usefulness. Conventional medical practices view the body as a collections of structures—bones and blood, cells and tissues. Common medical treatment consists of acting on these structures in a symptomatic way. Doctors give one drug to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, another to get rid of headaches or put you to sleep. Whether these drugs are medically prescribed or over-the-counter products, virtually all carry negative side effects. Most have no concern with genuine healing. They instead focus on ‘managing’ illness by suppressing symptoms. Herbal treatment, like all of the great natural approaches to health through history, looks at things differently. It insists that at every level of biological organisation—from chromosomes in our DNA all the way up to our eyes and toes, stomach and liver—the body has a stunning capacity for self-treatment. It is capable of removing damaged structures and renewing them on its own. The natural capacity of living organisms as complex as ours to regenerate themselves is something that symptomatic drug-based medicine ignores altogether. Yet self-regeneration lies at the very core of using natural foods, water, air and movement therapies, and of course herbs, to strengthen, balance or heal. Chinese medicine is functional medicine; it did not develop along structural lines as Western 20th century medicine did. So is Ayurvedic and Unani medicine from India, and nature-cure in the West. The Chinese pharmacopoeia is the richest in the world. Chinese doctors value plants for their ability to strengthen the body’s functioning, heighten its own defences and improve immunity. They use herbs, as we are only now beginning to in the West, to extend longevity, to increase resistance to illness, to heighten energy, and to calm disturbed emotions. BRING MAGIC INTO YOUR LIFE There is an endless parade of different ways you can use herbs. In the health food store and mail order catalogue you can find a confusing array of capsules, pills, tablets, extracts, tinctures and ‘whole herbs’ or ‘bulk herbs’, none of which seem to relate to the ‘infusion’ you have decided you would like to take. And what about the herbs you have growing in your garden? Here is a rough guide to finding your way through the confusion. First, find yourself a reputable supplier. I have a passion for iHerb.com, since the variety of herbal products they offer are the best and cheapest anywhere, and they ship worldwide. Personally, I’m wary of buying herbs in health food stores or pharmacies unless they come from a manufacturer or supplier I know. With a supplier you trust and with whom you can discuss your needs, you can be sure you are getting a good potency and that the herbs have not been sitting in a cupboard somewhere for months. BULK/DRIED/WHOLE HERBS What you are buying is a bag or box of a specific weight of dried herb, either in its whole form, crushed or powdered. This is the best way to purchase herbs if you want to make teas (infusions), decoctions, or your own capsules, or if you want to use them in potpourris and sachets. It is also about the cheapest way to buy dried herbs. TINCTURES A tincture uses alcohol diluted in water to draw out the plant’s chemical constituents and preserve them. You can buy tinctures by the bottle and they are pretty potent. You take from several drops to 1 teaspoon or more of a tincture in a little water several times a day if needed. Tinctures are best bought from a reputable supplier. You can make them yourself, but the process is less accurate than when they are professionally produced. I buy many herbs in tincture form as I find them so convenient. You will sometimes find a figure such as 1:4 on a bottle of tincture. This gives you the ratio of the weight of the herb—in this instance 1 part of herb—to alcohol/water mix. An herbalist may suggest you take a specific ratio in which case your supplier can advise, but for general usage you don’t need to know the ratio. EXTRACTS Extracts are easy to confuse with tinctures. They are far more concentrated. They aim to contain all the active chemicals of the plant, not only those that will dissolve in alcohol. Extraction processes vary from pressure rolling to heat treatment to vacuum extraction. These are best left to the experts. Extracts have a limited shelf life. They should be kept in the fridge. Herbalists often prescribe extracts during an illness, rather than using them for prevention. Extracts can also be useful to add to a cream or salve for external use: ¼ extract to ¾ base. They are pretty strong in their action. TABLETS, PILLS & CAPSULES Tablets, pills and capsules are often more readily than the loose dried herbs themselves. Tablets, pills and capsules usually contain the whole herb, not just the constituents extracted in a tincture or infusion. Therefore, in taking them, you are making use of the synergy in action between all the constituents of each plant. Choose those from a reputable manufacturer/supplier. Tablets are made from dried plant material—leaves, roots, bark and/or flowers—mixed with a base, sometimes lactose, both to help you hold them in your hand to take them and to aid absorption in the stomach. Pills are, basically, tablets with a coating. If the plant is sticky, smelly, or tastes dreadful—or all three—it is more likely to come in pill form than tablet form as the protein or sugar coating disguises less pleasant aspects of the plant. Usually I avoid these, since sugar in any form is far from beneficial. Capsules, made of gelatine or a vegetarian equivalent, are filled with dried herbs—even the stickier, smellier ones. They need to be stored in a cool, dry place, but they preserve herbs well. You can buy gelatine capsules from a chemist and fill them yourself, either with herbs you have dried yourself or with dried herbs you have bought in bulk. The standard 00 size capsule holds about ½ gram (500mg) of herb. Make sure the herb is ground into as fine a powder as possible before filling, so that it can be easily absorbed by the body. A WONDROUS WORLD Plants speak volumes when you know how to listen. One of the great joys of our herbal tradition has been the love affair that takes place when the spirit of an herb meets the spirit of the person using it. It is an old art by which, using your intuition and trusting your instinct, you can move towards an awareness of the central nature of a plant and how best it can be used. For example—the herb Leonurus cardiaca is a powerful strengthener of the heart, reducing tachycardia and hypertension and promoting normal heart action. The essence of its personality, however, is better expressed in its common name—motherwort. This herb has the ability to bring a sense of absolute security—the way a baby feels lying in the arms of its mother—during periods of deep and unsettling change. Every plant has secret wisdom and power. It will tell you its tales and offer its richness to you as you open your heart to it.

Outer Enemies

Protect Yourself from These Energy-Stealing Hazards: Environmental Protection & Liver Support

Our world is full of energy thieves. Excessive noise, environmental poisons in our air, water, food, chemicals we come in contact with to which (often unbeknownst to us) we may be sensitive or allergic, eating junk foods, even changes in the weather. All these things can drain us of energy. A well functioning immune system is dependent on your body’s ability to clear itself of the destructive chemicals we encounter every day in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink - even from the plastics we store or microwave our foods in. Here are just a few of the energy-stealing environmental hazards the body has to clear, if you are to sustain high levels of energy and to resist illness and premature aging: antibiotics cleaning solvents cadmium and lead in cigarette smoke mercury from fillings in teeth aluminium from anti-perspirants, pots and pans and antacids lead solder from canned foods oestrogens from oral contraceptives and HRT anabolic steroids non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug contaminated foods solvents like formaldehyde, acetone and toluene pesticides and herbicides: DDT, DDB, dioxins, halogenates like PCB and PCP which act as oestrogen mimics and screw up our reproductive systems A major issue in energy-making is to keep your body clean - inside and out. This way you help protect yourself from the damage which toxic substances in our environment can cause. To guard itself, your body stores much of the damaging waste it picks up in your tissues - particularly in fat cells. Any kind of stored waste or toxicity suppresses vitality and immunity. heavy work for your liver The organ at the center of clearing the body of environmental pollutants is the liver. When your liver is working well and is not overburdened with potentially destructive elements, your body remains clean, your immune system is free to function well, and your energy levels can soar. When the liver is not working well, neither is the immune system. The liver, which manufactures important biochemical factors the immune system needs, helps produce lymph, and plays an important part in clearing the blood of cellular rubbish, yeast, bacteria, and other negative micro organisms. Good liver function is central to an experience of high energy. Damage to the liver and poor liver function is invariably present when someone has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Epstein Barr Virus, as it is when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans. When your liver is poorly functioning all sorts of problems show up - many of them symptoms for which the average doctor has no explanation and no safe effective treatment for: depression, confusion, constant fatigue, numbness in hands and feet, headaches, aches and pains, sweating, and impaired function of the nervous system. Any good practitioner of natural medicine will tell you: at the core of every person with chronic low energy is an over-taxed, under-functioning liver. Experts often refer to it as a sluggish liver or a congested liver. Unfortunately a sluggish or congested liver can be tough to identify using standard medical tests, which examine serum bilirubin and other things like GGTP, LDH and AST. Often physical damage to the liver has occurred before poor functioning of the liver shows up in these tests. Nutritionally orientated doctors prefer therefore to measure serum bile and to establish how quickly your liver clears a specific substance in order to determine how well your liver really is working, long before serious damage has taken place. If you are chronically tired, with or without such tests you can be pretty sure you need to take steps to protect your body from pollutants as much as possible and give your liver some extra support to do its job well. Here’s how: environmental protection & liver support If you use paints or solvents always wear a mask If you smoke, stop; if others around you do stay away from them. Always chose biodegradable cleaning products and forget the chlorine bleaches. Avoid as many environmental pollutants as possible. Don’t cook foods in plastic containers in a microwave. Explore having the amalgam fillings in your mouth replaced with safer alternatives. Stay away from all drugs - prescription and otherwise - unless they are absolutely necessary. Exercise moderately but regularly - long walks are a great way to energize liver functions. Grow your own foods in the garden organically and go on a 2 day fresh juice fast or fruit fast, or a 10 day high raw regime every three months. look after your liver For lasting energy, this is a must. Without a top notch liver it will always elude you. How do you get your liver to function well? Follow the guidelines above. Also, avoid drinking alcohol so long as your energies are depleted or unstable. Even once your energy has been restored, it is a good idea to be careful about how much alcohol you consume. It is better to take alcohol in small quantities only and periodically rather than every day. If you really value a high energy way of life you might consider replacing it altogether with other things you enjoy - like dancing for instance, or laughing, or making love. When you do drink alcohol, support your liver using the special liver helpers listed below. They can also be useful in improving sluggish liver function while energy levels are still low. natural liver support Take anti-oxidant nutrients: a good multi-vitamin supplement taken for several weeks or months can help the liver more easily handle the elimination of toxicity and heavy metals. Try milk thistle: this plant (Silybum marianum) is rich in bioflavinoid compounds with powerful protective and anti-oxidant properties - many times more powerful than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. A supplement of clean milk thistle enhances detoxification, increases the liver's capacity to neutralize and detoxify harmful chemicals and heavy metals and protect the body’s natural anti-oxidant enzymes from damage. Nutritionally orientated doctors recommend between 80-200 mg of milk thistle three times a day. Use lipotrophic agents: compounds such as choline, betaine, l-methionine, and l-cysteine are known as lipotrophic agents - that is they help promote the flow of bile and the breakdown of fats in the body. Lipotrophics increase the levels of a couple of important liver elements - S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and glutathione - a super detoxifier and protector from free radical damage. They are used to treat lots of liver disorders - from cirrhosis and chemically caused liver damage, to hepatitis - naturally. Exercise regularly: moving the body gets a good flow of blood through the liver and activates its functioning. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it will make an enormous difference to how your body functions. under the weather Next time you feel out of sorts and somebody suggests it might be the weather, don't scoff. Weather changes can also steal our energy. Age old beliefs that "ill winds" bring sickness, odd behavior and general misery have been well supported by studies from all over the world correlating the presence of a high level of positively charged ions in the air, or an absence of negatively charged ions, with such phenomena as increased suicide rates, crimes and various illnesses including migraine, rheumatism, and nausea. This can be the result of ill winds blowing such as the Foehn in the Alps, the Sharav in the Middle East or the Chinook in America's Rocky Mountains. Our modern concrete office buildings, furnished with synthetic materials and artificial air-conditioning, also lack negatively charged air ions. If you work in such an environment, speak to your boss about how much he can decrease absenteeism amongst his employees by installing air purifiers and ionizers. light up for energy Light matters for energy too. When you don’t get enough full-spectrum UV light entering the eyes in winter or when you are constantly indoors, some people experience big drops in levels of melatonin - an important brain hormone which regulates our body clocks and influences our moods. This can lead to a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Your energy seems to drain away and you get depressed, or suffer disturbances in sleep and appetite. The remedy? Try exposing yourself to plenty of full spectrum light artificially, if it is too gloomy to get under the real sun. Next time you replace a lighting fixture in your home or buy a desk lamp, go for one which uses full spectrum tubes. If you suffer greatly from light deprivation consider buying a full-spectrum light box. Studies have shown that exposing SAD sufferers to full spectrum light by having them sit in front of a light box for several hours a day lifted the spirits of 60 to 80% of the people tested. heavy metals and hard work There are other environmental energy thieves to be wary of, such as heavy metals like lead, aluminum, and mercury from amalgam fillings. Office pollution, too, can be a real problem, and a hard one to solve sometimes unless you can make your employer aware of how employee performance can be greatly improved by providing a clean work environment. Here is a brief guide to the environmentally-based energy thieves. ENERGY DRAINERS WHERE FOUND/SYMPTOMS HELPFUL HINTS Electromagnetic pollution Caused by static from electrical appliances, computer screens, TV, radio and mobile phones, microwave ovens, electrical dial-face clocks. Symptoms include mental and emotional confusion and hormonal imbalance Don’t sleep under an electric blanket. Unplug the TV in the room in which you sleep. Sit at least 3 feet away from a computer screenand 6 feet from your TV. Give away your microwave oven. Heavy metal pollution: ie from lead, aluminum, mercury, cadmium Cooking with aluminum pots, drinking orange juice packaged in aluminum lined boxes, using certain antiperspirants. Mercury from tinned tuna and amalgam dental fillings. Cadmium from instant/non-organic coffee and other crops grown on contaminated soils. Heavy metals interfere with energy producing enzymes in the body leading to fatigue as well as mental and physical disorders Replace aluminum cooking pots/kettles. Drink spring water such as Volvic. Use sea algae supplements and add seaweed to soups and salads to chelate and eliminate the metals. Eat apples (pectin helps bind and remove heavy metals from the body). Weather Unusual winds and shifting barometric pressure cause depletion in negative ions resulting in depression, fatigue, irritable behavior. Lack of adequate UV light, such as during the winter, causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Use an ionizer in the room in which you work and by your bed at night. Consider full-spectrum lighting. Office Pollution Concrete buildings, plastic furniture, and synthetic decor deplete negative ions. Stale air recycled through conditioning and heating systems contains bacteria which challenge the immune system.  Fluorescent lighting disturbs the nervous system, photocopier and printer chemicals cause allergic reactions. General office pollution symptoms: fatigue, headaches, irritated eyes, skin rashes. Use ionizers and replace fluorescent strip lights with full spectrum ones. Keep photocopiers and printers in a room separate from the one in which you work. Take a break from your computer screen for a few minutes every hour. Use radiation control screens.

Fasting - What's The Buzz. Part One

Uncovering Myths of Fasting: Health Benefits & Drawbacks

The media is suddenly obsessed with fasting. On one hand, this is a good thing. The right kind of fasting can be a tremendously powerful tool for rejuvenation, weightloss, restoring insulin sensitivity, promoting human growth hormone—the anti-aging hormone—and lots of other things. Fasting can clear your mind and body of what is preventing you from living your life on top form. What worries me is the way so many wild fasting practices have turned up recently. One day it’s a cure-all for everybody. The next it leads people to binge on junk foods. So what is all the buzz about? Fasting is a powerful tool. But it needs to be taken seriously, fully understood and carefully followed. In recent months I have had a number of people join our Cura Romana Journey or Inner Circle Gold on line programs who were in trouble after their metabolism became all screwed up by their having tried to follow one of the current fast-yourself-slim diets. This is a sad state of affairs. More unbiased information about fasting, its blessings and its drawbacks needs to be forthcoming. MY LIFE IN FASTING When it comes to fasting of all kinds I’d wager there are few who have researched and experimented with it as long as I have. I was introduced to the ancient tradition of fasting in my mid-twenties when I had been unwell for many years, and it changed my life. I first wrote about intermittent fasting more than thirty years ago in The Joy of Beauty. I’ve continued to research and write about it in many other books since. I became fascinated by the profound healing of body, mind and spirit that takes place when people fast wisely. I have done so many kinds of fasts—juice fasts, water fasts, fasts using nothing but free-form amino acids, and intermittent fasts. I’ve just about tried them all. I even did a 40 day fast on water then spent the last five days of it skiing at St Moritz. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS I remember well the healing physical effects of carrying out my very first fast. My head became clearer and clearer. After the first few days my vision was so sharpened it was as if I were looking at the world through a crystal glass. It’s impossible to describe the changes that took place in my thinking and my emotions during the fast. I can only say that the world looked different. I realized that there was so much beauty around me which I had continued to miss. Fasting made me stop and think, stop and feel. I found delight in the simplest of things—just sitting under a tree, washing vegetables, or combing my hair. Everything seemed important. I found I wanted to do everything with real awareness. I also gained a sense of distance from my own problems, enabling me to make the decisions facing me calmly and quietly. As a result, since then, whenever I feel myself hung-up over something or whenever I sense I’m not seeing things clearly, I will quietly fast—often just for a day or two until I feel clear again. To some people this may seem an eccentricity, but not, I believe, to anyone who has actually tried fasting. DAYS ON DAYS OFF The buzz now, however, is intermittent fasting. This form of fasting has many faces. Some are better than others. The most lauded at the moment is where you spend two or more days a week drinking water while during the rest of the week you eat “normally” either with or without a very low calorie diet for the purpose of losing weight. The right kind of fast, while eating the right kind of foods, is indeed capable of facilitating weight loss provided you are capable of following it religiously for several weeks, while your body shifts from a glucose-based metabolism to a fat-based metabolism. But, even with the best will in the world, very few people can carry out this exacting procedure for long enough to allow this important metabolic transformation to take place. The second problem with days-on-days-off fasting is that it tends to precipitate binge eating during eating days. Few people understand that if you want to benefit from the experience you must rigorously fast when you are meant to be fasting and avoid binge eating on the days when you do eat. It’s essential, too, that you alter the kind of foods you eat if you want good results both in terms of weight loss and enhanced health for the future. MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE The other way to practice intermittent fasting works much better. It is a lot easier to carry out and protects your body from unnecessary strain. Here’s how it works: Instead of the day-on-day-off practice, commit yourself to eating only during a specific window of time—say 8 hours— each and every day. This is convenient and do-able for almost anybody, and it protects you from bingeing. You do all your eating between, say, 11am and 7pm and have no food or drinks except clean water and herb teas in between. For example, you skip breakfast and make lunch your first meal of the day, and you don’t eat anything after 7pm that evening. How does it all work? It takes from six to eight hours for your body to burn stored glycogen in your tissues after eating carbohydrate foods. Once this happens, your system starts to turn towards fat as its primary fuel. After a few weeks of this time-restricted fasting, food cravings that may have dogged you for eons are likely to have disappeared. (And you can take organic coconut oil which is rich in short-chain fatty acids which are quickly broken down to deal with any food cravings.) But you absolutely must be choosy about the foods you eat during the hours that you are eating. Download my little book Healthy and Lean For Life to learn more about what kind of foods protect from weight gain, foster natural weight loss and create powerful protection from degenerative diseases. It is free on the home page of www.curaromana.com in the lower right-hand corner. SPONTANEOUS INTERMITTENT FASTING So natural a procedure is fasting that in some cases it can happen spontaneously. By the time most Cura Romana participants have completed 24 days on the Essential Spray+Food Plan part of their program, and are ready to move into Consolidation, they are already fasting intermittently. At this point in their program the body has been taken through a process of deep cleansing. Food cravings have long since disappeared. Control centers for appetite, emotions, and hormones are functioning well so their food preferences are now excellent. Quite spontaneously most participants choose to skip breakfast. They say they love the vital, empty feel this brings them. They don’t need to be taught how to do intermittent fasting, they just do it. What has happened to them is that their bodies have already become adapted to burning fat instead of glucose for energy. Unnatural hunger is gone and sugar addictions no longer exist. HEALTH PAYOFFS The benefits of this kind of intermittent fasting are many. The procedure of incorporating this practice into your life becomes easy and natural. It is the start of a new way of living and eating that helps protect us from degenerative conditions long into the future. Here are just a few of the benefits it brings: Insulin sensitivity increases. So does the efficiency of mitochondrial energy, helping to slow aging and disease. Stress resistance improves dramatically. Oxidative stress diminishes since the body’s proteins, nucleic acids and lipids are protected from much free radical damage. Next week we can delve further into fasting—intermittent and otherwise. We’ll look in greater depths at the powerful therapeutic potentials it can have for weight loss, metabolic improvements, even as an effective treatment for mental and emotional disorders. We’ll examine its spiritual dimensions as well as its advantages and disadvantages. Then we’ll clarify who should and who should not fast. See you then.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 20,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 16 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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

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

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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

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