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449 articles in 6 major categories

Nature's Child

Nature's Child

"Your children are not your children," wrote the Lebanese poet Kahil Gibran, "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." It is a quote I like, not only because - having raised four children on my own - I believe it to be just about the most accurate description of parenthood I have ever come across, but also because it emphasizes the `lightness' which develops when you give up trying to be perfect and come to trust the processes of Nature - in feeding, in healing, in guiding you and your child towards what is best for his or her development at any moment in time. Like the seed of a plant which has encoded within its genetic material the characteristics that will in time produce the full-grown flower, every baby comes into this world carrying a package of as yet unrealized but incredibly rich potential. Within each child is nestled his or her very own brand of unique seedpower encompassing far greater physical, creative and spiritual potential than he or she could realize in ten lifetimes. Your child is like the brush stroke the zen painter uses to represent one leaf on a shaft of bamboo. The leaf he paints is totally singular - like no leaf that has ever existed. Yet within this uniqueness is encompassed universal beauty and life energy of the highest order.

What I’ve Learned From Kids

What I’ve Learned From Kids

As parents we feel obliged to correct our children when they make mistakes when speaking. Yet so often the words they coin seem much more sensible and charming than their “proper” counterparts. ‘It's a froggy day,’ my son, Jesse, used to say when he meant ‘foggy.’ ‘Where are the ouches?’ My daughter, Susannah, would ask when she wanted to hang something on the clothesline. (She 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 child, announced one day after playing with one of our Burmese cats, ‘Mummy, guess what, pussy cats have dangerous toes'. Kids have taught me to express my anger instead of being 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 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. LIVING DEATH One summer day, many years ago, everything seemed to go wrong for me. For no apparent reason I awakened in the morning with the awful feeling that nothing was worthwhile. At 10am I received a telegram from a publisher saying that two manuscripts (of which I had no copies) had been lost in the mail. By noon not even the brilliance of Californian sunshine (where we were on holiday at the time) could shake off the heavy black cloud that surrounded me. I was angry with myself and trying to avoid being angry with everyone else. Jesse, then aged eight, and Susannah, ten, kept hounding me to take them to the beach. I didn't want to go anywhere, especially the beach. I didn’t want to do anything for anyone. In the worst possible spirit I eventually consented—making sure, of course, that they realized I was doing them a great big favor. The pure white sand and fresh sea air on an almost deserted beach did nothing to improve my mood. It seemed to me that life was ‘out there’ and I was ‘in here’, locked away in the depths of the gloomy dungeon I'd somehow built for myself and was powerless to break out of. As the sun shone brighter and more beautifully I grew steadily more gloomy. Finally I could stand it no longer. Despite the fact that the children were playing in the sand nearby and I didn't want to upset them, I broke down and cried. Susannah asked what was wrong. ‘I don't know, just about everything seems wrong at the moment,’ I whined. ‘I feel like that sometimes,’ Jesse said, offering no sympathy whatsoever. ‘I think you must be angry.’ ‘So what if I am?’ I snapped. ‘Why don't you hit something?’ he suggested. ‘There's nothing to hit,’ I replied irritably, ‘and anyway that's stupid.’ ‘No, it's not,’ Susannah chimed in. ‘It’ll make you feel ever so much better, Mummy. Or maybe you should try growling like a dog.’ REDISCOVERING LIFE I was willing to try anything. So, feeling like a complete fool and admonishing myself for behaving so stupidly in front of my own children, I growled and complained. I hated everyone, I said. I hated myself. I was lonely and I felt the whole world was stupid. Then I growled some more while the two of them sat listening silently. Not once did they try to console me, or tell me I was wrong or protest that the world was really a lovely place to live. Not once did they pass judgment on me or make me feel ashamed of myself or foolish. They just sat and waited. Finally I felt a little better. Jesse had been right, I thought, but I still had no idea where to go from here. At last I was quiet. Only then did Susannah say, ‘I think maybe I know what's wrong with you.’ ‘What?’ I asked skeptically. ‘You're always thinking about such serious stuff. You're always telling yourself what to do and what not to do. No wonder you're angry. You've forgotten how to have fun, Mummy.’ She was certainly right. Having fun seemed as far away as the moon at that moment. I realized then that for several months I had saddled myself with my work as if work were the only thing that mattered. I'd hated almost every minute of it but had felt proud of being such a ‘responsible adult.’ ‘Maybe you're right,’ I replied. ‘But how does somebody who's forgotten something so important remember it?’ ‘Come on, let's did a hole,’ was her reply. ‘Yeah, I like holes,’ Jesse chimed in. HIPPOPOTAMUS THAW Feeling like a half-frozen hippopotamus, I lifted myself off the towel and mechanically moved toward the site they'd chosen for the hole. I started to dig. Jesse, who often acted the role of a clown, was soon sliding down into it. Susannah was snapping at him for ‘ruining the shape.’ I looked at the two of them fiercely sneering at each other and saw myself as I had been just a few minutes before. I began to laugh. So did they. Before long we had a beautiful hole dug. It was the most gorgeous hole I’d ever seen... or so it seemed to me. We had a contest to see who was best at running up and leaping over it. Then we drew pictures in the sand and ran into the ice-cold water, splashing each other. By the time the first wave struck me, I, like the two of them, had become part of the sea and the sky. There was no more gloom and no more supercilious self-assurances that I was ‘doing the best thing.’ I was alive again. Later that evening I thanked Jesse and Susannah for helping me and teaching me to have fun again. Then in typical adult fashion, I added, ‘You know I'm likely to forget and be all grumbly again before long.’ ‘That's all right,’ replied Susannah, ‘we'll remind you.’

The Best Is Yet To Come

The Best Is Yet To Come

This is an interview I gave about what it means to turn 50 years old and the gifts that this process can bring. Tally: You’ve always said that turning 50 and entering menopause are great gifts, Leslie, What do you mean by this? TURNING 50 Leslie: Let me first be personal,Tally. My 50th birthday was the only birthday in my life that I cared about. It felt to me as though 50 was a watershed—the moment in time where I left behind my previous life in order to create a new life for myself. At that time I was writing my first novel, Ludwig: A Spiritual Thriller, about Beethoven. My eldest son, Branton, gave me an amazing birthday gift. What he did was lay aside two days for me and a dozen other people to celebrate, not just my birthday, but their own passages in their own lives. One of the things he did—he sent six bouquets of my favorite flowers—Oriental lilies—each containing a dozen lilies. Then on the Friday night there was a knock at the door. I opened the front door to find a woman with a violin in her hand. She said “Hello. We are a quartet from the Welsh National Opera, and we have come to play Beethoven’s late quartets for you.” Anyway, I had done a fast to celebrate my life-change at 50, basically. I wasn’t, at that time, entering menopause—it was about a year later that I did. Tally: Well my own experience of turning 50 was pretty bleak. I was already in the menopause. I felt horrible—tears all the time, hot flushes, insomnia. I felt very stressed by the whole thing. I also lost my waist for a while, which really upset me. So for me, it wasn’t a great experience. How could I make it a bit better? Leslie: I think you weren’t prepared for it, Tally. Menopause is the most important moment in a woman’s life, for a lot of reasons. My menopause was not easy in the beginning either. Why? Because I had been filled with the same kind of fear and nonsense that the media fills all of us with about menopause. You know the kind of stuff—“Oh my god, what if I have a hot flush when I’m in the boardroom?” and “You’ll get old and dry up if you don’t use HRT!” THE GIFTS OF MENOPAUSE Yet somewhere, deep inside, I sensed that the gifts of menopause might be the world’s best kept secret. Entering menopause, we venture through a gateway to enter into a sacred space that is brand new to our lives. We pass through this portal to claim the joy that every woman can feel, but has not yet known. As we stand at the brink of menopause, it feels as though only darkness lies beyond, lasting for the rest of our lives. This is true, but not in the way that most women believe. For having myself passed through that doorway into the realms beyond—20 years ago now—I discovered for myself something which women from all cultures have whispered to each other for thousands of years: Menopause is the most freeing passage a woman can make. HERO’S JOURNEY The transformation it can bring is rich and endless. Your life can become a journey in which you tap into your own individual power and freedom. For every woman it’s a voyage of discovery which, step by step, wants us to examine and discard misconceptions about ourselves and our lives, to get rid of the fear, and to come face to face with the implications of what this kind of female transformation means. The call to menopause, which each of us hears, comes in as many different forms as there are women to hear it. But whatever shape it takes, its purpose is the same. It’s asking us to leave behind the comfortable world of our ordinary existence and enter unfamiliar, yet sacred, territory. It’s asking each of us to set out on our own hero’s journey. Sometimes, this urges us to make an outer journey to a real place, find a new job, or leave behind a marriage that has outlived its usefulness. But for most of us, the journey takes place in our hearts, in our minds, in our spirits. What is wonderful, is this: however it happens, this journey takes a woman out of her ordinary world, and away from all of the outdated, false assumptions we carry about who we are. It takes us out of an experience of fear into one of strength; out of an experience of grief and regret towards the discovery of a new sense of purpose—from despair to hope. Now it’s time to recognize that all of the things that take place in a woman’s life—like what happened to you, Tally, with your hot flushes and “Oh my god, what’s happening to me?”—are fundamentally a call from your soul. It’s saying to you “You’ve lived a good life until now, you’ve cared for other people, you’ve been responsible and honorable in what you’re doing, but where is the essence of Tally?” Now’s the time for you to learn to live your life from the very core of your being? HERBAL SECRETS Let’s go back to those hot flushes. I have a very extraordinary point of view as far as they’re concerned. If you’re in a boardroom, you have a hot flush and it bothers the men who are with you, that’s their problem, not yours. Most men are scared to death of women in the menopause. They’re not aware of it, but the power that women access within themselves is phenomenal. On a practical level, hot flushes are easy things to deal with. Herbs like black cohosh—also known as black snakeroot, or sheng ma in Chinese medicine—and sage are great to support the process. Motherwort is absolutely marvelous for the menopause transition because it’s so comforting. When you mix together some of these herbs they work best. What I would never do is get into hormone replacement therapy. Menopause signals to us that it’s time to stop being the lover, the mother, the good employee—all of the things we grow up thinking we’re supposed to live up to—and just spend time being with yourself, in that inner place, discovering who you really are. When you do this, you find that even the physical experiences of menopause which are supposed to be negative are really a call from your soul, urging you to find out who you are, and begin to live out the fantastic power, energy, and freedom that menopause is offering. These are rewards of the natural menopause, and of the transformation that menopause can bring to a woman’s life if she’s willing to embrace it. Choose to answer the call, and your menopausal passage can become the most exciting hero’s journey anyone ever takes.

Perfect Synergy

Perfect Synergy

The most effective approach to de-aging relies on getting antioxidants in the form in which they come in nature - by eating natural, unprocessed, fresh foods rich not only in the antioxidants that have been heavily studied and are well known, but in so many other plant substances that in one way or anther have anti-aging properties. One of the interesting things about the anti-aging substances in fresh foods is that they also happen to be anticancer substances. The changes that take place in cancer are akin to the mutations to the cells, cell walls, and genetic material which occur as the body ages. Eat foods rich in anticancer compounds and you automatically protect your body from premature aging too. There are certain superfoods - herbs, mushrooms and other plant substances - that are high on the list of powerful natural de-agers. They include the algae such as chlorella, spirulina, the Australian Dunaliella Salina; the seaweeds - dulse, kelp, alaria and bladderwrack; certain herbs with powerful adaptogenic properties that help protect the body from stress such as Fo-ti, Schizandra, astragalus and ginger; cereal grasses; the immune supporting mushrooms such as reishi and maitake; as well as natural plant antioxidants such as those found in sage, rosemary, and cloves. There are thousands of plant-based chemicals in natural foods, some of which have even higher antioxidant activity than known antioxidant minerals and vitamins. Take grape seeds. Within the seed of red grapes you will find procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs) at a level of about 92-95%. The gallic esters of prosnthocynidins are the most active free radical scavengers known. enter neutraceuticals Neutraceuticals are the newest advances in dietary supplements. They are beginning to grace the shelves next to vitamin and mineral supplements in shops. These new products contain phytochemical substances and compounds such as those from grape seeds which have been extracted from foods and then concentrated into powders and capsules. For example, now you can find that some of the cholesterol-lowering factors found in a clove of garlic or the cancer-preventing potential in a sprig of fresh raw broccoli have been put together into an easy-to-use form. These phytochemicals are always non-nutrient substances - that is not vitamins, minerals, or trace elements. Some bring plants their color, taste, and fragrance. Others their natural defenses against disease. In recent years scientists have discovered that many of these factors in plants can help protect us. The reason these new products are called neutraceuticals is because of their neutral action on the body. Unlike drugs they are very unlikely to cause side-effects. Yet some have been shown to slow tumor growth in cancer, others to combat hormone-related cancer risks, or lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, boost the immune system, prevent tooth decay and gum disease and help reverse many of the other biomarkers of aging. Researchers into the exciting new world of phytochemical biology have identified thousands of different plant chemicals that exist in natural foods, hundreds of which have already been shown to have health benefits.

Your Silent Sea

Your Silent Sea

There are five main channels for detoxifying your body: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys, the bowels and the lymphatic system. None is less less recognized, nor more important in spring-cleaning the body, than your lymphatic system. Yet the state of its health and functioning is still almost completely ignored. Your lymphatics are not only a major route for absorbing vital nutrients from the digestive system into the tissues to keep skin healthy, youthful and glowing—they are important carriers of immune cells. These protect your body from damage and illness and help prevent degenerative aging. Lymphatics are also your body's metabolic-waste-disposal system. They take away unwanted proteins and large particles of toxic debris which cannot be removed by any other means. This includes toxins—the by-products of fatigue and of stress—dead cells, fatty globules, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, infectious viruses and other assorted rubbish cast off by your cells. WASTE DISPOSAL So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of the lymphatic system that without them you would die within 24 hours. Doctors working with natural methods of healing insist that a primary cause of fatigue, disease and cell degeneration, with its accompanying premature aging, is poor circulation of lymph to and from the cells and tissues of the body. The same tradition of natural medicine uses a number of effective techniques designed to stimulate lymphatic functions as a means of healing even quite serious illnesses— ranging from rheumatism or cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue. These techniques include exercise (done for the joy of it, not as a chore), skin-brushing, special breathing techniques, and infra red saunas. All of these things improve the purity and quality of the lymph—the clear fluid which flows through the lymphatics (lymph vessels). They are little short of revolutionary in what they can do for your good looks and your good health. They have even been known to clear long-standing skin troubles such as acne, improve the look of puffy or aging skin, heighten vitality, banish muscle and joint pain, and aid in the regeneration of the body as a whole. Making use of these techniques is simple. But first you need to know a little about how the lymphatic system functions, and just how important a role its mysterious mechanisms play in promoting health and beauty. WHITE BLOOD MAGIC Your body is more than 75 per cent water. So important is water to the processes of life itself that, according to Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, “Life is water dancing to the tune of solids”. A French biologist rather poetically emphasized Szent-Gyorgyi's observation by saying: 'Man is an amphibian. Even the most beautiful woman's body is no more than an aquarium with 50 liters of lukewarm seawater in which trillions of cells live and fight for survival.' Five liters of this 'seawater' are to be found in your blood, five in digestive and other secretions, and almost all the rest is in your lymphatic fluid or lymph—sometimes called 'white blood'. Thanks to the lymph, a ceaseless interchange goes on between your body's trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids, so that food and oxygen are exchanged and waste products are eliminated from the cells—all through the medium of water. For cells and tissues to be nourished, for them to remain vital, and for your skin and muscles to remain smooth and healthy and firm, this interchange needs to occur without impedance, and the water itself needs to be relatively uncontaminated. BEAUTIFUL FLUID In your body, nutrients and oxygen are transported to the tissues and cells via the bloodstream. Arterial pressure forces the blood through tiny capillaries and out into the cells' interstitial spaces to enable the nutrients and oxygen to be exchanged for the wastes which the cells have produced. Here the water or interstitial fluid, now filled with toxic waste, is gathered by tiny lymphatic tubules and then sent back through the lymph vessels to be detoxified. These lymphatics are a highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels which flow all over your body. In fact, almost all the tissues of the body are equipped with lymph channels which drain excess fluid, and the wastes which it contains, from the interstitial spaces. This opalescent liquid carries the wastes and toxic products from these minute channels into larger lymphatic vessels, and on through the lymph nodes, which are located in the groin and under the arm and the neck. The lymph nodes filter the fluid to remove impurities and dead cells; they are also a place where antibodies, which fight infection or toxins, are made. After purification at the nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way, the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity and to reduce excess mucus and waste. GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND The microscopic network of these lymph channels resembles the blood capillaries, except that it is finer. And the lymph system in many ways is rather like the blood system except that, while the blood system is powered by the action of the heart muscles, the lymphatic system has no such prime mover. Instead, its nourishing, water-balancing and eliminative functions are almost entirely dependent upon gravity and the natural pressure of muscles which occurs when you move your body. These muscle contractions and body movements—together with biochemical factors, such as whether or not excessive quantities of protein are present in the fluid—keep the lymph flowing and make it possible for the lymphatics to carry out their important task of bodily cleansing. For good lymphatic functioning—to keep your body free of the buildup of wastes and toxicity—you need to move your muscles vigorously and often. That is why regular brisk exercise, such as taking long walks in comfortable shoes, is so important not only to firm your muscles and strengthen your heart and lungs, but also to encourage the steady and effective elimination of wastes from your cells and tissues.

De-Age Your Skin

De-Age Your Skin

There are now over 10,000 ingredients commonly found in cosmetics and toiletries. Among these are a few thousand aromatic compounds used to perfume products—by the way, most products these days are anything but natural. More than a thousand of these substances have already been shown to produce toxic effects on living systems. Now here’s the BIG news: Far more important than the potential harm any single chemical can do is the dangerous way in which these chemicals can interact to produce far more toxic compounds within your body and, of course, the skin, which is your largest organ. OUTDATED SCIENCE So far behind the times are the methods used to check out the “safety” of chemical ingredients, that it’s likely to take decades before the depth of the chemical damage to which we are now exposed can become common knowledge. The outdated analytical methods still being used to identify carcinogenic chemicals, for instance, examine the effect of only one chemical on living tissue. This kind of research is at least 150 years behind what it should be. It’s based on 19th century toxicology, and as such, it takes no account of the dangers of mega-toxic compounds created by chemical interactions with one or another. Not to mention the pollutants in our foods, water and air. All of these chemicals—and others formed by reactions between them—contribute to mounting toxicity. They make our skins highly susceptible to rapid ageing. FOREIGN DANGERS Man-made chemicals are foreign to living systems, including our own skin and body. As such, they’re potentially dangerous to them. Why? Because, in a million years of evolution, our bodies have never come into contact with them. Our genes are simply not adapted to handle them. We don’t have the enzyme system needed to clear these chemicals from our bodies. And here’s the bad news: Included in the group of potentially destructive chemicals are hundreds—probably thousands—of common cosmetic ingredients, from artificial preservatives to fragrances. TOXIC OVERLOAD Chemical cocktails, to which our bodies are constantly exposed in cleaning products, toiletries, perfumes, makeup and skin care products don’t just remain on the surface of the skin. They are absorbed right through it. They interfere with the exchange of nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells, and with the elimination of wastes—an exchange regulated by subtle electrochemical energies. This results in a buildup of toxicity in the body, poor circulation and electrochemical stagnation, so that the skin’s cellular metabolism—and the transmission of important information and the regulation of hormones to keep it young and beautiful—break down. So much for the bad news. THE GOOD NEWS When cells thrive, and your skin is radiant, you have a high level of protection from aging. This happens when plenty of nutrients and oxygen get into your cells, and toxic wastes are efficiently and effectively removed. One way help this takes place is to go for self care and cleaning products that are safe. The second way is to stop eating massive amounts of convenience foods, riddled with grains, cereals, sugars and junk fats. Of course this is what most people still eat. Then they wonder why their skin ages rapidly. The good news is this: There are some wonderful new skincare products just being introduced. These are not only organic in nature, they contain none of the nasties you will want to steer clear of. BUYER BEWARE Unfortunately, most cosmetic manufacturers still pay little attention to the effects that these chemicals can exert on the body and on health in general. Here are some of the most widespread chemicals commonly used in makeup, skincare and toiletries, and which you need to be aware of. Parabens: Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry, used in an estimated 13,200 skincare products, makeup, and toiletries. These are the most common synthetic preservatives. They show up on labels with names like butyl-paraben, methyl-paraben, and propyl-paraben. Naïve cosmetic manufacturers insist that parabens are “safe”, because they don’t directly cause inflammatory reactions to skin. But what these enzyme-inhibitors do is cause damage to the DNA of skin cells. This is something easily verified by feeding placebos to live cells in a laboratory, then recording what happens to them. Research carried out in Germany, Britain and Japan also indicates that parabens—which we absorb in significant quantities day in, day out—are likely to be a causative factor in male infertility problems and breast tumors in women. Sodium Lauryl or Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which is found in some 90% of personal care products. They tend to attack your skin’s important ability to retain moisture, leading to premature aging and, in many, dry skin. Since they are very easily absorbed into the body when you put them on your skin, they actually give easy access to other chemicals that you are better off without. Isopropyl alcohol (SD-40): This is a drying and irritating solvent which disrupts the skin’s immune protective barrier, making it more vulnerable to invasion by microbes and to penetration by other destructive chemicals. It also promotes the formation of irregular pigmentation and age spots. Coal tar dyes (FD&C color pigments): These are common synthetic colors made from coal tar. They can contain heavy metals to pollute the body and deplete it of oxygen. They can also be carcinogenic. Coal tar dyes are major culprits in skin reactions, and they engender skin sensitivity. Dioxane: Often hidden in the list of ingredients, and called such things as polysorbates, PEG, and laureth ethoxylated alcohols. These chemicals are easily absorbed by the skin and are carcinogenic. This was discovered back in 1965 and later confirmed by a number of studies, including one in 1978 by the National Cancer Institute in the US. Artificial fragrances: Lots of chemicals used to make artificial fragrances are known to be both toxic and carcinogenic. They can affect the central nervous system, triggering emotional disturbances and behavioral problems in some people. This is a wide group, the majority of which is dangerous—in no small part because of the solvents used to disperse their molecules and to suspend these complex organic chemicals in solution. MAKE YOUR CHOICE Does this mean you should never again slick on that yummy lip gloss? Or that you need to toss the light-as-air cream you just bought into the bin? Not necessarily. What it does mean is this: It’s time to become aware of the dangers of toxic overload to your own system, and take action to minimize it happening to you. It’s also a good idea to cleanse your system through a very gentle but effective detox a couple of times a year. You might, for instance, choose to use the lipstick or a favorite mascara—but search for a shampoo with a natural saponifier, like kumerhou or soap wort. And forget the foaming bath lotions—use Epsom salts instead. It is important not to take, on trust, cosmetic and skincare manufacturers’ assurances that everything they put into their products is perfectly safe. It just ain’t true. ORGANIC ALTERNATIVES A growing number of conscientious companies are striving to formulate products without potentially dangerous ingredients. Some of these products are excellent. Others, although they may have been conceived out of a genuine wish to produce good, safe skincare and makeup, fall short on effectiveness and aesthetic appeal. Just like organic wines—which can be wonderful— but simply because a wine is organic does not make it beautiful to drink. Delicious organic wines rely on chemical-free vineyards and the sophisticated skill of the winemaker who creates them. So it is with cosmetics. NEW GUYS ON THE BLOCK There are two brand new organic skincare ranges that are worth taking a look at. One of them, Gaiavita…From Nature to Beauty With Love, is an excellent range that has just appeared. I have tried their products and they are effective and delightful. Their products are not only produced from superb-quality organic ingredients, the company has a powerful commitment to supporting transformation in business and on the planet, which I find inspiring. Gaiavita offer luxury health and beauty products using the purest ingredients in preparing rejuvenating skin creams and clay body masques. Do take a look at them. GaiaVita's ethos is derived from core principles of responsibility, integrity, transparency and quality...all of which I love. They have created luxury skin and body products which are not only uncompromising in their ethics but are delicious to use... and they do the job for which they are intended. The founders have a vision of forming partnerships with other women’s organizations dedicated to empowering women to become everything that they want to be. Their skin care and body treatments contain only the purest ingredients. This range is formulated in Hungary with great care and is certified by Hungaria Biokontrol as 95% organic. All in all I feel that GaiaVita is inspiring, delicious and effective. Do take a look at it…perhaps I should say take a feel of it...I suspect you’ll come to like it as much as I do… The second new organic skincare range comes out of Dr Joseph Mercola’s stable. Mercola believes that it’s important to use only ingredients that promote healthy appearances without causing potential harm. His products are certified organic, which means that they are all natural agricultural products grown and processed according to the USDA’s national organic standards, then certified by the USDA-accredited state and private certification organizations. I have a lot of respect for Dr Mercola, however I have not yet tested the Mercola organic skincare range myself. I will be doing so within the next month. It relies principally on specific natural substances such as sea buckthorn oil, cupuaco butter, and even Acai berries. My reservations about the Mercola range—and this may change once I have experimented with them—is this: Just as I have never trusted anybody to tell the truth about weight control when they have never been overweight and don’t have any idea what people who have been struggle with, I have reservations about a skincare range put together by a man who understands little about the nature of the process. I know this sounds sexist, but my experience in skin care and cosmetic is a long one. Among other ranges I have worked on, I conceived and created the Origins range for cosmetic giant Estee Lauder. I believe that you must have the experience of women to create a skincare range that is effective, delicious to use and wonderful. Hopefully, testing out Mercola’s products will prove me wrong. MERCOLA’S RANGE FAILS Alas, my concerns about the Mercola skincare turned out to be well founded. The range is indeed organic however, having tested the products now, I cannot recommend them. They smell pleasant but are in my opinion ineffective. They are also badly packaged and priced far to high. They brought no improvement to my skin and added nothing to its care. My advice is to stay away from them altogether... just because some ingredients are organic says nothing about what they can or cannot do to care for your skin and this range brings can do little or nothing for you. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS RANGE IN ANY WAY. For more information about GAIAVITA click here For more information about MERCOLA’s SKINCARE RANGE click here

Down With Cellulite - Part 2

Down With Cellulite - Part 2

BUILD A NEW BODY Strong, sleek, firm muscles are what I call power flesh. Creating power flesh means banishing flab and rebuilding your body’s natural, sleek contours. This takes time, and it can't be done without good protein. Proteins are made of long chains of amino acids—the primary structural components of your body. These amino acids act as building blocks for new muscle which is made up of protein and water. Amino acids also stimulate metabolic processes and hormonal activity. They are key to burning up fat and clearing cellulite. In fact amino acids—the building blocks of all protein foods—are needed for just about every physical process in your body from the production of new hormones to replacement of old cells with new. REBIRTH ALL ROUND Within your body old proteins are continually being broken down into their component amino acids and reshaped into new compounds. Even enzymes themselves are made out of amino acids. Radioisotope tracings show that more than 98% of the molecules in your body will be replaced during the next year—your muscles, your blood, your enzymes, even your genes will be made anew. How good they will be depends almost entirely on the raw materials you give your body to work with—in other words, what you eat. A coffee and cake diet will result in a coffee and cake body, not in power flesh. To rebuild a strong, sleek, firm body you need the highest-quality proteins. How much is easy to figure. On any anti-cellulite program you will want about the same quantity of protein that an active woman requires to sustain her body weight if you are exercising, say, an hour a day: This is approximately 1.4 grams of amino acids per kilogram of body weight (2.2046). In other words, if you weigh 8 1/2 stone you will need about 76 grams of protein a day. Once your rebuilding program is complete, unless you exercise a great deal, you can reduce that requirement to between 0.8 grams and 1 gram per kilo of body weight. Unless you supply this quantity of protein foods with a good balance of amino acids, you are asking your body to rebuild itself but not supplying the wherewithal to carry out your request. This would be like pushing an engine to its limit without supplying the fuel it needs to run, namely the right kind of protein foods. But these are not always easy to come by. And it may surprise you—during the Rebuild you may be eating more of these foods than you have ever done before. PROTEIN—CHOOSE WITH CARE There are some important things to watch out for when eating meat, fish, and poultry (quite apart from whether or not you want or don't want to eat meat on moral grounds). Unless you are able to buy organic meat, or at least meat from animals that have grazed on grass and been allowed to roam on fields, the animals you eat will have been raised on grain-based feeds laced with various chemicals, and more often than not fed on GMO grain and cereal fodder. Such animals will also have been treated with antibiotics—all of which you ingest. All of these things you don't need if you are going to live a long and healthy, cellulite-free life. This doesn't mean that if you are a meat eater you must shun a delicious steak for the rest of your life but it does mean that you should be wise and go for the best quality meat you can afford. Excellent sources of proteins also come in the form of fish and shellfish. VEGETARIANS RULE If you feel you must be vegetarian on moral grounds by all means do. The world has many beautiful women without cellulite who live on vegetarian fare. If not, however, at least while you are actively shedding cellulite (and this can take several months since nature works slowly but surely), you might want to explore fish, shellfish, eggs, and microfiltered whey—all excellent protein sources. Many vegetarians swear by tofu. Tofu is great, provided it is made from organic, non-GMO soya beans. More than 95% of soya these days is GMO and grown on depleted soils. Don’t touch soy milk or tofu unless you are certain it has been made entirely from non-GMO beans. Use only the very best microfiltered whey. I spent months exploring just about every variety of microfiltered whey looking for the finest. I was stunned to find just how badly produced and ineffective most of the wheys on the market are. I would not feed them to a dog let alone a human being. So buy wisely. BEST OF THE BEST The microfiltered whey I believe to be the best in the world both for the way it has been processed and the taste: Well Wisdom, Vital Whey, Natural Vanilla, 21 oz (600 g) Vital Whey is a delicious, 100% natural nutritional protein supplement which comes in Vanilla, Cocoa and Natural. All three are proprietary, non-denatured, native whey protein produced to maintain the full range of all the fragile immune-modulating and regenerative components naturally present in fresh raw milk. The milk for this product is derived from cows that are grass-fed and graze year-round on natural pastures. Well Wisdom whey does not contain genetically engineered materials. It is hormone-treatment-free, pesticide-free, chemical-free and undergoes minimal processing: You can learn more about this product and order directly from iherb.com by clicking here: Iherb is the best online e-commerce store in the world—with the cheapest prices anywhere. For over 16 years they have had the distinction of being the most celebrated online natural supplement supplier. They ship efficiently to over 180 different countries, faster than you can receive most goods from the country you live in. They get preferential rates from DHL so even with shipping cost you are often better off ordering from them than buying goods in your own country, even if you have to pay import duty. Check their information on import duty when ordering. In many countries you will not have to. There is nothing like the range of good products they offer, or the customer care they provide. However if you do not want to order from iherb, you can use the link here to take a look at this product so that you know what it looks like and see if you can find it locally or online in your own country. Do check the price too. I order virtually all of my nutritional stuff, fresh nuts, and even non-toxic cleaning and washing products from iherb because, for me, even with the shipping, it costs me less money that it would if I could buy what I want locally.

Joyous Movement

Joyous Movement

Moving your body preserves youth and creates high-level vitality, as well as good feelings about who you are. Did you know, for example, that regular exercise is the best treatment yet devised for depression? Little wonder, since throughout evolution our bodies have been built to move. It is only in the last century that we have become sedentary ‘lounge-lizards', making ourselves vulnerable to the numerous ailments—from osteoporosis to coronary heart disease—in which lack of physical exercise is a major risk factor. Exercise can do as much good for your mind as it can your body. You might be surprised to find how simple and blissful the right kind of exercise can be. GET INTO BLISS We are told all the time, by everyone, that we should force ourselves to exercise whether we like it or not. Personally, I love exercise. But only because doing it brings me joy. I firmly believe you should never exercise out of a sense of duty, or for fear of putting on weight if you don’t. Find out what you love doing, and do it just for fun. You could swim or jog or dance for the pleasure of it Or rebound on a mini-trampoline—something that is particularly good for internal spring-cleaning. Swimming is great because it is so sensuous. But don’t make yourself swim laps. Instead, move sensuously through the water and notice the bliss your body can feel as you do. If you don’t know what exercise you enjoy, then start with a brisk walk. TAKE A WALK Brisk daily walks can be a lot of fun—but they can also be a major factor in disease-prevention, as they help keep your body clean from the inside out. They increase vitality and improve your mental state. How far? How fast? That depends on how fit you are already. Start slowly if you are not used to exercise, and then gradually—over several weeks—work up your pace to four miles an hour; that means you will be walking a mile in about 15 minutes. Walk with a sense that you are just going to allow your body to move and to experience the pleasure of being alive. Walking brings our awareness into our bodies, along with the magnificent spirit that is the essence of who you are, so you and your body feel like one. If you have young children, take them with you in a pushchair or pram. Older children can benefit as much from the exercise as you do. If the weather is bad, make sure you are all equipped with waterproofs or warm clothing. Or, if you prefer, get up early before anyone else is awake and go out by yourself (this is my favorite time for exercising). If you go out to work, carry your work-shoes with you and wear a comfortable pair of trainers. Take the bus or train to within a mile or so of your workplace and walk from there. AGE PREVENTION The latest research into age-retardation shows clearly that it is not a pill, magic potion or some glamorous and expensive youth treatment which best reverses the long and depressing list of changes that have come to be associated with aging, but simple exercise. How much regular aerobic activity you get determines the level of something called your ‘V02max’. This is the scientific term for 'maximum oxygen consumption’—the most critical measurement of your body's heart and lung performance. This measurement is something which declines steadily in most people after the age of 30—at a rate of about 1 per cent per year—simply because, unlike our primitive ancestors who remained physically active all through their lives, we lead a largely sedentary existence. As a result, we appear to age quite rapidly—we experience a decline in cardiovascular and lung fitness, we lose muscle and bone tissue, our skin wrinkles and thins, and we experience a progressive stiffening of the joints. These age-related changes appear to occur at just the rate at which our V02max declines. The good news is this: a decline in V02max is by no means inevitable. When a person of 35, 55, or even 75 moves their body regularly, this can restore V02max levels to that of someone many years younger. As this happens, energy increases and parameters such as cardiovascular fitness, heart-rate, cholesterol, and blood-lipids return to more youthful measures. Skin looks younger, high blood-pressure lowers, joints regain flexibility. Meanwhile, loss of minerals from the bones is halted, muscle-mass increases, and fat is lost; even your intelligence improves. LASTING VITALITY Physiologist J. L. Hodgson carried out a series of studies at Pennsylvania State University which showed that when an inactive 70-year-old starts a program of moderate activity he can expect, in effect, to improve his oxygen-transporting ability (V02max) by some 15 years. If then he goes on to achieve an athlete's level of conditioning, he can potentially regain 40 years of V02max and experience many of the physical and physiological effects of rejuvenation in the process. AGE REVERSAL So exceptional is the ability of regular exercise to reverse aging changes that Dr Walter Bortz, one of America’s leading scientific experts on aging, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that 'It seems extremely unlikely that any future drug or physician-oriented technique will approach such a benefit'. Bortz had begun studying the relationship between age-related changes and inactivity through having his own leg in a cast for six weeks. When the cast was removed the 'withered, stiff and painful leg' looked like it belonged on someone 40 years older. He found that, by almost every physiological parameter known, a lack of exercise produced bodily changes paralleling those associated with aging. Regular sustained physical activity can go a long way towards preventing and even reversing them. BLESSINGS OF MOVEMENT Herbert de Vries of the Andrus Gerontology Centre at the University of Southern California showed in a study involving more than 200 people that men and women of 60 or 70 can become as fit and energetic as people 30 years younger. 'Regular exercise quite literally turned back the clock for our volunteers,' said de Vries. And, when questioned about what they considered the greatest benefit of their regular exercise programs, his subjects most often answered “greater energy”. The fitter you are, the more energy you have. SKIN GLOWS Regular exercise—the kind you get if you do 30-45 minutes of walking, swimming, dancing, rebounding or what you love most, at least three times a week—suffuses your skin with blood, enhances lymphatic functioning, increases the ability of your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the skin's cells, and removes waste products from them. Exercise physiologist James White at University of California, San Diego, carried out an interesting study to find out just how effective exercise might be at retarding—even maybe reversing—the effects of aging on skin. Working with older women, he compared two groups: One group on a program of rebounding using mini-trampolines, and one group of sedentary women. He discovered that the exercisers looked younger, had better skin, coloring, and fewer wrinkles than non-exercisers. White was surprised to discover that exercise even reduces bags under the eyes. With all these amazing benefits, why wouldn’t you want to get into the joy of movement today…?

The breakdown

The breakdown

One of your body’s most effective mechanisms for protecting itself from excessive toxicity taken in through food, air and water, or produced as a by-product of metabolism, is to lock these toxic materials into fat cells. In the case of cellulite, this natural protective mechanism goes one stage further—encasing these wastes in the interstitial fluids and ground substance of your skin by binding them with hardened connective tissue. To shed cellulite, you need first to help your body detoxify itself. The reason you have built up these wastes is simply that your body continually has to cope with more toxins than it can eliminate in the normal day-to-day course of events. Remove some of the burden of what is creating this excess toxicity in your system by laying aside coffee, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, over-processed foods complete with chemical additives, and avoiding sugar and grain-based foods for a time, and you’re halfway there. Add to that a very simple and temporary regime designed to trigger rapid detoxification, some gentle exercise, and some external help, and quite naturally you trigger your body’s own mechanisms for clearing out the junk. There are lots of ways you can do it, but the simplest of all to begin with is to go on a two-day apple fast. (See Apple Magic.) External work on your body is also important to trigger the detoxification process. Incorporate skin brushing into your daily routine during an apple fast (see Skin Brushing), and afterwards continue to use skin brushing to help break up hardened connective tissue and keep the detoxification process going while you are rebuilding new, strong connective tissue and ground substance. Another excellent technique which helps with this process is hydrotherapy, particularly the German Blitzguss. A real one needs to be done by a professional, but you can get many of the same effects in the shower yourself at home—especially if you have a hand-held shower which you can direct on different parts of your body. Here’s How [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/blitz-guss.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/into-the-bliss/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/02/lk-video-blitz-guss.jpg ] Take a warm shower until your skin is really glowing with warmth. Then turn off the hot water and using only cold, direct it over your face and then down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. Finally, concentrate on the areas of your body where cellulite accumulates—the thighs, abdomen, hips and buttocks. The whole process should take no more than 30 seconds. Then get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. Do this at least once a day after skin brushing. Help From the Outside Exercise used as part of a program to banish cellulite needs to be isotonic in nature. This means it needs to take you through large movements such as running, walking briskly, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, rowing, swimming and cycling, all of which shorten and lengthen your muscles rhythmically without bringing about a big increase in tension. Isotonic exercise is one of the finest ways for you to eliminate wastes before they have a chance to build up. What kind of exercise is best? The kind you like best. Try walking briskly in comfortable clothing, dancing, cycling, whatever you love to do, for 15 to 60 minutes a session, three to five times a week. Start slowly, then when you notice positive changes in energy taking place in your body, and an enhanced self-awareness as you get into an exercise program, you will find your body craving more.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 18,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 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 19th of October 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.92 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men
-0.92 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of October 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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