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Eat For Youth

Eat For Youth

Many of the most beautiful meals will be found on the ageless aging table. The variety of colors, textures, tastes and culinary experiences which delicious natural foods offer to anyone with an interest in food preparation and a love of fine cuisine at the very least equals the best traditional cooking. Eating fresh foods rich in `life force' in a high-raw way of eating means that your taste-buds, sense of smell and aesthetic awareness of food become dramatically heightened so that the appreciation of all that you eat can be greater than ever before. From being someone who used to love fresh cream and rich sauces I've become infinitely more appreciative of the fine flavors implicit in ageless aging cuisine. And I love it. Not only because I look younger, feel better all round and have infinitely more energy than before, but because the experience of eating itself has become so much more delightful. Most of us eat far too much and we dull our senses and our appreciation of food in the process. Even the most subtle of Beethoven's late quartets begins to dull the senses when you have too much of it. So can too much food even if it is the very best. Ageless aging cuisine revives them. Put your kitchen scales away and forget the complex routine for preparing a béchamel sauce.  It’s not conventional directions that matter when preparing foods, it is a passion for the foods themselves – a feeling reflected in our passion for the earth and life itself.  It’s good because it tastes good.  Such passion, which is visual, visceral and luscious, becomes the inspiration that, in food preparation, leads you automatically to make certain choices.  Open wide your kitchen window.  Welcome in the breezes of experiment, wit and spontaneity.  Inside, you find the traditional meal of roast meal and boiled Brussels sprouts topped off with a piece of sticky toffee pudding replaced by something far more hedonistic: slivers of raw Pacific salmon, luscious garden-fresh salad, followed by a winter sorbet of cranberry and mint.  The real joy in eating fresh, light foods lies in their taste, their texture and the remarkable ability they have to bring excitement to a palate jaded by too many highly processed, unimaginatively seasoned or over-cooked dishes. sheer energy I look on food as a source of both delight and life-energy which is passed on to us from the earth.  I believe this energy needs to be preserved by not cooking food too much, by eating it fresh and by respecting its essential nature.  Food eaten this way becomes a medium through which we build our own vitality – energy to protect the body from premature aging and illness, to enhance good looks and to keep the mind clear.  It is the life-energy present in abundance in fresh foods and the clean, simple protein from fish, game, organic meat and poultry that makes these foods irresistible and helps us look and feel great. The most significant change to human diets in two million years began with the agricultural revolution, when man went from a carbohydrate-poor to a carbohydrate-rich diet.  The more that these carbohydrates have become refined in the past 300 years, the more problems they have caused us, not only in terms of burgeoning obesity worldwide but also in the development of the chronic degenerative diseases of civilization.   The thing to remember is that when you eat low-starch vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus and cauliflower, or proteins such as fish, meat and eggs, the levels of glucose in the blood (blood sugar) rise very slowly and modestly.  On the other hand, when you eat what are known as high-glycemic foods - starchy foods, simple carbohydrates, sugars - like a muffin, pasta, breakfast cereal or ice cream, blood sugar soars, then crashes as insulin is released in order to lower your blood sugar.  You can end up feeling hungry even though you've just eaten a meal, crave sweets and biscuits, and reach for a cup of coffee and a cake mid-morning just to keep going.  High insulin levels, by the way, suppress human growth hormone essential for healthy muscle tissue, making you look flabby and older. The most important foods are fresh non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, and proteins like meat, seafood, eggs and game.  A little unprocessed cheese is fine too and a few nuts and seeds.  Go for nothing but the best.  Here are a few guidelines: Choose natural whole foods – organically grown/raised if possible Your foods need to be as fresh as possible and eaten as close to a living state as you can.  This allows little time for the deterioration that occurs as a result of oxidation. All the foods you eat should be non-toxic and non-polluting to your body.  They should contain no synthetic flavours, colors, preservatives or other additives used to ‘enhance’ them cosmetically.  Stay away from convenience foods. Try to vary the foods you choose from day to day and week to week.  All through our evolution the human body has adapted to a wide range of foods offering a broad spectrum of nutrients. Use fresh garlic and herbs often.  They bring high-level support for cellular regeneration and immune support. Eat what you enjoy and enjoy what you eat.  Eating is one of life’s great pleasures – make it one of yours. make way for a new lifestyle Eating for ageless aging leads most people to a totally new way of living. You become more alert and more active. You will probably sleep less yet far better than before. This is because your whole system will be far clearer of toxicity than before and you will need less time for tissue repair and restoration than you do on a normal diet. You will also probably find that you are better able to deal with stress than ever. This way of eating provides you with high levels of potassium and rapidly restores the sodium-potassium balance in most people. This leads to increased resistance to fatigue and a greater feeling of calm stability day in day out. It may also set you slightly apart from your gravy-eating, hard-drinking friends and may even have them feeling slightly suspicious of you in the beginning. But it has been my experience that as soon as they find you are not trying to sell them anything - that you have a live-and-let-live attitude to whatever they do - they show a similar respect for your new lifestyle. In fact, the people who have been the most resistant to what you are doing and the most opinionated are very often the ones who are first to become intrigued about what an ageless aging lifestyle might offer them. And they are usually the ones with the energy and interest to carry it out. Day 1 RAW DISHES: melon; cauliflower and tomatoes mixed with red peppers and lettuce salad topped with Avocado Delight Dressing (see blow). COOKED DISHES: Steamed fish; wok-fried beans and peas; brown rice. Day 2 RAW DISHES: lamb's lettuce, celeriac and wild-herb salad topped with chopped egg dressing; fresh pears and plumped raisins. COOKED DISHES: Garlic Chicken Soup; steamed baby carrots and basil; young peas with mint. Day 3 RAW DISHES: mushrooms, watercress and chicory salad topped with Basil and More Basil Dressing; Mulled Stuffed Apples (see below). COOKED DISHES:  Fabulous Fish Soup. Day 4 RAW DISHES: `Sunburst' platter of avocado, beetroot, cos lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery and peppers served with raw humus (see below). COOKED DISHES: carrot and coriander soup; or venison burgers; Scottish oatcakes; Pineapple Blackberry Frappe. Day 5 RAW DISHES: `Jungle Slaw' salad made from cabbage, tender green beans, carrots, spring onions, red or yellow pepper and almonds served with a citrus dressing. COOKED DISHES:  Lightly grilled salmon and steamed green beans. Day 6 RAW DISHES: gazpacho; pineapple salad stuffed with orange, mango, papaya and strawberries and topped with coconut. COOKED DISHES: Hand Made Sausages (see below). Day 7 RAW DISHES: `Sandstone Loaf' made from carrots, lemon juice, almonds, pumpkin seeds, tahini and herbs; apple and ginger salad; home made blackberry sorbet. COOKED DISHES: Flax Crackers (see below) with humus. small meals For breakfast - or for that matter instead of lunch or supper when you want a small meal - you can't do better than a bowl of fruit muesli. If you have never tasted real muesli (and it bears no resemblance to the flaky sweet stuff you can buy on the shelves of supermarkets) you have a real treat ahead of you. Fruit muesli was the invention of Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner who devised it as the perfect light meal. It is a delicious and easy-to-digest completely uncooked dish which can contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals, and which is an excellent source of high-quality complete proteins and essential fatty acids. It can provide you with sustaining energy but will never lie heavily in your stomach. And it can be made low in calories. Real muesli (often called Birchermuesli after its inventor) is not a grain-based but a fruit-based dish with only a very small quantity of top-quality fresh wholegrain flakes in it. It is usually made with apples and oats but there are so many varieties which you can make, calling on whatever fresh or dried fruits and whatever kinds of grains, nuts and seeds you have available, that you could quite literally eat it twice a day all the year round and never get tired of it. Children absolutely adore Birchermuesli both as a complete breakfast and as a sweet after a main meal. A small bowl of muesli in the morning will keep you going all the way to lunch with none of the `elevenses slump' that has many people reaching for a cup of coffee and a pastry or a chocolate bar. It is also an excellent food to eat in the evening since it is so easy to digest that it never interferes with sleep. I do a lot of traveling and for many years I dreaded having to stay in hotels because the food available in so many hotel dining-rooms is so poor. I have got into the habit of carrying with me a small `muesli bag' with a hand grater in it plus some grain flakes and minced nuts and a small bowl so I can make my own breakfast or supper whenever I want and not be forced to eat what I don't want just because there is nothing else. Here is the basic recipe: bircher muesli For each person you'll need: I level tablespoon rolled oats soaked in 4 tablespoons water I heaped tablespoon raisins or sultanas I tablespoon lemon juice 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened yogurt I large apple ½ banana I teaspoon raw honey (if desired) or pure stevia to taste I tablespoon minced hazelnuts and almonds or other mixed seeds and nuts I pinch cinnamon (if desired) Soak the rolled oats and raisins in water, preferably overnight. This begins to break down the starch present in the grains and turn it into natural sugar so it is easily assimilated. If you have no time to soak the grains then simply mix with the water (you will need slightly less water in this case) and carry on immediately. Wash the apple(s) and remove core and stem but don't peel. Then, using a stainless-steel hand grater or a food processor, grate the apple into the mixture and, stirring, add lemon juice to protect it from discoloring. Cut the banana into small cubes, add to the mixture with the honey (if desired) and mix with yogurt. Sprinkle the top with the minced nuts and a little cinnamon if you like. Instead of rolled oats you can use other cereal flakes such as barley, millet or buckwheat. These are available from wholefood shops. I find I don't usually add honey to my muesli because it is so beautifully sweet already, thanks to the soaked grains and fruit. You can also make muesli with soft fruit such as strawberries or raspberries, loganberries, red and black currants, blackberries or blueberries as well as with apricots, cherries, peaches, plums or greengages. Or you can mix your fruits together. Also you can make the muesli from dried fruit which has been soaked for twelve hours or overnight in spring water. But make sure you get sun-dried not sulfur dried fruits to which no glucose has been added (it is commonly added to figs for instance) or you can end up with a gastrointestinal upset. seasoning and spices Make use of all of the wonderful culinary herbs that are available: And the list of seductive possibilities seems almost endless: caraway, fennel, dill, chervil, parsley, lovage - the Umberiferae; summer savory, marjoram, the mints, rosemary, and thyme-the labiates, which have a strong aroma and are particularly useful for seasoning; the Liliaceae such as garlic, onions, chives and leeks; and three of my favorites, basil and tarragon and horseradish. Herbs have a special role to play in any ageless aging regime. They contain pharmacologically active substances such as volatile oils, tannins, bitter factors, secretins, balsams, resins, mucilages, glycosides and organic vegetable acids each of which can contribute to overall health in a different way. The tannins, for instance, which occur in many common kitchen herbs, are astringent and have an anti-inflammatory action on the digestive system. They help inhibit fermentation and decomposition. The secretins stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes - particularly important for the complete breakdown of proteins in foods to make them available for bodily use. Organic acids have an antibiotic action and are helpful in the digestion of fats and the bitter factors, which are found in good quantity in rosemary, marjoram and fennel. They also act as a tonic to the smooth muscles of the gut and boost secretion of digestive enzymes. Use herbs lavishly in your meals and you will find you can create the most remarkable combinations of subtle flavors and aromas. drink yourself younger Coffee, although not completely forbidden on any serious program of ageless aging, is not something to drink daily. The occasional cup after dinner is not likely to do much harm. More than that and you are really undermining your potential for age-retardation not only because it contains mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds which cause oxy-stress and free radical damage but also because regular coffee tends to make cadmium (one of the heavy metals) build up in your system and can interfere with proper pancreatic functioning. It also leeches calcium from the bones. Tea is OK in moderation - no more than a cup or two a day - but there are other drinks which are not only good for you, they can be highly enjoyable as well. Alcohol is another substance you want to go easy on. Not only is it very high in calories yet practically worthless in terms of the nutrients it supplies, it also causes your liver to produce one of the most potent cross-linkers known - acetaldehyde. A glass or two of wine can be easily accommodated. More than that as a daily intake is likely to seriously undermine your effort. And make sure it is good wine. The run of the mill vin de table is full of toxic substances which your cells can do without. You'll find some delicious mixtures of herbs in ready-made tea bags if you comb through a few delicatessens and healthfood stores. Some of my favorites have names like Cinnamon, Rose, Almond Sunset, Creamy French Vanilla, and Red Zinger. They are great to drink for pleasure and refreshment the way most people drink coffee and ordinary tea. But there are others which are quite wonderful simply because they affect the body in specific ways. Lemon verbena, for instance, is a refreshing sedative, chamomile soothes the digestive tract, and both horsetail and solidago (goldenrod) are excellent natural diuretics. The teas I like best just before bed are orange blossom, which you make by boiling a few blossoms for 2-3 minutes in two cups of water, red bergamot and lemon peel, all of which are natural sedatives. This last tea comes from an Italian tradition. You make it by peeling the outer yellow skin off a lemon (which has been washed well) with a potato peeler. Pour boiling water over this and let steep for 5 minutes. Then strain and drink. a few recipes to play with Avocado Delight Dressing 1 avocado, peeled and stoned Juice of 1 lemon Juice of ½ orange 1 small onion, chopped finely 1 garlic clove, chopped finely Handful of fresh herbs – mint, parsley or basil Freshly ground black pepper to taste Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and serve. Italian Herb Dressing 100ml extra-virgin oliv oil 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1-2oz fresh basil, chopped 1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder Freshly ground black pepper to taste Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, adjusting the flavour as necessary. Garlic Chicken Soup (serves 1) 150g lean, skinless chicken breast, but into small cubes 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic 1 level teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder 2 teaspoons chopped parsley and/or ½ teaspoon lemongrass or ½ teaspoon mild curry powder 180 ml water Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes and serve. Fabulous Fish Soup (serves 1) 360ml water 1 teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder ½ tsp fresh chopped garlic ½ tsp chopped onion 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil or ½ tsp dried basil 1 cup broccoli 150g white fish ¼ tsp paprika Himalayan or Malvern salt to taste Pepper, to taste Put the bouillon powder, water, garlic, onion and basil in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.  Place the rish on top of the broccoli and sprinkel with paprika, salt and pepper.  Put the lid on and cook for another 5 minutes. Raw Humus 2 cups sprouted chick peas Juice of 3 lemons 1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 3 tbsp tahini 3 tbsp chopped spring onions or chives Water to thin if too thick Put the ingredients, except the onions or chives, in a food processor or blender and blend thoroughly.  Top with the chives or onions. Hand-made Sausages 350g lean minced pork, chicken, lamb, beef, venison or wild boar 1 tsp Himalayan or Malvern salt, to taste 2 tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour) 4 cloves garlic (optional) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, coriander or sage ½ large onion, finely chopped Combine all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl and ix thoroughly with your hands.  Refrigerate until well chilled then separate into patties and cook in an oiled skilled until crunchy on the surface and cooked through. Flax Crackers 240g faxseed meal (or buy whole flaxseeds and grind them) 240ml water 30ml tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce Himalayan or Malvern salt, to taste Fresh minced herbs A little chopped garlic Ginger, chilli powder, or cayenne pepper (optional) Combine the flaxseed meal with the water and let it soak for 1 ½ hours.  The water will change to a sort of gelatinous state.  Add a little more water if necessary, you want it to be gooey but not too runny or too thick.  Add the tamari, salt, herbs and garlic (or other flavourings).  Blend together.  Spread the mixture out, about 1/8 inch thick, and cut into squares.  Carefully lift the squares onto a wire mesh and bake in a slow oven until crunchy.  You can also make them in a dehydrator - dehydrate them for 4-6 hours, turn the mixture and dehydrate for a further 3-4 hours. Mulled Stuffed Apples (serves 2) Most of the nutritional value of an apple lies in its skin, or just below it, so wash apples well but don’t peel them. Softish apples are best for this recipe as their insides have to be scooped out. 100ml grape juice or red wine ½ tsp cinnamon 2 cloves ¼  tsp nutmeg 1 crushed white cardamom pod ¼ tsp allspice 75g blanched almonds 2 large apples Squeeze of lemon juice handful dates or raisins ‘Mull’ the grape juice or wine by putting it in a bowl with the spices and leaving for at least an hour.  Discard the cloves and cardamom and blend the remaining mixture with the almonds in a food processor or blender.  Slice the tops off the apples and keep them.  Remove the cores, saving small pieces to plug the bottoms.  Scoop out the apple pulp, leaving a shell about 1cm thick. Lightly blend the pulp with the juice and the almond mixture until smooth, adding a squeeze of lemon juice.  If the mixture is not thick enough, add a few more ground almonds.  Chop the dates or raisins and fill the apple shells with the dried fruit and almond mixture.  Replace the ‘lids’. Or, make stuffed apples with apple sauce and blackberries.  Blend the apple pulp with a little lemon juice, stevia and spices then combine it with the blackberries and spoon into the apple shells. Pineapple Blackberry Frappe This makes a wonderfully refreshing dessert as it stands, or it can be chiled to serve as a cool sorbet on hot summer days. 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks ½ cup blackberries Juice of ½ lime Place all the ingredients in a blender and liquidise.  Serve immediately.

A Cup Of Heaven

A Cup Of Heaven

Coffee is the world’s most cherished drink. More than eight billion pounds of it are traded each year. Coffee has belonged to the elite “Food of the Gods” category for centuries. Those that fit into this category, such as chocolate and coffee, have certain things in common—like great intensity. Honor their power by taking them in pure, unadulterated form and small quantities. Provided the products you choose have not been contaminated by poisons and pesticides, they will expand your consciousness while bestowing clarity and joy. But use them carelessly, in too great a quantity and without regard for purity, and they will undermine health and seriously distort your perceptions of reality. These are but a few of the challenges and the rewards foods from the Dark Gods bestows upon us. Once associated with Persians and Arabs, coffee has become so much a part of modern life that most who habitually drink it dread being without it. If you’re going to drink coffee, there are certain things you need to know—such as how to choose the best coffee, how to protect yourself from the ever-increasing contamination from pesticides and herbicides, and about the magnificent mythologies behind this dark, ubiquitous drink. MYTHIC ORIGINS There are wonderful tales about where coffee comes from. An Abyssinian story insists that a goatherd called Kaldi noticed one day that his flock was much friskier when they ate the fruit of a certain glossy green tree. Kaldi decided to try some himself, and experienced a rush of energy. A passing monk noticed the energy and asked where it came from. Kaldi introduced him to the coffee tree. The monk then gathered some beans and took them home for himself. There is truth to the spirit of this tale. Coffee was indeed introduced to the world by monks. Christian monastics believed that the archangel Gabriel was responsible for bringing this fruit to the earth. Meanwhile, Muslims insisted that a banished dervish called Omar, weak from exhaustion, came upon the coffee plant and took its fruit, only to find that his energy flooded back in force. They insist it was he who brought this magnificent food to the world. By the 6th century, coffee trees were being cultivated in what today is known as the Yemen in Arabia. In the beginning, coffee beans were ground and used to make tea. There’s no record of how this practice changed and it became a question of tossing the beans on the fire to benefit from the aromatic alchemical change which takes place when you roast them. The way coffee was first prepared is probably the way the thick, grainy drink we now call Turkish coffee is still prepared—by grinding up the roasted beans, putting them into boiling water and heating the mixture to a boil several times over a flame until it burns down to make a powerful, thick black soup. FORBIDDEN DRINK Coffee, like any other food which has alkaline drug properties and strong effects, has been banned for periods throughout history. In the 16th century it was even forbidden in Mecca. However, the Sultan himself so loved the beverage that he insisted it be made legal again. In the 17th century, the Catholic church did its best to ban coffee throughout Europe. But the Pope, an avid coffee drinker, insisted that this not happen. Not long after, cappuccino was invented. In both France and the United States, by the 17th century, coffee houses began to appear here and there—much in the same spirit in which they still exist throughout the world. They were places where people could meet and talk in an atmosphere of warmth and camaraderie. SEEDS OF REVOLUTION The French historian Michelet in 1789 insisted that the widespread availability of coffee in cafés played a central part in the development of the French revolution. In such places, philosophers and activists gathered to plan the future of France. Even in colonial America, where the first coffee house was opened in Boston in 1670, coffee houses played an active part in the planning for the American revolution. Across the Atlantic, in Turkey, so important was coffee—which had then come to be considered a household staple—that a woman could sue her husband for divorce on the grounds that he was not giving her a fair share of the beverage. Coffee warms us, stimulates us and has a natural diuretic and purgative effect on the body. From the point of view of our creativity and mental functioning, coffee most definitely has something to offer. The cafés in Paris in the 20th century were filled with famous writers, artists, politicians and thinkers who enjoyed the stimulation that coffee can bring; among them Ernest Hemingway, Collette, Jean-Paul Sartre, Picasso and even W.B. Yeats. DANGERS AND TRUTHS Let’s look at dangers first. Research shows that women who drink coffee while eating the typical high-carb diet have a greater risk of breast cancer and bladder cancer, as well as obesity. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, under no circumstances should you be drinking coffee. Coffee taken during pregnancy increases the rate of birth defects and miscarriages. Most studies into the damaging effects of coffee, however, have been done using readily-available coffee in the market-place, almost all of which is contaminated by plants have have been cultivated using GMO seeds and/or sprayed with an ever-increasing number of herbicides and pesticides which build up to poison the body by interfering with metabolic processes. In so-called developed countries such as Europe and the United States, once an herbicide or pesticide is labelled “dangerous to human health” and made illegal, the chemical companies who produce it then send the banned chemical to third world countries for use there. MUST BE CERTIFIED ORGANIC Coffee is mostly grown in third world countries—in which there are no statutory controls over how much of a specific herbicide or pesticide can be sprayed on crops. As a result, coffee has become one of the most contaminated foods in the world. Personally, I take with a grain of salt some of the negative results of scientific research that’s been done into how damaging coffee is to the human body. I suspect that at least some of the damage may be due not to the caffeine, as is commonly supposed, but to the chemical contamination which most coffee beans now carry. This makes the argument for organic coffee a strong one. Coffee grown organically does not exploit the native peoples who work in the coffee plantations, but rather gives them fair financial remuneration for their work. Certified organic coffee is also free of the chemical dangers in relation to human health. So, when buying coffee, go organic. There is an aesthetic reason for this too. Organic coffees have a finer flavor than the coffees that have been grown with herbicides and pesticides. GOOD NEWS Despite all the warnings about how dangerous coffee is to health—and there is truth in most of them—clean, organic coffee has many benefits to mind and body. It has been prescribed for generations in the treatment of asthma, vertigo, headache, jaundice and even snake bite. A poultice of wet coffee grounds speeds the healing of insect stings and bruises. Coffee enemas are used internally as a strong purgative stimulant both to the bowels and to the liver in the natural treatment of serious illness, including cancer. Reports from several recent studies support positive effects that can be gleaned from using the right kind of coffee in the right amounts. Here are just a few of the recent findings: Japanese researchers have discovered that people who are not regular consumers of coffee experience a 30% increase in capillary flow after drinking 5 ounces of coffee. At Johns Hopkins University researchers reported that 200mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee improves memory for as much as 24 hours. At University of Oslo in Norway, researchers report that coffee has potent anti-inflammatory chemo-protective and anti-aging qualities. A Spanish study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition shows that coffee taken before a workout can increase your energy expenditure for up to three hours afterward. ESPRESSO IS KING If you are going to drink coffee, the best kind to go for is certified organic espresso. Espresso, which the uninformed often shun, believing it to be too strong, is most often derived from Coffea arabica. Arabica grows high up on steep mountain slopes. It needs lots of shade and plenty of rainfall to flourish. Its flavor is richer, deeper and more full-bodied than the less expensive Coffea canephora or robusta coffee. Most people still believe that espresso is very high in caffeine. In truth, one shot of 1.5 fl oz. of espresso contains about 64mg of caffeine compared to 95g in the standard 8oz cup of coffee. The dark roasting, on which the flavor of espresso depends, burns off some of the caffeine content. The darker the roast, the less caffeine is present in the coffee. HOW TO MAKE COFFEE WORK FOR YOU There are some important things for you to know if you want to get the best from drinking coffee. It’s essential to adhere to them or you can undermine coffee’s benefits and suffer from its dangers. Here’s the way to go: Drink only certified organic coffee, and make it fair trade. Go for certified organic espresso instead of the conventional cup of java. It is healthiest and boasts the greatest benefits for energy. The darker the roast, the better for wellbeing. Always drink coffee black, in all its intensity, without milk, cream or sweeteners of any kind. When you do this, the rich blend of polyphenol anti-oxidants, bioflavonoids, minerals and vitamins not only help neutralize the more aggressive effects of caffeine. They work in harmony to support your mind and body. Limit your consumption of to one cup a day—two if you must. Drink a shot of espresso in the morning before—never after—exercising. It can not only improve your athletic prowess, it can uplift you for the day. I’ve investigated and experimented with many espresso blends in the last few months. Let me share with you the two certified organic espressos that I find the best. You can buy them either ground or as whole beans to grind yourself. Do try them and let me know what you think won’t you? CAFFE SANORA, ORGANIC, FINE GRIND COFFEE Like fruits and vegetables unroasted coffee beans are loaded with powerful antioxidants. Sadly, most are destroyed in the extreme heat of roasting. That's why Caffe Sanora set out to create an all-natural coffee roasting process we call HealthyRoast. This revolutionary method gives you a great cup of good health; Premium organic coffee with more antioxidants than most green teas. Buy Caffe Sanora Organic Coffee MT. WHITNEY COFFEE ROASTERS, ORGANIC MAMMOTH ESPRESSO GRIND The best coffees in the world are a joy to the mind and soul. Brew a wonderful cup, sit down, and take a sip. Buy Mt Whitney Organic Coffee

Great For Making Smoothies

Great For Making Smoothies

When making a smoothie, vanilla usually works best because it is easy to mix with green vegetables or a piece of fruit to make a whole meal. Read labels to see how much protein powder to use. Check the protein content and use one or more scoops, so you are getting between 15 and 22g of protein in each drink. It’s usually between 1 and 1 1/2 scoops of the powder. You can add your fruit allowances—strawberries, an orange, an apple to the smoothie to make a meal if you wish. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if you like. Best of all...make a green smoothie whole 'meal' containing 1 to 1 1⁄2 scoops of powder plus your allowance of raw green vegetables. Sweeten with only REAL stevia (see below) and be sure to check that whatever you buy to make smoothies with contains no sugars or artificial sweeteners of any kind, including xylitol. Best Micro-Filtered Whey There is a lot of junk micro-filtered whey out there that are cheap and nasty imitations of the real thing and many poor quality vegan protein powders. Use only the very best. I have researched them all thoroughly. Below you will find my recommendations, plus links to where you can order them from anywhere in the world—from iherb.com. Click on the link to each product and you will be able to read a full description of it and its contents. You can then check, if you like, to see if the product you’re interested in is also available in whatever country you live in. Vital Whey Vital Whey is the best quality, easily assimilated, protein-rich product I have found anywhere. Vital Whey is a non-denatured, native whey protein that is produced to maintain the full range of all the fragile immune-modulating and regenerative components naturally present in fresh raw milk. This product is derived from cows that are grass-fed and graze year-round on natural pastures. It does not contain genetically engineered materials. It is treatment-free, pesticide-free, chemical-free and undergoes minimal processing. It comes in Chocolate and Vanilla. Order Vital Whey from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply. Best Vegetarian Rice Protein (Vegan) Rainbow Light - Protein Energizer High-Protein, Low-Fat and Low-Carb Vegan Shake with No Soy, Dairy or Added Sugar—Gluten Free. Contains energizing herbs and organic spirulina, broad-spectrum plant-source enzymes, including bromelain, break down protein for optimal assimilation and noticeable energy release with no stomach upset or bloating, and is high in fiber. Order Protein Energizer from iherb BEST TOTAL MEAL POWDER (VEGAN) Garden of Life - vegan RAW Protein Garden of Life, vegan RAW Protein, Beyond Organic Protein Formula is unique to the world. It unlocks the nutritive power of living grains and seeds. A certified organic, RAW, vegan protein powder. Featuring 14 RAW organic sprouts, this powder is an excellent source of complete protein—providing 17 grams and 33% of the Daily Value—including all essential amino acids. It contains Vitamin Code RAW Food-Created fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and supports digestive health and function with live probiotics and protein-digesting enzymes.It mixes instantly and has a neutral taste, making it an excellent foundation for a refreshing, high protein energy shake or smoothie. It is suitable for almost anyone, including those on vegetarian or vegan diets, those on low carbohydrate diets or those with gastrointestinal sensitivities to milk, whey, soy or other protein sources. Order Garden of Life - vegan RAW Protein from iherb Best Real Stevia Spoonable Stevia By Stevita: Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Order Spoonable Stevia By Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA: Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order English Toffee Stevia from iherb IMPORTANT - Do not be fooled by the artificially made Stevia products such as Truvia and Purevia. These products are not the natural Stevia plant. To learn more read my post here called beware of Truvia.

Tumeric - Meals That Heal

Tumeric - Meals That Heal

Would you like to spice up your life—quite literally— while reaping the benefits of a delicious natural superfood? I have just one word for you: Turmeric. If you haven’t already experienced for yourself the incredible powers of this amazing spice, it’s high time you started. GIFT OF THE EAST Turmeric is a bright yellow aromatic powder taken from the rhizome of a plant that belongs to the ginger family—Zingiberaceae. It grows naturally in tropical South Asia and thrives in temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees and it needs a lot of rain too. This spice has been used for over 5000 years in the East. It forms an integral part of the pharmacopeia in traditional Chinese medicine—a tradition of herbal treatment which I believe to be the finest in the world. The Western world is, at last, beginning to wake up to the wonderful support this stuff—often referred to as curcumin— has to offer for health. It is the curcumin which it contains that’s responsible for Turmeric’s vibrant yellow color. BEHOLD THE POWER Here are just a few of the benefits it brings when used often in your meals: Supports fat metabolism It’s a natural antiseptic/antibacterial qualities It’s a good pain reliever Prevents cholesterol oxidation—lowering risk of heart attack and stroke Helps detoxify the liver, improving elimination of wastes Has powerful anti-inflammatory, helpful in arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions According to new studies, shows promise in preventing and slowing Alzheimer’s disease Has proven anti-cancer properties—it can slow or stop tumor growth. The much lower rate of male prostate cancer in India—compared to the US—is attributed partly to widespread use of turmeric It contains one of the very best anti-aging compounds you will find anywhere. One of the best ways to introduce turmeric into your life is to mix it with ginger and drink it daily. You can also add it to your stews, meat and vegetable dishes and basmati rice. And, of course, there is a myriad of other possibilities for its use. Here’s my favorite turmeric drink... easy to make and enormously rewarding to your life and health. GINGER AND TURMERIC HOT DRINK SERVES ONE Turmeric is a warm, peppery flavor, making it perfect to use in hot drinks as well as more traditionally in curries. Here’s a great recipe for a warming, immune-boosting (and delicious!) beverage. WHAT YOU NEED 2 cups water 1/2 teaspoon powdered or finely grated ginger 1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric Natural stevia to taste (I like English Toffee flavored liquid Stevia—see below) Juice of 1/2 lemon HERE’S HOW Bring clean, fresh water to boil then add powdered turmeric and grated ginger and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain tea, add stevia to taste. Drink while still warm. GET SPICY Pure turmeric powder, rather than curry powder, is the way to go for cooking use. Always make sure what you buy is organic. Have fun experimenting with different recipes, finding combinations that you love. If you’re not a curry fan, turmeric is also available in convenient capsule form—again, just make sure it’s from an organic, quality-verified source. Watch this space for more health-enhancing, life-transforming Meals That Heal to help you expand your diet and nurture your soul. Where to order the best of everything: Best Organic Tumeric Starwest Botanicals, Turmeric Root Powder, Organic (Costs $11.33 a pound at last count) Buy Organic Tumeric Best Liquid Stevia Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Buy Stevita ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: They ship all over the world very cheaply, and their products are the cheapest and best in the world. Get your order sent to you via DHL. I use them for almost everything no matter where I am.

Apple Detox - Sacred Truths Podcast Episode 1

Apple Detox - Sacred Truths Podcast Episode 1

In the next five minutes, I’ll tell you how—with little effort—you can banish feeling low in energy and replace it with looking and feeling great, in only two days. Meet my amazing Apple Detox. It can work miracles if you’ve been through a spate of too much work and too little sleep. It’s great in Spring before you hit the beach, after Christmas indulgences, or any time you need a lift. Detoxification Detoxification is a long word for just clearing out your system. It’s a process that stimulates your body’s natural ability to get rid of the toxic wastes that build up in your cells, tissues and organs from eating convenience foods and breathing polluted air. What’s the secret power? Organic apples. The second most cultivated and widely-eaten fruit in the world is the apple. We were well into the 21st century before science finally discovered its incredible nutritional value. Medical News Today featured an article about the top 10 healthiest foods. Apples were number one. Apples are extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and marvelous dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants they contain help reduce our risk of developing cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. And there’s lots more. Scientific Studies Recent studies show that apples have the ability to improve your neurological health since they’re rich in quercetin, which reduces cellular damage caused by the oxidation and inflammation of neurons. Research at University of Quebec discovered that apples also reduce our risk of stroke. A big study involving 9,208 people showed that those who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk of stroke. Apples can also help reduce the risk of diabetes. A huge study involving 187,382 people showed that those who ate 3 servings of apples a week had a 7% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes compared to those who did not. Now, let’s talk Apple Detox. How do you do it? Set aside two, or no more than three days for your Apple Detox. Buy a box of organic apples—or three or four different kinds for variety. They must be organic You can eat as many as you like each day, but you should eat the whole apple, including the peel, the seeds and the core You must chew it all very well, until you’ve got the last drop of flavor out of the fruit The only part you throw away is the woody stem You eat nothing but apples They must be fresh and eaten raw. You can munch your crisp organic apple au naturel or you can grate them and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top You can even put them in a blender with a little pure water to make a whole apple drink But you must not put them through a juicer. You need the whole apple to make things work Detox Reaction If you happen to get a headache within the first day or two, or feel moody, get an upset stomach or loose bowels, this is only a sign that your body is throwing off wastes at such a pace that you are experiencing what’s known in natural medicine as a cleansing crisis. In truth, this happens to very few people—except a few heavy coffee drinkers. If it happens to you, be glad. Even though it may be a bit of a nuisance for a few hours, this is actually a good sign. Your body is taking the opportunity to get rid of a lot of debris that it wants to eliminate. Make time to rest and relax—in a darkened room if possible. Be patient and kind to yourself while it passes. It’s quite a feat to be ridding your body of so much old debris at once. When this cleansing passes, it can leave you better than ever. Check with your health practitioner Eat apples whenever you’re hungry throughout the day. How long you carry out your Apple Detox depends on you. Always check with your health practitioner. Two days are plenty to give you a good start on spring cleaning your body. Three days is as much as any healthy body should do on his or her own, without being under the supervision of a practitioner well-versed in the use of living foods. Cautions No pregnant or lactating woman should ever do an apple detox, nor should anyone with a kidney, liver or heart complaint. For in such cases a sudden change of diet can carry with it potential dangers to health. But, if you are generally well, then a short apple detox is a great way to clear the decks for a new way of healthier living. Keeps The Doctor Away No wonder apples are special. The Welsh adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is not just an old wives’ tale. The organic apple has more than earned it title as the queen of fruits. Try it and see for yourself.

Juice Blitz

Juice Blitz

If you want a clear mind and uplifted spirit – and who doesn’t – not to mention energy, drinking raw juice each day is a great step in the right direction. It is an excellent way to clear a cold, banish a hangover and even clear the pain of arthritis (provided of course you've not been on long-term drug therapy which can sometimes interfere with the body’s ability to detoxify and heal itself). Juice is a perfect fuel for your body. Its high water content means that it is easily assimilated and tends to cleanse and nurture the body, and it is the richest available source of vitamins, minerals, plant factors such as the carotenoids, and other antioxidants powerful in their anti-aging and immune enhancing factors. Not only is raw juice the best possible tonic for promoting all-round health and general well-being, each juice has specific therapeutic properties. You can use it as a quick fix to treat a range of common complaints. Try some of the following and see what powerhouses for healing they really are. Aim to drink at least three glasses of juice each day, but try to make them freshly each time. If you really have to keep them then put them in the fridge with as much ice in them as you can. Fresh juices oxidize and lose their potency very, very quickly. When juicing, always buy fruits and vegetables that have been organically grown, not only because you don’t want to be taking in pesticides and herbicides with your juice, but because organic fruits and vegetables have not had their nutritional integrity compromised and you will get the best vitamin, mineral and trace element content. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have been successfully treated with juice therapy, which is particularly beneficial if the patient has not been on long-term drug treatment. In both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, cut out foods from the nightshade family such as potatoes, aubergine, tomatoes and peppers. For osteoarthritis, also cut out citrus fruits. Vegetables to incorporate into your juices include carrot, beetroot tops, broccoli, turnip, grapes, kale, cabbage, all dark green vegetables, apple and ginger. Pineapple is particularly good for rheumatoid arthritis since it contains the enzyme bromelin which has anti-inflammatory properties. ginger berry 1 (or more) 1cm cube of fresh ginger 1 medium bunch of grapes 2 cups blackberries or raspberries You can also add some sparkling mineral water, or some ice. green goddess 60ml (2 fl oz) of carrot juice 60ml (2 fl oz) of apple juice 60ml (2 fl oz) of beetroot juice 60ml (2 fl oz) of broccoli juice ½ tsp kelp powder ½ - 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley A squeeze of fresh lemon juice. green wow 2 green apples 4 stalks of celery 6 Chinese leaves Juice of 10cm of cucumber pineamint 1 small pineapple (skin removed) A bunch of fresh mint leaves pineapple green To 180ml (6 fl oz) of freshly extracted pineapple juice add one or more of the following: 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of powdered wheat grass, green barley, spirulina or chlorella. popeye punch 1 whole apple – including seeds 4 or 5 carrots A small handful of spinach 1 cucumber red genius 4 carrots 1 large raw beetroot 3cm section of cucumber sprouting o’ the green 2 cups of alfalfa sprouts 2 cups of mung beans 1 carrot A few sprigs of parsley 2 apples top of the beet 1 apple 5 carrots 3 leaves of beetroot top A handful of parsley Colds Juicing for colds has two goals. The first is to strengthen the immune system, and for this you need lots of greens. The second is elimination, and for this you need those fruits and vegetables which help to get rid of waste from your system – lemons, apricots, garlic, ginger etc. atomic liftoff 4-6 ripe tomatoes 1 lime A pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of tabasco Juice the tomatoes and lime then sprinkle with cayenne or Tabasco beetroot, carrot & orange 1 smallish beet 4 carrots 1 orange pineapple grapefruit drink 1 small pineapple (peeled) 1 grapefruit (peeled) salad juice 4-5 carrots 4 sticks celery 3-4 radishes sweet & spicy 2 whole apples 2x1cm cube fresh ginger ½ small pineapple cut into convenient sized spears. liver and digestion Cabbage juice tends to benefit most digestive upsets. It’s not exactly delicious and it can be helpful to mix it with pineapple juice to soften the flavor. Ginger is also good for digestion, and bananas have been shown to help protect the stomach from excess hydrochloric acid. gingeroo 1 (or more) 1cm cube of fresh ginger 1 whole apple 4 carrots pineappage ¼ large pineapple cut into spears 1/3 green cabbage red genius (see above) fatigue Fatigue is the thing I am asked about more than any other. One of the underlying causes can be iron depletion, or a lack of magnesium. There is a lot that juice can do to help. atomic lift off (See above) citrusucculent 1 ripe grapefruit ½ ripe lemon 2 ripe oranges dandelion plus 4-5 carrots A handful of dandelion leaves 2 whole pears ginger berry (See above) gingeroo (See above) glorious grapefruit 2 pink grapefruits (peeled) green zinger 2 kale leaves or beetroot tops or a handful of spinach 4-5 carrots A small handful of parsley hi mag 4-5 carrots 2 florets of broccoli 2 dandelion leaves, beetroot tops, spinach or kale leaves secret of the sea 4 carrots 2 whole apples 2 sheets nori seaweed Juice the apple and the carrot then pour into a blender with the seaweed. Blend thoroughly. hangover There is an art to hangover management, the key being to understand what has happened! Dehydrated and nauseous, you need to replenish your body fluids. Fruit juice is a good idea but might be a little harsh. On top of this, the body’s acidic reaction to the alcohol has produced a chemical imbalance which needs to be put right. Go for the following juices. apples & pears 2 pears 2 whole apples Drink straight away as this oxidizes very quickly. carrot & apple 4 carrots 1 apple This is a wonderful juice to experiment with – change the proportions to suit yourself. merry belon 1 slice of watermelon. 3cm wide and cut into chunks to fit your juicer 6 strawberries, washed and with stalks removed In hot weather, a good tip is to freeze the berries before juicing them – delicious! virgin mary This is a Bloody Mary without the vodka; add a clove of garlic and it becomes a Vampire Mary; a fresh hot green chili pepper turns it into a Scary Mary. 2 ripe tomatoes 2 carrots ½ beetroot 1 stalk celery 1 cucumber insomnia There are many causes for insomnia, but there are some things that will help with most causes. Magnesium, vitamin B6 and niacin have to be present in order for the amino acid tryptophan to be able to turn itself into the sleep-inducing serotonin. Calcium induces muscle relaxation, and some people need an extra boost of fruit sugar before going to bed to trigger sleep. Try out which of the following helps you. green goddess (See above) hi mag (See above) lazy lettuce 2 whole apples 5 lettuce leaves pineamint (See above) smooth as silk 2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen 1 ripe apple 1 whole banana spicy carrot 4 carrots 2 spears of pineapple 1 Braeburn or Cox’s apple A pinch of ground cinnamon A pinch of ground nutmeg pms Although PMS comes in many forms there are certain things that will help. Increasing your intake of magnesium, B6 and the B complex as well as beta-carotene in the week before your period will help, easily done by making the most of the green juices. Water retention can be helped with watermelon, grape, cucumber and dandelion. All of these juices will also help to counteract some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause.   cool as a cuke 1 cucumber 1 clove garlic 1 tomato dash of dill ginger berry (See above) green zinger (See above) hi mag (See above) pineapple green (See above) secret of the sea (See above) spring salad 3 florets of broccoli 4 carrots 2 stalks of celery 1 clove or garlic 1 tomato sprout special 4 carrots 1 whole apple 1 cup sprouted seeds waterfall 5cm section of cucumber 1 whole apple 3 carrots ½ smallish beetroot a note about juicers Centrifugal juice extractors contain a basket, usually made from stainless steel, with sharp shredding blades at the bottom and a fine mesh screen at the sides. When you push fruit and vegetables through the rotating blades, the pulp is spun off into a receptacle at the back of the machine and the juice strained out through a spout, or into an integral jug. A juicer with a spout is better than one with a jug because then you can juice directly into a glass and there’s less to wash up. As with any domestic appliance, look for the most robust model you can get for your money. This means the one with the strongest motor and the strongest locking mechanism. Beware of two-speed juicers and those models with a hopper that simply clicks into place without your having to clamp it down – there’s just more to go wrong. One other thing to check before buying your juicer is the size of the hole you are supposed to put the produce through. Some are really too small, and it’s a drag to have to slice even the skinniest carrot lengthwise. Don’t be afraid to demand a demonstration of the model you intend to buy, listen to the whine the motor makes and ask yourself if it sounds as if it can stand up to the job. As soon as you begin to incorporate freshly-extracted raw vegetable and fruit juices into your lifestyle you will find something amazing starts to happen. First you will notice the terrific lift that just one glass of fresh juice can give you, particularly when taken first thing on an empty stomach. Imagine what life might be like if, instead of trying to kick-start yourself with strong coffee in the mornings, you could drink a glass of raw juice and almost immediately feel refreshed, alert and eager to see what another day has in store. And that’s just what raw juice will do for you. Go for it!

Mineral Supplements And Nutritional Supplement Are Important

Mineral Supplements And Nutritional Supplement Are Important

YOU NEED MINERALS Your body cannot make minerals. It has to take them in, in a good balance, from the foods you eat. In addition to nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, it requires magnesium, manganese and calcium, selenium, zinc, copper, iodine, boron, molybdenum, vanadium and other elements—many as yet undiscovered—to stay healthy. These elements need to come from the foods you eat. Generally they do, when foods are grown organically in healthy, traditionally fertilized soils. But they are increasingly missing and unbalanced in the foods we buy today thanks to our legacy of chemical farming. High-tech farming methods have destroyed so much of the organic matter in our soils that fruits and vegetables no longer contain a good quantity of minerals and trace elements. Commercial food processing wipes out most of what’s left. Buy organically grown fruits and vegetables whenever you can. Herbs can help redress the balance. Take dandelion, for instance. Dandelion is rich in iron, silicon, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper and phosphorus in an unbeatable synergistic balance. Put dandelion leaves in your salads. Drink dandelion tea often. It will help restore your body’s lost minerals, and you will also be getting an extra dose of vitamins A, B, C and D in the bargain. DRINK THE DANDELIONS Dried dandelion root is easy to come by—you can even find it in tea bags and is one of the great mineral supplements. Or you can dry your own and grind it in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar. DANDELION TEA HERE’S HOW Use 2-3 teaspoons of dried dandelion root to one cup of water. Simmer it in a pan for fifteen minutes. Strain. Drink as much as three cups a day. GIFTS FROM A HORSE’S TAIL Silica is another essential trace element. Our daily requirement for it is high, at 20-30 mg. Unless we eat organically grown food, we simply don’t get enough—often not even when we do. Silica binds to minerals needed for strong nails, hair, and bones, making them available to our bodies. It is also essential to the production of our skin’s connective tissues—collagen and elastin. The delicate horsetail plant is one of the world’s earliest forms of plant life, and one of the richest sources of bioavailable silica you will find anywhere. Horsetail also boasts an amazing 15 other minerals and is a good source of bioflavonoids too. Drink horsetail tea as often as three times a day. HORSETAIL TEA—HERE’S HOW Put 2 teaspoons of the dried plant in a tea pot. Pour a cup of boiling water over it and allow it to infuse for 15-20 minutes. Strain, and drink. Be patient when learning to use the plant powers. Remember, it may have taken years for your body to become depleted in essential minerals and trace elements. A few weeks of herbal help is not so long to wait to restore your nails, hair, skin and body as a whole to a healthy balance. Besides, it is so much fun to learn to use plant power. The gifts these humble plants offer us are worth their weight in gold, and the plants are everywhere—just asking us to get to know them and use them.

Herbal Sleep Secrets

Herbal Sleep Secrets

Your body thrives on sleep. It is while you are peacefully slumbering that your body is busily repairing the damage the day has done. Your body’s cells including your skin regenerate and rejuvenate themselves during sleep. When you haven’t had enough sleep your face lets you know about it as soon as you look in the mirror next morning—dull eyes, dull lips and a dull complexion. Deep, regular sleep can do more to enhance your wellbeing as well as your good looks than the most expensive creams and potions on the market. NO SLEEPING PILLS There are no hard and fast rules about how much sleep you should get. Some people need a full eight hours. Others thrive on six. The better your diet—the higher it is in fresh fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods—and the more exercise you get daily, the less time you are likely to need for sleep. What matters most is the quality of your sleep. Sleeping deeply does not mean drugging yourself into oblivion. In Britain alone 50 million prescriptions are written for sleeping pills each year. These drugs taken regularly can bring about dementia Alzheimer’s, depression and mental disorders. They also suppress vital rapid-eye-movement or REM phases of sleep. This produces psychological repression. Herbs offer a far safer alternative to drugs without having to pay the pipe with side effects or morning ‘hangovers’. There are three medically recognised types of insomnia—transient, acute and chronic. Transient insomnia lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It is usually linked to something specific—a worrying event or an illness. In acute insomnia your body has learned poor sleep patterns over a month or more and just keeps repeating them over and over again. Both these types of insomnia can be greatly helped by herbs. Chronic insomnia—when it has lasted more than six months—needs more help than short-term remedies can supply. The underlying reason for your inability to slumber peacefully—be it physical or emotional—needs to be identified and addressed. NATURE’S BOUNTY The drug valium takes its name from a plant: Valerian Valeriana officinalis was the primary herbal sedative used on both sides of the Atlantic before the advent of barbiturate sleeping pills. It is a safe and well-tested herbal remedy with a smell like dirty old socks. But don’t let that put you off since valerian is a powerful herb for inducing safe sleep. You can take valerian in a couple of ways. I like the tincture best—10 to 20 drops in a little water before bedtime or in the middle of the night when you awaken. Alternatively you can take a couple of capsules of the dried root. Valerian in lower doses is equally useful when your nerves feel ‘shot’, even during the day. It has the remarkable ability to enhance your ability to deal with stress and bring you stamina while it calms. Occasionally, and only to a very few people, valerian will cause drousiness in the morning. If this happens to you lower the dose or try a different herb. SIGN OF THE CROSS Passionflower Passiflora incarnata is a climbing plant with extraordinarily beautiful flowers. It has a blissful sedative effect on the body. Passionflower is one of the world’s most useful plants if you wrestle with nervous tension. It can be particularly helpful to women around the time of menopause. Not as strong as valerian in its actions, passiflora is more calming than sedating. As such it is a great alternative to tranquillising drugs. But it is a personal favourite for sleep. I even like the taste. Use 10-20 drops of the tincture in water or take two capsules of the dried extract up to four times a day when you need it. As an anti-stress herb many people like to take passion flower throughout the day in small doses to calm nerves and make everything easier. There is an excellent organic passion flower tea too. GLORIOUS POPPY The Latin name is Eschscholzia californica. California poppy has been used for thousands of years by Native Ameicans to calm anxiety, relieve pain and induce sleep. To assure optimal extraction of bioactive compounds, the plants need to be hand-harvested while in full flower then taken directly to the laboratory and extracted while still fresh and succulent. It’s best taken as a tincture. Researchers tellnus that this plant has anti-depressant properties, is an excellent gentle sedative, gentles pain, calm’s restlessness, counters insomnia, and helps establish equilibrium without any narcotic effect. It is my very favorite anti-stress plant. WELL KEPT SECRET You can use the flowers from the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, together with other remedies as a treatment for everything from indigestion to agitated nerves. Like valerian, hops has a pronounced sedative effect but it is a far milder remedy. Unlike valerian, hops smell sweet and you can use them without worrying about side-effects. You can take hops in the form of a tincture too. But by far the best way for sleep—particularly good for people who awaken in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep—is to drink hops tea. Make it before you go to bed by steeping a handful of flowers for 10 minutes in hot water. Strain it and allow it to cool. Put the tea—sweetened with stevia if you like—by the side of your bed so you can drink it should you awaken in the night. It can also be a good idea to use a little pillow stuffed with dried hops blossoms. Put it under your neck when you go to bed or if ever you awaken at night. Traditional Medicinals make a gentle mixture of hops, catnip, chamomile and passion flower tea called Organic Night Night. FUNCTIONAL AND FUN TO MAKE Herb pillows are small cushions filled with fragrant, sleep-inducing herbs, that you can tuck under your normal pillow or keep near you while you sleep. Once you have stuffed your pillow don’t sew it up too tightly so you can replace the herbs as as often as you wish. If you keep it inside another pillow case you will easily keep it clean. Herbs for relaxation include camomile, thyme, lavender, catmint and rosemary, but my favourite pillows include a high proportion of dried hops. A few drops of essential oil of camomile will help with sleeplessness, geranium will relive anxiety and lavender irritation. Sprinkling with a little orris root powder will help preserve the mixture. PERFECT BLISS Create a sleep sanctuary – somewhere you will enjoy going to rest and sleep. Don’t have a television in the room and as far as possible avoid noise and light disturbance. If you awaken in the night, don’t turn on the lights. Research has shown that 15 minutes of light in the night can affect levels of melatonin in the body and make it difficult to get back to sleep. A WORD TO THE WISE: Never drive, drink alcoholic beverages or engage in activities requiring mental alertness while taking calming herbal products. Consult a healthcare provider prior to using any herb or plant if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking barbiturates, sedative drugs or other medications. TINCTURE OF VALERIAN Eclectic Institute Organic Valerian Fresh, Organic Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root. Organic grape alcohol content: 45%. Fresh Herb Strength: 1:1. Buy Eclectic Institute Organic Valerian ORGANIC VALERIAN CAPSULES Eclectic Institute, Valerian, Rhizome & Roots Harvested Fresh & Flash Frozen for Optimal Quality Freeze-Dried for Ultimate Potency Buy Eclectic Institute, Valerian, Rhizome & Roots PASSION FLOWER TINCTURE Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower Organic Fresh, ORGANIC Passion Flower (Passiflora spp.) flower and leaf. ORGANIC alcohol content: 30% Filtered water. Fresh Herb Strength: 1.1 Buy Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower Organic PASSION FLOWER ORGANIC CAPSULES Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower 100% fresh freeze-dried ingredients, fresh freeze-drying maintains the biologically active constituents for highest potency and action. Buy Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower PASSION FLOWER TEA ORGANIC Gaia Herbs, Sleep & Relax, RapidRelief Herbal Tea Conditions that come rapidly can go rapidly when you give your body the right support. Gaia Herbs' RapidRelief products deliver results fast so you can get back to living life. Buy Gaia Herbs, Sleep & Relax, RapidRelief Herbal Tea NIGHT TEA ORGANIC Traditional Medicinals, Organic Nighty Night The use of passionflower, hops and chamomile for restlessness and mild sleeping difficulties is supported by clinical data and by traditional use. Buy Traditional Medicinals, Organic Nighty Night

My Love Affair With Plants

My Love Affair With Plants

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.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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