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functional food

100 articles in functional food

What Price Convenience

What Price Convenience

Our Western Diet is based on foods of convenience—the fast food items we buy at the local corner shop or supermarket. These products are gross distortions of the REAL foods which human beings have eaten throughout history...foods to which our bodies remain genetically adapted. Our ancestors did not have bread, sugar, junk fats and all the other nutritionally depleted pre-packaged, pre-cooked stuff that we do. They ate fresh wholesome foods. Palaeolithic man’s diet was high in wholesome fats, moderate in proteins, and rich in fiber, thanks to whatever vegetables and simple fruits they could gather. CHEAP AND NASTY The modern convenience foods on which we now feed depleted of natural fiber and filled with chemicals. They are manufactured from grain-based carbs, and altered milk products then riddled sugar and dangerous trans-fatty acids—oils which have been separated out from the foods from which they are taken, then chemically altered by solvents and heat processing. FOODS CAUSE ADDICTION Apart from the destructive power of GMO foods, which are not only destroying human health but the health of the planet, another major change has taken place: Today we also swallow a kaleidoscope of colorants, flavorings, additives and ‘enhancers’, not to mention pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which our ancestors could never have imagined in their wildest dreams. We slurp down chemical pollutants with each sip of our diet cola, and every bite of our pre-cooked meals. Quite simply, this is the fast food diet that 95% of the Western world now lives on. And, next time you upbraid yourself for what you perceive to be your lack of willpower as you reach for yet another biscuit and feel guilty about it, let the guilt go. It does not belong to you. The denatured, degraded, food we eat bears the lion's share of blame, not only for the plague of obesity worldwide, but for food addictions and cravings that lead to illness and weight gain, the development of potentially fatal degenerative diseases, from heart disease and cancer to metabolic syndrome; Alzheimer’s disease; diabetes, and dozens more. DEGENERATION BEGINS It was Weston Price, early on in the century, who first brought the scientific community's attention to the devastating effects the rise of processed foods and the destructive ways in which they damage human health. Price, a dentist, traveled the world recording the changes in the shape of the jaw and teeth which take place slowly but inevitably as each culture discards its traditional dietary practices, based on real food, in favor of our more ‘civilized’ Western fare. Price's many studies—each of which lasted between 20 and 40 years—carefully plotted the onset of degenerative diseases. It is not surprising that, after living on a diet of simple whole plant foods rich in natural fiber and a health-giving synergy of nutrients and micro-nutrients throughout evolution, the human body continues to this day find the foods we eat now anathema to health. Our genes have been attuned to naturally grown, unprocessed foods for more than a million years. Our metabolic biochemistry as human beings is designed for it. Sir Robert McCarrison—brilliant British doctor also charted the relationship between food and health. More recently, two more British doctors, Dennis Burkitt and Hugh Trowell, carried out their own extensive studies, taking Price and McCarrison’s work a step further. They carefully documented the exact sequence of events which takes place when a people's diet changes from simple, primitive, real food to packaged fast foodstuffs. Stage One: The primitive, unprocessed diet of hunter-gatherers, complete with plenty of healthy fats, good quality proteins, plus vegetable and fruit-based carbohydrate is eaten. Degenerative diseases do not exist. Stage Two: Western diet is introduced. Obesity and diabetes become common among privileged groups able to afford foods of commerce, and degenerative diseases begin to appear. Stage Three: A culture's diet becomes “moderately Westernized”. Obesity becomes more widespread, as does constipation, haemorrhoids, varicose veins and appendicitis. Stage Four: Westernized diet is now widespread. Overweight and obesity are common in all social groups. So is heart disease, high blood pressure, diverticular disease, hiatus hernia, cancer and other Western diseases. FRAGMENTED “FOODS” Like our soils, the industrially manufactured foods we eat today—from biscuits and pasta to pre-cooked convenience meals—have quite literally been taken to pieces. High-tech food production works something like this: To create a great variety of palatable foods from raw materials, you have to reduce the foodstuffs—grains and seeds, vegetables and legumes—to simple, malleable ‘nuts and bolts’ that lend themselves to whatever manipulations you want to perform on them. Take soya beans for instance. They were once considered an excellent source of complete protein as valuable as meat or eggs—more valuable in many ways, since they are so cheap. Nowadays more than 95% of soybeans grown worldwide are genetically modified. Food manufacturers still take whole soya beans, in which 30% of each bean is protein, and process them physically and chemically to extract this protein and make it ready to accept dyes and flavorings. hen they alter its texture through more processing until eventually it becomes ersatz meat. This end product—from which soy-based foods from tofu to soya milk are made—is a long way from the natural soya bean. In the course of such manipulations the little soya bean, which, pre-GMO devastation and high processing, once offered asynergy of nutrients, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and fiber. By now however it has now been turned into a highly concentrated artificial material. During the operation, vitamins and minerals are destroyed. The soya bean's proteins and natural fatty acids have been denatured and chemically altered into new forms, many of which are not usable by the body. The soya has also lost most of its fiber too—a vital part of any food's health-promoting wholeness, and something absolutely essential for protection from degenerative diseases and obesity. To this artificial “food”, manufacturers then add a lot of phoney colors and flavors. Canadian expert in food science, Ross Hume Hall, puts it rather well when he says: "The product contains the same number of calories as the original soya protein, but it now consists of a set of naked molecules completely divorced from any natural context." The same is true of the way in which cereals and grains are processed. NUTRITIONAL DESTRUCTION From milk to meat to garden peas—whatever food is involved—processing destroys nutrients. According to official government handbooks, 50-70% of vitamin B6 is lost when meats are processed. 50-90% of folic acid—a vitamin of particular importance to the functioning of nerves and the actions of hormones, especially in the female body—is shed when grains are milled, while more than 80% of the mineral magnesium disappears in the same process. The multi-national food industry covers the packaging of its products with endless ‘nutritional’ information, which would have you believe that any goodness lost in processing can be made up for by ‘enriching’. Enriching is just another chemical whereby a few cheap vitamins and minerals in synthetic form are pumped back into the now fragmented food. It is categorically impossible to restore the health-giving power of wholeness to any food which has been fragmented in this way. BIG COVER-UP Similar nutrient losses happen during other phases of food handling—artificial ripening, transport and storage. Store asparagus for a week and it loses 90% of its vitamin C. Keep grapes for the same time, and they shed 30% of their B vitamins. Freeze meats and you can lose as much as 50% of two important B vitamins— riboflavin and thiamine. These are just a few examples of nutrient losses which occur every day. They are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways in which modern food handling and manufacturing processes have created highly concentrated, calorie-dense foods filled with masses of sugar (more about this in future entries) which are dangerously destructive of health, and promote both weight gain and rapid degeneration of body and mind. REAL FOOD CREATES REAL HEALTH OK, so where do you go from here? It is easy to change your food-buying habits once you clear your cupboards of the manufactured rubbish we all collect. You’ll find the healthiest, freshest, and most natural foods for lasting health at the outside edges of your local supermarket. These include crunchy fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh game and meats, seafoods and eggs. Skirt the edges, steer clear of the middle, and you’ve got the secret to becoming a successful modern-day hunter-gatherer. Remember this: Natural wholesome foods are perishable. They have to be replaced often, unlike the ready-in-a-minute, pre-made stuff that you find in the inner aisles. You will be shopping “at the edge” in another way too: You’ll be looking for foods as close as possible to those that our ancestors ate—with a wide variety of crunchy, living vegetables, especially bright-colored ones. Foods with a long shelf life don’t belong in your body. Processed high-carb foods often have a very long shelf life. This makes them great sales material for food manufacturers and retailers, since they can sit on the shelves for a long time, and are cheap to produce with high profit margins. Virtually all convenience foods and fast foods have been whipped up out of processed grains and cereals, masses of sugar in all forms, junk fats, chemical additives. Avoid them for your sake, as well as the sake of your family. You’ll be able to turn your lives around in short order. Find our for yourself. Try it.

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

Are you one of the thousands of people who reach for artificial “low-calorie” sweeteners—such as aspartame or saccharin—to add to your tea or coffee, in the belief that they can help keep you from getting fat? If so, this is hardly surprising. We have had this lie shoved down our throats through advertising and the media, thanks to the lobbying of money-hungry companies keen to sell the sickly sweet chemicals they peddle. Independent research into the dangers of artificial sweeteners rarely sees the light of day. It can be a serious challenge to find unbiased data amongst the multitude of misinformation that is littered across cyberspace. It’s essential that you learn the truth about these destructive substances, as well as what they’re really doing to your health and your waistline. APPETITE STIMULANTS Independent studies have turned up some surprising results when analyzing the relationship between the use of artificial sweeteners and obesity, although as yet few people know about this. Far from helping you lose weight, these sweeteners actually stimulate your appetite, causing cravings and telling your body to “store fat”. How does this happen? When you taste something sweet, your body expects calories to immediately follow, just as they do when you eat sugar. This triggers your appetite. However, since the calories don’t follow, the sensation of hunger remains. You begin to crave more sweet-tasting, carb-rich foods. This effect is most marked in aspartame, though it also applies to the other common sweeteners such as saccharin and acesulfame potassium. HORMONE HAVOC This alone is bad enough, but it’s only half the story. The other half concerns aspartame’s effect on the key hormone insulin, responsible for regulating fat metabolism. Although vigorously denied by the “research” of the manufacturing companies, recent studies indicate that aspartame can actually trick your pancreas into releasing insulin—despite the fact that aspartame does not alter blood sugar. It can do this simply by activating our “sweet” taste receptors. Since the elevated insulin finds no blood sugar to combine with, this increases your hunger even more, and makes your cravings worse. The result of all this? You’re more likely to a) eat more of the sugary foods you’re craving, setting up a vicious circle, and b) lay down more fat stores, due to the hormonal fluctuations happening in your body. A new study published in the January 2013 issue of science journal Appetite reported that, between groups of rats fed either aspartame, saccharin or sugar, the aspartame and saccharin groups gained more weight than the sugar group—and this was unrelated to intake of calories, since they all ate the same foods. BAD NEWS FOR DIABETICS Not only is this terrible news for those trying to shed fat. It also has dire consequences for the ever-growing group of humans afflicted by diabetes. Many diabetics have been led to believe that these sweeteners are a healthier alternative than sugar, when this too is based on a fallacy. Sugar itself, in all its forms, is also toxic to the human body. And it too is an arch enemy to good health and weight loss. (See Robert Lustig’s excellent lecture on the dangers of sugar here.) But unlike sugar, low-calorie sweeteners are often sold as “diabetes-safe.” This too is a dangerous lie. As we have already seen, consuming aspartame can elevate insulin levels abnormally. The more often this happens, the more the body becomes resistant to this hormone. The insulin resistance that follows will lead to—or worsen—diabetes, along with obesity and many chronic degenerative conditions. FURTHER DANGERS As if you needed any more reason to stay away from artificial sweeteners, get this: Aspartame is composed of two separate components, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Phenylalanine quickly degrades into methanol, which in turn becomes formaldehyde—yep, that stuff lab specimens, and dead bodies are stored in—and accumulates in our cells. When levels of this nasty chemical get high enough in the system, it can cause all sorts of dangerous effects. The “Aspartame Consumer Safety Network Fact Sheet” warns of the following potential symptoms: “headaches, nausea, vertigo, insomnia, numbness, blurred vision, blindness and other eye problems, memory loss, slurred speech, depression, personality changes, hyperactivity, stomach disorders, seizures, skin lesions, rashes, anxiety attacks, muscle cramping and joint pain, loss of energy, symptoms mimicking heart attacks, hearing loss and ear ringing, and loss or change of taste.” All that, and it won’t even help you lose weight! NATURE’S SWEET OFFERINGS So what can we turn to now that both artificial sweeteners and sugar are off the menu? Fortunately for those of us with a sweet tooth, nature has provided a delicious and safe alternative: Derived from the sweet leaf plant, Stevia, in its natural state, is the best no-calorie, health-supporting natural sweetener on the planet. Even though it’s sweeter than sugar, its taste has a slower onset and longer duration, meaning it doesn’t carry the same risks as aspartame and the other artificial sweeteners. Not only is it safe—it is actually good for you, and may even help enhance glucose tolerance and improve insulin sensitivity. Another natural alternative safe for occasional use is coconut sugar, derived from the blossoms of the coconut palm. It has a high nutritional content, containing potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron, as well as Vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. It has a low glycemic index, so is considered safe for diabetics. It has a rich flavor that has been compared to toffee. Coconut sugar, which is currently bringing high profits to both coconut farmers and retailers especially in the US, has one major drawback, however. What nobody is warning consumers about is that coconut palm trees cannot produce both coconuts and coconut palm sugar, which is gleaned by drawing the sap out of the tree. When the sap is used to make coconut sugar, the flower buds, which are dependent on the tree’s sap enabling them to form, wither and die so the tree cannot grow coconuts. Because the tree can no longer produce coconuts and all the precious products made from them it can suffer and die. In short, producing coconut palm sugar is not a sustainable industry. Despite experiments in some places to make use of coconut trees one year as sap producers and the next as a coconut producer, this remains a serious challenge worldwide. STEVIA—IT’S GOOD FOR YOU An exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America, stevia is replete with non-caloric sweet molecules. This is the reason for its sugary flavor. Stevia has sweetened herbal drinks since Pre-Columbian times. Its properties were first recorded by a botanist named Antonio Bertoni in 1887, who wrote about ways the natives of Paraguay used it. Others have discovered stevia in the past fifty years and made good use of it. Japan and the United States have done extensive research and safety testing on the plant. Their research shows that this marvelous sweet herb is non-toxic, safe for diabetics and beneficial for weight loss as well as daily use for yourself and family. More good news: Stevia is not a source of nutrition for bacteria in the mouth, nor for yeasts and fungi such as Candida albicans in the body. A few years ago, following some rather bogus animal research promoted by Monsanto—who produce much of the artificial sweeteners in the world—the European parliament banned the sale of stevia in Britain and Europe. There is not much pressure at the moment to lift that ban. In the meantime, if you live in the EU, you can nevertheless order stevia online from herbal shops, either in your own country or another European country, including the UK, without difficulty. It is widely available in shops and stores in the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand and most other countries of the world. Stevia is great for all sorts of reasons on Cura Romana. How sweet is Stevia extract? Stevia extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Add a pinch to drinks like coffee or tea. Dilute in water when you are using it to make a salad dressing or dessert. How many calories are in Stevia extract? None. Stevia extracts have zero calories, zero carbohydrates, zero sugar, zero fat and zero cholesterol. Can Stevia extract replace sugar in the diet? Yes. Refined sugar is virtually devoid of nutritional benefits and, at best, represents empty calories in your diet. Stevia is natural, much sweeter than sugar, and has none of sugar’s unhealthy drawbacks. Can Stevia replace artificial sweeteners in the diet? Yes! Stevia is the only a safe, calorie-free, all-natural alternative to artificial or chemical pharmaceutical sweeteners in the world. Will Stevia raise my blood sugar levels? Not at all. In fact, according to some research, it may actually lower blood sugar levels. Can I use Stevia if I am diabetic? Yes. Stevia is a great addition to a healthy diet for anyone with blood sugar problems since it does not raise blood sugar levels. I’d advise you to stay away from any form of artificial sweeteners including those recently being marketed as “natural stevia” which are, in truth, distortions of the real thing. Here are the best and most useful forms of stevia you will find anywhere. Both can be ordered direct from iHerb no matter where you are in the world. 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 English Toffee Stevia BEST GRANULATED STEVIA Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Buy Stevita GOOD COCONUT SUGAR Navitas Naturals, Coconut Sugar, 16 oz This coconut sugar is top of the range. It’s produced in Indonesia where farmers have harvested the nectar from coconut palm trees for herbal medicine and food for centuries. This product contains 100% pure evaporated coconut sugar that is certified organic, kosher and vegan. Buy Coconut Sugar 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.

Free Radicals & Rockers

Free Radicals & Rockers

Ten years ago the idea that free radical damage underlies both the aging process and the development of degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, seemed absurd. Nowadays we know different. Free radicals are all the rage. Every other book on health you come across is warning about the dangers of free radicals and telling you to take lots of vitamins A, C, and E, to protect yourself from these horrible demons. A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron, lustfully searching for a mate. There are several kinds of free radicals. Oxygen free radicals are particularly malevolent. They react quickly and greedily with other molecules. When they find a mate - and just about any mate will do - they can destroy cell membranes, disrupt DNA (the cell's genetic material) and wreak havoc with the body. Many things cause the production of free radicals. Air pollution, for instance, being exposed to ultra violet light or radiation, pesticides on foods, drugs, cigarette smoke, exposure to some plastics, and even polyunsaturated fats. Flying in jets also produces free radicals, as does living at a high altitude because in both cases you are subject to high levels of gamma radiation. Even exercise produces free radicals. And the experts on aging are right. Free radicals do cause terrible damage to the body. But only when they are produced in excess. There are lots of good things to be said about free radicals as well. This is something all those little books and articles on swallowing more ACE vitamins fail to tell you. energy equations What makes energy yielding metabolism possible in our bodies - in effect what keeps us alive - is the ability that we have evolved throughout the ages to take nutrients in through our foods and convert them into chemical and bioelectrical energy. We do this through oxidation or burning in a process known as aerobic metabolism. Enzymes in the body - living catalysts that make redox reactions possible - carefully control a series of small steps which liberate the maximum amount of energy present for effective use, while causing the minimum amount of disturbance to our cells. It is an enormously efficient way of producing and releasing energy which involves the transfer of electrons from one molecule to another. Scientists call this transfer an oxidation-reduction or a redox-reaction. So long as we live redox-reactions take place ceaselessly. The trouble is - and here's where free radical damage comes in - a number of highly reactive, potentially toxic and destructive species of molecules are generated in the process. The greater the bodily activity at any particular place or time, the more free radicals we generate. Our brain is a particularly demanding organ when it comes to energy. About 20% of our body's oxygen consumption is used by the brain. This gives the brain an enormous amount of energy but it also creates a fertile ground for free radicals to breed. Surges of various hormones in our bodies such as adrenaline and noradrenaline generate hydrogen peroxide which can also result in the formation of more free radicals - so much so that we frequently generate more than our antioxidant defense mechanisms can handle. Most free radicals are generated during the day. Some researchers believe that free radical formation in the day time and free radical quenching that occurs at night while we sleep may be the driving power behind the circadian rhythms - that is the biological control of events in the body. 10,000 hits a day What is amazing is just how enormous free radical activity is in the human body. One of the major experts in free radical biochemistry, Dr Bruce Ames at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates that every cell in our body experiences 10,000 free radical `hits' each day of our life. A well nourished, healthy body is equipped to handle them. As humans we have amazing antioxidant defense mechanisms - enzymes like glutathione peroxidase, super-oxide dismutase and catalase. Provided we are leading a balanced life, eating plenty of fresh foods, getting optimum amounts of exercise, and are not exposed to excessive amounts of chemical pollution, all should go well. What's happening to many of us, however, is that we are subjected to more free radical activity than our natural antioxidant mechanisms can detoxify. Then we get oxidation damage as excess free radicalss wreak havoc with our bodies. They can form cataracts in the eyes, trigger Alzheimer's disease, cause premature aging and the build up of cholesterol in the arteries, as well as a thousand other negative changes associated with aging. strange paradox So free radicals put us in the strange position of being totally dependent upon them for our life energy yet completely susceptible to their toxic effects - what in biochemistry is know as oxidizing-stress or oxy-stress. It is this oxy-stress which poses a continuous challenge to the integrity of our cells and tissues. As the free radical enthusiasts point out, this is the central cause of premature aging. The key to making free radical biochemistry work for you instead of against you, is balance. When there are too many free radicals produced in your system as a result of poor digestion, or stress, or exposure to excessive ultraviolet light, or pollutants in air and water, then you suffer oxy-stress. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, beta carotene, Co Enzyme Q10, selenium and many potent plant-based factors like pycogynol, help quench oxy-stress and prevent free radical damage. So nowadays we are continually urged to take more of them to prevent premature aging and illness. Yet this is not quite as simple as the free radical rockers would have us believe. And popping pills is not always the best way to go about it.

Green Vegetables Are Powerful Healers - The Magic Of Kale Chips

Green Vegetables Are Powerful Healers - The Magic Of Kale Chips

Kale is a Green Vegetable I used to hate: All those dark green curly leaves that you see, stuffed between bowls of vegetables and condiments in typical salad bars. It may look pretty, and of course, it doesn’t wilt for days. But when you start to eat it, it most often tastes disgusting—at least, that’s what I used to think. And yet strangely enough, our grandparents grew masses of kale, and ate it! GREEN WIZARD Kale belongs to the cabbage family. This means it’s both frost-hardy and grows beautifully in cool climates. This is important: Its resistance to frost comes from its ability to draw some of the complex sugars—the ones that are good for you—from its roots into its leaves when the weather turns cold. This means that kale harvested in the late fall tastes beautifully sweet. Of course, it’s much more bitter when harvested in the summer. But there are ways of getting round this too. The sugar that it draws up into its leaves in fall and winter is very low-carbohydrate—there’s about three grams of carbohydrate to half a cup of cooked kale, so you can eat plenty without worrying about ‘over-carbing’ yourself. In fact, I don’t think you could find a better vegetable for health. It contains masses of minerals and vitamins, and carries inside it the strength that gives us strength against illness and degeneration. It’s a particularly excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and magnesium. If you don’t know kale—or if, like me, you’ve ignored it because you’ve found it revolting—it’s time to change your mind. There are two marvelous ways of preparing it that I’d like to share with you. The first is to sauté it in olive oil and garlic. The second: Kale chips, which are unbelievably delicious. SAUTÉED KALE IN OLIVE OIL & GARLIC SERVES 3-4 What you need About 2 bunches of (preferably organic) kale, each of which should contain at least 10 long leaves 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ¼ tsp salt Here’s how Wash the kale in cold water, and pull away the flesh from its stems. Tear into small pieces. Let drain in a colander or sieve for five minutes, while you gently brown the garlic in the oil in a large skillet. Add the shredded kale and salt to the hot oil, and cover. Lower the heat to simmer. Keep covered for ten minutes, stirring occasionally so it cooks evenly. Remove from heat and serve. You might want to sprinkle with a few cashew nuts, which go nicely with the dish. KALE CHIPS MAKES 2 CUPS My ultimate favorite snack chips. I think you will love them the first time you try them. Their crunchy, salty goodness is more delicious than fried potatoes, and they’re good for you. What you need Half a pound of fresh kale (preferably organic) 2 tbsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely ¼ - ½ tsp salt to taste 1 tsp flaked chili/a sprinkling of paprika/Cajun seasoning (optional) Here’s how Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit (175°C). Rub one tablespoon olive oil onto a couple of baking trays. Tear out the center rib and stem of each kale leaf, and discard into the compost. Cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces, about two to three inches wide. Wash the kale and dry very well. Put your pieces in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with the chopped garlic, salt and seasonings—these should be hand-mixed for even distribution. Place the kale in a single layer on your baking sheets, and bake until crisp and edges are slightly brown. This usually takes 12-15 minutes. About five minutes before they’re finished, gently toss them on the baking sheet for extra baking—but beware, they burn easily. Eat and enjoy, but be warned: This is something you will probably want to cook again and again. They are so delicious, even children love them.

Herbal Help

Herbal Help

Valerian: This is the root of the plant Valeriana officinalis, which 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 (the smell drives some people's cats wild). Don't let that put you off, since Valerian is a powerful and useful tool for inducing safe sleep - more potent than most of the other natural tranquilizers such as hops or skullcap or chamomile. You can take Valerian in a couple of ways, but I like the tincture best - 10 to 20 drops before bedtime in a little water, or in the middle of the night when you awaken. Alternatively you can use a couple of capsules of the dried root. Valerian in lower doses is also useful when your nerves feel 'shot' during the day. Very occasionally Valerian will be too strong for a particular woman, so that she awakens with a little sense of hangover in the morning. If so, you can either cut down on the dose or try another milder remedy. In any case, it can be a good idea to change remedies every so often so your body doesn't become accustomed to one, rendering it ineffectual. Passion Flower: Passiflora incarnata, also known as Maypops, is a climbing plant that boasts magnificent white flowers with a purple center. It has a wonderful sedative and mildly narcotic effect on the body. Passion Flower is most useful for women who wrestle frequently with nervous tension and particularly helpful when nerves seem to be edgy before and around the time of menopause, when hormones can fluctuate wildly. It is also useful for relieving pain, thanks to its mild analgesic and antispasmodic qualities - all of which has been well demonstrated in laboratory and clinical tests. Passion Flower can also be useful for a woman troubled with premenstrual tension. It is not as strong as Valerian in its actions, is more calming than sedating, and as such is a great alternative to tranquilizer drugs. Use 10 to 20 drops of the tincture or the same amount of the liquid extract in water. Alternatively take two capsules of the dried extract up to four times a day as needed. Where a woman might take Valerian at night just before bed, the best results from Passion Flower often come from taking it 2 to 4 times a day to calm nerves and make everything easier and less stressful. Chamomile Tea: Matricaria chamomilla. One of the nine herbs sacred to the Anglo Saxon god Wotan, chamomile was also much loved by the Romans. Its name Matricaria is derived either from the Latin word 'mater', meaning mother, or from 'matrix', meaning womb. It has for thousands of years been used as a woman's herb against painful menstruation, to calm anxiety and aid sleep - even to help build strong bones, since it contains a form of readily absorbed calcium. Chamomile is also a uterine tonic - something else that has been scientifically evaluated. It boasts many other therapeutic properties as well such as being antibacterial in its actions and good for skin. The easiest way to take chamomile is in the form of a tisane or tea by infusing 5 to 10 grams of the dried flowers in hot water before bed or whenever you need relaxation. Chamomile works particularly well when taken together with Passion Flower. Hops: Humulus lupulus. The flowers from this British herb are often used together with other remedies to treat everything from indigestion to calm nerves. Like Valerian, hops has a pronounced sedative effect, but is milder. Unlike Valerian, hops smells sweet, and can be used without concern for side-effects. You can use hops in the form of a tincture but by far the best way for sleep - particularly good for women who are awakened in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep - is to drink hop tea, which you make before going to bed by steeping the flowers for ten minutes in hot water then straining and allowing to cool. Sit the tea - sweetened with honey if you like - by the side of your bed, so you can drink it when you awaken in the night. Also wonderful is a little pillow stuffed with dried hops blossoms, which you put under your neck when you go to bed, or if you awaken. Oatstraw: Avena sativa. The straw from oats has an ability to restore energy when nerves have been frayed, and for counteracting insomnia. It can help ease night sweats, calm anxiety, and even relieve headache. Again, stuff a little pillow with oat hulls or infuse them in hot water as with hops, and keep beside your bed through the night in case you need it.

Great Stuff For Energy And Clarity

Great Stuff For Energy And Clarity

I love high quality herbal products you can rely on to do the job when you need some help. I have just discovered one such product on iHerb.com. It’s called Arctic Root. I use it when I feel stressed, need mental clarity and have a sense I could do with some more stamina. A proprietary blend centered around SHR-5 extract of Rhodiola rosea root, Arctic Root was awarded Product of the Year by the Swedish Health Council four years in a row. A creation of the Swedish Health Institute—a world leader in natural immune support and adaptogens with more than 35 years of research—Arctic Root is a real find. An adaptogenic plant means a plant capable of strengthening an organism's "non-specific resistance" to aging, illness and fatigue. Adaptogens include many 'rejuvenating' plants such as ginseng, damiana, and sarsaparilla - all of which are capable of enhancing the body's ability to adapt itself to all forms of stress while at the same time normalizing its biochemical activities. The product comes in a packet of 40 capsules at one of iHerb.com’s ridiculously low prices—US$10 when the product retails elsewhere at US$16.55. Even Aaron, whom I convinced to try it, was impressed by the support it brings him. Original Arctic Root Rhodiola Rosea The recommended dose is 2 capsules a day—one in the morning and the other later in the day—so I order three packs at a time. iHerb ship worldwide so fast that it sometimes makes my head spin and their shipping costs are the lowest anywhere. Order Original Arctic Root Rhodiola Rosea 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.

End Your Depression

End Your Depression

Depression is a killer. I know. I suffered from it badly in my twenties. I think I must have been born with a genetic tendency towards it. As a result, I know so well the deep sadness, feelings of shame and helplessness, the terrible fatigue coupled with not being able to sleep to relieve it, the poor concentration and the strange shifts in appetite that come with it. When you feel depressed, you often feel anxious as well. I’ve learned a lot about how to help people banish both. depression There are many causes of depression—some come from the body and some from the psyche. I believe you can’t separate the two. Just as your body and mind interact with each other to produce the dark, seemingly endless blues that can set in at any period in your life, so can your body and mind work together to clear depression from your life. Few people know this, but wherever you find depression, you almost always find a mass of creative energy as well, which—for one reason or another—has remained blocked. This makes you feel impotent and helpless until it can be set free. You may discover that you have been trying to live your life too conventionally—that is, by other people’s rules—rather than trusting yourself, honouring your own unique truths, and living by them, come hell or high water. When depression is long-standing and debilitating, you may even come to feel you have no soul to live from. This is completely untrue. I love the wonderful American saying, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” Once you learn to do this, depression begins to its grip on you forever. Deep cleansing your body Deep cleansing your body is the first step to releasing blocked creative energy and restoring the biochemical balance to wash your blues away. Try following a long-term way of eating based on real food, not the packaged stuff they try to sell you in supermarkets: fresh spray-free vegetables—many of them raw—and top quality proteins from wild fish, organic meat, free range chicken, and eggs. Avoid all cow’s milk products including milk itself, yoghurt, and cheese (butter is OK because it is a fat, and it’s the milk protein that tends to cause problems for people prone to depression). Explore sheep milk, cheeses and yogurts, goat milk products or buffalo milk products—my favorites. Must important: Stop eating anything made with wheat or other grains and cereals, including pasta, breakfast cereals, breads and biscuits. Make all processed convenience foods a thing of the past. Eat Real Food A diet free of convenience foods releases you from the sort of metabolic disturbance which causes mood swings and depression. It was just such a diet—one in which at least 50-75% of the foods I ate were raw—that cleared my own deep depression. It frees your body and opens up your mind. You start to see life with a much broader view. You begin to feel a sense of excitement each day with whatever you are doing. But be patient. It takes time for the transformation to happen. Gradually feelings of depression and impossibility melt away like snow drifts in the warmth of spring sunshine. You begin to experience your own natural energies as a more balanced state of mind emerges. More peaceful and centered, you come to see that you are really able to do whatever it is you want to do. Your body is a magnificent system capable of the most incredible regeneration and renewal. You can let go of all the anti-depressant drugs. Recent research shows that most are no better than placebos. When you learn to live on simple, pure, natural organic foods, this helps you transform your whole being physically, emotionally and spiritually—in effect, to discover who you are at the deepest level of your being, and come to live your life from there. I did it. So have thousands of others who never dreamed this might be possible. So can you. A human being is most certainly "fearfully and wonderfully made". It’s time to discover this for yourself.

The Power Of Herbs

The Power Of Herbs

If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that my life is full of herbs. The wonderful gifts that herbs provide include not just their dazzling power to heal and strengthen, but their magnificent beauty. I’m moved to the core whenever I take time to notice the way a plant looks and smells, when I sense the inexorable persistence of its growing, and its willingness to grace my life with its delicate splendor. When you become aware of a plant’s beauty at every level, even the most commonplace interaction between you and the plant feels sacred. OF GODS AND DEMONS The ancient Egyptians believed that incense was the sweat of the gods that had fallen to Earth. We associate saints with beautiful fragrances and devils with foul smells. I remember once visiting an onsen—a spa in the mountains of Japan. This is a place of healing where hot sulfurous water pours forth from natural underground wells. I walked down endless corridors before reaching the sulfur pool which was enclosed to make it possible to use even during the icy winter months. I was alone in the small room. The pool sides were encrusted with yellow growths, and sulfurous steam filled the room. As I climbed naked into the streaming water, I felt afraid. That’s how deeply ingrained our sense of uneasiness can be when faced with the overwhelming smell of sulfur, which our culture and our ancestors have always associated with the devil. FILL YOUR ROOMS WITH BLISS Use herbs and plants to care for your pets, or to cleanse the space in which you live and work. They help remind us of who we really are, and what is fundamentally important in the desacralized environment in which most of us spend most of our lives. One of the things I most love to do is fill my bedroom with lilies. These are my favorite flowers—but they have to be the white oriental lilies or the marvelous Stargazers, as these are the most scented. Over the years, I’ve come to know lilies well. I know that they give off the greatest amount of fragrance between two and three in the morning. The beauty of their fragrance at this time is so intense that it often wakes me up. Sometimes when this happens, it seems to me that these flowers—so generous with their gifts—are calling to me, asking me to celebrate their wondrous beauty. The word perfume comes from the Latin per fumum, meaning “through the smoke”. The original way in which fragrance was used in human life was to create a union of divine and mundane reality, not only in the lives of priests, but of ordinary people. Our sense of smell plays a powerful role in rituals. Scent is one of the means by which we create the bridges between the transcendent and the day-to-day. It’s just like if you say a prayer before you eat, the very act of eating nourishes your body and your soul too. CLEANSE AND SANCTIFY When you move into a new home, or you feel the need to cleanse or make sacred any space—bedroom, kitchen, workplace, or the whole house—try doing it with the traditional sacred plants first: Desert sage, copal, sweet grass; even dried lavender, thyme and rosemary. I cut back my herb plants three or four times a year, and they love it. It makes them grow stronger and bushier. I then take the cuttings and tie them in small bunches with brightly colored ribbons, and hang them from my kitchen ceiling to dry. Once dry, I can use them for potpourris, sachets, and of course, sanctifying space with their smoke. HERE’S HOW Take a bunch of dried herbs and light them over an open metal biscuit tin to catch the sparks, so that they don’t reach the floor. I use a long rectangular tin that once held a bottle of malt whisky for this. I know other people who use baking trays and turkey tins. When the herbs begin to smoke, walk around the space to be sanctified, lifting up the burning plants with the tin beneath them. All the while, ask with your heart and mind that the room be cleansed and dedicated to whatever purpose you intend for it. This could be to make a joyous harmonious space; a space in which creativity can flourish—this is something I love to do—or a space for meditation, sleep, prayer or making love. It is your intention, coupled with the cleansing abilities of the burning plants, that makes it all happen. When you are cleansing and dedicating the desired space, make sure that you offer up the smoke to all corners of the room, and to the six directions—north, south, east, west, above and below. And when you’ve finished, thank the plants for their help. They will hear you and celebrate their own beauty..

Bite Into Energy - Food Combining

Bite Into Energy - Food Combining

Remember food combining, developed by William Howard Hay MD? It has changed thousands of people’s lives, protecting them from fatigue, weight gain, degenerative diseases and early aging. The basic principles behind food combining are simple: Don’t mix foods that fight. Never eat proteins and starches at the same meal. Never eat fruit and vegetables at the same meal. And do not eat dessert after a meal. If you do, the dessert gets trapped in the stomach and starts to rot, since it can’t be digested properly. These fundamentals of what has long been known as Conscientious Food Combining are easy to learn and even easier put into practice. The benefits of doing so are many, including freedom from reflux, poor digestion and long-term fatigue. DIGEST TO THRIVE Your body expends more energy on the digestion of food than on any other function. Think how sluggish and sleepy you feel after a traditional Sunday lunch. It may surprise you to learn that the energy your body needs to digest food is even greater than that which you use when taking strenuous exercise. When you take in food, your system has to redirect blood supply—and therefore vital life energy—away from the brain and other organs towards the gut. Once there, your energy reserves get busy breaking down your meal. When you eat foods that fight each other, or more food than your body needs, you greatly diminish your overall vitality. You also build up body pollution. Any food—even good quality food—in excess tends to pollute the body. PROTEINS AND CARBS ARE NO-GO Leave behind the old practice of meat-and-potatoes or fish-and-chips. When the wrong foods are mixed together, this further delays digestion and produces toxicity while increasing both appetite and digestive upsets. Most people’s bodies are not designed to efficiently digest more than one concentrated food in the stomach at once. In the simplest terms, you need an acid medium to digest protein and an alkaline one to digest starch. Eat concentrated proteins and starches together—fish and chips, bacon sandwiches, meat and potatoes—and nothing gets digested. An awareness of this principle lies at the core of virtually every tradition of natural healing. Eating concentrated proteins and starches at the same meal wreaks havoc with digestion. It increases the number of incompletely broken down food particles that find their way into the bloodstream to cause food allergies, depression and exhaustion. Concentrated proteins such as cheese, eggs, fish and meat must have an acid medium for good digestion. If there are any starchy or sugary food including breads, pastas or sweets in the stomach at the same time, they neutralize the acid medium, so the proteins remain incompletely digested and poorly assimilated. All carbohydrates foods need an alkaline medium for digestion and must be eaten at a separate meal. What you can get away with is the occasional garnish for protein foods or fruits—such as sesame seeds or raisins—but you would not want to add them in greater quantity. OUT WITH Convenience FOODS Ready-in-a-minute pre-cooked meals, junk foods, and the standard meat-and-two-veg Western meals are incredibly energy-draining. They present your digestive system with the greatest difficulty of all. Virtually all of these manufactured items are grossly deficient in essential nutrient. for it to break down and make use of. Convenience foods and junk foods are also grossly deficient in essential nutrients as well. So are chemically fertilized fruits and vegetables and foods which have been excessively processed to alter their natural state. Convenience foods contain additives such as artificial colorings and flavorings which are potentially harmful. Such foods include breads, sugar, most meats, sweets, and coffee and all the ready-in-a-minute snacks and meals that fill the shelves of our supermarkets. They have no place at the food combining table. CREATE VITALITY If you want to build energy quickly, start right now to separate your concentrated starches from your concentrated proteins, eating each at separate meals. This will help protect your system from a build-up of acid wastes, restore metabolic balance, and resolve the energy crisis which takes place when digestion is overtaxed. Most important, it can bring you a whole new kind of energy which can have you looking good and feeling better than ever with each week that passes. It is not only separating the kind of foods that you eat that matters for an abundance of energy. You need to be just as conscientious about what you eat. The human body is not genetically equipped to handle the refined flours, sugars and excess quantities of poor quality proteins that make up the typical western way of eating. Our ancient ancestors, whose genetic makeup we share, had no bread, sugar, junk fats or pre-packaged, pre-cooked convenience foods. They ate simple, ordinary, wholesome foods—as much of them as they could kill or gather. Their diet was high in green leaves and vegetables—all complex carbohydrates—and moderate in protein. This is the way our own bodies genetically expect to be fed: Good, wholesome, preferably organic foods, simply prepared and eaten as closely as possible to their natural state. FREEDOM TO THRIVE This way of eating calls for real foods rich in fiber, and plenty of the best fats: Organic coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, for instance. The health-enhancing properties of real living foods have long been tested and eulogized by highly respected European and American physicians—from Gordon Latto and Philip Kilsby in Britain, Max Bircher-Benner in Switzerland and Max Gerson in Germany, to Henry Lindlahr and JK Tilden in the United States. Eating for energy asks that you combine your foods sensibly, and that as much as possible you choose foods grown on healthy organic soils and served as closely as possible to their natural state, either cooked or raw. This is not as complicated as it sounds. Here are the basic principles of eating of high vitality eating. They quickly become second nature. EAT FRUIT ON ITS OWN Fruit passes through your digestive system very rapidly. It needs little help from digestive enzymes to break it down. If you try to eat fruit at a meal with other foods, its digestion and assimilation are slowed drastically and you can get fermentation in the gut causing indigestion, wind and discomfort. If you have a blood sugar problem, insulin resistance or an overgrowth of Candida albicans, then stay away from sugary fruits altogether, or eat no more than a couple of servings of berries a day. Instead of fruit for breakfast you might have a green drink made from the tops of green vegetables in a juicer or a blender. MAKE ONE MEAL A DAY A BIG SALAD A vibrant, living salad based on home-grown or store-bought sprouted seeds and green vegetables is the mainstay eating for high energy. It’s the best way to get optimal support for rebuilding cells and tissues, rebalancing biochemical processes, and restoring normal metabolism. Sometimes, of course, this is not possible—for example, when you have to eat in restaurants all the time. In this case, you can replace the living salad with a big dish of lightly steamed or wok-fried fresh vegetables cooked in coconut oil and served with a side-dish of soup or a protein food. That being said, the more often you are able to make a living salad the focus of the meal, the sooner you will reap the rewards of your new lifestyle. Remember that your digestive system needs time to complete the digestion of a meal before you put anything else into it. Four or five hours need to elapse between lunch and dinner. Otherwise digestion is not complete, and increased toxicity ensues. Always drink as much filtered or spring water or herb teas between meals as you like. But don’t drink liquids at a meal as they will dilute the important digestive enzymes. AIDE MÉMOIRE Eat fruit or a green drink in the first half of the day followed by a protein or carbohydrate lunch and dinner, both of which should include a big, fresh, raw salad. Leave four to five hours between lunch and dinner for efficient digestion. Eat as much as your body needs and listen to its signals of how hungry you really are. Take your time, chew thoroughly and stop as soon as you feel you have had enough. Never overeat. Get rid of packaged convenience foods that rob you of vitality and undermine well-being. These include breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, sugar and all the so-called goodies made from it. Cut back on tea and coffee. If you drink either, make sure it’s organic so you avoid taking chemicals and pesticides into your body. After wheat, coffee is the second most sprayed commodity in the world. Restrict alcohol to a glass or two of good wine with a meal, once a day. Never eat a concentrated starch food with a concentrated protein food at the same meal. Eat fruit on its own, or leave at least 20 to 30 minutes between a fruit starter and the next course of your meal. You can pick and choose your own foods and make up your own menus once you get your head around these basic principles. Practice Conscientious Food Combining for a month and I think you’ll be delighted with how you look and feel. You can also say goodbye forever to mainstream medications designed to treat GERD—gastroesophageal reflux disease—with all their nasty side effects. Meanwhile your energy will just keep on building.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 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 26th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.68 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men
-0.68 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

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