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integrative health

A worldview that fosters human freedom looks at living systems as integrated wholes. It takes into account the interconnectedness of all things.

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Beware Of Statin Pushers

Beware Of Statin Pushers

I am shocked and horrified by the guidelines just issued by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology which speak of giving statin drugs to well people. The “experts” who have issued the new directives claim that healthy people should take statin drugs as a “preventative against possible future illness.” They want to see one third of all adults in the United States on statin drugs—44% of all men and 22% of all women. One in four Americans over 45 are already on statins, despite more than 900 studies reporting dangerous side effects from these drugs. Reported side effects of statins range from heightened risks of cancer and diabetes to sexual problems, neuropathy and liver dysfunction, as well as immune system suppression—even a higher risk of cataracts. In Britain, statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs already. Currently between 6 and 8 million people are taking them. If the new directives are accepted by the UK medical establishment—as they are likely to be—the numbers of men and women being prescribed statins could well become legion. WHAT ARE STATINS? Statins are a group of drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. They have many different names such as Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Altocor and Zocor, to mention only a few. These drugs are prescribed on the assumption that they lower the risks of cardiovascular events and strokes. The new directives assert that, if given to healthy people, they could help protect the population from heart attacks and strokes at some time in the future. Happily, a growing number of cardiologists are strongly opposed to the new directives. These cardiologists insist that the new directives should be suspended. Sadly, few media outlets have so far reported on the negative assertions to the new directives from physicians who oppose them. The U-T San Diego newspaper is a welcome exception. It reports, “Doctors assail new guidelines for statins.” Then it goes on to say that “Many physicians have since come out and said that the risk calculator [used in the new directives] was based on bad information, and that if it is used, millions of people who don’t need statins will be urged to take them.” WELCOME NEWS Last year, Dr Eric Topol, highly respected cardiologist and professor of genomics at Scripps Research Institute in California wrote an excellent article for the New York Times Opinion Page on February 29, 1912. In it he warns that “We’re overdosing on cholesterol-lowering statins.” Topol is especially concerned about the sharp increase in the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes that is occurring in people using them. He writes, “Statins have been available since the 1980s but their risk of inducing diabetes did not surface for nearly 20 years. When all the data available from multiple studies was pooled in 2010 for more than 91,000 patients randomly assigned to be treated with a statin or a sugar pill (placebo), the risk of developing diabetes with any statin was one in every 255 patients treated. But this figure is misleading since it includes weaker statins like Pravachol and Mevacor—which were introduced earlier and do not carry any clear-cut risk. It is only with the more potent statins—Zocor (now known as simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin)—particularly at higher doses, that the risk of diabetes shows up. The cause and effect was unequivocal because the multiple large trials of the more potent statins had a consistent excess of diabetes.” Meanwhile, a recent study in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention by Jean A McDougall and her colleagues reveals that long-term use of statins increases the risk of both lobular and ductal breast cancer in women between 55 and 74. BOTTOM LINE In the past four and a half years, I have worked with hundreds of men and women whose doctors had been prescribing statins as they began their Cura Romana Journey Program. I always insist that they let their health practitioner know what they are doing, so that he or she can monitor carefully the dosages they are prescribing while they are following the program. This is essential, since no physician wants to prescribe more of any drug than is absolutely necessary, and the need for statins and other medications tends to decrease dramatically on the Cura Romana experience. At the end of their CR program, participants regularly send us reports like this one: “Before Cura Romana I had been taking 50mg of Levothyroxine per day as well as 40mgs of Simvastatin per day. I had chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, raised cholesterol etc. Now, not only am I free of the drugs, I no longer experience any of these conditions,” writes Debbie in the UK. I am no doctor, but what I have learned during my more than forty years of writing and broadcasting on health is this: When a body is restored to healthy functioning naturally, the need for medication is either dramatically reduced or, more often than not, eliminated altogether. Statins, like most pharmaceuticals, treat symptoms—they do not heal. Only nature can heal from within. My advice to anyone thinking of accepting the new directives is this: Before you agree to take statins, be sure to research well the implications of doing so. There are other natural ways of clearing cholesterol issues. Learn as much as you can about statin drugs as well as the natural alternatives. Here are just a few suggestions about where you can begin finding out more. RESOURCES U-T San Diego “Doctors assail new guidelines for statins: 18 November, 2013 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Published Online First July 5, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0414 This is an excellent compilation of dangers from statin drugs with links to abstracts. Click Here JAMA Ophthalmol 2013 Nov 1;131(11):1427-34. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.4575. Association of statin use with cataracts: a propensity score-matched analysis. This is a good source of information on the use of statins for the elderly.Click Here Sultan and N. Hynes, "The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns," Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 179-185. doi: 10.4236/ojemd.2013.33025. I also recommend visiting Mercola.com and typing in “statins” since you will find some good information here too.

Make Friends With The Sun

Make Friends With The Sun

We’ve inherited a fear of the sun. It has developed out of simplistic thinking and a commercially-fuelled set of false beliefs. Here’s the inside story: Ultraviolet light is NOT the fundamental cause of skin aging nor skin cancer. Exposure to the sun is not the main reason that skin wrinkles happen. And here’s some shocking news: The chemical sunscreens we now use to protect ourselves from wrinkles and cancer contribute to both. EXTRINSIC AGING Rough, loose, creviced, wrinkled skin, complete with irregular blotches—it’s known as photo-damaged skin or extrinsically aged skin. It is always blamed on exposure to sun. It is not exposure that causes it; it is the misuse of sun coupled with exposure to mounting levels of destructive chemicals that are the real culprits. To get a first-hand feel for what this looks like, take a look in the mirror at the skin on your bottom. It looks ten or twenty years younger than skin on your face. The difference speaks volumes about what extrinsic aging looks like. How do you avoid it? The ads tell us to smear on more sunscreens. The truth is far more complex. Extrinsic aging means skin damage triggered by external factors—high exposure to UV light from tanning beds or sitting in the sun at the wrong time of the day, chemicals in the environment, and—in many ways—the products you’ve been told to use to protect yourself from them. Mounting evidence indicates that many sunscreens contain carcinogens and that the rise of skin cancers parallels the increase in sunscreen usage Lita Lee, pHD BANISH SUNSCREENS Most sunscreen chemicals which should be protecting your skin from damage actually cause it. They eat up your body’s natural enzymes designed to guard against degeneration. A growing awareness of this in the cosmetic industry has led manufacturers to add free radical scavengers, like vitamin A derivatives and phytonutrients, to their sunscreen products. It’s a bit like sweeping dust under a carpet; this only hides the issue. Chemicals used in sun products and other toiletries do not belong in our bodies. As Rachel Carlson insisted half a century ago, their ubiquitous presence in animal bodies undermines health, vitality, and in this case, beauty too. COSMIC RADIATION The sun produces high energy rays from cosmic and gamma and X rays through longer, lower UV, infrared, microwaves and radio waves. Gamma and X radiation are mostly filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere, although flying in jets at 35,000 feet exposes your body to them in big quantities. This is one reason we need extra antioxidant protection when boarding a long haul flight. When gamma rays—which are also used to irradiate foods and sterilise medical equipment—hit water molecules in a living body, free radicals are generated in large numbers, important enzymes are destroyed and your skin’s natural protective ability is undermined. BREAKING THE WAVES The UV rays—most likely to trigger aging in an unprotected or polluted skin span from 190 to 400nm. They come in three varieties: UVA (320-400nm). Deep penetrating ‘silent-killer’ aging rays. UVA radiation can delve deep into the dermis and wreak havoc with DNA and collagen, triggering degenerative changes especially in light-colored skin, messing up the skin’s enzyme systems and cross-linking its collagen. UVB (200-290nm). Shorter, these guys penetrate more superficially. They can oxidize skin’s natural oils, dry it out and undermine its ability to protect itself on the surface. UVB are mostly responsible for burning. They are what chemical sunscreens try to mitigate in an attempt to prevent sunburn. UVC (280nm and shorter). Highly dangerous to skin. Most of these are filtered out by the biosphere, but you can be subjected to them from most office lighting. FACTS AND FICTIONS Photo aging got its name because it often develops out of excessive exposure to UV radiation. You see it in sun-worshippers on the beaches of Australia’s Gold Coast or California’s Venice Beach. Extrinsic aging mimics the destructive damage all skin is exposed to over time. This damage can happen fast when you hang out too long in the sun, especially between 11am and 4pm. Chemical pollution, long periods of intense physical activity, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs—just like excessive UV radiation—all generate high levels of reactive oxygen species in the skin: Super oxides, hydroxy radicals and hydrogen peroxide. These cause free radical damage, degrade and cross-link collagen, and help produce wrinkles, sags and age spots. Like the rest of these onslaughts, big doses of sun also accelerate the formation of advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs) to interfere with cellular functions and make skin lose elasticity. However, the notion that sunlight is the bête noir in all extrinsic aging is absolutely untrue. REAL CAUSES Our ancestors were exposed to the sun’s UV rays for over a million years of evolution. The human body is genetically adapted to sunlight, and well equipped to handle it. The exponential rise in skin cancers began in the twentieth century—not in all those years of evolution. What’s happening? Two things. With each decade that passes, we are bombarded with higher and higher levels of chemical aggression in our environment, and forced to handle more electromagnetic pollution. Together they produce toxic build-up in our body, stressing its natural antioxidant systems and undermining our immunity. This triggers degenerative processes, increasing our skin’s sensitivity to UV damage. It also makes us highly susceptible to cancers. Yet we continue to assault our skin with more chemicals in the form of irresponsibly formulated cleaning products, herbicides and insecticides, and to use skin and body care products to deliver yet more chemicals directly to the skin. CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL The standard protocol for sun protection is to smear on more chemical sunscreens. Selling them is a $3.5 billion a year business, and growing rapidly. We fear aging and skin cancer so we keep buying. Yet much of what we buy significantly contributes to the damage we are trying to prevent. Sun “protection” products come in two forms—chemical sunscreens and physical sunblocks. A few products contain both. Physical block products literally create a physical barrier of fine, non-reactive minerals on the surface of your skin, rather like micro-fish-scales. They reflect excess UVA and UVB back into the atmosphere instead of letting skin absorb it. They are good and not dangerous. Using them is like wearing a hat or a veil so the sun’s rays don’t penetrate at all. No commercial sunscreens have been proved safe. Their chemicals penetrate the skin into the circulation and add to the burden of toxins to be detoxified. Joseph G. Hattersley Chemical sunscreen products—most sun protection products fit into this category—are different. They do not reflect. They absorb UVB and UVA rays, allowing them to penetrate your skin. Many chemical screens these days have begun to target UVA radiation as well as UVB, but the “sun protection factor” (SPF number) you read on a product’s label will have been calculated entirely by how much UVB radiation the chemicals it contains are able to absorb. Unlike physical sunblocks, chemical sunscreens “absorb” the UVB radiation in an attempt to neutralize. They are rapidly used up in the formation of new chemical compounds which your skin then has to find ways of detoxifying from your system. WAY TO GO To protect yourself from aging and cancers, you need to limit your use of chemically-based sunscreens. Better still, throw them out. Go for a mineral-based sunblock, or use one of the new mineral foundations every day. Based on physical agents like titanium oxide and zinc oxide, these products reflect the light instead of relying on chemicals to ‘absorb’ and transmute it. They are safe, inert, and protective. Other physical screens are commonly used by surfers, skiers, cricketers, and tennis players. But choose your block carefully. Unless the mineral fragments have been milled into micro-particles, they can make you look a bit like Marcel Marceau. GET SAVVY ABOUT THE SUN Here are some important things to remember about tanning and how to protect your skin from extrinsic aging and cancers: There is no way to get a safe tan. Never use a sunbed. They filter out UVB burning rays but let the UVA in deep. They are automatic aging machines which increase your risk of melanoma. SPF numbers don’t tell you about UVA protection from wrinkling and aging. Most only deal with UVB protection against burning. For the safest protection from aging and burning, read labels. Shun chemical sunscreens in favor of physical sunblocks—products based on micro minerals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which won’t absorb the sun’s rays or react with your skin. Apply a sunblock a quarter of an hour before going out into the sun. Water resistant products are not what they seem. Their effectiveness is compromised by sweat and swimming. Reapply your sunblock often. If you are or have been using any kind of AHA’s, Retin-A or Renova or any other pharmaceuticals on your face, cover it with a hat as well as a physical sunblock and don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. Never get sunburnt—the damage it causes continues to get worse for 24 hours after the initial burn appears, and when the burn has been severe, can last a lifetime. Think twice before taking oral contraceptives or HRT. Use of these hormone-based drugs is correlated with a three times greater risk of sunburn and skin damage. Take a tip from the Arabs, who know a lot about sun protection. Cover your body well when you plan to spend long hours outdoors. Always wear a hat. Use one of the excellent non-reactive mineral-based makeup products on your face which last all day, look natural, cover your skin and reflect UV rays, while making your skin look fabulous. Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30 Natural, Safe, and Inexpensive Buy Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30 Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup GLOW TIME™ FULL COVERAGE MINERAL BB CREAM Glow Time comes in six great colors, covers blemishes, minimizes pores, disguises wrinkles and smoothes and brightens skin while providing SPF 25 UVA?UVB PA++ Buy Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup

Ten Steps To Energy

Ten Steps To Energy

“I’ve got no energy.” It’s the complaint I hear most often from men and women...an experience which carries endless consequences: feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and devoid of the sparkle that makes life enjoyable. In truth, energy potential is still there within you. It just needs to be rediscovered and set free. Begin by listening to the whispers of your soul, and the rest will come naturally. I’d like to share with you my Ten Steps to Energy. They work. For some they have even been life-changing. So let’s get started… STEP ONE—GET INTO BODY Did you know that how you think and feel are inextricably linked to how well your body functions? Mind and body are integrated through our nerve pathways, hormones and chemical messengers. The first step, therefore, requires a real change of perspective. Start to see your body as not external to yourself: but as the physical expression of who you are. Decide you matter. Decide that you have a right to energy. You do. STEP TWO—RECORD IT As when embarking on any new journey, it helps to know where you’re starting from. So as you’re starting the energy journey, take note of where you are now. Start an energy diary. Try writing down a few sentences about how you think and feel, where you want to be, and record anything you think may be holding you back. Form a crystal clear vision of what you are seeking to achieve. The clearer your visualization, the easier it becomes to make high energy a reality. STEP THREE—FIND THE DRAINERS Unfortunately, our world is filled with external energy parasites. Environmental poisons—like pesticides, solvents, estrogens, heavy metals, junk foods. Then there are the inner energy thieves: Negative emotions. Addictions. Low self-esteem. With all these energy enemies pitted against us, it may seem like an uphill battle. But don’t be disheartened. Once you have identified the drainers at work in your life, you can take action to fight them. STEP FOUR—DO A HEALTH CHECK Not only are there environmental and emotional energy drainers to watch out for. Biochemical factors may also come into play. These include things like low blood sugar; allergies; anemia; yeast infections; leaky gut syndrome. How do we start addressing these drainers? Identify and eliminate foods from your diet which are causing or worsening these conditions. You might also want to supplement with the nutrients or digestive enzymes you’re low on. STEP FIVE—CLEAR THE JUNK So far you’ve started your energy journey and dealt with the baddies sapping your vitality. Now is the time for bold action. It’s time for a detox—spring cleaning your body from the inside out. Over the years, a less-than-optimum diet results in wastes building up in the tissues. The energy expended on dealing with these toxins is less energy for you to utilize. So it’s time to clear out the junk. Quite literally, throw away all your junk food. Drink plenty of water. Try a fruit-fast for a day or two. Then you’re ready for the next step—making alterations to the kind of foods you were eating before. STEP SIX—EAT REAL FOODS Too few people know that grains and grain-based products are terrible for energy levels—especially in the amounts that many of us eat them in. This is cutting edge science—still ignored by the media and much of the medical profession as a result of pressures from Big Pharma and the multinational convenience food industry, as well as the FDA. Grains, cereals, convenience foods—which most of the western world lives on—turn rapidly into glucose when we eat them. This creates serious health issues: Weight gain in those with a genetic propensity to it, rapid aging, and degenerative diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. This is hot stuff, yet still largely unrecognized by most. A high-energy way of eating shuns them. It emphasizes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, pulses, sprouted seeds and lean, high-quality proteins. STEP SEVEN—EAT MORE SUPERFOODS Next, it’s time to acquaint yourself with some of Nature’s superfoods. To name just a few: Spirulina—seaweeds— chlorella, white tea, immune-enhancing mushrooms like shiitaki and maitake. Tap into their amazing power. You won’t look back. STEP EIGHT—GET MOVING Pick a physical activity that you absolutely love, and get into it. It can be anything you like, so long as it’s regular (done maybe three times a week), consistent (lasting 20 to 30 minutes each time), rhythmic, and uses plenty of large muscle groups. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few suggestions: Walking. Easily incorporated into daily life, and a great option if you’re unfit. Yoga. Incredibly adaptable and practical, especially for frequent travelers. Rebounding (bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline). So much fun, and perfect to do at home, regardless of your fitness level. It may be a little hard to get started, but once you do, you’ll look forward to it. Exercise becomes a reward in itself. STEP NINE—LAUGH IT OFF You’ve learnt the serious stuff. Now it’s time to start living with energy and joy. Laughter is a great way to start. It’s good for your immune system and your entire body. Seek out and spend time with the people whose sense of humor you love. Watch wonderful comedy movies like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger, Roxanne. They will cheer you up endlessly and help you energize your life. STEP TEN—LOOK AHEAD We’ve now come full circle. Go back to your energy diary and the questions you asked yourself in step two. Have your answers changed? Set some more goals, and be specific. Ask yourself positive questions, and record answers when they come. Make a long-term energy plan featuring aspects of the other steps you found most helpful. Remember, the energy process is an ongoing journey. And it’s an amazing one. Enjoy it!

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.

The New 10 Day Clean-Up Plan

The New 10 Day Clean-Up Plan

Since its publication 25 years ago, my bestselling 10 Day Clean-Up Plan has appeared in many editions and many languages. The original book still continues to generate 5 star reviews at Amazon.co.uk and elsewhere such as, “This is the BEST, most effective detox/cleanse plan I have ever tried. I have been using this little book for the last ten years.” Spring Clean Your Body I created the original 10 Day Clean-Up Plan as a step-by-step guide for regenerating energy, transforming the way you look and feel and enhancing wellbeing all round—in a mere 10 days. The book was, and is, a complete home-spa program, spring cleaning your body, firming skin and muscles, trimming a few excess pounds, clearing your mind and brightening your spirits.In the past few years I have received scores of requests for new 10 Day Clean-Up Plan. Right now, I’m excited to be able to share with you some great news. We’ve just published a brand new 10 Day Clean-Up Plan book. It brings this dynamic detox well into the 21st Century embracing, as yet little known, cutting-edge research, tools, techniques and valid scientific breakthroughs. Discover Your Vitality If anything, The New 10 Day Clean-Up Plan is even more energizing and easy to follow than the original program was. It includes brand new recipes plus advanced information based on new discoveries about the relationship between the food you eat and your health, protecting yourself from degenerative conditions, clearing brain fog, calming food cravings and regenerating your your life. It brings you the inside story on what fats to eat and what to shun forever, what’s the best whey in the world to use for smoothies, why cereals and grains can seriously undermine your health, and how to sweeten your drinks and foods safely and deliciously. Do check out my new book on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, ibookstore and the Kobo store. I hope you will enjoy reading and, even more important, that you will derive lasting benefits from introducing the new program into your own life. Hope you Enjoy

Fever Power

Fever Power

Like many old wives' tales the adage `sweat it out' is beginning to look like good advice. For generations medicine has tried to suppress fever, believing it to be a state detrimental to the body. Latest findings show that fever can not only significantly strengthen your body's defense system, it appears to be a critical component in immune function. As such, so the new findings indicate, when it occurs naturally, for instance as a response to infection, it should not be completely eliminated by drugs the way we have been wont to do. Fever weakens the force of invading enemies and is a potent positive force for fighting infections. Some scientists now believe that, because of its many immune-supporting characteristics, even when fever is artificially induced in a healthy body by saunas, Turkish baths or vigorous aerobic exercise it can act as a powerful prophylactic to aging, it can increase vitality and it can help provide you with a high level of well-being. This approach to fever is anything but new. Ancient Greek physicians considered fever a beneficial sign of vitality in an organism. They believed that disease was the result of an imbalance between the four humors - blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile - and they considered fever a means of burning off the bad humors and clearing the body of them. To this end they employed sudorific (sweat-producing) herbs, steam and hot baths to induce fevers in their patients. Such practices went on well into the seventeenth century when the famous British physician Thomas Sydenham commented that `Fever is Nature's engine, which she brings into the field to remove her enemy.' Then in the middle of the last century, with the discovery of antipyretic (temperature-lowering) drugs such as aspirin doctors began to insist on reducing fevers when they occurred. Drugs such as aspirin not only lower bodily temperature, they also eliminate many aches and pains associated with fever, thanks to their analgesic properties. This makes patients feel temporarily better. So gradually both doctor and patient began to lean heavily on the use of these drugs to suppress fever, and fever came to be considered a negative thing - something to be eliminated as rapidly and effectively as possible. Recently researchers such as Matthew J. Kluger, a professor of physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, have begun to examine the phenomenon of fever afresh and to ask questions such as: Just what happens when the body is plunged into a feverous state? Why did evolution develop the phenomenon of temperature-raising fever in its creatures? What is the purpose of this remarkable response? What Kluger and others have discovered is that fever's occurrence is not a sign that something is wrong with your body's temperature control system. Instead, a superbly modulated deliberately chosen temperature has been created at which several important physiological and biochemical events occur to heal the body. fever's bounty Among their known benefits (and there are probably many as yet unknown), even slight elevations in temperature not only increase white-cell concentrations, they make the body's defense army of white blood cells more mobile so they can reach any site of infection quicker. There is also considerable evidence that fever makes them more effective in engulfing and destroying invading microorganisms. Indeed it appears to make many other immune functions more effective too. For instance interferon, one of the body's natural anti-viral, anticancer (and therefore probably anti-aging as well) chemicals, about which we have heard so much in the news lately, has been shown to be more effective at elevated temperatures. Of course illness is not the only way that many of the beneficial effects of fever can be brought about. EP stands for endogenous pyrogen which is a low-weight protein produced by leukocytes to help destroy infection in the body. After a good workout of aerobic exercise substances appear in the blood which have identical characteristics to EP. Naturopaths have long insisted that fever is an important force for healing the body. They claim that controlled overheating of the body also increases the rate of metabolic processes as a whole and stimulates the functioning of the endocrine system. Since Hippocrates - some 2400 years ago - doctors have been using artificial methods of inducing fever, for instance giving the herb Echinacea or putting people into sweat baths or steam baths and applying hot compresses, to improve their vitality or stimulate the body's natural healing processes. The new fever research has begun to explain why many of their time-tested methods work. It is also beginning to lend credence to the beliefs of the Turks and Russians that periodic steam baths are strengthening to health and vitality, and to those of the Scandinavians, who have used saunas as a means of both stimulating immune response and spring-cleaning the body from within. words of warning Despite new findings that fever is of benefit to the body, there is every indication that it needs to be treated with respect and that your physician is the best guide to dealing with any illness. For extreme fever can have a damaging effect on a body. And there are some people in whom the benefits of fever may well be outweighed by the risks involved. For instance, in a pregnant woman a high fever could potentially damage her unborn child and young children with very high fever can be subject to convulsions. Also, fevers in very old people have to be carefully watched because of possible damage they could do to the heart. fever as a prophylactic Provided you are fit, aerobic exercise such as cycling, running, walking very briskly, swimming, rowing or dancing is probably the best way of all to benefit from small elevations in temperature. Saunas too can be helpful provided you are in good health, don't overdo them and provided you follow the basic guidelines. A sauna helps make your joints more supple while it soothes your muscles and refreshes the mind. It is also an excellent adjunct to any serious anti-cellulite program for a woman. And early spring, when one's body is suffering from too much heavy winter food and clothing, too little fresh air and exercise, is an excellent time to make use of it. Here are the guidelines: Give yourself lots of time. It will do most for you if you take it leisurely so you have time for several sessions in the heat, with short rests in-between and a rest of at least thirty minutes - preferably an hour - after you are through. Never take a sauna until at least two hours after a meal and never take a sauna during a juice fast. (It is an excellent idea to use the sauna the day before a juice fast or special eliminating diet begins, however.) Never take a sauna if you have the symptoms of an illness. Wear little or nothing in the sauna - a towel wrapped around you is more than enough. The more you wear the less effective will the heat treatment be. Take off any jewelry and your watch. They become very hot. Stay in the sauna room for only 5-10 minutes at a stretch. Then plunge into cold water or take a cold shower and rest before going back in. Don't water the stones during your first session and be sparing with the moisture you put on afterwards. Lie down in the sauna room if you can or sit quietly. Once you are used to the heat you can move to a higher bench. Take at least a half-hour rest at the end to let your body readjust to the normal temperature of the room. This is just as important as the sauna itself to make sure you reap all the benefits. Don't towel-dry yourself afterwards. Instead let the air dry your skin naturally. Then you can have a shower.

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

One of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world uses hot and cold baths and showers to increase your vitality, balance hormones, beautify skin, tone muscles, clear your mind, and vitalize your nervous system, lymphatic system, and circulation. It quickly brings you a sense of wonderful aliveness, and all the while it is dissolving, transporting, and clearing rubbish from your body and psyche. Father Sebastian Kneipp The father of all water therapies was Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian priest who first made us aware of water’s healing power. “When used appropriately,” he said, “water and herbs can cure almost every disease.” He established Bad Worishofen in Germany in 1897, a center where people all over the world came to be healed by special ice cold baths, walking barefoot in the snow, and other simple but powerful methodologies that are celebrated to this day. I first learned the secrets of water healing in my early twenties after spending many years in a state of ill health thanks to my being raised on a terrible diet. It had been based on huge bowels of breakfast cereals piled high with white sugar, horrid fast foods eaten at 5 am in truck drivers’ cafes throughout America, and a lot of other junk. No wonder I was unhealthy. However, what I learned from the generosity of some brilliant British and European doctors who practiced natural medicine turned my entire life around. This was how I came to work in, write about, and teach natural methods of healing. It is also how I came to visit Kneipp’s centers for hydrotherapy, which still continue to thrive, especially in Germany. In many ways the most important of all I learned was how powerful healing with simple water techniques can be for improving your life at any time. Let me share with you one of these techniques. Do try it and let me know how you get on. There are many more, but let’s begin with this one. Thanks to water's chemical and bioelectrical properties, and to your body's physiological and energetic responses to them, water therapy is a superb method for cleansing, energizing, and restoring great functioning to any tired or aging body. The technique of using alternating applications of hot and cold water is called “Contrast Hydros.” If you have not yet experienced the turn-on it offers, you have a real treat ahead. After a workout, athletes use hydroelectrics in the form of contrast baths and showers to strengthen the body, prevent muscular damage, and eliminate aches. Contrast hydros not only help clear wastes and vitalize but also bring nutrients and oxygen to areas of your body that need them and balance your energies, helping to protect you from stress-induced damage. Here is how Apply hot water to your whole body for three or four minutes in the form of a hot bath or shower. Follow with 30 to 60 seconds of cold water. Repeat the procedure three times. The application of cold water needs to be just long enough to make blood vessels constrict. This can take place in as little as 20 seconds. Cold water triggers your sympathetic nervous system to energize while hot water intensifies parasympathetic activity for relaxation. The combination of the two makes you feel great. It’s important that you start slowly, increasing the length of your exposure to hot and cold water gradually. If you have a separate bath and shower you can use the bath for one temperature application, the shower for the other, moving back and forth. During the summer, make your bath cold and your showers hot. During the winter, reverse this. Like any natural treatment, contrast hydros need to be followed carefully and wisely to get all the benefits they offer and to make sure no harm is done. You will probably find at first that a plunge into cold water or a cold shower is a shock to your body. Soon this will turn into an experience of total pleasure. It is always the first cold application that is the hardest. The biggest barrier to getting into cold water is a psychological one. Once you leap this hurdle you’ll find yourself eagerly looking forward to your daily treatment. Here are a few cautions: Always check with your doctor before beginning any natural treatment to make sure that it is appropriate for you. He or she may advise you not to use contrast hydros if you have any kind of heart condition, nervous disorder, high blood pressure, if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, or suffer from hardening of the arteries. Make sure your body is warm before beginning. The room should be well heated. Don’t let your body become chilled during the treatment. If you feel yourself becoming too cold, immediately stop and get into a hot bath or shower until you warm up fully. Always begin with a hot application and end with cold. Start slowly with 2-3 minutes of hot application followed by 20 seconds of cold. As your body gets used to contrast hydros, increase the time of the cold applications up to 1 minute (even up to 2-3 minutes if you are extremely fit or an athlete). When you finish, dry your body well and dress warmly. I’d love to hear how you get on so I can share with you other hydroelectric treatments that cost virtually nothing but can be wonderfully life enhancing.

Celebrating Ecstasy

Celebrating Ecstasy

Frequently discussed yet little understood in the context of our post industrial society is the value of ecstasy and the power of the erotic. For power it is of an order that is both frightening and tremendously creative. It is no accident that in all of the Eastern religions it is the erotic which symbolizes man's pathway to realizing the Divine. In our capacity to experience ecstasy at the deepest levels may lie both the key to our survival and to our ability to create. Recent studies of the human brain and its interfaces with the body have for the first time in history begun to chart biologically what takes place when one allows oneself to enter fully into an erotic state. The results of this research are not only helping us see just how important this can be to health and wholeness, they are also making us conscious of just how far away the so called sexual revolution has taken us from our being able to experience our own ecstasy. For the mechanistic approach to sexuality with which we have lived for the past thirty years, with all its sex-manuals and all its advice on 'how-to-do-it-better', instead of leading us towards a state in which we are more able to plunge into the irrational, oceanic, all-trusting state which every ecstatic encounter demands, has taught us to intellectualize sexuality making it into something which too often we do and watch ourselves doing, something which we learn about, something which we try to control. Yet right at the core of the truly ecstatic experience is a fundamental demand that we give up all control so that we are able for a time to allow ourselves to dissolve our boundaries and merge into a celebration of the body, of life itself and in doing so to experience our own wholeness. Each man and woman in reality has not one brain but two: The rational brain or the neocortex which like an immensely complicated computer enables us to make conscious choices and to collect, store and interpret the data we receive from our sensory organs and the subcortical nervous system or the primitive brain . This primitive brain is sometimes referred to as the 'reptilian structures' because from an evolutionary point of view it is the oldest part of the brain and also because, unlike the conscious mind, it can never be disassociated from our basic adaptive systems - the hormonal system and the immune system on which our survival depend. Your emotions and your instincts are bonded to the activity of your primitive brain which through the hypothalamus communicates via nerve cells with the rest of the body and via hormones regulates the activity of all the other endocrine glands with the aid of complex feedback mechanisms. When you experience joy the hormonal balance is not the same as when you grieve or when we engage in intellectual thought. This complex feedback network between mind and body, mediated through the primitive brain might be called our primitive adaptive system. On the quality of its responses and how well it is balanced with the actions of the neocortex depends how healthy we are physically, mentally and emotionally. But being human in the so-called civilized world is not always easy. The neocortex or rational brain in our society has become highly developed. It is this development which gives us the capacity to make rational decisions, to examine reality and to consciously manipulate the outside world to our advantage. In a truly healthy person the balance between the two brains is good. However the rational brain has the ability to inhibit the primitive brain. And in the modern world this neocordical inhibition of the primitive brain (on which our experience of joy and our hormonal and immune strength depends) has been carried to extremes. So much is this the case that we have undermined our ability to experience ecstasy, diminished our capacity for joy and lost our trust in the knowingness of our instincts. Take the experience of childbirth for instance. Instead of being able during the birth process simply to give over our bodies to the event and trust that at the right time the appropriate hormone will be secreted to dilate the cervix, bring the child into the world, lead us instinctively to nurture it at the breast, we tend to try exerting conscious control through our reason. In doing so we inhibit the primitive adaptive processes for we no longer trust them. We shift hormones in inappropriate ways and loose touch with the ecstatic experience of surrender to the body as well as with all the joy this can bring. In short we bring into play the rational brain at an inappropriate time and we suffer for it. (So incidentally does the baby.) We experience ourselves as separate from what is happening to our body, and we feel pain. It is not our highly developed rational brain that is the problem but the inappropriateness of allowing it to come into play in such circumstances which results in a sense of separation and our anguish. For human instincts, which need to be trusted and allowed freedom to be if we are to come to live in real health and wholeness, are fragile things. They are easily repressed and inhibited, constantly changed and controlled by the power of the neocortex - so much so that in most of us these inhibitions have become so unconscious and so habitual that we are not even aware of them have no possibility of choice. We have quite simply forgotten how to let go and trust to our body so we deny the power of human instincts. Then, instead of working with us they tend to work against us. Each woman is a great deal more than her rational mind. To be whole, to be truly healthy, to live the power of her own individual beauty she needs a highly developed emotional and instinctive life as well as a strong rationality. Each woman needs to be able to trust her body and, at appropriate times, such as in childbirth or lovemaking, to be able to abandon herself to it fully. Then the highly developed neocortex which is responsible for the development of culture and rational achievement instead of working against ones energy by inappropriate inhibition serves to channel her instinctive and the emotional life in tremendously exciting and creative ways. Then she is able to experience joy in simply being the way a child does - a joy and a radiance which does not depend upon what she does or what she has or on how clever she is or on how admired she is but simply on being. How does one rediscover this kind of trust in the body and in ones instincts? The answer is not simple. It involves experiment, listening, adjustment and it usually comes slowly, in fits and starts, through learning to trust and through becoming aware when instinctive responses begin to take place and simply allowing them to happen - particularly in the realm of ones sexuality - a realm in which the primitive brain, if it is allowed, probably comes into its own more easily than in any other. For the erotic - the ecstatic - has a power far beyond the experience of pleasure it brings. Ancient philosophical and religious traditions teach that the font of sexual power, known as the kundalini, lies coiled like a sleeping serpent at the base of the spine. When it becomes aroused this powerful procreative energy, the most powerful energy known to human life, begins to uncoil and to rise up the body activating its energy centers or chakras one by one. There are said to be seven chakras - locusts where the life energy which controls all biological processes, interfaces with the physical body. Each chakra appears to control particular endocrine glands and each is said to manifest a different quality of this powerful instinctive energy which makes human development possible. For instance the first or base chakra which lies near the base of the spine deals with survival while the next chakra, located in the pelvis looks after specific procreative energies. The chakra at the solar plexus is said to be involved with the will, the heart chakra with compassion, the throat with ones higher creative energies and so forth. The seventh chakra at the crown of the head is known as the thousand petal lotus. It is believed to be responsible for man's spiritual development at the highest level. When strongly activated it is believed to emit a radiance which you find depicted in every religious tradition in the form of the halo painted around the head of saints, the Christ, the Buddha and all the rest. The kundalini or life force is not something which can be aroused or activated through any rational effort of the conscious mind. For its energies, being sexual in the very deepest sense of the word (a sense which encompasses self-expression and creativity in every way from giving birth, to art, to the Dionysian celebration of the erotic in sexual intercourse,) are irrational in nature and belong to the realm of the primitive brain. As such they defy definition and elude any who would classify, categorize or try to control them. Since we belong to a civilization which has placed great premium on classification and control and which therefore has sought to conveniently ignore or dismiss as nonexistent any part of experience which does not fit into the rational and controllable, we often feel particularly unsettled whenever the force of these profound life energies surface. They can make us decidedly uncomfortable. For if we follow them we risk dissolving the boundaries of self and we fear a loss of the very control which the overdeveloped rational mind so loves. Yet the irony is that it is this very loss of control that we often most long for. For without an ability to live the instinctive as well as the rational we can never experience wholeness. Even more important, without it, the full creativity of our humanness being can never be realized. For it is the inhibition of this ability to experience the ecstatic and to trust in it that brings in its wake the sense of powerlessness and meaninglessness so widespread in our society. As black American writer Audre Lorde says in her book Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic As Power (The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA), 'The Erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling...As women we have come to distrust that power which rises from our deepest and nonrational knowledge... It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, the plasticized sensation. But the erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the woman who does not fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough.' Exploring the realms of ecstasy, the truly erotic in ones life, is a long way from experimenting with all the mechanistic sexual stuff you will find in the popular press that tells you how to get more pleasure sex by doing this or that to your partner. Sadly the sexual revolution instead of freeing us to explore ecstasy and helping us learn how to surrender ourselves to the realm of instinct thereby bringing a healthy balance between our two brains, has tended even to relegate sexuality to the realm of the neocortex. When this happens, the ecstatic becomes the pornographic and the powers of creativity are wasted. For health and wholeness we must somehow find a marriage between instinct and reason. It is a union which like any marriage takes time to develop and grow, but a union which in terms of your health and beauty and your wholeness can bear infinite fruit.

Apple Detox

Apple Detox

A few days on apples once in a while can eliminate retained water, revive flagging energy, make your skin look wonderful and your eyes shine. The apple fast for detox was taught to me fifty years ago by Dr Gordon Latto, a Scottish medical doctor who used nothing but food and breathing techniques and a few herbs to heal even the most complex and chronic conditions. Eating as much as you want – but only apples – in place of your regular meals, and in between too if you like, for two days cleans your body, helps clear away food sensitivities, and banishes the ravages of unnatural appetite. For two days all you have to do is to eat apples, and nothing but apples. Your body will do the rest. It’s a time to be luxuriously lazy and self-indulgent, to enjoy the process of getting rid of all those wastes you really don’t want hanging around in your system making you look and feel low. No pregnant or breast-feeding woman should do an apple fast: neither should anyone with a kidney, liver or heart complaint, for in such cases any sudden change of diet carries with it potential dangers to health. But if you are generally well, a short apple fast is a great way to clear away the cobwebs. Check with your doctor first if you have any doubts. HEALING DISCOVERY It was the apple which first led the great Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner to develop his system of treatment based on living foods. Bircher-Benner was himself ill with a liver ailment, which made it virtually impossible for him to digest anything. One day, as he lay in his bed unable to rise or eat, his wife slipped a piece of fresh raw apple between his teeth. He tasted it, and to his surprise he found he could tolerate it. Several days – and many raw apples – later he found himself well again. He never forgot the humble apple or what it could do to detoxify the body and to help restore normal functioning to digestion, cells and the circulation. He used apples regularly in his dietary treatments of obesity and other illnesses. In fact, they formed the basis of his Bircher Muesli, which has become world famous. WEEKEND RETREAT My two day apple fast is designed to be done over a weekend is not even a fast, for you can eat as much as you like – but only apples. The reason the apple fast is done over a weekend is that the process of elimination can use up a lot of energy, so it’s a good idea to do it over two days when you are not working. The apple has long been known as a health tonic, medicine, cosmetic and bowel-regulator all wrapped up in one skin. When eaten, it stimulates the secretion of digestive juices. It contains natural substances that help prevent digestive and liver troubles. Where unsweetened apple juice is the traditional drink among country people, there tends to be no incidence of kidney stones. The simple apple is traditionally used for eliminating obesity, as well as being a folk treatment for skin problems, bladder inflammation, anemia, insomnia, intestinal parasites and bad breath. QUEEN OF CLEANSING The adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is not just an old wives’ tale. The apple is quite rightly known as the queen of fruits. In its natural whole state, it supplies valuable fruit sugar and vitamins in a superb balance to ensure that your body can efficiently digest and use them. The apple is our richest fruit source of vitamin E and also provides a good supply of biotin and folic acid – two B-complex vitamins important in preserving energy, emotional balance and in keeping your digestive system clean and functioning well. It is also a fine source of vitamins A and C, which are both natural antioxidants – powerful anti-agers – not to mention more than a dozen minerals including sulfur, potassium, iodine, silica, magnesium and calcium, and even essential amino acids in small quantities. Apples are low in acidity to help balance stored bodily wastes which tend to be acidic. They stimulate the flow of saliva in the mouth, and clear away debris from the teeth. Eating a raw fresh apple stimulates circulation in the gums too. Finally, apples are rich in a very special form of soluble fiber called pectin which helps to clear out the dangerous heavy metals such as lead and aluminum that we all pick up from our city air, food and water. OUT WITH THE UGLIES Heavy metals in your body are something you want to get rid of. These elements, the concentration of which has increased dramatically in our air, foods and water since the Industrial Revolution, can seriously interfere with your body’s metabolic functioning. Mercury tends to suppress the levels of white blood cells in the immune system. Cadmium displaces the essential element zinc needed for a great many of your body’s enzyme systems, and renders them inefficient and even inactive. In the West we now have a concentration of lead in our bodies some 500-1000 times that of our pre-industrial ancestors. High levels of this heavy metal age us prematurely, interfere with our mental processes, suppress immunity and contribute to depression. Aluminum, another heavy metal, detrimentally affects the central nervous system. The presence of all these elements in excessive quantities (and their concentrations in the human body appear to be increasing with each passing decade) generally interferes with your body’s metabolic processes. The ability of apples to remove heavy metals from your system is one of the best reasons for doing an apple fast, particularly if you live in a city. RADIANT FIBER The fiber that apples contain really is remarkable. In addition to cellulose (the most common kind of fiber, which binds water and increases fecal bulk), the apple is also rich in pectin – a very special kind of fiber with quite exceptional detoxification properties. So different in texture and character is pectin from other forms of fiber that it is sometimes surprising to think that they are classified in the same group. Unlike cellulose, pectin does not bind water, it is water-soluble. It has no influence on fecal bulking, but it appears to be an excellent substance for lowering cholesterol. It may also help eliminate bile acids from the intestines, thus short-circuiting the development of colon cancer and gallstones. It is also useful as a natural chelating (binding) agent which is why it is so good at mopping up unwanted heavy metals, such as aluminum, from the tissues and eliminating them from the body. This can be very important when it comes to detoxification for weight loss. READY SET GO Get yourself a big bag of the freshest apples you can find – perhaps three or four different kinds for variety. If you don’t like the look of your apples you won’t want to eat them, so be picky. Buy a box of apples if you like, your greengrocer might give you a discount. On this pre-cleanse day it is a good idea to get your system ready. Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks. Steer clear of bread and cooked carbohydrates such as pasta and cereals, and make your last meal of the day a large raw salad made of fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t have anything else to eat after your salad, except perhaps a cup of herb tea before bed. This will give your body a good 12 hours head-start on the elimination process and it will thank you for it. THE APPLE FAST There’s really nothing to it. Over the two days you have chosen, tuck into your apples. Eat as many as you like at any time of the day or night. You must eat the whole apple including the peel, the seeds and the core. Don’t worry about the belief that apple seeds are poisonous. Any expert in natural medicine detox will tell you they are not only perfectly safe but an important part of the cleansing process. Chew well, until the last drop of flavor has been extracted from the fruit. The only part you throw away is the woody stem. You must eat your apples raw. You can munch them whole, or grate them and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. You can even put them in the blender with spring water to make a drink. Eat nothing else during this two-day period, but eat them whenever you are hungry. Do not drink tea or coffee. You may have a herb tea or two such as peppermint, lemon balm or chamomile with a few drops of the best stevia if you wish. Drink lots of pure filtered water, but nothing else. BLISSFUL RELAXATION Be lazy and luxurious.  During these days indulge yourself doing whatever is pleasurable for you. Many people find their sexuality is heightened during these days. If so, enjoy it. Apples are great to munch in bed. In many ways, the most useful thing about the apple fast is the way you can call on it when you most need help to get you back on the rails again. We all slip up sometimes – we over work or over indulge and live to regret it the next day. A two day apple fast, or even just a day spent eating only apples, is an excellent ‘quick corrector’. Spend even just one day munching apples and it will help set all to rights again, so that when you awaken next morning you feel more like your old self and ready to face the day full of energy. RENEWED VITALITY Apple fasting gives you the chance to step back regularly and take a look at your lifestyle, instead of mechanically going on day after day without being aware of where your energy is going. Set aside two days, three or four times a year – a weekend is best – for an apple fast. This will spring clean your body from the inside out. Even apple fasting for one day a week is a great boost to vitality and good looks, because it helps detoxify your body of wastes accumulated as a result of drinking or eating too much, or consuming the wrong kinds of foods. It can also help calm the ravages of an over-enthusiastic appetite, which many people suffer as a result of food sensitivities or over-stimulation of the digestive system. Furthermore, it is an excellent discipline: such a practice helps you break through ingrained habit patterns, which can make us largely unaware of how we are eating.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 18,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 17th of June 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.69 lb
for women
-1.10 lb
for men
-0.69 lb
for women
-1.10 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 17th of June 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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