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Honour the deep feminine wisdom, the power and the life-force of that incredibly beautiful body of yours.

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Sacred Truth Ep. 41: Cool Hot Flashes

Sacred Truth Ep. 41: Cool Hot Flashes

The most common herald of menopause is the appearance of hot flashes. These are virtually synonymous in the experience of many women. An adjunct to hot flashes are night sweats where you awaken drenched in sweat, so much so sometimes that you not only need to change your night clothes but the sheets on your bed as well. Both night sweats and hot flashes can be disconcerting if you are frightened of them. Don’t be. A lot can be said about hot flashes, but there are only two facts that you need to know: First, they are completely harmless. Second, hot flashes are the only symptoms among a long list of stuff usually attributed to menopause that genuinely belong to it. Women of all ages get hot flashes especially strongly when their ovaries are removed surgically. During pre-menopause, thinner women often experience more drastic alterations in their estrogen levels and are therefore more likely than their bigger sisters to get stronger hot flashes. In most women, hot flashes are at their most intense during the last year or so before the end of menstruation and during the first year afterwards. Estrogen levels tend to be lower in pre-menopausal women with hot flashes than those without hot flashes. Yet it is quite clear that low estrogen, although it continues to get the blame for hot flashes, it is by no means all that is involved in their production. It is the sudden drop of estrogen in your body that is the real issue. And once your body becomes accustomed to lower levels of estrogen, most hot flashes gradually diminish. Often low estrogen is not involved in hot flashes at all. Hot flashes happen to women if they have been taking supplementary estrogen in HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for a time and then stop. . There are certain foods and habits known to contribute greatly to the incidence of hot flashes. Stop cigarette smoking, drinking, caffeine, and eating hot spicy food. An overactive thyroid can cause hot flashes too, as can insulin resistance, the use of all sorts of potentially dangerous drugs from Big Pharma, and diabetes. Hot flashes are often the result of allergic reactions to foods and the chemicals in the environment. The high levels of steroid hormones used in pharmaceutical hormone replacement suppress important functions in your body, such as those that are connected with allergies and with your body's attempt to detoxify itself. When estrogen decreases rapidly in a menopausal woman who has been taking artificial hormones, then the underlying allergy or toxicity that was being masked by the hormones comes to the surface. Foods can give you reactions such as migraine, headaches and rises in blood pressure as well as hot flashes. It is time to look at your diet, since when offending foods like milk and all cows’ milk products, including yoghurt and cheeses, wheat, chocolate, or oranges are removed from the diet, hot flashes will diminish and may even cease altogether. By the way, extra estrogen does not “cure” hot flashes. It only masks them for a while. Actually, there is nothing to “cure,” because hot flashes are not a symptom of disease. They are a normal bodily change associated with the transition between the menstrual years and menopause. The standard medical treatment for hot flashes is estrogen. If you decide to go on estrogen for a few years “to get you through the rough patch,” what you are not told is that when you come off it, your hot flashes are likely to return in force—three years down the road or twenty. Women who have been filled full of fear of menopause—particularly professional women—sometimes sit in trepidation lest a hot flash come over them while in a business meeting to betray that they are menopausal. Women always think they are more evident to the outside world than they are. But even if they were, so what? Why should any woman agree, even tacitly, to buy into the general nonsense that menopause—or perhaps a swollen belly during pregnancy—is something disgraceful to be hidden? If you have been experiencing hot flashes, change your diet. Also use some powerful and benign herbs. Here are my favorites. They work beautifully: Sage: Make an infusion of 1 teaspoon of the dried leaves in a cup of water, allow it to steep for 10 minutes, then drink 1 tablespoon of the tea 1 to 4 times a day. Or you can use 10 to 25 drops of tincture of sage every day. Motherwort: It does not make a great tasting tea, so I prefer to take it as a tincture. Take 10 to 25 drops of tincture every 2 to 6 hours. Chastetree: Take 1 capsule of powdered berries 3 to 4 times a day, or 15 drops to 1 teaspoon of the tincture 1 to 3 times a day. Dong Quai: Make an infusion of a teaspoon of the dried root in a cup of boiling water and drink once a day. Or take 15 to 30 drops of tincture 1 to 3 times a day. Remember this: The long traditions of natural medicine view hot flashes as the body’s way of detoxifying itself and enhancing immunity. And recent research shows that even a slight raise in temperature in the body can be instrumental in doing both. Eclectic Institute, Organic Motherwort Fresh, organic motherwort (leonurus cardiaca) flower tops. organic grain-free alcohol content: 40-50%. filtered water. Fresh herb strength: 1:2.(500 mg/ml). Order Eclectic Institute, Organic Motherwort from iherb Eclectic Institute, Chaste Tree Dried organic chaste tree (vitex agnus castus) berry, Organic grain-free alcohol content: 70-80%, filtered water. Dry herb strength 1:4. (250 mg/ml). Order Eclectic Institute, Chaste Tree from iherb Eclectic Institute, Dong Quai Dried cured dong quai (angelica sinensis) root, organic grain-free alcohol content: 25-35%, filtered water. Fresh herb strength: 1:4 (250 mg/ml). Order Eclectic Institute, Dong Quai from iherb Herb Pharm, Whole Leaf Sage Certified organic cane alcohol (71-81%) & distilled water. Gluten-free. Dry herb / menstruum ratio: 1 : 5 Order Herb Pharm, Whole Leaf Sage from iherb

Insomnia - To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

Insomnia - To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

A great many sleep issues are more the result of worrying about insomnia than anything else. Many people who consider themselves insomniacs are really victims of general propaganda about sleep rather than true non-sleepers. And many people seek treatment because they can only sleep four or five hours a night, although that may be all they need. There is nothing more apt to cause sleeplessness than the worry that you won't be able to drop off. Sometimes sleeplessness can be normal. We all experience a sleepless night now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried, or excited about some coming event. THE TRUTH ABOUT INSOMNIA Real, chronic insomnia is less frequent. A major research project into long-term insomnia turned up some interesting facts about sufferers. Over 85 per cent of the 300 insomniacs studied had one or more major pathological personality indication, such as depression, obsessive compulsive tendencies, schizophrenic characteristics or sociopathy. For them, their insomnia was a secondary symptom of a more basic conflict—a socially acceptable problem they could talk about without fear of being judged. Insomnia can simply be a mask for whatever is really bothering the non-sleeper. Sometimes an inability to sleep can be a manifestation of a nutritional problem, often a deficiency of zinc coupled with an excess of copper—which produces a mind that is intellectually overactive and won't wind down—or a deficiency of calcium or magnesium or vitamin E—which can lead to tension and cramping in the muscles and a difficulty in letting go. 300mg of magnesium taken before bed often clears cramping and allows you to sleep more peacefully. BE COOL The more easygoing an attitude you take to sleep, the less likely you are to have any problem with it. If you miss an hour or two, or if you are not sleepy, simply stay up, read a book, or finish some work. Believe it or not, one of the best times for coming up with creative ideas is in the middle of a sleepless night. It can be the perfect opportunity for turning stress into something creative. Chances are that you'll more than make up for a few lost hours of sleep in the next couple of days—provided you don't let yourself get anxious about it. IT’S A WOMAN THING Insomnia is one of the greatest fears of all for women. Eight times more women report sleep difficulties to their doctors throughout their lives than do men. Apart from the motherhood-induced insomnia which comes from having to feed a baby, if ever you are going to have trouble sleeping it is most likely to be during the perimenopausal years just before your periods stop, or much later on in your seventies and eighties. People sleep less as they get older for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a decrease in the production of a brain hormone called melatonin which regulates the body's circadian rhythms. How much sleep you need can change depending on your life circumstances too. When you are pregnant, eat less wholesome foods, are under stress or ill you may need more sleep. You need more sleep when you gain weight, too. When losing weight, or during a detoxification regime, you will often sleep less. The sleeplessness that occurs in women around the time of menopause and is usually not so much a difficulty in going to sleep but a tendency to awaken regularly at the same time each night (usually 2 or 3 in the morning) and to lie wide awake. Because we are accustomed to sleeping through the night we assume that there must be something wrong. Yet sleeplessness can sometimes bring new insights, if you are ready to receive them. Many artists, writers and composers will tell you that they receive inspiration for new projects and discover ways of overcoming creative challenges on awakening in the night. That being said, when sleeplessness becomes chronic it can leave you feeling exhausted, hopeless and washed out, in which case something needs to be done about it. Sleeping pills are not the answer. Their side-effects include digestive problems, poor concentration, disorders of the blood and respiration, high blood pressure, liver and kidney troubles, problems with vision, depression, dizziness, confusion and damage to the central nervous system. Using them can even lead to worse insomnia. There are better ways. HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT The next time you are troubled by sleeplessness experiment with nature's best sleep aids. Spend 20 minutes in the sun or in very bright light each morning. Your circadian rhythms are linked to sunlight. The sun sets our natural clocks properly and acts as a natural energizer too. Get more exercise. This helps burn up stress-caused adrenalin build up in the brain which can result in that tense, nervous feeling where you are ‘up’ and can't seem to get ‘down’. Experiment with exercising at different times of the day to see which time works best for you in terms of relaxing you and making you ready for sleep at night. Never take strenuous exercise before going to bed as it can set the heart pounding and stimulate the whole body far too much. Don't take on any new activities late in the day. Don't take a nap in the evening or late afternoon. Eat early, not late. In fact, the earlier the better. Make dinner your smallest meal of the day and avoid snacks after dinner since they can interfere with sleep. Everybody sleeps better on an empty stomach despite what the hot drink manufacturers would have you believe. Don't drink coffee or alcohol at dinner, or other strong stimulants. This isn't just an old wives tale. One researcher looking into the effects of caffeine on human beings recently showed that total sleep time is decreased by two hours and the mean total of intervening wakefulness more than doubles when men and women are given caffeine equivalent to a couple of cups of coffee. Alcohol may put you to sleep but it tends not to keep you there, awakening you instead in the early hours of the morning. Drink plenty of water during the day. Sleep is induced by the brain and brain cells need adequate hydration both to stay awake during the daylight hours and to trigger the dreamy relaxation that brings on sleep. Hardly anyone drinks as much water as they profitably could. I regularly consume at least 2 litres of mineral water a day in addition to whatever other drinks I may have. Don't go to bed when you are not sleepy. Instead, pursue some pleasant activity, preferably passive. Television is not the best choice for rays emitted from the set disturb your nervous system when you least need it. Get into a rut, going to bed as far as possible at the same time every night and developing a routine or simple ritual about it. When it comes to getting ready for sleep each night the body loves routines, they foster relaxation and let the body know what to expect. Make bedtime and rising time as regular as possible and go through the same routine each evening of putting the cat out, opening the window, reading a book, etc. Soak in a lukewarm (not hot) bath for 30 minutes topping up with hot water to maintain the temperature at just blood heat. (A hot bath before bed is a mistake. It is far too stimulating to the heart and gets your motor running.) Blot your skin dry without friction and go straight to bed moving slowly. This can be a great thing to do in the middle of the night if you awaken too - use a candle instead of turning on the light and let yourself relax as you probably never can during the day when a telephone could ring or someone might demand something of you. Insist that you sleep in a room by yourself when you want to be alone. Nights, sometimes weeks, sleeping alone can be enormously restful and fruitful. Use an ioniser. A little contraption beside your bed that sends negative ions into the air is a godsend to anyone who has the kind of nervous system that tends to go ‘up’ and doesn't want to come ‘down’. Although not cheap, it is an excellent investment for you can use it at a desk when you have a lot of work to do. Or, if you buy one of the portable varieties, you can also take it in the car on long trips to keep from going to sleep (it magically works both ways). Negative ions also stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain. Listen to mellow music. Music too can help alter consciousness and have you sinking blissfully into the depths of slumber. An ipod by the side of your bed is one of the most pleasant ways of all of putting a racing mind to rest and easing yourself into sleep. Use essential oils. They can have a wonderfully calming effect on the mind and body. You can take a warm bath with them or place a few drops on your pillow to inhale through the night. For the bath use four drops of lavender oil, two drops of camomile and two drops of neroli (orange blossom). Or try a drop or two of each on your pillow. Count your blessings. It's an old fashioned idea but it is a true key to deep relaxation and blissful sleep. Each night as you turn out the light think of six things during the day which you have to be thankful for, regardless of your physical or emotional state or how difficult your life may be at the time. This gradually turns the mind to dwell on pleasurable themes while you are awake. It can even improve the quality of your dreams. Make use of effective relaxation techniques (coming soon). You will find they enhance many other areas of your life too. Stop worrying about getting to sleep. Just let it happen. If it doesn't tonight, so what? It will tomorrow night. Or the next. Lack of sleep is not going to kill you, but worrying about it long enough just might.

Beware Of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Beware Of Hormone Replacement Therapy

In the next 5 minutes, I want to share with you essential truths about hormone replacement therapy—HRT. This stuff that vitally important for you to know. But first, let me ask this: Do you feel or have you fever been afraid, confused or frustrated about your own menstrual, peri-menopausal or menopausal issues? I know I once did. Intense hormonal changes can make you feel like you’re going crazy, so you’re not even sure who you are any more. And these symptoms can start as early as 10 years before menopause arrives. Natural hormonal shifts are natural transformations in every woman’s life. And, believe it or not, they can even be profoundly beneficial. But you need to learn how best o handle them. We women are constantly told that we have to take drug-based artificial hormone drugs known as HRT to do this. I’m here to tell you this is most certainly not the way to go. Why? Because medically based HRT— using synthetic drugs can produce massive side effects. It is also incapable of delivering genuine healing. It cannot treat fundamental causes. It can only mask symptoms. In the process, synthetic HRT hormones can poison your body long-term. Drug-based synthetic estrogens, progestins and progestogens commonly prescribed as HRT are fundamentally dangerous. Used long-term, they may even be life-threatening. We women need to band together and challenge the “wisdom” of conventional medical practices. It’s time for us to turn away from the widespread propaganda that accompanies the promotion of HRT as the solution to all our problems. Indiscriminate doling out of potent drug-based hormones can undermine a woman’s fertility as well as trigger the development of her menstrual agonies—from PMS and endometriosis to cancer of the breast and womb. The current attempt to make every woman a “patient” for the rest of her life by subjecting her body to long-term HRT is also a way of diminishing her personal power and undermining her control over her own body. Conventional HRT is most certainly not the answer. I believe passionately that it’s time for a radical overhaul in how we handle women’s issues. There are safer, better, more effective ways. As celebrated expert in the natural treatment of peri-menopause and menopause, Dr Jonathan Wright, Medical Director of Tahoma Clinic in Washington—a long-time advocate of bio-identical, that is natural hormones—says, “Replacing estrogen that your body is no longer producing with the synthetic versions found in conventional HRT is like replacing parts designed for a Chevy with those made for a Mercedes.” More about these alternatives in a moment. Meanwhile, let me share with you a couple of scientific studies carried out in the last 15 years which show just how potentially dangerous and ineffective conventionally prescribed HRT can be: In 2002, researchers called a halt to a huge government- run study involving 16,000 women on HRT under the Women’s Health Initiative. Researchers found that long-term use of synthetic estrogen and progestin significantly increased women’s danger of stroke, blood clots, heart attack, invasive breast cancer and stroke. Then the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published another study, showing that women who take a combination of synthetic estrogen and progestin are also at high risk of getting a highly aggressive form of breast cancer. Other studies have revealed that HRT can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and asthma. More new research indicates that combined synthetic estrogen-progestin HRT increases your risk of severe forms of breast cancer as well as your chances of dying, from the disease as well as other causes. This is but a small sample of the volume of research that has surfaced since the turn of the millennium, exposing potentially serious consequences of buying into the ongoing hype of HRT and allowing such synthetic chemicals into our bodies. Let’s look at the alternatives. There are many. Bio-identical hormones—commonly known as “natural” hormones—do a far safer, more effective job of helping most women handle the challenges they face. This is a truth now well supported by scientific research. Your hormonal system, with all its ebbs and flows, parallel those of the earth’s tides and the moon itself—acting as an interface between your emotional life and your body. Mess with your hormones and you may even undermine your ability to grow spiritually. I will soon be shooting some more new videos about Bio-identical Hormone Replacement, what it is, how it works, how it differs from synthetic HRT, as well as other natural ways of treating menstrual and menopausal challenges. So keep an eye open for them. In the meantime, go to lesliekenton.com where you can learn more right now about the remarkable things natural hormones and other natural approaches from herbs and changes in diet can do to support your own challenges right now. See you soon. Here are the links to additional information about HRT and Bio-identical hormones: 5 steps to natural menopause: http://lesliekenton.com/health/into-the-bliss/5-steps-ideal-menopause-part-2/ Beware of HRT: http://lesliekenton.com/health/into-the-bliss/beware-hrt/

Eat Your Way To Menopausal Freedom - Part 3

Eat Your Way To Menopausal Freedom - Part 3

This is part three of natural menopause – if you have not done so yet, I suggest you read part one here “Beware Of HRT” and part two here "5 steps to an ideal menopause" The decisions you make about what you eat from 35 onwards not only determine the kind of menstrual, peri-menopausal and menopausal issues you will have—or not have. They also determine how slowly or rapidly your body ages, how good you look and feel as the years pass, and how much vitality you can count on. You see, life feeds upon life. Your body makes use of foods radiant with life force to increase your mental and physical energy and restore hormonal order. Choosing the right kind of foods will protect you from all those female agonies that the rest of the world wrongly thinks can only be handled by swallowing dangerous drugs. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE Go through your kitchen cupboards. Throw out (I mean literally!) every packaged convenience food you find there. This stuff is not worthy of being called “food.” It’s chock full of artificial chemicals, destructive trans-fatty acids, masses of sugar, poisonous pesticides and herbicides which were sprayed on crops, and dangerous GMO rubbish. Nothing can screw up your hormonal system faster than this kind of junk can. If you want to protect your body from early aging, degenerative diseases, osteoporosis, cancer and female miseries, it’s time to get savvy and opt for a life-generating way of eating based on organic foods grown on healthy soils. This is no joke! Once your body gets used to clean, healthy, natural foods, you’ll be surprised to discover that you literally hate all the junk that most people eat. Of course will take a while to make the transition from junk to real foods, so start now. Point your goals in the right direction and keep learning how to eat so you stay looking and feeling young at every age. This way of eating also reverses all sorts of so-called illness—from something as simple as reflux, to sleeplessness, depression, heart disease and cancer. All you need is the persistence to see the change through. RICH IN VITALITY Begin by eating foods rich in phyto-hormones—natural hormones that perfectly fit your own cell receptor sites to protect you from damage by estrogen mimics in our poisonous environment. Fresh, raw, organic vegetables, concentrated green foods like spirulina, chlorella, and naturally fermented foods are ideal. We have long been told that carbohydrates—breads and pasta, rice and cereals—are your body's main source of energy. This just ain’t so. Of course vegetable carbohydrates are great: sea plants, broccoli, spinach, kale—the works. So are legumes, but only in small quantities, since they can help provide steady lasting energy throughout the day. GRAINS TURN INTO SUGAR The other piece of nonsense which our corporate-controlled media and government keep pushing is the notion that low-fat, processed foods are healthy. Don’t believe it. In packaged, processed convenience foods, good-quality fat—such as extra-virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil and butter from cows that, at least part of their lives, have been fed on green grass—has long been replaced with sugars (oftentimes with high-fructose corn syrup), flavors and colors. If you eat sugar and grain-based carbs, this leads to more calories and weight gain, and fatigue. Read labels. If you see “non-fat” or “low-fat”, what this means is high sugar—and getting fat from eating them. Stay away from them. One of the major energy problems caused by eating processed foods full of grain-based carbs and/or sugars such as pasta, bread, cereals and sweets is that this brings about a progressive decline in your body's ability to process sugar. Unlike vegetables and fruits, which are full of beneficial fiber, manufactured processed foods are highly concentrated. Fiber is no longer present to dilute their concentration and slow down the rate at which the simple starches and sugars they contain are absorbed into your bloodstream. Grain and sugar based foods are far more calorie-dense. When you eat them year after year, they begin to overwhelm the body—especially the pancreas—causing blood sugar problems, and mood and energy swings that wreak havoc with your health. Eating this way predisposes you to insulin resistance, food cravings and obesity. Don't get misled by the nonsense that is written on the packaging of foods you buy, either. Read the ingredients carefully and watch for hidden sugars—glucose, sorbitol, invert sugar, corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, barley syrup, malt sugar. Even many products that claim to be sugar-free contain one or more of these, all of which are just another name for sugar. CUT THE CAFFEINE Caffeine—an ingredient in coffee, tea and many soft drinks—gives you a quick lift and the illusion of energy, only to let you crash a couple of hours later when you find yourself craving more coffee or wanting to reach for a sticky bun or chocolate, just to keep going. Tea contains a surprising 14-61 mg of caffeine per cup, to coffee’s 95-200 mg. Coffee makes your blood more acid, which in turn draws calcium from your bones to try to re-establish a healthy acid/alkaline balance. Drinking coffee is one of the worst things you can do if you want to prevent osteoporosis. Colas, squashes and soft drinks also contain caffeine—and are also riddled with sugar. A 12 ounce tin of cola contains 7 teaspoons—about 40 grams. As for the “diet” varieties, they are full of excess phosphorous and poisonous artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which under no circumstances do you want to put into your body. POWER FOODS Every molecule of muscle in your body is made from the proteins you eat. Muscle is the engine which turns food calories into energy, and burns fat. Improve the quality of your muscle and you automatically raise the vitality of your whole body. You also enhance your sex hormones, create better skin quality, and gain in strength and power. Only protein foods help do this. They also help ground you. Thanks to this characteristic, protein can even play an important role in helping you fulfill your dreams, influence your goals and discover your unique life. No protein structures in your body are fixed. Each strand is constantly being broken down and reshaped. In fact, the whole structure of your body is being rebuilt day by day, thanks to the proteins you take in through your foods. 98% of your body’s molecules, including your teeth and bones, your organs and your muscles, are replaced each year. Within the last month, your skin has completely rebuilt itself. Within the last 3 months, you have received a whole new blood supply. Within the last 6 months, just about every molecule of muscle protein has been renewed. What is exciting about all this is that, when you shift for the better both the quantity and the quality of proteins you eat, you can completely transform, regenerate, and rejuvenate not only the way your body functions, but also the way you look and feel. GREAT CHOICE PROTEIN FOODS Raw foods: Including non-roasted nuts and minimally processed cheeses—especially sheep, goat and buffalo cheeses, since so many women these days don’t get on well with cow’s milk products, including cheese, yoghurt and cow’s milk itself. Eat meats from grass-fed, free-range, and cage-free animals without added hormones. Never eat farmed fish of any kind. Their feeds are not only full of cheap carbohydrates, but dead animal. You don’t want these things in your body. Choose cold-water fish rich in Omega-3 fats such as wild salmon, sardines, mahi-mahi, mackerel, etc. Organic eggs from free-range chickens. Buy only meat from grass-fed animals and grass-fed, free-range organic poultry. Wild game birds (pheasant, duck, goose, grouse). Venison. Wild game (kangaroo, goat, etc). Good quality vegan or whey protein, provided your body can handle cow’s milk products. THE 50% WILD SECRET Raw foods do wonderful things for women. For hundreds of generations, our ancestors lived on wild foods gathered and eaten raw. Our genes are specially adapted to handling raw foods. Incorporating a good percentage of live foods—fresh vegetables, raw seeds and nuts, and fresh sprouted seeds—in your diet helps restore good hormone function, stabilize moods, clear and rejuvenate skin, shed excess fat and even transform your outlook on life. Eat 50% of your foods raw and choose the rest from wholesome natural products like sea plants, cooked vegetables, and fresh locally-grown fruits, and you will notice a dramatic improvement in how you look, feel and function, even in the first couple of weeks. But it will be several weeks before the burden of toxicity which you have been carrying has fully cleared, and it may well be a few months before even deeper benefits begin to show themselves. Be patient. Your body has a magnificent ability to heal itself, but it won’t happen overnight. DEEP CLEANSE FOREVER To help you reap the rewards of a natural menopause, go for foods high in phyto-hormones—compounds in plants whose molecular structure is akin to the body’s own hormones. Unlike dangerous xenoestrogens, plant hormones are weak in their actions. They “fit” into a woman's metabolism. Your body recognizes them and knows how to use them. When weak estrogens from plants bind with estrogen receptor sites in the body, they help protect your body from the negative effects of xenoestrogens. They allow your body to readjust its hormonal balance naturally. This is why a diet high in phyto-hormones plays such an important part in protecting Japanese women from hormone-related diseases. The vitamins, minerals, and phyto-hormones in fresh foods, eaten as close as possible to the state in which they come out of the ground—or carefully and naturally fermented as the Japanese do—can bring to your life a supply of phyto-hormones sufficient to help mitigate most of the female symptoms that plague us in industrialized countries—from fibrocystic breast disease, PMS and hot flushes, to osteoporosis. GIFTS FROM THE SEA If you have never used sea vegetables, now is an ideal time to begin. Not only are they delicious—imparting a wonderful, spicy flavor to soups and salads—they are the richest source of organic mineral salts in nature, particularly of iodine. Iodine is the mineral needed by the thyroid gland. As your thyroid gland is largely responsible for your body's metabolic rate, iodine is very important to your energy. So try some of the sea vegetables. Before long, your nails and hair will become strong and beautiful thanks to the minerals and trace elements like selenium, calcium, iodine, boron, potassium, magnesium, and iron which are no longer found in good quantities in our garden vegetables. So will the rest of your body. I like to use powdered kelp as a seasoning. It adds both flavor and minerals to salad dressings, salads and soups. I am also fond of nori seaweed, which comes in long thin sheets or tiny flakes. It makes a delicious snack food which you can eat along with a salad or at the beginning of the meal. I often toast it very, very quickly by putting it under a grill for no more than 10 or 15 seconds. It is also delicious raw. You can use nori to wrap around everything from a sprout salad to cooked grains in order to make little pieces of vegetarian sushi. It's often a good idea to soak some of the other sea vegetables such as dulse, arame and hiziki for a few minutes in enough tepid water to cover. This softens them so you can chop them and put them into salads or added to your soups. Here are my favorites: Arame, dulse, hiziki, kelp, kombu, laver bread, nori, wakami, mixed sea salad. Change the foods you have log been eating and will change the whole of your life for the better. Try it for a month and find out for yourself.

Beware Of HRT

Beware Of HRT

In the grip of insane materialism, and controlled by the intense power of pharmaceutical companies, doctors who once practiced from a genuine passion to help heal are being forced to surrender their autonomy to a brutal overuse of dangerous chemical agents. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the “treatment” of menstrual and menopausal symptoms through the prescribing of HRT. In many ways, conventional medicine has disintegrated into a high-tech nightmare since the turn of the century. It has become controlled by the unbridled greed of corporations and government bodies who have only one goal in mind: Profit. The selling of drugs capable of producing massive side effects fails to deliver genuine healing. They do not address fundamental causes of illness. They only mask symptoms and in the process can poison your body long-term. Meanwhile, conventional health care has become so expensive that none but the top 0.1% of the population can afford it. Hundreds of thousands of people die each year as a result of using patented medicine. It is time for a radical overhaul in how we choose to treat health and healing. Nowhere is this more urgently needed than in addressing the way women’s issues are treated before, during and after menopause. Drug-based synthetic estrogens, progestins and progestogens prescribed in the form of HRT are dangerous and, used long-term, may even be life-threatening. RADICAL REVISION IS DUE Once dazzled by high-tech medical intervention at birth, we women willingly surrendered our bodies to epidurals, episiotomies and fetal monitoring equipment, which promised pain-free, trouble-free childbirth, but too often delivered problems for mother and baby. Then, inspired by the work of visionary doctors such as Michele Odent, Pierre Vellay and Frederic Leboyer, more and more women began to insist on natural childbirth, breastfeeding and good mother-child bonding. We demanded the right to drug-free childbirth and control over our own bodies. Gradually—not without resistance—doctors, hospitals and government agencies became more willing to provide this in response to the demands of us ordinary women, who kept insisting there is a better way. It’s we women ourselves who brought to fruition the natural childbirth revolution. Now it’s time for another revolution—that women’s reproductive and post-reproductive health be naturalized. It’s time we refused to swallow the nonsensical propaganda about the glories of drug-based HRT that continues to be forced upon us by the powers-that-be, and the media. LET TRUTH BE TOLD It’s time for us to begin challenging the “wisdom” of established medical practices. Time for us to dismiss the widespread propaganda which accompanies the sale of HRT. The indiscriminate doling out of potent drug-based hormones can undermine a woman’s fertility as well as trigger the development of her menstrual agonies from PMS and endometriosis to cancer of the breast and womb. The current attempt to make every woman a “patient” for most of her life by subjecting her to drug treatment through HRT is a way of diminishing her personal power and taking away control over one’s own body. I believe these practices to be biologically, politically and morally reprehensible. As Dr Jonathan Wright, Medical Director of Tahoma Clinic in Washington—and long-time advocate of bio-identical, natural hormones—says, “Replacing estrogen that your body is no longer producing with the versions found in conventional HRT is like replacing parts designed for a Chevy with those made for a Mercedes. They may be roughly the same, but with both engine parts and biology, very precise measurements matter.” NEW FACTS In 2002, researchers called a halt to a huge government- run study of HRT therapy used by millions of women under the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) when researchers discovered that long-term use of synthetic estrogen and progestin significantly increased women’s danger of stroke, blood clots, heart disease and invasive breast cancer in these women. Soon after, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published another study, showing that women who take a combination of synthetic estrogen and progestin are at high risk of getting a highly aggressive form of breast cancer. Meanwhile, other studies showed that HRT increases the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia and asthma. Then in 2010 more new research discovered that combined estrogen-progestin HRT increases the risk for more severe forms of breast cancer as well as increasing women’s chances of dying, from the disease and from other causes. This is but a tiny sampling of the research that continues to appear since the turn of the millennium, strongly exposing serious consequences from believing the hype for HRT and choosing to allow such synthetic chemicals into your body. CALL TO ACTION There is mounting dissatisfaction among women themselves. Many women write to me about this. They continue to be told that HRT is the only answer to mid-life depression, hot flushes, loss of sexual appetite and early aging. Women are by no means stupid, provided they have not been brainwashed by a media who these days toe the corporate party line in our chaotic world on the verge of unnecessary wars waged by insane governments. Women are smart. We know in our gut that such advice goes against our deepest intuition. Now is the time for us to stand up, band together, and make sure our voices are heard. For a long time, menstruation was talked about as a disease. Now it’s menopause which is treated as the biggest “crisis” demanding extreme medical treatment. Why? And because HRT is a billion dollar business, magazines and the internet are full of “reassuring” information about how “beneficial” and “necessary” are the synthetic hormones in the form of HRT given to women. You’ll find all sorts of soft-sounding names of organisations eager to give you such advice. They too are not to be trusted. Why? Because many conveniently toe the party line, like much of the media—choosing to minimize the dangers of HRT, under the guidance of strong control and direction from profit-seeking corporations. In the USA now, half of menopausal women are still using synthetic hormones, having been told that HRT is the only possible answer for alleviating their suffering during a time of profound change in their lives. Pharmaceutical companies forecast that, within the next decade, 75% of menopausal and post-menopausal women will be on HRT for the rest of their lives. A few loud voices still insist that HRT is “the most important advance in this half of the century”, proselytizing that taking hormone drugs can safeguard a woman’s bones and heart as well as keep her eternally young. None of these claims have been adequately proven, while many—including the notion that HRT can be used as a youth treatment—are blatantly false. SOME GOOD NEWS Despite our being asked to believe that HRT is both a miracle of modern science and an essential treatment for menopausal women, there is much evidence that, once the immediate flush of excitement of a new treatment is over, most women’s experience of using HRT does not back up these assertions. Many who start HRT initially experience a kind of euphoria, primarily because the one thing that estrogen replacement gets rid of almost immediately is the hot flushes that can disturb your sleep and contribute to exhaustion. But the hot flushes return as soon as they come off it. And significant numbers of women report that, a few months later, their experience of HRT has worsened dramatically, because of side-effects it can engender including mood swings, decreased control over the bladder, fatigue, headaches, and many other miserie that have developed since they began taking it. Some of the most common complaints I hear from women who have used prolonged HRT include migraines, bleeding, depression, water retention, increased blood pressure, weight gain, thrush, breast problems, varicose veins and chest pains. A Swedish survey in the university town of Linkoping showed that 48% of women who go on HRT stop taking the drug within a year. A British study examined the reasons most commonly given by women who give up HRT after starting the treatment: Half of these women stopped taking it because of side-effects, about one-fifth because they were advised to do so by their doctors, and about one-third either because they are afraid of long-term consequences such as cancer, or because HRT has shown itself to be ineffective in significantly helping them. THE ROAD AHEAD So where do we go from here? A woman’s hormonal system, with all its ebbs and flows, which parallel those of the earth’s tides and the moon itself, acts as an interface between her emotional life and her body. Mess with her hormones and you may even undermine her ability to grow spiritually. There are better, natural ways of handling them. In the next six weeks I will be sharing them with you. I will be writing another three articles—every other week—at www.lesliekenton.com. They will address the most important issues in relation to handling menopause naturally. Here are some of the issues I’ll be writing about: What is natural Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) all about? How does it work? How is it different from pharmaceutical HRT? What causes hot flushes and how can you clear them naturally? Can BHRT be useful in managing stress? How is your hormone balance related to diet, lifestyle and attaining optimal health? Are there specific herbal remedies that work to counter premenopausal, menopausal and post menopausal issues ? Be sure to join me—every other week—at www.lesliekenton.com. I look forward to connecting with you and hearing back from you about your own experiences, as well as receiving your comments and questions while you are reading this important series, which I am passionate about sharing with you.

The Greatest Journey

The Greatest Journey

I have long been sure in every fiber of my being that the joys of menopause are the world's best kept secret. Like venturing through the gateway to enter an ancient temple, in order to claim that joy, a woman must be willing to pass beyond the monsters who guard its gate. As you stand at the brink of it, it can appear that only darkness, danger and decay lie beyond. And in a way this is true - although most certainly not in the way most women believe. For having myself passed through the doorway of menopause into the realms beyond—almost twenty years ago now—I am certain, as thousands of women from all cultures throughout history have whispered to each other, that menopause is the most exciting passage a woman ever makes. Of course nobody told me this beforehand. It was a secret I had to discover for myself. Like most modern women my head had been filled with the horrors of hot flushes, fainting spells and dry vaginas; with memories of my mother's tears shed over a wrinkle that appeared one day to mar her perfect face; with the prospect of enforced celibacy—after all, no man can feel lust for an old woman, or can he? It was partly by accident, I think, and partly because—despite good health and secure family circumstances—my own journey through menopause was not an easy one, that I discovered this secret, which throughout history women living in patriarchal cultures have guarded close to their hearts: The doorway of menopause which each of us is invited to pass through is a call to adventure. It connects the ordinary world in which we have been living to a numinous zone of magnified power. Within that zone are hidden treasures to match our wildest dreams. But, like every prize worth having, these riches can only be claimed and brought back if a woman is bold enough and persistent enough to answer the call. What is calling? Nothing less than her own soul. This call to adventure which a woman hears at menopause can arrive in as many different forms as there are women to hear it. But, whatever shape it takes, its purpose is the same. It is asking her—imploring her—to leave behind the comfortable world of her ordinary existence and for a time to venture into a challenging unfamiliar place. It is asking her to set out on her own hero's journey—a journey which is completely unique to her. Sometimes this entails making an outer journey to a real place, moving to a new job, or leaving behind a marriage which has outlived its usefulness. For many the journey takes place only in the mind, the heart and the spirit. Either way it is primarily an inner journey which takes a woman out of her ordinary world with all its ordinary assumptions to transform the way she thinks and lives—from weakness to strength, from grief to purpose, from despair to hope—and then brings her home again. So important do I feel the mysterious transformation that begins in a woman’s life as menopause approaches, that I would like to share with you some of the magic I and so many others have discovered in this extraordinary life-changing passage in future blogs. I hope you will join me.

Be Wary Of Mammograms

Be Wary Of Mammograms

We have long been told that the “gold standard—life-saving” tool for protecting us from the ravages of breast cancer is regular mammograms. So powerful is the pro-mammogram lobby that we’ve come to believe if we do not have regular mammogram x-rays, we are irresponsible as well as at high risk of dying from cancer. This is quite simply not true. And in no way can mammography be considered a risk-free procedure. Far from it. Mammography relies on powerful ionizing radiation, which can actually cause cancer. One mammogram delivers the radiation equivalent of 1,000 chest x-rays into your body. Each year in the United States, an amazing 4 billion dollars is spent on over-diagnosis and false-positives in relation to mammography results. In fact, false positive results are known to be as high as 56% in a woman who has undergone 10 mammograms. Meanwhile, the physical and emotional damage of any woman having to live through “false positive” diagnoses can unnecessarily fill her life with fear. Recently, a massive study on mammography involving 90,000 women studied for 25 years concluded that mammograms have absolutely NO effect on mortality rates. As reported in the New York Times: "One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter­century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age. It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. And the screening had harms: one in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman's health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation." Earlier on, researchers at Dartmouth in the United States wanted to find out how often lives are actually saved by mammography. They examined breast cancer data from The National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They discovered that the probability of a mammogram saving a life is well below 25%. They concluded, “Most women with screen-detected breast cancer have not had their life saved by screening. They are instead either diagnosed early (with no effect on their mortality) or over-diagnosed.” Personally, I have never had a mammogram. Why? Because my gut feeling has always said “no”. This was long before a massive accumulation of clinical evidence began to show up, indicating that the 30kVp range of “low-energy” radiation used in breast screenings is up to 400% more damaging to human DNA (read 400% more carcinogenic) than the so-called “high-energy” radiation which it is often compared to. I would stay away from mammography in any shape or form. How do you protect yoursel from cancer naturally? This is what I’ll be covering in next week’s videocast. Join me then.

What The Daily Mail Didn't Publish

What The Daily Mail Didn't Publish

London’s Daily Mail approached me a few weeks ago asking me to write a piece on what it’s like to have 4 children by 4 different men. The idea intrigued me so I did. The piece wasn’t published since, they said, “It’s not written in the Mail style.” So here it is as a personal gift from me to you. I hope you enjoy it. Struggling to hold back the tears, my daughter’s voice on the crackly phone line was barely a whisper. “Mama, Dan died this morning,” she said. Dan Smith, biological father to my third child, Jesse, was much loved by all of my children. He had been seriously ill with a rare form of leukaemia. We knew he could die any moment. Still, the news that reached me at my Primrose Hill home that cold February morning in 2010 sent shock waves through me. “We’re already organising the funeral,” Susannah went on. “We want to play jazz music, tell fun stories about Dan and celebrate his life. Don’t worry about being 12,000 miles away, we’ll video all of it for you to watch later.” I would love to have been there to celebrate Dan’s life. It had been a good life. He was an honorable man—one who kept his promises. Dan had long adored each of my four children although only one of them was a child of his own body. Four years earlier, Dan had chosen to move to New Zealand to be near the children. Together they had searched for and found a house for him so that all of us—me included—could spend precious time with Dan and care for him so long as he lived. NOT THE MARRYING KIND I had met Dan 53 years earlier when I was seventeen years old. We became friends. Later, in my mid-twenties, we were briefly married. I was never much in favor of marriage, however. That’s probably why I chose to give birth to four children by four different men. Now I’m being called a trailblazer for what is becoming an increasingly popular brand of mothering, commonly referred to as ‘multi-dadding.’ I am supposed to be what is fashionably termed a ‘4x4.’ Mothering children by more than one man recently hit the headlines with the news that actress Kate Winslet is expecting her third child by her third husband, the rock star Ned Rocknroll. Kate, 37, has a 12-year-old daughter, Mia, with her first husband, Jim Threapleton, and a nine-year-old son, Joe, with her second husband, Sam Mendes. The former weather girl Ulrika Jonsson is a 4x4, and the late TV presenter Paula Yates was a 4x2. While supposedly gaining popularity, this style of mothering is still hugely controversial. I am told that the news that a woman has children by more than one man is still met with a mixture of horror and fascination. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I have never had to deal with either of these attitudes. To tell the truth, I have never much cared what people think about me, how I chose to live my life or the way I have raised my children. Perhaps that’s a good thing, or maybe I am just naïve. One thing is for sure: I’ve always been one of those women so fertile that that a man could almost look at me and I’d get pregnant. I would never miscarry. I rode horses, went surfing and danced all night while pregnant and suffered no consequences. I am told that women like me are often looked upon as monstrously selfish, bad mothers. They are accused of being feckless for having multiple lovers and just plain wrong for not providing their children with a ‘traditional family setup.’ I’m sure some traditional families are genuinely wise, stable and happy. The parents love each other and care for their children with great devotion and joy. But, in my experience, such families are few and far between. KIDS MATTER MOST What matters most in child rearing is neither convention nor family labels. It is the children. Children brought up by a devoted single mother (or single father) who lovingly trusts their own parental instincts and forms honest relationships with each child in their care, thrive. I believe this is far better than desperately trying to hold on to a marriage that doesn’t work ‘for the children’s sake.’ What I find sad is the way an ordinary single woman—not a movie star or media giant—who has children by more than one man and has to bring them up by herself, earning a living and juggling the needs not only of her children but also increasingly of their fathers, doesn't get the attention, sympathy, or anywhere near the admiration she deserves. It’s a challenging job for any woman. I know, I’ve done it. I’ve raised four children all on my own, earned the money for our family, stayed up all night caring for them when they had measles, chicken pox or mumps, then got up the next morning to make breakfast and iron that school uniform about which I was told, “Mama...my teacher says it has to be perfect.” Many a time I worried where the money was coming from to pay for food that week. LION-HEARTED MOTHERHOOD I champion any woman making a life for the children she loves in this way. It is the child that matters most and his or her relationship to a mother, father, or a caring friend. Every woman has a powerful lion-hearted passion to care for and protect her children. Women should trust themselves, give thanks for such power and use it for the benefit of their children. Kids are notoriously smart. They know when they are being fed a line about what they are “supposed” to think and say. They easily distinguish between what’s real and what’s contrived. As parents, if we want to gain the respect of our children we must always tell them the truth and treat them with respect as well as demand that they respect us in return. As far as the fathers of our children are concerned, they deserve the same respect and honesty from a woman as the child does, whether or not she is married to them. I believe that each child needs to get to know its father in its own way and make its own judgements. MY OWN STORY I grew up in a wildly unconventional family of highly creative, unstable people. Until I was 5, I was raised by my maternal grandmother. Later I was raped by my father and had my brain fried with ECT in an attempt to make me forget all that had happened to me. I was always a tomboy. I hated dolls. I loved to climb trees and play football. Yet from 5 years old I was sure that I wanted to have children. When I told my grandmother my plan she said I would need to get married to have children. “What’s married?” I asked. “It’s when you wear a white dress and have a big beautiful cake and promise to love and obey a man,” she said. “Ugh, I’ll never do that,” I replied. “I hate cake.” In any case, I knew she was lying to me since none of our Siamese cats were married, but they gave birth to masses of kittens. At the age of 17, while in my Freshman year at Stanford University, I got pregnant by a 22 year old man named Peter Dau. I rang my father. “I’m pregnant,” I told him. “What are you going to do?” “Give birth and keep the baby.” “You can’t keep the baby unless you get married,” he said. Had I been a little more gutsy I would have told him to get stuffed. But at the age of 17, still wrestling with all that had happened to me in my own childhood, he wielded a lot of influence over me. So I agreed. Peter was all for the idea. Single-handedly I put together an all-white wedding for 250 people in the garden of our Beverley Hills home. I made the decision to wear black shoes under my white satin dress. I felt I was giving my life away by marrying Peter, but I was willing to make the sacrifice since I so wanted this child. As soon as Dan learned of the wedding, he sent me a beautiful sterling silver bowl as a present which I still have. My first son, Branton, was born six months later. When I held this tiny baby in my arms he taught me the most important lesson I ever learned: Love exists. It is simple, real and has nothing to do with highfalutin notions or flowery words. At the age of 18, I realized my life had found its purpose—to love and be loved. PREGNANT AGAIN A year later, Peter and I left California for New York where he was to attend medical school while I went to work as a model to help support us. At that time, Dan left his job as a journalist in Massachusetts and moved to New York to be near us. My marriage to Peter ended amicably three years later. It should never have happened in the first place. Three days after leaving Peter back in California, I stopped overnight at my father’s house in Beverley Hills on my way back to New York. Barry Comden, a man much older than I whom I had known since I was 14 but never had a sexual relationship with, discovered I was in town and came to see me. I made love to him once and knew immediately that I was pregnant again. Marry Barry? No way. I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. (Years later Barry would marry the actress Doris Day.) Nine months later my only daughter, Susannah, was born. It was then that a large tumor growing off of my right ovary was discovered. It had been hidden behind the baby during my pregnancy. It was dangerous and had to be surgically removed. HELP WHEN IT MATTERS Once again Dan appeared in my life. He had always insisted that he fell in love with me from the first day we met. He had written me letters every single day my first year at Stanford. I never answered any of them. I didn’t share his love and I didn’t want to lead him on. He had also sent me book after book which he thought I should read. I read them all and loved them. Dan had always been kind and generous to me. He was always keen to protect and care for me when I needed it. So, when I ended up penniless and alone with two children and in need of major surgery, he offered me a home. I accepted. For several months the four of us lived together in New York. Dan adored Branton and Susannah and treated them as if they were his own. I was longing to leave the United States. I wanted to live in Paris—a city I loved more than any other. Dan was able to arrange a job for himself there as a foreign correspondent. In early 1964 we went. Dan had repeatedly told me that he was sure we were meant to be together forever. I hoped that he was right and believed that if I tried hard enough to be a good wife I would learn to love him as he deserved. On July 29, 1964, we were married in Paris. Like every other man I have ever been close to, Dan knew long before we were married that my children would always come first. I had sat him down and told him that he would have to treat Susannah and Branton exactly the same as he would treat any child of his who might come along. He agreed. On June 12, 1965, Dan’s son Jesse was born. He was delighted. True to his word, never once did he favor Jesse over Branton and Susannah. This was great for all three children who came to know him well and to adore him. When presents were passed out, each child was equally favored. Dan belonged to all of them and they knew it. FATHERS, FATHERS Because Branton’s father lived in America and we lived in Europe, Branton did not see him again until he was 11. By that age I figured he was old enough to make the trip on his own and spend a week or two with Peter. Susannah was not really interested in her father—also in the United States—until she was about 17. She then went to Los Angeles to meet him. A good friendship developed between them which remained until Barry died. A non-traditional, unconventional family? Absolutely, but it worked because there was honesty and there was love—the two most important things in any family, anytime, anywhere. For five years I had told myself that, if only I could learn to love Dan more, then everything would be all right. But I couldn’t. And it wasn’t. Confused and disappointed, at the age of 27, I faced the fact that our marriage had failed. We moved to England and we separated. It was Easter. I went to a Buddhist monastery in Scotland to clear my head. Of course Dan grieved over the failure. But that never stopped him from being a welcome person in our family right up to his death. Years later he would marry Gerda Boyeson, a psychotherapist who died a few years before he did. BLESSED MEN The men who made my life rich after Dan and I divorced were, each in their own way, as special as he had been. Each accepted that my children came before all else in the world to me. I never compromised. I chose men, be they friends or lovers, who brought wonderful things to my children. No man ever came before my children. If any man didn’t understand and accept this, he had to go. One man whom I loved, Graham, taught my children to climb and sail and mountaineer. All my children forged deep bonds with Graham which have remained to this day. Another man, Garth, gave Branton, Susannah and Jesse his much cherished toy collection from his own childhood. Garth took us all on wonderful picnics, introduced us to hidden beaches, sang songs with us and blessed us with his unique brand of joy. Then there was David, a man with whom I lived with for 5 years in my late twenties. David constructed beautiful rooms for each of my children in the tiny house I had bought with the little money that my grandfather had left me, when Dan and I separated. David wrote and recorded songs for each of my children. That was 40 years ago. Last year, Susannah and her partner visited David and his wife in Barcelona where he now lives. AN UNCONVENTIONAL MOTHER Ironically, the only complaint I ever got from any of my children about my not being conventional enough was from Dan’s son Jesse. “Why aren’t you like other mothers?” Jesse asked one day when he was 7. “I don’t know, Jesse, what are other mothers like?” “Oh you know,” he said, “They’re fat and bake cookies.” Jesse even grumbled if, while I was waiting to pick him up from school, I sat on the playground swings. He was adamant that such behavior was not “proper” for his mother. Sixteen years after Jesse was born, I became pregnant for the last time by yet another special man—Paul. I announced my condition to 17 year old Susannah as we were all setting off for a six week holiday in Canada with Graham and his son Ruan. “I’m going to have a baby,” I told her. “Don’t worry Mama,” she laughed, “We’ll say it is mine!” FAMILY CELEBRATION In March of 1981, I gave birth to my fourth child, Aaron, at our home in Pembrokeshire. All three of my other children helped deliver him. While I was in labor, they prepared the most delicious lunch I have ever tasted from fruits and vegetables from the garden. I had insisted on giving birth naturally at home, not in some clinical, cold hospital. Jesse had been born via natural childbirth, at a clinique d’accouchement in Paris. After the experience of natural childbirth I swore if ever I had another child it would have to be this way. As for Dan, one way or another he was always close by. He knew David, Graham, Garth and every other man who was to play a role in my own life and my children’s lives. For many years he spent Christmases with us and with our other male friends when they were there. Dan loved to play saxophone at family gatherings. One year he dressed up as Santa Claus. Aaron, then 5 years old, was completely taken in by the costume and terrified when this rotund man belted out, “Ho, Ho, Ho, little boy, what do you want for Christmas?” It took a lot of reassurance from Aaron’s big brothers and sister to convince him that Santa was really ‘good old Dan.’ UNIQUE & INDEPENDENT As for my children, each of them is totally unique and highly independent. I have always fought hard to encourage them to trust themselves and listen to their own heart instead of doing or saying what the rest of the world tells kids they are supposed to do and say. After graduating with a first class degree from Lancaster University, Branton, now 53, developed a series of successful businesses. Susannah, 50, with whom I have written 5 books and done two television series, is a sought-after voice artist. Jesse, 48, is a highly skilled plastic surgeon. Jesse and I have also written a book together. Aaron, now 32, is a designer and filmmaker. He and I have worked together for the past four years developing Cura Romana—a spiritually based program for health, lasting weight loss and spiritual transformation. Branton and Jesse have been happily married for many years. Both have three children each. As for me, I am probably the world’s worst grandmother. I don't babysit, or do any of the things grandmothers are ‘supposed’ to do. (Including baking those cookies Jesse once complained about.) Why? I’m not sure. I guess because for forty-five years of my life I was a mother. I loved this more than all the books I’ve written, all the television programs I’ve devised and presented, all the workshops I’ve taught, and all the other things I’ve done and enjoyed. Right now, my life belongs to me alone. I love the freedom this brings me. I am passionate about being a catalyst in people’s lives, helping them realize their own magnificence and live out their potentials both for their own benefit and for the benefit of all. Who knows what exciting challenges lie before me. Bring them on!

Beware Of Mammograms

Beware Of Mammograms

The “gold standard” “life-saving” tool for protecting women from the ravages of breast cancer by providing an early warning—mammograms—has been sold to us for years. It is a practice which is supposed to protect us from death as a result of malignancy. So powerful is the pro-mammogram lobby within the medical establishment that we have come to believe if we do not have regular scans we are being completely irresponsible. After all, mammograms save lives don’t they? Researchers at Dartmouth in the United States decided to check out these assumptions. They wanted to find out how often lives actually are saved by mammography. They examined breast cancer data from The National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They found out that the probability of a mammogram saving a life is well below 25%. They concluded that “Most women with screen-detected breast cancer have not had their life saved by screening. They are instead either diagnosed early (with no effect on their mortality) or over-diagnosed.” But, there’s more: the annual mammograms which we are urged to have actually expose us to serious cancer-causing radiation that may shorten our lives. Take a look at Time Magazine October 25, 2011, and the Archives of Internal Medicine October 24, 2011, if you want more information. Here’s the gen: 50% of the breast cancer “diagnoses” doctors now make from mammograms are not in reality cancer at all. The physical and emotional damage of these “false positive” diagnoses fill people’s lives with fear. Personally I have never had a mammogram. Why? Because my gut feeling has always said “no”. This was long before we had a growing accumulation of clinical evidence showing that the 30kVp range of “low-energy” radiation used in breast screenings is up to 400% more damaging to human DNA (read 400% more carcinogenic) than the so-called “high-energy” radiation which it is often compared to. Personally I would stay away from mammography in any shape or form.

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