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women's health

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

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Beware Of Mammograms

Are Mammograms Killing Women? Probing the Shocking Evidence

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.

The Mystery Of How I live My Life

Uncovering My Personal Life: How Much Sleep, Exercise + Food Do I Eat?

I continue to be asked about my personal life—not only what I think, but what I eat, how I live, what I do, how I exercise (or not, as the case may be). This week I decided to answer some of the questions I get. HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED? I probably need a lot more than I get. I tend to sleep no more than 6 hours a night. I’ve always been someone who wakes up at first light. By now I’m so used to getting up at 4 in the morning that I even wake up at this time in the dark of winter. Occasionally, I feel myself wanting to go to bed and stay there. Whenever this happens, I do it. I’ve been known to go to bed at 7 o’clock in the evening maybe once a month, and sleep through till 7 in the morning. Sheer bliss! I wake up excited about the day—eagerly looking forward to what I have to do. This may sound good, but it’s a characteristic of me which many would like to see vanish. Most people need time to wake up. For some reason, I wake up instantly. And I am disgustingly cheerful in the mornings. I don’t know why. This is one of the most unpleasant things you can do to people who wake up slowly and need to be treated very gently. When my children were growing up, this was their major complaint about me as a mother. HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO YOU GET? A lot. I cycle on a wind trainer for an hour a day while breathing a huge bag of oxygen that takes about two hours to fill up each time I use it. Often used by top athletes, Aaron and I wanted to explore the values of this, so we purchased the system. We found it to be a remarkable experience. When you take in pure oxygen while cycling, provided your heart rate is above 115 bpm, the oxygen goes right into your cells and DNA. It’s wonderful. What other exercise do I do? I love weight training. We have a room in the house that is totally dedicated to gym equipment, weight training, cycling, etc. I do this not out of a sense of duty, but because I have the kind of body that needs exercise, or it just doesn’t function. WHAT FOODS DO YOU EAT? I do not eat grains or cereals. I never eat sugar in any form nor cow’s milk products, including cow’s milk yoghurt, cheese, cream (pity about this because I do adore cream). When you investigate what milk is like now, you will find it is nothing like the milk that our parents and grandparents drank. (I’ll give you some links to explore this in a moment.) I don’t eat processed foods or packaged convenience stuff. I make green drinks by gathering leaves fresh from the garden—kale, celery tops, herbs of all kinds—then put them into a VitaMix, and add a rounded teaspoon of Spoonable Stevia by Stevita. This takes no more than 5 minutes to do, and it is delicious. I don’t eat much fruit. This is because I was raised on junk food as a kid including massive bowls of Rice Krispies for breakfast smothered in sugar. As a result, I’m very sensitive to sugar and carbs, both of which my body hates—so I avoid them completely. We grow our vegetables and fruits organically in the garden. I only eat certified organic meats and poultry and freshly caught sea foods, never farmed fish, all of which are fed on dreadful stuff. I would not touch a GMO food if my life depended on it. DO YOU DRINK OR SMOKE? I had my first drink in a bar in New York at the age of 12. My parents figured I should be allowed to drink whatever and how much alcohol I wanted. This meant that by the time I was 18, I was bored out of my mind with alcohol. I also smoked from the time I was 14, because I thought it made me look older. When I was 21 and pregnant with my daughter Susannah, I looked in the mirror one morning, figured I was old enough, and quit smoking. After 2 days without cigarettes, my vision was clear, and I could smell and taste things. At that point I said to myself “Why on earth was I ever smoking?” Since then, I’ve never had a cigarette. I drink very little—perhaps the odd glass of extremely good wine once every 3 or 4 weeks, or one of Aaron’s delicious homemade sugar-free margaritas. (see recipe below). I figure if you’re going to drink wine, you should drink only the best. If you eat chocolate, you eat only the best and blackest chocolate in the world, and very small quantities of it. Then it is a great aesthetic pleasure. When we don’t drink or eat the best of anything, we tend to drink and eat too much. This advice also goes for the men too. Choose only the best. I confess that I have not always chosen the best men in my life. But most of those I’ve had close relationships with have enriched my life enormously. HAVE YOU BEEN IN HOSPITAL? Yes—3 times. When I was 7 years old, I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out. This was the general practice in the United States for kids at that time. Around the same time, I broke a collarbone, and was taken in to the hospital to have it set. Then when I was 21, I had surgery for the removal of a large tumor that had grown off my right ovary while I was pregnant with my second child. This is the extent of my hospital experience. One of my sons, a successful and gifted plastic surgeon, is constantly saying to me, “You need to get some medical insurance.” I always reply, “Why do I need medical insurance?” Over the years I have learned so much about creating and maintaining health from mentors and friends who were also scientists and doctors. These people helped me change my life and my health. I raised all four of my children with no antibiotics. When they were sick I cared for them in a natural way. I care for myself the same way. The human body has a spectacular capacity to heal itself when given half a chance. DO YOU HAVE A DOCTOR? This question often makes me laugh. I don’t have a doctor. Please don’t faint at this news. I did have a number of very bad injuries to my lower body, starting about 15 years ago and lasting about four years. At that time, I saw some physiotherapists and consulted a doctor who was an expert in natural medicine. But I haven’t seen a doctor since. I do not have smear tests or mammograms and never have. HOW ABOUT STRESS? Ah yes...I know it well. Of course my work contributes to my health since I continually learn about tools and techniques that can enhance my own health and the health of others at the very highest level. So in a way, my work only makes my health better. But I am a very intense person and can easily become stressed. I forget that I need not only to be dynamic, but also to let myself slip into the restorative mode. When I become conscious of this, what I do is curl up in bed for a day or two with a good book—or lots of great movies. I love doing this. Movies help me to shift out of an overwhelmed, stressed mode fast. Often they are even better than meditation. I also need to meditate frequently to maintain centeredness, because without this, nothing in my life works. DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN? Yes. I have used Environ skincare products for 25 years. They are nothing like the luscious, sweet-smelling sensuous products many mainstream cosmetic companies send me. Environ products are workhorses. And they deliver the support that they promise. At 73, I think my skin is pretty good. When it comes to makeup, I use Jane Iredale mineral makeup. I have found it to be the best in the world. I also use her stuff as protection from the sun. I won’t use sunscreens that get absorbed into the skin. Jane’s products are wonderful. I am totally devoted to them. WHAT NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS DO YOU TAKE? I take omega-3s in the form of Carlson Labs, Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon Flavor. I chose this product because I’ve investigated the purity of omega-3s and find it to be the most rigorously purified source of omega-3 available. I also take a daily food-state multiple vitamin/mineral called Source Naturals, Life Force, Green Multiple. I used to take Mercola’s multivitamins and minerals, but have recently become a bit disillusioned with them. I think he charges too much for them. I also believe that it is a good idea never to take the same supplement for too long. The body thrives on change—giving it new, good-quality food-state products every now and then. Being a total iHerb fan, I order these from iHerb in the United States and have them sent wherever I am in the world. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR BODY? What a great question. I think I am happy with my body, considering that it seldom gives me real trouble. I am able to exercise and work with heavy weights without suffering negative consequences. I do continue to strengthen my lower body because of all the severe accidents I had which for a few years created severe pain in my legs. I think I’ve never been as kind to my body as I should have been, given all the kindness that it has shown me. This is something that I continue to work on improving. I think the human body is a magnificent gift. My belief and personal goal—as well as my goal when working with other people—is to help bring the Spirit which is unique to each one of us, yet at the same time universally divine, fully in to my physical body, so that Spirit and physical body become one. It’s a process I call transfiguration. WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE The process of bringing one’s unique individual Spirit and into the body is what helps each of us discover who we really are. The more I can come to do this myself, the more can share this life-changing experience with others. This is my greatest goal and my passion. We human beings seldom come to respect and honor ourselves as we should. Another thing that I’m devoted to is finding ways of communicating the magnificence of the human spirit and the splendor of all life, even if we find ourselves in the most horrific of circumstances. I love helping others discover their own truth deep within and come to live life trusting in themselves. RESOURCES Danger of Cow’s Milk Products The Weston Price Foundation - Milk Mercola.com - Milk Aaron’s Sugar-free Margaritas It’s very simple: To a handful of ice in our Vita Mix he adds four jiggers of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 4 jiggers of Silver Patron Tequilla (never a cheaper substitute), 2 jiggers of Grand Marnier, a couple of jiggers of water and—crème de la crème—a dropper or two of English Toffee Sweet Leaf Liquid stevia from iherb,com (so much more delicious than the usual sugar or syrup, which is really rather revolting). He turns on the Vita Mix for 30 seconds while he rubs the rim of each glass with one of the lemon or lime skins, then plunges it into a saucer of sea salt or himalayan salt to coat the rim. This makes Margaritas for 4 people. Favorite Granulated Stevia Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling Order Stevita from iherb Most Delicious Liquid Stevia Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Add this delicious stevia to water, tea, coffee, margaritas, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order Sweet Leaf Stevia from iherb Favorite Omega 3s Carlson Labs, The Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon, 16.9 fl oz (500 ml) From Norway: The finest fish oil from deep, cold ocean-water fish. Bottled in Norway to ensure maximum freshness. Refreshing natural lemon taste. Take by the teaspoonful, mix with foods, and try it on salads! This product is regularly tested (using AOAC international protocols) for freshness, potency and purity by an independent, FDA registered laboratory and has been determined to be fresh, fully-potent and free of detrimental levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB's and 28 other contaminants. Order Calson Labs Omega 3s from iherb Favorite Food-State Multiple Source Naturals, Life Force, Green Multiple, 180 Tablets Source Naturals Life Force is an award-winning, scientifically advanced multiple, formulated with natural energizers and antioxidants. It is the only multiple to help bring balance to all 12 deep metabolic systems. Life Force Green Multiple delivers all the high potency nutrients of Life Force, plus 52 green superfoods: sea grasses, high ORAC fruits and vegetables, immune-stimulating mushrooms, flora, enzymes and antioxidant herbal extracts, for your SystemiCare health program. Order Life Force Multiple from iherb

Nature's Female Aphrodisiacs

Experience Intense Desire w/ Aphrodisiacs: Used by Women for Centuries

Most people treat aphrodisiacs as folk fantasy. Don’t be deceived. When libido flags in women, there are many herbs that can help revive it. The biochemistry of plants like ginseng, dong quai, fennel, shilajit—even a few essential oils can bring powerful sexual regeneration to your body and intensify your libido. It’s your own individual response to specific herbs that holds the key to which aphrodisiacs are best for you. Loss of your libido can have many different causes. So when turning to herbs for help in the sexual arena, you will need to experiment a bit to find which plants work best for you. But watch out. It can not only be easy to create an experience of intense desire; it can be just as easy for a woman to end up fertilized by the results of it. Shatavari—Asparagus racemosus This Ayurvedic female rejuvenation tonic is also an excellent aphrodisiac as well. It’s been used for thousands of years as a female tonic to correct menstrual and menopausal imbalances as well. Traditionally known as “She who has 1,000 husbands”, it was long believed to give a woman the strength and passion to handle 1,000 lovers. Organic shatavari root extract contains a full spectrum of active and synergistic constituents, including saponins containing shatavarin. Use only this herb which is naturally grown or ethically wild crafted so it contains no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Wild Yam—Dioscorea villosa Often restores a woman’s libido so successfully that I wouldn’t advise you to use it unless you have a sexual partner. You can take it as a tincture—½ to1 teaspoon in water twice a day—or as a dried herb in capsules, 4-6 capsules a day. I have known women who take as many as 10 capsules a day, but less than this works very well for most. American Ginseng—Panax ginseng Is as good a raiser of libido in women as it is in men, despite the assumption that it is a male plant. It is particularly useful for post-menopausal women. Drink it as a tea three or four times a day. Be patient it takes time to do its work. Shilajit—known by many names in many countries Has been used as an aphrodisiac and female fertility treatment for centuries. One of the most powerful “herbal” substances known, it has been used for thousands of years all over the world. It comes in a thick, tar-like form containing over 80 minerals from Himalayan rocks. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and anti-anxiety, as well as anti-aging. Be sure to buy only the highest grade of Shilajit, wild crafted and gathered from the Himalayas, since only the finest will bring you your desired goal. Fennel—Foeniculum vulgare Is replete with plant steroids. In animal experiments it has been shown to raise the libido of both males and females. You can take it as a tea. Bruise a teaspoon of organic fennel seeds and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, strain and drink. Caution: Do not use fennel oil on your body when you are pregnant, as it has been known to cause miscarriage. Other simple herbs which you can add to your foods with a good reputation for enhancing libido are parsley, fenugreek—great to sprout and eat in salads—ginger, and anis. Even coca, from which chocolate is made, is a mild aphrodisiac. You can also use certain essential oils to enhance libido on the night. Massage your body and your partner’s with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or apricot oil to which you have added one of the aphrodisiac essences: Clary sage, ylang ylang, rose, or jasmine. Of course, this is for external use only. It’s powerful stuff—you need only 1 drop of an essential oil to each teaspoon of carrier oil. A capsule of vitamin E squeezed into the oil when you mix it helps keep it fresh longer. Next week on our Sacred Truth Podcast, we’ll be looking at some of the best aphrodisiacs for men, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out the links below for the best products you can find. Paradise Herbs, Organics, Shatavari, 60 Veggie Caps Paradise Organic Shatavari ultimate ayurvedic extract is the highest quality nature has to offer. Using a 100% natural extraction method the true essence and breath of the whole herbs is captured therefore retaining all of its active and synergistic constituents in the balanced ratio nature intended. Order Paradise Herbs, Organics, Shatavar from iherb Herb Pharm, Wild Yam We prepare our Wild Yam Extract from the rhizome of Dioscorea villosa vines which are Certified Organically Grown especially for us in their native forest habitat in eastern Kentucky. Order Herb Pharm, Wild Yam from iherb Nature's Way, Wild Yam, Root Capsules Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) was historically offered as "colic root" and used in herbal remedies for gastrointestinal irritations. In recent years it has become popular for women's health. Order Nature's Way, Wild Yam from iherb Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has long been a popular herb. Modern research confirms both American and Asian ginsengs contain ginsenosides and supports their long history of use. Order Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng from iherb Dragon Herbs, High Mountain Shilajit Shilajit is one of the premier "herbal" substances known to humankind. Shilajit has been used for thousands of years throughout much of the world as a tonic. Order Dragon Herbs, High Mountain Shilajit from iherb Organic Whole Fennel Seed A graceful plant, fennel is an aromatic, hardy, perennial with golden yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Also known as garden fennel, this plant's botanical name, Foeniculum vulgare, comes from the Latin for "fragrant hay" Order Organic Whole Fennel Seed from iherb

What The Daily Mail Didn't Publish

My 4 Kids by 4 Different Men: Could I Be a Trailblazer?

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!

Calcium Truths

Death By Calcium: Learn How Supplementing May Shorten Your Life

For decades, we’ve been warning men and women not to take calcium supplements—whether in pill form or by drinking and eating many cows’ milk products. By now, excellent scientific studies confirm that our advice is right. Thanks to the milk marketing people and pharmaceutical companies, we have for two generations been bombarded with misinformation about calcium. It’s time to share with you a few simple truths. Supplementing your diet with calcium can not only be toxic to your body. It could even shorten your life. Death by Calcium Thomas E Levy, M.D. is one of the world’s leading experts in vitamin C and antioxidants used to treat and protect against degenerative diseases. Levy has written an excellent book, Death by Calcium. If you care about your health and want to know the truth, I urge you to read it. Meanwhile, here is a quick list of some of the secrets you need to know about supplementing calcium. encourages the development of cancers What few people know is that all degenerative diseases, from heart disease to cancer, show increased levels of calcium inside your cells and arteries where they do not belong. And, as calcium deposits increase, so does your chance of malignancies—for this encourages the development of cancers. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, if you eat a healthy diet based on organic fresh fruits, vegetables and protein foods, you automatically supplies all the calcium your body will ever need—so long as you are getting plenty of sunlight or taking a good quality vitamin D3 plus Vitamin K2 daily. By the way, women with the highest calcium consumption have a death rate two and a half times higher than those with a lower consumption of calcium, according to a huge research project involving 61,433 women followed over 19 years. And, for a long time, we have been urged to supplement our diet with calcium to avoid osteoporosis. A man or woman unwittingly following such advice is far more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than from a bone fracture. osteoporosis and calcium You see, if you have osteoporosis you do not have an overall deficiency of calcium in the body. You will have a deficiency of calcium in your bones while you have an excess of calcium in the rest of your body. And while calcium supplementation may increase calcium density in your bones, this does not decrease your chances of bone fracture. What it does do is lay down potentially dangerous deposits of excess calcium outside your bones. Excess calcium circulating in your blood is far more dangerous than high cholesterol when it comes to causing a stroke or heart disease. The proofs for all these things are overwhelming. Get your calcium from fresh, organic vegetables and a healthy diet of real fresh food. Stay away from packaged convenience foods, sugars, grains and cereals, and you’ll never need to swallow milk or pop another calcium pill to stay strong and well. It is all so simple. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more, read Levy’s book Death by Calcium. It’s a great read—clear, honest and vital for your health. Death By Calcium In this book, Death by Calcium, board-certified cardiologist, Thomas E. Levy, offers scientific proof that the regular intake of dairy and calcium supplementation promotes all known chronic degenerative diseases and significantly shortens life. Order Death By Calcium from iherb Vitamin D3 and K2 Vitamin D3 promotes calcium absorption and calcium transport to bones. Vitamin K2, likewise has been shown to be critical for bone cardiovascular health through its role in the support of proper calcium metabolism in bone and vascular structures. Vitamin K2 is the most biologically active form of Vitamin K. Order Vitamin D-3 & K-2 from iherb

Power Healing For Women

Treat Menopausal Symptoms with Motherwort & Chaste Tree!

In the next few minutes, I want to share with you white hot secrets about two natural plants that you can use to alleviate menstrual, peri-menopausal and menopausal issues gently, safely and effectively. Not once in the last 20 years have they failed to do their job. Both plants have been used to help women for centuries and their therapeutic actions have been scientifically validated. Motherwort The first, and one of the most remarkable natural healing plants on the planet is Motherwort—Leonurus cardiaca—commonly known as Lion’s tail. It gets its name from its ancient reputation for reducing anxiety. Motherwort has all the feel of a loving, caring mother when you take it. It can calm your nervous system while acting as a tonic to your whole body. This lovely blessing from nature is full of mind-altering natural biochemicals which studies in China have shown to have a regulating effect on the womb and the heart, bringing calm all round. It’s effective for easing hot flushes, banishing insomnia, and restoring elasticity to the walls of the vagina. It’s also an excellent natural treatment for many heart conditions in both men and women. Let me tell you how it’s used: Motherwort is rich in alkaloids and is bitter when drunk as an infusion. It’s easiest to take as a store-bought tincture, but you can also grow the plant yourself and turn it into a homemade herbal vinegar. Take 10 to 25 drops of the tincture made from the fresh plant every 2 to 6 hours, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herb vinegar as you need it. How To Use There is something so calming and balancing about motherwort that it is hard to imagine if you’ve never used it. It’s a blessing during any stressful time. For best results with hot flushes, use it regularly for 12 weeks or more. That being said, just 10 drops of the tincture in a little spring water will often ease a hot flush while it is happening. Motherwort is also a great help when you awaken in the night in sweat and have trouble dropping off again. Use 10 to 20 drops of the tincture (keep it at the side of your bed with a glass of spring water) and swallow some each time you wake up. Sometimes, it even helps banish bad dreams. Want to know more? Motherwort improves circulation and strengthens tissues that have lost elasticity. You can use it to rejuvenate the tissues of bladder, womb and vagina, for instance, when you take it a couple of times a day for as little as 2 to 4 weeks. Finally, it’s great for clearing cramps when the menstrual flow is light to moderate or even completely absent. Use 5 to 10 drops of tincture or ½ to 1 teaspoon of the homemade vinegar every few minutes until the cramps have gone. Then repeat whenever you need to. There’s one important caution you need to be aware of, however. Motherwort is not an herb to use when a woman is experiencing menstrual flooding, since it can aggravate this tendency. Chaste Tree The other amazing natural plant I love is Chaste Tree. Its proper name is Vitex agnus castus or Monk’s Pepper. Chaste Tree originally gained its name from its ability to calm the lascivious desires of men. On women, however, it exerts the exact opposite effect. It can stimulate your libido while balancing your emotions and energizing your whole body. Chaste Tree is one of the most helpful plants in the world for peri-menopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women. It does the job, whether your hormones are deficient or in excess, thanks to its actions on the pituitary that harmonizes any imbalances. Chaste Tree is better known in Europe and the Orient than in Britain and the United States. There, its berries have been used for centuries to help protect from and even cure cancers of the breast and womb, as well as to reduce breast lumps and tenderness. It can banish edema, clear skin problems, moisten vaginal tissues that have dried, and clear hot flushes. Unlike many healing plants, Chaste Tree is not rich in phyto-hormones. It relies for healing on the glycosides, micronutrients and flavonoids it contains to work its wonders. This humble plant goes deep in its effects on your body and psyche but, like most natural treatments, will take time, so be consistent with its use. Expect results after using it daily for 8 to 12 weeks. In a year to 18 months you can stop using it completely as improvements are likely to have become permanent. Here’s how Here’s how to use it. As a homemade infusion, drink one cup of tea made from its freshly ground berries a day. In capsule form, take 1 capsule 3 to 4 times a day. Or use 15 drops to 1 teaspoon of a tincture 1 to 3 times a day. German researchers discovered that Chasteberry stimulates progesterone synthesis, and this in turn balances excess estrogen which can trigger hot flushes. Chaste Tree’s anti-inflammatory capacities have been known to shrink fibroids when used regularly for 12 to 36 months. Sluggish digestion and constipation are no match for the Chasteberry, which can restore digestion easily and permanently, provided you take it for long enough. It can even clear skin troubles that develop as a result of hormonal change, and banish fluid retention. To top it all off, this amazing plant is known for its ability to clear depression and balance mood: Typical PMS problems, from migraines and depression to ordinary headaches and anxiety, yield slowly but often permanently to Chaste Tree. This usually takes about 6 months, but it is wise to continue with the plant for another 6 months afterward to make benefits permanent. Make sure you choose only the best products. There are too many poor wannabes on the shelves. Here are the ones I recommend. Use them. I think you’ll love them as much as I do. Here are the ones I recommend Eclectic Institute, Motherwort Organic, 2 fl oz Fresh, ORGANIC Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) flower top. ORGANIC grape alcohol content: 45%. Filtered water. Fresh Herb Strength: 1:2. Order Motherwort Organi from iherb Gaia Herbs, Vitex Berry, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps Healthy hormone levels are necessary for a woman's physical and emotional wellbeing. Chaste Tree Berry, also known as Vitex, has long been used to support hormone production and balance. Gaia Herbs uses certified organic Chaste Tree berry to provide a full spectrum herbal extract for women's health. Order Gaia Herbs, Vitex Berry from iherb

Moon & Ovarian Cycle Rites

Unlock the Secrets of Women's Sacred Menses: A Journey of the Female Endocrine System

Quite literally, the menses is the period of waxing and waning between one new moon and the next. Once menstruation begins at puberty, which is a woman's first rite of passage, the ebbs and flows which her body goes through each month are the stuff of which the second movement in her life's hormonal symphony is made. This part of her life has one major goal - childbearing. Its success depends greatly upon the two major steroids - the oestrogens and progesterone - working in close communication with her body's major control centers, the pituitary and hypothalamus. Only since the late nineteenth century have women's menstrual cycles - the menses - been investigated scientifically. The name menses also comes from a Greek word - meaning `month'. It in turn is derived from an even older word meaning `moon'. master controls A neural nuclei in the limbic brain, the hypothalamus, is the control center for homeostasis. It balances and oversees biochemical and energetic changes throughout the body. The limbic system in which it sits is the most primitive part of the brain. It is the part which deals with emotions and with our sense of smell, with our passions, and with all the unconscious interfaces that take place between mind and body. The actions of the limbic lie beneath the level of the thinking mind. This is one of the reasons that the hypothalamus is often referred to as the `seat of emotions'. When excited, the hypothalamus triggers desire - for food, for water, for adventure, for sex. Its actions can also be influenced by inhibitory thought patterns. In a woman frightened of becoming pregnant, for instance, the fear itself - via the hypothalamus - can dampen sexual desire or even disrupt menstrual cycles so she remains barren. The hypothalamus also responds to alterations in the electric and magnetic fields of the earth and of moon, and to other planetary events, as well as to electromagnetic pollution in our environment and the positive stimulus of energy medicine. It reacts to bodily changes that take place as a result of meditation, and its activities are influenced by spiritual practices - which is a major reason why women who meditate regularly tend to develop greater emotional balance, as well as why repeated experiences of joy or stillness can dramatically improve various female complaints such as PMS and hot flushes in both menstruating and menopausal women. sacred cycles There are three main branches of the female endocrine system involved in menstruation. The first is the master gland, the hypothalamus. It releases gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). The second is the anterior pituitary, which releases follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) - both of which are secreted in response to GnRH from the hypothalamus. The third is made up of the oestrogens and progesterone which, during a woman's non-pregnant childbearing years, are secreted by the ovaries in response to FSH and LH. It is the symphony of interactions and feedback mechanisms between these three branches that bring about the blood ritual of menstruation. All of the hormones released during a menstrual cycle are secreted not in a constant, steady way, but at dramatically different rates during different parts of the 28 day period; a cycle which like everything else in a natural world involves birth, maturation, and death, only to lead to new birth again - in this case, of the egg a woman's body produces. Menstruation itself is simply the elimination of the thickened blood and blood filled endometrium in the womb - the lining developed in preparation for a possible pregnancy. For when a pregnancy does not occur, this lining is shed at monthly intervals under the control of oestrogen and progesterone with a little help from their friends GnRH, FSH, and LH. When ovaries are not stimulated by the gonadotrophic hormones from the pituitary, they remain asleep, as they were during childhood and as they become again after menopause. For the first 8 to 11 days of the menstrual cycle, a woman's ovaries make lots of oestrogen. Within the ovary itself are little things called follicles - partially developed eggs. One of these will be released each month in hopes of meeting up with the sperm and creating an embryo. It is oestrogen which prepares the bloody lining of the uterus and causes the follicle to develop in the ovary, bringing it to the surface of the ovary and preparing for the release of one of the eggs. The word oestrogen, like the hormones produced in a woman's body which belong to this family - oestrone, oestradiol, and oestriol - comes from oestrus, a Greek word meaning `frenzy', `heat', or `fertility'. It is oestrogen which proliferates the changes that take place at puberty - the growth of breasts, the development of a girl's reproductive system, the reshaping of a woman's body. It also alters your vaginal secretions, making them more viscous and less watery, and it causes your body's temperature to rise at the time of ovulation, by about one degree. Each girl baby is born with all the primary follicles she will ever need. At the time of puberty, a girl's ovaries contain about 300,000 of these follicles. And while each woman only produces one or two fully developed eggs each month, somewhere between 100 and 300 follicles have to start developing in order for one to become fully grown, so a woman can lose between 100 to 300 follicles a month. However, since she started with 300,000, she will have enough to last all her reproductive life. On day one of each monthly cycle - that is, the day of the onset of menstruation - first the production of FSH and then of LH increases. This increase in hormones from the anterior pituitary triggers a group of ovarian follicles each month, causing accelerated growth in the cells surrounding them. As cells around the eggs grow, they secrete a follicular fluid which contains a high concentration of the oestrogen oestradiol to bring about many other changes, developing the potential of one of the follicles so that it becomes capable of being fertilized by the male sperm. It is not the oestradiol alone secreted by the follicle which brings about the maturation of the egg, however. Luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary continues to be secreted to help the process along until after a week or more, when one of the follicles outgrows all of the rest. This is the one that will become the female egg ready for impregnation. The remainder of the follicles now begin to involute. LH becomes particularly important at this stage in order for the final follicular growth to be completed and ovulation itself to occur - that is, the release of the egg into the fallopian tubes for its journey down into the uterus. So the rate of secretion of LH by the anterior pituitary increases markedly, rising 6 or 10 times then peaking about 18 hours before ovulation - the release of the egg into the fallopian tubes for its journey down into the uterus. The production of FSH also increases at this time, and these two hormones act together to cause a swelling of the follicle during several days before ovulation. Finally ovulation takes place usually around the fourteenth day, in the middle of your cycle. enter progesterone LH also alters the cells around the egg follicle, so that now they secrete less oestradiol, but progressively rising amounts of progesterone. This means that the rate of oestrogen secretion begins to fall about day thirteen, one day before ovulation occurs. But as small amounts of progesterone begin to be secreted, very rapid growth of the follicle takes place. Beginning with this secretion of progesterone, ovulation occurs too, triggered yet again by the luteinizing hormone from the anterior pituitary. During the first few hours after the ovum has been expelled from the follicle, more and more rapid physical and chemical changes take place to the egg in a process called luteinization. At this stage - known as the luteal stage of a woman's cycle - the follicle becomes known as the corpus luteum, or yellow body. The cells around the egg begin to secrete larger quantities of progesterone, as the level of oestrogen decreases. Some of the cells around the egg become much enlarged. They develop inclusions of lipids or fats which give them their distinctive yellow color. From now on, development becomes rapid until seven or eight days after ovulation, when it peaks. As soon as a follicle releases an egg, the ovary switches over from pumping out oestrogen to primarily making progesterone. Progesterone is only synthesized when you ovulate. In fact, ovulation changes the whole ball game. No longer is there a need for further build up of the womb lining. The challenge now is to hold on to the secretory endometrium, and to render it capable of nurturing a fertilized egg long enough for it to grow into a baby. That is progesterone's task. The progesterone released with the egg has a negative effect on the other ovary. Its release tells the other ovary: "Hey, we've got an egg out now, so you don't have to worry about producing any." For even though women have two ovaries, they usually produce only one egg a month. The business of fraternal twins - that is, both ovaries releasing an egg at the same time - only happens once every three hundred months, which is why fraternal twins are so rare. The corpus luteum, which forms each month, is a tiny organ with a huge capacity for hormone production. It releases large quantities of progesterone, plus some oestrogen, which cause a feedback decrease in the secretion of FSH and LH by the anterior pituitary, so that no new follicles begin to grow. But as soon as the corpus luteum degenerates at the end of its 12 day life - which is about the 26th day of the female sexual cycle - this lack of feedback triggers the anterior pituitary gland to secrete several times as much FSH, followed a few days later by more LH as well. This in turn stimulates the growth of new follicles to begin the next ovarian cycle. And at the same time, a fall in progesterone and in oestrogen secretion trigger menstruation. peaks and falls From day 1 until about day 13 of a woman's menstrual cycle, the level of progesterone in her body is very, very low. Yet the point at which a follicle is released, it continues to rise dramatically until day 21 to 23, at which point it begins to fall down again to its lowest level, as menstruation begins around day 28. In addition to maintaining the endometrium and shifting down activity in the other ovary, the progesterone provided each month travels to other parts of a woman's body to fulfill other roles. It protects her from the side-effects of oestrogen for one thing, helping to protect her from getting breast cancer, from retaining water and salt, from high blood pressure, and from becoming depressed. Progesterone also brings surges of libido. You still hear a few so called experts say that oestrogen increases libido. But think about it. Which hormone would you rely on for sex-drive - oestrogen, which is present before the egg is made, or progesterone, which comes after the egg is released and is ready for fertilization? Libido increases with progesterone surges. When this rhythmic cycling of oestrogen and progesterone during each lunar month gets out of sync (and many things in modern life can cause this) then all sorts of things can go wrong - from infertility to PMS, depression, bloating, endometriosis and fibroids. For the oestrogens and progesterone, each have their characteristic roles to play, and for a woman to be healthy they must balance each other. the last and the first So do all the other steroids: This group of hormones to which cortisol, aldosterone, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and the oestrogens belong, is intimately involved in how you feel both physically and emotionally, as well as how rapidly your body ages. Steroids have a characteristic molecular structure which resembles cholesterol, from which they are all ultimately derived. Cholesterol is the vital fatty substance that has had such a bad press in recent years, but which is absolutely essential to life. Out of each steroid hormone made from cholesterol, yet another - and following that another - can be made in a knock-on effect. For instance, pregnenolone is the steroid manufactured directly from cholesterol. It in turn becomes a precursor to progesterone, as well as to other hormones. Natural steroid hormones such as progesterone, made by biosynthesis in your own body, have this remarkable capability to act as precursors. In other words they are capable of being turned into other hormones further down the pathways as and when your body needs them. Progesterone is mother of many other hormones. It can eventually be turned not only into various oestrogens, but also into cortisol - the anti-inflammatory hormone - and into other steroids such as corticosterone or aldosterone, with equally important jobs to do. All of these conversions happen through slight alterations in the shape of a molecule, thanks to the actions of enzymes, each of which carries out a specific task. But these conversions can only take place if the molecules on which the enzyme is acting "fit" precisely - both electromagnetically and stereochemically - into its structure. All of these changes which take place through the magic of enzymes occur in the presence of vitamin and mineral cofactors such as magnesium, zinc, and B6, which catalyze each enzyme reaction. They are all carefully modulated by elaborate feedback mechanisms as well. The names and chemical transformations from one steroid to another are not important to remember. What is important is that you get some sense of just how complex hormone synthesis and interactions can be, and how important it is to have sufficient cofactors as well as `primary' hormones, such as pregnalone and progesterone, to be able to synthesize others. A rich hormonal symphony? Immeasurably. Yet all this still does not even begin to take into account the myriad pathways by which these steroid hormones interact with other hormones, or master central mechanisms within the hypothalamus and pituitary, or psychoneuroimmunological pathways by which hormones effect our emotions, and emotions our hormones. sabotage It is in coming face to face with the rich textures of such hormonal symphonies that the synthetic progestagen drugs can come a cropper. When you look at the structures of their molecules, in every case you find that although they resemble your body's homemade hormones, their shapes have been altered slightly by adding extra atoms here or there at unusual positions. It is this that has enabled them to qualify as patentable drugs. However, unlike the natural hormones - which they attempt to mimic, and which not only fulfill their own functions by binding with their own receptor sites but also act as precursors for a myriad of other hormones with other important jobs to do - the progestagens are end-product molecules. They are also completely foreign to the living body. Unlike nature's own steroids they can also not be augmented or diminished as necessary to maintain balance, and to keep the body's hormonal symphony flowing smoothly. They also cannot easily be eliminated when their levels get too high. Although the synthetics can still bind with the receptor sites of the hormones they are made to mimic, they don't fit as well as the homemade steroids do into the enzymes meant to act upon them. This means they are not under the watchful eye and control of these enzymes, nor of the body's self-regulating capacities. Drug-based oestrogens and progestagens in contraceptives and HRT cocktails can significantly disrupt a woman's normal hormonal cycles by introducing foreign elements into her body. They also virtually wipe out the moon cycles to which a woman's natural fertility and spiritual balance are inexorably bound from puberty onwards. So although in the short term they may temporarily do a job such as provide birth control or quell heavy bleeding in a menopausal woman, in the long run they only sabotage hormone balance, by turning harmony into dissonance - a dissonance capable not only of causing disruptions in a woman's health and physical body, but also of creating emotional and spiritual confusion in her life. This, sadly, is not something you will find described in the Merck index that warns doctors of a drug's side-effects, however. For the spiritual aspects of health and healing tend to be all but forgotten in the linear thinking that underlies most twentieth century medicine. In the mechanistic western world of drug-based treatments, where we are trained to take a pill for whatever ails us, this concept can be a little strange for some women to grasp. Especially if they are well educated, intelligent, and if they have been urged from puberty to rely on oral contraceptives - even told they are irresponsible if they don't. Or if they have been filled with fear that if they don't take HRT as menopause approaches their life is going to fall apart. friends and lovers Quite apart from their biochemical actions, rather like people, hormones have characters with highly individual personalities. To the biochemist, the `personalities' of the oestrogens and progesterone will always remain a mystery. He is interested in nothing beyond their molecular configurations. But many women come to know these personalities well - by allowing intuition and instinct to be their teachers. When progesterone is surging through the body, a woman can feel high. Provided her body is producing enough of this steroid, she is likely to feel great. Your senses are keen when progesterone is running. Smells smell sweeter - or more horrible. Touching, sensing, tasting, hearing, are all richer experiences than usual. In the presence of progesterone, women have a desire to do something, to create something, to work in the garden, to dance or sing a song, or make love. Sometimes progesterone surges can feel like falling in love. They can bring feelings of balanced wellbeing together with excitement - a desire to explore new worlds, and to try new things. This can happen during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle after ovulation, when the follicle turns into the yellow body (or corpus luteum), but it becomes far more intense when you are pregnant. It is a high level of progesterone that makes a woman feel on top of the world during the last months of pregnancy. At this time the placenta churns out an amazing 300 to 400 milligrams of the steroid, while during the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle it will have only been producing 20 milligrams or so a day. I suspect that among those women who seem to get pregnant over and over and who so love the whole experience, you are likely to find high progesterone levels. You also find them in women who have trouble-free menstruation. Sadly the opposite is true too: When progesterone is low - as it is in a growing number of women now, who have been subjected to manufactured hormones and who, living in the polluted world, have become oestrogen dominant - women never seem to feel well even during pregnancy. Many have all sorts of troubles with their female organs and cycles including PMS - sometimes from puberty right through to death. when oestrogens flow The oestrogens have quite a different character. When oestrogens peak in the menstrual cycle just before the `fall' of ovulation, a woman feels less independent. She is more willing to adjust herself to the needs of others. She is more inclined to see herself in relation to men too instead of as a woman in her own right. When the oestrogens are running, women like to attract a mate not so much to draw him into her body as to comfort, admire and care for her. Her ovaries seem to be smiling - `whatever you want, I'm happy to give', they seem to say. A few women who by nature are high oestrogen producers feel quite dependent on others for approval, and for the definition of their being. While such an experience can be lovely and make a woman feel highly `feminine', it can also go too far. However, in these women, when menopause finally arrives and oestrogen levels drop dramatically, often they find to their surprise and delight that for the first time in their lives they begin to feel complete in themselves - as though they don't need anybody else to validate their lives. Provided they are otherwise well, menopause can be sheer joy in the sense of freedom it brings these women - that is, once they get over the shock of being such a `different person'. From a biological point of view, there are many important actions that progesterone and oestrogen exert upon the body and psyche. Since these are little known among women and doctors alike it is worth looking at a few: Effects of Progesterone Effects of Oestrogen Increases libido Decreases libido Prevents cancer of the womb Increases risk of womb cancer Protects against fibrocystic breast disease Stimulates breast cell activity Maintains the lining of the uterus Proliferates the lining of the uterus Stimulates the building of new bone Slows down the resorption of old bone Strengthens skin Thins skin Is a natural diuretic Encourages salt and water retention Brings antidepressant effects Can produce headaches and depression Encourages fat burning and the use of stored energy Lays down fat stores Normalizes blood clotting Increases blood clotting Concerned with the procreation and survival of the fetus Concerned with the development and release of the egg Precursor to important stress hormones End-molecule steroids The reproductive hormonal menstrual cycle of a woman between puberty and the menarche is a superbly ordered natural work of art. It becomes so much a part of our lives that unless we have some particular difficulties with PMS or fertility, we hardly give it any thought. Not, that is, until things begin to alter. Once they do begin - in most women sometime between the age of forty and fifty - they usually change gradually, until finally a woman senses that something deep in her being has shifted. Such feelings herald the coming of menopause - the third phase of a woman's life.

Celebrate Menopause

Unearth Your Power: Calling All Women Answering the Call to Menopause Adventure

I am sure with 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 the joy that is your birthright, every woman needs to be willing to pass beyond the “monsters” that guard its gate. When you stand at the brink of menopause in your own life, it can feel as though only darkness, danger and decay lie beyond the gate. In a way this is true—although most certainly not in the way most women believe. For having passed through the doorway to menopause myself, and entered the realms beyond I am certain, as thousands of women throughout history have whispered to each other, that menopause is the most exciting passage any woman ever makes. menopause is not dangerous and frightening Of course, nobody tells you this beforehand. It’s a secret you have to discover for yourself. We continue to be bombarded by propaganda from conventional medicine, the crazy media and pharmaceutical companies warning us that menopause is dangerous and frightening. It can’t be managed without drugs, they tell us. What absolute rubbish. As I entered the gate of my own menopause, like most modern women my head had been filled with nonsense about 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. Then there was the prospect of enforced celibacy—after all, no man can feel lust for an old woman. Or can he? It was partly by accident, and partly because—despite good health and secure family circumstances—my own journey through menopause was not an easy one. Yet this was how I discovered the great secret which throughout history women living in patriarchal cultures have guarded close to their hearts: The doorway to menopause is a call to adventure. It takes you out of the ordinary world in which we have been living and carries you into a numinous realm of magnified power. Within this new realm you can find treasures to match your wildest dreams, waiting to be uncovered. And, like every prize worth having, such gifts can only be claimed and brought back you we are bold enough and determined enough to answer the call. What is calling you? Nothing less than your own soul. The call to adventure The call to adventure as we near 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 you—imploring you—to leave behind the comfortable world of ordinary existence and, for a time, venture into a challenging unfamiliar place. It is asking you to set out on your hero's journey—a journey completely unique to you and in line with your soul’s deepest longings. 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. Other times, the journey takes place only in your mind, heart and spirit. Either way, this is an inner journey that challenges ordinary assumptions, transforming the way you think, feel and have been living—turning any weaknesses into strengths, grief into new sense of purpose and determination, despair into hope. Eventually your journey brings you home again, transformed into who you truly are. So important do I believe this mysterious transformation offered to every woman is that I wanted to share some of its magic and possibilities with you. It can help you uncover desires and talents you may never have dreamed that you possess. It’s a time to leave behind all the roles you’ve played as mother, wife, successful woman or whatever, and dare to come face to face with who in truth you are you are, and with what you long to do next as a free being. It’s a time for joy and a sense of freedom you may never have dreamed possible.

Wild Power Set Free

Unlock the Secrets of the Wild & Unpredictable Dark Goddess

The power of the Dark Goddess or Crone which I wrote about last week, at its most profound, represents the irrational power of nature which causes all things to decay and be changed—as well as true human freedom to be liberated. The experience of change at such deep levels can be a terrifying one both to men and women. Why? Because, these days, most try to live their lives believing that material reality is all there is, and that the great god reason is the ultimate means by which all their problems will be solved. Whatever else she may be, the Dark Goddess is most certainly not reasonable. No more reasonable than the forces which cause leaves to decay in autumn, transforming them into leaf mold that will eventually bring new life to the forest. No more reasonable than the hurricane which, irrespective of man's wishes or longings, blows its course through city and countryside. No more reasonable than the earth herself, as she quakes and trembles with shifts taking place in the continental plates of her body. INSTRUMENT OF TRANSFORMATION It is little wonder that male-centered religions have diabolized the Crone. For she is the ultimate destroyer, the emasculator of male reason. Nature and the Crone aspect of the Dark Goddess become, in the male mind, the castrator—so much so that, during the inquisition, witches were accused of collecting severed penises in boxes or birds' nests. Yet even the male penis itself represented—and still represents—an instinctive power to the male which most Western men feel uncomfortable with. For the penis seems to have a life of its own, quite separate from the man to which it is attached. Like the Dark Goddess it defies man's sterile reason. As Barbara Walker says in The Crone, Woman of Age, Wisdom and Power: "The conviction peculiar to males that sex organs have an uncontrollable, independent life of their own is expressed in the churchman's belief that the stolen penises moved about and ate food in their captivity like animals." The penis, too, is an instrument of the Dark Goddess. The Dark Goddess lives at every woman's core. She guards the Self. She is the friend of the soul whose purpose in our life is to fiercely protect and further the whole process of our learning to live authentically from our essential beings. She never trades in deceit, she never lies, nor does she veil her power. She refuses to uphold any relationship that doesn't work and she tears away with clawed hands or severs with her sword anything within us that is greedy, grasping or infantile. Throughout the lives of both men and women, she urges us to reclaim our own power—the power to set limits and to shout "no", and the power to say "this is what I will do and this is what I won't do" when we are faced with any sort of abuse, or anyone trying to steal our power or dominate us. WILD ENERGY LIBERATED But she is far more than even this. The Dark Goddess is the female power so long rejected and repressed by Western civilization that, when it rises to the surface, it often breaks forth in fury to devastate our ordinary view of reality. Sometimes when she forces her presence to be felt at menopause, she can well up inside, making us hysterical. Her frenzies—which in the rational world of linear thinking, are looked upon as something for which a human being should be tranquilized and kept under control—in the lives of both men and women were once treated with the deepest respect, as visitations from the gods. It was in such a state that the pythia or sibyl at Delphi prophesied the future, and told secrets capable of turning those who sought her help into conquerors of nations. When we forget the power of the Dark Goddess—when we separate ourselves from her essential nature—then we begin to look upon her as a destroyer who arrives like a great snake to break up the structures of our lives, devour our relationships and make mince-meat of our most precious self-deceptions. DESTROY TO RENEW In the lives of both women and men, she can quickly cut through the patriarchal image of being ‘pleasing’, ‘submissive’, ‘gentle’ and ‘nice’. If anyone has so much control of her own behavior that the Dark Goddess is unable to arise when it is time for her appearance to be made, if she remains deeply suppressed, then man or woman can experience her energies in the form of a life-threatening disease, depression, hopelessness, or seemingly endless despair. They can find themselves living in a wasteland, and feel their life to be meaningless and without direction. It is only by finding ways to reconnect with her energy within that the powers of transformation can be set free to work their magic and lead each of us on our own individual path towards freedom. As Demetra George says in Mysteries of the Dark Moon, “Whether we see the Dark Goddess as dancing ecstatically in a swirl of red flames, or enveloped in mist gazing into the inner pools of her psychic awareness, or throbbing with her orgasmic, magical creative energy, or embracing us in our grief, or furiously raging, screaming, crying, or desperately withdrawing into a stupor of denial or numbness, her ultimate purpose in each one of these guises is the same. She destroys in order to renew. The Dark Goddess of the dark moon is the mistress of transformation, and she exists everywhere there is change.” AN ACT OF LOVE The Dark Goddess demands that each one of us clear out of our lives what is no longer essential to our authentic being, whether this be possessions, relationships, jobs—anything that does not help us grow and fulfil our deepest needs. If we try to ignore her demands, like the wild and unruly creature she becomes when thwarted, she ruthlessly tears apart whatever in our own lives is restricting the full expression of our soul. Her rise can threaten everything which in ordinary life we try desperately to hold on to—our self confidence, our self-image, our sense of accomplishment, our material possessions—all of the things which for many years may have supported us now come under the scrutiny of her gaze and the ruthlessness of her sword. What can be hard to realize, while all this is happening, is that everything she does is done with love. We see such things as the breakdown of a marriage, the loss of a job, physical illness that can come at times of enormous change, as evil and negative. For we spend most of our lives trying to avoid a crisis at all cost. Yet crises are often the only means by which we can be thrust forward to a new life. Were the energies of the Dark Goddess not to rise, we would remain stagnated. We might continue living out an artificial existence, all the while trying to fill up the emptiness within with whatever we can lay our hands on, from drugs and sex to success and power in the world—yet never succeed. It is the Dark Goddess that gives us the motivation to change, and brings us the power to be able to carry it out. INNER SILENCE She also pulls us away from the external world, asking us to withdraw inside to a place of stillness and power in which we can begin to hear the echoes of our own souls—sounds which for years may have been ignored or forgotten. She stirs our being at the deepest level. She asks us to enter our own personal darkness, calling us to make a vision quest, presenting us with pain over any issues of our lives that we have been denying. She asks us to face our fears and taboos, whether they are addictions, dependencies, inadequacies—that we bring them into the open, where they can be looked at and healed. Like the Crone who is her messenger, the Dark Goddess has no adornments. She is naked and raw in her confrontations. She arrives to lead us into the labyrinthine recesses of our own being. If we consent, she offers us the courage and the strength to face our own personal demons—demons who for generations have been feeding on our inadequacies, fears, and dependencies and undermining our potential for joy. Either we acknowledge her call, retreat from the outer world and begin to make our descent voluntarily, or she grabs us by the throat and drags us under. And just in case we might be tempted to think that when menopause arrives, sexuality is dead, she makes us think again. It has not died but rather been transformed. INSTINCTUAL SEXUALITY The sexuality of the postmenopausal woman is the sexuality of the Crone. It is the sexuality of sheer instinct—wildness set free. It is she that calls a woman into the secret places of the woods and provokes her to dance naked in wild abandon. Hers is a sexuality to be used in any way a woman chooses—in union with another or alone to generate the alchemical meeting of male and female within her own body. The sexuality of the Crone belongs to herself alone. She will be what she is, she will have what she wants. She is neither passive nor submissive, and her sexuality also has nothing whatever to do with bringing physical children into being. The Crone's eroticism is sheer ecstasy, lived for its own sake, and sheer creativity. She creates in an uninhibited, animated, fiery way, which emanates from the soul of a woman. Such sexuality is the fuel for all creative powers in the world. It carries with it the energy of regeneration and of healing, not only for a woman herself but for the world. It is the kundalini power—the rejuvenating cosmic illumination, the power of the serpent, the sacred fire which heals. As the Crone gains entrance into the body and psyche of the menopausal woman, she illuminates one dark corner of her psyche after another, lifting away all that is old and dead and without meaning—the way kundalini energy rises up within a woman's body to illuminate each of the chakras. Her power becomes the power of the menopausal woman. It lies in her dark blood—the blood of creation. It is the indomitable creative power that has lain sleeping in the consciousness of both men and women. It is asking for us to honor it and set it free. Never in human history has it been more urgent that we do so for our own sake, and the benefit of all beings.

5 Steps To An Ideal Menopause - Part 2

Unlock energy, freedom & clarity with natural menopause treatment: BHRT vs HRT

This is part two of natural menopause - if you have not done so yet, I suggest you read part one here "Beware Of HRT" Power, energy and freedom are the rewards of natural menopause. You can sidestep all those tears, misery, hot flashes and mood swings that are supposed to lie ahead—which we’re told can only be treated with HRT, using synthetic drugs. For more than 20 years, I’ve studied every aspect of menopause. I’ve even written two bestselling books about it. Let me be quite clear where I stand on the use of hormones issue. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is far and away your best choice as a means of preventing and clearing agonising female symptoms, whether connected with menstruation, perimenopause or menopause. STEP ONE—GET SAVVY First learn the difference between synthetic hormone replacement therapy, using drug-based HRT, and Bioidentical—natural—hormone treatments. Then act on what you learn. When the media, medical doctors and so-called “experts” tell you must take HRT, they are referring to synthetic hormones—drugs. This can be anything and everything from conjugated estrogens to estradiol, synthetic progesterone known as Progestin and all the rest. These pharmaceutical drugs can come in the form of tablets, injections, capsules, implants. or creams. When I write about bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT)—also known as “hormone balance therapy”, I am talking about exact copies of the natural endogenous human hormones that exist in your body. These are duplicates of the natural biochemicals your body makes. BHRT comes as a single natural hormone—such as natural progesterone—or in a combination formula which includes naturally compounded biochemicals such as pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, estriol or estradiol. It comes in any form from oral, cream, or pellet to injection. Synthetic hormones used in conventional HRT like progestin and ethinyl/setradiol cannot help protect your body from cancers, stroke, and heart disease as well as other diseases related to inflammation and early aging. Bioidentical hormones can. Bioidentical hormone therapy is a whole new paradigm in healing—as different as day and night from HRT synthetic hormones. Chronic inflammation in your body is both an effect and a cause of diseases associated with aging, including many other illnesses. Balancing and optimising your hormones naturally helps quell dangerous inflammation, especially if you are also getting good nutrition, taking the best nutritional supplements and getting regular exercise. This can bring you amazing improvements in your overall health and wellbeing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As world expert on bioidentical hormone replacement says, “We age because our hormones decline... our hormones don’t decline because we age.” Treating even minor hormone deficiencies can improve the quality of your life dramatically using bioidentical hormones most needed by your unique body—be they testosterone, DHEA, estrogens, pregnenolone, progesterone, vitamin D3, or melatonin. STEP TWO—FACE YOUR CHALLENGES BHRT can vastly improve the quality of a woman’s life so she has more vitality, better relationships and connections with people. A hormone deficiency in a woman’s body is no joke. Identified, addressed and treated, this can increase your focus and confidence, and bring you a more positive drive and outlook, as well as greater ability to discover and fulfill your life’s purposes. When your body is deficient in optimal hormone levels, here are some of the symptoms you can suffer as a result of hormone deficiency. Tender, swollen breasts sleep problems fibrocystic breasts mood swings hair loss frustration and anger depression brain fog anxiety excessive and/or breakthrough bleeding By treating or preventing these symptoms through the intelligent use of BHRT this can transform suffering into some great life benefits: healthy sleep better fat metabolism good muscle strength smoother younger looking skin improved metabolic rate becoming calm and confident enhanced fertility breast cancer protection, enhanced libido reduction in depression neuroprotection cardioprotection better energy levels STEP THREE—SHUN SYNTHETIC HRT If you are between the ages of 35 and 55, here are important truths you need to know. First, female suffering can often start long before you enter menopause—sometimes as long as 10 years before. Second, conventional guidance from your doctor in regard to helping you accomplish this is likely to be useless. Why? You see, most doctors know little or nothing about the benefits of bioidentical hormone therapy. This is often not their fault. They were never taught about BHRT in medical school. What they have been taught consists primarily of information from pharmaceutics companies whose purpose is to sell synthetic hormones in the form of drugs—HRT. Doctors are continually lobbied by Big Pharma, whose representatives visit them in their offices to tell them all about the “latest breakthrough” in new synthetic products designed to alleviate symptoms of everything from reflux to endometriosis. Try asking your doctor about bioidentical treatment. He is more than likely to reply with something like this: “It has never been proven that natural hormones work better than conventional drug-based HRT.” Doctors are busy people. Few have the time or take the trouble to research the latest studies which show that there can be serious consequences in putting women on longterm conventional HRT, such as increased risk of breast cancer. For example, when 80,377 postmenopausal women were put onto synthetic HRT then followed for 8 years, researchers discovered they had a 69% increased risk of getting breast cancer. Nor does the average doctor know that using natural progesterone plus estrogen eliminates this increased risk. It can also lead to a significant reduction in breast cancer. STEP FOUR—CHECK YOUR HORMONES It’s important to be clear that there are always risks using any hormones. Howewver the risks of not using the safe, natural hormones or trying to live with a hormone deficiency can be much greater. And, because of the power that multinational corporations now exert in an attempt to suppress use of natural medicines, so many bioidentical hormones—that even ten years ago were widely available—are no longer in many countries. This is a pity, especially when it comes to the use of the simplest, and in many ways most effective natural hormone of all—progesterone cream. In some countries, including the Unites States, it is still available without prescription. This is not the case in Britain, Australia, or New Zealand. Yet so useful is this particular bioidentical hormone that it is a great place to start if you are looking for help and want to explore for yourself what it can do for you. The good news is that, in most countries, there are some excellent women’s organizations that can help you find it. A typical 2 oz jar of natural progesterone cream, which contains between 900-1000 milligrams of this bioidentical progesterone, is available as a “cosmetic” and can be imported from another country as such. Good women’s organizations can also be useful if you want to locate a doctor who is savvy about bioidentical hormone therapy or if you want to have your hormone levels checked so you will know what, if any, specific natural hormones may be most appropriate for your body’s needs. Below, you will find connections you can make with responsible organizations that can help in various countries. Make use of them. STEP FIVE—YOUR NEXT MOVE A word of warning: In case you think that you can use hormones to solve every problem in your life, it’s time to think again. BHRT can indeed be enormously helpful in managing stress, weight gain, brain fog, and a hundred other female troubles, but it is by no means the total answer to high-level health and freedom from suffering. What else matters? Your deciding to eat only organic foods. Learn also how to make use of the incredible power that natural herbs and plants can bring for increasing energy, self-esteem, banishing hot flushes and overcoming menstrual, perimenopausal and menopausal issues. In two weeks I will be publishing a third newsletter to cover how you can benefit greatly in other natural ways. Look for it. Make use of the information you’ll find there. This will be your third step towards experiencing an ideal menopause, protecting yourself from early aging and learning how to look and feel your best no matter what your age. Don’t miss it! Meanwhile, check out these places for help and advice: *** WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL PHARMACY www.womensinternational.com/ This is the organization I respect most. They can connect you with doctors trained in bioidentical hormone treatment, bring you access to effective hormone testing procedures, and about anything else you might want to know about the many forms of natural hormones and how to use them. NaturalMenopauseAdviceService www.nmas.org.uk/about.htm Natural Progesterone Advisory Service www.npis.info in the UK Natural Progesterone Advisory Network www.natural-progesterone-advisory-network.com in Australia Finally, if you want to make use of a natural progesterone cream on your own, in most countries in the world you can order one at very low cost from iHerb in the United States. These creams tend to be treated by customs as a “cosmetic” in most countries, so there is seldom any problem importing them to your country. This is an inexpensive and potentially powerful option for you to experiment with. Here’s the one I recommend: Source Naturals, Natural Progesterone Cream, 4 oz Source Naturals Natural Progesterone Cream features natural progesterone USP from soy. Our Progesterone Cream is guaranteed to contain 500 mg of progesterone per ounce and 22 mg per 1/4 teaspoon. Order Source Naturals, Natural Progesterone Cream from iherb NOTE: We have had a few comments and concerns over a note on the iherb website which states "This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer." This is a standard California piece of nonsense funded by Corporations. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. This is a wonderful and safe product. How to use it: Massage 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cream twice daily into smooth skin areas such as the wrists, inner arms or thighs, throat, abdomen or chest. Premenopausal women use for 14 days prior to the first day of menstruation, discontinue and repeat. Menopausal and postmenopausal women use for 21 days, discontinue for 7 days and repeat. These are general recommendations only and may need to be modified for individual needs. Please consult your health care professional for specific situations.

Natural Menopause Revolution

Signs It's Time to Balance Nutrition & Emotion: Menopause

Nobody ever prepares you for menopause. Nobody tells you that if you are going to have hot flushes or emotional instability, they are likely to be far worse before you stop menstruating than afterwards. Nor does anybody explain that waking regularly at two or three in the morning, and lying in bed filled with sadness or fear or anger, is likely to be not some aberration of nature, but a messenger announcing that menopause is near. And because we are told so little about menopause - apart from the scaremongering that equates the menopause with a disease, something that needs fixing - few women in our culture are prepared for the next phase of their life. We seldom expect the intensity of emotion - both pain and pleasure - that can accompany the end of the childbearing years, nor do most of us realize that such passions can be transmuted into creative power. In fact, there are many signs that the change is near. Alterations in menstruation, for instance. Periods can become longer, heavier, shorter, lighter or irregular. You can find your feelings go up and down very much the way they did in puberty, so that one moment you are completely content with your life, and the next you want to throw everything up and go off to India to ‘find yourself’. You may begin to experience a growing dissatisfaction with the parts of your life that used to seem fine. You may also find yourself very tired without apparent reason. You may also begin to get aches and pains in joints, or find your skin suddenly seems to sag or look sallow. Some or all of these things can happen to a woman in mid life. They are commonly lumped together with menopause, some even are temporarily masked by giving hormone drugs; however, most have little to do with the change - aches and pains in the joints, weight gain, and aging skin for instance, as well as the sense many women report that they have climbed to the top of the ladder only to find that it was against the wrong wall. Such symptoms are really signs that a woman’s lifestyle - probably her values too - needs revising. It could be time to give up the work you are doing and do something else, to follow your passion, to take up weight training, to learn a technique for meditation or deep relaxation, to reeducate the way your body moves through Feldenkreist, or to revise your way of cooking and eating. If you have been eating convenience foods, or going on and off crash diets over the years, for instance, in an attempt to keep your weight down, you will have inevitably created biochemical imbalances in your body. Deficiencies of minerals such as magnesium and zinc, or trace elements such as boron or chromium here, excesses of heavy metals such as lead or aluminum from your environment there, radically interfere with the functions of enzymes in your body - which are responsible for the manufacture of hormones, for the digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients, and for the production of energy. A woman’s body has a remarkable ability to compensate for a deficiency here and there. But, as a result of chemical farming - which depletes the soils and therefore our foods of trace elements and unbalances minerals - as well as food processing, which further depletes vitamins and minerals and puts chemicals into our bodies that do not belong there, by the time mid-life arrives most women have accumulated many metabolic imbalances. In time these biochemical distortions begin to create symptoms - mood swings or depression that occur because of a resultant deficiency in brain chemicals such as serotonin, low levels of adrenal hormones that we need to cope with stress and to protect against inflammation in the tissues such as rheumatoid conditions, and fatigue with no apparent cause. Perhaps a woman also begins to get hot flushes or night sweats, both of which are a normal and temporary part of the readjustment in hormones that takes place during the profound passage of menopause, yet these days are also treated like a disease, and so she goes to her doctor for help. Yet because few doctors are trained in either nutrition or metabolic biochemistry, nor are they aware of how to use effective plant substances and natural hormones to ease a woman’s passage through the change, they believe there is no alternative but to put the woman on drug-based HRT. He will choose from an enormous variety of combinations of oestrogen and artificial progestin drugs, the latter being added to help protect her from cancer. For by now it has been well established that giving oestrogen on its own is dangerous - predisposing a woman taking it to cancer of the breast and womb. The experience of taking HRT varies widely from one woman to another. Some feel great on it. Others feel lousy and gain weight. More commonly a woman will feel better for a few months and then begin to report unpleasant side effects from the drugs she is taking. The most common complaints from prolonged HRT are migraine, bleeding, depression, water retention, increased blood pressure, weight gain, thrush, breast problems, varicose veins and chest pains. A recent 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 recent British study examined the reasons most commonly given by women who give up HRT after starting the treatment: about half stop taking it because of side-effects, about one-fifth because they are advised to do so my 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 helping them. Unlike changes in diet and lifestyle, at best HRT is a stop gap measure which addresses symptoms but offers little in the way of genuinely strengthening and re-balancing a woman’s body. And as far as the treatment of hot flushes is concerned - the single major symptom which is part of menopause - where the plant based treatments from say, wild yam, or agnus castus, or angelica will tend to work more slowly, it will also tend to eliminate hot flushes completely; while the woman who opts for HRT as a way of treating hot flushes finds that the moment she stops taking the oestrogen - whether in a few months or ten years - her hot flushes return. But it is time we stopped talking about the bad news connected with menopause and looked at the good. For despite all of this, we are now poised at the brink of a revolution in women’s natural health care, which promises to help women turn the menopause transition into a true passage to power, personal well being and freedom. Health educators such as Sandra Coney, author of The Menopause Industry, and Dr Robert Jacobs of The Society of Complementary Medicine in London, scientists such as biologist Renata Klein, and doctors such as (the now sadly late) John Lee MD - the only person who has ever carried out a study on 100 women and been able to reverse osteoporosis - now vigorously challenge the wisdom of established medical practices in the treatment of women with drug-based hormones. They also object strongly to the widespread propaganda which accompanies the sale of HRT, claiming that the indiscriminate doling out of potent drug-based hormones can undermine a woman’s fertility as well as trigger the development of menstrual agonies including PMS, and menopausal miseries, from endometriosis to cancer of the breast and womb. This practice of making virtually every woman a `patient’ for most of her life by subjecting her to drug treatment, not only where it may not be necessary but even when it can be potentially dangerous, is a way of diminishing her personal power and taking away control over her own body. It is therefore, they say, biologically, politically and morally reprehensible. There are two classes of major reproductive hormones in a woman’s body - the oestrogens, which are commonly lumped together and called `oestrogen’, and progesterone. When these two are in good balance, a woman’s health thrives. She remains free of PMS and other menstrual troubles. She is fertile and able to hold a fetus to full term, and menopause becomes a simple transition instead of a passage riddled with suffering. She is also protected against fibroids, endometriosis and osteoporosis, and she is likely to remain emotionally balanced and free of excessive anxiety or depression. When oestrogen and progesterone are not in balance in a woman’s body, all of these things can come a cropper. In our modern industrialized world it is easy for a woman’s biochemistry to become distorted as a result of declining physical activity, because of the proliferation of highly processed convenience foods depleted of essential minerals, and as a consequence of the rise of a whole new - as yet largely unrecognized - phenomenon known as oestrogen dominance. This is where a woman’s oestrogen levels far outweigh progesterone in her body, making her prone to cancer, menopausal agonies and menstrual miseries. Oestrogen dominance has developed in industrialized countries for many reasons, including the widespread use of oestrogen-based oral contraceptives, and the exponential spread of chemicals in our environment which are oestrogen mimics - they are taken up by the oestrogen receptor sites in a woman’s body and throw spanners in the works. Called xenoestrogens, these include the petrochemical-derivatives we take in as herbicides and pesticides which have been sprayed on our foods; the plastic cups we drink our tea out of, from which can migrate into our bodies; and even the oestrogens that come through in drinking water recycled from our rivers. Oestrogens from the Pill and HRT are excreted from a woman’s body in her urine, which end up in water and are not removed by standard water purification treatments. Every woman needs to be aware of the potential dangers of the `sea of oestrogens’ in which we are now living. Recently, Greenpeace issued a report describing the effect that xenoestrogens are having on men’s sperm count. It has dropped by 40% in the past fifty years. But far more devastating - and much less publicized - are the effects that the rising sea of oestrogens, and its consequence of oestrogen dominance, are exerting in women’s lives. Oestrogen dominance makes us more prone to breast and womb cancer, to fibroid tumors, to endometriosis, to osteoporosis, to infertility - not to mention a long list of emotional and mental imbalances. However, because much of the medical profession as well as the general public remains ignorant of the effects of xenoestrogens and the growing oestrogen dominance in women’s bodies, oestrogens continue to be prescribed heavily as part of HRT, not only to the handful of women who - around the time of menopause - may need it temporarily, but for thousands of women whose lives would be far better off without it. Neither do they know that hot flushes, dry vaginas, and early aging can usually be addressed more safely and successfully - not to mention less expensively - by alterations in diet to eliminate highly processed convenience foods (replete with junk fats which can interfere with the production of important hormones and prostaglandins in a woman’s body), changes in lifestyle, and by the use of traditional herbal remedies such as wild yam (from which many of the drugs sold for HRT incidentally are derived), chastetree, motherwort and black cohosh. Natural menopause revolutionaries are by no means altogether opposed to HRT. But they want to see it put into perspective. They insist that, while it may be useful for short periods in a small number of women who actually need oestrogen, the use of drug-based hormones in most women’s cases is costly both in financial and physical terms. Drug based oestrogens and progestogens in the ‘treatment’ of menopause have virtually all been shown to have dangerous side effects and for many who have followed such advice, the use of hormone drugs has ultimately created more problems than it has solved. Also they insist there are better, more natural, ways. One alternative to the currently available HRT appears to offer many new benefits yet is virtually side effect free. It consists of using plant derived natural progesterone - natural in the sense that it is the identical molecule to that found in a woman’s body - in the form of a cream applied to the body. Progesterone can not only help eliminate oestrogen dominance in a woman’s body, reestablishing hormonal balance; it can therefore also help protect against the many conditions with which oestrogen dominance is associated. Unlike the progestins prescribed in conventional HRT, it has virtually no side effects since it is a normal body chemical. As such, the body has the enzymes needed to metabolize it easily. Progesterone is also superior to the progestins because it is a biochemical precursor to many other important hormones in the body. This means the body can turn it into these other important hormones - adrenal hormones, for instance, to help support against stress damage, and into hormones which support brain function and balance emotions. It can even be transformed into the natural oestrogens. By contrast, the progestin drugs are ‘end product molecules’. They cannot be converted into other important body chemicals that are needed for emotional and physical health. In fact, their presence in the body may actually interfere with these conversions. After all, the progestins have to be unique molecules foreign to the human body to be patented and sold as drugs. There are no big profits for anybody in selling a generic substance such as a natural progesterone cream. This is another reason why so many doctors remain ignorant of its value in the treatment of women who need extra hormones. Unlike oestrogen commonly given in HRT to help slow down bone loss, progesterone actually increases bone density. It effectively stimulates the activity of osteoblasts - the cells which make new bone. By contrast, no drug has ever been shown to do this significantly. In most countries of the world, the progesterone cream used for natural HRT is readily available to women for their own use without a prescription. In Britain it is available by prescription from doctors who do know about it, but it can also be legally ordered by post, by any woman for her own personal use, from the United States or Ireland. In fact a  French study has recently reported not only that transdermal progesterone in small doses is well absorbed, used monthly, it reduces the risk of breast cancer. These are only a few of the exciting alternatives developing as part of the natural menopause revolution. But in many ways, what is most exciting of all about the new movement is a growing recognition that menopause is no more a disease than menstruation. It is a natural and important transition in a woman’s life - a passage every bit as important physically and spiritually as puberty was. And, like puberty, menopause carries with it enormous fluctuations in hormone levels and with them great shifts in mood, attitude and personal values, all of which are part of the passage itself. In other cultures, the transformation which takes place in a woman’s life sometime between the ages of 35 and 60 is traditionally considered a journey towards new freedom and power for a woman, a time of celebration where her creativity - until then bound to her biology - is at last set free for her to use as she wills. It is a time when women cease to give a damn what others think of their eccentricities and can set themselves free to soar into whatever realms they fancy. The passage we make at menopause - like the passage at birth or in giving birth - is a profound one which dissolves the boundaries of a woman and can take her deep inside an archetypal heroine’s journey to discover the real treasures of her life. Each woman is biochemically and spiritually unique. So is the inner journey she must make if she is to succeed in her quest for wholeness. Such journeys need to be undertaken with the highest respect for the body, the spirit and the powers of nature which bring it about. Such journeys cannot be codified. They are not packaged holidays where you pay your money, take your anti-diarrhoea pills and know exactly what to expect. These, insist natural menopause revolutionaries, are journeys of the soul.

Beware Of HRT

Revolutionize Menopause: Naturalize Women's Reproductive Health

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.

Eat Your Way To Menopausal Freedom - Part 3

Rebalance Hormones & Restore Youth: 5 Steps To An Ideal Menopause

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.

Sacred Truth Ep. 41: Cool Hot Flashes

2 Facts Women Need to Know About Hot Flashes in Menopause

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

What Every Women Wants

Unlock the Secret: What Does Every Woman Want?

Great stories carry hidden secrets that can transform a life. They bring us face-to-face with hidden truths that help free us from false beliefs and attitudes, self-criticism and negativity that crush us. Cultural conditioning has taught us to undervalue the wild creativity that lies within—that part of us which is instinctual, irrational, and full of passion. Conventional society is so frightened of these things that we have been taught to fear ourselves and to judge ourselves harshly. We swallow our anger even when it is righteous. We crush our wild nature and we see ourselves as ugly. Yet locked within what we most hate and fear lies the greatest power for true freedom. Today I’d like to share with you one of my favorite mythologies of self-discovery—as delightful and important for men as it is for women. Here’s how it goes: THE LOATHLY LADY One Christmastide Arthur rode out with his knights to hunt. By chance he became separated from his companions and found himself at the edge of a great brackish pond. There, a knight in black armour emerged from the shadows and challenged him to a fight. Arthur reached to draw his sword Excalibur and call on its power to protect him from all harm. Alas, he had come away from court without it. He could feel every ounce of strength drain away from his body in the presence of the dark and evil stranger who raised his sword and threatened to kill him. Being a responsible king, of course, Arthur told the dark knight he didn't think that killing him was such a great idea—he had a country to rule, after all, and knights to look after. Where would they be without him? The stranger, bored at the thought of such an easy kill, relented and replied, "OK, I won't kill you so long as you return to this place in three days with the answer to a riddle I shall give you. If you fail I shall remove your head in one fwll swoop." WHAT DOES SHE WANT Arthur agreed. He figured that given half a chance and a mug or two of fancy mead, his pals back at the castle would be sure to come up with something. The riddle the stranger posed was this: "What does every woman want?" So Arthur headed home to ask all of his knights and wise men to give him the answer. Everyone from Merlin to a goose girl he met along the road had a go. Each gave him a different answer: "A woman wants beauty," said one. "A woman wants power," said another, or fame, or jewels, or sanctity. None could agree. Time was running out. Finally, although he had done his best to hide from his beloved Guinevere the seriousness of the situation, the third morning arrived. Bound by his word of honor to the Black Knight, Arthur had to face the music. Along the road to the meeting at the brackish waters, Arthur came upon an old woman. She sat on a tree stump by the side of the road calling his name. Arthur dismounted and approached her with all the courtesy he could muster. For the closer he came, the more ghastly this old hag appeared. Although she was dressed in fine silk and wore magnificent jewels on her gnarled and twisted hands, she was unquestionably the most hideous thing he had ever seen—or dreamed of, for that matter. Her nose was like a pig's, her mouth was huge, toothless and dribbling. What hair remained on her head was greasy, and the skin all over her misshapen and bloated body was covered in oozing sores. COURTESY CHALLENGED Arthur swallowed hard, forcing himself not to have to look away. "My Lord," she said in a surprisingly gentle voice, "Why look you so dismayed?" Summoning up all his chivalrous training, Arthur apologized for his manner, trying to explain it away by telling her he was most unsettled at the prospect of returning to meet his death at the hand of an evil knight because he could not tell him the answer to the riddle, "What does every woman want?" "Ah," said the hag. "I can tell you that. But such knowledge cannot be given without payment." Arthur, hoping once again for a reprieve from death, replied, "Of course Madam, anything you desire shall be yours for the answer—even half my kingdom." IMPOSSIBLE REQUEST The Loathly Lady made Arthur bend down while she whispered a few words in his ear." The moment Arthur heard them, he knew his life and his kingdom had been saved. He was about to leap on his horse again and ride off to meet the stranger when she tugged on his cloak and said, "Now I want my reward." "Of course Madam, what is it that you want?" he asked. "I want to be the wife of your bravest knight and live at your court." Arthur, who only a moment before had felt his spirits soar, was plunged into the deepest despair. How could he possibly expect any knight to consent to marry such a hideous hag? And what would it be like to have to endure such ugliness every day at court? "But Madam, that is impossible!" he said. The words slipped through his lips before he could catch them. Aghast at his own lack of courtesy and agonized by having to ask any of his knights, Arthur said, "I beg your pardon, Madam. You are quite right. Come to court tomorrow. There waiting for you will be your future husband." So saying, he mounted his horse and rode off to meet the Black Knight to convey to him the answer to the riddle. When he got back to the castle, Arthur was distraught. The knights questioned him. He confessed that he had won his life from the Black Knight but then told them at what cost and reported his promise to the Loathly Lady. "My very honor is at stake," said Arthur, wringing his hands, "unless one of you will agree to wed her." His knights were horrified at the prospect and tried to avoid his gaze. But one—the youngest knight of all—Sir Gawain, the most courageous and purest of heart stood up. "Worry, not my liege," Gawain said, "I shall save you, I will marry the woman no matter what her mien." SELF-PROFESSED HERO Gawain did not have long before he rued his offer. The marriage was planned for the following morning and the hag arrived at court. When he looked upon her, even Gawain with all his chivalry did not know how he could go through with the ceremony. It demanded every ounce of his courage. Somehow he managed it. But things got worse. When the festivities were over, the couple were obliged to retire to their chamber for the night. Gawain, unable to face the hideousness of his wife, sat for long hours in their bedchamber with his back to the lady, writing at his desk and praying she would go to sleep without him. Was he to spend the rest of his life shackled to such a hideous monster? ENCHANTED WOMAN Long past midnight, as the candle burnt low, he felt a hand come to rest upon his shoulder. "Will you not come to bed now, my Lord?" a voice whispered from behind him. Shuddering with horror, Gawain mustered his courage to look at her. To his astonishment there stood not the ugly hag he had married but the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had golden hair and ivory skin. "Why do you seem so surprised, My Lord?" she said to him. "I am indeed your wife. I was enchanted by a wicked magician. But now the enchantment is half broken by your having consented to marry me and so you see I stand before you now in my true form." Gawain could not believe his luck. "Half broken?" he asked. "Yes, my lord" was the reply. "Sadly I am only allowed to spend half the time in my true form. For the rest I must return to the shape of the same hag which this afternoon you married. And now you must choose, my Lord. Would you have me be my true self at night when we are alone together and the hag during daylight hours?" Gawain, whose mind was flooded with passion at the thought of her beauty filling his bed each night replied eagerly, "Yes, that is certainly how it must be." TEARS FOR FREEDOM In the eye of his beautiful lady appeared a tear. "But sir," she said, "Would you then have me suffer the humiliation of the court who cannot conceal their horror at my ugliness?" Now Gawain, if he was nothing else, was compassionate. He could not bear to bring this beautiful woman a tear of sorrow. "No, of course not," he replied. "It shall be the other way round, of course. You shall be my beautiful wife for the court during daylight hours and the hag at night." But this only made the lady weep the more. "Oh sir, would you then deny me forever the joy and pleasure of your embrace?" She asked. Poor Gawain, who after all was but a man (and man has never found it easy to deal with woman's grief) did not know what to do. After much thought he replied, "My lady, whatever choice I make will be the wrong one. It is therefore for you to choose which you prefer." At the sound of his words the Lady threw herself into his arms in glorious laughter. "In so saying, my Lord, you have given the right answer. You have bestowed upon me what every woman wants—her own way. The spell at last is broken. You will never have to look upon the hideous hag again. I am my true self and it belongs to you forever." Such is the power of accepting that which to ourselves is most loathsome. And such is the power of myth in reminding us of it.

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