5 Day Diet Challenge

Fall is an ideal time to assist our bodies in cleanup and recovery from a summer of processed snacks and treats such as ice cream, hotdogs, soft drinks and alcohol.  This year especially, we have the added burden of inhaled pollutants from forest fire smoke to be concerned about.  Many people still have coughs and congestion, itchy eyes and other allergy type symptoms, unusual tiredness, brain fog, crankiness, stiff joints and an overall feeling of unwellness.  These are all classic symptoms of toxicity. Your body is an excellent waste treatment plant and will indeed repair, replace parts, and replenish with great efficiency if given the raw materials it needs to heal rapidly and completely.  How can we best support this process? First, Get Outside.  Get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and lots of fun activity to make up for the deficiency of all three this past summer. Next, cleanup your diet to rest your organs of digestion and elimination and provide them with the tools they need to revitalize. Try this simple 5 Day Detox Challenge. Eat whole, single ingredient foods only. Foods from our local fall harvest such as beets, carrots, cucumbers, squash, kale, spinach, chard and other greens, all support the liver in filtering the toxins and promote healing. Unprocessed meat, fowl and fish are ok. Absolutely no sugar, refined salt, snack foods, energy bars, soft drinks, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, breads, pastas, cookies, candies, cakes or ice cream, processed foods, preservatives or additives of any kind except sea salt and water. Drink filtered water, coconut water, herbal non-caffeinated teas. Some additional tips: Eat organic, non-GMO, whenever possible...

It All Starts in the Mouth

When scientists first discovered microbes as a factor in disease, the initial reaction was fear.  For the next 100 years or so, the prevailing notion was that the only good bacteria are dead bacteria.  We tried to kill all bacteria, using antibiotics in medicine, dentistry, and in our food supply (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy) and even in our cleansers, cosmetics, and toothpastes. What we didn’t know initially was that bacteria have a powerful intelligence for survival and will mutate to survive.  This resulted in the creation of more virulent species and the very dangerous phenomenon of antibiotic resistance.   It seemed we were losing the war against microbes. No surprise since we have about 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells.   We are outnumbered. The human microbiome is defined as the collective genomes of the microbes (composed of bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi, protozoa and viruses) that live inside and on the human body. In very recent years, science has begun to see that a) microbes are a necessity for all life forms, and b) microbial balance is of prime importance to our survival. Microbes are our best partners in health.  They greatly impact the vitality of the entire gastro intestinal tract and play powerful roles in our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. In fact, we just can’t survive without them. An imbalance in our microbes can contribute to weight gain, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, anxiety/depression, joint inflammation, ulcers, diarrhea/constipation, bloating, food cravings,  leaky gut, and pre-menstrual syndrome. How do we return to the balance that nature intended? The first step is to stop killing and focus on balancing. Your microbiome is as...

Your AMAZING Body and You

Do you identify yourself as and by your body? Close your eyes for a moment and sense the outside edges of your body.  Now close your eyes again and sense the outside edges of YOU, the Being, not the body.  Are you inside your body or is your body inside of you? The truth is, you are an infinite being, and you have a body. A truly miraculous body. Your body is a sensate, sensorial organism that is constantly giving you information.  It has an innate intelligence designed to perceive energy like radar. Your body wants to give you the awareness of this energy that is happening all around you.  Have you shut down your ability to be in this awareness? Take a moment again and sense contraction.  Much of the pain people experience can be an awareness that has been contracted rather than expanded as the fullness of space. Now sense expansion.  Can you feel a difference?  When you are contracted, your reality is finite and limited.  When you are in the sense of expansion you are living in the state of infinite possibilities. Did you notice that you got there simply by choice?  It is that easy.  You could choose to live in the awareness of the expanded you, or you could choose to live in the state of contraction. Your body is willing and ready to do what you choose. This ability is a gift from your body to you.  It has no judgement of the choices you make. On the other hand, the beliefs and judgements you have about your body are sensed and responded...

How Can We Cope With Forest Fire Smoke?

Forest fires throughout the BC interior have exposed us all to health risks from breathing smoky air and many people are concerned about the potential harm to their health. Humans have been dealing with smoke from fire for eons. As a result, there is a wealth of indigenous information as well as modern science from which to draw advice. A recent study done on sheep showed that smoke inhalation can deplete Vitamin E.  Another study showed that the amino acid L-Arginine had a protective effect on the lungs after inhaling smoke. We know that Vitamin C has a protective effect on the lungs.   Vitamin A and zinc are two other well known agents of tissue repair. To maintain the integrity of the alveoli in your lungs, think of them as little soap bubbles that remain flexible, strong and elastic if they have enough surfactant., which is a lipid or fat.  The best fats for building healthy alveoli are the saturated fats found in animal foods, (butter, lard, etc.) and in tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil, and in olive oil.  One should avoid the trans fats found in partially hydrogenated oils such as margarine, shortening, (often in commercial baked goods), and deep fried fast foods.  Trans fats compromise the integrity of the alveoli. What are some best foods for supplying important nutrients for your respiratory health? Beets help to digest good fats and supply lots of minerals and vitamins needed for repair. Betaine is a very useful enzyme found in beets and is also in most dark leafy greens. Perfect timing for the home gardener. Some good...

Sun Smarts for Your Health

Sunshine time is here and like all living things we need it. Much as plants harness the sun’s rays through photosynthesis, our bodies benefit from sun exposure in many ways, probably only some of which we are aware. For example, we know the UVB radiation in sunshine stimulates increased production of vitamin D which is needed to build bones, quell inflammation, and bolster the immune system against many of today’s diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression and asthma. Most people have heard of the studies that connect sun exposure to skin cancer. But there are many studies that suggest sun exposure plays a role in decreasing risks of at least 16 different types of cancer including lung, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. While UVB radiation is responsible for making vitamin D, the UVA, thought to be responsible for most of the skin damage, also helps modulate your immune system. UVA and UVB in combination improves beta-endorphin production in your skin, which makes you feel good. Sun exposure on bare skin also produces nitric oxide and carbon monoxide that cause relaxation of the blood vessels, improves wound healing, and helps fight infections. The blue wavelength of sunlight is particularly important for regulating your circadian rhythm improving your mood, and reducing symptoms of depression. Light therapy has been shown to be effective not only against seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but also non-seasonal major depression. Clearly, sun exposure provides a wealth of health benefits over and beyond mere vitamin D production. So how do we maximize the benefits of sun exposure while avoiding the risks of damage from too much exposure? Here...