Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

I don't do well driving long distances.  I don't mind being driven, I just prefer not to drive.  Something about the movement of the vehicle that just lulls me to relaxation and slumber. I generally avoid caffeine from coffee because to me it's just another drug to get addicted to, so when I need to drive a long distance, I choose to drink green tea.  Caffeine from coffee makes me feel like I'm wired and on overdrive; I hate that feeling.  Not to mention that the coffee itself can irritate my stomach.  Green Tea gives me just enough alertness (70% less caffeine than coffee) to stay focused on the task at hand.  I also love all the many health benefits that go along with this wonderful ceremonial beverage.

I do not skimp when I buy green tea.  It costs more to get a good quality green tea.  The less processed it is, the more antioxidant power you get from it.  Green tea has many anticancer properties, it aids in heart health and diabetes prevention.  It aids in weight loss and can stave off dementia. I have some Matcha Green Tea, but there are other varieties that are great as well.  So next time you need a boost, try out some green tea and see if it works for you.  Check out this youtube clip on green tea.

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Dangers of GMO's and an Interview With Jon Gabriel

The wide-eyed innocence of a child is something that tugs powerfully at my heart.  Any decent human being's innate tendency is to protect and defend the defenseless, especially children.  What then could possess someone or an organization to see a beautiful child and see only profit?  I'm not talking about starting up a clothing line for children, I mean knowingly doing something to imperil the health and well-being of a child. Would you call that monstrous?  I would.  Please take a look at this article which discusses that GMO foods are being tested on children.  There is also a documentary that I hope you will take the time to see.  This film features Jeffery Smith, founder of Institute For Responsible Technology and author of Seeds of Deception.  In this film he discusses  the effects GMO's are having on the health of the U.S. population.  Mutating the perfect genes of our God given food supply is nothing short of ludicrous, reckless, irresponsible and evil.    Patenting plants is insane, what next- air?  Genetic Roulette, will be showing on Jeffrey Smith's site for a limited time only (September 15-22).

The next film I would like for you to see is the complete interview of Jon Gabriel from Hungry for Change.  He discusses his journey toward health.  After bouncing around from diet to diet, he realized he needed to understand why he couldn't lose weight to begin with.  Once informed with the necessary information, he was then able to shed the excess weight.  Take the time to watch this very informative interview.  This clip can be viewed free of charge until October 6.  You can also go to his site, gabrielmethod.com

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How To Slow The Aging of Your Skin and Possibly Reverse It

It never ceases to amaze me when I see women purchasing products to improve their skin tone but continuing the same lifestyle practices that injure their skin to begin with.  According to Markus Rothkranz, any effort to manipulate and treat the body (skin) for improvement without considering diet and lifestyle is as futile as "painting over rust." This makes perfect sense to me.  I believe the better approach is to make your organs, tissues and blood healthy and beautiful on the inside.  Once your body has been able to detoxify and cleanse itself with the foods you eat, your skin will soon reflect the changes.  Here are some tips I've been able to gather.

Stop these things:   You are not doing yourself any favors if you drink alcohol, smoke, drink coffee or sodas.  Drink water, juiced fruits and vegetables and non-caffeinated herbal tea (except green tea).  Excessive sun exposure is also a problem.  You need to expose yourself moderately to the sun for good health but  excessive exposure can lead to photo-aging of the skin. Fried foods, processed foods, and sugar wreak havoc  on the skin and your health.  (Please don't consider nutrasweet, diet sodas, or aspartame as a healthy option. Instead choose to use sparingly coconut palm sugar, date sugar, raw honey or stevia.)  I personally choose not to eat animal products, dairy in particular.  Animal products are difficult to digest and sap your body of energy that could be used for other things.  Eating animal products also ages you faster than eating a plant based diet.  Dairy products can do a number on wrecking the clarity of your skin.   If, however, you decide to continue eating meat, please consider buying it at a local farm where the animals are raised humanely, roam free and have a more nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones.

 Eat an Alkaline Diet:  My brother-in-law is a physician who has done studies in longevity and hyperbaric medicine.  In a conversation with me he said that if you know how to prevent cancer, then you know how to slow the progress of aging.  The enemy of youthfulness is free radical damage.  The way to combat free radicals is to overwhelm the body with antioxidants.  This means that you should eat an alkaline diet which would comprise at least 75% raw vegetables, fruit, soaked nuts, seeds, sprouts, sea vegetables, etc.  Include lots of dark leafy greens.  Green smoothies are the easiest way to consume these.  Also consider adding juicing to your regimen.  Juicing is phenomenal for the skin.  Include healthful grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet.  These foods contain the mineral silica which helps promote the elasticity of the cell membrane and thereby the elasticity of your skin.  Include foods such as figs, cucumber, coconut oil, hemp seeds, aloe vera, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts and turmeric.  According to David Wolfe, these foods are high in antioxidants and contain several minerals (silicon, sulfur and zinc) that promote the elasticity of your skin. 

Use Sea Buckthorn:  Sea Buckthorn is a bright orange berry that grows in the Himalayas.  The local people who consume this berry regularly or drink its juice have very youthful skin.  You can find Sea Buckthorn lotions and juice at health food stores.  Tonya Zavasta - Beautiful on Raw, Nadine Artemis - Living Libations and Longevity Warehouse all have lotions that include this berry.  Avoid body care products that are not clean!  See this recent post for better alternatives.

David Wolfe's Eating For Beauty
Dry brush your skin daily: I first heard of dry skin brushing when I read Dr Richard Schulze's book, There Are No Incurable Diseases.   Dr. Schulze includes this practice in his Incurables Program.  Dry brushing is very important for the skin.  It helps to exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells.  It stimulates blood circulation and cell turnover and it stimulates  lymphatic drainage.  In other words, dry skin brushing helps to detoxify your skin and ultimately, your body.  Be sure to brush towards the heart.  Get a brush with some sort of natural bristle.  These are available at most health food stores.  Tonya Zavasta sells a facial brush on her site.

Consider these supplements: I would consider these supplements for healthy skin. I suggest including some sort of superfood. I have a preference for Dr. Schulze's Superfood, but I think Sunwarrior's Ormus Supergreens is good too.  Probiotics are very important for skin health as crazy as it may sound.  Having healthful intestinal flora can help control the harmful bacteria in your body preventing acne.  I keep things simple and just eat sauerkraut to meet this need.  Enzymes are very good to have as well.  We are born with a limited supply of enzymes and require them for our digestive process as well as other metabolic functions.  Eating a high quantity of raw foods helps to replenish your stores, but you could also take a supplement in addition to your raw foods.  Raw enzymes by Garden of Life seems like a good product.  Lastly,  consider taking Silica.  This is the mineral that Truth Calkins and David Wolfe recommend.

Heal Your Face by Markus Rothkranz

An amazing new product:   First I need to divulge some information about myself. I'm not very excited about telling you this, but it just let's you know how excellent this product is.  After having children, the skin on my abdomen wasn't as... well, smooth as it was before kids.  The conventional approach would be to have plastic surgery, collagen injections or what have you.  I searched high and low for a natural alternative but to no avail... until just recently.  I am using a botanically based product that is tightening my skin and restoring it to its pre-pregrancy smoothness.  It's absolutely amazing.  I'm still testing it on myself so it'll be a couple of weeks before I do a post on it.

Recommended Reading:  Consider reading David Wolfe's Eating for Beauty and Markus Rothkranz's Heal Your Face.  Having good skin is something very personal and affects us at a deep emotional level.  What most people don't know is that you do have control over the health of your skin and how fast it ages.  It's most definitely not a matter of chance but a matter of choice!  

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Effects of Nature on Your Brain

I thought this would be a fitting post after coming back from a vacation out in nature.  A few months back I was at my dentist's office for a cleaning when I saw a copy of the December, 2011, issue of Outdoors magazine.  I'm not particularly drawn to male publications.  I'm really not interested in seeing Grizzly Adams like men trekking the Arctic Tundra.  But there was a title that grabbed my interest, "This Is Your Brain On Nature."   I loved what I read and thought I would share it with you.

This information was compiled by Madison Kahn:

1. Increased attention span.  A 2008 study by University of Michigan psychologists found that walking outside or even just looking at pictures of natural settings improves directed attention, the ability to concentrate on a task.  Put another way: nature restores our ability to focus.

2. Better Memory.  The same study supported previous experiments showing that being in nature improves memory - by 20 percent when it came to recalling a series of numbers.

3. Reduced Stress.  Office workers with views of trees and flowers reported lower stress levels, higher job satisfaction, and fewer ailments than colleagues with views of buildings, according to a 1989 study by the University of Michigan.

4. Improved Mood. In a 1991 study by Texas A&M psychologists, subjects who viewed scenes of water or trees reported a much quicker return to a positive mood after a stressful event than those who viewed urban scenes.

5. Greater Creativity.  In a pilot study this March, psychologists found that students in an Outward Bound course showed a 40 percent boost in frontal lobe activity - after four days in the back country.


I can't help but think about the book, The Secret Garden by Burnett, a story I have read to my children.  Colin Craven was a wealthy, sickly, paralytic boy raised by nannies and was locked up in his palatial bedroom with the curtains drawn closed.  He forgot that he was even sick or couldn't walk when he ventured to the great outdoors and spent time in a garden with his friends.  This fictional story illustrates that mood is intrinsically linked to the health of our bodies.  If we neglect the care of our emotional state of being our health will suffer.

Nothing improves my mood like running in the trails that are close to my home.  I hate running!  But just being out in the woods (I never run alone, by the way!)  turns what would be a drudgery into a pleasurable experience.  If you are fighting sickness, improve your diet and lifestyle - and spend time in natural settings! 

On another note:  The new cookbook by Forks Over Knives is out!  Check it out here.

Enjoy the Journey!