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Total Health 101

Vibrant health is a condition in which the body, mind, emotions and spirit exist in a state of balance. When healthy, our immune system is strong and we have abundant energy. Our body is fit, our hormones are balanced, and our skin glows. We feel rested, relaxed, able to handle stress, and are joyful, exuberant, and optimistic about our lives. In today’s world it can be challenging to maintain a healthy state of being. The demands of our time and others can create stress. We may not eat as well as we should or get enough sleep. Allergies, frequent illness, excess weight, fatigue or pain are reminders that we are out of balance. A natural approach to health considers the many factors that contribute to well-being and provides safe effective ways to achieve total wellness. Here are some simple steps to take to stay healthy and balanced and increase longevity. Cleanse your environment of toxins. Due to the introduction of synthetic compounds into the environment, we are exposed daily to approximately 70,000 toxic chemicals and pollutants, including about 7,000 in our food. These substances challenge our health and threaten our very existence. A 2005 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of 2,000 Americans found traces of more than 60 toxic compounds, including dioxins, uranium, mercury, lead, aluminum, pesticides and polyvinyl chlorides in the blood and urine of participants. In a study by the Environmental Working Group, laboratory tests of the umbilical cord blood of newborns found an average of 200 chemicals that can cause cancer, brain damage, birth defects and other health ailments. Cancer is now the number one cause of death in humans, and studies show that 95% of the cases [...]

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Super Supplements for a Strong Immune System

We live in an environment polluted with countless toxic substances and an ever-increasing deluge of harmful radiations and stresses.  Maintaining optimal health and balance can be challenging in today’s world, yet with a clear intention and willingness to nurture and care for our emotional and physical health we can experience a life of vitality and joy.  During the past 20 years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with many people experiencing a wide variety of health issues.  I am often asked what I would recommend to incorporate in a daily health regimen, and which supplements to have on hand when illness occurs.  While individual circumstances vary, the following recommendations can provide excellent nutritional and immune support for general health needs. The foundation of health lies in creating a lifestyle that follows the natural conditions in which we were designed to live.  This includes daily contact with nature, fresh air, sunlight, exercise,  purified drinking water, fresh organic foods, periodic internal cleansing of toxins, adequate sleep and a positive attitude towards life. Avoiding drugs, vaccines, synthetic chemicals and heavy metals which are toxic to the body is also important, as these unnatural substances compromise the immune system and are at the core of most illnesses. The healthiest diet for healing and maintaining health is brilliantly presented in the book, The Body Ecology Diet, by Donna Gates.  This cleansing, nutritive and rejuvenating diet balances the pH of the body, is low-glycemic (low sugar), gluten-free, and incorporates food combining, the blood type diet, and fermented foods that are rich in enzymes and microflora (beneficial bacteria) that comprise 85% of a healthy immune system.   This diet provides the nourishment and internal environment needed for healing digestive problems and [...]

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The Hidden Epidemic of Gluten Sensitivity

Millions of people are going gluten-free. Gluten-free food products abound and many restaurants offer up gluten-free fare. Chelsea Clinton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are just a few of the celebrities who have chosen a gluten-free diet to lose weight and improve their health, popularizing this growing trend. According to market research, 15% to 25% of consumers want gluten-free foods. What was once considered an unfortunate diet restriction is now the preferred choice for a growing segment of the population. Gluten sensitivity (GS) or gluten intolerance refers to the inability to digest gluten, a sticky protein in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale grains. Oats may be contaminated with wheat/gluten during processing unless labeled gluten-free. Gliaden is the primary offending peptide in gluten which can set off an adverse immune response leading to numerous health problems. Wheat allergies may be triggered by other wheat components and result in a sudden histamine response such as swelling or difficulty breathing. Unlike allergies, gluten intolerance and its more severe form, celiac disease, can occur without apparent symptoms and go undetected for years. Celiac disease is a serious form of gluten intolerance that manifests as an autoimmune disorder. In her book, “Recognizing Celiac Disease”, Cleo Libonati explains how in celiac, the undigested gluten particles irritate the intestinal lining causing a relaxing of the normally tight intercellular junctions that prevent large molecules from leaking through the lining. The gluten fragments slip between the junctions and become bound by the intestinal enzyme tissue transglutaminase to form a molecule that triggers the development of antibodies which then attack the altered gluten molecule within the lining. This causes inflammation and damage to the small finger-like projections in the small intestine [...]

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Are You Getting Enough Enzymes?

Eating is one of life’s most satisfying pleasures. We love to savor the aroma and taste of a delicious meal that satiates and nourishes us. Properly digested meals bring us vibrant health and vitality, yet poorly digested food depletes us of energy and creates nutrient deficiencies and toxic buildup that lead to illness and rapid aging. The key to efficient digestion and health lies in the nutrient and enzyme content of the food we ingest and our body’s ability to break the food down into components we can utilize for nourishment and energy for growth and maintenance. Enzymes are proteins that provide the spark necessary for every chemical reaction in our body and the normal activity of the cells, tissues, and organs. There are an estimated 3,000 enzymes that perform a myriad of functions. Nutrients and hormones are useless without enzymes to catalyze them into action. In the 1930’s Edward Howell, MD, author of the groundbreaking work “Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity” was the first to identify and study the essential role that enzymes played in the body. He noted three types of enzymes: enzymes that naturally occur in live food, enzymes made by the body to digest food, and metabolic enzymes produced by the body for running all metabolic processes. Enzymes are required for breathing, thinking, talking, moving, reproduction, growth, healing, detoxification, immune response and hormonal balance. We are born with an enzyme reserve to draw upon throughout our lives, and while we are capable of producing our own enzymes, this ability decreases beginning at age 27 and declines dramatically as we age. Nature intended that we obtain most of our enzymes for digestion from live foods, enabling our body to use its [...]

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The Magical Power of Fermented Foods

Most of us are familiar with the concept of how important it is for our planet to have a balanced ecosystem in order to perpetuate itself, where each species contributes to the life of another in an environment that supports healthy growth and vitality. At the present time, it appears that earth’s ecosystem is at risk of deteriorating at an alarming rate, unless we can change this course of events. Just like the planet that we live on, we too have an ecosystem inside our bodies that supports our growth and vitality, and just like the earth’s, our inner world is also at risk as evidenced by the tremendous increase in infectious disease, degenerative conditions and autoimmune disorders. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, allergies, chronic fatigue, candidiasis, fibromyalgia, and depression are affecting adults and children alike. What’s even more significant is the tremendous increase in cases of autism, afflicting over one million American children in the last five years and more in England, Australia and Canada that we know of. In California, one out of every 125 children are being born autistic. Vaccines have been largely blamed for this increase, however the problem begins even before birth. Why are these problems unique to modern society, and what did our ancestors know that enabled them to live their lives free of these ailments? The answer may lie in that inner world struggling to survive inside of us. Before birth, a baby grows in the sterile environment of its mother’s womb. Just before delivery, the mother’s cervix dilates about 2 cm which allows bacteria from the birth canal to enter the amniotic fluid in the womb. The baby drinks this fluid and is inoculated with the [...]

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Going Raw

Humans are the only creatures on Earth that cook their food, and apparently they got along quite well before the invention of heating food with fire began approximately 250,000 years ago. Before agricultural societies were established, our ancestors ate what they could find in nature, foraging for plants, and with the invention of tools, hunting for game. Even after the discovery of creating fire, a majority of their food was eaten in its raw natural state. Though they may have succumbed to the stress of the elements and predators, they did not experience the degenerative diseases that modern humans have come to identify as a normal part of life and aging. Early diets were also primarily vegetarian with some sources stating that early humans sought animals for food only when plants were scarce. It wasn’t until the invention of the stone hearth oven in 5000 BC that cooking food became easier and more prevalent. In recent years raw food diets have become more popular as a way of regaining and sustaining health, and the revival of this more natural way of eating is supported by decades of research. In the 1930s (shortly after mandatory pasteurization of milk), Canadian dentist Dr. Weston Price sought to find answers as to why his patients’ children were being born with crowded and decaying crooked teeth which he suspected were due to changes in nutrition. He embarked on a journey to study the diets of 14 primitive populations who enjoyed superior health and perfect teeth. He found that all of them ate a diet of primarily raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds as well as some raw meat or fish, and dairy foods from grass-fed animals. They ate smaller quantities [...]

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Calcium Myths and Mischief

Water and minerals are essential to life. The human body is approximately 72% water and 28% minerals. Humans need at least 78 minerals to maintain health, however calcium may be the least understood mineral when it comes to our health. We are told to take calcium supplements to build strong bones and teeth, yet there is not one shred of evidence to support this practice. Calcium is only one of at least 12 minerals that make up bone including magnesium, silica, potassium, phosphorous, iron, manganese, zinc, sulfur, selenium, boron, chromium, and traces of several other minerals. Calcium supplements such as coral calcium, oyster shells and calcium mined from the Earth cause a mineral imbalance which actually contributes to bone loss and diseases associated with calcification. Toxic levels of inorganic calcium are prevalent in the water supply including tap water, bottled water and some spring water. Dairy products are also high in calcium and should be eaten in moderation in the raw state. Pasteurization destroys vital enzymes needed for digesting the protein and calcium in milk. Calcification is the hardening of body tissues by inorganic calcium salts known as “bad calcium” that form deposits and obstructions that compromise health. In the past, doctors have viewed calcification as a byproduct of disease, however recent research has revealed that calcification is actually the cause of numerous degenerative conditions and is a major factor in aging. Calcification can occur anywhere in the body including the joints, spine, muscles, heart, blood vessels, breasts, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bladder, brain, eyes, glands, skin, eyes, ears, mouth, and reproductive system. The stiffness and decline associated with aging are signs of advanced calcification. Inflammation, pain, hormonal imbalance, poor digestion, immune system disorders and organ [...]

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Superfoods for Super Health Part I

Ancient cultures around the world learned to rely on certain foods in their geographical area for nourishment and survival. Some of these foods were valued for extraordinary properties that enabled the population to thrive in severe environments and provided nutrients and substances that supported healing, strength, stamina, fertility and longevity. Even today, there are a number of locations around the world known as longevity hotspots where the people enjoy diets made up of these special foods and live unusually long, vibrantly healthy lives of 100 years or more. Until recently, many of these foods were unknown to the general population, however, advances in technology and ease of travel have led to the discovery and research of a growing number of these “superfoods” that are now available to us on a global scale. Superfoods are distinguished from other foods  in that they have a dozen or more unique properties that contribute to health and vitality. They offer superior nutrition containing life-supporting protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients of such high potency, that they are considered both a food and a medicine. Superfoods can increase vital force and energy, boost the immune system, balance and enhance hormone and neurotransmitter production, and increase libido and fertility. They also aid in alkalizing, cleansing and detoxifying harmful substances from the body. Superfoods are so nutrient dense, that when eating them less food intake is needed in the diet to satisfy nutritional requirements for health. Superfoods also provide a natural way to obtain essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and other nutrients as nature intended minimizing the need for nutritional supplements. Currently there are approximately 25 known superfoods that are enjoying popularity among health-minded people [...]

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Superfoods for Super Health Part II

Nature has given us a cornucopia of foods to nourish, strengthen, and balance us during times of stress. Foods that are highly valued for their exceptional nutritive and healing properties are known as superfoods. In part one we covered goji berries, spirulina and bee pollen. Now we will look at a few more superfoods that can help us attain optimum health. There are few plants in history that have been as widely used and coveted as the hemp plant. As a member of the mulberry family, hemp originated in Central Asia but has been cultivated across the globe for a multitude of uses. Hemp can grow from 3 to 15 feet in height. It is a hardy plant that can thrive without any herbicides or pesticides making it perhaps the most sustainable of all crops. Its fast growth and large canopy naturally suppress weeds and few pests affect it. Hemp may very well be the oldest industry in the world dating back over 10,000 years in ancient Asia, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, India, Europe, and the Americas. The ancients recognized hempseed as an important food source capable of sustaining life. Buddha was known to eat hempseeds during his fast of enlightenment. Hemp fibers were woven into fabric for clothing and rope which ultimately made sailing possible. Approximately 2,000 years ago the Chinese made the world’s first paper from hemp fibers. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that wood pulp began to replace hemp in the paper industry, even though hemp yields four times the fiber content as wood. This unfortunate choice led to the deforestation of our natural resources. History has shown that hemp paper is preserved for hundreds of years, while wood paper lasts [...]

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Superfoods for Super Health Part III

We are so fortunate to have access to extraordinary superfoods from all over the world that can provide us with superior nutrition to help us grow, heal, balance, and rejuvenate. So far in our superfood series we have covered the wonderful benefits of spirulina, goji berries, bee pollen, hempseeds, cacao (chocolate), and the new superfood anti-aging and repair supplement Laminine for physical and emotional balance. We will now review more superfoods that you may want to enjoy and stock up on for the future. One of the oldest foods on the planet, chlorella emerged in the fresh waters of Earth over 2 billion years ago as the first single-celled plant (microalgae) with a well-defined nucleus. To this day, chlorella contains the highest percentage of chlorophyll of any known plant. Chlorella was first viewed under a microscope in the late 19th century and named from the Greek “chloros” meaning green and “ella” meaning small. Chlorella has been recognized as a high energy food for centuries due to its rich nutrient and chlorophyll content. The best sources of chlorella are cultivated in clean mineral-rich sunlit ponds where solar rays stimulate concentrated chlorophyll production and infuse this superfood with abundant biophotons for life-giving energy. As a whole food, chlorella is 60% protein (compared to 18% to 30% protein from fish, chicken, and beef), containing 18 amino acids including all of the essential amino acids that must be obtained from diet. Chlorella contains essential fatty acids including omega 3, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and over 20 vitamins including A, C, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, E, K, biotin, inositol, and folic acid. It is also a valuable source of bioavailable minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese, molybdenum and [...]

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