Health / Nutrition

One day at a time, chronicles of a ‘faster’

immune system smoothiesSoon into 2014, my friend Lucy and I both decided to do a one day a week juice/smoothie fast.
We decided upon a Monday as the day to do the fast. Having watched recently ’Fat, sick and nearly Dead’, where an Australian man takes only Fruit/vegetable juice for two months, we were inspired.
It seemed as though an all out fast would be too intense and also came with the possible side effects of detoxification symptoms, such as headaches. It seemed taking either juice or smoothies was a half way house, beneficial but not too intense.

I had been doing regular juicing for about three months prior to the initiation phase. I had only just purchased a blender. I thoroughly recommend the ‘Nutri bullet’, it is not too pricey, easy to clean and hardy. For those who have more to spend they could purchase the ‘Vitamix’
It is advisable to use a wide range of Fruits and Vegetables, focusing more upon the vegetables and greens. Also picking a day when you will not be expending too much energy.
So basically on the fast days I would take various combinations. One of my favourite smoothie blends was; pineapple, banana, blueberries, root ginger and leafy greens, delicious.

I honestly felt great on those days. Many times I would find myself having more energy and there was a deep satisfaction and conviction in what I was doing.
Regular fasting has been shown to have many health benefits. Primarily it gives your digestion a break. Even taking smoothies, the food is mulched up, eliminating a lot of the work required by the digestive process. This then allows the body to focus energy upon repair of cells, rather than solely upon digestion.
I developed a keener appreciation of food. It felt very cathartic and healing.
For those of you thinking of taking the plunge, even doing a one day a month fast has so much effect upon the body.
It has become a habit now for me, one I have no intention of breaking.

Shifting use from Plastic to Glass, a shift too far?

drowning-in-plasticWe are literally bombarded with plastic packaging. Even foods which seemingly wouldn’t require it, such as Bananas with their natural packaging, are encased in it.

Plastic is seen as durable, convenient and suitable, correct?

Unfortunately, we are not really told, too loudly, what the hidden costs of this supposed miracle substance is.

Plastic often contains a substance within it called Phthalate. This is used to make the plastic soft and flexible. However the chilling truth is that this substance disrupts the hormones within our bodies. Hormones operate a delicate balance within and a slight deviation can wreck havoc upon our health. In particular with areas such as our fertility. Fertility issues seem to have increased of late and this is in no doubt a factor in that.
Plastic is now known to leach a compound called BPA. This is found in hard plastics in particular, it has been shown to have damaging effects upon the Brain, Breast and Prostate, though without doubt not exclusively those organs.

On the other side we have Glass.

image of glassGlass is impermeable, which means no damaging substances have the ability to seep through to any product. It can last a long time, excluding if it happens to shatter. Yes, that is perhaps its main perceived down fall, its risk of breakage.
I personally would rather take that little bit extra care with a glass bottle than run the risks of using plastic.

In some cases we can’t control the packaging, but one area we can control is what we use to drink from. We can choose to use a glass bottle through which to drink our water from as opposed to a Plastic bottle.

Doesn’t it even taste nicer, drinking from Glass?

Maybe some food for thought there? You can reuse your Glass bottle, time and time again, without any health fears. You can put your filtered water in the Glass bottle daily, saving you having to buy the overpriced Plastic water bottles.

On an additional note, all you Mothers out there, you can also consider using a Glass bottle for feeding your babies.

Go Glass, let’s nurture our health through choosing Glass over Plastic!

Herbs v drugs, our current Health care system.

Herbs v drugs, our current Health care system.

herbs-drugs-medWow, this is a huge topic and one I will happily get my teeth into.

Herbs can be traced back to ancient times, some say even as far back as 60,000 years. Many traditions and cultures have utilized their medicinal qualities and kept records attesting to this.

The use of drugs however is a more recent venture, having come into existence in the 19th Century or thereabouts.

In many cases a drug, for example aspirin, is derived from a herb, in this case Willow  A drug is an element of that herb, supposedly the active ingredient in the mix.  However, there is an innate intelligence within  nature.  The whole herb carries within it aspects which, when removed, result in the often found ‘Side effects’, found in the average drug.  In essence, the herb buffers those side effects from existing. Ordinarily, when consumption of the herb is kept to the recommended amount, there are few, if any, side effects.

Could I ask a question then, why are drugs the preferred choice and herbs seen as the poor relation?

Simply put, it boils down to the power and persuasion of the Drug Industry.

A herb simply can not be patented.  No patent, no money, simple as….

For every ail there is a drug and in my mind there is also a far safer, more effective herb.

My main problem is this, why shouldn’t we, the consumer have the right to choose?

We pay for our health care through our National Insurance, why then should our health care be dictated to us?

I dream of the day when we go and can choose whether we see a doctor or a Naturopath, we choose whether we want to be treated with drugs or with herbs.

As it stands we have to pay out of our pockets for anything which is not condoned by our health care system, I would love to see this change.

I am not dismissing the important role of Doctors and Nurses, I am merely advocating a new system of Health care,

My road to Veganism

I became Vegetarian around about 12 years ago.eat to be vegan images

I recall the exact moment that it struck me as disgusting to take a piece of chicken.  It was as though it was the first ever time I consciously thought that I was  eating an animal as opposed to mere food.  An awakening perhaps.

I started reading a lot about the Dairy industry and it started to shatter any previous information I had heard or read about Dairy.  I became disgusted and horrified at what actually was contained in milk, namely Pus and Growth factors.  After that it wasn’t the same and I had to be strong in my stance of no meat and dairy.

Growth factors are great for a new born calf, needing to grow, possibly not as great for a fully grown human.  The dairy industry is shrouded in what would appear to be a mirage of lies.  Dairy was even isolated as a separate food category, it appeared to warrant such importance for our overall health.

I suppose  it angers and outrages me that such a food can be endemic in a large proportion of our food stuffs, without our having a say in that.  Yes, we have choice in which foods to buy, but in some cases it is exceptionally hard for the average person to access foods without some form of Dairy in them.   This food is categorized as a healthy food when I would beg to differ and call it the complete opposite.  If that were not enough of an argument the mere treatment or inhumane treatment of the animals in the meat industry would be the icing on the cake.  It is as though these animals are not even entitled to dignity, respect or consideration.

My mind is set on being Vegan.  It is a balanced diet if one takes care, attention to Vitamin B12 and sometimes Iron may be needed.  It is a highly alkaline diet, rich in the foods close to nature. One obviously needs to make sure that it abounds with plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes and certain grains, nuts and seeds.I certainly feel healthy on this diet and would highly recommend it.

Perhaps this article will open eyes to the possibilities that firstly a vegan diet is achievable and secondly that it can be balanced.

The Top 10 Anti-Cancer Vegetables

If you haven’t noticed, we are constantly bombarded with pleas from charities for cancer research money.

“Race for the Cure, Stand Up to Cancer, Buy Pink products, grow a Movember mustache….”

This is often accompanied by the message that “we are running out of funding for cancer research”. And of course this is a problem, because “without funding for more research, we will never find a cure”.

Cue the shots of bald women and children poisoned by chemo, accompanied by dramatic music. Then insert a high-profile celebrity to say, “The cure is just around the corner.
Together we can make cancer history. Please give today.”

Here’s the reality. The mega billion dollar pharmaceutical industry has plenty of money to fund research, they would just prefer that you fund it with your donations instead of theirs.

Real problem #1 They are running out of your money.

Real problem #2 They are only interested in medicines they can patent.

Real problem #3 Research on nutrition and natural therapies is ignored.

There are literally thousands of published peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that the 100,000+ phytonutrients in plants have the ability to prevent and reverse cancer.
But because the pharmaceutical industry can’t figure out how to extract these compounds, synthesize them, and patent them for profit, they are ignored.

Doctors can’t even use this published information or they risk losing their license.

But you can!

One of my favorite studies was published in Food Chemistry, January 2009 called,
“The antiproliferative and antioxidant activities of common vegetables: A comparative study”

The title is so boring I almost fell asleep typing it, but hold on, because the results are awesome.

Researchers studied the inhibitory (cancer-stopping) effects of 34 vegetable extracts
on 8 different tumor cell lines.

They basically just ran vegetables through a juicer and then dripped the extracted juice on different cancer cells to see what would happen. Here’s what they found…

The #1 most powerful anti-cancer food was Garlic.

Garlic stopped cancer growth COMPLETELY against these tumor cell lines:

Breast cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer,
childhood brain cancer, and stomach cancer.

Leeks were #1 against kidney cancer. Garlic was #2.

But not just garlic and leeks, almost all vegetables from the Allium and Cruciferous families completely stopped growth in the various cancers tested. Here they are:

Allium vegetables: Garlic, Leeks, Yellow and Green Onions

Does green tea really help you lose weight? Yes! Here’s how

 

Woman-Sip-Coffee-Tea-Cup(NaturalNews) While many people turn to extreme dieting measures and toxic prescription meds for weight loss, the answer may be as simple as brewing up a cup of green tea. If you’re wondering, “Does green tea really help you lose weight?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Read on to learn about the many health and weight loss benefits of incorporating green tea into your diet.

Green Tea and Weight Loss

Research has long indicated that green tea fights heart disease, cancer and other diseases. But its fat-fighting powers may have been underestimated until a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that people who drank tea fortified with green tea extract lost more weight than those who simply drank regular oolong tea. (1)

Why? Even though oolong tea, black tea and green tea come from the same plant, green tea leaves are fermented differently. Because they don’t oxidize prior to steaming and drying, green tea leaves retain more beneficial polyphenols called catechins. (2) Not only do these have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers, but they also trigger a trim-down by increasing the body’s calorie-burning process.

In particular, a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has the ability to accelerate weight loss. When combined with green tea’s natural caffeine content, EGCG stimulates the central nervous system and transforms fat into fuel in the blood stream in a process known as thermogenesis. While caffeine and EGCG each cause thermogenesis on their own, they have an enhanced effect when combined.

While everyone’s metabolism is different, one fact remains consistent: Drinking green tea can kick your metabolism into overdrive. In fact, research from the University of Chicago suggests that drinking green tea may result in as much as a 21 percent reduction in body weight. These results have been attributed to everything from decreased appetite to green tea’s ability to regulate excess triglycerides and help stabilize blood sugar. (3)

Green Tea and Exercise
While exercising and eating right are an essential part of any weight loss program, green tea also adds a beneficial boost to your fitness regimen. Catechins stimulate muscles and fatty acid consumption, slowing down the rate at which your body uses carbohydrates. The longer these carbohydrates stay in your body, the longer you will be able to exercise and burn calories. (4)

Incorporating Green Tea Into Your Diet
The benefits of drinking green tea are not affected by the addition of natural flavors, so if plain green tea doesn’t satisfy your palette, feel free to add a flavor boost. Whether you prefer pomegranate or crave cranberry, you can enjoy the flavor you love without sacrificing the benefits of green tea.

Artificial sweeteners and sugars, meanwhile, can add calories and chemicals while interfering with the performance of catechins. Steer clear of these to maximize weight loss.

While the flavor of tea may not matter, the brand of tea does. Because green tea is not a significant source of vitamins or minerals, it’s important to seek out selections which incorporate all natural ingredients. As preservatives can also cancel out the health benefits of green tea, avoid these as well.

And keep in mind that, while tea generally doesn’t go bad, its antioxidant powers will diminish over time, so use tea bags and loose tea within six months.

Some Like It Hot
While there’s nothing quite like a refreshing glass of iced tea on a hot summer day, think twice before chilling your next glass. Even though hot and iced tea share all the same ingredients, ice may dilute the effects of green tea. For the most slenderizing sipping, stick with hot tea.

No Time For Tea?
On-the-go types who don’t have time to sit and sip can still get in on the weight loss benefits of green tea. In fact, when added to water, green tea extract can deliver the same sought-after weight loss as up to 10 cups of green tea.

Although drinking green tea may not provide the immediate results of prescription and OTC weight loss products, it offers beneficial and lasting lifestyle change. Even better? It does so without compromising your most valuable commodity: your health.

Sources:


1) http://ajcn.nutrition.org

2) http://www.womenshealthmag.com

3) http://www.colonhealth.net

4) http://www.fitday.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045492_green_tea_lose_weight_epigallocatechin_gallate.html#ixzz34qA4CAay

How Fasting Can Repair Damage To Your Immune System Caused By Ageing Or Cancer

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The scientific evidence that fasting can be beneficial to our health is mounting.

Previous studies have shown that starving yourself for a limited time can help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, now a new study claims that fasting can aid your immune system.

Research has shown fasting for at least two days regenerates immune systems damaged by ageing or cancer treatment.