What Can You Do Today to Make Tomorrow Healthy?

Posted March 21st, 2012 in Nutrition Articles, Organic Food by Rebecca Lane

I was recently asked to speak at a Women’s Circle about three things that I think are most important to change from a nutritional perspective and I’ve outlined them below. As far as I’m concerned, the foundation of health and treatment of any health concerns revolves around three basic factors: nutrition [steps 1 and 2], elimination of toxins (nutritional [step 3], emotional [stress] and environmental) and exercise. If I could add anything more to my talk, I would have spoken on the importance of daily exercise and creating a daily meditation practice.

Step 1: Increase your daily water intake

Many common health complaints actually stem from chronic dehydration. The most common symptoms include thirst, dry skin, dark colored urine, headaches and fatigue. Other, less know symptoms of dehydration, can include:

  • Digestive disturbances such as heartburn and constipation
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Muscle cramps
  • High cholesterol
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Kidney problems

What kind of water should I drink?

  • Tap water – From the tap, the Town of Newmarket has its water provided by the Region of York and is treated through chloramination (adding chlorine and ammonia). Visit (http://www.newmarket.ca/en/townhall/resourcelibrary/2011WaterQualityReport-Jan202012.pdf) for the full recent report of the contents of Newmarket’s water. Our water is alkaline (avg 8.1 – where neutral is between 6.5 and 7.5) and in addition to the chlorine and ammonia, contains many other chemicals.
  • Bottled water – If you choose instead to drink bottled water, you might want to know that 40% of bottled water is actually bottled tap water! What’s also concerning is that the plastic in the bottles contain a chemical called bisphenol A, a synthetic hormone disruptor that has been linked to serious health problems.  When consumed, the plastic bottles themselves place a huge burden on our landfill.
  • Filtered water – The water in our home is filtered since that’s the most economical and environmentally sound choice. There are three main different types of filters: Reverse Osmosis, Ion Exchange and Carbon Filtration. There’s lots of information available on the benefits of each.
  • Living water – The ideal pH balance of your water should be between 6.5 to 7.5, which is neutral. Distilled water is too acidic and alkaline water is too alkaline (causing problems with low stomach acid pH). Spring water is in this ideal range. It is some of the healthiest water on the planet because it is “living water”. Living water, like living food is in its raw, natural state the way nature intended. We have unlimited access to a free spring located in Mount Albert – here’s the link http://www.findaspring.com/mount-alberts-communal-spring-mount-albert-ontario-canada/. The water is slightly sulphurous and a little murky but tastes delicious

How much water should I drink?

So, how much pure filtered or spring water should you drink per day? One litre? Two?

Here’s a good rule of thumb to determine proper hydration levels: Drink enough water to turn your urine a light-coloured yellow – no odour and very little colour!

Step 2: Increase the amount of veggies and fruit in your diet

Researchers have found that individuals with a high daily intake of vegetables and fruits (about 400 grams per day) demonstrate higher antioxidant levels, lower indicators of free radical-induced damage, and better cognitive performance. Notice that I mention vegetables first because they are FAR more important than fruits.

This ‘high daily intake’ really isn’t much – 400 grams – that’s approximately 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruit. A cup of shredded lettuce, for instance, will weigh about 55 grams. A cup of diced pineapple will weigh about 155 grams.

In my mind the main reason why eating raw, organic vegetables is important is because these “living foods” contain biophotons, small units of light stored by all organic organisms. Vital sun energy finds its way into your cells via the food you eat, in the form of these biophotons. They contain important bio-information, which controls complex vital processes in your body. When you take this vital energy into your body, you are re-charging it with health and encouraging it to return to a whole and balanced state.

Dr. Oz recently did a show that discussed Biophotonic scanning, a testing form that determines the amount of Biophotonic ability of cells (via measuring the level of carotenoids in the skin) – watch the video: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/cancer-fighting-antioxidants-pt-1.

With a bit of planning, it’s relatively easy to get plenty of fresh vegetables into your diet. You can snack on celery filled with raw almond butter, nibble on asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potato rounds, cherry tomatoes or red peppers dipped in hummus made from chick peas, and add leafy greens like spinach and kale to any meal. In the mornings, I make one huge salad for my whole family to take for our lunches. That way I know that between that and whatever fruit I send with them they are getting at least 2 servings of vegetables and fruit for lunch.  And I top my salads with herbs (like parsley, cilantro, lemon balm, peppermint) and sprouts like broccoli and sunflower seed – they add a huge micronutrient burst as well as great flavour.

Other vegetables, like zucchini and turnips, are mild tasting and can be blended into soups and sauces and you’ll never even know they’re there. Grated carrots and lentils can be completely hidden in a tomato sauce that’s delicious over spaghetti squash, or even your favourite rice pasta.

Probably the easiest way to increase your vegetable intake is to juice your vegetables. Fresh, organic, raw vegetable juice is easily digestible by the body and doesn’t damage either the micronutrients or the biophotons. I usually add a source of fat like flax oil or walnut oil to my juice to make it more filling. You may also find that adding some, or even all, of the vegetable pulp into your juice helps to make drinking the juiced vegetables more satisfying. I don’t have a juicer, so will process my veggies and fruits in the blender with some filtered water then filter some of the pulp out with a strainer or cheese cloth. Try adding ginger and lemon too.

Whatever method you choose, juiced or whole, raw or cooked, add at least one more serving of veggies and one of fruit to your meals today.

Step 3: Reduce your sugar, processed foods and grain carbohydrates intake

65% of Americans are overweight and 27% clinically obese. Most of the chronic disease that we see rampant in today’s society is the result of a diet that focuses heavily on sugar and grains. Processed foods are a key cause of the problem. We are addicted to a fast-paced life where hamburgers, fries and a soft drink are a regular meal choice. Not only are they full of preservatives and chemical agents, but they are also full of sugars and starch.

Consuming sugar throws off the body’s equilibrium and cause a variety of harmful metabolic consequences. Some of the most harmful include: suppressing your immune system; feeding cancer cells; causing heightened levels of glucose leading to reactive hypoglycaemia and potentially diabetes, producing a significant rise in bad cholesterol and causing a rapid rise in adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

Grains, even whole unprocessed organic grains, are rapidly broken down by the body and drive insulin and leptin levels up. Spikes of insulin and leptin cause cravings and surges then quick drops in energy that make it difficult for our body to remain in balance.

Any meal or snack high in starchy carbohydrates generates a rapid rise in blood glucose. To adjust for this rise, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin into the bloodstream, which lowers the blood glucose level. Insulin is, though, essentially a storage hormone, developed over millions of years to store the excess calories from carbohydrates in the form of fat in case of famine. With no famine, fortunately, in sight, this storage mechanism has become an important cause of bulging stomachs and fat rolls in thighs and chins. Making matters even worse, high insulin levels suppress two other important hormones — glucagons and growth hormones — that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development, respectively.

So, take a hard look at what you’re eating meal by meal. Look at making changes that take your meal decisions away from boxed and packaged foods, and move you over to the fresh produce aisle. Fresh produce is much less expensive not only today, but for the health of your tomorrows.

(Written with research from http://www.mercola.com various articles)

Alkalising the body for healing

Two Phases of Disease and Health

A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending a META-medicine weekend taught by Richard Flook (www.whyamisick.com). META-medicine combines many energetic tools with the research of German New Medicine (http://www.germannewmedicine.ca/). I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, but if you want to learn more about both or either of these methodologies I encourage you to visit their sites and read Richard’s book (Why Am I Sick) for a new way of looking at disease.

From a nutritional perspective, I wanted to discuss the two phases of disease so that you might be able to understand how our body works with respect to the food it craves.

According to both META-medicine and GNM, after the body undergoes a shock, there are two main phases – stress (immediately after the Significant Emotional Experience 2) followed by rest.

During the stress phase, the body is reacting from the Sympathetic Nervous System programming of fight, or flight. The blood thins, the blood pressure increases – the body is in a state of alertness and needs to be naturally acidic. To maintain this state, the cells are working and need energy. We need energy foods, and supplements or drugs that keep the body in this state of alertness. We crave foods like red meat, dairy, high sugar and salt foods, processed foods (quick energy), drinks like alcohol, caffeine, tea, high energy drinks, supplements such as caffeine tablets, drugs such as cortisone, smoking and chemotherapy. These foods both give quick energy and are acidic.

Activities such as sports, watching certain sports, intensive travel, fighting, arguing, worry all increase acidity further.

In the second phase, our body needs to heal and rest. The body is reacting from the Parasympathetic Nervous System patterns of digesting, relaxing and repair. The blood thickens, the blood pressure drops, the body becomes more alkaline.

To heal, the body needs to eat foods that alkalise, such as vegetables, some fruit, beans, grains and nuts, drinks such as camomile teas and fruit teas, supplements like Magnesium and Selenium.

This rest and regeneration phase is assisted by activities such as massage, meditation, energetic healing, yoga, emotional clearing techniques and naps during the day.

Our diets reflect what we are going through in our lives as well. We are naturally attracted to the foods that our bodies require in order to do the job they need to do. In addition, many of us are eating foods through habit, which keep our bodies stuck in the stress phase. The longer our bodies stay in the stress phase the harder it is to remove all of the toxins built up through the energy production and the break down of the cells.

In our current stressful lifestyles, it often takes the combination of an alkalising diet, meditation and mental clearing, and a detoxification program in order for our bodies to be able to regenerate and heal.

There’s a lot of information available online about alkalising diets, but I personally like best the information from Robert and Shelly Young who wrote The pH Miracle. Their blog is an excellent resource: Articles of Health. And you can get a free list of alkaline foods if you sign in at Energise for Life. A vegetarian diet that focuses on lots of raw and steamed vegetables (juicing is great too as long as you’re eating fibre elsewhere in your diet), sea vegetables, protein from the combination of whole grains (brown rice, kamut, quinoa, oats, teff, spelt, bulgur, amaranth), nuts and seeds, and beans, lentils and peas. Small amounts of fish and chicken can be added once the pH of your saliva starts to stabilize around 7.365. The longer you’ve been living a stress-filled lifestyle, the longer you’ll need to alkalise.

One caveat – If you decide to take alkalising supplements, I strongly recommend that you have the support of a naturopathic or homeopathic practioner. Also, your stomach needs to be acidic in order to digest food so you don’t want to be alkalising within one hour of eating.

Birke Baehr – “What’s Wrong With Our Food System”

Posted February 28th, 2011 in Organic Food by Rebecca Lane

I just finished watching this incredible 11 year old boy Birke Baehr explain what’s wrong with our food system. Totally inspiring, moving and lots of food for thought! Tell me what you think?