Posts tagged exercise

3 Secret Weapons Against Stress, Inflammation, and Insomnia by Shelli Stein

3 Secret Weapons Against Stress, Inflammation, and Insomnia by Shelli Stein

You probably already know that inflammation, stress, and lack of sleep aren’t good for you. You may not know, however, that these things have a huge impact on your cells.

More specifically, they all affect the length of your telomeres—which can actually affect the length of your life.

What are Telomeres?

In 2000, a young doctor asked molecular biologist Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn a rather simple question: Does length matter?

Dr. Blackburn’s research, which focused on the role that DNA tips—called telomeres—play in the ability to replicate, eventually earned her a Nobel Prize.

But no one had connected this process to stressful and important life events.

Today, though, the science is clear: Shorter telomeres are associated with dead and dying cells. Short telomeres also suggest a person is susceptible to age-related diseases and even early mortality.

So let’s take a look at what we can do to keep our telomeres LONG so we live a long and healthy life!

What Shortens Telomeres?

Taking care of our telomeres means first understanding what outside factors affect them. These factors are simpler than you might think.

But we should also understand a bit more about what they do.
Telomeres protect the useful, programmed parts of our DNA—which, in turn, affect when our cells divide, or make new cells.

Every time a cell divides, it must make a full copy of its DNA. To do this, the DNA unwinds into smaller, easier-to-copy units called chromosomes. However, when each chromosome is copied, the process cuts off some of the end pieces.

Think of telomeres as those plastic tips on shoelaces that prevent the laces from unraveling. With each cycle, a little bit of telomere DNA gets lost, but the important coding DNA is protected.

Cell division is a natural cause of telomere shortening that we can’t control. We can, however, manage some everyday stressors that shorten our telomeres faster than usual.

Which outside factors affect telomeres the most? Keeping clear of the top three stressors listed below will not only improve your telomere length, but also your overall health.

Top Three Stressors
Inflammation
Stress
Lack of sleep

1. Inflammation is triggered by your body’s defense system fighting off anything it believes is hurting you. This includes germs, chemicals, and radiation.
In a study funded by the National Institute of Health in 2010, chronic inflammation had a significant correlation with shortened telomere length. It was the first large-scale study to show evidence that telomere length can relate to increased amounts of inflammation.

In past articles, I have recommended fighting unwanted inflammation with a healthy diet. I think that’s the easiest and most direct approach to keep systemic inflammation in check.

2. That stress can wreak havoc on your body should come as no surprise. But did you know that psychological stress also boosts inflammation and can speed up the cell-division process?
In a large German study, people with post-traumatic stress disorder had telomeres that were much shorter than those without the disorder. Some studies have also been done on childhood trauma and indicate this sort of stress also shortens your telomeres. This backs up my belief that it is never too soon to start taking care of your stress levels.

3. Sleep is an often-overlooked factor in our overall health. Sleep can help alleviate stress by reducing the production of stress hormones. Sleep also relaxes your blood vessels, which helps your heart, and reduces inflammation.
Several scientists have studied telomere length in people who sleep for different lengths of time. In one recent study done by the University College of London and Cardiff Metropolitan University, telomeres appeared to be shorter in people getting less than five hours of sleep per night compared with those sleeping seven or more hours per night.

These studies do not show us, though, whether less sleep led to shorter telomeres or if shorter telomeres led to insomnia. What we do know is that poor-quality sleep can produce chemicals that lead to inflammation, which is one of the main culprits in shortening telomeres.

While there are many other stressors that shorten telomeres (more than we have room to discuss here), we also have three simple ways to protect and even lengthen your telomeres.

Top Three Protectors
Antioxidants
Exercise
Vitamin D

1. Antioxidants are a class of chemicals known for fighting cancer and other ailments. Antioxidants also help blood vessels expand and regulate the flow of blood. Vitamin C is one type of antioxidant. Other antioxidants include vitamin E, beta-carotene, and selenium.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants can help preserve your telomeres and improve your health in other ways as well. A 2008 study published in the International Journal of Cancer discovered that women with low antioxidant intake had shorter telomeres and an increased risk of breast cancer.

Getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet is simple. Some antioxidant-rich foods include chocolate (the darker, the better), blueberries, red wine, tomatoes, and broccoli. I’m sure you have some of your own favorite antioxidant-rich foods, as well.

2. The top recommendation on my annual list of ways to improve your health is movement. (See here.) Regular exercise reduces stress, releases endorphins, improves brain function, and improves cardiovascular health. And it turns out, exercise also lengthens telomeres!
Last year, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco tested the relationship between exercise (along with other lifestyle changes) and telomere length. Participants who walked at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day for six days each week lengthened their telomeres about 10%. Participants also improved their diet, reduced stress, and increased social support.
Please notice that participants did not need overly strenuous exercise to improve their health. Even yoga and gardening can count toward your daily movement requirements.

3. The next telomere enhancer on my list might surprise you, or maybe not. The sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, is associated with telomere length. Vitamin D inhibits cell proliferation (how fast your cells grow and divide).

A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a positive association between high vitamin D concentrations and longer telomeres. Although the study shows a correlation and not a direct cause and effect, we know vitamin D reduces cell division in white blood cells (the cells used in most telomere studies), so it may have a direct role in preserving telomeres.

The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. Do what I do and go for a walk every day to get natural sunlight. People who live in areas that don’t get much sun in the winter can become deficient in vitamin D. In those cases, dietary supplements may be necessary.

How Long Are My Telomeres?

Measuring telomeres is a complicated process. Companies like SpectraCell and Life Length will charge a few thousand dollars for the test and require about five milliliters of blood. That’s about one teaspoon.

Tests like these are still relatively new, so their precision and usefulness in diagnostics are still being evaluated. If you are interested in getting your telomeres checked, talk to your doctor or go online to read more.

Here’s the bottom line, though: Research on the importance of telomere length keeps increasing. The good news is we now have scientific evidence showing how we can preserve and lengthen our telomeres. Reduce your stress, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like leafy green vegetables and berries.

Follow the suggestions I’ve outlined here, and you’ll find yourself on your way to improving the quality of your life by increasing the length of your telomeres.

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Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy in the Colder Months by Herbal Papaya

Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy in the Colder Months by Herbal Papaya

http://www.herbalpapaya.com

The colder months provide us with a certain nostalgia, of changing foliage and winter wonderland memories. Don’t let this cold season be tainted with feeling less than your best.

As the weather gets colder and more friends start getting the flu, it’s time to take a step back and look into what we should be doing for our own health this holiday season.

You may hear time and time again that your body is a temple and you should treat it as such, but have you taken the time to think about what that means for your busy lifestyle?

The following tips for staying healthy in the colder months may come as obvious to you, but really think about if you do in fact focus on these parts of your health every week. Sometimes we need a simple reminder in the form of a blog post to get us back on track and thinking about putting our health first.

You’ll notice that this guide to staying healthy is not just about nutrition, although that’s a big part of it. Health begins with a balance of wellness in both the mind and body.

If you’re eating nutritious food but constantly stressed about little things at work, you will not reach your full healthy potential. Likewise, if you’re starting to exercise everyday but never getting enough sleep at night, you probably won’t feel at all energized or happy the next day.

Read through this list, take it in, and start to realize how interconnected every aspect of our mind and body are in terms of health. Try to hit each one of these goals for a month straight and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. It may seem like a lot of different aspects to focus on right now, but once you get into the habit, you will thank yourself later.

Hydration is Key

Hydration, hydration, hydration…hydration. The fact is, it’s hard for the average person to stay properly hydrated throughout the day, to reach that impossible 8 glasses of water.

The best advice I can give you is it’s all about making it a habit. When you wake up, have a glass of water with your morning coffee. Before you go to bed at night, drink a glass of water. Instead of reaching for that coke at lunchtime, you guessed it, reach for water instead.

Some people have a hard time enjoying the taste (or lack thereof) of water. If you’re one of those, opt for sparkling flavored water or hot tea.

Goal: Stay conscious of how much water your getting a day, and always try to one up yourself until you reach your personal goal of water intake.

Focus on a Nutritious Diet

The winter can be the hardest time to have a nutritious diet, there are so many indulgences around this time of the year it’s very easy to slip into bad habits.

Instead of the the warm comfort foods or canned overly-salted soups that are taunting you, try making your own soups and stews from home with fresh winter vegetables that have a high amount of vitamins and nutrients. Sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and beetroot are all great winter vegetables to try in a soup.

It’s great if your diet also includes plenty of legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and uses a lot of herbs and spices to round it out.

Try to eliminate sugar as much as possible – I realize this is easier said than done with the giant more chocolate popping up in the grocery store these days.

Goal: Try to go a whole month with little to no sugar in your diet (before Christmas!) and make 2 new homemade soups with delicious winter vegetables.

Exercise Regularly

There’s no doubt about it, it’s hard to exercise regularly as it starts getting colder outside. Your body’s natural response is to curl up under mountains of blankets and watch Netflix marathons while sipping hot cocoa.

I get it, I really do, but you have to start thinking about your body too! If it’s more attractive, think of moving your exercise indoors where it’s warmer. At the gym, or at home with weights, or a yoga mat and your ability to do jumping jacks. Whatever will keep you moving, do that.

If you’re more of the runner type or still want to spend time moving around outdoors, make sure to spend extra time warming up your joints inside to avoid any unnecessary strains or discomforts.

Goal: Exercise 3x a week for 1-2 hours at a time. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out a few different types of exercise – both indoors and outdoors – to see what motivates you the most.

Reduce Stress

Stress takes everything happy out of your life and puts it into a pinhole perspective of negativity. And ironic enough, the most stressful time of the year is usually around the holidays.

A small amount of stress can be good and keep you motivated to do what you need to get done. For the most part; however, stress is a very, very bad thing to give into.

Some of us lead much more stressful lives than others, usually depending on our socioeconomic status or our careers. Regardless of your amount of stress in life, there are always ways to at least try to reduce it or combat it completely. A lot of those de-stressing tactics use the idea of mindfulness.

Taking a step back to survey your life and the root of your stress, can be incredibly successful in making you realize either how unimportant that stressful item is in the scheme of things, or how unhelpful stress is in working through the issue.

Goal: Take up a mindfulness hobby this month – whether that be yoga, meditation, or singing away your blues in the shower. Whatever works for your personality and gets you out of your stress bubble.

Get Enough Sleep

This is such an important tip to follow in life, and one that’s hard to adhere to sometimes in our busy lives. Sleep allows your body to recover and renew.

Similar to an iPhone that’s low on battery charge and stressing you out with the chance it could shutdown on you, your body can get overwhelmed mentally and physically a lot quicker with a lack of sleep.

Everybody is different in the amount of sleep you need, and it also depends on how active you are on a day-to-day basis. In general, it’s best to set aside 7-9 hours of sleep a night for your body to rest and feel good the next day.

Goal: For the next month, never dip below 7 hours of sleep. Download an app such as SleepCycle onto your phone, which records your sleep patterns and gives you insight on how your sleep could be better depending on your lifestyle.

Wash Your Hands

You may think this as a way too obvious recommendation, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a public bathroom stall, heard the stall door open next to me and footsteps echoing out the door without a squeeze of soap or a hint of water spilled from the faucet.

That my friends, is what I call gross. And more importantly, unsanitary. So many germs are spread from not washing our hands before cooking, after taking out the trash, and yes, even after using the bathroom.

Take that extra minute to let the tap warm up and use hot soapy water to wash your hands properly.

Goal: This should be a life goal – always wash you hands after using the bathroom. That goes for you too, guys!

Boost Immunity

Although a nutritious diet is one of the most important gifts you can give to your body, sometimes you need an extra little kick in immunity as well. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how you can boost immunity and why it’s important to do so.

Immunity makes your body strong to fight against those viruses and seasonal attacks that can be so nasty once they get inside your body.

However, there are a variety of ways you can go about boosting your immunity depending on your preference. Echinacea, garlic, vitamin C, and zinc are also great for supporting a healthy immune system, whether you decide to take supplements or find them in fresh foods.

It could also be the time to start thinking about getting that flu shot if you haven’t already yet.

Goal: Focus on boosting your immunity once a day through herbal tea, food that contains one of the immune boosting elements above, or through a daily supplement.

Stay in Contact With Loved Ones

Don’t you always feel a rush of contentment or happiness after a long catch-up on the phone with a friend/mom/dad/you name it that you really love?

How about when you get a surprise postcard in the mail from your daughter who’s living across the country right now? How about just making a house call to your grandma who lives down the street?

Again, with busier and busier lives in the modern age, we sometimes push these interactions to the side and justify it by saying we’ll see them at the holiday.

Not only is life short and we’ll never truly know how much time we have with our loved ones, but these interaction provide you with a type of social proof and acceptance that makes you feel part of a community. This is very important to our mental wellbeing as humans.

In other words, these connections make you feel loved and respected, they tend to make you have a positive outlook on life, and thus provide you with a healthy mindset. Plus, it never hurts to make other around you feel nice and fuzzy inside.

Goal: Send a few handmade notes in the mail this month to people you respect and love, just to say hi and let them know you’re thinking of them.

Surround Yourself with Natural Light

Did you know that on average about 4 to 6 percent of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD? Up to 10 to 20 percent of people can have a mild version of it, and SAD is also four times more common in women than it is in men.

There are a few ways to combat this type of seasonal depression, but one of the best ways is through light therapy. You can do this by purchasing a light box and/or surrounding yourself in places that provide a lot of natural lighting.

I’m attracted to places with a lot of natural light because I know it makes me feel happy, whether that be in a new cafe or the apartment that I choose to lease. I’m not the minority in thinking this way either, natural light has proven to be effective it making people feel content, happy, productive, and even inspired creatively.

Unfortunately, with the colder months and the lessening sunshine, natural light isn’t always possible or easily accessible. When this happens, try out a light box and see if it makes a difference in your overall wellbeing this winter.

Goal: Find a new cafe to go to in the morning that has great natural light, and notice if it makes you feel overall more happy when you start your day there.

– – – – – – – –

As I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, our happiness and wellbeing our interlinked by a multitude of aspects in life pertaining to our health. I hope you’ll try out a few of these tips and notice a difference this holiday season in your energy levels and health.

As Andy Williams once said, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Don’t let poor health spoil a time meant for appreciating your family, friends, and the little things in life that make us happy.

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Get Your Digestive Tract Back on Track After Holiday Indulgence by Herbal Papaya

Get Your Digestive Tract Back on Track After Holiday Indulgence
by Herbal Papaya

http://www.herbalpapaya.com

Don’t let overindulgence get you down this holiday season! If you can’t resist the excess, follow these tips to find a healthy balance again in your life.

We always recommend moderation as the best course of action for most aspects in life, but the holidays are a difficult time not to indulge, unless you have self-control of steel.

We’re not here to judge anyone for what they want to indulge in this holiday season. Instead, we’d like to help you out if you happen to go a little overboard at that holiday work party coming up.

We’re only human and it happens to the strictest of us, but it’s important to focus on what to do once the damage is done. Don’t make indulgence a habit, but be proactive about owning up to it and supporting your body through the worst.

Why, might you ask, is our digestive system such an important component to our health? Well besides feeling crummy after indulging in too rich or too much food, a healthy digestive system is the key to longevity and preventing degenerative issues later in life from a buildup of toxins.

If you’re just unable to resist another serving of your favorite holiday foods (for the 3rd time today), never fear! We have you covered to get you back on track and ready for the new year, feeling healthier and happier than ever.

Herbal Tea

Avoiding caffeine and hitting the herbal tea can be one of the best ways to support your immune system and flush out the bad toxins in your body.

Mint, chamomile, and lemon grass teas are especially great for a variety of health benefits, but most importantly, they all aid your digestive system in some way.

Herbal teas are also a good way to increase your hydration, but make sure to also be drinking more water on a regular basis around the holidays if you’re prone to overeating or drinking alcohol excessively.

Papaya Seeds

Sometimes what you need after a night or week of indulgence is a complete detox. Papaya seeds are a smart choice for liver detoxification after one too many mulled wines, hot toddies, or glasses of champagne.

In addition to their liver cleansing capabilities, papaya seeds are also great for digestion because they’re high in the natural enzyme, papain.

Green Smoothies/Juices

Speaking of detox, green smoothies and juices are another option to consider for cleansing out your system. They not only help with digestion and moving toxins out of your body, but replenish you with a variety of helpful and important nutrients.

Get creative and try your own version of a green smoothie, mixing and matching a few of the best ingredients for digestion, such as pineapples, ginger, parsley, avocados, lemon juice, celery, spinach, flax seeds, and cucumbers.

Natural Enzymes

Pineapples and papayas are perfect digestion aids due to their rich natural enzymes in the form of bromelain and papain, respectively. They are both important enzymes for breaking down the nutrients that our daily food intake provides us with.

Focusing on finding the best natural enzymes to help with digestion can provide relief from issues such as gas, stomachaches, and even constipation and diarrhea.

Fiber-Rich Foods

A lot of holiday type meals lack a very important piece to a heathy digestive tract – fiber! Without fiber your digestive system actually slows down and it takes longer for foods, and the toxins that may come with them, to get through your body.

Get your fill of fiber-rich foods during and after the holidays to keep your digestive tract at optimal health. Fiber-rich foods include bran, beans, berries, sweet peas, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, squash, wholesome whole grains, and a variety of every day fruits.

Ginger

As you may have noticed from a lot of our articles, ginger is a very powerful addition to any healthy diet. Ginger is great for digestion because it speeds up the journey of food from the stomach to the small intestine. It is also known for balancing gastric juices.

Ginger is the perfect remedy if you suffer from bloating issues, intestinal gas, or a regular upset stomach from rich foods.

Fermented Foods

The big secret to why fermented foods are a great comeback for digestive health after the holidays is because of the stress that comes with the season.

Stress is horrible for digestion. It actually has the power to destroy the healthy bacteria in your large intestine. If you’re prone to stress around this time of the year, think about taking a probiotic supplement, or even better, eating a few fermented foods on a regular basis.

Plain yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi are great to add to your diet for increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in your system.

Work Out

This suggestion is perhaps one of the more obvious ones, but working out is always a great response to bad eating habits and holiday-induced stress.

Working up a sweat not only helps your metabolism, but increases your energy levels and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.

If you just had a huge meal, don’t get out and immediately do strenuous exercise for the next hour. Instead, think about walking around the block instead of giving into the tryptophan drowsiness. By doing this you can reduce your chance of heartburn and support a speedy digestion while you’re at it.

What do you do to overcome holiday indulgence? How do you prefer to detox your body throughout the end of the year?

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How To Tell When Your Diet Isn’t Working – by Frederic Patenaude

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How To Tell When Your Diet Isn’t Working – by Frederic Patenaude

Let me start off by asking you a simple question: do you feel you’re getting the best results from your current food program?

After all, we all want the same things: increased energy, a fit body, to live longer and healthier, avoid and heal health challenges, and attain a sound nutritional approach to the way we eat and live.

Sometimes it happens that you may be doing well for a while with your diet, but imperceptibly you move away from the results you’re looking for, and sooner or later you realize, “this diet isn’t working for me anymore!”

Nobody wants to have to go through this experience, so here are some warning signs to watch out for and what to do about them.

1. Cravings

It’s perfectly normal to experience cravings for cooked and processed foods when you transition to a mostly raw or all raw diet. The problem comes to be when these cravings persist and don’t go away, or they are so powerful they are difficult to control.

In my experience, there are two causes for cravings: nutritional and emotional. I will review nutritional causes now, as emotional causes are much more complex and beyond the scope of this article.

However I will say that emotions and your food do go hand-in-hand, and identifying the emotional triggers and reasons why you eat what you do can help you attain a healthier, more conscious approach to eating.

Nutritional causes are fairly simple: if you’re not eating enough calories from fruits and vegetables, you *are* going to crave cooked and processed foods. At least eventually.

The trick is to be able to consume enough fruits to get your calories, without consuming more fat than you need to (and at the same time consuming enough greens for minerals).

Eating enough vegetables and other nutritionally-dense foods is important as well.

Some cravings stem from the body’s cry for minerals or certain nutrients. Everybody has a much different history and intake of specific vitamins and minerals in their lives, and our body’s all have varying amounts and stores of them.

So follow your intuition if you’re craving something for a nutritional reason, which only you can decide for yourself.

Eating too much fat also has a tendency to slow the body down and cause cravings, typically for starchy or sweet foods.

Just eating enough calories on a daily basis to support your body is usually enough to keep cravings away, but if you find yourself craving something particular over a period of time, use your own head.

2. No Energy to Exercise

If you have no energy to exercise, or are not making progress in your fitness program, it’s likely because you’re not consuming enough calories and/or you are consuming too much fat/not getting the right minerals.

An energy deficit will be obvious when you follow a fitness program. If you’re barely consuming enough fruits and vegetables to meet your dietary needs, you can’t expect to have extra energy to exercise.

People often tend to “under-estimate” the amount of fruits and vegetables they need to eat to support themselves, and “over-estimate” the amount of fat that they need to eat. This combination leaves people feeling sluggish and tired.

3. Waking Up in the Morning Tired

Waking up in the morning still tired is also a sign that your diet may not be balanced.

Many people experience this on a raw food diet after overdoing the avocados and nut butter. So if you’re experiencing the morning fog, I recommend you look at how much fat you’re eating and if it’s in the right amounts for you.

You may experiment with eating just low-fat fruits/vegetables for several nights, and finishing your meal several hours before bed, and see if that has on impact on your energy levels.

Chances are that you’ll start waking up in the morning much more refreshed and energetic!

4. Inability to Maintain Weight

Two things can happen here. Either you haven’t been able to *release* the weight you were carrying around in excess, or you’re getting thinner than you’d like to be.

In the first case, if you’re still struggling to reach your ideal weight, even though you’ve transitioned to a raw food diet, you may simply have the wrong nutritional and lifestyle approach.

Releasing excess weight is a taxing process on the body and needs to be allowed the proper amount of time to happen.

Everyone will need to eat slightly different combinations and amounts of foods to feel their best too, so I encourage you to trust your body and not invest everything into a “guru” to tell you what to eat!

If you’re getting thinner than you’d like to, know that the best thing you can do is to combine strength training (basically lifting weights or high-resistance bodyweight exercises) and eating plenty of food. More than you may be used to.

If you wish to gain significant muscle mass, you can, even on a raw food diet.

But you’ll need a good training program and to consume the right amounts and combinations of calories and nutrients to get the results you want.

5. You’re Confused

Another sign that you may be heading towards a diet “disaster” is having the feeling of confusion and doubt. Eventually, that feeling may intensify and lead you to either give up entirely or spend all sorts of time and money trying other programs that won’t work either.

The solution to this is to gain sufficient knowledge to avoid this confusion, go to the root of emotional issues behind food, and find a group of people for community and support that can provide you with constant encouragement and inspiration to continue on the path of radiant health.

And ultimately if you still find yourself confused, listen to your own needs. You know them better than anybody.

What have been your experiences with changes in your diet, cravings, or any other roadblocks you faced in your diet journeys?

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The Raw Food Digestive Curse – by Frederic Patenaude

My friend, Frederic, has offered my readers some great deals on his products that will be offered for a limited time. Please don’t delay! Check them out below this article.

The Raw Foodist’s Digestive Curse? by Frederic Patenaude

I’ve had a lot of personal experience in the raw food movement. Much of my adult life I’ve been actively seeking information and learning from others on the topic of nutrition and raw foods.

Over those years, I’ve heard many things said about what is the healthiest way to eat, how your body supposedly reacts to certain foods, and what is the healthiest type of water to drink, among many other things.

One thing that always caught my attention was the digestion people experienced on a raw food diet, and how a raw food diet may impact this.

Raw Foodists and Digestion

Any health-orientated person has taken a greater interest in their digestion, or how your body utilizes and absorbs nutrients from the food you eat, once they started to get in tune with how largely it impacts how you feel.

We all know the feeling of a sour stomach, and when your stomach isn’t happy, it’s hard to think about anything else.

Raw foodists, Natural Hygienists, and many Indian and Eastern health philosophies all put an emphasis on the importance of digestion.

Some stress the importance of eating certain foods together at the same time, or specifically not eating specific foods together at one time.

Food combining has been written about for decades now, and is something I personally used to follow relatively rigidly for many years.

Specifically the Natural Hygiene approach to food combining, like not eating melons with other foods, acid foods with sweet foods, and so on.

The Digestion Industry

Digestion has become so important to the general public now that it’s become a bit of a food-marketing gimmick.

Everything from probiotic-boosted green powders to endless brews of kombucha and lacto-fermented yogurts line the shelves of most grocery stores and supermarkets today, all touting a specific amount and strain of probiotic bacteria.

They’re sold promising improving the balances of bacteria in your intestinal tract, in-turn allowing you better digestion, sharper mental performance, clearer skin, etc. etc.

I think to a large degree, some of the benefits of these specific strains of bacteria and the packaged foods that are “boosted” with them are overall exaggerated to market them.

Naturally fermented foods like raw kombuchas, kimchi, and sauerkraut are much more likely to have truly beneficial bacteria in them vs. powder-boosted items too.

You can make these foods in your own home from your own garden!

It’s also questionable as to how many of the once-living probiotics actually survive from the time of packaging to you eating it, after transit and shelf-time.

I’m not saying that they may not offer some benefit to your digestion, but I feel that truly healthy gut flora starts with an otherwise healthy gut via eating and living healthfully, not a reliance on supplemental bacteria from packaged foods.

Some raw foodist will go as far as buying digestive enzymes in powdered form to supplement the enzymes everyone’s body naturally produces.

This could be a topic for a whole other article, but for now I’ll just say that the body produces all the digestive enzymes you need perfectly fine by itself, given you take care of it.

The Raw Curse

There is something that at one time felt like a phenomenon, but now just makes more logical sense as a natural progression of human adaption.

“The raw curse” is something I’ve written about in my books, “The Raw Food Controversies” and “The Raw Secrets”.

One thing I noticed amongst fellow raw-food-enthusiasts was that there seemed like a predictable decline in digestive abilities the longer they followed a strict raw food diet.

The longer they followed a raw food diet, the less ability they had to digest any other foods than raw foods.

The longer they followed that path, the types of raw foods they ate started being limited, too.

In many circles, you see people eating mostly mono-meals of one type of sweet fruit and tender, leafy greens, for most of their food intake. These are among the easiest foods for the digestive system to digest, as they are mostly composed of simple sugars.

This is a good and a bad thing.

There are valuable nutrients in fruits and tender leafy vegetables that can be easily absorbed by just eating them as they naturally come to you, from the garden or your nearest produce aisle.

But when you eat these foods and absolutely nothing else, you body quits producing the proper digestive enzymes and gastric juices to digest other foods, like dense proteins or starches.

Humans can eat and absorb nutrients from proteins and starch-dense foods just fine, but your body needs to “get used” to digesting them first.

Tuning Up Your Body’s Digestive Fire

I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the so-called digestive imbalances and woes that many people face amongst the vegetarian, vegan and raw food scenes may not always be caused by a complex imbalance of specific digestive bacteria, and more to do with the individual’s inability to digest foods that other people can digest, without any supplements.

The raw foodist who gets knocked out by eating a bowl of rice for the first time in nine months isn’t necessarily a sign that rice is bad for them. It could just be their body wasn’t used to digesting the rice.

You can observe this by the same person eating rice (and many other things!) in the years before and digesting them at least relatively well enough to still function and not be doubled over in pain.

Whether they are incredibly happy to admit it or not, there are many people who previously swore by a 100% raw food diet and now eat cooked foods of many different kinds. The same foods that people swore at one time would wreak havoc on the system are now being eaten and digested perfectly well.

Did their body magically gain the ability to digest the previously “poison!” cooked food from all of that meditation?

While the meditation probably doesn’t hurt anything, it’s mostly just a matter of the body producing the same digestive acids again, in the proper balance, once the new foods are reintroduced into the stomach. The body re-learns how to digest them again.

Like riding a bike!

Keeping Your Stomach Strong

Even basic activities like regular walking and movement/exercise of any kind improves the muscles in your stomach, leading to stronger, more efficient digestion and absorption of the food you eat.

You digestion is much more multi-faceted than some may lead you to believe, so when diagnosing your own circumstances, I encourage you to consider all points of view.

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The deals from my friend, Frederic Patenaude, for his health products are still available, so check them out before the discounts are removed – which could be at any time, without notice!
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FYI: To Rest, Is To _______

FYI: FOR YOUR INFORMATION

My perspectives on various topics

that are health related

Topic: To Rest, Is To_______

Thursday March 25, 2010

This is a saying that was coined by Isaac Basheva Singer. He was a world-famous conductor and lived a long time by following his own precepts (the fill-in the blank he said was, ‘ rot.’). I know that I don’t plan to be sitting in a rocking chair wallowing away by senior years. I have a wonderful senior friend, Frieda, who I love dearly and we get along perfectly (she is my unofficial adopted senior Mom {I call her Moms, so as not to disrespect my own Mom} and she has adopted me as her daughter, unofficially, as well [she does have her own daughter, too]). I bring her up, because she is the perfect example of a woman who is active into her 8th decade of life. It definitely shows in her health and great attitude. That is how I plan to be in my later years, as well. I do not follow the way society says things will happen when you ‘reach’ a certain age. I don’t think that way and I never plan to. What you think in your mind, you create in your life. Think only good and pleasant thoughts and have a positive attitude. Never buy into the negativity and the toxic news and views of other people, including and especially on the TV, radio, magazines and newspapers. There is one fantastic paper I would recommend you read that is published in Florida, but you can read it online and it is called, The Happy Herald (www.happyherald.com). Every single story, advice, etc is meant to inspire you, teach you and make you feel great about life. Why aren’t there more publications like this in every community, city, state in the nation? Now I may have veered away from the topic, but I would agree 100 percent with his mantra. I could also fill in the blank with, ‘give up.’ Of course, it is best to rest when you are feeling sick and we all sleep at night, as well. As a general rule of thumb, movement is important for our body to keep the blood and lymph system circulating. It also gets the endorphins firing and gives you that natural ‘high.’ Exercise (walking, cycling, jogging, etc) always lifts your spirits when you are feeling down and out, especially if you do it outside on/near the beach and are also getting vitamin D from the sunshine. I always tell people, “I am not a sitter (has nothing to do with babysitting, I am talking about someone who is sitting down in a chair/seat most of the time) or a stander. I am a mover (no, not someone who takes your belongings in a truck from point A to point B, but someone who likes to be active.” Even when I am waiting to cross the street, for a bus to come, on a line in a store, bank, etc I may do some stretching or yoga poses to continually keep my body loose and flexible. If I have to sit down for a while, I make sure that I also get up whenever I can to balance things out so that I am not doing too much sitting or standing (there are times when you don’t have the option, such as at a movie or on an airplane, so I make sure I do as much leg stretching/flexing as I can while seated so I can remain limber). If you are new to exercise or perhaps are needing to get on a program for weight loss, start out slowly because you will feel defeated if you try to hard and don’t achieve your results. The real reason, is because your body doesn’t have the same capacity as someone who may be of the same age as you are, but are thin and exercise regularly. Give yourself the time to see the progress and do not give up even if it seems to be happening slower than you’d like. As I stated earlier, always think positive and don’t let others either bring you down by their toxic remarks or let them bring you down to be in their misery. One of the best ways to create positive energy in your life, is to always smile, no matter what. How can this help? When you smile it isn’t possible to be angry, negative or even say something horrible/hurtful/hateful to someone and for them to even think that you mean it. Next you can start laughing. I have discussed this topic in a previous post. Please refer to it and read more about this incredible way to bring levity and healing to your life.

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FYI: Will Work For/4 Food



FYI: FOR YOUR INFORMATION

My perspectives on various topics

that are health related

Topic: WILL WORK FOR/4 FOOD

Tuesday February 2, 2010

I am sure you have seen those people with homemade signs (but they don’t actually have a home, usually) that are in need of money and/or food and stand out on the street corner to get the attention of a motorist as they are stopped at a light. Think about it! It would be in our own best interest, to do the same thing. I don’t mean that we’d get a job, so to speak, but that we start to work/exercise so that when we do eat our meal, we are truly hungry and stimulate our appetite. Most people eat their 3 square meals a day, not based on “TRUE” hunger, but on the fact that it is 12 noon and known as lunch time (as kids we started in this pattern and continue to do so, as adults). We may not even be ready to eat, but this is our lunch hour at work and if we don’t, we’ll be ‘hungry’ later. So therein lies the answer. You will be hungry later on and then it will be best to eat. The best thing, is to start the day off exercising, whether it is going for a brisk walk, running on the beach or a treadmill, a vigorous dance workout (I like this and play my favorite tunes that motivate me and keep me going) and afterwards, have your meal. If you can before each meal, do a mini-workout for 5 to 10 minutes, such as jumping jacks, squats, push-ups or any other movement that will get your heart pumping. Think about it! People like to eat and I eat a very low-fat organic raw vegan food regimen (eating mostly fruit and leafy greens) and am not concerned about calories, but for the majority who are on the SAD diet (it is truly sad 😦 but I will not rant on this topic right now) usually have a much higher caloric and fat laden intake. That is why I say that working for your food is not only good but necessary. You boost your metabolism before you eat and then burn more calories after you eat. Maybe, we all need to have a sign on our mirror, vision board and fridge posted that says “Will W0rk For Food” and stick with it! I love to exercise and move my body, so it isn’t an issue for me. Most importantly is for you to find something you like to do and maybe have a buddy/partner to join with and you’ll be more apt to continue because someone else is depending on you. Also, check out http://www.meetup.com for a group that exercises together and that may be a good motivator, too.

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