Posts tagged sunshine

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
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
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

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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Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood

Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood
From Herbal Papaya Newsletter –

Now that summer is on the way, you’re undoubtedly ready to get outside and start doing “summer things.” You’ve probably noticed that you’re feeling better and that your mood is a bit more buoyant.

That’s not just a coincidence; vitamin D deficiency has been linked solidly to being moody, and sunshine is the only natural source of vitamin D. Therefore, when you’re out getting plenty of it, it’s entirely possible that your mood improves, too!

You may be surprised how much a healthy diet contributes to balanced hormones and helps with your mood, but there’s plenty of solid research to back up the theory that you are what you eat.

B vitamins are also being studied for their link with unhappy mood. Specifically B12, and to a lesser degree B6 and folate, have been linked strongly to feeling sad. This is a particular concern for vegetarians and vegans because B12 is found almost exclusively in animal products. Supplementation is necessary for that part of the population.

Vitamin C has historically been known as the vitamin that boosts the immune system. However, people who are unhappy often report significant boosts in mood after taking vitamin C. The studies here are fairly new but are promising.

One particular group of nutrients called carotenoids are linked significantly to brain, prostate, heart, eye and mental health. Carotenoids are phytonutrients found in yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables and are powerful antioxidants. Some, but not all, convert to vitamin A in the body. Others, such as lycopene, may not convert but are still extremely valuable for their ability to bond to free radicals and help keep you healthy.

For instance, the minerals zinc and magnesium are being closely studied in relation to brain health. Both seem to play significant, though largely mysterious, roles in assisting with mood chemical production and uptake in the brain. A notable percentage of people who suffer from mood swings are found to be deficient in one or both of these minerals.

The carotenoids lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin were studied in a group of almost 1800 people age 20-85. People with the highest levels of circulating carotenoids were a whopping 37% less likely to suffer from mood swings than those who had low levels.

A Japanese study of men only showed that men with the highest levels of carotenoids were an astounding 67% less likely to suffer from mood issues than those with the lowest levels. The studies are piling up.

Carotenoids are found in high amounts in foods that are bright orange, yellow, red or green such as:

sweet potatoes
red peppers
green leafy veggies
dried apricots

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FYI: If At 1st You Don’t Succeed _________


My perspectives on various topics

that are health related

Topic: If At 1st You Don’t Succeed __

Wednesday March 03, 2010

I know that this one is heard a lot, more so when we are/were children. I would fill in the blank differently then what we know. My words would be, step back and go for a walk, meditate, etc (do something other than what you are working on) to get a new perspective. If you are stuck in a rut you will not be able to achieve anything at all even if you keep forging ahead. For example, you are at work and there is a project that you need to complete, but you can’t seem to get ‘over the hump’ (like those last 5 pounds you try to lose). You are so focused on getting it done that you don’t realize your perspective may be blurred. Instead of trying to grind through it, take a break (hey! there are those who go out for a smoke break because they can’t indulge indoors {and I am not suggesting you start smoking ever!}…how about you taking a 5 minute break to go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine or maybe sit outside quietly and close you eyes to let go of all the stress that is bogging you down). When you return to your desk, you may have that Aha! moment and come up with the best idea for your project. You can use this technique with anything in your life. You are being good to yourself, by backing away from what is making you stuck and then starting anew, like a rose that needs to be pruned and cut back on occasion to allow it to start over and then bloom once again.

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The Transition to Food and My New Raw Vegan Food Plan/Regimen…Week 2

The Transition to Food and My New Eating Plan/Regimen

Week 2

Day 8 – Tuesday January 19, 2010

I slept well and woke up at 4:45 am to use the bathroom. I went back to sleep till about 8:20am and used the bathroom again. I then slept till 10:20 am and got up to start the day. I used the bathroom again (it is amazing how many times in a day I am evacuating, sometimes as much as 7-8 times and I usually have no clean up either). I ate some a 6 oz container of blackberries and raspberries at about 11:30 am. It didn’t start raining till about noon and it was very heavy. It was actually a bizarre day because it rained heavy and then the sky would clear and get bright and then there was another heavy downpour for a while and the sky would clear again. I stayed in most of the day and did some work inside I spoke with a friend of mine for a while and then went out to do some food shopping with another friend who picked me up. We spent a few hours together, as I am working on helping her out with her food choices and she helps me out by giving me transportation to where I need to go. It works out well for me! I had another salad for dinner with spinach. The rain has stopped for tonight, but is due again tomorrow. I went to bed tonight at 2 am. It was later then I planned.

Day 9 – Wednesday January 20, 2010

I woke up to use the bathroom at about 6 am and then again at 8 am. I went back to sleep till about 8:30 am. The rain had stopped for now and the sun was actually out. I decided to wash my bed sheet, as it doesn’t take that long to dry. I know the rain is due to return today, but from the looks of the sky, you would think not. I had some fruit at 10 am, which consisted of 6 oz each of fresh blueberries and blackberries and 1 kiwi. Since it wasn’t raining as yet, I embarked on a gardening project (although I didn’t really intend to). An area next to where I have my compost pile (I have not put any food scraps in there for a long time, as I have had tomatoes growing there that are volunteers), there is a bush that has lots of dead shoots and also crabgrass growing in it, so I started pulling it out and now it is a really small bush, but it looks much better. It does flower on occasion, but hasn’t in a long time. Once I was done there, I wanted to put my window screen back in that came out yesterday during the rain storm. My neighbor helped me, as I couldn’t do it myself. Then it started getting very windy and the clouds were rolling in, but the sky was still bright. My clothes drying rack isn’t that sturdy and it toppled over a few times and I had to put a chair next to it as a barrier. I wanted to go out to a store in the neighborhood, before the rain comes today because I know the deluge of wet weather is supposed to continue for a few more days. I decided to eat some more fruit before going out, so I had a mango. I didn’t leave at the time I intended to (around noon), as I was talking on the phone for a bit. I used the bathroom a couple more times this morning to evacuate. I want to share with you some important information which I neglected to do so until now and I realized that it is a habit I have been doing for years and realize that others may not know that it plays a very important role in your bathroom habits. So what am I talking about? The importance of squatting (which is the natural way) for a “#2.” Most of us will not do that, so what I suggest (it is what I do), is to put your feet up 6 to 8 inches on a waste basket, footstool or even a study box/carton. This opens up the anal canal more directly and you are not squeezing and bearing down on your anal sphincter (which is harmful to your body). If you also raise and stretch your hands above your head, the transverse colon can empty more completely with ease (information taken from “Miracle of Fasting,” by Paul and Patricia Bragg, page 80). Once you start doing this regularly, you will not be able to do it any other way and you will find that you are not straining and don’t have to “sit” on the toilet as long either (sorry, if you like to get your reading done while in there you won’t be spending as much time in the bathroom). That is why I don’t like it when I have to go “#2” someplace other than at my place and I have been known to bring a box with me when I stay over at someone else’s home so I can continue to follow my normal routine. I finally went for a walk to a nearby store (I also had not walked around outside in a couple of days because it has been raining and really wanted to get some fresh air) at close to 2 pm and noticed that it was starting to drizzle (I did bring my umbrella with me). I didn’t spend much time in the store and when I left it started raining at a steady pace. I got home and wasn’t all that wet, as the umbrella I have is quite large. I’m glad it wasn’t that cold outside, though. I was home a little after 3 pm. The heavier rains came much later in the evening, at about 6 pm. They subsided before 8 pm. Tonight I had another salad with green leaf lettuce and same veggies I have been using (cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper and celery) since I completed this cleanse. I have been eating a different green every day (rotate them) and will share with you tomorrow why this is important. I took a bath tonight, but the water didn’t stay hot enough for me. For some reason the water level went down before I got in and I had to add more hot water (now I know to only have the hot water faucet on while drawing my bath and then add the cold at the end, so it stays at the temperature I like). I went to sleep at 1:30 am (again, later then I planned, but I know I will get better with that).

Day 10 – Thursday January 21, 2010

I slept well last night and woke up at 6:30 am to use the bathroom (had loose bowel movement) and then went back to sleep. I was woken up at 9:20 am by the sound of my answering machine going off, but no message left. I went to the bathroom again (another loose bowel movement) and then went back into bed till 10:30 am. It was another cloudy and rain soaked day. I decided last night that I was going to do a dry fast today. You may say, “all right, Mindy, you already did a 42 day cleanse, why do you need to do this?” For me it is a regular ‘thing’ to take a day off every week as a dry fast or only consuming coconut water or stevia in my water. I actually like fasting (when you have done fasting for as many years as I have, you find that it is enjoyable to do, as funny as that may sound!) and look forward to doing. I also came to the conclusion that Thursdays will be my ‘rest day’ (like the Sabbath when I rest from doing any work) from food. I can accomplish more when I don’t have to prepare a meal and eat because it takes time. The body expends energy when it has to ‘work’ to process the food you give it (i.e. digestion, etc.). This way I tax my body less, as well. I didn’t doing anything outside this morning (I do miss my sunning and also walking on the sand) because of the steady rain falling. At 2 pm the rain stopped (for now) and the sun started to come out. I thought I could do some sunning, but it is very windy and quite chilly and the sun didn’t stay out for very long.

I wanted to share with you more about the concept of rotation of your green leafy vegetables so you can understand why it is important to do. This information is taken from a response to this question answered by Rene Oswald on her blog –

There are small amounts of natural toxins, called alkaloids, on all greens. However, each green contains a different alkaloid, so generally, if you eat a variety of greens you won’t have any problems. Some scientists believe that these alkaloids are there to prevent us from eating the entire crop , so that there will always be more for future generations.

You will find out, naturally, how much is safe to consume. When you eat a green in moderation it tastes great, but when you’ve had enough, your body will tell you by the taste. It generally starts to taste bitter, can cause nausea or you may notice your mouth becomes very dry. This bitter reaction is very obvious to most people when they eat the stronger greens, like chard, collards, arugula and dandelion.

Sunflower greens and spinach taste very mild to most people until their body has had enough, then they tend to make the mouth feel very dry. Listen to your body and only eat the amount you need, then go on to a new green for your next meal.

You’ll notice that when you blend greens in a recipe with lots of other ingredients (like in greens smoothies or blended salads) your body doesn’t always tell you when you have had enough. This is because your body is picking up on all the different foods at one time and it is confusing. I recently worked with a woman who was consuming large amounts of spinach every day in her green smoothies. She suddenly started feeling very light-headed and nauseous, she said she felt like she was going to faint all day long. When she stopped eating the spinach and substituted it with a different green in her smoothie every day, her dizziness went away. I suggest typically adding the amount of greens you would comfortably eat in a salad when making a smoothie, energy soup or blended salad.

It is very important to rotate your greens daily, which is the natural way to prevent any problem with over-consumption of one green. If you eat a new green every day, you’ll typically rotate at least 7 greens in your diet. The typical greens that are available to most of us, are romaine, red or green leaf lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, Bibb lettuce and bok choy. The highest quality greens are those that are dark green in color, organic and locally grown. Add small amounts of the stronger varieties, such as dandelion, arugula, mustard greens, beet greens, etc.

I decided to get do some of my weekly cleaning today so I wouldn’t have to do it all tomorrow. It was still light out when I started. I dusted and washed the bathroom and kitchen floors. I took a break after that to relax and do a crossword puzzle. It is interesting to me that I was able to do the 42 day cleanse and didn’t have a headache-y feeling from day one and tonight my head is starting to bother me. I looked at the clock and it was only 7:30 pm. My eyes felt like they were ready to close and I could go to sleep right now! I was not able to get the internet connection at home for a while, but then I tried it again and it worked, so that kept me from going to sleep as early as I thought I would. I went to sleep at 10:10 pm (what a great change from the previous days and also since I wasn’t eating or drinking my body felt it needed to rest more)

Day 11 – January 22, 2010

I woke up at 11:47 pm to the sound of thunder in the sky and then went back to sleep and slept through the night and woke at 8:20 am. I had a loose bowel movement at 8:45 am, 9:10 am and again at 9:50 am. I ate (after 31 ½ hours of dry fasting) at 9 am. I had 1 kiwi, 6 oz container of blackberries, 1 medium size tomato (it was starting to get mushy, so I didn’t want to have to dispose of it, even though, it goes into my compost and not the trash) and 1 fuyu persimmon (I know you can’t get them in the stores anymore and I got some while I was still on my cleanse and put them in the fridge when they were getting some and still have quite a few left). After I ate that I had to go to the bathroom the 2nd time. I felt like having some seaweed this morning, as well and ate some raw laver (which is a wild form of nori) and some cherry tomatoes and after that is when I had to use the bathroom the 3rd time. There was quite a bit of rain this morning and now it is almost 11 am and the clouds are breaking and the sun is coming out. Hopefully this is the end of the rain storm that have been around since Monday. I was able to get outside for some sun, but only for 10 minutes and then it got cloudy again. I finished my cleaning and had

time to go out for a walk. It wasn’t cold outside and I was actually too warm with the layers I was wearing. I have not walked on the sand since Sunday and hopefully will be able to do so this weekend. I was glad when the Sabbath came so I could relax and read. I went to sleep by 11 pm. It took me a while to finish my big salad, as I ate it quite slowly and enjoyed every bite. I had my once a week avocado and iceburg lettuce in my salad.

Day 12 – Saturday January 23, 2010

I woke up at 2 am to use the bathroom and then go back to sleep. I woke again at 7 am to use the bathroom and then stayed in bed and slept till 8:30 am. I used the bathroom again (all 3 times, I had loose bowel movements). It was a beautiful sunny day outside. I was able to do my sunning this morning and that was great! I went to services at my synagogue and then went for a walk on the sand (finally, after not being able to do so since last Sunday!). I stopped to visit a friend before I went home and by then it was already nearing 4 pm. I had a couple of more loose bowel movements later in the day (my body seems to evacuate so much since I have stopped my cleanse). I relaxed at home for the rest of the day and after the Sabbath ended, I started to do some work. I had some apples and pears this afternoon and still eating lots of tomatoes and seaweed. I had a nice salad this evening for dinner. I went out again for a walk to a store at 8:30 pm and it was a pleasant evening. I heard that rain is coming again early in the week (like we haven’t had enough already!). I stayed up really late tonight working on a new project online and it took longer then I planned. By the time I went to sleep, it was 2:30 am.

Day 13 – Sunday January 24, 2010

I did not sleep much last night, but it was very deep. I had a lot to do today, so I actually set my alarm to wake me up at 7:15 am. I didn’t feel like eating right away. I did get up with a bang (so to speak). I was a bit weary, but not really tired. I had a few loose bowel movements this morning. I ate a 6 oz container of blackberries before I left my place at 8:15 am. I had some shopping to do and since it was a beautiful sunny day, I wanted to make sure I get to go for a walk before I have to leave again for an afternoon appointment. I got home by about 11 am and took care of some things before I went for my walk. I had a kiwi before I left for the afternoon. I wanted to spend the whole day outside, but knew I had to take the bus to get to my appointment and it would take about an hour travel time. When I got to my destination, I was early and made some phone calls and sat outside in the beautiful warm sun and soaked it all in. I really miss getting my daily Vitamin D (I call it sunning) and it is more important than most people realize. A deficiency in this vitamin is linked to high blood pressure, obesity and Type 2 diabetes, as well as loss of bone density. Harvard researchers have found that higher blood levels of Vitamin D appear to double survival rates in colorectal cancer and similarly for breast and other cancers. What is most important is to expose at least 40 percent of your body exposed to the sun for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day. You need to do so between 10 am – 2 pm when the sun is strongest to absorb the vitamin. If you have fair skin then build up the time gradually and you can rotate front and back of your body so you will not burn. Do not put any sunscreen/sunblock on, as that will prevent your body from absorbing vitamin D (for information on the toxicity of all sunscreens please go to {best to cover up with a long sleeve shirt when you don’t want your skin exposed to the sun}).

Another important thing brought up by Dr. Mercola in one of his videos is that you avoid showering with soap (can use under your arms and in your private area) because the soap will wash off the vitamin D which takes up to 48 hours to be absorbed into the body.

Great information on Vitamin D – check out this website: and this 1 hour YouTube video by one of the primary researchers in this area and it is informative and also funny, so make sure you both listen and watch it: Importance of Vitamin D by Dr.Holick

I had my appointment at 3 pm and it didn’t last as long as I thought it would. I was finished before 4:30 pm. I had not eaten anything since I left at 1:15 pm and was not hungry, as yet. I waited for the bus to come and was going to go to one other store to shop, but as I got closer to my place, I decided to get off the bus and go home instead. I didn’t want to get home any later and it was already 5:30 pm. I had many things to do this evening before going to sleep. I finally felt like eating, so I had an apple and pear and then I worked my making my daily salad and used green leaf lettuce, this evening. I have a feeling that I will be going to bed late again tonight! I stayed up till about 2:30 am.

Day 14 – Monday January 25, 2010

I slept well and woke up at 5:30 am to use the bathroom (had loose bowel movements) and then went back to sleep till 8:30 am. I got up and had another movement (this time it was solid, yey! so my body is absorbing my food better) and then another solid BM(short for bowel movement) about half an hour later. I is another beautiful day and I plan to spend as much time of it outside. I did my sunning outside for 20 minutes. I went out to do my recycling and then left at 11:40 am and walked an hour each way to my health food store to do some shopping. It is amazing how much energy I have on very little food (I ate a kiwi and a 6 oz container of blackberries this morning and then a 6 oz container of blueberries before going for my long walk). I did have another solid BM before I left to the store. I was also thinking that because I only eat my overt fat once a week, I virtually have no underarm odor (that usually happen from the added nitrogen in proteins and fats). Try it for yourself, and you will see the same results. Now it may not happen right away, if you have been eating large quantities of even raw fats and proteins (like nuts, seeds, nut butters, sprouted beans, dehydrated crackers, etc) and more so, if you are still consuming of the Standard American Diet. When I came home, I had time to go for a walk on the sand (it started to cloud over a bit and get chilly, so I shortened my time) and also do some errands. I ate an apple for a snack. I had plans this evening to go to a movie at the library with a friend. For dinner I had spinach with tomatoes, cucumber, celery and red pepper. The movie outing was great and I got home by 8:30 pm and stayed up late again to catch up on work because I did not get on the computer all day. I went to sleep finally at 1:30 am.

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