Posted tagged ‘conscious eating’

Eating Right According to Our Personal Chemistry

April 11, 2010

We received a valuable e-mail from a friend who has been a lifelong proponent and researcher of good health options. As is stated in the following, we have to take into consideration our unique chemistry when choosing a diet that is right for us. We wanted to share this with you because there is a lot of good information that may be of value to you on your journey. (KJ)

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“The recommended diet and supplements I used to detoxify and regain my health were based on a simple blood test called “the red blood cell fatty acid test” offered through my doctor by Body Bio Lab (address/website below).  The test determines how one’s body is absorbing everything one eats, resulting in a recommended diet and supplement protocol to optimize anyone’s state of health.  The diet I was prescribed obviously applied specifically to me.  However, many of the dietary recommendations and cautions I became aware of apply to everyone.  What I learned may add to your journey the elements of detoxification and dietary protections from toxicity,–so helpful and necessary as we age in a society bombarding us with misguided mainstream medicine, polluted land, water and food.  How can we journey through all this and remain healthy?  I’m a believer, as you are, that we can find our way.  As you are doing, I’m continually adjusting, learning and exploring, at the same time maintaining a dietary base that I know is sound.  By the way, the Mercola website is a part of all this for me too – my doctor recommended it several years ago.
 
My comments are based upon an evolving and completely altered view of diet which I gained over the past 9 years after suffering from disabling mercury poisoning (diagnosed in 2001) and slowly recovering over the past 8-9 years.  I eat completely differently now than I did 10 years ago!  And the mercury is gone, I feel much healthier, my brain is working again, I have energy, etc.
 
 I’d like to offer a couple of useful medical ideas to protect you on your journey:
Assessing your Toxic Exposure
To assess your levels of toxic elements (if any) and other elements (minerals), get a hair analysis, prescribed by your doctor, through:
, 3755 Illinois Avenue St. Charles, IL 60174-2420, 1(800).323.2784 inquiries@doctorsdata.com – Highly regarded laboratory providing Hair Analysis (through an MD) to determine exposure to mercury and other toxic elements. Takes Medicare, other plans.Doctor’s Data Laboratories
Individualized Nutritional Supplement Assessment
To find out what supplements your body needs, the lab that developed my nutritional protocols now offers individualized supplement assessment on their website:: 
Body Bio Laboratories, 45 Reese Road, Millville, NJ 08332; custserv@bodybio.net 1(888) 320-8338. Using the results of a simple blood test prescribed by your doctor, you can order a chemistry and nutrient research report listing the nutritional supplements your body requires, $40.  Order online at:  http://www.bodybio.com/BodyBioReport.aspx?Test=Yes

For the raw food path you’re following, here a few of my original recipes–beverages, shakes and dressings:
Nightshade-free “V-8” Juice
Blend at high speed:
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1 cup water
1 stalk celery
1 chopped carrot
1 small garlic clove
1 tsp whole fresh ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
Ginger Lemonade
Blend at high speed:
Juice of 2-3 lemons (strain seeds out)
1-2 cups water
1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
3/4 tsp Stevia
Grapefruit Ginger Ale
Blend at high speed:
Juice of 1 grapefruit (strain seeds out)
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 cup of water
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
High Protein Shake
A fantastic high-protein sweet shake can be Vitamix blended using:
–unsweetened cranberry juice (~1/2 cup)
–raw tahini or almond butter (~1/2 cup)
–peeled raw ginger (about a tablespoon)
–organic unsweetened yogurt (~1/4-1/2 cup)
–filtered water to achieve appropriate consistency
–Stevia to taste
If you can get ahold of it, add Vitol Egg Protein, a natural detoxifier also containing bee pollen and bromelain, to your desserts and sweet shakes.  You can order it through your natural food store), though lately the manufacturer has been out.
Unsweetened, High-Protein Shakes
 Experiment with unsweetened shakes–too many sweet shakes can raise blood sugar levels for some:
• Try making shakes with a lot less sugar – even fruit sugar isn’t necessary.  Examples:
–Blend an organic egg, Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, or walnuts, tahini, olive oil, unsweetened cranberry juice, raw spinach, some water
• Experiment with nut, egg, oil vegetable combinations until you come up with the best tasting combination.  From what I learned (the hard way), we do need this protein infusion, along with vegetables and healthy fats, at least once a day to keep our brain and nervous system healthy.
 
Cranberry “Vinaigrette” Dressing
High in protein and healthy fats.  
Makes ~3 cups sauce or dressing.
Blend in high-speed blender:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
1/4 cup half and half (optional)
3/4 cup water
Juice of 3 limes (strained to eliminate seeds)
2 heaping TBSP tahini (ground sesame seeds)
3 TBSP sour cream (optional)
3 tsp savory (or favorite spices)
2-3 cloves fresh, chopped garlic
1 tsp whole, fresh ginger
Salt to taste
Dash of Stevia* (or favorite sweetener)
Adjust ingredients to balance tangy, salty, sweet and oily tastes.  Adjust liquids for desired thickness.  Add to salad, vegetable or meat dishes.
 
Detox and Protection from Toxicity
If you are going to occasionally depart from the raw food path, try this info from Body Bio Lab and my alternative OMD.
The best detox (or toxicity protection) for body, brain, nervous system and organs involves the following three components in every meal:
1)  An animal protein free of hormones and antibiotics – I often choose organic eggs, Rocky chicken or Diestel  turkey.  The turkey and chicken are cooked of course.  
2)  Vegetables, raw, steamed or sauteed
3)  Healthy fats, which include (and are limited to):
–Extra virgin olive oil, never cooked (absolutely no canola oil as it contains very-long-chain fatty acids found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients!)
–Flax/sunflower oil combination with Omega 6:Omega 3, 4-to-1 ratio–never cooked
–Omega Nutrition coconut oil for sautees (contains medium- and short-chain fatty acids necessary for brain health)
–Organic butter (contains arachadonic acid necessary for brain health)
4)  My doctor and the lab also recommended avoiding soy, mustard, canola, peanut.  All contain very-long-chain fatty acids, terrible for the brain and immune system for reasons described in the test results.”
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Falling Off the Wagon and Getting On Again

April 1, 2010

The journey to a raw food lifestyle is just that – a journey. It isn’t a straight line, and there are times when the old habits take over taste buds and mindsets. We experienced this in the last couple days. Whereas we were eating mostly raw, in the past few days, Steve has gone back to his eggs and toast for breakfast, and we ate hot meals for dinner. The sad part is that deep inside, I didn’t want to do that – but unless you have mutual cooperation and support, the little voice of “It’s okay…just this once (or twice, or three hundred times)” makes itself very persuasive. And the only way to monitor it is to monitor how you feel after you eat.

Why do we embark on a raw diet in the first place? It is mostly because we feel there is a better way to be healthy. And as we start to feel better and see the results of the new diet, there is a part of us that thinks we can now go back to the old ways because we’ve taken care of the problem. So, as we take two steps forward, we may take three back as we find our way to optimum food choices.

I noted that as a result of the slide backwards, Steve’s snoring returned with a vengeance last night, and I wasn’t sleeping well anyway because I didn’t have raw food at night – save for the outstanding sorbet that Steve made for dessert. Not only did the non-raw food affect my sleep, it also affected my mood. When we were doing mostly raw, I noted that I felt euphoric and light. My body was “singing”, and anything and everything seemed possible. Going back to old patterns of eating turned off the light that I felt and shut down the enthusiasm I’d experienced. How in the world could food do that, you might wonder. It does. Living food makes the cells of our bodies sing. It sounds corny, but if you try the raw food diet, you will see. It’s as though the body comes home to a place of harmony rather than having to battle elements that it does not recognize as its source of sustenance. The result of eating harmoniously is that there is a visceral reaction in mind/body/spirit. Everything synchronizes, and the body becomes a source of light rather than sludge. When attuned, it is part of the symphony of aliveness and is no longer a house divided.

We said from the beginning that we were not going to be fanatics. And observing our human nature of pushing the envelope shouldn’t involve self-recrimination or condemnation. It’s just very interesting to observe how often we tend to go against what is in our own best interest, and determine what part of the brain and psyche seems to like to do that.

Picking ourselves up and recognizing that we can choose differently, it’s important to be consciously aware of what we are doing. We’re not fanatics, but we aren’t slaves to addiction either. We have the opportunity again and again to make choices that will make us feel good or not, so…today and tonight we choose to climb back on the wagon of Raw once again! (KJ)

Sharing With Others on the Raw Food Journey

March 26, 2010

We had a delightful dinner last night with friends who have also embarked on the raw food journey. First we toured their garden. Gorgeous! They have made a special vegetable garden with raised beds where there are lots of good veggies that will grow to provide abundantly in a couple months. Interspersed with the rest of the garden, healthy arugula plants grow. There is swiss chard peaking out behind flowers, and mint creeping along with parsley and other wonderful hidden treasures. Their granddaughter calls it the magic fairy garden, and she picks fresh veggies off the fine and eats them when they’ve grown. If only more children had that opportunity!

The dinner speaks for itself in the pictures Steve took, and the sorbet after was simply yummy. So much of the raw food movement has to do with beautiful presentation. The honoring of our food with beautiful dishes and arrangements is something we all seem to naturally want to do. The raw food lifestyle is a very sensuous one, and it is so delicious to enjoy the meal not only with our taste buds, but with our eyes as well. Sharing with others who are investigating this path makes it even more fun, and we are finding so many people interested, curious, and recognizing that it’s time to do something different for better health and for the rejuvenating effects that smoothies and the raw food lifestyle offers.

Sorbet Dessert

Sorbet Dessert

Along the lines of  being aware of what we are eating, Jamie Oliver’s American Food Revolution will premiere Friday evening on ABC from 8-10PM. I saw the sneak preview Sunday night, and it promises to be worth viewing. He’s gone to the town in West Virginia that has statistically the worst health and obesity issues in the country. He’s working with the school lunch program in one grammar school to see if he can introduce healthy eating, and will do the same with a very overweight family who asked for his help. Since he was able to turn around the whole lunch program in all of England by doing the same thing several years ago, this should be a really fascinating series that brings lots of information about nutrition and healthy eating habits. Even though it isn’t about raw food, it’s about food consciousness. And that can only be good!

Delving Deeper Into The Raw Food Lifestyle

March 24, 2010
Raw Hummus w/Endive and Raw Corn Chips

Raw Hummus w/Endive and Raw Corn Chips

We’ve had some wonderful successes with the raw food diet, weight reduction being one of the most immediate ones. We are also seeing our skin coming into a healthy glow and feeling better. I have had one area of concern, which I mentioned previously – the elevation of my blood pressure since being on this change of diet. What I am seeing through my research is that many issues crop up that appear worse before they get better, and as the health care practitioner I’m working with told me, the blood pressure medicine I was on is no longer being tolerated by my body. In fact, it is blocking something else that is trying to occur. So, I’m waiting for the new protocol of pills I’m going to experiment with to arrive, and in the meantime, trying to learn all I can about raw food and the why’s of eating this way.

The road to raw is not a straight line. It’s got a lot of twists, turns, and exploration as part of it. Even though we are both very good “cooks”…and food preparers…we still periodically want to return to regular meals and see what happens. We did that last night. We have a favorite Thai organic restaurant, and we had soup and some cooked food, including fish and chicken, and the result was that neither one of us slept very well. I have noted on the nights that we have ONLY raw food, we sleep very well.

I went to Google this morning to try to find some answers to what is causing my blood pressure to suddenly be elevated on this new diet, and found all kinds of links to raw food and videos that show how it has helped multiple numbers of people get off blood pressure meds and how one of the causes of high blood pressure is too much protein in the body. That makes sense. I’ve been a big meat eater all my life. I have never been attracted to junk food, so processed food isn’t a problem, but the meals containing some kind of meat most every night may have been. Plus, until we’ve gone on the raw diet, Steve has been a huge salt lover, and when he cooked, there was a lot of salt in the food, even though we only use sea salt.

The reason I’m even bringing this up is that I see how we can become enthusiastic about something and see results and then see other areas that may not be showing an immediate shift, causing us to question or to become afraid. Unfortunately, there aren’t many physicians around who are raw food advocates, so there is not a great support system for when we question or are concerned about what we are doing. Also, I see that even though we get off most of the things that aren’t good for us, we may go through a period of questioning and trying out things that we used to like to see if they are “okay”. The journey into raw is a process, just like life. We don’t have the magic bullet that immediately brings everything into harmony. It takes time. We didn’t get to the state we’re in overnight, and the repair and regeneration of the body will take time to heal. It has to learn to trust us. After all, we’ve been dumping things into it that are not even real food, so the body wonders if what we are doing is just a momentary fad. Body is extremely intelligent, and is wonderfully forgiving to a very large extent, but there are limits. And rebuilding trust takes time.

I’m taking the rest of the day to read more of the Live Food Factor. I find that rather than being put off by my questions and concerns, I’m wanting to go deeper into finding out about this extraordinary way of eating and being. It has caused me to want to not only find answers, but now also to create a garden of veggies, fruit and herbs that may be a place where other people can also come to work and share in the results of our efforts. In addition, I see that the body is the living temple of the Divine. It is a gift to us that we take for granted, yet if we want to honor our Creator, we need to honor this incredible vehicle we are given. Exploring the questions that arise is only deepening my understanding and commitment to finding the best road possible for continuing excellent health and rejuvenation in mind/body/spirit. So far, I’ve not been disappointed. Now, it’s a process of unraveling the knots and letting the body come into its full potential…one step at a time! (KJ)

Gratitude for Our Food

March 12, 2010
Vitamix 4500 Blender

Making a Green Smoothie with the Vitamix 4500 Blender

 

We have been getting lots of responses to green smoothies – all positive. Friends are buying the VitaMix blender, making smoothies, and really noting the difference in the way they feel. Steve is writing about his sister’s experience, so I’ll let him tell you. 

I mentioned the DVD’s Fresh and Food, Inc. the other day, and in shopping, I’ve found that since viewing Fresh, I am extremely aware of how important it is to buy organic. There are many times when I’m in a hurry, and if organic isn’t at the local market close by, I just buy whatever. Even when I do eat meat, it is not negotiable anymore to buy it at the most convenient store. If I’m going to eat meat, I want to know the animal was raised humanely and has been grass fed and can roam freely while alive. I also realize how stressed our produce is through factory farms, so see more clearly the need to support organic farmers. 

The Secret Life of Plants

The Secret Life of Plants

 

In reading books like The Secret Life of Plants, by Peter Tompkins, and  Talking with Nature by Michael Roads, it becomes clear that everything in nature is alive, and we are part of it. 

Talking with Nature

Talking with Nature

 

The word food sounds static, like some “thing” that we consume rather than something that was previously alive. It’s all very intellectual and doesn’t go at all to the heart of the matter. We are asking life forms to give up their lives to feed us so that we might live, and yet most of us just dive into eating whatever is on our plate without thinking of the great sacrifice that has taken place. To have gratitude as we eat, to say thank you to the life forms that have gone into what we are eating is only fitting. Energy exchange is part of the process that takes place in eating and digesting, and to open our eyes and see how fortunate we are that there is food to sustain us is part of awakening. We are one life in separate containers, and rather than mindlessly eating while watching television (we have been guilty of this), let’s try an experiment of expressing gratitude, looking at what is going to nourish us, and eat with a sense of joy and appreciation for the blessing we are given. (KJ)

A Journey Into Consciousness

March 10, 2010

Journey to raw is more than an exploration of raw food. It is an awakening to being conscious of what we are eating. That means, how is it grown or raised? What is if fed, and how does that relate to us and to all of life? We begin to see what a raw food chef mentioned to me about raw food being very good, but without the physical exercise and spiritual component, it was just food. If we take the whole idea of food as anything we put in to our body, mind or spirit, we have to ask if the thoughts we think are nourishing or toxic, and if we are giving the basic exercise regimen to our body that pet owners give their dogs. We will walk the dog, but do we walk the body? (we cat owners are at a disadvantage because our cats would never allow themselves to be walked).

One of the shows I love to watch is The Biggest Loser, where food is important, but so is exercise. And beyond that, the psychological component is essential because contestants come to recognize they are eating unconsciously, ignoring the signals from the body that they are crossing a health barrier through overweight and/or degenerative diseases. Our assumptions based on ease in the moment can be debilitating in the long run, and waking up to what is real and what is alive is not only health restoring, it brings a new lease on life regardless of age. As the metamorphoses of contestants on The Biggest Loser demonstrates, the person who started the process becomes who was always waiting inside to be discovered, and you can see at the end how each has gained self-respect and an incredible experience that has awakened them to become fully alive. We can do that, too. We just need to develop the intention, the will, and the follow-through to achieve it.

Food Consciousness and Respect

So, how is our food raised? What are we eating and where does it come from? It isn’t that package of meat that just materialized in a super market, or the vegetables imported from some factory farm. We need to follow the line of production to see just where and how what we put into our body has been grown or raised.

Food Inc., a documentary

Food Inc., a documentary

To this end, there are two DVD’s worth seeing. Food  Inc. is an important film that shows us how a handful of corporations have taken over much of our food supply, often putting profit above health considerations. In addition, to become conscious, we have to consider the ways in which the food is raised when choosing what we buy. Cost may be a factor, but when we consider the amount of toxic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and inhumane treatment that is involved in what we ingest, we need to consider different choices. If consciousness is all one system, eating something that has been stressed to grow will have an effect on the cells within our bodies.

Fresh, the movie

Fresh, the movie

The DVD, Fresh, is being shown to groups of 5 or more people, and covers the same information as Food, Inc. Both of these films are wake up calls to us. We may not want to know what we are eating because it is inconvenient, but unless we know, we are contributing to a system that is unhealthy and inhumane.

Most of us would not consider ourselves to be cruel people, but buying and eating what was cruelly treated while alive makes us guilty by association. Food is not something inert. It is made up of living consciousness in animals and plants, and we have to find our way to honoring ourselves enough to choose only that which has been given dignity in life before being sacrificed for the preservation of our own. (KJ)

Farmer’s Market

March 1, 2010

We have a favorite farmer’s market in Palo Alto on California Avenue.

Palo Alto Farmers Market

Palo Alto Farmers Market

It is open on Sundays and has the largest number of organic booths of all the markets we’ve been to. Steve took pictures when we visited the market so you can get an idea of what this farmer’s market is like. CarrotsIn addition to the great organic produce, they have wonderful food booths where you can get delicious dishes from many cultures, plus great live music by super musicians. One of the food booths we used to love was an Indian food booth where a large metal garbage can used as the nan oven was constantly going. The young man who made the nan did it with such flair, it was fun to watch, and the nan was the best I’ve ever tasted. That was before I knew I was gluten intolerant, and had to forego the super tasty wraps.Spinach

RawDaddy Cones

RawDaddy Cones

As we have journeyed into raw food, we noted a new booth emerged just at the same time we started the investigation of raw. It is called Raw Daddy, and has wonderful dehydrated cones filled with delicious concoctions that are tasty and healthy. In fact, in talking with the owner, he said he was meeting with investors to start the first Raw Daddy Fast Food restaurant, and I think it is an idea whose time has come. I’ve often wished for somebody to do a fast food restaurant that serves ONLY healthy food, not necessarily just raw – and if he can do it, more power to him.

Next to the Raw Daddy booth is a great raw sauerkraut booth –  really the best sauerkraut I’ve ever had. They have three kinds, and you can check them out on their website: www.farmhouseculture.com Sauerkraut is one of the great digestion aids in natural form, and this one is super.

We also came upon a lovely stand filled with veggies and herbs to plant called Cole Canyon Farm. We got a few plants as we intend to expand our own veggie/herb production for ourselves.

Cole Canyon Farm

Cole Canyon Farm Booth'

After our visit there we went to Common Ground in Palo Alto, an organic garden store. We’re going to transform portions of our garden into more food production.  As it is, we have birds who have brought us all kinds of things, but we don’t know what they are. Aside from hearing that some of the things are edible, there are many others that aren’t, and this winter the garden has become an overgrown jungle of green. I am happy for the rain – we’ve needed it. But I think we both would like to have a working garden that has the soil nutrients it needs so that we can grow some of our own food. Don Weaver, expert in remineralizing the soil, has recommended glacial rock for   nourishing the soil, and he has worked tirelessly to bring the message of soil degradation and rebuilding to people around the world. http://www.truehealth.org/aremin.html

Another friend, Penny Kelly, who wrote The Elves of Lily Hill Farm, told us that when we do plant vegetable and herb seeds we should put them in our mouths first to imprint them with our saliva and our own personal nutritional needs. She said they will grow accordingly and provide us with what might be missing. We trust her opinion as she’s  grown amazing crops through following guidance from the nature spirits, and wrote about the experience to boot. We visited the Lily Hill Farm after Steve interviewed her for the radio show, and it was a jewel in the midst of Michigan, growing abundant crops of organic grapes while all the farmers around disdained her for it. As time went by, they came to her for advice on crop success.  http://www.psitalk.com/penny.html

So as this journey progresses, I am impressed by the dawning of awareness on multiple levels. It is no longer just a process of existing daily and eating unconsciously, but recognition of how important the food we eat is to the health and well-being and ALIVENESS of our bodies. Old habits are falling away that do not serve us, and in their place comes a glow of appreciation and anticipation for what the next turn in the road will reveal. (KJ)