Health / Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the other side we have Glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herbs v drugs, our current Health care system.

Herbs v drugs, our current Health care system.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My road to Veganism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Joel Fuhrman: Improving Your Health through a Plant-Based Diet

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