Category Archives: Lifestyle

Is Your Diet Causing Gum Disease?

Keeping good dental hygiene is a must for good overall health. The entire body is connected  and the moment we specialize, we pay a price. We cannot split the body up into parts and hope to treat one area without treating the other. The entire body is connected via meridian lines and is ruled by our immune system.

Taking a look into our mouths we find there are 32 teeth with 32 vertebrae in the spine and each are connected to one another. Not just that, but every tooth and vertebrae are connected to specific organ systems within the body.

When we fail to keep our mouths clean our immune system starts to suffer. Likewise, if we do not care for our digestive systems and organs, our teeth can suffer, leading to a vicious cycle of problems. In fact, periodontal disease (bleeding gums) has been linked to a host of health problems, including diabetes, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, placental infections, infertility even cancers of the blood. 1

Bleeding gums are caused by a species of pathogenic bacteria known as spirochetes in the mouth. They literally eat away at the gum lining causing them to bleed. As this progresses, we find that overtime as we eat, we release a micro-amount of pathogens into the blood stream for the immune system to handle.

Diet & Dental Problems

Many people are voluntarily giving themselves gum disease, tooth decay and the dental problems without knowing. Research has shown time and time again that sugars, including fruit sugar and “healthy sugars” alter the pH of the mouth. A lowered pH in the mouth leads to the overgrowth of harmful pathogens like Streptococcus mutants, which promote dental plaque and is often the cause of street throat. 2

However, how many doctors treat strep throat by addressing dental hygiene and overall immunity? Typically, strep is treated with a round of antibiotics that simply knock out ones immunity, never addressing the root, lifestyle problems like a high-carb, sugary diet, stress and other factors that lower immunity.

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay & Gum Disease

Sometimes a “healthy diet” isn’t enough for keeping the teeth healthy. And if our diet isn’t supporting dental health, then is it really supporting our overall health? I’d say no.

Even with a healthy diet, some foods on this list will cause a tooth decay, gum problems and more. Some healthy foods that may be problematic may not need to be avoided all-together but rather, consumed on occasion. However, many people who get caught in too strict of dietary dogmas, often consume these foods in excess.

Many vegan, vegetarian and especially modern American and Western European diets contain foods that weaken the immune system and cause tooth decay. Some of these foods are even considered “healthy foods”, yet they only lead to problems.

At basic, the more you avoid these foods, the better of a chance you have to avoid tooth problems and even remineralize your teeth.

Also know, you are always free to do whatever you want with your life, diet, etc. Some will never consume foods that may be most helpful for their overall dental health and immunity, such as raw animal products, because of their own ethics. I understand, there is a principle of least harm and greatest good. If that is you, then do the best you can and own the responsibility of your own choices. However, these guidelines will without doubt benefit the health of your teeth and mouth.

You be the judge, but here are the foods I recommend to avoid when healing the teeth:

  • Avoid sweets and foods sweetened with these items—white sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, jams, dried fruit, candy bars, health food bars, yacon syrup, erythritol, lo han, palm sugar, coconut sugar, glycerin, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), brown rice syrup, malted barley and grain sweeteners, maltodextrin, sucrose, dextrose, sucralose, aspartame, and saccharine.
  • Avoid white flour, GMO or altered grain products and even non-fermented organic grain products such as: crackers, cookies, doughnuts, pies, breakfast cereals, granola, muffins, pastries, flour tortillas, bagels, noodles, pasta, pizza, couscous, bread and nearly every packaged product that contains grains.
  • Avoid non-germanted or fermented whole grains including whole wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, brown rice, and quinoa, especially non-organic.
  • Avoid raw, non-sprouted nuts and nut butters —including all raw nuts, as well as peanut butter, raw almond butter and raw tahini.
  • Avoid hydrogenated oils such as, margarine or other butter substitutes.
  • Avoid low quality vegetable oils such as, vegetable, soybean, canola, corn and safflower oils, and Crisco®. Also, be careful if you eat out; most restaurants use these vegetable cooking oils because of how cheap they are.
  • Avoid pasteurized, homogenized or grain-fed dairy products. Also avoid low-fat dairy products and powdered milk and anything that contains it.
  • Avoid store-bought nut milks including, rice milk, soy milk, hemp and almond.
  • Avoid table salt and the many foods that contained refined salt. Table salt throws off electrolyte balance, causing blood pressure problems and other issues that affect the teeth negatively.
  • Avoid conventional fast foods and junk foods.
  • Avoid stimulants like poor-quality coffee, soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, or alcohol. Do not smoke cigarettes and consume only raw cacao without sugar.
  • Avoid unfermented soy including isolated soy protein, tofu, soy, veggie burgers, soy “meat” and soymilk.
  • Avoid most green powders. Many green powders have sugar and improperly prepared ingredients that should be fermented. There are a few exceptions, which would be 100% food-based dried powders with no sweeteners added.
  • Avoid factory farmed meat, fish, and eggs. The quality nutrients in these sick animals are toxic and contain many chemicals and estrogens and above all else, contribute to animal suffering and a sick industrial food system.
  • Avoid too much fruit. Even though fruit is natural, people often eat too much. Be very careful with sweet fruits like as oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, blueberries and pineapple especially, which are high in fructose that can alter the mouth pH and lead to plaque and rob the teeth of minerals.
  • Avoid medications, over-the-counter drugs, and vaccines. These damage the liver, weaken the immune system and glandular system – many are causative factors in tooth decay.
  • Avoid food additives like MSG, nitrates, and nitrites.
  • Avoid all commercially processed foods; crackers, chips, boxed cereals, pastries, cookies, TV dinners, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
  • Avoid synthetic vitamins and any foods containing “fortified” ingredients.

Acceptable Foods List

As far as acceptable foods go, here is a counter-list to the previous foods to avoid list:

  • Acceptable sweets would be raw honey, organic maple syrup (grade B preferred), real cane sugar, raw stevia (actual herb), whole low-glycemic fruits like berries.
  • Acceptable grains like truly fermented sourdough bread made with unbleached flour (bran and germ removed), partially milled rice that is soaked with a starter. White rice is acceptable.
  • Acceptable nuts and butters would be those that are properly germinated and soaked first. You can also dehydrated nuts after soaking and eat 2 oz. daily.
  • Acceptable fats are preferably raw, organic and always from small producers. The most healing fats would include coconut oil, palm oil, stone-crushed olive oil, raw butter, grass-fed lard, tallow, chicken, duck and goose fat.
  • Acceptable dairy products are raw and grass-fed from Jersey cows, goats, and sheep. Always go for whole fat, not skimmed. When you have only grocery store options for dairy products then choose vat-pasteurized, grass-fed dairy products from smaller, local farms. Fermented dairy like yogurt, kefir and cultured butter are better than non-fermented. If you can’t find local, then choose products from Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, which contain far more clean soils and environments.
  • Acceptable salts are Himalayan salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Real Salt and other unheated sea salts.
  • Acceptable soy products are traditionally fermented—You can have small amounts of unpasteurized soy sauce, miso, and natto.
  • Acceptable proteins are grass-fed or even better wild-caught animals and fish. These offer superior quality, more bioavailable than most plant-proteins, are complete proteins and are least allergenic proteins. They are true superfoods and have been consumed longest by man. Just be sure to note the differences between industrial, commercial animal food and grass-fed, local and wild. You can read more here. 

Foods that Heal Teeth and Gums

The billion dollar question remains, what do we eat? Well, amongst the dietary warfare, there are neutral grounds. There are also questionable grounds. For dental health there are foods you will find specifically healing for those who have the trouble of low immunity or teeth problems. These foods may not be in alignment with your values around eating, therefore, the choice is yours to either help your body achieve an ideal state of health, or deal with the dental consequences of your current diet. My hope is that you can find a happy medium, more freedom in eating, gained awareness of healthy eating and of course, greater dental and overall well-being.

That being said, here are some therapeutic foods that contain necessary nutrients for a strong immune system, healthy microbial balance, strong teeth and healthy gums:

  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Try 1⁄2 teaspoon two or three times per day of Green Pasture’sTM Blue IceTM Royal Blend. Cod liver oil is a rich source of fat-soluble nutrients that build immunity, healthy hormones and glandular systems. In my time spent living in France, I found that every child was raised on this scared food. I also found the French to have healthier teeth, incredible hair, overall healthier frames.
  • 2 cups of raw grass-fed, whole-fat milk, kefir, clabber, or yogurt or 4 ounces of raw grass- fed cheese preferably from Jersey Cows. If you cannot tolerate dairy or do not wish to consume it for moral reasons then you will want to up your doses of green vegetables for calcium and magnesium. Strive for 3 cups of a cooked green veggies in variety each day. Even better if you ferment them. You can also consume raw coconut kefir.
  • Bone broths or stews made from local, pastured meat or fish made from a gelatin-rich broth. Get a recipe HERE and be sure to add in sea veggies to added minerals.
  • 2-8 ounces of high-quality animal protein or wild-caught fish from either anchovy, sardine, herring, mackerel, halibut or salmon.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods; broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, mustard greens, cabbage, sauerkraut, kohlrabi, liver and adrenal glands.
  • Probiotic foods; especially coconut kefir and raw kraut.
  • Something we can all agree on – eat mostly non-starchy vegetables such cabbage, kale, spinach, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, etc.

Homemade Tooth Paste for Gum Infections

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Keeping a strong immune system is key for healthy gums and teeth. Therefore, diet, exercise, and stress-management are usually far more important things to consider when keeping your teeth healthy, we cannot overlook dental hygiene.

Here is a quick, easy and very effective homemade tooth paste that can wipe out gum disease within days:

  • 1/2 cup aluminum-free baking soda (baking soda spot kills the spirochetes that cause bleeding gums and also neutralizes lactic acid produced by these bacteria that cause tooth decay.)
  • 1/2 cup spring water
  • 2 drops anti-bacterial essential oils (I use this one, it’s incredible).
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. organic extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. birch xylitol (xylitol breaks down the bio-film produced by harmful pathogens in the mouth, making it easier for them to be washed away during waterpiking).
  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together to form a paste. Store in a dark glass jar out of direct light. Use it twice a day in addition to the dietary and lifestyle recommendations.
  2. I would also suggest using a salt rinse, waterpik and gum blotting brush in addition to this tooth paste.

For more tips and wisdom Holistic Dentistry read here.

The Dangers and Ignorance of Veganism

Veganism Isn’t the answer…

Many people have turned to veganism and vegetarianism for a solution to their health problems. Yet, many people’s motives for being vegan are incorrect. Let’s get the dirt facts…

First, there is no such thing as veganism anywhere else in Nature. Going beyond the animal kingdom, right down to the very soil that plant-life comes from we find an almost cannibalistic relationship occurring between organisms.

Lady Eve Balfour, founder of the British Soil Association discovered in her research that soil organisms liquefy minerals and feed them to the plants they are associated with in trade for the plants sugary sap. In other words, soil organisms actually eat “plants milk”. Not just that, we find that the mycorrhiza fungi actually cast filament nets in loops around their symbiotic partner plants with the explicit intent of capturing, killing and eating predatory parasites that want to eat their partner plants.

Once one of these pathogens are capture by the fungi their organs are eaten first and given to their partner plant in exchange of the sugary sap.

What does this mean? It means that over 85% of the plants eaten by vegans and vegetarians are actually carnivorous. So if a vegan eats a carnivore, does that mean they’re still vegan? Talk about a paradox…

Not to mention, plants are living, feeling creatures too. For all the compassionate vegans, consider that for a moment – plants have feelings too – how do you think those plants feel being ground to death in your Omega Juicer?

Moving on, let us have a look at how farming works on a microscopic level. Due to the nature of soil organisms as we just learned, we find that soil that has natural decay from a variety of animals, including the meat, blood, hair etc. and plant scraps is produces the healthiest soil, right down to the bacterial diversity.

Crops grown in strictly vegetarian soils (farm land that has little to no compost, rotation, crop variety and little to no natural death of animals) suffer significantly compared to crops grown on “composts” comprised of a variety of both plant and animal scraps. The immune systems of the soils of the ladder are much stronger and produce significantly healthier soil and plants. And where do we find soil like this? Well, right out in the wild of Mother Nature of course, where the circle of life once thrived in symbiosis.

It’s also important to mention the obvious self-sabotage that occurs on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Weston A. Price discovered through his 30 years of travel and experimentation that no single indigenous culture on the planet was strictly vegan or vegetarian, all consumed some form of animal product and many praised them. The unhealthiest cultures were gauged by their dental health – a major indicator of health. What he found was that the cultures that swayed more to a vegan and vegetarian diet (not by choice but by circumstance) were nutrient deficient, infertile and physiologically imbalanced. Today we find the same, that vegans and vegetarians show higher amounts of the following health problems:

  • Depression
  • Nutrient Deficiencies – omega fatty acids, protein, zinc, iron, and b-12
  • Tooth decay
  • Weight gain
  • Hormonal imbalance – adrenal fatigue & thyroid disorders
  • Infertility

How Plant-based B-12 Causes B-12 Deficiencies

Usable vitamin B12 occurs only in animal products.

Fermented soy foods and spirulina contain compounds that resemble B12 but actually not absorbed by humans considering they are not recognized up by the body’s “intrinsic factor,” which is a specialized protein secreted in the stomach which is responsible for the assimilation of B12. Furthermore, the plant forms of B12 may even create B12 deficiencies.101

Viability of the intrinsic factor depends on a number of factors including calcium status, pancreatic enzymes and proper pH in the upper intestine. The ability to assimilate B12 frequently declines with age so that many elderly people suffer from B12 deficiency even though they continue to eat animal products.)

The 1-5 Year Vegan High: The Junkie in Disguise

Sometimes a person can will their way a few years through misguided veganism before their high wears off. There are a few reasons for this. First, b-12 can store in the body for a few years before it is depleted and the negative side effects kick in. These symptoms include anemia, impaired eyesight, panic attacks, schizophrenia, hallucinations and nervous disorders, anxiety, depression, fatigue, loss of balance and poor circulation. One study found that a very high percentage of inmates in psychiatric wards suffers from low serum levels of B12. 1 Another study shows Vitamin B12 deficiencies in breast-fed infants of strict vegetarians. 2

Additionally, as many vegans put their own health at risk for the fractionated perspective and illusion of saving the planet, they are supported for a short time via the process of gluconeogenesis. This is a process in which the stress hormone cortisol increases to catabolize protein to feed to the brain. Part of the process involves the secretion of adrenaline – another stress hormone.

The result, is a euphoric junkie in disguise as a world saving super hero, completely unaware of their self-created adrenaline high. Eventually their adrenals fail and after about a year they start to have significant hormonal problems and eventually begin to display the classic burnt-out junkie appearance.

Good Meat vs. Bad Meat

Paradoxically, the research of Weston A. Price shows us that the healthiest and longest lived people did not exclude animal products from their diets. They did however consume more plants than animals, they fished and hunted, ate a wide variety of foods that were local, seasonal and from the wild of their own backyards, had community, tribes and family and essentially were a part of a much bigger life game.

Veganism or other dietary isms; you could say, are small life games usually played by an individual. Even the environmentalist vegan is looking at a small percentage of the big picture without much discernment. Levels of intelligence could be measured by the ability to discern and make differences but you really have to look. You cannot be a sane environmentalist and not understand the microbiology of the soil. And yet, many anti-meat activists cannot or do not tell the difference between toxic, commercially farmed meat and wild-game or local, small farm raised animals.

If we compare the differences, we find a simple truth; bad meat is bad and healthy meat is one of the oldest superfoods in town. Saying all animal products are bad is like saying all water is bad without noting the effects that between bottled, fluoridated water has on the body compared to wild structured spring water sipped from Mother Earth.

The problem isn’t animal foods; it is the toxic means in how they’re raised, slaughtered and the gluttonous fashion in which they are consumed. Even the science is skewed; the studies that suggest meat is harmful is highly flawed. Commercial, processed lunch meat and even fast food meat is grouped into the same category as wild-game and pastured animals. Not a single study has been done on the effects that healthy, wild-game meat consumed by indigenous people has on the body. We can only note the dramatically lower levels of disease prior to industrial farming.

Out of the studies that have been conducted, we find that the harmful effects of consuming meat have nothing to do with the meat itself. Rather, is is the toxins, chemicals, carcinogens and anti-biotics that are present in commercial meat that are doing the real harm.

But Being Vegan Made Me Healthier

Now you may be wondering how some vegans or vegetarians stay healthy and the answer is, they don’t. The better question to ask; perhaps, is how you gauging what it means to be healthy? Is it by their weight? Thin does not mean healthy; in fact, the healthiest cultures such as the Inuit and Serbians are what we would consider “over weight”. So if we are gauging wellness solely on appearance, we have missed the mark.

If someone achieves vibrant health on a vegan diet, it was perhaps a short-term solution. From my experience and 10 years of nutritional coaching, I’ve seen veganism and vegetarianism to be a helpful short-term solution that can help one detoxify, lighten their overall food intake and become an overall more balanced consumer. It’s not so much the act of not eating animal products that gets them healthier either. It is usually a result of eliminating chemical laden, processed, refined foods as well as industrial farmed animals and produce that does the trick. Otherwise, let us consider the facts of Nature, there is no spices that are truly vegan or vegetarian if we trace things back far enough. And furthermore, throughout history humans with limited access to animal products have often gone to great lengths to include at least some animal products in their diet.  And they’ve done that for a reason.

Bottom line, there is no permeant solution. Perhaps veganism helped you overcome toxicity or even cancer. However, what is medicine one day may become a problem the next. if your diet is making you unhealthy, you may be saving a few beings, however, at the risk of the human race. This is not an ethical solution – we are harming the most important beings on the planet capable of contributing to the greatest good of the greatest number of dynamics of life.

What Should We Have for Dinner?

So what should we eat then in a world of gastronomic confusions? The answer is and has been simple…eat real food, not too much with a lot of variety.

I don’t recommend that you stop eating meat, but we do suggest that you be careful of your supply. Make an effort to obtain organic beef, lamb and chicken. Range-fed beef that is finished with several weeks of grain feeding is fine, as long as the grains are organic and no cottonseed meal or soy protein are added to the feed. Grain finishing merely imitates the natural feeding habits of cattle and other ruminants, which get fat in the late summer and fall when they are feeding on natural grains in the field. The use of small quantities of animal parts in livestock rations allows the rancher to shorten the feedlot period, because this practice imitates nature as well. Animal-based supplements replace insects that cattle consume in the field. Outbreaks of scrapie and mad cow disease are most likely caused by neurotoxic pesticides and toxic mineral overload, rather than the inclusion of animal parts in feeding, a practice that dates back almost 100 years. When animal-part feeding is prohibited, soy meal is used as an inferior replacement.

Other good meat choices include buffalo and wild game such as deer and antelope as well as game birds like duck, geese, pheasant and wild turkey. These are rich in nutrients and add variety to the diet.

Learn to eat the organs of land animals as well as their muscle meats—traditional peoples studied by Dr. Price consistently prized organ meats for their health-giving properties.

Eggs from pasture-fed chickens are available at many health food stores. They constitute the most complete, nutritious and economical form of animal protein available and are valued by traditional cultures throughout the world.

If you can, hunt, forage food, grown your own or purchase your animal products from small, local, biodynamic farms that keep the integrity of Mother Nature’s biology and ecology in order.

Success Through Play

If an individual could ever walk away from his greatest triumph, empty-handed and with just the shirt on his back, he would inevitably live to triumph time and time again.

Unfortunately, in today’s society, there are so many people taking life too seriously, and they’ve forgotten it’s all a game. Life was made for fun.

Despite the common belief, seriousness and happiness do not go hand in hand. We can only give what we have, and most of us are giving an attitude of seriousness. How can we expect to attain happiness and success, when most of what we give is seriousness?

The Spirit of Play

A spirit of play has to be rediscovered. Think back to when you were a child, playing for the sheer joy of play itself. Life was a game, and though there may have been a few rules to follow, they were only in place to keep the game alive.

However, one thing was for sure: There wasn’t a goal in mind. There wasn’t anywhere to go, and there was no place better than the present moment.

Play is total creativity. It is more absorbing, engrossing and enlivening than any other kind of activity we can do. It is the first and foremost ingredient that causes us to come into this universe and build worlds of our own.

What is the point of chasing a goal and succeeding at anything, if we cannot experience bliss along the entire path?

Life as a Game

I recall reading a book by Anthony Robbins in which he explains the importance of metaphors. Whether we realize it or not, we all have some sort of metaphor for life. For some, life is a jungle, and for others, life is a gift.

Now, looking at these two perceptions, it’s obvious there are two very different realities here. Each of these individual perceptions is going to cause each one to experience a very different life.

Personally, I have yet to come across a metaphor for life that is as relevant and accurate as life being a game. It really is. Think about it: We set up with a goal in mind, and then in order to achieve the goal, we create a game. The players of the game become everyone and anyone involved, including ourselves. In order to achieve the goal, we make rules and set boundaries to keep us on track.

In this sense, playfulness is really the most valuable thing a person can possesses in the pursuit of any goal. It is not just energy; it’s the sensation of being alive.

Sadly, most people on this planet have almost entirely lost their spirits of play. A huge dogma is seemingly engrained into each of us that we cannot achieve without struggle. It is the “no pain, no gain” mentality. Let me be the one to tell you: It’s a myth.

Do you struggle to do anything good in life? Really, think about it. Do you struggle to breathe? Do you struggle to love? Do you struggle to smile?

If you said yes to any of these, then it’s likely you’re not looking at the full picture. We only struggle to breathe if we hold onto a single breath, or if someone is suffocating us.

We only struggle to love when we get wounded, and we put walls up around our love.

There is no struggle to experience truest joys of life!

So, what happened? How did we become so rigid and unhappy?

The Degrees of Seriousness

There is something I call the degrees of seriousness. It’s really not all that serious, either. It’s actually quite simple, like all good things.

So, imagine you’re playing a game. At first, it’s fun, and you’re just playing for the sake of play. Then, something happens. Maybe you get hurt, someone breaks a rule, or you feel left out. At that moment, you get serious.

If you don’t quickly remember it’s just a game, and no one is playing for keeps, you will become more serious.

Once you start to take things seriously, it’s that much harder to turn back. Seriousness is grave; it’s rigid and heavy.

In its literal definition, it means heaviness. Once you move up the degrees of seriousness, the lightness of play will diminish.

As we all know, once you are in the thick of a mess, it’s that much harder to go out. It’s usually easier to get more serious and upset. When this happens, someone might call us out and let us know we’re being too serious.

However, we are much too serious to take that lightly, so we get damn serious.

To be damn serious is the greatest penalty of any game. We’ve condemned ourselves, we’re upset as hell, and the game is over.

However, the game isn’t really over. We’re still in it, and we’re just wondering why everyone else sucks. It’s like we’ve become a broken piece to the game.

It’s part of the game, but no one likes it. We don’t even like it because we can’t fully play the game.

This makes us that much more pissed, to the point where we’ve had enough. Then, we hit the final stage of seriousness: dead serious. Once dead serious, you can guess what happens next. We quit.

It’s our way or the high way. If we can’t win, no one can. So, we leave the game. Life has officially stopped being fun; life is too serious. But, the thing we don’t realize during all of this is that there are still people having fun. They aren’t playing for keeps, and they’re playing for fun. They realize the amount of fun they’re having isn’t nearly as important as whether they win or lose. They’re blissful, their imagination is rich, and they’re fully tapped into their spirit of play.

Success Through Play

As I said earlier, you do not have to suffer in order to succeed. However, I’m sure by now some of you are having a hard time believing life can be that simple.

It’s astonishing we’ve been duped into thinking we are supposed to suffer and take life seriously, rather than achieve our wild goals and dreams. It just doesn’t make much sense to me.

When we want something too desperately, we actually push it away.

We see this in relationships all the time. We call it “the game.” When we want someone, the person isn’t interested. But soon as we lose interest, the person wants us.

When we hold on too tightly to anything, it slips through our fingers, or worse, it dies.

When we take life dead seriously, things die, just like our dreams. The truest way to achieving our dreams and overcoming the obstacles to our own happiness is found in a heart of play.

We need to approach all we do with the same sense of love, carefreeness and playfulness as we once did as free-spirited children.

So, I ask you, how serious are you taking your life?

Anti-Stress Herbs: The Top 10 Best Adaptogenic Herbs

Stress is a major culprit for many diseases. After all, disease is simply dis-ease and what is stress? In its simplest sense, it is pressure or resistance and neither of these put the body at ease.

Looking at stress from its most basic function, there are of course many ways stress can come about. Stress can occur physically from stress or trauma. It can occur thermogenically from Sun burn. It can occur nutritionally from poor diet and foods that do not digest or throw hormones out of whack. And as we all know, stress can occur mentally from pure pressure, the pressure to impress ourselves and others, as well as emotionally in the form of resistance to our own emotions.

Whatever the case is though, there is plenty we can do to surrender and stop resisting. Amongst the many tools for dissolving stress are adaptogenic herbs, which are botanical substances that help the body adapt to both physiological and psychological stress.

There are many spiritual practices that help one take the path of least resistance in many cases; however, this can be a life long journey that takes many life times to complete – as my mentor says, “there is no secret potion for enlightenment.” He teases me, as a holistic health coach and someone who works in an industry that is always recommending people to take herbs, food and supplements to fix their life problems.

And while I am about to recommend some herbs, these herbs come with a life time of wisdom. If we look at ancient wholistic forms of medicine such as Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda we find that both of these philosophies go far beyond nutritional and herbal support. Life according to Ayurveda is meant flow effortlessly, and be filled with an abundance of creativity, energy and productivity with the less effort we put in. Now this is a major difference from the Western “no pain, no gain mentality.” Believe it or not, life was not intended to be a struggle!

So in addition to the tools I will provide here, I highly suggest – as always – to begin your walk down a path to “enlightenment” however that looks for you now. If you need a starting point, I offer coaching sessions filled with healing exercises that work at the metaphysical level. There are also plenty of “spiritual healers” out there, endless books in the exoteric database and also hidden gems in the esoteric world if you seek.

I was fortunate enough to find one of the wisest men I’ve ever met and let me say this, one wise man is worth one-thousand good books. I highly suggest seeking a mentor. Bare in mind, the word mentor is short for tormentor…and that is what a true spiritual guide does – they take away all your delusions and illusions until all that is left is…you.

Until you find someone, or yourself, to guide you down a path  let’s talk about some of the tools Mother Nature has provided us with to help us balance and dissolve stress. Here are a few of my favorite and the most powerful adaptogen (stress-busting) herbs on the planet, how they work, and how to take them.

The 10 Best Adaptogen Herbs

  1. Gynostemma Also known as the “immortality herb”, Jiaogulan actually contains 3 to 4 times more saponins than ginseng, making it the strongest adaptogen of all. It has been used traditionally by the Chinese as a longevity tonic extend lives and often referred to as, “like ginseng but better.” It’s abilities extend beyond just soothing the nervous system – it is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and a proven remedy to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It also happens to burns fat, enhances strength and endurance, and even has been used to treat bronchitis. Did I mention that it is a potent antioxidant that dissolves oxidative stress and has proven in lab studies to annihilate cancer cells? As an adaptogen, it helps the body with whatever it needs – if the body needs rest, it will promote relaxation. If the body needs to be energized, then energy it is! Because the immune system is suppressed during stress, it strengthens the immune system by preventing stress from harming the body. It is successful in treating hepatitis and protecting the liver. In one study, 300 athletes were tested with jiaogulan prior to a competition – the results – all had more vigor, quicker reflexes, and less nervousness. It’s high anti-oxidant abilities may very well be what leads to the 100 year life span of many Chinese jiaogulan users. What’s more, is that has natural killer cell activity in those with urogenital cancers. This herb is great for those with blood pressure imbalances, as it tonifies the kidney and heart meridian, which reduces the burden on the heart, by helping it pump the same amount of blood with less stress and effort. I could go on and on about this herb; however, I’m sure by now we have sufficient reason to start experimentation with this incredible super herb. And as a personal testimony, I have consumed Gynostemma for 6 years now and it truly has wonderful effects you can notice. I suggest taking either 1 teaspoon of powdered extract 3x day or Spring Dragon Tea. This tea also has a few other powerful adaptogenic extracts – its super potent and sweet.
  2. Licorice root- Here is another amazing plant with many medicinal properties as well as a sweet, delicious taste. It contains natural plant steroids that are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor, and stimulates the immune system by elevating interferon levels, which stimulates SOD to form hydrogen peroxide, in turn supercharges white blood cells and hormones. It’s a fantastic herb for adrenal function, reducing inflammation and liver problems like cirrhosis and hepatitis. It’s commonly used to reduce prostate inflammation because it contains phytoestrogens, which help reduce the adverse effects of estrogen on the prostate – including impaired zinc absorption and elevated DHT formation – which can lead to pattern baldness, low immunity and facial hair on women. Licorice root blocks the formation of DHT from testosterone, so it’s helpful for these issues. Aside from its adaptogenic and immune properties, it builds nerve tissue, removes arterial plaque, reduces body fat, treats hypoglycemia, ulcers, is an antiseptic, antispasmodic, a subtle laxative and expectorant. It balances intestinal flora, balances blood sugar, protects the liver and stimulates aldosterone, a key adrenal hormone and has been used throughout history to treat hormone imbalances – and just about every known female imbalance. In women, licorice can give a women a sense of well-being and control. Again, take this 3 x daily either as a sweet delicious tea, as a powdered extract in an elixir or even use to make Bulletproof Marshmallows. Avoid taking it past 6 pm.
  3. Astragalus– This strong adaptogenic is also a vasodilator, making it great for physical work or anyone with poor circulation. Great for the spleen and lungs, and overall increases in life energy. Stress is a major cause of physical fatigue, hence the idea of adrenal fatigue and Astragalus incredibly useful for improving physical weakness and other drained energy disorders like candida, herpes, hypoglycemia and exhaustion. Sleep problems like night sweats and even fluid retention are symptoms of fatigued kidneys and adrenals, astragalus can help! Probably the most incredible ability this herb has is that as a prime anti-viral, anti-cancer immune enhancement. Like licorice root, it helps the body produce extra interferon in the body. It’s so powerful that it’s used with cancer therapies to counteract the immune suppressing effects of cancer drugs and radiation. The vasodilating properties help to lower blood pressure as well as break up blood clots, preventing heart disease. If you’re overly stressed, it will boost adrenal function for better energy while normalizing the nervous system and balancing hormones. In Chinese Medicine the kidneys and lungs are strongly associated – so it’s great for respiratory illnesses by helping regenerate bronchi cells.
  4. Siberian ginsengAlso known as Eluthero, this herb is the most effective of all adaptogen herbs, second to Jiaogulan. With adaptogen herbs, they work better with longevity as opposed to incrementally. They are best taken for several months to a year, as it takes time for the wisdom of these plants to start to rearrange your body chemistry to be in better balance and more immune. As far as benefits goes – it aids cardiovascular disorders, including heart attack and heart disease, lowers high blood pressure, inhibits growth and formation of liver cancer cells, which is one of the most difficult cancers to resolve! Ginseng also stimulates protein synthesis and the polysaccharides in it protect against alcohol induced gastric ulcers, making it excellent for anyone with a past of alcohol consumption or history of stomach ulcers. As the second strongest adaptogen, it is of course hormone balancing for both men and women as well as an aphrodisiac for both men and women! It is the only herb to clinically test as a plant source of testosterone; however, there is also Pine Pollen, which is another source that is just not clinically tested. This herb increases sperm count, seminal vesicle weight, supports key adrenal and prostate functions. If you’re a male and having troubling “getting it up” toss your Viagra, it’s toxic – ginseng enhances nitric oxide synthesis, which regulates muscle tone of blood vessels that control flow to the penis, leading to stronger erection for impotent men. Pair it with some Gelatinized Maca and your lady won’t know what hit her. The antioxidants found in ginseng help cardiovascular performance not only for sexual energy, but for sports workouts so if you’re looking for the extra lift to get outside and get active, look no further than some quality ginseng. Keep in mind that if you have fatigue that you do not want to over work – keep workouts light and energizing – you should feel more energized after any physical activity, not depleted. In woman, ginseng helps normalize hormones, notably those that guard against breast cancer, endometriosis and other hormone-driven problems. It is great for preventing or minimizing the effects of menopause due to the similarity of ginsenocides and female steroidal hormones on the vaginal mucosa, to prevent thinning of vaginal walls after menopause, and menopause discomfort during intercourse. It effects a woman’s mental energy through hypothalamus stimulation, a factor in turning a woman’s attention to love-making. It also has an insulin-like effect on sugar regulation, stimulating the removal of sugar in the blood, great for anyone with diabetes, blood sugar problems or those interested in general anti-aging. Like Gynostemma, ginseng has therapeutic affects against severe recurrent viral infection and syndromes like HIV etc thanks to killer cell activity. It also stimulates RNA synthesis in bone marrow cells, has anti-toxic effects against radiation, heavy metals, and airborne pollutants. If you’re interested in maintaining a youthful appearance, consumption of ginseng protects against aging skin and early wrinkling due to AGEs. It has long-term mental and psychological benefits, with noticeable improvement of mental outlook, depressive thoughts and lifting spirits and other cognitive disorders. Overall, ginseng is the quintessential herb for stress.
  5. Ashwagandha– Ginseng and Gynostemma are renowned as the best adaptogenic herbs due to their high saponin content; however, many people refer to Ashwaganda as than ginseng and here is why. Ashwaganda is one of the world’s most renowned herbs over all, not just as an adaptogen but as pure planet medicine. As an adaptogenic herb, it provides an energetic rejuvenating lift while at the same time calming and soothing the nerves. Chemically, it’s very similar to ginseng, yet is far superior in relieving stress. It is great for treating exhaustion caused by both physical and mental stress and strain. If you are trying to get your adrenals up to speed, then you have to nourish the thyroid – Ashwaganda doesn’t just help the adrenals, it also helps boost thyroid hormone, preventing stress via thyroid burnout or under-active thyroid – an unseen problem with many overly stressed people. On a more positive note, Ashwaganda is an aphrodisiac, increasing libido and performance in 70% of men who use it. It has a soothing and cooling effect on the body that stops internal bleeding, inhibits hemorrhoids and also hemorrhagic dysentery (bloody diarrhea). It has effectively been used to treat depression and mood disorders and rejuvenate the tissues, particularly muscle and bone, adrenals and reproductive system. Consumption of ashwaganda also improves nutrient absorption, strengthens the nerves, promotes restful sleep, lessens graying of the hair, and much more. It is one of the best anti-aging herbs on the planet. 3 x daily is ideal! I enjoy this herb especially nightly in a creamy elixir like this Golden Milk Latté.
  6. Nettle– This common “weed” is one of the best tonic herbs for kidney and adrenal health. It also happens to be FREE and abundant in the wild. It’s a beauty tonic to boot, as one of the highest sources of silica, an essential nutrient for strong skin, hair and tissues. It boosts thyroid hormone (great for low thyroid), improves metabolism so it helps burn fat and it also helps to clear mucus. Raw nettles are great for cleaning the liver, build blood, flush acidic waste and even help calm the nervous system. The root is a tool for reversing and inhibiting pattern baldness, an anti-inflammatory for the prostate and hormonal balancer for disproportionate testosterone/estrogen levels. As a kidney tonic, it removes uric acid in gout. As a digestive aid, it supports the growth of beneficial intestinal flora (probiotics) and removal of mucus in the colon. It doesn’t just support mood and energy via nourishment to the adrenals, it’s also a source serotonin – the feel good neurotransmitter. It is one of the most excellent foods/medicines for proper prostate function. It’s commonly used as an antidepressant, as a naturally antibiotic and anti-fungal (great for Candida), to dissolve kidney stones, to regulate the thyroid, to increase energy, to treat anemia and ulcers, and to treat constipation. It is considered one of the greatest tonic herbs for the adrenals, kidney, and liver. I take this herb 3 x a day in my tonics and even add this powdered extract to my Bulletproof Coffee – it’s tasteless and as a powdered extract, it dissolves completely without grit.
  7. Amla berry– Stress, infection and intense exercise all increase the cellular demand for vitamin C – there are even studies showing how blood levels of vitamin C fall at an increased rate during these times. Adrenal fatigue is just referring to a lack of adrenal output, which places all cells of the body under increased stress. The result is a near automatic increase in sympathetic nervous activity to compensate for the extremely low levels of cortisol (an anti-inflammatory stress hormone) and high levels of systemic inflammation that usually is found next to low levels of this steroid hormone. When this happens, the immune system does not regulate properly, which means infection and in result a driving demand for b-vitamins, minerals and especially vitamin C. In times of stress, a dosage of 2,000-4,000 mg per day of food-grade vitamin C is recommended – in severe cases, up to 20,mg. Where are we supposed to get doses of vitamin C like this that won’t cause vitamin C flush (diarrhea) or a pro-oxidant effect in the case of consumption of large doses of synthetic ascorbic acid? Mother Nature has the remedy and it goes by the name of Amla. Next to Gubinge, Amla is the highest sources of vitamin C on the planet. Not only that, it’s a strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory that helps cleanse liver. Healthy adrenals aren’t the only aspect to having a body that is resilience against stress, a healthy liver is also a must. The liver also produces many hormones when under stress. Keep it clean and well-functioning is a must and healthy doses of food-grade vitamin C is one simple way to build a healthier liver and stronger adrenals. For extreme fatigue, take up to 10,000 mg a day, for general prevention roughly 2,000 mg is great.
  8. RhodiolaWhen it comes to dissolving the excessive cortisol in the blood (which can weaken the immune system) Rhodiola is King. It has a calming effect on the body as cortisol is dissolved. However, it really depends on your unique adrenal output on how you will react – most people actually experience more alertness when taking Rhodiola because it help slightly stimulate under-active adrenal and thyroid. As a side-note, cortisol is not the culprit – it is absolutely necessary to live and a powerful anti-inflammatory and is what wakes us up in the morning. The problem is that most of us live in a reactive, stressful state and the result is excessive cortisol output, which weakens the adrenals and immune system. most of us exist in a state of nearly constant exposure to this compound, resulting in lowered blood sugar response, abdominal weight gain, decreased memory, reduced cellular energy production, and diminished immunity. Rhodiola helps by not only reducing persistent raised cortisol and balancing the HPA-Axis, but also to balance and heal the entire communication system for the long-term, making the body much more resilient to stress. This results in not just lower “stress” but better energy, increased immunity, and significantly more balanced hormones. This will help to counter any emotional eating or other stress related compulsions. Again, 3 x a day with this herb, perhaps avoiding taking it past 6 pm.
  9. Holy Basil–  Holy Basil also known as Tulsi can be a super helpful for treating fatigue and energy depletion. It has many anti-stress properties and does not stimulate like Rhodiola or Ginseng. This makes it a safe herb for treating general fatigue. It is great for lowering cortisol during times of stress and it also lowers total cholesterol while stimulating the immune system. If you are experiencing the byproducts of fatigue such as insomnia or anxiety then you may want to try Holy Basil. Note that it also goes under the name Tulsi.However, if you have advanced chronic fatigue, you will want to use Holy Basil with caution. The reason for this is that Holy Basil is very good at lowering cortisol and might be too calming for someone who is very fatigued – better to go with Rhodiola in this case. Other than that, you will find that Holy Basil provides many of the same benefits found in the other adaptogens mentioned.
  10. Schisandra berry  Not many people realized this but schisandra berries are actually a powerful adaptogen. Whether the pressure is mental or physical, the adaptogenic qualities of schisandra will have a stabilizing effect on the entire body. For this reason many athletes love schisandra – it helps them perform at high levels and increases the capacity for both physical and mental endurance, while protecting the body from  harmful environmental and internal oxidative-stress. Schisandra improves cellular energy by increasing nitric oxide levels in the body. In Asia, schisandra is thought to be one of the most protective plants – especially for the skin. It’s ability to cleanse and detoxify the liver make it a great beauty herb, considering that the hair, skin and eyes are all a reflection of the liver. If you want to look good, keep your liver in good shape – it’s that simple! Schisandra berry contains powerful antioxidant properties, such as gomisin A and Wuweizisu C, that help rejuvenate skin by protecting the lipid membrane in skin cells – this means protection against sun damage! The high antioxidant count protects cells from oxidative damage during times of stress – this means less wrinkles, better hair, stronger joints and healthier tissues. Because excessive stress can cause inflammation, schisandra is great because it contains many anti-inflammatory qualities to help counter this effect. Additionally, schisandra berry increases the production of glutathione, the master anti-oxidant, which supports healthy liver detoxification. Lastly, schisandra contains lignans that offer more liver protection by supporting the function of the liver and even the regeneration of it. You can mix schisandra berry extract into water and sip throughout the day, add to raw ice cream recipes or make herbal tonics.

11 Tips for Improving Digestion For Good

So, how’s your digestion?

Surprisingly, this is one of the first questions I ask when consulting with my clients. As a holistic health coach, I get a lot of people who come into my life with “issues” from all walks of life. However, whether a person is trying to lose weight, pursue their dreams, or just feel better achieving optimal digestive health is a constant. After all, the gut is a fundamental influencing force of human health.

The Gut-Brain Connection

There is an undeniable relationship between our gut and mental activity. Some have their first experiences with this during moments of intuition, that “I had a funny feeling about this”. We’ve been unconsciously experiencing this connection in multiple forms of expression just like this.

The popular “gut wrenching feeling” or “I feel sick to my stomach” and of course who can forget the popular “butterflies in my stomach”? These are all proven experiences of the bond between what goes on within our intestinal tract and our mind. It seems simple, if our stomachs are aching, it seems likely we wouldn’t be in the best mood.

The Lemon Exercise

If you don’t think that the metaphysical can strongly influence the physical then try this exercise. Witness how the mere thought of food can stimulate digestive juices. This is mostly for fun but will help give you an actual experience of the gut-brain connection – just in case you haven’t experienced a strong reaction yet.

Right now, with out any distraction, concentrate on the image of a lemon in your mind. Pretend you’re holding this lemon in your hand, freshly picked off of a tree somewhere in California. You can smell the fresh, sour citrus as it sits in your palm. You bring it closer and breathe in the lemon zest.

Now imagine taking a huge bite of that lemon, peel and all. Can you feel your mouth watering yet? If your imagination is strong enough, you likely were able to stimulate some digestive juices without even having the lemon present in real life. This shows you how powerful your mind is at controlling your digestive system.

A Holistic Approach

Science has explored this phenomenon further only to discover that our bodies are even more connected than we had ever known (at least here in the West). Though many other ancient cultures have been telling us that our reality starts from within, we in the West are coming to learn this from a more scientific experience.

In short, up to 80% of our brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are manufactured in the gut. In fact, 95% of our serotonin is produced in the gut. This tells us a lot about how sensitive our intestinal tract is to emotions and mood. We are realizing we can no longer treat symptoms of impaired digestion; such as depression or anxiety, without addressing the gut.

Likewise, if we want to heal a distressed gut, we have to take account for our moods. This means working from both ends by managing our mental-emotional states as well as maintaining our physical bodies by being aware of what we put into our system.

10 Simple Tips for Optimal Digestion

Though the idea of digestion appears deeply complex, maintaing a healthy digestive system is really quite simple. Here are some tips for regaining and maintaining perfect digestive health that anyone can implement:

  1. Never watch TV (especially the news) while eating- Most of us grew up with a dinner table and a television not to far away. We even went as far as creating the TV Dinner, to make sure we were able to eat and enjoy our favorite shows at the same time. The news never produces a good feeling and is usually filled with negativity. This creates too much excitement in the body, which can trigger the flight-or-fight response (Stress). When we watch something over stimulating, our bodies cannot tell the difference between real life or a strong imagination. So when you’re watching the news about war or the failing economy, your body is likely to go into stress mode which will shut down the digestive system.
  2. Don’t read technical or stressful material while eating- Reading the newspaper is just like watching the news (see no.1). In fact, eating the newspaper somewhere relaxing would probably be better for your digestion than reading it while eating and hoping to digest your food. IF you wish to read, read something uplifting that makes you happy. Self-help books, inspirational stories, or something spiritually enlightening. Avoid your tax report, work papers, or school books. Additionally, using your eyes actually requires a good amount of energy, which takes away from digestion.
  3. Play relaxing music- Classical music, music with a one-second beat (Baroque Classical), or new age music with no beat (most meditation music). This is relaxing to the body and will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which will turn on your digestion. Research from John Hopkins University and other Institutes actually shows that classical music has a higher energetic vibration which soothes the heart and assists you in relaxation. Where rock music shows very rigid vibrational patterns that cause people to eat in a rushed, tense pace.
  4. Drink two glasses of water before each meal- What is important here is the quality and timing. You want to drink chlorine and fluoride-free water always. The best is local spring water. You can get this by searching http://www.findaspring.com or asking local health conscious folks in your neighborhood. The second best option are glass bottled spring waters. Here is my top choice for water as far as mineral content, taste and purity goes. Next, make sure you drink the water 15 minutes before eating. Drinking water before a meal will ensure you properly digest your food by hydrating the stomach lining. This will assist enzyme production. Do not drink water while eating or any sooner than 15 minutes as this will dilute digestive enzymes and acids.
  5. Limit and aim to avoid dehydrated foods- This means crackers, chips, dried fruits, un-soaked nuts, seeds and grains and of course common processed foods (donuts, popcorn, cookies, pretzels, crisps, etc).  Most people are eating too many improperly prepared grains and legumes. Beans, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, oats, etc. and even nuts and seeds all need to be soaked in water and rehydrated to be properly digested. They contain enzyme inhibitors that make them very difficult to digest. Not to mention, when not soaked they are very dehydrating foods. It’s a good idea to soak grains, legumes and nuts/seeds for 12-24 hours and rinse well to remove saponins and lectins. Dehydrated foods often get stuck to the gut wall where they draw moisture out of the colon. This causes pain, cramps and can lead to problems like diverticulitis. Instead, make it your goal to consume more water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, organic meats and properly prepared grains.
  6. Avoid foods you are intolerant or allergic to- Many people are intolerant to foods and have no idea. This is a result of being ignorant to the first 5 steps in this post, lack of variety in diet, stress and other reasons. If you know you’re intolerant or allergic, make it a matter to pay extra attention to healing your gut with these steps and of course just avoiding a food that is taking away from your quality of life. If you don’t know if you are intolerant you can get tested, or even cheaper would be to eliminate common problematic foods for 2 weeks and see how you feel on and off. These foods are gluten, corn, soy, eggs, dairy, nuts/seeds, and most forms of sugar (including fruit).
  7. Chew your food until it’s liquid- No explanation needed.
  8. Eat smaller meals more often- A smaller meal is easier to digest than a bigger meal, that’s common sense. Digestion takes incredible amounts of energy, preserving it by eating smaller meals will keep you younger and more energized. Because we are all different with unique metabolisms, there may be variances in the size of your meals and frequencies. A good rule of thumb is to eat until your 80% full, leaving room for digestion. The goal is metabolic efficiency; you want to be able to take in the most amount of nutrients with minimal food required. Eating to 80% capacity will only be effective if you are eating real food, with healthy proportions of fats, carbs and proteins.
  9. Never suppress the urge- If you have to go, GO! Many people put off going to the bathroom until they are home from work, or in the most comfortable setting. Though this makes sense to a degree, you are also destroying your colon. The peristalsis mechanism in your intestinal tract controls your elimination, it’s your poop muscle if you will. Its been shown in little as 7-21 days you can entrain any physiological system. By suppressing your natural need to eliminate you can cause a permanent traffic jam in your intestines; chronic constipation! This is sure to impair digestion in a serious way by inhibiting nutrient absorption and leading to toxicity.
  10. Start meals with raw foods (especially fermented)- Raw foods, especially fermented raw foods, are incredibly dense with enzymes and healthy bacteria. These are very beneficial to digestion. They stimulate the digestive process and aid the body in producing it’s own enzymes and stomach acids. Raw sauerkraut, raw apple cider vinegar or coconut kefir both aid the body in producing stomach acid (HCL) which digests proteins. These are great to have with animal proteins. Pineapple and papaya also contain protein digestive enzymes and are great in salads. Raw foods and raw ferments establish a healthy gut flora, which are the base of your digestive system. They play many roles in food digestion and nutrient absorption. Try adding a few tablespoons of these fermented foods to each meal or sipping on a few ounces fermented drinks while eating for incredible digestion.
  11. CHILL OUT– If there is one thing you could do for better digestive health, it would be to relax. The digestive system is run by the atomic nervous system. There are two subcategories of our nervous system that mange our digestive health; the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. When we are stressed out or suffering, we are in a sympathetic state. Hence the name sym-pathetic. The word pathetic is derived from the Greek word pathos, meaning to suffer. Whenever we are stressed our bodies suffer and activates this sympathetic nervous system, telling our bodies it is in danger. In this panicked state, the body shuts down all digestive functions and used that energy for primal survival. The sympathetic nervous system activates the muscles and prepares the body for work. While this mechanism can be useful in life or death situations let’s face it, we are hardly in life or death situations anymore. I’m not saying life is anywhere near perfect; however, most people have no real reason to suffer or panic. It’s more likely that our problems today, and digestive problems are totally psychosomatic (created in our minds in the form of worry, anxiety and outdated mental constructs). When we are relaxed and chilled out though, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which is responsible for rest, repair and regeneration. We do not necessarily need to be in a constant state of relaxation or serenity – there is a time any place for work. However, most people are in a constant sympathetic state. If you have digestive problems then you are likely more stressed out than not. Stress is simply force-counter force, it’s pressure. So what can you do to relax? Stop trying to impress people, stop letting people pure-pressure you, stop letting people depress you (put you down) and get out of your head. Stop thinking so much and look around. There’s a major difference between thinking (consciousness) and looking (awareness). Be less conscious and more aware – get out of your thoughts and look around, life is fucking beautiful. Go for a walk, look into someone’s eyes, or paint a picture if you don’t believe me.

For more knowledge and holistic tips for optimal digestive health, see my online course Perfect Digestion, where I dive deeper into the anatomy of the digestive system, how it works and what we can do daily to support it’s functioning.

Pine Pollen: Nature’s Hormone Supplement

Last spring I was fourtunate enough to come across my first big Pine Pollen harvest and since reaping the benefits of this epic wild food, I have been inspired to share it with all of you.

Whether you want to learn a bit about foraging wild food, you’re interested in optimal performance and want a natural alternative or you just want some seriously clean energy then this article is for you.

Pine Pollen is hands down the most complete and powerful ‘supplement’ I have ever consumed and guess what…you can get it totally for free! – more on that later though. It’s a true wonder substance, not only is it a 100% organic and natural whole-food it’s also a very strong medicine.

A lot of people talk about common super-foods like goji berries, raw cacao and bee pollen but many people fail to mention Pine Pollen as probably thee ultimate super-foods. It’s superior for many reasons but it’s real magic comes from the fact that is sourced directly from the wild where it’s adaptability, strength and nutrition content far exceeds that of anything grown in a lab or on a farm.

In short, Pine Pollen has over 200 bioacitve natural nutrients, minerals and vitamins source all in one source. What’s more, is that is the active constituents in Pine Pollen are easily absorbed by the human body, where as most other supplements have very poor absorption rates – Pine Pollen is 90% more absorbable than bee pollen even.

The Many Benefits of Pine Pollen

Amongst a long list of unique benefits, in actuality, Pine Pollen has positive affects on the entire body, it’s a complete functional food acting as a:

  • Lung tonic (benefits the immune system and beautifies the skin)
  • Kidney tonic (very rejuvenating to the brain, hair, bones and endocrine system)
  • Liver tonic (stimulates liver regeneration and regulates bile secretion)
  • Heart tonic (increases cardiovascular endurance, raises blood levels of Superoxid Dismutase and lowers cholesterol)
  • Spleen tonic (Nourishes the muscles and increases metabolism which are both governed by the Spleen organ system in Asian medicine)

PINE POLLEN FOR ANTI-AGING

Pine Pollen is a powerful anti-oxidant, increasing SOD levels (superoxide dismutase, perhaps the most powerful and crucial antioxidant the body makes) in the blood. It also increass glutathione production, which breaks down and removes xenobiotics (environmental pollutants) and metabolites of oxidative stress (internal toxins made by the body) from the body.

Pine pollen benefits overall skin health and appearance, by providing natural androgens – youth hormones. Also, Pine Pollen has the ability to improve collagen and elastin production, which make up the underlying matrix of the skin. Pine Pollen keeps these proteins from degrading and causing wrinkles.

Keep in mind, one of the easiest ways to prevent wrinkles is to make sure you drink plenty of living spring water everyday! Last but not least, Pine Pollen reduces lipofuscin deposits – a brown pigment responsible for age spots a.k.a. liver spots – in the heart, brain and liver.

PINE POLLEN FOR SEXUAL VIGOR, STRENGTH & MUSCLE BUILDING POWER

Pine pollen is most renowned for its potent androgenic effect it has on the body. It contains bio-available androstenedione, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), androsterone and a wide variety of other steroidal type substances! So it is literally Mother Nature’s steroids, which unlike synthetic steroids, are perfectly safe.

These anabolic compounds are only for building muscle, they keep the skin smooth and tight, maintain a healthy libido, optimize tissue regeneration, optimize breast health in women and testicular and prostate health in men, aid in the excretion of excess estrogens and speed up the metabolism to help burn off excess fat.

PINE POLLEN FOR HEALTHY HORMONES

Healthy hormones are a key to keeping the body young, beautiful and healthy. Pine Pollen is rich in natural occurring phyto-androgens that help to counter the effects of estrogen mimicking substances commonly found in our plastic, modern world. Many of the plastics we found used to make bottles, food containers, body care products, cleaners, medications, and even our clothing can mimic estrogens in our bodies and cause disruptions. Pine Pollen is a natural estrogen detoxifier.

Additionally, plenty of people get also get an unnecessary amount of estrogen from commercial animal products like dairy and meat that contain added hormones. Those who consume industrial animal products aren’t the only ones in danger of estrogen overload, many plant based food products contain phyto-estrogens such as soy, hops, yams, nuts and seeds and other fruits and vegetables. It’s all about balance when it comes to hormones, and in today’s world, it is overly estrogenic – why is a deeper discussion!

For now, it is easy to see that estrogen can easily dominate a person’s system these days. Pine pollen’s ability to balance estrogen levels has never been more necessary today – if people wish to continue to procreate healthy children, then this is one issue that must be resolved! Not to mention, it is at the root of many weight issues, skin diseases, and mood disorders.

And yes, women can definitely get the benefits of Pine Pollen too without worrying about growing a masculine figure or beard. In fact, excess body hair growth in women (and hair loss in men) is more likely due to elevated DHT levels (which can be controlled with Saw Palmetto, Licorice and Nettle Root) rather than free testosterone, so no need to fear growing facial hair.

In men, the commonly known beer belly and erectile dysfunction are actually outward signs of high estrogen. Good news is that Pine Pollen has the power to “re-masculinize” an overly estrogenic male.

PINE POLLEN FOR HEALTHY ENERGY

Want some seriously good energy? Look for further than Pine Pollen. It makes coffee, cacao and any energy drink seem pointless. Just when you harvest this stuff from the wild and the pollen is flying around the air, into your lungs and skin you feel the effects it has on the body and the huge increase of energy. The stuff is live and unlike any other energy boost you’ve probably recieved. It’s not like caffeine as a stimulate but more like the energy you get after really good sex.

And because it is a complete source of proper nutrition, the energy lasts without any crash. Pine Pollen is not a stimulating drug, and contains no stimulants, though it is more energizing than caffeine just in a different way. If you want the best pre-workout, then whip up some of my Pine Pollen Truffled Chocolates and you’ll be performing beyond you previous limitations. You can also consume in it a post-workout recovery shake for improved recovery time.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

  • 30% protein
  • A complete protein
  • Greatly improves vitality and stamina
  • Promotes longevity
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Raises low testosterone
  • Increase male fertility
  • Combats and reverses the effects of Andropause (male menopause)
  • Eliminates sexual dysfunction due to low androgen levels
  • Balances the Estrogen to Testosterone ratio in Women and Men
  • Prevents prostate disease
  • Promotes liver cell activity aiding in liver detoxification and rehabilitation
  • Accelerate the activity of liver cells and regulate bile secretion
  • Enhance the metabolic function of the skin
  • Nourishes the hair at its roots
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Aids in weight management and promotes weight loss
  • Improves immune function
  • Rapidly decrease the time it takes to into shape
  • Gentle daily cellular detoxification
  • Eliminates brain fog and increases attention and cognitive function
  • Improves skin elasticity by promoting collagen production
  • Clears acne
  • Nourishes the brain
  • Dissolves and removes age spots on skin and in the body
  • Protect the cardiovascular system by improving the heart, blood, and the blood vessels. (Rutin, one of the components of pine pollen, increases the strength of the capillary vessels and helps protect the cardiovascular system.)

HOW TO TAKE PINE POLLEN

Most herbalists recommend Pine Pollen in tincture form is best for androgen therapy. Therefore, it may also be contradictory for young males. Therefore, Pine Pollen tincture, while in a sense more powerful, is better left to the adult men while Pine Pollen Powder is a better whole-food substance that does not have as high of an absorption rate of the androgens.

That being said, if you’re an adult bodybuilder, athlete or do manual labor, the tincture may be of most use to you. For anyone else, I recommend using a cracked-cell wall powdered extract.

For dosage, you can experiment but as a general rule of thumb, most herbs are best consumed 3 times daily over a course of time. You may also take Pine Pollen intermittently if you are using it for building muscle. For maintenance, I suggest the powder.

Pine Pollen Tincture

Pine Pollen Powder

A Bulletproof Night-Cap For Deep Sleep

Did you know that a astounding 30 percent of Americans are affected by persistent insomnia? While no one necessarily enjoys not being able to sleep, few actually know what causes insomnia or what to do about it so the problem persists.

What’s worst is that sleep deprivation is at the root of nearly all disease. Sleep deprivation causes incredible stress in the body, inhibiting homeostasis.  More specifically, sleep deprivation can cause dehydration, another major ailment that nearly 70 percent of Americans struggle with.

If you wish to experience an optimal state of health than quality sleep is imperative.

The Nasty Side of Sleep Deprivation

Most of us know that sleep is incredibly important for good health. Sleep is when we repair and enter a deep state of homeostasis. While staying centered and grounded in your true self will surely keep you in a state of balance, nothing quite compares to quality sleep when it comes to deep healing.

Well, I mean unless you’re taking frequent spirit trips to the magic universe, then perhaps you’ve hit new levels. While you’re still human, sleep is going to be a critical part of a healing process and feeling our best.

If we aren’t centered and experiencing a lot of stress, it is likely that our sleep is being greatly affected for the worst. When this happens were might be at risk for numerous health disasters, just to name a few:

•    Anxiety & Depression and other mental & mood imbalances
•    Cancer
•    Impaired cognitive ability
•    Metabolic Syndrome
•    Cardiovascular disease
•    Diabetes
•    Impaired insulin action
•    Impaired glucose control
•    Digestive problems
•    Elevated C-reactive protein (inflammation)
•    Elevated cortisol levels
•    And more

The Causes of Insomnia

Quality sleep actually starts long before bed time. As paradoxical as it sounds, we need energy to sleep. When we are depleted of energy we actually experience adrenal fatigue due to elevated cortisol — a hormone released during a stress response.

That is because in order for us to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone) cortisol needs to be low. As cortisol raises, melatonin decreases. In other words, stress depletes our energy reserves, making it harder to fall asleep. Then, this lack of sleep

The problem compounds when we begin to lose sleep frequently, which further raises cortisol levels and disturbs sleep patterns even more. This is why we need to “kill the monster while it’s small.”

One Simple Trick

While the optimal solution for insomnia is a holistic approach — addressing stress at the core and taking steps to dissolve it — sometimes the best thing we can do is take one step in the right direction. I like simple solutions, especially when it involves food.

I came across some research that demonstrated the sleep improvement power of a good old fashion glass of warm milk before bed. The bioactive peptides in milk, taken before bed, improves sleep remarkable. The studies show that when taken before bed, milk can:

•    Promote deep sleep
•    Support more restorative sleep
•    Relax the body, prepping it for sleep
•    Calms the nerves
•    Improv various stress markers

“In one study, 32 healthy men were given just 150 mg of these milk proteins, and in just two weeks their sleep quality improved by 50 percent.

In another study, over 60 women who were complaining of a host of stress-related problems, such as digestion, cardiovascular, emotional, cognitive and social disorders, were given 150 mg of the milk proteins before bed. The benefits ranged from 50 to 60 percent improvement in all of the disorders listed (8).”

Supplements & Spiritual Solutions

GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the CNS. It is well established that activation of GABA(A) receptors favors sleep. It has been documented that individuals with insomnia have lower levels of GABA than those with normal sleeping patterns. (1)(2)

My personal experience is that I am in complete control of the functioning of my body via my thought creation. Just as the thought of some horrifying situation can trigger a physical sensation in the body (the feeling of adrenaline surging through the body) I know that the thoughts I create can also promote the release of relaxing, calming neurotransmitters. This is the purpose of many different yoga and Ancient medicine practices.

I find this to be the most honest solution to health as it is 100% empowering, there is zero dependency of any substance in this practice; however, it is much more difficult to master.

I will also use this moment to mention that through my personal experience and coaching practice that one of the major causes of insomnia is unfinished business, particularly in the realm of withholds. When we go to bed with any unfinished business, our attention and energy is diverted back and out of the present. This would of course make it difficult to sleep.

In the same way, withheld thoughts can pull our horse power back. I would suggest to anyone with chronic insomnia to address this more metaphysical area of the issue. Consult with your own spirit, what unfinished business do you have? What do you need to ‘get off your chest’. Reach out to anyone and complete the business. The result will likely be peace of mind and a much easier time falling asleep in the long run.

If you do wish to experiment with supplements for a sleep problem, I personally recommend GABAwave. It is used  has tranquilizing effects, can reduce stress and anxiety, and is a nootropic (cognitive enhancing) substance. It can improve sleep quality and does not impede performance or energy levels.

An Ayurvedic Perspective

In Ayurveda, hot milk before bed is a staple sleep tonic. While milk alone will not solve a mental and emotional stress-related sleep problem, it’ll definitely help round the edges. Plus, I find the art of crafting food and recipes to be very creative and therapeutic!

According to Ayurveda, chronic stress depletes what they refer to as ojas. Ojas is said to be the physiological expression of consciousness, which is in charge of immunity, reproduction, beauty, and the overall health and well-being of the individual. That’s right, Ayurveda knows what’s up — WE are in charge of the immune system.

When our ojas is depleted from poor lifestyle — either from stress, lack of sleep, bad food, poor digestion, excessive activity or inactivity then the body begins to break down. The result is exhaustion, sleep problems, low sex drive, skin problems, stiff joints, accelerated aging and are risk of disease.

Practitioners say that Ojas takes 30 days to cultivate in the body, so this is no overnight fix thought it will serve as a tasty remedy. If you are persistent and make health a lifestyle then the result may be numerous and plenty.

Ojas produce enzymatic actions that are responsible for the digesting of food, which is perhaps one of the most important aspects of human health. Without good digestion the lymph, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerve and reproductive tissues can be come toxic.

However, if we nourish our bodies, keep stress levels low than we can give our bodies the chance to regenerate these tissues and a new state of health can be the result.

Rebuilding Our Ojas

In Ayurveda, certain food and herbs may specifically help ojas. One of the best Ojas building foods? FRICKEN MILK.

Now, I realize milk is controversial topic, but let’s throw that dietary dogma crap out of this blog and recognize that milk is first of a real food and that is a huge deal considering the real problem with food these days is that it’s FAKE.

Additionally, milk has been praised since ancient and biblical times. It is also very well-documented and has been shown to contain properties that reduce numerous stress markers, support sleep, and even build what Ayurveda calls ojas.

The REAL problem with today’s milk: is that it is very difficult to digest. Here’s why:

  1. It’s typically from sick animals.
  2. It contains added hormones, chemicals and antibiotics.
  3. It is unnecessarily homogenized and pasteurized.
  4. Because of 1-3, it’s a nightmare to digest and makes people sick.
To avoid this, make the ethical decision and buy from your local, organic farmer and be sure to get it raw. If this sounds like too much work, then at the very least purchase a vat-pasturized organic, grass-fed milk.
If you previously found milk difficult to digest, it will likely not be the case when you have it before it was corrupted by corporations, in its raw, real form.

A Delicious Bulletproof Recipe For Baby Sleep

It’s recipe time. If you’re ready to cultivate some ojas with me and experience the benefits of deep, beauty sleep then here is a recipe that should help.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Add your dates, almonds and coconut flakes to one cup of milk as you slowly bring it to a high heat (just below a boil).
  2. Once the milk has heated turn off the flame and let the spices steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain off the dates, almonds and coconut into a Blender.
  4. Add your fats, ashwaganda and stevia then Blend.
  5. Drink each night for 1 months at least (3 months ideally) to rebuild Ojas and support sleep patterns.

For more lifestyle tips for sleep to combine with these check out my other blog post HERE.

 

Heal Yeast Infections Once and For All

A study from Rice University shows that 70% of people world-wise have a systemic candida infection in it’s hyphae, fungal form.

Candida is a yeast found in humans all over and inside of the body. It’s most abundant;y found in colonies in the intestines, mouths or on the skin. On its own, Candida is normal in the body; however, once it’s out numbered the good bacteria in the gut and turned into a hyphae, it becomes a fungus. And just like you see a fungus decaying a tree in the wild, in the body fungus will opportunistically attack the tissues, organs and digestive tract.

We do not want candida to go into a system form for many reasons. The main reason is that it is becoming more apparent that beyond any infectious disease is a fungal infection.

Julia Koehler, found that candida is the predominant fungal infection behind all human disease, even cancer. According to Koehler, “candida was responsible for 60% of the fungal infections acquired in hospitals, killing 1 in 3 people with a bloodstream infection.”

What is Candida?

Something I consistently do in my work as a writer, coach and just as a human being is practice literacy. That is because we only fail to master a subject that we fail to learn the terminology to. If we wish to master the health game, we must become literate to terms. It is from my observation that Candida remains a persistent problem for many because they simply do not understand what Candida is.

That being said, Candida is a microscopic organism that can take two forms, a yeast form (it’s natural form) or a fungal form (hyphae, deadly form). It typically lives harmlessly in people. However, once the immune is weakened, the body becomes at risk for a fungal infection.

This single-cell organism, reproduces asexually and it an opportunistic yeast, meaning is thrives on undigested food, dead tissue and sugars. It will overgrow and persist to become systemic unless its environment is altered and its source of food is eliminated. Otherwise, if the body becomes a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria/yeast it will very quickly take over the entire body and it’s systems such as the digestive and urinary tract.

Do You Have Candida Overgrowth?

Knowing if you have a Candida infection or not is tricky. When someone has an overgrowth of candida they can often appear to look very healthy on the outside. Therefore, most people and many practitioners are unaware of this phenomenon.

Even more, the symptoms of candida can mimic other illnesses, so it can be difficult to diagnose without testing. In other words, people can actually feel much worse than they look.

Looks and health are not directly synonymous; however, health can ensure natural beauty. Where on the other hand, we can manipulate our looks despite our inner-health, at least for a short period.

Below are some of the most common symptoms of candida. Remember, most symptoms are the same for any disease as a symptom is just a signal that the body is not working properly. That being said, here are the most consistent symptoms:

  • Fatigue and chronic fatigue
  • Muscle aches, weakness or paralysis
  • Insomnia
  • Pain and/or swelling in joints
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bloating, belching, intestinal gas and/or abdominal pain
  • Poor memory, foggy thinking or feeling “spacey”
  • Troublesome vaginal itching, burning or discharge
  • Prostatitis
  • Loss of sexual desire or feeling
  • Persistent skin problems
  • Endometriosis or infertility
  • Impotence
  • Bad breath
  • Frequent mood swings

If you want, you can take this candida questionnaire. Then from there, for better judgement, review your  results with a holistic/functional practitioner. Know that most physicians are not aware of systemic fungal infections. For the best results, seek out a functional practitioner who’s education is well-rounded, not fragmented.

Why Are Candida Infections So Common?

Personally, when I see a persisting problem I must ask why. Why are so many people affected by a fungal infection? Don’t you find that weird? I do.

While the causes can vary (there are infinite number of ways for things to go wrong) there is usually one main cause. What is it?

A weakened immune system.

And what causes the immune system to become weak? Well, again, many things. I would say the number one cause is the fact that people’s spirits are becoming increasingly sicker. We live in a world that suppresses creativity, love and expression all the while promotes drinking, drugs, violence, war, hate and working dead end jobs with the ends justifying the means.

This forceful way of living causes stress. Stress is, force counter force. Then there is the strain, the pulling away from this forced way of living. Over time, enough stress and strain and the adrenals become weak.

Once the adrenals go, the body suffers from low levels of minerals needed to maintain the necessary slightly alkaline Ph. in the blood.

Here are just a few specific ways this phenomenon of modern life manifests:

  • We live longer. Instead of increasing the quality of our lives, people are just trying to extend their time here. However, as we age, our bodies are more susceptible to pathogens due to weakened immune systems.
  • The stress forced upon us daily just to survive. We’ve gotten in way too deep in the game of survival. It could be much simpler and we could have gotten ourselves out long ago. Stress weakens our immune systems, depletes our minerals and creates an acidic blood environment
  • Instead of treating the cause, we treat the symptom. This is due to capitalization and many other twisted hidden intentions too. However, this has caused a widespread use of antibiotics and other drugs. Drugs not only become a medium, stopping the body’s own healing process, they damage the liver and make the blood acidity, which weakens our immunity.
  • Success in treating diseases like AIDS/HIV – Created a subgroup of people susceptible to fungal infections due to lowered immunity.
  • Fake food. Sadly, it seems that fake food for fake people is the desired final product for today’s food consumer. This ‘Standard American Diet’ is not only nutritionally empty, it is making people infertile, stupid and sick. This sets the stage for disease and lowered immunity.

If you have a strong immune system, you could still have this infection unknowingly. The difference would just be that instead of a chronic state of sickness, you experience “flare ups”.

The ultimate solution is keeping our immunity strong, it is imperative. Building a fighting spirit, nourishing the glands, organs and blood, living a natural life to support immunity are all key to vigor and optimal health.

 

Drugs Don’t Work

Let’s be honest. Most doctors don’t know shit. Worst of all, they are trained to become glorified drug salesmen, not healers.

In medical school, physicians are taught that fungal infections are deadly if they become acute. Additionally, they are taught to prescribe “safe and effective” drugs (as if that was really a thing) for a set of symptoms. Visit a standard Western Medicine doctor for a fungal infection and they will certainly prescribe ‘the drug of choice” in a billion dollar spectrum of anti-fungal drugs.

Unfortunately, not only do drugs not work, they have side effects that are worse than the infection themselves. These drugs; in sake of remedying a symptom, destroy your immune system, organs and body’s natural healing process.

Fungal infections are a result of a poor lifestyle. What drug can you take to help you get more nature and sunshine? Is there a drug to dissolve hate in your soul? How about the medication for food addictions, where is that one?

Not even just that, fungus and yeast have biofilms that drugs cannot penetrate. On top of that, even the best drugs would need to be taken in a series of months considering once certain parasites or yeast die off, they lay thousands of eggs which need to be killed. However, once they die they release toxins into the blood stream which need to be cared for as well. There’s no pill for wellness.

To learn more, read: How This All Too Common Habit is Making Your Blood Dangerously Acidic.

Just for fun, let’s look at some side effects of common anti-fungals prescribed for candida and their side effects are:

Nystatin – Side effects: itching, irritation, burning, diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach pain, skin rash.

Diflucan (fluconazole) – Side effects: liver damage, an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, closing of throat, swelling lips, tongue or face, hives), yellowing of skin or eyes, abdominal pain, unusual fatigue, dark urine, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, itching.

Nizoral (ketoconazole) – Side effects: headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, impotence, rash, itching, nausea and/or vomiting and blood count abnormalities. A reaction resulting in serious lowering of the blood pressure and shock (anaphylaxis), depression and hair loss are reported as rare side effects.

Still think you’re getting an honest solution or outsmarting nature with those drugs?

However, because the collective laziness to live a natural lifestyle and ignorance of people, the demand for stronger and stronger anti-fungals continues…

Fortunately, modern medicine and modern people are beginning to see that fungi/yeast cannot be healed with some magic herb or drug. However, the movement toward the understanding of the actual cause is slow. People underestimate the power of diet, lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions that control and cause these infections.

Modern medicine is still not taking into account the need to reestablish our connection with Mother Nature and the human spirit to harmonize with Her in order for us to truly heal.

For Natural Solutions, Look To Nature

The cure is honestly simple. In fact, I feel it is it’s simplicity that keeps people from living it. It appears that while simplicity is better, it’s not always easier. IT’s in fact way more easy to complicate things.

For example, how easy is it to execute a song on a guitar improperly? Very, just smash the thing and you win. But performing a classical piece to perfection, note by note, exactly on tempo, is another story. Throw in the human shadow side and this idea of simplicity becomes even more aberrated.

If you’re up for it, life is ready for you to make it a whole hell of a lot simpler than we’ve been living it. Just by observing how Nature renews Herself and lives on eternally, we can discover answers for creating balance.

Native Americans, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners also sought answers from Natural Law. Just as nature has an ecosystem, we too have an ecosystem. Just as we are a fragment of God, we are a fragment of Nature. We are a microcosm, we cannot be healthier than our planet.

A healthy human ecosystem — a term coined by Donna Gates — is made up of the friendly microorganisms that live in our intestines, on our skin and more.

Their job is to keep us healthy. They work to protect us by digesting our food, protecting our immune systems, and guarding us from fungal and viral infections. They don’t just help us survive, if treated correctly, they can help us to thrive.

How do we work with the healthy bacteria that make up over 90% of our human bodies?

Through natural, holistic living of course.

Healing Yeast Infections

There are a few key components to helping heal the body. The first is that in order to heal the body, we first need to heal the spirit and then the mind. These two are the operators of the body. If they are sick, our actions will be sick.

  1. Heal The Spirit & Mind.

    How do we heal the spirit and mind? This is another post/book in of itself. The place to start is to find start finding out who you truly are. HEre’s a hint, who you truly are, is everything you’re not. Whoever you think you are, subtract that and what’s left, that is you.

    For more on spiritual healing you can coach with me or seek out other healers. At the very least, get some good reading material. Here is amazon’s best-sellers for spiritual and mental healing. It’s not the most impressive list; however, for someone first starting out, it will help greatly. I would also advice the readings of Osho for beginners.

    There isn’t anything more “spiritual” than another. Everything and nothing is sacred. Perhaps the most spiritual attitude is playfulness. Seriousness is the root of all disease in my opinion. You might find more spiritual healing in laughter, giving love and nature than any book. However, the right person with proper training can dramatically improve this process.

    On the metaphysical, the causes of yeast infections vary:

    Candida: Feelings very scattered. Lots of frustration and anger. Demanding and untrusting in relationships. Great takers.”
    Affirmation: I give myself permission to be all that I can be and deserve and the very best in life. I love and appreciate myself and others.”

    Thrush
    Feeling sexually abused or exploited. Feelings of guilt, shame or repressed sexual feelings,or being intimate with the wrong person.
    AffirmationI let go off my past, I am free and feeling good about myself. I am doing right things at present.
    UTI: Feeling pissed off! Usually at the opposite sex or lover.
    Affirmation:
     I release the pattern in my consciousness that created this condition. I am willing to change. I love and approve of myself. 
    Infections (general): Irritation, anger or annoyance about a recent situation.
    Affirmation: I choose to be peaceful and harmonious

  2. Food Is Medicine.

    The food a person is eating and digesting throughout the day is one of the most important factors in overcoming a fungal infection. Understand the true meaning of the phrase, food is medicine. I suggest a locally grown, organic and anti-fungal diet for overcoming a yeast infection for good. This would look a diet that is:

 

  • Is totally sugar-free, gluten-free, casein free and won’t feed the candida.
  • Includes fermented foods and drinks to rebalance the good:bad organisms.
  • Provides minerals, which are depleted by yeast, pathogens, weak adrenals and low immunity.
  • Heals digestion. Poor digestion creates a vicious cycle of sickness.

When I was renewing my immunity after a life time of modern living, stress and human problems I stuck to the Body Ecology Diet religiously for about 3 years. I still to this day eat the diet with a bit of freedom to consume the occasional organic, sweet treat such as an Ice Cream or maple syrup sweetened marshmallow. I would highly recommend reading this book as it’s been invaluable in my journey toward optimal wellness.

Other Action Steps

If you are having persistent yeast problems I would start the Body Ecology program today and start to nourish yourself with quality information and learn how to heal your body with food and holistic living.

Two key dietary components in my personal diet and healing protocol for clients are:

  • Vitality SuperGreen – I drink this every morning to provide minerals, probiotics and glutamine to ensure a healthy gut lining. It’s also a great afternoon energizer. My favorite part about it is that it tastes amazing and has made eating an otherwise seemingly “strict” diet at first very fun and easy to do. Overtime, as my chef skills improved, this was less necessary but I still consume it! It’s amazing blended up with some coconut kefir, an avocado and coconut kefir yogurt.
  • Young Coconut Kefir and Cultured Vegetables – Fermented foods and drinks are a staple in my diet. I have some sort of cultured food daily. In fact, I love them so much that once I perfected them, I eventually made an online course showing you how to make kefir soda. They aid digestion, nourish the immune system, heal the skin, provide trillions of probiotic bacteria and taste amazing. You can make them at home with with my step-by-step video course tutorial.

Additionally, I would also:

  • Laugh A LOT more. Life isn’t serious. Seriousness is heaviness, it’s dead and rigid. Laughter is playful, it’s light, and a live.
  • Give love. The best gift you could ever give is love. Everything else creates a ridge.
  • Count your blessings. Gratitude is the greatest wealth.
  • Become courageous. Only one with a fighting spirit will know life. Face your darkness, confront the bullies, stand up for yourself, create your world and share it with others, hell…kiss the girl already.
  • Know yourself. I mean really know yourself. Not your personality and self identity, who is the person behind the mask?

How Long Will It Take?

8 out of 10 Americans would benefit greatly from following the above-mentioned tips for at least 3 months. That means following the dietary protocol, healing your digestion, and for just 3 months stop taking shit so seriously. Can you do that? I know you can.

After that, I encourage you to spread those newly nourished wings and fly a bit more. When you are feeling confident that you’ve overcome a good amount of your addictions, negitivies, compulsions, symptoms or any other thing holding you back then get back out there and incorporate new HEALTHY foods. AT first, a very simple diet and lifestyle is best.

Over time, this experience will show you your ability to heal yourself, this way you can maintain health, energy and youthful vigor for the rest of your life.

 

The Healing Powers of Sunlight

Amongst the things we can do to keep in a peak state of health, getting adequate amounts of Sun exposure daily is one of them. Despite the misconceptions we have about Sunlight in society, it is actually heavenly healing gift.

The Myths About Sunlight

For a long time there have been false claims made about the Sun. It’s time to set the record straight. If you didn’t already know the truth, No it DOESN’T cause cancer. People who get skin cancer are unhealthy. It’s that simple.

If cancer were the cause of skin cancer then everyone in Africa would get skin cancer but they don’t get skin cancer. It also has little to nothing to do with skin color. Dark skinned people in the United States have the highest rates of skin cancer. Hmm…what’s the difference then?

Could it be due to the fact that most American’s eat toxic fake food, bath in poisoned water, work creative-less jobs for capitalistic consumers, and despite what country slogan, that we are not free at all? I’d imagine it has much less to do with skin color and much more to do with our contaminated America lifestyle.

I know this sounds harsh, the sleepers won’t want to read this, that is for sure. And I’m not here to be a downer, the truth will set us free but at first it’s going to hurt like a bitch. Anyway, enough for my rant, my point is that if we want to be free we need to be able to look past all the BS we are sold on.

So first off, don’t believe anyone who tells you Sunshine causes Melanoma. That’s pure grade-A cat shit. In fact, just the opposite is true. We finally have documented research to prove it. Studies all over the world prove that as sun exposure increases, malignant skin cancer risk goes down.

Not to mention, in the sunniest parts of the world people have lower risks of skin cancer. In Australia, lifeguards have lower skin cancer rates than those who hold office jobs. That’s right. More sun, less cancer.

Then why is it a number of people get melanoma who go in the sun? Because they are TOXIC. They eat food that shouldn’t pass as food, smoke, drink, fill their bodies with chemical lotions, potions, along with their houses and to top it all off usually fill their minds and bodies with toxic emotions.

Their livers become clogged and stop working. Then their kidneys become so toxic that the blood has to push the toxins out through the skin – where it is baked by the sun into the skin cells, causing melanoma. The skin is the last line of defense in eliminating toxins. When the body becomes backed up else where (the colon, liver and kidneys) it’ll eventually have to make it’s way through the skin just for survival sake.

There are many third world cultures who live all day in the sun and they don’t use sun lotion. Again- no, it has nothing to do with skin color because the highest rate of skin cancer in the modern world is dark skinned people. It’s the MODERN diet and lifestyle that’s killing them. SUNSCREEN is one of the most toxic things you can put on your skin ! It causes more skin cancer than anything. Look at the label. You are literally basting and baking those chemicals into your skin cells ! Want cancer ? Slather that crap on.

Who ever said the Sun causes cancer is a fool. How is it that creation messed up? How did Mother Nature make that mistake? God doesn’t make mistakes. We are designed to be in the sun. We get cancer because we screw up and go against nature.

What Happens To People Who Avoid Sunlight

A sort of vicious cycle happens here, people hear the Sun is bad (but are misinformed that its sunscreen, chemicals, fast-food and drugs that are bad) then avoid it. So they end up sitting inside eating chips in a sunscreen bath, wearing layers of toxic clothes and then wonder why their brains stop working.

People that don’t get enough sunlight start having all kinds of physical, mental and emotional problems:

  • Bones go soft (a condition called rickets), depression sets in (the highest suicide rates are in places with the least sunlight).
  • Hormone levels plummet causing depression and chronic fatigue.
  • They age quickly.
  • The skin becomes weak.
  • They become infertile.
  • Their immunity plummets and they become sick.

The Sun is what powers this planet, if you cut yourself off from relations with the Sun you must have a death wish.

The Healing Powers of Sunlight

On the other hand, people who are do get enough Sun experience all types of amazing things:

  • They have more energy, feel better, and are happier.
  • They have stronger immune systems, and get sick less.
  • They have denser, stronger bones.
  • They have better eye-sight.
  • They have stronger muscles and age more slowly.
  • They have 
richer blood, which means healthier hair, skin and everything.
  • They have healthier nerves.
  • They look better – Sunlight increases the amount of iron in the blood (gives tanned look).
  • They heal faster – Sunlight brings more blood to the skin surface which helps heal cuts, bruises and rashes.
  • They are less likely to get cancer. USA cancer rates are highest in states with least sunshine. Additionally, sunshine may reduce breast cancer by up to 40% and ovarian cancer by 80%.
  • They are live longer. Direct exposure kills most forms of mold, fungus and yeast, all which are opportunistic organisms that decay the body behind every disease.
  • They have health hormone levels, which means they feel amazing, have better sex lives, age better and have strong fertility.

Tips For Sunbathing: Nature’s Sunscreens

Hopefully by now you’re ready for your Sunshine. Before you go out into the Sun for hours know that you still want to avoid burning. Yes, Sunlight is amazing for you; however, you can get too much of a good thing. If you bake your skin into a third degree burn that’s not going to be good for anyone.

However, that being said, when you think about the design of Nature it is simply amazing. Wild animals don’t need sunscreen, yet they don’t burn. Their secret? There isn’t one – they just live naturally, they eat the right foods, play outside and don’t get constipation from hoarding resentment for 15 years.

If you want to enjoy the Sun’s benefits to the fullest, know there isn’t a short cut to wellness. If you’re living a fake, processed lifestyle and try to hang in the elements, you’re going likely have a hard time compared to someone who is living an already wholesome and natural life.

To get you back on track with living how you were designed to live and to keep your skin from burning:

  • Don’t put anything on your skin you wouldn’t eat. It soaks right into your blood trans-dermally. Stay away from poisonous sunscreen.
  • Detoxify your body. If you’re toxic inside, your body will be less resilient to the sun putting you at risk. You need to get clean first! It’s the first step to returning back to a natural existence.
  • Use coconut oil or MSM cream or even olive oil.
  • Try jojoba oil.
  • Eat a lot of seaweed; they are rich in minerals and antioxidants that serve as internal sunblock. They also aid the body in detoxification. If you can’t stomach to eat it, at least take a quality seaweed extract or blend kelp powder into a smoothie.
  • Eat plenty of berries and dark colored vegetables. The antioxidant anthocyanin found in dark pigmented berries and veggies helps protect the sun from UV damage.
  • Take Krill Oil. It is rich in zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that serves as internal sunblock.
  • GREEN leafy stuff. It contains chlorophyll. Why do you think plants with their delicate leaves don’t fry and wither in the sun? Chlorophyll. That green magic stuff that protects plants is the same stuff that protects us once we consume it. Though nothing beats fresh, wild greens, again, at least take a powder. This is my personal favorite greens powder, it’s fermented and gut-healing.
  • Aloe Vera. This is edible sunscreen that protects you from the inside when you eat it. It grows in the desert for a reason. Eat it daily and apply to your skin daily for maximum benefits. If you can’t get it fresh or frozen then at least try the powdered stuff.

The Bottom Line

Without sunlight, we become sick, aged and unhappy.

Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight each day – preferably naked. There is no mistake in nature.

What’s Your Face Saying About Your Health?

For most, what we see in the mirror is something that happens to us. When a pimple shows up we often think of it as simply random. Those who are slightly more in tune with their bodies know that they caused it. That pimple showed up for a reason, in that particular spot even! It showed up because that was the weakest spot on your body, not just on the surface but much deeper than that.

Nothing Is Random

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are full of small “microcosms” —little miniature networks of our larger existence—that reflect the greater health of the body; our immune system, internal organs and glands.

Your face is a map and once you understand the pattern of the microcosm your face is mirroring, you can even access information about an organ system! Other common microcosms’ in Chinese medicine are found in foot, the hand, and the ear. For now, lets start with the face.

Your Face Is A Map

The face is another important microcosm that can reveal what is going on beneath the surface of the skin. When I sit down with clients or friends talking about health issues the first thing I do is check out their face. If you’ve ever been to an acupuncturist you will notice this is the first thing they do too.

Imagine your face as a map with little watchmen sitting around it. When a waring light appears over a particular location, the watchman picks up the hotline and calls headquarters. The watchmen are the skin problems; pimples, rashes, etc, the hotlines are what are called meridian lines and headquarters is YOU. Each area on your face is like a different city on the map.

You have Liver City, Adrenal Nation, Kidney County, Intestinal Park, and so on. If anything is happening in one of these precious places; an invader, then the watchmen sound the alarms (skin problems). This is how the meridian lines work that TCM talks about.

When you think about it, we should be really grateful for our skin problems! Instead of covering them up with surgery, creams and pills, trying to hide them in shame and guilt. Our bodies are trying to communicate with us! The more we suppress these signals the worse things get, suppression does not fix the problem.

How To Read The Warning Signals

There is a step-by-step process to decoding Face Mapping I discuss in detail in my Rediscover Your Skin course! To get you started here are some things to consider:

Reading The Face

  • The lips and around the mouth reflects the digestive system.
  • The chin reflects the balance of reproductive hormones and your reproductive organs.
  • The tip of the nose is the heart.
  • Between the eyebrows, you can find some clues about the liver. In Chinese medicine, anger is the emotion stored in the Liver. Wrinkles between the eyebrows are a sign of too much anger.

General Skin Conditions Matter

  • A red and blotchy complexion is a sign of excess heat in the body from toxic buildup, aggressive emotions and too many cooked, spicy foods. It may also mean chronic, low-grade inflammation. This is a sign that you are ready to cleanse the body of waste. **Before beginning any cleanse, always make sure that you are consistently having at least one daily bowel movement. Working with a health coach can help you set the stages before diving aimlessly into some cleanse only to destroy your metabolism. If this is you I suggest supporting your detoxification system, I have a free guide on how to do just that you can download HERE.
  • Dark spots on the face are signs of aging. You may need to check your hormone levels. Also, if you see dark spots make sure that you support your liver and that you are eating plenty of foods that are rich in antioxidants—like raw cultured vegetables, fresh vegetables, low-glycemic berries, probiotic green smoothies, and potent jing herbs.
  • If you see dark circles under the eyes, avoid coffee and other stimulants, as often this is related to the adrenal energy and could be indicators of adrenal fatigue and weak kidneys. To learn how to keep your kidneys in pristine shape check out yesterdays blog here. Kidneys are beauty organs! They are responsible for healthy eyes, skin and hair. The kidneys need high-quality proteins, and minerals to stay healthy. For minerals drink plenty of raw coconut kefir, green juices with celery and cucumber, eat seaweed or take an OceanPlant Extract and try the herbs He Shou Wu and Lycium for glowing eyes.
  • A pale, ashy complexion can mean low energy, blood deficiency, or even anemia. If you see a pale face, watch out for emotional extremes—like anxiety or depression. Also, make sure that you have enough enzymes to break down food, especially proteins. You may eat the ideal diet, but if you are not able to digest the food that you eat, you will not receive its nutrients. If you’re not digesting then immediately get off hard-to-digest processed foods, overcooked meat, rancid fats, sugar and get on high-quality digestive enzymes, eat plenty of probiotic rich foods and look into an easy-to-digest diet like Body Ecology.

Other Things You Can Do

Whatever your complexion looks like—whether you have acne, age spots, large pores, small pores, or wrinkles—your skin and your body will benefit from facial massage. Massage stimulates the production of collagen and improves the elasticity of skin, moves blood and circulates the lymph fluid (especially around the neck) and drain stored toxins.

I also recommend making my secret face-mask:

  • 2 oz. coconut water kefir. [There are specific strains of bacteria that live on the skin and that our gut health is tied to our skin health.]
  • 2 tablespoons Redmond’s Clay

Of course, above all, we need to care for our bodies on a spiritual level. The more we practice forgiveness, acceptance, courage and purifying our intentions internally, the more we will move outwardly with actions that show our beauty. What is your body telling you? How can you start caring for it today by listening to it’s messages? I’d love to hear in the comments!

For more ancient wisdom on healing your face and renewing your skin, be sure to check out my Rediscover Your Skin course. It’s the master piece thus far of all my best healthy and beauty advice!