Food Combining and Mono-meals

A full English breakfast with scrambled eggs, ...

 

Have a “balanced” breakfast folks.  Eggs, toast with jelly, and fruit for breakfast.  Top it off with a big glass of milk or pasteurized Orange juice.  Maybe for lunch it’s that sandwich.  A lot of pre-made and packaged foods have more than 10 INGREDIENTS!  What is the problem with that?  Well nothing if you feel like spending a lot of extra energy digesting all of those foods.  Before I begin, I would like to add that food combining and eating habits are a very person specific thing.  What works well for one person may not work well for others.  I will however, put out some basic guidelines that will help most people avoid the worst combinations.

STARCHES AND PROTEINS:  This is the heart breaker.  I won’t lie to you and say that I don’t like a steak with potatoes here and there.  Maybe some chicken and rice?  Starches and proteins require different digestive environments.  Our body treats them differently.  Of course we are brilliantly capable of digesting this stuff; it just isn’t very efficient.  Sandwiches and burgers also fit this category as does pizza.

FRUITS:  Fruit digests extremely quickly.  Berries usually take around 30 minutes with hardier fruits such as apples and pears taking maybe 45 minutes.  It goes in and out of the stomach very fast.  What does this mean?  Fruit doesn’t digest like anything else.  It is best to eat fruit by itself as a meal or snack.  For most people, this is usually best done in the early part of the day.  What happens when we eat fruit after a meal is that it gets “stuck” behind food we have eaten previously.  This can cause faulty digestion, fermentation in the gut, and all kinds of unwanted effects.  A good rule of thumb is to eat fruit maybe half an hour BEFORE a meal and not after the meal is over.  Fruit for breakfast is a great way to follow this one as well.  So unfortunately things like trail mixes, fruit with nut butter, and other types of dried fruit mixed with protein bars type stuff is out.

LIQUIDS:  Don’t drink too much liquid with your meals.  Sipping on water is a good practice.  Just don’t guzzle down that coke with your burger.  Basically, too much liquid dilutes our own digestive enzymes.  As with fruit, do this before a meal.  A good rule of thumb is to consume most of your water separate from meals.

Having said that, what is a “mono-meal?”  A mono-meal is where you eat just ONE type of food per meal.  This may include eating a couple of apples for breakfast.  It may include just eating some eggs here, an avocado there, some sardines here, etc.  Maybe just some steamed vegetables.  Almost all animals in nature practice eating mono-meals.  They don’t gather a ton of different ingredients and mix them together.  So this appears to be best from a digestion standpoint right?  Well, not exactly.  Partly, we are HUMAN.  We have been combining foods for quite a while.  Sometimes combining food simply makes things more appealing and appetizing.  Maybe eating raspberries AND blueberries is more appealing to you than just blueberries.  This is pretty ok.  They are basically the same thing.  A little different yes, but they require extremely similar digestive environments.  Eating blueberries and apples may not be as good.  Sometimes combining foods actually makes the food EASIER to digest.  Examples of this seem to be vegetables with healthy fats.  Eating some steamed vegetables with a little fat from raw coconut oil, raw butter, olive oil, etc makes the vegetables quite palatable.  The “lubrication” from the fat helps with digestion.  Eating food in simple combinations also means that your food absorbs easier into your system.  Think of it as a sorting line.  When we eat a big “mash,” our bodies have to sort it all.  I would like to add that some health conditions actually REQUIRE food combining.  These may include issues with blood sugar, adrenal issues, etc.  So don’t go against what your body needs at the time; evolve with it.  AHH Complicated.  So what do we do with all of this?

Well, you can make food combining as complicated or as simple as you want.  There are charts out there that help you pick what works for you.  Following the above guidelines should help most people.  But just really use your intuition to help guide you.  Experiment with different eating patterns.  You may realize that you are wasting a lot of energy digesting all this complicated food.  Even “healthy” eating plans are not usually optimal.  I usually pick on vegans so I’ll pick on “popular paleos” today instead.  A lot of them will create all of this “fancy” health food.  Ok, so it has no gluten and pasteurized dairy in it, so it’s healthy right?  Well, be your own judge; but I don’t believe that mixing all kinds of flours, fruits, nuts, and meats with a side of starchy vegetables constitutes something to be eating on a regular basis.  I DO understand.  We are all human.  Being human is enjoying culinary delights.  I enjoy it as much as the next person.  So figure out how to combine your foods and eating styles into something that you can live with.  If you are bored with eating, that is not a good thing =)  If fairly simple eating suits you fine; GO FOR IT.  

-Joe

Is Health Complicated or SIMPLE?

Health Information Service :*Denomination: 30 ...

Is being healthy really that complicated?  Or do WE make it complicated?

We are living in a world FULL of seemingly complex illnesses and health challenges.  Things like cancers, heart diseases, auto-immune issues, diabetes, etc.  These things didn’t seem to plague us so much in the past.  What is happening?  Even most natural medicine today uses piles of supplements and therapies to help us “heal” or “treat” our condition.  Take your pills in the morning, afternoon and night.  Fancy Fancy.  Doctors prescribe all kinds of pills for everything from pain to heart problems to cancers.  There are surgeries for everything as well today.  Specialists abound.  Is all of this stuff really necessary or are we somehow making it more complex than it has to be?  Before I continue, I acknowledge I am no doctor.  I understand that some conditions may warrant medical advice in certain situations; especially in acute or emergency situations.

So I would like to implement a new AND old theory of health.  Health is NATURAL.  In other words, it is not natural for us to get sick; but it is normal.  Life has existed on this planet for a very long time without the use of technology, science, and modern medicine.  Now I for one love science and technology if it is properly applied.  However, when we rely solely on our technologies and forget about our instincts and ancient wisdom; something is wrong.  Look at all the chronic illness sprouting up everywhere.  Are people really just “catching” bad bugs and coming down with this stuff?  Of course not.  In order to understand this picture we need to look from a higher viewpoint.  I am going to list the basics here.  All conditions may require a little bit different treatment approaches to fix, that I acknowledge.  However, the steps I am listing will help ALL that implement them.

FRESH AIR:  Clean oxygen.  Deep breathing preferably.  Careful with the smog in busy cities.  If you live in a city; invest in an air filter.  Get houseplants.  Stop using deodorizers and fragrances and scented candles.  This is step #1.

CLEAN WATER:  Get your water from a spring if possible.  A second choice would be using a good quality filtered water.  Tap water just won’t cut it these days.

SUNLIGHT:  Get sun on your skin.  We are mini solar-panels.  Our body can utilize this source of energy very well.  Moderation is the key here.  

GROUNDING: Get your bare feet on the ground for at least a few minutes every day.  This helps discharge electromagnetic stress and gathers free-electrons from the earth.  All of this helps regulate your energy field

MILD EXERCISE:  We were designed to move our bodies.  We need to circulate our systems.  This includes lymph and blood.  The lymph has no pump of its own and needs to be circulated.  Over-training is not recommended or needed for health.

FOOD:  We need to cut out the garbage.  Gluten, pasteurized dairy, fried foods, packaged and processed foods, SUGAR, chemicals, etc.  90% of the food at supermarkets is just disguised junk.  Keep to the perimeters when possible.  Focus on fruits, vegetables, good fats, and clean sourced meat, fish, and eggs.  Don’t overeat and don’t eat late at night.

CLEANSING:  Most of us simply need to cleanse our bodies.  We have eaten junk a lot of our lives.  We have faulty emotional blocks.  We have gunk and/or bugs in the liver and intestines.  This is unfortunately a product of your lifestyles.  It still needs addressed.  Herbs in combination with the rest of the steps will help in cleansing the body.  Occasionally, drastic flushes/cleanses may be required.

SLEEP:  This is simple.  Get enough sleep.  Preferably go to bed when the sun goes down and get up when it comes up.  10-6 is a great sleeping window.  Sleep as much as you feel like you need.  If that means 6 hours a day, great.  If that means 12, that is fine too.  You may require more sleep during times of active healing.

CHIROPRACTIC:  Fix the nervous system.  Easily overlooked.  If your body can’t communicate properly due to faulty mechanics, things will simply not be able to work and heal properly.

MENTAL/EMOTIONAL:  This is probably the most overlooked step and what I see as the #1 reason people with health challenges have problems healing.  Most of this stuff goes back to childhood or things we learned in early school years.  It may even go back to before you were born and deal with ancestral issues.  The major things I have noticed?  Most of it has to do with RELATIONSHIPS.  Your relationship with your father and mother.  Your relationship with your spouse.  Your relationship with your siblings.  Your relationship with GOD.  With YOURSELF!  Having passion and fun and happiness in your life cannot be underestimated either.  You may have to dig a bit to get to the bottom of this one.  

SPIRITUAL:  Having a relationship with GOD is probably one of the most important factors in healing.  An HONEST relationship here based on humility seems to lead to the right course of action.  It may not be easy at first, but it is a light to show you the correct path.

I’m sure I am forgetting a few here but these are the basics off the top of my head.  Anybody serious about improving their health would most likely improve by leaps and bounds focusing on these factors.  Any condition will be improved by these.  There are always other factors that may need to be more specifically “targeted” for recovery.  So I guess in my mind, health is really not so complicated.  I believe that we are NATURALLY designed for health and healing.  Somehow we get in the way.  A lot of this is through mental conditioning and unhealthy attitudes towards life.  Let’s get back to the basics and make things SIMPLE again.

-Joe

 

The AIR Diet?

Mountain - Alaska's Denali

The air diet huh?  

What could he possibly mean by that?

Our bodies are highly complex, organic machines.  They perform their own maintenance (assuming we provide proper materials).  They also can gather energy from multiple sources.  These include food, water, clean air, sunshine, grounding, and positive emotions.  Which of these is the most important?  It would appear to be clean air.  So why all the fuss?

I remember taking an economics class a few years back that left me with an interesting principle.  I can’t remember the name of this principle but it stated that the more valuable something is for basic life; the cheaper it was.  The reverse was also true.  So air and water are relatively cheap and diamonds and flat screen TV’s are expensive.  

We live in a FOOD CULTURE.  Even healthy food.  We spend so much of our time and energy stressing about which “diet” to be on.  What food should be eaten, when we should eat it, how we should make it, etc.  This is just a basic human pleasure and I get it, I really do.  But how about the BASICS?  Water and Air.  We are specifically focused on air here.

We can’t live for more than a few minutes without air.  Having said this, a lot of us choose living in smoggy cities, never open our windows, breathe shallowly, and don’t think anything of it.  What makes air so inconspicuous?  Is it because it is invisible?    I’m not really sure of the cause here.  However, I can tell you that all longevity cultures have an element of practice that deals specifically with breathing or cultivation of this amazing resource.  Both Indian and Chinese medicine use breathing practice as a way to improve health and calm the body.  If you think of the benefits of deep breathing high-quality oxygen all day every day; it is insane what this stuff does for us.  So what is an air diet?

I don’t mean living solely off of air (although some claim to do this).  I simply mean setting our intention to utilize our bodies natural energy collection mode.  Start viewing your body as more than just a food processor.  It is an oxygen processor.  It is a solar panel.  It runs on water.  As far as food goes, there are some simple guidelines.

QUALITY:  Focus on fresh, local, organic food whenever possible.  Favor lots of fruits and vegetables, good quality eggs and meats, and high quality fats.  Eat super-foods such as liver, sardines, and cod liver oil.  These will load up your “vitamin and mineral reserves” over time and your appetite will naturally decrease a lot.

QUANTITY:  Look at WHY you are eating so much?  Is it because it is socially the thing to do?  Is it to stuff some emotions from a bad day?  Are you overeating because your body wants something?  For instance, if I am craving meat; a lightly cooked piece of liver or sardines or some raw/rare eggs go a lot farther as far as satisfying that craving than a giant steak or hamburger.

VARIETY:  Rotate your foods.  Switch it up.  Eat what’s in season.  Ate apples today?  Eat berries tomorrow.  Eat cherries the next day.  Eating a wide variety means a wide variety of nutrients.  And we only eat because our body needs something.  

It’s amazing seeing the change that happens when we focus on nutrition instead of on caloric intake.  Calories will take care of themselves.  If you are worried about losing weight, this is the way to go.  You will naturally find your natural weight without really trying.  After that, focus on the air.  Learn how to sit up straight.  Learn how to breathe from the diaphragm.  Take up a breathing practice or a “working in” practice involving the breath.  These may include meditation, qigong or tai chi, yoga, or just plain deep breathing.  It is amazing the difference you will notice in how you feel and how hungry you are when you focus on getting a bulk of your nourishment through the air.  We are designed to live FIRST on AIR, second on water, and third on food.  Air is very humble.  It doesn’t require much recognition.  It isn’t colorful and fancy.  It will save us on our health and food bill though.  So how can we make sure we are breathing in high-quality air?

LIVING:  If you live in a rural area it is ok to open the windows most of the time.  Especially if you live somewhere with lots of trees.  Plants filter the air and produce quality oxygen.  Houseplants are amazing to keep inside the home.  These filter our homes from toxins and help produce clean air for us.  They also are just nice to have around.  If you live in a city, invest in a high-quality air filter.  Are they expensive?  Probably, I haven’t looked into them too much.  But again, what is the price you are willing to pay for the most basic of necessities?  It is a personal choice.  Houseplants will also greatly help city-dwellers.  

EXERCISE:  Exercise outdoors if in a rural setting.  Pumping the body while sucking up high-quality air is extremely good for oxygen levels.  Focus more on the breathing than the exercising.

BREATHE DEEP:  Really set your intention daily on breathing fully and deeply most of the day.  When you’re sitting in class, when you’re at the movies, when you are studying, when you are working, etc.  It takes some practice but eventually becomes a very good habit.  This step alone will radically change your life.

So that is the air diet.  More of a lifestyle than a diet.  It is simple a call to rely more on oxygen as fuel than food.  We have been taught that we NEED so much food.  This just simply isn’t true.  We NEED nourishment.  So let’s honor this invisible thing we call air and start using the vast supplies of it to power our lives more effectively.

-Joe

Benefits of HERBS

Herbs from the garden

 

 

When I say herbs, maybe some people conjure up images of some medicine man or woman sitting around a hut messing with plants, flowers, and tinctures.  What is the deal with herbs?  We know that humankind has made use of herbs more or less from the beginning.  All cultures have dealt with them in some form or another.  They are plants that have more chemical, spiritual, or vibrational properties rather than culinary properties.  They are not really a “food.”  Most people in my area limit herbs to old, dried herbs used as seasonings.  These are relatively powerless.  Dried garlic aged on a shelf or in a bottle just does not have the potency of the real thing fresh.  The same is true of other herbs.  Getting fresh, good quality herbs is a good choice.  These things don’t really “Go bad,” but they do lose their potency.  Now, I am not an “herbalist.”  I have not studied on creating different mixtures of herbs.  But i DO know that they are natural substances that have assisted humans for millennia in restoring or improving their health.  They are generally very powerful yet safe enough to use for extended periods of time depending on the herb.  So what are some of the benefits?  I believe there are many “classes” of herbs.

 

ANTI-BUG: Anti-bug herbs would include anything that helps discourage or kill microbial infections of all types from your body.  These would include parasite, bacterial, and virus’s.  

 

DIGESTIVE: Digestive herbs help stimulate and clean out the digestive system.  They can help improve digestion, as well as stimulating the appetite and clearing stagnation from the system.

 

DETOX:  They may help with your liver/GB, kidneys, lymph, lungs, and eliminative functioning.  

 

Basically, most of the properties that are beneficial in herbal formulas are their ability to improve stagnation and circulation somewhere in the body.  Depending on the herb, it will affect different regions differently.  Stagnation is the main cause of illness.  There are many good websites and specialists that deal with herbal preparations.  If I was trying to get over a major health challenge, I would definitely have herbs in my arsenal.  In today’s high stressed, crappy food world; we need some natural allies to help us get things moving again.  Remember, herbs are “GODS MEDICINE.”  Let’s not forget them in favor of “man-made” medicine.

 

-Joe

 

Working IN versus working OUT?

English: Bill Douglas

 

What is working IN?  

It could be construed as the opposite of working OUT.  I believe that there are benefits to both.  However, when you are having health challenges; working out a lot may not be the best idea for recovery.  We get trapped into this mindset often in this country that more is better.  Bigger muscles, tighter stomachs, whatever.  We have associated HEALTH with FITNESS.  While these two are related, they are not equivalent.  There are several people who appear fit who are not healthy inside.  Likewise, there are those who appear overweight who are doing ok.  So what’s the deal here?  

Working IN includes exercises such as deep breathing, qigong, tai-chi, pranayama, some forms of light yoga, meditation, prayer, light stretching, or meditative walking.  As a country, we don’t do this stuff much.  We are more focused on P90-X, crossfit, and very intense programs attempting to BURN fat quickly or build muscle quickly.  I don’t have anything against trying to accomplish fitness goals.  I do however, believe that people should focus on the basics first to achieve HEALTH in which to build a good physique and stamina.  Your external health needs to come from your internal health.  It just does not work the other way around.  So what are the benefits of working IN?

1. INCREASED ENERGY:  Increased energy and stamina in several areas.  You increase oxygen massively throughout your body; primarily by using your lungs.  You circulate life-energy around the system without expending it.  This is a cultivation practice.  You are literally “cultivating” or drawing in energy from your surroundings.  Over time, you will be able to sense the best times and places to do this stuff.  Nature is usually the absolute best place.  However, just being near some fresh air is very good as well.

2. AWARENESS:  When we are being still or moving very slowly we often become aware of subtle things in our bodies, minds, and spirits that we were not aware of before.  Maybe it’s an ache in your knee that you keep ignoring.  Maybe an issue comes up about a relationship that isn’t quite resolved with you.  Maybe you have an epiphany over something that you are doing in your own life that is thwarting your goals on a deep level.  Whatever it is; these practices seem to calm and open the mind.  They allow realizations to occur very frequently.  This benefit can not be overlooked.

3. RELAXATION:  All of these practices deeply relax us.  They help us let go of our tensions that we pick up in life.  They help to start or end our day with a sense of peace and tranquillity.  They help us to be happier, calmer people; which in turn, helps our careers, relationships, and lives.  It is amazing the sense of relaxation you get after a good session of working in.

There are probably many other benefits to working in.  It is an important part in all cultures dealing with longevity.  Exercise is important.  I still get sucked into the exercise trap from time to time.  I am a very YANG oriented person and always wanting to go go go exercise or whatever.  This often gets me into trouble from over-training, pushing too hard, etc.  I have learned to balance out with more working in.  I have built my exercise around working in FIRST.  If i find I am skipping it, I don’t work OUT until i get back to the basics.  So yea; good sleep, good nutrition, deep breathing clean air, walking, mild exercise.  These are the foundations.  If you have an extreme fitness goal such as sports or competition; you will need to work out.  Just focus on the basics first.  They will only help your performance in the long run.  How do YOU work in?

-Joe

Humility and Health

One Fear illustration from Book of Fears

 

We live in a pretty egotistical country.  Most of it is programmed into us.  It is all fear based.  Nonetheless, it affects us.  We are AFRAID to look at what is really going on in our lives.  Maybe if we looked we would be viewed as weak or God forbid; out of control.  So what is the correct response?  Sweep it under the rug.  Ignore it.  Run from it.  Lie to ourselves and others.  Maybe this way we won’t be forced to face the truth.  So what are the effects of all of this?  Bad health, bad relationships, being out of touch with who we are at a deep level, an inability to see the truth, among many other things.  

In my opinion, this is one of the biggest obstacles between people and their goals of living healthy, happy lives.  We simply cannot fix a problem that we refuse to look at.  And we can’t look at it if we are afraid to be humble humans.  It’s almost as if we have forgotten what it really means to be HUMAN.  We are NOT robots.  We are NOT perfect.  We have frailties.  We make mistakes.  We have faults.  We are all flawed.  Speak those words to yourself and see how they sit.  They are not comfortable to say at first.  When you can truly acknowledge these things, believe them, and know in your heart that they are true; your world will begin to open up to you.  Suppressed emotions will come up to be dealt with.  It is fear that keeps them trapped in our systems.  Obviously, these require a lot of work but this is the first step.  You may realize you cannot keep eating the junk you eat if you want to live a long, meaningful life.  Maybe your relationships will change.  Our relationships often run into trouble because of our inability to compromise, communicate, be honest, etc.  In essence; WE don’t admit when we are wrong, what is troubling us, what are true passions and fears are.  You will be able to see things from a perspective of truth rather than a perspective of the ego.  This allows rapid change on all levels.  Rapid change on the spiritual level.  Rapid change on the mental/emotional levels.  Rapid change on the physical level.

So humility and accepting our humanity is extremely important for health and healing.  You will often find that we often waste an insane amount of energy just trying to keep the ego happy.  We work too hard.  We buy fancy things we don’t often need.  We harbor judgements against other people.  Remember, if you accept your OWN humanity; you accept everyone else’s as well.  This automatically makes it easier to forgive and move on.  

This is not something that happens over night.  It is something to strive towards.  It is something to work on.  But at each level that you allow yourself room to be a flawed human (ALL of us), the more you will tend to see improvements in your life.  Growing up, a lot of us are raised to believe that being flawed or wrong or non-perfect is the best way.  To be human, to admit our mistakes, to live our TRUTH is to be weak.  In truth, the exact opposite is true.  Of course it is good to strive for excellence in your life.  Excellence, not perfection.  To be truly strong is to ADMIT your weaknesses.  First to yourself and then to others.  We spend so much effort and energy just trying to project an image that we have it ALL together.  Let’s take down that projection.  Let’s instead choose to have the courage to project an image of a strong person that has fears, weaknesses, and everything else.  In essence; let’s start being HUMBLE HUMANS.

-Joe

 

Belief System and Healing

Brow Chakra.....Best viewed on Black...

 

 

This is a big one.  We often don’t take into account our beliefs when it comes to health and well-being.  A lot of people struggle for years because they are brought up in a system that talks about “dis-eases.”  It is completely dis-empowering.  We are taught to feed into the hand of the medical system and that us LOWLY people could never understand how to keep ourselves healthy.  The answer?  Buy into a system outside of ourselves.  Believe the man with the degree on the wall.  I just heard that 1 in 2 people in Oklahoma now get cancer at one point in their lives.  HALF.  Other states are not far behind.  Our system is failing.  Anyway, enough ranting.

 

The point here is that our belief system is HUGE when it comes to our health.  If we believe something based on bad programming, our bodies will make it true.  You always live your beliefs as best as you can.  I have been learning a lot about German new medicine and Recall Healing lately.  They are making amazing discoveries.  

 

1. MOST ALL serious illness has an emotional conflict-component.  This could be a birth trauma, a divorce, a mental pattern, issues with siblings/parents, deaths, whatever.  These need to be acknowledged and expressed for true healing to occur.

 

2. DIAGNOSIS SHOCK is the most important thing to clear.  When we believe someone in a lab coat that tells us we are going to die within 6 months and we BELIEVE in their authority; our body truly believes it is dying in 6 months.  These root-based healing systems have found that this should usually be cleared first and foremost.

 

So where does our belief system come from?  Well, unfortunately in our modern world it comes from savvy marketers, and people without keeping our best interests necessarily in mind.  We are selling Coca Cola, Monster energy drinks, fast food, reliance, etc.  We are selling drugs and doctors visits and surgeries.  How many advertisements do you think you see every day? We are controlled by our UNCONSCIOUS; not by what we think about most of the time.  So ok, how do we go about fixing this?

 

I will not say this is an easy thing to work on.  Definitely worth it though.  We need to somehow “deprogram” and “re-educate” ourselves.  This means learning about what health REALLY means.  Clean food, environment, exercise, sleep, spirituality, good emotions, being honest with ourselves, cleansing, etc.  If you are worried about a diagnosis; read success stories of people who have cured themselves.  You can’t find one thing out there that people haven’t overcome.  You need to BELIEVE your situation can be fixed.  You are just fighting a wall if you don’t.  After you “re-educate” yourself, you need to do something to really show your unconscious that it is true.  Journaling is excellent here.  Pray about it, meditate about it.  Just show at an EMOTIONAL level that you really can overcome your problem.  Spirituality is a powerful too in healing.  I would say it is the MOST powerful tool.  A good book on the topic of belief is “Biology of Belief,” by Bruce Lipton.  Sometimes just changing the way we believe is powerful enough to fix a health-challenge.  Roll with the good =)