WE vs. I?

Herd of elk

WE vs. I.  What does that really mean?

We come into this world as an “I.”  If conditions are met, we slowly realize that we are also a we.  WE are part of a larger whole.  We are part of the rest of the people who are also I’s and We’s.  The more deep healing work we have done, the more we realize this to be true.  From a biological standpoint; this makes perfect sense.  A baby needs its mother.  It will not survive on its own so it needs to think about itself first.  We can’t help the world if we don’t survive =)  If the baby has a mother, situations are non-traumatic, and all is well; the child starts the slow but steady climb into personhood.  It learns as it grows that it is not as dependent on everybody else around it.  It has autonomy and a “self.”  Therefore, it does not need to be focused on “I” so much.  What if the child doesn’t think it got the love it needed?  Another block in the road.  We all have issues growing up.  We all have stuff that could use a little work.  If I drew a picture of how most of us live, would we be connected?  Or would we be SEPARATED PEOPLE LIVING TOGETHER?  What is the problem with all of this?  WE ARE WE’S!  We live together.  We are all part of this thing going on here.  The irony of it all?  The best way to help the world is to help yourself first.  I am not talking about material goods like helping yourself to bigger tv’s, nicer clothes, and more women.  I mean helping yourself spiritually.  Loving yourself enough to go through the hard work and grow.  What starts happening?  The more we resolve the “I” issues that we saw as unmet growing up; the more present we can be in the world today.  We become more INDEPENDENT.  We don’t live in FEAR as much.  If we don’t live in fear as much, we live in LOVE more!  What does love naturally want to do?  HELP others.  GIVE.  SHARE.  BE WE’S.  In fact, noticing how often you think about and do things for others seems to be a pretty reliable gauge (unless you are doing it for yourself).  Ultimately, we are human beings.  How does the system work?  In my view, God has created it pretty wonderfully.  We are designed to love ourselves enough to grow.  To go through the hard stuff.  As we grow, we can then in turn help others to grow as well.  We become “part” of the collective whole.  As we realize this, we want to help others as well.  If we haven’t found or acknowledged the pain and suffering in ourselves; how are we supposed to see it in others?  There is nothing that says we can’t work on ourselves WITH others.  Many people in the world are afraid to show others their true feelings.  Does this sound like WE behavior to you?  Love is said to be the only thing you can give away and have more of.  Let’s see if this is true.  Let’s start working together on becoming WE’S

-JOE
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HEAVY METALS

English: Glam metal/Heavy metal and Hard rock ...

No, not the music.  

Most people have heard of “heavy metals” before.  Especially things like mercury, lead, etc.  Mercury is the big one most people talk about.  What is the problem?  The levels of these poisons is ever larger in our environment.  It is in our air and water.  It is in our food.  It is in our dental work.  This stuff is NOT designed to be inside the human body.  Add to this the fact that most people are highly deficient in minerals and vitamins.  Our bodies need this stuff.  When it does not show up, the body will often use another substance in its place.  Enter heavy metals.  There is also an interesting emotional link with heavy metals.  Toxins tend to get trapped in areas of the body that have stored emotions.  For example, the liver will store anger and frustration.  The lungs and heart may hold death frights and grief.  When we don’t acknowledge these feelings, the toxins can’t move freely.  This has always been a problem and is the reason spirituality has been a part of healing since humans have been around.  The problem now?  There are astronomically more toxins coming into the average persons body!  The other problem with metals is that they seem to be harder to remove than some other toxic substances we have been dealing with for much longer such as alcohol, tobacco, etc.  Heavy metal poisoning has been linked to most illnesses.  Especially included are the “modern” or “untreatable” conditions like autism, MS, some cancers, autoimmune conditions, and lyme disease.  This is NOT good stuff.  It also happens to be an area of a lot of disagreement between practitioners.  There are several different methods of treatment.  Some are somewhat dangerous.  There are risks that go along with most styles of chelation.  Honestly, I am no specialist in heavy metal detoxification.  I feel that working with an advanced practitioner is a smart idea with this one.  However, nature has blessed us with some amazing substances to help MILDLY get this stuff out of our bodies.  Let’s look at the natural things we can do to start lowering our heavy metal count without jeopardizing our immediate health.

FOODS:  Food truly is our best medicine most of the time.  There are certain herbs and foods that have been known to chelate metals gently from the body.  Among them are common kitchen herbs like CILANTRO.  This is the big one used in most supplements designed to remove metals.  Combining cilantro with a binding agent such as GARLIC or CHLORELLA is often a good idea.  This prevents the bad stuff from moving around to other areas of the body somewhat.  Garlic is said to be a mild chelator as well.  HEALTHY FATS are great mobilizers of metals.  Think raw fats.  COCONUT OIL, OLIVE OIL, RAW BUTTER, BONE MARROW, EGG YOLKS, AVOCADOS, ETC.  They provide our body with a lot of helpful stuff to get this gunk out.  KELP and some other seaweeds may help replace minerals.  An easy recipe I learned from Klinghardt is to make a “cilantro pesto” to use regularly.  Take maybe a cup of olive oil, a few bulbs of raw garlic, and a bunch of cilantro.  Blend it up to make a pesto.  Add a little sea-salt.  Store in the fridge and use with your food or on salads.

HEAT THERAPY:  Sweating has long been used as a way to purify the body.  Heavy metals can be sweated out.  Using things like saunas, steam-rooms, epsom salt baths, steam-showers, etc all can mildly eliminate these substances.  Be careful not to overdo though.  I would also advise adding in plenty of minerals into your diet, as you will sweat some of these out as well.

MILD CLEANSING:  Mildly helping the liver, kidneys, and lymph to eliminate their poisons will always be useful.  Using herbs, juicing, coffee enemas, and other mild things should help give your system a breather.

EMOTIONS/SPIRITUALITY:  This is a big one with metals.  A lot of us have repressed emotions.  A lot of us have bad mental conflicts going on inside of ourselves.  How big are yours?  Do you have a problem with God?  Do you feel unloved by your parents?  Did you get in a bad divorce?  What is causing you problems?  Maybe there is a lot of repressed anger you could deal with.  Figure out where your conflicts lie and address them.  This often means working on deep childhood issues for many of us.  It is worth the effort to restore health and balance to your system.

There are other therapies guys.  Hardcore chelation.  Injections.  Synthetic vitamins, etc.  These are best left for people who really know what they are doing.  Removing the sources is always the biggest first step.  Avoid fish and other foods that are contaminated.  Drink spring water from a clean source.  Try to breathe clean air.  Work on the emotions.  These are the main things.  Let’s start building awareness and get this problem on its way out =)

-JOE

 

 

ILEOCECAL VALVE?

English: A Globe Valve. The valve body is colo...

HUH?

I seem to be on a digestive kick guys.  What is the ileocecal valve?  Like hiatal hernia problems, this little guy goes relatively unrecognized.  His importance plays a big factor in our health.  Most people haven’t heard of the ileocecal valve before.  So what is it?  

ILEOCECAL VALVE:  This “valve” is a small, golf ball sized part of our lower digestive anatomy.  It connects our small intestines to our large intestines.  The point of this valve?  To keep the sewage from the large intestines separate from the stuff happening in the small intestines.  With unhealthy lifestyle choices this valve can get stuck open or closed.  This is a problem folks.  What do you get?  You can have sewage flowing into the area you are supposed to be absorbing your food.  You can also have waste not properly able to flow out.  Let’s look at a few reasons the valve gets stuck and what we can do to fix it.

CAUSES:  The culprits always seem to be the same don’t they.  These are a little different, yet still similar.  Processed foods are among the worst.  Gluten, pasteurized dairy, improperly prepared grains and cereals, sugar, etc.  Roughage can also irritate this valve.  Too much raw salads, raw carrots, or under-ripe  fruit can cause this valve to spasm a bit as well.  EXERCISE, or lack thereof is a huge issue as well.  Our systems are all PUMPS.  They are designed to be PUMPED!  Digestive system, detox system, circulatory system, lymph, etc.  Most of these systems have their own pumps.  But they are designed to have help.  Exercise stimulates digestion big time.  Mixing it up is always a good idea.  Bicycling may be especially good for this problem.  Stress is a big one too.  When we are stressed, we don’t digest our food properly.  What does this lead to?  A “back-up” in our bodies.  Traffic jams.  This is no good.  We want to be relaxed and well rested when we eat.  Ultimately, removing the sources of your stress is a big help with almost all problems in the body.  So what can we do about this issue?  There are a few simple steps.

SOLUTIONS:  The first solution is to remove the causes.  Clean up the diet.  Eliminate the roughage foods for a little bit.  Focus on soft stuff.  Try eliminating gluten, most grains, hard veggies, and irritating spices like hot peppers, etc.  Going off  these things for a few weeks can help calm this valve down.  Exercising more regularly, deep breathing, sleeping more, and getting rid of stress all will do wonders.  As with the hiatal hernia, sometimes our parts like a little help to regain proper functioning.  There are several techniques that you can do on yourself that help get this little guy back up and running.  There is another valve on the other side called the “Houston’s valve.”  The principle is the same.  Let’s look at how to find these valves and I will post a short video on massaging these spots.

LOCATION:  The best way to locate your ileocecal valve is to imagine a line connecting your belly button to the front of your hipbone.  Find the midpoint of that line with your fingers.  Next, go down an inch or two until you find a small, tender spot.  This is likely your ileocecal valve.  Most people have soreness or tenderness in this area.  The same is true of the Houston Valve.  So let’s look at a quick clip on how to fix this up.  Keeping your digestive system and all of its parts happy and healthy is a great defense against all types of ailments.  Let’s get the system back up and running on all 8 =)

VALVE CLOSING

-JOE

FOOD COMBINING.

Brown bear (Ursus arctos) feeding on salmon, t...

FOOD COMBINING.  What is that?

Food combining is an ancient technique.  It is really pretty simple.  How do we get healthy?  We follow nature.  We follow what our ancestors did for thousands of years.  Enter food combining.  The “Modern Paleo” movement needs this one big time =)  Mixing walnuts, carrots, eggs, oil, “nut flour,” maple syrup, raw honey, and butter may TASTE DELICIOUS. The principle is that different foods take different times to digest and require separate digestive processes than others.  For example; a potato takes a different type of digestive enzymes than a steak.  A piece of fruit is different from either of them. Let’s look at a typical “meal” at Olive Garden.  I have nothing against Olive Garden.  It is delicious in fact.  Following are some meals other animals or our ancestors may have eaten. 

OLIVE GARDEN FOOD COMBINING:  Salad, bread sticks, and soup for appetizers.  A course of baked salmon with bruschetta bread.  Finished off by a desert tart made with fruit.  All the while slugging down water, coke, or tea.

Is this a normal way to eat?  Is it feasting and is it fun?  Sure it is.  The point here is not to remove all our days of extravagance.  It is to improve our health over time by following these simple guidelines “most of the time.”  So what are these guidelines?  What is the best way to eat for energy, digestion, and health?  We are all different.  We have different digestive strengths and weaknesses.  Things are also determined by the health of our bodies.  There are some simple rules that everybody can achieve success with.  Let’s take a look.  This is in order of time it takes to digest.

WATER/JUICE:  There really is no digestion time here.  How quickly can your body absorb the liquid?  Usually about fifteen minutes or so with water.  You may give yourself a little extra time with juice.  Drinking liquids fifteen minutes before meals is great.  Drinking a lot WITH your meals is not so great.  A lot of liquid dilutes your own digestive enzymes and makes it harder to assimilate your food.

FRUIT:  This is probably the biggest one.  Fruit digests very quickly.  In a healthy body maybe half an hour to an hour.  Especially the good kind.  Juicy, plump, and soft.  So what happens when we eat fruit after other things?  It ferments.  It gets slowed down.  All the sugar stays behind.  It is generally best to eat fruit early in the day before we have eaten too much.  Eating fruit 2-3 hours after a meal is ok too.  The main idea?  Have an empty stomach with fruit.  I will admit this guideline makes me sad because this man loves trail mix =)

PROTEIN/STARCH:  Protein requires an acidic medium to break down.  Heavy carbohydrates a different one.  What is the result?  Unfortunately, our favorite foods go out the window.  Steak and potatoes.  Burgers and fries.  Pizza.  Wings and beer.  Mixing these types of food is generally not a great idea.  Protein is fine to eat with non-starchy vegetables.  Things like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, etc.  Stewing foods or crock-pot meals tend to blend the lines here.  “The foods tend to work out their differences in the pot,” was a line from a book “Healing With Whole Foods.”  This is why crock-pot   meals are so tasty =)  Starches mix well with non-starchy vegetables and fats as well.  Soups are a great way eat most things together.

MONO-MEALS?:  What is a mono-meal you say?  Basically, just what it sounds like.  A mono-meal is eating one thing for a meal.  This is imitating nature at it’s best.  Look around.  All the other animals tend to eat ONE thing at a time.  There are no three-course dishes out there unfortunately.  This is something to be eased into.  Mono-meals is a completely different style of eating than most of us are accustomed to.  So what are some examples of mono-meals?  A bowl of blueberries.  An avocado.  1/3 pound of juicy lamb.  A big bowl of broccoli, zucchini, or peas.  Are mono-meals always needed?  I think it is a great thing to ease into.  Often times, mixing foods can actually HELP digestion.  What are some examples of this?  Adding healthy fats or broth with cooked meats will aid in digestion.  Using herbs with meals will often help as well.  Adding healthy fat to vegetables is great.

So in the end, we are all different.  We are working with different equipment.  The best analogy?  Think of your body as a conveyor belt.  What happens when something quick-moving gets stuck behind something slow-moving?  Traffic jams result.  Try to let your workers process the food you just ate before moving on to something else.  They need different “tools” for different jobs.  The way we eat in this country puts enormous stress on the entire person.  Let’s make our jobs a little easier and start implementing FOOD-COMBINING into our lives.  Oh, and don’t forget to break the rules every now and then =)

-JOE

 

 

INDIGESTION?

BK Meal

What about INDIGESTION?  Does it happen to everybody?  Do we even know what it means?  Maybe it is something most of us experience, yet view as a normal part of life.  Does it sound normal to you?  INDIGESTION?

I would wager to say that it is NOT normal.  It is not something to be experienced on a night out with the guys or date night with the girls.  What does indigestion really mean?  Well, it means what it sounds like.  Your digestion is not properly digesting, assimilating, and eliminating your food.  We can run into trouble at every step, but it really is all the same.  Where your system is weakest is where the chain will tend to break down.  So what is going on here?  Why do we “in-digest” and how can we fix it the natural way?

CAUSES:  We need to look at the causes of indigestion first.  Most of these aren’t too hard to guess on, but some are a little harder to avoid than others.  FOOD is obviously the primary culprit here.  Simple put?  WE EAT THINGS WE WEREN’T DESIGNED TO EAT!  So that puts us at a disadvantage already.  What are the worst offenders?  As usual; gluten, pasteurized dairy, processed foods, sugars, most quick-prep grains, overcooked food, “instant-food,” etc.  Surprisingly, high-fiber vegetables and fruit can be offensive as well.  Eating large amounts of high-cellulose salads, raw veggies, and unripe fruit can cause problems for people as well.  Add on to this the sheer BULK of food we eat at one time.  We often eat gigantic portions of food.  Usually we eat them in horrible combinations as well.  Do we really think a burger, fruit salad, french fries with cheese, and a large coke is a good thing?  You can add stress to the list of causes as well.  Eating while anxious, stressed, in a hurry, or emotional can all cause indigestion.  So what can we realistically do about all of this?  There are a few simple remedies that will keep indigestion at bay and keep you free from OTC medications.

DIET:  As usual, the diet is the biggest factor for most of us.  Cut out the offensive foods.  Eat smaller portions more frequently.  If roughage veggies and fruits bother you; don’t eat too much of them.  Juicers and blenders are great here as well.  Try to follow good food combining.  This is a post in itself (maybe tomorrow), but there are some easy things to remember.  Eat fruit alone on an empty stomach.  Fruit digests quick and will ferment and produce gas if it is eaten after a major meal.  Don’t mix heavy starches and proteins together at the same meal.  Unfortunately this cuts out most people’s favorites.  Mashed potatoes and steak.  Burgers and fries.  Pizza.  The list goes on.  Those are the biggies.

STRESS:  Figure out where your stress is coming from and try to eliminate it.  Don’t watch upsetting news or stimulating movies while eating.  Don’t argue with your spouse or children.  Try to create relaxed mealtimes.  Having family time and blessing your food is a great habit to get into.  If possible, don’t rush yourself.  How are you supposed to digest anything well when you are already somewhere else in your mind?  Plan ahead, cook in bulk, etc.  Do what you need to do to be able to have relaxed, pleasant mealtimes.

CLEANSE:  For most of us; some form of cleansing will be necessary to completely fix the problem.  Why is the diet not good enough?  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t.  How clean are you willing to go?  The problem is that most of us have YEARS of bad habits behind us.  Think of adding up all the cereals, the cheese, the bread and pasta, the pizza, etc.  You get the idea.  So you end up with a big job on your hands.  Cleansing can speed up the process for most of us.  Simple things like herbs can really help.

So there you have it.  INDIGESTION.  As usual, eliminating the causes is the most important step.  The body will always heal itself when given the opportunity =)

-JOE

IS MORE BETTER?

Supplements (or a visual representation of my ...

Take supplement A, B, and C.  Exercise 3 times a day.  Do some coffee enemas perhaps.  You better stop eating that unfermented soy and pasteurized dairy.  Juice your food twice a day.  Stop cooking your food and eat some raw meat.  Oh, and add in some mental/emotional work.  Do you do EFT?  Maybe you need a massage or some bodywork.  WOAH!

Is health a journey or what?  In our culture, yes.  Most of us have learned bad habits a lot of our lives.  We have been eaten up by food and drug companies.  We have been taught to not follow our true selves.  Let’s face it; we have a lot of problems here.  But is it really a good idea to try to fix everything at once?  Doesn’t that add stress and extra fuel to the fire?  Our bodies like to evolve.  They like to do things at their own pace as well.  Adding in and taking out things rapidly is not always the best solution.  What happens to a fuse when we overload it?  Our bodies are the same way.  Positive changes are great to implement.  But how do we do it in a way that works for ourselves, our bodies, and our lives?

HONEST INVENTORY/PLAN:  Take an honest inventory of yourself and what you would like to change.  This does not mean quickly signing up for “P90-X,” or the latest FAD diet plan.   Do you want to improve your diet?  Start exercising?  Maybe you do those things but your emotions need some work.  Do you need more sleep?  Take inventory to figure out what you WANT to work on.

COMMIT LITTLE for LONG:  Commit to some little things.  Attempting to jump on a super-clean diet overnight doesn’t usually work.  It is too big a shift.  Doing small things are a great way to start.  Great options are cutting out gluten or pasteurized dairy products.  Committing to taking a walk once a day is great too.  The idea is not to overwhelm yourself.  Commit to a plan for the long-run guys.  A long-term plan committed to will always achieve more than short-term stuff not adhered to.

CHECK-IN:  Have you been following your commitments?  Did you fall off the wagon?  Changing is a lifestyle.  It is not something to be attempted overnight.  To change our habits is to change ourselves.

UPDATE:  Improved your diet?  Started working with the emotions?  Feeling great?  Maybe it’s time to check in with your inventory again.  Maybe you want to do a little cleansing in the spring.  Maybe you want to take the next step with your diet.  Figure out where you want to go next.

ENJOY:  Give yourself a little bit to enjoy your accomplishments before moving on to the NEXT thing.  This process is supposed to be fun.  You are supposed to feel good.  You are not supposed to feel guilty for not being better.  Life is about continual renewal and improvement.  It is not about stressing out that we are not good enough.  De-educate yourself from the programming that most of us grew up with.  Enjoy the sweetness in your life.  See that stepping in the right direction on a regular basis is the most important thing to do.

-JOE

 

 

 

 

Hiatal Hernia?

 

What the heck is he talking about this time?

 

This is a common problem that goes largely unnoticed in our culture.  Nonetheless, it affects our daily health; sometimes dramatically.  Without going overboard on the technical drama, what is a “Hiatal Hernia?”

 

HIATAL HERNIA:  Basically, this is when a section of the stomach comes up past the diaphragm and ends up outside of where it is supposed to be.  It is supposed to be mouth, esophagus, DIAPHRAGM segment, THEN STOMACH.  Imagine how you would feel being clenched off in an area you aren’t really designed to be in.  How does this happen?  I don’t think anybody knows all of the reasons, but we can agree on a few common offenders.  STRESS (knot in your stomach, lump in your throat), Improper lifting and straining, constipation straining, improper breathing, shallow breathing, bad posture, etc.  

 

Author: National Institute of Diabetes and Dig...

Why is this bad for the body?  Our bodies don’t like to be held in tension.  We have muscled that are designed to do work for periods of time.  We like to be in positions of ease while we are resting and digesting.  Besides your mouth and esophagus, your stomach is where digestion starts!  So what is your stomach is constantly stressed because it is in the wrong position and cramped down?  Things don’t work so well.  Irritation happens.  Stomach acid has a hard time being produced.  Some people will tell you a large part of our society has this to some degree or another.  Symptoms may include an inability to digest protein very well, feeling bloated after meals, constipation, acid reflux, difficulty swallowing, feeling of fullness in the chest, etc.  Sound familiar?  So how do we fix it? This is a problem that is not created overnight.  It is however, relatively simple to work on and correct.  You can get professional help from people such as chiropractors, visceral manipulators, and massage therapists if you want.  There are also several “at-home” exercises you can do yourself.  Diet, stress, and doing these exercises seems to be the best method for correcting this problem.  Eating a lot of salads, grains, and “roughage” foods is not going to help.  Neither is gluten or pasteurized dairy.  Following good “food combining” may be very helpful for this condition as well.  Linked below is a video on techniques to correct this problem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX0zKB2_-UM

Hope this sheds light on this large, unrecognized problem guys. -JOE