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Happy New Year to all of you! I find myself halfway through February realizing life has been at such a pace writing has taken a back seat to everything else. So I apologize, and hope your new year has started with both freedom and optimism toward a bright, healthy and prosperous new beginning.
At the first of the year I began reading the work of Arnold Ehret. His writing centers around both light and clean eating with periodic fasting throughout the year for optimum health and wellness. You will find his website at www.arnoldehret.org --his books Rational Fasting: A Scientific Method of Fasting Your Way to Health, and Mucusless Diet Healing System, can both be reviewed and purchased from this site.
As is our purpose with each edition of Vibrant Living, we want to share our own personal experiences on the road to wellness. "Wellness" being a term we use for increased vitality, sharpened mental clarity, and deeper more meditative session in our daily yoga practice.
For some, the word "fasting" translates into a form of suffering and lack. For myself, this was not too far off the mark when I ventured into the experience. My first insight for anyone considering a fast is to read up on the subject. Fasting is not just about not eating, but about de-toxing and cleansing the body through resting the digestive system. When our magnificent body is not busy digesting our daily intake of food, it has time on its hands. That time is put to use by directing energy towards flushing our system of built up refuse accumulated over the years--debris not used or wanted by our bodies.
My first fast was for 72 hours, drinking only water, maintaining my normal work routine and continuing with a 1½-hour daily Bikram yoga practice. What I did not expect during this journey was, by day three, the sluggish flu like symptoms--this I now know to be the de-tox experience, and it is not pleasant. Arnold Ehret says during a fast one must cease to eat and become quiet, like our friends in the animal kingdom who with the slightest feeling of being unwell will take to fasting. In hindsight, I know fasting requires a slowing down of all activities, and over time with regular fasts or even shorter fasts, this could be different. But for the first one, it is best to slow down and be more gentle with your body.
Following my fast and transition back to solid foods, I did raw fruit juicing to begin with, then miso soup on the second day. I ventured to a colon hydrotherapist for a gentle flushing of the waste from the large intestine, or colon, with body-temperature water. This was a good idea, and afterwards I felt much lighter energetically, although very little debris was passed. I have since learned that having colon hydrotherapy is a good way to begin a fast, and to schedule another a week or less later. As the colon is cleaned, the body begins to pull waste from the tissue. The second colonic ensures elimination of that waste, rather than re-absorption. This was not my first visit to a colon therapist, so there were no surprises. However, if you are not familiar with this type of treatment, I recommend you read up on it first, then schedule an appointment. I was most interested in locating a therapist that was able to do massage and pressure point techniques during the procedure, as I believe this supports better elimination and relaxation of the abdominal area for improved benefits of the colon therapy. I would not have known to look for that technique without researching on the Internet the approach that intuitively made the most sense. Do the homework and the process will have greater meaning. The therapist also used a flower essence called Release from Young Living. A small dot below my naval and underneath my nose was very supportive. I have since begun to burn this oil in an oil diffuser at home and in the office; I have found it energetically supportive and it does as its name: releases.
The most significant benefit of my fast has been the desire to continue fasting on a regular basis. I have experienced the benefit and welcome its continued reward. Check my blog on a regular basis, and you will find posted my journey with fasting, the benefits of a regular yoga practice, lighter eating, and natural beauty care approaches to keep you radiant and alive. Later in the week, the blog will have a few photos of me in my favorite yoga poses, and together we can chart progress with flexibility and form. It will be fun, and who knows, you may pick up a few ideas to plug in to your lifestyle regime.
Oh, and by the way, fasting is one way to lose weight, but I do not recommend it. Revise your lifestyle permanently, and discover not only your perfect weight, but increased vitality, luminous skin, shiny hair and a self confidence that will not be overlooked.
In vibrant health,
Shay Arave, President
Pure Energy Rx
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|F.Y.I. - Interesting Health News Tidbits
Super-Sizing for kids...
What happens when a man eats nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days? It's a lesson that schoolchildren across the country are about to find out. Morgan Spurlock, director and star of "Super Size Me: A film of epic proportions," is releasing an edited version of the film for classrooms. The school version of the Academy-Award nominated film is scheduled to be released after the Feb. 27 Oscars ceremony. To Spurlock, schools are the perfect place to teach nutrition. "We'll never make every parent a perfect parent. It won't happen. But I really believe we can make every school really close," Spurlock said, while in Connecticut at a forum on childhood obesity. The film chronicles his deterioration during the experiment, measuring his bulging belly, soaring cholesterol, depression, lack of attention and sexual dysfunction, which he edited out for the school film. The 34-year-old filmmaker gained 25 pounds during the month-long feeding frenzy, prompting his doctor to beg him to stop and declare in disgust that his liver had become paté. The school DVD is targeted for grades six through 12. It contains sample lesson plans and bonus interviews with nutritionists and doctors. Spurlock also said that he is working with foundations to underwrite the cost, so that cash-strapped school districts can get it for free. [MORE]
Lullabies really work...
Having trouble sleeping? Don't bother with a cup of cocoa or counting sheep--listening to music at bedtime is the way to
get a restful night, Taiwanese researchers have found. In a paper published in the February issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing, a team from Taiwan's Tzu Chi University said they studied the sleep patterns of 60 people aged between 60 and 83 who had difficulty sleeping. Half were given relaxing music to listen to for 45 minutes at bedtime and half were given no help to sleep. The team found that those who listened to a selection of soft, slow music experienced physical changes that aided restful sleep, such as lower heart and respiratory rates. "The difference between the music group and the control group was clinically significant," said lead author Hui-Ling Lai, vice director of nursing at the Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital and assistant professor at Tzu Chi University. "The music group reported a 26 per cent overall improvement in the first week and this figure continued to rise as they mastered the technique of relaxing to the sedative music." [ARTICLE]
Woman sad vs. man sad...
When it comes to differences between men and women, some are, as the French have always known, highly worthy of celebration. Others, however, are more often a source of confusion and downright misunderstanding between the sexes. Among the latter, one of the most distinctive is invisible to the eye. Men and women differ dramatically in their approach to negative emotions such as sadness. Specifically, men avoid them and women don't. And therein lies a problem. Unfortunately, says psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D., women can get stuck in negative emotions, caught in a downward spiral of hopelessness and immobility. And that, she finds, is a major reason women are twice as likely as men to develop depression. Over the past decade, Nolen-Hoeksema has found that women are far more inclined to ruminate about the stressors and disappointments they encounter--and get stuck there. They focus on symptoms of distress and the possible causes and consequences of them, repeatedly and passively. They go over and over their negative thoughts and feelings, examining them, questioning them, kneading them like dough. And like dough, their problems begin to swell in size. At the very least, such rumination makes life harder. And it damages relationships along the way. "When there is any pause in our daily activities, many of us are flooded with worries, thoughts and emotions that swirl out of control, sucking our emotions and energy down down down, We are suffering from an epidemic of overthinking--caught in torrents of negative thoughts and emotions that overwhelm us and interfere with our functioning and well-being." What is it that women ruminate about? The short answer is, almost everything: their appearance, their families, their careers, their health. But most of all they ruminate about their relationships and about their body. According to Nolen-Hoeksema, the solution isn't to just stop thinking. Many of the problems being ruminated about are real problems that have to be dealt with. The trick is to understand that overthinking is not going to help. [MORE]
In October, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer challenged the computer industry to build a $100 personal computer. In November, SolarPC obliged, announcing a new addition to its line of power-efficient machines. The SolarLite requires a mere 12 volts to operate -- a small fraction of the industry standard -- and can be run on solar power or even a human-powered bicycle generator. With such a small financial and environmental cost to the user, the barriers to Internet access have been lowered to include some of the world's poorest nations. In an effort to facilitate this expansion of information access, SolarPC has founded the Global Education Link (GEL), an initiative to give away one million SolarLites to the world's poorest countries. Moreover, the company has made the license to manufacture SolarLites free to educational and charitable groups participating in the GEL project. With a minimum order of 100,000 units, the SolarLite is currently only the plaything of large organizations, but observers predict the product's release will soon kick off a trend of global proportions. [ARTICLE]
Embracing our pet friends...
Social Responsibility Alert: February 22 was Spay Day USA, and hundreds of pet advocate organizations made their main annual pitch to the world of humans to help keep pet populations under control. Too many friendly critters make for neglected critters on down the road. So adopt, spay and neuter to nip this kind of unthinking cruelty in the bud. Contact an organization in your area for adoption referrals and reputable vets. For our Oregon readers, visit the POPPA website for a complete resource. [MORE RESOURCES]
If you pick up a flu virus, you won't necessarily come down with the flu. Whether or not you become ill will depend on how well your immune system deals with the virus. So you might say that a virus doesn't give you the flu; an immune system that doesn't defeat the virus is what gives you the flu. The key is immunity. Fortunately, strengthening the immune system isn't very hard; it just takes some discipline and common sense. Exercise, nutritious foods and managed stress levels usually do the trick. Getting the right amount of sleep is another very important factor in maintaining immune system health. Studies have shown that it's also helpful to supplement with a few proven immune system enhancers, such as Echinacea, and vitamins C, E, and beta carotene--all of which have been shown to help fight colds and flu. Selenium is also an effective flu fighter, as is zinc and N-acetylcysteine (NAC)--an amino acid that stimulates your body to produce the powerful antioxidant enzyme glutathione. Also, you can eat a daily clove of fresh, raw garlic, which is loaded with plenty of antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. And, avoid sugar, because even a single teaspoon can impair the immune system by 50 percent for several hours. [THANKS TO HSI]
Even if you don't know what faith you are, Belief-O-Matic knows. Answer 20 questions about your concept of God, the afterlife, human nature, and more, and Belief-O-Matic will tell you what religion (if any) you practice...or ought to consider practicing. [CHECK IT OUT]
We recently received this informative diet comparison chart developed by the University of Wisconsin. It compares the dietary plan, the downsides, and the pluses. [CHECK IT OUT]