Tag Archives: optimum health

I Finally Found It!

Reading about food and the way it affects people has been a passion of mine for the past couple of years.  I have family members who suffer from illnesses and watching their food intake is no joke.  So they have inspired me to dig deeper to figure out how food effects my body.  As a kid and into adulthood, I suffer from a fair share of sinus infections and I wanted to figure out why.  After many conversations with doctors and reading copious amounts of books, I realize it may be due to the drastic weather change (I live in Chicago, nuff said) and the food I eat.  So unless I move somewhere warmer (crossing my fingers) I am going to control what I can and that’s the food I put into my body.

I have searched for an interesting AND informative book that not only inspires change, but allows the reader to fully understand the consequences of “toxic” chemicals in our bodies – from food  to environment.  It may behoove you to check out this book if you are lethargic, have heart problems,  have allergies, get sinus infections often, have anxiety, IBS, depression, get brain fog, feeling ‘off’ or have family members who suffer from any of these conditions, including cancer.

At the end of the book there’s a guide to walk someone through a detox if they are feeling up for it.

I AM FEELING UP FOR IT!  And I am going to use the blog to update you on my process.  I’m hoping that if I commit to it and announce that I’m doing it, it will keep me motivated.  I hope you don’t feel used…

First, I’m going to prepare my body by doing The Elimination Diet:

  • Environment – Avoid and replace what you can to lower daily exposure. According to the book, everyday sources of toxicity are: cleaning supplies, car exhaust, gardening and lawn chemicals, dry cleaning products, air conditioners, chlorine, lead paint, aluminum-containing deodorant, fluoride-containing toothpaste, cosmetics, pots and pans with cooking surfaces coated with aluminum or Teflon and cell phones.
  • Diet – Eliminate the toxic foods (the duration of this step depends on your current lifestyle and habits).  THIS IS THE STEP I’M ON! This is a toughie for me because I love sweets and good food in general.  No matter what the cuisine, there is a restaurant on my block.  According to Clean, I need to stay away from sugar, processed foods, wheat, caffeine and alcohol – basically my whole diet summed up.

After you “prepare your body” you are ready to do a 1, 2 or 3 week detox, which consists of 2 liquid meals a day (juicing – YYYYEEES!) and a meal that consists of fruits, veggies and organic meat.  Dr. Junger includes some recipes that actually sound pretty decent.  Also, he encourages getting rid of “toxic thoughts” by meditating.  He’s claiming that after you finish the detox, your health is generally better, you’re in a better mood, your energy levels are high as ever, mental clarity and weight loss.  Sounds good to me!

I’m on my 4th day of trying to eliminate the “toxic foods”.  Has it been easy? No way, jose.  The first few days I had headaches, was extremely tired, and irritable.  I cheated several times (I justified it as easing my way into this) but it’s getting easier.  I’m jotting down what I eat, I went to the grocery store and purchased my favorite produce, I drink a boat load of water and stopped my nightly cocktail. I am going to keep this up for another week or so then move towards the detox.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress!!!

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Breathe

You can live two months without food and two weeks without water, but you can only live a few minutes without air.” Hung Yi-Hsiang, Taoist Master

Without thinking we are always breathing in and out. We breathe in oxygen-rich air and breathe out carbon dioxide (those pesky toxins). We usually do not even think of this basic instinct we have which is necessary for our survival.

In the book, “The Natural Health Bible” by Lisha Simester, it says most people in the West do not breathe deeply enough, which doesn’t allow us to have optimum health. If we do not breathe correctly, our energy levels may be lower, we may have chronic fatigue, allergies, colds and many other problems. All because we may not be breathing properly (breathing too shallowly, too long or fast).

Breathing exercises can help us get through our most stressful situations. It provides support and mental clarity (think of those women who use deep slow breaths when giving birth).

Deep breathing is a practice that is a long-accepted fundamental technique in other countries, especially China and India. With more people including exercises such as yoga into their daily lives, the awareness of breathing is much more prevalent. However, because teaching breathing techniques is not a very common practice for most people, we have become bad at breathing. I know you’re thinking – come on, another thing that we need to work on?! Yes! According to Simester, “Because we are not taught breathing techniques as part of our health education in the West, many people develop bad habits out of ignorance, combined with laziness.”

The Chinese believe that correct breathing is vital for our important functions such as, blood pressure, stress reduction, and hormone secretions. Breathing correctly is the key to well being and longevity.

The book offers a couple of breathing exercises. I will include the simplest one:

Slowly inhale and exhale through the nose. With each breath, bring the air down to the diaphragm, allowing the stomach to expand with each inhalation, gently pulling in the abdomen.

Simple, right? Now try it. I tried hard to focus on my breathing then noticed how my mood shifted almost immediately. Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to practice breathing in a controlled environment. Try it out. Let me know how it works for you!