Sunday, July 31, 2011

Konjac w/ Raw Marinara Sauce

Konjac Noodles with Raw Marinara Sauce

I followed this recipe for the sauce
It was absolutely delicious!

 Raw Marinara Sauce Ingredients 
  • 3 medium organic tomatoes
  • About 7 slices of organic sun dried tomatoes (in olive oil)
  • Oregano
  • Sweet Basil
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Himalayan salt
  • 1 serving package of konjac noodles
  • 1 food processor

Marinara Sauce Recipe
  • Chop up all ingredients and add to food processor
  • My food processor is quite small so I first blended the fresh tomatoes, then took half out and added the bell peppers-blended, then added the sun dried tomatoes-blended then added the spices and olive oil with garlic and blended.
  • I then pulse blended the ingredients until it was the consistency I wanted.
  • I then poured in the remaining tomatoes and pulse blended briefly again.

 Rinse the Konjac noodles well
They are Sugar Free, Fat Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free and Calorie Free (36% Fiber and 20% Calcium)
 All ingredients (plus extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 tsp of grated garlic)
 Chop up the tomatoes and red pepper
 Blend all ingredients...or as I did due to the size of my food processor...blend tomatoes
 After removing half the tomatoes for more room, I blending the red peppers then added in the organic sun dried tomatoes that were packaged in extra virgin olive oil
 Add all the spices- sweet basil, Oregano and Himalayan salt
 And your marinara sauce is complete!
 Serve your rinsed konjac noodles onto a plate
 Top it with the marinara sauce...
Mix and eat! It was delicious! I could smell how yummy it was once I blended in all the herbs.  The konjac noodles are definitely something new to me...they have no taste of their own, pretty much a texture and base to eat the sauce with (but pack such a nutritious punch with fiber and zero calories). They have a rubbery, el dente pasta texture to them.  You can read my blog about the Konjac posted yesterday for more information on them.  

This is definitely a meal I will make over and over again, experimenting with added ingredients such as mushrooms, avocado, lemon juice, more spices etc.  I also look forward to trying it with cucumber or zucchini pasta.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Konjac- Fiber

Video by Dr. Mark Hyman about Fiber-  Konjac

Best Fiber
Glucomannan (GM) It is a water-soluble dietary fiber.  100% all natural fiber derived from the konjac root with virtually zero calories and known for its ability to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

How to add GM to your diet?  Sprinkle the powdered version on your food, or you can get it in the form of noodles.  Read a small blurb below about the noodles by a reviewer.

"Konjac (often also called shirataki) noodles are fairly new to the American market, so don't be turned off by negative reviews, learn about this product, try several different varieties, maybe several different brands, try to cook it with different meats and veggies, and I believe most of you will like this product.

DO NOT expect it to taste like regular (made out of flour) pasta because it won't. These noodles are made from yam root plus fiber. Konjac noodles have no taste and will absorb any flavor you introduce into the dish. They tend to be kind of "rubbery", so if you're offended by that, try tofu shirataki noodles (these are original konjac noodles with added tofu). They are softer than original konjac noodles. They also look white which makes them look more like regular pasta. Try both kinds and then make up your mind.
Both kinds come water packed and both have to be rinsed THOROUGHLY before use. I, personally, prefer original konjac noodles because (to me) tofu shirataki noodles have a fishy kind of odor, it takes longer to rinse it out of them and the smell still lingers sometimes (or maybe my nose is too sensitive). Konjac noodles can be stored at room temperature and shirataki tofu noodles need to be refrigerated.

In any case, check out the many sites dedicated to this great product and I am sure you'll find a recipe or two to your liking. This product is as close as you'll get to zero calorie food. That said, let me give you one more bit of friendly advice:

this type of food is NOT nutritious, so make sure you are taking your vitamins and/or get the necessary nutrients from other foods. This product would definitely be beneficial to people looking for a low glycemic impact food." 

 I purchased both the powder and the noodles. The instructions on the powder recommends putting a teaspoon in cool water and stir briskly right away!  Don't pause to close the bag first like I did the first will be left with a jelly clump in your water and it will not dissolve...we learn.

Substitute the noodles for regular pasta and put your favorite pasta toppings. Since I'm currently only eating raw foods, I made mine with a raw Marinara.  Tomorrow's blog will include the recipe:)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Raw Kale Salad

Raw Kale salad

Raw Kale salad Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of Kale
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 small organic tomatoes
  • 2 inches of organic cucumber (or more)
  • ½ organic lemon
  • ¾ Sweet Red Bell Pepper (add yellow, orange and as much as you want)
  • Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp of Himalayan salt
  • Organic baby Romaine lettuce

    Raw Kale salad Recipe
    • Wash veggies and your hands
    • Chop up all ingredients in small pieces. No need to chop up the avocado.
    • Put chopped up kale in large bowl
    • Pour in juice from lemon, Himalayan salt and drizzle with olive oil
    • Massage kale until nice and soft
    • Then add in avocado and squish in (avocado, lemon and olive oil are all great for your skin! So dig in there)
    • Throw in the rest of the ingredients and mix up
    • Your kale salad is ready to eat:)
    I like to put this salad over a bed of organic baby romaine lettuce (or baby spinach) but it can be eaten alone as well.

     Ingredients- 1 bunch of kale, 1 avocado, 2 small tomatoes, 3/4 red bell pepper, 2 inches of cucumber, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp Himalayan crystal salt, drizzle of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, bunch of romaine lettuce
      Chop up all ingredients into small pieces
      Sprinkle salt and drizzle olive oil and lemon onto kale and mix in
      Massage kale until it's a nice vibrant green color and softened up
      Add in avocado
     Just mash it in and mix it all up
      Mash until nice and creamy- if you want a few avocado chunks mash to your desire
      Add in the tomatoes, red bell peppers and cucumbers- and mix in
     Your kale salad is complete- if you'd like pour some over a bed of baby romaine lettuce
      This usually makes enough for 3 servings for me- I put the left over in a zip-lock bag and make sure all the air is out so the avocado doesn't get brown (the lemon in it also helps with this).  The first time I made it I used the remainder for a green smoothie- just added some fruit, romaine and baby spinach, and almond milk, and it's super nutritious and delicious!

    Raw Kale Salad Health benefits:

    Kale- One cup of kale contains nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating. Finally, kale contains the glucosinolate isothiocyanate (ITC) that fights the formation of H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori), a bacterial growth in the stomach lining that can lead to gastric cancer.  The folic acid found in kale is a great addition to your diet if you suffer from poor hair, skin and nails. In addition, the potassium helps to promote the breakdown of lactic acid in muscles after a workout, and is a great food to help prevent muscle soreness in the recovery process.  Kale is a superstar in the arena of carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. The key flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin (not to dismiss the 45 other distinctive flavonoids in kale) have also been shown to specifically fight against the formation of cancerous cells. With the addition of high doses of well-known antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and manganese, kale is certainly a smart choice in the battle against cellular oxidation.  Anti-Inflammatory properties - Kale provides a whopping dose of vitamin K (providing 1327% of the RDA in one cup).  Not only do kale's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities work together to prevent and even combat cancer, a healthy diet of kale also provides glucosinolates, which have been shown to prevent colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian cancers, as well as gastric cancer.  The high fiber content of kale lowers our cholesterol.  The isothiocyanates (ITC) from glucosinolates found in kale aid in both phases I and II of the body’s detoxification process. The high sulfur content of kale has further been shown essential for phase II of detoxification.  With over 192% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.  Vitamin C, which one cup of kale heartily provides (over 88% of our RDA), is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also lowers blood pressure, ensures a healthy immune system, and fights against age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

    Avocado- provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.  They’re irresistibly rich in flavor and, avocados also provide vital nutrients and phytochemicals.  Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.
    There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). Avocados naturally contain many of these vitamins.

    Organic tomatoes- (they're actually a fruit) are best known for their lycopene, the most anti-cancer carotenoid (more than beta carotene), which is twice as powerful as the antioxidant Vitamin E. Tomatoes are rich in moisture, vitamins and minerals, and phytonutrients.  They are an excellent source of vitamins C, B6 and K, betacarotene, biotin, niacin, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium, as well as of many organic acids such as citric and malic acids which are responsible for the characteristic tomato flavor. Tomato seeds and skin are good sources of fiber, while the red flesh contains a powerful anti-oxidant, the carotenoid pigment lycopene, which provides the fruit’s red color. Lycopene in tomatoes is said to improve the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays. The high content of potassium and phosphorous in this red juice helps relieve the symptoms of stress, tiredness, fatigue, muscle weakness, as well as prevent muscle spasms and cramps. Tomato improves heart health by helping lower blood pressure. Not only does tomato juice has anti-oxidant and diuretic properties and improves the digestive function, it also stimulates the detoxifying function of the liver and kidneys. A carotenoid pigment found in the skin and flesh of tomatoes, may play a role in the prevention of some types of cancer, including lung, prostate and colon cancer.

    Organic cucumbers- are 95% water, they keep the body hydrated and help regulate the body’s inner temperature. They also help the body flush out toxins. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.  Leave the skin on. The skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10% of the daily recommended allowance. There is some research indications that cucumbers can stimulate hair growth.  They are a good source of dietary fiber. Because it is rich in potassium and magnesium, it may help to lower blood pressure. Other studies have shown that cucumbers, when eaten regularly, help to regulate uric acid, so it is great for prevention of certain kidney or bladder stones.

    Organic Lemon-  is known to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, bloating and belching. Regular consumption of lemon juice aids the bowels and helps them to eliminate waste more efficiently, curing bowel problems such as digestion and constipation.  Lemon is a diuretic, which means it's good for people with urinary tract infections and high uric acid problems. It helps flush out all the toxins and bad bacteria to help those with arthritis or rheumatism.  It is also a fighter of throat infections, respiratory disorders, and to prevent and control diabetes. It acts as a blood purifier and cleansing agent.  Lemon is a natural antiseptic medicine, and can cure skin problems. It is known to rejuvenate your skin from within, and will create a natural healthy glow. If you juice lemons daily, you should notice a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your skin. Due to its skin enhancing qualities, lemon also acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles, blackheads and acne. I've made it a habit to drink a full glass of lemon water before and after's a great way to end and start your day!

    Sweet Red Bell Peppers- are also among the most nutritious veggies, they contain power-packed antioxidant phytochemicals, beta carotene, folic acid, fiber, flavanoids,  thiamin, and Vitamins A and B6. And due to their high amounts of Vitamin C, bell peppers protect us against cataracts. They also fight against high cholesterol and help prevent blood clots, which in turn reduces our risk of strokes and heart attacks.  Red bell peppers have quite higher levels of nutrients than the green bell peppers. And unlike the green, they contain the phytonutrients lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Besides its cancer-fighting abilities and heart protection, lutein fights against macular degeneration.  Contain astaxanthin, one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients in the world.

    Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil- reduces the of risk of cardiovascular diseases and has shown beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Using olive oil as main dressing oil helps preventing constipation and in general maintains the digestive tract in good health.  It helps to reduce blood pressure and may help in lowering cholesterol.  Olive oil eases or prevents diabetes, lessens the severity of asthma or arthritis, can possibly help in the prevention of colon cancer, moisturizes skin and slower aging process.

    Organic Romaine Lettuce- while still made up mostly of water, is packed with antioxidants and fiber. The darker green the leaf, the more folic acid is present, which prevents heart disease.  It’s very low in calories. Magnesium, found in romaine lettuce, does wonders in revitalizing muscular tissues, the brain and the nerves. The chlorophyll-packed juice in lettuce is very helpful in maintaining normal hair color.  Lettuce is high in iron, which helps the formation of red blood cells. Lettuce may help in treating insomnia, acid indigestion, colitis, constipation, gout, stress and many other diseases as well.  Besides being exceptionally high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, it is rated as excellent in Vitamin K, folate, fiber and chromium, very good in iron and phosphorus and potassium (a Vitamin B that helps lower our blood pressure), Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and has plenty of Vitamin B3 (niacin), calcium, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.   Romaine is superior in protecting our skin, eyes and immune system, and by helping to prevent our cholesterol from oxidizing, is good for our hearts. Yet it is extremely low in calories and salt, and has no fat or cholesterol. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin. 

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    MSG- monosodium glutamate

    Hidden Names for MSG and Reported Symptoms of MSG Toxicity

    MSG (monosodium glutamate) is used as a flavor enhancer in countless processed foods. But while it works enhancing your food’s flavors it is also at work doing potential damage to your brain and body.

    Not many people who want to truly be healthy would actually consciously use this toxin as they become better educated. However the problem results from eating processed foods or eating in a restaurant where you have virtually no control of what is added to your food before you eat it. Believe me on this one, your body could care less if you or someone else put the MSG in your food, or if you even know about it. If you are ever going to Take Control of Your Health you will need to take responsibility for ALL the food you eat and be very conscious of avoiding this food in processed food you purchase or restaurant food you eat.

    Unless of course you don't mind losing your brain cells.
    If you don'’t believe this then you clearly have not watched Dr. Blaylock's (retired neurosurgeon) lecture on MSG.

    MSG is an excitotoxin, a type of chemical transmitter that allows brain cells to communicate. The problem is that excitotoxins can literally excite your brain cells to death. Aside from harming your brain, MSG has also been linked to eye damage, headaches, fatigue, disorientation and depression.

    Children are most at risk from MSG. The blood brain barrier, which keeps toxins in the blood from entering the brain, is not fully developed in children. MSG can also penetrate the placental barrier and affect unborn children as well. Nonetheless, most major brands of infant formula contain some processed free glutamic acid (a form of MSG).

    For more information about MSG, and how to protect yourself against it, take a look at these 2 sites-

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Green Smoothie

    My 1st Green Smoothie

    Being my first green smoothie, I wanted to make it taste really yummy, so I added more colorful fruit than you may usually choose to in a green smoothie.  It turned out a very dark green because of the very dark pigmented fruit I added like the cherries and purple leafy baby Romaine lettuce...and I found it was surprisingly very delicious!It helps (taste and nutrition wise) to use Fresh Organic Ripe fruits and Veggies. The FOUR key elements to remember in raw food smoothie is to have the ingredients be Fresh Organic Uncooked and Ripe.

    Handful of baby Spinach
    Handful of baby Romaine lettuce
    2 inches of organic cucumber
    1 frozen organic banana
    7 organic cherries
    Slice of watermelon
    ½ avocado
    ¼ tsp Himalayan crystallized salt
    1¼ cup fresh home made raw almond milk

    Just add all ingredients and blend
    I blended up some ice separately and added it in the end to chill it

    I kept this smoothie fairly simple as far as powders go (I didn't add any), however some ingredients I would like to add the next time I make it would include
    1 Tablespoon of fresh ground golden flax seeds
    1 Teaspoon of maca powder
    1 Tablespoon of hemp powder 

     Ingredients- organic baby lettuce, organic baby romaine, half an avocado, about 2 inches of cucumber chopped up, a little over a cup of almond milk (raw home made) 7 organic cherries, 1 frozen organic banana, and some watermelon and a pinch of Himalayan crystallized salt (the fruit added plenty of sweetness so I didn't need any additional sweeteners...but you can always add some clear raw agave nectar or raw honey and still keep it raw and super healthy)
    Add all ingredients- Fruit at the bottom then layer it in...the fruit and more firm veggies blended well first, then i pushed down the romaine and baby spinach to aid it to mix up well
     It gave me 2 tall glasses of Green juice
    It was delicious and refreshing!

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Raw Almond Milk

    I've wanted to make my own almond milk for awhile now, just had to get my hands on some raw almonds.  I made some and found it so easy and will definitely keep making it fresh.  It's always rewarding and refreshing to make something fresh and nutrient dense, and there are so many wonderful raw recipes to make with it.  I will follow it tomorrow with a green smoothie using my almond milk.     

    Raw home made Almond Milk Ingredients
    1 cup of organic raw almonds
    4 cups of purified water

    1 powerful blender (like vitamix …I used an oster that worked great)
    1 nut bag (I used a cheese cloth that I wrapped up to make a pouch)

    Raw almond milk recipe

    Soak raw almonds in water for 24hrs (rinse several times and replace water)
    Let sit for a day (called sprouting…when it sprouts the tiny tip pokes out white)
    Then peal skins off the almonds (they will slip off with a gentle squeeze)
    Blend water on medium for 30 seconds then a minute on high (if you don’t have a high powered blender, you need to blend longer, until smooth)
    Pour liquid into nut bag to strain (you can use a cheese cloth or nilon) You can save the pulp for other recipes…if not using right away just seal well and stick it in the freezer
    Your raw almond milk is complete!

    I would have added vanilla if I had some fresh vanilla on hand
    To make it chocolate milk…add some raw cacao (1-2 spoons or to your liking)
    To sweeten add raw agave nectar (should be clear or raw stevia or even some raw honey)
    Pinch of Himalayan salt for more minerals and taste
    For a nutrition boost and more flavoring you can then add extra ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg,maca powder etc. Or use as a base for smoothies like I usually do. Also great for cereal.

    Note: You cannot purchase truly raw (unpasteurized) almonds from grocers and health food stores. You may only purchase unpasteurized almonds direct from the farmers. The store varieties which are deceivingly labeled as "raw" are pasteurized as per FDA law passed in 2007. They are just not roasted as the others are but they are pasteurized. So they’re the 2nd best thing…not the 1st best.  You can buy truly raw almonds online from trusted sellers (like from Earth Shift) or from a grower.  Pasteurized almonds cannot germinate so you can’t fully benefit from sprouting. When you sprout a nut you are getting it right before it's ready to grow so it's jam packed with 10 times the nutrients.  You will know when they are truly raw because they are white. After soaking for 24hrs you want to sprout them for a day after draining the water. Just let them sit in a bowl after well draining them.

    To eat truly raw nuts you “Must” soak them for 24hrs (changing the water several times in the process… this will ensure the enzyme inhibitors have been leached out entirely).  This is because raw nuts are actually toxic if not soaked and rinsed. Since the nuts in stores aren’t truly raw, you don’t really have to worry about this. But if you want all the true benefits of real raw nuts you will need to find some online or through growers and go through the soaking process. It's not as much work as it sounds, and well worth it. 

    You can see the tiny tip is white poking out like a little nob after soaking.
    In the lid are the peals of the ones I already skinned
    They will very easily slip out of their shell!  I lost 4 nuts total as they popped out of their shell and shot onto the floor when I squeezed to hard
    I soaked and pealed 2 cups of almonds...but only used 1 cut for the almond milk. In this photo I pealed some and then finished up the rest after the photo
    I added 1 cup of almonds and 4 cups of purified water...about all my blender could handle too!
    All ready to strain now...I had a cheese cloth that I used here. I make sure it was clean (although it was brand new and never used) I just boiled it in hot water for awhile as I was preparing the almond milk
    I folded it in half, then half again and made a little pouch
    Then I poured it all in and surprisingly it all squeezed out very fast and easy!
    What remained in the cloth was a dry soft clump...some vegans use it as a flour substitute in some dishes
    The end result was a pure white almond milk
    I would like to have added vanilla but didn't have any
    I liked the fact that it had no other ingredients added (just almonds and makes a great liquid base for my smoothies) unlike the store bought one I use that has other ingredients (but I do love it)

    Ingredients of the blue diamond vanilla unsweetened almond milk-
    Filtered Water, Almonds, Tapioca Starch, Natural Vanilla Flavor With Other Natural Flavors, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Carrageenan, Sunflower Lecithin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2 and D-alpha-tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).

    Monday, July 25, 2011


    De-stressing with Meditation
    One excellent and proven way to de-stress is through meditation.  You don’t have to hold any higher power belief to use this method either.  Many associate meditation only with prayer, but anyone can meditate and reap the benefits regardless of personal and religious beliefs. It’s a state of mind that changes your body internally along with your mind, mood and awareness.

    If you're looking for ways to manage stress, the meditation tips below will benefit you.
    There are many reasons why people decide to meditate.  You first need to ask yourself "why am I seeking the benefits of meditation?"  Do you want simple stress relief techniques? Do you want personal insight? Do you want physical, mental or emotional health? Do you want to look trendy? Are you hoping to learn how to float around? Some combination of the above?  After you decide your goal you can choose the right meditation techniques that are the most suitable for you.

    One great tip (although may sound contradictory to the first question) is to "forget all your goals, desires and especially your expectations, about meditation benefits, including any you just made above!"  The reason for this is because attachments, desires and expectations are in and of themselves blocks to attaining results with body mind exercises. 100% of your focus needs to be on the meditation exercise at hand, so distracting thoughts, such as "am I doing this right?", "when is *insert cool/trippy experience* going to happen?" or "when am I going to feel *insert blissful new age adjective*?", are going to be major distractions even if they're simply expectations you set up in advance.

    Although it is counter intuitive to a materialistic type of mindset, meditation made simple is actually the most advanced type of practice.
    Most people misunderstand what exactly meditation is in the first place. Meditation is often thought to be someone sitting in a cross legged posture with their eyes shut like the picture above. However, what actually matters is what is going on inside the persons mind (or rather what's not going on) while they're in meditation. Tips and reasons on what’s  meant by this are as follows:

    ~The Chinese term for meditation literally translates as "sit still and do nothing" (Ching-jing wu-wei).

    ~The highest pinnacle of Zen, Hindu, Chan Buddhism and Tibetan meditation techniques is to have "no technique" (ie. sit still and do nothing!)

    ~By sitting still and doing nothing, you are allowing your mental and emotional dispositions to literally unravel over time without pressure or expectation to a specific outcome. This prevents the suppression of thoughts, emotions and belief patterns and instead allows them to resolve. The mind will then begin to quiet down. This is what is specifically taught in meditation classes.

    ~If you've ever tried to force your mind or thoughts to stop, you'll know that this is a counterproductive task. By using a technique such as a "chakra meditation" you are actually making the mind more active and not closer to being still (however, any type of meditation will help calm you down to a certain degree if you've just had an intense period of mental activity).

    ~The longer you are able to sit and simply observe your mind without interfering or getting caught up in it, the less active it will become. Eventually you might find that it slows down so much that you start having gaps of complete silence. The longer you are able to sit in that gap of pure being and let it extend to longer periods of silence; you will begin to experience meditation benefits like improved health, longevity and peace of mind.

    ~Another one of these important meditation tips is to be able to carry this ability of maintaining a quiet mind through everyday life. As with any practice whether it is mind exercises or physical exercises, the reason you do them is so that the rest of the time when you're working, with family or whatever else, you carry within you the benefits of meditation or the other exercises that you do.

    There are plenty of meditation tips and techniques available on the internet, in books and from teachers of various systems.

    What is mentioned above about the best of all meditation techniques is to have no technique is still true, however, specific abilities and exercises can be done which have their own unique health benefits. These practices which are commonly called "meditation" are really just different types of mind exercises. Here is an example list of a few various types of mind exercises which are widely practiced and have their own unique benefits to introspection and longevity in humans:

    ~Pranayama (this is the deep breathing exercise I do nightly for 15-60 mins with the aid of my ipad app)
    ~Chakra "meditation" (chakra colors shown in the picture to the left)
    ~Transcendental Meditation
    ~Esoteric work (Qabalah meditation, astral projection, self-induced trance)
    ~Mantra repetition
    ~Concentration on a single object or concept

    Again, of all the various meditation tips and techniques, the best method to develop ways to manage stress (which is the root of all suffering whether it be physical mental, emotional or spiritual) is to have no method. This is meditation made simple, yet it is the most difficult to do. It is the root of all the above mentioned practices and if you ever choose to explore any of the meditation techniques listed above or found elsewhere, it is my opinion that you should first get a strong foundation in the real and most basic formless form.
    Meditation benefit's a great number of human ticks, ills and discomforts. Some people even say that "meditation is the best medication"!

    faith (such as laying on of the hands). However, what the science and medical community is skeptical of is whether or not these practices are a result of the placebo effect. 
    Whether or not certain meditation techniques truly do "harness universal energies" doesn't matter because you still have to practice and work yourself to attain the results mentioned.

    Hypothetically, if all meditation benefits were a result of the placebo effect and made up by people's strong conviction and faith in a power greater then themselves, it still wouldn't matter since you can still do the work and get results by "buying into" a concept which results in a specific beneficial outcome for your health! That being said, we should definitely acknowledge scientific truth when it raises an eyebrow and glares at us with that "get with the program" attitude :p  Much like sugar pills and the placebo effect they have in helping people; it’s a change of state of mind that give true measurable results!

    The debate about whether or not meditation benefits exist is ridiculous since clearly a great number of people have practiced and attained results over many thousands upon thousands of years. Again, the idea that these effects might be a placebo isn't an issue either because even if all meditation was without a doubt proven to be "all in the mind", one can always decide to practice it specifically to take advantage of that placebo effect! Following the meditation tips doesn't depend on whether or not God, mystical Chi power or even Beelzebub really exist, or that you believe they do.

    Scientific research on meditation should be willingly embraced by the spiritual community. It helps knock down barriers and belief structures which could be holding certain groups back from experiencing more benefits of meditation made simpler by eliminating the fluff. This will help them refine their mind exercises within their system to expose the real nuggets of truth.

    At the same time the scientific community could try actually sitting down and experiencing meditation themselves alongside just poking and prodding those who practice it. Many benefits of meditation are fairly subtle and may not be detectable by instruments science currently possesses. Abilities such as the development of positive personality traits don't exactly show up on a heart rate monitor... yet meditation benefits such as this are often overlooked by predominantly left brained thinkers.

    Meditation tips the scales of health back into balance and could very well be the missing link in helping you create changes in life expectancy for yourself.
    Following these and many other meditation tips will result in the same benefits listed under the mind exercises article. Understanding the effect on the nervous system from learning ways to manage stress through meditation is the core reason why these practices can create significant improvements in your life-span development. The longer you can train yourself to remain in that space of "no thought" as well as to be un-reactive to thoughts and emotions that do arise, the more you train your body to remain in the parasympathetic, "rest and digest", anabolic nervous system response in everyday life. The abilities you train while in meditation can then spill over into your day to day interactions.

    When I took a Buddhism class in college, one of the lessons I took away from it was the notion to “acknowledge a feeling, feel the emotion, and let it go”.  In the last decade of my life I have retained this lesson and it’s helped me tremendously to deal with stressful events and traumatic times that previously would have spun me out of control with worry or despair.  It’s helped me to let go of angers, sad feelings, annoyances and distress.  I take a deep breath, acknowledge the feeling, and only let it consume me for seconds before I consciously tell myself to let it go.  It wasn’t easy at first!  But like repetitive meditation it’s a benefit that carries along with you into your daily life.

    Lower cortisol levels (a catabolic, tissue destroying, stress hormone) is a major beneficial side effect found in people who meditate with regularity, even if they are surrounded by a high stress environment like living in a city or working at a typical desk job. Because of our nature as holistic beings, a problem that arises in one area of the body can cause problems in other seemingly unrelated areas. That means emotions affect our mental abilities, physical health or both. It works in reverse too; physical issues can cause emotional and/or mental imbalances.
     Learning ways to manage stress results in improved health over the long term.

    The same people that say that the mind doesn't affect your physical health are often the same ones who are first to point at folk remedies and say that they're the placebo effect... but acknowledging the existence of the placebo effect is in and of itself admitting that the mind has power over bodily functions! Thomas Hurley explained in his book "Placebo Effects: Unmapped Territory of Mind/Body Interactions" that double blind studies that he recorded showed that the placebo effect was more powerful than morphine at relieving pain by 56% percent! Are the benefits of meditation perhaps becoming clear to you?

    Take a look at any research into the placebo effect and you will see everything from people reversing heart disease, to being able to naturally lower blood pressure and even having cancerous tumors "melted like snowballs on a hot stove" (from the famous cancer case of a Mr. Wright as reported by the psychologist Bruno Klopfor in an article titled "Psychological Variables in Human Caner" in the Journal of Prospective Techniques from 1957).

    Here are some basic meditation tips to help you get started on a journey through meditation.

    ~Meditation benefits are maximized when you can pick a time to meditate and do it at the same time every day. (Early morning works best for most people.)
    ~Do whatever preparations you need to beforehand. (Cold showers, light stretching or drinking a lightly stimulating type of tea can help you stay alert through your practice. Use a chime, gong or Tibetan bowl to signal the beginning and end of your practices if you wish.)

    ~The benefits of meditation are greater when you are in a quiet setting (preferably outdoors near running water) where you won't be disturbed by things like barking dogs and ringing telephones.

    ~Pick a posture that lends itself to keeping a straight spine that you can use every time you sit. (Full lotus posture is not necessary and can even be damaging to the outer knee ligaments without knowledge of proper stretching. You can just sit on a small stool.)

    ~The spine should be very straight and head lifted as if a string is attached to the center of the crown and lifting you head upwards. Your lower back should also be flattened. (Think of a rod going from the ground up through your perineum which is located between the genitals and anus, and going up through your body and out through the center of the crown. This is a mental guide to show you how straight your body should be. Once you've become used to this posture, this is the least tiring way to sit since your muscles won't have to do any work to hold your body will take practice if you are new to it).

    ~Let go of all attachments to any outcome or specific experience within your meditation practice whether negative or positive.

    ~Meditation for beginners should include the technique of breath awareness as a way to return your focus back to being "the watcher". (This is still using specific meditation techniques; however it is advisable to have the guidance of an experienced teacher to go deeper than this.)

    ~Don't underestimate the benefits of meditation in a group setting. This is what they do at the meditation classes as the Mindbody Training Institute . Those classes are a non-traditional approach to meditation grounded in scientific understanding.

    ~When your awareness can take the role of the "detached observer (a.k.a. the watcher)", you will truly understand how meditation made simple is actually the most difficult form. (This builds the foundation for any body/mind exercises you choose to do in your daily practice.)

    ~When meditating you want to simply observe. When thoughts arise you don't try to push them away but at the same time you avoid getting involved with them. The mind chatter will slow down the more you can just sit and observe it in a detached way. Use your breath as an anchor to "reel in the wild horse mind".

    ~The longer you spend sitting, the more meditation benefits you will begin to notice in yourself. A beginner should start with 10 minutes daily, but the further advanced student should do a minimum of 30-60 minutes a day.

    ~When coming out of a period of long sitting, most disciplines will have meditation tips that involve a series of movements, stretches or postures to do at that point. (Do what feels right; just remember to do it slowly to help bring back circulation, especially to the face, shoulders and spine.)


    Sunday, July 24, 2011


    Mercury and other Poisonous Metals

    Mercury, The FDA & The Truth, Wake Up America

    The FDA recently declared mercury safe for the food supply, claiming that there was no danger in consuming mercury in fish. Yet the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has declared mercury to be toxic to human consumption. Studies have connected mercury with neurological brain disorders including autism and ms. Its time the FDA cleaned up its act.

    FDA Stuns Scientists, Declares Mercury in Fish to be Safe for Infants, Children, Expectant Mothers!

    Brain Neuron Degeneration via Mercury

    Autism, Vaccines, Mercury and the Culpability of the American Academy of Pediatrics
    Dr. Kenneth Stoller, MD was trained as a pediatrician at UCLA and was a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics for two decades. In 2008 he resigned from the AAP after realizing that the AAP has known that mercury in vaccines can cause Autism and other neurological damage, yet the organization has refused to make a determined effort to have mercury (in thimerosal) removed from all vaccines.  And in fact, has instead engaged in a cover-up to protect the interests of the vaccine makers and pharmaceutical empires.

    Smoking Teeth= Poison Gas
    The dramatic video titled Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas has had a tremendous impact on both the public and professional audiences.The full version plays 40 minutes with interviews of experts in the fields of mercury toxicology, environmental medicine, politics and dentistry. It is available from the IAOMT for $14.95 + $4 shipping. Send Kym an email at to order your personal DVD.

    Brain Neuron Degeneration via Mercury

    This video is from the university of Calgary. It shows how mercury kills brain neurons. Using live brain cultures, the mercury is introduced and the video shows how autism occurs. Autism is mercury poisoning.

    Medicardium EDTA Chelation Therapy

    A great three part video that summarizes the poisons of metals in our everyday lives…these metals include-

    Mercury- in teeth filling (50% mercury in weight!), fish…

    Lead-in lipstick, canned food, plastics, old paint, pipes…

    Aluminum- in anti-perspirant (blocks the glands and causes the toxins to be unable to be released trapping them to cause cancers), to filter water, toothpaste, baby formula, antacids, aluminum foil, pots and pans…

    Nickel – stainless steel cutlery, pots and pans, coins, dental fillings, batteries…

    Arsenic – cigarette, laundry detergent, beers, seafood, colored chalk, wire, drinking water…

    Cadmium- soft drinks, cigarette, water softeners, pesticides, fungicides, rubber, motor oil, carpets, rust proofing, plastics…

    Is Mercury Toxicity an Autoimmune Disorder?[i]

    By Keith W. Sehnert, MD, Gary Jacobson, DDS ND Kip Sullivan, JD

    Autoimmune Disorders

    The diagnostic arena now occupied by autoimmune disorders provides us with terms that could best be described as "alphabet soup". Such problems include RA (rheumatoid arthritis), HT (Hashimoto's thyroiditis), HAD (human adjuvant disease), ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or more commonly, Lou Gehrig's disease) and MCTD (mixed connective tissue disease). 

    Should we now add MT (mercury toxicity)? 

    These conditions plus others, such as Crohn's disease, Raynaud's disease, systemic candidiasis, diabetes, and even Alzheimer's disease are now believed by many to be autoimmune disorders. 

    When patients are afflicted with such disorders, they come into their physician's office with all, or some, of these symptoms:

    Generalized morning stiffness
    Skin rashes
    Dry eyes and mouth
    Joint pain
    Immune dysfunction
    Axillary lymph node swelling
    Subcutaneous nodules (skin bumps)
    Neurological symptoms (ringing in ears, burning and numbness sensations)
    Chronic fatigue
    Depression and/or environmental sensitivities
    The clinical assessment usually shows a connective tissue disorder, the result of the immune system attacking the tissues of the body. The immune elements of T-lymphocytes, B-cells and "PAC-man"

    Cells, instead of attacking bacterial, viral and yeast fungal invaders, attack the cells of the thyroid (HT), joint surfaces (RA), peripheral vascular bed (Raynaud's) or the skin cells with patches across the nose and cheeks (lupus erythematosus). 

    There are no simple answers for this perplexing group of problems, yet insights are beginning to arrive on the clinical horizon that may indicate why T-cell mediated lesions are developed and a screening questionnaire has been developed to help assess this problem (see Mercury/Toxic Metal Sensitivity Questionnaire). Patients who score more than five "yeses" should be referred to a dentist familiar with "silver" amalgam removal. 

    Any filling in the mouth that looked silver when it was new and is gray of black now is probably 50% mercury, the rest being copper, silver, tin, and zinc. There are numerous amalgam mixes on the market. They have names like Dispersalloy, Spheraloy, Sybralloy, and Tytin. The mercury content ranges from 43 to 54%. Although these fillings are commonly called silver fillings because they look silver for the first few days of the eight to twelve years they survive in the average human head, mercury fillings would be a more accurate label (And speaking of accurate labels, the origins of the word mercury are both interesting and provocative. Mercury was the God of Commerce in the Roman Empire and meant fabrication, trickery, thieving and slight-of-hand.).

    In this article the more formal term "amalgam" is used. The name "amalgam" reflects the ability of mercury to bind or amalgamate powdered silver and other metals into a hard filling.

    Evidence that these fillings give systemic pathology as well as periodontal disease exists. In one study it was observed that when 50 subjects without amalgams were compared to 51 subjects with amalgams, there was greater incidence of problems in the latter group. They experienced greater incidence of chest pains, tachycardia, anemia, fatigue and tendency to tire easily. They also had significantly higher blood pressure, lower heart rate and lower hemoglobin. 

    A study in Canada has shown that pregnant sheep with new silver amalgams have elevated levels of mercury in their fetuses within two weeks of placement of the fillings. Further studies on monkeys showed the same findings. These studies were done by Vimy Takahasi and Lorscheider at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine.

    In addition to the reports from the United States, Canada and Japan, European researchers have observed many adverse reports concerning amalgams. On February 18, 1994, mercury fillings were banned in Sweden for children and youth 19 years of age because evidence showed them to be a trigger of autoimmune disorder.
    Although mercury fillings have been widely used in the decades since, research demonstrating that such fillings are safe has yet to be done. Research that has been done and reported in scientific literature demonstrates that:

    Mercury escapes from fillings in the fillings in the form of vapor created by chewing. It then enters the bloodstream and is delivered to all parts of the body, including the brain. (A recent autopsy of an 82-year old woman from St. Paul with confirmed Alzheimer's disease had studies done by the Mayo Heavy Metals Lab. Brain tissue examination showed 5.3 UGIG mercury (53 times the normal levels). The pathologist reported "neurofibrillary tangle" in the brain sections that are common in such patients. She had multiple amalgams.) 

    2. People with mercury fillings have higher levels of mercury in their urine, blood and brain than people without fillings. 

    Another significant European development about mercury amalgams was reported when Degussa AG, the largest producer of dental amalgams in Germany announced it would no longer provide such amalgams because of pending and future lawsuits. This was based on a federal Court ruling that dentists who use such amalgams face legal liability. 

    Next come a series of studies by Dr. Catherine Kousmine of France, who reported that illnesses like MS and chronic polyarthritis, both autoimmune disease, are triggered by silver amalgams. This is outlined in her book, La Sclerosa and Plaques Est Guerissable (Multiple Sclerosis is Curable). 

    One more European study on MS comes from Great Britain. It reports that the highest incidence of MS is found in Northern Ireland and the Scottish Island of Orkney and Shetland. They also have the highest incidence of dental cavities and dental fillings. This provides more suspicion that mercury is a possible link to autoimmune dysfunction. 

    History of the Debate about Mercury

    French dentists were the first to mix mercury with various other metals and plug the mixture into cavities in teeth. The first mixtures, developed in the early 1800's, had relatively little mercury in them and had to be heated to get the metals to bind. In 1819, a man named Bell in England developed an amalgam mix with much more mercury in it that bound the metals at room temperature. Taveau in France developed a similar mixture in 1826.

    When amalgams were introduced to the US in 1833 by two French entrepreneurs, the Crawcour brothers, amalgam use was denounced by a substantial number of American dentists. So strong was the opposition to amalgams that the American Society of Dental Surgeons, formed in 1840, required its members to sign pledges promising not to use them. It is an intriguing historical note that the common term for mercury in Germany in those years was "quick silver". The German pronunciation for "quick" is "quack". Thus, those dentists who used mercury were called "quacks". This term has now come to mean anyone who is an "ignorant pretender to medical skill" (The Random House dictionary of The English Language). In 1848, the Society found 11 of its New York members guilty of "malpractice for using amalgam" and suspended them. Internal debate over this issue led to the demise of the Society in 1856. Its successor organization, the American Dental Association, sought to unite dentists and, in its early days, did not take a stand on the issue of amalgam safety. The Encyclopedia Britannica reports that "amalgams were not altogether in good repute until after 1895", which suggests that the ADA was supporting the use of amalgams by then. Despite the efforts of a few researchers in this country and Europe to call attention to the dangers of mercury fillings, most notably a German chemist named Dr. Alfred Stock who published numerous articles prior to World War II, and Hal Huggins, a Colorado dentist who has spoken out against amalgams for the last 20 years, debate about the safety of mercury fillings remained muffled until recently. 

    The amalgam safety debate was revived in this country first by a 1989 Environmental Protection Agency declaration that amalgams are a hazardous substance under the Superfund law, and then a December 1990 broadcast of a program by "60 Minutes" that presented a devastation critique of amalgams. The program created a stir throughout the country. "Switchboards lit up at the state dental societies, dental schools, and the American Dental Association," said Consumer Reports. The American Dental Association got calls from two dozen reporters. The publicity was the apparent cause of the following activity in 1991: an FDA hearing; a conference sponsored by the National Institute of Dental Research; and a call for a review of the research by the US Public Health Service.

    The dental establishment was furious with CBS. In the January 7,1991 edition of its newspaper for "the irresponsible ways in which viewers were led to the conclusion that amalgam fillings are unsafe". To the contrary, said the ADA, "scientific evidence…suggests mercury amalgam is safe to use". The ADA newspaper published statements by Dr. Harold Loe, director of National Institute of Dental Research, criticizing CBS for having "an obvious bias" against amalgams. Dentists all over the country received information packets from the ADA, including copies of the ADA newspaper and a 1986 article from Consumer Reports. The ADA also promoted its message in a two-minute video news release sent to 700 TV stations on December 17, 1990, on its weekly radio show on December 18, 1990, and in its journal, the Journal of the American Dental Association.

    The 1986 article by Consumer Reports pooh-poohed those who criticize the use of mercury in filings. The article concluded: "Dentists who purport to treat health problems by ripping out fillings are putting their own economic welfare ahead of their patients' welfare… Except for a few people with a genuine allergy to mercury we know of no one who's been harmed by them." Consumer Reports published a similar article in May of 1991 which the ADA and the MN Dental Association have also distributed widely. This article criticized research showing that silver-mercury fillings are unsafe and concluded that "amalgam fillings are still your best bet." 

    "60 Minutes" and the anti-amalgam movement have other critics besides the ADA and Consumer Reports - they include the Arthritis Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the ultra-right Accuracy in Media - but no one has more credibility on this issue than the ADA and Consumer Reports. For that reason, it is important for any one trying to understand this issue to understand the arguments of these two organizations and why their arguments fail. The positions of the ADA and Consumer Reports are strikingly similar. They cite the same sources to reach the same conclusion - that critics have not shown conclusively that mercury amalgams are unsafe. 

    About the Authors

    Keith W. Sehnert, MD[ii], is in private practice in Minneapolis. He has written or co-authored 14 books and over 200 scientific papers in the field of medical self-care and nutrition. His most recent book is titled Beyond Antibiotics.

    Gary Jacobson, DDS[iii], is founder of the Airport Dental Clinic near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and has worked closely with the Huggins Diagnostic Center in Colorado in the field of dental detoxicology. He lectures on the dangers of mercury toxicity and has worked with hundreds of patients with this problem.

    Kip Sullivan[iv], JD, is research director for COACT, a citizen organization that works on economic issues in St. Paul. He has suffered numerous health problems including colitis. He had 15 amalgams removed by Dr. Jacobson in 1991 and his "colitis was gone within 2 months". Over the next three years, numerous other symptoms that "first appeared in my teens and twenties have disappeared."

    From the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Aug/Sept 99

    [i] This is an old article from 1999. Alternative health doctors are convinced that mercury DOES cause autoimmune diseases. The FDA Advisory panel, consisting of scientists and mainstream physicians in the field of neurology had an opportunity to hear testimonies and science of mercury poisoning causing neurological diseases in the September 2006 FDA hearings on dental amalgam. See
    [ii] Dr. Sehnert passed away June 22, 1999. A tribute to him by his daughter was recorded in the August/Sept 1999 issue of Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.
    [iii] Kip Sullivan speech before Minnesota Board of Dentistry concerning Dr. Gary Jacobsen, DDS. Jacobsen was harassed by the dental board for being mercury free and finally retired.

    [iv] Kip Sullivan is presently (2006) a member of the steering committee of Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition (MUHCC).  He is author of the book The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and How We'll Get Out of It