Friday, February 28, 2014

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen


Not intended as an exhaustive treatise, but to motivate the reader to believe that, "They themselves are makers of themselves." by the thoughts they choose and encourage. A person's thoughts form an inner garment of character and an outer garment of circumstance.

Thought & Character

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". The sum of a man's thoughts are his character. His character influences the conditions and circumstances of his life. Every action springs forth first from thought – even actions considered to be spontaneous and unpremeditated.
Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruit.
The law of cause and effect exists in the world of thought, not just the natural world. A God-like character is the result of God-like thoughts. A bestial character is the result of groveling thoughts. Man is made or unmade by his own thoughts, which can destroy him or build him up. Man becomes master of his "household" of thoughts, by application, self-analysis and experience.
Gold and diamonds are found only by much searching and mining. Similarly, a man must dig deep in the mine of his soul to find every truth connected with his being.
A man must watch, control and alter his thoughts – tracing their effect on himself, others, and his life and circumstances. In doing so he will prove to himself that he is maker of his own character, life and destiny.

Effect of Thought on Circumstances

A man's mind may be likened to a garden – cultivated or uncultivated. The cultivated produces flowers & fruit, while the uncultivated produces weeds. A man must continually weed-out all wrong, useless, and impure thoughts and deliberately cultivate right, useful, and pure thoughts.
Thought and character are one, and character has a profound influence on the circumstances of one's life. If a man learns the spiritual lesson of his current circumstances they will give way to other circumstances.
As long as a man believes he is a creature of external conditions he will be buffeted by those conditions. When he practices self-control and self-purification of thought, and remedies his defects of character, he finds that his circumstances will change.
The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors -- its loves and fears. The soul reaches the height of its cherished aspirations and the depth of its unchastened desires. Every thought-seed allowed to take root in a man's mind will eventually produce the fruit of character and opportunity and circumstance.
Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.

Effects of Thoughts on Health & Body

The body is the servant of the mind. With unlawful thoughts the body sinks into disease and decay. with glad and beautiful thoughts it becomes clothed with youthfulness & beauty. Thoughts of fear can kill the body. Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body, opening it to disease, while impure thoughts will shatter the nervous system. Strong pure and happy thoughts build up the body in vigor and grace.
The habits of thoughts will produce their effects -- good or bad -- upon the body. Thought is the fount of action, life, and manifestation. Make the fountain' pure and all will be pure.
If you would perfect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew your body, beautify your mind. Thoughts of malice, envy, and disappointment, rob the body of its health and grace. A bright, happy, and serene countenance follows from thoughts of joy, goodwill and serenity. To continually live in thoughts of ill-will, cynicism, suspicion and envy, is to be confined in a self-made prison.
To think well of all, to be cheerful with all, to find the good in all -- such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven.

Thought & Purpose

Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. Aimlessness is a vice. They who have no central purpose in their life fall prey to worries, fears, troubles and self-pity, which lead to failure and loss.
A man should conceived of a legitimate purpose in his heart and set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts.
He should make this purpose his supreme duty and should devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander into fanciful imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. He may repeatedly fail to accomplish this purpose, but will overcome weaknesses and grow in character -- a measure of true success and the staring point for future power and triumph.
Those who are not prepared for the apprehension brought on by having a great purpose, should instead fix their thoughts on the faultless performance of their duty, no matter how insignificant it may appear. This discipline will focus their thoughts and develop their resolution. Strength can be developed by effort and practice, even in the weakest soul. The physically weak can be made strong by patient training and the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.
To think with purpose puts one in the ranks of those who know that failure is one of the pathways to success. A man should mentally mark out a straight path to achieving his purpose and rigorously exclude doubts and fears. The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge and must be slain.
He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes a creative force.

"The Thought-Factor in Achievement"

All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. A man's weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own and not another man's. They can only be altered by himself. His sufferings and his happiness are evolved from within.
As he thinks, so is he; as he continues to think, so he remains.
A strong man cannot help a weaker unless the weaker is willing to be helped. Even then the weak man must become strong of himself -- only he can alter himself. Oppressor and slaves are cooperators in ignorance and afflict themselves rather than each other. A perfect love condemns neither and a perfect compassion embraces both. He who has conquered weakness and has pushed away all selfish thoughts belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed. He is free.
A man can only rise, conquer and achieve by lifting up his thoughts.
Before a man can achieve anything -- even worldly -- he must lift his thoughts above slavish animal indulgence. A man whose first thought is bestial indulgence could neither think clearly nor plan methodically. He could not find and develop resources and would fail in any undertaking. Not having begun to manfully control his thoughts, he is not in a position to control affairs and to adopt serious responsibilities. He is limited by the thoughts he chooses.
A man's worldly success will be by the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts and fixes his mind on the development of his plans and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance. The higher he lifts his thoughts, the greater will be his success. The universe only appears to favor the greedy, dishonest and vicious. Intellectual achievements are the result of thought consecrated to the search for knowledge or for the beautiful and true in nature. Intellectual achievement is sometimes connected to vanity and ambition, but are not the outcomes of these. Spiritual achievements are the consummation of holy aspirations. Achievement of any kind is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought.
By the aid of self-control, resolution, purity, righteousness, and well-directed thought a man ascends. By the aid of animality, indolence, impurity, corruption and confusion of thought man descends. A man who has risen to high success may descend into great wretchedness by allowing arrogant, selfish and corrupt thoughts to take possession of him. Victories attained by right thought are maintained by watchfulness. Many give way when success is assured, and rapidly fall back into failure.
All achievements -- business, intellectual, spiritual -- are the result of definitely directed thought. To achieve greatly one must sacrifice greatly.

Visions & Ideals

The dreamers are the saviors of the world. All the visible world is sustained by the invisible. He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it. To desire is to obtain, to aspire is to achieve. Shall a man's basest desires receive the fullest measure of gratification, and his purest aspirations starve for lack of sustenance? Dream lofty dreams and as you dream, so shall you become.
Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be. The greatest achievements were at first and for a time a dream. The Oak sleeps in an acorn. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
Uncongenial circumstances can be overcome by perceiving and striving toward and ideal. You cannot travel on the inside and remain still on the outside.
You will always gravitate toward that which you secretly love most. You will become as small as your controlling desire, or as great as your dominant aspiration. The thoughtless, ignorant and indolent speak of luck, fortune and chance. They do not see the trials, failures and struggles of men who achieve wealth, intellect or holiness. They have no knowledge of the sacrifices, efforts and exercised faith of the latter in overcoming the obstacles to their dreams. They do not know the darkness or the heartaches.
Gifts, powers, material, intellectual and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort. They are thoughts completed, objectives accomplished, and visions realized. The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by; this you will become.


Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. A calm man, having learned how to govern himself, knows how to adapt himself to others. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. The strong, calm, man is always loved and revered. Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and storms of the soul obey him. To tempest-tossed souls: Self control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, "Peace. Be still."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How Meditation Changes Your Brain Frequency

By Ashley Turner
As yogis have known for centuries and scientists can now prove, the benefits of meditation are profound. Meditation is perhaps the most crucial instrument to harness the power of thought, cultivate more peace, clarity and happiness.
Learning to train the brain and focus our attention is crucial to thriving and cultivating a peak performance in any endeavor. 

Longtime psychotherapist Dr. Ron Alexander, author of Wise Mind, Open Mind, speaks of mind strength, or the resiliency, efficacy and emotional intelligence that arise as we begin the process of controlling the mind. Mind strength is one of the most empowering tools we can employ to impact and improve all aspects of life. 

There are five major categories of brain waves, each corresponding to different activities. Meditation enables us to move from higher frequency brain waves to lower frequency, which activates different centers in the brain.
Slower wavelengths = more time between thoughts = more opportunity to skillfully choose which thoughts you invest in and what actions you take. 

5 Categories of Brain Waves: Why Meditation Works
1. Gamma State: (30 — 100Hz) This is the state of hyperactivity and active learning. Gamma state is the most opportune time to retain information. This is why educators often have audiences jumping up and down or dancing around — to increase the likelihood of permanent assimilation of information. If over stimulated, it can lead to anxiety. 

2. Beta State: (13 — 30Hz) Where we function for most of the day, Beta State is associated with the alert mind state of the prefrontal cortex. This is a state of the “working” or "thinking mind": analytical, planning, assessing and categorizing. 

3. Alpha State: (9 — 13Hz) Brain waves start to slow down out of thinking mind. We feel more calm, peaceful and grounded. We often find ourselves in an “alpha state” after a yoga class, a walk in the woods, a pleasurable sexual encounter or during any activity that helps relax the body and mind. We are lucid, reflective, have a slightly diffused awareness. The hemispheres of the brain are more balanced (neural integration). 

4. Theta State: (4 — 8Hz) We're able to begin meditation. This is the point where the verbal/thinking mind transitions to the meditative/visual mind. We begin to move from the planning mind to a deeper state of awareness (often felt as drowsy), with stronger intuition, more capacity for wholeness and complicated problem solving. The Theta state is associated with visualization. 

5. Delta State: (1—3 Hz) Tibetan monks who have been meditating for decades can reach this in an alert, wakened phase, but most of us reach this final state during deep, dreamless sleep. 

How to Meditate:
A simple meditation to use to begin the transition from Beta or Alpha to the Theta State is to focus on the breath. The breath and mind work in tandem, so as breath begins to lengthen, brain waves begin to slow down. 

To begin the meditation, sit comfortably in your chair with your shoulders relaxed and spine tall. Place your hands mindfully on your lap, close your eyes, and as much as possible eliminate any stimuli that may distract you.

Watch your breath. Simply notice your breath flowing in. Flowing out. Don’t try to change it in any way. Just notice.

Silently repeat the mantra: “Breathing In. Breathing Out.” As your mind begins to wander, draw it back to your breath. Notice that as your breath begins to lengthen and fill your body, your mind begins to calm. 

Consistency is key. Try to do this breath meditation first thing in the morning and/or at night. Be consistent with your meditation. Shorter meditations on a regular basis are more productive than long sessions every few weeks. Aim for 5 minutes a day and add 1 minute each week.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes With Avocado-Lemon Dressing

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes (gluten-free and vegan)


  • 2-4 sweet potatoes (skins discarded)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds 
  • olive oil (or Ghee)
Boil sweet potatoes until soft enough to mash. Cook quinoa to a nice firm texture. Use slightly less than twice as much water to quinoa seeds, and boil covered until all water is gone. (For this batch I cooked the quinoa ahead of time and kept in the fridge, it helped it be a little firmer)

Place prepared sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash potatoes until only small chunks of potato appear. Stir in quinoa, onion, garlic, salt, red pepper and cumin, stirring to thoroughly combine ingredients. 

Shaping quinoa mixture into palm-sized patties. Heat up some oil on pan and saute on each side until it starts to brown. Flip once.

Top with Avocado-Lemon Dressing (below) on top of patties and serve. For extra spice drizzle some Sriracha on top.

Alternative Directions
Boil sweet potatoes until soft enough to mash. Cook quinoa to a nice firm texture. Use slightly less than twice as much water to quinoa seeds, and boil covered until all water is gone.

Heat a tsp of Ghee in a pan and saute onion, garlic, ginger, salt, red pepper, ground jeera, black mustard seeds, stirring to thoroughly combine ingredients and let onions sweat for a few minutes.  Add chopped tomato, salt and cumin powder. Cook for a couple minutes until tomato breaks down.

Place prepared sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash potatoes. Stir in quinoa and cooked onion/tomato.

Shape quinoa mixture into palm-sized patties. Heat up some Ghee in pan and saute on each side until it starts to brown. Flip once.

Top with Avocado-Lemon Dressing (below) on top of patties and serve. For extra spice drizzle some Sriracha on top.

Avocado-Lemon Dressing (gluten-free and vegan)


  • 1 avocado, peel and pit removed
  • 1 Tbsp. of sesame tahini
  • small bunch of cilantro, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and pulse until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). 

 All ingredients for patties -
 Chop up sweet potatoes and boil until soft
 mice onions
 mash sweet potatoes
 mix up all ingredients
All ingredients for avocado-lemon sause
 add all ingredients
and blend 

heat oil and brown patties on both sides
Top cooked patty with avocado sause
and if you're like me and like to spice things up...drizzle some Sriracha sauce...and it's ready to eat!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What’s Really In Your Tea?

Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?
 Tea is something I drink every single day. It’s sacred at my house – I even have a whole drawer devoted to it! I drink it because it is amazing for your health. There are so many varieties of tea that can improve digestion, metabolism and even prevent certain diseases. This investigation into tea ingredients has been in the making for a long time. What I’m about to share with you totally rocked my world forever and I’ll never look at tea in the same way again. Do you really want to know what’s in your tea?…Then read on.
Food Babe's Tea Drawer 
The ancient Chinese tradition of drinking tea dates back thousand of years to the early Chinese dynasties and aristocrats who drank the beverage for its medicinal properties. In ancient times, leaves from the Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant) were either ground into a powder or placed as loose leaves directly into water to infuse it with herbal essence. Unfortunately, modern day tea is nothing like the unadulterated version of old tea. Many of today’s tea brands are operating under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs.
Conventional Teas – An Abundance of Pesticides
Did you know that most tea is not washed before it is put it into bags? That means if the tea was sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides, those pesticides go directly into your cup. And this is the reason why tea is on my organic shopping priority list. To prove this point, here are some shocking facts about one of the most well-known tea brands – Celestial Seasonings.

A recent third-party analysis by Glaucus Research found that 91 percent of Celestial Seasonings tea tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits. For example, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal contained 0.26 ppm of propachlor, which is a known carcinogen under California’s Propsition 65.
The “Wellness” tea line was found to contain traces of propargite, also a known carcinogen and developmental toxin. The FDA has already issued two warning letters to Celestial Seasonings in regard to poor quality control. Imagine what happens when pesticide-laden tea is steeped in boiling water.

If grocery store brands don’t provide a clean option for you, perhaps a high-end loose leaf tea would circumvent some of the issues of grocery store brands. Right? Wrong! Take Teavana, which is found in malls across North America for example. Teavana taps into tea culture with the “Teavana Experience.” Convincing their employees to take customers on a sensory journey – they open a huge canister of loose leaf tea and wave the top of the canister so you can smell the tea – touting all of the wonderful health benefits of tea complete with samples and manipulative demonstrations that end in an expensive visit to the tea shop. Is all the extra money worth it? Are customers getting a superior tea product? No.

Teavana tea was tested by an independent lab and 100 percent of it was found to contain pesticides. One tea in particular, Monkey Picked Oolong, contained 23 pesticides. 77 percent of the teas would fail European Union pesticide import standards, and would be banned from import. 62 percent of the teas tested contained traces of endosulfan, a pesticide that has been banned by the U.S., China, the E.U., and 144 other countries because it has been linked to impaired fertility and could harm unborn babies.

Teas Can Contain Artificial Flavoring, Natural Flavors, and Hidden GMOs
Furthermore, a majority of Teavana teas contain added flavor – specifically “artificial flavoring.” If their tea is so high end, why would they be adding ingredients produced by fractional distillation and chemical manipulation of various chemicals like crude oil or coal tar? Coal tar in my tea? No, thanks.
Many popular tea brands get away with using the ingredient “natural flavors” to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying better, cleaner ingredients; however companies are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Fortunately, there are brands that are putting the kibash on the use of natural flavors and using all real ingredients. I was happy to learn that Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Numi Tea is just as disgusted by this ingredient as I am. He said to me “You can breakdown anything that is found in nature and if it ends up tasting like the flavor you wish to use – you can add it to any product and call it NATURAL FLAVOR on the ingredient label. It could come from a stone in the ground and you’d never know.” This is why when I see the words “natural flavor” listed on a label – I put the product down and run far far away. I want to know what I am eating! Don’t you?

Additionally, the added risk of consuming possible GMOs is not something many people think about when consuming teas. Before this investigation and witnessing tea companies using modified corn starch and soy lecithin in tea (additives likely made from genetically engineered corn and soy), I didn’t think about it either! I can’t imagine having a serious soy allergy, considering all the places companies try to hide it.
Why The Tea Bag & Packaging Matters
A recent article in The Atlantic discusses the “silky sachet” and “luxurious mesh bags” that hold loose leaf teas (like in brands Tea Forte and Mighty Leaf). Turns out, these modern day bags meant to showcase the tea leaves, are made of plastic.

PLA (polylactic acid) is a (likely GMO) corn-based tea bag material that has attracted major tea companies due to its nice look and its claims of biodegradability. Terms like “silky sachets” and “corn-based biodegradable tea bags” mislead customers into believing a product is more natural and sustainable than it really is. While the processing for PLA removes all traces of genetic material, it is still made with genetically modified corn. Although the actual tea bag is not an ingredient like teas and herbs, it is an element that is put into boiling water.

According to The Atlantic, tea bags are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which are two of what’s considered the safest plastics on the scale of harmful leaching potential. However, Dr. Mercola disagrees, he states:

“While these plastics are generally considered among the safest in terms of leaching potential, the molecules in these plastic tea bags may still in fact break down and leach out when steeped in boiling water…” Well, isn’t that how tea is prepared?

Another temperature consumers need to worry about in tea is the “glass transition” temperature. Here’s the science behind the glass transition temperature or, Tg, and why it becomes dangerous according to The Atlantic:

“That is the temperature at which the molecule in certain materials such as polymers begin to break down. As a rule, the Tg of a material is always lower than the melting point. In the case of PET and food grade nylon (either nylon 6 or nylon 6-6), all have a Tg lower than the temperature of boiling water. For example, while the melting point of PET is 482 degrees Fahrenheit, the Tg is about 169 degrees. Both nylons have a lower glass transition temperature than PET. (Remember that water boils at 212 degrees.) This means the molecules that make up these plastic tea bags begin to break down in hot water.”
So, while the plastic itself won’t melt in your tea, the glass transition temperature could potentially leak out harmful phthalates if there are such things in your tea. Another thing to worry about is that some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics. Some plastics are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.

Beware of paper tea bags too, which can be worse than plastic tea bags.

GET THIS: Many paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function.

So what do you do the next time you want a cup of tea? Antioxidant rich teas aren’t going to do much to counterbalance the chemicals, additives and artificial flavorings in today’s modern teas.

First, I recommend looking at this chart below to see how your favorite tea brand stacks up:

And then when brewing and picking out the safest tea remember these tips:
1. Choose an organic & non-GMO certified brand of tea. (My favorites are Numi, Traditional Medicinals, and Rishi Tea (loose leaf)).

2. Check the ingredient list on the back of the tea package to make sure there are no added flavors, GMO ingredients like soy lecithin and corn starch added to the tea leaves.

3. Make sure the brand you buy uses a safe form of packaging material or buy loose leaf tea and use a stainless steel or glass tea strainer. Have the company verify that bags do not contain epichlorophydrin, and avoid plastic tea bags all together. (Numi and Traditional Medicinals are some of the only brands I trust in this category because they have publicly stated they do not use this harmful ingredient or GMO packaging and are Non-GMO Project verified.) 

4. The majority of restaurants use some of the most pesticide ridden tea and brands that have harmful packaging like Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, Bigelow, etc. Don’t fall victim to this. Bring your own tea when eating out or going to restaurants and ask for pot or cup of boiling water (remember to leave a good tip if you do this). I even do this at Starbucks because I like to vote with my dollars and not buy tea brands that are harmful. If you drink iced tea, brew your own at home and carry an insulated water bottle with you.

5. Remember these temps and times for brewing the perfect cup of tea

Monday, February 24, 2014

5 Healthier Ways to Detox

(That Aren’t Juice Cleanses)

Healthy Detox
Forget colonics and ultra-low-cal juice fasts. If you want to clear out toxins and boost your overall health, there are smarter and safer ways to do it. Here are five expert-approved tactics that are guaranteed to make you feel like a better, fresher version of yourself.


1. Sweat it out.

“Saunas have been used as part of detox protocols in integrative medicine for decades,” says Susan S. Blum, M.D., assistant clinical professor of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and author of The Immune System Recovery Plan. Far infrared saunas (which mimic the sun’s rays, minus the UV radiation) may be especially helpful because they heat up bodily tissue more effectively than traditional saunas, she explains. As your body gets hotter and blood flow increases, toxins that are stored in body fat get released. Those might include BPA (which is found in many plastics), pesticide residue, and both legal and not-so-legal drugs.
If you’re currently trying to detox, aim to spend 10 to 15 minutes in a sauna two to three times a week. “Make sure you drink enough water and stay hydrated,” says Blum, who recommends that sauna newbies start with just five minutes at a time. If you have a medical condition involving your lungs or heart, play it safe and check with your doctor beforehand. Same goes for anyone who has low blood pressure or tends to get light-headed easily.

“View each meal as a chance to heal,” Hyman says.

2. Take a breather.

Deep breathing — especially a technique called ujjayi breathing — may help get rid of toxins in two ways. This technique builds heat in the body so you sweat toxins out and it can help eliminate excess carbon dioxide each time you exhale, says Sinda Anzovino, a Westchester, New York-based yoga instructor at Yoga by Sinda, New York Sports Clubs, and Life Time Athletic. To begin the process, sit in a comfortable position and breathe in and out deeply through your nose. “While inhaling, imagine that your throat is opening as if you were yawning,” says Anzovino. “While exhaling, try to constrict the back of the throat and make a soft ‘ha’ sound as if you’re mimicking the sound of the ocean.” Silently count to five on each inhale and exhale; continue for five to 15 minutes. Afterward you should feel relaxed and energized.


3. Snooze to lose.

While you’re asleep your brain’s waste-removal team, called the glymphatic system, is working overtime, according to research from the University of Rochester Medical Center. Toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease build up while you’re awake, and getting adequate shut-eye is key to making sure they’re cleared out as quickly and efficiently as possible. In fact, scientists discovered that the glymphatic system is nearly 10 times more active during sleep than while you’re up and about. Most adults need seven to nine hours a night, so set your DVR instead of staying up late to catch your favorite talk show or TV series.


4. Soak in good health.

Whether you’re really sick or just run-down, chances are you’re low on glutathione, says Mark Hyman, M.D., founder of The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA and author of the new 10-Day Detox Diet. Your body naturally makes this protective antioxidant, which zaps free radicals and helps your liver filter out toxins. However, things like stress, illness, and environmental pollution all deplete your levels. One easy way to build them back up is to take a bath with Epsom salts, which contain sulfur. Sulfur boosts glutathione because glutathione is, in part, made up of sulfur molecules, explains Hyman. “Epsom salt also has magnesium, so it will help you relax and sleep.” Simply add two cups the next time you draw a hot bath.


5. Eat clean.

Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and bok choy contain phytonutrients that also help your body produce more glutathione, says Hyman. Other detox-friendly foods include dandelion greens, which improve the flow of bile in the liver; celery, which increases urine output; and cilantro, which Hyman says can help remove heavy metals such as mercury and lead from the body. Wash down whatever you’re munching on with a cup of decaf green tea to give your metabolism a kick and further aid in the eradication of unwanted toxins.

“View each meal as a chance to heal,” says Hyman. “If you eat the right foods, the body knows what to do so you can regain your health by eliminating problems such as fatigue, bloating and brain fog.”

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Magnesium: Meet the Most Powerful Relaxation Mineral Available
A DEFICIENCY IN THIS CRITICAL nutrient makes you twice as likely to die as other people, according to a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.(i) It also accounts for a long list of symptoms and diseases — which are easily helped and often cured by adding this nutrient. In fact, in my practice, this nutrient is one of my secret weapons against illness. Yet up to half of Americans are deficient in this nutrient and don’t know it.
I’m talking about magnesium.

It is an antidote to stress, the most powerful relaxation mineral available, and it can help improve your sleep.

I find it very funny that more doctors aren’t clued in to the benefits of magnesium, because we use it all the time in conventional medicine. But we never stop to think about why or how important it is to our general health or why it helps our bodies function better.

I remember using magnesium when I worked in the emergency room. It was a critical “medication” on the crash cart. If someone was dying of a life-threatening arrhythmia (or irregular heart beat), we used intravenous magnesium. If someone was constipated or needed to prepare for colonoscopy, we gave them milk of magnesia or a green bottle of liquid magnesium citrate, which emptied their bowels. If pregnant women came in with pre-term labor, or high blood pressure of pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) or seizures, we gave them continuous high doses of intravenous magnesium.

But you don’t have to be in the hospital to benefit from getting more magnesium. You can start taking regular magnesium supplementation today and see results.

The Relaxation Mineral
Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency.

This critical mineral is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.
When was the last time you had a good dose of seaweed, nuts, greens, and beans? If you are like most Americans, your nut consumption mostly comes from peanut butter.
That is why the list of conditions that are found related to magnesium deficiency is so long. In fact, there are over 3,500 medical references on magnesium deficiency!

Even so, this mineral is mostly ignored because it is not a drug, even though it is MORE powerful than drugs in many cases. That’s why we use it in the hospital for life-threatening and emergency situations like seizures and heart failure.
You might be magnesium deficient if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Muscle cramps or twitches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • ADD
  • Palpitations
  • Angina
  • Constipation
  • Anal spasms
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Kidney stones
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • High blood pressure
  • PMS
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irritable bladder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reflux
  • Trouble swallowing
Magnesium deficiency has even has been linked to inflammation in the body and higher CRP levels.

In our society, magnesium deficiency is a huge problem. By conservative standards of measurement (blood, or serum, magnesium levels), 65 percent of people admitted to the intensive care unit — and about 15 percent of the general population — have magnesium deficiency.

But this seriously underestimates the problem, because a serum magnesium level is the LEAST sensitive way to detect a drop in your total body magnesium level. So rates of magnesium deficiency could be even higher!

The reason we are so deficient is simple: Many of us eat a diet that contains practically no magnesium — a highly-processed, refined diet that is based mostly on white flour, meat, and dairy (all of which have no magnesium).
When was the last time you had a good dose of sea vegetables (seaweed), nuts, greens, and beans? If you are like most Americans, your nut consumption mostly comes from peanut butter, and mostly in chocolate peanut butter cups.

Much of modern life conspires to help us lose what little magnesium we do get in our diet. Magnesium levels are decreased by excess alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in colas, profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress, chronic diarrhea, excessive menstruation, diuretics (water pills), antibiotics and other drugs, and some intestinal parasites. In fact, in one study in Kosovo, people under chronic war stress lost large amounts of magnesium in their urine.

This is all further complicated by the fact that magnesium is often poorly absorbed and easily lost from our bodies. To properly absorb magnesium we need a lot of it in our diet, plus enough vitamin B6, vitamin D, and selenium to get the job done.

A recent scientific review of magnesium concluded, “It is highly regrettable that the deficiency of such an inexpensive, low-toxicity nutrient results in diseases that cause incalculable suffering and expense throughout the world.” (ii) I couldn’t’ have said it better myself.

It is difficult to measure and hard to study, but magnesium deficiency accounts for untold suffering — and is simple to correct. So if you suffer from any of the symptoms I mentioned or have any of the diseases I noted, don’t worry — it is an easy fix!! Here’s how.

Stop Draining Your Body of Magnesium
  • Limit coffee, colas, salt, sugar, and alcohol
  • Learn how to practice active relaxation
  • Check with your doctor if your medication is causing magnesium loss (many high blood pressure drugs or diuretics cause loss of magnesium)
Eat Foods High in Magnesium
Include the following in your diet as often as you can:
Kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic

Take Magnesium Supplements
  • The RDA (the minimum amount needed) for magnesium is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg.
  • Some may need much more depending on their condition.
  • Most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day.
  • The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good.
  • Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).
  • Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate.
  • Most minerals are best taken as a team with other minerals in a multi-mineral formula.
  • Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good way to absorb and get much needed magnesium.
People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision.

So if you’re coping with the symptoms here, relax! Magnesium is truly a miracle mineral. It is essential for lifelong vibrant health.
Now I’d like to hear from you…

Do you suffer from any of the symptoms I’ve mentioned?
Do you currently take a magnesium supplement? What results have you noticed?

Which of the tips mentioned above do you plan to try?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, MD

Friday, February 21, 2014

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, an enormously popular book by author John Gray, contains many suggestions for improving relationships between men and women through understanding the communication style and emotional needs of the opposite sex. As suggested by the title, the book asserts the notion that men and women are as different as beings from other planets, and that learning the code of conduct of the opposite sex is of essential value even if individuals do not necessarily conform to the stereotypical behaviour.

Chapter 1: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

It is important to remember that men and women have reciprocally different natures. Men and women need to appreciate these differences, and cease expecting each other to act and feel the way they do.


Chapter 2: Mr Fix-It and the Home Improvement Committee

Men love to have their abilities recognised and appreciated, and hate to have them scorned or ignored; women love to have their feelings recognized and appreciated, and hate to have them scorned or ignored. Men don't rate feelings highly as in their view they can result in hotly impassioned, wildly unstable behaviour; women don't rate abilities highly as in their view they can result in coldly dispassionate, aggressively competitive behavior.

Men like to work on their own, and exercise their abilities by solving problems quickly and singlehandedly; women like to co-operate, and exercise their feelings through interactive communication with one another. Men value solutions, and view unsolicited assistance as undermining their effort to solve problems alone; women value assistance, and view unsolicited solutions as undermining their effort to proceed interactively. Men desire that their solutions will be appreciated; women desire that their assistance will be appreciated.


Chapter 3: Men Go to Their Caves and Women Talk

When faced with tough problems, men become non-communicative so they can work out how best to help themselves, while women become communicative so that others can work out how best to help them. Men like to demonstrate their abilities by being allowed to solve problems without interference; women like to demonstrate their feelings by being allowed to relate problems without interference.

When men do communicate, they like to get to the point, and generally only want to listen if they feel the conversation has a point; women enjoy talking for its own sake, and are happy to listen unconditionally.


Chapter 4: How to Motivate the Opposite Sex

A man's instinct is to look after himself, even if it means sacrificing others; a woman's instinct is to look after others, even if it means sacrificing herself. In a relationship, a man has to learn how to care for his partner rather than sacrificing her needs in favour of his own, and a woman has to learn how to be cared for by her partner rather than sacrificing her own needs in favour of his, so that the needs of both are met. If they do this successfully, both win, unlike their instinctive behaviours where one person gains from another’s loss. This has to be worked at, because if either partner feels their efforts towards the relationship are not being successful in pleasing their partner, they may feel hurt and decide to revert to their instinctive behaviour. Unfortunately this then causes the other partner to do the same, and the relationship unravels inexorably.

In a relationship, a man needs to feel that his attentions are needed, and a woman needs to feel that her needs are attended. To achieve this, a man has to express his desire to fulfil her needs and her worthiness to receive his care, and a woman has to express her desire for his care and his worthiness to fulfil her needs. Both must remember to appreciate, accept, and forgive the other, and avoid blaming them when they fail.


Chapter 5: Speaking Different Languages

Men talk in very literal terms for the purpose of relaying information; women employ artistic licence and dramatic vocabulary to fully express and relate their feelings.

Men like to sort their thoughts out before communicating them, and have the tendency to become distant and non-communicative as they ponder their concerns. At this time, a woman needs reassurance that her partner still rates her as worthy of being taken care of. Women like to sort their thoughts out in the process of communicating them, and have the tendency to pour forth a litany of general grievances as they relate their concerns. At this time, a man needs reassurance that his partner still rates him as worthy of taking care of things. Both must try to avoid feeling personally to blame when their partners are dealing with problems.

When a man is troubled, he does not want his partner to express concern for him, but loves to be told that the problem is easily within his abilities to rectify because of the implicit vote of confidence in his abilities. When a woman is troubled, she loves her partner to express concern for her, but does not want to be told that the problem is a simple one to solve because of the implicit dismissal of her concerns about the issue. A solution should be sought once her feelings have been fully listened to: too quick a solution justifies his abilities but devalues her concerns, too enduring a problem justifies her concerns but devalues his abilities.

Men feel validated and gratified when they are left to sort things out by themselves, and feel undermined by being offered sympathy or unsolicited assistance. Women feel validated and gratified by being offered sympathy or unsolicited assistance, and feel undermined when they are left to sort things out by themselves.

To accommodate their partners' responses, each should make small changes to their behaviors and communication towards the other, but without compromising their own true natures.


Chapter 6: Men Are Like Rubber Bands

Men periodically bolt for cover when they suddenly fear that their self-sufficiency is becoming threatened. At these times they may become utterly unapproachable, demanding the right to be left on their own and to be allowed not to express their feelings, but if given support by being afforded space for a little while, they will soon feel better and spring back into their usual loving selves once again. It can be hard for women to handle the suddenness and speed with which men bolt for cover, and then subsequently spring back.
At times when men retreat into themselves, they can assist their partners not to be overly concerned or take it personally by providing some brief reassurance that they will return in due course. Women should resist the temptation to try to drag their partners back prematurely or criticise them over this natural behaviour.


Chapter 7: Women Are Like Waves

Women periodically sink into a depression when they feel it is time for emotional cleansing and resolution. At these times they may become utterly negative in their outlook, dwelling on every problem which troubles them, including long-standing ones which will generally have been raised and addressed before, and if they cannot find any real issues to concentrate on, then they will find some random other things to worry about.

They suspend their normal giving natures, demanding the right to express their feelings and not to be left on their own, and if supported and allowed enough time to express and release their negative feelings, they will begin to feel happier again and return to their usual loving selves. The slowness in which they sink into depression and subsequently recover may be hard for men to handle.

At times when women sink into themselves, they can assist their partners not to be overly concerned or take it personally by providing some brief reassurance that it is not their partners’ fault. Men should resist the temptation to try to lift their partners back up prematurely or criticise them over this natural behaviour.
Men demand the right to be free from time to time; women demand the right to be heard from time to time. When a man feels free he finds it easier to support a woman’s need to be heard; when a woman feels heard she finds it easier to support a man’s need to be free.

If a man’s periodic need to be free coincides with a woman’s periodic need to be heard, the best solution is for the woman to make do with being heard by her friends instead.


Chapter 8: Discovering Our Different Emotional Needs

Men and women need to remember that the emotional needs of the opposite sex are not the same as their own. Providing our partners with the wrong type of emotional needs will not be greatly appreciated.

Deep inside every man is a knight in shining armour seeking a damsel in distress who will love him, and shower him with trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement. Deep inside every woman is a damsel in distress seeking a knight in shining armour who will love her, and shower her with caring, understanding, respect, devotion, validation, and reassurance. Men must listen attentively to women to understand their needs, avoiding getting angry or defensive; women must have faith in men's abilities and best efforts to fulfill their needs, avoiding trying to change or control them.


Chapter 9: How To Avoid Arguments

Communication between relationship partners should be loving and respectful; verbal attacks by contrast are highly destructive. It is often not so much what is said that causes the damage, but the tone of voice and body language which accompanies it.

Arguments thrive on men failing to pay sufficient attention to women’s feelings, and women being critically disapproving of men. Either one may be the initial trigger, because a man’s inattentiveness can cause a woman to get upset and express disapproval, and a woman’s disapproval can cause a man to get defensive and stop listening to how she is feeling.

When men make mistakes they become frustrated and angry, and are best left alone until they calm down. Men consider apologies to be admissions of guilt; women view apologies as expressions of compassion. This difference of perception is why men are generally much less willing to apologise than women.
When engaged in an argument, men use strong and aggressive words to ensure that they win the argument, and women are frequently forced to back down in the face of a totally determined and implacable opponent. Men then feel that they have won the argument, but it is a hollow victory as their partners have not changed their views, but merely buried them in order to avoid an ever-escalating conflict. Sometimes people prefer to evade arguments instead of engaging in them. Men tend to do so by withdrawing inside themselves and refusing to talk; women often just pretend that the disagreement has been forgotten. The resultant peace is a cold one, because the issues continue festering unresolved.

To stop communication degenerating into arguments, men should strive to listen without getting defensive, and women should try to express their feelings without criticizing their partners.


Chapter 10: Scoring Points with the Opposite Sex

Men feel loved if their efforts at giving are appreciated; women feel loved according to what they receive. For women, loving someone means knowing and attending to their needs without waiting to be asked, and so a loved person should never have to ask for anything as their needs ought to be anticipated ahead of time. So women give unconditionally, and proactively seek ways to help others, whereas men only give when they feel that their efforts will be fairly appreciated and rewarded, and often will not know how or what to give without being specifically asked. Men often quickly suspend giving when feeling pleased about having done something; women may only suspend giving when feeling displeased with their partners for doing nothing.

Men value results; for women it’s the thought that counts. Consequently, men value big things much more than do women, who feel more appreciated by receiving lots of little gifts instead. A woman may consider a bunch of flowers to be just as good a proof of love as an entire month of hard work towards paying the bills.

If men and women do not take account of these different perspectives, they may fail to give their partners what they actually want. When this occurs, the man will frequently suspend giving as he feels he is not receiving enough reward back for what he has given, but the woman will continue to give unconditionally even though she feels she is giving more and has started to feel unloved, unappreciated and resentful.

Men should try to identify various little ways to give to their partners without waiting to be asked first, and should avoid the mistake of assuming their partners to be happy giving and not asking for anything back. Women should be careful not to give a false impression to their partners of being happy when they are not, and if they begin to feel resentful they should gently reduce their giving, learn to ask for things back, and be sure to keep expressing lots of appreciation of their partners’ efforts so as to encourage them to give more. Men should try to listen lovingly and respectfully to women’s feelings, women should try to express their feelings in a loving and respectful manner. If men give, and women appreciate, both end up feeling happy.


Chapter 11: How to Communicate Difficult Feelings

Unresolved negative feelings can cause us to act in ways we really don’t want to, or become manifest in all kinds of compulsive or addictive behaviors. Avoiding our negative feelings doesn’t make them go away, but compassionately embracing them can heal them and enable us to start loving again. By acting as loving parents to our own inner child, we finally allow our repressed feelings to be fully expressed and released.

To ease the pain and win love, men often obsessively seek success, and women obsessively seek perfection. Men may use anger, ego, or oblivion (such as burying themselves in their work) to avoid vulnerable feelings of pain or fear; women may lapse into depression or confusion to avoid having aggressive feelings of anger.

Constructive communication is a learned skill, and many of us must first unlearn the paradigm of negative communication and repression of feelings which we experienced during childhood. Communication works best if it presents the full picture, so that the root of the problem is revealed rather than just the symptoms.

Writing our feelings down is excellent for expressing our negative emotions (anger, pain, fear, and regret) in a controlled manner, rather than letting them explode at our partners in the heat of the moment. Having done so, we can get back in touch with our loving feelings, and are then in a much better state to explain to our partners what we are feeling, and what they can do to help us feel better. It is important to communicate such feelings in a loving atmosphere because we may need to feel securely loved while communicating such intimate and revealing feelings, and our partners may need the same if some of those feelings will be painful to hear, or could be taken personally. At times it is worth discussing them with friends or counselors first.


Chapter 12: How to Ask for Support and Get It

Men love to do things which are appreciated, and hate to do things which are demanded. Criticising him or giving excessive instructions will make him feel more like a slave than a loved and trusted partner.

Men love to prove their worth through the things they do, but they generally wait to be asked, and take a long time to learn to offer their services unsolicited. Women should therefore control their expectations of men being able to anticipate their needs, ask for help without making it sound like a demand because they resent the need to do so, and appreciate the help they receive even though it needed to be requested first.

Women should avoid requesting help from a man in a way which either doesn’t sound like a clear request, or carries implicit criticism that he should have already done it. Questions which begin with the words ‘Could you’ or ‘Can you’ are often interpreted by men as questioning their abilities, and they therefore respond more positively to the same questions if they begin instead with ‘Would you’ or ‘Will you’. The difference may seem tiny, but it can feel as different as the man saying ‘No I can’t’ or ‘No I won’t’ in response to the request.

It is best to allow a man the freedom to do things in a way and at a time that works for him. If a man is busy doing something and a woman needs his help on something else, she should feel free to ask him for help, but be prepared for him to request to defer it or even to refuse it; if requests always require positive answers, they are really demands, and men will sense the difference. If a man grumbles about a request then he is actually considering it, and the best approach is to simply wait for him to come to a decision without saying anything further, and aim to accept the outcome graciously.


Chapter 13: Keeping the Magic of Love Alive

In relationships, unresolved negative feelings can pop up without warning, and we suddenly become upset, or sensitive, or distant. When this happens to our partners we should encourage them to work through it, accepting that it may take some time and that they may need support from outside as well as from ourselves, and do our best to control any impatience or resentments we may feel towards them during these times.

Love inevitably changes over time: the pristine bliss we feel when we first fall in love doesn’t last forever, and over time our personal faults and negative baggage inevitably become exposed. But if we stick tight through the ups and downs of life and each other, then our initial bliss gradually changes into a mature form of love which can become stronger and fuller with every passing year.