10 Easy Ways to Meditation

10 Easy Ways to Meditation

Scared to meditate? Don’t think you can shut off your mind? Do you envisage yourself sitting crossed legged on the floor saying ‘ohm’ or chanting? Fear not! Meditation comes in many forms, and has massive benefits for your health. Meditation can simply be a tool to help you relax your mind; improve your focus, your creativity or self-awareness. Or it can allow you to open your mind to the deepest, most hidden influences on your body and soul and achieve a higher state of consciousness. Meditatiton has its roots in religious and spiritual philosophies of the East and has been practiced for over 5,000 years. Yes it’s true, the traditional meditation that you may be thinking of is certainly a discipline of consciousness, and can take a long time to master. However, there are other forms of active and passive meditation that are easier to learn.

Meditation can be defined in several ways:

– A state of relaxation to calm and control the mind
– The ability to focus on a single point of reference
– To be present in the moment
– A time to switch off the mind and give it a break
– Active or Passive

Active Meditation – Meditation in Motion

Think of your favourite activity that you may do often which allows you to be ‘present in the moment’. An activity where you feel so entranced by what you are doing that it feels hard to think of other things such as normal daily stressors. For some people, surfing, running, or swimming is that form of active meditation. For other people it may be sewing, painting, gardening or cooking. Some forms of active meditation specifically designed to relax your body and breath are Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Paul Chek’s Zone Exercises, and some styles of yoga and Pilates. These exercises feel great. They bring energy into your body rather than exor-cising it out.

Gardening can be an active form of meditation
Gardening is boredom for some, active meditation for others

Running is a popular form of active meditation
Running is damn hard for some, active meditation for others

Passive Meditation

Passive forms of meditation involve no activity of the body; just a quiet mind and awareness of one’s own breathing rhythm. This absence of conscious thought allows subconscious ideas, feelings, and images to enter the mind. Contemplation means to concentrate on a specific subject, object or place such as your favourite food, a place of beauty, or a single flower. This is an easier task for the analysing Western mind. As rewarding as contemplation is, pure meditation is the ultimate goal because it is then when you are not bound by a single concept. Contemplation can therefore be used a stepping stone to meditation.

With the following meditation techniques, find a comfortable place

indoors or outdoors where you can be alone uninterrupted. Familiarise yourself with technique number one first, and then try the others. With some techniques, it may be beneficial to set an alarm or use music of a pre-determined time length. Aim for 5 minutes the first time and lead up to longer times as your ability to relax and not judge yourself improves.

Meditation Comes in Many Forms
One of my favourite places to meditate

1/ Basic breathing

Close your eyes. Focus on deep, slow, controlled breathing in and out through the nose to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Breathe in and allow the stomach to extend out. Breathe out and feel your stomach draw back in. Notice how with each inhale and exhale the breath becomes thinner, shorter and eventually seems to disappear. Imagine with each exhalation, you are breathing out negative energy, and with each breath in, you’re inhaling positive healing energy. Send your body a message “Everything is fine, everything is at peace. Relax….” Let scattered thoughts and everyday concerns fly out of your mind.

2/ Lying on a foam roller

Perform the same breathing technique as above, while lying on a foam roller. Foam rollers help reduce the effects of rounded shoulder posture caused by computer use, certain sleeping positions, driving for long periods and sitting on furniture that encourages poor posture.

3/ Contemplating a beautiful setting

Focus on a photo or close your eyes and visualise a beautiful place you have once been or would like to go. Think of the sights, sounds, smells, temperature etc. Better yet, go and sit at that location and see it for real!

4/ Listening to music or audio sounds and frequencies

Try listening to relaxing music that is preferably rhythmic and repetitive. Close your eyes and focus on your breath and the sounds. Audio sound technology such as Holosync is a scientifically proven way to relax the mind by listening to different frequencies of sounds. Make a playlist on your MP3 player of relaxing sounds to listen to at any time.

5/ Guided meditations

There’s nothing like having someone with a relaxing voice instruct you on thoughts and movements to help you relax. You may be seated, walking on the spot or laying down. There are plenty of audio recordings available to try out guided mediations.

6/ Muscle tension release meditation

Concentrate on each area of your body one-by-one, relieving tightness and tension in each area that you focus on as you breathe out. Focus on all air breathed in as being cool healing energy.

7/ Positive affirmations

This involves using meditation time to deal with particular stressors and repeating positive affirmations to counter any negative thoughts. This may involve chants to yourself about feeling no pain, feeling stronger both mentally and physically or coaching yourself in preparation for an event you wish to excel in. Or you can simply repeat or visualise words you would like to manifest in your life, such as contentment, gratitude, optimism, acceptance, forgiveness or generosity.

8/ Walking meditation

Make sure there are no obstructions along your walking path. Close your eyes and try walking as slowly as possible for as long as possible. Another way is to walk normally or on the spot, but breathe in for four steps and breathe out for 4 steps.

9/ Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Zone Exercises

The first two are martial art forms, and Paul Chek’s Zone Exercises are based on the first two with the addition of other exercise modalities. These movements are designed to bring more energy (or Chi/Qi) into your body. It may feel strange doing some of these movements the first time, but soon you will be able to actually feel the energy flowing within and around you, and the peacefulness that follows.

10/ Chakra breathing meditations

For those more in tune with eastern health philosophies and the energy centres that exist within the body, listening to sounds at certain frequencies whilst visualising 1 of the 7 main chakras along the spine and it’s associated colour, can be a very powerful meditation experience.
Each time you try one of these forms of meditation, the experience will be different, and it will take some practice. Don’t feel discouraged if, in one session you experience a high, but then subsequent sessions aren’t as effective and your attention is scattered. You haven’t wasted your time! You most certainly have relaxed your body that little bit more, activating the parasympathetic nervous system to produce electrical charges and anabolic (tissue building) hormone secretion that relax the body and promote growth, repair and digestion. When you feel the benefits of meditation, you will soon find yourself looking forward to the time of solitude that it requires, and the ability it has to switch off your brain’s constant thoughts and emotions.

10 MORE Ways to Kids Who Eat Healthier Than You

10 More Ways to Kids Who Eat Healthier Than You

Due to the popularity of my article, 10 Ways to Kids Who Eat Healthier Than You, I present to you 10 more tips you can implement whether your kids are just starting out on solid foods or are already driving you mad with their fussy eating habits. Of course, all kids are individuals and thus have different tastes and personalities when it comes to food and mealtimes. However, as with all aspects of child-rearing, we parents and carers are the main influence on what kind of habits and tastes a child develops as they grow. So here are 10 more ways to a healthy, food-loving family.

Liver, cabbage & pumpkin kids meal

11. Assume Kids Will Like Everything

When was it decided that kids only liked bland non-gourmet food? Why are people surprised when they see a baby eating oysters, liver, or octopus? An adult may have decided that a food tastes gross or isn’t a popular food, but babies don’t know that. Babies and children have zero preconceived notions about which foods are gross or yummy, so actually they are likely to enjoy more types of foods than adults who already have ingrained habits. A child’s palate is like a blank canvas open to new experiences in order draw his own picture of the culinary world. Offer your child a variety of savoury, ethnic, nutritious flavour-filled foods and let them learn what they like.

12. Don’t Be a Stickler for Manners

If you want your child to love food, then mealtimes need to be enjoyable. It is hard for a child to explore and enjoy his food when he is constantly being scolded for messiness, loudness, and fidgeting. Kids are by nature messy, loud and fidgety, so if they can’t be themselves at mealtimes, they won’t be able to relax and eat. Of course, when eating in public, a child can be lovingly reminded to use an indoor voice or a napkin, but there is plenty of time in later childhood to develop whatever manners a family desires. For now, just let your toddler enjoy his food.

Even beetroot (beet) messes clean up easily

13. Don’t Guilt or Pressure Kids

Never guilt or pressure a child into eating, as this only creates a negative association with food and mealtimes that will gradually make healthy eating habits impossible. There are probably some foods that you don’t like to eat, so realise that your child is the same and will enjoy food more when he can make his own taste distinctions. A better mealtime rule to model is to always try a bite first, then they can decide if they like it or not. In addition, forcing a child to eat more than they want or to always “clean their plate” disregards the child’s own fullness signals and can lead to overeating issues as they won’t know when to stop anymore. Simply give the child plenty of time to eat, and when it’s clear they are finished, end the mealtime.

14. Minimise Distractions

Even the best eaters can forget all about their food if there is something more interesting going on. Kids are easily distracted, so turn off the TV, take toys off the table, and save serious adult discussions for later. Provide an example by putting away your newspaper and mobile phone while at the table. If your child continually asks to play with trucks during a meal, be consistent in saying something like, “Sounds fun, we’ll play with trucks after breakfast.”

15. Go Sugar-Free the First Couple of Years

As I said before, your baby’s palate is a blank canvas with no ideas about how things will taste and what they will like. So don’t assume that he will want a cupcake or chocolate shake just because YOU think it’s delicious. As soon as he has sampled the sweet, addictiveness of sugar, of course he will want more. But until that first taste, your baby has an advantage in that he doesn’t feel like he is missing out on sugary foods because he doesn’t know what they taste like yet. So leave him with that advantage for the first couple of years, so he can explore more nutritious, satiating and energy-giving foods without the distraction of sugar.

16. Don’t Glorify and Villainize Foods

Of course, if you act like sugary sweets are an exciting indulgent treat, they will gain your child’s attention and desire. Likewise, if we make eating vegetables seem like a chore, your child will adopt that mentality. Once again, remember that your behaviour and attitudes toward food are the main example for your child’s developing beliefs and eating habits, so don’t glorify or villainize foods haphazardly. For nutritious foods, model excitement and enjoyment instead of disdain. With sweets, both attitudes may create desire, as kids want not only what you want, but also what they can’t have. So instead of making sweets the ultimate treat or a naughty indulgence, treat them simply as foods that “we only eat occasionally”.

17. Limit Grains and Starch for Kids

Sweets are not the only things that will distract your child with sugary, addictiveness. The carbohydrates, or sugars, in grains, starchy foods and even fruit are also very addictive and are easy to fill up on. You may notice that your child will devour their bread, rice, potatoes or pasta and even ask for more, then be too full to eat their meat and vegetables. (Adults do this too!). Make meat and vegetables the main components of your child’s plate at main mealtimes, and they will learn to like a variety of healthy foods while getting a full range of essential nutrients.

18. Just Say No to Drinks, Except Water

A good diet includes plenty of water, so don’t forget to include water at every meal, and take a water bottle or sippy cup for your child everywhere you go. Other drinks, however, do not provide nutrition but instead can cause bad habits and health problems for your child. Juice and sodas are little more than pure sugar, and most types of milk cause a variety of health issues. There are a few nutritious drink exceptions, such as freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, raw milk and herbal teas, but in general, if you only serve your child water from the very beginning, that is all they will come to expect and enjoy.

19. Stock Up on Whole Food Snacks

Not only can kids eat a huge amount of food relative to their body size, they metabolize their food quickly and thus are hungry often. Snacks between meals are essential, and should be as nutritious as main meals, not food from a packet. Choose whole fruits and raw veggies over processed fruit snacks or boxed dried fruits; choose nuts, seeds, plain yoghurt and raw cheese over crackers, rice cakes and processed dairy. Then carry your snacks with you everywhere you so you’ll always have healthy food on hand for your hungry youngster.

20. Re-read these 20 tips regularly

Often, we start out strong with new habits, only to forget about them quickly and go back to our old ways. It takes time to cement life-long health habits so it helps to continually remind yourself of your goals and how to get there. If your goal is to have kids who eat healthier than (or as healthy as) you, post these tips on your bulletin board or bookmark the pages in your favourites. If you’ve read this far, congratulations on taking the time to work towards a healthier family!

More on feeding kids well:
Primal Kids – Real Food for Growing Bodies
Primal Baby – Baby Led Weaning – No More Mashed Up Food

No Pain, No Gain! Are Personal Trainers Helping or Hurting Us?

No Pain, No Gain! Are Personal Trainers Helping or Hurting Us?

In every type of health industry, there can be practitioners that are inexperienced or misinformed. In the fitness industry, this is a common occurrence and unfortunately there are plenty of personal trainers out there who are doing a good job of hurting people and worsening people’s health. They are just doing the best with what they know, as is everyone in life, but many debates have been had over this issue, including a great debate on Australian program Insight called “No Pain, No Gain – Debate on the validity, safety and effectiveness of Personal Training.”

Is Your Personal Trainer Helping or Hurting You?

How qualified is the personal trainer who is pushing you to your limits?

This is one question the debate asks, yet few people ask before they sign on with a personal trainer. With the fitness industry booming with boot camps and personal trainers, everyone is jumping on board. With a personal trainer, people find motivation to exercise and get that extra push they may not give themselves if they were on their own. Of course, people also hire personal trainers to learn how to exercise and eat right, as a trainer would be the expert on that, right? Well, considering that anyone can become a qualified personal trainer in Australia in 8 weeks, and less in America, we should be asking ourselves if personal trainers are really experts that we should entrust with our health and safety.

The answer of course will differ for each trainer, so just like with any professional that you pay to get a result, do your homework first! Just as we are all cautious about which mechanic we use so we don’t get ripped off or have our car break down, choosing a personal trainer should be a very calculated decision, as this person gives health advice and instructs on exercise that could easily do more damage than good. Look for personal trainers whose focus is not just on weight loss or muscle gain, but overall health. Just as with low-fat diets, when the focus is strictly on the waistline, it’s rarely ever going to be in the best interest of your health.

But don’t I need to workout hard to get fit? No pain, no gain?

With personal trainer role models such as those on the Biggest Loser, we are getting a message that says we should all be working out to within an inch of our life whether we are or 150kg or 60kg, regardless of a person’s ability, overall health and how their exercise technique is. Personal trainers are often thought of as good ones if they ‘kill you’ until you are exhausted and can’t move the next day. It’s our instant proof that something is happening, we are getting our money’s worth. However, for many people in today’s society whose bodies are already so stressed from work, finances, hectic schedules, poor diets, little rest and environmental toxins, exercise is just another stress that will slowly break down the body’s overall health. Especially painful, stressful exercise.

Brad is a type of personal trainer called a C.H.E.K Practitioner, or Exercise and Lifestyle Coach, as exercise is only one part of what he teaches. As you can see in our Primal 6, exercise, or movement, is only 1 of 6 key elements of optimal health. In terms of importance, it is #5 out of 6! Thought, Breath, Water, and Food all come before Movement, and should all be in good order before intense movement. Then they should all be combined with #6, Rest. Struggling through tough exercise regimes several times a week without taking care of the other 5 of the Primal 6, will not only slow your efforts to get fit and healthy, but instead may cause weight gain and illness. However, when you are well-rested, nourished, watered, relaxed and content, exercise can become rigorous if you desire; an enjoyable challenge to discover your body’s limits and potential.

The right personal trainer could help you change your life and health for the better.

So, in our view of the debate on personal trainers, there are many variables that will influence the effectiveness and safety of  having a personal trainer. One part of the equation is you…Is your body ready for heavy training? Are your motivations coming from the desire for overall good health? Are you going to sign up with whichever trainer is the cheapest without looking into their qualifications, experience, motivations and results? And those last things are the other part of the equation – the personal trainer. It would surely be helpful if there were lengthier educational requirements for personal trainers, but really people just need to be more discerning about which trainer they choose to hire. Even with doctors, many people go with the first one they come across, but as our health needs are so individual and personal, and the consequences potentially dire if you go with the wrong person, we should simply be more choosy with our health practitioners. It’s worth the deliberation when that personal trainer helps you change your life and your health for the better.

Watch “No Pain, No Gain” Debate Online

Is there a God? How Your Religion and Beliefs May Affect Your Health…

Is There a God? How Your Religion and Beliefs May Be Affecting Your Health...

God, death, the afterlife…. subjects not comfortably spoken about between people, which is a shame considering how much our beliefs affect us. The research I’ve done and experiences I’ve had related to this topic have truly changed my view of life. This article will share with you the journey I’ve been on since I was 17, trying to make sense of everything related to GOD. Being a uni science nerd, I used to be adamant that peer reviewed, double blind, randomised research had to be presented to prove anything to me. Therefore, this article has pertinent videos, books and experiences written to show you how I have come to my conclusions on this subject. I’ve experienced a lot of emotions whilst taking this journey. Be prepared to be defensive, skeptical, or shocked. Or possibly more comfortable knowing you have some confirmation of beliefs that you may already have. I personally feel much more at ease now with who I am and what I am doing in this life. I hope it does the same for you.

Which religion or belief will bring you peace?
Which religion or belief will bring you peace?
Image by www.lumaxart.com

From a Primal perspective, what does GOD have to do with health?

If you are familiar with our Primal 6, we believe your thought patterns are the number one things that affect your health. Therefore, the thoughts and emotions that we have about religion, spirituality, afterlife, life purpose, sin, guilt and the existence of heaven and hell, can have profound effects on your thought patterns, shaping the way you live your life and your overall health. This is certainly the case for me, and why I’m sharing it with you. I encourage your comments below to share your own experiences and thoughts.

Does true health have a Spiritual component?

Definition of Health [Webster’s Online Dictionary]: the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially: freedom from physical disease or pain. This definition was similar to what I first encountered studying Human Movement / Exercise Science in University. Such words like ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ had never held much weight with me as I had never grown up in a religious or spiritual family and didn’t really know what they meant. Since then, I have always had in the back of my mind that my own health must not be complete due to not having any spiritual belief system. I didn’t want to just follow the herd though. Hence my ensuing thirst for knowledge grew and the journey began.

Stressed by Christianity as a Teenager

At school, I always had a wide variety of friends, from Skinheads to Christians. ‘Don’t mock what you don’t understand’ being the credo I lived to. So I decided to look deeper into why my Christian friends were doing what they were doing. I started attending church, going to bible study and asking a million questions about who GOD was. Being so interested in science, I found it very hard to believe in anything not tangible that I couldn’t see with my own eyes. The idea of not having sex before marriage didn’t appeal to me either when I had such a natural Primal urge to have sex as an 18 year old! I persisted with my studies though. The biggest aspect of Christianity that stressed me out was the idea of an afterlife where you either go to heaven or hell. This made me very uncomfortable with death, as even though I was only a half-hearted Christian, my ‘sins’ against the rules of Christianity could condemn me to a fiery pit for eternity. The Christian view of spirituality was not working for me and therefore affecting my health.

Discovering a multitude of beliefs during my world travels

Nothing beats traveling the world to learn about and experience how other cultures and traditions have been molded by religion. Learning about different religions around the world other than my Christian knowledge, was a crucial experience I needed to have. All religions think that their version of GOD is the right one. Whilst I needed these experiences, it really just confused me more! Which is the right one? Are any of them right? Is it all just designed to control the people?

Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton

A new way of looking at life…and death

The work of Dr. Michael Newton, in his book Journey of Souls, had a profound affect on my thoughts with regards to a spiritual world existence. Newton was an atheist psychologist and hypnotherapist who stumbled on his ability to regress people to past lives and lives between lives. Through his inter-life hypnotherapy research, he has found conclusive information about the afterlife across the board with his patients. Regardless of their religion, spiritual stance or lack thereof, they all say the same things. From Fishpond.com.au: “In this groundbreaking book, 29 subjects under hypnosis reveal graphic details about how it feels to die, what the spirit world is really like, where the soul goes and what it does there, why souls come back in certain bodies, how to recognize soul mates, and much more. They confirm the existence of an immortal soul whose journey between lives confers meaning on our earthly existence.”

Buy here:
www.amazon.com

www.fishpond.com.au

www.bookdepository.com

 

Craving more information on spirituality, here’s what I found:

Zeitgeist
[Documentary]
Controversial take on the origin of the bible and the crossover similarities of 15 + religions. This video shows just Part 1 – Religion.
The Pharmacratic Inquisition
[Documentary – Lecture]
Lecture by two American historians backing up much of the information from Zeitgeist, plus detailed information on the relevance of psychedelic drugs in all world religions. This was the first information shown to me negating the origin of the bible.
Criss Angel
[Mindfreak TV Show – VIDEO]
Episode – Celebrity Seance Part 1 Mentalist, magician, freak?! Evidence for the spirit world and paranormal. Very convincing episodes showing people’s reactions and descriptions of a spirit / ghost in a house. Criss Angel then produces a photograph of the girl who previously died there that matches the previous descriptions by all participants.
Criss Angel Celebrity Seance
Sensing Murder
[New Zealand TV Show – VIDEO]
Evidence for the spirit world and the power of psychics. Multiple Psychics that don’t know each other, solving crimes for the Police simultaneously, producing the same information about each of the crimes. Here is the preview for Sensing Murder Episode: Blood Money – George Engelbrecht.
Am I Normal? – Spirituality
[Documentary – BBC – 6 parts]
Great BBC documentary on spirituality and religion from a scientific view.
Reincarnation
[ABC USA Interview]
Parents in the USA discover that their child’s nightmares of being attacked in an aircraft dogfight and knowledge of things related to military and aircraft, are that of his soul incarnated from a past life. This video blew me away and instantly changed my views on Christianity and the notion that we die and go to either heaven or hell for eternity.
Tom Silver – Hypnotherapist
A hypnotherapist who does past life regression therapy.
Tom Silver Hypnotist - Past Life Regression
What the Bleep Do We Know?
[Documentary]
From their website: “Starring Marlee Matlin and 14 Scientists and Mystics. Exploring the worlds of Quantum Physics, Neurology, and Molecular Biology in relation to the spheres of Spirituality, Metaphysics and Polish weddings. Part documentary, part drama, part animation, How does it all fit together???” A documentary you have to watch a couple of times to get your head around but very interesting none the less.
 Same Soul, Many Bodies – Dr. Brian Weiss
[BOOK]
After reading the work of Dr. Michael Newton, I found another doctor / psychologist / hypnotherapist from the states doing the same work, but also ‘progressing’ people. Fishpond Review:”Through dozens of case histories detailing both past-life and future-life experiences, Dr. Weiss shows how the choices that we make now will determine our future quality of life. From Samantha, who overcame academic failure once she learned of her future as a great physician, to Evelyn, whose fears and prejudices ended after she envisioned prior and forthcoming lives as a hate victim, Dr. Weiss gives concrete examples of lives transformed by regression and progression therapy.” Read about Dr. Weiss as a guest on Oprah.
Buy here:
www.amazon.com
www.fishpond.com.au
www.bookdepository.com
 Same Soul, Many Bodies - Dr. Brian Weiss
 The Maharishi Effect
[BOOK]
Hardcore scientific studies that were done in the late 70’s to early 80’s that proved meditation in groups of hundreds to thousands of people, had a statistically significant effect in improving everything from crime rate, to the weather, to the Dow Jones! This book has helped me to confirm that power and energy that we cannot see does exist, and most certainly has an influential effect on our health. Our thoughts, or lack of them, through achieving ‘pure consciousness’ or the art of meditating to think of nothing, affect those around us, and worldwide! The original book is very hard to find. Amazon has some second hand copies last time I looked.
Buy here:
www.amazon.com
 The Maharishi Effect - Elaine and Arthur Aron
 Destiny of Souls – Dr. Michael Newton Ph.D.
[BOOK]
Dr. Michael Newton’s second book putting the experience of the afterlife from 70+ patients, into this extremely detailed 409 page book. He answers the full range of questions one could ever think to ask about life after death: How can a soul be in heaven and reincarnate at the same time? How are new souls created? How are souls who’ve done evil on earth punished? These and many other questions are answered with amazing congruity between respondents.
Buy here:
www.amazon.com

www.fishpond.com.au
www.bookdepository.com
 Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives
David and Rosa – Applied Kinesiology & Intuitive Healing
This gifted couple taught me so much about how emotions you have experienced that are stored within your subconscious or superconscious can greatly affect your body, causing pain and disease. I have referred numerous clients to them, who also found that diet and lifestyle changes could only do much if their thoughts hadn’t been addressed. Rosa works with many clients on Skype from around the world. See Rosa and David’s contact details here.
 David and Rosa

 

More Pieces of the Puzzle falling into place…

I had an eye-opening past life regression therapy session done on myself in Sydney. I started doing regular meditation, and have had visions which have significantly affected me mentally and physically. One meditation vision resulted in the elimination of a particular pain in my body where pain had long existed. And as I talked about my spiritual journey with intelligent friends whom I respect, I found that many of them, too, had undeniable spiritual experiences.

Sure, my beliefs change slightly every now and then as I learn something new, but I am without a doubt convinced by my experiences and studies, that a higher power, source of energy, creator, Allah, God exists. Believe what you will, but check out the articles, books and videos above before you scold any claims. I must admit, my scientific scrutiny has now wavered a lot for many different reasons based on my experiences over the years. Science, I find, is constantly contradicting itself, based on who pays for the study, and most certainly cannot prove everything. Especially in the case of God.

Some conclusions I have come to that have brought me inner peace…

– Christian versions of Heaven and Hell do not exist.
– Sin does not send you to hell.
– A spiritual world exists in which we all go to when we die.
– We live multiple lives as different genders (and other things) hence life is not short, just this one we are currently in!
– We have several soul mates that we continually live lives with.
– Each life on earth is about learning lessons until we have reached a pinnacle in our understanding (enlightenment: call it what you will)
– Physical pain can most definitely be carried across from a past life
– Most religion has elements of truth in it about the big picture but is mainly just a means of controlling masses of people (my opinion)

Hope this article got you thinking! I believe we all have different ways of experiencing spirituality. Whether you are religious, aethiest or spiritual, if you have found peace and happiness within yourself, you will be much healthier and happier.

The Truth About Low-Fat Diets

The Truth About Low-Fat Diets

For more than 30 years, the low-fat diet has become the norm in terms of healthy eating. Nutritious farm-fresh staples like butter, eggs, milk and meat turned into margarine, egg whites, skim milk and lean cuts. The words fat, fatty, and high-fat are immediately associated with poor eating habits, weight gain, obesity and disease. However, is this association fully correct? And are the supposedly healthy alternatives better or worse?

Low-fat diets are making us sicker and fatter

After thirty years of low-fat, we are fatter and sicker than ever.

The food product companies, however, are laughing all the way to the bank, as we continue to hand over our cash for more than 20,000 low-fat and non fat products. Let’s have a look at what these lean and skim products and foods are actually offering, and why they are not a viable health solution.

The most common reduced-fat product in any household is milk. Unpasteurised and unprocessed, milk, cheese, and yoghurt are some of nature’s health foods. Unfortunately, cows don’t produce skim milk, so the factories put our wholesome milk through degrading and toxifying processes to cash in on our irrational attempts to be thin. Low-fat milk is only 2% fat, skim milk is 1% fat, and non-fat milk, if you can handle the watery liquid, is 0% fat. Sounds like a great reduction in fat if you didn’t know that whole milk is naturally only 3.25% fat! If you do the math, you will realise that full fat milk, cheese and yoghurt is already more than 96% fat free. Milk is already put through enough trauma with pasteurisation, and then we have ruined it further to eliminate only 1-3% more fat. Butter, one of our most important sources of fat-soluble nutrients, is at the extreme end of this degradation having been replaced with artificial and disease-causing margarine, all in the name of low-fat diets.

Next we have eggs, often referred to as “the perfect food” as they are rich in almost every nutrient, contain certain fatty acids which play vital roles in brain function, and are considered to be the most complete protein source in a single food. The yolk portion, dreaded by low-fat diet followers, is actually the most concentrated source known of choline, a B vitamin found in lecithin necessary for keeping cholesterol moving in the blood stream. If eggs are such a perfect food, taking out any components – as dieters do with the egg yolks – is guaranteed to alter its perfection.

Actually, if we look at how nature has provided animal protein foods – meat, eggs and milk – we will notice that they always come with fat. This is because our bodies need the fat soluble vitamins of A and D, contained in the animal fat, to assimilate the protein. Additionally, without vitamins A and D we are not able to utilise the minerals in our food. This explains why we should eat the fatty meat cuts of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and other properly raised animals. Primal man surely didn’t kill a bird and then just eat the breast, and neither should we.

But isn’t saturated fat bad for you?

The reality of this myth is that not all fats are created equal. All of nature’s fats that were accessible to primal man are the fats that assist in our body’s functions and immune support. However, the fats that were created in the labs of our modern world, known as hydrogenated or trans fats, are the fats that are highly detrimental to our health and waistlines. These man-made fats are found in the majority of processed foods, especially in those marketed as low-fat and fat-free. So in trying to avoid fat, we have been eating less of nature’s beneficial fats, yet a huge amount of damaging hydrogenated or trans-fats, hence we are sicker and fatter than ever.

Why would well-educated and respected doctors and nutritionists be telling us to follow a low-fat diet? To put it simply, a theory (that saturated fat was harmful) became truth, and that truth has now become gospel. As in many cases of consumer trends, this acceleration to gospel may have been financially motivated. This is not hard to imagine when you think how the low-fat craze has moved our focus from nature’s foods to commercially produced foods. Even candy makers cash in on this marketing madness by putting the term ‘fat-free’ on their bags of artificial, nutritionally void candies. Consumers have become brainwashed to feel good about eating these toxic gummy candies and other fake foods because the package says it won’t make them fat.

When raised properly, an animal’s fatty meat provides man with some of nature’s perfect food. Taking the low-fat and lean route can lead to serious mineral deficiencies, inhibit essential protein intake, increase trans-fat consumption and thus lead to weight gain and disease. It’s time for change. Let’s eat real food.

Resources:

– Nourishing Traditions; Sally Fallon. Washington DC: New Trends Publishing, 1999
– USDA National Agriculture Library http://www.nal.usda.gov

It’s Up to You Whether You Catch a Cold or Not

It's Up To You Whether You Catch a Cold or Not

At Primal Health, we don’t believe that you should have to catch a cold or any other illness. Colds, flu, diseases…all illnesses are not so much ‘caught’, as ‘created’. The book ‘Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis M. Sc.‘ delves deep into this way of thinking. Francis reiterates our holistic health philosophy that health and wellness is maintained by a strong immune system and compromised by a weakened immune system. Even according to the Textbook of Medical Physiology (p. 38), cancer is the result of a weak immune system that can’t fight our normally mutating cells. So even if it’s ‘cold and flu season’, and you can’t avoid sick people spreading their germs to you at work, school and on the bus, you do not have to catch a cold! Germs, virus and bacteria and all around us, sometimes more than others, but only when your immune system is weakened by an imbalance in your Primal 6, or key requirements for health and vitality, do you become susceptible to ‘catching’ illnesses.

Strong Immune Systems Don't Often Catch a Cold

Stress can make you more likely to catch a cold

In most cases, negative stress, whatever the cause, is a key culprit in making you vulnerable to illness. When the Sympathetic Nervous System is chronically stimulated by stress, this ‘fight or flight’ response leads to over-secretion of cortisol and adrenalin. These hormones are associated with stimulating the body, but when over-secreted, lead to a depressed immune system in the long term and that is when you will catch a cold every time it comes around you.

I rarely catch a cold anymore, but there are exceptions

Since I have taken responsibility of my own health and started following the Primal 6 in my daily life, I rarely ever have colds, coughs or flu, even in the ‘cold and flu season’. However, there are exceptions, and it’s usually after I become sick, that I can reflect back and see how my immune system became weak through stressful changes to  my Primal 6. Recently, several factors accumulated to create my first cold, chest infection, and day off work in a long long time, and the first time I’ve taken antibiotics since I was a teenager.

Stressful changes to my Primal 6 –

Thoughts
– Worry over losing my investment property in regional floods.
– Worry for my parents’ home and lives, as they prepared for a massive approaching cyclone.
– Worry for dear friends and clients in Japan after a destructive earthquake and tsunami.
– Anger and frustration over my car engine ‘blowing up’ on the freeway far out of town, costing me a huge amount in towing and repairs.

Breathing, Water, Food and Movement
– Normal. Spending a lot of time on the foam roller and meditating more than normal. Drinking plenty of filtered water, and eating whole organic foods. Working in more lately, as working-out was making me too tired (as my system has been depressed).

Sleep
– Massive amount of sleep debt accumulating recently. My daughter’s sleeping patterns recently changed, her top molars seem to be coming through and she has definitely been feeling our stressors. She started coughing a lot and waking up every night for hours. To catch up on sleep, I had to start sleeping on the massage table at work!

You can see how my THOUGHT and SLEEP patterns were causing my stress levels to sky rocket. My immune system lowered, and I became sick. The bottom line is that there are bugs, bacteria and pathogens everywhere, everyday. You’ll never escape them. Your entire digestive system is even made of bacteria. The key to staying healthy is not trying to avoid bacteria and ‘catching’ illnesses, but to keep your immune system strong through the Primal 6. So the next time a cold or flu is making it’s way around your community, your body will be strong enough to NOT catch a cold.

Strong Immune System Doesn't Catch a Cold

Stop Overeating – Sizing Up Portion Control

Stop Overeating - Sizing Up Portion Control

If you’ve ever tried to count calories, calculate grams, or weigh each food portion, you know how time-consuming and confusing it can be. The good news is that HOW MUCH you eat is not as important as WHAT you eat. When you eat the right foods for your body’s needs, it is very difficult to overeat. However, you may feel that even when eating nutritious meals, you stuff yourself until your stomach hurts. Yet, calculating portion sizes doesn’t seem to help you stop going back for second and third helpings. So here are some simple solutions to help you eat the right amount of food every time.

A smaller plate or bowl serves up a smaller portion

Your first task is to get some smaller plates.

If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, then it doesn’t help you get perspective when you are putting your food on large dinner plates. Most average plates are too big for the average person’s meal portion. Eating is a very visual experience, and we tend to feel satisfied with our portion when it fills most of our plate. So go to the store and buy smaller plates. You will only have to do this once, but it will help you avoid overeating forever.

Secondly, estimate each portion by using your hand size.

Calculating grams and weighing food just takes more of your time away from planning and preparing your meals, so instead, use the fist or palm of your hand as an estimate for one portion. Then put on your plate one portion (one fist) of meat or other animal food, and one portion (one fist) of vegetables or other plant food. For low carbohydrate vegetables and fruits, such as spinach and berries, use two portions (two fists) per meal to get enough energy requirements. You don’t have to be precise, as this is just a way to estimate each portion, and really all that is required.

Next, put your cooked or prepared food on your plate, and leave the rest of the food in the kitchen.

Even better, put any leftovers in the fridge immediately. Avoid the urge to eat “family style”, where all the food gets served at the table and the leftovers sit in the middle of the table, tantalizing you to have seconds and thirds or keep picking at the food long after your portion is finished. Save family style meals for special gatherings or dining out Asian style. The same goes for snacks: take what you need and put the rest back before you start eating. This is probably the most common reason for overeating and the easiest to change. Simply get your estimated portion of any meal or snack onto your plate, and then put the rest of the food AWAY!

Avoid family-style dining as it encourages overeating

 

An important pitfall to avoid…

is an extreme diet where one type of food, protein, fat, or carbohydrate is cut out greatly or completely. Low-calorie, low-fat and low-carb diets can be a recipe for overeating, as nutrient requirements may not be fulfilled so your body signals this with increased hunger. However, our personal ratio requirements of animal food (protein and fat) to plant food (carbohydrates) varies, so knowing your metabolic type is a great starting point to help you understand which types of foods you need to eat in a higher ratio.

All that’s left is paying attention to your body’s signals to find out which are the right foods for you.

Take note of how you feel right after, and up to three or four hours after each meal or snack. The goal is to feel satisfied, energetic and alert. If you feel hungry, tired or mentally sluggish, it’s not because you didn’t eat enough, but because you didn’t eat the right foods. With the right foods and these portion control tips put in action, overeating will be a thing of the past.