Proof That Advertising is Bad for Your Health

Proof that advertising is bad for your health

We are almost continually surrounded by messages trying to influence us to buy something. Millions of dollars and hours are spent calculating new ways to appeal to our emotions and even trick us into consuming things that we are told will better our lifestyle, image and health.

More doctors smoke camels than any other cigarette

Older ads carry the highest shock value today because they promote things that we have now realised are highly detrimental to our health and lives.

Cigarettes were promoted by doctors, politicians, celebrities, even Santa Claus. Camel’s were touted as “scientifically proven to show no adverse affects”, and in this ad, Lucky’s is said to be less irritating to your throat.

Cigarettes advertised as good for your athleticism
Cigarettes advertised as good for your athletic ability

The Importance of Sugar

Sugar was a massive star in advertisements which emphasized weight loss and energy. The ads are clearly an attempt to win sugar some popularity at a time when diet soft drinks and other diet foods are becoming popular for weight loss. Many of the ads say that real sugar is superior to artifical sugar. Real sugar, they claim, curbs appetite and quenches fatigue. This huge sugar campaign is a perfect example of the many manipulations of advertisements.

“Diet hint: Have soft drink before your main meal.”

“Diet device: Snack on some candy about an hour before lunch.”

Sugar advertising

Sugar advertising Sugar advertising

Ads disguised as articles

A clever tactic, still widely used today, is to sneakily advertise the product in what looks like an unbiased magazine or newspaper article, as seen in the ad above right entitled, “A timely report on…The importance of sugar.” The “article” continues with, “Nutritional findings show that your need for nature’s own sweetener is as deep-seated as the human body’s need for energy.”

The non-profit guise

All the sugar ads are “Published in the interest of better nutrition by Sugar Information, Inc., a non-profit organisation.” It is not uncommon for food and drug companies to create a non-profit organisation to use as a guise for advertising. Today, we have many “organisations” like the National Heart Foundation and The Cancer Council which “advise” us that if we don’t buy certain products, we will be plagued by disease and death.

Sugar advertising Sugar advertising

Selling to mothers

Many ads appeal to women, especially mothers – society’s main consumer, such as the last sugar ad above on the right, which has a little box saying,

“Note to Mothers:  Exhaustion may be dangerous – especially to children who haven’t learned to avoid it by pacing themselves. Exhaustion opens the door a little wider to the bugs and ailments that are always lying in wait. Sugar puts back energy fast – offsets exhaustion. Synthetic sweeteners put back nothing. Energy is the first requirement of life. Play safe with your young ones – make sure they get sugar every day.”

Here are some more examples of scaring mums into buying junk to keep their kids safe and healthy. Notice the cola one is from “The Soda Pop Board of America.”

advertising-is-bad-for-your-health-7 Sugar advertising

Processed packaged snacks are heavily advertised as being healthy, not just on TV and in print, but right on the package! Mums are busier and busier these days and are easily conned into buying a ‘quick, healthy snack’ for their kids. Eat healthy by ignoring the health food labels, and by just choosing real plant and animal food instead!

quick easy real food snacks for kids Eat Healthy by Ignoring the Health Food Labels

Junk food – now with added vitamins!

Today we have tons of vitamin-enriched processed food lining the supermarket shelves, most commonly nutrient deficient foods like bread, milk and cereal. So even though this Vitamin Donut ad seems hilarious, the tactic is still conning parents today.

“Each donut fortified with a minimum of 25 units of vitamin B1.”

vitamin-enriched junk food advertisement


You don’t want to be fat…OR skinny!

The current generations of young to middle age people have been so bombarded with weight-loss advertising, that it’s hard to believe many ads used to sell the opposite – weight gain! These weight-gain drinks and supplements were the answer to being a curvy and popular woman. Curvy was “in” then; skinny is “in” now. It seems no matter what your body looks like, you will never be sexy, popular or good-looking enough if you don’t buy all the right supplements, foods, drinks, clothes, and cars!

“If you want to be popular…you can’t afford to be skinny! Ask today for amazing Wate-On, at drug counters everywhere.”

“Good news for thousands of girls who have no sex appeal. Gain 10-25 lbs. quick, with ironized yeast.”

advertising-is-bad-for-your-health-16 advertising-is-bad-for-your-health-17

Selling weight-gain to women


How to protect your health from advertising

So how do you discern which advertisements are legitimate and avoid consuming harmful products? My solution is to get away from advertisements as much as possible. Only good can come from ditching magazines and free-to-air TV. We don’t watch the news, read the paper or buy magazines and believe it or not, we are still informed, intelligent, social people! The internet allows us to choose and watch TV shows ad-free and read only news stories that are of further interest. Sure, unless you live in the countryside, you won’t be able to avoid advertisements completely, especially with billboards and posters everywhere you turn. However, if you continually educate yourself and stick to primal principles, your intuition will guide you in the right direction.

you can't blame the TV for advertising to your kids

3 Meals in 20 Minutes

3 meals in 20 minutes

Not enough time to cook? Want delicious, healthy and filling meals without fancy ingredients or complicated recipes? Then it’s time you started taking advantage of that amazing thing every single one of us has in their kitchen. The oven!

Roast lamb and onion, pumpkin and cauliflower vegetable medley with steamed green beans
I didn’t cook this meal. My oven did!

I am addicted to oven roasting for several reasons:
– The oven does all the cooking for me while I play with Kaiya or ‘get things done’
– I can fit lots of food in the oven to cook all at once and have plenty for leftovers
– Roast meats and vegetables taste amazing without fancy ingredients or recipes
– Roasts impress people and make me look like a gourmet cook
– I don’t have to stand over a hot stove, stir or saute, or even get messy!

How to Make 3 Meals in 20 Minutes

So on to the task at hand. I’ve promised you 3 meals in 20 minutes, and this is how you do it.

1/ 20 minutes is the maximum time it should take to preheat the oven and prepare the meat and veg for the oven. The key here is to prepare more than you will eat in one meal!

Prepping a roast meal takes very little time and no fancy recipes
Prepping a roast meal takes very little time and no fancy recipes
No need to peel vegetables before roasting
No need to peel vegetables before roasting

For this example meal, I have quickly chopped up some vegetables and rubbed some dried herbs on the meat. That’s it!

This is the amount I prepared for our family of 3, so we would have enough for dinner, breakfast and lunch.

NOTES:
– There is no need to peel pumpkin before roasting. The skin comes off much easier after it’s cooked and on your plate.  The same goes for sweet potato, potatoes, and beetroot.
– For a roast vegetable medley, just chop and throw in whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Here I used cauliflower, eggplant, red capsicum (bell pepper), and leek. Soft vegetables like zucchini, will roast much faster than hard vegetables like cauliflower. So you can either cut hard vegetables smaller than the soft ones and cook on the same tray, or put soft vegetables on a separate tray and put in the oven later.
– The green beans can also be roasted with the vegetable medley or the pumpkin, but we also like them steamed. I trimmed the ends and put them in a steamer in a pot of cold water on the stove during my 20 minutes prep time. Then right before the roast was ready to serve, I turned on the heat to quickly cook them.
– Here’s a list of which vegetables are great for roasting and tips on how to cook them in my Vegetable Cheat Sheet.
– Ask your butcher for a cut of meat that is good for roasting. We love lamb shoulder or leg (I think shoulder is much yummier!), beef topside or brisket, any ribs, and pork shoulder or belly. A whole chicken or any cut of chicken besides breast is great in the oven, and fish is delicious baked in the oven.
– For this lamb roast, I simply rubbed some olive oil and dried herbs all over the meat. It took less than a minute!
– Onion is delicious roasted. You can chop it up and mix it with your vegetable medley or put it around your meat. I find it’s best around the meat (or under the meat if you use a roasting rack), as the juices from the meat help flavour and caramelise the onion.

2/ While the oven is cooking the food… you don’t lose the time you needed to go do your workout, finish the chores, balance your finances, skype your mum, run errands or do a craft with your kid.

– The cooking time will depend on what cut of meat and which vegetables you are cooking. To keep it simple, I do almost everything on 180C (350F). For whole roast meats and whole chickens, I allow about 25 minutes per 500g (1lb). Vegetables chopped quite small average 20-25 minutes total, and whole, unchopped root vegetables such as beetroot (beets), sweet potato and potato take about 1-1.5 hours.
– Many people are afraid to leave home for a short time with a hot oven on, but with an electric oven at this temperature, the chance of fire is little to none so I don’t sweat it. Use your own judgement.

3/ Enjoy your gourmet roast meal that the oven cooked for you!

Roast lamb and onion, pumpkin and cauliflower vegetable medley with steamed green beans
Roast lamb and onion, pumpkin and cauliflower vegetable medley with steamed green beans

Let your meat sit for about 10-15 minutes before carving it up and digging in. Sea salt, pepper, butter and/or olive oil are the perfect condiments to add to your finished roast meat and veg. The roasting action gives such great flavour to your whole foods as it is!

4/ You now have two more meals worth of food with all the leftovers.

Put the rest of the cooked meat and vegetables into containers for the fridge.

Cook large quantities at once, then enjoy the leftovers
Cook large quantities at once, then enjoy the leftovers!

Chop up the leftover roast meat and vegetables to make scrap salad for packed lunches or on-the-go breakfasts. You can also add tomato, capsicum (peppers), avocado, fresh herbs, olive oil and vinegar to your scrap salad if you desire.

Chop up leftover roast meat and vegetables for scrap salad lunches
Chop up leftover roast meat and vegetables for scrap salad lunches

Learn the Basics of Lovin’ Leftovers to get the most out of your leftovers. Unless you use the same meats and vegetables every day and every week, there’s no reason that eating the same meal three times in a row should be boring. Especially if it’s so delicious!

However, if you want more variety with your leftovers, try Same Food, New Dish: Recipes Using Leftovers. Some examples for this meal:
– Chop the leftovers small and eat them inside lettuce wraps or hollowed capsicum (bell pepper).
– Mash the leftover pumpkin and pile the reheated meat and veggies on top of the warm mash.
– Chop the leftovers and warm in a pan with a homemade tomato sauce, or curry paste and coconut cream.

Cook when you have time. Not just in the evening.

Lastly, remember there are no rules stating that you must cook in the evening or only when you ready to eat. If you are home all morning but have a busy afternoon and evening, do your roast in the morning and have it for lunch, with leftovers for dinner and breakfast or lunch the next day. If you are off at work all week, cook up your roast on the weekend and pack up the leftovers into containers ready to eat during the week.

 

Let us know what you made in your oven how you enjoyed your leftovers!

Antibiotics & Our Kids – Helping or Harming?

Antibiotics and Our Kids - Helping or Harming?

If you thought we were a family of perfect health all the time, all our lives, I hate to burst your bubble. Truth is, we are humans, living in a very un-primal world. Especially in the first 25 years of our lives, Brad and I had our share of junk food, processed food, late nights, alcohol, tap water, illness, antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs.

Antibiotics and Our Kids - Helping or Hurting?

With our daughter Kaiya, however, we feel we’ve had a chance to get it right from the beginning. We get such proud parent feelings from having a child who at 4 years old loves organic meat and veggies, gets to bed early and sleeps well, drinks nothing but water (and primal shakes!), is a nature lover, keeps a happiness journal, and has hardly ever been sick.

So we were in for a big lesson recently, when Kaiya got a staff infection that required antibiotics.  The only time she had ever been to the doctor was when she was 1 year old and had conjunctivitis in her eye, which healed with time, and eye drops of my breast milk.

Our good health, and faith in the body healing itself are the main reasons for our lack of doctor visits. Yes, we also have an aversion to drugs and doctors that love prescribing them, but understand that medical drugs have a purpose too.

Antibiotics are a problem when overused, and sadly, antibiotic overuse is rampant, with doctors prescribing them for everything, including viral infections which heal on their own with time and care.

At 4 years old, this was Kaiya’s second time to a doctor. Some nasty looking yellow crusts had slowly been growing on the corners of her mouth over the week, and though it wasn’t bothering her or making her sick, it got so bad-looking that a friend suggested we go to the doctor. As soon as the doctor looked at Kaiya, she knew that the golden crusts were a staff infection called Impetigo, which is highly contagious and treated easily with antibiotics. Two minutes later, we had a prescription in our hand and were off to the chemist (pharmacist, for my fellow Americans). It all happened so fast that I didn’t even think to ask any more questions.

What’s in the pink drink?

It wasn’t until the chemist put the bottle of bubblegum-pink liquid on the counter that I started to back pedal.

“Why is it pink?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. All the kids ones are pink,” the chemist answered.

Hmm. “Well, what’s in it? How does it get pink and liquid? What else is in it besides the antibiotic?” I pressed.

“Why? Does your daughter have any allergies? It’s liquid because we add distilled water to the powder,” the chemist replied.

“No allergies,” I said. “We just like to know what we are ingesting.”

“Hmm, I don’t know what’s in the powder,” the chemist said. “I guess I could try to print off a copy of the drug fact sheet for you.”

The chemist’s puzzled reaction made it clear to me that no one had ever asked these questions before. She and her colleagues seemed to think I was a bit strange, but they graciously printed me off some information.

Ibilex (powder for oral suspension)
– Cephalexin (monohydrate): this is the drug, which has a long list of rare side effects
– Sucrose: this is sugar
– Imitation guarana flavour: artificial flavouring
– Powder for reconstitution: what powder?
– Gluten-free: so is cocaine…

Despite the weird ingredient list that didn’t seem complete anyway, I shrugged and got on with the dosages. The smell of the pink medicine took me back to my childhood, and Kaiya found it so delicious, she couldn’t wait for medicine time every day. Her mouth crusts cleared up after several days, and the contagious infection forced us to stay home together all week, which gave us lots of much-needed nurturing time together.

Antibiotics kill the bad…and the good

However, I still didn’t like the fact that Kaiya was taking antibiotics, knowing that the good bacteria in her digestive system were facing a mass genocide. I had been learning from my research that it only takes a couple rounds of antibiotics to initiate leaky gut syndrome (intestinal permeability) from the dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad bacteria), and was feeling a bit guilty for not looking into other options to clear the infection.

We gave Kaiya plenty of InLiven Probiotics, homemade kefir, and kombucha from our farmer’s market. She learned that the medicine kills the bad bugs, but also the good bugs, so we have to get some more good bugs in our tummy with these probiotics and fermented foods.

Are there alternatives to antibiotics?

As I was telling my mummy mentor friend about this, she told me that she, too, had a staff infection. And the infection cleared up completely with herbs from her homeopath! So I could have given herbs to Kaiya instead of antibiotics! No proud mummy feelings now. 🙁

I realised that though I know a lot about health, I don’t know a lot about sickness.

I didn’t have the knowledge or experience to do anything but follow the doctor’s orders to medicate, even though there are alternatives that carry much less risk to the whole body.

What I can do now, however, is learn from my experience. Now, I will be prepared with some knowledge and resources that give us options when Kaiya is sick or has an infection. I will visit the homeopath while we are healthy, so I will know what to do if we are sick.

My friend suggested that with something like an infection, it’s a good idea to visit the doctor first to find out what it is, then visit the homeopath to get some herbs for it. Because doctors know sickness. That is what they are trained for: knowing all about different types of illness, how to identify the illness, and how to treat it with medication. We are very grateful for modern medicine and doctors that can get us out of pain, injury and illness when the body can’t heal itself, or drugs are the only way.

However, when our immune system is simply a bit low, we have a viral infection, or our injuries are minor, we first go back to our Primal 6 and help the body heal itself. And with some illnesses and bacterial infections, homeopathics and natural remedies can be marvelous healers, without killing off our gut flora and encouraging further disease. Here’s an example of avoiding antibiotics from Whole New Mom, who treated her child’s ear infection, fever and pain without using antibiotics.

Just as with health, sickness is about balance and intuition. Gather knowledge, have resources, know your options. Our children’s health depends on it.

 

Have you ever found a way to avoid giving your kids antibiotics when they were sick?

 

Exercise in Pregnancy – A Primal Guide

Exercise in Pregnancy: A Primal Guide

What do pregnant women and new mums need to know about exercising safely for the health of themselves and their babies? How much exercise is enough or too much? Which types of exercise are best and which should be avoided? Here’s your primal guide to exercising in pregnancy.

 

Exercise in Pregnancy - A Primal Guide

Internal body temperature

When exercising during pregnancy, you are essentially exercising for 2 people! Hence there are several things you need to think about. Pregnancy is not the time to start sculpting a new body. It is a time for maintenance only. Keeping your internal temperature regulated is very important to prevent overheating the foetus. If you are not very in sync with your body and do not know how to perceive your rate of exertion effectively, you can wear a heart rate monitor to provide this feedback. The average beats per minute you should aim to keep it below is 150bpm or a 7/10 on the exertion scale, 10 being a full on workout!

Pregnancy hormones and hip flexibility

During this time it is important not to load your joints past their passive range of motion. This is because the hormones Relaxin and Elastin are both elevated during this time. These hormones soften up the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue to allow the baby’s head to come through the birth canal, so your joints can become around 10 times as loose as they usually are which can lead to hypermobility, especially if you already score high on the 9 point flexibility test. Injuries can then become commonplace, hence reduce the depth and intensity of your exercise and don’t excessively hold stretches for a long period of time.

Supine hypertensive syndrome

When lying down on your back (supine position) for 2 minutes or more, the weight of the baby can press down on the inferior vena cava which blood from the pregnant uterus flows. This increased pressure can be transmitted to the placenta and could compromise fetal blood flow in the gas-exchange area, thereby limiting oxygen supply to the fetus. Therefore, it’s best to choose exercises that don’t have you lying on your back for more than a minute or so, especially as you get further along in the pregnancy.

pregnancy exercises how much is too much
Exercise intensity in pregnancy: how much is too much?
Pic from cnn.com

Exercise intensity

How intense your exercise during this part of your life is, is dependent on your original fitness levels. I’ve known plenty of personal training friends of mine to still be exercising and teaching classes even on their labour day! Know your body and monitor changes and symptoms.

The importance of stability

As you progress through the trimesters and your weight increases, it is important to realise that your center of gravity has now moved, and stability will play a more important role with you every day. Exercise using equipment that assists in your stabilisation will be an important thing to consider.

Great pregnancy exercises

pregnancy exercises swiss ball supported squats
Swiss ball supported squats against the wall
Pic from fittamamma.com
pregnancy exercises supine hip extension on swiss ball
Supine hip extension on swiss ball
Pic: womenshealthmag.com
pregnancy exercises swiss ball supported wall lunge
Swiss ball supported wall lunge
Pic from peak313.com
pregnancy exercises one arm cable pull
One arm cable pull
Pic: burrell education
pregnancy exercise cable wood chop
Cable wood chop
Pic: latino.foxnews.com
pregnancy exercise horse stance
Horse stance
Pic from fittamamma.com

Conditions that must be monitored

– Hypertension
– Anaemia
– Thyroid disease
– Diabetes
– Extremely over or under weight
– Extremely sedentary
– Breach presentation in third trimester
– History of bleeding during pregnancy

NO exercise when you have one of these conditions

The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) lists the following conditions as indicators for people who should not exercise drink pregnancy:

– History of three or more miscarriages
– Ruptured membranes
– Premature labour
– Diagnosed multiple pregnancies
– Intra-uterine growth retardation
– Incompetent cervix
– Placenta praevia
– Pregnancy induced hypertension
– Venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
– Known cardiac valve disease
– Primary pulmonary hypertension
– Maternal heart disease

Stretchmarks

Stretch marks are caused when the skin is stretched or overstretched, resulting in skin tearing. In this process collagen and elastin fibres are broken down and scar tissue is formed. Stretch marks most frequently occur on the breasts, abdomen, thighs, groin or bum. The condition of your skin prior to pregnancy greatly influences whether you develop stretchmarks. Dry skin is less elastic and tears more easily. Therefore prevention is better than cure! Drinking plenty of high-quality filtered water, and keeping your skin healthy and supple, is very important for prevention. Whilst there are plenty of creams out there, I’m a big believer on working inside-out rather than outside-in. If you do want a cream, consider using virgin coconut oil instead. Yes the one that you cook with!

Exercising after pregnancy

To be on the safe side you should not exercise until 6 to 8 weeks after birth. If you’ve had a C-section, then 12 weeks. The uterus can take up to 6 weeks to shrink back to its normal size and for the internal organs to return to their normal positions.

Stability exercises for the hip, core and back areas are very important at this time. Avoiding jumping, running and stepping are important too as these can cause incontinence, hernias and other gynaecological issues.

Allow one hour of recovery after exercise before feeding your baby. This is because after your work out your PH level will be elevated due to higher amounts of lactic acid in your blood from the exercise you have just done. This can affect the taste of the milk and potentially put the baby off their feed. If this happens a lot, this could turn the baby off breastfeeding altogether.

Breastfeeding – The jaw and the core

Breastfeeding is far more important than you think. It is an important stage of the 6 stages of physical infant development, in particular core strength and development. The movement of the mandible (jaw) backwards and forwards when breastfeeding causes a co-contraction of the abdominal muscles of the baby and acts as a pump for cerebrospinal fluid to move from the skull to the sacrum. Were you breastfed? For how long? Try sucking on your thumb and placing your other hand on your abdominal area and see if you can feel the abdominals moving in and out as you suck on the thumb. If you can, this is a good indicator to show you have good communication between the jaw and the core.

Working In: Qi Gong and Tai Chi

Working In: QiGong and Tai Chi

This is a loose transcription of the video ‘Working In: Qi Gong and Tai Chi’

Brad:Qi gong and Tai Chi are ancient Chinese health practices that combine visualisation, movement, breathing and meditation to cultivate what the Chinese call Qi (pronounced, and also spelled ‘Chi’) — the life energy that flows through the body’s energy pathways called Meridians, to maintain essential health. Qi is the basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine. The body is unwell when the flow of Qi becomes stagnant or blocked, whereas a free flowing and balanced Qi energizes the organs, systems and cells. Qi Gong has been around since the 3rd Century B.C., and Tai Chi more recently since the 14th century AD.

Working In: Qi Gong and Tai Chi

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Qi gong and Tai Chi have in common the same basic property (Qi), the same fundamental principle (relaxation), and the same fundamental method (slowness). Tai Chi has a more overt emphasis on the martial art aspects of the training. Each Tai Chi motion has a specific combative application, and thus can theoretically be used for self-defence. Not all Qi Gong motions are like this, as most of them exist solely for the purpose of meditation, health and healing.

 

Working In: QiGong and Tai Chi
Brad demonstrating a qi gong energy push

As I am a firm believer in studying the healthy rather than the sick, Eastern medicine has always been a fascination of mine. I’ve been practicing Qi Gong in particular for several years now and found it to be a fantastic form of active meditation. It’s a lot less complex to the Kung-Fu type moves of Tai Chi that you must learn. Tai Chi can certainly distract your focus from the energy manipulation aspects of the art due to how much you must learn. Qi Gong practice is often less prescribed, instead following a series of movements based on the needs of the practitioner or even the whims of the instructor. The latter certainly pertains to me! I’ve only done a basic 12-week course from which I then combined movements with my own that I have found make me and my clients feel good.

Now I will lead you through a Qi Gong session…

If this is your first time trying this, let go of your inhibitions and preconceptions about what Qi Gong and Tai Chi are, and allow yourself to relax and feel the buzz that you can get from doing this. Close your eyes to enhance the experience and the visualisations, especially if you’re in your lounge room or not in a picturesque place like I am here at Watson Lake in Arizona. How long you continue each movement is up to you. For the sake of keeping this video shorter, I’ll teach you each movement for around 30 seconds to a minute. Try the same yourself for longer after watching this video.

Copy what I do…

Don’t worry if you don’t do the exact thing as what I’m doing. Just allow your body to let go. Swing your arms gently side to side as I am. Continually breathe in and out of your nose for the whole session.

As we now change the movement, imagine yourself painting a fence– painting a fence with Qi. Breathe in on the way up, breathe out on the way down. Breathe in the way up, drag your knuckles.  Breathe out on the way down. and let them float to the ground like a feather. Nice and slow, with a gentle movement from the front to the back of your feet as you raise up and pull back down to the ground. As we paint the fence again on the way up, we’re going to change the movement to an energy push from the chest. Breathe out as you push out with both hands, breathe in as you return to your chest. Add a visualisation to this process this time, imagine breathing out hot stressful red-coloured energy, and as you breathe in you inhale blue-healing cool energy.

As you return your hands to the chest, we’ll change the movement to a single arm energy push across the body with your right hand. As you push your right hand across your body, shuffle your left foot to the left and take a wider stance, and as before, breathe out as you push the energy across your body, breathe in as you return your hand to the waist. With this movement, imagine you are again holding a ball of energy which you are holding lightly within your hand. Push this red ball of energy across the body. Upon reaching the end of your single arm energy push, scoop up the energy ball change the colour of the ball from red to blue then return it back to the body. Should you wish to copy the way I do it so it flows more, pay more attention to my hands. When you have the movement copied, close your eyes again and return to the moment.

As you return your hand to below your chest holding two balls of energy, slowly breathe out and press these two red balls back down towards the earth as you squat down as far as you can comfortably squat. Only go as far as your flexibility allows. If you can squat right down into a primal squat position, then do so. Scoop up the healing energy of the earth as you stand back up and raise your hands back up to your chest where you can allow your body to absorb the energy. Repeat the movement.

Now, let’s combine all the singular movements into one. From the bottom of the squat, scoop up the energy, stand up and now push forward into a two-arm energy push. Return to the chest, and then single-arm energy push across the body. Swap to the other arm, return both arms towards the chest. Two-arm energy push in front of the body again, return to the chest and then press back down to a squat position; and repeat the same thing.

When it’s time to complete your session, you could just cease movement in your body and stand at ease. Taking in the sounds of the area of where you’re standing; relaxing and focusing on your breath. Or, you could do what I’m doing here and sit down and get into a deeper meditation. If meditation is also a fairly new thing for you, then check out  my Meditation Made Simple. I hope you enjoy this video.

How did you feel doing the Qi Gong? Did it relax you, energise you, or a bit of both?

Debi Lost Her Gallbladder, Her SAD Diet and Finally, Her Weight

Debi Lost Her Gallbladder, SAD Diet, and Finally Some Weight

“I’m an Air Force reserve physical therapist who stumbled upon the Paleo/Primal lifestyle in my struggle to become healthy. After years of eating “healthy whole grains” and the Standard American Diet (SAD) in an attempt to be … well… healthy, it backfired and I gained weight over the years and became so sick that I had to have my gallbladder out.

Debi suffered gallbladder disease and weight gain until she found a paleo / primal diet
Debi suffered gallbladder disease and weight gain until she found a paleo / primal diet

A Weight-Loss Plan

I have struggled with weight and tummy troubles since my teens…and OH, the migraines!! In 2011, I moved to Japan for work, and started a plan to lose weight. I fastidiously counted EVERY calorie that went into my mouth and every calorie that went out via workouts. The app I was using was telling me that to get to my ‘target weight’ by my goal month, I’d have to eat no more than 1150 calories a day. So… I tracked each and every calorie in and out. I was walking 1-2 miles a day and doing my workout videos 3-4 times a week. Supposedly burning between 250 – 400 calories a day with exercise. Meanwhile eating only around 1500 calories so that the math would ‘work’ and I’d lose weight. All that, and I only lost 5 pounds over 4 months.

Getting Very Sick

Then I started ‘getting sick’. After eating a snack of black bean dip one day, I got a real dull ache that felt as though someone was slowly pushing their fist through my solar plexus to my backbone. The pain got so bad that I rushed to the emergency room. By the time we got to the hospital though, the pain had receded and the doctors told me to take something for indigestion.

The next time the pain came, I went to the ER after I suffered at home over 1 ½ hours (I didn’t want to hear it was just indigestion again). The pain was the same, but more intense – most intense in the solar plexus area that radiated into my back and up my breastbone and around my ribcage now. Since I was over 40, overweight and had chest pain along with the other complaints, I got seen right away. Cardiac enzymes – perfect, EKG – normal, then the workup started for other things… ultrasound for gallstones – none, X-ray of belly for ??, some constipation – yeah, what else was new?

So, not finding anything beyond a little increase in my liver enzymes… the doc figured I was literally full of sh*t and gave me some fast-acting stuff to make me ‘go’. I went, but the pain continued for 6 ½ hours. When it finally receded, I slept for about 3 days.

Gallbladder Disease

This time, I did my homework. Went straight to WebMD. It said I could have gallbladder stones/disease, cancer, etc… so, I started looking up gallbladder disease. Hmmmm… the descriptions of where the pain comes was similar, if not spot-on… so then I found an awesome website called gallbladderattack. The heavens opened and the angels starting singing!! I FOUND my problem!! She also had suggestions of foods to avoid and a tasty little treat to eat daily to help the gallbladder get healthy.

It suggested I avoid certain foods:
beans, fat, eggs, pork, onions, fowl, dairy, wheat, nuts, corn, coffee, chocolate, tea, ice cream, red meat, carbonated water, tap water, fruit juice, turnips, cauliflower, colas, oats, sweeteners… did I miss anything? HOLY CRAP!! WHAT COULD I EAT? Seriously, what could I eat that wouldn’t hurt??

Her list of what I COULD eat:
cucumbers, beets, green beans, okra, sweet potatoes, avocados, vinegar, garlic, shallots, tomatoes, lemon, grapes, apples, berries, omega 3 oils – not cooked, and vegetable juices.

“I was SO desperate NOT to have pain again, I’d try ANYTHING.”

So during this time, I was still diligently writing down all I ate and figuring out the calories, fat/carb/protein amounts. So… on my best days I got to 1000 calories. On my worst days it was 800 calories. My portion sizes were tiny and I was losing weight.

I continued to get sick and eat foods I didn’t realize were on the “do not eat” list (pinto beans, wheat, red meat) and got sicker. Beans were THE food that would push the pain to a 10 out of 10. Eventually, I was seriously eating just beets, cucumbers and apples as they didn’t hurt. But, I was in constant low-level pain. And even after several more months of all the regimented, limited eating, I had only lost 8 more pounds.

In the end, I had to have surgery to have my gallbladder removed.

No Gallbladder, but still SAD

Once I had the surgery, I felt a whole lot better! I experimented with eating a little more and it didn’t hurt. Yay. Nope, wasn’t going to eat beans.

The next few months, I was still counting calories, not eating beans, but pretty well my Standard American Diet (SAD). I dropped 3 more pounds. I was still conscious of what I ate and tried hard to eat what I was ‘supposed’ to eat via the FDA guidelines. Wheat-something at each meal… oatmeal or wheat cereal for breakfast, sandwich of turkey breast, tomato, lettuce, no mayo for lunch, and lean meat, veggie, brown rice for dinner. I was being GOOD. Why the heck couldn’t I continue to lose weight? Only 1 ½ to 2 pounds per month since the surgery…

The Paleo Solution

Finally, on a much needed vacation back to the states, my brother-in-law told me all about his health journey and finding the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. He showed me the blogs and websites and books I could read. I sat down with Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution right then… it was my mother-in-law’s book, and I devoured as much as I could in a few days. She showed me how to cook and he talked to me about the horrors of grains, sugars and beans/legumes. I literally ate it up!

I was a newbie Paleo. I bought spaghetti squash so that we could try it as noodles and I rejected all grains, except corn on the cob… ’cause, well, it was fresh (and I was on vacation, and I hadn’t yet read about how genetically hybridized corn is….). Back home in Japan, I purged a lot out of the pantry and I decided to truly “go Paleo”. I bought the book on my iPad AND a paper copy from Amazon.

“We started eating more red meat, and saturated fat. *gasp*”

SAY ITS NOT SO!!! Yep… on the Paleo, you get to eat saturated fat along with your monounsaturated fats.

I continued to read everything I could, from blogs to facebook pages, to books… I got on the Gary Taubes (Good fats, bad fats) ‘cholesterol is good for you’ bandwagon and ditched ALL grains in my diet. Yep, corn and rice, too. I also tossed or gave away all canned beans and bags of beans for soups. I bought coconut flour (yep, ME and coconut… hell DID freeze over!!) and almond flour and started experimenting with ways to cook. I started cooking up bacon and reserving the drippings for use in other meals.

A typical caloric day? Let’s see… between 1400 – 2000 calories and approximately 40-45% fat, 25-30% protein, and 30% carbs (the kind you get from veggies!). NONE of my fats are trans fats, a little of them are polyunsaturated fatty acids (but NEVER canola oil or safflower oil anymore!) and most are saturated fats and monounsaturated fatty acids… uncooked nut or olive oils, and bacon grease or coconut oil for cooking.

In just 6 weeks, I was down another 10 pounds. I’d say that’s healthy weight loss… about 1 ½ to 2 pounds a week. Just comparing my arms from the first photo to now… makes me proud. I was getting healthy and had a LOT of energy. The only time I hurt was when I cheated and ate out… soy sauce can cause bloating all over and stomach upset for an entire day afterwards. Life is good. I get compliments on my skin, hair, shoot… even my EYES!

Since going Paleo, I have clear skin, bowel regularity (yay!! first time in my life for that!), no abdominal pain, less arthritic pains, a LOT of energy, and 90% reduction in migraines!! I also have no depression anymore… I’ve struggled with that for years and now I’m just … HAPPY 🙂

I credit Mark Sisson (Primal Blueprint) and Robb Wolf (The Paleo Solution), plus Sarah from Everyday Paleo, and the book Wheat Belly, with my newfound health. As of now (June 2013), I am 44 lbs down, but the best thing is that I can exercise, began running, and amazingly enough have NO MORE tummy troubles! I have so much energy and life in me… and I just turned 46!! If I can do this… anyone can!

I am actively trying to get the word out that grains, specifically wheat/gluten, are bad for us (humans and dogs alike… I have a dog with type 1 diabetes) and that losing weight begins with what you eat (not how many calories)! Secondarily to the weight loss, I’ve become healthy and realized how incredibly wheat-sensitive or intolerant I am. I see myself morphing into a motivator for others, like me, who strive to be healthy and, unfortunately, got sicker by trusting the government to know what’s healthy for us. Self-education is KEY!”

Visit Debi’s blog: Baby PT has gone Primal!
Visit Debi’s facebook page: BabyPT goes Primal

Get $4000 Worth of Coaching, for Less Than $80!

You Are What You Eat - Paul Chek

If there is one audio program about health that we recommend, this is it.  You Are What You Eat Audio Program by Paul Chek. 8 hours of Paul Chek speaking about everything about nutrition that you want to know… and wish you didn’t!

It consists of 8 Audio CDs and 1 CD-ROM with e-manual in PDF format.

Here’s a description from the CHEK Institute:

“This informal discussion with Paul Chek highlights issues to consider when selecting the foods we consume. As Paul points out, our bodies replace millions of cells each day, as our tissues turn over continually. These new cells are made out of the building blocks that come from our food and drink. Do you want your bones, muscles, eyes and hair to be made from low quality fast food or nutritious organic produce?

You Are What You Eat - Paul Chek
You Are What You Eat Audio Program – Paul Chek

Paul talks about these ideas and more, in this informative and entertaining audio program. He discusses research, uncovers controversies and provides suggestions on the following areas:

– Organic vs. commercially raised foods
– Cooked food vs. raw food
– Food processing and food storage
– Food packaging
– Genetically modified foods
– Food irradiation
– Fiber, colon health and detoxification
– The pros and cons of grains
– Alcohol
– Dairy
– Animal products, eggs and seafood
– Fats and oils
– Sugar
– Salt
– Water
– Microwave ovens

The program comes complete with a manual which shows you how to highlight action items for yourself, and has a comprehensive list of references and useful resources.”

If you hire Paul Chek as your personal coach for 8 hours at $500 per hour, you’ll pay $4000. Hence at the cheap price the CHEK Institute charge for this audio series, you can’t go wrong. Buy it today.

Note: Primal Health receives a commission from the sale of this product. We only recommend products we have used and vouch for.

Paul Chek - You Are What You Eat Audio Program

Meditation Made Simple

Meditation Made Simple

This is a loose transcription of the video  ‘Meditation Made Simple’

Brad: Hey guys, If you’ve read my article on Primal Health entitled ‘10 Easy Ways to Meditation‘ you would have read about some of the ways I’ve incorporated active and passive meditation into my life.

Traditional ‘passive’ meditation can take a long time to master. Today I want to take you through some basic focused breathing. Whilst basic in name, it’s powerful in its regular practice. So many of us reach for drugs, herbs and supplements to reduce our blood pressure and high resting heart rate, without ever considering the power of doing it through breath.

Meditation Made Simple

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In this video I’m at a special place in Arizona, US called Watson Lake. I always like visiting this place when I’m here. It has a special energy, a vibe, a feeling it gives me when I visit. Hence it’s a great place to relax and meditate. Think of somewhere in your area where you could go to do the same. It then makes it easier to contemplate a beautiful setting when starting your own meditations, no matter where you are. Whether you’re in your living room or at work on a lunch break.

Best to watch this video in a comfortable place indoors or outdoors where you can be alone uninterrupted. When doing this again in the future it may be beneficial to set an alarm or use music of a pre-determined time length (eg: 5 min. or 10 min.).

Take a seat. Keep your spine erect. You could be sitting in a seat, or if on the ground, cross you legs or even try to sit like I am, in what’s called a ‘half lotus’ position. If you are flexible enough and have done it before, bring the other foot up into a full lotus position.

For now, keep your eyes open. Copy me by doing what’s called alternate nostril breathing . With your right hand, place your thumb over your right nostril, your next two fingers on your temple and and your fourth finger adjacent to your left nostril. Now slowly breathe in through your left nostril. Now block your left nostril with your fourth finger, unblock your right nostril with your thumb and breathe out though the right nostril. Now go in reverse. Breathe in through the right nostril, unblock the left nostril, block the right nostril, and breathe out the left. Let’s repeat this over and over for the next minute.

As you start to breathe in now, pay attention to the way you are breathing. Is your chest lifting up or your stomach getting fatter as you breathe in? You should feel your stomach distending or moving outwards as your lungs fill up with air. As you breathe out you should feel your stomach flatten as the air goes out of your lungs. This is indicating that your diaphragm muscle that sits below your lungs is doing its job properly. As you will see our babies and kids doing naturally before they’ve been conditioned to suck their stomach muscles in due to higher stomach body fat levels, bloating from foods that don’t agree with us and the social stigma associated with having a belly sticking out. If this feels like a backwards breathing pattern for you, don’t worry. Take your time. In several sessions it should start to feel normal to you. So many of us who are chest dominant breathers don’t realise that we are doing approximately 20,000 shoulder shrugs all day long to allow our lungs to breathe, when our diaphragm is not doing its job.

Now close your eyes. Continue to breathe the same way. Focus on deep, slow, controlled breathing through the nose. Breathing through the nose stimulates the nerves directly connected to the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us to produce hormones to grow, repair and digest. Breathe in and allow the stomach to fill up like a balloon. Breathe out and feel your stomach draw in like the balloon has popped. Drop your hand now from your nose. Interlock your fingers and place them on your lap. Continue to breathe alternating between nostrils. Even if it feels like both nostrils are working, just pretend it’s still happening. Try slowing down your breathing even more now and notice how your breathing comes thinner, shorter and eventually seems to disappear. Now try and alternate your breaths. Now it should hopefully seem possible.

Now, let’s try putting a visualisation with our breathing. Imagine with each exhalation, you are breathing out negative energy coloured red, and with each breath in, you’re inhaling positive healing energy the colour blue. Send your body a message “Everything is fine, everything is at peace. Relax….”  Let’s continue to do this now for another minute. Breathe in, breathe out, “Everything is fine, everything is at peace. Relax….”

Now, next breath out, I want you to start to come back into your body and open your eyes up when you’re ready. Take in the environment in which you’re sitting and reflect on what you have just done in the last couple of minutes.

Meditation made simple through basic breathing techniques
Brad demonstrating alternate nostril breathing’ and ‘diaphragmatic breathing’

Now each time you try one of these forms of meditation, the experience will be different, and it will certainly take some practice to get good at it. 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’ll certainly get better at it. It’s worth persisting with it. Meditation is definitely an awesome tool to be able to get good at using.

I hope you enjoyed the video and make meditation a daily practice.

5-Minute Ice Cream Recipes…Because Look What’s in The Store-Bought Stuff

5 Minute Ice Cream Recipes

I know I’m not the only one who has had a love affair with ice cream most of my life. The creamy, cold dessert that comes in endless variations of scrumptious flavours is a staple ‘treat’ for many of us. Sadly though, ice cream is not what it used to be. Just like so many other foods which have been completely ruined by mass commercialism and processing…

Ice cream went from nutritious to nasty

From this…

Traditional Ice Cream
Pastured Eggs
Raw Cream
Raw Sugar
Real Vanilla Bean or Fruit to flavour

To this…

Modern Commercial Ice Cream
Propylene glycol
Ethyl acetate
Yellow dye #5 
Hydrogenated oils
High fructose corn syrup
Dry milk solids
Caroxymethyl cellulose
Butyraldehyde
Amyl acetate
Diethyl glycol
Aldehyde C-17
Piperonal
Potassium sorbate
Mono and diglicerides
Disodium phosphate
Ethyl Acetate
Benzyl acetate
Mono stearate
Propylene glycol
Sodium benzoate
Polysorbate 80
Modified corn starch
Soy lecithin
Pasteurised Milk
Dextrose, Sucrose

Air — to double the volume and profits.


What are all those things in the commercial ice cream?

Really, I couldn’t be bothered to look them all up to find out. I don’t recognise them as foods, so that is enough to deter me. But to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here:
– Diethyl glycol, a cheap chemical used instead of eggs — also used in anti-freeze and paint removers
– Aldehyde C-17, a flavoring for cherry ice cream — an inflammable liquid used in dyes, plastics, and rubber
– Piperonal, used as flavouring in place of vanilla — a lice killer
– Ethyl Acetate, a pineapple flavor — a component of leather and textile cleaner, with vapors has been known to cause chronic lung, liver, and heart damage.

What about healthy or natural commercial ice creams?

There are still some wonderful ice cream makers out there, who whip up batches of creamy goodness with nothing but real food: milk, eggs, cream, sugar and fruit. Ben & Jerry even go so far as to source their milk from well-treated cows, and leave their mint ice cream white instead of adding fake green colouring. If you know what all the ingredients are on the ice cream tub, that is surely a Better Bad Choice.

However, the milk will always still be pasteurised, and if you know enough about pasteurised milk, you’ll still want to steer clear as much as possible.

As more people are avoiding milk products, coconut ice cream is now en vogue, and could be a good alternative. Again, just keep in mind that mass production of products usually requires stabilisers, preservatives, and other strange things like soy lecithin. Read the ingredients list!

2 ingredient homemade healthy blueberry ice cream
2 ingredient homemade blueberry ice cream.
No ice cream maker needed!

Homemade Ice Cream

For best quality and least confusion, homemade is best. In your kitchen, you know exactly what is going into your ice cream, and therefore what is going into your body. And that’s the way we like it!

Ice Cream Makers
These appliances are very cheap to purchase, and allow you to make your own traditional ice cream in whatever variation you like. You can use raw milk/cream or coconut milk/cream, depending on what works best for your body and tastes. We recently got one at a thrift shop and have compiled some awesome paleo ice cream recipes on our Pinterest snacks and desserts board. Most of those are dairy free, but if you have access to raw organic cream from pastured-cows, use these traditional ice cream recipes.

Frozen Fruit Ice Cream
If you don’t want to bother with an ice cream machine, but would like to have a delicious homemade version in about 5 minutes, start making your own frozen fruit ice cream. It’s so easy and delicious, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it before!

Frozen Fruit Ice Cream Recipes

There are only two simple steps:
1/ Freeze peeled bananas and any other desired fruits, such as berries, peaches, cherries.
2/ Whiz up the frozen fruit in your food processor, Thermomix, Vitamix, or Turbochef.

That’s it! Eat it right away while it’s cold and ice-creamy. You can also freeze it for awhile too, to experiment with the texture. Add other real food ingredients to make fun flavours.

Here are a couple of our favourite basic ‘ice creams’, with some optional flavour tweaks.
Amounts are for 1 serving. Easily double or triple for the whole family.

Chocolate Ice Cream
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp raw cacao (or cocoa if that’s all you have)
Optional additions:
1/4 avocado
honey to sweeten further
1 tsp shredded coconut

 

2 ingredient homemade healthy ice cream
2 Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream.
Sooo good.

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
1 frozen banana
1 tsp raw cacao nibs (or chopped raw chocolate)
Optional additions:
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (for mint choc chip)
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tsp chia gel (soaked chia seeds)
1 tsp shredded coconut

Homemade chocolate chip chia ice cream
Choc chip chia ice cream whizzed up in my Turbochef in a couple minutes.

Banana Berry Ice Cream
1 frozen banana
1 large handful frozen berries (any kind)
Optional additions:
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp shredded coconut

Frozen banana and blueberries in a food processor equals ice cream
Frozen banana and blueberries in a food processor = ice cream!

Here’s one with frozen veggies…

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
2 cups frozen cooked pumpkin (freeze your leftovers!)
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 1 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)

Superfood Ice Cream
Check out this amazing recipe I came up with – a cold and creamy treat I call Probiotic & Essential Fatty Acid Superfood Ice Cream!

 

References:

Natural News.com: http://www.naturalnews.com/023849_ice_cream_chemicals_health.html#

 

We all scream for ice cream! Have you transitioned from store-bought stuff to homemade ice cream?