Regulation has become the phenomenon that I'm most interested in. I see it everywhere: the body's need to find balance, safety, and restoration. Every decision we make comes from an unconscious need to regulate. Every thought we have regulates or dysregulates our systems. As do our environments.
Addiction, over-eating, having an affair, violence - these behaviors are all from a need to regulate and feel safe. Just making love, eating good food, and helping someone is. They extend from the body's inherent wisdom of fight, flight, or freeze when it experiences or perceives threat.
When we grow up with trauma, we have limited resources of regulation. This could mean your parents were unable to help you feel safe. This is just one example. When we grow up with little resources of regulation, we develop coping skills & habits to help us regulate the best way we know how. For some, it's drugs. For others, it's food. Most commonly, it's other co-regulators. Our lover, friends, co-workers, and family members. We rely on other people to make us feel safe and regulated.
My goal for myself, and all people, is to develop self-regulation. This is the ability to feel safe within your own discomfort and communicate to your own mind and body to learn what it needs and to meet those needs yourself. It's an incredibly beautiful lifestyle because you simply do not depend on anything or anyone outside of you to make you feel whole. It frees you up to love others without conditions and it invites a radical honesty that is so freeing. Sure, people and good food are still desired and appreciated - but you don't need it. To learn self-regulation, you first need to identify how dysregulation feels in your body and what you do with it.
I'm wanting to impart the importance of this word "regulation" on you now so you can begin experiencing it in yourself. I want you to ask yourself a few questions:
1) How does it feel in my body when I'm regulated?
Where do I feel it?
2) How does it feel in my body when I'm dysregulated?
Where do I feel it?
Telling the two apart is vital. Once we learn to distinguish between the two, we become self-realized in that we begin to understand our behaviors, our needs, and our addictions. We can release shame, guilt, and judgment and just innocently notice: that's just my body regulating.
Regulation feels grounded, calm, and soft. Our breath goes deep, our shoulders relax, our necks soften. We are able to sleep and digest. Laugh off stressful situations and stay connected to ourselves and our own needs in the midst of other's.
Dysregulation feels tight & clenched. We may feel nausea, have a lump in our throat, or pressure and tightness in our chest. Learning how to tell the difference helps us understand where our bodies are, where our thoughts are, and what our needs are.
I'm going to be offering a FREE intro to somatic awareness. It will be a 30 minute webinar and you will all be invited! Once you can be lead into experiencing the difference between regulation and dysregulation you will begin the journey of understanding your entire life and learning how to navigate through it in a way that is conscious, compassionate, and satisfying.
Please forward this email to anyone interested. They should sign up for my mailing list to begin this journey. I will be announcing the date in the coming weeks.
Oh, perception. That strange realm that no two people will ever exactly share, but some get close. It's a looking glass, magnifying glass, binocular, and kaleidoscope all at once. It's not the experience itself, but how we see the experience itself. So who can ever know the absolute experience? Welcome to humility and curiosity.
Perception is what makes or breaks trauma, suffering, PTSD, depression, and any other chronic stress or anxiety state. Perception is in the ego because it's how we identify events and people, which creates the sense of "I know" and then "I believe". If you're open to changing your perception, you're open to changing your entire life, which is simply what we think we know and believe about ourselves and others.
For Americans, we are on a particularly different journey of perception and identity. You see, culture was/is the antidote for perception. Culture is more than just shopping and art. It's the food we eat, the colors we wear, the spices we cook with, the music we dance to, and the language we speak to one another in.
Culture adheres to a set of rules, orders, rituals - thousand year old rite of passages and daily cycles that give its people identity and sense of self. Not much to argue with or to try to understand. There's belonging, there's identity, and there's an agreed upon way of life. I think of the Hasidic community in north Brooklyn who dress alike, eat alike, and carry on much like a school of fish. One large concept, form, and flow moving as one. But even within such confinement, some perceive safety and some perceive threat. Just read Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.
America is the youngest culture on the face of the Earth. It's a melting pot of thousand year old cultures slowly transforming into being American - whatever that means. I find this particularly interesting because our perceptions are so wildly different from one another and we are trying to figure out why our democracy isn't working. There's no agreed upon culture! So without culture, we're in a beautiful and brutal frenzy of perceptions trying to be proven, understood, and passed. Laws that work for one group of people and not another. Religion that works for one and not the other. Politics that work for one and not the other.
So what's the antidote to that?
For me, it's the practice of understanding other's perceptions so that I cannot be so angry, disappointed, or afraid of the "other side". The use of curiosity instead of defense as a tool to learn and become open to understanding the perception of the other side. If you're a democrat, learn and understand the perception of a Republican. If you're a man, learn and understand the perception of a woman. It's not about losing your own perception, it's about growing it.
I don't think we should be segregated culturally. Even if I did, too bad. It's done. We are mixing faster and faster and I find that to be the great enlightenment of our time as human beings. The ability to understand vs. go to war. Understanding is the antidote for war. The war within and the war out there. When I understand I cannot hate or fear. All I can do is accept and, if I stay still and feel that, forgiveness comes naturally and I hit a peace of mind that is so delicious and is a much more effective place to come from if I'm trying to connect, communicate my needs, or make change.
Good morning friends,
You can all imagine how many people walk into my office crying, enraged, and in total fear just from listening to NPR on the way here in their cars. Whether it's a sexual assault hearing, a Donald Trump speech, or something on someone's Instagram feed - triggers abound!
Understanding what a trigger is and what to do with it is life changing. It shows us what's left in us, what's unresolved, what residue still exists from past trauma and stressful experiences that is rising up to be heard and resolved.
A trigger is anything that stimulates a feeling, emotion or thought we're already carrying around. For example, many women in my practice are finding the president very triggering because, to them, he represents all the oppressive and painful experiences that they have had with men. A trigger is an opportunity for an outside stimulus to bring something up in you that has yet to be fully dealt with. Essentially, until the trigger vanishes you're carrying it around.
This is not to say we put up with abuse or blame ourselves for our reactions. What I am saying is the reaction is ours and it's informed by our own traumas that deserve attention. Triggers are our bodies trying to communicate and connect with us, but it's easy to turn them into a projection onto another entity, which literally translates into giving your energy, your power to someone else.
So what do we do? I have found 4 steps that work really well for me and others in my practice:
4) Uncouple & Re-organize
Feel the trigger. Notice where it lands in your body, what it feels like, if it spreads or if it stays in one area. Is it the same area every time? Notice how your body physically responds to the trigger so we can make it less about the trigger and more about you. After all, that's the most immediate and practical change that can take place - the war within the self.
Identify what's being triggered. Feel the tension in the belly, the heaviness in the chest, the tightening of your jaw and send your breath into it. Use the sensation to identify its origin. Find the phrase that triggered the sensation, the thought, the fear. Often times a memory or a person will come up, just follow it without linear reasoning or intellect. It's your body showing you information.
Understand why this is your trigger. Why does a phrase make you nauseous? If it's a phrase that triggers you, try to find out what part of your life or yourself it brings up. If it's a person, try to find where a person like this has been in your life. If your body showed you a memory or an image, understand why that visual or memory is associated with this stressful sensation in the body. Take your time. This can take days to weeks.
Uncouple the triggered feeling/emotion/thought from the trigger. A real life example: I had a client the day after Trump was elected and they felt completely frozen, hated Trump, were totally traumatized by his Presidential win. After doing these steps with me, their body showed them that Trump triggered memories of abuse from their father. It was so deep and, once we uncovered it, we were able to uncouple and re-organize the body's complex emotions around all of this. The result was their ability to, when triggered by Trump, relocate their emotions back to their own father and do therapy around that. Gradually, healing around the father trauma took priority and now this person doesn't even flinch when they hear a Trump statement or rally because they know it's about their father, not the president.
I know from my own traumas and doing this work that there is a depth of freedom that we all have the ability to experience. Questioning our triggers, using self inquiry, and listening with a humble curiosity as to why does this person or thing cause me pain instead of "knowing" that this person or thing is my pain is the difference between disempowerment and empowerment.
I have the rare privilege of making a living from witnessing other people breakthrough and heal their own lives. It's really phenomenal and I've only recently allowed myself to accept it and feel so much gratitude toward my clients and myself for manifesting it.
I want to share all this wisdom I experience with the world, through a book, through webinars, but the thought of that has stressed me out and overwhelmed me. So I turn to you, my reader, on my humble mailing list and offer you the jewels I've gathered and held onto. Some I've found myself, someI've been graciously and courageously given to by others. Today, I write about expectations.
Expectations are amazing. There is no quicker way to distract you from the moment than with an expectation. To have an expectation, we have to project an idea or an image onto something or someone. An idea or an image that hasn't happened yet. Most of the time, it never will happen. Sometimes, it does. Still, every free minute of your experience leading up to that moment is spent processing and reacting to the expectation.
Stress, fear, anger, doubt, worry, anxiety - all stem from expectations. PTSD is an expectation that something traumatic will happen again. Disappointment comes from someone or something (or ourselves) not living up to our expectations. Fear is expecting something horrible is going to happen. Insecurity comes from expecting to be like something or someone else.
Expectations limit our experiences, rather than open us up. Without expectations we're curious, interested, inspired, learning, and in a place of love. It's simple: we can understand and love, or we can defend and fear and hate.
Letting go of expectations is a practice I have every second as a father. I have so many expectations of my daughter running through my head, expectations for all of her friends, and expectations of myself as a parent. When I let go and open up to all possibilities, I'm able to love her in every moment and am instantly more connecting. When I'm expecting I'm really just projecting and evaluating, rather than observing and connecting.
I truly love the work of Byron Katie. She's one of the great masters of self-inquiry. Learning to question your ego and the thoughts that come up when we think of others, ourselves, and our world. If I could offer anything, I would encourage everyone to do 'The Work' which is a formula of self-inquiry to open our minds and surprise our egos. This page gives you everything you need: http://thework.com/en.
The hardest, yet most satisfying thing is to open up our ideas of life and not limit ourselves with expectations. It is then we can be vulnerable, open, surprised, inspired, curious, and in loving connections to ourselves and everything around us.
Men and women deserve equal opportunities. Earning money, having a career, voting, the right to choose - these opportunities should be equal regardless of race, gender, and sexuality. Women have come a long way in the last 50 years. The sexes spend more time together than ever before. Look at tribes, traditional families, and the 1950s household. Women stay with women, and men stay with men. This is the first time in the history of the society that we spend so much time together and switch roles. It’s a brilliant experiment whose time has come, but we must move into it with proper understanding of one fundamental fact: men and women are different.
Plain and simple. We are biologically, spiritually, and intellectually different. Dismissing these biological differences creates unrealistic expectations on men and women and widens the gap between the sexes, making it impossible to learn how to co-exist peacefully and enjoyably. I see this in heterosexual couples that I counsel. Once they learn to accept their biological differences, an incredible amount of understanding and beautiful, almost unreal communication and connection enters like never before. And it stays.
We understand that women are dominated by estrogen and men are dominated by testosterone. These two hormones greatly affect how we act as sexual, physical, intellectual, and emotional beings. Camille Paglia is a radical liberal feminist whose work I absolutely love. She has two theories I stand behind:
Estrogen is a secure hormone of the nurturer, whereas testosterone is the insecure hormone of the creator. Simply put: women have their sense of identity upon their first period and men create their identity largely through accomplishments and proving their work. I know this to be true just from being a man, and by the work I do with men and women. It doesn’t mean women cannot achieve and men cannot be secure. It simply suggests that the dominant hormone tends to greatly influence how we respond, react, and interact with our community/society/world. Men are driven hormonally to prove themselves in a way most (not all) women are not.
2) Sexuality is subconscious, primitive, and somatic. Which means it is happening in the body long before it enters the conscious mind. This is especially true for men, again, hormonally. Men in America (and possibly everywhere now) have lost the brotherhood. Once a coven of elders, fathers, uncles, and brothers who facilitated rites of passages into manhood, these groups helped young men develop platonic intimacy with their fellow man, security in their masculinity, and helped them understand their sexual powers and how to control them with boundaries.
The brotherhood has since been replaced with movies like American Pie and other media renditions of the modern young man. Beer guzzling, arrogant, ignorant and over sexualized to the point of utter insecurity and desperation. This is what we feed our boys. This and wrestling. A hyper masculinized culture, mixed with testosterone, is a breeding ground for out of control sexuality and a complete lack of awareness of one’s sexual energy and boundaries. A woman walks in a room feeling liberated in a sensual, beautiful outfit and a man’s somatic body and unconscious mind is thinking: sex. Once this is understood a major shift can take place.
Our dismissal of these biological differences and how they affect us has created a villainous archetype for all men through shame and judgement, while largely underestimating women’s abilities to protect themselves and be powerful. Garrsion Keilor once said “A world without sexual harassment is a world without flirting”. And he was right. Someone’s personal rejection or offensive take of another’s sexual, intellectual, or physical energy doesn’t mean they’ve been harassed. It just means they’re not sharing the same reality. Most cases are innocent mistakes, and the media is forcing us to label it harassment and pick sides.
Bureaucracy, authority, and government is standing between men and women. We can see this with the recent sexual harassment allegations when the formerly mentioned MPR host Garrison Kiellor is fired, defamed, and his looks are ridiculed on TV because of one allegation before he’s even been found guilty. Removing due process is a fundamental pillar of a fascist country. Even a police officer who badly injures or kills another human being retains their positions until due process finds them guilty or not guilty. Being offensive or offended is not a crime.
Free people have the right to express and reject anything they wish. The words we use, the mannerisms we speak with, the way we communicate with touch - these vital, sensual, somatic expressions make us human. The large capacity for error, awkwardness, and offensiveness is part of our experience and to remove that would be like removing your brain to prevent depression. We need to understand the difference between sexual harassment and bad boundaries.
When someone uses sex (or any other condition for that matter) as a threat to your life or your job then yes - you have been harassed and threatened. This should be reported immediately and investigated. Often, when it’s sexual, the person being harassed is met with such shame (especially if they gave in) and that shame freezes us because it’s traumatic. This is when you seek a therapist or healer to help you clear the shame and trauma, move through it safely, then take action when you feel ready.
On the opposite spectrum, when someone has bad sexual boundaries (no threats, just actions) or you have a full-on affair with your boss because they are well known, can give you a raise, or for any other intimidating or gaining purpose - this is not sexual harassment. This is simply bad boundaries and it should be met with a firm “no” or a nice big slap in the face. End of story. I know plenty of people in these situations - I’ve been in them myself when I worked at a gay piano bar in the West Village! You just say no and walk away. If the person continues, then he or she has entered the realm of harassment and needs to be reported.
There are sadistic, psychopathic people in this world who have no clue about reality and they have no gauge or empathy for how they’re affecting others - some who even want to do harm. These people are dangerous and make up the bulk of sex offenders. Then, there are men and women who are sharing pheromonal (hormones emitted that send subconscious, somatic signals from one person to another) space and neither of them have a clue about their sexual power over one another, as well as their sexual boundaries. They are innocent and ignorant. Do not confuse the ignorant with the psychopathic. This is what we’re doing and it’s creating a war among men and women, and a huge mob that is defaming, ridiculing, and ruining people’s lives.
I reject this out of love and compassion, for I do not believe in mob rule. The Witches of the 17th century, Native Americans, Japanese, Jews, African Americans, Muslims - there’s always a new villain who is stoned by the mob. We need to understand that what we fear is what we unknowingly are. It’s a shadow part from our past, or simply unexplored within ourselves. We are many things made of everything. We are multi-dimensional. We have judged, and we will be judged. We have hated, we will be hated, We have loved, and we will be loved. This is true empathy and compassion. This is the way to heal this.
Understanding we are all of the same nature, of light and dark, of ignorant and enlightened. This humility, this humble perspective connects us so deeply and so sincerely with one another so that we can stop creating enemies and we can start understanding where someone is coming from, having compassion for their own pain, and at the same time realizing our own power and self worth so we can create our futures without bureaucracies doing it for us, and without the news and the headlines telling us how we should feel and who we should hate next. As Richard Bach so beautifully wrote: hate is love without all the facts.
I want to close by saying that sexual abuse, assault and rape should never be justified or tolerated. These are serious violent offenses that stretch beyond bad boundaries, harassment, and ignorance. These are intentional crimes against someone and their body. If you or someone you know is confused between what’s been done to them, it’s important to reach out to a therapist or healer that works with sexual abuse. In safe space, you can reclaim your innocence and make sense of what was done. Then you will find your next step to healing from it.
I recommend that everyone reading this write down the following ingredients: soaked mung beans, brown rice, onions, garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Okay, the hard part is over. Now all you do is simply throw everything into a pot, simmer for 45 minutes, and eat it for three days. That's it? That's it!
Traditionally, it consists of yellow split mung beans, however I like to use green mung beans that are soaked and/or sprouted for deeper detoxification properties. I also find these more effective for the modern world than the split version (which yields less enzymes than the sprouted green beans) when it comes to cleansing.
Kitcheree is an ayurvedic and yogic traditional dish that works to balance the digestive system, detoxify the body, and cleanse the mind. It does this in very simple, yet profound ways.
The Trinity Roots
Garlic, ginger, and onions are powerful alone but when you combine them in a dish, you create a high sulfur, high selenium, and high antioxidant formula that helps to increase circulation, move out old lymphatic fluid and wastes, greatly reduce inflammation, and detoxifying the tissues in the body. When you combine curry powder, which contains turmeric, with these you amplify its ability to reduce inflammation. Sulfur is also a collagen generator which creates new beautiful skin, strong ligaments, and flexible bones - which you want!
Mung Beans and Brown Rice
Not only are mung beans highly detoxifying, they are also cooling for the body, good for your liver, they act as a diuretic, and are even good for recovering alcoholics (Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods). Mung beans are one of the easiest beans to digest, yielding no gas or bloating - especially when they're soaked and even more so when they're sprouted. Combine them with nourishing, cleansing, and pH balancing brown rice and you have yourself a complete protein that strengthens, heals, and detoxifies the body without messing with blood sugar levels. This is ideal for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
The foundation of a kitcheree cleanse is, essential, mono-dieting. This occurs when one eats only one type of food or one type of dish consistently for several days to several months. Mono-dieting allows the body's digestive organs to anticipate which enzymes need to be made so that digestion can become faster and more efficient. Once the body is used to eating the same food, those organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas) can finish digesting early, get more rest, and turn more of their energy toward self-cleansing, restoration, and regeneration.
Cleansing The Palate
Eating simple food without salt, sugars, and oils cleanses the palate and, the longer the mono-diet is endured, the more sensitive your taste buds will become to these foods when they are included in your diet again. This is helpful, as it makes one less tolerant for overly fatty, salty, and sweet things.
Cleansing The Mind
This is, without a doubt, the most challenging aspect of any cleanse. When you're eating only kitcheree you are free from the distraction of what to cook, or what to eat, or what to buy. You're free from the constant nagging voice in your head that wants you to satisfy your sweet tooth, or snack on something to make it through a task you're working on. The freedom from these distractions sounds lovely, but it can be quite hard to deal with. When we're not distracted AND we're cleansing years of chemicals and feelings from our bodies we tend to become irritated, panicked, emotional, anxious, angry, and just about every other emotion one can think of.
For a successful cleanse, it is vital to have support from your friends and family. You have to set up something for yourself to focus on that isn't food oriented. Don't start a cleanse if you're about to embark on a stressful project, or are going away for one week to your favorite place with all your favorite foods. I love to cleanse when I have several days away from work and people, and I can just compose music all day, read books, hike, go on walks, and simply take it easy. Not being bound by time or aware of time is extremely helpful during a cleanse as well, since we're so time-programmed as to when we should eat and snack.
So, you think you're ready to try a kitcheree cleanse? I think you are too! It's so easy and delightful that you may become addicted to it, which is entirely perfect! One can do a kitcheree cleanse for several weeks to several months. Your body will tell you when it's craving something new. For my kitcheree recipe, go here. You can use the individual spices I have on that page, or you can simply use 1-2 tbsp. of curry powder instead. Either one will be beneficial. Just make sure your curry powder is salt-free.
Once you make your kitcheree, eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 3-10 days. You do not need to worry about coming off the cleanse in any specific fashion since you're already eating. Just be gentle and do not eat portions that are too filling for the first few days. To speed up the cleanse, replace breakfast with raw fruit or herbal tea and only eat kitcheree for lunch and dinner. Steamed vegetables or salads can be served on the side with kitcheree as long as you stick to the guidelines of no oil, no salt, and no sugar.
Eating your way to being more fit, creative, young, healthier, and energetic is certainly one of my favorite ways to transform my body. I hope this information helps to transform yours.
I kept saying I would write an article focusing on the confusion of olive oil and its health benefits. This may be hard for some people to read, but I just have to break it to you: olive oil is not the magic bullet we believe it to be. Most olive oils, in fact, are just concentrated, rancid fat. They offer no vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibers, proteins, or carbohydrates. It is no more than your average processed food.
"But what about all of these Mediterranean Diet studies?" Well, what about them? What is the Mediterranean anyway? The Mediterranean is the area of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In Europe we have Spain, France, and Italy, in Asia we have Lebanon and Israel, and in Africa we have Egypt and Morocco - to name a very short few. That's one heck of an area to name a dietary philosophy off of. Especially when one considers that each country (and continent) has a completely different diet.
Portugal, Southern Italy, Spain, Southern France, Greece (the island of Crete), and parts of the Middle East were studied to determine the benefits of a "Mediterranean diet". Out of all of the countries studied, the island of Crete was the most heavily researched, where over 700 men were tested. All men lived in the countryside, ate little to no meat, rarely had dairy, only had fresh fruit for dessert, and consumed a plant-based diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. They also drank two glasses of wine daily, with meals, and replaced all fats with olive oil. They, on average, took in about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil each day.
It's important to understand that the olive oil they were consuming was fresh, local, and unfiltered. It still contained some fiber, antioxidants, and most likely did not become rancid after being shipped thousands of miles over sea, only to sit in a warehouse for many months. More importantly, if their olive oil had turned rancid their plant-heavy diet (namely of fruits and vegetables) provided them with ample antioxidants to counteract any free radical exposure from the oil. Furthermore, the vasodilation that occurs from eating a whole food, plant-based diet would protect the heart by keeping the circulation strong, allowing the arteries to easily repair from any damage, and maintain a good blood flow to the heart.
These men ate very little to no processed sugar and virtually ate no refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates and sugar are more often to blame for high cholesterol than fatty foods themselves. You see, when the carbohydrate is refined (white flour, pasta, bread) it is too potent for the body because it contains too much energy and doesn't have the other factors (fiber, bran, and germ) to slowly release the glucose. The carbohydrates are so easily broken down into glucose that the body has to store all the extra energy as fat, which we know as triglycerides. These triglycerides are then stored in the arteries, which prompts the liver to create more cholesterol to "sweep" the arteries clean. No sugar or refined carbohydrates means a less triglycerides and less cholesterol production.
In addition to this, they also lived very active lifestyles. Many of them were farmers and took part in intense labor daily, with adequate sun exposure and detoxification through sweating. These men exercised every day, lived in the beauty of nature, were primarily vegan, ate fresh, local organic produce (that most of them grew themselves), ate only whole foods, and ate virtually no sugar or refined carbohydrates. As you can see, it wasn't the olive oil that kept their hearts healthy. How could researchers ignore all of these factors and report on the olive oil itself? That is what I considered bad researching, bad reporting, and bad business. There's either a lot of money to be made, since there's been no reduction in heart disease even with the increase of olive oil, or the researchers and doctors are equally as confused as the consumers. I would like to believe the latter.
When you read an article about the health benefits of olive oil, the results are usually cherry picked from an entire lifestyle that is never mentioned, or it's the result of researchers finding benefits in the olives themselves. Once the fiber of the olive is separated from the oil, the antioxidants, plant sterols, minerals, and vitamins are also lost. Studies have, however, proven that olive oil on the skin is very beneficial, but then again all fats are. Fats protect the skin from sun damage and aid in the synthesis of Vitamin D-3 from the Sun. Most of us like to believe that more is better, so we use olive oil in excess because it's proven to be "good for us". I don't know how researchers saw that these men exercised, lived in the country, and ate a primarily vegan diet, yet told the public that olive oil was the reason they were healthy and can be the new miracle bullet for the ever-growing plague of American heart disease.
Dr. Robert Vogel has long proved that olive oil does not equal better health. It was actually found to impede blood circulation and cause damage to the endothelial lining of the arteries. While studying the level of circulation, he was able to see how it was affected after the patient ate different types of food. When olive oil was eaten with a cooked meal (in pasta or as a dip for bread) Vogel found that the blood flow would decrease by 31% and wouldn't return back to normal for up to six hours. However, if olive oil was poured over a salad (the key here is raw vegetables) the blood flow still decreased but not as dramatically and it returned to normal much faster. These results are huge! This proves that the vasodilators and antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables were strong enough to help protect the arteries from the otherwise damaging effects of olive oil. This suggests that the fat literally goes into the arteries and slows down our blood flow. You can read more about his findings here. You can also read some information on the nutritional profile that is lost during the processing of oil here.
I believe that any processed food, when eaten regularly, will eventually build up and cause problems in the body. Processed foods can be better thought of as "potent foods". During processing, one part of the food is concentrated while the rest is discarded. The problem is that all parts of the food make up its digestive, nutritional, and therapeutic abilities. You cannot isolate one part and expect it to work in the body without the other parts.
Olives, for example, contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. This keeps the fats protected and delivers them to the body in small, healthy proportions. It takes, roughly, forty olives to make one tablespoon of olive oil - talk about a potent food! Most of us would never eat three jars of olives but it's quite easy to eat several tablespoons of olive oil with bread, which comes before the salad with dressing made of olive oil and the entree sauteed, or baked, in olive oil. We are drowning in olive oil! More importantly, the isolated oil doesn't have the antioxidants and fiber to protect it from becoming rancid. This means that most of us ingesting plant oils, raw on salads or heated in cooking, are most likely ingesting rancid fats. In other words, we are drinking a concentrated source of liquid, free radical-laden fat.
The only exception is pure, fresh, cold-pressed flax oil. Flax oil is the only oil that dilates the vessels, helps to reverse heart conditions, and inhibits tumor growth. I recommend Barlean's flax oils because each order is pressed when the store makes it. Other brands are likely sitting around for several months, becoming rancid. Barlean's also sends their product cold and most health food stores know to put it in the refrigerator upon arrival. Their bottle is also important as it is black and has an oxygen-proof cap. This ensures that light will not penetrate the bottle and leach its nutrients, while the cap keeps it from oxidizing and turning rancid. If you don't care for oil (I know I don't) you can use ground flax seeds daily in water, oatmeal, in breads, or sprinkled over salad and meals. Use 2-4 tablespoons each day. The ALA in flax allows vegetarians to turn it into the sought-after DHA and EPA found in most fish products.
My diet isn't always perfect, but I have stayed away from oil since March of this year and I can tell you that whenever I do eat it I have a hard time enjoying it. I never noticed how rancid it was before, or how much it coated my mouth and throat. Fat is very hard to digest, making olive oil a bad combination for salads and other types of food. A lot of raw vegan dishes are full of nuts, salt, and olive oil. I believe this is why many people trying a raw diet have digestive upset with excess bloating and gas. Removing oil from your diet can leave you feeling lighter, may help you lose weight, may assist in clearing up skin conditions, and it may allow you to fill up on whole food calories rather than isolated oil calories.
One tablespoon of olive oil gives us 120 concentrated empty fat calories, a negligible amount of vitamins and minerals, little to no antioxidants, no carbohydrates, no proteins, and no fiber. Whereas 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa gives us 150 calories and is saturated in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates (great for balancing blood sugar), easily digestible "complete" protein, and fiber. When we eat whole foods we take in greater amounts, become fuller on less calories, and gain the nourishment that we need.
It is no wonder why nutritionists have coined the term "overconsumptive malnutrition". We are eating hundreds, even thousands of excess calories and getting absolutely no nutrition. The brain is begging for nourishment and we're signaled to keep eating and eating. The only sure way to live a healthy life, while maintaing a healthy weight, is to eat a diet that is plant-based and made up of whole foods. That would include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Do I think olive oil is healthy? Absolutely not.
What do you think?
Nothing causes more anger, confusion, or overall controversy like B-17. This lost nutrient is said to be the most effective compound to treat and prevent cancer, yet so many of us know very little about it. Though there are dozens of scientific studies backing its success with cancer, not to mention thousands of personal success stories (my own included), many of us still live in fear of this once banned compound. To better understand B-17, let us first look at where we can find it - starting with nature.
Millet, brown rice, buckwheat, cashews, unpasteurized bitter almonds, apricot kernels, alfalfa sprouts, blackberries, and apple seeds are just a few food sources that contain B-17. Isolated B-17 is sold in capsules as Amygdalin and is usually found in 100mg and 500mg dosages. Laetrile is the name given to the liquid extract of B-17. This form is highly concentrated, taken intraevenously, and should be administered by a holistic practitioner.
In the 1970s, a man named G. Edward Griffin wrote a book called "A World Without Cancer". This book explained the scientific studies on B-17, its effectiveness, and documented success stories of those who used it to treat their cancer. Shortly after the book was published, our goverment banned B-17 and forced retailers to pull it off their shelves. Laetrile still remains banned by the FDA as a form of medicine, but this does not make it illegal. It simply means that any medical doctor or hospital that uses Laetrile to treat a patient will lose their funding. Why was it banned? Because it contains a very scary, misunderstood substance called: cyanide.
The cyanide in apricot kernels, millet, and B-17 supplements is not the same as the lethal hydrogen cyanide that we have all come to fear. This cyanide is not readily availble, but locked. It can only be unlocked by one enzyme in the body called betaglucosidase. Guess what type of cells contain betaglucosidase? Cancer cells! It is from this research that scientists, and non-scientists, can come to the conclusion that this may be the most effective way to treat and prevent cancer cells from proliferating in the body. This is also believed to be why wild animals have no signs of cancer. They eat wild seeds, greens, and grains that are abundant with B-17. If B-17 is continually coursing throughout the blood, early cancer cells may not even have a chance to form.
Some of my clients have reported feeling ill after taking B-17. Symptoms like headaches, anxiety, slight nausea, and dizziness - to name a few. These are simply symptoms of detoxification. Healthy cells contain an enzyme called rhodinase which detoxifies the inactive cyanide from the body. It is due to this detoxification process that some people experience ill symptoms when they first take B-17 supplements - not because of the "toxic" B-17.
For those not quite convinced that Amygdalin (B-17) can be effective for cancer treatment, feel free to look at these two studies that were recently published on Pub Med. The first study showed that Amygdalin inhibited angiogenesis in rats. Angiogenesis is the generation of blood vessels that supply a tumor with nutrients. Inhibiting this process can be one way that B-17 is effective in starving tumors. Thesecond study found that Amygdalin induced apoptosis (cell death) in human cervical cancer cells.
In addition to these studies, my cousin ate apricot kernels (10 per day) when she was diagnosed with early stages of cervical cancer. One month later, during her check up, she was told that the cancer was gone. In addition to the apricot kernels, she switched her dairy products from hormone and antiobiotic-laden to organic, hormone-free dairy, and added cruciferous vegetables to her diet. My uncle is perhaps my favorite apricot kernel story. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung and esophaegeal cancer. He did intensive chemotherapy for three months which caused him to lose his hair, immune system, and will to live. He was sent home with several months to live. He began taking 500mg of B-17 five times a day, juicing in the morning, and eating big salads with lunch and dinner. Within 28 days of starting the B-17 his cancer was completely gone. The doctors thought it was a miracle and ignored the addition of B-17 and dietary changes. The most interesting, and ridiculous, part of this story is that he chain smoked his way into remission.
I am not writing this article to give false hope to anyone battling with cancer, but I am writing it to give hope to those who have exhausted conventional treatment and think there are no other options, or for those who do not understand how B-17 works. It is, without a doubt, a very strong compound that should be taken under the guidance of a holistic practitioner, or a medical doctor who has experience with it. There is endless information on B-17 here, and if you cannot find a retailer selling B-17 or apricot kernels, you can visit Apricot Power and order the products right from them.
I said I would send out my thoughts about Donald Trump and, in doing so, I hope it brings some ease and clarity to everyone's beautiful minds. I don't often comment on political or social issues. I like to remain unbiased for my clients and I don't like to get wrapped up in the media-induced hypes. However, I find this current shift in our political system an amazing healing opportunity, perhaps even a healing crisis, and I feel, both, compelled and enthusiastic to speak out about it.
Trump's election has triggered people in a way I've never seen before. He has created intellectual and emotional conflict in our country and he hasn't even taken office yet. This is powerful stuff. But why?
The work I do everyday is about going into the shadows, the unknown. That's where vulnerability lies and that's where we find the parts of ourselves that we do not like. The crisis is when we discover that what we thought is true about ourselves is simply a story we tell, our egos are shattered, and we lose control. The healing is when we welcome that loss of control and integrate our old, familiar selves with the new story.
This is what is happening in America right now. We are being confronted with a story that we thought was dead. We thought we were beyond this and that it couldn't possibly happen again. We feel like we're going backwards. I don't really believe we are or we will go backwards, but I believe these ideas that are being provoked by Donald Trump are necessary to create a healing crisis to heal our country, communities, and our selves.
The under belly, the shadow, the darkness - whatever you wish to call it is coming out through a man who is so easy to project hate onto. It's arguable that his supporters are even more controversial and corrosive than the man himself and are just as easy to project hate onto and fear. If this corrosive truth in our country does not rise to the surface it simply cannot be healed.
I have always believed that what angers us is us. For example, I felt like someone had died when I awoke to the news that Trump was elected. I was not a fan of Hillary Clinton at all either, but I believed (as so many of us did) that if our country was able to elect a woman then we could take another step forward toward equality and acceptance. I was stewing in anger for a few days at Donald Trump, his supporters, the midwest - and slowly getting caught in the media's intent to feed on and arouse that sad, hopeless, hatred. Something they're quite successful at doing.
I took a breath and went into myself and thought: "Where is the misogynist, racist in me?". And you know what? I found him. I found the little boy who was raised in the suburbs of central Pennsylvania where anything feminine was a disgrace and, at one point, grew to despise women for letting abusive men take over their lives. I found the young boy who watched the news every night over dinner with my family and became entranced by the rhythmic, flickering electric light as it projected one black man's mugshot after another onto my tender head and heart with the words "dangerous", "thug" & "murder". I found the young man once seduced by marketing who wore cheap polyester clothing, drank out of plastic bottles, ate fast food, and didn't think twice about whether or not my goods came from an Indonesian sweatshop or a local artisan because I wanted to save a few bucks.
If found that man in me, took a deep breath, gave him a hug, and I chose to love him. This was my moment of breakthrough, my healing crisis had come to a halt. I felt completely transformed by compassion and love in that moment and I realized "Love trumps hate - even for Trump".
Donald Trump is a flawed person who's appearance has been wildly ridiculed and, at the same time, who's television series was watched by over 30 million Americans. I am in no way standing by him or agreeing in his personal opinions or views. I am, however, saying that I will choose to use this opportunity to challenge my own capacity for love and compassion for him and his supporters. Activism is important. So is action. Every day action. Every day dollar. Buy American-made, buy organic, stay away from plastic packaging that destroys our environment, don't watch television or listen to the local news station that speaks over every woman DJ in the room and comments about her lipstick color vs. the color of the landscape of her mind.
I am using Donald Trump to challenge myself to be more of a feminist, more of an environmentalist, & more of the change I want to see in my government. I am using this moment to remember that I am the government. No one governs me, but myself and my connection to Spirit. We can change the world if we can change ourselves. If we get distracted from ourselves (and Trump is a great distraction) we may lose everything we have worked for.
I write this with love to you all and hope that, by sharing my experience, you're left with some hope and inspiration.
In response to this, I am putting together a monthly group that meets for healing. It will be held near Woodstock. We will express our vulnerabilities, fears, and struggles as well as our joys, hopes, and achievements. My dear friend Lynida will lead us in a group meditation and then we will close with some chanting, crystal healing, and other energetic modalities to move the energy that we dislodged. It will be like group ritual to build strong sense of self and community. It will begin in January. If you wish to be part of this, please reply and let me know of anything you'd like to contribute. Those interested will be added to a list and I'll send dates and location as we approach January.
Thank you all for reading and please share your comments, truths, experiences, and wisdoms as well.
So, so, so much love,