Sunday, April 17, 2022

Strenghtening Immunity – another approach

We live in a time when immunity is greatly challenged. It seems we are becoming more sensitive and immune compromised as a result of pollution, human made chemicals, drugs, toxic foods, electromagnetic radiation and stress. The over-use of antibiotics has created stress on the gut immune and various bacteria are now resistant.

As a result we are being asked to become more immune savvy. We need to learn how best to empower our immune system and to become wise in how we move through life. The more intelligent our immune is, the greater the chance to survive and thrive.

Sadly the modern medical system is designed to fix what is broken and not to cultivate health or offer ways to strengthen immunity.

Immune challenges are actually sending us a message that we need to grow stronger as a collective. This means that when we align with good intentions, when we share wisdom and help each other from love and consciousness, we become a powerful immune system.



The classic immune definition is that immunity is charged with protecting and defending against anything the body considers foreign, hostile, damaging or invasive.

Hostile, foreign or damaging could mean bacteria, viruses, pathogens, allergens, toxins, thoughts, feelings, beliefs and all kinds of experiences that arise from outside of us.

Let’s look at the goal of a strong immune system

Protect against all kinds of harm

Enable us to move through the world with confidence

Be in a position of strength

Give us the ability to fully self express

Help us to be wisely vigilant and relaxed at the same time

 


If the immune system is compromised

We become prey to many hostile pathogens

It is easier to get sick

We are weakened

We feel constantly on guard

We have less energy to do the things we love and reach our potential

We can become afraid to be in the world


With the constant barrage of confusing messages about health and nutrition, it is easy to grow apathetic, afraid, jaded and confused, all of which have a negative effect on the immune.

Immunity is approximately
50% Conscious
50% Unconscious

We can adopt an empowered approach to immunity which includes
• Accessing our courage, inspiration 
and positivity in the face of what seems like incredible odds
• Empowering ourselves with information
• Understanding that our world will never be perfect, nor will
our health
• Finding little things to enhance and support the immune

 


It is important to be aware of our toxic world but also just as important to learn to live in it, to celebrate it and live life with joy. Life is a paradox.

It is important to understand that immunity is built over time.



It is actually a self learning system which naturally fluctuates and can become compromised quickly. Our immune can show our weaknesses. It teaches us about our environment and asks us to listen, act, and fortify.

Our immunity keeps us safe, protects our health, creates boundaries and negotiates with our environment. It helps us to become effective humans in the world. In an ideal world, our immune grows smarter over time which means learning is an ongoing journey.

The gastro intestinal immune is a separate yet interconnected immune system in the gut. It accounts for 40-70% of total body immune tissues. It especially handles allergens and food-borne toxins. It becomes compromised by poor diet, stress, and antibiotics.

In many ways, our parents are our first “immune system. They protect us from the outside world along with our home environment. As children we may have needed more protection and this can impact our immunity on different levels. Our beliefs about the world and about life help to form our psychic and emotional immune system.



So, immunity is more than just strengthening one’s metabolism,
taking immune supplements, or doing various natural immune protocols even though these help a lot


Immunity is often associated with the idea of a biological war. It is considered the archetype of the warrior. Our immune fortifies, fights, attacks, defends and is a natural killer.

 

Many times sensitive people with low immunity feel vulnerable and need to fortify themselves against anything that could deplete or cause harm.
In many ways, the world is like a jungle and our immune system is here to protect us

Immunity is about examining our life and seeing where we need more
fortification, more courage, more self
protection, more “no”, less apologizing…


Personal Power = Metabolic Power


The immune says no to anything it deems as harmful

For many of us the challenge to say no in various parts of life is also connected to low immunity.

Can we say no to poor quality foods, unsupportive social situations or toxic environments?

Can we say no to our partner, parents, kids, coworkers, or bosses?


Some immune questions

Who or what do I need to say no to?

Where do I self attack?

Do I have the courage to be with the fact that not all people will like me or approve of me?

Do I believe in my own life, being willing to fight for my health, my dignity, my heart and my soul?

Do I protect myself?

Am I willing to stand for myself, for others or for a cause?





Low Immunity often goes together with

Depression

Fatigue 

Stress – everyday challenges, toxic thoughts and beliefs, locked in emotions, speed, fear


There are many many factors that can compromise immunity.


Some examples are

Surgery, hospitalization, antibiotics

Drug use - prescription, recreational, alcohol

Removal of tonsils, thymus, gut tissue, spleen

Over exercise

Lack of sun

Lack of nature

 


Environmental factors that affect immunity

Animals, household chemicals, body care products, air quality,

EMFs, workplace toxins, mold

Foreign travel

Weather, seasons

“Cleanliness”

Vaccinations

Heavy metal exposure


Dietary Factors that affect immunity

Overall poor quality diet

Food allergies

Excess sugar

Excess caffeine

Poor quality animal and dairy foods

GMO foods

Poor quality water

Chronic dieting 

Long term restrictive diets

Damaging cleanse or fasting program

Low probiotic diet

Stress state eating

Not eating with the seasons

Poor eating rhythm

Chronic over eating



Pyschological Factors that compromise immunity

Self attack and judgement

Toxic nutritional beliefs

Relationship challenges

Any way we make ourselves “small” or “less than”

Money concerns

Unexamined anger, rage, resentment, judgment

The feeling of “not belonging”

Belief that “I am unlovable as I am”

 


Some simple things we can do to support our immune

Enjoy a plant based diet – seasonal, local, home grown, organic foods - include fermented and fresh herbs

Spend time in nature everyday

Spend time in the sun

Slow down – slow eating, slow breathing, slow driving, slow walking, slow parenting..

Experiment with different cold water therapies

Use air purifiers and water filters - have plants in the home

Use essential oils – lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree

Use supplements wisely

Exercise moderately

Get enough sleep even a nap

Have fun and marvel at our beautiful world

Be kind to the self and to others

Work together to create a loving, conscious world

 





Thank you to Marc David and The Institute for the Psychology of Eating from where this information is based

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Healthy Menopause Solutions

 



 

Menopause is a unique and sometimes challenging time in a womans life. It is important to remember that menopause is normal and not an illness. Many woman do experience strong and intense the symptoms but it doesnt have to be that way. Following simple dietary steps and making lifestyle changes can have incredible results, and women can experience enhanced health and wellbeing on all levels.

 

The most delicious and effective medicine for menopause can be found in the food we eat and the simple things we do in daily life.

 

It is vital to enjoy a diet that includes fiber, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and protein.  A plant based menu consisting of whole grains, beans, sea vegetables, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds provides all the necessary nutrients for this important period in a women’s life.

 

Hormonal shifts can change the way our body looks and how we feel. We may need to increase certain foods and say goodbye to others

 



Whole grains


Whole grains are high in fiber and low in glycemic carbs which contributes to consistent energy levels and stable emotions. Everyday have at least one portion of quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, millet, oats or barley. For weight control, it is best to have whole grains for breakfast and or lunch rather than dinner. Avoid refined carbs such as white rice, breads and pasta as they are high in sugar and release glucose quickly affecting weight, energy levels, and mood.

 

Go Vegetables


Vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber and can be eaten at every meal - around 50% of the total daily diet. Include a wide variety of roots, round, leafy and vining vegetables, Seasonal, organic and local produce will provide a richer source of nutrients and energy. Enjoy vegetables both raw and cooked. Vary the cooking styles to receive more diverse nutrition and flavors.

Juicing vegetables is a quick way to increase your intake but should not become the only option. Juices are wonderful for hydration and can supply the body with plenty of nutrients but you also miss out on the fiber which is vital for health.

 


Natural Soy


Traditional soy products are rich in fiber, vitamins, protein, calcium, and minerals. They are high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. Soy foods are often recommended for menopause as an alternative to estrogen therapy because of their isoflavone (phytoestrogen) content.   Natural soy includes, miso, shoyu, tofu, tempeh, black soybeans, edemame, and natto. Traditionally tofu was always served with a miso/soy sauce or in miso soup to make it more digestible. Miso can be added to any soup instead of salt. The diluted miso paste is added when the soup is cooked and removed from the heat so as to preserve the living enzymes. Miso is high in protein, amino acids, bacteria, vitamins and minerals.

 

Good Fats


Make sure to include good quality fats that are minimally processed, plant based and rich in antioxidants, omega 3 and vitamin E. Include avocado, tahini, flax, chia, sesame seeds, olive oil, almonds and walnuts as part of your regular diet. A high fat diet from transfats and animal foods can make menopause symptoms worse.

 

Food for the bones


Hormonal changes during menopause can affect the natural bone building process. This can be due to the decline in estrogen which affects our ability to preserve calcium. Cutting down on salt has been shown to improve skeletal health * A plant based diet is very low in sodium unless salt is added.

The best sources of calcium are leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, beans and sesame seeds. Quality is more important than quantity. A varied diet including these foods will give you all the calcium you need. Sauerkraut and Mu herbal tea are also good for the bones and can be included on a daily basis. Make sure to stop smoking, cut back on coffee and tea, and avoid refined sugar and sodas. These will accelerate bone loss.






Hot Flushes


Foods that cleanse the liver can help with hot flushes.  One of the best results comes from having a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before meals. Add granny smith apples, sauerkraut, and lightly steamed greens with lemon into your meals on a regular basis. You can also emphasize soy, flaxseeds, extra fruits and veggies, and whole grains especially oats and barley.

Foods that tend to trigger a hot flush are coffee, hot spices, excessive dairy and meat, sugar and alcohol.

 Exercise is also very important and a brisk walk daily is extremely beneficial. A body rub used a hot, damp face cloth is also excellent for preventing hot flushes and cleansing the lymph.

 

Get out in the Sun


Vitamin D is necessary to effectively absorb calcium from the foods we eat, and the best source comes from the sun. A daily walk in the sunshine is essential for general well and you get the combined effect of Vitamin D. In places where there is little sunlight or for those who get infrequent exposure to the sun then a supplement might be necessary. Natural sources of vitamin D come from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. There may be traces in shiitake mushrooms and fortified oatmeal, orange juice, or almond milk.

 

 


 

Herbal remedies that act like our own hormones


Plants and herbal remedies have been known to prevent/reduce menopausal symptoms. Incredibly, many plants and herbs can adapt to the needs of our body. Herbs that help include black cohosh, passionflower, chasteberry, wild yam, maca, and ashwagandha. We are all unique and so some herbs work better for one woman than for another.  Ashwagandha is especially good for decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reducing depression, and improving sleep.

Mood Swings

Often women can feel more stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and depressed   during menopause. Foods that can help are mild and sweet tasting such as pureed pumpkin soup, carrot juice, stir fried vegetables, berries, steamed sweet potato, lightly pressed salads, and whole grains. A small amount of sea vegetables daily can be good for the memory. Toasted nori is full of protein and calcium, and is an easy snack. Omega 3 is helpful for mood swings so increase nuts, seeds and fatty fish. Fresh figs have been known to help mood swings as they are full of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They are high in sugar so limit to one a day.



Drink water and herbal teas

Our bodies are 75% water and not drinking enough can increase menopause symptoms. Water and herbal teas are especially good for joints, skin, mood, memory, bladder, bloating, constipation, memory and hot flushes. Green tea is wonderful for weight control and helps with bloating. Ginger tea is great for digestion and bloating and has an anti-inflammatory affect. A tea made from dried daikon simmered in water can help to calm a racing mind and cleanse the system. A simple broth from onions, carrots, pumpkin, and cabbage can be soothing for the nerves and balance emotions.



Foods to limit or avoid - Animal food, dairy, eggs, refined sugar, trans fats in cakes and cookies, stimulants, coffee, alcohol, strong spices, potatoes, refined carbs and excessive salt. These foods can increase menopause symptoms.

Exercise and enjoy it!


Many women gain weight during menopause especially around the stomach and abdomen. Fluctuating estrogen levels can make your body to hold on to fat and it can be very frustrating as the weight doesn’t budge. Exercise is important to keep the metabolism active and for healthy, strong bones. Make sure to find an exercise that you love otherwise you won’t stick to it. Any activity done outside in nature is excellent. Exercise has a major impact on our overall health, weight, mood, and stress levels. It is important to keep active throughout the day. One successful way to improve our metabolic rate is high intensity training or burst fitness. Basically it is a few minutes of intense exercise followed by a few minutes of rest and repeated building up in length of time. Something that can be done by ladies of all ages and physical shape.




Manage Your Stress


The most effective way to reduce stress is by simple meditation and deep breathing. If you have trouble slowing the mind enough to meditate, you can go for a silent walk in nature and experience being in the moment. This will have a similar affect.

Keep a journal and write down any worries/concerns right before you go to bed. This helps to empty the mind and improve sleep. Jot down three simple blessings from your day to keep the mind positive. For example, a swim in the sea, laughing with a friend in a cafe or watching the sunrise. Add to the list each day.

Take time to get a massage, chiropractic treatment, or energy work as they are wonderful for soothing or energizing the mind, body, and spirit.

Other simple remedies for menopause symptoms

Take a 5-10 minute foot bath with hot wáter and sea salt in the evening. Good for deep, restful sleep, calms the mind.

Enjoy a bath with epsom salts and lavender essential oil to cleanse your energy field, relax the mind and soothe aching muscles

A daily hot towel body rub is wonderful for stimulating the organs, activating the metabolism and improving hormone balance.

Menopause is a wonderful rite of passage. A time to move into a new phase in life. One that is empowering, freeing and an owning of oneself. This is a time to nourish and honor the body and to love you. Much love and blessings xx