Use a Shower Filter
The government has already warned that pregnant women should not take hot, steamy showers, and neither should you without a shower filter. Chlorine combines with the microscopic bits of organic matter in tap water to form a cancer causing gas, chloroform. The unborn child is at great risk from this carcinogenic gas which is readily released from 15 gallons of hot shower water (very little goes down the drain.) Adults in a steamy bathroom are also at risk. An easy-to- install shower filter eliminates this risk.
Alternatively or in the meantime, shower with the bathroom window and/or door open to lessen your exposure.
Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C prevents cancer, aging and wrinkles. It lessens the duration and severity of colds when taken in very large doses. The government has advised us to eat five servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day to get 100 milligrams of vitamin C to prevent cancer. If you don't get five servings per day, take supplemental vitamin C. In fact, since100 mg is a bare minimum, even if you do get five servings per day take supplemental vitamin C; 1000-3000 mg is a more useful recommendation. It is an inexpensive antioxidant.
Bring Your Own Bag
Reduce waste and pollution without any personal inconvenience when you bring your own bag to carry home the groceries and other purchases. Plastic bags are a big problem environmentally and paper bags come from dead trees. Do you really need another bag to carry home the bag of rice or box of crackers? Irish stores by law started charging 10 cents per plastic bag and within one year plastic bag usage went down 98%.
Avoid Hydrogenated Oils/(commercial) Peanut Butter
These artificial oils are at the root of many diseases. Hydrogenated oils have been altered to be solid at room temperature. As oils they are stored in various tissues, however, since they are artificial they cannot be metabolized by the body. Eventually, the body may mount an immune response against these foreign oils damaging the tissue in which they are stored. This can lead to diseases such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia among others. Buy old-fashioned peanut butter. Stir it and store it in the refrigerator where it will not separate. Use butter instead of margarine. Butter's better for your heart anyway. Your favorite foods are all available without hydrogenated oils. Read labels.
Take the Stairs
Exercising as little as 6 minutes, twice a day, every other day strengthens the heart and helps you lose weight. The exercise must be aerobic, that is, to the point where you're slightly out of breath. You may want some warm up or cool down time, including stretching, but 12 minutes, all at once or in halves, every other day is all you need. Vigorously vacuuming the house (move that couch) or taking the stairs, instead of the elevator will get you to the right level. It's easier than you think.
Change Your Shampoo
Sodium laurel sulfate that your shampoo label innocuously asserts is derived from coconut oil actually causes cancer. It is absorbed through the skin and although it may not be a potent carcinogen it is one that is easy to avoid. Look for shampoo that advertises "No Laurel Sulfates." Or better yet, just use dilute castille soap as shampoo. Check your toothpaste while you're at it.
Don't Race to Red Lights
If you have to drive a gas guzzling SUV and if we have to environmentally poison African natives to get the oil to fuel it, then the least you could do is not waste the gasoline. I know you've been sitting at the desk all day and want to move, but find some other way of expressing your dominance.
Wash Dishes Environmentally
Automatic dishwashers do use less hot water than hand washing the dishes IF you let the hot water run down the drain while you scrub. Instead fill up a pot with hot soapy water and wash the dishes from it. Then turn on the faucet to rinse.
Take Chelated Minerals
Most commercial supplements are not absorbable. The minerals may be in the bottle or the "fortified" food, but your body can't use them in the metallic form in which they are found. Those minerals are rock dust. Your intestines treat them as soil, as dirt, pooping 95% of them out. Whatever the claims for mineral content on the bottle of your children's cartoon mineral supplement or on the side of the box of cereal, only 5% gets in.
Farmers realized this when they started giving minerals to their animals 50 years ago. Scientists invented the process of chelation to address this problem. The chelation process binds minerals to amino acids, tiny bits of protein which your body does recognize as food. When your intestines absorb the amino acids the minerals are pulled in along with them. It is a crime against humanity that parents who know that their children should be eating better, are tricked into giving their children worthless supplements.
Ladies, those antacids have calcium in them, but your body can't utilize it.
Soil Depletion/ Super-foods/ Juice
Minerals have flavor. Lick a penny; copper has a flavor; nickel has a flavor, iron has a flavor, molybdenum, chromium, boron, selenium, vanadium and all minerals have flavors. Minerals form salts, like sodium and chloride in table salt. When you eat a tomato out of your backyard garden all the minerals play across your tongue.
Soils are depleted. Government studies documented this depletion fifty years ago. You can taste the lack of minerals in the blandness of food today. Food used to have more flavor. Agribusiness can grow, big heavy vegetables with fertilizers containing only nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and those are the only minerals that those crops contain. We are all starving.
We chew a carrot until it is pulpy enough to swallow. A good juicer chews the carrot 14 times better than you do, so a glass of carrot juice made from 10 carrots gives you the goodness of (10X14) 140 carrots, truly a concentrated, mineral rich super-food, especially if you use organic carrots. Carotene content of cells is closely associated with health and longevity. Juicing cures cancer; why wait until you're sick.
Only use toxic chemicals in a well-ventilated area. Outside is best. Inside use a fan in an open window to pull the fumes away from you. Avoid unnecessary exposure. Air out the dry cleaning before bringing it into the house. Let those chemicals outgas.
Freshen Air Naturally/ Beware of Scented Candles
Synthetic air fresheners are the biggest source of indoor air pollution, and indoor air pollution is often worse than outdoor. Think about all those artificial chemicals that you spray around the house to mask odors. The phylates in (virtually) all major air fresheners have been proven to cause cancer. Use a natural room deodorizer made of citrus. These natural, citrus products smell great and, instead of masking odors, actually clean the air.
Artificial chemicals are often toxic (fabric softeners, scented candles.) Most scents are phytates, derived from petrochemicals. Phytates are recognized by the federal government as being toxic. Its ironic that what we are using to make our houses smell pretty is poisoning us.
Delay Childhood Vaccines
During the first year of life the baby's immune system is transitioning from the maternally dependent-in utero state to one of its own. Vaccinations should be avoided when the immune system is very active (for example, during colds and fevers) including the first year of life (or at very least the early part thereof.) The only reason vaccines are started at 3 months is for parent compliance. If you drop the baby on rusty nails in a barnyard by all means give the poor thing a tetanus shot, but there is no need to risk its health now because your pediatrician is afraid you'll forget later. The serious risks of vaccination, including blindness, mental retardation and death, are all greatly reduced by delaying childhood vaccines. Remember, you couldn't get diptheria if you wanted it; tetanus is preventable after getting the wound; and when it comes to mumps, measles and rubella, I'd rather have the disease than the vaccine. (The measle vaccine has to be repeated at college entry because it doesn't confer immunity.)
Avoid Non-Organic Beef
Drugs labeled "Not for cattle destined for human consumption!" are illegally and routinely used to keep cattle alive until slaughter and no one is checking. (The cow is worth more as human food than it is as dog food.) Legally used estrogen-based growth hormones cause cancer and are the major reason why certain foreign countries refuse to import US beef. The cow eats 30 pounds of silage a day and concentrates the pesticide residues of those 30 pounds into its flesh. One serving of beef contains more pesticide residue than a whole year's worth of non-organic vegetables. Buy organic (chicken and eggs, too.)
Eat More Slowly
Eating slowly is the best way to lose weight. You have a chance to feel satisfied from a full stomach before you overeat. It only tastes good while it's in your mouth. Getting more enjoyment from the food, you don't have to eat as much. Eating slowly helps lose weight. Eating with more awareness, eating differently, breaks the hypnotic trance that many fall into while they eat: Drop the fork!
Get a (Good) Kitchen Water Filter
Tap water contains harmful chemicals. Bottled water is expensive and questionably better, especially when bottled in plastic. Water filtered at home is cheap, convenient and pure. Carbon block filtration is the best buy for your money. The denser the carbon block, the better. Neo-Life and Multipure are among the best.
Coffee causes cancer (due to roasted hydrocarbons,) osteoporosis (due to acidity) and adrenal exhaustion (where do you think the energy comes from?) Wholesome stimulation is available from natural products, for example, green tea. Green tea prevents cancer, which is why the Japanese get less cancer than we do. Coffee is a drug; Just say no.
Buy Organic Produce
Pesticides cost you more in the long run. Wash non-organic fruits and vegetables in dilute castile soap or vinegar to remove the non-water soluble pesticides
Speeding in your car or through your life rarely saves more than a minute or two and usually ruins the ride. It's hard on the machine and you. Give yourself time.
Stay Away from Doctors
Doctors are like lawyers. Sometimes you need them, but it's best if you can fix your problems without them. It's best to let nature run its course without outside interference. If you need help use natural medicines which stimulate and strengthen the body's own healing powers.
Dilute Sweet Drinks
Sodas and fruit juices are too sweet. Add water, or if you prefer carbonated water, to these sweet drinks to make them healthier. Your body is not designed to deal well with large quantities of concentrated sugars. Start by adding one-fifth part water and gradually increase the water ratio to one half or greater. No artificially flavored soda tastes as good as natural fruit juice, and when you add carbonated water to the juice you get the satisfying fizz of soda.
The Chinese say that food eaten in a negative state of mind turns to poison. From a western point of view we know that digestion requires that the parasympathetic nervous system be dominant. This allows blood to bathe the digestive organs and for the normal churning and propulsive motions of those organs. The "fight or flight" or sympathetic mode is the opposite of the parasympathetic state. In the sympathetic mode, the body's emergency mode, blood is drawn away from the digestive system and into the skeletal muscles in the body's preparation to defend itself from outside threat. In this fight or flight mode digestion stops and food stagnates. The business "power lunch," with its aggressive confrontations, stimulates the sympathetic response, interrupting digestion, leading to disease. Diseases encouraged in this way include diseases of the digestive system, indigestion, gastritis, ulcers, Chrone's Disease, irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea, and even colon cancer. Many other non-digestive diseases are associated with a poor frame of mind while eating. Such a state of mind inhibits the body's overall ability to nourish itself.
Stretching exercises the heart, increasing circulation in the areas stretched. Poor circulation is at the root of many diseases. A stretching program can actually provide an aerobic workout for the heart.
The Japanese get less cancer than Americans because of the green in the tea they drink. The French get less hardening of the arteries because of the red in their wine. Highly colored food, like the orange of melon or sweet potato, the purple of berries or eggplant and the red of pepper or tomato are food constituents (carotenes, anthrocyanins, etc.) which protect cells from oxidative damage.
When free-radicals rip off electrons from cellular DNA the cell becomes damaged. Often, however, the cell continues to multiply and there arises a whole colony of damaged cells. These damaged cells in the lining of blood vessels provide a site for cholesterol to stick; in muscles they contribute to weakness associated with aging; in the skin they cause wrinkles, etc. Sometimes these damaged cells lose contact inhibition, growing beyond the space allowed; this we call cancer.
In the cell the colors of food, minerals, vitamins and other nutritional factors act as anti-oxidants preventing free-radical/oxidative damage to the cell, thus preventing aging and disease.
Learn From Your Mistakes
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. The problem is making the same mistake over and over. Imagine trying to film a movie without any mis-takes. How inefficient!
Learn from the little mistakes and so prevent the big ones.
My father, as a skinny, young immigrant's son went in to get his first loan. The staid, yankee banker informed him proudly that he had never given a bad loan for the bank. Boldly my father told him that he was doing something wrong; there was too much money sitting unproductive in the vault. (He got the loan.)
The successful businessperson, it is said, makes the right decision 51% of the time. Wouldn't he or she be more productive, I wondered, if he or she made the right decision 52% of the time? or how about 62%? or 92%? No, I realized, since if he or she waited for that higher degree of certainty, someone else would have taken the deal for him or herself. In business, it's better to have 51% of a million dollars than 90% of a hundred thousand.
Homeopathy is a 200 years old system of medicine that uses natural substances to rebalance the deepest levels of the body and so uproot the cause of disease.
It is thought by some that it is the breath, not the heart, that pumps the blood. The negative pressure of the chest expanding, it is said, pulls blood forward into the lungs.
Deep breathing oxygenates our tissues, improving overall metabolism, positively effecting our ability to think and to fight off germs among other benefits.
Our pattern of breath reflects our mood: When we are frightened or angry or happily excited our breath becomes rapid and strong. Conversely, regulating our breath can calm our mood.
Taking a deep breath is an excellent way of defusing potentially explosive emotions. "Take a deep breath" is often excellent advice.
Short, shallow breathing yields a shallow experience of the world. Deepening our breath deepens our experience.
Typically, smokers use more of their lungs than do non-smokers. The urge to smoke can often be reduced by exercising the lungs with a series of deep breaths.
The breath is our most constant experience. Its tidal movement is with us always. Many meditation practices focus on the breath, following the breath in and out, synchronizing body and mind.
Tell Someone You Love Them
Express your feelings. You are not alone. Part of a whole. Community equals continuity. Family, clan, tribe, nation, people. Not an individual sack of skin.
What is the context of our being?
Do we identify our self as part of a larger whole? a family? a community? a tribe? a nation? a species?
Seeing one's self as a single organism, isolated from others within a boundary of skin, is an impoverished and anxious vision.
Disease fits poorly the context of an isolated individual.
Imagining one's self as part of a community of life allows one to draw strength, support and meaning from that community.
Negativity is an experience held in common.,P>
Seeing one's self as a node in an eternal web of being relieves much of the existential dread of individuality.
Disease often does not make sense in the individual context.
Count Your Blessings
For most of us the question is not, "Is the glass half full or half empty," but "Is the glass nine tenths full or one tenth empty?" One day I added up a handful of checks to make a deposit totaling $2222.20. Happy with such numerical coincidences I turned to my friend and told her about the coincidence. She sourly responded, "It should have been $2222.22." I in turn complained, "That's your problem, you're always worried about the two cents." We most often operate from a deficiency consciousness; the one that got away. One bad day can wipe away the effects of thirteen good ones.
Most of you reading this are part of the world's privileged class.
Write a Poem
Sometimes old concepts need to be broken to allow for new realizations. Falling apart precedes reintegration, allowing for radical realignment. Destruction and construction are two parts of the same process, two sides of the same coin, mutually dependent.
Disease, whether psychological lack of ease or physical illness, is the destruction which is as integral to creativity as construction. Do the failure, constraint and frustration creatively on a page instead of acting them out or manifesting them in your body. Disease is the necessary counterpoint to health and growth. Decay feeds growth which feeds decay.
Disease removes us from a state of ease, from our familiar accustomed state, disrupting our usual way of being, challenging our attitudes. Disease demands that we integrate new contents, forcing us into new relationships with experience. Find a new relationship to your problems.
Art saves lives. Art has always been a way of addressing life's irreconcilable circumstances. Many problems that cannot be figured out or set right can be accommodated and rendered less problematic through art.
The point is to stay close to the images. If you say, "I love you," that's nice, but if you say, "I love you like a lilac smells," then you get the girl or boy. If you say, "I feel alone," I know what you mean, but I don't see anything. If you say, "I feel like an empty boat adrift on a lake, at night, under a cold blue moon," then I get the picture. Find the images that speak to your experience. Heap images on the problematic emotion or situation and suddenly, or gradually, you gain new and helpful insight. Poetry can be a non-invasive, non-judgmental interaction with the unaccustomed. Choose rich phraseology over the poverty of unarticulated experience. For a lot more on this please see The Poetry of Disease.
Tofu is like eggs or ricotta cheese in that it has very little, if any flavor of its own. If you mix ricotta with sugar, you get a canoli; if you mix it with tomato sauce, you've got lasagna. I have a patient who makes lasagna every Christmas for her extended family. She substitutes mashed tofu for one half of the cheese. She never told anyone about her modified recipe and everyone, none the wiser, thoroughly enjoys her recipe to this day. Tofu is also easily substituted for a portion of the cheese in making cheesecake. Just how much is a matter of taste. One hundred percent substitution is possible for a vegan tofu "cheesecake," which is one hundred percent delicious, differing from the authentic item mainly in the way it crumbles. Stirring your favorite salad dressing into mashed tofu, especially if you add some carrots and celery or pickles and olives, makes a great spread, something like a tangy egg salad.
It is the texture of tofu that most people find objectionable. This objection is most easily overcome by mashing the tofu (with a fork or a food processor) as in the serving suggestions above. Mashed tofu added to spaghetti sauce will be consumed without comment, everyone mistaking it for cheese.
Some people object mostly to the tastelessness of tofu, not its texture. This objection can easily be overcome by marinating the tofu. Tofu comes in different consistencies, firm, soft and silken. (Silken tofu is best for making desserts, cheesecakes, puddings, etc. and dips) Soft tofu, being more porous will accept a marinade better than its denser cousin, firm tofu. Anything liquid will do as a marinade. Your grocery store has many such sauces in its Asian section. You can let the sliced or cubed tofu soak in the marinade prior to cooking to highly season it or let the process take place in the frying pan.
Another quick and satisfying method of preparing tofu is baking. Place sliced tofu in a lightly oiled baking dish and pour on your favorite sauce. (Barbeque sauce works great.) This method of preparation also remedies the texture objection because the longer you bake the tofu the drier and chewier it gets.
Tofu has already been cooked thoroughly before it is packaged. (It takes a lot of cooking to change soybeans into those white blocks.) It can be safely consumed right from the package after rinsing (as in the tofu "egg" salad recipe above.) Unused portions of tofu are best kept under water in your refrigerator, changing the water every day or two. If you forget about it, you can scrape or cut the slimy edges off just like you cut mold from a block of cheese.
Come on guys, tofu has zero cholesterol, good protein and way lower pesticide residues (especially if you buy it organic; see #18 Buy Organic Produce) than sources of animal protein (see #23 Avoid Non-Organic Beef.) And, remember, soy is good for you (see #34 Soy.)
Alkalinize Your Body
Our body chemistry is designed to work in a specific acid-alkaline balance (pH range.) Outside of this range disease and death occur. Hyper-alkalinity is rare, while hyper-acidity is common.
Our bodies have three mechanisms for reducing acidity:
1) Breathing, i.e., exhaling carbon dioxide; Hold your breath as long as you can. At some point around a minute your body demands that you breathe. This is not because you need oxygen. When you need oxygen you start feeling faint. No, this demand for breath is because you need to blow off the carbon dioxide that's been building up while you've been holding your breath. Your body needs to ventilate, to lower its state of acidity by exhaling carbon dioxide.
2) Urination; Acidic ions are peed out in the urine
3) Borrowing Calcium form the Bone; Gardeners know, if the soil is too acidic, put lime on it. Lime is calcium (from oyster shells.) Your body knows, if the blood is too acidic draw calcium out of the bones to neutralize it.
Chronic acidosis with its continuous demand for calcium from the bones causes osteoporosis.