Reflection: Modern-Day Food And Its Toll On Our Health

MODERN LIFE’S TOLL ON HEALTH

It’s no secret that as much as we have advanced technologically, we have regressed nutritionally.  We would have to be fools not to see how our health has declined since the advent of industrialised and chemically altered foods in the mid 20th century.   In the 1920’s obesity was unheard of, much less type 2 diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.  Today it’s all around us.  As much as we know about good nutrition and healthy eating, we are now more susceptible to lifestyle-related illnesses than ever before. Nowadays it’s quite accepted that we will either fall victim to, or know someone who will fall victim to, an illness that will require doctors, pharmaceutical drugs, perhaps even surgery.  Each one of us is on some sort of health insurance plan, so sure are we of the inevitability of all of this.

We are more loaded than ever with stress – more so that at any other time in our history.  Yet at the same time we are eating food containing fewer nutrients than at any other time in our history.   Over-farming has eroded the soil quality, genetically modified foods have no nutrient value, pesticides further degrade our fruit and vegetables, and denatured foods with added salt, sugar, and chemicals not only deprive us of nutrients, but they create food addictions and allergies which can kill us.

Looking at our massive, modern-day, warehouse-type supermarkets that sell everything from cars, to TVs, and food all under one roof… we have to wonder.  If this food is designed to fill huge shelves and last for months and still taste good when bought, just what is in it?  Our bodies were not designed to eat this “food”, which is not really food at all.    It’s a tragedy of our modern age that we have to work hard and seek out food that is natural and pure.  It should be the basic right of every person to have easy access to the best quality food, but this isn’t the case.  It’s cheaper and easier to buy processed, unhealthy fast food than it is to purchase a plate of fresh fruit.  To eat the good stuff, we need to spend more money, so sadly most people don’t even get the opportunity to nourish their bodies properly.

100 Years ago we shopped at local vegetable markets, bought meat directly from the farms, got fresh milk delivered by the milkman each day (which went sour after a few days).  Our bread was thick, heavy, and filled with delicious, healthy grains.

Today these basic foods look very different.  

Fruit and vegetables are shiny, plastic looking “too-perfect”, and often genetically modified.  They can be stored in warehouses for months before they are put out for sale.  Milk is skimmed of all its goodness, has loads of added sugar, and is made to last for weeks in the fridge.  Much of our bread is light, white, and yeasty, with no nutritional value whatsoever.

We don’t have to fall victim to the denaturalising of our foods, if we arm ourselves with knowledge.  Taking steps towards a healthier future begins with ourselves.  Knowing our bodies, connecting with our bodies, knowing our blood type and what diet is best for us.  Being aware of food labels, questioning where our food comes from, i.e. is our beef from grass-fed, humanely slaughtered cows?  Is our chicken from free-range, organic farms?  Are our vegetables grown organically, are the GMO foods labeled as such?  What exactly is in a McDonald’s hamburger?…A Starbucks Cappuccino?…A Subway sandwich?  The results might startle you, but we owe it to ourselves to know exactly what we are putting in our bodies.

Online research regarding the origins of our foods is very important.   We should know where our local supermarkets source their food.  Food labelling is very clever, and very ambiguous.  Trendy buzzwords and marketing will lead the consumer to believe in the health virtues of a product that is essentially a dead food with loads of added sugar.  If food has to have a label reflecting its contents, then we should really be thinking twice about eating it.  Nature doesn’t have to label food…but manufactured food needs to be labeled because it’s only partly food.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Food will either poison us or give us life…we have the choice as to which of the two we choose when we put food in our mouths.  But growing awareness among the general population means that we, as consumers, can make changes with our wallets.   Refusal to purchase food which is GMO, or laced with pesticides, hidden sugars, salts, and other additives, will go a long way in ensuring that we, and our children, can continue to expect and enjoy what is our God-given right:  Access to clean, healthy, natural, REAL food.

Thank you for reading!

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Why Should We Detox And Cleanse The Body?

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Why Is Detoxing So Important?

We live in an age of industrialised food, stress, air pollution, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to live as nature intended, and as such, we are inundated with a host of lifestyle-related illnesses. Almost all modern diseases are a result of an inefficient digestive system and subsequent blockage of the colon, due to undigested food particles. To quote Dr. Richard Anderson in his incredible book, ‘Cleanse & Purify Thyself’: “Germs are not the cause of disease, rather the result of disease”.

In most Western societies, incorrect food combinations, processed foods, fast foods, white flour, and white sugar, are more commonplace in the daily diet than fruits and vegetables. Eaten continuously over time, these dead foods contribute to obesity, a fatty liver, clogged intestines, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. For most people, weight-loss is the single most important factor in a healthy lifestyle, yet cutting portion sizes and counting calories is a waste of time if the food eaten is not healthy, fresh, or natural. It is estimated that 95% of the population has varying degrees of toxic build-up in their intestines!

The body cannot heal or fight disease, if the liver is fatty and the colon is clogged with years of environmental toxic build-up and undigested food. Fibre supplements and alkalising foods are great, however they’re ineffective if the body is not completely cleansed first. The reason many people fail at diets is because they have not cleaned out years of toxic build-up, which means the body will continue to crave all the bad foods that created the problem in the first place! The body needs complete cleansing and resetting before habits can be changed.

To restore health and rejuvenate the body, the digestive system needs rest, and the colon completely purged of all the embedded toxins and accumulated mucus. A normal, healthy body will eliminate toxins efficiently through sweat and excretions, however no body on Earth is designed to deal with the magnitude of industrialised food, sugars, fats, processed foods, pesticides, and industrial chemicals so prevalent in our air and food. It is a fact that a detox and complete rest for the digestive tract can heal and rejuvenate the body far more effectively than anything else.

Regular detoxification promotes innumerable health benefits, including:

  • Improved digestion
  • Ability to fight common colds and flu
  • Sustained weight-loss
  • Clearer, younger looking skin
  • Improved eyesight, “whiter” eyes
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved blood sugar levels
  • Heightened energy levels
  • Healthier liver function
  • Stronger hair and nails
  • Alleviated back pain (in some instances, back pain is the result of a clogged colon)
  • Increased fertility in women (a clogged colon may “push” onto the uterus, preventing conception. Often fertility levels stabilise after a course of colonic hydrotherapy and detoxification)
  • Relieving depression (sometimes completely eradicating all symptoms of depression)
  • Releasing deep-seated emotions that may have been trapped for years

The following illness and ailments can possibly be healed, or the symptoms alleviated, by detoxifying the body:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Gout
  • Candida
  • Cirrhosis
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Heart Disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • IBS/Stomach Ulcer
  • Diverticulosis
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Allergies

The Bliss Body Home Detox offers nutrient-rich, organic supplements, and a simple, easy-to-follow juice and soup program. The program is effective for weight-loss, boosting metabolism, stabilising blood sugar levels, lowering blood pressure, and gives the digestive system a well-earned rest to help the body effectively flush out toxins, repair tissues, and rebuild cells. For more information, please visit www.blissbodysystem.com

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I’ve moved to: www.blissbodysystem.com

Hi readers

Please come and visit me at my new home:  www.blissbodysystem.com, or the Bliss Body System blog here.

I am offering home detox programs, private Yoga sessions, and my Kombucha Tea, which is currently sold locally on Koh Samui.

The Bliss Body Home Detox program is ideal for those who are unable to attend a detox resort for any reason, but would like to enjoy the same benefits.  Bespoke online support throughout your detox program to ensure success, at an affordable price.  Please visit the Bliss Body System website for more information.  I look forward to assisting you with the new you!

www.blissbodysystem.com

 

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Kombucha Tea: Pasteurized vs. Unpasteurized

ImageKombucha Tea has definitely become trendy, at least in the Western world.  So much so, that it is available at almost every health food store.  However, not much is publically known regarding Kombucha and pasteurization.  For the very big brands in countries like the US & UK, Kombucha is regulated because it is a fermented drink, and fermented drinks contain low levels of alcohol.   Unpasteurized Kombucha will continue to ferment once the SCOBY has been removed, even after bottling, which could raise the alcohol content if the drink remains standing for any length of time.

But, like any unpasteurized product, the good bacteria will remain intact, maintaining its probiotic value – the very reason it’s so popular.  Once pasteurized, all the good bacteria are destroyed, and like skim milk, it will become denatured, containing few health benefits.

There’s a lot of controversy over the pasteurization process.  Those in favor of pasteurization argue that the process kills off unwanted bacteria, and regulates the alcohol content.   Those against pasteurization argue that it kills of all the probiotic and enzymes – the very essence of the tea itself.

From my perspective the real benefits of drinking Kombucha tea can only be found in the raw, unpasteurized variety.  In fact, you could say that about anything, dairy included!   Drinking Kombucha in its raw form has a soothing, healing quality in the stomach, unlike pasteurized tea, which is like drinking soda.  Try for yourself, and see the difference in how you feel.

Raw Kombucha should be labeled as such, and should have floaty, gelatinous blobs in the liquid.  This is the “mother” – the most beneficial part of the tea.   As with anything new, it’s important to do your research before buying a product.  If you are unsure about whether the brand is pasteurized or not, you have every right to enquire.  Remember, you’re the consumer, and you have a right to have your tea the way you like it!

As a species we have largely lost our connection to the benefits of fermented foods; instead living in a world of sterile, pasteurized foods, which strip our bodies of good bacteria.  Let’s not forget that human have safely and effectively fermented foods as far back as history goes.  It’s only in the 20th and 21st centuries that we have begun to rely on industrialized, pasteurized foods over what our ancestors trusted for centuries.

The Bliss Body Kombucha Tea is homemade, unpasteurized, and carefully fermented to control alcohol levels.  Women who have never drunk Kombucha should use caution if drinking it for the first time while pregnant or nursing.

Kombucha’s benefits:

  • Aids digestion
  • Relieves joint pain and arthritis
  • Regulates bowel movement
  • Fights candida
  • Detoxifies the liver
  • Boosts energy

For more info, please visit:  www.blissbodysystem.com

 

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5 Fascinating Facts About Kombucha Tea

ImageIf you are new to the world of Kombucha Tea and are wondering how this fizzy, vinegary beverage could possibly be doing you any good, then sit back, enjoy a nice chilled glass of tea, and consider these facts:

1. Kombucha has been known about for roughly 2000 years.  It has been traced back to the Chinese Dynasty 221 B.C., where it was drunk with the purpose of achieving immortality and retaining youth.    It was also believed that drinking Kombucha gave a person strength.  It was considered a magical elixir of youth and vitality.

2. After WWII, Russian scientists conducted research in the regions of Ssalikamsk and Beresniki , where intriguingly, there were no reported cases of cancer, despite it being an area inundated with factories emitting pollution more than anywhere else in the country at the time.  In addition, area residents were said to be heavy drinkers and smokers, and yet the area showed very little disease of any kind. This baffled the scientists, given the high levels of toxicity in the air, soil, and water.  After extensive research, the scientists found that most residents habitually drank something called “Tea Kvass”, or “Mushroom Wine”.   

3. When Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenytsin fell ill with stomach cancer which metastasised into his lungs, it was said that he cured himself by drinking Kombucha Tea.  As the story goes, government officials were so desperate to get their hands on this ‘miracle mushroom tea’ that they were willing to sacrifice their entire fortunes to get it.  When Ronald Reagan found out he had stomach cancer in 1983, he took Solzehnystin’s example and consumed a litre of Kombucha every day.  He lived for another 19 years, believing that the tea ‘cured’ him of his cancer.

4. Kombucha contains glucuronic acid, which binds to toxins in the body (specifically contaminants found in food, air and water), and flushes them out of the body via the kidneys.  Clinical studies on patients showed that those who drank Kombucha had higher levels of environmental toxins and heavy metals in their urine, revealing the powerful detoxifying effects of Kombucha Tea

5. Kombucha does not target one specific disease.  Instead, it’s ability to detoxify, coupled with it’s content of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and beneficial acids, ensures that regular consumption of this delicious tea will surely help the body in its fight against disease.  

 

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Energy “Power Snack” For The Chocoholic In You

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If you are reading this, it is because you love chocolate and the headline caught your attention, right?  Well I love chocolate too.  A little too much, so I have been on a mission to find a healthy alternative, taking it upon myself to research just how unhealthy our local, store-bought chocolate is.  Believe it or not, it’s even worse than you think.  Aside from the chemicals and added sugar, most big-name chocolate brands are made with cheap pasteurized skim milk, which is typically filled with steroids, antibiotics, growth-hormones, and goodness-knows what else that we don’t need in our bodies.

For now, let’s just be grateful that there are much healthier alternatives, which we can easily (and I mean easily) prepare in the comfort of home, in under 5 minutes!

My favorite chocolate recipe was invented at home after I researched the myriad benefits of raw cacao powder.  Note – I wrote CACAO, not COCOA.   Cocoa is processed cacao, and therefore devoid of any enzymatic value.  Enzymes (i.e. the ‘spark of life’ give food their high nutrient content.   When cacao is roasted at high temperatures to become cocoa, it becomes a dead food, just like any other processed food.

Cacao powder is considered a superfood, and it’s no secret as to why the Mayans called it ‘the drink of the Gods’.   Not only is cacao a natural mood enhancer, but it also has one heck of a nutrient profile.  Raw cacao is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, potassium, calcium, iron, and is a good source of protein and antioxidants.  It’s also a natural antidote for depression, which is why we tend to crave chocolate when we are feeling low!

So….ingredient number one is, of course, raw cold-pressed cacao powder.  You will also need:

  • Blended raw almonds (great source of calcium)
  • Cold-pressed organic coconut oil (the best saturated fat there is – great for brain health)
  • Raw/Wild honey – (great antifungal, aids digestion, packed with phytonutrients)
  • Organic coconut flakes (increases HDL – the good cholesterol – in the blood)
  • Raisins (great source of fibre)
  • Optional:  Chia seeds (if you need this snack before a heavy workout.  Chia seeds are great for muscle recovery).

It’s so easy to make, you can’t possibly go wrong!

  • Pour the ground almonds and cacao powder into a bowl (measurements depend on you – do you prefer a nuttier taste, or a more ‘chocolatey’ one? 
  • Add the coconut flakes and raisins, and chia seeds if you have them (amount is up to you)
  • Add the honey, mixing it in with a spoon until you have a slightly gooey texture
  • Add the coconut oil, drop by drop, until the mixture becomes less gooey and more of a paste
  • Roll into balls (as pictured)
  • Dust with coconut flakes or cacao powder

Voila!  Not even 5 minutes have passed and you have yourself a chocolate treat.  Not bad, eh?

Not only is this snack a healthy and hearty alternative to chocolate, but it packs a punch in energy!   This is a great alternative to a Red Bull or coffee break.  And even better?  You won’t experience the sugar high and crash that you normally would after a chocolate bar, but it will carry you the distance if you eat it before a workout.  Try it, and see.

Let me know how you get on in the comments section below.  Bon appetit!

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5 Reasons Why Ashtanga Yoga Is A Great Addition To A Detox Program

5 Reasons why Ashtanga Yoga is so good to include in a detox program:

  1. Ujjayi Breath – is  very detoxifying, as it heats the body and expels toxins from the upper respiratory tract

  2. Sweat – the continuous movement in Ashtanga encourages a lot of sweat, the body’s way of releasing toxins through the skin
  3. Joints – on around the 3rd day, toxins begin to be released from the joints, allowing for freer movement and a deeper practice
  4. Lymphatic drainage – the extensive muscle contraction in Ashtanga practice acts as a pump for the lymphatic system, allowing for effective lymphatic drainage
  5. Calm mind – the mind is very calm and focused during a detox, as there is no digestion taking place, therefore giving the brain more “thinking power”.  This is a great opportunity to focus on bandas, breath, and drishti
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