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Losing Your Mind To Find It

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Before the rain stops we can hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some new growth.  – Shunryu Suzuki

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There & Back Again

When my wife and I were first married, we spent a summer on Madeira Island with her family. They lived three hours from the airport in a small, poor farming village, high up in the mountains. After a hair raising 3 hour taxi ride on winding, narrow mountain roads with drops of 1,000 feet or more, we arrived at the family home. I noticed quickly that there were no phones, no TVs or radios, no refrigeration, and only sporadic electricity. There was one road in and the same road out.

In my time there, I discovered many interesting things about the skills and attitudes of the villagers. One characteristic in particular has stayed with me all these years. The shortcut to the center of town was a narrow, single file path along the side of a ridge with a drop of about twenty feet to the ravine below. In pitch darkness, townspeople could travel barefoot along this path at high speed, with no flashlights and without hesitation. No one, including the older folk, seemed to fall or fear the trek. It was as if they could see in the dark. My attempts to do this myself were met with polite smiles and giggles as I stumbled and demanded a flashlight. They couldn’t quite grasp what my problem was.

Madeira 3Three weeks into our stay, we were visiting relatives higher up the mountain. We stayed longer than anticipated and had to start down the mountain in the pitch dark. There was no road, only a primitive path with crevices, holes and boulders jutting into the path. It was a steep descent. As we started down, I could feel the fear of falling and being injured growing. In spite of that, I was moving faster and faster down the mountain. And then it happened. It was as if one part of my mind turned off and another turned on. I began to run. Incredibly, it all seemed to be in slow motion. I could see every crevice, every stone along the path. I neither tripped nor stumbled during the entire descent. Some part of me knew where to step. I leaped over crevices, dodged boulders and all at top speed. I saw the world in a totally new way; somehow I was aware of everything around me despite the darkness. My mind was clear, focused and in command. But it was not my conscious, everyday mind. There were no words or concepts, only awareness. It was what I have come to call the Instinctual Mind. A mind in which the world appears seamless and our senses fully integrated. But more of that later.  Let me get back to the story.

Upon arriving at the relative’s home, we partook of the obligatory homemade Madeiran wine and crackers while sitting for hours talking about the farm, the children and past experiences. There was little food to share but the Portuguese hospitality was magnificent. My mind was placid and content in the here and now, primed for a new experience.

Years later, after a career at the university and in private psychotherapy practice marked with the stresses of incessant multitasking, sitting for hours at computers, and driving in massive traffic jams, I began to jealously reflect on the extraordinary skill of the Madeirans.  How could we be so different?  Was their ability to use the Instinctual Mind inherently human but lost to us through some social or mental atrophy? Could regaining this ability contribute a clarity and focus to life that seemed long lost in my fast paced, technology dominated world? I couldn’t help but wonder if the ability of the Madeirans to harness the Instinctual Mind could in some way rekindle a sense of place, a deeper awareness of my surroundings, of purpose and a greater sensuality. I began to look into ways, some common, some not so common that could contribute to awakening that other mind that seemed so hidden and elusive.

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Hiking the Mountain

It may be helpful to look at hiking the mountain as a way of awakening the Instinctual Mind. If you have ever gone hiking, you know that it takes some preparation. You need supplies and proper clothing and a sense of direction. For me the preparation for ascending the mountain was three weeks of being free of all technology or knowledge of the world. Only the simple facts of everyday life were real. Once on the path upward, you need water, food and proper shoes so the journey can be completed. For us the hike up was hot and demanding. We had to negotiate the crevices, holes and boulders. All of this to reach our goal.

Many believe once you reach your goal at the summit the journey is over. You see the sky and the vistas. But for me reaching the top was only the prelude to the descent. Sometimes what we think is the goal is only the gateway to something more.  It was the descent that shattered my mind and opened it to a new dimension. Each of us must find the path and journey that suits us. For some it may be the climb up or reaching the peak. For others it will be the journey down. The only way to know is to start preparing and taking the first steps along the way.

Awakening the Instinctual Mind is allowing what is already in you its full expression. You are not adding something new to yourself. This awakening can bring changes in your relationships, worldview and health. Instinctual Mind is a mind of compassion and healing. But those are stories for another day.

Beginning The Climb

Here are a few ways to begin preparing for the climb:

  • Make a decision to free yourself, temporarily, from your cell phone and IPad or all technology for that matter. You might choose one hour a day so you can sit without the devices. Wean yourself from the constant clatter. Start to become accustomed to sitting, speaking to family, friends and colleagues without technical interruptions. You can expand this time as you grow stronger.
  • Limit your time listening to the news. All the calamities of the world will still be there when you get back. Cut the ties to 24 hour cable network news. Re-traumatizing yourself all day long is unhealthy and destroys composure.
  • Learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Relaxing is a good preparation to stilling your everyday mind that chatters on and on.
  • Go hiking, take up Tai Chi. These practices allow you to put aside the ordinary mind. Being in nature can be very helpful in the journey.
  • Start a meditation practice. There are many forms of meditation. Choose one that suits your temperament. Sitting is a path to awakening. Meditation is a way of scratching away at all the obstacles to knowing and giving expression to our true mind.
  • Find a teacher, group or someone you trust who can help you along the way.

Tools for the Hike

Ram Das: https://www.ramdass.org/

Original Mind: http://www.originalmindbrilliance.com/

Centering Prayer: http://www.centeringprayer.com/

Beginner’s Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOVusLqXmk

Go Wild: http://www.johnratey.com/Books.php

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Gemini: Learning, Healing, & Inspired Action

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We are having a Full Moon in Gemini on December 11th-12th, depending on your location. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Sagittarius on November 26th. The energies of the Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations still play a part over the following two weeks. You may also start to see its themes build up following the New Moon prior to it.

Interestingly this Full Moon occurs on 12/12 for most of the world and at 12:12am in the EST time zone. The year 2019 adds to 12 as well (2+0+1+9= 12). This can be interpreted in different ways, however, the thing that I would like to point out is that 12 is associated with completion and astrologically with Pisces which is the final and 12th sign.

This is not only the last Full Moon (and complete lunar cycle) of the year but the last one of the decade. In the Universal time zone it will be occurring at 5:12am, with the number being associated with change. This Full Moon will be followed by eclipses that are ushering in the new decade which also fits with this 5-12 energy.

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Gemini and Sun in Sagittarius. It can play out as either a conflict, integration, or some sort of dynamic playing out between the energies of both signs.

We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Sagittarius side and others expressing the Gemini side. In some cases, Full Moon’s can also reflect/trigger some sort of change which may apply more in this case when considering some of the other factors mentioned in this article.

Gemini is a Mercury ruled Air sign with a strong mental orientation. It is communicative, articulate, informative, social, inquisitive, clever, multifaceted, versatile, witty, agile, and dualistic. This sign is also associated with the immediate environment, the neighbourhood, siblings, commuting, reading, audiobooks/podcasts, mail, and writing. Negatively, Gemini energy can be scattered, superficial, gossipy, inconsistent, two faced, and lack emotion.

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Sagittarius is a Jupiter ruled Fire sign motivated by passion, exploration, and beliefs. It is broadminded, freedom loving, philosophical, optimistic, visionary, expansive, aspiring, risk taking, and big picture oriented. This sign is also associated with higher education, media, sales/marketing, religion, morals,  travel, foreign lands, and other international matters or pursuits. Negatively, Sagittarius energy can be unrealistic, pretentious, judgemental, excessive, blunt, preachy, and have a hard time comprehending limitations.

Both of these signs within this polarity are about learning and communicating what they know. The difference between them is that Gemini leans more towards sharing/learning knowledge from a variety of sources while Sagittarius leans more towards developing its own perspective based on the synthesis of what has been learned and experienced. Gemini can also be more factual in comparison to the idealistic Sagittarian energy.

Full Moon Square Neptune & Quincunx Venus-Saturn-Pluto Conjunction

This Full Moon is separating from a square with Neptune which is strongest in the day leading up to it. This can be good for creative, spiritual, compassionate activities especially if they are linked  to the Gemini-Sagittarius themes mentioned above. However, this can also reflect confusion, impracticality, delusion, escapism, and unreliability.

Venus is separating from a tight conjunction with Saturn and moving towards Pluto at the time of this Full Moon. In the days leading up to this, there could have been more serious or restrictive energy around Venus ruled areas of love, friendship, money, values, or pleasures.

Perhaps a need to be more disciplined, responsible, committed, restraining, or realistic could be a theme. Obstacles, limitations, cautiousness, or endings may have also come up. This can be good for stabilizing, solidifying, building, or taking a mature approach towards things pertaining to Venus.

Pluto in the mix can add more heaviness to this energy. However, Venus makes its conjunction to Pluto in the following two days, after its interaction with Saturn. The themes mentioned above may be followed by or combined with intensity, passion, obsession, secrets, empowerment, evolution, transformation, or even some sort of purging and release. This can also be a period of revealing or getting clear around Venus issues.

This Full Moon is in a quincunx aspect to this Saturn-Venus-Pluto conjunction. This can create a disconnect between these issues (mentioned in the last two paragraphs) and our feelings or other things going on in our lives. This can also reflect challenges and irritations which may  require adjustments.

Jupiter Newly in Capricorn Trine Uranus in Taurus

On December 2nd, Jupiter entered Capricorn and will stay there for the next year. It joins Saturn, Pluto, and the South Node in which it will be making conjunctions within 2020. Overall, Jupiter in this sign connecting to these planets can be good for different types of growth around worldly goals, ambitions, structures, and towards building anything with the long term in mind. It can also bring some endings around these things as well.

Jupiter forms a trine with Uranus in Taurus which is strongest from this Full Moon until the following week with it peaking on December 15th. This can be good for learning or expansiveness towards something new, unusual, unconventional, technological, metaphysical, scientific, or perhaps even revolutionary.

It can also be connected to beliefs, travel, and other types of exploration. For some people it can manifest as sudden luck or bring some sort of freedom. Considering that this aspect is occurring in Earth signs, it can play out around material, physical, financial, or practical matters.

Mars Trine Neptune, Sextile Saturn, Pluto

Mars in Scorpio is in a trine with Neptune in Pisces in the day leading up to, and few days following, this Full Moon. This can reflect actions that are inspired, creative, spiritual, imaginative, or compassionate. Activities or efforts involving art or water may also be a theme. For some people it can be magical on a sexual level, however this also depends on how the Venus-Saturn-Pluto aspect (mentioned earlier) is playing out which can bring some heaviness to relationships in some cases.

Mars then moves towards a sextile to Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn which peaks from December 17th to 23rd. This is good for applying ourselves in a way that is practical, realistic, responsible, thorough, stable, focused, tangible, or purposeful. Efforts towards bringing more structure or building towards something may be a theme. This can help us to be more focused, overcome obstacles, making productive changes, and uncovering things to assist us in making progress.

Eclipse Season is Approaching with Neptune, Chiron, and Uranus in Transition

In the two weeks after this Full Moon we will have a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on December 25th/26th followed by a Lunar Eclipse in Cancer on January 10th/11th. Neptune recently ended its retrograde, Uranus finishes its retrograde in a month, while Chiron is transitioning out of retrograde at the time of this Full Moon.

All of this combined shows that the period from mid-November until mid-January is a time of transitions, changes, and new developments. Eclipses can reflect beginnings, endings, and even evolutionary developments in specific areas of our lives that can begin to play out in the six weeks prior up until the six months following. (I will be writing separate articles on these eclipse, join my mailing list here to ensure that you are notified when they are published)

Planets, and other celestial bodies like Chiron, going from retrograde to direct can help us progress forward in new ways in areas connected to what they represent and how they are interacting with our personal astrology charts. I covered Neptune going direct in my previous article and will be covering Uranus going direct in an upcoming eclipse article. However, the most significant one at this point is Chiron as it is transitioning during this Full Moon phase. Its themes will be coming up more strongly.

Chiron is associated with old wounds, trauma, blockages, negative patterns, and other issues getting in the way of our potential, self-expression, and the embodiment of our highest selves. It is also associated with the solutions to our healing, awareness, and achieving wholeness.

It is about developing a different relationship with our wounds by turning them into strengths or working with them in a more positive way. Chiron is the maverick, it is unorthodox, holistic, and can bridge things together that are normally separate and are not thought to be compatible with each other.

Things To Consider During This Period

Is there anything new or different that you’d like to learn at this time? What have you been inspired to do in the last few weeks? Do you need to take into consideration certain facts, instructions, or details in order to fulfill your aspirations?

What has been coming up for you in regards to Venus issues of love, friendships, values, creativity, aesthetics, money, and pleasures? Do you need to address anything pertaining to these things? Have any issues or themes connected to your wounds or negative patterns come up? What do you need to do to heal/address this and move forward in a more empowered way?

These are just some examples of what you may be experiencing during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon or as it is waning over the following two weeks. The exact moment of it will be on December 12th at 5:12am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

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Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

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Awareness

Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat – Leading Microbiome Scientist Explains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dental, bone, DNA, and ancient human fecal analysis have shown considerable evidence that many ancient humans and ancient human-like species ate mostly plants.

  • Reflect On:

    Have we been misled and lied to for the sake of profit and greed?

There are many experts in the fields of anthropology, biology and all other sciences who have been creating awareness about the fact that ancient humans were not big meat eaters as they’ve been portrayed to be by mainstream education. This begs the question, where did this idea come from? Sure, sharp stone tools and canines like the ones found on a Gorilla, who by the way is vegan, may have led to assumptions that have perpetuated for many years, but in my opinion the answer is quite clear: big food marketing. Big food companies, like big pharmaceutical companies, have tremendous amounts of power, especially over our federal health regulatory agencies. As a result, we’ve literally been brainwashed into thinking our current recommended food guides are actually healthy and backed by science and history. Perhaps we’ve been misled, and new information and methods of testing are helping to shatter these assumptions that have been ingrained into human consciousness for a long time.

Recent advances in technology and science have discovered that microscopic fossils of plant foods are abundant at various sites of ancient humans, indicating a vegan diet. Furthermore, dental, bone, DNA, and ancient human fecal analysis have shown considerable evidence that many of these people ate mostly plants.

One of these experts is Dr. Christina Warinner (seen in the picture above), who earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010 and received her postdoctoral training at the University of Zurich (2010-2012) and the University of Oklahoma (2012-2014). She became a Presidential Research Professor and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma in 2014, and is currently a Leader in Microbiome Sciences at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Her work has led to some very interesting findings and conclusions:

“Humans do not have any specialized genetic anatomical or physiological adaptations to meat consumption. By contrast, we have many adaptations to plant consumption.” (The Game Changers documentary)

She goes deeper in her presentation at the 2016 International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine, and in this TEDX talk she gave a number of years ago. She brings up various points, going into her research analysis of ancient gut micro-biomes and more. She also brings up the fact that our digestive systems are clearly constructed to digest plants and fibres that require a longer processing time, not meat. They are much longer than those of meat-eating animals, and the fact that no adaptations exist within our digestive system to consume animal flesh is a crucial point.

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There are many facts that Dr. Warinner points to in her research, like how humans cannot produce their own vitamin C, which is one of many factors indicating just how reliant we are on plant foods for certain vitamins. There is nothing essential within meat that cannot be found within plant foods. Some may point towards vitamin B12, but B12 isn’t made by animals.

B12 is made by bacteria that all animals consume. It’s found in the soil and in water. It’s the same as protein, as all protein originates from plant sources, which is how the animals that people eat actually acquire their protein in the first place. Before industrial farming, humans and animals got their B12 from the traces of dirt found on plant foods or by drinking water from freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams. As a result of pesticides polluting our waterways, forcing us to chlorinate our water among other things, the B12 bacteria originally in water has been killed off for the most part. Even farm animals are required to take B12 supplements. Both meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans are commonly found to be low in B12–it has nothing to do with eating meat.

Another common argument is that we need to eat meat for essential amino acids. This is simply false, as there are multiple plant sources where we can get all of our required amino acids.

Gradual increases in brain sizes of early humans have also been attributed to meat, but research is showing that “because there is not a very strong match between meat consumption and gradual increases in brain size, scientists have looked to other options. And given that plant foods are such an important part of modern humans that hunt and gather foods, the money is on plant foods and shift in the kinds of plant foods as being the major driving factor in increasing brain size.” – Nathaniel J. Dominy

“We have a brain, that just is desperate for glucose. It’s such a fussy organ, that’s the only thing it really takes in for energy. Well, meat is not a very good source of glucose, to have a big brain like this you need to eat something different. And the most efficient way to get glucose is to eat carbohydrates.” – Dr. Mark Thomas, geneticist, University College, London (The Game Changers documentary)

Just looking and studying human anatomy, again, it seems we are built to eat plants, and  “substantial evidence shows that the ancestral lineage that led to humans had a plant-based diet.” (source)

The bottom line is that most ancient humans, and human-like creatures, were predominately vegan. Some ate meat, but many didn’t. For example, Neanderthals in Spain ate no meat at all, according to a study published by Nature.

That being said, even if some did eat meat, there were none that had a diet that was predominate in meat. One group of researchers published a study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology which stated:

“We are suggesting that animal proteins would be less important overall and that’s particularly true for interpretations of Neolithic farmers. What that would mean is that they are having more of a balance of animal and plant protein in their diet, suggestive of a mixed existence strategy.” (source)

An article by Rob Dunn written for Scientific American titled “Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians” goes into greater detail about this issue, from an evolutionary perspective, bringing up multiple points about how our guts evolved to stick to a vegetarian diet.

A great article I like to point people towards comes from University of Utah geochemist Thure Cerling, who spearheaded a set of fairly recent new studies that show how early humans and their ancestors and relatives made a surprising dietary switch some 3.5 million years ago, changing from an ape-like diet of mostly leaves and fruits and shrubs to a grass-based diet of grasses and sedges. He gives a great timeline and overview, which you can read here.

I’m just trying to hammer home the fact that it’s been strongly established in scientific literature that ancient human-like ‘ancestors’ predominately ate plant-based diets.

SEE our articles and take on the theory of evolution.

Another Reason We Are Not Designed To Eat Meat: The Health Consequences of Doing So

“With overwhelming scientific evidence to many of the most common deadly diseases, I discovered that the meat, egg, and dairy industries have been engaged in a covert response, funding studies that deny this evidence while burying their involvement in the fine print. One of the hired guns paid to conduct these studies is Exponent, INC. A company whose research was used by the Tobacco industry to deny the connection between second hand smoke and cancer. For more than 50 years, Exponent has generated studies that challenge the health-risks of everything from asbestos, arsenic and and mercury, to animal foods.” – James Brett Wilks, a retired English professional mixed martial artist, Producer and narrator of  “The Game Changers” documentary

“The formula, works beautifully for people selling food, it works beautifully for people selling drugs to treat the diseases that bad food causes, and it works beautifully for the media, which can give us a new story about diet, everyday. But despite the appearance in our media of confusion, there’s massive global consensus about the fundamentals of a health-promoting, and it’s a diet that every time… In every population, every kind of research, it’s a plant food predominant diet, every time.” – Dr. David Katz, Founding Director of Yale University Prevention Research Center (The Game Changers documentary)

Take milk, for example. The majority of people on the planet are lactose intolerant for a reason. In some parts of the world, lactose intolerance is as high as 90 to 100 percent of the population. (source) Humans are the only species to drink milk after weaning and the only species to drink the milk of another animal. Have we been fooled by big food marketing? Why are global food guides changing to a more plant-based foundation? It’s because things are changing.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart.

The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort.” It was a joint project between researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California and AgroParisTech and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris, France.

It was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The researchers found that people who ate large amounts of meat protein, which is a daily norm for many people, represented a portion of the human population that would experience a 60 percent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD), while people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds actually experienced a 40 percent reduction in CVD.

81,000 participants were analyzed for this study. The authors emphasized that they, as well as their colleagues, have long suspected that the protein from nuts and seeds protects against heart and vascular disease, while protein from meat, especially red meats, increases your risk. They were right.

While underconsumption of protein is harmful to the body, overconsumption comes with risks as well. In the United States, the average omnivore gets more than 1.5 times the optimal amount of protein, and most of that protein is from animal sources. This is bad news because excess protein is often stored as fat. This stored animal protein contributes to weight gainheart diseasediabetesinflammation, and cancer. But again, this is only from animal protein.

The study concluded that:

Associations between the ‘Meat’ and ‘Nuts & Seeds’ protein factors and cardiovascular outcomes were strong and could not be ascribed to other associated nutrients considered to be important for cardiovascular health. Healthy diets can be advocated based on protein sources, preferring low contributions of protein from meat and higher intakes of plant protein from nuts and seeds.

A 2015 study published in Cell Metabolism is one of multiple studies that points out:

Mice and humans with Growth Hormone Receptor/IGF-1 deficiencies display major reductions in age-related diseases. Because protein restriction reduces GHR-IGF-1 activity, we examined links between protein intake and mortality. Respondents (n=6,381) aged 50–65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer and diabetes mortality during an 18 year follow up period. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the source of proteins was plant-based.

Increases in 1GF1, which also goes way down during fasting, is correlated with a number of diseases. Again, protein increases it, but, as the study above states, “these associations were either abolished or attenuated if the source of proteins was plant-based.”

Multiple studies have shown the difference between animal protein and plant protein. Another great example comes from Colin Campbell, a Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, whose experiments on laboratory rats showed cancer cell growth can be turned on or off by simply varying the amount of animal protein included in their diet. This was an enormous discovery, with implications to the diets of millions of people. His results, from what’s known as the “China Study,” have proven to be replicable.

This trend is gaining more scientific inquiry as popularity grows. At least 542,000 people in Britain now follow a vegan diet –  up from 150,000 in 2006 – and another 521,000 vegetarians hope to reduce their consumption of animal products. It is evident that veganism has become one of the fastest growing lifestyle choices. (Source #2)

“When it comes to getting protein in your diet, meat isn’t the only option. Mounting evidence shows that reducing meat and increasing plant-based protein is a healthier way to go. A diet with any type of meat raises the risk of heart disease and cancer, when compared with a vegetarian diet.”  Dr. Deepak Bhatt, a Harvard Medical School professor and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Heart Letter (source)

A more recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital followed more than 130,000 people for 36 years, monitoring illnesses, lifestyles, diets and mortality rates. They found that substituting between 15g and 19g of animal protein, the equivalent of a single sausage, for legumes, pulses, nuts and other planet protein, significantly decreased the risk of early death.

In America alone, approximately 40% of the population is pre-diabetic. This translates to millions of people. Multiple studies have shown that red and processed meats (also recently linked to cancer by the WHO), as well as animal protein in general, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. In omnivore populations, the risk of diabetes is doubled compared with vegans. Another study found that eating meat once a week or more over a 17-year period increased the risk of diabetes by a startling 74%. A follow up study was conducted and found that increasing red meat intake by more than just half a serving per day was closely associated with an almost 50% increased risk of contracting diabetes over four years.

Eating meat specifically increases your chances of having elevated levels of inflammation in your body, which can lead to a number of short-term and long-term health consequences.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, among other problems.

Plant-based diets, on the other hand, are naturally anti-inflammatory. This is because they offer lower inflammatory triggers (versus the saturated fat, endotoxins, and other toxins released from bacteria found in animal foods). Multiple studies have shown that those who switch to a plant-based diet can dramatically lower their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body.

Another big risk factor for heart problems is high blood cholesterol. Saturated fat, primarily found in meat, cheese, poultry, and various other animal products, dramatically influences our blood cholesterol levels. Yet when people switch to plant-based diets, their blood cholesterol drops significantly, as several studies have shown.

Studies have confirmed that plant foods help shape a healthy intestinal microbiome. This is just another reason (out of many) why scientists and health professionals are becoming big advocates for plant-based diets. The fibre found in plant foods helps promote the good bacteria that’s needed in our guts. Dairy, eggs, and meat, on the other hand, help foster the growth of disease-causing bacteria.

“Landmark studies have shown that when omnivores eat choline or carnitine (found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy), gut bacteria make a substance that is converted by our liver to a toxic product called TMAO. TMAO leads to worsening cholesterol plaques in our blood vessels and escalates the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Interestingly, people eating plant-based diets make little or no TMAO after a meat-containing meal, because they have a totally different gut microbiome. It takes only a few days for our gut bacterial patterns to change – the benefits of a plant-based diet start quickly!”

– Michelle McMacken, MD

The Takeaway

The information presented in this article is only a fraction of the knowledge out there. It’s quite clear that the majority of people who roamed the Earth before us ate a lot of plants, and for some reason that’s been left out of history. It’s also quite clear that the dominating consensus with regards to overall human health is that a plant-based diet is best, especially for combating multiple diseases, while animal-based diets do the exact opposite, not to mention destroy our planet.  Furthermore, many animals are suffering, it’s an industry that’s completely devoid of compassion and empathy, factors that need to return to Earth.

At the end of the day this is just information ,and in some cases, when it comes to diet, many people can have a strong reaction, especially if the information goes against what they’ve believed for many years. It’s best to keep an open mind.

 

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Alternative News

The Brown Mountain Lights – An Unexplained ‘Paranormal’ Phenomenon That’s Happened For Centuries

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The "Brown Mountain Lights" have been an observed phenomenon in North Carolina for a very long time. Below, there is more information as well as one out of many supposed paranormal experiences had by people who have visited the mountain.

  • Reflect On:

    Is paranormal really out of the ordinary? Or is it something that's simply normal about our world, and a type of phenomena that's been happening since the beginning of time? Just because we don't understand it, doesn't mean its not real.

What are “paranormal experiences”? I don’t really understand the term anymore, it’s used to describe events and experiences that are out of the ordinary, it implies that these events are not ‘normal.’ It’s almost 2019, and more people are starting to become aware of the fact that “paranormal” experiences are actually quite normal, quite common, and well documented throughout history. We have evidence in the form of video footage, pictures, and actual physical evidence from several different supposed events. Not only that, ‘paranormal’ discoveries have been the subject of rigorous investigations by governments and researchers around the world. The ‘Stargate’ program in the United States, for example, was one that studied these experiences in order to use them for intelligence purposes, and they worked. Here’s a great example from the Central Intelligence Agency’s electronic reading room about an individual who was able to move solid objects through solid barriers, by simply using his mind. You can read more about that, in-depth, here.

We live in a strange world, one in which we don’t quite understand and for the most part, we still shy away from and label findings in the paranormal world as different, not real, pseudoscience or the stuff of imagination. Humanity has a long history of not accepting certain phenomena based on the fact that it may shatter a few of our long-held and ingrained belief systems, wherever they may come from. We also have a long history of phenomena not being acknowledged to protect certain interests. The UFO issue is a great example, where suppression, although kept secret for multiple reasons, is kept due to the new energy and propulsion systems that could come from it.

The story that’s the topic of this article is no different, it will definitely shatter your belief systems if you’re not into this stuff, but if you are, you probably won’t be surprised, especially given the fact that the experience took place at Brown Mountain, North Carolina, which is a place full of stories similar to this one.

Brown Mountain is known for what’s now become known as the “Brown Mountain Lights.” They represent a series of strange lights in the form of multiple colours that are often spotted near or on Brown Mountain. The lights can be seen from multiple spots, there was also help from the city of Morganton (North Carolina) via building an overlook on North Carolina highway 181. They are fairly well known…

Below is one of many pictures and pieces of footage that’s been floating around out there for a very long time. Hers’s a good blogging website where citizens have also posted more information and resources.

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A website based in North Carolina who takes interest in this lore explains it quite well:

Brown Mountain is a low ridge in Burke County that, during dry, crisp evenings in the autumn, is host to a genuine and baffling mystery. When conditions are right, mysterious glowing orbs can be seen to rise up off the mountain, hover and wobble about fifteen feet up in the air, and then disappear. There’s no denying that the lights are real. They have been observed by countless witnesses and photographed on many occasions. But what they are is still unknown.

The Brown Mountain Lights have been observed for centuries, and multiple legends have arisen around the phenomenon. The Cherokee were aware of the lights, and according to some accounts claimed that the lights were the souls of Cherokee women searching for their men who had died in a great battle between the Cherokee and the Catawba that took place on Brown Mountain. Another legend says that the lights are the the ghostly echoes of lights that appeared during a search for a murdered woman in the 19th century.

The common theme this site doesn’t seem to include is extraterrestrial or extradimensional.

Below is a video that was taken from Scientists at Appalachian State University, who caught the phenomenon on camera as well. Researchers captured these glowing lights simultaneously by two time-lapse digital video cameras near the mountain, which is located just north of Morganton. The cameras are operated by Daniel Caton and his colleague Lee Hawkins, of the physics and astronomy department at Appalachian State.

The lore of Brown Mountain is filled with so many stories, real stories, from real people, that it’s surprising how little well known it still is.  As far as the lights go, there are many different explanations that have come forth. Everything from extraterrestrial to interdimensional, to ghosts and more.  Skeptics have suggested that they are headlights from automobiles from the valley below, but the lights have been observed for more than one hundred years. If you look up pictures, videos and stories about the phenomenon, you’ll see how ridiculous the headlight explanation is. Some have suggested that the lights could be a naturally-occurring electrical discharge caused by the geological fault line below the mountain.

Below is  Charles Braswell Jr. (right) who shows Carl White a photo taken of the Brown Mountain Lights. White is the host of the show, “Life in the Carolinas.”

One Experience (out of many) On Brown Mountain

This story was shared last year by a YouTuber who has a channel called “Insane Disappearances.” This man has done a lot of research into missing persons inside of National Parks. Himself and other researchers in the field describe many similar strange findings that all of these experiences have in common. He managed to conduct an interview with a person who chose to remain anonymous, due to fear. After her experience (she was also with two others), she explains how she was harassed by police as well as park authorities, asking to confiscate the pictures and the video footage she took. She kept receiving calls on a regular basis from authorities asking her about her experience, and on multiple occasions, authorities emphasized how it was a long day, she was dehydrated and simply hallucinating.

I don’t usually share stories that comprise simply of witness testimony, but after listening to this woman’s story, seeing the pictures and watching her videos of her experience, it really resonated with me and really came across in an extreme genuine fashion. The way she was telling it just makes me believe this is a genuine person who actually had a strange experience. What was also interesting to note was her urgency in getting the pictures as well as the videos up online for public access before they could be taken away from her.

The story starts off with the woman hiking with her friends. All of a sudden, her friends instantly disappeared from the trail, but everything else remained the same. She started to look for them and began to experience strange things, like the path shifting, noticing water streams in an area of the mountain where she was sure there were no streams. She heard strange noises, and captured shots of a strange orange glowing orb that appeared to follow her. She also claims that sometimes, this apparition took on the form of a humanoid looking being. Her friends also had unique experiences as she did, and when they eventually came out of the situation, they compared notes, pictures, footage and stories…

As the day progressed, I kept feeling like, almost like the forest was kind of re-arranging itself around me. I swear that I turned directly behind me but the trail would be different… I also kept hearing things and weird whooshing of air… I kept seeing what looked like these bright orange colours that were, I don’t know if they were following me…

Here’s a message from the YouTube video description:

If you have an open mind this is the place to be. Join me, become intrigued as I case-read the four hundred and eleven baffling unsolved cases about hundreds of random people from clusters all over the globe who mysteriously vanish without a trace and are either never seen again or found hundreds of miles away from their last known location; deceased under weird circumstances. Todays episode is a validations interview that will answer all your questions about what happens to people who venture into our national parks to never be seen or heard from again. But with evident proof like this everyone’s perception will always be different because of their own level of experiences. So with that being said I believe her because the people that weren’t there to see what she saw are not going to believe her at first because those people are looking for extensive detailed analyzation, picking apart the evidence in her footage, lie detector tests, etc. at the end of the day she had an experience; an amazing yet creepy experience that answered every single question ever asked

It might be time to plan a trip to Brown Mountain ;). You can find all of the pictures, footage and interviews on his channel if you want to dive into this particular mystery a little further!

Similar The Hessdalen Lights

Known as theKnown as the Hessdalen Interactive Observatory, scientists at the University of Ostfold, Hessdalen, Norway have captured and documented many strange anomalies that seem to plague the area. It’s the only official 24 hour UFO observatory in the world. Radar and cameras have tracked and filmed numerous unexplainable phenomenon, the fastest one recorded at 30,000 km per hour. (Faster than any known air-craft today.), scientists at the University of Ostfold, Hessdalen, Norway have captured and documented many strange anomalies that seem to plague the area. It’s the only official 24 hour UFO observatory in the world. Radar and cameras have tracked and filmed numerous unexplainable phenomenon, the fastest one recorded at 30,000 km per hour. (Faster than any known air-craft today.)

Below is many unexplained pictures taken from the Observatory. You can find more here.

The Takeaway

There is a simple takeaway message that goes with this article and it’s the fact that it’s okay to entertain an idea without accepting it. It’s also important to acknowledge phenomena that are not ‘officially’ acknowledged within the mainstream as ‘real,’ simply because these realities have tremendous implications, and they are indeed real. Strange stories, occurrences, and footage coming out of this area confirm without a doubt that the phenomenon of the Brown Mountain lights are indeed real, as far as what they are, remains to be unknown.

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