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10 Components To Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

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While most of us would argue that we eat to live, the reality is that most of us live to eat.

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We spend a quarter of our life thinking about, shopping for, feeling, cooking, baking, roasting, burning, biting, chewing, tasting, gulping, ingesting and digesting food .
Clearly making food is not just another mundane path to everyday survival, like consuming oxygen. It takes up a lot of mental energy, and having healthy thoughts about food is important for our minds, bodies and higher consciousness.
My journey with food has been very special. There are a lot of good habits, practices and rituals that I have learned, imbibed and embraced over the past few years. This might have a lot to do with my job as a TV producer, where for the past three years I only made food-related programs – a fabulous opportunity to live, breathe, and eat food!
I have had my own eureka moments, moments of silent awakening and also of celebration with the everyday business of eating.
Today I see my grub in a new light. This has helped me increase my productivity, improved my quality of life and of my relationships, and increased my appetite for all of life’s experiences. These lessons are simple, which is why perhaps we overlook them so often. I want to share my happiness with you with these top ten components of developing a healthy relationship with food:

1. Be Grateful For Every Morsel

Do not take a single bite for granted. Every time you sit down to eat or grab a burger to go, or order a scrumptious meal from your favourite restaurant, take a moment to thank the Universe, the creator, the life force, or whoever/whatever you believe in. If you don’t believe in anything or anybody, thank yourself. Each bite is precious. You are blessed to get food at a time when you are hungry, to feed the fire in your belly. This is your life source, your sustenance. Please do not take it for granted; put aside a moment at each meal for this thought. You’ll be amazed at how much gratitude enhances your eating experience!

2. Switch To Vegan / Vegetarian

Try this for a few weeks and see how your system responds. I was a happy meat eater until I took the big plunge and I haven’t looked back since! You feel more agile, light, loving and happy. You will be able to wake up earlier, your mind will be less noisy, and your new food palette will offer a world of colour and wellness. Top sources for protein, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and water are found in vegetables and fruits.
I am not going to talk about reducing global footprint, less pollution, or other health problems such as cholesterol, obesity, and acne – though of course these are reasons enough to stop eating meat. And while eating a strictly raw diet might be too much of a jump for many people, particularly those new to this way of eating, vegetarianism is a gift to yourself. If you are very concerned about your food seeming bland by comparison, buy some vegetarian/satvik cooking books. You will discover a whole new natural world filled with incredibly complex flavours, textures, and colours.

3. Cooking With Consciousness

This is by far the most important.  Food nourishes you. If a plant does not get enough water or sunlight, it might still survive, but what’s going to happen? There is a difference between surviving and thriving. Similarly for humans, while all of us will perish one day, it’s the quality of the life that we live which matters. Simply put, you are made of energy and so is food. The kind of food you eat will have an effect on your body and mind,  so practice cooking with consciousness.
This has a few simple principles – Treat your kitchen like a sacred place. Keep it clean, ventilated, and loved. When you cook, think beautiful thoughts. Think of how the food is going to nourish you. If this is too difficult, simply put on relaxing music or chants. In ancient India, people used to chant ‘shlokas’ or hymns while cooking. Furthermore, cooks would enter the kitchen after a bath to clear their bodies and minds. Food was first offered to ‘God’ and then eaten as sanctified ‘prasadam’. This practice energizes your food. If you have seen Dr. Emoto’s experiments with water you definitely know what I am talking about! Sending good energy to your food while cooking will help your food not just fill your belly but nourish you. Try this one day and see how you feel.

4. Eating As A Ritual

Eating isn’t just another chore. Make this a ritual and enjoy it every day. See it as ‘time to yourself’ where you will not think about anything, switch off your phone or put it aside, put away all other distractions, and then savour the food. Make your own little customs – designate a special place for this ritual, sprinkle some water around the plate (this was a popular cleansing ritual practiced in ancient India), eat in a plantain / leaf, drink a little holy basil soaked water, sit straight, play some soothing music, or do whatever it is that makes you feel good about your food. Put this time aside for celebrating yourself by nourishing your body with good food, love, and happy thoughts.

5. Chew. Chew. Chew

I haven’t made this a part of the previous point for a reason. This is way too important to be grouped with anything else. There is an ancient wisdom which I’d like to share – we have 32 teeth to chew every morsel 32 times before we eat it. Why make your intestines do the work of your teeth? Chewing is also therapeutic only if it is combined with relaxing thoughts. If done otherwise, eating can become very stressful, because you are putting negative energy into the process. So every time you chew choose to thank the universe or consciously tell your mind that the food is going to help you relax, make you more productive, or improve your cognition.

6. Hydrate Your Body

Your body is 70 percent liquid. We have all heard this fact. But many of us are unaware of the fact that lack of water actually wreaks havoc on the body, or don’t know why this is the case. The number 1 reason for headaches is lack of water. Not having enough water can hamper your ability to think clearly, cause feelings of anger, helplessness, and anxiety, as well as contribute to sleeplessness and general unhappiness. It is also a major culprit behind poor digestion and feeling hungry.
Drinking enough water is such a simple to solution to so many bodily woes, yet many of us are completely unaware. This is because many big pharmaceutical companies are happier selling their pills than offering a simple, natural tip – drink water! Hydrating ourselves is pretty easy: drink at least 3 litres a day, making sure this isn’t immediately before or after your meals. Many of us just forget to drink enough water, myself included! I have a water alarm that rings every half an hour, and I highly recommend you download this wonderful app. Otherwise you can just keep a bottle of water in every room, your desk, garden, car, gym bag, or wherever you spend your time.

7. Go Organic

This is a completely bastardized term – many products claim to be organic, but often they are not. Organic products are 3 times more expensive than their poison-infused counterparts. But here’s the deal – too many people are busy counting calories and too few are counting chemicals. We don’t blink twice before buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks or spending 20$ for a meal at a regular restaurant, but organic food feels too expensive. Add this apathy to the fact that there are numerous ads for pricey eateries and coffee houses, but practically no advertising or social propaganda to ban non-organic food, and the results are devastating.
It’s time to make that plunge. Switch to a complete organic lifestyle. If it’s too expensive, grow veggies at home. Tomatoes, chilli, mint, gourds, lime, holy basil, carrot, radish, and beetroot are growing at my home right now, and it occupies less than 8 x 5 feet. It’s actually a lot simpler than you ever thought. If you don’t have the time or energy, please find a vendor who can home deliver your organic food and dairy. There are quite a few good ones in the market who offer free deliveries. It is only about making the first big move. I can promise you a lifetime of rewards.

8. Wabi-sabi Your Life

Wabi-sabi is the most beautiful lesson you’ll learn after spending some time with raw food. It is a Japanese concept that encourages us to see beauty in imperfections. Suddenly the odd potato, the teeny pea, the oblong gourd, the not-so-round tomato, the pink apple all look so inviting. As long as they are fresh, natural, and gifted by nature, they are worth appreciating. Once you apply the principle of wabi-sabi to your food, you will be able appreciate beauty in odd ways, at odd places, and in almost everything you encounter. No moment is perfect, but every moment is special. This was my learning. Go find your own wabi-sabi moment, starting with your food.

9. People Who Love Food Are Happy People

See this for yourself. A full belly will give a beautiful feeling of satiation. You will feel at peace for a while after eating your favourite meal. The idea here is to make every meal ‘your favourite’, rather than saving them for special occasions. Find joy in the most simple things, like food. You will feel more peaceful, less stressful, happier, and content. Cultivate this love for your food and spend more time and energy in this ritual.

10. Listen To Your Body

I don’t believe in counting calories, following fads, going on diets, or following random diet plans. Listen to the wisdom of your body. It tells you everything. You just need to attune yourself to it and everything will be achievable. You can lose weight, gain health, tone your flab, get rid of diseases, and achieve a balanced body and mind just by following these principles – watching what, when, and how you eat. If you closely listen to your body, you will receive all your answers. Modern medicine is less than a hundred years old. All ancient methods relied completely on natural healing – with energy, plants, or herbs. Find your answers within nature and within the temple of your body. Listen to your body for guidance – I promise it won’t lead you astray!
I wish you rediscover your food and yourself in the process.
Chow chow!
Happy eating.

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Awareness

30-Year Study Finds Weekly Use Of Disinfectants Greatly Increases Your Chances Of Lung Disease

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A 30-year study conducted by Harvard researchers and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research determined that people who use disinfectants just once a week have a 22-32% of developing lung disease.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many other natural alternatives out there these days. Some are listed in the article, be sure to do your research!

One of the most versatile cleaning supplies in the home, bleach disinfects anything it comes into contact with and can not only clean every surface but remove stains from fabrics, too. Despite its cleaning power, we’ve also long heard of the effects such chemicals can have on our health and wellbeing. The labels on such products make some of these clear, explaining they are corrosive and can irritate  eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, often through simple inhalation. Despite these warnings signs, people continue to buy into this corporate propaganda.

As previously stated in an article of ours from 2013:

It is important to note that there is no FDA-type organization that regulates the cleaning products that are brought into your home. Instead groups such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) make warnings of the use of Chlorine Bleach publicly available. Under the assumption that consumers will continue to use Chlorine Bleach within their households, the following safety precautions are widely recommended:

  • Dilute the chlorine bleach with water. The lower concentration poses a potentially lesser risk of unwanted exposure.
  • Wear a safety mask and rubber gloves when working with bleach as a preventative measure.
  • Only use chlorine bleach in a well ventilated area to allow for sufficient air flow and to prevent the unwanted gasses from remaining stationary in the working space.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach with any other household cleaners.

It’s unlikely people exercise these precautions when dealing with this chemical, and it’s also interesting to note that even more studies have come forward since then confirming these risks.


A new study has found that people who use disinfectants just once a week have a 22-32% increased chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 11 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may have the disease without even knowing it. COPD causes serious long-term disability and early death. At this time there is no cure, and the number of people dying from COPD is growing,” according to the American Lung Association.

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The 30-year study was conducted by Harvard University and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. This new study could potentially link COPD to specific cleaning chemicals, as two other studies in European populations showed that “working as a cleaner was associated with a higher risk of COPD,” according to Orianne Dumas, a researcher at Inserm. Dumas goes on to say, “Earlier studies have found a link between asthma and exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants at home, such as bleach and sprays, so it is important to investigate this further.”

In 1989, the Harvard researchers found 55,185 working female nurses in the U.S. who did not have COPD, then analyzed those who were still working in 2009 over the next eight years. Participants were given a questionnaire to determine which disinfectants they used most frequently and why they used them. The disinfectants included glutaraldehyde (a strong disinfectant used for medical instruments), bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and quaternary ammonium compounds (known as “quats”). In addition to the questionnaire, they took into account factors such as age, weight and ethnicity.

During this period they found that 663 were diagnosed with the condition. “In our study population, 37% of nurses used disinfectants to clean surfaces on a weekly basis and 19% used disinfectants to clean medical instruments on a weekly basis,” says Dumas.

The study aims to highlight the lack of health guidelines when it comes to cleaning and disinfectants, especially in healthcare settings, and researchers hope their results will prompt further investigation and better safety precautions.

There are many substantial alternatives to bleach like vinegar or essential oils, and if you’d like to further rid your home of harsh chemicals, check out this article (click here).

We need more people like these researchers, who dedicate their time to ensuring our safety when it comes to items we have incorporated into our lifestyle and assume are safe, doing this kind of work. This information isn’t meant to scare anyone, especially those of us who actively use these materials, but rather to bring more awareness so that we can educate ourselves and make healthier choices. There are countless healthy and safe alternatives when it comes to what we clean with, what we wear, and what we eat. You have to play the role of researcher in your own life if you expect to make positive change, and by having an open mind, you allow yourself to accept opportunities that can further your growth, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

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Alternative News

Joe Rogan May Take Down The Original Criticism Of “The Game Changers” Documentary

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Joe Rogan recently had James Wilks, the maker of "The Game Changers" documentary on to discuss the benefits of a plant base diet and to refute a previous episode where Chris Kresser debunked it.

  • Reflect On:

    When it comes to health, it's important sometimes to suspend what we believe and have been made to believe, and simply look at the information from a neutral perspective.

Joe Rogan has long ‘criticized’ vegans in various ways, and has also emphasized his belief that one cannot be optimally healthy on a vegan diet. He’s done this a number of times, which was hard for some onlookers to watch and listen to who have educated themselves on plant-based diets. Until recently, Rogan mainly focused on guests that were geared towards promoting meat-eating as optimal, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but a balance of understanding and information can go a long way to educating people.

One of the most recent examples of Joe Rogan and his guest ‘”debunking” a plant-based diet came from a critique of a recent documentary that is now airing on Netflix, called “The Game Changers,” made by filmmaker, James Wilks – a retired English mixed martial artist. The film was executively produced by James Cameron, and features interviews with the top scientists and doctors in their field who present an abundance of research and publications showing the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Not long ago, health coach and author Chris Kresser came on the “Joe Rogan Experience” after the documentary received a lot of attention, and the title of the podcast was titled: “Chris Kresser Debunks ‘The Game Changers Documentary.’

For someone like my self who has done a lot of research into the topic, it was frustrating to listen to it given the fact that it was quite clear, for me and others who had actually done thorough research from a neutral standpoint, that Kresser wasn’t really addressing all the facts, and was simply a big believer in what he was saying without even examining the information on the other side.

The challenge is, Rogan’s podcast was listened to by millions of people, and many came away actually believing the information that was said in the original debunking episode – information we later find out was completely incorrect. These types of episodes that massively mislead people are not just an issue with people who have large followings discussing vegan diets and health, but it’s a big issue with many other topics. This is why it was great that Rogan decided to have James Wilks on for a chance to defend his documentary, and the truth is he absolutely destroyed Kresser’s claims that were presented as facts in the previous podcast with Rogan. The best part was Kresser was on the show as well so he had a chance to truly make sure everyone was on the same page.

Wilks addressed every single criticism made by Kresser in the previous episode, from topics such as B12, protein amount, and protein quality, among many others. He also brought up the fact that we shouldn’t be listening to people like Kresser on such topics, but should be relying on properly published peer reviewed research that’s repeatable, non-industry conflicting research, as well as information that comes from the world’s leading scientists in the field of biology and nutrition, many of whom were presented in the Game Changers documentary. Or, people like Wilks, who have throughout done their research.  This episode really exposes how Kresser is not accurate or factual in his position on this topic, an important note for his followers.

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It’s important to keep in mind that not everything Kresser said previously had time to be addressed in this podcast, but it could have been. 100 percent of Kresser’s criticisms that were addressed were 100 percent completely debunked by Wilks, so much so that this is what Joe Rogan had to say via an Instagram post:

If interested, you can watch The Game Changers documentary on Netflix, and check out the podcast in question below.

Some Quotes From The Game Changers Documentary

One of these experts is Dr. Christina Warinner, 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.

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)

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 Wilks,  “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)

A Related CE Articles With More Information: 

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

12,000 Doctors Urge The FDA to put Cancer Warnings on Cheese 

Scientist: Milk From Cows Has “The Most Relevant Carcinogen Ever Identified” & “Turns on Cancer”

Scientist Explains How Cow’s Milk Leeches Calcium From Your Bones & Makes Them Weaker

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Awareness

Half of All Commonly Used Drugs Seriously Affect The Gut Microbiome, Scientists Warn

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many commonly prescribed medications have been found to have a drastic affect on the "good bacteria" in our gut.

  • Reflect On:

    It is important to be aware of all potential side effects before taking a new drug to decide whether or not it's worth it for you.

The link between a healthy gut microbiome and overall well-being has been established in recent years as we are learning that around 95% of the serotonin (commonly referred to as the “happy hormone”) produced in our bodies actually comes from our gut! This is one of many reasons why it is important to take care of our health, be mindful of the foods we are eating and be aware of adverse reactions from any drugs we are taking.

A recent study presented at UEG Week 2019 (United European Gastroenterology) has found that 18 commonly prescribed prescription drugs extensively affect the taxonomic structure and metabolic potential of the gut microbiome. Another eight drugs from different categories were also found to increase antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in study participants, and that’s not good.

According to the official press release regarding the findings of the study,

“Researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen and the Maastricht University Medical Center looked at 41 commonly used drug categories and assessed 1883 faecal samples from a population-based cohort, patients with IBD and patients with IBS intermixed with healthy controls. The researchers compared the taxonomic and metabolic functions profiles of drug users to non-drug users, looking at the effect of single medication use and then combined medication use. The changes observed could increase the risk of intestinal infections, obesity and other serious conditions and disorders linked to the gut microbiome.”

In a healthy gut, we all have a microbe population living inside our intestines. This microbe population consists of tens of trillions of microorganisms, which include over 1000 various species of bacteria. There are many different factors that can affect the microbiota population in the human gut, including various forms of medication.

The drug categories that were concluded in the study to have the biggest impact on the gut microbiome are as follows:

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  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – used to treat dyspepsia which affects between 11% and 24% of the European population. PPIs are also used to treat peptic ulcer, H. Pylori eradication, Gastro reflux and Barrett’s oesophagus.
  • Metformin – used as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, affecting 10% of European adults
  • Antibiotics – used to treat bacterial infections, taken by 34% of the European population each year
  • Laxatives – used to treat and prevent constipation, affecting 17% of European adults

More Important Findings

The study also showed that the gut microbiota of PPI users resulted in an increased level of upper gastrointestinal tract bacteria as well as increased fatty acid production. Metformin users showed higher levels of bacteria Escherichia coli (E.coli).

The research also showed that seven more categories of drugs were linked to significant changes to the levels of bacteria populations found in the gut. Oral steroids were related to higher levels of methanogenic bacteria, which has is associated with an increased BMI and obesity. Also, certain antidepressant drugs (known as SSRIs) used by those who also suffer from IBS was linked to an abundance of a bacteria species called Eubacterium ramulus, which can be harmful.

Lead-researcher of the study, Arnau Vich Vila said: “We already know that the efficiency and the toxicity of certain drugs are influenced by the bacterial composition of the gastrointestinal tract and that the gut microbiota has been related to multiple health conditions; therefore, it is crucial to understand which are the consequences of medication use in the gut microbiome. Our work highlights the importance of considering the role of the gut microbiota when designing treatments and also points to new hypotheses that could explain certain side-effects associated with medication use.”

Final Thoughts

It is important to understand all potential side effects when deciding on introducing a new drug into our system. The bacteria in our gut is there for a reason and it assists our bodies with many functions and if they are killed off or thrown off-balance it could result in more serious issues down the road.

If you are experiencing any of these issues and taking any of these medications it may be worthwhile to talk to your doctor about it and see if there are any alternative methods for treatment.

Our health is our greatest wealth!

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