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Awareness

The Secret Of ‘Food Combining’ That Helps Prevent Bloating, Stomach Pain, & Indigestion

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    One of the greatest health-hacks has to do with which foods we eat together. Combining proteins and carbohydrates (starches or fruit) causes neutralization of digestive enzymes. This causes symptoms such as bloating, gas, heartburn, and more.

  • Reflect On:

    Sadly, protein and starchy carbohydrates make up much of the world's diet. It seems we have come to accept the symptoms of indigestion as if they are a rite of meal-time passage. Yet all of these symptoms are completely preventable.

 

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One of the greatest health-hacks has not so much to do with what we eat, but rather with which foods we eat together.

It’s called proper food-combining, and understanding its intricacies is a powerful way to support your digestive health and overall vitality.

In his book, Food Combining Made Easy, natural hygienest Herbert Shelton shares his detailed understanding of how the wrong combinations of foods wreak havoc on our digestion. Shelton spent over fourty years in the study of dietetics, having directed and cared for thousands of people during his lifetime. He, like many natural hygienists today, saw the fundamental flaws in man’s modern eating habits, the main one being that we eat too many different types of food in the wrong combinations. Instead of the buffet-style spread, Shelton advocated for a diet of simplicity, much like that of the animal kingdom around us.

“Animals eat very simply and rarely combine their foods. Certainly the meat-eating animals eat no carbohydrates with their proteins. The deer grazing in the forest combines his food very little, and the squirrel is likely to get their fill of nuts and take no other food. Birds have been observed to eat insects at one time of day and seeds at another. No animal in nature has the great variety of foods spread before it at a meal such as civilized man does today,” Food Combining Made Easy, pg. 8.

Shelton believed that the digestive enzymes of the human digestive tract have well-defined limitations, and when we eat in a manner that overrides these limitations, we run into digestive issues. He called proper food combining “merely a sane way of respecting our enzymatic limitations.”

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And by combining our foods properly, Shelton asserted that much of our digestive ailments would be solved. He even claimed that allergies would dissipate given a period of time eating the right food combinations. “An amazing number of food allergies clear up completely when supposedly allergic individuals learn to eat their foods in digestible combinations.” He writes that what they are suffering from are not allergies at all, but rather symptoms of indigestion.

The Different Types of Food Material & Their Digestion

Shelton’s definition of food is quite simple: Material which can be incorporated into and become part of the cells and fluids of the body. To be a true food the substance eaten must not contain useless or harmful ingredients.

Proper food material is composed of water and a few organic compounds known as proteins, carbohydrates (sugars, starches), fats, mineral salts, and vitamins.

As proteins, carbohydrates and fats are not useable by the body, they must first undergo a disintegrating, refining process known as digestion. While digestions has its mechanical components such as chewing and swallowing, it is primarily a process of chemical changes as the food makes its way through the digestive tract. What creates these chemical changes are known as enzymes. Enzymes are the catalysts which break complex compounds (such as proteins) down into their simpler components (amino acids) which can then be used by our cells.

Each enzyme is specific in its action; they only act upon one class of food substance. For example, the enzymes that act upon carbohydrates cannot act upon proteins or fats. Enzymes are so precise that even within the carbohydrate class there are different enzymes for different types of sugars and starches. The same goes for proteins.

Most enzymes work in organized sequence, that is, each stage of digestion depends on the enzymatic action preceding it. For example, if the enzyme pepsin has not first converted a complex protein into a peptone, then it prevents the further breakdown of peptones into amino acids.

Enzymes are also very sensitive to pH changes. If the alkaline salivary enzyme, ptyalin, interacts with an acidic food in the mouth such as a protein, the enzyme that would normally break down starches is rendered inactive by the change in pH.

Similarly, in the stomach, the protein enzyme pepsin can only act in an acidic environment, and if it combines with an alkaline food it is rendered useless. Pepsin is a crucial enzyme in the first stage of protein digestion, and without it the proteins will not further digest but rather ferment and putrefy.

In the case of foods composed of both carbohydrates and proteins, such as bread, our digestive system utilizes a unique sequence of enzymatic secretions to breakdown the food. At first only little hydrochloric acid is poured into the stomach—the enzymatic juice secreted is almost neutral in reaction to allow the starch component of the bread to breakdown first. But once the starch is digested, more hydrochloric acid is then poured into the stomach to digest the protein component of bread.

The entire digestive process is highly organized yet very sensitive to changes in pH, which means that combining even a small amount of the wrong foods can cause proper digestion to halt.

And what happens when proper food digestion halts? As Dr. Morse states in The Miracle Detox Sourcebook, “fermentation and putrefaction then become the digesters, instead of digestive enzymes. This causes improper food breakdown and many unwanted chemical changes, all leading to malabsorption, acidosis and cellular starvation.”

The Two Most Important Food-Combining Tips

The two most important food-combination tips are first, to never mix proteins (acid foods) with carbohydrates (alkaline foods), and second, separate your consumption of fruits and melons from any other types of food.

As mentioned previously, mixing proteins with carbohydrates causes neutralization, putrefaction, and fermentation. Fungi (yeast especially) love the byproducts of fermentation (alcohol sugars), and this is why so many people suffer from candida and various parasitic overgrowths. Sadly, protein and starchy carbohydrates make up much of the world’s diet (meat and potatoes, anyone? How about chicken and rice?). It seems we have come to accept the symptoms of stomach pain, bloating, gas, and heartburn as if they are a rite of meal-time passage. Yet all of these symptoms are completely preventable with the proper understanding and application of food-combining.

Separating fruit from other foods is another crucial rule in food combining. Fruit digests the quickest out of any other food; therefore, when fruit is mixed with foods that require many hours to digest (such as eggs or meat), then the fruit quickly ferments into alcohol sugars that signal the yeast to begin their feeding frenzy. Always opt to eat fruit in the morning hours on an empty stomach. This will hydrate your body and begin to flush out the digested waste in your GI tract.

Also worth mentioning is that within the category of fruit, there are specific combinations of fruits that some will be more sensitive to than others. For more information about this, see the food combining chart below.

Beyond those two rules, food-combining can be made simple by knowing a few more tips.

Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cabbage, celery, leafy greens, sprouts, and zucchini can be combined with fats, starches, and proteins. So when deciding what to eat with your dinner main, always keep vegetables in mind. Non-starchy vegetables are full of fibre, amino acids, and minerals, great for rebuilding a weakened body and sweeping the digestive tract of waste material.

Lastly, when eating concentrated protein starches such as beans or lentils, be sure to soak or sprout them to make them easier to digest, and avoid mixing with starches like rice or bread. Protein starches should be eaten sparingly, and always with non-starchy vegetables.

Understanding proper food-combining can do wonders for your digestion and absorption. One thing to remember is that some people will be more sensitive than others, so experiment yourself and observe how your digestion improves. As I always say, when in doubt, try it out.

 

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Awareness

Frankincense Shows The Ability To Alleviate Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Studies have proven the psychoactive effects the scent of frankincense has on the brain, alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Reflect On:

    With all the man-made chemical pharmaceutical drugs out there, perhaps solutions to what ails us are more simple than we may realize.

Gold and frankincense and myrrh… sound familiar? These were the gifts that were allegedly brought by the three kings when Jesus Christ was born. We all know that gold is valuable, but what about the others? Frankincense has long been touted as a magical, mystical medicine and has been regarded as such for millennia within many ancient cultures of the world. The same goes for myrrh, but for the purpose of this article we are going to stick to the medicinal properties of frankincense.

Frankincense starts out as a type of resinous sap that is found inside a special family of trees called Boswellia, which grow almost exclusively in the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. When it is harvested at specific times of the year, the trees are cut carefully with special knives and the sap seeps out. This special sap is then dried in the sun until it is ready for use. More commonly, frankincense is burned simply as sweet smelling incense, but it has many other uses as well including the following…

Historical Uses Of Frankincense

  • As a part of ritual or religious ceremonies
  • Was used extensively during burial rituals as an embalming material to help mask the odor of the deceased body
  • Smoke from burnt incense can effectively drive away mosquitoes and other pests

Frankincense has also been used medicinally, treating various ailments such as arthritis (it has strong anti-inflammatory properties), gut disorders (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), asthma, and maintenance of oral health.

And perhaps the most intriguing quality for our westernized modern culture is the psychoactive effects of this special resin, as studies have shown that burning frankincense can trigger an effect that can aid and even alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Research

One study in particular, conducted by a team of researchers form John Hopkins University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, explains how burning the resin from the Boswellia plant (frankincense) activates certain previously misunderstood ion channels in the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. This might explain why Roman emperor Nero once burned an entire year’s harvest of frankincense at his favorite mistress’ funeral.

“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study’s co-authors. “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”

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The researchers administered incensole acetate to mice in order to determine its psychoactive effects. This compound they found drastically impacted the parts of the brain that generate emotions and the nerve circuits that have responded positively to current drugs used for depression and anxiety. The incensole that was administered activated a protein called TRPV3, which is connected to the ability to perceive warmth of the skin.

“Perhaps Marx wasn’t too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion–burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!”

Can This Work For You?

Sure, this study was conducted using mice, which certainly aren’t the same as humans. However, many religious texts claim that this special resin had uplifting effects on the brain. So, the good thing is that if used appropriately, it really can’t hurt to try. You can typically buy the resin at health food stores and more commonly at stores that sell incense, crystals, sage and those sorts of spiritual ceremonial tools. It can also be found as an essential oil. I like to diffuse it in a diffuser, and sometimes I’ll burn the resin on charcoal pucks as well.

At the very least, you’ll get a nice and pleasant smelling aroma, and at best it can help turn that frown upside down, increase your mood, reduce your anxiety and maybe even put a smile on your face. Perhaps those three wise men were as wise as they’ve been made out to be, and frankincense really is as special as it’s been believed to be for millennia.

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Awareness

Binge Watching Is Associated With a 12 Percent Increased Risk of Inflammatory-Related Death

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death.

  • Reflect On:

    How much TV do you watch? How active is your lifestyle?

I’m sure that you hesitated before choosing to read this article, as most of us have been sucked into a binge watching marathon on more than one occasion (myself included). While it may seem like we’re buckling down to give ourselves a break, we may actually be hurting ourselves far more than we realize. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has proven to be harmful to our bodies, especially for adults over 50, and when you match lounging with television, you create a deadly combo.

In an Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers examined more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death, and those who spent more than four hours a day watching TV were at an even higher risk. This includes  diabetes, respiratory, cognitive, and kidney diseases. (source)

In general, watching television has proven to negatively impact mental health; it alters your brain, lowers your attention span, and has the potential to make you more aggressive. You don’t need to experience the “trance-like” state television can put us in, but I’m sure you’ve witnessed it before. This trance occurs roughly 30 seconds after you start watching TV. Your brain begins by producing alpha waves, leading to a light hypnotic state that makes the viewer less aware of their environment and more open to subtle messages — aka programming.

In the 1990s. Dr. Teresa Belton, a visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia, studied the effects that television has on the imagination of 10-12 year old children, ultimately concluding that television negatively impacts their development: “The ubiquity and ease of access to television and videos perhaps robs today’s children of the need to pursue their own thoughts and devise their own occupations, distracting them from inner processes and constantly demanding responses to external agendas, and suggests that this may have implications for the development of imaginative capacity.”

And these physical affects are becoming increasingly apparent. Not only does it eventually lead to immobility as you age, but with the risk of creating inflammation in the body, you are susceptible to a host of diseases including kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.

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Dr. Megan Grace is the lead investigator at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Between 1999 and 2000, her team quizzed adult participants about their viewing habits via a questionnaire. Again, this was before we had access to popular streaming websites like Netflix. The participants were separated into three groups based on their TV viewing habits: less than two hours per day, greater than two hours but less than four hours, and more than four hours.

“TV time was associated with increased risk of inflammatory-related mortality. This is consistent with the hypothesis that high TV viewing may be associated with a chronic inflammatory state,” the authors wrote.

They followed up with their participants 12 years later and found, of 909 deaths, 130 were inflammatory-related. Of the inflammatory-related deaths, 21 were from diseases of the respiratory system and 18 of the nervous system, and those who watched between two to four hours of TV a day showed a 54% higher risk of inflammatory-related death. Additionally, people who watched more than four hours of TV a day doubled their risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared to those who watched two hours.

In addition to cutting down the amount of time you spend sitting in front of the TV and sitting or lying down, you can help combat inflammation with a number of foods like avocados, berries, sweet potato, onions, and watermelon, and herbs like, cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric.

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Awareness

The Science Of Healing Trauma With Plant Medicine – Dr. Jeff McNairy Explains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Ayahuasca has assisted thousands of people with an array of mental health disorders. There is real science that can explain how this "medicine" is able to actually change the brain.

  • Reflect On:

    Ayahuasca is not for everyone, and it will not fix you. It might, however, show you what you need to see in order to release what is no longer serving you in life and holding you back.

Over the past decade or so, the use of ayahuasca by western cultures has absolutely blown up. Chances are you’ve either taken it yourself or know someone who has. You may have heard some incredible and transformative stories about how this indigenous plant medicine has assisted many of those struggling with depression, addiction, anxiety and many other ailments.

It has been difficult to explain how this plant actually works to help alleviate symptoms of trauma, and many stick to simply regarding it as a mystical experience that shows you whatever it is that you need to see in order to heal your wounds. However, there is a scientific way to explain what is actually happening within the brain and body when ayahuasca is ingested. Some people with a more logical method of receiving information might prefer to know the actual physical “why” as to what is happening. In the video below, Dr. Jeff McNairy explains this.

Dr. Jeff McNairy is part of the Rythmia family, the world’s first fully licensed medical facility that offers ayahuasca. The entire CE team had the opportunity to go back in 2016 and it was a wonderful experience for us all.

Personally, I have processed a lot of my own trauma with the assistance of this potent plant medicine. It was able to show me things that I hadn’t realized had such a profound impact on my life, things that I had simply written off as unimportant. There were many things that I had stuffed down, locked away and refused to look at over the years that ultimately were the cause for my struggle with depression, addictive behaviours and anxiety. With the assistance of ayahuasca, a light shined on these areas that I had locked away in my subconscious, which helped me to see where healing was still required.

Is Ayahuasca For You?

Whether you are drawn to ayahuasca or not is okay, it’s not for everyone. But if you have a serious desire to uncover more layers of who you are and why you are the way you are, and you’re drawn to this medicine, then it may be for you. Ayahuasca can be a great tool for those who have suffered trauma, but it is important to know that ayahuasca won’t fix you, however it can lead you to understand what it is you need to know in order to fix yourself. It has the capacity to show you whatever it is that you are not seeing from a different perspective, opening your eyes to what you may not have been able to see before.

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It is no coincidence that ayahuasca has emerged within westernized cultures around the globe during this important time of transition. Not only is it assisting people to reconnect back to their soul’s essence, but it is also increasing our regard for our environment and our Mother Earth as a whole.

On another note, here’s an interesting quote from Joe Martino:

Psychedelics were used back in a time when the level of consciousness of the planet was not as high, which helped give insight to shamans so they could share it with their communities. It was meant for use in extreme cases where heavy trauma or addictions existed and people could not use other ways to work through their emotional challenges. Here in present time, we use them in a western fashion as THE GO TO for moving through all of our challenges. I’m here to remind you that you have so much power and ability as a being that in most cases, you don’t need any of these things to evolve. I’m not suggesting don’t do it, I’m simply saying truly ask your heart what you want, and don’t get caught up in the grand allure and peer pressure. (source)

Use Responsibly

It is important to seek out and use ayahuasca that is harvested using sustainable practices and served by shamans who have the utmost respect for the sacred medicinal brew. As its popularity has increased, so has the opportunity to exploit it, so do your due diligence when it comes to determining if ayahuasca is right for you and who will be serving you this medicine.

Related CE Article: Why Psychedelic Drugs Are Not A Shortcut To Enlightenment

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