How sweet can you get?
This is the age of convenience, one that offers humankind an easy way, a faster way, a more time-efficient manner of living.
And one major component of living is food.
Fast, as against slow, or quick food is cooked to meet the time demands of people in a hurry. Enzymes that would otherwise be preserved if food is prepared in low heat, are killed due to high cooking temperatures.
As a result, when a person relies mainly on processed, overcooked food, a low nutrition diet becomes his/her regular regimen. Over a period of time, a high-fat, high-sugar diet will result in obesity and high blood sugar levels.
Sugar = wrinkles
Sugar is vital to cell life and health but sugar in the body that is called glucose can become poison to the cells.
A person’s skin condition is affected by sugar, which attaches to the proteins of collagen. This results in stiffness and inflexibility leading to wrinkles. So to protect the skin, the intake of sugar has to be reduced.
1. Replace white bread with high-fiber wheat or multi-grain bread.
2. Remove all potato chips in your cupboard. However, if you have the habit of munching on chips, choose the high-fiber variety. Also, do not eat chips on an empty stomach. This will send your sugar levels soaring. Instead, eat them only after you have had a snack or a meal.
3. Snack on items that are nutritious—nuts and fruits.
4. If you have a supply of carbonated drinks, have an equal supply of fruit juices and soy milk.
5. Add a new supplement to your daily menu—the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid. It helps to keep vitamin C, E and glutathione longer inside the body thus providing the skin cells more protection.
If you also want to detoxify the system, especially the liver, consider metathione, a whitening pill if taken twice a day but is a detox pill if taken only once daily (available in Watsons & Mercury Drug).
Alpha-lipoic acid has more staying power than other antioxidants. Adding this to your supplement list is a wise choice. More than a health pill, it can also make your skin look younger.
6. Eat fish and more fish. It is lean and whatever fat it contains is omega 3. If you learn to eat more fish each day, you will find yourself losing weight gradually.
7. Reduce the carbohydrates. They add up to your sugar intake so go easy. Take a cup of ampalaya tea after meal time, especially after eating dessert.
Did you know that maintaining a low insulin level guarantees you an energetic body? It also is a great fatigue fighter.
People on see-saw diets—over-eating then starving—will suffer from high-low sugar levels wreaking havoc on the body.
Keep your sugar level steady. If you are hungry, eat. But eat slowly.
You will find that your ability to concentrate will also improve. And you get a bonus—high levels of serotonin in your brain that will give you a sense of well-being.
Sweet nothings are made up of sweet things you do for yourself when you feel you are about to be in a foul or depressed mood.
1. Keep your cool. Being in a sweet mood guarantees good health. Losing your temper will only quicken your breathing and make your heart race.
2. Keep a little love in your heart. It will make you smile not only at others but also at yourself.
Affirm: “My life is as sweet as my expectations.”
Love and light!
Reference: “The Wrinkle Cure” by Dr. Nicholas Perricone
Time to clean out & clear out
A random survey of people’s habits found that most refused to surrender them for a healthier lifestyle.
So why beat yourself up repeatedly for your inability to achieve your personal health and beauty goals if you are not willing to compromise or pay the price?
Odds in your favor
The physical body is designed to survive practically impossible odds. Pregnant women in the ghettos during World War II carried their babies to full term despite near dehydration and starvation.
Avalanche victims trapped in snow overcame the harsh environment despite frost bites, while some crash and accident victims miraculously survived even though badly bruised.
There are many stories of people who overcome. The conditions mentioned were not of their own making but they had no choice but to face the odds.
The basic difference between an average person and one trapped in an unforeseen circumstance is the exercise of freedom. The average person has it. You have it. So, if victims can survive, why can’t you, unless you are willing to gamble away your freedom.
The challenge here is clear—whether to make the right or the wrong choices.
Moralists will say there is always a right or wrong choice, given a situation. So, let us ask ourselves the question: what stand will you take when it comes to your health and wellness. Do you take steps today or simply fall into the pit of helplessness?
Steps to prepare your personal landscape:
1. Take a good look at yourself. See yourself in your ideal you—what you would like to be. Then get to work.
2. Now, make a strong sweeping assessment of your habitat. Your home—room, living space, kitchen—should reflect this new image. Is there anything that is out of synch? Example: You want to lose 10 pounds but your bedside table is full of junk foods. Obviously, this needs fixing. So, start cleaning out the mess or removing the temptation.
Next, your refrigerator should be purged of the following: leftovers from last Christmas like fruitcake, pastries and chocolates. Why are you hoarding them? Give them away now. The spirit of giving lives on in you, so it is a good excuse to gift a neighbor or office mate.
3. If birds of the same feather flock together and you would like to start over in a healthier way, make new friends who are like-minded. They make the best support group. They will see you to the completion of your wellness goals.
In fact, when choosing a mate, find someone who does not smoke, drink, or do drugs. He/she will make a great ally, friend and gym buddy.
4. Think light. If your bedroom/home is full of clutter (papers, boxes, files, outdated clothes, etc.) how can you breathe? Begin decongesting your physical living space. A clean and orderly environment has a direct connection to your own mental and emotional clarity. Donate your old clothes and shoes to charity.
5. Remove the cobwebs from your mind and heart—the fears (whether real or imagined), obsessions, hurts, worries. Stressing over the present and the future is counter productive to your well-being. Learn to trust God and yourself more.
Make it a habit to take two capsules of acidophilous (live nature bacteria) on an empty stomach to assure you of healthy flora in your intestines. This will improve your digestion. Note: A diet rich in fat and sweets can disrupt the normal balance in your gut.
Want a smaller waistline and flatter tummy? Have only vegetable juice and fruits for breakfast, plus a small serving of oatmeal or high fiber cereal.
Light as air
Being light on your feet is easy once you have embraced a wellness regimen. And the feeling is lighter when you fill your heart with love and faith.
Love and light!
Be good to yourself
It is not about second chances, attempts at redemption or to ease a guilty conscience.
Abuse, neglect and ignorance may not justify your lamentations.
If you find yourself unattractive, unappealing and unhealthy, these are valid reasons to embark on a makeover mission.
The start of a new year should signal your own renewal.
Crush not crash
Instead of being dismayed upon stepping onto a weight scale, be challenged. Think and say to yourself, “It is only a number.”
Crush your defeatist attitude. Allowing yourself to panic only triggers your own defeat. Of course, the last thing you should do is to go on a crash diet. This will only guarantee one thing—whatever weight you lose will definitely come back with a vengeance.
Studies have shown that people on diets experience depression. Therefore, do not starve yourself. Pace yourself instead. And use your common sense.
Detox not destroy
It is fairly easy to self-destruct. Simply give in to all your physical and emotional cravings without limits. In short, eat all you can and allow yourself to be swept away by your unchecked feelings.
This way, the word extreme will rule your life. Once accomplished, you will find yourself overweight, overburdened and over-exhausted.
Detoxify now. And the promise of a higher and more energetic body is yours.
1. List down your cravings. These may include chocolates, pastries, peanuts, ice cream, wine/spirits, high-fat foods, etc.
Know your weaknesses. This way, you will be on guard each time you are faced with your temptations.
2. Do not deny yourself a craving. Instead, take a little piece or small amount. By tasting something you will not feel totally deprived.
3. Stop eating when you feel full. Sins against the belly begin when you have burped once. And if you are the type that does not burp following the feeling of fullness, your waistline will expand and a feeling of tightness is inevitable.
4. Do not prolong the gaps between meals. Waiting too long to eat will only rob you of much-needed vitamins and minerals. If you wait too long to eat, there is a chance that your blood sugar levels will be affected and, in fact, may even fail to return to its normal level. This will immediately cause fatigue and depression.
5. If you intend to fast, make sure you are fully hydrated with water and vegetable juices every 30 minutes. Fasting will cleanse your gut and colon.
Make sure when you end your fast that it is quickly followed by two tablespoons of virgin coco oil or two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or a combination of both.
6. Try a lemon or organic coffee enema.
One lemon, juiced. Mix into one pint of warm, purified water. Use as an enema. Hold in the liquid for ten minutes. Then release. Take two capsules of acidophilous (bacteria) to replace the ones lost during the enema (great for colds, cough).
One heaping tablespoon of organic coffee (Baraco, Batangas variety, is good), boiled for 10 minutes in one pint of purified water. Introduce into your colon in three installments. Hold in for 15 minutes (if possible), then release.
You will instantly feel light and able to breathe better (if you have sinusitis problems).
7. Think of colors—red, pink, orange, green, gold, silver, etc. Make this your emotional guide for the day—red, passion/love; pink, affection; blue, calm; green, healing; orange, energy; gold/silver, prosperity.
Adopt a color and watch your outlook change.
New year, new you
The possibility of a new you is within your reach but only if you have the determination to claim it—inside and out.
Love and light!
Grateful for everyone who has touched my life
The goodness of God is manifested in all of creation.
Witnessing a magical sunrise and a majestic sunset give us many reasons why we should bless each day for being able to behold them.
We should be grateful for being alive and well and able to celebrate each moment as passionately and lovingly as the spirit moves us.
Each new day is a gift of life, so we should be thankful for new mornings, a gift of time borrowed to continue living, not just to make meaning of our own life but, more especially, to give meaning to others’.
For this day, I am grateful.
Every person is a work of near-perfection and everyone in our life, whether parent or sibling, husband, wife or beloved, teacher, friend or foe, has a pre-ordained purpose in our existence.
I question not who they are or were to me. They each contributed a feeling, memory or experience that brought me closer to my authentic self, that part of me that is stripped of ego and values only truth, honesty, justice and love.
For their presence that brought happiness and laughter, courage, stability and enlightenment... yes, even challenges and pain, I say thank you.
Grateful for being Pinoy
For the earth I walk on, this country I call home, which is the only one I have...
While the promise of a more exciting and sophisticated lifestyle in a foreign country may seem inviting, I am glad I am a Filipino, proud to be one.
There is no other home for me. Thanks are in order for this land brimming with beauty and warmth, music and culture, history and color. Rising above the Filipino ways that sometimes go to the extremes of politicking, pettiness and envy, Filipinos are still kind, generous and forgiving. So, thank you Philippines.
To celebrate life is not possible with a body plagued with illness, a spirit darkened by evil or a heart burdened with bitterness. Therefore, I value good health, a body responsive to a wellness lifestyle. I nurture a heart that is sustained by unconditional loving and that feeds an inquisitive mind open to the limitlessness of learning and transcendence.
Finally, I am grateful for you who are reading the musings of this soul in search of meaning. Through you, my thoughts and dreams may take root. As Deepak Chopra, MD, says in his book “Ageless Body Timeless Mind,” “From a seed is the promise of a forest.”
I know that if I am able to plant one seed in one heart today, then I will have a veritable forest of wellness in you.
It is said that gratitude should lie in the heart of all for peace to reign. A grateful heart never grows old but gets wiser. It unfolds like the thousand-petalled lotus with the passage of time.
Finally, thanks are in order for the miracles that occur after practicing the art of saying “Thank you, God.”
Truth is, for every thank you spoken, a miracle awaits.
it is time to rescue yourself from the onslaught of daily living.
Staying informed is paramount to staying ahead. Saving elements in your life that are part and parcel of who you are complete you in ways you cannot even imagine.
Perhaps you are guilty of ignorance, negligence or apathy. But fear not, here is a rescue list. So let’s get started on your mission to save yourself.
Actually, the more accurate term is energy vampires. These are real people that surround us and have the uncanny ability to steal our energy.
Example: You get regular phone calls from a friend who never stops complaining about the same thing or situation. Almost instinctively, s/he calls you, unloading all the hurts and pains accumulated over a lifetime.
Your boss’ irritable/angry nature can also get you down.
Or it may be someone you see every day, exposing you to his/her never-has-nothing-nice-to-say-about-anybody character? All these negatives take away energy from you.
Energy-saving tip: Distance yourself from people and/or situations that are negative. If this cannot be avoided, lessen your exposure immediately.
Or you can turn the situation around by simply saying, “Would your life change if you adopted a more positive attitude?”
Experts in natural health claim that if a negative person touches you, the negativity can transfer to you. The result? A feeling of debilitation or exhaustion.
Sure-shot energy boosters are daily moderate exercise, 6-8 hours of sleep and a balanced diet.
Who says we have to age like our parents? Modern anti-aging approaches are here, so rejoice. But, before anything else, consider the view that to look good on the outside, you have to take care of the inside.
The antioxidant army is here to keep your skin and complexion young and supple. Consider these basics as part of your daily regimen:
Vitamin A - 5,000 IUs
Vitamin E - 400 IUs
Vitamin C - 1,000 mg, 2X daily
Grape seed extract - 1 tablet
Co-enzyme Q10 - 30mg
Alpha-lipoic acid - 50 mg
Note: If your protein intake is low (protein is essential to proper heart functioning), then take COQ10.
Another valuable tip is to stay away from the sun unless you are wearing a sunblock (SPF-30, minimum). When you notice that you have fine lines, wrinkles, sun-damaged and sagging skin due to loss of firmness, it is time to increase your Vitamin C supplements.
There are many forms of Vitamin C—ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate and ester-C. Always take this antioxidant after a full meal.
Remember that, while animals can produce their own Vitamin C, humans cannot. Therefore, it is important that you include this as part of your vitamin regimen. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, is essential to the health of the nervous system and provides energy to the body.
That is right. Your heart needs a lift. Basic to your health is a physical heart that is cared for and an emotional heart that is nurtured.
Here is how to give your heart a lift. The mineral supplement magnesium and the antioxidant co-enzyme Q10 are two musts on your heart checklist.
Next, exercise via power walking daily for 30-45 minutes. Stay calm. Studies have shown that people with bad tempers and are constantly irritable put a heavy stress on the heart.
Practice the art of slow breathing anywhere you are and any chance you get. Whenever you feel the burden of stress bearing down on you, do this:
Calming affirmation and visualization:
Listen to relaxing music or just embrace your silence. Sometimes, tuning in to nature sounds (birds chirping, water running, etc.) can easily put you in a state of calm.
Repeat to yourself, “I am centered, focused and grounded. Nothing and no one can shake me.”
Now imagine you are a mighty and graceful narra tree. Your roots firmly settled in the Earth.
Love and light!
Reference: “The Wrinkle Cure” by Nicholas Perricone, MD
Take charge of your health
It is time for us all to exercise better control of our wellness. Here are a few nuggets of information to guide us.
When the food pyramid was designed to give people an idea of what good nutrition is, the advice was rather innovative―design your own.
Each person has different requirements depending on his/her lifestyle. Example: A stay-at-home mom would have her own unique needs different from that of an athlete, just as a student’s requirements will not be like a corporate executive’s.
Most people eat too little of the right kind of foods and too much of the wrong kind. While you may be at a loss about what to eat or drink, always remember anything that is overcooked has less nutrients. On the other hand, if it is green, leafy and raw, then it is packed with goodness.
People on the go are often guilty of the following:
1. Drinking less water.
2. Eating too much fatty foods.
3. Snacking on junk.
4. Skipping meals.
5. Overloading on sweets.
If you are experiencing chronic fatigue, headaches, emotional ups and downs, these are signs that clearly point to a lifestyle not supportive of health.
Why not make no-nonsense part of your daily vocabulary? Each time you succumb to the temptation of excess, mentally insert the term into your subconscious and conscious mind. Your internal programming will then command your external reality.
Disease is defined as a gross imbalance of one’s normal body functions. The result of the imbalance will be expressed in symptoms. It is a sign that something has gone and is going wrong.
But is there a pre-disease stage? The answer is yes. Through a simple blood test one can already read the signs. Example: Heart disease begins many years before its onset. But why wait to get sick?
Here are a few preventive tips:
1. Be choosy with your food. Insist on your own food preference. Do not just eat what is in front of you.
2. Crash diets are out. Carbohydrates, animal fats, sugar, alcohol in moderation are best.
3. Just move it. Exercise is paramount in health management.
While a low-fat diet is popularly followed by the health-conscious, there is some good news. Fat makes food tasty. Thus, people on low-fat diets may find their food tasteless.
Fat is good in that it can satisfy physical hunger. Without fat, the brain continues to send signals to the body―“you’re not full, therefore, eat more.” Balance your fat. You can indulge without overeating.
You shine with a whole variety of vegetable juices. Instead of carbonated drink, try to get into the habit of requesting for vegetable juice.
Mix ½ tbsp of virgin coco oil and ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Mix with 1 tbsp of pulverized raw rice grains. Rub gently all over your body (except eye area). Massage the oils into your skin. Leave on for five minutes. Your skin will become smooth as satin.
Inner peace begins with you. “I am serene now and forever.”
Take charge of your health
A new era is upon us. It puts you on center stage in caring for your own health.
There was a time when people would not take an active role in a plan to keep themselves healthy, leaving all the major decisions to their physicians.
The day of taking charge has arrived. And you are in control.
Change is good
Because a new season of change is upon you, there are changes to be made. Taking charge means the following:
1. Be clear about your health goals.
Do you want to have a stronger body, prolong and sustain your energy levels, boost your resilience against stress, or just simply refuse to catch a cold every three months? Whatever your goal is, assess, decide and act.
2. Seek advice/guidance from experts―your physician/nutritionist/gym trainer. Sometimes even your pastor/parish priest or best friend may have a recommendation or two.
3. No matter what the occasion, you should not be deterred or derailed from your goal.
4. Give yourself a workable timetable, something that is not an impossible dream, one that will not stress you out.
5. Listen to your body language. If your body talks to you in ways you cannot ignore, listen. Pretending that your symptoms will go away by ignoring them will not eliminate them. In fact, the next time around they will become more serious.
In a casual, random survey, people were asked what they really wanted from their bodies. The answer was unanimous from the men―to be in tip-top performance level. Women, on the other hand, said they wished for strength and beauty.
Philip Maffetone, in “In Fitness and in Health,” said when health and fitness were balanced, the result was optimal human performance.
You do not have to win an Olympic gold medal to be fit and healthy. You just need to perform well in all aspects of life―personal, family, work and social.
So let us define the terms clearly:
Fitness―to perform a physical activity well
Health―the optimal balance of all the body systems, muscular, skeletal, nervous, digestive, lymphatic, hormonal, mental, emotional, and other systems
Dr. Maffetone does simple math: fitness + health = human performance.
Your body requires energy to fulfill its physical needs. So we have to feed it energy. Nourish your body with the basic food requirements: carbohydrates (bread, pasta, fruits, rice), fats (oil, butter, cheese eggs), proteins (meat, fish, poultry).
If balance is the key, then eating moderate amounts from the different food groups mentioned should give you what you need.
Good nutrition also means good hydration―10-12 glasses of water daily, and vegetables. With these, you can only do the right thing.
Finally, balance includes enough time for work and play. When work takes the bulk of your time, sooner or later your health will suffer―both mentally and physically.
People who are naturally driven will not give importance to this. They are so focused on their work/money ambition to the detriment of their health.
But it is never too late to make adjustments. More on this next week.
Meanwhile, your affirmation today is: “Today I take charge of me.”
Love and light!