You are what you’re feeling- The Effects of Negative Emotions on our Health

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emotional_pain_chart

Humans experience an array of emotions, anything from happiness, to sadness to extreme joy and depression. Each one of these emotions creates a different feeling within the body. After all, our body releases different chemicals when we experience various things that make us happy and each chemical works to create a different environment within the body. For example if your brain releases serotonin, dopamine or oxytocin, you will feel good and happy. Convexly, if your body releases cortisol while you are stressed, you will have an entirely different feeling associated more with the body kicking into survival mode.

What about when we are thinking negative thoughts all the time? Or how about when we are thinking positive thoughts? What about when we are not emotionally charged to neither positive nor negative? Let’s explore how these affect our body and life.

POSITIVE VS. NEGATIVE

Is there duality in our world? Sure, you could say there is to a degree, but mostly we spend a lot of time defining and judging what is to be considered as positive and what we consider to be as negative. The brainis a very powerful tool and as we define what something is or should be, we begin to have that result play out in our world. Have you ever noticed, for example that someone driving can get cut off and lose their lid, get angry and suddenly they are feeling negative, down and in  bad mood? Whereas someone else can get cut off while driving and simply apply the break slightly and move on with their day as if nothing happened. In this case, the same experience yet one sees it as negative while the other doesn’t. So are things innately positive and negative? Or do we define things as positive and negative?

CUT THE PERCEPTIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

After thinking about it for a moment you might realize that there are in fact no positive or negative experiences other than what we define as such. Therefore our very perception of an experience or situation has the ultimate power as to how we will feel when it’s happening and how our bodies will be affected. While we can always work to move beyond our definitions of each experience and move into a state of mind/awareness/consciousness where we simply accept each experience for what it is and use it as a learning grounds for us, we may not be there yet and so it’s important to understand how certain emotions can affect our health.

“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” ~Hippocrates

MIND BODY CONNECTION

The connection between your mind and body is very powerful and although it cannot be visually seen, the effects your mind can have on your physical body are profound. We can have an overall positive mental attitude and deal directly with our internal challenges and in turn create a healthy lifestyle or we can be in negative, have self destructive thoughts and not deal with our internal issues, possibly even cloak those issues with affirmations and positivity without finding the route and in turn we can create an unhealthy lifestyle. Why is this?

Our emotions and experiences are essentially energy and they can be stored in the cellular memory of our bodies. Have you ever experienced something in your life that left an emotional mark or pain in a certain area of your body? Almost as if you can still feel something that may have happened to you? It is likely because in that area of your body you still hold energy released from that experience that is remaining in that area. I came across an interesting chart that explores some possible areas that various emotions might affect the body.

When you have a pain, tightness or injuries in certain areas, it’s often related to something emotionally you are feeling within yourself. At first glance it may not seem this way because we are usually very out of touch with ourselves and our emotions in this fast paced world, but it’s often the truth. When I’ve had chronic pains in my back, knees, neck or shoulders, it wasn’t exercise, physio or anything in a physical sense that healed it, it was when I dealt with the emotions behind it. I know this because I spent the time and money going to physio and even though I wanted and believed I would get better, something wasn’t being addressed still. The more I addressed the unconscious thought pattern and emotions throughout my body, the more thins loosened up and pain went away.

When you get sick or are feeling a lot of tightness and pain, often times our body is asking us to observe yourself and find peace once again within yourself and your environment. It’s all a learning and growing process we don’t have to judge nor fear.

YOU HAVE THE POWER

Davis Suzuki wrote in ‘The Sacred Life’, ‘condensed molecules from breath exhaled from verbal expressions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, contain toxins. Accumulated over 1 hr, these toxins are enough to kill 80 guinea pigs!’ Can you now imagine the harm you are doing to your body when you stay within negative emotions or unprocessed emotional experience throughout the body?

Remember, you have all the power in you to get through anything life throws at you. Instead of labeling with perception the concepts of negative and positive as it relates to each experience you have in your life, try to see things from a  big picture standpoint. Ask yourself, how can this help me to see or learn something? Can I use this to shift my perception? Clear some emotion within myself? Realize something within another and accept it? Whatever it may be, instead of simply reacting, slow things down and observe. You will find you have the tools to process emotions and illness quickly when you see them for what they are and explore why they came up. If you believe you will get sick all the time, and believe you have pain because it’s all out of your control, you will continue to have it all in an uncontrollable manner until you realize the control you have over much of what we attract within the body.

Credits: Joe Martino of Collective Evolution

Tasty Vegan – Pasta With Roasted Red Peppers and Almonds Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  1. 3/4pound campanelle or penne
  2. 4red or orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into quarters
  3. 3/4cup pitted kalamata olives
  4. 1/2cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds
  5. 1/4cup olive oil
  6. 1tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  7. kosher salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat broiler. Place the peppers on a baking sheet skin-side up and broil until blackened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Scrape the charred skin from the peppers with a paring knife and wipe clean with paper towels.. Cut the flesh into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Add the peppers, olives, almonds, oil, thyme, 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the pasta and toss to combine (add more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).

Credit: Real Simple

Your Welcome – Daniel Radcliffe Raps Blackalicious’ “Alphabet Aerobics”

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Survival of the Fittest – List of Common Chemicals that are making you Fat & Depressed

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We’ve all heard that if we eat too many calories, we’ll get fat. But there’s more to it: it’s not just the calories, but the chemicals, in our food that contribute to obesity.

Some of these chemicals — called “obesogens” — trigger our bodies to store fat even though we might be restricting calories. The effects are complex: some of these chemicals increase the number of fat cells, others expand the size of fat cells and still others influence appetite, cravings, fullness and how well the body burns calories. In addition to obesogens, other synthetic food ingredients have been shown to help us pack on the pounds and leave us feeling depressed, even when when we think we’re eating healthy.

To stop feeling that way, here are the top five chemicals to avoid in food.

  1. Growth Hormones & Antibiotics

Several drugs, growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics are routinely given to conventionally raised animals to fatten them up on less food. Residues from some of these drugs have been found in meat samples, so you very well could be eating these growth-promoting drugs every time you eat a steak. These drugs are believed to contribute to the obesity epidemic and are poorly regulated in the U.S.

How to avoid: Choose only certified organic grass-fed meat and dairy products (preferably local). Treatment with growth hormones and growth-promoting antibiotics isn’t permitted in organically grown animals. As an added benefit, organic grass-fed beef has been shown to contain more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may actually help you lose weight.

  1. Artificial & Natural Flavors

All of the chemicals that make processed food taste good — monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial flavors and natural flavors — are just cheap replacements for the real thing and can cause you to eat more than you would otherwise.

With the innocuous-sounding term “natural flavors,” companies can put whatever they want in your food that’s generally recognized as safe, including naturally occurring glutamate bi-products like MSG, known excitotoxins. These excitotoxins cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food.

How to avoid: Steer clear of processed foods, particularly those that have artificial flavors, natural flavors, monosodium glutamate or other “processed free glutamic acid” additives like autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed proteins.

  1. Artificial Sweeteners

Think you’re going to lose weight by switching from regular soda to diet? Think again. Researchers have discovered that artificial sweeteners like those in Diet Coke, can affect gut bacteria, leading to more weight gain. If that isn’t bad enough, the artificial sweetener Aspartame has been linked to mood swings and depression.

How to avoid: Don’t eat anything with artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, saccharin) in the ingredient list. Limit your sugar intake overall, but choose unrefined sweeteners such as coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, raw honey and dried fruits such as dates.

  1. Pesticides

Out of all the common pesticides Americans are regularly exposed to, the majority of them are “endocrine disruptors“, making them obesogens. Even in tiny amounts, endocrine disruptors have the ability to disrupt major weight controlling hormones (catecholamines), interfere with the natural hormone systems that regulate metabolism and lead to weight gain.

How to avoid: Minimize your exposure to pesticides by choosing certified organic produce and products. (Synthetic pesticides are prohibited in organic farming.) If organic isn’t available, choose fresh produce that’s on the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15″ list of produce with the least pesticide residue.

  1. Plastics

Whether it’s a bottle of salad dressing or container of leftovers, most of us are exposed to plastics on a daily basis. Many of these plastics contain substances such as phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA), known endocrine disruptors that have beendirectly linked to increased fat storage. These chemicals have the ability to leach into food and have infiltrated our society so much that they’ve been found 93% of urine samples tested in America.

How to avoid: Choose your water bottles, storage containers, straws and eating utensils wisely, and stock up on those made from glass or stainless steel instead of plastic. Glass jars make an affordable option for storing food.

Credit: Mind Body Green

Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas

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INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix chicken, picante sauce or salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese and onions.
  2. Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
  3. Fold opposite sides over filling.
  4. Roll up from bottom and place seam-side down on a baking sheet.
  5. Brush with melted margarine.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until golden.
  7. Garnish with additional cheese and green onion and serve salsa on the side.

Credit: Food

Happy Croissants Day!!! – Bacon and Cheese Croissants Recipe

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Ingredients

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 
4 slices (1 oz each) Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled 
1/4 cup chopped onion 
1 egg, beaten

Steps

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut cheese slices to fit on triangles; place 1 slice on each. Top with bacon and onion. Roll up loosely as directed on can. Brush with egg. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375°F 12 to 15 minutes.
Credit: Pillsbury

Tasty Vegan – Spicy Pepper Breaded Cauliflower Bites/Wings with celery ranch Recipe

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Spicy Baked Cauliflower Bites | Vegan Richa

Ingredients:

2 to 3 Tbsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp evoo
1/2 to 3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 tsp cayenne/ red chili powder
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp onion powder
1.5 to 2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut milk (canned, preferably full fat)
1/4 cup water
3.5 to 4 cups cauliflower florets
 
Breadcrumb coating:
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cayenne 
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt 
 
Celery Ranch Sauce:
1/2 cup ground cashew
1/2 to 3/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp flour or 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
2/3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (can be omitted)
a very generous dash of black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 roasted garlic cloves
1 to 2 tsp ranch seasoning (equal amounts of dried parsley, dill, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder).
1 to 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp celery seeds
 
Directions:
Make the Cauliflower bites:
In a bowl, mix everything except cauliflower for the batter. If the batter is too thin, add more flour or starch. 
In another shallow bowl, mix everything under breadcrumb coating.
Dip cauliflower in the batter, then coat in breadcrumbs and place on parchment lined sheet. (use gloves or a fork. the batter is spicy)
Drizzle any remaining batter on the cauliflower. Spray oil.
Bake at pre-heated 425 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick goes through the cauliflower easily. Serve warm with dip. 
 
Make the Celery Ranch dip:
Blend everything except celery seeds. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add celery seeds and blend for a few seconds or mix in with a spoon. Chill and serve. 
Credit: Vegan Richa

Happy National Blueberry Pancakes Day!!! – Todd’s Famous Blueberry Pancakes Recipes

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TODD’S FAMOUS BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 
1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 
1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 
1 egg
  • 
1 cup milk
  • 
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • PREP
10 mins
  • COOK
15 mins
  • READY IN
1 hr 15 mins

Directions

  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir milk and egg into flour mixture. Mix in the butter and fold in the blueberries. Set aside for 1 hour.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Credit All Receipes

Happy Chocolate Cake Day!!! – Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

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vegan-chocolate-cake

For the cake

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour 
1 cup sugar 
⅓ cup cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 cup warm water (you may substitute this for coffee) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
⅓ cup vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar 
For the glaze  

For the Glaze

½ cup sugar 
4 Tablespoons margarine or vegan butter substitute 
2 Tablespoons soy milk 
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1) Prepare the Cake

Prepare the Cake

Preheat oven to 350F (177C). In an 8 x 8 inch square pan, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt with a fork. Add the water or coffee, vanilla extract, vegetable oil and vinegar. Mix the ingredients together. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack. 
Prepare the Glaze

In a small saucepan bring the sugar, margarine, soy milk and cocoa powder to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and stir an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. 
 Glaze the Cake

Pour the glaze onto cake and let it cool for one hour. This recipe makes 1, 8 x 8 inch square Vegan Chocolate Cake.

Credit: Vegan Baking

Happy Green Juice Day!!! – How to cleanse with juicing and juice fasting?

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I’m often asked to name one thing that can be done right away to get healthier. With respect to food choices, the best suggestion I have is to begin drinking freshly pressed vegetable juices. Drinking just one freshly pressed juice each day is a reliable way of infusing your body with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that can protect your cells against premature aging and disease.

Making time to drink vegetable juices isn’t a problem for most people. It’s the time that’s needed to wash fresh vegetables, feed them through a good juicer, and clean the juicer afterward that prevents most people from making fresh juices a regular part of their lives.

But if you understand how beneficial freshly pressed juices are to your health, it becomes easier to make the time to juice several times a week.

THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS

The key to creating healthy vegetable juices is to make green vegetables the bulk of every batch. Green vegetables won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin like fruits and sweet vegetables like carrots and red beets will.

This isn’t to say that you can’t juice fruits, carrots, and red beets. Fruits and sweet root vegetables can be healthy additions to your drinks, and they’ll definitely add sweetness and flavour. You just want to make sure that they never make up more than one-third of each glass that you drink.

And if your blood sugar level tends to be high, you’ll want to use a blood sugar monitor to determine how much is acceptable for you. I’ve worked with many diabetics over the years who haven’t been able to handle even an ounce of fruit, carrot, or red beet juice in their drinks without negative health consequences, so please consider this point before you select your ingredients for juicing.

Romaine lettuce is one of the best green vegetables that you can juice. You can also juice other types of leafy lettuce like red or green leaf lettuce.

For variety, try adding large handfuls of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, Bok Choy, and other dark green vegetables that you might steam before eating.

For another layer of flavour, you can add a tiny slice of lemon (including the rind for its flavonoids) to your vegetable juices.

Some people enjoy adding a clove of raw garlic for even more bite.

Be creative and add any vegetables you crave. You really can’t go wrong as long as you make sure not to use too many carrots, red beets, or fruits.

Clearly, organic vegetables are better than non-organic vegetables. But my experiences have led me to believe that the health benefits of drinking juices made with well washed, non-organic vegetables far outweigh not juicing at all. If you’re only able to juice non-organic vegetables due to financial or other life circumstances, it’s still well worth doing.

juice

HOW TO EXPERIENCE AN EFFECTIVE JUICE FAST

Now that we’ve reviewed the fundamentals of how to make healthy vegetable-based juices, let’s take a look at how to carry out an effective juice fast.

Some people call juice fasting juice dieting, preferring to reserve the word “fasting” for water-only fasting. Juice fasting and juice dieting are the same thing.

Why consider doing a juice fast?

Drinking only freshly pressed vegetable-based juices for a day or two or even a week at a time can give your body much needed rest and time to heal itself of chronic health problems.

Because vegetable juices are extremely easy to digest, your body can spend much of its resources on healing damaged or exhausted tissues instead of spending its energy on digesting heavy meals.

You should only do a juice fast after consulting with your health care provider and confirming that your current health status should allow for a safe and effective juice fast.

What’s the difference between a juice fast and a water fast?

People detoxify and heal more quickly with a water fast than with a juice fast. This is because with a water fast, your digestive passageway and organs are able to rest completely, which allows almost all of your energy to be used for cleansing and repair of damaged tissues.

With a juice fast or a cleansing diet of fruits and vegetables, your body must use energy (a minimal amount compared to when you are eating heavier meals) to digest nutrients, leaving less available energy for detoxification and healing.

Another significant difference is that more fat tissue is burned during a water fast, as your body must rely exclusively on fat reserves to supply its energy needs after the first one to three days of water fasting. Your body stores the bulk of incoming toxins in your fat reserves. As these reserves are burned for energy during a fast, any stored toxins will be released into your circulation, to be eliminated from your body through channels like your urine and respiratory tract. This mechanism of detoxification also occurs with juice fasting, but at a slower pace.

All of this considered, both types of fasting can be helpful to your health. The choice you make should take into consideration your circumstances and goals.

Generally, juice fasting allows for more gentle detoxification than water fasting. Juice fasting also allows you to have enough energy to keep up with most of your activities of daily living while you detoxify your tissues, where as an effective water fast requires almost complete physical rest.

Another significant difference is that juice fasting is much easier for most people to stick with. Water fasting is best carried out in a supervised setting while juice fasting is relatively easy to do from your own home.

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU JUICE FAST FOR?

It really depends on your health status and goals. If you’re looking to give your body a short but beneficial break, it can be helpful to do a juice fast for 48-72 hours over a weekend.

If you’re looking to experience significant detoxification and improvement in your overall health, you might consider doing a longer juice fast, somewhere in the ball park of one to two weeks.

Although it’s optimal to prepare for a juice fast by eating raw fruits and vegetables for 24 hours prior to beginning with juices only, most people do just fine in starting with juices without a pre-fasting routine.

You can drink however many juices your appetite calls for throughout the day. I have found that most people do well with an average of five freshly pressed juices per day.

You can use any of the juice recipes that are listed above, or any similar recipes that you create following your tastes.

While I generally recommend that people use fruit-based juices early on in the day and turn to vegetable-based juices as the day goes on, there’s really no requirement to stick to a specific order of juices.

ENDING YOUR JUICE FAST

You should end your juice fast by eating whole fruits and vegetables.

Credit: Prevent Disease