As a peaceful warrior, I would choose when, where and how I would behave.
With that commitment, I began to live the life of a warrior.
~Dan Millman

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Water and the Human Body

By Janelle Deeds Nutrition Consultant & Educator

You have heard it once; you’ve heard it many times…water is vital to the quality of your health. But what is really going on when you take that drink of water? Why does it really make a difference, especially if you aren’t even thirsty? And what is all the fuss about?

Here are a few benefits of drinking water include:

Maintains beautiful healthy looking skin - skin health is a reflection of our internal health.

Keeps your organ and joints moist - this permits the passage of nutrients and wastes between the blood vessels and the rest of the body.

Helps to maintain muscle tone and supports weight loss - water plays a key role in the metabolic breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates.

Supports the regulation of your body temperature - when the body becomes too warm you will break out in a sweat. If you cannot sweat and your temperature rises, you can experience heat stroke or exhaustion.

Transports oxygen to the cells.

Your body is entirely made up of cells. Protoplasm, the basic material of living cells, is made of macronutrients that you are very familiar with; proteins, fats and carbohydrates. They are integrated in cells and with the various chemical elements combined with water to create the more familiar macronutrients. The basic functioning of the cells, including water balance, digestion, removing toxins, elasticity of the cells, oxygenation, nutrition, sodium/potassium balance etc. depend on Cell Salts. These cell salts are vital nutritional elements of the cell and lacking any one or more of these minerals will prevent the cells from up taking the proper nutrients supplied by digestion and the blood. In the late 1800’s, Dr. Willhelm H. Schuessler observed that the human body, when reduced to ashes contained only 12 minerals in the form of salts.

In a normal healthy body, minerals and micro elements pass through the cell membrane to the nucleus by electro-osmosis. A cell exchanges elements with the rest of the body by electrolysis. The body needs electrolytes (salt minerals like sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate) for basic body functions. If your body loses water, it loses the ability to use these minerals.

Dehydration of the body is a serious matter. At 1% dehydration, most individuals will find that they have reduced athletic performance; others may experience a headache, tiredness, irritability or just feel thirsty. They often may not feel quite right but with no specific concerns. When 2% dehydration is reached, athletes can experience a 30% loss in performance, others may find rapid onset of fatigue, increased heart rate and elevated body temperature. Metabolic processes are now hindered which can include symptoms of indigestion and constipation. When the body can no longer release waste properly it retains toxins which can create a dis-eased state.

Hydration and detoxification start inside and continues to reflect on the outside. By keeping your water intake up throughout the day you are providing your body with the necessary support to function at an optimal level.

Look to your foods for water as well. Dry, packaged and processed foods contain little to no water. However, organic, seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant in all of the necessary nutrients, water, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They taste good, are nourishing for your body as well as offer a refreshing alternative.

A few tips for drinking water:

Never drink water that smells or tastes like chlorine. It is the natural minerals that you want in your water, not chemicals.

Use bottled water as a temporary solution. It can be expensive, is environmentally unfriendly and the chemicals in the plastic can leach out to give undesirable side effects. Check into a home purifying system or water service.

Have your water tested for leaching. Impurities from plumbing and hot water tanks can show up in your cooking water or shower!

You can consider a water treatment product such as the water wand, cell food or many other options on the market today to facilitate your blood’s ability to become more alkaline. By decreasing the surface tension of the water/liquid, you align the water molecules and restores it to its natural state. Water in its natural state supports the increase in your blood’s available oxygen and thus improving the function of your body and thereby reducing fatigue.

So raise your water glass and cheers! To your health.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fascia and Stretching!
Crazy important topic here gang.

Video is not for the squeemish. Thanks VictriX for the reference. Always tend to the tissues. Stretching, foam roller, massage, rolfing, bowen etc. etc. Remember health is far more than one dimensional. ~j">

Gil Hedley, Ph.D., of gives a lesson on the importance of movement and stretching to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body, as well as the value of bodywork modalities and yoga when movement potential has become inhibited.

'I made this little clip when I was filming my DVD series in 2005.My thoughts have matured a little bit as compared to the way the ideas are presented in here, as might be expected from anyone engaging their learning curve and involved in a process of discovery, but I am also glad that so many people enjoy it "as is."

The relationship between the superficial fascia and the deep fascia consists of a variety of transitional tissue configurations, sometimes very loose (normally) and sometimes very fixed (normally), and I have found these differences are quite predictable from one area of the body to another, and from one body to another, whether the tissue is fixed or not.

Also, it is normal for there to be "fuzzy" tissue between "individual muscles" within the muscle layer. As with all tissues of the body, all the matter of which it consists is transitioning at various paces, some quicker, some more slowly. "Fuzzy" tissues indeed cycle more quickly then some more dense tissues. By example, the stomach lining sloughs off in 3 to 5 days, the skin cycles in 2 to 5 weeks, bone is cycling over the course of months.

There are what I call "filmy" fasciae all over the body, and when the dissector pulls on these "filmy" fasciae, they have the appearance of "cotton candy" when in traction (I show this in the fuzz speech), and this demonstrates the normal structure of the tissue: filmy and loose, usually found between layers of muscle, and sometimes between deep and superficial fascia.

I used this type of "normal fuzz" in my video as a way of providing an illustration for the
fact that, at a level which is initially beneath visual recognition, there is bonding (covalent bonding and hydrogen bonding) occuring throughout the body under various conditions, and this bonding is occuring amongst the connective tissues at large.

By using something visible to illustrate something invisible, people are helped to understand the importance of stretching, but for those wanting to understand more precisely, it is important to comprehend the difference between my illustrations using normal tissue "fuzz," and the kind of bonding which is taking place invisibly in connective tissue which can, in some instances, represent a pathological progression of tissue growth limiting movement.

That having been said, there are some areas of the body which do indeed demonstrate the possibility of tissue binding at the gross, visible level, such as accumulations around the thoraco-scapular interface, "normal" scar tissues, and visceral adhesions.

I recently wrote an article for the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, ed. Leon Chaitow, on this very subject, called "Visceral Adhesions as Fascial Pathology." In this article I discuss normal and abnormal types of adhesion in the viscera, as well as their causes and their effects, with illustrations provided. I think you can look this article up on line or will be able to once the print version is officially published, though I'm not sure that the print version has "hit the newsstands" yet, as the article was just accepted for publication in November 2009.

I mention this article because it is a concrete demonstration of examples where the inhibition of movement results in tissue
binding and pathological states of mobility.

There are students of the body who are oriented towards the research literature, while I am oriented towards the very practical efforts of observation in the laboratory. I consider myself more of a sculptor and philosopher than a scientist. Still, those involved deeply in the professional conversations surrounding these matters (and I have many such colleagues) assure me there is ample scientific research and support backing the general implications of statements I make in "the fuzz speech," which itself is offered not to "prove" anything scientifically, but rather to inspire folks to expand their inner horizons and outward relationships with this inspirational bit of fun. Thank you for watching!'

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Bit About BodyFat
As bathingsuit season approaches, the new years resolutions are long gone but concern for revealing the flesh is certainly on the horizon.

Keep things in perspective folks. Thin is not always healthy so be aware of your overall body composition rather than just weight. Bodyfat is a necessity for health.

Here is a bit from Tom Venuto. Keep it real! ~ j

That's the trouble with trying to pin down one specific body fat number as contest or photo-shoot ready: Everyone distributes their body fat differently and two people may look different at the same body fat percentage.

Here's what I'd recommend:
Get familiar with some benchmarks for body fat levels. My Burn The Fat system has a body fat rating system, which includes averages and my suggested optimal body fat percentages.

Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle Body fat rating scale

Competition Shape ("ripped"): 8-12%
Very Lean (excellent): 13-15%
Lean (good): 16-20%
Average (fair): 21-25%
Below average (poor): 26-30%
Major improvement needed (Very poor): 31-40%+

Competition Shape ("ripped"): 3-6%
Very Lean (excellent): 7-9%
Lean (good): 10-14%
Average (fair): 15-19%
Below average (poor): 20-25%
Major improvement needed (Very poor): 26-30%+

Just a quick note:

You're not destined to get fatter as you get older, but in the general population (non fitness and bodybulding folks), the average older person has more body fat.

What I did do is list a range instead of one number, so younger people can use the low end of the range and older people can usethe higher number. Also, just so the average reader can keep things in perspective, single digit body fat for women and low single digits for men is far beyond lean - it's RIPPED - and that's usually solely the domain of competitive physique athletes.

Competition body fat levels were not meant to be maintained all year round. It's not realistic and it may may not be healthy, particularlyfor women.The average guy or gal should probably aim for the "lean" category,or if you're really ambitious and dedicated, the "very lean category"as a realistic year round goal.You'll probably have to hit the "very lean" category for six pack abs.

However, the bottom line is that there's no "perfect" body fat percentage where you're assured of seeing your abs. Besides, body fat is one of those numbers that gets fudged and exaggerated all the time. The low numbers are nice for braggingrights, but they don't measure your body fat percentage on stage...What counts is how you look and whether you're happy with that (orwhether the judges are happy with it, if you're competing).You can use my chart to help you set some initial goals, but for themost part, I recommend using body fat testing as a way of chartingyour progress over time to see if you're improving rather than pursuing some holy grail number.

Thanks Tom Venuto! Great perspective

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Don't Stress About It

Superheros are fictional. However, feeling motivated toward making a change to support the environment and a better quality of life is the real deal.

Most of us do what we can to watch our budgets and make our shared planet a better place. As Earth Month 2010 (yep, that's April) gears up, look for what you can do to be a bit more conscious without making it an epic task.

Check out the article below to take a few simple steps. My favs are highlighted and don't stress about it, awareness is the first step.
~ j

Do you think that you are powerless to help the environment, because you are only one person? Think again! There are simple changes you can make to your daily routine to help the environment, and even improve your health and save you money.

The environment is a hot topic these days, and there is a lot of information out there about what is wrong and what we can do about it. All this information can be overwhelming, and leave you unsure of where to start. There are simple things that you can do everyday to do your part for the environment, and most of them take nothing more than an extra few seconds of your time.

5. Recycle
Who cares if I just throw this one can in the garbage instead of the recycle bin? If everyone in the U.S. thought this way, and threw out just one can or plastic bottle a day, imagine the amount of waste that would be poured into our landfills. Not to mention the amount of packaging that could be recycled instead, and used in a positive way. It is so easy to recycle at home, it's no more difficult than taking out the regular garbage, you just need to put your recyclables into whatever container your city or town requires for pick up. If you are really ambitious, those soda cans can even be turned into profit if you have a recycling facility nearby that will pay you for them. More and more restaurants, stores and other venues are providing recycling receptacles for you when you are out of the house as well, making it a snap to recycle when you're out and about.

4. Skip the paper or plastic at the grocery store
There are many reusable shopping bags available, and they are even available in fun colors, patterns, or with fun sayings on them. There are reusable bags that fold up into tiny little packages, making it easier than ever to pop them in your purse or pocket and take them with you wherever you go. Keep a supply in your car so that even when you make an unexpected stop at the store, you don't have to use paper or plastic.

3. Walk or take a bike ride
Is the grocery store less than a mile from your house? Think about walking or biking there. It's good for the environment, great for your health, and can actually be a great stress reliever. If you live within a short distance of your job, you might even think about biking to work. It takes a little bit of effort on your part, but the payoffs can be big. With gas prices as high as they are right now, it will even save you some money!

2. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Take a look at the ingredients in the cleaning products you use in your house. Scary, isn't it? Environmentally friendly cleaning products are becoming more common, more affordable, and easier to find. Not only will it help the environment, but it will also keep toxins and chemicals out of your house, which can have a great affect on your health, and the health of your children or pets. And the number one thing you can do to help the environment right now...

1. Realize that you can make a difference, even though you are just one person.
You often hear people say: "I'm just one person, how can I make a difference?". If everyone in this country thought that way, the end result would be disastrous. You have the power to do your part, and for each person who does their part, this earth will be so much better off for it.

We have a responsibility to ourselves, and to our children to do whatever we can to leave this earth a better place than when we got here. Go ahead, take a few small steps, and know that you ARE making a difference.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Six Nutritional Sins

Nutrition and cleansing are constantly interacting to attain normal body function. Structure is related to function, and structure of our bodies is based on what we feed it. With that in mind, and according to Dr. Bernard Jensen, these six nutritional sins are the root of most health problems and health breakdowns.

Inadequate consumption of fiber: As a rule, in the U.S., our nutritional habits do not allow us to keep our bowels in proper working condition. Fiber reduces toxic waste build-up by stimulating the bowel to move things along more quickly. Twenty to thirty grams of fiber per day are recommended.

Consuming too much fat and the wrong kinds of fats and oils: Either we have fallen prey to the fast food and processed food lifestyle which is very high in hydrogenated and/or saturated fats known as “bad” fats, or we avoid fats altogether thinking they are “fattening” and “unhealthy”. The “good” fats are critical to proper functioning of the body and as a rule, the average American is getting nowhere near enough of them. Good fats and oils include flax, avocado, raw nuts, fish, goat’s milk, and seeds such as flax.

Excessive consumption of pasteurized, homogenized dairy products: Pasteurized and some homogenized products consist 25% of the American diet, where a healthy amount of dairy products should be closer to 6%. Cow’s milk is one of the greatest mucus forming foods and also a major cause of allergies and immune system responses. Alternate recommendations are goat’s milk and/or freshly made nut-milk.

Excessive consumption of inorganic salts: Organic ionized salt contain two of the most important electrolytes in our body, sodium and chloride, which are able to transfer electrical energy. It serves to neutralize acetic, butyric, lactic and fatty acids in the system, all by-products of the intake of excessive fatty foods, starches, meat, butter, potatoes, oily nuts, etc. Inorganic salt, on the other hand, is manmade and does not react in the body the same way. Instead, it increased the risk of hardening of the arteries, increases blood pressure, increases risk of stroke, etc.

Excessive consumption of sugar and wheat. In the 1940s, people consumed 16 pounds of sugar a year. Now it is close to 125 pounds a year! Refined sugars do not meet the body’s needs. They provide empty calories along with tooth decay. There is also a buffering process that takes place as a result of eating refined sugar that leaches calcium and phosphorous from various areas of the body causing a multitude of problems. It can cause various conditions such as hypoglycemia, blood sugar disorders, and malnutrition. Wheat and dairy together account for 54% of the average daily food regime. Dairy is approximately 25% and wheat 29%. The appropriate percentage for wheat should be closer to 6%.

One factor that is of grave importance is that wheat contains gliadin (gluten), which is highly intolerant to a large portion of the population, even though they may be unaware of it. Gluten is sticky, and as such, sticks to the bowel causing problems in the small intestines. This breakdown of the mucosal barrier (lining of the small intestine) then leads to malabsorption issues. With the inner terrain now being out of balance, this in turn invites pathogens to set up residency in your GI track, including yeast (candida), parasites and bacteria. There are saliva tests available to determine if you have such a gliadin intolerance, and whether your GI tract is healthy or compromised as a result.

While I am not 100% with each and every morsel here, I agree with the high 90% of this valuable information. Take a moment at least to read through and see where your habits fall under the nine laws according to Dr. Jensen. ~j

Nine Dietary Laws
To maintain optimal health, the following nine dietary laws should be adhered to:
  1. The law of natural, pure and whole. What God made cannot be improved upon. He gave us whole foods. Whole foods build a whole body. Organically grown, in mineral rich soil, unprocessed.
  2. The law of proportions. This law applies to the 6;2;1;1 rule. That is that each day we should eat 6 vegetables, 2 fruits, one protein and one starch (a non-gliadin starch). With the right foods and the right proportions, the body will show improvements day by day, and in 6 months, you will have a better body.
  3. The law of acid-alkaline balance. The diet should contain 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acidic forming foods. Vegetables and fruits are alkaline, whereas proteins and starches are acid forming. The alkaline foods neutralize the acid forming foods.
  4. The law of variety. Our diets need to have variety, that is we should eat different fruits and vegetables, starches and proteins. Do so day-by-day, week-by-week, don’t eat the same things two days in a row. Eating produce from different areas also offers you the mineral content from various soils.
  5. The law of raw foods. Sixty percent of our diets should be comprised of raw foods, in a natural, and raw form, supplying the best source of vitamins, minerals and live enzymes. That includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Juices and nut butters are also great. Raw foods supply lots of good fiber.
  6. The law of natural cure. Nature will cure, when given the opportunity. Repair and replacement of tissues is reliant upon a good intake of nutrients and a good mind/spirit life. Only when tissues are replaced will the healing become complete.
  7. The law of moderation. Eating one of a few foods to excess causes nutritional deficiencies due to the lack of the other foods. Overeating causes imbalance, obesity, health problems such as diabetes, heart conditions and circulatory problems. That includes the three major food categories; proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
  8. The law of deficiency. If we do not eat the right foods, we will not be supplied with the right nutrients and will become deficient. Every disease is associated with some kind of nutritional deficiency.
  9. The law of food combining. Certain starches and proteins should not be eaten together (i.e. meat and potatoes). Melons are to be eaten separately from other foods. When ill or tired, it is best to practice the law of food combining as this will remove some of the stress from the digestive organs. Once health is restored, and good digestive function exists, there can be less emphasis on food combining.
Resource: Dr. Bernard Jensen

Sunday, April 04, 2010

"Let us not look back in anger,
nor forward in fear,
but around us in awareness."
~ Leland Val Vandewall