Principle of Health #2: The Force Is With You

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A principle is a truth, rule, or law that never changes.  This is principle #2 of 7.  It is important to our understanding of the body and improving our health, even though it doesn’t get much attention. 

The force is not with you.  Actually it’s in you – the vital force.  It’s also called vital energy, life energy, life force, and physical energy.  All these names describe a force of energy necessary to life that is in each human being, and stored by each body. 

Vital force is needed for a healthy body, mind, and spirit, and to keep life going.  It helps the body avoid disease, and many other functions. 

We are all born with a certain amount of vital force [females have less than males].  But our daily lifestyle choices [how we eat, drink, sleep, and live] can either conserve it, or burn it up too quickly.  If we burn it up too fast, the nervous system has to borrow energy for its present needs from the reserve storage.  Then one day, when the body needs extra energy for a crisis, there won’t be enough.  That could lead to weakness and disease.

Also, as we grow older the vital force decreases.  This makes me wonder if this is the reason why some elderly people die after having pneumonia or a hip fracture.  Do their aging cells and organs lack the vital force to fight back, heal, and recover?  What do you think?

Although we all get a certain amount of this life force, here are a few ways we can use it up too fast, or preserve and even improve it. 

Ways to Decrease Vital Force

*The body operates on a cycle of work, then rest.  Every organ and structure needs time to rest.  But stimulants and other choices make it possible for us to by-pass what the body really needs [like rest], and do what a person wants.  Doing this over time will cause the body to rebel against the abuse.  Sickness or disease will result.

  1.  Using caffeine [in coffee, teas, chocolate, etc.], nicotine, alcohol, and drugs [legal and illegal].  These all irritate the nerves, wear out the energy going to the body and mind.  *Caffeine is a stimulant.  It doesn’t give energy, but stimulates the body to use its own energy from the strength of the nerves and vital force reserves. 

  2. Over-eating or eating meals too close together don’t give digestive organs a chance to rest.  And since the stomach and the brain have a close relationship, if the stomach is abused or diseased, the brain sends its vital force energy to help it.  This leaves the mind weak.  *Allow 5 hours between meals: 4 hours for digestion and 1 hour for rest.

  3. Over-working.  Don’t keep going when it’s time to stop and rest.  At first you may not feel any damage, but gradually the vital force is being drained.

  4. Using very hot or very cold foods and beverages.  Before they can be absorbed or digested, they must come to the temperature of the stomach – about 100º F.  The vital force of the stomach is used to cool them down or warm them up. 

  5. Not enough sleep affects productivity, moods, and health.  Everyone has different needs for sleep.  But it’s been said that, generally, death rates go up when people get less than 7 or more than 8 hours each night.  The best sleep is between 9pm and 12am.  Go to bed early and sleep 7 to 8 hours.

 

Ways to Improve and Even Increase Vital Force

  1. Eat a diet rich in high fiber foods – fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans.  Plant foods help the vital force.

  2. Go to bed by 9 or 10pm.  During sleep the body repairs, heals, re-energizes, and prepares itself for the next day.  It also builds hormones and makes new proteins – especially before midnight.  

  3. Exercise regularly – 20 to 30 minutes 3 times or more each week.  It will strengthen muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, the brain, and more.  And it will also slow down the aging process, and help you live a longer and stronger life!

  4. Being grateful.  Because mind and body are closely related, an attitude of gratitude improves health and vital force, and helps extend life.  Life is not always good, but there are always blessings – even in the “muck and the yuck”.  Look for them, embrace them, and count them.

 

Hope this helps you.  Any questions?  Let me know.  See you next time.

 

Copyright 2013 Regina Spence

                                                                

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Tips, Bits, and Pieces

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It’s been a while since we finished Principle of Health #1.  Before going on to Principle #2, I’d like to share a few more things that I’ve learned in almost 29 years of living with MS. 

  • Eating regularly matters.  I need to eat every 4 to 5 hours, or my muscles get weak and spasm.  Possibly from my blood sugar dropping after 4 hours.

  • Fellowship is powerful.  I’m noticing that whenever I spend enjoyable time with my family, friends, or church family that I always sleep really well with few or no muscle spasms.  Experts say that laughter releases endorphins – “the feel good” hormones [so do exercise, singing, and other things we enjoy].  So, I’m guessing that the good times I had talking, laughing, eating yummy food, and even playing games, caused my endorphins to be released.  Then they relaxed my nerves and muscles so much that I was able to sleep well.  Has anyone else had this experience?

  • People need people.  We are social beings and are meant to be around and share with each other.  Whether we share a cause, a conversation, or good food.  Being alone happens,  but it’s not good, normal, or healthy to remain that way.  It’s also true that sometimes we get cut-off by others or left out from what others are doing.  That hurts.  I learned that many, many years ago.  I wondered why I wasn’t invited to the homes of people in my circle of association.  Others were.  I asked a friend about it.  She said, that because of MS, people perceived me as being needy [I wasn’t even using a cane back then].  Wow!   Has anyone else heard that before?

After getting over that shock, I decided to invite people home for lunch even though I wasn’t a good cook.  These were nice folks who were also left out, and we had wonderful times.  Then I once heard someone, in a MS support group, say that no one ever sent him holiday cards.  That inspired me not wait for anyone to call, send me cards, or be friendly.  My thing is: Don’t wait for others to do for you.  You reach out.  Do it nicely because someone might need it.  And don’t expect anything in return.  It’s so much fun!

  • Drinking flaxseed water is awesome.  It helps improve my elimination, steadiness, dark circles around my eyes, puffiness under eyes, and any joint or ankle pains.  How to make it?  In a coffee grinder or blender, grind brown or gold flaxseeds into a fine meal [I use brown].  Then put 1 tablespoon into a cup of hot water.  Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes [it will get thick].  Then stir and drink.  Flaxseeds are tiny seeds that are rich in fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids – needed by the brain and every body cell.  They are also a good source of B vitamins [needed by nerves], iron, calcium, protein, and zinc.  Flaxseeds reduce inflammation [which increases my MS symptoms], pain, swelling from arthritis, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol; they improve the bones, nails, hair, and skin; and reduce chances for blood clots and tumors.  Can use ground seeds on cereals, salads, soups, and in baking [muffins, pancakes, etc.].  Or drink the water.  Can also use flaxseed oil [not for cooking].  Take 1 tablespoon daily in juice or by itself.  All with MS should be taking some daily supplement for essential fatty acids.  Either from flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, Primrose Oil, Grape Seed Oil, or other oil.  *Refrigerate leftover ground flaxseeds in tightly covered container.

  • Drinking Pau D’Arco [Taheebo] herbal tea is also very helpful.  I put 2 tea bags in a cup of hot water, let it sit for 5 minutes, then remove bags, stir, and drink.  It helps me sleep well with few of no muscle spasms.  It is also a blood cleanser; reduces inflammation; inhibits tumor growth; and fights bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

 

That’s all for now.  Hope this helps.  See you next time.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

A Few Recipes

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In the mid 1990s I first had trouble touching and cooking meat and eggs.  That began my journey toward being a vegetarian [eat eggs and dairy], then a vegan [no animal products].  I wondered what I could eat.  But I’m finally understanding and enjoying the variety of plant foods, their potential combinations, and the incredible spices and herbs.  Now my goal is to be a great [and fast] vegan cook.  I’m still learning, but here are five of my favorite recipes:

*Use organic if possible, but it’s not mandatory.

*MS Tip:  eating low fat, low refined sugar, and low or no dairy is helpful to me [and maybe you too].

 

A Lovely Latte

  1. 1 to 1¼ cup of favorite non-dairy milk [I use Soy Dream Vanilla Classic]

  2. Warm milk for no more than 45 – 50 seconds in microwave, or for short time on stove top.  If milk gets hot the molasses will taste bitter;

  3. Add 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses, stir, and enjoy this treat!

*Blackstrap molasses is a good source of potassium, iron, and calcium.  I drink it for iron and calcium.

 

Power Breakfast

Into a container [with a top] put 1 or 2 cups old-fashioned oats [2 cups for 2 people or 2 days supply];

For each cup of oats add:

– 1 Tablespoon Ground organic, brown, flax seeds [or gold flax seeds]

-1 Tablespoon organic, raw sunflower seeds

-1 Tablespoon or handful of organic, raw almonds or other nut [like walnut or pecan];

-Optional: Add 4 chopped dates for sweetness [or let chopped fruits provide sweetness]

Stir well.

Add enough liquid so that oat mixture is fully covered.  I use Soy Dream Vanilla Classic Soy Milk or pineapple juice.  But use your favorite non-dairy milk, favorite non-sweetened fruit juice, or water.  Stir well to mix in any dry parts;

*Yummy option:  instead of adding milk, juice, or chopped fruit, stir in one 15 ounce can of mandarin oranges and 1 can fruit cocktail, and extra water if needed. 

Cover and put mixture in refrigerator overnight;

Next morning stir in your favorite chopped fruits.  I use apples and pears, pineapples, or grapes.

Enjoy!

*Eating this cereal makes me feel so happy, strong, and energized that I can do 7 to 10 minutes on the elliptical machine [usual time is 3 minutes]!

 

Raw Carrot Salad

  1. Peel and rinse organic carrots;

  2. Grate carrots fine in food processor, or in chopper;

  3. Mix in mayonnaise, so mixture holds together, but is not soggy.  [I use Veganaise Grapeseed Oil Dairy-Free Mayo – in refrigerator section of health food store];

  4. Enjoy as is or add a few raisins and chopped walnuts.

 

Raw Kale Salad

  1. Remove stems from organic kale leaves;

  2. Tear leaves into small pieces;

  3. Wash leaves, rinse, then pat dry;

  4. Add a little olive oil – to lightly coat leaves, then rub oil into leaves;

  5. Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion – optional;

  6. Add some salt or favorite seasoning [like Mrs. Dash]

  7. Add some chopped or grape tomatoes, then enjoy.

 

No-Cheese-Cheese- Sauce

  1. Add into a blender or Vitamix 1 cup water;

  2. 1 cup rinsed*, organic, raw cashews or cashew pieces – *always rinse 2 to 3 times [dirty]

  3. 1/3 cup pimentos or chopped red bell pepper;

  4. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast [at health food stores on shelves, or supermarket in baking aisle];

  5. 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  6. 1 teaspoon sea salt [or regular salt]

  7. 1 teaspoon onion powder

  8. 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  9. Blend ingredients until creamy smooth;

  10. Then mix in with warm pasta; or mix with tomato sauce and add to pasta; or mix with some salsa for a nice chip-dip.

 

Hope you like these.  See you next time.

Raw Energy

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Raw Energy

Years ago Mom used to tell me, “Choose your supermarket by the produce department.”  Back then I didn’t understand that fruits and vegetables didn’t just look and taste good, but they also had incredible health benefits.  I’m understanding it now!  Fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds – along with whole grains and beans, are powerful!  They contain elements that help prevent disease as well as nourish, build-up, cleanse, and heal the body.  But, their wonderful work is better accomplished when they are eaten raw [not all vegetables can be eaten raw, and most grains and all beans must be cooked]. 

What Is Raw Eating?

Basically, fruits and many vegetables are not cooked, grilled, baked, etc.  Raw foods are ‘living foods’, and are eaten without weakening or destroying their vitamins, minerals proteins, fiber, amino acids, and enzymes.  These elements can go into the body, full strength, to do their work.  However, some raw foods are heated slowly at low temperatures.  But not above 110º or 118 º F [depending on the source], so none of the delicate nutrients are affected.  This is usually done in a dehydrator. 

Some Problems With Cooking:

  • Some vitamins are destroyed, and many lose their strength;

  • Minerals leak out into the cook water;

  • Proteins are broken down;

  • Fiber is softened, so it doesn’t help move the bowels as well;

  • Increases inflammation;

  • Produces free radicals – destructive molecules that damage cells [associated with cancer, early aging, and heart disease].  The hotter the cooking, the more free-radicals produced;

  • Requires more energy to digest;

  • Since nutrients are lost, it takes more food to satisfy the taste – leading to over-eating.

 

Some Benefits of Raw Eating:

Experts say we should not sit down to a meal with all cooked food.  We should have some raw with each meal.  They also say we should eat 80% raw and 20% cooked foods.  But that takes time and a lot of experimenting.

  • Vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, amino acids, and enzymes are not damaged;

  • Requires less energy to digest and remove wastes from body;

  • Reduces inflammation.  This is why fresh fruits or raw vegetables [like salads] should always be eaten before the meal; before any cooked foods;

  • More energy and strength;

  • Cleaner blood – leading to a clearer mind, better memory, and stronger spiritual connection;

  • Strengthens the immune system – reducing risks for illness and disease;

  • Decreases depression;

  • Improves muscle tone – so you look and move better;

  • Clean, clear, and silky smooth skin;

  • Clear eyes and possibility of improved vision;

  • Improves bowel movements;

  • Antioxidants in plant-foods make free-radicals harmless [like in strawberries, oranges, apples, and tomatoes];

  • Decreases fat deposits; 

  • It balances the body: overweight folks will lose weight, but underweight folks will gain weight.  

 

MS Tip:  Eating more raw foods can help me improve my present health, and help prevent future illness and disease [for you too].  I already have MS [and Essential Thrombocythemia – too many platelets] I don’t need any more sicknesses.  Who does? 

I love good vegetarian and vegan foods, and desserts!  But I’m learning to do more raw dishes.  There are recipes in books and on the Internet, but I’m going slow and simple for now.  Here are a four of my favorites.

  • Power breakfast: oats, raw almonds, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseeds, chopped dates; stir well and soak overnight in [just one] soy milk, pineapple juice, or water.  Next morning add chopped pineapple, or grapes, chopped apples, or berries.  This makes me feel happy and so energized!

  • Raw carrot salad – grate carrots fine and add vegan mayonnaise and some raisins.

  • Raw kale – cut off stems, tear leaves into small pieces, wash leaves, drain and pat dry; add some olive oil and rub into leaves until softer; add grape or chopped tomatoes, some seasoning, and enjoy.

  • Cashew cheese – raw, organic, cashews –  rinse 2-3 times [dirty], put in blender or Vitamix® and add water, pimentos, onion and garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice, and blend till creamy.  Add to pasta, or add some salsa – for nice dip.

With raw, keep it simple, attractive, tasty, and smelling great.  Enjoy pasta, potatoes, rice, beans, or whole grain breads, but have some raw foods with them.  Raw eating gives me so much hope for feeling, looking, and moving better.  And maybe it will do the same for you too.  I’ll do a post with just recipes in a few days.  Best to you.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Tips On Detox, Part 2

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This is Digby-George. Met him in Wales, UK.  Looks like he has something to say

This is Digby-George. Met him in Wales. Looks like he has something to say on this topic.

 

Vegetables – continued

  •  Chlorophyll: is the green pigment in all plant foods [especially green leafy plants like kale, collards, parsley, etc.].  It’s needed for photosynthesis.  It helps detoxify the blood and body; helps red blood cell production; strengthens the immune system; decreases inflammation and pain; improves the skin; and promotes better bowel function.

  • Steam vegetables just long enough, so they keep their bright color and a little crispness.

  • Boil vegetables for short time until cooked.  Don’t boil them to death, or drown them in fat or oil.

  • Raw vegetables are very healing and energizing.  Their vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and enzymes have not been damaged or destroyed by cooking.  Some ‘raw’ foods are cooked, but not above 118 degrees [F], so their nutrients are not damaged.

  • Not all vegetables can be eaten raw.  Some must be cooked [like potatoes etc.].  I usually buy bags of frozen organic vegetables [like peas, corn, broccoli, etc.].  Then I thaw, rinse, drain, season, and eat them.  Or put them in boiled water [heat is off]  for 2-3 minutes, then drain, season, and eat.

  • A few of the foods that help the body detox: apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, ground flax-seed meal [put in water, in cereals, in salads, etc.], aloe vera juice, wheat bran, oats, beets, celery, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, potatoes, greens [kale, collards, turnip, etc.], and much more.

3rd Detox Method: Epsom Salt Scrub

Rubbing Epsom Salt on warmed, wet, skin helps pull toxins from the body through the skin’s open pores; it strengthens the body and its ability to fight germs; it improves slow circulation; removes dead skin, and more.

How To Do It?

-Into a basin put 2 pounds of Epsom Salt.

-Add enough cold water to the salt to make it slightly slushy, but not watery.

-Put basin close to the shower, where you can easily reach it.

-In the shower, run very warm water over your entire body – to open skin pores.

-Let the very warm water cover your feet, then plug the tub, so feet stay in warm water through the scrub.

-Then while standing or sitting on tub bench, take handfuls of wet salt and rub each body part, front and back – including your face. *If skin has sores or is sensitive, go around the sores and rub gently.

-When done, unplug tub, shower or bathe to wash off salt, then dry off, rubbing briskly.

MS TIP:  This scrub, followed by a cool shower, makes me feel great!

4th Detox Method: Alternating Hot and Cold Showers [or baths]

Alternating of hot and cold water, hitting the skin, increases circulation, energizes and strengthens the body, the mind, and the immune system; relaxes the muscles, and much more.  This shower puts the immune system into ‘high gear’ to heal, clean out toxins, repair damaged areas, and fight enemy intruders.  After this shower, lay down or sit down and be quiet [no phone, electronics, reading, etc.].  This lets the body use as much energy as possible for healing.

How to do it? 

-Sit on a tub bench or stand in the shower.

-Begin with as warm water as you can tolerate without stinging or burning.  Let water hit all parts of the body. 

-Stay there for 1 – 3 minutes, then quickly turn to the coolest water you can tolerate.  Stay there for 15 to 30 seconds.

-Repeat this hot then cold exchange 2 more times, and always finish with cold water.  Then get out tub, pat dry, and go sit or lie down for at least 30 minutes.

MS Tip: I usually do this shower before bed and it makes me fall asleep quickly, with few or no muscle spasms.  The next day I wake up feeling great!

I’m so sorry that this Post is late, but hope this material helps you.  Let me know if you have any questions.  See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Tips On Detox, Part 1

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This is Digby-George. Met him in Wales, UK.  Looks like he has something to say

This is Digby-George. Met him in Wales. He looks like he has something to say on this topic.

There are many complicated and costly products and treatments available for improving health. But getting better health – for the most part, is and should be simple, sensible [it makes sense], and affordable for all. I’d like to share some simple remedies with you. I’ve used them to help reduce or remove toxins from my body [and they may help you too].  *Note: When detoxing the body, drink more water. It will help to rinse out toxins and wastes.

Detoxing the body is necessary if you have constipation or autointoxication. But it’s also needed because we live with pollutants outside, in the water, in the food, and in the indoor air [from new carpets, paint, new sheets and blankets, gases, etc.].  *Note: Wash new sheets and blankets 1-2 times before using, to remove strong chemical smells. And each home should have a carbon monoxide detector.

We have 5 organs of elimination which help get rid of body wastes and toxins: the skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, and the colon. These organs work hard, but they could use our help. So here are 4 simple tips that assist our organs in their work. *Check with your health care provider if you want to try any.

*Note: Experts have said that without fruits and vegetables it would not be possible to be healthy.

1st Detox Method: Warm Lemon Water

• This is powerful! Use it each day, especially when getting sick or trying to recover. Using it gave me quick relief from colds, the flu, and bronchitis.

• In the morning, before eating, warm a cup of water, squeeze in the juice of ½ of a fresh lemon, then drink. At times I also add a dash of cayenne pepper to it – to help cut mucus, and 1-2 Tablespoons of organic maple syrup – for sweetness.

• Lemons kill germs and toxins in the blood, when it’s gargled with, and when it’s put on the skin. It also helps prevent cancer and other diseases; strengthen the immune system; helps anemia by increasing iron absorption; helps improve blood flow; gets rid of uric acid that can cause gout and joint pains; helps dead skin peel off; makes the blood more alkaline [not acid], and much more.

2nd Detox Method: Fruits and Vegetables

• They help loosen and remove toxins from the blood, cells, and tissues. They also contain numerous phytochemicals [plant chemicals] that can prevent hardening of the arteries, cancer, and other diseases.

• Fruits and vegetables contain fiber [not digestible], which helps the bowels move easer, and carries cholesterol out the body with the feces

Fruits – eat fresh when possible [can also juice them or make smoothies with them. Canned fruit are not as nourishing. And don’t use sulphered [dried] fruits – they are not good for the body. Drink or eat fruits before other foods, since they prepare the system for digestion.

Vegetables – can be juiced or eaten fresh, steamed, boiled, or raw.

1. Juice 2-3 types vegetables and drink before eating foods. [My favorite – beets, carrots, and celery].

2. Eat fresh salads every day before lunch or dinner. Use Romaine lettuce when possible. Salads are very cleansing. *Please wash all salad fixings labeled “prewashed”.

To be continued …

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Happy Mother’s Day

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MP900382956Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Readers,

I am sorry, but there is no Post for today.  It was a rough week for me for various reasons, and today I could not get on the Internet.  So, I will Post again –  hopefully by Monday.  But I want to wish all of you Moms, Mums, Dads, Grandparents, kids, and anyone who takes care of others, a lovely Mother’s Day.  Thank you for all that you are and for what you get up and do every single day.  May God continue to bless you with strength, energy, wisdom, and safety.

My very best to you,

Regina