Appreciation

Yesterday I was hanging out nibbling on some jelly beans when I offered some to a few of my friends who were sitting nearby. Both of them told me that they used to eat jelly beans, but it’s something they had both overcome, and now jelly beans is on their list of things to avoid.

It occurred to me that there is nothing that I need to avoid, and that I get to eat the jelly beans whenever I like because I do so with appreciation. If I happen to be eating jelly beans in the moment, I can appreciate jelly beans…and when I’m not eating jelly beans, I can appreciate something else.

I’m basically becoming the focus of my attention in the moment. If I’m appreciating, I’m becoming appreciation…If I’m avoiding, I’m becoming avoidance.

But there’s never anything that I need to avoid, because there’s so much that my attention can be used to appreciate, and when I’m appreciating, the chances of me having too much of a good thing is completely nil.

I probably had about 5-10 jelly beans (but who’s counting), and with each one I experienced a magnificent burst of flavor and sensual pleasure that can only come from the joy of being who I am. The jelly beans were only the form used to express my eternal joy for that fleeting moment, so there’s nothing for me to carry about what else eating jelly beans means for me.

In this way, I can be appreciating jelly beans in one moment and appreciating the cool grass on the soles of my feet in the next…without the hinderance of what my mind thinks to be right and wrong, it can be one big appreciation fest, wherever I happen to find myself.

In love!

Intuitive Eating

I enjoy my food and drink to the fullest, which makes it incredibly healthy and nutritious for my body. Unless I’m concerned about what the mind thinks I *should* or *should not* eat, my body’s intuitive wisdom leads me to enjoy whatever it requires to support vibrant health.

Here’s an article by Ben Hirshberg that does a great job describing what intuitive eating means and gives a summary of some studies done on the subject.

(NaturalNews) Intuitive Eating is a way of consuming food and drink that gets in touch with our body’s natural abilities and instincts. The concept is quite simple: intuitive eaters listen to their body and eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, and eat and drink what their body is telling them it needs.

Do intuitive eaters binge on junk food?

Many people hear this concept and are immediately up in arms. The common objection to Intuitive Eating is that many people crave junk food, and if they listened to their bodies then they would just cram in the candy, chips, and soda.

Fortunately, Intuitive Eating has been researched quite a bit, and the literature shows that binge eating is actually significantly reduced when people practice Intuitive Eating. In one study, a group of women diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder attended eight 90-minute weekly intuitive eating sessions. After the eight sessions were over, over 80 percent of the study participants no longer met the diagnostic criteria for the disorder! In fact, Intuitive Eating is inversely associated with other eating disorders as well, and appears to promote a healthy relationship with food.

Intuitive Eating and the Pleasure Principle

The reason for this seems to be that our body is naturally capable of regulating what we eat and drink. If we eat something that is bad for us, our body will probably not like how the unhealthy food makes us feel, and that dislike will carry over and dissuade us from wanting to eat that same food in the future. This concept, called the Pleasure Principle, was coined by Charles Einstein who hypothesizes that if we just focus on eating things that give us pleasure, we’ll naturally gravitate towards foods that make us feel good in the long-term. The catch is that this can only happen if we don’t interfere psychologically. If we tell ourselves that we can’t eat certain foods, or that we need to eat certain foods, then we are interfering with our body’s natural ability to operate under the Pleasure Principle.

More Intuitive Eating benefits

Intuitive Eating has more benefits than just creating a healthy relationship with food. It has been repeatedly associated with a lower body mass index, likely due to intuitive eaters listening to their satiety signals. Intuitive Eating is also associated with a more positive mood and greater life satisfaction. This could be because intuitive eaters don’t worry about the food they put in their mouths, and are more likely to choose a meal that satiates their true hunger.

Though many discount Intuitive Eating upon first glance, the concept is actually backed up by quite a bit of research. You may want to give Intuitive Eating a try yourself to see if it promotes a positive relationship with food, a greater connection to your satiety signals, and improves your mental outlook.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.intuitiveeating.com/content/studies

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24035461

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23063606

http://www.mindfuleatinghk.com/resources/research-articles

About the author:
Ben Hirshberg is a 21 year old student, author, and entrepreneur who studies the art of living well. Born and bred in Seattle, WA, Ben likes to read, cook, run, travel, and throw convivial parties. Ben has PFT, FNS, and YES certifications through WITS and NASM and is in the process of becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and achieving board certification in Holistic Nutrition by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. He also writes regular columns for Paleo Magazine and is hoping to release several books in 2014.

Conscious Weight Loss

Our bodily shape, composition and overall health are many times more dependent on our beliefs than the food we consume. Most of us experience struggle and deprivation when looking to reduce our weight because we believe these feelings to be a necessary part of the process.

Every one of the trillions of cells that make up the human body is infused with the same life-force energy that allows us to sense and experience the material world. However, cellular experience of the material world is largely dependent on the messages received from our thoughts for direction in their purpose of contributing to overall health for the whole body.

Specifically, the outer layer of every cell consists of receptors that are tuned to the specific frequency of our brain waves, and the messages supplied by our thoughts are the master of all cellular function.  Most of the brain’s messages are received from the subconscious mind and delivered to the cells without our conscious awareness.  Those subconscious messages follow biological imprints and the conditioning of our subconscious mind through the conscious thoughts that we consistently choose to believe.

Every part of the human body is comprised of these tiny intelligent bodies which base the degree of their receptivity to particular environmental stimulus on the messages being transmitted by our brain.  In accordance with our brain’s vibratory messages, every cell absorbs the information being sought and that information is utilized according to programmed cellular memory.

In this way, if we believe that certain food will make us fat, our cells use the nutrients in that food coupled with their functional memory to increase their size. However, because we are born with embedded subconscious beliefs, there are certain foods that we believe will cause weight gain even if we haven’t given it a conscious thought.

While biological programming can be very powerful, it can be transformed through practice in developing the beliefs that serve our purpose.

Depending on individual programming, our subconscious mind may be conditioned to the belief that we gain weight as we age, that we are naturally fat, or that a healthy weight can only be achieved by subjecting ourselves to excruciating workouts. It takes attention and practice to reprogram our subconscious brain and cellular memory, but our effort can free us from the constant mental battle that ultimately compromises our health and general sense of well being.

By consistently choosing thoughts that support a healthy physique over time, we gradually change our mind and create our body accordingly. But because changing deep seated beliefs takes time and effort, weight loss is more efficiently attained when we also suffuse our cells with the physical materials most recognized by our cells as supportive to their integrity.

Since we are deeply programmed to be dependent on food for survival, and the human body has evolved over millions of years to rely on particular nutrients, our overall health is supported by food that contains high nutrient content and is easily digested. The most recognizable and utilizable nutrients to human cells come from raw meat, raw animal fat, and variable amounts of vegetation depending on our ancestry.

This is because our biological cellular memory and mental programming has not yet adapted to the belief that we can be nourished by food that we have only made edible over the past several thousand years (a very short period of time in human evolution). Moreover, since the time we have introduced denatured food, we have also increased the occupation of our minds whereby we no longer focus attention to our intent when consuming food.

By mostly choosing food that is similar to what nature used to evolve the human body over millions of years, we supply our cells with the material substances that our cells instinctually know how to use in creating optimal health.  If you don’t like or cannot eat raw meat and raw animal fat, then lightly cook it. (Please see the article: Nutrition for Radiant Health for some helpful guidelines in this regard).

However, no matter what goes into our mouths, if we are not aware of our intent, our thoughts may present the greatest impediment to weight loss. For this reason, mindful eating can be more effective than the quality of our food in achieving ideal weight and for increasing energy and vitality overall.

But the combination of predominantly eating the foods that are efficiently utilized by cells, coupled with mindful awareness of our intent as we eat makes weight loss a particularly easy and Joyful journey.

To practice eating with awareness, clear your mind of all distractions and focus all of your senses on the food you are enjoying. Notice how it smells, feels, tastes, looks and even sounds as you chew the food.

Imagine that what you are eating is giving your body exactly what it needs to create your ideal body weight, muscle tone and overall health. If you are eating something other than raw meat and/or raw fat, chew your food completely until it becomes a liquid in your mouth and remember to smile while fully enjoying your food.

Finally, stay aware of thoughts about weight throughout the day, and notice how they make you feel. When you feel discomfort in the form of stress, tension, worry or fear around the issue of weight, gently redirect your thoughts to the mental image of your ideal physique, and feel the Joy that having your ideal body evokes in your heart center.

As you practice this, your cells become more receptive to the possibilities that lead to the body that you want. By exercising conscious effort to direct our thoughts, everything else becomes easier because subconscious awareness naturally attracts the information that supports our deepest beliefs.

Be conscious of your thoughts and nourish your cells to achieve the body weight is a true testament to the beautiful being that you are.

Related articles: Instinctual EatingNutrition for Radiant HealthRaw Butter for Weight Loss

Diet of Awareness

The idea that we need to follow any set of rules, exclude certain foods or eat things we don’t like in order to attain a certain weight creates a battle between us and our bodies.  The human body is made up of approximately 75 to 100 trillion cells, and each one of them has a purpose which is to maintain balance of the organism.

In this way, each person knows down to the cellular level which foods are perfect for them at any given time.  However, most of us are addicted to thoughts that create strong emotions aka stress, and through those emotions, we crave foods that harm our health.

Uncomfortable or stressful emotions are a major strain on the body.  When the mind is stressed, it causes the glands to excrete excess hormones, which puts the body in a toxic state.  Hormonal toxicity blocks physical and energetic passageways which are the conduits for our intercellular communication and delivery of vital nutrients to all areas of the body.

When in an emotional state, I have found it helpful to eat raw meat or eggs with raw fat such as butter.  Raw meat and fat are easily digested and integrated by the body, and leave little or no toxic residue.   Moreover, while raw meat helps the body to build strength in order to better handle stress, raw eggs and animal fat help to eliminate toxins from the body.

However, when our emotions are in balance, there is no need to think about which foods are most suitable for us because we desire that which supports optimal health on all levels – body, mind and being.  Emotional balance is the cure for excess weight and all physical illness.

Through awareness we can achieve and maintain this balance.  Please see the articles on this website, and specifically those linked below to discover how to harness the power within to create your radiant body.

Homemade Ice Cream!

Chocolate Ice CreamTwo little boys from the neighborhood were playing in our backyard with my sons yesterday, when Blaze asked me to make homemade ice cream.  We took a vote between strawberry and chocolate – with chocolate being the winner.

To my kids, homemade ice cream is just normal, but the neighbor kids were very curious.  They took careful note of the ingredients: eggs, honey, cacao powder and cream – all of which were raw/unheated/uncooked.

They asked if those ingredients were used to make the ice cream they eat at home.  I told them probably not, but I assured them that my ice cream would taste the same or better than what they are used to.

Everyone loved the end result, and the ice cream was incredibly tasty if I do say so myself!  I shared the health benefits of eating my version of raw ice cream, and they shared about a time they had “healthy” pizza by using broccoli as a topping – and how much they disliked it.

I agreed that broccoli is not something that goes well with pizza, and I also shared that using it as a topping imparts little or no health benefits.  They were also relieved to know that being healthy and staying fit does not involve eating anything we don’t enjoy.

My Family's Experience with The Primal Diet

Johnson Family - August 2009

I started the Primal Diet by Aajonus Vanderplanitz about 5-1/2 years ago.  I practiced it religiously for about 8 months, until I found an always-evolving variation that works very well for me.

Most of the food that I eat is still raw, and the majority of my calories still come from raw animal fat, but my diet has evolved to be more instinctual.   I eat less protein, and add things that I like such as homemade chocolate and sprouted nut butters.  Some days I eat more food and some days I eat less.  I also go through periods of eating a lot of the same type of food, and then find that those foods don’t appeal to me for awhile.

I enjoy a healthy, youthful body, boundless energy, joyful being and abundant creativity.

I ate a lot of raw food (including eggs, chicken and fish) and an abundance of raw fat while pregnant with my one year old – and had a drug free, painless birth.  Of course I also practiced Hypnobabies which is a technique for relaxing the mind.

My one year old eats plenty of raw food including breast milk, and has never had anything more than very mild (hardly noticeable) detoxification.  Signs of diaper rash have also been very mild, short lived and cleared naturally – without any creams or medications.

I offer my kids raw food including milk, kefir, ice cream (eggs, cream, milk & honey), chicken, beef, fish, and homemade chocolate and sprouted nut butters.  Sometimes they eat it and other times they refuse.

I don’t force this diet on my kids.  They learn from my and my husband’s example, and by what feels good to them through trial and error – just like we did.

However, when my 7 year old was only a year old, he was sickly because I followed conventional protocol for birthing, immunizations and medication.  From the time he was 2 until about 5 he ate an almost all raw diet and has stayed away from doctors – which has healed him.

My 17 year old daughter knows from experience that raw food is ideal for promoting fitness and health, but at this time she chooses a mostly conventional diet and some of the “normal” health issues that accompany it.  Should she ever decide to regain optimal health, she has the tools necessary to achieve it.

My husband eats a lot of raw food, but tends to eat cooked foods a bit more than I do.  He is strong, healthy, youthful and energetic.  He is also much calmer and even tempered – which is great for our relationship!!

Raw Butter for Weight Loss and Excellent Health

Butter CurlsButter has gotten a bad rap in the media for being high in cholesterol, but we have not been educated on the fact that natural cholesterol is essential for maintaining intestinal health, for development and detoxification of the brain and nervous system, and for overall bodily function.

Now that we have largely omitted butter from our diets in favor of low fat and fake fat foods, we are lacking the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids in butter which have been protecting us against heart disease, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, thyroid health, digestion and weight gain.  It’s no wonder that we are so profoundly plagued with these illnesses.

In addition to the omission of this naturally healthy food, many of us are substituting it with margarine or other manufactured spreads.  These products contain toxic cancer-inducing solvents, dangerous trans fat, free radicals, bleach, artificial colors and flavors and/or synthetic vitamins.

When we are healthy, maintaining healthy weight is easy and joyful.  By substituting wholesome butter for unhealthy food in an attempt to lose weight, we hinder our own progress.  Specifically, the toxic substances in margarine or other low calorie or reduced fat spreads actually cause us to gain weight because our bodies are being inundated with substances that are difficult to eliminate.

Moreover, when we eat real butter, we feel satisfied and we are not left with a feeling of deprivation.  The feeling of wanting more causes our bodies to hold on to unwanted weight or makes it hard work to lose weight and keep it off.

While butter in any form is much healthier than any margarine or other manufactured spread, butter is best when it is unpasteurized and from animals that graze on green grass.

Pasteurized (cooked) butter contains irritants in the form of dead bacteria and digestive enzymes which are no longer active – both of which benefit the body when not killed. Raw butter also contains fatty acids which support a healthy immune system, boost metabolism and are anti-microbial, while heated fats often become trapped in the body and store as cellulite.

Butter from grass-fed cows also contains both Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and the perfect balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio, which are protective against disease and assist the body to build muscle and burn unnecessary body fat.

Supermarket butter is pasteurized and from factory farms where the cows are fed grain and/or corn.  If it does not say 100% grass-fed on the label, it’s most likely grain or corn fed.  Also, toxic chemicals to which animals are exposed are more concentrated in the fat.  For that reason it is important to avoid products from animals treated with antibiotics or hormones.

Here is how the purchase the best butter available to you from most healthful to least healthful:

  • Raw (unpasteurized) butter from grass-fed animals – raised without antibiotics or hormones
  • Raw (unpasteurized) butter from grain/corn fed animals – raised without antibiotics or hormones
  • Raw (unpasteurized) butter from grass-fed animals – raised with antibiotics and/or hormones
  • Raw (unpasteurized) butter from grain/corn fed animals raised with antibiotics and/or hormones
  • Pasteurized butter from grass-fed animals raised without antibiotics and/or hormones
  • Pasteurized butted from grain/corn fed animals raised without antibiotics and/or hormones
  • Pasteurized butter from grass-fed animals raised with antibiotics and/or hormones
  • Pasteurized butter from grain/corn fed animals raised with antibiotics and/or hormones

It’s never recommended under any circumstance to use margarine or artificial spread for the reasons stated above.

Raw Aged Meat

Raw SteakMy husband loves to eat 100% grass-fed raw, aged red meat.  He feels alive, healthy and highly energized from meat that has been thinly sliced (carpaccio style) and stored in a glass jar for at least 2 weeks.

The meat goes through a stage where it becomes brown and turns a bit stinky, but then it evolves further until its red color returns as vibrant as ever.  When eaten, the meat has a nice robust flavor, without any offensive taste or odor.

Raw aged meat is both healthy and delicious because it contains Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB).  LAB hinder spoilage and the proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, virus, yeast, fungus which can cause disease in unbalanced quantities), and contribute to healthy microflora (good bacteria) which is necessary for healthy mucosal surfaces (inner linings throughout the body).

Don’t try this with cooked meat – all of the bacteria and enzymes die, so that the cooked portion becomes fertile soil for the unbalanced growth of certain microorganisms – making it extremely dangerous to eat for obvious reasons.

US Wellness Meats

Instinctual Eating

I can tell which foods are good for my body  by imagining how they are going to feel both during and after I eat them.  I want to predominantly enjoy foods that evoke feelings of calm and rejuvenation in my body and in my mind.

By following my likes instead of my dislikes and by giving into my cravings instead of ignoring them, I create a very positive relationship with food while also creating a more positive and joyful experience for myself and for the people I affect.

I am naturally attracted to whole food in its raw form, and I eat or drink as much as I need to feel satiated.  I tend to focus more on one to three foods during any given time-frame, lasting from hours to several months.

For example – some days I could require a lot of raw milk, and then go for weeks without it.  I could go several months eating 1-2 avocados per day, then have no desire for them for the next several months; I tend to eat extra fruit in the summertime; sometimes I eat a lot of soaked and dehydrated nuts; and when I was pregnant, I did not want chocolate much at all (which is not like me).

By choosing from primarily fresh, raw food and paying attention to my cravings and desires, I am instinctively giving my body and brain the nutrients necessary to achieve radiant health.