Monday, October 28, 2013

Committed to Practice

Practicing well requires a commitment.  My friend Mari wrote today that our health depends on our lifestyle, and diet is part of the lifestyle.  A healthy lifestyle will not just happen by accident so it requires a practice to help hold us steady as we go against the grain of society.

There is still somewhat of a gap between what I say I want to do and what I actually do.  Keep in mind that what we do is a better indicator of our true desires than what we say. The right practice helps achieve balance, simplicity and joy because it focuses on the true desires and not just the ideals.  The practice is useful not because it makes us perfect, but because it helps protect us from being influenced by outside pressures.

It helps to have the best mentors possible.  My mentor is Dr. John Fielder and he lives the simple, raw and natural lifestyle as perfectly as anyone in the world.  So much of what I have learned from him has become part of who I am.  His teachings will form the basis of my practice even as I make adjustments to allow for my own heart's desires.

There is a book by Julia Cameron entitled The Artist's Way.  The book's purpose is to help blocked artists work through the reasons they are not able to create their art. I went through this book a few years ago but just recently started going through it again.  It takes about twelve weeks to go through it and do the exercises.  It is a good resource for anyone since we are all artists of some sort or the other.  I recommend it to you if you are blocked!  It's cheap therapy.

This week's chapter in The Artist's Way is about Finding a Sense of Identity.  Having a practice helps with that as well because it provides a way to avoid being sucked into other people's agendas, and it keeps you from getting bogged down in numbing distractions, including food.  The practice helps you stay in the present moment and to pay attention to what is here and now.

Lunch today was green smoothie, avocado, coconut, papaya, goodie ball, and almonds.
Dinner today was a blended salad, avocado, sauerkraut, goodie ball, and almonds.

Here is a recipe for Raw Chili that I got from a raw food teacher named Alsenio Nelson.  I made this for our raw food potluck earlier this month.  It's good!  This picture is a double recipe which was a lot of chili.

Raw Chili

1/2 large sweet onion, diced
4 large carrots, diced
2 cups mushrooms

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp nama shoyu (I used Bragg's Aminios)
2 Tbsp. raw vegan coconut sugar 

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 dates
4 medium ripe tomatoes
2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
Cumin to taste
Garlic to taste

1 cup green lentils, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
Himalayan salt

1.  In a large bowl, stir together diced carrots, onions, and mushrooms.  I used a food processor.

2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, nama shoyu, and coconut sugar.

3.  Pour over carrot mixture.  Marinate one our.  You can marinate it in the dehydrator if you desire.  Spread the mixture on teflex sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees for an hour.

4.  To make the chili sauce, blend all the chili sauce ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

5.  Add lentils to veggie mixture.  Pour chili sauce over the veggie/lentil mix and stir.  Add a dash of Himalayan salt to taste.  Top with chopped tomato and/or avocado.

To health and happiness.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pain and Healing

I am coming off caffeine...again.  I started drinking coffee and tea a few months ago for a couple of reasons.  Reason #1:  I used it as a stimulant when traveling.  Reason #2:  I wanted to experiment with being less rigid in my diet.  Recently our friend, Karl, gave us a Keurig coffee maker, and that put me over the top.  Sunday, I decided to go cold turkey.  Monday I was in bed with a splitting headache.  Tuesday, I used one Keurig cup to make two cups of coffee.  I drank part of one cup...enough to ease the I could function well enough to go to my flute lesson and flute ensemble rehearsal.  Since then I have been drinking just enough to keep the headache at bay.  I think I am still detoxing since I am still getting the headache.  Now I am trying to ease off the caffeine and still function.  Tomorrow I won't drink any coffee unless I get a headache.  I have been 100% raw since Saturday with the exception of the coffee.

Living the Biogenic Lifestyle enables healing to occur.  The pain we may feel is part of the healing.  It is appropriate to be thankful for the pain.  My caffeine addiction is a case in point.  As I eliminate the coffee, my head becomes quite painful.  This indicates healing is taking place.  In an ideal situation, I would go to bed and ride it out.  I have every reason to be thankful for the headache.  When I drink a cup of coffee to ease the headache I have not made myself healthier.  I feel better, but I have slowed down or stopped my healing depending on how much coffee I take in.  This same principle can be applied to all our healing symptoms.  Anytime we stop the symptom without addressing the cause, we stop the healing.

In Nature Cure and Natural Hygiene we talk about enervation quite a bit.  Enervation is a state of depleted nerve energy caused by improper habits and lifestyle.  Many things can cause enervation including things like travel and getting over-tired.  This, too, can cause us to feel pain as the body works to heal us from the effects of enervation.

Trusting the process is a principle of Nature Cure. This isn't always easy as it puts us in opposition to the rest of the world.  Reminder to self:  Remember Carol's advice to practice well!! I wrote about it in this blog posting before I left Australia:

John, Ian and I left for Cairns at 4:00 a.m.  We went to Rusty's last time.  I said good-bye to a couple of the vendors we buy from.  Carol was there shopping, as usual, so we said our good-byes.  Carol is a former client of John's who follows the lifestyle to near perfection.  She is originally from New York but has lived in Cairns for 30 years or so.  She's beautiful and very stylish.  I wish I had a picture of her, but I never got one.  She left me with the words, "Practice well."  I hope to do that...practice well.  

It is important to eat only at meal time and forego snacking.  The sooner we give up breakfast, the better.  It's best to just eat two meals a day, lunch at noon and dinner before 6:00.  This releases a great deal of energy for healing because we don't have to process a lot of unnecessary food.  As Dr. Fielder has often said, "One third of what we eat feeds us, the other two thirds feeds the doctors".  (I'm preaching to myself here.)

Many raw food teachers and alternative health practitioners are advocating colonics.  In Nature Cure we do not recommend them.  Colonics are not required.  On rare occasions an enema might be called for, but never colon irrigation.

We need to be patient with the body as it heals.  It can take several months for the energy to return.  Restoring nerve energy takes place at the cellular level, and it takes time.

Once you build your energy to the point where you feel better than you have in a long time, you will suddenly have the rug pulled out from under you as you become ill.  I can remember a few years ago wondering why I was living as healthy as I knew how but was so sick with bout after the other. This is called a healing crisis.  It can take many forms...fever, aches, pains, etc.  It can take the form of any acute illness - tonsillitis, kidney infection, hepatitis, etc.  This is the body doing its healing work. This is a time to go to bed, rest, sleep, drink water and fast.  And be thankful.

To health and happiness.