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Author Archive for Melanie Brown – Page 3

Plant-Based Dietary Considerations

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Some plant-based dietary considerations are it is high in fiber and antioxidants and it provides an adequate amount of protein. A good diet plan is well-balanced and can protect you from diseases. Several good reasons to eat a plant-based diet are below.

1. Weight Management

It is easy to lose weight because plant foods are low in calories and they make you feel full. Eating as much as you want of the right foods will not lead to weight gain.

2. Fight Cancer

A plant-based diet may lower your risk of getting cancer. Your body may have higher levels of the IGF-1 binding protein due to lower animal protein intake.

3. Digestion

The diet may help with healthy digestion. Your body may produce healthier stools and gut flora as well as consistent and more frequent bowel movements.

4. Exposure to Toxins

Eating foods that are low on the food chain can reduce your exposure to harmful antibiotics, toxins and animal fat. A plant-based diet also reduces exposure to mercury in some fish.

5. Diabetes Prevention

You can prevent the onset of diabetes if you follow a plant-based eating pattern. This pattern promotes the consumption of fewer calories and can lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends a vegetarian pattern for people who already have the disease.

6. Heart Disease Prevention

Eating mostly vegetables, whole grains, fruits and meat substitutes may cut your chances of getting heart disease. These foods are usually cholesterol-free and contain needed nutrients for healthy heart function.

7. The Whole Foods Whole Picture

Consuming more whole and natural foods can help you maintain and/or regain your health. Animal-based foods are fatty and acid-forming, while plant-based foods are alkalizing. Alkalizing foods help keep your bones strong and healthy. Plant-based foods can reduce your risk of getting cancer and other diseases like diabetes. They are also better for farm animals and the environment.

For more information please contact us.

 

7 Best and Worst Foods for Cancer

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In this ever-growing world, there are cautions to take in terms of diet. With artificial and processed foods entertaining daily diets, it’s best to take some dietary considerations into account. You’ll understand what to avoid, and what to eat on a consistent basis.

What to Avoid

1. Fruits that are Non-Organic

While they may be cheaper, fruits that aren’t organic are covered in pesticides and other harmful substances. It’s best to spend a few extra dollars to get the safe, organic fruit.

2. Processed Foods

In general, any processed food is best to be avoided, as it is packed with chemicals and sodium. Both can be very detrimental to health.

3. Hydrogenated Oils

One would think that oils taken from vegetables would be healthy, though it is done through a chemical process, which taints the food. Added color also leads to a higher risk of cancer upon consumption. Try and find alternative sources for the benefits that these oils provide.

4. Any Fast Food

Fast food joints slather products in oil, making them fatty and unhealthy. There’s also a good chance that the chicken you’re eating isn’t just chicken

What to Eat More of

1. Garlic

Chop up some cloves, let them be for 15-20 minutes, then cook and consume for great benefits! Garlic encourages fast DNA repair and works to kill unwanted cancer cells.

2. Berries

Each type of berry contains antioxidants, and they kick your enzymes into gear to destroy possible cancer-causing chemicals, along with slowing the growth of tumors.

3. Broccoli

Containing sulforaphane, this super veggie has similar benefits to berries. While other vegetables have a positive affect, broccoli has the greatest impact on cancer cells.

Putting it all Together

A general rule is to stick with natural foods, while staying as far away as you can from processed ones. It’s difficult to avoid nowadays, but it is doable, and your body will thank you. Not only will it have an effect on cancer, but the physical and mental benefits are countless! If you have any questions, please contact us. The journey may be hard to change certain habits, but we are here to support you.

 

The Quantum Universe and Self Healing

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Quantum mechanics is now part of self healing programs for many on a healing journey. There are many ways for understanding how to use the quantum universe for self healing. Three methods include “Energy Healing,” “Quantum Healing” and “Quantum Touch.” They have overlaps in their reliance on quantum mechanics to understand the healing process. This is an overview of these different methods of self healing.

Energy Healing

“Energy Healing,” based on the physicist Amit Goswami‘s belief that using energy allows for healing.  In this perspective, energy is consciousness. Thus, what you think has a direct consequence on your physical body. Your thoughts have a certain vibrational energy just as everything in the universe has. The physical, the mental and the spiritual interact through energy. Our consciousness is where these different energies come together. Energy imbalance is one of the causes of disease in this view. Vibrational aberrations result in disorganization and disintegration in our bodies. How does this understanding of energy aid in self healing? If the universe is your consciousness, which is fundamentally energy, your thoughts and beliefs have a direct effect on your physical well-being. One method of promoting a healthy relationship between your consciousness and your physical body in “energy healing” is meditation. 

Quantum Healing

Another form of self healing based on the quantum universe is “quantum healing.” Deepak Chopra promotes this method. “Quantum healing,” similar to “energy healing” posits that the physical, spiritual and mental connection is part of a quantum consciousness. Chopra uses his training in Western medicine and Ayurvedic theory to understand specific ways this quantum consciousness can promote self healing. He uses these framework to explain why certain patients do not heal even when given the best medical treatment. In his view, the state of mind and spirit of an individual directly influences the body; thus quantum consciousness is part of self healing. Chopra also emphasizes meditation as a method for harnessing this quantum consciousness. 

Quantum Touch

Similar to “energy healing,” “quantum touch” emphasizes the “life force” or connective energy throughout the quantum universe. This method directs and amplifies this life force to promote self healing. The practitioner directs energy to correct alignment, reduce inflammation, and remove disease. This practice allows for manipulation of physical reality on a quantum level through vibrational energy. It is literally mind over matter. Quantum touch has a lot in common with acupuncture and Reiki therapy in how they manipulate energy to promote healing.

The discovery of the quantum nature of the universe has opened up a whole new way of self healing.

For more information on different forms of self healing, contact us.

 

How Self-Healing Methods Work Hand in Hand with Modern Medicine

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Many people get really excited over the idea of self-healing.  No more trips to the doctor.  Yay!  No more pills, injections or painful tests to undergo.  However, self-healing often works best when it’s combined with other medical treatments.  There’s no point in rejecting all the scientific developments that have taken place in the medical field and relying solely on self-healing methods.  Instead, it’s best to use the two in such a way that they complement each other.

Eating Well vs. Taking Multivitamins

For example, eating well can promote self-healing.  If you eat a balanced diet that consists of lean meats, veggies and complex carbohydrates, you can develop a better immune system and resist a number of small infections that you would otherwise be prone to.  However, no matter how many vegetables you eat, it’s impossible to get all the vitamins that you need.  So it’s a good idea to take a multivitamin everyday.

Reiki: Filling Your Body with Energy

There’s a method of self-healing called Reiki, in which you heal yourself through your own touch.  You can also use Reiki to heal others.  The idea is to place your hands on the various chakras of your body and focus for a minimum of three minutes.

The main chakras can be found running down through the center of your body, starting with the third eye chakra (which is in the middle of your forehead), the throat chakra, the thymus/thyroid chakra (which is just below the throat), the heart chakra (in the middle of your chest), the solar plexus chakra (which is just below the heart chakra), the sacral chakra (which is an inch or two below your belly button) and the root chakra (which is in your genital area).

The idea is that when you place your hands on these chakras, you become an energy channel.  Your hands take energy from the universe and give it to your body.  This, in turn, heals you of any ailments you might have.

Reiki: Helping You Find the Best Cure

At times, however, you’ll find that the Reiki may not heal you in and of itself but it will lead you into behaviors that will do so.  You might find yourself making that doctor’s appointment that you’ve been putting off.  Or maybe you’ll find an over-the-counter cure for your ailment.  Or maybe you won’t need to find a physical cure because the Reiki will itself heal you.  Self-healing methods like this can clear your mind and help you find the best cure for whatever’s ailing you.

Contact us for more information on self-healing.

 

A Grounded, Practical Guide to Spirituality

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You may not think of yourself as a very spiritual person.  Most of us just go about our daily lives without thinking about spiritual things.  Plus, we may also believe that spirituality entails a belief in God, the soul and various concepts which are intangible.  You can’t sense God or the soul with any of your physical senses; this is why many of us have trouble believing in these concepts.  However, you don’t have to believe in God, the soul or anything intangible like “vibrations” or “energies” in order to be a spiritual person.  You can be firmly grounded on the earth and still practice spirituality.

Mindfulness

You may have heard of the concept of mindfulness but you don’t exactly understand what it means.  Mindfulness merely refers to being conscious of what you’re doing at all times.  As we live our lives, we may have gotten into the habit of just doing things without thinking about them.  We say anything that comes to mind.  We go about the same routines at work.  We even dress in the same way most of the time, unless there’s a special occasion, in which case we might dress up.

When you’re being mindful, the idea is to consult yourself about each and every decision you make.  If you’re going to have a cup of water, ask yourself if you think this is a good idea.  If you’re going to wear a certain jacket to work, ask  yourself if you think this is a good idea.  Most of the time, you’ll find that there’s a self within you which is more than happy to tell you its opinion on everything.  Once in a while, you might have to coax yourself into saying what you really think.  And this usually happens when you have a negative opinion about something but you don’t want to make it conscious.

Try this out for a few days and you’ll find that your mood is uplifted.  In the long term, this will help you to make the right decisions in life.

Positivity

Spirituality is nothing but another way to improve your positivity.  This is why people practice meditation, yoga, t’ai chi and even martial arts.  Meditation quiets the mind, allowing your negative thoughts to fade away and letting your positive ones come to the forefront.  Yoga, t’ai chi and the martial arts require a great deal of focus and concentration, which makes you conscious of your negative thoughts.  This means that you are eventually forced to deal with them and increase your overall positivity.

However, keep in mind that these aren’t the only practices which will help to increase positivity.  Anything that feels good can be a spiritual practice.  Some people go running and get into a meditative state.  Others paint, knit, embroider, make furniture, go sailing, etc.  The point is to take up something that you enjoy and to keep doing it even when your mind is full of anxious thoughts.  This will help you to calm down as much as yoga or meditation.

Putting It All into Practice

Contact us for more great ways to increase your spiritual quotient.

Three Surprising Health Benefits of Regular Meditation Exercises

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Meditation exercises are a crucial part of achieving and maintaining a balanced emotional and spiritual state and finding continued fulfillment in your life. As an added bonus, meditation also has many surprising, physical benefits for your increased health!

1) Meditation reduces muscular tension.

Since the practice of meditation is the practice of concentrated relaxation it makes sense that it will help to relieve muscle tension. Chronic muscle tension is an underlying factor of many medical conditions and is caused by many factors; regular workouts, poor posture and sleeping positions to name just a few. Regular meditation exercises help to combat the stress of life and make sure you don’t build up detrimental muscle tension that can lead to other health problems. 

2) Meditation relieves headaches and anxiety.

Meditation exercises reduce the levels of the stress-induing hormone cortisol AND release the happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine-  win, win! The combination of hormonal benefits will allow you to achieve a greater level of emotional balance and happiness in your life. 

3) Meditation increases alertness and productivity.

Do you want to know the fastest way to improve your work-place atmosphere and increase your productivity on the job? Take a fifteen minute break to practice your mindfulness exercises! Taking the time to reduce tension and release beneficial hormones will positively impact not only your relationships and outlook on life but also your workplace attitude and productivity. Your coworkers and supervisors will thank you! 

Contact us for more tips on achieving a fulfilling life defined by emotional confidence and inner peace.

Protect Your Telomeres – and Your Health – with the Mediterranean Diet

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Doctors have been urging people to follow a Mediterranean-type diet for several decades now. The primary reason why doctors are so fond of this diet is its proven benefits for heart health. It’s also a fairly easy diet to comply with. It doesn’t toss out entire food groups nor does it require the dieter to count calories, skip meals or do anything extreme.

What is it?

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional diet of people who live along the Mediterranean shores. The primary source of fat in the diet is olive oil and the primary source of protein is seafood. The diet encourages the consumption of large amounts of vegetables, moderate intake of red wine, and limited consumption of red meat. Most likely the diet is so healthy for the heart because it is strongly anti-inflammatory. 

Other health benefits

In addition to being good for the heart, the Mediterranean diet also seems to protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It seems to help prevent certain types of cancer, most notably those of the gastrointestinal tract. This effect is most likely related to the high intake of vegetables encouraged by the diet. 

Telomeres

In December 2014, the BMJ published a study demonstrating that following a Mediterranean diet is associated with having longer telomeres. Telomeres are the caps on the ends of the chromosomes. They help protect the genes from damage. However, as we age, they tend to get shorter and shorter. Individuals with shorter telomeres are at increased risk of developing chronic diseases and dying younger than people with longer telomeres.

Both oxidative stress and inflammation promote the shortening of telomeres. Many aspects of the Mediterranean diet- the seafood, the olive oil, the vegetables- are strongly anti-inflammatory. It therefore is not terribly surprising that individuals who follow a Mediterranean diet have longer telomeres. This finding does, however, lend even more support to the idea that the Mediterranean diet promotes overall good health. 

What about Paleo?

The Paleolithic diet has been all the rage lately. At first glance you might think these two diets were very different, but other than the fact that the Mediterranean diet encourages the consumption of whole grains and the Paleolithic diet forbids them they are remarkably similar. Both types of diets encourage the consumption of large amounts of vegetables, encourage the consumption of healthy fats (neither diet is a low-fat diet), and encourage the consumption of nuts, fish and other strongly anti-inflammatory foods. 

We haven’t been able to find any studies of telomere length in association with the Paleo diet, but we have found several studies demonstrating that the Paleo diet is possibly even more healthy than the Mediterranean diet. It’s better for controlling body weight, better for controlling diabetes, and it might be better for heart health than the Mediterranean diet. 

We’ll have to wait for the study about telomere length. In the meantime, it’s quite clear that eating vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil are all very good for you- they prevent heart disease, dementia and cancer. So have at them, and make sure you drink up your wine. 

We specialize in helping cancer victims and their families. If you or a loved one needs support, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Enjoyment, Natural Beauty and Mantras: A Meditation Guide

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A lot of people think that meditation is about being still and quiet, in body as well as in mind.  However, it may surprise you to learn that this is not the essence of meditation.  Being still and quiet are only the means of getting into the meditative state which can also be achieved in other ways.  Many runners report that when they’ve been running for a while, they get into “the zone.”  This is true meditation and it isn’t achieved by being still or quiet; it’s achieved by the opposite.

The truth is that our modern lives are very fast; we’re always running from one thing to another.  We’re always trying to achieve things— to climb the ladders of our careers, to care for our spouses and children, to look good and dress well, etc.  This usually means that we don’t have that much time for ourselves.  Meditation is connecting with the inner you—the you that is constant despite the passage of time.  You could even say that meditation is a conversation with the soul.

How do you make time for this elusive practice?  How do you connect with an intangible part of yourself that you’re not even sure exists?

Enjoyment

Meditation comes from enjoyment.  You need to have fun.  You need to feel good.  You need to be happy— not that all-round happiness that comes from having everything you want in life but the kind that’s in the moment, in the here and now.

Different people enjoy themselves in different ways.  Some do it by watching movies.  Others do it by being engaged in occupations they enjoy.  Some do it by socializing with friends.  Some even do it through sex.  Eating well and exercising can also lead to enjoyment because good health clears the mind and allows it to focus.  Whenever you do something that you enjoy, take note and try to make that thing a part of your everyday life.

You’ll find that you have moments of thoughtlessness while you’re doing these things.  These are meditative moments that you can heighten by practicing some traditional meditation techniques, like focusing on your breath or focusing on the point in the middle of your forehead.  Have you ever tried meditating right after going for a run or doing something else that you enjoy?  You’ll find that your focus is much better and that quiet feeling which defines meditation develops faster and stays longer.

Nature

It’s always nice to be surrounded by mother nature when you’re meditating.  Even if you can just place a couple of plants near the seat where you usually meditate, you’ll find that you feel a little quieter.  If you can look out at a view where there are many plants and trees, the effect will be greater.  And when you look at certain natural wonders, such as the Grand Canyon, you’re immediately devoid of thought because you’re so awestruck by the beauty and grandeur of the world.

Of course, you can’t take a trip to the Grand Canyon everyday, but if you can do even a little bit to surround yourself with nature you’ll reap the benefits.  Taking a walk in a shady lane with many trees, visiting botanic gardens or walking on the beach are all great options.  If you can find a seat somewhere and meditate while you’re there, that would be great.  If not, you’ll still feel the difference when you come back home and meditate.

What’s Your Mantra?

Traditionally, people have often used mantras, either in Sanskrit or some other language that is considered holy, to aid meditation.  You too can use a mantra but you should choose it carefully.  You can choose a mantra in English if that’s what you feel most comfortable doing.  But if you like the sound of a different language, feel free to choose a mantra in that language.

Just make sure that you understand the meaning of the mantra fully before you start chanting.  This is because you may not realize it but language is a very powerful tool.  The more you use certain words, the more you’re going to attract those things into your life.  For example, you could use “I am a great writer” to attract success as a writer into your life.  Or you could use “I am in a loving relationship” to attract love into your life.

If you end up using a mantra that doesn’t reflect who you truly are, you might be disappointed with the results.  For example, if you work at a job you don’t like but you use a mantra to be successful at it, then your overall happiness will decrease.

Contact us for more great ideas to develop your meditation practice.

This Twice a Week Diet Change May Protect You From Cancer AND Help You Lose Weight

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One of the latest diet fads is intermittent fasting, or the 5:2 diet. On the 5:2 diet, you eat normally five days out of the week and fast on two non-consecutive days. Most people don’t completely fast but instead consume a very small amount of calories, around 500, on their fast days. 

A Natural Way of Eating

The idea behind the intermittent fasting diet is that it’s a more natural way of eating than the traditional three meals a day way of eating. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably only ate one meal on most days, and often went without when the hunt failed and there were no ripe berries or fresh vegetables to be found. 

Health Benefits

Although the intermittent diet is most commonly used to lose weight- for which it has been proven to quite effective– a number of studies are beginning to demonstrate it has health benefits above and beyond simple weight control. It seems to be particularly beneficial for improving insulin resistance and type II diabetes. The theory is that taking a break from the constant production of insulin in response to eating allows the body to recover and reset its ability to respond to insulin. 

Fasting and Cancer

Some researchers are beginning to find interesting links between cancer and intermittent fasting. Mouse models of prostate cancer report that the cancer cells grow more slowly when the mice are subjected to intermittent fasting. Observational studies of women who engage in frequent periodic caloric restriction in an effort to lose weight find that their risk of developing renal cell carcinoma, endometrial cancer and lymphoma drops relative to individuals who do not periodically diet. Some limited data suggests that intermittent fasting can be protective against developing breast cancer. 

A Feasible Way to Restrict Calories

Severe calorie restriction has long been known to reduce the growth of cancer and increase lifespan. However, most people are incapable of restricting their calorie intake to the necessary level every single day of their lives. Persons who have tried intermittent fasting report it is not that difficult to comply with. After you get used to the feeling of hunger on fast days, you just learn to ignore it. Most intermittent fasters report feeling especially energetic and focused on their fast days. The theory there is that being hungry prepares the body for action- time to go out and really focus on finding something to eat. 

Intermittent fasting may therefore be a feasible way to restrict calorie intake in free-living humans to such a degree thaT an actual clinical impact on cancer development and growth will occur. However, further study is clearly necessary to prove or disprove this concept. There don’t seem to be any adverse health events caused by intermittent fasting so it might be worth a try, just in case it helps slow down cancer growth.

Are You Ready to Make a Plan and Get Started?

We specialize in coaching you to a fuller, happier, and healthier life. We help cancer victims and their families through this difficult time, guide clients to take charge of their personal health, and coach still others to personal fulfillment. If you or a loved one needs assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Meditation and Yoga May Heal Telomeres (and Why You Should Care)

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Meditation, yoga and other stress-relieving activities, such as attending emotional support groups, have long been known to be extremely helpful for breast cancer victims in recovering from their ordeal. A study published in the journal Cancer in November 2014 has found a very exciting cellular impact of meditation and yoga: it may protect your telomeres. 

Randomized controlled trial

The randomized controlled trial enrolled women who had completed treatment for breast cancer but reported being distressed and fatigued. The control group received a one-day seminar on how to reduce stress. The active groups received either mindfulness-meditation/yoga sessions or were assigned to expressive-supportive group therapy. The mindfulness group attended a 90 minute session once a week for 8 weeks and were encouraged to practice yoga at home every day. The support group met once a week for 90 minutes for a total of 12 weeks. 

At the end of the study, blood samples were taken and the length of the telomeres were compared to the length of the telomeres at the beginning of the study. The control group showed a decrease in average telomere length. Both of the active groups showed either a maintenance of telomere length or even an increase in average length. 

Anti-cancer effect?

Why are these results so exciting? Well, being able to influence telomere length is huge. Telomere length has been linked to breast cancer prognosis- the shorter the telomeres, the worse the prognosis. If the telomeres of breast cancer victims can be lengthened by meditation, then perhaps their lifespans, risk of recurrence and other important outcomes can be improved. The other exciting aspect of this study is that telomere length is strongly linked to longevity in general, not just in the setting of cancer. 

Anti-aging effect?

Telomeres are the caps on the ends of the chromosomes. They protect the DNA from damage. Over time, with each cell division, the telomeres tend to slowly shorten. Eventually they get too short and the cell undergoes senescence and dies. For example, the telomeres in the white blood cells of newborn babies are usually around 8,000 base pairs long. In a healthy adult, they may only be 3,000 base pairs long. An elderly person? Only 1,500 base pairs long. 

Efforts to extend lifespan often reveal that successful longevity-extension measures cause the telomeres to lengthen, or at least protects them from shortening. Elderly people with shorter than average telomeres (for their age) tend to die much younger than their peers. 

We always thought that meditation and yoga were health-promoting activities. Who knew their effects were so profound? 

We specialize in coaching cancer victims and their families through this difficult time. If you or a loved one needs assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.