See my original post at Wellness for the REAL World with Dr. Veronica Anderson
The day is coming on fast but oh, just to shed a few more pounds! Rather than drowning your sorrows in yet another bottle of Pinot Noir or finishing off that pint of ice cream, look to the East to discover the secrets of the slender, Asian bride. Relax, Relax, Relax
In the West we say, “I worried myself sick,” which means you either overate or couldn’t eat at all. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it specifically states that worry and excess thinking harms digestion. Such an irony, as we are taught to obsess about diet and nutrition for the sake of our health, when in fact we are making ourselves sick. Stay Cool but Hold the Ice
The easiest way to lose weight and improve your health is to avoid cold drinks, particularly with your meal. Why? Because the stomach must heat up to 100 degrees to properly digest food. If you chill it with a glass of ice water it will go into overdrive and swing like a pendulum, overheat and make you feel hungry. Yes, the brain registers heat in the stomach as hunger, and iced drinks will both weaken your digestion and make you overeat. If you must cool down, suck on some ice, preferably between meals. Please Sir, I Want Some More
Oliver Twist may have had it right when he presented his empty bowl and asked for more porridge. While the West seems to have lost this wisdom, throughout Asia rice porridge is commonly eaten for breakfast or in times of illness, particularly when it involves the stomach. Contrary to popular belief, these carbs will help you burn fat and remove excess water by energizing and strengthening your digestion.
Porridge is made by cooking a small amount of rice or other grain with about six parts water for up to four hours, the longer the better, resulting in an energy-rich, easily assimilated food. Organic, jasmine, white rice is the grain of choice. Again, conventional wisdom says that brown rice is better, but white rice is preferred for its digestibility. Herbs like ginger, small amounts of vegetables, protein or fruit can be added to change the effect and flavor, but keep it simple and light, and avoid mixing fruits and vegetables together. Of course, no remedy is universal. If you suffer from frequent urination you should not eat a lot of rice and substitute other grains instead. Tea Time
Although you have heard it time and again it bears repeating, green tea is a weight loss standby because it helps digest fats and is a diuretic (be sure it’s organic, the banned pesticide DDT is still used overseas on tea). Green tea can also help decrease an overactive appetite if the brew isn’t too bitter. If your appetite is weak, consider ginger tea instead. What Your Tongue Says
Try this: look in the mirror and stick out your tongue. This is the easiest way to personalize your diet, rather than following the latest trend. Traditional Chinese Medicine says you can judge how well your food is digesting by the coating on your tongue. It should be thin and white extending from the back to the tip. If the coating is thick, (just take a look after a night of excess indulging), it’s telling you that whatever you ate isn’t digesting well. This can be caused by a number of factors like eating too much, too late, the wrong food or combination thereof, or can indicate that you are catching a cold. Why is this important? Poor digestion causes bloating, weight gain and numerous health problems. However, when using this technique always remember the first tip. Relax and don’t obsess. For an example of an ideal tongue, just ask a healthy four or five-year-old to stick out his.
In the end, remember your wedding is a joyous occasion. Striving to be thin is to focus on something that can cause undo stress. It never brings happiness. Each famous vase from the Ming dynasty was known to have one, barely perceptible flaw, acknowledging the imperfectability of humans. To be sure, your husband’s eyes are not that keen anyway.
In many ways we are wired like simple machines, flip a switch and you get a response. In this case what we are looking for is relaxation, calm, serene and joyous. Like listening to your rhythmic breath, simple physical movements act like switches, cues for the body to relax. Relaxed eyes not fixed or tense yield a relaxed body. First practice widening your scope of vision, both literally and figuratively. Begin with index fingers together about eight inches in front of your nose, focusing on them intently like you are trying to solve a problem. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead while you separate your fingers until they disappear from sight, as in an eye exam. Notice how your mind and body relax. For a less subtle exercise let your eyelids to be very heavy but not fully closed, just don’t fall asleep before finishing the post.
A smile works as easily to change your emotional state, with the added bonus of receiving one in return. The mere physical act generates a good feeling. Take a moment to feel the difference between a frown and a smile. No matter your mood, your body will respond. Now bring these three practices together, relaxing your eyes, smiling and listening to your breath. Do this, not for a second before continuing on, but all day, every day. Should this really be called a practice per se or is it a normal expression of a happy individual, relaxed, smiling and breathing deeply? Either way, one begets the other, and the switches begin to respond instantaneously in any situation.
If losing a few pounds has you stressed, heed this: Relax, don’t worry, and treat your stomach gently. In the West we say, “I worried myself sick,” which means you overate or couldn’t eat at all. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it specifically states that worry and excess thinking harms digestion. Such an irony, as we are taught to obsess about diet and nutrition for the sake of our health, when in fact we are making ourselves sick. So the first rule of eating and weight management is to think and worry less.
Treating your stomach gently comes in many forms. The easiest way to lose weight and to improve your health is to avoid drinking iced beverages, particularly with your meal. Why, because the stomach must heat up to 100 degrees to properly digest food. If you chill it with a 32 degree glass of water, it will go into overdrive and swing like a pendulum, overheating your stomach and make you feel hungry. Yes, the brain registers heat in the stomach as hunger, and iced drinks will both weaken your digestion and make you overeat. If you must cool down, suck on some ice, preferably between meals.
For another de-stressing exercise, try these switches wired into every one of us. Close your eyes. Smile. Gently roll your eyes toward the crown of your head without any tension. Tilt your head back then repeatedly raise your brow as if you are trying to lift your mood. Scan inside your head to where it feels dark or tense. Continue this until your mood lightens and you begin to feel elated if not high, except without the hangover. If you are really stressed, this might make you cry at first but that is actually good. Tears are just one more hard-wired mechanism designed to help release anxiety.
Lastly, I like to use visualization to prepare myself for stressful events. Begin by imagining a complete and utter catastrophe, an epic disaster fit for the movies and smile through it all, smiling until you truly feel happy. Now clear away that picture and imagine the perfect outcome, coming off without a hitch.
This was a week for major media coverage, two awards and three words that should never be spoken together.
On Tuesday, I was honored with an interview by Dr. Veronica Anderson on Wellness for the REAL World
, a blog radio program with over 26 million listeners worldwide. The next day Growing Ageless
was named a finalist for both the Midwest Book Awards
and the Next Generation Independent Book Awards (TBA). By Saturday, I was back in LA for the UCLA Institute of Society and Genetics 10th Annual Symposium
entitled "The Art of Aging"…and an international language lesson.
With age comes great wisdom; fire hurts, never trust a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and Russian Mystery Drinks are three words never to be uttered in the same sentence. Earlier that day I learned at the symposium of an updated theory on free radicals and aging. Current thinking says that as we age, the build up
of reactive oxygen species (ROS) a.k.a. free radicals, functions as a marker for cellular destruction. Think of the free radicals as an arborist
marking diseased trees in your neighborhood with orange paint for destruction and removal. Rather than viewing thousands of arborists or free radicals as the cause of the disease, see them as part of a municipal work force cashing a paycheck, and hopefully doing some civic good…unlike the Russian Mystery Drinks, also known as markers for cellular destruction.
All objects vibrate. It’s the nature of matter and energy. Even at the theoretically unattainable temperature of absolute zero, molecular motion would still exist. For better or for worse, we respond to frequencies. A sonic weapon can leave you disoriented or nauseous, as can an overamped bass beat at a show. Earthquakes can tear down the world around us, and an emotionally charged crowd can lift your team to triumph.
Why does this happen? Sympathetic vibration. Sound, energy and emotions resonate from one object to another. Screamin Eagle pipes on a Harley rattle your brains, as does Ludwig van, just at a whole different frequency and amplitude. What will be your good vibrations?
View from Griffith Observatory #1
Do you still question the need for an air purifier
?According to the EPA, indoor air quality is typically worse than outdoor air.
View from Griffith Observatory #2
A recent run in LA purportedly against ovarian cancer raises one big question.
Why was toxic nail polish included in the schwag bag?
When I say toxic, let me give you a quick list of the concerns about this product: reproductive, organ and neuro-toxicity, cancer, bio accumulation and ecotoxicity. Check out your cosmetics here
Today the journey continues. In less than five hours I will be off to L.A. to see friends, speak and teach. I will bring nothing more than a carry on with one hundred books waiting at my destination. Fear of the unknown, of failure would be a normal response. But I have given up fear. It serves no positive good. If you can embrace your utter destruction, mortality, then the idea of little failures holds no power.
A la Monty Python, I like to imagine a cartoonish sky opening up. The clouds part and a massive shoe comes down and crushes me flat. The ultimate end comes with an ironic smile and petty fears mean nothing.
Come visit me today at the Soul-filled Cafe
and ask a question.
I just returned from an impromptu run around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. It’s a three mile loop I ran seventy-five percent of the way without a warm up, and I’m not a runner. If not for the certain message from my hip flexors that they would punish me tomorrow without remorse, I could have continued running on, but I thought better of it and walked the last bit. Only twice did I have the urge to throw up the carob covered almonds I had just eaten. Although the accomplishment was satisfying, I can’t recommend it, especially the carob almonds, to say nothing for not stretching.
In my defense, I’m known for doing yoga, Tai Chi or both most days. As soon as I made it home I ran a bath and added a special curative ingredient. Baking soda. It’s a trick I learned from the same nurse who told me eighteen years ago I was hypoglycemic and needed to change my ways. A couple of cups baking soda in a warm bath make for a strong tissue detoxifier. Most often it does the trick, otherwise you may see me limping along for the next few days.
Labor Day only just sounded summer’s death knell and I’ve already begun to feel the discomfort of a morning chill. Traditional Chinese Medicine categorizes weather as an external cause of illness along with pathogens. This may seem intuitive at first, but if so, are you listening to your intuition? I was once a fan of the four distinct seasons Minnesota serves up. However, over the last seven or so years, I’ve spent many winters or parts thereof in warm climates. Now I’m no longer a fan. In fact, I find the dark and cold to be a drain on my energy. We are not all the same. Some people love the cold. Others retire to tropical climates but don’t notice as their arthritis flares up. Some take refuge in the desert only to suffer constant skin irritations and restless nights of hot flashes.
Are you wise to your body’s needs? The migrational patterns of creatures suggest they are infinitely wiser than most of us.