The Importance of Eating Alkaline Foods

What are Alkaline Foods?

An alkaline diet emphasizes alkaline foods such as whole fruits and vegetables and certain whole grains, which are low in caloric density. Healthy Alkaline Diet Foods involve the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods.

The body includes a number of organ systems that are adept at neutralizing and eliminating excess acid, but there is a limit to how much acid even a healthy body can cope with effectively. The body is capable of maintaining an acid-alkaline balance provided that the organs are functioning properly, that a well-balanced alkaline diet is being consumed, and that other acid-producing factors are avoided.

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Here is a list of high Alkaline Foods: Examples of Alkalining Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Spinach

Examples of Alkalizing Fruits: Apple, Banana, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Melon, Lemon, Orange, Peach, Pear, Watermelon

Alkalizing Protein: Almonds, Chestnuts, Tofu

Alkalizing Spices: Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Sea Salt

Here is a link with a list of Alkaline Foods and important information to go along with each one.

Danielle Walker from Against All Grain has three cookbooks, an app, and tons of recipes on her website that are a great balance of alkaline and acidic foods. Majority are alkaline which is why she is having such success with her recipes. The whole30 is another great source for a balance lifestyle. I eat the way these two women cook and eat.

Andrea

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Ama/Intermittent Fasting

Ama is unique to ayurveda; it builds up in your GI track when food is not digested properly. When our ability to digest food becomes impaired, the body can no longer absorb essential nutrients. Undigested and partially digested food lingers in the body, leading to the formation of ama. Ayurveda views ama as one of the most threatening opponents to good health, linking the majority of health disorders in some way to the presence of this substance. Simply stated, ama is undigested food that begins to eat you which causes inflammation and disease.

Causes of Ama:

Overeating
Eating before the previous meal is digested
Not making lunch the main meal; eating large meals at night
Ice drinks and cold-food meals
Food that isn’t fresh, pure and organic – old food, stale food, packaged foods
Eating without full attention on the meal; watching TV or reading
Eating too quickly
Eating while emotionally upset
Not taking the heaviest parts of the meal first when the agni (digestive fire) is strongest
Not engaging in light, enjoyable exercise daily whenever possible, or a few times a week
Intermittent fasting is an important part of your health as much as eating is. Allowing the body to fast is important to allow the GI track to eliminate and regenerate ready for the next meal. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts, or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. Humans have actually been fasting throughout evolution. Sometimes it was done because food was not available. There are a few different ways to fast but the one that is natural to me is the 16/8 method. But I don’t do this often it actually happens naturally. I don’t force myself to fast nor will I ever.

The 16/8 Method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
Benefits of intermittent fasting:

reduces stress and inflammation
lose weight and belly fat
changes the function of cells, genes and hormones
beneficial for heart health
various cellular repair processes
what’s good for your gut is good for your brain
longevity
reduces insulin resistance, lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
All about AMA

Shattering the myth of fasting for women

Mark’s Daily Apple

Ama: The Antithesis of Agni

I can’t stress how important is it to live a balanced life! A holistic lifestyle is a gentle way to treat your body which in my way of thinking is the natural and best way.

Peace ~Andrea

Do seasonal changes affect you?

Ayurveda

What’s your dosha?

Ayurveda is an holistic approach to healing I have looked to in the past couple of decades but in researching about it in the past year and a half I have learned about it in much more depth. In practicing it to regain my health it has become a natural part of my every day life with absolute essential health benefits that I will carry on using for the rest of my life. I find it quite interesting because I need balance in all aspects of my life, in learning how my body works and what type of person I am, in how I react and deal with life helps me understand how to keep myself balanced.

I use mindfulness, meditation, listening to my body and understanding the signs, reading myself and using the resources I have collected to bring myself back into balance. When I am losing balance my sleep is affected, I become cold in my feet, hands and in general. I figure out what the root cause is so I can correct it immediately like removing stress and by drinking warm or hot beverages, eating wet foods like avocados, ghee and the like along with making sure to keep warm with clothes and blankets when I am sleeping are a few thing I do to balance my body for optimal health.

WebMD.com ~ Ayurvedic medicine — also known as Ayurveda — is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. But treatments may be recommended for specific health problems.

Adapting this philosophy requires an open mind, I can’t believe the amount of people that are closed minded and won’t even try something new or different even if it would help them heal and to live a healthy balanced life. If one thing isn’t working common sense tells me to try something new.  Look at different avenues to find what works best for you as a whole person along with your health issues. I can guarantee you will benefit from learning Ayurveda and how it relates to your whole being and especially when dealing with disease how it will bring you back to a healthy you or even better stay balanced so you won’t have to fight disease.

WebMD.com~Ayurveda Concepts-According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe — living or not — is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness. For followers of Ayurveda, anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. How your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body’s constitution, or prakriti. Your prakriti is believed to stay the same for your entire life. However, how you digest food and eliminate waste can influence it.

The 5 elements in the universe are earth, wind, fire, water and space and each of us have a combo of these elements.  The three life forces are called doshas, these are : Vata – space and air, Pitta – fire and water, and Kapha – water and earth.

ayurveda_image_001-newFrom WebMD.com:

Vata dosha (space and air) is thought to be the most powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions, such as how cells divide. It also controls your: Mind, Breathing, Blood flow, Heart function, Ability to get rid of body waste through the intestines.  Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Eating dry fruit, Eating too soon after a previous meal, Fear, Grief, Staying up too late.  If vata dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Anxiety, Asthma, Heart disease, Nervous system disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis, Skin problems.

vata

Pitta Dosha

The pitta dosha (fire and water) controls: Digestion, Ability to break down foods (metabolism), Certain hormones linked to appetite.  Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Eating sour foods, Eating spicy foods, Fatigue, Spending too much time in the sun.
If pitta dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Anger and negative emotions, Crohn’s disease, Heart disease, Heartburn a few hours after eating, High blood pressure, Infections

pitta

Kapha Dosha
The kapha dosha (water and earth) controls: Muscle growth, Body strength and stability, Weight, and Immune system. Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Daytime sleeping, Eating after your stomach is full, Eating or drinking items that have too much salt or water, Eating too many sweet foods and Greed.  If kapha dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Asthma and other breathing disorders, Cancer, Diabetes, Nausea after eating and Obesity.

Kapha-Balancing-Diet

Ayurvedic Treatment

Treatment depends on your unique prakriti, your primary dosha, and the balance between all three of them.  A main goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to cleanse your body of undigested food called ama, which can stick to the inside of your body and make you sick. This cleansing process is called panchakarma. It is used to reduce any symptoms and reestablish harmony and balance.

Other treatments may also be recommended to: Restore balance, Improve spiritual healing, Boost your immunity, Reduce symptoms. The treatments may include: Aromatherapy, Breathing exercises, Diet changes, Herbs, vitamins, minerals, and metals, Plant-based oils and spices, Lifestyle changes, Meditation, Stretching and Yoga

Sourced from WebMD.com

I’m a VATA

I am a dominant Vata dosha. I had all the signs and symptoms that vata body types show when vata is not in balance. I had vitamin and mineral deficiency which causes anemia, malnutrition, low blood pressure, weight loss and muscle wasting. Protein deficiency that include symptoms of hair loss and fluid retention. Sugar imbalance having the symptoms of bloating, flatulence, and explosive diarrhea. And fat deficiency with typical symptoms of irregular bowel movements.  If only I had read deeper into Ayurveda sooner I may have recognized the imbalance as an issue and found homeopathy earlier. But I believe every thing happens for a reason and I know I learned a lot more than just about my failing health when I became so ill. Hindsight is 20/20! 😉

Vata-Balancing-Guidelines

To regain balance

Check out this amazing website, it has everything you need to learn about your body with the benefits of Ayurveda. Just click through on the links below!

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Vata-Symptoms

Now that I know what to do when I feel the slightest imbalance I can hop right back on the right path and avoid becoming unbalanced and never become as sick as I was again!

vata-pitta-kapha-univergia

~Andrea

Homeopathy, Biofeedback & Your 1st Visit

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a system of natural health care that has been in worldwide use for over 200 years.Homeopathy treats each person as a unique individual with the aim of stimulating their own healing ability. A homeopath selects the most appropriate medicine based on the individual’s specific symptoms and personal level of health.

It is recognized by the World Health Organisation as the second largest therapeutic system in use in the world. While it is most popular in India and South America, over thirty million people in Europe, and millions of others around the world, also benefit from its use.
The name homeopathy, coined by its originator, Samuel Hahnemann, is derived from the Greek words for ‘similar suffering’ referring to the ‘like cures like’ principle of healing. Hahnemann was born in Germany two hundred and fifty years ago. At this time the old world-view was being renovated and traditional beliefs, many flimsily based upon superstition, were being increasingly subjected to the rigour of experimental scrutiny and assessment. The practice of Homeopathy is based upon science while its application is an art.
Samuel Hehnemann
Homeopathy is founded on two principles that have occurred regularly throughout the history of medicine, both in eastern and western worlds. The first principle of ‘like cures like’ can be looked at in several ways. One way is to assume that the body knows what it is doing and that symptoms are the body’s way of taking action to overcome illness. This healing response is automatic in living organisms; we term it the vital response. The similar medicine acts as a stimulus to the natural vital response, giving it the information it needs to complete its healing work. Since the initial action of the vital response plus the medicine is to increase the strength of the symptoms, this is our first indication of internal healing taking place, of diseases being cured from within – pushed outwards along the established routes of past and present symptoms.

Before the medicines are decided upon, their curative powers are discovered by testing them out on healthy human subjects and carefully noting emotional, mental and physical changes. This is termed a ‘proving’. This information constitutes the basis for ‘like cures like’, for a medicine’s unique symptom picture must match up with the individual’s unique expression of their disease, that is, the present and persisting symptoms of the disease.

The second principle, that only ‘the minimum dose’ should be employed is based upon the understanding that the stimulus of the medicine works from within the vitality and is not imposed from the outside. Only enough is administered to initiate the healing process, which then carries on, driven by its own internal healing mission. Homeopathic medicines given in minimum doses, while they do stimulate the body’s vital response, do not produce the gross side effects that are so often the pit-fall of conventional treatment.

  • Homeopathic treatment works with your body’s own healing powers to bring about health and well being.
  • You are treated as an individual, not as a collection of disease labels.
  • Homeopathy treats all your symptoms at all levels of your being – spiritual, emotional, mental and physical and finds the ‘like cures like’ match for them.
  • Homeopathically prepared remedies, providing the minimum dose, are gentle, subtle and powerful. They are non-addictive, and not tested on animals.

Biofeedback Therapy

Is a tool used by Homeopathic Practitioners to better evaluate your bodies state of wellness. “Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately ‘feed back’ information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument” –  Association for Applied Psycho-physiology and Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a form of alternative medicine that involves measuring a subject’s quantifiable bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension, conveying the information to the patient in real-time. This raises the patient’s awareness and conscious control of their unconscious physiological activities. By providing the user access to physiological information about which he or she is generally unaware, biofeedback allows users to gain control of physical processes previously considered an automatic response of the autonomous nervous system.

Health Conditions that are said to respond to biofeedback include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD and ADHD)
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding, often at night)
  • Circulatory problems such as Raynaud’s Disease
  • Concentration improvement for education and meditation
  • Control of brain waves for spiritual development and inner tranquility
  • Mild depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Musculoskeletal disorders involving chronic muscle tension
  • Neuromuscular re-education of gait mechanics
  • Optimal Performance: Sports, Arts, Public Speaking, etc.
  • Chronic pain syndromes
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Stress management techniques
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), jaw pain and dysfunction
  • Tremor disorders/Parkinsonism
  • Urinary incontinence (bedwetting, nocturnal enuresis, leaky bladder)

Interest in biofeedback has waxed and waned since its inception in the 1960s; it is, however, undergoing something of a renaissance during the early 21st century, which some experts attribute to the general rise in interest in a variety of alternative medicine modalities and the mind/body/spirit connection.

What to expect at your first visit to a Holistic Practitioner

You’ll have a chance to talk about your current situation and what you hope to gain from biofeedback.  A baseline analysis with biofeedback assessment (Psychophysiological Stress Profile) will help determine if you are a good candidate for biofeedback.  Don’t worry.  There are no needles or pain involved.
Placement of electrodes on your fingers, shoulders and/or forehead will measure heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, sweat gland activity and muscle tension.  A Velcro belt around your waist will measure your respiratory rate and breathing pattern.  You’ll be able to see your body’s reactions to stress on a computer screen. You’ll learn a lot about your body in just this first visit!  We’ll discuss your results , along with some biofeedback training recommendations. Plan on approximately 90 minutes for your first session.  Subsequent sessions will last 45-60 minutes.

General Biofeedback Measurements

Muscle Tension:  Electromyography (EMG) measures electrical activity of skeletal muscles.  Excess muscle tension and “bracing” can cause fatigue,
pain, muscle spasms and weakness.  Biofeedback increases your awareness of muscle tension.  Learning to decrease tension can lessen symptoms associated with chronic pain, headaches, muscle strain, TMJ and assist
in overall relaxation.

Electrodermal Activity (Galvanic Skin Response) (GSR) (Skin Conductance): Electrical activity on the skin surface corresponds with sweat gland activity. It is highly sensitive to thoughts and emotions and is an indirect indication of your stress response.  Individuals with anxiety or panic attacks can benefit from learning to lessen electrodermal activity.  GSR levels can be affected when perpetual arousal of the sympathetic nervous system begins to put a strain on adrenal gland function.

Skin Temperature: Thermal biofeedback is used to indirectly evaluate blood flow through the vessels under the skin. When stressed, some individuals experience cold hands due to overactive sympathetic nervous system arousal.  A relaxed state increases blood flow and is beneficial to the cardiovascular and immune systems.  You can learn to voluntarily warm your hands.  This can be helpful for those with high blood pressure, pain, migraines, Raynaud’s Disease, complications of diabetes and for overall relaxation.

Heart Rate, Respiratory (Breathing) Rate and Patterns:
You can influence your body’s ability to regulate involuntary functions of the automatic nervous system, simply by improving your breathing patterns.
Learning to enhance cardio-respiratory synchrony (heart rate
coherence) and heart rate variability (respiratory sinus arrhythmia)
has many benefits. There is research that indicates increasing your heart
rate variability may lead to improvements in your stress response, heart and lung function, blood pressure, sleep patterns and cognitive
performance.

During a biofeedback session, a therapist attaches electrical sensors to different parts of your body. These sensors monitor your body’s physiological state, such as brain waves, skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate and breathing. This information is fed back to you via cues, such as a beeping sound or a flashing light.

The feedback teaches you to change or control your body’s physiological reactions by changing your thoughts, emotions or behavior. In turn, this can help the condition for which you sought treatment.

For instance, biofeedback can pinpoint tense muscles that are causing headaches. You then learn how to invoke positive physical changes in your body, such as relaxing those specific muscles, to reduce your pain. The ultimate goal with biofeedback is to learn to use these techniques at home on your own.

A typical biofeedback session lasts 60 to 90 minutes. The length and number of sessions are determined by your condition and how quickly you learn to control your physical responses. You might need at least 10 to 15 sessions.

My first appointment I filled out a couple of personal information sheets ans signed a consent. Then I was introduced to the practitioner and led into a quiet room with a large comfortable lazy boy recliner. A Velcro band was put around my head across my forehead, then four more smaller ones were put on my wrists and ankles.

Informed to lay still and not to touch my feet or hands together as this will interrupt the process. I relaxed, we talked about my symptoms and how I was feeling. We discussed life and had a lot of laughs at each appointment and over a period of 2 years have become good friends.  I obviously highly recommend these forms of health and wellness care for everyone!

~Andrea