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Nature and Us

Nature & us

Nature & Us

In China, there are some sacred mountains which are breathtakingly beautiful. It is said that the energy that is generated on the mountains is special and can be distinctly felt. They were and still are the abode of Taoists and Buddhists. Both Taoism and Buddhism have a deep respect for nature. Humans are born from nature and depend on her for survival and development.

Taoism sees nature as their mother. They believe that mankind’s relationship with her should be one of respect and care.  Nature provides us with everything we need. Once we abuse this relationship by taking more than we need and giving nothing back, we can expect problems.

The Taoists practice Tai Chi, a mix of meditation and martial art. When they practice Tai Chi, they are learning to balance the inner energies through a focused, quiet mind and gentle movements. This begins with recognizing and respecting the body-mind relationship. We must realize the importance of good health and a balanced state of mind. Looking after ourselves involves self love and self discipline. We need to pay attention to the signals of the body.  We have to know when to rest and what to eat.  Once we neglect ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, our health and well being will suffer. If we fail to look after ourselves, how will we be able to care for others?  Caring for the environment would be out of the question.

In Taoism, there are many rules governing a novice’s training. They adjust their lifestyles and training according to the seasons.  In summer, they rise early and retire to bed early.  Taoists gained inspiration from nature when developing their teachings. Tai Chi also follows the principles of nature, such as, flowing like water, being as firm as a mountain and as resilient as bamboo. When their training has matured, their form looks natural and flowing, and their energy is smooth and continuous. At the end of training they understand what it means for the body-mind to be natural.

About 3,000 years ago when parts of China were experiencing drought conditions, the emperor offered a reward to anyone who could bring rain. Many people tried and failed.  Eventually, a Taoist came and took up the challenge. He meditated for a week. Then, he summoned his internal energy and finally, dark clouds appeared and it rained. When asked how he achieved this miracle, he replied, “When I first came to this area, I could feel that the people’s hearts were hardened and they had lost their harmony and balance. So for the first week, I had to strengthen and stabilize my own energy and it gradually affected the local people. Once their energy was harmonized, the natural environment became balanced and the cycle of the seasons returned.”

The above story may seem somewhat incredible.  However, we can all relate to feeling our energies drained after listening to people who always talk negatively. Yet, we know that we feel good when we are with people who are positive and enthusiastic about life.  Ancient cultures have long recognized the importance of the relationship between humans and nature.  We all need to respect ourselves, others and our environment.  This is the key to happiness and good health.

A recent study has revealed that nature makes us more charitable and concerned about others because nature enables human beings to connect with their authentic selves. Our authentic selves are inherently communal because humans evolved in hunter and gatherer societies that depended on mutuality for survival.

In addition, the richness and complexity of natural environment may encourage introspection and lack of man-made structures provides a safe haven from man-made pressures of society. Nature in a way strips away the artifices of society that alienate us from one another. This is the reason urban as compared to rural dwellers show more reservation, indifference and estrangement from others.

We are influenced by our environment in ways that we are not aware of. In truth, we are not protecting Nature; Nature is protecting us.  For example, trees and plants are necessary for the purification of our vital energy.  When Nature graciously protects and serves human beings, it is our responsibility to reciprocate.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Chronically Tired?

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Most of us have noticed at sometime or the other, that the feeling of tiredness and fatigue just refuses to go away, no matter what we do. We eat, we sleep, thinking it would go away, but it doesn’t. Reason to worry, isn’t it?

We visit the doctor and he prescribes some medication, but our body does not respond. Reason to worry some more! Now what do we do?

A common and often misunderstood cause of constant fatigue is a condition called adrenal fatigue. Since very few doctors recognize and treat adrenal fatigue, millions of people live with feeling chronically exhausted and confused about why that’s so. What makes this particularly disturbing is that once adrenal fatigue is diagnosed, it can be treated and resolved and people start to feel better in just a few months’ time.

Why am I sooo tired?

The adrenals (small walnut-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys) produce numerous hormones — adrenaline and others — that impact bodily functions including blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, liver function and immunity. They also produce two crucial stress hormones — DHEA and cortisol — whose job it is to balance the body’s response to stressful influences, including blood sugar fluctuations. Living with stress — whether mental, physical or emotional, for a protracted period result in a situation where the need for a constant supply of these two hormones outstrips the adrenals’ production capacity. This deficiency dulls cognitive function, energy levels and, of course, our ability to handle stress. It also slows the immune response and with it the ability to fight off infections and even possibly cancer. DHEA and cortisol interact in complex ways that affect many functions — deficiencies can contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain, fatigue, allergies, infections, mood disorders and poor libido.

Am I suffering from Adrenal Fatigue?

Fatigue is just one adrenal fatigue symptom. If you are chronically tired and have any of the following, you may want to consider asking your doctor for a blood or saliva test to determine whether you have adrenal fatigue:

  • Morning fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Light-headedness after standing up
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Inability to focus
  • Memory problems
  • Body aches, including pain in the lower back
  • Craving for salt and/or sugar
  • Slower recovery from illness than is usual for you.

Since mainstream medical practitioners are slow or fail to recognize adrenal fatigue, it is suggested that those who think they may have it should seek out naturopathic physicians.

How to fix?

Sooo tired

Sooo tired

Once adrenal fatigue is diagnosed, treatment is multi-pronged, including a combination of nutrients and lifestyle changes:

  • Stress reduction. Not surprisingly, your first task is to review what’s causing all the stress in your life so that you can determine what changes need to be made to reduce it.
  • Get more sleep. You need plenty of high-quality, restorative sleep. For those who have trouble falling asleep or who find themselves waking up in the night, 0.5 mg to 3 mg of melatonin, the “sleep” hormone, or 100 mg of the amino acid 5-HTP an hour before bedtime, is prescribed to help the body prepare for sleep. Ask your doctor which you should take.
  • Adjust your diet. People with adrenal fatigue often have blood sugar swings and cravings for sweets, so it’s very important to have breakfast every day and to eat small, healthy snacks between meals. He advises eating plenty of whole-grain foods and protein, including almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts, and avoiding processed foods and simple sugars, including refined grains, fruit juices and, of course, sugary sodas. Also stay away from caffeinated beverages and alcohol. And if you have low blood pressure, which often results from adrenal fatigue and further contributes to fatigue, do be sure you are getting enough salt, which helps maintain blood volume and proper circulation. However, don’t go overboard — 2,400 mg per day of sodium from all sources is usually about right.
  • Exercise — in moderation. While exercise helps regulate stress hormones, too much will exhaust adrenal fatigue patients further. Patients are advised to start by walking 15 minutes a day, adding time as symptoms improve until reaching 45 minutes per day, but again, keeping it to a moderately intense level. Reduce the amount of exercise if afterward you find yourself feeling more tired rather than less — the goal is to increase overall energy.

Supplements

To help speed recovery, the following nutritional supplements are advised:

  • Vitamin B5 — (pantothenic acid) is especially important for stress-hormone production… 500 mg of B5, three times a day is often prescribed. A good multivitamin (or B-complex) will supply enough of the other B vitamins needed.
  • Vitamin C — typically 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg twice daily is prescribed, but reduce this dose if loose stools develop.
  • Adrenal glandular extract (AGE) — made from cow, pig or sheep adrenals, AGE contains growth factors that promote cell healing and also has nutrients to support gland function and repair. Take one to two tablets daily without food, and reduce the dosage if you become jittery or have trouble sleeping.
  • Ashwagandha — this herb, popular in Ayurvedic medicine, helps normalize adrenal functioning. Very effective and my personal recommendation.

Hormone therapy consisting of DHEA, cortisol or other hormones and supplements, is used to treat severe adrenal fatigue, but such measures require the supervision of a physician who is well practiced in the therapy.

Effective adrenal fatigue treatment ends up being an intensive self-care regimen in which you ratchet back the unreasonable demands you’ve been making on your mind and body. Fortunately, given time to recover, the adrenals are able to regain their strength… and with it, your natural energy will return.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Colorful Health

We inherently have natural reactions to color—a clear blue sky can make you feel peaceful; a bunch of daffodils can give rise to optimism. So there is every possibility that the colors in our home can have an impact on our mood, too. Red, for instance, tends to be stimulating and blue, calming.

Here’s how you can tap into the power of color to feel happier, calmer or more inspired—without a huge paint job.

RED

Red makes us feel more energetic, outgoing & positive.
It nourishes our reproductive system, the cells in our blood stream and muscle fibers. Physical symptoms of blocked Red energy are:

  • Weakness
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Poor circulation
  • Anemia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Tiredness

 

ORANGE

Orange is stimulating and instills enthusiasm & zeal.
It nourishes the organs of assimilation and the distribution processes of our body. Physical symptoms of blocked Orange energy are:

  • Disorders of the kidneys
  • Bladder problems
  • Spastic or sluggish colon
  • Some forms of arthritis and rheumatism
  • Constipation
  • Digestive disorders
  • Disorders of the spleen

 

GREEN

Green generates a calm and soothing atmosphere.
This color promotes harmony and balance. Green has a mild astringent effect and aids in the elimination of toxins. It assists in the building of muscles, skin and tissues. It is particularly beneficial for the sympathetic nervous system and  is useful for cell restoration.
Our heart and lung condition are directly related to its energy. Green also dissolves blood clots and relieves hardening of cells. Physical symptoms of blocked Green energy are:

  • Lung Disease
  • Cysts
  • Growths
  • Claustrophobia
  • Diseases of Connective and Muscle tissues
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Angina
  • Chronic Bronchitis

 

TURQUOISE

Turquoise encourages clarity in thought and communication.
It has a constant vibration which neither overpowers nor intrudes in any way.
It resonates to the thymus and thyroid glands of our Endocrine system.
Physical symptoms of blocked Turquoise energy are:

  • Viral and Bacterial Infections
  • Cysts
  • Hay Fever
  • Mental Fatigue
  • Skin Disorders
  • Leukemia
  • Psoriasis
  • Immune System Deficiencies

 

BLUE

Blue promotes values like loyalty & honesty.
Blue nourishes our throat region. It has an overall effect of calming, soothing, reducing feverish conditions and headaches. Physical symptoms of blocked Blue energy are:

  • Nervous Tension
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Coughs
  • Sore Throats
  • Hoarseness
  • Laryngitis
  • Vocal imbalances

 

YELLOW

Yellow encourages open-mindedness & observation power.
It strengthens the nervous system and helps in stimulating various organ functions, such as the action of the liver, the gallbladder and the flow of bile. It promotes the secretion of gastric juices, therefore assisting proper bowel movement. Physical symptoms of blocked Yellow energy are:

  • Nervous Disorders
  • Muscle Related Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Arthritis
  • Poor Digestion
  • Liver Problems
  • Poor Memory

 

PURPLE

PURPLE generates feelings of self-respect and dignity
It is a royal color and is associated with the emperor, extravagance and wealth. Purple normalizes and balances all hormonal and glandular activity. It resonates to and nourishes the Pituitary gland. Physical symptoms of blocked Purple energy are:

  • Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
  • Cerebral-Spinal Meningitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental Disorders
  • Visual Disorders

 

PINK

Pink is the color of compassion.
It generates feelings of tenderness, gentleness, kindness, affection and love. It is the color of ‘Manifestation’ and transmutes desire into its physical equivalents. It’s subtle and refined vibration increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. Physical symptoms of blocked Pink energy are:

  • Pineal Gland Dysfunction
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Nervous Breakdown
  • Disorders of the Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Chronic Tiredness
  • Weak Memory

 

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Energy Foods For Healthy Body

As societies have become more urbanized and developed, so the number of people suffering from the effects of heart diseases, strokes and cancer has increased. At the root of these changing health patterns is the move away from a diet based on grains, fruits and vegetables to one based processed foods, fat, sugar and animal produce. The scientific evidence is clear : if we want to have healthy bodies, we should change our focus and put fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, pulses and whole grains back in the centre of our plates (supplemented by fresh, organically reared meat and fish according to taste).

Here are some of the most important components of a healthy, energy-full diet.

Calcium : Crucial for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth, calcium also plays an important role in the function of nerves, muscles, enzymes and hormones. Most plant foods contain calcium – spinach, watercress, parsley, dried figs, nuts, seeds, molasses, seaweed and soya are all rich suppliers. Gram, bean curd (tofu) contains four times more calcium than whole cow’s milk.

Proteins : The building blocks of the body, proteins consist of long, folded chains of amino acids. It is not widely known that plant foods contains protein and that vegetables, grains and pulses are all good sources.

Complex Carbohydrates : Complex carbohydrates are made of sugar molecules linked together into long, branched chains. Found only in foods made from plants, they are a major source of energy in our diet and have beneficial effects on the way we absorb and use other nutrients. Foods containing complex carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta are usually rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Antioxidants : In the process of metabolism, our body’s cells produce molecules called free radicles, which can attack and harm cell membranes. Antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium, neutralize these unstable chemicals, in turn protecting our cells. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains are the main sources of antioxidants in our diet.

Essential fatty acids : Two polyunsaturated fatty acids, linolenic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, are known as essential fatty acids because they can be obtained only from the food we eat. They are necessary for normal growth of the fetus during pregnancy, and play a central role in blood-clotting and healing wounds. They also help to maintain the health of the brain and the cells of other parts of our bodies. Important sources include green leaves (such as lettuce and cabbage) and vegetable oils (for example, sunflower, safflower, wheat gram and corn oils).

Have a great life. !!!

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

 

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