Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
Ah, the warm sunny weather has finally descended upon us and appears to be here for the duration. That’s exciting to me and my garden which is enjoying the warmer weather as much as I am and responding with appropriate greenage and flowering.
Cherries and stone fruits are showing up at the markets, and all my farmers tell me that this year’s harvest will be much better than last, particularly figs…oh yeah. There are so many new seasonal fruits and veggies to incorporate into recipes, or simply eat out of hand. Nice, very nice.
In this issue of Vibrant Living I’ve written an article about hydration, another on improving your sleep, and one on the relevance of the heart disease gene. And as always plenty of new raw recipes to be tasted, copied, altered, and enjoyed. Please do post any of your raw recipes on the website as well, after all, sharing is key to helping others enjoy a healthy happy life. Enjoy!
Most days I’m posting health information, recipes, testimonies, etc on the facebook page of RAW-FOODS-DIET-CENTER.COM, so if you’re interesting in checking that out you can do that
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” ~Buddha
Staying Hydrated on the Raw Food Diet
If you’re at all like me, when the warmer weather months roll around you really crave moisture rich foods. Not that I don’t normally like foods with a high water content, I do. In fact my diet and the raw food diet in general is comprised mainly of water rich foods. It’s just that the level I crave goes up during the warmer weather.
Basically your body is saying “the temperature is warmer and I’m using more fluids so could you please refill the tank with more water rich foods.” The interesting thing is that nature provides us with an abundance of water rich foods when the weather gets warmer. Wow, nature gets it right…again!
You’ve probably heard the notion that our bodies are 80% water which is one very good reason to follow a raw food diet high in water content foods. Most cooked foods have the moisture cooked out of them so when ingested they suck up water from our bodies. Raw foods, on the other hand, being water rich to start with, give up their water content to our bodies to assist in all those metabolic processes that require copious amounts of water to carry out.
Tomatoes and cucumbers are definitely staples for me during these months. I also enjoy water rich salads and melons. Each year I plant about 9 tomato plants and a dozen or more cucumber plants which provide me with an ongoing supply of these wonderful water rich fruits. My favorite cucumbers are the soft skinned varieties, which are more tender, have better taste and higher water content. The varieties I like are Armenian, striped Armenian, Persian, and Japanese or other Asian varieties.
The tomato varieties I’m most fond of these past few years are Black Prince, Sun Gold, and Early Girl. I very much enjoy the flavor and high water content and the fact that they are “indeterminate” varieties, which means they keep producing well into fall.
I haven’t really grown melons for the last 12 years or so because I just haven’t had the room in my gardens. Melons need lots of room to spread their vines and grow fruit. I do have a few good sources at the Farmer’s market though. I particularly like the orange melons, i.e. cantaloupe, charlyn, etc. I jokingly call them “the king of melons”…lol.
Over the years I have come to realize the importance of consuming what my body is asking for. The body’s innate intelligence knows exactly what it needs, so who am I to differ. The body needs adequate water to perform every metabolic process every second of everyday, and when there is insufficient water some aspect of good health is compromised. Long term this can create real health issues.
In conjunction with eating moisture rich foods, I start my day with a pint of good quality water and drink a pint or so between each meal during the day as needed. If I’m exercising or doing physical labor I’m mindful that my water need has increased whether I notice it immediately or not.
Consumption of any dried fruit or dehydrated foods will significantly increase the body’s need for water. Dried foods rehydrate themselves with water taken from our bodies. This water was intended for something else, but was required to soften and rehydrate the dried food so digestion could begin. That’s why it’s highly recommended to soak dried foods or severely limit their consumption, particularly in warm weather.
Soaking dried fruit over night before adding to your smoothie or other breakfast meal puts back at least some of the missing water removed during the drying process, and adding the soak water can make up the difference. Usually people are eating dehydrated foods because they want the crunch, so eating these foods in moderation and in combination with moisture rich foods can help offset to some degree their own lack of moisture.
So once again I’m promoting eating with the seasons and enjoying the wonderful bounty nature has to offer. During these warmer months when the body has a particular need for more water, nature’s bounty is sure to provide all we need to be happy and thrive on the raw food diet.
“Sickness is the vengeance of nature for the violation of her laws.” ~Charles Simmons
How to Improve your Quality of Sleep
According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly one in three American workers is sleep deprived. Aside from the obvious effects like more accidents, more mistakes, and less productivity, deprivation of sleep can seriously affect health on a number of levels. Increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and loss of short term memory are all linked to a lack of quality sleep which most professionals say should be approximately seven to eight hours a night.
Basically the body doesn’t function as it should with less than optimal sleep. I don’t think with my lifestyle that I’m going to contract the diseased listed above, but a lack of sleep may cause me to age quicker and not enjoy quite the level of good health that I have come to expect with my lifestyle.
So how do you know if you’re getting enough sleep? If you wake up refreshed in the morning ready to go then you’re probably getting the sleep you need. I have always felt that if I’m waking before the alarm and feeling good I’m getting the sleep I need, but I have had my issues with getting enough quality sleep, particularly when sharing the bed with someone else.
Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep:
• Eat a healthy whole foods diet, rich in raw fruits and vegetables
• Exercise daily
• Get out in the sunshine daily (when available)
• Get out in the fresh air daily
• Do a small meditation before bed empting your mind of the days challenges and projects
• If you’re feeling tired...go to bed!
• Sleep with a window open or outdoors in the summer
• Sleep in a completely darkened room
• Don’t take any stimulants during the day like coffee or energy drinks
• Don’t drink alcohol or at least cut way back
• Don’t use electronics like computers and TV’s an hour before going to bed
• Try to avoid arguments or other stimulating activities (except sex) an hour before bed
• Try to resolve any arguments or heavy issues well before bedtime
• Don’t drink any liquids at least two hours before bed
• Don’t eat at least three hours before bed
• When you get into bed let go and let the Universe handle everything
A sleep mask and or earplugs can also be useful if you’re having sleep issues. I have used a lavender pouch near my pillow or essential oil of lavender to assist in me in enjoying better sleep which did work to some degree. I have taken a melatonin supplement, in the past that helped me get a good sleep, but I felt groggy in the morning which was not good. Now I use sleep patches, which are non-transdermal, meaning nothing passes from the patch into the body. They work by sending a message to my system to release its own stores of melatonin. I usually get a pretty good night’s sleep using the patches and once removed in the morning there is no grogginess like I experienced with supplements.
Ideally we shouldn’t need anything to assist in getting a good night’s sleep, but let’s face it, sometimes we live in a less than ideal world and getting a good night’s sleep is one of the main pillars of good health. I say do what you need to do in the least invasive way. Sweet dreams to you and yours.
Listed below are recently added recipes to the website. Tasty, quick, easy, and HEALTHY!
Sea Spaghetti Salad
Raw Garbonzo Casserole
Spicy Tomato Sauce
Does the Heart Disease Gene Matter?
You may have heard about cancer genes or heart disease genes and how they can impact your health. A person can feel a little down after reading an article about the possibility of inheriting such genes, but not to worry, new research confirms what many of us already knew or at least felt on some level. According to a new study out of McMaster and Mcgill Universities, eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help turn off one of the most potent genetic associations with heart disease, the 9p21 chromosome.
In the largest study on gene-diet interaction in relation to cardiovascular disease ever done, researchers analyzed more than 27,000 people from around the world and the effects their diet had on the 9p21 chromosome. The result of the study supports the recommendation of five servings of fruits and veggies per day, but goes farther in recommending more than that.
Participants in the study with the high risk genotype could reduce their risk factor to the same level as those with the low risk genotype when following a “prudent diet”. And what is a “prudent diet”? One comprised mainly of raw fruits, berries, and vegetables…what a surprise.
A few years ago one of my good friends had cancer. While chatting with him about his feelings and the situation, I asked what he thought he might do differently in terms of diet and lifestyle changes. He responded by telling me it was genetic, his dad had it and there was nothing he could do. I was so saddened by his position, and he was adamant.
It’s so easy for people to look outside themselves, or to give up control to a predestined outcome. When we behave like that we give up our power and accept whatever comes our way, even though we actually are responsible for the good or otherwise that shows up in our life.
This way of thinking is not confined to health either; it’s rampant in our society no matter what subject you look at. If we’re ever to recover our health, happiness, and vitality as a society we have to quit playing the victim card. It serves no positive use; it only pulls us down into a reoccurring cycle of dysfunction and hopelessness.
I think many of you may have heard the saying ”genes load the gun but lifestyle pulls the trigger.” I’ve never bought into the idea that my life is predisposed to any sort of malady or limitation. For most of my life I’ve worked in logging and heavy construction and have been around all types of chemicals and materials that have come to light later as carcinogens. I hear things like asbestos and fiberglass fibers never leave your body once inhaled or ingested, and I just say well perhaps for others, but not my body. My body can dispose of any and all alien substances that would cause me harm. I don’t need to know the mechanism; I just know it’s so.
And now again there’s evidence from the scientific community that the diet we follow is a health creator and disease suppressor. How cool is that. Keep smiling and keep positive….It’s the only way to be.
Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh
“To avoid sickness eat less; to prolong life worry less.” ~Chu Hui Weng
Discount Super Foods and Such
Although I believe strongly in a diet comprised mostly of fresh raw foods, I do supplement with super green powders, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, and the occasional dried fruit such as goji berries. If you’re like me you’re always looking for a good deal on quality food whether it’s fresh from the farmers market or purchased online, so I thought I would share with you where I make most of my online purchases.
You may already be aware of the Raw Food World and their “at cost” specials, but if not here you go. When you go to purchase supportive foods like those listed above you can save money and get “at cost” special pricing by going to the link below and clicking on the “at cost” specials tab. This also allows you to save up to 14% on every order of their already good deals. The important thing to remember is that fresh is best and these products are supportive and should not be your mainstay. Enjoy!
The Raw Food World
Continuously Updated Web Pages:
There are a number of new testimonies at the website which I hope you will read and pass on to others when you feel they would benefit. And please feel free to leave your own story if you feel moved to do so.
You need not be 100% raw to share a testimony; the fact is most people on the raw diet are not 100% anyway. Your story may inspire someone else, perhaps from the other side of the globe, to give the raw food diet a try.
Please send me your health questions, they can be submitted anonymously if you prefer, and you may help someone else improve their health and quality life.
Please contact me with other questions, feedback and comments here.
Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh
The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I'm not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else's body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what's best for us.
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