Bombay Times Column – FAQ’s Session 3

How long after eating possibly contaminated food would one suffer the symptoms of food poisoning?

Anywhere from a few hours to a few days after consuming contaminated food is the typical timeframe for experiencing symptoms of food poisoning. Although these symptoms may vary and may be mistaken with symptoms of other illnesses, the cramping, watery diarrhea, and vomiting may be part of the ordeal of food poisoning. While food poisoning symptoms usually go away in one to two days, symptoms may last for up to ten days. Immediately contact a health care provider if you experience high fever, bloody stools, dehydration, and diarrhea lasting more than three days.

I have very dry skin in winter and even though I moisturize it every day in the morning, by the evening it’s dry and itchy. Please advice the best way to keep skin moisturized all day and night.

Cold air cannot hold water and dry air dehydrates skin, causing smooth layers of cells to fall apart like a dilapidated wall. Hydration is the key to keeping your skin moist inside out. Drinking plenty of fluids like water, juice and soup to help maintain healthy skin. All natural Oils like coconut, olive, Almond and Omega-3 oils are healthy for your skin and can be applied instead of creams. Apply oil to your skin after bathing and if you don’t like the smell add a drop or two of any natural essential oil with fragrance. Last but not the least; eat plenty of nuts high in omega-3 during winter.

I have been experiencing pain in my lower back mostly during the night. It usually only happens when I am lying on my side, however lately it has been when I am lying on my back as well. Please advice.

This is the most common type of back pain known as non specific lower back pain. Non-specific low back pain is mechanical in the sense that it varies with posture or activity. Most people that lead unhealthy and sedative lifestyles encounter this pain at some point in their lives. In Hatha yoga, practicing postures (asana) that involve back bends help improve and strengthen your lower back. It is important that you eat healthily and practice these asana’s till your back improves, and once it does you need to try and incorporate yoga into your daily routine to stay healthy.

For the past few months or so, I’ve been having this tingling feeling in my feet just as I am falling asleep making me shifty and unable to fall asleep easily because of the tingles, I don’t seem to have any other symptoms and it happens once every few days. What could this be due to?

Since you have no other symptoms trying emptying your bladder before you go to bed, often tingling occurs when you try to sleep with a full bladder.  This should work. However if it still persists despite emptying the bladder then I suggest you check for diabetes and or deficiencies in vitamins. Poor circulation also contributes to tingling, so make sure you are keeping your body healthy by doing yoga to improve your blood circulation and maintain overall health.

As appeared in the Bombay Times Column(Ask the expert)

By Sejal Vora (Naturotherapy Practitioner)

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.

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Bombay Times Column – FAQ’s Session 2

Is it true that water is bad if taken with food?

Yes, it’s true. Drinking water or any other beverage with a meal is unhealthy because it restricts digestion. The stomach has no teeth. Digestion begins in the mouth not in the stomach.  When we drink with a meal we dilute the digestive saliva of the mouth which comes from chewing properly.  Chewing your food to mush before swallowing prepares it for the stomach enzymes to break it down further before passing it on to the small intestine where pancreatic enzymes are released.  Water is the best beverage and should be had 20 minutes before or an hour after any cooked meal, not with.

My son is 9 years old and constantly keeps falling sick; mostly it’s a cough cold and sometimes even a fever. I don’t like giving him medication, but he cannot keep missing school, I don’t know what to do.

It looks like your son has low immunity, if the body is frequently creating mucus; it is doing so to protect him from unwanted virus/bacteria by trapping it in the mucus. The cough is also connected as the body tries to throw out used mucus. And the fever last but not the least is a sure shot sign that the body is constantly needing to fight for him as his overall immunity is low.  Unfortunately allopathic medication will only weaken him more. His immunity could be low due to different reasons, however it is important that you monitor your child’s nutrition and consult with a specialist to make sure he is getting the correct nutrition in to boost his immunity.

I have a constipation problem and it’s probably because I eat almost no fruits and vegetables and my diet consists of primarily meat. Is there any other solution besides eating fruits and vegetables as I don’t enjoy fruits and vegetables at all?

The body needs natural fibre, and there is no shortcut for that, fruits and vegetables are not only important for constipation, but most important for your entire physical well being including your youth and vitality. I suggest you start working with clearing your block against fruits and vegetables. This is easily doable with the help of positive affirmations or hypnosis.

I work at a bank and I report to work by 9 am, by around 3 pm I feel fatigued every day. As you had mentioned in one of your articles, that tea and coffee cause fatigue, I stopped drinking coffee in the afternoons, but the fatigue is still there. Is there anything else I can do or take?

I suggest you check the amount of water you’re consuming through the day. On an average depending on your height and weight, you need to drink sufficient water, as dehydration is often a cause for fatigue. Also watch you’re eating habits as if you are eating a lot of carbohydrates like white rice or white bread for lunch, it causes fatigue because it is high glycemic and uses a lot of energy to digest leaving you with none. If overall your nutrition is healthy and you are drinking enough water and still fatigued, I suggest you get it checked by your physician.

As appeared in the Bombay Times Column(Ask the expert)

By Sejal Vora (Naturotherapy Practitioner)

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.

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Bombay Times Column – FAQ’s session 1

 What are the benefits of breastfeeding over giving my baby bottled  milk?                         

Just as no animals child drinks another animals milk, is nature’s way of telling you as a mother to feed your baby. Mother’s milk has all the correct nutrition required for a human baby to grow healthily and most importantly mother’s milk alone helps build the child’s immunity which is what will protect your child from illness in the long run. Bottled milk or formula milk is very acidic for children. Ideally you should breast feed your baby for a year.

Is sugar in fruits safe for diabetics?

Absolutely, a diabetic should not be afraid to eat fresh fruits and vegetables which contain sugar and starch. Fresh fruits contain fructose, which does not need insulin for its metabolism, making it safe. People with diabetes however should eat fruits with a low glycemic index, i.e. below 55. This is to help prevent blood sugar spikes that make diabetes worse. Fructose also has a much lower glycemic index of 19 compared to glucose or sucrose (table sugar) which has GI values of 100 and 60 respectively. This means high fructose fruits will not spike blood sugar levels to the same extent as high glucose fruits. High fructose fruits like apples, pears, grapefruit and guavas, are beneficial for diabetics. It should be noted that beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are not a substitute for fruits high in fructose. These heavily processed drinks tend to have an extremely high fructose content, far in excess of that found in fresh fruits and are devoid of any nutritional benefits. Chronic consumption of HFCS has been linked to increased rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

I have tried several diets to lose weight, but I keep putting it back on, what in your opinion is the best diet to lose weight permanently?  

A diet is often thought of as a regimented eating plan to lose weight, however the truth is that no weight loss diets ever work permanently. The only way to lose weight permanently is to change your lifestyle and aim to be healthy vs. trying to be slim. If you are overweight you are most likely suffering from acidosis which does not allow you to lose weight. When the body is in a state of acidosis, the body needs all the fat and water it can retain to dilute your fat soluble and water soluble toxins. It is for your own safety that your body does this as it chooses survival over vanity. The key to losing weight is to focus on becoming healthy on the inside which will eventually lead to weight loss. Weight loss is a guaranteed side effect of being healthy.

I am asthmatic and have heard that wet haldi boiled in milk is beneficial. However, it is very harsh on the stomach. Is there something that can be added to the milk to balance the heat?

I am personally not a big fan of milk as it is acidic to the body. Turmeric may or may not cure your asthma, but is great in general to eat anyways as it will only do you good. A good way to consume haldi is with either a little bit of honey or ghee. I recommend you visit a hypnotherapist as asthma is most often related directly to the mind, and is most effective if treated through the mind. If you have been suffering from a long time, it is possible that the cause lies in your past; hypnotherapy allows you to locate the cause and resolve it, allowing you to be asthma free permanently.

as appeared in the Bombay Times Column(The Truth About)

By Sejal Vora (Naturotherapy Practitioner)

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.

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The Truth: About Alternative Medicine

Different therapies for different people

The truth is that all disease in the body, whether it is obesity or cancer, PCOD or tumours, diabetes or high blood pressure, depression or insomnia is ALL rooted in the mind. Over time as the mind is not dealt with, it starts to manifest as disease in the body purely to get your attention.

If you only work with the body and ignore the mind, you will in effect only be suppressing symptoms. If you work only with the mind, you can cure yourself in time but it requires a lot of dedication and time. The best balance is found when both are dealt with together and that’s where alternative medicine comes in.

Alternative medicine tackles both the mind and the body if used correctly.

A few Alternative therapies are: Homeopathy, Bach Flower remedies, Hypnotherapy, Craniosacral therapy, Rieki, Theta Healing, Herbal medicine, Hatha Yoga, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Nutrition, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Life Force Healing and the list goes on.

In a fast paced world, where everyone wants short cuts, western medicine works wonders. But short cuts only make your journey shorter, and as all wise ones say, life is a journey, enjoy the ride, and don’t be in a rush to get to the destination as it is the journey that matters. Your body is merely a vehicle chosen by your soul to experience life on earth. The quality of your vehicle will determine the quality of your journey.

Western medicine is not going to work in the long run purely because you cannot separate your mind and body,  or your soul and your body, or your spirit and your body, at least till you are alive. Your body is created for your soul and not the other way around. If you keep ignoring your mind/soul and only dealing with the body, sooner or later you will be ringing my doorbell as they all do.

Most of my cases comprise of people who have tried for years to suppress one disease after another by popping pills and over the years more and more complications have arisen finally making them realize “It’s not working.”

Let me explain this with an actual case study:

I once had this woman who was in her late 30’s and she had recurring urinary tract infections, PCOD and recurring vaginal yeast infections. She had tried enough medication and had drunk all the cranberry juice she could get her hands on. She had even modified her diet using basic logic of less spice, less fried etc. Unfortunately over years the medication had caused acidity, face breakouts, IBS, constipation and lots of discomfort and pain most of the time, she eventually started taking sleeping pills as she couldn’t get sleep with the pain. Her body had also stopped reacting to pain killers, and last but not the least she had started experiencing mood swings, all in all she had been battling this since she was 17 and had spent 15 odd years living with the fear of pain and getting sick.

When she came to meet me, she wanted to understand nutrition and how she could eat more correctly to resolve this problem. She had done her research and had understood that specific foods can heal specific problems.

What she hadn’t researched, was her own life. In Alternative Medicine that’s the first thing that’s done. It is important to understand broadly, what experiences the patient has had that could be life altering for the future.  As I started my research on her life, I learnt that she had been sexually abused for 3 years by her uncle. She was 11 then and scared and obviously it hurt. She hadn’t told anybody about it, as she was told by her uncle that no one would believe her. Being at that tender age, a child is incapable of handling such situations. Her abuse only ended due to his sudden death.  And as he existed no more, she buried it deep down feeling shameful and eventually thought she had moved on.

Having noted this I asked her about her sex life in her current relationship and sure enough she was single at that time. As I dig deeper into her past few boyfriends, the deep rooted fears of her sexual abuse as a child start to emerge as a pattern in her life today, she couldn’t hold a relationship mostly due to sex. She found sex very uncomfortable and it often started off the infection. it was the infections that made her believe she was unable to enjoy sex, thereby avoiding it which eventually would chase the men away, leaving her single and frustrated.

The case had many more facets that revealed her strengths and weaknesses; however this particular trauma of sexual abuse had manifested into vaginal issues and was affecting her today. Her mind had associated sex as painful and non pleasurable. But being in her 20’s where consciously consensual sex is normal and healthy for girls that age, her subconscious mind associated it to painful and traumatic and not pleasurable, and that’s why it hurts her when in fact it is supposed to be pleasurable. Deep down buried was a fear of sex, and the infections were her body retaliating to trauma that she had not released.

It was clear that she needed to release this fear and release the anger that had built up over the years for not being able to share it without being judged or trusted, it was important to release all thoughts of shame as it is not shameful at all. While working with the mind either through hypnotherapy or theta, the body is simultaneously addressed and healed through natural foods step by step with a change in lifestyle v/s crash diets.

And that’s what alternative medicine is all about. It’s about using techniques that deal with resolving traumatic experiences that you are carrying for years. It is a form of healing that acknowledges your fears and traumas for real.

Western Medicine deals with the body, Nutrition also deals with the body. However till the mind is not addressed, you can pop as many pills as you like or eat all the fruits and vegetables in the world. In the long run, it is not going to work!

Western medicine definitely has its place in the spectrum of miracle recoveries, if we take it for what it is — a stop on the path to wellness and wholeness. I wholeheartedly am grateful for the miracles that allopathic medicine has provided. When viewed as a component of the process of overall health, I think that it serves an important purpose. It’s just a matter of putting it all in the larger perspective and plan, and not abusing the function it serves, or using it for manipulative purposes or as a lifestyle.

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.

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The Truth: About Anxiety

Having experienced true anxiety for the first time in my life, I finally understood that anxiety is a very strong emotion, I understand that now. It took over me and I had no control over it. And for the first time I can honestly say “to all those of you that feel anxious: I feel you and I understand what you are going through.”

Being a Naturotherapist by profession helped a lot, as years of advising patients on how to deal with it, put additional pressure on me to perform and find my balance at the earliest, as I, of all people could not possibly be suffering like this. I was supposed to know it all!

Life presented itself in a way, where I feared losing what I loved and wanted most. And BAM! I experienced True Anxiety. Just in a moment, from no where, I felt like my heart would soon start beating in my palms, I was restless,  I didn’t know if I was coming or going, I felt no energy in my body, de motivated, loss of appetite, heartache, stress, depression, a sinking feeling, hollow and my head was filled with questions like:

Why me? What have I done to deserve this? What do I do? Please take this feeling away? How can I resolve this? How can I make everything normal again? Where is the old me who was happy? And many more, 16 days of anxiety can hold a lot of questions!

Frustrated I decided to switch off, as I couldn’t take it no more. Every day that counted up to the 16th day felt like things were only getting worse and more confusing.. having read a lot on spirituality and philosophy, I couldn’t put a single theory to use. I could not implement anything with the storm inside me.

On the 17th day I packed myself to Goa.  Just the act of having to pack, take a flight, book a cab, organize my stay gave me a sense of temporary calm for the first time in 16 days.

With just a little relief, I realized I needed to do things I loved just so I could be sane if not happy. Happiness was no where in sight. The relief periods were short but something was better than nothing. Using these temporary relief periods I tried to re open Pandora’s box, but it was a catch 22 situation, every time I pulled out an issue or tried to resolve it, I was back in the trap of confusion, first taking responsibility, then blaming when nothing else seemed right and bringing back on all that anxiety out in the open. Damn it! I was frustrated! The burden of living with stress, anxiety or depression is pretty much the same thing, they are all intertwined and I can personally tell you, I felt them all. I felt anxious at being helpless, depressed when I thought of my loss and stressed about what is to come, pain and guilt for not having acted earlier or not having said what I wanted to etc…

Pulling through somehow, on the 21st day I crawled to the beach early and lay there watching the ocean for hours with all the same thoughts re-running in my head for the millionth time and no answer at all.

Suddenly just out of the blue, a thought appeared in my head:  it had no relation to anything, but I still played along.

What if a tsunami were to happen right now?

A Tear rolled down my cheek, and just in that moment I knew the magnitude of the question that  had appeared.

I wish I could explain how that moment of clarity felt, but id rather let you experience it, cause if there is anything I have learnt, it’s that: only experience is your true teacher.

If that wave came, there was absolutely nothing I would be able to do.

I felt a sense of relief . Just the clarity of knowing one thing right, something as simple as “there is nothing I can do right now if a wave pulls me in.” For the next 6 hours I lay there repeating this over and over again in my head. If a wave were to pull me in, then that’s my reality, I only have two choices, I can either accept it or fight it. And since I can’t fight it, I would have no choice but to accept it.

I started vaguely connecting the dots. I had not accepted anything for the last 21 days. Even though this tsunami thought had no relation to any of my issues, just accepting something without confusion made me feel calm.

If that wave were to take me, that would have been my reality.

I realized in that moment, that everything that is in our reality, in the current moment is true and unstoppable, making it destiny.

That’s called Destiny.  There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. If it’s there,  it’s there. It can change in the next moment, but then that becomes your destiny. Reality or destiny is what is happening to you NOW. and it changes moment to moment.  It is that short-lived.

The fact that you are reading this article right now, is because it’s in your destiny to do so, you have two options: you can either read it or not, either way, at this moment it’s still real, no matter what your next choice is.  You could choose to close it right now if it makes no sense, and so now you don’t see it, which is also now your new reality. How ever the fact that it was ever open before you closed it, both realities lived in their moments. Nothing you do, can take away from that.

My most logical next question was: If  its destiny and it’s not in my control why am I so anxious?

And the answer just flowed: I thought destiny is in my control, or worse, I needed to control the person or the situation to create the prefect destiny.

Was I passing the buck again? Was I blaming destiny for all my anxieties and not taking responsibility?

But as I brought each fear and anxiety out to question, I soon realized it actually was all destiny that I was fighting, it was my reality, those feelings of sadness were real, I couldn’t deny their existence even it were in my head and not a tangible thing. It was as real to me as a table or a chair.

If I accepted that I’m anxious I accepted that as my reality. That’s it. That’s where it ended. I couldn’t be confused anymore even if I wanted to. I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t justify it, I couldn’t argue with it. It was the truth. I was feeling anxious. I couldn’t deny it any more. The minute I accepted it, I strangely felt ok. Not ecstatic but ok, and right now anything was better than anxiety.

Your current reality is your destiny. The only option you have is to accept it or fight it. When I say fight I mean deny, justify, blame, guilt and all such emotions which basically come down to not accepting your reality that has already presented itself. It’s there. Its real and you still don’t want to accept it.

Eg: if a wife is being beaten up by her husband, she does not need to accept the beating, she needs to accept that he is an abuser. Most women that stick to their husbands despite of being beaten, will convince you on how he is actually not always this angry, it’s just that this happened and that happened. That’s not accepting. Because if you accept that he is a beater, you stop expecting him to change and you realize this is what it is, I can’t change it. It is this acceptance alone that is required, nothing more.

You need to do NO more. You cannot do anymore even if you wish too. You cannot stop him from beating you, you cannot make yourself batter proof, you just need to accept that he is like this and that acceptance, then opens the next door, as your choice will be based on acceptance.

It is only acceptance that makes true sense. It seems like it’s too scary to accept because then you would be accepting anxiety which is worse cause then, you would really be anxious.

But it didn’t work that way, it worked differently. And I say this only out of my experience.

Think of it this way: your anxiety is as real as a table, now if you want the table to disappear, you can scream shout and blame it, ask it to go away, or even walk away physically from it, but in your head you know you are walking away from the table and so there is no solace there, because you actually wanted the table to get rid of itself. It’s the same with anxiety, its real, it’s there, accept it. You can’t ask the table or the anxiety to go away, you have to let it be because it already exists. It is IN your reality and that’s the truth. No if’s and but’s.

That sinking feeling that Medical Science says is one of the symptoms of anxiety and stress, is not a symptom. It’s the anxiety itself, popping a pill may reduce the sinking feeling by chemically and artificially inducing more happy hormones to be released. But you are still not accepting it.

I carried forward this new-found truth to my personal issue of whatever was causing me the anxiety to start with, because up till now I had only accepted the anxiety, I had yet to examine what really was causing it, why was I feeling it etc.. soon I realized I was re-entering the trap feeling anxious, so I pulled back out and went back to just accepting my anxiety and accepting that I can’t seem to stay out of the trap any other way.

Soon I realized there is absolutely no process. For 2 days I had tried every combination under the sun, and only accepting my anxiety made me feel okay.  I finally gave in and allowed my anxiety its own identity. I became friends with it once I accepted it. It was not  as scary as I thought, it was in fact very scary those 16 days where I didn’t accept anxiety and made it my enemy.

It was now the 22nd day, strangely I found myself actually enjoying being with my friends, even though they had been with me in goa since the 17th day, I was completely disconnected internally. Just accepting my anxiety allowed me to function at a normal level with something that didn’t have to do with my anxiety to start with. This time it was not a distraction, I was hanging with them with the awareness of my anxiety’s existence.  Big difference! I understood that the enjoyment came because I was not fighting my anxiety, both could co-exist. Anxiety for the first time felt like a friend too, felt real and I was acknowledging and accepting that.

It took me yet another day to experiment with other small issues and the theory fit perfectly to everything. If  I accepted it, there was no fight. The minute I would question it I was back in the trap.

I soon realized the nature of the trap, and no matter what your trap is, the underlying meaning is that you are not accepting it for what it is. If you want that table to be a chair, or you want that anxiety to become happiness.

It Doesn’t work!

So I re opened Pandora’s box, as this time I felt more confident internally having accepted anxiety. When I re opened the box, I started running old stories that caused me the pain and in that moment I realized that all of that too was my reality at that point and in that moment in time.

It was because I didn’t accept it I was in pain.

That was simple! Maybe a little too simple, I thought.

So I quickly sat up and wrote down everything that had caused me anxiety, and to my surprise the entire list which carried all sorts of  grouses had one thing in common. I had denied all of them their place in my destiny/reality.  I  had never accepted them.

I couldn’t digest, that all I had to do was accept it. I couldn’t believe that there was no thinking involved, no logic, no reason.. WTF! All these years I thought I had been planning my whole life, and making all the right choices.. but honestly I was just a fool.

The truth is that all the reasons that caused me anxiety were true. As true as the anxiety itself, and so if I had to accept the anxiety I had to accept the catalyst that brought it. So I gathered my courage and said the words aloud  “I accept”… and when I did, there was absolutely nothing more to say. For the first time I experienced true silence, and wowowowow what a feeling that is.. I couldn’t believe I was experiencing all this at once.

Having put that to rest, now I had reached the 23rd day and I felt like I was ready to take the world on. I had still not practiced my new theory enough but it was so short and simple I just had to start applying it.

I found myself chanting I accept, I accept, I accept all day long..  and as the day progressed my realities kept changing and it was fun to actually be the observer for once accepting  my reality as it was unfolding, I felt like I had nothing to do with it, I was just there.

Soon I found myself in a discussion among friends about yoga, and being the hardcore yoga believer that I am, I saw my self pushing my thoughts down everyone’s throats…hmmmm… feeling a tad bit aggressive are we? I asked myself.

I took a step back and I saw the aggression, it was real, and so was the conversation and the different points of view. I actually said OK.. I Accept… suddenly I wasn’t anxious about being aggressive, I accepted that I was pushy, and kept quiet. I also then understood that acceptance goes beyond just you, it extends to everything in your reality at that point, I had to not only accept that I was pushy, but I also had to accept that what others believed about yoga was their reality and if  I couldn’t change mine, changing theirs was futile. Having accepted their point of view as truth the chapter was closed. Yes I had my own view points which I thought were true, but I also accepted that what others believe, is their reality and its as true as mine, no more no less.. WOW.. it was working!

Day 24 – I thought I had mastered it and feeling all in control I started my day, only to find out that I had been betrayed by a friend who I considered very near and dear to me for years.. I was shattered and angry on the inside. My immediate reaction was to give her a piece of my mind, my second reaction was to ignore it and my third reaction was to pretend to be above it and let it not affect me.. all were just forms of not accepting that I was betrayed. So I had no choice but to say “ ok.. I accept im cheated” I accept im angry and shattered.” Suddenly I felt nothing more. The chapter was closed. I accepted the hand destiny dealt to me on this one. I could have gone on for days and months and years about it, but denying anything that is real will only create more denial and that’s the real trap.

Accepting it just made it so much easier to deal with it. Because now I knew clearly what my next step was going to be. This next step would have never come to me clearly had I not accepted being cheated in the first place.

Today here and now as i type this,  is where my new journey begins.  A journey where I will do absolutely no intellectualizing of my reality, It is what it is, and its ok… I accept.

Everything is true, including a lie.

Thank you baby.. I couldn’t have done this without you. I love you.

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.

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The Truth: About Sugar

The word “sugar” has earned a bad reputation as it is linked to various diseases like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, heart disease, arteriosclerosis, kidney stones, depression and cancer to name a few. The truth is that sweetness is not only important for your body, it is also important for your life!! The Universe or God or whatever you want to call him/her created this planet with plants that give us life and if the plants bear fruits and vegetables that have sugar in them, I am sure there was a plan. And I doubt the master planner created sugar for us to experience any of the above diseases, which leaves me with one conclusion: We misunderstand sugar.

Understanding Sugar:

The Sugar we eat today sold in grocery stores is a white unnatural substance produced by industrial processes (mostly from sugar cane or sugar beets) it is pure poison due to refining with chemicals, such as sulphur dioxide, phosphoric acid, calcium hydroxide, and activated carbon, stripped of all the natural food nutrition that it originally had in the plant itself. By refining it down to pure sucrose, after stripping away all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients, what is left is a concentrated unnatural substance, which the human body is not able to handle.
In producing heroin, the opium is first extracted from the poppy: The opium is then refined into morphine. The chemists then went to work on morphine and further refined it into heroin. Similarly, sugar is first pressed as a juice from the cane (or beet) and refined into molasses. Then it is refined into brown sugar, and finally into strange white crystals, that are an alien chemical to the human system.

It is interesting to note that raw sugar is also refined. Only evaporated cane juice is truly “raw” sugar (of the cane variety – sugars can come from other sources as well, such as beets and fruit). Once the cane juice crystals are harvested, they are washed, boiled,  filtered, and dried. The purpose of this is to remove all of the original plant materials (stalk, fiber, etc.) to produce the pure sugar. This process removes most of the fiber and nutrients that existed in the original crystals. The sugar then becomes refined, with no nutritional value.

The use of artificial sweeteners is often a case of trading one problem for another and is definitely not the path to excellent health. Needless to say, artificial sweeteners are more poisonous than refined sugar!

Sugar is the drug of choice for many people and it is not without consequences.

Sugar is a deadly addiction; people not only develop a strong taste for sugar but an insatiable craving for it so that they never seem to get enough of this poison, the reason being: refined sugar stresses the pancreas and deplete’s the body’s supplies of chromium. A common symptom of chromium deficiency is sugar cravings. And satisfying these cravings further lowers chromium and increases cravings.

Refined sugar deplete’s your body of all the B vitamins; it also leaches calcium from your hair, bones, blood and teeth. If that is not enough, sugar also affects your body’s digestion. Sugar ferments in your stomach. It stops the secretion of gastric juices and inhibits the stomachs ability to digest. Weight gain, mood swings and irritability are a few more side effects from consuming too much sugar. Sugar plays a major role in altering one’s mood. Refined sugar has a chemical reaction on the brain, releasing serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone; this tricks the body into a temporary lift as well as causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This ‘feel good’ lift is then followed by the crash where you feel tired, irritable and even depressed.

Do you know a major focus of the digestion and metabolism of all the carbohydrates we ingest is to produce a simple sugar: glucose. In fact, the glucose that courses through your bloodstream is so vital to survival that your body has elaborate mechanisms for ensuring that you always have enough of it available. Glucose is critical because it powers your brain, and without it, you can’t survive. Glucose is an important fuel required by your body.

Intrinsic sugars are natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables. These sugars are NOT harmful to our health nor are they fattening. Because natural sugars found in honey, fruits and vegetables are unprocessed and rich in fiber and nutrients, a diet high in fruits and vegetables will ensure that your body gets the small amount of sugar it needs while providing you with far more health benefits than refined sugar.

The reason why natural whole foods are so healthy is because we spent millions of years evolving on them. Based on this, an easy way to make sure that you’re eating the right foods is to ask yourself if they existed 10,000 years ago. If they didn’t, or if they’re packaged in plastic or a box, they’re likely to contain refined sugar.

Written by Sejal Vora

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The Truth: About Habits

More or less everything in your life is a habit!

A habit is something you do over and over again, ranging from brushing your teeth, drinking that cup of tea or coffee, smoking, being negative, being positive, being rich to attracting the right partner for you. In this dimension or on planet Earth, we are creatures of conditioning, and work within the parameters of the conscious and the subconscious mind.

If this is to be understood in more detail please read my article on the truth: About the Mind

If you do not understand how the mind works, your chances of successfully kicking or adopting a new habit are slim.

Most of us wage wars within us trying to change habits, not realizing that the “war” itself becomes a habit.

If you were to look at an EEG of your brain while you enjoying that cup of tea, you would see a line of neurons lighting up in a particular pattern. Every time you drink tea, or even imagine drinking tea, the same line of neurons light up.

If you are struggling to quit caffeine, nicotine or sugar, most likely you’ve been struggling for a long time, and trust me, it’s not changing anytime soon, as the neural pathway of struggle too has been created and reinforced everyday to not only make  the habit stronger but also the struggle harder.

The first and most important mistake people make is segregate habits as “good” or “bad”.  I call this a mistake only because the way we approach bad and the way we approach good makes all the difference.

The minute we address a habit as bad, we start punishing ourselves for not being able to kick it, we start experiencing emotions of guilt and lack of will power. We yell at ourselves in vain as we eventually succumb and then promise to start fresh tomorrow.  No prizes for guessing that the tomorrow mostly never comes.

We generate so much negativity trying to get rid of negativity that the end result is nothing but negativity.

Fortunately the good ones keep you positive which in turn will keep you healthy in the body and mind. It’s the ones you think of as “Bad” that need to be addressed.

Honestly guys… Stop punishing yourselves to rid a habit! It only makes things harder.

If you really want to kick a habit, stop fighting it!

What we need to understand is that neural pathways are neural pathways. The get formed with every thought/action and the more times it is repeated, the stronger the neural pathway gets regardless of whether it is good or bad.

Stop segregating habits into “good” and “bad”. You have free will to change what ever you like, exercise it gracefully. Be more accepting and loving towards your self.

Stop fighting to change it. As it is you have a habit to deal with, don’t make the struggle a second habit.

Always try to create a new habit to replace an old one and be gentle on your self. Aggression is the worst habit to have. All that you require to change a habit is  re-wiring in the brain, retraining the pathway of the neurons to line up with something new. Most people want to see it to believe it, but the truth is that you have to believe it to see it. So believe it’s easy and it will be.

Start at the level of your thoughts, after all it is mind over matter:

For e.g.: If you want to start a habit of healthy eating, spend 30 days practicing this thought every day: “I am a healthy eater, and I love choosing foods that support my vitality”. Spend this time before you do ANY action and you will find yourself with a solid foundation from which to shift your actual behavior.

Start small, start slow.

For e.g.: If you want to start Yoga. Don’t jump into it 6 days a week at 5 am. The brain and the body like humans do not take kindly to abrupt changes in their environment. When the body is exposed to small daily changes, it gradually adjusts to those changes through a process known as adaptation. So start with twice a week and then build it from there.

If there is a physical addiction (nicotine, caffeine etc) use alternative therapies like hypnotherapy or acupuncture as they tremendously aid the process.

Whatever you do, please love yourselves through the process. Believe it’s easy and don’t stress. Know that it is you who “started” it and you who will “end” it;  however it is the “journey” that truly matters. and if struggling has not given you the desired result, try something new.

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.

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The Truth: About Sleeping at Night

Before electricity, people would generally go to sleep when the sun set and rise when it rose, assuring that they got enough sleep to maintain a healthy mind and body.

Animals too change their behaviors such as reproduction, hibernation, and migration based on the season. It is believed that animals perceive the change of seasons by the patterns of light and dark. The mechanism used to implement this behavior is by the secretion of  Melatonin. When daylight hours grow shorter during the autumn months, melatonin production in animals automatically increases, helping to make the almost constant sleep of hibernation possible. When daylight hours increase during the spring, the pineal gland secretes less melatonin, triggering a new pattern of physical activity.

But  in a highly industrialized nation the light bulb has expanded man’s day from 12 to 24 hours.

It is becoming apparent that more and more people are sleep deprived. And with that deprivation, comes not only a mental deficiency, but also a physical one.

The attempt to erase the night or to confine it to a small artificially defined window comes with a price.

Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood.  That is why melatonin is sometimes called the “Dracula of hormones” – it only comes out in the dark.

In the morning, when we perceive that it is light, melatonin secretion ceases, which stimulates the production of other hormones and hence other body activities to begin. This orderly daily rhythm is of prime importance to our physical condition, intellectual capabilities, and emotional health.

The pineal gland and Melatonin are the body’s primary timekeepers imparting information about the time of day, season of the year, and phase of life to the brain and throughout the body. Resetting this Rhythm also means that the body is working overtime, making it more out of balance and less efficient. Thus, not only are the necessary chemicals imbalanced, but the body will age faster as it is forced to work for longer and longer hours without being able to restore itself.

Melatonin is believed to influence the internal processes so that all of the body’s systems work together, in coordination. Should this internal structure become disorganized in any way, the body becomes more susceptible to disease as sleep is not just a mental re-charger, but also important for the body as well. When a person sleeps, the body and mind are working just as hard as when the person is awake, correcting chemical imbalances, building immunity, assuring proper blood sugar levels for the next day, and maintaining memory.

For all you late night sleeper’s – If you are exposed to light till wee hours in the morning, your melatonin won’t rise to high enough levels to do its job. Light coming in from the window or from another room, or even a night-light can disrupt the production of melatonin.

Sleeping for 6 to 8 hours in complete darkness is important for good health and looking young.

Written by Sejal Vora

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The Truth: About Germs

It all started in the mid 18th century.

It was that One crucial debate on “The Germ Theory” between 2 microbiologists Louise Pasteur and Antoine Bechamp that changed the world forever.

Pasteur and Bechamp strongly disagreed in their bacteriological theories and it was this argument that changed the course of Medicine.

Pasteur’s theory was accepted and Bechamp’s theory was rejected. Modern Medicine and True Health parted ways because of this.

Pasteur’s discovery — that most infectious diseases are caused by germs, also known as the “germ theory of disease,” is one of the most important in medical history. His work became the foundation for the science of microbiology, and a cornerstone of modern medicine. Pasteur’s Germ Theory promoted a theory of disease that described non-changeable microbes as the primary cause of disease. This is the theory of monomorphism. This theory says that a microorganism is static and unchangeable. It is what it is. Disease is caused by microbes or bacteria that invade the body from the outside.

Bechamp held the view that microorganisms can go through different stages of development and they can evolve into various growth forms within their life cycle. This is the theory of pleomorphism. He observed microbe like particles in the blood which he called microzymas. These microbes would change shape as individuals became diseased, and for Bechamp, this was the cause of disease; hence disease comes from inside the body.

Bechamp’s research proved, what the root cause of disease was, and how it could be reversed or avoided altogether using safe, natural methods. This was long before the synthetic drugs, chemotherapy, radiation, surgical removal of body parts and vaccines with which we are all so familiar today became the mainstays of mainstream medical treatment. Bechamp’s work showed that the inner condition and health of the cells (sometimes described as the “terrain” in works of the time) determined whether disease would manifest or spread in the body. He proved through rigorous scientific method and repeated experiments over many years that disease was not due to germs attacking the body from the outside, as Louis Pasteur later convinced the world. What you eat, breathe, drink, and bathe in are the primary factors that determine your body’s inner condition. ‘Germs’ arise as a result of a diseased condition. They are a symptom, not the cause.

Western medical science went with Pasteur’s theory and Unfortunately modern medicine or allopathy as we know it, is based on the Pasteur’s germ theory. Since the 1850s, they have been developing new drugs to attack and kill the disease invaders(germs) and the result has been epidemics of cancer, sicknesses and diseases — and a very rich and powerful pharmaceutical industry.

When Pasteur was on his deathbed, he finally acknowledged Bechamp’s work and said, “Bechamp was correct: the microbe is nothing: the terrain is everything.” It was a 180 degree turnaround. With his death imminently at hand, he as much as admitted that his germ theory had flaws. But his admission fell on deaf ears. It was far too late. It could not reverse the inertia of ideas that had already been accepted by mainstream science at that time. Allopathic (drug based) medicine was firmly entrenched on the road that was paved by Pasteur.

Pasteur’s germ theory has actually made us place the responsibility of our health into the hands of poor germs and virus who really mean us no harm.

Germs are everywhere. All living things on Earth are interdependent on other living things, the entire scenario being in a rather fine balance. All forms of life are capable, in varying degrees, of adapting to environmental changes, and germs and viruses have been doing that from time immemorial. They are part of the scenario of life, they have a role to fill and a purpose to serve as part of Nature’s “Grand Design”.

The truth is that germs (bacteria) are everywhere and they are attracted to and proliferate in dis-eased tissues.  Bacteria decompose dead matter.  That is their job. For instance, when a tree dies, bacteria come in and eat the tree and it eventually becomes soil.   Bacteria do not eat a live, healthy tree.  The same thing is true in people — bacteria are attracted to dead matter. Therefore, if you have dead matter in your body, bacteria will come in and get to work decomposing the dead tissue so that it may eventually become soil.

The world has been teeming with bacteria (germs), as micro-organisms form the basis of all other forms of life. They manufacture soil out of rock, destroy unhealthy tissues of plants, man and animals, break down dead tissues to be used again, and actually form an essential part of the body and body functions. The behavior of the various forms of bacteria in the body is dependent on the environment within the body (which should be healthy but very often in humans is not), and it is only when the environment within becomes deteriorated, that many normal bacteria change from a benign form to a pathological form, again as a natural consequence. In Nature it is the survival of the species that counts, and individuals are expendable for the survival of the majority. The weak or sickly in the wild are not tolerated to handicap the group, and one way or another are soon eliminated by predators appointed for the purpose. C’est la vie. So when a person allows a pathological condition of body chemistry to develop within them they should realize that what follows is not a perversity of fate or an unlucky encounter with germs of a criminal nature, but merely another step in a natural sequence of events.

Our medical scientists have succeeded in giving the word “germ” a significance and dread power, ludicrously all out of proportion to the part these organisms actually play in the life processes of the individual human being.

One would imagine, from the way the medical professions speak, that one tiny germ or bacillus (countless thousands of which would scarcely cover the head of a pin) has only to enter the body of a “healthy” individual for that individual to be stricken with some foul disease or other. Perhaps typhoid! Perhaps tuberculosis! And modern man goes around terrified out of his life because of the existence of these tiny creatures which he believes are always threatening him, and which only the most powerful microscope can reveal to his shuddering gaze.

It is time people realise what germs really are, and the role they really do play, if any, in the setting up and development of disease.

We completely ignore the part played by the individual himself in the setting up of disease within his own body, and throw all the emphasis on purely erroneous factors, such as germs.

It is this conditioning that we need to change in our belief systems, as it does not allow us to take our health to the next level.

NO ONE can do harm to your body, but YOU.

Bechamp’s theory placed all of the responsibility of disease prevention on the individual and his lifestyle and if you seriously think about it, it will blow your mind open to a whole new way of living.

Written by Sejal Vora

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The Truth: About Refined Cooking Oil

Approximately over 100 million tons of edible oils are being consumed annually in India. That’s a lot of Oil.

The presence of toxins even in small quantities may have profound effect on the health and well-being of the common masses including me and you.

Most people believe that brands like Saffola and other refined oils are healthy for us, as they claim to reduce cholesterol. Below is a detailed process of how cooking oil is refined for you to decide if you still think it is healthy for you.

Refining:
Oil refining is a process where crude oils; i.e. natural oils from vegetables are refined to remove any substances that may contribute to off flavor, off odor, undesirable color, or for keeping standardization, and standardization is required because if 100 million tons are being sold, there would be chaos at the supermarket if every bottle would be different in color and clarity as it is naturally supposed to be.

Step 1: “Washing” of oil using water, salts and acids in order to remove waxes, phosphates and other impurities.

Step 2: Oil undergoes a neutralization process. Alkali which is soap mixed with oil and heated to 180F. A separator then removes the soap from the oil.

Step 3: The oil is subjected to “physical” refinement to remove odor compounds by vacuum steam distillation process.

Step 4: Next the oil is subjected to cooling. By doing this, some fats will crystallize and are removed using filtration.

Step 5: The oil is then bleached. This process stabilized the oil. Bleaching involves using clay to remove color and impurities from the oil. Oil is bleached by heating it to 130F, and mixing with clay. The mixture is held for several minutes and then the hot oil is filtered from the clay and cooled.

Step 6: Hydrogenation process is completed by pumping pressurized hydrogen into an agitated tank filled with oil. This must be done in the presence of a catalyst metal, such as nickel. Hydrogenation is done at 204C and pressure of 60psig.

Do we want to be eating the end result of this rigorous procedure? It has already been the cause of much illness, continuing to eat this is to ask for irreversible damage to health.

Testing survey work carried out: This project was undertaken to spell out the heavy metal contamination in edible oils, especially the chemically processed ones like Hydrogenated vegetable oils & Refined oils. For example Nickel is used as a hydrogenating catalyst for hardening of vegetable oils. Nickel has adverse effect on Respiratory system, liver, skin, metabolism, interaction with DNA/RNA, crosses Placental barrier also carcinogenic action.
Popular brands of HVO viz. Rath, Ruchi,Gagan, Dalda, Panghat, Suhagin, No.1, Postman, Vital, Crystal, Saffola, Dalda refined, Dhara etc. were collected randomly from the local market belonging to different batch numbers and subjected to testing/screening for the presence of heavy metals.

Following the discovery of high nickel residual contents in the edible vegetable oils including hydrogenated vegetable oils, the Indian Prevention of Food Adulteration Act has been amended to incorporate the fixing of maximum upper limit of Nickel (1.5 ppm) in the vegetable oils. But please note, it’s still allowed and if it’s a small quantity it all eventually adds up!

Bottom line

Refining is accomplished with the addition of sodium hydroxide and temperatures around 450 degrees. The refined oil is not considered edible without further processing, such as filtration, deodorization, bleaching.

The process of refining oils is equivalent to the refining of whole wheat and whole sugar into white ones. In all cases, one takes a product full of natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other food factors and reduces the original natural food into a relative “nonfood”—devitalized, stripped.

Crude oils i.e. cold pressed Oil, retain their natural anti-oxidants; which contains all its natural vitamin A, all its natural vitamin E, all its natural lecithin, and all of the other natural food factors.

Refined oils find their way into the human food chain and become the raw material for every cell in your body. Countless diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, allergies, emphysema, stomach ulcers, premature aging, impotence, hypoglycemia and arthritis exist because chemically synthesized substances disrupt the bio-chemistry of hundreds of billions of microscopic living cells which make up the body.

The life of most cells is short; new cells are constantly being made to replace dead ones. The raw materials for this rebuilding come from the blood stream. When it contains toxins, the process of rebuilding cells is disrupted. Resistance to disease diminishes. If you have a genetic weakness and continue to eat refined oil, the cumulative effect of toxins will increase the risk of becoming a host to disease.

Eradicating every guilty pleasure in life is not the end goal here, nor is it a particularly realistic approach to making changes…we all enjoy the occasional pav bhaji, cheeseburger, fries, or bag of chips. But it’s important to understand the consequences of making what ought to be an occasional treat into your mainstay diet.

Opt for unrefined sesame or mustard oil when it comes to cooking . Make sure to not use Extra Virgin Olive oil for cooking as it has a low burn point.

OIL, SALT & SUGAR are basics that we all require and are important for good health. At least make sure these are natural and pure.

Written by Sejal Vora

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