Heal the Planet, Heal Yourself

You try to eat healthy. You buy organic. You travel to the farmers market whenever you can to get fresh, local produce. You try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink the proper amount of water. You exercise. So how much is this helping, in this toxic environment? Is this enough to stay healthy? To keep cancer at bay? Asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease? How much does the environment affect you, despite your “healthy” choices? What if anything can you do about it?

These are the questions that come to mind when I try to do the right thing. I can’t help but wonder how the environment (air, soil, water) is affecting my food, body, mind and health, despite my best efforts.

Food, the environment and our health are inextricably linked. What we do to our planet, we do to our food – and to the air and water – and then to ourselves. Food grown and produced in an unhealthy environment is unhealthy. We introduce toxic chemicals into the food, air and water supply and then it enters our bodies. Pollution exits our tailpipes and factories and infiltrates the environment, and our bodies. This causes cancer, asthma, allergies, birth defects and more. The planet is changing, temperatures are rising and as a result farmland and crops are being affected. This can be overwhelming to think about and make one wonder, what can I, “little old me” do about it?

The health of the environment is definitely a problem, and needs to be addressed. At the same time, what we put into our bodies does matter. We should eat quality food, drink plenty of water, exercise, work to reduce stress, etc. Lifestyle choices do affect health. For instance, many healthy plant foods have proven cancer fighting abilities. Components of plant foods help the body to flush toxins out, before they can do harm like cause cancer. A healthy diet and lifestyle also have many other health benefits, including reducing stress  – a major cause of disease – and the risk of diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. So it does matter, but it ALL matters. We must also do what we can to help heal the planet. But where do we begin?

What can I do to help heal this floating blue ball we call Earth that must heal and sustain us?

I recently watched the documentary (with a long, awkward title): “How to Let Go of the World and Love all the Things Climate Can’t Change”. I was inspired and better understood what is going on with our planet, on a macro level. On a micro level, I firmly believe that awareness is the key to solving these and other problems. One person at a time, one click at a time, can change the world. If you can access this documentary, I recommend watching it and please spread the word. Share with all of those you can. We can do this, but only if enough of us wake up and demand change.

 

The Power of Thought Over Health

Practicing Positivity with “The Four Agreements”

By Dietitian and Wellness Educator, Elizabeth Kahn

There are many studies that show the mind has a powerful effect on the body. We all know that we can control our thoughts, but how many of us actively do? Since our thoughts, like diet and exercise, determine body function, we should also practice healthy thinking.

The Power of Thought Over Disease

Many research studies show that positive thinking is an effective tool in the fight against cancer and other diseases.

Stress is a leading cause of disease. Stress can be reduced with modified thinking as stress levels are based on an individual’s interpretation of how stressful something is. Basically, if we believe an event is stressful, our bodies will respond accordingly. The reverse is also true. So, how do we control our thoughts in order to remain disease and stress free?

Recently, I benefitted from reading The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. This book is a great tool to learn how to move our thoughts, and our behaviors, into a healthy direction. This book dramatically changed my thoughts and life, and so in honor of the holidays and your health, I will summarize the four agreements.

The first agreement: Be impeccable with your word. Your word is your power to create and is how your intent manifests. The word is a force, the power you have to express, communicate, think and create the events in your life. The word is like a double edged sword. It can create a beautiful reality or cause destruction around you. Your word can be pure magic, but, to misuse the word is what the author calls black magic. Too often words are used that injure or create fear. Impeccable means “without sin”, so to use your word impeccably means to speak without sin, or with good intent. In other words, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.

The second agreement: Don’t take anything personally. This one is a bit more self-explanatory however, for most people it is easier said than done. If someone sees you on the street and says, “Hey, you are stupid.” it is not about you it is about them. If you take it personally, perhaps you believe you are stupid. How would this person know if you are stupid or not? Is he psychic?  Ruiz points out that this second agreement is based on the first as if we are all impeccable with our word, we will not shout comments at others like “you are stupid” nor will we speak that way to, or believe these negative things about, ourselves.

The third agreement: Don’t make assumptions. The first thought that comes to my mind is the wife or girlfriend who pouts without saying a word hoping the husband or boyfriend will figure out what is wrong (I of course have never done this!). Most men are not psychic and he is therefore probably not going to figure it out, unless she tells him. This is the idea behind the third agreement. Don’t assume people know your wants, needs or expectations; communicate them instead to avoid hurt feelings and arguments.

The fourth agreement: Always do your best. This agreement allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. Doing your best can mean doing better one day than another, as your best will vary depending on whether you are tired or well rested, unwell or healthy, but always do your best—no more and no less.

There is a reason this powerful little book was on the New York Times Bestseller List for over seven years. I highly recommend it to adjust your thoughts, improve your health and change your life.

This book will also make a great gift. Giving a positive gift like this may also boost your health as there are studies that show acts of kindness improve the mood and health of those who perform, receive and witness them.

There are many of us who can benefit from improving our thoughts and therefore our health. Additionally, when I see television commercials with wives criticizing their husband’s laundry folding abilities and those that condone lies and humiliation, as well as programs like “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” and those with characters that regularly insult each other, it only enforces my already held belief that our society can benefit in many ways from practicing The Four Agreements.

May peace, love, positivity and kindness always be with you. Happy holidays!

Resources:

Ruiz, M. A. (1997). The Four Agreements. Amber-Allen Publishing; San Rafael, CA.

 

 

Kahn Publishes New Book on Nutrition | From Natural Awakenings Magazine | July 2011

San Francisco Bay Area resident Elizabeth Kahn will release a new book, A Nutrition Revolution, Uncover the Mysteries of Nutrition, this summer. A University of California–Davis alumna who studied clinical nutrition, Kahn has published many health-based articles and now maintains a private nutrition consulting practice.

Her book reveals why Americans are often kept in the dark about the real benefits of good nutrition, while offering information on how to use nutrition and natural healthcare alternatives for healing and achieving better health. A Nutrition Revolution—what Kahn calls a “how-to-understand nutrition” book—also encourages consumers to instigate change in America’s infrastructure, so it becomes easier for consumers to achieve sustainable good health.

The creation of the book was prompted by a visit to a nutritionist that dramatically improved Kahn’s health and created a paradigm shift for her about eating, healing and health-care. She is now an educator, as well as an advocate for changing not only how people approach their own eating habits and healthcare, but also how they view food manufacturers, school cafeterias, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, insurance companies and the healthcare, political, economic and educational systems in America. “For those who know, deep down, there has to be a better way, this book is for you,” Kahn says.

For more information and to order the book, click here.