Three Health Tips from Around the World


Three Easy Natural Health Tips

Here are three health tips Merri and I learned as we traveled around the world and living for years with Ecuadorian shamans.

Here we are at a healing hut given to us by a shamanic village.

These shamanic health secrets have helped us lose and keep our weight down.  We have more energy, our skin looks better, tighter, our hair is thicker, our muscles more taut.  Aches and pains have melted away and we don’t get sick.  Colds and flu seem to be a thing of the past.  At an age when we could retire, we have bounding energy.  Most important we feel very good.  This is vital to assure a healthy financial future!

Here we are deep in a cloud forest with the Taita Yatchak (wise shaman).

The first health tip is Thermos Quinoa Kitchari which is a very healthy, fast…easy…portable meal anywhere.

This is a meal you can live on… balanced with protein, carbs and fat… filled with nutrition, delicious and easy and fast to prepare.

Here is the recipe for Thermos Quinoa Kitchari.

1/3 cup organic quinoa (dry or fermented)

2/3 cup Mung Beans (or Yellow Split or Green Split Peas).

Handful of Vegetables of your choice. 3 cups (approx.)

Water

A bit of Salt

1 tsp. Coconut Oil, Ghee or Olive Oil.

1 tsp. Cumin Powder

1/2 tsp. Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp. Coriander Powder

1/2 tsp. Fennel Powder

1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing) – if this suits you.

If dry, soak the quinoa in water overnight. Pour out the water in the morning. Stir the dry quinoa, split peas (or mung beans), vegetables and spices with the water and bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Bring back to a boil and pour into a thermos.

Add the coconut oil on top.

Close the thermos.

Leave at least two hours.  Enjoy your walk.  Open and eat!  Delicious. I personally like spinach or greens and celery as vegetables… ideally organic and ideally washed with Purely Green.

We cut them into smallish pieces so they’ll fit in the thermos. I also use organic spices… normally Frontier Brand purchased at the health food store.

Here we are hiking near our North Carolina mountain seminar center and farm.

Merri’s and my lives have been vastly improved over the past thirty years because we recognize that our heavy travel and work demands extra attention to health.  We have sought out, lived and worked with shamans and masters of health to learn health and longevity secrets from all over the world.  Here we are hiking with a shaman to a hidden healing grotto of highly mineralized water.

Here is the grotto with the golden water.

The second tip is to avoid  a blood sugar – insulin roller-coaster.

Northwestern University

Believe it or not in just seconds a day, with no cost, no pain and no contraindications, you can take a step towards all three (thinner, smarter and less stressed).

Let me sum up the weight control problem I have faced in one word.   If you ever battle the bulge, this is most likely your problem as well, so please  read on.  The problem is “Glucose”… or lack thereof.

Glucose is the common sugar used in the body.  Glucose is the main nutrient used in the body in energy production.  The brain is an especially heavy burner of glucose.  In fact the brain, which accounts for 2 percent of our body weight, uses about 20 percent of our daily calories.   The brain does not store glucose so requires a constant supply.  If the amount of glucose supplied by the blood falls, the brain is one of the first organs affected.  When brain cells receive insufficient glucose, they quickly start to die.

The brain will do whatever it must to get its dose of glucose.  Hypoglycemia is caused when there’s a drop in blood sugar in the blood.  These symptoms include headache, extreme hunger, blurry or double vision, fatigue, and weakness. At its most severe, insufficient glucose flows to the brain can cause confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness (coma), even death.

Weight control is often caused by a blood sugar roller coaster created by too facts.  Fact #1; is you cannot have too little blood sugar.  Fact #2; is that cannot have too much blood sugar.  These facts can create a blood sugar roller coaster.  The roller coaster begins when you eat too much of something with too high of a sugar content (this can be sucrose or fructose).  Your pancreas starts to secrete insulin to reduce the blood sugar.  Insulin triggers cells throughout your body to pull the excess glucose out of your bloodstream and store it for later use (ie. turn the sugar into fat).  This reduces the available glucose and the brain says  “Hey, guys and girls… eat… sweets… carbs… junk now!”  That little grey guy sitting on top of your shoulders is very demanding.  He throws will power right out the door the minute the glucose supply starts to run too low.

Everyone in the weight loss business goes after this hypoglycemia problem.  Yet there is one more step and this is where the secret I am about to share comes in.

Everyone knows about hypoglycemia but few people understand Neuroglycopenia.  Neuroglycopenia is a medical term that refers to a shortage of glucose (glycopenia) in the brain, usually due to hypoglycemia.  What few people fail to understand is that blood sugar is important but the brain does not get its glucose from blood.  In fact most of the brain does not get anything from blood.  The body has a mechanism called the Blood Brain Barrier that is specifically designed to keep blood and brain apart.  (“Blood and brain, the twain shall never meet”.)

The brain gets its glucose from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).   The brain creates CSF, a clear fluid, from the blood.  CSF then circulates from the brain around the brain and down the spinal cord.  CSF carries glucose to the brain and to be technical, the glycorrhachia, (the level of glucose in the CSF) is normally 50-80 milligrams of glucose per 100 milliliters of blood.

Low CSF glucose levels (Hypoglycorrhachia ) can be caused by central nervous system infections like bacterial meningitis, inflammatory conditions, some forms of  hemorrhage, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), impaired glucose transport, increased CNS glycolytic activity (glycolysis is one of the most ancient known metabolic pathways) and metastatic carcinoma.

Your lifestyle can create Neuroglycopenia.  Your lifestyle can impair glucose transport.  Have you ever noticed that if you exercise after a meal, you are less hungry than if you are quiescent.  I have always wondered,  “If I am burning energy why am I not more hungry than if I am not burning energy?”

The answer is sitting still can contribute to neuroglycopenia.  The CSF, and the glucose it contains, is partially moved around the brain and spinal cord by two pumping mechanisms at the top (cranium) and the bottom (sacrum) of the spinal column.  These pumps are activated by physical movement and deep diaphragm breathing.  The diaphragm muscle contracts on the sacrum when you breath in deeply and helps pump CSF up around the spinal cord into the brain.

When we sit around too much the CSF stagnates and does not have enough fresh CSF with the correct supply of glucose gets to the brain.  Regretfully the brain’s response is not “Hey, get up and move around so you can pump the damn glucose up here. Do you want me to die or something?”)  Instead the brain keeps it simple and just says “EAT”.

Moving around and not sitting in one place too long is a really important part of weight control because this goes to the very core of the EAT response.

Here’s how I stumbled upon this really efficient exercise from a glucose pumping point of view. 

I was delighted when Merri’s and my longtime friend, Dr. Bill Koch, moved from the Bahamas to Mount Dora.  Bill has been a practicing chiropractor for 44 years.  He and his wife, Kiana, are on a mission to change people’s lives for the better by helping them reduce pain, improve their hormonal imbalances, and overcome metabolic, digestive and weight problems.  Bill helps me deal with back and neck problems I suffer from time to time, the result of a car accident in my youth.  This injury is exacerbated by the work related stress that comes from sitting in front of a computer too many hours a day.  Previously I enjoyed his help infrequently, catch as catch can, when our paths crossed in Ecuador or the Bahamas.  Now that we live near each other, Bill is focusing on regularly helping me with my health.

After a recent treatment he taught me this simple exercise to help overcome my back and neck pain.

I breathe in as I move my shoulders back and take a deep breath.  Picture pinning something in the middle of your back with your shoulder blades.  Then breathe out and slowly move your head down, chin to chest and bring your shoulders forward.

Luckily I started this exercise around the first of the year.  I do not do this as a New Year resolution.  Keeping my weight in check is a year round struggle for me.  The battle of the bulge is always raging.

Once I started doing this exercise for my back, I noticed something different with my eating.  Previously, at 10:30 and 3:30 especially, I simply had to eat.  No matter what I told myself.  No matter what I thought or did, my brain simply took over. My will power was out of control.

I do this simple exercise slowly, gently with deep, slow breaths.  If I feel even a touch of pain, I am doing it too forcefully.

Does the exercise seem too simple to you?  This is the simplest, easiest, most convenient exercise I have ever tried and this is why it is so profound.  Simple works.  Complex usually does not.  Utterly simple works extremely well.  This exercise helps move fresh, glucose rich CSF to the brain and stops the brain from panicking because it’s not getting enough glucose.

Now when I start to feel the hunger, I do this exercise.  “Breathe in as I move my shoulders back and take a deep breath. 

exercise

Breathe in.

exercise

Breathe out.

I picture pinning something in the middle of my back with my shoulder blades.  Then I breathe out as I move my head down, chin to chest and bring my shoulders forward.  This exercise should be done 4 to 5 times, a total of one minute.

The hunger remains but in a different way.  Now my thought is, “Just another hour and a half.  Yeah, I can wait!”  Without the exercise the thought is “EAT!”   I do not weigh myself but my clothes are definitely fitting looser… quite a bit looser and not once has the grey matter taken over.  When Mr. Brain sends a signal for more glucose, I do this exercise a few times instead of heading for the fridge.

Will you help me?   I want to see if this exercise works as well for others as it does for me.  If so, I create a more in depth report on exercises for weight control and peace of mind.  If maintaining a healthy weight is a task for you, please try this exercise.  The breathing and stretch is so simple, you might think, “No way would anything so easy solve a problem that is so hard!”  Can I guarantee that this will work for you?  I cannot, but what do you have to lose other than just seconds, a few times a day.

Perform this exercise standing up or sitting down. DO NOT STRAIN.  Spend just seconds a day, with no cost, no pain and no contra- indications.

You also should feel greater peace of mind and calm.  High blood sugar causes the body to release numerous hormones including Epinephrine and cortisol.  These hormones are contributors of increased anxiety, nervousness and stress.  Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) is released by your body when you are under threat.  This is known as the ‘fight/flight response’.  When adrenaline is released, you experience the physiological symptoms of fear, faster heart rate, faster more shallow breathing, muscle tension.  There is long standing evidence linking depression and the hormone cortisol.  In other words, high blood sugar can increase anxiety.  Anxiety and depression can create an urge to eat comfort food which energizes the negative high blood sugar cycle.

In the Amazon with a Sierra Sion shaman.

The third tip is to chew in the correct way.

Correct chewing releases nutrient molecules so energy from food is more quickly released and assimilated. This allows the brain to recognize flavors and release the correct digestive juices for that food.  Proper chewing does even more because it stimulates the body’s  sphincter (or ring) muscles that surround the various orifices of the body.

Ring muscles include the muscles around the eyes, the nostrils, anus, urethra, genitals and the mouth.  In a healthy body, all sphincters work together, contracting and relaxing simultaneously. They also activate the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, the musculoskeletal system and the urogenital system. Ring muscles are ultimately responsible for putting all the other muscles and all the organs of the body to work.

Chewing correctly stimulates the ring muscles and consequently helps exercise all our muscles.

Chewing should be done with the lips closed, but with the oral cavity open as wide as possible. When chewing is done correctly the lower sphincters and intestines can be felt working in rhythm and causing the abdomen to contract.

You exercise the neck, chest, abdomen, all the way down to the butt, just by chewing differently.

It also important to chew on both sides of the mouth.

Overeating is a very common problem today and this is fundamentally a result of poor muscle tone of the oral sphincter.  When our sphincter muscles are out of balance the body tries to restore them by chewing.  Thus what seems to be the body’s craving for food can be the body’s craving for proper exercise of the sphincters.

With proper exercise the sphincters return to normal operation and there is no longer a demand for more food than the body needs.  It is possible to eat enough without the fear of getting fat. All you have to do is to make sure to open your jaws widely enough with each chew to bring all the sphincters muscles into action.  This will reduce your body’s craving to eat and will also enable your body to burn up more calories more efficiently.

Can weight control be as simple as just chewing food in a slightly different way?  This has definitely helped me. Upon using the technique, my weight dropped and I have been able to reduce the amount of discipline required to not snack in mornings and afternoons.  More important I feel better, more relaxed and at ease.

Delegates learning Food as Medicine in our teaching kitchen at the farm.

Here is what just a few of the comments that those who have been with us here have written.

“Hello, Merri and Gary- I just wanted to thank you two for a relaxed time on your farm. The food was really wonderful and the atmosphere was gentle and disarming.” JB Texas

“Merri, your wonderful cooking deserves very special thanks. Everything was delicious. I’m now using close to your ingredients but I miss a lot in the result and long for a recipe or two.” NH Ireland

“We’ve decided to change our eating patterns since we came home because we so enjoyed our meals at the farm and how we felt physically. Thanks so much. With love” JJ, New Chicago

“After eating all that delicious food I gained 3 lbs but it must be in muscle weight as my pants fit loosely!” RV New Mexico

“The international flavor and attitude of the group was very stimulating, particularly when we split up into discussion groups. Those groups, taking walks together, eating such delicious healthy food outside in the fresh air, rooming together, allowed us to get to know each other on a personal level.” BR California

“A special warm “thank you” to Merri for the wonderful cooking and the “feel at home” atmosphere!” EV Florida

“The food was so delicious and I thought I ate a lot, but during the week I lost six pounds!” WB Australia.

Gary


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