I quit coffee at the beginning of February,  during a fun challenge at my kids school to cut down on their gaming time -but replaced it with "sugar"...hum...bad idea! 

       I went through a sugar- cookies binge for a few weeks, winter blues? Maybe, but in this process I was reminded why I always tell my children not to eat sugar. I realized first hand again how damaging and deadly sugar really is in the system. In a three week period my entire system changed, my mood, my energy level and especially the way I saw myself in the mirror...yuk!

       Refined sugar, I consider to be a drug, because in the refining process according to Ayurveda- everything of food value is removed except the carbohydrates-pure calories, without vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes or any of the other elements that make up food-sugar is just a poison.

       Many nutrition experts say that white sugar is extremely harmful, possibly as harmful as a drug, especially in the quantities consumed by the present-day North-Americans. Studies show that “sugar” is just as habit-forming as any narcotic; and its use, misuse, and abuse is our nation’s number one disaster.

      Sugar manufacturers are aggressive in defending their product and have a strong political lobby which allows them to continue selling a deadly food item that by many reasons should not be allowed in the American diet, just as  alcohol, cigarettes and all that genetic modified foods- but that is altogether another topic of conversation.

      Sugar can contribute to cellular inflammation, which is like a continuing series of small cuts that compromise cell function. Deep inside the body, these microscopic wounds fester below the pain threshold. Because many of us don’t see or feel the damage, there is little incentive to cut back on the sugar (inflammatory diet) that is causing this constant cellular damage in the first place... so the beat goes on, but this is not a pleasant sound. Inflammation can unleash dozens of different diseases.

         The Immune System will foul-up because a diet laden with sugar creates body-wide biochemical stress and inflammation, it can over stress and thereby weaken the immune system in a variety of ways. One way, is by triggering leaky gut syndrome, which leads to undigested food molecules getting into the bloodstream. When that happens, the immune system has to finish the digestive process which is an overwhelming and distracting effort. This causes our defense forces to get exhausted (over worked), so that when real trouble comes down the "pipe", the immune system can’t respond. A leaky gut can also underlie disorders characterized by an overactive immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and psoriasis.

      I hate to be the party pooper here, but it’s time to send sugar out the door!
 
      It’s been a week since I quit sugar again, and already I feel like a new woman...and am still off coffee too! I feel good...I know that I would now!

                                           LOVE YOURSELF...LOVE LIFE!

 
 
Who says you have to starve in order to cleanse? Adding nutrient dense foods, coupled with eliminating the most common dietary toxins, will help your body detox daily.

First, lose the sugar; it causes inflamation and encourages the growth of Candida albicans yeast that upsets normal intestinal flora and depletes the liver of enzymes needed for detoxification. Other dietary poisons to avoid: alcohol, coffee, wheat, gluten, dairy, yeast, corn, dried packaged goods, canned foods, microwavable anything and excess animal protein. 

Start your morning with a glass of luke warm water followed by fresh fruits. For lunch and dinner eat fiber-rich vegetables, to improve bowel function, and drink plenty of water during the day to flush toxins from the body.

Then include plenty of naturally detoxifying foods, like cabbage, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, bitter greens, garlic, parsley, lemon, ginger, celery, green tea, artichokes, grapefruit, sea vegetables and asparagus.  They’ll nourish your cells and organs, and help you detox daily. Feast, don’t fast, with these naturally detoxifying foods and herbs such as: cumin, cayenne pepper, cardamon, cinnamon, rosemary, cilantro and turmeric and ENJOY LIFE!!!

 
 
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Self-Preserving
Cancer Fighting Spices


          In my humble opinion these spices are not only nutritious they are quite delicious! 


Yes, I’m talking about those spices our ancestors knew way back in the days and used in their everyday life knowing that it was good for our health. 
Unfortunately we did not 
bother to pay much attention   
to it and decided not to follow on          
their footsteps...
until more recently. 

Like a forgotten language we are relearning about the well of health benefits some of these spices have to offer.  Spices have recently been recognized as powerful cancer preventatives and fighters.

Below are five spices that you might want to consider or reconsider adding to your everyday diet:

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Turmeric

Lately turmeric has been brought to the spot light in the spice world as researchers have discovered that, not only does it fight cancer, but contains an entire spectrum of other health benefits, including inflammation-fighting compounds called curcuminoids.
These compounds may help prevent Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
When used topically turmeric has been known to help heal skin infections.

How can you resist this gorgeous bright yellow sunshine color cancer-fighting spice?
A common sense relationship: sun is life giving & life preserving = turmeric  which is life giving & life preserving.

             In a recent accident at work, my love Danial cut himself really bad on the leg needing 11 stitches. After a week the stitches came out but the wound sort of  re-opened  and was oozing. It felt that the wound was taking way too long to heal and so I started a turmeric paste treatment on the affected area. We applied the paste daily, left it on for a few hours then washed thoroughly with soap and water. This went on for over a week and the wound is now finally healing properly. I LOVE Turmeric, it is POWDER GOD!!!


Basmati Rice and Chickpea Supper Salad

The big, bold flavors of fresh herbs and exotic spices–including inflammation-reducing turmeric–makes this a deeply satisfying dish.

A note on turmeric: This mild Indian spice has been scientifically studied for its ability to reduce inflammation. Turmeric’s health benefits and yellow color are due to a group of flavonoids called curcuminoids. Turmeric powder is readily available in the spice section of most supermarkets.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups cooked Basmati rice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 bell peppers, red, yellow, or green, or a combination, finely diced
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped
1/8 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 teaspoons sesame oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups arugula, chopped
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1. In a large bowl toss together rice, chickpeas, pepper, celery, green onion, flaxseed, and parsley.

2. In a small bowl whisk together sesame oil and lemon juice, then add cumin, turmeric and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Serve over a bed of arugula and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

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Ginger

For centuries, grandma has been prescribing this knobby little root for an upset tummy but we now know that it holds anti-inflammatory properties, shows promise in treating cancer, osteoarthritis and, when used topically, rheumatoid arthritis. It can be used as an appetite stimulant, immune booster, digestive fire enhancement and a treatment for nausea, whether legit (flu) or not-so-legit (hangover), as well as pregnancy nausea and car & boat sickness. Weather in a cup of hot tea or in a paste for a dal, or a salad dressing, ginger is HOT!!!


Carrot, Ginger, and Beet Soup Recipe

You can’t do better than beets and carrots for sweet, earthy winter nourishment, and this zesty recipe combines them with ginger and a touch of orange rind to make an intriguing soup that will surprise and delight your whole family.

What a tasty way to get your beta-carotenes and minerals: this is borscht with a citrus and ginger twist, a sure-fire crowd-pleaser!

INGREDIENTS
3 medium beets (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil/or Ghee
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
4 teaspoons sour cream (optional)

1. Under running water (this is very messy otherwise), peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. With a chef’s knife, cut the beets in half, then lay them flat side down and cut them into large chunks.

2. In a stock pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Saute the onion until it is translucent. Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beets and water or stock. Simmer the soup, covered, for 50 minutes. Add orange rind, and stir well.

3. In a food processor or blender, puree the soup in batches. Transfer the pureed soup to a large container, and stir in the salt and pepper. Taste the soup, and adjust the seasonings, if you like. Serve the soup hot or chilled, garnished with dollops of sour cream.

Serves 4.

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Cinnamon

Besides being a yummy addition to coffee, French toast and oatmeal, cinnamon protects against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Derived from tree bark, this wonderful spice stimulates the bodies circulatory systems. Just half a teaspoon taken daily lowers blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also counteracts congestion, may be useful treating osteoarthritis and improves blood circulation.


Baked Apple-Cinnamon French Toast

This baked apple-cinnamon French toast can be prepared in advance and then simply popped in the oven for a leisurely and luxurious weekend morning. By using non-fat instead of whole milk and eliminating the egg yolks, the calories are cut by half and the fat is reduced by nearly 80 percent in our griddle-free version. Note that it requires eight hours of refrigeration time, so plan ahead.

INGREDIENTS
3 cups nonfat milk or I prefer almond milk
2 cups egg whites, or store-bought pasteurized liquid egg whites
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1-pound loaf sliced whole-wheat bread
1 cup chopped dried apple rings (3 ounces)
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon organic confectioners’ sugar (optional)

1. Whisk milk, egg whites, honey, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.

2. Trim crusts off 8 bread slices and set aside. Cut the crusts and the remaining bread into 1-inch pieces. Toss with dried apples, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in another large bowl.

3. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Transfer the bread mixture to the pan. Lay the reserved crustless slices evenly on top, trimming to fit. Whisk the milk mixture one more time, then pour evenly over the bread. Press the bread down with the back of a wooden spoon, making sure it’s evenly moist. Cover with parchment paper, then foil, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the casserole, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until puffed, set and lightly browned, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes; dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe Nutrition:
Per serving: 183 calories; 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 1g mono unsaturated fat); 1 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 4 g fiber; 344 mg sodium; 312 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (21% daily value). 2 Carbohydrate Servings. Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fruit.

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Cayenne Pepper

La caliente-Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, yet another cancer preventative. When used in mass it can cause heartburn but a little sprinkled onto everyday foods should be enough for you to see the benefits. Cayenne peppers are full of beta carotene, other antioxidants and immune boosters and helps to build healthy mucous membranes tissues – our first level of defense against bacteria and viruses.





Phlegm dissolving recipe

2 cups of hot water
1 inch grated fresh ginger
1 whole lemon’s juice
1 tablespoon of honey
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Drink this mix 2 or 3 times per day for a few days to get rid of accumulated phlegm in the sinus areas and chest colds.

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Garlic

No surprise here. The stinking rose is one of the most potent weapons in preventing cancer, particularly colon cancer. Containing the photochemical allicin, raw garlic stimulates the production of cancer-fighting enzymes. Daily garlic consumption can lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 10 percent and has the added benefit of keeping vampires away.

 
 
 Ayurveda é:
  • Uma sabedoria  de vida de cinco mil anos de idade; Ayu(vida), Veda(sabedoria)
  • O sistema tradicional de cura da India
  • Uma maneira de viver que nos ensina como manter e proteger nossa saúde
  • Tratar o ser humano como "um todo"- a combinação do corpo, mente e alma
  • O tratamento com focu na constituição individual de cada corpo
  • A explicação do relacionamento com a Mãe Natureza- o macrocosmo e o microcosmo
         A Ayurveda está ganhando atenção ao redor do mundo, de acordo com a Ayurveda, saúde é um processo participatório continuo de conquistar e manter o equilibrio dinâmico em todos os aspectos da vida por meios de terapias naturais recomendadas para tratar a constituição psycosomática e desequilibrio atual; se existir algum; de cada individuo. 

         A intenção deste processo não é somente de curar uma doença e reestabelescer o equilibrio natural do indivíduo, mas é também de prevenir e promover uma saúde positiva criando assim um aumento na qualidade da vida do ser humano.

         Por ser um processo participatório, o indivíduo tem que tomar responsabilidade por sua própria saúde e não depender de um especialista para "consertá-lo", este processo é contínuo e não uma tentativa única. 

         Saúde é um equilibrio dinâmico e não um equilibrio estático. Este equilibrio dinâmico precisa ser conquistado em todos os aspectos da vida do indivíduo; físico, biológico, mental, emocional, espiritual, familiar, social, sua maneira de agir, meio ambiental e universal-e não resumidos á simplesmente aspectos físicos e biológicos.

         Uma terapía para ser compreensiva precisa considerar todos os aspectos da vida do indivíduo como por exemplo: nutrição, medicinas naturais, exercisios fisico, descanso, emoções, estilo de vida, etc… - e não ser limitado somente há drogas e cirúrgia. Terapía deve ser receitada para tratar o indivíduo –não estabelecida para tratar o"imaginário" cidadão padrão.

         A meta da Ayurveda e curar doênças, reestabelecer o equilíbrio de cada constituição indivídual, prevenir doênças e promover a saúde positiva- não somente supressar os sintomas da doênça ou provisoriamante consertar o problema.

        Assim como cada indivíduo tem uma digital única, cada pessoa tem uma constituição energética particular; uma combinação de características física, mental e emocional  que constitue cada um de nós. Estas características são determinadas por enúmeros fatores presente na concepção de cada ser e que permanecem iguais durante toda a vida.

        Muitos fatores , tanto internos como externos afetam e pertubam o equilíbrio nato da saúde e refletem como mudanças no estado físico e emocional da pessoa afetada. Exemplos destes fatores inclui: dieta e escolha apropriada de comida, estações do ano, temperatura, tráumas, relacionamentos no trabalho e familiar, estado emocional, meio ambiente, etc…

Uma vez determinados e compreendidos os efeitos destes fatores podem ser anúlados e diminuídos ou as causas de desequilibrio eliminadas e reestabelecendo assim a constituição normal da pessoa.

Equilíbrio é a ordem natural; desequilibrio é a disordem. Saúde é ordem; doênça disordem. Dentro do nosso corpo existe uma constante interação entre `a ordem e `a disordem. Quando entendemos a natureza e estrutura da disordem, podemos reestabelecer `a ordem.

        A Ayurveda reconhece e identifíca três tipos básicos de energía ou princípios funcionáis que estão presentes em todos os seres e em tudo. Desde que não existe tradução em Português ou Inglês para estes conceitos, nós usamos o nome original em Sanskrit: Vata, Pitta e Kapha. Estes princípios podem ser relacionados a biología básica do corpo.

         Requerimos energia para criar movimentos que levam fluídos e nutrientes até as células fazendo assim com que o corpo funcione. Energia é também requerida para metabolizar os nutrients nas células e também para lubricar e manter a estrutura de cada célula.

         Vata é a energia do movimento, Pitta é a energia da digestão e metabolismo e Kapha é a energia do lubricante e estrutura celular. Todas as pessoas téem as qualidades de Vata, Pitta e Kapha no organismo ou sistema humano, mas um destes elementos é predominante, um é secondário e o outro menos predominante. A causa de doênças na Ayurveda é visto como uma disfunção cellular devido ao ecesso ou deficiência de Vata, Pitta ou Kapha no sistema. Doênças também podem ser causadas pela presença de toxínas no organismo.

         Na Ayurveda, corpo, mente e consciência trabalham juntamente para manter o equilibrio. Estes são vistos como  diferente faces do mesmo ser. Para aprender como equilibrar o corpo, mente e consciência(alma) é preciso compreender como Vata, Pitta e Kapha trabalham juntos. 

         De acordo com a filosofía Ayurvedica o Cosmos inteiro nada mais é do que uma interação entre as energias dos cinco grande elementos: Espaço ou Éther, Ar, Fogo, Água e Terra. Vata, Pitta e Kapha são combinações e permutações destes cinco elementos que se manifestam como patentes presentes em toda a criação do universo. No corpo físico Vata é a energia subta do movimento, Pitta é a energia da digestão e metabolismo e Kapha a energia que forma a estrutura do corpo.

        Em resumo, a Ayurveda refere-se a todos os aspectos da vida- no microcosmo: o corpo, a mente e a alma e no macrocosmo: o Universo inteiro. Ela reconhece que cada pessoa é um indivíduo único que por sua vez responde diferenciadamente aos muitos aspectos da vida, cada um de nós possuímos qualidades fortes e fracas. Por intuição, compreenção e experiência, a Ayurveda apresenta uma vasta riquesa de informações sobre o relacionamento entre a causa e seus efeitos tanto imediáto como súbto em cada indivíduo único.

                                                                          Muita paz e saúde,
                                                                        Suheila Mouammar-2007