Category: Nutrition + Food

A Key to Change Your Body + Your Life!

As the summer wanes, so does the outward flow of energy that summer naturally brings. The exuberant activity recedes, and what lies underneath comes to the surface. The same seems to happen with our body chemistry.

This is the time of year when people frequently come to me for help with hormonal balance. From the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, the endocrine system offers a beautiful expression of yin-yang balance. Hormones act powerfully in incredibly small amounts, the alphabet of a complex system of bidirectional communication between all areas of the human body, a biochemical mind. Activity and rest, also at the level of the mind, influence this balance. So, as we move toward the fall season, let’s look at the question:

Do I need to balance my hormones?

Thyroid hormones, Vitamin D, estrogen/progesterone, testosterone/DHEA and cortisol are our basic “hormone awareness pack.” We should know what our levels are with each of these. An imbalance of a member of this group might show up in any of the functions they help regulate. So let’s dive deeper into the above question. Do any of these aspects hit home for you?

  • Am I feeling extra tired?
  • Is low libido an issue for me?
  • Do I get too many infections?
  • Is my PMS an issue for me?
  • Are hot flashes an issue for me?
  • Do I have trouble turning off at night and getting restful sleep?
  • Am I bloated all the time?

If any of these issues ring a bell, you might want to take a look at your hormones.

What can I do to balance my hormones?

Rule #1  Remove or reduce obstructions

A fine biochemical orchestration needs a clear, clean environment, free of impediments. In our world today, a jungle of toxins bombards us from everywhere, from invisible radiation from electronic devices to chemicals in cosmetics and home cleaning supplies and preservatives and artificial additives in our food and drink. ALL of this complexity comes into the body through the lungs, the intestinal mucosa or through skin absorption. From there, it travels to the lymph, the blood and then everywhere else. It is accurate to say that we live within a sea of toxins, either moving through our body, stuck to a physical structure in our body or attached microscopically to an active enzyme or chemical process in our system and potentially interfering with it.

There are many types of detoxification and hormone balancing programs available today. We support our students and patients in participating in any well-balanced and well-researched protocol. In fact, a proper detoxification program is a key in balancing hormones in today’s world.

At the Energy Life Sciences Institute clinic, and in our Being Energy programs, we offer the Being Energy Detox Program along with personalized nutritional supplement recommendations. Our patients and clients have experiences outstanding results with this program.

There are also some useful things you can do yourself at home:

  • Drink a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar upon waking, to stimulate the liver detoxification pathways
  • Drink extra water for five days at a time to enhance kidney clearance—four to six glasses per day, depending on the temperature and your activity
  • Shop smart—avoid packaged foods and choose organic as much as possible
  • If you are more daring, you can try a simple 36-hour fast; this can be a juice fast or a water fast—no solid food. Begin one morning on an empty stomach, without breakfast and fast for one day (with juice or water), then finish the fast the following morning with a light breakfast. Be sure to keep well hydrated during this time. This mini-fast gives your gut and liver a break so that they can release built up toxicity. Please note: we advise to do fasts under medical supervision only.
Rule #2  Always look beyond the body and mind to the level of spirit

Always regulate both from the outside (toxins, proper nutrients, supportive environment) and from the inside (behavioral patterns and spirit level). We are spiritual beings first and foremost, and we are having a physical experience secondly. Both levels of being are important to attend to, and they complement one another.

Our spiritual experience is rooted in our biochemistry. Indeed, we could also describe hormones as “messengers of spirit.” When we are having a spiritual experience, what my teacher Carlos Castaneda called a “non-ordinary” reality experience, it also changes our hormones. When our spirit is “off,” when we kind of “feel off,” our biochemistry, our hormonal balance, is also often off. When we are in inner silence, our homeostasis is enhanced, and the psycho-neuro-endocrine axis shifts to a more balanced regulation.

Exercise Fact

In states of meditation, purposeful mind states can trigger a change in any of the diverse glands in the body. The hypothalamus regulates the pituitary gland and the pituitary regulates the rest of the glands. The hypothalamus is the central connector of this fantastic neuroplasticity mechanism. You can exercise your focal attention (associated with the prefrontal cortex) by specifically holding in your attention an emotional experience—being the observer changes the pathways through the hypothalamus and, consequently, the secretion of hormones throughout the body changes.

Research has shown that the number of pathways between the prefrontal and the amygdala determines how fast we bounce back from adversity. Our thinking self can calm down our feeling self, so we can act with purpose and decision instead of being ruled by negative emotions. This resilience, how fast we rebound, can be of great support for the hormone universe inside of us. Our inner mind can influence what happens with those “messengers of spirit.”

In summary, you can help balance your hormones from within using YOUR MIND. It is like becoming your own best friend!

Try this practice:

Give yourself a few minutes without interruption. Sit or lie down comfortably. Now visualize, or have a feeling of, the areas I describe here in any way you wish—there is no need to know the actual anatomy.

  1. Bring your inner eyes and mind to the base of your spine, the sacrum…Imagine how your spinal cord is collecting and bringing information from your entire body up along the spine to your brain.
  1. Now bring your mind to your forehead area. Deep inside is your middle prefrontal cortex. Imagine lines connecting your cortex to your limbic system, at the center of your brain. You can self-regulate your inner emotional world. You can send energy and information from your central prefrontal cortex to the hypothalamus.
  1. Observe any negative thoughts, worries, etc. as if watching a movie play in front of your eyes. This is just the act of deliberate observation. Engage your purpose to resist getting drawn into the picture. Look at it as an interesting mental process. See how easy your mind can do this.
  1. Deliberately impose positive, enhancing images and thoughts. This new input will strengthen the pathway between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala.
  1. Hold your attention on these new lines of information for a few moments or even minutes.

For more tips and empowering information, join our next online Feed Your Body + Spirit class on September 3rd: Balance Your Hormones: Change Your Body + Your Life.

Best to all!
Dr. Miles Reid

Young, Vital and on the Move: The Vascular System

It would not be an exaggeration to say that young vessels equate to young age and that a healthy, vital flow in the blood vessels makes every other part of your body shine and function well. Open yourself up to discovering the universal flow and connections that are inherent in your arteries, veins and lymph glands.

Our Vascular System is one of the most amazing elements of our body. As a teacher’s assistant during medical school, I was able to see firsthand the incredible complexity of our network of vessels, the arteries, veins and lymphatics. A few years ago, the German medical artist Gunther von Hagens toured Europe and the United States with an exhibition called “Body Worlds,” where, through a medical education process called plastination that turned the liquid within vessels into an acrylic compound, he was able to show whole segments of just vessels, with no other structures. Smaller and smaller tubes that ultimately became thin as hairs, spreading in shapes that made out the exact body of each organ—a sight to behold! A true community where every single corner is linked to the 3 main attributes of the system:

  1.  Each cell receives oxygen and nutrients through an artery
  2. Each cell delivers CO2 and toxins through a vein
  3. Each space between cells drains leftover excretions and debris through a lymph vessel

In Eastern thought and martial arts practice, the term vessels was the original description to what later was translated in the West as meridians, or channels. It was the observation of circulation by the ancient physicians and healers which gave them an understanding of how to move information and resources—energy, throughout the human body.

In shamanistic principles, as I learnt them from my teacher, Carlos Castaneda, the body can revitalize by means of a process that he called energy reallocation. The circulation in this case occurs through a network of vessels carrying a vital force called tendon energy. During the practice of physical movements, which in Being Energy we call Energy Passes, we deliver jolts or strikes to a certain count, stimulating the flow of tendon energy along vessels from the feet to the head.

Learning how to feel our vascular system, and how to activate each of its three parts, can bring lots of benefits and it can also be fun to do. Join our last class of the year this coming Saturday, November 12 to learn more!

Register Here

Miles Reid, L.Ac. National Board Certified
in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology
Medical Doctor (AR)
Founder Energy Life Sciences
Clinical Director
Dr.Reid@energylifesciences.com
info@energylifesciences.com
energylifesciences.com
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Turn off to Stay on Top of Your Game

As a doctor in a busy clinic, I often find myself in a similar predicament as my own patients, that is, how to stay focused and stay present, without feeling that there is not enough time to take care of all that is on my plate. From early morning professional meetings to a lively stream of patients throughout the day, to important time with family, it’s key for me to be vital in every moment—to be physically, mentally and emotionally present.

I need to engage in active listening, critical thinking, business planning and fine motor skills and deliver medical interventions at the same time. As I do all of this, I need my heart to be open and connected, and my spirit to be grateful and joyful. I need my memory to be clear, my muscles to be relaxed yet springy, my body functions to perform in balance, and in general to generate the necessary energy to sustain my day. This is just the basic demand, without any additional emotional or relationship experiences that might be playing out in my mind at any time. Welcome to modern life! And hold on to your seat because this ride is just going to get more intense over the next few years. Time is accelerating.

No matter what is happening in my life, I am sustained by the practices that I learned from my teacher Carlos Castaneda. In particular, he taught me various series of movements to revitalize the body and mind. One of his favorites was a very simple yet powerful one he called Turning on the Body. A practical, descriptive name (quintessentially Castaneda).

To “turn on the body” means to first completely relax the body and then, in a split second upon a sudden command, engage the totality of ones muscles, joints and even internal organs, followed by turning everything off again. The effect of this on the nervous system is to trigger a state of readiness and ease at the same time—much in the same way as taking a short cold shower and then drying the skin briskly to warm it up again creates a circulatory flush from the blood shunting, which is very invigorating. The idea of turning on is alluring, but the real gem lies in the corresponding opposite state: turning off. Our capacity to be on wears off unless there is an equal and opposite capacity to turn off.

Radiant Health2016“You have to turn off to turn on,” Carlos Castaneda told me. The longer the distance between the off muscle state and the on muscle state, the stronger the activation of the body awareness. When we apply this to the heart muscle, we call it Heart Rate Variability (HRV), and the longer the variability, i.e., the more distance between the heart beats, the healthier the long term outcome of not only the heart, but of health markers across the board in all bodily systems.

Biologically, turning off is a given. Though we may have forgotten how, we are naturally designed to be able to turn off with no effort of our part. That is our nature. That is what I saw with my very own eyes while on safari once in the Serengeti plains. A pack of female lions chased a group of Impala. The gazelles seemed to freak out and run everywhere. The lions finally caught one of them, rounded up to eat it, and then, right beside this, the rest of the Impala returned to grazing, as if nothing had happened. So why is it then that when, for example, we feel betrayed by what someone said to us, we stay contracted and anxious for days or months or even years?

Peak performers know that the ability to turn off is as important as that moment when they turn on. Elite tennis players are a great example of this. How does a player sustain energy throughout a match that lasts hours? They cycle through being on and being off from moment to moment. With some players, it can seem like they have all the time in the world to return a serve across the net.

We, too, can have all the time in the world and operate at our highest level.

In our September Radiant Energy + Radiant Health Los Angeles Retreat, we will show you how to retrain your body to turn off when it doesn’t need to be on so that you can get deep rest, tap into your well of energy and move with suppleness. You’ll learn how to identify holding patterns held in your fascia, the fascinating network of soft tissue that turns on to help us do all the things we need to do in life, and release these patterns so that they no longer interfere with the on-off cycle that is required for you to perform at your best.

Group-4b

Times have changed, and in our world today, learning how to better adapt to the growing demands that life places on us is vital. It’s also of great help to receive specialized treatments to help your body restore and investing time in seeking neurological balance. These things are not luxuries. They are now, more than ever, necessities.

In health, joy and energy,

Dr. Miles Reid

7 Foods to Sustain Your Energy All Day Long

Really? There are foods that can help me stay energized, focused and positive all day long? Yes!

Sustain your activity and enjoy calm focus throughout the day by favoring foods that have a low glycemic index (GI). The key to these foods is that they help maintain balanced blood sugar.

Changes in our blood sugar level correlates to changes in our energy level. Low GI foods are those that produce gradual changes in blood sugar levels. High GI foods—those to avoid—cause your glucose levels to spike and your energy to crash. Even worse, these spikes in glucose levels followed by the crash put pressure on the insulin axis and if this happens often, it ultimately damages our stress response, adrenal function, and thyroid function.

Favor these seven foods! The following foods are examples of low GI foods:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils and fats
  • Oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut), oat bran, muesli
  • Pasta, converted rice, barley
  • 100% stone-ground whole wheat or pumpernickel bread
  • Sweet potato, corn, yam, lima/butter beans, peas, legumes and lentils
  • Most fruits and non-starchy vegetables

A good resource for more information can be found at www.diabetes.org.

An even more detailed approach is something called the glycemic load (GL). The glycemic load takes into account a food’s whole array of nutrients, which shows a more complete picture. The other components in a food can offset the glycemic index ratio and slow down gut absorption, leading to a more gradual impact on blood sugar levels. The desired scale we want to look for are foods with a GL of less than 10. Take carrots for instance. Pure carrot juice, which represents mostly the fructose component has a high GI of 71 (watch for those big pure carrot juices!) whereas a whole carrot has a relatively load GL of 6. GL is of great importance. For sustained activity and focus during the day, we need to maintain a balanced level of sugar in our blood.

See the relative GI and GL for 100 foods, published by Harvard Medical School.

Maintaining a balanced blood sugar level not only helps with our energy. It also helps our mood. Studies have shown a correlation between eating foods with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, proteins and nutrients (a vegetable-focused vegan diet, for example), and the ability to stay more alert and positive, compared to eating high GI or GL foods such as simple carbohydrates.

One study that monitored glucose levels and glycemic variability in women with type 2 diabetes revealed greater glycemic variability to be associated with negative moods and lower quality of life.

The gist is that your ability to stay engaged and alert during the day depends on your ability to maintain balanced energy and balanced blood sugar.

I believe that we need to get familiar and educate ourselves about grains, legumes and seeds. In my Feed the Body + Soul cooking class on February 6, I taught how to wash, soak and cook these important, energy giving foods. When properly planned, a plant-based diet contains all the proteins you need for life!

It is important to consider not only the biochemical breakdown of proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats and carbohydrates of each food, but also the LIFE ENERGY and ESSENCE of each food. Food is alive and so are we, and we want to feed our LIFE FORCE with foods that have energy.

Large corporations and businesses have a vested interest in making us believe that we need to eat animals for protein. It is not true. There are more than 600 million people on planet Earth today who follow a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet, and they are doing just fine. Moreover, it is interesting that fundamentally SPIRITUAL cultures such as in India, are largely vegetarian.

It is important to understand that there is nothing “wrong” with eating animals. It is just a conscious choice that we can exercise or explore.

We suggest that you slowly make changes, and start incorporating more pant-based products (not only vegetables, but also grains, legumes, nuts and seeds) into your diet and minimizing animal products. This in itself can have a positive impact on your energy. But make sure you increase your intake of plant proteins to replace the animal sources that you are reducing or eliminating. You can start by cutting down or eliminating dairy products, because these create inflammation and weaken your intestines.

I am not 100% vegan. I sometimes eat fish, or a piece of cheese. I don’t like to define myself. But most of my diet is plant based.

We are energy. We need foods that contain not only protein and vitamins, but energy, life and essence.

I hope this information helps you to have a broader view of foods and nutrition.

Warm regards,
Aerin

What Is Eating You?

One of the first questions I had for Carlos Castaneda was about food. He placed so much emphasis on wellbeing, on gathering one’s energy, and on being vital, that I was wondering what type of diet he followed.

“What shall I eat to stay vital?” I asked him during one of the many lunches we had together at that time. His answer was unexpected. “The question first is, what is eating you?” he said with a smile in his eyes.

What was eating me, at that time, were negative thinking patterns, heavy moods, fear and anger. The awareness that question brought was a source of inspiration to me, and marked the beginning of a search into how to nourish my body and spirit. Through my apprenticeship with Castaneda, I realized how important food is. Every time he would see me tired or moody, he would ask me: “What did you eat?” Or “Have you had lunch yet?” or “Lets go and eat something.”

Food and the practice of movements were and are key components in my gathering enough energy to tackle deeper issues, heal, and revamp my energy.

Carlos Castaneda was super disciplined about food during my association with him. He took no stimulants of any kind—drank no alcohol and didn’t eat sugar, salt or bread. And even though he enjoyed eating outside, he would suggest that we cook our own food. Actually, he also worked closely only with those who cooked their own food.

I followed Castaneda’s suggestions 100%. My mood swings improved, I got stronger and slimmer and I felt more grounded. I learned to cook my food, and watch for moments when I would eat out of emotional compulsion.

In the last two years of his life, Castaneda shifted his diet and avoided eating meats and animal products. That further inspired me to continue to learn, research and study the effects of different foods and how they influence my emotions and my ability to be in my heart.

Spirituality, and our ability to feel connected to higher forces, is also related to what we eat.

Slide Image 1For this reason, Miles and I have created a new series of Nutrition classes that we’ve named Feed Your Body + Soul. The class series will feature guest professionals who specialize in topics such as spirituality, food and addiction and emotional eating, and it will include cooking classes! I’ll teach you what we learned with Castaneda and what we’ve learned through cooking and experience with food throughout the years.

Learn more and register for Feed Your Body + Soul classes.

A Recipe to Kindle Your Digestive Fire

It’s undeniable. The holidays are on the way! How can you keep yourself healthy during this busy season? One key is to strengthen your digestive fire.

Holiday celebrations almost always include rich foods. While we all know that it’s important to eat well, we can get a little derailed this time of year. Also, if you aren’t digesting properly, then you might not be absorbing the nutrients you need from your food.

Good digestion is absolutely a pillar of good health. To feel your best, you’ll want to make that pillar strong. With that in mind, here are some vital things to know about food and digestion:

Today, let’s focus on absorption. To aid your absorption of nutrients:

  • Chew fully
  • Take digestive enzymes*
  • Supplement with HCL*
  • Add probiotics and prebiotics to your diet*
  • Enjoy warm water with fresh lemon first thing in the morning
  • Add fresh ginger to your meals

This supplemental suggestion does not constitute medical advice. Please consult with your medical doctor before taking any nutritional supplements. 

With the holidays just around the corner, the last tip of adding ginger to your meals is especially useful. It’s a simple, tasty way to kindle your digestive fire. So, when indulging in the season’s rich fare leaves you feeling sluggish, turn to fresh ginger.

sri_lanka_gingerOne of our favorite ways to incorporate ginger into our meals this time of year is with this yummy, comforting and warming recipe: Carrot Ginger Soup.

Carrot Ginger Soup
Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (or you may substitute ghee or unsalted butter)
  • 1 ½ lbs carrots (6 – 8 large carrots), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 large strips of zest from an orange (organic is best)
  • Chopped chives, parsley, dill or fennel for garnish 

Directions

Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium heat, add onions, carrots and sea salt and cook until the onions soften, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). Do not let the vegetables brown.

Add the vegetable stock, water, ginger and strips of orange zest. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the carrots are soft (about 20 minutes).

Remove the strips of orange zest and discard. Working in small batches, pour the soup into a blender and puree until completely smooth. Only fill the blender bowl a third full with the hot liquid and keep one hand pressing down on the lid of the blender to keep it secure. Add more sea salt to taste.

Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with the chopped chives, parsley, dill or fennel fronds.

We hope you enjoy this as much as we do, and that you’ll join me for ELSI’s next Feed Your Body + Soul class—all about the heart. The class will include some useful tips for navigating through for your emotions during the holidays.

Why Happiness Matters

The science is in: Happiness matters!

It turns out that happiness and a strong social network are key components in your health and longevity. As the poet W. H. Auden put it, “We must love one another or die.”

This statement is borne out by research showing that social relationships can both extend your life and improve its quality. Studies prove that social connections—family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, churches and clubs—reduce risk of death by 50 percent. A stunning statistic!

Conversely, loneliness poses a very serious health risk. Comparable to smoking and twice as dangerous as obesity, loneliness can:

  • Impair immune function
  • Increase inflammation
  • Raise blood pressure
  • Increase cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • Increase depression
  • Disrupt sleep

Scientists have found that people are happier and feel safer when they are with other people than when they are alone, and that happiness is contagious.

Conducted over 20 years, the Framingham Heart Study, published in the British Medical Journal, concluded: “People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected. This provides further justification for seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon.”

Interestingly, being happy also influences our health at the level of our genes. Researchers at UCLA studying the human genome learned that people with a deep sense of happiness and sense of purpose in life had lower levels of inflammatory gene expression and stronger immune systems. The opposite was true for the type of happiness that is momentary and based in self-gratification (enjoying an ice cream cone for example).

The head of the research team, Steven Cole, said that one of the things this 10-year study shows “is that doing good and feeling good have very different effects on the human genome, even though they generate similar levels of positive emotion… Apparently, the human genome is much more sensitive to different ways of achieving happiness than are conscious minds.”

joy-jumpTrue happiness is as much a state of mind as it is an emotional and physical (and genetic!) expression. Experiencing gratitude and looking for the good in life is an important part of it. As the fictional Pollyanna said “… there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.”

There is even more reason to be glad if you can share your happiness with friends and family.

Happiness, and how your emotions affect your biochemistry, is one of the things that we’ve addressed in ELSI’s Feed Your Body + Soul classes. Join us for our next class to gain tools and information to start the New Year filled with happiness, hope and abundance.

5 Steps to Feeling Good

Feelings. The senses. Our emotions. Being aware of your feelings can have a directly positive influence on your health and wellbeing. I’ll share a couple of exercises with you here, visual and physical, to help you hone that influential connection between feelings and health.

For more detailed information about this and other topics, consider subscribing to our Nutrition + Health video library, which gives you access to all of the videos of classes I’ve presented on nutrition and health.

For now, let’s look at connecting to your feelings. Here is a very effective visualization exercise for you to try.  To prepare, begin by writing any physical symptoms that cause you discomfort. Also write down a few things that symbolize your ideal of wellbeing (for example, clear thinking).

Now, look at the first item on your symptoms list. With that in mind:

  1. Connect to the symptom. Close your eyes, breathe easily and allow any feelings, emotions and/or images related to this symptom and this part of your body to rise up, without judgment.
  2. Connect with the feeling or image. Clearly identify what’s coming up for you. What are you feeling? (For example, “My knee gives me pain when I walk; it makes me feel unworthy, and incapable of moving forward.”)
    Stay with the feeling. Resist avoiding it and instead just be there with it, allowing it to exist for what it is. Be open to what it has to teach you. Then open your eyes slowly and write down the feelings that came up for you.
  3. Track the feeling to its origin. Close your eyes again and return to the feeling or image. Once it’s clear in your mind, ask yourself: Where is this coming from? When have I felt this before? Does it relate to a past experience?
  4. Learn from the feeling. How is this feeling or image preventing you from enjoying optimal health? What past experience or belief is standing in the way of you feeling your best? What is the payoff for you holding onto this feeling? What can you learn from it? What will it take for you to resolve this feeling, or dissolve this image? What do you have to let go of in order to change?
  5. Take action. You have the power to decide to let go of this feeling.

Repeat these steps with something from your list that symbolizes wellbeing, shifting the focus in step 4 to what is preventing you from having the sense of wellbeing that the image or feeling gives you. What barriers are in the way? And what is the payoff to staying within those boundaries?

You may want to repeat this for other symptoms of disease and symbols of vitality on different days, focusing in on one pairing at a time.

This also relates to a physical exercise we want to share with you. The exercise is part of the body of the Being Energy work. The following video takes you through this simple exercise, called a Being Energy pass.

In the video, you’ll notice me mention “recapitulation”—this word in the Being Energy work means to look back to the past to the root experiences of behaviors and beliefs that are blocking you in the present. Recapitulate, as defined in Merriam-Webster and how we use it in Being Energy, means: “To give new form or expression to.”

6 Windows to Perception: Overcome Sensory Overload and Optimize Your Awareness

It’s almost here! Being Energy’s next Nutrition class—all about the senses. I invite you to join me live, online on Saturday, October 3rd. We’ll explore the importance of the five senses and how to optimize them, and even give you an exercise for activating your 6th sense for expanded perception.

So why are we doing a class all about the senses? The senses are our windows to the world. They give us information that we use to stay safe, interact with others, experience our world and understand life (the hallmark of our species).

The challenge is that we’re so constantly bombarded with a stunning array of input, that most of us suffer from sensory overload. What we register consciously at any given moment is but a fraction of what is coming at us. So what should we pay attention to? How do we prioritize? How can we focus on what is important and ignore the rest?

The art of developing our attention is perhaps more important than ever before in human history because we are faced with more sensory information than ever before.

We do have a natural filter, the reticular activating system (RAS), that enables us to sort out what information to pay attention to and what to prune so that we don’t go crazy. Moreover, it is a filter that is trainable. We can consciously engage our awareness to manage our sensory perceptions.

An important thing to understand is that our beliefs and past experiences shape how we filter sensory input. The great news about this is that we can focus on the senses to quiet the mind (and vice versa) to affect our interpretation of what we are sensing. We can free ourselves from belief systems that don’t serve our overall wellness to activate a greater awareness of what is both seeable and un-seeable around us.

The eyes are especially important. They are often more fatigued by overstimulation than any other sense organ. We make countless decisions each day based on what our eyes are telling us. There is a voluminous amount of information to process. Computers, smart phones and TVs vie for our attention and cloud our visual sensibilities.

In the Being Energy Nutrition class on Saturday, I’ll teach a technique to soften the eyes, and relax and release the eye muscles to open up your perception.

Relaxing is a key thing for all of our senses, in fact. When we can quiet down the way we normally use our senses, we make way for opening to a more expansive way of interpreting sensory data. When you relax your eyes, for example, you’re able to see other aspects of the world. When your eyes become silent, you can see silence. This is true of all five senses. It is also a key for waking up the 6th sense.

When we activate our 6th sense, we have the capacity to apprehend what isn’t commonly available to us—something that we sometimes feel in our gut or our heart.Nutrition 2015_Featured_2

I’ll talk more about the 6th sense and how to cultivate it on Saturday. I hope you can join me!

The class airs live on September19 at 8:30am Pacific Time. For more information, and to register, please see beingenergy.com.

Cool It Down! Foods to Eat for Summer Vitality

We’re thinking about longevity lately, and sustainability.

Can what you eat really make a difference to your longevity? Yes! In fact, your daily food choices affect your mood and health both in the moment and well down the road.

First and foremost, aim to eat according to the season. This is a key for aging with vitality. It gives your body the necessary nutrients to function at its best at any given time.

In the summer heat, it’s smart to focus on cooling foods. In fact, in both the spring and summer, you want to nourish your yang energy and eat foods that are cooling by nature. Whereas the fall and winter are the yin-predominant seasons—so when we move into the fall season (just around the corner!), it will be time to nourish your yin energy with warming foods. 

Spring and Summer Diet

For those of you in the southern hemisphere, or when the season turns for us here in the north, keep these recommendations in mind.

Springtime is a perfect time to nourish the liver, and do our Being Energy Detox Program!

Also, you’ll want to eat pungent foods to help your liver—ginger, onion, garlic and chives are good. But avoid excessively spicy, hot, greasy, fried and sour foods throughout the spring and summer.

Though you want to eat cooling foods during the spring and summer months, note that it’s best to avoid ice water (ice water damages the stomach energy). Instead focus on foods with cooling energy, like cucumber, watermelon, celery, tomatoes, strawberries and mung beans.

Recommended Foods for the Season                      
  • Vitamin C
  • Cucumber
  • Melons
  • Squash
  • Celery (juice is great)
  • Jicama
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Water chestnuts
  • Aloe vera
  • Beets
  • Watercress
  • Clam or oyster shell soup
 Foods to Avoid
  • Barbecued, toasted, baked foods
  • greasy and/or fried foods
  • hot spices
  • alcohol
  • coffee (replace with green tea)

Fall and Winter Diet    

As we move into the cooler months, it will be time to focus on warming our bodies. A simple and enjoyable way to do this is to eat more soups and stews. Walnuts and lamb are also excellent foods for the season (lamb is the most warming of all red meats).

Especially during the fall, favor sour foods and avoid spicy foods. Incorporate more pears, yams, aloe vera, soy and honey into your diet.

Recommended Foods for the Season                                        
  • Baked or roasted foods
  • Meats–game meats and lamb are best
  • Ginger, cardamom, fennel, clove, scallions, anise, pepper
  • Cherries
  • Walnuts
  • Seeds (any kind)
  • Green beans
  • Chinese chives
  • Horseradish
  • Azuki beans
  • Supplement with green algae or chlorophyll powder (2 spoonfuls)
Foods to Avoid
  • cold, raw foods
  • dairy products

800px-Celery_1We think these tips will help keep you balanced throughout the seasons, which is a key to a long and healthy life.

For more in-depth nutrition and health information, we invite you to participate in Being Energy’s Nutrition + Health classes—these classes are taught live online about once a month.

Our next class airs live on September 19 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time, and will be all about the senses.

Yours in health,
Dr. Miles Reid