Diet is one of the single most important factors in health and healing. As we know, the Western diet places heavy emphasis on concentrated animal proteins and processed, grain-derived carbohydrates which have a relatively low nutritional value. This way of eating is sometimes referred to as the Standard American Diet (SAD), and produces a chronic low-grade, overly-acid state in the body, according to many well-documented studies. By understanding the impact your diet has on your overall health in terms of pH balance, you will see that an alkalizing diet can offer numerous benefits both immediately, as well as for long-term wellness and vitality.
We are all born with a certain genetic makeup, and science once believed that this blueprint was permanent and unchangeable -- essentially that our DNA dictated our destiny. However, an exciting new field of genetic science is emerging which demonstrates that our gene expression can be influenced and altered for better or worse, based on a number of internal and external triggers. These influences on our genes can change how we age, how our bodies react to lifestyle and environmental factors, our resistance to illness and even how we gain weight, among numerous other influences. The study of how various factors affect our genes is known as “epigenetics.”Advances in this field are showing how environment, diet, lifestyle and even thoughts and emotions can have just as powerful an impact on gene function as biological lineage. Small changes in the expression of one master regulator gene, coming from a number of potential influences, can cause a ripple effect and ultimately guide the way your genes, cells, and body systems function and communicate.
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Spring and Fall seasons provide the best opportunities for deeply detoxifying and cleansing the body of harmful impurities that have collected in our organs and tissues over the past months and years. Fundamental philosophies in TCM state that the energies which manifest as seasonal changes in our external environment are also reflected in the body, and spring offers a unique transitional period of time when internal energies rise and expand, providing movement and growth to carry us away from the conservation and stagnancy characterizing the energies of cold winter months prior. This expansive energy helps to move things to the surface and expel some of the body’s burden of toxins in preparation for the high activity of summer, and this energy of upward growth toward the sun means emotions and issues stored deep within the past also have an opportunity to be released. With a little preparation and mindfulness, the forces of renewal and rebirth that are so pervasive during the spring season can be harnessed and used to greatly benefit the body, mind and spirit during a spring cleanse.
June is here — and, among the many hallmarks of the upcoming summer, perhaps the most welcome is the widening availability of fresh, delicious, seasonal produce. There’s no better (or more appetizing) way to ensure you lasting health than eating an abundance of multi-colored fruits and vegetables. But if you aren’t careful with your choices, you could be