This page contains a wealth of information that could change your life. Please take the time to read everything if you can. Further down you can read about healing foods such as wheatgrass juice and spirulina, learn about alkalising your body and oxygenating your blood, how to break free from addictions and so much more. Enjoy!
Watch this wonderful video about the healing power of juicing…
What I’m going to explain to you here is the most common-sense way of eating you could possibly imagine, and the understanding of it has the potential to change the health of the world.
I did not personally come up with it – Mother Nature did – but I have put it into words for you so you can learn about how your body would really love you to eat. I hope you will be wise enough to try it out.
This way of eating – and the reasons for doing so – really couldn’t be simpler. It’s all about digestibility. It’s about eating more of the foods that your body finds easily digestible, and less of the foods which it finds harder to digest. The effects of eating this way on the body and the mind are very noticeable.
You’ll have more energy, feel more positive, feel more balanced and grounded, tiredness will disappear and you will feel lighter, with greater enthusiasm for life. You will sleep better, look and feel younger, and your digestive strength and overall health will improve considerably. It could even add years to your life span.
These are significant claims, and once you understand how your digestive system works and what it needs to fully nourish you, you will realise that they are natural consequences of eating in harmony with it.
Allow me to explain…
Our body uses a lot of our energy to digest the food we eat. The heavier our food, the more of our energy the digestive system requires. This is why we can easily feel very tired after a meal, and this needn’t happen. Our meals are often used as a sedative to fill us up and make us feel more restful, but this is not a healthy way to use food. Instead we can finish our meals feeling satisfied, nourished and grounded, yet energised and alert.
So what we want to be doing is eating foods that energise and nourish our body, but don’t require a lot of time and energy to be digested. Then we will enjoy the greatest benefit from them. And to really maximise this benefit, we must bring in awareness: Awareness of our stomach and how easily it copes with each of the different foods we put into it… Awareness of how these foods are effecting our energy levels and our moods… and awareness of the real reason we are choosing to eat certain things.
The best news about eating this way is that there is no restriction in terms of what foods are ‘allowed’. No foods are ‘out-of-bounds’ and you can eat as much food as you wish.
Does this sound “too good to be true”? Why should it be? We really can enjoy eating delicious and satisfying foods and also experience excellent health. The secret is noticing and enjoying the positive effect that lighter, simpler (and greener) food has on how you feel – your energy and enthusiasm, your sense of calm and stability, your positivity and clarity of mind. As you notice these things, you will naturally choose to eat in a way that encourages positive feelings and positive moods within you. Why would you want to choose anything else?
Now, let me ask you a question: Do you believe the more food you eat, the more energy you will have? It is not so. You can prove this to yourself by drinking only carrot juice for a day and seeing how amazingly energised you feel. Conversely, you could try eating as much pasta or rice as you possibly can, and see how tired, heavy and sleepy you feel.
When you fully understand how your digestive system works and how it gives you energy from your food, you will realise the importance of choosing the right foods to energise and nourish your body.
The Digestive System
Many people have likened the human stomach and intestines to a juice extractor, which is pretty accurate. After thorough chewing of our food in our mouth, our stomach then gets to work with its acids, breaking down the food further, turning to it a liquid mass which can then pass through our intestines for further digestion and absorption of nutrients from the liquid. Whatever cannot be absorbed by the intestines, passes out of the body as waste.
The key part here is that our intestines absorb the nutrients from the liquid mass that passes through them. The more liquidized our meal has become in our stomach, the easier the absorption of nutrients can occur in the intestines. Therfore the more naturally juicy and watery our foods are, the easier digestion occurs – fruit being a perfect example.
This is why drinking home-made vegetable juice is so very nourishing for the body because firstly the stomach has very little work to do – so little energy is used – and secondly, the juice is such a water-like substance (i.e. not thick) that absorption of the nutrients through the intestine walls happens very rapidly and easily. This is a perfect energy situation: little is used, lots is gained!
At the opposite end of the digestibility spectrum, it takes a tremendous amount of energy for the body to try and turn a substance like bread or pasta into ‘juice’ for absorption through the intestines. In fact, it is near impossible. What is created as bread or pasta digest is more like a thick, gloopy paste that sludges rather than flows through the intestines. The intestines struggle to absorb anything from this thick sludge. So why is bread so popular? Because it is satisfying and filling. But digestible? Certainly not, and many people worldwide are now becoming aware of the discomfort it causes in their bowels and intestines, whether it is gluten-free or not.
So let’s consider for a moment the effect of every day eating meals made up of the heavier, harder to digest foods such as bread, pasta, rice, meat, cheese. How much energy are these foods giving us in terms of vitality (to keep us feeling energised) and how much energy are they taking from us as they sit in our stomach or upper intestines being digested for 3 to 4 hours (or more)?
Again such meals are very satisfying because they keep the stomach quiet for such a long time, but surely any healthy meal must give the body more energy than it takes?
If you have ever tried a juice fast – which means drinking only vegetable juice for 2 or 3 days (or more) you will understand from first hand experience how liberating it feels to not have such a heavy stomach all the time.
On a juice fast, the fullness of your reservoir of energy is available to you all day long. You will not feel tired and you will not feel hungry, because the body is receiving an abundance of energising nutrition from the vegetable juice. There is more energy in a glass of raw vegetables juice (e.g. Carrot, betroot, broccoli) that in any quantity of cooked food you can eat. If you try eating more and more cooked vegetables for more and more energy, you will just feel tired.
The key is digestibility in partnership with good nutrition. All natural foods with a high water content are digested most easily by the body, because there is an abundance of juice. Fruit is notoriously quick to digest (watermelon being a perfect example) including vine fruits like cucumber, tomatoes etc. Above ground vegetables are slightly harder to digest because of their fibre, which is why I always recommend getting alot of your vegetable intake through raw juices.
Finely grated vegetable salads – like carrot and beetroot for example – are also easier or the stomach, because the fibre has been broken down by grating it. Cooking vegetables does make them easier on the stomach, but it reduces the vitality of the vegetables, as enzymes are damaged in cooking. Again, to experience this for yourself you need only experiment by eating a whole bowl of cooked carrots for lunch, and then in the evening consuming the same amount of carrots, but in a juice. You will certainly feel the difference in your energy.
I often use juices as an example, but I am not suggesting you live on vegetable juices. Juices are a good example because they give the body so very much energy, whilst taking little for digestion. So if you take the underlying logic, which is: consuming an abundance of easily digestible and nutritious foods, you will see how you can turn around your own energy problems quite easily.
So many people nowadays suffer from tiredness, fatigue, a weary digestive system, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome and so on because of the way our current ways of eating revolve around harder-to-digest foods. For example, cereal grains and their products, as mentioned earlier (bread, pasta, grains etc.) These foods are not easy for the body to digest, along with nuts, seeds, and heavy proteins (animal protein being the worst). We simply lose more energy than we gain. It is that simple.
Rich, oily foods like cheese, nut butters, tahini etc. are even worse and take more time to digest than any other foods, specifically due to their high oil content. This is why they should play the smallest part in our diet and should be eaten in small quantities.
If we could just make a little switch, so that the bulk of our diet was comprised of more digestible foods like vegetables, green salads, fruits (especially avocados), soaked seeds and nuts (more digestible), protein rich smoothies, juices and so on, with things like grains, cereal products, starchy vegetables (like potatoes), meat and cheese having a more periphery role, we would very soon feel a new lease of life.
There is such an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables on this planet (especially some of the more exotic ones we now find on our supermarket shelves) that we will never feel like we are denying ourselves, and this is a very crucial aspect of being successful.
This diet does not rule out any foods. It simply suggests that you allow your diet to revolve around the more digestible ones. Is that not common sense? It’s so obvious that people are amazed that they never considered doing it before, and the results are as close as your next easy-to-digest meal.
If you need guidance as to the foods which are easier to digest, it is simple: the higher the natural water content of a food, the easier it is to digest. The lower the natural water content of a food, the harder it is to digest. Two obvious extremes to illustrate this are: watermelon (water-rich & easy to digest) and bread (a dry food & hard to digest).
All dry foods, no matter what they are (e.g bread, biscuits, cakes, crackers of any sort, even dried fruit) are not easy to digest because of the lack of water within them. You can soak dried fruit for a few hours and they become rehydrated. This increase in water content makes them easier to digest. The same is true with all nuts and seeds. If you soak raw nuts and seeds the water content increases and the oil content decreases. They become juicier, more digestible, and so much easier on the stomach.
You might well ask: “what if I eat foods like bread and pasta and just drink lots more water?” This may help them move through your system a little easier, but it doesn’t change the fact that foods such as bread and pasta create a thick gloopy paste during digestion. This thick paste offers very little in terms of nutrition, and any nutrition it does contain is not easily absorbable by the intestines. Such foods are simply not naturally digestible or assimilable, whereas all fruits and all vegetables (of which there are more delicious varieties than we can possibly count) are. They are also packed with nutrients.
The whole purpose of eating more of the naturally digestible foods is to be kinder to your digestive system and give it more of the foods it finds easy to process – the foods which Mother Nature has already laid on a plate for us. Consequently, you will enjoy receiving a lot more energy from your meals, and the change in how you feel will amaze you.
You truly can enjoy a new lease of life, just by choosing your foods more consciously and carefully. And to top it all off, any stomach problems will become a thing of the past. So what are you waiting for? Make your next meal a more digestible one!
FOOD, ADDICTIONS & HEALING
An extract from the book “How to Live in Love” by Alexander Bell
Digestion works very much in harmony with the sun. When the sun is at its highest – in the middle of the day – our digestive functioning is at its strongest. This is why lunchtime is the best time to eat your largest meal of the day and to eat the harder-to-digest foods, like cereal grains and their products (pasta, bread, pastry etc), starches (e.g. potatoes), proteins (cheese, nuts beans etc) and fats. In the evenings and at night, your digestive functioning is very slow and is preparing for night-time shutdown. We should eat just light salads, fruits, a non-sweet smoothie perhaps, or some steamed vegetables. Something light and easy to digest.
How strange though that many people should choose the evening to eat their largest meal of the day, and often a heavy meal too. We have no idea how we are burdening our digestive system by doing this. Where do we think stomach and digestive disorders come from? They come from how we treat our stomach. They result from what we habitually eat, when we habitually eat, and how we habitually eat. Do we usually eat in a state of calm, or do we often eat in a state of stress? This is very important, because if we eat in a state of stress (in a hurry for example) every cell of our body absorbs that stressful energy. We are highly receptive at meal times, so we should eat with care and consciousness. Calming the body and the mind before eating a meal is a very worthwhile thing to do, because your food carries that energy in a very practical way into the very centre of your body, and feeds it to every cell of every organ and every muscle. This is the energetic aspect of eating – almost like the invisible food that we eat.
Our food habits – meaning what we tend to eat regularly, and how we tend to eat it – are incredibly influential upon us. More than we realise. They affect our mood, they affect the feeling in our body and they even affect our mind. For example, if we eat a lot of sweet foods our moods are likely to be less stable. We will find it difficult to focus for long periods, because our mind is being stimulated by the sugars in our food. We will also find that we experience food cravings as the sugar leaves our blood stream and we suddenly feel the need for more of it. This is when impatience and intolerance are likely to arise, and we can also find that we are more easily irritated. It is the effect of sugar (in most forms) on the human body. It feels good when it goes into our system, but not when it starts to leave it.
Another example is if we eat a lot of heavy foods, meaning foods that take several hours to be digested. This includes foods such as: bread (any kind, gluten-free or not), pastry, pasta (gluten-free or not), most grains, seeds and nuts (including butters, such as tahini or peanut butter), cheese and meat. I won’t say any of these are ‘bad’ foods, because people eat a lot of them, but they are certainly not ‘easy-to-digest’ foods.
Eating a lot of these foods can result in tiredness, slowness, a feeling of heaviness in the body and an irritable stomach. Our sleep may not be so good and we will often feel very tired in the morning. The reason being that heavier, harder-to-digest foods simply do not flow through our system easily, and they also require a lot of our energy simply to be digested.
Conversely, when we eat an abundance of the easier-to-digest foods our stomach feels stronger and lighter. In fact, our whole body feels lighter and more fluid, and we notice we have a ready abundance of energy. We notice that we don’t need so much sleep as before, and we awaken in the morning feeling fresh and alert. It is possible that we may feel that we need to eat larger quantities, but this is part of the pleasure of eating lighter food – we can enjoy eating more of it.
So what are the easier-to-digest foods? All fruits (and there are many, including avocados), and all vegetables, including salad leaves. Soaked seeds and nuts are easier to digest, as soaking them increases their water content and makes their protein more digestible. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut are good as they are pre-digested, and of course vegetable juices and smoothies are excellent. Any food with a natural water content is going to be easier to digest than a food which is dry, or needs to absorb water through cooking.
The water content of the food is the key here. The higher the natural water content, the more easily it will be digested (watermelon being a perfect example). Soaking dry foods (like nuts or dried fruit) is a good way to increase their water content and make them easier to digest. Soaking nuts and seeds literally ‘activates’ them – it wakes them up from their dormant state so they have the ability to sprout. Their oil content decreases and their water content increases, as they swell up and become almost juicy. The same is true with dried fruits, which often become much more delicious – and not so intensely sugary – after being soaked in water for a few hours.
When we choose to eat more of the easier-to-digest foods (as well as more raw foods) and less of the harder-to-digest (and heavily cooked) foods, we feel the effect. It is very noticeable. Our general mood seems to be a lighter one – we literally ‘lighten up’. Not only that, but we have more energy available to us more of the time, because our body isn’t requiring it for lengthy digestion. We feel more positive, cheerful and less likely to get pulled into dark moods or heavy thoughts like we may have done before. Heavy, cooked foods can have this effect on us. Changing your diet in this way is a very powerful and easy way to change the way you feel on a long term basis, and it is easily sustainable.
What makes a food a ‘healing food’? Let’s take a couple of perfect examples so we can understand clearly…
Wheatgrass juice, which is literally the juice pressed out from the grass of young wheat shoots (using a ‘slow’ juicer), is widely known as ‘Mother Nature’s greatest healer’ because of its amazing effect on the body. Firstly, it oxygenates the blood like no other food, meaning that it floods the bloodstream with oxygen which the blood can then deliver to the cells of the body. Oxygen is the primary fuel for the body’s cells, so when our body is abundant with oxygen we feel energised and motivated. When there is not sufficient oxygen in our bloodstream we usually feel tired and sleepy.
Oxygenating our body – either nutritionally, through deep breathing or through exercise – literally strengthens and expands the entire life-force of our body. It fortifies our immune system. It energises our body. It brightens our mind and makes us feel more alert and ‘in-the-moment’. Oxygen is essential. It enables the body’s cells to repair and regenerate, and it prevents illness. This is why a predominantly outdoor life – coupled with excellent nutrition – is very important for our health. While outdoors, we are simply breathing in more oxygen, thus nourishing every cell of our body in the most basic way.
Did you know that in 1922, Doctor Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for his findings on the connection between sugar and cancer? Essentially his findings boiled down to this: Normal, healthy cells feed on oxygen – it is their prime food and it is what satisfies their energy needs. Cancer cells however, can only exist in an an oxygen-deficient environment, and they have their energy needs met by the fermentation of sugar. This simply means that cancerous cells obtain their energy from sugar, rather than from oxygen. This means that someone who consumes little or no sugar (in its many forms) is far less likely to get cancer, especially if they have an oxygenating diet and a predominantly outdoor lifestyle. It also means that the healthy cells in our body cannot become cancerous if they have a good supply of oxygen. Isn’t that good to know?
(You can learn much more about the subject of oxygen, cancer and healing by reading this wonderful and informative article by Dr Majid Ali: http://AlexanderBell.org/Oxygen.pdf )
So, back to wheatgrass juice. The most wonderful thing about it is that it oxygenates the body like nothing else. It is also very rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll does wonderful things for our blood and our body. It balances our blood chemistry, creating a tangible sense of calm and stability in the body. It also eliminates the desire for unhealthy food cravings because of its balancing and nourishing effect. It also nourishes and strengthens the blood with iron. This is especially the case with dark leafy greens (like kale, for example) and super-foods like Spirulina.
Spirulina is a miraculous food. It is the most nutrient-dense of all the algae on the planet, and is the most concentrated form of any known organic food. It is nutritionally complete, meaning that it contains everything the body needs to live on. For this reason, coupled with its very low cost of production, Spirulina is now being used to address the problem of malnutrition in poor countries. It is even consumed by NASA astronauts in space.
Nutritionally, it consists of around 65% digestible protein, so it is a high-protein food and very satisfying. Its chlorophyll content is incredibly high also, and because of this it nourishes the blood in a way that few other foods can. It is also very rich in vitamin-B12, which is hard to find in non-animal food sources. It has a high iodine content which helps to address thyroid imbalance, and it possess exceptionally high natural concentrations of beta-carotene and mixed carotenoids, which help to build the immune system nutritionally. It also has many, many other nutritional benefits, as well as helping the body in detoxification. On top of all this, it is delicious and full-flavoured. It can be blended into smoothies, mixed into vegetable juices, sprinkled onto salads and onto vegetable or grain dishes. It is very versatile and, most importantly, it is deeply nourishing for our body. I believe it is the most important ‘super-food’ we can include in our diet.
And just like wheatgrass juice, Spirulina alkalises our blood. Do you know what this means? It is fascinating and is very influential on our state of health.
Our blood, like every liquid, has a pH level, which means the degree to which it is either acid or alkaline. This is on a scale of 0 – 14, with a pH of 0 being completely acid, and a pH of 14 being completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is completely neutral, as it is in the middle. Our blood pH is naturally alkaline, with a pH that varies between 7.35 and 7.45. This may sound like it is barely alkaline at all, but on the pH scale small variations can have a large effect, so our body does everything it can to keep the blood pH within this range, as this vital for us to remain in good health.
Now, the degree to which our foods influence the pH of our blood is the important thing here. Our foods can either have an alkalising effect on our system or an acidifying effect. Nearly all fruits and vegetables have an alkalising effect on our body, because they are rich in the alkaline minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and sodium. The very most alkalising foods we can eat are the green vegetables: salad leaves, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber. I also include avocados in this, as they are such a nourishing and balancing food.
The more dark green the food, the more of an alkalising effect it will have on us, with healing green foods such as wheatgrass juice and Spirulina being the very most alkalising. Molasses is also a very mineral-rich food which has an alkalising effect on the body and blood, due to its high iron content. If you need to choose a ‘sweetener’ for your drinks or your breakfast or smoothies etc., I recommend choosing pure black-strap molasses, which is easy to find in all health food shops, and is not expensive.
Something very special happens when we habitually nourish our blood with alkalising and healing foods such as wheatgrass juice, Spirulina, and dark green vegetable juices. The blood’s capacity to carry oxygen increases. This means that the blood is able to carry more oxygen around our body. This is absolutely vital for increasing our health and healing our body, because the more oxygen that is in circulation, the better.
We can actually feel the alkalising and oxygenating effect of green foods when we consume them, especially if they are eaten raw or juiced. We feel calmer, more stable and balanced, and nourished in a very wholesome way. We feel that our body is well-energised, yet very grounded. The tiredness that usually comes at some point after eating cooked carbohydrates (such as grains, pasta, bread, white potatoes etc.) is completely absent when we consume nutrient-rich meals, such as delicious chunky salads, with fresh, crispy green leaves or grated vegetables, perhaps some chopped fruit and avocado plus some additional kind of protein (e.g. goats cheese) to satisfy us. Vegetable juices and creamy super-food smoothies also bring us very balanced and sustained energy levels, as they are grounding yet energising and easy to digest.
The energy we gain from such foods gives us a very pleasant and desirable feeling, and we can really feel that we have nourished our body and our blood in the best nutritional way possible, which we have. No other foods benefit us in the way that green foods do. This is why I believe that green salads, green juices and green super-food smoothies should have an important role in our daily diet, especially if we are on a healing regime.
So, what about other foods? Are they alkalising or acidifying?
As a general rule, most grains, proteins (beans, eggs, nuts, cheese, meat etc), and processed foods have an acidifying effect on your body, with animal protein (meat) being one of the most extreme acidifying foods. This does not mean that you should not eat these foods. For example, we need a certain amount of protein in our diet to build our cells and to help us feel strong and grounded.
At this point I should mention that our protein needs can be easily met without consuming meat. There is such a vast array of delicious plant-based proteins (including Spirulina, which is 65% protein) that we can easily avoid such a toxic and inhumane food as animal flesh, and still be in excellent health.
Seeds and nuts, when soaked and blended with water, can create a deliciously rich protein milk, especially if we include hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are one of the most nourishing protein sources in the plant kingdom, and they are also full of many other fantastic health benefits. I highly recommend including them in your diet. There are also an abundance of beans, pulses and legumes – such as chickpeas – that can contribute to our protein needs. Vegetarian cheese is another good option, as is kefir (a delicious homemade, fermented probiotic yoghurt-type drink, low in lactose). Free range eggs are also a good option. However, bear in mind that the amount of protein we consume should not be anywhere near the amount of fruits and vegetables we consume. These should form the basis of our diet.
It is possible to have a very healthy and nourishing diet in which grains and grain products (pasta, cereal, bread etc.) are completely absent. When I stopped eating grains and grain products a few years ago, all of my stomach and intestinal discomfort vanished. I also experienced much less tiredness, and increased energy levels. I simply replaced grain meals with substantial salads, usually containing avocado and a protein such as cheese, beans, or seeds. I also started drinking more vegetable juices and avocado smoothies, sometimes with a meal. As a result, I didn’t miss the substance that I was getting from eating grains, because I found my meals more satisfying. The protein that we include in our meals has alot to do with this. As a result of this change, the general sense of increased energy in my life was very noticeable, and I never wanted to begin eating grains or grain products again.
When we consume a lot of acidifying foods (including highly acidifying substances like coffee, sugar and alcohol) what happens to our body? Well, firstly you won’t feel so great! This is always the most obvious sign that our foods are not nourishing us correctly. Good foods make you feel good on a deep level. If any food makes you feel irritable, tired, over-stimulated, moody or depressed, I recommend that you stop eating it. Nourishing foods should help you to feel balanced, grounded, energised, positive and satisfied.
Consuming too many acidifying foods will lead us to feeling out of balance physically, mentally and emotionally. Not only this, but our blood will not be benefitting nutritionally as it does when we eat an abundance of alkalising, mineral-rich foods, especially greens. There is also a very real danger that, over time, in an attempt to neutralise the overwhelming influx of acidifying or toxic substances, our body will draw out calcium from our bones and teeth so that it can be used as a buffer against the risk of acidosis.
Acidosis is when the pH of the blood drops below its safe range, towards being more acidic. This is not a good situation for the body, and the body wants to prevent this happening at all costs. Therefore, if it is needed, the body will withdraw calcium from the bones to help it rectify the pH imbalance in the blood and prevent a dangerous situation occurring. This is certainly not good for our bones or teeth, and we should do everything we can to ensure that our body never needs to do this. Avoiding over-consumption of acidifying foods, and gravitating towards consuming predominantly alkalising foods is the very best way to ensure it.
So what is the ideal ratio of alkalising and acidifying foods to consume? It is generally recommended to consume 60% alkalising foods (fruits and vegetables) and 40% acidifying foods. This can differ depending on your protein needs, as someone who has a very physical and strenuous job would benefit from eating more protein (which is an acidifying food).
From personal experience, I know that it is perfectly healthy to consume 70% alkalising foods, especially if you are including alot of the more nourishing fruits such as avocados in your diet. I do not believe it is good for the body to over-consume sweet fruit. We need a good amount of grounding and stabilising green foods and vegetables so that our body’s mineral requirements are met. Too much fruit will leave us feeling ungrounded and result in unstable blood sugar levels, as the energy from the fruit sugar moves very quickly through the system. This can leave us feeling depleted as a result of over-stimulation from fruit sugar, and often simply craving more fruit to lift energy levels. What we need are good sources of long-term, grounding energy, for which I believe that foods such as greens, vegetable salads, digestible proteins, perhaps some steamed vegetables if needed, vegetable juices, avocados, smoothies, and deeply nourishing super-foods such as Spirulina and wheatgrass hold the answer.
(If you would like a full list of acidifying/alkalising foods, I recommend this pdf, which is the best and most accurate I have seen in 20 years of nutritional research: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1883/2781/files/Ultimate_Book_of_Alkaline_food.pdf)
There is a well-known and very successful nutritional healing centre in the USA called the Hippocrates Health Institute, and they focus on healing all sorts of illness – including cancer – nutritionally. The use of wheatgrass juice and greens is central to their healing regime, as is the principle of the the acid-alkaline balance. I have also met doctors who have successfully assisted the healing of terminally ill patients through these same methods. One of them suggested to me that, for the purposes of self-healing, a person who is not well should consume 80% alkalising and mostly raw foods, so as to flood their system with a revitalising, oxygenating and healing energy.
When the body is healing, it needs to receive more vitality from the food it consumes, which is why raw foods are very important. Cooking vegetables depletes their life-force and they lose their vitality, especially as food enzymes are heat-sensitive and are always damaged in the cooking process. If you need a healing diet, a raw food diet consisting of an abundance of easily digestible vegetables and green foods, is the answer.
This same doctor then told me that for a person who has a terminal or life-threatening illness, a 100% alkaline diet is essential, consuming no sweet fruit, but rather an abundance of raw green vegetables and salads, and regular vegetable juices throughout the day. This should be supported with plenty of rest, fresh air and pure water to assist the body in healing.
Water is such a deeply vital component to our health, yet we often overlook it. We drink tea, fruit juice or milk perhaps, but none of these are an adequate substitute for pure water. Tea and coffee actually de-hydrate the body! The more pure water we drink (and by pure I mean spring or mineral water) the more we will experience a fluidity and lightness to our body and energy field. Toxins will be washed through our body regularly, and we will feel clearer in our mind, cleaner in our body, and brighter and more energised.
Often, when our energy levels drop or we feel tired, we think we need to eat more food to give us more energy, but this is not the case. Usually we need to drink more water, or breathe more oxygen. Water and oxygen can revitalise our mind and body in ways that food simply cannot. We should always look at these two energy-giving aspects first before consuming more food, especially between meal times.
If we have not eaten enough food we will usually feel weak, with little strength. But if we are feeling tired, it is unlikely to be because we need to eat. Often tiredness comes from eating the wrong foods (e.g. sugar or carbohydrates), not being active enough and not being hydrated. So the remedy is to get some oxygen into our body, to hydrate ourselves and ‘freshen ourselves up’. This is what water does. It makes us feel fresh and alert.
Try this experiment. Just for one day, between your meals, do not eat any other food. Instead, regularly reach for a bottle or cup of mineral water, and see if you can drink 2 litres or more during the day. You will be surprised at how significantly it affects the way you feel, and it may even encourage you to do it on a daily basis. Water is a truly miraculous substance that does amazing things for our body and mind. Let us remember this by drinking more of it and feeling its deep benefit.
The problem many people encounter in changing their diet is dealing with the strong pull toward eating foods that they habitually use as ‘comfort foods’. Or perhaps there are foods which they cannot resist, or foods which they simply find addictive. Sugar, chocolate or coffee, for example. Even bread is addictive for some people – they simply have to have it.
Over-eating is also an extremely common behaviour in many people, that affects them in a very similar way that some addictive foods do. How?
Well, often we are eating because we want to feel full – to not experience any emptiness inside – rather than to nourish our body. On a deeper level, this is directly related to our desire to feel fulfilled. But we should all know by now that food cannot ‘fulfil’ us, because fulfilment is something you feel in your heart, not in your stomach.
Fulfilment is experienced when our heart is full of Love, but if we don’t know how to experience this, we choose to ‘fill ourselves up’ with food instead. This is why there is a strong pull in the western diet towards eating more filling foods like bread, pasta, porridge, starchy grains, potatoes and so on. Such foods fill us up easily and they keep us feeling full for a long time. As a result, we don’t need to experience any ‘inner emptiness’ for quite a while, and we really don’t like that feeling.
Food is very strongly connected with Love. Humans also have a very strong emotional connection to food, which is natural but not always healthy. You see, we cannot bring more Love into our life by eating more food. Yes, we can feel more nourished by incorporating healthier foods (like green vegetable juices, for example) into our diet, but the feeling of Love we want in our heart will not come from that juice or from a Spirulina smoothie! Such nutritious foods greatly increase the health of our blood and our heart, so that our receptivity and capacity for Love is increased. This is why healthy eating is such an essential part of creating happiness and fulfilment in our lives. This is what we can use food to our great benefit. Healthy eating is a very direct, effective and sustainable way to uplift your consciousness. But simply eating more food will have the opposite effect. Even eating too much of something considered to be a ‘healthy” food can be used as a way of filling up the stomach and eliminating the sense of emptiness that is coming from elsewhere.
Overeating is a very common thing, and is just as addictive as consuming addictive food substances like sugar, chocolate, coffee, alcohol etc. Substances such as these create a temporary physiological ‘high’ in the body, and they can also lift the mood of the mind too, creating more positive thoughts for a short period. But as we know, the effect is only ever temporary. That is why we feel compelled to continue consuming these substances, so that we can keep experiencing the ‘good feeling’ that they bring. This is addiction.
Foods that nourish the body, that stabilise the blood sugar and make us feel grounded and calm, yet energised, do not take us ‘up and down’ like addictive foods do. Foods such as substantial salads, organic vegetables, vegetable juices, protein-rich smoothies, super-foods, organic fruits, soaked seeds and nuts etc. build within us a strong platform for greater health, sustained vitality and balanced energy. They also help us to experience the joy and happiness that is a natural consequence of being in good health. Such foods will help us to experience the sustained ‘natural-high’ that comes through healthy, active, balanced living. There is truly no substitute for this wonderful feeling of vitality and well-being.
So what can we do if we feel that we have an addictive tendency towards certain food substances?
The answer is two-fold. The first part is very practical, the second part is about increasing awareness. This can also be applied to addictions to drugs.
Firstly, on a very practical level what we need to do is simple. Obviously, there is a strong desire within the body (and mind) for a particular substance, this we know. However, many people make a mistake here by focussing their attention upon this desire and attempt to get rid of it, battle with it or push it away. This approach is usually unsuccessful because we find ourselves engaged in a struggle.
So the secret is to remove the struggle completely, in a very practical way. How? We focus upon – and feed – a totally different, more natural desire that exists in the body. As we feed this other healthier desire any unhealthy desires will naturally become less compelling. Why? Because, firstly, they are not being fed by our attention, and secondly we are are increasing our desire for substances and feelings that nourishes us in the right ways. It is simple.
As we keep our focus on feeding this healthier desire, any unhealthy desires completely lose their influence upon us and are fully replaced by the stronger pull of this healthier, more natural desire. It is completely effortless and guaranteed to be successful. In fact, it is the only natural way to be free of unhealthy desires and addictions.
So what is this ‘healthier desire’ I am talking about? It is simply the desire to experience the completely sustainable ‘natural high’ that comes from good health. The desire to feel good in your body, to feel more bright, more alive, more positive and energised. It is the desire to be fully alive, to be fully conscious, and we feed this innate desire in the most effective way possible – nutritionally.
This classic little story perfectly illustrates what I am saying:
One evening, a native American brave was telling his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people. He said:
“My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One wolf is evil. It is greed, anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority and superiority, lies, false pride and ego.
The other wolf is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied: “The one you feed.”
We are always feeding a part of ourselves. Nutritionally, people feed the ‘bad wolf’ with foods like sugar, junk food: crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits, cakes, burgers, pizza, meat, deep fried foods, canned drinks, alcohol, coffee, cigarettes… any food or substance that is not wholesome and nourishing us in the right way. Even absorbing negative information (like reading or watching the news, or listening to aggressive or depressive music) feeds this negative part of us.
However, we feed the ‘good wolf’ with natural, simple and wholesome plant-based foods, like fresh organic fruits and vegetables, green foods, salads, juices, smoothies, raw or lightly cooked meals, non-animal proteins, seeds and nuts, pure water, fresh air, closeness with nature, harmonious, happy or peaceful music and so on.
The difference in how you feel, depending on what part of yourself you are feeding, is very clear and noticeable. Either you feel more energised, or more tired, more positive or more negative, more balanced or more more moody, more patient or more intolerant and short tempered, calm or restless, peaceful or agitated, and so on. These are the simple and observable consequences of how you choose to feed your self.
In terms of unhealthy addictions which may have a strong pull on you, you need to move toward the opposite end of the health spectrum. Addictions should be counteracted with deeply nourishing foods such as daily wheatgrass juices, vegetable juices and smoothies containing superfoods like spirulina. Green foods – juiced or eaten raw – are the best way to counteract imbalance and cravings for unhealthy substances. Eating green foods nourishes and balances the blood, which in turn nourishes and balances the entire body, producing feelings of calm, peace and groundedness. It is that feeling which encourages us to avoid the “ups-and-downs” of addictive substances.
We learn to enjoy the pleasurable (and essential) feeling of being grounded, balanced and satisfied. Avoiding overly sweet food is a big part of this, as is choosing mostly plant-based proteins which satisfy our body’s need for substance. There is a food called kefir, a wonderful homemade, probiotic cultured milk drink – made using cows or goats milk – which is well known for its nourishing and balancing effect on the body, as well as its ability to counteract sugar cravings, which many people struggle with. Choosing nourishing and satisfying proteins like kefir, spirulina (which is around 65% protein) and nuts and seeds is a simple way to establish the feeling of satisfaction and balance that diminishes the desire for addictive, “up and down” substances like coffee, chocolate, sugar, alcohol etc.
As we choose and consume our foods, it is important that we bring in more awareness of why we are doing so, and be aware of what certain foods are doing to us on different levels. Observe yourself – your mood and how your body feels – before, during and after ingesting the food. Is there a strong craving for it beforehand? This is a clear sign that it is not so much of a food, but more of a drug to you. As you eat it, there will likely be great pleasure and satisfaction, which of course is a good thing to have with food, but be aware whether there is a pull to eat more and more of it. You get this with sweet foods and salty foods (like cheese, dried fruit, roasted nuts, chocolate etc.) People call this ‘moorishness’, as the body is not being properly satiated and just wants more, usually because of the strong flavour in the mouth. This moorishness is not present in neutral foods like cucumber, green leaves, avocado etc.
When it comes to food compulsions, it is important to remember that feeling guilty about what we eat is very detrimental for us. It increases feelings of negativity, which in turn encourage us towards eating more of the foods that comfort us. Guilt is a major factor in eating disorders such as obesity and bulimia. So when you are aware that you are reaching for a food which is not-so-nourishing, remember that you have choices.
The first and most liberating choice is to choose a different and more nourishing alternative, for example choosing a delicious piece of fruit over a chocolate bar, a handful of nuts instead of eating bread, or a fruity/spicy herb tea instead of coffee or alcohol. If you need to, give yourself permission to still choose the ‘not-so-nourishing’ food afterwards, if you feel like you still want it. But the likelihood is that you will not because you have already made a healthy choice, and healthy choices always lead to the desire to make more healthy choices. They simply encourage a feeling of health and wellness within us.
Conversely, unhealthy food choices usually encourage us to make further unhealthy choices. Why? Because ‘unhealthy’ foods usually have a very moorish quality and taste. They may stimulate the taste buds in very tantalising ways (like cake and chocolate for example) or satisfy and fill up our stomach (like pizza and pasta for example), yet they offer our body no significant nourishment and no tangible feeling of wellness, apart from a temporarily satisfied stomach. On the contrary, the foods mentioned above can often leave us feeling tired, irritable, slow, sleepy, congested and so on.
Many unhealthy foods give us an instant, but short-term positive change in mood (like sugar and chocolate) and we nearly always want to eat more of them when the feeling wears off. They have a mild drug-like effect upon us and therefore can be addictive. In fact, sugar is a highly addictive substance, in its various forms. I believe that sugar should be consumed as it is presented to us in nature – mostly in watery fruits, so that the water content of the fruit helps the sugar flow through our system properly.
Many unhealthy foods are simply moorish due to the strong flavours they possess (e.g. salty, sugary, spicy, vinegary). Be aware and notice these aspects within the foods you choose, and see if you are eating the foods for the above reasons. The primary and most common-sense reason to eat a food is because it makes you feel well, and contributes to a mood of positivity and enthusiasm within you. Obviously, the taste and texture of the food is also important because we must enjoy every aspect of eating.
We may not drink a green juice in the morning because it has a moorish taste, but this is a good thing. But if you want to make your green juices delicious, it is easy. Add a piece of fruit, or blend it with an avocado to make a juice smoothy. Carrot and wheatgrass juice, blended with a whole avocado, is absolutely delicious and deeply satisfying. If you can’t get or grow wheatgrass, just use kale, chard or something else green, even wheatgrass (or barleygrass) powder.
So let’s go back to that initial choice we have to make – for example, whether or not to eat that first square of chocolate; whether or not to have that first glass of alcohol etc. It is the most significant of all the choices because you are setting off a chain reaction of feelings, desires and chemical reactions in your body that create a momentum. Cravings begin with that very first taste, even if it is a small one.
It is the same with the first choices you make in your day; the first thing you do upon waking, the first food or drink you put in your body. Like if you start the day with a sugary cereal for example. You set the tone for your day, in subtle ways and in more obvious ways. The obvious consequence of eating and overly-sweet breakfast is that you are almost certain to be craving more sweet food an hour or two later as the sugar leaves your system, even if your breakfast consisted of dried fruits like figs or dates, sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, or starchy-sugary fruits like bananas. You are also much more likely to be short-tempered and reactive with others – another inevitable consequence of eating excessively sweet foods.
I believe the very best way to start your day is with a balancing green vegetable juice (especially with wheatgrass) or a balancing avocado smoothy with spirulina or other green superfoods. By doing this, you are nourishing your blood, calming your nervous system, and most importantly, not setting up a chain of bio-chemical cravings as happens when we consume sugary foods. If you do want a sweet breakfast, have it after your green drink and have it with kefir, or drink kefir afterwards. Kefir softens the impact of sugars on the nervous system, and helps us avoid the cravings and reactivity that sugars often create. Kefir is a protein drink due to the milk that we use to make it, therefore it has a grounding and calming effect upon us. It is also rich in tryptophan, which simply makes us feel happy. The word ‘kefir’ actually means ‘good feeling’.
Starting the day with a green drink means setting yourself up in the best way to experience a day of greater balance, equilibrium, tolerance, patience and calm. Green juices and smoothies also energise us in a very balanced way, especially when they contain wheatgrass juice. So when you have a choice of food, especially when it is the first choice of your day, always see if you can satisfy your tastes and energy needs with a healthier option. Do the same when you notice a desire for what you recognise as an addictive substance arises. Choose something that nourishes you first (especially a green juice or smoothy) and see if you still desire the addictive substance afterwards.
If you find that after doing this you still desire the comfort food or the addictive substance, do not chastise yourself. You are human, a complex bio-chemical creature that is influenced by everything, and compelled to respond to these influences. Usually food cravings are simply a matter of body chemistry, so there is no need to make yourself feel bad about it. Give yourself permission. Tell yourself that you are allowed to have this food or substance you are craving, if you really want to. And when you ingest it, do it with awareness so that you can find out, “Is this really what I want? Is this really nourishing me in the way I want to be nourished?”
Be aware of how you feel different having eaten this food. This will give you a good idea as to the real reason you eat it. Does it make you feel happy? Does it stimulate and energise you (like coffee or chocolate, for example)? Does it make you feel full inside? Remind yourself that you can always feel the way that you wish to feel in a more sustainable and healthy way. For example, if you want to feel more energised on a long term basis, simply eat lighter food and drink vegetable juices daily. Make it a new habit. An increase in your energy will then become a more sustained experience, part of how you live, rather than stimulated ‘high’. And we only choose such highs because we feel low.
The body is always seeking balance. For example, if you over-stimulate yourself with sugar, coffee or chocolate, soon enough the body will strongly crave something at the other extreme – something grounding or heavy to counteract the high level of stimulation. For many people it is bread – an instant way to bring down your energy and make you feel more stabilised and grounded after over-stimulation. Proteins – especially cheese – will also be craved for because they also ground and soothe us. The milk in the cheese is a very soothing antidote to the ‘jangly’ feeling that sugar or caffeine creates in our body. This is why kefir can be a very useful food, because it is very soothing on the nervous system, which is what sugar, caffeine and chocolate overstimulate. It is also far more digestible than milk or cheese as the kefir culture feeds on and transforms the lactose, which the human body can struggle to digest. It is also very delicious and satisfying.
Personally, I used to eat a lot of dark chocolate, mostly for the taste, but also as an energetic pick-me-up after eating a heavy, cooked meal. Now I do not eat any at all, but instead I include more vegetable juices into my predominantly raw diet. For the sense of satisfaction that chocolate used to give me, I find kefir infinitely more nourishing, and unlike chocolate, very stabilising.
Remember that the body simply seeks to experience balance. I once knew a person who made raw chocolate professionally. Not surprisingly, he also consumed large quantities of raw chocolate, and not a lot else, believing cacao to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is certainly one of the most uplifting ones! Interestingly, the last time i saw him, he was regularly buying huge quantities of raw goats cheese and feasting on this when he had had enough of eating raw chocolate. His body was simply seeking balance, and telling him to eat a certain food to create it. The body is deeply intelligent. The more of an extreme you take it to, the more it will desire and seek the opposite extreme. You could call this the ‘chocolate and cheese’ rule!
The antidote, of course, is to choose the middle way. Nutritionally, this means eating more greens: leafy salads, broccoli, cucumber, avocados (which are very nourishing and stabilising), green juices with wheatgrass, smoothies with spirulina and so on. Quite simply, green means balance, and finding balance brings freedom from craving.
Addictive cravings will soon disappear from our lives as we feed the more natural desire of good health and well-being. We do this primarily with our dietary choices, and also by increasing the time we spend in nature. The energy of nature is deeply harmonising and nourishing for our entire being, and it can be totally relied upon to uplift us. If you are not feeling low, you will not feel compelled to create a high for yourself or to create comfort through the use of an external substance. This is the most natural and simple way a person can free themselves from addictive tendencies.
Many people do not consider the compulsive or addictive aspect of the foods they eat, or they do not take food addictions very seriously. They believe that it is ‘only food’ and that it can’t do any harm. However, addictive cycles do harm us. They prevent us from being free. They keep us in dependancy and they keep us in upward/downward cycles of mood and emotion. We cannot experience peace in a sustained way while we are under the influence of addictive cycles, no matter what the addictive tendency may be. Creating balance in ourselves is the way to be free of addiction, and the way to greater peace.