The intake of sugar is at an all-time high in the United States. Medical professionals and consumers are beginning to search out other sweetener alternatives. Artificial sweeteners are not a healthier alternative to processed sugar because they are made up of chemicals that have their own set of negative side effects. Unfortunately, the large amounts of sugar that we have been consuming are contributing to some major diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. So, where are we getting most of our sugar from, and what types of sugar should you be avoiding?
Common Sources of Sugar
The number one place that Americans are getting their sugar from is through sodas and sweetened beverages. You’ll also find added sugars in cereals, desserts, pastries, flavored syrups, coffee creamer, sauces, yogurts, fruit juices, protein bars, and salad dressings—just to name a few food sources.
There are many names for hidden sugars that you will want to look out for, including: Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Cane juice, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup, Lactose, Malt syrup, Maltose, Molasses, Raw sugar, and Sucrose.
It’s safe to say that it’s time for us to start using healthier sugar alternatives. Here are six natural sweetener alternatives for you to explore:
Whole Leaf Stevia – This is extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Most stevia that you will find on the shelf at your grocery store is a highly refined version of stevia extract.
Coconut Palm Sugar – This natural sweetener is made from the sap of the coconut palm. It has half the amount of fructose contained in white sugar and is low on the glycemic index. This is a great sweetener to add to your coffee, oatmeal, or baked goods.
Raw Honey – Raw honey is known for its antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties. It is one of the few sweeteners that contains vitamins (e.g., thiamin and niacin), minerals (e.g., zinc and calcium), and enzymes (e.g., diastase [amylase] and invertase). Make sure to purchase honey that is labeled “raw” as most honey on the market is processed and therefore has fewer beneficial health benefits. Honey is not a safe sweetener for diabetics due to its high natural sugar content.
Monk Fruit – Monk fruit is traditionally grown in the Southern China region. It is named after Buddhist monks who were the first to use the fruit. Monk fruit sweetener is being used as a natural sugar replacement to sweeten foods and beverages. Even though it has a very sweet flavor, it does not raise blood sugar levels. This is a diabetic-friendly sweetener that has been used around the world for centuries.
Xylitol – While its name may not sound like a natural sweetener, xylitol comes directly from the birch tree. You’ll find it in products like gum, protein bars, and toothpaste. Since it is a sugar alcohol, if you are a diabetic, this is a sweetener to avoid, as it raises blood sugar.
Maple Syrup – Grade A and Grade B maple syrup are single-ingredient pure extracts from the maple tree. Similar to honey, maple syrup is not suitable for anyone who has diabetes due to the sugar content and high glycemic ranking.
When buying any of these products, make sure to look at the ingredient label, says nutritionist Amy Krasner. Very often companies will add processed sugars to their ingredients. While these natural sweeteners are healthy upgrades for processed and artificial sweeteners, it is still important to keep your added sugar intake to a minimum. Instead, focus on incorporating sweet vegetables into your diet (sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, etc.) and small amounts of fruit. Without a conscious effort to keep your sugar intake low, you’ll be surprised how quickly your total daily sugar intake can add up.
It is common knowledge that worry can lead to many negative consequences. Here are a few quick quotes about worry that helps to paint the picture.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
“According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy.” ― Deepak Chopra, Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles
“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Trying to Predict the Future
Few things are as unpleasant as worrying. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even physically ill. Author Emily Holland describes how worrying about the future literally creates a physical and emotional reaction about something that has yet to occur. Is the following situation familiar? You are unsure how a particular situation will unfold, which is anxiety provoking in itself since your brain can crave the security that comes with certainty, so you desperately attempt to fill in the gap.
The Side Effects of Worrying
These patterns and habits are often so hard-wired within you (as a result of genetics, environment, or both) that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Worrying about the future becomes habitual and brings all of its unpleasant side effects with it. These effects can become more pronounced over time until, eventually, they become too distressing to ignore.
Worrying too much can affect both mind and body in a variety of ways such as:
• Disrupted sleep
• Difficulty concentrating
• Muscle tension
• Elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
• Difficulty making decisions
When worrying starts to feel like it’s harming you instead of helping, it may be time to take notice. Eliminating worry from your life altogether is nearly impossible, not to mention unnecessary since worry can be helpful in motivating you to prepare for a test or work project, for example. The key is to strike the proper balance between worry and ease. Excessive worrying may also signify an anxiety disorder that is characterized by significant worry about future events and fear. If your worry stays at high levels, consider a visit to a healthcare professional to discuss alternative approaches to coping with your worry.
Breaking the Pattern
While focusing on the problem can cause worry, you may fear that by not coming up with a solution, you’re laying the groundwork for anxiety. You might be thinking, “If only I could come up with a solution then I could finally relax. Much of anxiety stems from fear, occupying a great deal of Lower Mental Energy. While intended to warn you of possible trouble ahead, it instead becomes a breeding ground for fear, that can spiral and build upon itself. I believe that most worrying is simply an outcropping of fear. It can be hard to turn that off.
Network Care, along with other techniques, can greatly impact the release of stored energy, including fear patterns. By releasing stored stress energy, the Upper Mind can take back some of what is lost to the Lower Mind. Seek Network Care if you truly wish to shift your frequency and your mental patterns.
Be More Mindful
When you practice Mindfulness, you become increasingly better at recognizing thought patterns, including those that do you a disservice.
• Take a few moments each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath.
• Observe your thoughts without engaging them.
• If your mind begins to wander, bring your attention back to your breath.
Whatever your approach, you’re not alone—everybody worries to some extent—what’s important is that you don’t let your worries overtake you.
Breath is the source of prana, or life force, and among the most basic of all human functions. Breathing consists of two phases: inhalation and exhalation. When you inhale, the diaphragm—a dome-shaped muscle separating the lungs from the abdominal cavity—contracts. This allows your lungs to expand and fill with air. On the exhale, the diaphragm returns to its normal position, air is expelled, and the lungs shrink back to their original shape.
The respiratory center of the brain stem involuntarily controls your breathing without your having to think about it. Although breathing is an automatic and often mindless process, its implications for your well-being are profound.
Breath and the Nervous System
When the body is relaxed, breathing is typically long, smooth, and slow. You may notice that your jaw loosens, shoulders relax, and stomach rises and falls with each breath. This state is governed by the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows your heart rate and stimulates digestion. The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with a rest-and-digest state of being. When your body is at rest, it directs energy toward necessary functions such as sleep and fat burning.
Inversely, rapid breathing is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, which makes your heart beat faster and increases your blood pressure. This is the fight-or-flight center of the body. Think of a time when you have been afraid. You may have felt your chest tighten, and breath becoming shallow and rapid—centered in your chest. You may notice this type of shallow breathing with some conditions such as chronic stress or heart disease, pneumonia, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Stress, and more specifically the storage of stress energy held in our bodies, produces a diminished breathing pattern. Over time, this can be particularly problematic. Network Care, and its partner work of Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) are modern techniques that assist the body to release detrimental patterns. We are now able to integrate the science of western medicine with the wisdom of the ancient eastern medicine. Speak with me to learn more about this. You can breathe much easier with just a little practice.
With warmer weather and longer days of sunlight, new energy is afoot. Cleaning the house or garage, shifting to more outdoor activities, and a change in diet are part of natural rhythms that we lean into.
According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, spring is the cleansing season. The same way that you spring clean your home, this is a great time of year to cleanse the toxins from your body. While there are many cleanse programs available, there are more subtle and gentle techniques that you can use to support your body in getting rid of toxins.
Why should you consider incorporating cleansing techniques in your life?
Your body is an incredible organism that has a natural built-in filtration system to help you get rid of toxins, the harmful substances that have a negative impact on your health. The primary organ that helps to process excess toxins is your liver. Your liver is a powerful built-in filter for toxins, but it’s worth noting that you are exposed to more toxins than any previous generation. This influx of toxins comes from pollution in the air and water, toxic ingredients in beauty care and household cleaning products, electric and magnetic fields from technology, and more.
Some common symptoms of an excess toxic load in your body include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, back pain, and even skin conditions.
Here are five gentle spring cleansing techniques that will help to take the burden off your liver so that your body will continue to get rid of toxins effectively and efficiently.
1. Dry Skin Brushing
Dry skin brushing specifically helps to activate the lymphatic system that resides directly underneath your skin. You can think of the lymphatic system as the stream that helps to get rid of toxins. When you activate your lymphatic system, it helps move toxins more efficiently through your body.
This cleansing practice is best done before you get into the shower. To get started, you’ll need to buy a dry skin brush or glove (look in your local health food store or online). Skin is the body’s largest organ. As you can release toxins through your skin, this exfoliation method also supports healthy detoxification through your skin.
2. Breath Work
There are many breath work techniques that can help to release toxins from your body. One breathing technique that I highly recommend is called SomatoRespiratoryIntegration (SRI). This activity will not only improve your mind-body connection, but it will help clear toxins from your lungs and respiratory system. I offer classes on this each month, so check it out.
3. More Greens
Increasing the amount of green vegetables in your diet is a great place to start. The concentrated vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (such as polyphenols, terpenes, and organic acids) that are found in a complex greens powder are another helpful supplement for gently opening up detoxification pathways and supporting liver cleansing. Most greens powders contain sea algae such as chlorella and spirulina, which are phytoplankton from the ocean that have antioxidant effects in the body. Chlorella is rich in chlorophyll, which assists in heavy metal and pesticide detoxification. Add one scoop of greens powder to a cup of water or a smoothie. Drink your greens powder either in the morning or mid-afternoon as a gentle way to boost your energy levels.
4. Light & Salt
Get some sunlight. We need a minimum of 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day. Of course, don’t overexpose. Additionally, an infrared sauna helps to increase your blood circulation and stimulate your sweat glands to help get rid of toxins. They also heat the body from the inside out, raising your core temperature and driving toxins and heavy metals out of the largest organ in your body—your skin.
Salt has amazing properties to balance the ions in our bodies. Zagorska Oasis in Ashland offers locals (Jackson County) free salt cave sessions on Tuesdays, walk-in’s welcomed. They also offer 20% off services to locals on Tuesdays. People can call the spa at 541.810.8877 or book online at www.ZagorskaOasis.com
There are many different ways to support your body’s detoxification process. These gentle cleansing techniques help maintain your health and prevent disease. “Gently” press the reset button and start experiencing the many healing benefits of cleansing toxins from your body this spring!
5, Network Care
Network Spinal Care is renowned for its employment of light touches to assist the body with scanning and releasing stored stress. There is no other technology like it on the planet. Find out more how you can change your life!
It’s been 350 years since Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens, the illustrious inventor of the pendulum clock, noticed that no matter how his oscillating masterpieces started, within 30 minutes they would always end up swinging the opposite direction to each other if mounted on the same beam.
Since then, scientists have been experimenting with two pendulum clocks hanging from the same beam, and while the conclusion was that forces exerted on this moveable beam were causing the syncing action, no one could agree on how this actually works. Recently a new breakthrough has been reported.
Using these perfectly strung pendulums, Oliveira and Melo calculated that the speed of their swings corresponded to the cycles of the sound pulses they produced, which travelled through the wall from clock to clock. “We could … verify that the energy transfer is through a sound pulse,” Melo told the AFP.
“The two clocks interact, giving two ‘kicks,’ one in one direction and another one in the opposite direction,” Oliveira told David Freeman at The Huffington Post. “Only when the clocks are at phase opposition the effects of the perturbation cancel,” he said, which causes the pendulums to swing in opposite directions.
The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The team says this isn’t just an explanation for a centuries-old mystery – understanding how “very small interactions can add up, and in the end, synchronize very large systems” can have huge implications in everything from economics and electronics to the biology of how cells sync up to produce a heartbeat.
A session of Network Care is commonly referred to as an “entrainment.” The concept, similar to the synchronizing of pendulums, is applied to creating efficiencies in the energy systems of the body. The goal is to create cohesiveness, or oneness, within the person. This recent research again points out the tonal implications of how the nervous system communicates within the human body. This gives us greater insight into the healing process.
5 Morning Habits to Start Your Day Off Right
By Dr. Luke Schmelzle
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Does your day start out rushed, with a mad frenzy, or does it have a relaxed rhythm that carries over into the day? The tone of your morning will determine the tone of your day, so it’s time to start planning accordingly.
The habits you cultivate in the morning influence how you feel, act, and think during the rest of your day. Here are 5 simple habits that you can add into your morning routine now, to ensure that you are at your best.
1. Stay Unplugged
Starting the day by checking your phone for messages, social media or work email immediately cultivates a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one. Instead, remain detached from technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with greater presence.
2. Practice Gratitude
Smiling and vocalizing gratitude signals your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin), which lift your mood, relax your body, and lower your heart rate. There is a growing body of research pointing out the physiological benefits of gratitude, laughter, and positive comments.
A few minutes of meditation/prayer can make a tremendous difference in your life. It connects you to a greater sense of power and purpose. It allows you to set the tone of your intentions for the day’s activities. It helps you to be more open to handle the unexpected. Create a dedicated space and time for this vital activity.
Whether it’s a simple yoga routine, a brisk walk with your pet, a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups, or hitting the gym, you cannot go wrong with movement in the morning. “Motion is lotion.”
5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve most likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Take the time to eat a meal that is healthy and tasty. You will start the day with a high level of energy and vitality. Begin each day with a great start!
Your body, and indeed every living thing on the planet, is endowed with an inner wisdom that directs every cell, whether waking or sleeping. Each breath you take, every beat of your heart, and the growth of each new hair follicle are examples of this inner intelligence at work. You were simply born with this wisdom or intelligence and it directs you.
There is a significant difference between thriving and surviving. Surviving means, “to continue to live or exist,” while thrive can be defined as “to grow or develop well, to prosper or to flourish.”
How come, when so many of us claim to have a goal of thriving, the majority of us are still just surviving?