Category Archives: energy

A Light at the End of the Migraine Tunnel

As much as you can eat healthy, it’s also important to remember to drink healthy, too. Tea is very healing.
~Kristin Chenoweth

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Do you ever experience headaches or migraines? Are you ready for a whole health approach to healing? If you’ve ever experienced migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. While the conventional approach to health focuses on eliminating pain, wholistic methods view the body as an interconnected whole that can be healed on many different levels. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the macrobiotic approach to healing migraines and provide wholistic alternatives to conventional pain relieving treatments.

In the Asian concept of the human body, there is an energy system, the life force or chi, which allows organs to communicate with each other to nourish or control the activity of other organs. This energy system connects organs through energy channels called meridians, which can become blocked or damaged through congestion or over activity. Blocked or disruptive energy can cause problems in organs, such as the brain, resulting in migraines or headaches.

Asian cultures have used healing brews for thousands of years to help relieve migraine pain on an energetic level. Let’s explore this wholistic perspective to relieving migraines with these three healing teas:

1. Ume Sho Kuzu Tea

Migraines may be caused by excess consumption of strong expansive foods, like sugar, alcohol, and fruit. These foods have upward rising energy which are attracted to the front (cognitive) and left (intellectual) side of the head, creating instability in areas that are usually more grounded. This healing beverage helps relieve pain in these areas by grounding and stabilizing the upward expansive energy.

1 teaspoon kuzu root starch
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 to 1 umeboshi plum (salted pickled plum), chopped
1/2 teaspoon shoyu soy sauce

  1. Dissolve kuzu in 1 1/4 cup cold water. Pour liquid into a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly to prevent clumping.
  2. Turn down flame and simmer until liquid becomes translucent (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add umeboshi plum and shoyu.
  4. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

2. Apple Kuzu Tea

Strong contracting foods, like meat or salt, are attracted to the rear, center (primitive), and right (intuitive) side of the brain. Over consumption of foods with downward contracting energy can disrupt the normal flow of energy in these areas. The upward expanding energy in Apple Kuzu Tea helps relieve headaches in these areas by balancing the inward, contracting forces.

1 teaspoon kuzu root starch
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup apple juice

  1. Dissolve kuzu in 1 1/4 cup cold water.
  2. Add apple juice.
  3. Pour liquid into a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly to prevent clumping.
  4. Turn down flame and simmer until liquid becomes translucent (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and serve.

3. Dried Daikon Shiitake Tea

Excess consumption of greasy oily foods, such as potato chips, fries, or nuts, blocks the natural upward movement of liver energy. When liver energy becomes stagnated, migraines can occur on the sides of the brain. Dissolving oil in the body with Japanese daikon radish and shiitake mushroom can help relieve pain in these areas.

1/2 cup dried daikon
1 shiitake mushroom, soaked and then sliced (save soaking water)
2 1/2 cups water (including soaking water)

  1. Add dried daikon, shiitake, and water to a saucepan. Bring to boil.
  2. Lower flame and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Strain. Remove from heat and serve.

Remember that pain can be a healing messenger, indicating where there are blockages of energy flow in the body. Understanding how to clear areas of stagnation with wholistic remedies can help relieve pain and bring your body back to its natural state of harmony.

Three Steps to Becoming a Better Cook

Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.
~Chef Marcel Boulestin

mid section view of a woman cutting vegetables

Have you started making healthy food choices, but are confused about how to cook these new foods? Are you wondering how to pull it all together? If you’ve started along a life-enhancing path, you may have some questions about how to cook wholesome, delicious meals for your family. In this article, we’ll explore ways to overcome your concerns about cooking.

Now that you’ve embarked on a healthy regime, you may have some “challenges” around preparing meals. To help you become a better cook, follow these three simple steps:

1. Whenever possible, use fresh organic, locally grown ingredients

A dish will go only as far as the ingredients used. Your taste buds and sense of smell will help you discern whether you are using the best ingredients. Fresh vegetables that are organic and locally grown not only taste and smell good, they also look vibrant and alive. Taking shortcuts, like using processed and imitation ingredients, make your dish look and taste artificial and lifeless. The natural approach applies to whole healing as well. Unlike processed foods, fresh ingredients have more nutrients and life force energy that help support organ function.

2. Set aside 30 minutes each day to prepare food

By setting aside half an hour each day for food preparation, you create an intention to respect the food in a more loving way. The chef’s mental and emotional states affect the outcome of the cooking process. The stress of rushing through food preparation imparts agitating energy not only to your family but also to the dish you are cooking. Cooking is a sacred activity and must be treated with loving energy. Preparing food with love sets the tone for the meal, which brings peace to whoever eats it.

 3. Make it fun

No one said you had to suffer to eat well. Here are three things you can do to make cooking fun:

  • Cook foods that you like. We all enjoy eating foods that we like, and cooking these foods makes sticking to a healthy meal plan more enjoyable.
  • Trust yourself to experiment with seasonings and herbs. When you try out new flavors, your curiosity and sense of wonder are stimulated. Like children, we can “play” with our food and come up with new flavors that enhance the dish.
  • Share your food with others. Taking pride in what you accomplish is the fuel for future endeavors. When you share your joy of cooking, you’ll feel good and will want to continue to spread the love. Also, friends who taste your dishes will ask you about the ingredients, encouraging you to develop your knowledge about the food and the cooking process.

Cooking is more than just combining ingredients together on a plate. A healthy meal is symbolic of the loving energy the chef contributes to the food. By understanding this, you can transform your meals from ho-hum to Hallelujah!

(Dave Cunningham contributed to this article.)

Three Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
~Norman Vincent Peale

It happens every year. You create a few resolutions that will hopefully get you back on track for the New Year. You follow through for a couple days, maybe even a couple of weeks. However, as time goes on, the enthusiasm fades and you’re right back where you started. How can you keep the momentum going and accomplish what you set out to do?

To initiate change and stay on your path, you must change the way you perceive your goals. Let’s take a look at the word resolution (re-solution). Resolution comes from Latin, meaning “to loosen or dissolve again,” which was the original meaning. So, it is about loosening your current perspective, transforming your old habits and thought patterns into something more productive.

Here are three tips for keeping your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Support your True Essence.

Rather than focusing on how something is going to happen, you will create actions that support your True Essence. This is the key to sustaining and spreading positive energy to help you move ahead.

When you examine your True Essence, you’ll find you are, at your deepest level, healthy, healed, whole, and complete. Learn to identify “should” behaviors that are not aligned with your core truth. “Should” behaviors are actions that you “should” be doing because of pressure from external sources, such as society, family, or friends. For example, you may go to the gym because your family wants you to be thin, yet you can’t meet this expectation. This inner conflict may trigger feelings, such as guilt or sadness. (As is often said in AA meetings, “Don’t should all over yourself.”)

When your emotions are triggered, receive three deep breaths and come back to the Present Moment. This will help you reconnect with your True Essence.

2. Change your thoughts.

In order for a change to take place, you must change your thoughts. This means discovering what your thoughts are and changing them so that you support your True Essence.

In your journal, keep track of your thoughts throughout the day. You may notice that you have thoughts about devaluing yourself, which will ultimately sabotage your progress. Next, meet yourself where you are and go a little higher. Begin with your belief and ask that your belief be raised. These are called Progressive Affirmations. For example, you may write the following:

  1. I need help remembering I am loved.
  2. I am beginning to remember I am loved.
  3. I am remembering more and more I am loved.
  4. I am seeing evidence I am loved.
  5. I am seeing more and more evidence I am loved.

3. Look for Positive Evidence.

During the day, notice positive evidence that supports your Progressive Affirmations. Make a note of what occurred that validated your affirmation. For example, if someone spoke respectfully to you, highlight it in your journal. Also, notice any positive change that takes place in your thoughts, emotions, and body. Answer these three questions in your journal:

  1. What are my thoughts?
  2. What are my feelings?
  3. What is showing up in my body? What physical sensations am I having?

For change to occur, you must look within, at the foundational thought patterns that initiate behavior. When your thoughts change, you will see your authentic self, and your outer world will be a reflection of your inner beauty.

Ready to jump start a healthy New Year?

A systemic cleansing and detox is definitely the way to go after each holiday. It is the key to fighting high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and other health-related illnesses.
~Lee Haney

Want to rev up your health after all the holiday partying and overindulgence? You may want start the new year off right by adding a few changes to your daily routine. A big lifestyle change can seem overwhelming at first. However, really simple changes to your menu plan are not hard at all and help you feel so much better about yourself and what you are doing.

If you want to revive your energy and get started on the right foot, there are a few things you can do right now. Here are three simple things you can do to rest assured you are doing a good job:

1. Rebalance with whole grains

One important benefit of eating whole grains is the high fiber content which helps your intestines stay healthy. One whole grain you can incorporate into your daily routine if you are on a time crunch is 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal every morning. Starting your day with oatmeal, like steel-cut oats, is ideal for a 24 hour bowel cycle. This will help establish a regular rhythm and rebalance your intestinal function.

2. Cleanse with vegetables

Colorful vegetables not only provide important nutrients, they also help cleanse your body of toxins. Be sure to include these three vegetable categories:

  • Dark greens, like kale chips, are important in your diet for necessary minerals. They also have upward, rising energy which cleanses the liver, helping you feel vibrant and refreshed.
  • Sweet vegetables, like carrots, onion, and parsnip, provide natural sweetness to help curb sugar cravings. These vegetables stabilize blood sugar levels and support spleen and pancreas function.
  • Seasonal vegetables, like winter squash, have the perfect energy you need to harmonize with nature. Eating foods cooked according to the seasons helps you adjust to your environment for a stronger immune system to resist diseases like cancer.

Including one cup of vegetables from each category to your daily regime can help stimulate digestion and cleanse your system.

3. Ground yourself with beans

Low fat, high fiber beans are ideal for maintaining body weight while strengthening intestinal function. Switching from animal protein to vegetable protein in beans helps the body cleanse fatty deposits and prevent heart disease. Beans also have grounding, stabilizing energy which counterbalances destabilizing foods like alcohol. Because long term consumption of animal protein weakens the kidneys and depletes your energy, eating one cup of beans every other day in place of animal protein can help generate more vitality.

A fresh New Year begins with a fresh new you and that means overhauling your health from the inside out. So, no matter what you have planned for your menu, include whole grains, vegetables, and beans and know that you are doing a good thing for you and your family.

Want to strengthen your immune system this winter?

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
~Edith Sitwell

Winter means snuggling up in front of a crackling fire, building snowmen on the lawn, and gathering family and friends together for a holiday meal. Imagine snowflakes falling softly, bright red berries on branches, aromatic herbs and seasonings, and warming soups and stews. Because the energy of winter slows down and turns inward, this is an ideal time to nourish your body deep inside and build up your immune system.

Seasonal cooking will help your body stay attuned to the order of the universe, becoming stronger and more resistant to illness. The key to achieving this balance is cooking according to the seasons. For example, in winter time, avoid eating cooling foods, like salads and frozen desserts. Instead, you want warming, strengthening dishes like the following recipe, which includes hardy winter greens.

Emerald Sauté with Cranberries and Pecans

This delicious side dish infuses rich flavor and color to any holiday meal. Bitter winter kale nourishes heart function and expands the heart’s capacity for love and joy. Rich in calcium and antioxidants, kale also protects against macular degeneration and osteoporosis.

Serves 4

1 bunch kale, chopped
2 teaspoons untoasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons spring water
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened
lemon juice, to taste
shoyu soy sauce, to taste

  1. In a skillet, sauté greens in oil 2 minutes.
  2. Add water. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, 2 minutes.
  3. Season with lemon juice and shoyu. Garnish with chopped pecans and dried cranberries.

Food is not just about nutrition and calories—it’s also comprised of life force energy, related to the energy of the seasons, the time day, and your moods. When you balance your inner energy with external forces through seasonal cooking, you’ll not only have a stronger immune system, but also a more balanced life.

What’s your sign?

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Want to know the secret to natural healing? You may not realize that you already have the power to heal within you. When it comes to your body, you may overlook or brush aside external signs or indicators that your body is out of alignment with the natural order. Becoming more aware of your outer, as well as inner, guidance is the first step to dissolving energetic blockages to healing.

Physical indicators can be important clues you can use for guidance or direction on your path. An indicator or sign is something that shows what your current conditions are, where you are going, and how far you are from the goal. Highway signs, for example, tell you the distance yet to be traveled to reach a certain city. In your body, indicators appear as energetic balances (such as relaxation) or imbalances (such as tension) of physical health.

One way to reach your goal of a healthy body is to use physical indicators as guidance. When you are receiving guidance from your body, you will notice:

  • Your body will have a feeling of relaxation.
  • Your body will feel more energetic.
  • Your skin will be soft and elastic.
  • Your eyes will be bright and clear.
  • You will have a smile on your face.
  • You will look and feel younger.

Disease is a messenger that can help guide you to better health. Guidance, or physical indicators, that can show you where energy is blocked in your body may include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Tension in the body
  • Physical illness
  • Deficient energy or stamina
  • Bloating or swelling
  • Discolorations on the skin
  • Pain

Intuition, often called “the still small voice within,” is an ever present and trustworthy source of power, security, and comfort. What signs are you receiving? The following exercises can help you become more aware of your body’s wisdom and allow energy to flow:

  1. Close your eyes. Slowly scan your body for areas of tightness (tension, tiredness, pain, etc.).
  2. These areas of tension are guidance. What is this tension telling you?
  3. Ask yourself: “What do I truly want, in my heart, and how do I perceive it will bring me happiness and peace?”
  4. Breathe deeply and open your heart to receiving this message.
  5. Bless this message. Tell the tension that it is heard and that you are there with it.
  6. Describe any changes in your body after receiving guidance.

Use these exercises regularly to help you embrace your body’s wisdom. The best times to do them are when you are less active, such as during rest, upon waking, and just before sleeping. Preventing illness before it manifests by listening to your body’s guidance is the key to a life of freedom, happiness, and peace.

Want an everlasting love?

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
~Virginia Woolf

Ready to embrace a “whole health” approach to your relationships? When you eat high quality foods and develop inner wisdom for optimal health and wholeness, your authentic self naturally shines through. As a result, your relationships become deeper and more intimate.

Incorporating whole foods into your diet can help to naturally boost energy, increase pleasure, and strengthen loving relationships. Here are three ways whole foods can impact your long-term relationships:

1. Whole foods nourish whole people.

Whole foods contain the all vital energy of the plant, which nourishes all levels of mind, body, and spirit. Eating organic, seasonal, locally grown vegetables and whole grains brings our bodies back into harmony with nature and its rhythms. For the best spectrum of vitamins and minerals, include a variety of vegetables in your meal plan and remember to eat the whole vegetable, including the ends and tips. This allows the energy of the entire plant to nourish your whole being – body, mind, and spirit.

2. You’re increasing energy flow to your organs.

When you eat seasonal, locally grown whole foods, you nourish and open up energy pathways in the body, which brings all organs, including your heart, back into harmony with the rhythms of nature. When your heart becomes open in a more loving way, your relationships become deeper and more intimate as well.

3. You’re building up strengthening energy in your reproductive organs.

Consider this – the more you increase energy flow to your kidneys and reproductive organs, the more strengthening energy accumulates in these organs. Now, when your reproductive organs are stronger, your overall energy and sexual vitality increases. When you’re feeling more energy and vitality, you are able to contribute to and experience the intimacy you really want.

Whole foods contain the vitality of life that contributes to health on all levels– body, mind, spirit, emotions, and relationships. A whole health regime can help reignite the spark of joy in your relationships through the natural energies of whole foods, creating deeper, more intimate relationships.

Cooking According to the Seasons: A Tantric Perspective

If you cannot face directly your sexuality, you will never discover your true spirituality. ~White Tigress Manual

Yoga is suppression with awareness; tantra is indulgence with awareness.
~Osho

The root word “tantra” means “to stretch or continue without break,” or to create a sacred union with universal energy. By cooking according to the seasons, you revitalize your sex life by attaining that subtle balance of nutrients and energies that nourish you, body and spirit, and connect you with the natural world.

Here are three ways cooking nourishes your connection with Nature:

1.  Cooking connects you with the present moment.

Ancient Tantric practitioners reached the highest union through sex by embracing the present moment through their senses. You also learn to cultivate your connection with the present moment by cooking according to the seasons.

2. Cooking awakens your intuition.

Cooking according to the seasons helps you strengthen your connection with nature and universal forces. These universal forces are also known as intuition or inner guidance. Through cooking, you connect with your senses, which are a profound resource for awakening your intuition to heal from the inside out.

3. Food preparation is a sacred ritual.

You use your loving intention (guided by intuition) to improve the quality of food. This healing food removes blockages in the energy flow through the body. Benefits include:

  • Improved sexual health
  • Greater emotional stability
  • Radiant complexion
  • Higher levels of immunity
  • Fewer doctor trips
  • More abundant joy!

How do I love thee?

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
~Thomas Carlyle

Do all things with love.
~Og Mandino

Want to find love fast and keep love forever? Because expressions of love and gratitude are so important in a long term relationship, one way to jump start your love life is by reconnecting with Love. Preparing food from your heart is an ideal way to connect with loving energy, so the best time to do this is when you are washing your whole grains. To enhance your connection with Love, remember to open up your heart to joyful experiences.

The process of washing brown rice is an ideal opportunity to harmonize with Nature and revitalize loving energy. The more you cultivate Love, the more you will experience it. The love you add to your food is the secret ingredient to a long lasting, loving relationship.


Learn how to wash brown rice in this video. As you caress the grains of rice, feel love and gratitude for your food. Take a few moments to do these exercises to help you notice a shift in your energy:

  1. What sensations do you notice in your body? Is there tightness in your shoulder muscles? Or are you relaxed and at ease?
  2. What emotions are coming up for you? Are you feeling fearful or anxious? Or do you feel peaceful and loving?
  3. What thoughts are you having? Are you distracted by the past? Or are you focused on the present moment?

Remember, Love attracts Love. So, the more you express love and gratitude, the more your relationship will evolve into a deeper, richer experience, even an exciting eternal love affair.

Healthy Relationship Tip

In some languages, the word love can be expressed in many ways. For example, in Greek, there are many words for different kinds of love:

  • Eros means “passionate, romantic love” with sensuous longing, such as in dating or marriage.
  • Philia means “friendship” between family or friends.
  • Agapē means “love” in reference to general affection, such as for a good meal, one’s offspring, or one’s spouse.
  • Storge means “natural affection” used exclusively for one’s children or family.
  • Thelema means “desire,” such as to be occupied with something.

Love is the universal language that transcends time. So, to find love fast and keep love forever, start by finding how many ways you can say “I love you” to your Beloved.

Want to rekindle your relationship?

“In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.”
~Erich Fromm

Wondering how to rekindle your relationship and spark your physical connection? Ready to try something new? It’s time to think about what you’re eating and how it affects your libido, hormones, and sex drive. There are five diets you should avoid if you want to rediscover more magic in the bedroom.

Contrary to popular belief, simply taking pills or undergoing costly surgery for a quick fix is not the answer to regaining youthful sexual energy. In fact, pills and surgery can actually weaken your kidneys and reproductive organs, depleting your sex drive. The most reliable long-term solution for a healthy libido is adhering to a macrobiotic diet and avoiding the foods that cool down your libido.

Not only is it important to choose nutritious organic whole grains and vegetables, they must also be balanced energetically. To strengthen your reproductive organs and boost sexual energy, avoid these five diets at all costs:

1. Raw Foods

Today, the raw food movement is very popular. Raw foods, like fruits, salads, and smoothies, are cleansing and cooling to the body, and refreshing in hot weather. However, if eaten long term, they can put out your “digestive fire” and disperse internal warmth. Soups and stews cooked over a flame warm you from the inside out, especially in the winter, fueling the internal fires of passion, libido, and creativity.

2. Vegan Diets

Many people believe that avoiding meat is the answer to health and long life, but it doesn’t do much for your sex drive. A vegan diet can even be ungrounded and destabilizing, if you include sugar, processed food, or poor quality fats. An all-vegetable diet has cooling properties, which can be refreshing in hot weather, but its cleansing properties can deplete your body over the long term. Depending on your condition, including warming foods, such as fish once a week, can help balance the cooling quality of vegetables.

3. Atkins-like Diets

Although the warming quality of meat helps to balance the cooling energy of vegetable ingredients, over consumption of meat—such as with diets based on the Atkins or “Cave Man” model—can cause serious health problems. Because it stimulates the adrenal glands, meat brings a jolt to the kidneys, which can weaken the reproductive organs over time and gradually lower your sex drive. A meat-centric diet can also clog your arteries and lead to impotence.

4. Lacto-ovo Vegetarian Foods

If you avoid meat but eat a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, you’ll find that dairy and eggs can create mucous congestion in the reproductive organs. Heavy, high-fat dairy products may also lead to weight gain or obesity, which can cause reduced sex drive.

5. Yogic/Ayurvedic Diets

An Ayurvedic diet was traditionally used by yogis for meditation and to suppress sexuality. High in cooling foods, it focuses heavily on dairy products, spices, and tropical fruits. While this diet is good for those who live in tropical countries, it’s too extreme for temperate climates and can weaken sexual function.

A healthy diet not only helps to cleanse the body, it also revitalizes all of your organs and creates greater sexual energy and vibrancy. A macrobiotic diet of cooked whole grains, vegetables, and a little fish is the perfect regime to strengthen reproductive organs while warming the body from the inside out.

Healthy Relationship Tip

Redefine the word friend. A friend is literally a lover, as the root of the word friend comes from Old English, meaning to love. Even in Latin and Greek, the word for friend and I love are related. So, the next time you call someone your friend, remember that he or she is also your Beloved.

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