Corona Virus Protection
The price of health is simply healthful living. There are many actions that one can choose to take in an attempt to achieve optimum health. This is a brief summary of the actions, that in our experience, really matter.
The body works like an orchestra nothing works in isolation. A high-fibre MACROVegan diet will create significant differences among gut bacteria, immune system cells, and reactions to food compared to a low-fibre diet. Working on the microbiome to strengthen the immune system is the way forward. Consuming lots of fibre keeps healthy bacteria in the gut happy, which in turn helps keep the lining of the gut happy and healthy, which in turn will reduce the inflammation in the body.
Helpful gut bacteria (bifidobacterium) reduces the risk of many diseases, so you see, one thing is related to another. The gut is our second brain so cognitive health is paramount to our good gut flora.
Please share this video and my last blog with family, friends and colleague. We must keep educating and sharing what we know that will assist many.
The fact that we have the power to promote our own health, simply by choosing the right fuel for our species: whole, plant-based food is a gift. By choosing food for our own health, we are also laying the groundwork of hope for the health of our ecosystem that sustains all life on Earth. The beautiful equilibrium that results from all creatures following nature's guidelines in everything that they do brings much needed harmony to our own ecosystem, our gut bacteria and the rest of the microbiome on the skin.
How do we create harmony within our ecosystem? Firstly, we must stop throwing gasoline on the fire and allow the body to work its magic. As a proponent of a wholefood plant based vegan diet ALL animal products, excess oils, and processed foods must be eliminated from your diet. Plants will build a robust immune system. Follow my principles in my latest book Go Vegan and create a life of health and longevity.
In good health
Put A Spring In Your Step
Never in modern history has there been such an interest in food and at the same time, such a lack of confidence in the basic quality of food. The only thing that has ever made sense to me is to let nature set us an example by showing us how to work with the extremes of the seasons. Eating locally grown foods is what keeps me strong and healthy. We are part of our environment and not separate from it.
Today, health is an increasing concern for people around the globe. The rise of chronic illnesses affects not only individuals and families, but also society as a whole. Please also read my blog post on how to protect yourself from the Corona Virus and share this information with family friends and colleagues. Approaches that translate the idioms and vocabulary of Oriental medicine into everyday language are rare. However, living with the seasons is such a simple philosophy and easily understood by everyone and the rewards are plentiful. This simple way of living is what I have taught for decades.
By following my recommendations in my latest book Go Vegan, many of my clients and students constantly tell me that once again they have come through winter with no colds, flu, sore throats or chest infections. When we make peace with nature, it makes peace with us. Need I say more? Keeping our immune systems strong with the nourishing food we eat allows us to live our lives to our full potential. When we constantly discharge the excess from our bodies it rewards us with good health. Spring is the perfect season to discharge the heavier fats of winter that many people over-indulge in.
Longer days, rising temperatures, daffodils and plants coming to life and new buds on the trees and bushes is an indication that spring has arrived. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) It is a time of new growth and seeing nature’s energy rising. The main theme of my ChiBall Yoga class is meridian related paying special attention to the liver and gallbladder meridians. Spring is the ideal time to cleanse (not only your home) but your body.
Seeing the rising energy outside motivates us to exercise as does revealing more ‘flesh’ in the encroaching season of summer. It is an ideal time to start a fitness campaign, boosting our metabolism and complimentary exercise classes would be low impact with intensity work. Outside power walking is a great way to give your metabolism a boost and help remove any winter pounds you may have gathered around the middle during the months that the kidneys required for more heat. My ChiBall Yoga class will be focused on stretching the liver and gallbladder meridians.
When you rise in the morning it is important to hydrate your cells with water. We lose approximately half a cup of water each night when we sleep. The cells need hydrated when we awaken to start a new day. I suggest to all my students and clients they embrace my format of drinking two glasses of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Avoid drinking whilst eating as it dilutes the digestive enzymes. We produce less hydrocrolic acid as we age so we must support our stomach by hydrating before eating otherwise the body leaches water from other areas. When we are born, we are like juicy plums, as we age, we can resemble a dried-up prune. It’s important to nourish the yin fluids for slowing the ageing process.
It’s crucial to remember that the brain is 80% water so you will feel more alert when you give the body what it needs. This is a wonderful way to clean out your liver which is the main organ responsible for processing toxins that enter your system. Your liver gets tired. If you are eating heavy foods and drinking more alcohol than usual, your liver will start to get overburdened and you may experience: sluggishness, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, indigestion, depression, irregular menstruation, headaches, fits of anger, tense muscles, and believe it or not, many more symptoms than those I just mentioned! Our liver seriously is the governor of our health.
Fruit and vegetables in season, sunflower, sesame seeds, vegetable soups, green soups, your body will love the antioxidants and chlorophyll which is the life blood of the plant. Eat wholegrain brown rice, as well as lighter wholegrain like bulgur, and quinoa salads with loads of spring greens, fresh herbs. Keep up with your morning porridge made from short grain brown rice as Spring days can swing back and forth between warm and cold.
Having miso soup daily has a very alkalizing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant levels of vitamin E, amino acids, saponin and lipofuscin gives it anti-ageing properties. Miso’s natural fermentation process creates a combination of enzymes that strengthen and nourish the intestinal tract. As a result, the blood that nourishes the balance of the body is much stronger. The quality of our blood creates the people we are, and the health we possess. Make this basic miso soup a daily staple as I do. It encompasses the use of sea vegetables to mineralize the blood and a variety of fresh vegetables. The balance of these ingredients creates a strengthening energy vital to life.
Green lentil soup with a crisp tempeh sandwich made on sourdough bread on the side is a perfect plate for spring. Using rocket, sauerkraut and some vegan mayonnaise to make a delicious sandwich is one of my husband Bill’s favourites.
Eat foods as near to their natural state as possible. This is the time to sprout seeds in abundance, particularly mung beans which aid in cleansing the liver. As always, sea vegetables should be a part of your daily diet using wakame in miso broth or making my favourite lemon scented arame sauté. As always, use kombu seaweed as the base for soup stocks and use a small piece when cooking beans to help make them more digestible.
Dairy – (milk, butter, yoghurt, cheese), all meat including fish, eggs, sugar (sweets, cakes and puddings), white rice, white bread, processed ready-made meals
Barley Grass being a green food is the most perfect addition to your spring diet, it’s the best I know of as it delivers enzymes which helps to aid in absorption of your food. Chewing well is of paramount importance. I cannot stress this enough. When most clients I see with digestive problems relearn the ‘art’ of chewing many of their problems disappear. It’s good to remind ourselves that our stomach has no teeth.
Thinking as always about disease prevention and keeping your insides sparkling clean particularly at this time of year (liver) will put a ‘spring’ in your step. If we adhere to what nature is showing us about regeneration and take that on-board internally, I guarantee you that your energy will soar to new heights. It is unnecessary to do ‘hard-core’ liver cleanses if you constantly discharge the excess. Many liver cleanses that I see come and go year after year, decade after decade are way too harsh on the liver. Our health is priceless so invest in your own health and connect with the vital energy within.
Drink Your Greens
Marlene’s Garden in a Glass
Every morning during the first 21 days of spring I make myself a ‘green juice’. Green juices, made from a variety of green vegetables have a rejuvenating effect on the body because they are rich in chlorophyll (the life blood of the plant), which helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells, detoxify the body and provide fast energy. Green juice is the perfect fuel for your body.
Its high-water content means it is easily assimilated and it contains the whole vegetable except for the fibre, which is the indigestible part of the plant.
Green juice therefore provides all the healthful ingredients in a form that is easy to absorb and digest. Here is just one option, feel free to experiment with your own ideas –
4 celery stalks
1 fennel stalk
Some spinach leaves
A tiny piece of root ginger, peeled
A few sprigs of parsley
A handful of alfalfa sprouts
Put all the ingredients through a juicer and add the alfalfa sprouts before drinking.
You could also add one teaspoon of barley grass.
Step Into Spring with Marlene’s Sprouted Mung Beans
A Note on This Miraculous Cleansing Food:
Mung beans are originally from India but long ago became a part of Chinese cuisine and medicine. This is a cleansing food which falls into Chinese medicine traditions. Mung beans are cooling, sweet, beneficial to the liver and gallbladder, and nourish yin (the fluids of the body). Usually, mung beans are used in the summertime to cool hot conditions and keep the body regulated, but they can also be used to cool hot conditions or liver-related toxicity during other times of the year. As we still may have cold days in the spring, the best way to use mung beans is in soups or by sprouting them. Leave the mung bean juice for summer- time. Cold foods and raw foods in the colder weather can overburden your digestive system.
To sprout mung beans - Cover the bottom of a sprouting tray with one single layer of seed. Rinse twice a day a day. Ready to eat in 4-6 days. It’s that easy. I love to eat them by the handful and add them to all my soups and salads.
Flavour The Seasons with Marlene
Here is a very simple, quick and easy light dish to put together.
Spring Quinoa Salad with Zesty lemon dressing
1 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 apple, peeled and chopped
2 cups fresh salad greens, rucola, arugula
¼ cup chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup pitted black or green olives, sliced
½ cup sprouted mung beans
Wash the quinoa and drain. Bring the water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa and bring the water back to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low so that the contents simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, 12-15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the quinoa to cool, covered for 15 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the lemon dressing over the salad and stir in. Allow the salad to sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop before serving
Zesty Lemon Dressing
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Zest of half a lemon
Mix the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Stir in the lemon zest. Serve over spring quinoa salad.
Marlene’s Spring Tonic Tea
Daikon, Shitake and Kombu Drink
Helps to de-stress, unwind and leave you feeling soothed yet uplifted. This is a wonderful spring tonic as it helps the liver to open up and discharge smoothly. Good for relaxing the body. This tea will give a little push in the weight loss direction too.
1 dried shiitake mushroom
½ cup dried daikon
1 x inch strip Kombu seaweed
3 cups spring water
Place the shitake, dried daikon and Kombu in a small pot and then cover with the water. Leave to soak for about 30 minutes. Slice the shitake, discard the stem and place the shiitake back into the pot. Cover and bring to a boil on a medium flame. Reduce the flame and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove and discard the ingredients. Drink the tea whilst hot.
Note: you can also add half cup of leafy green vegetables such as kale, cabbage or watercress and make this a light cleansing soup. Add the chopped leafy greens at the end and simmer for a further 2 or 3minutes.
Start sprouting your seeds, not only mung beans, but lentils, alfalfa, broccoli and chickpeas.
No ice with the water. Drink your water as close to room temperature as possible. Try dry skin brushing before having a shower, it is wonderful, you will have skin so smooth and at the same time remove any build-up of mucus. This is a wonderful way to stimulate and cleanse the lymphatic system which is part of the immune system.
How to Keep in Balance
Alleviate stress by exercising regularly and making time to take enough rest and relaxation.
Try and not hold on to anger (the corresponding emotion for imbalance in the liver).
Remain in control, focus on your breathing exercises that you have learned in yoga.
Have a healthy and enjoyable spring clean and keep smiling.
Remember it takes 42 muscles to frown ONLY 4 to smile!
In good health