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Heard about charcoal water yet? It’s one of the big health items – detox drinks - for 2017.

While at my wholefoods store recently I decided to buy some to see what it was like. I had not bothered to research it at this point, as I’ll try most things once anyway, and thought it would also make a nice surprise for my partner Luisa. (As an aside, I text said partner about the surprise knowing she likes the anticipatory excitement! I leave out the specifics and later discover she was thinking ‘hmmm, a yummy treat!’)

This simple tip (written here for winter, but applicable to some degree year round) is one of the simplest, yet most profound things you can do to protect yourself from getting sick (colds & flu's etc), to prevent that 'heavy/depressed' winter feeling & helping avoid those extra kilograms that always seem to enjoy making themselves at home at this time of year.

You might have heard me talk a lot over the years about the Ayurvedic concept of oral hygiene.

I've discussed the problems associated with using commercial mouthwashes , and how in Ayurvedic medicine it is being prescribed for thousands of years to combine this with daily tongue scraping for keeping the mouth truly clean and the teeth and gums strong and healthy.

Well now I think you're ready for the full version. It's called 'oil pulling' and not only cleans the mouth, and keeps one's teeth and gums in tip-top health, it is said to help purify the entire body and optimize the functioning of our entire physiology.

While it’s been a controversial topic for some years, a recent segment – Wi-Fried on ABC’s Catalyst program - graphically illustrated how our high use of mobile phones, Wi-Fi and other technological devices is probably not as safe as you may think. More and more evidence is now suggesting links to brain cancer and other negative health effects.

Of course, we are not going to stop using our phones and Wi-Fi in the short term so here are some tips to minimise your risk and protect your precious brain.

Just got an email from a business client recently who asked the following;

Hi Mark,

Just wondering if I can ask you a question regarding Gluten…is it really that bad for you?

Do our bodies find it hard to digest gluten even if you are not gluten intolerant?

So in that case, is it best to avoid?

My reply was as follows;

1 Minute Overview

The Paleo Diet (and other similar ones) and the general Paleo philosophy is great in terms of focusing us back on ‘real’ food (eliminating processed/junk food), minimising or avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugar, as well as for promoting good exercise. However, according to ancient, time-tested health sciences such as Ayurveda, the heavy emphasis on meat, and completely avoiding grains, dairy, and legumes is not ideal.

It’s the ignorant way we consume these foods in our modern world, not the foods themselves, that is harmful. Consume them as they were designed and we can get all the benefits of the Paleo diet, plus even more benefits.

Ayurveda comes from the ancient Vedic tradition of India1, where it has been practised for more than 6,000 years. It is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the world’s oldest continuous system of Natural health-care. In its sanskrit roots, ‘veda’, means ‘pure knowledge’ or science, and ‘ayus’ means ‘life’. So Ayurveda is understood as ‘the total knowledge or science of life’. Ayurveda is both a time-tested science, having a recorded history of thousands of years as well as containing a history of highly evolved, healthy and long-lived individuals.

On March 20, 2014 Jayson P. wrote:

Hi Mark,

I have been doing a lot of your recommendations :-). I have a question, I have very week bones by the look of things, as I sneezed a couple of days ago and fractured my ribs. Do you have any bone strengthening tips ? I am 42 this year and to young to be breaking bones from sneezing.

Cheers

MARK’S REPLY:

Hi everyone – I don’t say this often but this is one of the most important and exciting blogs I’ve written for a long time.

Imagine if there was a completely ‘natural’ (and generally ‘free’) way to get one of the world’s most powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging medicines, which evidence is starting to suggest may help everything from heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and joint pain, insomnia, auto-immune diseases, to athletic performance. Now imagine it was ‘right under your feet’! Guess what? It literally is, and now you get it under your feet while indoors!

On 12 Dec 2013 Kylie B. wrote:

Hi Mark,

I am wondering if you could suggest something to kick start my metabolism.

I am a 40 year old overweight woman working 16 hour days and looking after 4 boys (this includes my husband). I have been a yoyo dieter since I was 14 years old have always lost the weight and have always gained it again. I have recently given up my ever loved ciggies but can’t help with the weight.

I’ve touched on this here and there over the years, but as it’s finally getting a lot more recognition in the mainstream media just now, I thought to mention it again.

Basically, it’s about the absolute myth that substituting ‘polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats’ is good for us. You may be aware that many years ago scientists and food manufacturers started promoting the benefits of polyunsaturated fats (think vegetable oils in most processed foods, margarine, and the like) in the belief that saturated fats (butter, coconut oil etc) were bad for us, particularly our heart health.

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. – Joan Gussow

Today, food companies, many doctors and even some dieticians commonly recommend us to eat supposedly healthy margarine instead of evil butter. But should we listen to them?

On October 10, 2013 at 9:25 AM Alex D wrote:

Hi Mark

I was just wondering why you are a vegetarian and what do you eat to still get enough protein and fibre?
Thanks

Alex D.

MARK’S REPLY

1. Have a screensaver displaying beautiful, ‘natural’ scenery such as waterfalls, sunrises, lakes, mountain ranges etc (Viewing natural scenery is known to reduce stress and balance mind and body).

2. Simply walk outside for a minute or two and breathe in some fresh air, get some natural light [sunlight] through your eyes, and if practical, take your shoes (and socks) off and ‘earth’ yourself. (Earthing is being shown to be one of the greatest, natural rejuvenators and directly balances many of our most common health ailments).

3. Spray your eyes, preferably with the eyes open, with filtered rosewater. Keep a little spray bottle at your desk. (Rose water reduces fatigue and offsets the dryness and irritation caused by looking at computer screens for long periods).

4. Simply stand up and walk around for a minute or two. Ideally go and do something silly or funny to a work colleague to make you both laugh. Remember, ‘sitting is the new smoking’.

5. Practice palming. Vigorously rub your palms together for a 5 – 10 seconds and then with your eyes closed place your palms over your eyes and let your eyes and your mind completely relax. (This practice is known to settle the mind, calm the nervous system reduce headaches and anxiety and improve mental clarity.)

6. Dab some ‘peppermint oil’ on your neck or wrist, or depending on your work place, put a couple of drops in an oil diffuser and breathe it for 1-2 minutes. (Peppermint oil stimulates the mind to promote mental clarity and heightened brain performance.)

7. Ayurvedic Body Awareness – just sit and close your eyes for a few minutes, while letting your attention go to whichever part of your body it is naturally drawn to. If there is some tension/strain or excessive activity your mind will often be drawn to that area. Just let your awareness flow to that area and allow the tension or over excitation to dissolve or relax. This is often used in Ayurveda as a way of restoring balance to mind and body.

On October 1, 2013 at 3:13 PM Natasha S wrote

Hi Mark

I tend to agree with your article on digestion being lowest at night, and I’ve been abusing it by eating dinner sometimes at 1 am in the morning, or even after that time! Because I get caught up doing things on the computer, and I get home late at night too, between 8 pm and 9 pm. I want to change this, but am underweight at this point in my life – surely going for so many hours without food – will make me even thinner? Won’t my body start to cannibalize itself if I don’t eat for so long overnight? Besides, I get hungry pretty quickly after a light meal.

What about those who are night owls, and a bit underweight? This kind of eating might be good for those who carry a bit too much weight but so many hours without food might be detrimental for those who tend to be thin.

As I go to bed late – around midnight – I would be hungry again if I ate before 8.30 pm.

Would having a glass of goats milk kefir be all right if I was hungry before bed? I can’t sleep if I’m hungry.

Please help me with this question.

Thanks. Natasha.S

Mark’s Reply

One of the most common difficulties we encounter when trying to make more health promoting changes in our lives is actually getting started. I’ve always been thinking that I should write an article on this super important topic, but have never seem to be able to get started! LOL! Fortunately, I recently met a fantastic bloke – Luke McLean (not coincidentally he is a Hawk One supporter!). He has written a fantastic blog of his own on this topic. As such, I thought I would direct you to it here.

Where does Wellness Change Start?

On August 15, 2013 Jason C wrote:

Hi Mark

I really enjoyed listening to you talk in Fiji, you had some great ideas that I am keen to incorporate into my and my familys life.

I talked to you on Saturday night as you were leaving about my motor racing and the up coming Australian titles. I have been out of the car for 14 months after an accident, while Im not nervous about getting back in the car ( I’m super excited) I would love to hear what tips you may have for me to prepare in the lead up to the event. The weeks, days but especially the hours and minutes before the race, what is the best state to be in.

I have just downloaded your audio book via the app store and will start listening to it tonight on the way home.

Talk soon Mate- Thank you

Jason C

MARK’S Reply:

Lewis S wrote:

I would be interested to know what scientific research supports the idea that “our digestive fire, which we need to digest food, is relatively weak in the early hours of the day.” It makes sense as portrayed in your article, but so does the opposite case when presented by health and nutrition experts of that persausion.

Mark's Reply

You probably think this tip is so plainly obvious it is ridiculous to even mention it.

Basically, as we move into the colder months, the tip is that you should eat ‘warmer’ foods.

While we often try to make staying healthy complicated and confusing, staying in balance is often easier than we think.