A Zesty Healer

For those of you who are parents you will know that as one falls ill the dominos tumble down upon all, well it doesn’t have to be that way and of course it’s not, but when it does happen it’s great to have a little champion like the Zesty Healer in your corner who can help bring all the troops back to great health.

There are many useful tools one can use to embrace the common cold, however none pack a punch like the Zesty Healer, ok that’s not entirely true either, but it definitely boosts your immune system.

Please note that this drink is less about taste and more about healing and whilst taste can indeed help heal a person it is not a requirement of this concoction and yet you can take the edge of it by adding more apples or cucumber should you wish.

The curious thing about this healing elixir is this, it is only really palatable when one is not well, my son who is 5 years old and daughter who is 9 months old both have drunk this mix and it’s had its desired effect, however when well it gets rejected.

Ingredients

  • 1 Grapefruit 
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 apple
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • An inch or so of fresh ginger
  • A little less of fresh turmeric root

Method

All the ingredients simply go through a juicer, I personally use a Hurom Slow Juicer. One note remember to take the skin of the oranges and grapefruit and I used unwaxed lemons which meant I could keep the skin on them, everything else cut to size if needed and send it on through. Enjoy.

To you all in great health

Matt

Comfort – a grand disillusion 

This may take some time to digest so make yourself comfy and empty your mind.

The pursuit of happiness could just as well be called the pursuit of comfort, we could also throw in security and safety if we wanted to, but let’s keep it simple and maintain our focus on comfort or the illusion of.

It was written somewhere that we often meet our destiny on the path we take to avoid it.

That being the case, why would we avoid our destiny? Others say that one must be brave enough to first hear there calling and then more so to act upon it. One man who recently experienced success in his art was asked how he foresaw this coming of his dream, he simply replied I visualise my destiny, then I’m brave enough to speak it and when the opportunity arises I take it.

It is easy for a critic to be critical of others work, but no one remembers the critic, it’s easy to doubt and it has been written; that those who believe it’s impossible should not get in the way of those making it possible.

The common theme being painted here is simple. If it’s worth doing it’s not going to be easy and the sooner you get to grips with that then the sooner you can move from your current place of inertia and towards your destiny.

Every morning I face a battle with comfort, my bed is comfy, the warmth that a bed offers is tempting, but when I overcome those temptations I rise and go on a daily life adventure to the sea.

Today she was stormy, the sky was full of stars and a rain cloud was moving in. She crashed her waves into the sea front with speed and power and yet as I watched in a meditative state everything slowed down, you could see the rise and fall, you could see the old receding wave join the new approaching wave, you could see the single drops of water flying through the air before it rejoins the sea.

Most people these days give in to the comfort of an ordinary life missing there calling to being extraordinary, everyday a new experience is awaiting those who are willing to put comfort to one side and embrace the uncomfortable. The more you do this, the greater you connect with yourself, others and nature.

The cold sea as it embraces your naked skin sends a surge of energy through you that is almost undefinable and unmatched by comparison, but one of the main lessons is that we are stronger than we think, we can have a greater experience of life than we are currently experiencing and its this that the greats discovered, they simply went against the grain and lived, the effort became effortless, so rather than seeking comfort we arrive at comfort from the complete opposite path; it finds us.

It’s not about disregarding comfort, I wore an all purpose weather jacket to the sea this morning to help with the high winds and rain, but it is about not becoming helplessly dependant on these comforts, it’s at this point of helpless dependence that the real problems occur.

Domesticated animals by there nature are not as strong or wise as there wild oppositites, they have no need to be, but what do they loose by not being as strong or wise? It’s worth noting humans are domesticated animals, we rely on our comforts so much that in the wild most would not survive.

This is not a good place to be in and it’s each persons responsibility to re-wild themselves, that is to encourage yourself to become adaptable to all environments regardless of perceived comfort.

This is important because the human being is a remarkable entity that’s true potential is being wasted. Being a fan of potential and wellbeing the more we connect with nature the greater our potential and wellbeing becomes.

Comfort is not in and of itself a bad thing and I’m not attempting to suggest that it is. I love many creature comforts, however potential, greatness, creativity, wellbeing, vision and I could keep going are found not through the comfort you perceive, but in finding the comfort within the uncomfortable.

When you can truly relax in stressful situations you are powerful, when the situation is off Center and yet you can remain focused and calm you are stepping into your power, when you are faced with an obstacle greater than you and you can approach it with truth and grace then you are getting close to be the greatest and most authentic version of yourself.

I believe we all have an artist within us and that our creativity is stifled by our inability to be at peace with who we are and where we find ourselves, we believe that things would be better and easier if certain factors were changed in our favour, this is our desire for comfort and dreams will not be achieved from this mind space.

Change the perspective and nothing is unachievable.

Go take a 3 minute cold shower then sit down and have a hot chocolate and notice how you feel. You may feel so alive after your cold shower that you don’t want the hot chocolate anymore.

To you all in great health and comfort.

Matt

The Morning Sea Swim 

The alarm rings at 5.35am, the snooze button is the obvious reaction, the desire to cling to comfort for those extra 5 minutes surfaces.

Dressed and ready with a flask of loose leaf tea, I meet my friend Steve and his partner Susan who had prepared the most amazing hot drink consisting of cacao, mushrooms and other delights.

We head on foot to the sea front and enjoy insightful conversation and lighthearted jesting.

To sit upon the pebbles of the seafront before a calm sea in the company of friends is one of life’s treasures, to breath deeply into the experience and pause in the moment of retention and feel the vibration of life all around and within you takes you on a magical journey.

Bending the knees and sinking into the hips, moving towards my discomfort allowing my body and mind to move, to feel the pain and yet to free myself of the pain, creating a freeing feeling from within.

The body warm, the mind calm. The time has come to approach and connect with the sea.

Always excited and apprehensive in equal measure. The sea does not allow you to see the moment the pebbles become sand, nor does it allow you to know the depth you will reach before that transition, she keeps everything Unknown a mystery that lures you into the depths of your very being.

The cold embraces the skin, the concept of the cold encourages tension and resistance to this natural phenomenon. On 3 I dive beneath the sea with my eyes closed and the cold gripping my being I glide through a dark abyss of which I have no power or control over and yet a willingness to accept and connect with.

I rise from under the water to grasp the air and release my fears of the Unknown. 

I return to the breath and begin to embrace the play of the sea, this ability to relax creates an inner fire which warms the whole of my being.

The birds fly over head and the sun begins its accent to the heavens, peacefulness I am, alive I feel.

That magical drink that was made for us was divine, it ran through to the very core of my being.

Grateful I Am.

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach

Cold Training – Personal Growth & Transformation

Simply Rolling Stones – a sneak look at the potential fun side of cold training.

When we hear the word ‘COLD’ almost instantly a shiver runs down our spine and through our whole body, the knees go weak and the mind quickly comes to the conclusion, hot chocolate and a warm fire to sit by will solve this problem.

I am a fan of both of those ventures – hot chocolate and warm cozy fires that is, however I have also become a fan of Cold Training.

What is cold training? and why am I and a number of people becoming interested in what sounds like a purposeful journey into hell? Only this hell is not an inferno in fact its the complete opposite, but still a place most do not want to be and with good reason cold training is COLD brrrrrrr.

It is the journey into the unknown which scares us most and yet provides us with the greatest potential for personal growth.

Cold training can be practiced down at the sea, taking a cold shower, dipping into any body of ‘cold’ water and Ice baths. Yes people do take ice baths…

Now might be a good time for that hot chocolate…

For those who practice cold training in the sea, an opportunity to be fully immersed from head to toe in cold water (depending on which sea you go into, some are warmer than others) presents itself, for many this offers a spiritual cleansing, which can also be called a re-birthing experience and emotional healing. Why?

On most occasions you are faced with fear when entering the cold seas, fear of drowning, fear of hypothermia, fear of being dragged out into the abyss all present themselves, most of the fears like the ones mentioned are irrational and each time you confront these irrational fears you develop a new sense of self, you begin a journey of self discovery, which improves your connection with you, with others and with nature.

Through this discovery of self you also begin a journey of self-healing, which occurs largely on the emotional and spiritual self.

The more times you enter the sea the greater you begin to understand its mood, it may sound crazy, but it communicates with you, you no longer swim frantically trying to stay afloat instead you begin to glide through and with the water effortlessly and let me tell you when the sea is angry there is no forcing your way through she will win every time; instead you have to surrender, let go and trust; have faith that everything will be ok.

It is through the release of control and the surrendering of self that one truly begins to heal the wounds within…

It can be hard to motivate oneself at first to consciously go on a cold sea adventure; it is not usually the top of the to do list and we generally want really good reasons for putting ourselves into an uncomfortable and painful situation, interestingly though the first battle is not with the cold but instead a battle with the pillow, a battle with comfort, a battle with stagnation and a battle with yourself.

Here again is an opportunity for personal growth and self-healing, by overcoming our limitations and developing a strong sense of self we can achieve great personal growth in all areas of life, when you get up early – 5am early on a Winters morning and go for a swim in the cold sea then there is very little in life that you can not achieve.

The days get shorter, the temperatures get colder, on occasion I am sure I competed with the banshee; for the cold brought out a roar from deep within, but I always felt great and still do during and after every dip in the sea.

Brighton sea temperatures peak in the range 16 to 19°C (61 to 66°F) on around the 17th of August and are at their lowest on about the 1st of March, in the range 7 to 8°C (45 to 46°F) [http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Brighton\_1/seatemp]

One of the surprising challenges lay in getting out of the sea, Brighton is a pebbled beach, let me tell you those stones take no prisoners during the winter months.

The benefits of the pebbles is worth mentioning. At the beginning they literally killed my feet and they too had a re-birthing experience in-store for me, my feet were asleep they were use to being protected and had gotten comfortable and lazy, however the more I woke them up the more they showed me just how asleep they and I was.

I begun noticing that our feet act as a direct connection to the earth, this is more than just foot touching earth its more like roots moving from the sole of your foot into the earth and giving you a bounce in your step and movement throughout the whole foot and body that was not there before.

I was Grounding, which alone can boost your immune system, it has many benefits including reducing inflammation, the book Earthing by Clint Ober is worth a read, on another level allowing your skin to come into contact with your environment again improves your connection with the real world, which increases your sensitivity or you could say communication with the subtle energetic world we live in.

You will literally feel this connection for water conducts heat at 25 times the rate of air, which simply means you loose more heat quicker in the water than you do to the air. The key becomes to not fight this connection by trying to hold onto the heat, instead by surrendering to the flow of heat and maintaining a sense of calm through deep breathing and conscious awareness of self the heat that leaves is regenerated and continues the cycle of in and out.

Interestingly the body is such an impressive inferno that the fear of hypothermia whilst it is a potential danger is not as great a danger as one may have previously thought! It takes roughly longer than 30 minutes of submersion in cold water (no matter how cold the water) before the effects of hypothermia begin to manifest.

Potential hazards that one does face when approaching cold training and should be aware of are:

‘The Grasp Reflex’ or ‘the cold shock response,’upon entering the cold water a very natural reflex is to open ones mouth and take a lung full of air into the body, if that person then goes under the water and begins to grasp for more air they are in trouble, so try not to jump in to soon, give yourself a chance to get use to cold temperatures before diving in head first.

Cardiac arrest or more commonly a heart attack is also a potential risk factor, along with the cold sapping your strength to the point where your muscular force can be as much as 25% less in the cold, the opportunity for a bad ending to a good story begins to rise.

The cold water has the ability to turn a great swimmer into a good swimmer, a good swimmer into an average swimmer and an average swimmer into! You probably should not be going in to deep if your swimming ability is anything less than good. Remind yourself though that as you progress with cold water training that vice versa will occur – an average swimmer will grow steadily to become a great swimmer.

### The Good News!

In recent times we have seen many pioneers of cold water training step forward and despite the risks share forth their success!

Anthony Robbins starts every morning with a dip into a 57℉ pool. Tony Robbins is such a fan that he has claimed the following:

Cold water training when practiced regularly can have long-lasting positive effects on the lymphatic, circulatory, immune and digestive systems.

When jumping into cold water it is commonly agreed that the muscles contract, that shivering that you experience when cold is your muscles contracting in an attempt to produce heat.

This contraction of the muscles also triggers a contraction of the lymphatic system, which encourages the immune system to gear up and deal with whatever has been released from the lymphatic system.

It has also been claimed that one reason athletes jump into ice pools after strenuous workouts is because the cold water lowers the damaged tissue temperature and constricts the blood vessels resulting in less swelling and inflammation and for an extra bonus due to its numbing of the nerve endings it acts as a painkiller.

Another benefit that has been proposed is that it has the potential to relieve symptoms of depression. It has been found that cold training prompts the release of happy, feel good neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling happier, healthier and more vital.

Wim Hoff in particular has done much to move along our understanding of the potential benefits of cold training.

Wim holds numerous Guinness World Records in the field of cold training such as a barefoot marathon in Lapland wearing nothing more than shorts. Yes you read that right; Wim completes a variety of Cold Training disciplines in sub-zero conditions wearing nothing but a pair of modest shorts.

He recently trained 12 volunteers in his methods alongside a control group, at the end of his training all 24 participants were exposed to a common flu bug, all 12 participating in Wim’s training methods showed excellent immune response and none fell ill, however all 12 of the control group fell ill for up to 3 days.

Wim believes firstly that the cold has the power to show us our true human potential, he believes that its his ability to maintain core temperature through breathing exercises that anyone can master, which helps him train in the cold and enjoy benefits such as increased immune strength.

His breathing exercises are akin to the ones practiced by Tibetan Monks, a practice which they call Tummo, where the focus is placed upon the retention of the breath, which then encourages an ‘internal fire’.

Scientists believe through study that what Wim and the Tibetan Monks alike have managed to accomplish is to take control of a system within the body that was considered to be involuntary.

Scientists have observed that through the meditations and breathing exercises practiced by Wim and the Tibetan Monks significant blood flow and electrical activity to the frontal cortex and hypothalamus is achieved; these regions regulate peripheral nerves and veins involved in the regulation of body temperature.

It is this connection that was originally considered to be governed by the autonomic nervous system, however this is now considered to be potentially manually controlled through a variety of training methods.

For those who do not have access to the sea then a cold shower is a great place to start and some have reported that in as little as a couple of weeks of taking 3 minute cold showers every day you will begin to notice health benefits.

I would take this into consideration, Cold Training like any training method requires a period of adaptation and will first put the mind and body under stress, this stress response will overwhelm the immune system at first, with this in mind if your immune system is already dealing with a variety of stresses and you’re not sure this will help then first take it slow and get some extra advice, if however you persevere with this type of training your immune strength will improve dramatically.

How then does cold training improve our immune system? the answers are in the experience my friends, by overcoming each subtle battle internally and committing yourself to a daily practice your mind and body naturally strengthen, which in turn leads to the strengthening of all internal systems including the immune system.

You may find and more than likely will find a thousand reasons why you should stay comfortable and not do it, but if your curious and patient then time and practice will deliver remarkable results.

I highly recommend cold training for everyone, you can start slow, maybe a cold bowl of water to immerse your hands is enough, or simply stepping your feet into the sea will prove powerful enough for you to feel a connection, or maybe you need to go all out and throw yourself in.

Remember you can always have that cup of Hot Chocolate in reserve for after your Cold Training experience.

Enjoy.

Wild Child

hi there, summer has left and autumn has arrived and along with this transition comes a bounty of wild edibles on offer, however some may surprise You!

We walk everywhere we go and I mean everywhere, however as the family keeps growing this may change, but before it does I want to share one of the greatest benefits of walking everywhere.

Wild edible and very tasty food!

In one Wild Child day we collected the following and all were within 30 minutes walking from our home:

  • Blackberries
  • Elderberries
  • Passion Fruit
  • Grapes
  • Apples

We could have foraged rocket and dandelions amongst other wild edibles on offer.

All of the mentioned fruits were growing on bushes, trees and vines alongside busy roads and people’s homes, the grape vine was literally hanging over the wall of a house alongside a busy main road and my son familiar with elderberry said dad look elderberries, I looked up towards the sky and was met with sun in my eyes and green round fruits staring at me. I had to do a double take and to collect them I had to climb a little way up the wall to reach them. I could not believe we had found a grape vine in the end of summer England, but there it was.

As we walked home we passed a blackberry bush coming to the end of its season, then we stumbled upon an apple tree, which was in full blown bloom of a good harvest, we also foraged some elderberries.

All of this free wild fruit in abundance just waiting to be picked and enjoyed.

It also dawned on me that if everyone planted a fruit tree or bush there would be a bountiful supply of locally produced food! We could also plant nut trees, the potential to create sustainable,free, abundant nutritious and delicious food is endless, not great for the economy maybe, but I’m sure with a super healthy populous we would figure something out.

Happy Wild Food Foraging

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach

The BIG C!

im a thirty something male and I’m not the only one growing!

In thirty years cancer has grown steadily side by side with me and has claimed too many and continues to strike people of all ages and all back grounds.

I have children and if cancer continues to grow as fast as it is then the statistics will be even more damning and so something needs to change.

Fighting Cancer is clearly not working, there is that old phrase that says to do the same thing over again and expect a different result is insane and whilst preserverance pays dividends and I am by no means suggesting we give up I feel it’s time we are honest and accept the current method is far too hit and miss and not really getting anywhere.

What do we do?

Well I believe the simplest cure and prevention is LOVE, but before everyone cries be realistic. Let me explain!

I have explored the health and wellbeing of the human organism with vigour I could throw facts and stats around that prove everything works and nothing works, you see you can live a squeaky clean life eat super foods practice yoga and get a good nights sleep and still wake up in the morning to find you have cancer, you could smoke everyday of your life and live to see the twilight years, life is not meant to make sense.

Each time I thought I had found the next elixir I would find its flaw round the next corner, but what I did find is this.

Those who can soften to the experience of life, those who feel a deep connection with themselves, with each other and with nature, those who feel as though they live a life of purpose, those who laugh and play as if all they had was right now, those who turn of the negative drone of the mass media and immerse themselves in the essence of the experience of life, those who are emotionally healed and balanced either never suffer from cancer and or naturally release it from their bodies should it manifest.

The key is connection, gathering the information from inside yourself and trusting that information and having the faith, strength and love to keep going with what you know you need to do and be.

I still love Patch Adams’s speech when he said if you treat the disease you win you loose, you treat the person and I guarantee you win.

Fighting cancer is you fighting yourself and there can only be loss in that process, the new way would be to travel to the other pole and love yourself unconditionally with all your heart as if your life depends upon it, why? Because it does.

Big love to you all

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach

Chicken Mad

Now lets get of on the right foot here, this is not about judgement even at points it appears to be condemning, this is not about being righteous even if at points it appears to be right, this is about raising awareness and leaving you to your own conclusions and thereafter actions including taking full responsibility and accountability for those actions.

I have a history of eating everything and anything, but these days I am mainly a Vegan I say mainly because I have the falable human habit of falling of my wagon, I share this because this is not about being perfect all the time, mistakes are ok, but at some point you need to get back up!

I recently watched a video about the EGG industry. Now being a health coach qualified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I have viewed many PETA films concerning the cruel treatment of animals at the hands of humans, but this video has urged me to step forward and give my 10 pence worth.

The cruelty demonstrated in the aforementioned videos is heart wrenching and sickening, the unfortunate matter is we all suffer; us and them as a result of that treatment, my question is WHY?

Why do we do it? The simplest answer is PROFIT! The trouble with animal welfare with regards to animals that are reared for food production is they have an economic value, which means that the dollar or pound dictates there care or lack off. 

Why care how they are treated they will end up on a plate anyway?

The way I do anything is the way I do everything! If I ignore the treatment and care of any living animal I am doing the same to all and vice versa. 

To starve a hen, cut of her beak and leave her alone in a dark hole so that in a stressed state she releases an increased amount of eggs (dollars & pounds) is not going to be good for anyone and in case you didn’t know a hen only has one hole! That means feces, urine and eggs all come out the same way, it all comes out of a stressed usually diseased animal!!!

The male chicks have no economic value, which means at birth they are round up and thrown alive into a grinder and sent to land fill. In many ways the male chick has an easier run than the female hen who if in the wild would lay up to 30 eggs or so in a year, under intensive rearing that number reaches a staggering 300 eggs in one year, then after a year and a half of intensive rearing, beaks cut off, starved and isolated they are then throw through the grinder fed back to other hens or make there way into processed food, yep that canned or premade food in the supermarket which has chicken as an ingredient may just be one of those intensively reared half starved and already dead hens – YUMMY!!!

The thing is eat chicken and eggs if that’s your thing, but take some responsibility for the welfare of the animal you intend to hunt! Now if I’m a wild animal and meat is on my menu I will hunt for my dinner, for the survival and growth of my family, I have no problem with that, that’s how life rolls and the animal that gets caught and eaten prior to becoming the menu had a LIFE.

That intensively farmed Hen, COW, Pig and any other animal man rears for profit has NO LIFE and that makes the man or woman who consumes these animals disrespectful hunters. If you want chicken on your dinner table go and hunt a chicken.

Hunting for food is part of life it is part of the natural cycle, however hunting for sport is not, when life is lost it can not and should not be called sport. In sport respect again is shown by all involved, those who lack respect in any way will be found wanting at some point.

Next time you think eggs or any meat for that matter think am I RESPECTING that animal and by doing so RESPECTING myself and the natural world we all live in, the care of any animal should not be a question of economic value! It should be a mandatory right.

For those thinking about Veganism know this, you can eat the most amazing, tasty and nutritious food. You can be super strong and full of energy. Humans are omnivores we can survive and thrive without meat if we choose.

To you all in great health

Matt

The  Yoga Health Coach