Working as a nurse in New York I care for people with chronic diseases that are taking handfuls of medications and still having pain and difficulty getting through their daily lives. I wonder how it gets to this point and what do I need to do to prevent that from happening to others, including myself.
There are several systems in the body that need maintenance to lead a long and healthy life. In this month’s Discover Monthly I want to focus on the immune system, however, many of the concepts and techniques I suggest are also helpful in maintaining other body systems. Also many of these practices are consistent with the cultural behaviors of communities around the world that have high numbers of centritarians (people living to be over 100 years old)
The immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease.
Ok in the interest of not writing a lengthy research paper I am going to jump right in and tell you the nutritional strategy for supporting immune health. If you would like to read a little more in detail about how nutrition supports the immune system I recommend Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book “Super Immunity”
Nutrient rich foods are almost always low in calories. I use a simple formula from Dr Fuhrman’s book to express my eating style:
Health = Nutrients/Calories
Health is predicted by your nutrient per calorie intake. This stresses the importance of focusing on the nutrient density of your diet. If your nutrient intake is low and your calories are high, your health will be only a fraction of what is could be if you were consuming a high level of nutrients in each calorie. Here are some simple guidelines:
1. A large salad
2. At least 1/2c beans/legumes
3. At least 3 fresh fruits
4. At least 1 ounce of raw nuts and seeds
5. At least 1 large (double serving) of cooked green veggies
G-BOMBS – Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds These are the most powerful longevity-promoting, immunity-strengthening foods. Eat them everyday :)
1. Red meat and all barbecued, processed, and cured meats
2. Fried foods
3. Dairy (cheese, ice cream, butter, milk) and trans fat
4. Soft Drinks, sugar, and artificial sweeteners
5. White rice and white flour products
These are guidelines only the idea is to base your eating habits on these guidelines to get the most nutrients as you can each day if you have a slip here or there it’s not the end of the world. I read a lot about this stuff so feel free to ask me any further questions you have.
This is the second of a monthly publication where we will together discover a deeper awareness of the physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual aspects of the self. I encourage you to try the postures or techniques and certainly contact me with any questions you come across.
explore. heal. grow.
The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and is associated with your root issues, such as your sense of security, satisfying your basic needs, familial relationships, and how at home you feel in your body and on this planet.
Uddiyana Bandha strengthens your digestion and increases the energetic core. The abdominal organs are massaged, toned and purified and the adrenal glands are balanced by abdominal contraction. It moves your energy upwards allowing you to invert, float forward and back more lightly, and twist more deeply.
This asana truly brings out the concept of letting go of the false identity and embodying who you are. The first trick to mastering this dynamic balancing pose is to breathe through and past the common fear of falling on your face. Second you will utilize the core which is strengthened by uddiyana bandha. Once you feel secure in the full expression of the pose you can use the core strength to jump back or even jump forward into the pose. We will work on bakasana and several variations throughout the month.