Category Archives: Holistic Healing

5 Things You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Quinoa.

Apr 26, 2011 | By Sonya Welter

1. The Gold of the Incas

Over 5,000 years ago, high in the Andes mountains, the Incas began to cultivate quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) as one of their staple crops, believing that it gave power and stamina to their warriors. Quinoa was also used in their ceremonial rituals. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America in the sixteenth century, they burned and destroyed the quinoa fields as part of the effort to annihilate Inca culture. But quinoa survived by growing wild in the mountains or by being cultivated in secret in small quantities. In the 1980s, two North Americans stumbled upon this ancient, super-nutritious food and began cultivating it near Boulder, Colorado. Since then, quinoa’s popularity has exploded worldwide.
2. Getting to Know Quinoa

Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. It grows best in mountainous regions, 10 thousand feet or more above sea level, and thrives in poor soil, thin air and extreme weather. Quinoa stalks are 3 to 6 feet tall, and each plant can produce up to a cup of seeds! The seeds are round, about the same size of millet or sesame seeds, and come in a rainbow of colors, from red to purple to green to yellow, but the quinoa that is most commonly found in stores is an off-white color. Look for quinoa in the bulk section of natural food stores, or in the organic section of conventional supermarkets.

3. A Complete Protein and so Much More

Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans, or for anyone looking for healthy protein source. It’s also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber.

4. Cooking With Quinoa

Most commercially available quinoa has already been cleaned, but you should still give it a thorough rinsing before cooking to be sure to remove any remaining saponins, a soapy resin that protects the seeds while they are growing, but can impart a bitter taste if not removed. Combine one cup rinsed quinoa to two cups water or broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the seeds become translucent and the germ of the seed uncoils to form a little “tail.” Quinoa has a light, slightly nutty taste and a fluffy texture. It makes a tasty porridge or casserole and can be added to soups and stews.

5. The Gluten-free Grain of Choice

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent food for celiac patients or other people following a gluten-free diet. Quinoa flour is great for baking cookies, breads and muffins, and quinoa flakes are a perfect substitute for oatmeal.

* Source LiveStrong.com

Note:  I will be posting more on this amazing SuperFood…

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Agni: How do we keep our Inner Fire burning brightly?

Agni or the “Digestive Fire,” is one of the most important principles in the Ancient science of Ayurveda. It refers broadly to our ability to process all aspects of life, including food, experiences, memories, and sensory impressions. Agni is responsible for absorbing the nutrients and essential elements the body needs while burning off waste products (Agni is the root of the English word “ignite”).

If our Agni is strong, we’re able to digest food efficiently and easily assimilate our daily experiences. On the other hand, if Agni is weak, our body won’t digest well, creating toxic residue or Ama that lodges deep in our cells.

Agni

According to Ayurvedic teaching, strong Agni leads to excellent health and well-being, while the accumulation of Ama results in the slow deterioration of the body and—ultimately—disease. The inability to metabolize emotions produces just as much toxic residue as undigested food. In fact, pent-up anger, long-held sadness, and lingering guilt are more debilitating for most people than problems with physical digestion.

Ojas: The Vital Nectar of Life

If we desire perfect health, it’s crucial to eliminate the Ama stored in our body and focus on producing Ojas, which is the Essential Life Energy. A Sanskrit term meaning “vigor,” Ojas is the pure and subtle substance that’s extracted from food that has been completely digested. Ojas circulates throughout the bodily tissues and heart, sustaining the physical self, bringing clarity to the mind and balancing the emotions. In short, when the body produces Ojas, the vital Nectar Of Life, we feel blissful. The cells sing with happiness because both the mind and the body are receiving the nourishment they need.

To promote the creation and flow of Ojas, we need a good diet focused on pure foods, referred to as “Sattvic” in Ayurveda. The body can easily digest Sattvic food and extract its Ojas or Prime Energy. The most Sattvic foods include almonds, sesame, honey, rice, and fruits. It’s not necessary to eat these foods exclusively — just focus on having them on a regular basis.

Some foods are difficult if not impossible for the body to convert into Ojas, including meat, poultry, fish, oily foods, cheese, leftovers, processed food, and items with an excess of sour or salty tastes. Food that has been canned, frozen, or reheated won’t produce as much Ojas as freshly prepared meals. In addition, consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes destroys Ojas.

The following chart will help you determine whether you have healthy Ojas or an accumulation of Ama in your body. If you’ve been storing toxicity, you can choose now to begin to nourish yourself and enjoy increasing levels of joy and well-being in your life.

Signs of Ojas Signs of Ama
You feel rested upon awakening Bad breath
Your skin has a healthy glow Coated tongue
Your tongue is clear and pink Dull appetite
Your body feels light, regardless of the number on the scale Delicate digestion
You feel centered throughout the day Sluggish or irritable elimination
Your digestion is strong without bloating Generalized pain
You feel energized & enthusiastic Fatigue
Your mind is clear Depression
Your body has a pleasant smell Susceptibility to infections
You rarely get sick Difficulty manifesting intentions

Creating Nurturing Mealtimes

Our experience while we’re eating is just as important as the kinds of foods we’re consuming. If we’re having a fight with our spouse over the dinner table, our stomach cells are aware of the upset and send distressed chemical messages throughout the body. As a result, we’re not able to create Ojas because of the indigestible emotions coursing throughout our cells and organs.

Since Ojas is the by-product of all the signals our body receives, we need to create a nurturing atmosphere for our meals, paying attention to all of the senses — taste, sound, sight, touch, and smell. Here are a few tips for making your body happy while you eat:

  • Eat in a settled atmosphere
  • Don’t eat when you’re upset.
  • Always sit down to eat (don’t eat in front of your computer or TV or while you’re driving).
  • Only eat when you’re hungry.
  • Dine at a moderate pace. Don’t gulp down your food or eat too slowly.
  • Include all six tastes (sweet, sour, astringent, bitter, salty, and pungent) at each meal.

Given the crucial role of Agni to health and well-being, how do we keep our Inner Fire burning brightly?

The essential step is living life more consciously, making choices that nurture the flow of Life Energy, while minimizing those that deplete it.

1. Unconditional Encouragement. A simple way to make more healing choices is to ask yourself whether you would encourage someone you Love unconditionally to have whatever experience you are considering. Follow the example of a conscious, loving mother who only wants her child to eat nourishing food, engage in loving relationships, and avoid situations that create unnecessary distress.

2. Unclutter Your Life. Your Inner Fire is weakened by having too much wood or “stuff” in your life ― too much debt, too many financial commitments, too many complicated, demanding relationships, and too much clutter. Consciously survey your life and ask yourself: What am I carrying with me from the past that is no longer serving me in the present, and what would I like to bring into my life that I have previously neglected?

3. Rest, Exercise, and Meditate. Balance your activity with rest by having a regular meditation practice and getting replenishing sleep each night.

4. Practice conscious eating. Practice conscious eating. Your digestion is affected by the conversations at the table, your environment, and your mood when you eat. If you’re having an argument or watching a violent TV show, your stomach will knot and your digestion will be disturbed. To extract the most nourishment from your food, never eat when you feel upset. Create a settled, peaceful atmosphere for your meals, eat only when you’re hungry, and choose fresh, organic food whenever possible.

5. Get regular detoxification treatments. No matter how consciously we live, modern life exposes us to a variety of toxins that deplete our digestive power – from pollutants in our food, water, and air, to the more subtle toxicity of negative media and the hyper-stimulus of cell phones, Blackberries, and the Internet. To keep Agni’s metabolic power strong, it’s important to get regular detoxification treatments.

*Taken from TheChopraCenter

Ancient Solar Exercise

Sunflower Breathing

Our Sun has been a Sacred symbol and a powerful human reference for strength, courage, vitality and Divine energy in every single culture of the world. In many cultures and ancient religions, the Sun held a place of an archetypical paternal force among the pantheon of Gods. The Sun God was worshiped by people from many parts of the world.

The Solar influence in our lives dictates our own very living routines; how we organize our crops, the timing of harvest, and the way we interact with our environment.

This is a Toltec exercise with high vibrational effects, strongly recommended when one may feel stressed out, lacking energy or even the will to proceed with regular daily tasks.

It is preferable to do this exercise in the morning, but it can be perform at any time while there is daylight.

In order to perfectly perform this meditation/Spiritual exercise, we recommend the following visualization Imagery:

Sunflowers_Humanity-Healing

Imagine that you are a Sunflower in a field filled with other Sunflowers, following the lead and connected directly with the Solar influence.  Allow yourself to be a witness to the Energy of Life.

Face the Sun directly with your eyes closed. 

Note:  Never look directly into the Sun.

Inhale deeply from your mouth, visualizing the warmth of the Sun coming inside of your throat and going into your stomach.

Hold this sensation inside for as long as you can, without causing any type of strains or discomfort.

Exhale slowly and calmly from your nose.

The Sunlight brings much Energy to your physical and extra-physical bodies because it is filled with Prana[1].

Once initiated, this exercise should be repeated at least three times.

warrior-pose_solar-blessing_Humanity-Healing


During the performance of this exercise, you may feel the Solar Energy expanding and softly embracing every part of your body. This is especially useful, when suffering from some pain in specific parts of your body. It is possible to direct with the help of your direct intention the healing influence of the Sun’s rays to the affected areas.

In this case, the breathing pattern is a little different from the one given in the previous exercise.

We suggest three deep inhalations from the nostrils; with your mind’s eyes, imagine the Solar Energy now climbing all the vertebrae of your spine slowly; at each step upwards, this Energy release a power of mini-Suns; that, in their turn, irradiate the curative and restorative power  to  the affected area where the discomfort is located. 

 

[1] Prana is the Sanskrit word for “Vital Life/ Life Force”. In Vedantic philosophy; Prana is the notion of a vital, life-sustaining force of living beings and vital energy, comparable to the Chinese notion of Qi. Prana is a central concept in Ayurveda and Yoga, where it is believed to flow through a network of fine subtle channels called “Nadis” (“Meridians” in Traditional Chinese Medicine). In the Ayurveda, the Sun and Sunshine are held to be a source of Prana.

 

*Taken From Humanity Healing Network