The wonders of burdock root

What I love about the Japanese culture is just how health and beauty conscious they are. We could certainly learn a thing or two from them in our modern Western world and I’ve recently stuck my head in to the traditional remedies that they and other cultures have natural healthbeen depending on for thousands of years direct from mother nature. Burdock root holds some incredible properties and is great to drop a few roots into a cup of tasty miso soup. 

After a bad blood infection and reoccurring large and painful boils on my legs while on an extended trip in remote Mentawai Islands, I decided to look into having a tonic made up from a naturopath that focused on purifying the blood.

This was with the intention to provide my body with relief after the purchase of cheap and nasty penicillin out of immense pain and desperation while in Malaysia on that same trip. The tonic had a noticeable effect on clearing up the boils and it was years until I had only a small outburst of them again (only after coming into direct contact with someone that had them).

I was pretty impressed given my GP had told me boils once contracted can stay in the blood stream for a lifetime and can reoccur at any point.

One of those many ingredients found in the tincture was “burdock root” and while curiously browsing the aisles of an Asian supermarket I found some dried burdock and decided to look at ways to implement it into my diet.

Burdock root health benefits

Other than being popular throughout Japanese culture, burdock has a long history throughout the American Indians and Europeans for its healing properties. It is also very well used throughout Indian and Chinese Medicine for the treatment of various ailments

Blood purifier

Exactly what I was after when suffering from boils. Burdock root is a great detoxifier and has been found to remove heavy metals from the blood stream which develops through poor diet and lifestyle choices. These toxins are effectively removed from the body due to the active compounds of the burdock.

Clean and pure blood means proper organ function, improved circulation and overall health and vitality. I am assuming that the cleansing properties and improved circulation means more blood is able to be pumped to the surface of the skin, therefore having a positive effect on cleansing skin infections such as the boils I had.

Naturopaths will often prescribe tinctures including burdock root extract to patients suffering from psoriasis and eczema with positive effect. Burdock root tea is also applied topically to acne ridden skin and other conditions to improve skin quality. Burdock root also assists in the drainage of the lymphatic system which is commonly full of toxins and waste, and which can easily block the proper function of the lymph nodes which are vital for a strong immune system.

Youthful skin

Again due to the great detoxifying properties found within burdock root, the quality and pexels-photo-112327appearance of skin is improved through its regular consumption. Perhaps this is one of the secrets to Japanese appearing much younger than they actually are (other than their good genes).

Clinical trials find that burdock root also helps to reduce the common signs of ageing such as wrinkly skin. All that time in the sun surfing over a lifetime surely will add up! It’s nice to know there are natural ways to combat the leather skin look.

Anti-Cancer Properties

The removal of heavy metals from the body and consuming foods that are high in antioxidants are both positive steps towards reducing your risk cancer developing in the body. Burdock root is extremely high in antioxidants meaning it is a great scavenger for free-radicals and harmful metals that you simply don’t want in your system.

As with most natural cures for widespread diseases, not enough studies have been “officially” carried out by professionals, but many naturopaths have continually been amazed by the positive effect burdock (in combination with other natural treatments) has on patients suffering from chronic tumors. They put this down to the anti-mutagenic and anti-tumor properties which inhibit the cancer cell growth, disallowing it to reproduce and spread throughout the body.

Burdock root tea

I found the easiest way to introduce burdock root into my diet is a simple tea made fromburdock root tea the dried burdock root. I found a packet of the dried root at my local Asian supermarket for around $4.60. Simply place a few of the dried roots into the bottom of a cup and pour hot water over top, allowing to steep for a few minutes.

Alternatively you can make up a tea pot but I didn’t have one on hand at the time. The taste I can only compare to miso or a slight mushroom taste and I found it quite pleasant to drink. You can experiment with adding honey or sugar if you like, however I saw it as more of a savory tea.

You can also use the leftover softened burdock root perhaps in stifrys as it has a soft mushroom texture or pour more hot water over the top and use the tea topically for any skin ailments. You can also use as a shower cleanser to really take advantage of the wonderful properties of this plant.

Conclusion

Other than those listed above there are what appears to be an endless list of positive properties of the burdock root and I’m sure many more that we are not aware of. Some of those properties include:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties which is great for the reduction of painful types of arthritis
  • Assisting with those suffering with diabetes
  • There are around 26 known minerals and vitamins contained within burdock root including iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, B6 and C
  • Improves digestive issues
  • Assists in the treatment of an enlarged spleen (due to a poor immune system)
  • Boosts memory
  • Antiseptic properties
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases metabolism

There are certainly enough articles to be found throughout the internet and herbal handbooks reporting on the great effects of the burdock root and I’m pretty happy to have stumbled across it and have it so readily available.

Read more from Dr Axe here

Resources:

Clinical trials: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21429215

Clinical trials anti-aging properties: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19146605

Dr Christopher’s herbal legacy: http://www.herballegacy.com/Light_Medicinal.html

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/burdock

http://www.naturalnews.com/031390_blood_cleansing.html

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 The Importance of BYO skincare products when travelling remotely

I think it’s amazing these days seeing the prevalence of cancer amongst seemingly “healthy individuals”. How many times have you heard someone say “yeah he passed away from cancer but it makes no sense, he was the healthiest guy, always eating the best foods and exercising regularly”. It is my belief it all comes down to the products we are applying externally and surrounding ourselves in daily that are endocrine disruptors (or hormone disruptors). See Wikipedias definition here.

A few years ago I never used to care for what I was putting on my skin, in my hair or brushing my teeth coconut oil with until I dated a highly passionate vegan. I hadn’t even heard of the concept of chemical beauty products, all that mattered was that it smelt pretty, moisturised, left a minty taste, smoothed or untangled. A simple internet search of unpronounceable chemicals contained in my favourite deodorant or moisturiser revealed some pretty disturbing results.

I started exploring alternative options and visiting speciality health food stores and paying more money for natural products. This was certainly trial and error as I found many products were not effective and I had to go through many brands until I found one that suited. For example finding a natural deodorant that actually worked took quite a few months and quite a few dollars, but I was so happy when I finally found a reliable brand and have to this day stuck with it.

Common Misbeliefs 

The biggest misbelief people follow regarding everyday skin care products you find at your supermarket is “if it’s so bad how can it end up in the supermarket and why would these companies want to harm your health?”. The sad truth is many companies want to find the most cost-effective option for manufacturing their products, with very little care for your health but total focus on how much profit they can make.

The use of animal products 

This involves using multiple animal by-products which include ground up intestines, meat industry beauty productshormones from adrenal glands and proteins obtained by boiling ligaments, bones and skin. For a full list see peta.org’s animal ingredients’ list here . The reason companies decide to use animal products is because they are cheap and usually by-products from the meat industry. Also animal skin oils etc are most closely related to our skin, therefore giving a smooth texture upon application, especially in moisturisers and makeup.

The use of chemical products

Again the main reason companies (including big names) use chemical products which are harmful to your health is because of the low cost involved. Have a look at the top chemicals to look out for in your personal skin care products here. You will see listed many chemicals which can affect internal organs, lead to skin allergies, cause chest pain, nausea, affect your immune system and the worst- cancer.

So the issue is not if you use these products once or twice or even for a few months at a time. Rather it is the long term exposure to these carcinogenic chemicals that will do the damage. Of course your skincare routine is engrained to your daily habits- my main tip is don’t change your entire beauty product range overnight- it’s just too overwhelming, trust me I tried! Once you start looking at the ingredients of every bathroom product you will find toothpaste, shampoos, moisturisers and all hair products contain some kind of toxic chemical or ground up animal part. Start with just one and go from there. It took me almost a year to almost fully change my beauty products to natural options. It is also a process of simplification- for example my everyday hair wash I just use diluted apple cider vinegar and for moisturiser face and body I use coconut oil.

The problem with remote regions

Luckily in countries like Australia there are regulations and bodies in place to measure what makes a product “organic” or “vegan-friendly”. Many remote spots just haven’t been educated on the dangers, therefore I’ve found products are much worse off than Australia because of a largely unregulated industry. In Thailand there are entire sections in supermarkets that claim to be organic but a simple scroll of the ingredients will reveal anything but. Small villages in Indonesia, Polynesia and Philippines that I have lived in all rely on toxic products as there is no other option.

Herein lies the importance of bringing your own beauty products on your surf trips. You could say you’re only living in these spots for less than a few months but once you are aware of just how bad most supermarket products are, it’s hard to go back. Again simplification wins. You don’t want to pay for excess baggage because of all the products you’re going to bring to last a few months.

The lesson learnt is not to only evaluate what you put inside your body but equally as important, be aware of what you’re exposing your body to and the long-term effects on your health.

Homemade Beeswax Hair Product/Lip Balm

About three years ago I came across a great recipe for a natural alternative to commercial hair product of the wax & pomade kind. It’s been great for travelling as I don’t have to try and find some strange branded hair product in a foreign country packed full of chemicals. It’s inexpensive, very easy and quick to make and it feels amazing to use a product you made with your own two hands and know exactly what ingredients are contained within.

I also use this same recipe as a soothing lip balm without having to alter the recipe.

Ingredientsnatural beauty

2 Tbs. grated beeswax

1 Tbs. Olive oil

1/4 cup coconut oil

Beeswax is usually obtainable from your local market or speciality health store. For those around NSW/QLD border I buy mine from Byron Bay- $3.50 for a solid block of wax in a container that holds 15Tbs or more grated! You’ll also need a container to scoop the finished produce into. I use a small glass container with a screw top lid. You can use an old lipstick tube and scoop the mixture into it if you are also using as a lip balm.

Remember both beeswax and coconut oil have great healing properties (particularly beeswax) so you can also apply the mixture direct to reef cuts or other wounds to help keep infections at bay.

Directions

Slice sections of beeswax off the block or use a grater and measure out 2Tbs. (or thereabouts) of beeswax. You can experiment with the amounts, the more beeswax the more solid the mix. Depending on the season bear in mind that coconut oil solidifies in more cooler temperatures and liquifies in heat.

Heat a small saucepan on low-medium heat and place the grated beeswax in the pan. Measure out the olive oil and coconut oil and pour in. The beeswax will melt into the oil much like butter would. Gently stir until all of the beeswax has dissolved and remove from the heat.

Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture starts to turn cloudy off-white and begins to harden enough to scoop into your container. Allow to cool.

This amount will last me up to six months and is certainly investing the short time it takes to make a safe and chemical free hair and multi-purpose product.

Why I’m sucking on cloves

For as long as I can remember I’ve always made sure I’m not the girl with the bad breath and have always chewed gum or mints-most especially after drinking coffee as I’m not a big fan of the after taste nor coffee breath. Fresh breath, sugar-free, healthy gums and teeth are what I had in mind when I’ve added mints to my shopping list.

These days when I look through the supermarket aisle I’m presented with a huge range of mints and gum. The certain type that seems to have increased in popularity lately are the mints that come in the handy metal tins. I’m not exactly sure why these have appealed to me but I’ve been buying them for a while now.

However, lately I’ve been thinking more and more about just how many tins I’m going through and how much waste I’m creating for the earth. I feel better when I always make sure I place them into the recycle bin, but I’m still not happy with my decision to go through so much waste.

I’m writing this as I myself explore natural alternatives along the way. For the past few years I have adapted the mindset where I live as close to nature as possible and am continually looking for ways in which to improve my daily habits. Below I explore what’s actually in my little tin of mints.

Looking at the front of the tin I’m happy to see the mints are 99% sugar free and peppermint flavor. Turning the tin over to the side panel I’m greeted with the following:

Sweeteners (950,955)

Sorbitol

Peppermint Oil (1%)

Anticaking agent (470)

Natural Colour (153)

Sweetener 955

After the most basic of research it’s pretty clear to see I’ve fallen victim to some great marketing techniques utilised by mint and gum companies, whereby they are able to get away with listing their product as “sugar free” or “99% sugar free” but still use a sugar by-product. Sucralose or sweetener 955 is a sweetener that’s doing just as much damage, ifclinic-doctor-health-hospital-large.jpg not more damage than sugar itself.

Many reported side-effects include blurred vision, weight gain, gastro problems and migraines. While it’s a sweetener commonly found in larger products such as ice cream, beverages and confectionery, you might think that with the small amount of mints and gums you consume in a day that you won’t be affected by these side-effects. If I personally think about the days where I’m habitually sucking on mints then I want to put myself on caution.

As sucralose is artificial and produced in a chemical plant, it’s not natural, nor does the body recognise it and therefore we are unable to process it or metabolize it. Unfortunately very few studies have been carried out on humans but typically have been carried out on animals-namely rats.

The effects of 955 on rats being enlarged liver and kidneys, red blood cell count decrease, aborted pregnancies and an obvious drop in fetal weight.  The effects of sucralose on the body are more closely reported on by The Sucralose Toxicity Information Centre although the studies are last updated around 2008, they still give us a fair insight into the dangers of consuming products containing this sweetener.

Sweetener 950

Acesulfame K or sweetener 950 is yet another version of sugar, reportedly being up to 200 times sweeter than sugar on its own-a figure hard to divulge! Studies carried out on laboratory rats call for a reassessment of the safety of this sweetener for human consumption due to potential cancer risks being identified.

This is most likely due to Acesulfame being a potassium salt that contains methylene chloride-a known carcinogen often found in pain strippers, electronics and paints. Side effects of consuming Acesulfame is a reduction in the good bacteria in your gut of up to 50%. This is rather disturbing as your body relies heavily on gut health for overall health. Other side effects include dizziness, respiratory problems, weight gain and migraines.

Unfortunately any studies carried out on humans (limited) show little impact of this chemical on the body as the trials have never been carried out for any longer than four days. If only data existed to show the effects of a lifetime of consumption of this sweetener.

Sorbitol

Another sugar alcohol that is slowly metabolized by the body. It is the main ingredient that is linked to diarrhea, therefore many gum or mint companies will place a warning on their packet to the effect that excess consumption may have a laxative effect.

Sorbitol is commonly found in dieting products and is heavily linked to a large range of abdominal issues including bloating, increase of stomach acid and heartburn.  I know if I consume too many mints throughout the day I have mild abdominal pain which I can only link to their intake. While sorbitol isn’t as nasty as sweeteners I still would want to limit the intake of products containing it.

My newly discovered alternative

If you’re anything like me, you want a breath freshener that’s convenient and you are ableindian.jpg to use on the go. That’s probably why you are also buying mints or gum (or were!) and that’s why the marketing for these products are so successful

Looking into healthy alternatives, Mukhwas is the little spice mix often displayed at the counter when you pay for your meals at Indian restaurants, often with a small wooden spoon resting in the bowl.

It contains an array of nutritious seeds and spices, used as a breath freshener or after dinner mint and also to aid digestion. After searching around for a recipe, I found countless varieties and was taken back by its historic origins throughout many cultures around the world.  Such a simple and natural alternative!

Cloves

I’m going with the singular selection of just one of the ingredients commonly found in the Mukhwas, whole cloves as they seem like the best size spice to have on the go.What’s more, cloves are packed full of nutrients such as magnesium, vitamins A, E, D & K and zinc- to name just a few.

They aid in digestion, reduce flatulence and nausea. Cloves also boost the immune system, are anti-carcinogenic and contain certain flavonoids that assist in healthy bones by preserving bone density. There are many reasons why cloves are great alternatives to mints or gum:

-Like ever lasting gobstoppers you can suck on a clove for hours and it won’t perish.

-Cloves have a mild, warm and sweet after taste.

-They have great antiseptic properties which is handy in general, but also if you feel a coldcloves.jpeg coming on suck on cloves throughout the day to prevent a full blown sickness.

-When you’ve finished you can just throw the clove back to the earth where it came from.

-I noticed a rather calming effect on my mind.

-Inexpensive and plentiful.

-I’ve decided to store my cloves in a cute twist top container with hand painted lines drawn around the outside.

That’s a wrap

As with most man made products the problem is that so little study has been carried out as to the long term effects of the use of artificial products in our every day living. If anything presents a potential risk, especially to the level of being carcinogenic and has had basic research revealing damaging effects to the body then I want to be avoiding putting that product anywhere near my body.

Resources:

The potential dangers of Sucralose: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/12/03/sucralose-dangers.aspx

Complete list of sweeteners: https://liveto110.com/complete-list-of-artificial-sweeteners

Aspartame cancer hazards: http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/18085058.html

Methylene Chloride: https://www3.epa.gov/airtoxics/hlthef/methylen.html

Acesulfame K:http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/02/10/new-study-of-splenda-reveals-shocking-information-about-potential-harmful-effects.aspx

The importance of spiritual truth

Spiritual truth to me governs and moves my entire being. I’m eternally grateful for various events and experiences that have shattered my universe and all of the times that ripped reality from my very grasp. These are the moments that enabled me to discover spirit.  Through losing a baby to nearly losing my own life almost exactly a year later (see my e-book here and story of headbutting reef here). I choose to openly publish these events to inspire others to see the light amidst the darkness and to (in time) proudly own and embrace those experiences as who you are. I find the complete alteration and re-building of everything you thought you knew about yourself and the sheer courage to make it through some of life’s events to be a true strength of character.

Physical impermanence

Physical impermanence is a given, therefore I refuse to accept that life is simply a material10155641_10151989608795168_1577042429_n existence, that it goes far deeper than what we can see with our own eyes.

I truly believe my external reality is a true reflection of my inner reality whether by thought, form, word or deed. My kingdom of heaven is within. One touch of the outermost corners of the spiritual world leaves me begging for more.

The stressors

A strong point of focus throughout this year has been my physical body and in particular central nervous system. I left a corporate, high-stress job earlier in the year without realising how far I had pushed myself mentally within the position, nor did I realise the actual state of my health.

We often completely overburden the body through over stimulation and over consumption, leaving the only time to rest for when we finally get to sleep at night.

Meditation

One of the strongest ways to access our earthly being (for we are of nature) over our technological and sometimes robotical being is the art of meditation. It can be hard to search for a truth when our minds are constantly running and it’s refreshing to lay in a state of silence.

Multiple religions including Krishna and Hindu place a small bindi between the brows, atop of the “third eye” which is said to be “the sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifested state”. Many meditations will focus on the third eye to access other realms of reality and to manifest dreams.

62337_10151881215375168_421054842_n.jpg

Higher dimensions

Without getting too deep, it is also believed that (real) psychics access information through the sixth dimension where “all life is directed and advanced through the work of spirit”.

Through deep meditation I’m aware of many more aspects of life falling into place, I’m more conscious of synchronicities or “coincidences” (as a non-spiritual believer would call) and I’m able to receive notions of future events before they actually occur.

Most recently this came to me by way of random thought of a friend being pregnant. I hadn’t spoken to her for a few weeks however she contacted me two days after that notion telling me the happy news. While I don’t follow a set religion or pray to an outer god I believe each of us can access our inner gods as often as we call upon them.

Negativity- A State of Mind

To think of what we don’t want in our lives is to focus on our fears rather than to invest energy into what we do want. It’s a classic behaviour of the ego, stepping in to remind us of all the reasons why we can’t possibly grasp onto our true wants and dreams- whether through lack of skill, title or talent. It’s a trait of inbuilt human behaviour but is also influenced by external factors such as culture, television and others negative attitudes. The trick is to continually recognise the egoic traits of the mind and to practice a switch of focus.

Many years ago when I found myself trapped in the vortex of city life, working full time in a corporate office environment miles from my love of the ocean and allowing my black shiny heels to audibly trek the same paved paths day in and out, I wanted to know what it would take to re-invent my life and escape this soulless routine.

I had heard of successful horse lifeathletes visualising winning gold at the olympics throughout their training regimes, with a focus on not only being as physically strong as possible but also mentally strong.

In interviews following their gold medal wins they would explain that their visualisations of winning was an important part of their recipe for achievement.

When I began what seemed to be an impossible task of finding work close to the ocean in my area of expertise, I began toying with this concept.

In my mind I would create a conversation with a make believe someone about how I had spent six years living the city life, but now I’m so glad to be out of that toxic lifestyle and living near the ocean surfing every day. I would play this scenario out in my mind every day for weeks at a time, to distract me from the lengthy robotic commute, crowded streets or whichever other situation I found myself in daily.

I would further visit areas of the coast where I most wanted to live, in order to take in the surrounding environment to help solidify my dream. It was almost as though my physical being was in the city but my soul had made its way to where it longed to be.

I truly believe that this mental focus was what finally had me break free into what felt like a surreal existence living next to the ocean while working a full time “city job”. You see if I had been caught up focusing so much on all the pains of city life, my true desire would have been so engulfed in negative energy that it couldn’t have possibly come true.

From this first experiment I have continually allowed this same concept to shape other 1472065_10151778274180168_1682323650_nareas of my life such as impassable opportunities overseas, treacherous and fearful moments travelling solo and allowing love to show up in my life.

Visualisation can become a powerful tool in achieving whatever it is you set out to do. It is said it only takes 17 seconds of thought, whether positive or negative, to begin adding to the pool of attracting and magnetising that thought into a physical form. It takes strength to remind yourself of this theory alone as you go about your day!

The Art of Forgiveness

As long as you cannot forgive, you have others permanently anchored in your heart. A lot of the feelings associated with the lack of forgiveness are hate, regret, grief and anger. How could you possibly open up in intimate relationships when you are weighed down by these toxic egoic emotions? The answer is you cannot severe that attachment until you have forgiven, regardless of how terrible the sin is that another human has placed on you. How many people of your past still have attachments in your own heart? The lesson of forgiveness serves as one of life’s greatest challenges but until you master it, I believe you will always be handed negative situations until you realise what it is you need to do to 32204_400218545167_814411_nunlock the flow of love.

It’s not possible to love for as long as hate remains in your heart. It’s the same as trying to surf when you’re angry- your energy is tainted, you have no flow with the wave and you’re totally out of tune with what’s going on. Beneath the superficial surface of society, we’re all just energy. Moving into new relationships with tainted and unprocessed energy is a sure fire way to reach disaster.

Any bad events, words and circumstances that were said or occurred are in the past and unchangeable. It is the truth of the matter. Therefore why spend valuable energy caught up in the negative emotions of these aspects of the now ended relationship? Instead focus on the aspects of that relationship that touched on your heart and made you grow into a better person. Remember that saying that your grandma loves to use “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. Memorise that warm feeling of love and the happiness that it brought to you, forgive the rest and move on.

As humans we are all imperfect. Sometimes we think we know someone but we don’t. Take reassurance that any bad intentions or actions carry heavy karmic consequences and 1913986_153381815167_40687_n.jpgknow that that person will be appropriately punished in this aspect. Don’t get caught up in games of revenge it’s going to hurt you more than you care to imagine. Instead redirect that energy into healing yourself and severing your ties to the past. Your goal is to be the best version of yourself you are here to be. The first step is to quiet your mind- meditate or practice yoga until you calm down all the emotional turmoil in your mind. You cannot make progress amidst an emotional storm- this is often why we ask those closest to us for advice in times of trouble, for they don’t have the thick blanket of emotional cloud blocking their train of thought. It’s often the heart we need to listen to to guide us, but the rational mind that gets in the way. Practice listening to your gut feeling or instinct as it never lies. Again you cannot hear its whispers until you have quietened the mind. Your instinct can lead you through doors you never knew existed. You’re the captain of your own ship. When you’re ready- put that sail up and continue your journey to happiness.

The Status Quo

There’s a common theory that at the age of 28 a big transitional period in most people’s lives take place. You might get a panic or anxiety or that “old” feeling perhaps as you get closer to the big 30. The life structure that just worked throughout your 20’s mightn’t feel so fitting. It can also be a time of great pressure if you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for in terms of career satisfaction or relationship status.

From an astrological and numerological perspective it is said the physical body goes through seven year cycles and 28041_10151118702540168_796332908_nthe emotional and personal body nine years. If you were to research more into this, you will see it is quite a powerful transition that can either be treated with respect and used as an inner compass, or resisted against and be seen as your own enemy.

Ever since I left high school I never had any intent to take on any further education. While I loved school and received good grades I just wanted to get out into the world and learn and study from just ‘living’.

Even though I was stuck in a city for the first six years of my working life, I wasn’t overly fussed with what kind of work I was doing. As long as it meant I was able to set sail on the weekend and embark on a two day action-packed adventure to find the best waves on offer. While I accidentally carved myself a career along the way as a legal secretary in between travel, eight years have now gone by.

With what feels like a passing of extended surf trips overseas (for seasons at a time), I’ve taken this year as more of a year of grounding and quiet. I had only ever heard of the “28 year theory” briefly while I was travelling in Tahiti last year, and have since not paid any attention to it.

To say this year has been easy would only be one half of the truth. Somehow I have found myself a little lost, even lonely in the post travel realm. Friends have moved away, married up and started families. Confusion mounts and laps at my feet as to the once warm feeling of a true ‘home’.

Over the past year I’ve also considered my position in society as a giver, a contributor and what I truly have to offer in this lifetime. I seem to always have had the opportunity to help clients daily at work, through horrific motor vehicle injuries or encounters with the 10301118_10152556715340168_4391682234274403263_nwrong side of crime, have always put time aside for volunteer work at nursing homes and spent many trips away assisting at orphanages, however lately I’ve labelled myself selfish to pursue the never-ending wave of perfection.

I’ve re-evaluated just how many hours, days, years I’ve spent in the ocean deeply encapsulated in that pursuit. Sadly I’ve been so hard on myself I’ve actually spent less and less time doing what I love but never quite found that substitute for happiness. In that ‘hardness I’ve also re-evaluated my career path, which has always worked in terms of stability and closeness to the ocean and a healthy lifestyle, but that true lack of passion for the work seems to surface more and more often of late.

Over the past few months I’ve also found myself attracting those that pour their everything into their work, where their satisfaction lives, their purpose in this life. What I’ve come to realise is that while that is their story, it doesn’t necessarily have to be mine.

Giving myself some much needed time out from my own hardness, I’ve discovered a message that keeps rising up from inside- with passion comes a deep love and a desire for life itself. When you extract passion, the days seem dull and lacking in colour and you can rather unconsciously begin to give up hope.

To me I’ve always seen surfing as a relationship withhappy days surfer girl the ocean. This has remained my view as I see others have close relationships with their partners, their true loves. I see mine as a close relationship with my lover the ocean. Both are in a way self-fulfilling but makes us (through that love) better, softer, more compassionate humans.

The moral of this story is never give up doing what you love because of the pressures of the outside world.

If you’ve already found your passion in life, there’s no need to find it elsewhere because of the “status quo”. Simply pursue it with all of your heart and live in that happiness and joy.

The Truth on Cancer

After billions of dollars spent and decades of research, scientists are finally giving into the fact that the prevalence of cancer has a very low percentage as being linked to genetics. Scientific focus has gradually turned to environmental factors and diet. However, this switch of focus is still relatively undercover, which unfortunately leaves the majority of us in the dark and uneducated on new discoveries and the dangers of the lifestyles many of us choose to continue living.

The cold, hard stats

A recent study carried out by US National Institute of Health, reveals an alarming 10 million people worldwide as expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year. In Australia alone, 126,800 people were diagnosed in 2015 (reported), with a projected number of deaths as being 46,570 in that same year. The US study finds 90-95% of cancer as being attributed to environmental and lifestyle factors with a measly 5-10% only as being linked to genetic factors.

Why I’m getting involved in the topic

Aside from hearing of many friends of friends, ex-work colleagues and extensions of family as having cancer, this topic has been particularly close to my heart this week. After driving back from a surf with a couple of mates, one had answered a phone call from his mum which changed the whole energy in the car. His mum had a bit of non-suspicious back pain around Christmas time and attended her chiropractor who suggested she get some scans done, as he suspected something more serious was going on.

The following week it was revealed that within a six-week time frame, her sacrum and L1 10922759_10152752834710168_354924373375184868_nto L5 had rapidly deteriorated due to bone cancer, with the cancer quickly spreading up her spine and already eating through the bone in her skull.

I hate the thought that the cancer was entirely asymptomatic up until the point of Christmas. Some simple back pain very quickly turned into a life-altering and shocking life chapter for her and all close family and friends involved.

She remains in hospital with her condition rapidly deteriorating and she heartbreakingly refuses to even take visits from loved ones.

My personal beliefs 

From what I believe to be true, as per the figures, cancer will soon be not only 90-95% linked to environmental and lifestyle factors but 100% responsible. I was never of the belief that genetics played any factor whatsoever in cancer-but what would I know?

I’m sure that scientists are now on the correct path and even further studies will be carried out into the type of foods we are consuming, and everyday chemicals we are exposing ourselves to that will be directly linked to cancer.

What really needs to be out in the open is that the majority of big named corporate companies that manufacture and produce the foods we consume daily from the supermarket, don’t have one ounce of care for our healthgo organic but simply for their own self-satisfying profit and greed.

Their aim is to manufacture their product in the most cost-effective fashion, to make their product taste good (by the use of artificial additives) and to leave the consumer coming back for more, with a conclusive aim to take over the market in their specific area.

This means they will happily use animal fats, chemical by-products, artificial additives, emulsifiers and MSG to name a few. Even Colgate were busted recently for using a chemical in their toothpaste that has been linked to cancer.

The profit driven concept also applies to cleaning products, laundry liquids, car washes, cosmetics, toiletries and any other every-day product that passes through your hand.

However, it’s a lot more frightening just what kind of chemicals are being put into these products, many of which are endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, reproductive toxicants and basically a plethora of chemicals which will wreck havoc on your body over a period of time when you continually expose yourself to them.

All it takes is the most minimal of research online on the product ingredients to discover what is really contained within.

The problem is the body is not built to naturally take on foreign man-made chemicals, therefore toxins unknowingly build within the body and start to attack cells and organs. If organic livingyou continue to feed your body with the wrong types of foods, and expose yourself to multiple chemical products-then this is the perfect breeding ground for the formation of cancer and other serious disease.

Foods rich in antioxidants are a start to combating free-radical damage within the body, but I don’t believe it’s ever enough to balance out the toxins, given the level we are taking in, but it certainly is a start to getting on top of damage already done.

It is the topic for a whole other article as to the cancerous environmental pollutants we expose ourselves to- wifi radiation, mercury and lead offsets from mining, agricultural offsets, industrial waste waters and greenhouse gases. I myself haven’t really researched the full effects of these pollutants.

The generation prior

My old boss is in his 60s and used to always poke fun at me bringing “all organic” food to work and snacking on “rabbit food” all the time. It’s funny because the generation before us never had to worry about the food in the supermarket or local fresh produce market. Food used to be just food.

It wasn’t mass produced like it is today, with manufacturers  attempting to keep up with the ever-expanding population. It’s hard for me to explain to him just what our generation has to worry about in regards to food as it’s an entirely different era.

Corners of the globe with very low incidences of cancer

After chatting with my friend that was also in the car when the phone call was taken, I waspreserved cultures
curious which countries in the world have been able to remain clear of cancer and found a website that set out some interesting figures.

The Hopi Indians of Arizona have an incidence rate of 1 in 1000 compared to America’s baffling 1 in 4 as being affected by cancer. Another finding was the Pueblo Indians, also of Arizona had more or less the same incidence as the Hopi Indians until supermarkets were installed in the area. Today the Pueblo Indians are hit by cancer at the very same rate as Americans.Go figure.

I have seen the exact same detrimental effects of corporate supermarkets in French Polynesia after spending two months in the region.

Where to start on minimising your risk of cancer?

How do you do this without taking the enjoyment out of life and in particular eating the foods you love and using products “known and trusted” without turning into a complete paranoid mess about the topic of cancer?

One of the best things I believe is putting yourself in the right frame of mind about it all. Educate yourself and then learn to make more conscious decisions the next time you do your grocery shopping. Begin reading labels and running quick searches online on the safety of the product ingredients.

Get to know the biggest culprits and the top ingredients, additives or preservatives to avoid entirely- then ask yourself if it’s really worth buying. It’s a tall mountain to climb if you try to make drastic lifestyle changes overnight, so begin step by step. On that note, it’s taken me around two years to switch the majority of my cosmetics, cleaning products, and diet to one that is largely organic and chemical-free.

However, I know that I will never reach the point of being completely chemical-free, regimented and restricted as similar to a religion in this area. I enjoy an alcoholic drink now and then, I enjoy greasy, fatty, unhealthy food options from time to time, but I’m conscious of the effect of those personal choices on my body and work hard to ensure the majority of my diet is based on healthy options.

The cost of organic 

With the cost of buying organic products being a lot higher than non-organic, this can be a real turn-off for many people, and understandably so. Personally I don’t mind spending a bit more on products I know are clear of chemicals and made from companies that care for the health and well-being of its consumers.

The way I see it is some people are happy to spend lots of money on drinking every weekend or purchasing the latest technology, but will buy the cheapest foods at the supermarket to meet their budget.

I find a recognisable value in growing your own organic vegetables, fruits and herbs at home. You can do this even in the smallest of city units- just choose pots that can sit on windowsills or pavers if you don’t have any space for a garden.

It is a real asset in this day and age as even those consumers that make seemingly healthy food choices in the fruit & vegetable section of supermarkets are not going to be left untouched from cancer, as multiple pesticides and fungicides are used to develop a healthy crop that meets high supermarket standard. It’s just a matter of trial and error on how to grow your own garden at home without the use of chemicals.

Remember at home you can also very easily control the level of nutrients in the soil when you turn over your crop. Soil depletion is an ever growing issue in large-scale crops, with supermarket produce stripped of many vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be traceable in the fruit or vegetable, due to poor soil quality.

The future of supermarkets and organic living

Fortunately there has been a lot of growth in this area over the past few years with many organic options being available at restaurants and cafes. This is a great sign that people are beginning to take notice of what’s really going on.

As far as supermarkets are concerned, one big-named supermarket “Aldi” is taking a stand on manufacturing affordable organic foods (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/aldi-is-fixing-is-biggest-weakness-and-that-should-terrify-whole-foods-2016-1?r=US&IR=T ) and hopefully this will in-turn have a domino effect on all other chain supermarkets.

It is my aim that this article, along with many other articles and information available on the internet will raise more awareness into cancer and its true origins. Let’s not be blasé about it all, stop wondering what the hell is causing it and investigate for yourself on how not to stand in the way of its destructive path.

home grown vegetables

Resources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/

https://canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/what-cancer/cancer-australia-statistics

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722289/Chemical-used-Colgate-Total-toothpaste-linked-cancer.html

http://www.cancer-coverup.com/brewer/brewer-05.html

The Truth of the Inner-Self

Some days you’re faced with people who act in indescribable ways and go out of their way to use methods to hurt, offend or upset. They can be someone you know or they can be complete strangers, regardless of who they are, they both have something in common- either a negative intent to in some way shape or form affect you with their words or actions, or a general unhappiness in themselves.

An encounter with one of these types is bad enough but when you’re really unlucky, and it’s usually the way the energy game works, you seem to attract and encounter many in one day. Let’s say you come across someone who has  made an offensive statement directed at you and about you. Their words or opinions are so distasteful that you begin to65169_10151137360180168_400812489_n question yourself and who you are, you start defending yourself in your own mind. You might even find yourself having a conversation with that person in your head even though they are long gone and may never cross paths with you again. Before you know it, that particular person with their negative energy has left an imprint on you and you may keep thinking about that one irritating action or word they said, hours, days and sometimes years later.

You don’t have to be a victim to this energy. If you have taken the time over the course and events of your life to get to know yourself inside out, and I mean truly know yourself- your strengths, your shortfalls, your typical emotional reactions, then you should remember one very important thing. That person can never take away the truth of your own being. You know you’re a good person who does good things, you have a big heart, you tread on this earth lightly, you not only care deeply for your closest friends, family or spouse but you care in general for the goodness of humanity. Any single vexatious word someone attempts to offload onto you is simply an expression of the current state in which they are in, which ironically has most likely come about from their encounters with an even less desirable human being in their past. It’s a real lack of love, an outcry-and unfortunately it’s very contagious. Some days I view it as a food chain, a man-eat-man energy game and it’s simply not necessary.

Reminding yourself of your truth is similar to gratitude- a gratitude of your own strength and essence. Come the end of the day, you can compare and dissect your current emotions with encounters with any other human being by imagining that you had just spent the day in a beautiful wilderness setting, alone with your spirit- with absolutely no interaction with anyone but nature. This will help to put in perspective your energy vs the energy another carries- which is none of your business. In Baz Luhrmann’s 1999 song “Wear Sunscreen” one standout line to me is “Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how” In other words, we’re all human and it takes a lot of mindfulness, control and discipline to tame the ego that reacts to insults but I believe it is possible with practice. You can’t always forget words or actions of another but you can always work on taking away the emotional attachment.