Learning to Smile Again

“Peace begins with a smile.” —Mother Teresa

 

When was the last time you studied every piece of your identity, and with each new discovery made, found you could not stop smiling? Take some time today to notice yourself. Appreciate your every feature. Love your imperfections. Cherish all of the parts of your beautiful being. Encourage your body and mind to heal from depression by showering in compliments, loving energy, and positive thoughts. Fuel yourself with raw, organic fruits and vegetables. Hydrate with pure water and fresh green juices. Keep your internal organs clean. Exercise your body, mind, and spirit. Let go of all fears, insecurities, and worries. See yourself as an opportunistic optimist. Recognize your limitless potential. Always remember to smile, even when you are hurting inside. What you may notice is your mood will improve, your body will look more appealing, your skin will start glowing, and your face will shine. You make the world a more peaceful place when you respect yourself and everything around you.

I once cared for a houseplant that was in poor health from spending too much time in direct sunlight. A friend of mine told me there was no hope in rescuing her but I refused to accept this and nurtured her back to life. I paid attention to the entirety of her body, from the roots to the edges of her leaves. I nourished her with water, massages and song. I complimented her, and assured her she would heal. I am not a botanist, or a green thumb by any means, but I knew deep down there was still life in this plant friend of mine. With each new day she gained vibrancy, and within one month she was in good spirits. By means of encouragement, I found a way to nurse a plant back to life that was labeled, a dead plant corpse, by my friend who had far more experience with plants than I did. If I was able to successfully revive this plant from what ailed her, I believe we can heal ourselves from what is bringing us down using a similar strategy. We can water our spirits with compliments and encouraging words. Massage our bodies with loving touch. Nourish the fabrics of our identity with exercise, optimal fuel sources, and real food. Sing, or listen to happy melodies that will satisfy our souls. Most importantly, practice smiling frequently, and know deep down inside that we are capable of being truly happy.

            “If we continue to practice smiling, even in difficult situations, many people, animals, and plants will benefit from our way of doing things. Are you massaging our Mother Earth every time your foot touches her? Are you planting seeds of joy and peace?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

When I walk barefoot through the forests, I imagine I am massaging the rich redwood soil every time my foot touches down. Perhaps this plants seeds of joy and peace. I smile so often people must wonder what I am so happy about. I recognize the importance of smiling, so I smile at the wildlife, plants, trees, and especially banana slugs I find in the forest. I smile at people who pass me on busy city streets. I smile at myself in the mirror. My hope is for other people, as well as animals and plants, to benefit in some way from this gesture. I aim to spread happiness wherever I go. Will you join me?

I often think of the saying, “Let your smile change the world, but do not let the world change your smile.” We live in a polluted society where there is an abundance of anger, confusion, discrimination, greed, hatred, ignorance, jealousy, and separation swirling around us. If we allow this negativity to penetrate our fields of infinite possibilities, we soon stop radiating positivity, and the result is that we permit the world to convert our smile to another grim face that does not say hello when passing by. This book is a source of encouragement and inspiration for us all to rearrange the adversity and hostility, plant seeds of laughter and peace of mind, and massage the Mother Earth with each step or leap we take in our happy lives.

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

We can no longer exist in a shell of the world captured by uncertainty. We have to branch out and expand our horizons. Therefore I encourage you to read books that capture your interest, observe nature, sing, dance, write, struggle, and overcome adversity in order to understand the big picture circulating around this Universe is always working in our favor. We must question everything we think we know. Our mission should be eradicating anger, and transmuting poor thoughts into unforgettable smiles; clearing up confusions and shaping them into dazzling expressions; discriminating only against hatred and negativity so we can celebrate in an abundance of positive energy; unearthing confidence to wash off the jealousy attached to discontent; and erasing separation so we can all be happy as one unit.

            As George Carlin suggested, “Everyone smiles in the same language.” If we walk through a park filled with people from a multitude of cultures and ethnicities, we will feel accepted and at peace provided everyone is wearing a smile to go along with their unique identity. We could say hello through harmonious body language, kind eyes, and compassionate intentions. Nothing is stopping us from creating this balanced environment, aside from our refusal to be accepting of difference. We must learn to live with tranquility and be receptive to change. By elevating our consciousness, raising awareness, practicing compassion, being loving, and doing our part to ease the suffering in the world, we can achieve this goal.

Creating The Life We Desire

“The thing I remember best about successful people I have met throughout the years is their obvious delight in what they are doing, and this seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they are doing, and they love it in front of others.” – Mr. Fred Rogers

Damian Mander is a former Australian Royal Navy clearance diver, and special operations military sniper. As a professional killer with SEEK & DESTROY tattooed across his chest, he is every bit intimidating. He has completed twelve tours in Iraq and is literally programmed to destroy. He mentions in his TedX speech that he knows exactly how many clicks of elevation are needed to take a headshot on a moving target seven hundred meters away. What is most striking about Damian’s speech is how his compassion and loving nature emerged even after all he had been through. While visiting Africa, he found purpose among chaos when he saw an elephant resting on her side with her face cut off – a vicious act of poaching. With new found compassion in his heart, he pondered whether or not he could be brave enough to give up his career in order to help save the lives of animals. A little time went by and Damian decided to sell his homes and relocate to Africa, where he started the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (iapf.org). His foundation is dedicated to protecting animals from poachers, while also guarding community assets and reducing habitat destruction. He claims through all of his experiences, he has only performed one act of bravery that defines who he is. This act of bravery was his decision to exchange his life for a new one based on compassion and love. He describes the decision to give up his former life to help animals by saying, “There will never be separation between who I am, and what I do.” He chose to create a life that aligns with his passions.

“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, simply harness your power to your passion.” – Oprah Winfrey

How many of us can honestly claim there is no separation between who we are and what we do? To create supreme lives that fulfill our desires, we must choose a life path congruent with our passions. In Damian’s case, he spent many years searching for his true identity to finally discover his path in an unexpected place. We cannot force ourselves to choose a career path that does not interest us simply so we can please our parents and earn a living. This often paves the road for the feeling of a wasted life, and leads to a dulling of the senses and numbing of emotions. We may not discover our purpose for decades, but if we settle for an unstable foundation to support a less than ideal reality, we will never know true happiness. Sure, working to support ourselves while we are searching for what fits our calling is necessary, however we must be careful not to let this work environment impede on our pursuit for a better existence.

Before Bob Ross started the TV series, The Joy Of Painting, he spent twenty years in the United States Air Force, retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant. While his fans could never imagine him raising his voice, or being anything other than peaceful and serene, he spent years disciplining others before he finally found his true calling. In an interview with Orlando Sentinel, he exclaimed, “I was the guy who forced you to scrub the latrine, the guy who drilled you to make your bed, the guy who screamed at you for being late to work. The job requires you to be a mean, tough person, and I was fed up with it.” He simply knew this was not the life he always wished for, but he did what he could do with what he had. When Ross retired from the Air Force, he vowed never to scream again. Instead, he taught thousands of people how to paint beautiful landscapes. He always insisted, “We do not make mistakes. We have happy accidents.” Although he spent twenty years positioning himself where he wanted to be, Bob was able to construct a life where there was no longer separation between who he was and what he did, all because he fell back on something familiar which he had been passionate about all along.

The tennis legend, Arthur Ashe, once advised his fans, “To be successful one has to start where they are, use what they have, and do what they can.” Now that we know how to construct new patterns, and establish different designs that could improve our current way of living, we can get started on building the perfect life. We are the architects of our desires, passions, and reality.

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember the whole thing started with a dream and a mouse.” – Walt Disney

Too many of us become servants to the wage economy. We often settle for jobs we do not like, and after we are locked into car and mortgage payments, find ourselves stuck at these jobs permanently. In many situations, these work environments make less out of us. I have a hard time believing anyone who works in a factory farm slaughtering animals can honestly claim to enjoy their job. They find themselves in this position because they are desperate for money and need to survive. By accepting employment in such conditions, they live in the shadows of their potential. We cannot be enslaved by money. We always have to plot escape routes for when we are unhappy.

What if not one of us was allowed to become someone who we do not want to be? Would this change our perception and have an impact on each decision we make? Maybe if we refuse to permit ourselves to create these undesirable lives we are resenting the thought of waking up to, then we can make more conscious choices that lead us to being our authentic selves. We are affected by each day we let pass us by without being productive. When we do not allow our dreams to manifest into reality, and we do not act on our ideas, we will not feel fulfilled. To nurture an ideal life we must find ways to build on our ideas, practice being productive, write out our goals, exercise, eat healthy, and be aware of where our money is going.

The famous actor, Will Smith, once said in an interview, “I do not want to be an icon, I want to be an idea. I want to represent possibilities. I want to represent magic. There is a redemptive power that making a choice has. Decide what it is going to be, who you are going to be, and how you are going to do it. Simply decide. From that point the Universe is going to get out of your way. It is water. It wants to move and get around stuff. So for me, I want to represent the idea that you really can make what you want. I believe that I can create whatever I desire if I can put my head on it right, study it, and learn the patterns.” Once we decide what we want, our task is to manifest this new life.

To create the life we desire, we need to establish three objectives. First, we must attain mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Second, we maintain a healthy land-base suitable to live and thrive on. Finally, we have to be certain our way of life is not impeding on the happiness, health, and well-being of other people or animals.

Happiness starts from within and only we have the ability to obtain a life we desire for ourselves.  Before we had dreams about what we would be when we grew up, we were innocent children striving to find happiness. All we yearned for was acceptance and love. Over the course of our lifetime, we often shift our requirements for contentment to include luxuries and material items. We begin seeking recognition and pollute our soul with ego. We now long to accumulate wealth and riches. The innocent child we grow up nurturing gets lost in the race to impress others, as we travel as far away from our true identity as we possibly can. This is where we fail. The most successful people recognize their roots, and stay true to who they are. They pay attention to their inner child and never allow him to get lost. They know where they want to go, and have a plan for how they will get there. We often do not succeed because we are blind in our pursuit. We chase fantasies before securing our identity. We need structure. We cannot live as autopilots being sent on missions to accomplish objectives not relevant to our well-being.

To be triumphant in our pursuit to lead fulfilling lives, we start by building a strong foundation with optimal health and true happiness as our most abundant resources. Once this foundation is in place, we unlock limitless potential, and success soon befriends us. To establish this base, we must strengthen our body, mind, and spirit. We begin this process by harvesting the clean internal environment our cells demand for efficient regeneration. This begins with eating healthy and partaking in internal cleansing services such as colon hydrotherapy, lymphatic drainage massages, and oxygen baths. We are required to feed the healthy bacteria in our gut by nourishing ourselves with raw organic fruits and vegetables. We also must be careful not to supplement the harmful pathogens and parasites that thrive on poor food sources such as dairy, eggs, fast foods, gluten grains, GMOs, meat, processed foods, and refined sugars. Ingesting these deleterious foods will nourish harmful bacterial endotoxins that invade our microbiome. This can result in an unstable foundation that is a terrain for disease, and lead to our desirable lives collapsing. We must face our anger, confusion, depression, greed, hatred, ignorance, insecurities, jealousy, lies, and separation issues so we can let them go, make more room for love, and come closer to our truth. We may acquire new hobbies and talents that align with our passions, exercise regularly, expand our intellect, grow organic food, plant our own gardens, practice meditation and yoga, and raise our awareness. Once we are living in alignment with our passions and have achieved health in our body, mind, and spirit, we naturally become more curious about the planet we live on and all of Earth’s inhabitants.

Once we secure happiness, we may contribute toward helping our planet become a healthy and happy place. Too often we go after our desires and fail to protect our natural resources. Many people in this world blow up mountaintops, cut down forests, and drill for oil and gas beneath the most beautiful places on Earth. They mine for precious metals, and pollute the rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans with fracking chemicals, animal excrement from factory farms, pesticides, and other chemicals. If these people are seeking fame, fortune, or a better life by accomplishing these atrocities, there are more peaceful ways to gain notoriety. Dr. Jane Goodall, the conservationist, environmentalist, and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (janegoodall.org), once said, “We cannot leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for eighty percent of the world’s people, while bringing it down considerably for the twenty percent who are destroying our natural resources.” What we are witnessing today is a small percentage of the population accruing the majority of the wealth, while their actions destroy the bulk of our resources. Once our planet is no longer habitable for humans or animals to sustain life because of our greed-driven actions, our foundation will crumble. Knowing this, we must be aware of the consequences that come from attaining our desires while turning a blind eye to the environment. Our goals should always be in harmony with nature.

Finally, as we design the layout for the desirable life we are seeking, we need to be certain our attainment of this ideal life will not destroy, or impede on, the happiness and well-being of animals or other humans. Another of Jane Goodall’s virtues is, “We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of us all.” In addition to respecting other animals, we have to respect each other, including the lives of indigenous natives. Most of the resources used to manufacture products sold in prosperous nations come with costs attached we are blind to. We do not realize our decision to sell a product containing palm oil is clearing millions of acres of rainforests, driving orangutans, tigers, and other plant and animal species to extinction, and killing indigenous tribes living in those regions. We are ignorant to the fact our decision to eat dairy, eggs, and meat is responsible for eighty percent of all deforestation, as well as the staggering amount of ocean dead zones, water shortages all over the world, as well as pollution of our air, lakes, oceans, rivers, soil, streams, and underground aquifers, in addition to the extinction of animals, human beings, and plant species. Animal agriculture is responsible for over half of all greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming and climate change. In the United State alone, over 260 million acres of forests have been cleared to provide land for raising animals to be processed as food. To successfully build a structure impossible to decimate, we have to keep this in mind. Protecting our land-base and all of Earth’s inhabitants is the only way to insure the strength of our foundation and bring about true happiness. We cannot genuinely find the joy we are seeking if with each meal consumed we are contributing to pain and suffering all over the world. This is why we are encouraged to grow our own food, stop supporting corporations, and transition to plant-based vegan diets.

After we assure our foundation is free from cracks or imperfections that could set us back on our quest, we can actively pursue this new life we previously only dreamt of. We permanently invite happiness into our lives. Now we can embrace the feeling of knowing our decisions are not inflicting pain and suffering on others around the world. Once we conquer this pure energy, we tap into the flow of the Universe. We make bold statements with our actions. We lead by example, showing everyone around us how to live in harmony. We turn each new rising sun into our favorite day.

“”What day is it,’ asked Pooh. ‘Today,’ answered Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.” – A.A. Milne

Imagine how much happier we would be if we could honestly deem each new day as our favorite. Why is our current situation telling us we cannot? Are we simply choosing not to pursue our passions, and failing to construct a life path that fulfills our fantasies? When we create the life we desire, we generate happiness that never fades. Winnie the Pooh lived in a perfect fairy tale world where he woke up each day to abundance, good friends, and harmony in nature. His lifestyle did not inflict pain or suffering on others. This happiness that engulfed him is what stimulated his response to Piglet. How could today not be his favorite day, when he was equally as happy every other day? What we will notice as we begin to live for ourselves, doing what we truly want, and refusing to allow limitations or restrictions to belittle our ambitions, is we become truly happy individuals. When living this way, each day only gets better.

 

In his book, Into The Wind, Jake Ducey writes, “Most of us are busy gambling on the most dangerous risk of all—living our whole life not doing what we want on the bet that we can buy the freedom to do it later.” We have to act now if we want to magnetize this life we envision in a perfect world. The environment we live in will never be ideal if we fail to do so.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are, the people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances that they want and if they cannot find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw

If we want to make a difference in our lives today, we must learn to stop pointing fingers and only blame ourselves for the temporary situations we are controlled by. We cannot pass judgment. We should familiarize ourselves with accountability, humility, and humbleness. Opportunities are often hiding in places where we would never think to look. Some of us are simply too comfortable not searching, and only waiting to see what falls into our lap. To live the life we have always imagined, our responsibility is to create the circumstances to make this life feasible.

We are all different, however we share many similarities. One thing we have in common is we are ready to begin living real lives. We no longer want to be controlled by doubt, expectations, fear, insecurities, or misunderstandings. We can leave our negative emotions behind. When Nelson Mandela was freed from prison after twenty-seven years, he stated, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I did not leave my bitterness and hatred behind I would still be in prison.” We each want to be in control of our destiny. We want to accomplish our goals. The only thing holding us back is lack of action. We are in the driver’s seat now. If we still choose to drive down roads leading to despair, we can accept the blame for why we are morose.

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown

There is no space left in our brains to worry about what happened in the past. We cannot exhaust ourselves wondering about the endpoints, or where our final destination will be. Our objective now that we have found our true purpose is to share our passions with the world and go after what feels good now. We cannot continue living video game versions of life. I know of people who wake up every day to sit in front of a television screen. They throw a processed food item in the microwave, and fill themselves up with a variety of chemicals for their nourishment while they continue to watch their brains warp from a reflection off of the screen. They are engaged in this media device all day and night, and they fail to find their identity in the process. While they waste away, they often wonder why they are sick and depressed. Eating processed foods, playing video games, and watching television are each enemies of our good friend happiness. To manifest our desires, we cannot play video games, we have to turn off our televisions, and we definitely must abstain from eating processed foods. A good first step would be to discard of your microwave, immediately. Although convenient for some, this invention is associated with cancer, and strips your food of vital nutrition and radiant energy. Next, you can get outside in nature, and once you are removed from the superficial, synthetic culture that warps your desires, you will naturally elevate your consciousness. Now you can build your stable foundation and follow this up by mapping out your future and creating your action plan.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We want to make happiness our priority. We are not chasing fame, money, or superficiality; we are seeking freedom from oppression. Once we understand this freedom is already lying dormant within us, we are no longer confined by limitations or restrictions. We can now embrace our passions, and fulfill our purpose in life by doing what we truly enjoy. When we live this way, others notice. When they catch on, an aura of happiness is passed on that impacts everyone in their path. By doing what we love, we infect the world with positivity.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Do not make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things that you love doing, and then do them so well that people cannot take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou

The Law of Jiu-Jitsu states, “The more energy that is directed against us, the more energy is available for us.” You will notice other people are going to question you when you start living as an individual, free from sedation and corporate rule. They may talk about you as if you are the outcast. Soak up all the energy – good or bad. The more they direct energy at you, the more energy you will have to use for building your empire. As Jim Rohn once said, “Success is something you attract by the person you become.” When we heal ourselves from depression, and emit happiness everywhere we go, we attract greatness. We can only give our best to others if we are in touch with the best in ourselves.

In his YouTube video, Manifest What You Want Through Habit, the gifted motivational speaker Preston Smiles confronts us with a powerful message. “What are you a slave to?,” he asks, “Is it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, him, her, your job, politics?” He goes on to explain, “What we need to be aware of is that the very things that imprison us, also point to our freedom. We cannot say that we want these dreams, or these huge things to happen if we are sitting with Snapchat all day. We cannot say we want to take our business to the next level if we are on Facebook six out of twelve hours. This is not how life works. If we want excellence, it must become a habit. All of the true masters knew this. They understood the two-step. They kept doing the same dance over and over again. That is why companies spend so much on advertising, to instill the value of their products in your mind. We have to advertise for ourselves, have our own slogan, and wake up every day pumped and ready to go. If you want to take your life to the next level, you have to have your thoughts match up with your actions. You have to have all of those things aligned, and you do that by understanding what you are enslaved to.” Many of us are enslaved to expectations, lousy jobs, mainstream media, money, mortgage payments, social media devices, televisions, unhealthy food, and video games. Once we acknowledge this, we can use what is enslaving us to set us free by letting go of all these attachments. After freeing ourselves from this oppression, we can begin our journeys into the unknown.

The motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, assures his fans, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” Now that we understand what has been holding us back and have taken the time to nourish ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we can construct the foundation we need to support us as we build the life we desire. We decide how we want to manifest this life. As long as we begin the journey, we will find our way to happiness, health, and success.

I am excited to see your potential bloom from the happiness that has blossomed in your life. You are responsible for how you will improve yourself, and your perspective of everyone around you, and you choose which role you will play in healing society. I am grateful that you decided to take this journey with me. I wish you the best always, and I am sending many positive thoughts your way. Please join me in making the world a better place.

            “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. Once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The Best Version Of You

“My father could have been a great comedian but he did not believe that this was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. When I was twelve years old, he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you do not want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” – Jim Carrey, Actor and Comedian

If you are ever speaking to a group of people and you say, “Okay, I want all of you to raise your hand as high as you can,” you will notice they tend to raise their hands high up in the air. As their hands are raised, if you then say, “Okay, now I want you to raise them higher,” somehow they find a way to get their hands higher. Too often we claim to be doing our best, yet we are ignoring how much better we can become, and how much more we can accomplish with what we have. When I refer to the best version of you, I want you to be the very best. I want you to give more than one-hundred percent at every moment. This does not mean you claim to be the best, try this out for a short period of time, and then regress back into the depressed version of you. I want you to be a ray of happiness. I want you to magnetize positivity everywhere you go. To do so, you cannot be too easy on yourself.

In an endurance race, some competitors conserve energy until the very end, or for ascents uphill, careful not to run out of energy late, or fall behind early in the race. They conserve their energy, clinging to the belief they cannot give their all for the entire duration of the race. This relates to the common way many of us move through life. We hang on to our ambitions, beliefs, and hopes for too long. Why are we holding back? Are we fearful of attaining what we truly desire? We can give our all every day, in any circumstance, no matter what the situation may be. There is never a reason for any of us to restrict our potential. Knowing this, we can no longer afford to be easy on ourselves. We have to give our all even when we feel there is no use.

“If you do not build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” – Tony Gaskins

We are each entitled to unique dreams. We have ambitions, desires, fantasies, goals, necessities, and wants that we yearn for every day. This is our time to captivate them and manifest these constituents into our lives. We cannot experience true happiness until we start building our own masterpieces through action; rather than continuing to help others construct their dreams using our commitment, energy, labor, and time.

 

“If you really want to heal and change your life for the better, what will work is getting busy with it. Instead of expecting the past to be something it was not, focus on making the future into something that it can be.” – John McCabe, Igniting Your Life

If you are letting your past restrict you from acting to create a more lively future, recognize the cycle of defeat you are choosing to participate in. What happened yesterday, last week, a few months ago, or during our childhood is not relevant to how we approach today and what we will do with each rising sun. We have to focus on what will bring us happiness now. Our concentration should be on preserving this happiness so this carries over into our future.

“The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Whitney Young, Civil Rights leader

To establish authentic versions of ourselves, this requires we become superior to our past. This is not a battle for us to one-up others, or win the race to see who we have left behind in the dust. We want to grow up, mature, and emerge as leaders. Our mission is to solidify our character by embracing awareness, compassion, confidence, love, and understanding. We choose to be optimistic and maintain positive attitudes. We erase all confusions surrounding the person we want to be. We have a clear understanding of what we want, and accept nothing less than what we envision.

“The World Makes Way For Those Who Know Where They Are Going.” – Henry David Thoreau

When we know in our heart, mind, and spirit exactly what we want to do, where we want to be, and how we are going to get there, amazing things begin to happen. A path opens which we have never before noticed. We choose whether or not to follow this new path. If we decide to take action, we will get what we want. Once we become accustomed to living this way, maintaining focus gets easier. We realize we have control over our destiny.

“As they say, you never forget how to ride a bike once you have learned. Well, so it is with taking charge of your life and breaking through obstacles. Once you fully understand how you create your reality, you suddenly have the ability to plot a course to your desires that will truly amaze you because it feels like magic.” – Craig Perrine

We cannot forget the difference between being active and sedentary. Once we begin to take action, we can easily fall off track if we permit stagnation to infiltrate. We must fight off resistance at all costs to be successful on our road to recovery.

When I go running through the forest on hot days, if I stop for any reason, in that very moment mosquitoes will attack me. If I keep moving, they do not bother me. This motivates me to continue without resting. Imagine how blessed we would be if every time we stopped being active in life, the Universe would send us a signal that would push us to carry on. Guess what, this does happen. When the life we lead does not align with our passions, depression bites at us so we will change our ways. If we eat poorly and live sedentary, we are often afflicted with a serious health condition. We do not get sick, or become ill so that we can blame God, curse our genetics, or give up on life. These conditions arise to motivate us so we will correct our errors and clean up our mistakes. The reason why we are confronted with failures on our mission to obtain happiness is not so we can dwell in misery, but rather for us to reshape our desires and go after what we are destined to succeed with. The Universe is working in our favor, not against us. We can rest at times, but if we do not want to get bit by misfortunes, then we must remain active in our pursuit of a better life.

“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

At fifty-two, Janette Murray-Wakelin was diagnosed with breast cancer and the prognosis was she had only six months to live. After recognizing she could improve her life in many ways, she chose to bypass all conventional treatments and changed her diet and lifestyle. By bolstering her perception, exercising, and eating plant-based, she healed and became cancer-free. Soon after, she published the book, Raw Can Cure Cancer. In 2013, Janette, 64, and her husband, Alan Murray, 68, ran a marathon every day of the year. They followed this up with one final run on the first day of 2014 to break the world record for running the most consecutive marathons. When asked why they decided to run, their answer was, “To inspire and motivate conscious lifestyle choices, to promote kindness and compassion for all living beings, and to raise environmental awareness for a sustainable future.” To add to the greatness of their incredible feat, they accomplished this on a strict raw vegan diet, and ran in Vibram shoes.

According to a January 2014 article on the True Activist webpage (trueactivist.com), Elderly Vegan Couple Ran A Marathon Every Day of 2013, the couple fueled with raw organic fruits and vegetables and followed The 80/10/10 Diet, by Dr. Douglas Graham (foodnsport.com). Every morning they would awaken at four a.m. and consume ten bananas, a grapefruit, and a date smoothie for breakfast. At around eight a.m., they would eat another ten bananas. This was followed by a green smoothie at nine a.m., a fruit salad at the nineteen-mile mark, and three oranges by the twenty-third mile. They would finish their run by four p.m. Dinner for the two would likely be an avocado, vegetable juice, and salad. They announced that, “Consuming an abundance of high-nutrient laden, fresh, ripe, organic fruits and vegetables allows them to experience true happiness, make conscious choices that benefit the planet, and feel great.” By following this diet, not only were they able to successfully run over 9,800 miles in a year, but they also obtained sufficient amounts of antioxidants, calcium, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, iron, liquids,  phytonutrients, proteins, and all other essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. They awakened better versions of themselves. If you adapt to The 80/10/10 approach, you will likely find similar success.

While society has mistakenly believed for years that animal products help to fuel endurance and provide us with strength, what we know today is that these food choices drain our endurance and deplete our vitality. The best fuel sources for athletes are raw fruits and vegetables, and fresh organic juices and smoothies – as Janette and Alan demonstrated. In fact, many of the most dominant endurance athletes fuel with plant-based food sources. The fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, and his fellow Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake, both insist that bananas are their primary fuel sources. Yohan announced that he will eat up to thirty bananas a day while training. The endurance athlete, Rich Roll, who is considered one of the fittest men on the planet, gets his fuel from plants, abiding by a strict vegan diet. You can learn about his story in the book, Finding Ultra. The vegan bodybuilder, Joshua Knox, who was a heavy meat eater at one point speaks at TedXFremont about how he gained more strength and endurance than he ever thought was possible on a plant-based diet. His presentation was titled, A Vegan Bodybuilding Experiment.

Imagine if Janette had given up after she was afflicted with cancer. The disease would have destroyed her. She instead opted to take action, heal herself, and not allow this disease to infiltrate her positivity. Today she is a source of inspiration because she decided to take action and gain control of her health and well-being. We can all learn a lesson or two from her story. Discover more about her incredible life by accessing the website for Running Raw Around Australia (runningrawaroundaustralia.com).

The Truth About Meat

“Meat is not man’s natural food, since he is not either a carnivorous or an omnivorous animal. Every argument drawn from comparative anatomy, from physiology, from chemistry, from experience, from observation, and when rightly used, from common sense – as well as the arguments from agricultural, the hygienic, the ethical and humanitarian standpoints – all agree in proving that man is not a meat-eating animal and that if he does indulge in this practice, it is to his own detriment being such an unhealthful, unnatural, and abnormal habit.” – Dr. Hereward Carrington

From an anatomical perspective, humans are not designed to be omnivorous. In fact, our anatomical design resembles that of a frugivore or herbivore. We have small canine teeth to tear apart the cellulose fibers in vegetables. Omnivorous animals use their fangs and sharp teeth to break down bones and cartilage. We do not have claws that can penetrate flesh or harm animals – we have soft, porous nails for peeling fruit. We are equipped with a long, plant-friendly digestive tract. Omnivores have short tracts allowing for them to digest and excrete animal-derived food sources easily. We sweat through pores in our skin, while omnivores sweat through the tongue and have minimal sweat glands. Our salivary chemistry is alkaline, while an omnivorous animals is acidic. Our body requires fiber to stimulate peristalsis, an omnivores does not. Our brain chemistry is fueled by glycogen while an omnivore requires fats and proteins for brain functioning. We even see in full color-scale like other herbivores and frugivores – omnivores and carnivores do not. Every component of our anatomy supports the notion we are not omnivorous or carnivorous mammals. We were simply not created to eat meat. All evidence points directly to us being put here on Earth to eat fruit, some leafy green vegetables, and nothing else other than the occasional nuts, seeds, and sprouts.

The article, Evolution and Prostate Cancer, was featured in the Winter 2000 edition of the Prostate Cancer Update journal published by the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The lead author, scientist Don Coffey, Ph.D., explains, “In nature, animals that are carnivores – meat-eaters like lions – do not have seminal vesicles. The only animals that have both prostates and seminal vesicles are herbivores – veggie-eating animals like bulls, apes, and elephants. We are the huge glaring exception to this rule: Men have seminal vesicles, too. In other words, man – a meat-lover – has the makeup of an animal that should be vegetarian. The fact that men eat meat seems to be a mistake that nature never accounted for.” We seem to be the only mammal with seminal vesicles who consciously chooses to indulge in animal-derived foods. We are also among the only mammals who develop prostate cancer.

In an October 2008 publication in the peer-reviewed Nutrition In Clinical Practice journal, The Cause of Atherosclerosis, Dr. William C. Roberts explains how carnivorous and omnivorous animals do not develop atherosclerosis. These animals can eat endless amounts of fat and cholesterol and their arteries will not clog up. In studies on herbivorous animals, however, atherosclerosis was easily produced when monkeys, rabbits, and rats were fed high cholesterol, high saturated fat diets comprised of eggs and meat. Humans choosing to eat animal-derived foods are experiencing an epidemic of atherosclerosis. There is a reason why true carnivores do not develop this condition, while humans continue to suffer from atherosclerosis.

Whether we are frugivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous – beyond arguing over what we were created to eat – we cannot deny the harsh fact that meat consumption is killing us. Excess animal protein, and cooked meat carcinogens such as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are linked to many degenerative diseases. These include: Alzheimer’s; cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and female anatomy; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; erectile dysfunction; macular degeneration; multiple sclerosis; and osteoporosis. Dietary cholesterol and saturated fats are damaging the endothelial cells lining our circulatory system. Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), a metabolite generated when bacteria in the gut digest choline sourced from chicken, eggs, and fish, and L-carnitine found in red meat is seriously injuring our blood vessels. Malignant tumors are forming from a mammalian molecule known as Neu5Gc, found in most animal-derived foods. Infectious diseases are spreading through the food supply. Never before have we been so plagued with sickness.

Our addiction to flesh foods is the Achilles heel sabotaging the human species. Meat consumption is carcinogenic, health degrading, and can be directly linked to nearly every disease afflicting man. Somewhere on the path of human evolution we were led astray into adapting the habit of eating flesh foods. While in some regions of the world our ancestors relied on meat for survival, today with advances in technology and transportation we no longer need to exploit animals for food. We are smarter now, and have a wide enough variety of plant-based foods available to diversify our palate and consider meat obsolete.

In his book, Meatonomics, author David Robinson Simon alerts us of programs managed by the US Department of Agriculture spending $550 million annually on advertisements and slogans encouraging American citizens to eat more meat and meat products. Mr. Simon also informs us of the American government spending $38 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries, while only 0.04 percent of this amount (i.e., $17 million) is going toward subsidizing fruits and vegetables. As multinational corporations and government organizations use industry propaganda to continually drill us with misleading nutritional information, trying desperately to keep us buried in an unsustainable way of life, we are slowly beginning to manifest a universal awakening. Human intelligence is claiming superiority over the dying hierarchy that has dictated our well being for far too long. With the aid of medical science, we now have enough evidence to support the notion that meat is killing us.

There is a sialic acid sugar molecule known as Neu5Gc that cannot be synthesized by humans, yet is found in the lining of hollow organs and blood vessels. According to a May 2010 study in the PNAS journal – Uniquely Human Evolution of Sialic Acid Genetics and Biology – this cellular-surfaced molecule is incorporated into human tissues from eating animal-derived foods. Dietary Neu5Gc tends to accumulate particularly in epithelial cells lining hollow organs where carcinomas develop, or in the endothelium lining blood vessels where atherosclerosis occurs. Once present in the body our immune system develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, and because this molecule attaches to endothelial and epithelial cells, the antibodies attack these cells. This immune response leads to chronic inflammation, and is likely responsible for the high frequency of diet-related carcinomas and other diseases in humans.

The Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences of the United States published a study in January 2015, A Red Meat-Derived Glycan Promotes Inflammation and Cancer Progression. Researchers used an improved method to survey common foods for free and glycosidically bound forms of the nonhuman sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). Results displayed evidence of this molecule being highly and selectively enriched in red meat. The research team discovered the bound form of Neu5Gc is bioavailable, undergoing metabolic incorporation into human tissues, despite being a foreign antigen. Interactions of this antigen with circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies were found to promote inflammation and accelerate tumor growth. This carcinogenic compound is found primarily in beef, pork, lamb, egg and milk products – with trace amounts present in fish.

A study published in the September 2016 Glycoconjugate Journal, Developmental Changes In the Level of Free and Conjugated Sialic Acids, Neu5Ac, Neu5Gc, and KDN In Different Organs of Pig, found evidence of, “A non-human sialic acid sugar molecule called Neu5Gc – commonly found in red meat – having the potential to increase tumor formations when consumed.” The study – conducted by researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine and Xiamen University School of Medicineexamined presence of the acid in pig meat and found that pig organs, including the lungs, heart, spleen, kidney, and liver, had the highest concentrations. Results showed the risk factors associated with consuming Neu5Gc are significantly increased when the organs are cooked, and therefore, the researchers assert, “Dietary consumption of organ meats should be discouraged to protect against cancer, cardiovascular, and other inflammatory diseases.”

Dating all the way back to May 1962, a study was published in the Journal of Biological ChemistryThe Biosynthesis of Sialic Acids – finding all influenza A viruses were dependent on Neu5Gc to connect with cells. Fifty years later, in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, this discovery was elongated. An April 2012 study, Multifarious Roles of Sialic Acids In Immunity, explains how viruses contain glycoproteins that bind to sialic acids on the surface of human cells and cell membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Judging from the information in these studies, we could greatly reduce our chances of contracting a virus by eliminating animal-derived foods containing Neu5Gc. Rather than inoculating the body with viruses through administration of influenza vaccines, a safer and more logical way to protect yourself from the influenza virus could be choosing to eat vegan.

An August 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental MedicineNovel Mechanism for the Generation of Human Xeno-Autoantibodies Against the Nonhuman Sialic Acid N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid – introduces the term xenosialitis. This describes the interaction between non-human Neu5Gc and circulating Neu5Gc antibodies resulting in chronic inflammation that promotes carcinogenesis and atherogenesis. Researchers examined infants to determine when anti-Neu5Gc antibodies develop in the body. Their findings indicate a lack of the production of anti-Neu5Gc IgG antibodies at three months when their diets were devoid of Neu5Gc. Soon after the introduction of Neu5Gc in the diet in the form of cow’s milk formula and baby foods containing red meat, the levels began to rise. This highlights how introducing animal-derived foods to children can be detrimental to their health.

A May 2016 Mayo Clinic study, Is Meat Killing Us?, presents more evidence supporting the surety of meat increasing mortality rates. Mortality rates for red meat-eaters were found to be higher for all causes of death. The study observed one million individuals across the United States, Europe, and China during a period of five to twenty-eight years in addition to cross-referencing thirteen cohort studies that included 1.5 million people and found consumption of red meat, processed or not, led to higher mortality risks across illnesses including heart disease and cancer. This was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Researchers concluded, “Despite variability in data, the evidence is consistent that increased intake of red meat, especially processed red meat, is associated with increased all-cause mortality. Red meat also increases cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality in Western cohorts. A vegan diet has been shown to improve several parameters of health, including reversal of cardiovascular disease, decreased body mass index (BMI), decreased risk of diabetes, and decreased blood pressure.” The study suggests avoidance of red and processed meats and a diet rich in plant-based whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes as a sound, evidence-based recommendation.

Heart disease is mostly attributed to poor diet. An early phenomenon of atherosclerosis and heart disease is endothelial dysfunction. A study featured in the November 1997 Circulation journal, Endothelial Dysfunction is Associated With Cholesterol Levels in the High Normal Range in Humans (17), introduces the association between dietary cholesterol and impaired endothelium dependent vasodilation. Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels. The endothelium is a thin layer of cells covering the inner surface of the arteries –  separating the circulating blood from the tissues. In this study, dietary cholesterol levels in what is considered the normal range were linked to decreased vasodilation and endothelium dysfunction. As more cholesterol is ingested in the diet, endothelial cells are further damaged, atherosclerotic deposits begin to form, and heart disease transpires.

Dietary cholesterol is found only in animal-based foods. In the China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell studied the dietary effects on blood cholesterol levels and determined that animal protein consumption by men was associated with increasing levels of ‘bad’ blood cholesterol, whereas plant protein consumption was associated with decreasing levels of this same cholesterol. This tells us we should avoid animal products if we want to lower our cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Simply restricting calories will not prevent disease from occurring. We have to abide by clean diets free of chemicals to assure good health.

In addition to dietary cholesterol contributing to atherosclerosis because of impaired endothelium function, an oxide known as trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), has also been discovered to promote heart disease. In the May 2013 Nature Medicine journal, a study was released documenting how bacteria in our gut metabolize L-carnitine – a nutrient found in fish, meat, milk and poultry – into TMAO. These same bacteria also break down choline from eggs and high-fat dairy products into TMAO. When dietary choline and L-carnitine are ingested by bacteria in the intestines, they are metabolized into trimethylamine (TMA). Once TMA enters the liver, an enzyme converts the compound to TMAO, which penetrates the bloodstream and alters whole-body cholesterol metabolism, vascular inflammation, and formation of unstable plaques in the arterial walls. In this study, TMAO accelerated the development of atherosclerosis. Vegan and vegetarian subjects were also included in this research, and found to produce less TMAO following ingestion of isolated L-carnitine. The study is titled, Intestinal Microbiota Metabolism of L-carnitine, a Nutrient in Red Meat, Promotes Atherosclerosis. Scientists have discovered carnitine and choline from plant-derived foods do not generate production of TMAO when metabolized by bacteria in the gut as forms of these nutrients sourced from meat, dairy, or eggs have demonstrated.

An additional study in the November 2014 Cell Metabolism journal, γ-Butyrobetaine is a Proatherogenic Intermediate in Gut Microbial Metabolism of L-carnitine to TMAO, introduced a separate metabolite of L-carnitine known as γ-butyrobetaine. This intermediate byproduct of meat digestion is formed in abundant amounts by microbes in the gut and converted into TMA – eventually forming TMAO. Not only does TMAO damage blood vessels, in January 2015 Circulation Research journal published a study, Gut Microbiota-Dependent Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) Pathway Contributes to Both Development of Renal Insufficiency and Mortality Risk in Chronic Kidney Disease, documenting the capability of this metabolite to contribute to progressive renal fibrosis and dysfunction. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) were also found to have elevated plasma TMAO levels – suggesting a link between CKD and meat consumption.

A study in the March 2016 Cell journal, Gut Microbial Metabolite TMAO Enhances Platelet Hyperreactivity and Thrombosis Risk, shows how scientists are able to predict incidence risks for thrombotic events in human subjects stemming from elevated TMAO levels. The paper explains how normal platelet function is critical for healthy blood flow, while heightened platelet reactivity is associated with cardiometabolic diseases and enhanced potential for thrombotic events. This study successfully demonstrates how generation of TMAO directly contributes to platelet hyperreactivity and enhanced thrombosis potential.

Most recently, a prospective cohort study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic and published in the October 2016 Journal of the American heart AssociationTrimethylamine N‐Oxide and Mortality Risk in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease – found elevated TMAO levels were associated with a 2.7‐fold increased mortality risk in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). This was discovered after examining the relationship between fasting plasma TMAO and all-cause mortality over five years among 821 consecutive patients with adjudicated PAD. It seems the only way to avoid this deadly metabolite is to abstain from eating animal-derived foods.

In a video released in January 2013 on nutritionfacts.org, PhIP: The Three-Strikes Breast Carcinogen, Dr. Greger discusses heterocyclic amines and how PhIP is one of the most abundant heterocyclic amines in cooked meat. These carcinogenic compounds are formed at high temperatures from the reaction between creatine or creatinine, amino acids, and sugar in meat, dairy, and egg products. PhIP is nearly impossible to avoid for those who indulge in animal-derived foods because the toxin is found in many commonly consumed cooked meats – particularly chicken, beef, and fish. After absorption of PhIP, the compound is converted to a genotoxic metabolite in the liver – becoming more likely to cause DNA mutation, trigger cancer, and promote tumor growth. In a 2009 issue of Mutagenesis Journal, a study was published titled Dietary Intake of Meat and Meat-derived Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines and Their Correlation with DNA Adducts in Female Breast Tissue (24). Researchers discovered ingestion of PhIP causes DNA mutation that may initiate tumor growth, promotes cancer due to potent estrogenic activity, and promotes the invasiveness of breast cancer cells. Abstaining from dairy, eggs, and meat is the safest way to evade this amine, and is a method of prevention for living cancer free.

In the March 2005 Chemical Research in Toxicology journal, a study – Formation of a Mutagenic Heterocyclic Aromatic Amine from Creatinine in Urine of Meat Eaters and Vegetarians – was published finding more than twenty heterocyclic amines in cooked meats, fish, and poultry prepared under common household cooking conditions. This includes baking, boiling, broiling, frying, grilling, sauteing, and smoking. Urine samples from subjects eating meat were found to contain high levels of PhIP, and other health degrading heterocyclic compounds. Even those who refrained from eating meat, yet still included boiled eggs, or cheese in their diet showed traces of these compounds.

Many of these heterocyclic and polycyclic compounds found in grilled meats are also present in cigarettes. In fact, some grilled meats can be more abundant in pyrenes and other polycyclic compounds than cigarettes. In a comparative risks analysis study, one piece of grilled steak was found to contain the equivalent carcinogenic load as six-hundred cigarettes. This is comparable to smoking a pack a day for thirty days each time a steak is eaten. This information was presented decades ago in a study – Metabolism of Polycyclic Compounds – published in the February 1964 Biochemical Journal. The main source of these carcinogens in grilled meats are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These polycyclic compounds are highly carcinogenic atmospheric pollutants formed by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels such as coal, tar, wood, fat, tobacco, and incense. When the fat and juices from the meat drip over the heat source – causing flames – these flames then adhere to the surface of the meat. Multiple studies have shown that high levels of these hydrocarbons are found in cooked foods –  particularly in meats cooked at high temperatures, such as with grilling or barbecuing – and in smoked fish. When we consider the vast amount of people who smoke and eat steak regularly, we begin to understand why heart disease and cancer are so prevalent.

“I try to stick to a vegan diet heavy on fruit and vegetables.” – Clint Eastwood, Hollywood Actor and Producer

In the October 2015 edition of The Lancet Oncology journal, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report providing evidence of processed meats and red meats being strongly correlated with colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. These processed meats include bacon, deli cold cuts, ham, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, and sausage. Beef, goat, lamb, and pork can all be considered red meats. In the analysis, eating fifty grams a day of processed meats was found to increase the risk of developing colon cancer by up to eighteen percent. Red meats were found to be associated with greater susceptibility to cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas, and prostate.   These findings prompted the World Health Organization to classify all processed and red meats as probable carcinogens – substances known to cause cancer.

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) tend to shorten telomeres, accelerating the aging process. Glucose binds to cooked animal proteins, leading to the formation of AGEs, and by eating meat we damage our cells and shorten telomeres. In a September 2013 study led by Dr. Dean Ornish and published in The Lancet Oncology journal, Effect of Comprehensive Lifestyle Changes On Telomerase Activity and Telomere Length In Men With Biopsy-Proven Low-Risk Prostate Cancer, researchers determined changes in diet, exercise, stress management, and social support can result in longer telomeres – the parts of chromosomes that affect aging. For five years, researchers followed thirty-five men with localized, early-stage prostate cancer to explore the relationship between comprehensive lifestyle changes, and telomere length and telomerase activity. All the men were closely monitored through screening and biopsies. Ten of the patients embarked on lifestyle changes that included: a plant-based diet (high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and low in fat and refined carbohydrates); moderate exercise (walking thirty minutes a day, six days a week); and stress reduction (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation). They were compared to the other twenty-five study participants who were not asked to make major lifestyle changes. When the five-year study ended, the group that made the lifestyle changes experienced a significant increase in telomere length of approximately ten percent. Researchers found that the more people changed their behavior by adhering to the recommended lifestyle program, the more dramatic their improvements in telomere length. Meanwhile, the men in the control group who were not asked to alter their lifestyle had measurably shorter telomeres – nearly three percent shorter. This study demonstrates how we can slow the aging process by choosing to eat plant-based, exercising, and eliminating stress.

In addition to accelerating aging, eating animal-based foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs, is strongly associated with depression. This is likely because of the arachadonic acid contained within these foods – along with the low-level energy, and harmful pathogens. A February 2012 Nutrition Journal study, Restrictions of Meat, Fish, and Poultry In Omnivores Improved Mood, found by simply eliminating animal products from the diet of omnivore subjects their mood improved within two weeks. Researchers discovered arachadonic acid – found primarily in chicken and eggs – was to blame for their initial depression before the elimination of these foods. They acknowledged arachadonic acid as a compound that can adversely impact mental health via a cascade of brain inflammation. High intakes of this acid began to promote changes in the brain that resulted in disturbed mood and this was demonstrated with the group of subjects who continued to eat fish for the duration of the study. Fish-eaters reported significantly worse moods than vegans. The conclusion was restricting meat, fish, and poultry improved short-term mood state in modern omnivores.

In a 2010 Nutrition journal cross-sectional study, Vegetarian Diets are Associated with Healthy Mood States, vegetarian test subjects reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores. The researchers concluded arachadonic acid was to blame for the anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, and stress experienced by those who included meat in their diet. Miraculously, by eliminating chicken, fish, and eggs, their symptoms improved within two weeks. The top sources for arachadonic acid are chicken, eggs, beef, processed meats (sausage, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs), fish, burgers, cold cuts, pork, and pizza. If you are unhappy, and your diet is abundant in these foods, perhaps consider adapting some dietary changes. Try skipping meat once or twice a week to start, and then progress to removing animal-derived foods entirely from your diet. You will be thankful once you transition.

A January 2014 Nature journal study, Diet Rapidly and Reproducibly Alters the Human Gut Microbiota, explains how long-term dietary intake influences the structure and activity of the trillions of microorganisms residing in the human gut. These same microorganisms communicate with our brain and have an impact on our appetite, behavior, feelings, and mood. Researchers studied the impact animal-based diets and plant-based diets have on the gut microbiota by dividing the groups into vegan, or strictly meat-based diets. In the study, the research team found, “Short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal products alters the microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. The animal-based diet was found to increase the activity of bilophilia wadsworthia, showing a link between dietary fat, bile acids, and the outgrowth of microorganisms capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease.”

Bilophilia are microbes that love bile. Because bile helps to digest fats, more bile is produced when the diet is rich in meat, dairy, and eggs. When extra bile is produced, we generate more of these microbes. Blooms of bilophilia are known to cause inflammation and colitis – conditions closely associated with depression. In this study, researchers observed fifty clustered, species-level bacterial phylotypes and how each diet had an impact. Among those eating plant-based diets, only three of these bacterial clusters were altered, while twenty-two of the phylotypes on animal-based diets were changed significantly. The microbiome of those on meat-based diets had clusters composed of putrefactive microbes, bilophilia wadsworthia, increased lactic acid bacteria, staphylococcus, increased enteric deoxycholic acid concentrations (DCA), and several other potentially damaging organisms. DCA is a secondary bile acid that promotes liver cancer, DNA damage, and hepatic carcinomas. A high level of bilophilia wadsworthia is known to cause bowel inflammation. This alteration in the gut microbiota could also explain symptoms of anxiety and depression.

“We have known for fourteen years that a single meal of meat, dairy, and eggs triggers an inflammatory reaction inside the body within hours of consumption. Within five or six hours, the inflammation starts to cool down, but then what happens? At that point we can whack our arteries with another load of animal products for lunch. In this routine, we may be stuck in a chronic low-grade inflammation danger zone for most of our lives. This can set us up for inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers one meal at a time.” – Dr. Michael Greger, nutritionfacts.org

In March 2012, researchers at Harvard Medical School released the results of a study – Red Meat Consumption Linked To Increased Risk of Total, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality – concluding a diet high in red meat will shorten life expectancy. They studied over 120,000 people and found red meat consumption increased their risk of death from cancer and heart problems. The team analyzed data from 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008, and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008. Their study proved by adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone’s daily diet, they would increase their risk of death by thirteen percent, developing cardiovascular disease by eighteen percent, and cancer prognosis by ten percent. The figures for processed meat were higher, with a twenty percent overall mortality – twenty-one percent for death from heart problems, and sixteen percent for cancer mortality.

While most studies point directly to red meat and pork as being the most toxic meat sources, poultry also poses a serious health threat. In July 2012, ABC News and the Food & Environment Reporting Network carried out a joint investigation presenting evidence from medical researchers that more than eight million women are at risk of contracting urinary tract infections from superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics and growing in chickens. The report, Superbug Dangers in Chicken Linked to Eight-Million At-Risk Women, explained how these superbugs are being transmitted to humans in the form of E.coli and prions. Prions are infectious agents composed of proteins in a misfolded form. They are responsible for the transmissible encephalopathies found in many mammals and cannot be destroyed by means of irradiation, or any other form of pasteurization, or cooking. All known prion diseases affect the structure of the brain or other neural tissue, and are untreatable and universally fatal. Amee Manges, epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, shared her knowledge on this issue stating, “We are finding the same, or related E.coli in human infections and in retail meat sources – specifically chicken.” Maryn McKenna, reporter for the Food & Environment Reporting Network, summed this up by announcing, “What this new research shows is, we may in fact know where it is coming from. It may be coming from antibiotics used in agriculture.”

The pharmaceutical industry makes tremendous amounts of money from selling drugs to the animal farming industry for the livestock, and then they make more money from the people suffering from the effects of eating the chemically-saturated meat, dairy, and eggs. According to the FDA, eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in the US go to the livestock sector.  In the 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report on antibiotic use in livestock – Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock – the author and director of their food and environment program, Dr. Margaret Mellon, reported,U.S. livestock producers use about 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics annually for ‘non-therapeutic’ purposes (growth promotion and disease prevention) as opposed to treatment of disease. The non-therapeutic total includes about 10.3 million pounds in hogs, 10.5 million pounds in poultry and 3.7 million pounds in cattle. By contrast, humans use approximately three million pounds of antibiotics annually in the U.S.” This statement uncovers how pharmaceutical companies make more money from selling drugs to owners of factory farms for injecting in animals for non-therapeutic purposes, than they do from humans purchasing them to attempt to combat illness.   

A step in the right direction for us is the outcome of a court case in March of 2012. In the case of Natural Resources Defense Council et al. v. FDA, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, no. 11-3562, a federal judge ruled U.S. regulators start proceedings to withdraw approval for the use of common antibiotics in animal feed, citing concerns that overuse is endangering human health by creating antibiotic-resistant superbugs. At the time of this ruling, antibiotic-resistant infections were costing Americans more than twenty billion dollars each year. This number was determined by a 2009 study conducted by the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and Cook County Hospital. As we awaken to the dark side of the meat industry and begin to see how meat consumption is in no way benefiting our health, I have hope we will be on the better side of many more court rulings.

In August 2016 Bloomberg Markets (bloomberg.com) published an article, Why Big Pharma Wants to Switch Billions of Farm Animals to Vaccines From Antibiotics. The author, Jared Hopkins, informs us of the animal-health and drug industry planning to replace the use of antibiotics on animals with vaccines. Rather than injecting antibiotics to potentially kill the superbugs and infectious diseases prevalent among farm animals, they are proposing to inoculate them with live strains of viruses and superbugs using aluminum, formaldehyde, and mercury adjuvants and preservatives to strengthen immunity and keep the enormous populations of caged farm animals resistant to disease. Not surprisingly, a June 2015 market research report – Veterinary/Animal Vaccines Market Product, Diseases, Technology – Global Forecast to 2020 – estimates the global animal-vaccine market will be worth $7.2 billion by 2020, up from $5.5 billion in 2010. As long as they are generating revenue, what goes into the global meat supply will always be a mystery to consumers.          

As we remain focused on extending longevity, we must nourish with healthy foods. Eating meat has consistently proven through medical science and nutritional research to damage our organs, drain our vitality, and void our opportunity to experience vibrant health. Carcinogenic compounds, cholesterol, and fats in animal-derived foods slow our body systems, alter our ability to detox and eliminate waste, and leave residues in our tissues – laying the groundwork for the accumulation of more toxins. Even the high iron levels which some pro-meat propagandists claim are beneficial have been proven to be detrimental to our health and linked to cognitive decline. A study in the August 2013 Journal of Alzheimer’s DiseaseIncreased Iron Levels and Decreased Tissue Integrity in Hippocampus of Alzheimer’s Disease Detected in vivo with Magnetic Resonance Imaging – explains how heme iron from red meat induces oxidative damage to oligodendrocytes. These are the cells responsible for producing myelin. In the study, researchers explain how the destruction of myelin, the fatty tissue that coats nerve fibers in the brain, disrupts communication between neurons and promotes the buildup of amyloid plaques. These amyloid plaques in turn destroy more and more myelin, disrupting brain signaling, and leading to cell death and the classic clinical signs of Alzheimer’s. We are literally self-destructing as we eat meat.

“The more red meat and blood we eat, the more blood thirsty and violent we get. The more vegetarian food we eat, the more peaceful we become.” – Ziggy Marley

Eating meat or meat products will not help us to extend longevity. To assure good health, our best option is to drastically reduce our consumption of meat until we are able to omit this food from our diet. Archaeologists determined years ago the average adult life expectancy for a caveman was thirty to thirty-five years old. We are no longer living in the past, and we are not cavemen. Today we know eating plant-based is the surest way to prevent disease, defer aging, elevate our energy levels, and live to be one-hundred.

Living Foods

My refrigerator is powerful. In fact, powerful enough to have a direct link to my overall well-being.” – Kris Carr, Crazy, Sexy, Diet

            I encourage you to take advantage of the power harnessed by your refrigerator. Do this by filling your shelves with raw fruits, vegetables, and health-promoting foods. In June 2012, the Public Health Nutrition journal published a study, Frequent Consumption of Vegetables Predicts Lower Risk of Depression. Researchers found eating vegetables three or more times a week can reduce depression by more than fifty percent. Imagine the benefits from eating vegetables three or more times daily. A May 2012 study in Nutrition Journal, Restriction of Meat, Fish, and Poultry In Omnivores Improves Mood: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial, suggests, “Eating lots of fruits and vegetables may present a non-invasive, natural, and inexpensive therapeutic means to support a healthy brain.” There is concrete evidence showing the food we consume really does impact health, happiness, and intelligence.

When I mention living foods, I am referring to fresh, organic fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables that have not been cooked, pasteurized, or altered in any way that could damage the nutrient content. If a food requires cooking, meaning the food is not edible unless cooked, this is not ideal for eating. When you eat food, you are more inclined to be drawn to the food source. By choosing to eat fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods, this connects us to nature – the origin of that food. The living energy rewards us with more life. Ultimately, you change the course of your evolution.

            “When you nourish your own mind and spirit, you are really feeding the soul of life. When you improve yourself, you are improving the lives of those around you. When you have the courage to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, you begin to draw upon the power of the universe.” ― Robin Sharma, Daily Inspiration

In his book, The Secret Life of Plants, Peter Tomkins shares the fascinating story of a French scientist named Andre Bovis, who in the early 1900’s designed a tool used for measuring vitality known as the Bovis Scale.  The device has since been referred to as a Biotensor. Using angstroms as the measuring unit, he was able to measure the energy wavelengths of food and humans on a level of zero (lowest possible frequency) to ten-thousand (highest possible frequency).

In the 1930’s, a man named Andre Simoneton followed up his work. Simoneton was a scientist, and expert of electromagnetism. After falling ill, he revived his vitality eating foods measured at the highest frequency on the Bovis Scale. He began to conduct studies on energetics of food, and their impact on human energy levels. Energy emitted from the human body was detected in a range from 6,200 to 7,000 angstroms. Healthy individuals maintain a frequency of 6,500 or higher. What these men discovered is those who are ill, or especially stricken with cancer and other diseases, are below this level. Some with cancer measured as low as 4,875. To raise this level, as Simoneton was able to accomplish within his own body, high vibrational foods must be eaten, and foods measuring at a low frequency need to be eliminated from the diet.

Both Bovis and Simoneton categorized foods on four levels according to their angstrom measurement. Raw fruits and vegetables ranged from 8,000 to 10,000 – being the highest. Interestingly, organic produce free of chemicals tested higher than conventional. The levels were reduced by one-third after transportation from the garden to supermarket. After cooking, levels dropped another third. Foods that measured between 3,000 and 6,500 angstroms included cooked vegetables, fish, honey, sugarcane, and wine. Cheese, coffee, cooked meats, milk chocolate, and boiled teas each scored below 3,000. At zero, bleached flour, liquor, margarine, refined sugar, and all pasteurized items contained no radiant energy whatsoever. Raw cow’s milk fresh from the udder tested at 6,500 angstroms, yet after being bottled for only twenty-four hours, the energy levels dropped by ninety percent. After pasteurization, milk consistently leveled out at zero. Fruit and vegetable juices also dropped to zero after pasteurization. Once rehydrated, energy levels of sun-dried and dehydrated fruits did not change.

From the findings of these two men, we learn there is more to food than simply eating for calories, fat, protein, and vitamins. We begin to understand the meaning of life force energy. The information presented from their studies explains why we cannot enrich or fortify truly dead foods with nutrients and expect to get much benefit from eating these products. To gain the most energy possible from food, eating raw fruits and vegetables is essential and imperative.

            “We want foods with the most energy in them. Enzymes are the manifest form of energy. The cleanest source of energy is raw food.” – Dr. Brian Clement

The enzymes in live foods aid digestion. Living foods contain life within them and promote cellular longevity. A sprout is a perfect example of this type of food. All of the nutrients in sprouts are unharmed and ready to provide the body with nutrients. Other living foods are raw fruits and raw vegetables. Fresh, unpasteurized green juices and smoothies are also considered living.

We produce around two-hundred thousand new cells every second of our lives. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. Each one of these cells is an individual living organism. Among the cells main concerns are protecting and contributing to the health of other cells. Our cells keep us alive, and we should do our best to nourish them for the span of time they live within us. When we fail to nourish our cells, they do not provide us with optimal health. Think of owning a business. You have a group of employees working for you. In order to keep them happy, you must compensate them. Now, say you stop paying them and keep making them work. How long do you expect them to continue working? Imagine your cells as employees battling to keep your business intact and their form of payment is good, nourishing food. Be sure you pay them well.

            “Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos – the trees, the clouds, everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Even the cells of the healthiest people in the world die off at some point. Every minute their bodies are generating millions of new cells. These cells are constructed from the energy and substances present in their system. With eating richly nourishing food, we provide the high vibrational energy needed for cellular regeneration. When we cheat and eat poor quality foods, we are punished with mutated cells.

People who commonly eat clarified sugars, cooked oils, dairy, eggs, fast and processed foods, meat, synthetic chemicals, and other food-like substances – while also drinking soda and alcohol – tend to have bodies constructed of weak cells prone to disease. Their bones are also being depleted of nourishment, and their organ tissues are accumulating the residues of these unhealthy foods. Those following such harmful diets end up being visibly depressed and unhealthy, with complexions lacking the vibrancy they would have from fueling with truly healthy foods. To reverse sadness and stimulate happiness, we want to build cells using optimal fuel sources. These fuel sources are simply raw, organic fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods – or living foods.

“My focus each day is to be myself, live my true passions, inspire greater health and wear my soul shamelessly, with strength and grace.” – Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram

Some of the smartest, most brilliant people I know are raw foodists. They eat food containing nutrients in their natural spectrum, without alteration. The reason why we eat food – aside from the obvious of satiating our hunger – is to nourish our cells, organs, tissues, and blood, and to fuel our brain. We gain this nourishment from the nutrients within the particular foods we eat.

Macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), as well as micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, water, bioflavonoids, biophotons, etc), are equally important for overall bodily function. The micronutrients however, are vital in the production of enzymes and help these proteins carry out their important duties within the body.

Enzymes are said to be among the most important component of raw foods. They control every metabolic process in the body. Once food is heated over a certain temperature – which varies for each food – the enzymes are denatured and no longer utilizable, forcing the body to draw upon its enzymatic stores to break down food. By eating more raw foods, we conserve our energy consuming the life-force provided. This energy can also be measured in biophotons. Biophotons are absorbed into fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods from the sun. When we eat these foods in their natural state, we also absorb the energy of the sun. This is why eating raw nurtures healthy glowing skin, improves mental clarity, and helps our brains to function optimally.

“Cooking destroys life. I do not say these articles should never be cooked, but there is loss in cooking them, especially if we can eat them perfectly fresh and alive. The life and soul of fruits are lost in cooking.” – Dr. Martin Luther Holbrook

Despite the fact we lose a vast amount of nutrients during the cooking process, some nutrients actually become more bio-available when lightly steamed. While eating a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables can easily be maintained, incorporating steamed choices can also be of benefit in order to get the best of both worlds. No matter what we eat, we can use the power of prayer and intention to bless our food and water. Blessings are a powerful remedy to transform anything we consume – especially foods of less nutritional value – into something healthier and more sustainable for our bodies. If you are in a position where you have no choice but to eat unhealthy food, such as being incarcerated or hospitalized, bless your meals with prayer and good intention.

Beet Power

Beet Power – Excerpt from Eating Plant-Based by Jesse J. Jacoby

 

Of all foods in the plant kingdom, beets are my favorite. I drink my beets daily. Beets are the same color and shape as the heart. According to legend, Aphrodite – the Greek Goddess of Love – used beetroots to enhance beauty and gain aphrodisiac properties. The Oracle at Delphi also claimed beetroots are worth their weight in silver, second only to horseradish in mystic potency. To heal our heart, amplify the beauty and glow of our skin, and increase the health of our organs, beets are an essential food.

The association between diets rich in fruits and vegetables, and decreased cancer risk could be linked to the up-regulation of phase II detoxifying enzymes by dietary constituents. The rich colors found in beets are from pigments called betalains. These compounds stimulate phase II enzyme detoxification in the liver. Findings from a February 2005 study featured in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, Betalains, Phase II Enzyme-Inducing Components From Red Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) Extracts, confirm betalains from beets are capable of inducing phase II enzyme activity. Phase II detoxification involves the neutralization of toxins by binding them with phytonutrients so they can be excreted in the urine. A perfect example is the use of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) enzymes. GSTs use glutathione to neutralize toxins, allowing them to be excreted from the body. Betalains found in beetroot have been shown to enhance GST activity, thereby aiding in elimination of toxins that require glutathione for excretion.

There are two basic types of betalains: betacyanins and betaxanthins. Betacyanins are a deep red color, and betaxanthins are yellowish in color. Darker colored beets contain betacyanins, and golden beets are abundant in betaxanthins – most notably vulgaxanthin. These pigments accelerate the process of detoxification, help eliminate free radicals by serving as antioxidants, repair damaged endothelium, and reduce inflammation. Compounds in beets also increase endurance, lower blood pressure, modulate oxidative stress, and are effective for preventing cancer. In addition to beets, amaranth, chard, Nopal cactus, prickly pear cactus, and rhubarb are examples of foods containing betalains.

The June 2012 edition of Food and Pharmaceutical Applications, includes a chapter on red beet biotechnology. In the section titled, Anticancer Effects of Red Beet Pigments, we learn betanin – the betacyanin constituent primarily responsible for red beet color – is an antioxidant with an exceptionally high free radical-scavenging activity, and is a modulator of oxidative stress. Several phytonutrients circulating in beets have been shown to function as anti-inflammatory compounds. Among these nutrients, betanin, isobetanin, and vulgaxanthin, are most closely associated with being anti-inflammatory. These compounds are able to inhibit activity of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes, which are widely used by cells to produce messaging molecules that trigger inflammation. For those suffering with chronic inflammation, production of these inflammatory messengers can exacerbate their condition, leading to several types of heart disease – including atherosclerosis. A study in the October 2005 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Relative Inhibition of Lipid Peroxidation, Cyclooxygenase Enzymes, and Human Tumor Cell Proliferation by Natural Food Colors, examined human tumor cells and found betanin pigments from beets lessened tumor cell growth through inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes – specifically COX enzymes. The tumor cell types tested in these studies include tumor cells from breast, colon, lung, nerve, prostate, stomach, and testicular tissue.

The 2011 Nitric Oxide journal published a study, Acute Effect of A High Nitrate Diet On Brain Perfusion In Older Adults. Researchers found nitrates in beets act as a vasodilator increasing blood flow in ischemic areas. The addition of beetroot juice to the diet helped with age-related dementia and cognitive decline. This same year a Journal of Applied Physiology study, Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Enhances Exercise Performance In Peripheral Arterial Disease, tested patients with peripheral artery disease to determine how nitrates from beets could help improve complications. The nitric oxide from nitrates improved oxygen efficiency and delivery so much subjects were able to walk on average eighteen percent longer and maintain more oxygen in the blood. The beetroot juice stimulated these improvements by vasodilating blood vessels and opening up arteries for more blood flow.

 

In 2012, the Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology journal published a study, Acute Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Improves Dry Static Apnea Performance. Dietary supplementation was reported to lower blood pressure, reduce oxygen cost during sub-maximal exercise, and improve exercise tolerance. A study in the 2015 Nitric Oxide journal, Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance and Decreases Blood Pressure in COPD Patients, provides evidence of dietary beetroot juice increasing exercise capacity of younger and older adults by elevating plasma NO2, and NO2 concentrations, while improving exercise performance and reducing blood pressure in patients experiencing COPD.

In addition to betalain and carotenoids, beets are also rich in a nutrient known as betaine. Betaine is made from the B-complex vitamin, choline, which regulates inflammation in the blood vessels by preventing accumulation of homocysteine. When levels of homocysteine rise, we are at increased risk of developing inflammation and cardiovascular problems such as atherosclerosis. The presence of betaine in our diet is also associated with lower levels of C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha – all inflammatory markers.

By introducing beetroot juice to our daily diet, we can vastly improve health. Not only can we utilize the beet for lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation, we also benefit by strengthening our heart, repairing the cells lining our arteries and organs, and improving blood flow to the brain.

Learning to Smile Again


“Peace begins with a smile.” —Mother Teresa

 

When was the last time you studied every piece of your identity, and with each new discovery made, found you could not stop smiling? Take some time today to notice yourself. Appreciate your every feature. Love your imperfections. Cherish all of the parts of your beautiful being. Encourage your body and mind to heal from depression by showering in compliments, loving energy, and positive thoughts. Fuel yourself with raw, organic fruits and vegetables. Hydrate with pure water and fresh green juices. Keep your internal organs clean. Exercise your body, mind, and spirit. Let go of all fears, insecurities, and worries. See yourself as an opportunistic optimist. Recognize your limitless potential. Always remember to smile, even when you are hurting inside. What you may notice is your mood will improve, your body will look more appealing, your skin will start glowing, and your face will shine. You make the world a more peaceful place when you respect yourself and everything around you.

I once cared for a houseplant that was in poor health from spending too much time in direct sunlight. A friend of mine told me there was no hope in rescuing her but I refused to accept this and nurtured her back to life. I paid attention to the entirety of her body, from the roots to the edges of her leaves. I nourished her with water, massages and song. I complimented her, and assured her she would heal. I am not a botanist, or a green thumb by any means, but I knew deep down there was still life in this plant friend of mine. With each new day she gained vibrancy, and within one month she was in good spirits. By means of encouragement, I found a way to nurse a plant back to life that was labeled, a dead plant corpse, by my friend who had far more experience with plants than I did. If I was able to successfully revive this plant from what ailed her, I believe we can heal ourselves from what is bringing us down using a similar strategy. We can water our spirits with compliments and encouraging words. Massage our bodies with loving touch. Nourish the fabrics of our identity with exercise, optimal fuel sources, and real food. Sing, or listen to happy melodies that will satisfy our souls. Most importantly, practice smiling frequently, and know deep down inside that we are capable of being truly happy.

            “If we continue to practice smiling, even in difficult situations, many people, animals, and plants will benefit from our way of doing things. Are you massaging our Mother Earth every time your foot touches her? Are you planting seeds of joy and peace?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

When I walk barefoot through the forests, I imagine I am massaging the rich redwood soil every time my foot touches down. Perhaps this plants seeds of joy and peace. I smile so often people must wonder what I am so happy about. I recognize the importance of smiling, so I smile at the wildlife, plants, trees, and especially banana slugs I find in the forest. I smile at people who pass me on busy city streets. I smile at myself in the mirror. My hope is for other people, as well as animals and plants, to benefit in some way from this gesture. I aim to spread happiness wherever I go. Will you join me?

I often think of the saying, “Let your smile change the world, but do not let the world change your smile.” We live in a polluted society where there is an abundance of anger, confusion, discrimination, greed, hatred, ignorance, jealousy, and separation swirling around us. If we allow this negativity to penetrate our fields of infinite possibilities, we soon stop radiating positivity, and the result is that we permit the world to convert our smile to another grim face that does not say hello when passing by. This book is a source of encouragement and inspiration for us all to rearrange the adversity and hostility, plant seeds of laughter and peace of mind, and massage the Mother Earth with each step or leap we take in our happy lives.

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

We can no longer exist in a shell of the world captured by uncertainty. We have to branch out and expand our horizons. Therefore I encourage you to read books that capture your interest, observe nature, sing, dance, write, struggle, and overcome adversity in order to understand the big picture circulating around this Universe is always working in our favor. We must question everything we think we know. Our mission should be eradicating anger, and transmuting poor thoughts into unforgettable smiles; clearing up confusions and shaping them into dazzling expressions; discriminating only against hatred and negativity so we can celebrate in an abundance of positive energy; unearthing confidence to wash off the jealousy attached to discontent; and erasing separation so we can all be happy as one unit.

            As George Carlin suggested, “Everyone smiles in the same language.” If we walk through a park filled with people from a multitude of cultures and ethnicities, we will feel accepted and at peace provided everyone is wearing a smile to go along with their unique identity. We could say hello through harmonious body language, kind eyes, and compassionate intentions. Nothing is stopping us from creating this balanced environment, aside from our refusal to be accepting of difference. We must learn to live with tranquility and be receptive to change. By elevating our consciousness, raising awareness, practicing compassion, being loving, and doing our part to ease the suffering in the world, we can achieve this goal.

Creating The Life We Desire


“The thing I remember best about successful people I have met throughout the years is their obvious delight in what they are doing, and this seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they are doing, and they love it in front of others.” – Mr. Fred Rogers

Damian Mander is a former Australian Royal Navy clearance diver, and special operations military sniper. As a professional killer with SEEK & DESTROY tattooed across his chest, he is every bit intimidating. He has completed twelve tours in Iraq and is literally programmed to destroy. He mentions in his TedX speech that he knows exactly how many clicks of elevation are needed to take a headshot on a moving target seven hundred meters away. What is most striking about Damian’s speech is how his compassion and loving nature emerged even after all he had been through. While visiting Africa, he found purpose among chaos when he saw an elephant resting on her side with her face cut off – a vicious act of poaching. With new found compassion in his heart, he pondered whether or not he could be brave enough to give up his career in order to help save the lives of animals. A little time went by and Damian decided to sell his homes and relocate to Africa, where he started the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (iapf.org). His foundation is dedicated to protecting animals from poachers, while also guarding community assets and reducing habitat destruction. He claims through all of his experiences, he has only performed one act of bravery that defines who he is. This act of bravery was his decision to exchange his life for a new one based on compassion and love. He describes the decision to give up his former life to help animals by saying, “There will never be separation between who I am, and what I do.” He chose to create a life that aligns with his passions.

“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, simply harness your power to your passion.” – Oprah Winfrey

How many of us can honestly claim there is no separation between who we are and what we do? To create supreme lives that fulfill our desires, we must choose a life path congruent with our passions. In Damian’s case, he spent many years searching for his true identity to finally discover his path in an unexpected place. We cannot force ourselves to choose a career path that does not interest us simply so we can please our parents and earn a living. This often paves the road for the feeling of a wasted life, and leads to a dulling of the senses and numbing of emotions. We may not discover our purpose for decades, but if we settle for an unstable foundation to support a less than ideal reality, we will never know true happiness. Sure, working to support ourselves while we are searching for what fits our calling is necessary, however we must be careful not to let this work environment impede on our pursuit for a better existence.

Before Bob Ross started the TV series, The Joy Of Painting, he spent twenty years in the United States Air Force, retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant. While his fans could never imagine him raising his voice, or being anything other than peaceful and serene, he spent years disciplining others before he finally found his true calling. In an interview with Orlando Sentinel, he exclaimed, “I was the guy who forced you to scrub the latrine, the guy who drilled you to make your bed, the guy who screamed at you for being late to work. The job requires you to be a mean, tough person, and I was fed up with it.” He simply knew this was not the life he always wished for, but he did what he could do with what he had. When Ross retired from the Air Force, he vowed never to scream again. Instead, he taught thousands of people how to paint beautiful landscapes. He always insisted, “We do not make mistakes. We have happy accidents.” Although he spent twenty years positioning himself where he wanted to be, Bob was able to construct a life where there was no longer separation between who he was and what he did, all because he fell back on something familiar which he had been passionate about all along.

The tennis legend, Arthur Ashe, once advised his fans, “To be successful one has to start where they are, use what they have, and do what they can.” Now that we know how to construct new patterns, and establish different designs that could improve our current way of living, we can get started on building the perfect life. We are the architects of our desires, passions, and reality.

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember the whole thing started with a dream and a mouse.” – Walt Disney

Too many of us become servants to the wage economy. We often settle for jobs we do not like, and after we are locked into car and mortgage payments, find ourselves stuck at these jobs permanently. In many situations, these work environments make less out of us. I have a hard time believing anyone who works in a factory farm slaughtering animals can honestly claim to enjoy their job. They find themselves in this position because they are desperate for money and need to survive. By accepting employment in such conditions, they live in the shadows of their potential. We cannot be enslaved by money. We always have to plot escape routes for when we are unhappy.

What if not one of us was allowed to become someone who we do not want to be? Would this change our perception and have an impact on each decision we make? Maybe if we refuse to permit ourselves to create these undesirable lives we are resenting the thought of waking up to, then we can make more conscious choices that lead us to being our authentic selves. We are affected by each day we let pass us by without being productive. When we do not allow our dreams to manifest into reality, and we do not act on our ideas, we will not feel fulfilled. To nurture an ideal life we must find ways to build on our ideas, practice being productive, write out our goals, exercise, eat healthy, and be aware of where our money is going.

The famous actor, Will Smith, once said in an interview, “I do not want to be an icon, I want to be an idea. I want to represent possibilities. I want to represent magic. There is a redemptive power that making a choice has. Decide what it is going to be, who you are going to be, and how you are going to do it. Simply decide. From that point the Universe is going to get out of your way. It is water. It wants to move and get around stuff. So for me, I want to represent the idea that you really can make what you want. I believe that I can create whatever I desire if I can put my head on it right, study it, and learn the patterns.” Once we decide what we want, our task is to manifest this new life.

To create the life we desire, we need to establish three objectives. First, we must attain mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Second, we maintain a healthy land-base suitable to live and thrive on. Finally, we have to be certain our way of life is not impeding on the happiness, health, and well-being of other people or animals.

Happiness starts from within and only we have the ability to obtain a life we desire for ourselves.  Before we had dreams about what we would be when we grew up, we were innocent children striving to find happiness. All we yearned for was acceptance and love. Over the course of our lifetime, we often shift our requirements for contentment to include luxuries and material items. We begin seeking recognition and pollute our soul with ego. We now long to accumulate wealth and riches. The innocent child we grow up nurturing gets lost in the race to impress others, as we travel as far away from our true identity as we possibly can. This is where we fail. The most successful people recognize their roots, and stay true to who they are. They pay attention to their inner child and never allow him to get lost. They know where they want to go, and have a plan for how they will get there. We often do not succeed because we are blind in our pursuit. We chase fantasies before securing our identity. We need structure. We cannot live as autopilots being sent on missions to accomplish objectives not relevant to our well-being.

To be triumphant in our pursuit to lead fulfilling lives, we start by building a strong foundation with optimal health and true happiness as our most abundant resources. Once this foundation is in place, we unlock limitless potential, and success soon befriends us. To establish this base, we must strengthen our body, mind, and spirit. We begin this process by harvesting the clean internal environment our cells demand for efficient regeneration. This begins with eating healthy and partaking in internal cleansing services such as colon hydrotherapy, lymphatic drainage massages, and oxygen baths. We are required to feed the healthy bacteria in our gut by nourishing ourselves with raw organic fruits and vegetables. We also must be careful not to supplement the harmful pathogens and parasites that thrive on poor food sources such as dairy, eggs, fast foods, gluten grains, GMOs, meat, processed foods, and refined sugars. Ingesting these deleterious foods will nourish harmful bacterial endotoxins that invade our microbiome. This can result in an unstable foundation that is a terrain for disease, and lead to our desirable lives collapsing. We must face our anger, confusion, depression, greed, hatred, ignorance, insecurities, jealousy, lies, and separation issues so we can let them go, make more room for love, and come closer to our truth. We may acquire new hobbies and talents that align with our passions, exercise regularly, expand our intellect, grow organic food, plant our own gardens, practice meditation and yoga, and raise our awareness. Once we are living in alignment with our passions and have achieved health in our body, mind, and spirit, we naturally become more curious about the planet we live on and all of Earth’s inhabitants.

Once we secure happiness, we may contribute toward helping our planet become a healthy and happy place. Too often we go after our desires and fail to protect our natural resources. Many people in this world blow up mountaintops, cut down forests, and drill for oil and gas beneath the most beautiful places on Earth. They mine for precious metals, and pollute the rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans with fracking chemicals, animal excrement from factory farms, pesticides, and other chemicals. If these people are seeking fame, fortune, or a better life by accomplishing these atrocities, there are more peaceful ways to gain notoriety. Dr. Jane Goodall, the conservationist, environmentalist, and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (janegoodall.org), once said, “We cannot leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for eighty percent of the world’s people, while bringing it down considerably for the twenty percent who are destroying our natural resources.” What we are witnessing today is a small percentage of the population accruing the majority of the wealth, while their actions destroy the bulk of our resources. Once our planet is no longer habitable for humans or animals to sustain life because of our greed-driven actions, our foundation will crumble. Knowing this, we must be aware of the consequences that come from attaining our desires while turning a blind eye to the environment. Our goals should always be in harmony with nature.

Finally, as we design the layout for the desirable life we are seeking, we need to be certain our attainment of this ideal life will not destroy, or impede on, the happiness and well-being of animals or other humans. Another of Jane Goodall’s virtues is, “We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of us all.” In addition to respecting other animals, we have to respect each other, including the lives of indigenous natives. Most of the resources used to manufacture products sold in prosperous nations come with costs attached we are blind to. We do not realize our decision to sell a product containing palm oil is clearing millions of acres of rainforests, driving orangutans, tigers, and other plant and animal species to extinction, and killing indigenous tribes living in those regions. We are ignorant to the fact our decision to eat dairy, eggs, and meat is responsible for eighty percent of all deforestation, as well as the staggering amount of ocean dead zones, water shortages all over the world, as well as pollution of our air, lakes, oceans, rivers, soil, streams, and underground aquifers, in addition to the extinction of animals, human beings, and plant species. Animal agriculture is responsible for over half of all greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming and climate change. In the United State alone, over 260 million acres of forests have been cleared to provide land for raising animals to be processed as food. To successfully build a structure impossible to decimate, we have to keep this in mind. Protecting our land-base and all of Earth’s inhabitants is the only way to insure the strength of our foundation and bring about true happiness. We cannot genuinely find the joy we are seeking if with each meal consumed we are contributing to pain and suffering all over the world. This is why we are encouraged to grow our own food, stop supporting corporations, and transition to plant-based vegan diets.

After we assure our foundation is free from cracks or imperfections that could set us back on our quest, we can actively pursue this new life we previously only dreamt of. We permanently invite happiness into our lives. Now we can embrace the feeling of knowing our decisions are not inflicting pain and suffering on others around the world. Once we conquer this pure energy, we tap into the flow of the Universe. We make bold statements with our actions. We lead by example, showing everyone around us how to live in harmony. We turn each new rising sun into our favorite day.

“”What day is it,’ asked Pooh. ‘Today,’ answered Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.” – A.A. Milne

Imagine how much happier we would be if we could honestly deem each new day as our favorite. Why is our current situation telling us we cannot? Are we simply choosing not to pursue our passions, and failing to construct a life path that fulfills our fantasies? When we create the life we desire, we generate happiness that never fades. Winnie the Pooh lived in a perfect fairy tale world where he woke up each day to abundance, good friends, and harmony in nature. His lifestyle did not inflict pain or suffering on others. This happiness that engulfed him is what stimulated his response to Piglet. How could today not be his favorite day, when he was equally as happy every other day? What we will notice as we begin to live for ourselves, doing what we truly want, and refusing to allow limitations or restrictions to belittle our ambitions, is we become truly happy individuals. When living this way, each day only gets better.

 

In his book, Into The Wind, Jake Ducey writes, “Most of us are busy gambling on the most dangerous risk of all—living our whole life not doing what we want on the bet that we can buy the freedom to do it later.” We have to act now if we want to magnetize this life we envision in a perfect world. The environment we live in will never be ideal if we fail to do so.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are, the people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances that they want and if they cannot find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw

If we want to make a difference in our lives today, we must learn to stop pointing fingers and only blame ourselves for the temporary situations we are controlled by. We cannot pass judgment. We should familiarize ourselves with accountability, humility, and humbleness. Opportunities are often hiding in places where we would never think to look. Some of us are simply too comfortable not searching, and only waiting to see what falls into our lap. To live the life we have always imagined, our responsibility is to create the circumstances to make this life feasible.

We are all different, however we share many similarities. One thing we have in common is we are ready to begin living real lives. We no longer want to be controlled by doubt, expectations, fear, insecurities, or misunderstandings. We can leave our negative emotions behind. When Nelson Mandela was freed from prison after twenty-seven years, he stated, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I did not leave my bitterness and hatred behind I would still be in prison.” We each want to be in control of our destiny. We want to accomplish our goals. The only thing holding us back is lack of action. We are in the driver’s seat now. If we still choose to drive down roads leading to despair, we can accept the blame for why we are morose.

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown

There is no space left in our brains to worry about what happened in the past. We cannot exhaust ourselves wondering about the endpoints, or where our final destination will be. Our objective now that we have found our true purpose is to share our passions with the world and go after what feels good now. We cannot continue living video game versions of life. I know of people who wake up every day to sit in front of a television screen. They throw a processed food item in the microwave, and fill themselves up with a variety of chemicals for their nourishment while they continue to watch their brains warp from a reflection off of the screen. They are engaged in this media device all day and night, and they fail to find their identity in the process. While they waste away, they often wonder why they are sick and depressed. Eating processed foods, playing video games, and watching television are each enemies of our good friend happiness. To manifest our desires, we cannot play video games, we have to turn off our televisions, and we definitely must abstain from eating processed foods. A good first step would be to discard of your microwave, immediately. Although convenient for some, this invention is associated with cancer, and strips your food of vital nutrition and radiant energy. Next, you can get outside in nature, and once you are removed from the superficial, synthetic culture that warps your desires, you will naturally elevate your consciousness. Now you can build your stable foundation and follow this up by mapping out your future and creating your action plan.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We want to make happiness our priority. We are not chasing fame, money, or superficiality; we are seeking freedom from oppression. Once we understand this freedom is already lying dormant within us, we are no longer confined by limitations or restrictions. We can now embrace our passions, and fulfill our purpose in life by doing what we truly enjoy. When we live this way, others notice. When they catch on, an aura of happiness is passed on that impacts everyone in their path. By doing what we love, we infect the world with positivity.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Do not make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things that you love doing, and then do them so well that people cannot take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou

The Law of Jiu-Jitsu states, “The more energy that is directed against us, the more energy is available for us.” You will notice other people are going to question you when you start living as an individual, free from sedation and corporate rule. They may talk about you as if you are the outcast. Soak up all the energy – good or bad. The more they direct energy at you, the more energy you will have to use for building your empire. As Jim Rohn once said, “Success is something you attract by the person you become.” When we heal ourselves from depression, and emit happiness everywhere we go, we attract greatness. We can only give our best to others if we are in touch with the best in ourselves.

In his YouTube video, Manifest What You Want Through Habit, the gifted motivational speaker Preston Smiles confronts us with a powerful message. “What are you a slave to?,” he asks, “Is it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, him, her, your job, politics?” He goes on to explain, “What we need to be aware of is that the very things that imprison us, also point to our freedom. We cannot say that we want these dreams, or these huge things to happen if we are sitting with Snapchat all day. We cannot say we want to take our business to the next level if we are on Facebook six out of twelve hours. This is not how life works. If we want excellence, it must become a habit. All of the true masters knew this. They understood the two-step. They kept doing the same dance over and over again. That is why companies spend so much on advertising, to instill the value of their products in your mind. We have to advertise for ourselves, have our own slogan, and wake up every day pumped and ready to go. If you want to take your life to the next level, you have to have your thoughts match up with your actions. You have to have all of those things aligned, and you do that by understanding what you are enslaved to.” Many of us are enslaved to expectations, lousy jobs, mainstream media, money, mortgage payments, social media devices, televisions, unhealthy food, and video games. Once we acknowledge this, we can use what is enslaving us to set us free by letting go of all these attachments. After freeing ourselves from this oppression, we can begin our journeys into the unknown.

The motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, assures his fans, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” Now that we understand what has been holding us back and have taken the time to nourish ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we can construct the foundation we need to support us as we build the life we desire. We decide how we want to manifest this life. As long as we begin the journey, we will find our way to happiness, health, and success.

I am excited to see your potential bloom from the happiness that has blossomed in your life. You are responsible for how you will improve yourself, and your perspective of everyone around you, and you choose which role you will play in healing society. I am grateful that you decided to take this journey with me. I wish you the best always, and I am sending many positive thoughts your way. Please join me in making the world a better place.

            “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. Once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The Best Version Of You


“My father could have been a great comedian but he did not believe that this was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. When I was twelve years old, he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you do not want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” – Jim Carrey, Actor and Comedian

If you are ever speaking to a group of people and you say, “Okay, I want all of you to raise your hand as high as you can,” you will notice they tend to raise their hands high up in the air. As their hands are raised, if you then say, “Okay, now I want you to raise them higher,” somehow they find a way to get their hands higher. Too often we claim to be doing our best, yet we are ignoring how much better we can become, and how much more we can accomplish with what we have. When I refer to the best version of you, I want you to be the very best. I want you to give more than one-hundred percent at every moment. This does not mean you claim to be the best, try this out for a short period of time, and then regress back into the depressed version of you. I want you to be a ray of happiness. I want you to magnetize positivity everywhere you go. To do so, you cannot be too easy on yourself.

In an endurance race, some competitors conserve energy until the very end, or for ascents uphill, careful not to run out of energy late, or fall behind early in the race. They conserve their energy, clinging to the belief they cannot give their all for the entire duration of the race. This relates to the common way many of us move through life. We hang on to our ambitions, beliefs, and hopes for too long. Why are we holding back? Are we fearful of attaining what we truly desire? We can give our all every day, in any circumstance, no matter what the situation may be. There is never a reason for any of us to restrict our potential. Knowing this, we can no longer afford to be easy on ourselves. We have to give our all even when we feel there is no use.

“If you do not build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” – Tony Gaskins

We are each entitled to unique dreams. We have ambitions, desires, fantasies, goals, necessities, and wants that we yearn for every day. This is our time to captivate them and manifest these constituents into our lives. We cannot experience true happiness until we start building our own masterpieces through action; rather than continuing to help others construct their dreams using our commitment, energy, labor, and time.

 

“If you really want to heal and change your life for the better, what will work is getting busy with it. Instead of expecting the past to be something it was not, focus on making the future into something that it can be.” – John McCabe, Igniting Your Life

If you are letting your past restrict you from acting to create a more lively future, recognize the cycle of defeat you are choosing to participate in. What happened yesterday, last week, a few months ago, or during our childhood is not relevant to how we approach today and what we will do with each rising sun. We have to focus on what will bring us happiness now. Our concentration should be on preserving this happiness so this carries over into our future.

“The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Whitney Young, Civil Rights leader

To establish authentic versions of ourselves, this requires we become superior to our past. This is not a battle for us to one-up others, or win the race to see who we have left behind in the dust. We want to grow up, mature, and emerge as leaders. Our mission is to solidify our character by embracing awareness, compassion, confidence, love, and understanding. We choose to be optimistic and maintain positive attitudes. We erase all confusions surrounding the person we want to be. We have a clear understanding of what we want, and accept nothing less than what we envision.

“The World Makes Way For Those Who Know Where They Are Going.” – Henry David Thoreau

When we know in our heart, mind, and spirit exactly what we want to do, where we want to be, and how we are going to get there, amazing things begin to happen. A path opens which we have never before noticed. We choose whether or not to follow this new path. If we decide to take action, we will get what we want. Once we become accustomed to living this way, maintaining focus gets easier. We realize we have control over our destiny.

“As they say, you never forget how to ride a bike once you have learned. Well, so it is with taking charge of your life and breaking through obstacles. Once you fully understand how you create your reality, you suddenly have the ability to plot a course to your desires that will truly amaze you because it feels like magic.” – Craig Perrine

We cannot forget the difference between being active and sedentary. Once we begin to take action, we can easily fall off track if we permit stagnation to infiltrate. We must fight off resistance at all costs to be successful on our road to recovery.

When I go running through the forest on hot days, if I stop for any reason, in that very moment mosquitoes will attack me. If I keep moving, they do not bother me. This motivates me to continue without resting. Imagine how blessed we would be if every time we stopped being active in life, the Universe would send us a signal that would push us to carry on. Guess what, this does happen. When the life we lead does not align with our passions, depression bites at us so we will change our ways. If we eat poorly and live sedentary, we are often afflicted with a serious health condition. We do not get sick, or become ill so that we can blame God, curse our genetics, or give up on life. These conditions arise to motivate us so we will correct our errors and clean up our mistakes. The reason why we are confronted with failures on our mission to obtain happiness is not so we can dwell in misery, but rather for us to reshape our desires and go after what we are destined to succeed with. The Universe is working in our favor, not against us. We can rest at times, but if we do not want to get bit by misfortunes, then we must remain active in our pursuit of a better life.

“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

At fifty-two, Janette Murray-Wakelin was diagnosed with breast cancer and the prognosis was she had only six months to live. After recognizing she could improve her life in many ways, she chose to bypass all conventional treatments and changed her diet and lifestyle. By bolstering her perception, exercising, and eating plant-based, she healed and became cancer-free. Soon after, she published the book, Raw Can Cure Cancer. In 2013, Janette, 64, and her husband, Alan Murray, 68, ran a marathon every day of the year. They followed this up with one final run on the first day of 2014 to break the world record for running the most consecutive marathons. When asked why they decided to run, their answer was, “To inspire and motivate conscious lifestyle choices, to promote kindness and compassion for all living beings, and to raise environmental awareness for a sustainable future.” To add to the greatness of their incredible feat, they accomplished this on a strict raw vegan diet, and ran in Vibram shoes.

According to a January 2014 article on the True Activist webpage (trueactivist.com), Elderly Vegan Couple Ran A Marathon Every Day of 2013, the couple fueled with raw organic fruits and vegetables and followed The 80/10/10 Diet, by Dr. Douglas Graham (foodnsport.com). Every morning they would awaken at four a.m. and consume ten bananas, a grapefruit, and a date smoothie for breakfast. At around eight a.m., they would eat another ten bananas. This was followed by a green smoothie at nine a.m., a fruit salad at the nineteen-mile mark, and three oranges by the twenty-third mile. They would finish their run by four p.m. Dinner for the two would likely be an avocado, vegetable juice, and salad. They announced that, “Consuming an abundance of high-nutrient laden, fresh, ripe, organic fruits and vegetables allows them to experience true happiness, make conscious choices that benefit the planet, and feel great.” By following this diet, not only were they able to successfully run over 9,800 miles in a year, but they also obtained sufficient amounts of antioxidants, calcium, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, iron, liquids,  phytonutrients, proteins, and all other essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. They awakened better versions of themselves. If you adapt to The 80/10/10 approach, you will likely find similar success.

While society has mistakenly believed for years that animal products help to fuel endurance and provide us with strength, what we know today is that these food choices drain our endurance and deplete our vitality. The best fuel sources for athletes are raw fruits and vegetables, and fresh organic juices and smoothies – as Janette and Alan demonstrated. In fact, many of the most dominant endurance athletes fuel with plant-based food sources. The fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, and his fellow Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake, both insist that bananas are their primary fuel sources. Yohan announced that he will eat up to thirty bananas a day while training. The endurance athlete, Rich Roll, who is considered one of the fittest men on the planet, gets his fuel from plants, abiding by a strict vegan diet. You can learn about his story in the book, Finding Ultra. The vegan bodybuilder, Joshua Knox, who was a heavy meat eater at one point speaks at TedXFremont about how he gained more strength and endurance than he ever thought was possible on a plant-based diet. His presentation was titled, A Vegan Bodybuilding Experiment.

Imagine if Janette had given up after she was afflicted with cancer. The disease would have destroyed her. She instead opted to take action, heal herself, and not allow this disease to infiltrate her positivity. Today she is a source of inspiration because she decided to take action and gain control of her health and well-being. We can all learn a lesson or two from her story. Discover more about her incredible life by accessing the website for Running Raw Around Australia (runningrawaroundaustralia.com).

The Truth About Meat


“Meat is not man’s natural food, since he is not either a carnivorous or an omnivorous animal. Every argument drawn from comparative anatomy, from physiology, from chemistry, from experience, from observation, and when rightly used, from common sense – as well as the arguments from agricultural, the hygienic, the ethical and humanitarian standpoints – all agree in proving that man is not a meat-eating animal and that if he does indulge in this practice, it is to his own detriment being such an unhealthful, unnatural, and abnormal habit.” – Dr. Hereward Carrington

From an anatomical perspective, humans are not designed to be omnivorous. In fact, our anatomical design resembles that of a frugivore or herbivore. We have small canine teeth to tear apart the cellulose fibers in vegetables. Omnivorous animals use their fangs and sharp teeth to break down bones and cartilage. We do not have claws that can penetrate flesh or harm animals – we have soft, porous nails for peeling fruit. We are equipped with a long, plant-friendly digestive tract. Omnivores have short tracts allowing for them to digest and excrete animal-derived food sources easily. We sweat through pores in our skin, while omnivores sweat through the tongue and have minimal sweat glands. Our salivary chemistry is alkaline, while an omnivorous animals is acidic. Our body requires fiber to stimulate peristalsis, an omnivores does not. Our brain chemistry is fueled by glycogen while an omnivore requires fats and proteins for brain functioning. We even see in full color-scale like other herbivores and frugivores – omnivores and carnivores do not. Every component of our anatomy supports the notion we are not omnivorous or carnivorous mammals. We were simply not created to eat meat. All evidence points directly to us being put here on Earth to eat fruit, some leafy green vegetables, and nothing else other than the occasional nuts, seeds, and sprouts.

The article, Evolution and Prostate Cancer, was featured in the Winter 2000 edition of the Prostate Cancer Update journal published by the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The lead author, scientist Don Coffey, Ph.D., explains, “In nature, animals that are carnivores – meat-eaters like lions – do not have seminal vesicles. The only animals that have both prostates and seminal vesicles are herbivores – veggie-eating animals like bulls, apes, and elephants. We are the huge glaring exception to this rule: Men have seminal vesicles, too. In other words, man – a meat-lover – has the makeup of an animal that should be vegetarian. The fact that men eat meat seems to be a mistake that nature never accounted for.” We seem to be the only mammal with seminal vesicles who consciously chooses to indulge in animal-derived foods. We are also among the only mammals who develop prostate cancer.

In an October 2008 publication in the peer-reviewed Nutrition In Clinical Practice journal, The Cause of Atherosclerosis, Dr. William C. Roberts explains how carnivorous and omnivorous animals do not develop atherosclerosis. These animals can eat endless amounts of fat and cholesterol and their arteries will not clog up. In studies on herbivorous animals, however, atherosclerosis was easily produced when monkeys, rabbits, and rats were fed high cholesterol, high saturated fat diets comprised of eggs and meat. Humans choosing to eat animal-derived foods are experiencing an epidemic of atherosclerosis. There is a reason why true carnivores do not develop this condition, while humans continue to suffer from atherosclerosis.

Whether we are frugivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous – beyond arguing over what we were created to eat – we cannot deny the harsh fact that meat consumption is killing us. Excess animal protein, and cooked meat carcinogens such as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are linked to many degenerative diseases. These include: Alzheimer’s; cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and female anatomy; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; erectile dysfunction; macular degeneration; multiple sclerosis; and osteoporosis. Dietary cholesterol and saturated fats are damaging the endothelial cells lining our circulatory system. Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), a metabolite generated when bacteria in the gut digest choline sourced from chicken, eggs, and fish, and L-carnitine found in red meat is seriously injuring our blood vessels. Malignant tumors are forming from a mammalian molecule known as Neu5Gc, found in most animal-derived foods. Infectious diseases are spreading through the food supply. Never before have we been so plagued with sickness.

Our addiction to flesh foods is the Achilles heel sabotaging the human species. Meat consumption is carcinogenic, health degrading, and can be directly linked to nearly every disease afflicting man. Somewhere on the path of human evolution we were led astray into adapting the habit of eating flesh foods. While in some regions of the world our ancestors relied on meat for survival, today with advances in technology and transportation we no longer need to exploit animals for food. We are smarter now, and have a wide enough variety of plant-based foods available to diversify our palate and consider meat obsolete.

In his book, Meatonomics, author David Robinson Simon alerts us of programs managed by the US Department of Agriculture spending $550 million annually on advertisements and slogans encouraging American citizens to eat more meat and meat products. Mr. Simon also informs us of the American government spending $38 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries, while only 0.04 percent of this amount (i.e., $17 million) is going toward subsidizing fruits and vegetables. As multinational corporations and government organizations use industry propaganda to continually drill us with misleading nutritional information, trying desperately to keep us buried in an unsustainable way of life, we are slowly beginning to manifest a universal awakening. Human intelligence is claiming superiority over the dying hierarchy that has dictated our well being for far too long. With the aid of medical science, we now have enough evidence to support the notion that meat is killing us.

There is a sialic acid sugar molecule known as Neu5Gc that cannot be synthesized by humans, yet is found in the lining of hollow organs and blood vessels. According to a May 2010 study in the PNAS journal – Uniquely Human Evolution of Sialic Acid Genetics and Biology – this cellular-surfaced molecule is incorporated into human tissues from eating animal-derived foods. Dietary Neu5Gc tends to accumulate particularly in epithelial cells lining hollow organs where carcinomas develop, or in the endothelium lining blood vessels where atherosclerosis occurs. Once present in the body our immune system develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, and because this molecule attaches to endothelial and epithelial cells, the antibodies attack these cells. This immune response leads to chronic inflammation, and is likely responsible for the high frequency of diet-related carcinomas and other diseases in humans.

The Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences of the United States published a study in January 2015, A Red Meat-Derived Glycan Promotes Inflammation and Cancer Progression. Researchers used an improved method to survey common foods for free and glycosidically bound forms of the nonhuman sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). Results displayed evidence of this molecule being highly and selectively enriched in red meat. The research team discovered the bound form of Neu5Gc is bioavailable, undergoing metabolic incorporation into human tissues, despite being a foreign antigen. Interactions of this antigen with circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies were found to promote inflammation and accelerate tumor growth. This carcinogenic compound is found primarily in beef, pork, lamb, egg and milk products – with trace amounts present in fish.

A study published in the September 2016 Glycoconjugate Journal, Developmental Changes In the Level of Free and Conjugated Sialic Acids, Neu5Ac, Neu5Gc, and KDN In Different Organs of Pig, found evidence of, “A non-human sialic acid sugar molecule called Neu5Gc – commonly found in red meat – having the potential to increase tumor formations when consumed.” The study – conducted by researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine and Xiamen University School of Medicineexamined presence of the acid in pig meat and found that pig organs, including the lungs, heart, spleen, kidney, and liver, had the highest concentrations. Results showed the risk factors associated with consuming Neu5Gc are significantly increased when the organs are cooked, and therefore, the researchers assert, “Dietary consumption of organ meats should be discouraged to protect against cancer, cardiovascular, and other inflammatory diseases.”

Dating all the way back to May 1962, a study was published in the Journal of Biological ChemistryThe Biosynthesis of Sialic Acids – finding all influenza A viruses were dependent on Neu5Gc to connect with cells. Fifty years later, in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, this discovery was elongated. An April 2012 study, Multifarious Roles of Sialic Acids In Immunity, explains how viruses contain glycoproteins that bind to sialic acids on the surface of human cells and cell membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Judging from the information in these studies, we could greatly reduce our chances of contracting a virus by eliminating animal-derived foods containing Neu5Gc. Rather than inoculating the body with viruses through administration of influenza vaccines, a safer and more logical way to protect yourself from the influenza virus could be choosing to eat vegan.

An August 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental MedicineNovel Mechanism for the Generation of Human Xeno-Autoantibodies Against the Nonhuman Sialic Acid N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid – introduces the term xenosialitis. This describes the interaction between non-human Neu5Gc and circulating Neu5Gc antibodies resulting in chronic inflammation that promotes carcinogenesis and atherogenesis. Researchers examined infants to determine when anti-Neu5Gc antibodies develop in the body. Their findings indicate a lack of the production of anti-Neu5Gc IgG antibodies at three months when their diets were devoid of Neu5Gc. Soon after the introduction of Neu5Gc in the diet in the form of cow’s milk formula and baby foods containing red meat, the levels began to rise. This highlights how introducing animal-derived foods to children can be detrimental to their health.

A May 2016 Mayo Clinic study, Is Meat Killing Us?, presents more evidence supporting the surety of meat increasing mortality rates. Mortality rates for red meat-eaters were found to be higher for all causes of death. The study observed one million individuals across the United States, Europe, and China during a period of five to twenty-eight years in addition to cross-referencing thirteen cohort studies that included 1.5 million people and found consumption of red meat, processed or not, led to higher mortality risks across illnesses including heart disease and cancer. This was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Researchers concluded, “Despite variability in data, the evidence is consistent that increased intake of red meat, especially processed red meat, is associated with increased all-cause mortality. Red meat also increases cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality in Western cohorts. A vegan diet has been shown to improve several parameters of health, including reversal of cardiovascular disease, decreased body mass index (BMI), decreased risk of diabetes, and decreased blood pressure.” The study suggests avoidance of red and processed meats and a diet rich in plant-based whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes as a sound, evidence-based recommendation.

Heart disease is mostly attributed to poor diet. An early phenomenon of atherosclerosis and heart disease is endothelial dysfunction. A study featured in the November 1997 Circulation journal, Endothelial Dysfunction is Associated With Cholesterol Levels in the High Normal Range in Humans (17), introduces the association between dietary cholesterol and impaired endothelium dependent vasodilation. Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels. The endothelium is a thin layer of cells covering the inner surface of the arteries –  separating the circulating blood from the tissues. In this study, dietary cholesterol levels in what is considered the normal range were linked to decreased vasodilation and endothelium dysfunction. As more cholesterol is ingested in the diet, endothelial cells are further damaged, atherosclerotic deposits begin to form, and heart disease transpires.

Dietary cholesterol is found only in animal-based foods. In the China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell studied the dietary effects on blood cholesterol levels and determined that animal protein consumption by men was associated with increasing levels of ‘bad’ blood cholesterol, whereas plant protein consumption was associated with decreasing levels of this same cholesterol. This tells us we should avoid animal products if we want to lower our cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Simply restricting calories will not prevent disease from occurring. We have to abide by clean diets free of chemicals to assure good health.

In addition to dietary cholesterol contributing to atherosclerosis because of impaired endothelium function, an oxide known as trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), has also been discovered to promote heart disease. In the May 2013 Nature Medicine journal, a study was released documenting how bacteria in our gut metabolize L-carnitine – a nutrient found in fish, meat, milk and poultry – into TMAO. These same bacteria also break down choline from eggs and high-fat dairy products into TMAO. When dietary choline and L-carnitine are ingested by bacteria in the intestines, they are metabolized into trimethylamine (TMA). Once TMA enters the liver, an enzyme converts the compound to TMAO, which penetrates the bloodstream and alters whole-body cholesterol metabolism, vascular inflammation, and formation of unstable plaques in the arterial walls. In this study, TMAO accelerated the development of atherosclerosis. Vegan and vegetarian subjects were also included in this research, and found to produce less TMAO following ingestion of isolated L-carnitine. The study is titled, Intestinal Microbiota Metabolism of L-carnitine, a Nutrient in Red Meat, Promotes Atherosclerosis. Scientists have discovered carnitine and choline from plant-derived foods do not generate production of TMAO when metabolized by bacteria in the gut as forms of these nutrients sourced from meat, dairy, or eggs have demonstrated.

An additional study in the November 2014 Cell Metabolism journal, γ-Butyrobetaine is a Proatherogenic Intermediate in Gut Microbial Metabolism of L-carnitine to TMAO, introduced a separate metabolite of L-carnitine known as γ-butyrobetaine. This intermediate byproduct of meat digestion is formed in abundant amounts by microbes in the gut and converted into TMA – eventually forming TMAO. Not only does TMAO damage blood vessels, in January 2015 Circulation Research journal published a study, Gut Microbiota-Dependent Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) Pathway Contributes to Both Development of Renal Insufficiency and Mortality Risk in Chronic Kidney Disease, documenting the capability of this metabolite to contribute to progressive renal fibrosis and dysfunction. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) were also found to have elevated plasma TMAO levels – suggesting a link between CKD and meat consumption.

A study in the March 2016 Cell journal, Gut Microbial Metabolite TMAO Enhances Platelet Hyperreactivity and Thrombosis Risk, shows how scientists are able to predict incidence risks for thrombotic events in human subjects stemming from elevated TMAO levels. The paper explains how normal platelet function is critical for healthy blood flow, while heightened platelet reactivity is associated with cardiometabolic diseases and enhanced potential for thrombotic events. This study successfully demonstrates how generation of TMAO directly contributes to platelet hyperreactivity and enhanced thrombosis potential.

Most recently, a prospective cohort study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic and published in the October 2016 Journal of the American heart AssociationTrimethylamine N‐Oxide and Mortality Risk in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease – found elevated TMAO levels were associated with a 2.7‐fold increased mortality risk in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). This was discovered after examining the relationship between fasting plasma TMAO and all-cause mortality over five years among 821 consecutive patients with adjudicated PAD. It seems the only way to avoid this deadly metabolite is to abstain from eating animal-derived foods.

In a video released in January 2013 on nutritionfacts.org, PhIP: The Three-Strikes Breast Carcinogen, Dr. Greger discusses heterocyclic amines and how PhIP is one of the most abundant heterocyclic amines in cooked meat. These carcinogenic compounds are formed at high temperatures from the reaction between creatine or creatinine, amino acids, and sugar in meat, dairy, and egg products. PhIP is nearly impossible to avoid for those who indulge in animal-derived foods because the toxin is found in many commonly consumed cooked meats – particularly chicken, beef, and fish. After absorption of PhIP, the compound is converted to a genotoxic metabolite in the liver – becoming more likely to cause DNA mutation, trigger cancer, and promote tumor growth. In a 2009 issue of Mutagenesis Journal, a study was published titled Dietary Intake of Meat and Meat-derived Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines and Their Correlation with DNA Adducts in Female Breast Tissue (24). Researchers discovered ingestion of PhIP causes DNA mutation that may initiate tumor growth, promotes cancer due to potent estrogenic activity, and promotes the invasiveness of breast cancer cells. Abstaining from dairy, eggs, and meat is the safest way to evade this amine, and is a method of prevention for living cancer free.

In the March 2005 Chemical Research in Toxicology journal, a study – Formation of a Mutagenic Heterocyclic Aromatic Amine from Creatinine in Urine of Meat Eaters and Vegetarians – was published finding more than twenty heterocyclic amines in cooked meats, fish, and poultry prepared under common household cooking conditions. This includes baking, boiling, broiling, frying, grilling, sauteing, and smoking. Urine samples from subjects eating meat were found to contain high levels of PhIP, and other health degrading heterocyclic compounds. Even those who refrained from eating meat, yet still included boiled eggs, or cheese in their diet showed traces of these compounds.

Many of these heterocyclic and polycyclic compounds found in grilled meats are also present in cigarettes. In fact, some grilled meats can be more abundant in pyrenes and other polycyclic compounds than cigarettes. In a comparative risks analysis study, one piece of grilled steak was found to contain the equivalent carcinogenic load as six-hundred cigarettes. This is comparable to smoking a pack a day for thirty days each time a steak is eaten. This information was presented decades ago in a study – Metabolism of Polycyclic Compounds – published in the February 1964 Biochemical Journal. The main source of these carcinogens in grilled meats are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These polycyclic compounds are highly carcinogenic atmospheric pollutants formed by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels such as coal, tar, wood, fat, tobacco, and incense. When the fat and juices from the meat drip over the heat source – causing flames – these flames then adhere to the surface of the meat. Multiple studies have shown that high levels of these hydrocarbons are found in cooked foods –  particularly in meats cooked at high temperatures, such as with grilling or barbecuing – and in smoked fish. When we consider the vast amount of people who smoke and eat steak regularly, we begin to understand why heart disease and cancer are so prevalent.

“I try to stick to a vegan diet heavy on fruit and vegetables.” – Clint Eastwood, Hollywood Actor and Producer

In the October 2015 edition of The Lancet Oncology journal, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report providing evidence of processed meats and red meats being strongly correlated with colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. These processed meats include bacon, deli cold cuts, ham, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, and sausage. Beef, goat, lamb, and pork can all be considered red meats. In the analysis, eating fifty grams a day of processed meats was found to increase the risk of developing colon cancer by up to eighteen percent. Red meats were found to be associated with greater susceptibility to cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas, and prostate.   These findings prompted the World Health Organization to classify all processed and red meats as probable carcinogens – substances known to cause cancer.

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) tend to shorten telomeres, accelerating the aging process. Glucose binds to cooked animal proteins, leading to the formation of AGEs, and by eating meat we damage our cells and shorten telomeres. In a September 2013 study led by Dr. Dean Ornish and published in The Lancet Oncology journal, Effect of Comprehensive Lifestyle Changes On Telomerase Activity and Telomere Length In Men With Biopsy-Proven Low-Risk Prostate Cancer, researchers determined changes in diet, exercise, stress management, and social support can result in longer telomeres – the parts of chromosomes that affect aging. For five years, researchers followed thirty-five men with localized, early-stage prostate cancer to explore the relationship between comprehensive lifestyle changes, and telomere length and telomerase activity. All the men were closely monitored through screening and biopsies. Ten of the patients embarked on lifestyle changes that included: a plant-based diet (high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and low in fat and refined carbohydrates); moderate exercise (walking thirty minutes a day, six days a week); and stress reduction (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation). They were compared to the other twenty-five study participants who were not asked to make major lifestyle changes. When the five-year study ended, the group that made the lifestyle changes experienced a significant increase in telomere length of approximately ten percent. Researchers found that the more people changed their behavior by adhering to the recommended lifestyle program, the more dramatic their improvements in telomere length. Meanwhile, the men in the control group who were not asked to alter their lifestyle had measurably shorter telomeres – nearly three percent shorter. This study demonstrates how we can slow the aging process by choosing to eat plant-based, exercising, and eliminating stress.

In addition to accelerating aging, eating animal-based foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs, is strongly associated with depression. This is likely because of the arachadonic acid contained within these foods – along with the low-level energy, and harmful pathogens. A February 2012 Nutrition Journal study, Restrictions of Meat, Fish, and Poultry In Omnivores Improved Mood, found by simply eliminating animal products from the diet of omnivore subjects their mood improved within two weeks. Researchers discovered arachadonic acid – found primarily in chicken and eggs – was to blame for their initial depression before the elimination of these foods. They acknowledged arachadonic acid as a compound that can adversely impact mental health via a cascade of brain inflammation. High intakes of this acid began to promote changes in the brain that resulted in disturbed mood and this was demonstrated with the group of subjects who continued to eat fish for the duration of the study. Fish-eaters reported significantly worse moods than vegans. The conclusion was restricting meat, fish, and poultry improved short-term mood state in modern omnivores.

In a 2010 Nutrition journal cross-sectional study, Vegetarian Diets are Associated with Healthy Mood States, vegetarian test subjects reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores. The researchers concluded arachadonic acid was to blame for the anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, and stress experienced by those who included meat in their diet. Miraculously, by eliminating chicken, fish, and eggs, their symptoms improved within two weeks. The top sources for arachadonic acid are chicken, eggs, beef, processed meats (sausage, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs), fish, burgers, cold cuts, pork, and pizza. If you are unhappy, and your diet is abundant in these foods, perhaps consider adapting some dietary changes. Try skipping meat once or twice a week to start, and then progress to removing animal-derived foods entirely from your diet. You will be thankful once you transition.

A January 2014 Nature journal study, Diet Rapidly and Reproducibly Alters the Human Gut Microbiota, explains how long-term dietary intake influences the structure and activity of the trillions of microorganisms residing in the human gut. These same microorganisms communicate with our brain and have an impact on our appetite, behavior, feelings, and mood. Researchers studied the impact animal-based diets and plant-based diets have on the gut microbiota by dividing the groups into vegan, or strictly meat-based diets. In the study, the research team found, “Short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal products alters the microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. The animal-based diet was found to increase the activity of bilophilia wadsworthia, showing a link between dietary fat, bile acids, and the outgrowth of microorganisms capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease.”

Bilophilia are microbes that love bile. Because bile helps to digest fats, more bile is produced when the diet is rich in meat, dairy, and eggs. When extra bile is produced, we generate more of these microbes. Blooms of bilophilia are known to cause inflammation and colitis – conditions closely associated with depression. In this study, researchers observed fifty clustered, species-level bacterial phylotypes and how each diet had an impact. Among those eating plant-based diets, only three of these bacterial clusters were altered, while twenty-two of the phylotypes on animal-based diets were changed significantly. The microbiome of those on meat-based diets had clusters composed of putrefactive microbes, bilophilia wadsworthia, increased lactic acid bacteria, staphylococcus, increased enteric deoxycholic acid concentrations (DCA), and several other potentially damaging organisms. DCA is a secondary bile acid that promotes liver cancer, DNA damage, and hepatic carcinomas. A high level of bilophilia wadsworthia is known to cause bowel inflammation. This alteration in the gut microbiota could also explain symptoms of anxiety and depression.

“We have known for fourteen years that a single meal of meat, dairy, and eggs triggers an inflammatory reaction inside the body within hours of consumption. Within five or six hours, the inflammation starts to cool down, but then what happens? At that point we can whack our arteries with another load of animal products for lunch. In this routine, we may be stuck in a chronic low-grade inflammation danger zone for most of our lives. This can set us up for inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers one meal at a time.” – Dr. Michael Greger, nutritionfacts.org

In March 2012, researchers at Harvard Medical School released the results of a study – Red Meat Consumption Linked To Increased Risk of Total, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality – concluding a diet high in red meat will shorten life expectancy. They studied over 120,000 people and found red meat consumption increased their risk of death from cancer and heart problems. The team analyzed data from 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008, and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008. Their study proved by adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone’s daily diet, they would increase their risk of death by thirteen percent, developing cardiovascular disease by eighteen percent, and cancer prognosis by ten percent. The figures for processed meat were higher, with a twenty percent overall mortality – twenty-one percent for death from heart problems, and sixteen percent for cancer mortality.

While most studies point directly to red meat and pork as being the most toxic meat sources, poultry also poses a serious health threat. In July 2012, ABC News and the Food & Environment Reporting Network carried out a joint investigation presenting evidence from medical researchers that more than eight million women are at risk of contracting urinary tract infections from superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics and growing in chickens. The report, Superbug Dangers in Chicken Linked to Eight-Million At-Risk Women, explained how these superbugs are being transmitted to humans in the form of E.coli and prions. Prions are infectious agents composed of proteins in a misfolded form. They are responsible for the transmissible encephalopathies found in many mammals and cannot be destroyed by means of irradiation, or any other form of pasteurization, or cooking. All known prion diseases affect the structure of the brain or other neural tissue, and are untreatable and universally fatal. Amee Manges, epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, shared her knowledge on this issue stating, “We are finding the same, or related E.coli in human infections and in retail meat sources – specifically chicken.” Maryn McKenna, reporter for the Food & Environment Reporting Network, summed this up by announcing, “What this new research shows is, we may in fact know where it is coming from. It may be coming from antibiotics used in agriculture.”

The pharmaceutical industry makes tremendous amounts of money from selling drugs to the animal farming industry for the livestock, and then they make more money from the people suffering from the effects of eating the chemically-saturated meat, dairy, and eggs. According to the FDA, eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in the US go to the livestock sector.  In the 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report on antibiotic use in livestock – Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock – the author and director of their food and environment program, Dr. Margaret Mellon, reported,U.S. livestock producers use about 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics annually for ‘non-therapeutic’ purposes (growth promotion and disease prevention) as opposed to treatment of disease. The non-therapeutic total includes about 10.3 million pounds in hogs, 10.5 million pounds in poultry and 3.7 million pounds in cattle. By contrast, humans use approximately three million pounds of antibiotics annually in the U.S.” This statement uncovers how pharmaceutical companies make more money from selling drugs to owners of factory farms for injecting in animals for non-therapeutic purposes, than they do from humans purchasing them to attempt to combat illness.   

A step in the right direction for us is the outcome of a court case in March of 2012. In the case of Natural Resources Defense Council et al. v. FDA, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, no. 11-3562, a federal judge ruled U.S. regulators start proceedings to withdraw approval for the use of common antibiotics in animal feed, citing concerns that overuse is endangering human health by creating antibiotic-resistant superbugs. At the time of this ruling, antibiotic-resistant infections were costing Americans more than twenty billion dollars each year. This number was determined by a 2009 study conducted by the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and Cook County Hospital. As we awaken to the dark side of the meat industry and begin to see how meat consumption is in no way benefiting our health, I have hope we will be on the better side of many more court rulings.

In August 2016 Bloomberg Markets (bloomberg.com) published an article, Why Big Pharma Wants to Switch Billions of Farm Animals to Vaccines From Antibiotics. The author, Jared Hopkins, informs us of the animal-health and drug industry planning to replace the use of antibiotics on animals with vaccines. Rather than injecting antibiotics to potentially kill the superbugs and infectious diseases prevalent among farm animals, they are proposing to inoculate them with live strains of viruses and superbugs using aluminum, formaldehyde, and mercury adjuvants and preservatives to strengthen immunity and keep the enormous populations of caged farm animals resistant to disease. Not surprisingly, a June 2015 market research report – Veterinary/Animal Vaccines Market Product, Diseases, Technology – Global Forecast to 2020 – estimates the global animal-vaccine market will be worth $7.2 billion by 2020, up from $5.5 billion in 2010. As long as they are generating revenue, what goes into the global meat supply will always be a mystery to consumers.          

As we remain focused on extending longevity, we must nourish with healthy foods. Eating meat has consistently proven through medical science and nutritional research to damage our organs, drain our vitality, and void our opportunity to experience vibrant health. Carcinogenic compounds, cholesterol, and fats in animal-derived foods slow our body systems, alter our ability to detox and eliminate waste, and leave residues in our tissues – laying the groundwork for the accumulation of more toxins. Even the high iron levels which some pro-meat propagandists claim are beneficial have been proven to be detrimental to our health and linked to cognitive decline. A study in the August 2013 Journal of Alzheimer’s DiseaseIncreased Iron Levels and Decreased Tissue Integrity in Hippocampus of Alzheimer’s Disease Detected in vivo with Magnetic Resonance Imaging – explains how heme iron from red meat induces oxidative damage to oligodendrocytes. These are the cells responsible for producing myelin. In the study, researchers explain how the destruction of myelin, the fatty tissue that coats nerve fibers in the brain, disrupts communication between neurons and promotes the buildup of amyloid plaques. These amyloid plaques in turn destroy more and more myelin, disrupting brain signaling, and leading to cell death and the classic clinical signs of Alzheimer’s. We are literally self-destructing as we eat meat.

“The more red meat and blood we eat, the more blood thirsty and violent we get. The more vegetarian food we eat, the more peaceful we become.” – Ziggy Marley

Eating meat or meat products will not help us to extend longevity. To assure good health, our best option is to drastically reduce our consumption of meat until we are able to omit this food from our diet. Archaeologists determined years ago the average adult life expectancy for a caveman was thirty to thirty-five years old. We are no longer living in the past, and we are not cavemen. Today we know eating plant-based is the surest way to prevent disease, defer aging, elevate our energy levels, and live to be one-hundred.

Living Foods


My refrigerator is powerful. In fact, powerful enough to have a direct link to my overall well-being.” – Kris Carr, Crazy, Sexy, Diet

            I encourage you to take advantage of the power harnessed by your refrigerator. Do this by filling your shelves with raw fruits, vegetables, and health-promoting foods. In June 2012, the Public Health Nutrition journal published a study, Frequent Consumption of Vegetables Predicts Lower Risk of Depression. Researchers found eating vegetables three or more times a week can reduce depression by more than fifty percent. Imagine the benefits from eating vegetables three or more times daily. A May 2012 study in Nutrition Journal, Restriction of Meat, Fish, and Poultry In Omnivores Improves Mood: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial, suggests, “Eating lots of fruits and vegetables may present a non-invasive, natural, and inexpensive therapeutic means to support a healthy brain.” There is concrete evidence showing the food we consume really does impact health, happiness, and intelligence.

When I mention living foods, I am referring to fresh, organic fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables that have not been cooked, pasteurized, or altered in any way that could damage the nutrient content. If a food requires cooking, meaning the food is not edible unless cooked, this is not ideal for eating. When you eat food, you are more inclined to be drawn to the food source. By choosing to eat fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods, this connects us to nature – the origin of that food. The living energy rewards us with more life. Ultimately, you change the course of your evolution.

            “When you nourish your own mind and spirit, you are really feeding the soul of life. When you improve yourself, you are improving the lives of those around you. When you have the courage to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, you begin to draw upon the power of the universe.” ― Robin Sharma, Daily Inspiration

In his book, The Secret Life of Plants, Peter Tomkins shares the fascinating story of a French scientist named Andre Bovis, who in the early 1900’s designed a tool used for measuring vitality known as the Bovis Scale.  The device has since been referred to as a Biotensor. Using angstroms as the measuring unit, he was able to measure the energy wavelengths of food and humans on a level of zero (lowest possible frequency) to ten-thousand (highest possible frequency).

In the 1930’s, a man named Andre Simoneton followed up his work. Simoneton was a scientist, and expert of electromagnetism. After falling ill, he revived his vitality eating foods measured at the highest frequency on the Bovis Scale. He began to conduct studies on energetics of food, and their impact on human energy levels. Energy emitted from the human body was detected in a range from 6,200 to 7,000 angstroms. Healthy individuals maintain a frequency of 6,500 or higher. What these men discovered is those who are ill, or especially stricken with cancer and other diseases, are below this level. Some with cancer measured as low as 4,875. To raise this level, as Simoneton was able to accomplish within his own body, high vibrational foods must be eaten, and foods measuring at a low frequency need to be eliminated from the diet.

Both Bovis and Simoneton categorized foods on four levels according to their angstrom measurement. Raw fruits and vegetables ranged from 8,000 to 10,000 – being the highest. Interestingly, organic produce free of chemicals tested higher than conventional. The levels were reduced by one-third after transportation from the garden to supermarket. After cooking, levels dropped another third. Foods that measured between 3,000 and 6,500 angstroms included cooked vegetables, fish, honey, sugarcane, and wine. Cheese, coffee, cooked meats, milk chocolate, and boiled teas each scored below 3,000. At zero, bleached flour, liquor, margarine, refined sugar, and all pasteurized items contained no radiant energy whatsoever. Raw cow’s milk fresh from the udder tested at 6,500 angstroms, yet after being bottled for only twenty-four hours, the energy levels dropped by ninety percent. After pasteurization, milk consistently leveled out at zero. Fruit and vegetable juices also dropped to zero after pasteurization. Once rehydrated, energy levels of sun-dried and dehydrated fruits did not change.

From the findings of these two men, we learn there is more to food than simply eating for calories, fat, protein, and vitamins. We begin to understand the meaning of life force energy. The information presented from their studies explains why we cannot enrich or fortify truly dead foods with nutrients and expect to get much benefit from eating these products. To gain the most energy possible from food, eating raw fruits and vegetables is essential and imperative.

            “We want foods with the most energy in them. Enzymes are the manifest form of energy. The cleanest source of energy is raw food.” – Dr. Brian Clement

The enzymes in live foods aid digestion. Living foods contain life within them and promote cellular longevity. A sprout is a perfect example of this type of food. All of the nutrients in sprouts are unharmed and ready to provide the body with nutrients. Other living foods are raw fruits and raw vegetables. Fresh, unpasteurized green juices and smoothies are also considered living.

We produce around two-hundred thousand new cells every second of our lives. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. Each one of these cells is an individual living organism. Among the cells main concerns are protecting and contributing to the health of other cells. Our cells keep us alive, and we should do our best to nourish them for the span of time they live within us. When we fail to nourish our cells, they do not provide us with optimal health. Think of owning a business. You have a group of employees working for you. In order to keep them happy, you must compensate them. Now, say you stop paying them and keep making them work. How long do you expect them to continue working? Imagine your cells as employees battling to keep your business intact and their form of payment is good, nourishing food. Be sure you pay them well.

            “Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos – the trees, the clouds, everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Even the cells of the healthiest people in the world die off at some point. Every minute their bodies are generating millions of new cells. These cells are constructed from the energy and substances present in their system. With eating richly nourishing food, we provide the high vibrational energy needed for cellular regeneration. When we cheat and eat poor quality foods, we are punished with mutated cells.

People who commonly eat clarified sugars, cooked oils, dairy, eggs, fast and processed foods, meat, synthetic chemicals, and other food-like substances – while also drinking soda and alcohol – tend to have bodies constructed of weak cells prone to disease. Their bones are also being depleted of nourishment, and their organ tissues are accumulating the residues of these unhealthy foods. Those following such harmful diets end up being visibly depressed and unhealthy, with complexions lacking the vibrancy they would have from fueling with truly healthy foods. To reverse sadness and stimulate happiness, we want to build cells using optimal fuel sources. These fuel sources are simply raw, organic fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods – or living foods.

“My focus each day is to be myself, live my true passions, inspire greater health and wear my soul shamelessly, with strength and grace.” – Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram

Some of the smartest, most brilliant people I know are raw foodists. They eat food containing nutrients in their natural spectrum, without alteration. The reason why we eat food – aside from the obvious of satiating our hunger – is to nourish our cells, organs, tissues, and blood, and to fuel our brain. We gain this nourishment from the nutrients within the particular foods we eat.

Macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), as well as micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, water, bioflavonoids, biophotons, etc), are equally important for overall bodily function. The micronutrients however, are vital in the production of enzymes and help these proteins carry out their important duties within the body.

Enzymes are said to be among the most important component of raw foods. They control every metabolic process in the body. Once food is heated over a certain temperature – which varies for each food – the enzymes are denatured and no longer utilizable, forcing the body to draw upon its enzymatic stores to break down food. By eating more raw foods, we conserve our energy consuming the life-force provided. This energy can also be measured in biophotons. Biophotons are absorbed into fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods from the sun. When we eat these foods in their natural state, we also absorb the energy of the sun. This is why eating raw nurtures healthy glowing skin, improves mental clarity, and helps our brains to function optimally.

“Cooking destroys life. I do not say these articles should never be cooked, but there is loss in cooking them, especially if we can eat them perfectly fresh and alive. The life and soul of fruits are lost in cooking.” – Dr. Martin Luther Holbrook

Despite the fact we lose a vast amount of nutrients during the cooking process, some nutrients actually become more bio-available when lightly steamed. While eating a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables can easily be maintained, incorporating steamed choices can also be of benefit in order to get the best of both worlds. No matter what we eat, we can use the power of prayer and intention to bless our food and water. Blessings are a powerful remedy to transform anything we consume – especially foods of less nutritional value – into something healthier and more sustainable for our bodies. If you are in a position where you have no choice but to eat unhealthy food, such as being incarcerated or hospitalized, bless your meals with prayer and good intention.

Beet Power


Beet Power – Excerpt from Eating Plant-Based by Jesse J. Jacoby

 

Of all foods in the plant kingdom, beets are my favorite. I drink my beets daily. Beets are the same color and shape as the heart. According to legend, Aphrodite – the Greek Goddess of Love – used beetroots to enhance beauty and gain aphrodisiac properties. The Oracle at Delphi also claimed beetroots are worth their weight in silver, second only to horseradish in mystic potency. To heal our heart, amplify the beauty and glow of our skin, and increase the health of our organs, beets are an essential food.

The association between diets rich in fruits and vegetables, and decreased cancer risk could be linked to the up-regulation of phase II detoxifying enzymes by dietary constituents. The rich colors found in beets are from pigments called betalains. These compounds stimulate phase II enzyme detoxification in the liver. Findings from a February 2005 study featured in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, Betalains, Phase II Enzyme-Inducing Components From Red Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) Extracts, confirm betalains from beets are capable of inducing phase II enzyme activity. Phase II detoxification involves the neutralization of toxins by binding them with phytonutrients so they can be excreted in the urine. A perfect example is the use of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) enzymes. GSTs use glutathione to neutralize toxins, allowing them to be excreted from the body. Betalains found in beetroot have been shown to enhance GST activity, thereby aiding in elimination of toxins that require glutathione for excretion.

There are two basic types of betalains: betacyanins and betaxanthins. Betacyanins are a deep red color, and betaxanthins are yellowish in color. Darker colored beets contain betacyanins, and golden beets are abundant in betaxanthins – most notably vulgaxanthin. These pigments accelerate the process of detoxification, help eliminate free radicals by serving as antioxidants, repair damaged endothelium, and reduce inflammation. Compounds in beets also increase endurance, lower blood pressure, modulate oxidative stress, and are effective for preventing cancer. In addition to beets, amaranth, chard, Nopal cactus, prickly pear cactus, and rhubarb are examples of foods containing betalains.

The June 2012 edition of Food and Pharmaceutical Applications, includes a chapter on red beet biotechnology. In the section titled, Anticancer Effects of Red Beet Pigments, we learn betanin – the betacyanin constituent primarily responsible for red beet color – is an antioxidant with an exceptionally high free radical-scavenging activity, and is a modulator of oxidative stress. Several phytonutrients circulating in beets have been shown to function as anti-inflammatory compounds. Among these nutrients, betanin, isobetanin, and vulgaxanthin, are most closely associated with being anti-inflammatory. These compounds are able to inhibit activity of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes, which are widely used by cells to produce messaging molecules that trigger inflammation. For those suffering with chronic inflammation, production of these inflammatory messengers can exacerbate their condition, leading to several types of heart disease – including atherosclerosis. A study in the October 2005 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Relative Inhibition of Lipid Peroxidation, Cyclooxygenase Enzymes, and Human Tumor Cell Proliferation by Natural Food Colors, examined human tumor cells and found betanin pigments from beets lessened tumor cell growth through inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes – specifically COX enzymes. The tumor cell types tested in these studies include tumor cells from breast, colon, lung, nerve, prostate, stomach, and testicular tissue.

The 2011 Nitric Oxide journal published a study, Acute Effect of A High Nitrate Diet On Brain Perfusion In Older Adults. Researchers found nitrates in beets act as a vasodilator increasing blood flow in ischemic areas. The addition of beetroot juice to the diet helped with age-related dementia and cognitive decline. This same year a Journal of Applied Physiology study, Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Enhances Exercise Performance In Peripheral Arterial Disease, tested patients with peripheral artery disease to determine how nitrates from beets could help improve complications. The nitric oxide from nitrates improved oxygen efficiency and delivery so much subjects were able to walk on average eighteen percent longer and maintain more oxygen in the blood. The beetroot juice stimulated these improvements by vasodilating blood vessels and opening up arteries for more blood flow.

 

In 2012, the Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology journal published a study, Acute Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Improves Dry Static Apnea Performance. Dietary supplementation was reported to lower blood pressure, reduce oxygen cost during sub-maximal exercise, and improve exercise tolerance. A study in the 2015 Nitric Oxide journal, Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance and Decreases Blood Pressure in COPD Patients, provides evidence of dietary beetroot juice increasing exercise capacity of younger and older adults by elevating plasma NO2, and NO2 concentrations, while improving exercise performance and reducing blood pressure in patients experiencing COPD.

In addition to betalain and carotenoids, beets are also rich in a nutrient known as betaine. Betaine is made from the B-complex vitamin, choline, which regulates inflammation in the blood vessels by preventing accumulation of homocysteine. When levels of homocysteine rise, we are at increased risk of developing inflammation and cardiovascular problems such as atherosclerosis. The presence of betaine in our diet is also associated with lower levels of C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha – all inflammatory markers.

By introducing beetroot juice to our daily diet, we can vastly improve health. Not only can we utilize the beet for lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation, we also benefit by strengthening our heart, repairing the cells lining our arteries and organs, and improving blood flow to the brain.