Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
I thought that I'd use the fact that the Homeopathy Worked for Me facebook page is rapidly approaching 25,000 fans to inspire a few facts about homeopathy and share these here. One fact for every 1k fans of the page.
1. Homeopathy has been used in the UK for over two hundred years.
2. Hippocrates, acclaimed as the father of modern medicine and honoured by doctors in the ‘Hippocratic Oath’, was the first to suggest that a person’s own healing ability was vital in choosing the right cure for an ailment.
3. The founder of modern homeopathy was the 18th century German physician, Dr Samuel Hahnemann.
4. Hahnemann was a child prodigy: he was teaching Greek by the age of 12, and had mastered eight languages by the time he started to study medicine at the age of 20.
5. Hahnemann was so appalled by the practices of his day that he set out to find a healing approach that was safe, gentle and effective.
6. Hahnemann believed that rather than trying to suppress symptoms, the body should be stimulated to encourage its natural healing process.
7. The word ‘Homeopathy’ is from the Greek homœo (meaning similar) and pathos (meaning suffering).
8. Homeopathy was originally spelt Homœopathy.
9. In the 1800’s practitioners and supporters of homeopathy were called ‘homœopathists’.
10. Homeopathy is based on three principles.
11. The first principle is ‘like cures like’. Something that in large doses creates the symptoms of a disease, will, in small doses, cure it. This is similar to the theory behind vaccines. Aristotle (384 - 322B.C.) knew the principle as well, and wrote, “Often the simile acts upon the simile.”
12. The second principle is extreme dilution which enhances the medicine’s healing properties and eliminates undesirable side-effects along the way.
13. The third principle is that the whole person must be taken into consideration when choosing a remedy.
14. Most high street chemists and whole-food shops now stock a limited range of frequently used homeopathic remedies (in the 6C or 30C potencies).
15. A homeopathic pharmacy will make up a wide selection of homeopathic remedies available in different forms, including soft tablets, which are easier to give to children.
16. It is suitable for children as well as adults.
17. Homeopathy can also be used on animals under the control of a vet.
18. Celebrities such as Paul McCartney, David Beckham, Twiggy, Caprice, Susan Hampshire, Tina Turner, Louise Jameson, Gaby Roslin, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Nadia Sawalha, Jennifer Aniston, Jade Jagger, Roger Daltry, Annabel Croft and Meera Syal reportedly use homeopathy.
19. The English Royal Family has been under homeopathic care since 1830 and there has always been a Royal Homeopathic Doctor.
20. The Royal Homeopathic doctor is currently Dr Peter Fisher.
21. Homeopathic Practitioners train for 4 years in Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Pathology and Disease, Materia Medica, Homeopathic Philosophy and study of the Homeopathic Repertory.
22. Initial homeopathic consultations last between one and two hours and your homeopath will ask questions about your physical, mental and emotional health, lifestyle, preferences and fears. Your responses will help classify your symptoms and determine the remedy for you.
23. In December 2009, Mintel published research on complementary medicines which showed that public interest in the UK was growing. Over-the-counter homeopathic treatments, such as arnica cream are expected to grow in sales by 29% by 2014 in addition to 23% growth 2004-2009.
24. Almost every pharmacy in Germany and France (20,000) stocks homeopathic remedies.
25. In India, alternative treatments, including homeopathy, are well established and integrated into the healthcare system, with 94 per cent of people saying that they have faith in alternative remedies.
It's probably apparent (and if not I'm definitely doing something wrong), my love for homeopathy. If you've experienced good effects then it would be wonderful if you'd share your story so we can help others too. The Find a Homeopath website is collecting testimonials so please pop over and fill in the simple form so we can reach further and help more people.
With big thanks,
And big thanks too to Nelson's pharmacy who've compiled a wonderful list of 150 facts, many of which I've used here. Head over and read the extended version on their website.
Which was a rather sweepingly bold (or so I thought) statement I overhead recently. Not surprisingly coming from someone who works for a company that appears to make a lot of their income from selling supplements. Having had a year where the majority of my food intake has been fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds I would have to say that maybe this isn't quite true. Yes, food quality may have decreased somewhat since the 1950s which did seem to be a large part of his argument, but no, for me, so far so good and whilst I do supplement with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, this wasn't quite what he was referring to. But the good thing was that you could get yourself a shake that had everything you needed to kick start your day and get your system raring to go. And they even came in chocolate, strawberry, toffee apple or coffee flavours. Mmmmm. I think I'll stick to my fruity breakfast. That tastes like fruit for the simplest reason there is. Yup. It is fruit. What a revelation.
I also heard a lot about protein and how our body requires lots of protein to function properly. The main problem (aside obviously from the absolute lack of nutrients and need to substitute them with a chocolate flavoured mix of dehydrated, extracted vitamins and minerals in a non optimised format (I say that as struggle to believe that we can beat nature at her own game - where is the natural fibre in it please for starters?)) is that none of us have enough protein. I'm aware this may be a contentious issue but even the World Health Organisation suggests that we require approximately 5% of our calorific intake to be from protein. Not a fact that the protein pushers would have us know. A banana has around 5% of it's calorific value which is protein. Milk, by which I mean the milk humans are designed to drink, breastmilk, has around 3% protein. This is the time we are growing the most, that we need the most protein. Fully formed, grown ups, I don't believe that we need the 30% protein that many of us ingest on a daily basis.
Studies would suggest that maybe we don't, and that in some instances an excess of protein (in particular from animal sources) may be a negative thing for us, leading us down the track of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune illnesses and more. But back to the supplements, I think I'll take my chances, know what I'm getting (as much as you can these days!) in my actual food and leave the science fiction out of my diet for now.
With peace and acceptance that there's a million ways to do anything and nothing means my way is the 'right' one either!
PS I did want to say that should you have deficiences in a diet that I believe supplements can be great - however as a matter of course and on a daily basis my view is that we can gain the majority of what we need from a whole food plant based diet with no struggle. Sadly there is no sunshine. Yet. So we continue with the VitD through the winter...
I'm aware that really we can only ever speak for ourselves. I find the idea of eating meat now repulsive. Someone would have to pay me a lot to put something that had lived and breathed on my fork and raise it to my mouth, to chew it and swallow. It would be like being on I'm a celebrity eating some form of inedible insect. And yet, two years ago I was eating it believing that I needed it (or at least, my growing child did). So things change.
It struck me very recently that the process that an animal goes through from field to fork is simply barbaric. It's brought into the world to be sacrificed for someone who may not even appreciate that act. Who may joke about how it's really an evil mastermind, how it wants to sell drugs to your kids - really? No really?! If you're going to do it then at least respect it. But for me, I recognise that the amount of adrenaline, stress hormones and sheer energetic terror pumping through that animal as it faces it's inevitable fate - well that's something that I no longer want to be responsible for, let alone consume and allow to become part of my body.
So no surprises for my number one food that drains me! I'm staying firmly away from meat.
Fish likewise to be honest. It's experience of drowning in air, of panicking as it could no longer get what it needed to survive is again something I can live without. Aside from the radioactivity in the oceans, the mercury, the accumulation of heavy metals and the wiping out of the ocean due to farming and fishing methods. Just not all that appetising anymore!
Milk is another that once my eyes were opened - most significantly by The China Study but other texts along the way, just not all that tasty once you know the truth.
Salt is one that I'm battling my personal demons with - I love the taste of it but I know it's really not good for me and it really is all in my head. I'm fine without it - far less dehydrated, bouncier, lighter and possibly even happier!
And lastly for me - larger amounts of nuts and seeds or oils really ground me - without them I feel bouncier, lighter and more energetic.
So to the foods that boost me - I love my fruits - water rich fruits in a morning such as a melon or two. Loving my melons ;)
Greens - greens are sooooo good and I've had mornings (might have been when I realised I definitely was a crunchy mama) when I've thought 'I need the spirulina' - and felt better for it. Placebo or not. Feeling better is good for me! I love my kale especially at the moment although we also go through lots of baby leaf spinach and in summer plenty of romaine lettuce too.
Tasty raw food dishes - it doesn't have to be boring! My favourite at the moment is a coconut curry with cauliflower (and kale sometimes) 'rice' or vegetable 'noodles'. Love wraps using a romaine leaf, tomato based dishes, raw soups (mango and cucumber is my current absolute favourite).
So check out your boost and drain lists - see how you feel after certain foods and others - experiment and enjoy!
Oh and lastly, ice cream. I love love love banana ice cream made from frozen bananas and blended. Nothing more. Such a fabulous and healthy treat. Speaking of which I think I'm off for the ice cream tub. Time to go do some studying. Bath. Ice cream. Lesson notes. Perfection.
It seems strange to think it's been a year. Seems like I've eaten this way for a long time, and other times feels like I'm still very much at the beginning of the journey. I think perhaps we always are at the beginning of the journey. It's just a step at a time, and what went before is gone, what's to come is so far away it's only ever about this step.
I've been reflecting a little recently on the year and my experiences and thought I'd share a few...
I love eating raw. I love the way I feel when I totally engage in it and don't nick the odd leftovers off Isla's plate. I can feel totally hungover if I have salty things or too much cooked food.
I totally absolutely love eating whole food plant based and completely feel right doing that.
I really don't like the term vegan. I don't think it describes much, I think it's so broad but narrowing at the same time and I think it has lots of attachment to it for lots of people. I eat whole food, plant based raw foods that enrich and support my body and mind.
It's all just a big experiment. One day I might listen to my body and feel totally great, another I might listen to my ego based mind that tells me I 'need' this or that - I might feel great or not the next day. It's OK. It's all just a big learning curve. Life.
It's just food. There's so much more to life than food. I think if food isn't doing you good then life can be hard but clean up the food and get out there enjoying life. I don't need to talk about it all the time. I am happy to, and to be honest can't talk about Eastenders or other soaps but there's lots more than just where the protein does or doesn't come from. That said, I am happy to engage and discuss it all on an intelligent level. I am totally disinterested in arguments that go along the lines of 'but animals like to be killed and eaten'. Tolerance has run a little low just there!
I love it - have I said that? I love I've explored new foods, that I actually love being in the kitchen, creating new dishes, sharing recipes and writing my raw food book.
I don't need people to agree with me to feel good. Which is probably a good job as I don't know many people who care to eat this way (but so appreciate my lovely friends who are happy to try things, taste stuff and play out raw from time to time). I have some opinions that some people disagree with. This isn't about me, it's their stuff - they can think their stuff and I can think mine. And that's perfect. Whether that be around vaccination, co-sleeping, food, work, whatever - it's all good.
I love life and feel more connected to life, the universe around me and the magic that's out there all the time.
I think that's enough for now. I'm sure I've learnt much much more but now it's time to go play on the guitar.
With thanks and so much love for reading, commenting, liking and sharing my blog posts, recipes and website information,
It's coming up to almost two years since our beautiful family horse decided it was time to move on. Tonight on twitter I saw a tweet from the vet who I consider as starting my whole homeopathic journey so it got me thinking.
Kara our Czech Warmblood mare had developed uveitis, which it transpired was recurrent for her. Conventional treatment was steroid injections into her eyelid, which I'm sure you'd guess, wasn't possible without an initial sedative. Every 6 weeks. And, as a precaution, she used to head into the field with her 'half pirate' mask on, a modification of a racing mask that meant her eye was able to be shielded from bright sunlight (or there was the total blockout mask that meant she could still go out and graze whilst having the attacks). Not a huge barrel of laughs. With pretty limited conventional options mum took it upon herself (she's a fabulous researcher), to investigate. And chanced upon Chris Day, a veterinary homeopath who works in the south of the UK. Following this lead further took us to a more local practice, a week of homeopathic remedies given to Kara. Not knowing what to expect we waited. And waited. And when she died 15 years later I guess we were still waiting for anything to happen.
Cured? Remission? Healed? Do they all mean the same thing? I don't know the answer to that. But I do know she never had to have steroids into her eyelid again, we relegated the pirate masks to the tack trunk and she enjoyed life to the full.
We used homeopathy on and off for the rest of her life, although towards the end after developing Cushing's disease and having ended up (not totally sure quite how but she did) on conventional medication which nearly was the end of her, we were pleased to restart remedies on a more regular basis which again served her well.
I love that our horse started my homeopathic journey. I love that my first ever experience of homeopathy blows the placebo effect out of the water. And I love that I am able to say thank you for the first seed of homeopathic awareness that was sown for me (I've thanked him tonight).
With my involvement in the “Inspire” Pilates Bootcamp, alongside conversations over the weekend, and my gradual journey into a plant based way of life, I’ve thought a lot recently about fish.
As with everything, there’s lots of opinions out there. Whether they are ethical, moral, health related or emotionally linked, it seems everyone has something to say. And deciding what makes the most sense seems to be the most challenging bit.
For me, the health issue was the highlight. I’d always been aware that it was killing another creature and yet I could put this to the back of my mind as I tucked into swordfish, fresh tuna steak, lobster (only on the very rare occasion and possibly only at The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok). I’ve said before that it was Scott Jurek (American ultrarunner) who started my journey and awareness into plant based eating when he talked about how he felt fitter, recovered faster and trained harder whilst following this lifestyle. The very fact that an athlete could improve upon his athletic performance made me wonder whether I could improve my own health by making subtle shifts.
Colin Campbell (author of The China Study and passionate researcher around the effects of animal based protein on the human state of health says:
‘Some people may have heard that fish are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, the high amounts of fat and cholesterol and the lack of fiber make fish a poor choice. Fish are also often high in mercury and other environmental toxins that have no place in an optimal diet.
Fish oils have been popularized as an aid against everything from heart problems to arthritis. The bad news about fish oils is that omega-3s in fish oils are highly unstable molecules that tend to decompose and, in the process, unleash dangerous free radicals. Research has shown that omega-3s are found in a more stable form in vegetables, fruits, and beans.’
Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Jr adds to this in an interview around his diet to prevent and reverse heart disease
‘Fish oil is not essential. Fish get their omega 3 from plants. It is difficult to be deficient in Omega 3 if eating 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed meal or chia seeds and green leafy vegetables at several meals. There is also research that suggests that those on plant based nutrition become highly efficient in their own manufacture of omega 3. Patients on fish oil are also at increased risk for bleeding.’
My own view is that farmed fish is rich in antibiotics due to the disease ridden climate they are existing in up until they are killed, the additives (such as the dye in salmon to make it appear as the wild variety naturally is) and the high rates of illness combined with the reasons above are enough to make me think I am less eager to consume it.
The often quoted benefits of fish can be achieved easily through a diet rich in plant based foods and these individuals will not lack the essential nutrients that fish too are able to give to us. The bonus side is that plant based omega 3 intake comes without a list of side effects.
Just a few thoughts from the comfort of my desk. Food production and sustainability will feature heavily in the years ahead and we can make a difference to the impact on our world starting now. If we want.
I'm always happy to help with advice and assistance around making these changes - just give me a shout if you'd like to know more.
I've just realised you can even spot our lovely 2014 calendar in the background which is available here. Get one whilst you still can - gorgeous, beautiful images of homeopaths around the world, out there in nature, and what's more, it's all in a calendar girls style.
Well 'Where do you get your protein from?' definitely is one of the most commonly asked questions I've been asked over the last 6 months. And whilst this blog post is not aimed at providing all the information you could possibly require to answer all those questions, I was planning to provide some direction, guidance and my own personal take having done the reading I've done so far. I say was planning as I've decided that I'll let someone else do the work for me and leave you with a film to get started on a little information around protein.
I definitely had no awareness of the recommended quantities of protein in my diet until I took steps to go for a raw vegan diet. And, to be honest, no one was ever interested in where I got my protein from whilst I ate a 'normal' diet...
I do want to keep this brief (I've been burning the candle at both ends to get our fabulous Homeopathy for Health in Africa calendar ready for printers) and an early night is so appealing - so I won't waffle on too much and will cover more another time but for now, from this tired girl I'll leave you with one of my daughter's (and mine) favourite YouTube videos:
I dare you not to dance along...
My own journey into Homeopathy began in 1995 when my horse was diagnosed with an 'incurable' recurrent eye disease resulting from, we think, an injury. Conventional treatment consisting of injections into her eyelid every 6 weeks meant she had to be sedated to do this wasn't a lot of fun for anyone involved.
We began, or rather, at the time my mum, began to look at alternative options available to us - at this time conventional options were limited to the injections, and we'd also sourced a 'pirate hood' (adapted racing hood to have a full blinker on one side) which meant she could still go and play out instead of having to stay indoors until the atropine wore off if she was having an attack.
Several to many enquiries later we happened upon Towerwood Vets who are alternative practitioners - conventional vets who've then added Homeopathic training, Acupuncture etc to their work. David Saxton one of their Homeopathic vets visited us and then sent remedies which Kara was to take for a week.
Conventionally we were told that she's 'in remission' however to date having had no attacks of uveitis for the next 17 years until her death - I was happy with the remission status.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.