Thursday, October 30, 2014

How the food giants hooked us on processed foods

This summer I read the most fascinating book I have ever read “Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss.
It talks about how the food giants hooked us on processed foods. I thought I was pretty savvy as far as food goes, I know how, and I do read all the labels. I bottle whatever I can to stay away from all the additives and preservatives. And I grind my own flour to keep all the nutrients. I didn't get much past the first chapter before I realized. I KNOW NOTHING!!!

I did not know that the companies that make processed foods have scientists who are specialists in senses, that do nothing but experiment with the food to get it to what they call the bliss point. The bliss point is the precise amount of sweetness--no more,-- no less--that makes food and drink most enjoyable. The same can be said of salt and fat, they also have a bliss point. They also experiment with the feel of the food in the mouth. Apparently the food must feel just so in our mouth or we can not become addicted. Sugar makes foods and drinks taste so irresistible that once we get started we can’t stop.What the companies want is for everyone to be addicted, so we keep coming back for more.
I did not know companies are allowed to put “100 percent juice” on the package even if it only has one drop of fruit juice in it. all of those juices that you think are so good for your kids, are just a pile of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. And the yogurts and go gurts are also full of sugar.

I did not know that the manufactures use lots and lots of sugar to make donuts fry up bigger and better, so bread won’t go stale, and to get cereal to toast brown and crunchy. Kids like sugar more than adults. The more sugar they put in the food the more the kids want it. The companies started advertising to the children, because they knew the kids could get their parents to buy the product. That was actually banned by the government years ago.

I did not know the companies that process food, process it so many times and put in so many additives and preservatives  that there is no nutrients left. Their main objective is to get the food to last longer on the shelf. DID YOU KNOW! a lunchable isn't even food by the time they get done with it? It has so many preservatives that it can sit on the shelf IN THE WAREHOUSE! for months before it even hits the store.
We should not be eating things that don’t die.

I did not know companies are not required to put the sugar they have added on the label!! They are only required to put the sugar that  is in the food. For instance, if they are canning applesauce, they are only required to put the sugar that is in the apples, not the added sugar, HOW STUPID IS THAT!!

I did not know that half of the big companies budget goes into advertising, and figuring out how to trick us into believing that what we are buying is actually good for us.We don’t even know what food should taste like any more. No wonder kids don’t like fruit, how can you compare an apple to all that sugar.

No wonder Americans are so fat, WE ARE STARVING!! because nothing we eat has any nutrients, so our bodies are on survival mode. Along with that, we are eating the one thing that is making us fat, and it is not FAT it is SUGAR.

Michael Moss interviewed Julie Mennella, a biopsychologist at one of the companies. Moss says “Mennella has become convinced that our bliss point for sugar--and all foods, for that matter--is shaped by our earliest experiences. But as babies grow into youngsters, the opportunity for food companies to influence our taste grows as well. For Mennella, this is troubling. It’s not that food companies are teaching children to like sweetness; rather, they are teaching children what foods should taste like. And increasingly, this curriculum has been all about sugar”.
 “What basic research and taste in children is shedding light on--and why the foods that they’re making for children are so high in sugar and salt--is they are manipulating or exploiting the biology of the child,: she  said. “I think that anyone who makes a product for a child has to take responsibility because what they are doing is teaching the child the level of sweetness and saltiness the food should be.
  “They’re not just providing a source of calories for a child,” she added. “They’re impacting the health of that child.”

It’s not just the sugar!! It’s the salt and fat as well. I don’t think we realize what danger we are in! The PROCESSED FOOD IS KILLING US, and when I say that, I mean it literally! If your kids are fat and you can’t figure out why, look at your cupboards and fridge. If you have ANY packaged foods, that is where your problem lies. The Ayurvedic (the india ancient  way of healing) way of eating has been around for thousands of years. And makes more sense to me than ever, now. It teaches to eat the way the people ate 100 years ago, and that is how I counsel my client to eat. There were no packaged food then, they ate what they grew, traded, and caught,  If we ate like that today we would not have obesity, and over half of the illnesses that we have today would not exist.

Food has  basic vibrational qualities, which are above and beyond their nutritional makeup. Various types of food have different vibrational qualities as well and can be roughly corresponded to the various chakra levels. I will cover this topic in my blog next month, look for it.

                                              Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant
        These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Helping you to stay well, in this Vata season

This time of year is vata season. We already live in a vata infested world, but the fall winds bring even more vata into our world, so, this time of year the vata will increase in all of us. However if vata is already your dominant dosha this can mean drier skin, hair, fingernails, stool, and most of all drier sinuses. When the mucous membranes dry out, the body produces reactive mucus (the stuff of runny noses), which disturbs the nasal environment for good respiratory microbes and becomes the breeding ground for colds and flus. If the imbalance of vata is drying out your sinuses, dip your finger into some sesame oil and rub it in your nostrils, this lubrication of the nostrils will protect the sinuses from being that breeding ground.

These are some tips I give to my clients and students this time of year, every year.
1-Use a neti pot every day, and oil your nostrils right after.
2-If you feel a sore throat coming on, as soon as you notice the scratchiness, mix 4 drops of clove oil with 4 drops of sesame oil, and rub it on your neck, on the bridge of your nose, and across your forehead, 6 to 8 times a day, YES, I said 6 to 8 times a day.
3-Chant twice a day for 5 minutes, if you need a mantra to chant you can contact me or just chant “Om” chanting will encourage deep breathing, which will help to relax your nervous system, which will in turn  help you stay relaxed so you can get rest that you need, breathing through the mouth, as you normally would when you have a cold, causes stress and restlessness. And, the vibration of the chant can loosen the congestion of the lungs.
4-Do the self-massage every day (my blog entitled “The Skin is the first layer of Intelligence”) it nourishes and soothes the nervous system, stimulates lymphatic flow and aids in detoxification. It also improves circulation, increases vitality, nourishes the skin, and promotes body/mind balance.
5-Do yoga every day, this will help push the illness through and boost your immune system. If you don’t do yoga, starting a yoga class this time of year will help you stay well. If you already do yoga you probably won’t get sick, and if you do, you won’t be sick as long as you would if you didn't do yoga.

Gary and I never go to the Doctor when it comes to flues and colds. We know how to treat ourselves. One time, Gary was out of town when he felt he was getting a scratchy throat, he didn't have any clove oil with him so, he found a health food store and bought some. He started using the oil right away, along with his neti pot. Three days later he came home as well as when he left.

Fortunately, we can look to ancient wisdom for answers: Ayurveda has evolved ways to remedy vata imbalance and its accompanying diseases. I have given you some tips to help ease the cold and flu season for you and your family. If you pay attention to your body and start the remedies right away, as soon as you feel a little out of sorts, you will stay well. And you really will have Happy Holidays. :)

                                              Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant
        These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Yoga is Gods gift to us, to help us heal and maintain our well being physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Everything else is just exercise.  
The last couple of weeks has been very busy, the whole summer for that matter, but the last two weeks in particular has made me more grateful for yoga than ever.
On the surface, gratitude appears to arise from a sense that you're indebted to another person for taking care of you in some way, but looking deeper, you'll see that the feeling is actually a heightened awareness of your connection to everything else. Gratitude flows when you break out of the small, self-centered point of view—with its ferocious expectations and demands—and appreciate that through the labors and intentions and even the simple existence of an inconceivably large number of people, weather patterns, chemical reactions, and the like, you have been given the miracle of your life, with all the goodness in it today.
When you awaken to the truth of this incredible interconnectedness, you are spontaneously filled with joy and appreciation. It is for this reason that one of the most transformative practices you can engage in is the cultivation of gratitude. Patanjali  wrote that contentment, or appreciation for what you have leads to unexcelled joy, while other yogic texts say that this sense of appreciation is the "supreme joy" that naturally leads to the realization of the Absolute. Thankfully, gratitude can be cultivated. It simply takes practice.
Every once in a while I instruct my students while they are in corpse pose to do a gratitude list, quickly listing everything they are grateful for, EVERYTHING, your dog, the trees, the blue sky, and so on.
My morning yoga practice is the gift of generations of yogis who observed the truth and shared what they knew; I am grateful to be able to pass that on.
I am so grateful for my body, and the knowledge I have to keep it healthy, for the love that I have for the study of Ayurveda, and the joy that I have to share that with others.
I am grateful to have the strength to walk all over BYU for education week, which Gary and I did last week, and up and down a million stairs.
I am grateful for my family, my ever so sweet husband, our six daughters, and our 24 grandchildren. All 30 plus of us went to Roosevelt, to our 5th daughters (Amanda) house for a sleepover, where we ate, laughed, played games, and jumped on her two trampolines, yes, even I jumped on the trampoline, I am grateful yoga makes my bladder strong so I can sneeze, and jump on the trampoline without peeing my pants, soooooooooo much fun.
I am also grateful I don’t have to wear that stupid mouth guard any more for TMJ. Yoga has taught me to stretch the jaw and neck muscles so my jaw does not hurt.
I am grateful for my life, I love everything about it. Looking inward helps me realize that I am rich indeed, and that I am not only not alone but are truly supported by the universe! I have even come to see the truth in the exhortation of the 13th-century mystic Meister Eckhart: "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice." LIFE IS GRATE!!!

                                              Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant
        These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.

My blog teaches you to heal yourself, emotionally, physically, and spiritually

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We Love Sudsy, Smelly, Pretty Care Products

Have you ever walked by or sat by a woman who had so much perfumed lotion on you could swear she bathed in it? I have, and I always wonder “what she is thinking, the skin is a living organ, and right now it is suffocating, would you eat that lotion?” One of the things I advise my clients is to eat whole foods. The processed foods and preservatives are killing us. And, the care products we are using are doing the same thing. The average woman uses 12 personal care products each day, exposing herself to a total of 168 chemicals.   

Kevin Donegan, a spokesperson for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says, "We aren't trying to alarm people, But we aren't talking about just a single exposure; we're talking about multiple products with multiple chemicals used daily for years." If you care enough to buy organic broccoli and steer clear of trans fats, it's time to start looking at the chemicals you put on your body, because your skin absorbs them with sponge like efficiency. Just as the pesticides on produce can be hazardous to your health, the chemicals lurking in your favorite shampoos, soaps, or lotions might be raising your risk of cancer, infertility, endocrine disorders, and more.

Not too long ago, the European Union passed a directive dictating that personal care products must be free of chemicals known or strongly suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutations, or birth defects. As a result, over 1,200 chemicals were banned. But almost all of them are still authorized for use in the United States. Believe it or not, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require makers of shampoos, soaps, or deodorants to test products for safety before they're sold. Among the roughly 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products, only 11 percent have been evaluated for safety. If a chemical base plant moved into our area and threatened us with cancer, we would be all over fighting to get that plant out of the area. But, we don’t think twice about putting chemicals all over our bodies.  

When a client comes to me (almost always with an illness) the four things I recommend for healing are, I teach them to meditate, I teach them to eat for their dosha, I teach them to connect their body with their mind through yoga, and, I teach them about self oil massage, using sesame oil. The sesame oil moisturizes the skin and hair, when oil, pure oil, not lotions or baby oil, is absorbed into the skin, it nourishes the skin, and dislodges toxins, that would otherwise stop the flow of  life force (breath) in our system, yes, the skin does breathe. When something touches the skin, our consciousness is awakened and enlivened. It is the self oil massage that my clients like the best. (Go to my “The Skin is the first layer of Intelligence” on my blog to find out how to do the self oil massage.)

We are not machines, our bodies are traumatized when we eat junk foods, and they are traumatized when we put chemicals on our skin. As a general rule, when you look at the ingredient label on your beauty product, ask yourself if you'd serve a meal made from those ingredients to your family and friends. If the answer is no, pass.

The manufacturers are afraid that customers won’t like the look and feel of synthetic-free products. We like the sudsy, yummy smelling, pretty colors, of our products. Its the chemicals that give the products all that glamour. Isn’t it a shame we are so vain we will give up our health for a great smelling, sudsy shampoo.
                                              Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant
        These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Yoga's Transformative Power

Ever feel so stressed that you wanted to scream? A good shout can literally help you blow off steam, releasing pent-up frustrations and leaving you spent, relaxed, and calm. We are often taught, in our society, to hold all our emotions in and to betray no trace of frustration or exhaustion. But it can be much healthier just to let it out! Earlier this month Gary and I went to a carnival with one of our daughters, her husband and their children. What better place to scream and blow off steam than at the carnival. I love to go on the rides, so I was trying to get my daughter to go with me. She finally said “take Shaylee with you, she’ll go”. Shaylee who is 10, and I had a blast screaming and laughing as we went on one ride after another. In yoga we sometimes mimic the roar of a lion in particular, but any roar or shout will help you reduce stress throughout the day. Sometimes if I sense that the class is struggling with a particularly hard pose I will have them growl loudly as they perform it. It takes the stress away and adds some humor.

Stress is just fear. 80% of visits to the doctor are believed to be stress-related. Yet what is “stress” if not fear, anxiety, and worry dressed up in more socially acceptable clothing? While we tend to view worry, anxiety, and fear as signs of weakness, most of us are perfectly willing to admit that we’re stressed. We’re also happy to parade our stress around as proof that we’re busy and productive people leaving our mark on the world. But for many people, being “stressed out” is just the code word for being really scared.

yoga encourages transformation by helping you to shift patterns you've developed over time, patterns that may be unhealthy. When you put your body into a pose that is foreign and you stick with it, you learn how to take a new shape. Taking this new shape with the body can lead you to learn how to take a new shape with the mind. If practiced correctly, yoga breaks down the psychological, emotional, physical, energetic, and psychic obstacles that inhibit us from thriving.

Maybe you are new to the practice of yoga, you can feel overwhelmed. There's so much to learn—the physical postures, the breath work, the history, the philosophy—that you feel like you'll never get it all. Maybe this feeling is enough to make you want to stop your practice completely.
Luckily, yoga is a practice that provides answers organically. In other words, you will start to understand its lessons in time if you stay with your practice of the postures.Yoga takes care of you if you stick with it. You start to sense what's right and what's wrong, and you follow a path of moral living and meditation because it feels right. The answers are in the practice, and the practice never judges you.
So instead of feeling buried under all there is to learn, or worried about all the ways you'll need to change your life, relax into your practice and trust that the right answers will come when you're ready for them.

Yoga is a cleaning process. It’s just clearing out the dust and the cobwebs so we can differentiate our minds from ourselves. As a result of yoga, the things that block our true essence dissipate. and the result is that we can shine from our true, authentic self.

One of my favorite yoga mentors Rod Stryker says, “yoga helps you remove the obstacles that obscure who you really are,  it helps you come into a fuller expression of your true nature. "We're not transforming into something we aspire to," he says. "We're transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self."
                                         Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant

        These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Know Your Own Grandeur

Researchers point to nutritional imbalances as a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. As an Ayurvedic practitioner I go one step further, and include fibromyalgia, epstein barr, and most other autoimmune diseases. Many of my autoimmune disease clients find they are sensitive to foods and drinks they were once able to tolerate. They may also find that a variety of foods and food additives-- caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, dairy products, and dyes, among other things--trigger symptoms. I recommend that my clients eat a dosha balancing diet, if they will do this they will find great relief, the Ayurvedic dietary changes help restore energy. I also recommend that they eat a vata--controlling diet. They should drink soup and eat food that is very mild--not too hot, not too cold, it should be spiced but mildly spiced. Also, they should not consume anything that is cold, especially cold water and ice cream. They should drink hot water only. I also recommend a diet low in protein, because protein demands great quantities of energy to digest and produces heaps of nitrogenous wastes. You want a small amount of protein and a balance of carbohydrates and fats all cooked into one soup or a juicy one-pot meal, so your organism doesn't require a lot of energy to digest. I also recommend avoiding foods that contain caffeine or concentrated sugars. these are so concentrated that they cause your system to go into a tizzy, overreact, and make the symptoms worse.

I always think my clients are going to be so excited for the new found information, that they can finally feel better, that they will run home and get started on their new journey. However, I always find all kinds of resistance from clients who think they can’t live without a salad, or couldn't possibly drink just hot water, and, no ice cream? I continually council my students and client that the foods we eat are killing us. However it is not just the food, but also the amount of foods we eat. According to Ayurvedic principles, when you eat in moderation, your body and mind are happy. But when you eat too much, you overwhelm your agni (the digestive fire), creating chaos in your belly and inviting unpleasant imbalances such as gas, weight gain, and depression.  

It is so puzzling to me, the way we resist not only life’s difficulties but also life’s potential sweetness. I notice it in students and certainly in myself: the subtle tendency to hold back from anything that changes the balance in our lives. We don’t just resist something unpleasant, like working with a difficult health issue. We often have a strange resistance to, getting a Thai Therapy (any type of therapy that would help to heal us) or opening fully to a friend or lover, or, especially, allowing an emerging state of inner expansion--even when we sense that we are cutting ourselves off from something great.

I often find that the clients that put up the most resistance are the ones that are afraid of encountering the hidden memories or emotional dragons that can turn up if they look too closely at themselves. There’s no question that as you journey along the road to pure spaciousness, you will pass through zones of feelings that you normally shove beneath your awareness. But if you’re willing to summon the courage to take that journey, you’ll usually find that the dragons are nothing but blocked energy and that when you look at them they’ll start to melt away. More often, the resistance stems from fear--fear of your emotions, fear of the unknown, and, finally, fear of your own essence, your own grandeur.

                                         Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant
        These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Understanding the connection between meditation practice and the rest of your life

I love the story of the yoga student that went to a four day meditation retreat, on the first day he went to the Zen master. Sitting at his feet, he asked, “Can you tell me how I’m doing in my (meditation) practice?” The Zen master thought for a minute, then said. “Open your mouth.” The student opened his mouth, and the teacher peered in and said, “OK, now bend your head down.” The student bent his head down, and the zen master looked into his hair, then said “OK, now open your eyes really wide.” The student opened his eyes, and the Zen master glared into them and said, “You’re doing fine.” Then he rang his bell, meaning the student needs to leave. The next day, he returned, quite perplexed by what had happened the day before. “I asked you how I was doing in my practice yesterday,” he said, “and you made me open my mouth, bend my head, and open my eyes. What did that have to do with my practice?” The Zen master bowed his head in thought. Then he said, “You know, you’re not really doing very well in your practice, and the truth is, I am not sure you are ever going to make it.” Again he rang the bell. The student walked out. You can imagine how confused and angry he felt. The next day he went back, still fuming, and said, “What do you mean, I’m not going to make it in practice? Do you know that I sit in meditation for an hour every day? Sometimes I sit twice a day. I come to every retreat. I have really deep experiences. What do you mean I’m not going to make it?” The master just sat there, apparently thinking. Then he said, “Well, maybe I made a mistake. Perhaps you’re doing pretty well after all.” And again he rang the bell. On the last day of the retreat, the student went back to see his teacher, utterly exhausted. He felt distraught and confused, but he was no longer fighting it. He said to the master.”I Just wanted to know how I was doing in my practice.” This time, the teacher looked at him and with no hesitation, in a very kind voice, said, “If you really want to know how you’re doing in your practice, just look at all of your reactions over the last few days. Just look at your life.

Understanding the connection between meditation practice and the rest of our life means addressing many different concerns. For instance, how are you practicing in your relationships--with your spouse, your children, your parents, the people at work? How many resentments do you still hold on to? Do the same people as ever in your life trigger anger, contempt, or other believed judgments? To what extent can you say, “I am sorry,” and really mean it? When a problem arises, can you say yes to meditating with it, even when you hate what’s happening? And when criticism comes at you, are you willing to work with your reactions when they arise, instead of justifying them?  

The answers to questions like these give us the measure of our meditation practice. This measure is nothing magical. It’s simply the increasing ability to know what our life is, as well as the growing understanding that to practice with our life means to practice with everything we meet. Meditation isn't just about sitting on a cushion trying to feel calm.

Most of us hold buried emotions. We might not be aware of them, but they can affect our mood and our relationships without our even knowing it. When we meditate, those layers of emotions are brought up so they can be seen and let go of. So there will often be periods, especially in the early days of meditation practice, when emotions keep bubbling up from inside. Just understand that this is part of the process and that it can ultimately be helpful to your emotional state.

One of the great practices for working with emotions is to embrace an emotion by making space for it. You begin by feeling the emotion, focusing especially on the energetic experience of it  rather than on the “story” it is telling you. Try to find the energy of the emotion. Notice what part of your body it seems to affect the most. Focus your attention on the felt experience of the emotion in the body. Breathe into it. Now imagine that a space surrounds that part of your body, including the feeling of the emotion. Let the emotional energy and space be present together. Without trying to make the emotion go away, notice how it will naturally pass out of sight, memory, or existence into the surrounding spaciousness.

Meditation always involves seeing our edge and taking a small step beyond it into the unknown. As a Spanish proverb says, “If you do not dare, you do not live.” Meaning taking a step beyond our edge of comfort. Still, we have to step toward our edge by ourselves. Instead of regarding our edge as an enemy, a place we prefer to avoid, we can realize that our edge is actually or path. From this place, we can take a step closer toward what is. But we can do this only one step at a time, persevering through all the ups and downs of our lives. We may sense danger; sometimes we may even feel as if death is upon us. However, we don’t have to leap in headfirst, going for all or nothing. We can simply take a small step, supported by the knowledge that everyone feels fear in stepping beyond the illusion of comfort.

When you meditate with emotions this way, over time you will be much less subject to emotional upheaval. Yet you’ll also be able to feel your feeling without being scared of them.

        Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant
These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.