29 August 2016

Why margarine is a bad choice : “Its what you do with it …”

Many I meet still seem to think that margarine is a healthy choice. And better than butter. So this week we examine how margarine is made. Once you know about the raw ingredients, and “what they do with it” - the 9 steps involved in its manufacture - you will understand just how unhealthy margarine really is, and what to eat instead, but first


Thought for the day


Every spiritual tradition 
Has stressed that this human life is unique 
And has a potential 
That ordinarily we do not even begin to imagine. 

If we miss the opportunity 
This life offers us for transforming ourselves, 
They say it may well be an extremely long time 
Before we have another.

Sogyal Rinpoche





Ah yes, The Castle.

That iconic Aussie film.

The classic line : “Its what you do with it…

Hmmm.

What you do with it … 

Margarine may look all smooth and glistening. It may come with its attendant marketing pitch of being the healthy alternative, but do not be fooled. Understand the manufacturing process and all will be revealed.

Here are the 9 steps that turn a simple seed into an unhealthy spread

1. The raw ingredients - commonly flawed
Most margarines start out as seeds, from which the oils are extracted and refined. However, some margarines are made directly from animal fat (this is how traditionally margarine was first made).

Of the oils, commonly safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, rapeseed, and olive oil are used. Of these, the only really healthy raw ingredient is olive oil, yet it too has limitations. Safflower and sunflower are particularly rich in Omega 6 fatty acids that are bad news for the immune system; soybean, cottonseed and rapeseed not quite so bad but still not good.

Olive oil is rich in Omega 9 fatty acids that are neutral for immune function, although it does have some other benefits in its own right.

Animal fats, including skim milk or milk powder that is often added to margarine, are all heavily saturated and known to have many health disadvantages. Hence best to avoid butter too.

None of the above oils are rich in Omega 3s that enhance immune function, and quite simply, if you are to eat an oil, why choose one that depletes or is neutral for immune function, when you could be eating something that is easy and pleasant - and actually adds to your immune system?

What to do is coming soon…

2. Oil is extracted from the raw seeds under heat and pressure

 
Oil can be extracted from seeds with pure pressure. This is how virgin oils are extracted.

However, commercially heat is commonly used as that leads to more oil being extracted.

Problem? Oils oxidise under heat and pressure making them rancid. This is bad for short term health, and in the long-term rancid oils are carcinogenic.




3. Solvents are used to extract more oil
You start to realize just how processed margarine is. Solvents are also commonly used as they lead to the extraction of even more oil. Then they are subtracted – hopefully removing the chemicals, but concerns are there for any residues.

4. Oils mixed with nickel catalyst and hydrogen gas in high pressure, high temperature reactor
More opportunities for oxidation and rancidification. So why do it?

Vegetable oils are unsaturated, which results in them being liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are much better for your health than saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature.

So for margarine to be solid, the unsaturated fats are treated pretty harshly. By forcing extra hydrogen into the oils under heat and pressure, they are turn from unsaturated to saturated, from liquid to solid. From healthy to unhealthy.

To be fair, this hydrogenation process is monitored to minimize the amount of saturation while still accomplishing the solidification.

However, the high temperatures and pressures used in this process also have a nasty tendency to create what are called trans fats. These are well known now to be very bad for health; being especially tough on the cardiovascular system.

Therefore, partially hydrogenated fats are used less frequently. Instead more saturated fats such as palm oil and coconut oil are being used as being saturated they are semi-solid to begin with. Problem? Saturated fats are clearly opposed to good health, while palm oil has also been disastrous for the environment

5. Emulsifiers are added
Purpose? Use a soap like product to blend the water and oils into an homogenous mass. Emulsifiers generally do remain in the finished product – just check the labels.

6. Oil steam cleaned again to remove strong, unpleasant smell
At this stage of production, margarine is generally a pretty foul looking, foul smelling sludge. Solution? Steam clean the smell away…

7. Bleaching used to remove grey colour
Strong bleaches are used to produce a neutral colour.

8. Natural colour added, commonly along with vitamins and artificial flavouring
By now what exists still looks and tastes very ordinary, so next step? Add colour and flavor. Probably some preservatives and salt. Maybe citric acid, carotenoids, vitamins and milk powder of some form.


9. Resultant product packaged and sold as a health product

Hmmm.

Healthy for whom?

More like the profit of the producer than the health of the customer.




Variable fat content
Margarines and vegetable fat spreads these days can range from 10 to 90% fat. Depending on its final fat content and its purpose (spreading, cooking or baking), the level of water and the vegetable oils used will vary.

Three types of margarine are common:
Soft vegetable fat spreads, high in mono or polyunsaturated fats, which are made from safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, rapeseed, or olive oil.

Margarines in bottle to cook or top dishes

. Hard, generally uncoloured margarine for cooking or baking. (Shortening – lard or hydrogenated vegetable oil)

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD OF USING MARGARINE

1. Try nothing!
Sandwiches or toast without margarine or butter can be tasty as is; just add whatever spread or fillings you delight in.

2. Use avocado, hummus or another dip as a spread
– excellent on sandwiches.

3. Use good quality oil.
Best is Flaxseed and it goes well on toast or sandwiches.
Olive oil is another option.

4. Learn to cook without margarine or other oils.
Not at all difficult once you begin. Add the oils to things like pasta after the cooking.

Do more sauteing starting with a little water, abandon frying.

Simple rule : take the oils out of the kitchen, have them on the table.

5. Remember, coconut oil is a saturated fat and best not to use it – see the reasons why on this earlier blog : Coconut Oil? Are you nuts?

FINAL MESSAGE
Avoid margarine thoroughly. 

Margarine is a highly processed, highly refined food and there are much healthier, more satisfying options for doing anything it can do.

COMING RETREATS AND TRAININGS
Ruth and I will personally lead our next 7 day meditation retreat in New Zealand in October.
                                                                 Next Aussie one, April 2017 in the Yarra Valley.

Meditation teacher training in the Yarra Valley in October.

Specific cancer residential programs8 days In Wanaka New Zealand in November
                                                                  5 days in the Yarra Valley in November.

ALL DETAILSCLICK HERE

15 August 2016

What everyone needs to know from the latest lifestyle research files – the top 7

Sitting around too much proves to be a major health hazard. Just as lethal as smoking. Twice the health risk of being obese. New research tells us what exercise will offset the risks. And everyone needs to know the 2 simple lifestyle changes that could reduce our risk of developing cancer by up to 60%. And what to eat to reduce depression by 20%.

So this week, all these answers and more as part of bringing to you the top 7 hottest pieces of recent lifestyle based research. All to coincide with the talks I am giving currently in Cairns (done), Brisbane (18th and 21st) and Sydney (23rd). Plus news of the latest updates for the Meditation Gateway app and details of coming retreats, but first




                Thought for the day

Ram Dass tells of a student who went to a Zen master.

"What can you tell me about death?" the student asked.

"Nothing," the other replied. 
"I'm a Zen master. Not a dead Zen master."


                         Stephan Rechtschaffen 






The top 7 latest lifestyle based research articles

1. One Hour of Activity Offsets Risks From 8 Hours of Sitting

We have all heard by now of the dangers of too much sitting, but for those of us with sedentary jobs, there is now good news — an hour of moderate-intensity activity offsets the health risks of 8 hours of sitting.

Physical inactivity is well established to be a major health hazard associated with a modern, sedentary lifestyle. Excess sitting is claimed to lead to 5.3 million premature deaths annually worldwide, which is as many as caused by smoking and twice as many as associated with obesity.

This latest information is based upon a meta-analysis of trials involving more than 1 million individuals, and published in The Lancet. It found that the health risks of sitting for 8 hours a day can be offset by 1 hour of moderate-intensity activity, which includes brisk walking (at 5.6 km/h) or cycling for pleasure (at 16 km/h).

Also to note, even shorter periods of activity (about 25 to 25 minutes per day, which is the amount often recommended in public health guidelines) attenuated the mortality risks associated with prolonged sitting. But as the amount of physical activity decreased, the risk for premature death increased.

At present, the biological mechanisms behind these findings are unclear, but work in animal studies suggests that inactivity is linked to a decreased production of certain hormones.

Also, if you do need to sit for prolonged periods, you will benefit from breaking up those periods with short bursts of activity, such as walking for 5 minutes every hour.

Ekelund E et al. Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women. Lancet. Published online July 27, 2016

EDITOR’S COMMENT
What would help you to exercise regularly? 
Thought of getting a dog?
Get a kelpie. If you do not exercise that very regularly, it will eat your house!

2. Is exercise all in the mind?
Well, yes, it seems exercise does more good if you believe it will. Remarkable earlier research has shown that people who exercise in their minds – imagine themselves working out at the gym – actually do get fitter and stronger, without actually going to the gym!

This latest research established that the more people believed the exercise they were doing was doing them good, the more benefit they received both psychologically (more enjoyment, mood increase, and anxiety reduction) and neuro-physiologically. It was also demonstrated that a negative expectation also diminished the effect.

Reference:  Mothes, H et al. Expectations affect psychological and neurophysiological benefits even after a single bout of exercise. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2016; DOI: 10.1007/s10865-016-9781-3  Published online Online: 9 August 2016

EDITOR’S COMMENT
How amazing is this active mind of ours, with its conscious and unconscious powers?
Want to get the best out of it?
Have you read The Mind that Changes Everything?
It has 48 techniques to train the mind. LINK HERE

3. Do dietary factors play a significant role in the development of depression? 

Perhaps surprisingly to some, previous research has established this to be so.

Now, new Australian researched has examined the association between the dietary inflammatory
index (DII), which was developed specifically to measure the inflammatory potential of diet, and the risk of depression in the middle-aged women. A total of 6438 women with a mean age of 52 years at baseline were followed-up at five surveys over 12 years (2001–2013) – as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.

Women with the most anti-inflammatory diet had an approximately 20 % lower risk of developing depression compared with women with the most pro-inflammatory diet.

Shivappa, N et al. Association between inflammatory potential of diet and risk of depression in middle-aged women: the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. British Journal of Nutrition, Published online: 08 August 2016

EDITOR’S COMMENT
What is an anti-inflammatory diet? Plant –based whole foods of course.
The details are all in You Can Conquer Cancer.
What is pro-inflammatory? Meat, dairy, saturated fats, processed food – of course.
What else is powerfully anti-inflammatory? Meditation of course. And exercise. And a good laugh. And gratitude. And helping others… and so on

4. Being obese shrinks the brain – but it may well be reversible
Obesity linked to brain atrophy and 10 years of premature aging.

From middle-age, the brains of obese individuals display differences in white matter similar to those in lean individuals ten years their senior, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge. White matter is the tissue that connects areas of the brain and allows for information to be communicated between regions.

Researchers discovered that an overweight person at 50 had a comparable white matter volume to a lean person aged 60, implying a difference in brain age of 10 years.

Strikingly, however, the researchers only observed this neuro-degeneration from middle-age onwards, suggesting that our brains may be particularly vulnerable during this period of ageing. They added “It will be important to find out whether these changes could be reversible with weight loss, which may well be the case”.

Ronan, L et al. Obesity associated with increased brain-age from mid-life. Neurobiology of Aging; e-pub 27 July 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.07.010


EDITOR’S COMMENT
The obese are copping it from all directions.
Hardly a day goes by without new problems being identified with obesity.
Loosing weight makes obvious sense yet many find it difficult.
Here are the two things I have found to be most useful :

i) Mindful eating
Check it out via this Blog on how to eat mindfully

ii) The Five Two Diet
I know many people, including Ruth, who have used this partial fasting approach with great benefit. Check out this good introduction, CLICK HERE


5. Being creative eases stress as measured by cortisol levels.
Perhaps a little obvious this one, but still nice confirmation. The higher a person’s cortisol level, the
more stressed a person is likely to be. In this study 45 minutes of art-making was found to significantly lower cortisol levels.

Participants' written responses indicated that they found the art-making session to be relaxing, enjoyable, helpful for learning about new aspects of self, freeing from constraints, an evolving process of initial struggle to later resolution, and about flow/losing themselves in the work. There were no significant differences in outcomes based on prior experiences with art making, media choice, or gender.

Kaimal G et al, Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants' Responses Following Art Making.
Art Therapy Vol 33, 2, 74-78, 2016


EDITOR’S COMMENT

Easy really – be creative; find an outlet..

What did you enjoy in days gone by?

Why not take it up again?

Or be brave and try something new….


6. Cancer is increasing dramatically in the elderly 
Researchers from the national Cancer Institute of the USA estimate that in 2040, survivors (those living with cancer) aged 65 to 74 years will account for 24% of all survivors; those 75 to 84 years old, 31%; and those 85 years or older, 18%.

In other words, by 2040, 73% of survivors will be age 65 and older. Remarkably, in that year, just 18% of survivors will be age 50 to 64 years and only 8% will be younger than 50 years old.

These estimates reflect huge changes when compared with figures from 1975.
There is a 6-fold increase in cancer for those age 65 to 74 years,
a 10-fold increase for those age 75 to 84 years,
and a 17-fold increase for those age 85 years or older.

In this study, researchers used data from the US Census Bureau and cancer incidence and survival numbers from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.

Bluethmann et al. Anticipating the “Silver Tsunami”: Prevalence Trajectories and Comorbidity Burden among Older Cancer Survivors in the United States   Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev July 2016 25; 1029

EDITOR’S COMMENT
This are dramatic changes. Dramatic.
What do they say about current lifestyles? Nothing flattering!
The good news?
 Cancer is highly preventable.
The bad news?
 It seems many are not looking after themselves and are setting themselves up for a very tough old age.

7. Nutrition and exercise may prevent up to 60% of cancers

Many studies have reported that adherence to health promotion guidelines for diet, physical activity,
and maintenance of healthy body weight may decrease cancer incidence and mortality.

In this major study, a systematic review was performed that involved searching PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Reviews databases. High versus low adherence to established nutrition and physical activity cancer prevention guidelines was consistently and significantly associated with decreases of 10% to 61% in overall cancer incidence and mortality.

The researchers concluded that adhering to cancer prevention guidelines for diet and physical activity is consistently associated with lower risks of overall cancer incidence and mortality.

Kohler LN et al. Adherence to Diet and Physical Activity Cancer Prevention Guidelines and Cancer Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(7); 1018–28. 


EDITOR’S COMMENT
While this is another good piece of confirmatory research, surely we all know this by now.
Want to reduce your cancer risk dramatically, along with that of your family?
Simple solution … Eat good food most of the time and exercise regularly.
What constitutes good food? All the details are in You Can Conquer Cancer – and remember, the very best way to treat cancer, is to prevent it.

And if you want to be really thorough, throw in regular meditation as well.

Take all this to heart - and welcome to a happy, healthy old age!


MEDITATION GATEWAY APP - NEW FEATURES


In response to feedback from our early public users, there is now a free 10day trial period available for using the app, you can sign up for a month or longer periods as you like (many said they would rather join for longer), and we have improved the intuitive functionality of the app even more.

Access all my meditations via app, and then do things like customise your own sessions.

Go to the Meditation Gateway in the iTunes App Store - LINK HERE, download the app and then select which voice you prefer - mine, Ruth's or an American or Indian accent.

Happy meditating.


NOTICEBOARD
COMING EVENTS – SEMINARS, PUBLIC TALKS

Brisbane - Cancer Choices - Thursday 18th August

When faced with cancer, there are many choices to make. It is easy to be confused and maybe miss something crucial. Good decision-making can be learnt.
Ian reveals key strategies for gathering accurate information and then using the intellect and our intuition to decide what is appropriate for us.

Date      Thursday, August 18th, 2016 from 7pm (arrive 6.30) to 10pm
Venue   The Relaxation Centre of Queensland, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley      
Enquiries and Bookings   The Relaxation Centre   Telephone  07 3856 3733
                                                                  www.relaxationcentreqld.org

Brisbane - Meditation, Stillness and Bliss - Sunday 21st August 
  
Stillness and bliss are genuine experiences in meditation. They are deeply comforting, deeply reassuring; quite wonderful to encounter.
During this highly experiential workshop, Ian will guide you into experiences that could well transform your meditation practice, and maybe even your life.

Date        Sunday, August 21st, 2016 from 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue     The Relaxation Centre, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley, Brisbane
Enquiries and Bookings    The Relaxation Centre  Telephone  07 3856 3733
                                                                           www.relaxationcentreqld.com.au

Sydney - Feed Your Body, Free Your Mind with Greg Fitzgerald  - Tuesday 23rd August

Today, it is more common than not to hear people complain that they simply do not feel well and that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
This evening comes as the first of two seminars separated by 21 days designed by Greg and Dawn Fitzgerald to help you turn your health around and head into Spring and Summer with the energy, health and peace of mind which is your birthright.

Date          Tuesday the 23rd of August, 2016, 7-10pm;
Venue       Dolton House, 223 Belgrave Esplanade, Sylvania Waters,  South Sydney
Bookings and enquiries   Book online at www.healthforlife.com.au 
                                                                         or phone Dawn on 95401962 or 0424246847

COMING RETREATS AND TRAININGS
Ruth and I will personally lead a 7 day meditation retreat in New Zealand in October; next Aussie one, April 2017 in the Yarra Valley.

Meditation teacher training in the Yarra Valley in October.

Specific cancer residential programs – 8 days In Wanaka New Zealand in November; 5 days in the Yarra Valley in November.

ALL DETAILS – CLICK HERE

01 August 2016

Five keys to a successful team

What makes for a great team? 
At work, on a committee, some community project, or even the team you call family…  why do some groups function really well, while others are just horrid? What would you imagine are the 5 top qualities?

This week, we learn from Google’s extensive research that provides their intriguing and highly informative answers, and here is a tip – having the “right people” is not the simple solution, plus a reminder below of the talks along the East Coast starting at Cairns on August 14th, Brisbane the 18th and 21st, Sydney the 23rd -  but first

Thought for the day

The wave is the same as the ocean, 
Though it is not the whole ocean. 

So each wave of creation 
Is a part of the eternal Ocean of Spirit. 

The Ocean can exist without the waves,
But the waves cannot exist without the Ocean. 

Paramahansa Yogananda

At Google, they call Human Resources “People Operations”. Fair enough. So a team of the People Operations Group spent quite some time in search of what makes for a good team.

To begin with, they thought that putting together a great team  may well be to do with getting the best qualified people for the respective jobs the team needed to fulfill.

Two years and two hundred interviews later, and after rigorously analysing heaps of their own data, 250 attributes of over 180 active Google teams had been examined. The first up conclusion was stunning! The evidence was clear.

Who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.

To quote the analysts

We learned that there are five key dynamics that set successful teams apart :

1. Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?

2. Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?

3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?

4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?

5. Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we are doing matters?

Check in for yourself. It fits does it not? When you reflect, to feel well able to contribute and to be an active team member, safety is a basic starting point. Dependability, structure and clarity are obvious enough, but then more and more in the work place we also are seeing the recognition of the importance of meaning and purpose. Doing something that matters.

Yet even so, it was psychological safety that was identified as the most important factor by far. Do you feel safe to ask questions, or do you feel like you will be ridiculed for doing so? Are you confident to float an idea and have the others treat it with curiosity, open enquiry and respect?

Clearly we are all sensitive to how others perceive our competence, awareness, and positivity. To quote the Google team again “although self-protection is a natural strategy in the workplace, it is detrimental to effective teamwork. On the flip side, the safer team members feel with one another, the more likely they are to admit mistakes, to partner, and to take on new roles”.

And when investigated, it was found that people who felt psychologically safe stayed at Google longer, were more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their teammates, they brought in more income and received double the effectiveness ratings from executives.

So what to do?
The Google mob “created a tool called the gTeams exercise: a 10-minute pulse-check on the five dynamics, a report that summarizes how the team is doing, a live in-person conversation to discuss the results, and tailored developmental resources to help teams improve.

Over the past year, more than 3,000 Googlers across 300 teams have used this tool. Of those Google teams, the ones that adopted a new group norm -- like kicking off every team meeting by sharing a risk taken in the previous week -- improved 6% on psychological safety ratings and 10% on structure and clarity ratings."

Teams said that having a framework around team effectiveness and a function that forced talk about these dynamics was by far the most impactful part of the experience.


What do I do? 
Whenever possible, at the start of any meeting - in the corporate setting, for business, with colleagues during a retreat, before a meal; you name it, whenever possible - I ask all concerned to sit quietly for a few moments, to do what they can to  consciously let go of past and present and bring their attention to the present moment; maybe aid this by focusing on sounds or breath, and aim to be still for a few moments. To allow it all to settle for a few moments.

Then before concluding, we bring our attention to the meeting’s agenda, remind ourselves that we meet to address our agenda for the meeting, consider anything we need to focus on personally, gather our thoughts; but over and above that, remind ourselves that through the meeting we aim to be of assistance to as many people as possible.

It is often surprising to me how enthusiastically people new to this way of starting a meeting respond. It regularly transforms the atmosphere and the outcomes of meetings. It just takes that little bit of oomph to initiate it. And yes, we sit quietly for a few moments at the end of the meeting too...

Enjoy!

With thanks to Julia Rozovsky, analyst, Google People Operations and her blog of November 17, 2015.

East Coast Speaking Engagements  –  August 2016

Please share these details with everyone you know who may be interested, 
and Ruth and I look forward to reconnecting with as many of you as possible along the way :)

Cairns - Mind, Heart and Healing - Saturday 13th August

An inspiring and practical day seminar focused on peace of mind and accelerated healing.
For everyone seeking good health, healing and wellbeing.
                         
Date        Saturday 13th August, 2016      Starts 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue       Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre, 348 Severin Street, Cairns
Enquiries   Call  07 4041 5556    or email   info@yuloling.com
Bookings    Online, go to https://trybooking.com/MAWT 
            or call Rinchen  07 4041 5556
                   
Brisbane - Cancer Choices - Thursday 18th August

When faced with cancer, there are many choices to make. It is easy to be confused and maybe miss something crucial. Good decision-making can be learnt.
Ian reveals key strategies for gathering accurate information and then using the intellect and our intuition to decide what is appropriate for us.

Date      Thursday, August 18th, 2016 from 7pm (arrive 6.30) to 10pm
Venue   The Relaxation Centre of Queensland, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley    
Enquiries and Bookings   The Relaxation Centre   Telephone  07 3856 3733
              www.relaxationcentreqld.org
Flier       Click here

Brisbane - Meditation, Stillness and Bliss - Sunday 21st August 

Stillness and bliss are genuine experiences in meditation. They are deeply comforting, deeply reassuring; quite wonderful to encounter.
During this highly experiential workshop, Ian will guide you into experiences that could well transform your meditation practice, and maybe even your life.

Date        Sunday, August 21st, 2016 from 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue     The Relaxation Centre, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley, Brisbane
Enquiries and Bookings    The Relaxation Centre  Telephone  07 3856 3733
                                                                           www.relaxationcentreqld.com.au
Flier        Click here

Sydney - Feed Your Body, Free Your Mind with Greg Fitzgerald  - Tuesday 23rd August

Today, it is more common than not to hear people complain that they simply do not feel well and that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
This evening comes as the first of two seminars separated by 21 days designed by Greg and Dawn Fitzgerald to help you turn your health around and head into Spring and Summer with the energy, health and peace of mind which is your birthright.
                           
Date        Tuesday the 23rd of August, 2016, 7-10pm;
Venue      Doltone House, 223 Belgrave Esplanade, Sylvania Waters, South Sydney
Bookings and enquiries   Book online at www.healthforlife.com.au


                         or phone Dawn on 95401962 or 0424246847

20 July 2016

Winter – time to journey inwards; or go to Cairns

The seasons make for a clear cycle.

Spring offers new life, new hope, exuberance.

Then summer; warm, indolent, abundant.

Autumn comes and with it growth slows, even stops; the energy is turning inwards.



Then winter. Grey skies. Cold. Wet.

An invitation to stay indoors,
to turn the mind inwardly,
to reflect,
to regenerate
and prepare for the flush of Spring already promised.

So here we are.

Mid winter.

And a particularly cold and introspective winter at that.

While I love rugging up and getting out into the garden amidst the cold and rain, it is the natural time to be reflective.


Currently I have been reflecting deeply on cancer long-term survivors. What are their common attributes? Just how repeatable are “Remarkable Recoveries”? How best to help people overcome cancer and to get the best from what its many challenges can offer – both physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

If you are interested to hear me speak of all this on ABC radio, I was interviewed by Libby Gore recently – Click here.

Also, Ruth and I will be heading North in August for a series of presentations – some specifically on cancer and some on meditation generally. Details follow, but first




                Thought for the day

                     ... I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

                     
I do know how to pay attention,
                    How to fall down 
into the grass,
                    How to kneel down in the grass,

                    How to be idle and blessed,
                    How to stroll through the fields,

                    Which is what I have been doing all day.


                    Tell me, what else should I have done?

                    Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?


                    Tell me, what is it you plan to do

                    With your one wild and precious life?

                                 Mary Oliver from The Summer Day





East Coast Speaking Engagements  –  August 2016

Please share these details with everyone you know who may be interested, 
and Ruth and I look forward to reconnecting with as many of you as possible along the way :)

Cairns - Mind, Heart and Healing - Saturday 13th August

An inspiring and practical day seminar focused on peace of mind and accelerated healing.
For everyone seeking good health, healing and wellbeing.
                           
Date        Saturday 13th August, 2016      Starts 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue       Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre, 348 Severin Street, Cairns
Enquiries   Call  07 4041 5556    or email   info@yuloling.com
Bookings    Online, go to https://trybooking.com/MAWT 
            or call Rinchen  07 4041 5556
                     
Brisbane - Cancer Choices - Thursday 18th August

When faced with cancer, there are many choices to make. It is easy to be confused and maybe miss something crucial. Good decision-making can be learnt.
Ian reveals key strategies for gathering accurate information and then using the intellect and our intuition to decide what is appropriate for us.

Date      Thursday, August 18th, 2016 from 7pm (arrive 6.30) to 10pm
Venue   The Relaxation Centre of Queensland, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley      
Enquiries and Bookings   The Relaxation Centre   Telephone  07 3856 3733
              www.relaxationcentreqld.org
Flier       Click here

Brisbane - Meditation, Stillness and Bliss - Sunday 21st August 

Stillness and bliss are genuine experiences in meditation. They are deeply comforting, deeply reassuring; quite wonderful to encounter.
During this highly experiential workshop, Ian will guide you into experiences that could well transform your meditation practice, and maybe even your life.

Date        Sunday, August 21st, 2016 from 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue     The Relaxation Centre, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley, Brisbane
Enquiries and Bookings    The Relaxation Centre  Telephone  07 3856 3733
                                                                           www.relaxationcentreqld.com.au
Flier        Click here

Sydney - Feed Your Body, Free Your Mind with Greg Fitzgerald  - Tuesday 23rd August

Today, it is more common than not to hear people complain that they simply do not feel well and that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
This evening comes as the first of two seminars separated by 21 days designed by Greg and Dawn Fitzgerald to help you turn your health around and head into Spring and Summer with the energy, health and peace of mind which is your birthright.
                             
Date        Tuesday the 23rd of August, 2016, 7-10pm;
Venue      Doltone House, 223 Belgrave Esplanade, Sylvania Waters, South Sydney
Bookings and enquiries   Book online at www.healthforlife.com.au
                         or phone Dawn on 95401962 or 0424246847

11 July 2016

Coffee, tea and cancer – is it time for a re-think?

Over the years, most who take nutrition seriously for prevention and as a cancer therapy have advocated for no coffee, no tea, no caffeine. But is this correct? New research challenges the proposition and points to some surprising conclusions.

Highly referenced, this may be a post to share as so many drink tea and coffee and the facts have been rather murky of late.

So this week, we go Out on a Limb once more to examine the history and the evidence, but first




                Thought for the day


The most accurate thing we can say
About the future
Is that however we are experiencing things right now,
They will change

                                   IG



First lets examine caffeine as a cause of cancer, then we can consider treatment possibilities. There are some surprises coming…

PREVENTION or CAUSE?
Read some articles in the popular press and caffeine seems to be great for preventing cancer. Go to a site like caffeineinformer.com and they list 10 positive studies, concluding coffee is the anti-cancer wonder drug!

They then cover themselves by saying “while the coffee/cancer research isn’t definitive, it does reveal that drinking coffee is probably far more beneficial than harmful as long as the person can metabolize caffeine correctly and doesn’t suffer from a caffeine allergy or from excessive use.”

Moderate consumption is put at 4 – 5 cups a day, which for some of us might seem to be quite a lot.

However, selecting a few positive studies that support your argument is not the same as reviewing all studies, so let us look a little closer.

1. Coffee and decaf


For a long time, since 1991 in fact, coffee was officially classified as a possible cause of cancer.

However, the International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC) which is part of the WHO, has recently reviewed the current evidence and suggested that moderate coffee drinking is not associated with an increased risk of cancer at the majority of body sites. Put simply, they concluded that coffee is non- carcinogenic.

This research suggests the possibility that coffee drinking may actually help reduce risks for cancers of the liver and uterine endometrium, and increase risks of lung and bladder cancers, but in general the effects if any are concluded to be minor.

Reference : The Lancet Oncology



However, get this… Another big study published in 2004 concluded “consumption of caffeinated coffee, tea with caffeine, or caffeine itself was not associated with incidence of colon or rectal cancer, whereas regular consumption of decaffeinated coffee was associated with a reduced incidence of rectal cancer”!

So if you have switched to decaffeinated coffee, you may well be reducing your cancer risk!

Reference : Michels KB Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 4, © Oxford University Press, 2005. 

2. Tea 
More than 2,000 studies have found little or insufficient consistent evidence to suggest common tea consumption increases the risk of any cancer. Overall, drinking tea is more likely to be beneficial than harmful with regard to cancer risk, although the risk appears to be reduced only slightly.

Reference Click here

3. Green tea 
We hear a lot of suggestions that green tea is special and amongst its many health promoting properties it can help prevent cancer. However, a major review of 51 studies with over 1.6 million participants conducted by the Cochrane Reviews concluded that no firm recommendations could be made regarding green tea consumption for cancer prevention.

They suggest that while there is no clear evidence of benefit, drinking a moderate amount of green tea (up to 3-5 cups daily), is unlikely to cause harm.

Reference Boehm K, Borrelli F, Ernst E, Habacher G, Hung S, Milazzo S, et al. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) for the prevention of cancer.

4. Very hot drinks
Judging by another recent major review, there is some evidence that drinking extremely hot beverages (above 65°C) is unhelpfully irritant and probably causes oesophageal cancer. The degree of this risk is still not clear, but best take your drinks on the cooler side.

Reference  IARC. Carcinogenicity of drinking coffee, mate, and very hot beverages. The Lancet Oncology. 2016. 
 


CAFFEINE’S EFFECT ON CANCER OUTCOMES
Is caffeine part of the cure or does it make matters worse?
Depends who you ask. Pretty well all the people who have worked intensively with nutrition as a therapy for cancer recommend avoiding all caffeinated drinks. This recommendation has been based upon what is described as clinical experimentation, or clinical observation. These specialists believe there are better outcomes when caffeine is avoided.

Disappointingly, when it comes to hard science, this is another area of nutrition where there is little research published. Of note, however, is a study published last year that was the first to examine an association between caffeinated coffee and the risk of colon cancer recurrence.

Strong findings! It seems coffee may be associated with significantly reduced cancer recurrence and death in patients with stage III colon cancer. This research found that 4 cups of coffee a day halved the risk of the disease returning – and increased the chance of survival by a third. Of note, common tea and decaffeinated coffee were not associated with positive benefits.

How could this be? One theory is that caffeine consumption increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin so less of it is needed, which in turn may help reduce inflammation – a well known risk factor for cancer. Scientists believe that the positive benefits were entirely due to the caffeine and not other components of the coffee.

Reference Coffee Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality in Stage III Colon Cancer: Brendan JG et al, JCO, 2015, 61, 5062

Of course, a healthy lifestyle generally cuts inflammation dramatically and so does meditation, so would you receive extra benefits from adding caffeine to that package? Personally, I very much doubt so.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. For prevention
Caffeine is a strong social drug.

Rapidly absorbed it has a multitude of effects including those on energy levels and wellbeing. People respond to it differently – some are super sensitive – and it can be addictive. Many experience significant withdrawal symptoms when they go without it for a day or two.

So if you are interested in a more natural lifestyle; and on balance, I am firmly of the view that being caffeine free is preferable. Maybe the occasional cup is OK, but I prefer for myself and those I support to use herb teas and things like dandelion coffee. It seems current decaf drinks are mostly OK.

2. When recovering from cancer
Here again I feel fairly clear. If you happen to have stage 3 bowel cancer, maybe you take the evidence of the one study to date and have 4 cups of coffee a day. Research would definitely be on your side.

However, if it were me, I would put more confidence in a healthy lifestyle. Anything the oral caffeine is likely to offer, my sense is the healthy lifestyle would do just as well if not better. And there would be no potential downside.

I continue to recommend being caffeine free through treatment and while recovering.

3. The special case of coffee enemas
We cannot avoid the elephant in the room.

It is easy to make fun of coffee enemas and several scare campaigns have been run by no doubt well meaning folk. However, many remarkable long-term survivors I have known have said they felt coffee enemas were a significant contributor to their recovery.

This “anecdotal” evidence is hard to ignore. Personally, I would love to see a proper trial done evaluating the outcome of coffee enemas – but I suspect it will be wise not to hold my breath. Pity really, as this is such a politically incorrect issue, yet one that seems to have helped many.

If you want information on how they might work, refer to my book You Can Conquer Cancer.

OVERALL CONCLUSION
There are better things to drink than caffeinated ones.

NOTICEBOARD

NEXT CANCER RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS

Mind-body Medicine and Cancer
Eight days specifically designed to help everyone affected by cancer.

Fully residential and including great food and juices, this program brings together the best of Ian and Ruth’s experience – gathered over several decades of experience and supported by the latest evidence.

    Understand the Mind-Body connection and how we can use this to accelerate healing and to build long lasting peace of mind

    A full review of therapeutic nutrition with all the latest findings

    Learn and practice meditation and imagery techniques specifically designed for healing

    Receive great tips for developing the emotions that foster healing and wellbeing

    Clarify any questions you may have regarding the components of a healthy, healing lifestyle, and how you can incorporate them into daily life

ALL THIS AMIDST THE INSPIRING NATURAL BEAUTY OF WANAKA, NEW ZEALAND




This program is organized and proudly supported by Canlive, a New Zealand cancer charity.

DATES   Thursday 3rd to Thursday 10th November, 2016

FLIER      Click here

BOOKINGS  Go to   www.canlive.org  or call  Stew Burt   +64 (0)3 443 4168 (NZ)


CANCER and BEYOND
This evidence-based program forms the Next Step in the on-going series of follow-up residentials at the Yarra Valley Living Centre. A wonderful opportunity to meet with like-minded people once again, to consolidate what you already know, to continue to learn more, to reaffirm your good intentions, and to go home refreshed and revitalised.

This program has been specifically designed for those affected by cancer who have attended a previous program with the Gawler Foundation, Ian and Ruth,
or a related program. Partners are welcome to attend irrespective of previous participation in a Gawler program.

    Revisit all the principles of accelerated healing, clarifying questions relating to the Gawler program. How much is enough? And what about the family?

    What does “Positive Thinking” look like over the long term? 


    Dealing with setbacks. What works best? 


    Sustaining your good intentions. This program is an excellent opportunity to rekindle your enthusiasm and reset priorities. 


    What is life like post-cancer, and what is most likely to help us to become long-term, joyful survivors!


This retreat will be highly regenerative, offering a combination of relaxation and meditation, 
instructional sessions, the fabulous Foundation food, juices, body therapies and great conversations.
 



DATES    Monday 14th November to Friday 18th November,  2016


FLIER    Click here

BOOKINGS The Gawler Foundation +61 3 59671730 or programs@gawler.org or www.gawler.org