28 June 2019

Top 4 ways to boost your immune system

What is something you can do every morning with very little extra effort, but just a whiff of discipline that can significantly boost your immune system? We have been recommending this for around 40 years, but a recent article made it sound like a new discovery so it has prompted this week’s post that is research based - how to use everyday things to best to boost your immune system, but first

                 Thought for the Day

       Though my View is as spacious as the sky,

       My actions and respect for cause and effect 
       Are as fine as grains of flour.


Number 1 top way to boost your immune system - Regular Meditation

No surprises here. Plenty of research indicates meditation’s direct beneficial impact on immune function. However, of even more benefit may be the fact that the more we meditate, the more likely we are to do a whole host of things that are good for us - and have the inner discipline to continue to do them.

From the research : Mindfulness meditation appears to be associated with reductions in pro-inflammatory processes, increases in cell-mediated defence parameters and increases in enzyme activity that guards against cell aging. More research needed…

Black DS. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Jun; 1373(1): 13–24.

Number 2 top way to boost your immune system - Plant based diet

Probably no surprises here either! A great deal of evidence has now built up to support this contention. Here is one of the latest…

From the research : Plant-based sources of protein decrease chronic inflammation, according to this recent study. Researchers tracked protein intakes for 2,061 participants and compared inflammatory biomarkers between total, animal, and plant-based protein sources. Those who replaced animal protein with plant-based protein showed improvements in a particular biomarker associated with overall inflammation and oxidative stress. The authors note that increased plant-based protein may lower the inflammation burden among aging populations.

Hruby A, Jacques PF. Dietary protein and changes in biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort. Curr Dev Nutr. 2019;3:1-9.

Number 3 top way to boost your immune system - Regular moderate exercise

Again most probably know this by now. Strenuous exercise can in fact weaken the immune system - something marathon runners need to really watch.

However, exercise at a level where you can talk while doing it, and feel better after you complete your session and that level of exercise has many positive benefits.

From the research : Moderate exercise seems to have a beneficial effect on the immune function, improving both the humoral and the cellular immune system.

Jeurrisen A teal. The Effects of physical exercise on the immune system. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2003 Jul 12;147(28):1347-51.

Number 4 top way to boost your immune system - Cold showers

This is the one we have recommended for years. Seems the mild stress of the cold shower causes the body to lift its game and ramp up its immune responses.

There is a caution...

Most people have a warm shower first, then shift to cold. However, doing this suddenly has been associated with a mild increase in heart attack risk. Therefore, turn the cold on in a few steps with time to adjust between - then all is good.

From the research : This is an area where the actual research articles are hard to track down, but here is one from a few years back…

Shevchuk NA, Radoja S. Possible stimulation of anti-tumor immunity using repeated cold stress: A hypothesis. Infect Agent Cancer. 2007;2:20.

Speaking personally, I have been having a cold shower every day for around 50 years - plus the others above. In that time have had virtually zero colds and only one bout of the flu and yes, I do not take the flu vaccine. Lucky? Maybe…  But these are 4 top ways proven to boost immune function.

And the side effect? The daily cold shower helps maintain the discipline to do the others - although I do really enjoy the others anyway .

10 June 2019

Is this the simple answer to climate change?

It is clear we live in deeply challenging times. The climate change threats are real. But is there a simple answer? I believe so and this week reveal what it is and how we might accomplish it. Plus a reminder of meditation workshops in Melbourne, Sydney and the Yarra Valley to feature my new book Blue Sky Mind - with both Ruth and myself, but first

      Thought for the day

           We are the ancestors of the future
           What do you want your legacy to be?

                 Julia Butterfly Hill

Maybe it is as simple as this… 

Live a life centred around high rise… 

Run the risk of becoming disconnected from community, isolated from nature, self absorbed, indifferent to food and its sources, become mindless with waste and rubbish, increasingly lose touch with the rhythms of life.

Live a life centred around a garden…

Become connected to community, grow increasingly in touch with nature, realize the interdependencies of all life, gain deep appreciation for those who grow food and any animals and people involved in providing it, become increasingly wary of chemicals used for food growing, the over refinement and processing of food, the consequences of waste and rubbish, feel a genuine engagement with natural recycling and the rhythms of life including life and death itself - in short, develop an appreciation, respect and love for life.

So the simple solution?

Get involved with a garden!

If you already have a garden, can you make it bigger?

If you do live in a high rise, have you a balcony, can you do some indoor gardening, can you join one of the increasing number of community gardens?

Do you have children, grand-children, any children you can influence?


The suggestion is, out of gardening comes a natural appreciation for nature.

Connecting with the earth, helping it to become bountiful, leads to a natural appreciation, a natural desire for conservation and a natural desire to do whatever it takes to counter climate change and preserve our wonderful planet.


And enjoy!


Join Ruth and myself as we share with you in a day of meditation.
Lovely way to connect, great opportunity to meditate together, explore the new ideas from my new book Blue Sky Mind (still waiting for copies to be printed - should be a couple more weeks), have your questions answered and enjoy a day with lots of practice together.

Melbourne - Saturday June 15th  in Brunswick

Sydney - Sunday June 30th in Newtown

Yarra Valley - July 14th at the Foundation