Quotes & Thoughts

Are weight loss supplements helpful in losing weight?

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on Are weight loss supplements helpful in losing weight?

Are weight loss supplements helpful in losing weight?

(Image: ‘Raspberry Fruits On Branch’ by adamr/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Unfortunately not, at least not long-term. Diet pills rarely lead to permanent weight loss, as they do not actually “train” your mind to eat better and exercise more. The best method for weight loss is simply eating well and getting plenty of exercise. If you find that snacking is your weakness, try to get in touch with your hunger and appetite instead of relying on supplements. Often times we think we are hungry, when in actuality, our minds are playing tricks on us based on advertisements, scents, or anything else.  It is recommended to eat meals made up of foods that satisfy hunger and control appetite. Include sources of lean proteins, and snack on healthy high-fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables. With the growing market of diet supplements, buyer beware and do your research! A popular supplement currently on the market are raspberry ketones and they come in a variety of products. Some versions are sold at health food stores, with less obnoxious health claims, and are often combined with green tea, vitamins or  other herbals. When sold in combination with other nutrients, the health claims are often associated with the green tea, resveratrol and the like, with the raspberry ketone added as a flavouring or colourant. These products can also be purchased at pharmacies and are readily available on the internet. Lacking scientific research suggesting that raspberry ketones aid in weight loss, one might wonder how they are sold on the market with such claims. Health Canada acknowledges raspberry ketones to be a flavour enhancer added to other supplements, so sales are permitted. However, supplement stores and online websites are readily claiming the raspberry ketone to be a bioactive in helping the body to metabolize fat. When people see claims associated with a new product on the market, they jump to the conclusion that the claims are being made about the raspberry ketones themselves, when in actuality, the claim has been around for years for the actual bioactive nutrient.   They seem to be the newest rage in the ever growing weight loss market. Dr. Oz claims them to be a “Fat Burner in a Bottle”[1], backed up by seemingly real science. However, what the general public is not made aware of on the Dr. Oz website, is that there no sound scientific evidence suggesting that raspberry ketones do anything more than add flavour. Like any other product on the market, Dr. Oz, amongst other weight loss pill endorsers, say that it works when accompanied with healthy lifestyle habits. So is it the raspberry ketones that are making people lose weight…or is it the fact that people taking them are more likely to take conscious decisions when it comes to exercise and food choices? Probably the latter. Websites designed for the sale of raspberry ketones state that the product is completely natural, and all the ingredients are good for you to consume, so therefore there are no side effects[2]. Just because something is natural does not mean that there are no dangers in consuming the product. Any product that contains a bioactive ingredient, as the raspberry ketone is claiming to be, poses some risk to the consumer. The various websites advertising raspberry ketones are laden with spelling errors and grammatically incorrect sentences. If this doesn’t blatantly show that there is a lack of credibility in the product, then I’m not sure what does.  Overall, the evidence to suggest that raspberry ketones are beneficial in weight loss and weight management are null and void. Buyer beware. Celebrity endorsements may make...

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All is Energy Exchange

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on All is Energy Exchange

All is Energy Exchange

(Image: ‘Team Joining Hands’ by adamr/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) It can be easy to overlook the fact that money is just one form of energy exchange. But it is, right? What would it be like if we took this approach in our lives? I’ve found that it’s too easy to get caught up in being in a financial crunch and feeling stuck in a place of scarcity. It can feel like a steep and impossible climb up once inside. So it’s wonderful to see more opportunities for energy exchanges that bypass money all together. Like here at Source Centre. Almost two years ago, we began our energy exchange program where interested and committed people offer their services (light cleaning, laundry, help with flyer distribution, etc) in exchange for Network care. What’s been amazing – beyond having wonderful people join us in our space – is watching them transform their lives! People start out without regular work and then they find good jobs. Or they’re looking for acceptance to a program and they receive it. While it’s sad to have to say good-bye to the people who have generously and graciously enriched our lives and space, it’s so incredible to witness the transformation and the realization of their goals. So, while I’m full of gratitude and delight at exploring the wonders and possibilities of energy exchange .. what I’m also wanting to say is….does this sound like something you may be interested in? We’re always looking for some good people and we’re flexible. All we ask for is a commitment on your part. Feel free to call or email us  for more...

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Notes on a Cleanse

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Notes on a Cleanse

Notes on a Cleanse

We recently co-ordinated a community-wide cleanse at Source Centre . I created a guideline of foods to eat or avoid, along with some tips regarding lifestyle and approach. We constructed a wall display in the form of a vegetable garden; if someone signed up for the cleanse, they would put their name on a construction paper vegetable, and place it on the wall, signifying their commitment. To my delight, over 25 people signed on to cleanse in some way. This result in itself was very encouraging, as many folks broke out of their comfort zone and agreed to cleanse for the first time. It was inspiring and heartening to witness that courage in the face of many deterrents and fears. Food is a sensitive subject, and bears emotional and psychological weight in our lives. Agreeing to change our eating habits is agreeing to change some deeply habitual aspects of ourselves. The most profound results came about midway through the cleanse. Personally, I had more energy, my skin was brighter, and I felt mentally clear. However, two participants in particular had wonderful results that exceeded my expectations and hopes. The following are testimonials from these participants: The first thing I noticed was a significant reduction in bloating, both in my face and around my stomach area. My skin became very clear. I received a number of comments that my face looked “brighter”. I didn’t have any cravings for meat or wheat products. The lighter meals satisfied my hunger and didn’t leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable. I found I had more energy also. -Rose I had low expectations for this cleanse – it was an idea I’d played with for years but never got around to trying. Leila’s advice was gentle and precise: “you can do it if you want to.” And I did, so I did. Having committed for one week, I told myself I would try for two. The hard part was getting organized for such a drastic shift in diet (I’m an unashamed carnivore) and staying on top of it, but the results were encouraging and immediate. I was more alert, lighter on my feet and emotionally consistent. I woke up earlier each day, ahead of my alarm, ready for the world. By the second week I felt so in tune with my body and empowered by a growing awareness of my body’s wants and needs (many of which I’d previously confused with one another) that it became difficult to imagine reverting back to my old indulgent ways, so I extended the cleanse into a third week. -Phil What is inspiring about these testimonials is that both of these participants had never cleansed before! And yet, they had almost immediate results, and a noticeable shift in energy, appearance and perspective. Cleansing provides so many benefits, not the least of which is learning to listen to your body, and get in touch with your real needs and tastes. The miraculous thing about resetting via a cleanse is that you often realize you don’t want those so-called addictive foods in the first place. The clarity in your body and mind become a state worth maintaining, and a great testing ground for noticing what you truly crave. Being in nature is another great way to get in tune with your body, and calm your mind. Spending time in nature daily is a great way to cleanse your thoughts and reconnect with what matters. This summer, continue to embrace refreshing yourself with a nutritious and fortifying diet, and lots of time...

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The Power of Our Thoughts

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on The Power of Our Thoughts

The Power of Our Thoughts

(Image by audfriday13 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) I’m sure you’ve probably heard about the power of positive thoughts and how they can attract the things we wish for in our lives.  It definitely seems like a great idea to turn our thoughts into motivators and harness them as good energy to fuel our days.  But it can sometimes feel like a challenge, especially when the weather is gray or things are not going our way.  What can we do when we are are going through these times and it’s hard to see the brighter side of things? A daily meditation ritual has been show to focus our minds and soothe our souls.  Try these beginner meditation tips. The more regular that you are with a meditation practice, the greater the effects and ability to create positive thinking.  I myself have experienced this.  I sit down every morning for 5-10 minutes (or more) on my little meditation cushion and observe my thoughts.  I let my mind be still.  It is amazing how I feel starting my day on a calm tone.  I really notice the difference if for some reason I don’t get a chance to do my morning meditation.  My day feels a bit off and more nervous energy can set in.  When this happens on the rare occasion, I remember to stop and take a few deep breaths to re-balance and allow myself to function at a more tranquil frequency.  My mom told me something so insightful and lovely the other day during a phone conversation. She relayed this great analogy of how every one of us has a small lighted flame deep within us and the way to nourish this flame is with positive thoughts that act like pouring oil onto the flame.  Just picturing that image in my head helped me to see how powerful good thoughts can be.  So to generate some positive vibes and thoughts, try meditating. Here’s a simple exercise from Gaiam Life to help you get started and it takes  less than  five minutes, I promise! How to meditate: Simple meditation for beginners This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction. 1. Sit or lie comfortably.  2. Close your eyes. 3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally. 4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly. Make no effort to control your breath; simply focus your attention. If your mind wanders, simply return your focus back to your breath. Maintain this meditation practice for 2–3 minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.  My very best wishes,  Dr. Anita Rajan...

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Nourish Your Life

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Nourish Your Life

Nourish Your Life

I’ve recently been reading a fascinating and enlightening book entitled “Healing Wise” by renowned herbalist Susun Weed. In it, she contrasts the Heroic and Scientific traditions with what she calls the “Wise Woman” tradition. The Wise Woman tradition heals by nourishing, and therefore its medicines are living foods (meaning unprocessed, whole, and wild). In the midst of our community Refresh at Source Centre, I am reflecting on the phenomenon of detoxing, and the greater paradigm in which such a practice is situated. Often, we approach detoxing, cleansing or dieting as a process of subtraction. We “cut” things out, usually things which we consider pleasurable (although guilt-inducing). We forbid ourselves the indulgence of these guilty pleasures–the complex carbs, the sugary treats, the fried or fatty foods–all of which give us pleasure through taste. I call this a deprivation model. There is a penitent element which constricts or even punishes desire, to achieve the higher purpose of purity. This is why, in my view, people find detoxing painful, difficult, and pleasure-less. This is why people “fail” at diets, or cannot sustain the shift in their physicality brought on by dieting or cleansing. This approach breeds resistance, rigidity and disempowerment. In other words, the deprivation model which holds subtraction as its primary action does not, and cannot, feed the individual in a meaningful and sustainable way. Of course, the foods these diets promote are often greatly nutritious and beneficial to the body. It is all in the paradigm and perspective one inhabits that determines the experience of such a commitment. We can impose change upon our external habits, but sustained transformation arises from within, from a paradigm of empowerment, abundance and resolve. (see last week’s Resolve blog). Ross Bridgeford, alkaline diet coach, recently touched upon this in a video posted on his website. In shifting ones diet towards alkalinity (meaning foods that are the opposite of acidic, and therefore promoting long term wellbeing) Ross advises that, rather than remove acidic foods from the diet, we instead simply add alkaline foods. By adding alkaline foods, such as organic greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, and alkaline water, the body increases its intake of essential nutrients without rules and restrictions. The yet more enlightening result, according to Ross, is that this process of adding nutrition provides the subconscious with the chance to “catch up” with the conscious mind, and become aligned with what really nourishes. The bodymind then gradually and voluntarily adopts alkalinity; the cravings for acidic foods are relinquished, and the hunger for nutritious, living foods enhanced. This result suggests that nourishment empowers, and deprivation weakens. A healthy diet however goes far beyond what we physically ingest. We can and do nourish (or deprive) ourselves with our thoughts, beliefs and actions . We are nourished by possibilities: of doing things differently, taking risks, experimenting, even “failing.” When we take a risk, we actually call something new into existence. When we nourish, we empower ourselves to be the answer to our own prayers. In the words of poet Galway Kinnel, “everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing”.  I hope that today and for all the days to come, you live this...

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Resolve

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Resolve

Resolve

A choice, irrespective of whether it is based on reasons why, comes from an individual resolve.  According to the the Vedas, the ancient spiritual texts of India, Sankalpa, or resolve, is the single most important element for an individual on their path. Resolve is the anchoring intention that holds one steady through the internal storms of confusion, doubt, resistance, rationalization and fear. I believe that resolve is beyond will power. Resolve is the confluence of universal and personal truth; it is awareness that strikes into action. Will power alone predicates itself on rules or restrictions, as in “I will not eat sugar anymore!”. These are external boundaries that emanate from the mind of the individual, holding them captive. When we make such declarations, we are exporting our power into external boundaries. Resolve on the other hand emanates from within, as a silent, but powerful choice: “I am honouring and celebrating life by nourishing myself.” Where will power can be severe, or constricting, resolve is an act of love. Resolve lives in the heart. Over the past few weeks as I have been ruminating on this topic, I’ve witnessed many inspiring stories of personal resolve from friends, and acquaintances. A common element that arose in every story was that none of these individuals committed to restricting themselves with rigid rules. They each held a personal intention, but also allowed themselves the freedom to act spontaneously. One friend whose intention was to quit smoking began noticing a subtle inner sense of repugnance for smoking, even when he indulged the urge. He increasingly began to identify with that quiet sense until he felt an unequivocal repugnance for cigarettes and quit successfully. Another friend had been practicing veganism for a little while, but allowed herself to indulge in KFC, after which she felt quite ill, and has not craved KFC since. Resolve extends from a paradigm of freedom and abundance. Creating external rules suggests that we do not trust ourselves with our choices. I’ve often heard people use language like “I’m not allowed,” “I can’t,” or “I’m not supposed to” with regards to lifestyles that they themselves have engineered. What I’ve also observed is that some folks are reticent about making commitments for fear of failure or mistake. Resolve has nothing to do with success or failure. Resolve weathers “slips” and continues to stand, to shine. Nor does it become dogmatic or punishing. Resolve empowers the individual with an awareness of their capacity for integrity, responsibility, resilience. It lives within each human being as a seed potential. It lives within you. As a gesture of my own resolve, I will share with you a recent commitment I have made. I have chosen to no  longer participate in factory farmed animal products. Because I made this choice from a place of love and reverence for life, I feel freer and more empowered when I contemplate it. It is my personal resolve to “be the change,” in Gandhi’s words. I share it with you as a gesture of faith in your own capacity for integrity, peace, and...

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