We hope you enjoy these bonus articles - they are exclusive to the website and feature thought-provoking stories, food and lifestyle advice to inspire us to stay healthy and live in harmony with nature.
USING FOOD AS MEDICINE
Claire, a Nutrition Advisor, says her family’s health and happiness is all down to the foods they now eat.
Not only did she resolve her son’s chronic eczema by following a gut healing, low carb diet, but she went a step further when her daughter, Leafy, was diagnosed with a seizure condition. She researched and started her on a Ketogenic Diet, which drastically decreased her debilitating daily seizures within days and continued to over the next weeks and months.
Claire is now helping others do the same for a wide range of health conditions. She is raising money to develop FREE courses and resources for families to use to improve their own health at Leafie.org
We thought we ate quite healthily but having children made us make some tweaks to our foods. We made our own pasta sauces, ate veggies with most meals, avoided sugary stuff and didn’t drink pops or squash.
Still our toddler son suffered from eczema and skin welts that caused him to itch endlessly and disturbed his sleep. We tried to help him with prescribed creams, elimination diets, specialist eczema clothing and bedding, natural lotions and steroid creams, but his endless itching and his distress continued. After much research we eventually applied a strict no grains, dairy or sugars diet, even fruit was excluded due to the natural sugars. Rudie’s skin and sleep quickly started to improve, his skin was completely clear within 3 months. We had also learned a great deal about what was really in foods and the power of whole food nutrition.
Our family had further huge health concerns to deal with as our baby daughter was diagnosed with an epilepsy condition, causing her to suffer from hundreds of debilitating seizures. Again we turned to real foods, this time with the Ketogenic diet, which dramatically turned her health around within days. She is now a bright, happy vibrant little girl and our family’s quality of life radically improved thanks to foods.
With such powerful personal experiences I became determined to help others, training as a Nutrition Advisor and supporting families in making food changes that have improved their health.
Leafie.org is our new non-profit family nutrition web resource.
Our aim is to help families to start to improve their eating habits, learn about the different healing diets and be inspired by the achievements of other family’s that have turned their family health around by changing the way they eat.
We have already added some amazing family stories of supporting severe health conditions with real foods. Including ultra colitis bowel disease, cervical cancer, obesity, hashimotos, child brain trauma and development delays, as well as our own experiences of managing severe epilepsy and eczema in our own children.
People can support our food as medicine campaign by sharing our crowd fund link widely, donating where possible and sharing their fundraising or media skills with our cause.
A SENSE OF DIRECTION
Energy is all around us. We may not be able to see it, but it is flowing in and around us all the time and is generated not only by animate objects, such as people and animals, but also by inanimate objects as well. People, objects and land can give off different levels of energy and when the energy is low or unable to flow smoothly, it can cause distress.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system used to bring peace and harmony to our environment. Translating into English as ‘wind-water’, the practice originated thousands of years ago when astronomy was used to help choose the best places to build homes and palaces and to choose the best burials sites. Feng shui is based on the Taoist beliefs and understanding of nature, that the land is filled with Chi, or energy. Good Feng shui (energy) means good fortune, better health, successful careers and full and happy lives, while bad or stagnant Feng shui can mean bad luck or misfortune. Fast-forward to modern times and Feng shui is still being used to bring a sense of harmony, joy and good fortune into our homes and offices, giving them a sense of balanced energy.
Anyone can apply the theories of Feng shui in their home, office or any place where people interact with the environment to bring about feelings of calm, creativity and joy. Many businesses around the world use this practice when designing their new offices, including the Bank of China in Hong Kong and wineries in Chile. There are many ways to improve the energy of your home or office according to the Feng shui principles, from using colour, water and crystals, to the placement of furniture and clocks. For more information, you may like to visit the website of my teacher Sylvia Galleguillos, here
The origins of energetic space clearing can be found in ancient traditions from around the globe including India, South and North America and Africa. Although energetic space clearing is not a traditional part of Feng shui, it is based on a similar idea of changing or clearing energy, also known as ‘ki’ in Japan, ‘chi’ in China and ‘prana’ in India. While Feng shui and energy clearing balance energy for the health of a space, acupuncture, t’ai chi and yoga are just three other practices that all recognise the importance of the flow of energy, or chi, for the health and wellbeing of people.
Energetic space clearing of a room or building can be done in many ways, and it often involves a ceremonial process. If you bring in a professional space clearer, the practitioner will go through the space addressing any imbalance or negativity, and using their tools and skills will bring the space back to a place of calm and joyfulness. The length of time it takes to complete this process will depend on the size of the space and what needs balancing.
Oneness of self and environment
The multi-talented designer Sir Terence Conran once said, “If our homes should provide anything, they should provide a sense of connection balanced by a sense of direction and progress”. Around the world, in many cultures, our homes and environments are often thought to have a deep connection with our bodies, and reflect what is going on for us both emotionally and physically. The greatest architects and artists throughout the ages have understood this principle of balance and used it to create harmony in living spaces.
You may experience this when walking into your home. Is there a sense of joy as you walk into a room? Or are there spaces in your home that no one wants to use? Perhaps there’s an uneasy feeling in a room. Maybe something doesn’t feel ‘quite right’ somewhere in your house and things feel ‘out of kilter’. If you’re getting a sense of unbalance around your home, maybe it’s time to do an energy clearing.
It’s possible you may also feel this about people, too. Everyone vibrates at a different energy level, and while some people fill us with joy and happiness, others can drain us of energy. Have you ever noticed how spending time with happy, fun people can lift our mood and make us feel better, while spending time with more unhappy people can bring us down? It is possible to pick up other people’s energy and take on their emotions, and while spending time with people who make us laugh and feel vibrant and happy can have a positive effect on our own energy, spending time with lower vibrational people can have the opposite effect. And we can even bring these emotions into our living spaces.
Major life changes, such as a new job, a new relationship, an illness or a bereavement, are all times when you and your living spaces could benefit from a space clearing. And it’s not just at these times either. For the general health your home, a yearly process of space clearing would be beneficial; and for your health, it may be more often. Moving through grief, healing and life obstacles is very important for our health and wellbeing and space clearing can help us process these emotions that may be causing struggles.
Just moved into a new home? A house warming celebration is a good way to bring joy into your new space. House cooling parties also are beneficial when you leave a home, as it shows a level of care for your home and leaves it clear and open for the new owners. Our happiness and enjoyment of our homes and spaces depends on the care and attention we give to them. The better we care for our living spaces, the better we feel in ourselves.
Having a dialogue with our home can be a very healing and liberating experience. Stand in a room you’re not happy with and see if it would feel better if you moved some furniture around, decorated or brought in flowers or some plants. If you’re still not comfortable with a space, having gratitude for having that space can help to achieve an energetic balance and have a profound effect on the way you feel in that space. Communication and dialogue is key to keeping clear energy flowing.
The philosopher and peace campaigner Bertrand Russell said, “To be out of harmony with one’s surroundings is of course a misfortune…”; clarity in our living environment is vital for clarity in the mind and body.
Heidi Rearden is an experienced Space Clearing, Feng Shui, Reiki Master-Teacher and Practitioner. Visit http://heidireiki.com/ for more information.