Writings by mARTha


Whole Grains | Seasonings | Feng Shui | Vegetarianism | Basic Nutrition | Health and Happiness | Yoga


Whole Grains

At least 50% of the volume of every meal should be whole grains, prepared in a variety of cooking methods. Whole grains include: brown rice, whole wheat (in bread, chapati or noodles), barley, millet, oats, oatmeal, corn (on the cob, or as grits or meal), buckwheat (groats or noodles), rye, triticale, amaranth, quinoa, etc. They are a food group that helps the body to cleanse and rebuild its strength. To enjoy these grains’ true taste, choose them grown free of chemical fertilizers and sprays. The less they are processed, the greater their nutritional value. Nearly all the B vitamins, E vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids and quality proteins are found in whole grains. Refining them removes most of these nutrients. There are three ways to prepare whole grains for eating: sprouting, soaking or cooking until tender. Most grains at least double in size from their dry to cooked states. Look for cooking equipment, directions in their use and recipes wherever such books are sold.
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Miso and tamari are foods used for seasoning, which have been derived from soybeans and are fermented in a process similar to what occurs in the human intestine. Because of their high salt content, they should be used sparingly. Miso diluted in water can be used as a base for sauce, made wth tahini and for soup. A dash of tamari brings out the flavor in grains. Gomasio, made in combination of sesame seeds, can be used in place of salt. Umeboshi plums have a high quality of citric acid, which can help neutralize and eliminate some of the excess lactic acid in the body. They can be used to salt the water in which grains will be cooked, or used in tofu salad dressings instead of tamari or sea salt. It is best to use unrefined oils which still contain all the nutrients present in the grains, beans or seeds from which they were derived. When using vinegar, the unrefined varieties contain malic acid and potessium, which are used naturally in the digestive system. White, distilled or wine vinegar are void of the natural nutrients and flavor.
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Feng Shui

Feng shui, literally translated as “wind and water,” is an ancient art of placement, balancing and enhanving the environment. According to feng shui, our life and destiny are closely related to our surroundings: natural, man-made, cosmic, universal or local. Feng shui attempts to deepen, elevate, design, unblock and untangle arrangements by offering theories and simple “cures.” The nine basic cures are: light, sound, living objects (real or man-made), moving objects, bamboo flutes, colors and some that change to address new problems. Feng shui can influence and be influenced by everything from landscape, urban design, painting, poetry, alchemy, astrology, philosophy, science and psychology. Mastering it requires years of training, as well as an intuitive talent. It has become a synthesis, suffused by the influence and styles of different asian countries and schools. Some of the conceptual elements are based on: Tao and yin and yang, ch’i, the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth, I Ching and the ba-gua (an octagonal shape divided into eight life situations: marriage, fame, wealth, family, knowledge, career, helpful people and children- superimposed on a layout of a space to interpret and determine which area needs attention). Your home and office is a living portrayal of everything you are and what is happening in your life.
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While nutrition is one facet of well-being, its benefits can bhe the essential support for the entire body system. There is abundant scientific evidence that proves the superiority of a vegetarian diet. This type of eating can be especially health-promoting during times of physiological or physical stress, in which more nutrients are needed. Vegans are the strictest of the vegetarians, thriving on organic plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, and unrefined nuts, seeds, grains and legumes, steering clear of unnatural additives and seasonings. Lacto-, lacto-ovo, pesco- and pollo-vegetarians eat different variations. Many diseases are linked to the consumption of animal products. There are many reasons for choosing a non-flesh diet other than good health, such as economics, politics, environmental systems, reverence for life and world hunger.
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Basic Nutrition

Basic nutrition begins with six major nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, water and air. Fresh air, the balance of enzymes and the function of antioxidants (that help to combat disease and degenerative processes) is also needed every day. How much of each depends on your health and the energy you need. Now there are many toxic substances in the air, soil and food. Manufactured or processed food is usually treated with chemicals, preservatives, dyes and food additives. A healthy body can better eliminate potentially harmful substances through the liver and other organs. A diet that is high in fat, processed soidum and refined sugars reduces the natural capacity to rid the body of harmful toxins, and therefore accumulates them. It is dangerous to follow bazaar myths, fads or exotic diets. Information about good nutrition abounds and it is well worth your healthful life to find out more about it.
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Health and Happiness

You should not feel fatigued, as it is the foundation of all disease. It can be cured easily and naturally if you understand and practice good nutrition and attitude. Being adventuresome is also a sign of freedom, and with good health, you can overpower difficulties. Listen to the words and phrases you find yourself repeating in any defeatist way, and you will reveal the extent of your problems. Seek to understand the ways to longevity and rejuvenation.
You have a good appetite if you can enjoy simple food with joy and thankfulness. Careful selection of food, it’s preparation and proper chewing is critical to the sort of nutritional benefit you receive. Sexual and joyful satisfaction are also essential to a healthy condition. Anger can make you impotent, distant and disconnected. Without being conscious of the theories of yin and yang there can be sickness and insanity.
If your mind is free from fear, four to six hours of deep sleep should satisfy you completely and you will awaken spontaneously at an hour predetermined before retiring. It is a time to rest the body, and if you are full of food, the energy taken to digest it will rob you of this valuable state of recuperation and repair.
A good memory is the basis of personality, and your judgement depends on it. Remembering those who have been kind to you is important and pleasurable. The capacity to remember should improve infinitely. This ability can be strenghtened through right action.
It is easy and natural to be pleasing and cheerful for a person of good health. If you have complaints, mental, moral, physiological or social, it is best to spend some time alone. Your appearance, voice and behavior should distribute gratitude and admiration toa ll those in your presence. To give of yourself is the best thing we can do for eternal happiness. Without this understanding, you can be a slave, sick or mad.
Being of good health helps in your ability to think and judge with promptness and clarity. Being able to establish order is beauty in action and a sign of a comprehension of nature which has provided us with proper food and other needs. You are the creator of your own life, health and happiness, and without relying on others, you can be independent and free.
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Yoga is a fundamental art form which means union- one that integrates the entire being: body, mind and spirit. It may be the oldest practice known. It can bring health and happiness to the practicioner. Many are under the impression that it is only physical, while it is also physio-psychological and psycho-spiritual. It is a science which frees the mind from the body and leads to the soul. The cause of disease, according to yoga, is the fluctuation of the mind, which in turn disturbs the functions of the body. Tremendous will power is required in yoga, as you must generate your own energy to combat disease. Most people are most familiar with hatha (ha = sun, tha = moon) yoga- but yoga has eight aspects called: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Yama is what one should avoid doing, while niyama is what should be done for the good of the individual and society. Asana is the practice of the body in different positions. Pranayama is the science of breath. Pratyahara is the drawing in of the senses. Dharana is complete attention. Dhyana is meditation. Samadhi is the culmination of yoga or a state of bliss. Yoga is taught by precept and through the understanding of sacred text. Yoga works on your conscience, consciousness, intelligence, senses, flesh and organs of perception. When your body, mind and soul are healthy and harmonious, you will bring the same to those around you.
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