The week long Raw Food Institute at NIHA immersion program is not just about raw foods and detoxifying your body, it is an education in taking care of your health. The first thing we can do to take control of our health is to change our diet, but today I learned about other healthy habits and items which can contribute to better health:
- A wonderful breathing/movement exercise called FlexAware. It combines slow, simple movement with conscious breathing and can be done while sitting at the computer to de-stress and move the body. I found it incredibly relaxing but others found it energizing- a pleasant experience either way.
-Regular exercise not only relieves stress but keeps our lymph system moving. In class we are encouraged to jump on the rebounder, a mini trampoline, for a few minutes twice a day, and exercise will detoxify the body 7 times faster.
-Drinking pure, filtered water is essential.
-Filtering Shower water because our pores are open when we bathe and we can get 10x more exposure to whatever is in the water than by drinking it.
-Breathing good quality air, especially if there are allergies or health issues. Air quality in the home or office can be tested and good air filter systems used to improve quality.
-Avoiding sugar. The average American consumes 30-50 teaspoons of sugar per day. Sugar causes spikes in insulin levels which can lead to an up and down energy cycle, and cancer cells feed on sugar.
-Read labels to avoid sugar. Look for sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, click for a complete list.
The rest of the day was devoted to learning to dehydrate food. Raw foods can be dehydrated (dried) to preserve their enzymes and provide that chewy or crunchy taste of bread, crackers, and snacks. Kale chips are a popular snack in the raw food community but we also had sweet potato chips, and "fried" onion rings.
The food today was great too, starting with buckwheat cereal with goji berries, which was almost "comfort food." Sweet potato chips and “fried” onion rings, lovely sprout salad, fennel salad, avocado stuffed with quinoa, stuffed mushrooms, cabbage coleslaw and for dessert, creamy chocolate ice cream made from fresh almond mylk and frozen bananas. Outstanding!