What is Reiki and Why Everyone Needs It?

Reiki

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a universal life force healing energy that flows thorough all of us. The concept of a life force is found in most of the ancient cultures of the world. In India, it is called prana; in China, chi or Qi; in Japan, ki; for Native Americans, the Great Spirit. For all these cultures and others as well, the idea of life force is or was central to their forms of medicine and healing.

native smudge

Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include stress relief,  relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results.

A Reiki practitioner is trained to channel the universal life force energy, through them into their hands and into the person they are treating. There is no way to get or give too much Reiki energy. Any additonal gets passed onto our planet and we all know that needs as much healing as possible.

Click here for a link to some studies showing the positive effects of Reiki.

hands energy

What to expect during a reiki treatment?

Generally you will be laying on your back on a massage table, fully clothed. I have seen it where the Reiki practitioner has you sit in a chair and rarely even stand. (All my treatments are laying on a massage table).

Your only job during a reiki treatment is to just breathe.

The Reiki practitioner will usually start at your head working their way down each side of your body hovering their hands over your body using specific hand positions.

What does Reiki feel like?

easy pose

Everyone will feel Reiki a little different but some of the things I’ve heard consistently over my years of practice have been

  • Warm water running over their entire body or parts of their body
  • a gentle beating drum
  • vibration
  • a warm hug
  • peace
  • calmness

    Its possible to not feel anything at all. Even if you do not feel anything you are still getting a treatment. 

Some people drift off to sleep, some people may see their spirit animal or have a calming vision or experience.

Everyone leaves a Reiki treatment feeling less stressed, relaxed and generally good all over (body and mind).

reik treatment

What can Reiki Treat? 

Reiki has been shown to have a positive affect on all forms of illness and negative conditions. This includes minor things like head or stomach aches, bee stings, colds, flu, tension and anxiety as well as serious illness like heart disease, cancer, leukemia, etc. The side effects of regular medical treatments have also been reduced or eliminated. This includes the negative effects of chemotherapy, post operative pain and depression as well as improving the healing rate and reducing the time needed to stay in the hospital. Reiki always helps and in some cases people have experienced complete healings which have been confirmed by medical tests before and after the Reiki treatments. However, while some have experienced miracles, they cannot be guaranteed. Stress reduction with some improvement in ones physical and psychological condition are what most experience.

Here are some of the results I’ve personally seen.

kcsd

  • Feelings of deep relaxation
  • Stress and tension released
  • Anxiety and fear gone
  • General sense of well-being
  • Negative emotions or negative feelings gone
  • Reduced feelings of anger
  • Pain free or reduced pain

Is Reiki a Religion? 

 

Although Reiki energy is spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion. Practitioners and client are not asked to change any religious or spiritual beliefs they may have. They are free to continue believing anything they choose and are encouraged to make their own decisions concerning the nature of their religious practices.

Reiki in my opinion is life changing. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum; people start on their Reiki journey and blossom immensely spiritually and also I have clients who come weekly simply for the healing energy because it works for them but do not participate in the spiritual aspects of it.

se

Reiki is for everyone and anyone regardless of age, condition, beliefs, etc.

For more information on Reiki treatments or trainings in your area click here.

Have a great day!!

 

 

 

Live longer, healthier and happier

Alicia xoxo

Top 3 Foods to give up NOW to live longer, healthier and happier.

health

We all want to be healthy and live as long as possible but sometimes (most times) it can be very confusing to know what is actually healthy, one day it’s good for you and the next day it’s bad. One nutritionist says “do this” while another one says “never do that”. Part of the reason why is because research is ever evolving and because we are all so genetically unique.  What works fantastic for one person, may have the complete opposite effect on another.  My challenge for you is to give up one (or all) of the following items, even if you set a goal to do it just for a month.

In my opinion by avoiding the following three foods it could help you live longer, healthier and happier. I’ll include a few tips and tricks along the way.

Tip #1: Avoid Trendy fad diets, even if they work it’s will only be temporary and most are not set up to be done for a long period of time.

  1. Number one food to avoid is: Margarine

x margarine

First of all yuck! I’m conflicted on the title of this blog because items like Margarine are not even food, however they are being consumed in enormous amounts all over the world.

I’ve already written an article on how bad margarine is for you, but i’ll list a few of the highlights or click here to read the whole article.

There is nothing natural about it, It is loaded with artificial ingredients, and is usually made with industrial vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to make them more solid. This increases their trans fat content significantly. Keep in mind that manufacturers are permitted to label their products with “no trans fat” as long as it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving, which is still a significant amount.

Soo….. eat butter instead. Butter contains many beneficial nutrients that actually protect us from heart disease. It contains Vitamin A, lecithin, it has a number of antioxidants, it’s rich in selenium. The saturated fats in butter have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Butter also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which provides excellent protection against cancer. Bottom line, butter is natural, wholesome and one of the healthiest fats in the world.

Tip # 2: Drink plenty of water daily

water

2. Up next to avoid: Sugary Drinks

It is possible that Pop aka soft drinks might stimulate the appetite for other sweet, high-carbohydrate foods especially if you are choosing the diet options. Doesn’t make sense does it!!! Studies have shown that aspartame has been linked to increased appetite and weight gain. In fact, a study from 2015 demonstrated that animals exposed to aspartame during the prenatal period presented a higher consumption of sweet foods during adulthood and a greater susceptibility to alterations in metabolic parameters.  Sugar or sugar free-  these sweet treats should be avoided and are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic (1).

Tip #3- Take time to just be. Meditate or do yoga. Even just sit for 5 minutes with no distractions (phone, tv, music) and breathe.

3. Last but not least- Fried Foods

fried food

Many cancer causing ingredients can be found in foods that are highly processed and heated with extremely high temperatures AKA deep fried foods.

One of those toxins is called acrylamide. Some of the leading international agencies that study toxins have named acrylamide a carcinogen. Cigarettes would be a widely known carcinogen just for reference.

Not only do deep fried foods fill your body with toxins, wasted calories and bad fats but they also displace the good fats that our bodies require called EFA’s (essential fatty acids). EFA’s are responsible for many, many important functions in your body and mind but i’ll list a few:

  • Formation of healthy cell membranes
  • Proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system
  • Proper thyroid and adrenal activity
  • Hormone production
  • Regulation of blood pressure, liver function, immune and inflammatory responses
  • Regulation of blood clotting: Omega-6 FAs encourage blood clot formation, whereas Omega-3 oil reduces clotting. The ideal is to achieve a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 FAs
  • Crucial for the transport and breakdown of cholesterol
  • Support healthy skin and hair
  • Weight loss

efas

So at the same time as you are filling up on garbage, your are also stripping your body of important nutrients that are clearly necessary to you health.

I could list and go into huge details about the many names of toxic ingredients found in deep fried food, we all know they aren’t good for us but none of them will mean anything until you hear those terrifying words come out of your doctors mouth “You have cancer”.
My goal is to help you avoid hearing this or at least reduce your chances of this happening. This is why I write these blogs, this is why I decided to go to school for nutrition. I’ve lost my father, cousin who was like a sister and most recently a very good friend of mine to cancer and although I know I can’t save everyone, even if my information helps one person, well I’m ok with that.
Have a happy and healthy day!
Xoxo
Alicia

 

 

 

What’s the Deal With Seeds?

seeds

Short answer: Tiny but powerful

Seeds come in a variety of flavors, shapes and colours and all have varying nutrient content but one they all have in common is that they are convenient and healthy. Due to the fact that there is so much information on each of these amazingly healing seeds, this will be a series of posts about seeds and their benefits.

Today we’ll talk about one very powerful and commonly known seed called Flax Seeds (Linseeds).

flax seed

Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is a plant native to the Mediterranean that has been used as a food for well over 5,000 years. It became widely known throughout Europe after C.E., Charlemagne considered it so important that he passed laws and regulations requiring it’s consumption. It eventually was introduced to Canada in the seventeenth century.

Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and protein, are high in dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. They are also a good source of minerals phosphorous, iron and copper. Hippocrates wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains.

You might surprised to find out that flax oil  has nearly twice the level of omega- 3 fatty acid as compared to fish oils.

Flax contains ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In fact, data derived from biopsies of breast tissue from women diagnosed with breast cancer compared to benign samples indicated that the women with breast cancer had a 64 percent lower ALA level. Another study concluded that the higher the ALA level in breast tissue, the less likely the cancer was to spread into the lymph nodes of the armpit.

Lowering cholesterol, weight loss, improving memory and brain health, reducing symptoms of Menopause and PMS are also a few of this tiny seeds capability.

brain health

What to buy and how to store Flax

Though you can eat them whole it’s much more nutritionally beneficial to grind them into a meal or powder.

I would recommend buying your flax whole if available in packaged form or bulk and preferably refrigerated. Just as you would with any other food if buying from bulk, make sure the bins are covered and that the store has a good turnover rate to ensure maximum freshness.

Look for evidence of any moisture and avoid if you see it.

Store your whole flax seeds in an airtight container in a dark, dry, and cool place, where they will keep fresh for several months.

You can choose to purchase ground flax seeds however, once ground they are much more prone to oxidation and spoilage. Whether you purchase ground flax or grind them your at home, once ground it’s important to store either in the fridge or in the freezer. Ground flax will keep in the fridge for about 6 months and in the freezer for about a year.

flaxgroundandoil

If flax seed oil is what you are looking for make sure to purchase only oils that are in a dark bottle and have been stored in the refrigerator. The oil should have a sweet, nutty flavour and you should never use flax seed oil in cooking but are able to add it to foods after they have been cooked.

 

How can I eat these wonderful seeds and what is a typical serving? 

Typical serving size for ground or whole flaxseeds is 1-2 tablespoons. Flax oil can vary, so read the bottle for more information.

Quick serving ideas:

  • Sprinkle ground flax onto your hot or cold cereal
  • Pump up volume of your smoothies or shakes by adding whole or ground flax
  • Use flax seed oil instead of other oils in salad dressings, bread dipping.
  • Drizzle oil or sprinkle whole or ground over vegetables, pasta or rice.

Is Flax safe for everyone?

Flaxseeds contain a moderate amount of oxalate. Individual with  history of oxalate containing kidney stones should avoid over consumption.

Here is list of other foods high in oxalates:

  • 100% pure cocoa
  • Spinach
  • Beet greens
  • Cashews

Thanks for reading everyone and remember if there is anything you would like to see a blog written about please email directly at alicia@completebodynutrition.ca

Live longer, healthier and happy

 

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Avoid these 10 Foods that are Guaranteed to Make you Fat!!

Medical Staff Tending a Patient ca. 1980s-1990s

We can’t afford to be overweight and obese. Let’s learn how to do something about this now! Start with learning which foods make us fat. Many of these you will already know about as it is common sense.

1. Artificial Sweeteners:

Diet soda does have less calories and less sugar than regular soda. This doesn’t mean it’s healthy. A study found that people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had six times the waistline compared to those who skip the diet cola.

Research has also shown that NutraSweet, one of the most popular artificial sweeteners, leads to the same surge of insulin as white carbs (see No 7 food below) –- because of sweetness detectors in the small intestine.

2. White sugar is full of calories that sabotage healthy eating and prime your palate to crave sweets.

The world is filled with sugar addicts. When our blood sugars are high we are high. When our blood sugar is low, we feel totally run down and exhausted and want more sugar. Sugar has no vitamins or minerals, just lots of fat-building calories. Watch out for hidden sugars!

3. Cheese can be a fattening food.

It contains a large amount of fat and is hard to digest. (a deadly combination)

Poor digestion causes weight gain! Fat has nine calories per gram, protein and carbohydrates have only four.

The most fattening food in the world is considered to be cheese fries.

4. Gluten rich foods are fattening but so are most common gluten free packaged products.

Read the labels; they are full of starch and sugar. A study discovered that it was easy to eat too many slices of bread in one sitting.

5. Potatoes were found to be the top food making us fat. This surprised me!But the study found potatoes to be top of the list. Who would have guessed.

fries<

The study found all forms to be fattening. Every serving of fries eaten in a day was linked to weight gain of more than three pounds, while eating an extra serving of potato chips led to a gain of 1.69 pounds.

6. Alcohol blocks the body from burning fat.

Alcohol increases the release of the hormone cortisol that breaks down muscle and retains fat. The loss of muscle can slowdown metabolism making it easier to gain weight. Also, alcohol causes a drop in testosterone in men, a hormone which helps burn fat.

Fat metabolism can be reduced by as much as 73 percent after only two drinks of vodka and lemonade in a one hour time period. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Alcohol dehydrates the body which needs to be hydrated to build muscle and burn fat. (Had no idea that alcohol would be fattening on its own)

7. White Carbs (white rice, pasta, white bread, and starches) are fattening because they are high glycemic index foods. This we all know.

A study suggests that such carbs are a problem for people wanting to lose body fat. Findings show that consumption of the wrong carbs creates body fat. Ludwig and his colleagues at Children’s Hospital Boston

fat people

8. Bad Fats and Oils are fattening especially when they come as deep fried foods and baked goods.

Fats and oils also contain 120 calories per tablespoon. Even olive oil has lots of calories even though it has significant health benefits. Things like Avocado’s which are very high in fat are ok because there is a huge difference between good fats and bad.

9. Processed Foods are loaded with calories and almost no nutrients!

Diet microwave meals and frozen meals are high in sodium and calorie-rich fat to preserve flavor. Eating them causes you to retain water in your arms and legs, leaving you puffy.

Research by the London University College team, suggests that a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression.

10. Processed meats (lunch meats, bacon, sausage, hot dogs) are high in calories, fat and sodium.

Sixty eight percent of bacon’s calories come from fat, almost half is saturated fat and each ounce has 30 milligrams of cholesterol.

Too much salt in your body leads to water retention and bloating. NO amount of processed meat is considered safe to eat, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

This is not speaking of meat in general….just processed meat.

We are the result of what we eat.

we are what we eat

Let’s not short change our body with foods high in fat, sugar, and chemicals. If you are still eating many of the foods listed above, simply start decreasing the quantity until you are in control. (Every bit helps!)

How do you decrease the “bad” foods. It’s simple. Increase the GOOD ones!

Everyone already know the good foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and quality proteins. If you needed to choose the best food group, it would be vegetables.

Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers

cholesterol

 

 

 

 

 

Diet can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. Here are five foods that can lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.

Can a bowl of oatmeal help lower your cholesterol? How about a handful of walnuts or even a baked potato topped with some heart-healthy margarine? A few simple tweaks to your diet — like these, along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — may be helpful in lowering your cholesterol.

1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods

Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber. If you add fruit, such as bananas, you’ll add about 4 more grams of fiber. To mix it up a little, try steel-cut oatmeal or cold cereal made with oatmeal or oat bran.

2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids

Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — reduces the risk of sudden death.

The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:

Mackerel
Lake trout
Herring
Sardines
Albacore tuna
Salmon
Halibut
You should bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you don’t like fish, you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like ground flaxseed or canola oil.

You can take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to get some of the benefits, but you won’t get other nutrients in fish, such as selenium. If you decide to take a supplement, just remember to watch your diet and eat lean meat or vegetables in place of fish.

3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts

Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.

Eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease. Just make sure the nuts you eat aren’t salted or coated with sugar.

All nuts are high in calories, so a handful will do. To avoid eating too many nuts and gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts. For example, instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol but leave your “good” (HDL) cholesterol untouched.

Try using about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart-healthy benefits. To add olive oil to your diet, you can saute vegetables in it, add it to a marinade or mix it with vinegar as a salad dressing. You can also use olive oil as a substitute for butter when basting meat or as a dip for bread. Olive oil is high in calories, so don’t eat more than the recommended amount.

The cholesterol-lowering effects of olive oil are even greater if you choose extra-virgin olive oil, meaning the oil is less processed and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants. But keep in mind that “light” olive oils are usually more processed than extra-virgin or virgin olive oils and are lighter in color, not fat or calories.

5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols

Foods are now available that have been fortified with sterols or stanols — substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.

Orange juice and yogurt drinks with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent. The amount of daily plant sterols needed for results is at least 2 grams — which equals about two 8-ounce (237-milliliter) servings of plant sterol-fortified orange juice a day.

Plant sterols or stanols in fortified foods don’t appear to affect levels of triglycerides or of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol.

Other changes to your diet

For any of these foods to provide their benefit, you need to make other changes to your diet and lifestyle.

Cut back on the cholesterol and total fat — especially saturated and trans fats — that you eat. Saturated fats, like those in meat, full-fat dairy products and some oils, raise your total cholesterol. Trans fats, which are sometimes found in margarines and store-bought cookies, crackers and cakes, are particularly bad for your cholesterol levels. Trans fats raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol, and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good,” cholesterol.

High cholesterol is a very serious issue and your doctor may want to put you on medication to lower it. Before your cholesterol gets out of control try implementing a few of these suggestions.

In addition to changing your diet, keep in mind that making additional heart-healthy lifestyle changes are key to lowering your cholesterol. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about exercising, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight to help keep your cholesterol level low.