Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Favorite Thing About Online Health Communities

Before I get into today's post topic I want to share one of my recipes. I can't think of many foods more healthful than fresh broccoli sprouts. Do some research on them (ah, the benefits of online health communities)  and I am pretty sure you'll be anxious to start sprouting some of your own. See my broccoli sprout post here. And to see the expert on sprouting you can visit Sprout People and watch his tutorial videos to become a sprouting expert!! That is how I learned to sprout. On this page you can see the broccoli seeds, how to order them and a video on sprouting them. Click on this page for "Instructions for Growing Everything". 
Now on to the recipe:

Incan Berry Apple Salad

by Elizabeth @

2-3 organic apples, diced
1/4 C organic raisins, soaked
1/4 C Incan golden berries, soaked (I ordered them here)
Broccoli sprouts
Juice of 1 small lemon
Mix the apple, raisins, and Incan berries in a bowl with the lemon juice, top with broccoli sprouts. I find that the simple raw recipes taste the best...this is an example of that. Enjoy!

Now on to this post's topic.
I looked up the definition of "health" in the Second College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary and it defines 'health' as:
1. The overall condition of an organism at a given time.
2. Soundness, esp. of body or mind; freedom from disease or abnormality.
3. A condition of optimal well-being: concerned about the ecological health of an area.

I guess I have never really sat down to think of my personal definition of health. In the past I  had always gone about each day thinking I was healthy if I felt good and was not suffering from some sort of cold or ailment. But focusing on the dictionaries three definitions of health I can relate almost completely. But to the third one I would personally have to add: Concerned about the ecological health of an area and its result on the people of that area. 
But as I have been educating myself over the past several years about various health issues, health concerns and dietary factors, a whole new world has opened up to me and it would be a shame not to share it with those interested.

I now define my personal health as a balance between how I feel and how I think and how I positively relate to those around me. Realizing now that how I think actually directly affects how I feel physically and how I react, or choose not to react, to situations and people.

Feeling my absolute best can now only be felt living and embracing the raw vegan lifestyle. Balance is achieved in all areas for me when I adhere to it to the full extent. If I waver even a little the balance is lost, temporarily of course, and that motivates me even more to stay on the right path. It was November three years ago that I embarked upon this journey. Each day I learn more and more about its importance to health. There is just no way around it IF ones goal is true health and healing, at least in my eyes. 

An important fact that I have learned along my own personal health journey is that one cannot separate mental health from bodily health; they in fact are so tightly woven together that it is simply impossible not to address both simultaneously. I remember as a small child my mother telling me the power that the mind has over healing the body. I never really knew exactly what she meant by that statement but now as an adult it is crystal clear.
Emotions, past traumas, and chronic stress can actually manifest themselves later in life as "disease"; a state of dis-ease if you will. Not to be taken lightly, these manifestations can be in the form of hypertension, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks and even cancer--just to name a few! There are soooo many negative health effects resulting from chronic stress.
Stress over a period of time, coupled with a toxic lifestyle can do great harm but the beautiful thing is it can be rectified, providing the person is willing to take ownership of his own health and arm himself with the proper knowledge.
Knowledge is power isn't it? Fear seems to dissolve away as each new piece of vital information is learned. This knowledge can set one in action either down the right path or the wrong path. Don't always assume that conventional Western medicine is the right path. Other alternatives may actually be the key to saving one's life or at least turning it in the right direction; further away from the toxic overload. I personally feel both means can work together in certain situations. It can be a real reality check, at least it was for me, to learn that our health is not always in the best hands when it comes to seeking "treatment" from conventional doctors only. All I'm saying is do the research; don't just take another person's word for things even if it is your doctor's word--do the research then make those crucial health decisions. Or ask someone to help you if you are not able to due to your current state of health. Sometimes being wrapped up in the reality of a new medical diagnosis can send one into a tailspin. That is when we need those loving people around us to step in and help with the research.

I have a great resource for those of you who like researching and reading actual medical studies to empower yourself with knowledge when it comes to health. A great deal of the information can be accessed for free but some of the articles do require a small membership fee. I personally only access the free materials and signed up for the free newsletter. It takes a while to figure out how to navigate the site but it is so worth it. And so far so good, I have been able to find all of the information I needed personally without having to spend a penny. It is  Quoting them directly;it is, "A Hydro-Powered Natural Medicine Database with study abstracts indexed and growing daily."

This leads me to the title of today's blog post, "My Favorite Thing About Online Health Communities". So many of my questions have been answered in a split second just by clicking links, researching and seeking out the valid and reputable online health sources that are available to anyone willing to spend the time and effort. On online health communities I have found books, medical articles, naturopath articles, recipes, remedies, personal experiences, meetup groups, amazing bloggers and kind, giving people who go out of their way to help you get the information needed. I just can't say enough about how grateful I am for this online world at my fingertips. One quickly learns how to weed through the trash and find the real treasures when it comes to online sources. So do be careful and read, read, read. If you aren't familiar with reading medical journal articles seek out someone you can trust who is. A pattern will begin to emerge before your eyes and things become very clear. It just takes time and consistency, but the answers are out there for almost anything that one needs.
 Peace and Raw Health!

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for those who give of themselves so freely.

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