Thursday, 29 March 2012

Inner Smile Meditation

I'm sitting at my computer listening to a movie on the TV, Eat Pray Love and it reminded me of a meditation that is given to the main character, to smile into her liver.  I Googled it, as I have a want to do with many subjects, and found the following:

Smile into your organs and dissolve negative emotions:

In case you don’t know Chinese medicine believes there is a connection between your organs and emotions. By simply giving your organs mindful attention and filling them with more healthy energy such as smiling and breathing (more oxygen and blood flow), you are in effect shifting emotional garbage trapped in your organs. I can honestly say it does work.

Following is a simple explanation as to the emotions linked to your main organs.

1: Smile into your liver and dissolve anger:

Smiling into your liver can not only help dissolve anger and resentment but greatly assist with the decision making process. Allow yourself to forgive, accept and feel kindness.

2: Smile into your kidneys and dissolve fear:

Allow yourself to feel safe and secure. Breathe into your kidneys, feel them soften as they release fear and stress.

3: Smile into your lungs and dissolve sadness or depression:

Fill your lungs on the inhale and totally empty them on the exhale. Allow fresh new air to fill your lungs as you inhale the smiling energy. Feel them relax and release any feelings of sadness and depression.

4: Smile into your stomach and dissolve anxiety:

The stomach can often be a place where we hold lots of worry. Smiling into your stomach can greatly help bring you into the present moment releasing worry and anxiety about the past and future. Continue breathing the smiling energy into your stomach until it feels totally relaxed. A relaxed stomach means improved digestion and a calmer you.

5: Smile into your heart and dissolve hate and impatience:

Smiling into your heart can help shift cruelty, hurt, hate and impatience. Feel your heart fill with joy, kindness and compassion with each breath cycle.

6: Smile into any body part:

Of course you can enjoy a quick 5 minute smiling break by breathing into any part of your body that is overworked, fatigued or stressed. Smile into your eyes if they are tired. Smile into your jaw if you are clenching your teeth. Smile into your shoulders if they are hunched and tight. Smile into your feet if they are tired. A smile encourages you to soften, release and improve energy flow.

For more information go to:

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Where is the Research from Australia?

This is a very good question.  The large percentage of research into health and wellbeing is coming out of the US and unfortunately Australia seems to be lagging behind badly.   When you are researching any topic try to find more than one source of the information that you are looking for and always use reputable sites.  Subscribe to health newsletters from sites such as:

or check out valuable information at:

all good Ozzie sites.

Walnuts May Reduce Cancer Risk

Consuming walnuts is a risk free way for preventing and controlling cancer. Walnuts are part of the nut tree family that includes Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios. There are over 20 varieties of walnuts. The Persian walnut is the kind found in the grocery stores. The walnut itself has a soft texture and lots of good taste due to the high fat content. The U.S. grows about 38% of all walnuts, and about 90% come from California.

Nutritional Value

Walnuts are a good source of protein, dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, and a good amount of minerals.

Approximately 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin. These include key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids. There is a particular form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol, and studies have found this to offer significant protections from heart problems. Walnuts are a good source of this type vitamin E.

Walnuts are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Phytonutrients that the walnut provides has shown to be protective against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems, and type 2 diabetes. Some of the phytonutrients found in walnuts are rarely found in other common foods. These are quinone juglone, tannin telllimagradin, and the flavonol morin. The walnut also provides potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Penn State researchers found that a diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil helped the human body deal better with stress.

In 2006, researchers from the University of Barcelona’s Hospital ClĂ­nico, Spain, found that adding a handful of raw walnuts to meals high in saturated fat was more effective at limiting the ability of the harmful fat from damaging arteries than adding olive oil.

The walnut possesses a wide variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, which are known to lower chronic oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer affects one in six American men. Diet plays an important role. UC Davis and U.S. Department of Agriculture Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California have found that walnut consumption slows the growth of prostate cancer in mice. It also had beneficial effects on multiple genes that control tumor growth and metabolism. The study was done by Paul Davis, nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition and a researcher with the UC Davis Cancer Center. These findings were announced at the annual national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco. The study showed that when mice with prostate tumors consume an amount of walnuts that a man can easily eat, the tumor growth is controlled.

Davis fed a diet with whole walnuts to mice that had been genetically programmed to get prostate cancer. After 18 weeks, they found that consuming the human equivalent of 2.4 ounces of walnuts per day resulted in significantly smaller, slower-growing prostate tumors compared to mice consuming the same diet with an equal amount of fat, but not from walnuts.

Breast Cancer

In animal studies walnuts reduce breast cancer risk by half. Mice fed a diet which included walnuts every day had half the risk of developing breast cancer compared to those on a typical diet. Researchers from Marshal University School of Medicine reported this in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.

The mice were given the human equivalent of 2 ounces a day. They followed the mice through their lifespan from conception, weaning and eating the walnuts themselves. They found that the mice that were fed the walnuts developed breast cancer at half the rate, and their tumors were much smaller and they had less of them.

All cancer prevention may take is a hand full of walnuts, and a high quality diet.

This article was published on 20 October 2011 by Blanche Scarf on the following website

About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Eggs Won't Harm Your Heart

There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs and saturated fat to protect your heart. While it's true that fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, this is not necessarily a health hazard. As I've discussed on many occasions, your body actually requires cholesterol, and artificially driving your cholesterol levels down is nearly always doing far more harm than good. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol. It helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of memories and is vital for your neurological function. In other words, dietary cholesterol is your friend, not your enemy.

Besides, numerous studies support the conclusion that eggs have virtually nothing to do with raising your cholesterol anyway. For instance, research published in the International Journal of Cardiology showed that, in healthy adults, eating eggs daily did not produce a negative effect on endothelial function, an aggregate measure of cardiac risk, nor an increase in cholesterol levels.
Reference: Dr Mercola Website Newsletter, Monday 26 March 2012

How to Eat Your Eggs for Maximum Health Benefits

The CDC and other public health organizations will advise you to thoroughly cook your eggs to lower the risk of salmonella, but eating eggs RAW is actually the best in terms of your health. While this may sound like a scary proposition for many, it's important to realize that salmonella risk comes from chickens raised in unsanitary conditions. These conditions are the norm for CAFO's, but are extremely rare for small organic farms. In fact, one study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.

So, as long as you're getting fresh pastured eggs, your risk of getting ill from a raw egg is quite slim. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of the 69 billion eggs produced annually in the United States, some 2.3 million are contaminated with Salmonella—equivalent to just one in every 30,000 eggs.1

While eggs are often one of your most allergenic foods, I believe this is because they are typically cooked too much. Heating the egg protein actually changes its chemical shape, and this distortion can easily lead to allergies. If you consume your eggs in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. I also believe eating eggs raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention elements for age-related macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of blindness.

Fresh raw egg yolk actually tastes like vanilla, in my opinion. The egg white is usually what most people object to when they say they don't like the texture of raw egg. If this is an issue, consider discarding the egg white, or simply blend the whole raw egg into a shake or smoothie. Personally, I eat just the raw egg yolks—I have four nearly every morning. I remove the whites because it's just too much protein for my challenged kidneys. Beware of consuming raw egg whites without the yolks as raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to biotin. If you cook the egg white the avidin is not an issue. Likewise, if you consume the whole raw egg (both yolk and egg white) there is more than enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for the avidin binding.

If you choose not to eat your eggs (or just egg yolk) raw, soft-boiled would be your next best option. Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem for you as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.

Dr Mercola Website Newsletter, Monday 26 March 2012

1. Risk Analysis April 2002 22(2):203-18)

Free Range Eggs are More Nutritious

Mother Earth News' 2007 egg testing project clearly demonstrated the nutritional differences between eggs from free-range pastured hens and commercially farmed hens. This difference is not an occasional fluke—it's the natural and inevitable result of the diet of the hen laying the egg. Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 2 times more omega-3 fats
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
Reference:  Dr Mercola Website Newsletter, Monday 26 March 2012 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Cholesterol - The Real Truth

Cholesterol has been a hot topic for the past 30 years and unfortunately it is a substance that has been demonised by the medical profession.  The average man or woman who goes to his GP to get his cholesterol levels measured, because that is what you are supposed to do, is told that their levels are too high and as a result end up being prescribed a statin drug to lower it.  I think someone needs to write the following books - 'Everything your Doctor does not know about Cholesterol' and 'Everything your Doctor does not tell you about Cholesterol lowering drugs'.  The biggest problem with these statin drugs is that they deplete CoQ10.  The action of the statin drug is to block the production of cholesterol in the liver but in doing this they also block the production of CoQ10 as well. 

There has been an ongoing class action in America against the statin drug Lipitor and the following sides effects have been published:

Reported Side Effects of Statins

"In recent years, the American Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has issued warnings linking the use of statins to:
  • risk of serious muscle damage ("rhabdomyolysis"), and
  • risk of kidney or liver damage.
Depending on the specific statin you are taking, there may be other possible side effects."

Since the heart is a muscle it is susceptible to the effects of statin drugs and in fact there has been an increase in congestive heart failure in the US since the introduction of statin drugs.

A recent newsletter I received from Sandra Cabot's website says the following about statin drugs:

Some recent press stories about statins

The following articles have been taken from various websites - if you would like to find out more, visit the website address quoted:

Cholesterol medication linked to dementia

AAP, The West Australian March 1, 2012, 7:18 am

People who take cholesterol-lowering drugs may soon be advised to go without them as more evidence shows they are linked to higher risks of diabetes and dementia.

More than two million Australians are believed to be using statins to reduce their risk of heart disease.

But US regulators have announced these prescription drugs should carry warnings about the risk of diabetes and memory impairment.

The president of the Australasian Society for Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists, David Le Couteur, said Australia had one of the highest rates of statin use in the world.

People who were not at high risk of heart disease should reconsider using them, he said.

Warning on statins for the healthy

The West Australian January 20, 2011, 6:11 am

Questions hang over the widespread use of the cholesterol- lowering drugs statins after a study warned they could cause more harm than good in people at low risk of heart disease.
About 22 million prescriptions for statins are dispensed in Australia each year at a cost to taxpayers of $1.2 billion. But the new study cautions against them for people with no previous heart concerns.

The Cochrane Systematic Review found there was not enough evidence to recommend the widespread use of statins in people who had high cholesterol but were at low risk of heart attack and stroke.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins are the first-line treatment for cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of death.

But while their benefits for people with known heart disease are clear, it is less so for others.
The London-based researchers reviewed 14 trials of more than 34,000 patients to compare statins against dummy pills.

The trials showed statins reduced the risk of dying from nine to eight deaths for every 1000 people treated with the drugs each year.

But the new research says the results were not necessarily helpful for people at low risk because the trials were often industry sponsored, so the results could be selective and biased and some did not report adverse events.

Lead researcher Fiona Taylor, from the Cochrane Heart Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned doctors to weigh up individual risks and benefits before prescribing statins.

But heart experts said the drugs were still important for many patients and warned people with high cholesterol against going off statins without seeing their doctor.

Current guidelines from the National Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand advise using the drugs based on the patient’s risk of heart or blood vessel problems.

Though lifestyle changes were beneficial for all patients, statins were recommended for those with clinical evidence of heart and blood vessel disease or stroke.

Before taking any medication it is always wise to do your own research.  Do not take any drug without understanding what it does in the body and its possible side effects.

There is also no evidence that cholesterol lowering drugs have any benefit for women.  Not surprising as the testing has always been done on men.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Wheat gluten can act like a drug in the body

For some peole bread is physically addictive.  The gluten protein in wheat can form an opioid peptide called gluten exporphin.  This molecule is an addictive morphone-like compound.  On initial consumption, gluten exorphin causes mild euphoria, but it is not a good thing.  The exorphin is a neurotoxin and in the long term, it can damage the nervous system.  The casein protein in cow's milk is similar to gluten and can also form an exorphin.

The problem with wheat and dairy goes beyond exorphins.  These foods can also cause significant immune disruption and inflammation.  Gluten has been demonstrated to promote autoimmune disease, particularly Hashimoto's thyroid disease.  Casein promotes acne, endometriosis, and other inflammatory conditions.

Researchers ask:  "Is wheat safe for anyone?"

The infammatory, immune-disrupting effect of wheat is so significant, that it led one group of researchers to post the question: "Is gluten safe for anyone to eat"  Their research published in the prestigious journal GUT found that wheat gluten elicits a significant inflammatory response in all individuals, whether they have coeliac disease or not. (1) 

Contrary to common belief, the main symptoms of gluten sensitivity are not digestive symptoms.  Gluten affects the brain, so the first symptom of gluten sensitivity is often depression.  Gluten can be the underlying cause of headaches, fatigue, obesity, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and much more.

Gluten sensitivity is a serious medical condition that is distinct from coeliac disease, and distinct from wheat allergy.  The only way to diagnose gluten sensitivity is to try avoiding gluten for some weeks.


(1) Bernardo D et al.  'is Gliadin really safe fro non-coeliac individuals?'  Production of interleukin 15 in biopsy culture from non-coeliac individuals challenged with gliadin peptides.  Gut 2007. 56 (6): 889-90. PMID 17519496

This article was taken from Sensible News, Issue 74, March 2012, a publication of

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Welcome to Listen to Laura

The purpose of this blog is to share information that I believe will be of assistance in understanding what is good for your health.  I have been researching and studying wellness and health for the past 30 years and it is time for me to share this valuable information with you.  The blog will be an A-Z reference that you can easily refer to.

I hope you find it useful