Tired all the time? Living in a rut?
Can’t face exercise and diets?
Get ready to change your life in just 48 hours.
By taking 48 hours out of your normal routine and following the simple suggestions inside this book you will feel fitter, slimmer and happier about yourself than you would after a visit to a health spa. The easy-to-prepare food, self-help techniques and exercises will deliver long-term health benefits when incorporated into your everyday life whilst you don’t have to compromise on the things that make life a joy – wine, puddings, cappuccinos.
90% optimum nutrition + 10% of what you fancy = Perfect health
Unique Smoothie recipe that aids weight loss and increases energy
Simple lists of energizing and cleansing foods
Full details on preparing for your weekend
How to fit the plan into the rest of your life
Tasty healthy foods – no boring rice cakes or tofu
Why waste time? Start yourself on the path to a healthier life today.
A programme in a very well-known gardening series on British TV recently started with these words: 'Plants need very little to grow healthy — just water, sunlight and nutrients, just like human beings.' Yet, how many of us treat ourselves as well as the plants we cultivate so lovingly? 'Water, sunlight and nutrients' just about sum up what Natural Nutrition is all about — looking after yourself by getting as close to nature as possible.
Natural Nutrition has nothing to do with dieting — we know diets do not work in the long term. But it has everything to do with giving your body the very best nutrition you can — four-star petrol and high-grade oil so that the body just runs and runs! So for the Weekend Plan, and hopefully the rest of your life, you're going to give yourself a gold-star service. You're going to nurture your body, mind, spirit and, most importantly, your cells. For without healthy cells you can't have a healthy body or a happy mind. They're the very basis of your well-being and determine how efficiently you function, so we need to understand how they work, and why you need to give them the very best nutrition, fluids and treats!
We have trillions of these - anything from 30 to 100 trillion, no one is absolutely sure! Each of us is just a huge bunch of cells, and every single one of them carries out a valuable job. They protect us from invading bacteria and viruses, cleanse us of toxins and debris using the lymph, and continually regenerate, some at a frightening rate. Eye cells are completely replaced by new ones within 48 hours; but liver cells take six weeks to replicate.
Body cells are very similar in structure to the cells in a gaol! A cell is surrounded by a wall - a fatty membrane that allows in nutrients and substances small enough to filter through its narrow bars. But not everything gets through. And, much like prisoners in a gaol, cells communicate with each other and pass on information about stress, pain, toxicity or even happiness. If they can't communicate with each other dis-ease (not disease, but un-ease) sets in, and they become dark, cold and rigid, and nothing works quite as it should. At the very least we may experience constipation, bloating, skin problems or headaches. And, at worst, real disease may set in.
But we're about to change all that this Weekend and make our cells sing and vibrate with energy and happiness!
What we are going to give our cells this weekend for optimum health!
1. Electrolyte Balance
2. Better Nutrition
4. More Water
5. The Good Fats
6. Lots of Natural Light
7. Better Breathing
8. Freedom from Stress
Electrolytes are the mineral salts that transport electrical currents in and out of each cell. Think of all those trillions of cells carrying electrical charges constantly, much like a car battery every time the engine is turned over. Except all your cells are turning over 24 hours a day! So if you want to feel like a 'live wire', the electrolyte balance in your body has to be as finely tuned as you can get it.
Very simply put, the four main minerals that will ensure optimum cell health and therefore homeostasis — the perfect balance of fluid and electrolytes throughout the body — are sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. An upset in equilibrium causes stress and poor functioning at a cellular level. If you've ever read the packet of a rehydration medicine when you've had a bad tummy bug you'll have seen much made of the electrolyte balance.
In everyday rude health, sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium travel in and out of all the cells, in perfect harmony, day and night. Or they should do! Magnesium and potassium are primarily intracellular nutrients — they should mostly stay inside the cell — while calcium and sodium are mostly extra-cellular - they should be outside the cells.
Calcium and magnesium work together to regulate the blood, nerves, muscles and tissues in your body. Sodium and potassium help create the electrical charge that makes your muscles and nerves fire on all cylinders. To promote all of this, the four minerals need to move through the cell membranes easily and effortlessly. That movement ensures that the body is always cleansing and finding its own balance.
The trouble is, our 21st-century diet is abundant in calcium and sodium but seriously lacking in magnesium and potassium, so most of the time that perfect flow and balance doesn't exist. The cells become unhappy and don't function or cleanse properly. And every single cell in the body needs to cleanse properly if we are to lose weight, get over illness, and have a healthy, symptom-free body. A 1994 report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food included statistics that 72 per cent of women in the UK are seriously deficient in magnesium and as many as 94 per cent are seriously deficient in potassium.
During the 48-Hour Plan we're going to make sure the cells' electrolyte balance is improved by giving them magnesium- and potassium-rich foods but cutting right down on sodium- and calcium-rich foods. Don't worry: you'll get quite enough of both sodium and calcium, in their natural form, from the suggested menus, and it's worth bearing in mind that our hunter-gatherer forefathers managed to get more than 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day — without drinking any milk!
Our diet has altered more in the last 50 years than in the last 2,000 years. Since industrialization, our food has changed beyond recognition — and at an accelerated pace over the last two generations. Technology, today means that processed foods can be refined, made much tastier by the addition of large quantities of salt, sugar or fat, and stored for months.
And although this high-fat, high-protein diet has made us taller, bigger and generally more 'Amazonian' than ever before, it has not necessarily made us any healthier. In the Western world, we may not suffer from malnutrition and diseases like rickets, but according to the World Health Organization the rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease are now doubling every decade. Professor Graham MacGregor of St George's Hospital, Tooting, highlights the impact 21st-century living is having on us: 'The commonest cause of death and disability is from heart disease, and the second commonest is from cancer. These diseases are mainly caused by our appalling diet and lifestyle; and if we changed these we would live longer, and also have an enhanced quality of life as we grow older by avoiding unnecessary suffering and enjoying a healthier life.'
Historically, humans started off as nomads and hunter-gatherers — not couch potatoes slumped in front of the TV with a takeaway. Forty thousand years ago we roamed around the land, moving with the seasons, much like some wildlife still does today. We ate the food that was available close by, wherever we were. We were always ready for action with energy on-tap to fight off an attack or kill our next meal. Small meals or snacks were eaten every two to three hours throughout the day. A handful of nuts and seeds gave us our healthy oils, a couple of pieces of fruit or some berries gave us a quick sugar fix, and raw plants and vegetables were as complex a carbohydrate as we ever ate. We caught wild animals such as boar, deer or fish. But we didn't catch them every day. Archaeologists have discovered that we were healthy then, with strong bones and lean, muscular bodies. Yes, we died from simple infections, in childbirth or from accidents. But we didn't die of heart disease or cancer!
For just three days we're going to become more 'gatherers' than 'hunters' with a diet high in raw, fresh food, a few grains and without any animal products. As much as possible, the food we'll be eating will be in season and will have been grown in the country that we live in. After the Weekend, we can revert to being hunter-gatherers, with a lot more protein thrown in. But for 48 hours we are going to concentrate on the foods and techniques that help us cleanse and heal: naturally.
Detoxing is like 'taking time off work'; it gives the body a chance to cleanse and is a bit like cleaning and oiling a piece of machinery, inside and out, so it will work better and last longer! Resting the digestion allows energy that would usually be used to break down food to be redirected to the cells and tissues, so they can repair themselves by cleansing. Cleansing allows the lymph, blood and organs to clear out old, defective or diseased cells and unneeded chemicals. As the new healthy cells grow, the organs start regenerating and our level of immunity, vitality and disease resistance just soars! Over the Weekend, you're going to try some techniques to boost your body's cleansing capacity.
Cells need water - they are 75 per cent water. So water is going to figure as one of the most important requirements of the Weekend Plan. You're probably sick to death of hearing how important water is for your body, but even scientists are now telling us we are dehydrated and need to drink more water.
Dr Susan Shirreffs is an expert on rehydration and a research scientist and lecturer at the Biomedical Sciences Department at Aberdeen University. 'Even small levels of dehydration can create headaches, lethargy or just an overall lack of alertness,' she says. And at a cellular level being dehydrated can be far more serious, claims Dr Shirreffs. 'In the long term it can create problems with the renal system (kidneys) and our mental functioning, as well as our cardiovascular system.'
5.The Good Fats
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) make up the membranes of every single cell in your body and so influence the state of your health. They control how well your cells cope with what is flowing in and out of them — oxygen, fluid, waste and viruses.
Within each cell are receptor sites where vital hormones, such as insulin, and essential neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, communicate. If the cell membranes are too rigid because of a lack of EFAs, the chemicals can't dock and deliver their messages. The result can be dramatic. With these two examples, you could get blood-sugar blues from an insulin imbalance, and depression because of a shortage of serotonin.
The two essential fatty acids that our bodies need are: linolenic (Omega 3) and linoleic (Omega 6) acids. All EFAs must come from our food— our bodies can't manufacture them. But because of our modern eating habits, most of us are seriously deprived of them — especially Omega 3, which is needed in highly concentrated amounts for our brain cells, eyes, adrenal glands and nerves. Without EFAs, we can't produce prostaglandins, the hormone-like group of molecules vital to our well-being. Prostaglandins affect blood pressure, metabolism, nerve impulses and immunity, and control inflammation.
So the Weekend diet will ensure that you're boosting your intake of EFAs. You won't want to live without them once you feel the benefits — it's that instant!
Tired all the time?
Living in a rut?
Can’t face exercise and dieting?
Get ready to change your life in just 48 hours! Take 2 days out of your busy routine to follow this simple Plan and you’ll feel fitter, slimmer and happier than after a visit to a health spa. Use the Plan in your everyday life for real long-term benefits and you won’t have to deny yourself the things that make life a joy.
As well as giving you a bit of a pamper, deep-tissue massage will also help move the lymph – and it’s something you can do at home with this simple version. What you’ll be doing is slightly different from ordinary salon massage, in that you will be squeezing and stretching the connective tissues which are made up of fluids and fibres. This creates a cleansing, flushing effect similar to rinsing out a sponge, or stirring the water in a ditch that is clogged with algae!
This DIY version has been compiled for you by Janie Hildebrand, a deep-tissue masseuse, who I see regularly to benefit my neglected emotional senses, touch and smell! In between visits, I find the following plan very quick and easy to do straight after a shower or bath.
So that your hands glide over your skin easily, and to make it softer, use either almond oil or cold-pressed virgin olive oil, or any other oil you have in the house that suits your skin and doesn’t offend your nose. They all work well as ‘carrier’ oils, as well as feeding your skin. You might also like to consider adding an essential oil:
Oily & Combination Grapeseed
Dry, Sun-Damaged Vitamin E
All (if nothing else available) Virgin Olive
All – relaxing Lavender
Dry & Mature Skins Frankincense
Mature Skin Rose
Very Dry Skin Patchouli
Oily, Spotty Skin Sandalwood
All – Antiseptic Tea Tree & Eucalyptus
Have a look at the suggestions and pick your essential and carrier oils. For massages, essential oils are NOT to be used neat. Put 1-2 tablespoons of the carrier oil into a little bowl. Then add 3-6 drops of your chosen essential oil and mix it through. For repeated use you could also fill a little plastic bottle with a carrier oil and then add 5-10 drops of your essential oil; give the bottle a good shake every time.
Make sure you put plenty of the mixed oil on your hands or fingers so that these glide over your skin, much like when applying body lotion. It’s amazing how quickly a dry skin will lap it up, so keep putting on more oil till you’re really greased up! Don’t be afraid of it. The more you put on, the easier it is to carry out the suggested movements.
Again, because we are helping the lymph move, it’s important to always work in the direction of the blood flow to the heart. You work from the head DOWN and from the legs and stomach UP, just as you do with skin-brushing, but this time start with the head. You might prefer to do a massage after your bath or shower, when the skin is nice and warm and a little damp. You might find it best to sit on the edge of the bath, on the loo, or on a towel on the floor. Experiment and see what works for you.
To begin with, sit up straight in a comfy but supporting chair, or on the floor with your back against something. Slowly ‘shampoo’ your scalp all over, using the pads of your fingers, not your nails, working the oil well into the scalp. This movement is incredibly relaxing as well as being very good for your hair. Leave the oil on while you carry on with the rest of the massage.
Neck and Shoulders
Very hard to do on yourself, but what you can do, with a well-oiled hand, is to pinch the flesh along the top of your shoulder blade, between the first three fingers and thumb of the opposite hand, moving up and down the entire length of each shoulder. And then, with one hand, very gently massage the back of your neck.
Try and cup the whole of the opposite arm by placing your fingers on top and your thumb underneath. Start at the wrist and, using upward strokes, glide up the arm, pressing firmly. Repeat several times on each arm, alternating between thumb on top and thumb underneath.
In a seated position, put a foot on the opposite knee. Cradle your toes in the same-side hand, and with your opposite hand, using your knuckles only, circle all over the bottom of your foot. Squeeze the back and sides of the foot above the heel. This is where a lot of tension is held. Finish by pulling each toe firmly and briskly, making sure each one is oiled. Repeat on the other foot.
Legs and Thighs
With one foot up on the side of the bath, cup your two hands around both sides of the leg, from above the anklebone, and firmly and slowly glide both hands together right up the leg and over the knee. You might have to do this several times to make sure your whole leg has been massaged. Re-oil your hands and repeat the same on your thighs as high up as you can, but this time you can use more pressure. Repeat on the other leg.
Abdomen and Bottom
For the abdomen, just use circular movements, in a clockwise direction, as gently or as firmly as you feel comfortable with. A lot of people don’t like having their tummies massaged so see how you feel. The bottom is a very difficult muscle to work on your own, so instead give it a good scrub with a loofah when you’re in the shower!
And talking of showers – do resist the urge to jump in and wash off the oil. It won’t take long for most of it to soak in. Don’t forget that your skin is the body’s largest organ and anything on it, good or bad, is absorbed into the bloodstream. So try not to wash the benefits away. Instead, wrap up warmly in an old towelling dressing gown and have a lie-down!
Practise self-massage whenever you get the chance to spend a little bit of ‘me time’ in the bathroom. Apart from helping your lymph, it’s good to get into the habit of looking after yourself and monitoring your stress levels. Beneficial techniques such as self-massage and skin-brushing shouldn’t be rationed to a once-a-year treat, so get into the habit of doing them more often from now on. You and your body deserve them!