Friday, August 31, 2012

Reiki: Why Feeling Can Be Better Than Seeing

William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Man, don’t I know it? AndReiki is definitely one of those things not dreamt of in most people’s philosophies. However, in my experience, Reiki is a viable, verifiable, overwhelmingly successful and totally groovy means of energy healing.

Okay, let’s take a moment to define Reiki. Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is translated from the Japanese as universal life energy (“rei”=spiritual wisdom; “ki”=the life force). What does this mean? Well, as we learned in earth science all those years ago, everything vibrates—rocks, atoms, air, fluids, even people. A Reiki practitioner is someone who has had their own vibration raised by a Reiki Master so that he or she can feel other people’s subtle energy vibrations. With the ability to feel these vibrations comes the ability to move energy around the body.

When someone is injured physically or suffering mentally, this energy often either pools in the affected areas or avoids them altogether (most often these pools or blockages occur in the Chakras, or centers of concentrated energy in the body). A Reiki practitioner can feel these areas and, using her hands, move the energy toward or away from them, depending on the individual’s needs. The Reiki practitioner is a conduit through which energy flows (hence “universal life energy”). Because the practitioner is merely a channel, he or she is not willing the energy in any way, so Reiki is never dangerous (i.e. you don’t need to worry about the practitioner sending you her energy; that’s just creepy).

So. That’s the nuts and bolts of Reiki. Pretty crazy, right? Every single time I do a Reiki session with a client, I always wonder if it’s going to work, if this time we’ll all realize I’m making it up and imagining the results. But you know what? That never happens. Ever. I’ve never had a client who has not had an experience on the Reiki table. Either she/he feels heat or vibration, hears sounds, sees visions or colors, or experiences a great welling of emotion, relaxation or well-being. I always tell my clients to go home and settle in for a couple of days before scheduling further sessions—I want to make sure they feel the results for themselves before they go on with the treatment; most return for multiple sessions.

Still skeptical? I don’t blame you. But I urge you, if you’re at all curious, to try a Reiki session with a practitioner. Just as a little inspirational kick in the pants, here are a few other crazy invisible things that we accept as true:

1. Wind

Okay. You don’t really need much explanation here—you can’t see it, but you can feel it. You can see the wind’s presence in how it affects solid objects such as trees, clothing, laundry on a line, etc. Think about how you would describe wind to someone who had never experienced it: “So, yeah. There’s this invisible force that you can’t see or touch but can, if strong enough, knock you over…” Sounds just as out there as Reiki when you put it that way.

2. Music

Music can be heard and felt, but it cannot be seen. We can be moved to tears or to laughter by a series of sounds, but it’s almost impossible to put into words exactly what it was that moved us. Again—do the thought experiment. Explain how a series of sounds can calm or excite you just by the pressure of the vibration against your eardrum.

3. Fragrance

Same story—the scent of cookies baking can take us back to childhood; scent can move us like no other sense. How is it that this invisible force is so deftly and drastically connected to memory and emotion? I’m not talking about the science here, necessarily. I’m talking about the sheer coolness of the experience of passing by a bakery and suddenly being transported to a day when you were eight and stayed the night at your grandparents’ house, gorging yourself on warm chocolate-chip cookies (for example).

4. Subatomic Particles

This one is way out of my league, but I know that scientists believe in these things without being able to see them. They can see effects of collisions of these particles, but not the particles themselves (so I understand). Google is probably a better resource here…nonetheless. Invisible! Belief!

5. Love

Any emotion falls under the invisible belief umbrella. We know when we feel, but how hard is it to describe accurately that specific emotion to another person? (Hey—if it were easy, we wouldn’t need poetry.) If you’ve ever been in love, you’ll know how insufficient the word “love” is. The emotion is just so much more than love, right? We can’t ever perfectly describe it, but we know this love to be true—after all, we make major life decisions based on this invisible, indescribable phenomena.


So, there you have it. Five invisible things we know to be true, we feel to be true. Every one of those invisible phenomena exists because of vibration; Reiki is just another manifestation of the same thing. You’ve felt this vibration countless times—a first kiss, for example, is not so dissimilar to Reiki. As soon as that body connection is made, you feel that vibration zinging through your system, right? The other person has inspired that vibration, heightened it. This is exactly what a Reiki practitioner does. Well, okay—admittedly with less romance, a bit less intimacy and, hey, you never need to worry about what you’re going to wear.  

Published April 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM
About Amy Jirsa
Amy Jirsa is a writer, wanderer, 500 RYT yoga instructor and master herbalist. She makes her home in her studio, Quiet Earth Yoga, and on her blog, She regularly counsels clients from around the country on matters of health, wellness, and herbal support. For more herbal guidance you are welcome to contact her via her website, through Twitter @QuietEarthYoga or Facebook at Quiet Earth Yoga. Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

7 Ways New IsaLean Shakes Are More Nutritious Than Ever

The Isagenix IsaLean Shake is new and improved.
It may sound cliché, but the best of the best just keeps getting better. And, it’s true for IsaLean Shake with the introduction of Creamy French Vanilla and Creamy Dutch Chocolate flavors.
Calorie for calorie, each serving of the new shake flavors unleashes a tidal wave of nutrients designed to flood the body’s cells with what they need to thrive, build quality tissues, strengthen muscles and bones, and battle oxidative stress.
How is it possible? What’s different? And, why are these shakes even better for fighting fat and getting leaner? Here are seven reasons, based on the latest nutritional science has to offer, that make the new shakes more nutritious than ever:
  1. Myo-IsaLean Complex™—The new myo-IsaLean Complex features 50 percent more whey protein than the prior Exclusive IsaPro Complex. That’s to say that the amount of whey increased, while the amount of casein decreased. (Note: Calcium caseinate was removed and replaced with milk protein concentrate, which is 20 percent whey.) Both whey and milk protein are quality proteins, but it’s whey that packs the higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Those BCAAs are also absorbed more quickly to fuel muscle maintenance and growth (1). The extra milk protein also comes in handy because it’s absorbed more slowly, lowering glycemic response, keeping your plasma amino acid levels up over time, and warding off hunger (2).
  2. Double the filling fiber—With 8g of fiber (double compared to the previous Natural Creamy Chocolate and Vanilla flavors), the new shake flavors help keep your gut healthy and regular. The fiber also helps keep blood sugar stable and you feeling fuller, longer. The extra fiber comes from flax seed and new isomaltooligosaccharides.
  3. Prebiotics—What are isomaltooligosaccharides, you ask? Besides being hard to pronounce, this gluten-free fiber (often used in Japanese cuisine) is also “prebiotic,” meaning that it feeds healthy “probiotic” bacteria in the gut (3). These good microbes, fed well, help make up a healthy intestinal flora that can be important for gut health, the immune system, and more.
  4. Low glycemic—Can you say “slow carb”? With slightly fewer grams of carbohydrates and sugar, and more fiber, the shakes are much less likely to spike blood sugar. Getting off the blood sugar roller coaster is critical for healthy insulin control, to minimize cravings, and for healthy, long-term weight management (4-6).  
  5. Healthy fats—The new shakes have a more balanced fatty acid profile containing more omega-3 fatty acids in each serving from flax seed along with heart-healthy olive oil (the main source of fat). Also, the new shakes contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil, which are unique in that they are easily absorbed for quick energy and may support greater energy expenditure and weight control (7, 8). Note: A minor increase in cholesterol comes from the increase in whey protein.
  6. Easier to digest—More digestive enzymes, especially lactase, make the new shake flavors more easily broken down in the gut. Lactase, in particular, helps with breakdown of the milk sugar lactose, which is already low in the shake overall.
  7. Soy free—Soy, as a protein source, has never been used in IsaLean Shake. However, lecithin derived from soy was previously used as an emulsifier leading to some confusion because of a soy allergen warning on the lab. To make the label easier to understand, soy lecithin is now removed.
Besides being delicious, these new shake flavors make it easier to get leaner, faster and stay stronger, longer—ultimately leading to a health lifelong. All natural. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
We think you’ll agree, the world’s best shake just got better.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Better Brain. Better Sleep. Rest Assured.

The proven power of vigorous brain-boosting nutrients, combined with a powerful melatonin and nutrient complex spray make the Isagenix® Brain and Sleep Support System an ideal way to achieve a restful night’s sleep while supporting healthy brain function. Formulated by Dr. Michael Colgan and Isagenix Scientists this total cognitive health system is designed to work seamlessly with a total Isagenix wellness program.
Save Your Brain!
Studies show that cognitive decline begins in your 30s. The earlier you support brain health, the better. Brain Boost & Renewal provides natural dietary support for aiding memory and assisting in overall brain function.
“It’s never too early or late to start giving our brain everything it needs to build a long, healthy and sustained life. The Brain and Sleep Support System is the best investment you will ever make in the future health of your brain.” – Dr. Michael Colgan, Ph.D., CCN
The Brain Boost & Renewal:
  • Supports healthy brain function and increased cognitive function
  • Improves mental clarity, focus, concentration and memory
  • Optimizes your ability to learn new information
Rest Assured.
As we age, natural melatonin levels drop. Sleep Support & Renewal replenishes lost melatonin. Poor sleep quality is associated with problems like binge eating, weight gain, cognitive decline, impaired memory and shorter telomeres. The benefits of improved sleep quality include better focus, memory and alertness.
The Sleep Support & Renewal:
  • Reduces the time it takes to fall asleep
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Increases total time of sleep in persons who suffer from sleep restriction or altered sleep 
Measure your brain’s cognitive ability.
Standardized brain tests help define the level of brain function for each of us, thus helping scientists assess the biological age of your brain–not chronological age. In his book, Save Your Brain: Expand Your Mind, Isagenix Scientific Advisory Board Member Dr. Michael Colgan outlines online tests to help you determine the cognitive functionality of your brain. After purchasing the Brain Boost and Renewal  we recommend you go to your Back Office IsaMail and open the “Test Your Brain Now” IsaMail and follow the instructions. Brain nutrition should be a daily habit along with weekly brain stimulation to make new connections and grow new cells.
Save Money While Saving Your Brain!
Plus, save $8.90 when purchasing these two items together. Purchase your Brain and Sleep Support System today by going to your Back Office “My Orders” section. These products are sold individually, but are best when used together as a system and when combined with Isagenix Cleansing and Replenishing products like IsaLean Shake, Cleanse for Life and Ageless Essentials with Product B.
For more information about our revolutionary new Brain and Sleep Support System, check out this flyer for links to videos, training webinars, articles, tips and more.

The World’s Best Shake Just Got Better

Now available in Creamy French Vanilla and Creamy Dutch Chocolate, your favoriteIsaLean® Shake now features our new Myo-IsaLean Complex™. This propriety protein blend has 50 percent more whey protein, 100 percent more fiber, fewer carbohydrates and less sugar as compared to the current IsaLean Shake. It’s also completely soy free!
It’s the protein that makes IsaLean Shakes so different. This complete nutritious meal replacement shake uses only the highest-quality, undenatured protein sourced from New Zealand grass-fed cows not treated with hormones or antibiotics. What you get is an all-natural, great-tasting, 240-calorie shake that’s healthier and perfect for achieving your weight loss, healthy aging, and energy and performance goals.
The new Myo-IsaLean Complex provides a higher whey-to-milk ratio comparable to the nutritional value found in human mother’s milk and is clinically proven to support muscle growth and maintenance, manage healthy blood sugar levels and increase satiety. Isagenix Founder, Master Formulator and Product B Formula Developer John W. Anderson’s supercharged reformulation also includes an increased amount of digestive enzymes to help with lactose intolerance. Plus, to align with our Cheerful Planet initiative to keep our planet clean for the next generation, our new shake packaging is biodegradable. Stay tuned for exciting developments on our new corporate sustainability initiative.
Here’s what some Associates are saying about the final reformulation after months of taste testing several different flavor profiles:
“The new shakes are creamier than ever and taste so delicious; they’re the best part of my day!”
“Just when I thought Chocolate IsaLean Shake couldn’t get any better, Isagenix does it again.”
“They’re supposed to be a meal, but they taste more like dessert!”
To get the new IsaLean Shakes* delivered to your doorstep, simply add your favorite system or pak to your next Autoship order.
*Please note that those Associates who order our great-tasting shakes a la carte on Autoship or through the Wholesale Order Catalog will not receive the new IsaLean Shakes until the Original, Natural Creamy Vanilla and Natural Creamy Chocolate stocks have depleted. We anticipate that will happen fairly quickly.
For more information on our new Creamy Dutch Chocolate and Creamy French Vanilla IsaLean shakes, visit or check out our newest flyer.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Worst Ingredients In Food

Author or Source: Naturally Savvy
Do you know what's in your foods? Label reading is key for healthy eating, and we believe in it so much we made it a key part of our book, Unjunk Your Junk Food (Gallery Books). If you're just starting to read labels, we want to make it easy for you to recognize the worst of the worst offenders. Here is our list of the seven worst ingredients in food - The Scary Seven.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a concentrated and inexpensive sugar substitute made from yellow dent corn. It's used to sweeten beverages, including soft drinks, and according to the American Heart Association, these liquid calories are more likely to lead to weight gain as compared to calories from solid foods. In fact, HFCS goes right to your liver where it's converted to fat, increasing your risk of heart disease. HFCS is definitely one of the worst ingredients you can find in your junk food. 
Artificial Sweeteners
While sugar is to be avoided, many of the artificial sweeteners on the market are about as bad for you. Acesulfame potassium (also known as ace K and sold under the brand names Sunett and Sweet One) is a calorie-free sweetener, and while early studies indicated it may cause cancer in animals, little research has been done since it was approved in 1988. Aspartame, the sweetener in Equal and NutraSweet, is found in more than 5,000 products. The body converts aspartame to formaldehyde, a carcinogen that's used in embalming and to treat lumber. Aspartame has been linked to numerous adverse effects, including headaches, dizziness, mood changes, convulsions and memory loss, and the FDA has received more complaints related to aspartame than any other food additive. Neotame is chemically similar to aspartame, but there have been no long-term studies to ensure its safety. Saccharin, in Sweet'N Low, was the first commercial artificial sweetener, and it's been shown to cause cancer in animals and is a suspected human carcinogen. Finally, Sucralose, sold under the name Splenda, is 600 times sweeter than sugar, and a study out of Duke University showed it reduced the healthy bacteria in the intestines of male rats by 50 percent.
Third on our worst ingredients list is monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is an artificial flavor found in thousands of processed foods, from fast food to chips to soup. While the FDA has classified MSG as "generally recognized as safe," there have been numerous consumer complaints related to adverse reactions to foods containing MSG, including swelling, facial numbness, heart palpitations, nausea and weakness. The good news? There are lots of MSG-free alternatives out there to choose from, so you can still enjoy your favourite foods simply by choosing brands that don't contain this additive.
Artificial Flavors
When you see "artificial flavors" on a food label, it could mean a single unnatural additive or a blend of hundreds of chemicals. Strawberry flavor, for example, contains 49 chemical ingredients. Other worst offenders in this category include artificial raspberry flavor and artificial butter flavor (found in popcorn). And with so many delicious naturally flavored foods out there, why reach for something loaded with artificial ingredients?
Trans Fat
Each day Americans ingest an average of 5.8 grams of trans fat--also referred to as partially hydrogenated oils. Vegetable oils are hydrogenated to transform them from a liquid to a solid fat, which is done to create a desired consistency and to increase the shelf life of foods. But trans fat raises your triglyceride and low density lipoprotein (LDL, the bad cholesterol) levels, which not only increases your risk of heart attack, but has been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and obesity. Indeed, it's estimated that trans fats cause at least 30,000 deaths each year. Even if you already check labels for "trans fat," you could be ingesting small amounts in your foods because the FDA allows food manufacturers to state "0 trans fat" on labels if the food contains less than 0.5 grams trans fat per serving. Read the ingredients list and if you see "partially hydrogenated," you'll know it does, in fact, contain trans fat.
Artificial Colors
Found in everything from cereals to cosmetics, candy to pharmaceutical drugs, artificial colours make things look pretty, but they're deceptive. Pediatricians and parents have long complained about artificial colours in foods, and recent studies support anecdotal evidence that artificial dyes affect children's behavior. Most artificial dyes have been linked to hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and two studies have found that artificial dyes affect the behavior of children without behavioral disorders.
Prepared foods are packed with preservatives to elongate their shelf life. But these chemicals can have a detrimental effect on your health, and many are allergens and/or possible carcinogens. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) have been known to affect kidney and liver function, and they're considered a possible carcinogen. Polysorbate 60, 65 and 80 have been shown to affect the immune system and have caused severe anaphylactic shock--a potentially lethal allergic reaction. Several studies have also linked polysorbate 80 to infertility. Sodium benzoate is also linked to allergic reactions and is a carcinogen. Sulfites, a type of preservative used in dried fruit, wine, flavored vinegars, sausages and other foods, are common allergens and have been linked to headaches, bowel irritability, behavioral problems and rashes. Asthmatics need to be particularly careful about sulfites as they can cause a sudden constriction of the airways. TBHQ (tertiary butylhyroquinone), a petroleum-based food additive, has been associated with nausea, vomiting and tinnitus, and it has been linked to cancer. Lastly, nitrates, used to cure meats, combine with stomach acids to produce nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sneaky Sugar Culprits in These 6 'Healthy' Foods

Sugar is one of the nastiest culprits that the food industry sneaks into our food, wreaking havoc and slowly poisoning our bodies. We know the typical places to look for sugar: sodas, cakes, candy. What you may not realize is it can sneak your ‘healthy’ foods as well. 

Here are some of the surprising places you will find sugar:

1. Almond Milk/Rice Milk/Coconut Milk:These popular substitutes for milk can be very high in sugar. Rice milk is a starch that is broken down into liquid form so it acts just like sugar in your body. Almond milk and coconut milk are great on their own but be conscious that you are drinking unsweetened.

2. Peanut butter: In conventional peanut butter brands such as Skippy’s the second ingredient is sugar. I have found added sugar in organic brands as well. Just because the sugar is organic, it’s still sugar. Look for brands of peanut butter where there are one or two ingredients, peanut butter and possibly added sea salt. Why add anything else?

3. Tomato sauce: I quickly grabbed an organic tomato sauce the other day at the store and seemed to be adding it to everything! On top of my quinoa dishes, to every sauce, finally I stopped and thought why do I love this one so much? Second ingredient = sugar! My brain was on a little bit of a sugar kick and I had no idea. Check the ingredients of your tomato sauces and make sure there is no sugar to be found.

4. Salad dressing: Organic salad dressings may look better to the consumer than conventional, but still don’t purchase with a blind eye, this is another place sugar can sneak in. Make your own dressing with a base of oil and add whatever you like: vinegar, lemon, lime, horseradish, herbs, etc.

5. Granola: This is thought of as a healthy snack but check to make sure your granola isn’t sweetened with 20 grams of sugar. Some fantastic brands are sweetened with honey instead, which is a great alternative.

6. Yogurt: Flavored yogurts can have more sugar in them then a bottle of soda. If your yogurt is flavored and has no sugar, make sure it’s not sweetened with fake sugar (i.e. aspartame), which is a neurotoxin and in my opinion, even worse than real sugar. If you like yogurt eat it plain from grass-fed cows and for a bit of sweetness add fruit or raw honey.

A bit of sugar here and there can really add up during a typical day. Taking the time to double check is worth it for your body. Sugar spikes your blood sugar and cortisol levels causing stress on your system, keeping your blood cells from delivering energy and ultimately causing you to gain weight. Especially belly weight.

Sugar is also extremely addictive. As Dr. Christiane Northrup explains in the film Hungry for Change sugar does the same thing to your brain as heroin. Find brands you love with no added sugars or make your own from scratch. Your mind, body, and stable mood will thank you.

Published August 7, 2012 at 8:05 AM
About Brenna Taylor
Brenna Taylor is the creator of Healthy Little Bit, a blog that motivates, educates and inspires women to live healthy, energetic and fulfilling lives. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, is licensed by the AADP and believes in coaching clients based on bio-individuality, no deprivation, and that every little healthy bit counts.