On July 19th, my beloved father passed. This day marked the end of his long and painful nine-and a-half-year journey. He was no longer weak, unable to walk or stand and stressed by the overwhelming nature of his illness. My dad was finally free. I loved him dearly and we were very close, so his death was very sad for me but I also shared his relief at being freed from the shackles of sickness. I dream of him now, walking again and dancing in Heaven with my mother, his parents and a host of other friends and family members! The gang’s all there!
As his daughter and primary caregiver–with the support of a home-care team plus loving family and friends–I shared his nine year journey and willingly carried his burdens on my shoulders. I cried, worried, empathized and stressed over his pains, discomfort, disappointments and challenges with him. I anguished over every little problem that hurt his mind, body or soul or caused him further unhappiness. He was my dad, my heart.
He wanted to leave this earth and join the angels so badly but God had a plan so he had to wait his turn–but he moaned to me so many times how ready he was to go! That’s why when my father left this earth, I viewed it as his final passage to a happier place and I was grateful that he was at peace. I did not cry because he died, I cried because I loved him so much and will miss him forever. But I am glad he is no longer suffering.
Belly Fat Blues
Because I was so stressed out for nearly a decade, with constant worry, frustration, sadness, compassion, empathy and a host of other emotions, most of the time those feelings hit me at my core. Of course, my body responded to that decade-long onslaught of stress by holding on to fat, especially in my belly. Despite the fact that I usually ate a healthy, plant-based, whole food diet, sitting a lot at while working at my computer and juggling caregiving, marriage, social and work responsibilities–plus not exercising enough–really wreaked havoc on my health. I was becoming a fat vegan–slowly expanding over several years! Wearing black and buying bigger sizes, just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. I was feeling too tired to exercise–bloated, sluggish and heavy–despite my smoothies, salads, steamed veggies and soups–plus occasional girl’s night wine, potato chip and popcorn binges! This fat was not budging. It was time to take drastic measures.
According to WebMD: “The fat that lies just below your skin in most of your body — the kind you can grab with your hands — is called subcutaneous fat. In your belly, it’s called visceral fat because it builds up in the spaces between and around your viscera — internal organs like your stomach and intestines.
This visceral fat in your middle makes toxins that affect the way your body works, says Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, president of the American Diabetes Association. Among them are chemicals called cytokines that boost your chances of heart disease and make your body less sensitive to insulin, which can bring on diabete
Cytokines also cause inflammation, which can lead to certain cancers, says Eric Jacobs, PhD, a researcher at the American Cancer Society. In recent years, he says, scientists have uncovered links between belly fat and cancers of the colon, esophagus, and pancreas.“
After reading a multitude of scary articles, like the one above, about the health dangers of excess belly fat–along with numerous products and remedies promising a “flat belly fast”–I decided to take some much-needed time for myself in order to learn how to take better care of me: mind, body and spirit. Imagine, two weeks just for my own health and wellness reboot–what an amazing gift to give myself, I felt. So I packed my bags and headed to Atlanta, Georgia for a 15-Day Detox at the Living Foods Institute, founded by Brenda Cobb.
“Sometimes we just have to
put on the brakes, stop everything
and do something completely
different for a while.”
15-Day Complete Detox and Lifestyle Program
My 15-Day Complete Detox and Lifestyle Program included hands-on organic, vegan, raw and living foods recipe preparation during 10 of my days and all the food I eat daily plus wheatgrass juice and the alkaline water I drank while in class each day.
During the five additional Super Detox Days between 9:00am – 1:00pm while I was not in any hands-on classes, we viewed a few powerful and inspirational educational DVDs including You Can Heal Yourself, how to heal with living foods, and self-administered enema instructions.
On Super Detox days we were served only the detox liquid menu which included the Detox Green Energy Smoothie, Alkaline Water, E-3 Live Blue Green Algae, Zetox Drink and the Vita-Mineral Drink. We also drank a shot of wheatgrass juice daily. This was designed to help my body begin a good cleansing and detoxification and helped me get the best results from the program.
Treatments on each of those five Super Detox days included Chi Machine Treatment, a Rebounder Session, Infrared Sauna, and the Metatron Mat Therapy.
During the 10-Day hands-on training portion of the program our menu was expanded to include the recipes that we learned each day and our classes also included lessons on: Sprouting and Growing Wheatgrass, Sunflower and Buckwheat Greens, Emotional Healing, Medicinal Herbs, Essential Oils, Superfoods, Optimum Hydration, Positive Mental Thinking, Stress Management, Cleansing and Detoxification.
We also received colon cleansing/enema supplies and lessons on how to give ourselves an enema and a wheatgrass implant.
I was determined to take this opportunity seriously so to make the most of my detox experience, I made sure to schedule as many healing therapy sessions as possible to support my healing journey:
7 colonics – one every other day
3 one hour deep tissue full body massages
3 foot detox baths
3 reflexology sessions
3 indian head massages
10 infrared sauna sessions
1 emotional energy healing
7 chi machine sessions
7 vibration therapy sessions
12 rebounder sessions
Suffice it to say, my days were packed with lots of healthy food and healing therapies–just what I needed!
The Living Food Lifestyle Detox Protocol
The Living Foods Institute in Atlanta, Georgia is a Healing and Educational Center devoted to helping people heal from any disease, no matter how serious. They have programs to help slow and reverse aging, restore and optimize great health with positive mental thinking, emotional healing, stress management, cleansing and detoxification and the optimum organic, vegan, raw and living foods nutrition for specific needs. This is not a one size fits all which is why they work with each and every person to develop and individualized a program that will help them the most.
They believe in holistic healing of the body, mind and spirit and in using the best nutrition available including an organic, vegan diet of enzyme-rich raw and living foods. At the Institute they teach how and why organic, vegan, raw and living foods can help a person achieve optimum health and slow aging. They provide hands-on recipe instruction in their Living Foods Kitchen, where participants learn how to prepare a multitude of delicious and nutritious raw and living food recipes with ease. In fact, their Kitchen Manager and Living Foods Educator, Maria, was a wiz in the kitchen and made everyday special!
“They believe in holistic healing of the body,
mind and spirit and in using the best nutrition
available including an organic, vegan diet of
enzyme-rich raw and living foods.”
Best of all, their Living Food Programs are designed to empower people to practice good lifestyle habits while they are attending one of the Institute’s programs–and also when they return home, when they travel, attend parties and dine out. They help people to live healthy and disease free throughout life. Time and time again participants have shared testimonials stating that their programs are the most powerful they have ever attended.
They have Programs to help in the healing of all types of diseases including early to late stage Cancers of all types, even those which have metastasized to other organs, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Parkinson’s, Lupus, Lou Gehrig Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Depression, Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Pancreatitis, Arthritis, Lyme Disease, Heavy Metal Poisoning, Allergies, Sinusitis, Macular Degeneration, Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Psoriasis, Eczema, Skin Rashes, Eyesight, Mold, Fungus, Candidiasis, Back Injuries, Obesity and more.
“Living Food Programs are designed to
empower people to practice good lifestyle
habits and to help people to live healthy and
disease free throughout life.”
Some people come to Living Foods Institute because they are seriously ill and they are ready to heal and stay healthy. Others come with some health or weight issues that do not seem to be life-threatening, but none the less, they realize the importance of learning what to do to create perfect health and completely heal. Many people come who are not sick but are very intrigued with the power of organic, raw and living roods. They want to learn more, to become empowered to help themselves and their families, to prevent health issues in the future, to reverse and slow aging, and become more energetic and full of vitality. Then there are those who come to study to become Certified Educators so they can establish a business helping others while they are helping themselves as well as their personal friends and families. Each student, (like me) comes for their own personal reasons.
“The foods we ate at the
Living Foods Institute were
whole, organic, vegan, raw fruits,
vegetables, nuts and seeds.”
Why Raw and Living Foods
Organic, Vegan, Raw and Living Foods is a nutritional philosophy that believes all enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that the body needs to heal and maintain optimal health are found within the foods we eat. Proper food preparation is the key to unlocking these life-giving and healing nutrients.
Cooking foods destroys more than 90% of its nutritional value and natural enzymes that the body needs to digest the food. Enzymes are more important than any other active element as an aid to digestion and health. A lack of enzymes is a contributing factor to health problems ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Disease is caused in part by toxicity and deficiency, which is created when, among other things, we eat foods that are unnatural or lack essential nutrients. Simply put, when toxic and deficient conditions are removed from the body, it can heal itself, fight off future illnesses, and remain in total and perfect health for a lifetime.
“Living Foods are sprouted seeds, beans
and nuts which are growing a sprout
when you eat them. “
The foods they use at Living Foods Institute consist of whole, organic, vegan, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Living Foods are sprouted seeds, beans and nuts which are growing a sprout when you eat them. These nutritious foods include a variety of blended, sprouted, and dehydrated recipes. Not only do they taste delicious, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to heal the body and allow it to obtain optimal health and vitality.
About Founder and Director, Brenda Brenda Cobb
I read Brenda Cobb’s book, Living Foods Lifestyle and heard her speak at health conferences and expos over a period of years, so I was familiar with her story–and deeply impressed with her commitment to helping others. In fact, the highlight of my time at the Institute was Brenda’s passionate and inspiring kick-off presentation to our group.
Brenda, Living Food Institute’s Founder and Director, overcame breast and cervical cancer without the use of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery by following the simple principles that are taught in her Healthy Lifestyle Programs today. She eliminated all allergies, migraine and sinus headaches, acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, rheumatoid arthritis, age and liver spots, and gray hair. Her eyesight even improved! She is completely healthy and looks and feels many years younger than her actual age. Brenda now devotes her life to educating and helping others.
“I know complete healing is possible when a person has real faith and belief. God created the body to be able to heal itself and it will when it is given what it needs to do the job.
Thousands of our students have been told by their doctors that they had diseases which were hopeless, terminal or incurable, but I believe and have seen with my own eyes that with God’s help, positive thinking, emotional healing, cleansing, and optimum Organic, Vegan, Raw and Living Foods nutrition people can and do heal time and again.”
Brenda was awarded an Honorary Cultural Doctorate in Therapeutic Philosophy from the World University in September 2003 for her work in helping people heal from diseases that the medical community thought were terminal, incurable and hopeless such as helping to cure ALS in Atlanta GA.
UnCooking, Care and Community
Tales from the kitchen…
On each of the other 10 days, we gathered in the large living foods laboratory (or kitchen) for lectures and best of all, living food preparation. Each day we started the day by making enough energy soup to feed an army. We sipped on energy soup throughout the day. We also grazed on all-you-can-eat trays of fresh, organic raw vegetable crudites such as celery, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower and parsnips.
We happily embraced each day, learning fundamentals like how to soak and sprout seeds and peas and how to grow wheatgrass. The dishes we prepared become more interesting and delectable as the week progressed. After eating simple detox lunches of spinach or mesclun greens topped with several kinds of sprouts then dressed with lemon juice and cilantro, on the day we made sesame tahini and guacamole, we reacted like we were being treated to a gourmet lunch. You could almost hear the cheers! Needless to say, over the course of the 15-day program, we bonded and shared stories, feelings and experiences with each other.
Some of the healing recipes we made included:
*Chia seed veggie crackers – dehydrated
*Date raisin apple and nut cookies
*Sesame Chickpea sprout tahini – heavenly!
*Frozen banana coconut “ice cream”
*Zucchini carrot cilantro salad
*Nori Vegetable Sushi rolls
and many, more….
Of course, I will be making these delectable dishes at home and sharing them with you.
Emotional Healing is Key
Emotional healing is an intrinsic part of the Living Foods Program, so a signficant portion of the day was devoted to emotional healing group exercises–in addition to private sessions with an emotional and energy healing practitioner.
There are emotional reasons behind every illness and just changing the way we eat without getting to the root of the emotional cause is only addressing part of the problem. Feelings of anger store in the liver and problems with the liver come from chronic complaining, justifying fault-finding to deceive yourself, and just plain feeling bad. Fear stores in the kidneys and kidney stones may be lumps of undissolved anger and fear. Every disease has an emotional component that is the probable cause and how the disease began in the body.
“What we think about ourselves
becomes the truth for us, and every single
thought is creating our future.”
According to the Institute:
“Cancer’s emotional probable cause is deep hurt, longstanding resentment, a deep secret or grief eating away at the self, carrying hatreds and a feeling of “What’s the use?” Diabetes’ probable cause is a longing for what might have been, a great need to control, deep sorrow and no sweetness left. The probable cause of arthritis is feeling unloved, criticism and resentment.
What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us and every single thought is creating our future. Many of us have foolish ideas about who we are and many rigid rules about how life ought to be lived. Limiting ideas hold us back. When we are very little we learn how to feel about ourselves and about life in general by the reactions of the adults around us.
If we lived with people who were very unhappy, frightened, guilty or angry, then we learned a lot of negative things about ourselves and our world. These things accumulate into baggage that we can carry with us throughout our lives.”
“Every disease has an emotional
component that is the probable cause and
how the disease began in the body.”
At the Living Foods Institute they recognize that one of the most important parts of healing is healing the emotions and the spirit and that is why they include emotional healing as part of all of our Programs. This is one of the reasons that our students tell us that our Programs truly transformed them and helped them to heal on every level.
Graduation Day Feast Rocked!
Our class prepared all of the living, organic dishes served at the graduation. From Nori Vegetable Sushi rolls to Zucchini Pasta with Spicy Spaghetti Sauce, what a delectable feast it was!
Here are a few of my favorite dishes:
With daily instruction on how to create healthy, nourishing foods like these, my time at the Living Foods Institute was quite productive, rewarding and delightful!
Taking the Living Foods Lifestyle Home
Living Food Institute’s Programs are designed to empower people to practice good lifestyle habits while we are attending one of the Institute and also when we return home, when we travel, attend parties and dine out. They helped us with a basic foundation of healthy living guidelines, living food lifestyle principles and recipes to live healthy and disease free throughout the rest of our lives.
Want to find out how I fared when I returned home? Well, the short story is that I feel ten time better then I did when I arrived. I feel healthier, less stressed, have more energy (without my Starbucks’ Venti Latte with Almond Milk) and I feel lighter. I did not weigh myself, but I definitely lost weight and inches. I also released most of my paplpable grief over Dad’s longterm suffering and recent passing. I will be sharing my post-LFI experiences at home in upcoming posts.
The journey continues…
Have you experienced a health or lifestyle crisis?
Have you ever needed to detox, cleanse and reset your health and lifestyle?
What did you do?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
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