www.perceptionmedicine.org/ is an organization dedicated to research and advocacy for the body-mind connection and how we can physically heal from illness by looking at our relationship with our self and the world around us, addressing stored emotions and using our mind.
"When we fall too far off the path that is our life, illness is the call to come back on".
- Steve Curtis, Founder
If you are seeking more information about plant medicine, I highly recommend starting with the documentary, The Sacred Science by Nick Polizzi who like many of us, wanted to know himself better so he started exploring. What he found was a different world in South America where plants are the ultimate medicine in healing the mind and body.
The Sacred Science is also a great blog with tons of information on spirituality, Shamanism, healing plants, reconnecting with nature and ourselves.
By now you've probably heard about the new oil in town...... coconut oil. Even though it is technically a saturated fat, leading authorities are mostly agreeing that this one specific plant-based saturated fat has real health benefits (see here). Academic research is airing on the side of caution since coconut oil has not been used for long enough to have real longitudinal data, but the information we are starting to see is becoming more and more supportive of this oil.
SO GOOD in fact that you can consume this oil on a daily basis and actually see health benefits from it. Without getting too technical this type of fat is called a Medium-Chain Triglyceride or MCT fat. MCT fats are special because they are converted in the body directly to energy! Some people even take a scoop of this deliciously nutty oil before a workout.
Coconut oil has a long list of other health benefits! it is known to have antibacterial properties which help the body fight germs from the inside. It can help speed up wound healing and has been found to increase HDL (healthy cholesterol).
AND beyond the list of health benefits, there are a zillion things you can use it for like removing makeup, moisturizing skin, diaper cream, sooth a sunburn and more. it is also the BEST oil to cook with as it has an extremely high smoke point, meaning it does not oxidize into harmful fat when exposed to heat like olive oil and other more fragile oils.
See a long list of food and lifestyle uses for this amazing oil here.
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One of my favourite authors is Michael Pollan, whose work includes The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defence of Food, Food Rules and most recently, Cooked.
I like Michael because he is a journalist, not a nutritionist. He started writing about the source of our food after beginning his own research and uncovering information he felt people should know.
He proposes concepts that make us think, and proposes ways of thinking that are simple.
My favourite food rule by Michael: "Don't eat anything your Grandmother didn't eat", referring to the good old days where food was just food, not a processed, packaged something that used to once resemble food but now is far from.
Check out his website for links to books and information.