The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas

The New Vegetarian Epicure

The following is excerpted from the Introduction from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas published in 1972.   Since then there have been a couple of editions with The New Vegetarian Epicure being the most recent.

Good Food is the celebration of life and it seems absurd to me that in celebrating life we should take life. That is why I don’t eat flesh.  I see no need for killing.

There are increasing numbers who, like myself, are for one reason or another rejecting meat, fish, and fowl and turning to a vegetarian diet. We certainly don’t have to kill to nourish our bodies.  All the proteins, vitamins and minerals that we require in order to live and to be healthy are easily available in the endless variety of plant life, and in those gifts animals give us painlessly, such as milk and eggs.

Many of us today turn to vegetarianism through enlightened self-interest.  Among its advantages is the primacy of plants in the food chain.  Plants are eaten by animals, certain of which are eaten by other animals, and so forth.  The closer we stay to the beginning of the food chain, the more food there is to support the burgeoning population of this earth.

People have approached me, puzzled, and ask how vegetarians eat.  Their puzzlement is genuine.  They try to imagine their own meals without meat and shudder.  But when I imagine their meals I shudder too, because the standard American diet is so appalling in its lack of imagination.  Even in finer cooking,  the variety is largely limited to the preparation of the main course, almost without exception meat or fish.  The menu is thus rigidly standardized.  There is one important item: the entree and in a very secondary place, really playing the role of uninspired accompaniment to the meat are such things as the salad, vegetables, and bread.  The standard menu is served with but little change day after day, week after week, the “square” meal certainly is.

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Illuminating The Shadows- A Radical Act of KIndness- by Matt Licata

What is the “shadow“,anyway? What are these “unwanted” parts of ourselves that we have spent so much of our lives avoiding, never contacting, never allowing into the light of conscious awareness?

When I use the words shadow, unwanted and abandoned I am referring to those feelings, emotions, and qualities which as young children we very intelligently disconnected, dissociated, or split off from in order to maintain the critical tie to our caregivers.  In other words, there were certain feelings and ways of being, when expressed that led to the withdrawal of mirroring, contact, and attunement from those important figures around us.  As a result, our little brains, hearts, and nervous systems became overwhelmed with intense material which we did not have the developmental capacity to digest.

In response, we brought forward various strategies of dissociation and defense, all in the attempt to care for ourselves.  It took a tremendous amount of intelligence and creativity, actually, to remove ourselves from conscious experience.  Even though these strategies were critical in preserving the integrity of our sense of self-as well as in some cases our actual psychic or physical survival- they did not dissolve this material and purge it from our tender, sensitive systems.  Rather, it simply became pushed into the unconscious, into somatic coagulation, forming what some refer to as the “shadow“.

For most of us, this undigested material is most vividly triggered in intimate relationship, especially as we start to allow another to actually matter to us, to let them into our hearts, and to take up the journey and the risk that vulnerable, exposed, embodied intimacy will always require.  As nearly all of our early wounding arose within a relational matrix, it makes sense that it will be most powerfully activated (as well as untangled) in an interpersonal environment.

So the “unwanted” are those archaic organizing beliefs, feelings, and emotions which, when arising in the here and now, trigger a subtle(or not so subtle) survival-level sort of panic and sense of urgency.  Things just do not feel safe.  As a result, we habitually return to our young strategies to disconnect from our immediate experience, through a variety of avoidance behaviors designed to take us out of the panic and back to safe ground.  The challenge of course is that by not working with this material-and never offering it safe passage into conscious, holding, loving awareness-we continue to keep it alive, burning within us until it is inevitably triggered yet again.  It is this chronic abandonment of ourselves over time that may lead to a variety of symptoms such as anxiety, depression, flatness and so forth.

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The Untethered Soul – the journey beyond yourself- Michael A. Singer

The Untethered Soul- Michael A. Singer

Who are you really?  What would it be like to be free from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to find this kind of inner peace and freedom? The Untethered Soul  offers a simple, profoundly intuitive answer to these questions. Whether this is your first exploration of inner space or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you.

The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy.  It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness.  Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being.

“East is East and West is West, but Michael Singer bridges these two great traditions in a radiant treatise on how to succeed in life from our spiritual quest to our everyday tribulations.  Freud said that life was composed of love and work.  With great eloquence, wit, and compelling logic, Singer’s brilliant book completes this thought by showing them to be two poles of the same selfless devotion” — RAY KURZWEIL. inventor, National Medal of Technology recipient and author of The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near.

“This is a seminal book that quite frankly is in a class by itself.  In a simple, yet paradoxically profound way, Michael Singer takes the reader on a journey that begins with consciousness tethered to the ego, and ends having taken us beyond our myopic, contained self-image to a state of inner freedom and liberation.  Michael Singer’s book is a priceless gift to all who have futilely searched and yearned for a richer, more meaningful, creative life.” — YOGI AMRIT DESAI, internationally recognized pioneer of modern yoga.

The Untethered Soul- Michael A. Singer



The Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil

Viva Naturals Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Coconut oil benefits and uses go beyond what most people realize, as coconut oil — made copra or dried coconut flesh — is a true superfood.

Research has finally uncovered the secrets to this amazing superfood: namely healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These unique fats include:

  • Caprylic acid
  • Lauric acid
  • Capric acid

Around 62 percent of the oils in coconut are made up of these three healthy fatty acids, and 91 percent of the fat in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat.

Most of the fats we consume take longer to digest, but MCFAs found in coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a three-step process to be turned into fuel vs. other fats that have to go through a 26-step process!

Unlike long-chain fatty acids found in plant-based oils, MCFAs are:

  • Easier to digest
  • Not readily stored as fat
  • Antimicrobial and antifungal
  • Smaller in size, allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy
  • Processed by the liver, which means that they’re immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat

All of this shows why this oil made from coconut copra makes for a true superfood, and it’s why coconut oil benefits are so plentiful and amazing.

20 Proven Coconut Oil Benefits

According to medical research, coconut oil benefits the body in the following ways:

1. Proven Alzheimers Disease Natural Treatment

The digestion of MCFAs by the liver creates ketones that are readily accessible by the brain for energy. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy.

Recent research has shown that the brain actually creates its own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’spatient loses the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function. (1,2)

2. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure

Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol)  in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.

By Increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.

3. Treats UTI and Kidney Infection and Protects the Liver

Coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney infections. The MCFAs in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them. Research also shows that coconut oil directly protects the liver from damage. (3)

Coconut water also helps hydrate and support the healing process. Doctors have even injected coconut water to clear up kidney stones. Coconut is a powerful superfood, which is evident given all these tremendous coconut oil benefits.



4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis

In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil (VCO) reduced inflammation and treated arthritis more effectively than leading medications. (4)

In another recent study, coconut oil that was harvested with only medium heat was found to suppress inflammatory cells. It worked as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

5. Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer: one, because of the ketones produced in its digestion. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose-dependent. It’s believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover.

Two, as the MCFAs digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known to increase the risk of stomach cancer. Even in studies where cancer is chemically induced, the introduction of coconut oil prevents cancer from developing.

6. Immune System Boost (Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral)

Coconut oil contains lauric acid (monolaurin), which is known to reduce candida, fight bacteria and create a hostile environment for viruses. Many diseases today are caused by the overgrowth of bad bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites in the body.

You can replace grains and sugar in your diet with coconut oil as your natural fuel source when you’re sick. Sugar feeds the growth of bad bacteria. Instead, take one tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily when sick, and consume plenty of vegetables and bone broth as well.

7. Improves Memory and Brain Function

In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging, researchers found that the MCFAs in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects.

Across all the patients there was a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking this fatty acid. As the MCFAs are absorbed easily in the body and can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin. Thus, they are able to fuel brain cells more efficiently. (5)

8. Improves Energy and Endurance

Coconut oil is easy to digest and also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality unrefined coconut oil, you can get the most coconut oil benefits as its MCFAs are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy.

Today, many triathletes use coconut oil as their source of fuel during training and races for long-distance events. You can make a homemade energy fuel by mixing coconut oil, raw honey and chia seeds together. Simply put together one tablespoon of each and consume 30 minutes prior to exercise.

9. Improves Digestion and Reduces Stomach Ulcers and Ulcerative Colitis

Coconut also improves digestion as it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium and magnesium.

If coconut oil is taken at the same time as omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them twice as effective, as they are readily available to be digested and used by the body.

Coconut oil can help improve bacteria and gut health by destroying bad bacteria and candida. Candida imbalance especially can decrease stomach acid, which causes inflammation and poor digestion. All this together means coconut oil benefits digestive health and helps treat or prevent stomach ulcers and ulcerative colitis.

10. Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease and Pancreatitis 

The MCFAs of coconut oil do not need the pancreatic enzymes to be broken down, so taking coconut oil eases the strain on the pancreas.

Additionally, this superfood is so easy to digest that it has been known to improve the symptoms of gallbladder disease as well. Replace other long-chain fats with coconut oil to improve gallbladder and total body health.

11. Improves Skin Issues (Burns, Eczema, Dandruff, Dermatitis and Psoriasis)

Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (caprylic and lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize, making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions.

It protects the skin and has many antioxidants that make it ideal for healing the skin. In addition, the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin conditions. There’s so much unrefined coconut oil can do for skin.

12. Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Oil pulling with coconut oil has been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and help heal periodontal disease. Coconut oil is one of the most effective oils for oil pulling due to its high concentration of antibacterial MCFAs.

By swishing the oil in your mouth, the oil denatures the bacteria and sticks to it. Removing oral bacteria greatly reduces your risk of periodontal disease. If you want to heal your gums and repair your teeth, I recommend coconut oil pulling three times a week for 20 minutes a day. 

13. Prevents Osteoporosis

Oxidative stress and free radicals are the two biggest culprits of osteoporosis. Since coconut oil has such high levels of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals, it is a leading natural treatment for osteoporosis.

Another of the amazing coconut oil benefits is that it increases calcium absorption in the gut. Research on osteoporosis has found that coconut oil not only increases bone volume and structure in subjects, but also decreased bone loss due to osteoporosis. (6)

14. Improves Type II Diabetes

When cells refuse to respond to insulin and no longer take in glucose for energy, then they’re considered insulin-resistant. The pancreas then pumps out more insulin to compensate and creates an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is the precursor to type II diabetes.

The MCFAs in coconut oil help balance the insulin reactions in the cells and promote healthy digestive process. They take off the strain on the pancreas and give the body a consistent energy source that is not dependent on glucose reactions, which can prevent insulin resistance and type II diabetes.

15. Coconut Oil for Weight loss

Because of the energy-creating abilities of coconut oil and the fact it’s a no-carb oil, it is no wonder that it is beneficial in losing weight. It helps burn fat and calories, decrease appetite, and in studies it was especially helpful in losing belly fat.

Coconut’s ability to help you shed fat has been well-established. A 1985 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Healthproved that a single injection of capric acid resulted in “initially rapid, then gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight” in male rats.

It might seem counterintuitive to assume that eating coconut oil (a fat) will contribute to fat loss, but it is actually quite logical. The key to understanding this phenomenon lays in the multidimensional ability of the MCFAs to control a variety of physiological processes.

For example, in the 1985 study mentioned above, it was discovered that capric acid shows significant improvements in thyroid function, helps lower resting heart rate and assists your body in burning fat for energy.

More recently, the Obesity Research Journal published a study from Boston University Medical School that gives us a clue why MCFAs have fat-burning ability. (7)

Testing the effects that MFCAs have on fat breakdown, adipose (fatty) cells in rats were pretreated with caprylic acid. They observed that fat breakdown occurred at such a significant level that it literally mimicked the characteristics of fasting.

Fasting, in this sense, is not to be regarded as negative, but positive in that the body uses its energy reserves most effectively and speeds up the breakdown of needless fat reserves.

In the words of the researchers who conducted this study, “Such changes could contribute, in part, to weight loss in animals and humans associated with dietary medium-chain fatty acids.”

16. Building Muscle and Losing Body Fat

MCFAs aren’t just good for burning fat; they are also great for building muscle. The MCFAs found in coconut are also used in popular muscle-building products like Muscle Milk™.

The vast majority of heavily produced supplements, however, use processed forms of MCFAs. By eating actual coconuts instead, you get the “real deal.” I recommend adding three tablespoons of coconut oil to a muscle-building shake daily.

17. Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair Care

If you have dandruff or dry hair, coconut oil has the perfect fatty acids to help improve these conditions. In fact, there is so much coconut oil can do for hair. You can make homemade coconut lavender shampoo to improve your hair and use straight coconut oil as an all-natural hair conditioner.

To get rid of dandruff and thicken hair, massage one tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with 10 drops of rosemary essential oil into your scalp for three minutes. Then shower 30 minutes later.

18. Candida and Yeast Infections

A study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapyfound the capric acid and lauric acid in coconut oil made for an effective natural treatment for candida albicans and yeast infections.

To effectively kill candida and treat yeast infections, remove processed sugar and refined grains from your diet and consume plenty of healthy fats. Take one tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily as a supplement. (8)

19. Coconut Oil for Anti-Aging

According to research published in the medical journal Food and Function, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow aging. Coconut oil works by reducing stress on the liver and lowering oxidative stress. (9)

Also, researchers found that coconut oil may support detoxification because of how it works with the liver. To naturally slow aging, take one tablespoon of coconut oil with antioxidant-rich berries for breakfast. You can also apply it directly to skin for additional benefits and smoothing.

20. Coconut Oil for Hormone Balance

Using coconut oil benefits your hormones as well! Coconut oil may help naturally balance hormones because it’s a great source of saturated fat, including lauric acid. Studies have found that coconut oil may be an excellent fat to consume during menopause and also may have positives effects on estrogen levels. (10)

In order to naturally balance hormones, reduce sugar and grain consumption and load up on healthy fats from coconut, avocado, flax seeds and ghee. You can also consume other coconut forms, such as coconut butter or coconut water.


Coconut Oil Benefits - Dr.Axe

Mexican Tostada Salad

Power Food James McNair

This Mexican-style salad is great for lunch or light suppers.  Small portions can be served as a first course in a Tex-Mex dinner.

Soak beans overnight  Place in large, heavy pot along with onion, carrots, garlic, chili powder, and pepper to taste.  Bring to boil over moderately-high heat, reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender, 3 to 6 hours, depending on type of bean.  Let most of the liquid cook away.  Mash beans with potato masher or place in food processor and puree briefly until chunky.

Heat tortillas at 400 degrees F until lightly brown and crisp.  Remove to plate and spread with hot beans.  Add cooked chicken if desired.  Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, green onions, green chili or tomato salsa, a dollop of Cottage Cheese Topping, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

2   cups dried pinto, black or red kidney beans, rinsed and picked over

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped carrot

1-2 tablespoons minced or pressed garlic

3 tablespoons chili powder, more or less to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

6 large corn tortillas

2 cups cooked, shredded or chopped chicken breast (optional)

1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly shredded

2 firm ripe tomatoes, chopped

6-8 radishes, thinly sliced

5-6 green onions, tops included, thinly sliced

Fresh Tomato Salsa( recipe on Pg 54) or good-quality Mexican-style salsa

Cottage Cheese Topping(see recipe, Pg 54)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

All ages enjoy tostadas.

Power Food James McNair


How White Noise Promotes Healthy Sleep



 LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine with 20 Unique Non-Looping Fan and White Noise Sounds and Sleep Timer

Some people are lucky, they can sleep through a tornado, but most of us struggle to fall asleep in a noisy environment. So what do you do if your neighbour’s dog insists on barking all night or traffic noise keeps you awake? If that’s the case you might want to consider trying out white noise.

What is white noise?

In simple terms, white noise is a special type of sound signal which is used to mask background sounds. When used to promote healthy sleep, white noise helps to drown out sounds which might otherwise prevent you from either falling asleep or waking up whilst asleep.

In technical terms white noise can be described as noise whose amplitude is constant throughout the audible frequency range.

White light

White noise, like white light, consists of all frequencies combined together

A useful analogy is that of white light, which as we all know from school, contains all the colours (frequencies) combined together.

White noise theory has it’s origins in mathematics and engineering and these days it has applications in fields as diverse as acoustics, electronics, computer programming and even economics. If you want to delve deeper, Wikipedia which has an excellent resource on the science of white noise.


Genuine white noise can only be generated electronically and sounds similar to TV or radio ‘static’. It is not very pleasant on the ears as it contains a lot of high frequency energy. 

Other types of ‘white noise’ sounds

Sometimes “white noise” is used as a general description for any type of constant, unchanging background noise. It’s become a colloquial term for a diverse range of sounds including:

  • nature sounds – rain, sea/waves, crickets chirping, jungle etc
  • machinery noises – air conditioning units, washing machine
  • ambient soundscapes – aircraft interior, crackling campfire, crowd noise
Some people prefer to listen to these types of sounds when they’re trying to get to sleep in preference to the harsh tone of pure white noise.

Incidentally, there are many other ‘colours of noise‘ including red, brown, violet and grey, to name a few. The different colours represent a specific spectral density and they have various applications in acoustics, engineering and physics. One such variant, pink noise, has been studied as a potential sleep aid with some promising results. ((Pink noise: Effect on complexity synchronization of brain activity and sleep consolidation Junhong Zhoua, Dongdong Liub, Xin Li b, Jing Mac, Jue Zhanga, Jing Fang. Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China, Department of pulmonary, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100034, People’s Republic of China))

How does white noise work?

The idea of adding more noise in your bedroom to help you sleep may sound counter intuitive, but it works because white noise blends the external sounds (barking dog,traffic etc) into the overall background noise, so your brain pays less attention.

According to neuroscientist Seth S. Horowitz, our hearing has evolved as an alarm system, and it works even when we’re asleep. We become habituated to most background sounds unless they flag up on our cognitive radar as being worthy of attention.

It’s the context of the sound, not necessarily the volume that keeps us awake. That’s why it’s possible for some people to fall asleep in the middle of a noisy nightclub. In the same way, a distant barking dog can set off a startle response even when we’re unconscious and asleep.

Masking the noise

When you add white noise (or a similar sound) to your sleeping environment, you’re utilising a principal known as sound masking. Rather than drowning out the offending sounds, they become ‘masked’ by the frequencies of the white noise signal. We can use light again as an analogy.

Imagine being in a dark room and you switch on a flashlight. You immediately notice the light source. But what if the room is already brightly lit? The flashlight is now barely noticeable because it has been “masked” by the brighter room lights.

Sound masking - an analogy with light

Sound masking – an analogy with light

As well as helping you get to sleep, sound masking is used extensively in offices to reduce the effect of distracting conversations and also in treating tinnitus, a hearing disorder that causes a constant ringing in the ears.

Can you use music instead of white noise to help you sleep?

The sleep promoting qualities of music have been extensively studied, and indeed music has been shown to be effective in improving sleep quality. ((Music-assisted relaxation to improve sleep quality: meta-analysis. de Niet G, Tiemens B, Lendemeijer B, Hutschemaekers G. Gelderse Roos Mental Health Care, Institute for Professionalization, Wolfheze, The Netherlands.)) However, music doesn’t contain the wide range of frequencies that are needed to mask intrusive sounds, so it’s less effective than white noise in this respect. Music can also stimulate emotional responses, memories and other associations which may prove counteract your sleep promoting efforts. Music is probably more suited for relaxation rather than as a means to ‘block out’ other sounds.

Babies and white noise

All newborns start with an ‘untrained’ sleep/wake cycle. Over the first few months, babies start to adjust to the natural transition of day and night. The holy grail is to get the baby ‘sleeping through the night’. But no two babies are the same and sometimes sleep training or ‘crying it out’ leads nowhere. In these circumstances many parents turn to white noise as a baby sleep solution.

Even before they’re born, babies are quite used to loud noises. The womb, is a surprisingly noisy environment. However, all  babies have an immature nervous system which makes them especially ‘jumpy’. The ‘moro reflex‘ causes them to physically flinch when they are startled by a loud noise or loss of support. Swaddling can help stifle the physical effects of this reflex, but if sleep problems persist, white noise could provide some help.

White noise is not unlike the instinctive ‘shhhush’-ing sound parents make when trying to comfort or quieten their child. It masks any sounds which might otherwise startle the infant. Babies have sensitive hearing so it’s best to keep the volume to a conversation level.

It’s a good idea to limit the baby’s exposure to white noise. A infant brain needs stimulation in order to develop properly and over reliance on white noise may limit the range of sounds the baby gets to hear.

Ways to use white noise for sleep

Far from being limited, white noise solutions come in many shapes and sizes. From state of the art ‘sleep sound systems’ to low-tech zero-budget options, you’re spoilt for choice. Here’s our rundown of some of the most popular solutions:

Sleep sound machines/white noise machines/sound conditioners

One of the easiest ways to enjoy white noise is with a standalone sound machine. They are a great option for people who like simple, push button functionality and don’t want to tie up a CD player or computer for playback device. Manufacturers choose not to use the term “white noise machine” as modern gadgets tend to offer a range of electronic and pre-recorded sounds for you to choose from. There’s a dizzying array of machines to choose from. These are some of the most popular devices currently on the market.

Marpac Dohm Sleepmate 980A Sound Conitioner

Marpac has been making sound conditioners for over 50 years

Marpac is the grand-daddy of white noise machines. The Marpac Dohm (formerly known as the Sleepmate/Sound Screen 980A) is a variant of a design that has been around for over 50 years. Marpac describe the Dohm as a ‘sound conditioner‘ rather than a white noise machine.

It’s the only device that uses a mechanical element rather than electronics – the noise is generated by a whirring internal fan. You can change the tone by adjusting air vents on the side. Despite the lack of features, the Dohm is still going strong after all these years. The, ‘if it aint broke’  approach has won the Marpac Dohm a lot of supporters over the years and it’s recognized as the Official Sound Conditioner of the National Sleep Foundation.

Adaptive Sound Technologies (ASM) uses patented technology to generate relaxing soundscapes on the fly, eliminating repetition by blending lengthy, naturally recorded, high-definition sounds together. Their range of sleep sound machines include the  Sound+Sleep ( aka Ecotones ASM1002) and the Nomad. These devices also have an intelligent feature which automatically adjusts the volume in response to ambient sounds like coughing or snoring in the bedroom.

HoMedics makes a range of health and wellness products including sound machines for sleep, relaxation and mediation. The HoMedics SS-3000 Soundspa Lullaby is a sound machine for babies and children that includes a small night time projector which beams images onto the ceiling to accompany

Sound Oasis have been making a range of sleep sound therapy systems since 1993.  The Sound Oasis Sound Therapy System uses built in sounds such as Ocean Surf, Stream, Rain as well as a traditional white noise setting. Sound Oasis have an extensive expansion card library where you can add to the range of sounds for specific needs including baby sleep, tinnitus therapy or mechanical sounds.

Conair makes a range of no frill sound machines for those on a budget. The Conair SU1W offers 10 built in sounds including White noise, Waterfall and a Heartbeat setting. You get a timer and a nightlight, but that’s about it for the feature set. However, it’s one of few reputable sound machines on the market that you can get hold of for less than $20.

White noise solutions for free

You don’t necessarily have to spend any money at all if you want to try white noise as a sleep solution. Here are some tips that won’t cost you a penny.

  1. Use an old radio/boom-box – anything with an FM tuner should suffice. Just dial in between stations (or break the antenna) and you’ll have a perfectly good approximation of pink noise. We don’t recommend using TV as a source as the flickering light can have a detrimental effect on sleep quality
  2. Use a fan – the whirr of a standard desk fan can be ideal for sound masking
  3. Use free white noise MP3s – there are loads of places you can get free white noise and nature sound MP3’s. You’ll still need something to play the MP3s back -but any computer or mobile phone should suffice. Here are a couple of Sleep Junkiesrecommendations for making your own sleep sound track:
  • – mix and download your own custom sleep sound track. Over 50 different source sounds including Pink noise, nature sounds animals and even Darth Vader.
  • – a huge open-source (free) sound library with over 1 million downloadable clips. Just use the search engine at the top of the page and type “white noise” (or whatever you like)

White noise apps

One of the easiest ways to ways to try white noise is with a smartphone. If you’ve already got an Android device or iPhone, there are countless free and paid apps designed to help improve your sleep. The main advantage of using a white noise app is convenience. Many people already keep their phones by the bedside, so there’s no extra equipment to worry about.

One the negative side, some of the free apps use low quality sounds that might be more annoying than soothing. In addition, you’re not going to get the best sound quality with just your phone speaker. All this taken into account, white noise apps are a very popular way to get to sleep. Here are a couple of the most popular cross platform white noise and sleep apps available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows

White Noise by TMSoft (free/premium). With a recommendation by the TV celeb Dr Oz this is currently the most popular white noise app on the market. There’s over 40 sounds to choose from plus you have the ability to create your own playlists by mixing sounds together.

Relax Melodies by Ipnos Soft (free/premium) You get over 88 high quality sounds plus 6 binaural beats to use for “brainwave entrainment”.

Is white noise harmful?

No long-term studies have been made on the effects that white noise has on humans. Fortunately most of the research in this field has so far produced positive results. One study looked at noise disturbances in intensive care units (ICU) and found that episodes of wakefulness were reduced when the ICU noise was mixed with white noise. ((The influence of white noise on sleep in subjects exposed to ICU noise. Stanchina ML, Abu-Hijleh M, Chaudhry BK, Carlisle CC, Millman RP. Sleep Med. 2005 Sep;6(5):423-8. Epub 2005 Mar 31.))

Another study, although unrelated to sleep, showed that white noise proved beneficial in improving concentration and cognitive performance in ADHD patients. ((Listen to the noise: noise is beneficial for cognitive performance in ADHD. Söderlund G, Sikström S, Smart A. Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden.))

You’ll also find a lot of anecdotal evidence of parents having success with white noise for babies and infants and some small scale studies ((White noise and sleep induction. J A Spencer, D J Moran, A Lee, and D Talbert Arch Dis Child. 1990 January; 65(1): 135–137.)) have yielded some positive results.  However some scientists has suggested that excessive white noise exposure may delay infant brain development . Occasional use of white noise for babies most likely will not cause lasting detrimental effects, however you should always consult your paediatrician if you have any concerns.

Photo by jDevaun.Photography 

Jeff Mann
Jeff Mann is the founder and editor of Sleep Junkies. Get in touch at jeff [at]sleep junkies[dot]com

Tomato Pasta with Avocado Sauce

Power Food James McNair

Avocado should be treated as as an occasional source of fat instead of a frequent fruit or vegetable.  Here, in a dish adapted from Jerry Needle’s original, avocado replaces oil or butter in an uncooked melange that blends into a creamy sauce when tossed with piping hot noodles. Make only when you have flavorful tomatoes.

Mash the avocado in a mixing bowl.  Toss in onion, tomato, chopped basil and pepper to taste.  Reserve.

Cook pasta in 4 quarts boiling water until al dente.  Drain and toss in a heated bowl with reserved sauce.  Garnish with basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.  Pass Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

1 large, very ripe avocado, pitted and scooped from peel

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 cup ripe, good-tasting peeled and chopped tomato

1 cup tightly packed chopped fresh basil

Freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces fresh tomato pasta or dried whole wheat pasta

Whole fresh basil leaves (garnish)

Cherry tomatoes (garnish)

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Power Food James McNair




Why Playing with Flowers Affects Well-Being

Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening

This is an article by Fran Sorin in Common Ground magazine

Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature —-Eckhart Tolle

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love flowers. I have memories as a child of my mother bringing lilacs, irises and peonies and arranging them in vases- playing with flowers like an artist at work- until they pleased her eye.  She would then judiciously place them on the dining room and kitchen tables and buffets where several times a day I passed by and inhaled their intoxicating scents and gazed at their alluring beauty.

Without knowing it at the time, these living works of art opened me up to to the world of wabi-sabi–  an aesthetic that perceives beauty as impermanent, imperfect and transient.  Most importantly flowers made me happy.  And not just me.  A seminal 10-month study at Rutgers University of behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers showed that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.

Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude.  The reaction was universal, occurring in all age-groups.

Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods.  Specifically study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life-satisfaction.

Flowers make intimate connections.  The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends. “Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy” said Dr. Haviland-Jones, the lead researcher “Now science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well-being”.

Playing with flowers

I have been giving gardening workshops for several years throughout the U.S.  The exercise called Playing With Flowers is probably the most-loved exercise we do.

  1. Take a trip to the nearest street-vendor, farmers market, grocery store or florist that sells locally sustainable fair trade or organic flowers.  Whole Foods has a Whole Trade Guarantee for fair and ethical trades.  Slow Flowers is a new and expanding site that lists American-grown flower sources.
  2. If you’re a gardener and you have flowers blooming in your yard, you’re in luck.  Pick out as many flowers as you want, just let your eye go to what it likes and add them to your bunch.  This is not the time to scrimp.  My philosophy when doing this is more is better.
  3. Ideally you want at least 3 varieties of flowers in a range of colors.  If you want to add more freenery or flowered branches, feel free to do so.
  4. When you get home, remove any excess leaves and trim the bottoms of the stalks on the diagonal. It is easiest to use a pruner which can be obtained from any gardening store.
  5. Place the flowers in a sink filled with cool water with the stems submerged.
  6. Find any type of vase or container that could hold flowers.  Think outside the vase, you can use tea kettles, jars, glasses, cachepots or pitchers.
  7. Put on some music that you like , turn off the phone and let yourself play with different arrangements.  Experiment with a variety of combinations and see what you like and dislike.  Notice how colors, shapes and textures of leaves and flower petals work together,  If you don’t like the way it looks, dismantle and start again.You do not have to be a professional florist here. In fact, striving for any kind of perfection, negates the whole point.  This is about letting yourself go, trusting your eye and noticing all the interesting ways you come up with.
  8. You may find that critical voices in your head are quick to sabotage. This is all the product of the ego, coming up to make sure your spirit stays buried, right where the ego likes it.
  9. Notice how much you question and censor yourself.  Let your kinder, inner voice lead you through and nudge you into letting go and just being in the moment.  Remember you don’t have to do this brilliantly, you don’t even have to do it well.  You just need to do it for the sake of the childlike soul within.
  10. When you are finished playing with the flowers, place the containers in various spots in your home where you will see them often.
  11. Change the water and trim the stems every day to keep them fresh and living longer(and to continue your interaction with them).

This exercise has many benefits, including showing you how to start trusting your instincts, inspiring you to slow down and be in the moment and opening you up to the profound  beauty and power of flowers.

Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening


What is Arctic Ruby Oil?

Arctic Ruby Oil

Following has been excerpted from ImmunoCorp

Arctic Ruby Oil from Calanus ­­finmarchicus is uniquely engineered to deliver essential fatty acids to the lower part of the intestine, providing benefits above and beyond any other marine oil.

  • Increase energy
  • Improve stamina
  • Reduce gut fat
  • Key source of proteins, vitamins, minerals & antioxidants

Discovering the Power of Calanus finmarchicus

Possibly the world’s most precious marine oil comes from a sea organism Calanus finmarchicus found off the coast of Norway,—a sea organism whose phenomenal health benefits lay dormant, actually ignored by leading scientists, until a Norwegian scientist, Dr. Jan Raa, decided to look deeper.

What he discovered would shock the scientific community and contribute to Dr. Raa earning Norway’s most prestigious award, the Commander of St. Olav, presented by the King himself!

What is Arctic Ruby® Oil

It is the never-before-fished, nutrient-rich oil of the Calanus finmarchicus—a very small marine crustacean native to the North Atlantic Ocean.

Calanus finmarchicus is truly the Life Force of the most dynamic and diverse oceanic eco-systems in the world, the North Atlantic! This tiny creature is so potent—it’s the key source of energy for sustaining migrating sea birds and mammals on harsh, long journeys!

Arctic Ruby® Oil contains nutrients that are not present in any other marine oil! ONLY in Arctic Ruby®Oil are the essential fatty acids bound in the wax monoesters—THE most concentrated form of energy in all of nature!

Monoesters burn much slower than triglycerides and phospholipids. This means they are absorbed in the posterior part of the intestine where the important receptors are located that regulate fat distribution, glucose tolerance, and oxygen uptake!

Arctic Ruby Oil


All-natural Skin, Hands and Feet, Hair and Eye Care

Inner Beauty- Discover Natural Beauty and Well-Being with the traditions of Ayurveda

Ayurveda emphasizes beauty from within, a beauty that come  from health and well-being, not from cosmetics or anything that tries to cover up the true you.  Because healthy skin and beauty go hand in hand. Indian women are encouraged to care for their complexion from a very young age. Simple, all-natural beauty treatments that emphasize balance and serenity have been passed down by Indian women from generation to generation.  These easy routines for caring for your skin, hands and feet, hair, and eyes all help to balance the doshas and increase vitality, or ojas.

Ayurvedic skin care begins with abhyanga, a therapeutic self-applied oil massage that nourishes the skin,  because looking good depends on feeling good, giving yourself a massage every day may be the best beauty secret we have.  The combination of the gentle motion of the massage and the healing powers of herb-infused oils is optimum for stimulating the dosha energies to carry on their natural function and retain balance, as well as for toning the skin and its underlying muscles and tissue.  If using oils feels strange to you, start practicing abhyanga with a light oil like almond or sunflower, and focus on the soothing effects of the massage.  Abhyanga is traditionally a daily massage for the face and entire body, but if you do not have enough time for the full routine, focus on the head, face, hands and feet for maximum results.

Abhyanga self-massage is traditionally performed with oils prepared from medicinal herbs that balance the doshas.  While these herb-infused oils are readily available from specialty shops and from the resources listed in the book, it is also easy to make your own simple infused oil by combining a base oil with readily available culinary herbs, spices and flowers, many of which you might already have in your own kitchen.

Abhyanga Massage Oil

VATA Abhyanga Oil

1 cup ghee or sesame base oil.  1/4 cup mixed herbs: turmeric-root powder, fresh ginger, lotus root, fresh basil, cloves, and fresh orange peel in any combination.  Essential oils(optional): jasmine, basil, orange, rose

PITTA Abhyanga Oil

1 cup ghee, coconut, or sunflower base oil.  1/4 cup mixed herbs: turmeric-root powder, licorice root, and lemongrass in any combination.  Essential oils(optional): saffron, sandalwood, coriander, lime

KAPHA Abhyanga Oil

1 cup canola or mustard seed oil.  1/4 cup mixed herbs: turmeric-root powder, whole black-pepper corns, fresh ginger, fresh lemon peel, and cloves, in any combination.  Essential oils(optional): patchouli, lemon, eucalyptus,  cardamom

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil gently until it is beginning to boil but not smoking.
  2. Stir in the herbs and remove from the heat.
  3. Cover and let the herbs steep in the oil for 1 day or up to 2 days.  Strain the oil through a coffee filter or a double layer of cheesecloth into an airtight container.
  4. Add 5 to 8 drops of single or mixed essential oil, if desired.

Inner Beauty- Discover Natural Beauty and Well-Being with the traditions of Ayurveda




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