Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Teaching the Body to Heal Itself


Children are prone to respiratory allergies that make them sneeze, their nose to run, their eyes to burn and water, or their throat to itch. The culprits are usually animal furs, feathers, dust, mites, pesticides residues, or various plants.
Have you ever wondered why children are prone to allergies when their level of natural antibodies should still be high?

Matt Schueler, vice president of Lehming Laboratories, has done quite a number of studies about children’s allergies. According to his findings, some children simply inherit a high number of the kind of antibodies that when they bind to certain allergies, trigger the release of excessive histamines in their bodies. Histamines cause large quantities of fluid to seep out of blood vessels and tissues, resulting in swelling, redness, itching and other allergic symptoms.

From the point of view of homeopathy, children suffer from allergies because of some imbalances in your bodily system. A balanced system is supposed to be able to identify substance like pollen, animal hair and other allergies. With homeopathic treatment, these imbalances are corrected and “heal” the body’s oversensitivity.

Technically, allergies are considered reactions only to certain foreign elements. However, an unbalanced system can compromise immune function. An allergic reaction is thus experience in the form of stress, overexertion, strong emotions, infectious disease, or adverse reactions due to a change in weather.

Children’s organs and glands are still learning to harmonize with each other and their immune system is not yet fully developed. So, simple activities like racing around the yard, scaring pets or tossing and turning around cushions could already rag them out. Children’s systems are too vulnerable for the heavy artillery of conventional, chemical medicines. So, it is always the rule of the thumb to be very cautious in administering medicines to them.

We should, for one, be very careful in giving them antihistamines and decongestants. Antihistamines are often used to dry up a runny nose. However, a runny nose is nature’s way of draining our child’s system of dead bacteria, dead white blood cells, mucus and other wastes. Decongestants, on the other hand, only irritate the nasal passages and make the child feel worse as soon as the effects wear off.

We all know that when we let someone else do things that we could well do by ourselves; we never learn to do things independently. This is exactly what happens to our body when drugs are taken to treat every symptom or infection. The body does not learn to heal itself as well on its own.

Homeopathic medicine promotes the body’s self-regulating functions so it can heal itself. Homeopathy recognizes that allergies aren’t the problems but the symptoms to a problem. By promoting the balance, the problems are solved. C.H. Blackly, a British homeopath, first discovered in 1871 that sneezing and a runny nose were due to exposure to pollen. Through the decades, homeopathy has given many important solutions to allergy researches.

Here are some homeopathic cures for very simple ailments. You can try these homeopathic medicines, made of natural compounds, at health food stores. Antimonium tartaricum alleviates itchy and burning eyes. Sulphur relieves runny nose. Dolichos pruriens relieves sinus congestion pressure. Apis mellifica relieves throat pain. Solidagho virhaurea treats inflamed eyes, dry nose and croupy cough. It is not only safe but very effective to combine homeopathic medicines together.      

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Vanishing Culture

Even though it has not much talk about these days, it is worth mentioning.  
Bayanihan, and what it stands for. Pronounced like "buy-uh-nee-hun ,"
Bayanihan is a Filipino word derived from the word bayan meaning town, nation, or community in general. "Bayanihan" literally means, "being a bayan," and is thus used to refer to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation.

Although bayanihan can manifest itself in many forms, it is probably most clearly and impressively displayed in the old tradition of neighbors helping a relocating family by getting enough volunteers to carry the whole house, and literally moving it to its new location. They do this by placing long bamboo poles length-wise and cross-wise under the house (traditional Filipino houses were built on stilts), and then carrying the house using this bamboo frame. It takes a fairly large number of people -- often 20 or more -- working together to carry the entire house.

All this is done in a happy and festive mood. At the end of the day, the moving family expresses their gratitude by hosting a small fiesta for everyone. Bayanihan has been a favorite subject of many artists.

The picture above is from a mural by Filipino National Artist Carlos "Botong" Francisco, commissioned in 1962 by UNILAB founder Jose Y. Campos, and currently on display at UNILAB's administration building in Manila.

There is also an impressive real-life photograph of bayanihan in action in National Geographic Magazine, March 1977, p. 382.  

Under the, they are silently bringing the project of Bayanihan.
Project Bayanihan seeks to bring the bayanihan spirit into the realm of world-wide computing, making it possible for people around the world to help each other and work together toward a common goal.
The software frameworks they are currently building serves as a tool that, much like the bamboo framework in traditional bayanihan, will allow people to more easily pool together and coordinate their processing resources.  

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The Wonder Tree

Its water is almost perfect, never been touch by air. It is biologically pure, with natural sugar, salt and vitamins to overcome fatigued. It is a real thirst quenching and energy giver and de-hydrator. It is best taken at freshly open cause it ferments rapidly.

Here are some benefits of coconuts water:

  1. Keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
  2. Orally re-hydrate your body; it is an all natural isotonic beverage.
  3. Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
  4. Naturally replenish your body's fluids after exercising.
  5. Raise your metabolism.
  6. Promote weight loss.
  7. Boost your immune system.
  8. Detoxify and fight viruses.
  9. Cleanse your digestive tract.
  10. Control diabetes.
  11. Aid your body in fighting viruses that cause the flu and colds
  12. Balance your PH and reduce risk of cancer.
  13. Treat kidney and urethral stones.
  14. Boost poor circulation.
The body or trunk of the coconut tree can be use as lumber and it is already commercialized. It can be used as construction support woods but not for house building itself because of it is not consider as hard wood.

Matured coconut fruit is a highly useful part of the coconut tree.

Coconut milk is extracted from grated coconut meat from these matured fruits, and makes innumerable delicious recipes. There are many tasty and healthy food mixes with coconut milk, aside from the native sweets, a mixture of the milk with malagkit, sticky rice, and many more.

Coconut oil is also extracted from these matured fruit, copra. The shell can be use as fuel and even décor as well.

The husk of coconut is natively used as husk – for scrubbing wood floors.

The leaves of the coconut tree when dried make the native broom – walis tingting.

In rural areas, folks from rural areas pick-out the ubod – heart of the palm from coconut tree that yields less or unproductive tree or coconut tress damaged by typhoon.

It is delicious in salads and lumpiang ubod, and also good to cook it with coconut milk.

Another product from coconut tree is Tuba - coconut toddy that has a stinging sweet and bittersweet taste. The process involves extracting the sap of an unopened coconut bud. The tip of the bud is lopped and the pale juice allowed trickles into bamboo containers. A sturdy tree yields about a gallon of liquid daily. The fermenting process involves the sweetish liquid is stored for one to three days in earthen jars or bottles in modern times. The rust tint of tuba is acquired through the addition of powdered bark called tangal.
In some rural places, patients suffering from tuberculosis were advised to drink or even bathe with Tuba as a cure. It is also consider as a hard drink. As Tuba is fermented, it is a good source of vinegar.

Go nuts with coconut!
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Monday, March 1, 2010

The Identity Crisis - Homosexuality

Homosexuality is a justly case of identity crisis. It is not just a gender crisis but a more subtle situation. They identify themselves not their body but they identify themselves with their mind. Entrap inside a male body, they think, the mind dictates a female identity, same as in the case of lesbians. Lesbians think they are masculine male entrap in a female body.

Every body identifies themselves as the tags as mark of their location, race or religion. One thinks I am black or brown, Chinese or Americans, catholic or Muslim, fat or skinny, tall or short, and male or female. These are the bodily levels we set note on our identity.

Just because a person is in male body doesn’t mean that the person is male; and just because a person or soul is in a female body doesn’t mean that the person is female. This is because the person is not the material body, you are not the body, I am not this body. At death you will all leave this suit of clothes behind, these bodily designations.

The gross material body is made up of the elements earth, water, fire etc., can be compared to the jacket and shirt and the subtle material mind, material desires etc., can be compared to the undershirt or underwear. In fact you are all these, you are not the jacket or the under shirt. You are covered by a gross material body and a subtle material body. You are the living entity, the life force situated within these gross and physical casings. The identity crisis exists for a person who is not aware of this fact.

Individuals in men’s bodies but who want to enjoy as women should appreciate the fact that they are not women trapped in men’s bodies rather they are living entities covered by their desire to enjoy as women, but their “female” desire is encased in a male’s body. In other words, they are actually identifying themselves to be the subtle body, the mind and desires. A person can realize that the mind is not the self. Homosexuals, for example, can separate themselves from the tendency to enjoy as women as something apart from themselves; in the same way that they can experience their body as apart from themselves.

Through meditation, a person says, “my body”, as if the body is their possession, “My mind” which point to the fact that the mind is also a possession of the person. I have a body and I have a mind – but I am neither the body nor the mind.

A person can watch images going through his mind in the same way he watches television. One can act as a witness to the activities of the mind or he may dream and say, “Oh, I had a terrible nightmare”, but as soon as the dream is gone, you still exist, as the witness viewing your dream. So you are not the mind.

Desires are continually changing. A desire to enjoy in a certain way may exist but then it goes away but the living entity stays. The living entity, who is aware of that desire, continues to exist. The homosexual should be aware that desires are changing day to day, moment to moment. The person is the one aware of these ever-changing desires, feelings and thoughts. Homosexuals can choose his ever changing desires, he can just watch and be the spectator of the streams of his desires, he can rid those perverted desires or thoughts and experience how hard to control them or he can give in to them. This shows that the person aware to make choices is apart from these flows of desires and they are not the mind’s desires or the mind itself.

Homosexuals somehow experience that their gross body is something foreign; they have the wrong kind of body on. Their subtle body, the mind does not match their gross body.
This is all due to their desires and activities in their past life, such desires and activities caused them to transmigrate to gross body which does not match up with their subtle body.

In this lifetime, we had already experienced transmigrating from on kind of body to another. The soul transmigrates from a baby body to a boyhood body, and then migrates into a young man’s body. A person who used to live in a young body now lived in a middle-aged body. And the person who used to live in a middle-aged body now lives in an old body. We see this process around us, person dropping one body, then leaving that body and taking a new one.
It is not the same body – the body of an old man is not just an old version of the same body he had as a youth. All the cells have changed, the bones have changed, the whole body is different. This is a scientific fact. The body is made up of cells which are constantly being replaced. The body is constantly changing.

“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body,
from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes
into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not
bewildered by such a change.”
(Bhagavad-gita 2:13)

In the same way that there is continuity throughout the gradual changes of the present body, there is continuity in the life of the conditioned soul. The desires that a person cultivates during the lifetime of the present gross body do not die when the body dies. They remain with the living being and act as a link or connection with the next body. The bridge between one type of body and the next is the mentality of the living being – the subtle body or mind.

To be continued.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Deadly Seven

Remember the nerve jangling thriller, Seven, and how the psycho killer stalks the trail of those guilty of the seven capital sins? Its not just in the movies that a person gets victimized and used as a living personification of sins. We’ll make a slight twist and go to the more relevant emotions in real life. In a sense, there are the seven deadly sins which continue to corrupt and consume the very being of those enslaved by them. This is no Biblical allusion for them this time, so we’ll refer to them as the

Usually, emotions connote someone who’s disturbed, lying in a couch with a psychiatrist sorting, unwinding, and unknotting intricate webs of emotional traumas and neuroses. Western emotions attributes exclusively to the workings of the mind. In our times of high specialization, the study of the mind has been compartmentalized as Psychology. Interesting to note here is the etymology of Psychology. It originally comes from the Greek word “psyche”, meaning soul. But with the more materialistic outlook with which everything must be quantified, psychology has now been converted to the study of the human mind. As for the soul, this is within the realm of belief and mystery, the scope of religion.

In the early 1900s, Freud attempted to resolve psychological conflicts by reverting to the patient’s childhood. Skeptics viewed Freudian attempts of regressing to one’s childhood as futile, as a solution was quite difficult to come by.
How is person trigger to respond with a certain emotion? The ancient book, Bhagavad-gita, elucidates, “While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment to them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises, and from anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory.

When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool (Ch.2:26:63).”

We can understand that all emotions start from that to which the senses are exposed. From the external, the internal is affects the external. A vicious cycle goes on and on.
This vicious cycle is also corroborated by the Chinese saying, “Contact with the external world generates internal emotions”. It is simply the external affecting the internal. Our senses, as active cameras and tape recorders, capture the sense-objects from the environment and then send electrochemical impulses to the brain. These are projected into the movie screen of the mind which is viewed and reacted upon by the self, you.

Aversion and attraction is at the base of the projected emotion attached to response. This response of the self enters the mind, then ethers the body mechanism as energy. So, human emotions are nothing but energy in motion traveling through the body’s energy channels.
With each emotion comes secretion of particular hormones, discharging certain electrochemical activity in the nervous system, causing alteration of the pulse and blood pressure, adaptations in respiration, and stimulation or suppression of digestion. Only when the emotion is smooth, swift, and well-balanced does the person experience a positive stimulation to his system. But should be the emotion explosive or extreme and prolonged, the body’s energy mechanism goes into some kind of shock, causing serious damage. The body’s immune system becomes impaired, thus affecting the internal organs of the body. Disease, degeneration, and debility are rooted in offensive emotions.

Wilhelm Reich, in the 1950s, was the trailblazer on the frontiers of the obvious link of emotions and psychological pathology. Yet his studies on human bio-energy have pathetically earned not just a Nobel Prize but a term in the prison cell. The controversial statement of Reich was that, “fixation and conflicts cause fundamental disturbances of the bio-electric system and so get anchored somatically. It is impossible to separate psychic from the somatic process”.

Dr. Wider Penfield, meanwhile made extensive studies on the brains of epileptic patients. He was able to map out the certain biological movements and emotions of their corresponding part in the human brain.

These “controversial” ideas boggled minds of the people in the West. It was yet to be realized that traditional Chinese medicines and Ayurvedic system had already developed a whole system of monitoring, controlling and curing the ways of roller-coaster emotions people inevitably encounter.

The Seven Deadly Emotions have always been there affecting us, making it very easy for us to relate to them. It is sad to think though the psycho-psychological link up between emotions and health has been known by the Oriental and Indian world since ancient times, Western doctors have failed to properly understand or correctly treat the ailments accompanying such emotions. Western medicines needs to first grasp an understanding of the basic dynamics of human energy.

Greed, Anger, Anxiety, Envy, Grief, Fear, and Lust are the Seven Deadly Emotions. How many people have hyperventilated and fainted because of as upsurge of emotion? How many widowers have succumbed to diseases and other fatal ailments due to the extreme grief of losing someone they loved? When we experience these emotions, how exactly do your bodies become affected? Answers to these on issues to follow. Thanks to Marilitz “thoughts”.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

thoughts on love: The Indecent Proposal


A married couple tries their chances in Las Vegas casino hoping to win and finance their dream real estate property but lose. They met a billionaire who offers a million dollars for spending a night with the wife, both agrees to recover and pursue their dream. Hoping to forget the incident, the husband insecurities increase with the fear that the relationship of his wife will prosecute.

The husband asks his wife if they had sex, and the wife said yes, and it was good. The wife files for divorce. The husband makes his final attempt to win back his wife by signing the divorce papers and giving away the one million and he succeed.
Here, love conquers sex enjoyment and money.

The Word Web defines the meaning of love as enjoy, have sex, have intercourse, lovemaking, sleep together, sexual love, and so on.
Excerpts from Wikipedia, defining love;

Love is any of a number of emotions related to a sense of strong affection and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my husband"). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
“Parting is such a sweet sorrow”. Romeo and Juliet.

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst. Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust exposes people to others; romantic attraction encourages people to focus their energy on mating; and attachment involves tolerating the spouse (or indeed the child) long enough to rear a child into infancy.

The World Defines

The Persian word for love is eshgh, deriving from the Arabic ishq. In the Persian culture, everything is encompassed by love and all is for love, starting from loving friends and family, husbands and wives, and eventually reaching the divine love that is the ultimate goal in life.

Two philosophical underpinnings of love exist in the Chinese tradition, one from Confucianism which emphasized actions and duty while the other came from Mohism which championed a universal love. A core concept to Confucianism is Ren ("benevolent love", 仁), which focuses on duty, action and attitude in a relationship rather than love itself. In Confucianism, one displays benevolent love by performing actions such as filial piety from children, kindness from parent, loyalty to the king and so forth.

In Japanese Buddhism, ai is passionate caring love, and a fundamental desire. It can develop towards either selfishness or selflessness and enlightenment. Amae, a Japanese word meaning "indulgent dependence," is part of the child-rearing culture of Japan. Japanese mothers are expected to hug and indulge their children, and children are expected to reward their mothers by clinging and seIn

Hebrew, Ahava is the most commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love of God. Judaism employs a wide definition of love, both among people and between man and the Deity. rving. Some sociologists have suggested that Japanese social interactions in later life are modeled on the mother-child amae.

In Buddhism, Kāma is sensuous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, since it is selfish. Karuṇā is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom and is necessary for enlightenment. Adveṣa and mettā are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex and which rarely occurs without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare.

In Hinduism, kāma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kamadeva In contrast to kāma, prema – or prem – refers to elevated love. Karuna is compassion and mercy, which impels one to help reduce the suffering of others. Bhakti is a Sanskrit term, meaning "loving devotion to the supreme God." A person who practices bhakti is called a bhakta.

The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman—eros in Greek—and the unselfish love of others (agape), are often contrasted as "ascending" and "descending" love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing.

 "For God so loved (agape) the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) The gift of God's son as a provision for sin was given to all humans, regardless of who we are. God's love is unconditional.

“Indecent Proposal” was more than 15yrs ago and can be hardly identify those emotions as of now. Love has become very shallow and one-sided feelings or emotions.

Can one give up the million dollars and the luxury it will bring you? We find description of love as what others can do for “me”.

Can you approved your divorce and give the money away just to win back your wife or can you give up an attractive woman for she will not be happy with you? It has become love when a wife thinks that “He will buy me a mansion because it is my dream.” Many situations create the meaning of love in which greed and self-thought is the center of the word.

We must rule-out greed, lust and selfish thoughts as “love.” We don’t want these love perversions to control our lives. We must set forth our love for others without expecting anything in return other than love itself and we must base it on the unconditional love of God for us.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Price of Smoking

Once, my father chastised a taxi driver who was about to light up a cigarette. A chain smoker in his younger days, my father told the driver of the great difficulty of having emphysema, a disorder which he got through the abuse of his lungs. Now, he has to live in a very controlled environment with inhalers always within reach. He wishes to live longer but with his condition, he feels as if death is at his doorstep. Regretful as he may be now, his abusive habit has badly taken its toll.

The hazards of smoking have caught the attention of many people. Yet, there are still those who stubbornly pursue the devastating habit. The power of advertising has surely crept in and is eating the intelligence of many persons.

Cigarette smoke contains high amounts of free radicals. Nitrogen oxides in cigarette smoke react to the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in cellular membranes, causing sells to go rancid, rigid, and then die. Vitamin E protects against these reactions. Yet, no matter how much Vitamin E a smoker takes, the free radicals continuously inhaled into his system open the door and roll out the red carpet for many diseases.

Aside from lung cancer, smoking causes emphysema and increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and clots in the legs. It also makes peptic ulcers slower to heal.
We may not be smokers nor have someone close to us who is a walking chimney, but the very air we breathe in is also so polluted. Air pollutants coming from cars and factory exhausts give us an abundant supply of nitrogen oxides, ozone, and sulfur oxides which, when inhaled, generate toxic forms of oxygen that damage our bodies.

Antioxidants are the first line of defense for us who are exposed to air pollutants. Beta-carotene, Vitamins C, E, and B12, zinc, selenium, copper, and folic acid afford us some protection. A 1988 study has found that precancerous lesions in the airways of smokers could be reversed after the smoker receives mega doses of folic acid (10mg.) and Vitamin B12 (10mg.) daily for several months.

Gross pathology of lung showing centrilobular ...Image via Wikipedia

Emphysema is a disease that gradually destroys the lungs’ fine tissues that is essential for oxygen to reach the bloodstream. Usually, when smokes enter the lungs causing irritation and inflammation, the body automatically releases an army of destructive enzymes to fight off the invader. The body also releases protective enzymes which act as buffer to protect the lungs from any injury caused by the body’s own defenses. With emphysema taking over a smoker’s lungs, the protective enzymes run amok, so the fortresses of the lungs fall.
However, once you’re told you’ve got emphysema; your life does not have to end there. With your body a bit debilitated, certain adjustments have to be made4. a change of lifestyle is definitely needed. You have no choice but to stop smoking. It is an action that you have long postponed. Perhaps certain aspects may be irreversible, but at least you slow down the disease’s progression and prevent new problems from arising. It is best that you live in the countryside where you can have a better air to breathe.

Air-conditioned rooms provide such an artificial environment for those with emphysema. Nothing beats fresh air, especially now that you have to exercise your body.
When you have those terrible coughing spells, use deep breathing. This method is done is done with the chest relaxed, making your abdomen expand upon inhalation and contract upon exhalation. Don’t pant your breath. Try to make your body relax and sink your breath down to the abdomen. This type of deep breathing will open up those constricted bronchial tubes to enable the air to flow through.

Some reclining positions can help ease and clear out congestion. Lie face down with your chest and abdomen against the floor. Support your head by resting it on your arms. Put a soft pillow under your pelvis. Another position id to lie down flat on your back with a pillow under your hips, then bend your knees. The third position is done by lying on your side. Rest your head on one arm and drop the other behind you. Put a pillow under your hips. Cough vigorously while holding any of these positions.

Once you’ve clear your lungs of mucus, exercise in the morning and evening. Here are some very simple exercises to strengthen your body;

Exercise 1: Raise your arms and use breathe deeply, filling your lungs completely, with air. Lower your arms slowly as you exhale. Repeat three times and increase as it becomes easier for you.

Exercise 2: lie on your back with your knees bent. Place a pillow for your head and bend your arms so your head rest on them. Raise your right knee toward your chest as you breathe out. Breathe in as you lower your leg. Repeat three times and switch legs.

Exercise 3: Like sit ups, lie on your back with a pillow for your head and bend your arms behind so that they rest on top of the pillow. Now raise your head and shoulders as far as you can, and exhale. You don’t have to sit all the way up. Make three repetitions and slowly increase.

With these simpler exercises and a change of habits, persons like my father can hopefully find some relief from the difficulty of emphysema attacks. The key to success is perseverance and patience when doing deep breathing and exercises. Of course, don’t forget to relax.
My father died three years ago.
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Monday, January 25, 2010


I have many athlete friends who are competing for international competitions. Many of them have seen the advantages of a vegetarian diet. But their coach has the impression that vegetarians have wobbly legs and are not very strong. For him, nothing beats the energy derived from meat. He thinks vegetarian athletes would definitely fare less in competitions than if they are carnivorous.

But what does an athlete need to compete at a high level of performance? He needs determination – he wouldn’t do well without it. Of coarse, proper training is indispensable. But without the right amount of energy, all these are meaning less.

We’ve learned of many different ways by which we can attain a high energy level; we’re also told to do the dos and don’ts of proper nutrition. Now, we can believe everything we hear – the nest is to objectively know how carbohydrates fuel the athlete’s body with loads of energy.

We are talking about two basics types of carbohydrates; starches (complex carbohydrates) and sugars (simple carbohydrates). “Blood sugar” or glucose comes from simple carbohydrates. This kind of sugar circulates in our body and supplies it with energy. Starch is the most common carbohydrates. It is made up of hundreds of chains of glucose units. Starch provides a longer-lasting source of energy, since it has to be broken sown before the body can utilizes it.

Glycogen is the result when the body converts simple and complex carbohydrates. Glycogen is stored in the muscles and the liver as energy reserve. Carbohydrates – simple or complex – basically provide energy, but it is more advisable to eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates. Such carbohydrates don’t cause a sudden shoot up of energy like simple carbohydrates, which leaves us with an energy slam.

Aside from being an excellent source of dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates usually contain large amounts of essential nutrients. Root crops like potatoes, sweet potato, cassava, ube, bean sprouts, whole grain breads and cereals, pasta are example of such carbohydrates. Suger foods only provide excess calories and leave you feeling listless later on.

Athletes interested in being vegetarians may wonder when it is the best time to eat to have more energy. Studies made at the University of Texas Exercise Science labs show that our bodies uses carbohydrates most effectively within two hours after a work-out. John Ivy suggest that the best way to fight fatigue and still feed the muscles is to eat a protein and carbohydrates meal shortly after exercising, this will maximize the absorption of essential nutrients.

Carbo-loading is commonly known to athletes. The theory behind it is that by “starving” skeletal muscles of their primary source of energy (glycogen) for a few days-by eating high carbohydrates food in much smaller amounts than normal and increasing exercise – you can coax the muscles into soaking up glycogen when foods high in carbohydrates are eaten shortly before competition. According to research, a meal heavy in carbohydrates can boost muscles glycogen by nearly 80% and enhance endurance, if not speed.

A typical carbo-load diet reduces one’s intake of complex carbohydrates by about 40%-60% and adds more protein, fats (from beans, nuts, and dairy products), and fruits. Then two or three days before competition, one must increase his complex carbohydrates to 70%-75% of his diet, and eat at least three big meals of carbohydrates, with some proteins and fats.

Doing this increases the stored glycogen in the liver and muscles. Then the body can easily retrieve the stored glycogen, which it converts to energy. Glycogen is burned first for energy, and then if more is needed, the fats are used. If there is low body fat, proteins in tissues are tapped to provide energy.

With the carbo-loading diet, some athletes report an increase in their sexual energy and a good feeling known as “runner’s high”. So, who says vegetarians have wobbly legs? In fact Mr. Coach, I have two vegetarian friends excelling in international competitions; one of them has been a vegetarian since birth.

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