Monday, February 28, 2011

The Beauty of Dry Brushing

After writing my last article on cellulitis, I felt the need to elaborate on the beauty of dry brushing the skin. Using a natural vegetable brush on dry skin is one of the best ways to exfoliate, detoxify, and stimulate the body. 

Dry brushing isn't a new fad. Dry brush treatments have been in vogue for centuries in countries like Russia, Turkey, and Scandinavia where natural cures have been favored from generation to generation. The Finnish doctor, Paavo Airola, proscribed dry brushing techniques for health improvements starting in the 1960’s, bringing the technique to a broader public with his many books on heath and fitness.  

As the body’s largest organ, the skin is responsible for eliminating approximately one pound of waste every day.  This means the skin is responsible for up to a quarter of the body’s ability to detoxify by getting rid of toxins through the sweat glands and pores. Receiving 1/3 of the body’s blood circulation, the skin is the first place we see signs of illness, dis-ease, and lack of care when it is not stimulated properly.

Dry brushing the skin is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to awaken blood flow, get rid of dead skin cells, massage the organs, stimulate nerve endings, mobilize fat that contributes to cellulitis, tone muscles, avoid water retention, and much more.

Detoxifying the Skin
When we apply a dry brush to the body, we are stimulating the lymph gland, which is responsible for white blood cells known as lymphocytes.  These cells carry nutrients throughout the body while also removing waste.  Detoxification occurs through the lymph gland by cleaning out the intestines and healing areas that need attention. Large proteins that are not easily transported by the blood are carried by the lymphatic system, which pumps this material out of the interstitial spaces in the body.  When we dry brush, we speed up this process, helping to avoid fluid build-up, which can lead to edema.

Stimulating the Organs
Through gentle strokes of the dry brush towards the heart, we are actually stimulating all of the internal organs as well as the skin by massaging connective tissue and delivering blood flow to these areas. 

Strengthening the Immune System
As toxins are cleared due to greater blood flow and stimulation of the organs, the immune system gains strength as there is less debris left to impede its function. This means that any type of discomfort including chronic illnesses can be dealt with in a more efficient manner by the body’s natural healing processes.  As the lymphatic system drains toxic mucoid substances from the body, our entire system becomes purer.

Activating Hormones and Glands
If the skin isn’t cleansed properly, the pores begin to suffocate.  Dead cells and hardened oil keep uric acid and other impurities trapped inside, making it difficult for hormones and glands to do their jobs.  This puts greater stress on the liver and kidneys as they must work overtime to try to cover for what the skin is not able to do. When we dry brush, we can then cleanse the skin on a deeper level by removing surface debris and allowing a good cleanser to sweep away deeply seated wastes.

Improving Skin Texture
By sloughing off dead skin, the pores are able to take in nutrients and skin cells are able to renew themselves. What results is glowing, soft skin that becomes finer in texture.  As the skin texture improves, the skin itself finds it easier to breathe, which is a boon to all internal functions, including digestion and neurological function.
Reducing Cellulitis
Because of the increase of circulation, dry brushing can help to soften hardened fatty deposits, or cellulitis.  In this regard, muscles also begin to become more toned as the muscle fibers are positively affected by daily brushing.  Many homeopathic doctors proscribe a dry brush regimen to patients who cannot exercise as the brushing is a passive yet effective way to create better body tone over time.

Dry Brushing, Diet, and Exercise
Dry brushing accompanied by a good diet that is high in alkaline foods is a powerful way to keep yourself young, vibrant, and glowing.  Adding a good exercise protocol is also key.  Meditation and other similar relaxation techniques help to quiet the nerves and reduce tension, which also helps us stay healthy on the physical as well as mental level.

When to Dry Brush
Dry brushing should be done just before you are about to take a bath or shower.  Take your time to cover your entire naked body with a natural vegetable fiber brush or a loofah.  The brush should have a long, detachable handle for reaching your back. The brush head itself should have a strap for easy manipulation on other areas.  Bathing or showering after brushing washes away the dead cells you have loosened.  If you are showering, an additional lift to circulation is to alternate hot water with cold water three times consecutively.  Then, after your bath or shower, dry off carefully and  moisturize your invigorated skin with plant oils like coconut, apricot, avocado, sesame, or olive.  If you have arthritis, you can mix any of these with a bit of caster or peanut oil to help reduce inflammation.

Note: Clean your brush once a week with soap and water.  Dry thoroughly in a sunny area to avoid mold.

 Applying the Technique
I generally brush from toes to head, working my way up from the soles of my feet as I brush towards the heart.  Once I reach my hands, I brush up towards the chest and shoulders. Above the heart, the strokes should go downward towards this area. 

It is best to brush in long, firm strokes or in circular strokes that cover the entire area that you are concentrating on.  Use lighter pressure on sensitive areas, firmer pressure on areas such as the soles of the feet.  As you get used to the sensation, you will be able to tolerate stronger strokes as time goes on.  Make sure you stroke each area seven times before moving to the next.

Word to the wise: never brush on infected areas, rashes, cuts, or wounds.

Dry brush every single day and you will begin to see the results of your patience and care after about a month .  Make it a beautiful ritual before your bath or shower where you take time for yourself, honoring your body and staying cognizant of your breathing as you concentrate on each healthful stroke.

 Here is a great dry brushing guide (long but worth reading) as per the site,  Natural Health Techniques:

1.     Using your right hand, gently slide the brush along your right jaw line starting from your earlobe to the underside of your chin 7 times.
2.     Place the brush at the hairline on your neck and gently pull around the right side of your neck to the Adam's apple 7 times.
3.     Hold the brush with your right hand at the bottom of your neck (where it joins the top of your back) and bring it around your neck to the right and down along your right collar bone and end up between your collarbones 7 times.
4.     Stroke your breastbone in a circular fashion to stimulate the thymus gland 7 times.
5.     Carefully brush the breast in a circular motion 7 times.
6.     Repeat the above steps for your left side holding the brush with your left hand.
7.     To stimulate the pituitary gland, hold the brush on the back of your head near the base of your neck and rock the brush up and down, then side to side, both sides 14 times.
8.     Hold the brush in your left armpit with your right hand and rotate it counter clockwise 7 times, then clockwise 7 times.
9.     Repeat on your right armpit with your left hand.
10.   Brush upward 7 times from your upper right thigh to your right armpit.
11.   Repeat process on your left side. Women may need to hold their breast out of the way with their free hand.
12.   Brush back and forth over your belly button and around your waistline 14 times (like passing a basketball behind your back).
13.   Brush in a circular motion over your belly button, counter-clockwise 7 times then clockwise 7 times.
14.   Finish brushing the front of your body in any direction starting at the bottom and brushing all the way up 14 times. Very little pressure needs to be applied to the genitals and women's breasts because the skin is sensitive and will redden if irritated.
15.   Brush up and down your spine from the base of your neck and down as far as you can 14 times.
16.   Finish your upper back by stroking it around toward your sides.
17.   Brush your spine from tailbone up as high as you can reach 14 times, holding the brush with two hands or with the detachable wooden handle.
18.   Finish your lower back by stroking it around toward your sides.
19.   Brush up from right ankle to right knee and work all the way around your leg, brushing up towards your heart.
20.   Hold the brush in the right groin with both hands and rotate it 7 times counter-clockwise, then 7 times clockwise.
21.   Repeat with the left groin.
22.   Brush from right knee to right hip 7 times.
23.   Work all the way around your leg continuing to brush upwards (towards the heart).
24.   Brush up from right ankle to right knee and work all the way around your leg, brushing up towards your heart.
25.   Brush around your right ankle 7 times.
26.   Brush back and forth over the top of your right foot from toes to ankle.
27.   Brush across your right toes on top and underneath 7 times.
28.   Brush the bottom of your right foot heel to toe 7 times.
29.   Now do the same with for the left foot, leg and thigh.
30.   Brush upward from right elbow to your armpit and shoulder 7 times.
31.   Brush from your right wrist to the elbow in the same manner 7 times.
32.   Repeat steps on your left arm.
33.   Lightly brush the webbing (or junction) between your left thumb and index or pointer finger on the palm side 14 times, then on the non-palm side 14 times.
34.   Brush your left palm from wrist to fingertips and back 7 times.
35.   Brush the back of your left hand the same way 7 times.
36.   Brush each left hand finger individually back and forth 7 times on the areas that have not been brushed yet. Then repeat with right.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reducing Cellulite Naturally

The other day I was speaking with a friend about all the creams out there in the marketplace that claim to cure cellulite. We spoke about how through the power of advertising people are lead to believe that by the simple application of a “miracle” potion, all that cottage cheese underneath the skin will magically melt away. 

Cellulite is the result of fat cells accumulating inside the skin’s connective tissue.  As these fatty deposits expand, the skin dimples, creating that less than aesthetic condition that is usually the result of a poor diet, faulty circulation, and lack of proper exercise. By treating the body from the inside, we have a much better chance at reducing and even eliminating the effects of cellulite.

Diet, Exercise, Respiration
Diet and exercise are responsible for keeping the body youthful and functioning at its optimum.  When we are not eating well, when we are not moving our bodies, and when we are not breathing deeply enough, we cannot eliminate toxins effectively. In addition to a host of other symptoms, wastes begin to collect underneath the skin, eventually hardening into balls of fat. Stress, hormonal changes, fluid retention, and weak veins and arteries can also lead to the formation of cellulite.  

Changing the diet to include whole grains, organic fruits and vegetables, and a minimum of one to two liters of pure water a day can help to sweep wastes from the system. This in combination with a good exercise program helps to discharge toxins, which in turn streamlines the body, helping to reduce cellulite. 

There are several natural products that can also help eliminate fatty deposits.  These are easy to use and are far more effective than expensive formulas that keep us addicted to unnecessary spending for the sake of our rational or  irrational vanity!

Dry Brushing
The skin eliminates wastes through the pores and sweat glands.  When these areas are clogged, toxins will collect and travel to other organs where they can wreak their own special kind of havoc.  By using a vegetable fiber brush on dry skin, the skin becomes detoxified by sloughing off dead cells and providing a gentle massage that stimulates the organs to flush out wastes.  Thirty years ago, Dr. Paavo Airola recommended this method to his patients, and it is still considered one of the best ways to contribute to the detoxification process. Dry brushing helps renew the skin, softening it and evening out texture. In this regard, it is one of the best treatments for cleansing the lymphatic system, tightening the skin, toning muscles, stimulating circulation, helping digestion, and because of all of this – reducing cellulite.

Juniper Oil
Juniper oil is an essential oil that is used by many spas to treat cellulite topically. Juniper contains three main elements responsible for stimulating circulation: terpineol, terpinen, and pinene. These components help to tone and tighten the skin while eliminating toxins subcutaneously. Mixing 30 drops of the pure oil with olive oil or any massage oil and gently working it into the skin can help drain fatty deposits as the skin absorbs the oil into the system. Using a special brush on dry skin before applying the oil is especially helpful as the stimulation prepares the area for greater absorption. 

Epsom Salts
Epsom salts have been used for centuries to treat a myriad of conditions as they help to flush toxins from the body, improving our ability to absorb nutrients.  Epsom salts consist of sulfur and magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce internal waste, regulate enzyme function, reduce stress, soothe joint pain, as well as assist the body in absorbing calcium. Sulfur contributes to the elasticity of the body by lubricating the joints. It also helps to increase cellular respiration,  blood circulation, and assist in metabolic function, which includes eliminating waste products. Adding two cups of Epsom salts to your bath will help reduce the symptoms of cellulite through its powerful ability to detoxify the body.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent home remedy for alkalizing the body. As the system becomes more alkaline, acids are reduced and fatty deposits decline as they cannot live in an alkalized atmosphere. Two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of organic honey in a glass of pure water taken on a daily basis is an ideal way to keep your system alkalized.  Adding three parts apple cider vinegar to one part massage oil can also help reduce the effects of cellulite when massaged into the area twice a day. 

Other Cellulite Treatments
·      Frequent massage can help to decrease cellulite buildup  by dissolving fatty deposits.

·      Cardiovascular exercise and weight training helps to tone the body while decreasing body fat.

·      Reducing salt intake helps to prevent water retention, which often leads to cellulite.

·      Avoiding fatty, fried, processed, and fast foods allows the body tjuno absorb nutrients more effectively while reducing toxic buildup due to additives, rancid oils, and other contaminants.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Staying in Top Form: Detox Your Kidneys!

Ancient Chinese medicine claims that the kidneys are responsible for our “essence.”   What a huge responsibility these tiny yet powerful organs have!  In this regard, they must be cleansed and maintained in order for us to achieve our deserved overall sense of well-being and health.

The kidneys are found on either side of the spine, protected by the rib cage. Filtering more than 48 gallons of blood each day, they remove toxins and wastes including highly toxic ammonia and uric acid. They also regulate sodium, phosphate, and sulfur levels, help maintain appropriate pH, and assist in the production of blood cells. Active all the time, the kidneys can become overloaded if not attended to with love and care, which means feeding them with foods that keep them nourished and functioning at their best.

Compromising the Kidneys and Liver
With an improper diet, such as one high in fatty and processed foods, the kidneys and the liver become compromised.  When the liver becomes saturated with toxic waste, it passes the excess on to the kidneys in order to help process the materials more effectively.  When both of these organs become overloaded, we can suffer from such nuisances as bloating due to water retention, urinary tract infection, mineral deficiencies, and ultimately painful kidney stones.

Detoxifying with Diet
As with all of our organs, the kidneys respond to a healthy diet that concentrates on fresh, natural foods and avoids an excess of sugar and salt.  We can tell when our kidneys are functioning well by the color of our urine, which should be colorless and odorless.  The more yellow and smelly, the more we need to detox.

Water is the most important factor in detoxifying the kidneys. Drinking at least one liter of pure water a day helps to dilute mineral salts that can ultimately turn into kidney stones. Drinking water at every available moment throughout the day means that the entire system is being flushed, helping the kidneys sweep toxins out of the body. 

Detoxifying Teas
There are many herbal teas that help the kidneys flush the body of wastes while providing the system with needed nutrients. 
Here is a brief list of some:

·      Dandelion
·      Nettle
·      Parsley
·      Milk thistle
·      Lemon balm
·      Meadowsweet
·      Water plantain
 Combining any of the above and drinking a cupful two or three times a day is an excellent way to keep the kidneys clean.  There are also some powerful Chinese teas, including Gravel root, which helps dissolve kidney stones, and Wu Zi Wan, which helps revitalize the urinary tract.

Another great kidney detox is to boil up to 12 slices of fresh peeled ginger root with a few pieces of turmeric, which acts as an astringent.  Drink with a bit of honey to offset the pungent flavor of the ginger.  (This is also a great tea for sore throats.)

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
By incorporating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables in the diet we help the kidneys to cleanse and regenerate. Raw fruits and raw or lightly steamed veggies are easier on all of the organs as they are not robbed of essential nutrients through the cooking process. Fruits bended with pure water or unsweetened apple or grape juice are a great way to detoxify the kidneys. Green leafy vegetable salads with a fresh lemon and apple cider vinegar dressing helps to keep the kidneys and other organs alkalized, which assists in destroying destructive acids in the system.  One of my favorite kidney detox recipes is a mixture of fruits and veggies:

 1 pear, cubed
A handful of fresh parsley leaves, carefully washed
½ squeezed fresh lemon
A knuckle’s length of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
A teaspoon of organic honey
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup of water

Blend, drink, enjoy!

A Word About Cranberries
Cranberries are rich in proanthocyanidin, which is a powerful antioxidant.  They also contain hippuric acid, which helps drive out toxic waste from the kidneys. Fresh, unsweetened cranberry juice is easy to find in health food stores, or you can take a cup of fresh cranberries and place them in a blender with the juice of a half lemon and pure water and make your own refreshing detox drink. This is also a great drink for women suffering from cystitis.

Fresh grape juice also helps to flush out excess uric acid from the kidneys.

Magnesium-rich Foods
The kidneys need magnesium to function well. Eating organically grown dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, arugula, and dandelion is a great way to get your magnesium.  Additionally, adding whole grains, nuts, and seeds help to maintain healthy magnesium levels.

Foods to Avoid
If you are really serious about cleansing the kidneys, it is best to avoid high protein foods such as red meat and poultry as they put an extra burden on the metabolic system.  Avoid all fried, fatty, processed, and canned foods as well as sugary desserts and overly salted recipes.

Making fresh, organic foods the basis of your diet along with large quantities of water and nutritious teas will help keep your kidneys smiling over their easy job of keeping your body healthy and toxin-free.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bach’s Concerti of Flower Remedies for Sleep

Dr. Edward Bach was a British doctor, who after tending to soldiers returning from war, collapsed and was told he had only three months to live due to a malignant tumor.  Because of his will to advance his work in medicine, he grew stronger and was able to healthfully return to his research. Frustrated by conventional medicine’s habit of focusing on disease rather than the whole person, Dr. Bach began to adapt his vaccines to a homeopathic paradigm. This lead him further into the realms of creating pure remedies and he began collecting plants and flowers for his research. In 1930 he gave up his regular medical practice to devote his life to the true healing found in nature.  His natural gifts as a healer brought him farther ahead in the field as he tested thousands of plants and flowers, finding remedies to unblock distress and disease in order to allow healing to take place. Based on each person’s mental or emotional state, he was able to create a formidable and effective way to diagnose and treat a myriad of illnesses. 

The Remedies
Bach Flower Remedies are composed of 38 different formulae that correspond to specific characteristics of the person being treated. A treatment is selected based on individual attributes, with combinations created to help transcend the problem in a natural and non-invasive manner.

Lack of Sleep
When we don’t get a good night’s sleep it is all too obvious in the way we are affected the next day.  Less productive with a poorer memory and a cranky disposition are just some of the symptoms.  As sleeplessness accumulates, it can lead to serious health problems, compromising the immune system as well as other normal functions of the body and mind. 

Sleeping Well
When we sleep well, we awaken alert, refreshed, and optimistic. A good night’s rest means we’ve completed all the necessary phases of sleep so essential for memory, muscle repair, and the release of hormones we need for appetite and growth. With rapid eye movement (REM) comprising 25% of our sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) the other 75%, we experience repetitive cycles that occur every 90 minutes to assure our bodies that we are getting what we need to incite body function to perform at its highest.  Moving through the following day with clarity, purpose, energy, and a positive attitude is the result of balanced sleeping habits.

Bach’s Sleep Remedies
There are many Bach Flower Remedies for sleep. None are habit forming, nor do they contain sedatives. These remedies help to ensure a peaceful sleep by dealing with the cause of restlessness or inquietude.  Look at the four I have listed below and then do your own research to find which ones correspond best to your condition, if you have problems sleeping.  Adding these remedies to your health protocol on top of an intelligent diet and the absence of anything overly stimulating before you hit the pillow will help you find the deep and healing sleep you deserve.

This flower helps to calm the mind. With the many distractions that occur throughout a day, we often become unconsciously preoccupied with what is yet unresolved. The brain then becomes overactive once the body slows down, keeping us awake with the torment of trying to find solutions.

Olive helps to treat profound exhaustion. Deep-seated fatigue can often come from a need for perfectionism, an overwhelming amount of responsibilities, or the inability to find resolutions to problems over time. Olive helps to regenerate the mind and the body, which corresponds to its symbol of hope and renewal.

Random thoughts, a lack of mental discipline, and lack of satisfactory conclusions can often keep us burning the midnight oil. Scleranthus is a flower that helps calm the mind so that it does not interfere with natural sleep patterns.

If you are a person who dwells on problems or who is awash with plans and ideas that do not cease, chances are that sleep doesn’t come easy. Vervain helps to relax the mental state from any type of intensity, including over-enthusiasm. Calming and medicinal, Vervain is also an excellent antidote for people who suffer from irregular breathing, called sleep apnea. Once the mind is at ease, natural breathing patterns can be normally restored.

Rescue Sleep, Rescue Night
Two formulae designed for people with insomnia or other problems related to stress, worry, impatience, and irritability, Rescue Sleep and Rescue Night help to calm the restless mind. Consisting of Cherry Plum for dissolving anger, Clematus for mental clarity, Rock Rose for dissipating panic, Star of Bethlehem for relaxing mental trauma, and White Chestnut to still the restless mind, these remedies are excellent choices when something stronger is necessary. Rescue sleep comes as a spray and Rescue Night comes in capsules or drops.

As with any homeopathic formula, consult your health-care provider before embarking on a remedy, especially if you are taking medication.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Diabetes, Diet, and Determination

More of us than we realize are victims of hypoglycemia, or pre-diabetic symptoms, with  a great portion of the population suffering unnecessarily from diabetes itself.  Allopathic doctors will proscribe a prohibitive regimen that often includes a necessary dose of insulin on a daily basis.  But my research along with that of many others shows that diabetes can be controlled through a joyful re-assessment of permissible foods that can help the body rebuild its insulin requirements naturally.

What is diabetes?
When we eat, the body’s job is to convert food into a substance that provides us with energy and helps us grow. Food is thus broken down into glucose, which is a form of sugar that provides this essential fuel.  Glucose is carried to the bloodstream by a hormone produced by the pancreas called insulin, and it is insulin that permits our cells to absorb glucose properly.  It is also through insulin that blood sugar levels are reduced, as our cells feed upon it to generate energy.  When we have too much glucose in our systems, a condition called hypoglycemia occurs, which overwhelms the pancreas and prevents it from producing enough insulin.

Without sufficient insulin, our cells won’t get enough energy.  All the excess blood sugar we are producing then passes out of the body through the urine instead of being sent to the cells where it belongs.  This causes disorder in the metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity.  The pancreas becomes overstressed as it tries to make enough insulin to cover the increase in glucose, which is generally the result of a diet too high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. 

Diabetes Type 1 is where no insulin is produced whatsoever, and is a very serious condition.  Diabetes Type 2 is where not enough insulin is produced, and is more common and easier to treat.  A pre-diabetic condition is when we first feel the signs of our cells not responding to increased blood sugar, causing symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and cravings for more sweets.

Weight Gain/Weight Loss/Breathing/Exercise
Tune in to the process, not simply the result.

People prone to weight gain are also prone to diabetes.  When the body begins to accumulate fat, insulin levels become less sensitive to glucose levels, which leads to  blood sugar increase and ultimately diabetes.  Losing weight can help bring insulin levels back to normal, allowing tissues and cells to become properly fed once again. 

Losing weight should be respected as a process, rather than an emphasis on  merely the result. Result-oriented thinking can be frustrating if your goal isn’t met in what is often set as an unrealistic amount of time. Thinking of the result  rather than enjoying the process and its benefits can lead to excessive low esteem if your weight  doesn’t come off “fast enough”.  Like anything, results are much longer lasting if the process is consistent and manageable, rather than engaging in for example, a crash diet.  Quick weight loss also stresses the body in unnecessary ways, releasing trapped toxins faster than the body’s waste processing system can handle them, creating physical discomfort and mental distress.  Usually something quick to come off is quick to come on once again, once the “diet” is over. 

Colonics and Steam Baths
Professionally conducted colonics are an excellent way to purge the organs and thus cleanse the liver, pancreas, and spleen of toxins that aggravate diabetic conditions.  I will be writing more about colonics in the future, so stay tuned.  Steam baths and regular massage also stimulate the body to secrete waste products.  When the body can eliminate toxins through healthful protocols it has a better chance of absorbing nutrients that help  produce natural insulin while building greater glucose tolerance.

Ayurvedic Advice
According to Ayurvedic medicine, which is an ancient traditional medicine study from India dedicated to detoxifying and purifying the body through natural methods, diabetics must incorporate complex carbohydrates such as whole grains into the diet.  By  eliminating sugar and fat, which tax pancreatic enzymes, along with limiting certain types of protein such as red meat, which also places a burden on the digestive system, diabetes can be controlled and substantially reduced . 

Changing Habits
Changing our habits comes first with information and then with determination. 

Creating life-long healthy habits is the best way to engage in weight loss and overcoming diabetes.  Eliminating fat-producing foods, engaging in frequent exercise such as walking, swimming, dancing, or anything that gets your body moving, and incorporating deep breathing exercises is a sure way to reducing fat and getting your body back to a weight that is healthy for you.  When hunger hits, before running to the refrigerator or cupboard, sit down and do ten slow and deep breaths and see if you are really as hungry as you thought you were!  There are many breathing protocols that are easy to follow, most of which can be learned in a yoga class.  One online reference that has excellent information is:

Fast, enriched, and processed foods; carbonated sodas loaded with refined white sugar; snacks full of corn syrup and dextrose; and denatured products that jump out at us because of expert packaging and marketing tricks are quick ways to get us on track for life as a pre or full-fledged diabetic.  Attracted first by the advertising and then by the addiction of taste, it is easy to get hooked on foods that fill us up without giving us much in the way of real nutrition. 

If you suffer from any diabetic symptoms, or want to avoid getting them, look at the labels and run away fast from anything that contains:  refined white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, white flour, and processed carbohydrates.  
Fruits to avoid if you are diabetic include bananas, grapes, watermelon, oranges, and dates.  Canned fruits in syrup as well as most commercial fruit juices shouldn’t be ingested either as they tend to be high in sugar. 

Turn instead to those foods which, for time immemorial, serve as true companions for a healthy lifestyle: fresh organic foods, healthy herbs, and potent spices that help to energize and revitalize the body by bringing back a natural and proportionate ratio between glucose and insulin.

Foods To Have On Hand
First, you need to toss out all the unhealthy foods you may have collected in your cupboards and fridge.  This means cookies, candies, pastries, sugary cereals, deli foods, chips, fried foods, sodas, and sugared juices.  If they’re not around, you won’t be tempted to dip in.  Keep a stock of healthful foods ready to eat, such as already cut carrots and celery in a jar of water, ready to take out of the fridge for snacking.  Instead of cheese, chips, and crackers, chew on almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.  Fruits rich in fiber such as apples, pears, apricots, blueberries, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, guavas, and pomegranates.   

The Basics
Vegetables should be plentiful.  Brown rice, millet, quinoa, and pearled barley should be staples in your pantry.  Whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas are great to have on hand as complex carbohydrates.

Use olive oil as a dressing for salads.  Cook with coconut oil, which is not heat sensitive, meaning it will retain its incredible nourishing factors regardless.

Eat fish instead of red meat.

Add avocado to your sandwiches instead of cheese.  Avocados are high fiber fruits that are rich in monounsaturated fat, which helps lower the risk of cardiovascular problems so common to diabetics.  The American Diabetes Association recommends monounsaturated fat for this reason, as well as the fact that it helps control blood sugar levels.

Steam, grill, broil, bake, stir-fry.  Never fry.

Some Details
Barley is one of the best foods for lowering symptoms of diabetes as it is a known healer for urinary diseases.

Oats help to stabilize blood sugar levels, while also providing anti-oxidant activity and enough roughage to assist in healthy elimination. 

Organic green apples are filled with pectin, which detoxify the body by eliminating harmful substances, fight bacteria and viruses, and decrease the need for excess insulin. Green apples are also very rich in potassium.

Grapefruit helps to control blood sugar levels while decreasing appetite, especially if eaten before meals.  If eaten regularly, they are excellent for helping prevent diabetes for those people who may be at risk.

Artichokes contain large amounts of insulin, along with potassium, calcium, iron, and sulphur, making them  an important addition to the diet.

Broccoli helps to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels due to its chromium content.  It also helps reduce cholesterol and is a strong anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-ulcer food that does its best work when eaten raw or lightly steamed.

Garlic lowers blood sugar levels and helps to increase free insulin.  Full of flavenoids, garlic is a mighty anti-oxidant and anti-viral that helps to lower lipid levels and boost cardio vascular performance.

Onions are powerful anti-oxidants that reduce blood sugar levels in either raw or cooked form.

Beans are high in fiber and vegetable protein and are very good for lowering cholesterol levels. They also help to regulate blood sugar levels, with soybeans being especially efficient in this regard.

Eating organic yogurt is an excellent way to introduce essential bacteria into the digestive system, whereby the pancreas can become stimulated and cleansed of waste products and excess acids.  Yogurt helps the body produce its own insulin while helping to boost the immune system.  Because of its high calcium content, it also strengthens bones and teeth.  

Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices that cleanse the organs are especially powerful for detoxifying the body and thus reducing blood sugar levels. 

Milk thistle is one of the best herbs for cleansing the liver, acting as an antioxidant as it lowers glucose levels.  According to a double blind clinical trial done on patients with Type 2 diabetes, a huge reduction in blood sugar levels was noted after milk thistle was taken on a regular basis for four months.  In other trials, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also noticeably reduced.  Milk thistle’s ability to cleanse the liver of toxins is well known, and milk thistle tea, tincture, or capsules taken on a regular basis can make an enormous difference in health for not only diabetics, but for all of us who wish to stay on balance.

Turmeric  is one of the staple spices used in Indian cooking.  An anti-carcinogenic supreme, turmeric has cleansing and purifying properties that directly affect all areas of the body and that help reduce insulin dependence in those that suffer from high blood glucose levels.  

Fenugreek, coriander, cardamom, and ginger powder are other spices that help regulate blood sugar and can be liberally added to recipes such as stews, curries, soups, and other foods.

A Happy and Balanced Future
Once you get in the swing of your new habits, you will begin to naturally gravitate towards the foods and protocols mentioned above.  The body wants to be well.  It wants to take in deliciously prepared, organically grown foods that offer the most nourishment.  The body, mind, and spirit delights in exercise and good breathing habits.  Once you’re well on your way, all that other stuff will seem like poison and you will wonder how you ever deigned to pollute yourself with it.  As you gain health and a more robust feeling about life, you will take on a happy and balanced present and future as your given right, which it is.  You are in control so get started and enjoy the process!