What is more real, the physical or the metaphysical?

The physical and the metaphysical are equally real, because they are two sides of the same coin of consciousness. Consciousness generates physical reality, and in turn physical reality precipitates more consciousness. This is the fundamental yin-yang. Existence/non-existence. Everything has polarity (like, everything) so there is no way one can be more real than the other because together they are simply what is, each informing the other.

The physical world has value precisely because it has physical laws and limits, which to the boundlessness of pure consciousness offers an exciting and fertile frontier for the exploration of possibilities. Consciousness is curious, it wants to know “what happens when…?” “what does this feel like…?” (Maybe that’s why I like Quora so much: this website is yet another expression of the insatiable questioning nature of consciousness :) Consciousness wants to grow and expand and a reality of physical consequences absolutely informs and evolves perspective: you have to burn your hand to know what fire feels like, to know that it’s hot. Everything is like this — love, grief, satisfaction, disappointment… these are the nations consciousness explores.

Life itself is a beautiful manifestation of this growth and expansion process, as everything grows and expands before contracting and disappearing. Things start out small and get bigger. Life begins, takes shape, and then eventually life fades and dies. Small/big; birth/death — notice the polarity and the symmetry? This is how consciousness expresses itself. The entire physical universe is itself cycling through this same process.


The very fact that this question considers the relative value of “physical” versus “metaphysical” is in itself a beautiful holographic microcosm of the process by which consciousness probes and tests its perceptions of physical reality: you, me and everyone else on this thread are examining polarity from the inside out as individual conscious beings, each of us an innate expression of “the metaphysical.”

We are here to think these questions, from within the dollhouse of reality that consciousness built. The dreamer inevitably awakens within the dream.

Is a 3 day cleanse a good idea, or is it better to just start eating healthy again? I’m not trying to lose weight, just be healthy.

Yes, and yes. Both are great ideas. The moment you choose to improve your diet is the same moment you can begin to feel better in your body, even if it begins with a single meal. The effect of a healthy, well combined meal is immediate the same way that poor food combining also immediately produces discomfort and indigestion. Have you ever eaten something that made you feel crappy and bloated? We’ve all done it, and these experiences can provide great moments of insight. If you’re able to pay attention to the cues your indigestion is giving you, you can gather valuable intel from a terrible meal. And when I say “terrible,” I’m speaking purely from the standpoint of digestion — not taste. Some of the best tasting meals digest very poorly!

To that end, any meal that gives you cramps, bloating, gas, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, headache, nightmares, lethargy, or itching (4–5 hours later) should be evaluated. The lesson here is to not punish yourself by eating the same disagreeable thing again, that is unless you want to punish yourself again — which plenty of us love to do, so know you are not alone :)

In the instance that you have the motivation to make good food choices moving forward, start with your very next meal! If you’re feeling sluggish, a big leafy green salad with a light dressing is a great place to start.

However, some of us have a hard time with instituting a moderate lifestyle change like this, especially if we have very ingrained habits around food. In these situations, it’s almost like we need a period of austerity to help us make the mental shift — so a cleanse can be a terrific means to firm your resolve and kick-off the implementation of healthier dietary habits.

And yes, in more chronic cases, a cleanse may be exactly what’s called for if the digestive system needs an immediate rest and reboot. Sometimes we even come to a short cleansing period quite naturally, as a feeling of “not being hungry” and choosing to eat lighter foods. Animals in nature will often have periods of fasting like this as a means of regeneration.

Your body wants to heal itself — your cells are programmed for growth and repair. If you’ve been creating extra work for your body by feeding it too much sugar, fried foods, heavy carbohydrates, meats, and dairy; then stopping the supply of chaos may be just what the doctor ordered. In this instance, give your system a chance to process through the excess and rest. A 3-day cleanse can be like an internal “staycation.” Three days worth of herbal teas and tonics, green smoothies, blended vegetable soups, broths, and green juices generally constitutes an excellent antidote for digestive malaise.

Why do I still get acne even though I eat healthy, get enough sleep, don’t drink milk, and exercise?

Your liver, your lungs, your intestines. If you want to solve this problem without a dermatologist, read on.

There are a number of factors that could be contributing to your acne, and they will need to be addressed differently. “Good skin comes from within” is 90% true, meaning you mostly have to look at your inner ecology and what you are eating; and the last 10% of the solution relates to how you care for your skin on the surface.

Let us start with your liver, which filters toxins and excess hormones from your blood in two directions, both upwards and downwards. It takes toxins and excess hormones pulled from your blood and stores them in bile in the gallbladder. Your hormones do play a role in acne for sure, so to make sure that your liver is not compromised in its filtration process you may need to supplement with some liver tonifying herbs and supplements: schizandra is delicious, and has been revered for its beautifying and adaptogenic properties for thousands of years by TCM. Add 1/2 tsp to your daily diet and see what happens. Other liver stimulators include sour foods like fresh lemon, lime and grapefruit juice. Curcumin extract is also excellent for boosting liver function, as is simply adding an abundance of turmeric to your diet. Dandelion and nettle also support your liver in dramatic ways and can bring brightness and clarity not just to your skin but to your eyes as well. Cruciferous vegetables will boost liver function, but should probably be avoided if you have thyroid issues because they contain goiterogens.

And lastly, simply eating more fresh fibrous vegetables will help your liver too, because their fiber will bind with old bile when it is utilized in the digestion process, giving it an escort out of your body via your intestines. If you are not eating enough fiber, your toxin laden bile will be reabsorbed through the walls of your intestines and recycled by your liver. Eating extra fresh veggies and green leafy veggies is one of the fastest ways to reduce your overall toxin load. Pulling old bile out of your system will also help compel the manufacturing of fresh new bile (and also, more blood detoxification).

Another great herb for lowering your cortisol and balancing your hormones is ashwanganda, which is also adaptogenic and will help you deal with stress and prevent acne.

Moving on to your intestines, this is where a few different things could be contributing to break outs. How much sugar do you eat? This is a great question to ask oneself because acne, along with rashes, bloating, weight gain, and sugar cravings, are all symptoms of a yeast overgrowth. Do you eat a lot of carbohydrates from processed grain? Bread, crackers, pasta, anyone? Things that you wouldn’t necessarily consider “unhealthy,” like dried fruit, bananas, dates, and potatoes are all sources of sugar in the gut which can feed the yeast fungus, which in turn will throw off spores that can travel all through your blood stream and tissues causing trouble.

A candida elimination diet often results in clearing up acne. Constipation, however, can also contribute to acne because whatever is in your intestines is essentially feeding your bloodstream. This is all related. Eating foods that “boost your metabolism” essentially means eating foods that naturally increase your elimination (how frequently you go to the bathroom) — fresh veggies are your best friend when it comes to accomplishing this goal. Probiotics are also crucial for creating an environment in your gut that is inhospitable to the overgrowth of candida and encouraging healthy elimination and a strong immune system.

And then there are your lungs — there is a connection between your lungs and your gut, and TCM has known about this for a long time. You start cleaning house in your gut, don’t be surprised if some congestion in your lungs appears. Spicy foods are great for keeping things open and clear. However, if you are a smoker or breathing other airborne pollutants, this could be contributing to acne on your cheeks — as this is where the lungs will reference. In fact, depending on what is happening inside your body, acne can provide a sort of road map on your face in terms of where you should focus your internal efforts.


To bring things full circle, smoking is something that actually hinders liver function by giving it more work to do in terms of filtering those toxins from your blood.

And finally, there’s the last 10% — how you care for your skin and what you put on it. Your skin absorbs or “eats” whatever it touches. If you are a sensitive person, your skin may react to things that not everyone else does, so you may need to be extra careful with added oils and parabens, fillers, and preservatives. If you’ve had acne for years and have enlarged pores, it is essential that you perform some form of weekly exfoliation. Too much exfoliation will only make things worse, as it will strip away precious protective oils. Here’s a skincare routine for adult acne:

  1. Cleanse with an enzymatic cleanser, or something like “take the day off” by Clinique — which rinses clean and doesn’t strip your skin, and leaves no residue.
  2. One to two times a week, scrub with something more abrasive — like a Clarisonic or scrub cleanser (Acure makes a good one).
  3. After cleansing your face, spot treat with tea tree oil, followed by a hyraluronic acid serum which helps draw the tea tree oil deeper into the layers of your skin.
  4. Lastly, a retinol moisturizer can work wonders. 

If you’re able to apply some sort of tinted sunscreen to give you a better view of yourself throughout the day, do so. Leaving your skin alone and not picking at it is just as important for the healing process as the psychological benefit of feeling confidant in your appearance.

Good luck! You’re not alone!

What is a super nutritious healthy meal that is simple to prepare and will help keep me slim?

Rice, avocado and salad! That may sound boring, but there is endless variation in this wonderful meal, and it is absolutely slimming. It’s kept me a lean, mean 120 lbs for nearly twenty years, and I’m about to turn 40! I have eaten this for breakfast, lunch or dinner so many thousands of times… always satisfying, very simple.

There are so many different kinds of rice — brown, red, black, wild, basmati. I like to mix it up or sometimes use a combination of the above. To keep things simple, I cook the rice plain in a big batch so I have some to use throughout the week. A rice cooker could help make things even easier if you have a hard time watching the stove. If you use a rice cooker, get one with a stainless steel bowl.

Next comes the avocado. Ripe avocados feel like a cold stick of butter. Helpful hint: don’t press your fingers into an avocado to test its ripeness. This will bruise it and give it nasty brown spots once it finally does ripen. Rather, feel the avocado in your whole hand with gentle pressure. If it’s hard as a rock there’s absolutely no give. However, I like to buy them rock hard and wait for that perfect “just barely ripe” moment and then put them in the fridge, where they will keep for a week or more ready for action. I use about 1/2 an avocado in a single meal for myself.

And finally, the salad (and dressing). Start with a big handful of mixed greens if you’re in no mood to prep lettuce. Spinach, cabbage, and kale are good, but should be avoided if you have thyroid issues. Sometimes I just drizzle a little olive oil, lemon juice or white wine vinegar, salt and pepper over the greens and call it a day — other days I feel like adding extra veggies and toppings. My favorite salad veggies are cucumbers, celery, cherry tomatoes, green onions (or shaved red onion), carrots. Chop, slice, shred, or shave to create easy to chew texture for a mouth adventure!

Always, I add fresh herbs: parsley, basil, mint or cilantro, or my very special favorite: shiso leaf. Humble flat leaf parsley always elevates any meal. Just a few leaves do so much.

When I have extra energy, I add fun stuff to the salad — things like olives, artichoke hearts, pickled ginger, pine nuts, sprouted or toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chopped macadamia nuts, leftover kale chip crumbs or toasted ezekiel bread crumbs, toasted dulse or nori seaweed…

Good salad dressings are so hard to come by. Maybe you have a favorite, or can make a recipe ahead of time to use throughout the week. I usually just drizzle a little of this and that. Olive and/or flax oil, toasted sesame oil, tamari, and a squeeze of lemon always tastes great.

Usually I just put tamari on the rice. Sometimes Sriracha hot sauce and coconut oil.

Sometimes I’ll eat this with a few sheets of nori on the side. I’ll tear off a section of nori and put little spoonfuls of the rice, avocado and salad (once it all gets mixed up in my bowl) onto it like an impromptu sushi taco.

Yum yum 

A Few Simple Tips?

Hi Suzie,

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation last week at the Ashram. And the sorbet was deelish.

I wonder if you could give me a few simple tips.

I am basically healthy and eat an ok diet. As an O+, I do have meat more than once a week. However, I do have one vice: I drink oceans of wine and have little desire to give it up. At least the sugar is fructose.

As a senior citizen who just hit 74, I do have some plaque buildup in my arteries and do want to do everything I can to support my liver, particularly since I do take a statin. I do take Co Q 10 and an herbal liver support pill from a company called Himalaya.

For years, I faithfully took my Billy's every morning, but have slipped off. 

I would appreciate any advice - nothing too exotic please. I will start the bee pollen.

Thanks so much,

Bob L. - the guy who sat next to you at the table on your left.

Hi Bob!

So nice to hear from you :)

I'm not sure if we talked about the "Dry Farm Wine" company during the class, but that would be a good place to start with regards to the vino portion of your diet ;) These wines are sugar-free and low alcohol. Blood type O should avoid white wine, but red wine is considered neutral.


As arterial plaque is often a symptom of inflammation. Sugar (whether from sweets or starchy foods), rancid fats, stress, Omega-6's, and food allergies can drive inflammation -- so exercising, as well as reducing sugar and other possible inflammatories will be a big help for both your liver and your arteries, and result in a lower cholesterol response. As you embark on this sort of journey, it would be a good idea to have your doctor test your inflammation, to give you a better sense of how your inflammation may be driving your triglycerides as well as chart your progress.


I would also look at inflammatory foods to avoid for Blood type O. There are a lot of O-avoid lists out there, but there's also some outdated info on them. Spirulina, broccoli, and sprouted essene bread are actually benefical for O, according to the latest research. You can find some good O resources here at Dr. D'adamos website. There's even an App!


However, keep in mind that that just because a wide range of meats are not inflammatory to type O, it doesn't mean that you should eat A LOT of meat. Try to keep your meat consumption to around 30% of your diet. Too much protein can create trouble for your liver:


Speaking of animal proteins, it's important to choose certified humane pasture raised or "grass-fed" animal products for meat, eggs and dairy. Conventionally and organically raised meats rely on grain to feed their animals and this means the animal products come with too many inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids in them, as well as antibiotics that can harm your microbiome and set the stage for other problems.

Resuming Billy's Greens is a great idea! Billy's Infinity Greens has nettles in it which provides liver support, as well as some other benficial adaptogens to combat stress and reduce inflammation. I would also recommend dandelion greens as well as Schizandra -- which will support your liver TREMEDOUSLY and boost your overall health. I like Lucidera -- their berries are picked ripe and full potency!


Hope that helps!