Food and Nutrition Articles
Probiotics – the Good Bacteria! – by Dr. Kristen Bobik, D.C., L.Ac.
Barbeque Basics for Seasonal Entertaining – Tips on How to Avoid Burns, Food Poisoning and More When Firing-up the Grill this Summer – by Martha H. Howard, MD, Dipl. Ac. NCCAOM
Step Away from the Soda! – by Martha H. Howard, MD, Dipl. Ac. NCCAOM
Wine and Chocolate: A Happy Easter Indeed! – by Dr. Kristen Bobik, D.C., L.Ac
Canned Foods “Can” Be Healthy! – by Martha H. Howard, MD, Dipl. Ac. NCCAOM
A Little Dictionary: A Baker’s Dozen of Aphrodisiac Foods for Valentine’s Day – by Martha H. Howard, MD, Dipl. Ac. NCCAOM
Cholesterol:natural methods to maintain healthy lipid levels – by Tiffany Triner, Dietary Technician
Healthy school lunches – organic brown bagging – by Dr. Martha H. Howard, MD
Diabetes: a holistic view of treatment – by Dr Helen Lee, DC
Nutrition for oral health – by Dr. Kevin M. Boehm, DDS
Sugar – why and how to cut back – by Dr. Martha H. Howard, MD
Educated eating – practical guidelines – by Valerie Early, RD
Food monitoring to control weight – by Valerie Early, RD
Avoid the “Seasonal Seven” – Healthy Holiday Eating Tips – by Dr. Kristina Sargent
The Health Benefits of Cranberries – by Dr Helen Lee
The Fat Kid in the Class – by Dr Kristina Sargent
Spices for Health – by Dr Helen Lee
Five Best Snacks for Kids – by Dr Melody Hart
A Healthy Back-to-School Diet Teens Can Live By – by Dr Melody Hart
SALT: Good or Bad? – by Dr Peter Glidden
Hot Summer Barbecue Tips – by Dr. Martha Howard
Good & Bad News on Nuts – by Dr Helen Lee
High Fructose Corn Syrup – by Dr Helen Lee
Is Soy Healthy for you? – by Dr Tom Bayne
To Salt or Not – by Dr. Martha Howard
The Sweet Taste of Summer – by Dr Kristina L. Sargent
Choose the Pickles, Not the Ice Cream – by Dr Kristina Sargent
How to make your food work harder for you – by Dr Helen Lee
Couch Potatoes – by Dr. Peter Glidden, ND
Acai: Not Just Another Pretty Fruit – by Dr Kristina Sargent
To Salt Or Not To Salt – That Is The Question! – by Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, RN
Pomegranates – by Dr Melody Hart
Eat to Live – by Sharon M Weinstein, MS, RN
What is so great about the Amalaki fruit? – by Candice and Rick Kwiecinski
Excerpts from ZriiTM’s Health & Wellness Report – Volume 1/Number 1 – by Candice and Rick Kwiecinski
FAT: It’s an Epidemic in America – by Dr. Martha Howard
Fat Burning Myths and Facts – by Dr. Martha Howard
Nutritious Eating During Winter – by Dr. Marilyn Mitchell
Healthy Eating During Winter – by Dr Helen Lee
What is Ayurveda and how can it help me get through the holiday season? – by Candice Kwiecinski
Reasons To Eliminate Dairy – by Dr Peter Glidden, ND
What to Eat When You Are Feeling Beat – by Dr Tom Bayne
Something Is Fishy? – by Dr Kristina Sargent
What’s For Dinner? – by Dr. Peter Glidden, ND
The Skinny On Saturated Fat – by Dr Kristina Sargent, DC
Healthy Summer Eating – by Dr Helen Lee
Soy Questions – by Dr Marilyn Mitchell
Challenge To Resolve – by Dr Kristina Sargent
The Ten Commandments Of Being Smart – by Ian Wahl, DAc, Lac, CH
Beef Up The Beef – by Kristina L. Sargent, DC
The Anti-Stress Diet On A Budget – by Kristina L. Sargent, DC
Replace your Poor Eating Habits with Good Ones! – by Alyce Sorokie
The SuperSizing of America… Our Epidemic! – by Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, RN, CRNI, FAAN
Weight Loss Facts – by
Have You Listened to Your Food Lately? – by Dr Kristina L. Sargent
Fall to Winter Foods – by
Aphrodisiac Foods – by Dr Melody Hart
WiseWomanTM & Nutrition – by Dr Marilyn Mitchell, MD, BHSP
What to Eat Before Exercise – by Martha H. Howard
If you’ve ever followed the news media on what supplements or vitamins we “need,” you’d feel like you “need” 5,000 different things! Supplements are natural and healthy for us, but even things that are healthy could become detrimental if used incorrectly. Don’t worry, your local Schaumburg-area Physician (specializing in Nutrition) is here to set the record straight!
There are two types of Nutritional Supplements – those that are used to treat a specific health concern, and those that are used on a “wellness” basis. Below I’ll cover the top 5 wellness-based supplements that almost all of us actually can benefit from:
1) Probiotics- Our Immune System is the aspect of the body known for how “healthy” or “sick” we are. A person with a poor Immune System might get colds/flu every winter, have a difficult time recovering from illness, have slow healing cuts or bruises. or have immune diseases. The truth about the Immune System is that over 80% of it is actually housed inside of our Digestive System (from the stomach all the way through the intestines, also known as the gut) – Need I say more about why it’s critical to take care of our Digestive System? Probiotics are the “good bacteria” to balance out the common abundance of bad bacteria in the gut. In addition to improving our Immunity, Probiotics are great for digestive symptoms (bloating, pain, constipation, diarrhea, etc.) and skin conditions (acne, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, dry skin).
2) Digestive Enzymes – When we cook/heat our food, we loose valuable enzymes that help the body break down our food and absorb the nutrients. Digestive Enzymes replace those lost enzymes, and assist the gut in functioning (see above). Digestive Enzymes also help with symptoms such as: bloating, difficult digestion, heartburn, and constipation. Research shows that “women with high stress levels” often have digestive concerns and thus lower immunity. Are you one of those women?
3) Fish Oil – Omega 3 oils (the “good” fats) provide great support to the brain, heart, and lower inflammation (think: arthritis and poor memory). The average American has too little Omega 3s and too many Omega 6s (which is the “bad” fat) due to poor food choices.
4) An Alkalizing Tablet, like “Alka Green” – The body’s pH basically describes what the chemical environment of our insides is like. It can be either acidic or alkaline, and this is determined by many factors (most notably the food we eat/drink and stress level). Americans are 70% acidic, but we need our body’s pH to be 70% alkaline to be healthy. How do we become more alkaline?
Vegetables are alkaline, and most other foods (dairy, sugar, carbs, anything processed) are acidic. I’m sure you can see how this could become challenging, so we use alkalizing tablets (The Alka Green product I use in-office is make from pure organic barley plant) to bridge the gap. You might be wondering “why is alkalinity so important anyway?” Simply because research (as early as the 1930?s) has shown conclusively that cancer CANNOT survive in an alkaline environment. But cancer, inflammation, and disease processes sure do love their acidity….
5) Goji Berries (dried and organic) – In Chinese Medicine, we’ve been using foods as medicine for 5,000 years with success. What we put in our body can either work for us or against us. To make a long story short, many Americans have trouble with our Kidney Energetic Pathway in Chinese Medicine terms. This pathway has to do with our energy levels (tired?), low back pain (or knee pain?), bags under the eyes, low immune system, and more. Snacking on a small amount of Goji Berry daily will strengthen and nourish our Kidney Pathway. And by the way, in Chinese Medicine, that system controls all of the others, so it deserves special attention.
If you’re wondering why it’s important to select brands that are high quality versus “generics” – click here.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful! Please remember to choose high quality and organic products, and most importantly “less is more.” When using or adding a new product, we always start slowly. This article is not substitute for specific medical advice from your holistic physician. If you’re interested in ordering online medical grade, high quality supplements, or need a customized supplementation prescription, please CLICK HERE.
Thanksgiving. An American traditional filled with gratitude, delicious food, and football. Most of us look forward to enjoying this day off, but those of us who are gluten intolerant (or just have other food sensitivities/intolerance) can be put in a difficult situation. My goal here is to identify what small changes need to be made to create a Gluten Free meal, and to suggest a few recipes that will help you “kick it up a notch” and bring a little more nutrition and health to your celebration!
If you have a family member or friend who’ll be joining you for the holiday, I’d suggest providing your full, exact recipe to them in advance – they will be able to cross reference and know if/what they’ll be able to enjoy. Many people with food intolerance will bring something to snack on with them to events, so don’t feel offended. It’s safer for their health to bring their own food, and it’s less inconvenience to the cook! Now let’s look at how we can easily modify your traditional Thanksgiving basics….
Turkeys don’t have any bread or pasta in them (which is what we typically think of when we think gluten free) but not all turkeys are created equal. Some turkeys are injected with flavorings/preservatives containing gluten, so make sure you read the label or contact the company in advance!
Here’s a great response from a popular grocery store brand, Butterball: “When there are dietary concerns, we advise purchasing Butterball Fresh Turkey and Butterball Fresh Breast of Turkey, which are all-natural and contain no added ingredients. Individual ingredients (water, salt, sodium phosphate to retain natural juices, modified food starch [corn or potato source], dextrose and natural flavors — no allergenic ingredients) are specified on the labels of all Butterball Frozen Turkeys and Butterball frozen line extension products.”
You’ll need to make your own gravy from the turkey drippings, using corn starch or gluten free flour as the thickener.
The core ingredient in stuffing is dried bread, so this will need some gluten free modifications. Purchase a gluten free mix from a local gluten free bakery (like Apple Gluten Free Kitchen – tastes great)! You’ll also have to check for gluten in the stuffing’s sausage and get gluten free turkey stock (Kitchen Basic Gluten Free Turkey Stock is available at Jewel).
THE CRANBERRY SAUCE
I can’t promote the use of a sugar-filled, preservative-full fruit sauce that comes from a can. But what I can do is suggest a recipe for a homemade raw cranberry sauce below:
In a food processor, add 1 orange (remove peel and seeds), 1 lemon (remove peel and seeds), 4 dates (pitted and chopped). Slowly add 2 cups fresh cranberries and process until coarsely chopped. If you like cranberry sauce that is less tart, add more dates!
The more fresh, colorful veggies the better! A green bean casserole contains soup (not gluten free) and onion toppings – substitute crumbled “funions” for the onion topping, and get a gluten free soup from your local health food store. In the Chicagoland area, Fruitful Yield will have what you need (including a complete green bean casserole mix)! If you’re serving bread/rolls, gluten free options are available at practically any store. But here’s a better recipe for Thanksgiving green beans:
Steam 1 lb. fresh green beans for about 8 minutes (about half-done). Meanwhile, prepare ingredients for your skillet: 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 cup hazelnuts (finely chopped), zest of one lemon, 2 tbsp. chopped rosemary. Add those ingredients to the skillet, on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add green beans, coat, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Here’s an easy, gluten free recipe for Butternut Squash I use all the time, but goes great with the Thanksgiving theme!
Ingredients: 1 butternut squash, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. raw honey
Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place one half face down in a small glass baking dish with 1 inch of water. Microwave on high for about 6 minutes, to slightly soften the squash. Remove and cool. Remove outer skin of squash, and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add coconut oil to a pan, heat on medium. Add squash, cinnamon, honey. Cook until mostly soft and serve.
Gluten Free Kale and Cranberries, borrowed from one of my favorite recipe sites ElanasPantry.com. Kale is a very healthy vegetable choice – it’s full of essential nutrients and vitamins, and is naturally low in calories.
Ingredients: 2 large bunches of kale, 1/4 c. pine nuts, 1/4 c. dried cranberries, 3 tbsp. olive oil
Steam kale until bright green. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts until golden brown. Allow both to cool, then mix together in a large serving bowl. Add cranberries and olive oil, serve.
THE PUMPKIN PIE
The pie crust is not gluten free, so you’ll need to make some modifications here. I would suggest using crumbled gluten free graham crackers (or gluten free gingerbread cookies) as a substitute in a pie crust recipe. Or, pre made gluten free pie crusts are available at Whole Foods.
Want to try a new, healthier recipe that isn’t a sugar vehicle? This one is borrowed from PaleoLifestyleDiet.com:
Filling Ingredients: 1 can pumpkin puree (or 1 3/4 c. fresh home made pumpkin puree), 2 eggs, 1/2 c. raw honey, 1/2 c. coconut milk, 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. fresh grated ginger
Crust Ingredients: 1 c. pecans, 1/2 c. hazelnuts, 4 tbsp. coconut oil, pinch of sea salt
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Process nuts in food processor until flour like consistency. In a bowl, mix nuts, salt, and coconut oil – then spread the crust mixture into a pie pan and bake for 10 minutes. Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl. Fill evenly into the baked crust and bake additional 45 minutes.
Please remember to read each label carefully, and check for ingredients that are processed in a plant containing wheat. Best wishes for the Thanksgiving Holiday!
It’s pumpkin time again! Pumpkins are a traditional part of Halloween and Thanksgiving–materials for ghostly candle-lit faces in the night, or tasty filling for Thanksgiving puddings and pies.
Before you throw away the pumpkin seeds from your carving party, check out their amazing health benefits. (And, if you just don’t want to go through drying and roasting them, you can always buy some.)
• can help raise good cholesterol-HDL, and lower bad cholesterol-LDL, because they contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid.
• are nature’s “happy pills.” They have lots of tryptophan, good for relaxation and sleep, and also glutamate, a precursor of GABA, one of the neurotransmitters that calms the brain.
• are full of magnesium and zinc. Magnesium is hard to come by in the American diet, and a majority of us are deficient in it. Zinc is also a common deficiency. It is important to have enough zinc because it is one of the most important elements in preventing osteoporosis. Why not snack on pumpkins seeds instead of chips or crackers!
• contain fiber and help to increase the satisfied “full feeling” that keeps you from getting hungry and binge eating.
• are a natural anti-inflammatory
• are used in traditional cultures to prevent and treat parasites.
• help to prevent kidney stones by preventing calcium oxalate formation.
What about pumpkin itself? It has beta carotene, and potassium. Beta carotene, the same B vitamin that is in carrots, is a player in preventing everything from cancer to wrinkles! And, a cup of pumpkin (it’s going to have to be a good sized piece of pie to get a cup!) contains more potassium than a banana.
Have a happy, healthy Halloween. Roast up some pumpkin seeds, and bring on the pumpkin pudding and pie.
Food Sensitivities are not the same as Food Allergies. A Food Allergy is a peanut causing anaphylaxis. A Food Sensitivity (or Intolerance) is about inflammation. It is a slow, internal process that causes global inflammation all over the body. Inflammation causes discomfort and symptoms. It spreads to other parts of the body and destroys delicate tissues. It causes cancer.
What does this look like? Digestive Issues – people with constipation, diarrhea, and diagnosis of IBS or Crohn’s. Headaches. Fatigue. Inability to lose weight despite diet and exercise. Any inflammatory condition (arthtiris, aching joints, and so forth). Skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema, or rashes. Allergies (sinus infections, ear infections, sneezing, cough).
What foods would most likely cause this? Well, the “heavy hitters” of Food Sensitivities are Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar. Each of those are actually not a single item, it’s a category. Example: Gluten is actually: Barley, Brewer’s Yeast, Gliadin, Gluten, Hops, Malt, Oat, Rye, Spelt, and/or Wheat. Dairy is: Caesin, Cow’s Milk, Egg Yolk, Egg white, Goat’s Milk, Sheep’s Milk. And if you’re thinking that you don’t even eat these items, think again. Cow’s milk is ice cream. Sheep’s milk is the primary ingredient in yogurt. Eggs are in practically anything that comes in a wrapper or box.
Why do you need a test to find all of this out? Simply because it would be extremely difficult to choose one item at a time and test it out to see if removing it makes a change. AND, if you can be sensitive/intolerant to Cow’s Milk…. Why couldn’t you be to Broccoli? Or Olive Oil? It’s not just foods that are “bad” for you – it can be anything and everything. The testing I use is the gold standard, and it even includes household chemicals, medications, herbs and supplements.
If I was stranded on an island, and only allowed ONE supplement to take with me… what would I choose? That’s easy – probiotics. Our body has both good and bad bacteria – which we need for different reasons. However the average American has too much “bad” bacteria.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria in our bodies! There are many strains of probiotics, but a common strain is bifidobacteria.
You may be aware that many yogurts also contain natural probiotics. There are some cautionary notes to using yogurt regularly though. First – it’s a dairy product, so if you’re not getting an organic brand, you are regularly consuming all of the chemicals/growth hormones/antibiotics that were fed to the animals your yogurt originated from. None of those things are natural, and none of them help our body work better (which is what health is actually about)! Next, dairy is one of the most common food sensitivities. You may be thinking you are helping your digestive system, but if you have a sensitivity (or intolerance) to dairy products that have not yet been detected, you may be doing more harm than good. Finally, yogurts are often jazzed up with fruits and flavoring. What does that mean? Artificial colors, flavors, and SUGAR. The only thing that likes sugar more than your taste buds is cancer, so it should be avoided at all costs.
typically, as a conservative holistic health care provider, I am in favor of using food to get our nutrients (versus supplements, shakes, etc.) but I believe that this is one of those cases where the supplement is a significantly better choice for our health. And, don’t worry – if you’re intolerance to dairy you can still use probiotics but you’ll need a high quality, reliable, medical grade brand. Please work with a holistic physician on this.
Probiotics are a great supplement for anyone to take if they’re interested in maintaining good health. There are some conditions, though, that improve greatly with the use of probiotics. Just to name a few …. Any digestive concerns (IBS, constipation, diarrhea, and so forth) and skin problems (acne, rashes, psoriasis, eczema).
Antibiotics are designed to kill all bacteria, even the good ones, so it’s definitely a good idea to take probiotics while you are on an antibiotic. But use caution – you need to take them separately with a three hour window between.
They keep our delicate digestive system in balance… and now that I mentioned it …. The digestive system is one of the most important systems in our body. 80 % of our immune system is housed in the digestive system, and in the research, digestive problems are heavily linked to women with high stress levels. Do YOU know any women, with high stress levels, that could benefit from a strong digestive and immune system?
As always, this article does not constitute personal medical advice. Please see a holistic physician!
Barbeque Basics for Seasonal Entertaining – Tips on How to Avoid Burns, Food Poisoning and More When Firing-up the Grill this Summer
Martha H. Howard, MD, Dipl. Ac. NCCAOM
Barbecues are essential for summer but they have some hidden dangers, and the last thing people want when attending a barbecue is food poisoning, burns or even worse, cancer. Raw or undercooked meat, fish or chicken can cause illnesses like salmonella, e coli and other bugs. Grills can be temperamental and, if handled incorrectly, are prone to explosions and giving people burns. Charred meat produces three cancer-causing chemicals. But don’t worry; it is easy and simple to keep barbecues light on danger and heavy on fun. These tips will help you to throw the healthiest and safest barbecue this summer.
The three cancer-causing chemicals to look out for in charred meat are:
PhlP, which has been proved to cause cancers in rats. An April 2006 presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research showed that when this barbecue/char chemical was added to rats’ food, they developed cancerous changes in their intestines, spleens and prostates within four weeks.
HCAs (heterocyclic amines). They are also produced when meat is charred. This compound can increase the risk of breast, stomach, colon, and prostate cancer.
PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which are produced by smoking fat from chicken, fish or meat.
These tips will help keep summer barbecues safe, healthy and most importantly, fun:
Clean the grill—get rid of the old fats
Avoid petroleum starters for charcoal. Use a wood starter and stack charcoal up in a 2 pound metal can (no paint on the can, please) with the ends cut off. Lift off the can with tongs and spread out the coals when they are well started.
Be sure to know how to turn a propane grill on and off safely. Avoid a time gap between opening the valve and starting the grill.
Wash hands after touching raw meats and use separate plates and cutting boards for raw and cooked meats. Be sure to wash hands again before putting on long, heat-proof barbecue gloves.
Trim most of that fat—less fat means fewer PAHs.
Use marinades—they tend to protect the meat from charring. Put marinades on the meat of choice and put all items back in the refrigerator until ready to go. Don’t let meat sit out.
Prior to grilling, follow proper pre-cooking instructions, especially for items like raw brats. Avoid taking burgers, chicken or other meats directly from the freezer to the grill.
Cut meat and chicken into smaller pieces so they cook thoroughly.
Turn down the fire and turn your burgers, steaks, chops, or chicken often, so they cook through, and come out a gorgeous golden brown.
Use a meat thermometer to be certain it’s safe to be served.
Chicken: 165 degrees.
Hamburger: 160 degrees.
Pork: 150 degrees.
Hot dogs: 140 degrees.
Steak 145 degrees for medium rare (only if you know where your steak comes from) and 160 degrees for medium
Don’t forget about veggies; throw them on the grill too! Make kabobs to incorporate meat with veggies. Brush all the veggies with oil, cook the onions with the meat, and grill the other vegetables separately. That way the meat gets done, and the vegetables don’t get overcooked.
At the end of the barbecue, be sure to put out charcoals or double-check that the propane valve has been turned off.
Sodas are one of the main reasons for the American obesity epidemic! How did it happen?
How did a drink that Mom used to let you have once or twice a week morph into something that people drink like water?
Part of the reason is America’s stressful, workaholic life style. Those drinks are a two-fer: a little break happens when you take a sip, or even stop to drink the whole thing; and then there’s the caffeine to pick you up from your afternoon slump.
Another part of our “fatal attraction” to sodas can also be laid at the feet of the usual suspects—the “madmen” ad men who dazzle us with visions of fun, friends, creativity and energy, all associated with soda drinks.
And part of it is our own craving for a reward, a sweet treat in a rough day, and our taste for the sparkle of a fizzy drink.
Why not just give in and drink soda?
If you drink non-diet sodas, you are adding to your belly fat with sugar. Metabolic syndrome—the combination of belly fat, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high blood fats—is our number one epidemic. Sodas, “vitamin waters”, juice drinks, “sports” drinks—any sugary drink that gives you nothing but calories and raises your blood sugar—are this epidemic’s main fuel.
Would you sit and eat 9 ½ sugar cubes? That’s what you are getting with a mere 12 ounce can of Coke, along with 140 calories that have absolutely no value, and of course, And a 32 ounce Big Gulp? 23 ½ sugar cubes, 364 calories! For more about this, and a view of the stacks of sugar cubes, check out http://www.sugarstacks.com/beverages.htm. By the way, while you are getting all that sugar, you are also trashing your teeth with the combination of sugar and acid, and leaching calcium out of your bones.
So you are going to switch to diet drinks, right? Wrong!
In 2004, Susan Swithers, PhD, A Purdue University behavioral sciences professor published a study done with rats, showing that no-calorie sweeteners like aspartame increase appetite. If you are trying to diet, that can’t be good!
More recently, in February of this year, epidemiologist Hannah Gardener, PhD of the University of Miami presented preliminary research results regarding diet soda and health risks at a health conference.
Her early findings revealed a 48% increase in heart attack and stroke risk among daily diet soda drinkers, compared to people who did not drink diet sodas every day, or did not drink them at all. Of course, as is always said, “this research doesn’t absolutely prove that diet soda causes stroke or heart attack.” There could be more associated causes that were not eliminated as associated variables in the research.
However, the aspartame-heart attack-stroke association has some logic to it.
• Aspartame breaks down into methanol and formaldehyde. Methanol is wood alcohol. That can’t do the lining of your blood vessels any good! People used to drink methanol as “absinthe” until it was banned because it is neurotoxic and caused people to go crazy and blind!
• The methanol then breaks down into formaldehyde. A number of studies done since 1973 suggest that as much as 30% of the breakdown products of aspartame are retained in your body as toxic products of formaldehyde and formic acid.
• Even if only 10% of the formaldehyde from the breakdown of aspartame is retained, the amount you are getting in two diet sodas a day is 20 (twenty) times the EPA allowable amount of formaldehyde in drinking water.
• For more about this see the “gold standard” book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell Blaylock, MD, a neurologist recently retired from University of Mississippi Medical Center.
• Also check out http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/methanol.html for information about the junk science and scientific abuse that got aspartame on the market in the first place.
• If you really want to scare yourself away from diet drinks, watch the documentary film Sweet Misery.
No sugary sodas, no diet sodas, no vitamin waters, no “sports drinks.” What to drink?
Good old filtered water is the best drink. If you absolutely must have that caffeine lift, try macha green tea. Stay away from the bottled teas unless they are unsweetened, because they, too will have sugar, or corn syrup, or aspartame.
I have to admit, I am a huge fan of fizz. I want my drink to sparkle. I am now drinking flavored mineral waters. If I want to add a little extra flavor and sweetness, and not too many calories, I pour out two ounces of organic grape or cranberry or other 100% fruit juice into a glass, and fill it up with lime or lemon LaCroix. Delicious!
The festive holidays that mark the beginning of spring come with many temptations. Choosing to live well is to take these temptations and turn them into healthy treats that celebrate the season. Wine and chocolate can be good for you- or evil.
A glass of red wine is packed with powerful antioxidants that have been found to reduce the risk or heart attack and stroke, all while improving brain function, increasing lifespan, fighting cancer and decreasing the effects of aging. Phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and resveratrol, act as antioxidants and prevent “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body.
The benefits of red wine (and dark beer like Guinness) favor the cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and inhibiting the oxidation of unhealthy cholesterol. In moderation, alcohol can raise your good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin your blood, preventing clotting and lowering the risk of heart disease.
When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better!
On a month where multitudes of chocolate bunnies fill the grocery store shelves, it’s easy to feel like a kid in a candy store. It’s O.K. to give in to temptation, just be smart about it.
The benefits of chocolate have been known for thousands of years and some native tribes who regularly consumed cocoa showed very low rates of cardiovascular disease. Epicatechins, the natural compound found in cocoa, may offer significant benefits to those who’ve previously suffered from a stroke by its ability to restore function to blood vessels. Chocolate even contains chemicals associated with happy emotions.
Remember that not all chocolate is created equal. The more processing, like heat and light, chocolate is subjected to, the less antioxidants it has. Added ingredients like sugar and dairy can turn the otherwise beneficial treat into something quite the opposite; the milk in milk chocolate interferes with the absorption of beneficial antioxidants. Consuming a moderate amount of an organic, unprocessed, dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa is ideal.
Limiting alcohol to one glass per day is recommended for optimal health benefits. Keep in mind that drinking heavily can lead to weight gain; one bottle of wine is about 480 calories (that’s the equivalent of two 20-ounce Cokes!) For some, sulfates and tannins in wine can even trigger migraine headaches.
So indulge on these plant phenol-rich super foods during this holy season… but keep well by indulging in moderation. Happy Easter, everyone!
The latest controversy about canned food is BPA–Bisphenol-A–leaching into foods from the lining of cans. A 2004 study by the CDC—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—revealed that this hormone disrupting chemical can found in the bodies of 95% of Americans. The plastics industry says that a little BPA is not harmful. (www.Bisphenol-A.org). However, there is much contradictory data from watchdog agencies such as: www.environmentalhealthnews.org or www.bisphenolafree.org.
What canned foods are safe?
First, anything in glass jars or paper boxes will not contain BPA. This includes many of the spaghetti sauces, salad dressings, oils, fruits, jams, soups, alternative milks (soy, almond, rice, coconut) and juices, Pomi tomatoes in boxes, or BioNature tomatoes in glass jars.
Some of the foods that are actually in cans are also safe because the companies have taken the initiative to provide BPA-free cans. Here is a partial list:
Eden beans, and rice and beans, Bearitos refried beans, Vital Choice salmon, Native Forest coconut milk, and pineapple, Wild Planet light tuna, Trader Joe’s canned vegetables—corn, beans, chicken, seafood, (their chili and soups are not in BPA free cans,) Imagine, Pacific and Kirkland boxed soups and broths. Muir Glen states that they are “in transition” regarding BPA free cans, so watch for specific products.
Canned foods like the ones I have listed are a wonderful convenience. Who has time to cook their own tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes? Or cook a pot of beans all day? Or make your own chicken, vegetable or meat stock for soup? And who doesn’t love a good tuna or salmon salad? Canned fish keeps all its food value, even when canned, and is a great source of protein.
All of these foods are wonderful for winter meals. I think I’ll go open up a box of organic butternut squash soup, and a can of refried black beans!
Snacks for your child can be both fun and healthy for the teeth and body. The various snacks can be separated into a few groups; fruit/vegetables, dairy and prepackaged. One of the major rules with any food group is that the stickier they are and/or the longer they are in the mouth, the more dangerous they are for the teeth. The chewing surface of the teeth is covered with a terrain of grooves, valleys and peaks. Chewy, sticky foods like fruit strips, raisins, dates, candy or dried fruits can get lodged and stuck in these tiny grooves. With time, this can start breaking down the enamel. Even if the label on this food, whether purchased or made, says organic or healthy, sugar is sugar. This snack group requires immediate brushing afterwards due to it’s higher index of caries or decay producing quality. Another snack group would be things like popcorn, nuts, Pirate’s Booty, baked vegi sticks or chips or granola. These really don’t get lodged in the grooves, but they do sit in the mouth around the teeth. A good thorough rinsing should follow these. There is also the dairy group. Cheese slices, cubes, sticks or even yogurt and cottage cheese. Good options for the teeth, but still require you to at least rinse with water after eating them.
Our final group is the vegetable and fruit choice. To this day, my 7 year old daughter thinks that a small bowl of baby carrots is a reward for a good deed or behavior. To encourage your children or even yourself to favor this snack group, have quick easy access to these foods. Always have on hand things like chopped broccoli, sliced cucumber, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, apples, oranges, pears, grapes, melons, plums, peaches or even steamed edamame beans. Keep in mind, fruit and vegetable juices are also included in this group. (Just try to avoid high fructose corn syrup.)
Out of all of the snacks, the fruit and vegetable group have the highest value for tooth/body health. I still suggest a good rinse with water after eating. The rinsing helps the food particles to be removes from the mouth and also helps the mouth reach the correct PH level much quicker. Anytime anything is placed in the mouth, solid food or liquid, the body takes, on average, 30-40 minutes to return to a healthy PH level. These “windows” of lower PH are windows or opportunity for decay. Rinsing and brushing are 2 ways to get the PH levels back to normal. To be on the safe side, have water on hand along with snacks for a quick rinse. Good luck and happy and healthy snacking
It’s all in alphabetical order except for chocolate, which is in a category all by itself, and has to come first!
Chocolate Chocolate is the ultimate aphrodisiac food. One of its chemical compounds, anandamide, promotes feeling good. Another compound, phenylethylamine (PEA) is also known as the love chemical. PEA brings on feelings of attraction, excitement, and euphoric pleasure. It causes the release of dopamine in the brain’s pleasure center. Its level is the highest during orgasm. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, a necessary ingredient of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is needed for relaxation and a feeling of well-being. No wonder it is a tradition to give boxes of chocolates on Valentine’s Day!
Almonds “Back in the old days” the scent of almonds was thought to arouse passion in women, and almonds were regarded as fertility symbols. Almonds actually have high levels of magnesium and vitamin E. Adequate magnesium is needed for normal cycles and normal childbirth, and vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to increase fertility when given to both men and women. Men going for IVF treatment with their partners have been given vitamin E, and fertilization rates have increased from 19 to 29 percent. It has been suggested that the antioxidant activity of vitamin E might make the sperm more motile. So, those “back in the day” people had the right idea about almonds, but they needed to give them to both men and women!
Arugula Arugula was used as an aphrodisiac as long ago as the first century AD. According to the Cambridge World History of Food, arugula was combind with grated orchid bulbs and parsnips, and also with pine nuts and pistachios to make an aphrodisiac “mix.” I think I’d rather have a box of chocolates, maybe with almonds in some of them.
Asparagus In 19th century France, bridegrooms were served three courses of asparagus at their “bachelor” dinners. Again, people back then knew something: asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin and folic acid. Folic acid is known to boost histamine production necessary for the ability to reach orgasm in both men and women.
Avocado Avocados are famous for being associated by shape with the testicles. They were thought to be so “obscenely sexual” by Catholic priests in Spain, that they were banned as a food. Avocado, like asparagus, is high in folic acid, so it is another orgasm booster. It also has vitamin B6, which calms the nerves, and potassium, which is necessary for many body processes, including heart regulation.
Bananas Bananas are another food that is “guilty by association” with sex because of its shape. Bananas, like avocados, have potassium and B vitamins, and like almonds, contains magnesium. Its real claim to fame, however, is the bromeliad enzyme, which is traditionally known to boost male libido.
¬Basil Basil not only makes food smell and taste better, it can make the heart beat faster, and stimulate the circulation. The smell of basil, similar to the smell of gardenias, is said to have an aphrodisiac effect.
Figs Figs were Cleopatra’s favorite fruit! Need we say more? Figs are thought of as stimulating sexual arousal, and an open fig is, well, guilty of that sex/shape association again, this time in regard to women. Figs are, of course, associated with fig leaves, which Adam and Eve used to cover themselves. In addition, figs were thought to be sacred in ancient Greece, and were associated with fertility and love.
Ginger Ginger is another traditional aphrodisiac, because of its ability to increase circulation. The smell of ginger is said to increase desire.
Honey Honey contains boron, a mineral that assists in estrogen metabolism. Studies have also shown that honey can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone is well know for being the hormone that promotes sex drive and orgasm on both women and men. Also, like many of the other aphrodisiac foods, honey has B vitamins. The word “honeymoon” comes from a custom in ancient Persia. Couples drank mead (a liquor made from honey) daily for a month after marriage, to get them “in the mood.”
This next one is taken directly from www.science.howstuffworks.com:
“Licorice In ancient China, people used licorice to enhance love and lust. The smell appears to be particularly stimulating. Alan R. Hirsch, MD, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, conducted a study that looked at how different smells stimulated sexual arousal. He found that the smell of black licorice increased the blood flow to the penis by 13 percent. When combined with the smell of doughnuts, that percentage jumped to 32.” My comment–that explains Homer Simpson!)
Oysters If you were to ask most people to come up with an aphrodisiac food, probably the one most mentioned would be oysters. Oysters have long been thought to increase sexual desire. And it’s all true. Oysters have high zinc content—and zinc is known to help produce sperm and increase libido.
Pine nuts Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido since Medieval days. They are high in zinc, like oysters, and have been used for centuries in love potions. The Arabian medical scholar Galen advocated pine nuts as a bedtime snack—he said to eat one hundred pine nuts before going to bed. Before going to bed alone? I doubt it.
Here’s one possible Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Foods Menu:
Appetizer: Oysters on the half shell Salad: Arugula, with figs, pine nuts, avocado, and a honey and ginger dressing
Entrée: Spaghetti with tomato-basil sauce, with grilled asparagus
Dessert: Chocolate¬ banana almond mousse
After dinner mints: Licorice flavor
You never know what might happen!
Happy Valentine’s Day
Much research and attention has been focused on the connection between high levels of cholesterol in the blood and heart disease. Many people now rely on medication aimed at lowering lipid (blood fat) levels. Is that advisable? Let’s review the facts on cholesterol: what it is, what its role is in the body, how it can it be controlled through the foods we eat and other natural methods of treatment.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance in your blood that can accumulate inside your vessels and lead to heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, your liver and cells make up 75 percent of your cholesterol in your body, while the remaining 25 percent is found in your food. We have “good” and “bad” cholesterol within our bodies. LDL cholesterol is called “bad” cholesterol, because elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. HDL cholesterol is called the “good cholesterol” because HDL cholesterol particles prevent atherosclerosis by extracting cholesterol from the artery walls and disposing of them through the liver.
When cholesterol is too high and the ratio between LDL and HDL is not ideal there are different options to consider. Some turn to a class of medications known as statins, however there are risks and side effects associated with them, including headaches, nausea, constipation, muscle weakness and pain, liver and kidney stress and/or failure, and increased risk of diabetes.
Natural or holistic options can combat high cholesterol. Making heart healthy food choices is the first step. Following are some of the best options:
- Fruits and vegetables. Fresh or frozen produce contain phytonutrients that help to prevent and repair cellular damage. They are scavengers for free radicals, which helps to protect our blood vessels. It is important to remember that fruits and vegetables are most beneficial when they are in their raw state. When cooking vegetables the best method to keep nutrients and enzymes from being destroyed is to lightly steam.
- Whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Fiber is important in maintaining or reaching ideal cholesterol levels. Soluble fibers job is to bind to LDL (bad) Cholesterol which is eventually excreted out of our systems. Soluble fiber sources are foods like nuts, beans, legumes, and oats to name a few.
- Fish. The American Heart association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish help to lower the risk of heart disease.
The spices below work towards overall heart health:
- Caper, coriander, cinnamon, fenugreek, garlic, ginger Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Fenugreek Raises HDL (good) cholesterol)
- Bay leaf, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary, thyme, turmeric Anti-inflammatory
- Clove, ginger, onion, oregano, rosemary, thyme Inhibit platelet aggregation (prevents blood clots)
There are also supplements and herbal treatments to treat high cholesterol. A few examples are red yeast rice with CoQ10 as well as plant sterols which help to naturally lower cholesterol levels. You should always consult with a health professional before starting any supplement routine.
Being active and developing a regular cardiovascular as well as strength training routine has been shown to raise the “good cholesterol” and lower the “bad”. If you are someone who does not currently incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, start by taking small steps such as taking a 15 minute walk everyday and working up from there.
It’s important to keep in mind that cholesterol has positive and essential roles within our bodies. We need cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D and bile. Cholesterol is also important for protecting nerves and for the structure of cells. Turning to a cholesterol free diet and avoiding even healthy fats is not a safe method of health care. Make sure you’re monitoring your cholesterol levels, and if they are elevated, taking steps towards a heart healthy diet and exercise routine should be the first line of defense.
Turkey, ham, or almond-butter-and-jam sandwich
Apple, tangerine, organic fruit twists, or organic apple sauce
Organic chocolate bar or cookies
Isn’t this is a lunch any kid would love?
But first, what not to do! If you choose breads with a list of “dough conditioners” and other additives that is as long as your arm, standard “lunch meats” with all their nitrites, nitrites, MSG, “modified food starch”, chips with MSG and dyes, non organic carrots and fruit and a “Halloween candy” style candy bar, and a sugary, corn syrupy juice drink or sports drink, this same lunch can be totally unhealthy.
Here’s what to buy:
- Applegate Farms or Hormel Naturals turkey or ham (no nitrites, nitrates or MSG.) A good spread for these meats is organic mayo, or organic mustard, or both! And you can include some lettuce and tomato in a separate bag to add to the sandwich, or organic cheese, for kids who are not dairy allergic.
- Any organic whole grain bread. There are some softer light wheat breads that are kid-friendly. If your child has to be gluten-free, Udi’s is a good gluten-free bread.
- Chips¬-there are many varieties of organic, dye and additive free chips (that are actually good) at health food stores. My favorites are the reduced- fat Kettle Chips.
- I have suggested apple or tangerine because they tend to survive better in a lunch bag. For fun, you can sometimes substitute Clif Organic Twisted Fruit—each stick contains a serving of real organic fruit, in strawberry, grape or tropical fruit flavors.
- Small lunch-bag size organic mini carrots are available at health food stores, or bag your own and save money.
- I have suggested almond butter because many schools forbid peanut products due to children with peanut allergies. Be sure to get almond butter that contains only almonds, almond oil and salt. Check the label! I also suggest all-fruit jams. These have no cane or corn sugars, just the natural fruit sugar that belongs to the fruit itself.
- Chocolate! There are many varieties of organic chocolate bars, both milk and dark. Or, if your child needs a sugar-free treat try Nana’s No’s cookies, which are also gluten, dairy, and egg free.
Make up some chicken soup with organic ingredients. Kirkland now has a good organic, gluten free chicken broth, available at Costco. With organic or free range chicken, the broth, and some organic veggies, and potatoes or noodles, this is a favorite. A wide mouth thermos is easy to fill and keeps the soup hot until lunch time. A whole grain roll and an apple are good “sides” for the soup.
Diabetes has increased world wide at alarming rates over the past few decades. Statistics show that the incidence of diabetes has gone from 153 million diagnosed in 1980 to 347 million in 2008. More specifically, diabetes has risen twice as much as in the U.S as compared to the European countries.
The focus of “fixing” diabetes over the last decade has been to substitute sugar with artificial sugar, to switch natural fats with chemical derivatives and to medicate with drugs that cause the body to think blood sugar levels are “within normal range”. Clearly statistics and trends are showing that what we as a society have been doing to combat this disease process is NOT working.
One very crucial factor to remember is that no matter what disease process, that disease is not isolated to the malfunction of only one organ or system. Our entire body works as a whole, which means that if one area of the body is having a difficult time functioning properly, so must the entire body. Therefore, on a holistic level we must start asking different questions that propel us into thinking about and caring for our bodies differently.
What are some of the key factors we should consider in the treatment of diabetes?
What and how we eat: The quality and kinds of food, how much it is processed and how we eat it through the day are of key significance because it is the fuel for our bodies to function. One might think eating foods that contain artificial fat and sugar solves the problem of the impact of sugar on the organs. However, those foods are most likely still heavily processed and allow one to keep the same habits of consuming foods with less nutritional content than fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods also increase the load of toxic chemicals that the body must work at expelling.
Another factor is stress. The adrenal glands not only work to keep blood sugar levels stable, they also work in response to anxiety and stress by releasing cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released in the “fight or flight” response which also directly affects fat storage and weight gain in individuals. So an important component of increasing one’s health is also learning to adapt to lifestyle stresses with more peace, joy and happiness.
Addressing how you think about situations, the quality of your life, your work life, the number of hours during the day that you’re doing things that you enjoy versus things you dread, being able to relax your mind and body, are all crucial components of a healthier body.
Studies continue to investigate the link of any disease to nutrition, lifestyle, genetic predispositions, ethnicity, etc. which may be contributing to it. Ultimately the disease process is a result of the body having to respond to or inability to respond to the many choices that have been made. Changing your choices towards health & life enhancing choices will allow your body to follow suit.
- USA Today: Diabetes on upswing worldwide
- Fairwarning.org: Global increase of diabetes
- Medicalxpress.com : Diabetes
We all know that what we eat affects our overall health, so doesn’t it make sense that what we eat also affects our oral health? Like our bones, muscles and organs, our teeth and gums need certain nutrients to be healthy and stay healthy.
Here’s a list of common elements of the diet and their benefit to your oral health.
• Dairy products: Provide calcium and vitamin D for strengthening teeth and bones.
• Breads and cereals: Supply B vitamins for growth and iron for healthy blood, which in turn contributes to healthy gum tissue.
• Fruits and vegetables: Contain vitamin C, among other important vitamins which are essential to maintaining healthy gums.
• Lean meat, fish, poultry and beans: Provide iron and protein to improve overall health, and magnesium and zinc to strengthen teeth and bones
Combining a healthy balance of these food groups with an all-important regimen of brushing and flossing are the best actions you can take to promote healthy teeth and gums, which in turn promote good overall health and heart health.
Why do these two brilliant cancer research “rock stars” refuse to eat refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup - now such huge components of the American daily diet?
Craig B. Thompson, M.D., President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center in New York
He has done ground-breaking research on a link between insulin “signaling” and
Lewis Cantley, Ph.D, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, another top
researcher on the insulin-cancer connection.
And why does Dr. Cantley say “Sugar scares me.”
A recent New York Times article by Gary Taubes reports the history of, and some of the latest research on the connection between
increased consumption of refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup and the
dramatic increase of obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome in
the United States. His article also describes research by Dr. Thompson and Dr.
Cantley, that makes an even scarier connection between these two refined,
processed sweeteners and “the big C”—cancer—the reason why the two researchers
now do not eat sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
In his impressive nine-page article, Taubes carefully documents the following process:
- Large amounts of refined sugar-50% fructose and 50% glucose and corn syrup-
55% fructose and 45% glucose—are mainly processed by the liver, and are turned
- This process causes high levels of insulin to be released to process the sugars, and
eventually leads to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome—a combination of
high blood sugar, high levels of fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood, high
blood pressure, and abdominal fat. This combination is a source of diabetes, heart
disease, and strokes.
- The high levels of insulin also trigger an insulin related growth factor—and this is
the cancer connection–which increases tumor growth.
Now that we have strong evidence that sugar is an even bigger player that we thought in all
the metabolic diseases that involve high levels of sugar and fats in the blood, and in
addition, is a contributor to cancer (some people still say the jury is out but I will go with the
brilliant Harvard/Sloan Kettering researchers on this one) what do we do?
Here are my “Great Eight” recommendations:
- Stop drinking sodas and fruit juice—this kind of sudden, high sugar content, liquid
“hit” of sugars is just what makes your liver turn it all into fat, and raises your
insulin levels, creating insulin resistance. Eat whole fruits instead.
- Drink mostly water. Artificially sweetened sodas and juices are not a solution—
aspartame, the most common sugar substitute in them, has been shown to be a
neurotoxin. (See Russell Blaylock, M.D.’s Excitotoxins:The Taste That Kills. Dr.
Blaylock is a board certified neurosurgeon.
- Stop eating candy, cookies and baked goods except on rare occasions. If you do eat
them, do it as a dessert right after a meal. You will not have such a sharp rise in
- Eat a diet that is primarily whole, unprocessed, organic foods.
- Get regular exercise. It lowers blood sugar levels. A combination of aerobic and
resistance exercise is good.
- Learn about “glycemic index” and “glycemic load” of foods. These lists, widely
available on the internet, show how much different foods will raise your blood
sugar. High, sudden raises in blood sugar are what triggers off high production of
insulin, and then insulin resistance. Eat mostly foods that are low to moderate on
the glycemic index list.
- Refined sugar, corn syrup, and corn sugars (dextrose, maltodextrin, etc.) are all
chemically refined, and are increasingly being identified as allergens. They may be
a reason why other foods are increasingly allergenic. This is another good reason
not to consume them.
Bottom line, if you really want to solve the problem, go with the “rock star scientist”
solution—do not consume refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup at all.
Most people who lose weight gain it back within two years after their “diet,” often with a few extra, unwanted pounds. Keeping a food diary helps maintain your desired weight, but it can be very difficult to keep a food diary long term. If you learn these practical guidelines you will be able to go out to eat, travel, work, and live while maintaining your weight goals with or without a food diary.
1) If a food has a nutrition label, read it. Do not guess. Be sure to understand the serving size. It may be half the bag, 1 slice, 1 ounce, 12 pieces, etc. This is the most important rule, and it includes milk and yogurt.
2) If you plan to eat out, Google the restaurant first to see if it has a nutrition facts page. Choose a smaller size, eat an appetizer for a meal, share a meal, or bring half home to eat for a meal next day.
3) In all other cases, memorize these general exchange facts that I use and find to be practical and most accurate:
Most grain carbohydrates: ½ cup of rice, pasta, or cereal; 1 slice of bread; ½ regular size bagel; and ¼ cup of quinoa all equal approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates and about 80 calories.
Fruit carbohydrates: ½ cup of fruit; 1 small piece of whole fruit; ½ banana; or about 1 cup of any kind of berry all equal approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates and about 60 calories.
Sugar: make sure most packaged foods and bars contain 6 grams of sugar per serving or less. Fresh fruit doesn’t count in this rule.
Protein: 1 ounce of any lean meat (loin, flank, round, or filet cuts), poultry, tuna, or seafood; 1 whole organic egg; or 2 egg whites all equal approximately 7 grams of protein and about 35-75 calories.
Fats: 1 teaspoon of any kind (butter or oil) both equals approximately 5 grams of fat and about 45 calories.
Knowing a few simple food facts can go a long way towards creating and maintaining your food, weight and hormonal balancing goals!
Let’s look at how food monitoring plays a role in weight.
Food monitoring can help you assess your calories, food portions and meal timing, as well as to identify eating patterns that aren’t in your best interest to lose weight. Depending on your personal goal, food monitoring can help you maintain your weight and lose body fat, lose weight and body fat, or gain weight.
Here are some easy tips to follow if you want to maintain or lose weight.
1) Don’t eat after 7 p.m.
2) Eat at home as much as you can, or pack a lunch or snack as often as possible.
3) Don’t skip meals—consuming inadequate calories stresses the body and often leads to eating binges.
The following tips can be very helpful if you want to gain weight. They are my top three recommendations for weight gain, and they work every time when adjusted to meet your body’s caloric needs.
1) Eat lean protein in the evening with a healthy carbohydrate. Try 4-6 organic egg whites or ¼-½ cup of Egg Beaters, a whey or plant-based shake (such as Complete Shake, made by NSA), and a carbohydrate like a pear.
2) Add nutrient-dense foods that contain lots of calories with low volume so you aren’t as overly full. Some examples of high-calorie, low-volume foods are ¼ to ½ cup of any nuts or seeds added to a salad or eaten with an apple at snack time.
3) Add healthy fats to your meals or snacks. Add 1 teaspoon-2 tablespoons of flax oil with lignans, olive oil, or coconut oil to your cooking, salads, shakes, or foods.
Eating too few or too many calories at meals can contribute to weight gain and increased body fat. Start with a specific calorie or habit change. If that doesn’t work, monitor your food intake with a food journal, adjust your food intake or activity level, eat at least four to six mini meals per day and seek a health professional to assess other possible causes of your lack of progress.
Knowing a few simple food facts can go a long way towards creating and maintaining your food, weight and hormonal balancing goals!
Ok. This is the time of year when eating gets totally out of control. Americans think they have a license to eat anything and everything in the name of the Holiday Season. Here are a few tips to curb your appetite and your holiday binges.
• Eat normally throughout the day. Skipping meals causes increases in cortisol, the stress hormone which contributes to belly fat and breaks down muscle tissue.
On that same page, skipping meals will cause you to overeat later in the day. You really won’t save any calories that way.
• Look for the green. In other words, look for the vegetables at a party first. Fill up on that first, then find some protein…if you are still interested in the “fun food” you won’t eat as much.
• Watch portion sizes. If you decide to indulge, you can have a small portion and save tons of calories. Think moderation. A small piece of pie, a small serving of potatoes, you won’t feel deprived. And you won’t overdo it either.
• Use a smaller plate. For buffet dinners – use a 9” or salad plate for the entree. Fill up on salad, then use the smaller plate for the entree too.
• Alcohol – Choose beer or wine – both are around 100 calories on average. Mixed drinks and alcoholic punches can pack over 500 calories or more.
• Take your time eating. Parties tend to rack up calories because we aren’t really paying attention to what we are eating.
• Focus on the people instead of the food. Really parties are all about the people, the food is a bonus. • Ask if you can bring the vegetables and dip – even a full-fat dip and vegetables is better than a lot of the appetizers you could be eating.
• Aim to Maintain. You don’t have to lose through the holidays but let’s not put on the Seasonal Seven
• Avoid fast food by having snacks with you. Head the the grocery store and pack the refrigerator with pre-cut vegetables that can be eaten with pre-portioned hummus or apples and peanut butter are a quick snack that is portable. Always have a portion controlled snack-sized bag of nuts in the car, 20 almonds and a bottle of water will hold you until the next meal without all the added fat and unhealthy additives of the fast-food choices.
• Go for a walk. Park your car as far from the door as possible. Burn a few more calories – it won’t kill you to walk.
Maintaining healthy lifestyle habits such as eating regular balanced meals and exercising daily will go a long way towards boosting your immune system. In addition, there are steps that you personally can take to ensure good health.
Select foods and nutrients known as immune system boosters:
• Vitamin C (citrus fruit, broccoli)
• Vitamin E (nuts, vegetable oils, whole-grains)
• Zinc (beef, turkey, beans, oysters, crabs)
• Bioflavonoids (fruits and vegetables)
• Selenium (chicken, whole grains, tuna, snapper, lobster, shrimp, garlic, egg yolks, sunflower seeds, brown rice)
• Carotenoids (carrots, yams)
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids (nuts, salmon, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed oil)
• Barley grass (juice or sprouted seeds)
• Wheat grass juice
• Fresh seafood
• Legumes (peas, beans, lentils)
• Organic raw nuts and seeds (can be ground up for easier digestion)
• Sea weeds (kelp, dulse, agar – agar, nori, arame, kombu, wakame and hijiki are excellent for improved immune function)
Our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals more efficiently through whole food, so choosing from the above list will go a long way toward creating and maintaining your well-being. Supplements are also helpful.
I choose a proprietary product known as Immunity, a composite of 14 natural mushrooms that boost the immune system. I take several a day, an extra one if I am around my grandchildren, and an extra one for every hour of a flight. Mushrooms have been employed by herbalists for centuries — some species have been used as far back as 3,000 BC. More recently, studies have been devoted to the relationship between mushrooms and immune response. My formula includes: Cordyceps sinensis, Agaricus blazei, maitake (Grifola frondosa), reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Trametes versicolor, shiitake (Lentinula edodes), Hericium erinaceus, Tremella mesenterica, Phellinus linteus, Pleurotus tuber-regium, oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus), chaga, Lepiota procera and enoki (Flammulina velutipes). There are many brands and blends available through health food stores and private practitioners.
Animal studies have also shown mushrooms to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects. The important thing is to be sure that they meet and/or exceed Canadian labeling standards. Canada regulates supplements as natural health products. Also, avoid mucous producing foods – milk and diary products such as cheese, ice cream, cream, preserved meats and processed foods may impair immune function.
Implement lifestyle changes:
• Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and warm water, especially before eating and after using the restroom
• Cook meat thoroughly to kill dangerous bacteria and other microorganisms
• Avoid sleep deprivation – get at least 8 hours a night because deep sleep stimulates and energizes the immune system
• Maintain a healthy body weight – obesity has been linked to a weakened immune system
• Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week — physical activity stimulates the immune system and helps with weight maintenance or reduction
• Consume alcohol in moderation; one drink may not affect the immune response, but several drinks in a short period impairs the immune function of the white blood cells (WBCs)
• Limit your sugar intake — 100 grams of sugar, the amount in one 12-ounce can of regular soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent for up to 5 hours; sugar has devastating effects on the immune system, and the fact that Americans consume an average of 2-3 pounds of sugar per person annually spells bad news this time of year. Not only does sugar increase the production of hormones that suppress the immune system, but refined sugar also needs micronutrients to be metabolized. This requires your body to use stored vitamins and minerals, further harming your defenses.
• Avoid acidic beverages like coffee and soft drinks; keep your body in an alkaline state to keep it well
• Drink lots of fresh filtered water – approximately ½ of your body weight in ounces of water per day
• Avoid smoking which weakens the immune system
• Avoid stressors in your environment – 74% of physician office visits are related to stress-induced symptoms; medicate, integrate yoga into your routine, breathe deeply. Just a handful of almonds may shore up your immune system from the effects of stress. A recommended 1/4 cup serving carries nearly 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E, which helps boost the immune system. And they have riboflavin and niacin, B vitamins that may help you bounce back from the effects of stress.
• Enjoy a cup of tea – green or white is preferred – they are richest in antioxidants
• Follow your healthcare provider’s advise concerning vaccines
As flu season approaches, be proactive concerning your health. Take responsibility for your internal and external environments and what you put into, and around, them. You can increase your ability to make it through the flu season with a strong immune system just by following the steps outlined here. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…choose prevention, choose naturally, and choose wisely.
The internet is a great source of information related to health and wellness, especially the subject of immunity. Some good sites include:
- Ask Doctor Oz.com – Immune System Health
- Mayo Clinic.com
- Mayo Clinic Health Tips
- WebMD- Colds and flu: Immune foods
- Health Canada
Health benefit of cranberries
By Dr. Helen Lee
The onset of fall brings with it not only the vibrant colors of the changing leaves but also brilliant orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetables full of health benefits. Among these are cranberries.
Cranberries are best known for their ability to combat urinary tract infections but are also contain great antioxidants, promote gastrointestinal (digestive) health, and may aid in cholesterol health.
- Improve Urinary Tract health: Studies in 1994 showed that women who drank cranberry juice were less likely to develop urinary tract infections. At the Experimental Biology conference in 2002 a study showed that 8-oz of cranberry juice cocktail prevented E. Coli from adhering to the wall of the bladder. Cranberries contain a structurally unique form of proanthocyanidins which prevent bacteria such as E. Coli from adhering to the urinary tract and thus can be released through the urine.
- Antioxidant: Antioxidants are compounds in the body which have the ability to stabilize free radicals which cause cellular damage, increased degeneration/aging/disease, as well as increase risk of cancer. A study published in the November 19, 2001 edition of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed cranberries to contain more antioxidant phenols than 19 other common fruits & vegetables.
- Gastrointestinal Health: Cranberry has been found to inhibit some food-borne bacteria from attaching to the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. A study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition also showed that cranberry juice prevents the common bacteria responsible for many stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori, from adhering to the gastric wall.
- Cholesterol Health: A study in British Journal of Nutrition showed 8% increase in HDL (“good”) levels of 30 overweight men with slightly elevated LDL. Increased levels of HDL has been shown to decrease risk of heart/cardiovascular disease.
So enjoy cranberries for your health this season—as a juice or cocktail, in pie, jam and sauce.
That was me…the smart kid, teachers pet, fat kid sitting in the front row.
At that time there was only one of us that fit that description, now 12 in a class of 30 would be considered overweight or obese. The statistics are 16% under 18 years old are overweight and 31% are obese. These statistics are staggering! Where does it start and why?
It starts with the parents and grandparents. Children of overweight and obese parents/grandparents tend to be overweight and obese. The eating habits of the children are directly related to what the the rest of the family is eating. This may seem inherently obvious, however, most people think it is a “genetic thing” and not at all related to current lifestyle habits. I hear it all the time, “well my mom was this way therefore I am too.” This is simply not true. What did your great grandmother eat? Chances are it looked nothing like what we eat today and call food.
Non-nutritive food like soda, chips, cookies, donuts, processed meats – chicken nuggets, french fries and most breads are devoid of nutrients – these ARE the reason! These foods are high in carbohydrates and fat. And yet, this is the typical food kids consume. When people tell me about their typical day of food the following is the usual rundown:
- Breakfast: cereal, oatmeal, toast with juice and/or coffee
- Lunch: sandwich (PBJ or lunch meat), yogurt, chips
- Dinner: protein, starch and vegetable or salad on a good day but pizza and pasta is more typical
- Snacks: yogurt, candy bars, granola bar, chips, cookies
All the fat and carbs create abdominal obesity or belly fat. High amounts of fat around the middle is correlated with higher risks of diabetes and eventually heart disease. This is where most children store their fat. The younger this begins, the younger the diagnosis of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and shorter life expectancy. Ultimately, this represents a larger burden on our already ailing healthcare system.
So, what is the solution? Parents, it’s up to you! The harsh reality is that you are choosing to feed your kids, and most likely yourselves, the junk that is causing the problem. “But my kids won’t eat healthy food,” or “it’s too expensive to eat healthy” are the most common excuses. I am here to tell you both are just that – excuses. It won’t be easy, that’s true, but it can be done. A bag of chips costs $2-3 and so does a bag of carrots, at discount grocery stores 3 pounds of apples will cost less than $2 and protein can be purchased at big box stores for greatly reduced prices. Soda and juice are very expensive, drink water, it comes out of your tap for free or buy a filter for your tap – add lemon or lime for flavor. Give it a week and you’ll like it and the kids will drink it if they don’t have other choices. Step up and be the parent!
A typical day of food could look like the following – as a place to start:
- Breakfast: Kashi makes some chewy nut bars, one of those offers a little protein; add a glass of milk; or add an egg – hard boiled can be made ahead – to the appropriate serving size of cereal (see the side of the box and measure it)
- Lunch: Roll up lunch meat around a pickle or cheese stick, baked chips and and apple.
- Dinner: protein, vegetable and 1/2 cup of potatoes rice or pasta
- Snacks: 1/4 c nuts(almonds, cashews etc.), cheese stick and fruit, and greek yogurt and fruit, baby carrots and hummus (1/3 C)
Your children may make a lot of raucous about the changes. Stick to your decisions, they will eat when they are hungry. If you can’t control what they eat outside of the home – control what you can. You don’t have to add to the junk they have already consumed by feeding them non-nutritious “food” at home. My story has a happy ending, it was my mom that insisted we eat right and ultimately taught me appropriate choices. Although I have had weight challenges, I have been able to maintain a normal weight most of my life.
Dr Kristina Sargent, of Restor Healing Centre, is a chiropractic physician who has been in practice for 18 years in Wheaton. The mission of Restor Healing Centre is to optimize the health of people in the community through empowering patients with education regarding nutrition, exercise and chiropractic care to promote and/or maintain wellness.
“Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.” Hippocrates
Spices are wonderful for adding flavor, texture, pizzazz & aroma to our foods. They also have many health enhancing effects. Historically, spices have been used as an integral & important part of not only cooking but also used in: special rituals, indicating status symbol, as an aphrodisiac, for relaxation & healing.
Cinnamon: This popular spice tastes good and a recent study in 2003 found it to reduce blood glucose level in Type 2 diabetics, lower triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol. It is also a great anti-inflammatory helping to reduce pain and discomfort, soreness and muscle aches.
Oregano: This is a powerful anti-oxidant and cancer-fighting herb. The phytochemcals in oregano act as anti-bacterial/viral/fungal/parasite chemicals which also aid in optimal digestive health.
Ginger: This herb has been used for its powerful antioxidant properties as well which helps to reduce damage from free radicals which cause aging & degeneration. It has shown to help with heartburn morning, sickness, and nausea/motion sickness.
Tumeric/Curcumin: This spice has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties which include: decreases inflammation of arthritis, increases immune function, healthy liver, and research is also finding it may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
Garlic: Helps to improve immune system, improve blood sugar, improve skin conditions such as acne & warts. It has been shown to reduce triglycerides and reduce arterial plaque between 5-18%.
With their smaller stomachs, kids may not eat much in one sitting, but they do eat often. The problem is, children are not only notoriously picky eaters, they’ll usually fight for sugary junk food. It’s a constant struggle to find snacks that are both appetizing and good for them.
Because many kids get about one-third of their daily calories from after-school snacks, these nibbles are as important as a balanced breakfast, lunch or dinner [source: Iowa State University].
Perhaps your little prince would like an orange?
Natural, sweet and good for you, fruit is a popular snack choice among kids and parents. OK, so maybe the youngsters don’t need as many as five a day, like the old saying goes, but kids do require about 1.5 cups of fruit per day [source: KidsHealth.org].
If you want to make fruit even more appetizing, try pairing it with low-fat, plain yogurt for dipping. Or stick some freshly washed grapes in the freezer for a cool snack on a hot, summer day.
HINT: Another popular alternative is dried fruit. If the label doesn’t list any additional ingredients to the fruit, such as sugar, much of the nutritional value remains the same (but with a higher caloric density. tlc.discovery.com
Serve smoothies in parfait glasses for added appeal.
Even the pickiest kids can’t resist fruit smoothies, which are naturally sweet and can be an excellent way to sneak nutrition into their diet. Beware of store-bought smoothies, however, which are usually full of added sugar. These end up carrying as many calories as a full meal (for a toddler). You might as well be giving them a milkshake [source: Bohn].
If you make the smoothies at home with fresh fruit such as bananas and strawberries, plain yogurt and low-fat milk, it’ll be a healthy source of calcium and protein.
HINT: If your child isn’t getting enough fiber or protein in his or her diet, add powder supplements to the smoothie.
Cereal and fruit: a winning combination!
Cereal is a great source of fiber, which is filling and healthy. Unfortunately, many cereals that kids love are full of sugar. Consumer Reports investigated the sugar content of some brands and found that a bowl of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks serves up as much sugar as a glazed donut [source: Consumer Reports]. Several other popular kids’ cereals also had hefty amounts of added sweeteners.
The good news is that Consumer Reports rated several kid-oriented cereals as both low in sugar and nutritious. These include Cheerios (regular and Honey Nut varieties), Kix and Life.
FACT: Fiber helps with digestion and can also help lower cholesterol.
Peanut butter is full of healthy fats.
Although high in fat, peanut butter is packed with fiber and protein. If your child has peanut allergies, you’ll have to steer clear of this snack choice. Such allergies have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, so it’s important to watch for evidence such as rashes around the mouth and face. But sometimes, more severe reactions occur, such as difficulty breathing, which require immediate medical attention [source: PBS].
If allergies aren’t a concern, kids love peanut butter spread on graham crackers or paired with different flavors of jelly for a classic PBJ. Try smearing peanut butter on a celery stalk and topping it with raisins to create a treat with flair — ants on a log.
HINT: Opt for natural peanut butter to avoid trans fats and added sugar.
Trail mix is a tasty snack you can tote anywhere.
Instead of buying pre-assembled bags of trail mix at the store, try making your own at home. Not only is it a fun activity for the kids to participate in, it allows you to control the salt and sugar content. If you’re up for it, you can also make your own granola. A great source of fiber, granola can also be high in sugar if you buy it at the store pre-made.
In addition to granola, tasty — and healthy — ingredients include dried fruits, various nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, peanuts, mini pretzels and pumpkin seeds or hulled sunflower seeds.
HINT: If you’re not worried about the added sugar, kids will love the addition of M&Ms or chocolate chips.
Cheddar cheese, grated
Pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1. Place 1 whole-wheat tortilla on a plate, and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover cheese with pear slices. Sprinkle pear with a bit more cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese melts. Roll, and cut into slices.
1 container (8 ounces) vanilla-flavored nonfat yogurt
1 banana, sliced
1 cup frozen strawberries or peaches
1/4 cup orange juice
1. In a blender, whip together all ingredients. Serve in glasses.
3 cups Yogurt-Burst Cheerios or similar whole-grain cereal
1/2 cup chopped dried strawberries
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1. Place paper liners in 24 mini muffin cups. Toss the whole-grain cereal and chopped dried strawberries in a medium bowl. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave on high for a minute, stirring it frequently. Combine with the cereal and strawberry mixture. Spoon into prepared cups and refrigerate until the clusters are firm, about 5 minutes.
PB and Raspberry Pops
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup reduced-fat milk
2-4 tablespoons honey, divided
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups raspberries
2 cups raspberry juice or raspberry juice blend
1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
1. Combine peanut butter, yogurt, milk, 2 tablespoons honey, and vanilla in a food processor or blender until smooth.
2. Pour peanut-butter mixture into eight 6- to 7-ounce paper cups or pop molds until they’re one-third full. Cover and freeze for 1 hour. Cover and chill remaining peanut-butter mixture until needed.
3. Stir together raspberries and juice, divide among the cups or molds, and insert sticks. Cover and freeze for an hour. Then fill with remaining peanut-butter mixture and freeze for at least 8 hours, or until firm.
4. Let stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes before unmolding. If you want, spoon honey around the rims and sprinkle on sesame seeds.
Nutty Popcorn and Fruit Mix
1 package (6- to 7-cup yield) plain microwave popcorn
Nonstick cooking spray
2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups potato sticks
1-1/2 cups peanuts or almonds
1 cup mixed dried fruit
1. Pop popcorn according to package directions. Pour popcorn into a very large bowl; coat lightly with cooking spray.
2. Sprinkle popcorn with Parmesan cheese; toss gently to coat. Stir in potato sticks, peanuts, and dried fruit.
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology, between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Additionally, obesity costs U.S. citizens an estimated $100 billion a year.
A healthy diet for teens is essential to keep stress under control, increase energy and maintain mental processing and health. With school starting this month, unnecessary stress can build up and it is important to pay special attention to a teen’s diet.
The benefits of a healthy diet help to keep a teen’s blood sugar levels balanced which, in turn, affects the mood and how the body functions. By eating certain foods, a teen can balance the serotonin levels in the brain, promoting sharp mental processing and an elevated mood.
People may notice that their mood feels more intense at certain times of the day, especially before meals. The foods you eat affect mood, mental functioning, energy and stress levels.
Try these eating tips for keeping your teen healthy and happy:
• Eat Your Meat!– Protein from lean meats such as turkey and chicken are a good source of amino acids, which produce healthy serotonin levels and aid in memory function.
• Keep Carbs Simple – Whole grains such as wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice are rich in vitamin B and folate, a mineral known to increase attention span.
• Stay Hydrated – By drinking water throughout the day, teens are less likely to lose energy and maintain healthy skin and joints.
• Fat Can be Your Friend!– Omega 3 and Omega 9 fats, which are found in olives, almonds, avocados and salmon can help teens focus and decrease risks for cardiovascular problems and strokes later in life
All of the hoopla in the media these days about the dangers of salt is a perfect example of why the LAST person you should trust for advice on nutrition is a medical doctor. If your $30,000 automobile started to give you trouble, would you ask your neighbor, who had just read a book on the internal combustion engine, how to fix it? No! You would ask a certified mechanic. It is no different with questions regarding nutrition. NEVER ask your medical doctor what you should and shouldn’t eat to stay healthy. They have no training and no clinical experience with it. Salt is one of the most necessary nutrients to the human body that there is. Salt is involved in thousands of metabolic processes, and, without enough of it you will get sick and then die.
One of the most noteworthy salt-related processes of the human body is the production of stomach acid. The molecular structure of salt is NaCl – sodium chloride. The molecular structure of stomach acid is HCl – hydrochloric acid. Your body gets the chloride molecule it needs to keep its stomach acid strong and healthy from salt (calcium is also an important player here). If you don’t have enough salt, your stomach acid will be weak. If your stomach acid is weak, you cannot digest your food completely. If you cannot digest your food completely, you develop nutrient deficiencies. Nutrient deficiencies are the MAIN CAUSE of all chronic disease. Therefore salt is PRETTY IMPORTANT, don’t you think?
Last but not least, when your stomach acid is weak (from a lack of salt), guess what happens? You develop heartburn! Heartburn is caused by NOT ENOUGH stomach acid – not too much. Start salting your food to taste and your heartburn will disappear in about 3 weeks.
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Take the char out of the broil (think deep golden brown).
Avoid cancer-causing chemicals!
Skip the food poisoning.
Prevent burns and blow-ups.
Do the words “healthy” and “barbecue” even go together? Most people aren’t looking for “healthy” when they barbecue. But they are not looking to up their chances of getting food poisoning, burns, or cancer either.
We all know that raw or undercooked meat, fish or chicken can cause illness from e coli, salmonella, and other bugs.
We know that where there is a grill, burns and explosions can be a hazard.
But what about cancer? There are three main cancer-causing chemicals that charred meat produces (and that doesn’t even count the petroleum fumes from the starter fluid!) They are:
2. HCAs (heterocyclic amines). They are also produced when meat is charred. This compound can increase the risk of breast, stomach, colon, and prostate cancer.
3.PAHs. (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which are produced by smoking fat from chicken, fish or meat.
What to do?
Nuts can be a great source of protein and “good” fats or essential fatty acids. Studies have shown various nuts to be high in vitamin B, beneficial in lowering risk of heart disease & lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol. In July 2003, the FDA approved the following health claim for nut package labels:
“Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of some nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
However, the mass-production, long storage, & convenience (unshelled) of certain nuts like peanuts have decreased potential health benefits. Mass production and need to store nuts increases the chance of it becoming rancid or susceptible to fungus.
Almonds: high level of vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, help stabilize blood sugar,
Walnuts: antioxidant (ellagic acid) which found to support immune system and fight cancer, help decrease total & LDL cholesterol, increase elasticity of arteries, high in omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids
Cashew: high in magnesium
Pecans: minerals & vitamin E, B, calcium, folic acid
Brazil nuts: High in omega 3 essential fatty acids & selenium
Unshelled—keeps nut fresher & maintains good oil
Raw—not processed, no salt, unroasted (most roasted with hydrogenated oils)
Soak or Sprout Raw nuts: soak in purified water & pinch of sea salt for at least 8-12 hours to make easier to digest
AVOID nuts when and if you have a virus. Nuts are high in arginine, an amino acid that can stimulate outbreaks of herpes simplex type viruses.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a sugar substitute which is made from converting corn starch into a combination of glucose (45%) and fructose (55%). It became widely used as a sweetener because it is comparatively less expensive to make, easier to distribute and can increase the shelf life of a product. It can be found in just about everything: soda, salad dressing, condiments like ketchup, yogurt, cereals, “healthy fruit” juices, cookies, any process food, etc.
The most prominent dangers of HFCS are its potential effect on weight gain and overall stress on the body. Initially it was thought that fructose would be a better sugar alternative especially for diabetics since it was found to absorb only about 40% as quickly as glucose. However further research on it’s affects on the hormonal system has found that fructose has to be metabolized in the liver, instead of all cells like glucose. This can lead to increased stress on the liver, high levels of body fat, challenges with cholesterol & triglycerides, increases in uric acid which stresses the kidneys and can create mineral deficiencies. A Princeton University research team found that rats gained significantly more weight on HFCS than on the same quantity of sugar. In 2001, the average American consumed almost 63 pounds of HFCS (up from zero in 1966). This is a serious issue for adults and children alike especially with children being a major consumer group of sodas & processed foods made with HFCS. These health concerns are reflected by the increase of childhood diseases such as obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, etc.
– Limit or eliminate sodas and other HFCS beverages and increase WATER
– Honey is a great natural whole food sugar & contains minerals, enzymes and a range of vitamin B
– Limit or eliminate processed foods; increase fresh fruits & vegetables
– Choose unrefined raw organic sugar and use minimally
– Read label and choose fruit juices which are made mainly from the fruit!
“The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup”
“Scientific Evidence about the Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup”
“We are Winning the War on Fructose”
“Why the World’s Most Popular Sweetener is Enemy Number One to…”
Soy is not the health food that you think it is.
It seems everywhere you look from the freezer section of your grocery store to the shelves of the local health food store soy products are everywhere. Tofu hot dogs and burgers are found in the “healthy eating” section of the grocery store. Many babies are downing soy-based formulas in place of breast milk. Soy products have swept the nation as a healthy source of protein, with a perception as being all natural and good for you. So what are the facts concerning soy?
Independent research has raised many questions concerning the relationship between soy and breast cancer. Decreased brain function in men has been linked to soy, and now scientists are questioning soy and its relationship to developmental abnormalities in infants. There are a few issues with soy, which in our opinion, make it a food that has a far greater downside then upside.
Soy contains natural chemicals that mimic estrogen called isoflavones. Animal studies show that this chemical can alter sexual development. Worse Japanese researchers found that as little as 2 tablespoons a day of soy powder had a dramatic effect of thyroid function creating a state of hypothyroidism with early goiter changes in spite of adequate iodine intake. They also found that the effect lasted for 3 months after soy consumption was discontinued.
Soybeans contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid. All beans do. However, soybeans have the highest levels of phytic acid compared to other beans. Adding to the high phytate problem, soybeans are highly resistant to phytate-reducing techniques, such as long, slow cooking used with other beans. Phytic acid blocks the absorption of certain minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. This is of particular interest when it comes to soy-based infant formulas and the nutrient deficiencies created in the name of health.
Soybeans also contain enzyme inhibitors that decrease protein digestion, create bloating, and eventually lead to amino acid deficiencies. Lastly, soybeans contain hemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance which causes red blood cells to clump together. These clumped blood cells cannot properly transport oxygen to the body’s tissues leading to cardiac difficulties.
Soy straight from the ground is not suitable for human consumption. Only after fermentation for an extended period of time as seen with miso and tempeh production, or through extensive processing such as chemical extractions and high temperatures, are the beans, or the soy protein isolate, suitable for digestion when eaten.
You would think that anything that caused your thyroid to slow down, your hormones to be depressed, your digestion to be shut down, your blood to clot, and nutrients to be leached from your body would be illegal to sell. It probably would be if you or I were selling it, but when the monsters of agribusiness can pay for research studies and manipulate the findings to their liking it creates a multibillion dollar industry from a bean that was waste and animal feed as recently as 100 years ago. Genetic modification has meant that all seeds are purchased from one supplier. Big business at its worst.
Does that mean that soy has absolutely no redeeming qualities? The process of fermentation reduces the phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors, and hemagglutinin. Reduces but does not eliminate so we recommend that you eat only small amounts of soy. Be certain that it is not genetically modified and make sure it is in a fermented form such as miso, or tempeh. Stay clear of soy protein powders, foods and supplements that are not fermented and GMO free.
According to a February 2004 report by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, (see www.iom.edu/Reports/go) the amount of salt a normal healthy person should eat per day is 3.8 grams, and the upper limit is 5.8 grams.
Among Americans age 31 to 50, more than 95% of the men and 75% of the women exceed the upper limit!
In addition the report states that 4.7 grams of potassium a day is necessary to lower blood pressure, lower the effects of salt, and reduce risk from kidney stones and bone loss. However, most American women age 31 to 50 consume no more than half of that amount, and men’s intake is “only moderately higher.”
The FDA recommends 2.4 grams of sodium, (about a teaspoon of table salt) and the American Heart Association recommends even less–only 1.5 grams a day.
High levels of salt mean high risk–for the development of high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and other chronic illnesses.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) estimates that roughly 75% of America’s sodium intake comes from processed foods, and calls processed food “the Number 1 sodium villain in our diet.”
Here is a processed food lunch CSPI used as an example, that gives you 2.420 grams of salt— Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (1,140mg of sodium), a serving of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (845mg), a Coke (15mg) and Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding (420mg).
That’s about two thirds of the National Academy of Sciences requirement, the entire daily recommendation from the FDA, and almost a gram more than the AHA recommendation. According to CSPI, this meal has a higher sodium content than a typical McDonald’s meal. Another shocker is a simple pot pie—a whopping 1.7 grams of salt in one serving.
What to do?
Or, for the sodium content in favorite fast foods, check out www.Food-Facts.com/Sodium-in-fast-foods/Go (sneak preview: a quarter pounder with cheese has 1.190 grams of sodium.)
What are the sweet tastes of summer? Sugary, succulent, red strawberries, tangy raspberries and blueberries; bright green and purple leaf lettuces, juicy heirloom tomatoes, and cucumbers; and don’t forget the burst of sweet corn in your mouth as you bite into that first fresh ear of corn this summer. All of my favorite flavors of summer are cool and refreshing on those hot days that we long for all winter. Summer is just around the corner and local, organic produce will be abundant. What should you look for and where do you get it?
Does it have to be “certified organic”? LocalHarvest.org is an online resource to help “people find products from family farms, local sources of sustainably grown food, and encourages them to establish direct contact with small farms in their local area.” There are several categories designated, with the intent being to help the small, local farmer, whose growing practices are better for the overall environment.
2. Naturally Grown – these farms grow everything like organic farms but without the certification
3. Transition – these farms are in transition to being organic, assuring the fertility of the soul and sustainability
4. Conventional – many small, local farmers use very few chemicals and still farm in ways that are not harmful to the soil and environment.
There are some awesome online resources for where to get local produce. LocalHarvest.org had many pages of farms and green markets per local zip codes. Most have descriptions of what you will find and a link to their website for more information.
2.Farmer’s Markets – most communities have these markets one or two morning per week starting in late April through October. They will carry what is locally grown and in season all through the summer. Some even have winter markets for the rest of the year.
3.Local Co-ops – whether delivered or a designated pick-up, these farms are a great value and you will be assured of in-season and fresh produce.
4.Grow it yourself – If you are feeling ambitious, even a pot of lettuce or one tomato plant can be fun and easy. Most garden shops have them started and you can just transplant them to your own pots.
So, get out of the big-box stores this summer and support your local farmers! First of all its a great learning experience for the kids in your life. They learn that real people grow real food, with dirt still on the leaves. It’s fun to get to know the people that grow your food and hear their stories. They are generally more friendly than the check-out person at the grocery store. And its great exposure to a more healthy lifestyle, with wholesome fruits and vegetables, fresh picked and bursting with flavor and nutrients.
Strawberries come into season in the south by mid-May and by the end of May and June around here
Blueberries start in June and come into season throughout the summer
Per Susies’s Garden Patch – just west of Rockford – Typical harvest dates: June: Strawberries; Mid July to Frost: Tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, okra, hot peppers; Mid September – October 31: Pumpkins, Fall Squash
Honey Hill Orchard – Waterman, IL Report Apple and raspberry picking starting in mid-late August
According to www.PickYourOwn.org: Earlier in the south, later in the north
June- July: cherries
June-August: blueberries, blackberries
July-September: peaches, figs, tomatoes, green beans
August: Figs, Fall raspberries start, early apples
September-October: apples and grapes
October: late apples, Pumpkins
Citrus is in season in the winter, along with all the fall squashes and root vegetables like potatoes and turnips. Always look at where the produce comes from, most will tell country of origin so you know how far it traveled.
Dr Kristina Sargent is a chiropractic physician with 18 years experience. Her mission is to engage, educate and empower people to take control of their health to prevent chronic diseases and lead successful lives through serving people with alternatives to medication. Her toolbox includes personalized diet recommendations, weight loss, exercise, chiropractic care, positive thoughts, prayer and meditation, and massage therapy. Her office, Restor Healing Centre, is located in Wheaton, Il. The website is www.RestorNow.com.
Eating for two, craving pickles and ice cream, ah yes, the joys of pregnancy, but these little joys are creating a generation of children with more health issues than the previous generation. Its not good enough to just “eat well” when you are pregnant, recent studies are showing that what women eat during pregnancy will have a lifetime effect on the child. Diseases such as diabetes, asthma, liver and pancreas disorders, anxiety and depression, decreased bone density and immune function are more evident in children when mom did not have a healthy diet during their pregnancy.
There are three main factors which impact the health of your child later in life. Obesity of the mother, eating high fat, and high glycemic index foods. Of course, these are all inter-related.
So, obesity increases the likelihood of obesity. Seems pretty simple. Being obese means your BMI is >30. There are several websites where you can find this information for yourself. Carrying that extra weight is like carrying your own inflammation factory. The fat cells send out inflammation signals to the body. These signals tell your body to raise blood pressure, plaque formation causing heart and blood vessel diseases, and risk for type-2 diabetes. It goes to reason that these inflammatory messages are carried to the unborn child.
Obese moms, specifically, intensify the risk of their children having problems with their pancreas, and anxiety and depression. The pancreas is partially responsible for digesting food and balancing blood sugar. Both of these functions are critical to be healthy. Changes in brain development cause anxiety, depression and spatial learning challenges.
High fat diets alone or in combination with high glycemic index diets also emerge as major factors in the long term health of your child. It’s easy to see these are the same diets that are detrimental to your health. High fat and high glycemic index foods have lead to the rise in obesity and the other chronic disorders.
The glycemic index tells us how fast a particular food is going to raise your blood sugar. Think of processed foods in plastic bags or wrappers. When your blood sugar rises quickly more insulin is needed to normalize the blood sugar. The more insulin produced over time leads to increased triglycerides, and more fat storage – that’s right – weight gain! Typically this weight gain is around the waist which is not only unhealthy but promotes more insulin release and inflammation. A vicious circle promoting more obesity. Again it makes sense these signals are carried to the fetus.
The conditions that are specifically attributed to high fat and high glycemic index in the next generation are type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity to asthma, decreased bone density, and diminished immune function are found in the research. Also found in the literature were an increased incidence of liver and pancreas disorders. .
The outcomes of poor nutrition are devastating for your child and the future generation. Simple lifestyle modifications will make you healthier and positively impact your legacy. So, choose the pickles, but watch out for the ice cream while you are pregnant.
Obesity, high fat and high glycemic index foods cause many health issues in the next generation. Diseases such as diabetes, asthma, liver and pancreas disorders, anxiety and depression, decreased bone density and immune function are more evident in children when mom did not have a healthy diet during their pregnancy. So, what should a pregnant women eat? And how can she reduce the degree of impact on her unborn child?
Common sense needs to prevail. If you are obese and pregnant, keep your weight gain to a minimum of 15-25 pounds. Typically, junk food like chips, fast food, ice cream, and baked goods like donuts, cookies, and bagels generally have a high glycemic index and are loaded with fat. But decreasing fat is not good enough, the high glycemic index still exists in those foods. Also, most low fat products have increased sugar and carbohydrates to make up for the flavor lost by decreasing the fat. The food pyramid is also not helpful as it encourages this high glycemic intake. Use the following recommendations to reduce calories and promote a healthy fetus that won’t suffer from diseases caused by poor nutrition.
We all care about the health of our children. You can make a major impact on their lifetime health, and yours, when you take control of what is in your control – food choices. Choose wisely now, and you and your child will be able to celebrate long healthy lives.
Dr Kristina Sargent is a chiropractic physician with a Master’s in Advanced Clinical Practice and 18 years experience. Her mission is to engage, educate and empower people to take control of their health to prevent chronic diseases and lead successful lives, through serving people with alternatives to medication. Her toolbox includes personalized diet recommendations, weight loss, exercise, chiropractic care, positive thoughts, prayer and meditation, and massage therapy. Her office, Restor Healing Centre, is located in Wheaton, Il. The website is www.RestorNow.com.
Ideally we would like to get as many nutrients from the foods that we eat. Choosing a wider variety of foods will allow you to access many different mineral &vitamins. Some key basics to keep in mind to optimize your dietary choices:
A full stomach and exercise don’t mix. Food that remains in your stomach during regular workouts or an event can cause nausea and cramping. Make sure you let your meal digest completely before an event. Depending on how much you eat and what it is, this will take 1 to 4 hours. Experiment before workouts to see what works best for you.
Easily digestible high carbohydrate foods are generally the best pre-workout foods. Pasta, whole grain breads, fruits, drinks, gels, and energy bars are good examples. Learn which foods and snacks digest well for you, so that you are not trying something new before an event.
General Pre-exercise Food Plan
4 hours before:
2 to 3 hours before:
1 hour before:
Foods and drinks to avoid:
A little experimenting can help you find pre-exercise diet that works for you.
Everyone looks forward to summer so they can get outside, enjoy more activities, get together with friends and/or just hang out in the backyard. With that also welcomes more opportunities to EAT! So how can we eat healthy during the summer? Take advantage of the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables which are available during the summer. You will be able to access highly absorbable nutrients when you choose a variety in types & colors of fruits & vegetables. For example, the red fruits & vegetables tend to contain more lycopene which has been shown to improve blood pressure, joint function as well as protect from free radicals or oxidation. Green vegetables & Fruits contain chlorophyll, fiber, & pthalides which can improve sleep, blood pressure, immune function and digestion. Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain more beta carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and flavonoids which are good for healthy eyes, cholesterol balance, alkaline pH (optimal for healing), and antioxidant formation. Fruits also tend to more cleansing to the internal body while vegetables are more nourishing. In order to get the most from your fruits & vegetables, eat them raw more than cooked for the natural juices & enzymes whenever possible.
During the summer months our bodies naturally wants to be more active and therefore is best served by a “lighter” body. Fruits & vegetables are “lighter” foods in that they digest quickly and provide a high quantity of nutrients for fuel whereas meat protein tends to be a “heavier” food which requires a lot of digestion and slows the body down. Try to decrease meat protein during the summer months especially the ones that are overly charred and fried. Most know the challenges of charring & frying foods in that not only does it kill all the nutrients & natural enzymes which help to digest foods but it also creates increased chance of free radicals formation. Free radicals are to the body as rust is to metal. Meat protein in large quantities creates more acid in our internal system. More acid creates inflammation, increased toxicity, and slows the entire body. An optimal ratio would be 70-80% fruits & vegetables and 20-30% grains & proteins.
Lastly, keep yourself well hydrated with water. With the increase in temperature, our bodies are losing hydration quicker. Drink water before you get thirsty. Once you notice thirst, your body has already lost a considerable amount of hydration. The body needs water for every single organ & function including the brain, muscles, organs, metabolism and so on!
Menopause is an extremely important time to re-evaluate one’s personal nutrition needs. Whether we have maintained good nutrition throughout our lives or have let our nutrition needs lapse, menopause often marks a point where proper nutrition becomes essential. We truly are metabolizing differently during this time, and it is important to change one’s diet in response to this.
One of the hallmarks of menopause and nutrition is there is no “one-size-fits-all” plan for everyone. All of us enter menopause with different medical and emotional needs and experiences. A nutritionist can help pull those pieces together in creating a plan that is tailored to your unique needs.
Common concerns during menopause include increased cholesterol levels, increased blood pressure, decreased bone density, and weight gain. All of these conditions can be helped through proper nutrition and exercise. In many cases our body is telling us what it needs from a nutritional standpoint; menopause is one of many important times to stop and listen.
As the weather cools and the leaves fall from the trees, your appetite and cravings for comfort foods increase. This might be due in part to the hibernation theory that we need to build up an insulation of fat, but Chinese medicine teaches that the winter belongs to the element of Water; deep, cold and dark. Winter is the time to replenish our root systems, even though on the surface, it looks barren. Underground, the nutrients are gathered all winter into the roots in preparation for spring. It is normal and healthy to turn inward and slow down during the winter.
When the Water aspect of our body is out of balance, we will get too introspective, dark, and mull over the past. The organ related to Water aspect are the Kidneys. Kidney emotions are fear, poor self confidence and insecurity when out of balance. Winter also produces seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a depression related to decreased sunlight. People become sluggish and depressed in the long, cold months. The good news is that eating the right foods will balance the Water aspect of the Five Elements.
Foods that are especially good for late fall and winter are squash, pumpkins and root vegetables. It is no coincidence that the holiday favorites are pumpkin pies with spices such as nutmeg, and cinnamon. Mulled cider, sweet potato, chili, pot roasts and stews are all traditional fall and winter foods. Root vegetables such as beets, carrots, and potato are full of zinc, potassium and trace nutrients that we need to get through the dark winter. Mushrooms are also great for the winter as they offer the highest content of vitamin D, a nutrient that most Americans aren’t aware they are deficient in.
The yearning for fatty foods may also be a craving for vitamin D, found in fish and fish oils. Contrary to popular opinion, fats are not unhealthy as a group. Good fats help to repair arteries, improve mood and support the endocrine system. Coconut oil heals the gut and prevents inflammation. Avocados and olives are staples in many cultural cuisines because they contain healthy fats. Try substituting vegetable or canola oil with olive or coconut oil. Add coconut milk to make creamy soups or use avocados to spice things up.
Here are some suggestions for eating according to your winter symptoms:
-If you’re too cold, warm up with cinnamon, nutmegs, and spices such as turmeric and cumin.
-If you’re too hot, cool off with mint, cucumbers and salads.
-If you’re feeling dry, add pears, plums, and honey.
-To prevent winter weight gain, add more fibers, whole grains such as barley, wild rice and black rice.
Try this recipe for winter soup:
Three Roots Soup
32 oz. Stock: Organic Chicken or Vegetable
2 C: Medium Beet cubed
2 C: 3-4 Medium Carrots cubed
2 C: Small Daikon Radish cubed
1-2 slice raw Ginger
The roots should be about equal amounts and cubed.
Bring stock to a boil with ginger slices.
Put in the roots and re-boil.
Simmer on medium heat 30-45 minutes until the roots are soft.
1. Serve cooled with mint sprig.
2. Remove ginger, puree, and add a can of coconut milk to make a creamy soup.
3. Make with ox-tail stock to increase nutritional value.
4. Make with different roots such as Chayote instead of Daikon.
Eating for the seasons helps to naturally regulate the moods for the dark days of winter, and reconnects us with the natural cycle of seasons.
The food we eat is can be the greatest communicator we possess, but most of us do not use it to our advantage.You may already be asking yourself “Um, excuse me, but I have never heard my food talking to me”. The food we eat sends our body messages–the challenge is learning the language of food so we can have pleasant communication instead of a hostile take-over situation.
Some of our food talks nicely and uses its manners – we feel energized and alert; other food has a bad attitude and bullies our body into doing things we don’t really want – we feel fatigued and sluggish. The Standard American Diet (SAD), in general, has a very bad attitude and it shows in our health statistics – 67% of the adults and 30% of the children in America are overweight or obese.
Bad fats, sugar, preservatives, and fast food tell the body to increase the production of chemicals that increase inflammation.Inflammation may be the root cause of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. “Okay, so what? Most of that stuff won’t affect me for years,” you say. But, some of our day-to-day symptoms that we either ignore or use an over-the-counter medication for are really messages sent by our food. Symptoms such as daily headaches, fatigue, foggy head, difficulty sleeping, hormonal issues, and heartburn may be your food talking to you.
Try the following tips to bring some positive food messages to you body:
1. Add small amounts of protein to all meals and snacks – eating every 4 hours is the best way to keep our inflammatory chemistry in check.Maintaining blood sugar and not skipping meals sends fat burning vs. fat storage messages.
2. Keep nuts/nut butters and seeds in your purse or desk – 8-12 almonds and a glass of water are a great energizer and provide the body with good fat and protein.Small plastic containers are a great mode of transportation for butters on-the-go.
3. Fruit is a perfect fast food – especially apples; add a little peanut butter and you have the perfect snack.
4. Use pre-cut fresh vegetables to take along instead of chips. Just as crunchy but they have much nicer manners.
See your doctor regularly and if you are looking for a different perspective on your health or have health concerns that are not being addressed by your current physician, we would love to hear from you.
The nation’s scales are rising, and it is clear that obesity is a crisis! So what can we do about America’s obesity epidemic other than avoid the doughnut shop, fast food, and take a walk each day?
There is a difference between obesity and overweight…many of us are on the fringes of each. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), overweight is increased body weight that is at least 10 percent over a recommended weight level. These recommendations are based on a sampling of the US population or by body mass index (BMI), a calculation that measures weight relative to height. If we could all increase in height by about 4 inches, weight would not be such an issue! If not, a person with a BMI greater than 25 is overweight. Obesity is excess fat compared to lean body mass, or a body weight that is 30 percent over the ideal weight for a specific height.
Obesity is measured with one of two yardsticks…and the bathroom scale is not included! An average woman in the US is 5’4” and if she weights 152 pounds, her BMI is 26.1 – yes, she is overweight. A healthy weight for a woman of average height would be approximately 134 pounds.
Bring out your tape measure and calculate waist circumference. When we shop for slacks and need to go up in size, we know that our waist circumference is at risk. But, waist circumference is also a way to assess abdominal fat – a predictor of health risk factors, and that is critical. If you are a female with a 35+ inch waist, consider yourself overweight and at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Welcome to the club!
Causes of obesity…
It is apparent that obesity is caused by eating a diet high in fat and calories, being sedentary, or both. There can be other factors, including genetics, hormones, behavior, environment, and culture. And, obesity is not restricted to adults. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of adult obesity cases began with childhood obesity. You have heard the story, “I was heavy as a child, and this is something that has continued into adulthood.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labels the obesity problem an “epidemic.” Within the US, 64.5 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese, with the number growing. Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Our sodas and fries are not the only thing being SuperSized today…our kids are too! Food is everywhere…and it is not going away.
We live in a fat economy, and that is good for video games, flat screen TVs, prepared goods, the take-out industry, the fast-food and restaurant industries, and the snack bar at the nearby theatre. Our children are sedentary and so are we! It is so easy to park close, walk little, and eat while we are in the mall. We are on the run…with carpools, conflicting schedules, and multitasking moms, workers, and volunteers. It is so much easier to quickly create something unhealthy, than to start from ‘scratch’ to create a healthy meal, especially when getting the family to the table at the same time each day is a challenge.
So, what is a family to do?
Take soft drinks out of your diet and substitute water. Water is basic to balanced nutrition and transports food particles. Our blood is 90% water and blood requires water to remain fluid so it can create nutrients. Drink one-half of your body weight in water daily to enhance weight loss. Eat healthy, and clean out your refrigerator and closets to eliminate unhealthy snacks and foods! Eat raw foods without sugar, salt and additives and do not eat when you are upset. To do so changes the chemical structure of food and creates hyperacidity in your stomach. That could explain why there is such a high incidence of gastric reflux disease in our country. Finally, begin a regular exercise program for 30 minutes a day. Exercise elevates heart rate, reduces blood pressure, improves muscle tone, and slows down the aging process.
The other options…
The most important thing a person can do to combat obesity is to prevent it before it develops. It is never too late though, and for those in need of obesity management, there are numerous options available. Weight loss and weight management efforts require a balanced combination of behavioral change and medical intervention. While eating less and exercising more are essential, some seek options such as surgical interventions or prescription medicine. In any case, medical oversight is needed in selecting the right option for you.
Make this year count…
We make that New Year’s resolution each and every year. You probably did that on January 1st, and it might have been, “This is the year that I’ll drop that extra 10 pounds.” How many times have you made that one? Perhaps instead, you gain an extra 10…putting you up by 20! This can be the beginning of the rest of your life! You can control the Supersizing of America in your own home and with your own family!
Mid-terms around the corner? Final exams got you worried? Concentration not too sharp? You aren’t alone. Whether you are a student studying for exams or an employee experiencing concentration difficulties, the anxiety you experience doesn’t help you succeed. There are natural remedies that can help boost your cognitive performance including comprehension and information retention. There aren’t any foods that will really increase your IQ, but there are ways to naturally sharpen focus and concentration.
First of all, you have to understand that you were born with a perfectly good brain. But that you can screw up the functioning of that perfectly good brain by not being BRAIN SMART.
What is BRAIN SMART?
Brain Food not Junk Food
Antioxidant rich food
Increase water intake
Never drink diet sodas
Supplement with Omega 3’s
Let’s look at the Ten Commandments of being Brain Smart.
Brain Food not Junk Food
You have heard the old saying, “You are what you eat”. Well, although our food is edible, unfortunately not all of it is beneficial to our health, much less to our brain. Brain foods are those foods known to benefit brain function. They aren’t anything fancy. You can find them at any supermarket. We need to eat the right type of fats to keep our brain circuits at optimal functioning.
Junk foods are those foods that have no or limited nutritional value. We like junk foods because they are usually convenient and tasty. But they also contain high calories, sodium or unhealthy fats.
According to USA Today, Americans eat 15 times more potentially brain-destructive oils than brain-building omega-3-type fats. Our brain is made up mostly of the fat we feed it, so our fat intake directly affects our brain functioning.
Saturated animal fats are the most dangerous to our brain cells—in other words, fast foods such as hamburgers and milk shakes. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils, known as omega-6’s, such as sunflower, safflower and corn oils are thought to lead to subtle brain damage. And eating trans-fatty acids, in processed foods such as salad dressings, fried foods, doughnuts and most margarine, can be detrimental to blood flow in the brain.
Eating enough carbohydrates powers up our brain. The more we think, study, concentrate, etc., the more we need to eat. We need to maintain adequate levels of brain fuel so our brains can function efficiently. You don’t need to eat a lot. In fact, it is better to eat frequent small meals with nutritious foods.
You want to avoid the simple carbs in processed foods, pastries, and cookies. Instead, you want foods rich in good complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, pastas, potatoes, whole grains, etc.
Rest and relaxation
Everyone knows that we are better able to concentrate and focus when we have had a good night’s sleep. Unwinding is a good way to recharge yourself and you are less likely to be stressed if you take breaks during your studies or work.
There are several studies that show some essential oils can boost your brain power. Smelling cotton dabbed with lemon, cypress, or peppermint can energize your mind and help you shake off sleepiness. Rosemary and eucalyptus are memory enhancers; black pepper helps increase stamina; basil enhances concentration; and clove reduces fatigue. Just make sure you aren’t allergic to any of these oils before you use them. Also, most essential oils are not therapeutic grade and therefore should only be used for their fragrance and not applied directly to your skin.
Remember, moderation is the bottom line. Never overdo things. Study, relax and rest and your studying will be a worthy experience.
Antioxidant rich food
We are constantly being bombarded by free-radicals. These free-radicals can turn our brains rancid just like a fatty piece of meat that has been left on a counter-top too long. But we can protect ourselves and keep our brains functioning optimally if we take in plenty of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables. Just a few cherries, one cup of mixed strawberries and blueberries, plus a half cup of cooked spinach would put you far over the top for the very highest daily intake of antioxidants recommended by authorities. Generally, brightly colored fruits and berries and dark green leafy vegetables are the ones highest in antioxidants. Snacking on raisins, berries, apples, grapes, cherries or prunes — instead of or even in addition to the usual chips — could make all the difference in intellectual power and emotional well-being.
Did you know that eating fruits such as berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) have brain benefits? Strawberries are rich in a flavinoid that can improve memory recall. Blueberries are known for improving our learning capacity and our motor skills. Raspberries, elderberries and blackberries have high antioxidant content that is scientifically proven to boost brain function.
And, guess what, research has shown that grape juice can actually improve your short-term memory and motor skills. This is because grape juice is effective in increasing the production of dopamine in our brain. And, because grapes contain about 80% water, they make great low-calorie snacks. Grapes are also proven to have the highest total antioxidant level as compared to any fruit, vegetable or juice, thus, eating grapes are very beneficial to your overall health. It can even help in premature aging due to its combating power in neutralizing the free radicals which are responsible for cellular damage.
So if you are looking for ways to improve your memory, enhance your motor skills and delay your aging, eat more berries and make it a habit to include a glass of grape juice in your diet.
Increase water intake
Are you forgetful? Do you often experience headaches? How about that sluggish feeling? If your answer is yes, then perhaps you just need to increase your water intake to revive your brain function.
It is known that 85% of our brain tissue is water. Hence, water is a vital component for the smooth function of our brain. And according to research, if a person is dehydrated, his brain releases a hormone called cortisol that can have shrinkage effect to the brain which then leads to the deterioration of brain function and decreases its memory.
Inadequate water in the brain can also cause forgetfulness, restlessness and sluggishness. Headaches are also prevalent when our brain lacks water. So never ever let your self get thirsty because you are making your brain shrink, become restless and forgetful.
Most people have a problem drinking the recommended 6 to 8 glasses a day. But if you put a bottle of water within your reach, then you are more likely to drink at least six glasses daily. Adding lemon to your water, if you like lemon, also helps a person to drink more.
Remember, drinking water helps your mind to be active and healthy. And the next time you notice being a bit forgetful maybe drinking water can do the trick.
Never drink diet sodas, but watch your sugar intake
Americans love their diet drinks because they think diet drinks will help them combat weight gain. However, aspartame, the artificial sweetener being used in most sugar-free drinks, may go directly to our brain and may disrupt memory.
A major study revealed that people who consume aspartame have more tendencies for long-term memory lapses such as, forgetting details of personal routines, or whether or not they had completed a particular task.
Although these claims are not yet fully proven, it is better to be safe than sorry. We should practice precautions to avoid all possible things that may affect our brain performance.
Just because you need to stay away from diet soda doesn’t mean you should go overboard with sugar. Eating too much sugar throws your body out of whack and leads to fatigue. Our body, and in particular our brain, runs on energy that is derived from glucose, blood sugar. The right amount of blood sugar promotes memory, learning, and thinking. Too much and we create problems. Eating candy for energy is a very short term fix that quickly leads to fatigue.
Supplement with Omega 3’s
It is becoming common knowledge that taking Omega 3 supplements helps you have a healthier heart and lowers cholesterol. However, it also appears to boost your brain function and mood. New research links a lack of fish oil in the diet to a multitude of problems from low intelligence and learning disabilities to depression. In fact, a couple of servings of fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines (just an ounce or two daily) is apparently enough to keep our brain cells pretty happy. Add Omega 3 supplements and you have a simple, inexpensive way you can help regain your focus, shake off sluggishness, improve concentration and even have a healthy heart.
Unfortunately, there is no way you can get all of the vitamins and minerals you need merely through eating your meals—no matter how healthy. The evidence is compelling that modest doses of a multivitamin-mineral supplement is just good brain insurance. In British and American studies, between one-third and one-half of schoolchildren who took a multivitamin-mineral supplement raised their non-verbal IQ scores by as much as 25 points. According to David Benton, author of one of the studies, “No known pharmacological drug can cause this type of impact.” In case you want to know how that translates into the real world, that would correlate to about 25 million American schoolchildren. Take a good quality multivitamin.
Vitamins E and C as well as alpha lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 are powerful brain protecting antioxidants. And most brands of multivitamins don’t contain high enough amounts. How high? According to Dr. Lester Packer at the University of California, Berkeley, 400 IUs of vitamin E, 500-1000mg vitamin C, 50mg lipoic acid (diabetics may need 200-600mg) and 30mg of coQ10 (100-200mg for smokers).
In addition, taking Ginko Biloba is the most popular supplement known to enhance memory. Some say that it works because it improves blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Although there is a recent study that questions whether Ginko does anything to improve memory in healthy people, most of the research demonstrates that Ginko taken for more than six weeks does show mental benefits even in healthy people. But, of course, it isn’t a quick fix for the night before an exam. You need to take Ginko for at least a month before any results could be expected.
There is no supplement, food, or drug that will help you prioritize the important things you need to do in your life. Only you can do that. Decisions are easier to make if you analyze them according to their importance and urgency. Urgent things are those that have to be done or dealt with ASAP. Important things need to be addressed at some period of future time—important things are not always urgent. For example, a test in two days is urgent; a project due in two weeks is important. The more immediate the deadline, the more urgent. We deal with the stresses in our lives better when we prioritize. When we deal with stress well, our focus, mental alertness, and concentration is better.
The caffeine in tea is just enough to give you that buzz you need to help with concentration, but for most people, not enough to give you the jitters. And, according to USA Today, drinking a cup of tea is one of the easiest, quickest, and most calorie-free ways to infuse the body and brain with antioxidants. Tufts University researchers claim that one tea bag of plain black tea or Asian green tea, steeped for five minutes, will give you up to half of the total daily recommended amounts of antioxidants. Just remember that most herbal teas or commercially bottled teas don’t have the same amounts of antioxidants as black or green teas.
At the end of the day, you have to deal with the fact that your brain is just like any other part of your body. The right exercise, diet, supplements and mental attitude will help shape a happy, healthy, well-functioning brain. Besides, it’s easy to be BRAIN SMART.
Ian Wahl, DAc, LAc, CH is a Doctor of Acupuncture and herbalist who specializes in women’s health and reproductive wellness. He is the Director of the Natural Fertility Health Centers and the Wahls of Wellness.
You may have purchased a new scale, cleaned all the junk food out of your cabinets, gone to the store and gotten all the right foods, prepared meal plans, and even picked up some new work-out clothes and shoes. You are ready! You have even made it through a few weeks of your new schedule – then it’s a holiday or someone’s birthday at work…you were ready to stick with it…
What happens to our resolve in these situations? You may think – “I just don’t have the willpower”, “I’m just not able to…” or “My mom (or other relative) is this way therefore so am I…” This is just not true! The Internet and my office are filled with success stories of large weight losses, reduced cholesterol, increased energy, and resolution of diabetes.
Does this mean you can never have that chocolate cake or that warm, yummy bread dipped in olive oil (Healthy? Right?) ? NO, it just means that when faced with those situations you need to make a conscious decision – where you actually evaluate how you are going to feel when faced with stepping on the scale.
I have learned a few things about making that resolve stick:
1. I take a few minutes or seconds to really think about what I am about to eat.
2. Do I really want this and why? Am I eating out of some emotional reason? (Be Honest – you are only going to hurt yourself)
3. Is this a nutritious food? Or am I wasting calories on junk?
4. How will I feel later if I eat this high-sugar or white flour food? Will I have a headache or will my energy crash?
5. Do I have time to feel that way?
6. I have an accountability partner – someone who wants me to succeed and will keep me on that path. This is someone who speaks truth with love and grace regardless of the decision I make.
Please notice, hurting someone’s feelings did not enter the decision making process. You may even inspire someone else to strengthen his or her resolve.
We want your resolve to stick!
We use lab analysis, food sensitivity testing and vitamin deficiency analysis to create a personalized eating and movement plan, stress management strategies, relevant nutritional supplementation, proper sleeping techniques; all under the supervision of a holistic-minded physician.
We also offer massage therapy, gait analysis, body composition evaluation, chiropractic care and a personal Lifestyle Educator. If you have been searching for a new way to manage your health, we are here to assist you. Contact us at Restor Healing Centre 630.682.5090 or check out our website www.RestorNow.com.
1) What is the best source of soy? (i.e. soy beans, soy milk, etc.)
Soy foods vary in their content of isoflavones, the active phytoestrogens found in soy, so it is important to look at the isoflavone content in the food products that you buy. Miso is particularly rich in bio-available isoflavones, and has been shown to give the best benefits to women in the relief of menopause symptoms.
2) Can soy help in weight loss? If so, how?
Yes. Soy is a good quality source of protein without the animal or dairy fats. Because protein stabilizes blood sugar, it reduces cravings, and satisfies the appetite longer. It is important to include protein at each meal for people trying to lose weight.
3) Does soy benefit the mind, such as improving concentration or memory? If not, does it benefit any other part of the body (excluding bones)?
Some women report improved concentration from soy products, although no research has been reported on this. Soy has been positively shown to reduce hot flashes, improve cardiovascular health, and (in some studies) to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
4) We know the ways that soy can help women, especially during menopause, but have there been any proven benefits in males or children?
Cardiovascular benefits from soy are helpful to men as well as women. The FDA has recommended that 25 grams of soy per day with a prudent diet may reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women.
For years now the American Heart Association, the American Diabetic Association and dietitians across the US have told us that eating saturated fat is bad for us and raises our cholesterol, promotes heart disease and stroke as well as contributing to obesity and stroke. However, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary:
1. The chronic diseases of this century only appeared after we substituted processed vegetable oils, primarily omega-6, for the lard and butter used by our ancestors for centuries. Although the overall percent of saturated fat has risen from 52 grams in 1909-1913 to 58 grams in 1985; the rise in vegetable oil consumption has tripled from 7 grams in 1913 to 25 grams in 1985. According to the experts above, heart disease should have decreased, but the mortality rate from heart disease and related conditions is at an all time high.
2. Several studies have shown that there is insignificant evidence linking polyunsaturated and saturated fat with heart disease. But there is strong evidence that omega-3 oils, from fish, are linked to decreased heart disease.
3. There are 3 main types of saturated fatty acids that humans consume – stearic acid palmitic acid and lauric acid. Stearic acid has no effect on total cholesterol and may raise HDL – the “good” cholesterol. Palmitic and lauric acid are found in palm oil which has neutral effects on cholesterol – it doesn’t raise or lower cholesterol levels. These fats are found stored around the heart and are used as sources of energy during stressful times.
4. Saturated fats are absolutely necessary for healthy function of hormone levels and cell membranes.
5. Saturated fats are necessary for calcium to be incorporated into bones, and for omega-3’s to be used by the body properly.
6. Saturated fats enhance the immune system.
7. Human milk contains saturated fat and cholesterol which are necessary for growth and development of babies. Failure to thrive in babies has been linked to low fat diets.
8. Many cultures including the French, Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, many African tribes and the Eskimo’s have diets that are high in saturated fats, but do not exhibit the same heart and chronic disease patterns as Americans.
So, am I recommending an all-lard diet – NO! But being overly concerned about saturated fat is also not the best health recommendation. Moderation needs to win. Research indicates that a Mediterranean diet rich in lean, grass fed meats, dairy and fish, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables is the smartest diet to consume. And we all want to make smart choices. Conspicuously missing from the Mediterranean diet are large bowls of pasta and bread- that is American not Mediterranean. Also missing are the bags and boxes of nutrient-deficiency-producing, so-called food that line the shelves of American grocery stores – but that is a topic for another article. To view links related to this article, please click here.
Every week another study comes out saying we should eat this food or not eat this food. It’s so confusing – so how do we sort it out? For fish, upfront, most fish contains some mercury. The latest study shows that fish caught in streams and rivers in the US contain mercury and some have way more than the EPA/FDA deems as safe. So what does the EPA and the FDA say is too much? For women and children – the general guideline is two servings per week – 12 ounces of canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. Most of us should avoid shark, swordfish, King mackerel, and tile fish because of the high mercury levels.
Okay, that’s great but what about the nutritional value of these fish? Except salmon, the fish we are to avoid provide the highest amount of Omega-3 fatty acids or “good fat”. Confused again? See the table below.(1)
|Type Of Fish||Levels Of Mercury ppm||Amount (mg) of Omega-3 per 3oz Serving|
|Canned Light Tuna||0.12||170-240|
|Tilefish (Golden Bass / Snapper)||1.45||900|
We recommend you take an omega-3 supplement. The best ones will contain at least 300mg of EPA and 200 mg DHA per capsule, and two capsules should be taken daily. Most of the brands use processing methods that remove the mercury. The benefits of the fish without the risk of the neurotoxin mercury – a win-win for everyone.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for those who suffer from daily fatigue. Fatigue is a symptom and at its earliest onset it is frequently the result of many small imbalances in multiple systems in the body. As a result it is best to start with the following checklist and make these changes first.
1. Dehydration- the number one symptom associated with dehydration is not thirst it’s fatigue! Drink your water! One qt. of water for every 50lbs of body weight in an excellent measuring stick.
2. Balance Blood Sugar- eliminate processed foods and simple carbohydrates like breads, pastas, and cereals. Eat only fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, fish and lean meats. Eat some protein every 2 hours of your waking day to prevent an afternoon crash that has you looking for coffee, sugar, or a nap.
3. Increase your greens! Although it was mentioned above it needs to be emphasized! Increase your consumption of fresh green vegetables to at least 8 servings per day. For those having difficulties consuming that much supplement with green drinks and superfoods like chlorella. Stay away from frozen and canned vegetables as they frequently contain preservatives and they have usually lost their nutritional value with all the processing.
4. Skip the latte! Using caffeine to jump start your day or as a way of keeping you going through the day is a dangerous path to take. The highly acid nature of coffee causes your body to dump its mineral reserves which is part of the cause of the fatigue in the first place. The stimulation also causes the inevitable crash once the caffeine wears off. Choose green tea which has small amounts of caffeine (about 1/3 of a cup of coffee) but it is high in antioxidants that are important for healing, and the alkaline nature of green tea builds your mineral reserves.
5. Exercise- Research performed at the University of Georgia and printed in the February 2008 issue of the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics showed that patients with profound fatigue, in the absence of disease states like cancer, improved greatly with low-intensity exercise. 65% of the patients studied had positive improvement in their fatigue symptoms with exercise. Get off the couch!
If you are following these guidelines and you still suffer from fatigue, and you physician has ruled out all disease processes then you suffer from one of two forms of fatigue:
1. Stress Fatigue- your life has become too much for your body to handle! Lack of sleep due to child rearing, injuries such as car accidents or falls, and emotional stress such as poor relationships, ill family members, or just the day to day stress can push your body over the edge. First you need to be impeccable with the 5 rules above. Next you need to get to bed before 10pm, and if possible you need to sleep for 30 minutes during the day. Sleep is when the body heals and if you are experiencing stress fatigue you have a lot of healing to do. Adaptogenic herbs work great in these situations (Ginseng, Maca, and Rhodiola).
2. Toxic Fatigue-your lifestyle has become too much for you to handle and all the alcohol, prescription meds, environmental toxins, household toxins, and whatever else in your life that you come in contact with has intoxicated your liver and you have lost the ability to detoxify your body. In addition to following the 5 rules above and getting to bed earlier these types of people need to clean up their lives. Use natural cleaning and gardening supplies. Remove all chemicals from your home and begin to support your liver. Cruciferous vegetables need to be eaten in large amounts and liver cleansing products are of great benefit.
You are not alone! The number of people suffering from daily fatigue is incredible and the numbers seem to go up every year. If fatigue has you in its grasp then take control of your life and get back on track to feeling energetic again.
First of all it’s important that there are no vitamin or mineral deficiencies as these can impact on performance and cause fatigue. For example, even marginal deficiencies in potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc can cause fatigue, as can deficiencies of various vitamins including the B vitamins, folate, vitamins A, C and E.
Modern feeding methods substitute high-protein, soy-based feeds for fresh green grass and breeding methods to produce cows with abnormally large pituitary glands so that they produce three times more milk than the old fashioned scrub cow. These cows need antibiotics to keep them well. The pasteurization destroys many valuable enzymes in the milk that are needed to aid digestion. The human pancreas is not always able to produce these enzymes which will over-stress of the pancreas can lead to diabetes and other diseases.
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is a genetically engineered, potent variant of the natural growth hormone produced by cows. Injection of this hormone forces cows to increase their milk production by about 10%. rBGH makes cows sick. Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 toxic effects, including mastitis, on its POSILAC label. rBGH milk is contaminated by abnormally high pus levels, due to the mastitis commonly induced by rBGH, and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis. rBGH milk is chemically and nutritionally different than natural milk. rBGH milk is contaminated with RbGH, traces of which are absorbed through the gut. rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), which is readily absorbed through the gut. Excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as a cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. IGF-1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers. Some researchers and “experts” suggest that IGF-1 from outside sources cannot be absorbed because the digestive enzymes destroy it while it’s in the GI tract. In 1999, the ADA published research demonstrating that people who consumed 3 servings of milk daily had a 10% higher serum IGF-1 level and almost a 10% lower level IGF Binding Protein 4 (IGBP-4) than those drinking less than 1-1/2 servings.
A double-blind trial found that chronic constipation among infants and problems associated with it were triggered by intolerance to cows’ milk in two-thirds of the infants studied. Symptoms disappeared in most infants when cows’ milk was removed from their diet. New England Journal of Medicine 1998;339: pp,1100-4
Dairy Induces Immunization to Insulin
Cow’s milk feeding is an environmental trigger of immunity to insulin in infancy that may explain the epidemiological link between the risk of type 1 diabetes and early exposure to cow’s milk formulas. Diabetes, Vol 48, Issue 7 1389-1394.
High intakes of milk, but not meat, increase serum insulin and insulin resistance in 8-year-old boys. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005 Mar;59(3):393-8
The possible role of hormones in milk from cows in the development of breast, ovarian and corpus uteri cancers. The continued increase in incidence of some hormone-related cancers worldwide is of great concern. Although estrogen-like substances in the environment were blamed for this increase, the possible role of estrogens from food has not been widely discussed. Cows’ milk contains a considerable quantity of estrogens. When we name cows’ milk as one of the important routes of human exposure to estrogens, the general response of Western people is that “man has been drinking cows’ milk for around 2000 years without apparent harm.” However, the milk that we are now consuming is quite different from that consumed 100 years ago. Modern dairy cows are usually pregnant and continue to lactate during the latter half of pregnancy, when the concentration of estrogens in blood, and hence in milk, increases. The correlation of incidence and mortality rates with environmental variables in worldwide countries provides useful clues to the etiology of cancer. Among dietary risk factors, we are most concerned with milk and dairy products, because the milk we drink today is produced from pregnant cows, in which estrogen and progesterone levels are markedly elevated. Medical Hypotheses. 2005;65(6):1028-37. Epub 2005 Aug 24
Testicular Germ Cell Cancer
Results of a November 2006 case control study suggest that milk fat and/or galactose (a milk sugar) may explain the association between milk and dairy product consumption and seminomatous testicular cancer. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Vol. 15, 2189-2195, November 2006
Dairy: Colon Cancer Risk Triples
High childhood total dairy intake was associated with a near-tripling in the odds of colorectal cancer in adulthood. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 6, 1722-1729, December 2007
Women who consume dairy products on a regular basis, have triple the risk of ovarian cancer than other women. The Lancet 1989; 2 In an evaluation of 80,326 women; women who consumed 1+ servings of dairy per day had a 44% greater risk for all types of invasive ovarian cancer compared with those who ate the lowest amount (3 or fewer servings monthly). American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999;150
In Norway, 1422 individuals were followed for 11 ½ years. Those drinking 2 or more glasses of milk per day had 3.5 times the incidence of cancer of the lymphatic organs. British Med. Journal 61:456-9, March 1990.
“At least 16 research studies now link milk consumption to prostate cancer, and milk fat is also linked to heart disease,” – Neal D. Barnard, M.D. High consumption of dairy products was associated with a 50% increased risk of prostate cancer. Cancer Causes Control 1998 Dec;9(6):559-66
Dairy Increases Risk of Squamous Cell Carcinoma in those with History of Skin Cancer
International Journal of Cancer. 2006 Oct 15;119(8):1953-60
Dairy product consumption was positively associated with risk of Parkinson’s disease
American Journal of Epidemiology 2007 165(9):998-1006 We believe this is pretty convincing evidence that one should seriously consider eliminating dairy from their diet.
Think that Dairy doesn’t affect you?
Take the challenge: avoid it for 2 weeks and then the next day have all you want.
1 cup = 1cup of Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Oat Milk
Buttermilk: 1 cup = 1 cup minus 1 tbs. of rice milk or almond milk, plus 1 tbs. lemon juice. Let set for a few minutes.
Butter: 1 tbs. = 1 tbs. sunflower oil or Earth Balance Spread
Creamy Dressing: Mix mayonnaise with your favorite vinaigrette
Heavy Cream: 1 tbs. Tahini dissolved in ¼ cup water (this will not whip )
Couscous and Black Bean Salad
1 Cup couscous
2 Cups boiling water
1 ½ Cup frozen yellow corn
2 Cups cooked black beans
16 roma tomatoes or 3 regular tomatoes, chopped
8 cloves of garlic minced
1 each red and yellow bell pepper seeded/minced
¾ Cup fresh cilantro, minced (optional)
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
½ Cup rice vinegar
Put couscous in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over it and cover the bowl until the couscous has absorbed all of the water (about 10 mins). Add the corn and mix (the heat from the couscous will thaw the corn). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. This tastes great at room temperature, but store in the refrigerator.
Choosing foods that are locally grown, organic and seasonal are healthy for our environment and our bodies. Environmentally, we save costs of energy used to ship foods long distances & support local farmers. Our bodies also thrive on season specific food because it provides us with different nutrients that help boost our immune system and overall “hardiness” for the winter months. However, with the long winter months in the Midwest it can be challenging at times to keep only local. Some tips:
It’s challenging for all of us to eat nutritionally healthy foods during the winter, with no locally grown fresh foods in sight. In the northern climates, we need to change our eating patterns to accommodate the severe weather change. In general, we still need to be eating fresh un-processed foods as much as possible, but these can be foods that are harvested in the fall and stored through the winter, such as squash, potatoes, root vegetables, lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds. Fruits are harder to come by, mostly coming from distant locales. Supplementation is a good way to ensure that we are getting proper nutrients.
Tips for healthy winter nutrition:
By making sensible choices and nourishing your body you can feel cozy and energetic through the cold winter days.
Your body burns either more fat or more carbs depending on the intensity of your activity. But when it comes to losing weight, calories are calories. You burn fat even in couch-potato mode. The problem is, you don’t burn much of it.
The body completely shuts off one fuel source when it turns on the other.
Exercise done at a low intensity, such as walking, is better at fat burning than other high-intensity activities, like running or cardio activities where you push yourself very hard.
Running, cycling, or other cardio activities are more fat burning once you’ve been doing them for more than 15 or 20 minutes.
Watching TV: burns 40 cal, 60% fat, total fat burned 24 cal.
Walking: burns 100 cal, 65% fat, total fat burned 65 cal.
Jogging & sprinting: burns 250 cal, 40% fat, total fat burned 100 cal.
Source: the “for dummies” website, www.dummies.com
Within the past 20 years the United States has seen a dramatic increase in obesity. Much of the problem is caused by living standards that promote larger portions, unhealthy foods, and limited physical activity. Statistics currently show that almost two-thirds of US adults are overweight or obese, but obesity is not just affecting one age group. Studies show that the prevalence of obesity has steadily increased among both genders, all ages, encompassing all racial and ethnic groups, and affecting people at all educational levels. Since 1960 the prevalence of overweight individuals has increased from 44.8 to 66 percent, the greatest rise occurring after 1980.
If the current trends continue, obesity will soon surpass tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Obesity can increase the risk of numerous health conditions and lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Are you at a healthy weight?
We all know that a healthy weight is hard to maintain with fad diets and quick fixes. In reality a weight management program is all about creating a system of balance – and that can be hard to do in the world we live in today. Interestingly it seems that the busier we become, the less healthy we are. The US Department of Health and Human Services suggests that weight management is all about choice, balance, and a healthy lifestyle, and that it requires small steps – including a steady approach that we can live with every day.
So how do we begin? First, it is important to set realistic goals and the best way to set those goals is by assessing whether your current weight is healthy. Here are two simple ways to assess your weight and determine where you want to be.
One way is to determine your BMI, or body mass index. Download the program guide at www.shakeyourz.com to view the body mass index to see whether your weight falls into healthy, overweight, or obese range.
Measuring your waist size is another way to assess your weight. This can help you determine if you run a higher risk of developing obesity-related healthy conditions. The best place to measure is around your bare abdomen. Place a tape measure just above your hip bone, and wrap it around the circumference of your waist. The tape should be snug, but not tight. It is best to relax and exhale just before measuring. A man’s waist circumference should be 40 inches or less. A non-pregnant woman’s waist circumference should be 35 inches or less.
After accessing your weight, the next step is to set realistic goals. Remember, the best strategy is to find a steady approach – like NutriiVedaTM – that you can live with every day.
For more information about how you can get essential nutrition for managing your weight check out www.shakeyourz.com.
Excerpts from ZriiTM FAQ
Central to the vast science of Ayurveda is one little green fruit with a nutritional profile that sits in a class of its own. Amalaki (emblica officinalis) grows at the base of the pristine Himalayan mountain range in northern India. In its extensive collection of thousands of fruits and herbs, Ayurveda describes Amalaki as the single most important ‘rasayana’ or rejuvenating agent for promoting cellular rejuvenation and detoxification, immune function and increased vitality.
Backed by a 5000-year-old science, Amalaki has one of the richest and most documented legacies of any fruit known today. It has been revered in India as the “Great Rejuvenator,” the “Nurse” and the “Fruit of Immortality” for centuries due to its numerous nutritional properties and its ability to nourish the body on all levels. The Amalaki fruit even has its own holiday in which families share a meal under its tree while giving thanks for the strength and luster promoted by the fruit.
In addition to being heralded for its youth-promoting and rejuvenative qualities, classical Ayurvedic texts describe Amalaki as a potent anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, elixir for the skin and hair, and metabolic enhancer. Over the past 50 years, Amalaki has been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies, which further validate what Ayurveda has known for over 5,000 years.
What nutritional components does Amalaki contain?
Unlike many superfoods being introduced today, the chemical profile of Amalaki cannot be limited to one star ingredient or beneficial compound. Instead, research has discovered an unparalleled spectrum of powerful anti-oxidants, polyphenols, tannic acids and bioflavanoids. Amalaki also contains a high concentration of amino acids, trace minerals and other beneficial phytonutrients.
Amalaki contains the potent phenolic combination of ellagic acid, gallic acid and emblicanin A+B. Together these polyphenols are important for reducing cellular and oxidative stress, destroying immune-damaging free radicals and supporting the overall detoxification of the body. The bioflavanoids, rutin and quercetin, and powerful enzyme superoxide dismutase also contribute to the overall anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and youth-promoting qualities of this remarkable fruit.
In addition to these anti-oxidants, the Amalaki fruit is widely considered to contain the most concentrated source of Vitamin C. The fruit is also host to rare ‘mighty-molecules’ known as ascorbagens. Part of the tannin family, ascorbagens create a protective bond around the Vitamin C molecules, making Amalaki’s source of Vitamin C more heat stable and bio-available than synthetic varieties.
For more information about how you can take in all the benefits of the Amalaki fruit go to www.shakeyourz.com.
Sharon M. Weinstein Core Consulting Group/Core Wellness International
“A bird in the hand is the best way to eat chicken.” – Anonymous
Good nutrition goes a long way toward creating balance in one’s life! If your habits for nourishing yourself are not chosen with sufficient consciousness and awareness, you, more often than not, make choices that are not in your best interest. Good food choices support good health.
As a society, we tend to choose poorly, relying on fast food, convenience foods and more! While the motto “moderation in all things,” is a simple and helpful guideline to create health, it needs to be interwoven with the motto, “energy flows where attention goes.” Balance alone will not give us optimal health, for there is a continuum of health practices and choices that you can and should make. Moving along the continuum of optimal health requires increasing consciousness and awareness about lifestyle choices.
The Supermarket Experience
Take a mental walk through your supermarket. Have you noticed how little fresh produce there is? Exclude the frozen and canned foods, and except for the dried beans and rice, you might be surprised to realize that none of the products in the main body of the store are fresh. They are all processed. Does it smell like food? How much of the products stocking the shelves are organic? We have heard of the problems with growth hormones. How much milk is there that is free of this? So much of what is considered “food,” is so deplete of nutrition and so full of chemicals that consuming it is hugely implicated in the rise in obesity/diabetes, cancers, Fibromyalgia and more.
Where do you go to find simply healthy foods? My favorite places to shop are fresh markets with great selections. You walk in and smell the aroma of fresh vegetables and fruit; your eyes are flooded with the beautiful array of colors of fresh vegetables and fruits that fill the space.
Go through your pantries and refrigerator at home. How much of the food there is real and unprocessed? We hear all the time about how processed foods are not good for us nutritionally, but it takes more than just hearing that to realize the truth of it. And how often do you stop to examine your assumptions about the foods you are buying? I have been reading labels for years and years, and though reading labels definitely helped me buy healthier foods, it did not help me realize how dependent I had become on convenience foods.
Most all of us have been raised in the world of convenience foods. It has become our paradigm to rely on convenient, processed, prepared food. The generations in their 40s and beyond will not have had as much processed foods when children, nor as much sugar intake as those younger. Those younger generations have no real experience of what it was like to live in a world where people ate whole foods. Hectic work schedules lead to overuse of convenience and fast food. Do you eat and drive, talk on the phone, eat at the workstation? To this add that about 40% of all our meals are regularly eaten at restaurants or fast food chains, and very few of the countless options for us to choose from are organic, vegetarian, or serve beef and lamb that are grass fed. If the food is not organic then it is genetically modified. What we are doing to ourselves with all of this we hardly know.
Can you remember when the family meal was a time when all family members were together engaging in a ritual that brought cohesion, relaxation, good conversation and laughter — great elements for proper digestion. Can you bring back the smells of the home cooked foods, memories of special tablecloths and dishes, the fun of candlelight dinner? Perhaps you had the bounty of coming from a family where everyone pitched to help with the preparation and clean up, so that when the meal was over, everyone could sit down and relax for the rest of the evening.
Let’s face it … we are all overextended, and Americans do tend to eat out fairly often. We might select foods that are easiest to get into our mouths quickly and on the go. The easiest foods are too often the worst for us: highly refined, processed, and packaged foods. Most restaurants will cater to special dietary requests. Never hesitate to ask for healthful choices.
The Slow Food movement is a call to reverse trends that have taken people away from these healthier practices. “Ultimately [living the slow life] is about pleasure and taste, knowledge and choice. Once we begin to take an interest in the enjoyment of food, and in finding out where our food comes from, we can begin to see the effects of these choices. When we shorten the distance — both literally and figuratively — that our food travels to get to us, we are participating in the Slow Food movement. Slow Food is about coming together as a food community — community producers and co-producers come together at the farm, in the market and at the table to create and enjoy food that is good, clean and fair. Slow Food is also simply about taking the time to slow down and to enjoy life with family and friends. Every day can be enriched by doing something slow.” (www.slowfoodusa.org.)
Quick Tips for Shopping Healthy
Shorter times between harvesting and consumption enhance the nutritional value of foods. Logically, this means you should buy produce from your local growers in season. Local generally means 150 miles from your home. Visit the local farmers’ markets — and get to know the farmers. The more you learn about how the farmer farms, the better a consumer you can be. Another factor to consider is food safety. While buying locally doesn’t guarantee food safety, it does limit the processing, the time, the number of steps, and the numbers of human-to-food interactions between harvest and consumption. “Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.”
Recommended Produce to Purchase Organically or Chemical-free
Highest in pesticide residue: peaches, strawberries, apples, cherries, sweet bell peppers, lettuce, celery, pears, nectarines, spinach, grapes (imported).
Lowest in pesticide residue: onions, asparagus, avocado, kiwi, sweet corn (frozen), bananas, pineapples, cabbage, mango, broccoli, sweet peas (frozen), eggplant. (Source: Environmental Working Group)
So, go ahead and eat to live … making wise choices and maintaining your health!
For more information, contact Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, RN, CRNI, FACW, FAAN, Core Consulting Group, 847-550-8474 or email@example.com. Check out her web site at www.corelimited.com, or www.nikken.com/corewellness.
The pomegranate is about the size of an apple or orange, with reddish or a brown skin that should be firm and taut. Opening the skin reveals a white protective membrane that protects the fruit. Inside are seeds encased in a jelly-like reddish fruit. These are sweet and tangy to the taste.
Pomegranates have very high content of punicalagins, a potent anti-oxidant component found to be responsible for its superior health benefits. Amazingly, researches indicate that the capacity of anti-oxidant in this fruit is two or three times higher than that of red wine and green tea. They are also a good source of vitamin B (riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. These combination and other minerals in pomegranates cause a powerful synergy that prevents and reverses many diseases.
A daily 8-oz. serving of pomegranate juice is enough to benefit your health. You cannot overdose on pomegranate juice.
Studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming. An acid found in pomegranates appears to block aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen, a hormone that plays a role in the development of breast cancer, the researchers wrote in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
Here are some common ailments that are known to react positively with the use of pomegranate or its juice:
Anemia: Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon with a little honey to a cup of pomegranate juice. Can be beneficial for women after monthly loss of blood, due to menstruation.
Anti-aging: We all know that anti-oxidant is highly effective in helping to protect the skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging.
Asthma: The high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in this fruit is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It can greatly reduce wheezing in young children with asthma.
Atherosclerosis: The highly cleansing power of this miracle juice scrubs away the old build-up of arterial deposits, reducing the risks of heart diseases and stroke.
Bleeding Piles: Pound the (clean) skin of one fruit from the sour variety. Boil the pound pulp in about two cups of water. Sweeten with honey and drink twice a day until healed.
Cholesterol: Drinking juices high in anti-oxidant has been proven to fight the oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in the blood.
Dysentery: Drinking fresh pomegranate juice is an excellent remedy to soothe the pain and inflammation caused by severe diarrhea with blood and mucus in stools.
Immune booster: The anti-oxidant nutrients in pomegranates are critical in building up your immune system. Drink juice high in anti-oxidant when you feel a cold coming.
Loss of Appetite: If you can’t eat, at least you can drink! Pomegranate juice can help increase your appetite.
Morning Sickness/nausea: Mix and drink an equal amount of honey with pomegranate juice for relief.
Sore Throat: The anti-inflammatory agent in pomegranate juice significantly reduces the soreness and redness in the throat.
Acai is the superfood of the century! Or, is the hype surrounding the innocent acai berry is out of control? Recent reports and multiple internet scam artists have given it a bad name that it doesn’t deserve. The following are facts about acai and its potential health benefits.
1 – There are several studies in the medical literature about the effectiveness of the antioxidants in the Acai berry. Most were done in a lab on tissue cultures and mice. Most reported positive results as there appears to be certain phyto chemicals in the berry that are active and will act as antioxidants.
2 – There are literally thousands of studies documenting the use of antioxidants to decrease inflammatory chemistry in the human body. Several studies exist documenting the ability of acai to reduce oxidation inside cells.
3 – Acai does appear to have a high ORAC score. This means it can absorb damaging oxidants that can cause damage in the body. In other words it should be an effective antioxidant.
4 – Acai does contain a favorable mix of 8g of protein, 52.2g of carbohydrates of which 42.2g is dietary fiber(net carb is 10g), and a high percentage of oleic, palmitic and linoleic acids(essential fatty acids) and 534 calories. This information is representative of 100g(3.5 ounces) of dried powder, not the recommended pulp form. This much dried powder would translate to multiple servings. The one resource found reported a 3.5 ounce serving of “raw” acai pulp to contain 50 calories, 2g of protein, 2.4g fiber out of 0 carbohydrates(no sugar), 2.5 g of fat(omega-3 40mg; omega-6 420mg; omega-9 1620mg) is more indicative of a proper serving.
5 – Acai does contain some of the same antioxidant chemicals as pomegranate, blueberries and red grape juice, but in smaller amounts. However, one study suggested that not all of the antioxidant chemicals of acai may be recognized and that may contribute to its high ORAC score.
6 – Beware of products that claim acai content, because there actually no way to know how much acai is in a particular product.
As acai grows on the acai palm, indigenous to Brazil, it is harvested and processed in Brazil. Acai is part of the Brazilian culture and has been consumed for centuries. At first it was made into a red wine, however, more recently, it was processed into a pulp which was made popular by a Brazilian ju jitsu team. It is heralded as an energy booster and eaten frozen with a small amount of guarana(a mild herbal stimulant), fresh fruit and granola for breakfast. Many Brazilian athletes believe it improves endurance and strength.
All of that to say, acai is a great food and should be added to a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources. Pomegranate, blueberries, red grapes, and red wine also contain high amounts of the similar phytonutrient antioxidants. It is important to remember that there aren’t any magic pills or potions that will make you look 20 or 30 years younger or skinnier. The keys to longevity and good health lay in a solid foundation of real food(not processed) in normal portion sizes, regular exercise, plenty of clean water, sunshine, and an optimistic outlook.
References: Medline searches included many more articles.
1 - www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18717566/
Honzel D, Carter SG, Redman KA, Schauss AG, Endres JR, Jensen GS.
J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 24;56(18):8319-25. Epub 2008 Aug 22.PMID: 18717566 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
2 - www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18656934/
Chin YW, Chai HB, Keller WJ, Kinghorn AD.
J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 10;56(17):7759-64. Epub 2008 Jul 26.PMID: 18656934 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
3 - www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18442253/
Pacheco-Palencia LA, Talcott ST, Safe S, Mertens-Talcott S.
J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3593-600. Epub 2008 Apr 29.PMID: 18442253 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
4 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%C3%A7a%C3%AD_Palm/
5 - www.acairoots.com/acai-berry-history_2_ctg.htm/
6 - www.amazon-mania.com/English/acaimedionutritionalfacts.shtml
Dr Kristina Sargent is a chiropractic physician with 18 years experience. Her mission is to engage, educate and empower people to take control of their health to prevent chronic diseases and lead successful lives through serving people with alternatives to medication. Her toolbox includes personalized diet recommendations, weight loss, exercise, chiropractic care, positive thoughts, prayer and meditation, and massage therapy. Her office, Restor Healing Centre, is located in Wheaton, Il. The website is www.RestorNow.com
Couch Potatoes live 10 years LONGER than people who exercise regularly! This is because EVERYBODY is nutritionally deficient, but nobody knows it. Most automobile engines need 4 quarts of oil to run correctly. If I owned a car that only had 1 quart of oil in it and drove it around town at 10 miles an hour, it would last a lot longer than it would if I drove it around at 90 miles and hour, right? Well – the human body is the same.
When somebody exercises, their metabolism works harder and faster, and needs more nutrients to maintain its health and function properly. If the nutrients are not there, then something breaks. Conversely, if somebody just lies around all day, their metabolism is slow and needs less nutrients to survive. This is why couch potatoes live longer than those who exercise regularly. This is also why athletes never make it to 100 years old, and suffer from poor health as they get older – even though they are paid to exercise.
Exercise is not the key to health, nutrition is. EVERYBODY IS UNDER-NUTRIFIED, but nobody knows it. Now – when you take your nutritional supplements EVERY DAY, and exercise – you will live a long and healthy life. The only problem is, your doctor is clueless about this, can offer no help, and will tell you that vitamins just give you expensive urine. If you take your doctor’s advice about vitamins, you will suffer needlessly, and die young.
During the busy holiday season, it is hard to find time to just relax let alone start changing the way we live. That is exactly why I love Ayurveda so much and know that it could help you too during this very busy time of year. A lot of people think that Ayurveda could be considered a religion, and some people devotedly follow its principles. But to me, Ayurveda is more of a concept that has no harm in being applied to life. How can you go wrong with a belief that encourages good health habits of sleep, decreasing stress, and improving all aspects of your life?
If you’ve taken a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs lately, you’ll note that Maslow believes every person needs five things: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem, and self-actualization. Likewise, there are five common aspects of health: social, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
These needs tie together to create every aspect of our lives. But also like our lives, each is different.
Ayurveda has the same philosophy; I like this idea from an article by Vaidya Rajesh Shrotriya: “Ayurveda is based on the belief that nothing is right for everyone and everything is right for someone. This belief comes from an understanding that each of us is unique….If we are all different, why would we even consider the idea that there must be one program of nutrition that is best for everyone?”
I am not a devout follower of Ayurveda yet, but no doubt its philosophies can be implemented into our lives with no serious harm. Here are some ideas about how to implement Ayurveda this holiday season without really knowing it:
1. Take a walk with a friend or coworker. This is a great idea, mainly for a change of scenery during the workday. Some of us may need to get some holiday shopping done, why not just do some window shopping and take your walk in the mall? Second, physical activity exercises your lungs, distributes oxygen more effectively, and helps calm your body. Sounds like a good enough reason to me.
2. Have a fresh lunch. We know processed foods aren’t as good for us to digest. Do many of us stop to think about what we’re really putting into our bodies? Do we use the fact that it’s the holiday season to make excuses to eat too many sweets or overindulge on rich foods? Look at what you’re eating and decide if it is something you really want to consume. Lots of oils? Fats? Eww.
3. Drink water. Water helps clean out your system and keeps your body functioning. You’ve heard it your entire life—we need to drink water, forget the eggnog. Seriously.
4. Take a break. Enjoy nature. Breathe. Decrease stress. We are always on the go—find a minute to rest. Clear your mind. Enjoy the crackling of the fireplace.
See? Four simple ways to make your life better with concepts you already know. Who doesn’t want a balanced body? Take care of yourself and extend your life! Make this holiday season a healthy and happy one by learning more about Ayurveda at www.buildyourz.com. Download our “Introduction to Ayurveda” – a completely free 26 page report under “Improve Your Health” section.
When cooking dinner, many people think in terms of calorie counting or what they’re “craving” at the time. Food can be broken down into basically two categories: Energy (calories from fat, carbohydrates and protein) and Nourishment (the nutrient density of the food; vitamins and minerals contents). When determining your menu plan we recommend first to think of “Nourishment”. It’s the nourishment aspect of your meal that contains the vitamins and minerals needed for the thousands of metabolic reactions occurring in the body. But, you also need the “energy” portion of this equation so that your cells have the fuel to drive these metabolic reactions.
Keep in mind; foods do not contain ONLY calcium or ONLY carbohydrate or ONLY protein. Foods are a mixture of a little bit of everything. Yet, individual foods are typically known for the largest percentage of energy or nourishment that it provides. For example, when we say “nuts are a great source of quality fats”, we are communicating that they contain a large percentage of fat per volume. However, nuts are a good source of protein as well. So, you can use nuts to boost the protein or fat content of your meal.
When choosing what you’ll eat for your bigger meals like breakfast, lunch or dinner, we suggest this standard thought process:
1. Nourishment: Choose at least 2 fruits and vegetables. This can be a combo of 1 fruit and 1 vegetable or 2 vegetables. You can choose more vegetables for the meal if you like but your biggest meals need to include at least 2 servings from the fruit/vegetable category. Try to mix it up! Don’t eat the same fruits and vegetables all the time.
2. Protein: you must have protein with every meal. 25-35% of the meal needs to be of a protein source. Protein can come from plant based sources like beans, seeds, nut, sprouts, and quinoa or it can come from animal based sources like fish, eggs, chicken, turkey and possibly small amounts of red meat if OK’d by your nutritionist. If you have a normal serum ferritin and normal serum iron, then 4-6oz of red meat should be OK for you to consume on a weekly basis.
3. Carbohydrates: this is your main energy source. It’s the primary fuel that your cells prefer. Depending on your activity level and diabetic status, we recommend 40-60%. Carbohydrates come from many food sources but when thinking in terms of a side dish of carbohydrates, we are implying mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, whole grain bread, or couscous. Your fruits and veggies are also a good source of carbohydrates.
4. Fats: there should always be some source of fat in your meal. Fat contains many nutrients such as A, D, E, and K and is required to absorb certain nutrients like CoQ10. Your meal should contain anywhere from 15-25% fat. If your meal contains animal proteins, then there will be some fat consumed from the meat. Other quality sources of fat to consider are raw olive oil (use it to dip your whole grain bread in! Yum!), coconut butter (cook with it, spread on corn on the cob, spread on whole grain bread or crackers), avocados, seeds and nuts.
12 oz cooked flaked tuna
Preheat oven on high broil. On the stove top, heat a deep, oven proof skillet with 2-4 tablespoons of oil on medium. [try using coconut oil!]
Prepare eggs like you would if you were to scramble them. For example: Break them into a bowl, add about 1/4 cup of water and salt and pepper. Whisk. This is the way we prepare scrambled eggs and they are very good this way. Most people tend to use milk but we like them much better prepared with water, salt and pepper. They are much lighter.
Pour eggs into heated skillet and allow the bottom to cook. Take a spatula and scoop the solid egg in from the edges and allow what’s left of the liquid egg to pour down under it so it can become solid [very similar to how you cook an open faced omelet]. Work the spatula all the way around the skillet and do this until you don’t have much of the liquid egg left.
Once enough of the egg is cooked, sprinkle the flaked tuna over the top and place in the oven to broil for about 8 minutes or until the top of the egg is cooked [i.e. not runny anymore].
Over the last 30-40 years, beef has been given a bad name for causing everything from heart disease and obesity to auto-immune disorders and cancer. The basis for some of this is seated in some questionable science dating back over 50 years. I will be the first one to admit that books such as Fast Food Nation, In Defense of Food and the documentary, Super Size Me, definitely changed the way I choose my beef, but it certainly hasn’t deterred my love for a big, juicy steak on a fairly regular basis. The reduction of cholesterol does not necessitate the elimination of beef. However, as a physician, there are some patients that have conditions where elimination is necessary. Let’s look at some common sense points regarding your health and consuming beef:
1 Choose the closest thing to grass fed, organic beef you can find in your area. Grass fed beef contains more Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (congugated linoleic acid). Omega-3 ‘s and CLA are associated with decreasing inflammation. A lower amount of inflammation is associated with decreased risk of heart and vascular disease, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and cancer. This grass fed beef can be eaten by most people. Those people who have auto-immune disorders may want to curtail their consumption to 2-3 servings per week. Some of my colleagues go so far as to buy a portion of a cow from local organic farmers, that practice humane slaughtering techniques.
2 Choose lean cuts of beef such as eye of round, sirloin, and 95% lean ground beef. There are actually 29 cuts of lean beef according to The Beef Checkoff, at www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com. The government says a serving qualifies as “extra lean” if it has less than 5g total fat, 2g or less saturated fat and less than 95mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving. A serving qualifies as “lean” if it has less than 10g total fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving.
3 Red meat provides essential nutrients such as B-12, Zinc, and Iron. According to the NIH 35-45% of American over 60 years old may not be getting even the RDA of zinc, which is a gross underestimation of what most people need anyway. (http://ods.od.nih.gov/FactSheets/Zinc.asp) For B-12, other sources include wild rainbow trout and sock-eye salmon. Lean beef provides all essential amino acids which are the building blocks of muscles, enzymes, cell wall structure and communication molecules in the body. And with 7 grams of protein per ounce of beef, you will stay fuller, longer when you eat about 3.5 ounces per serving. Vegetarians usually need to supplement zinc, iron, B-12 and must be very careful to get a full complement of amino acids with proper food combining.
4 For the summer grilling season, if you are concerned about beefing it up too much, try some wild caught seafood or free range chicken breasts. To make the leaner cuts juicier, marinate using a little olive oil, vinegar and your favorite spices, and do NOT overcook. I look to food science expert and Food Network Star, Alton Brown, to guide my cooked meat temperatures. (www.foodnetwork.com) If you are a true vegetarian try some BarBQ Tempeh using your favorite BarBQ sauce laced with a little curry. (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FDE/is_3_21/ai_90217206/pg_3/)
5 Honestly, I love beef, and I probably eat 6-8 servings per week. In a healthy diet that consists of 5 small meals per day, each one containing some kind of protein and colorful vegetables or fruits, I also eat my share of nuts, free range chicken, wild caught fish, and organic pork. Mix it up, variety is what keeps us healthy, so beef up with beef, just do it with common sense, and as Alton Brown says it’s “Good Eats”.
In this economy a lot of you are stressed about your finances. Your food budget is one place you may be able to cut expenses. But what is the wisest way to accomplish that goal? Making poor food choices actually increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure; so let’s make sure when you cut your food budget you don’t cut out necessary nutrients – let’s get the biggest nutrient bang for our recession dollar. You can eat healthy, on a budget and actually end up less stressed.
How many times have you run out to get coffee and end up with a muffin, too. Or you run to the convenient store for a sandwich and come out with a soda and chips to go with it. You can save a lot by cutting out these trips and bring food from home. Also, you don’t need to buy processed foods, chips, muffins, cookies, soda, sports drinks and other beverages. You might miss some of those foods, but you don’t need them – none is essential to life. Besides, most of those foods don’t have many nutrients, like vitamins and antioxidants, and they actually rob your body of nutrients as your body tries to process them. With the money you save on processed foods, purchase frozen vegetables and fruit, buy bags of nuts, and string cheese for snacks, buy chicken and ground meat in bulk, freezing it in family-sized portions. With frozen foods you don’t have to worry about spoilage and you will be getting more of the nutrients your body needs to combat stress.
Poor food choices raise the stress chemicals in your body. These stress chemicals are partially responsible for contributing to diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Have an egg and some fruit for breakfast, 1/4 cup of nuts and a piece of fruit for snacks, a large salad and some protein (lean meat, fish or chicken) for lunch, another healthy snack and a dinner that has vegetables(frozen are fine), protein, and maybe some rice or a sweet/yukon gold potato. Eating frequently, every 4 hours, also reduces the stress chemicals – reducing your risk of chronic diseases and potential doctor visits.
Americans spend about 10% of their income on food. The Italians and French spend almost 15%, and the Spanish a whopping 17%. As far as that relates to our health…16% of the US gross domestic product is spent on healthcare, while other nations it accounts for only about 10%. Yet, we rank among the top in the world for mortality rate. So, as you can see, spending a little more on food may reduce the doctor bills later. To choose the healthiest foods, stay on the perimeter of the store. You don’t really need to make your way into the aisles – where the processed stuff is located – why tempt yourself to spend your money on food without nutrients, that stresses your body. Your body doesn’t need any more stress – choose to de-stress by feeding your body an anti-stress diet, and reducing your grocery bill at the same time.
Aphrodisiac foods are said to evoke or create a desire. The foods that stimulate that desire are essentially nutrition that activates hormones in the body for men and women. There are those that create sexual desire by working on the mind, and there are those that create desire by affecting parts of the body.
Throughout history many have thought a resemblance to sexual organs that has often made people think they must have some sexual powers. Vegetables such as carrots, asparagus and cucumbers have all been associated with aphrodisiacs, even if their chemical makeup shows no relationship (although some have been shown to have chemical characteristics that could possibly contribute to improved sexual desire).
Aside from resemblance to sex organs, people throughout history have made aphrodisiac associations with animals that are known to be virile and prolific reproducers. Rabbits, tigers, goats and bulls, for instance, have reputations for prolific reproduction, strength and/or virility. Historically, people ingested the sex organs of these animals to achieve an aphrodisiac effect and/or to enhance sexual performance.
Nuts and sesame seeds have an amino acid called L-arginine that enhances blood flow throughout the body. Arginine forms nitric oxide in the body, which increases blood flow to the genitals. Arginine, when combined with other supplements, is said to enhance sexual desire in women.
Chocolate (70% or more cocoa) releases pleasure enhancing endorphins in the brain. It was originally found in the South American rainforests. The Mayan civilizations worshipped the Cacao tree and called it “food of the gods.” Rumor has it that the Aztec ruler drank 50 goblets of chocolate each day to enhance his sexual abilities.
Researchers have studied chocolate and found it to contain phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are both “feel good” chemicals. They occur naturally in our bodies and are released by our brains when we are happy or feeling loving or passionate. It produces a euphoric feeling, like when you’re in love.
Oysters have zinc which produces more hormones in men and women. Romans documented oysters as aphrodisiacs in the second century A.D. They are known to be high in zinc, which has been associated with improving sexual potency in men. Recently, mussels, clams and oysters have been found to contain D-aspartic acid and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) compounds may be effective in releasing sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
Chilies have capsaicin, which increases circulation and releases endorphins that make you feel good. Eating chili peppers generates physiological responses in our bodies (e.g., sweating, increased heart rate and circulation) that are similar to those experienced when having sex. The capsaicin they contain is responsible for the effects and is also a good pain reliever. Another reported effect of eating large quantities of chili peppers is an irritation of the genitals and urinary tract that could feel similar to sexual excitement.
Licorice candy for women increase circulation through body, though can also increase blood pressure the smell in particular can be stimulating. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that you could increase desire by sucking on anise (licorice) does include estrogenic compounds (female hormones), which have been reported to induce similar effects to testosterone.
Garlic increases circulation. Long ago, Tibetan monks were not allowed to enter the monastery if they had been eating garlic because of its reputation for stirring up passions.
Ginger, people have deemed ginger root an aphrodisiac for centuries because of its scent and because it stimulates the circulatory system.
Ginseng is another long-touted aphrodisiac. Recently, the Journal of Urology reported, “the Mean International Index of Erectile Function scores were significantly higher in patients treated with Korean red ginseng than in those who received placebo.” In animal studies, ingesting ginseng doesn’t appear to have an immediate effect on testosterone levels, but the ginseng may trigger other mechanisms that lead to increased performance and libido.
Spanish fly though not a food is probably one of the most famous aphrodisiacs. It is made from a beetle that secretes an acid-like juice, called cantharidin, from its leg joints when threatened. Because it would be more difficult to remove just the juice, the entire beetle is dried and crushed to produce the powder. When Spanish fly powder is ingested, the body excretes the cantharidin in the urine. This causes intense irritation and burning in the urogenital tract, which then leads to itching and swelling of the genitals. This swelling and burning was once assumed to be sexual arousal and led to the belief that Spanish fly had aphrodisiac qualities. But cantharidin is highly toxic. The kidneys suffer inflammation as well and can be permanently damaged. Spanish fly can cause severe gastrointestinal disturbances, convulsions and even death.
Alyce Sorokie, author of, GUT WISDOM: UNDERSTANDING and IMPROVING YOUR DIGESTIVE HEALTH, will launch a series of 3 week classes designed to replace poor eating habits with good ones by simply getting clients in touch with their own guts unique intuition.
“Our bodies speak to us,” says Sorokie. My goal is to establish better communication by relieving them of irritants, waste and both toxic foods and toxic communication. With her program, clients will be able to better discern how different foods are affecting them.
21 DAYS TO CREATE A NEW HABIT
“Research has shown it takes 21 days to create a new habit. It is my hope that my series will provide a foundation to do exactly that,” says Alyce. Her 3-week series will meet on three consecutive Sundays.
The topics discussed will include understanding the gut-mind connection, how diet and stress affect the gut, breathing techniques, ancient abdominal message, and stress reduction techniques.
She continues, “a gut wisdom detox program” can move participants from gut distress to gut health in a very short period of time. A wealth of benefits can occur as a result of this “detox”. It can help people lose weight, reduce signs of aging, clear up skin problems, relieve allergies and asthma and support the healing of chronic pain and inflammation. Other people also experience an increase of energy and the elimination of a variety of gut problems like gas, bloating constipation and Irritable Bowl Syndrome.
“When I lecture I find that people of all ages have these problems. There is a lot of stress to deal with and it shows up in the stomach” says Alyce.
After her own father died of colon cancer, Alyce became interested in teaching people what they can look for in signals their bodies are sending to them before and after problems arise.
“This program can empower people to know their own bodies. These classes are not about fad diets that so many look to for a quick fix. It is a chance to learn how to be aware of what your body is telling you…to listen to your body and gain “gut wisdom”.
Alyce founded Partners in Wellness, a health center in Lincoln Park, 20 years ago, where she is a practicing colon therapist and digestive consultant. A lecturer and nutritionist, Alyce created THE BELLY BUDDY, a round firm pillow, heated in a microwave, that received wide acclaim in helping relieve stress in the stomach from a variety of problems. For more information on these new classes call Partners In Wellness at 773-868-4062.
Weight Lost Facts. . .
Low Fat Foods DON’T WORK.
You cannot lose weight using Low Fat Diets. Low fat foods have been popular for more than 15 years, but yet our society is getting more overweight as each year passes. This fact alone should tell you that eating a purely low fat menu is not the answer to losing weight.
Low Calorie Diets DON’T WORK.
You won’t lose weight using a Low Calorie Dieting Plan either. In fact, eating low calories is the worst thing that you can do to your body, since that will only slow down your body’s fat burning engine and ruin all chances of losing weight (low calorie diets may allow a few pounds of weight loss for the first few days, but then after that all weight loss comes to a halt — known as a dieting plateau). You can never get slim by starving yourself.
Low Carb-Plans DON’T WORK.
You’ll probably find it extremely difficult to get slim using a Low Carb Dieting Plan. Low carb diets have recently become popular over the last couple years, but the problem with low carb menus is that they are too strict and TOO HARD TO FOLLOW for average people. Low carb menus tend to rob your body of too much energy (carbohydrates) and make it nearly impossible to remain on the program for very long. This is why so many dieters find it difficult to follow a strict low carbohydrate menu.
Overweight and obesity risk factors:
- coronary hearth disease
- high blood pressure, stroke
- gallbladder disease
- osteoarthritis (degeneration of cartilage and bone of joint)
- sleep apnea and another breathing problems
- some forms of cancer (breast, colo-rectal endometrial, and kidney).
Obesity is also associated with:
- Complication during pregnancy
- menstrual irregularities, hirsutism (presence of excess of body and facial hair)
- stress incontinence (urine leakage cause by weak pelvic floor muscles)
- psychological disorders such as depression
- increasing surgical risk
- increase mortality rate
Taking all this in consideration you wonder why some many people try all the yo-yo diets and nothing works? Well that’s because they don’t address the cause of the problem.
The solutions are the following:
To lose weight, be aware low calorie diets they don’t work. Most people believe that you lose weight by cutting calories or fat, eating only one meal a day, or only certain foods, or by starving yourself. These diets do not lead to permanent weight loss because the body adjusts its energy requirements as it loses weight loss. This results in a resistance to maintaining weight loss, even with a low calorie intake. The secret to weight loss is not dieting! The secret is in your metabolism, or how your body converts food into energy or fat. Metabolism is dependent upon the amount of muscle you have and the balance of your hormones. Since metabolism occurs primarily in muscle tissue, the more muscle mass that you have, the greater chance you have of increasing your metabolism. Women have a 10% slower metabolism than men, and that is why they have more of a problem with weight loss. Your ability to gain or lose weight and energy is also dependent on the hormones kept by your pancreas and thyroid. Thyroid hormones speed up or slow down the conversion of sugar to energy in order to keep your body temperature at 98.6 degrees. People with slow thyroids have trouble losing weight, get cold easily, and feel tired. Thyroid problems may not always show up in blood tests. Besides the thyroid, hormones most related to weight loss are those secreted by the pancreas. One is insulin, which either takes the sugar from the blood stream and puts it into the cells, or stores it as fat resulting in weight gain. The other is glucagon, which takes fat from the body and breaks it down to be used for energy, which results in weight loss. Because of the large amounts of sugars we consume, the pancreas produces more and more insulin. Remember, insulin is the key that opens the doors to cells, allowing sugar to move from the bloodstream to the cells to be used as energy. At some point, the cells close their doors and stop allowing insulin to do its job. Insulin Resistance occurs when the normal amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas is not able to unlock the doors to the cells. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood, and this can lead to Type II Diabetes. Recent studies have found that some 16 million Americans may suffer from the condition “Pre-Diabetes.” This condition of high blood sugar levels is the precursor to Type II Diabetes. Even a minor elevation in the level of insulin in the blood will block glucagon from breaking down fat.
Diets won’t work if fat can’t break down due to elevated insulin levels. Ideally, you should eat many small meals a day made up of foods that will nourish your body and help maintain and control your insulin and glucagon levels. You control insulin levels by eating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and good fats. A high protein meal decreases insulin and increases glucagon levels, thus reducing stored fat and helping with weight loss. White flour, white rice, and white sugar are highly processed foods, and contain no vitamins or minerals. The disease Beriberi is caused by lack of vitamin B1. It only appeared in the Japanese population after they began to eat white rice. Brown rice and whole wheat contain the natural vitamins and minerals found in nature.
In order to lose weight and feel younger, you should avoid bad fats, but not all fats. Avoid trans-fatty acids, hydrogenated and oxidized fats found in deep-fried foods, half-and-half, imitation mayonnaise, imitation sour cream, shortening, margarine, and non-dairy creamers. Remember, processed foods and fast foods use hydrogenated oils.
Drink spring water.The recommended amount of water that you should consume in a day can be determined by taking your weight and dividing it in half:For example: 140 pounds ÷ 2 = 70 oz. This is the number of ounces of water that you should be drinking on a daily basis. In a study published in Environmental Science and Technology, drugs such as antibiotics, hormones, strong pain killers, tranquilizers, and those used in chemotherapy, have been measured in surface, ground, and tap water.The U.S. water supply has 10 times the antibiotics as the German water supply!
Avoid Unnecessary Drugs:The common over-the-counter drug acetaminophen, found in Tylenol® and many other pain reducing medications, can have disastrous effects on the liver. Doctors have known for years that chronic pain sufferers who regularly take NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen to ease their symptoms are prone to gastric disorders.“There’s an epidemic of adverse drug reactions to NSAIDs,” says Dr. James F. Fries, one of the country’s leading arthritis experts and a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. “The FDA believes anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 deaths each year are the result of severe bleeding caused by NSAIDs. It’s a big problem.”Since metabolism and the conversion of food to energy are dependent on a properly functioning body, one should try to avoid the consumption of unnecessary drugs.
Move: Earlier we talked about metabolism; now let’s look at the relationship between metabolism, movement, and your health. The more active you are, the more energy you will burn. Movement can be dancing, golf, tennis, kayaking, hiking, or taking a walk. A recent study followed 40,000 post-menopausal women for seven years. Those who regularly engaged in moderate activities had a 41% lower early death rate than those who did not exercise. A California State University study found that a 10 minute walk is enough to increase energy, alter mood, and affect a positive outlook for up to 2 hours. A study conducted by Harvard University concluded that brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day could reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women by as much as 70%. Research indicates that walking 30 minutes a day and reducing your body weight by 5-7% can cut the risk of “Pre-Diabetes” by as much as 60%. Therefore, to lose weight, you must look at how active you are and what prevents you from being active and exercising. The primary barrier to physical exertion is pain. Since pain and stress have a negative effect on one’s ability to lose weight, one must address these issues as part of the comprehensive program.
Get Out of Pain Naturally:The cost to treat chronic pain in the U.S. is estimated at $470 billion a year. Pain makes one feel old. Pain makes one not want to move. Pain makes one take unnecessary drugs. When there are blocks to the natural energy flows in your body, there can be reduced function in muscles or a blockage of blood or energy. It is based upon the fact that organs, tissues and glands need a proper flow of blood to function properly. When a blockage occurs in the flow of blood, health problems can develop, some of which can lead to sleep problems. More than 2 billion people worldwide use Acupuncture to treat their health problems. More than 2 billion people worldwide use Acupuncture to treat their health problems. There are 2000 specific locations on the body where the there are blockages in the flow of blood. An acupuncturist is trained to determine these blockages can occur. An acupuncturist inserts tiny, delicate needles into these points to remove the blocks and allow healing to occur. Just as a garden needs water to stay healthy, the body also needs the proper flow of blood to the vital organs, glands and tissues of the body. According to the National Institutes of Health, Oriental Medicine has provided solutions for such diverse problems as:
• Headaches and migraines
• Sinus/breathing problems
• Hormone problems
• Drug addiction
• Nicotine addiction
• Digestive problems
• Low back pain
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• and many more.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there are few, if any, negative side effects from Acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture has been proven to help with weight loss.
A successful loss weight program has to be address each of the above issues mention, and also take in consideration the emotional factor that play’s an important role in some cases. The key is each person has to know the cause of the problem in order to solve the over weight and obesity dilemma
Georgina Salgado Chavez ND, LAc.
Marbett Beauty Clinic
4051 W 63rd ST
Chicago., IL 60629
Contact by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 773-284-8878