Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Healthy New Year!

Do you believe in fresh starts? Second Chances? New Beginnings?

Let's leave 2009's unhealthy eating habits behind us and make a fresh Organic Start!

A healthy lifestyle is a choice, one that starts with a healthy diet, but the great thing is you can make this choice today (or tomorrow) regardless of the unhealthy choices you made yesterday.

So while everyone else is making useless resolutions that involve spending hundreds of dollars on a gym membership that statistics show become nothing more than broken promises by Super Bowl weekend, or the many "fad diets" that exist only to gain the weight back and more, you can CHOOSE TO BE HEALTHY!

It's time to say goodbye to that processed food diet of yours and start avoiding the 90% of the grocery store that has molded you into the unhealthy person you are today, and reintroduce yourself to the produce section and organic section (if available).

Visit that health food store you drive by all the time wondering what's inside, and say hello to a healthier happier you.

From me to you... Have a happy and healthy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not Another Fast-Food Diet

First it was Subway campaigning hard with Jared at the helm, showing everyone that it was possible to lose weight simply by following the "Subway Diet", and a little exercising of course.

Now we have Taco Bell with their spokesperson Christine Dougherty and their "Drive-Thru Diet"... Same premise, eat a diet centered around horribly unhealthy fast-food and with a little exercise you too can lose weight.

This is extremely disturbing to me, that these profit driven money hungry fast food franchises think the general public is so naive and so lazy that they will simply eat it up, literally! But if history is any indication they will.

Americans have such a warped misinformed sense of what is healthy that corporations from food manufacturers to fast-food restaurants and even pharmaceutical companies use it to their advantage, and the result is a large profit for them while the consumer unknowingly poisons themselves.

Americans think "thin" is the face of healthy, and although obesity is no doubt unhealthy, thin does not automatically mean healthy. Sure a Taco Bell taco may have less calories (depending on your choice of toppings) and less refined flower in the form of bread than other unhealthy meal choices, but it's no doubt high in either fat, sodium, cholesterol, or all of the above and severely lacking the necessary nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy.

This is no exaggeration... Diets high in refined highly processed non-organic foods is the major cause of this countries health problem; Cancer, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Chronic pain and inflammation, Heart Disease, Obesity, and the list goes on and on.

It has been documented many times; societies that are totally isolated from western civilization and all their "poisons" are some of the healthiest societies that exist, living long healthy lives free of sickness and disease. It's only when western civilization penetrates the remote boundaries that have kept these pure societies secret for many years, do people start to show signs of the typical health problems that plague our country like an epidemic.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Holiday Excuse

The famous holiday excuse when it comes to eating poorly... "Oh it's the holiday, it only comes around once a year..."

You hear this on Thanksgiving, you hear it on Christmas, and you hear it on New Years, but is it justifiable?

It might, I mean MIGHT, be a legitimate excuse if you ate healthy (truly healthy) the other 49 weeks a year, but that's rarely the case. Not in this country. Not when obesity and heart disease and diabetes and Chronic Inflammation are all epidemics, regardless of age.

So why am I bringing this up?

A co-worker of mine brought in a platter of store bought and homemade desserts (cookies, cakes, pastries galore!) each loaded with refined sugar, refined flower, and tons and tons of fat and calories. And each day before he leaves he takes the 3 or so that still remain and put them aside so he can bring the platter back home only to return the next day with more.

Being healthy is a choice and for some a difficult one to make. It's much easier to eat poorly, poisoning yourself with refined overly processed foods (as well as fast foods) and then pop a pill to relieve the effects... ulcers, indigestion, heart-burn, high cholesterol, chronic aches and pains, clogged arteries, insomnia, CANCER, the list goes on and on.

So remember, before you indulge ask yourself this... Can you afford to?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a Healthy Holiday

There is nothing like this time of year... Friends Family and Loved Ones surround us as we celebrate, and food is usually at the center of it all. I just wanted to remind everyone to be smart this holiday and stay healthy.

You don't have to be unhealthy to have fun.

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cancer Causing Agents All Around Us

There is a great article I found online that should have been front page news...

"How to avoid common cancer causing agents", which touches on a subject that I've come across many times before in most all of the books I've read. Many of the common household chemicals we use, foods we eat, and technologies we use (cell phones) do indeed cause cancer. I wish the article went a step further and mentioned the dangers of using most non-organic cosmetic products (soaps, moisturizers, perfumes, shaving creams, woman's cosmetics...), office equipment like laser printers, prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well.

I think it is very important for people to understand this, because most people feel that because they don't smoke or don't work under hazardous conditions or eat lots of fruits and vegetables (non-organic) or "supposedly healthy" non-organic processed foods (snack bars, energy bars/shakes, cereals..) that they are doing all they can to protect themselves from the many faces of cancer.

The fact is though this is far from the truth.

In fact if you eat non-organic foods, use non-organic cosmetics, use non-organic or non-biodegradable "green" household chemicals, regularly take prescription and/or over the counter drugs, and have your cell phone permanently attached to your ear then you are most definitely putting yourself at risk every day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Healthy Options, Unhealthy Decisions

So a little unplanned experiment in the cafeteria at my job has once again proven the sad reality when it comes to most people's dietary choices... When given a healthy option alongside the more familiar sweet-tooth sugar infused fattening choice, people tend to make unhealthy decisions.

Case in point... In line with the holiday two separate people expressed their holiday spirit in two similar yet different ways... they both brought in food, but one of them brought in a mix of homemade and store-bought desserts (cookies and candies) and the other employee brought in a fruit basket (apples, bananas, oranges, kiwis...).

One day later what do you think was finished without a crumb to spare, and what do you think still remains, picked through like a child would do scavenging about his plate of peas or lima beans in search of something... anything else?

A healthy lifestyle is a choice each of us must make.

You can choose to be healthy and reap the many benefits of a healthy lifestyle, or you can just as easily choose to be unhealthy and reap the many not so pleasant, costly, and often life threatening repercussions.

Cancer... Heart Disease... Diabetes... Chronic Health Conditions... All of these are found at disturbingly high rates in cultures whose diets consist mainly of processed refined foods.

None of these are common to societies whose diets consist mainly of fresh organic natural whole foods.

The choice is yours...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Plants Over Prescriptions Any Day

As I've made mention to in my bio as will as throughout a number of posts, opening the door to Nature's Medicine Cabinet can be the healthiest choice you will ever make.

Due to my own trials and tribulations I have all but given up on modern medicine for non-emergency treatment, and have turned to nature for any and all cures. I am a firm believer in Natural Healing (curing and prevention) through a healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, and supplementary treatment using holistic/herbalistic/supplement based therapy from a kinesiologist.

I truly believe that the side-effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs poses far more of a threat than any short term benefit they may have.

It's important for people to understand that despite what you've been brainwashed into believing, Plants Are Medicine! They contain compounds that exert a high degree of pharmacological activity, and despite what the medical community wants you to believe 25% of all prescription drugs in the U.S. contain active constituents obtained from plants... and have for the past 30 years!

The Healing Power of Foods by Michael T. Murray N.D.

So if the pharmaceutical companies rely so heavily on plants, then why in the world would anyone choose synthetic drugs over herbal medicines? Herbs are less toxic with less side-effects, not to mention they are used to fix the body's underlying health problem instead of treating symptoms as synthetic drugs do.

The problem is most people don't know the truth...

Open your eyes, open your mind, and open Natures Medicine Cabinet!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Winter Squash

Squash (any verity) are very nutritious, and tasty. They are high in both nutrients and anutrients, but like all foods are best eaten when in season. In other words eat summer squash in the summer (yellow, white Bush Scallop, Zucchini...) and winter squash in the winter (pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti...).

Summer squash are excellent diet foods because of their high water content and the flesh and seeds are also edible.

Winter squash on the other hand are high in carotenes, complex carbs, potassium, and B vitamins.

*See "Tip of the week" for a quick pasta replacement.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Power of Grains

*Based on what I have recently learned (over the past 6mo or so) regarding grain consumption within modern day factory or industrial farming societies, and its adverse effects on human health ultimately leading to many of the illnesses and diseases affecting Americans in epic proportions, I have changed my stance on the importance of such monocrops (grains and legumes) within a healthy human diet. The human digestive system was not designed nor has it evolved to a point to effectively digest such foods like grains and legumes without the body suffering from its harmful side effects; inflammation and damage to the gut. Since evidence shows inefficient digestion and inflammation are the root cause for nearly all human diseases be it heart disease, diabetes, cancer, crohn's disease, autoimmune diseases, and chronic inflammatory disorders in all its forms, a healthy diet should promote a healthy gut (fermented foods) and be anti-inflammatory based (grass-fed meats and eggs, wild caught fish, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds) instead of high in foods promoting inflammation such as grains, legumes, and factory farmed meats, poultry, fish, and eggs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shed Some Light on Chlorophyll

We've all been taught about the important role chlorophyll plays in the plant world. If not for this amazing pigment, plants would not be able to obtain energy from the sunlight; a process known as photosynthesis.

But did you know that chlorophyll, categorized as an anutrient when discussing the human diet, also plays a very important role when it comes to our health, or shall I say maintaining a healthy state.

Chlorophyll like other natural pigments have many antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, which in today's world of environmental hazards and overly processed prepackaged and or fast foods, this anutrient becomes a necessity in cancer prevention.

Take for example Parsley, long used for its taste and odor masking ability as a garnish when preparing meals, due to its levels of anutrients (chlorophyll and carotene) has been shown to reduce the cancer causing affects of fried foods.

So the next time you enjoy that fried, roasted or grilled meal give some thanks to chlorophyll, and garnish your plate with plenty of parsley.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kale Over Milk for Calcium

Kale is one of those super healthy foods that we should all be eating a little more of. It is very rich in vitamins, minerals, and anutrients such as pigments carotenes and chlorophyll, giving it many anticancer properties and making it among the most nutritious of all vegetables.

It's the levels of minerals though, particularly Calcium, that I find especially intriguing.

Did you know that a cup of kale actually has more calcium than a cup of milk... An important fact that anyone suffering from a dairy allergy will be delighted to know.

Americans are so brainwashed into thinking the only way we can get our daily allowance of calcium is by drinking milk, but the truth is dairy allergy or not, milk is not the smartest choice. (See 'Milk Allergies on the Rise') We know that nutrients work together and that the consumption ratios of one to another is in some cases more important than the actual quantity consumed, but when these nutrients are consumed in ratios that are not ideal these nutrients will actually work against each other; this is the case with calcium and phosphorous.

Since phosphorous can reduce the utilization and promote the excretion of calcium if consumed in high amounts with respect to calcium, kale becomes a more ideal source than milk since kale contains almost 3 times the amount of calcium than phosphorous (3:1). Milk on the other hand has just about a 1:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous, and that coupled with the fact that milk has a calcium to magnesium ratio of nearly 6:1 (ideal is 2:1 since magnesium is very important for the absorption of calcium).

So whether you have a dairy allergy, have finally waken up to truth about dairy, or are simply trying to avoid osteoporosis which is very common in woman (and not uncommon in men), then I'm sure you too will find this to be very enlightening.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The 7 Foods Experts Won't Eat

Today I read a headline off a web page that I found both interesting because it reinforces what I've read and what I write about and how I live, as well as surprising because it's not every day you find a mainstream article supporting organic foods and warning of the dangers of those that are not.

The article is titled "The 7 Foods Experts Won't Eat", and it basically lists 7 foods that are commonly consumed, and lists reasons why you should stay away from them as well as giving alternative choices in place of these foods.

I hope articles like this one will help inform the public, reaching those that would otherwise go unknowing, expressing the dangers that our current industrialized dollar driven corrupt yet politically influential food industry presents.

It is important to know that food manufacturers as well as non-organic industrialized farmers have but one thing in mind, sell their product at any cost. There is billions of dollars spent by this industry researching ways to produce more with quicker turnaround as cheaply as possible, and then sell it all to the unsuspecting consumer for a nice big profit.

Be smart... Eat Healthy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Natural Approach to Diabetes

I am a firm believer in a NATURAL approach to health and wellness, and I practice it religiously. I have had great success with this approach in all areas of my life, most notably when the modern medical approach failed me.

Anytime I come across a natural remedy or cure, regardless of whether it pertains to a health condition I am dealing with personally or not, I feel it's important to share the findings with others in hopes that maybe they will find out for themselves what I found out some time ago...

The Natural Path to health and wellness is the best and most affective approach!

So with that introduction say hello to the Bitter Melon (or balsam pear), a topical fruit native to Asia Africa and South America, available in America primarily at Asian grocery stores. This nutrient rich fruit shows very promising results in the treatment of diabetes, with its blood-sugar-lowering abilities confirmed through scientific studies in both animals and humans. This melon contains the compounds Charatin, which is more potent than the drug tolbutamide (often used to treat diabetes), and polypeptide-P (an insulin-like compound that appears to have fewer side effects than insulin) and has been recommended as an insulin replacement for some patients.

The recommended dose for medicinal purposes is a 2-ounce shot of the juice.

"The Healing Power of Foods" by Michael T. Murray N.D.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nutrients or Anutrients

We all know that the body requires key nutrients (protein, carbs, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals) to survive, and that diets high in processed foods lack sufficient levels of these nutrients to maintain a healthy state, but did you know that diets high in fresh (ideally organic) fruits and vegetables, natural whole grains, and legumes provide the body with compounds that are equally important.

These compounds are called anutrients, and although they, unlike nutrients, were thought to provide little or no real nutritional value, research is revealing that anutrients offer profound health benefits. And unlike nutrients, where processed foods can be fortified with, anutrients can only be obtained through a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, natural whole grains and legumes.

So what exactly are anutrients?

Some examples are fiber, enzymes, pigments (like carotene), flavonoids, chlorophyll, and other vitamin-like compounds. These compounds not only aid the body in storing and processing basic nutrients, they have shown to have amazing anticancer and anti-tumor properties.

A publishing in the medical journal Cancer Causes and Control went as far as saying that "cancer is viewed by many as a maladaptation to a reduced level of intake of compounds in foods (anutrients)... Cancer is the result of a deficiency of plant foods in the diet. Concluding with the distressing fact that vegetables and fruit contain the anticarcinogenic cocktail to which we are adapted, but have abandoned at our own risk."

As if we needed another excuse to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, with "fresh" being the key word. The content of many of these compounds in cooked processed and commercially packaged foods is at or near zero.

"The Healing Power of Foods" by Michael T. Murray, N.D.

Monday, December 7, 2009

One Organic Free-Grazed Chicken, Three Tasty Meals

My wife and I buy our chicken from a local Organic Free-Grazing Farm, and although they are more expensive than from the grocery store they are far better for you... not to mention the best tasting chicken you will ever have. They are sold as the whole bird (just as you would by a thanksgiving turkey), and can be cooked the same way, but truthfully the recipe options are endless.

I just wanted to share with you how one seemingly expensive bird can go along way...

On Friday my wife and I cooked the chicken using a crock pot recipe we have; Fresh Organic Onions, Garlic Cloves, and seasonings (that's it), it's simply effortless and absolutely better than any bird you can buy from the store. We had it with a side of Organic Long Grain Rice and some steamed Organic Broccoli.

The key here is to save the broth... these birds are lean and very juicy so you should be able to collect a descent amount of chick broth.

On Sunday we made homemade Organic Chicken Soup using the broth we saved from Friday night's meal, some of the leftover chicken, and some Fresh Organic Carrots, Celery, Parsley, and dried Lavender (something we picked up from an Organic Lavender Farm). We added the leftover rice from Friday's meal as well.

Finally, tonight (Monday) my wife is making her famous Chicken Avocado dish using the last bit of leftover chicken from Friday nights meal.

That's one Organic Free-Grazed Chicken and three VERY Tasty Meals!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Carotenes are the Fountain of Youth

It is well known that the natural pigments in the fresh foods that we eat (the reds, yellows, and greens) have many health benefits, and a diet rich in these foods is important for achieving optimal health, but did you know that Carotenes (the most widespread group of these naturally occurring pigments) may actually be the key to longevity.

In the world of nutrition Carotenes are best known for their capacity for conversion into Vitamin A, but unlike a vitamin A supplement which can be toxic in excess, the body stores unconverted carotenes in fat cells, epithelial cells, and other organs; there is no know toxicity to carotene.

It's this storing of carotene in the cells that makes this pigment so extraordinary. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between carotene intake and various cancers involving epithelial tissues... the higher the carotene intake, the lower the risk for cancer. So what does this mean?

Since cancer and aging share a number of characteristics (i.e an association with free-radical damage)
it leads to the idea that preventing cancer should promote longevity, and there is great evidence supporting this because it appears that there is a better correlation with the maximal life-span of mammals and tissue carotene levels than with other factors. And since tissue carotenes appear to be the most significant factor in determining a species' maximal life-span potential, it only makes sense that those within a species that have the highest carotene levels in their tissues have the greatest chance of living the longest.

Below are carotene levels (in um) in common foods

Apples (unpeeled)--> 5,500 to 12,600
Carrots-------------> 11,100
Butternut Squash--> 17,700
Kale-----------------> 75,000
Beet Greens--------> 10,000
Collard Greens-----> 20,000

...and yes increased carotene consumption can cause the appearance of slightly yellow-to-orange tinted skin, it's called carotenodermia and it is not harmful; in fact it simply indicates that the body has a good supply of carotenes.

"The Healing Power of Foods" by Michael T. Murray N.D.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Beans and Grains, the Perfect Couple

Protein gets allot of attention when it comes to diets, especially with all of the fad diets out there. On the other hand many health experts stress the importance of fruits vegetables and whole grains over meat and dairy products. Now obviously there are other ways of getting protein than from the meat and or dairy sources (living with a dairy allergy I know this first hand), but the truth is they are two of the most common sources of complete proteins in most Americans diets.

What are complete proteins you ask?

Theses are proteins that provide the nine "essential amino acids" that the body cannot produce on its own; examples are meat, fish, dairy, and poultry. Other common proteins such as grains and legumes (beans) often lack one or more of these essential amino acids.

Leave it nature though, to make up for any of her short comings... when grains are combined with legumes (beans) the result is a complete protein. This means that it is possible to get enough "complete" protein in your diet without eating tons of meat and dairy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sodium and Processed Foods

"Watch your Sodium intake"... we've all heard that before, but rarely does anyone mentions Potassium.

Sodium is an electrolyte, an important mineral used within the body for maintaining water balance, acid-base balance, muscle and nerve function, heart function, as well as kidney and adrenal function, but more importantly than the amount of sodium required for optimal health is the ratio of Sodium to Potassium... another very important electrolyte.

It's no secret that the sodium intake in most Americans diets is way too high, but what most people don't realize is that the lack of dietary potassium intake at the same time is equally if not more concerning.

Research shows that excessive sodium chloride along with diminished potassium is a common cause of high blood pressure.

In most Americans diets only 5% of sodium intake comes from natural ingredients in foods they eat, while prepared foods contribute to nearly 45% and condiments contribute another 5%. This is no surprise since the American diet consists heavily of processed foods, leading to a potassium to sodium ratio of less than 1:2... the recommended dietary potassium to sodium ratio is greater than 5:1 which is a potassium intake 10 times higher than the average person gets.

Now for the shocker... Since many fruits and vegetables have a potassium to sodium ratio of at least 50:1, a natural diet rich in fruit and vegetables can product a ratio greater than 100:1. That's nearly 200 times greater than the average person gets with a diet high in processed foods.

You do the math!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have a Healthy Holiday

Everyone wishes others a "Happy Holiday", but I am going to take it a step further and wish all a Healthy Holiday.

Thanksgiving is an example of our, as a society, gluttonous nature at its max. How many times have you heard someone say tomorrow (the day after Thanksgiving) I'm going on a diet?

But it's not just the excess that is so unhealthy, it's what is being eaten. It's not as if the majority of people eat healthy 364 days a year and then let loose on 1 day; unfortunately most people eat far too much processed foods high in fat, refined flowers and sugars, and then look at Thanksgiving as a free pass to eat more of the same but in excess.

Most of the Thanksgiving favorites are those dishes full of heavy cream, butter, refined flower, and lots and lots of sugar. If all that was eaten was a meat (the turkey), a starch (the potato minus all that butter and cheese), and a vegetable (minus any that isn't) along with gravy made only from the juices on the turkey then you wouldn't have to feel so guilty when you eat that piece of pumpkin pie...

You can enjoy the holiday and eat healthy at the same time without sacrificing much at all. Limit your plate to a normal size portion making sure to reduce the amount of refined flower and sugar on your plate as well as the alcohol you drink... and eat slowly (some conversation during dinner helps there), and then wait a good 30min before going back for seconds (once again "conversation" is your best ally). That way you will allow your stomach some time to digest your first plate-full giving your brain a chance to get on the same page with your full belly.

By limiting the amounts of refined flower and sugar you will prevent your blood sugar form spiking and by eating slowly you will allow your stomach to begin digesting. If you still want seconds you will most likely be fuller than if you woofed down your first helping, greatly reducing the chances of you diving back in with hungry eyes.

Add a little more conversation between those seconds and desert and I can assure you, you wont be looking at that smorgasbord of deserts like an oasis in the middle of a desert.

Have a healthy Holiday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shelf-Life Equals Unhealthy In Many Cases

I heard a conversation this morning in the cafeteria where I work regarding the shelf life of certain products, or should I say the lack of shelf life. A woman was commenting (more accurately complaining) about how some packaged foods seem to last forever in the refrigerator while others spoil quickly.

Achieving a lengthy shelf life is something food manufacturers spend millions on and they use this seemingly positive quality to their advantage (since many shoppers feel the same as my misguided coworker), but it's this very quality of processed foods that make them so unhealthy.

All of those additives fillers and preservatives, as well as that laundry list of unpronounceable words, that clutter the ingredients list on that box or bag of whatever are no doubt a major reason for this countries many health epidemics; obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer...

The truth is all of these artificial ingredients are created in a lab by someone with no education (or concern) when it comes to the human body and what it needs to maintain a healthy state. Their only concern is that of creating something that can go relatively undetected by the taste buds and fly under the radar of the FDA while achieving whatever unnatural goal they're trying to achieve.

If you removed all of the natural ingredients from any package of processed non-organic food you would not be left with much at all, except of course for the dozen or so chemicals food manufactures are not required to list...

Be smart and eat healthy. Leave those science projects being sold as food just where you found them, at the store.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fancy Packaging Equals Unhealthy Food

There is a reason why food manufacturers spend millions of dollars on fancy packaging, and it's not only to get you to choose their brand over a competitors.

There is no question that the competition is fierce in the world of processed foods, and with a target market consisting of mainly on-the-go with no time to spare shoppers looking for the best deal possible (money wise), a manufacturer has no choice but to grab your attention quickly and keep it. But with more and more attention being paid to nutrition labeling despite consumers lacking the proper education and knowledge regarding healthy foods and diets, manufacturers have started using the fancy packaging to their advantage once again.

The majority of shoppers know only the bare minimum when it comes to nutrition, and this lack of knowledge is being used against them. They know only what they've heard on the news, in the media, etc.; avoid foods high in sugar calories fat sodium etc., and look for foods that contain whole grains vitamins minerals omega-3...

Food manufacturers have become wise to this and in response started covering their packaging with "key phrases" for no other purpose than to draw the consumer's attention away from the facts seeing only what they want you to see. They use words like "reduced" sugar / fat / calories or "compared to other leading brands" as if the other leading brands were any better, or they say "fortified with" or "contains your daily requirement of" vitamins and minerals and even antioxidants, or they use the words "natural" or "whole grains", or "healthy heart", and most recently they've stooped to an all time low with "helps support a healthy immune system during flu season"... seriously now?

You're telling me that a product like fruit loops or lucky charms is going to keep my immune system strong? I'm not nearly that stupid and I hope neither are you, but this is what they do. They use a few of these key phrases like "contains 3 grams of fiber", and then give you a few sentences of why fiber is so important to a healthy diet (which it is) and that's all it takes... hook line and sinker.

The truth is nutrient rich foods are the best thing for you, but you will never get this with processed foods. You must make fresh organic whole foods the foundation of your healthy diet. The ONLY reason processed foods contain any nutrients is because the manufacturers put them back in at the end of processing (hence "fortified with"), and the only reason they do that is because the more a food is processed the more nutrients are lost. Processing strips most all color flavor and nutrients from any natural ingredient, so manufacturers are forced to add sweeteners dyes fillers and additives (all in the form of harmful chemicals) as well as fortify them with synthetic nutrients to bring this processed mess up to the FDA's minimum standard.

So don't be fooled by fancy packaging... if Mother Nature is concerned then why should you be?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Popular Cholesterol Drug May Hurt...

A headline in the news today reads "Popular Cholesterol Drug May Hurt, Not Help".

This type of news is becoming all too common. It's a race for these drug companies to come up with the next "best seller", and with the competition as fierce as it is in this multi-billion dollar industry more bad news is sure to follow. It sickens me that so many people put their health (ultimately their lives) in the hands of greedy corporations each with the reputation of having this "get it on the market and deal with the consequences later" motto, and what's worse is the success these drug companies have at convincing doctors that their drug is safe and effective.

A line from today's report reads...

"Statins such as Lipitor and Crestor have long been used to lower LDL or bad cholesterol, and are known to cut the risk of heart problems. Nevertheless, many statin users still suffer heart attacks, so doctors have been testing adding a second medicine to further lower risk."

So the medical communities answer to a drug with potentially deadly side effects is to simply add another drug? Is that what they're taught in school?

I think every doctor should have to learn natural/holistic methods of curing and preventing disease before they can even begin to use a pharmaceutical approach. They should study the human body from a natural stand point (i.e. the important role nutrients play in maintaining a healthy state), and the consequences toxins (from drugs/Rx's, to environmental, to what's commonly found in processed foods) have on the body. Doctors should spend more time learning about the importance of a healthy diet (organic whole foods, grass fed beef, and free range chickens), and what damage the alternatives actually do to your health.

There are a number of proven natural remedies to lowering cholesterol and everyone one of them starts with a healthy diet. And guess what, none of these natural approaches have deadly side effects.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Unhealthy Gym Addict

There's a study being done by French researchers, "Drinkers Exercise Most", and it touches on something I've come to realize regarding the irony with gyms.

Before I continue let me first say that I too was at one time a "gym rat", a slave to all those machines and exercise equipment many of which closely resembling some sort of medieval torture device. This was during a time in my life when I thought I was healthy although my diet consisted of mostly processed foods; a time when I thought I was in great shape although I was riddled with tendinitis in most of my joints; a time when I thought this 5-6 times a week addiction (to the gym) was good for my body despite all the crap (whatever latest and greatest the GNC had to offer) that I was taking.

I feel I can speak the truth on this subject, as painful it may be for all the gym rats to hear, because I too was once an addict. The gym by definition is supposed to signify or at least indirectly equate to a healthy lifestyle, yet most of those who go (at least in my experience) live unhealthy life styles.

Most gym goers fit into one of four categories; the "young and naive" usually doing at least half of the exercises incorrectly and are all too easily influenced by the next group... the "muscle heads", usually taking a colorful assortment of daily muscle growth enhancers some legal and some not and concerned only about size. Then there's the "cardio freaks", those who seem to be going full speed from the moment they get in moving only from on one piece of cardio equipment to the next. Finally there is the "rehab/seasonal group" consisting of both young and old either rehabilitating an injury or trying to look good in a bathing suit, and both usually assisted by the "trainer" on staff.

The problem is most of these people (some more blatantly obvious than others) do not practice the "healthy lifestyle" outside the gym. They either eat poor unhealthy diets and or drink too much, they smoke, they consume way too many drugs (be it pain killers, Rx's, or anything from the GNC), they subject themselves to toxins on a daily basis, and they usually do not know what it truly means to be healthy... I know I didn't.

Fact... the 2 biggest membership periods at a gym are between New Years (the "resolution") and the Super Bowl when most people finally give in to that glutinous temptation, and that "end of winter/beginning of spring" period that ends as soon as the summer beach days begin. That alone proves that the gym drives a temporary urge in many people to "get fit quick", but just as those fad diets drive that "get thin quick" urge they usually falls short of any positive results and seldom result in a healthier lifestyle.

There is no substitute for a healthy diet, period. If you can honestly say that you eat health, and by that I mean a diet consisting of mainly fresh organic whole foods, then and only then should you even consider a "gym" as your method of staying fit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not a Power Breakfast

The more I see what others eat for breakfast, the easier it becomes to understand why so many people in this country are plagued with health problems.

How can someone expect to live a healthy life if they start every day in a very unhealthy way?

The importance of each and every meal cannot be denied, but breakfast above them all holds a bit more significance. What you eat for breakfast can and will set the tone for the rest of your day. It can be the difference between your blood sugar fluctuating, rising and falling like the stock market, and holding steady throughout the day. It can be the difference between having energy throughout the day and crashing before noon. It can be the difference between actually staying full for the next 3 or 4hrs and unconsciously snacking through the day like a bear preparing for hibernation. It can be the difference between staying healthy and, well not.

Since none of this should be front page news for anyone, tell me why then breakfast usually gets the least amount of intelligent forethought going into its preparation?

Tell me why then do I see the same co-worker of mine eat two thick slices of "multigrain" bread or bagel topped with enough butter to clog the healthiest arteries and heaping amounts of jelly (loaded with sugar by the way) each and every morning?

What to eat for breakfast... it's not rocket science, just keep it healthy. Organic Whole Foods are your best bet; Free-grazed Eggs, Nuts, Whole Grains, Fruit, Vegetables, and Wild Caught Fish are all good choices.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Slice 2 chicken breasts into cubes and marinate ahead of time (a few hours at least) in homemade teriyaki sauce (see Soy Replacements) and some fresh shredded ginger.

In a wok heat up some olive oil over medium heat. Add some water chestnuts, baby corns, bamboo shoots, sliced carrots, and thinly sliced ginger root. Once browned add the chicken and sauce as well as some alfalfa or broccoli sprouts and saute until chicken is fully cooked.

Enjoy a healthy tasty meal!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swine Flu Skepticism

The swine flu (H1N1) remains a hot topic in the news although lately the focus is not so much the flu itself, but rather the swine flu vaccine or more accurately the hesitation of parents to have their kids vaccinated.

I for one am happy to hear parents are very leery about the safety of this vaccine despite what the government is saying. I am not a believer in vaccinations period and I'm sure others feel the same way, but this mass reluctance to simply obey the government because "they know best and would never put you or your family's health at risk" is about something different.

This is about something different though, this is bigger than the vaccine or any vaccine for that matter.

This is about a countries distrust in its government when it comes actively taking a role in the health and wellness of its people.

This is about a country whose government has failed time and time again as it tries to regulate and oversee a poorly run food industry, leading to contaminated food in the stores and on your dinner table and you in the emergency room.

This is about a country whose drug suppliers (the major pharmaceutical companies) seem to have way to much political power and influence.

This is about a countries "Microsoft" approach to approving the sale of prescription drugs as if it was the next sub-par full-of-holes operating system; get it out there safe or not and deal with the consequences (in reality casualties) as they come.

This is about a country whose people are finally saying we don't feel our government has our best interest at heart when it comes to our health and that of our families.

I think this skepticism is a long time coming and necessary things are ever going to change.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Healthy Holidays

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's time to start planning that healthy organic feast.

Even if you're not hosting this year you're most likely a guest of someone who is, and that usually means you're bringing something along. Assuming you're not taking the easy way out with that go-to bottle of cheap wine and store bought pumpkin pie, then this is your chance to shock everyone with something homemade tasty and healthy all wrapped into one.

So if it's a side dish you managed to volunteer for then how about homemade ORGANIC mashed potatoes, or homemade ORGANIC butternut squash, or even homemade ORGANIC cranberry sauce. All of these are a Thanksgiving must-haves and any one of them would truly win over even the pickiest of eaters.

Maybe it's a dessert you were able to reserve, why not make that homemade pumpkin pie an ORGANIC one... or those oatmeal raisin cookies for that matter.

Even if all you were trusted with was a lowly bottle of wine, why not make it a bottle of ORGANIC wine.

Trust me, especially on a day when health is usually the last thing on someone's mind, be the one who stands out in the crowd and goes that extra mile. Whatever you make will surely be a hit and when people start complementing you, you can say "And it was ORGANIC".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Simply a Better Bird

My wife and I had a "pre-Thanksgiving" Thanksgiving dinner-for-two last night with a 3.5lb bird (chicken not turkey) that we bought from a local Organic Free-Grazing Farm.

Hands down it was the best bird we had ever had!

Now I don't want to give all the credit away because bragging aside I think my wife and I are pretty darn good cooks, but the bird has to get most of the credit here. It's one thing when you're talking about some fancy creative chicken dish that one of us whipped together, but when you're simply talking about a few fresh seasonings (onion, garlic, paprika...) a bird, and a Crockpot well let's just say it's all about the bird.

Are they more expensive than what you buy in the store?

Yes, but there's really no comparison so why shouldn't they be. It's not simply the quality "taste wise" although for some I'm sure that would be enough, but the truth is you're paying for a much healthier happier (yes happier) bird. These birds spend their days grazing the fields eating all that nature intended them to, as opposed to being fed grain and never stepping foot on grass. That means an omega-3 rich and toxin/pesticide/herbicide/drug free diet and a stress free life.

And since you are what you eat, literally...

Of course there's always the "other of chickens"; birds crammed together in some building, beaks clipped, fed diets consisting of corn and other grains (high in omega-6) that were probably sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals prior to harvesting, not to mention the colorful assortment drugs they're probably given to keep them healthy up until slaughter. Even if you're buying an advertised organic free-grazed bird at your local grocery store remember this, to be given the label "free-grazed" the animal only needs access to grass, they never actually have to step foot on it.

So if you want the real deal, go to the source and see for yourself.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Local Organic Farmers

I've written about this topic numerous times, but truthfully I feel it can't be written about enough. I feel very strongly about supporting Local Organic Farmers for many reasons, and I believe at least one of them can appeal to just about everyone.

Maybe it appeals to the "save and preserve mother earth" type, since true organic farming, free of chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides, is the only true way to reap the bounty of the land while giving back and at the same time never harming the environment.

Or maybe it appeals to the animal rights activist in you, since organic free grazed animals (cows, chickens, sheep, pigs...) are often animal welfare certified. This means that the animal being farmed is given the best possible life for as long as it's on this planet. Sure you can argue that the animal is still eventually being slaughtered, but I would argue that these animals are "farm" animals. In other words, in this ever growing urban sprawling land in which we live in, if there were no farms then most if not all these animals would probably cease to exist. So if the choice is feed lots overcrowded with cows standing in their own feces, or chickens packed together so tightly they actually have to have their beaks removed so they don't peck and harm the other chickens around them strictly out of boredom, or the pigs packed together so tightly they have to have their tails clipped for the same reason, and none of these animals ever stepping foot on grass... if the choice is between this or organic free grazed animal welfare certified local farms, well it's really a no brainer.

Or maybe this topic appeals to the "pro-community" side of you, encouraging and even supporting businesses in your area.

And even if none of these reasons appeal to you then maybe for selfish reasons alone you realize the importance of organic farming and free grazed animals to YOUR HEALTH!

Support this for your own reasons, but support it none the less.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Soft Drinks are Doing to Your Body

I thought this was a great article concerning a beverage that is consumed way too much in this country, especially by children.

Soda will kill you, maybe not immediately but it is no doubt a front-runner as one of the leading causes of many of the health problems plaguing our our nation especially obesity and diabetes. There are some things that just shouldn't be consumed, even in moderation it will do it's dirty deed in laying the ground work for a very unhealthy future.

A Must Read by Dr. Mao

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ginger Curry Chicken with Warm Potato Salad

It may sound like an odd combination of flavors, but trust me it makes for a great meal!

2 Chicken Breasts
2 cloves of Garlic
Freshly Grated Ginger Root
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Curry Powder

Marinate the chicken breasts in the olive oil, crushed garlic, grated ginger, and curry powder for a few hours if possible (the longer the better). Bake at 400F until cooked (~30min).

Potato Salad
2 potatoes cut into bite size pieces (w/skins)
1/2 c Canola Mayo
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (with the "mother")
Onion (chopped)
1 clove of Garlic (minced)
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes (w/skins) into bite size pieces and boil until soft (~15min), then drain water and set aside. In a separate bowl combine all of the other ingredients and mix together, then add potatoes. Mix everything well and serve warm.

My wife and I always use Organic Ingredients in all of our recipes and hope you will as well.

Fall Mashed Potatoes

With fall comes the changing colors from the many shades of green to all the vibrant colors of autumn. So Why not let your meals follow suit...

Try my Mashed Sweet Potatoes and bring out the "fall" in your meal. (serves 2)

*2 Large Organic Sweet Potatoes
*1/2 Medium Organic Onion (sliced)
*4 Large Cloves of Organic Garlic (crushed)
* Organic Unrefined Olive Oil
* Your Favorite milk replacement
(I like hazel nut milk for this)
* Sea salt and Cracked Pepper to taste

Combine water olive oil and a pinch of sea salt in a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Cut the potatoes into small wedges and add them to the boiling water; cook until they can be easily pierced with a fork (~15min). Drain the water and transfer the potatoes to a bowl; mash the potatoes. Add some olive oil to the pot and return to stove over med heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions begin to look translucent in appearance (5-10 min). Add the mashed sweet potatoes and some nut milk and stir. Let simmer over low heat for a few minutes then serve.


Diet vs Depression

Listening to the news on the way in to work today I heard them mention a study being done (in France I believe) as to the effects your diet has on depression; more specifically poor diets high in processed foods.

The number of people especially children being diagnosed and treated with prescriptions for some form of depression on a yearly basis is dramatically increasing at an alarming rate. If you do some research you will see that the numbers are very disturbing.

I think it's great that such studies are being done and I think the medical community should start putting a lot more stock into diet as the cause for many of the illnesses and chronic conditions that plague our society. Modern medicine and medical practices have proven to be very effective in emergency treatment situations and I wouldn't want to live in any other country for that reason alone, but unfortunately this same medical community has proven to be simply horrible at curing or preventing diseases and chronic illnesses. They would rather look in any other direction then in that of basic human health (dietary needs, importance of vitamin and mineral supplements, fresh organic whole foods over processed foods...) resulting in a very arrogant "incurable" label put on just about everything; diabetes... no cure, cancer... no cure, heart disease... no cure, chronic anything... no cure.

I hope this study proves what I've read numerous times in numerous books by numerous authors, that a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle is not only the best preventative medicine but can also cure what ails you.

Start living healthy today!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Drug Company or Drug Dealer

What if we lived in a world where drug dealers were so organized they chose to operate as legalized corporations rather than illegal cartels?

What if they used money (and lots of it) to influence people with power, governments, and countries rather than guns?

What if they sold drugs with so many side effects (many lethal) that they had to spend millions in marketing/advertising to even make them appear slightly worth the risk?

What if much of this marketing was spent by the drug dealer "company" paying off the drug pusher "doctor" in order to get their product on the streets as quickly as possible?

What if these ugly almost unthinkable marketing tactics were geared to prey on the weak and terminal?

What if the drugs sold were so addictive that there was even a black market where they could be sold illegally without a prescription?

What if this illegal market which was ultimately created by "legalized" drug dealers was so big that some of these legal drugs were actually some of the biggest illegal drugs being sold?

What if these drugs did more harm than good despite what they claimed, often causing the addict "patient" to need some other drug to combat the first drugs side effects, causing an endless cycle and a laundry list of prescribed drugs?

What if some of these drugs eventually get pulled off the market, after countless deaths, because the FDA approval that they somehow got never should have been?

What if in this world of legalize drug dealers the long term benefit of these drugs was never to cure the user, but simply to keep them hooked on as many as possible simply because there's no real profit in a drug that cures?

What if we lived in such a world?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Curry versus Cancer

The latest headline reads "Curry compound kills cancer cells, study shows".

The truth is, over the years there have actually been a number studies showing the health benefits of curcumin, the compound found in turmeric giving it its yellow color; from its anti-inflammatory and anti-pain qualities, to its detoxifying abilities, but it's the anti-cancer qualities that make this Indian spice so unique.

It's been considered by many a wonder spice and even referred to as Indian Gold, and it's great to see new research is bringing one of nature's true miracle foods into the limelight within the a medical community that has always been so reluctant to give natural remedies its do credit.

If you enjoy Indian foods than make sure you add turmeric and curry to your organic spice arsenal, but even if you're not a fan of the taste try substituting mustard for mao on your next sandwich.

Open up natures medicine cabinet and start reaping the benefits today!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another Soy Misconception

Over the weekend I experienced another "Soy Misconception" as I like to call them from an individual with a degree in nutrition. I am seeing this more and more and in my opinion it is a very scary reality, especially for those with a soy allergy.

This particular incident involved a nutritionist by trade who owns farmland for which soy is one of the main crops. As we got to talking I made mention "half jokingly" of being on edge as I made the journey back into the farm down the long dirt driveway surrounded on either side by soy crops. When I pointed out that this of course was due to my allergy to soy, she was surprised.

"That's not very common (a soy allergy) because they put it everything, even as a milk replacement."

I said actually it is much more common than you realize despite the fact that they put it in everything.

What bothered me most I guess was that if those who are educated in the field of nutrition, the "teachers" to the general public, are so misinformed about the commonness of soy as a food allergy and the severity of the allergy itself then this fight for recognition as one of the top food allergies remains a tough uphill battle.

Just because something like the soy industry is backed by so much money influencing those with power resulting in a product that has found its way into all of our lives unknowingly and unwillingly, doesn't mean it should have this universal "get out of jail free card".

I see soy as a politician... Just because its campaign seems to be funded by deep bottomless pockets doesn't make it the right choice.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Organic Wine

We all enjoy a glass from time to time; whether it's to celebrate something special or simply to complement that perfect meal, there are flavors and blends that go with just about anything.

When we think about wine though organic doesn't usually come to mind, but why not?

Think for a second about where that wine comes from and how it's made... By now, knowing what you know about organic and non-organic fruits; the tremendous health benefits of nutrient packed organic fruits (pesticide and chemical free), and the heavily sprayed non-organic variety not only lacking in the vitamins minerals and polyphenols category but also sporting unhealthy amounts of chemicals dyes and food colorings, it's a no brainer when we're food shopping.

But what about wine?

If the wine you buy is made from grapes that have been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides then how safe is it? And what about the "health benefits" from those antioxidants the experts claim is in that glass of wine?

These antioxidants come from the flavonoids (a type of polyphenol) found in the skin of fruits and vegetables, and studies show that non-organic fruits (and vegetables) have considerably lower quantities of this powerful nutrient. So whether you're looking for a pesticide free glass of wine or your daily dose of antioxidants the chose practically makes itself.

Being a firm believer in organic farming I couldn't have been more pleased when my wife found an organic winery in our area. It's a small family owned and run winery and the only organic one in our state. We visited it this weekend and were both very pleased. They had 4 blends on hand for tasting and purchase, and the prices weren't bad at all... and they tasted great!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Updated Allergy Replacements

I have recently updated my post on allergy replacements (both Dairy and Soy) and urge you to take a look.

I have added some new products that I have found along my journey to a healthier allergy-free self, as well as removed some that I have found to be intolerable or simply not the best choice.

Stay Allergy Free!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

That Same Old Organic Dilemma

So my latest grocery shopping experience yielded mixed feelings from me regarding the acceptance of Organic Food in our society.

I tend to do part of my food shopping (especially during the winter months) at my local grocery store since they have a great selection of organic foods; the rest of my shopping is done at a local health food store, as well as local organic farms. As I was standing in the checkout line waiting my turn, I was very surprised to see the woman ahead of me had all organic foods; a rarity indeed.

This was pleasing to see since I truly believe that everyone can greatly benefit from this type of smart shopping. Sadly to say though I was not so surprised as to what happened next. As we were sitting there waiting on a price check for a bag of organic oranges I could have predicted exactly what was about to be said. When the employee finally came back with the price she felt the need to question the shoppers choice...

"$5.99" she said, followed by "Are you sure you want these (organic)?"

Thankfully the women said yes and was not swayed by the employees ignorance, but this isn't always the case. Grocery stores are accommodating the growing population of organic food shoppers, but only in the sense that they are providing the product. Unfortunately it is usually displayed/marketed poorly, separated from the non-organic produce and other products making it almost an out-of-the-way chore. That along with higher prices (especially in today's economy) makes organic food seem less desirable, but add to that uneducated employees giving unsolicited advice and opinions on the matter and it's practically a kiss of death.

Don't let others sway your opinion when it comes to a healthy diet... Shop Organic!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

H1N1... In My Opinion

So the headlines continue to read that more than half of those affected (fatally and non) are children and young adults; 24 and younger, and experts are calling this a "young person's disease". I've also heard reports stating that this strain of the flu is killing the "healthier population" and practically ignoring the elderly, 55 to 60 and up.

I have a big problem with the way the so called "experts" are interpreting this data. First of all it is a non-disputable fact that this generation, 40 and younger, are probably one of the most unhealthy especially children. The facts are there for all to see; diseases like childhood obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and curtain cancer have become an epidemic. And if you connect the dots I think it is rather easy to come to the conclusion that diet, or shall I say poor diet, is largely to blame.

Sixty years ago families actually ate home-cooked meals as a regular part of their daily diet. There were far less chemicals, preservatives, food colorings, and other garbage in our food. Today however and maybe this started around the same time the microwave was invented, processed food has become a staple of the American diet; and this is growing at an alarming rate. Whether it's pre-packaged pre-cooked or fast foods, they're all high in saturated fats, refined sugars and flowers, sodium, sugar, and tons of other toxins.

The truth is you are poisoning yourself every time you eat these foods, and by the data that's been compiled by others these foods are consumed multiple times a day every day; from the breakfast cereals crackers snacks and other packaged and advertised "healthy" foods that are blatantly packaged with false claims, to the "ready in under 30min" meals, to the foods being served at schools in cafeterias.

So this is the "healthier population"?

It is time we rethink our way of life and what it has become. It's time we be proactive about our diet and in turn overall health, and stop letting the "experts" food manufacturers and our busy lifestyles dictate our diets.

Eat healthy, be healthy it's that simple!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flu Prevention

There has been so much talk recently regarding Flu Prevention (both swine and regular) with most if not all the emphasis on washing hands and getting your flu shots, but I'm still waiting for the "experts" to mention the importance of a healthy diet.

Our bodies have amazing potential to fight off colds and illnesses, but only if you do your job in supplying it with what it needs to maintain this healthy immune system. A healthy body has an impressive army of fighting cells just waiting to seek and destroy any intruders (bacteria, parasites, germs of any kind), if it's been properly equipped with the weapons it needs... vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and other key nutrients, none of which you are getting from skipping breakfast (or picking up something at the coffee shop to munch on) having takeout for lunch and throwing some pre-made heavily processed meal in the oven or microwave for dinner.

If you're not eating a healthy diet consisting primarily of fresh (hopefully organic) produce and whole foods, supplementing your diet with key nutrients like vitamins C, B, D, etc (seeking the help of a health care professional to determine dosage of course), and avoiding those foods you are allergic to then all the hand soap/sanitizer and flu shots in the world can't save you. And I'm sure you have the medical bills and sick days to prove it...

A healthy you starts with a healthy diet, it's as simple as that!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Healthy Appetizers

So you've been invited to a party or housewarming or holiday gathering and now you're faced with the big dilemma... "What to bring?"

Sure a bottle of wine and some store bought snack is always an option, but why not put a little thought and creativity behind that otherwise empty gesture?

There are a number of healthy organic easy to make appetizers that will no doubt be the talk of the night. A few of the easiest and tastiest are three of my favorites; guacamole, hummus, and salsa. All three when made from scratch with fresh organic ingredients are a great way to impress your friends and family with some culinary creativity, and at the same time providing what I can guarantee will be some of the healthiest food on the table.

My Homemade organic guacamole with fresh garlic and jalapenos is a great source of potassium and healthy fat. Studies show that avocados are great for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels not to mention the garlic and jalapenos will clear any and all sinuses. The hummus made with organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini, unrefined olive oil, and fresh organic lemon juice and garlic is no doubt a healthy protein packed snack. And the salsa made with organic whole peeled tomatoes, fresh organic chili peppers and or jalapenos, garlic, onions, and organic seasonings is sure to hold its own in both the taste and nutrition categories.

So surprise your friends with any or all of these amazing appetizers and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Fear of Organic

I heard something strange the other day as I was doing some of my produce shopping in the organic section of my local super market... "No not those, they're organic."

Two separate times within a 5 minute period I heard these words come from two separate mothers, as their children proceeded to grab a piece of fruit or vegetable from the organic section.

So I can't help but wonder what the fear is? I realize that organic costs more and that in these economic times its hard for many to see the long-term benefits past the initial increased cost, but this seemed to be about something else... almost a fear of the unknown.

Do people really think organic still means a couple of hippies somewhere out in California cultivating some vegetables on a small piece of grass next to their pot plants?

Organic these days means so much more. It means farmers caring about the food they grow and the people they sell it to. It means farmers caring about the animals they raise, and not just the quality of the meat but the quality of life that the animals receive for as long as they're on this planet. It means farmers caring about the land they farm and doing their best to keep it the way nature intended without the use chemicals and poisons. Its means both farmers and people caring about their community and their quality of life.

Organic means many things to many people and to me it simply means a better healthier way of life... the only way of life!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shopping For Produce

When shopping for produce try to follow these 4 simple rules:

  1. Fresh beats packaged any day.
  2. Sticking with what's in season is even better. This will help insure that what you are buying is indeed fresh, or at least fresher than those blueberries you're buying in October.
  3. Fresh Organic produce "In Season" is better yet. The fact is studies show that organic fruits and vegetables contain higher quantities of nutrients than their non-organic shelf mates, not to mention they are chemical and preservative free.
  4. Locally Grown fresh organic produce "in season" is best. If you want to insure that you are getting the best quality produce than locally grown organic is the only way to go. If you don't have easy access to organic farm stands than I suggest your local health food store, they usually put the name of the farm and its location next to the produce itself. Can you say that about those non organic apples you're buying from your local food store? I'm waiting...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Allergy Alert Cards part 2

I have used my Allergy Alert Cards again while dining out recently and to no surprise they were once again a success!

They really take the guess work out of preparing meals for those with food allergies. They Quickly draw attention to your particular food allergy, and Clearly list the foods/ingredients that are to be avoided especially the not so obvious ones.

And if you're like me with a food allergy such as Soy that seems to be hiding everywhere and in everything, then a sigh of relief you can finally take and enjoy that healthy allergy free meal.

Remember a healthy you starts with what you eat, so be smart... Eeat healthy and allergy free!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

E Coli In Our Food... Again!

It's headlines again... bacteria in our food has horrible unimaginable effects on the public. I don't understand how long it will take for our government to see that in an effort to have absolute control when it comes to the food processing industry, they have none. The truth is the FDA has ZERO control over the quality of what gets sold at our local grocery stores... the evidence makes front page news every other month.

Organic farmers have been fighting this for years, pleading their case that slaughtering their own beef would result in a far cleaner and safer environment and with much easier traceability and better accountability. The way it stands chickens are the only thing a farmer can raise, slaughter, and sell (and the government still makes that difficult), but the result is little to no cases of bacteria in the meat.

The problem with the way things are handled now is no accountability, no real traceability, and no face on the product being sold. Animals are slaughtered in poor unsanitary environments by people far too disconnected from the animals they slaughter, and as for the food inspectors I mean who do these people really work for... money talks and these large corporations that practically run this country's food industry have a lot of it. Yet the government still believes they can better monitor this mess with a few centralized slaughter houses.

The truth is a local farmer has more to lose by not following strict guidelines and by not providing the best quality food, because they actually have a face... people know them. They put all the hard work into these animals and to them they're the farmers livelihood, their reputation, not just a number on a tag stapled to the animals ear (or however it's done in these feedlots). I buy strictly Organic Grass Fed beef from a local farmer, and although he doesn't slaughter the cows himself you can be sure he cares who is handling his animals.

If you think I have it all wrong then try to find the company that sells you the beef you purchase from the grocery store, or the feedlots these animals are raised in... ask them questions, ask for a tour, see if they're eager to divulge anything. I guarantee the only tour you will be getting is the one off their property.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Don't Assume When It Comes To Your Health

Whether you look at it from a religious point of view or a scientific point of view, you can't deny that life is a miracle. There are so many variables involved in the successful creation of a healthy being and so many more ready and willing to derail this wonder of nature before it even has a fighting chance, yet one's health is the most common thing taken for granted.

Life, you can't put a price on it... except most people do just about every time they make poor decisions at the food store, or at work, or at home, that undoubtedly put your health at risk.

DO NOT ASSUME that the store selling you the product or the manufacturer who made it, at any time has your best interest let alone your health at heart. Don't assume that the laundry list of chemicals, food colorings, fillers and additives that clutter the ingredients listed on any package of non-organic processed food are, in any way good for you. Don't assume that the chemicals and dyes sprayed so heavily on that non-organic produce you buy is by any means not harmful. Don't think that the non grass-fed beef or non free-grazed poultry and eggs that fill your cart every week are doing your body good.

DON'T ASSUME the toxic chemicals that are in most household cleaning products are by any means safe... that horrific odor they let off is trying to tell you something.

DON'T ASSUME that whatever situation you are putting yourself in at work is not hazardous just because others tell you "you'll be fine". Don't ignore that voice in your head making you second guess the situation... to a business you are nothing more than a replaceable commodity.

Throughout our lifetime we are affected by so many poor decisions others make, each of which is out of our hands and most of us are none the wiser, which is why smart decisions on our part are so important. Millions and millions of people suffer from the effects of ours and others poor decisions in the form of some form of disease or dissorder; Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Chronic Disorders (pain and inflammation), Asthma, Life Threatening Food Allergies (which are becoming more and more common at an alarming rate), you name it.

You have one body and one chance to do it right, so be smart and don't assume.

Eat healthy, live healthy, be healthy, it's that easy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's For Lunch

As I walked around the lunchroom at my work I noticed an eclectic verity of one poor dietary choice after another. If I didn't know any better I would have thought I was walking through a grade school cafeteria... sad really.

There's one guy eating some sort of lunch-meat sandwich on white bread, potato chips, a can of soda, and one of those little single serving snack pies; the only saving grace is the badly bruised seemingly way past its expiration date banana that sits amongst the other members of this otherwise unhealthy meal.

Another has what appears to be a spaghetti and meatball microwavable meal, two heavily buttered slices of white bread, a bag of chips, and a bottle of Snapple (trust me, not "from the best things on earth").

Oh, let me not forget the person eating the microwavable stew in a can... and these people wonder why they're not healthy.

It's sad to think that an adult would make the same poor choices as a child (if left up to him or her) when it comes to the question, "what's for lunch?" I think I even saw someone trade there pudding snack for a candy bar, but that just might have been my eyes playing tricks on me.

Well back to my lunch... a bowl of last night's home made organic chili (with grass fed beef) and an organic salad made with fresh organic (locally grown) ingredients.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Multivitamin Dilemma

If you're like most people that blindly shop for supplements down the vitamin aisle of your local food store or drug store, then you're basically allowing the manufacturer of these inferior products to make, what in my opinion is a very important decision for you... to them you either fall into the "Active Man or Woman's" multivitamin, the "over 40 multi", the "50 and up multi", etc.

The question here is, is there really a cookie cutter mold that we fall into when it comes to the nutrients our body's need?

It is true most people, especially those with an American diet full of highly processed foods, are deficient in certain nutrients (Vitamins C, D, B, Omega-3...), but what I've learned from my own research, my own experience, and through my kineliologist is that each of our bodies need different nutrients, not simply based on our age or how active we are but rather by how our bodies deal with toxins.

It is an undeniable fact that we are exposed to an astonishing number of toxins on a daily basis let alone within our lifetime; in the air you breath, the chemical based products you may be using, the non-organic hygiene products you might be using, and if you're not eating organic foods then the foods you eat, just to name a few.

Each of us, for whatever reason, handle these toxins differently and as a result requires different nutrients at different levels and with different levels of urgency. Kineliology gives us the ability to let our bodies tell us what is wrong and what we really need, not what some multivitamin manufacturer says.

Sure we are all human and our bodies need the same core nutrients to survive, and maybe in a perfect world with no outside interference we would all need or not need the same things. The truth is though when it comes to this "outside interference" it is not a perfect world and we each, as individuals are exposed to different toxins at different levels and our bodies handle them differently.

So be smart and listen to what your body tells you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicken with Mushroom and Artichoke

3 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (pound them even)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
1 can of artichokes, drained
1/4 lb of fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves chopped
3 tbsp whole grain flour
2/3 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp dry sherry
1 tbsp of lemon juice

Sprinkle chicken with salt, paprika and pepper. Brown in skillet with half the olive oil over low heat. Transfer chicken to casserole dish, reserve drippings in skillet. Brown artichoke hearts in pan, then arrange around chicken in casserole, set aside.

Add remaining olive oil to drippings, add mushrooms and garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Stir flour into mushrooms and garlic, gradually add chicken broth, sherry and lemon juice mixing well.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened (about 5 minutes). Pour over chicken and artichokes in casserole. Cover and bake at 375 for 30 mins


Guacamole Burger

If you like guacamole and you like burgers, then try this one!

1 Organic Grass Fed Burger

Goat Cheese (Mozzarella or Cheddar works well); sliced thin

Guacamole: (click he for tips on preparing an avocado)

1 Organic Avocado
3 Organic Cloves of Garlic (crushed)
1 Organic Jalapeno (minced)

Slice, de-pit, and peal the avocado, and place in a bowl. Add the garlic and jalapeno, and mash together using a potato masher.

Cook the burger on the grill (~4min per side or until proper temp is reached for medium rare beef). Once the burger is flipped with about 2min remaining on second side, cover the top of the burger with the guacamole and then layer with the goat cheese.

Enjoy with your favorite Organic side dish!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Allergy Alert Cards

I have been working on making an Allergy Alert Card to help simplify, as well make safer and less stressful, each dining out experience. I envisioned something that could be useful for any dining occasion, whether you're out at a restaurant, at a friends or family members house, or even something that could be useful for school cafeterias. I have found similar products online, but none with the presentation I was looking for; simple, informative, and to the point.

This was brought on by my own dining experiences, and the confusion lack of awareness and lack of creativity my Dairy and Soy Allergies always seem to bring out in those who prepare my food. If it wasn't the "just a little butter is ok... right?", then it was "dairy allergy... so you can't have eggs?", or the dreaded "plain piece of chicken"; either way it often resulted in a dining disaster.

Last week I was able to try out my Allergy Alert Cards, and with great success I might add. The first time was at an Italian restaurant; this one was nothing special because the meal I ordered was basically soy and dairy free by selection, but the card definitely cleared up any doubts in the kitchen.

The second time however was at a wedding (cocktail hour and reception), which would normally prove to be very challenging due to the pre-selected menu, and this is where my allergy alert cards really shined. During the cocktail hour the only safe food on display was the vegetable crudites, which I of course enjoyed, but as most allergy sufferers can relate my food allergies left me feeling a bit short changed. I thought there was a glimmer of hope at the carving station, but it turns out the turkey was basted with vegetable oil (the soy allergy sufferers nemesis). So my wife handed the server my card, explained my allergy situation, and asked him if he could see what they could do for me in the kitchen. With no other help needed, I was presented with a plate of roasted veggies in a very tasty balsamic vinaigrette sauce. I thought this was very creative on the part of the kitchen to come up with something on the fly using just the information on the card as a guide.

I feel my allergy alert cards were/are a great success and I hope they will prove to be for others as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Fountain of Youth

The fountain of youth... it's been dreamed up, written about, and sought after by countless for many years, but does this mythological place dreams really exist?

Can scientists make fantasy into reality? Or better yet can some large company package this science experiment into some appealing pill or cream and market these products of false hopes as the real deal?

Obviously the answer is yes, just look down the beauty aisle or pharmacy aisle of any grocery/convenience store... they wouldn't sell if they didn't have any takers.

What if the fountain of youth wasn't a mystical place at all, but rather something more tangible.

What if it's actually something our bodies cry out for, and for those who hear the cries and choose to answer them have been benefiting from for years.

What if you can find this "fountain of youth" in a place as common as your local grocery store, or health food store, or local farm stand.

What if this "fountain of youth" had another name, something we've all heard before.

The only true way to stay feel and look healthy (or young) is to actually be healthy, and the only way to achieve this is through a healthy diet.

Eat fresh organic whole foods, grass fed meets, and free grazed poultry and eggs instead of that Big- Mac bag-of-chips energy drink frozen dinner diet you're use to, and your "youth" might not be so un-obtainable!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Omega-3: What They're Not Telling You

We've all heard from one source or another, the importance of Omega-3 fatty acid in the diet, either through supplementation or eating foods rich in Omega-3. Both are viable sources and both should be considered, but what I feel the "experts" fail to mention is that certain foods (when chosen correctly) can actually be a source of Omega-3 within the diet but more importantly when the wrong kinds are eaten are actually high in Omega-6 (the fatty acid that promotes inflammation within the body) .

We've all heard from one source or another the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acid in the diet, primarily it's amazing ability to combat and even inhibit inflammation within the body. Once again though I feel the "experts" have failed to show how the dots have been connected between the dramatic rise in the numbers of those who suffer from chronic inflammation (be it heart disease, arthritis, tendinitis, etc.) and the increasingly lopsided ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 within our diets and as a result within our bodies.

The "experts" will tell you to increase your intake of fish (wild caught of course), nuts, seeds, etc., but when is the last time you had someone tell you that when you eat NONE grass fed beef and NONE free grazed poultry and eggs you are actually increasing the levels of Omega-6 in your diet and in turn causing inflammation; or at least giving it a very hospitable environment.

Feed lot cows fed diets consisting of corn (high in Omega-6) instead of grass as nature intended (and go figure, high in Omega-3) along with mass-produced (or raised) chickens fed you guessed it corn and soy instead of allowing them to be nature's clean-up crew following behind the grass eaters of the animal world, once again promoting an Omega-6 rich diet, are the real cause of this nation-wide Omega-3 shortage.

Choose grass fed free grazed animals, and fix this Omega-3 problem once and for all!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Living Healthy is a Lifestyle Change

For most, following a healthy path is a major lifestyle change, and I think that really frightens people. Evolution has conditioned us to follow the path of least resistance when faced with problems, but sometimes this path is only the "path of least resistance" when looked at from a hear-and-now point of view.

"Resistance" can be loosely defined as any sort of opposition; whether it's an objects ability to oppose the flow of electricity, or a secret organization working as an opposition force against a greater authority, or an objects ability to oppose motion (better known as friction). Resistance as it would have related to primitive man could possibly be described as danger, and therefore the path of least resistance would be the path that put man in the least amount of danger; most likely the other direction.

Although we can relate that definition to modern people, I would like to offer another possible definition... change. Change equals work, and to most people work is NOT the path of least resistance. So if we look at resistance as it relates to our state of health, we can say that the path of least resistance is that of which involves the least amount of work; or change. So if someone has an ache or pain or any other health related condition and is confronted with two options; "take this pill" or start living healthy (i.e. a healthy diet), guess which one most people will choose?

Based on the epidemic of chronic health conditions in this country, I think the question answers itself. We (as a people) want instant relief with little to no effort required on our part, and without bearing the consequences of our actions. A natural approach to health and wellness does not yield instant results because fixing the cause of a problem, and the damage it has done, always takes longer than treating its symptoms; but that requires dedication work and change... resistance to our normal ways. Because it will always be easier and more convenient in the eyes of most people to continue on the unhealthy path of fast foods and processed foods consisting of highly refined sugars and flowers, artificial preservatives, additives, and chemicals, rather than a healthy diet consisting of fresh organic whole foods, the path of least resistance will remain the same; eat without consequence and take a pill to ease the pain.

Choose the path you perceive as resistance when it comes to a healthy lifestyle; choose to be healthy. Once you make the initial lifestyle change you will be amazed at how natural living healthy comes, and by the very definition of natural ("effortless, arising easily") it becomes clear that the natural way is actually the path of least resistance.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Soy Free And Going Strong

I vaguely remember my last soy allergy outbreak, and that's a good thing. It's been a little over two years now since I found out about my food allergies and started this crusade to stay soy and dairy free, but for me it's more than just avoiding an allergic reaction; it's about being healthy. I've learned so much over these past few years about how the body works and how we abuse it with unhealthy diets, and that's been my driving force. I was never an unhealthy person, but I was shocked to find out how far from healthy I truly was.

We can all stand to improve our lives and you have to start somewhere, so why not put your diet on the hot seat.

If you (like most Americans) suffer from some sort of chronic pain disorder or illness, then I suggest starting with an allergy test. One simple test can check you for hundreds of possible food intolerances, and eliminating them from your diet has to be JOB 1. Now that you're not poisoning your body with allergens, it's time to rebuild that gut and ultimately your immune system. At the same time it's important to focus your diet around fresh organic whole foods, and limit your intake of processed foods.

You will be surprised, no amazed at how much healthier you will feel and will finally see for yourself the connection between an unhealthy diet and those chronic pains and illnesses that most have excepted as part of "growing older".

Remember this, if you eat shi... than expect to feel that way.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Health Care

Today's the day Obama will address the nation on repairing America's broken health care system. It's a topic that has seen many battles; how to make health care in a country that is suppose to have the best medical treatment in the world affordable for those who have it, and how to provide it to those who can't afford it.

That is a question I'll leave to the "experts" to answer since it seems they've done such a great job thus far... but I would like to comment on the "health" portion of health care. One thing you can do to make health care more affordable to you is to be proactive when it comes to your health and that of your families. People spend (waist) an enormous amount of time and money on trying to figure out how to, well to put it plainly afford the effects of a very unhealthy lifestyle, yet few want to take the time to address the real problem.

How can you make health care more affordable?

Try living a healthy lifestyle, and by that I mean one that centers around a healthy diet. Eat healthy; and I don't mean what the manufacturers of all that processed food in your cabinets and fridge market as "healthy", I mean eat fresh organic whole foods, grass fed meets, free grazed poultry and eggs, and wild caught fish. Consume a healthy diet in combination with the right supplements, and you would be surprised how that truck load of hard earned money that's thrown at health care every year is reduced; say goodbye to colds, to chronic pains, and to many of the conditions that plague this country.

The healthier you are the less medical attention you will need! Almost sounds too easy to be true.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pasta With a Tasty Twist

By now I hope you've come to realize the importance of fresh organic whole foods and have done your best to limit your intake of highly refined overly processed foods. That doesn't mean your favorite pasta dish has to be banned from your kitchen, it simply means you should limit how often it makes an appearance and when it does do your best to keep it healthy.

If you using organic whole grain pastas and making your own organic sauces (when possible) than your on the right track. The only thing that's left is to be creative...

Try butternut squash (or any variety of squash) sauce instead of the typical red sauce for your next pasta night, and put a tasty healthy twist on an old favorite.

1 Organic Squash (pealed, seeds removed, cubed)
2 Cloves Organic Garlic (minced)
Fresh organic parsley
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 tbsp Organic Olive Oil

Steam the squash until it is soft, and then mash in a bowl. While your pasta is boiling heat up the oil in a medium size pan over a low/medium flame and lightly brown the garlic (30sec to 1 min). Then add the squash, parsley, salt and pepper, mix together well over a low flame and serve.

When choosing a squash (as with all vegetables) try to go with what's in season to insure your getting the healthiest best tasting food possible, and with that said and pumpkin season almost upon us try substituting pumpkin for the squash.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Curry Lemon Sauce

If you like spicy as much as my wife and I, and are looking for a tasty sauce for your next fish dish then look no further.

I found this one in a Men's Health magazine some time ago (modified it a bit) and have used it many times. The original recipe calls for curry paste (green or red works, but i prefer green for this), lime juice, and coconut milk. My take is slightly different, but equally as good... if not better!

I replace the lime juice with freshly squeezed lemon juice, and I like to squeeze it directly onto the fillets (both sides) prior to adding the sauce. Then in a small glass container I mix a few table spoons of green curry paste and at least a teaspoon of organic coconut oil (rather than coconut milk), and place it in a pot with water (enough to come up about half way on the glass container) and heat up until the oil and sauce can be mixed together into a nice paste. Then I rub the paste on both sides of the fillets and grill (or pan fry) to perfection.

It tastes great and you get the health benefits of the curry at the same time.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mercury Poisoning

Mercury poisoning is a serious issue and affects millions of people. Mercury is said to be the "most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet", and yet we live with it in our mouths in the form of metal fillings, we've injected ourselves and our children with it (was used as a preservative in vaccines), we consume it at a higher level when eating farm raised fish, and continue to pollute our atmosphere with hundreds of tons of it every year.

Only years persistent lobbying by concerned parents and doctors would eventually lead to the use of it in vaccines to be mostly eliminated, and this has not come without a fight.

Heavy metal poisoning (such as mercury) has been linked to many disorders, and the medical community needs to address this as the epidemic it has become.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oh How Far We've Come

Three years ago I thought I was healthy. I didn't smoke, I didn't drink excessively, I went to the gym although I had many aches and pains (mainly tendinitis), I never took drugs although I depended on over the counter pain killers and anti-inflammatories to ease the pain (as most Americans do), and I ate healthy or so I thought although my diet consisted of mostly non- organic heavily processed foods. Hey, the box or bag or container screamed healthy with misguided terms like "natural" and "low fat" and "vitamin enriched" and "whole grains"... three years ago I thought I was healthy.

Today I am truly a different person. Sure I still don't smoke or drink excessively, but that's where the similarities end. I now live for the most part pain free; I haven't taken any prescription or over-the-counter drugs in over two years, and any pains I do get I treat successfully using natural techniques and remedies. And today I can honestly say that I eat healthy; my diet consists of fresh organic produce, organic whole grains, grass fed beef and free-grazed chicken and eggs, wild caught fish, and organic minimally processed foods with as few ingredients as possible, no additives, no preservatives and no dyes and colorings. I use only organic soaps and shampoos as well as eco friendly biodegradable non-toxic household chemicals.

Three years ago I thought I was healthy... Today I am!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Protect Yourself Against Your Prescriptions

I've mentioned this before, but a recent incident with my dog (you heard correctly) has warranted a revisiting of this topic.

I cannot stress enough the importance of supplementing any prescription drug (if you must take it) with supplements that will boost your immune system and strengthen the gut; and after reading this you will see why.

My story begins about a month ago when our dog (Cowboy) developed a bout of separation anxiety following us moving into a new home. After trying everything the experts recommended, and to prevent him from doing any further damage to the area rugs as well as himself, we gave in and brought him to the vet. Big shocker, they prescribed a pill... so we started giving him this anti-anxiety medication.

You have to understand that for me it is difficult to have to give him this (or any) pill because I believe so strongly in natural healing and haven't taken any over-the-counter or prescription drugs in over two years, but it is my wife's baby first and foremost.

As the story continues, we fast forward about three weeks... He developed some sort of "blood blister" under the skin on his knee, which apparently was caused by a pin left behind during knee surgery three years prior. Because it was an open wound that was not healing as quickly as we would have liked, and because he lives outside during the day while my wife and I are at work, and because we happened to be at the vets office anyway for his yearly check-up, the Doc suggested, you guessed it, another prescription.

That makes two prescriptions for those keeping score at home.

Finally less than a week from his most recent vet visit, he seemed to come down with a bit of the kennel cough; which he most likely got at the vet during his visit. So once again the vet prescribed another drug, which made three prescriptions for the poor 35lb animal's body to deal with.

It took no time at all for his stool to become loose and discolored, his appetite to drop, and for him to develop what appeared to be a rash on his skin that was itching him profusely. After a little research, the consensus seemed to be yeast build up do to little or no friendly bacteria left in his body.

As you probably know most prescriptions (especially if you're on them for an extended period of time) do damage to your gut by wiping out the friendly bacteria that your body needs to stay healthy. This can cause yeast "Candidiasis" to grow and flourish inside you which can cause a laundry list of problems, so to prevent this you must take some sort of probiotic (friendly bacteria) to replenish your system.

Strengthening your immune system is also very important, and this can be done (at the very least) by taking a quality vitamin C supplement. Refer to my previous post for more good immune system support.

Monday, August 31, 2009

That Morning Cup of Joe

The question is, is that cup of coffee you're drinking good for you or not. First it was, then it wasn't, now you hear a cup or two a day has health benefits, but what exactly does it all mean?

I've read conflicting reports as well, some for and some against the classification of coffee as "healthy", but like most Americans I too enjoy my morning cup of Joe.

But to address the question at hand (is it or isn't it healthy), I examine it as I would any other food; it's all in how it's prepared, how often you consume it, and what quality is the food you are consuming.

We've all probably heard the recent claim that coffee is a good source of antioxidants; if this is true than you want to make sure you're drinking the healthiest beans possible. I choose Organic coffee beans for the same reason I choose organic foods; no pesticides or herbicides, and more of the nutrients you're body needs.

Now for the dreaded "how do you take it" question, and in today's world of frappuccinos, cappuccinos, and lattes the answer is a little more complicated than "1 sugar please". This is where your "healthy" cup of coffee can quickly become a whole lot of calories, sugar, and fat. By the time they've added a few squirts of syrup, and creams, and sugar, and whatever else is in that science experiment you wait in line for, you've pretty well maxed out your daily allowance of, well sugar and fat.

I choose to drink my coffee black, not simply because i have a dairy and soy allergy as there are many milk/cream replacements I could use, but because I enjoy the taste of coffee; not to mention it's the fat free, sugar free, practically no calorie, healthiest way to drink it.

Finally remember moderation is key.

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