Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Apple a Day...

People are always surprised when I tell them that I don't get sick... well to be more accurate, it's probably been a couple of years now since I really had a cold despite the fact that my friends, family and coworkers get sick at least a couple of times a year.

So when I add to that the fact that I haven't taken so much as an aspirin (or any pain killer, over the counter or Rx) in about two years as well, they are shocked and impressed.

No I don't have any super human strengths, and no I don't walk around with a space suit on breathing only pure uncontaminated air, it's because I eat right and I truly believe that. You've heard it before from your parents or grandparents that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and it's partly true.

Eating a diet consisting of fresh Organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass fed meats and eggs, as well limiting processed foods as much as possible will give your body what it needs to stay healthy. A healthy body is its natural state, but when your diet consists of 90% processed foods you are simply poisoning yourself. Over time this poor unhealthy lifestyle results in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more; all of which plague most Americans.

Can you prevent everything? No, but you can surely give yourself a fighting chance!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bread Doesn't Have to be a Diet No No

Many popular diets (fad diets) put a lot of emphasis on carb cutting, especially bread, and although I feel most of these diets are unhealthy and often unsuccessful approaches to a healthy lifestyle, the truth is the consumption of bread in this country has become a problem. The problem though has less to do with the consumption of bread and more to do with the type of bread being consumed... highly processed, and loaded with refined flours and sugar.

Bread is a major part of many countries diets, and yet surprisingly many of these countries do not have the obesity problem that we in America have.

So why is that?

The breads that are so commonly found on our menus (whether it's at home or at your favorite fast food joint) are loaded with white refined flour and sugar, tons of preservatives, chemicals, and whatever else food manufacturers have decided to put in there to prolong shelf life and enhance taste.

So what are your options?

The healthiest breads are homemade; you can make your favorite bread with all natural healthy organic ingredients such as Whole Wheat Flour, Brown Rice flour, Amaranth flour, Kamut flour, Buckwheat flour, etc. Unfortunately we don't always have time to make it, but that shouldn't stop you from choosing a healthy bread. So the next time you shop for bread avoid white bread at all costs, and look for organic breads with minimal ingredients (All Natural... No Preservatives!).

One of my favorites is Mestemacher brand, it's a German flat bread that comes in a number of varieties.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Going Green Part 2

I mentioned in my previous post about going green when tackling home repairs, remodels, or renovations, whether it's a Eco friendly or zero VOC paint or an odorless nontoxic hardwood floor refinishing (see Going Green), but you may be wondering what this all has to do with eating healthy... It's simple really.

We all deal with environmental hazards and toxins on a daily basis, some avoidable others not so much, but in any case eating healthy can be your best defense. Our immune systems are constantly working hard to deal with the day to day stresses we all experience, so when you add environmental hazards to the mix you're putting even more stress on an already taxed immune system.

As I've said many times before the body needs curtain nutrients to maintain an optimal healthy state (Vitamin's C, B, E, D, and A, minerals such as Zink, Omega-3, antioxidants, polyphenols, etc.), and all of these can be obtained from eating a healthy diet consisting of fresh organic fruits and vegetable, whole grains, free ranged beef and chicken, or wild caught fish; and don't forget about the power of fresh organic spices, each has their own strengths, but all are very good you.

So remember even though there are many things out there that can affect your health, there are many things out there that can support and even overcome much if not all health issues... A Healthy Diet!

Your body works hard for you, it's only right to return the favor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going Green

I apologize for the two weeks of silence but my wife and I just closed on our first home and it's taken up much of my time. Ironically enough though this same house that is eating so much of my time has given me a great topic to post about...

Going Green with all home renovating projects!

Of the many projects we have taken on, the hardwood floors and walls are great examples of "Going Green". Refinishing hardwood floors is a common household project, and a major health risk. First there's the sanding which takes away layers of the floor (including the previous finish), and there's no way to prevent some of this dust (loaded with toxic chemicals) to escape into the breathable air. And that's only part of the problem, the stains and especially polyurethane finish are highly toxic and the odor can linger for week’s even months.

These environmental hazards at the very least wreak havoc on the body’s immune system, and can even cause cancer. So what's a homeowner to do you ask?

My wife and I have decided to go with a company by the name of "Mr. Sandless" that uses a "Green" approach to refinishing hardwood floors. With their very own patented odorless non-toxic cleaners and acrylic finishes, the floors get a deep clean and a new shiny finish without causing harm to you or your family. The befores and afters on their website are amazing, and although this process does not take out any substantial existing damage in the floors, it will bring out the floors true color removing dirt, grime, and stains (within reason) leaving you with a dust free odorless non- toxic house; and a 5 year warranty to back it up!

Believe it or not this process is cheaper than the traditional sanding and staining method of refinishing, so why not "Go Green" and save your health... and your money.

I'll let you know how they turned out (we get them done next week)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Whole Grain Conspiracy

I think there is a bit of a conspiracy in this country by food manufactures when it comes to flour. We've all seen the headlines and by now know that breads cereals and pastas made with white "refined" flour is unhealthy, the topic has been beaten to death by Nutritionists and Health experts alike. Instead, we're told to look for those made from "whole grains" due to the nutritional value of whole wheat flour.

It's true, whole wheat flour is indeed healthier than refined white flour due to the loss of nutrients (essential vitamins and minerals) during the refining process, but does that alone make it "healthy"?

We in this country consume far too much processed food on a daily basis, and breads pastas and cereals no doubt top the list. Due to the lack of knowledge when it comes to truly healthy foods, too many Americans have taken the phrase "whole grains" as some sort of free pass to eat all of the fast digesting carbs they want... "but the pizza is made with whole grain crust", or "it's a whole wheat roll" , never mind the fact that it takes up 3/4 of the plate.

The fact is, whole grain or not, you're still consuming processed foods, and that means much of its nutritional value is lost during processing. Whole grains are indeed important, and they should be a BIG part of your diet, but the majority of it should be in its whole unprocessed (or minimally) processed form.

I'm not saying you should cut all processed grains out of your diet, just be smart and consume them in moderation. Don't let the phrase "whole grains" on that bread pasta or cereal fool you into thinking it's a truly healthy food your eating.

*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, June 2, 2009

Poor Dietary Descisions

One thing I have noticed when eating over someone’s house, be it a family gathering or dinner at a friend’s, is that it always seems to be the norm to eat desert immediately following dinner. Has anyone ever heard of digesting one meal prior to starting another? It's not like people eat less when they know dessert will be served immediately following at the main course.

As a country we have picked up so many bad eating habits, many of which are the main causes for the laundry list of health problems plaguing this country, and this one is no exception. Digesting food, PROPERLY, is crucial for maintaining a healthy body. Proper digestion is important when it comes to optimally utilizing all of the nutrients that food has to offer, and with all of the processed non-organic food the average American family eats, nutrient rich meals are few and far between. And if that's not bad enough, poor digestion can compromise your immune system by damaging the integrity of the intestinal wall.

Studies show that consuming refined sugars not only hinder proper digestion, but also create a non desirable atmosphere within the gut itself. So if you have to eat these unhealthy deserts loaded with refined sugars and flowers, than why compromise the digestion of meals containing healthier foods (like dinner)?

Give your body at least an hour to digest the main course before you dive into that piece of cake or pie that's calling your name.

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