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!

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