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!

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