The Biggest Food Labeling Scam of All Time (From the OCA)

natural

Greetings All! I hope you are having a wonderful week. Let’s talk about food and what the Junk Food Industry would like label as “natural”. If they get their way, the label “natural” will lose all rational meaning. (Sarcastic sidebar: Will plastics like polyethylene be considered “natural” next, because it is an organic compound after all, comprised of a carbon backbone, and carbon is natural, so therefore that cheap plastic bag is a viable snack?) To learn more, read the appeal by Ronnie Cummins, National Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/fund-letter-dec-26-13.htm

In summary:

– Last week the junk food industry tested the limits of credulity when it asked the FDA to officially allow food manufacturers to use the word “natural” on labels describing foods contaminated with genetically modified organisms. (As we’ve discussed in this blog, GMO’s are hideous creations and anything but natural!)

– Ever since GMOs invaded our food supply, the Junk Food Giants have been hiding the truth from us—and getting away with it, thanks to their cozy, revolving-door relationship with the FDA.

– But it wasn’t enough to slip their unsafe, untested—and unlabeled—GMOs into our food. Once food manufacturers realized that consumers would pay a premium for anything labeled “natural,’ they took their deception to a whole new level. Absent any legal definition of the word “natural,” they slapped it on everything in sight—including foods containing genetically engineered soy, corn and beets.

If this honks you off and you would like to become involved in the effort to stop this insanity, then please consider a year-end donation to the OCA, or one of the many organizations that devote themselves to improving our food supply.

Thanks very much and have a great GMO-free week!

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Dieticians Gone Wild…And why we All need to keep our thinking caps On

usda my plate

Welcome back and lordy, lordy, it would appear that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) has sold out, like clueless girls pulling up their shirts so a schlameel far away can cash in on the spectacle. Read this excellent article from our favorite food advocate, Robyn O’Brien, about their recent national conference:

http://www.foodrevolution.org/blog/dieticians-trade-group-exposed/

As Robyn explains, the dieticians were treated to nutritional advice from (SARCASM MINE) paragons of health, wellness, and GMO transparency Coca-Cola, with their “Balancing Act” pamphlet. It emphasizes “energy balance”, and recommends burning 100 calories by gardening for 19 minutes, playing soccer for 13 minutes, or climbing stairs for 10 minutes. The pamphlet also reminds readers that soda and juice can all help meet hydration needs.  What Coca Cola fails to mention, despite the fact that almost 70% of our country is overweight or obese, is the role that sugar plays in disease.

They call for moderate exercise followed by ingesting enough junk food to negate the benefits an “energy balance”? The ingredients in Coke include artificial colors, aspartame, and a couple of acids (from http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/12212-what-chemicals-are-really-in-coca-cola-s-coke-soda.html#!). Issues with prolonged Coke ingestion include Ca depletion, osteoporosis, weight gain, and leaving the body in an acidic state and hence vulnerable to disease. I am not a dietician, but I am going to proclaim that Coke is nasty and has no business being considered healthy in any sense of the word (I welcome a rebuttal to this logic from the credential endowed). My concern here is that professionals in the nutrition world were told that this stuff can meet hydration requirements, and there is the thus the possibility that someone will pass this wisdom along in their professional capacity.

Which brings me to my next point.

Just because someone has an impressive professional credential does not mean they will give you advice that is in the best interests of you or your family, and not because they are being dishonest or malicious. Instead, there may be limitations to their knowledge, it may be dated, they may be oblivious or biased in certain directions, etc. My point being that you must consider whatever anyone with a credential recommends for your health with a critical mind because they are not perfect. I can’t emphasize the points below enough:

–          Do not just accept the status quo as being the best option simply because “that’s how it has always been, so how bad could it be” (spoiler alert: in some cases, pretty bad)

–          Do not accept that because someone has a credential that they are above being asked questions, defending their position, and even being disagreed with; after all, it’s your body and your life

Just as an example of the lack of blind trust we should have in government agencies and experts, a prominent Harvard University professor has compiled a new report that slams the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its failure to honestly and ethically approve new drugs. Set to be published in a special issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the damning report declares that the FDA “cannot be trusted,” noting that virtually all new drugs approved by the agency over the past 30 years are little or no better than existing drugs already on the market. Read the whole post here:

http://www.naturalnews.com/043265_FDA_Big_Pharma_Harvard_University.html#ixzz2nrs3114k

Also see the link below from a Mom who thinks that her lack of critical thinking and questioning the status quo led to her son getting autism:

http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2013-02-26/how-i-gave-my-son-autism/

One could argue whether, or not, there is “incontrovertible scientific proof” that she gave her son autism. However let’s see the forest for the trees. The totality of what happened to her son from the time he was in the womb through the first few years of his life represents the status quo and is concerning. It seemed that the medical professionals had blinders on and were concerned only with what they were doing, getting their bit done, and not the cumulative effect of what all the procedures, chemicals, medications, vaccines, antibiotics, etc. could have on a tiny, young body. Would the outcome have been different if the child had a different medical history? We’ll never know. However what she points out quite poignantly is that she did not approach each and every medical decision with a critical mind and will spend the rest of her days regretting that fact. Her thinking cap was NOT on.

Which brings me to my final point!

I love it when courageous men and women put their thinking caps on and stare down the status quo (which likely does not make a lot of sense, but is making entrenched interests a lot of cents). I’ve mentioned such courageous people in this blog, such as Prof. Brene Brown , Robyn O’Brien, and Dr. Mark Hyman. Now I’d like to add Dr. David Perlmutter to the list. His book Grain Brain (Hachette Books, 2013) is all the rage amongst the Nutritionista set (yeah, like me), and hopefully it will gain mainstream acceptance as well. He turns around the status quo by expertly pointing out the following:

–          Per Dr. George Mann (researcher with the Framingham Heart Study):  The diet heart hypothesis that suggests that a high intake of fat or cholesterol causes heart disease has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons of pride, profit, and prejudice, the hypothesis continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprise, food companies, and even governmental agencies. (See USDA My Plate dietary recommendation above for proof!) The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century. [p.78]

–          Not only is the high carb, low fat useless for preventing heart disease, the notions that the intake of high dietary fat = high body fat and high dietary cholesterol = high body cholesterol ARE WRONG! Both have to do with our addiction to carbs. [p. 72]

–          What the high carb, low fat diet does do is starve our brains of required cholesterol and fat, leading to higher incidents of neurological diseases like dementia and ADHD. Furthermore, recent findings indicate that gluten, and a high-carbohydrate diet, are among the most prominent stimulators of inflammation pathways that reach the brain. This is very concerning because researchers have known for some time now that the cornerstone of all degenerative conditions, including brain disorders, is inflammation. [p.33]

The net is that the USDA My Plate ideal diet starves the brain of necessary fat and cholesterol (note that fat is not even included in the plate!) and bathes it in carbs and gluten which lead to inflammation.

STATUS QUO = BLOWN.

I highly recommend that you get your hands on this book because it is full of much more fascinating information that is worthy of consideration. I don’t know if I an on board with the elimination of all grains and starches at this point, but his hypothesis that they should be limited and that good fats and cholesterol need to be present in substantial quantities, makes sense. How can you resist an opener like this:

Your brain…

weighs three pounds and has one hundred thousand miles of blood vessels.

contains more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way.

is the fattest organ in your body.

could be suffering this very minute without your having a clue.

Pardon me while I get back to my hard-boiled eggs for breakfast…

Weekend Wrap…Dr. Mark Hyman ROCKS and here’s why…

Good Day, All! I proclaimed that Dr. Mark Hyman rocks because he had the spine to call out corporate money in politics and medicine for what it is – a threat to our well-being (on many levels) because wellness is not profitable, sickness is, so sickness is what we get:

The basic fact is that one third of our economy profits from making people sick and fat.   The food industry sells products scientifically proven to kill more people than cigarettes, while our health care industry profits from providing more volume of care focused on medication and procedures, not better health.

Read his whole blog here – it’s pretty powerful:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/09/06/money-politics-and-health-care-a-disease-creation-economy-part-i/

If you like what Dr. Hyman has to say, then you can get plugged in by signing up for his newsletter (http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/), “liking” his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/drmarkhyman?rf=531043336962339), or connecting on LinkedIn. Progressive physicians like him, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman (to name a few) are doing a fantastic job of pointing the way to a more effective “health” care system.  They are all active in social media, so it is straightforward to get connected to them. Please consider what they have to say!

I put quotes around “health” above because the net is that corporate influence has turned our health care system into a sick care system.  As Dr. Hyman pointed out, sustained health is the last thing that Big Medicine actually wants, so we are not taught about the principles of sustained good health in our mainstream culture.  Read this blog which addresses how ingrained living in a sick care system is for all of us:

http://banoosh.com/blog/2013/12/15/the-biggest-deception-in-healthcare/

Basically living in a real health care system involves a big change in perspective and expectations. Here is my interpretation of the situation:

–          This is sick care: We all go about our business without much knowledge as to what it takes to achieve sustained health (likely not eating real food, not exercising, living with excessive stress and negativity, etc), wait until we get sick, go to the doctor, and expect to be rescued by said doctor and the pills or surgeries that will be prescribed to deal with the resulting obesity, diabetes, or other chronic disease.  We live with side-effects from the “medicine” (that really only treats the symptoms and not the root causes) and surgeries, which will likely necessitate more pills and surgeries, and so on until the quality of our lives has diminished and we forgot what it feels like to be energetic and healthy, and wonder if it is even possible. We see ourselves as victims that need to be saved by medical system.

–          This is real health care:  We firmly believe that we are in charge of our health and fully accountable for the state of our bodies and minds. Taking care of ourselves is no one else’s responsibility. We seek out and implement knowledge about nutrition, exercise, state of mind, etc, to achieve sustained health and find practitioners who will help us achieve it. Such “non-mainstream” practitioners may include a holistic nutritionist, functional medical doctor, naturopath, chiropractor or acupuncturist. We may visit them monthly or at least quarterly, even when we feel well, in fact especially when we feel well, to get a tune-up and ensure everything is in optimal alignment so as to avoid disease in the first place. We see ourselves as empowered to maintain our own health and wellbeing. For example, check out the link below regarding the benefits of exercise compared to drugs:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10515917/Exercise-just-as-good-as-drugs-in-war-on-major-disease.html#!

I am aware that taking these proactive steps costs money. If you can afford it, then there is no better investment that you can make in the quality of your life. The fact that real health care is out of the financial reach of many is an injustice that honks me off to no end and the reason that I founded W Cubed, Inc. We are a 501c3 non-profit that aspires to provide financial assistance for real health care to those who cannot otherwise afford it.  I am sure there are others like us, so supporting such non-profits is another step you may choose to take.

Finally, I am not suggesting going rogue if you are currently working with a conventional medical doctor by tossing prescription medications to the wind, going vegan, and training for a triathalon overnight. Making the transition to real health care may take months to achieve and is best done under the supervision of a certified holistic practitioner. However, if you are tired of being in the sick care system, realizing it and deciding to take action are major steps toward taking ownership of your own health, and over time, you will get there and feel better. Don’t judge yourself for what you’ve done up to this point because as Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better”.

So let’s do better!

best doctors

Wheat and Gluten and Carbs, Oh My…

Dr P

Welcome and oh my, indeed, because we are learning more about the impact of modern wheat on our bodies, and it is not good.  (Note that modern wheat is very different from the heritage wheat of our ancestors [1]). As pointed out in the excellent article below by Dr. David Perlmutter, the concern is not just for the gluten-intolerant, but for all humans:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/10/wheat-threatens-all-humans-new-research-shows.html

As Dr. Perlmutter explains:

–          While gluten makes up the lion’s share of protein in wheat, research reveals that modern wheat is capable of producing more than 23,000 different proteins, any one of which could trigger a potentially damaging inflammatory response. One protein in particular is wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). WGA is classified as a lectin—a term for a protein produced by an organism to protect itself from predation.

–          It is precisely the ability of WGA to bind to proteins lining the gut that raises concern amongst medical researchers. When WGA binds to these proteins, it may leave these cells less well protected against the harmful effects of the gut contents.

–          WGA may also have direct toxic effects on the heart, endocrine, and immune systems, and even the brain. In fact, so readily does WGA make its way into the brain that scientists are actually testing it as a possible means of delivering medicines in an attempt to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

–          It is particularly alarming to consider the fact that there is a move to actually genetically modify wheat to enhance its WGA content. (As if we need another reason to reject GMO’s!)

Dr. Perlmutter makes very compelling arguments which are worthy of consideration. I am delving further into this topic by reading his book on the subject, Grain Brain. I will provide a more thorough report next week. Can’t say I am thrilled about this information because girlfriend loves her pasta and bread! However I don’t love these things more than my gut health and cognitive function, so changes will be made in the W Cubed household.

In the meantime, though, I believe reducing or eliminating grain and gluten deserves a spot on our Healthy Eating Tips List. In fact, I am sliding it into the middle:

First Layer:  Protect your gut health, digestion and immunity

–          Eliminate antibiotic and hormone-containing foods such as conventional meats and dairy; choose meats and dairy that are free of these nasties or go fully organic

–          Eliminate GMO’s primarily from processed foods containing conventional corn, high fructose corn syrup (AKA corn sugar) and soy

–          See 10/28/13 Blog Post (How to Keep Calm and Eat Healthier) for details

Second Layer:  Protect your pancreas’ ability to regulate blood sugar and prevent fatty liver disease

–          Eliminate artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup (AKA corn sugar) and reduce the amount of refined sugar, especially from energy and soft drinks

–          See 10/31/13 Blog Post (Keeping in Calm and Healthy, Part Deux) for details

Third Layer:  Protect your and your children’s ability to think and concentrate

–          Eliminate artificial colors, flavors and additives especially from sodas, candies and processed foods

–          See 11/14/13 Blog Post (Why kids go berzerk after eating glowing orange mac ‘n cheese) for details

*New* Fourth Layer: Protect your gut and brain health

–          Reduce or eliminate gluten and wheat products

–          Will elaborate on this more next week!

Fifth Layer: Protect your body against disease by maintaining a basic, or alkaline, blood pH

–          Mitigate foods which cause your body to be acidic and feast on ones which make it alkaline, such as ripe fruits and vegetables

–          See 11/21/13 Blog Post (It’s all very basic…as in pH > 7…get it?) for details

Sixth Layer: Combine foods for maximum assimilation because “you are what you digest” (not only what you eat)

–          Follow food combining rules in which certain combinations of foods are not consumed at the same time to enable rapid digestion and prevent rotting and purifying in the gut (which is as bad as it sounds!)

–          See 12/5/13 Blog Post (Food Combining…It’s a Thing) for details

Interesting stuff! I hope this information helps you all on your journeys to fantastic health. Eat well and prosper, my friends!

[1] http://www.naturalnews.com/043043_einkorn_wheat_gluten_intolerance_celiac_disease.html#

Weekend Wrap…What the American Cancer Society doesn’t tell us about food…

pH

Greetings and salutations, my friends! Let’s talk about cancer, an important subject to many people who have been impacted by this disease, either directly or indirectly. Cancer is a hideous disease, though it may be possible to increase our odds of avoiding it by paying special attention to our diet. I scoured the American Cancer Society website (www.cancer.org), and they make good dietary recommendations (eat fruits and vegetables!), but don’t go nearly far enough in my opinion. They are playing it too safe with their recommendations, so as not to offend anyone (donors, Big Pharma sponsors, western medical establishment, and government agencies perhaps?).  This is really not good. Their goal should be to eradicate this disease and thereby eradicate themselves; instead, it seems their goal is to play it safe and perpetuate/help themselves. The ACS does not clearly point out the hazards with our food supply and emphasize the natural (not only pharmaceutical) ways of improving immunity and treating disease. It seems it is the job of others who do not receive millions in donations to point these things out. Weird. Here are examples of postings on their website and why they do not go far enough:

Regarding maintaining an alkaline body pH:

Nothing…

My comment: Their dietary recommendations seem to focus mostly on consuming fruits and vegetables with the goal of maintaining a healthy weight. They make no mention of the hugest benefit of consuming ripe fruits and vegetables, which is an alkaline body pH. As I discussed in my 11/21/13 blog post “It’s All Very Basic”, disease flourishes in an acidic body environment. Also about Dr. Otto Warburg, the Nobel Prize winner [1]:

Warburg also wrote about oxygen’s relationship to the pH of cancer cells’ internal environments. Since fermentation was a major metabolic pathway of cancer cells, Warburg reported cancer cells maintain a lower pH, as low as 6.0, due to lactic acid production and elevated CO2. He firmly believed there was a direct relationship between pH and oxygen.

Seemingly utterly convinced of the accuracy of his conclusions, Warburg expressed dismay at the “continual discovery of cancer agents and cancer viruses” which he expected to “hinder necessary preventative measures and thereby become responsible for cancer cases”.[15]

In his later years, Warburg was convinced that illness resulted from pollution; this caused him to become a bit of a health advocate. He insisted on eating bread made from wheat grown organically on land that belonged to him. When he visited restaurants, he often made arrangements to pay the full price for a cup of tea, but to only be served boiling water, from which he would make tea with a tea bag he had brought with him. He was also known to go to significant lengths to obtain organic butter, the quality of which he trusted.

Sounds like a man ahead of his time, who was more interested in curing disease than profiting from it.

How about have some spine, ACS, and treat food like the medicine that it is. Task #1 when preventing and treating disease should be to produce an alkaline environment from the consumption of large amounts of fruits and vegetables at every meal.

Regarding Garlic [2]:

Claims of the health benefits of the Allium compounds found in garlic and other vegetables in the onion family have been publicized widely. Garlic is now being studied to see if it can reduce cancer risk, and a few studies suggest that it may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Garlic and otherfoods in the onion family may be included in the variety of vegetables that are recommended for lowering cancer risk. At this time there is not much evidence that Allium compound supplements can lower cancer risk.

My comment: Actually there is increasing evidence that allium compounds are quite beneficial and should be consumed in larger than normal quantities. As described by Dr. Furman in http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/anti-cancer-foods-onions-garlic.aspx:

One large European study found striking risk reductions in the participants who consumed the greatest quantities of onions or garlic for oral, esophageal, colorectal, laryngeal, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. A fifty-five to eighty percent reduction of almost all major cancers.

Again, how about have some spine, ACS, and treat food like the medicine that it is.

Regarding Genetically Modified Foods [2]:

There is no proof at this time that the genetically modified foods that are now on the market are harmful to human health or that they would either increase or decrease cancer risk because of the added genes. But the lack of proof of harm is not the same as proof of safety, and because these foods have been around for a fairly short time, the possible long-term health effects are not known. It is important that the safety of genetically modified foods continues to be assessed to be sure of their genuine safety as well as to increase confidence that their use is worthwhile.

My comment: There is increasing evidence that GMO’s negatively impact our gut flora (where up to 80% of our immunity resides), thus playing a part in gluten intolerance and causing food allergies. Who knows what else these “foods” are doing to our bodies because significant studies have not been done to prove their safety. What we do know is that our guts are not well equipped to assimilate new proteins produced in a lab.

How about have some spine, ACS, and advise GMO’s be avoided until there is incontrovertible scientific evidence that they are safe.

Regarding Organic Foods [3]:

Whether organic foods carry a lower risk of cancer because they are less likely to be contaminated by compounds that might cause cancer is largely unknown. Several studies have looked at the nutrient content of organic versus conventionally grown fruits or vegetables, and while some studies suggest a higher nutrient content, others suggest no difference. It is not known if the nutritional differences that have been reported would result in health benefits such as a reduced cancer risk.  Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains should form the central part of a person’s diet, regardless of whether they are grown conventionally or organically.

My comment: OMG, seriously? Guess ACS doesn’t want to offend their Big Ag overlords. There is plenty of evidence that prolonged, toxic pesticide exposure causes cancer, such as here and here, to name a few:

http://www.rodalenews.com/pesticides-and-cancer

http://www.ewg.org/research/pesticide-industry-propaganda-real-story/pesticides-and-childhood-cancer-references

How about have some spine, ACS, and support organic agriculture, as it has been shown to be beneficial to our bodies, the soil, the produce, etc. What’s the downside to NOT consuming pesticides and herbicides? Shouldn’t a clean, alkaline diet be the basis of preventing and treating serious disease? (Or is keeping us sick and spending money on medical “care” the whole point? But I digress…)

Regarding Sugar [2]:

Sugar increases calorie intake without providing any of the nutrients that reduce cancer risk. By promoting obesity, a high sugar intake may indirectly increase cancer risk. White (refined) sugar is no different from brown (unrefined) sugar or honey with regard to their effects on body weight or insulin levels. Limiting foods such as cakes, candy, cookies, and sweetened cereals, as well as sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda and sports drinks can help reduce calorie intake.

My comment: Suggesting that these foods should be “limited” is spineless. Sugar and artificial sweeteners are not just a problem because they promote obesity. Natural sugar is food for cancer as discussed here http://blogs.naturalnews.com/more-evidence-that-sugar-fuels-cancer-growth/ and artificial sweeteners, like high fructose corn syrup, promote fatty liver disease and cancerous growth as discussed at length by Dr. Edward Aronoff in Toxic Food, Healthy Food.

How about have some spine, ACS, and admit that artificial sweeteners, especially, are toxic and should be avoided 100%. Like by everybody all the time.

So why go on this rant now? ‘Tis the season for giving, and I would like to suggest that there are many organizations that are doing fantastic work who are more worthy of your donations than the ACS. Until the ACS wakes up and smells the kombucha, organizations such as the Environmental Working Group, Navdanya, Center for Food Safety, and Food Revolution Network are all more worthy of your hard-earned dollars, in my humble opinion. They are not spineless ninnies but are going all out to educate about the state of our food supply, inspire activism, demand action from our elected officials, support biodiversity and organic agriculture around the world, and ensure real change for the benefit of all of us.  Just sayin’.

Have a wonderful, nutritious week!

[1] http://www.ask.com/wiki/Otto_Heinrich_Warburg?o=2801&qsrc=999#Scientific_work_and_Nobel_Prize

[2] http://www.cancer.org/healthy/eathealthygetactive/acsguidelinesonnutritionphysicalactivityforcancerprevention/acs-guidelines-on-nutrition-and-physical-activity-for-cancer-prevention-common-questions

[3] http://www.cancer.org/healthy/eathealthygetactive/acsguidelinesonnutritionphysicalactivityforcancerprevention/acs-guidelines-on-nutrition-and-physical-activity-for-cancer-prevention-food-additives

 

Food Combining…It’s a Thing, My Friends

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Welcome, health fans! Let’s continue to delve into healthy eating habits. Before we discuss the topic of food combining, let’s review the first 4 layers of the onion that we peeled back in previous posts because they lay the foundation for healthy eating:

First Layer:  Protect your gut health, digestion and immunity

–          Eliminate antibiotic and hormone-containing foods such as conventional meats and dairy; choose meats and dairy that are free of these nasties or go fully organic

–          Eliminate GMO’s primarily from processed foods containing conventional corn, high fructose corn syrup (AKA corn sugar) and soy

–          See 10/28/13 Blog Post (How to Keep Calm and Eat Healthier) for details

Second Layer:  Protect your pancreas’ ability to regulate blood sugar and prevent fatty liver disease

–          Eliminate artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup (AKA corn sugar) and reduce the amount of refined sugar, especially from energy and soft drinks

–          See 10/31/13 Blog Post (Keeping in Calm and Healthy, Part Deux) for details

Third Layer:  Protect your and your children’s ability to think and concentrate

–          Eliminate artificial colors, flavors and additives especially from sodas, candies and processed foods

–          See 11/14/13 Blog Post (Why kids go berzerk after eating glowing orange mac ‘n cheese) for details

Fourth Layer: Protect your body against disease by maintaining a basic, or alkaline, blood pH

–          Mitigate foods which cause your body to be acidic and feast on ones which make it alkaline, such as ripe fruits and vegetables

–          See 11/21 Blog Post (It’s all very basic…as in pH > 7…get it?) for details

Fifth Layer: Combine foods for maximum assimilation because “you are what you digest” (not only what you eat)

–          Follow food combining rules in which certain combinations of foods are not consumed at the same time to enable rapid digestion and prevent rotting and purifying in the gut (which is as bad as it sounds!)

Now that you have eliminated many undesirable things from your diet, it is time to ensure that the whole, organic, non-GMO foods which are eaten are properly digested and assimilated. In order to properly discuss this topic, I am going to refer mainly to The Beauty Detox Solution, by Kimberly Snyder, C.N. Recall that I touched upon the topic of food combining when I reviewed Healing with Whole Foods  by Paul Pitchford as there is a discussion of this approach in Chapter 19 of that book as well. I found that the principles outlined in both books to be in agreement, though Paul’s treatment of the subject was more detailed and Kimberly’s a bit more accessible.

Kimberly refers to properly combining foods as Beauty Food Pairing because she argues that the minimum amount of energy should be used for digestion so that the maximum amount can be available for regenerative processes that enhance our health and beauty from the cellular level. She explains that Beauty Food Pairing is based on the science of how food digests optimally in the body. Different foods digest with different enzymes, and some call for more acidic or more alkaline environments. She references Dr. Herbert Shelton, the foremost expert on food combining, who spent years studying the way digestive enzymes work to help break down foods. As Dr. Shelton explains, “Every student of physiology is well aware that the digestive enzymes have certain well-defined limitations and that different digestive juices are secreted for use in digesting different kinds of food substances.” [1]

There are 7 main rules associated with Beauty Food Pairing:

Beauty Rule #1 – Our bodies can properly digest only one concentrated, non-water-containing food at a time. The stomach secretes different kinds of juices when we eat different kinds of foods. Non-concentrated foods are much simpler for the body to digest than concentrated foods. We can handle most concentrated foods pretty well, but we can eat only one type at a time in order to maximize digestion.

–          Concentrated foods are foods that do not contain any water, like proteins (fish and seafood, chicken, meat, seeds, nuts, dairy except for butter, protein powders, eggs ) and starches (grains, starchy vegetables like potatoes, breads, cereals, pasta, crackers )

–          Non-concentrated foods are ripe fruits and non-starch vegetables

Beauty Rule #2 – Per Rule #1, Proteins and Starches don’t mix. This one is a toughie for me because I love the taste of combinations like spaghetti and meatballs, eggs and toast, meat and potatoes. Kimberly notes that the reason for this is:

–          Concentrated protein requires and acidic environment to be broken down, an environment that includes hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin

–          Concentrated starch begins breaking down with an enzyme called ptyalin (salivary amylase) which can act only in an alkaline medium

She reminds us that acids and bases neutralize each other, so not much gets digested if the environment in the stomach is essentially neutral. This inefficient digestive process can go on for hours, consuming energy and leaving us tired. Ever feel the need for a nap after a big, complicated meal? Healthy food should leave us energized, not wiped out! Also, if food hangs around for too long in our 98.6 degree body, then the proteins will become putrefied and the carbs will become fermented, leading to gassiness, bloating and/or heartburn.  On the other hand, if food passes through our system quickly, it will provide maximum nutrition and energy without the bloating.

The goal of rapid digestion and assimilation is behind the other rules as well, which you can learn more about by delving into this fantastic book:

Beauty Rule #3 – Vegetables are neutral because they are alkaline, non-concentrated, and easy to digest. Eat many and often! Pairing vegetables with 1 concentrated food is a great idea.

Beauty Rule #4 – Mixing two starches is okay because they are easier to digest than proteins.

Beauty Rule #5 – Mixing two types of animal proteins is not okay because they are comprised of complex chains of amino acids and are therefore the hardest food group to break down.

Beauty Rule #6 – Fats should be eaten moderately with protein (animal and plant) but are okay to eat with carbohydrates.  Fat mixes well with starches but has somewhat of an inhibiting effect on the digestion of protein. Yay as one of my favorite snacks is avocado toast, which is toast + Vegenaise + avocado slices. Kimberly also sings the praises of avocados in the book, so I think this snack is a keeper.

Beauty Rule #7 – Fruit should be eaten only on an empty stomach because they digest so easily and should not hang around with other harder to digest foods.

Kimberly makes many good suggestions throughout the book, such as foods to avoid, how to cleanse and transition to a healthier diet, eating light to heavy throughout the day, incorporating digestive enzymes and probiotics, recipes for nutritious meals (including Glowing Green Juices and Smoothies), and so on. I am incorporating several of them and have to say, I am feeling lighter and more energetic. Of all the books I’ve recommended, I’d say this one is very well-written, easy to understand, and offers the most practical advice. I highly recommend this book! You can also learn about her approach on her website: http://www.kimberlysnyder.net/ .

That wraps up our nutrition post for today! Eat well and prosper, my friends!

[1] Herbert M. Shelton, Food Combining Made Easy (San Antonio, TX: Willow Publishing, 1982), 56.

Newsflash…A fun Monsanto charm offensive headed our way!

Willie

Apparently Monsanto realized they have an image problem and want to fix it! Read more here:

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/monsanto-agriculture-image-problem-100442.html

The fact of the matter is that they are suffering an image problem because a growing number of people are realizing that their grand GMO experiment on the planet and our bodies has been an abject failure. The mainstream media is not covering this as relentlessly as they should. However, it seems enough food activists on the fringes of the interwebs are making enough noise to make them uncomfortable.

Here’s the propaganda vs. the facts:

Propaganda: GMO’s are safe for consumption

  • Fact: GMO’s are not safe for consumption.  There is growing evidence that combining food + pesticide or bacteria DNA in ways nature never intended is bad for our digestive systems (where over 70% of our immunity resides) and may lead to diseases like food allergies, gluten intolerance, and cancer, to name a few. Also, there is evidence that data was cooked in the few studies that were done which indicate they are safe for consumption (The Unhealthy Truth, Robyn O’Brien). Basically GMO’s were unleashed on all of us with no data to indicate they are safe, so we have all been guinea pigs for decades.

Propaganda: GMO’s will decrease pesticide usage

  • Fact:  GMO’s are leading to increased pesticide usage.  The first generation of GMO’s used fewer pesticides because the pesticide DNA was combined with the DNA of the food, as with Bt-corn! Moving on from the health implications of eating pesticide…the weeds adapted, and now we have SUPERWEEDS, which need a new generation of GMO’s and even more potent pesticides (http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/311/ge-foods) . So now we are in an escalating chemical war with nature. Guess who the losers will be?

Propaganda: GMO’s will increase crop yields

  • Fact: Numerous studies have indicated that GMO’s maintain, or decrease, crop yields. So there’s an epic fail.

Propaganda: GMO’s are good for small farmers

  • Fact: Farmers cannot reuse seeds from the previous harvest and instead have to purchase Monsanto’s patented seeds every year, driving them further into debt. The situation is so bad in the developing world that over 250,000 farmers in India have committed suicide in the past 25 years because of their desperate financial situation (http://www.navdanya.org/). Monsanto also sues small farmers that are growing their patented seeds without their knowledge because they blew over their fields and started growing. Great deal for small farmers, huh? The end game here is to put small and organic farmers out of business and ensure we are all under the control of whatever slop the big corporate factory farms feed us. Sad but true

Propaganda: GMO’s are the only way to feed the world

  • Fact: GMO’s have no nutritional benefits, crop yield benefits, pesticide usage benefits, or financial benefits for farmers, so they are not the salvation for the world. This claim, most of all, has been thoroughly refuted in The Global Citizens Report “The GMO Emperor Has No Clothes”. Find it here: http://www.navdanya.org/attachments/Latest_Publications7.pdf

During their charm offensive, Monsanto will repeat their tired claims that genetically engineered crops will save the world by increasing yields and producing more food, by controlling pests and weeds, by reducing chemical use in agriculture, etc. Let’s not let their feel-good, glossy, expensive marketing tactics blind us to the truth.