Posts tagged nutrition

The Top 10 Blood Tests for Vegans by Dr. J.E. Williams

This was sent to my email by Frederic Patenaude and it is important information to know what blood tests are crucial for those who are vegans.

The Top 10 Blood Tests for Vegans by Dr. J.E. Williams

I started my own personal experiment with vegetarianism and vegan lifestyle in 1972, and I also conceived and raised children as vegetarians (until they were pre-teen). I have 30 years of clinical experience in natural medicine, and for 25 years, I was a busy clinician in Southern California. Thus, I have earned my credentials and have seen it all.

I know through all of this that if you want to get your cholesterol and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) down to bare bones levels, go vegan. If you want to boost your folic acid and antioxidant levels to new heights, eat more plants. It is the same with reducing your risk for a heart attack to zero, and preventing many types of cancer. But, if you want to have strong vitamin B12 levels, and enough iron and albumin, vegetarians and vegans are vulnerable.

Today I want to discuss the basic laboratory tests most important for plant-based diets. Let’s look at the 10 most helpful ones for evaluating deficiencies and the consequences of not having adequate levels of certain nutrients.

1. CBC – Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets: This group of tests tells if you are anemic, immune deficient, or have an infection or allergies. Low RBC (red blood count), hemoglobin, and hematocrit are signs of anemia. The CBC helps determine your general health status. If have fatigue or weakness, or suspect an infection, this test can help determine what is the cause.

2. CMP – Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: The CMP is a group of 14 tests that provides information about the status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance, as well as of your blood sugar (glucose) and blood proteins (total protein, albumin, and globulin).

Abnormal results, especially combinations of abnormal results, indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. Total protein below 6.5 and albumin below 3.9 are signs of protein deficiency. Glucose (blood sugar) is also tested in this panel. It is uncommon for plant-based eaters to be diabetic. Some times, however, glucose can be too low, suggesting hypoglycemia.

3. Ferritin: This test helps assess iron stores in the body. It is useful in combination with an iron and TIBC to evaluate the severity of iron deficiency or overload.

4. Folic Acid: This test gives an idea of your level of folate. It is rarely low in plant-based diets. However, higher than normal levels, common in vegetarians and vegans, combined with low vitamin B12 levels, magnifies vitamin B deficiency in the body. The amount of folate inside the red blood cell (folate, RBC) may also be measured and is normally higher inside the cell than in the serum.

5. Homocysteine: An elevated homocysteine level helps determine B12 or folate deficiency. Elevated levels of homocysteine (above 10 micromoles/liter) are associated with atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) and suggest an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clot formation, and Alzheimer’s disease. I want my patients to be lower than 9 micromoles/liter and optimally less than 6 micromoles/liter.

6. Iron – total and TIBC (total iron binding capacity): Vegetarians can have adequate iron levels if they eat quantities of iron-containing vegetables and fruits, like spinach and raisins. However, raw vegans often show low levels of red blood cells and iron deficiency in their tests. Early iron deficiency causes no physical effects, so you may not know you levels are going down; but, as hemoglobin levels drop below 10 g per deciliter, things can get challenging. As the iron-deficiency progresses, symptoms begin to develop, including fatigue and tiredness, weakness, dizziness, and headaches. As iron reserves continue to be depleted, you can experience shortness of breath, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), drowsiness, and irritability.

7. Lipid Profile: This group of tests measures your blood fats (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) to determine risk for coronary heart disease. Vegetarians typical have normal lipid profiles, but vegans may have cholesterol levels that are too low (less than 135 mg/dL). Cholesterol is essential for life. A waxy substance manufactured from raw materials supplied in the diet, it is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood. Cholesterol is the primary building block for steroid hormones like estrogen and testosterone, and adequate levels are required for health.

8. MMA – Methylmalonic Acid, serum: MMA, along with homocysteine, help diagnose an early or mild B12 deficiency. If MMA and homocysteine levels are increased, then vitamin B12 deficiency may be present, indicating less available B12 at the tissue level. If only homocysteine is elevated, then folic acid may be low or not being metabolism properly. If MMA and homocysteine levels are normal, it is unlikely that there is a B12 deficiency.

9. Vitamin B12: Both B12 and folate are necessary for normal red blood cell formation, tissue and cellular repair, DNA synthesis, and for nerve health. A deficiency in either B12 or folate causes macrocytic anemia. Also called megaloblastic anemia, this type of anemia is characterized by the production of fewer – but larger – red blood cells called macrocytes, leading to fatigue, weakness, and all the other symptoms of anemia. If your levels are below 400 pg/mL, suspect B12 deficiency. I like my patients to be at least 600-900 pg/mL.

10. Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy: This test determines vitamin D3 status. It tells if you are susceptible to bone weakness, bone malformation, or abnormal metabolism of calcium. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and absorbed from the intestine like dietary fat, low-fat diets are prone to vitamin D deficiency. Also, people with conditions that interfere with fat absorption, such as cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Celiac disease are not able to absorb enough Vitamin D.

Dr. Williams’ Suggested Panels for Vegetarians/Vegans

Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
Comprehensive Chemistry/Metabolic Panel
Ferritin
Folic Acid
Homocysteine
Iron, total and IBC
Lipid Panel
Methylmalonic Acid, Serum
Vitamin B12
Vitamin D3, 25 Hydroxy

What’s Next?

You need to be able to understand your tests. For that we highly recommend the Complete Blood Test Blueprint, by Dr. Williams.
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This program is at a deep discount of $37 or $47 depending on the options you choose and normally  $100 dollars and up.  This offer can change at any time, so order as soon as possible.

The program features 35 beautiful graphics that show you clinical, desirable and optimal ranges for blood tests and what to do if your levels are high or low.

Blood testing, if done correctly, can be your best ally in determining the right diet, the right supplements and the perfect health for you.

He also covers what to do when you get your tests back to bring your levels into optimal ranges.

To get the Complete Blood Test Blueprint, along with “How to Read Your Own Blood Tests”, go to:

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This is our most up-to-date program on blood tests… so if you were thinking about getting it, now’s a good time!

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All Rights Reserved. Advice and recommendations given in this website or in personal consultation by phone, email, in-person, online coaching, or otherwise, is at the reader’s sole discretion and risk. You should see a qualified, licensed doctor before starting any skin care, nutritional, diet, stretching, and/or exercise program. Information presented on this website is not to be interpreted as kind of attempt to prescribe or practice medicine. These statements and information have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product offerings are intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult with a competent, fully-informed medical professional or health practitioner when making decisions having to do with your health. You are advised to investigate and educate yourself about any health related actions and choices you make.

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Mūna: Peruvian Medicinal Herb with Numerous Health Benefits by Frederic Patenude

Check out the great deals offered below from Frederic and Renegade Health.
Prices can change without notice, so do not delay!

I Love This Herb by Frederic Patenaude

I used to think that all medicinal herbs were just natural versions of pharmaceutical drugs. By that, I thought they were not as harmful, but just masked the symptoms instead of addressing the “cause.”

This attitude came from my Natural Hygiene background.

Natural Hygiene is a beautiful health philosophy that I first came across when I was 18, and what led me to the raw food and natural health lifestyle.

The idea is that the same factors that lead to good health are the ones needed to recover lost health. Everything else just “gets in the way.”

For example, water fasting as a therapy comes from Natural Hygiene, and it’s the ultimate way to apply this philosophy. And it works. You do nothing, intelligently, and let your body work its magic.

Stop the cause — the root of the problem — and provide your body what it needs to heal itself, such as a super-healthy diet, sunshine, rest, water, and exercise in the right amount.

If you follow this health philosophy, you will get great results. It cuts through the BS that currently clutters the natural health world.

However, it has its limits.

For example, what if you have a nasty infection? We know that antibiotics have saved millions of lives in those circumstances. Myself, I wouldn’t always trust that my body will “heal itself.” It works a lot of the time, but we also have our limits.

Now back to medicinal herbs…

Although Natural Hygiene rejects them entirely, I believe they can have a place in your health arsenal. Don’t use them as your primary way of taking care of yourself. But having a few medicinal herbs around can be quite useful.

I still think that “doing nothing, intelligently” is excellent advice, most of the time. Let’s add to that a few medicinal herbs and yes, even some pharmaceutical drugs, when absolutely necessary (such as antibiotics).

I Love This Herb

Along with Holy Basil, muña is my favorite mild, medicinal herb. It’s not very strong and is used as a tea. The herb is also called the Andean Mint, but I think you’ll notice by trying it that it is not your average mint!

It can help to:

– Heal intestinal problems
– Cure bad breath
– Reduce inflammation
– Overcome excess stomach acidity
– Calm indigestion
– Prevent the inflammation of wounds
– Fight parasites
– Stop diarrhea

Kevin and Annmarie brought back this herb from one of their many trips to Peru. After going through many legal hoops, they’ve found a way to import it all the way to the US. We now ship it all over the world.

What’s great about the muña that Renegade Health imports is that it’s super-fresh. We harvest it from a village in a sustainable way, working with local families on this project. It’s an outstanding product.

I make it the same way I make mint tea:

I let it steep for 5 minutes, and the leaves will fall at the bottom of the cup or the teapot, sweetened with some coconut nectar or date syrup.

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I want to let you know that Frederic’s book, “How to Eat Well for Under $100 a Month on a Plant-Based Diet” with the companion book is available now for $29.95 instead of the usual price of $47.

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Healthy Salad Dressings is available for $7 instead of $19.95
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All Rights Reserved. Advice and recommendations given in this website or in personal consultation by phone, email, in-person, online coaching, or otherwise, is at the reader’s sole discretion and risk. You should see a qualified, licensed doctor before starting any skin care, nutritional, diet, stretching, and/or exercise program. Information presented on this website is not to be interpreted as kind of attempt to prescribe or practice medicine. These statements and information have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product offerings are intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult with a competent, fully-informed medical professional or health practitioner when making decisions having to do with your health. You are advised to investigate and educate yourself about any health related actions and choices you make.

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Q & A Series: People, Products and The Health of Our Planet – Interview with Judy Pokras: Artist, Writer and Video Director

My Comment: How I came to find Judy was through a 1st cousin of mine who was doing research online of the family genealogy. It so happens, she and her Mom, Anne, actually live in the same neighborhood, as my parents and we never knew that. My Mom called me one day to let me know that we have distant relatives/cousins (on my Mom’s side of the family) and that the daughter happens to be very involved in raw vegan food and has a website, as well. I did happen to go on the website long before I met her and her Mom and she shares a lot of information that is helpful and educational.

For my thirty-first interview, I have the pleasure to introduce you to Judy Pokras: Artist, Writer, Video Director and long time Raw Vegan Food Enthusiast.

Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

I started out as an artist and was an Art major at Pratt. I’ve done a lot of paintings and other visual artwork over the years. My parents and brother, David, have also created works of art, including paintings and sculptures.

Abstract Art by Judy Pokras

Abstract Art
by Judy Pokras

Painting by Judy Pokras, honoring her brother David

Painting by Judy Pokras, honoring her brother David

Wooden Menorah by Jerry Pokras (Judy's Dad)

Wooden Menorah by Jerry Pokras (Judy’s Dad)

Art by David Pokras (Judy's brother)

Art by David Pokras (Judy’s brother)

I’m also a video director. When I lived in New York City, I produced and directed a mock Seinfeld episode on a zero budget, that you can view on youtube, by searching for the title, Anomolies, and my name, Judy Pokras.

Decades ago I became interested in raw vegan cuisine. I have lots of creativity and wanted to make money from that, but most of my bosses were not interested in my creativity. That stressed me out, and I ate nutritionally dense foods to counteract the stress. I began reading about nutrition over the years and that led me to raw vegan cuisine, which I love. I started an online magazine back in 2001 called: http://www.rawfoodsnewsmagazine.com. I also published a recipe book, “The Little Book of Raw Vegan Holiday Recipes.” It’s available on http://www.amazon.com

Question #2: If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take only 5 items with you (they can be food, books or specific products that are all health-related), what would they be and why?

1- A tool/chisel to open coconuts because I use a lot of young coconuts in my recipes, like my signature raw vegan chocolate ice cream.
2- A smartphone with the internet so I can access information, connect with friends, and make videos.
3- Materials to draw and paint with.
4- Keyboard for writing
5- Friends

Question #3: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?

To follow your curiosity wherever it might lead you. My curiosity led me to nutrition and how different foods affect our health. I think it is very important and overlooked in our culture because it is something we are not taught to focus on. For example, there is cadmium, which is a toxic heavy metal, in sunflower seeds and raw cacao powder and arsenic in rice. These things are not paid attention to in restaurants when they put together their meals and menus.

Questions #4: If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health-related), what would you recommend and why?

A product (such as a computer or smartphone) that would allow you to access the internet, because you can do a lot of research there and learn things without having to buy many books or go to a library. A library is great, but you have to return things and then won’t have them on hand as a reference.

Question #5: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?

I have a website: http://www.rawfoodsnewsmagazine.com
I also have a Facebook page: Raw Foods News Magazine
I am also on Twitter: @RawFoodsNewsMag

Question #6: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?

My hope is that more people will have access to higher education. It makes me very sad that in many Third World countries, girls are not allowed to get an education. We can’t allow that to happen.

Another thing: Science has proven that climate change is real, and it’s threatening everything. It will result in rising sea levels, which will encroach on our coastlines and decimate many regions where millions of people live. Climate change also causes political instability. For example, when there are severe droughts, people don’t have food and take big risks to migrate to other countries. That instability unfortunately leads to hostility and violence.

Question #7: I know that there are variables as to how much food/calories each person consumes when eating raw vegan food (based on many lifestyle factors, etc), but is there a basic guideline you would recommend for everyone?

I’m not a doctor, I’m a writer and researcher. I believe there is no one lifestyle that works for everyone, because everyone is unique. I think the best advice is to follow how you feel. Keep a food journal if you like, and see how different food affects you.

Although I believe it’s most important to eat a lot of organic raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds, I incorporate some cooked food into my diet. I follow some of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s advice. He advocates what he calls a Nutritarian Diet. He says it’s important to eat cooked beans, or lentils, and cooked mushrooms.

Check out the review of Judy’s book on my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

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5 Life-Changing Lectures (Advanced Study Weekend Review) by Frederic Patenaude

This was such great “eye opening” information I received in an email from Frederic that I am reposting it here to share with all of you.

Also, there are some great deals on Frederic’s health products, not to be missed and prices may change at any time, so check them out below.
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I attended the “Advanced Study Weekend” organized by Dr. John McDougall. He organizes this event twice a year and I have attended many times in the past. In my opinion, this is the best event organized anywhere in the world about health. The information is cutting-edge, free of hype and non-commercial in nature.

Here are my notes from this year’s event. I’m not going to review every single lecture, but instead focus on the ones that stood out for me.

Dr. McDougall on the New Dietary Guidelines

Dr. McDougall spent some time reviewing the latest USD guidelines for nutrition. He said that there were some wins but overall they obscure their recommendation using complicated language.
The guidelines are “guided” by industry. However, they are still a step forward if you read them carefully.

Even though they now removed the limit on cholesterol, they also write that one should make efforts to limit cholesterol. Go figure…

The reason many studies show that eating cholesterol has no effect on blood cholesterol is because of the design of the studies. When someone already eats a diet with over 400 mg of cholesterol, absorption is blocked for more. That’s why eggs show no effect on cholesterol in a diet that is already rich in animal products.

However, eggs will raise cholesterol levels in vegetarians.

T. Colin Campbell, PhD

Colin Campbell is the co-author of the China Study but also a relentless researcher. He was sitting just in front of me during the weekend, and I was amazed at his vitality at age 82. His conference was one of the most enlightening ones from the weekend.

The Supremacy of Protein – 200 Years – Has Anything Changed?
Dr. Campbell went through the history of protein from its discovery in the 1840s. Here are some highlights:

Studies were done in the 1870s established protein requirements to 52 grams a day but 120g/day was recommended instead.

As early as 1908 the overconsumption of protein was associated with cancer
Chittenden in 1905 discovered that physical endurance and strength increased on a low-protein, plant-based diet.

It’s the animal protein in the diet that causes heart disease, not just the saturated fat or cholesterol itself.

In the China Study, there was a 200X variation in rates of different cancers between the counties. It related to blood cholesterol levels. In China, the range was as low as 90 up to 170.
They thought that cholesterol was low enough in China, so why the increase in cancer at higher levels?

Because blood cholesterol levels was a result of animal protein consumption. It wasn’t the cholesterol itself, but the protein. Because animal protein raised cholesterol level, they could make the connection.

In animal studies, more animal protein promotes cancer growth. But you can consume as much plant protein as you want, doesn’t matter, because it’s different protein. It’s a whole food — it’s the full package.

Epidemiological studies done on different low-fat vs. high fat diets today are a mirage. They consider things like fiber, fat, etc. But NO large-scale study has ever been done on the type of diet we recommend, like the Ornish diet. A whole foods plant-based diet works not for one disease but every disease.

All the studies done compare 30% fat to 60% fat. Even from 20% to 60% there’s not much difference. It’s like comparing smokers with two packs or three packs a day. There are no studies done on the food that we recommend: whole foods, 100% plant-based, no oil.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: Treating the Cause to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Another superstar speaker. He’s also 82 years old. He gave his usual lecture on becoming “heart attack-proof” with a few new twists. Here are a few highlights:

How do we get heart disease? It starts with inflammation of the endothelial cells lining the walls of our arteries. Cholesterol gets stuck there and goes under the lining. It gets oxidized, and the body tries to get rid of it. Progressively, plaque forms, and its content oozes out. This activates a clotting factor… we get a clot, and BOOM, a heart attack.

You can get heart-attack-proof for life in just three weeks. You have to change your chemistry and make sure nothing in your blood gets sticky.

Nitric oxide, discovered in 1980-1998 (and for which a Nobel Prize was awarded), is key. It’s a strong vessel dilator and prevents arteries from becoming thick.

A single meal at McDonalds can injure your endothelial cells and prevent artery dilation for several hours.

Caffeine in coffee injures the endothelial cells (but not in tea), as do olive, soybean and palm oils.

To improve nitric oxide function, cardiac patients should eat greens SIX TIMES a day! About fist-sized (once cooked), with balsamic vinegar, cooked for 4-5 minutes. For optimal results, no smoothies. Eat and chew your greens.

Never before in Medicine have we had something as powerful as a toolbox as we have with plant-based diet

Why Lunch Matters: Promotion and Prescribing – Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD

This lecture was not about lunch! It was about the marketing techniques used by pharmaceutical companies to promote their products. It was super enlightening! It focused on the pharmaceutical reps marketing to doctors directly.

(The “lunch” part of it comes from the fact that often these reps pay lunch or other small gifts to doctors. Doctors don’t feel it’s a gift, but they feel obligated to reciprocate. They discovered that small gifts work better than big ones!).

It will be tough to summarize the lecture, but I’ll give you a few highlights:

Pharmaceutical reps make 150-300K a year and provide a 13X return on investments to the company. They only work on three doctors!

Physicians are smart and naive, and more more susceptible to financial scams and manipulation from marketing techniques. Doctors believe that they haven’t been bought off, even when they have.

One fourth of doctors in the US doesn’t see reps from pharmaceutical company. Find a doctor who doesn’t.

Marketing of drugs starts seven years before they are on the marketing. It’s illegal to promote a drug before it’s approved but instead, they market a disease with a “disease awareness campaign.”
Many diseases have changed names or benign conditions have been redefined by pharmaceutical companies in preparation for a new drug, or a rebranding of an old drug.

Examples:

Pfizer renamed “impotence” “erectile dysfunction” to remove the stigma associated with the condition and prepare for the release of their drug.

Heartburn used to be a simple condition, and the advice was “don’t eat so much, don’t drink and take TUMS.” It’s been rebranded as “GERD” with drugs you need to take every day for the rest of your life.
Drugs are often renamed. When the Prozac patent came close to expiration, the same drug was rebranded as Sarafem.

Menopause has been turned from a normal life event to a medical condition. We promote hormone therapy even when menopause is not a disease.

For men, “Low testosterone” is the latest of those “new conditions.”

More info at http://www.PharmedOut.org

Dr. Milton Mills: Are Humans Designed to Eat Meat?

This was a fascinating lectures. When we hear that humans are “natural carnivores,” or even “omnivores,” we wonder what part of it is true.

Dr. Mills went through a detailed analysis of exactly what the differences are between true carnivores and plant eaters and proved that humans can’t be even part-time carnivores.

Here are a few highlights:

Carnivores are animals optimized for predation. They expend little effort to catch their food. They seek weak, diseased and defective animals because they are easier to catch.

Herbivores seek lush, verdant and beautiful food. Humans are trying to be carnivores with a herbivore mentality (we seek healthy meat). This beauty paradigm creates species destruction.

Hunting doesn’t add up regarding energy deficit for humans. We expend more energy hunting for meat than we get in calories. True carnivores only need to eat every 7-10 days and can eat up to 20-30% of their body weight in one meal.

Humans are designed for foraging and walking very long distances at a low energy cost. We’re the only animal efficiently designed for walking.

We’re not designed to run fast. We can run fast enough to escape insects and bees. We’re not fast enough to outrun any animal.

Hunter-Gatherers who outrun their prey expend more energy hunting than they get from the meat. they obtain most of their calories from plant foods. We can’t even eat enough in one meal to replace the energy expanded from just ONE hunt. Carnivores get enough to eat for a week.

Richard Oppenlander: Food Choices and Sustainability

Normally the lectures focus on human health, but this time Dr. McDougall had two lectures on environmental issues as they relate to food. Richard Oppenlander’s lecture was very enlightening about this very important topic that’s so misunderstood and abused.

We are 7.4 billion people on the planet but over 70 billion farm animals. This is unsustainable. Global warming is just one component of global depletion.

We can’t eliminate fossil fuels now, but we can change the food we eat. All animal food production systems are unsustainable.

It’s close to 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions that come from animal agriculture.

Climate change could be irreversible by 2017.

We need to change the words we use. Words like CSA, farm to table, traceable, local, organic, grass-fed, cage-free, Paleo, “humane”, real food, sustainable seafood… are all terribly misleading.

The “real food” movement is flawed. A vegan bar is considered processed and not “real” food, but fish and meat is considered “real food.

The movement to eat “less meat” is also flawed. It shifts the focus to seafood, which causes huge problems.

Every country in the world lacking fresh water is struggling but giving water to livestock.

In California, 60-70% of all the water goes to livestock. We’re told to watch our water consumption in the shower which might save 2-3 gallons of water, when not eating meat saves 2000 gallons of water a day.

If you love fish don’t eat it. The most important cause of coral death is overfishing.

The problem is not overfishing. The problem is fishing. We catch fish to feed farm fish, so even farmed salmon is not sustainable.

None of the environmental organizations say anything about eating meat, yet they keep throwing the word “sustainable” without defining what it means.

Michael Greger, M.D.

Dr. Michael Greger gave one of the best lectures of the weekend, but I’m not going to summarize it because you can download many of the lectures on his website for free.

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.
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The program ”One Year of Raw Foods” features complete menu planners for every day of the year, and more resources to make this diet work.

This program features exactly what to eat, day by day, based on seasonal ingredients (no mangoes in January!), and a complete shopping list to help with your errands.

Check it out here as it is a great offer with lots of free extras!
http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=4900803
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I want to let you know that Frederic’s book, “How to Eat Well for Under $100 a Month on a Plant-Based Diet” with the companion book is available now for $29.95 instead of the usual price of $47.

How to Eat Well for Under $100
http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=4900783

Coupon: MINDY100
$29.95 instead of $47

Other great deals on products offered by Frederic to my readers, are available for a limited time, so don’t delay:

Starter Kit
http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=3923008
Coupon: MINDYGOLDISSTARTER for 25% off
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Healthy Salad Dressings is available for $7 instead of $19.95
http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=4847273
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How to Heal and Prevent Dental Disasters
This program has been created by OraMedia and is the only
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dental problems for the rest of your life.

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Killer Sweeteners and Agave Nectar/Syrup – Not recommended!

Killer Sweeteners by Isabel De Los Rios – Certified Nutritionist
http://www.thedietkiller.com

In my practice as a nutritionist and personal trainer, new
clients are always coming to me telling me they are doing
everything they are “supposed” to be doing, but still, do not
lose weight. Of course, this is frustrating. Losing weight is
hard enough, and to change your eating habits and still see no
results, that’s even more frustrating.

So why do these people not lose weight? If I had to pick the
most common reason why most people’s efforts have proved no
results, I would say it is the deception of artificial
sweeteners and processed diet foods. Yes, you heard right. It is
the diet coke, diet snacks, processed foods and artificial
sweetener in your coffee that is keeping you fat. So how is this
so?

Artificial sweeteners overwhelm your liver

Your liver is your largest internal organ, and it’s responsible
for an astonishing variety of life-sustaining and
health-promoting tasks, including those that make healthy weight
loss and weight management possible. Integral to countless
metabolic processes, the liver supports the digestive system,
controls blood sugar and regulates fat storage. One of your
liver’s most important functions, and the most crucial to your
weight loss, is chemically breaking down everything that enters
your body, from healthy vegetables, to not so healthy fast food,
from healthy water to not so healthy soda.

It’s your liver’s job to distinguish between the nutrients you
need to absorb and the dangerous or unnecessary substances that
must be filtered out of your bloodstream. But when the liver is
clogged and overwhelmed with toxins, like artificial sweeteners,
it can’t do a very effective job of processing nutrients and
fats. If it can not process the nutrients and fats that your
body needs, this will cause you to gain weight or will prevent
you from losing weight. Your liver also produces bile, a crucial
substance for detoxifying our bodies.

It is the job of bile to help our bodies break down the fats we
need and to assimilate fat-soluble vitamins. But when our bile
becomes overly congested with the toxins it’s trying to filter
out, it simply can’t function properly. It becomes thick,
viscous and highly inefficient in breaking down fats. The
result: You are more likely to gain weight and to have a greater
difficulty losing it. So the more toxic your body becomes, the
more difficulty you’ll have losing weight and keeping it off
because your liver just can not work properly to break down fat.

Are artificial sweeteners considered a toxin?

So what qualifies something as a “toxin”? A toxin is anything
that your body does not recognize as a natural food source. The
reason why artificial sweeteners have “zero” calories is because
your body does not recognize them as a food source. For example,
the chemical process to make Splenda (sucralose) alters the
chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow
converted to a completely different molecule than sugar. This
type of “fake” sugar molecule does not occur in nature and
therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly
metabolize it. This is how the makers of Splenda claim that it
has zero calories, because in theory it should not be digested
or metabolized by the body (Although it’s been shown that some
people’s body do absorb u.p to 15% of the artificial sweeteners
they ingest). So the more artificial sweeteners that you consume
in one day, the more you are overwhelming your liver with toxins
and the less able it is to do its job of processing fat.

And what happens if the liver can’t do its job? You can’t lose
weight or worse yet, you gain weight.

What if you don’t use artificial sweeteners? Don’t be fooled.
Almost every diet product on the market has some kind of
artificial sweetener added to it. Even some children’s snacks
are now being made with sucralose (Splenda) and most flavored
waters contain sucralose or aspartame.

Now add up how many things you eat in one day that contain some
form of artificial sweetener. The list may be very long. How
overwhelmed do you think your liver is? Does it have the ability
to work properly? Even if you keep your calories at bay and only
drink Diet Coke with your meals, will you truly get down to the
weight that you want, and stay there? It’s certainly been in my
experience that the answer is “no” and until you are ready to
commit yourself to a healthy way of eating, weight loss will
always be a constant struggle.

What else do sweeteners do? Sweeteners increase appetite

Artificial sweeteners tell your taste buds that, “sweet stuff
has arrived,” which to the brain means, “nutrition has arrived.”

When artificial sweetened drink or food reaches the small
intestine, the receptors find no nutrition. A message is then
sent back to the brain saying, “We’ve been tricked-there’s no
nutrition here.” The appestat (the part of your brain that
triggers satiety) sends the message to “keep eating because we
need nutrition to help process all this fake food and run your
body.” So even after you eat a good portioned healthy meal
(along with your diet coke) you still feel like your starving
all day, or you become very hungry soon after. Your healthy
eating efforts may be sabotaged if you continue to feel hungry
all day. No one likes to feel hungry so you continue to eat more
food until you feel satisfied, which in your effort to lose
weight, may just be too much.

Sweeteners increase our Sweet Tooth

Saccharin (Sweet n Low) is 300 times sweeter than sugar,
aspartame (Equal) is 200 times sweeter than sugar and sucralose
(splenda) is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Such sweeteners can
only increase our sweet tooth and increase our taste of sweet
things. If you can never get rid of your sugar cravings, any
healthy eating plan will be difficult because you will
constantly be craving “sweet”. Artificial sweeteners have also
shown to promote the same blood sugar fluctuations as regular
sugar, which, again will bring on “sugar lows” which will
i.ncrease appetite and cravings. This is not to say, that
something sweet now and again is not ok, but it is those people
who can not control their sugar cravings that are being
sabotaged by these artificial sweeteners.

What are some alternatives to sweeteners?

Giving up sugar and artificial sweeteners may be difficult,
especially if you are accustomed to everything having such a
sweet taste. A wonderful alternative to sugar and artificial
sweeteners is an herb called Stevia. Stevia is an
extraordinarily sweet herb, 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.

Stevia is almost zero calories, so it is perfect for people who
are watching their weight. Unlike sugar, it does not trigger a
rise in blood sugar so you will not get a sudden burst of energy
followed by fatigue and a need for another “fix”. It increases
energy and aids digestion by stimulating the pancreas. Stevia
also presents great advantages over saccharine and other
artificial sweeteners in that it is not toxic. Stevia is a plant
that is found in nature and is not man-made in a laboratory.

Stevia can be found at almost all health food stores such as
Whole Foods, and is listed under the “supplement” section.
Stevia can be used exactly like sugar and artificial sweeteners
to sweeten drinks and it can even be used in baking.

If weight loss or staying away from sweets has always been a
problem for you, take notice of how much artificial sweetener
you have been ingesting. That just may be the culprit. Make a
resolution this year to give up the “fake” stuff and stick to
natural alternatives like Stevia. You will not only be helping
your weight loss efforts but you will also be benefiting your
health. If you or someone you know is addicted to sweet drinks
such as sodas or beverages sweetened with sugar or artificial
sweeteners, try this “Tea Juice” and you will see that weaning
yourself off sugar or sweeteners will be much easier.

Tea Juice

-5-6 bags of any non-caffeine herbal tea of your choice (green
tea, peach tea, berry tea, orange zinger, lemon, etc.)

-3 quarts water

-Stevia powder or liquid to taste

Boil tea bags in a large pot. Add 1-2 full teaspoons of stevia
while still hot. (You may add more or less, based on your
desired sweetness) Let tea cool and then transfer to the
refrigerator in Ice Tea pitchers or individual size water
bottles.

This drink is a great replacement to Diet Coke or Diet Snapple.

Isabel De Los Rios – Certified Nutritionist
http://www.thedietkiller.com

————————————————————–

Agave Nectar/Syrup

Here is some info from the website Food Renegade: (here is the link to the site to read the full article – http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/). In a recent article now posted on the Weston A. Price foundation’s website, Ramiel Nagel and Sally Fallon Morell write, Agave “nectar” is not made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant but from the starch of the giant pineapple-like, root bulb. The principal constituent of the agave root is starch, similar to the starch in corn or rice, and a complex carbohydrate called inulin, which is made up of chains of fructose molecules. Technically a highly indigestible fiber, inulin, which does not taste sweet, comprises about half of the carbohydrate content of agave.

The process by which agave glucose and inulin are converted into “nectar” is similar to the process by which corn starch is converted into HFCS. The agave starch is subject to an enzymatic and chemical process that converts the starch into a fructose-rich syrup—anywhere from 70 percent fructose and higher according to the agave nectar chemical profiles posted on agave nectar websites.

Some more info from the article on this site: In a different article, Rami Nagel quotes Russ Bianchi, managing director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc., a globally recognized food and beverage development company, on the similarities between agave nectar and high fructose corn syrup:

They are indeed made the same way, using a highly chemical process with genetically modified enzymes. They are also using caustic acids, clarifiers, filtration chemicals and so forth in the conversion of agave starches into highly refined fructose inulin that is even higher in fructose content than high fructose corn syrup.

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Becoming Heart Attack Proof – Written by Caldwell Esselstyn MD

Becoming Heart Attack Proof – Written by Caldwell Esselstyn MD
Jul 03, 2013 11:55 pm

Here are the facts. Coronary artery disease is the leading killer of men and women in Western civilization. In the United States alone, more than half a million people die of it every single year.

Three times that number suffer known heart attacks. And approximately three million more have “silent” heart attacks, experiencing minimal symptoms and having no idea, until well after the damage is done, that they are in mortal danger. In the course of a lifetime, one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some form of the disease.

The cost of this epidemic is enormous—greater, by far, than that of any other disease. The United States spends more than $250 billion a year on heart disease. That’s about the same amount the nation spent on the first two and a half years of its military venture in Iraq, and fully twice as much as the federal government allocates annually for all research and development—including R&D for defense and national security.

But here is the truly shocking statistic: nearly all of that money is devoted to treating symptoms. It pays for cardiac drugs, for clot-dissolving medications, and for costly mechanical techniques that bypass clogged arteries or widen them with balloons, tiny rotating knives, lasers, and stents. All of these approaches carry significant risk of serious complications, including death. And even if they are successful, they provide only temporary relief from the symptoms. They do nothing at all to cure the underlying disease or to prevent its development in other potential victims.

I believe that we in the medical profession have taken the wrong course. It is as if we were simply standing by, watching millions of people march over a cliff, and then intervening in a desperate, last-minute attempt to save them once they have fallen over the edge. Instead, we should be teaching them how to avoid the chasm entirely, how to walk parallel to the precipice so that they will never fall at all.

I believe that coronary artery disease is preventable, and that even after it is underway, its progress can be stopped, its insidious effects reversed. I believe, and my work over the past twenty years has demonstrated, that all this can be accomplished without expensive mechanical intervention and with minimal use of drugs. The key lies in nutrition—specifically, in abandoning the toxic American diet and maintaining cholesterol levels well below those historically recommended by health policy experts.

The bottom line of the nutritional program I recommend is that it contains not a single item of any food known to cause or promote the development of vascular disease. I often ask patients to compare their coronary artery disease to a house fire. Your house is on fire because eating the wrong foods has given you heart disease. You are spraying gasoline on the fire by continuing to eat the very same foods that caused the disease in the first place.

I don’t want my patients to pour a single thimbleful of gasoline on the fire. Stopping the gasoline puts out the fire. Reforming the way you eat will end the heart disease.

Here are the rules of my program in their simplest form:
* You may not eat anything with a mother or a face (no meat, poultry, or fish).
* You cannot eat dairy products.
* You must not consume oil of any kind—not a drop. (Yes, you devotees of the Mediterranean Diet. That includes olive oil).
* Generally, you cannot eat nuts or avocado.

You can eat a wonderful variety of delicious, nutrient-dense foods:
* All vegetables except avocado.
* Leafy green vegetables, root vegetables, as well as veggies that are red, green, purple, orange, yellow and everything in between.
* All legumes: beans, peas, and lentils of all varieties.
* All whole grains and products, such as bread and pasta, that are made from them—as long as they do not contain added fats.
* All fruits.

It works. In the first continuous twelve-year study of the effects of nutrition in severely ill patients, which I will describe in my book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, those who complied with my program achieved total arrest of clinical progression and significant selective reversal of coronary artery disease. In fully compliant patients, we have seen angina disappear in a few weeks and abnormal stress test results return to normal.

The dietary changes that have helped my patients over the past twenty years can help you, too. They can actually make you immune to heart attacks. And there is considerable evidence that they have benefits far beyond coronary artery disease. If you eat to save your heart, you eat to save yourself from other diseases of nutritional extravagance: from strokes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, adult-onset diabetes, and possibly senile mental impairment, as well. You gain protection from a host of other ailments that have been linked to dietary factors, including impotence and cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, rectum, uterus, and ovaries. And if you are eating for good health in this way, here’s a side benefit you might not have expected: for the rest of your life, you will never again have to count calories or worry about your weight.

An excerpt from Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. M.D.
————————————————————
There are really just 2 numbers you need to worry
about with respect to your cholesterol.

And they are…

1. HDL/Total Cholesterol should be 25% (more
important than basic LDL levels)

2. Triglyercides/HDL should be below 2.

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Q and A Series: People, Products and the Health of Our Planet – Interview with Dena Mangiamele, Owner of Dena’s Fuel for Fitness

For the ninth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Dena Mangiamele owner of Dena’s Fuel for Fitness.

I actually “met” Dena’s products before I met her. I was at a Whole Foods store in San Diego and I am always looking for new products to try for myself and also review. I came across her vegan/raw products and really liked what I saw. I took down the website from the package and looked it up when I got home. I sent Dena an email and told her I am interested in tasting and reviewing the products. I was planning to go to The Natural Product Expo in Anaheim, CA (in early March) soon after the initial contact and planned to meet her and try all she has to offer. I met Dena and both she and her products are wonderful! I will be doing a video review shortly of all the products and a live interview with Dena. I will have a link when it is posted. In the meantime, check out what Dena has to say below as she answers the questions I sent her, so you can get to know more about the “person” behind the products.

Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

Fitness and athletic competition has always been a part of my life. I have been a competitive swimmer since I was young and now swim Master’s. I ran track in college with a school record in the 10K, I compete as a triathlete, consistently strength train, and recently discovered Pilates! I soon learned that my athletic performance was greatly influenced by what I ate and began referring to my meals as filling the tank with “fuel.” As I got older, nutrition played an even greater part in my life to help me sustain a high level of intensity with my workouts, maintain an athletic physique, and stay alert and creative in my career and personal life.

I was fortunate to grow up in an Italian family where food and meals were an integral part of my life. My mother was a fabulous cook and baker who served well balanced meals and unknowing to me at the time, always practiced reasonable portion control. I have never been on a diet in my life (my mother would never allow it!) and as a result I have her to thank for my well balanced metabolism. Science supports a diet leaning toward vegetarianism. I used my scientific background (my first career was as a veterinarian) to analyze the results and agree with the findings and have settled in a bit ahead of the curve as a vegan/raw athlete and fit woman.

Dena’s Fuel for Fitness was born when my friends and fellow athletic enthusiasts encouraged me to commercially produce the food I was making after they watched me train and saw the results, noticed my high energy level, and asked me what my secret was. They couldn’t believe that I was vegan and ate about 90% raw as well.

My nutrition and fitness formula is 60% diet, 30% workout regimen, and 10% genetics. You can work out 8 hours a day if you choose, but if you don’t “fuel” your body correctly you will never attain your fitness potential.

I am not on a quest to make everyone vegan. I just want people to understand how easy it is to live a healthier life by paying closer attention to the nutrition:fitness connection. You can adopt some vegan/raw food habits without being a vegan and still make tremendous progress in your overall level of fitness for life.

Question #2: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?

Remove processed foods and foods containing added sugar. Once you allow your taste buds to reawaken, your cravings become focused on whole foods and without realizing it, those foods will become your “comfort” foods. Your body now does not have to expend its resources to work over-time to digest processed foods, to filter out the toxic preservatives and additives and those same resources can concentrate on fighting disease, environmental toxins, and other exposures we encounter daily or on a chronic basis at full capacity.

Question #3: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?

All of our products are vegan/raw, gluten-free, preservative-free, and do not contain any added sugar. We developed different product varieties for different uses and purposes. We are known for our unique flavor combinations like Mango Raspberry with Basil Crackers or Beet Apple Crackers with Orange and Dill. In addition to the balance of whole foods used in our products we have added Superfoods to boost the overall nutritional profile like adding chlorella to our Green Crackers or maca, acai, and lucuma powder in our Granola Grub. Our fruit based crackers are soft and chewy with the intention that all ages can enjoy our no added sugar snacks not only because their flavor is the “bomb” but the soft texture is helpful for people who may have restrictions with hard, crunchy crackers including very young children (ages 3-5 years), middle school-aged kids that may be wearing braces on their teeth, and older adults who may be Type II diabetics and/or have sensitive teeth. Our Green Crackers for example serve not only as a Superfood cracker but also as a post-workout cracker with 4g of protein per serving.

Question #4: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?

As people move away from processed foods and sugars and concentrate on a diet based on whole foods, mostly fruits and vegetables we will see a simultaneous enhancement of focus and energy towards work, school, creativity, fitness, and family. No artificial highs and lows from consumption of artificial foods and I believe a clearer, more calm, and productive society.

Question #5: Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?

Knowing you are doing the most you can do to care for and protect your body through careful consideration of every bite and every meal you consume is an experience that can only be described as pure bliss. Something so simple can be so satisfying and so beneficial.

Question #6: I know that there are variables as to how much food/calories each person consumes when eating raw vegan food (based on many lifestyle factors, etc), but is there a basic guideline you would recommend for everyone?

My guideline is I don’t count calories – instead I stay aware of balancing nutrients each meal and daily.

Dena told me that she offers the following discount if you are interested in purchasing by the case:
We offer a discounted price if customers want to purchase a case of product (12 bags or more) and we can mix and match products in the case. If customers want to take advantage of this they will have to email: denasfuel@aol.com to place the order rather than go on the web site because we will be customizing the case to whatever products they choose. All the products are amazing. Even if you have never tried them, you will not be disappointed. Also, you can email dena and ask her what she recommends. She will not steer you wrong because she created the products!

To find out more about this “super” lady and her fabulous products, go to: http://www.denasfuelforfitness.com

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