Posts tagged whole grains

Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy in the Colder Months by Herbal Papaya

Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy in the Colder Months by Herbal Papaya

http://www.herbalpapaya.com

The colder months provide us with a certain nostalgia, of changing foliage and winter wonderland memories. Don’t let this cold season be tainted with feeling less than your best.

As the weather gets colder and more friends start getting the flu, it’s time to take a step back and look into what we should be doing for our own health this holiday season.

You may hear time and time again that your body is a temple and you should treat it as such, but have you taken the time to think about what that means for your busy lifestyle?

The following tips for staying healthy in the colder months may come as obvious to you, but really think about if you do in fact focus on these parts of your health every week. Sometimes we need a simple reminder in the form of a blog post to get us back on track and thinking about putting our health first.

You’ll notice that this guide to staying healthy is not just about nutrition, although that’s a big part of it. Health begins with a balance of wellness in both the mind and body.

If you’re eating nutritious food but constantly stressed about little things at work, you will not reach your full healthy potential. Likewise, if you’re starting to exercise everyday but never getting enough sleep at night, you probably won’t feel at all energized or happy the next day.

Read through this list, take it in, and start to realize how interconnected every aspect of our mind and body are in terms of health. Try to hit each one of these goals for a month straight and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. It may seem like a lot of different aspects to focus on right now, but once you get into the habit, you will thank yourself later.

Hydration is Key

Hydration, hydration, hydration…hydration. The fact is, it’s hard for the average person to stay properly hydrated throughout the day, to reach that impossible 8 glasses of water.

The best advice I can give you is it’s all about making it a habit. When you wake up, have a glass of water with your morning coffee. Before you go to bed at night, drink a glass of water. Instead of reaching for that coke at lunchtime, you guessed it, reach for water instead.

Some people have a hard time enjoying the taste (or lack thereof) of water. If you’re one of those, opt for sparkling flavored water or hot tea.

Goal: Stay conscious of how much water your getting a day, and always try to one up yourself until you reach your personal goal of water intake.

Focus on a Nutritious Diet

The winter can be the hardest time to have a nutritious diet, there are so many indulgences around this time of the year it’s very easy to slip into bad habits.

Instead of the the warm comfort foods or canned overly-salted soups that are taunting you, try making your own soups and stews from home with fresh winter vegetables that have a high amount of vitamins and nutrients. Sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and beetroot are all great winter vegetables to try in a soup.

It’s great if your diet also includes plenty of legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and uses a lot of herbs and spices to round it out.

Try to eliminate sugar as much as possible – I realize this is easier said than done with the giant more chocolate popping up in the grocery store these days.

Goal: Try to go a whole month with little to no sugar in your diet (before Christmas!) and make 2 new homemade soups with delicious winter vegetables.

Exercise Regularly

There’s no doubt about it, it’s hard to exercise regularly as it starts getting colder outside. Your body’s natural response is to curl up under mountains of blankets and watch Netflix marathons while sipping hot cocoa.

I get it, I really do, but you have to start thinking about your body too! If it’s more attractive, think of moving your exercise indoors where it’s warmer. At the gym, or at home with weights, or a yoga mat and your ability to do jumping jacks. Whatever will keep you moving, do that.

If you’re more of the runner type or still want to spend time moving around outdoors, make sure to spend extra time warming up your joints inside to avoid any unnecessary strains or discomforts.

Goal: Exercise 3x a week for 1-2 hours at a time. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out a few different types of exercise – both indoors and outdoors – to see what motivates you the most.

Reduce Stress

Stress takes everything happy out of your life and puts it into a pinhole perspective of negativity. And ironic enough, the most stressful time of the year is usually around the holidays.

A small amount of stress can be good and keep you motivated to do what you need to get done. For the most part; however, stress is a very, very bad thing to give into.

Some of us lead much more stressful lives than others, usually depending on our socioeconomic status or our careers. Regardless of your amount of stress in life, there are always ways to at least try to reduce it or combat it completely. A lot of those de-stressing tactics use the idea of mindfulness.

Taking a step back to survey your life and the root of your stress, can be incredibly successful in making you realize either how unimportant that stressful item is in the scheme of things, or how unhelpful stress is in working through the issue.

Goal: Take up a mindfulness hobby this month – whether that be yoga, meditation, or singing away your blues in the shower. Whatever works for your personality and gets you out of your stress bubble.

Get Enough Sleep

This is such an important tip to follow in life, and one that’s hard to adhere to sometimes in our busy lives. Sleep allows your body to recover and renew.

Similar to an iPhone that’s low on battery charge and stressing you out with the chance it could shutdown on you, your body can get overwhelmed mentally and physically a lot quicker with a lack of sleep.

Everybody is different in the amount of sleep you need, and it also depends on how active you are on a day-to-day basis. In general, it’s best to set aside 7-9 hours of sleep a night for your body to rest and feel good the next day.

Goal: For the next month, never dip below 7 hours of sleep. Download an app such as SleepCycle onto your phone, which records your sleep patterns and gives you insight on how your sleep could be better depending on your lifestyle.

Wash Your Hands

You may think this as a way too obvious recommendation, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a public bathroom stall, heard the stall door open next to me and footsteps echoing out the door without a squeeze of soap or a hint of water spilled from the faucet.

That my friends, is what I call gross. And more importantly, unsanitary. So many germs are spread from not washing our hands before cooking, after taking out the trash, and yes, even after using the bathroom.

Take that extra minute to let the tap warm up and use hot soapy water to wash your hands properly.

Goal: This should be a life goal – always wash you hands after using the bathroom. That goes for you too, guys!

Boost Immunity

Although a nutritious diet is one of the most important gifts you can give to your body, sometimes you need an extra little kick in immunity as well. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how you can boost immunity and why it’s important to do so.

Immunity makes your body strong to fight against those viruses and seasonal attacks that can be so nasty once they get inside your body.

However, there are a variety of ways you can go about boosting your immunity depending on your preference. Echinacea, garlic, vitamin C, and zinc are also great for supporting a healthy immune system, whether you decide to take supplements or find them in fresh foods.

It could also be the time to start thinking about getting that flu shot if you haven’t already yet.

Goal: Focus on boosting your immunity once a day through herbal tea, food that contains one of the immune boosting elements above, or through a daily supplement.

Stay in Contact With Loved Ones

Don’t you always feel a rush of contentment or happiness after a long catch-up on the phone with a friend/mom/dad/you name it that you really love?

How about when you get a surprise postcard in the mail from your daughter who’s living across the country right now? How about just making a house call to your grandma who lives down the street?

Again, with busier and busier lives in the modern age, we sometimes push these interactions to the side and justify it by saying we’ll see them at the holiday.

Not only is life short and we’ll never truly know how much time we have with our loved ones, but these interaction provide you with a type of social proof and acceptance that makes you feel part of a community. This is very important to our mental wellbeing as humans.

In other words, these connections make you feel loved and respected, they tend to make you have a positive outlook on life, and thus provide you with a healthy mindset. Plus, it never hurts to make other around you feel nice and fuzzy inside.

Goal: Send a few handmade notes in the mail this month to people you respect and love, just to say hi and let them know you’re thinking of them.

Surround Yourself with Natural Light

Did you know that on average about 4 to 6 percent of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD? Up to 10 to 20 percent of people can have a mild version of it, and SAD is also four times more common in women than it is in men.

There are a few ways to combat this type of seasonal depression, but one of the best ways is through light therapy. You can do this by purchasing a light box and/or surrounding yourself in places that provide a lot of natural lighting.

I’m attracted to places with a lot of natural light because I know it makes me feel happy, whether that be in a new cafe or the apartment that I choose to lease. I’m not the minority in thinking this way either, natural light has proven to be effective it making people feel content, happy, productive, and even inspired creatively.

Unfortunately, with the colder months and the lessening sunshine, natural light isn’t always possible or easily accessible. When this happens, try out a light box and see if it makes a difference in your overall wellbeing this winter.

Goal: Find a new cafe to go to in the morning that has great natural light, and notice if it makes you feel overall more happy when you start your day there.

– – – – – – – –

As I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, our happiness and wellbeing our interlinked by a multitude of aspects in life pertaining to our health. I hope you’ll try out a few of these tips and notice a difference this holiday season in your energy levels and health.

As Andy Williams once said, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Don’t let poor health spoil a time meant for appreciating your family, friends, and the little things in life that make us happy.

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Q & A Series: People, Products and The Health of Our Planet – Interview with Joanne Williams, PhD

My Comments

I do not remember where I first found Joanne’s book, but I did download the free sample pages to my iPad and had them there for a while and every so often, I would skim through them. I had an occasion recently, to go through things I saved on my computer to free up some storage space. I paid a bit more attention and read the sample pages and really liked what I saw. On there was her contact info, so I decided to email Joanne and see if I can review her book. Given that it was only an eBook, I would not have a printed copy to read (which I do like to have, for the most part, as I like to be able to have it accessible and can also take notes in it and refer to it without having to always be online). Joanne was gracious enough to gift me the eBook from Amazon (it is also availabe on iTunes) to review and you can read my review on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3GKVW0R2A1YA5/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
and also watch the video review on my YouTube channel: eBook Review: Health Begins in the Kitchen by Joanne L. Mumola Williams, PhD -Holistic Nutritionist

http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

For the twenty-ninth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Joanne Williams, PhD – Holistic Nutritionist

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

My background is in biomedical and electrical engineering. I worked in high tech for 36 years, 27 years at IBM and 9 years as the CEO of Ampro Computers in Silicon Valley. When my best friend Maggy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I felt at a loss as to what to do to help her. I am not a fan of conventional medicine but didn’t know enough to suggest alternatives. Despite excellent medical care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, she passed away two years after her diagnosis. Soon after her death, I began my PhD studies in holistic nutrition and since 2009 I have been writing the blog, http://www.FoodsForLongLife.blogspot.com and also published the eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen in 2013. I now know that most diseases are not caused by genetics but by diet and lifestyle and I want to help people understand this. So many sit and wait for the inevitable heart attack or diabetes because “it runs in the family” but they don’t have to do that. By eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, they can avoid many dreaded diseases. It’s too late for me to help Maggy, but I have dedicated my life to helping others stay well or address their illnesses.

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?

Since I grow most of my own food today, I would bring seeds so that I would plant a beautiful garden on that sunny desert island. Let’s assume the island has electricity – I would bring my Vitamix blender and my Instant Pot Electric Pressure cooker – two of my “must haves” when it comes to healthy cooking. I would also bring my guitar so that I could sit on the beach and sing my favorite folk songs. And, finally, I would bring my laptop so that I could write another book and record my experiences.

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?

You’ll find this message on my website as I wrote this years ago:
“Health, excellent or ill, is passed to our children not just through our genes but primarily through our recipes”.

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?

It would be a good, high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec. At some point every day, either for breakfast or after a workout, I have a smoothie that is a concoction of berries, other high fiber fruit, veggies, essential oils, nuts or seeds, and green powders. I prefer this over juicing as juicing removes dietary fiber. Fiber is one of the most critical nutrients a person, and their massive microbial population, needs.

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?

Presently, I offer my website and it’s more than 500 recipes and articles free for the world to share. I also sell my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen, on Amazon and iTunes. I worked on this project, with my nephew Cody, who is a San Francisco photographer, for over 4 years. He took 11,000 shots to capture the 145 photos in the book. It’s a massive book with tons of nutritional information and 160 delicious vegan recipes that are pretty simple to make and quite nutritious. Every recipe contains the nutritional information which I painstakingly calculated for each dish. Although it’s a vegan cook book, it’s for anyone who is trying to eat less meat and more veggies and don’t know how to do it. To make it more affordable, I kept it as an eBook which sells for $9.99. I also wanted to spare the trees. To preview my eBook, go to http://foodsforlonglife.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-new-ebook-health-begins-in-kitchen.html.

My next venture is to develop expertise in the use of CBD-rich cannabis to treat various conditions from pain to Alzheimers. CBD is one of the many non-psychoactive chemical compounds found in cannabis that is most popularly known for treating epilepsy. It is also found in hemp plants but in a much lower concentration. Because of CBD’s many therapeutic values and because CBD-rich plants do not contain much of the psychoactive compound THC, I believe that these plants will soon become legal at the Federal level and will be in everyone’s medicine cabinet as a pain relieving salve, a neuronal supportive tincture, or in many other forms to improve people’s health. My goal is to develop products using the healing powers of this plant and be able to market and sell them legally throughout the country.

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

I guess I’m just an old hippie but my dream for this planet is for peace and for the people of the world to love each other, not spread hatred. If everyone could work together, we could find solutions to save the planet, end world hunger, and figure out how to prevent and fight diseases naturally.

Question #7: Who is your greatest hero and why?

Mother Nature is my greatest hero. She provides us with all we need.

Question #8: Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?

I would like to tell people that they are more in control of their health and lives than they may think. If you are obese, or suffer from depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, even cancer, there is much that you can do about it. Don’t give up hope. Look in the mirror and say, “I’ve got this. I can change my life. I can change my diet. I can start moving instead of sitting. I can choose joy over sadness. It’s all up to me! I’m going to start NOW!”

Question #9: 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?

Much of my book and blog is about raw food. In fact the topic of my PhD dissertation was “The nutritional adequacy of a raw food vegan diet”.

It’s extremely difficult for a raw foodist to obtain all critical nutrients and even calories on a daily basis. Vitamin D, B12, and EPA and DHA essential fatty acids cannot be adequately obtained from plant foods. I discuss this in my book. Raw food vegans, who do not get these specific nutrients from fortified foods, should take supplements. I also feel that grains and legumes are very important foods and are better obtained in their cooked form. Even when I’m doing a raw food cleanse, I include a cup of cooked whole grain or beans each day.

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The Dangers of NOT Eating a Vegan Diet by Frederic Patenaude

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The Dangers of NOT Eating a Vegan Diet by Frederic Patenaude

Many articles have been written about the dangers OF a vegan diet.

Many of the points made in those articles are valid and need to be raised. They’re also blown out of proportion and taken out of context.

Eating an unbalanced vegan diet can lead to some health problems related to deficiencies. However, deficiencies are not a very common problem compared to diseases of excess.

We live in a world of abundance. By far, the biggest problems we face are caused by eating too much of the wrong foods rather than not enough of the right foods.

That being said, the human psyche is wired to worry about lack rather than abundance. As we evolved on this planet, the biggest danger we faced was famine. That’s why we like fatty foods.

When a group of early humans came across extremely rich fatty foods, those who ate them survived. Our brains are programmed to like concentrated sugars and fats. This program worked well in the context of a world where those foods were rare and helped us survive by providing the calories we needed, when few calories were available.

In the world we live in today, we experience the opposite problem. Yet, we still worry about lack.

Are you going to get enough?
Are you sure you’re going to be okay?
Are you sure you’re not going to run into deficiencies?
Those are the types of questions we get asked by our parents, nutritionists, and so on. Does this diet contain every nutrient? Are you sure you’re getting all your vitamins? Are you sure you’re getting all of your protein?

The Dangers of a Vegan Diet

I purposely use the word “vegan” because it’s a little offensive. A vegan diet applies to plant-based diets in general. The word “vegan” implies more of a life philosophy, but it is actually the proper term to describe a diet that does not contain any animal protein.

Plant-based is more politically correct, but it implies that the diet could have a lot of plants in it while not being completely vegan. Let’s stick with the word “vegan” for now because it describes a diet devoid of animal protein.

Are there any dangers to following such a diet?

Well, if you’re getting enough calories from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans (with a little nuts and seeds for Omega 3s), then the dangers are quite limited—in fact, widely exaggerated.

B-12 can be a problem. B-12 is found in animal products, but that’s because it’s made from bacteria and we don’t live in the type of environment where we get exposed to unwashed foods and fecal matter and other nasties. So, we take a B-12 supplement. Most vegans know that they have to take a B-12 supplement and do. Not a big deal.

What about vitamin D? Vitamin D is contained in animal products, but vitamin D is not specifically a product made by animals. Vitamin D is not specifically a product that we have to get in animal foods. It is made by our bodies through sun exposure. Granted, if we don’t get enough sun, we could run low on vitamin D and eating certain animal foods could be beneficial, but whether you take the vitamin D from an animal or from a supplement, the end results are the same. Running low on vitamin D is not a vegan problem per se.

What about Omega 3s? We’ve heard that we must eat fish for Omega 3s, but where do the fish get their Omega 3s? Plant foods; namely algae. Are vegans low in Omega 3? No lower than anyone else. The human body can make its own DHA and EPA from other Omega 3 fats that are found in plants. Still, some people have concerns that they’re not getting enough Omega 3s. In that case, you can take a supplement of Omega 3.

Finally, we have the question of protein, which has been a debate in the nutrition world for a long time and is still being advocated as an important part of our diet. Vegan diets contain plant-based protein and there are many advantages to consuming proteins from plants rather than animals.

Recent research by Italian researcher, Dr Luongo, found that a lower protein diet, in general, is the best for cancer prevention.

Vegan diets contain almost the same percentage of protein (by calories) as omnivorous diets. The big difference is that the protein is coming from plants, not animals. And no credible research has ever shown that consuming plant proteins leads to health problems. In fact, quite the contrary.

Vegans get plenty of protein, more in fact than what is recommended, as long as they eat a wide variety of foods from the categories I mentioned previously. If you get enough calories from those foods you will get enough protein, even the foods we typically don’t associate as protein sources. For example, brown rice and even green vegetables.

We have a few nutritional concerns regarding the vegan diet, which is normal because the human brain is wired to worry about deficiencies.

But let’s ask a more important question. What are the dangers of NOT eating a vegan diet — in other words, of NOT eating a diet that is largely plant-based? I think those dangers are much, much bigger.

One can run low on B-12, and fix the problem almost instantly if it is discovered early.

However, when we create other problems in our health such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, they are much harder to reverse.

Diets rich in animal protein have been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a wide range of other health problems.

To me, the two things that are most worrisome and lead me to prefer a vegan diet are heart disease and cancer.

Heart Disease: The scientific consensus is that saturated fats in our diets raise our cholesterol levels, and high LDL cholesterol levels create hardening of the plaque in the arteries, leading to heart disease. This is an established scientific fact. I know, I know… you’ve heard differently via blogs and diet books. But think about who you should trust: a blogger or dedicated scientists that have painstakingly researched this issue for decades? A paleo blogger or a cardiologist like Dr. Esselstyn that is actually getting results actually reversing heart disease?The bottom line is that we know for sure that elevated LDL levels cause heart disease. They are one of the most identifiable causes of heart disease and diets rich in animal protein DO generally raise LDL cholesterol levels in most people.

Cancer: This is actually a little scarier. This idea that animal protein drives cancer growth isn’t just shared by a few lunatic researchers, but is becoming more widespread in the scientific community, especially with the latest research done on fasting by Italian-born Dr Longo. This is also the view of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, an actual biochemist and other of over 300 scientific papers. Oh but wait… His China Study also has been “debunked” by a blogger. I will admit however that the case for “animal protein driving cancer grown” is a little less solid that that of heart disease. But I certainly don’t think it’s a coincidence that all long-lived cultures of the world eat a plant-based diet (in most of these cultures, meat is a “treat” or a “condiment” but never a main part of the diet.).

I’m not going to review other potential health problems caused by animal products, as this has been covered extensively in many excellent books by respectable authors. In fact, that’s not even the point of my article.

The point is that the so-called “dangers” of a vegan or plant-based diet are largely overblown. But because our brain is wired about deficiency, we tend to worry about those “dangers,” instead of worrying about the potential health cost of not ditching animal products.

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What is The World’s Healthiest/Ideal Diet? by Frederic Patenaude

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What is The World’s Healthiest/Ideal Diet? by Frederic Patenaude

When I say “ideal,” I’m only going to talk about health.

I’m not going to consider how difficult this diet may be to follow, or how practical it may be. I’m not going to talk about the disadvantages of following a diet when it comes to social outings, the availability of foods where you live, or even taste.

Of course, not taking everything into account is an important part of the equation.

Our lives are about more than just food. Our lives are also about our social interactions, our stress levels, our level of happiness, and so on.

It makes sense to ask what the healthiest diet in the world is, and then come to our own conclusions about applying said diet.

What compromises are we willing to make, and what are the consequences of those compromises?
So, this is not an easy question to answer.
What is ideal? We want to know what diet will lead to the greatest level of health with the fewest chances of developing any disease, resulting in sustained energy, longevity and other positive outcomes.

In exposing this ideal diet, I’m not going to give you all of my reasonings because that would take up too much space. I have already written lots of other articles and there is plenty of documentation on this. Many people will disagree with my conclusions, but that leaves space for future debates.

What’s Included

The ideal diet is composed of the following categories of food as its basis:

Raw Fruits: Raw fruits are a great source of energy. They are low in toxins. They’re pretty much the ideal source of carbohydrates. Although some people speak out against fruit because of its sugar content, ultimately all carbohydrates are turned into simple sugars for energy production in the body. Fruit is simply a more sustainable, nourishing source of energy. It contains many, not just one, types of sugar combined with many different types of fiber, both soluble and insoluble (which means that the sugars in the fruit are absorbed at a slow rate). That’s why fruit is quite low on the glycemic index compared to other foods.Fruit is nourishing. Therefore, eating too much fruit can indeed make you fat because your body will burn the calories from fruit before burning anything else (including body fat). The same could be said of other forms of carbohydrates. As for dietary fat, it is stored directly as fat in the body. Eating more calories from any source can lead to excess weight, but if you prefer whole fruits instead of other calorie sources, it will be easy to maintain your weight, because fruit is relatively low in caloric density.

Fruit is particularly healthy because of its antioxidants and because it is alkaline-forming. “Alkaline-forming” means that the minerals left over from digestion are primarily alkaline, like calcium, and they’re not acid-forming in the body. Most foods that are commonly consumed tend to be slightly or very acid-forming, but fruits and vegetables are an exception.

Green Leafy Vegetables: I put green leafy vegetables in a different category because they’ve got quite a different profile than other vegetables (especially starchy vegetables like potatoes and carrots). Green vegetables are a great source of so many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, and they prevent disease in general. They’re filling, nourishing, and very important to include in our diets.

Non-Starchy Vegetables: Low-sugar vegetables include things like zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes (yes, I know those are fruit but we will include them in this category for clarity’s sake), summer squash and other juicy or water-rich vegetables. Those vegetables are full of minor minerals and vitamins, and are also very alkaline-forming.

Starchy Vegetables: I rate starchy vegetables higher than grains or beans because they’re alkaline-forming. They’re also much easier to digest than grains and beans. As a source of energy, they’re absolutely outstanding. Some examples: white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Contrary to popular belief, those foods do not promote weight gain. It would be extremely difficult to eat too many white potatoes if one is not adding other calorie-rich condiments. (Of course, consuming more calories than you burn of anything can lead to weight gain).

Beans: They must be cooked, so therefore they’re slightly less ideal than the previously mentioned, mostly raw foods. Beans are very low on the glycemic index. They’re extremely rich in nutrients and an ideal source of protein and energy. All long-lived cultures in the world consume beans!

Nuts and Seeds: Because of their fat content, nuts and seeds were not the very first items on this list. However, they’re excellent for health as long as they’re limited to small quantities. All studies show that nuts and seeds are excellent for cardiovascular health and weight control, but they must be limited. I also include in this category avocado and other plant-based whole fats, like oils.

Whole Grains: I do include whole grains in the list of ideal foods because of their convenience. Ideally speaking, the best carbohydrate sources are fruits, starchy vegetables and beans. However, grains complete the list, even though they’re slightly acid-forming. Grains do not promote weight gain as long as they’re consumed according to your energy needs, but they can, when consumed in excess, contribute to weight gain because it is easy to consume a lot of refined grains, like white rice.Ideally, avoid refined grains. Like the carbohydrates in fruit, they’re burned off first as energy before any other sources, including your own body fat. That’s why eating more calories than you need from all carbohydrate sources can lead to weight gain or slow down your weight loss. That also goes for any other foods. Most cultures in the world eat some types of grains and all the studies show that whole grains are extremely healthy. However, their nutritional profile is not as ideal as the one of starchy vegetables and fruit.

Foods Not Included

I’m talking about strictly an ideal diet here. An ideal diet is a diet where we place no consideration on pleasure or social aspects, simply what is healthiest. Therefore, yes, my list of non-ideal foods will be pretty extensive, but we’ll talk about how to make sense of it all after.

Animal Foods: In my opinion, animal foods are not part of the ideal diet. I just don’t buy the arguments of those who criticize the vegetarian or vegan diet. The vegans who run into health problems usually make the same mistakes: eating refined foods, eating too much fat, not eating a whole-food diet, not supplementing with B12, not getting enough calories. Consuming something like 5% of total calories from animal foods will probably not lead to health problems. This percentage is much higher in Western countries.

Salt: Salt isn’t part of an ideal diet. The arguments for salt are not that compelling, when you consider that so many cultures in the world have lived very well without it (with blood pressures that leave Western doctors to gasp in astonishment and disbelief). When you include plenty of green vegetables in your diet and all of the foods that I’ve mention previously, you will get at least 300-600mg of sodium a day, occurring naturally. This could be the ideal level for human beings. It will take time to adapt, but it pays off in lower blood pressure and improved health overall.

Refined foods: The ideal diet is simple: it doesn’t include any refined oils. Oils have been extracted and are pure fat without any of the fiber and associated nutrients in the whole foods they come from. The ideal diet also doesn’t contain strong condiments like hot peppers that can disturb digestion.

Caffeine: The world functioned long before coffee was invented, as caffeine is not an essential nutrient. It’s a stimulant that ultimately robs you of energy.

Now that I’ve laid out the list of ideal foods and non-ideal foods, ultimately we have to decide what we want to do with it. I personally have the hardest time giving up salt and caffeine — and haven’t been able to do it completely yet. I’m willing to accept that I may never be able to give up those substances completely.

The same goes for making any other type of compromise.

We have to enjoy our diets, but also be aware of the health detriments and benefits. An ideal diet does not necessarily need any juices or smoothies or any blended foods, but those can improve assimilation in individuals that have difficulty digesting raw fruits and vegetables.

Finally, how raw should be the ideal diet? My answer nowadays is pretty simple. The ideal diet is as raw as possible, providing that it easily meets your energy needs.

Ultimately, in health results, there’s not that much difference between a raw food diet and a cooked food diet as long as you stick with the list of ideal foods. The raw food diet has the added benefit of ease of digestion and of being very low in caloric density, which makes it extremely easy compared with other diets to maintain weight.

Products on Sale:

The deals from my friend, Frederic Patenaude, for his health products are still available, so check them out before the discounts are removed – which could be at any time, without notice!
Remember to use the coupon code for those products where indicated to get the discounts.

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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.
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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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