January 24, 2017

Get Good Vibrations from Food

What if I told you that your food was vibrating? Would you see it as a positive thing? You’d likely think I was off my rocker!

The reality is you want your food to vibrate. Food has vibrational frequency – a measurement of the electrical energy that is present in all natural living things.

I gotta say… the Beach Boys had it right all along! But in this case, “I’m pickin’ up good vibrations,” comes from my food. You can’t see these vibrations or hear them. But I assure you they are there. In fact vibrations, otherwise referred to as frequencies or energy, are everywhere. They’re in the rocks, the trees, the music you listen to, the colors you see, even in your own body….and the food you eat.

Healthy diets typically focus on antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals contained in foods. The nutrients are very important aspects of what we eat and contribute to the positive vibrations in our food. However, food frequencies or vibrations are not typically mentioned as a component of a healthy diet. Many people believe that frequencies and vibrations are a bunch of New Age crazy talk. The truth is that food containing positive vibrations can be the key to a healthy, disease free, and vibrant life. A healthy diet includes eating foods that help heal our bodies not just with vitamins and minerals, but also with positive vibrations.

Keeping up Good Vibrations

A healthy human body has frequency between 62 and 72 Hz. Maintaining this healthy vibration is very important in that it keeps us free from disease. A slight drop to just 60 Hz leaves our body susceptible to the common cold. Most diseases begin at 58 Hz and cancer grows at 42 Hz.[1]

The choices we make daily affect the frequency of our body. To be honest, it is becoming more and more difficult to avoid frequency-lowering mechanisms. Technology and the stressful lifestyle of our culture are constantly bombarding us with things that assault our body’s God-given vibration. Precise frequencies could destroy specific organisms such as cancer cells and viruses, while others could be used to prevent the development of disease.

The most common culprits that lower body frequency are:

  • Stress
  • EMF radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Negative thoughts
  • Chemicals in the air, food, water, and skincare products
  • Lack of exercise

As certain patterns of vibration are associated with good health, you can increase their frequency and optimize their health by applying some easy methods to your daily life:

Healthy Food Vibrations

What we eat has the most dramatic impact on the vibrational frequency of our body. Food is broken down and its components circulated throughout our system, touching and influencing everything inside of us. What we eat, good or bad, becomes a part of us. In essence, the energy or vibration of the food we eat is transferred to us inside our bodies.

Higher food vibrations aid in fending off disease, clearing thinking, increased energy and a positive mood. Click to Tweet.

Eating healthy food releases positive vibrations in our body, enhancing our body’s frequency and keeping us in a healthy state. Unhealthy food is dead, void of life-giving vibrations and robs us of the life and energy that keeps our body in a healthy state.

It’s pretty easy to identify foods that increase our vibration and keep us healthy. Healthy vibrational foods visually have the vibrancy that they release inside our bodies. They are colorful, full of flavor, and have a unique character that is far from bland and boring.

food frequencies_2The more alive and full of energy a food is, the higher the frequency. This is why raw fruits and veggies have a higher frequency than canned. The difference is actually pretty astounding.

Below is the chart of food frequencies: 

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God’s Clean Eating Tips

by Amanda Box, N.D.

Perhaps you’ve never thought about it before, but its true. God cares about you. He cares if you are sick and He wants us to take care of our bodies. Yet what you eat is your choice. You have free will over what you put in your mouth. God cares what you eat, but He is not going dictate your every bite.

In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites specific dietary guidelines. Those principles do not apply to us today.

So why was God so specific about what the Israelites ate? I believe He cared about them and wanted them to be healthy! Think about it. There were millions of people living in the desert, wandering around with no running water or bathrooms. The conditions weren’t exactly sanitary. What if sickness broke out? It would have spread like wildfire! So God set up guidelines to help the Israelites avoid unwanted bacteria and keep their immune systems strong.

Most people have never taken the time to study and understand why God forbade specific foods and practices during that time. They are just happy to know they are no longer bound to these customs! They are free to eat their Cheetos and bacon without consequence.

Biblical Guidelines for Eating

America is definitely not the Garden of Eden. Much of what we eat in the West is a far cry from “farm to table” food. This is a far cry from what God designed for us to eat. Instead, we favor of genetically altered, enhanced, preserved, and processed foods.

There are several verses in the Bible that provide guidelines for eating. The most popular seems to be Deuteronomy 14.  God never forbid any plants for consumption. However, it is this chapter that considers which specific animals are clean to eat or not. The Israelites were forbidden to consume the following animals:f

  • Animals that “chew the cud,” but don’t have a divided hoof. This meant avoiding eating pigs, camels, and rabbits.
  • Creatures in the water that do not have both scales and fins. This eliminated eating fish without scales, such as catfish. It also excluded eating sea creatures without fins, such shrimp, crab, mussels and lobster.
  • Most birds were considered clean except the raven, vulture, eagle, falcon, owl, stork, heron, or bat.
  • Flying insects were considered unclean.

There is a lot of debate today around whether or not we should avoid these animals. Many animals are now “farmed” and are not caught in the wild anymore. Though some farming practices have improved our food, some have made things far worse. A lot has changed in 4000 years!

Many claim that God forbade eating these particular animals because they were scavengers. Scavengers eat garbage, which lends them to higher toxicity levels and overgrowths of bacteria. Shrimp, lobster, and crab are often called the insects of the sea. They feed on the bottom of the ocean and eat the flesh of dead fish and whatever else hits the ocean floor. Catfish and other fish without scales bottom feed, as well. They eat almost anything including other fish’s excrement.

The birds to avoid feed on dead animals, as well. So, of course, these birds are more likely to carry disease and parasites.

But, why avoid pork? Why should we give up our delicious bacon? Many argue it is because pigs can pass trichinosis to us through their meat. This parasitic infection can become a serious, and even life threatening problem for humans. It is also difficult to eliminate trichinosis from our bodies.

But, what if we raise pigs in a clean environment, virtually eliminating the chance of trichinosis? What if we fed them organic grains and other natural foods, instead of letting them feed on waste? Were pigs forbidden just because they are pigs, or because of the potential harm from contamination.

This is where I have to separate my opinion from those who strictly adhere to diets such as The Makers Diet, What Would Jesus Eat, and The Biblical Diet. I don’t agree that avoiding all the foods in Deuteronomy 14 is still necessary. This is because I believe it is “WHY” God forbade something that is important, not solely the WHAT.

Did God forbid high fructose corn syrup?  What about genetically modified organisms? Or better yet, cloned animals? Of course not. These things were not around thousands of years ago! But does that mean they are acceptable and considered healthy for us to eat? One could argue that because they are not mentioned, they are acceptable. But honestly, this is really missing the point.

The big picture here is that God set up guidelines for health. Although we are now not bound to those Old Testament principles anymore, we should take to heart why God was so specific. Under all those rules written in black and white, I believe lies a principle that rings true, even today: Eat clean foods.

Modern Day Clean Eating

Clean can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Telling your children to clean their room has an entirely different meaning than cleaning a surgical room in a hospital. Eating clean foods meant something entirely different to the ancient Israelites than what clean food means to us today.

In the Old Testament, God gave specific rules for cleanliness, both for the sake of ritual and health. Now, thanks to Jesus, we are no longer bound to these rituals. Eating God’s list of approved foods is now optional. Just read Acts 10:9-15:

It was about noon the next day. The men were on their journey and were approaching the city. Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry. He wanted something to eat. While the meal was being prepared, Peter had a vision. 11 He saw heaven open up. There he saw something that looked like a large sheet. It was being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It had all kinds of four-footed animals in it. It also had reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

14 “No, Lord! I will not!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything that is not pure and ‘clean.’”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time. “Do not say anything is not pure that God has made ‘clean,’” it said.

Let me be clear in stating that I don’t believe adhering to Deuteronomy 14 diets are wrong. I believe they are very healthy and have brought many people both wellness and healing. However, I believe that God has made the “unclean” foods acceptable, as it states above.

modern day clean eating principlesSome may take advantage of this verse and say that all things are now considered clean. I have to disagree. This is where common sense and practical wisdom come into play. Personally, I understand the “why” behind the “what” in the list God gave the Israelites.

If the “why” is that those foods contained something that could make them sick, then we should take this principle and apply it to ALL foods. Even foods not listed and foods that have recently joined us in the last 50 years need to be measured against that guideline.

I avoid genetically modified foods, preservatives and artificial ingredients. I don’t consider them clean. They may not be tainted with bacteria, but I know they can make me very sick.

I believe a modern day Clean Diet adheres to these principles:

1. Eat foods in the form God designed them.

This means foods free of pesticides and genetic modifications. This also eliminates artificial ingredients and processed foods. Instead, shop at your local farmers market and health food stores. Or better yet, grow your own in a garden!

2. Eat only animals that are raised humanely in clean environments, free of chemicals, hormones, or antibiotics.

This not only applies to meat, but to eggs and dairy, as well! Look for words like free-range, pastured, grass fed, rBgh free, and organic on labels. These are always much healthier choices.

3. Avoid any food that incites an unnatural response in your body.

Sugar spikes your blood sugar, artificial ingredients can modify cell responses, and excess salt can raise your blood pressure. Even certain “healthyfoods can initiate a response based on your body’s allergies or intolerances. The right foods will make you feel great. They will never make you feel tired, bloated, or sick in any way.

4. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!

I can confidently say that nearly everything that God designed for you to eat, you also know how to pronounce. Those big words that sound like chemicals are usually just that! Read labels on everything from your bread to salad dressings. Chemical ingredients hide out everywhere!

5. Don’t overindulge. Moderation is always best!

Even clean and healthy foods can be overdone. For example, eating too much fruit can contribute to insulin resistance. Also, overindulging even with healthy foods can cause weight gain.

Adhering to these principles will not only keep your body clean and free from toxins, but also enhance your ability to fight off disease.

Clean Food Recipes

I don’t know about you, but my garden is currently overflowing with zucchini! This put me on the hunt for clean and healthy recipes to use up this versatile vegetable. I stumbled across this zucchini fritter recipe, and I’m happy I did. These fritters taste delicious and are packed full of healthy ingredients. This recipe is not set in stone. Feel free to experiment by adding other vegetables like shredded carrot, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes. I enjoy topping my fritters with a dollop of sour cream and a touch of hot sauce.

grain free zucchini frittersGrain Free Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini grated
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup almond flour or coconut flour
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying (I used 2 tablespoons coconut oil)

Instructions:

  1. Grate zucchini with a medium sized grater.
  2. Add salt and place shredded zucchini in a clean dish towel and squeeze to get as much liquid out of it as possible.
  3. Once squeezed place back in bowl and add beaten eggs, thinly sliced green onions, almond flour, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
  5. Once oil is shimmering, add spoonfuls of mixture in hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Place on platter lined with paper towels to soak up any grease that sticks to the fritter and serve with sour cream or other condiment.

If you have ever eaten heirloom tomatoes, then you’ve noticed not only their beautiful array shapes and colors, but also their amazing flavor!  God sure got creative when he designed tomatoes! Heirloom tomatoes differ in that they come from seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation. Some seeds have a history of 100-300 years! You can find heirloom tomatoes at your local farmers market.

This recipe utilizes these beautiful and tasty tomatoes in a delicious salad. If you can’t find heirlooms, any fresh tomatoes will do.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Lay sliced tomatoes onto a large, serving platter.
  2. Remove kernels from ear of corn, and spread evenly over tomatoes.
  3. Now sprinkle the plate of tomatoes evenly with the red onion, bacon, basil and blue cheese.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad, and top with a bit more salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Though God has given us free will to eat as we please, we won’t be exempt from the consequences of bad food choices. God designed our bodies and he also designed natural foods specifically for those bodies. When we eat what God designed, foods that are natural and free from chemicals and toxins, we reap the benefit of health. When we eat what scientists and chemists designed as food, we reap weight gain and disease.  The choice is yours. Personally, I trust God’s food and I hope you will as well.

 

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.
Grain Free Zucchini Fritters Recipe Adapted from slimpalate.com
Heirloom Tomato Salad Adapted from: laaloosh.com

Anticancer Eating: Nature’s Best Foods

by Amanda Box, N.D.

“Everything causes cancer! You’ve heard the phrase.  It usually comes out of the mouth of someone who is so frustrated hearing how everything they eat, drink and come into contact with causes cancer.

  • Sunscreen, once touted for its ability to prevent skin cancer, is said to be a cause of cancer from the chemicals in the lotion itself.
  • Grilling meat, which was thought to be a healthy method of preparation that adds natural flavor, is now discouraged because the charred marks are carcinogens that can cause cancer.
  • And the list goes on.

It’s no wonder people throw their hands in the air and quit trying. They feel like no matter what they choose, it’s going bad for them, so why try? I am here to plea with you that it does, in fact, matter. Yes, I understand the frustration and apprehension you may have when being healthy seems like an impossible task. But it really isn’t as difficult as you may believe. Using common sense and a healthy bit of skepticism is a good thing.  You aren’t expected to live in the forest, breathing perfectly clean air, drinking pure water, and surviving on only organic natural foods. However, making the best of what you have in the world you live can literally add years to your life and prevent a lot of pain and discomfort.

Artificial Foods and Cancer

Over the years, as changes and so-called advances in manufacturing have occurred, man-made chemicals have replaced our once naturally grown foods. For example, an ear of corn isn’t what it was 50 years ago. It has now been modified so much that its genetic makeup is totally different from it’s once all-natural design. Scientists have spliced and diced genes, crossing them with other species, bacteria, and viruses in an attempt to “improve” our foods. But, that isn’t all! These foods are then sprayed with chemical pesticides to keep away bugs.

As our lives have become busier and faster paced, processed and packaged foods have replaced home cooked made from scratch meals. So much of the food we eat isn’t even food anymore, and our body knows the difference. We weren’t designed to get our nutrition from artificial means. Many times our body doesn’t know how to cope with these counterfeit foods and it responds as if these foods are invaders. If these artificial foods are eaten regularly, a chronic immune response occurs which leads to inflammation. This inflammation can result in:

  • Digestive Issues
  • Joint Pain
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Cancer

Artificial food can cause cancer in other ways, as well. The lab-created foods can also cause mutations in healthy cells throughout the body. These mutated cells can grow and reproduce leading to cancer. Avoiding these foods is not an impossible task. With a little practice it will become second nature. If you think about it, it is truly going back to the basics: cooking from scratch and eating the real all-natural foods that our ancestors ate. It isn’t rocket science and it definitely isn’t as inconvenient as you may think. It truly boils down to priorities.top 5 gmo offenders Do you care more about the speed and convenience of the food you eat, or the nourishment and health benefits it provides your body? Below is a simplified list of what to avoid in the foods you eat in order to avoid their potential cancer causing side-effects. Write this list down and take it with you to the grocery store until it becomes second nature. Read the ingredient lists on everything you purchase and keep your eyes peeled for the following ingredients:

  • Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs): The top 5 include –
    • Corn
    • Soybeans
    • Zucchini
    • Canola
    • Sugar beets

Unless these specify Non-GMO, buy the organic version or skip it all together.

  • Artificial Colors: These are easy to spot. Any color listed with a # number behind it is artificial. There are natural colors and those are okay, but they will specify natural.
  • Artificial Flavors: My rule of thumb is if you cannot pronounce it, then don’t eat it. Most natural flavor enhancers are nearly impossible to pronounce and the most common is monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • rBST: This is a hormone given to cows to increase milk production. It will not be listed on the label if it’s used, so look for a label on dairy that says no rBST or organic and buy it instead.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Nearly every “diet” or low-calorie product contains some sort of chemical based sweetener. The most common are aspartame and sucralose. Use safe sweeteners instead like stevia or xylitol.

Sugar and Cancer

There is a lot of debate about whether or not sugar feeds cancer. It is true that cancer cells, like all our body’s cells, need sugar (glucose in our blood) to grow and survive. However, I believe the debate is really around the wrong issue. The focus has been on whether when we eat sugar it feeds cancer like gasoline fuels a fire. Whether or not this is exactly true, what can be agreed upon, and what has been proven in scientific studies, is that chronically elevated blood glucose can both increase your risk of getting cancer and also speed cancer’s growth. For instance, those with diabetes are up to twice as likely to get either pancreatic or colon cancer![1]

There is also a link between high blood sugar levels with cancers of the breast, liver and many others. Plainly said, although eating a cupcake after a healthy dinner may not directly cause cancer to grow, eating sugar and starches high on the glycemic index on a regular basis can. When battling or preventing cancer, the importance of staying away from sugar is to ultimately keep your blood glucose levels normal.  Having chronically high levels of glucose in the blood provides the perfect pH and a nearly unlimited source of glucose for cancer growth. Therefore, cutting high starch and high sugar foods out of your diet would be a very wise choice.

Like I mentioned earlier, artificial sweeteners are not a suitable substitute. Instead, I recommend trying stevia, a safe herbal-based sweetener that will not affect your blood glucose levels. It is great to sweeten your tea or coffee and there is even a version for using in your favorite baked goods!

Foods for Cancer Prevention

foods for cancer preventionEverything doesn’t cause cancer. In fact, there are many foods that prevent it! Thankfully, there are foods packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and cancer fighting chemicals in everyday foods!  I mentioned earlier what you should avoid in the foods you eat. Now I’m going to tell you what foods you should be eating to both prevent cancer and fight cancer. Eating real foods cooked from scratch is going to be the best way to change your diet for the better. Instead of snacking on crackers, chips, and other boxed foods, grab an apple or some precut veggies. Avoid fast food chains and instead come home to a meal you have cooking in your crockpot. It will definitely be a lifestyle change for many of you, but the outcome from this change is literally life enhancing! Some fantastic foods for cancer include:

  • Green Tea: Green tea contains chemicals called polyphenols, which can slow the growth of cancer and increase survival rates.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli contains an anticancer chemical called sulforaphane. It also is high in antioxidants, which help prevent cancer and fight cancer.
  • Garlic: Garlic is a wonderful immune boosting food. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties and has shown in studies to reduce the incidences of lung, colon, and breast cancer.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene, which can stop the growth of cancer cells in the body. Be wary of canned tomatoes though as the cans are lined with toxic BPA, which leaches into the tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are best!
  • Colorful fruits and veggies: The brighter the color, the more antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and cancer fighting substances the vegetable or fruit is likely to have. For example, grab mixed greens instead of iceberg lettuce and a sweet potato instead of a russet potato. Always pick the most colorful and you can’t go wrong!

gazpacho anticancer soupAnticancer Recipes

Vegetables are such an important part in cancer prevention and treatment. Unfortunately, I often find it hard to get in my daily dose of fruits and vegetables. I have found that soup is an easy way to incorporate a lot of vegetables into one dish! With spring upon us, we are coming out of soup season. However, this gazpacho is a cold soup designed to be eaten in the warmer months. It is packed full of anticancer nutrients and is delicious, refreshing, and a cinch to make!

Gazpacho Soup[2]

Ingredients:

  • 8 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tsp raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s)
  • 2 1/2 Tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup filtered water
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Mix all ingredients except water together.
  2. Process in batches in a food processor or blender until not quite smooth.
  3. Thin to desired consistency with water.
  4. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Serve well chilled.

Matcha Green Tea powder is one of the best forms of green tea you can put into your body. It’s bright green color boasts it’s high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants. You can purchase matcha powder here. You can make hot green tea or incorporate it into a smoothie or latte like the recipes below!

Green Tea Matcha Latte

  • green tea matcha latte1 cup almond/coconut milk blend (unsweetened)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 Tsp matcha
  • 2 Tsp coconut sugar or 5-10 drops liquid stevia
  • Put in a blender and blend to combine well.  Serve over ice.

You can also drink this hot. Just whisk all the ingredients together over medium heat until combined and then use an immersion blender to make it frothy.

Green Tea Raspberry Smoothie

  • 4 oz. frozen organic raspberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 packets of stevia (Nu Naturals)
  • 1 Tsp matcha
  • 3 large ice cubes (use more for a thicker smoothie)
  • Blend until smooth and enjoy. Feel free to try different fruit combinations as well.

Though the world around us has changed and cancer-causing substances seem more abundant than ever, this is not a death sentence. Please, don’t throw your hands in the air in dismay and give up!  Taking the time to simplify your life and incorporate natural foods into your diet will not only will help battle existing cancer, but will help prevent its occurrence.

Take charge of your life and your body and watch your health and well-being improve. Don’t be a slave to societies artificial food revolution. Putting God-designed natural foods into our God-designed bodies is a wise and fruitful choice. Go back to the basics of eating and start cooking from scratch, eat your fruits and veggies, and watch their vibrant colors and nutrients bring energy and nourishment to your life.

Amanda BoxAmanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

[2] Adapted from http://thenourishingcook.com

Eating For Maximum Nutrition

by Amanda Box

Do you consider yourself to be a healthy eater?  Maybe you’re one that piles your plate high with vegetables and avoids drive-thrus like the plague.  Surely you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, right?  Unfortunately, that likely isn’t the case.  It’s not necessarily your fault either.  Even if you’re making extremely healthy food choices, it is very difficult to get the sufficient nutrients you need strictly from food.

Why can’t we just rely on the food we eat to give us what we lack? It is because the availability of getting adequate nutrition from foods alone has become more and more difficult.  Yes, there are those who don’t eat well and live off processed and fast foods.  It is expected that those choices would cause nutrient declines. However, it is disheartening to know that even those who make a conscious effort to eat well may also suffer from a lack of vitamins and minerals.

  • Pregnant women are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins
  • Thousands get a vitamin B12 shot every month
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements are now recommended to patients with bone issues.

So, what happened to our food?  Why doesn’t nature offer all we need?

The Nutrient Decline in Foods

The answer to the decline in nutrition lies in the food itself, not necessarily the one consuming it.  In the 1980s, there began to be a concern about the decline of nutrients in our foods.  Commercial farming was taking over the food industry and pest resistance, transportability, and yield began to take precedence over nutrient content.

Researchers at the University of Texas found a significant decline in the nutrients in 43 different crops from the years 1950 to 1999.  The greatest declines were found in protein, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B2, and vitamin C available in our foods.  Given that another 15 years have passed since that study, I can only guess that nutrients have declined even further.(1)

Theories as to why nutrients have declined so dramatically are:

  1. Soil depletion from years of farming has led to nutrient depletion in crops.
  2. The seeds themselves, if commercially produced or genetically modified, may produce crops lacking in nutrients.

Getting the Most from Your Food

Because of the decline in nutrients, you would need to consume around 50% more food to get the same nutrition!  It is often hard enough to eat your recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables the way it is!  However, there are ways to beat the system and incorporate higher nutrient foods into your diet again.

Avoiding GMOs

Genetically modified foods are praised for their ability to resist pests and increase yield.  Scientists boast that we can now produce more food to help feed the starving people all across the world.  However, inside GMO foods some alarming secrets are hidden in the dark.  Not only do many GMO foods contain far less vitamins and minerals, but many also cause food allergies and intolerances.  This is because our bodies don’t recognize these genetically modified organisms as real food…and rightly so!  Genetically incorporated pesticides contained in the crops can also damage the body, specifically the lining of the intestinal tract.

GMO cornNutrients in GMO foods are lacking compared to their natural forms. For example, a study performed on the nutrient values of GMO vs. Non-GMO corn presented some very disturbing results. The studies results concluded:

  • Non-GMO corn contains 437 times more calcium than GMO corn
  • Non-GMO corn contains 56 times more magnesium than GMO corn
  • Non-GMO corn contains 7 times more manganese than GMO corn

These are just the largest inconsistencies found.  Many other vitamins and minerals were found to be lacking in GMO corn.

The GMO corn also contained levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde that exceed toxicity standards for humans.  Non-GMO corn contained neither of these chemicals.

The first step in avoiding GMO foods is to know where to find them. Because there isn’t a required label on GMO products, it can be quite the guessing game.  However, there are several common GMO foods you should always keep an eye out for.

The most common GMO foods on the market are:

  1. Soy
  2. Corn
  3. Sugar from sugar beets
  4. Papaya
  5. Canola
  6. Zucchini and yellow squash

Unless a label specifies non-GMO or organic, and it contains one of the above foods, you can pretty much count on it being genetically modified.  It may take a bit to get the hang of it, but always read labels and keep your eyes peeled for these GMO foods!  I personally make a point to choose organic versions of these foods or avoid them all together.  I don’t want myself or my family to become a science experiment on what GMOs can do to the human body.

I firmly believe that genetically modified foods are not fit for human consumption. Click to Tweet.

Though GMO foods are celebrated as a scientific breakthrough, I view them as a poor replacement for true nutrition.  It’s like replacing a loaf of whole wheat bread with cardboard and celebrating how much easier it was to prepare!  I like to think God knew what he was doing when he designed our plants and animals.  There is truly nothing better than the God-given natural foods that are unaltered and unmodified.

Eating Heirlooms

Many people talk about eating organic foods, but their is another fantastic type of produce that is nutrient dense and 100% natural.  These types of plants are called heirlooms.  Eating heirloom produce can insure that you’re getting a seed that has not been commercially produced or genetically modified.  Heirloom seeds have been passed down for hundreds of generations.  It’s really quite fascinating to think about.  Down to the genetic makeup, you could be eating the same exact kind of tomato that your great great grandmother grew in her garden!

Heirlooms often have different colors and shapes than the typical produce you see at your grocery store.  They often boast a richer flavor, as well.  It can be a lot of fun taste testing all the different varieties.

Heirlooms can be difficult to find at a local grocery store, but your local farmer’s market should have many to choose from.  And you can always grow heirloom vegetables yourself.  Even if you don’t have room for a garden, you can purchase a couple large pots and place them outside on a deck or patio.

If you choose to grow your own vegetables, an easy way to boost nutrients in your garden is to practice composting.  This offers a huge boost of natural nutrients to your soil and, therefore, the plants that grow in that soil.

If you don’t want to grow your garden, be sure and ask about the farming practices of your local farmers.  Let them know that you are concerned about the amount of vitamins and minerals contained in your foods.  Most small farmers will be happy to answer your questions.

Nutrient Dense Foods

Naturally, some foods have more nutrients than others.  Even vegetables are not all created equal. A bowl of iceberg lettuce, although a vegetable, is not much more than water and fiber.  The best foods to choose have the most nutrition per calorie, such as:

  • Colorful vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Quality farm raised meat
  • Free-range eggs
  • Raw or organic dairy

Stay away from processed foods, desserts, and fried foods.  They offer little nutrition and pack a lot of empty calories.

Many of these nutrient dense foods are also referred to as “super foods.”  For more on superfoods, check out this issue of Home Cures That Work.

A great way to incorporate more nutrient foods into your meals is to replace refined ingredients with vegetables!  A great example is this recipe for lasagna!  This lasagna uses zucchini in place of noodles and is packed full of other vegetables!  I love one-dish meals and this recipe is a fantastic edition to your family dinner!

Noodle-Free Vegetable Lasagna*

Ingredients:

  • vegetable lasagna6 large organic zucchini, cut lengthwise into ⅛ inch strips

Sauce

  • 1 ¼ lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen cauliflower
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 25 oz jar of organic spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese Layer

  •  1 16 oz container of cottage or ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •  ¾ cup mozzarella cheese

Noodles Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, then arrange zucchini slices and season with salt and pepper. Bake zucchini slices for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from oven. Set zucchini slices aside and lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Meat Sauce Directions:

In a large non-stick skillet, cook meat until it’s browned. To the skillet, add the veggies, seasonings, and the entire jar of spaghetti sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes, (or until veggies are de-thawed/begin to soften), stirring occasionally.

Cheese Layer Directions:

Mix the cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese together.

Putting it all together:

Begin by spreading 1/3 of the meat sauce in the bottom of the pan. Follow meat sauce with a layer of zucchini slices, followed by a layer of cottage cheese. Repeat the layers until casserole dish is full. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake or broil another 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned. Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing, and serve warm!

I’m a sucker for good ethnic food.  I love the flavors, the colors, and the wonderful aromas.  This twist on a typical goulash mixes beautiful, nutrient rich vegetables with the rich flavor of curry.

Thai Curry Goulash

Ingredients

  • thai curry goulash1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes diced
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • Cabbage (used half a small head diced)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 3 cups diced chicken
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • Fish Sauce to taste

Directions:

The beauty of this dish is you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.  Use this opportunity to clean out your fridge and eat up all your unused produce!

Begin by sautéing the veggies in a teaspoon of butter, starting with the onion and working down the list.

When all the veggies are soft, pour in the coconut milk and dissolve about a tablespoon of red curry paste into the developing sauce.

Add chicken to the pan. Next mix about a tablespoon of arrowroot with about a 1/4 cup of cool water then gently poured the white liquid into the pan to thicken the sauce. Lastly, add fish sauce to taste.

Serve over brown rice or enjoy alone.

The difficulty in obtaining all your daily nutrients from the foods you eat should not discourage you from eating healthy.  It is still very important to get all that you can from your diet.

Eating nutrient dense foods, combined with a quality multivitamin can get you exactly where you need to be nutritionally. Click to Tweet.

Begin avoiding GMO foods and replace them with heirlooms and organics.  Also fill your diet with wonderful nutrient dense foods and toss out those processed foods and sweets.  You will feel better, look better, and have energy levels that only come from complete nutrition.

What about you?  Do you feel you get adequate nutrition from what you eat on a daily basis?

 

Amanda BoxAmanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

(1)http://www.utexas.edu/news/2004/12/01/nr_chemistry/
*Recipe adapted from www.thedashingdish.com

Why Diabetes is Becoming Epidemic

By David Kekich

Some of the most damaging groups of substances we are exposed to on a daily basis are starches and refined sugars, such as:

  • Sucrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Dextrose
  • And corn syrup

Our metabolism was just not designed to handle the tremendous amount of nutrient-free calories (i.e., sugar, starches, and to some degree fat) that the typical American diet has in it. The majority of those calories come from refined sugar (sweets, soft drinks, etc.) and starches (bread and pasta).

insulin to fat 2Excess sugar and starch cause multiple assaults to your system. First, as we discussed, high blood sugar causes excess insulin release. Of the two hormones that control the amount of sugar in your blood stream—insulin and glucagon, insulin causes sugar to be taken into the cells, while glucagon causes it to be released. By eating excess carbohydrates, you put your blood sugar control system onto a dangerous roller coaster ride. Up, down, up, down—after repeated bouts of this, your system will crash. The result is Type II diabetes, which is becoming more and more prevalent.

There’s more. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have arthritis. In fact, more than half of the U.S. adults diagnosed with diabetes also have arthritis. That puts them in a double bind, as the pain in their joints keeps them from getting the exercise they need to keep both diseases at bay.

Diabetics are unable to take up sugar efficiently, because their cells no longer respond to insulin. A nasty side effect of this process is that your body begins producing way too much insulin to try and overcome the unresponsiveness of your cells. So now you have high insulin and high blood sugar, which causes all kinds of damage to your arteries. This includes higher cholesterol in your blood, more useless molecules being made by sticking to the excess sugar (crosslinking) which clogs your arteries, the production of oxidized molecules, and the release of the hormone cortisol which causes tissue breakdown.

Insulin also causes excess sugar to be converted to fat. Want to lose weight? Stay away from white flour and sugar.

We also know sugar depresses the immune system. The root of all disease, common cold or cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis or cancer, is at the molecular and cellular level. And insulin is probably going to be involved in almost every aging disease, if not totally controlling it.

Insulin is that important.

Some of us are less susceptible to the perils of sugar and starch than others. Starch in general does not cause diabetes according to a new study by Dr. Richard Johnson, the chief of the division of kidney disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado, and author of The Sugar Fix. The new appreciation is that if you have your uric acid level checked and have a level of 4 for men, or 3.5 for women, you probably are at a low risk for fructose toxicity and can be more liberal with your intake.

The higher your uric acid though, the more you need to limit fructose to about 16 grams a day, or even avoid it until your uric acid level normalizes.

Even with a healthy uric acid level, I suggest avoiding all foods with added fructose like the plague. A growing lineup of scientific studies is demonstrating that consuming high-fructose corn syrup is the fastest way to trash your health. It is now known without a doubt that sugar in your food, in all its myriad of forms, is taking a devastating toll.

And fructose in any form, including high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and crystalline fructose, is the worst of the worst!

To replace those high-calorie, low-nutrient carbohydrates you were consuming before, eat lots of raw fruit and vegetables. Some fruits that have been discovered to be particularly good for their anti-aging properties are blueberries, pomegranates, bilberries, strawberries, purple grapes, and tomatoes (Yes, tomatoes are technically fruits, not vegetables). Since fruits contain natural fructose, I suggest you eat more veggies than fruit.

The deeper and richer the colors of your fruits and vegetables, the more nutritional value they have for you. If your meals look like rainbows, you’re on the right track. Why all the fuss about color? Because loads of scientific studies have shown the natural pigments that give fruits and veggies their vibrant colors offer remarkable health benefits. A major class of compounds in this category is the flavonoids.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that are linked with health benefits including protection from cancer, heart disease, dementia, diabetes, stroke and more.

Fruits with rich colors, especially deep blue or purple, tend to have high concentrations of anthocyanins, one of nature’s most potent classes of flavonoids. And get this.

dark chocolate 6 gramsIn case you haven’t heard, dark chocolate and red wine are also rich sources of flavonoids. A study at University Hospital Zurich showed 6 grams of dark chocolate a day reduces risks of heart disease and stroke by 39%. Take it easy though. Too much dark chocolate will overdose you with sugar and saturated fat. Limit yourself to 7.5 grams of dark chocolate a day. More than two glasses of red wine a day works against you due to excess sugar and alcohol. Moderation is the word of the day if you must indulge.

Strawberries have high concentrations of ellagic acid, another antioxidant that has been shown to protect rats against many age-related defects. The molecule lycopene in tomatoes is yet another powerful antioxidant.

If you do eat simple carbohydrates, take some high-grade protein with it to reduce its damage by about half. Don’t beat yourself up and worry about eating a hamburger, ice cream or pizza once in a while if it gives you pleasure. But making it a habit will undermine your health and shorten your life.

On the flip side, when you plan to eat your meal or snack, visualize yourself as being healthier and slimmer. Then concentrate on your food while eating, and reward yourself mentally when you make your healthy choices.

What is your favorite dark chocolate?

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David KekichDavid Kekich (Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs) is President/CEO of Maximum Life Foundation that focuses on aging research, a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to curing aging-related diseases. For more information, visit: www.MaxLife.org. David contributes to our column Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs. MaxLife is helping to make the anti-aging dream a reality with cutting edge Bio-Engineering research and products.

Why Obesity is Becoming An Epidemic

Eating fat will not make you fat.Fat and eating by flickr SummerTomato

Unless you’re a carb nutritional type, eating excessive carbs and sugar is virtually guaranteed to pack on the pounds. Why?

Because your cells need fuel to function, and they can get their fuel in the form of sugar or fat. But here’s the kicker. Your body will burn all of the available sugar first before it turns to burning fat. So let’s say you eat loads of pasta, sugar, bread, baked goods, crackers, cookies and countless other carbs. Your body doesn’t know how to handle all that sugar, so it continues turning it into fat to get it out of your bloodstream.

For a while, you’ll keep gaining weight. This is actually in response to your cells keeping you alive by turning the excess sugar into fat. Eventually, though, even your fat stores can get filled up. This is why people who become obese almost always end up with diabetes; there’s no place left to store the excess sugar as fat, so it stays in your bloodstream, driving your insulin levels up.

The solution?

Eat less carbs and sugar, and eat more healthy fats.

This way, your body can easily burn the sugar that you do eat and continues to be adept at burning fat as well. You’ll stay leaner and healthier, and you’ll feel fuller, too.

We all need some fat, but some of us need upwards of 50% of our diet in the form of fat, while others need as little as 10%. The distinction depends on your nutritional, or metabolic type. If you’re interested in losing weight or staying healthy, find out what yours is.

One of the best benefits of learning your nutritional type is you don’t have to worry about counting calories or fat grams. Instead you focus on eating the right proportion of carbs, fats and protein for your body. It’s a much more natural, intuitive way of eating. And you’ll know when you’ve found the right ratio for you, because you’ll feel wonderful.

Most obesity is a direct result of lifestyle choices.

Obesity is becoming an epidemic. According to National Health and Nutritional Surveys, over the past ten years, the average woman’s waistline has ballooned by almost two inches. They recorded higher blood sugar levels, and women aged 35–54 saw their incidence of strokes double over the same ten-year period.

Nearly one third of American adults are now obese, two thirds are overweight, and it’s getting worse every year. A fifty-two-year study tells us that, on average, obese people die seven years earlier than normal-weight adults. More recent studies show that the more people weigh, the older their cells appear on a molecular level, with obesity adding the equivalent of nearly nine years of age to a person’s body!

Brain Fat by flickr Reigh LeBlancIn addition, obese people’s brains look 16 years older than their healthy counterparts, and the overweight people’s brains looked eight years older according to a new study published in Human Brain Mapping.

It also reports obese or overweight elderly people typically have significantly less brain tissue than normal weight people. The obese have 8% less on average, and those who are simply overweight have 4% less brain tissue.

According to a Surgeon General report, obesity is responsible for 300,000 deaths every year in the United States. From 1990 to 2000, obesity and inactivity-related deaths increased by 33%. Did you know being overweight accounts for 20% of the cancer deaths in women and 14% in men?

Now get this, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston determined that the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes is about TWENTY times higher for overweight people. Notice I did not say obese. It’s even more deadly for them.

When’s the last time you saw a really old fat person?

Why is obesity so deadly?

Here are a few ways it affects your health:

  1. It raises your blood pressure.
  2. It causes Type II diabetes.
  3. It triggers strokes as well as coronary disease, America’s number one killer.
  4. It raises your risk of gallbladder disease.
  5. It increases your risk of many types of cancer.
  6. It can cause metabolic syndrome, a cluster of killer medical conditions.
  7. It contributes to enlarged hearts, pulmonary embolism, ovarian cysts, gastro- esophageal reflux, fatty liver disease, hernias, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, chronic renal failure, cellulitis, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gout and gallbladder disease/gall stones.
  8. It can lower your overall quality of life including poor body image, low self- esteem and depression.
  9. The obese suffer 30–50% more health problems than problem drinkers—or even smokers.

So here are some tips:

Following sensible diet, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle choices to optimize your weight and extend your life and wellbeing. Obesity is a very big risk.

Some simple lifestyle basics are: move more, eat less and laugh every chance you get—especially at yourself.

And a good rule of thumb is, don’t do the crazy things you did when you were eighteen.

 

 

David Kekich

David Kekich (Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs) is President/CEO of Maximum Life Foundation that focuses on aging research, a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to curing aging-related diseases. For more information, visit: www.MaxLife.org. David contributes to our column Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs. MaxLife is helping to make the anti-aging dream a reality with cutting edge Bio-Engineering research and products.

 

7 Dieting Mistakes For Losing Weight

It’s a common problem. You’ve been on a diet for weeks and aren’t losing weight like you thought you would.

It may be because you’re consuming more calories than you think.

Keep reading to discover seven sneaky habits that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Mistake #1: Forgetting Liquid Calories 

It’s easy to forget that the things you drink have calories – some more than you’d think. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food.

It is estimated that around 20 percent of your daily calories come from what you drink. So as you drink your juice with breakfast, rehydrate with a sports drink at the gym, or drink a glass of wine at dinner, think about the calories you’re adding.

For calories’ sake, it’s best to avoid all sweetened sodas, sweetened or flavored coffee drinks, sweetened tea, and smoothies. Replace these high-calorie drinks with water, skim milk, and unsweetened herbal tea. Because while they taste great, liquids generally don’t satisfy hunger, so they are just empty calories.

Mistake #2 Meal Skipping 

Many dieters think they’ll cut their calorie intake by skipping a meal, usually breakfast.

But this is a mistake.

Research has shown that those who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat three meals a day. Skipping a meal usually causes you to eat more calories during the day because you will end up eating even more food later in the day because you’re so hungry.

So aim to eat three (or more) meals a day. A healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full all morning contains protein and fiber. An example would be whole-wheat toast and an egg.

Mistake #3: Oversized Portions

Just because restaurants load your plate with a mountain of food doesn’t mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal.

Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. Don’t think you could fit much food into your fist? You’re right. And contrary to what mama taught you as a child, you don’t have to eat all the food in front of you.

To eat a little less, use smaller plates and eat slower so you know when you’re full. Also, remember that portion control also applies to healthy foods, as they, too, contain calories.

Mistake #4: Too Many Extras

A salad is a healthy, low calorie option. At least until you add dressing, bacon, cheese, and croutons.

These add extra calories fast.

One tablespoon of dressing contains 75 to 100 calories. With that in mind, it’s no wonder grilled-chicken salads at a fast-food restaurant can have more calories than a hamburger.

Mistake #5: Blaming Your Genes

Many people give up on dieting or think there’s no hope when it comes to meeting their goal weight because of their genes.

Just like you may share your father’s hair color or your mother’s eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent’s body type. However, this is no excuse for doing nothing about trying to lose weight.

Stick to your diet and exercise plan and you should definitely see results.

Mistake #6: Eating Without Thinking

It happens to everyone. You’re tired after a long day and you just want to veg in front of the television or read a good book. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating is often involved. You may think that since it’s not on a plate it doesn’t matter, but every bite you take counts.

When it comes to a successful diet, make rules for appropriate times to eat. And don’t always feel the need to eat when relaxing. Try sipping on water or tea, chewing gum, or simply don’t put anything in your mouth.

Mistake #7: Eliminating All Treats

Dieters often become overzealous in their plan and completely rid the house of all the food they enjoy, whether chips, sweets, snacks, or any high calorie food.

This commitment may last a few days until you can’t tolerate it any longer and you overindulge on what you deprived yourself of.

A better plan is to allow yourself a healthy treat every once in a while.

Remember that everyone makes mistakes, but be smart and don’t let these common pitfalls keep your from meeting your weight loss goal!

 

 

Nordine Zouareg is a former Mr. Universe, an International Fitness Coach, Speaker and Author of the book Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss is All in Your Head! He offers world-class advice on health and fitness, inner balance and stress management, and achieving one’s full potential the inner keys to extraordinary performance. An inspiring message of hope and achievement, based on his own extraordinary story. For more information, visit: www.NordineZ.com

 

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