Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something. Of Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

Whitney’s Tribute

So I’m questioning myself after my 18yo’s graduation today , in which I found pride and faith once again;   Why did Whitney Houston lose her faith?  She claimed that she found the “greatest strength to love herself ”  but,  she lost it when she allowed herself to succumb  to her disease.   As I honor her and miss my childhood memories of singing her greatest tunes –I pity her for letting life and “outside forces”  bring her down.  We all need to remember that we are warriors –crusaders and not the victims of life.  We are “smart, kind, and important.”   The diseases we bring upon ourselves are only the results of letting others that are more worldly become the winners. Please trust your inner Angel and remember that life is a journey –it doesn’t have to be a battle.  Ask your higher power each day to make you attentive to all the signs that you may be given.  I thank my id, ego, and superego daily these days for allowing me to find my “greatest love of all” –myself.

Posted on by Angela in Benevolence, Body, Call to action, Diet, Family, Mind, Weight Loss Leave a comment

Proof of the Cheat Day

Dee—I must admit that I broke down last week and had a Dairy Queen blizzard—I only got through half before I was feeling the pain!  Kevin Deeth is right about the cheat day—It is necessary, however it isn’t so pleasant to the aroma of the household when you go running for the toilet!  Never trust the silent but deadly!  Keep on the plan!  The tortoise always ends up winning the race and especially when it comes to really treating your body right!  It’s not our fault!  We are victims of  a food industry and are simply ignorant.

Dee writes:

Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve had days where I simply throw in the towel and eat/drink whatever sounds good. Even though it’s really fun in the moment, it is SO not worth it. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I had a package of all-natural chicken breasts and I made a last-minute decision to make homemade chicken fingers. I found this Southern breeding mix that you shake the chicken in and deep fry it. They are the most incredible fingers you’ve ever had. They tasted amazing, especially with my authentic Buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese. I probably had about six and the next day I thought I was going to die. After not eating grease for so many weeks, all of that grease sat like a cannonball in my stomach for the entire next morning. Also, for some reason, if I eat perfectly well for a few days and start to lose a couple of pounds, eating poorly for part of one day undoes so much good. It’s like six days of healthy food might take off three pounds and one day of eating junk puts on five…seriously…not fair, but it is so not worth it.

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Nutrition Bars

This post is for all those out there under the misconception that power bars, muscle milk, protein drinks and things disguised as healthy are actually good for you.  I have patient’s tell me all the time that they are eating healthy and when I ask them to actually  write down what they are eating it scares the crap out of me!     Typical patient–no breakfast, slimfast for lunch, and a healthy choice frozen dinner all accompanied with a “diet” cola.  Then they wonder why they aren’t losing weight.  Well, maybe if they were getting one ounce of nutrition out of any of those products, they would be.  It’s not their fault–it’s the physician’s fault!  We aren’t educating them on nutrition.  Most physician’s don’t know jack about nutrition because we aren’t educated on it either.  It’s time to think outside the box and stop drowning patients with pills for diseases they don’t need to have!

Thank you Kevin Deeth for doing your homework and sharing!   A+

Here is his post from his great website http://kevindeeth.wordpress.com/

 The Truth About Nutrition Bars

In a recent study published by consumerlabs.com 30 nutrition bars were broken down/analyzed and over 60% of the bars failed to meet labeling claims! What is really in your “health or nutrition bar”?

Thank you to Rachel for the suggestion on this topic.

Meal replacement bars, snack bars, weight loss bars, energy bars, and protein bars are a convenient and easy way for people to get a quick snack or meal when they are on the go. The problem is that 99% of the products out there are loaded with carbs and sugars that spike insulin levels and promote fat storage. Despite the hidden ingredients and artificial additives, marketing gurus have duped consumers into thinking that these “nutrition bars” are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals when in reality this is far from the truth. The FDA claims that it currently does not have any formal guidelines for nutrition bars or the labeling on nutrition bars.

The Breakdown

“Protein Bar” is an extremely deceptive term.  Most bars contain more carbs than protein. The consumer labs study found that a typical bar is made up of

  • 49% of calories from carbohydrates (mostly from sugars)
  • 29% of calories from protein
  • 22% of calories from fat
What To Stay Away From 
 
Clif Bars
 
 
The concern here is the 45 grams of carbs and 21 grams of sugar (for comparison a snickers bar has 35 grams of carbs and 28 sugars). If you are not an endurance athlete than that amount of carbs in the form of a small snack is way to high. Ever notice how the Clif Bar rapper conveniently covers the ingredient list. Here is why. With over 30 ingredients, it is hard to decipher what exactly the bar is made up of.  Organic rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, organic evaporated can juice, organic date paste, are all fancy names for sugar that make up this so-called “nutrition bar”. While ingredients like evaporated cane juice are not as detrimental to refined sugar, it is close enough.
 
The Take Away– Stay away from Clif bars
 
 
Atkins Advantage Bar
 
 
With Atkins Advantage you get more bang for you buck because the lower carb and sugar levels. You also get a solid 15 grams of protein with only 210 calories. The unfortunate part is the saturated fat and ingredients. With over 50 ingredients, there are several hidden land mines such as glycerin, sucralose, cellulose, artificial flavors, which are all code names for SUGARS!
 
The take away- Eat only if there is no whole/unprocessed foods available like fruit or nuts.
 
 
Nature Valley Bar
 
I commend General Mills for their bold and forthright honesty. They are not trying to hide anything. The second ingredient is SUGAR! With high levels of carbohydrates and sugar, nature valley bars have nothing “natural” about them. High fructose corn syrup and brown sugar syrup are two ingredients that have single handily added to the obesity problems in the US.
 
The take away- Don’t even think about it
 
 
Power Bars
 
This label is also very informative as it provides the disclaimer that the FDA has no regulation over these “health bars”. With 45 carbs,  27 grams of sugar, ingredients such as evaporated cane juice, glucose syrup, and fructose, a power bar is basically a glorified candy bar. At least they have less than 30 ingredients as opposed to some of the other examples listed right?
 
The take away- If you are going to have something with the nutritional equivalent of a candy bar why not actually have a candy bar that tastes great? Opt for a snickers or twix instead.
 
 
Why so much sugar?

In their early development, nutrition bars were bland and primarily eaten by fitness enthusiasts. However, the bars underwent a transformation to appeal to general consumers. The bland, stiff, and protein packed bars didn’t necessarily appeal to the general population. To compensate, manufacturers made their products more flavorful by adding corn syrup, sugar, sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, colors and hydrogenated oils, which are all bad for your health.

What To Eat Instead

Kind Bar

Definitely the best nutrition bar out there. The calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and sugar content is a well-balanced mixture that can provide an adequate snack  in between meals. What I love about these bars is the simplicity of the ingredients and the natural additives. Unlike the rest of the bars, you don’t see a list of 30 ingredients with names that are too long to pronounce.

The take away– A good snack that offers a variety from eating nuts or dried fruits by themselves or with trail mix.

Conclusion

As a general guideline, the less ingredients the better. Eating something in its most natural state is always your best bet. The best example I can think of is a product like peanut butter. When buying peanut butter look for one ingredient, PEANUTS! Avoid products with ingredients other than peanuts like what you see in most commercial products.  For example, Jif regular peanut butter’s list of ingredients includes peanuts, salt, sugar, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, and diglycerides. I never encourage people to eat anything processed like nutrition bars but I understand there or some times when nothing else is available. If that is the case, choose something like a KIND Bar where there are only a few ingredients or prepare ahead and always carry around some nuts and fruits.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

The 2012 Mother’s Day Anthem!

Thanks Dee—

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day–I spent it laughing with true belly laughs doing mundane chores with my kids and family.  I appreciate the blessings I have been given and especially take the time to think about them on these holidays! I’m lucky that my Mom is there to support me and not afflicted by disease— however, many people are and are not so lucky.  I am more than thankful that Dee is a fabulous mom despite her woe for her own mother’s ailments.  She has learned from the best example that keeping God or Kindness as your king will always lead you in the right direction.

Dee writes today:

“Mother’s day anthem for 2012.  It was a great day. All that ever matters to me is getting to spend time with my mom and my daughters. Over the past few days, I’ve been in touch with my brother and sister more than usual and we were all three reminded of how close we are and how great our appreciation is for our mom. She currently lives in a nursing home after suffering a stroke when a brain aneurysm ruptured 20 years ago. She is wheelchair-bound and after surviving breast cancer a year and a half ago, she also was admitted to and then discharged from hospice for failure to thrive.

Today’s visit with her was, at her request, lunch at Bob Evans. She ordered a side dish of sausage gravy and biscuits, only eating half. From the time we picked her up she started thanking us for the “treat.” Then she stated and reiterated how blessed she is, for having a good home with fun activities, good food, and a lot of friends.  When I walk into a nursing home and look around, just being there briefly is more than I care to be there. Her food is ground up in a food processor to make it easier to chew and it seems to be bland and flavorless. People around her moan and call out into thin air. And even though it is a very clean place, relatively, it sometimes smells like an outhouse.

God actually, is everywhere, often in the shape of mothers!

And yet, my dear mother whose left breast is missing, and has no use of one leg or hand, is perpetually blessed. I’m blessed just to know her.”

 

I read a post on Facebook the other day–it said that giving up complaining is one of the 15 things that will make you truly happy.  Apparently your mom is a step ahead of the rest of us.  My father had a stroke a few years ago and was fortunate that it did not leave him paralyzed.  It did affect his balance and he had to spend a few weeks in a rehabilitation center.  It was a difficult time for all of us and we are blessed that he is doing well now.  I think my vow in honor of your mom tomorrow will be to go an entire day without complaining about anything.  It may be rough and I may have a really interesting post for you tomorrow –but, I will try.  The best way to change the world is to change yourself!

Posted on by Angela in Benevolence, Body, cancer, disease, Guest Blog, Mind Leave a comment

Organic Chicken

Dee–after I watched Food INC, something connected in my tiny little brain.  If  Tyson is injecting all their chicken with penicillin, why am I giving it to my daughters that are allergic to penicillin?  If they get hives, vomiting, and diarrhea when they take that antibiotic, why aren’t they getting physically sick from eating that chicken?  Well, they are-by eating very small doses regularly they don’t immediately have a reaction because they are young and healthy.  However, if I keep feeding them that for the next 10 years–they are going to be sick!  They will develop diabetes, heart disease, arthritis or even worse, an autoimmune disease.  That inflammation created at my dinner table is eventually going to make my babies sick!  Ignorance is bliss, until you educate yourself and find out you are poisoning your own kids!

 

Dee tried organic chicken and lived!  Read today’s post—

A few months ago,  I was on my way home from work and had to stop for something for dinner. The grocery is not on my direct route home, but a natural food store is so I stopped to find something. I bought a package of organic chicken that looked disgusting. It was vacuum-sealed so the packaging was wrinkled and the chicken itself was darker than what I usually buy, and smaller. When I cut it up, I noticed that the texture was strange, it was much more tender and didn’t need trimming. I decided to put it in a skillet with no oil and just salt and pepper. Even though the chicken breasts were smaller, they didn’t shrivel up like other chicken. I later learned that it’s because most chickens are plumped with water that cooks off when heated. The taste is like nothing you’ve ever tasted, it’s delicious! I have since taken the time to spread the word to people about the difference in the taste of chicken without hormones or antibiotics. One time (sorry in advance for the insensitive remark) someone rolled their eyes and said, “but it’s so expensive” and I replied “so is chemo.”

Interested in learning why organic chicken matter? Watch Food Inc. through this LINK

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Family, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

New Favorites!

Thanks Dee–

I used to think my sister-in-law was crazy for raising chickens.  I educated myself on nutrition and realized that what Atticus Finch told Scout in, “To Kill a Mockingbird,”  was a prediction of the future.  He said not to judge a person until you had heard their story.   I now realize that I was ignorant and superficial in those days.    We have to keep ourselves realistic because we are all products of the society  in which we were raised.   We don’t know everything, we know what we are told.  Atticus was right;  As was, Hippocrates when he said , “Let food be the medicine”.  Thank you for this post because we all need to educate ourselves and not judge others–they may just be two steps ahead of us!

Dee writes:

Continuing on with what I can eat, here are some things I’ve not only learned to like, but I actually look forward to eating them.

I used to think people who were vegetarian were strange (no offense) and I thought that veganism was half-crazy. Now, I am deeply remorseful for my hasty judgement. With all I’ve learned about plants as food lately, it seems as though they have had the last laugh.

Falafel with Homemade Tzatziki

First favorite – soy milk in coffee. What a blast of fantastic flavor. I first tried it as a shot of soy in my Starbucks espresso. It was heavenly and I doubt that I’ll drink coffee any other way. Putting dairy milk in my morning coffee was the last bit of regular milk I had failed to give up…milk’s off my list.

Beans, lentils, legumes, peppers, onions! For lunch today, I made falafel with tzatziki. Last weekend, lentil soup. Tonight, my sister’s recipe for Chicken Marbella. Black beans go in my salad, refried beans with salsa are a quick hunger cure, chickpeas in a salad…good all around.

And finally, as a grand gesture apology to all my vegan friends – silken tofu! It is amazing when blended with non-dairy milk and fruit. Check out this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: Strawberry Mango Fruit Ice.

Remember that protein plays a key role in providing energy and feeling full. The reason we are told to stay away from “the white stuff” like sugar, white pasta, white bread, white rice and potatoes is that these foods are quickly digested, simple carbs made with one or two sugar molecules, they lack fiber and pass quickly into your bloodstream. Complex carbs contain a string of sugar molecules that digest slowly and keep blood sugar stable, full of fiber and filling. Because they are found commonly in whole plant foods they are high in vitamins and minerals.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment