The Rollercoaster of Life

Grandma: "I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like Read more

Sheltering at Home/Covid 19

Never in the last two decades of my career as a physician would I have imagined that we would be using the same mask to see patients all day and then sterilizing/recycling them at the end of the day. Read more

Turmeric Health Benefits

Have you ever wondered what the paste is applied to the bride and groom's faces and arms in Indian weddings?  It's actually the spice turmeric.  Turmeric is the ingredient in curry that gives it a vibrant yellow color.  Actually, Read more

COVID 19 Precautions

With the scare of COVID here in the USA now, I wanted to post a little info about boosting immunity to prevent contracting the virus. Here are some important facts about Covid-19 It is spread by contact with 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

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

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

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

The Richest Gift—Family

 

This post is for Mother’s Day.  It is also for the value of family and remembering what is actually important in life.  Dee wrote a post last week that may have kept me out of  jail for considering inflicting some serious harm to a few of my selfish family members.   I texted my mom in my frazzled state (Yes, she is totally awesome and knows how to text) and asked her if I was on the verge of insanity?—she replied, “step back and put things into perspective.”  Thank God for my family and friends that are all consistently there for me!  And thank you Dee for putting perspective back into this crazy world.   Sometimes, you have a “horrible, terrible, no good, really bad days”  just like Alexander–but, that is no excuse to throw in the towel or move to Australia!

Dee wrote:
It’s lunchtime and I just returned from a meeting, so I’m at my work desk. Over the past couple of days, I have been corresponding with my sister Jody and my brother Bil via emails. Simultaneously, I have been conversing with my two teen daughters through text messages and arguing with my husband in a Google Chat. And in my work world I am discussing relatively trivial matters with co-workers and acquaintances while logging hours on a timesheet until 5 o’clock rolls around and my real life begins. I’m fortunate to have a job that I really like, fortunate to have a job at all, and a vehicle to get here and a home to return to. But, in the last couple of days, my brother and sister have given me the richest gift: a reminder of the inherent love that we were given for family and the appreciation of character traits that our parents instilled. This month is Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day next month. There are no words to describe the kindness and love of life my mother has. As a Christian, I know that my joy should never come from my circumstance but rather from the knowledge that I am God’s child and am promised eternal life. My mother has been subjected to nearly tragic medical traumas, and yet she is joyful. She’s in a wheelchair with physical disabilities and mental deficits, but she exudes love and compassion. Our father, the earthly one, is one of the strongest men I know. Even as I’ve grown up and have moved away from him, I don’t think there is any human who has the capacity to make me feel safe the way that my dad would or could. It’s like being a little girl and watching him lift something beyond my ability in amazement.And as for my sister and brother, they are a constant source of showing me in life, what Jesus would do. That’s really what I believe my purpose is, to find ways every day to help whoever God puts in my path. Whenever I see a kid with a broken down bike or offer a kind word to an elderly woman, I stop and thank God for letting me be in the right place at the right time. Jody and Bil are just like that, walking the walk, selflessly. I love you guys, so much.P.S. Dad called me today. It was the first call he made to me in about two years. Thank you.
Posted on by Angela in Benevolence, Call to action, Charity, Mind, Spirit Leave a comment

What can you eat?

When you get the blues, it’s often a comforting thing to focus on what you have, not what you lack. There is a saying about a man who pitied himself because he had no shoes until he met the man who had no feet.

There is a similar thing when transitioning to a healthier diet. As a result of watching recent documentaries, I have decided to make a major step toward a plant-based diet. I would rather make a reasonable step that is feasible than a 180-degree change that I will surely fail. Step one for me is to give up beef, pork and milk. I’ve already given up sugar, white flour, white rice, pasta and white bread…almost. I did enjoy a few slices of a semolina Italian last weekend and it was heavenly. When you decrease the amount of meat in your diet, you should be mindful of getting other kinds of protein. Non-dairy milks are a good source of protein, and yogurt and beans/legumes and nuts. Don’t avoid nuts just because they are high in calories, but do watch your portion size with nuts. Beans and legumes are an all around great choice. Today I decided to make a big pot of lentil soup for the week, stepping up the normal amount of carrots and celery for extra vitamins. You should have smelled my house. There are about 150 calories in a cup of the soup and it’s loaded with health benefits. The protein in the lentils makes you feel full. Remember too that color is a simple way to gauge the nutritional value of food. See “All About Color.” For example, in yesterday’s blog picture the color of the lunch from McDonald’s. The only color in it is the bit of lettuce and tomato on the Big Mac, and guess what the only part of that meal that is healthy is? Brown burger, brown bun, brown fries and brown Coke.
Posted on by Angela in Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment