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

whole foods

Nut Butters- Get a little nutty!

Remember the MUFA’s?  These are the infamous plant-based oils that are packed with nutrients to keep your skin looking beautiful and youthful.  Remember that including them at every meal will help you lose that belly fat.  A wonderful way to help incorporate them is to make nut butters.  Buy unshelled nuts because they are fresher.  If you buy shelled for convenience, choose the natural, salt-free type.  Store them in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dark place.

Nut butters are easy to make and they are better than store-bought types and are totally free of preservatives, salt, and sugar.  Place shelled, roasted nuts in a food processor with a spoonful of olive oil.  It’s that simple!  Voila–you have a great spread–use them on gluten-free breads, in dessert making, to sauté veggies or anywhere you would use regular butter.  Store these in the refrigerator and they will last for about a month!  Don’t forget, you can always add a little flax-seed or vanilla for flavoring!

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Childhood Obesity

There is no controversy over the fact that childhood obesity is a huge problem in the United States.  More than enough data and research has been done to prove that 1 in 5 American children will be obese by 2020 if the current trends continue.  These are the facts, but what can we do to change things?  There are many possible actions but it all starts at the home level.  We can be more successful as parents by leading by example.  For instance, making my girls watch “Forks Over Knives” and “Hungry For Change” was a real battle;  they did however get some subliminal messages from watching those two documentaries.  I noticed they replaced the traditional peanut butter cracker after school snack with fruit.  They get more messages from me as they see me painfully wean my diet mtn dew consumption.  Changing a lifestyle and years of bad habits isn’t easy.  My theory is that if I change myself gradually, they will also.  Research shows that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages in schools could reduce obesity by 12 kcal/day, as long as children didn’t consume any extra sugary drinks outside of school.   So that is my call to action, I have to eliminate the sugar at home first.   There aren’t any distinct answers in how to change the diet of the country and healthcare on average.  But, it starts with us!  Let’s do this Marines.  Let’s work to educate ourselves on whole foods and nutrition.  Lead by example.

T. Colin Campbell does a nice 18min presentation that you can watch here:

Reference:  Wang YC, et al “Reaching the Healthy People goals for reducing childhood obesity:  closing the energy gap”  A, K Prev Med 2012

For more info on T. Colin Campbell and Forks Over Knives visit:  http://www.forksoverknives.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, Exercise, Family, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food 1 Comment

Buzzwords

Here is a little information regarding the buzzwords on labels that you might find interesting.  I had no idea the difference between some of these different labels and just assumed that if it said cage-free or all natural –it was a good product to buy.  Wow–I did make an ass out of you and me on that one.

1.  Cage-Free

There is no legal definition of this term.  If hens are labeled cage-free, the do have more space than caged hens but they can still be crammed inside barns or houses etc.  It also doesn’t tell us anything about the hen’s diet.  The best bet is to buy pastured eggs.

2.  Free-Range

The USDA doesn’t have defined standards for free-range.  The hens simply have access to the outdoors but, it doesn’t mean they actually see the light of day.  This also doesn’t tell us anything about the hen’s diet.

3.  Grass-Fed

Meat and dairy can be labelled grass-fed if they were fed grass for the majority of their lives.  However, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t tie grains, soy, or other farming byproducts during their lifetime.  You are better off looking for grass-finished products which are required to be fed grass 100% of their life.  Look for grass-finished and organic on those labels.

4.  Natural

The USDA allows this label to be placed on any minimal processed product without artificial sweeteners or additives.  It does not refer to how the animal was raised and it could still be fed additives and or antibiotics.  So don’t be fooled by the term “Natural”

5.  No added hormones

The USDA prohibits added hormones in poultry and pork so this label may give you false confidence in the quality of the product.  Beef hormone use is up to the farmer–so an organic label is a little more promising.

For more information on label reading and buzzwords visit http://whole9life.com

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Crazy Weight Loss

I was recently reviewing the current fad diet trends and had to ask myself–what are these people thinking?  My guess is that women are so desperate for the truth that they are willing to try absolutely anything.  These top trends are shocking.

1.  The Feeding Tube Diet—the new hot fad for brides-to-be is placing a feeding tube thru the nose into the stomach that provides a continuous protein drip at around 800 calories a day.  With no solid food, weight loss is inevitable.  Really???  That’s a sexy look for your new husband on the wedding night!

2.  Body Wraps–Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kim Zolciak, tried this wacky trick.  They wrap you in elastic bandages and then you stay in motion for 60 minutes and the inches are squeezed off your body.  Really??  How do you move once mummified?

3.  Tape Worms–these wacky dieters will ingest a parasite in pill form and it grows and attaches itself to the intestine.  Since the parasite eats all the food you ingest–weight loss and nutritional deficiencies are inevitable.  Really??  Who cares if you are skinny if you are pooping worms!

The bottom line is–diets don’t work!  You have to change your lifestyle in order to lose weight.  Throw away the scales and focus on health!  Whole unprocessed foods are healthy–and if you eat only those when you are hungry, you will never have to worry about fad dieting again.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Humor, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Obesity–by Kevin Deeth

Obesity, diabities, and other weight related issues have become an epidemic in today’s society. Trans fats, artificial sweeteners,  and sugar loaded foods are partly to blame. Laziness, time restraints, and abundant resources are also major contributors. But how about our ancestors and genetics? What if some of our genes and bodily make up were predisposed towards storing fat? One theory suggests this could be a contibuting factor to the obesity epidemic that has taken over the US.

Thrifty Gene Hypothesis

Background

In 1962 geneticist James Neel proposed the thrifty gene hypothesis to partially explain the rise in diabetes in the world. The central premise of this theory is that through natural selection we evolved to be efficient at food storage and utilization. In Neel’s original hypothesis, he stated that ancient humans went through a cycle of feast and famine. The people who had bodies that were better at fuel storage or utilization were more likely to survive during the famine portion of the cycle. Thus over many generations, we developed genetically to be exceptionally efficient at the intake and utilization of fuel as these were beneficial adaptations throughout the majority of human life.

Relating To Obesity

This theory suggests that humans have genes which predispose them to obesity and fat storage.  Essentially, our bodies have evolved as a product of our ancestors whose primary goal when they ate was to store food as fat. This ‘thrifty’ genotype would have been advantageous for hunter-gatherer populations, especially child-bearing women, because it would allow them to fatten more quickly during times of abundance. Fatter individuals carrying the thrifty genes would thus better survive times of food scarcity. However, in modern societies with a constant abundance of food, this genotype efficiently prepares individuals for a famine that never comes. The result is widespread chronic obesity and related health problems like diabetes.

Why Weren’t Our Ancestors Fat?

In the hunter-gatherer society, food was gotten largely through physical activity. Our ancient ancestors have been estimated to have hunt for food for 1-4 nonconsecutive days per week, while women gathered food 2-3 days per week. Needless to say, they were a little more active than the average American who spends anywhere from 10-12 hours a day seated.

 ‘Stone Age’ genes and ‘Space Age’ circumstances

A 2 minute drive in a car with leather/reclined/heated seats to the grocery store is not the same as several miles of hiking and scavenging to find food and resources. We have theses genes which have been inherited from our “stone age” ancestors in these “space age” circumstances where resources are over-abundant almost to fault, and everything is convenient and easy.

Opposition And Problems

  • What about other sociities such as asian cultures where obesity rates are not even close to what they are in America?
  •  The field of epigenetics has shown that the body can manipulate the degree of transcription, or activation, a particularly gene has. Even more astounding is that environmental factors can impact the epigenome within a lifetime, thus altering how a gene functions. This suggests that our genes could recognize certain environmental factors available and adapt as a result which would poke holes in the thrifty gene hypothesis.

Conclusion

As can be seen, the genetics of obesity and the thrifty gene hypothesis are a complicated subject. It is easy to accept or dismiss portions of the hypothesis based on select data, but when taken in full it is clear that we simply do not understand everything that goes into the relationship between genetics and obesity.

Regardless, the important thing to remember is that environment and activity levels play a very large role in obesity problems in America.  Sure we all have different body types and some of us are more likely to put on weight, but the good news is that with proper dietary and exercise practices, you pretty much control your destiny.

Thanks for reading and I will be interested to here comments about this theory and post.

From South Bend,

Kevin
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Take Charge Day!

Let’s do this Marines!  We are superheros!

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

Metabolism Boosters by Kevin Deeth

The Best Metabolism Boosters

A high metabolism means that the body is burning calories at a greater rate than average. However, an elevated metabolism goes beyond helping you burn calories and lose weight. Benefits also include

  1. More energy
  2. Better disease prevention
  3. Improved brain function
  4. Ability to recover from exercise or injury faster
  5. Healthier looking skin… to name a few

You have a huge amount of control over your metabolic rate. You can burn an extra 500 to 600 calories a day by exercising properly and eating right.” John Berardi, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., author of The Metabolism Advantage

So how does one get an elevated metabolism to reap all of these great benefits? Here are a few things to jumpstart your metabolism and get you on track towards a healthy lifestyle

1. 16 Ounces Of Cold Water Every Morning

  • Dehydration is your body’s enemy. It slows bodily functions and metabolism.
  • Your metabolism will slow to conserve energy when you haven’t had enough water to drink, as your organs can’t and won’t function as efficiently.
  • Scientifically speaking, drinking water has been proven to contribute to your body’s ability to burn calories.
  • Your body will burn a few extra calories heating the cold water to your core temperature

2. Eat A High Protein Breakfast

  • If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows to a crawl to conserve energy
  • A high protein breakfast can boost the metabolic rate up to 30% for as long as 12 hours and provide lower insulin release, while assisting with food cravings.
  • Aim for something high in protein, containing some complex carbohydrates, and  healthy fats.
  • Cramming protein into every meal helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest
  • My Example: I have a 2 egg omelette with chicken breast/mushroom/peppers and a serving of my Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe found herehttp://www.builtlean.com/2012/03/14/steel-cut-oats-recipe/

3. Drink Coffee

  • In a recent study the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf.
  • Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system by increasing your heart rate and breathing which will raise your metabolism and burn more calories.

4. Lift Weights In Place Of Cardio

  • Our bodies constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. To add more muscle you need to lift weights and perform resistance training.
  • Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily.
  • After a bout of resistance training, muscles are activated all over your body, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.

5. Drink Green Tea

  • The brew contains a plant compound called ECGC, which promotes fat burning.
  • In one study, people who consumed the equivalent of three to five cups a day for 12 weeks decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent.
  • According to other studies, consuming two to four cups of green tea per day may torch an extra 50 calories by revving up your metabolism.

6. Eat Spicy Foods

  • Spicy foods contain chemical compounds that can kick the metabolism into a higher gear.
  • It turns out capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their mouth-searing quality, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating about one tablespoon of chopped red or green chilies boosts your body’s production of heat and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system.
  • One study suggests spicy food can provide a temporary rise in metabolism of about 8% greater than a person’s typical metabolic rate.

7. Eat Every 3 hours

  • Eating more often really can help you lose weight and boost your metabolism.
  • When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals.
  • Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day.
  • Several studies have also shown that people who snack regularly eat less at meal time.

Conclusion

These 7 suggestions can help promote an elevated metabolism which will allow you to burn more calories and help sustain a healthy lifestyle. While each one may only promote a slight increase in your metabolism, incorporating all of them into a daily routine will surely provide noticeable changes and benefits. Even those of you that are inherently lazy can force some cold water down in the morning or add some spice to your lunch and dinner. Give these a try and find out which ones work the best for you.

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

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Asparagus? Who Knew?

Thanks to sheriff Jim for sharing this tidbit with Angela MD!  Being a cancer survivor himself, he is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to share healthy information with others!  Did I mention that he is one hilarious guy!  I did not write the following article.  I did however feel that it was worth sharing.  I don’t have the original article yet but it is cited in the excerpt below.  Enjoy the power of the green veggies!  Eat your veggies people, eat your veggies!

Asparagus Remedies:

My Mom had been taking the full-stalk canned style
asparagus, pureed it and took 4 tablespoons in
the morning and 4 tablespoons later in the day. She did
this for over a month. She is on chemo pills for Stage 3
lung cancer in the pleural area and her cancer cell
count went from 386 down to 125 as of this past week.
Her oncologist said she will not need to see him for 3
months.

THE ARTICLE:

Several years ago I met a man seeking asparagus for a
friend who had cancer. He gave me a copy of an article,
entitled “Asparagus For Cancer” printed in the
Cancer News Journal, December 1979. I will share it
here, just as it was shared with me: I am a
biochemist, and have specialized in the relation of diet
to health or over 50 years. Several years ago, I learned
of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. that
asparagus might cure cancer. Since then, I have worked
with him on his project. We have accumulated a number
of favorable case histories. Here are a few examples:

Case No. 1,
A man with an almost hopeless case
of Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who
was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting
the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to
detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a
schedule of strenuous exercise.


Case No. 2
, A successful businessman, 68 years old,
suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years.
After years of medical treatments, including radiation
without improvement, he began taking asparagus. Within 3
months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor
had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.Case No. 3,

On March 5th 1971, a man who had lung
cancer was put on the operating table where they found
lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable.
The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case
hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the Asparagus
therapy and immediately started taking it. By August,
x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had
disappeared. He is now back at his regular business
routine.Case No. 4,

A woman had been troubled for a number of
years with skin cancer. She developed different skin cancers
which were diagnosed by the acting specialist as advanced.
Within 3 months after beginning asparagus therapy, the skin specialist said her skin looked fine with no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her
kidney disease, which had started in 1949. She had over 10
operations for kidney stones, and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal, kidney condition.
She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus treatment.I was not surprised at this result as `The elements of
materia medica’, edited in1854 by a Professor at the
University of Pennsylvania , stated that asparagus was
used as a popular remedy for kidney stones. He even
referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of
asparagus in dissolving stones. Note the dates!
We would have other case histories but the medical
establishment has interfered with our obtaining some
of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to
spread this good news and help us to gather a large
number of case histories that will overwhelm the
medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and
natural remedy.

For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked
before using. Fresh or canned asparagus can be
used. I have corresponded with the two leading  of asparagus, Giant and Stokely, and I am satisfied that these brands contain no pesticides or preservatives. Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree. Store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening. Patients usually show some improvement in 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.

As a biochemist I am convinced of the old saying that `what
cures can prevent.’ Based on this theory, my wife and I
have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with
our meals. We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to
suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take
mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we
have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as
part of our regular checkups. The last blood survey,
taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the
nutritional approach to health, showed substantial
improvements in all categories over the last one, and
we can attribute these improvements to nothing but
the asparagus drink. As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer, and all of the proposed cures. As a
result, I am convinced that asparagus fits in better
with the latest theories about cancer.Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called
histones
, which are believed to be active in controlling
cell growth. For that reason, I believe asparagus can
be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth
normalizer
. That accounts for its action on cancer and
in acting as a general body tonic. In any event,
regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is
a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you
from using it and it may do you much good. It has
been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that
asparagus is the highest tested food containing
glutathione
, which is considered one of the body’s
most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants.

Just a side note…
In case you are wondering why this has
not been made public, there is no profit in curing cancer!

 

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

The Superfood Chia

Chia seeds are a favorite superfood!  The word Chia comes from the Mayan language and means “Strength.”  I’ll say strength  is what this power food offers on all levels.  Recent reports show that after taking chia seeds for a few weeks, arthritis sufferers reported decrease symptoms.  The high concentration of Omega-3 helps to lubricate the joints similar to fish oil.  The Omega-3’s are converted to prostaglandins in the body which have anti-inflammatory qualities.  Another advantage is in the detox area.  Chia has a swelling action in the colon similar to psyllium which absorbs toxins.  Thus, it regulates bowels and cleanses the colon.   The seeds are loaded with antioxidants to fight that free radical cousin Joe. (see previous post -Free Radicals)  They contain 20% protein which is a higher percent then wheat or rice for all you that ask how to get good protein without eating a ton of meat.  Chia helps stabilize blood sugar and provides fiber, zinc, and phosphorus!  It’s a winner on all levels!!! 

For more information on Chia seeds —visit http://www.eatalkalinefoods.com

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Eat Alkaline Foods

Thanks to Tatiana for allowing AngelaMD to share this great article and site!

Learn What Fruit Stickers Mean

When buying food, we look at the label to make smarter choices. But when it comes to fruits and vegetables, and since they don’t have a label, the choosing becomes a little harder. Well, that little sticker on fruits or vegetables that don’t come in a package has a lot of useful information. It tells you whether they have been conventionally grown, or are organic, or if they have been genetically modified. This is important information if we keep in mind that 7 out of every 10 items in grocery store shelves contain genetically modified ingredients.

The little sticker is called PLU code which stands for Price Look Up Code. These codes have been in use since 1990, and there are over 1300 universal PLU codes assigned. But they all follow some general guidelines, here they are:

  • 4 digits and begin with a 3 or a 4:produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was been sprayed with weed killers and chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • 5-digits and start with an 8: produce was genetically engineered or genetically modified. This means the produce’s genes were genetically altered to produce bigger, or faster growing, or better looking produces. Needless to say, this process is detrimental to the produce, and very dangerous to your health. Read the 4 tips to avoid GMOto learn more.
  • 5-digits and start with a 9: produce was raised organically. These are produces that have not been treated with chemicals and that haven’t been genetically manipulated. These are the safest produces out there.

To me learning the meaning of those codes on the sticker was a great discovery, and I wanted to share this because I would dare to say that most people are not aware of this information.

The PLU system is administered by the International Federation for Produce Standards, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association.

To illustrate the code use, here is an example:

  • 3440: Conventionally grown Pomegranate
  • 83440: Genetically Modified (GMO) Pomegranate
  • 93440: Organically grown Pomegranate

As you can see, the last four number are the same in all three codes. The last four numbers refer to what kind of fruit or vegetable it is.

Fruit sticker Learn What Fruit Stickers MeanNow to review and keep in mind, if it starts with an 8, stay away from it, it is man made, or man messed around with to be more precise. These produces benefit only the pocket of the company producing them. Their nutritional value has been altered and very much diminished, and they pose serious health treats to you.

If possible, one should try to eat everything organic. But since this is not always possible for different reasons, it is good to keep in mind which produces are more prone to absorb chemicals and pesticides, and so are recommended to be eaten organic. These produces are called the “dirty dozen”, and are:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Spinach, kale and collard greens
  9. Cherries
  10. Potatoes
  11. Grapes
  12. Lettuce

When buying those produces, try as possible to get them organic.

On the other hand, the 15 produces that are considered the “cleanest” and that could be bought conventional are:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mangoes
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi fruit
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Sweet onions

The reason why some products are safer than others to eat when grown conventionally is because these products do not absorb as much chemicals and pesticides, and so are not passing as many toxics to us as the “dirty” ones do.

I hope you liked the information presented, and I hope it will be of help the next time you go grocery shopping.

For more alkaline related articles visit  http://www.eatalkalinefoods.com

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