“It’s not what you eat, it’s what’s eating you that counts.”
Before we talk about food, the most important nutrients we put in our bodies are air and water. Forget about air if you live in Los Angeles, or now Kona, it’s bad there. Also pure tap water is now next to impossible to find in most cities. Even in beautiful Hawaii most people drink purified or filtered water. Our bodies being a high percent of water (about 75%) it becomes imperative to not drink polluted or chlorinated water. By adding chlorine in water we are attempting to purify it, maybe from some bacteria, but we don’t take out any of the toxic chemicals that end up in our water source. Besides, chlorine has been linked with heart disease and who knows how long term use may affect our health. Boiling water only kills some bacteria, it makes more sense to get a good water filter, because much of the bottled water is questionable. Well there is smart water, there are new water products in the market with treated water, usually it has been ionized, or chemically altered, the best one I know is Angel FIre water, from New Mexico.
Medical and Foods
We are all aware of the fat revolution; Battle of the Bulge. Even my fifteen year old daughter reads all the label to see how much fat or other junk is in the products we buy. She has now decided to be a vegan, and so I have the opportunity to teach and remember why I became a vegitarian once myself.
We know that it’s eating the wrong kind of fat that can hurt the immune system and put that extra fat on our body. For many years we thought that it leads to heart disease as well. There is some new research that heart disease is more linked to stress than to fat consumption. Well maybe moderate amounts of fat, are ok. Most doctors are still telling us to cut down fat anyway, both the saturated (meats and milk products) as well as other fats and Polyunsaturated (oils) fats.
Saturated fats are; chicken, beef, lamb, pork, duck and milk products. You want to be able to reduce these high-fat foods and modify your favorite recipes. Especially if you eat them more than three times a month. A good number is to keep fat at about 15 or 20% of your diet (Good fats are better).
Most people are making an effort to cut saturated fat in their diets by reducing the eating of meat, taking the skin off chicken, whole milk is almost eliminated, most people that drink milk are using 2%, I recommend cutting out dairy products all together and going into soy, or almond milk. Cut down on butter, never use margarine, vegetable shortening, and all products made with tropical oils or partially hydrogenated oils, these are not any good for human consumption. Read the labels they are in lot’s of stuff you buy.
Polyunsaturated oils are not that good for us either but less harmful they are; safflower, sunflower, corn, soy, but especially avoid cottonseed oil, it’s downright toxic. These oils are unstable and many experts feel they react with oxygen and can damage DNA and cell membranes. Especially hazardous are the solid vegetable shortening, butter is better than margarine, but we should try to eliminate these from the diet for optimal health. Hydrogenated oils are in lots of products as well, these are toxic to our cardiovascular system and should be eliminated as well.
Unsaturated fatty acids when heated form TFA’s or Trans-Fatty-Acids. Many doctors believe this damages the body at the hormonal level as well as our natural immune system.
I have always loved olive oil as my oil of choice and it turns out that monounsaturated oils are the best for the body; that includes virgin olive oil, canola, peanut and avocado. These oils can help reduce the bad cholesterol in the body as well. Olive oil being the best and it’s best use is raw, in salad dressings, or to dip your bread into. Another good fat we can increase the consumption of is Omega 3 (fatty acid) by eating the appropriate fish such as; Tuna (Yellow or blue fin), sardines, mackerel, herring and salmon, salmon having the most oil. Other great sources which many people are taking now are hemp or flax oil, or flax meal, a good source I prefer to get the seeds and powder them as oils can go rancid.
We have heard all these theories of weight loss, stop carbos they are the enemy, eat all proteins, the blood type diet, eat less, eat more, it’s confusing. It seems every few years we see a new diet for weight loss. I personally have tried many diets, not for losing weight but to experience them first hand. Carbo’s are still a great food for clean burning fuel in the body and especially good for athletes. Carbos are only fattening if you’re not burning enough calories, as we know that fat and carbos burn clean. It’s only protein that does not burn clean, it actually creates toxic residue, see below. For athletes to get the benefits from carbo-loading you need to carbo-starve for three days first, then carbo-load for three days before a competition.
We need protein to grow, maintain and repair our tissues. Very few people actually don’t eat enough protein, quite the contrary, most people in modern society eat too much protein. Because of the complex molecules, protein is harder to digest. The essential nutrients cannot be duplicated by the body nor found in other foods these key components are the amino acids (see next article).
Most people still rely on animal products for protein such as: meat, chicken, fish, and milk or it’s products. These however are not as good an energy source for the body. Primarily because it’s hard to digest and worse it actually creates toxic residue, in the form of nitrogen, which can irritate the immune system. Also another waste product called ammonia, a very toxic substance. Because it is so toxic, the body protects itself by turning the ammonia into urea, which is then carried to the kidneys and excreted. Balance is the key, to get enough protein so that your body has enough for repair and growth, but not so much that it’s overburdened with trying to eliminate the excess and overworking the digestive system. All this extra effort can lead to your body to actually having less energy, more toxins and overall a weaker system.
Some good vegetable sources of protein are; beans, grains, seeds and some nuts at times spouts can give amino acids or even a product called Dr. Braggs Amino acids. The difference between animal and vegetable sources is that meat is very concentrated, whereas the vegetable sources have lots of edible starch and fiber. Another important component for a well functioning digestive system, fiber is one of the things too much meat eating is lacking. We need that roughage for a better functioning colon.
How much protein does the body need? We have all heard many approaches to this and if we take the information from the Blood Type Diet what type of protein you eat is also important. Most doctors say from 4 to 6 ounces a day is plenty. Some cultures do fine on less. For some diabetics they recommend 4 ounces per meal. I think you should feel it out for yourself. Some vegetarians say you don’t need animal protein at all. If you are a vegetarian and your body works great, well then great. However I was a vegetarian for fifteen years, now I eat some fish and occasionally organic, buffalo or eggs you just have to feel it out I sometimes saw some very unhealthy vegetarians so you need some information. There is also information that says that you can’t get all the amino acids from vegetable sources. I don’t really know myself for sure, but again, there is lot’s of confusion on that subject. Once again the key is try something and see how you feel. One meal a day with protein seems to be the recommendation, according to most. They key for most bodies is to increase vegetable and grain intake and reduce animal protein.
Grains and beans are a great source of fiber and protein. It’s always a good idea to get organic foods, and hormone free meats, what they put in their feed and inject into them these days is scarry.
Nuts and seeds, like almonds and sunflower seeds, are great sources of vegetable protein, they do have some fat (mostly polyunsaturated) so moderation is still important. My yoga teacher once said only eat a handful of nuts or seeds a day. In fact there is a theory that you should always eat only when hungry as well as eat less and more often. Once again try some of these on your own body, and see how you feel.
Soybeans have the most protein as well as significant amounts of polyunsaturated fat. Soy protein is not only made into tofu, but all kinds of products. I personally feel we overdid the soy bean revolution. Also make sure you get organic. Everyone replaced meat with tofu when we where vegetarians. I didn’t think it was that great of a food not having much roughage and being high in fat. Many people feel it’s a great source of protein, there is cheese, tempeh, yogurt, milk, wieners, burgers and lunch meats made from soy now. Most health food stores carry these products. There may be great health benefits to soy that is just coming to light (I quote Dr. Weil). “Two of the best known soy phytoestrogens -genistein and daidzein-are now being explored for their ability to moderate human hormonal imbalances.”
Eggs are a good source of protein, just don’t overeat them either. Get fertile natural range fed chickens that scratch on the earth to get their minerals, and no hormones please. Avoid raw eggs, there is salmonella in them quite often. Eat eggs once or twice a week, if you are going to eat them, not daily.
To summarize eat less protein. Begin to replace animal protein in the diet with fish, vegetable and soy products. Eat more vegetables and create meals that have smaller servings of animal proteins. Eat more whole grains, legumes and products made from whole grains the best breads are sprouted breads, like bible bread, because in sprouting the seeds they become more digestible and less alergetic. Eat more fruit, yogurt and raw juices. Reduce your calorie intake by eliminating high-fat foods, canned sodas are slow death, the diet kind the worse. Variety is clearly important, eating the same foods all the time will not give you the different nutrients a varied diet can give.
Do not use polyunsaturated vegetable oils for cooking. Use only good quality olive oil. Cut out cotton seed oil, palm oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, or partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fatty acids). Read the labels, they put some of this stuff in all kinds of foods, keep it simple and natural.
Eat more omega-3 fatty acids by eating the right fish (Salmon and Tuna) and by adding hemp seeds or flax seeds to your diet.
Much of this information is readily available in most books on nutrition, just remember don’t be fanatical, it’s more important to enjoy life and realize we have eaten junk food for many years. Getting off that is difficult, take it easy, don’t shock yourself and consult with your doctor. The body can do wonders with poor eating and bad food, but only so long.
Taking vitamins is another controversial subject, however most doctors now recommend vitamins, and the best are the natural source vitamins. One key is taking them at the right time and with the right foods. To most experts vitamins are our insurance program as well as our protection from toxins, and heavy metals, as well as most vegetables now have low nutrient level due to spraying, chemical fertilizers and high tech. breeding systems. If you can find liquid, or sublingual vitamins they are said to be the best, see Dr. Robert Young’s (Ph Miracle) vitamins and supper greens.
A real simple vitamin program suggested by Dr. Weil (buy his book “Spontaneous Healing”).
At breakfast: Take I,000-2,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 25,000 IU of natural beta carotene.
At lunch: Take 400-800 IU of natural vitamin E and 200-300 micrograms of selenium.
At dinner: Take 1,000-2,000 milligrams of vitamin C.
At bedtime take another 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C
To summarize what to do about toxins in foods:
Reduce the percentage of processed foods in your diet and to choose only products made without artificial additives. Cut down the consumption of meat products and buy products certified to be free of drugs and hormones. Especially poultry, they are loaded with toxins, growth hormones and antibiotics.
Reduce eating foods known to contain natural toxins, such as black pepper, celery, alfalfa sprouts, peanuts and some commercial mushrooms.
Eat a varied diet rather than eating the same foods every week.
Wash and peel fruits and vegetables especially if they are not organically grown. Better yet buy organic when you can.
Attempt to buy only organically produced apples, peaches, grapes, raisins, oranges, strawberries, lettuce, celery, carrots, corn, green beans, soy beans, potatoes and wheat flour. These products tend to be sprayed worse than the rest of the foods and because they are grown in large numbers are usually also chemically fertilized.
Grow a small garden, sprout seeds or look for sources of local organic produce farmers markets are everywhere now. A lot more vegetables are available in health food stores and even some major chains, now carry organic foods.
Stop eating fast and deep fried, processed foods, preservatives, chemical dyes and artificial sweeteners.
Drugs and Cosmetics
Remember what you put on your body is absorbed into your skin. Shampoos, make- up, creams and all the other drugs we take can have long term detrimental side affects to our health. This includes prescription as well as illegal drugs. Know what you are taking or putting on your skin.
Most doctors use drugs to treat disease, it’s all well and good and we are lucky to have some of these drugs. However, it’s important to be well informed of any drug you are taking as well as to look at the alternatives; such as herbs, Chinese medicine as well as naturapathy, or homeopathy. One of the widest use of drugs is in athletics, steroid use is very dangerous and there is enough research out that proves this.
It’s easy to get confused with so much information on nutrition, my intention is to make the reader aware of substances that can help you heal and resist the effects of toxins, stress, and aging in your body. As well as help you feel, perform better and improve the quality of your life. There is lot’s to learn and we are discovering more powerful nutrients to help us every day. One of the most revolutionary products out is deer antler extract or Igf1 which is a pre-cursor to HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which I don’t recommend without a professional doctor treating you. Deer antler not new, the Chinese have been using it for thousands of years as a tonic. It’s sexual powers are just one facet, it actually contains all the amino acids, as well as promoting the human growth hormone (HGH) which can get our metabolism on track again. It’s good for increasing muscle mass, reducing fat, building new cell tissue, giving a boost to our immune system, natural anti- inflammatory, good for arthritis and much, much more.
Being Mexican I have always eaten lots of onions, chiles and garlic. Eating more garlic, onions and ginger; not only help the food taste better, the benefits; like lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, blood clotting, antioxidants, aiding digestion are well known. There are more benefits coming out every day. We have not done much research with ginger in the states, but it is a great tonic as well and used very extensively in the Asian cooking.
If you drink coffee eat something with it, it’s very damaging on an empty stomach. It can make your adrenals work extra. You can buy organic as well and on some days, switch to green tea, or herbal teas.
If you have been exposed to toxins or feel you have a high toxic overload. Take milk thistle to help your body recover, as well as the suggested vitamin program of Dr. Weil.
If you are generally weak or lacking energy, or you catch all the bugs that come around. Try a cleansing diet, work out, walk more, or see a specialist and find out why you have low energy. Experiment with Siberian ginseng, Dong Quai or cordyceps, change your diet. Give your body a break, try a fast by eating only raw foods one day a week, come off gently with soup. Move into raw juice fasting, or the master cleanser diet. Read some books, experiment with your body. Not all bodies are the same we each must find the perfect eating system for our needs.
This is all very simple and can be implemented into your lifestyle very easy, it just takes desire, remember don’t get fanatical and go easy. Your body will go into shock if you jump into fasting too fast. Consult with your doctor, get informed have fun.