Is Going Vegan Right for you?

Two months ago I switched to a 100% plant-based diet. I was dabbling in veganism, but I was definitely not a vegan. This transition was brought about by some health concerns. A plant-based diet has been scientifically proven to stave off chronic disease in general. Do you have any history of chronic disease in you family? Are you overweight or struggling with high blood pressure, or high cholesterol? If so, you might want to consider going vegan. That means no fish, meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs. As they say, anything with a face or a mother or came from anything with a face or a mother is off limits.

I have a long family history of heart disease. I have had high cholesterol for as long as I can remember. When I was 18 years old, my cholesterol was over 300. The doctor told me that I’d be lucky to live to be 30. I got the numbers down somewhat, but it was never below 250. Continue reading “Is Going Vegan Right for you?”

Flu Shot or Juice Shot?

 

juice veg close This is a re-run from last year, but I think it’s a good reminder during cold and flu season. Remember, I am not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV; but it is rare that veggies can hurt you.

I picked my son up from school early the other day so we could go to the movies. It was a rare treat (for me) because he hates to miss any amount of school. While I was waiting for him to come to the office and wondering if he was really my kid since he would rather go to 7th period than see Oz the Great and Powerful in 3D (update, not a good reason to miss school), I noticed the inordinate amount of zombie-like kids waiting to be picked up by their parents. I could only assume they weren’t off to a secret movie date or even an orthodontist appointment. They looked like Typhoid Mary had sneezed on them. Continue reading “Flu Shot or Juice Shot?”

Ten Easy Tips for Better Health

People always ask me for ways they can be healthier. I think I scare them a little when I start rattling things off. There really are simple ways to avoid the things that lead to disease. Here is a quick list from easiest to more challenging.

my garden

  1. Buy organic produce, meat and packaged foods – this is the easiest and surest way to avoid the onslaught of toxins, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are in our food system.
  2. Give up “diet” everything… soda, Splenda, aspartame, low-fat, fat-free, etc. I promise you, if it has to have a claim on the package, you DON’T want to put it in your body. If eating “diet” foods worked so well, we’d be an emaciated nation, not the sickest and fattest. You are being lied to. It keeps you coming back for more diet products and it makes you gain weight.
  3. Get rid of your old Tupperware and plastic containers – switch them out for glass or at the very least, BPA free plastic. Also stop buying canned goods. They contain BPA in the lining (with the exception of Eden brand foods and a few others). You’ll notice more items are coming in cardboard (aseptic) packaging. The evidence is mounting that plastics and BPA are linked to hormone and thyroid disruption. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25121464
  4. Stop using your microwave – I know, I know, but really, you will get used to heating things up on your stove top and in your oven. I swear, in the last year, I have not used my microwave for more than heating up my coffee for 15 seconds on the very rare occasion. My mom had a dear friend who died from cancer when she was about 55 years old. I don’t remember that sweet woman ever cooking anything other than a microwave dinner. There is scientific evidence that microwaves change the DNA in meat! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24122804
  5. Avoid GMOs. I’ve written about this extensively so I will just link to the main article. https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/whats-the-problem-with-gmos/sp squash
  6. Cook at home – you will be healthier and live longer! http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cooking-to-live-longer/ Again, I know it can be scary, especially if you really don’t know how to cook. You can easily learn to make a few simple things from scratch.kale smoothie
  7. Make a green juice or smoothie for breakfast – Here is my recipe for a Berry Kale Smoothie. It keeps you full and satisfied. Get your nutrients for the day in your first “meal.” https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/berry-kale-smoothie/
  8. Limit processed foods – If it comes in a bag or a box, make sure it’s organic and has less than five ingredients. Remember, for the most part, this is not food, it’s a food like substance. It is special, like your weird uncle Harold, and should be avoided if possible.
  9. Cut back on dairy, sugar, white and whole wheat flours – dairy is inflaming (and delicious, I know, but it’s not healthy). Try to cut waaaaay back on sugar. If you have to sweeten your coffee, tea, or bake with something use 100% Organic Pure Cane Sugar; not sugar in the raw, not turbinado sugar, make sure it is 100% organic. Organic agave nectar is good too, coconut sugar is good, honey is good, but not the junk that comes in a bear shaped plastic container. It has to be pure, raw or local honey. I have found many recipes can be sweetened with organic dates.
  10. Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals – there are so many delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes on WordPress and online in general. Devote several meals a week to vegetarian meals. Here is one of my favorite vegan sites for recipes http://minimalistbaker.com/ Vegans have the lowest incidence of disease overall as well as the healthiest BMI. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vegans/

 

 

 

 

Prevent Cancer by Eating These Vegetables

I love the website NutritionFacts.org. It actually analyses data and gives you real facts about food. This particular video gets to the heart of what we want to know; which vegetables really fight cancer?

 

 

Scientific Data Proves a Vegan Diet Fights Disease

Want to live a long and healthy life? It looks like a vegan, plant based diet is the way to go! A vegan’s blood actually kills cancer cells.

The Benefits of Juicing

juice veg farI touched on juicing in the blog, “Big Girl Steps to Health” and in other posts. I get a lot of questions about juicing from my friends so I wanted to address it again.

In the past year I have made a lot of changes for the good of my health. The biggest and best change has been juicing in the morning instead of eating breakfast. I generally don’t eat from dinner the night before until noon the next day. I juice in the morning. If I’m absolutely starving and cannot wait until noon to eat, I eat an avocado; the whole avocado straight out of its little skin.

This gives my body a chance to really digest whatever I have eaten the day before. I am not hungry throughout the day in a way that I was a year ago. I truly believe it is because my body is actually getting nutrients. It is nourished. It is a new feeling.

There are a lot of different theories and preferences when it comes to juicing. There is the whole Vitamix versus juicer controversy; well, hardly a controversy, but two different camps. The Vitamix keeps the fiber in the drink. The juicers remove the fiber. We all know that fiber is good for us, so why remove it? From what I have read, it is better to remove the fiber so the body does not have to do any digesting. The nutrients are quickly absorbed from the juice. Don’t get me wrong, I eat my share of veggies and get my fiber that way. But in the morning, I go straight for the nutrients.

YOU MUST USE ALL ORGANIC PRODUCE WHEN YOU JUICE. If not, you are grinding up and ingesting pesticides. I mainly juice vegetables. Sometimes I will juice grapefruits or cherries. Cherries have incredible anti-inflammatory properties. If you know anyone who suffers from gout, have them juice cherries.

This is the juice that I make 9 times out of 10. I have listed the benefits to each ingredient:

4 celery stalks (8 anti-cancer compounds, fights tumors, lowers the risk of stomach cancer, lowers blood pressure, neutralizes pH, lowers cholesterol, cools your body, reduces constipation, acts as a diuretic, breaks up kidney stones, aids in kidney function Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celery
http://cancer.stanford.edu/patient_care/services/nutrition/recipes/juicingRecipes.html

Health Benefits of Celery

1 cucumber Contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, contains Lignans which have been shown to reduce cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate, high in vitamins K and C. Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=42#healthbenefis
Either chard or Kale (about 4 stalks) Benefits of chard: regulates blood sugar, supports bone health, high in vitamins K, A and C. Source http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16
Benefits of Kale: Anti-inflammatory, reduces risk of cancer, reduces cholesterol, reduces bone loss, and reduces the risk of macular degeneration. Source http://fitlife.tv/5-health-benefits-of-kale/
A handful of cilantro Huge cleaning properties, removes heavy metals and toxins, may lower blood sugar, may reduce cardiovascular incidence, a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Source http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-cilantro/
A handful of parsley Inhibits tumor growth and neutralizes carcinogens, protects against rheumatoid arthritis and promotes cardiovascular health. Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100
4 carrots Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells and other cancers, high in antioxidants, and of course, it promotes eye health. Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=21
1-2 beets reduces high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. It increases stamina and blood flow. It protects your liver. Source: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/benefits-beet-juice
1/2 inch of ginger (ginger is very strong so be careful the first time you use it) – This is a super star: Anti-cancer, anti-fungal, antibiotic, diabetes prevention, repairs ulcers, aids in digestion, anti-inflammatory, aids in reversing toxicity, and new evidence shows that it corrects non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (fructose damage). Yes, this is a new disease state from using fructose as a sweetener. Source: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/node/83545
½ of a Granny Smith apple – Green apples are lower in sugar, but red is okay too in a pinch. High in antioxidants reduces the risk for many cancers including pancreatic, liver, colon and breast, lowers blood sugar, prevents cardiovascular disease. It has many benefits for your lungs. Source: http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=15

Moreover, this juice is highly alkaline versus acidic. You should try to keep a ratio of foods and drink at 70% alkaline and 30% acidic to keep your body functioning at an optimal level. You can Google more information on alkaline versus acidic foods. Basically, disease thrives in an acidic environment.

Drink your veggies and avoid disease. Cheers!

Recipe for Almond Milk

almond milkMost store bought almond milk contains a controversial ingredient, Carrageenan. According to the report by the Cornucopia Institute, Carrageenan may be to blame for increased gastrointestinal problems. What is more disturbing, this controversial ingredient is in organic food.

Carrageenan 2013

Here is a good recipe that I got from Natalia Rose’s Fresh Energy Cookbook.

Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight. Drain in the morning.
Add 4 cups of water and blend in a blender. Get it as fine as you can.
Strain through a cheesecloth.

It is delicious!!