Food is essential for life. We are born hungry, and proceed to eat at almost every opportunity for the rest of our lives. Here in the US, where I live, food is plentiful and inexpensive. Well, at least food-like substances are.

We all eat, our brains drive us to seek food as nourishment, energy, and for pleasure. Some of us eat to relieve stress or emotional pain, some of us eat to live, some of us eat for the pleasure it can provide. And none of us would have developed to the state we are now without the food we have perhaps unthinkingly eaten. In the end, we are what we eat.

Keep on reading!

As my regular readers know, I recently completed my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach program @Institite for Integrative Nutrition. One topic we covered during my education was the microbiome. Well, I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but I find this area of self-knowledge amazingly interesting, therefore the topic of today’s rather long and detailed post. Please hang with me to the end, you will be so glad you did!

Continue reading “Fermenting Frenzy”

For the last few years lots of people “in the know” have been encouraging coconut oil as a more nutritious option. Then in July someone posted a YouTube claiming it is poison!!! Well I can tell you I use it extensively and haven’t suffered any ill effects.

So what is up? Read the article below for a glimpse into the hidden world of the science and lies about our food, our bodies, and our healthy options.

Once again it appears big business pulls the strings for the puppets at our federal agencies and even universities to spin things their way.


How in the world can margarine- a wholly man-made food-like substance ever be better for you than a natural plant-based food consumed by civilizations for centuries???

I may not be an Ivy League professor, but I do have common sense. Please take a look at Dr. Mercola’s videothen share it, comment, and voice your opinion!!!

 

 

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As an student of integrated nutrition, I recently read a book called “The Case Against Sugar” by Gary Taubes. It is a great book – another one of those books that makes you think, how in the world can some people go to bed at night knowing they do these things? So, generally sugar has been around a long time. As individuals, and societies became more affluent sugar consumption tends to increase. The first sign of a sugar problem a few centuries ago was bad teeth. But obesity and diabetes were not far behind.

Sugar is a ‘natural’ food, right? How could it be bad for us? In the 1970s there were questions raised about sugar, was it truly safe? 

The sugar industry won that battle in the 1970s. In doing so, it managed to shape both public opinion on the healthfulness of sugar, and how the public-health authorities and the federal government would perceive it for the next quarter century, if not, perhaps, ever since…

By the mid-1980s, academic or government researchers who suggested that sugar could be a cause of heart disease or diabetes said they were risking their credibility in the process.

We hear it in the news all the time, maybe we ought to cut back on sugar, maybe it is linked to this or that. But, the food industry, and the sugar industry in particular are quick to counter any argument against sugar in our diet. And the sickening of all those who follow a ‘Westernized’ diet continues.

In this great read, not overly scientific or difficult to understand, Gary takes us from the early days of the sugar industry right up to the present. He explores the industry, the science, and the efforts that have been made to keep sugar front and center, and expanding as part of our diets.

At one time a bit of sugar was recommended for women who were excessively slender, it was believed a little fluff on the upper arms/shoulders was more feminine. And yet just a few decades ago popular nutrition had us cutting fat to loose weight rather than sugar. If nearly 2 centuries ago they knew sugar would add a little ‘fluff’ – what in the world has prevented us from acknowledging that to loose a little (or a lot) of fluff, we ought to try cutting sugar?

Here’s another way to think about the idea that a cluster of chronic Western diseases associate with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes and hence sugar consumption: Diabetes, though a discrete diagnosis by our doctors is not a discrete phenomenon in which bad things suddenly start happening that didn’t happen before. Its part of a continuum from health to disease that is defined in large part by the worsening of the metabolic abnormalities – the homeostatic disruption in regulatory systems – that we’ve been discussing and that are associated with insulin resistance, if not caused by it, and so part and parcel of metabolic syndrome.

As we become ever more insulin-resistant and glucose-intolerant, as our blood sugar gets higher along with our insulin levels, as our blood pressure elevates and we get ever fatter, we are more likely to be diagnosed as diabetic and manifest the diseases and conditions that associate with diabetes. These include nto just heart disease, gout, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and  the cluster of Western diseases that Burkitt and Trowell included in their provisional list, but all the conditions typically perceived as complications of diabetes: blood-vessel (vascular) complications that lead to strokes, dementia, and kidney disease; retinopathy (blindness) and cataracts; neuropathologies (nerve disorders); plaque deposits in the arteries of the heart (leading to heart attacks) or the legs and feet (leading to amputations); accumulation of advanced glycation end products, AGES, in the collagen of our skin that can make diabetics look prematurely old, and that in joints, arteries, and the heart and lungs can cause the loss of elasticity as we age.

So, what to do? Do we need to change our diets? Probably. How should we change our diet? More vegetables and fruits, healthy meat choices, and good fats, maybe a few whole grain carbs, if your body does well with them.

Gary ends with this thought after suggesting sugar may be toxic, and consumers ought to weigh the benefits and risks.

To know what those benefits are, though it helps to see how life feels without sugar. Former cigarette smokers… impossible to grasp intellectually or emotionally what life would be like without cigarettes until they quit…

A similar experience is likely to be true of sugar– but until we try to live without it, until we try to sustain that effort for more than days, or just a few weeks, we’ll never know.

Here is a great little document explaining the types of sugar, how much we’re actually eating (150+ pounds per person per year!!! – that’s 6 cups of sugar a week- a mountain of empty calories.) and some great ideas for eating whole foods and fruits rather than sugar-fortified options.

 

The Case Against Sugar

“The glucose we consume– in starch or flour or as half of a sugar molecule– will be used directly for fuel by muscle cells, the brain, and other tissues… But the fructose component of sugar has a much different fate. Most of it never makes it into the circulation; it is metabolized in the liver.  Page 192

“this implies, of course, that if insulin-resistant, obese, and/or diabetic mothers give birth to children who are more predisposed to being insulin resistant, obese, and diabetic when they, in turn, are of childbearing age, the problem will get worse with each successive generation.”          Page 223

“… perhaps three out of every four cases of cancer in the United States might be preventable with appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle…” Page 258

“If the sugars we consume – sucrose and HFCS (High fructose corn syrup) specifically – cause insulin resistance, then they are prime suspects for causing cancer…”               Page 263

“I’ve argued here that enough evidence exists for us to consider sugar very likely to be a toxic substance, and to make an informed decision about how best to balance the likely risks with the benefits.”      Page 273

I’ve just been doing a little light reading, and watching. There is so much that we need to know, that is not shared on the daily news. Take GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and our microbiome for example.

Take a look at the Institute for Responsible Technology site. This page addresses the “Big GMO Cover-up. GMOs are so much more than just a little bit of changed DNA.

In the U.S., three major commodity crops are raised predominantly from GMO seed:  field corn (92%*), soybeans (94%*), and cotton (94%*).  *percentages are based on U.S. acreage as of 2015 (USDA)

There is the fact that the plant is no longer what it once was, literally. At one time the argument for going GMO was to increase crop yield, addressing world hunger and all that. But science has since shown that crop yields are not expanded as a result of GMO, and in some cases drop.

GMO typically allows the farmer to use glyphosate, or ‘Round Up’ as Monsanto (now purchased by and hidden inside the Bayer corporation – who include crop science in their list of business groups). And many farmers are switching to organic as a result of becoming sick (poisoned) by the pesticides and herbicides they use with GMO crops.

Glyphosate weakens the immune system of plants while also enhancing the undesirable microbes in the soil. When glyphosate is applied to the plants, it is absorbed. And it is in our food. It (both GMOs and the glyphosate that comes along with it) are linked to: brain fog, weight gain, gastro-intestinal issues, autism symptoms, asthma, diabetes, irritable bowel, and at least a half a dozen additional chronic health issues. Veterinarians have reported that pigs who had experienced diarrhea for years on a GMO grain diet returned to normal bowel function within 2 days after changing to a non-GMO diet.

Glyphosate is a strong antibiotic, meaning it kills bacteria. In humans it seems to kill the good gut bacteria. If you know anything about our microbiome (gut bacteria) you know that science is continuing to discover reasons we ought to keep it happy and flourishing. As reported in The Human Microbiome Project

In fact, humans rely on microbes to perform many important functions that we cannot perform ourselves. Microbes digest food to generate nutrients for host cells, synthesize vitamins, metabolize drugs, detoxify carcinogens, stimulate renewal of cells in the gut lining and activate and support the immune system.

Moral of this short story? Read more – check out the Institute for Responsible Technology, and feed your microbiome some organic pre-biotics like kale.  🙂

Join the conversation, post your thoughts below.

 

Sometimes I don’t want to sit and read a book, maybe time is tight, or I’m just not up for the ‘effort’ involved. Which is a shame, since there is research out which says 6 minutes of reading lowers our stress levels. I need to make more time for reading!

But sometimes, we just need a movie. Here is a list of some great ones, most I’ve seen, some come highly recommended.

Please pick one, any one, and after watching it, comment below!

Hungry for Change

Exposes the deceptive strategies of the food and diet industries.

 

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

 Joe was fat, sick, and nearly dead. Check out his documentary, and lots of other great things on his website.

 

War on Health

Featuring many pioneering American and European attorneys, physicians, medical researchers and advocates of health freedom, War on Health lifts the veil on FDA’s militaristic operations against organic food providers and alternative physicians.

A Place at the Table

50 Million Americans—1 in 4 children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A Place at the Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans

In Organic we Trust

“In Organic We Trust” is an eye-opening food documentary that looks beyond organic for practical solutions for me and you. Local farmer’s markets, school gardens, and urban farms are revolutionizing the way we eat. Change is happening from the soil up.

The Weight of the Nation

This 4-part documentary explores the long term consequences of obesity.

King Corn

King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation.

The Magic Pill

Doctors, farmers, chefs and others weigh in on the controversial ketogenic diet and its potential to eradicate common illnesses.

Food, Inc.

Director Robert Kenner’s provocative, Oscar-nominated documentary looks at the food industry’s harmful effects on human health and the environment.

I’m certain the list goes on, please take a moment and add to the list by putting your suggestions below.

A few years ago I stumbled across Vani Hari, known online as the FoodBabe. On her site you can see her personal food story, from convenient junk food, to sickness, to health. She has formed the FoodBabe Army on Facebook, and successfully taken on some of the food industry’s biggest players. Her goal – to get these companies to put the health of their customers – us – ahead of profits. She has had some great wins. But, large corporations don’t change fast enough, and, I suspect if they did, they have so much product ‘in the system’ in warehouses and distribution centers that it would be months before we’d see the updated products in our local stores. So, she just recently announced that she has taken matters into her own hands and is launching a new company, Truvani Health. I encourage you to check out her site.

If you like to shop online, another great place to get Non-GMO, organic food is Green Polka Dot Box. I’ve bought from them for several years. To be honest, they’ve had their struggles, but, I’m hopeful that is all behind them. Their vision for reasonably priced organic and non-GMO food,, with regional hydrophobic growing centers is both green and good for consumers.

However, my favorite place to get good quality meats and produce is my local farmer’s market. There I can get pasture raised pork, beef and chicken, a variety of organically grown produce, and interesting crafty things from alpaca wool to knife handles and goat milk soaps. I like shopping my local farmer’s market because I know I’m supporting local farmers and artisans, and ultimately my own community.

When you consider the alternative – businesses in the business of making food, with what seems to be no regard for the life-giving properties it has, or the death dealing chemicals they include. Food is so foundational to a good life, if big business no longer self monitors to ensure they deliver ‘life giving’ food to us, many of us assume our government protects us. They don’t. I suppose I am naive and silly to wonder how people can purposely do these things to the rest of us. I wonder if they eat their own poison.

One of my daughter’s favorite movies is The Sound of Music, and the title of this page pastedGraphic.pngbrings warm memories of family snuggles as we watched great movies together. So while in my mind the hills are alive with the sound of music, I am here this evening to provide you with links to some of my favorite people, and places in the web.

 

Vani Hari, the Food Babe, she ranks right up there. What a brave and courageous hero she is for all of us, taking on “Big Food” and often, with the help of the Food Babe Army, winning in the fight to get clean food. Her story would strike a cord with many who have less than idea health, who struggle to eat well, and find they are being duped at every turn. She provides email newsletters, recipes, a wide assortment of eating and diet options, opportunities to engage in the fight for clean food, and has most recently launched her own line of products, Truvani. Products with real ingredients, and honest labels. Please check her out!

For several years I have gotten some measure of our groceries from Green Polkadot Box. Their goal is to provide clean, non-GMO and organic food and supplements. They also have plans for regional ‘growing centers’ where they propose to grow fresh produce hydroponically and deliver straight to your door.

Recently I encountered a most compelling talk from Gary Taubes on carbohydrates, and insulin, and why we get fat, and even a little bit of WWII history. If you struggle in any way with your weight, please take a look at his page, get his book, or at least watch a You Tube or two! Check out his books – The Case Against Sugar, Why We Get Fat, or Good Calories Bad Calories. Gary is a journalist, not a doctor or nutritionist. The evidence he presents is hard to ignore.

And then, there is the school I am enrolled in, what a life changing experience! The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Just check them out.

Everyone has heard of Doctor Oz. Have you ever watched his show? I haven’t, but I stumbled across his book, at Walmart. I bought it on a whim. Great read. It is the sort of book that I wish I could prescribe to people. Not only does he relate what foods are good and bad, but then he’s got some great meal plans, recipes, and suggestions for getting the most benefit from the foods you eat.