Google+ Followers

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bison? Tastes just like chicken!

Ok so it doesn't take like chicken....It tastes a lot like beef,
 has more iron than beef, and less fat and cholesterol than chicken..
Those Chik-fil-A cows should be saying "EAT MORE BISON."

 Bison, by nature beats out pork and salmon as well when it comes to fat, calories,
and cholesterol. Bison is a wild animal and feeds on wild grains and grass, 
so it's  never given antibiotics or growth hormones.

Contrary to popular belief a bison is not a buffalo. The main bison population exists primarly in North America. Whereas the two main Buffalo species reside in  Africa and Asia, they are the African cape buffalo and the Asian water buffalo.
Bison are called "buffalo" casually  because they resemble one another and are from the same family, but there are distinct differences as you can see in the pictures. The National Bison Association encourages the term "bison" to differentiate between what is considered the American Buffalo(bison) and the true Buffalo. For more information about bison in America, how it is manufactured, nutrition, and how to prepare click on this link.



The UltraMind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman

In the last post I mentioned a young journalist who dealt with bipolar and how he overcame it. He reccomended several books on the topic of how nutrition can effect your symptoms. One of these was "The UltraMind Solution" by Dr. Mark Hyman. The journalist mentioned how if you don't read anything else, you should read this book because it will change your life. So, I got the book, read it, and I have to agree with him. It is a true eye opener.
The book not only talks about how nutrition and certain supplements can help your body, but he gets specific. He gives case studies as examples in almost every chapter about clients who come in and are over weight, tired, and suffer from some mental health issue that often included depression, early dementia, alzheimers and even autism. He goes over their treatment plan and then discusses in the book the reasoning behind it and how it can help you. He gives you health "quizzes" so you can see what areas you are deficient in. Some of these include inflammation, zinc, magnesium, hormones, and thryroid. He makes the case for the fact that many of our physical ailments all stem from an "inflammed brain" that we have aquired through unhealthy eating and the exposure to environmental toxins. He even gives you a solid plan on how to get your body back to its balanced normal self. He also offers advice on supplements and why they are important (mainly because no matter how good we eat we are still not getting all of the vitamins we need). Another great thing about this book is that he offers a 183 page companion guide for free off his website.

There are so many things I can talk about when it comes to this book and I will attempt to discuss a few of them (like how our gut is our second brain and why conventional medicine doesn't work). In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you buy this book and read it. If you are skeptical you can find the book on Amazon and read the first few chapters. Trust me, you'll be hooked!

How I overcame bipolar by Michael Ellsberg.

Before I became a contributing writer for this blog I posted a comment about a very interesting article I read. Since it was only posted as a comment I will re-type my information here. The article was from the Forbes website and was written by the journalist, Michael Ellsberg. It was about his personal struggle with bipolar depression and his attempt to live with it. Like many people struggling with depression and its debilitating symptoms Michael did everything conventional medicine told him to do. He went to therapy, saw a psychiatrist, and took his medicine like a good boy. Unfortunately this was not working for him. Again he experienced what many people with this "disease" experience, horrible side effects and meds that weren't working. So, he tried the vitamin route. Soon he was taking so many supplements and vitamins that he began to loose his libido (which we know, for men, this can be awful)! Since this wasn't working the way he wanted he decided to go see a doctor who dealt in functional medicine. It was important to him that his doctor "sweated through medical school" and could understand both conventional medicine and alternative medicine. The doctor he went to ran some tests and found out that Michael was very sensitive to sugar. When he ate it he experienced a high and eventually crashed into a deep depression. The doctor advised him to cut out coffee, proccesed sugar, and alcohol. Michael thought that the good doctor was crazy and decided that his treatment plan was not going to work. Eventually, though, Michael came very close to suicidal and it was then that he realized that maybe the doctor was on to something. So he cut out the before mentioned foods and voila! His symptoms disappered!
The great thing about this article is that it gives someone like me, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, hope. I want to share this with you in hopes that if you know someone who is not only dealing with bipolar, but depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue that you can be encouraged that there is another way. You don't have to spend money on anti-depressants and other meds that don't work. (By the way, more and more studies are showing that anti-depressant medication does not work and the manufacturers of these meds have hidden the case studies to prove it.)
Here is his article. Warning: It is kinda long and has a few cuss words, so don't be offended.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Organic Wine. How Exactly is it Different?

Organic wines are made from organic grapes. No pesticides or preservatives are used in their production! Sulfites are a naturally occurring preservative in wine so all wine has some sulfites. Wine that is not organic and has added perservative, about 10-20 times the sulfites as organically produced wine.
Red wine doesn’t need sulfites, rose and white need more, and sweet wines have the most. Many people claim that red wine causes less headache and this could be the reason why.  Sulfites have a reputation for aggravating an asthma condition and many people are allergic.  You can find a few different brands of organic wine at your health food store and maybe even at the local grocer if it's a bit upscale. Organic wine is more popular in Europe but is growing in popularity here in the United States.  Of course because organic wine is expensive to produce the majority of wineries shy away. It is currently thought by wine enthusiasts that the production of organic wine will grow in popularity as a niche of its own.  So, if you’ve never tried organic wine, give it a whirl! Once you’ve tried it you may never go back……………. I looked around and found this online wine company click right here to check it out!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Case For Pie.........

"When the moon hits your eye
like a big pizza pie, that's amore
When the world starts to shine like you've had too much wine,
that's amore"........Lyrics by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks

So, last night we were so bad! We had pizza, typically associated with cheese, pepperoni, and hand tossed tomatoey crust. Here is a picture of the pretty pie. It was delicious and well worth the extra gym time! We tried to order healthy by getting thin and crispy crust which cut calories by about 150 calories per serving equaling about 1/4 of the pie. For toppings we opted for grilled chicken, jalepeno slices, red peppers, and spinach only on one side for my non-spinach eaters. The total calories for one serving came out to about 295 if you stick to 1/4 of the pie, which of course I did not(never, not happening). Of course there was mozzerella cheese and grilled chicken so 15 grams of fat, or 125 calories is about right. Carbohydrates were not as bad as I thought, about 29 grams or 116 calories altogether.  Protein came up dead  last with 15 grams, or 52 calories. Of course I had to entertain the thought, where do they get their chicken?  Is it organic? To calculate nutritional info on your Domino's pizza click on How bad did I destroy my diet last night? 

You can also check out ingredients in the crust and I have to tell you folks it comes under the processed food category. The crust has hydrogenated oils, soy( not all soy is created equal, its complicated), and dextrose(aww sugar, sugar).

All in all I have to commend Domino's for being up front and providing the means to calculate the nutritional value of their food.  Thank you Domino's for yummy pizza and a your calorie calculator!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What is the Gycemic Index of a food and how does it affect us?

The glycemic index is a number between 1 and 100 used to rank carbohydrates on how much they raise blood sugar after being eaten.  If the number is over 55, the food is considered,”high glycemic.”  Foods that are quickly digested and absorbed cause more fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels. Low Glycemic foods cause a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin level promoting a healthy weight by decreasing food cravings. No sudden blood sugar drop means no sudden uncontrollable need for food. Low GI diets reduce overall insulin levels and insulin resistence. This is a real plus for diabetics. Here is a link for more information about Glycemic Index.     Glycemic Index Info

So, what this means to me is that if we adjust our diet by taking out some of the simple sugars like candy, white flour, white rice, white potatoes(mainly the fried ones), and processed foods we could reduce our “glycemic index,” significantly.  And, remember alcohol(darn it!) is a sugar too.
Also what about “hidden sugars,”like dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, fruit juice concentrate, mannitol ,galactose, lactose, polydextrose,  maltodextrin. There are just so darn many of them!  Rule of thumb-  if a premade or processed food has more than 3 ingredients(and one is sugar), or less than 4 grams of fiber then we should just walk on by………..

Oh yeah and how about those commercials that try make high fructose corn syrup Ok……not.

More about Hidden Sugars

For a Glycemic Index Table Click Here

The Amazing Properties of Coconut Oil.

Dr. Mercola posted on a website (which I will comment on more's amazing...but I digress) a wonderful article about the many benefits of coconut oil and the reason why it is a better choice among other oils.  Even though it is a saturated fat it is a natural one.  One that our body desperately needs.

You see, we as a society have been trained to believe that "saturated" fats are bad for us and, yes, the manufactured ones are.  These oils are hydrogenated which means that they have been heated to a certain temperature and made to be a thick, rancid oil that is only conducive to shelf food that is often processed and packaged.  These manufactured fats are also called "trans" fats.  No doubt you have heard a lot about these and why they are detrimental to your health.  The conclusion made by the medical community that is wholly agreed upon is that many vegetable and seed oils that are saturated by artificial means are bad for you.  Unfortunately, there have been some other trans fats that have been exclaimed to be "healthy" and "heart friendly" by the same companies that produce the unhealthy saturated fats.  See where I'm going here?  It is all about the money for these people.

So saturated fats have become banned in most states and because of the research involving it most people are scared away from it, and rightly so.  However, the air needs to be cleared on the fact that not all saturated fats are equal.  The one we want to discuss today is the oil from coconuts.  The reason this saturated fat is good for you is because it was created naturally. 

Over many years research has been done on the cultures of tropical communities that have coconut rich diets.  You know what they found?  That those whose diets consisted of coconuts were found to have a lesser chance of cardiovascular diseases.

The following are some benefits of coconut oil (taken directly from Dr. Mercola's article)

1.  Promotes heart health
2.  Promotes weight loss
3.  Supports your immune system
4.  Supports a healthy metabolism
5.  Provides you with an immediate energy source.
6.  Keeps your skin healthy and youthful looking
7.  Supports the proper functioning of your thyroid gland.

Dr. Mercola goes on to discuss each of these benefits in more detail so I won't bore you with my rendition.  Please read his article and find out how coconut oil can really make a difference in your life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kombuchu Tea

Store bought Kombuchu, My homeade brew
Kombuchu tea is a probiotic food that contains bacteria which benefits the immune system and the digestive system. The health benefits of Kombuchu tea include a detox effect as well as immune system boost. The natural fermentation process of the tea also brews a little alcohol....a very very trace amount, so don't get excited!  Many people that consume the tea regularly claim more clarity, energy, and a general feeling of well being.

Little Scoby Shroons
Kombuchu tea generally begins from a big pancake referred to the mother or a scoby. The scoby is the starter and looks somewhat like a grey spongy mushroom. The mushroom consists of a symbionic colony of bacteria and yeast. To brew the scoby black or green tea is brewed, then mixed with sugar, allowed to cool, a little white vineger is added (acetic acid), pure water, and then "scoby" is added. The glass or ceramic container is covered with cheesecloth, put in a temperature controled dark place, and allowed to "brew" for 10 to 20 days. The yeast in the scoby feeds off the sugar which makes the healing probiotics and voila Kombuchu! The longer the tea brews the stronger it will be. The tea will often taste tart, tangy, mildly vinegary, and carbonated. Another great benefit is that it can be flavored after brewing is done.

Matt this is for you.

Any thoughts?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buckwheat Honey

This morning while watching the health portion of the news there was a story about the homeopathic benefits of Buckwheat Honey. The mom of a 3 year old little girl said she didn't like using OTC drugs for her baby girl for cold symptoms because of the side affects.  She did have, however, much success with buckwheat honey. The recommended dosage was half a tsp. 3 times a day. Honey of any kind is not recommended for kids under 1 year old! It can cause infant botulism, a type of food poisening, which can result in death.

With a little research I found that the dark buckwheat honey had proven to to have wound healing properties as well as being antiviral. I also learned that it should be a dark purple in color. If it's too light it means the bees fed on too many "other plants" and the healing properties could be diluted. Therefore, you should try to get it straight from the hive (not pasteurized). This honey is made by bees that collect pollen and nectar from the tiny pink flowers of the common buckwheat plant. The botanical name is “Fagopyrum esculentum." An added advantage is that buckwheat, in general, is wheat and gluten free!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why Nutrition?

Hi to all,

Well I've wanted to start this blog for a long time and now I am finally doing it! I sincerely hope that people will join in. This blog is intended encourage people who are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. Many of us don't realize how important it is to give our bodies the right nutrients until we feel sick or even worse become extremely ill. Many times poor nutrition not only affects our body but also our mood, how other people perceive us, and in the case of overweight our ability to find work or even have relationships. So, how we take care of ourselves really affects every aspect of our life. I would like to read about other peoples stories, book reviews, recipes------------anything you want to talk about!

On another note (I don't want to ruffle any feathers) the more I learn about what alcohol does to our bodies, the more I want to never drink again. I know that is a strong statement. I enjoy a great glass of red just like so many but I do it less and less. That is something I will be discussing here on the blog and I invite your comments and stories.

Toodles for today