Monday, March 21, 2011

Like-Minded From Down Under

A few days ago I received an email from Peter, who resides in Sydney, Australia. He writes: "I stumbled upon your blog and read over many past entries. I too have studied nutrition extensively over the past 15 years."

He adds, "On asking myself the simple question 'how does what you put in your mouth affect you?' I became a vegetarian in 1996. Up until then I was sceptical as to whether I could get all my nutritional requirements without eating animal products. After I moved away from home I still ate some animal products i.e. dairy and even fish on rare occasions.
I was for the most part glad to remove animal products from my diet and the suffering that is attributed with them.

As I gained greater knowledge about a plant based diet I became a vegan about two years after this. Being a vegan has opened my eyes to the huge variety of plant foods that are available to eat from the broad categories of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. As such I never miss any animal product and especially in countries like the U.S., Western Europe, Australia, etc. there is such a variety of plant foods to eat that it's pretty simple to adopt a vegan diet. I've lived in Central Europe and the Middle East and did not find it difficult at all to eat a healthy vegan diet there either.

My decision to become a vegan was based on the vast accumulation of studies indicating the efficacy of a plant based diet. It's not just one study but the huge range of them based on reputable science. Furthermore, doctors such as McDougall, Furhman, Esselstyn, PCRM (Physician's Committee For Responsible Medicine www.pcrm.org/ ) amongst others have demonstrated the benefits of adopting a plant based diet.

Becoming vegan is one of the best decisions I ever made. I love the foods and have explored many plant foods that the average person probably isn't all that familiar with. I'm lucky that my father has a wonderful, extensive vegetable garden. Although my parents' live some 450 km away it's a great treat to visit with the variety of vegetables at their disposal. One really gets an appreciation and understanding of where our food comes from. I live in a townhouse and currently only grow a few chilly plants and mint. One day I would like to have a large garden at my disposal to grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, especially greens.

The last time I had a full blood test the doctor was very impressed. He said 'it must be hard work being a vegan' to which I responded by saying 'are you kidding, it's easy to do something that you like'. I should add that I do exercise every day i.e. walking and moderate weight lifting, do not smoke and drink alcohol very rarely.

I came across the short video below on you tube where Martina Navratilova credits in part her plant based diet to her longevity in tennis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiCgh0sw4vU

It's such a simple wonderful message which encompasses my thoughts and philosphy about a plant based diet."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Right From The Doctor

go to:

http://www.drmcdougall.com/store_electures.html

After you've arrived at the link, scroll down the page 4/5 of the way to see:

FREE 4. Marketing Milk and Disease
Click here to download now.

Right from the doctor.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Which Do You Choose?


A disease promoting diet? A cancer promoting diet? A health promoting diet?
Or like most people, a diet somewhere in between.

I have studied nutrition for 30 years reading books written by doctors in the know. I have consulted with these doctors through phone calls, emails, and through being involved on their listserves. I feel I have a good basic understanding of what food and drink is healthy, and what is not.
Now when I look at an individual food or drink, I am aware if it
1) contains health promoting qualities, if it 2) contains disease promoting qualities, or if it 3) contains both health and disease promoting qualities. Generally if a food or drink contains any disease promoting qualities, I try to stay away from it.

This is my contention: 'If a food or drink is considered to contain a disease promoting quality, it may promote some form of cancer.

Any food or drink that affects your system in a negative way promotes some form of disease.'

http://www.cancerproject.org/diet_cancer/index.php#

"What we eat and how we treat our bodies on a daily basis have a very powerful effect on our health and quality of life. Although cancer can affect many different parts of the body, the foods that prevent cancer and deter cancer growth are generally the same. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes all have important nutrients and other cancer-fighting substances like phytochemicals and pectin that strengthen immune function and destroy cancer-causing substances before they cause harm. Research has shown that people who eat a diet free of animal products, high in plant foods, and low in fat have a much lower risk of developing cancer."

Food and drink that have disease or possibly cancer promoting qualities:

All food and drink from animals

Any kind of processed sugar

Any kind of salt except for the natural sodium in plants

Any kind of processed oil, including olive oil and coconut oil

Any refined grains not in their whole, natural form- white flour products are especially unhealthy

Any food or drink that contains concentrated sweeteners, artificial ingredients, artificial additives, artificial colorings, preservatives, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil

Alcohol, coffee, all kinds of soft drinks, energy drinks, etc.

I know, coffee is controversial. Is the jury still out?
It is my contention that because it:
1) raises heart rate/blood pressure
2) raises estrogen levels in women (excess estrogen promotes breast cancer)
3) leaches calcium from your system
4) irritates some people's stomachs
5) is addictive
leads me to believe coffee contains a disease promoting quality. Therefore it promotes disease, although I believe it does have some benefits. It contains anti-oxidant qualities. Coffee is also used for medicinal purposes in Gerson therapy.) http://www.gerson.org/

It is my contention that substances that have both pros and cons nutrition-wise should be enjoyed in moderation.

If something is processed, bottled, or packaged you can generally assume it has some disease promoting qualities. Frozen vegetables and frozen fruit are exceptions, however fresh is healthier. Whenever plants are frozen there is some nutrient and flavor loss. Raw, unsalted, unroasted almond butter or tahini (ground sesame seed butter) in glass jars are also healthy exceptions. All nuts and nut butters plus avocados are high in saturated plant fat, so eat in moderation.

Food and drink that promote good health:

Any raw or healthily cooked plant foods (healthily cooked means lightly steamed or boiled in a soup)
These include fruit, vegetables, beans (legumes), raw/unsalted/unroasted seeds and nuts, and whole grains.

If a plant food is in its natural form- whole natural food- unprocessed- you can assume it promotes good health. Think of it this way:

The healthiest food on the earth comes either right off a tree, or from the ground- from a garden or a farmer's field.

Of course if the plant food has not been sprayed with poison (insecticides/pesticides/fungicides)- organic- it is indeed the healthiest plant food on the earth.

Center your diet around raw vegetables, raw fruit, and raw nuts and seeds. They by far offer you the most health benefits of any food on earth. Consider a salad with a variety of your favorite raw vegetables/raw fruit/raw nuts and seeds the healthiest part of your meal. Caution: Take it easy on the salad dressing. The majority of store bought dressings have large amounts of unhealthy fat/oil/sweeteners. You can learn to make your own healthier dressings. One source for recipes is Joel Fuhrman's book Eat For Health. drfuhrman.com
John McDougall has several great books with healthy recipes.
drmcdougall.com
Another great source for recipes:
http://www.all-creatures.org/recipes.html

The healthiest drink for people is good clean water.
Freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice- from a juicer- is very healthy.

Very few people eat perfectly, me included. A raw plant food diet-
often called "The Garden of Eden Diet"- may be the healthiest diet.
Raw foodists profess that any cooked plant foods are "dead food"-
that your organs have to expend extra energy to digest this dead food.
They profess that plant food contains live nutrients that promote perfect digestion.

So where do you fall? Most people fall somewhere in the middle of a disease promoting and health promoting diet.
The best thing you can do is continually try to educate yourself what foods are healthy and which are not.
Baby steps work well for some. Some take out many unhealthy food groups "cold turkey."

How long would you like to live? How healthy would you like to be when you are older, say 70 years old or older? It's never too late to make healthy changes. The point is, the healthier you eat and drink now, the healthier you'll be as you age. This is an important point: the healthier you eat and drink- the slower you age. It only makes sense. The healthier your diet/the easier you are on your organs- the longer they will last- the slower you will age. The more unhealthy food and drink you consume/the more you put your organs through- the quicker they will wear out- the faster you will age.

The road to good health leads to a plant-based diet. If you need a map, read any book by Joel Fuhrman, MD, John McDougall, MD, Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr, MD, or Neal Barnard, MD. You can find used copies on http://www.amazon.com/, or go to http://www.drfuhrman.com/, http://www.drmcdougall.com/, http://www.heartattackproof.com/, or http://www.youtube.com/user/PCRM. If you have 10 minutes watch the video from Dr. Barnard from the afore mentioned youtube link.
It is great! If you have kids, watch it for their sake.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A cow's milk is healthy!...

-if you're the cow's calf. ALL dairy foods- milk, butter, yogurt, kefir, cheese, cottage cheese, etc.- every product that contains the milk from a cow (or goat for that matter) has unhealthy qualities/chemicals that promote disease in humans. A cow's milk is INTENDED for a calf, not a person. A goat's milk is INTENDED for a baby goat, not a human. It isn't hard to understand then if people consume these products, they are being harmed, as it was not INTENDED for them!

I was just in a Coborn's grocery store in Albertville, Minnesota. There was a sign by the cheese that said, "Dr. Oz says thumbs up to Gouda!" Dr. Oz and Coborn's is wrong. He does know a lot, but apparently there's much he does not know. If you've looked at any of Dr. Oz's books/recipes, he includes food from animals and other unhealthy ingredients. Re gouda cheese, he is mistaken. Dr. Oz is just plain wrong. He has not been educated. Any kind of cheese has unhealthy qualities, whether the milk is from a cow, goat, cat, etc. Why eat any food that has qualities that promote disease?!
This is just another example of doctors, even celebrity doctors- not being properly trained. Doctors of yesterday only received 2 hours of nutrition training in their entire education. Not 2 credit hours, 120 minutes. Doctors of yesterday were trained to prescribe medication for problems- to put a bandaid on the problem, which will never heal, unless one turns to a "prescription for nutritional excellence", as Joel Fuhrman, MD coins it. More and more, today's doctors are being trained to PREVENT disease with a healthy lifestyle. Those patients with diet related disease can HEAL their diseases with a prescription for nutritional excellence. The diseases go away! You can eat as much healthy food as you want and eventually achieve your ideal weight! No portion control! Go figure! The hard part is 1) getting educated, and then 2) giving up the unhealthy food and drink you've become addicted to. It can be done. You have a choice!

drfuhrman.com, drmcdougall.com

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Interesting Link From CNN

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/03/03/vegan-on-the-silver-screen/?hpt=C2

This is an article from CNN. (Thanks Brian!) What is quite interesting (and depressing) are the comments at the end of the article. Reading these is a dose of reality that there are SO many uninformed people out there in the world. These stubborn, close-minded people with their "I'm not going to change for anything" attitudes, these people addicted to unhealthy food and drink- will stand more of a chance of dying earlier than need be, than those who choose to adopt a plant based diet.

Read Eat To Live, or Eat For Health- Joel Fuhrman, MD. If you do read either of these books- have an open mind. Please see the two entries before this one.