Friday, July 30, 2010
Nourishing Traditions (The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats) by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
Weston A. Price, a dentist and later a researcher, found 14 societies of people (i.e. Irish, Swiss, Eskimo, and African) back in the 1930's who enjoyed lives of superb health. Compared to industrialized societies these groups were free of chronic disease, dental decay and mental illness, and ease of reproduction repeatedly with healthy children. With the industrial revolution came: refined grains, canned foods, pasteurized milk and the #1 cancer causing agent- sugar; Along with this modified food source also produced people plagued with tooth decay, infectious diseases, degenerative illnesses, infertility… the children in industrialized societies had crowded teeth, crooked teeth, narrow faces, deformities of bone structure and labeled with an array of new medical problems.
The answer isn't to just simply clean up your diet. It goes deeper. The real answer is to prepare your foods so the nutritional properties are released as well as absorbed… two totally separate functions by the way.
Whereas in mainstream knowledge, soy products are touted as healthy and is heavily marketed and commercialized; those of us in the underground knowledge understand that soy is not good for us… unless it's fermented. Secondly, most illness are linked back to gut health. In the Probiotics blog, I talked about intestinal bacteria flora and the restoration or maintenance of the good bacteria for multiple health reasons. Other complications come from undigested or partially digested foods. Supplementing with enzymes helps with side of assimilation spectrum, but the focus of this book explore the preparations of foods with intent of allowing the nutrients to be recognized and absorbed in the gut. One of the tricks to having our foods open up and release the nutrients that were locked within.
If you still microwave your foods or eat foods that are denatured or basically dead from commercialized packaging processes, this book may open your eyes to an entirely new world of food.
Weston A Price Foundation
How much and well do you sleep? If you seem to think you can function on 4-6 hours and not have insomnia and think it's a non-issue... Think again.
Remember the line, "killing me softly"?? Yeah you could be doing it to yourself.
Here are some disturbing facts that you should be aware of:
Sleep deprivation is the quicker route to death than starvation.
There is a direct correlation between the diminished hours of sleep and body mass index - You know the how fat are you index.
Sleep debt builds up on you, contributing to carbohydrate intolerance and fat gain over time.
Before the invention of the incandescent light bulb, we averaged about 12 hours of nightly sleep.
Lack of mental clarity, weakened immune system and less than desirable physical performance are also characteristics of the sleep deprived.
Glucose tolerance and endocrine function are negatively affected by insufficient sleep quality and being awake at the wrong hours of the night.
Coffee and related stimulants contribute to later bedtimes and can corrupt cortisol, adrenaline, and inflammatory markers. Extended sleep deprivation decreases leptin secretion at night, not cool seems how leptin is a good guy in the fat loss battle. And nobody wants a cortisol belly.
A study in adolescents not only showed an 80% rise in the odds of obesity for each hour of sleep lost each night, but also a 3% drop in daytime physical activity for each hour of sleep disturbance.
Sleep disturbances in part related to higher nighttime epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine concentrations, have been found in individuals who exercise hard (as in weights and cardio). Similarly, a doubling of training load has been reported to induce insomnia and depression as part of the overtraining syndrome. So those of you who are ramping up training efforts may want to get more total hours on the pillow to compensate.
These following tips may be especially helpful to men, women and even children who appear to get less sleep.
1. Get in a 9-12 hour night at least once or twice weekly.
2. Nap to compensate for lost sleep. Whether it be a full sleep cycle of 90 minutes or a 20 minute power nap.
3. Meditate for 20 minutes during the day; winding down with breathing techniques and progressive relaxation before bedtime is especially helpful.
4. Avoid falling asleep with the tv on… you know what just avoid tv altogether, the mindless programming is really unnecessary in your development as a greater person.
5. Avoid stimulants 5 hours before bedtime, in other words an evening coffee or tea doesn't contribute to a good night's sleep. Neither does a depressant such as alcohol, sure that glass of wine may help you to fall asleep initially; but the rebound effect after metabolizing depressants can result in a second wind at 3:00AM.
6. Get into a bedtime routine. Do those mundane tasks that put you into an active meditative state, fold the laundry, wash the dishes, read a book that won't allow you to go beyond half an hour, take a warm bath... you get the idea. You might be surprised how a small series of behaviors, done every night, creates a habit that prepares the mind for shutdown mode.
7. Have a small late night snack like I use to and have butter, natural peanut butter and jam or honey on multi-grain bread with a glass of whole chocolate milk. I am kidding. Don't be tempted by late evening carbohydrate/ gluten induced coma to get to sleep.
8. If you live in a noisy area, try subtle white noise at night to drown out distracting or startling noises. Sounds of water trickling or babbling brooks fountains can help ground most restless souls. I personally listen to either classical musical or a hypnosis/ meditation audiotrack to talk me down to a relaxed state.
9. If you do wake up like I have a history of doing, around 4:00 AM, try 20 minutes of breathing meditation before sleep. This elevates melatonin levels by 300% naturally within the body's own secretion pathways without supplementation.
10. If your mind races and mulls over the events of the day or what all you need to tomorrow. Do 1 or all of these 3 mind clearing activities. 1) Journal and/or reflect on the day's happenings and find the positive occurrences as well as the things we need to work on. 2) If you are experiencing a creative thoughts flow as your mind settles, by all means write these great ideas down. 3) Write out what you are to do tomorrow.
Bonus. If you don't need to function within society norms such as an 8-5 job but have projects to work on, feel you can run on a couple hours of sleep but multiple siestas per day and want to live as Ben Franklin did, of sorts; may I suggest polyphasic sleep. Google it. Warning: Not suitable or practical for most people.
You can do push-ups pretty well.
Need a new challenge? Howabout one arm push-ups?
No worries, we can ease into and get your form right by using a band for assistance until you can do these push-ups on your own.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The Tree of Life
The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means "monkey face" because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means "nut-bearing."
The coconut provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations. On many islands coconut is a staple in the diet and provides the majority of the food eaten. Nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. Among these cultures the coconut has a long and respected history.
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called "The Tree of Life." Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut's amazing healing powers.
Coconut In Traditional Medicine
People from many diverse cultures, languages, religions, and races scattered around the globe have revered the coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as a effective medicine. For thousands of years coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine.
In traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds.
Coconut In Modern Medicine
Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:
Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
Helps protect against osteoporosis.
Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
Improves digestion and bowel function.
Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
Supports tissue healing and repair.
Supports and aids immune system function.
Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
Functions as a protective antioxidant.
Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
Reduces epileptic seizures.
Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
Dissolves kidney stones.
Helps prevent liver disease.
Is lower in calories than all other fats.
Supports thyroid function.
Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
Helps control dandruff.
Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
Is completely non-toxic to humans.
See Research to read some of the published studies regarding the above mentioned uses of coconut products.
While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it's the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.
Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.
Coconut oil has been described as "the healthiest oil on earth." That's quite a remarkable statement. What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?
The difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first you are probably familiar with, is based on saturation. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.
The size of the fatty acid is extremely important. Why? Because our bodies respond to and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size. So the physiological effects of MCFA in coconut oil are distinctly different from those of LCFA more commonly found in our foods. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are predominately medium-chain fatty acids. Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.
MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.
There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils.
Copyright © 2004 Coconut Research Center
This website is for educational purposes only. The information supplied here comes from a variety of sources and authors and not every statement made has been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Monday, July 19, 2010
If you seek a positive mind,
you MUST expose yourself to positive information
and hang around positive people.
If you want to achieve "positive" you have to
surround yourself with it and live it.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Probiotics: Nature’s Internal Healers (Your Body’s First Line of Defense against Most Common Diseases) by Natasha Trenev
The body operates as well engineered machine that heals from within - if properly fueled and maintained. The body lopes along like rusty old junker - if ignored and abused.
Of the 30-some feet of gastrointestinal tract we all have to process the foods we consume, there are many important checkpoints along the way. The first portion mainly is designed for breaking big bites down to a puree. Followed by stomach acids and then bile to chemically break down the structural bonds of the consumed foods so we can ABSORB our food through the skin-like linings of the intestines and right into our blood vessels. Unfortunately, along with everything we come into contact with, there is bacteria, viruses, fungi, mold, poisons, by-products of digestion and so on that can have nefarious effects on our health.
Probiotics serve as givers of life; they are beneficial bacteria. They are not only protectors from some of the unwanted ingested items or by-products from digestion they also produce many good and health promoting nutrients from the probiotics digesting the bad guys.
This book is a great read for those looking to understand how the body works in digesting foods. It provides charts and equations in ideal daily calorie consumption, protein intake quantities as well as dietary fat percentages. It explains diseases associated with an unhealthy or sick gut.
Understand the effects of mal-absorption and why, how the good gut bacteria also serve as recyclers of things such as bile. Learn how to eat right for proper maintenance of healthy bacterial flora.
For those who have suffered an illness which resulted in prescribed anti-biotics, here is a link to supplement the re-building of the healthy probiotics like Life 5 back in the intestinal tract.
Do you think happy people are blind to reality?
Or do you think they see things that the rest of us miss?
I think the answer may include a little of both, but I also think that, in the final analysis, people are happy because they make up their minds to be. Let me explain what I mean.
Most happy people aren't blind to the pain in the world, but because they have chosen to be happy, they don't focus their attention on it. They don't let the cruelty and injustices that are undeniably present in the world rob them of the pleasures and beauty that are also undeniably there.
And, it's entirely possible that happy people can see things that others don't, because their power of paying attention is enormous. Your attention, when you really focus it, is a lot like a searchlight. When you focus on beauty, you're simply going to see more beauty than other people do.
The same thing happens when you focus on a problem: you see it everywhere you look, even though people around you may have to have it pointed out to them.
Where is your attention focused these days?
Do you see mostly problems, or solutions?
Are you surrounded by people you enjoy and appreciate or are you surrounded by people who give you nothing but trouble?
Does life send you an unending cavalcade of pleasures or a litany of pain?
And finally, how could changing what you focus your attention on change the results you're getting?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monty excels in three niches:
Tweaking the performance of a professional / student athlete giving them an untouchable cutting edge
30-55 year old womens' weight loss and fitness success story factory- happens all the time here
Complex injury rehabilitation (spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.).
Cormax West is based out of Fargo, North Dakota. Monty trains select local clients in person and also creates custom fitness / rehab programs for non-local clients via email consulting.
To Sign-up please download and fill out the pdf version of the Registration form and bring in for your first session.
For more frequent and socially interactive discussions on a site designated for women's fitness and nutrition visit Flab to Tight on Facebook and become a fan.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Unlike the majority of diet, exercise and motivation books that are popular to the masses of people who need help—this book is neither a light read nor something to be read cover to cover.
If you are into cheerleading type fodder laced with a few take home messages disguised as motivational quotes in order to encourage you to take care of yourself—this book is not for you.
Those who would enjoy this book have the following characteristics:
- Emerald demeanor (according to Dani Johnson teachings)
- Have experienced failure with Western Medicine for their health interests
Curious or learning about:
- Quantum physics
- Chinese Medicine
- Native American Medicine
- Ayurvedic Medicine
- Holistic medicine
- Multiple plane consciousness
- Cosmic cycles
- Chakras & Kundalini
- Stones & crystals
- Frequency tuning
- Quantum physics
Would dream or think "What if the Mayo Clinic staff was composed of":
- Medical researchers
- Chemists/ alchemists
- Clairvoyant/ empathic diagnosticians
- and many other gifted professionals
- Medical researchers
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. The result can taste like something between sparkling apple cider and champagne, depending on what kind of tea you use. It's not what you'd imagine fermented tea to taste like.
The origins of Kombucha have become lost in the mists of time. It is thought to have originated in the Far East, probably China, and has been consumed there for at least two thousand years. The first recorded use of kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. It was known as "The Tea of Immortality".
It has been used in Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan for several centuries. It's from Japan in 415 AD that the name kombucha is said to have come. A Korean physician called Kombu or Kambu treated the Emperor Inyko with the tea and it took his name, "Kombu" and "cha" meaning tea. Russia has a long tradition of using a healing drink called "Tea Kvass" made from a "Japanese Mushroom".
From Russia it spread to Prussia, Poland, Germany and Denmark but it seems to have died out during World War Two. After the war Dr Rudolph Skelnar created renewed interest in kombucha in Germany when he used it in his practice to treat cancer patients, metabolic disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The Kombucha Culture
The Kombucha culture looks like a beige or white rubbery pancake. It's often called a 'scoby' which stands for ' symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.The culture is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns a bowl full of sweet tea into a bowl full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids.
As the Kombucha culture digests the sugar it produces a range of organic acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid; vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C; as well as amino acids, enzymes. And of course there are all the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms themselves. The Kombucha culture is a biochemical powerhouse in your kitchen.
You might wonder if fermenting tea with yeasts would produce an alcoholic beverage. It's a good question. The yeasts do produce alcohol but the bacteria in the culture turn the alcohol to organic acids. Only minute quantities of alcohol, typically 1% by volume remains in the kombucha brew.
With every brew you make the kombucha forms a new layer or scoby on the surface of the liquid. These can be left to thicken the scoby or can be divided, giving you spare cultures that you can store in some sweet tea in the fridge in case something should happen to your active culture. Or you might want to pass on spare Kombucha cultures to friends or use a new scoby to start another batch of kombucha.
Kombucha and Health
Many health claims are made for kombucha but there is less research on the benefits of kombucha than there is on fermented milk products. It has certainly been shown to have similar antibiotic, antiviral and anti fungal properties in lab tests. In rats it’s been shown to protect against stress and improve liver function. There is a lot of experiential evidence from people who have been using kombucha over many years. Many of the benefits reported include improvements in energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, HIV, chronic fatigue and arthritis. It ‘s also used externally for skin problems and as a hair wash among other things.
The Organic Acids
The body's most important detoxifier. When toxins enter the liver this acid binds them to it and flushes them out through the kidneys. Once bound by glucuronic acid toxins cannot escape. A product of the oxidation process of glucose, glucuronic acid is one of the more significant constituents of Kombucha. As a detoxifying agent it's one of the few agents that can cope with pollution from the products of the petroleum industry, including all the plastics, herbicides, pesticides and resins. It kidnaps the phenols in the liver, which are then eliminated easily by the kidneys. Kombucha can be very helpful for allergy sufferers. Another by-product of glucuronic acid are the glucosamines, the structures associated with cartilage, collagen and the fluids which lubricate the joints. It is this function that makes Kombucha so effective against arthritis.
Essential for the digestive system. Assist blood circulation, helps prevent bowel decay and constipation. Aids in balancing acids and alkaline in the body and believed to help in the prevention of cancer by helping to regulate blood pH levels.
A powerful preservative and it inhibits harmful bacteria.
A natural antibiotic that can be effective against many viruses.
An effective preservative and encourages the intercellular production of energy.
Helps detoxify the liver.
Produced by the bacteria, it can break down to caprylic acid is of great benefit to sufferers of candidiasis and other yeast infections such as thrush.
Produced by the yeast, protects human cellular membranes and combined with Gluconic acid strengthens the walls of the gut to combat yeast infections like candida.
Types of Tea for Kombucha
Kombucha requires tea for its fermentation (Camellia Sinensis). That's real tea not herbal tea. It can be also be sensitive to strong aromatic oils. A tea like Earl Grey that contains Bergamot oil, can sometimes kill or badly affect the culture. There are several different kinds of tea that give different results from lighter tastes to stronger more cider like tastes.
Black tea is made from leaves that have been fully fermented. The leaf is spread out and left to wilt naturally, before being fired, producing a deep, rich flavour and an amber brew.
Oolong tea is half way between green tea and black tea. It's gently rolled after picking and allowed to partially ferment until the edges of the leaves start to turn brown. Oolong combines the taste and colour of black and green tea.
Green tea is withered then steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then rolled and dried. It is characterized by a delicate taste, light green colour. The Japanese tea Sencha makes an especially fine kombucha.
White Tea is the rarest and most delicate of tea. Plucked forty-eight hours or less between the time the first buds become fully mature and the time they open. Unlike black and green teas, white tea isn't rolled or steamed, but simply aired dried in the sun, this preserves more of its antioxidant properties. White tea has about three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green. White tea represents the least processed form of tea.
How to Make Kombucha