Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods — including eggs, salmon, sardines, and tuna — and in fortified dairy and grain products.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Vitamin D boosts the immune system as well. A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body. According to one large-scale study, optimal Vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.
Reasons why Vitamin D deficiency is increasing:
*People are staying indoors more, to avoid the heat and fear of skin cancer.
*Increased use of multi-media indoors.
*More indoor jobs, less farmers.
*More soft drinks and fructose, which uses up calcium which uses up Vitamin D.
*Increased use of prescription drugs which consume or block the absorption of Vitamin D.
Check with your doctor: testing your blood is the only way to know your Vitamin D levels.
To learn more about Vitamin D: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/28/vitamin-d-deficiency-signs-symptoms.aspx
Bananas are a great dietary source of potassium and fiber. Besides helping to regulate blood pressure, bananas are good for your skin, and can even improve your mood because they aid the body in producing serotonin, which makes you feel relaxed. -LOLA, p. 173
Banana skin graphic by artist Gretchen Roehrs @groehrs
Healthy Food Near You
I love the Happycow.net and I’m so thrilled that I found it, and can share it with you. This is such a wonderful resource and one that I have been looking for! Through their site you can easily find vegan and vegetarian restaurants, either near where you live or when you are traveling. They have listings for 175 countries, a brilliant resource for travelers and people everywhere who want to find healthy food to eat wherever they are.
The Happycow community has grown to include members from around the world who are passionate about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle as a healthy, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable way of living.
Happy cow.net is a free-to-use site. Download their app for $3.99 (or gift it to a loved one) and support their work.
It’s Strawberry Season!!!
Buy Delicious Strawberries
Did you know… that a dentist was the co-inventor of the cotton candy machine?
Sugar is one of the most damaging substances that you can ingest – and what’s terrifying about it is that it’s just so abundant in our everyday diet. The human body is not made to consume excessive amounts of sugar, especially in the form of fructose. In fact, your body metabolizes fructose differently than sugar. It is actually a hepatotoxin and is metabolized directly into fat – factors that can cause a whole host of problems that can have far-reaching effects on your health.
How to Manage and/or Limit Your Sugar Consumption
Sugar, in its natural form, is not inherently bad, as long as it’s consumed in moderation. This means avoiding all sources of fructose, particularly processed foods and beverages like soda. According to SugarScience.org, 74 percent of processed foods contain added sugar stealthily hidden under more than 60 different names. Ideally, you should spend 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent or less on processed foods.
It’s recommended that you severely limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates (waffles, cereals, bagels, etc.) and grains, as they actually break down to sugar in your body, which increases your insulin levels and causes insulin resistance.
As a general recommendation, keep your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day, including that from whole fruit. Keep in mind that although fruits are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, they also naturally contain fructose, and if consumed in high amounts may actually worsen your insulin sensitivity and raise your uric acid levels. Check out this article to see how much fructose is in the common fruits you eat.
Remember that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are also a no-no, as they actually come with a whole new set of health problems that are much worse than what sugar or corn syrup can bring.
Here are some additional dietary tips to remember:
Increase your consumption of healthy fats, such as omega-3, saturated, and monounsaturated fats. Your body needs health-promoting fats from animal and vegetable sources for optimal functioning. In fact, emerging evidence suggests that healthy fats should make up at least 70 percent of your diet. Some of the best sources include organic butter from raw milk, (unheated) virgin olive oil, coconut oil, raw nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, avocado, and wild Alaskan salmon.
Drink pure, clean water. Simply swapping out all the sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices for pure water can go a long way toward improving your health. The best way to gauge your water needs is to observe the color of your urine (it should be light pale yellow) and the frequency of your bathroom visits (ideally, this is around seven to eight times per day).
Add fermented foods to your meals. The beneficial bacteria in these healthful foods can support your digestion and provide detoxification support, which helps lessen the fructose burden on your liver. Some of the best choices include kimchi, natto, organic yogurt and kefir made from grass-fed milk, and fermented vegetables.
To read the entire article: http://articles.
Healthier Fast Food Options
Even if you are diligent about packing healthful foods when going to school, college or traveling, sometimes healthy dining options are limited. While I suggest you avoid eating fast food entirely, if you must, please keep the following in mind when ordering:
- No matter how hungry you are, you are better off ordering a small amount of food and making up for it with healthier foods later.
- Pile on the lettuce, tomato and other vegetables that come with your order, to add some fiber and antioxidants. If choosing a sandwich, opt for going bun-free, I know of no fast food restaurant that has truly whole grains anywhere in the kitchen.
- Go for the salad – this option is now commonly available at fast-food establishments. The dressings are often soybean oil based, ask for a side of salsa to use as dressing.
- Ask to see a list of the nutritional content of menu items. Some restaurants have them posted – if they don’t, ask for them, and then ask yourself if you really want to eat there.
- Don’t forget that the grocery store makes a perfect fast food option. Run in and pick up some cheese, nuts or plain yogurt.
How To Store Asparagus
It’s asparagus season! When you buy a bunch at the market, do you know what is the best way to store them so they stay fresh? Place them straight up in a small cup with a little water in the fridge. With this method, you can usually store asparagus for 5-7 days.
Sprouts provide a wealth of nutrition in a small package.
Sprouting is the process whereby seeds are germinated and eaten either raw or cooked.
Sprouts are veritable stars of the vegetable world. They have many health benefits which include high levels of dietary fiber, B complex vitamins and protein. Sprouts also contain digestive enzymes and some of the highest known levels of certain antioxidants. One cup of sprouts provides 119 percent of your daily allotment of vitamin C.
When growing sprouts at home, look for seeds that have been specially prepared for sprouting.
What you will need to grow your own sprouts:
1-Wide-mouthed glass jars; making sure they’ve been cleaned and sanitized.
2-Mesh or cheesecloth and something to secure it to the jar (as in, a rubber band.
When you are ready to start:
1-Wash the seeds, or beans. Place one or two tablespoons of seeds in the jar (make sure they don’t take up more than a quarter of the jar; they will expand a great deal) and cover with a few inches of water and secure the mesh or cheesecloth on top. Let soak for 8 to 12 hours at room temperature.
2-Drain the seeds and rinse them, then drain again. Find an area out of direct sunlight and place the jars upside-down, but at an angle to allow drainage and air-circulation through the mesh (over a bowl works well).
3-Rinse and drain the seeds between two and four times a day, making sure that they never dry out completely.
4-As soon as they are big enough, harvest! This generally takes from three to seven days – and as little as one day – depending on what you’re sprouting. Lentils and mung beans, for instance, may just take a day or two. Sprouts are at their best when they’re still on the relatively small side and just starting to turn green.
5-Give them a final rinse and allow them to drain very well in a colander, removing any unsprouted seeds. Once they are dry, store them in a glass jar with a lid, in the fridge and use within a week. All sprouts can be eaten raw, and all but the most delicate (like alfalfa) can be gently cooked as well.
*I love to add them to salads, or cook them lightly with a little garlic or onion, and ½ cup cooked quinoa and a 6 minute boiled egg on top. Delicious!
Just store it in the refrigerator unwrapped!
Choose Organic Garlic
When buying garlic, why should you choose organically grown garlic instead of conventionally grown? Because about a third of the garlic in the United States comes from China, where many Chinese farmers use pesticides that are illegal to use for farming, such as phorate and parathion, both labeled HIGHLY TOXIC POISONS.
China’s pollution problem and soil is also a cause for concern since nearly a fifth of China’s soil is contaminated by heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic.
So when buying garlic at a grocery store, look for these things:
- If it has roots and a stem, it is safe. China will cut these off before they ship them to save weight.
- Safe garlic is heavier and more bulbous. Imported garlic from China is lighter.
HOWEVER, THE BEST WAY TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE EATING SAFE GARLIC IS TO BUY IT FROM LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
Are they better to buy fresh or frozen?
Out & About
What do nutritionists eat when they are out for drinks?
I love having a cup of tea in the morning, after I wake up…and in the afternoon, around 4pm. It’s so lovely to take a break from my work and have a quiet moment to myself.
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and fiber. Besides helping to regulate blood pressure, bananas are good for the skin, and can even improve your mood because they aid the body in producing serotonin, which helps you to feel more relaxed. ~LOLA Lots of Love Always, p. 173.
Protein Rich Food
Concerned about not getting enough protein if you are a vegetarian?
2 Tablespoons of Hummus
Eat Bell Peppers
Available in appetizing colors including green, yellow, orange, red and black; eating bell peppers is an easy, refreshing way to add nutrients to your meals. Bell peppers are:
- A low-calorie vegetable
- An excellent source of vitamins A and C
- A good source of dietary fiber, folic acid and Vitamin 6
Plus, if you choose red bell peppers, you will be getting lycopene, an important carotenoid that may help protect against prostate and other cancers.
Extraordinarily versatile, bell peppers can be eaten raw as crudités or in a salad; stuffed and baked; sautéed or stir-fried. Purchase bell peppers that are free of blemishes and always seek out organically grown varieties.
Source: Dr Weil
Why eat cabbage? This low-cost yet highly nutritious cruciferous vegetable contains nutrients called indoles, which may protect against both breast and prostate cancer. It also provides significant amounts of fiber and vitamin C.
Source: Dr Andrew Weil
Pass The Peas, Please!
Keep tomatoes on the counter at room temperature: When tomatoes are chilled, their flavor diminishes, and the texture can turn mealy as the cold temperature breaks down the membranes inside the fruit.
Why choose real Vanilla extract over artificial Vanilla flavor?
Vanilla extract is made by dissolving vanilla beans in alcohol to create the dark colored liquid with the powerful scent of natural vanilla. All vanilla extracts are high in alcohol, but the alcohol evaporates when exposed to high heat, such as during baking. While they may smell similar, vanilla extract is not the same as artificial vanilla flavor, which is made with a chemical extracted from coal tar and wood. Vanilla extract is richer tasting and may offer health benefits you won’t get from the artificial version.
Natural vanilla extract contains numerous antioxidants, including vanillic acid and vanillin. Antioxidants protect your body from damage from harmful components, such as free radicals and toxins. Researchers in a 2007 study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” found that vanilla extract contains 26 to 90 percent of the antioxidants of unprocessed vanilla, depending on the type of antioxidant and the concentration of the extract. They concluded that vanilla showed great potential as a health supplement and as a food preservative.
I love my gift from Renee’! I’ve been using this wonderful real Vanilla in many of my dessert recipes
Renee Loux: http://www.reneeloux.com
What one serving of fruit looks like:
The Story With Popcorn
If you love and/or need popcorn, there are healthier choices available:
Air popped popcorn is high in fiber and low in calories and fat. And it’s cheap: You can get a perfectly good air popper like this one for as little as $20. Just add GMO-free, USDA Certified Organic kernels and plug it in, and you can munch for pennies. My pro tip? Use a spray can of organic olive oil to get a light and even coating, then toss with just a little bit of good salt. (Salt and oil are not calculated into the nutritional analysis.)
The Best Gluten-Free Pasta
As interest in gluten-free diets has risen, so has the number of appetizing alternatives to wheat pasta. Martha Stewart polled members at their test kitchen to find out the favorites.
The five are:
* Brown-Rice Spirals
Buckwheat Soba Noodles pair well with grilled eggplant, sesame and soy.
The Key To Cleaning Cast Iron Skillets
Whatever you do, don’t soak it!
Avocado is a Fruit
According to botanists (those who study plants) a fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower. It’s also the section of the plant that contains the seeds. The other parts of plants are considered vegetables. These include the stems, leaves and roots — and even the flower bud.
The following are technically fruits: avocado, beans, pea pods, cucumbers, grains, nuts, olives peppers, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds and tomatoes. Vegetables include celery (stem), lettuce (leaves), cauliflower and broccoli (buds), and beets, carrots and potatoes (roots).
LOLA loves Ella Woodward and her very popular food blog Deliciously Ella!
In 2011, nineteen-year-old Ella Woodward was diagnosed with a rare illness that left her bed-ridden, in chronic pain, and plagued by heart palpitations and headaches. When conventional medicine failed her, Ella decided to change her diet. She gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar, and anything processed—and the effects were immediate: her symptoms disappeared, her energy returned, and she was able to go off all her medication. A self-confessed sweet tooth, Ella taught herself how to make delicious, plant-based meals that delight the palette and improve overall well-being.
Her cookbook has just been released and is full of healthy, and delicious plant-based, gluten free recipes.
Eat Your Walnuts
Walnuts are good for you! Eat for your health.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, protective fats that may promote cardiovascular health, help maintain optimal cognitive function, and tone down inflammation.
- Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that helps support a healthy immune system.
- L-arginine, an essential amino acid that promotes healthy blood pressure.
Try adding walnuts to your plain yogurt and fruit parfaits or steel cut oatmeal to start the day, eat them as a snack, and use walnut oil in salad dressings for a nutritional boost
When you’re at the supermarket have you noticed that some fruits and vegetables are coated with wax? Waxes are used to reduce shrinkage from moisture loss, to inhibit the growth of molds and fungi and to enhance the appearance of the product. Waxes can be removed to some extent by washing with water and to a greater degree by using soap and water. Nothing except peeling removes 100% of all waxes; however, the nutrients within the peel will be lost as well.
General Shopping Tips
Remember these tips on the grocery aisles: Don’t just check calories. Fifty avocado calories are not the same as 50 Cheetos calories, registered dietician Elizabeth Lee says. And if the calorie count seems low and the dish sound lush, like Fettuccine Alfredo, Lee advises asking yourself, “How do you think they did that?”
Source: Los Angeles Times
The Art of Eating Well
HEMSLEY + HEMSLEY is Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley.
- We are a London based family business for people who want to live healthier and more energised lives.
- We make whole, organic, nutrient filled, delicious homemade foods, free of grain, gluten, high starch and refined sugar.
- We want to share the food we love cooking and eating.
- Our first cookbook ‘The Art of Eating Well’ is out now.
Eat yogurt that contains probiotics because they can ward off sickness in a number of ways. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that probiotics, in the form of fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha tea and kim chi, may strengthen a defense barrier in the gut that keeps out harmful microorganisms. Other theories hold that the “good” bacteria in probiotics help your intestines absorb the nutrients your body needs for a resilient immune system by reducing inflammation.
And while a 2011 study on probiotics and human immunity published by the National Institutes of Health calls for more research, the findings also state that probiotics have therapeutic potential for diseases including viral infection, allergies and eczema.
Eat Your Seeds
Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds have become more apparent. Seeds share the cardiovascular benefits of nuts, which are significant – a daily serving of nuts is associated with a 35% reduction in heart disease risk. Plus, a tablespoon of ground flax, hemp, or chia seeds or other seeds can supply those hard-to-find omega-3 fats that protect the heart and brain. Flax, sesame, and chia seeds are also rich in lignans, a phytochemical that is especiallyprotective against breast cancer and prostate cancer. Sunflower, pumpkin, and all types of seeds have unique health benefits, and seeds are a healthful, mineral-rich protein source.
resource: Peaceful Daily: http://peacefuldaily.com/profiles/blogs/eat-your-seeds
Eat For Your Health
4 ways to a healthier you:
Think Twice About Buying Any Organic Food that Contains DHA or ARA
Companies are adding DHA and ARA (Arachidonic acid) into their products because they are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, respectively, and also provide a unique marketing angle.(A majority of the organic food companies are sourcing their DHA and ARA from Martek Bioscienes Corporation.)
1) Even though hexane is no longer permitted, the ruling did not specify that other “synthetic solvents”, which have the potential to be more dangerous, could not be used in the processing of DHA or ARA.
2) The Organic Consumers Association is reporting that Martek’s DHA and ARA still do not meet the standards of certified organic. Why? A detailed review of Martek’s patents reveal that the company is:*** Using genetic-modification in the manufacturing process for DHA –> something not allowed under USDA certified organic regulations.*** Using genetically-modified corn in the manufacturing process for DHA –> something not allowed under USDA certified organic regulations.It is an understatement to say that this situation is appalling.
Horizon Organic Milk
Stremicks Heritage Foods Organic Milk
ZenSoy Soy on the Go
The best time of year to eat red bell peppers is when they are at their nutritional peak, from July through November. Did you know…that when a green pepper turns red, it gains 11 times more beta-carotene and 1 1/2 times more vitamin C. Buy and eat red bell peppers for your health!
A Whole Food Lover
What is your food philosophy?
A lot of people want to know “what I am” – vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist, fruitarian, macrobiotic…guess what? I am a person who eats!
My food philosophy is this: I hate labels. They stink. They force a person to define themselves with very rigid terms, and beat themselves up if they suddenly eat something that doesn’t fit that definition. I know I never want to have to label what “kind” of diet I subscribe to. Being dogmatic about anything, for me, just doesn’t work. Being flexible does.
I eat almost entirely organic food. My diet consists mainly (like, 99%) of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. I probably eat an egg once every couple weeks if the mood strikes me, and sometimes I will enjoy some goat or sheep dairy in very small amounts. You’ll even catch me nibbling on a freshly caught fish once or twice a year at our summerhouse (if I know where it came from, who caught it, and that it was killed humanely, I’m game. Why not? There is nothing like a fish straight out of the ocean!)
The only label I’ll slap on myself is “whole-food-lover”. Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I never count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.
Five Servings A Day Isn’t Enough!
Eating 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day lowers health risks, and vegetables do more good than fruit.
Summer Fruit Bounty
Summertime is super delicious fruit bonanza time! Eat as often as you can the incredible peaches, nectarines, grapes, raspberries, figs, blueberries and all others that are in season this month. Eating fruits and vegetables grown locally and in season is the best time because their nutrient content is at their highest. Eat for health 🙂
How to choose seafood:
For highest nutritional value, choose vegetables when they are in season, like this red tomato. It’s best bought in the summer and organic and locally grown as possible for the freshest and best! Health is wealth! If we don’t have our health, nothing else is going to matter.
Kiwi & Watermelon
Based on the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, kiwi and watermelon are on the list of produce that you can buy conventionally grown as they are the lowest in pesticides. Others on the list are onions, avocados, sweet corn (frozen), pineapples, mangos, sweet peas (frozen), asparagus, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe (domestic), grapefruit, sweet potatoes, and honeydew melon.
High School Students Publish Book About Eating Healthy
A group of students at Roosevelt High School in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, California, learned about healthy eating and how it improves lives. Lessons learned in the classroom were soon taken home and taught to their own families. One student wrote about how he shared his ideas with his family and the difficulties involved with trying to make them change. The lessons continued out of the classroom and into the school vegetable garden, where they were taught the basics of planting seeds and tending their crops.
ICE & LEMON WEDGES
A suggestion: some studies have found that ice cubes from some restaurants might contain more bacteria than a lavatory bowl. Lemon wedges as well were found to contain bacteria and potentially dangerous microorganisms. How is this possible? One reason may be the ice machine isn’t cleaned regularly and bacteria builds up and/or employees that are handling the ice and lemon slices aren’t washing their hands often enough.
So you might think twice before ordering next time. Just a suggestion.
Native to North America, the blueberry belongs to the heath family whose other members include the cranberry, huckleberry, azalea, rhododendron, and various other heathers.
Studies have shown that compounds in blueberries may protect against the eye disease macular degeneration, improve gastrointestinal health, aid in preventing Alzheimer’s or age-related dementia and guard the body against certain forms of cancer. Blueberries are a very good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Just like with strawberries and raspberries: don’t wash berries until you are ready to use them and keep in a moisture-free container ( i.e.: reusable glass jar) in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.
Recent studies have discovered that certain fats are good for us. Indeed, we all need some for optimal body functioning and here are the reasons why: fat makes and nourishes our cells, fat cushions and protects our organs and nerves, fat store vitamins and absorbs minerals and transports hormones and other nutrients throughout our blood. However, all fat is not created equal and it helps to know some good resources for healthy fat:
Four Fabulous Fats:
- Avocados, and avocado oil. They are an excellent source of highly nutritious monounsaturated fats.
- Dark Chocolate. It improves your cholesterol.
- Coconut, and coconut oil. Its caprice acid has antiviral properties.
- Olive oil. Best unfiltered, first-pressed (extra-virgin) and cold-extracted.
Oils last longer when stored out of the sun and in a cool, dark place.
The WHO, as in World Health Organization, is now recommending that our daily diet includes only 5% of sugar. We are currently clocking in at 18%, which is way too much!
Eating too much sugar is linked to heightened risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. For your sugar fix, choose fresh fruit over foods that include processed sweeteners like the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. Stay away from table and brown sugar, honey and maple syrup too.
* * * E A T T O L I V E D O N T L I V E T O E A T* * *
The Dirty Dozen
are in season now!
- Buy organically grown ones and rinse them in water only when you are ready to eat them. Washing adds moisture and will cause the berries to spoil more rapidly.
- Eating 8 strawberries a day can improve heart health, lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of cancers and even improve cognitive function!
- Strawberries are also low in calories and fat, and are rich in minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
In a Nutshell
- Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, and because it’s fat soluble, it offers protection against damage to the fats that line the outside of every cell in our bodies. When the fats in our membranes become damaged, important cell functions become compromised.
- Manganese is a trace mineral, that our bodies need small amounts of every day, especially for building strong and healthy bones.
We can put the “natural” label on pretty much anything. This is a great a video that explains “natural” labeling on our food products.
Robyn O’Brien, an unlikely food crusader:
To learn more: www.ewg.org/meateatersguide
Scientific studies have shown that reduced meal frequency increases the life span of animals, even when the number calories consumed are the same. The body needs time between the digestion of each meal; only when the digestion has ended can the body most effectively detoxify and promote cellular repair. To maximize health, it is not favorable to be constantly eating and digesting food.
Yours in good health, Dr. Fuhrman