Monday, June 15, 2009

How to Manage Diabetes

Do you follow common health rhetoric about managing Diabetes? Medical experts advise being under the care of a physician to take care of your disease. But what's really causing the disease? Is it just some unknown thing going on in your body that needs continual doses of insulin and other medications? Common medical advice tells Diabetes patients to avoid sugar, and recommends that if desserts and sugar are eaten to drastically reduce fat intake. Following these directives are not only keeping your insulin levels in a haywire state, but they are ruining your health. Not enough emphasis is placed on removal of processed foods, which greatly contribute to the Diabetic condition in the first place, and eating real, whole foods. This is why people with Diabetes, in general, continue to struggle and struggle with their weight and health.

There are some natural alternatives to taking care of your health and your Diabetes. Diabetes is largely a modern disease that is caused by a combination of inactivity and consumption of processed, industrial foods. Eating a healthy diet should enable you to overcome your disease and lead a healthy life. Here are the foods you should eliminate from your diet:

Anything processed and containing refined carbohydrates such as:
  • crackers
  • bread
  • pasta
  • bagels
  • rice cakes
  • packaged cereals
  • most breads
  • alternative grain products that are processed such as the above
  • industrial pasteurized/homogenized dairy products - especially low-fat and non-fat
  • processed (roasted, salted, coated) nuts and seeds
  • non-organic nut butter that comes from roasted nuts
  • refined, vegetable oils like canola, soy, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, and other vegetable oils
  • soy products of all kinds (except those that are fermented like miso and tempeh)
  • industrial meats
  • conventionally produced fruits and vegetables
Basically, anything packaged, canned, or in a box should be suspect and probably eliminated from your kitchen and diet.

Here's what you should include in your diet:
  • grass-fed, naturally and organically raised meats, pasture-raised poultry
  • raw milk and dairy (cheese, cream, butter) from organic, pasture-raised cattle
  • eggs from pasture-raised poultry
  • organically-produced fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
  • raw nuts and seeds
  • organically-produced nut butters (avoid peanut butter)
  • natural, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil, real butter from grass-fed cattle, tallow and lard from healthy beef and chicken (see above)
  • whole grains (avoid flour) from the bulk isle in the grocery store such as brown rice, oats, buckwheat, teff, quinoa, spelt, whole wheat, millet, oats, etc. that are soaked before eating and sprouted grains (try Ezekiel brand products)
  • fermented foods like real, home-made yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, lacto-fermented vegetables, and others
Obtaining regular stretching, movement, and exercise is important too. Here are some guidelines:
  • Focus on regular activity rather than length of time spent doing the activity.
  • Do something you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle and interests.
  • The best type of activity is something you can do outside. It allows you to get fresh air and sunshine (natural Vitamin D is very important for health), and gets you out of your everyday environment of the home or office.
  • Start out slow if you have been sedentary.
  • Don't focus on calories or fat intake as a method of losing weight. If you do, you will continue to struggle with weight issues. If you are eating whole, healthy foods and obtaining regular activity in your schedule, your normal weight should be easy to maintain.
For more insight about being nutritionally fit, and putting more emphasis on eating well to maintain your health and your weight, read Are You Nutritionally Fit?

For more information on types of healthy foods, read How Well Do Know Your Food? Find Out!

For more information on fats and health, read The Importance of Dietary Fats.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How to Make Chicken Soup

When you make chicken, do you use your leftover bones and parts for soup? If you have never done this, it is a great way to make use of these parts for a nutritious base for soup or broth:

Kitchen tips start with pasture-raised, organic poultry. The minerals and nutrients from an organic, naturally-raised chicken carcass will be superior for your health. Always use organic vegetables, sea salt, and natural, organic, non-irradiated seasonings and pepper.

  • Cut up carrots, celery, and onions. Use as much or as little as you want. Each person has a preference of how much to include in a soup. Set aside your vegetables.
  • Place your chicken carcass or bones in a large enough pot to fill up with water (over the level of its contents).
  • Add a moderate amount of salt and pepper (to taste, you will go back in and taste your soup before it is finished and add a bit more).
  • Add one or two bay leafs to your pot.
  • Pour in a bit of organic, raw vinegar (apple cider is a good choice) to your pot.
  • Place vegetables in the pot with the chicken carcass. Cover the pot with a lid. Put your pot on the stove and turn the heat up until boiling.
  • When the pot boils, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 90 minutes.
  • Somewhere during the cooking process, taste your soup to make sure you have added enough salt and pepper. Now is also the time to add other seasonings, if desired such as cumin, parsley, paprika, or thyme.
  • When your soup has simmered for 90 minutes, remove from heat and take out the bones and bay leaf/leaves.
Now you have a fantastically healthy broth. Add anything to the broth that you like for soup - chicken, turkey, ham, rice, vegetables, beans, or sprouted grain pasta. Be sure that if you are going to add legumes or grains that you soak them overnight before cooking with a bit of whey, kefir, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar. You may also choose to add other seasonings or spices to your soup. When you add ingredients, bring your broth to a boil again and then simmer your soup for an hour or so to infuse your creation with all the flavor of what you add in.

If you are not going to eat your broth right away, store in the refrigerator or freeze for a later time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Supporting Big Pharma and Big Corporations

Do you think twice about what you buy and who's profiting from it? If not, you may want to reconsider your buying habits and how they affect your health and the planet. Big companies and pharmaceutical corporations stand to profit from your purchases when you shop for food, personal care products, household items, and many other things you rely on for everyday living.

A majority of our food and products that we buy is polluted and full of toxins, and most people are unknowingly making themselves sick from items they are told are perfectly acceptable and healthy to use by the manufacturers. These companies have a bigger advertising budget on getting the product marketed to consumers than what is actually spent to make sure those same products are not harmful to use.

To read more about this important topic, visit Agriculture Society and read 'Big Corporations and Big Pharma - Dictating What's Acceptable to Eat'.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why Alternative Care?

Do you use some type of alternative care or therapy for your health? Many people are moving toward these types of treatments because conventional medicine has failed to offer viable solutions to their health ailments.

Dr. Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (a federal agency Congress created a decade ago) states, "Most patients are not treated very satisfactorily. If we had highly effective, satisfactory conventional treatment we probably wouldn't have as much need for these other strategies and as much public interest in them."

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, a cancer specialist at the Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York includes nutrition testing and counseling, meditation and relaxation techniques in the facility where he works. It is true that cancer takes many years to develop, and some practitioners believe cancer must be treated with chemotherapy and a protocol of heavy drugs. Conventional medicine supposes that many supplements and treatments are unproven scientifically and even go as far as to say that some of those things are harmful or have side-effects. One of the most important aspects of alternative care and treatment that consumers should consider is that quality, knowledge, and experience count. Consider the following if you choose a complimentary method of treatment:

  • Never attempt to self-diagnose or treat yourself. Seek advice of a knowledgeable alternative health care practitioner before embarking on any program or protocol of alternative treatment. This will ensure quality and efficacy of the product and treatment you are seeking.
  • Avoid going to a health food store and purchasing products without some prior guidance or recommendation from a practitioner. Many products don't deliver what is listed on the label or may contain harmful or toxic ingredients.
  • You will save yourself time and money with knowledgeable alternative care.

Even though Gaynor still uses these drugs, there are many other health care professionals moving toward alternative therapies and still more who exclusively use alternative care for patients and clients. Why? Because they believe pharmaceutical intervention carries risks that far outweigh those in the complimentary camp. Drugs always have side-effects and are often just a band-aid for what is occurring in the body. Medications can also deplete the body of vital nutrients - which can cause further medical issues. Taking preventative care can have tremendous benefits to your health now and in the future. Here are some suggestions for success:

  • Educate yourself about the benefits of alternative care. Be willing to consider alternative therapies and treatments to conventional medical treatment.
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods.
  • Eat real, organic, whole, and traditional foods. Proper nutrition can help to avoid health problems that medical doctors treat with surgery and drugs.
  • Eliminate chemical substances from your life - tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs, and alcohol.
  • Educated yourself about the risks and dangers of chemical toxins in your home, work, and other environments. Remove as many of them as you can.
  • Get adequate rest and stress relief. Remember, stress can actually help cause health issues to start and become worse. Go to bed no later than 10:30 nightly.
  • Obtain some regular, moderate exercise. Don't tell yourself that if you can't do something drastic, you won't do anything at all.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water and avoid sugary, chemically-filled beverages. Consider getting a water filter in your home to help clean out impurities that can make you sick such as lead, copper, and arsenic.
All of these things will help you in your health journey and enable your partnership with an experienced alternative health care practitioner to be a successful one. If you are not treating your body and medical issues holistically, the chances for healing and recovery are greatly diminished.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What are the Hidden Costs of Eating Conventional, Industrial Food?

Do you pay attention to where your food comes from? Do you go to the grocery store and purchase whatever's on the shelf and give little thought to what it might be doing to your body? Do you spend little time thinking about the preventative side of taking care of your body through the foods you eat? Do you eat out at restaurants and fast food establishments? If so, here are some things to consider:

  • Most grocery store and restaurant meat comes from factory farm environments where the animals are confined in the most abhorrent conditions available. They are shoved together in filthy, unnatural spaces surrounded by waste lagoons, are administered all types of chemicals including hormones, steroids, and antibiotics, and are fed the most unhealthy feeds available such as genetically-modified corn, grain, and soy, and renderings of bio-waste products. Animals cannot live normal, natural lives in these conditions, so why should their meat be healthy to consume?
  • Conventional produce is grown with pesticides and herbicides, from genetically-modified and engineered seeds, and with modern farming methods which are as harsh as can be to the landscape and damage and strip the soil of its nutrients - substances which are vital to the nutritional density and flavor of the foods you are eating.Conventional produce is said to contain higher amounts of water and less nutrition, so basically what you are getting is a piece of fruit or vegetables comprised of a little polluted water and roughage, and little else.
  • Processed foods in the store (representing at least 75% of what's available) are full of chemically-laden "food-like substances" which contain carcinogenic ingredients, hydrogenated oils, MSG and other excitotoxins, are synthetically fortified and contain little to no nutritional value.
Many health problems have been attributed to the consumption of these so-called foods. Toxins and chemicals in our food supply are responsible for the onslaught of earlier degenerative diseases than in the historical past. We consume massive amounts of this food each and every day in our homes, in schools, hospitals, offices, stores, and restaurants.

So is there a hidden cost? If you eat foods like this on a regular basis, you can bet there is. Switching to natural, organic, and grass-fed foods seems expensive on the surface, but when you consider the medical problems you will save yourself in the long run, doesn't it seem worth it to spend more now and save later? Industrial food may have a cheaper price tag at the store, but the long-term repercussions of eating this way for an extended period of time will definitely show a higher price tag in the future, in more ways than one: you'll pay with your pocketbook and your quality of life.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cholesterol Medication and Your Health

Do you take cholesterol medication that is recommended by a doctor? If so, there are some things you should know about these dangerous drugs:
  • They only mask the problem going on in your body, and don't get to the cause of the problem
  • Drugs deplete your body of vital nutrients, which lead to further medical issues
  • All drugs have side-effects. One of the primary side-effects of cholesterol medications is liver damage. Liver damage is dangerous and can lead to other health issues that are very unpleasant - not to mention expensive and time-consuming to treat
Here is how to raise your good cholesterol (HDL):
  • Eat real, grass-fed butter
  • Eat coconut oil
  • Eat grass-fed meats and pasture-raised eggs from reputable, local sources that raise their products sustainable
  • Eat plenty of organic, seasonal vegetables and fruits
  • Eat raw nuts and seeds
  • If you do eat grains, buy organic in bulk and soak overnight in a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and water to release the nutrients found in grains that our bodies often cannot absorb from not soaking and reduce the phytic acid content (that substance which causes indigestion and nutrient-absorbing blockage). Cook in the morning for 1/3 the time usual and eat with raw milk, homemade yogurt, a little raw honey or real maple syrup, and fruit.
  • Get regular, moderate exercise
  • Avoid sugar in any form - that means any refined carbohydrates - crackers, breads, rice cakes, cereals, pretzels, chips, bagels, pasta, desserts, sugary beverages (including juice and power "electrolyte" drinks).
  • Avoid processed foods and drinks, and especially those with artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrups
  • Avoid unhealthy vegetable oils such as canola, soy, cottonseed, or safflower. These oils are too high in Omega 6s (which cause inflammation, cancer, and heart disease). These substances are also likely to be genetically-modified as well, which has its own set of health risks.
For more information on the Importance of Dietary Fats for health, visit Agriculture Society.