Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lower Salad Dressing Calories

Add vinegar to salad dressing to make it last longer and lower calories. Some places recommend equal parts, but I found that to be a little too much. Just try adding a little at a time to see what works for you.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What are in Supplements?

The health food industries and National Health Federation (NHF) stated that natural supplements should not be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in 1994 President Clinton signed into law the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) which categorized vitamins and supplements as food and not drugs, making them widely available but not necessarily safe. What has resulted is vitamins and supplements that not only do not always contain what they state on the label but might have additions of harmful substances. They have been known to contain mercury, lead, mold and bacteria.
Note: The FDA can remove a product from the market if it's deemed to be unsafe.

 It's always best to get nutrition from whole food, but if you prefer supplements, makes sure you do plenty of research.

Quack Watch has a plethora of information about health care and about supplements.
Another good article is Truth about Supplements
Consumer Reports - Hidden dangers of vitamins
Food and Drug Administration

What to look for:
Non Profit organization United States Pharmacopeial (USP) seal (check their list here)
USP is an independent organization that ensures the contents are as described on the label and free of contaminants.

What to avoid:
Complicated ingredient list
Percentages exceeding 100% of recommended daily allowance (RDA)
Supplements or vitamins that may interfere with medication (check with your doctor before taking anything)
Products that may harm or cause liver damage:
  Aristolochic Acid
  Bitter orange

Friday, August 25, 2017

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

There are many foods that cause arthritis pain mostly processed foods and those high in sugar.

Here are some suggestions I've found on various web sites to control pain associated with inflamed joints.

Cut down on fried and processed foods and prepared frozen meals
Don’t cook meat at high temperatures
Reduce sugar intake: Cut out candy, processed foods, white flour baked goods and soda
Reduce/cut out dairy (the type of protein they contain can irritate joints)
Reduce/cut out alcohol (can lead to gout)
Avoid preservatives and additives
Reduce salt intake
Replace omega-6 (corn oil) fatty acids with omega-3
Reduce red meat consumption and opt for grass fed meat

Protein: Spinach, nut butters (not peanut), tofu, beans, lentils and quinoa
Omega 3: Olive oil, nuts, flax seeds, pumpkins seeds
Salmon, snapper, tuna, cod, halibut bass
Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts
Get antioxidants from fruit: Apples, blueberries, cherries, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries
Add spices: Chili pepper, cumin, turmeric (turmeric tea reduces inflammation)
Chocolate with 70 percent pure cocoa
Green tea
Tart cherry juice
Vegetables: Spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage (colorful vegetables have the most antioxidants)
Whole grains

For more information go to the Arthritis Foundation site

Note: Great Lakes Gelatin purports to repair collagen loss and cartilage damage and I've been using that for a while along with reducing sugar and processed food and trying to stick to suggestions on the site

Always check with your doctor before making diet or exercise changes - some foods may affect medications you are taking.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mason Jar Salad

Using Mason jars is an easy way to make up salads to take to work or to have handy in the fridge for lunch. Jamie Oliver calls them jam jar salads.

The main process is putting it in the correct order.

1.  Salad dressing
2.  Grain or protein
3.  Nuts and cheese
4.  Leafy greens

Here are a few sites to give you some ideas:

Buzzfeed - Mason jar salads
How to pack the perfect salad in a jar
Mason Jar Salad Recipes
Farmers Fridge

Note: has other jar recipes too.

Monday, July 17, 2017

How Not to Die by Michael Greger, M.C.

I heard about Dr. Greger on the video What the Health and found his book How Not to Die at the local library. If you're serious about improving your health and making better diet choices, this book has everything you need.

Unfortunately, we get most of our health advice from our doctors and the health care system is run on a fee-for-service model. Doctors get paid for pills and procedures they prescribe. There is no financial incentive for recommending healthy eating and few medical schools offer nutritional training. In fact Dr. Greger states that the Medical Association has been strongly against nutritional training for doctors. It's up to you to educate yourself on healthy living. Dr. Greger notes that most deaths are related to what we eat and are preventable. His book is broken down into separate chapters: How Not to Die from Heart Disease, How Not to Die from Digestive Cancers etc.

The bottom line is that the American diet is bad (processed food and meat) and plant based diet is good.

Fiber protects the brain: Broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower
Stroke reducing: Oranges
Reduce colon polyps: Turmeric (curcumin) and grapes Note: a trial of those eating 1/4 cup a day of beans cut their odds of polyps by 65%
Reduce cholesterol: 1 brazil nut a week
Greater bone and mineral density to prevent cancer: Beans, nuts, seeds (phylates)
Potassium: Green beans, sweet potatoes
Fight off infection: Kale and broccoli
Boost white blood cells against infection: Blueberries
Exercise: Boosts immune system
Boost antibody production: Mushrooms
Lower blood pressure: Flaxseed and hibiscus tea

But read the book, it's well worth reviewing.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Health Organization Diets

Sometime ago I recommended going to specific health organizations for a healthy diet, but I didn't think that recommendation through. America, I've often found, runs on money and greed and apparently health organizations are no different. According to What the Health what you need to check is the sponsors of those organizations. For instance, dairy products have been linked on some studies to breast cancer and yet Susan G. Koman, which is supposedly fighting breast cancer, is sponsored by Dannon (dairy) and Monsato (GMO seeds).
A reporter on the What the Health documentary tried unsuccessfully to talk to upper management of the Diabetes Association  about diet (the manager walked away and declared the interview over). Confused, the reporter checked on the Diabetes Association sponsors. Animal protein is found to be a contributor of diabetes (according to studies quoted in What the Health) and yet many recipes on the association's site contain animal products. Drug companies are a major sponsor and obviously it isn't in their best interest to recommend a healthy diet over drugs. Also, dairy farmers, meat producing organizations, poultry farms and many others both sponsor health organizations and spend a fortune on lobbyists who manage to get laws passed regardless of whether it harms the public or not.
I guess the only hope we have is to dig up the back yard, buy heirloom seeds and grow your own vegetables!

If you have any suggestions/recommendations, please leave a comment.


Any information in this blog should not take the place of medical advice from a professional. I am simply sharing my journey.