Eating to Live on the Outside: Marie's Scrambler

Buckle up kids. We’ve got a tough sell on our hands this week. Marie’s Scrambler is a bonafide standard American restaurant, with all the trimmings; gallons of ooey-gooey cheese, piles of greasy bacon, and plenty of refined-grains to go around. Yeah, it’s pretty bad.

Try this one on for size, the Meat Market Scramble Wrap; loaded with bacon, sausage, ham, scrambled eggs, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. Clearly, finding a Fuhrman-friendly option on this menu is going to be difficult.

And here’s my problem. I don’t eat meat or dairy. Right away this eliminates most of the menu. So, what’s left? Well, the Oatmeal and the Hot Granola look okay, but, they’re both made with milk. A major no-no for me, although, before I kick them to the curb, I’d ask the wait staff if either one could be prepared with hot water instead of milk. If so, I’d order either one, especially since they both include blueberries—one of Dr. Fuhrman’s super foods. Oh, the oatmeal and granola also come with brown sugar, I’m ditching that—brown sugar is no health food.

As far as breakfast goes, maybe the best option is the Fruit Bowl. What’s in it? I can’t say for sure, all the menu says is, “A heaping bowl of the season’s best fresh fruit.” A little ambiguous, but how bad could it be—its fruit! Other than the fruit, the only other things I’d consider ordering would be one their muffins or maybe some toast. I know, I know—not exactly wholesome natural food! Agreed, it’s a lousy option and a huge concession, but in my mind refined grains are a few clicks above cheese and meat, so if push comes to shove, it’s a concession I’m willing to make. Although, the guilt would eat me alive—no pun intended—I’d be hitting the gym extra hard that week.

Alright, aside from the Fruit Bowl, breakfast is hopeless, onto lunch. No surprises here, the only dishes to catch my eye are salads. For example, take the Spinach Salad; prepared with spinach leaves, bacon, tomatoes, red onion, hard boiled eggs, croutons, and hot bacon dressing—talk about ruining a good thing. Okay, the bacon is out, so are the eggs, the croutons too, and the bacon dressing should be launched into space. Minus all that junk you’re left with a pretty basic salad, if I could get a little vinegar to top it off with, I’d be in business and concession free—not bad, right?

Same goes with the Polynesian Salad and the House Salad. Between them they include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, Monterey Jack, mushrooms, carrots, grilled chicken, pineapple, diced ham, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Now, you know what I’m going to say next. All the cheese has got to go, same with the bacon, chicken and ham, and again, I’d keep the salad dressing as basic as possible. If I do this, I’d feel pretty good about myself. Walking away concession-free at this place is a badge of courage. Dare I say worthy of the Purple Heart?

Now, there are other things on the menu you might want to try experimenting with, like the Garlic Portabella ciabatta sandwich. If you get past the bread, this might make a so-so option. It includes a portabella mushroom cap, garlic, herbs, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, and a combination of melted cheeses. If you eighty-six the cheese, compromise on the bread, and order a side of fresh fruit its not so bad. Heck, the ciabatta might not be my first choice, but I wouldn’t rule it out, after all, that's a lot of veggies—i.e. phytonutrients.

Yeah, that was rough. I can’t imagine Eat to Livers lining are up to grab a table at Marie’s Scrambler. There’s got to be better alternatives out there, oh wait, there are; Arnold's Way, Sacred Chow, Veganopolis, and Pure Food and Wine to name a few. But let me know what you think. Check out Marie’s Scrambler’s menu and let us know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to

Skinky Fruit

Who’s tired of animals eating fruits and veggies? I’m not. Here’s a skink nibbling on some strawberries and bananas. Enjoy:

Superior Health is Up to You

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Do not expect to receive valuable health advice from your typical doctor. Physicians usually do not help; they rush through their patient appointments, especially in the current HMO climate, because they are paid so poorly for each visit and are pressured to see as many patients as possible each day. Your physician is likely doing just as poorly as you are and eating just as unhealthfully or worse. With proper nutritional intervention you could improve his health and reduce his risk of premature death more than he could help yours. Even when physicians offer their fullest time and effort, their recommendations are invariably too mild to have a significant benefit.

Drs. Randall S. Stafford and David Blumenthal, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, reviewed the records of more than 30,000 office visits to 1,521 U.S. Physicians of various specialties and found that doctors measured patients’ blood pressure during 50 percent of the visits. However doctors tested their patients’ cholesterol levels only 4.6 percent of the time. Physicians offered patients advice on how lose weight in 5.8 percent of the visits, and suggestions on how smokers could quit 3 percent of the time. On average, doctors gave patients advice on dietary and other changes that can help lower cholesterol in 4.3 percent of the visits, and advice on exercise in 11.5 percent of the visits. When records were reviewed in those who had cardiovascular disease, the typical (almost worthless) dietary counseling and exercise was usually never even mentioned.1 Obviously we have a long way to go.
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Seniors: Get Your Vitamin D!

A couple months ago we learned that Vitamin D plays an important role in physical performance levels of the elderly. Here’s what Eric Nagourney of The New York Times reported:
The researchers, led by Denise K. Houston of Wake Forest University, drew on data from an Italian study in which more than 900 people 65 and older were tested for vitamin D levels and asked to perform several tasks. The researchers looked at how fast they walked, how quickly they could get out of a chair and how well they could balance.

By some estimates, about a quarter of elderly people do not get enough vitamin D. But it is not purely a matter of diet, the researchers said, because much of the body’s vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight. Older people may be less likely to be in the sun, said the researchers, who also pointed out that skin produces vitamin D less well as it ages.
And now, Dutch research has determined the same thing. Vitamin D deficiency may be responsible for declining physical performance in seniors. Charnicia Huggins of Reuters reports:
"Physicians and the general public should be made more aware of the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, and more effort should be concentrated on the early detection and treatment of people with suboptimal levels of vitamin D," study co-author Dr. Paul Lips, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and his colleagues write.

Previous research has shown that low vitamin D status is not uncommon among seniors, which may be explained by their decreased exposure to sunshine, reduced dietary consumption of vitamin D, and reduced capacity to naturally synthesize the vitamin. This deficiency is known to result in bone loss and fractures, among other bone and muscle-related problems.
The research may be different, but the message remains the same—vitamin D is important! Especially for older people, I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman explain why. From Importance of Vitamin D:
Americans age 50 and older are at increased risk of developing vitamin D deficiency. As people age, skin cannot synthesize vitamin D as efficiently, and the kidney is less able to convert vitamin D to its active hormone form. It is estimated that as many as 30-40 percent of older adults with hip fractures are vitamin D insufficient.1 Therefore, older adults especially benefit from supplemental vitamin D.
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Veganism: Unfair Treatment

ParentDish relays a story about a mom that may lose custody of her kids—why? Because she’s vegan. Read on:
Gail Nelson-Folkerson's estranged husband Jeff has filed a court application seeking primary custody of their five children (quintuplets, no less), citing control issues and the fact that she will not allow the kids to eat meat, eggs or dairy.

Obviously, the Father sees Veganism as unhealthy for his kids, though vegans would disagree arduously, noting that animal-free diets teach animal compassion and respect for other life while avoiding hormones infused in animal products and also avoiding junk like hamburgers and gravy.
I’m no lawyer, but, I can’t imagine any judge taking this seriously. What do you think?

White Kids Have Highest Diabetes Rate

Last year The New York Times took a look at the diabetes epidemic ravaging New York City. The series revealed that genetics (and a poor diet) give Asians and Hispanics an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. From Living at an Epicenter of Diabetes, Defiance and Despair:
The fact that East Harlem is roughly 90 percent Hispanic and black, groups believed to have a genetic predisposition to the disease, explains part of the problem. There are also other factors: bad food habits, little exercise, rampant poverty and, according to health officials, poor access to medical care.
More from East Meets West, Adding Pounds and Peril:
Asians, especially those from Far Eastern nations like China, Korea and Japan, are acutely susceptible to Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease and the subject of this series. They develop it at far lower weights than people of other races, studies show; at any weight, they are 60 percent more likely to get the disease than whites.
And here’s a reminder that diabetes can effect everyone, regardless of race, religion, creed, or whatever. New research has determined that white children have the highest rate of type-1 diabetes in the United States. Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters reports:
"We found more type 1 diabetes than we expected in whites, blacks and Hispanics," said Dr. Dana Dabelea of the University of Colorado in Denver, who led the study.

"Although the rates of type 2 diabetes are relatively low, we did find type 2 in all racial and ethnic groups, including non-Hispanic whites," she said in a telephone interview.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system goes haywire and starts attacking itself, destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas needed to control blood sugar. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections.
Now, you don’t have to suffer needlessly from type-1 or type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman believes that a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet is essential for improving a diabetic’s quality of life and, in the case of type-2 diabetes, curing the disease. Check out these posts:
Don't Settle For Diabetes
I have achieved marked success with diabetic patients and the success at becoming "non diabetic" or almost "non-diabetic" regularly occurs on the Eat to Live program whether the patient follows a strict vegan diet or not. I describe the diet-style as a "vegetable-based" diet because the base of the pyramid is vegetables, not grains. Even though most animal products are excluded, it is not necessary to adopt a completely vegan diet to achieve the goals. I offer patients the choice of adding two servings a week of low fat fish, such as tilapia, flounder, sole, and scrod, as well as an egg white omelet, once or twice each week. A few servings of very low saturated-fat animal products each week can be interspersed with the vegan meals without diminishing the results achievable from the vegetable-based diet.

Hope for Type 1 Childhood Onset Diabetics

With a truly health-supporting lifestyle, including exercise and real food designed by nature, the type 1 diabetic can have the same potential for a long, disease-free life as everyone else. Even though the type 1 diabetic still will require exogenous (external) insulin, they will no longer need excessive amounts of it.

Dueling Peppers

We all know veggies are great to eat, but they also make great action heroes! Take a look:

The force is strong with you my young pepper.

Michael Moore Slims Down

The director of "Sicko" seems to have taken his own message to heart. The often scrutinized filmmaker has lost a bunch of weight. Here are some of his weight-loss tips via Diet-Blog:
  1. Increase Your Physical Activity: Walk 30-40 minutes a day - "sweat a bit" says Moore.
  2. Start your breakfast each day with Oatmeal. "I eat at least 35 grams of fiber every day. Eat foods that are heavy in weight but low in calories."
  3. Diets? "Like every overweight person, I’ve tried everything. Weight Watchers, no white food, etc. None of them work, and they’re a huge waste of time."
  4. Get enough sleep. Moore believes that most overweight people do not sleep enough and now tries to sleep between 7-8 hours a night.
Love him or hate him, this is some pretty sound advice. Although, that’s a little too much oatmeal for my liking—I’d have fruit withdrawals!

Get Some Antioxidants

Antioxidants, where do they come from? Diana Kohnle of HealthDay News has a quick list of sources. Take a peek:
  • Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and juices; berries and other fruits; dark green vegetables; red and yellow peppers.
  • Vitamin E, found in vegetable oils, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Selenium, found in whole grains, most vegetables, chicken, eggs, and most dairy products.
  • Beta carotene, found in colorful fruits and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, red and yellow peppers, apricots, cantaloupes and mangoes.
Dr. Fuhrman would take issue with vegetable oil. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman doesn't consider oil to be all that healthy, even the long-heralded olive oil. He talks about it in Cholesterol Protection for Life:
I know you were told that olive oil is health food. It is not. Keep in mind, oil is processed food, it is not a natural whole food. Oils, even if they are monounsaturated, should not be health food because they are low in nutrients and contain 120 calories per tablespoon, promoting weight gain.

Sure, olive oil and almond oil are improvements over animal fats and margarine, but they still are a contributor to our overweight modern world. Overweight Americans consume and average of three tablespoons of oil in their daily diet, adding and extra 360 calories to their food each day. You need to reach a thinner, ideal weight to achieve maximum protection against heart disease and to reverse heart disease. Use oil, even olive oil sparingly or not at all; certainly, do not have more than one teaspoon per day.

Fast Food Nutrition Facts

I’m not sure if this would deter people, but the American Medical Association wants fast food restaurants to display the nutrition facts of their food. Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters reports:
The influential physicians' group said the information should be easy to understand and include calorie, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium content.

"One of the key things to address in the obesity epidemic is that people know what they're eating," AMA President Dr. Ronald Davis told reporters at a news briefing.

"We would like voluntary action now, but we will also be calling for policies ... at the local, state and national levels to require chains to do this," Davis said.

He noted the privately held Subway fast-food chain already lists grams of fat on its menu board.

"We would like to see other restaurant chains doing that voluntarily. We also would like to see other detailed information on their menus, where there is more room -- information like calories, grams of fat, grams of sodium and so on," Davis said.

Fat is the Chief Enemy of the Diabetic

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

Fat in the diet of the diabetic not only accelerates the disease process but also interferes with the uptake of glucose by the cells, thus further raising the blood glucose level.

Experiments described in the medical literature have tested the effects of high-fat diets on insulin intolerance. In one study, healthy young medical students were fed a very high fat diet containing egg yolks, heavy cream, and butter, and within two days all of the students had blood sugar levels high enough to be labeled diabetic.1 Complex carbohydrates have been shown to have the opposite effect.2

Fat in the food we eat prevents the proper utilization of insulin and more insulin is needed to process the glucose when fats are included in the meal. Additionally, the fat on one’s body makes the cells resistant to insulin, and the pancreas must produce more insulin to compensate. This is due not only to the additional insulin demanded by the extra body mass of fat cells, but also to the fact that the fat in and around normal tissue, like muscle and internal organs, interferes with insulin uptake into these tissues. The major contributors to fat in the American diet are animal source foods such as meat, fowl, fish, and dairy products, as well as cooking or salad oils.
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Alli the Brunt of Jokes

The new weight-loss drug Alli comes with a nasty side effect and the comedians are having fun with it. Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Alli (pronounced al-EYE) went on sale for the first time about a week ago — a stronger prescription form, Xenical, has been available since 1999 — and its promotional material alone makes for strong medicine: The drug, which helps people lose small amounts of weight, can cause oily discharges, uncontrolled bowel movements, and gas if you eat too much fat.

Its marketing effort makes an impression by telling users to wear dark pants and carry extra clothes in case they soil themselves.

"Well, that sounds attractive, doesn't it?" Jay Leno cracked Monday on "The Tonight Show." "You lost a couple of pounds, and you're on a date with that special girl. 'Excuse me while I change my pants.' "

NBC's Conan O'Brien also spoke up to pooh-pooh Alli, suggesting that "the drug comes in three forms: pills, capsules and chimichangas."

Even the serious Boston-based Prescription Access Litigation Project, which often sues drug companies, got gleeful. It gave the drug's maker, GlaxoSmithKline its "With Allies Like This, Who Needs Enemas?" Award for Irresponsibly Selling a Formerly Prescription-Only Weight Loss Drug Over-the-Counter.

Portion Control, Weight-Loss, and Diabetics

New research claims that diabetics can lose weight with portion control. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
Over six months, about half of 122 patients (average age 56) used the portion-control plates and bowls, while the rest of the patients received usual care consisting of dietary assessments and teaching by dietitians.

The patients who used the portion-control plates and bowls lost an average of 1.8 percent of their body weight, compared to an average of 0.1 percent among those who received usual care.

The University of Calgary researchers also found that 16.9 percent of the patients who used the portion-control plates and bowls, which were donated by a U.K. company called The Diet Plate, lost at least 5 percent of their body weight, compared with 4.6 percent of patients who received usual care.
This is all well and good, but, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t think portion control is a great idea. Actually, he finds it kind of futile. Here’s an example why, from Bad News for Portion Control:
It is meaningless to compare foods by weight or portion size. Let me provide an example to explain why this is the case. Take one teaspoon of melted butter, which gets 100 percent of its calories from fat. If I take that teaspoon of butter and mix it in a glass of hot water, I can now say that it is 98 percent fat-free, by weight. One hundred percent of its calories are still from fat. It didn’t matter how much water or weight was added, did it?

Some Crabby Lettuce

Crabs eat lettuce? Apparently they do, and, they actually beg for it. Look:

FDA Not Worried About Aspartame

At least it seems that way. Because despite a recent report linking aspartame with cancer, the FDA doesn’t think there’s any reason to review its safety—man, that FDA sure is progressive. More from Reuters:
Morando Soffritti of the Ramazzini Foundation in Bologna, Italy, and colleagues tested aspartame in rats, which they allowed to live until they died naturally.

Their study of more than 4,000 rats showed a lifetime of eating high doses of the sweetener raised the likelihood of several types of cancer.

"On the basis of the present findings, we believe that a review of the current regulations governing the use of aspartame cannot be delayed," Soffritti's team wrote in the journal Environmental Health Perspectivesexternal, which is published by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

"This review is particularly urgent with regard to aspartame-containing beverages, heavily consumed by children."

FDA spokesman Michael Herndon said the agency had not yet reviewed the study.

"However, the conclusions from this second European Ramazzini Foundation are not consistent with those from the large number of studies on aspartame that have been evaluated by FDA, including five previously conducted negative chronic carcinogenicity studies," Herndon said in an e-mail.

"Therefore, at this time, FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food."
Personally, I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague. They’re fake, chemically created junk—why chance it? Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t trust them either. In Eat to Live he calls a spade a spade, take a look:
Sweeteners cause brain tumors and seizures in animals, a legitimate health concern exists, despite the FDA’s declaration that aspartame is safe. In the past twenty years, brain tumor rates have risen in several industrialized countries, including the United States. Aspartame was introduced to the American market several years prior to the shaper increase in brain tumor incidence.1 This suggests to me that the potential danger of aspartame should more carefully studied.
Dr. Fuhrman goes on to explain that aspartame plays into our dangerous food addictions—not good—and here’s why, back to Eat to Live:
Clearly this is a controversial subject because much of the research documenting the so-called safety of aspartame was financed by the aspartame industry, and a huge amount of political and monetary pressure led to eventual FDA approval. My opinion is that the possible dangers of aspartame are still unknown. Utilizing such artificial products is gambling with your health. Aspartame also exposes us to a methyl ester that may have toxic effects. I recommend playing it safe and sticking to natural foods. Getting rid of your addictions to unsafe substances is valuable in achieving long-term success.
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NYC's Trans-Fat Phase Out

So, how is the ban on trans-fat going? Well, according to the Associated Press, it’s going swimmingly. In fact, most eateries have changed oil days before New York City’s July 1st deadline. David B. Caruso reports:
The trans fat overhaul is viewed as a major victory by health advocates. Trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, clog arteries and contribute to heart disease. But they are also cheaper and have a longer shelf life, so industry at first stubbornly resisted dumping them.

That began to change last winter.

Cooking oil companies had already ramped up production of trans-fat alternatives. Restaurant supply companies began stocking kitchens with replacement products.

Big fast food chains that relied heavily on the old oils, from Burger King to Carl's Jr. to Kentucky Fried Chicken, announced they would eliminate the stuff from their fryers nationwide.

Even McDonald's, which had anguished over the potential impact on its french fries, said its phase-in of the new oils in thousands of restaurants has gone unnoticed by customers.
Although this is only half the battle, because as the report points out, some restaurants are still resisting the mandate requiring them to post calorie-content on their menus—eh, you can’t them all.

Kids and Migraine Headaches

This ABC News report attempts to explain why kids get migraines, and, I think it does a good job, but, I wish they talked more about food triggers and less about medication treatment options. What do you think? Take a look:

Now, Dr. Fuhrman treats migraine suffers by focusing on their diet. He talks about it in Eat to Live. Here’s an excerpt:
My experience in treating migraine and severe-headache patients with a more comprehensive nutritional approach has shown that 90 to 95 percent of patients are able to remain headache-free after the first three-month period. These patients avoid common migraine triggers, but also in the healing phase they adhere to a strict natural-food vegan diet of primarily fruits and vegetables rich in natural starches like potatoes and brown rice. These patients must avoid all packaged and processed foods, which are notorious for containing hidden food additives, even though they are not disclosed on the labels. They also avoid all added salt.
Oh, and be sure to check out today’s post Retained Toxins are the Major Cause of Headaches.

Retained Toxins are the Major Cause of Headaches

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

The standard theory that tension headaches are caused by widening of the blood vessels and migraines are caused by constriction of the blood vessels has been disproven in recent investigations.1 The evidence now illustrates that similarities between migraine and other types of headaches rather than the differences. The major cause of both tension headaches and migraines is the retention of toxins or tissue irritants within the central nervous system. These chemical irritants may cause an oversensitivity of nerve tissue to other stimuli.

It has also been shown that tissue waste, such as nitric oxide and other irritating chemicals, can be released from both the nerves and blood vessels in the central nervous systems.2 These recent findings illustrate the biochemical players associated with detoxification in the central nervous systems. Withdrawal from toxins either taken orally or self-produced within the body is a form of detoxification. This merely means the body is actively engaged in an effort to lower the levels of waste retained in our cells. Sometimes this release of waste from cells can be painful; nevertheless, it has a positive benefit to the body. Our cells and the tissue they comprise must continually strive to maintain their purity to prevent early cellular degeneration and premature cell death.
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Get Slim, Get Gila Monster?

Well, the odd certainly gets an audience here on Followhealthlife. Late last year we learned that snail venom might actually work as a pain medication, and now, gila monster spit for weight-loss—no, I’m not joking. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
The Gila monster is a venomous lizard that lives in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

This study of 217 patients found that three years of treatment with the drug exenatide (brand name Byetta) resulted in sustained, progressive weight loss averaging 11 pounds. Many of the patients also showed sustained reductions in blood sugar levels and in blood biomarkers that indicate liver injury.

The findings were to be presented Monday at the annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association, in Chicago.

"Overweight and weight gain is an almost universal problem for people with diabetes," lead researcher Dr. John Buse, chief of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement. Buse is also the ADA's president-elect for medicine and science and will become president in September.

Yeah, Sugary Drinks Bad

And it seems especially bad for little kids. New research has determined that drinking too much sugar-sweetened beverages at a young age makes kids twice as likely to be overweight later. Juhie Bhatia of HealthDay News is on it:
Canadian researchers found that 2- to 4-year-olds who regularly drank sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and fruit drinks between meals were more than twice as likely to be overweight at age 4 1/2, compared to kids who didn't drink these beverages.

"There have not been a lot of studies like this in preschool children, we see more in adolescents," said study author Lise Dubois, a Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Population Health and an associate professor in the department of epidemiology and community medicine at the University of Ottawa. "These children are not old enough to buy their own beverages, so, in this case, the products are in the house, and the parents are giving these drinks to their children."

The study was published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Makes sense to me, just check out the graph in yesterday’s post High-Fructose...Still Rotten.


The NBA big man is whipping kids into shape on his new show:

(Via TrueHoop)

Veggie-Fruit Creations

Lemon Zest Spinach
1 1/4 pounds fresh organic spinach or 4 bags organic baby spinach
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons pine nuts
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Steam spinach and garlic until spinach is just wilted. Place in bowl and toss in remaining ingredients. Serves 4.

D'Anjou Veggies
4 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 carrots, chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, cut in large pieces
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked for at least an hour & cut up
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/4 cup fresh parsely, chopped
4 teaspoons Dr. Fuhrman's D'Anjou Pear Vinegar
1/2 cup sesame seeds or coconut, toasted (optional)
Saute' vegetables, seasonings and parsely in 1/8 cup water until vegetables are just fork-tender. Add vinegar and saute' 2 more minutes. If desired, place sesame seeds or coconut in a small pan and toast on low heat, stirring constantly until light brown. Sprinkle over veggie mixture. Serves 4.

Acorn Squash w/ Apples and Pecans
1 acorn squash
1 medium apple, chopped
1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped
1/4 cup raisins or currants
cinnamon, to taste
Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place face down in a baking pan. Add 1/8 inch of water. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix apples, pecans and raisins together in a small bowl. Take squash out of oven and place apple mixture in hollowed out bowl of squash. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover loosely with foil and bake another 30 minutes, or until squash and apples are soft. Serves 4.

Omega-3s Good for Baby

Earlier in the month we learned that Omega-3s help with blood pressure, and today, Reuters reports Omega-3s boost baby’s brainpower. More from reporter Amy Norton:
Researchers found that 9-month-olds whose mothers had eaten DHA-fortified bars during pregnancy performed better on a test of problem-solving abilities than infants whose mothers had not added DHA to their diets.

DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is one of the major omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon, sardines and tuna. Because of the fat's vital role in brain development, experts recommend that pregnant women get 300 milligrams (mg) of DHA each day.
However, research shows that few U.S. women meet this goal.

The new findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that women who do get adequate DHA may aid their infants' cognitive abilities.

Organic, Organic, Organic

ParentDish ponders, is organic really worth it? Let’s see if it is:
I like my apples with some holes, my peppers to be irregular, my blueberries to not be the size of car-tires, please. I am also cognizant of my footprint of the earth, much more so now that I've had Nolan. I feel like buying organic is a lighter tread on the earth. I have no idea why I feel that, though, especially since I heard on the radio the other day that organic food might actually put more strain on the earth because it has to travel such a distance to get to most local markets. I'm not sure whether it's true, but it certainly made me think.
For Dr. Fuhrman talking about organic, give this post a whirl: Is Organic Food Safer?

Junky Diets = Unhealthy Kids

Amie Hamlin is the Executive Director of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, and, she’s steamed over the resistance to the idea of feeding kids healthfully. Here’s a recent Op-Ed piece she wrote for the Buffalo News. Look:
Contrary to food industry public relations, there are good and bad foods. Whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense plant foods contribute to good health. Schools should be setting a good example by focusing on these foods. Children go to school to learn. When schools offer foods that are inconsistent with what is being taught about nutrition, what message are we giving them?

Children will not starve in a healthy school food environment. They eat junk food because adults make it available and give them money to buy it. Schools are undermining the efforts of parents who feed their children healthfully at home. And for kids whose parents are not setting a good example at home, it’s even more important that schools offer only healthy choices.
Be sure to check out Amie’s website:

The Los Angeles Times Investigates Caffeine

Reporter Emily Sohn takes a long look at the highs and lows of caffeine consumption:
"As soon as you say coffee, people think caffeine; as soon as you say caffeine, people think coffee," says Terry Graham, a metabolic physiologist at the University of Guelph in Canada, a longtime caffeine researcher who recently organized an international symposium on caffeine and health. Scientists have isolated antioxidants, polyphenols, and micronutrients from coffee and tea, but there have been no long-term studies of how each ingredient, including caffeine, affects the body on its own or within a beverage.

"There are health benefits of coffee that have nothing to do with caffeine," Graham says. In fact, he adds: "There are no health benefits I've ever seen documented for caffeine."

High-Fructose...Still Rotten

Soft drinks are hardly part of a healthy diet. Why? That darn high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)! According to Dr. Fuhrman, HFCS is one of the major reasons obesity has been on the rise in this country. From Onlyourhealth Your Child:
Obesity rates have risen in tandem with soda consumption in the United States, and in the last twenty years the consumption of soft drinks by teenagers had doubled.1 Twelve to nineteen-year-old boys consume thirty-four teaspoons of sugar a day in their diet, and about half of that comes from soft drinks. Children start drinking soft drinks at a very young age, and advertisements and promotions by the soft drink manufacturers are aggressively marketed to the young.

Source: Data from the National Soft Drink Association, Beverage World, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (
And here’s more reason to avoid HFCS. E.J. Mundell of HealthDay News reports on new research linking fructose to poor artery health. Read on:
The type of sugar in a sugary drink may impact how healthy -- or unhealthy -- it is for arteries, a new study suggests.

Fructose-sweetened drinks are more likely to provoke the development of fatty artery deposits in overweight adults than glucose-sweetened beverages, researchers say.

Kimber Stanhope, of the University of California at Davis, and colleagues compared the results of drinking fructose-sweetened beverages versus glucose for 10 weeks in overweight and obese adults.

Participants ate a balanced diet with 30 percent fat and 55 percent complex carbohydrates. Thirteen of the participants also consumed glucose-sweetened drinks, while 10 drank fructose-sweetened drinks.

The researchers found that 9 weeks later, 24-hour post-meal triglyceride (blood fat) levels went up after 2 weeks of fructose-sweetened drink but went down in those who consumed glucose-sweetened drinks.

Those who drank fructose-sweetened drinks also had a boost in fasting blood concentrations of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and other measures. Those levels were unaltered in those consuming glucose-sweetened drinks, however.

Tough Guy Hamster

This hamster gets some lettuces, gives you the evil eye, and then, stuffs his face. Take a look:

Blood Sugar, Birth, and Babies

Dr. Fuhrman makes it pretty clear. A nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet is the key to long-term health. Among other things, you’ll lose weight, prevent disease, and maintain healthy blood sugar. A good thing, because according to this report, high blood sugar is bad news if you’re pregnant. Carla K. Johnson of the Associated Press explains:
The research involved more than 23,000 pregnant women in nine countries. It found a surprisingly strong relationship between the blood sugar levels of the women and the rate of big babies and first-time Caesarean sections, said lead investigator Dr. Boyd Metzger of Northwestern University.

The newborns also were more likely to have low blood sugar levels and high insulin levels if their mothers' blood sugar levels were higher. The problems can lead to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure later in life.

Large babies risk shoulder damage and other injuries if delivered vaginally and lead to more C-sections, which also pose health risks to mothers and babies.

Large babies were defined in the study as those bigger than 90 percent of those born in the local population, so large Thai babies would be smaller than large U.S. babies.

Dr. Fuhrman on the Radio

Be sure to check out Dr. Fuhrman on…

Eating to Live on the Outside: Cafe Bliss

Okay, the work week is over, time to relax—but first! We’ve got to check in on the world of Eating to Live on the Outside. So, where are we headed this week? To sunny—Michigan! Well at least it’s not winter. Besides, I hear Michigan is beautiful, but, is it bliss? Let’s find out, as we explore this week's restaurant Café Bliss. Now, the name sounds promising, but does the menu live up to expectations? Saddle up troops, we’re going in.

Alright, first the appetizers, they look good—not perfect, but what is? For starters, I’m digging the Garlic Roasted Vegetable Paté, although, the word “roasted” makes me nervous. That usually means burnt and that spells acrylamides. But the buzz-word for Eating to Live on the Outside is concessions, and, its time to make one. So, beyond the acrylamides, the Paté comes with fresh vegetables, garlic, herbs, spices, and garlic-roasted crostini. Clearly the crostini is a refined grain concession, but all the veggies are enough to quell my worries. The Portabella Mushrooms are cool too, provided you ditch the butter—egad, butter! Besides the butter the mushrooms are prepared with spinach and pecans. Can you say nutrient-dense?

The salads have potential. There’s some tweaking to be done, but no serious overhauling. The House Salad is a fine option. It’s made with organic spring greens, fresh vegetables, Romano cheese, multi-grain croutons, and soy Dijon vinaigrette. Okay, goodbye cheese, adios croutons, and ciao vinaigrette! Instead of the vinaigrette I’d probably just put some vinegar on the salad—it’s a new habit I’ve been settling into. The Fresh Spinach Salad is probably an even better choice. It’s prepared with spinach, feta cheese, honey-roasted red peppers, black olives, pecans, baguette, and a poppy seed balsamic vinaigrette. Again, the cheese is out the window, same with the croutons, and I’ll toss the baguette too. So, the major concession here would be the honey on the roasted peppers—I can live with it. It’s a mantra; focus on the veggies…focus on the veggies…focus on the veggies.

Now the entrees, there’s hope here too. The Tofu Gahn is my first choice. It comes with marinated tofu, garlic tahini sauce, rice, and sautéed veggies. I mostly like it because its all veggie and the other entrees include fish, cheese, or chicken. The concession here is probably some olive oil or sesame oil, sautéed means cooked in oil and most likely that sauce includes some sort of oil, but regardless, I’d order it. I’m also feeling the Chinese Stir-Fry. They make it with chicken or tofu, ginger, garlic, orange peel, sautéed veggies, brown rice, and stir-fry sauce. I’d order the stir-fry with tofu, so that avoids the chicken issue. With that being said, the concessions here would be the sauce and the brown rice. Trust me, you could do worse—can you say Denny’s!

Well, that about does it. The desserts are too iffy, but, if you were feeling adventurous, maybe you give them a try, but that’s a lot of sweet. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it. I can do without. So overall, Café Bliss is pretty cool. If you’re feeling stranded in Michigan, an Eat to Liver can make Café Bliss work, but hey, what do I know? Check out Café Bliss’s menu and let us know how you eat to live on the outside. Make a comment or send an email to

Leafy Green Puppy Dog

Okay, I’ve seen it all. The other day we had a salad eating cat and today—A DOG THAT EATS ORGANIC SALAD! Look:

TV and Diabetes

Okay, a couple weeks ago we learned that watching entertaining TV can make you fat, and now, it seems TV can lead to poor diabetes control in children. Reuters reports:
The researchers evaluated 538 children and adolescents, average age 13 years, from the eastern part of Norway who had had type 1 diabetes for an average of about 5 years. The time spent watching television and time using a computer was obtained in interviews with the subjects or the parents of very young children.

The average A1C was 8.6%. This measurement is the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood in relation to the amount of normal hemoglobin, and reflects the degree to which blood glucose levels are controlled over the long term.

The investigators found that as the average number of hours spent in watching television increased, so did the participants' A1C level, their body mass index or BMI, and the total amount of insulin they needed on a daily basis.

Sleep and Fasting are Natural Restorers

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

Therapeutic fasting can be compared to the recuperative therapy we rely on ever night when we sleep in order to charge the body for the next day. Excess stresses, whether from excess consumption of substances or from stressful physical and mental activities, impose negative biological effects on the body. Recuperation through sleep is responsible for rebuilding and preparing the body to handle the increasing demands. Rest and sleep enable the body to recover from the effects of these waking stresses, because the body can concentrate its repair efforts most effectively at this time when fewer demands are placed upon it.

Recuperation takes time, sometimes more time and effort than people recognize. The goal of fasting is to allow time to provide extended physiological rest for purposes of catching up with recuperative needs generated from the vicious cycle of overactivity, over stimulation, and dietary indiscretions.

Trans-Fat in Diet Food

More proof that “diet food” is pretty much just over-glorified junk. Apparently some Weight Watchers foods in Australia contain hydrogenated oils. Diet-Blog is on it:
Weight Watchers Australia has come under criticism for using hydrogenated vegetable oils in its branded dessert foods. Please note that this applies to mousse and custard products only in Australia and New Zealand.

This issue of "diet" food is an interesting one. The Weight Watchers plan (which is arguably one of the most respected weight loss programs) does not require any "special" foods.

So why the need for branded foods?

Weight Watchers relies on the "Points" system - whereby certain nutritional components of a food are aggregated into a single value: the number of points. Ready-made branded foods have the points value listed on the box - so presumably this makes shopping slightly easier.

Pesticides in the Baby Food

Baby food is gross. Walk down the baby food isle of your local supermarket, just a wall of pureed mush, a mosaic of browns and faded pastels—yum! Hardly, and now it seems some jars of baby food might have an added ingredient…pesticide. ParentDish relays the info:
I'm surprised that Generation X made it out of childhood. Our parents strapped us into adult seatbelts, or careened down the highway with us in their laps. We were just as likely to be formula fed as breastfed, and our canned baby food contained salt, sugar, artificial preservatives and even lead and pesticides. Awesome.

The truth is, parenting in the late seventies and early eighties seemed a lot more freewheeling than it is today. Today's babies are carefully strapped into cars with latch systems and five-point harnasses. Moms hear repeated whispers of "breast is breast, breast is best" from the time of conception to two years post-partum. And almost all baby food today is made without preservatives, as naturally as possible. Even though we fluked our way through our childhood, let it be said that Gen X's babies are very harnessed and educated and well-fed.

The Longer the Belt, the Shorter the Life

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

Many experiments in animals and observational studies in humans show that both severe malnutrition and overnutrition significantly lower resistance to disease. Longevity studies on humans excluding smokers, drinkers, and the chronically ill illustrate that the leanest live the longest.1 Though thinness is not the only criteria for health, it is undeniable that a person in good health, on a nutritious diet, who is below average weight has by far the best chance for a long life. The National Institute of Health also reports the same conclusion: when smokers and those with a disease that causes thinness are excluded, the greatest longevity is found in those whose weight is below average.2

When the diet is without deficiencies, minimum caloric intake greatly increases resistance to infectious disease. There are a host of mechanisms that strengthen our immune system and make the “soil” unwelcome for microbes when the body is not overfed. After studying various population groups, including underfed wartime prisoners, researchers have concluded that resistance to disease is highest on what would generally be considered an inadequate diet.3 It has been noted that when epidemics struck wartime prison camps, the underfed prisoners had a much lower morbidity than their overfed captors.

When we contract a viral infection and lose our appetites, nature is telling us to fast. It is a means the body has of powerfully exciting white blood cell activity and releasing more immune system modulators, such as interferon, thus enabling the body to more quickly and effectively recover.

The best way to guard against nutritional excesses, while still maintaining optimal assimilation of all essential nutrients, is to consume an abundance of natural plant products that are rich in vitamins and minerals. At the same time one must avoid empty calorie, processed food, fats, refined carbohydrates, and animal products, which are high in fat and protein and deficient in the nutrients that are most protective to our system.
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High-Calorie + Low-Nutrient = Chubby

Reuters reports that consuming foods that are low in nutrients, but high calories is a one way street to fat town. Charnicia Huggins has more:
Foods that fill you up without packing a ton of calories can help in the battle of the bulge, results of a new study suggest.

In the study, obese women who reduced the "energy density" of their diet by cutting their intake of fats and adding more fruits and vegetables lost more weight over a 12-month period, and felt less hungry, than did those who simply reduced their fat intake.

"Incorporating low calorie-dense foods into the diet is an effective strategy for lowering calories and reducing hunger when you're trying to lose weight," study co-author Dr. Julia A. Ello-Martin, of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, told Reuters Health.

"This is an approach that allows you to focus on the foods that you should be eating" rather than focusing on restricting calories, she added.
For more on this concept, check out this previous post:

Down on the Farm, Simpsons Style

In the spirit of The Meatrix, here’s how the Simpsons explain cattle farming:

Obesity Good?

Yeah, this article stinks of junk-science-sensationalism to me, but apparently new research has determined that obesity can actually cut your risk of dying after a heart attack. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
"Once a heart attack has occurred and been optimally treated, obese patients switch to a more favorable prognosis compared to normal-weight patients," said lead researcher Dr. Heinz Joachim Buettner, the head of interventional cardiology at Herz-Zentrum Bad Krozingen, Germany.

But the finding is no license for Americans to pile on the pounds, since obesity has long been known as a major factor for bringing on heart attack in the first place.

"Every effort should continue to prevent and treat obesity, and this study should not be taken to mean that it is good for one's health to be overweight or obese," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.
I feel silly having to bring this up, but since Americans love a good excuse to be fat. It’s worth mentioning that obesity sets you up for a whole host of health problems, such as cancer. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Disease-Proof Your Child:
Obesity increases the incidence of many common cancers. For example, a carefully designed study that tracked more than one million women for twenty-five years found that women who were heavier and taller as youngsters were 56 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer.1

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Leafy Green Kitty Cat

I never thought I’d see the day. Just give this cat a salad and she’s good to go:

Mediterranean Diet and Colon Cancer

According to Robert Preidt of Healthday News a new study is being conducted to see whether or not the Mediterranean way of eating can prevent colon cancer. Read on:
Along with its emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, olive oil and nuts, the Mediterranean diet limits high fat meats and processed foods. The Healthy People 2010 diet -- from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with moderate fat intake and limits on saturated fat.

"Overall eating patterns appear to be more important for cancer prevention than intakes of specific nutrients or food groups. We hope this study will give us an indication of the benefits that a person's diet can have on health, especially in terms of reducing the risk of colon cancer," Zora Djuric, research professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and principal investigator on the Healthy Eating for Colon Cancer Prevention study, said in a prepared statement.
For Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on the Mediterranean Diet, check out this previous post:

Can Vegetarian be Junky?

Personally, I’m not a vegetarian, but I do restrict my intake of animal products. For example, I don’t eat meat; no chicken, no beef, no turkey, no nothing, but, I do eat fish. So, does this mean I’m healthier than your standard American?

Well, according to Dr. Fuhrman the evidence is in my favor. In Cholesterol Protection for Life he points to the health advantages of a vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet like mine. From the book:
We do not know for sure. The preponderance of evidence suggests that either a near-vegetarian diet or a vegetarian diet is the best, especially for patients with heart disease. In the massive China-Oxford-Cornell Project, reduction in heart disease and cancer rates continued to be observed as participants reduced their animal-food consumption all the way down to 1.7 small servings per week. Under this level, there is not enough data available.

Some smaller studies suggest that a small amount of fish added to a vegetarian diet adds benefit, which is the result of the documented benefits from the increased DHA-fat from fish. This benefit can be achieved and heart reversal maximized on a strict vegetarian diet by including flaxseeds and nuts that contain omega-3 such as walnuts and the addition of a DHA supplement. Whether you are a strict vegetarian or not, your diet still must be plant-predominant to achieve protection against both heart disease and cancer.
But here’s the problem, most vegetarians still eat junky diets. Sure, they’re not eating a lot of meat, but many gorge themselves on imitation meat, processed soy foods, salt, sugar, and refined grains—yeah, not exactly Fuhrman-friendly. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman discusses the soy issue:
This brings to mind my basic theme of nutritional biodiversity--eat a variety of plant foods, and do not eat a soy-based diet.

Most of the processed soy products can be tasty additions to a plant-based diet, but they are generally high in salt and are not nutrient-dense foods, so use them sparingly. In conclusion, the soybean is a superior food, containing the difficult-to-find omega-3 fats. Beans in general are superior foods that fight against cancer and heart disease, which is why you will benefit from using a variety of beans in your diet.
I know quite a few vegetarians who basically live off soy; soy chicken, soy nuts, soy bacon, soy sausage, soy cheese, etc, etc. So much processed food, so little natural wholesome plant matter. A dangerous combination because as Diet-Blog uncovers, many of these soy-based meat alternatives are hardly health food, and, they certainly shouldn’t be the cornerstone of a so-called health diet:
Here is a list of a few other restaurants that offer some vegetarian choices you might want to be aware of:
  • Burger King Veggie Burger w/Cheese - 470 calories and 20 grams of fat. (A whopper junior has 410 calories & 24 grams of fat)
  • Chilis Bar and Grill - Baked Potato bowl of Soup - 440 calories and 33 grams of fat.
  • Uno’s Chicago Grill - Roasted Toasted Veggie Panini - 590 calories and 26 grams of fat.
  • Ninety-Nine Restaurant Veggie Burger - 910 calories and 41 grams of fat.
And last but not least:
  • Ruby Tuesday Veggie Burger- a whopping 943 calories and 52 grams of fat!
Now, I don’t think Dr. Fuhrman or Diet-Blog are being anti-soy—I’m certainly not, I drink soymilk and eat tofu—but, the important point to remember and Dr. Fuhrman would agree, there is no replacing a hearty amount of unaltered fruits and veggies.

Fortified Food Farce

Which would you prefer, a kick in the head or a punch in the nose? Yes, this is a very dumb question, but, it’s not all that different from this one posed by The New York Times. Reporter C. Claiborne Ray wants to know if eating fortified food is better than taking vitamins. Take a look:
“In some circumstances a pill might be preferable to an enriched food to make sure a person is getting enough of a specific nutrient,” Dr. Sheldon S. Hendler, co-editor of The Physicians’ Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements said, “for example, for those on restricted diets, including calorie-restricted diets, for those with food allergies and sensitivities (like lactose intolerance) and for the elderly, who may not be able to eat enough of a particular food.” But eating a fortified food rather than taking a pill gives the added advantage of the food’s overall nutritional value, including valuable plant nutrients called phytonutrients, some of which may not even have been identified yet, as well as calories, fiber and water.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t buy the hype of fortified foods. If you’re eating plenty of wholesome nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, seeds, and legumes—you don’t need the fortified food! So, here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about Ray’s question:
Of course this article misses the whole point emphasized in modern nutritional research. That is when you attempt to meet you micronutrient requirements with supplements or fortified products you miss those thousands of phytonutrients that accompany produce that is naturally nutrient rich. So every fortified food you eat is increasing your risk of cancer by decreasing your dietary intake of a food that could have supplied those calories in a more nutrient complete package. Fortified foods = processed foods. Processed foods = obesity and cancer epidemic.
Plants are loaded with tons of health-promoting compounds. Take fruit for example, very strong medicine. From Eat to Live:
Researchers have discovered substances in fruit that have unique effects on preventing aging and deterioration of the brain.1 Some fruits, especially blueberries, are rich in anthocyanins and other compounds having anti-aging effects.2 Studies continue to provide evidence that more than any other food, fruit consumption is associated with lowered mortality from all cancers combined.2 Eating fruit is viable to your health, well-being, and long life.
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Okay, I’ve heard about mercury in the water, mercury in fish, and mercury in vaccinations, but, mercury in antique clocks? It’s true. According to the CDC some antiques can pose a mercury hazard. Michael Hill of the Associated Press reports:
The problem is that mercury in old items can leak, particularly as seals age or when the items are moved, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ask Ann Smith, whose heirloom clock's pendulum leaked mercury onto the carpet of her gift store in rural Delhi, N.Y., as a cleaner moved it.

An attempt to vacuum the tiny silver balls off the carpet only made things worse, requiring a hazardous materials team to be dispatched to Parker House Gifts and Accessories last summer.

"I didn't really think it was the hazard that it became," Smith said. "I grew up in the days when you played with the mercury that spilled out of a thermometer and nobody knew it was a problem."
Mercury toxicity is a big deal, especially if you’re pregnant. Consider the dangers of eating mercury-tainted fish. From Eat to Live:
Higher levels of mercury found in mothers who eat more fish have been associated with birth defects, seizures, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, and cerebral palsy.1 This is mostly the result of women having eaten fish when they were pregnant. Scientists believe that fetuses are much more sensitive to mercury exposure than adults, although adults do suffer from varying degrees of brain damage from fish consumption.2 Even the FDA, which normally ignores reports on the dangers of our dangerous food practices, acknowledges that large fish such as shark, swordfish, and yellowfin and bluefin tuna, are potentially dangerous. Researchers are also concerned about other toxins concentrated in fish that can cause brain damage way before the cancers caused by chemical-carrying fish appear.
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ABC News: Breastfeeding a Good Idea

Hey, we all know Dr. Fuhrman thinks breastfeeding is a smart move. One of it's critical function is supplying babies with important antibodies and nutrients. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Disease-Proof Your Child:
The antibodies derived from mother’s milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer. The child’s immune system is still underdeveloped until age of two, the same age when the digestive tract seals the leaks (spaces between cells) designed to allow the mother’s antibodies access to the bloodstream. So picking the age of two as the length of recommended breast-feeding is not just a haphazard guess, it matches the age at which the child is no longer absorbing the mother’s immunoglobulins to supplement their own immune system. Nature designed it that way.
And this video report by ABC News provides even more reasons to breastfeed that baby:

Soy Compound and Bone Building

According to new research a compound in soy called genistein may help improve bone mineral density. Kathleen Doheny of HealthDay News is on it:
After two years, those taking the soy product had better bone mineral density than those taking placebo. "[Even] after one year, there was a clear difference in the women who got the genistein," said Steven Wilson, a biostatistician at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, and a co-author of the study, published June 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The research was funded by the Italian Ministry of Education and the University of Messina, Italy.

Genistein, an isoflavone phytoestrogen, is found abundantly in soybean products. Experts who study it hope it can build bone without the adverse side effects -- such as increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers -- associated with hormone replacement therapy.

In the study, a team led by Dr. Francesco Squadrito of the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico, Messina, randomly assigned 389 women who were past menopause (ages 49 to 67) to take either 54 milligrams of genistein daily for 24 months or a placebo pill.
For more on soy and how Dr. Fuhrman feels about soy-based foods, check out these previous posts:
Oh, and if you’re curious to see what a soybean harvest looks like, enjoy this video—it’s even set to music:

Carrots, Carrots, Carrots!

Crazy about Carrot Salad
8 medium carrots, shredded
1/2 cup raisins
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
Combine carrots and raisins. Add orange juice and cinnamon and mix all together.

Carrot Salad
5 carrots, thinly sliced
16 ounces mixed salad greens
1 1/2 cups grapes, halved
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup carrot juice
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman’s Riesling Raisin Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest
1/2 teaspoon Spike no salt seasoning
1/2 cup Goji berries (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced or 1 tsp dried
In a medium saucepan, bring the carrots and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl. When cooled, add salad greens and grapes. In a blender or Vita-Mix, combine the orange juice, carrot juice, cashew butter, vinegar, VegiZest, Spike, and 1/4 cup of the Goji berries. Blend until smooth and creamy. Mix in tarragon and remaining Goji berries and pour over the carrots, salad greens and grapes and toss.

Carrot Apple Salad
1 pound carrots, shredded
1 gala apple, diced
1 orange, the juice of
1 handful raisins
1 handful walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Blood Orange Vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
Toss ingredients 1-5 together. Add 6 and 7. Then toss again.

Pistachios for Your Ticker

Back in April, HealthDay News reported that pistachios may help take a bite out of cholesterol, and now, The Cardio Blog passes on information linking pistachio consumption to heart health. Here’s more:
Do you have high cholesterol? Apparently pistachios may help, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. This challenges the long-held notion that only a diet low in fat will help combat cholesterol, since pistachios have moderate amounts of fat. True, it's a healthy fat but it's a at nonetheless. If you're concerned about your cholesterol, however, it's recommended that you get between one and two handfuls a day -- no more than that and certainly not in ice cream form.
Not exactly new news to Dr. Fuhrman, he believes that both nuts and seeds are vital parts of the human diet. From Nuts and Seeds Are Excellent Foods:
Nuts and seeds are a natural part of the diet of homo-sapiens. They are perfectly adapted to the taste and ability of humans to pick, dry, store, and crack. No wonder study after study shows raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but protect against common diseases of aging. I recommend almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, filberts, and walnuts; and sunflower, sesame, flax, and pumpkin seeds. These delicious natural foods are high in nutrients and healthful unsaturated fats.
I got to agree with Dr. Fuhrman on this one. Check out this sampling of nuts and seeds in my house right now:

Yup, there’s raw almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and ground flaxseed in there—yum!

Child + Overfeeding = Child Abuse?

That’s what ParentDish is wondering. Apparently some doctors are calling for legislation that would prosecute parents who overfeed their children. Take a look:
Dr. Matt Capehorn, a general physician who has treated children with dietary disorders says: "My colleagues and I were concerned because we noticed a discrepancy in the way society, the medical profession and the courts treat an obese child compared with a malnourished child. There is outrage if a child is skin-and-bone – but it only happens in extreme cases with obese children."

Dr. Capehorn believes that parents should first be educated about how to improve their children's diets. If they fail to follow recommendations, he says those parents should be turned over to authorities. But the Chairman of the Child Growth Foundation, Tam Fry, says the proposed legislation is " "too sweeping and simplistic" and that many parents of obese children are trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to keep their children healthy.
Personally, I don’t think this is a criminal issue, but if it is, you’d have to arrest most of my family—anyone growing up with an Italian nonna knows what I mean. Anyway, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t think over feeding your child is a good idea. Actually, you shouldn’t futz with how much you kids eat at all. Here’re his tips from Disease-Proof Your Child:
1. Keep only healthy food in the house. Every person in the household should have the same food choices available.

2. Offer and feed a wholesome diversity of natural foods, vegetables, beans, raw nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit, while giving each child as much latitude as possible to eat what they prefer.

3. Don't attempt to manage your children's caloric intake. They can do that on their own.

4. If you, as parents, do not demonstrate proper respect for your own bodies by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthful lifestyle practices, don't expect your children to do any better than you, now or in the future.

5. Educate your children about their nutritional needs and the importance of eating healthfully. Start this when they are young and continue to reinforce their learning, as they will be exposed to more toxic food choices as they get older and spend more time out of their home.

Melon Might

Fresh watermelon and cantaloupe are hard to beat—unless of course they invent a watermelon-cantaloupe-avocado hybrid—The Diabetes Blog talks about just how wonderful watermelon and cantaloupe really are. Look:
While a cup of cantaloupe with only 54 calories provides more than half of your daily vitamin C requirement, a third of your vitamin A, and a healthy dose of potassium, it is your watermelon that helps reduce heart disease and certain cancer risks.

The watermelon's red flesh contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A cup is only 40 calories and eating it at room temperature supplies nearly a quarter of the 30 milligrams of daily lycopene suggested by current research.
This puppy would to agree. Achtung! Extreme cuteness warning issued now:

The Scarlet Cheese Sandwich

Apparently elementary schools in California are having a tough time with delinquent school lunch debts. So, if the parents won’t pay, the kids will. Instead of a customary school lunch, children with debt get a meesly cheese sandwich. Richard Marosi of The Los Angles Times reports:
They told students with deadbeat parents that they had only one lunch choice: a cheese sandwich.

The sandwich, served on whole wheat bread, came with a clear message: Tell your parents to pay up — or no more pizza and burgers for you.

Cheese sandwiches and other "alternate meals" have been added to menus in school districts across the country as they try to take a bite out of parents' lunch debts…

…Most schools across the country have introduced alternate meals, said Erik Peterson, a spokesman for the School Nutrition Assn., an Alexandria, Va.-based organization for school nutrition professionals.

Orange County's Capistrano Unified School District serves crackers with peanut butter or cheese. The Los Angeles Unified School District gives children half a sandwich and a piece of fruit. Peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches are a common alternate meal, but not a very effective one.

"It seemed to be one of the children's very favorite meals, so that wasn't productive," said Beth Taylor, nutrition director for the Johnston County School District in North Carolina, where such sandwiches were tried. Taylor said switching to vegetable and fruit trays changed everything. Among last week's menu items for students with lunch balances: crunchy cole slaw, fried squash and steamed cabbage. "The outstanding debt has been reduced to nothing," she said.
Now, I don’t think anyone should welsh on a debt, but—at the risk sounding mellow dramatic—should any child suffer for sins of the father? No, the answer is no, always no. Especially when you consider the punishment, cheese slapped in between sliced wheat bread—yuck! I present exhibit A:

We all know how Dr. Fuhrman feels about cheese, not only is it one of the worst foods you can eat for health and longevity, but as he explains it is loaded with milk hormones that are very detrimental to human health. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
Cheese consumption during childhood is a major concern because it takes ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese. Besides the bovine growth hormone given to cows, their milk contains estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactin, and other natural cow hormones. Cheese not only is richer in saturated fat, but is a more concentrated source of these hormones. These milk hormones can exert effects on humans.1 The more you drink or eat dairy, the more hormones you get, and cheese consumption magnifies the negative aspects of cow’s milk.
And wheat bread, granted, whole-wheat bread is a step up from white bread, albeit a small one. But look at that picture, does that really look like a rustic whole-grain type wheat bread to you? Looks like white bread with a bad tan to me. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman explains this type of whole wheat bread is bad news:
Whole wheat that is finely ground is absorbed into the bloodstream fairly rapidly and should not be considered as wholesome as more coarsely ground and grittier whole grains. The rapid rise of glucose triggers fat storage hormones.
Here’s what amazes me about all this, in spite of all the school food reforms going around now, schools are willing to throw all that away, punish the child and compromise their health for a couple of bucks. Tell you what Chula Vista, next time you want to serve garbage to some innocent kid give me a call and I’ll pick up the lousy tab.
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Dr. Fuhrman Talks Nutrition

In this video Dr. Fuhrman chats with health talk show host Steve Adubato. Take a look:

Kellogg's Nixing Ads to Kids

Maybe we’ve finally realized that sugary cereals aren’t exactly the nutritious way for kids to start the morning because Kellogg’s has begun phasing out ads aimed at kids. Andrew Martin of The New York Times reports:
Kellogg also announced that it would stop using licensed characters or branded toys to promote foods unless the products meet the nutrition guidelines.

The voluntary changes, which will be put in place over the next year and a half, will apply to about half of the products that Kellogg currently markets to children worldwide, including Froot Loops and Apple Jacks cereals and Pop-Tarts.

Frosted Flakes, for example and Rice Krispies with Real Strawberries will still make the nutritional cut, though regular Rice Krispies will not (too much salt).

The president and chief executive of Kellogg, David Mackay, said that the products that did not meet the guidelines would either be reformulated so that they did, or no longer be advertised to children.

“It is a big change,” Mr. Mackay said. “Where we can make the changes without negatively impacting the taste of the product, we will.”

If the product cannot be reformulated, Mr. Mackey said, the company will either market it to an older audience or stop advertising it.
Alright, it’s a noble endeavor, but, they shouldn’t been selling that junk to kids in the first place.

Vacuum-Packed Bacteria

Well, this is officially gross. Charles Q. Choi of LiveScience reports that vacuum-packed foods are a breeding ground for icky bacteria. Proceed with caution:
Vacuum-packed foods are deprived of oxygen to keep them fresh and boost their shelf life, but the same strategy is a boon for Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium responsible for a kind of food poisoning that kills 25 percent of the people it infects.

Unlike many other food-borne germs, Listeria can grow even in the cold temperatures of refrigerators. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that the microbe has been linked with foods such as raw milk; ice cream; soft-ripened cheeses such as feta, Brie and Camembert; hot dogs; raw and deli meats; raw vegetables; raw and cooked poultry; and raw and smoked fish.

In experiments with guinea pigs, Technical University of Denmark researchers found oxygen-deprived Listeria gets mean—up to 100 times more invasive than when grown with ample supplies of oxygen, findings which are detailed June 14 in the online journal BMC Microbiology.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Caroline's on Broadway

Honestly, I’m still reeling from last week’s Disney debacle, but, I’ll solider on. So for today, we’re heading slightly north of Disney World—on Broadway! That’s right. I’m grabbing the next C-train and trudging my way uptown to the world famous New York comedy club, Caroline’s on Broadway—and hopefully their menu is no laughing matter!

Okay, I promise, I’ll try and keep the lame puns and dumb jokes to a minimum, but, I make no guarantees. Alright, let’s see what we got here. I’ll start with the opening act, the appetizers—whoa! Why bother? Nothing Fuhrman-friendly here, unless of course you consider nachos, onion rings, and quesadillas nutrient-dense—and if you do, perhaps you’re frequenting the wrong blog? Yeah, I’m going to give the appetizers the hook. Let’s skip them and move on to something else.

Salads and sandwiches are next. Well, it’s better—and by better I mean at least one of the five offerings have potential. No surprise here, I’m eyeballing a basic salad. The House Salad is prepared with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and sherry vinaigrette. It’s always good to see green on a menu, although Caroline’s does serve up fried zucchini, so not all green is great. Now, as for the rest of salads and sandwiches, they bomb. Cheeseburgers and Cesar Salads make me gag! Oh, and I’d definitely go easy on the salad dressing—ordering it on the side would be a good idea.

Next are pizza and pasta—this can’t be good! For starters, all the pizzas are out. I don’t eat dairy. That means no cheese, no milk, no butter—no nothing! If it comes from a cow, I don’t eat it. So then, what about the pasta? Well, I’d eat pasta instead of cheese any day, but Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t consider pasta health food, meaning, it’s a quite the concession. But, if my back was against the wall and I had to order something, I think the Penne Pomodoro is the safest bet. It’s pretty basic. Tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella cheese—cheese! Relax, I’m ditching the cheese. Now granted, you’re stuck with a bunch of refined pasta, but to me, it’s better than a load of ooey-gooey disease-promoting cheese. What do you think?

On to the entrees—I’m flashing them the light, which means time to get off stage. The only one I’d consider ordering is the Pan Seared Salmon. It’s made with roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a lemon-caper sauce. Okay, I like the potatoes, the vegetables are cool, salmon is one of the fishes Dr. Fuhrman considers a low mercury risk, but the sauce. Honestly, I’d omit the sauce, capers are salty and it’s probably got a lot of oil in it too. Now, I realize this is only a minor alteration and there are probably a bunch of concessions still lurking around, but, it’s better than nothing. And yes, if I ate the fish I’d wait a couple weeks before I had fish again.

Now, Caroline’s does offer a bunch of desserts, but, I’m not going there—it’s a tough crowd. But overall, it’s a good thing Caroline’s is better known for its topnotch stand-up comedy because the food is nothing more than standard American junk food. I’m going there in a couple weeks, so if I decide to eat there, I’ll keep you posted, but knowing me, I’ll probably just make a pit stop at Sacred Chow beforehand. Anyway, check out Caroline’s on Broadway’s menu and let us know how you eat to live on the outside. Make a comment or send an email to

Bean Burger TV

Dr. Fuhrman talks about the powerful phytochemicals and nutrients in bean burgers with the host of the local cable television show Patriot Panache. Check it out:

Oh! And here's the actual recipe:
Bean Burgers
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 cups red or pink canned beans (unsalted)
½ cup minced onion
½ tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. wheat germ or oatmeal
Chop the sunflower seeds in a food processor or hand chopper and mash the beans with a potato masher or food processor and mix. Mix in the remaining ingredients and form patties. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can pick up each patty and compress it firmly in your hands to reform the burger. Then cook for another 15 minutes on each side.

Pasta is Not Health Food!

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

The standard American diet is centered around animal foods and processed wheat products, neither of which are ideal foods. Even worse, the typical modern eater consumes a tremendous amount of extracted vegetable oil. Many Americans add high-fat dressings or sauces to almost everything they consume that is not a high-fat food to start with. Yet those familiar with the scientific research on fats, including extracting plant fats such as olive oil and soy oil, know that fats increase our risk of cancer.1 Vegetable fats are processed foods that interfere with the normal of our immune system2,3 and that contribute to obesity and chronic disease.

When individuals change from an animal-food-based diet to a vegetarian diet, but then eat mostly processed foods such as low-fat pizza, tofu dogs and other health food store concoctions, refined cereals and grains, pasta, and bread as the primary source of their calories, the diet is still inadequate.

Grains, when consumed in their refined state, are comparatively poor sources of vitamins, especially antioxidants. They are also nearly devoid of essential fatty acids. The opposite can be said of green vegetables. Green vegetables and especially the leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as thousands of other important nutrients that research scientists are beginning to identify as being essential for optimal health. These plant-based substances, called phytochemicals, support our immune system and protect us from cancer.
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Trans-Fat, Its Lurks

Sure, trans-fat is being banned left and right, but, it’s not completely out of our system just yet. The Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that trans-fat still lurks in many familiar places. Read on:
Several Pepperidge Farm (part of the Campbell Soup company) products contain unsafe levels of trans fat, including a Chili and Cornbread with Beans One Dish Meal (4 grams of trans fat per serving), puff pastry sheets and shells (4 and 5 grams, respectively), and a Creamy Alfredo Chicken and Broccoli pot pie (11 grams) that has more trans fat than someone should consume in five days. Though Wal-Mart, America’s biggest supermarket chain, recently announced that its in-store delis would switch to trans-fat-free frying oil, several Wal-Mart Bakery products still have artificial trans fat, such as Glazed Mini Donuts (2.5 grams) and Apple Fritters and Honey Buns (6 grams each).

Other products that have alarming levels of trans fat include Drake’s Fruit Pies (8 g) and several Tastykake products, including Glazed Honey Buns (8 g), Glazed Donut Holes (5 g), and Mini Donuts (4 g). Partially hydrogenated oil is still used in many brands of microwave popcorn including some of Giant’s and Safeway’s house-brand versions and some varieties of Pop Secret (part of General Mills), Jolly Time, and Pop Weaver. Many stick margarines have 2.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

“Everyone is so used to seeing “0g Trans Fat” claims on food labels that it’s tempting to think the problem is solved,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “While labeling has been a great success, it clearly hasn’t been enough to get every company on board for every product.”
To be honest, all this banning of trans-fat has turned me into quite the trans-fat watchdog. I avoid it like the plague. But one thing I’ve noticed is that trans-fat tends to pop up most often in foods that an Eat to Liver would never even consider eating, like snack cakes and crackers—no big loss!

(Via That’s Fit)

When Lettuce is Too Fresh

We all love fresh crisp lettuce, but, there is such a thing as “too straight from the garden.” Thanks to Savitri for sending this one over. Take a look:

Hey, you can't blame the little guy, after all, its not easy being green. Sing it Kermit:

Kick Breast Cancer the Veggie Way

Next time you hear someone say something like this, “Who the hell cares about the veggies anyway? You don't need them and there is absolutely nothing essential about them.” Show them this post fro m The Cancer Blog, Plant-Based Diets Key in breast Cancer Survival? Here's a bit:
A senior nutritionist with The Cancer Project even stated that "Women coping with breast cancer deserve to know that plant-based diets and regular exercise can spell the difference between life and death." If that's not a stark reminder of the importance of a plant-based diet for breast cancer patients, I am not sure what is.
When you talk nutrition with Dr. Fuhrman, one of the first things he brings up is cancer-prevention. He insists that if you want to avoid many of our nation’s chronic maladies? A vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet is the answer. Need proof? Here’s some stuff about veggies and cancer-prevention. From Diet, Chemotherapy, and the Truth: How to Win the War on Cancer:
Cruciferous Vegetables
While fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, the consumption of vegetables is more helpful in reducing cancer because they contain much higher amounts of cancer-protective compounds-- especially green vegetables. Among these green vegetables, the cruciferous family has demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects. Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens.

These vegetables also contain indole-3- carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity. Important recent studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables and the compounds they contain can do the following:
  • Halt the growth of breast cancer cells1
  • Dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer2
  • Prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells3
  • Inhibit the progression of lung cancer.4
As far as nutrient density goes, green vegetables are heavy-hitters. Check out the Nutrient Density of Green Vegetables.

(Oh, and the insane veggie-hating quote was from this post, Will America Ever Eat Better? Continue Reading...

Are You an Emotional Eater?

Diet-Blog passes along 8 Indicators of Emotional Eating. Here’s a few that may feel familiar:
2. You crave specific foods - generally not carrot sticks or steamed broccoli.
Cravings for specific, usually unhealthy foods is a sign of emotional eating. Often people like the rush they get from satisfying their cravings. That rush is fulfilling emotional hunger.

3. Your hunger feels urgent.
You need a particular food right away and you're willing to walk out of your way, or get in your car late at night, or raid your kid's Halloween candy to get it. Physical hunger, unless you haven't eaten for a very long time, is usually pretty patient. It will wait for food. Emotional hunger demands to be satisfied immediately.

4. Your hunger is often paired with an upsetting emotion.
If you backtrack a few hours or a few days you'll usually find an upsetting event and feeling that triggered the urge. Hunger that's connected to an upsetting emotion or situation is definitely emotional hunger. Physical hunger is not typically triggered by emotions.
Now this just smacks of toxic hunger and according to Dr. Fuhrman toxic hunger comes with the territory when you’re a food addict. He talks about it in Eat to Live:
Losing your ability to sense true hunger sets the foundation for obesity. By feeding kids so much calorie-rich food so frequently we have trained our children to disconnect eating from hunger. After enough time goes by continually consuming more calories than they need, they will feel discomfort when they do not have food constantly in their stomach. They must keep their digestive tract going all the time, because they become an overweight adult, they are true food addicts.

Symptoms of Toxic Hunger
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Mental Confusion
  • Abdominal and esophageal spasm
  • Fluttering and cramping
A few hours after eating, feeling weak, headachy, tired, mentally dull, and stomach cramping or discomfort is not true hunger! These symptoms of stomach cramping and fluttering, headaches and fatigue that begin when digestion is completed I call "toxic hunger" because these symptoms only occur in those who have been eating a toxic diet.

Cartoons on Food

ParentDish is annoyed about all the commercialism in the supermarket—quite frankly—I think its annoying too, but apparently if you have small children it’s doubly bad. I don’t have kids, but I feel her pain:
I'm taking my kids to the grocery with me this morning, which is mostly fine because they are old enough to help load the cart and to make some decisions about what they will get for snacks. At the same time, though, taking two kids to the grocery is an exercise in insanity because they are so won over by the packaging that it's hard to get them to focus on the actual food. Henry--who wouldn't eat a fruit roll up if it were the only food left in the world--once sobbed in the snack aisle because I wouldn't buy him Scooby Doo fruit roll ups. Sheesh.
Although, I think sticking pictures of Disney characters on fresh fruits and vegetables is a good idea, even if the food at Disney World is less than desirable—hey, it’s still a start!

Behavior is Important Too

Being sick and eating poorly is a bad, but treating the malady and then changing your diet is even worse. At least that seems to be the message of new research claiming that it is more effective to treat illness and change behavior at the same time, not separately. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News explains:
Patients often come to doctors with many behavioral or dietary problems that exacerbate their health woes. Now, a new study finds it may be more effective for physicians to tackle these factors all at once instead of one at a time…

… "Long-term multiple behavior change is difficult in primary care. This study provides strong evidence that addressing multiple behaviors sequentially is not superior to, and may be inferior to, a simultaneous approach," the researchers wrote.

Obviously Unhealthy Findings

Did you know that eating a lot of junk food is bad? No? Well then my simple friend, you’ll just love these revolutionary discoveries. Rosie Mestel of The Los Angeles Times explains that too much food will make you fat. Wait, there's more:
"Families whose meals frequently consist of fast food are more likely to have unhealthy eating habits." That's from the University of Minnesota.

"As they grow older, teenagers are spending more time in front of the computer and television and less time participating in physical activities" — another from the University of Minnesota. (Is there something about Minnesota?)

"Parents of children with sleep problems are more likely to have sleep-related problems themselves." This one, while certainly in the Minnesota spirit, is from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and Brown Medical School.
I weep for our society, I really do.

Brown Sugar Good?

Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigates the claim that brown sugar is better for us than plain-old white sugar. Guess what? Its not! Here’s more:
So the two varieties of sugar are similar nutritionally. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, brown sugar contains about 17 kilocalories per teaspoon, compared with 16 kilocalories per teaspoon for white sugar.

Because of its molasses content, brown sugar does contain certain minerals, most notably calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium (white sugar contains none of these). But since these minerals are present in only minuscule amounts, there is no real health benefit to using brown sugar. The real differences between the two are taste and the effects on baked goods.
Dr. Fuhrman isn’t fooled by it either. In Eat to Live he lumps brown sugar with other junk foods. From the book:
Refined sugars include table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose), honey, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, corn sweeteners, and fruit juice concentrates. Even the bottled and boxed fruit juices that many children drink are poor food; with no significant nutrient density, they lead to obesity and disease.1
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Generations of Chemical Exposure

Exposure to toxins is no laughing matter. In fact, it’s worse than most people realize. Here’s an example. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News talks about the plight of northern Chileans and how they’re still reeling from arsenic exposure generations after the fact. Check it out:
Decades after residents of a region in northern Chile were exposed to high levels of arsenic in their drinking water, they still suffer from high lung and bladder cancer death rates, concludes a study by U.S. and Chilean researchers…

…"The results show that the risks of concentrated arsenic exposure are extraordinarily high, and that they last a very long time, both after initial exposure, and after the exposure ends," principal investigator Allan Smith, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, said in a prepared statement…

…For this study, researchers analyzed data on lung and bladder cancer deaths in this area (Region II) from 1950 to 2000.
They found that those kinds of cancer deaths started to increase in 1968, which was 10 years after the major jump in arsenic levels in drinking water.
Now, I think many of us downplay or overlook the dangers of toxic exposure, but, it’s a big deal to Dr. Fuhrman. So much so, that in Disease-Proof Your Child he issues these words of caution. Take a look:
We must be careful not to expose our children to chemical cleaners, insecticides, and weed killers on our lawns. Chemicals used in pressure-treated wood used to build lawn furniture, decks, fences, and swing sets have also been shown to place children at risk. When young children are around, we must be vigilant to maintain a chemical-free environment.
If not, the results could be catastrophic, consider the Ashland, Massachusetts Cancer Cluster. For generations the citizens of Ashland have endured high cancer rates due to chemical-dumping by a former textile manufacturer. From the Associated Press:
A disturbingly high number of cancer cases outside Boston are linked to a former textile dye-making plant with waste ponds that some children swam in, state health officials concluded Tuesday.

People who grew up in Ashland and swam in contaminated ponds were two to three times more likely to develop cancer than those who had no contact with the water, a seven-year study found.

The cancer rate was nearly four times greater among people with a family history of cancer and who also swam or waded in waste lagoons and contaminated wetlands near the Nyanza Inc. dye plant, the Department of Public Health said.
Now, remarks like this really illustrate the direness of the situation. This is an actual comment to the original post. Look:
My dad grew up in Ashland in the 1950s and lived there in the 60's as well. He remembers playing near Nyanza in what he called "chemical brook" as a kid. He died six years ago of bone cancer. I wonder if it had anything to do with his childhood exposure?
What do you think the answer is?

The Five Second Rule

Kindergarteners and dare-devils can rejoice. Apparently a couple of college students have determined that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat beyond the much heralded five second rule. Check out this ABC News clip, Eat Food Off the Floor?

Personally, I go to New York City all the time and I won’t even pick up money off the ground, let alone food—not unless it’s been decontaminated and sanitized first!

Sorry Kid, You're Obese

According to this report by the Associated Press, it’s better to call extremely overweight kids obese, instead of less harsh or cutesy sounding terms. More from Lindsey Tanner:
Less blunt terms used by the government and many doctors diplomatically avoid the term "obese." Instead, they refer to children many would consider too fat as being "at risk for overweight," and "overweight" for those others would consider obese…

...To some extent, the fuzzier labels let pediatricians "off the hook," allowing them to avoid counseling patients who clearly need to lose weight, said Dr. Peter Belamarich, a pediatrician with Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City.

The blunter terms make sense if they motivate doctors to work with more kids who need help, "but you have to be real careful about labeling or saying it in front of a child," Belamarich said.

"I've had mothers ask me not to use the (obese) label," he said. "Sometimes you can see it in the child's face. They're ashamed."
Eek! This brings back repressed childhood memories, “I’m not fat. I’m big boned.” Or my mother shushing me and asking the department store clerk, “Excuse sir, where the husky sizes?”

Our Bodies Know How Much to Eat

What’s wrong with the way most Americans eat? Everything! We eat junk, we crave junk, we get sick, and then, we die. Here Dr. Fuhrman talks to Dr. Memhet Oz about the problems with the standard American diet. From Dr. Oz’s show "Second Opinion” on the Discovery Channel:

Miracle Expanding Jelly Pills

Here’s more proof that humans might not be the most intelligent creatures on earth. Are you desperate to lose weight? Why bother doing the logical thing—eating right and exercising. Instead, take some magic pills. Magic jelly pills that expand in our stomachs that is. Nicole Martinelli of Wired explains:

Italian scientists are testing a new diet pill that turns into a clear, gelatinous blob the size of a tennis ball that may help shrink waistlines by giving dieters a sense of satiety.

The pill, currently undergoing clinical trials at Rome's Policlinico Gemelli hospital, would be downed with two glasses of water at the first sign of a stomach rumble.

"The effect is like eating a nice plate of pasta," said Luigi Ambrosio, lead researcher on the project at the National Research Council's Institute for Composite and Biomedical Materials in Naples. "If you sit down for a meal with a stomach that already feels full, you'll end up eating less."

The unnamed pill is made from a cellulose compound of hydrogel, a material that's powdery when dry but plumps up to a cousin of Jell-O when wet. The gel can soak up to 1,000 times its weight. A gram in capsule form quickly balloons from the size of a spit wad to a ball that holds nearly a liter of liquid.

Now, if just hearing about it isn’t gross enough, check out this photo. Prepared to gag:

I can literally see Dr. Fuhrman rolling his eyes in disgust. But permit me to be serious for a second. This just highlights how blindly obsessed people are with losing weight. I’m sure there’ll be a line of people waiting to give these jelly pills a whirl, which is sad because as Dr. Fuhrman explains magic pills just aren’t the answer. From Eat to Live:

Don't be conned by diet pills, magic in a bottle, or fat absorbers. Anything really effective is not safe, and those that are safe are not effective. To deal with the real problem, you must make real changes.

Now, when you get serious and switch to a nutrient-dense health-promoting diet, then you’ll really start to see results. More from Eat to Live:

My observations over the years have convinced me that eating healthfully makes you drop unwanted pounds efficiently. It’s as if the body wants to get rid of unhealthy tissue quickly. I have seen this happen time and time again. Eating the exact same diet, many patients drop weight quickly and easily and then automatically stop losing when they reach an ideal weight. Time and time again, I have see individuals who were not overweight nonetheless lose weigh after the switch. In a few months, however, they gravitated back to their former weight as their health improved. It is as if the body wanted to exchange unhealthy issue for healthy tissue.

(Via Diet-Blog)

A Bowl Full of Cherries

The Cardio Blog relays some research linking consumption of sour cherries to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Take a look:
For me, freshly-picked cherries are synonymous with summer. Eating those sweet morsels of goodness on a hot summer's day is about as perfect as it gets. If you love cherries as much as me, there's good news -- They're great for you, especially your heart. There's a downside to this news though -- Sour cherries are better for you than those of the sweet variety. Tart cherries are associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, more so than sweet cherries like Bing cherries. The reason that tart cherries are more beneficial than sweet ones if that tart cherries have more antioxidants, and we all know antioxidants are great for whatever ails you.
I like the sound of that! Feast your eyes on my big bowl of cherries. And yes, they are sour—they don’t like having their picture taken:

The only bad thing here—other than my creepy web cam picture—would be that cherries are on the higher end of pesticide contamination risk. From Reduce Your Pesticide Exposure By 90%:

Heart Failure: Exercise Can Help

I feel like a broken record, but exercise, we can all agree it’s an essential part of a healthy life—right? Well, in the event that you’re from Mars. Here’s more proof that exercise is important. Reuters reports aerobic exercise reverses signs of heart failure:
In patients with heart failure, aerobic training can help the organ pump better, investigators report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In contrast, Dr. Mark J. Haykowsky and colleagues observed that strength training, either alone or in combination with aerobic training, appeared to be of no benefit. These opposing findings may underlie the inconsistent results of studies of exercise training in patients with heart failure.

Haykowsky, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and colleagues searched for relevant studies and identified 14 trials that assessed heart performance in 812 stable patients with heart failure. Nine trials evaluated aerobic training, four evaluated combined aerobic and strength training, and one involved strength training alone.

Aerobic training improved heart function significantly, the results showed.
Makes you wonder how people can say they don’t have time to exercise.

Aloha Spam!

Okay, this confirms it. I’d heard that Spam was very popular in Hawaii, and apparently, the rumors are true. Evidently McDonalds has been selling Spam creations over there for years and now, Burger King looks to get in on the action. Jaymes Song of the Associated Press reports:
Hoping to cash in on Hawaii's love affair with the pinkish meat product, Burger King Corp. last month began offering Spam for breakfast — going head-to-head with rival McDonald's Corp., which has been featuring Spam in the islands for years.

Burger King is offering the Spam Platter — two slices of Spam nestled between white rice and scrambled eggs. The fast-food giant also offers the Croissanwich or Biscuit Sandwich with Spam.

Denise Yamauchi, Burger King managing director in Hawaii, said sales have been "very good and very promising."
Promising and Spam, I bet you’ve never heard those two words used in the same sentence before. Sounds like trouble in paradise to me.

The Soups in You

Creamy Vegetable Almond Butter Soup
1/2 cup dried lentils
6 cups carrot juice
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium butternut squash (or 1 box frozen), peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup small broccoli florets
1 small zucchini, cut into chunks
3/4 cup blanched almonds, chop and reserve 1/4 cup
4 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 tablespoon raw almond butter
4 packed cups organic baby spinach
Simmer first 6 ingredients, covered, for 45 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. With slotted spoon remove 2 cups of vegetables and set aside. Add rest of soup mixture to a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender and blend along with 1/2 cup almonds and rest of ingredients, except for the spinach, until smooth and creamy. Add more soymilk to thin if needed. Add back to soup pot along with the reserved vegetables. Add spinach and heat until wilted. Serve with 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds sprinkled on top. Serves 4.

Creamy Vegetable Soup
4 ounces frozen chopped onions
8 ounces frozen broccoli florets
1 cup frozen edamame beans
3 tablespoons VegiZest or other no salt added seasoning
2 cups carrot juice
3 cups no-salt vegetable juice
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup raw cashews
16 ounces frozen chopped collard greens
1 15-ounce can white beans (navy or cannelloni), no salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Simmer all ingredients, except for cashews, collard greens, white beans, and lime juice, about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In blender, puree cooked ingredients and cashews with just enough soup liquid to liquefy. Simmer greens in remaining broth for 10 minutes. Add pureed mixture and beans to greens and broth. Mix thoroughly and serve. Serves 6.


The EU Clarifies "Organic"

After many months of bickering the European Union has finally hammered down their labeling system for organic food. Jeremy Smith of Reuters talks about:
Farmers who sell produce containing at least 95 percent organic ingredients will use a special EU logo, along with a label to indicate the product's origin. Below that, there will be labeling of the organic ingredients present.

"This is an excellent agreement which will help consumers to recognize organic products throughout the EU more easily and give them assurances of precisely what they are buying," EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said.

The labels can be accompanied by national and private logos, at the discretion of individual EU countries. Mass catering operations are excluded from the new rules although countries can choose to apply national rules if they wish.

Now, EU organic farmers have difficulty selling organic food in different EU countries as there is a patchwork of national and private logos that can be costly and complicated to obtain.

At present, the EU has two labeling categories: a "gold standard" where organic ingredients comprise at least 95 percent of the final product, and "emphasized labeling" where there is at least 70 percent organic material.
Hold on, shouldn’t organic food be 100% organic? How can something be organic, if it’s not totally organic? I’m confused. Okay, let’s ask the USDA for help. Oh wait. They let food be labeled as organic even if it includes non-organic ingredients. Welcome to bizzaro land!

Dandelion Greens

In light of the Sopranos finale, I’m going to let you in on an ancient Italian secret. Dandelion greens. Yes, you can actually eat those pesky weeds that ruin your lawn. And lately, I’ve been eating a lot dandelions. No not the ones in my yard, big hearty ones from farmers market. Here’s what they look like:

I grew up eating dandelions; raw or cooked. Personally, I have vivid memories of my moo-moo clad grandmother harvesting greens from her garden with a cheese knife, while my grandfather used a slingshot to deter crows from eating his figs—yes, “I’m old country” Italian.

Now, I was curious to know how dandelions snacked up nutrient-wise. So I asked Linda Popescu one of the Registered Dieticians that works in Dr. Fuhrman’s office. Here’s what she had to say about dandelions:
Dandelions don't rate up there with kale, watercress and mustard greens because they are not cruciferous. They are in the same range as broccoli and romaine lettuce which is very good compared to most other foods.

I grew up in Newark and can remember the little old Italian ladies picking dandelion greens in the park every spring.
See, I’m not the only one! Oh. And, in the spirit of Followhealthlife’s animals eating fruits and veggies saga, here is a bunny rabbit gobbling up some dandelions. Enjoy:

UPDATE: A Chile Pepper Investigation

Susan Bowerman of The Los Angeles Times examines the supposed power of the Chile pepper:
For many of us, the heat of the pepper is what makes it such a palate pleaser. But peppers also have a lot going for them nutritionally — they are good sources of vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid, magnesium and potassium. Peppers and capsaicin also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which might reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and other chronic diseases that occur with age.

Chile-laden meals have been shown to boost energy expenditure in several human trials. In one study, for instance, 10 grams of dried hot pepper added to breakfast increased energy expenditure by 23% immediately after the meal and for more than two hours afterward.
UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman had some interesting thoughts on this article, check it out:
Healthy foods do not give you sudden energy; you have energy because you eat healthfully, exercise appropriately and get sufficient sleep. The gain of rapid energy from a food is called stimulation and that is an accurate indication that the substance was harmful to your health. Healthful substances do not stimulate, only toxic substances do. It needs to be mentioned as well that too much very hot foods are linked to higher rates of stomach cancer. To conclude, hot spices should be used sparingly and should not be considered health foods.

FDA: Federal Dysfunction Agency

The FDA, some people think they’re the stewards of our good health and too others—myself included—they’re quite the confederacy of dunces. This New York Times article highlights why the FDA is a reality TV train wreck in the making. Gardiner Harris reports:
A series of drug-safety scandals has led many on Capitol Hill to question whether the Food and Drug Administration has failed to strike the right balance between speed and safety. A clear sign of this imbalance, these critics say, is the increasing number of F.D.A. drug-safety officers who say they have been punished or ignored after uncovering dangers of popular medicines.

The latest to suffer this fate is Dr. Rosemary Johann-Liang, 42, who recommended more than a year ago that the diabetes drug Avandia carry the agency’s strongest possible safety warning for its effects on the heart…

… On Wednesday, the F.D.A. commissioner, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, announced that the agency had asked for boxed warnings on Avandia and Actos, more than a year after Dr. Johann-Liang’s recommendation.

At least four other F.D.A. safety reviewers in recent years have been punished or discouraged after uncovering similar drug dangers, according to Congressional investigations.
Welcome to the FDA, drug companies hallowed be thy names.

More on Fruits and Veggies for Weight-Loss

Late last month Diet-Blog passed on some new research linking fruits and veggies to weight-loss. Now today, Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports on the study. Read on:
"Eating a diet that is low in calorie density allows people to eat satisfying portions of food, and this may decrease feelings of hunger and deprivation while reducing calories," study author Dr. Julia A. Ello-Martin said in a prepared statement.

She and her colleagues compared 71 obese women, ages 22 to 60, who ate either a reduced-fat diet or a reduced-fat diet that also included water-rich foods.

After one year, both groups showed significant weight loss and a decrease in the calorie density of their diets. But the women on the fat-reduced/water-rich diet lost more weight during the first six months of the study -- 19.6 lbs. vs. 14.7 lbs.

The researchers found that the women on the reduced-fat/water-rich diet ate 25 percent more food by weight and felt less hungry than the women on the reduced-fat diet.

Vaccines, Thimerosal, and Autism

Thousands of families are going to court. Why? Because more than 4,800 families insist the chemical thimerosal, found in many childhood vaccinations, caused their children’s autism. The Associated Press reports:
Since 1999, more than 4,800 families have filed claims with the government alleging their children contracted autism as a result of routine vaccinations. Most contend that a preservative called thimerosal is to blame for the impaired social interaction typical of the disorder…

…Monday's case addresses the theory that the cause of autism is the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in combination with other vaccines containing thimerosal. The preservative, about 50 percent mercury by weight, is no longer found in routine childhood vaccines but is used in some flu shots.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t believe in sticking kids with needles just because the government says so. He talks about it in the Member Center. Take a look:
There is no law for individuals to be vaccinated who live in the US. For admission to school there are rules and requirements for your child to attend. I strongly support the rights of individuals to do what they want with their own bodies and those of their children, right or wrong, without pressure or coercion by the authorities…

…Bombarding the young human with so many immunizations early in life could have far-reaching detrimental effects. We already have decent data linking the early use of hepatitis B vaccine with Multiple Sclerosis. Authorities and physicians are also aware that mercury preservatives in vaccines have long-term harmful effects. Therefore, I do not recommend the "cookbook" approach to vaccines and work with parents to reduce the exposure, eliminate some and delay others to reduce the risk.
Dr. Fuhrman also has strong words for the push to make HPV vaccinations mandatory. From Dr. Fuhrman on HPV Vaccinations:
The point here is that in this country we allow legislatures to mandate which medications we must give our children? People are not allowed to have an opinion about drugs and vaccines different from the majority opinion, in spite of the controversies and poorly studied short and long-term risks.

Remember this is not about arguing about the effectiveness or value of vaccines, just whether we should mandate medical care and take another freedom away from Americans. We no longer have the freedom to take or not take medications. Sounds like the Taliban to me.

The Gourd of the Rings

“The bourdon is mine!” No, the bourdon is yours. Try sitting through this fruit and vegetable adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Don’t worry. It’s not three hours long:

Diet Stress!

What! Stress? NO! No stress here. WHY DO YOU SAY THAT? That was me. Yeah, I was pretty on-edge when I first started my vegetable-based lifestyle. And apparently I’m not alone. New research concludes that changing your diet can bring about added stress. Dr. Fuhrman pulled this article from Family Practice News, have a look:
Gimme My Ice Cream NOW
A report in a recent issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry finds that changing one's usual diet brings on stress—at least in mice. (Hopefully these weren't the same ones the folks in Bristol almost drowned.) Tracey L. Bale, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and colleagues found that taking the mice off a high-fat or high-carbohydrate diet induced anxiety and stress, as measured by established norms of mouse behavior. “These results strongly support the hypothesis that an elevated emotional state produced after preferred-diet reduction provides sufficient drive to obtain a more preferred food in the face of [adverse] conditions, despite availability of alternative calories in the safer environment,” the dieting authors concluded moments before angrily overturning their lab's 400-pound vending machine to free a snagged bag of Fritos.
Now, hopefully you won’t endure extra stress when you start Eating to Live, but, you could become a real rootin’ tootin’ cowpoke—emphasis on the “tootin’.” This post will better explain the “adjustment period” of a nutrient-dense diet. From Healthy Diet: Premium Gas:
During this temporary adjustment period that usually lasts less than a week, and rarely more than two weeks, you might feel fatigue, headaches, gassy, or other mild symptoms as your body withdraws from your prior toxic eating habits. For example, stopping dangerous but stimulating foods, including caffeine, causes temporary fatigue and headaches.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Cosmic Ray's Starlight Caf´┐Ż

Okay kiddies, this week’s Eating to Live on the Outside comes by special request. You remember last week’s review of Sammy T’s—you better say yes! Just kidding—you do remember, right? Nevertheless, I recently received a comment on that post from Mike. Mike’s going on vacation real soon and he’s worried about his dining options at a certain magic kingdom. Here, I’ll let him explain:
I am going on vacation to Disney World this summer, and a huge challenge will be finding healthy food there. I have heard that all the restaurants offer vegetarian offerings, so maybe that will help. Have you ever reviewed any of the Disney park restaurants?
For starters, kudos on the vacation destination Mike, I might be an adult, but I’m still gaga for all that Disney stuff—go ahead, laugh at the dorky twenty-something. Okay, back to business. Well Mike, an expert I’m not, but, a guinea pig I’m willing to be. So, I did a little Google search and found Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, located in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Alright then, let me gear up. Copy of Eat to Live? Check. Mickey Mouse ears? Check. Sarcastic wisenheimer writing style? Check. Okay, I’m all set. Let’s see what we got.

Well, um, gee, hmm, oh boy—this is going to be rough. The menu reeks of standard American diet. Kind of ironic, the happiest place on earth is so very SAD. Here’s what I mean. Barbecued chicken and ribs—um, no. Fried chicken strips and French fries—heck no! Mini corn dogs and chicken nuggets—you’re kidding, right? Barbecued pork sandwiches and bacon cheeseburgers—okay, enough is enough! Guess what Eat to Livers? This place has all the trimmings of a dietary disaster, but, let’s stick with it, for Mike’s sake.

Okay, we’ve seen the ugly at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café, but there’s got to be some good, right? No, not really. There’s very little I’d seriously consider ordering. And the stuff that seems kind of healthy comes with a price. Take the Vegetarian Wrap for example. To begin with, who knows what’s in it. You’ll have to ask the wait staff because the menu sonly says is that it’s served with, applesauce or pasta. Neither of which intrigue me. Pasta isn’t exactly nutrient-dense and I highly doubt that applesauce is sugar-free. Maybe if the wrap is made with a lot of veggies, no unhealthy dressing, and you’re able to get passed the flour tortilla it’s a good option, but, I’m not impressed. Although comparatively speaking, it might be your “best” option—go on, let out the big sigh you’ve been holding in all this time. How you doing Mike? Not shaking too nervously are you?

Now, if the wrap makes you want to assault one of the custom characters roaming the park, you might want to give the Earthly Delight Vegetarian Burger a try. Personally, these types of foods don’t get my mojo going. I prefer fresh food over processed food, and let’s face it, this stuff might be better than a hunk of red meat, but its still processed food and we know that stuff is hardly health food. The only redeeming thing about the veggie burger is that you can order it with a side of carrots instead of French fries. Honestly, I’m more excited about a bunch of raw characters than some faux-burger. Maybe you can get it on a whole-wheat bun, but given the standard American dietness of the menu—outlook not so good.

Well folks, that’s pretty much it. Other than these two items, I’d say avoid Cosmic Ray's. It might be paradise for the junk-food loving American, but, if you’re even the least bit health conscious, I don’t think it’s for you. With that being said, you might be able to convince them to make you a regular salad with no cheese, chicken, or other junk on it, but again, why bother. For being in a place called Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café isn’t really thinking about your future health. Maybe Goofy’s in charge? At the very least Huey, Dewey, and Louie have a hand in this.

So Mike, what do you think? Or will we be reading about a man getting arrested for trying to smuggle fruits and veggies into the Magic Kingdom? I hope not, but I do hope this helped. If it didn’t—which I’m leaning towards—at least you know to skip Cosmic Ray’s. Now what about the rest of you? Have you had any experience Eating to Live at Disney World? If you did, comment like crazy. Mike needs our help. Oh, and don’t forget to check out Cosmic Ray's menu. Why? I don’t know force of habit. And remember, email-email-email at Good luck Mike. Give the Little Mermaid my regards—wink, wink.

Watch Out for Cancer Lefties

The Cancer Blog relays some information claiming left-handed women are more likely to develop breast cancer than their right-handed counterparts—really weird. Take a look:
This left-handed conclusion, published in the journal Epidemiology, comes from the study of 12,000 women in the Netherlands whose medical histories were followed for 13 years. Discounting all other factors -- lifestyle, environment, and other disease -- left-handers came up with a risk of breast cancer 1.39 times that of right-handers. For pre-menopausal women, the figure climbed to 2.41.

When considering all sorts of illness, left-handed women had a 70 percent higher chance of contracting any cancer and a 30 percent higher chance of a fatal disease of the circulatory system. It's not just breast cancer -- it's any number of health conditions that may be linked to regular use of the left hand.

Scientific reactions on this topic are mixed.
Okay, so what happens if you’re ambidextrous?

Soy Nuts and Blood Pressure

New research claims eating soy nuts can help lower blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times investigates:
For four weeks, 60 women, average age 53, followed a low-cholesterol diet that provided 30 percent energy from fat, 15 percent from protein and 55 percent from carbohydrates. Then the researchers divided them into two groups for an eight-week test.

The first group followed the same diet without soy. The second ate a half-cup a day of soy nuts while reducing protein intake from other sources. When hypertensive women were on the soy diet, they averaged a 9.9 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure (the top number in the reading) and a 6.8 percent decrease in diastolic pressure. Those with normal blood pressure also benefited from the soy diet, reducing systolic and diastolic readings by 5.2 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
Soy is always an interesting topic of conversation. Here are a few posts about it:

Live like a Dog, Eat like a Monkey

I don’t think you’ll see this dog swinging through the trees anytime soon, but, he sure likes bananas. Check it out:

Cancer: Vitamin D Power

According to the Associated Press, a new study has revealed that Vitamin D can cut cancer risk. Timberly Ross and Jeff Donn report:
The new research strengthens some specialists' argument that vitamin D may be a powerful cancer preventative and that most people should get more of it. Experts remain split, though, on how much to take.

"The findings ... are a breakthrough of great medical and public-health importance," said Cedric Garland, a prominent vitamin D researcher at the University of California, San Diego. "No other method to prevent cancer has been identified that has such a powerful impact."

Although the study seemed the most reliable yet, it does have drawbacks. It was designed mainly to monitor how calcium and vitamin D improve bone health, and the number of cancer cases overall was small, showing up in just 50 patients.

"It's a very small study," said Dr. Edward Giovannucci, who researches nutrition and cancer at the Harvard School of Public Health. "I don't think it's the last word."

In either case, the study takes an important step in extending several decades of research that began with observations that cancer rates among similar groups of people were lower in southern latitudes than in northern ones. Scientists reasoned that had to do with more direct sunlight in southern regions.
There’s no doubt, Vitamin D is strong medicine. In a previous post Dr. Fuhrman talks about Vitamin D’s anti-cancer properties. From Vitamin D and Cancer:
Laboratory, animal, and epidemiologic evidence suggests that vitamin D may be protective against cancer. Epidemiologic studies suggest that a higher dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D, and/or sunlight-induced vitamin D synthesis, correlates with lower incidence of cancer, including lymphoma, breast, prostate, and colon cancer.1 In fact, for over 60 years, researchers have observed an inverse association between sun exposure and cancer mortality,2 and those with more sun exposure had fewer cancers. The inverse relationship between higher vitamin D levels in blood and lower cancer risk in humans shows a significantly lower risk among those with the highest vitamin D intake.

In addition to its significant cancer-protective effects, recent studies demonstrate that vitamin D also can inhibit the growth of existing breast and prostate cancer cells. Likewise, it helps inhibit the progression and metastasis of a wide spectrum of cancers, suggesting therapeutic value in the treatment of those who already have cancer.3
Now, Vitamin D might be a good thing, but, you know what they say about too much of a good thing. In this post Dr. Fuhrman discusses the dangers of too much Vitamin D. Check out What are the Health Risks of Too Much Vitamin D:
Vitamin D toxicity can cause nausea, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, confusion, and weight loss. Sun exposure does not result in vitamin D toxicity. Vitamin D toxicity is only a possibility from high intakes of vitamin D from supplements. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has set the recommended upper intake level to 50g (2,000 IU) for children, adults, and pregnant and lactating women. Vitamin D is one of those vitamins where the right amount is essential—not too much and not too little.
Still curious about Vitamin D? Take a look at these posts:

Cancer: No Shark for You!

Shark cartilage is being used to treat cancer? Who prescribes that, a witch doctor? “Take two eye of newt and a shark fin and call me in da’ mornin’ mon.” But unfortunately for witch doctors and shaman, a new study shows shark cartilage is no help against lung cancer. Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:
Shark cartilage products have been marketed for years as "alternative" products by several firms, and one Canadian company, Aeterna Zentaris Inc., had been developing one such product as a licensed pharmaceutical.

But the large study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, showed definitively that the product did not work, experts told a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago…

… The study fits in with several others that have been published in recent years showing that various shark cartilage products do not help cancer patients live any longer, or help ease their symptoms.

"I would like to hope, I would like to pray, that this would put this sort of therapy out of business," Dr. Nancy Davidson, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who is about to become president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said in an interview.
Don’t worry. You won’t find Dr. Fuhrman consulting the stones and bones for magic remedies. He’s doesn’t believe the hype surrounding shark cartilage on bit. From Ineffective Anti-Cancer Remedies: Shark Cartilage:
This is a perfect example of how a good story can sprout a billion dollar industry. After the book Sharks Don't Get Cancer aired on television, showing cancer patients using shark cartilage apparently doing well, millions of cancer sufferers took (expensive) shark cartilage for years, until the first well-designed study followed cancer patients over time and found the shark cartilage had no discernible effect. Since then, manufacturers have stopped claiming that shark cartilage has any beneficial anti-cancer properties.
Why do I hear the Jaws theme song all of a sudden? Ah!

Harmful Pools

Researchers believe that infants swimming in indoor pools may have a greater risk of developing asthma as they grow up. Amy Norton of Reuters has more:
In a study of 341 schoolchildren, Belgian researchers found that the 43 children who had been enrolled in a swimming program as infants were about three times more likely to have asthma or suffer recurrent bouts of bronchitis than children who did not.

The problem, according to the researchers, is that chlorine byproducts may irritate infants' developing airways, causing changes that make them more susceptible to lung disease later in childhood…

…Past studies have found that competitive swimmers and people who work around indoor pools tend to have elevated rates of asthma. Experts suspect that the air quality around pools -- particularly indoor ones -- is to blame.

When the chlorine used to disinfect pools combines with swimmers' sweat, saliva or urine, irritating chlorine byproducts are formed. One of these is a gas called trichloramine, which is released into the air, giving indoor pool areas their distinctive "chlorine" smell. Trichloramine is known to irritate the eyes and upper respiratory tract.

A Cruciferous Chorus

Don’t you wish you had your very own choir of singing vegetables? Take a look:

Again, Our Athletes Just Don't Eat Right

As we found out last week, American professional athletes know next to nothing about nutrition. Tank Johnson can’t get enough beef sticks and summer sausage, Richard Hamilton loves his standard American diet, and Bernard Berrian is hooked on bacon and maple syrup. And apparently, many of the San Antonio Spurs eat poorly too. Claudia Zapata of the Express-New reports:
"Tony pretty much eats the same thing every day before a game," e-mails the future Mrs. Parker, Eva Longoria. Eva prepares Tony's "favorite lemon pasta," which he eats about 1 p.m. before he takes a nap.

So what's in Tony's "favorite lemon pasta?"

"It's very easy," says Eva. "Simmer one cup heavy whipping cream, one cup of beef broth, and let it reduce by a quarter. Then add a half-cup of fresh lemon juice. Boil your pasta of choice and put it in the sauce, letting it soak for 10 minutes to absorb. Et voila!"

Steak is another popular choice among the players and, according to Michael Finley's wife, Rebekah, the veteran All-Star is a real steak-and-potatoes guy on game day. "He always has a steak, a sweet potato and salad," she says.

Last, but never least, Bruce Bowen isn't just the most feared defender in the NBA; he's also pretty handy in the kitchen. Bruce prepares his own pre-game meal, and during a recent phone interview, he says it's always "steak, pasta, and some type of bean — red beans, black beans or green beans."

On the road, Bruce tries to find another combination of carbohydrates and protein, like a hamburger and fries, pasta with chicken or beef, or thin-crust pizza.

Meanwhile, eating five hours before game time gives him the most energy, Bruce says.
Hamburger and fries—WOW—they call that energy food! Have we entered bizzaro world?

Healthy Eating, What If?

What if this country stopped shelling out billions of dollars to invent new drugs to treat disease, and instead, we put some of that money towards educating people how to eat healthier? Vicki Blankenship of The Cancer Blog is in a huff about this very same idea. Check it out:
What if only a part of the millions and millions of dollars poured into research on medicines, was put to use in educating the public on the right choices of foods and nutrition to put into our bodies to keep them healthy and to learn how to relax and quit putting so many demands on ourselves. What if more funding went into organic farming instead of mass, quick produced, with fertilizers and steroids for faster turn around on the products. Personally I have had so many chemicals blasted into my body from chemo and radiation, and medicines for this and medicines for that, I am about to think that all of that is only hurting my body more. Are we brain washed to believe that we have to have a pill for everything…

…But the one thing that I want to emphasize in this blog right now, is to STOP EATING processed and canned foods. It may be quicker to heat up a can of food or something already processed and pre-made for us, but it is not healthier. Eating fresh organic vegetables and home made prepared foods without chemical preservatives and other additives is the way to go to start getting some of those toxins out of our bodies. If you can't find fresh in something, because seasons play a big part in our fresh vegetable selections, purchase frozen. Also purchase dried beans or other dried items and cook them instead of buying canned ones. They are healthier than canned. Eating raw vegetables or slightly steamed vegetables is more healthy because the vitamins and nutrients do not cook out of the food.

Workout, Eat Lots

Have you ever noticed, you go to the gym, finish up a good workout, and like a shot—BOOM—you’re hungry like a wolf! Happens to me all the time. After I exercise I go home and ravage my fruit and veggie stockpiles. And apparently, this type of behavior isn't all that weird. Diet-Blog’s got a post all about it:
Researchers took 6 men and 6 women through the following steps.
  1. Ate the same breakfast.
  2. Wait for an hour.
  3. One group did 60 minutes of stationary cycling (at 65% max heart rate). The other group did nothing.
  4. Wait for an hour.
  5. Everyone enjoyed an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The Results
The exercising group consumed 913 Calories at the buffet. The non-exercising group ate 762 Calories. However, during exercise, the first group burned 492 Calories compared to 197 Calories.

Secondhand Smoke Really Bad for Kids

Secondhand smoke is no joke, especially for kids. A new study claims even minor exposure can compromise a child’s cardiovascular system. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
Even minor exposure to secondhand smoke can harm the cardiovascular system of children, a new study concludes.

Finnish researchers used high-resolution ultrasound to check brachial artery (located in the arm) function of 402 children, age 11, who were divided into three groups based on their blood levels of cotinine, a biomarker for nicotine.

The three groups included: 229 children with no detectable levels of cotinine; 134 children with low blood levels of cotinine (between 0.2 and 1.6 nanograms per milliliter); and 39 with high blood levels of cotinine (more than 1.7 ng/mL).

The study found that children with the highest cotinine levels had significantly reduced brachial artery endothelial function -- a measure of arterial health. Endothelial dysfunction impairs blood vessels' ability to dilate.

Behold the Orange...Cauliflower

According to Rosie Mestel of The Los Angeles Times scientists have unlocked the secret behind the orange in orange cauliflower. Check it out:
The gene enables the cauliflower to build up higher stores of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A that gives carrots their distinctive hue. (Scientists have already figured out a way to engineer rice to be rich in beta-carotene, but that method's more cumbersome, involving several genes, and doesn't work in a lot of plants.) The original mutant orange cauliflower was discovered three decades ago in a farmer's field, according to a news release describing the finding, which was reported in the journal Plant Cell (which won't let you read all about it unless you pay, bah, humbug).
Okay, I’ve heard of purple cauliflower, but never orange. Here’s what one looks like:

And if you’re hungry more. Check out this article from Cornell University: Orange Cauliflower Developed at Cornell's Experiment Station is High in Vitamin A.

Lizard Loves Lettuce

This bearded dragon really enjoys being hand fed some nutrient-rich lettuce. See for yourself:

Caffeine and Pregnancy

This country loves caffeine. Coffee, energy drinks, chocolate—you name it, we’ll eat it! Come on, have you been in a diner lately? Half the tables are filled with high school kids slurping down cups of Joe—hook them while they’re young! Now, we all know Dr. Fuhrman thinks caffeine consumption is a bad idea, but kicking it can be a real nightmare. Take coffee for example, from Eat to Live:
The body can heal itself when the obstacles to healing or stressors are removed. The reason people can’t ever make complete recoveries is that they are addicted to their bad habits and unhealthful ways of eating and drinking.

Imagine if you were drinking ten cups of coffee daily. You stopped drinking coffee, you would feel ill; you might get headaches, feel weak, even get the shakes. Fortunately, this would resolve slowly over four to six days, and then you would be well.

So, if your were this heavy coffee drinker, when do you think you would feel the worst? Right after eating, upon waking up in the morning, or when delaying or skipping a meal?

You are correct if you answered either upon first waking up or when delaying or skipping a meal. The body goes through withdrawal, or detoxification, most effectively when it is not busy digesting food. A heavy meal will stop the ill feelings, or you’ll feel better if you take another cup of coffee, but the cycle of feeling ill will start all over gain the minute the caffeine level drops or the glucose level in the blood starts to go down.
Okay, but what about caffeine and pregnancy? Well, it’s a tough topic. In Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman explains that drinking coffee isn’t a smart move if you’re pregnant, but, even he admits the research isn’t always clear. Check it out:
Caffeine has been a controversial topic for decades. Evidence clearly concludes that heavy coffee drinkers have an increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight infants, but evidence is not clear for moderate users of caffeine.1 Nevertheless, is wise to stay away from as many potentially harmful substances as possible. The bottom line, if in doubt, don’t do it.
I like that advice—why bother? But in case you’re an information hound, take a gander at this New York Times investigation. Anahad O’Connor examines the evidence for and against caffeine consumption when you’re pregnant. Look:
One of the more unnerving studies was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2000. It looked at more than 1,000 pregnant Swedish women and found that those who drank the equivalent of one to three cups of coffee a day had a 30 percent increased risk of miscarriage, while those who had the equivalent of at least five cups had more than double the risk.

But a majority of studies have suggested that any risk might apply only to high levels of caffeine intake. One study carried out by the National Institutes of Health in 1999 looked closely at the blood levels of caffeine in tens of thousands of pregnant women and found that those who consumed the equivalent of more than five cups of coffee a day did have an increased risk, while those who drank one or two cups did not. Other studies have had similar findings.
I don’t know about you, but this just seems like more running around a problem and not really doing anything about it. Now, if there’s even the slightest chance something you eat can hurt you or your child, do you really need to have it? Probably not.

For more on this topic, don't forget about this previous post: Caffeine, Risk, and Babies.
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Omega-3s and Blood Pressure

Do you eat flax seed? I do. I blend ground flax seed into salad dressings, I pile it on oatmeal, and it also goes great in smoothies—and why do I do it? Omega-3s! According to Dr. Fuhrman, Omega-3s are a very-very important part of the human diet. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
The brain is mostly made of fat. For the brain cells to maintain their cell membrane fluidity and to properly recognize chemical messengers they must have the right ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fats built into their structure. Too little omega-3 fats and too much saturated fat and trans fat could stiffen the fatty acid membranes and interfere with proper cellular communication. Raw nuts and seeds supply children with unpolluted omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a protective package rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Though fish is a rich source of omega-3 fat and DHA, fish fats and other animal fats are nutrient-poor and often contaminated with pollution, pesticides, hormones, and drugs. Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are examples of great brain food that can maximize human potential. Berries and vegetables are also rich in brain-favorable nutrients. The same foods that provide powerful protective effects against cancer maximize our children’s brain development.
Okay, need more proof that Omega-3s are nutritional heavyweights? Take a gander at this report from HealthDay News. A new study has determined Omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure. Robert Preidt explains:
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids -- found in certain fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils -- may help lower blood pressure.

That's the conclusion of a study that examined data from 4,680 people in China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States…

…"Foods with omega-3 PFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) had more of an effect in people who were not already taking medication and had not yet developed high blood pressure," study lead author Dr. Hirotsugu Ueshima, professor and chairman of the department of health science at Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan, said in a prepared statement.
For more on Omega-3s—and flaxseed—check out these previous posts:

A Message from The PCRM

Our friends over at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have got a message for us. Fruits and veggies prevent cancer. Check out this public service announcement:

For more on the good stuff the PCRM is doing, check out this post: Dairy Ousted for Weight-Loss.

Dropping the Smack Down on Beer

The Diabetes Blog is all fired up about beer and the shady marketing behind it. Take a look:
For people with diabetes, being aware of carbohydrate content in food and drinks is highly important. With regard to beer, it's important to be cognizant not only of its direct effect on blood glucose levels, but also for the added fat it may be adding to your midsection. The classic Beer Belly, if you will. But, what is it about beer that makes it so bad for your belly?

For one, when you drink beer, twenty percent of the alcohol is absorbed from your stomach into your bloodstream; the rest is absorbed by your intestines. From there, the alcohol makes its way through your liver, where it is broken down -- leading to the creation of two waste products: acetate and acetaldehyde. These waste products then signal your body to stop burning fat, while at the same time your body actually starts MAKING fat from another alcohol waste product, known as acetyle CoA. As a result of all this, the more you drink, the less you become able to burn fat -- and, the more fat your body creates from the build-up of acetytle CoA.

Good TV Makes You Fat

Do you overeat? Well my friend, the answer to your problems is here—just watch some really bad TV! Why? Because according to a new study watching good television makes you more prone to overeat. Jennifer Kwan of Reuters reports:
It seems that distracted brains do not notice what the mouth is doing, said Dr. Alan Hirsch, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.

Hirsch explored the impact of smell, taste and eating behaviors while watching TV by measuring potato chip consumption.

Forty-five volunteers ate as many chips as they wanted during five-minute intervals over three-week periods while they watched monologues by late-night talk show hosts David Letterman and Jay Leno.

They also were given chips to eat when the television was off.

Hirsch found people ate an average of 44 percent more chips while watching Letterman and 42 percent more while viewing Leno, than when they did not watch TV.
I wonder, do the fifty-billion commercials for junk food have something to do with it too?

Nutrient-Rich Breakfast Invasion

An Ace of a Breakfast
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup raisins
1 ounce raw sunflower seeds
1 ripe persimmon or mango, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cook oats according to package directions. Mix remaining ingredients together and stir into the oats. Serves 2.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Fruit, Nut, & Veggie Breakfast
Main Dish
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced & halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced & halved
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
1 cup organic fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 green apple, sliced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raw cashew butter
1/2 cup apple juice or unsweetened soy milk
3 dates, pitted
Make a bed of sliced fennel and cucumber. Top with berries, apple slices, and chopped nuts. Make sauce by blending all ingredients in a powerful blender until creamy. Add some water if needed to thin. Pour sauce over veggie/fruit combination. Serves 2.

Crock Pot Quinoa Breakfast

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well
4 cups water
1 cup chopped dried fruit, unsulphered (any type or a mixture)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dates, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup chopped Brazil nuts (optional)
Place all ingredients in a crock pot and turn on warm overnight or for 10 hours. Add some soy milk if desired. If you'd prefer making this in the morning, then simmer the quinoa in the water for 10 minutes and then add rest of ingredients and simmer for 5 more minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Note: When done in a crock pot, if a crust develops around the edges, just dispose of that part. Quinoa is a grain which is a good source of iron, protein, and other nutrients. Be sure to rinse it well, using a small screen strainer, since some of the bitter coating may not have been removed during processing. Serves 4.

Drug Therapy, Sleep on It!

From the May 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

People are taking more and more drugs, too many of which are neither safe nor effective! Americans are packing their medicine cabinets with prescription and over-the-counter drugs to manage their long list of symptoms. According to the annual report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 44 percent of Americans take prescription drugs every day, and 17 percent take three or more daily. About 50 percent of women and about 40 percent of men are on drugs.

Fortunately, there is growing concern about the safety and effectiveness of this approach to health. Consider melatonin, prescribed for people with sleep problems. It is considered safe, but not very effective. A meta-analysis of dozens of studies on melatonin showed that melatonin is not effective in treating most sleep problems. There was no evidence that melatonin was effective in preventing or treating jet lag, shift-word disorder, or insomnia. The only good news was that researchers observed no significant short- or long-term side effects.

The surest and safest way to vibrant, lifelong health is to follow the recommendations in Eat to Live. Don’t gamble your health on risky medications.

Healthy Snacks and Calorie Content

Cat + Carrots = Love

The music is playing, the mood is set, romance is in the air, and this cat is ready to show these carrots some love—oh baby! Peep this tomcat:

This kitty LOVES some phytonutrients.

The Fruit-Man Passes

Do you know who William F. Whitman Jr. is? Honestly, until today I had no idea either. According to The New York Times he was responsible for popularizing many exotic fruits in the United States, but sadly, he has died at the ripe-old age of 92—no pun intended. David Karp reports:
Among rare-fruit devotees, Bill Whitman, as he was known, was hailed as the only person to have coaxed a mangosteen tree into bearing fruit outdoors in the continental United States. Native to Southeast Asia, mangosteen is notoriously finicky and cold-sensitive.

That did not deter Mr. Whitman, whose garden is propitiously situated between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, minimizing the danger of catastrophic freezes. (Mangosteen is the most prominent of the exotic “superfruits” like goji and noni, which are made into high-priced beverages from imported purées.)

Mr. Whitman managed to cultivate other fastidiously tropical species like rambutan and langsat, and he was recognized as the first in the United States to popularize miracle fruit, a berry that tricks the palate into perceiving sour tastes as sweet.

In pursuit of rare fruit, “Bill was a monomaniac,” said Stephen S. Brady, his doctor and friend, who traveled with him. “He’d hear about a fruit tree, and pursue it like a pit bull to the ends of the earth.”

Healthy Lifestyle Strikes Again

Hah! Who would have thought? Healthy diet and exercise can keep cancer away. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports:
One study found that individuals with stage III colon cancer who had undergone surgery and chemotherapy had higher odds of relapsing or dying if they followed a predominantly "Western" diet of red meat, fat, refined grains and dessert…

…A second study found that previously sedentary breast cancer survivors who exercised reduced the amount of insulin in their blood. It was unclear, however, what effect this might have on cancer recurrence, but the suggestion is that insulin levels may explain why physical activity has been associated with better outcomes.
Not exactly earth-shattering news here, Dr. Fuhrman has been screaming about the cancer-protective effects of a healthy diet for years. Vegetable-based nutrient-dense nutrition is key. From Eat to Live:
There is still some controversy about which foods cause which cancers and whether certain types of fat are the culprits with certain cancers, but there’s one thing we know for sure; raw vegetables and fresh fruits have powerful anti-cancer agents. Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of these foods and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.1 This means that your risk of cancer decreases with an increased intake of fruits and vegetables, and the earlier in life you start eating large amounts of these foods, the more protection you get.

Humans are genetically adapted to expect a high intake of natural and unprocessed plant-derived substances. Cancer is a disease of maladaptation. It results primarily from a body’s lacking critical substances found in different types of vegetation, many of which are still undiscovered, that are metabolically necessary for normal protective function. Natural foods unadulterated by man are highly complex—so complex that the exact structure and the majority of compounds they contain are not precisely known. A tomato, for example, contains more than ten thousand different phytochemicals.
Also, here’s a recent study talking about exercise and cancer: More Good News for Exercise.
Continue Reading...

Cure Diabetes: Tips from a Familiar Source

Tired of taking insulin and being a slave to your diabetes? TheDiabetesBlog taps a familiar source for advice. Are you a doctor mystery guest? Do you recommend a vegetable-based diet? Check it out:
The Eat To Live dietary style is a vegetable-based diet designed to maximize nutrient per calorie density. It is the most effective treatment for those with diabetes, more effective than drugs. For a type 2 diabetic, this approach has resulted in complete reversal of the diabetic condition in the vast majority of patients and for a type 1 diabetic it solves the problems with excessive highs and lows and prevents the typical dangerous complications that too frequently befall those with diabetes. Joel Fuhrman, M.D is a board certified family physician specializing in nutritional medicine for overweight and diabetic patents.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Sammy T's

Well, it’s Friday and—you better know what that means! Fire up your Fuhrman-friendly radar. It’s time to take our weekly look at the standard American restaurant landscape. So, where are we headed today? All aboard! The Eating to Live on the Outside train departs for Fredericksburg Virginia—now! Next stop Sammy T’s Light Food & Ale. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get going.

Alright, what could an Eat to Liver eat at Sammy T’s? Let’s see. Here we go, check out these soups. Black Bean, made with pureed beans, onions, celery, tomatoes and spices. The Veg Chili, prepared with red kidney beans, bulgar wheat, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and spices. Vegetable Delight, made with more than eight different vegetables and topped with parmesan cheese—relax, I’d omit this. And lastly, the Gazpacho, it’s made with tomato soup, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, and sour cream or yogurt—again, I’m dropping the dairy. Now, provided these soups aren’t overly salty and loaded with oil, they’re pretty decent options.

Sammy T’s has got some cool salads too. Check out the Spinach Salad, it comes with spinach, mushrooms, tomato, crumbled bacon—BACON, HOW I LOATHE THEE—and an oil and vinegar dressing. Now, if my little outburst didn’t give it away, the bacon is gone. Other than that, I’m digging this salad. Of course I’ll go easy on the dressing, but truth-be-told I seldom use both oil and vinegar. Most times I just splash on some vinegar. The Greek Salad and the House Simpleton also look mighty tasty. The Greek Salad is made with mixed greens, mushrooms, tomato, green pepper, black olives, feta cheese, red onion, and pepperoncini. Clearly I’m throwing the feta cheese out the window, probably the olives too, salty. The House Simpleton includes mixed greens, chopped carrots, celery, red cabbage, tomato, and cucumber. No complaints here—say hello phytonutrients!

Okay, as far as the entrees go. The only one to wet my taste buds is the Spinach Foldover. I eat a lot of spinach—I’m kind of a hound dog for it. If something’s got spinach in it, I’ll probably eat it—with in reason of course! The Spinach Foldover is prepared with hummus, sautéed spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, flour tortilla, and it’s served with lemon tahini. Alright, clearly sautéed anything is a concession, the oil. The flour tortilla is also a concession, but, I can deal with it. Generally speaking, white flour and oil are concessions I’m more willing to make. You’ll never find me saying, “Oh, a little cheese and bacon. No big deal.” Yeah, when pigs fly!

Now, if you’re willing to a make a bread concession. Sammy T’s sandwiches are loaded with all sorts of veggie-goodness! I’ve got eight options that I think an Eat to Liver could get away with: Veggie Club, Black Bean Cake, Lentil Burger, Vegan Veg, Felafel, Avocado Melt, Bean & Grain Burger, and the Tempeh Burger. Some require more tweaking than others—mainly because of the cheese and some dreadful mayonnaise. Out of this list I really like the Vegan Veg and Veggie Club. The Vegan Veg is prepared with hummus, sautéed mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomato, walnuts, and garlic. All wrapped in a flour tortilla. Again, if you can get past the sautéed mushrooms, you’re in pretty good shape. Of course, maybe you can ask for your mushrooms to be sautéed in a little water. That’d spare you the oil. The Veggie Club comes with cucumber, red onion, mushrooms, lettuce, mayo, and mozzarella. All served on toast. Oh, oh! You can get avocado with that too. As I’ve said before, I’m avocado freak—SO BRING IT ON! Now as far as the cheese goes on this sandwich—bye, bye! No cheese for me. Same goes for the mayo—again, I find mayonnaise to be rancid. Now for the toast, for starters, I don’t want my bread toasted—no sense risking acrylamides. And I’d only order wheat bread—I know it’s not a slam dunk, but, it’s at least a teeny-tiny bit better than regular-old refined white flour junk-bread.

So, what do you think? Does Sammy T’s have potential? I think it does, but, let me know what you think. Check out the Sammy T’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at

The EU, More Than Half Fat

Imagine living in a society where more than half the population is overweight. That’s what the European Union is staring down. Raf Casert of the Associated Press reports:
Diets based on fatty and sweet ingredients combined with lack of physical activity account for six of the seven top factors leading to poor health, said EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.

For years the EU Commission has warned governments to act, but the situation is getting worse. "Everybody has to be blamed — including the authorities, including the industry, including the consumers," Kyprianou said.

His biggest worry is the growing girth of children. "If we don't act, today's overweight children will be tomorrow's heart attack victims," he said.

In the 27-nation bloc, the EU says that over 21 million children are overweight. "Even more worrying is that the rate of increase of that number is more than 400,000 children a year."
And EU officials seem to think that food labels are the problem.

Soft Drinks and DNA

ParentDish passes on some new search claiming that soft drinks might actually futz with children’s DNA. Check it out:
According to new research, too many soft drinks might actually cause cell damage in children. Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at a British university, says that sodium benzoate, a common preservative used in carbonated drinks, causes damage to the DNA in the cells known as the mitochondria.

He explains, "The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it - as happens in a number of diseased states - then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA - Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of aging."

Nutrient-Rich Orangutan

This man of the forest chows down on some nutrient-rich greens. Look:

162 Beef Sticks

Here’s a weird paradox. Many of this country’s professional athletes have terrible diets. Take a second, think about it. It doesn’t make much sense. Athletes are role models, heroes, gladiators among men—supermen if you will. And yet, so many of them have garbage diets. For example, Detroit Pistons' shooting-guard Richard Hamilton, here’s his typical day of eating:
Yellow Corn Grits with Cheese
Coffee with Cream and Sugar

Grilled Chicken Breast
Mixed Baby Greens
Italian Dressing
French Bread
Orange Juice

Chicken Lasagna
Italian Bread
Lemon Cake
Let’s see what we got: refined corn, cheese, cream, caffeine, sugar, oil, and high-fructose corn syrup. I’m sure a deeper analysis would reveal even more nutritional follies. And its not just basketball players, football stars are no better. Last fall Chicago Bears wider-receiver Bernard Berrian shared his magic potion with a classroom of youngsters, bacon and syrup. I’m not joking:
Bernard: Hello kids.

Classroom: Hello!

Bernard: Do any of you know what it takes to make it in the NFL?

Redhead freckle-faced ginger-kid: Four-three forty speed?


Bernard: That always helps, but first you have to lay a foundation—make your body strong. Do any of you know how to do that?

Pretentious kid with overly dramatic delivery: Massive amounts of jumping-jacks?

Bernard: No, I’m talking about diet—the food you put in your body. Before ever game in college I used to eat bacon and syrup, and I brought some with me. Come on everybody let’s eat!

And the crowd goes wild.
And now another Chicago Bear shows us that being a professional athlete doesn’t necessarily mean you have the foggiest idea how to eat healthfully. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Bear’s defensive lineman Tank Johnson, who was recently completed serving a 60-day prison sentence, ate the following during his incarceration.
And while the 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman is built like a vending machine, the roster of items he ordered reads like he raided one, too:
  • 162 beef sticks
  • 40 honey bun sweet rolls
  • 35 summer sausage blocks
  • 35 bags of barbecue chips
While he and other inmates were given things like a scoop of grits for breakfast, a bologna sandwich for lunch and a chicken leg for dinner, that's hardly enough for a massive professional athlete.
(Via HashMarks)

Okay, now I’m no fan of bologna and chicken legs, but, beef sticks and summer sausage blocks—what the heck is a sausage block! Whatever it is, it can’t be good. Given Tank’s size and food preferences, his future seems grim. Because according to Dr. Fuhrman, being a massive bulked-up professional athlete isn’t exactly the key to sustained health and longevity:
Bulking up is dangerous to one's longevity and power lifters and football linebackers often eat in a way that radically shortens their lives. If you were a weightlifter, for instance, you might improve your chances of muscle growth with more animal products then I recommend, certainly. But a lot of animal products is not conducive to longevity. But if size is your only goal, go for it.
What's sad is the gold standard for linemen in the NFL is size, size, size.