An Apple Crank Started the Momentum

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Howie Jacobson, PhD of FitFam and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

Packing school lunches is always a challenge in my house. So it was with some surprise that my 9-year-old son suddenly started asking for apples for lunch about a month and a half ago.

To me, apples are the perfect food. They resist most mild forms of travel abuse, unlike plums and peaches. They come in nice colors and can be eaten one-handed while you do your school work.

But for finicky kids, apples present a problem. The skin!

Skin the apple ahead of time, and it turns brown. Leave the skin on and a third grader will see ammo-deflecting armor surrounding his fruit, rather than a thin and delicious protective layer. The apple will come home untouched or worse, thrown away with one guilty bite taken out of it.

Back to the point, why was my son so excited about apples?

Turns out his teacher, who has a keen interest in all things mechanical, had brought to class an apple peeler and corer. Now, all of a sudden, my son's apple was the coolest thing at lunchtime, because he could crank this simple machine and magically peel and core it in front of his classmate's amazed and appreciative eyes.

Now all the kids want apples for lunch. Probably an overstatement, but I'm a little excited here!

So what's my takeaway? Presentation matters. The experience of food matters. Peer pressure matters. And most of all, if you want to change behavior, use toys. The apple gadget provided immediate gratification prior to the first bite. The apple jumped to the front of the awesome-dessert line because it started with momentum.

When you get a strong spasm of intention to eat right, to exercise, to meditate, to do whatever it is that supports your highest good and yet doesn't happen as often as it should. Use that POWER MOMENT to shift your future environment.

Buy an apple peeler, go for a fun run, clean out your study and make it a meditation room, use that momentum! Create ongoing favorable conditions, so doing the right thing becomes fun and easy.
 

Grapes Lower Blood Pressure

A new study in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences claims flavonoids in grapes may help LOWER blood pressure and REDUCE heart muscle damage. Especially in individuals consuming salt-heavy diets; Reuters reports.

Favonoids are superstars! And they’re NOT limited to grapes. Many foods, like broccoli and other green vegetables, are potent sources of flavonoids and healthful compounds like vitamins E, A, C and K and fiber, folate, lutein and lycopene.

And previous research has determined eating flavonoid-rich plant foods ENHANCE heart health by lowering cholesterol and improving blood flow and according to Dr. Fuhrman, you can eat broccoli and grapes everyday, in unlimited quantities!
 

Do You Take Your Health For Granted?

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Scott Wharton of HealthandMen and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

Do you take your health for granted? Chances are if you're reading this right now, you don't. However I was heading home late last night and I noticed a billboard for a wellness radio show and for some reason it got me to thinking about how many people probably drive by that everyday and think, “Why?”

When you go to the grocery store the first section that is in most markets is the produce. Perhaps one of the most important sections of the super market, filled with the healthiest items in the store. How many people pretty much bypass this section almost all together and go about buying the same things they bought the last time?

How many people give no thought to simply eating healthy food and fill their shopping cart with the same garbage each and every time? You'd be surprised. Sure they might buy some canned vegetables, but that’s only because they feel that they have to have a vegetable on their dinner plate and don’t really want that vegetable for its nutritional value.

Most people don't become health conscious until the errors of their ways catch up to them and they suffer a heart attack or a simple cholesterol test show dangerous levels. They go about their daily lives and have the mentality that they feel healthy so they must be healthy.

Health insurance rates for men are normally higher than women's rates. One reason is because men can be ignorant. They brush off minor aches and pains and don't get regular check-ups. Those minor aches and pains could be symptoms of bigger underlying issues and sometimes it's not caught until it's too late.

I think women are more health conscious for various reasons. One is the fact that women are generally more self-conscious about their weight and often do research on what they can do about it. When they research they learn all sorts of things that they never knew before and they start becoming more aware of their personal health. Also, most women are not as stubborn as men and normally get themselves checked out when they feel something isn't right.

It goes back to the mentality that I feel fine, so I must be fine. There are also people that just don't care. They live for the moment and live unhealthy lifestyles. They may be happy, but it can create hardships for themselves and other people in the long run when they are beating up their bodies from the inside out. You don't have to be paranoid about your health, just be aware.

Over 500 years ago English philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon said "Scientia Potentia Est", which translates to today's "Knowledge Is Power" and in U.S. Military leadership they teach "Know yourself and seek self improvement". These are words to live by in both a moral sense and health sense.

Don't take your health for granted and encourage others to do the same.
 

Positive Eating, Fueled by Diet Failure!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Laura Klein of OrganicAuthority and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

The New York Times reported that positive eating trends are on the upswing!

Remarkably the percentage of people who are currently dieting is on a decline to 29 percent in 2007 from 33 percent in 2004. In place of calorie counting, starvation and deprivation, people are adding tasty whole foods to their diets, and 53 percent more are cooking more and from scratch!

This is exciting stuff! It has always been my advice that if you don’t know where to begin in transitioning your diet to a healthy one, start by adding more delicious organic fruits and vegetables to your diet every time you grocery shop and if you can swing it, on a daily basis. Keep it simple and easy.

If you are inclined to count something, start counting chemicals in your food instead of calories. Studies are now showing that chemicals in our food are leading to serious health issues like obesity, cancer and more. If you are inclined to reach for diet sodas and diet foods, take a few seconds (literally that’s all it takes) and scan the list of ingredients and ask yourself how familiar you are with the ingredients in that packaged drink or food product.

Other reports have shown number of farmers markets across America have more than doubled since the mid-1990s. And the sales of organic foods continue to rise. We are finally beginning to follow in the footsteps of Europe.

One of the things I have discovered in my quest to discover the most delicious foods on the planet is the remarkable healing qualities of tasty, whole, organic foods. There are so many miraculous healing stories of people who have cured themselves of serious diseases, like cancer, obesity, diabetes, and more, by simply eating a delicious, organic, whole foods diet. Bottom line, delicious, whole, organic foods are commonly overlooked as one of the most powerful healing tools on the planet.

If you are concerned about the price of organic foods during these tight economic times here are some of my recommendations for creating room in your budget to add tasty, whole, organic foods to your shopping cart:

  • Buy fewer prepackaged processed food products and add more whole foods to your shopping basket. Buying less junky fast foods creates room in your budget for tasty, whole organic foods!
  • Eat out less. Eat at home at least one to two times more per week (or more). This will create a huge amount of room in your budget for quality organic foods.
  • Buy at your local farmers markets! Not only are you buying local but many times organic produce can be up to 20-40% cheaper.
  • Don't rule out non-organic when it comes to local farmers. While you are at your local farmers market, get to know your farmer! Ask if they grow organically even if they aren’t a certified organic farm. Many times local farmers can’t afford the certification but grow organically the way Mother Nature intended.
  • Use a grocery list! This may seem obvious, but studies show that people who use grocery lists and stick to them save money on their grocery bill.

Overall, think about your values when you shop. Do you shop merely on price and large quantities? Or does quality and nutritional value count for something? Remember: consuming foods that are tasty and rich in nutritional value is what will keep you healthy, help in keeping the weight off and add up to less doctor visits. And knowing it's better for the planet is a nice perk!

How Scrambled Eggs Scrambled Our Life!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Robyn O’Brien of AllergyKids and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

As a mother of four, I thought I’d seen it all. Endless ear infections, middle of the night stomach flus, and every rash, oozing eye and childhood condition I could imagine. And then my life changed abruptly and irrevocably over a plate of scrambled eggs.

It all started on what seemed like an ordinary morning. You know the ones? Where the kids come screaming down the stairs and you're not sure if the chaos is in the form of a game of chase or a favorite T shirt that can't be found.

As my four children powered down their Eggo waffles, tubes of blue yogurt and some scrambled eggs, I decided to slip a few spoonfuls of eggs onto my youngest child’s tray. But she didn't really seem interested, fussed and pushed them away.

As I cleaned up the mess, I noticed that my baby seemed tired. And since she was not quite one at the time, I took her upstairs for her morning nap.

I don't know what made me check on her that morning, but a few minutes later, in an act that can only be defined as Mama Instinct, I went upstairs.

I lost my breath the minute I walked into her bedroom. Her face was swollen shut. As I grabbed her from her crib, I came screaming downstairs, calling out to the older children, asking if they had put something on her face, in her crib, in her eyes.

All I got were those blank little kid stares. You know the ones? And at that point, I got really scared, because my older children had no idea what I was talking about.

I called the pediatrician in a complete panic, and she told me to come in immediately that it sounded like an allergic reaction.

What was happening? I felt completely out of control, unable to protect my baby from something as normal as food. What kind of mother was I?

Little did I know what that day and that diagnosis would bring.

I began to learn about food allergies: How there has been a 400 percent increase in the condition in the last ten years and how the peanut allergy alone doubled from 1997-2002. I learned how proteins and chemicals in foods that can threaten a child's immune system.

I learned that there are chemicals found in our foods that can compromise a child’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to all types of chronic conditions and diseases, including allergies, asthma, ADHD and autism (which now affect 1 out of every 3 American children).

I learned that the reason that people choose to avoid processed foods in their diets is to reduce their children’s exposure to harmful chemicals and ingredients. I also learned that the reason that people spend more on organic produce is because these foods are not allowed, by law, to contain chemically engineered products (like insecticides or genetically manipulated materials in their ingredients).

And I learned that there is so much a mom can do to protect her kids and the kids around her!

Kidney Stones in Children?

Just like Pokemon cards and cholesterol-lowering medications, kids can NOW compare kidney stones too. That’s right! More and more doctors are seeing kidney stones, commonly found in adults, showing up in children—as young as 5 or 6!

And what’s to blame? What else! Crappy diets, but in particular, SALTY diets. The New York Times reports:

Excess salt has to be excreted through the kidneys, but salt binds to calcium on its way out, creating a greater concentration of calcium in the urine and the kidneys.

“What we’ve really seen is an increase in the salt load in children’s diet,” said Dr. Bruce L. Slaughenhoupt, co-director of pediatric urology and of the pediatric kidney stone clinic at the University of Wisconsin. He and other experts mentioned not just salty chips and French fries, but also processed foods like sandwich meats; canned soups; packaged meals; and even sports drinks like Gatorade, which are so popular among schoolchildren they are now sold in child-friendly juice boxes.

No doubt. Food producers LOVE to push salt on kids! For example, a new report came out revealing breakfast cereals have too much sugar. Cereal-makers said fine! We’ll just pump our fruity loops full of salt instead.

Listen, salt is bad for children of ALL ages. But if parents and kids start eating healthfully, you AVOID the salt problem altogether!

Kids in the Kitchen

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Amy Roskelley of SuperHealthyKids and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

Here’s a tip, let the kids be part of cooking. When they have time and interest invested, they are more likely to discover new foods and discover they actually like them. Kids can do a lot of things. Let them choose the produce at the store, wash it, chop it (unless they are a four year old who thinks everything can be cut with a light saber), bake, serve, prepare, whatever!

I decided to let my son (ketchup boy) help prepare dinner, because he doesn’t cook with me very often. I first let him make choices.

“What should we put on top of our salad tonight? Would you like cucumbers and tomatoes, or apples and oranges?”

“None of it,” was his reply.

“Well, we’re making a salad anyway, so I’m letting you decide what we’ll put on it.”

He comes back and says, “Okay, apples and oranges.”

I said, “Great, you peel the oranges and cut the apples, and I’ll wash the lettuce.” We made the salad, and then sat down to eat. The kids separated their oranges from their lettuce (heaven forbid the lettuce should touch the oranges), but they did eat both, so I consider it a success.

Other things they can do to be part of the process, is let them help start a garden. I bought some alfalfa seeds and a sprouting jar since it was winter and nothing grows in Utah during the winter. But sprouting can happen all year round. So the kids helped by rinsing the seeds daily.

There are so many reasons to let your kids help with preparing your families meal. If they help, they’ll learn meal planning, how to cook, and prepare food. This way they aren’t eating out of a can when you send them to college.

But mostly, I’m hoping someone will want to marry them someday, so they aren’t living in my house when they are 40!

I Can't Live Without My Vita-Mix!

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Jennifer McCann of Vegan Lunch Box and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

I swear by the magical super power of a Vita-Mix to blend otherwise objectionable foods to a lovely smooth consistency that will meet the approval of picky children, and adults! I use it to blend chunky soups into smooth purees for my son, so he can avoid the distress of having to dissect his stew before eating. I also blend his tomato sauce, and manage to sneak in some cooked kale and carrots while I'm at it!

But the main reason we love the blender is for making SMOOTHIES! Smoothies are a great way to make fruits (and, to a lesser extent, vegetables) fun and easy. We make smoothies every day for breakfast or a healthy snack.

Now that my son is almost 10 he likes to show his independence and make his own. However, we started having problems with his idea of how much frozen fruit to use; it was not uncommon to find that he had thrown over 3 cups of frozen blueberries in the blender to make one breakfast smoothie. Healthy, yes, but talk about expensive!

So here's what I did to get smoothie-making under control and turn it into a kid-friendly activity: I purchased clear square bins at a wholesale grocery store, just like the kind they use in restaurants, along with a 3 oz. (approx. 1/3 cup) ice cream scoop.

Then I posted a smoothie recipe template on the refrigerator for my son's reference. It's practically impossible to go wrong with it: 1 cup of nondairy milk or 100% juice (or a mix of the two), 1 scoop of ice, 1 container nondairy yogurt, and 3 scoops of fruit. Voila! A yummy smoothie!

Of course, you can leave out the yogurt if you prefer, and add all sorts of nutritious extras to any smoothie: one or two tablespoons nuts or nut butter, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a Pixie-Vite or other supplement, handfuls of cooked or raw greens, slices of avocado, etc. My husband even likes to add raw oats to his, to thicken it into a hearty breakfast shake.

Purple Tomatoes!

Relax! You’re NOT having an acid flashback. Using genes from the snapdragon flower, scientists have genetically engineered PURPLE tomatoes! The dark color makes them richer in cancer-fighting compounds called anthocyanins; via the AFP.

Actually, many plants NATURALLY contain anthocyanins, like blueberries. But tomatoes are still awesome! They taste great raw. Dr. Fuhrman considers tomatoes as one of the best foods for health and longevity. And they’re FANTASTIC with broccoli!

The 6-Word Diet: An End to Complexity

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Jim Foster of Diet-Blog and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

Do you ever feel baffled, overwhelmed, and fatigued by all the diet advice that’s out there? Over the last few decades we’ve seen books that cover a bewildering array of nutritional combinations. Some become instant bestsellers – while others are thrown in the bargain bin before you can say “revolutionary new plan“.

It becomes mind-numbingly banal after a while – and in my view most people simply want to get on with life - enjoying their food and experiencing good health. Following rigid plans can feel empowering for a while – but in an ever-increasingly hectic life – simplicity begins to look very attractive.

Today’s information highway is strewn with 30-point plans for achieving better bodies. We have more assistance and guidance at our fingertips than ever before. How much of that knowledge we actually retain is up for debate.

Let’s distill all the complexity down into one easy sentence. It won’t lose you “4 pounds in 7 days”. It won’t “melt fat”, and it is no “revolutionary secret”.

Here we go, 6 words: Eat more fruit and fibrous vegetables.

Don’t stress, don’t strain. Don’t count, don’t obsess. Focus on which fruits and veggies you enjoy. Buy (or grow) them. Eat them.

Life is too short to spend it on angst and worry.

You may be surprised at the number of positive follow-on affects from simply focusing on fruit and vegetables. It’s more helpful to focus on foods you can add rather than stressing about what you have to avoid. If you’re stomach has filled up on broccoli – you’re unlikely to binge on a tub of ice cream.

Keep it simple. Keep it positive.

More Kids with Food Allergies...

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 3 MILLION children now have food allergies. Peanut allergies have DOUBLED and kids seem to be taking LONGER to outgrow milk and egg allergies; the Associated Press reports.

Actually, breastfeeding does A LOT to reduce the risk of allergies. Dr. Fuhrman explains the ANTIBODIES derived from mother’s milk maximize immune system function and protect against immune system disorders and allergies.

To further REDUCE risk Dr. Fuhrman recommends delaying nuts and nut butters until nine months and AVOIDING foods like salt, eggs, oil, seafood, meat, cheese, milk, and butter until after your child's first birthday.

Surprise, Bad Food Causes Heart Attacks!

A new study by McMaster University claims people eating a diet rich in meat and junk food are MORE likely to have heart attacks than people eating mostly fruits and vegetables.

The research appears in the journal Circulation. Reuters reports:

People who ate more fruits and vegetables had a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to people who ate little or none of these foods, they found.

People eating a Western diet had a 35 percent greater risk of heart attack compared to people who consumed little or no fried foods and meat.

Not a shocker! The link between saturated fat and heart attack is WIDELY accepted. Luckily a PLANT-based diet has been shown to prevent and reserve heart disease.

But this guy had to learn the hard way. His butter-based diet nearly killed him!

Fight Cancer, Find Strength in Exercise

Exercise is STRONG medicine. We all know it keeps us fit, but many reports claim it can also help PREVENT cancer, like prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Some California cancer patients are putting EXERCISE to the test, while undergoing treatment, they’re pumping iron and hitting the mat; via The Los Angeles Times.

Diet is important too! Certain foods, like soy beans, garlic and apples, have POTENT anti-cancer effects. Now, imagine if you pair a HEALTHY eating with exercise!

Little People, Big Broccoli!

Look closely. Do you see him? He’s smiling at you! A little FACE in the broccoli.

Bread & Honey discovered it on bag of Cascadian Farm frozen broccoli florets.

And a macro lenses reveals a whole BUNCH of little people: WTF, BROCCOLI?

Via Serious Eats.

People Aren't Eating Out as Much...

Unless you live UNDER a rock! You’ve probably noticed the economy is in the crapper. Forcing many people to CUT BACK to save money. Like driving LESS and spending MORE time at home.

And now, new research indicates people are also eating out LESS and packing their own lunches. Actually, besides SAVING money, eating at home and packing a lunch can be MUCH healthier.

Via Slashfood.
 

Soy Beats Breast Cancer

A new study, in the International Journal of Cancer, claims soy foods REDUCE the risk of breast cancer tumors, both estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumors; Reuters reports.

Actually, the BENEFITS of soy have been widely reported. Soy helps against stroke, heart disease and soybeans do NOT lower sperm count, but you SHOULDN’T go overboard with soy products, Dr. Fuhrman insists a soy foods-based diet isn't a good idea.

Backyard Mushrooms, Watch Out!

I love mushrooms! I eat them EVERY week. Mushrooms are PACKED with phytochemicals and studies show mushrooms can help fight obesity.

Unfortunately, most Americans list mushrooms as one of their MOST hated foods, even though mushroom-technology could SAVE the planet!

But DON’T eat the mushrooms in your backyard! Chances are they’re poisonous and can cause seizures and liver damage; via Julie’s Health Club.

Stop Thief, Don't Eat those Nuts!

Thieves made a DUMB mistake! These dopes stole 660 pounds of hazelnuts. The problem is they’re full of hydrogen phosphate gas, used to extend shelf life, making them poisonous! German authorities have  warned them NOT to eat them; Reuters reports.

I find that HILARIOUS, but don’t let it distract you. Nuts are SUPER foods; pistachios lower cholesterol, nuts and seeds promote weight-loss, cashews make bones strong and almonds fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Nuts, eat some!

China's Tainted Beans!

Oh man. China has a WHOLE bunch of food problems. First, melamine-contaminated baby formula took the world by storm.

Now, Japan is warning citizens to AVOID a Chinese variety of frozen green beans. This time HIGH concentrations of pesticides are to blame; via CNN.

I’ve got nothing but LOVE for China, I want to go there, but maybe they should stick to what they do best. Growing GIANT veggies!

Fruit Pectin Protects Against Cancer

New research in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, claims pectin, the stuff used in jams and found naturally in citrus fruits, INHIBITS the growth of proteins responsible for cancer progression; ScienceDaily reports.

Fascinating stuff! Dr. Fuhrman points out that modified citrus pectin (MCP), a compound obtained from the peel and pulp of citrus fruits, also has EFFECTIVE anti-metastatic properties. Metastasis is one of the MOST life-threatening aspects of cancer.

Apples and oranges are packed with pectin! And in general, fruits and veggies beat up cancer! Foods like broccoli, leafy greens and beans possess AMAZING anti-cancer abilities. So go eat some!

Obesity Blamed for America's High Blood Pressure

A new study in the journal Hypertension reveals more Americans than EVER before have high blood pressure. Researchers from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute blame the United States’ OBESITY epidemic for the increase; HealthDay News reports.

What makes this even MORE scary is a previous report claims BOTH doctors and patients are missing the mark when it comes to high blood pressure-prevention. Doctors are failing to screen patients and patients aren’t taking the appropriate measures to avoid it.

Diet is a MAJOR determining factor for high blood pressure. Dr. Fuhrman faults America’s unhealthy obsession with bad food. Processed foods are extremely HIGH in salt; increasing the risk of obesity, hypertension, stroke and other diseases.

But fruits and vegetables, like pomegranates, NATURALLY lower blood pressure, prevent heart attack and stroke and PROTECT against cancer. Also, other research has shown that certain types of MUSIC, such as Celtic and classical, can help lower blood pressure too!

Double Kids' Vitamin D! --UPDATED--

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests DOUBLING children’s intake of vitamin D to 400 units daily. Experts recommend a vitamin D supplement for breast-fed and partially bottle-fed infants and teenagers who drink little or no milk; the Associated Press reports.

Vitamin D is an important, but often OVERLOOKED nutrient—especially for kids! Previous reports have shown vitamin D staves off rickets in children and giving babies vitamin D may help PREVENT type-1 diabetes.

I asked Dr. Fuhrman, and he agrees that the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D is too low, since MOST people are deficient in vitamin D and this leads to an INCREASED risk of disease. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium and build stronger bones.

UPDATE: Hey all, GREAT news from Dr. Fuhrman:

I upped the Vitamin D in the Pixie-Vites last year. We must face the realization that we have a nationwide epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency, it has been going on for years, and is a contributing cause of cancer and other diseases. Anything we can do to assure Vitamin D adequacy is likely favorable.

Heart Disease to Skyrocket in Obese Teens...

During a conference of the American Society of Hypertension, experts warned that heart disease risk could TRIPLE among teenagers; obesity and high blood pressure are to blame. WebMD reports:

The presence of child obesity results in higher rates of high blood pressure," which is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack, said Bonita Falkner, MD, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. "This is a problem that is not going to magically go away, and it puts children at risk for premature cardiac events at an earlier period in their adult lives.

In fact, heart disease DOES start during childhood and with over 1 million young children having undiagnosed high blood pressure, teaching kids HEALTHY eating habits is paramount!

Eat for Health: Switching to a Nutritarian Diet

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

As your body’s detoxification activities increase in the first week or two of this program, the symptoms of toxic hunger could increase. These feelings could include lightheadedness, fatigue, headaches, increased urination, sore throat, flatulence, and, very rarely, fever, body itching, and rashes. These uncomfortable sensations rarely last longer then one week and, even if they do, they will lessen with time.

Occasionally, people find it takes time for their digestive tract to adjust to all the additional raw fiber, and they experience an increase in gas or bloating or have looser stools. This is usually caused by the increased volume of raw vegetables and because you swallow more air when eating salads. It is remedied by chewing better so the air is out of the mouth before swallowing. Better chewing also breaks down the cells, making them easier to digest. For those with this problem, the amount of raw salad can be increased in a more gradual fashion. You can also eat less raw foods and more cooked vegetables, such as steamed zucchini, squash, brown rice, potato, and sweet potato. When the symptoms subside, gradually increase the amount of raw greens and cruciferous vegetables in your diet. Dried fruits, roasted nuts, and beans can also contribute to digestive problems at the beginning of transitioning to this way of eating. To combat these issues, use raw nuts, avoid dried fruit and other sweet substances, and soak beans in water overnight or eat them in smaller amounts until you adjust.

So, if you are troubled by digestive problems, try the following:

  • Chew food better, especially salads.
  • Eat beans in smaller amounts.
  • Soak beans and legumes overnight before cooking.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages.
  • Do not overeat.
  • Eat less raw vegetables and increase the raw vegetables gradually.

Be patient and give your body a little time to adjust to a different eating-style. Remember, your digestive tract can make the adjustments if allowed to do it gradually.

Have a Healthy Halloween!

It’s a little early, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide. This Halloween, do you want to embarrass your child as a carrot or a banana! Either way, it’s a GREAT opportunity to take your vegetable-based diet one step further.

Just head over to brandsonSale.com, there you can pick between a peapod, chili pepper, strawberry, apple, grapes and many more!

Via Serious Eats.
 

Milk and Meat Up Prostate Cancer-Risk

A new study, by Oxford University, claims a meat and dairy diet might BOOST a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Scientists attribute the increase to HIGH levels of a particular hormone associated with milk and meat consumption.

The research appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Telegraph reports:

The hormone, called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), boosts the division of cells and is necessary for growth in children.

However, scientists are still unsure how great an effect a diet high in meat and dairy products can have on levels of the hormone in the blood.

"It could be about 10 to 15 per cent higher in people who have a high consumption of dairy products or meat," Dr Andrew Roddam, from Oxford University, who led the study, estimated.

Scientists cite this ISN’T the first time they’ve seen the correlation between IGF-1 and prostate cancer. A previous study showed saturated fat, found in foods like steaks, burgers, cheese, ice cream and mayonnaise, also INCREASES cancer-risk.

In addition, milk and other dairy products are KNOWN cancer-promoters. Conversely, high nutrient plant foods, like broccoli, have AMAZING anti-cancer properties—even against prostate cancer!

New York City Cranberry Bog

For the third year, Ocean Spray has setup shop in New York City, constructing a GIANT cranberry bog in Rockefeller Center. You might be asking why. To promote education and CELEBRATE the cranberry harvest!

Cranberries are pretty amazing. They’re PACKED with nutrients and antioxidants! I like them dried. Actually, another awesome dried berry are goji berries. They’re from Tibet. They taste a lot like dried cranberries, but have even MORE vitamins and nutrients!

Via Slashfood.

Economy Down, Cookbooks Up!

You don’t need me to remind you, but the economy is HURTING, and like we saw yesterday, more and more people are staying in and cooking at home, to save money. As a result, sales of COOKBOOKS have increased; the Associated Press reports.

Well, it’s GOOD that people are cooking for themselves, but let’s hope they’re picking the RIGHT cookbooks. I wouldn’t buy a hide-the-veggies cookbook or the Republican or Democrat cookbooks either—both equally stupid!

Instead, check out Followhealthlife’s recipe category or Dr. Fuhrman’s Secrets to Healthy Cooking DVD!

Bad Economy, Better Health?

Using powers of deduction, you’d assume if times are TOUGH, people’s health and well-being would suffer—especially with food producers PIMPING cheap unhealthy food—but the evidence is conflicted. Our health might actually BENEFIT from hard times!

In some countries, and even the United States during the Great Depression, when the economy improves, people spend A LOT time working—in order to make MORE money—than they do taking care of themselves and caring for children, which are both time-consuming activities.

Although, in the U.S. recession of the 1970s and 1980s, some researchers claim death rates declined sharply, while others contend there were MORE deaths; from heart disease, cirrhosis, suicide and homicide; via The New York Times Well blog.

Overall, it probably depends on personal habits. If health and childcare are important to you, you MAKE time! And sure, we’re all feeling the economic pinch, but you’ve got to stay positive. A satisfying emotional environment is a VITAL part of great health.

Calorie Counts on the Subway

In case you HAVEN’T heard, New York City’s calories-on-menus law is in full effect. Chain restaurants are now REQUIRED to post their calories. At first, many restaurants were resistant, but in the end, New Yorkers seem to like their new menus.

And now, New York has taken it one step further, by posting advertisements in city subways—reminding people about those infamous calories. The New York City Health Department launched the campaign under the slogan, “Read ’em before you eat ’em.

I think providing people with more information is ALWAYS a good idea, but focusing ONLY on calories is foolhardy. There’s A LOT more to food and nutrient-density, than JUST calories.

Future Farming Goes Up!

Robots harvesting crops based on smell. Plants kept safe from disease and insects. Vertical sewage tanks converting waste to power and below ALL this would be a supermarket! That’s what FARMING might look like in the future; from PopSci.com.

Actually, new age farming has changed A LOT over the years. In the past, they thought farming would exist on GIANT aquatic platforms and in bio-dome looking contraptions; via Paleo-Future.

Certainly puts my backyard compost-grown tomato to shame!

Vegetable Oil Linked to Breast Cancer

New research in the International Journal of Cancer claims omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in vegetable oil, may increase breast cancer-risk in postmenopausal women, but heterocyclic amines in cooked meat and fish DON’T up cancer-risk; Reuters reports.

I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on the study. Here’s what he had to say:

Of course processed foods, including refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar increase a women's risk of breast cancer. And, the findings in this study are also logical, that the use of vegetable oils, which are also low-nutrient processed foods, would increase risk of breast cancer as well.

As humans we are designed to eat and thrive on natural foods in their natural state. Eating an avocado is nothing like consuming avocado oil and eating corn oil cannot be compared to eating corn. Oil is high calorie, low nutrient food; the definition of junk food. When we eat plant fats in their natural state, such as in seeds and nuts, the scientific studies are clear, they have the opposite effect (of oil), lowering risk of all-cause mortality and extending lifespan.

Even olive oil is junk food! Olive oil MIGHT be an improvement over saturated animal fats, but Dr. Fuhrman insists, processed oils are a MAJOR contributor to our overweight modern world.

As for heterocyclic amines, they’re NOT healthy either. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine points to studies linking both grilled meat and grilled chicken with cancer-risk. Water-based cooking, like steaming, is MUCH safer.

Making Friends with Veggies

Cartoons are powerful. Kids LOVE cartoons! When I was little Transformers was popular and when the movie came out last summer, I saw it in the theater 3 times and bought the DVD the morning it came out. Good impressions last a LONG time!

Using cartoons to promote fruits and veggies is an EXCELLENT idea. Nickelodeon has a new show called “Making Fiends” and in this episode, Charlotte is tired of eating cafeteria food! Too much beef jerky, clams, and grape punch.

So she teaches a chorus of fruits and vegetables to SING a song! Yeah, it’s pretty cute. “Making fiends, making fiends…”

Via Serious Eats.

Plum Power!

 

I love Bluebryd plums! I bought a bunch the other day. Same day I snagged the marked-down asparagus, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Now, That’sFit has compiled some GREAT nutrition info about plums. Take a look:

  • Pick a plum for your daily vitamins C, A, and B2.
  • Plums pack potassium.
  • You need fiber, and plums have fiber.
  • Antioxidants? Plums have them.
  • Carrots might work but plums are better for the eyes.

Plums are great and Dr. Fuhrman insists you can eat as many plums, spinach, broccoli, beets, beans, and other fruits and vegetables you want! Also, check out The Fruit Guys. They’ll deliver plums and other fruits to your work.