Monthly Archives: November 2013

Here’s the Skinny on Obesity and the Fats in Your Diet!

obese boyObesity is getting more and more common all over the world and the question is why?

Are we all eating too much and vegging out on the couch? Is it due to our deficient genes or is there anything wrong with "Western" food and would we all be a lot better off if we eat like Grandma?

Looking to Doctors for these answers results in more confusion. Atkins tells us to eat more meat and Pritikin, McDougall and Ornish tell us to eat more starch.

What about fat you might ask? Isn't being overweight due to too much fat in our food?

Nope.

Getting obese and becoming overweight is about more than fat; about more than starch and sugar – it is about a way of looking at both food and health that is basically broken.

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Benzene Poisoning: What To Do if You Are Exposed to Benzene

benzene hazardWhat smells sweet, is as colourless as water, burns like gasoline and may give you cancer?

Well the clue is in the title – it's benzene. Being part of crude oil and used in gasoline as an anti-knocking agent to make petrol engines work better, there's a lot of it about. It's not just in the oil industry where you can have exposure either.

Naturally any occupational connection to transport will provide opportunity for exposure – truck drivers, mechanics, logistics and so on. Not so long ago benzene was used as an after shave lotion and even as part of a process to decaffeinate coffee.

Ingenious engineers found more and more uses for this flexible chemical right through industry until in the 1970s it was found that deaths from leukemia were connected to a use of benzene by Goodyear in Ohio. Leukemia is a form of cancer that focuses on the blood.

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Is Quinoa the Healthiest Alternative to Wheat?

quinoa growing wold near lake titicaca in boliviaQuinoa is in the news these days partially because 2013 was declared the International Year of Quinoa by the United Nations. Lots of publicity ensued so now lots of cooks are trying it out.

Of course people in South America have been cropping, eating and thriving on Quinoa for 7,000 years. It looks similar of grains such as wheat and rice but is not technically a true grain and contains no gluten at all.

For those of us who like to avoid gluten Quinoa, pronounced keenwa, is one of the stars along with Buckwheat of our gluten free kitchen.

It is a very nutritious food with all the essential amino acids as well as minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Potassium and Zinc.

"Quinoa's protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats" The Wiki

The main bonus for the cook is the speed with which Quinoa is prepared with a scant 15 minutes. Longer than the 6 minutes I take to cook oats to be sure but a lot less than brown rice at 40 minutes.

In the US and Europe Quinoa is viewed as an alternative to Rice; it ican be served along with beans and legumes and one's favourite vegetables. Or served with a salad.

And like the grains it can be made into flakes which cook extra fast and into pasta to add to the options for all of us but especially those on a gluten free diet.

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Detox in 3 Days! You’re Kidding, Right?

surpriseThe title of my first book on Detox is "Detox in 3 Steps" and so when I saw Sandy Halliday blog post on "Detox in 3 Days" my jaw dropped. We had spent some time at the same Nutrition Institute years ago and although we did not meet, we are on the same page with Detox.

She was not being serious! You can't detox in a long weekend!

There is a lot of focus in the media on the "how to" of detox but let's for a moment think of how the toxins which we hate so much built up and accumulated in the body.

It took more than 3 days for this to happen; in fact it took more than 3 years! So it is utterly silly to expect a few smoothies or juices during a long weekend to shift what may be decades of manmade chemicals coming at you in your food, in the air and even in your personal care products.

A quick work on the last point.

I was going over her lab results with a patient yesterday. Nothing too bad but it did show some aluminium in her system. Her family has some history of Alzheimer's and aluminium is involved in the brain damage of that awful disease.

Like lot of us she had an aluminium pan or two in her kitchen although she no longer used it but more to the point she used anti-perspirants – one of the major ways aluminium gets in to the system.

By the way, did you know that most lipstick has lead in it? Yes LEAD! It is barely believable that anyone could be so stupid as to include lead in lipstick but they do. Lead free lipstick here

Part of my advice was to use cookware without aluminium, something that is fairly easy nowadays and to use personal care products without aluminium

There are quite a few on Amazon and this link takes you to a decent selection.

You might want to pick a deodorant that is fragrance free too.

Besides the toxic metal they may have anti-perspirants are a bad idea anyway. One of the body mechanisms for detox is perspiration and it is bizarre to block the natural process of sweating.

It would be just as silly to stick a cork up your backside!

It is ADVERTISING targeted at our insecurities that pressures and exploits us to buy anti-perspirants.

My advice is "Be a rebel and don't buy them"!

Instead, if you want to use a natural deodorant try products like these …

Sorry my "Quick word" took so long – back to detox in 3 days.

Yes you can get a good "taster" of what a Detox programme is like in 3 days; 3 days of healthy eating and perhaps drinking some vegetable juices and enjoying Epsom salt baths is all good.

And if that convinces you that you can really handle a real detox and you go on and do one then that would be a great result.

You can't Detox in 3 days but you can detox in 3 steps taking as long as you like in each step.

My Introductory book on Detox is on Kindle here and the Detox in 3 Steps Kindle book is here.

So I'd like to ask you…

Have you done a detox?

How long did you take?

Stress is a Toxin Too!

There's lots more to detox than smoothies and diets, although you wouldn't know it from the avalanche of pseudo detox drivel on the Internet. Before detox can really begin you must get the body into Healing mode and that means getting good at relaxation.

Here is a very nice Relaxation process with the excellent Sonia Choquette talking you through it.

Get comfy this takes 12 minutes and is very soothing.

 

And if you want to learn just how to relax and have differrent relaxation techniques at your finger tips then check out Kathy Baker's Relaxation Techniques ebook at Amazon – you can read it on your computer or Kindle. It is a super book and I bought it when it first came out a few months ago.

You can see it right here

Is Buckwheat a Healthy Alternative to Wheat?

white Japanese Buckwheat FlowerWhat is Buckwheat?

 

First of all it is not related to wheat at all and is not a grain in the normal sense of the word. It is a relative of rhubarb and has been grown for 8,000 years all around the world.

So a lot of people like it!

Buckwheat starts off with a super advantage over wheat – it is gluten free. So although you can be allergic to just about any food with protein in it Buckwheat avoids one of the most important and damaging allergens of all. For those of us who prefer a gluten free diet – simply because we like to feel healthy and energetic, Buckwheat is a major go to food.

It's a fast food too. Buckwheat can be cooked – yes, cooked not just warmed up in 5 minutes flat.

And is it nutritious?

Let me show you eh?

Buckwheat has all the essential amino acids (unlike wheat) so that makes it more nutritious.

Now read this short quote from the Wiki,

" Crude protein is 18%, with biological values above 90 This can be explained by a high concentration of all essential amino acids, especially lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and the sulphur -containing amino acids"

…and to translate the usual Wiki jargon into English – in Buckwheat we have a high protein, high quality food.

By the way, the mention of sulphur at the end of the quote is important because sulphur helps the liver to detox. So Buckwheat helps us to detox when we include it in our normal diet.

Before we look at how it works out on the dinner plate let's finish our quick look at more nutritional info on Buckwheat. Rather than go head to head with vitamins and minerals it is better to look at the unique features of Buckwheat – chief among them is the high value of rutin.

Rutin is anti-inflammatory and inhibits platelet aggregation in the blood. This allows better blood circulation in capillaries throughout your body and has been used in connection with hemorrhoids and other vascular problems like varicose veins and to prevent stroke.

You may have noticed various people talking about "Superfoods", well Buckwheat has a well-deserved place in those lists.

How to cook Buckwheat

Simplest way is just to simmer the groats in water to make a kind of porridge. This is called kasha in Central Europe and is the most basic way of getting the health benefits of Buckwheat easily.

It has a strong taste and goes well with Kidney beans, onions or garlic and greens.

It can also be served cold along with salads or cooked into casseroles easily with a slow cooker or simply in the oven.

buckwheat-noodles-for-dinner-and brocilli-red-onion,wakame-kidnet beansThen there are Buckwheat pancakes, Buckwheat honey and Buckwheat Beer!

Is there no end of the yummy ways Buckwheat can be prepared?

I just remembered one way and it's in my own kitchen. Duh! It's Buckwheat Noodles – very important to Japanese cuisine and a normal part of mine too.

Since I just remembered that I had some Buckwheat Noodles in my cupboard I'm having them in 2 hours time with some broccoli, red onion,kidney beans and Wakame. Shown in the picture above! Yum!

Try some – Buckwheat is a powerfully healthy food and a fast food and might fit into your normal diet very easily.

And if you eat Buckwheat already how do you cook and prepare it? Do tell! And please share this post with your Facebook friends – Thanks.

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