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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Moving along as the year accelerates; Halloween blends into Diwali, Thanksgiving and all the end of the year holidays – Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s.  This is when people are often ready to try new foods and recipes and want to look and feel their best. So, it’s a good impetus for change. Use it!

Last time, I shared the “Dirtiest Foods” according to Environmental Working Group, a famous ecology watch-dog. This week, I want to share the Best, Cleanest Foods for Americans. The EWG has that list ready, too. Obviously, it’s best to save your food dollars to buy Organic to avoid the dirty foods, and in many cases, it’s relatively “safe” to eat conventionally-grown foods in this cleanest group, as factory agriculture doesn’t use pesticides on these plants as much, or in some cases, even at all.

Just remember:  “S/He who takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skill of his doctors.” (Chinese Proverb)

And, while we’re at it, I want to tell you about another important watch-dog group which I hope you will support: the Cornucopia Institute.

Here’s the Cornucopia Institute’s chart showing which formerly “truly organic” brands have been acquired by Big Business – many times totally compromising the organics of the product. http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/themes/Cornucopia/downloads/OrganicT30J09.pdf

More links to help you make knowledgeable food choices and purchases at: http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

This is important, especially if you have already been buying organic brands for a long time. These business acquisitions are not mainstream knowledge, and, for example, when Kellogg’s bought Kashi, few of realized that Kellogg’s started using 100% GMO (genetically-modified organisms) in the grains used in Kashi! That’s NOT what I was buying Kashi for!  Cornucopia Institute alerted me to that.

The EWG also publishes a list of the 15 fruits and vegetables that are fine to eat when conventionally-grown. This is because the edible portions are protected by sturdy husks, hulls, and rind. These are generally not grown with systemic pesticides (as strawberries are). Here are their current picks…

Here’s the EWG “The Clean 15″ List, with my comments:

1. Onions – this vegetable family, which also includes leeks, spring onions (scallions), shallots, ramps and garlic are all very healthy, mostly due to their sulfur component. Sulfur is a vital mineral and is deeply involved in your biochemistry. These compounds are best found in fresh onions and fresh garlic, so try to keep some of your allium-family veggies in raw state in pickles, sandwiches, burgers, salsas, spreads, hummus, cold soups (like gazpacho) etc., Let fresh garlic cloves get minced and then sit for 5 minutes in the air to “activate” the important heart-healthy and anti-biotic components before combining it with other foods.

2. Corn – GMO corn is rampant in our society. This Genetically-Modified corn is to be avoided, period, regardless of how it was grown. As far as “regular” corn, it is still a poor food. It is also a very high-carb food, which is largely best avoided.

3. Pineapple – this fruit is rich in Bromelain, a compound which helps digestion and also helps with pain and inflammation issues. Fresh pineapple is completely different from canned. Please do not use cooked fruits! Not only is the goodness compromised in the cooking, but even alkaline fruits become acid pH when cooked. Health depends on alkalinity, so keep your fruits fresh.

4. Avocado – the heavy skin on avocado protects it from the usual environmental toxins, so buying “regular” ones is OK if that helps your budget. Be sure to include avocados as they have some of the healthiest fats on the planet. If you have a latex allergy, consult with your allergist as to whether avocados and bananas are appropriate as they contain a natural latex.

5. Asparagus – this veggie is a wonderful, natural diuretic, and is a very pH alkaline food. With its short growing season, most of us will be eating frozen asparagus (not canned — which has barely any food value and the can linings of all canned food are suspected as most are BPA). For fresh asparagus, just lightly-steam it or use in stir-fry. Include it as a side or make into a warm or cold salad combined, or not, with other veggies. It combines well with lemon. Do not be surprised if you void more in the bathroom and that you smell asparagus as you do.  This is also a good fiber source.

6. Sweet peas – this is a dense carbohydrate food, so it must be used in moderation. As peas have fiber, you can deduct those carbs from the total carb count. Peas can be eaten raw or steamed and are great in legume salads to provide color and a touch of natural sweetness. They go well with cheese in salads. If you are using the pea pod, then buy organic peas. Peas in their pod make could “dippers” and scoops for healthy bean, cheese or egg spreads. Pea shoots are another option and as with all sprouts, they are endlessly useful, especially in salads and sandwiches. Find the pea sprouts in good health stores or good Asian markets.

7. Mangoes – this is a fabulous fruit, with good fiber profile which helps to deduct from its total carb load. It is very sweet, naturally, so can be used in small amounts to substitute for less healthy sweetners in recipes. It has excellent enzymes, Vitamin A and if used in small amounts, then enjoy!

8. Eggplant – this is a very alkaline vegetable and is evidently less in need of pesticides in facory agriculture. I do not follow the usual instructions to “salt” eggplant to get the bitterness out. These slightly bitter compounds help to keep it alkaline pH. They do not taste bad! If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you probably should avoid all nightshade vegetables, at least for a while. Eggplant, tomatoes, chilis, bell peppers, potatoes (white, red, yellow)  and tomatillos are all nightshades. Eggplantis usually cooked, but it does not have to be fatty like most recipes tell you to do byfrying it. Try it as a dip like Baba Ghanouj, instead.

9. Cantaloupe – I don’t recommend cantaloupe at all. It’s skin is a mold source, even if microscopic. It is impossible to get off all the mold spores in that web of wrinkled skin! You cut the melon and bring the mold to the pieces you eat. Only eat smooth skinned melons. Wash them well, then skin them and eat ALONE with no other kinds of foods (even other fruits) for 20 minutes. They are SO alkaline that nothing else can be digested properly if eaten with them.

10. Kiwi – this little gem is an Omega-3 essential fatty acid source. It originally grows in the coldest part of China and it’s natural anti-freeze provides us Omega-3s, those wonderful sources of heart health also found in the fish from frigid waters, like salmon, cod, herring and more. It’s also a good Vitamin C source. Apart from tasting great, these always look pretty on a plate and are good for young children to eat, too.

11. Cabbage – cabbage is nutritious, but it is problematic if you have thyroid issues. Discuss this with your physician. For others, cabbage and its cousins have less interference because commercial growers cut-off so many of the most nutritious outer leaves. So, yes, commercial cabbage is relatively safe to eat, but I still buy organic cabbage, especially Savoy, to get those precious outer leaves. Even better: grow your own!

12. Watermelon – of all the melons, this is the most healing. It’s bright red color is indicative of even more nutrition than the deep yellows of other melons and even the seeds are nutritious (if broken free of their coat). Just make sure that the skins are washed well before you cut open the melon.But, I still buy organic watermelon (and you must if you are going to process the rind into pickles).

13. Sweet potatoes – these nutritional powerhouses are not potatoes, botanically. They are from a different family, so people with rheumatoid arthritis, who need to avoid the Nightshade vegetable family (includes regular potatoes), should be able to tolerate sweet potatoes. The key for diabetics to use sweet potatoes is to make sure that they are the sweetest thing in  the meal, without adding any extra sweetner. It’s just not needed. And, sweet potatoes can help other things taste sweet, along with stevia, as a safer way to add sweetness, rather than depending on dates, applesauce and other ploys. Stevia and tiny amounts of real, organic maple syrup are the best sweetners for diabetics. Agave, corn syrup, rice syrup, artificial sweetners and honey are not. Organic molasses is possible, in tiny amounts, but I find its flavor is not compatible with much. Yes, I used to recommend agave, but now I know better.

14. Grapefruit – this is one of my favorite fruits, especially Ruby Reds, but many people should not be eating grapefruit because of the medications they take. Confirm if this is an issue for you; ask your pharmacist. Grapefruit is a wonderful alkaline pH fruit, with plenty of Vitamin C and plant anti-osidants. Just remember, people with diabetes should NOT be using fruit juices. Use the whole fruit and be sure to get some of the surrounding white membrane, as that is where other nutrients, like rutin (which helps vascular system) are found. The same membrane qualities are found in other citrus.

15. Mushrooms – this is a problematic food for me as Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD – microbiologist whose pH view of disease and health is valid, I believe, says to avoid fungus. Asians, especially, have many healing mushrooms, so those are the ones I limit myself to. These include: shitake, maitake, reishi and others that a naturopathic or Traditional Chinese Medicine physician will recommend.

I sincerely hope that this list has been helpful. I truly hope that you will support the Cornucopia Institute with its important work. They are presently fighting on behalf of all of us to insure that Big Agribusiness does not water-down the meaning and processes behind the term “organic”. They represented all of us at the USDA National Organics Standards Board meetings recently. Hopefully they were able to prevail.

Please make Organics an integral part of your Health. You can’t spend your money more wisely. Target the foods that need that protection the most, and help your children avoid the chemically-laden food list at all costs. Also, eat in season. This not only helps you spend your food dollar wisely, but helps your body get the foods it expects, instinctively, and that it needs.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

Diabetes and Medicines 7b

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I am trying to catch-up, as lots of things have been happening in my life and I want you well-equipped with information and healthy foods as we transition seasons and head for Holiday Times.

As Food is Your Medicine, it’s important to get the Best! The Environmental Working Group lists the Best and Worst Farmed foods. Here they are for 2011, with my comments.

The new “Dirty Dozen”: Avoid these if conventionally-farmed, at all costs, and for the nutritious foods which you don’t want to miss, then use only the ORGANIC farmed versions.

1. Apples – these fruits are highly nutritious, but they should only be used as a whole, raw, organic fruit. Making them into juice concentrates too much of the large fructose content, and cooking changes the fruit completely (apart from the fact, then when cooked, most people remove the skins). It is only just beneath the skin that the most-healthy nutrient in apples hides. It’s the mineral chromium, which is needed for blood sugar control. If one was eating a totally-natural hunter-gatherer diet, then probably “one apple a day would keep the medicine-wo/man away”. Apple sauce is prolematical being cooked and in the huge portion (meaning equivalence of several apples) which people are likely to give themselves or their children (even worse). Make sure to wait for this year’s Fall Harvest of apples. Those stored in the supermarkets’ coolers are long-since useless.

2. Celery: It’s a sneaky addition to the Bad List. I have a huge celery plant in my back-yard and I see NO reason for it to be pesticided like conventional commercial agriculture does. Celery is the second-ranked dirty food. It’s critical to use organic celery (and only CRISP stalks), as celery helps our bodies relax from tensions and stresses (it’s called a nervine). If the celery goes limp, do NOT use it. Celery should be used raw in salads and the “strings” provide good fiber to slow down other carbs.

3. Strawberries Every kid loves strawberries, so it’s shameful that conventional ones are the 3rd. most dangerous fruit thanks to farming in America. Your country may be different, so check it out!  This berry has lots of anti-oxidants and vitamins, so do buy it, just buy Organic! Figure that unless you buy Organic products, that strawberry ice-cream and strawberry jam will have filthy conventional berries in them. Stupid manufacturers.

4. Peaches: These fruits belong to the same botanical family as apples and plums. They are nutritious but also have a lot of fructose, so should be used sparingly. Fructose is not good for diabetics and everyone is affected by fructose turning-off your satiety signals and piling on belly-fat. Generally, vegetables are MUCH healthier than fruits and fruits should be used in extreme moderation.

5. Spinach: It’s not just the event a few years ago where birds or roaming animals pooping on spinach was not washed-off well enough, causing an E. coli outbreak. That can happen to any raw food. It is your responsibilty as the consumer to make sure that “Triple-washed” spinach (or any thing else) is washed again in your own kitchen. Some leafy greens are harder than others to “wash” commercially. You are the final inspector. Spinach is nutritious enough to bother with this, but as it also has a hefty-dose of oxalic acid, it is not a main-line green. Just add a few extra leaves to your salad made from other greens (like romaine, cilantro, parsley and kale — all of them Organic).

6. Nectarines: Nectarines are a hybrid – a cross between peaches and plums, They have the best-of-both. But, unfortunately, in America, they are pesticided and chemically-fertilized too much. So, buy Organic nectarines, only in season, and get the benefits of a lower fructose fruit (as plums are lower in fructose) with a hint of the higher Peach.

7. Grapes:Don’t get dragged-in to the out-of-season grapes! Most are being farmed in countries which do not have strong laws regarding pesticides! Apart from that, it’s always wiser to eat-in-season. Your body needs different foods in different seasons and expects them to have their nutrients, in the right proportion and form, to carry you through. This is especially true of winter foods, which are denser, with their own array of nutrients. Whereas warm-season foods have much higher water-content to help slake your thirst (and a nutrient profile rich in electrolytes to help compensate for mineral loss when sweating). Just make sure you eat in season. Research the proper season when foods will normally be harvested in your country and region. Organic grapes (especially red ones) are a highly-nutritious food which should be used once every few days, in season, in moderate quantities, as there’s lots of fructose in them, too.

8. Sweet bell peppers: Peppers (hot or sweet), potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos and cape gooseberry are all part of the nightshade botanical family.  Sweet potatoes are from a different family. Nightshades can cause inflammation and a biochemical cascade resulting in arthritis for some people. They are foods to get off of for up to 6 months and see if you are doing better. If you still want to re-introduce them, do it one by one, at least a week in between each and pay attention to your body’s signals. Make sure any of these foods is always Organic! Peppers have lots of Vitamin C and the red ones have Vitamin A, too. But, you must make sure that any of these foods are not secretly undermining your precious Health.

9. Potatoes: Same as for Peppers, above, along with the fact that potatoes must always be Organic, scrubbed, unpeeled, in small portions (like 1 small to medium potato) and eaten always with a healthy fat in the meal (avocado, organic coconut oil, organic hemp oil, organic olive oil, organic butter, organic ghee).  On their own, potatoes have a very high glycemic index and trigger too much insulin; healthy fats slow them down. Conventional potatoes are also doused in fungicides after harvest, and I am not sure that even peeling them helps you avoid the chemical. And, the most important nutrition is just under the skin, so you would be just getting a big carb load without much nutrition to be peeling them.

10. Blueberries: They are a divine gift — easy to grow, delicious, and most importantly they are highly nutritious, but NOT if conventionally farmed! Only get Organic berries or grow your own, Organically. The plants require very little attention. Eat them raw. You want to get every iota of goodness and cooking always destroys nutrients. Use them in fruit salad, smoothies etc. They are a medium-range fructose fruit.

11. Lettuce:  I suspect that this Warning applies to all commercially-grown conventional lettuce. However, when you buy Organic lettuce, you not only have a safer product, but you will have access to a much-wider choice of green leafies — lettuces and all sorts of other plants — like those in “Spring Mix” etc.  Organic Romaine lettuce is MUCH more nutritionally-sound than any iceberg lettuce (which is a total waste of your hard-earned dollar, as iceberg has almost NO nutrients, at all). Enjoy trying oak-leaf lettuce, frisee, endives, orach, radicchio, and all the other wonderful “greens”.  but only in Organic or non-sprayed form. Leafies are the best source of B vitamins, used to allay stress and also they contain wonderful alkaline minerals you need for bio-electricty and to quell inflammatory chemistry.

12. Kale/collard greens: Kale is SO effective in bringing up the nutrients in the soil that, when it is used in fields which have had toxic and too many pesticides thrown on them, kale is used to “detoxify” the fields (but then those companies still sell the very-toxic, conventional kale!). So, you can only use Organic Kale, for sure! Kale is a nutritonal powerhouse, and if I could only choose one vegetable, this would be it! Those on Coumadin / Warfarin therapy can use it, but it just has to be at a consistent serving and use, so it can be accounted for.

The EWG also publishes a list of the 15 fruits and vegetables that are fine to eat when they are conventionally-grown. I’ll share that with you next time.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Many people will expect this series to be about normal, prescription diabetes medications, but these do not treat the root causes. So, instead, the natural foods and herbs which send accurate messages of support and positive-change are preferable for diabetics to use, along with regular meds (if you and your doctor think this is best). I have always used the natural medicines at hand: food in good ratios and choices, movement, clean air, pure water and sunlight, alieviating stress by viewing Nature and other natural methods; all these are the tools of real Health.

I have been introducing you to 10 importqant herbs which can positively impact healing your diabetes: turmeric, garlic, peppermint, parsley, rosemary, chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, basil and lavender. Turmeric is a member of the same botanical family as ginger is. Both are ant-inflammatories, and diabetes has an inflammatory component.

Dr, Mercola lauds turmeric and it is well-respected in the ancient health system of India, Ayurveda, humanity’s first formal system of medicine. You can buy turmeric on its own, but most of you will have had it when you use curry powder; it colors it naturally, and although it does not have the wonderful flavor of ginger, it’s neutral and is really a powerful food ally and healer.

In a recent email, Dr. Mercola said:

‘What makes turmeric so sought after and even revered by those who use it? Well, not only is turmeric a popular spice, but it has also become one of the most thoroughly studied nutrients for Health. Turmeric and its active compound curcumin affect more than 700 genes and 100 different pathways inside each of your cells. (Em: this is a potent example of epigenetics at work.)

What that means for you is this  is turmeric supports a normal immune response, healthy joints and bones, optimal digestion, blood and liver functions, and so much more. Liver health is critical for diabetics, as it is in the liver that the opposing hormone, which counters insulin excess, glycogen, is made and stored.

The turmeric rhizome also acts as an adaptogen – which is a substance which modifies your stress response – bringing it “down” if you are too anxious, and raising your response if you are lethargic or out-of-energy.

Turmeric is also a phenomenal antioxidant which helps your body defend against free radicals, providing support for your eyes, skin, and and all your cells. ‘

So, start investigating ways to add either curry powder or just turmeric to your recipes. Alone, turmeric doesn’t have a hot, spicy flavor (it can be bitter if using too much)(I’d say no more than 1 Tablespoon for a large soup-pot of food, at least until you know your tolerance for its flavor).  Also know that its rich color does stain! Curry powders do come in mild to hot. You can even start to make your own mix, as most Indian home-cooks do. It’s not hard!

If you suffer from GERD (Gastric Esophogeal Reflux Disease) or if you take Warfarin or Coumadin, ask your doctor about guidelines for amounts to use. If you are on anti-depressants, realize that turmeric does affect neuro-transmitters like serotonin and noradrenalin in positive ways, so you may not need as much medication with regular turmeric use; discuss this with your physician.

If you are just using normal food amounts, rather than curcumin supplements, the spice should be safe during pregnancy and probably is fine for the conditions just mentioned, too.

Just make sure that you start incorporating this wonderful food into your life.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:

For some healthy recipe ideas, see these at Eating Well.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

Diabetes and Medicines – Herbs 6

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine”, and food can be very effective if you are eating the appropriate, natural, organic, whole foods. This is critical because diabetes is NOT being treated effectively by mainstream medicine. They won’t cure it, and in many cases it can be cured (or helped more than mainstream does) by using natural protocols, which support your body’s attempts to return to Health.

In addition to watching where foods stand on the Glycemic Index; what their nutritional profiles are;  whether they help to detoxify your tissues and their pH (internally when being metabolized), there are synergies to foods and ways they signal our body-systems which drugs really cannot mimic successfully, although they sometimes attempt to.

Foods are powerful Medicines. They, along with movement, pure water, sunlight and calm are our best medicines. Diabetics and pre-diabetics need to utilize all these natural therapies.

With all this in mind, paying “extra” for organic food is one of the best ways that you can protect your family’s Health, and this is critical for our children and grand-children who will grow-up their entire lives before the ravages of the chemical-land rape can gradually be forced to subside and naturally degrade, if we mandate successfully so no more is applied.

If you have to watch your food dollar and want to spend it  wisely, then target your organic purchases to:

___   Whole grains, only (if you use grains) – make sure to use NO enriched flours or products with enriched flour (read the labels). Apart from less and less-complete nutrition, these products contain a synthetic B1 vitamin known as thiamin mononitrate — all nitrates are to be seriously avoided (lunch meats, sausage, salami and hot dogs are another man-made nitrate source), unless they occur in whole foods (where there are natural counter-balancers). 

Organic quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) and its cousins, organic buckwheat and organic amaranth are really fruits, but they are used like grains. All of these are complete vegetarian protein sources and do not harm your thyroid, as plain soy foods do.

Whole grain, organic brown rice is the least allergenic of all the grains, and a moderate, starch-based diet from this keeps Asians slim. Studies show this type of small amount of brown rice + lots of organic vegetables (especially organic dark, leafy greens), few fruits, little to no dairy and naturally-raised animal protein or organic beans is the way to go for good blood sugars and good weight control.

___   Only organic beans (you’ll probably have to buy them in bulk at the natural foods store, but they do exist). Do not use soy often or at all. Only use  fermented soy products, and organic ones: tamari sauce, miso – and natto, if you can stand it. Tofu is disallowed, unless you find a fermented one (rare).

Also, I hesitate to mention using anything canned, for unless stated otherwise specifically, all modern cans are lined with Bisphenol A. The American government finally wants it removed from baby products, especially baby bottles and toys, but babies become toddlers very quickly! They are not protecting toddlers (or the rest of us) from the hazards of this plastic coating inside canned food tins!

I now use my crockpot to make organic beans (after soaking overnight, discarding the water). I then cool, package and freeze the cooked beans. This has worked well, and is a lot healthier than canned beans, while just as convenient. It’s mostly a hands-off process although it requires planning, once in a while (as I make a big batch, when I do this).

___   Herbs and Spices which support your biochemistry, especially if you are diabetic, can be very powerful healers or prevention sources. These include the 10 miracle-foods: turmeric, garlic, peppermint, parsley, rosemary, chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, basil and lavender, several of which I will continue to talk about in this series.

___   Organic vegetables need to be 75% – 80% of each meal. These nutrition-filled starches contain small amounts of protein, too. These are the safest carbohydrates for everyone, including diabetics.

Hide them in smoothies, under the cheese in pizza or fashion quiches etc., where the veggies do taste good, if children rebel. Also keep at least 1/3 to 1/2 as raw veggies, (more in summer, less in winter). Raw vegetables have life-saving enzymes which are destroyed when cooked above 118F (which is less than boiling or steaming temperatures, which kill enzymes).

The vegetables to use with care and constraint are potatoes (other than sweet potatoes, which are excellent), corn (and make sure it is not genetically-modified – if you use organic corn, being GMO is not likely), peas (black-eye peas are fine), parsnips.

___   Be aware, as well, about the high fructose foods (vegetables and fruits) cautioned in my previous article as well as ones from the fructose chart both of which will help you choose your limited palette of daily fruits.

___ Healthy fats are essential. Even with high glycemic vegetables like potatoes et al and fruits, good, healthy fats (monsaturated and saturated) like organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, in the same meal will reduce these vegetbles’ and fruits’ glycemic impact.

___   Now, let’s tackle protein foods!

Animal protein should be primarily wild-caught, cold-water fish (like herring, halibut, cod, mackerel, sardines and anchovies) from pristine areas whose fisheries are not causing species depeletion. Monterrey Bay Aquarium has a list of preferred species on their Seafood Watch section of the site.

Next is free-range, organically-vegetarian fed sources for chicken eggs, organic duck eggs, quail eggs (Asian markets).

Bison and totally-grass-fed, organically-pastured  beef, lamb and goat, are next. If your natural foods market doesn”t carry this, check the web for nearby farmers who care for their animals this way or learn more at the long-time site Eat Wild. More and more are doing so. Stay away from the products from “factory farms”. They do not produce Good Food.

Organic nuts and seeds are great food, but we have a problem. Due to a misguided California law, California (which produces most of America’s almond crop) IRRADIATES its almonds. So, even if you buy “raw, organic almonds” from California, they will have been radically altered from their natural state. Buy heritage almonds from Spain etc., online. Natural farmers in California are presently petitioning to be excluded from the radiation requirement, but who knows if that will happen.

Nuts and seeds are useful vegetarian protein foods. Almonds are the most nutritious nut. Walnuts are a vegetarian source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, too, for brain and heart health, but they come with some arachiodonic acid, which can cause inflammation, so use them moderately. I have included organic hemp seed much more into my family’s diet (and rarely use flax seed, as there are issues with it, too, within your body).  Organic chia seed is becoming more available (thanks, Nutiva!), and I like it very much in dressings, smoothies, with morning cereals etc.,  I am thinking of adding it to more beverages in the future.

You may wonder why I am not including dairy.

There are many reasons:

___   at least half of humanity is really under-siege from using inapppropriate-for-them dairy proteins. “Lactose intolerance” is part of that issue.

___   cow milk proteins are huge, and difficult to digest. They tax our body unecessarily. Goat milk proteins are more like human-size milk proteins, but unless the forage plants are monitored closely, to make a sweeter-tasting milk, goats can produce some pretty raucous milk.

Soft goat cheese (from organically raised goats), called chevre, is probably the best cheese. All cheeses are pH acidic, but the soft “unripened” cheeses are better than hard cheese.

___   American milk is not being sold globally, as most countries won’t accept it! Why? Because, Monsanto, the megalith chemical company, has foisted rBGH – a recombinant BovineGrowthHormone Frankenstinian addition to American milk-cows and their resultant products. This growth hormone passes through to us and stimulates our hormones, erratically, too, as well as exposing us to more anti-biotics from farmers trying to treat the cow’s mastitis (caused by super-stimulation by rBGH).

Unless American milk products specifically say “no rBGH”, don’t buy them. Even organic milk is not OK, unless it also has that label.

___   Even some American Organic milk is being Ultra-pasteurized. That process happens around 400F rather than the lower (but still protein-denaturing temp) required in normal pasteurization.

The ultra-pasteurization is to extend shelf-life at the expense of Health. By carefully reading labels in the health food store, you can still find just pasteurized milk (and Trader Joe’s carries some, as well as good health stores). But, milk in its natural form is the only way your body “recognizes” it and can wholly use it – again, goat being best. 

I don’t recommend raw milk, but if the dairy is one you can visit and trust, that’s your call. Alta-Dena dairy is the oldest, inspected raw-milk dairy in America which I know about, and it’s products are available in good health stores.

For calcium, instead of dairy, I make sure I eat the bones in my sardines and the smaller ones in cans of salmon (when used, mash them well); I eat lots of organic dark green leafy vegetables  (but the calcium is a less-available form from them), I eat some carefully chosen cheese, organic goat milk and goat milk kefir and yoghurt once in a while; sometimes I use a calcium supplement, but mostlyI try to use magnesium, potassium and other alkaline minerals, waters and foods to help preserve an alkaline pH which means my body doesn’t “deplete” as much calcium in the first place. Seaweed and whole Celtic sea salt also provide a little.

Well this is the first part on the update for foods to be considering in 2011.

The Environmental Working Group (EVG) has a list of the 15 “dirtiest”, most-sprayed foods in America so you can wisely spend your hard-earned food dollar on these foods, first. I’ll speak about them in my next article.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM

The past couple of weeks, we’ve looked at diabetic-friendly beverages. The following herbal recipe contains 3 anti-inflammatory herbs. As diabetes contains an inflammatory process, this beverage should be helpful in making healthy diabetes food choices.

This is also a low fructose recipe as pineapples only contain moderate amounts. There are serious issues about how fructose behaves in our bodies (see below) and we should not ingest any more than 1 – 2 pieces of low-fructose fruits, daily. Learn more about low fructose foods, here (note the measurements here are in milligrams [mg] and 1,000 mg = 1 gram [g].

I also advise NO juices most of the time, except vegetable juices (note: tomato is a fruit).

Dr. Mercola’s fructose recommendations are no more than 25 grams of fructose a day (and only 15g. from whole fruits  —no juices). All fruit must be ORGANIC!

An apple contains 9 grams.  One whole pear would be most of your limit, as would be 1 cup of grapes or 1/4 cup of raisins. These just mentioned fruits are to be used carefully. Other dried fruits should be used even more carefully, if at all.

Of the melons, watermelon is the most nutritious and least problematic except for fructose issues; you reach your daily fructose limit using just 1/16 of a medium watermelon.

The Best Fruit Choices: Kiwi, berries, pineapple, citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, orange), fresh apricots, fresh prunes, cherries, nectarine, peach, papaya, guava, banana, avocados and moderate amounts of tomato.

NOTE: The nightshade vegetables and fruits (white and red and yellow potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, tomatillos, cape gooseberry) are implicated as sources of inflammatory chemicals causing arthritis pain in sensitive individuals. So, if you are having skeletal or muscle pains, these foods might be reduced or eliminated for a few months to see if your Health improves. Sweet potatoes come from a different botanical family and do not cause these issues.

Pomegranate is not on the charts at the links. I use only the prophylactic 2 oz. dose of unsweetened pomegranate a day, as 1 of my few fruits (I mostly eat vegetables).

As this 2 oz. dose of pomegranate helps clear out cholesterol-restricted arteries (harmed by inflammation, and using cholesterol as a “natural bandaid”), I think it is probably OK, as long as we make enough natural cholesterol (from organic coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids) to do all the “good work” that cholesterol is meant to do.

Vitamin D is also important in this process and as much as 8,000 IU of Vitamin D3 seem to be needed rather than the 800 IU spoken about now.

Evidently, even at 8,000 IU (equivalent to 20 minutes in summer sun over 40% of your body skin), there is not toxicity, but the Vitamin D3 (only supplement form to use) is still NOT as good as natural sunlight. The supplement is not ready-to-use by our body, yet, and if we do not do the extra step well (which requires cholesterol), then we are still Vitamin D deficient.

Dr. Mercola continues about the harm from fructose:

“Thanks to the excellent work of researchers like Dr. Robert Lustig , and Dr. Richard Johnson, we now know that fructose:

  • Is metabolized differently from glucose, with the majority being turned directly into fat
  • Tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.
  • Rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (“beer belly”), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure — i.e., classic metabolic syndrome (Em: also known as Syndrome X).
  • Over time leads to insulin resistance, which is not only an underlying factor of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also many cancers.”

Agave is also problematic and turns out to be just as bad as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which is a cheap sweetener found in almost all processed and refined foods. Both wreck your Health.

In the past, I espoused agave as it is “low-glycemic”, but the stuff is at least 75% fructose (that’s high!) and it has other serious Health consequences because of that. In the 1970’s, powdered crystaline fructose was touted as “better” than sucrose (“table sugar”) and so we used it. Crystaline fructose is the worst of all. I sure wish scientists were interested in the research back then!

The only safe sweeteners for diabetics, and anyone else, are moderate amounts of pure ORGANIC maple syrup and stevia or organic brown sugar, like Succanat (even less frequently) I prefer the liquid form of stevia, after trying many of the powders.

Organic honey can be used rarely, as all honey has a fairly high amount of fructose, but it has some other benefits. (Never give raw honey to children under 3!); it has botulism spores, as does all honey, and children under 3  immune systems can’t handle that, yet. Organic molasses can also be used sparingly, infrequently.

==============================================================
WEEKEND WARRIORS JOINT TEA

Three of the herbs incorporated into this drink — turmeric, ginger and cardamom — produce a natural anti-inflammatory effect. The black pepper and the cayenne also help to synergize the benefit of the anti-inflammatory herbs. Cayenne also helps to raise your metabolic rate so you burn calories better. Be aware that cayenne should not be overdone as you do not want to have digestive upset.

I recommend only using organic, non-irradiated spices. Regular spices are irradiated (they don’t have to say that on the label).

6 cardamom pods, cracked
1 T chopped fresh turmeric* or ¼ teaspoon ground dried turmeric
1 T chopped fresh ginger
¼ t whole black peppercorns
2C   filtered or spring water
organic, ground cayenne pepper, to taste
1C pineapple juice, chilled **
2 mint sprigs for garnish, optional

In a small pot, combine the first 4 ingredients with 2C of water. Cover and bring to a gentle boil.  Turn off the heat and set aside to steep for 20 minutes.

Using a strainer, pour the tea into a large jar, add pineapple juice and chill. Before serving, add the organic cayenne pepper to taste.

Divide the tea between 2 – 4 glasses.  If desired, bruise the mint sprigs in the glass.

* You should be able to find fresh turmeric (a member of the Ginger Family) in Asian markets, where it will be part of the recipe for curry powder. Enjoy! Turmeric (and its active ingredient, curcumin, is a wonder-food. More about it in later posts).

** the pineapple provides bromelain, an enzyme which helps digest your food (and is efficacious elsewhere in your body), but this would only be present in fresh, fresh puree and frozen forms, not canned.

===============================================================

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:  see the links above to Nutrition Data’s Fructose Charts and Doctor Mercola’s article. The recipe originated at Bottom Line.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

The series which includes diabetic friendly beverages in now in full swing. These recipes can be used all year and are particularly effective as real thirst-quenchers in summer. Traditionally, they were used by farm workers, through the centuries, who did not have all day access to springs and who had only limited ability to carry beverages far to work. This replaces electrolytes. It’s a healthier form of a sports drink, in our modern world.

The last post had a recipe for Switchel, which is one of the historic names for this beverage. Haymaker’s Punch and Oxymel are other names.

Organic maple syrup is imperative to use. Sugar maples are seriously sprayed with pesticides. And, research is constantly showing that of all the sweeteners, natural, pure organic maple syrup (in limited quantity) is actually helpful to diabetics. If you are nervous about using it, then use liquid Stevia drops, to taste, and leave out the maple.

“Eating Well” is a well-regarded magazine with many recipes crafted by dieticians. That is the source of the Haymaker’s Punch recipe which follows.
================================================================
HAYMAKER’S SWITCHEL—FROM EATING WELL

Serves: 8
Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, but Prep Time is short.

9C filtered or spring water, divided
1/4C minced fresh ginger
1/4C pure, organic maple syrup
1/4C organic molasses
3/4C lemon juice
1/4C  organic apple cider vinegar [Bragg's or Spectrum brands, only]
fresh berries, mint sprigs or lemon slices for garnish

Combine 3 cups water with the ginger in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let infuse for about 15 minutes, or to the strength you enjoy.

Strain the ginger-infused water into a container, pressing on the ginger solids to extract all the liquid. Add the organic maple syrup and organic molasses; stir until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice, organic apple cider vinegar and the remaining 6 cups filtered or spring water. Chill the beverage until it is very cold, at least 2 hours or overnight. Once you have tried this version, see if you can reduce the sweetening somewhat or substitute some liquid stevia for some or all of the molasses.

Stir the Haymaker Punch and serve in tall glasses over ice cubes. If desired, you can garnish with berries, mint sprigs or lemon slices, but do not put whole berries into kid’s glasses.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories 73
Sodium 13mg
Total Carbohydrate 20g

(Em: Have with 2 oz. of protein and 1t healthy fat, for a complete snack.)

===============================================================

Bragg’s is also bottling an Apple Cider Vinegar beverage now (their recipe of Switchel) in 3 flavors. I tried the one with cinnamon (as that spice is another beneficial one for diabetics — make sure it’s real cinnamon, not cassia!). You will find the Bragg’s beverage available in glass bottles in the refrigerated section of good health stores or see their site.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR DIABETES AND WEIGHT-CONTROL

Vinegar has long been used as a folk medicine for things like headaches and indigestion. But, now several studies reinforce its benefit for weight management and blood sugar control. Researchers believe that it is the acetic acid in any type of vinegar that produces the effect (apple cider, balsamic, white wine or red wine) (Em: I only recommend organic apple cider vinegar — as it is alkaline pH in its metabolic action inside your body — even though it’s “acidic”)

Do NOT use white distilled vinegar, ever!  The scientists believe the vinegar interferes with enzymes involved in the digestion of carbohydrates and those which alter glucose metabolism. That means way less chance that your insulin will ” spike”, so your blood sugar will be more stable.

One recent study found when mice were fed a high-fat diet — and then given acetic acid — the rodents developed about 10% less body fat than those not given acetic acid.

In a 2007 study, scientists found that having small amounts of vinegar at bedtime seemed to reduce waking blood glucose levels in people. Take this with some water, and with your small bedtime snack.

For blood sugar balance (for those with diabetes or on diabetes medication) or for weight loss, dilute 1 -2  tablespoons (some people start with teaspoons) in an equal amount of spring or filtered water — and then drink it at the beginning of a meal or with your bedtime snack. Enjoy!

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE: to access more of the series: Diabetic Herbs The extra page links to the whole series are on that page.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information” (TM)

As “Indian Summer” brings its reprise, here are some herbal recipes for beating-the-heat, and they are helpful alternatives for diabetics. Many herbs are effective in ameliorating symptoms and causes for diabetic reactions. This series has been highlighting some of the best. The first recipe helps to make ice-cream just a bit more useful — as the Lavender is a stress-reducer. ===========================================================================================

MURPHY’S LAVENDER AND WHITE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

2T lavender flowers 500ml spring or filtered water
1T liquid organic honey
65 g sugar [[Em: use organic brown sugar and I've halved it already, to start]]
5 organic egg yolks
200 ml organic milk [NOT ultra-pasteurized]
80 g white chocolate [dark chocolate is far healthier, so consider it]
240 ml organic cream
1/4 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract
(stevia, as needed)

___   Cook the lavender flowers in the water over a low heat until the water reduces to 1/10th of the original volume. This makes an infusion. Remove from the heat and strain. Stir in the honey and set aside, covered.
___   Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, over water.
___   Beat the sugar and egg yolks together just until pale yellow. Meanwhile …
___   Bring the milk to a low simmer, and watch it the whole time. If you have one, using a cast-iron plate for the burner distributes the heat better and protects from hot-spots which can burn the milk.
___   Remove the milk from the heat and beat the milk into the egg and sugar mixture in a slow stream. Pour the mixture back into the pot and place over low heat. Stir continuously until the custard thickens slightly (around 65-70C) and just coats the back of a spoon. But, at this temperature, you have not got a pasteurized egg mix.

To pasteurize the eggs: heat the custard to 73C and maintain that temperature for at least 5 minutes. Use a cooking thermometer, and definitely keep stirring! Don’t over-heat, though, because at around 76C you will scramble the eggs! Immediately remove from the heat, and then cover and place in the freezer to cool slightly, as the custard must still be warm to mix with the chocolate — so aim for about 70C.

___   The chocolate and the custard must both be warm when you mix them so they emulsify well. If not, the chocolate will clump at first when you add the liquid, but if you keep adding liquid and stirring, it will come smooth. Add only small amounts each time.  It is now safe to taste the product and add stevia, if needed.

___   Allow to cool, then mix in the vanilla and strained lavender water.
___   Whip the cream until it has doubled in volume; it should have soft peaks. Don’t over-whip! Next, fold the cream into the custard using a gentle motion to stir (with a vertical, slicing, circular motion).
___   Taste the cream-base now, again,  and adjust with stevia and vanilla.
___   Freeze using a home ice cream machine, or cover and place in a shallow tray or cake pan  in the freezer, stirring every few hours to break up the ice crystals (my father used to make ice-cream this way 60 years ago!).

If you’re using a home ice cream machine, then transfer the mixture to a freezer-proof covered container when the ice cream has just achieved a semi-solid consistency (around 15 minutes). Place it back in the freezer, and let it continue to freeze until it is solid. Clean your machine — it did its job.

Notes: The pot in which you melt the chocolate must be completely dry or the chocolate can clump. Vanilla essences vary, so make sure you taste the custard and are happy with the flavor before you freeze it! =====================================================================================================
Next, an effective diabetic-friendly beverage to slake your thirst effectively, especially in the hot dog-days of Summer. It’s a traditional American drink, now making its way around the world. When the farmers were bringing in the harvest under the hot American sun in the early 1800s, they couldn’t drink the copious amounts of water they needed not to become dehydrated as that amount would have bloated their stomachs and made it uncomfortable to work … and springs were sometimes far away, too.

So, building on a much older tradition (from approx. the 1600s), a new version of the Oxymel drink from Medieval times. The new drink was called “Haymaker’s Punch” and also, later, “Switchel“.

As the hay is about to be brought in during the next few weeks, this is the perfect time for this refreshing, satisfying Summer drink!

Not only will the apple cider vinegar help with blood-sugar control (as shown in many studies), but it will help with weight-loss and purportedly also help with better sleep and more comfortable GI tract.

The maple is actually a good sweetener for diabetics, if in small portions. Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and that’s important for diabetics, too.

Haymaker’s Punch is a healthy beverage, especially in comparison to modern commercial beverages.

Here are a couple of recipes and I may share more next week. The essential ingredients are:
___   Bragg’s or Spectrum’s organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother of vinegar). Only use these brands, not Heinz etc.,
___   filtered or spring water, never tap water
___   organic honey or organic Grade B maple syrup
___   organic blackstrap molasses (in some recipes)
___   fresh, grated ginger

======================================================================= DAVE’S PORTLAND SWITCHEL WITH STEVIA

2 C filtered or spring water, chilled
1 T Bragg’ apple cider vinegar
1/4 t stevia extract ( PureVia or TrueVia) **
1/8 t ground ginger*

For a 5-cup thermos bottle, use about 3 T ACV, 3/4 t stevia, and 3/8 t dry ginger. Then add chilled, filtered water to the top.

Coconut vinegar has got an amazing flavor, and this is a healthy experiment:
3 T coconut vinegar (I think Whole Foods carries it)
3/4 t stevia powder
3/8 t ground ginger *
1/8 t ground cinnamon
all in a 5-cup thermos bottle, then fill to the top with chilled, filtered water

Dave says “The hint of cinnamon really perked up this drink. It’s now sort of like drinking a spiced vanilla cookie with a slightly tangy spark”.

* Food.com says 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger is equal to about 1 Tablespoon of fresh, grated ginger, but it notes that “the flavor of ground ginger can be significantly different from fresh”. If using fresh ginger, slice it thinly or grate it. Put into about 4 cups of water and bring to simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool and squeeze out the solids (you can still use them in cookies).

** If you are trying liquid stevia, then use 1 dropperful per 10 – 12 fl.oz of water and per 1T apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar. ============================================================== Best to all — Em

REFERENCE: to access more of the series: Diabetic Herbs The extra page links to the whole series are on that page.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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