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Archive for February, 2010

DDD Blog – 3rd Anniversary Update

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

Two days ago, this blog turned 3 years old. I am grateful for my readers, and it is humbling to know that nearly 200,000 have read my information and perspective about helping diabetics live better lives and how to cure diabetes with alternative methods and especially alkaline foods.

This past year, I have been trying to get a business started, and that has eaten into my time here at DDD, seriously, but I am still committed to trying hard to continue the flow of my unique diabetic information for you, as much as I can.

I am hoping to publish some materials of my own this year and will alert to when and where to get them; I’m trying to learn being a webmistress. I’ve had to learn how best to accomplish publishing, and it’s taken awhile.

I am persisting because Diabetes is a growing problem, in America and globally, and First Lady Michelle Obama has realized the consequences of childhood obesity now. It leads to pre-diabetes and full-blown diabetes with huge numbers of new diabetics (immediately and later); this problem has the capacity to cripple our society.

I believe that whether it’s for a healthy life beginning in youth or for quality longevity as seniors, the daily choices we make are the foundation of our Health. And, all of us need to learn stress reduction techniques, as stress initiates the hormonal cascade which encourages diabetes.

As the world-wide economy fails, people make the mistake of cutting the quality and quantity of their food in order to preserve other items in their budget. This is a recipe for disaster!

I know. Even with 5 university degrees between us, my husband and I have had a tough time since we closed his practice and all our lifetime of investments went “south”. We’ve struggled seriously for about 8 years now.

After listening to many well-regarded experts, on responsible media, I believe that people just joining us in this economic conflagration are not going to see the American economy turn-around any time soon. I truly fear the loss of the middle-class everywhere; it may be the biggest casualty in history.

In teaching my strategy to economically and medically survive in the trenches, I have had to make serious budget choices. (which I am not used to doing — in childhood or in adulthood).

As a diabetic, not on medication, with no health insurance, I have to be really careful and knowledgeable!

Now, after the utilities and gasoline are bought and the roof over our head is paid for, food comes next. Period. And, it’s great, healthy food, as organic as possible. That may mean no new clothes, no gifts (our larger family understands), no concerts or playthings and little travel. We’ve returned to what is usually known as Voluntary Simplicity … but in our case, it’s mandatory.

We are learning to live like most social strata in the world live, without the excess and folly, and by being a close-knit family, we are able to do it. Rather than viewing our new life as a fall-from-grace, it’s been uplifting to get-off the consumer bandwagon and find there’s actually a better life hiding there.

But, it’s a challenge, no hiding that fact. Yet, even so, I’m not patronizing the Whole Foods wannabe called Walmart, for our food and never will.

I prefer to continue to support those businesses which still exemplify the heart of the natural-foods and organic foods movements. I have built them with my dollars for 40 years of family food purchases. Walmart really badgers it’s vendors and is going into local foods and organics only to try to kill these other longtime businesses. I won’t play their game, ever.

To help ourselves, we recently joined the closest food co-op; it had been in a really far neighborhood, but halved the distance when opening a second store. Keeping a low carbon footprint has always been important to my family, so trips to the co-op only happen when we have to be in that part of town, and we buy there accordingly.

Every trip away from home must accomplish at least 3 – 4 important goals and stops, minimum. We wait to travel anywhere until there’s enough reason to go. When we had jobs, public transportation was always first choice for commuting.

The rest of our grocery stores are closer and have been in the organics business a long time. We still support the first store chain (in its newer incarnation) from which we’ve bought our organic food in Portland for the past 30 years.

It’s harder now, being on unemployment stipends. These stores are not cheap at all. The few items I can pare off, which are more commercial, I get my husband to get at the employee-owned grocery chain in town, as they are able to discount more heavily.

I / We make more things from scratch, and I’m lucky that my husband is a great cook, and follows recipes well. But, he’s juggling that while continuing a job search (3 years without income — he’s an “over-qualified”, top tier executive) and he’s mulling over whether and how we can start a business.

It’s a shame for all of his legal and financial know-how to be going to waste OR for him not to continue to follow his passion, wood-working, which he’s been excellent at for 4 decades, too, in a little business of his own.

Those of you who return home tired from your job each night (and who are doubtlessly being overworked, as most modern companies are doing to their employees), need my information about how to organize making healthy food on a budget (of time and money) just as much as we have needed to know it. Albeit for some different reasons, as well as similar ones, we are all in the same boat.

So, I will continue DDD with pertinent scientific information, important alternative medicine strategies and ongoing access to recipes and living with diabetes on a budget information (with more to come in my published for profit material).

I sincerely appreciate you coming to visit, and I encourage you to read regularly. Put this blog into your Google Reader, so you won’t miss a single episode.

Do read the article archive, which you can access at the Titles Archive tab on the top navigation bar.

Also, please help us to get more exposure for my blog by book-marking it and sharing it’s article URLs on your Web 2.0 social sites and pages.

I am thinking about starting a page on Facebook, myself. You can see other choices on the sidebar here, too.

You can always contact me at About Me on the upper bar. Those messages are private; there is no way to publish them. I love to have you make comments, and I read all of them, even though I only publish about 25% of them. The best comments also help others learn, in a non-self-serving way.

I sincerely hope those of you in America will agitate on your behalf about health-care. It’s shameful, and a public option needs to be part of the mix.

Our well-covered politicians are out of touch and Congress needs a TOTAL (and I mean total) scouring-out. We only need people in Congress who will make Campaign Reform the first job, and undoing the Supreme Court’s recent ruling letting corporations have first amendment rights.

These are serious issues that, unless they are actually and quickly accomplished, mean that we are basically on-our-own and that government doesn’t work anymore except for the rich and powerful.

Don’t just sit back. Make sure this generation of children grow up healthy. Get junk food and junk ideas out of your life. Act on behalf of ourselves and future generations to make sure that, as our Founding Fathers intended, the power is in the hands of We The People, not corporations and not any of our out-of-touch, self-serving “representatives”.

Best to all — Em

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

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

This is a special post for my blog’s 3rd anniversary! It’s a time for inspiration — to help me keep momentum in order to serve you well, Dear Reader — and a chance to thank you for your comments over the years (I severely limit those posted to about 25% of what is received, but I read each comment).

I also want to use today to mention two more inspirational pieces of news — one in regard to Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes and One about a Type 1 diabetic Olympian, Kris Freeman.

  • Another step on the road to a cure for diabetes may give hope to the world’s 171 million diabetics, thanks to collaboration between research teams from McGill University in Canada and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).Diabetes is believed to occur when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin because of the destruction or the dysfunction of small clusters of cells, known as islets of Langerhans. However, the rest of the pancreas, which produces alkaline digestive enzymes (the exocrine system), manages to remain intact and functioning.

    Scientists know that during embryonic development, and in all likelihood throughout life, exocrine pancreatic cells can transform to become islet cells and begin secreting insulin.

    Therefore, finding a way to activate this transformation and control its outcome, holds the greatest promise in terms of improved treatments for diabetes. But, unfortunately, at the moment, the genes involved are not thoroughly understood.

    Recently, a team led by Constantin Polychronakos, (McGill’s Endocrine Genetics Laboratory at The Children’s Hospital site of the Research Institute of the McGill University Hospital Centre [RI-MUHC]), used state-of-the-art technologies (such as capture microarrays and highly parallel sequencing) to examine a previously unstudied gene called RFX6.

    The Canadian team discovered mutations in this gene and found these mutations cause the rare syndrome of neonatal diabetes which involve the complete absence of islets of Langerhans. The work will be published in the journal “Nature”.

    Meanwhile, their collaborator at UCSF, Michael German, importantly showed the same outcome in animals. Mice whose RFX6 genes had been artificially disrupted, did develop exactly the same syndrome as was found in human neonatal diabetes cases.

    As stated, this syndrome is an extremely rare cause of diabetes, but the knowledge acquired about the gene involved may benefit all people suffering from diabetes.

    “This discovery brings us closer to one day finding a cure for diabetes. Now that we know the RFX6 gene is crucial in the process of insulin production, the door is open to finding a cure through gene therapy or therapeutics that will create new islets out of cells from the rest of the pancreas,” said Polychronakos.

    The study was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

  • Type 1 Diabetic and 3-time Olympian swimmer, Gary Hall, already an inspiration with 10 medals, writes about Kris Freeman, current Winter Olympic Type1 diabetic and what it means to be an energetically-active diabetic.Freeman is the United States’ best hope for a medal in the rigorous cross-country skiing events at the Vancouver Olympics.

    For someone with diabetes mellitus, maintaining a steady blood sugar level is absolutely crucial in the days leading up to and through a competition, and that’s easier said than done, regardless of whether it’s an endurance event like Freeman’s or a sprint.

    First, one has to travel to the competition and the site venue, often across time zones, and Olympics processing can exhaust even the most conditioned athletes.

    Then, Hall reports that the Olympic Village is nice enough, but that it is hardly a comfortable environment. The food is plentiful, but a careful eater would have a hard time. Athletes aren’t known to be picky eaters, but even regular athletes are learning more about “Food as Fuel”.

    They are becoming more aware and on a recent edition of the Biggest Loser, I saw that happening in Colorado Springs where the US Olympic Team trains. The nutritionists and exercise physiologists are cracking the food code for best performance and teaching American athletes, finally, with recommendations fine-tuned per athlete and per sport.

    But, athletes with diabetes need to watch what they eat even more closely than the average competitor.

    And, even in real day-to-day life, if you have diabetes then any changes in environment, energy levels, stress or food can set off blood sugar ranges showing a graph pattern reflective of the mountains and valleys these present Olympic athletes participate in!

    My father, who struggled with diabetes for about 15 years, always kept a steady regimen. He did it because he knew it is the best way to keep balance. That took great discipline on his part, but it did pay off.

    The answer to the question of why blood glucose behavior is so dramatically varied on a practice day (couched in routine) versus a game day is stress.

    Any athlete, especially a diabetic one, must take into account the adrenaline, endorphins and other hormones which are naturally released with a maximum physical exertion. Most people aren’t able to relate to this, but it can happen in non-athletes, too, depending on the trigger.

    STRESS is a big factor in rampantly raging blood-sugar levels. It’s the adrenalin loop, and happens to executives at their desk, harassed grocery clerks and everyone in between.

    The encouraging news is that it is possible to manage all of these factors, even at the top-levels of sport. Just look at Kris Freeman, whom all of us are cheering on!

  • You hold the future in your hands, by the choices you make.
    ___ Move!
    ___ Eat in a healthy way (not what’s pushed by the American Diabetes Association which emphasizes too many grains and allows artificial sweeteners).
    ___ Learn stress reduction techniques and do them daily.
    ___ Value these enough to spend your (even limited) resources on them!
    ___ Hold yourself accountable to make good choices and follow-through.
    ___ Make your thoughts and surroundings a positive influence.
    ___ Laugh and enjoy your life.
    ___ Think beyond yourself.

    Please look at the other articles in my blog’s archive. I know there are many posts which will help you, Dear Reader. I hope to continue this blog for another year, at least, if the Divine makes it so.

    I wish all of you and yours well. Live in Hope and do Learn what you really need to make a difference in your Life. For many, cure is even possible, with the right knowledge and action.

    Best to all — Em

    (c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

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    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 12

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

    Iodine is a critical factor in you being healthy — if you are deficient, like most people, then you are not optimally healthy. Learn more here and now! This will be the final article in this series for awhile, as there’s lots more topics in waiting.

    Iodine is a non-metallic trace element which is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which run your metabolism in each cell in your whole body. This effects your energy level and your ability to lose weight. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from your pituitary gland, stimulates iodine trapping from your blood, then thyroid hormone synthesis and release of T3 and T4 by your thyroid gland.

    But there’s way more need and benefit to you in the Iodine story!

    I’ll mention more unusual aspects at the end *, and try to stay with a quick overview here, and see the LINKS to the other 11 parts where you can learn why this topic is important enough for me to have spent 3 months on.

    Just remember, Iodine is needed by every cell in your body in natural, optimal amounts. This is NOT happening in most of our bodies, and the Japanese and Okinawans take in far more than the American Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)! Don’t be frightened away from using Iodine foods because I have to put up the unusual situation comments at the end of this article.

    Also, by the way, I am never talking about Iodine in all forms; for example, DO NOT USE FIRST-AID IODINE FROM THE PHARMACY; IT IS POISONOUS AND NOT FOR ORAL USE!

    Given the importance of sufficient iodine during prenatal development and infancy, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consider taking a supplement that provides the RDA.

    In my opinion after reading the literature, it’s almost impossible to get too much if you get you just get your Iodine from normal portions of food. It is rare for diets of natural foods to supply more than 2,000 mcg of Iodine/day, and most diets supply less than 1,000 mcg of Iodine/day. Lactating and pregnant women actually need 1,100 mcg (micrograms) of Iodine daily while in those conditions.

    The exception is people living in the northern coastal regions of Japan, whose diets contain large amounts of seaweed. They have been found to have Iodine intakes ranging from 50,000 to 80,000 mcg (50-80 mg) of iodine/day, and are healthy! But, they built-up those tolerances over a life-time of use. For you, use just a small serving of seaweed daily or a nori wrap or some seaweed stock or ocean fish a few times a week to get a reasonable quota.

    A multivitamin / multimineral supplement that contains 100% of the daily value (DV) for iodine provides 150 mcg of iodine. (that’s micrograms) Kelp tablets from the health store will also supply Iodine OR 5 grams a day of seaweed (that’s 1 ounce a week).

    Two groups of substances found in food – isoflavones, most commonly found in soy foods — and thiocyanates (most commonly produced in the body from glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli) have been shown to interfere with iodine utilization by the thyroid gland. This is only under very specific circumstances which involve simultaneous dietary deficiency of iodine or selenium (or both) and imbalanced overall dietary intake of them.

    And, now for some more seaweed recipes. These include Sea Tangle products. I did use one of the recipes on the back of their package when I tried their sea veggie salad last week. I used the one with apple, and it was such a filling dish using one packet, that the 3 of the adults in my home did not need (or want) the rest of lunch. The seaweed salad prepared that way was tasty and satisfying for very few calories and lots of nutrition.

    =======================================================================
    Reference

    The Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles are absolutely an awesomely odd texture somewhere between cucumber and rice noodles and they are a raw to be eaten raw or only warmed. There is no cooking involved in the preparation. Rinse for 10 -30 minutes and just like that, they are ready.

    They are made of only the interior of the kelp frond, sodium alginate (a sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed) and water. That’s it. They’re actually not slimy at all; they are crisp.

    Basil and Asparagus K-Noods

    Serves 1 – 2

    1/2 packet Kelp Noodles
    5-8 florets of cauliflower (raw, or lightly steamed) or substitute
    1/3C basil, chopped fine
    1/4C sunflower seeds
    1/2C cucumber, sliced into rounds and then quartered
    4-5 black olives, sliced
    1/2 clove garlic, minced
    2 T flax or hemp oil
    1 T lemon juice
    sea salt and cayenne to taste
    pea shoots and / or broccoli sprouts or other sprouts to garnish

    ___ Rinse kelp noodles thoroughly and allow to soak for about ten minutes. Drain
    ___ Mix all ingredients in a bowl together. than add kelp noodles.
    ___ Toss and serve

    You can store in fridge for about two days.
    ============================================================================
    In Los Angeles, Hugo’s serves a “Kelp Noodle Salad Bowl’ The noodles are topped with “julienned vegetables, sprouts, snow peas, cilantro and scallions. Tossed with orange-mango-sesame-chili dressing. Garnished with mixed sea vegetables, pickled ginger and toasted sesame seeds”. Sounds good enough to figure out my own version.
    ===========================================================================
    Reference

    Nori Snack:

    To prepare your own healthy snack, all you need are:

    Nori seaweed in sheets
    Salt, preferably Celtic sea salt
    Organic Sesame oil

    ___ On a piece of wax paper, for easy application, brush the sesame oil on both sides of the nori sheet then sprinkle lightly with salt.
    ___ Heat your non-stick skillet over medium heat. Take the nori off the wax paper and place one sheet at a time into the pan. It takes about 15 to 20 seconds each side.
    ___ Cut to bite-size pieces. And it’s ready!

    Use as a sprinkle or eat out of hand like chips.
    ===============================================================================
    Reference

    Healthy Rosemary and Seaweed Salt

    This is a homemade, innovative recipe for a new Gomasio.

    ___ In a coffee grinder take 1 sheet of nori seaweed, kombu, a few tablespoons of mekabu or another sea vegetable and grind till fine.
    ___ Add 1 tablespoons of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt and grind again until fine.
    ___ After grinding, you can also add 1T chia seed (Em: Salba is a good brand.)(Em: do it after grinding so the chic stay whole giving longer shelf-life and less chance of rancidity.)
    ___ Store in an air tight container in a dry, preferably dark and cool place.

    It’s best to use it as a condiment on a dish after it has been cooked.

    Celtic sea salt contains over 82 buffering elements to protect against the effect of just sodium chloride being used in other “salt”.

    Remember to have moderation with everything, even moderation!

    ====================================================================
    Reference

    Vegetable Tofu Soup

    3 Shiitake Dried Mushrooms
    1 1/2C Mekabu Dried Seaweed (Eden Foods) *
    10 ozs soft tofu
    4 t Hon Dashi Bonito-Style Soup Base Granules
    3T Sake
    1/8t black pepper
    2 med carrots, thinly sliced
    1 med new potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    1 green onion and its top, thinly sliced on diagonal

    ___ Soak shiitake as package directs. Drain. Remove and discard shiitake stems. Thinly slice shiitake.
    ___ Re-hydrate the mekabu as directed by package. Drain well.
    ___ Drain tofu on paper towel for 20 minutes. Crumble tofu.
    ___ Combine 6 cups water, dashi granules, sake and pepper in medium saucepan.

    ___ Bring to a boil. Add shiitake, carrots, potato and green onion. Return to a boil.
    ___ Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
    ___ Mix in mekabu and tofu. Cook 1 minute longer, or until all is hot. Ladle into bowls to serve.

    Makes 6 servings, about 1-1/2 cups each.
    * You can buy Mekabu online at Eden Foods. There are more recipes there, too.
    ======================================================================
    Eden Foods Seaweed Recipe Archive

    Mekabu Cucumber Orange Salad

    Serves 6 | Prep Time 0:25

    1 package Eden Mekabu
    1 med English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
    8 med red radishes, sliced into thin rounds
    1/4C scallions, thinly sliced
    1/2C orange sections, cubed
    2 T Eden Toasted Sesame Oil, or to taste
    2 T Eden Organic Brown Rice Vinegar, or to taste
    1 T Eden Shoyu Soy Sauce, or to taste

    ___ Quickly rinse the mekabu in a strainer under cold water, place in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 10 minutes, drain and place back in the bowl. Cover with cold water and soak 5 minutes.

    ___ While the mekabu is soaking slice the vegetables and fruit, and place in a medium mixing bowl. When the mekabu is ready, drain well in a strainer and then add to the mixing bowl.

    ___ Combine the oil, vinegar and shoyu, mix and pour over the salad ingredients. Gently toss to mix. Serve.

    Nutritional Info
    Per serving: 60 Calories, 5g Fat (74% calories from fat), 1g Protein, 3g Carbohydrate, 1g Fiber, 0mg Cholesterol, 315mg Sodium
    ====================================================================
    Reference

    Wakame Seaweed Salad With Gomasio

    2 ozs fresh wakame seaweed
    2 Japanese or English (seedless) cucumbers
    assorted young greens (mesclun)

    Dressing:
    1T su (Eden brown rice vinegar)
    1T fresh lemon juice
    1T organic sesame oil
    3T grapeseed or other neutral oil
    pinch Celtic sea salt
    pinch fresh white pepper
    prepared Chinese mustard

    ___ Pour hot water over fresh wakame seaweed. Immerse in water and drain. Cut into 1 inch lengths.

    ___ Wash the cucumbers then take a fork and run it along the skin from tip to tip on one side and then the other to score it to make a simple decorative pattern on the outside skin. Japanese cucumbers are much more delicate than Western varieties. If you cannot find them, use a single English cucumber, slice it in half and seed it. Cut on the bias into thin rounds.

    ___ Tear the baby greens into bite-sized pieces and arrange in a bowl.

    ___ Mix and stir the dressing ingredients.

    ___ Mix seaweed, cucumbers with the dressing and then place them on top of the greens.
    ___ Garnish with gomasio (sesame salt) if desired.
    =======================================================================
    Reference

    PÂTÉ with Hijiki, (arame or wakame)
    Serves 12

    hijiki 1.75 oz (50 gr)
    garlic 1 clove
    parsley 1 tuft + 1 for garnish
    sesame oil 2T
    shoyu / soy sauce 2T
    rice vinegar 1T
    tahini (sesame paste) 1 teaspoon
    lemon ½
    grey Celtic sea salt 1 pinch

    Cooking time: 50 minutes.

    ___ Rinse hijiki and soak in warm water for 20 minutes, then boil it for 20 minutes.
    ___ Rinse parsley and chop it (reserve a bit for garnish). Place most of the parsley in a blender container along with the squeezed lemon’s juice.
    ___ Strain hijiki and put it in the blender with all the remaining ingredients. Pulse to obtain a soft pâté.

    Garnish with chopped parsley. Use as a dip or spread on crackers, veggies etc.
    ===================================================================
    Try a “DLT” Sandwich, with fried dulse replacing the bacon. It is great! The recipe is simple. Just take some strips of dulse, fry like bacon, then add to your favorite sandwich bread with lettuce and tomato. The fried dulse has a crispy, fish-like flavor, so it’s more like a faux-fish sandwich. OR try using to wrap dates with cream cheese and dulse
    ===================================================================
    Reference and more notes

    Sanuki Sea Stock by Elizabeth Andoh

    7 large, or 15 small, dried sardines (iriko), about 1/2 ounce trimmed *
    10 to 12 square inches kombu kelp *
    1 whole, or stems from 2 or 3, dried (hoshi) shiitake mushroom *
    4 1/2 to 5 cups cold water, filtered or bottled for best results
    1-, 3-, or 5-gram packet bonito flakes (katsuobushi), optional *
    1/4 lb cod

    ___ Place the dried sardines, kelp, and dried mushrooms in a deep pot and cover with the cold water. Place the pot over medium-high heat and wait until small bubbles appear around the rim before adjusting the heat to maintain a steady but not very vigorous simmer.

    ___ Cook the stock for about 10 minutes, or until the broth becomes a pale gold. If large clouds of froth appear, skim them away.

    ___ Remove the pot from the heat and allow the contents to sink to the bottom naturally, about 2 minutes.

    If you want a smoky flavor, add the bonito flakes (the more flakes you use, the smokier the flavor). Wait 2 or 3 minutes for the flakes to sink, and then strain the broth through a fine-woven muslin cloth, or a coffee-filter-lined colander.

    ___ Adding a quarter pound of cod, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and simmered for a further 9 minutes makes a delicious little soup.

    * Iriko (dried sardines) (also called niboshi) are available in most Asian markets. To maximize their flavor-enhancing ability and keep potential bitterness to a minimum, trim them by removing the gills and contents of the belly cavity. Because the fish are dried, this is not a messy procedure: Discard the heads. Then, pinch each fish at midpoint along its abdomen to split open the belly cavity, and discard the crumbly, blackened material. ·

    For making stock, look for the reasonably-priced, all-purpose kombu labeled “dashi kombu,” or “Hidaka.”

    Fresh shiitake and dried (hoshi) shiitake mushrooms are not interchangeable. Dried mushrooms are especially rich in minerals such as potassium, and contribute an intense flavor to stocks and stews. For making stocks, the flatter, less costly varieties of hoshi shiitake (either whole caps, broken pieces, or presliced bits) will be fine.

    To further release the full flavor of the dried sardines, kelp, and dried mushrooms, soak them for at least 10 or 15 minutes (and up to several hours) in the pot of cold water before cooking.

    Dried fish flakes (katsuobushi) generally combine shavings of tunalike bonito (katsuo) with other less expensive fish such as sardines and mackerel. Bonito yields a mild but smoky flavor; if your preference runs toward smokiness, look for a higher percentage of bonito, usually accompanied by a higher price. Sardine and mackerel lend a more assertive flavor. Once opened, the flakes go rancid rather quickly, so if you will be using them only occasionally, look for a “fresh pack” (several small, sealed packets, each containing 3 or 5 grams) rather than a single larger bag (usually 100 grams).

    All the dried pantry items in this recipe can be ordered online at Maruwa or Katagiri.
    ==================================================================

    I hope you have enjoyed the series and I will update more when it seems right. Meanwhile, do learn more on your own as Iodine is super important, and if you find good seaweed recipes, please share them here or send them to me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar.

    And, remember Iodine-rich foods help your heart, too. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I will remind you how important that is for 400,000 Americans will die of Heart Disease in 2010. Try not to be one of them.

    2-2-10 Daily Health News email I received which was made even more poignant by the news that President Bill Clinton was whisked away in a NYC snow storm to get more heart stent surgery, even when he has managed to keep his weight in check.

    5-Second Artery Test

    As we age, arteries can lose flexibility, and that’s not good because arterial stiffness is often a precursor to cardiovascular disease. So I’m happy to be able to tell you about a simple, do-it-yourself way to gauge whether your arteries might be dangerously stiff.

    The simple test

    Muscle flexibility is a component of cardio-respiratory fitness and physical fitness and is also an aspect of arterial flexibility. In a study at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, 526 healthy participants were divided into three age groups and instructed to sit on the floor with their backs against the wall. While researchers held their legs straight in front of them, they were asked to use their arms to push forward a device that measured their maximum reach. Researchers then classified each as having “poor” or “high” flexibility. They also simultaneously measured blood pressure and pulse wave velocity, which gives a clinical measure of arterial stiffness.

    The results: In middle-aged and older people, poor body flexibility was associated with arterial stiffness. The findings were reported in American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

    “This study takes the first step in determining the relationship between flexibility and cardiovascular diseases,” says Kenta Yamamoto, PhD, a research fellow in the department of integrative physiology at University of North Texas Health Science Center and lead author of the study.

    There could be several reasons for the association. The researchers speculate that habitually working to increase flexibility by stretching your muscles may also relax the arteries and help decrease arterial stiffness. Another possibility involves collagen and elastin, the composition of which changes with age, reducing the flexibility of both muscles and arteries. A third possibility relates to blood pressure, since we already know elevated blood pressure stiffens arteries. In this study, researchers found that those with the highest blood pressure also had the poorest flexibility.

    How to Test Yourself for Heart Healthy Arteries

    It’s easy to test yourself at home, says Dr. Yamamoto: “If you cannot touch your toes when sitting with your legs held straight, your flexibility is poor.” He suggests integrating flexibility exercises — such as yoga, Pilates or basic stretching –into your routine, adding that doing this may help prevent arterial stiffness. He says to follow the recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, which advise those who don’t work out regularly to stretch for 10 to 15 minutes every day … and says that those who do exercise regularly should incorporate several minutes of stretching before and after each workout. That’s a very easy prescription for something that could save your life.

    Source:

    Kenta Yamamoto, PhD, research fellow in department of the integrative physiology at University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Reference

    Thanks!

    Best to all — Em

    Read the whole Series:
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 1
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 2
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 3
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 4
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 5
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 6
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 7
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 8
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 9 Brief Synopsis, so far.
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 10 Includes Nutrition and RDA charts
    Diabetics – Iodine and Health 11

    REFERENCES:
    Dr. Brownstein
    Basic Iodine Science-Based Information
    Victoria J. Drake, Ph.D., Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University

    * NOTE:
    If you do not get enough healthy Iodine isotope 127 daily from food sources, then your body will begin to absorb the toxic Iodine isotope 131 (created by the Nuclear Industry) coming into your body and harmfully attaching to the Iodine sites, (but doing no work to help your body — in addition to the radiation it brings in). That’s why I am opposed to any more nuclear power plants and I am shocked that the Obama administration would be bringing up that as an option as he did in the State of the Union speech recently. They are known hazard, even without nuclear accidents.

    As the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports: “Radioactive iodine, especially Isotope 131, may be released into the environment as a result of nuclear reactor accidents. Thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine increases the risk of developing thyroid cancer, especially in children. The increased iodine trapping activity of the thyroid gland in iodine deficiency results in increased thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine (131 Isotope).

    Thus, iodine-deficient individuals are at increased risk of developing radiation-induced thyroid cancer because they will accumulate greater amounts of radioactive iodine.

    Potassium iodide administered in pharmacologic doses (50-100 mg for adults) within 48 hours before or eight hours after radiation exposure from a nuclear reactor accident can significantly reduce thyroid uptake of 131 Isotope and decrease the risk of radiation-induced thyroid cancer.

    The prompt and widespread use of potassium iodide prophylaxis in Poland after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident may explain the lack of a significant increase in childhood thyroid cancer in Poland compared to fallout areas where potassium iodide prophylaxis was not widely used. …”

    Potassium iodide is available as a nutritional supplement, typically in combination products like multivitamin / multimineral supplements. Iodine makes up approximately 77% of the total weight of potassium iodide, and even if you are getting some Iodine from iodized salt in commercial foods or from a little seaweed on your own, the amount in a multivitamin / multimineral pill will not cause excess and will give you a very minimal foundation. Earlier in the series, I gave better oral Iodine options. DO NOT USE FIRST-AID IODINE FROM THE PHARMACY; IT IS POISONOUS AND NOT FOR ORAL USE!

    There is a small risk of IIH (Iodine Induced Hyperthyroidism) when Iodine deficiency increases the risk of developing autonomous thyroid nodules that are unresponsive to the normal thyroid regulation system, after Iodine supplementation. Talk to your doctor if you already have thyroid nodules or concerns.

    The Linus Pauling Institute also mentions: Drug interactions
    “Amiodarone, a medication used to prevent abnormal heart rhythms, contains high levels of iodine and may affect thyroid function. Medications used to treat hyperthyroidism, such as propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole may increase the risk of hypothyroidism. Additionally, the use of lithium in combination with pharmacologic doses of potassium iodide may result in hypothyroidism. Further, the use of pharmacologic doses of potassium iodide may decrease the anticoagulant effect of warfarin (coumarin).”

    You can find more valuable articles in my blog’s archive. Click on the Title Archive on the upper navigation bar.

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

    Diabetics often have cardiac (heart) issues. Seaweed is the secret ingredient to a healthy heart. Yes, your doctor did not tell you that, but much scientific research shows that’s a major reason why Okinawans and Japanese are generally long-lived, as they consume the most seaweed of all the world’s peoples.

    Seaweed is an alkaline pH food which has high mineral content, low-glycemic index and high fiber, along with lots of Iodine. It is generally neutral in taste, or is pleasant, and mostly provides texture. Kombu kelp also helps people be able to digest beans better.

    A heart healthy diet is not complicated. Use lean protein sources — include wild-caught, cold-water ocean fish. Use only healthy oils (like extra-virgin olive oil; and flax and hemp oils — do not cook with the last two, just use for dressings), along with a little organic, extra-virgin coconut oil (yes, it’s saturated, but it does a lot of healthy things, too) and organic butter (a little now and then for flavor) along with NO man-made margarines or fake fats or deep-fried items.

    Eating 2 servings of whole fruit (not juice) and at least 8 servings of fresh or frozen vegetables (including sea veggies) is another smart move to a healthy heart. And keep your grains limited, and only use whole-grains (and rarely even whole-grain flours). Use legumes, and gradually increase their use as your body adjusts to them.

    And, past pages in my series include information on the various kinds of seaweed and the amazing benefits of food-sourced Iodine which can improve your cardiovascular health and general health to a phenomenal degree. See them in the Titles Archive (click Tab on upper navigation bar).

    Seaweed contains Iodine, beta carotene and thiamine among many other nutrients; these possess antioxidant and detoxification properties. All 3 are beneficial for the general health of the blood and they promote good circulation. This is critical for most diabetics who already have atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) and often have circulation problems, especially to the legs, kidneys and eyes.

    Each type of seaweed has its own role in a heart-healthy diet, which can also regulate blood sugar.

    ___ Brown seaweeds (kelps) discourage the formation of blood clots and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. The algin in brown seaweed dissolves the deposits inside arteries and gradually removes the existing build up of these deposits!

    So, as you use seaweed, you may be able to decrease and even eliminate your cholesterol medications. That’s why you need to inform your doctor and have frequent blood tests as you try to switch from man-made medications (with their numerous side-effects) back to Nature’s protection.

    ___ Arame, a lesser known seaweed, lowers blood pressure.

    ___ Bladderwrack is excellent for lowering chronic high blood pressure, and it balances blood sugar. Preventing blood clots from forming and preventing atherosclerosis are also part of its miraculous capability. Talk to your doctor about its use, and see if you can be regularly tested as you wind down from depending on Coumadin or Warfarin. Presently, I am doing this for and with my Mum (I am using Kombu kelp, which is described below.)

    Bladderwrack is also used for weight-control, successfully. Fucothin by Garden of Life – Seaweed Weight Loss supplement is recommended; ask your doctor if it’s right for you. Garden of Life

    ___ Hijiki purifies your blood and balances blood pressure. It is also used to prevent seizures, and is a tasty food, especially when cooked with carrots, the way the Japanese do.

    ___ Since Irish Moss is loaded with important nutrients, it has been traditionally given to patients who are surviving serious illnesses. This seaweed contains blood-thinning properties (it acts as an anticoagulant, like Coumadin) thus it may reduce high blood pressure and heal arteriosclerosis. Like Bladderwrack, it also balances blood sugar.

    However, in the past, there was some evidence that there were some issues with Irish Moss, so you will get it in pre-made foods, but I wouldn’t use it in my own cooking. I don’t remember all the details, as it was decades ago, but I remember the “red flag” and don’t use it.

    ___ As I noted above, Kombu kelp sprinkled on your meals improves blood circulation and and lowers blood cholesterol levels. It also contains many minerals (like copper and iron) and it purifies your blood (detoxification). Kelp also provides you with chloride which helps to retain potassium in tissues; potassium is essential for heart muscle health.

    By  eating  about 5 grams (.17 oz ) dry weight of Kombu a day,  you will improve the strength of the blood vessels and diminish plaque found in the vessels.  I use powdered kombu, and use about 1/2t a few times a week, and it can be frequent like this as long as you are balancing it out by eating dark-green leafy greens or romaine lettuce to keep Vitamin K levels up, too, so you can clot your blood if you need to.

    What else does Kombu kelp do? Here’s why it’s my favorite.

    * regulates blood sugar
    * lowers blood pressure
    * reduces cholesterol
    * prevents arteriosclerosis
    * purifies the blood
    * thins the blood

    ___ Nori not only tastes great wrapped around our favorite sushi, it also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, improves circulation and promotes cardiovascular health.

    Nori is the least concentration of Iodine, so it can be eaten everyday, whereas the other seaweeds should be eaten every other day or a few times a week. You NEVER ingest the first-aid type iodine from the Pharmacy; in this form it is poisonous!There are safe oral preparations which I have talked about in other parts of the series, if you do not want to rely on seaweed.

    ___ Wakame, a favorite in Japanese dishes, especially the foundational soup stock known as Dashi, prevents arteriosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, and purifies the blood.

    Japanese and Korean women use soup and other dishes with wakame after childbirth.

    Other forms of seaweed:

    I have talked about this in earlier parts of the Series, but I finally found a local source for kelp noodles — mine are from Sea Tangle. I am going to try them for the first time, today.

    Usually I just use the reconstituted, dried seaweeds or powdered seaweeds or dry sprinkles, so this will be a new experience. The kelp noodles are raw, not slimy, are crunchy until soaked more. They must be rinsed and soaked a little more before using. They are transparent, as once the outer layer of seaweed is removed, the inner core of the plant is translucent.

    Here are some “kelp noodle” and “sea salad vegetable mix” recipes. You will find these products in the best health stores (maybe in the macrobiotic section) or in Asian markets (where their source is more murky and you may not be able to get clean waters or organic foods). Some Whole Foods stores carry Sea Tangle — it will be in the refrigerator section.
    =============================================================================
    Kelpnoodles.com

    SIMPLE SEA VEGETABLE SALAD
    1 clove garlic, grated
    ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    ½ avocado
    Bragg’s to taste, tamari, or soy sauce
    2 cups greens (spring mix, buckwheat, spinach, lettuce)
    3 ounces sea vegetable mix (will need rinsing*)
    Celtic sea salt and pepper, to taste

    Grate the ginger and garlic. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, ginger, garlic, and Bragg’s together. Toss all ingredients thoroughly.

    * Read the directions on the package. Get one made in USA (especially Hawaii or California) or Japan, only.
    —————————————————–
    KELP NOODLE SALAD
    Kelp Noodles, soaked 30 minutes*, rinsed and drained
    Honey Mustard Dressing
    Cucumbers, sliced
    Carrots, sliced
    Apples, thinly sliced
    Salt, to taste

    Combine all ingredients and mix well. Salt to taste.
    * Ideas for soaking waters are below, in Preparation section.
    —————————————————–
    KELP NOODLE AND VEGETABLE STIR FRY
    12 ounces Kelp Noodles, rinsed and drained
    ½ cup onion
    ½ cup bean sprouts
    ½ cup carrots
    ½ cup red bell pepper
    ½ cup mushrooms
    1 tsp garlic, minced
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    Tamari or soy sauce, to taste
    Dash of sugar or agave nectar, to taste
    Dash of salt and pepper
    ½ cup vegetable broth or water

    Saute the garlic in the olive oil. Add the vegetables (except for sprouts and bell pepper) and saute until cooked. Add the rinsed Kelp Noodles along with the soy sauce, sugar, and broth and mix. Saute until the noodles have nearly been softened. Add sprouts, red bell pepper; then use salt and pepper to taste.
    ———————————————————-
    The recipe I tried today is on the back of the Sea Tangle Salad Mix package. It should give about 6 portions. We used it for 3 and it was so filling that we didn’t eat the rest of lunch! I think it can use a little “zip”, so use a little more ginger than mentioned and add some lemon juice and Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar — maybe even a hint of cayenne.
    ———————————————————–
    NOTE

    PREPARATION NOTES: Quoted on a Forum of Raw Foodists.
    A. The noodles will soften easily if you make a sauce containing garlic, salt and lemon. Just let them sit in the sauce until they’re as soft as you want them (the more lemon/garlic/salt, the faster they’ll soften).

    B. I make a nut-based alfredo sauce (with or without sun-dried tomatoes), and the creaminess of the sauce makes up for the non-starchiness of the kelp noodles.

    C. They also will soften if you make an Asian type sauce with some almond butter/ sesame oil.

    D. When I first opened the package I did smell that weird odor that people here were previously discussing. I read elsewhere that this is not formaldahyde or anything toxic, just an odor from the kelp.

    After rinsing the noodles the smell went away (it wasn’t that bad to begin with).

    At this point the noodles will be crunchy. Here’s what I did for nice soft noodles at dinner time. In the mid morning I soaked the noodles in warm water with lemon juice and sea salt.

    Then after about 30-45 minutes I rinsed and put them back into plain water to soak for most of the day while we were out and about doing errands and such. When we returned home later that afternoon I was pleased to find nice big soft noodles that looked like rice noodles and tasted very neutral.

    E. So far I like making this lovely mild red pepper aioli sauce for the kelp noodles. But I believe any raw sauce or dressing would be lovely. These noodles are really super cool and the possibilities are endless.

    F.  You do not need to do this technique unless you only eat Raw, too …

    Okay, I’m a convert! I made kelp noodles tonight for dinner and my non-raw BF loved them. I soaked them in warm water with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

    After an hour, I rinsed them well and refilled the bowl with warm water. I put our pasta bowls in the oven at 170 degrees F to warm up. When the oven reached that temperature, I opened the door to let some heat out and turned the oven off.

    I put the bowl with the water and noodles in and let it sit for another half hour or so. I made my sauce and toppings and when it was time to assemble, I drained the noodles and divided them into our bowls. They were soft and awesome! The bowls and noodles were warm, while my sauce was room temperature.

    Enjoy!
    =====================================================================

    You can find more valuable articles in my blog’s archive, including the other 10 parts of the series. Click on the Title Archive on the upper navigation bar.

    Please spread articles you think are important via email links, and via web 2.0 site links. Thanks!

    (c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
    If you want to quote any more than 1 short paragraph from my article, please write for permission to the About Me page on the upper navigation bar. Please respect my copyright. Thanks.

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