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“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 https://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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“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 https://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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“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.

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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.

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

Continuing our series with recipes using diabetes-friendly herbs which diabetics should be paying attention to! Diabetes does not mean unimaginative food, at all. Look at these great recipes to help prevent diabetes and to improve it, if you are dealing with the condition.

In the Reference section, please find the previous parts of this series.

Now I continue with more recipes using the herbs best for pre-diabetes, Type 1 diabetics and Type 2 diabetics: Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!

(Dill seed is also good, as are organic maple syrup in moderation, organic coconut products and organic dark chocolate, in moderation.) Now, back to Lavender, the least known of the group of herbs.

Lavender is part of the  same botanical family as many of our most popular herbs – the Mint family — a cousin of mints, sage, rosemary and thyme. So, it is not surprising that lavender is edible and that its use in food preparation is also returning, as a refreshing “new” flavor, even though it’s been used in food for centuries (especially in European Medieval cookery)!

Lavender’s flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried for cooking purposes. The stalks are much more concentrated flavor and should be used in soups and sauces (don’t overcook, as they can become bitter), whereas the fresh flowers give an ambrosial and delicate palate delight. The potency of even the lavender flowers increases with drying.

Lavender is best used alongside fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.

And, as I noted last time, English Lavender (l. angustifolia and munstead) has the sweetest fragrance of all, and is the one preferred in cooking as it has a sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes.

Cooking with Lavender:
In cooking, use only 1/3 the quantity of dried flowers if you do not have fresh, if the recipe calls for fresh blooms.

Harvesting Lavender:
Harvest flowers only from organic, unsprayed plants.  Select only those stems that look most perfectly ready, with the fullest color. The fresher the flower, the more flavorful its taste, so pick your flowers as close as possible to food preparation time and one’s picked in the morning will be better than those picked on a hot afternoon — so gather in the moring and place in water, in a cool place, until using later that day for cooking.

All blooms should be thoroughly rinsed as little critters may hide. Immerse the stems in water. Then lay the flowers gently on paper or cloth towels, dab dry, or gently spin dry in a salad spinner; then place vertically in shallow water until using. You can also, layer the blooms carefully between moist paper towels in the refrigerator until meal time.

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LAVENDER OATMEAL

This is a tasty way to add oatmeal and an extra dimension to your diet, especially if you eat oatmeal most days, as you physician likely recommends.

2 servings

2 C      boiling filtered water
1/2 t  crushed lavender buds
1/8 t  Celtic or other sea salt
1 C    organic  oatmeal

Cook as directed on package and remove from heat.

Stir in:
1 t organic cinnamon
equivalent amount of Stevia to 1T of sugar or to taste

Other variations-
Cut up half an organic banana or organic apple (with its skin — which contains chromium — a vital mineral for diabetics).
Add organic walnuts (excellent for Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids) or organic raisins once it’s cooked.

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HERBED CHEVRE WITH CROSTINI

8 oz. mild chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
2 T  Herbs de Provence  (which already contains lavender)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and thickly sliced
1 t pepper flakes
1 T cracked peppercorns
3/4-1 C extra virgin olive oil

Taste the mix by making about 1 Tablespoon sample. Add more lavender if needed (and make sure your Herbes de Provence actually contained it!).

Then, prepare the rest as follows, in a glass serving dish, to accent the colors and the layering effect.

Begin layering one third of the crumbled chevre, then one third each: Herbs de Provence, garlic slices, pepper flakes and cracked peppercorns.

Continue to create the three layers until all ingredients are utilized.

Pour a layer of oil ton top, to dip through or get onto the spreader.

It is best prepared ahead of time so all the flavors can blend. Refrigerate, and then bring it to room temp one hour before serving.

For Crostini: Slice crispy crusted French bread thinly, brush with olive oil. toast in 350F degree oven until light brown and crisp. Let your guests apply the chevre mix or do it for them ahead of time.

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SCRUMPTIOUS SINGLE SALAD

makes 1 serving

1 organic nectarine – pitted and sliced
a large handful of organic baby lettuce leaves
a few fresh basil leaves – slice rolled-up into spaghetti chiffonade
thinly sliced red onion, to taste
2 – 4 thin slices of a hard goat cheese (approx. 2 oz. of cheese)

Dressing:
2 t  organic apple-cider vinegar
1 t organic grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
a pinch of minced Culinary Lavender Flowers
a pinch of Succanat, natural sugar
chopped mint leaf to taste

Make the dressing and let it sit out at room temperature while you prep the greens, plate them and then drizzle on at the last moment.

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HERBAL RUB

Use for sustainable-fishery seafood and fish OR for organic poultry. It can also be applied to grass-fed meats – bison and lamb being best.

1 t crushed Certified Organic Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender
3 t chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 t chopped fresh thyme
4 t minced garlic
4 t minced, fresh onion
2 t Celtic or other sea salt
1/2 t crushed black pepper OR a little organic cayenne pepper
1/4 C white wine Worcestershire sauce OR Coconut Secret’s Aminos
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil

1)  Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and pulse well until blended.
2)  Cover, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before rubbing onto flesh or injecting it into the meat, as desired.
3) Marinate the protein at least an hour in the refrigerator, or even overnight, before cooking.
4) If desired and appropriate, consider serving with the potato recipe which follows.

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HERBES DE PROVENCE ROAST POTATOES

10-15 med organic red potatoes, whole (MUST be organic!), washed and dried
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
2 T  Herbs de Provence (check label that it contains lavender) or add a pinch
1-2 T Celtic or other sea salt

1) Preheat your oven to 400F.
2) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and then toss to coat the potatoes.
3) Place all into a  9×9 oven-safe glass baking dish.
4) Bake 40-45 minutes, or to desired tenderness.

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MARCIA’S GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

6 T unsweetened organic cocoa
3 T organic coconut oil *
6 T unsalted organic butter *
2 organic, free-range eggs, room temperature (cold eggs harden the oil)
1 t organic pure vanilla extract
¼ C + 2 T Nutiva’s organic coconut nectar
¾ C  Coconut Secret’s  coconut crystals (a low glycemic sweetener)
1/8 t Celtic or other sea salt
½ C  sifted organic, fine-grind coconut flour (measure after sifting)

*You can use 9 T of Coconut Oil in place of 6 T butter for a dairy free version.

— Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Prepare your 8×8 baking pan.

In a medium pan on very low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil together, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as mixture is melted.

Add the organic cocoa and mix until thoroughly blended to a paste.

Add Coconut Crystals, Coconut Nectar and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

Add eggs and mix well until they are thoroughly blended into mixture.

Next,  add sea salt and coconut flour and blend until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour this batter into well-greased 8×8 glass pan. Bake in the preheated 350F degree oven for 28-30 minutes or until top looks evenly baked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.

Cool and cut into 16 squares. Can be frozen. If not used within 2 days, please refrigerate well-wrapped.

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LAVENDER CHAI

3 organic black tea bags (orange pekoe or Assam)
1 stick of cinnamon          (make sure it’s not cassia)
around 8 allspice berries
2 t organic Cook’s vanilla extract
2 C filtered water
about 1/4 cup* organic honey
Stevia or Coconut Secret’s crystals = to 3/4C sugar*
1 t Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender**
1 t + fresh grated ginger
dash nutmeg

*total sweetener equals taste of about 1 cup of sugar, more or less to taste.
**Lavender can be finely ground in a spice grinder or in a throughly cleaned coffee grinder.

Drop the tea bags, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg into the 2 cups of boiling water.

Simmer until the mixture is a rich reddish brown. Take off the heat. Mix in the sweeteners; and strain out all large ingredients.

Pour this Chai concentrate into a  heat-safe glass or mug — making 1/3 full.

Fill the remainder of the glass with warm milk or warm water …  serve hot.

Or, for cold Chai, after the concentrate is cold, then add 2/3 cold milk, non-dairy milk, cold spring water — or a combo into your mug or glass.

Refrigerate the brewed Lavender Chai Tea Concentrate  for later use.

This stores for up to seven days and makes 3 – 5 servings, depending on the size of the mugs / glasses used.

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If changing a rosemary recipe to a lavender one, then use 3 times as much lavender as the rosemary.

If using fresh lavender buds in place of dried asked for in a recipe, use half-again the amount of fresh.

Enjoy making the recipes.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:
Diabetes – Herbs that Help — Lavender
Diabetes Recipes – Herb List
Diabetes Medicine Alert
Diabetic Concerns – marjoram and nutmeg
Diabetes – Low Thyroid Connection
Thyroid Connections to Diabetes
Herbal Help Diabetic GI Problems

Diabetics and Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3

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

I want to revisit low thyroid, as it is a possible source of an incomplete or inaccurate diagnosis for diabetes! Yes, you read that right. Let’s learn more from Dr. Robert Rowen, MD and from Dr. David Brownstein, MD. The first article is here: Diabetes and Thyroid Connection

Dr. Rowen asks in a recent email:

Is your diabetes really hypothyroidism?

If you have hard-to-treat Type 2 diabetes, your problem might not be insulin and your pancreas, but rather, it could be your thyroid!

Research scientists know that both humans and animals exposed to cold temperatures get high blood pressure. Next, they wondered if diabetic mice exposed to cold would get the problem even faster than normal mice.

They placed diabetic and control mice in a constant 41 degrees F environment. The normal mice survived, while the diabetic mice died (in just two hours)!

The team surmised that the diabetic animals died because they couldn’t maintain their body heat — which is regulated by their thyroid gland.

In good scientific fashion, the researchers decided to take it to the next step. They wondered if giving the diabetic animals thyroid hormone might help them withstand the cold.

So, they administered thyroid hormone to the diabetic mice. Those mice increased their body temperature AND even more interestingly, they also had a significant drop in their blood sugar within two hours (and a 50% blood-sugar decrease within four hours)!

The researchers then looked at blood sugar levels at the start of the study, and in the diabetic animals, they found the level had been five times normal! They found that the thyroid levels in these animals were also low.

Diabetes affects at least 150 million people worldwide, and that’s an understatement, as many people do NOT know they are diabetic.

In Oklahoma, where this research was conducted, there are over 268,500 cases of human diabetes. Most of these people, at any age, are obese or overweight;  most can cure it with a proper diet and moderate exercise, alone.

However, Dr. Rowen says that in his practice, he has  seen a number of people resistant to a simple dietary fix. And, there is also a group of adult diabetics who are thin. Yes, you can be thin and be hypothyroid (low thyroid). You can also be heavy, with low thyroid as a contributing factor to that overweight condition — often ascribed to your “diabetes”.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, at any age, then get your doctor to check your thyroid level by blood tests, to include a “free T3, free T4 and TSH” (and Dr. Brownstein insists on these and a few more lab tests: reverse T3, antithyroglobulin and antimicrosomal antibodies … and I think and knowing your Iodine level would be useful). Do not allow your doctor to just order a TSH test (it’s notoriously inaccurate).

However, Dr. Rowen uses the tests and learns a lot because he also compares the results to his patient’s basal body temperature. What’s that?

It’s the important lab test you take yourself as Dr. Broda Barnes, MD, famous endocrinologist in the early 20th century, described.

Dr. Rowen and Dr. Brownstein both ask you to check your “under the tongue” temperature the moment you open your eyes in the morning, three days in a row (several days away from your menstrual period, for women).

You have to have a Basal Thermometer (a special one from the pharmacy — with a numbering scale that let’s you see the tiniest changes in the temperature range that you need to understand).

Shake the mercury down the night before. Have a clock where you register the time. Open your eyes and reach for the thermometer and look at the clock. Do not move, except to breathe, until the 2 or 3 minutes are up.

Your morning, without movement, “basal temperature” should be at least 97.8F. If it’s not, see your integrative physician immediately!

What’s likely needed then? A prescription for T3 (as used in this study) might help your low thyroid and diabetes all in one go. Do NOT let any physician put you on synthetic thyroid preparations! Read more on that next time.

Meanwhile, Dr. Brownstein, MD alerts us to the facts that:
“Your body is composed of 70-80% water, and your brain is closer to 85% water!”

And, thyroid problems, like all illnesses, cannot be solved without getting sufficient water in your diet.

So, here’s how to know if you’re drinking enough water:

Do you have any of these signs of dehydration?

Fatigue
Dry tongue
Coated tongue
Vertical ridges on your nails
Dry skin
Poor skin elasticity

Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, Dr. Brownstein says you could still be water-deficient. It’s extremely common, especially in those with thyroid issues, and maybe that helps to account for that famous “diabetic” thirst!

Here’s an important formula for your recommended water intake:

Take your weight (in pounds) and divide in half.
That amount (in fluid ounces) is your recommended water intake.
That number divided by 8 equals the number of 8 ounce-sized glasses of water you should drink per day.

This process probably works for metric, too, but confirm this with your physician.

I recommend getting a big water bottle and loading it up in the morning. Then, carry it with you, while sipping on it through the day. That’s what I do.

Also, Dr. Brownstein addresses tips to prevent water loss that could lead to dehydration. All liquids are not equal. Only water counts to hydrate you, the rest dehydraye your tissues, in varying degrees. He says:

___   “Don’t overload on caffeine”  . . . (I say, try not to use caffeine, except for 2 cups of green tea a day)
___   “Don’t drink a lot of soda”  . . . (I say, don’t drink any! It’s VERY pH acidic.)
___   “Take it easy on the alcoholic beverages”  . . . ( I say “Why use them?” They are Carbs and do affect your blood-sugar levels, rob you of minerals and vitamins and stress your liver.) Get the “goodness” of wine by eating red organic grapes, instead!

Dr. Brownstein and I recommend that you use a water filter that removes fluoride and chlorine as well as bacteria and parasites. Tap water and bottled water (in plastic bottles) contain chemicals potentially harmful to your thyroid.

Now, I have yet to find a water filter which states that it removes fluoride! So, as my city stupidly voted to fluoridate the water, before I arrived, I go to markets in nearby suburbs which do NOT fluoridate their water and get state-of-the-art commercially-filtered water OR I buy spring water — and decant it into a porcelain crock, immediately.

You need to do all these steps to get baseline information on your health AND to stop the slide on a slippery-slope from these various beverages. More next week.

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

I have been overwhelmed during my California trip and like others with diabetes, overwhelm has to be managed smartly. So, I’m late in posting, but am catching up using some important information on medications, conditions and suggestions for the problems described. These will be shorter articles.

1) Read the article at the New York times: New Group of Diabetes Drugs whereby the drug companies are seeking approval from the Federal Drug Administration (F.D.A.) for whole new types of diabetes drugs which sound like they have serious side-effects.

2) If you find your mind wandering (whether from low blood sugar, boredom or tiredness), then get out of that state quickly by watching photos of Nature for 7-10 minutes. There are lots of sites online which offer nature photos. This will not just help you focus (so you can take care of your low blood sugar, if that’s the cause), but also potentially lower your blood pressure and reduce stress hormones (which in turn, favorably affects insulin). Doing this will enhance attention and memory by about 20% say researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Another choice to optimize focus and brain function: scientists published in Human & Experimental Toxicology that using the herb marjoram in a salad, dressing etc. is beneficial. Components in this mint-family herb prevent the break-down of the memory neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  This process may also offer protection against Alzheimer’s (senile dementia).  Add the herb to the cooler recipe below.

The herb sage also has some of the same qualities and is used by Native Americans to help brain function.

3) And, if you are feeling stressed-out, be sure to sprinkle some nutmeg onto your food. Researchers at Texas A&M University say that myristin induces you to relax by increasing your levels of the hormone serotonin. Just use a quick sprinkle. It would be even more beneficial in the evening with a glass of milk just before bed. More on helping diabetics sleep — next time.

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WATERMELON SURPRISE

Use your blender and produce this energy-drink!

2C organic watermelon, diced (if you include the seeds, then strain)
1/2C organic mango, diced
1C coconut “water” / “juice” – chilled *
a few leaves of fresh marjoram – to taste
1/2C spring water ice cubes
Garnish: fresh mint, fresh pineapple *

Blend 30 secs on the appropriate speed for your mixer.
Garnish. Use 20 minutes before any other food. Melons are very alkaline and should never be eaten with other types of food.

Many of us need Vitamin B6 to cope with stress and keep healthy nerves. Watermelon is a good source, along with many phytonutrients and lycopene.

The coconut is a source of catalase which helps your liver flush out undigested protein molecules. If you want more fiber, actually add some organic shredded coconut to desired thickness.  Coconut is beneficial for diabetics and everyone else! (See my archived articles about coconut on the upper navigation bar Archive tab.)

The fresh pineapple helps to pre-digest this food and speeds it through with less work for your over-taxed liver.

Enjoy!

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

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

No matter what people think, there’s not been enough medical testing of drugs that enter into the marketplace, especially recently, and much of the testing has been either paid for or conducted by the drug companies themselves. Then, it’s been “rubber-stamped” by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration – America’s federal governmental  ‘health watch-dog’ agency). That’s why there has been an increasing number of reported problems with various drugs, for various conditions, from various companies. Universities and other government agencies and even health workers are now investigating and revealing more problems.

Health reporter, Alice Wessendorf, mentions the following alert:

You may “… be the victim of a commonly prescribed drug combination that’s now been found to cause blood-sugar spikes. And getting in this drug-side-effect crossfire is not as unlikely as you may think, since experts estimate that anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million people in the United States alone are on the two-drug combo.

It was Stanford University researchers who accidentally made the shocking discovery when they were poring over the data from the FDA’s adverse-event-reporting database (AERS). And they were concurrently combining that data-search with the electronic medical records from 3 medical institutions.

Unexpectedly, the Stanford group found  a significant number of patients who were on the common antidepressant Paxil along with the common cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol had unexpected, unexplained spikes in their blood-glucose levels.

And the really frightening part is that patients very well may not have even known it because there was not a single report of the unusual levels was found in the AERS database!

It wasn’t until the researchers bumped the AERS data up against the electronic medical records that the relationship reared its ugly head, and it highlights the problem that this information, as it comes in, needs to be investigated, not just “archived”.

The archived data showed that 135 nondiabetic patients on the dangerous drug combo had an average increase in their blood-glucose levels of 19 mg/dl. Disturbingly, that’s more than enough of a jump to push a nondiabetic person right on over into the diabetes zone.  So, arguably, there are people “diagnosed” as diabetic, who aren’t really; they’re sympromatic because of this medicine combination.

And now, what about the real diabetics, already-diagnosed-ahead-of-combo use? What about anyone for whom maintaining blood-sugar control is critical? The Stanford researchers were able to identify 104 of them, too, on the two drugs who had on average a shocking spike of 48 mg/dl!

Just to be sure of the ‘drug connection to blood sugar spikes’,  they tested the drugs individually and then in combination on prediabetic lab mice. The Stanford group saw a dramatic spike in the sugar levels of the mice that were given both Paxil and Pravachol together—from around 128 mg/dl to a staggering 193 mg/dl.

If you happen to be on these two drugs —  especially if you’re diabetic, then run —don’t walk — to your doctor’s office and ask him about getting off them ASAP (now)!

You know I always favor the most natural approach (as does Alice) and she suggests your physician consider  alternatives like vitamin D, fish oil and exercise to ameliorate these conditions instead of the aforementioned drugs or to lessen the dose needed of the drugs.

It’s not as if these drugs have been shown to be all that helpful any way.  One of the drugs has already been revealed to likely be no better than a sugar pill and to possibly cause thickening of the arteries and the other one to most likely be unnecessary.  Your goal should be to get off them regardless of their effects on your blood-sugar level. Discuss how with your physician.

Lots of Food for Thought here. Make sure you act if you are taking this drug combo. You may even find out you’re not diabetic after all.

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 https://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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