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General Guidelines for Healthy Living

Updated June, 2010

Regarding Water

Drink plenty of pure, filtered water during the day – 1 liter for every 50 lbs. For example, if you weighed 150 lbs, you would drink 3 liters of water daily. The older you get, the less your thirst barometer works, so just be sure to drink a certain healthy amount each day. If you feel thirsty, you are way beyond needing to have a glass of water. Think of tap water as POISON. Do not drink it if at all possible. Water filtration can be expensive, so you could do a couple of affordable things instead. You could get bottled water delivered to your home and office. You could buy a Brita filter for your fridge. You could get a Pur filter which fits easily over any faucet. You could also go a bit upscale and buy a reverse osmosis system and have it installed. That would be about $250, but it is nice because after it’s installed you don’t worry about it except changing the filters every 6 months or so. Home Depot has them. Then there is an alkaline water machine which is upwards of 3K. Maybe Brita would be a nice reasonable start for you?

Please note: Water is water is water. Water is not Coke. Water is not iced tea. Water is not any other liquid other than water. If you put juice into your water, it is no longer water. You can, however, put lemon or lime slices into your water without disturbing its water-ness. Mineral water with a slice of lemon is a good before dinner and party drink. Not only will you be the popular designated driver, but you will be happily alkalinizing yourself while everyone else at the party is much too happily acidifying themselves.

I used to suggest carrying Nalgene bottles with water in them, but there is so much controversy going on now about plastic that ideally you would carry water in glass or stainless even though this tends to be awkward and heavy. Whatever you get, carry it with you at all times. If you do carry plastic, do not freeze water in it because that will leech the nasty phthalates out of the plastic and into your water.

Suggestion #1: Try to eat nothing in a bag, box, jar, can or wrapper. Shop and cook as much as you can from the foodstuffs in the bins and produce section.

Regarding Sugar

Sugar is the worst possible thing for you. Oh, wait a minute, maybe smoking crack is a bit worse. Sugar is a poison which has destroyed cultures and civilizations and it will destroy your health. For just one of the many bad things about sugar - cancer cells LOVE sugar; it suits their anaerobic chemical reactions perfectly, feeds the yeast in the cancer cells and tears down your immune system all at the same time. Anyone who has had cancer and is interested in preventing cancer should never, ever touch sugar of any kind.

It might be difficult to eliminate sugar and you may even experience a detox reaction, just like you would from detoxing from any other kind of poison. Good news. Your immediate misery will last – tops – three days, so pick a convenient 3 days and detoxify yourself once and for all from white sugar. After this you will stop craving sugar and carbs and your life will become much more peaceful and healthy. Be sure and read labels and discard any product that has sugar of any kind in the top 5 ingredients. Sugar has many different names as the manufacturers have become even sneakier to push their addictive sugary products. Here are some sneaky names which really mean sugar: Brown sugar, sucrose, glucose, maltose, succinate, molasses, date sugar, beet sugar, grape sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, HFCS, corn sugar, fruit juice concentrate, sorbitol, barley malt, caramel, carob syrup, maltodextrin, dextran, dextrose, sorghum syrup.

So be aware of these underhanded tricks from the food industry and watch out for it as you are reading EVERY label before you buy your occasional bag, box, jar, can or wrapper. Caveat: Organic canned beans and tomatoes are fine in a pinch, but it’s better (tasting, too) to use the organic dried beans and the actual organic Roma tomatoes for sauces.

The only acceptable sweeteners for now are stevia (Nu- Naturals is a good tasting brand) and xylitol, even though it is a sugar alcohol. Agave is getting a bad rap now and is being compared with high fructose corn syrup which is even worse than sugar. The jury is still out on agave but we are leaning towards guilty as charged.

Here’s a bit of bad news for you party animals. Alcohol is sugar and prob. the worst kind since we metabolize it so fast. In an ideal world, you would stop drinking alcohol totally. Otherwise, just have a drink on that special occasion. That glass of wine every night is not really all that good for you and if you are going to drink something, stick to low glycemic alcohol which is almost an oxymoron, but here’s an example of what I mean: Margaritas are bad. Dry red wine is better. Manhattans are bad. An ounce of gin or vodka is better. Beer is bad, period.

What about fake sugars like Saccharin or NutraSweet. Duh, of course, they are bad for you and even turn into nasty formaldehyde in your body which means that you will be embalmed before your time. Remember that Diet Coke, our national drink, is made with aspartame AKA NutraSweet Splenda is not good either because it’s just sugar with a chlorine molecule attached and no one knows how that single chlorine molecule will disrupt your body over time. However, if faced with a choice of a pink, blue or yellow packet and someone is holding a gun to my head, I would pick real sugar first, then the yellow, then pink and then no thank you, no blue at all, ever.

Now that most of us know how bad NutraSweet is (headaches, strokes, cancer, neurological disorders etc.), the company that manufactures it (Ajinomoto) will be renaming it. Yes, it’s horribly deceptive, but NutraSweet will now be called AminoSweet. Look out for yet another fake sugar soon to come out. It’s called Neotame, and it is just like NutraSweet and was developed by Monsanto – the Satan of chemical conglomerates. Don’t fall for these deceits and tell all your friends and loved ones to beware.

The jury is still out on Cargill’s (big chemical conglomerate) Truvia, but it seems to me that it is reasonable from what I know about it at the time of this writing (March, 2010). However, it is “processed” in a “factory”, so I don’t really know...

Go into your kitchen right now and throw away everything that has sugar - whatever its name is - in the first 5 ingredients on the label, plus anything at all with aspartame or NutraSweet in it. Throw away all the pink, blue and yellow packets. You will be going a long way towards eliminating the toxic food environment in your body if you start with this small act.

Smoothie Season Coming Right Up!

Here's a good one for you

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

1 cup organic blueberries
¼ avocado
1 cup coconut water
Juice of ½ lime
3-4 T. protein powder
1 serving or 2t. greens powder
Maybe some extra water to make it easier to blend

Blend and enjoy.

Regarding Carbohydrates

There are two kinds. One’s bad, the other’s not. Refined carbs which are usually, but not always white, are bad. You might as well eat right out of the sugar bowl, because these refined carbs turn into sugar in your body. Refined carbs are cookies, crackers, dry cereal, bagels, pasta, popcorn or any other food that’s white and not “whole”. Even if it says wonderful things on the label, like “17 vitamins and minerals per portion!”, it’s still bad. Try to limit if not totally eliminate your consumption of these foods. I will also put white potato (baked Idaho’s, new potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes) under the category of bad carbs as they are just big balls of white sugar in sneaky disguise as a vegetable. Yams, on the other hand, are great for you.

Unrefined carbs are better for you, but most of them will still stimulate your glycemic response and raise your blood sugar, so don’t eat a ton of these either. These semi-OK carbs are whole grains like oats, rice, rye, millet and quinoa. I prefer that everyone – yes, you – stay away from all products made with wheat as wheat has been adulterated to such a degree that I don’t even know what it is anymore and whatever it is, almost everyone is sensitive to it to some degree. Try quinoa, millet, amaranth and steel cut oats in moderation. (I have a good recipe for millet-amaranth cereal. Ask me for it.) If you find that you feel fine eating lots of these grains, then go ahead, but some of us feel shaky and weak if we over-do grains as it messes with our insulin response. And the reason is this:

Very simply, there are two primary metabolic types and we land either in the veggie and carb loving category or the protein and fat category. (This has nothing to do with the blood type diet.) It seems that the veggie and carb loving people can do whole grains and carbs more successfully than can the protein and fat people. I can test you for metabolic type, but, honestly, you will be able to tell which type you are just by how you feel eating certain foods. Here is a simple test: One morning have fruit and toast with jam for breakfast. How do you feel? When do you get hungry? Do you feel grounded? Next morning, have eggs and bacon for breakfast. How do you feel? When do you get hungry? Do you feel grounded?

Vegetables and fruits are also carbs, but these are the good guys, esp. the green leafies. Unless otherwise specified, I recommend unlimited portions of veggies and 3 fruits a day. Some people are espousing an 80% raw diet as the answer to all health problems. Others say go vegan or macro. But I say, see how you feel on whatever you are eating and go from there. Some of us simply need more ballast and require meat or heavier foods.

Regarding Fats

In general we don’t eat enough of the good fats and too many of the bad fats and the good fats are wonderful anti-inflammatories while the bad fats inflame us. We have all been beaten into an Entenmeyer’s (no fat-high sugar) submission by the no-to-low fat paradigm of the last 30 years which ironically is when the obesity epidemic began. Many of us not only became much too fat, but we developed Type I diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels when all the low-fat foods, margerines and fake sugars became nutritionally de rigueur. Years ago, I found myself gasping in shock when a friend put heavy cream in her coffee – prob. in the 80’s; I was aghast that she would not take better care of her health and why didn’t she use those flavored fake milks with no fat? How things have changed!

It’s now time to fight back regarding the low fat craze. I am now going to recommend that you eat heretofore forbidden fats so brace yourself. I suggest that you cook with either EVOO, organic coconut oil or ghee made from organic butter. Use only these three oils in your kitchen for cooking. Start using and loving butter on your vegetables and on that occasional piece of good toast or on your yam. Throw all other oils out, esp. the white hard fats if for some lame reason you still have those in the pantry. Exception: Coconut oil will be hard and white on your shelf, but it’s a good fat. Neither exogenous fats nor eggs will significantly raise your cholesterol levels. It’s been proven.

Go through your kitchen now and throw out everything that has “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the label. These are very serious poisons to our body and actually CAUSE heart disease.

You should be concerned primarily with two kinds of supplemental fats; Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. Omega 3’s come from fish and flax and the 6’s come from evening primrose, borage or black current seed oil. But, there are other great oils: Gamma Linolenic (GLA) and Conjugated Linoleic (CLA). (Omega 9 is in olive oil.)

I suggest that people graze all the oils, if possible. The 3’s in the form of flax, the 6’s in the form that I mentioned in the paragraph above, and if weight loss is desired, the GLA and CLA are particularly good for that. Barleans is a good brand for flax and make sure you refrigerate it, because flax oil will get rancid very fast, as do the seeds. Buy the golden flax seeds whole and grind them for the week in a designated grinder then keep the ground seeds refrigerated in a glass jar.

I have found a wonderful tasting liquid oil called Barlean’s Swirl and it can be found at Whole Foods in the cold case that contains all the liquid oils. It tastes like dessert. I buy the vegan blueberry-pomegranate but they have a sweeter vegan strawberry-banana as well. If you have trouble swallowing oil caps, I guarantee you will be able to do this one and a tablespoon a day will do just fine. I also have a very fine 3-6-9 vegan oil capsule called YES which many of you are testing quite well on.

I have become suspect about all fish oils regardless of what the manufacturer says. I can’t imagine that they can be all that pure, so I am now recommending organic flax for the 3’s., and yes, I know that some of us have some trouble converting the flax into a usable omega 3. But, try it. Here’s my problem with fish oil: Fatty fish are known repositories not only of mercury, but of PCB’s and dioxins. The latter are stored in fatty tissue with a half life of up to 11 years, meaning that for 11 years after that ingestion of contaminated fish or fish oil, the chemicals are wreaking havoc in your body. Eight fish oil provider companies i.e. the bulk of the fish oil providers, were found to have both dioxins and PCB’s in their products, while flax omega 3’s tested for zero PCB contamination.

Krill oil has become very popular lately and, so far, I can’t see anything terribly wrong with krill except the . . . taste. However, krill is plankton from the sea and I just don’t know how many contaminants there are in the krill. The big mercury-filled fish eat plankton so I suppose you could assume that the krill also has mercury. I just don’t know the answer yet. But, you could also eat wild-caught salmon once or twice a week, too, either fresh in season, frozen or canned (www.vitalchoice.com is a good brand). Also, sardines in olive oil, anchovies and black cod are safe fish. Hemp seeds are quite tasty as well, sprinkled on a salad, eaten out of the bag or put in your smoothie.

Mighty Muffins

(from the Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn)

3 C oat bran
1t. baking powder
½ t. salt
4 T agave (I use no sweetener)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large apple, grated
6 ripe bananas, lightly mashed with a fork
¼ C walnuts, chopped
¼ C raisins
½ C water or orange juice

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Squeeze the lemon on top of the mashed bananas and grated apple. Add walnuts, raisins and water to this. Combine the wet and dry bowls and mix well. Pour into sprayed muffin tins and bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. This recipe will make more than a dozen. (Don't use muffin papers. The muffins will stick since there is no oil.)

Moving right along

“If it had a face or a mother or man made it, don’t eat it.” (This is a pretty famous vegan maxim. But: Do eggs have a mother? Do fish have a face, or a mother? This has always confused me. I don’t subscribe to it totally, but certainly the “man-made” part, I do)

Now that you have taken all of the unhealthy, processed foods – let’s review all those pretend, mostly factory-made foods that you have thrown out. Refined sugars and substances made from sugar, fake sugars and substances made from them, processed foods (most of those are in a bag, box, jar, can or wrapper), things with HFCS, food with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats and oil, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrate products, anything with MSG, and anything with the following cancer causing additives: sulfites(dried fruits), potassium bromide (breads),preservatives like BHA, artificial colorings like FD&C red etc, and artificial fats like olestra.

Don’t put these in the storage pantry, either! Not for later, not for end-times, not for anytime. You will just sneak around and eat bad stuff when no one is looking. Just get rid of it all in your big trash bag and put it out right now for garbage day. (There is the true story about The Good Mom who threw away all the unhealthy food, including the Froot Loops she had purchased for her daughter in a weak moment. She put it all in the garbage can a few days before pick up. A couple days later she found her 9 year old daughter eating the Froot Loops out of the garbage. A little sugar addiction? )

After you have done this and while you are patting yourself on the back for being so thorough, make a final sweep of your pantry and remove anything whose ingredient list is long, the print is too fine, you don’t recognize more than two or three names, there are too many names, your third grader can’t pronounce them and lastly, there are too many ingredients and your grandmother would never have used it. Yes, the Triscuits, too. And the gluten-free pretzels. And the healthy corn chips. I know. I sympathize totally with you, but don’t shoot the messenger.

The Fun Part

Now you need to go shopping at Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage. Think fruits, vegetables, organic meats and fish, plain yogurt, plain kefir, nuts, organic eggs, olive oil, butter, ghee, golden flax seeds. Buy a couple of healthy cookbooks that appeal to you. Shop the perimeter and remember, load up on fresh, whole foods, not that stuff Michael Pollan calls “edible food-like substances” but is still called “food” by the marketeers and advertisers and that usually comes in a bag, box, can, jar or wrapper. You will be eating lots of fresh raw and steamed veggies, and if you are a meat eater, roasted chickens, grass-fed beef and fish. Smoothies made with a good whey protein and good green powder go a long way in giving you your vitamins, minerals and most of your 8 servings of fruits and veggies per day in one fell swoop.

I can recommend a book by Frank Lipman, M.D. called Revive. He pretty much tells you in a step by step fashion how to clean out your pantry, what foods to buy - plus he offers many suggestions on how to treat your flagging energy levels, get your healthy energy and vitality back and then to remain healthy and vital.

Here is a counter-intuitive thought for you to wrestle with: Make sure you eat enough on your new healthy plan. Many of us who can’t lose weight or perhaps don’t have the energy we want just aren’t eating enough, or maybe we are eating too much at the wrong time. A big and very common mistake is to eat no breakfast, almost nothing all day then gorge at dinnertime. Even if you eat healthy food, this unbalanced way of eating is an automatic weight gain/energy depleting program. If you eat only healthy food – like I am talking about here – and a good bit of it throughout the day, starting with a substantial breakfast, you will automatically lose weight and maintain your energy levels. It’s good to eat every couple of hours, too. Don’t forget. Prepare your snacks and take them to work. Yes, this healthy life-style takes a bit more time and you just have to cook more, but it’s worth it, believe me.

Regarding Exercise

“If God had meant me to touch my toes, he would have put them higher up on my body.”

You have to do some, but you don’t have to overdo it. In fact, over-doing is bad and will seriously hurt your adrenal glands. If you have been checked out by a doctor and have been given the all clear, I suggest a brisk walk (or a slog) 4 or 5 times a week for 30 minutes. Get yourself a pedometer (Jenny Craig sells one) and see how close you come to the desired 10,000 step mark in any 24 hour period. If you can, get a fitness trainer to show you how to do upper body weights correctly so you don’t pull a muscle or hurt yourself. You could even carry light weights (1 or 2 pounders) on your walk. Yoga, Pilates and either Tai chi or Chi Gong are all great in every way, but particularly for the even toning of your muscles, core strength and balance. By all means, don’t do anything you have to grit your teeth over or you won’t do it. For example, I hate gyms. And all of their blasted complicated machines, yes, including treadmills. However, I love the outdoors. So instead of going to the gym to do machines or whatever else people do in those hot, oppressive, smelly places, I hike in the mountains.

Regarding Electromagnetic Balance

There is an electromagnetic field surrounding all matter. Because of the intense EMF smog we all live in today, our physical field is being negatively influenced on a fairly regular basis. Some negative fields are caused by microwave ovens, microwave towers, light poles, radio waves, fluorescent lights, computers, water beds, electric blankets and perhaps the worst of all - cell phones. I recommend that everyone try their best to reduce their EMF stress. Other than moving to the mountains and turning off your computer and cell phone, there are more realistic ways to do this. One is to purchase and wear around your neck a Bioelectric Shield which reduces EMF stress and purportedly protects you from bad human juju, too. I wear one almost every day and can feel the difference. They are sold on Amazon for about $275. (Read the “Evils of Electro-smog” in my Archived Hot News Section)

Baked Limey Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

From: www.drbenkim.com

2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed but unpeeled
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
½ C. pecan halves
2 T fresh lime juice
S and P
Small handful of chopped fresh cilantro and a pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Turn on the oven to 375. Cover the sweet potatoes with water in a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, cool, then slice them into ½ inch rounds

Coat a large baking dish with 1T of the EVOO Arrange the sweet potato rounds, red onion slices, and red pepper slices in the dish and bake for 15 minutes or until all veggies are tender.

While veggies are baking, sauté pecans and cinnamon in 1T of EVOO for a couple of minutes.

Remove veggies from oven and drizzle fresh lime juice over all. Season with sea salt and toss with pecan mixture. Let the entire dish cool down for about 10 minutes before serving and garnish with fresh cilantro just before serving.

Regarding Weight

“Never mind, dear, we’re all made the same, though some more than others.” Noel coward

Just let it go. I mean stressing about losing that extra 10 pounds. If you literally can’t “let it go,” then don’t make yourself crazy obsessing over that bit of flab around your middle or the bigger butt than you had in high school or the fact that you are two sizes larger than you think you ought to be.

Don’t touch those TV advertised weight loss products either. They are all bad. Alli has just been sued for causing diarrhea plus a death or two and the Olestra in chips and fast food purported to absorb any fat and scurry it on out without adding on to the love handles, actually does that, but at the same time, causes an “oily fecal incontinence” which is not attractive at a cocktail party.

The current opinion is that weighing less is better, but it’s not very much fun because in order to do this you must regularly eat 30% less for a very long time - like your whole life. Another more manageable way to do this is to fast for 12 hours four days a week i.e. this means that four days a week, you don’t eat from, say 7 at night to 7 in the morning. This is doable. Others say that taking resveratrol mimics calorie restriction. This cutting back on calories is called CRON or calorie restriction with optimum nutrition. CRON was researched and developed by a geriatric specialist, Roy Walford, who had practiced what he preached for years, but he died at 83 of ALS – hardly a blue ribbon in longevity circles. But, hey, he looked really young and groovy.

Walford discovered that thin rats live longer than fat rats and I guess that this concept is true for humans as well. However, some studies show that this fact is debatable. If this CRON restriction is a bit much for you as it is for me, just follow the good healthy principles of eating, practice Hara Hachi Bu, eat a bigger breakfast and smaller dinner, exercise regularly and you will lose weight naturally over the course of 6 months to a year and you will get bright-eyed, energetic and slim and probably live to be a ripe and happy old age rather than a cranky and hungry old age hiding extra food under your mattress and stealing the extra rolls from Denny’s, “just in case.”

Regarding Supplements

“All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” Julian of Norwich, 1342-1416, Mystic Nun

Yes, I certainly believe in the efficacy of supplements. Appropriately given, they are most powerful. Simply put, we get sick either because of an excess of something that’s not good for our body or a deficiency of something that is crucial to our body. The two often go hand in hand. The way we usually treat is this; We find out what’s making you unhealthy, we get rid of the bad guys with the appropriate detox supplements and lifestyle changes and then we start building your body up with good supportive nutrition. Very often, a toxic person will be throwing hundreds of dollars worth of supplements at their toxic body in an effort to feel better, but they are not absorbing any of the wonderful nutrition. They just end up having very expensive urine. So, generally, we detox first and build up later. It’s the principle of not wanting to put clean water in a dirty glass.

Some supplements are therapeutic in that they are designed to assist an organ or a system that is unable to do its job properly, or to rid you of gut dysbiosis (parasites, bacteria, yeast etc.) that is compromising your health. It may take a season or two or even longer to rid you of toxins and subsequently rebuild your organs and systems and in some cases, some sort of support will always be necessary. Remember, it took you a long time to get sick and you really can’t expect to get well overnight. An old naturopathic maxim is this: It will take you one month for every year you haven’t felt well to get your health back.

Supplements are not all alike. In fact, many are contaminated with poor-quality and even toxic ingredients. They may contain lead or mercury and are filled with, well, “fillers” which means that a 500 mg capsule may, in fact, have only 100 mg of said ingredient and a lot of stearates and other fillage. Dietary supplements are not standardized in the U.S., so an herb from one company may be completely different in quality and potency than another company. United States companies are also not required to list the country of origin of the ingredients, so even though it says “made in the USA”, the ingredients may be from, let’s say, China. Or they may be from other (third world) countries which use toxic pesticides and the herbs are grown in contaminated soil.

But, I have learned over the years what companies are up front and truthful and which companies actually use pure herbs and in the right amount. I research the companies I deal with, I talk to the reps and the advisors and I have seen over the years how certain companies perform and how well they muscle test on a consistent basis and with most patients. I also take the newer supplements myself just to test them out. What I do for you is sort of like what President Obama’s special “taster” person does for him: He (or she) tastes every morsel that goes into the President’s mouth just to check for poison. (Want that job?)

I am confident – and you can be confident - that any supplement I suggest to you will actually be what it says it is on the label, that the company that makes it is reputable and not fly-by-night and most of all, this supplement will not harm you. And yes, these better supplements are more expensive. They just have to be. You pays for what you gets and that’s all there is to it.

Remember the Madoff scam? It looked mighty good with all the money pouring in but his clients (and our government) put their fingers in their ears and sing-songed “la la la la la” and finally when they were forced to remove their fingers from their ears, they were dead broke. I don’t want you to innocently depend on a certain supplement to do an expected job for your health and then find it to be a dud and your health bankrupt. If things seem too good to be true, they usually are.

Here are some examples to watch out for: CoQ 100 for $14.95 or R-lipoic acid for $9.99 or a thousand fish oil for $20.00, resveratrol for $13. Or cheap calcium carbonate which is just pulverized rock. Rock is rock no matter how small the particles and you simply won’t absorb it. Any herbs unless they are from a reputable company including Indian or Ayurvedic herbs. Cheap is not good in the land of supplements and if you allow these into your body , these bad guys can end up pulling an Uzi on you and making you more toxic that you were to begin with.. I blanch when I see a new patient lugging the enormous Costco vitamin bottles into my office. You wouldn’t put anything less than perfectly organic lettuce or apple in your body would you? Well, think of your supplement budget as part of your food budget and pony up.

Regarding pH and Acid/Alkaline Balance

There is so much controversy over this, it’s ridiculous. And what I tell you, someone else would vehemently disagree with. But, what I think is this: Different parts of our bodies require a different pH. For example the stomach requires a very acid pH, around 2.3 while the small intestine requires a more alkaline one. So, across the board, there is no ready answer about pH. I think if you just eat lots of fruits and veggies you will be fine. Here’s an easy way to do this: Your food plate should be about 2/3 veggies and fruits and 1/3 protein. Another good rule – if you are a meat eater - is to have your meat portion about as big as the palm of your hand. Please ask me for a chart on the acid/alkaline balance of foods if you are interested. (Read “Holiday Energy Levels and Some Talk about pH” in my Archived Hot News Section)

Your Recipe of the Week

Kitchari with Cauliflower and Peas

A wonderfully tasty and cleansing, cancer-fighting, protein-rich vegetarian dinners butter or ghee

½ t. minced fresh ginger (more?)
1 t. cumin seeds (more?)
2 C. cauliflower
½ C basmati rice, rinsed ( use white basmati)
1/3 C. split mung beans
¼ t. turmeric
½ C. frozen baby peas, defrosted

Heat the butter or ghee over medium heat and when hot, stir in the ginger and cumin seeds, frying for a few seconds. The add cauliflower and stir fry for about 4 minutes or until cauliflower is slightly browned. Stir in the rice and beans and sauté for 1 minute. Add 3 ½ C. water or vegetable broth and the turmeric and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes. When done, add peas and salt and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until the rice and beans are soft. Stir in some butter just before serving.

Regarding the Glycemic Index

This refers to how foods turn into sugar in your body. I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the glycemic index of most foods and eat on the low side. For example, a white potato has a glycemic index of 100, just like white sugar, so you would not want to eat a bowl full of mashed potatoes every day. As you might imagine, vegetables mostly have a low glycemic index.

There are bad guys called AGE, (Advanced Glycation End Products) which tend to build up as we age. What these AGE guys do is scorch your arteries causing what I call, a “crème brulee-ing” of the most interior and vulnerable layer of your arteries, the intima. Then what happens is a multitude of awful things. First of all, arterial wounds occur which your very best friend, cholesterol, races to fix. However, cholesterol patching, slapped down hastily and often, is done rather poorly and then, like a dry cuticle, will snag particulates as they travel through your blood stream. This build up of arterial junk can, in turn, cause atherosclerosis or a narrowing of the arteries. This will then allow particulated blood clots to build up which then might block an artery and cause a heart attack or a stroke. It’s a heinous cascade of events that we want to avoid if at all possible. So, start with reducing your sugar and all foods that turn into sugar. Sugar is worse for you than fat and sugar and fat together? A really lethal combination.

Regarding Food Combining

I have found this extremely valuable with my own health. Some of us just don’t have the digestive fire that others have and must be more careful about how we eat and how we combine our foods. To put it very simply, you can’t combine proteins and grains and you must eat fruit separately. Another way to put it: You could eat a meal of vegetables and grains or a meal of vegetables and proteins, but a meal of steak, baked potato and broccoli might not be as easy to digest. I just imagine the steak competing with the potato in my stomach for the appropriate enzymes and when one wins over the other for digestion, the sore loser (prob. the steak) will just sit there putrefying. The steak just sit in your stomach, undigested, and get you right where it hurts with that full and burning feeling that those of us with inadequate digestive fire experience if we don’t behave ourselves. Meat sandwiches are out as well (animal flesh and grains together are a no-no) but a sandwich of avocado, tomato, sprouts and other veggies would be fine. Eat any fruit at least ½ hour away from a meal of protein or carbs, as fruit fights with everything. I have a chart that you can have about this. Just ask me. I have seen food combining work miracles with digestion-impaired patients.

So, you want a treat, huh?

Since you can’t nosh on cookies, crackers, popcorn or the like, what do you do? Nuts, nuts and more nuts, although you must keep in mind that they are little balls of high caloric fat so if you want to lose weight, control yourself. Walnuts are good for the heart, almonds are alkalinizing and Brazil nuts are full of selenium. Eat at least a handful of a variety of nuts every day.

I also suggest that you have plenty of cleaned, prepared raw vegetables to grab out of the fridge and maybe some hummus for dipping. Those bags of baby carrots are great. Of course you have already thrown out all the cookies, chips, etc, so you will not have a choice. It is very important that you get rid of the forbidden foods, so you won’t be tempted. I don’t know anyone strong enough to make the correct choice between a few baby carrots dipped in hummus and an Oreo cookie or fourteen. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

I can also suggest a nice dessert: Some kind of good organic plain yogurt (Stoneyfield is good) sweetened with Nu-Naturals stevia and vanilla extract. You might add some berries, or dip apple or pear slices in the yogurt. This is not food combining, (milk and fruit eaten together will often fight) but not everyone needs to do that for digestive health.

Chia seed pudding is also very good. See my Archived Hot News on "Chia Seeds." You will find a recipe there. Following is a tasty recipe for Breakfast Bars, all nuts and seeds, almond flour and a bit of agave. Eat judiciously when that sweet tooth beckons.

Last Words

Plan, plan and plan some more. Sit down on Sunday, for example, and decide what you will be eating for the next few days. No question that you will have to work on this for awhile, until it becomes second nature to you, esp. if you don’t like to cook or like reading cookbooks. Go shopping and get your food either Sunday or Monday. Have plenty of healthy cookbooks to refer to as you make out your menu plan and maybe write down 15 of your very favorite meals and incorporate these recipes in your weekly strategy session. The worst thing for your new way of life is to be unprepared and hungry. Your car will, with a mind seemingly of its own, veer off into the Macdonald’s Drive Thru and you will be gobbling down a Big Mac and fries before you even know what hit you, the Secret Sauce oozing down your chin as you come out of your fugue state and back to the reality of the food sin you have just committed.

You must know what you will be eating at all times and have the food either prepared or ready to prepare so it’s not a huge deal when you come home from work or you will just snack your way to bedtime. It’s best also to take any food that you are going to eat to work, so as not to lose control of your eating situation when confronted with bags of pretzels, birthday cakes or god forbid, fast food, Satan’s gifts to humankind.

Crock pots are wonderful for busy people. You can throw beans or meat into the pot in the morning or the night before and you will have a fully prepared meal when you come home from work. A good crock pot recipe book is Judith Finlayson’s The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes. I have also found that Suzanne Somers’ cookbooks are good, too (heavy on the meat, however) and will also teach you about food combining.

Be kind to yourself. You will slip up occasionally and that’s O.K. Don’t use this as an excuse to stop entirely. Just forgive yourself and move on. (Read in the Archived Hot News Section)

Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

From www.elanaspantry.com

1 ¼ C. blanched almond flour
¼ t. Celtic sea salt
¼ t. baking soda
¼ C. grape seed oil
¼ C agave (or less)
1t. vanilla extract
½ C. shredded coconut
½ C. pumpkin seeds
½ C. sunflower seeds
¼ C. almond slivers
¼ C. raisins

In a small bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.
In a larger bowl, combine grape seed oil, agave and vanilla.
Stir dry ingredients into wet.
Mix in coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and raisins.
Spray an 8X8 baking dish and press the dough into it, evenly.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Check with toothpick.

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