One nut per fruit! My fave!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hearing problems? ... I'm sorry, what did you say?

My grandmother lost her house this week due to my great grandmother’s house/Medicare problem and my aunt throwing temper tantrum after temper tantrum for four years. It finally fell apart and now I have the pleasure of moving in my room with my two younger sisters, having my two younger brothers take my room and my grandmother take the extra room. If sever people weren’t enough, let’s just add an eighth. On top of moving things into storage because of the overload of stuff, my 13 year old sister volunteered the family to foster kittens that need to be adopted. So, for two days we had 9 cats at the house… I believe my mother said, “Oh my gosh, I’ve become a red neck.” I think I laughed for an entire three minutes as she sat down to work on her doctorate.

In addition to all that, my brother went to the doctor and we found out that he is losing his hearing. He’s 16.

A few weeks ago I asked the question if any of you were hearing a ringing in your ears and how that could be related to overpopulated fungus in your body. My brother has been hearing a constant ringing in his ear for an entire week.

According to Carl C Pfeiffer, Ph.D, M.D., from the book "Nutrition and Mental Illness", a copper deficiency can also be connected to a ringing in the ears. As I would love to say that that is the only connection this doctor made, that is untrue. There is a plethora of information about how you need vitamins in your body.

It’s debatable as to whether or not vitamin deficiencies can affect mental illness, but if they can help with people who are deathly ill then anything can happen right?

Vitamins like zinc, B12, niacin, folic acid, histamine, high levels of copper, and a high protein diet can help with many different problems that go on in the body. If you take vitamin supplements and eat foods that are high in vitamins and minerals it can help you resist many different things. According to Pfeiffer, if you are experiencing canker sores, difficult orgasm with sex, no headaches or allergies, heavy growth of body hair, excess fat in lower extremities, many dental fillings, ideas of grandeur, undue suspicion of people, the feeling that someone controls your mind, seeing or hearing things abnormally, the ability to stand pain well, and ringing in the ears then you could have any of the above mentioned vitamin deficiencies.

Honestly, if you’ve had one canker sore your entire life, then you are probably ok. I wouldn’t go crazy with the self diagnosis, but in my brother’s case, it could be serious.

My whole family went on the fungus free diet by Doug Kaufman in October and I asked my brother if he heard the ringing in his ears during that five month period, and he admitted that he hadn’t.

I’m hoping that his going back on the diet will help with his possible vitamin deficiencies and then his hearing will improve. I’m really pretty selfish because I don’t want to learn sign language right now, I just don’t have time.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I guess you know what I'll say...

Every week I talk about how horrible certain foods can be for your body, and some of them really are, but what about self-medication? I mean, everyone takes Ibuprofen/Advil or Acetaminophen/Tylenol or, of course, Aspirin. Guess what?


But, when you're in pain it helps to have something besides caffeine.

According to The Free Medical Dictionary ibuprofen, i.e. Advil, Motrin, and Rufen Therapeutics, is a non steroid anti-inflammatory medication used to reduce swelling, headaches and mild to moderate pain. Another plus is that it's an anti-fungal, which is a huge plus for my particular diet. However, the common knowledge about ibuprofen is that, if taken on an empty stomach, can make you very sick. This sickness includes:
Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nervousness, aspetic meningitis, arrhythmaes, amblyopia, blurred vision, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting constipation, dyspepsia, abdominal discomfort, GI bleeding, cystitis, hematuria, azotemia, renal failure, anemia, prolonged bleeding time, aplastic anemia, neutropenia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, hepatitis, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, bronchospasm, rash, pruritis, urticaria, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, edema, and allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.
Basically, there are so many risks to putting a synthetically made substance into your body. My forte is not medication so I can't really tell you what half of these reactions are, but the half I know are bad.

My mother can be described as a sickly person, but she honestly is able to combat every physical ailment that comes her way. She has had back problems since she was as young as 16 and in the last two years she has had 7 back surgeries. Because of so much resting she has needed to do she hasn't been able to exercise at all. After the recovery of her last surgery she was able to start working out, exercise, and be much more active. Akin to her personality, she pushed herself and fractured her foot.

All this has brought me to a new understanding of ibuprofen.

Picture a bone that is weak, well picture any bone you want to picture, how does that bone grow? How does bone grow at all? A bone is like a muscle, so how does muscle grow?

To build muscle a person must create resistance against the muscle and break the muscle down then rest to rebuild the muscle. The rest is just as important as the actual weight workout because it is the rest and relaxation that helps the regeneration of the muscle. With that information, you have two bones that rub against each other. The more the body moves and the more resistance it has, the more the bone will break down.

Basically, Joe (my imaginary guy friend) lifts weights to be the hottest guy at the beach once summer hits. He goes to the gym to lift weights 3 times a week, each day choosing a different muscle group. What he doesn't know is that not only is he building muscle, but he is also building bone. So, he lifts those 50 pound weights, breaks down his muscle and his bone and rests for 3 to 5 days. In that rest time the muscle and the bone are able to regenerate. Every time a muscle or part of a bone regenerates it creates a little more. Over time, his thin frail (frankly their girl-like) bones will get so much stronger and he will gain the weight he wants.

What does that have to do with ibuprofen? Well, any anti-inflammatory medication takes away the swelling from the muscles and joints in the body to get rid of pain. When the swelling is gone then there is no breakdown of the bones. I hope you see where the chain effect is, if there is no breakdown of the bones then all the bones can do is get weaker and weaker. No weight gain for Joe and the possibility that if he gets drunk this summer and falls he could break something. (Especially if he doesn't take his calcium/magnesium.)

Life lesson, try to stay away from the ibuprofen, especially if you are recovering from surgery or a break or fracture of some sort. It will only cause more problems for you in the long run. But, if you have a headache and need to stay awake in class, by all means, take a few ibuprofen. (I do, I know it's bad but you've gotta do what you've gotta do)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Skinnier is Healthier... NOT

As I was looking for something interesting to write about I came to the realization that not everyone’s fat. I have struggled with weight and mostly insecurity about my curvy body my whole life but many of my friends have been very skinny and had no problem keeping their stick like figure.

When I was younger I held a bit of jealousy towards their ability to eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. Over time I’ve realized that I have hips, and they don’t, and while I have to wear a pants size that is two sizes bigger it doesn’t mean I’m fatter just different. Both body types are beautiful in their own way and it’s difficult for both types to find the perfect pair of pants. Needless to say, there are people in their early twenties who have no problem with weight and are almost too skinny.

I received a comment last week from a blogger and it was on defining the word health. What is healthy may not be for the other. I don’t know how I took that position in my last blog, but I do not believe that. Every person can be healthy eating foods that are healthy and have a good nutritional value. My point is that society doesn’t know the difference. Health is health and it absolutely is not relative, just because a person is skinny does not mean they are healthy. Allow me to prove my point.

Besides the well known eating disorders i.e. anorexia and bulimia which can take away all the nutrition from a person’s body as well as be a mental disorder, there are other diseases that can follow with being, what doctors like to call, underweight or malnutrition. According to Ali Hale, “Underweight or Slightly Overweight: Which is Worse?,” there is a list of reasons why people should worry if their weight is under normal. There’s low muscle mass, hair loss, osteoporosis, anemia, weakened immune system, and for women: menstrual irregularities and pregnancy complications including the inability to get pregnant. That’s a lot of reasons to worry about your weight.

If those aren’t enough of reasons for you then I invite you to answer a few yes or no questions out of Doug Kaufmann’s book “Weight Loss.” This book is about fungus in the body and how it affects the body. Most people gain weight with fungus, but there is a rare few that lose weight from the lack of nutrition. Neither is good.
1. Do you suffer from fatigue?

2. Do you often feel irritable?

3. Do you get more than the occasional headache?

4. Do you have itching, tingling or burning skin?

5. Do you have hives, psoriasis, dandruff, or chronic skin rashes; or do you have acne?

6. Does your vision blur for no apparent reason?

7. Are you bothered by recurring problems with your digestive tract such as bloating, belching, gas, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, indigestion, or reflux?

8. Have you had sharp cravings for corn, peanuts, or sugar?

9. Do you suffer allergic reactions to pollens, molds, animal dust mites, perfumes, chemical, smoke, or fabric store odors?

10. Are you allergic to any foods?

If you honestly answered these questions and said “Yes” to at least one it would mean you have some kind of fungus inside your system that can be gotten rid of with diet. Of course the “more “yes” answers tend to indicate a more serious degree of fungal infection and/or exposure to mycotoxins.” So if you only said “yes” to a few then I wouldn’t freak out.

Taking Hale and Kauffman and many other writers, nutritionists and doctors, as well as the BMI chart at the top, it helps to know where you are and what you need to do to improve. Eat healthily (no junk food) and exercise. Basically follow some of the things I’ve been writing and do your own research.

Honestly, being a newly healthy individual and watching my family go through their ups and downs with weight and health, I’ve realized one important thing. Thank goodness I’m learning how to eat well now so I don’t have to go through being obese and having tons of health problems to change my lifestyle. It’s so much easier for me now then it was for my grandparents, where only some of whom learned how to eat right before diseases took their bodies over.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soy-Joy for the Girl and Boy (yeah, I rhymed)

Thank that "being" up there (whoever that might be for you) that we had spring break this week and that I did absolutely nothing except work and watch mind numbing television, for now I am going to blow your mind, again, with some crazy facts and questions that will haunt you.

Neil Barnard, MD, claims that, "women averaging [eating] one cup of soymilk or about one-half cup of tofu daily have about a 30 percent less risk of developing breast cancer." Wow, that's some great stuff, right? He also claims that "many soy products are high in protein" and that manufactures sell this up by putting so much soy in a product that it can give the customer too much protein.

Too much protein? Well, again, according to Barnard,
Overly high protein intake may boost the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the bloodstream, a phenomenon known to occur with cow's milk.

So, basically, he is saying that eating too much protein (mostly from soy and cow's milk) can heighten the possibility of insulin growth in the body. If you've been reading any of by blogs, then you probably know that I will disagree with this particular argument.

This week I want to take a little trip through society as a whole, because much of what we eat is based on what we learn as a child in our society, so I think it's important. I realize that many people, in the past, have believed that soy (like cow's milk) is healthy and a good source of protein. This especially is targeted toward vegans. Although Americans claim to have an open mind toward many subjects and cultures, we are not without our faults and choose fast food restaurants to nourish ourselves, our young and our old. The fear I have, as I'm sure many nutritionists and smart doctors have, is that it will only get worse in the future. People will become more obese and the planet will become more polluted. (I'm not sure how pollution just worked its way in there, but I'm going to roll with it.)

With this fear in mind there should be someone telling America what really is healthy for you so that maybe things could be different in the future. This brings me back to the facts about soy. It was mentioned earlier, as a popular belief confirmed by Barnard, M.D., that soy is effective in preventing breast cancer in women. But, according to Nexus Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3 (April-May 2000):
Thousands of women are now consuming soy in the belief that it protects them against breast cancer. Yet, in 1996, researchers found that women consuming soy protein isolate had an increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, a condition that presages malignancies. A year later, dietary genistein was found to stimulate breast cells to enter the cell cycle - a discovery that led the study authors to conclude that women should not consume soy products to prevent breast cancer.

Since 1996, research has not been reported that breast cancer cannot be prevented by eating soy protein isolate, which is basically a version of soy that is processed and bleached and processed again. In the grand scheme of things it is important to see things in perspective, therefore, let's look at the real protein needs. According to Healing Daily, soy is a source of protein but also contains “phytic acid [which] blocks the body's uptake of essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and especially zinc.” Overall, soy has more protein than a food without protein but also has more phytic acid than any other food with protein; therefore it is less than sufficient as a true source of nutrients.

My main topic was to haunt you with the scary facts about soy and I wonder whether America will actually research the true value of foods or just keep eating “diet” foods that aren’t really healthy. If I were to be an optimist for a moment, I would be able to imagine a world of fit individuals who loved to learn about health and nutrients and worked out to get to a picture of perfect health… but, as it were, I am no optimist. Is it possible for people to become healthier as they learn about health… yes, will the majority of people do it? I think that picture is impossible as most people don’t like to put work into what they eat… hence “fast food.”

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Should I Believe?

Fancy wording can really mess up human understanding and change human behavior for the... well, not for the better. Let's talk about antioxidants as an example. Most people believe that antioxidants are a healthy thing for the body and yet, contrary to popular knowledge, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has claimed that anti-oxidants do nothing for the body. They stated:
On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of the food(s)/food constituent(s) evaluated in this opinion and (1) a beneficial physiological effect related to antioxidant activity, antioxidant content, or antioxidant properties, and (2) the protection of body cells and molecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage.

Meaning that there is no evidence to support that antioxidants help psychologically or within cells and molecules. So based on this little amount of knowledge would a normal person try to research more on the subject to find if this information is true? No. Would that same person, however, stop worrying about the level of antioxidants in foods because a report, that was worried about the health of Europe, said it doesn't help? Probably, yes.

On the other hand, Jennifer Warner wrote an article entitled "Antioxidant Riches Found in Unexpected Foods" which talks about the benefits of the small red bean. The small red bean happens to be the highest total antioxidant capacity per serving at 13727 per half cup. Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD, Warner writes:
Antioxidants are believed to help prevent and repair oxidative stress, a process that damages cells within the body and has been linked to the development of cancer, heart disease, [and] Alzheimer’s disease...

Stating that antioxidants do exactly opposite of what the EFSA says, i.e. help with stress lines and prevent against cancer. Honestly, it's hard for a person or a reader to know who's right.

So, the over analyst I am forced me to borrow a book called "The O2 Diet," written by Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. Glassman, a nutritionist, talks about how oxygen works in the body and how antioxidants can help.

Imagine this... You are 16 and you play football. It's your senior year and you had 2 finals this week plus it's the last game of the season on Friday night. So naturally you don't study all week long, then on Thursday night you pull an all-nighter, take your exam in 1st period, and the other one in 4th period. You work out for an hour after school just to make sure you’re in excellent shape for the game. Play throughout the game, because you’re the starting quarterback, then go and party with your buddies after you win until 4 in the morning. You go to sleep and wake up at 9AM on Saturday ready to go.

Wow, I'm exhausted just thinking about how sick I would be if I did that now, and I'm only 23.

So, 3 years later, it's your birthday, and you are 21 years old. You're a junior and it's coming up on finals. You've learned your lesson on procrastination, so the Trig final tomorrow evening is no big deal. Your plan? Party like its 1999, go to sleep at 6 in the morning, wake up 2 hours before the test and ace that bad boy. Problem? You're not 18 anymore and physically you're body cannon recuperate as quickly as it could 3 years ago.

Therefore the A you studied for turned out to be a D, which dropped your grade two letters. Ouch.

What happens is, as a body ages, cells start to degenerate and as these cells die they release single oxygen molecules into your body. These single oxygen molecules bounce around the body with no home, therefore destroying things as they travel. Kind of like bumper cars. This can create premature aging, heart disease, cancer, and a poor immune system as well as many other serious diseases and conditions.

To help these homeless oxygen one must ingest antioxidant type foods that absorb the single oxygen molecules, therefore preventing damage to the body.

I guess, the moral of the story, never believe everything you read unless it's backed up by good information that makes sense to you. OH... and eat your small red beans and wild blueberries, if anything they taste so good and they make you have less wrinkles on your face. Always a plus.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My yummy sugar coma

I'm not perfect, not even close. Every day (o.k., maybe not every day, but sometimes) I make choices to eat carbs that I shouldn't or have sugar instead of Stevia or eat corn in a taco salad or tortilla chips with dip. These things are not good for me at all, and I know this, and yet I eat it anyway. I really don't know why except maybe that it's a habit that I am working to break. (I even eat chocolate, that's my weakness.)

Needless to say, because I said it already, I'm not perfect and although I know all of this health information, and am learning new things every day, I still don't apply it to my life all the time. So, like I mentioned in previous posts, I am not trying to tell you (reader) how to run your life, but rather just let you know exactly what you are putting in your body. After all, your body is your sanctuary, you have to live with it all the time, so you might as well treat is with respect so you don't wake up in the morning with a headache because you drank/ate too much the night before and now your body is in a "food coma." Or, better labeled, a sugar coma.

Allow me to explain my sugar coma idea. I'm going to take you down memory lane for a moment, so come with me. Imagine that you are at Thanksgiving dinner in Texas. That might be hard for some of you since you might not have been to Texas, but no worries, I will describe the wonderful feast you are about to consume. There is Turkey (of course) maybe even venison, which is very tasty deer meat, corn bread, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, and of course pumpkin pie with ice cream and whipped cream. Yum Yum

You eat this wonderful meal, consuming a scoop or piece of everything, because it smells sooo good, then you sleep for three hours and wake up right at the beginning of the Dallas Coyboys playing... well, it really doesn't matter because it's the Dallas Coyboys.

Why do you sleep for three hours after eating that food? Hmmm, people blame it on the turkey, but if you eat three pieces of turkey for a snack from the fridge it certainly doesn't have the same effect on you. So what is it?

I know the answer; I was just asking a question for dramatic effect.

Looking back at the ingredients of the dinner, excluding the meat, green beans and desert items, you are eating carbohydrates and starches. This is very important in that I did not mention corn as a vegetable, and that's because it isn't. Corn is a grain. This is the point where I would direct you to the video I posted on this blog, but I think the video is protected so I'm giving you the link. It's a video from the Discovery Channel on the making of corn. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom and move over the black screen it is a 3 minute video that's incredibly informative. Basically, the video talks about the fact that corn, as we know it today, is all carbohydrates and is a man made plant originated from a grass in Central Mexico. It is grown as any other grain and it can make bread, like any other grain. The yellow pieces of a corn are like the leaves of a barley stalk or a wheat stalk. Just because you take the leaves off of a barley stalk, cook it and call it a vegetable doesn't mean it is a vegetable. That's the same idea with corn.

In 2004 Kim Severson writes in that:

The process of pulling sugar from cornstarch wasn't perfected until the early 1970s, when Japanese researchers developed a reliable way to turn cornstarch into syrup sweet enough to compete with liquid sugar. After some tinkering, they landed on a formula that was 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose -- sweet enough and cheap enough to make most soda companies jump from liquid sugar to high fructose corn syrup by the 1980s.

This basically says that high fructose is directly from corn itself, leaving the idea that the sugar from corn (fructose) has the same affect on the body no matter which way it is consumed. The overall choices to eat a high starch and high carbohydrate diet, including corn, are not good for weight loss or even weight stabilization. The nap and the 7 pounds you gained from that Thanksgiving dinner have nothing to do with the turkey, rather with all of the starch and carbohydrates.

Next week I am excited to talk about this crazy thing called “ceriel rust” that grows on wheat stalks and what researchers are trying to do to prevent the halt of revenue for farmers in the United States.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why does the Government Lie?

My grandmother warned me about what I'm about to say, as it could get me into trouble, but I'm not afraid of the government. I did a science fair project in third grade regarding the dangers of milk consumption and, well, let's just say I didn't win.

Most Americans assume, from governmental advertisements, that milk can provide so many healthy things for the body. It can be healthy for your bones and a great contribution to a long and healthy lifestyle, containing both protein and calcium. For example, Elaine Magee on WebMD talks about the food pyramid and the six leading reasons why milk is good for the body. Magee states, "getting calcium from food, rather than supplements, seems to do your bones good" and, "some dairy items have impressive levels of two things many of us need more of: calcium and protein." Claiming that milk is essential for bone growth as well as a good source of calcium and protein, Magee defends the claims based on the nutrition information listed on the sides of the containers. Unfortunately, the nutritional information does not explain how the body absorbs the nutrience supplied and also does not look at all the research done about each product.

As I have grown up learning the food pyramid idea I understand that they are easy to believe, however this is not the real affect milk has on the body. To explain some of what I mean I will quote from a blogger on Yahoo! who was answering the question "Is cow milk really unhealthy?". They said:
Cows milk has three times the calcium as does human breast milk. No matter, neither are very usable because in order to be absorbed and used their MUST be an equal quantity of MAGNESIUM (as exists in the greens that cows eat to get all the calcium they need for their big bones). Milk has only enough magnesium to absorb around 11% (33mg per cup) of calcium.
Essentially this blogger is saying that, along with about 17 other reasons why milk is bad for the body, the idea that milk is a great source of calcium is a falsity. So, all the calcium that Americans think they are consuming really isn't being consumed? No, it's not being consumed. Milk is not a good source of calcium because there is not an equal amount of magnesium to help the body absorb the vitamins.

I'm sorry to deliver such bad news as I realize that many people enjoy their milk. I grew up sans cow's milk and soy milk as my body is intolerant of both, but I pull myself out of my tiny digression to point out more evidence that might upset milk drinkers.

There have been multiple studies done by many top research universities that show a direct correlation between the consumption of milk and osteoporosis, and the correlation is a positive milk intake means a greater likelihood of getting osteoporosis. This editorial, written by Bruce Friedrich, talks about how the calcium is really "absorbed" into the body.

Friedrich proves that not only is milk not good, but Yale and Harvard research facilities have not advocated the consumption of milk at all either, rather, to get calcium from vegetable proteins instead of animal proteins is best. But, the question remains, how are Americans supposed to strengthen their bones. Although calcium is important for a healthy lifestyle, it is not important to prevent bone depletion, leading up to and causing osteoporosis.

1-Vitamin D is important, and if you're like me and don't want to go out in the sun for fear of sun burn/sun poisoning/skin disease/skin cancer, then a good source is simply a daily vitamin that has vitamin D in it.
2-Stop eating so much meat. Although I still eat some meat, I am originally from Texas (the beef people), I limit my meat consumption and replace it with vegetable protein and nut protein. Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, asparagus, almonds and cashews are all great sources of protein, fill you up and keep you moving throughout the day.
3-This point is kind of all encompassing... Don't drink alcohol. Don't smoke anything. Exercise regularly. Strong muscles equals strong bones, so don't do anything to lose muscle if you can help it.

This is one of the many reasons why we shouldn't drink milk, it just can't help a body grow.

Also, side note, thank you to the posts and I hope I didn't disappoint you too much although I'm sure you all were expecting something like this.