Should You Eat the Impossible Burger?

Eating more plants is one of the best things you can do for your health. Fruits and vegetables are the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet and were created to be the perfect foods for us (at least that’s my perspective). From nutritional research I’ve learned that plant foods are key players when it comes to supplying the nutrients necessary for the body to recover, prevent and reverse disease. Clinical studies show a positive impact in all body systems from gum health to immune regulation to heart disease and more when plant foods are increased.

There’s been a lot of interest and marketing hype about the plant burgers on the market now especially with the introduction of the Impossible burger. Although the Beyond burger has improved it’s original formulation and is “meatier’ and has been available for a couple years now, the Impossible burger is new and has been reviewed as tasting so close to beef, that it’s hard to tell the difference, it even bleeds like beef. (For those who are grossed out by meat, these burgers would not be appealing.)

So should the Beyond burger and Impossible burger be thought of as healthy and a beneficial plant based option for those seeking to increase their plant consumption? Many people think that because they are plant-based, they must be good for you. However, to determine that, the ingredients should be considered even when the nutritional label looks good, as I recommend with any food product.  Both burgers have highly processed ingredients. There is not one whole plant food in either one. Take a look at the labels…

Beyond Burger ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, contains 2% or less of the following: cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, natural flavor, maltodextrin, yeast extract, salt, sunflower oil, vegetable glycerin, dried yeast, gum Arabic, citrus extract (to protect quality), ascorbic acid (to maintain color), beet juice extract (for color), acetic acid, succinic acid, modified food starch, annatto (for color).

Impossible Burger ingredients: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12

Both burgers are formulated to be similar in protein content, fat and taste to beef. Although neither burger claims to be whole food based, the “plant-derived” and “plant-based” marketing message makes them seem healthy and appealing to those consumers who are interested in increasing their plant consumption or for those concerned about reducing the environmental effects of the meat industry.  They may certainly be better for animals and the environment, but that doesn’t mean they are healthy for us to eat?  They should be considered  a processed food, and should make up only a very small portion of the diet, if any. To maintain or improve health, whole plant foods should make up the majority of food that’s consumed.

Is one burger healthier than the other?  I believe the Beyond burger is the better choice, mainly because it does not contain GMO leghemoglobin-yeast and soy, which are present in the Impossible burger. There are studies that show the detrimental affects of consuming different GMO foods (See Institute of Responsible Technology and Genetic Roulette).  For that reason alone, I will not eat the Impossible burger. There have not been any long term human studies evaluating the consumption of that particular kind of GMO food. It is something our bodies have never been exposed to before. So no one really knows what will result. The Center For Food Safety, which is a watchdog group that opposes genetically engineered food, has asked the FDA to recall the Impossible burger because of safety concerns about the genetically engineered soy and heme.

The fact that these burgers are created in a laboratory and they are not something I can replicate in my kitchen also influences my choice not to consume them. The whole foods created for us by the Creator provide better health results. Those foods are whole plant based foods including: fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. If animal products are included, keeping the quantity low and quality high (studies show that it should be 2-3 oz. 2 X week or less and grass fed, organic and wild caught) has shown positive results in maintaining health.

But please keep in mind, that with increases in animal based foods, health risks also increase. The imitation burgers can possibly meet a need for those transitioning to a more pant focused diet. But whole foods need to be the focus with the occasional processed or animal based food.

For a plant-based burger recipe that does not mimic beef, check out my recipe HERE

Sugar Fasting

I just finished 40 days of fasting sugar and for me that meant cutting out all forms of processed and “healthy” sugar options and sticking with only fresh, frozen and dried fruit. It wasn’t like I had candy hiding around the house, but I would add honey or maple syrup to my coffee, tea and oats, snack on granola, chips or a square of dark chocolate and then more dark chocolate after dinner. (Maybe there was chocolate hiding, but I hadn’t labeled it “candy” because dark chocolate is good for you, right?) But what made me decide to do this was to become more aware of habitual eating I may not have paid much attention to, and to intentionally let go of a substance that doesn’t offer much in return.

It started when I saw this opportunity to join an online group for the 40 day fast with daily encouragement and accountability. Guess what? My husband decided to join me, and he’s used to having a soda and several sweetened teas at work and then an afternoon trip to the candy bowl and joins me for a square of chocolate after dinner. With a little creativity on my part, we both made it through without too much fuss. It is interesting what we learned and how we’re feeling now.

To begin, we committed to drinking more water whenever we had an urge for something sweet, and then to having a piece of fresh fruit. Apples, oranges, kiwi. pineapple and berries filled our fruit drawer. My husband, Barry, would take fruit to work and make his own unsweetened tea. I drastically reduced my coffee, because I don’t like bitter coffee and drank more herbal and green teas which tend not to need sweetener. The first couple days I used a few stevia drops in coffee, but I really preferred plain tea to the coffee with stevia . For my typical winter breakfast of oats, instead of adding the honey or maple syrup, I just loaded it with a chopped orange and some raspberries, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious!

I did need to find a way to only use fruit in the granola I make, which is what Barry takes for breakfast. So instead of melting coconut oil and mixing it with maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla to pour over the oat, nut and seed mixture, I blended a half banana, two apples, a couple dates and cinnamon with a little water and poured that mixture over the oat, nut, seed mix and then baked. It was a little less sweet than my original. but nicely flavored.

I also kept a small jar of dates soaking in water in the fridge. I would use the water to sweeten some things (coffee, if I really wanted it) and the soft dates in a recipe I was making if it needed a sweetener. But for the most part, I cooked simply, enjoyed a little more fruit than I usually eat and did not bake, except for a date sweetened chocolate birthday cake for Barry, (It was good!).

When I wanted a crunchy snack, I had mixed raw nuts and seeds on hand, as I always do, and I made some kale chips a couple times. But I really missed the after dinner chocolate square. So as a fruit based replacement, I pitted 6 dates and put a small scoop of almond butter in the center of each and kept those in the freezer. Oh my! They have taken the place of the chocolate, at least for now.

I think doing the fast helped both of us think and be more mindful of what we were eating and at the same time, reflect on why we were inclined toward sugar. Reasons like boredom, avoidance, sheer habit and feeling down surfaced. Also sharing a little more sweetness and more hugs with each other helped too! We both benefited by feeling less achy and slept better and Barry lost a couple pounds and saw improved focus at work.

We haven’t returned to our pre-fast behavior and plan to keep a better balance on the use of sweeteners. Whole fruits really can be used in place of sugar and sweeteners in most recipes and I’ll be putting some sugar free recipes together if you need some inspiration. But if this is something you’re interested in doing, I encourage you to go for it.

It’s More than Food

When we talk about getting healthy, the first thing that comes into the conversation focuses around eating the ‘right’ foods, or the excuse that healthy foods don’t taste good. Well, I have my opinion on both of those issues, but Health has more to do than with food. (I like talking and eating food, but there’s more) It can seem complicated, thinking about everything that affects us, but if you can think about it in categories, I think that simplifies things a bit.

Take a look at the categories that make up YOU. For example, there are relational, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, environmental, and intellectual  components of your life. To be ‘healthy’ I believe you need to have balance in each component and should be working at improving or nourishing each area. But there is only one person that needs to decide what should be done, that’s you.

It’s a good exercise to divide a piece of paper into squares and right these categories at the top of each square. Then rank your satisfaction of that area of your life with a number from 1-10 in the upper corner of each box. Write down a few things you do already to address each category.  Once you’ve thought about that, notice the box with the lowest ranking number(s). Ask yourself, ‘What’s going on? Whats missing? What is one thing you can add or subtract that would make a small difference and improve how you feel in that category?”

I’ll share ways I’ve nourished each area of my life. For my relational category, I try to connect with a far away friend twice a month and meet up with local friends to catch up on life. I also try to have meaningful conversations with my husband and friends. My emotional component is nourished by talking out concerns or fears with a trusted friend or my husband and knowing absolutely that God is in control and has my back, so I can trust that the things happening that affect my emotional state may be hard, but they will turn out to be good.  Physically, I try to get in veggies of some kind at each meal and do some intentional movement and activity everyday it may be following an online exercise class, walking around the lake, or quick burst exercises. In the Spiritual category, I’ve been able to incorporate an online morning devotional that gives me a way to delve into the Bible while I have golden milk, tea or coffee in the morning before getting into the action of my day (I use the First 5 app). My financial component is my weakest cog, I want to make a difference and help others with the knowledge I have, but finding the best ways of doing that and making money has been a challenge. So I’m expanding into some new territory that aligns with my passion for helping others overcome the stress around food and gain more health.  I think the issue in this category is feeling like you’re living out your purpose. Environmentally I’ve changed things over several years. I made a switch to eliminate toxins in my cleaning solutions, soaps, shampoos, laundry supplies and skin care. I do have an EMF protector on my cell phone, but I think there is a need to take a break and unplug from social media and the constant demands that we feel from always being ‘connected’; If we are not careful, we will be living in response to everybody else’s desires put upon us rather than living proactively. And lastly, in the intellectual category, I try to make it a priority to read for enjoyment and to learn more.

I encourage you to take a little time to evaluate your Health in all areas of your life and see if there is room to grow or balance some things out. Reply if this has been helpful. Thanks again for being in my community of friends

June is Dairy Month?

In Wisconsin, I thought every month was dairy month.  Milk and cheese are major players in Wisconsin cuisine, it is the biggest dietary issue I see for people living here who want to regain their health and reduce the inflammation and acidity they are dealing with.  Many people are not willing to take dairy products out of their diets to even check the possibility of them being the cause of discomfort and dis-ease. I believe this is because, if they felt better, than they would know dairy is causing their problems. And just the thought of not being able to have a slice of cheese, is enough for some people to give up on getting better naturally and instead rely heavily on prescription and OTC drugs.  That is such a sad scenario because more and more research is surfacing showing that Food is one of the main factors in staying healthy and reversing poor health. Lifestyle choices have shown to be even more influential than your genes.  Epigenetics is the focus of study that is actually showing how food can regulate whether certain genes are turned on or off, causing certain genetic dispositions to surface. In other words, if you have a gene for a certain illness or disease, but you are not showing any signs of that disease yet, your diet, environment, and emotions play a significant part in whether or not you will show signs of that genetic disease in the future.  Also, if you already have symptoms of disease, diet changes have actually been shown to reverse disease, especially in the case of certain cancers, diabetes 2, gastrointestinal diseases, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. Food can be your medicine, either by omitting certain food from your diet or including specific foods. It is usually a combination of both to achieve the greatest impact.

I have taken dairy out of my diet since  about 2010, and I can say I do see a difference…definitely less mucus in my respiratory tract. I used to wake up every morning and have to hack up phlegm that collected in my throat while sleeping (I know, too much information). I do not have a tendency for colds or sinus issues since getting dairy out of my diet. And I do not have the bloated feeling after eating. If I decide I want some cheese, a nut cheese or even goat cheese seems to digest much easier and not have the mucus forming result for me. But the craving for cheese isn’t there anymore. I believe your body craves poor quality food when it doesn’t know better. Once you begin supplying better food options with higher quality nutrients, over a relatively short period of time, your body stops the junk cravings and starts craving the foods it knows will nourish and fill in where nutrients are lacking. I was amazed when my body started craving greens and green smoothies…Huh? We are all ingrained with the idea that cravings are things that are “bad” for us. But I really think we crave nutrients and our body counts nutrients, not calories.

My dairy symptoms were pretty mild things to be dealing with, but just so you know how significant dairy can be in the system, I wanted to share some research that used exclusively the dairy protein, casein.  Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD researcher and author of the China Study, used two diets of differing casein percentages, 5% and 20% to show the influences on cancer cell growth. In the case of the mice eating 5% casein and having been injected with cancer causing agent, none of the mice grew cancer cells, all had a normal life span and good health. The other group of mice, eating 20% casein, being injected with cancer agent, like the first group, all developed cancer tumors and died early. Then repeating the study, the diets were switched mid stream to show how changing the diet can influence cancer growth and it was indicative, that the higher the casein protein amount, there was greater influence on cancer growth, and if decreased, lesser cancer growth and effects.  Tests were repeated and results were consistent. This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about how food affects disease manifested in the body. Your body can keep disease/genes under control, or it can lose control and the disease takes over until the body is given what it needs to overcome. I would risk saying that for most people, food is a main issue that allows the disease to take over and the body to be deficient…but to me that also means there is always hope for a reversal, if food is considered part of your health care!

So, Because June is “Dairy Month”, maybe you would like to start eliminating dairy by the end of the month, so you can see if this omission will allow you to feel better by mid July.. Removing dairy, which includes, milk, yogurt, cheeses, ice cream, cream, whey, casein, derivatives found in processed foods, etc. can seem like a very difficult undertaking. But keep in mind that there are a lot of alternatives that can take the place of, or fill in, where you would have a tendency to have dairy.  Almond and coconut milks are great for basic milk substitutes and can be used in cooking. You can cultured them to make yogurt and kefir and use them as a base for ice creams.  Making your own with a blender is ideal, but some of the commercial brands are decent.

To make your own almond or coconut milk, you will need a blender and a nut milk bag or sieve. For almond milk: soak 1 cup of raw almonds in a bowl of water for 8 hours. Rinse, strain and place in a blender. Cover with three cups of pure water, blend and strain. If you want to keep the milk from separating, place strained milk in blender and add a teaspoon of powdered lecithin and blend for a minute. Pour into a jar and keep refrigerated up to 5 days.  Save the nut pulp for baking or raw crackers or breads. For milk, you can also use almond butter and water blended, straining is optional.  You can use most nuts and seeds to make milk, just soak, rinse and adjust water amount to 3X the nut amount. adjust the amount lower for a thicker/creamier milk.  HERE is a link for more plant milk variations and ideas. And  Ice Cream without dairy, (pictured)

For coconut milk: you can use a young coconut and blend the flesh and the water to make a milk. If young coconuts are not available, you can use dried shredded coconut and water, blended and strained. Coconut butter and water blended will also make a nice milk. The ratio of dried coconut to water is about 2 parts water to one part dried coconut, be sure to use the unsweetened coconut shreds. You can sweeten the home-made milks by blending with one or two dates or adding a bit of stevia or honey.

Healthy Traveling Tips

Love to travel, but not sure how to eat in airports, on the plane or while running from one gate to the next? Airports are notorious for unhealthy food choices, but in the last couple of years there have been some attempts to bring in some healthy options. To stay on top of your health, you have to have time to look for them or pack your own, so your not consuming coffee, sugar, and fat while compromising your health. You want to arrive feeling your best, so you can enjoy time exploring and enjoying your designation. I’ll share a couple tips for traveling healthy from my own experience.
Fist, staying hydrated is so important, so drink 20 oz. of clean water before leaving home, and take an empty water bottle with you. A bottle with a filter is ideal, because you can fill it with tap water once you get through security and save $5 you’d sped on a bottle. If you plan to dine in one of the many airport restaurants, ask for water wth lemon. Water helps everything in the body work better, it even relieves pain. Carrying chia seeds to add to the water can provide a boost of protein, omega 3 fat, fiber and they help the body to absorb the water better and fill you up between meals.
Packing or purchasing fresh fruit and veggies gives you the highest amount of nutrients per calorie. Fruits are the highest food source of vitamins and vegetables are the highest food source of minerals and fiber. Fruits that travel well include, apples, citrus, bananas, and cutting up pineapple ,grapes and kiwi into a disposable cup makes a great meal on the go. Vegetable sticks with hummus or nut pates or spreads are stable unrefrigerated for several hours and travel well. Many airport restaurants offer fresh fruit and salads, and it is possible to find juice and smoothie bars.
If you plan ahead a bit, you can make some great travel snacks. If you have a dehydrator, flax crackers and dried fruit are quick and easy to put on trays and then you take them out when dry. Making power balls are an easy stir together snack that packs a good protein boost. Place a half cup of nut or seed butter into a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of honey or coconut nectar and a pinch of salt. If you like add a scoop of protein powder and some superfood powder, I like maca. Then add seeds, dried berries, chopped figs, apricots or raisins. You can add soaked chopped nuts or crunchy brown rice cereal if that appeals to you. You will stir to coat everything and decide if it will stick together in a ball. If not add a little more nut butter or honey, if it’s too loose add more powder or seeds. Roll into balls and roll in shredded coconut and refrigerate. Place in a Baggie to travel. If there is no time to make your own, shop for organic fresh and dried fruit, trail mixes, protein or nut bars and individual packets of protein and/or greens powder.

I’m traveling to Rome as I write this and I have  a full day of flights and layovers, and I want to share with you what I’ve packed for snacks and found in airport venues. On the way to the airport, I drank a mixture of barley grass juice, protein powder, chia seeds and water. In my carry on, I brought dried cherries and dragon fruit, flax crackers, kale chips and dark chocolate covered almonds. In Detroit my husband and I dined at a Mediterranean restaurant and I had lemon water, chick pea hummus, tabouli and side salad. At JFK, I found a Jamba Juice and ordered the whole super greens juice, which is blended apple,carrot, spinach and kale with a bit of water. On the airplane, it is possible to request a special meal when booking, but the vegetarian meals are usually high in cheese and milk components. I did not order a special meal, but one of the options onboard was a salad topped with asparagus, squash, peppers,onion and a couple shrimp with a side of fruit. It is becoming much easier to travel and stay plant-based with tasty options along the way, but I try to be prepared in case I can’t find anything that fits into my criteria for staying healthy wile traveling. Now, I am much more careful about my choices while traveling to and from my destination because for me it is a stress on my system with the rushing, anxiousness, eating at off hours and the immune attack that is encountered along the way. Once I arrive, I love experiencing the food and culture of a new place – they both go hand in hand most of the time. But I continue to eat a majority of plant based options because they are available and delicious. Other countries are also making allowances for people with compromised systems, such as celiac disease.  I hope these simple ideas I’ve shared will benefit you in your travels.  I wish you a wonderful holiday season.

Spring into Health

Well, I wish it was as easy as it sounds.  Springing into health is more of a journey that takes patience and persistence  before we see results that stick around and habits change. It kind of reminds me of our Wisconsin ‘Spring”, we have to wait through the cold and still sometimes freezing temps until it really feels like Spring.  Even though the temps are still cold, the longer days and more sunshine, give us incentive to come out of hibernation and get ready to be more active and focus on healthy lifestyle choices, whether that includes walking or running around the lake more frequently, hiking, riding the bike paths, getting out on the water in some form or another, participating in team sports and daily choosing healthy foods for meals and snacks.  For me, being active and eating the healthiest foods comes easiest when it is warm outside. [ I did take a vacation to Florida in March and was so thankful for the sunshine on my skin, walking miles on the beach morning and night, and for all the fresh fruit and vegetables that were in season at the you-pick farms.]  I am so ready for spring. So as we stat to warm up here in Wisconsin, I want to encourage you to make a plan…  Take a quick evaluation of how you want to feel better, sleep better, eat better, have fun better. If you write that list down, you are more likely to do something about it. Then make a plan to incorporate one activity of movement a day, that will raise your heart rate for a few minutes. More and more studies are coming out that debunk the “rule” of having to do an hour of aerobic exercise for it to be of any benefit. Instead small bursts of exercise that raise heart rate are very beneficial and do not take hours of your time. Next add more green leafy vegetables to your daily meals or snacks, try them in a green smoothie, as a wrap instead of bread for sandwich filling, blended with an avocado and lemon juice for a dip for other vegetables, sauteed with coconut oil and garlic, chopped and mixed in with some raw kraut, wrapped around a banana or spread with almond butter or hummus and rolled. By adding in high nutrient-dense snacks and foods, your body will thank you with more energy, better focus, better sleep, better weight and overall wellbeing.  With small steps toward replacing empty calorie foods, processed and full of additives, with more nutrient rich whole foods, you will spring into greater health!

A person with health has many dreams, a person without health has but one dream.

Juice Feasting?

Summer is the perfect time to take a couple days to lighten up and supercharge your cells with nutrition. This can be accomplished by a short juice feast, even if it’s just for one day. Giving your body a break from having to digest heavy foods can allow more time for your body to heal, clean out toxins and repair or bring systems back into balance. A juice feast is something you can do that will provide essential nutrients while allowing the body to focus its energy on important cellular function and repair. Typically you do not need to be supervised by a healthcare practitioner for a short juice feast, but if you are concerned about specific health issues, it is recommended you check with your physician or know that you can stop and resume eating whole foods at any time if you wish. Short juicing periods can make a noticeable impact on your energy, skin, weight loss, colon health, mental clarity and overall vibrancy of life.

Over a weekend or for a week, consider only drinking fresh juiced fruits and vegetables. The juice, or life blood of plants, is super dense in vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients that can provide essential nutrients for proper cellular function, repair and regeneration. Most of us are deficient in the amount of vitamins and minerals we consume because most of us are not eating enough plant food which has the highest concentration of these necessary nutrients.  And most of us do not assimilate and absorb efficiently, so we are lacking in the nutrients we need to manufacture healthy cells. Juice can help. But, NOT the juice on the grocery store shelves. That juice is low in quality nutrition because of the processes and treatments it has to go through for sustaining shelf life. Fresh juiced fruits and veggies are best! If you do not have a juicer, I’m here to help. I can supply you with juice for the number of days you would like to feast: one, three or five days. I will supply you with five juices a day and you will drink water or herbal teas between juices.  If you don’t think you can make it on liquids alone, I recommended that you supplement with raw whole foods: fruits, vegetables, and small servings of seeds and nuts during the time you are setting aside to do this for your health.

The cost for me to provide you with juices for a Juice Feast is $30 a day for 5 juices. I do suggest a day or two before you decide to embark on a Juice Feast, to start eating lighter and more salads or steamed vegetables and eliminating coffee, sodas, dairy and meat. Ideally, the summer months are best for this because the weather is warmer and our body’s are more inclined to lighter meals, and cool foods and drinks. So, this is something I am offering trough August, however there is a week mid August I will not be available. If you are interested in doing this please contact me. I am happy to work with your schedule. 

Spring Cleaning on the Inside

Today was a wonderful spring day, warm and sunny!  An absolutely beautiful Resurrection Day. As we enter this time of year and see the new growth as flowers start to pop up and the grass turn green, we are usually so ready and eager to open the windows and start the Spring Cleaning ritual. We often take better care of our homes and cars than we do our body’s. So I want to encourage you to think about giving your body a good Spring cleaning on the inside!  You can get rid of the built up toxins and toxic emotions that are either stored away in fat cells or that consume our thoughts and energy like un-forgiveness and bitterness.  Overtime these toxins become like the dust that accumulates inside our homes and covers the beauty that is really there. You can get your lymphatic system moving in order to clear out the stagnation in your system that has been accumulating over the long winter. There are some pretty complex and expensive cleanse packages that you can purchase and join, but you may want to try a food cleanse first. Sometimes this is all you need to reset your body chemistry, but this outline is not all encompassing for what a cleanse can include. For a simple, yet effective, cleanse there are just a few recommendations to get you started. First, mentally prepare yourself to feel better. Get excited about how you will feel after a week: you will have more energy, spring in your step, better focus, less anxiety, less weight, cravings gone, better digestion, freedom from emotional holds, and you will notice the little things that seemed ‘normal’ will go away and you will feel great! So mentally, get psyched!  The next important step is to confront the stuffed emotions that you have not been willing to deal with and look to the resurrected Christ Jesus, for forgiveness and the ability to forgive others. There are documented studies that show how emotional barriers, unresolved issues and unrepentant sin can manifest as physical illness and disease. God wants you to be well.  Then take time to add in some deep breathing time during your day, and extra movement. Whether it is going up and down the stairs rather than using the elevator or taking a walk over lunch break, get out into the fresh air to stimulate your lymph by moving around and get oxygen into your lungs and into your cells for energy and renewal by doing some deep abdominal breathing. Our cells need oxygen more than they need food, so this is an important step to include for cleansing and overall better health. (You can live for 40 days without food, but only about 5 minutes without oxygen). To cleanse, you need water, so begin substituting pure water for your other drinks during the day. In order to get toxins out of the body, you need pure water to dilute and flush them from the body. Water is so important that many of the symptoms we attribute to illness are really our body’s cry for pure water. Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. (i.e. if you weigh 150 lb. then drink 75 oz. of water).  Make food choices that will significantly decrease the energy demand on your digestive system. There are foods that are heavy and require a lot of energy in order to digest them; those are primarily meats and dairy products. There are foods that are very easily and quickly digested; those are fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds are important for their protein and whole food fats, but during cleansing, should be eaten in small amounts. Also adding smoothies and juices during this time will greatly increase your nutritional intake and ease digestion, which are both important factors that allow your body to release stored toxins. Also consider eating more of your food in the uncooked/raw state for the enzymatic action that provides, which helps the digestive process and decreases the energy required. The digestive process is helped immensely by taking a multi-strain blend of probiotics to increase the beneficial micro-flora of the gut, which is essential for nutritional absorption and immune function. Eating fermented foods is a means of getting this beneficial bacteria. Finally, rest is very important during cleansing and for overall greater health because of the repair and renewal of cells and tissues during our sleeping state. Rest is also a major influence on the hormonal balance and proper function in the body. All of these help the body to rid itself of unwanted and stored toxins, both physical and emotional.

Take action:

  1. Mentally get ready to feel great.
  2. Emotional release and forgiveness
  3. Breath deep and move
  4. Drink pure water
  5. Choose foods that facilitate cleansing and probiotics
  6. Rest well

Ideally you will see great results if you eliminate sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, soy, meat, and gluten for a period of one to two weeks, while incorporating fresh smoothies with fruit and greens, big vegetable salads, soups and steamed/roasted/grilled vegetables. And you can eat as much of these as you wish. No counting calories is necessary. *Real whole food does not come in a box, so these chemical non-foods contribute to the toxic load on our systems, so cleansing foods do not include boxed ‘food’.

If you have any questions, ask away! If you decide to Spring Clean your Insides, drop me a comment and let me know how it goes.

Thought of the Day: Is your food making you sick?

This question is on my mind a lot with so many people having reactions to food and not feeling well on a daily basis. The new “normal” or “feeling fine” translates to the normalcy of being tired or fatigued, bloated, achy, and can’t focus all the time.  Does this sound familiar?  The food that is most available to us and that we have been indoctrinated into thinking is “good for us” is really NON-food or it has been genetically tampered with and turned into a false food that our bodies do not recognize.  This is a topic that can go on for volumes, but I wanted to bring it up and put it out there to stir some thought on the issue. If you are eating foods that have ingredient lists, make sure you know what each ingredient is. Another way to think about it is to ask yourself if that ingredient was in your grandmother’s cabinet or refrigerator. If not, it is likely created in a lab and not ideal for your dinner plate.  The foods most important for good health are WHOLE foods that have a single ingredient – that food. Apples, pears, lemons, mushrooms, kale, broccoli, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. No ingredient list is needed for whole foods. If you buy canned and boxed foods, know that the nutritional content of those foods are typically not worth the calories. The only canned items I recommend are single food items like tomatoes, and cooked beans – with the stipulation that the can is not lined with BPA plastic. When it comes to whole foods, even those can be dangerous because of the manipulation of species by the Big AG companies and the Genetic Modification that is taking place, which is affecting everyone and why I think more and more people have issues with food allergies. These GMO foods cause gut inflammation because they are NOT natural and our bodies do not recognize them as food, reacting to it like a foreign substance and generating a histamine or allergic response. I wholeheartedly recommend watching the documentary “Genetic Roulette” and  checking out the website for Responsible Technology Org.  You need to protect yourself and family from the foods that can cause so many problems. Most of the Corn, Soy, Canola, Sugar, and Cottonseed grown for commercial food companies and animal feed is genetically modified. These foods are ingredients in primarily every boxed food item on the shelves.  The only way to know for sure that you are not ingesting GMO foods is to look for the USDA Organic seal or the NON GMO Project seal on processed food items. If produce is ORGANIC it can not be GMO. But there are no labels yet to let us know if something is GMO, so buyer beware!  Many people have seen amazing results in their health and with symptoms going away when they take the effort to eliminate processed foods with GMOs and start eating Real Whole Food! Give it a try – your ‘normal’ state of being might improve and you will enjoy greater health!

Take Care

Green Goodness!

If we don’t have a life-threatening illness, we know someone who does.  We have been taught that disease is a result of a host of many possible causes, of course depending on what the illness or symptoms are.   It is my understanding, that the majority of illnesses and diseases are primarily the result of two causes…  either a deficiency of nutrients that prevents the body from functioning in a healthy way, or a toxic load under which the body cannot function, or the combination of both, in most cases.  The body was created to deal with all kinds of assaults from bacteria, viruses, injuries and poisons and has in place specific mechanisms like generating fever for overcoming pathogens and acute inflammation and cell renewal for healing itself.  But these self – healing abilities require proper nutrition for the innate mechanisms to take place. When the nutrients are not provided through eating fresh whole foods, the lack of nutrition generates dis-ease in the body in addition to it not being able to fight off pathogens and  self-heal.
When a food is ripe in nature, it is at its nutritional peak. As soon as it leaves the ground, branch or plant it grew on, it begins to lose nutritional value. If that food is then processed in some way and ends up ground, bleached, heated, pasteurized, sauced and in a box, can or jar, there isn’t much nutritional value left. Then usually, synthetic vitamins are added. However, the synthetic vitamins are difficult for the body to utilize, if at all. So much of our food that we have been told is good for us and we have lived on for many years, has been nutritionally deficient causing our body’s to reach a level of having significant deficiencies. When food is processed it is also loaded with additives to sustain its shelf life, but the additives are toxins to our bodies. Our bodies try to break them down and get rid of them, but adequate nutrients are necessary for proper detoxification to occur. So many of us have also reached appoint where our bodies can no longer detoxify sufficiently, so we have a large toxic load due to insufficient nutrients. In addition to food toxins, we are exposed to hundreds of environmental toxins and toxins found in personal care products. So there is no shortage of toxic buildup in our bodies. The combination of toxins and the deficiency of nutrients play an integral part in the dis-ease and illnesses we experience.
To successfully overcome illnesses, super nutrition is needed in the form of fresh vegetable juices, a whole foods diet comprised of mostly raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. If you take care of your body and give it what it needs, your body will take care of YOU. It was created as wonderful self-healing machine.

I will be giving a Come Clean-Cleanse Workshop on Thursday November 7, from 6:00-7:30 PM at Fresh and Green Market. Green Juices and Smoothies will be served and the cost is $10.