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functional food

100 articles in functional food

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

People everywhere are hungry for clear, practical, scientifically-validated information about how to make safe and simple use of herbs in their day to day lives. I too was once hungry for this kind of information. I discovered that working (and playing) with herbs did not need to be complex and confusing. It could be sheer pleasure. For me it was like walking down a path where a wonderful surprise is revealed at every turn. For more than a million years our ancestors lived with herbs. They cooked with them, healed with them, scented their bodies and sanctified their prayers with them. On a molecular level, the human body recognizes a herb when we take it. Come to know the nature of a specific plant and it will enhance your life immeasurably. In a very real sense you can come to know a herb the way a woman knows her lover. The spirit of a plant meets the spirit of a human. Expect magic. You won’t be disappointed. ALOE VERA According to both traditional practices and recent scientific experiments, the right plants can work wonders on the human body. Aloe heals The cool, slippery gel oozed out of a leaf of the aloe cactus has been used for almost 3000 years to treat burns and cuts and to undo the devastating effects of too much exposure to the sun. Recent studies show that phyto substances from the aloe actually penetrate damaged tissue encouraging healing, increasing blood flow and easing inflammation and pain. Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic if only extracted from the leaf pulp. It contains carboxypeptidase and bradykininase which relieve pain. Make a friend with Aloe Vera If you have a good, healthy aloe plant that is at least three years old (and you go about it sensibly) you can cut the leaves for use without doing lasting damage to the plant. Relief for burns and cuts lies inside the leaf. Cut a leaf, split it open, and smooth the gel you find inside over the burn, or just lay the leaf, gelside, on the burn and hold it in place with a bandage. The classic definition of a herb is a non-woody plant which dies down to its roots each winter. This definition is far too limiting. It was probably made up by 19th Century European botanists who had never seen the rainforest in which, of course there is no winter to die back in. Neither had they ever heard of woody trees and shrubs such as hawthorn and ginko and elder which are some of the best selling herbs on the market these days. I define a herb as a medicinal plant. It can come from any climate and be a leaf, a bark, a flower or a root. It can be home-grown or wild, a weed, a spice, a plant which is used for its healing or culinary or beautifying properties.Once you discover the power of herbs it is easy to become so enthusiastic about them you go overboard trying to use them for everything. It is not wise to take lots of different plants all at the same time. Or you might start to think that since a small amount of something is good for you, taking twice or three times that amount will be even better. It isn’t. If you want safe and sane herbal help here are a few guidelines to follow: Herbs occasionally interact with conventional drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor that you intend to try a herbal remedy. If you want to use herbs to treat a serious medical condition, find yourself a good medical herbalist to work with. Don’t do it yourself. Take no more than recommended dosages of a herb or combination. If you notice any adverse reaction, stop right away. Use only the very best herbs whether they be fresh, dried, teas, tinctures, extracts, or capsules. Give plants enough time to work. Many herbs, such as St John’s Wort and Wild Yam, are slow to build beneficial effects on the body. Look to six weeks for results.

Fruit Glorious Fruit

Fruit Glorious Fruit

Somehow fruits seem to have have earned themselves a bad name. Why? Because fruits contain fructose—fruit sugar. Nonetheless, it’s fructose that gives glorious organic navel oranges, blueberries, apples, and golden kiwis their marvelous sweetness. And the right amount of organically grown, whole fruits do a lot to keep us well. Fruit plays an important part in any high-raw way of eating. These colorful gifts of nature cleanse the body of the toxicity we absorb from our environment, the water we drink, and the dreadful packaged convenience foods people eat. That’s why fruits are so valuable to any serious detox program. THEN AND NOW So what’s the problem with fructose? First of all, there is evidence which indicates that people who eat too much fruit can make themselves vulnerable to chronic problems like insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. And this is important. For most fruits we eat today contain between 30 and 50 times the amount of fructose compared to the fruit our hunter-gatherer forefathers munched on. This has come about because, during the 20th century, enormous hybridization projects continue to make fruits sweeter and sweeter. As a result, not only has the incidence of chronic illnesses—from heart disease and diabetes to cancer and mental disorders—exploded in developed countries: So has our consumption of sugar in its many forms—of which fructose is one. If you are someone with high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, insulin or leptin resistance or hypertension, then it is best to limit your fruit intake so you only get, say, 15 grams of fructose a day. How do you do this? Choose your fruits carefully so that most of them are low-fructose. If you do not fall into these categories, you should be able to eat a lot more fruit and have it do you nothing but good. That is, of course, provided the fruits you choose are organic and therefore not sprayed with chemicals. Make sure they have not been GMO grown. Under no circumstances do you want to put genetically modified foods of any kind into your body. All GMO crops are dangerous, despite all the corporate hype designed to make us think otherwise. RESEARCH, RESEARCH But findings about the effects of fruit eating are contradictory, to say the least. The British Medical Journal is soon to publish three observational studies that examined the effects of fruit-eating on human health. These studies analyzed the diets of almost 200,000 people between 1984 and 2008—none of whom had indications of heart disease, diabetes or cancer when the studies began. On completion, the studies indicated that, far from fruits predisposing us to degenerative diseases, some fruits including grapes, blueberries and apples may actually reduce the risk of diabetes. This is great news and somewhat unexpected, since apples and grapes contain a lot of fructose. But beware. Drinking juices made from these fruits that are bought, rather than being homemade from fresh produce, do contribute to the development of the same diseases that eating whole fruit can help prevent. Steer clear of all packaged and tinned fruit juices and fruit drinks. One aspect of fructose is as dangerous as hell—high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). If you value your health and the health of your children you’ll want to avoid it at all costs. But avoiding it is not easy. HFCS is added to just about every packaged food and drink you buy. So read every label on every packaged food or drink you buy, and reject every food or drink containing it. HFCS is deadly stuff. A highly processed form of liquid sugar extracted by a nasty chemical solvent called glutaraldehyde, not only is HFCS frequently contaminated with mercury. Putting it into the body is a major cause of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, mood disorders, and hyperactivity in children. A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS High-fructose corn syrup is similar in composition to sucrose, with levels of around 45% glucose to 55% fructose. And, as with sucrose, its harmful effects are concealed from view. It does not raise blood sugar, as it is processed by the liver. There it promptly turns into fat. In 1978, HFCS was brought in as a substitute for sugar in soft drinks. This quickly became a real game-changer, but not in a good way. By the year 2000, sugar consumption in America increased by 25 pounds per person per year, nearly ALL of it in the form of HFCS. These days the average American consumes a massive 35 pounds of HFCS each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s no coincidence that the obesity rate in the US has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. You’ll find HFCS in thousands of grocery items, even in places you might never suspect—such as pizza sauce, salad dressings, foods from sodas, drinks and sweets to sauces, breads, and delicatessen foods like smoked salmon, luncheon meats and salami. Farcically, HFCS is often labeled "all natural" because fructose is found in fruit—even though it is mass-factory-produced, using a process which dramatically increases the fructose content of corn syrup. Fructose in these protucts bears little resemblance to fructose found in fresh fruit. It also lacks the fiber, antioxidants and nutrients found in fresh fruit. As pediatric specialist and childhood obesity expert Robert Lustig puts it, high-fructose corn syrup is “a poison all by itself”. Lustig doesn’t distinguish between plain sugar and HFCS when it comes to health perils—they are “equally dangerous”, he insists, like two sides of the same coin. And what’s so insidious about HFCS is that it is sold to the public as a “healthy alternative” to regular sugar. You should avoid it at all costs. MY OWN FRUIT EXPERIMENT Most of you know that I am a passionate fan of organic raw food and have been for almost half a century. A high-raw way of eating in my mid-twenties healed me from so many illnesses contracted as a result of being raised on junk food throughout most of my unpredictable childhood. A few weeks ago, Aaron and I decided to experiment by returning to being on an all-raw fruits and vegetables diet for a period of six weeks. We wanted to check out what, if any, ill effects eating an all raw diet containing lots of fresh, organic fruits would have on us. The results of our little experiment have turned out to be excellent. We ate a lot of fruit. We put it in our salads, we made juice from a mixture of fruits and included in it much of the pulp produced from the juicing. We loved the way this made us look and feel. I’m happy to report that the results of our little experiment have been nothing but good. Like vegetables and herbs, fruits are not only a storehouse for vitamins and minerals; they boast high levels of phytochemicals. These powerhouses for health and vitality are not nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Yet they carry colored plant factors which play an important role in our health. A good supply of these phyto-nutrients helps minimize the incidence of cancer and heart disease and protect from degenerative conditions associated with aging, such as inflammation of the joints, loss of memory and concentration. They even help slow the aging process itself. Large quantities of these plant factors with many different names are found in common fruits, from berries, oranges, lemons and grapes to cantaloupe, kiwis, cranberries and cherries. However, in any diet based on manufactured convenience foods, they are scarce as hen’s teeth. FRUITS CAN BE FABULOUS Berries, grapes and cherries as well as citrus fruits are excellent sources of water-soluble phyto-chemicals known as flavonoids. Flavonoids guard the integrity of collagen within the body. They work together with vitamin C and—as do many of the other phyto-nutrients—enhance the positive effects of antioxidant vitamins, improving the function and the integrity of tiny blood vessels known as capillaries, which deliver nutrients and oxygen to our cells. This helps raise overall energy. It also helps keep skin smooth and elastic, and protects against bruising while improving memory and eyesight. Phyto-nutrients often carry weird names like catechin, quercetin and hesperidin. Among the more than 20,000 known, hesperidin, rutin, quercetin, catechin and pycnogenol are especially important. Catechin reduces allergic reactions by calming histamine release in the body. Rutin helps guard the integrity and health of capillaries, veins and arteries, as well as the skin itself. Many phytochemicals protect our health by interfering with or blocking specific disease processes. They do this either by acting as antioxidants and preventing free radical damage, or by inhibiting enzymes which promote the development of diseases like cancer. Some plant factors found in fruits and vegetables clear our cells of toxins and other damaging substances, such as herbicides and pesticides we take in from our environment. HEALTH HELPERS At Tufts University in the United States, scientists developed a method of quantifying the anti-oxidant power of specific fruits and vegetables by measuring their ability to quench free radicals in a laboratory test tube. To test a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity, called the ORAC test, scientists have been able to categorize a fruit or vegetable according to its overall anti-oxidant power. Fruits like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are at the top of the list. These can be highly protective of our health. While we’re talking of lists, here is a list of some of the most common fruits, indicating how much fructose is in each. Become familiar with it and, given the state of your own body, you can easily make your own decision about what kind and how much of each fruit suits you best, as well as how much you want to eat of it. FRUIT SERVING GRAMS OF FRUCTOSE Lemon 1 medium 0.6 Passionfruit 1 medium 0.9 Apricot 1 medium 1.3 Raspberries 1 cup 3.0 Kiwi 1 medium 3.4 Cherries 1 cup 3.8 Strawberries 1 cup 3.8 Pink grapefruit ½ medium 4.3 Nectarine 1 medium 5.4 Peach 1 medium 5.9 Orange 1 medium 6.1 Banana 1 medium 7.1 Apple 1 medium 9.5 Persimmon 1 medium 10.6 Pear 1 medium 11.8 Grapes 1 cup 12.4 Mango 1 medium 16.2 Here are my suggestions on how to get the very best from fruits, now and always: If you know you have insulin or leptin resistance, suffer from food cravings and are overweight, pick your fruits from those with the lowest levels of fructose and limit your fruit intake to around 15 grams of fructose a day. If you are not troubled by any of these conditions, you can experiment by eating fruits which give you from 20 to 40 grams of fructose a day and work out by trial and error what levels of fructose best work for you. Always eat your fruits whole, if possible. If you choose to juice them yourself, make sure you keep the valuable pulp from the juicing process and add a good quantity of it back to the juice. Go for organic fruits. You might even try growing a lot of your fruit in your garden if you have the space. Never eat GMO fruits—something difficult to ascertain in most countries these days, since corporate interests have lobbied hard to prevent GMO labeling. This is another reason to choose organic. Never eat or drink anything with high-fructose corn syrup in it. It’s deadly stuff—so read labels carefully. Fruits are one of nature’s most glorious gifts to us. Enjoy them.

Apple Detox

Apple Detox

A few days on apples once in a while can eliminate retained water, revive flagging energy, make your skin look wonderful and your eyes shine. The apple fast for detox was taught to me fifty years ago by Dr Gordon Latto, a Scottish medical doctor who used nothing but food and breathing techniques and a few herbs to heal even the most complex and chronic conditions. Eating as much as you want – but only apples – in place of your regular meals, and in between too if you like, for two days cleans your body, helps clear away food sensitivities, and banishes the ravages of unnatural appetite. For two days all you have to do is to eat apples, and nothing but apples. Your body will do the rest. It’s a time to be luxuriously lazy and self-indulgent, to enjoy the process of getting rid of all those wastes you really don’t want hanging around in your system making you look and feel low. No pregnant or breast-feeding woman should do an apple fast: neither should anyone with a kidney, liver or heart complaint, for in such cases any sudden change of diet carries with it potential dangers to health. But if you are generally well, a short apple fast is a great way to clear away the cobwebs. Check with your doctor first if you have any doubts. HEALING DISCOVERY It was the apple which first led the great Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner to develop his system of treatment based on living foods. Bircher-Benner was himself ill with a liver ailment, which made it virtually impossible for him to digest anything. One day, as he lay in his bed unable to rise or eat, his wife slipped a piece of fresh raw apple between his teeth. He tasted it, and to his surprise he found he could tolerate it. Several days – and many raw apples – later he found himself well again. He never forgot the humble apple or what it could do to detoxify the body and to help restore normal functioning to digestion, cells and the circulation. He used apples regularly in his dietary treatments of obesity and other illnesses. In fact, they formed the basis of his Bircher Muesli, which has become world famous. WEEKEND RETREAT My two day apple fast is designed to be done over a weekend is not even a fast, for you can eat as much as you like – but only apples. The reason the apple fast is done over a weekend is that the process of elimination can use up a lot of energy, so it’s a good idea to do it over two days when you are not working. The apple has long been known as a health tonic, medicine, cosmetic and bowel-regulator all wrapped up in one skin. When eaten, it stimulates the secretion of digestive juices. It contains natural substances that help prevent digestive and liver troubles. Where unsweetened apple juice is the traditional drink among country people, there tends to be no incidence of kidney stones. The simple apple is traditionally used for eliminating obesity, as well as being a folk treatment for skin problems, bladder inflammation, anemia, insomnia, intestinal parasites and bad breath. QUEEN OF CLEANSING The adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is not just an old wives’ tale. The apple is quite rightly known as the queen of fruits. In its natural whole state, it supplies valuable fruit sugar and vitamins in a superb balance to ensure that your body can efficiently digest and use them. The apple is our richest fruit source of vitamin E and also provides a good supply of biotin and folic acid – two B-complex vitamins important in preserving energy, emotional balance and in keeping your digestive system clean and functioning well. It is also a fine source of vitamins A and C, which are both natural antioxidants – powerful anti-agers – not to mention more than a dozen minerals including sulfur, potassium, iodine, silica, magnesium and calcium, and even essential amino acids in small quantities. Apples are low in acidity to help balance stored bodily wastes which tend to be acidic. They stimulate the flow of saliva in the mouth, and clear away debris from the teeth. Eating a raw fresh apple stimulates circulation in the gums too. Finally, apples are rich in a very special form of soluble fiber called pectin which helps to clear out the dangerous heavy metals such as lead and aluminum that we all pick up from our city air, food and water. OUT WITH THE UGLIES Heavy metals in your body are something you want to get rid of. These elements, the concentration of which has increased dramatically in our air, foods and water since the Industrial Revolution, can seriously interfere with your body’s metabolic functioning. Mercury tends to suppress the levels of white blood cells in the immune system. Cadmium displaces the essential element zinc needed for a great many of your body’s enzyme systems, and renders them inefficient and even inactive. In the West we now have a concentration of lead in our bodies some 500-1000 times that of our pre-industrial ancestors. High levels of this heavy metal age us prematurely, interfere with our mental processes, suppress immunity and contribute to depression. Aluminum, another heavy metal, detrimentally affects the central nervous system. The presence of all these elements in excessive quantities (and their concentrations in the human body appear to be increasing with each passing decade) generally interferes with your body’s metabolic processes. The ability of apples to remove heavy metals from your system is one of the best reasons for doing an apple fast, particularly if you live in a city. RADIANT FIBER The fiber that apples contain really is remarkable. In addition to cellulose (the most common kind of fiber, which binds water and increases fecal bulk), the apple is also rich in pectin – a very special kind of fiber with quite exceptional detoxification properties. So different in texture and character is pectin from other forms of fiber that it is sometimes surprising to think that they are classified in the same group. Unlike cellulose, pectin does not bind water, it is water-soluble. It has no influence on fecal bulking, but it appears to be an excellent substance for lowering cholesterol. It may also help eliminate bile acids from the intestines, thus short-circuiting the development of colon cancer and gallstones. It is also useful as a natural chelating (binding) agent which is why it is so good at mopping up unwanted heavy metals, such as aluminum, from the tissues and eliminating them from the body. This can be very important when it comes to detoxification for weight loss. READY SET GO Get yourself a big bag of the freshest apples you can find – perhaps three or four different kinds for variety. If you don’t like the look of your apples you won’t want to eat them, so be picky. Buy a box of apples if you like, your greengrocer might give you a discount. On this pre-cleanse day it is a good idea to get your system ready. Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks. Steer clear of bread and cooked carbohydrates such as pasta and cereals, and make your last meal of the day a large raw salad made of fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t have anything else to eat after your salad, except perhaps a cup of herb tea before bed. This will give your body a good 12 hours head-start on the elimination process and it will thank you for it. THE APPLE FAST There’s really nothing to it. Over the two days you have chosen, tuck into your apples. Eat as many as you like at any time of the day or night. You must eat the whole apple including the peel, the seeds and the core. Don’t worry about the belief that apple seeds are poisonous. Any expert in natural medicine detox will tell you they are not only perfectly safe but an important part of the cleansing process. Chew well, until the last drop of flavor has been extracted from the fruit. The only part you throw away is the woody stem. You must eat your apples raw. You can munch them whole, or grate them and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. You can even put them in the blender with spring water to make a drink. Eat nothing else during this two-day period, but eat them whenever you are hungry. Do not drink tea or coffee. You may have a herb tea or two such as peppermint, lemon balm or chamomile with a few drops of the best stevia if you wish. Drink lots of pure filtered water, but nothing else. BLISSFUL RELAXATION Be lazy and luxurious.  During these days indulge yourself doing whatever is pleasurable for you. Many people find their sexuality is heightened during these days. If so, enjoy it. Apples are great to munch in bed. In many ways, the most useful thing about the apple fast is the way you can call on it when you most need help to get you back on the rails again. We all slip up sometimes – we over work or over indulge and live to regret it the next day. A two day apple fast, or even just a day spent eating only apples, is an excellent ‘quick corrector’. Spend even just one day munching apples and it will help set all to rights again, so that when you awaken next morning you feel more like your old self and ready to face the day full of energy. RENEWED VITALITY Apple fasting gives you the chance to step back regularly and take a look at your lifestyle, instead of mechanically going on day after day without being aware of where your energy is going. Set aside two days, three or four times a year – a weekend is best – for an apple fast. This will spring clean your body from the inside out. Even apple fasting for one day a week is a great boost to vitality and good looks, because it helps detoxify your body of wastes accumulated as a result of drinking or eating too much, or consuming the wrong kinds of foods. It can also help calm the ravages of an over-enthusiastic appetite, which many people suffer as a result of food sensitivities or over-stimulation of the digestive system. Furthermore, it is an excellent discipline: such a practice helps you break through ingrained habit patterns, which can make us largely unaware of how we are eating.

Eat Chocolate And Thrive

Eat Chocolate And Thrive

The best chocolate is not only good for your body, mind and spirit. It can even help protect you from degenerative conditions—from cancer and heart disease to Alzheimer’s. Yes, really! But it has to be the right kind of chocolate, and in the right quantity. Next time you’re feeling anxious you can reach for a piece of dark chocolate and feel good about it. The emerging chocolate story is a fascinating one, and it is only just beginning to break. PSYCHOSEXUAL FOOD The mythology of chocolate began with the ancient gods of the New World. It was the Olmec Indians in Central America who are credited with the discovery of the cocoa tree. Later, the Aztecs and Toltecs who called this substance “food of the gods” told the story of how Quetzalcoatl, the supreme god of the air, brought the seeds of the tree to earth as a gift to his chosen people. Montezuma the great Aztec king is believed to have downed 50 pitchers of an elixir made from chocolate each day. The drink was called xocolatl, an aphrodisiac and fountain of strength sexuality and vigor. Cortez, who brought it back to Europe in the sixteenth century, soon created a chocolate storm among the courtiers. Madame Pompadour gave her seal of approval to chocolate as an aphrodisiac, while Casanova claimed chocolate was the perfect tool for seduction. Some recent research partly explains why. Scientists in California have isolated a substance in chocolate which links into our brain receptor sites and, like cannabis, brings sensations of pleasure and relaxation. But chocolate, I suspect, has many secrets. This is just one of them, which feeds our passion for this dark and seductive food and, at the same time, enhances our passion for love. BENEFITS ARE MANY The researchers found that eating about one ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduces levels of stress hormones, but it has to be very dark chocolate—between 75 and 85% cocoa solids. There is a huge difference between the minimally processed dark chocolate and the milk chocolate found in most candy bars. Raw, unsweetened cocoa powder which is high in antioxidant flavonols and contains no sugar is very different from the common cocoa drinks that are loaded with sugar. They offer no antioxidant support whatsoever. Meanwhile, minimally processed dark chocolate has already been linked to a number of health benefits. Dark chocolate has been found to reduce urinary excretion of the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines in stressed individuals who took part in the study. What is interesting is that in those who did not have highly-stressed lives it made no difference. Some of the health benefits from chocolate are due to the antioxidants present in cocoa itself, such as flavonols. These are a sub-class of flavonoids, and are natural plant chemicals (phytochemicals) found in fruits and vegetables. There are several thousand compounds belonging to the antioxidant-rich polyphenol family, also called phytochemicals, which are very good for us. DON’T EAT MILK CHOCOLATE The total antioxidant content of chocolate products is directly associated with the amount of raw cocoa that the chocolate contains. A published in the ‘Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’ showed that in terms of healthy antioxidant content, cocoa powder rated first, followed by unsweetened baking chocolate, dark chocolate and semi-chocolate chips. Milk chocolate has very few of these antioxidants. This is primarily because it’s heavily processed. In fact, the typical commercial chocolate has less than half of the flavonoids remaining after processing. As well as that, milk chocolate contains milk, which tends to cancel out cocoa’s antioxidant effects. This was discovered in a study published in the journal ‘Nature’. The reason this happens is that proteins in the milk bind with the antioxidants, making them less easily absorbed by your body. Another thing about processed chocolate is that often it is high in lead. Many researchers believe that milk in processed chocolate is also often contaminated by other heavy metals, but no one is quite sure why this happens. In another study published several years ago, researchers discovered that one cup of hot cocoa, made with pure cocoa powder, had about double the amount of antioxidants than those found in a glass of red wine, more than double the amount than in green tea, and four to five times more than in black tea. Perhaps even more surprisingly, dark unprocessed chocolate has been exonerated in a number of studies as exerting positive effects on your health. One example, believe it or not, is that it improves glucose metabolism. It also improves blood pressure levels and your cardiovascular system. FOOD OF THE GODS Now, this doesn’t mean that you should be swallowing chocolate every minute or two. The ideal amount of good dark chocolate—preferably organic—that you should eat is very little. A study published a couple of years back discovered that between 6 and 7 grams of dark chocolate per day, which is a little less than half a bar a week, is probably the ideal amount for protecting us against inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Any more than this appears to cancel out the benefits. This is not surprising because chocolate, like coffee, has throughout history been considered one of the sacred foods and the sacred foods need to be honored. Such foods have powerful energies. We thrive when we take them only in small quantities. This is the only way we can take advantage of all they have to offer us on every level. LESLIE’S CHOCOLATE BROWNIES If you're going to eat chocolate, eat only the best—not only because it's the most delicious, but also because it is the real thing. On the market these days, you find all sorts of imitation chocolate products which have had vegetable fat added to them. Avoid them. Even natural chocolate is often processed with an alkali which makes it high in sodium and interferes with the absorption of the magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and calcium which are the natural birthright of pure cocoa. These days most cocoa comes from Africa, although it was originally from Central America and the West Indies. When buying chocolate, always buy plain chocolate or bitter, dark chocolate, and always go organic. There is no question whatsoever that organic chocolate is the most delicious in the world. This recipe is flour-free, which makes it much richer. It is much more like a mousse than a conventional brownie, in the sense that it is absolutely riddled with chocolate flavor. So if you happen to be a chocoholic, you will absolutely adore it. Serve it with whipped cream, provided you do not have a problem with dairy products. (These days, because most milk is so polluted, many people do have issues with them.) Sprinkle the brownies with toasted flaked almonds. I think you'll love them, whipped cream or no whipped cream. WHAT YOU NEED 400g of dark organic chocolate—85% cocoa content or above is best 200g of unsalted butter 8 eggs, separated 1 rounded teaspoon of granulated Stevia by Stevita (or to taste) 3 tablespoons of finely powdered almonds 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 200g of toasted almond flakes 5g of shaved black chocolate—at least 85% cocoa with no milk and no sugar added to it HERE’S HOW Heat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Use butter to grease the sides and bottom of an 8” square or round pan—the kind the bottom comes out of. Line the pan with parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper with butter as well. Now wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. Melt the chocolate and the butter in the top of a Bain Marie until smooth and melted. Keep stirring this mixture as it melts. Remove it from the heat and cool to body temperature, continuing to stir frequently. Using a food processor or electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and stevia in a big bowl for about 3 minutes until it goes pale and thick. Now very gently fold the lukewarm chocolate mixture into the egg yolk one. Making sure your blades are washed and dried thoroughly, beat the egg whites in a different large bowl to soft-peak stage. Continue beating until peaks start to go firm. Fold the white into the chocolate mixture little by little—ever so gently. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake until the top puffs up and cracks, and until a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out with some moist crumbs attached. This usually takes about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack. Don’t be distressed if the brownie mix ‘falls’: this is what is supposed to happen, and what gives it its rich flavor. When it is cool, take a sharp knife and cut around the sides of the pan to loosen the brownies. Place a large plate or piece of cardboard over the top and invert the brownie mix on to it. Peel off the paper. Now cut into squares or slices. Serve with a sprinkle of slivered toasted almonds and shaved black chocolate on top, or add some fresh strawberries or raspberries. The great charm of these brownies is their rich, deep, sexy chocolate flavor. SUSANNAH KENTON’S FREEZER FUDGE Check out my daughter Susannah’s delightful website. There’s much else wonderful you can discover there: www.theheartpod.com Sugar, refined flour and junk fats have a lot to answer for in degrading health and contributing to obesity. Cutting back on all three is a great way to boost your energy, slim down and reclaim wellbeing. But, at the same time, no one likes to feel deprived. That's why I've created Freezer Fudge. Although relatively caloric (thanks to healthy fats like coconut oil—which actually boosts metabolism), it makes a great guilt-free, sugar-free, grain-free snack. It will help you feel full, satisfied and energized, not crashed and cravey. Because it includes protein and fat, just one or two pieces are all you need for a quick pick-me-up.* Best of all, it's absolutely scrumptious. I challenge you to feel any sense of deprivation eating it. Enjoy this tasty treat and feel energized and virtuous! Tastes even better than your favorite chocolate! WHAT YOU NEED 100g unsalted organic butter 100g coconut oil 75g almond butter 100g Vital Whey protein powder chocolate flavor 50g 100% pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) 1 tbsp pure vanilla essence 1 tsp English Toffee stevia drops (you can use plain liquid stevia or granulated Stevia by Stevita instead, to taste.) HERE’S HOW Combine the ingredients in a food processor, using the blade attachment, until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, melt the butter and coconut oil first, then stir all the ingredients together in a bowl. Smooth the mixture into a rectangular container and freeze for about a half hour. Press the fudge block out of its container, place on a chopping board, and cut into squares. ONLY THE BEGINNING Let me know if you would like more information about chocolate and some more recipes. In one newsletter I can only scratch the surface. It is a subject that fascinates me and there is so much wonderful news about this glorious food of the gods. If it interests you, I am happy to share a lot more with you next week. Ingredients that are great to use Organic Dark Chocolate Vivani, 100% Organic Dark Chocolate with 85% Cocoa Order Organic Dark Chocolate from iherb Premium Baking Chocolate Ghirardelli, Premium Baking Bar, 100% Cacao, Unsweetened Chocolate, 4 oz (113 g) Order Premium Baking Bar from iherb Organic Cocoa Powder Rapunzel, Organic Cocoa Powder, 7.1 oz (201 g) Order Organic Cocoa Powder from iherb Chocolate Micro Filtered Whey Well Wisdom, Vital Whey, Natural Cocoa, 21 oz (600 g) Order Chocolate Micro Filtered Whey from iherb Spoonable Stevia Stevita, Stevia Spoonable, 16 oz (454 g) Order Spoonable Stevia from iherb Liquid Stevia Wisdom Natural, Sweet Drops, Liquid Stevia Sweetener, English Toffee, 2 fl oz (60 ml) Order Liquid Stevia from iherb

Why Organic Food Matters

Why Organic Food Matters

When World War I ended, manufacturers of chemical weapons did not know what to do with their company’s deadly products. A few inventive scientists—mostly in Germany—came up with the bright idea that these killer chemicals could be used on food crops. After all, since they killed enemies in wartime, surely they could be used to wipe out insects, fungi and other pests on farm crops. Who knows, they might even serve as fertilizers for farmers. CHEMICAL FARMING IS BORN They discovered that a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) would grow big yield crops of good-looking vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits. But little interest was taken in their discoveries until years later, at the end of World War II. At that time, most foods were still grown pretty much as they had always been—by farmers who manured, mulched, and rotated their crops to keep soils rich and in good condition. To put it another way, most food was grown organically, although nobody had even coined the word by then. By the time World War II ended, chemical conglomerates involved in the manufacture of phosphates and nitrates as war materiel found themselves stuck with huge stockpiles. So they went looking for new markets. Aware of the early research into chemical fertilizing, they began to sell them artificial NPK fertilizers at costs low enough to make it all look very attractive. DECEPTIONS BEGIN These purveyors of chemicals spread the false belief that NPK is all you need to grow healthy crops. However, there were unfortunately two very important facts which chemical hawkers left out. Probably they did not even know. (Or perhaps it was not so good for their profit margins to know.) The first is that, although plants grow big on artificial fertilizers, they do not grow resistant to disease. The second is that the health of human beings eating plants grown this way can be seriously undermined. Plants grown only on NPK are deprived of essential minerals and other micro-substances which they need to synthesize natural complexes in roots and leaves that ward off attack by insects, weeds and animals. SOIL LIFE DESTROYED So before long, the new artificially fertilized vegetables and fruits began to develop these diseases. Chemical hawkers were quick to the rescue. The answer to this problem, they told us, was to be found in using MORE chemicals. This is when pesticides, herbicides, nemacides and fungicides came into being, providing chemical companies with yet another exciting business opportunity—especially since the longer you fertilize chemically, the more depleted in organic matter all soils become and the less they contain of the minerals and trace elements needed to synthesize natural protective complexes during growth, so the more pesticides you need. As time went on, more and more pesticides including other even nastier chemicals were sold. Before long, another important fact began to raise its ugly head. It was this: like plants, human beings need a lot more than nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus from the foods they eat to maintain their own health. MINERALS VANISHED Your body cannot make minerals. It has to take them in, in a good balance, from the foods you eat. In addition to nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, your body requires magnesium, manganese and calcium, selenium, zinc, copper, iodine, boron, molybdenum, vanadium and other trace elements, some as yet undiscovered, to stay healthy. These elements can only come from the foods you eat. This they do, so long as the foods you eat are grown organically in healthy, traditionally fertilized soils. But they are completely missing and unbalanced in the foods we buy today, thanks to our legacy of chemical farming. The organic matter in healthy soil is Nature's factory for biological activity. It is built up as a result of the breakdown of vegetable and animal matter by the soil's natural ‘residents’—worms, bacteria and other useful micro-organisms. The presence of these creatures in the right quantity and type gives rise to physical, chemical and biological properties that create fertility in our soils and make plants grown on them highly resistant to disease. When it comes to human health they do a lot more. GIFT FROM MINERALS The minerals and trace elements you need to trigger your metabolic processes, on which health and leanness depend, have to be in an organic form—this means they have to be taken from living things such as plant or animal foods. You cannot eat nails—inorganic iron—and expect to protect yourself from anaemia, or chew sand—inorganic silica—and be sure to get enough silica, the trace element to help keep your nails and hair strong and beautiful and protect your bones from osteoporosis. It’s the organic matter in soils which enables plants grown on them to transform inorganic iron and silica into the organic form, which is taken up by the vegetables and fruits, grains and legumes which we then eat, making these nutrients available to our bodies. Destroy the soil's organic matter through chemical farming, and inexorably you destroy the health of people and animals living on foods grown on it. Organic methods of farming also help protect against significant distortions in mineral balances—an increase in one or more mineral elements which can alter the availability of others. This can also undermine your health. No such protection is available when your foods have been chemically grown. STRUGGLING TO COPE Your body has a remarkable ability to compensate for a mineral or trace element missing from your food. But, after years of our eating nutritionally-depleted foods, multiple deficiencies are virtually ubiquitous. According to large scale studies, these days almost none of us get the minerals we need to ensure that our metabolic processes work adequately—processes on which health, leanness, and the immune system depend. And the deficiencies we have developed from this, as well as the metabolic distortions that come in their wake, cannot easily be corrected. Popping the latest multi-mineral tablet from your corner pharmacy or health-food store won't do it, by the way. NATURE’S OWN Nutrients in foods exist in complex synergy and affect each other. They also interact and work together in your body. A balance of bio-available minerals and trace elements in fresh, organic foods is infinitely more complex than vitamin fanatics would have us believe. To restore balance once it has been disturbed, you need to return to good wholesome food—supplemented with extra green plants such as kelp, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass or alfalfa. However, this is a slow process taking months and even years. OSTRICHES EVERYWHERE Our indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and other chemicals has quite literally poisoned the land we live in, and fostered degenerative diseases throughout the world. It was Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, who, back in 1947, warned that this would happen. At the time, she was viciously attacked for her brilliant book. Chemical interests did everything in their power to discredit what she wrote. Now, more than half a century later, her prophetic words have turned out to be terrifyingly accurate. Since Silent Spring, many laws have been passed and many official agencies have been set up throughout the world designed to regulate the kind and quantity of chemicals used on the land. They vary greatly in their approach and powers from one country to another. Sadly, they all have one thing in common: an inability to stop or significantly alter the ubiquitous poisoning of lands, people, animals and the earth itself. So the poisoning of our air, land and water continues. In most countries it grows worse year by year. Like ostriches, we often bury our heads in the sand, hoping that what we don't see won't hurt us. Meanwhile, each year, billions of gallons of chemicals are sprayed onto crops. In the US alone, billions of pounds of pesticides are spread over the soils including herbicides, chemical fertilizers, rodentocides, and other chemical contaminants. GO ORGANIC Even better... grow as many of your own fruits and vegetables in the garden, in the windowsill of your kitchen, or anywhere you can find good soil that has not been chemically treated. Organic growing will help protect you from significant distortions in mineral balance. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides—petrochemically derived compounds which behave like low-dose synthetic oestrogens in the body. Many are also treated with fungicides or wax. Each one of these chemicals contributes to the toxic overload which ages your body rapidly, putting pressure on your liver and encouraging free radical damage. When it comes to maintaining good insulin balance, you do not want this to happen. A stressed liver has trouble managing glucose and controls insulin poorly. Shop as often as you can in stores which offer organic produce and non-GMO foods. Not only do organic vegetables taste better, the organic matter in healthy soil is nature’s factory for biological activity that, when you eat them fresh, is communicated to you. Organic vegetables supply us with an excellent balance of minerals, trace elements, and vitamins. The organic matter in soil is built up as a result of the break-down of vegetable and animal matter by its natural residents - worms, bacteria and other micro-organisms. The presence of these creatures in the right quantity and type, which you never find in factory farming, gives rise to physical, chemical and biological properties which create fertility in our soils and make plants grown on them highly resistant to disease. This resistance to illness and degeneration is then passed on to us when we eat the foods.

Foods Of Power

Foods Of Power

The word protein literally means “primary substance.” It’s an appropriate name. For every tissue in the body, from brain to little fingernail, is built of and repaired by protein. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are central factors in most body processes too. They make antibodies against infection, create hormones and ensure you have enough haemoglobin in your red blood cells. Every enzyme has protein as its basic component. This is why we need good quality, clean protein from eggs, nuts, and organic, fermented, soy products if you are vegetarian. If you are not vegetarian, then fresh fish gleaned from clean waters, organic poultry, wild game, and organic meat from animals free to graze is ideal. THE ANIMAL QUESTION Whether we like it or not, the highest quality protein is animal-based. And the most important nutritional feature of both meat and fish is their cellular structure. For it is very similar to our own. Nutrients we absorb from animal proteins are easily transformed into our own tissue and blood. Even small amounts of top quality animal protein can be enormously strengthening to anyone deficient in strength and energy. In addition to being the best power foods available, all good quality animal protein boasts an abundance of minerals and trace minerals. SHUN FACTORY FARMING Not only is caged and physically restricted animal farming an abomination in relation to the horrific suffering it imposes. Such domestic meat and much farmed fish is laden with hormones, poisons and antibiotics. If you routinely eat large quantities of meat, you can end up not only with a high level of uric acid in your body, but with a tendency to form a lot of mucus and to build up toxicity in your own body. This is why when I eat meat—and I prefer fish or game—I eat only certified organic meat from free range animals. The difference in flavor is undeniable. Also, I know that the animals I’m eating have been carefully raised and are free of both excess fat and toxicity. When selecting meat or fish, there are two major considerations: Make sure it’s fresh, and as unprocessed as possible. Buy fresh fish and seafood instead of the processed forms, such as crab cakes or smoked and breaded fish. There’s no harm in having the odd slice of smoked salmon, provided it is naturally smoked— however, the more a fish is processed the fewer benefits it will bring for high level health. (And most smoked salmon has sugar added to it these days, so read labels carefully.) BLESSED OMEGA 3s If possible, add fish to your diet once or twice a week. For fish is rich in “pre-formed” omega-3 fatty acids—DHA and EPA. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce the levels of triglycerides—blood fats characteristic of insulin resistance syndrome which can put you at risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also spur fat burning, as well as lowering blood pressure and improving overall heart function. Often, flaxseed oil is promoted as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. And it is—at least in the sense that flax contains a great deal of linolenic acid, precursor to DHA and EPA. The problem is that, when you are relying on flaxseed for your omega-3 requirements, your body has to convert linolenic acid to DHA and EPA for this to be beneficial. Most people can’t make this conversion—especially if they have eaten a lot of trans-fatty acids, or an abundance of omega-6 fats, in the past. Also: Omega-3 from flax oil is a shorter chain fatty acid, which in some people is changed into arachidonic acid. When in excess, this causes inflammation. By contrast, EPA and DHA in fish oils are great anti-inflammatories. If you are overweight or insulin resistant, it is likely that your body cannot make this conversion, possibly because you, like most of us these days, have taken in an overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids in comparison to the omega-3s. That’s why taking a good fish oil is wise (see below for my favorite). MAKE IT FRESH The key to good fish is buying it fresh. Ask the person serving you which fish is the freshest, and what days of the week different kinds of fish arrive in the shop. You can tell a lot about the freshness of fish by its smell and look. Fresh fish does not smell fishy. It smells more like the salty bite of a sea breeze. If it’s a whole fish you are looking at, pull back its gills. They should be bright red. The moment they go pale pink or grey, you know the fish has been sitting in the shop too long. Try poking the flesh of the fish with your finger as well. If it springs back instead of forming an indentation, then you’re lucky enough to have a piece of fresh fish on your hands. Check out the eye of the fish, too. It should be dome-shaped and clear, not sunken or murky. GO WILD The meats we get today are a far cry from those our Paleolithic ancestors hunted. The closest you can come these days is wild boar, rabbit, buffalo, venison and kangaroo. These meats are higher in protein and lower in fat than the meat from domestically farmed animals. Where a piece of meat from wild game boasts about 22 grams of protein in each 100 gram portion, domestic meat can sometimes contain as little as 15 or 16 grams. Wild meat is also much lower in fat. The ordinary meat that you buy in the supermarket is six times as fatty and only about three quarters as rich in protein as that of game meat. That being said, all organic red meats like beef and lamb from grazed animals are excellent sources of zinc, a mineral that’s enormously important—not only for insulin balance but for the skin and the reproductive system. Free-range and organic meat is far better than factory farmed in every way. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY I was a vegetarian for twenty years of my life, and I believe that a vegetarian diet is ideal for some. In my mid thirties, however, I discovered that vegetarianism was not ideal for me. This may well have been because my ancestors, being Nordic, spent most of their lives living on fish, salted meat and whatever cabbage they could dig up from frozen ground. Our genetic makeup determines to a great extent what works for us and what doesn’t. When I added fish and game to my meals, my energy levels soared. I looked and felt better. Each of us is unique. This not only determines what kind of foods we thrive on; it also determines what kinds of foods are best for us at any particular time of our life. For instance, many women at menopause find they do much better by cutting meat out of their diet. Others discover just the opposite—that they need to add more animal protein. It’s a question of “suck it and see”. Following the principles of a good diet, explore what works for you. Don’t hesitate to shift from eating more fruit at one time of your life to more vegetables at another, more fish at another. The human body is always changing, as are our needs for various foods. I’d like to share with you a couple of my favorite recipes. Try them out and let me know what you think. If you have favorite protein recipes of your own, do send them to me. I will share them with others and of course credit you for them. CRUNCHY GREEN PRAWNS serves 4 When it comes to prawns, green means raw. These are the best. You can buy them fresh or frozen in every form—shelled, unshelled, whole, or heads removed. If you’re lucky enough to find fresh ones, make sure they really are fresh since, like other shellfish, prawns go off fast. Eat them the day you buy them. I like to eat them whole, partly because they are so beautiful and partly because I like the crunchy texture of the shells. I always eat the shells since the shells are filled with chitin—a protein substance which cosmetic manufacturers now use to strengthen skin from both within and without. Like most shellfish, prawns are rich in iodine and in the antioxidants zinc and selenium. Prawns are great for people who eat very little, because they are an easily-digested form of top quality protein. They are also a good source of calcium, iodine and the important omega-3 fatty acids, which not only protect the heart but offer good support to hormonal health, skin health and beauty. Crunchy Green Prawns can be cooked under a grill or on a barbecue. You can even flash fry them on a teppen yaki grill or in a heavy frying pan if you like. They are delicious hot. But you can also make them for a picnic and serve them cold. What You Need 750g of King prawns, uncooked. You may peel and de-vein them if you wish. 2 limes, cut in wedges 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, chopped For the Marinade: 3–4 tablespoons of olive oil 1 tablespoon of spring onions, finely chopped 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 50g of fresh ginger, finely shredded A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped The juice and finely shredded zest of 2 small limes (if you can’t get limes then use 1 lemon) 2 tablespoons of sake, tamari or dry sherry 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds broken up with a mortar and pestle Coarse-ground black pepper to taste Snow pea sprout heads to use as a garnish (optional) Here’s How Wash the prawns carefully in cold water and then dry with a tea towel. Place all of the ingredients for the marinade, except the lime zest, chopped garlic and 1/4 of the chopped coriander into a food processor or blender. Purée to a paste. Pour into a bowl, add the garlic, the lime or lemon zest and the remaining chopped coriander and mustard seeds, then mix into the paste by hand. Place the prawns in the bowl and, using your hands, turn them over and over until they are covered with the paste. Put on to a flat glass dish and cover. Set it in a cool place—the fridge itself if it happens to be the middle of summer—for at least three hours. Cook on a teppen yaki grill, a barbecue or under a grill in the oven until they are crunchy. Serve with lime wedges. Don’t throw away any of the marinade—cooked or uncooked—that still remains. It is delicious to spread over the crunchy prawns. It takes only a couple of minutes a side to fry these and very little more under a hot grill or on a barbecue—all you want is for them to turn opaque. However you cook them, eat them with your fingers—shell and all. All sensuous food tastes better this way, but prawns especially. I serve them with a combination of basmati rice and wild rice—about half and half—and a bright green salad of wild rocket with whatever fresh herbs, from basil to lovage, that I can harvest from the garden or find at the market. AND FOR MY VEGETARIAN FRIENDS: CORIANDER ORGANIC TOFU Thanks to the intense flavor of coriander, this herb works well to enhance the bland flavor of tofu. This recipe goes well with steamed vegetables—especially broccoli—and kasha (steamed buckwheat). Make a tofu sandwich of it, or add this tofu to a salad to make it a one-bowl meal rich in protein and in plant factors for health. What You Need 400g of firm organic tofu (non-GMO) 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil 2” finger of fresh ginger, shredded fine 1/2 cup of fresh coriander, chopped fine 1 tablespoon of tamari 1 teaspoon of wild honey, or a pinch of granular stevia Sea salt and freshly-ground red pepper to taste Here’s How Cut the tofu crosswise into slices that are approximately 3/8 inch thick. Mix together all the other ingredients in a bowl, then dip each tofu slice into the mixture you have created. Heat a heavy frying pan grill or teppen yaki grill. Use enough olive oil or coconut oil on top of the grill so the tofu will not stick. Place the tofu on the grill, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly-ground red peppercorns, and cook at a high temperature until browned. Turn and brown again. Serve immediately as a tofu sandwich or in a tofu salad or simply as is, with loads of beautifully colored fresh vegetables. The whole cooking process takes no more than 3–5 minutes. I hope you enjoy them.

Eat Fat And Thrive

Eat Fat And Thrive

In the so-called civilized world, the population continues to grow sicker by the year, while food manufacturers, government bodies and the mainstream medical profession keep telling us that we need to eat more low-fat-high-carb foods as well as lots of unsaturated oils and stay away from saturated fats and oils if we want to stay healthy. So people go on buying convenience foods chock full of carbs and sugars, the golden oils and products containing them all the while believing that they are doing the right thing if want to protect themselves from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and all the other degenerative diseases that plague the Western World. Well, my friends, all such advice is not only untrue. It is positively dangerous. To stay healthy, protect yourself from obesity, degenerative conditions and early aging, you must dump the starchy carbs and hidden sugars, all those highly processed unsaturated oils and the packaged convenience foods which contains them. It’s time to get savvy about the right kind of fats and introduce them to your meals. They can bring energy, beautiful skin, and real protection from early aging and chronic illnesses. By the way, they can also make your meals taste great. STOP BLAMING YOURSELF In case you think it’s your fault that you happen to be suffering with a chronic condition or you are overweight, think again. Like most conscientious human beings, you have only been trying to follow the guidelines that doctors, governments and the media tells us will keep us well, slim and protected from heart disease. Here’s the truth: The guidelines we have been given ever since World War II have not only been all wrong, they have been truly dangerous to our health. The powers-that-be have instilled in us irrational fear of fat, largely as a result of the poor research and conclusions drawn back in the 1960s—when Ancel Keys and others were trying to figure out how to prevent heart disease. One group of so-called experts jumped to the conclusion that dietary fat was the culprit. Before long, their rash assumptions were turned into a quasi-religious dogma that has stuck. The low-fat, high-carb-and-sugar eating propounded by them, instead of protecting us from heart disease, obesity and other degenerative conditions, has made us highly susceptible to all of them. LIES CONTINUE Here’s another common fat fallacy: “The Western diet has increased in saturated fat over the last century.” Just the opposite is true. At the turn of the last century, most of the population still got their fatty acids from saturated animal-based sources, such as lard, butter, and tallow. They were better off for it. Then, from 1910 to 1970 in the United States, the proportion of animal fats eaten declined from 83% of all fats eaten to 62%, and butter consumption went from 18 to 4 pounds per person per year—all because of the invention and promotion of margarines. Meanwhile, what did increase exponentially was the quantity of fats we began to take in, in the form of chemically refined unsaturated vegetable oils, margarines, trans-fatty acids and junk fats. The results of all this? Our health has continued to decline. By the way, it’s worthwhile taking a look at how well we’ve fared in combating heart disease and obesity since we began shunning animal fats and eating the masses of the carbs they recommended. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that, since 1980, obesity alone has grown to epic proportions, right from the very year the government’s guidelines were published. THE SKINNY ON FATS From the 1960s onwards, governments worldwide have been telling us to eat less fat and more carbohydrate which they figured would make up for the fat we no longer ate. Low-fat foods began to appear on our supermarket shelves for keen and hungry consumers; they quickly became a major financial success story for food manufacturers. We ate baked potatoes instead of fries with our meals, and thought that we were taking the healthy option. We ate low-fat foods thinking that these were good for us, without realizing that food manufacturers, in preparing their low-fat menus, had replaced the fat with sugar. Meanwhile, we were warned against all saturated fats, told that they are dangerous, and urged to eat more polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil—all those golden oils that still fill our supermarket shelves. These oils and margarines were held up as beneficial for protecting us from heart disease. Both of these directives turned out to be big fat lies. BEWARE PROCESSED OILS Polyunsaturated fats and oils—which we have long been urged to eat—turn rancid quickly when heated. All the golden oils most people still believe are good for them turn into health-destroying sources of free-radicals that can do the body a great deal of harm. They attack our cells and damage our DNA. Recent, reliable scientific studies show a link between consumption of these processed polyunsaturates and cancer as well as heart disease. DUMP THE GOLDEN OILS Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils all tend to be badly processed, using all sorts of unpleasant chemicals. Avoid them. Canola oil, which fills many of our ready-made food products, has been associated with fibrotic heart lesions. It is high in sulfur and turns rancid easily. Margarines are full of trans-fatty acids. Shun them. There’s something else we now know about these oils that will probably surprise you. Analysis of the fat in clogged arteries reveals that only about 26% is saturated fat. The rest is made up of polyunsaturates. So here’s the bottom line: The heart’s preferred source of food when under stress is good old “unhealthy” saturated fat. OMEGA 3 BENEFITS Omega-6 and omega 3 fatty acids, when in the right balance, help your body in all sorts of ways. They increase your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, helping your body regulate its blood sugar. They increase metabolic rate and fat metabolism, so more of your stored fat can be burnt as energy. Natural foods rich in the omega-6 oils include avocados, nuts, flax seeds, and spirulina. Paleontologists have discovered that our ancestors consumed them in the ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 (omega-6 to omega 3 fatty acids). However today, in our Western diets, the balance between these two fatty acids has become all screwed up. Modern diets contain a ratio of about 22:1—far too high for optimal health. This excess can cause all sorts of problems, from weight gain to cancer. What can we do about it? For a start, you never have to worry about getting enough omega-6s. They’re everywhere. What you do need to do is increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids]. A great way of doing this is to start taking a good-quality fish oil supplement. EAT IN ABUNDANCE Have no fear of the saturated fats found in meat and butter from grass-fed animals, and tropical oils like coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for cooking. Extra-virgin olive oil is great for salad dressings. Eaten on their own, or together with protein, but without an abundance of starchy carbohydrates, good quality natural fats alleviate hunger and act as an excellent source of energy throughout the day. Eating too little good fat cab lead to the experience of sitting down to a meal and, no matter how much you eat, still craving food at the end of it. Good natural fats let you know when your body is satisfied. Introducing the right kind of fats to your meals also helps balance hormones while significantly enhancing how you look and feel. MEET THE GOOD OILS Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed walnut oil, cold-pressed fax-seed oil, avocado oil, sesame oil and coconut oil are all excellent for salad dressings. Eat them and thrive. Olive oil is monounsaturated rather than polyunsaturated—one of the safest vegetable oils you can use. It is well-suited to dressings and can be heated, but only to moderate temperatures. Make sure the Extra Virgin Olive Oil you buy is cloudy (not filtered) and a golden-yellow color. Sesame oil is reasonably stable and can also be used on salads as can cold-pressed walnut oil and avocado oil. Coconut oil is a highly saturated oil/fat and is the safest, healthiest choice for cooking, because it remains stable even at high temperatures. It also boasts antiviral and antibacterial properties. DON’T FORGET BUTTER Millions of shoppers buy margarine in the belief that it’s “better for you than butter.” This is another baseless opinion, forced upon us by bad science and multinational food manufacturers. The process used to turn out margarine, known as hydrogenation, does horrendous things to the already-rancid vegetable oils it is made from. Margarines also contain all sorts of additives you wouldn’t want in your body. It is not surprising that they have now become associated with the development of both cancer and heart disease. Butter on the other hand contains many essential nutrients. Look for butter made from the milk of grass-fed animals if you can find it. Experiments comparing the health of margarine eaters with butter eaters continually find in butter’s favor. In one study, the risk of developing heart disease for butter users was half that of eaters of margarine. Infants and children especially benefit from butter, which fosters normal growth and development. Use this delicious stuff liberally—and without guilt—in the knowledge that your body will thank you for it. THE LAST WORD OF ADVICE Fats and starchy carbs like pasta, bread, and pizza do not mix. Eating them together bring about what is known as the Randle Effect: When lots of fat and carbohydrates are eaten together, as they often are in the standard Western diet, the fats get burnt as fuel, while the carbohydrates are converted to glucose. The glucose in turn is converted into more body fat, throwing any overweight, insulin-resistant person into a terrible vicious circle, where hunger and carbohydrate cravings lead to overeating, followed by an inevitable increase in blood sugar and insulin levels as well as body fat deposits and yet more cravings. The irony is that, for a long time, we have been blaming dietary fat for this, when this phenomenon is actually caused by a high starchy carbohydrate intake, especially in the presence of the junk fats found in margarines, golden oils, and convenience foods. Natural fats eaten on their own or together with protein, but without an abundance of carbohydrates, do not cause the laying down of fat in the body. Nor do they cause insulin resistance. This is perhaps the most difficult thing to grasp for those of us who have been highly schooled in the high-carbs-low-fat approach to weight loss and age protection. Yet, when it comes to staying well it is essential to understand.

False Grains Are Fabulous For Your Health

False Grains Are Fabulous For Your Health

Eating conventional grains and cereals distorts hormonal regulation and interferes with your body’s ability to maintain its normal functions. These foods also turn into sugars. Then they wreak havoc with insulin and blood sugar levels, produce peaks and troughs of energy, cause cravings, create chronic fatigue, weight gain and a myriad of other problems, including brain fog and depression. Independent studies confirm all this and more. Is there an alternative, so your health and vitality can soar? There sure is. But few people know about it. Grains Cause Degenerative Conditions Most people—including those who believe they are eating a “healthy diet”—are amazed to learn that the common grains and cereals we eat, which form the base of convenience foods, play a major role in the development of diabetes, coronary heart disease and a myriad of other degenerative conditions. And I’m not just talking about wheat and other grains that contain gluten. I mean ALL common grains! For more than half a century, food manufacturers, intent on making profit, have been producing a great variety of palatable “foods” by fragmenting and reducing raw material foodstuffs—grains and fats and sugars—to simple “nuts and bolts” ingredients. Then they whip up these nuts and bolts into the manipulated convenience foods that fill our supermarket shelves—from ready-to-eat meals to candy bars, cakes, breads, and cereals—in short, the stuff that makes up some 75% of what the average person eats. Eating these foods, and the kind of carbohydrate foods that they contain, encourages rapid aging. It also encourages your body to fabricate wrinkles, sags, a puffy face and a lackluster complexion. Then you wonder why you appear to be aging so quickly. The chronic high blood sugar and insulin resistance that develops from eating so many grains and cereals makes you muddle-minded, depressed and lacking in the energy you need to overcome all of this. Eliminate Convenience Foods From Your Life These are only a few reasons to seriously minimize or completely eliminate grains, cereals, and convenience foods from your life. It’s time to explore the false grains. These seeds and grasses are mistakenly labeled grains, but they are completely different. I call them the faux grains. High in protein and fiber but low-glycemic compared to conventional grains, they are full of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, iron and calcium. They are gluten-free, easy to digest and assimilate and alkaline-forming in your body. The false grains are great for making muffins, pancakes, cereals, loaves, pilafs and all sorts of other dishes. You can even sprout many with ease to supply even more vitamins, minerals and important plant factors to your body. Try these in your cooking and baking. You can find them in any good organic food store: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Quinoa, and Wild Rice. You will be surprised, too, by how much better you will feel using them instead of the conventional stuff most people still eat. Many people even shed excess weight and, in the process, develop a spontaneous desire to increase the quantity of fiber-rich fresh raw vegetables in their diet. They report renewed vitality and wellbeing. The faux grains can help you control your weight, often without having to restrict the quantity of food you eat. To anybody who has conscientiously fought—and too often lost—the battle of the bulge, this can seem like a miracle. In truth, it’s no miracle. It simply comes as a result of the metabolic rebalance which takes place by turning away from convenience foods, sugars and grains, and replacing them with nourishing and delicious seeds and grasses. You see, eliminating wheat, maize, sugars, starches and sweets from your diet, and drastically reducing or cutting out grains and cereals, transforms the biochemistry of your body, restores energy and wipes out cravings for alcohol, drugs and sweets. It helps your body grow leaner and stronger, then supports it to stay that way. Although as yet little known, these delicious grasses and seeds are important for everyone, even young children. They're naturally high in fiber and filling to eat. And, when eaten regularly, they help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes—even certain cancers. The gifts they bring are too good to miss. Clear your cupboards of the old stuff and get into the faux grains. You will love them.

How To Create A Magic Kitchen

How To Create A Magic Kitchen

Your kitchen—big or small—should be treated like an artist’s atelier. It needs to be a place where you can lose yourself in creative play. The kitchen has always been the center of a home. In the past it was the place of fire, of inspiration, warmth and imagination. I remember as a child sitting in front of an old Stanley stove gazing into the flames—filled with delightful visions—while my grandmother canned pears, peaches and green beans for winter. My own kitchen, out of which my High Raw food style developed, is more like a sculptor’s studio than a food preparation station. It is a place where Aaron and I can get together with friends, workmates and family to laugh and talk about serious and trivial stuff while we prepare meals together. GREAT FUN Your kitchen should have the atmosphere of freedom in it. Hang quirky things from the ceiling if that inspires you. Put a potted plant where you wouldn’t expect one. Paint cupboard doors in wild colors. Your kitchen should reflect things that delight and amuse you. Ten years ago I bought a gigantic soup ladle, which has hung above my gas hob ever since. It is so big that it would be ideal for a Salvation Army soup kitchen. But it makes me laugh. I like its beautiful shape and am continually amused by the absurdity of its size. With a well-organized, well equipped kitchen, high raw meals are a pleasure to prepare. But there is nothing more annoying than setting out to make a meal in someone else’s kitchen and spending ages looking for a brush to scrub vegetables only to find that the one you used was the floor brush! Let’s look at some of the tools which are most useful for a raw food gourmet. MANDOLIN MAGIC The one piece of equipment I would never be without is a mandolin. I prefer the simple plastic ones that sell for a fifth of the price of the expensive stainless steel variety. They have a v-shaped blade into which plastic inserts fit, each of which has different size knives so you can julienne, make chip-size chunks, slice thin or thick. Unlike the conventional grater, which mashes vegetables and fruits when you use it, a mandolin slices them clean and sharp. Be sure to use the hand-protecting device that comes with either model. If you don’t, and I know from experience, what you will end up with is shredded fingers—yours—instead of shredded cabbage. POWER TOOLS Although it is nice to return to nature wherever possible, you have to draw the line somewhere. Using electric equipment takes the tediousness out of chopping vegetables, gives you a greater choice of textures, allows you to make splendid desserts, nut loaves, sauces, soups and whips, and cuts down enormously on preparation time. I find a few simple machines give full rein to my imagination. These are the raw chef’s equivalent of the oven or the microwave. For those who like an “all manual” kitchen I suggest alternatives, but they really are second best. Apart from a mandolin, the three machines I consider useful are a food processor, a juicer and a blender—in that order. You can get by without a blender because a food processor does many of the same things, but it is useful nonetheless. You can buy appliances which combine the functions of all three, but keeping them separate lets you work on several recipes at the same time and encourages helpers. Choose good strong machines that will stand up to heavy use. If you have a large family, it can be worth investing in catering or industrial models which are sturdier and can cope with larger quantities. SMOOTH PROCESSING A good food processor is a blessing to the raw food chef. There are so many remarkable attachments to choose from—a blade, several coarse to fine graters, various slicers and shredders. The blade attachment is excellent for grinding nuts and seeds, wheat and other sprouts, homogenizing vegetables for soups and loaves, and making dressings, dips and desserts such as ice cream. You can do most of these things with a blender, but if your ingredients are gooey they tend to stick around the blade and you spend ages scraping with very little to show for it. The blade in a food processor is removable and easy to scrape, so you lose very little. The grater, slicer and shredder attachments are terrific for making salads. With their help, you can prepare a splendid Whole Meal Salad for four people and have it on the table in ten minutes. Do experiment with all these attachments because, believe it or not, vegetables actually taste different depending on how they are cut up. YOUR JUICE EXTRACTOR The most important considerations when buying a juicer are power, capacity and ease of cleaning. The fewer fiddly parts to wash up, the better. Some have a removable strip of plastic gauze in the pulp basket which is helpful in cleaning. There are basically three types of juicer: the hydraulic press type, the rotating blade type, and the centrifugal type. Some hydraulic presses are hand-operated and therefore less convenient than the electric kind, but some doctors who prescribe raw juices prefer them on the grounds that they reduce the amount of oxidation that takes place when juices are exposed to air. I have all three myself. Centrifugal juicers are best to start with and come in two types: either they are separators, which operate without needing to be constantly cleaned out, or they are batch operators, which have to be cleaned out after every 2lb (roughly a kilo) of material has been juiced. That gives the separator kind the edge when it comes to convenience; they expel leftover pulp rather than fill up with it. But they tend not to extract juice as efficiently as the batch operator kind. If you decide on a batch juicer, look for a large capacity model which does not require emptying too often. It can be infuriating working with a machine that insists on being cleaned out after juicing only two glasses when you are juicing for six people. One other thing to check before buying a juicer is the size of the hole through which you feed your vegetables and fruits. Some are really too small and it can be a real drag to have to cut carrots and beetroots lengthwise. A POWER BLENDER There is not much to choose between blenders except their power. You will need one of at least 400 watts (anything less will be unable to cope). My favorite has attachments for grating, chopping, kneading etc. which are very useful. Glass models are preferable to plastic, as plastic tends to stain and look tatty very quickly. Look for one that has a removable blade (the base unscrews) for ease of cleaning. I own three and they are all Vita Mix because they go on and on, and will do just about everything with ease. OTHER GADGETS Two other devices I find useful are an electric citrus fruit juicer and a lettuce spin-drier. The citrus juicer has a central rotating cone onto which you press your halved grapefruits, oranges and lemons. Very quick and easy. There is nothing to stop you juicing citrus fruits in a centrifuge juicer, but you need to peel them first. The lettuce spin-drier is a great invention. There are several types, but my favorite is a basket which fits into a container with holes in the bottom and has a lid with a spinning cord. You put the whole contraption in the sink, put your lettuce or greens into the basket, put the lid on, run water slowly through the hole in the lid and pull the spinning cord. This spins the basket and expels the water, in theory cleaning and drying the greens. In practice they need to be rinsed before you put them in the basket, but by spinning you get beautifully crisp non-watery leaves very quickly. BACK TO BASICS A few other gadgets can be helpful if you cannot afford or have basic objections to electrical equipment. But you will be more limited in the number of textures and recipes you can prepare. A sturdy grater—the box type with a fine, medium and coarse face, and a face for grating nutmeg and ginger. Hand coffee grinder—for rendering down nuts, seeds and spices. Meat mincer—the sort you screw to the table, with coarse and fine cutters; good for grinding grains, seeds, nuts and sprouts. A strong stainless steel sieve—for rubbing soft fruits through or extracting the juice from finely grated vegetables. Hand hydraulic juicer A stainless steel “mouli” rotary grinder—with coarse and fine grater inserts; quite effective for juicing finely grated fruit or vegetables. Pestle and mortar—for grinding herbs, spices, flowers, etc. A lemon squeezer Wire salad basket—the sort you swing maniacally round your head in the garden. RAZOR SHARP Of primary importance to raw food preparation are good knives and a good chopping board. At least two knives are essential, a large one for tackling spinach leaves, onions, carrot sticks and so on, and a smaller one for more delicate jobs. The best knives are made from carbon steel. Some enthusiasts disapprove of carbon steel because, unlike stainless steel, it encourages oxidation of cut surfaces, but I prefer them, for although stainless steel knives look nice they do not keep their edges as well and a sharp edge is important for creating beautiful salads. If none of your knives will cut a tomato without squashing it, then they need sharpening! A good sharpener is worth investing in. CHOPPING BLOCK Good chopping boards are hard to find. Either they lose their pretty patterns with repeated chopping, or they warp when they get wet, or they are not large enough to slice an orange on without most of the juice running over the edge. Find a decent sized wooden chopping board if you can, with runnels around the edge. Look in a professional chef’s shop for the biggest you can find. Here is my solution to the problem. When I had a new kitchen installed I kept some big leftover pieces of Formica covered board. You can prepare a salad—or leave the chopped vegetables—on one end, and the peelings on the other. If it’s big enough, it can fit over the sink so you can drop the peelings into a waste bowl underneath. EARTHY VESSELS All told, the high-raw chef uses very few utensils—there are no enormous pots and pans to go in and out of the oven or to wash up. Choose dishes and platters made of inert or natural substances—glass, earthenware and wood rather than plastic and metal. Avoid all things made of aluminum. Aluminum is highly active. When it comes into contact with the acids in some raw foods, such as tomatoes, it can be bleached out and end up in the food producing heavy metal poisoning over time. Here are some of the other things you find in my own kitchen. A special “vegetables only” scrubbing brush A large colander, with feet so that it can stand in the sink to drain Bread pans (preferably glass) for making vegetable loaves Flat boards or trays for making sweet treats Ice cube trays A garlic chopper—achieves much better and quicker results than a pestle and mortar or a garlic press Scissors for cutting up fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, mint and so on Salad bowls of different shapes and sizes Soup plates, fairly wide and deep, for individual “dish salads” Salad platters—you can create attractive banquet-like effects by serving crudités arranged on a large platter, perhaps one with several compartments for dips Several pairs of salad servers A large pitcher for drinks, and a strainer PRESERVING LIFE It is important to store living foods carefully so they stay alive. I keep my seeds, pulses and grains in sealed polythene bags or airtight glass jars. Empty sweet jars make useful storage containers, as do the plastic tubs. But glass is always best. Always cover salads as soon as you have prepared them, even if it is only for ten minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal, to protect from wilting.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 15 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.68 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men
-0.68 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

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