Archive for July, 2008

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Raw Chickpea-free Hummus

July 29, 2008

Hummus is a great vegetarian snack, but most commercial hummus is made from CANNED chickpeas, which are cooked, re-cooked, denatured and completely devoid of their natural enzymes. Ugh. We need our enzymes to stay vibrant, healthy and energetic! You’ll be amazed at how yummy this raw variation is:

  • 2 organic zucchinis, chopped
  • ¾ cup raw tahini
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ Tbs. ground cumin

** Optional: Add a couple of Tbs. of Kal brand nutritional yeast, for added protein and a thicker, cheesier flavor.

Dip celery, red peppers, and cucumbers for a great snack or appetizer!

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Cooling Cucumber Summer Smoothie

July 15, 2008

Try this for a simple, cleansing, and delicious summer smoothie. It not too sweet, and is a nice blend of vegetables, fruits and herbs.

In your blender combine:

  • 2 cups cold filtered water
  • 1 large organic cucumber
  • 2 organic apples
  • 2 or 3 sprigs of mint leaves, plucked off the stem
  • ice (optional if you want it icy, I usually don’t add it)

That’s it! This is a great and easy way to get a whole cucumber into your diet. Often, people only consume two little slices of cucumber that comes on a tossed salad.

If you buy organic, it’s okay to eat the skin, which is a great source of beautifying zinc. Other skin-enhancing compounds include silica and Vitamin C. Ahh, easy on the palate and pretty for the skin. This is one you should definitely try!

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The Mighty Enzyme: #1 Secret to Perfect Health

July 10, 2008

Modern science always seems to be looking for the next miracle cure for a plethora of aging diseases. However, a vastly important health component, the mighty enzyme, has already been researched and studied for some time. Enzymes carry out all the biological processes in the body, including digestion, detoxification, repairing, healing and even thinking. Take all the vitamin and mineral supplements you want, but if you lack readily available enzymes, you are going to have a much harder time fully digesting and absorbing them. As Dr. Ann Wigmore says, “Enzyme preservation is the secret to health.” Did you know that enzymes:

  • Maintain weight and/or promote weight loss
  • Fend off chronic degenerative diseases
  • Greatly slow the aging proces

Read on! Here are a couple of interesting studies:

  • Dr. Francis Pottenger studied 900 cats over 10 years. He gave half the cats raw milk and food and the other half pasteurized milk and cooked food. In the first generation, the cats on the cooked food developed a pattern of degenerative disease, and in the second and third generation the cats began to develop congenital bone deformities, hyperactivity, and sterility. The cats fed raw food were healthy from generation to generation.
  • In Japan, a study showed that 82% of patients with tuberculosis had lower enzyme contents than normal, and diabetes patients had an 86% lower than normal level of amylase.
  • Dr. Kollath of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm found when he put animals on a diet of cooked and processed foods similar to the typical Western diet, the animals began to age more quickly and began to develop chronic degenerative diseases at an earlier age. The animals raised on raw food did not suffer from those problems.
  • Dr. Howell, who many consider the father of food enzyme research in the 20th century, produced a vast amount of research and evidence that strongly suggests that foods devoid of enzymes as a result of cooking, food irradiation and microwaving causes the enlargement of the pancreas, and puts a massive strain on all the endocrine glands, including the adrenals and pituitary.

The fact is, when a large reserve of the body’s enzymes are used up in the processes of digestion, which can use up to 50% of the body’s energy, it takes away from the body’s use of enzymes towards functions such as detoxification, and repairing and maintaining the health of the skin and organs. Enzymes are also used to maintain body weight. Cooked fats lack the enzyme lipase, which interferes with fat digestion, just as cooked carbs lack the enzyme amylase, which help break down starches. Also, cooked food stimulates cravings for food because the organs are not getting the nutrients they would normally get in uncooked food. The body craves more nutrients, which may translate into a much greater appetite. Farmers have long known that if you give raw potatoes to hogs they will not gain weight, but if you give them cooked potatoes they gain a lot of weight.

The problem in modern society is that the capacity or an organism to make enzymes is exhaustible, and whenever we process or cook foods in any way, we destroy its enzyme reserve.

So:

1. Eat as much raw food as possible. This is the #1 activity that preserves enzymes and maximizes health. Follow the lead of ALL other animals on earth (besides humans and domesticated animals) who eat their food raw, and do not suffer from the chronic degenerative diseases that we do. When we eat raw food, it uses its own enzymes to digest the food and does not deplete the food enzymes from our own system to break it down.

2. Add sprouts to your diet, which is one of the highest enzyme-concentrated foods.

3. Take live, plant enzymes supplements, which you can find in any health food store. Especially if you are about to eat cooked, microwaved, or irradiated food!!

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Corn: When Good Veggies Go Bad

July 2, 2008

When Midwestern cornfields and rural farm life come to mind they probably seem far removed from the politics of Capitol Hill.

The reality is that corn is deeply entrenched in American politics. It is now the #1 crop grown in America, with almost 80 million acres planted annually. Corn should be rotated among fields, or else grown only once in four seasons, in order to prevent depletion of the soil. However, common commercial growing practices do not rotate corn and therefore rob the soil of nitrates and precious minerals. The result: commercial corn requires more nitrate fertilizer and pesticide than any other crop. Corn’s extreme hybridization further contributes to its heavy reliance on fertilizers and pesticides to grow.

So where does all this corn go? More than half of the 10 billion bushels produced in America each year are fed to animals being farmed for slaughter, including cattle, chickens, pigs, and even farm-raised fish like salmon. Since these animals don’t eat corn in their natural diets, they have trouble digesting it properly and frequently become sick. Farmers respond by dousing the feed with antibiotics, steroids, hormones and drugs. The antibiotics keep animals alive long enough to be slaughtered, while steroids make them grow large prematurely so they can be slaughtered before showing any signs of disease. For example, the lifespan of a chicken in the wild is about 17 years, but a factory-farmed chicken is slaughtered at 3 months or less. The antibiotics and steroids fed to these animals, not to mention all the chemicals sprayed on the corn they eat, accumulate in people who eat factory-farmed meat.

Corn isn’t just an indirect health risk to meat eaters – its mass farming has terrible environmental consequences. The sea of chemicals, nitrate fertilizers and pesticides used to grow commercial corn severely harm local water supplies and eventually run off into major water sources like the Mississippi River. The costs are real: the Gulf of Mexico now has a 12,000 square mile zone where marine life has been virtually wiped out!

It gets worse. Four billion barrels a year of corn are processed and refined into high fructose corn syrup. Since the 1980’s, we’ve replaced the white sugar formerly found in many foods with this virtual poison. A few examples include packaged food, fast food, junk food, baby food, juices, soda, sweet tea beverages, canned soup, cookies, muffins, pasteurized juice and even bread. High fructose corn syrup is highly glycemic and promotes hyper/hypoglycemia, elevates triglyceride levels, and induces an insulin response. Guess what has occurred in almost exact parallel to the inundation of high fructose corn syrup…a shocking rise of obesity and Type II diabetes in children!

So how did corn syrup infiltrate the American diet? Politics. Corn costs $3 per bushel (56 pounds) to produce, but the world market is so saturated that it fetches only $2 dollars per bushel. In June 2002 President Bush approved a $190 billion farm bill, which provides $4 billion per year in subsidies (i.e. taxpayer money) through 2012 to induce farmers to grow MORE corn.

To be clear, helping farmers is good thing. But the unfortunate reality is that even with this subsidy, most corn farmers are working hard and not getting rich. Behind the farm bill is a more powerful lobby – the pharma/chemical industry that supplies all those pricey pesticides and chemicals that corn needs to grow and the antibiotics, hormones, and steroids going right into corn-based feed.

While Americans get fatter and sicker and our environment gets more polluted, it seems that just a handful of big business are benefiting- at our great expense.

What can we do? Take a stand. Stop buying packaged food that contains high fructose corn syrup. Stop buying processed corn products for you, your family, and your pets. Stop supporting factory farming, and start supporting organic farming. You’ll feel better than ever.

Special thanks to Dr. David Jubbs for his essay, “The Cornification of America.”