It's just our nature to want to blame someone or something else, rather than own up and take control of the situation ourselves. We all like to have a pity party and bask in our misery, especially if we think that the bad situation is out of our control. It's somewhat comforting though, knowing that it's not our fault, and especially when a doctor says this to us and tells us that it's not our fault. Just "go slap your mother," was the advice given to me by a doctor many years ago when referring to a health problem I was faced with. Maybe it didn't help the situation I was in, but at least it let me know it wasn't my fault. But wasn't it?
I'm talking about genetics. Back then, I just gave in to the seemingly scientific fact that we all are predestined to doom or delight when it comes to our health, depending on the genetic hand that was dealt to us. But with new research now after over 50 years since Francis Watson and James Crick first proposed their model for DNA and genetics, we can take this matter of doom or delight into our own hands when it comes to our health. I know, I know, I hear you say, "well, we all still die, 10 out of 10 people die." Yes, you are right. We will never defeat death in this perishable body on this earth, but while we are here, we can sure put up a good fight, and we can possibly save ourselves from living out our days on a bed of ill health. I believe our bodies are God's temple where the Holy Spirit dwells, and we need to care for it as much as we can.
Now don't go slap your mother. I'm about to tell you about new research that points to the fact that our genetic tendencies are not set in stone, that they can be influenced by the choices we make. It's really hard for me to believe that we can alter our propensity toward a certain disease by the foods we eat, but that's what new research is trying to say.
Take a look at these two words and the meanings given to them:
Nature: The inner blueprint that has its own rules and regulations
Nurture: Everything you do, like eating, sleeping, working, exercising, learning, environmental exposure (the sum total of it all).
It's not an all or nothing kind of thing, it's not all nature or all nurture when it comes to our health or lack of.
What would be the first thing you would think of if given the word from your doctor that you have heart disease or cancer? Your first thought would probably be that of wondering if this is something that is genetic, that you couldn't possibly have done anything about it (nature), or is it caused by the way you are doing things (nurture).
New research is indicating that what we inherit (nature) is only a genetic potential or tendency, but how we live and the quality of our environment (nurture) determines what our genes actually express. For instance, you may inherit a tendency for heart disease or cancer, but these diseases may only be expressed depending on how you live, eat, and the toxins you may be exposed to. You may never develop that heart disease or cancer if you don't smoke, and you do exercise, eat right and avoid toxins as much as you can.
Now isn't that good news! You don't have to slap your mother, and she doesn't have to slap her mother, but both of you can work on nurturing your body for the sake of good health. To get you started, I have listed a few simple steps to work on:
1. Avoid as many contaminants as you can: pesticides (go organic if possible
), heavy metals (cook in stainless steel, cast iron (see comments below about cast iron), glass, or porcelain cookware instead of aluminum), plastic packaging (especially in the microwave), cosmetics or anything you are putting on your skin that contains toxins.
The skin is our largest organ and can definitely absorb chemicals we put on it.
2. Avoid as many processed foods and sugar as possible: Think about what kinds of foods the Pilgrims must have eaten when they landed here in America and try to avoid foods that they would not recognize. Would they have eaten Twinkies, Fruit Loops Cereal, Ramen Noodles, Hamburger Helper? No, but they would eat whole foods
like vegetables and fruits, wild game, or sea foods.
3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of filtered water
, broths, soups, and herbal tea
4. Get plenty of sleep
regularly but do not overdo it.
6. Eat a diverse array of foods
with many colors. Learn what factors influence the nutrients in our foods
May God bless your efforts to be healthy.
Mateljan, George. (2007). The World's Healthiest Foods.
(1st Edition). Canada: GMF Publishing
This past weekend, I attended my first Wise Traditions annual conference. Every year this conference is held in a different location, and this year I was determined to attend, because it was within a reasonable driving distance from where I live. The conference was held at the beautiful Sheraton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, and this was their 14th conference. The theme of the conference was "Curing the Incurable: Holistic Therapies for Chronic Disease."
I must say that although attending the conference is wonderful, it is made even better when you have some good traveling companions. I was blessed to attend and room with two very good friends, Peggy Sutton, owner of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company,
and her sister-in-law, Teresa Griswold. We went down on Thursday and returned home on Sunday evening. Here is a picture of Peggy at her booth and also a picture of me and Teresa at the dinner table. Speaking of the dinner table......................
You just have to know that this conference knows how to feed a crowd! And to top it all off, not only do they feed you, but they feed you well with top quality foods donated by many organic farms. All of the foods were nutrient dense, fresh, organic, and pasture raised. I have never eaten better, so just take a look at some of the dishes that were served to us. These are just a few of the dishes that we enjoyed. I usually couldn't remember to take a picture of them before I ate them. :)
This was one of our breakfast meals. The oatmeal was donated by Peggy's Company and is topped with blueberries, cinnamon, raw milk and butter. Pastured eggs, cottage cheese, sausage and hot bone broth made for a very satisfying breakfast indeed!
One of the lunch meals included Greek chicken, mixed green salad, a vegetable medley of red peppers, carrots, onions and snow peas, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, and pumpkin pannecotta.
A tasty dessert plate of fruit compote topped with real whipped cream
Dry aged grass fed beef-steak tartar with greens
Wild Alaskan spot prawns etoufee, brown rice, cooked greens with fatback, with peach chutney
Salmon Lox, raw cheeses, fermented apple butter, pastured egg frittata, cheese and vegetables, and sausage
Here is a picture of just one of the buffet lines that greeted us each time we entered the dining hall.
Notice the pitcher of the red colored drink in the background. This is Kombucha tea - a favorite of many.
The conference was filled with many sponsors and exhibitors. I took pictures of some of them, but certainly not the majority of them. Miller's Organic Farm had a booth of products, but I did not get any pictures, much to my regret. This is the farm from Pennsylannia that our Auburn Food Buying Club orders from. By clicking on the links below, you will be taken to the websites of the sponsors and exhibitors.
And last but not least, my school, Hawthorn University,
was a silver sponsor at the conference. Pictured is
Dr. Karen Lyke. She was accompanied by Dr. Eric Wood, who was one of my professors. He was not at the table when I took this picture.
I think many of my readers will know this famous food blogger. This is none other than Ann Marie Michaels of Cheeseslave. I caught her at Peggy's booth and asked for a picture. She was happy to oblige. Check out her website. It's filled with good stuff.
Wouldn't you know it. Another famous person just came and asked to join our table. This is Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na), of Homeopathy Works
. I was delighted to meet her and had actually just signed up to take her homeopathy seminar classes. The specific one I will be learning is called, "Good Gut, Bad Gut."
I will learn about the connection of the gut to the ailments of ADHD, food intolerances, allergies, chronic fatigue, sugar addictions, and others. I hope to use the information I learn as another tool, along with my Hawthorn training, to help me with clients. This picture of us was taken at the Awards Ceremony and Joette was surprised when her name was called to come forward for an award for her service.
While attending this conference, I had the opportunity to sit in on several lectures of many different health related topics. There were 50 different professional speakers, but I could only squeeze in my schedule to hear from 7 of them. I will report on 5 of them in this post. The first lecture I attended was on Friday and was in three parts, so it took up most of the day. The topic was Removing the Obstacles to Cure
by Louisa Williams, MS,DC,ND. She has written a book called Radical Medicine,
and she heads the Marin Naturopathic Medicine Clinic in California. Eating a healthy diet is essential for maintaining optimal health, but it is just as important to remove any significant blocks to healing. The most impressive thing that I learned was that she uses a technique called Matrix Reflex Testing to determine whether a certain chemical, food, or object has a negative effect on each individual person. That was fascinating to watch her do this test on several volunteers. In her lecture, she was very thorough in crediting her facts. Some of the facts I learned:
1. As many as 98% of all cancers can be correlated to toxic chemical exposures from the environment, our foods, and our cosmetics, but the good news is that only 5% of cancer and cardiovascular disease patients can attribute their disease to heredity. We can to great degree control those genes that turn on to these diseases by living a healthy lifestyle and eating properly. So she recommended that we replace our personal care products with non-toxic ones. Here is a website (EWG -Skin Deep
) that you can use to determine the toxicity of your soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics. On her website,Radical Medicine
, (bottom right - Best Bets) you can download information that she has also listed - products that perform well on the skin and hair that have tested well.
2. The US is the most medicated country in the world, but modern medicine is at least the 3rd leading killer in the US. She advised to get your medicine from your food and work with a holistic professional to improve your health enough to begin to titrate off these dangerous medications. She recommends an effective binder to efficiently detox, known as "Russian Algae" Biosuperfood, F1
(F2 and F3 are too strong).
3. Other obstacles to our cure include mercury toxicity, especially from amalgam teeth fillings and thimerosal in vaccines, and electromagnetic field stressors (EMF) from cell phones, WiFi, smart meters, and electric cars. She quoted Boyd Haley, PhD, "Mercury is a primary causative factor in the onset of Alzheimer's." Very tiny amounts of thimerosal cause cell membrane damage and cell death - after only a 3-hour exposure. On her website, Radical Medicine
, (bottom right - Clean Dental Materials List) you can download information about how to choose safe dental materials. The dangers of cell phones are brain tumors, salivary gland tumors, reduced sperm production, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Her recommendation for reducing EMF stress: No wi-fi in home, opt out of smart meters and protect from cell phones by using a protective cover fromPong Research
. One of the amazing tests that she did on a volunteer from the audience was to test them with a cell phone next to their ear. We personally witnessed the poor result on the volunteer and then saw the difference when the Pong protective cover was on the phone, as the test revealed a non reactive effect.
Obviously my short review does not do her 4 1/2 hour lecture justice, so if you have questions, contact me
and I'll try to help or visit her website, Radical Medicine.
On Friday night, I attended a lecture from Robert Scott Bell D.A., Hom. The room was so packed, and I was late arriving, so I had to sit in the aisle on the hard floor. This made for a long hour and a half, but not due to a boring speaker - quite the contrary. His lecture was entitled, Health Sovereignty and G.I. Recovery - The Power (and freedom) to Heal is Yours!
His lecture was entertaining as well as educational. He is one of those speakers that never tires the listener, with humor thrown in throughout the lecture. One of the humorous segments was when he brought up the historical event about Rosa Parks, and how she refused to give up her seat to a white man and go to the back of the bus. We all know that story. He likened it to the conventional method of health care treatment and told us that not only do we need to refuse to go to the back of the bus when it comes to the conventional treatments, we don't even need to get on the bus. :) Robert Scott Bell has been in broadcast media since 1999. He personally overcame numerous chronic diseases over 24 years ago via natural medicine, whole foods, fats and the power of belief. In the lecture, he identified several causes as to why our health has been destroyed, namely by vaccines, antibiotics, additives, preservatives, flavorings, colorings, pesticides, herbicides, mercury, BPAs and GMOs. For his website, clickRobert Scott Bell
On Saturday morning, my first lecture of the day was with Chris Masterjohn, PhD. His presentation was entitled, Beyond Cholesterol: Fat-Soluble Vitamins in the Prevention of Heart Disease.
Chris Masterjohn is a frequent speaker for the Wise Traditions conference and he also writes articles for the Wise Traditions Journal. His latest work is with the University of Illinois where he is studying interactions between vitamins A, D, and K. The most important take home message for me regarding this lecture was that unless vitamin D is working in synergy with vitamins A and K, then we may be getting a toxic level of vitamin D if we are just taking a vitamin D supplement alone. Vitamin D increases our demand for Vitamin K, and if vitamin K is low, then we may experience bone loss and calcification of the peripheral soft tissues, since this is vitamin K's job to protect against calcification. Vitamin A may protect against the toxicity of Vitamin D by exerting a Vitamin K sparing effect. Interestingly, Warfarin (blood thinner) depletes Vitamin K, so beware of this. The bottom line for me is that we need to try to obtain our vitamins from nutrient dense, whole organic foods that contain the exact proportions of God intended vitamins. Chris suggested a 25- Hydroxy-D blood level test range of 20-40. Many other sources I have researched recommend a level of 40-70. If you want to read more information on this subject from Chris Masterjohn, I highly recommend this article entitled, Is Vitamin D Safe? Still Depends on Vitamins A and K!
Here is another speaker that can really hold one's attention. I really enjoyed her lecture and bought her book, which she signed for me. That's my book that she is holding in the picture.
Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND is a licensed , primary care naturopathic physician based near Toronto, Canada. Dr. Kate speaks internationally about many natural health topics. She is the author of the book (pictured), Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life. In her lecture, we learned that we can have a lack of calcium where it is needed and an excess where it is not needed, but it is not calcium's fault. There are certain proteins in our body that can keep out excess calcium from the places that it does not need to accumulate such as bone spurs, kidney stones, and arteries, but these proteins require Vitamin K2. This sounds very similar to what I learned from Chris Masterjohn in the above paragraph. Vitamin K exists primarily in several forms, K1 and K2 are the main ones. Since Vitamin K1 is poorly converted into Vitamin K2, and it cannot be stored in the body like the other fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E), then K2 must be provided daily in our foods. We can develop a deficiency of this vitamin in as few as 7 days on a vitamin K deficient diet. Trans fats block vitamin K activity. Clinical effects of K2 deficiency include osteoporosis, calcification of arteries, dental caries, varicose veins, insulin resistance, cancer, bone spurs and kidney stones. K2 works with vitamin D to build bones. Clinical trials have shown that the combination of K2 and vitamin D is more effective in preventing bone loss than either nutrient alone.
There are two forms of K2 supplements: MK-4 is a short-chain menaquinone available as a synthetic compound and MK-7, a long chain menaquinone, is naturally derived from natto fermentation. As a special treat, we were provided a sample taste of natto. I was one of the last ones through the line so the bowl was almost empty when I took this picture. I had never tried natto before. Can't say it was very tasty, but with time, I'm sure I can learn to like it. It really tasted like soy sauce to me - very pungent. Since my Vitamin D blood level is high, I asked Dr. Kate if it would be good to supplement with K2 in order to counter this effect. She said, yes. If however, you are on blood thinner, then you will need to work with your doctor because K2 supplements can interfere with blood thinners. For someone not on blood thinners, she gave the following recommendation dosage
for MK-7: 180-200 mcg, once daily. Vitamin K2 deficiency may be the most important and under recognized nutritional deficiency contributing to the major diseases of our day. This has happened due to industrial farming practice and consumption of processed foods, because the animals need green grass in their diets to convert the K1 from the grass to the K2. They need to be on green grass (not grains) and not confined to cages where they do not have opportunity for this. Here is a 15 minute interview of Dr. Kate
by Dr. Mercola that is very good. I know you will enjoy it. Here is her website, Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue.
On the day we left (Sunday), I was able to squeeze in another lecture by Dr. Joe Mercola. I cannot begin to discuss all that was said in this lecture, but the one thing that impressed me the most was his explanation of how he grows his own sprouts. So I will leave you with a link to his website so you can see how this is done. I really want to do this because I make a healthy green drink from my blender daily and this would be perfect for adding some of these sprouts. So check it out and try making some yourself. How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces.
So I had a wonderful time, not only was it fun, but it was very educational.
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Yesterday, I taught a nutrition class at the Auburn Parks and Rec. building in Auburn, Alabama. One of the segments of the class included a demonstration of what I enjoy every day for lunch. I had taken my Vita-Mix blender and all the ingredients needed for this demonstration.
Since I have changed my eating habits over the last 3 years, it is hard for me to tell now if others like what I like, since my taste buds have changed, preferring healthier choices. So I informed the class that they probably wouldn't like the taste if they were new to green drinks, but much to my surprise, they all enjoyed it and requested that I post this, so that they could have the directions. So this is for you, class, and for anyone else who may be interested. My husband and I have had this drink everyday for a few months now, however, I must say that it is very important to change up the greens that you use from day to day or week to week. Remember that same food = same nutrition, so by changing up the contents, your body will have a greater diversity of nutrients available for use. Also, I believe that organic foods contain a greater quantity of nutrients due to better soil conditions, plus the omission of toxic additional chemicals. So take these factors into consideration.
I can't say enough about my Vita-Mix blender. When you use it like I do, it pays to have one that will really make a lot more smoother texture than most blenders. Texture has a lot to do with whether a drink is palatable or not. Please check out the various models
and then contact me
if you are interested in purchasing a blender. I can have it shipped to you the next day.
Take your blender container and just start adding ingredients. I start with adding the greens which can include anything of your choice. Some of my favorites are: spinach, kale, broccoli, pre-washed spring mix, red or green leaf romaine, and bok choy. Here's a tip for you: Greens (or any plant food loses nutrients the longer they are stored, so maybe you want to focus on just one green per week using it up in your drinks and then choosing another one for the next week. Pictured here is spinach.
Next to the container, I add a couple tablespoons (for two people) of a mixture of seeds that I keep in a jar in my refrigerator.
This helps save time, since I do not have to get out all bags of seed and open each one. So my seed mixture in this jar contains 1/3 each of organic flax seed, organic hemp hearts, and organic chia seed. Another time saver: Just leave that little measuring spoon (if you have an extra to spare) right inside the jar; no need to try and find it every day, since it is right there in the jar. If you do not have a strong Vita-Mix blender, then you may need to use a coffee grinder and pre-grind these seeds before adding to your container. The Vita-Mix is strong enough to blend them without pre-grinding.
Next to my container, I add a scoop of each of the products pictured. I love these products and highly recommend them. I use one scoop each of Renewal Greens, Resveratol Reds, Vegan Protein (pea), and Clear Response. These powders include some stevia as a sweetener, but they are really sweet due to the whole foods that they contain, which is a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Because of this, I do not need to add fruits to my drink, since these nutritious powders supply all the sweetness needed, plus a little vanilla flavoring to boot. Now this is where I get really excited, because I have learned that everybody is different and will require a different approach to stabilizing and optimizing their health. So, if you have gastric problems or leaky gut, then let's make one of the powders, "GI Response or GI Support." If you need help with tension, then you might want to add "Tension Relief," and there are many other targeted functional foods all from this same whole foods company called Innate Response. I have made some great tasting ice pops for kids using the Resvertol Reds. Contact me
if you are interested in purchasing these nutritious functional foods.
Next to the container, I add teaspoon of Matcha tea. This is a green tea that uses the whole leaf of the camellia sinensis bush. Green tea is the subject of many studies that have found a possible connection with green tea and cancer protection, at least in animal studies thus far. This Matcha Tea is extremely concentrated since it is actually the ground leaves of the plant. I ordered my bag of Matcha Tea from Amazon and from what I can tell, it must be exclusively sold through Amazon.
When I received my bag, I put it into a jar, and I also keep it in the refrigerator.
Now here is the next ingredient that I add, but you could also add Rice or Almond milk or milk kefir. I choose coconut milk and especially this brand, since it is the best tasting brand I have found. It comes in either a liter or and 8 1/2 oz tetra box. If you live in Auburn, I have seen it at the Asian Market in the small boxes (at the time of this post). I have also ordered this fromImportFoods.com. They have a good price.
This particular brand has a very pleasant sweet taste and I like it because it is not in a can. So to the container, I will add about 1 cup.
Really all these ingredients and amounts can be changed to your liking.
Here is a way to sneak in some of that powerful antioxidant, vitamin C. I just take a capsule, open it up, and add it to the container. I love Pure Encapsulations brand since they are committed to purity and they are a science-based nutrition supplement company. I use and recommend Pure Encapsulations. I have chosen a few of their products that I or my family personally uses and I have listed them under "Provider Picks" on my Pure Encapsulations website
Finally, a cup or two of crushed ice will be added to make a cold drink. Also, add about 2 cups of filtered water. Now it is ready to be blended and the results will be a perfectly healthy drink as pictured at the beginning of this post.
I hope you enjoy making these healthy green drinks, and please contact me
for more information.
From the beginning God told Adam and Eve to eat the green plants that He gave them as food. That's proof enough for me that there is goodness in them. God made these CREATED4YOUFOODS, so enjoy them!
The Auburn Parks and Recreation Building in Auburn, Alabama was the location of my third nutrition class in a series. As class members arrived, we participated in a review discussion of the many ways that we have experienced a decline in nutrients over the years. There are many factors involved, from the soils of today not as rich as they once were, down to the fact that every person is different in the way they absorb or not absorb nutrients.
As is the case with all my classes, I treated the students to a different variety of herbal tea and some kind of snack. The snacks were homemade barley crackers and a seed and nut trail mix.
The main topic of this class was centered around "sugar" and its impact on our lives. We discussed the make-up of molecules of sugar and learned that not all sugars are metabolized the same, with some being more deleterious to our health than others. Of particular concern was the fact that a certain sugar can have the same effect on our liver as those people who have alcoholic fatty liver disease. And this leads to a broad range of modern health problems.
Not to be left without hope, however, a plan of action was discussed, and handout materials encouraged us all in setting forth a goal to bring about success, one step at a time. I'd like to thank my professor, Heidi Synder, from Hawthorn University, for her "Sugar Awareness and Elimination" project hand-out download that included three different plans for those who wish to eliminate sugar from their diet.
At the end of the class, I demonstrated what I usually have for lunch every day.
Check it out if you are interested. Also, if you would like to join us for the last class on Dec. 6, 2013, check out the details here
and contact me to let me know if you want to be included.
Today, I had the delightful adventure of traveling just a wee bit south of where I live to join in the celebration of the grand opening of the 7,200 square-foot expansion facility at To Your Health Sprouted Flour
, a business owned and operated by my good friend, Peggy Sutton. This new addition houses the business's four stone mills, gluten-free facility, retail packaging, and a large new storage cooler. Upon arrival, I was greeted by this beautiful fall display at the entrance of the facility. The beauty of the outside was matched by the beauty on the inside as it was even more inviting. Anytime there is food for the sampling, there is always a pleasant inviting feeling, and Peggy spent much time in the kitchen, evidenced by the bountiful trays of sprouted baked goods.
There were brownies, several different kinds of pound cakes, crackers and granola. I was impressed with the different grains that were used to make such tasty treats. The best tasting pound cake in my opinion was made with sprouted brown rice flour, and the crackers were made with sprouted sorghum. Most of these treats were gluten free. I'm sure I will work on getting those recipes from her. She did mention that a cookbook was in the making, so I know we will all want one.
After the treats, we were all invited into the larger portion of the facility. Peggy and Jeff had invited their pastor (far right in the picture) to read from the Bible and have a prayer of dedication over this new facility. This was such a refreshing event, and it always makes my heart glad to see that businesses such as this seek to put the Lord Jesus Christ at the center of all they do. May God bless this business as they continue to seek to do His will in everything.
I know this event will be on WSFA news in Montgomery, Alabama sometime today as they were there present.
Peggy (2nd from right), Jeff (4th from right) are pictured with several of their plant managers and their pastor.
Peggy and To Your Health Sprouted Flour hold a special place in my heart since Peggy is the one who introduced me to a whole new way of looking at food and since the day I met her, my life has not been the same. It has led me to become a student at Hawthorn University, in order to help others, and it has led me to become prescription drug free. God bless you, Peggy!
On October 11, 2013, the beautiful, enclosed, outdoor porch at the home of Evelyn Brown was the setting for the 2nd nutrition class in a series of four. Evelyn lives on the outskirts of Auburn, Alabama, just far enough out to feel like real county living. Upon turning onto her beautiful tree lined private drive, such a sense of peace and relaxation sets in, and the first thing that is noticed is her garden on the left side. It contains well supported trellises and the soil is bathed in wonderful, organic rich mulch. Evelyn tells me that the deer love her garden too, and that they will have to build a higher fence. Deer know what's good for them, and so should we, thus the reason for the series of nutrition classes.
Upon arrival, the nutrition class members were greeted with homemade snacks made with organic, chemical and preservative free ingredients that included coconut macaroons from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, and several dried fruit balls made with apricots, cranberries, dates, almonds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, and spices. Staying with our beverage theme of "How about a Nice Cup of Herbal Tea," everyone was offered a hot cup of Firefly Chai tea containing organic ingredients of ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, red rooibos tea, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla beans.
After a review of previous material, handouts were given, and several topics were focused on. Some were: how to get the most nutrition out of the foods we eat - how to store them, and how to cook them for optimal nutrient retention, a look at food labels, and the topic of fatty acids in foods - especially focusing on the essential fatty acids - Omega 3 and Omega 6. Most of the time, we can all remember that a certain fat is better for us than another, but we don't always remember why. I think the reason that we can't always remember why, is because the explanation is quite complicated, as is the case with fatty acids. So the class endured a little chemistry and molecular structure, and even learned how to name a fatty acid. All in all, I hope it was as fun for them as it was for me. And many thanks to Evelyn for hosting this class. Our next class will be on November 1st beginning at 9:30 at the Auburn Parks and Rec. on Dean Road.
I recently bought several plums advertised as organic. I would say, that indeed, this one was! The little worm inside was the proof. I can hear you say, "Well if that's what you get with organic foods, then I'll stick with conventional foods." So why is organic better, you say? Hopefully this post will address this question.Normally the pesticide would have killed this little critter, but this was an organic plum, and pesticides are not allowed in organic farming. Now, no one wants to bite into a plum to find a worm, however. But on the bright side, I know that the farm that produced this plum was probably in compliance with the organic regulations.
There was no way that I could tell that this plum had a worm in it because this particular critter will burrow its way through the stem opening so that the entry way is just not visible on the outside, but the inside is completely inedible. The critter is called the plum sawfly. "In spring the sawfly emerges from the soil and lays eggs on the blossom of plum trees. When the plums begin to develop the little caterpillars eat their way into the center of the plum and feed off it as the plum develops.
Plum Sawfly is difficult to control using organic methods, the only one being available is a pheromone trap but it really only traps a few of them.
The chemical deltamethrin sprayed when the blossom is falling off will definitely help control sawfly." To that fact, I must ask, "Do I want to also ingest this chemical?"
But I hear you ask, "why bother with purchasing organic products anyway? They are just more expensive, and there might be worms in them." True, but here are some facts that I have learned from Hawthorn University when it comes to organic foods:
Conventional crops are grown with conventional synthetic fertilizer, which contains three nutrients - phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen. Farmers use this because it makes the plants dark green, they have stronger stalks, and it gives the appearance of being healthier. But what about so many other nutrients that we need besides the three in the synthetic fertilizers? Crop rotation is usually not implemented either, and so the soil used to raise these crops is really deplete of so many nutrients. The plant cannot draw up the nutrients into the food unless the nutrients are in the soil to begin with.
By contrast, organic farmers cannot use conventional synthetic fertilizers, but they must use organic rich soil, full of many nutrients, and they also usually implement crop rotation, both of which impart a greater quantity of nutrients in the foods. Remember, if the nutrients are present in the soil, then the nutrients can be pulled up into the plants. Many studies have proven that organic foods contain greater quantities of nutrients than conventionally grown foods. Find out about one such study over a 2 year period from the Journal of Applied Nutrition posted on Organic Consumers Association
which says that the organically grown food averaged 63% higher in calcium, 78% higher in chromium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybednum, 91% higher in phosphorous, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc.
Here is a good short read from "Eating Well"
on the mechanism by which organic foods contain more nutrients.
Sadly, our farming techniques have focused on producing pest resistant higher yields more rapidly, and nutrient richness has been put on the back burner.
So what is it - no worm with less nutrient, or the occasional worm with more nutrients?
Sources: http://www.organicconsumers.org/Organic/organicstudy.cfm http://www.gardenfocused.co.uk/fruitarticles/plums/pest-disease.php
One of the healthy snacks that I shared at my recent nutrition class was "Seed and Nut Granola." Several of the students wanted the recipe, so I am posting it here.
This is a good snack for anyone with celiac or gluten intolerance. I think that what makes this granola special is the buckwheat. Buckwheat is not a grain, it is a seed derived from a flowering plant with a excellent source of manganese and a good source of magnesium. I like to use buckwheat from To Your Health Sprouted Flour
since I know this has been cleaned, sprouted, and ready to eat. I won't be getting any dust along with my buckwheat. Products from this company are delivered to the Auburn-Opelika area once per month through the Auburn Food Club
or can be ordered directly from the company. Sometimes they offer free shipping.
Mix the following into a bowl:
1 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seed
1 cup unsalted pumpkin seed
1 cup whole buckwheat
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped crystalized ginger (optional)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Stir together the following and then add to the dry mixture above:
1/2 cup maple syrup (grade B is less refined than grade A and can be purchased through our Auburn Food Buying Club
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Spread on 12 x 16 baking pan lined with parchment paper
. Tamp down with back of broad spoon. Bake in convection
oven on 225 for 2 hours and then lower the temperature to 200 for 2 more hours. Take out and let cool. If less maple syrup is desired, then cut down a little and add a full dropper of liquid stevia.
Click here for another fabulous no bake grain free breakfast cereal
How about a nice cup of Herbal Tea? Why yes, thank you. And that's exactly what my newest class members enjoyed yesterday as we kicked off a series of classes to be held once a month at various locations in Auburn, Alabama. Along with tea, snacks of Gluten Free Granola and Molasses Cookies were also enjoyed. These snacks contained very little added sweeteners.
Seems like I cannot remember to take pictures. I make it to class with a camera, but remembering to take it out and use it is a different matter. So you'll have to take my word for it, as there was an impressive turnout with 29 in attendance. Seems like there is a growing desire to become healthier by more and more people.
Many topics were discussed as we plotted our "Points to Ponder" in making wise food choices. I especially liked how the class really participated in this discussion.
The class members have given me a long list of topics they would like to see taught, so we may be at this for a while to come. If you'd like to join in, check out the schedule
, then let me know. The classes are free, but please let me know you will be joining, since we need to set up for the proper number of chairs each month.