Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Apple Cider Vinegar Cures: a wealth of information

I found a site that has a ton of good information about apple cider vinegar and various cures it offers.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ten Things You're Not Supposed to Know about the Swine Flu Vaccine

Ten Things You're Not Supposed to Know about the Swine Flu Vaccine is an article worth checking out. Especially alarming is the fact that this vaccine has been rushed out the door and, apparently, not tested on any humans.

I don't understand the hype over this. From what I've read, this is only really a concern for immune-compromised individuals, but I keep hearing about this in the news like it's something catastrophic. I'll keep following this, because I'm curious what's going to happen with this disease vaccine.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot dogs warning labels and musing about flexitarianism

Fox news had an article about an anti-meat group pushing for cancer labels on hot dogs, and it's interesting to see stuff like this, because I don't think they are too far off. Warnings about limiting consumption might not be a bad idea - plus I'd like to see some warning labels about the sodium nitrates you generally find in Oscar Mayer products (I know that Oscar Mayer does make some meat products without nitrates, such as some of their hot dogs and bacon, but I haven't been able to find these at the store in a long time. Not sure if Walmart/HEB just aren't carrying these anymore, or if Oscar Mayer discontinued these particular brands.

In any case, I'm a content flexitarian: I try to go easy on the meat, and I enjoy mainly salads, vegetables, raw milk/yogurt/whey, as well as soaked/fermented grains... but don't tell me not to eat beef, chicken, eggs, or seafood, as I greatly enjoy these as part of my meals from time to time. I try to find natural grass-fed beef (generally a little more expensive, but worth it) for foods like tacos and chili. Natural chicken can be tricky to find (Whole Foods has it, but Whole Foods isn't close, or cheap, for that matter.)

I'm contentedly a flexitarian. I considered, and researched, vegetarianism and veganism in college, and determined that both of these were not the ideal direction. For one thing, I just enjoy the satiety that meats provide, that veggies just cannot. There are times I want meat, and a carrot just won't substitute (and I avoid soy proteins like the plague these days, per sites like this one, among others. The big thing that turned me off of the strict vegan direction was the inability of finding natural sources of vitamin B-12. You only get this from animal products, which just goes to show that we were designed to ingest animal products as part of our design. But because of the makeup of our digestive system, we also aren't designed to consume huge portions of meat, either. Unlike carnivorous lions and tigers, we have systems that slowly break down and absorb nutrients from foods, making vitamin-rich plant foods far more ideal than non-stop beef for dinner. Flexitarians, I also seem to recall reading (but I don't have a link to add here) generally outlive vegetarians and vegans, because of things like B-12 (I need to research into this more. It's a blog, so I'm not being graded for this stuff...)


Farmed Fish May Eat Your Brain?

I thought that this was an interesting article at Natural News, basically identifying a link with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) (aka mad cow disease) and how it's finding it's way to farmed fish. I try to avoid farmed fish anyhow, since I've read it's generally not as healthy (with some exceptions, such as the farmed fish sold by Whole Foods, which have higher safety standards) but all the same, I prefer to purchase fish that's caught wild. Walmart, of all places, sells a decent wild salmon fillet for about $6, which isn't bad considering it's salmon, it's wild, and it's a large enough portion to feed the fam.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Teeccino coffee

I'm currently a fan of Teeccino coffee, namely the hazelnut blend. This is a great-tasting coffee, without the caffeine. It's got a fascinating, rich flavor, and it's loaded with unique ingredients like organic roasted carob, organic roasted barley, and chicory root, etc. I've only been able to find it at health food stores, some grocery stores and some sites online, but it's worth finding.

For the longest time I was drinking Seattle's Finest (Hazelnut blend again) and this is good, but I could do without the caffeine. Usually it would be a weekend drink, and I'd drink tea during the week while working. I still down a lot of tea, but now I've been including more of Teeccino during the week as well, since it doesn't have the caffeine.


VitaminWater10, and some nasty-tasting artificial sweetner content

I sampled some Vitaminwater 10 the other day, and found the flavor absolutely repugnant. This thing is going back to the store. Routinely artificial sweeteners have an awful taste to me (considered safe by the FDA, considered repulsive by me) but this drink doesn't have any of the usual culprits like aspartame, sucralose, splenda, etc. Rather, it's got something in it called "erythritol" (a "natural" sweetener, which I doubt is natural at all) and the flavor is just a wallop of chemical aftertaste. Artificial sweeteners usually dry out my mouth and throat, and if I drink enough, I get a headache, so I avoid this FDA-approved-to-be-safe additive, so I'm not sure what to think about erythritol, because it looks like this is the new artifical sweetener on the block and there's not a lot of information out there about this (here's one link on it on Mercola... good site but I can live without obnoxious pop ups asking for my email. Look, I want information - not a newsletter.)

Stevia is in this drink as well, and I've tried Stevia straight and I just don't get into the taste of it. It just doesn't work the same for me as natural sweeteners do, like sugar and honey. So no more of this for me, unless they find some other natural way to sweeten this (and I mean "natural" in terms of reality, not "natural" as defined by the FDA).

(as a funny side note, it's interesting that when you spell-check the word erythritol the first suggested replacement word is "urethritis". I wonder if that means anything...?)


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nourishing Traditions

I've just recently started reading "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon, and there is a wealth of information about preparing good, healthy recipes, many of which involve sprouted grains and fermentation. In fact, in a future post I'm going to show some steps I took recently to create curds and whey using raw cows milk (it was a fascinating experiment and the results were just great.) I've been trying to incorporate whey into recipes recently, and I'm going to post notes about that here as well.

The book is worth checking out, and will probably do a much better justice explaining things than I could here. It's worth picking up for the recipes alone.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stricter labeling urged for bottled water

An interesting, but somewhat vague, article from the AP about stricter labeling urged for bottled water. I would have liked to read more specifics about what it is that's wrong with bottled water. My own understanding is that, with time, the plastics of the bottle slowly seep into the water itself (ever drink water that had been sitting around in a plastic container that, when tasted, had a "plasticy" taste?)
I've also read that this effect can be magnified by leaving bottled water sitting out in the sun.

I'd like to see more labeling, and I'd also like to know that the bottled water (until tap) is free of fluoride (which should be avoided in drinking water. See here.)


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Centrum and.... hydrogenated oils?

I was in Walmart the other day and saw Centrum vitamins on the shelf. Just for kicks, I read over the nutritional content label, and was surprised to see that Centrum Silver contained not only FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake but Hydrogenated Palm Oil?? Why would they make a multivitamin that contained unhealthy trans fats? That seems counter-intuitive: packing a vitamin with something that's bad for you.


FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs

No real surprise here. In fact, nothing in the article that I didn't really already know, but still interesting to see this surfacing on a censored internet site...

FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar

I've recently started incorporating Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar into my diet more. The stuff is amazing, and the more I read about the health benefits of organic apple cider vinegar (ACV, as I call it) the more impressed I am. I pick up ACV at HEB generally, as I haven't seen it elsewhere (other than a few health food stores).

The ACV sold by Bragg is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and includes "the mother", the somewhat icky-looking stuff that occurs naturally, as "strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules" (per the Bragg site.) I've been using the ACV in homemade salad dressings (with a good extra virgin olive oil), as well as in chili, and I've even been drinking it straight (sometimes diluted, sometimes not.) If I've got an upset, acidy stomach, if I take some of this ACV, slightly watered, it generally eases the problem perfectly. I've also (and my wife thinks this is revolting) taken my daily vitamins and fish oils washed down with a nasty cocktail of watered-down ACV and psyllium husk fiber. She thinks I'm crazy, but I'm all about the detox (this is NOT recommended for everyone and may cause complete and total nausea, but it works for me... :)

The health benefits of a natural Apple Cider Vinegar are impressive from what I've read so far, and the subject is worth investigating more. I recently read though a book called Wild Fermentation that gives steps (among other recipes) for making your own apple cider vinegar, which I'd like to experiment with sometime.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chik Fil A: Great place, but could still use a few more changes...

A site called OrganizedWisdom had an article on healthy eating, and Chik Fil A made the list. I've enjoyed Chik Fil A a lot: the food is tasty, the customer service is exceptional (every time I've been there, the people are always extremely friendly) and the attention to extra details (like little containers of cheerios for toddlers, tons of condiments, etc.) make it a fast food place I've enjoyed visiting. In fact, the kids meals, unlike places like McDonalds, actually feature educational material like kid's books or computer software. You go to McD's, you'll get a toy that ties into a movie promotion (generally a PG-13 rated film, too...) I also really respect that Chik Fil A closes shop every Sunday. That's admirable.

The only thing about Chik Fil A, however, that could use changing, is the presence of MSG in some of the foods. I've noticed this on the menu for a few of the chicken sandwiches, and I'd really like to see this food additive taken out. Last I checked, the chicken sandwiches were without hydrogenated oil, which is great, and the lemonade was not made with high fructose corn syrup (another plus.) But I avoid MSG, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, etc, and it would be a good move for Chik Fil A to drop this from their food items.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Triumph Over Disease by Fasting And Natural Diet by Dr. Jack Goldstein

A good book worth checking out on the subject of healing the body through fasting is once called "Triumph Over Disease by Fasting and Natural Diet", by Dr. Jack Goldstein. I owned this book a few years ago (and subsequently lent it out and lost it) but it looks like the entirety of the text is online at this site (it is a geocities site, though, so it won't be around forever, so it's best to just pick up a copy from Amazon.... however, I just searched Amazon and couldn't find this one in stock. Hmm...)

The story behind the book is that Jack Goldstein suffered from a host of illnesses, including ulcerative colitis, and by undergoing an extensive fast of foods (under a Doctor's supervision) his body (and digestive system) was able to completely heal itself. Fascinating material, and definitely a topic you will NEVER read about in the latest Readers Digest (why, there are pills and things that can fix that problem!)


Artificial Sweeteners Stay in the Water Supply

Artificial Sweeteners Stay in the Water Supply

Interesting article, and pretty gross to read about how an analysis of the water samples in this study found a large percentage of things like sucralose and acesulfame in the water. I can't stand artificial sweetners, as the stuff gives me a headache and dry mouth, so it's not encouraging that this isn't being filtered from water.


Ezekiel 4:9 bread

I've recently started enjoying Ezekiel 4:9 bread. The entire idea of sprouted grains is new to me, and it's been something that I've been researching, but high level, the idea behind sprouting grains is about briefly soaking the grains in order that the grains can attain an easier to digest state. Even whole wheat grains and breads, while beneficial, are still difficult on the digestive system to break down, and sprouting grains addresses this issue.

I'm sort of mixed on the idea of marketing the bread with a Biblical passage title. While I think it's cool to see a Biblical title to the bread, I also think that the context is just a little bizarre (Ezekiel can be a troubling book to interpret, especially some of the "other" bread passages that come to mind from this book, that I would NOT want to find in a bread recipe! :) But do I like the idea behind it, and I've been fascinated by the idea behind sprouted grains. This is a subject I continue to research.