David vs. Monsanto—The Story of How a Lone Farmer Prevailed Against One of the Most Powerful Companies on the Planet

Story at-a-glance

  • The documentary film “David versus Monsanto” details the groundbreaking victory of a lone farmer against one of the most powerful companies on the planet
  • The world’s first lifetime feeding study discovered that rats fed a diet containing 11 percent GE corn developed massive breast tumors, kidney and liver damage and other serious health problems in the 13th month of life.
  • To put this into human perspective, if the average lifespan of a person is 80 years, these health problems would start rearing their ugly head somewhere during the 43rd year of life, provided your diet contained just over 10 percent GE foods and you began eating them in early childhood
  • According to a report released by the Environmental Working Group, Americans are eating their weight and more in genetically engineered food every year—an average of 193 pounds of GE foods annually

Have You Heard of Meat Glue?

This is just another reason why you want to know where your meat is coming from.  I’m not surprised that this is happening.  As production and transportation costs rise, industries are forced to find ways to improve the bottom line.

Thermography

What is Thermography?
Thermography is an imaging system of the temperature patterns and gradients used for the analysis and identification of underlying process within the body leading to cancer, pain, inflammation, and hormonal or metabolic condition. Thermography uses a highly sensitive infrared camera to image small temperature changes occurring in the tiny capillaries of the body. Thermography is well researched and was approved by the FDA for use as a supportive breast cancer screening tool in 1982.

How Can Thermography Help Detect Breast Cancer?  Breast Thermography is based on the premise that before the growth of abnormal cells is possible, a constant blood supply must be circulated to the growth area. Chemical and blood vessel activity in both pre-cancerous tissue and the area surrounding a developing breast cancer is almost always higher than in the normal breast. Since pre-cancerous and cancerous masses are highly metabolic tissues, they need an abundant supply of nutrients to maintain their growth and this can increase the surface temperatures of the breast. Breast Thermography measures the heat generated by the microcirculation of blood in the breast during this process.

How does Thermography compare to Mammography?
Studies have shown Thermography to be 90% accurate in detecting thermal signs that may indicate the presence of breast cancer. The 10% of breast tumors that are missed on Thermography are more commonly the less aggressive and slow growing tumors. Mammography misses 20% of breast tumors and up to 40%, especially in females under the age of 50, i.e. those with more aggressive tumors.

Thermography does not replace mammography but is used in addition to increase the sensitivity of breast cancer screening. Where as mammography, ultrasound, CT scans and MRI’s are used to identify tumors AFTER the tumor has been formed, Thermography has the ability to identify the first thermal and chemical changes that may lead to tumor formation PRIOR to the existence of a tumor. Mammography is an image of the anatomy of the body. Thermography is an image of the function of the body.

How is it Performed?

A state-of-the-art FDA approved infrared imaging camera measures skin temperature and transmits this information to a computer which converts these radiometric measurements into images. These thermographic findings are evaluated based on 32 standard thermological signs and quantification criteria as set forth and accepted standards of clinical thermology. Temperature measurements will differ in various parts of the body, but in a normal healthy individual, the temperature changes should be relatively symmetrical. Once the images are acquired in a controlled setting they are sent for processing to a board certified clinical Thermologists for analysis and interpretation. Your written report is then returned to your imaging center in a few days and presented back to you with an explanation and follow up recommendations. Studies show that when breast thermography is used as part of a multimodal approach (clinical examination + thermography + mammography), 95% of early stage cancers will be detected.

Note very high temperatures and
asymmetrical presentation
Cancer of the Left Breast
Cancer of the Left Breast.

Benefits of Thermography

Comparison Parameters Thermography
Safety Extremely safe
X-Ray None. An infrared camera is used to take a picture of the infrared rays given off of the body. No x-ray or radiation is absorbed by the body.
Pain No pain and very comfortable
Age safety Safe from infancy to elderly
Safe to do every day
Clinical Significance 90% sensitivity for analysis of breast. Useful for the detection of:

  • thyroid conditions
  • testicular problems
  • pain syndromes
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • inflammation
  • hormonal imbalances
  • metabolic conditions
  • heart disease

Useful in monitoring treatment.

For more information or to find a Thermography Clinic near you: Click Here

The Truth About Cholesterol

The idea that high cholesterol causes heart disease is based on the premise that cholesterol is found in the plaque of people with coronary artery disease. But does that automatically mean that cholesterol itself is the root cause, and must be kept at a minimum to prevent plaque formation?

The answer is “no.”

Missing from this hypothesis is the holistic understanding of how cholesterol operates inside your body, and why arterial plaques form in the first place.

Cholesterol is actually a critical part of your body’s foundational building materials and is absolutely essential for optimal health.

It’s so important that your body produces it both in your liver and in your brain. Cholesterol is also the raw material for all of your steroid hormones and vitamin D. There’s no doubt that you need it.   So what’s the connection between cholesterol and heart disease?

If your body needs so much of it, what causes it to clog your arteries? The devil is in the details, as they say, and this is definitely true when it comes to cholesterol, because the cholesterol found in arterial plaque is not just any cholesterol, but oxidized, damaged cholesterol.

There is excellent research on animals where they fed animals plenty of cholesterol in their diet and they did just fine. But when they gave them even small amounts of tainted cholesterol, meaning oxidized cholesterol, within weeks it showed up in fatty streaks in their arteries.

We know why. There are receptors in the endothelial cells that are the lining of your arteries. There are receptors there for oxidized cholesterol. It picks it up, and it goes into the endothelial cells. The problem is that oxidized cholesterol does not look native to your macrophages, your immune system. It actually looks like bacteria. The macrophages move in to try and clean up what it thinks is bacteria, which is nothing more than oxidized cholesterol, and it creates a whole bunch of inflammation inside your arterial wall. The real culprit is oxidized cholesterol.

Where Does Oxidized Cholesterol Come From?

Oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system every time you eat something cooked in vegetable oil. As soon as the oil is heated and mixes with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil, and should not be consumed. This is why I constantly recommend avoiding all vegetable cooking oils, such as canola-, corn-, or soy oil, and replacing them with organic coconut oil, which remains stable and does not oxidize at higher temperatures.

Another reason for avoiding vegetable cooking oils is that the majority of them (at least in the US) are made from genetically engineered crops; plus they’re heavily processed on top of that. So not only do you have the issue of the polyunsaturated fats being oxidized, you also have these other toxic variables, such as glyphosate and Bt toxin found in genetically engineered corn and soy. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, which is used in very large amounts on all of these crops. So there are a number of reasons for avoiding vegetable oils, but the fact that they’re oxidized is clearly a high-priority one.

 

 

Supercharge Your Body Lotion

Castor Oil has been used both internally and externally for thousands of years due to its many wonderful health benefits.  It is a natural emollient that penetrates the skin and helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin which can soften and hydrate the skin. Therefore, it is a wonderful natural treatment for wrinkles since it restores and rejuvenates skin’s natural youthful appearance by making skin smoother, softer and pliant.

The problem with Castor Oil is that because it’s an oil it tends to be greasy on the skin.  To solve this problem I take an empty lotion bottle and mix 1 part Castor Oil to 4 parts body lotion.  Experiment with different volumes to create the right consistency for you.  The great part is that for pennies you can turn an inexpensive bottle of body lotion into an anti-aging wrinkle fighter.

When looking for Castor oil quality is the key.  I strongly believe that if it’s not good enough to eat then it’s not good enough for your skin.  So stick with food grade cold pressed versions.

 

Castor oil is not only great for your skin but is a great remedy for many conditions:

  • Yeast Infections
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Menstrual Disorders
  • Migraines
  • Acne
  • Sunburn
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Ringworm
  • Skin Abrasions
  • Inflammation

I’m Eating Healthy, But Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

There seems to be a lot of confusion these days.  Last week Dr Oz told you to eat coconut oil if you want to be healthy.  This week you read that you need to cut the amount of fat in your diet to lose the extra pounds.  One article says to cut the carbs out of your diet to lose weight, another tells you to eat more carbs to maintain a healthy metabolism.  Why is there so much confusion?  You are probably thinking the world is intentionally trying to confuse you.

The answer (in my opinion) is that it is very difficult to eat everything you would like for optimum health and lose weight at the same time.

I’ve spent most of my life studying health, nutrition and exercise.  I’ve gone from almost 300 lbs of solid muscle down to less than 200 lbs and back.  In that time I experimented with how to gain weight (in the form of muscle) how to lose weight, how to maintain weight and how to eat for optimum health regardless of weight.

Looking back I came to one conclusion: If I tried to eat all the foods and supplements that the experts suggest on a daily basis I would never lose weight.  You need to decide if your primary goal is optimum health or weight loss.

I’m sure many of you are reading this and rolling your eyes saying “if you’re eating healthy you will lose weight” but that is not always the case for everyone.  I have personally found that when I am eating enough food to provide me with the optimum levels of protein, essential fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, etc. I hardly ever lose weight, and this is all while working out 5-6 days per week.

This made me realize that most people out there must get confused and frustrated, especially when you’re trying to do everything right.

So what does this mean? You need the establish two different regimes.  One for maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, the other aiming for a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on losing weight.

Let me explain: Many people start their day with a nutritious smoothie packed full of every superfood possible.  Protein powder, banana for potassium, blueberries for antioxidants, chia seeds and hemp hearts for fibre, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, yogurt or kefir for probiotics, milk to smooth it out, and a scoop of spirulina for luck.  On the surface I can’t think of a better way to start your day.  If you are at a healthy weight and exercise 5 days per week then this would be a great way to load your body with nutrition, however if you are trying to lose weight this breakfast could easily exceed 600 calories which could be over 1/3 of your daily food intake.

In this example I would have 2 different smoothie recipes.  I would use the recipe above for maintenance and when I needed to cut back a bit I would switch to something like this: Protein powder, Chia seeds, kefir, spirulina, water to smooth it out.

I’m still getting lots of nutrition while at the same time reducing the amount of sugar and overall calories significantly.  In many cases this change alone might be enough to start weight loss.  Click here for more info on why fruits might not be in your best interest.

When you are at your target weight and feeling healthy you can cruise along with your maintenance routine, eating all of those nutritious foods and supplements that will keep you feeling young and providing your body with all the fuel it requires for work and play.  When your weight creeps up after the holiday season or a sunny vacation down south, you can switch to your weight loss routine for a couple weeks to shed those extra pounds. This doesn’t mean that your weight loss regime should be unhealthy in any way, it just means that you will make slightly different decisions: reducing portion sizes, limit fruit intake, increase protein and fibre intake, add supplements that aid in fat metabolism and sacrifice a few “optimal health” choices to help speed the weight loss.

The next time you hear about the latest new “thing” try to discern if this is geared towards optimum health, or weight loss,  90% of the time the primary focus is one or the other.

The Perfect Breakfast

This quick and easy breakfast recipe for 2 takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and provides you with what I believe is the ideal nutrition profile to begin your day.  I have used Tru Roots Bean Trio, but you can substitute your favourite cooked beans.

Super Frittata

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Breakfast
Misc Serve Hot
This quick and easy breakfast for 2 contains the perfect balance of nutrients. 30 grams of protein per serving (as recommended by Dr. Oz)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Beans (Tru Roots 3 Bean Trio)
  • 2/3 cups Peas

Note

This quick and easy breakfast for 2 contains (per serving):
Calories: 330
Protein: 30 grams
Fat: 11 grams
Fibre: 11 grams
Sugar: 0 grams

Directions

Step 1
Preheat medium size pan over medium-low heat
Step 2
Add coconut oil to pan and bring to temperature
Step 3
Spread beans and peas evenly in bottom of pan
Step 4
Combine 2 Whole eggs and 1 cup egg whites
Step 5
Pour eggs over bean/pea mixture
Step 6
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
Step 7
Cover with lid and leave until cooked through

Liver Cleanse and Gallbladder Flush

The liver is a very multi-tasking organ. It is the job of the liver to make bile, 1 to 1 1/2 (one to one and half) quarts in a day! The liver is full of tubes (biliary tubing) that deliver the bile to one large tube (the common bile duct). The gallbladder is attached to the common bile duct and acts as a storage reservoir. Eating fat or protein triggers the gallbladder to squeeze itself empty after about twenty minutes, and the stored bile finishes its trip down the common bile duct to the intestine. Loose stools, constipation, (or a combination of both) nausea, weakness after meals, light colored stools and/or floating stools are all an indication of a liver that is not functioning properly. It must make enough bile for digestion.

The liver is also the primary purifying organ of the body. It has to filter out all toxins that come into our bodies on a daily basis. Toxins from food preservatives and pesticides, air pollution, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol and even our water. When the liver becomes overloaded with toxin removal – the skin (which is the largest purifying organ of the body) will jump in and help remove toxins too. This can cause all sorts of skin problems including acne, boils, eczema, etc.

Sometimes getting the liver to function properly will clear up many skin problems.If the liver has to choose – it will remove toxins before it will create bile. A good liver cleanse will allow the liver to get rid of the toxins which will then allow it to produce the correct amount of bile.

Liver Cleanse and Gallbladder Flush
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 Cup Olive Oil Extra Virgin
1 Big grapefruit – squeezed or 100% grapefruit juice (3/4 cup of juice)
4 tablespoon EPSOM salts (food grade)
3 cups water You can substitute 3 cups water (that is used in this recipe to dissolve Epsom salt) with 3 cups freshly pressed grapefruit juice, orange or apple juice – that way you will not feel unpleasant taste of Magnesium Sulphate (epsom salts)

Choose a day like Saturday for the cleanse, since you will be able to rest the next day.

Take no medicines, vitamins or pills that you can do without; they could prevent success.

Eat a no-fat breakfast and lunch such as cooked cereal with fruit, fruit juice, bread and preserves or honey (no butter or milk), baked potato or other vegetables with salt only. This allows the bile to build up and develop pressure in the liver. Higher pressure pushes out more stones.

2:00 PM. Do not eat or drink anything heavy (water or tea is fine to drink) after 2 o’clock. If you break this rule you could feel quite ill later. Get your Epsom salts ready. Mix 4 tbs. in 3 cups water (or juice) and pour this into a jar. This makes four servings, 3/4 (three fourths) cup each. Set the jar in the refrigerator to get ice cold (this is for convenience and taste only). [ You can substitute 3 cups water with 3 cups freshly pressed grapefruit juice, or apple juice, it tastes better .]

6:00 PM. Drink one serving 3/4 (three fourths cup) of the ice cold Epsom salts. (goes down faster and easier through a drinking straw) If you did not prepare this ahead of time, mix 1 tbs. in 3/4 (three fourth) cup water now. You may add 1/8 (one eight) tsp. vitamin C powder to improve the taste. You may also drink a few mouthfuls of water afterwards or rinse your mouth. Get the olive oil and grapefruit out to warm up.

8:00 PM. Repeat by drinking another 3/4 (three fourths) cup of Epsom salts.You haven’t eaten since two o’clock, but you won’t feel hungry. Get your bedtime chores done. The timing is critical for success.

9:45 PM. Pour 1/2 (half) cup (measured) olive oil into the pint jar add 3/4 cup grapefruit juice. Add this to the olive oil. Close the jar tightly with the lid and shake hard until watery (only  grapefruit juice does this). Now visit the bathroom one or more time, even if it makes you late for your ten o’clock drink. Don’t be more than 15 minutes late. You will get fewer stones.

10:00 PM. Drink the olive oli/grapefruit potion you have mixed. Drinking through a large plastic straw helps it go down easier. Drink it standing up. Get it down within 5 minutes. Lie down immediately. You might fail to get stones out if you don’t. The sooner you lie down the more stones you will get out. Be ready for bed ahead of time. Don’t clean up the kitchen.

As soon as the drink is down walk to your bed and lie down flat on your back with your head up high on the pillow. Try to think about what is happening in the liver. Try to keep perfectly still for at least 20 minutes. You may feel a train of stones traveling along the bile ducts like marbles. There is no pain because the bile duct valves are open (thank you Epsom salts!).

Go to sleep, you may fail to get stones out if you don’t.

Upon awakening take your third dose of Epsom salts. If you have indigestion or nausea wait until it is gone before drinking the Epsom salts. You may go back to bed. Don’t take this potion before 6:00 am.

Expect diarrhea in the morning.

2 Hours Later. Take your fourth (the last) dose of Epsom salts. You may go back to bed again. After 2 More Hours you may eat. Start with fruit juice. Half an hour later eat fruit. One hour later you may eat regular food but keep it light. By supper you should feel recovered.

Never perform this cleanse if you are acutely ill.  Some people find they feel unwell for 1-2 days after the cleanse.  I have found the more toxins your body is harbouring the greater the symptoms.

Not All Stevia Tastes The Same

What is it about sugar? Ask most people to give it up and it’s like asking them to cut off a leg. It’s a significant part of our lives. We associate it with celebration, with happy times. We even associate it with depression. For every emotion, sugar’s in the sidelines waiting to be called in.

Many would say that life isn’t worth living without it, but I would have to strongly disagree. Such a statement is about quality of life and giving sugar that much control over our lives dis-empowers us. Better to attribute quality of life to more important things like health. I would completely understand a statement like “Life isn’t worth living without good health”. And you can’t have good health on a steady diet of refined or even natural sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. So take your pick.

OK, so you’ve made a wise choice to be healthy instead of addicted. Where does that leave you when you still want something sweet tasting? You don’t want to take artificial sweeteners because they’re just as bad if not worse than sugar. And you’ve heard that stevia tastes nasty. Or you’ve tried it and come to that same conclusion.

I remember when Aspartame came out on the market in the mid-80s and I flocked to it like the uninformed guinea pig I was. I remember taking that first sip and nearly spitting it out. That should have been my first clue to ditch the toxic, genetically engineered chemical. But no, sometimes my will power is too strong for my own good. I persevered and eventually I came to like the taste of diet pop. Eventually it became a difficult addiction for me to give up.

Stevia takes a little getting used to, just like the days when artificial sweeteners came on the market. To further complicate things, there are many ways to process stevia from the plant, which means that one stevia can taste different from another. Typically, stevia is found in either dried form, as a liquid concentrate or a powdered extract.

The dried stevia leaf is the least processed form of stevia since the leaves are just dried and crushed. The stevia will be greenish in color from lack of processing. Although there is no processing, which is a big bonus, it’s not palatable to most people. If you’ve tried this form of stevia and dislike it, don’t despair, there are many more options.

Liquid stevia is the next type of stevia, which is a little more processed than the dried leaf. It can be found as either a dark syrup, which is concentrated from the dried leaves, or it can be found clear, which is derived from the powdered extract. Liquids can be found in water, alcohol or glycerin bases, depending. For obvious reasons, many people like to add the liquid form of stevia to liquids such as coffee or tea. The liquid form of stevia has increased in popularity since it first came on the market, but there is very little consistency in taste from one brand to another as a result of the actual processing as well as the base in which it comes.

The problem with both the dried leaves and some of the liquid stevia is that there isn’t enough sweetness and too much bitter after-taste. This is where the third type of stevia, the powdered extracts, excel. The best tasting parts of the stevia leaf are from the Steviosides and Rebaudioside A (Reb A), which produce a natural sweetener about 200 times sweeter than sugar. The best quality extract is produced with at least 85% steviosides, but the best tasting part of the stevia leaf is produced from the Rebaudioside A so the higher the Reb A content, the better. However, given that Reb A comprises only 3% of the leaf, it’s difficult to find in higher ratios. And the issue with high ratios of Reb A is that it’s no longer stevia, it’s just a component of stevia. Therefore, a combination of steviosides and Reb A is good.

The other factors that affect taste are cultivation, extraction methods and additives. Many companies add fillers like maltodextrin or erythritol for taste or to make it easy to switch from artificial sweeteners. I don’t recommend stevia with fillers. Some fillers can raise blood sugars and are most are sourced from GMOs unless certified organic.

The downside to powdered extracts is that they are more processed because they require an extraction process to remove the bitter tasting parts of the plant. Consequently, there’s a trade-off between processing and taste.

Normally, that would be the end of the discussion of stevia, but a new type of stevia product has come out on the market in the last few years, which warrants attention. Truvia and PureVia.

Truvia is owned by Cargil and Coca-Cola while PureVia is owned by Pepsi and Whole Earth Sweetener Company. Don’t let the natural sounding name fool you. Whole Earth Sweetener is owned by the Merisant Company, the makers of Equal!

Truvia is made with erythritol (a sugar alcohol), rebiana (Reb A), and natural flavors. PureVia is the same, but also includes isomaltulose and cellulose powder.

I mentioned earlier that the sweetest part of the stevia plant is from Reb A. In a highly refined process, both competitors have managed to completely isolate the Reb A, which no longer bears any resemblance to the stevia leaf. Yet it’s marketed as completely natural. According to one source,“Coca Cola’s U.S. patent application [7] method for purifying Truvia’s rebiana is a 42 step process that includes the use of acetone, acetonitrile, metanol, ethanol and isopropanol (rubbing alcohol)”. Forty-two steps? That’s a lot of steps to make something natural, don’t you think?

One of my greatest concerns is that Cargil is heavily involved in the GMO business and we can’t be certain that the stevia hasn’t been genetically engineered. I’ve heard reports of genetically engineered stevia, but I can’t find any proof. Maybe it’s genetically engineered, maybe it’s not. It’s irrelevant to this discussion because you can be assured that the erythritol, the main ingredient, and cellulose powder ARE genetically engineered.

Then there’s the natural flavors that Pepsi and Coke list on their label, making us think it’s healthy and pure. Not necessarily so. The only difference between artificial and natural flavor is that the natural flavor was derived from a natural source, even if that means a beaver’s anal glands. I kid you not! Watch out for raspberry and vanilla flavorings. The “natural flavoring” label is permitted, which ignores the vast number of chemical processes that flavoring can potentially go through before completion. It’s still a chemical with many chemical ingredients that can be anything but natural. Since there’s an element of trust required, I’m certain that both companies never have nor ever will earn my trust!

So, to summarize, there are a lot of bad tasting stevias and many good tasting ones. I’ve been using stevia since 2000 when stevia extraction was still in its infancy. I’ve lost count of the number of bottles that went into the trash. To date, the best tasting powder extract I’ve found is an organic extract made by Kal, which was recommended to me by a friend a number of years ago. I’ve been using it ever since, going so far as to order my supply from the US as it’s not available in Canada. Until now. I’ve also managed to convert a number of “stevia haters” with this product, which I consider a huge accomplishment. It means one less person addicted to sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Before closing, I want to make one more point. Remember that stevia extract is still a processed food and should only be consumed in moderation. Otherwise, you’re giving up one sugar addiction and replacing it with another. Put it in your coffee or in one of your meals, but it’s entirely unnecessary to build a collection of recipes using stevia. You’ll find that once you start eliminating sugar, the need for sweet-tasting food will diminish. Just give it a chance.

So if you’re one of those people who didn’t give stevia a fair shake, armed with this information, I urge you to try it again. You might surprise yourself.

Buying Organic – Where To Start

So you’ve been watching Doctor Oz for months now and have finally decided that today is the day that you are going to start buying organic, where should you start?

I tell everyone I know to do everything in steps.  If you try to tackle too much too soon you will just end up failing.  The key is to set small achievable goals and apply the transformation slowly.

Start by looking in your kitchen and pick an item that you eat everyday.  The next time you go shopping make the decision to buy the organic version.  Every week pick a new item and make the switch.  The reason I suggest you do only 1 item per week is that you need to read the labels thoroughly and choose the product that is most beneficial.  Sometimes there are multiple options, I have often spent 15 minutes or more staring at labels and trying to decide which one is best.  This could become overwhelming if you were switching your whole pantry.

Pick one item per week, do your research and make the switch.  Before long your kitchen will be transformed all with very little effort.


Most Important Foods To Buy Organic

  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs

 

If you’re on a tight budget but want to improve your diet by shopping organic, animal products like meat, poultry and eggs are the place to start.

Since animal products tend to bioaccumulate toxins from their pesticide-laced feed, concentrating them to far higher concentrations than are typically present in vegetables, I strongly recommend you buy only organically raised meats.

Unlike conventional fruits and vegetables, where peeling and washing can sometimes reduce the amounts of these toxins, the pesticides and drugs that these animals get exposed to during their lives can become incorporated into their very tissues, especially their fat.

While you can cut off some of it, you may still be ingesting high amours of toxins if you consume such foods regularly.

Another important factor that sets organic meat apart from its conventional counterpart is it will not contain antibiotics and other growth-promoting drugs.

When choosing organic beef, taking the additional step to make certain the cows are exclusively grass fed, including the three months before they are slaughtered, can make a big difference in the quality, taste, and nutrient content of the beef.

For chickens, it would be important to make sure they are cage-free, or free-range, as well as being organic.

Eggs from truly organic, pastured chickens are also FAR less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, and their nutrient content is also much higher than commercially raised eggs. However, the organic eggs in your grocery store may have undergone additional treatments during cleaning and processing that you’re better off avoiding.

So look for organic eggs as well, but buy them locally from a farmer you trust. If you’re choosing between organic eggs from your supermarket or locally grown eggs that are not certified organic but come from a reputable source, the locally grown eggs are probably the better choice.

In terms of pesticides, the Environmental Working Group has done the work for you and identified the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

The Dirty Dozen of The Produce Aisle

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines 
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Lettuce
  9. Grapes
  10. Pears
  11. Spinach
  12. Potatoes


Meanwhile, the produce below has the lowest pesticide load when conventionally grown. Consequently, they are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume:

12 Safest Conventionally Grown Crops
  1. Broccoli
  2. Eggplant
  3. Banana
  4. Cabbage
  5. Kiwi
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  8. Mango
  9. Pineapple
  10. Sweet Corn (frozen)
  11. Avocado
  12. Onion

 


Just because someone slaps an organic label on a food product, that label does not somehow magically transform a junk food into a health food. Organic processed foods — ice cream, potato chips, soda, etc. — are just as detrimental to your health as conventional processed foods.

So when planning your food budget, make sure your organic choices are centered on whole foods like meat, raw dairy and produce — not processed imposters.

D-Mannose: An Effective Treatment for UTIs

D-MannoseI have to admit that I don’t take a lot of supplements. Over the years, I’ve tried many different supplements thinking they would help fix my health issues but in the end, I didn’t see much change. I came to realize that I was taking supplements no different than taking a pill to help fix my problems. Even worse, most of the supplements on the market are synthetically produced and made from GMOs. Being synthetically produced means the vitamins are not identical to what your body needs so in essence I was taking something foreign to my body. To a lesser extent, this was no different than taking medications.

Instead, I traded in most of my supplements (and believe me, the list was long) for various methods of detoxification, which I admit helped me more than any supplement on the market. I still consider some supplements important for various reasons, like Raw Food Multivitamins, Vitamin D3, Probiotics, Krill Oil, Astaxanthin and Digestive Enzymes and I take them regularly as my insurance policy.

Things in the health department had been going well for me until I was just struck with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The Urinary Tract is the system that expels urine from the body, which includes the two Kidneys, two Ureters, the Bladder and the Urethra.

I despise the overuse of antibiotics today, the worst offenders being the livestock industry, which uses 70% of the world’s antibiotic supply. Antibiotics are intended to save lives, not compensate for the inhumane treatment of animals. As a result, antibiotic resistance is a very real problem so in my little world where I have no control over global pharmaceutical issues, I choose not to take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.

I’ve had two kidney infections in my life and I’ve been told that once you get them, you’re prone to getting them again. The first time, I ended up on narcotics to control the pain and started hallucinating. Have I mentioned before that I get weird side effects to medications? So understandably, when I get a UTI, I run to the drug store with my antibiotic prescription in hand. I hadn’t had a UTI since my last kidney infection back in 1996, but this has been my fourth UTI in one year. Something is wrong. I think the antibiotic use has messed up my body’s microflora despite taking high doses of Probiotics.

The second thing I realize is that I believe that Diva Cups (I will leave it at that for our male readers) can block the urinary tract, decreasing the urinary flow. I don’t want to bash the Diva Cup, but in my case, I’m certain it’s the cause. Unfortunately, the partially blocked tract becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

So when I woke up Saturday morning in significant urinary and kidney discomfort, I was in a bit of a dilemma. It came as no surprise that my urine test came back positive for an infection. This time, I simply could NOT go on another round of antibiotics. The alarm bells were going off.

I remembered reading about d-mannose being good for UTIs. They are a simple sugar, found in many fruits, most notably in cranberry. I decided that I would try the d-mannose for 24 hours and if I was no better, I would go on the antibiotics. To ensure that I didn’t have a kidney infection, I would also monitor my temperature for signs of a fever. So I went to the Health Food Store and bought some d-mannose. I took my first dose immediately upon my return home and repeated the dose every 3 hours thereafter, which amounted to 4 doses in total that day. Other than a lot of rumbling in my stomach, there were no other side effects. I noticed that I was urinating with less pain throughout the day, but figured that drinking more water might have had something to do with it. The real test would be how my urinary tract reacted first thing the following morning.

Lo and behold, I woke up the following morning almost without symptoms. The only symptom left was just a tiny bit of discomfort as my bladder became fully empty. After 48 hours, the symptoms were completely gone. This treatment was just as effective, if not more effective, than the results I’ve obtained in the past with antibiotics. I was astonished! And happy. Happy because after all this time, I’ve found a way to prevent and cure a UTI, something I never thought possible.

Of course, now I had to find out about this miracle sugar (can you believe I said sugar and miracle in the same sentence?) so I did some research and came up with a wonderful site that explains d-mannose in great detail. We owe a debt to Dr. Jonathan V. Wright of the Tahoma Clinic who pioneered the use of d-mannose to fight off UTIs.

The beauty is that d-mannose doesn’t kill the bacteria, thereby upsetting the body’s microflora. E. Coli use lectins, which are programmed to attach to the first mannose sugar it finds, and mannose acts as a receptor, providing a “velcro-like grip”. Whereas before, E. Coli was attaching to the urinary and bladder linings, now it’s surrounded by mannose-containing urine. E. Coli isn’t choosy. It attaches to the closest mannose molecule in the urine and gets washed out when urinating. Our immune system can then naturally take over and rid the body of any left over E. Coli adhering to the urinary tract.

D-Mannose can cure approximately 90% of UTIs within 1-2 days because 90% of UTIs are caused by E. Coli. It’s advisable to have a urine culture done to determine the type of bacterial infection you have. Other types of bacterial infection make up the other 10% of UTIs and would need to be treated with antibiotics.

By now, you must be thinking “It’s a sugar. How can that be healthy?”. However, very little d-mannose is actually metabolized and, in fact, glucose is absorbed eight times faster than d-mannose. D-mannose doesn’t convert to glycogen and isn’t stored in the liver so it is considered safe for diabetics. However, as a precaution, diabetics should monitor their blood sugars.

I am extremely sensitive to sugar and I didn’t notice any reactive changes. In fact, the beauty is that anyone can use d-mannose. It’s just a simple sugar so it doesn’t matter if you’re a child or pregnant.

I have read that it’s best to take d-mannose with water and not to empty the bladder for one hour. This would make sense since you want the E. Coli attaching to the urine.

So now that I’ve done my research and I’ve seen the results for myself, I’m convinced that my days of antibiotic use for UTIs is over. My preventative routine will be to take 1 tsp of d-mannose daily along with alternating my brands of probiotics to ensure that I replenish my body with a variety of friendly bacteria. It appears that variety is the spice of life, even in the bacterial world.

I hope that this information can help people suffering from chronic infection and help them get off the antibiotic rollercoaster. It astonishes me that conventional doctors are not aware of the benefits of d-mannose, given how effectively it works against E. Coli infection. Well, considering that our conventional system is trained by the pharmaceutical industry, it comes as no surprise but that’s an article for another day. However, I’m hopeful that one day d-mannose will be the first line of defense against E. Coli based UTIs.

Delicious Curry Turkey Patties

Curry Turkey Patties

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Curry Turkey patties or burgers. Quick and easy recipe great for a meal or snack. Loaded with low fat ingredients. Curry Turkey peppers cilantro

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Ground Turkey (Turkey thigh is best)
  • 1 Small onion (grated)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger (minced or grated)
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper (Finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Curry (Pataks mild curry paste or powder)
  • 1-2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1/4 - 1 cup Bread crumbs (Use as needed to absorb extra moisture)
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut oil

Note

This quick and easy recipe is great for lunch, dinner, or a light snack.

Directions

Step 1
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT coconut oil and bread crumbs
Step 2
Combine bread crumbs until the mixture will form loose patties. Use just enough to absorb excess moisture. The mixture should still be wet and sticky.
Step 3
Separate mixture into six portions and form into patties.
Step 4
Preheat pan over medium heat and add Coconut oil
Step 5
Cook patties for 5-7 minutes per side being careful to not flip too soon as this will allow the patties to firm up.
Step 6
Alternatively you can bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees. For even more flavour you can squeeze some fresh lime over patties before serving.

How The History of Toothpaste Can Help You Eat Healthier and Exercise More

One day in the early 1900s, a prominent American businessman named Claude C. Hopkins was approached by an old friend with an amazing new creation: a minty, frothy toothpaste named “Pepsodent” that, he promised, was going to be huge.  Before Pepsodent, almost no Americans brushed their teeth. A decade after Hopkins’ advertising campaigns, pollsters found that toothbrushing had become a daily ritual for more than half the population. Everyone from Shirley Temple to Clark Gable eventually bragged about a “Pepsodent smile.”

Today, Hopkins is almost totally forgotten. He shouldn’t be. Hopkins was among the first to elucidate principles that even now influence how video games are designed, public health campaigns are managed and that explain why some people effortlessly exercise every morning, while others can’t pass a box of doughnuts without automatically grabbing a jelly-filled cruller.

So, how did Hopkins start America brushing?  By taking advantage of a quirk in the neurology of habits.

Hopkins created a toothbrushing habit by identifying a simple and obvious cue, delivering a clear reward and —most important —by creating a neurological craving.  And craving, it turns out, is what powers a habit.

When Hopkins signed on to promote Pepsodent, he realized he needed to find a trigger for its daily use. He sat down with a pile of dental textbooks. “It was dry reading,” he later wrote in his autobiography. “But in the middle of one book I found a reference to the mucin plaques on teeth, which I afterward called ‘the film.’

“That gave me an appealing idea. I resolved to advertise this toothpaste as a creator of beauty.”

Soon, cities were plastered with Pepsodent ads. “Just run your tongue across your teeth,” read one. “You’ll feel a film—that’s what makes your teeth look ‘off color’ and invites decay.”

“Note how many pretty teeth are seen everywhere,” read another. “Millions are using a new method of teeth cleansing. Why would any woman have dingy film on her teeth? Pepsodent removes the film!”

All habitsno matter how large or smallhave three components, according to neurological studies. There’s a cuea trigger for a particular behavior; a routine, which is the behavior itself; and a reward, which is how your brain decides whether to remember a habit for the future. When Hopkins identified tooth film, he found a cue that had existed for eons. Moreover, the reward that Hopkins was promising was hard to resist. Who doesn’t want a prettier smile? Particularly when all it takes is a quick brush with Pepsodent?

Three weeks after the first Pepsodent ad campaign, demand for the toothpaste exploded. There were so many orders that the company couldn’t keep up. In three years, the product went international. Within a decade, Pepsodent was one of the top  sellers around the globe.

The key, he said, was that he had grounded his advertising campaign in two basic rules:

  1. Find a simple and obvious cue.
  2. Clearly define the rewards.

Even today, Hopkins’s rules are a staple of marketing textbooks. They’re cited in boardrooms, advertising offices, and business school classrooms.  But that’s not the full explanation of why Pepsodent was such a success. There’s another rule that even Hopkins, at the time, didn’t understand.

Scientists studied the Hopkins Habit Loop trying to figure out why it works using monkeys.  They would provide a cue, ask for an action and then provide a reward.  The monkeys would be shown an image on a computer screen, they were then prompted to pull a lever, once the lever was pulled they were rewarded with food.  Scans showed that the reward would cause the brain to light up with activity.  Before long the monkeys became fixated on the computer screen waiting for the cue.  Brain scans showed that once the habit was established the brain would light up at the first visual cue, not just when the reward came.  This clearly showed that the brain would anticipate or crave the reward.

The Scientists then started to change things up, they would provide the cue on the computer screen, the lever would be pulled, and the reward would sometimes be delayed or not come at all.  Something interesting happened.  The monkeys would become angry or depressed.

It turns out that the visual cue would trigger a response in the brain anticipating the reward: JOY, if that reward didn’t come the joy would be replaced with CRAVING, if the craving wasn’t eventually satisfied it would turn into depression or anger.

This, scientists say, is how habits emerge, and why they are so powerful: They create neurological cravings. Most of the time, these cravings emerge so gradually that we’re not really aware they exist. But as our brains start to associate certain cues (a doughnut box!) with certain rewards (yummy jelly!), a subconscious craving emerges. And so whenever we see the Dunkin’ Donuts container in the break room we start craving a donut—even if, just moments before, we weren’t hungry at all.

Something similar, it turned out, was happening when people started using Pepsodent. About a decade after Pepsodent went on sale, competing toothpaste companies launched a massive project to figure out why it was such a success. Eventually they tripped over something interesting: the Pepsodent recipe.

Unlike other toothpastes of that period, Pepsodent contained citric acid, as well as doses of mint oil and other relatively exotic chemicals. Pepsodent’s inventor had used those ingredients to make his toothpaste taste minty and to make sure the paste wouldn’t become gluey as it sat on shelves.  But those chemicals had another, unanticipated effect as well: They’re irritants that create a tingling sensation on the tongue and gums.

When researchers at competing companies started interviewing customers, they found that people said that if they forgot to use Pepsodent, they realized their mistake because they missed that cool, tingling sensation in their mouths. They expected—they craved—that slight irritation. If it wasn’t there, their mouths didn’t feel clean.

Studies indicate that anyone can use this basic formula to create habits of her or his own. Want to exercise more? Choose a cue, such as going to the gym as soon as you wake up, and a reward, such as a smoothie after each workout. Then think about that smoothie, or about the endorphin rush you’ll feel. Allow yourself to anticipate the reward. Eventually, that craving will make it easier to push through the gym doors every day.

Want to craft a new eating habit? When researchers affiliated with the National Weight Control Registry—a project involving more than 6,000 people who have lost more than 30 pounds—looked at the habits of successful dieters, they found that 78 percent of them ate breakfast every morning, a meal cued by a time of day. But most of the successful dieters also envisioned a specific reward for sticking with their diet—a bikini they wanted to wear or the sense of pride they felt when they stepped on the scale each day. They focused on that craving when temptations arose, cultivated it into a mild obsession. And, researchers found, it crowded out temptations.

If you can identify the right cue and reward—and if you can create a sense of craving—you can establish almost any habit.

You can also use this same system for breaking bad habits like: over eating, smoking, drinking, etc.

The key thing to remember is that the routine depends on the cue and reward.  Most people attack the routine directly and this is why most people fail.  If you want to start a new habit like exercising daily you need to create an appropriate cue (time of day is easiest) and give yourself a suitable reward.  If you focus on the cue and reward the habit will come naturally.

If you want to remove a bad habit then the same principle applies.  If you remove the cue and reward the habit will disappear.

 

Miracle Whey Protein Powder

The 9 Essentials to Look For in Your Whey Protein Powder

All-natural, grass-fed cows’ whey, NOT pesticide-treated, grain-fed cows’ whey

Compared to grain-fed cows, grass-fed cows produce whey that:

  • Is nutritionally superior to grain fed
  • Contains an impressive amino acid and immuno-supportive nutrient profile
  • Is rich in healthy fats–lipolic acid and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)

Grass-fed cows are good source of Protein

Hormone-free Cows, NOT hormonally-treated cows

  • Many American dairy farmers inject the hormone rBGH in dairy cows to increase milk production. This hormone has been linked to serious disease and illness, including cancer. Choose whey made from hormone-free cows.


Cold processed, NOT heat processed like most whey which:

  • Makes the whey acidic and nutritionally deficient
  • Damages the immuno-supportive micronutrients and amino acids
  • Makes whey inadequate for consumption
  • Cold processed whey protects the nutrients in their natural state.


Acid-free processing, NOT Acid / Ion Exchange Processing

  • Acid / Ion Exchange Processing is cheaper than acid-free processing, but it denatures the amino acid profiles by using acids and chemicals to separate the whey from the fats.


Whey protein concentrate, NOT protein isolates

Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors. There are three problems with that…

  • All isolates are exposed to acid processing.
  • Your body cannot assimilate proteins in isolated form.
  • Due to over-processing, isolates are deficient in key amino acids and nutritional cofactors.


Sweetened naturally, NOT artificially, and low carb

  • Most whey products are artificially sweetened making them useless if you have sugar sensitivities, or just don’t want to put artificial sweeteners or flavors into your body.
  • Your whey should be low glycemic, low carb and should not contain any artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohol, glycerin, fructose, sugar or gluten.


Maximum biological value, NOT compromised or damaged

  • Most whey proteins provide some benefit. But, due to the ingredients, the source of the whey, the concentration of beneficial nutrients, or the type of processing, many whey products simply don’t deliver what they promise.
  • You want whey that’s guaranteed to retain its maximum biological value — one with all the key amino acids, cofactors and beneficial micronutrients present and intact rather than compromised or damaged, and not missing any amino acids or essential nutrients.


Easy to Digest, NOT Causing Digestive Stress

  • Many whey products contain long-chain fatty acids which are hard to digest and require bile acids to absorb.
  • You want a whey protein powder with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). These are easily absorbed, digested quickly, and utilized as energy without causing digestive stress.
  • Ideally, you want a product in which the MCT come from the best source of all — coconut oil.


Free from Toxic Heavy Metals or at Such Low Levels NOT to be a Health Risk

  • Many protein powders both whey and non-whey could contain dangerous levels of heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic.
  • A recent Consumer Reports‘ evaluation showed some leading brands of protein powders exceeded United States Pharmacopoeia’s (USP) recommended safety limits for certain heavy metals.
  • You want to avoid these products at all costs because any high concentration of heavy metals taken over time could lead to serious health consequences.


YES… I realize that’s a lot to look for in a whey protein powder, but it’s absolutely worth your time and health.  It does not make sense to take a supplement that does not benefit you, or worse it could actually be harming your health.

You can search your local health food store’s shelves and you might find one or two products that have some of the things you want, but that’s unlikely… especially finding one that doesn’t contain any of the things you don’t want with those you do.

But, I’m about to make it easy for you.

After discovering how most  whey protein powders just didn’t live up to what your body really needs, Dr. Mercola created a winning whey protein powder.*

Miracle Whey Protein PowderMiracle Whey™ is the result  of years of development.

Take a look at just a few of  the benefits you’ll receive when you supplement your daily diet with Miracle Whey:

  • Made from all-natural grass-fed cows’ whey, providing more of nature’s nutrients
  • Is certified free of GMO ingredients,  pesticides, and chemicals, protecting you from the damaging effects of   chemicals and hormones*
  • Is cold processed, and never processed with acid chemicals, thereby retaining all its natural goodness
  • Provides all key amino acids, so you get all the protein building blocks your body needs*
  • Retains maximum biological value with beneficial micronutrients intact*
  • Contains the highest concentration of leucine of  any dairy product, said to increase energy levels and support building of muscle mass*
  • Contains water-soluble fiber, which supports healthy blood sugar levels* and prebiotic properties*
  • Contains 25% or more glycomacropeptides for immune support, high energy, muscle-building and recovery after exercise*
  • Contains MCTs from all-natural coconut oil for easy digestion and fast energy*
  • Rich in glutamic acid and branch chain amino acids which aid muscle-building and recovery *
  • Contains all whey microfructures, immunoglobulins and lactoferins, promoting your healthy immune function and healthy flora balance*
  • No sugar, sugar alcohol or artificial sweeteners added that detract from the positive benefits of whey.
  • Includes the same immuno compounds that are found naturally in human breast milk — responsible for providing newborns with their immune defense*
  • Promotes satiety, so compulsive craving for refined carbs and sweets is curbed*

 

Click Here To Find Miracle Whey Protein in the Live-Pure Store.

Starting and Maintaining Your Kefir

What is Kefir?

Now that you have discovered some of the many benefits of Kefir I’m sure you want to run out and get some for yourself.   Kefir drinks are found in most grocery store dairy departments, however there are 3 main reasons why homemade kefir is better than store bought:


Homemade vs Store bought Kefir

  1. Homemade Kefir is cheaper than store bought.
  2. You can control the type and quality of the milk used
  3. Store bought Kefir usually has sugar added (plus other ingredients)
  4. Homemade Kefir contains more probiotics (the main reason to drink it)

There are 2 ways to make Kefir at home.  You can buy Kefir starter packages (available on-line or at health food stores) or you can get your hands on some real Kefir grains.  I would suggest you get some real grains for a number of reasons.

Kefir Grains vs. Kefir Starter

  1. Grains last forever, no need to keep purchasing more
  2. Grains are the way nature intended
  3. Grains do not have extra ingredients or preservatives

The hardest part now is to locate some real Kefir grains.  Ask around, you will be surprised how many people actually have Kefir growing on their counter and they would be more than happy to share some.  The easiest way to transport the grains is in a sealed mason jar full of milk.  My general rule is 125 ml of milk per day of transportation.

Once you have your Kefir at home you will need to make it comfortable.  Remember this is a living organism that requires a little care, but is quite robust once it’s up and running.

This is what Kefir looks like.  Most likely when you get yours home it will look like one of the little chunks pictured floating in some milk.   Before you do anything read the following handling guide.

 

 



Continue reading ‘Starting and Maintaining Your Kefir’

Health Benefits of Beans

I’m a big fan of beans.  They belong to an extremely large category of vegetables, containing more than 13,000 species and are second only to grains in supplying calories and protein to the world’s population.  For some reason they are used as a staple everywhere around the world except North America where grains dominate. Compared to grains, though, legumes supply about the same number of calories but usually two to four times as much protein.  One-quarter cup of any legume is equivalent in protein to an ounce of meat. A cup of legumes contains about 15 grams of protein.

Beans are generating a lot of interest in the scientific community because they are showing to provide protection from so many of the fearsome diseases of modern times. University studies have documented that eating beans on a regular basis reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity.

Beans and Cancer Prevention: A newly released series of studies from Colorado State University, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, found that eating beans regularly could help prevent breast cancer. The studies, which will progress into a clinical trial using breast cancer survivors, may produce preventative diet plans for women who want to avoid breast cancer or a recurrence. Researchers introduced a carcinogen into the mammary glands of rats that were then fed a daily diet of different varieties of beans in each of the separate studies. The rat control group did not receive beans.  Results indicated that the more beans included in the diet, the less the frequency for malignant tumors.  It has been known for several years that inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) found in beans, legumes and some other vegetables exhibits potent anti-cancer action.

During another study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed data collected from 90,630 women who participated in the Nurses Health Study II, selecting women between the ages of 26 and 46 when the study began in 1991. After an eight-year follow-up, the researchers found that women who consumed beans or lentils at least twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than women who consumed them less than once a month.

In a study of nearly 35,000 women, those who ate four of more servings of legumes each week reduced their risk of developing colorectal cancer by approximately one-third. In a related study, people who had previously developed colon cancer were found able to reduce the risk of recurrence up to 45% by increasing their consumption of beans.
Continue reading ‘Health Benefits of Beans’

Setting Yourself Up For Diet Success: Making Rules

Why do we make rules?  When I talk about rules I mean laws, company policies or procedures, sports rules, chore charts for our kids or anything like it.  In general we have rules to create consistency.  Laws are formed to create consistent behaviours, sports rules are to create a consistent game.

First, you have to have a goal.  Unless you have a goal there are no need for rules.  You can do whatever you want and get whatever result you get!  Just ask the Cheshire Cat.  For our purposes the goal is sticking to our diet.

So we need to create rules to help achieve a consistent result for our goal.  Seems pretty simple.  But for the rules to work you need to follow them… Not so simple.

For rules to work you need to understand the difference between rules and guidelines.  A guideline is a suggestion to follow MOST of the time.  A rule is something to follow ALL the time.  A guideline if broken results in little or no consequences.  A rule if broken results in serious consequences.  When you create a rule you need to give it as much mental weight as you would the 10 commandments.  Now this may sound a little extreme but hear me out.

When it comes to my diet I take it very seriously.  I honestly feel that when I am eating well and maintaining my comfortable weight every aspect of my life is improved.  I have more energy and strength, I’m in a better mood, I feel and look better, and I don’t get sick as often.  All of these benefits allow me to get more accomplished each day at work and at home.  I genuinely believe that it makes me a better person.  I reinforce this belief on a daily basis so that the rules I create will carry the importance required to follow through.

Guidelines For Making Diet Rules

Must be reasonable: If you can’t reasonably expect to follow the rule at least 95% of the time, then forget it.  The whole point of having a rule is to follow it.  The more often you break your rules the more likely you are to break them again.

You must believe: If you don’t believe in your rule, then you won’t have the mental strength to enforce the rule when it counts.  This is why I feel YOU need to create your own list of rules.  You must truly believe that following your rule will lead to your goal and increase your overall quality of life. They don’t have to be original, as long as you believe that they are applicable to you that’s all that matters.

Make it simple and specific: Your rule should be so simple and straight forward that a response is automatic, you need to know when and where it applies without thinking.  The more opportunity you have to think, the more opportunity you have to fail.  Stop the mental debate before it begins.

Must not interfere with quality of life: If you are constantly struggling to follow your rule then you are more likely to disregard it.  It needs to improve your overall quality of life, if your rule strains relationships or causes you to avoid socializing then perhaps it needs to be addressed.  The key here is to recognize what is really increasing your quality of life, and what is working against you.  Your life is going to seem better today if you indulge in that bag of chips, but is your overall quality of life really increased?

Must be beneficial to your overall health: If your rule is not healthy physically or mentally then I feel it should not be on the list.  How can you believe in something if deep down you know that it doesn’t truly benefit you?  Many diets out there will provide drastic results, but why do people constantly fail?  Can you expect to stick with a diet regime if deep down you know it’s not good for your health?  Why not adopt healthy eating habits that accomplish your goal AND improve your overall health?

Create exceptions to the rule ahead of time: There are times when your rule just can’t be enforced (or shouldn’t) decide ahead of time when and where it’s appropriate to break the rules.  You don’t want to allow yourself to create exceptions on the fly because this will give you too many opportunities to break your rules at will.  Knowing when and where (ahead of time) will take the mental discussion away.

Make a rule for when you can break your rules:  When you break rules, you are more likely to break them again, so to keep yourself mentally motivated, having a rule that overrides all other rules allows you to have a get out of jail free card.  This might sound like cheating but as long as it meets all of the requirements then it should still be in line with your overall goal.  The important aspect is that it allows you to break your rules while still honoring yourself.  The more you honour yourself, the more you will respect and follow the rules.

Continue reading ‘Setting Yourself Up For Diet Success: Making Rules’

Setting Yourself Up For Diet Success: Triggers

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and she asked me “how do you stay so disciplined with your diet and exercise program?  You must have incredible willpower”

“Aaah on the surface it might appear that I am the most disciplined person ever, but the truth is I have the willpower of a 2 year old…..” The key to my success is that I am very honest with myself.  I know where and when I am most likely to fail, and plan ahead to work around it.  Let me explain:

Identify Your Triggers That Lead To Failure and Find a Solution

Hunger:  For me I know that when I get hungry, I’m in trouble.  Hunger doesn’t just present as a slightly uncomfortable feeling that gradually increases, for me it comes on like a freight train.  The amount of time between initial hunger and “I’m about to eat someone” is about 5 minutes.  I’m not kidding, my wife even keeps snacks in her purse when we go out together because she knows that if I get hungry it’s time to go home.  In knowing this weakness I make sure that I am never hungry.  Pretty simple.  I plan my meals around my schedule, if I can’t bring enough food with me then I plan where and when I am going to eat.  This eliminates having to make last minute choices of what to eat when I am forced to eat out, because I have already identified where I are going to eat and what I are going to choose.

Choice:  If given the opportunity I will most likely make a bad choice (especially if I’m hungry)  So I minimize the choices that I make and more importantly I make my decisions ahead of time when I am not hungry and in control.  Let me explain.  If I go to a restaurant for lunch because I didn’t have a choice to bring my own lunch I know exactly what I am getting before I even look at the menu.  90% of all restaurants have some kind of grilled chicken, and some kind of salad or grilled veg.  So that’s what I get.  Don’t even look at other options because then I’ll have to make a choice.  Just ask the server what most closely resembles grilled chicken and salad and hold the sauces and dressing you don’t even need to look at the menu.

Another opportunity for choice (and probably the biggest) is the grocery store.  You wander through the aisles looking at all the tasty treats designed to make you crave them, how could you possibly resist?   The solution is simple, shop from a list and shop when you’re NOT hungry.  Create your list ahead of time and stick to the list.  Don’t wander through the store looking at what’s new or what’s on sale stare at your list get what you need and get out.  No choices, no hunger, success! Continue reading ‘Setting Yourself Up For Diet Success: Triggers’

Setting Yourself Up For Diet Success: Avoid Sugar

I frequently get asked from people where to start? If there was one thing they could focus on to begin getting healthier what should it be? I never hesitate. In my mind I believe that there is one critical decision to be made to start down the path to a healthy new you. Remove sugar from your regular diet.

The first, and easiest step is to remove visible processed sugar. This is pretty simple, hide the sugar bowl in the back of the pantry and forget it ever existed. If you add sugar to your coffee, learn to drink it black. If you sprinkle some on your healthy oatmeal, well… you know where I’m going with this. This is the first and easiest step because it does not require extra energy, you just stop adding sugar.

The second step takes a bit more diligence and commitment on your part. You need to go through your fridge and pantry and start label checking. In general if there is sugar within the first 4-6 ingredients, I’m afraid to say it should be off limits. This includes the regular culprits: Pop, Jam, Cereal, Sweet pickles, Sauces, Frozen Meals, Meal replacement beverages, etc. This step is not too difficult because you are just identifying things that clearly have sugar labelled. By now your kitchen is probably looking quite empty. But this is just the beginning. Most of you might already be living in this stage. Eating healthy, avoiding processed foods, limiting your sugar intake. This is basic stuff, so why are you still having troubles losing weight? why are your energy levels lacking, why is your health not where it should be? Because you’ve been mislead. Read on…

 

The third step gets more difficult. This is where the truth comes out. Most of the sugar you are eating is not labelled sugar. The food industry has pulled the proverbial wool over your eyes. Go through your kitchen and start reading the labels on anything that is left. This includes all those healthy organic products. Take note of the following ingredients: Continue reading ‘Setting Yourself Up For Diet Success: Avoid Sugar’

Quick and Easy Bean Dip

Quick and Easy Bean Dip

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Condiment, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Quick and easy bean dip. This is a great dip that takes only minutes to prepare and is delicious with fresh vegetables, on a burger, in a wrap or just on it's own.

Ingredients

  • 1 can or 1 cup cooked dried Beans - Navy Beans, Chickpea, Cannellini Beans, Butter Beans
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp (approx) Water
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Note

You can use any type of bean you like.  My favourites are: Chickpea, Navy, and Cannellini.  You can also use white kidney, black, pinto, butter.  Each bean gives a slightly different texture and taste.  Adjust the amounts of salt, pepper, lemon and oil to suit your taste.

Directions

Step 1
Put 1 can (drained and rinsed) or 1 cup of cooked dry beans (which ever type you like) in food processor
Step 2
Mince Garlic and add to beans
Step 3
Add Oil and Lemon Juice, salt and pepper to taste
Step 4
Blend in food processor adding water 1 Tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached
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