Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beyond Organic

Organic meat, poultry, and dairy products are now available at your supermarket, which is a change for the better. When you see the organic label, you know the food is going to be free of pesticide residues, synthetic hormones, genetically modified organisms, and a long list of questionable additives. You also have the satisfaction of knowing that raising animals organically causes less harm to the environment. But when it comes to animal production, organic is not enough. We need to be raising animals on their species-appropriate diets.

Few consumers realize that many producers of "organic" or "naturally raised" animal products, raise their animals in confinement and feed them grain---just like the operators of conventional feedlots. Feeding large amounts of grain to a grazing animal decreases the nutritional value of its products whether the grain is organic or conventionally raised. The reason is simple. Compared with grass, grain has far fewer omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.(1) Therefore, grainfed animals have fewer of these important nutrients in their meat and dairy products. Grainfeeding also interferes with the creation of a cancer-fighting fight called conjugated linoleic acid or CLA.(2) I A test by an independent lab determined that milk from one of the largest organic grain-fed dairies had no more omega-3 fatty acids or CLA than milk from ordinary dairies. Similarly, meat from organic grain-fed beef has the same nutritional profile as meat from the largest Kansas feedlot.

The same story holds true for organic but confinement-raised poultry. Their meat and eggs have no more omega-3s or vitamin E than the products you find in the supermarket.(3) (Unless the birds are given special supplements along with the grain.)

For many consumers, food safety is an even bigger concern than nutrition. Once again, grass feeding offers an important advantage. It has been known for decades that grain feeding makes a cow's digestive tract more acid. Now we know that this acidic environment speeds the growth of potentially dangerous E. coli bacteria and, even worse, makes the bugs more acid-resistant. Alarmingly, these acid-resistant bacteria are much more likely to survive the cleansing acidity of our own digestive juices and make us ill. (4)

Depriving our livestock of fresh greens and vastly increasing their consumption of grain has jeopardized our health in ways people never imagined. Although feeding organically raised grain reduces our reliance on pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, it does not provide the food that nature intended us to eat.

Jo Robinson is a New York Times bestselling writer. She is the author or coauthor of 11 nationally published books including Pasture Perfect, which is a comprehensive overview of the benefits of choosing products from pasture-raised animals, and The Omega Diet (with Dr. Artemis Simopoulos) that describes an omega-3 enriched Mediterranean diet that may be the healthiest eating program of all. To order her books or learn more about grassfed products, visit

1. Garton, G. A.. "Fatty Acid Composition of the Lipids of Pasture Grasses." Nature 187(4736): 511-12.

2. Dhiman, T. R., G. R. Anand, et al. (1999). "Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets." J Dairy Sci 82(10): 2146-56.

3. Lopez-Bote, C. J., R.Sanz Arias, A.I. Rey, A. Castano, B. Isabel, J. Thos (1998). "Effect of free-range feeding on n-3 fatty acid and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) content and oxidative stability of eggs." Animal Feed Science and Technology 72: 33-40.

4. Diez-Gonzalez, F., T. R. Callaway, et al. (1998). "Grain feeding and the dissemination of acid-resistant Escherichia coli from cattle." Science 281(5383): 1666-8.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pandemic Scare

I don't know if you have been watching the news or ready the paper, but apparently there is a swine flu out there and it has killed 103 people and hospitalized 400 more in Mexico alone. There a has been other pandemic scares in the last few years but none that has spread so fast. I know that history reveals that a global pandemic can be a huge killer, so I understand the concern.

I have never been a fan of flu shots so if there is a swine flu shot I will probably avoid it and count on my own knowledge about my immune system to counter this flu as I would any other illness. I am going to do that by continuing to build up the "good bacteria" in my gut. Probiotics in the form or primal defense and lacto fermented foods such as kefir, I will also do things to keep my cardiovascular health and respiratory health top notch by doing cadio and strength training exercise. Another good thing it is to make sure you are getting your omega 3's as well as getting valuable antioxidants from fruits and vegetables.

You must do these things to help sustain health now and not wait for a pandemic scare or any scare for that matter. Some people will wait till they have a heart attack before they start exercising or get cancer before they start eating right. I employ you to start now and reap the benefits the rest of your life.

Educate yourself by reading and not giving way to things that just don't carry any logic like, "no calories" is healthy or "just cut out carbs" . These things don't make any sense but what does? Moderation and knowing what is a healthy carb and why empty calories get stored in fat. Content over quantity of calories, this is what I live by.

By doing this you will become a life giver to your friends and family that see you succeeding in prevention and health as well as fitness. Give it time to work, you didn't get the way you are over night so its going to take continual maintenance on your body to achieve health and then stay healthy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sports Drinks Are Bad!

Dental experts placed teeth in sports drinks and in water to compare the effects, and they found the sports drinks caused corrosion that could result in severe tooth damage if left untreated.

The researchers cut calves' teeth in half and immersed each half in either a sports drink or water. They compared the results after 75 to 90 minutes. The erosion on the half placed in the sports drink was clearly visible -- dozens of tiny holes appeared. There was no damage on the half that was immersed in water.

Brushing teeth immediately after the drinks would actually compound the problem, because the citric acid in the drink softens tooth enamel, leaving it vulnerable to abrasive brushing.

Dr. Mercola Comments.
Sports drinks bring in over $7.5 billion a year, touting benefits like improved athletic performance, increased energy and superior hydration during exercise. Because of their glitzy marketing campaigns, which often feature celebrity athletes, many people are under the impression that these drinks are healthy and essential during or after a workout.

What they don’t advertise is that sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water. And as this latest study pointed out, brushing your teeth won’t help because the citric acid in the sports drink will soften your tooth enamel so much it could be damaged by brushing.

Sports drinks have high acidity levels to extend their shelf life (as do soft drinks). That can be especially problematic for a sweaty athlete with a dry mouth who can't produce enough saliva to regulate and protect his mouth from the acidity.

So when you drink a sports drink, it’s not an exaggeration to say it’s akin to spraying a fine layer of corrosive acid over your teeth. Further, the “benefits” are not much different than drinking a can of soda.

Why Sports Drinks are Not a Healthy Choice

The leading brands of sports drinks on the market typically contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium. They also often contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial flavors and food coloring, none of which belong in your body,.

For those of you who are exercising to lose weight, you should also know that sports drinks are usually anything but low calorie. There is a perverse irony of people who are working hard exercising to burn off calories, only to be slurping down more calories and HFCS, which is linked to obesity, while they’re working out.

One study from the University of California at Berkeley's Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health even found that students who drink one 20-ounce sports drink every day for a year could gain 13 pounds!

And although these drinks are often referred to as “energy” drinks, in the long run the sugar they contain does just the opposite. It acts like an H-bomb -- a quick explosion of energy followed by a plummeting disaster, as your pancreas and other glands do all they can to balance out the toxic stimulation to your blood sugar.

And if your sports drink is low calorie and sugar-free, be warned that it likely contains an artificial sweetener, which is even worse for you than high-fructose corn syrup or sugar.

Most also contain loads of processed salt, which is there to replenish the electrolytes you lose while sweating. However, unless you’re sweating profusely and for a prolonged period, that extra salt is simply unnecessary, and possibly harmful.

Additionally, because salt intake typically increases your thirst, drinking most sports drinks will NOT quench your thirst while you exercise. It will instead make you want to drink more.

In many ways drinking sports drinks is not a whole lot better than chugging a can of soda after your workout.

Are Sports Drinks Ever Useful?

Less than 1 percent of those who use sports drinks actually benefit from them.

If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, at a moderate intensity, water is the best thing to help you stay hydrated. It’s only when you’ve been exercising for longer periods, such as 60 minutes or more, or at an extreme intensity, such as on a very hot day or at your full exertion level, that you may need something more than water to replenish your body.

Again, the only time you should resort to these drinks is after vigorous exercise, such as cardiovascular aerobic activity, for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour, and you’re sweating profusely as a result of that activity.

Anything less than 45 minutes will not result in a large enough fluid loss to justify using these high-sodium, high-sugar drinks. And even if you’re exercising for more than an hour, I still believe there are far better options to rehydrate yourself, such as fresh coconut water.

Fresh coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man, and can be used to prevent dehydration from strenuous exercise or even diarrhea. Some remote areas of the world even use coconut juice intravenously, short-term, to help hydrate critically ill patients and in emergency situations.

So for most average exercisers and athletes out there, sports drinks are a waste of your money. Your best bet for your primary fluid replacement remains pure, fresh water.

Terry's comments,
I think this is important to note given the warm months of the year are upon us. As more americans chose sports drinks of water or coconut water they are endangering their systems. Adding chemicals to already chemically dense foods we eat then heat them up with the outside temp and then exercising them out (heating up the inside temp) can make some one throw up. It happens all the time in the personal fitness industry. One thing is for sure the cleaner the system the better a body can pull the electrolytes out of the foods you eat. That is if you are eating the "right" foods.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Migraine Solution?

Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid may reduce the frequency, severity and disability of migraines, according to new research. Daily vitamin supplements were found to produce a two-fold reduction in migraine disability.

About 12 to 15 percent of people suffer from migraines, with twice as many women as men affected. The headaches are sometimes preceded by flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms or legs, or anxiety. Sufferers generally experience a pounding sensation on one side of their head and many undergo nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and noise. The symptoms are often severe and debilitating.

Scientists recruited 52 people diagnosed with migraines. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either vitamin supplements or a placebo for six months. The supplements were associated with a reduction in the prevalence of migraine disability from 60 percent at the start of the study to 30 percent after 6 months. No reduction was observed in the placebo group.

Reductions in the frequency of the headache and the severity of the pain were also observed in people in the B vitamin group, while no such changes were observed in the placebo group.

Sources: April 2, 2009

Pharmacogenetics and Genomics In press “The effects of vitamin supplementation and MTHFR (C677T) genotype on homocysteine-lowering and migraine disability"

I know this to be true with the feed back from clients that have tried our B12 from Garden Of Life. I know stress and lack of water will worsen these headaches. Exercise and rest will weaken the pain but it will not be completely taken away till take these precautions.

-Water consumption (half your body weight in ounces)
-Exercise (light to moderate 4-5 times a week)
-B vitamins found in a slew of foods such as broccoli and now available at
-Sleep (try and get more rest, rest that is higher in quality. In bed before 10 and get a full 8)

If this doesn't work in this order then you should consult your doctor.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Summary of Important Health Benefits of Grass-fed Meats, Eggs and Dairy

Here is an article found on about the health benefits to eating grass fed. They are right here in Tennessee!

Lower in Fat and Calories. There are a number of nutritional differences between the meat of pasture-raised and feedlot-raised animals. To begin with, meat from grass-fed cattle, sheep, and bison is lower in total fat. If the meat is very lean, it can have one third as much fat as a similar cut from a grain-fed animal. In fact, as you can see by the graph below, grass-fed beef can have the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast, wild deer, or elk.[1] Research shows that lean beef actually lowers your "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.[2]

Data from J. Animal Sci 80(5):1202-11.

Because meat from grass-fed animals is lower in fat than meat from grain-fed animals, it is also lower in calories. (Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates. The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.) As an example, a 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer can have 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer. If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to lean grassfed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year—without requiring any willpower or change in your eating habits. If everything else in your diet remains constant, you'll lose about six pounds a year. If all Americans switched to grassfed meat, our national epidemic of obesity might diminish.

In the past few years, producers of grass-fed beef have been looking for ways to increase the amount of marbling in the meat so that consumers will have a more familiar product. But even these fatter cuts of grass-fed beef are lower in fat and calories than beef from grain-fed cattle.

Extra Omega-3s. Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain- fed animals. Omega-3s are called "good fats" because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. For example, of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack.[3] Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer's disease.[4]

Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer. In animal studies, these essential fats have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and also kept them from spreading.[5] Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer and also hasten recovery from surgery.[6,7]

Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in animals raised on pasture. The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s. When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega-3 poor grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.[8] The graph below illustrates this steady decline.

Data from: J Animal Sci (1993) 71(8):2079-88.

When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s. Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 10 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens.[9]

It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Twenty percent have blood levels so low that they cannot be detected.[10] Switching to the meat, milk, and dairy products of grass-fed animals is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.

The CLA Bonus. Meat and dairy products from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" or CLA. When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.[11] (A steak from the most marbled grass-fed animals will have the most CLA ,as much of the CLA is stored in fat cells.)

CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA—a mere 0.1 percent of total calories—greatly reduced tumor growth. [12] There is new evidence that CLA may also reduce cancer risk in humans. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. Switching from grain-fed to grassfed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category.13 Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grassfed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. You would have to eat five times that amount of grain-fed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection.

Vitamin E. In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grassfed animals is also higher in vitamin E. The graph below shows vitamin E levels in meat from: 1) feedlot cattle, 2) feedlot cattle given high doses of synthetic vitamin E (1,000 IU per day), and 3) cattle raised on fresh pasture with no added supplements. The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements. [14#] In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Try A Fasting Cleanse by Extraordinary Health

Jordan Rubin states: “Fasting is the high-powered spiritual tool for breakthrough in body, mind, and spirit. The average person feels much better and lives healthier by observing a one-day partial cleansing fast each week.”

Dr. William L. Esser followed the progress of 156 patients who agreed to go on therapeutic fasts of various lengths while at his West Palm Beach retreat center in Florida. His findings as reported in Fast Your Way to Health are as follows: “He reported on the fasting of 156 people who complained of symptoms from thirty-one medically diagnosed diseases, including ulcers, tumors, tuberculosis, sinusitis, pyorrhea, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, cancer, insomnia, gallstones, epilepsy, colitis, hay fever, bronchitis, asthma, and arthritis. 92% improved or totally recovered!

According to WebMD Medical News a study appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences conducted by Mark P. Mattson, Ph. D. shows that “ mice, at least—skipping meals improves glucose metabolism and insulin levels, and it also seems to protect brain cells.” To test the diets’ effects on brain cells, mice were given a neurotoxin called kainite, which damages nerve cells in a brain region called the hippocampus—an area critical for learning and memory. In humans, nerve cells in the hippocampus are destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. The meal-skipping mice had nerve cells that were more resistant to neurotoxin injury or death—more so than the other mice. “We don’t recommend people go whole days without eating,” Mattson tells WebMD. “However, we think this does suggest that skipping meals may not be bad—in fact, it may be good for you. In terms of our history, it’s only very recently that humans began eating three meals a day plus snacks. Our ancestors had to compete for limited supplies of food, and had to go many hours, sometimes days, without food.”

Chris Strychacz, Ph. D., a research psychologist at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, has been fasting every spring for 25 years. He refers to this as his “spring cleaning” that renews him in body, mind, and spirit. James Dillard, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, remarks about “detox” diets and fasting: “Certainly, the human body carries huge loads of petrochemicals. We know people usually die with the full burden of PCBs they’ve ever been exposed to “stuck” in their liver. DDT sticks around, too.”

Can fasting remove these? Dillard responds, “Theoretically, yes. When fat is mobilized, anything that is fat-soluble should be mobilized, too. He advocates this for maintaining health and long life: “The old-fashioned way of eating the right foods, getting exercise, clean living, and keeping a positive mental attitude—that’s what works.” Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body, WebMD archives)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Recipes

Here are a few new recipes I thought sounded amazing!!

Maple-Crusted Salmon & MIxed Greens

1 1/2 pounds fresh salmon filets
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
6 cups baby lettuces, or mixed greens such as watercress or mache
1 red pepper seeded, cut into julienne and sauteed in olive oil
1 pound brown mushrooms, washed. dried very well, sliced and sauteed in butter and olive oil
3/4 cup healthy salad dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush sides and bottom of salmon with olive oil and place on non-stick baking sheet. Brush top of the salmon with maple syrup and sprinkle with salt an pepper. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Place under broiler for another 2 minutes until just slightly browned. Meanwhile, mix greens with dressing and divide between four plates. Make a mound of red peppers and mushrooms on each plate. PLace a portion of salmon on each mound of greens, and pour pan juices over. Serve immediately.

Tuna Tahini Salad

2 large cans water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups tahini sauce
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
melted butter and extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
cilantro sprigs for garnish
toasted, sprouted, or sourdough bread or sprouted crackers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the onions on an oiled cookie sheet, brush with mixture of butter and oil, and bake 375 until crispy. Mix tuna with cayenne pepper and 1 cup tahini sauce. Mound tuna on a plate. Scatter onions and pine nuts on top. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sprouted whole grain crackers and remaining tahini.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


If you are serious about boosting your immunity and increasing your daily energy, then adding traditionally fermented foods to your diet is a must.
Long ago, food preservation was accomplished through lacto-fermentation, a process that adds a host of beneficial micro-organisms to food. This makes them easier to digest , increasing the healthy flora in our intestinal tracts.
Because fermentation is an inconsistent process, commercial food processors developed techniques like pasteurization -- a method that literally destroys dozens of precious enzymes -- to help standardize more consistent yields.
Sadly, I believe that modern culture has sacrificed many of the advantages of traditionally fermented healthy foods for faster and cheaper methods of mass production. In my opinion, our immunity and digestive health have been overlooked. I believe that it's time to return to the Kefir, which means 'feel good" in Turkish, is an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your "inner ecosystem" to maintain optimal health and strengthen immunity.
Kefir's tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, and it contains beneficial yeast as well as the friendly 'probiotic' bacteria found in yogurt. When used regularly, the naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in Kefir combine symbiotically to help balance your intestinal flora and boost your immunity.
Among its many beneficial powers, Kefir:
• Provides supplemental nourishment for pregnant and nursing women*
• Contributes to your healthy immune system
• Promotes a relaxing effect on the nervous system and benefit many who seek a restful night's sleep
• Helps support your normal intestinal tract function, promote bowel movements and your healthy digestive system -- and is beneficial after the use of antibiotics to restore balance to the digestive tract
• Curbs unhealthy food cravings by making your body more nourished and balanced-promoting foods of our past.

The exceptional nutritional content of Kefir offers a wealth of healthy benefits to people in every type of condition. More than just beneficial bacteria, Kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help your body with its natural healing powers and maintenance functions.
The complete proteins in Kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body.
Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in Kefir, is well-known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because it also offers loads of calcium and magnesium -- both of which are critical for a healthy nervous system -- Kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
Rich in vitamin B12, B1, and vitamin K, Kefir is an excellent source of biotin, a B vitamin which aids the body's absorption of other B vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The many advantages of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the normal function of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping promote healthy looking skin, boosting energy and promoting longevity. Kefir's ample supply of phosphorus -- the second most abundant mineral in our bodies -- helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

I use kefir every morning in my morning shake. Here is my recipe:
(makes 4 servings)

3 1/2 cups kefir
1/2 cup orange juice
1 banana
1 cup frozen berries

Mix in blender and enjoy