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Why the Western diet is killing us and 10 ways to stop it

By | cooking, eating, health | One Comment

Fed up with all the mixed messages about what to eat? If so, you’ll appreciate this solid advice from a doctor who’s passionate about dishing out advice on eating right. Don’t make changes to your diet based on some “cockamamie Internet meme,” Dr. Michael Fenster warns. “The biggest threat to the US isn’t some foreign power; it is the Standard American Diet.”

It’s rare to come across a doctor who wants to spend less time cutting into bodies and more time cutting up food, but that’s exactly what this cardiologist and culinary chef wants to do. “There are a number of medical professionals and people in health-related fields who know a lot about their respective specialties but know nothing about food,” Dr. Mike says. “A number of them can’t boil water.”

DrMichaelFensterCookinWithDoc

Dr. Mike on his “Cookin’ With Doc” show.

Stay away from advice from “fadsters” and “celebrity super-star spokespeople,” Dr. Mike warns. “These programs put you on the hook paying out a lot of your hard-earned money each month for some processed, powdered, and wretched-tasting slop out of a box.”

Dr. Mike is one of the few brave doctors willing to give us a shout out about how the modern Western diet is killing us and what we can do to stop it. This book is stock full of evidence to back up his recommendations on what to eat and what not to eat. But then again, how much more evidence do we really need to figure out that the modern Western diet and all-you-can-eat buffets are connected to the disabilities and diseases of modern civilization? It’s ironic that we’ve become so accustomed to shopping in grocery stores stocked with packages that we need to produce evidence to show that real food doesn’t come in a box.

The eating “program” Dr. Mike prescribes is a tasty and nutritious solution that anyone can adhere to. He recommends adding more fresh juice, organic fruits and vegetables, probiotics, prebiotics and spice to our diet while subtracting modern wheat, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. “No junk food or fast food,” this doc advises. This savory book is peppered with great tips and jammed with sweet suggestions. I’ve already gone back to read several of the sections a number of times. Each time through I pick up on a new flavor or scent.

CLICK ON IMAGE to buy The Fallacy of the Calorie

Sick and tired from the Western diet? Dr. Mike offers a delicious and nutritious 10-step solution to foodies who battle the bulge:

Step 1A: Begin with a juice detox for 3 days.

Juice is nature’s energy drink. If possible, buy seasonal produce from a farmers market or local organic market. Use a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables such as: carrots, apples, celery, beets, cabbage, ginger, oranges, limes, lemons, berries and leafy greens. Find a juicer that works well for you, preferably one that extracts the pulp. If you work full-time, he recommends starting the detox on a Friday and ending on a Sunday.

Step 1B: Chase the rainbow.

Eat lots of dark leafy greens such as: kale, spinach, broccoli, bok choy, watercress, mustard and other greens. They’re rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. They also provide a good source of B-complex vitamins. Add a rainbow of different colored fruits and vegetables. This helps to maintain healthy gut microbiome.

Step 2: Incorporate probiotics into your diet.

“What you eat combines with your gut microbiota to fuel your personal bioreactor. This bioreactor aids your digestion, provides nutrients, and not only helps for the basis of the immune system, but helps regulate it,” says Dr. Mike. “The key here is to repopulate your gut microbiome with the right balance.” Check out his book for more details on which probiotics might work best for you.

Step 3: Feed the probiotics.

“It does no good to keep taking probiotics if you don’t feed them,” says Dr. Mike. “Naturally occuring synbiotic combinations such as bananas with live-culture yogurt, or vegetables stir-fried with miso, cost less than supplements and have the added benefit of being delicious.” Prebiotics are found in many foods such as: bananas, honey, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, chicory, dandelion greens and burdock. Eat at least 2-4 servings of prebiotic-rich foods a day.

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Step 4: Give up modern wheat.

“Modern wheat will kill you,” says Dr. Mike. “But you don’t have to be gluten-free, just be free of modern wheat. Avoid prepackaged breads, cookies, cakes and other modern wheat-containing foods and snacks.”

Beans and lentils provide a good source of flavorful starches. Corn, oats, barley, quinoa, buckwheat and kaniwa are all good non-wheat options. If you buy pasta from Italy, you can be sure it’s made from the ancient grain, semolina durum wheat.

CLICK ON IMAGE to buy Eating Well, Living Better: A Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great food

Step 5: Use sugar sparingly.

Use raw forms of sugar and honey whenever possible. Don’t eat anything with high fructose corn syrup or anything that contains it. Don’t ever eat or drink anything with artificial sweeteners.

Steps 6-8: Become a Grassroots Gourmet.

Avoid the call of junk food. It’s addictive. Don’t go to fast food joints, pizza shops or convenience stores. “After 30 days of eating the Grassroots Gourmet way, you’ll likely find that eating there will make you ill,” says Dr. Mike. “When you’re shopping try to avoid putting the processed, prepackaged, pre-prepared, and artificially preserved items in your cart.” Buy from your local farmers market and cook from scratch. Eat at home as often as possible.

Begin your meals with a small salad or appetizer and wait about 15 minutes before you eat the main course. If you want to have dessert, wait at least 15-20 minutes after you finish your main dish. These are just some of the core principles of becoming a Grassroots Gourmet. These principles are covered much more extensively in Eating Well, Living Better: A Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great Food.

Step 9: Make a conscious effort to evaluate the quality of the food you eat.

Because chicken is no longer just chicken, and a burger is no longer just a burger, and bread is not even just bread, examination of where the food was sourced, how it was produced and the degree of processing must now become our normal procedure.” says Dr Mike. Food safety is not equivalent to a healthful diet.

Step 10: Spice up your life.

Herbs and spices restore taste and texture to food. “An herb refers to the fresh or dried leaves of a plant. Spices are generally regarded as the flowers, buds, seeds, bark or roots of plants.” says Dr. Mike. When food pleases us, we savor it. When you put this vitality back into foods, it helps you break the addictive and manipulative commercial use of sugar, salt and fat.

Garlic, onion, allspice and oregano inhibit or kill bacterium. Using them in combination yields even greater efficacy. The piperine found in black pepper is effective against botulism. Turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Circumin has been shown to inhibit the growth of skin cancers. Hot chili peppers are rich in vitamin C and contain antimicrobial and antiviral properties.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON IMAGE to gain the mental power to achieve your fitness goals. This is how you can begin living the life you've always wanted to live.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON THIS IMAGE to learn how you can gain the mental power you need to achieve your fitness goals. You can begin living the life you’ve always wanted to live.

Looking for a way to entice someone to read this book? Breakfast in bed might be desirable, but Dr. Fenster offers up an aphrodisiac for dessert near the end of the book. He hints at exotic ways to spice up your afternoon or evening in bed.

Dr. Mike has weighed his options. He’s stepping outside the operating room to tell us how we can avoid the scalpel. It’s time to share your reservations. Would you like to meet your doctor for supper or surgery?

Dr. Mike affirms the slow foods movement. Be patient. I have a gut feeling this doc is going to help tens of thousands of people live happier and healthier lives.

Dr. Michael Fenster during a Health & Wellness Channel filming

Dr. Michael Fenster during a Health & Wellness Channel filming

 

Michael Fenster, MD, is a Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist. He has taught students, interns, residents and fellows. He has also served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the North East Ohio Medical University. In addition to addressing audiences from the lay public, he also speaks to peers at the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and elsewhere.

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Dr. Michael Fenster

Dr. Mike co-managed an award-winning restaurant. He received his culinary degree in gourmet cooking and catering from Ashworth College where he graduated with honors. He was their alumni of the year in 2013.

He has written columns for numerous culinary magazines, websites, The Tampa Tribune and is a monthly contributor for Luxuria Lifestyle.

He is a medical and culinary consultant and regular guest speaker on the Josh Tolley Show, a nationally syndicated radio program. He is also a regular on the One Life Radio.

He has been a regular on The Daily Buzz show as well as Daytime TV, entertaining and informing during cooking segments. He has hosted his own local cable TV cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ with Doc.” He also co-hosted “Cooking From the Heart,” with Fitness Hall of Fame Instructor Forbes Riley. He also headlined the Annual Florida Blueberry Festival where five live shows, “Just What the Doctor Ordered-Live from the Florida Blueberry Festival.” This was simulcast worldwide via web by the Health & Wellness Channel.

To book Dr. Mike at your next event, contact his agent Kristin Haggar.

Food biz coach offers 9-step process for edible startups

By | BUSINESS, coaches, cooking, restaurants | One Comment

“Most food entrepreneurs suck at marketing and sales . . . and most don’t know how to launch their business,” says Mari-Lyn Harris, a food entrepreneur coach based in Silicon Valley. But if you get help from an expert, you increase your odds of succeeding. Here’s her 9-step recipe for success to help you launch your tasty idea:

1. Start where you are.

So you’ve decided to start a food business? Maybe someone inspired you. Mari-Lyn wanted to start a pie business as a vehicle for social change. She explored the idea, but had to figure out how to get the product into the marketplace. Her neighbor was going to have a garage sale every weekend for a month, so she set up a little table at the garage sale. She got people to sample her pies.

PieChartCartoonStarting where you are means that you have to get people to sample your product. By starting where you are, you begin by figuring out how to get your product into the hands of customers. Find ways to get your product to more people so they can try it. Mari-Lyn calls it “the five-minute bite.” You can do home parties. Just like when you go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market, you sample the food. They know if you like it, you’re more likely to buy it.

Mari-Lyn empowers food entrepreneurs to move forward. Your inner voice may be telling you that you can’t do it or you can’t afford it. But you have to challenge yourself.

“You may not know where to go or how to get started. You may not know where the money will come from, but if you have a great family recipe or great food idea, reach out for help. Don’t give up until the means and resources show up,” says Mari-Lyn.

2. Create your vision.

It’s important that you create a vision for yourself and your business. It gives clarity, direction and buy-in from other people. If you don’t begin with your vision, all your good intentions will be scattered and nonproductive.

A vision statement is more important than your mission. You need to know where you want to go with your idea. Make your vision statement the business you want to grow into. It’s the dream you’re going after. What does it look like? Can you clearly describe it to others?

Cultured Gourmet's Kraut Source

Cultured Gourmet’s Kraut Source

3. Test your product.

Give people free samples and ask for their feedback. Get feedback from people outside your friends and family. If you have a product for weddings, for example, you can offer samples to people who are getting married and caterers to see if they like your product. If not, don’t be offended. Just ask them why. It’s useful feedback.

To test your product, you have to find a way to do it underground. Reach out to professionals to give you a review of your product, such as food bloggers or people who write about food products. Then you can know if your product may be well received.

Engage your customers. You have to deliver for them what they want. Let your customers be your advocates.

To get into a farmer’s market, food truck or market, you have to be licensed. You don’t want to do that right away until you know your product will be viable.

4. Have an audience.

You may have a great idea, but it doesn’t mean it will work. You need to keep testing your product and get feedback from potential customers. Narrow in on your “tribe.”

A lot of food entrepreneurs think that everyone is their audience, but it’s not so. Mari-Lyn discovered that men like pies more than women, but women are the ones who buy pies for the men in their lives. Your research helps you discover who will buy your product. “This is your tribe.”

5. Set up a sales and marketing strategy.

Marketing and sales are two different things. Marketing is the promotion and buzz of your product. Sales is when you actually sell a product or service.

Sales is not a negative or dirty word. It’s about developing relationships with people to get sales. A sale won’t happen until you speak to people. Technology can’t do this for you. You may have great pictures and descriptions on your website, but this isn’t enough. You can use technology, but you also need to have someplace where they can buy and then taste it. It’s all about relationships and getting to know your customers.

Marketing is the key component in any business. Mari-Lyn recalls working with a client who put together a flyer, but it didn’t say how to get in touch with him. And when she checked his website, there was no email or way to contact him.

He had an ineffective marketing materials. When you don’t have a thought-out marketing plan, it’s easy to forget simple things like this.

A sales and marketing strategy will help you execute. The strategy is the layout of action steps you’re going to take to get the marketing done that drives your sales.

6. Build a marketing map.

You have to know your audience before you build your marketing map. This is a plan. Find some customers and build your plan at the same time. Your marketing map can be simple. It’s your hub.

From your hub, you have different tactics or action steps to reach out to your tribe. You write out how you’re going to do it. You develop content to help deliver the message about your product. You don’t need a business plan unless you’re going after funding.

FacebookFoodCartoonDotStop

Let’s take, for example, a personal chef. You may not know how to get your services out in the market place, but the marketing map helps you to develop your business easily. You may want to blog, for example. The blog helps you educate your future customers on how to prepare food or get to know you better.

5 Essential appliances for easy healthy meals

You can blog about how you help your customers. For example, one chef discovered that his client was lacking in magnesium so he prepared foods with more magnesium which helped her feel better. If you decide to blog, here are some things you need to consider:

  • Who will participate in writing content?
  • How will you get new content on a regular basis?
  • How will you share the information?

Many people feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to go. The marketing map gives you clarity in knowing your next step and how to effectively use your time.

7. Get sales.

Put your sales strategy to work. When someone eats your food, you want them to have a great experience when they taste it. You want it to be memorable. You want people to say, “this is incredible,” or “I love this!” The sales part happens when people buy that taste and experience.

TrustYourHeartKindleeBookMari-LynHarrisOnce you have a small tribe, you can develop partners who can help you get more sales. As a startup you may not have a large budget, so the quickest way is to develop collaborative partnerships.

Building relationships with people will help you get sales. Mari-Lyn worked with Marnie Pherson and 23 other business builders. Each wrote a chapter in the book about leveraging relationships. It reached the Amazon Best Sellers list in March 2012.

Have you ever though about writing a cookbook? Books help give you authority. When you collaborate with others toward a common goal, you often get there much faster than going solo.

Mari-Lyn offers workshops on “someone you ought to meet.” She helps her clients develop partnerships who can help them get sales.

8. Get help if you need it.

If you don’t have the resources or people in your community, then join other groups for support. If you live in the Silicon Valley area, you can join the Food Entrepreneur networking group hosted by Food 4 Social Change, which is a cluster of food professionals such as manufacturers, chefs, suppliers and vendors. Everyone can help each other.

9. Execute your strategy.

Executing your marketing strategy is picking something that’s a tool. Who will do what. How will I execute it? It’s all about the who, what, when, where why, how. It’s usually a series of tactics to get things done. Whether it’s your marketing or sales strategy, the execution is all about the who, what when, where why how.

Wally Amos, the legend behind Famous Amos Cookies and founder of the Cookie Kahuna, was featured in the August 2014 issue of Costco Connection magazine. His and his partner came to a point where they had different ideas about how to execute their business plan. He decided to stick with his original plan and grow his company organically.

Mari-Lyn Harris, Food Entrepreneur Coach at Food 4 Social Change

Mari-Lyn Harris, Food Entrepreneur Coach at Food 4 Social Change

To him, focus means that you need to follow one course until you’re successful.

Whether you’re a caterer, a food-truck owner, a specialty food maker, or even Wally “Famous Amos,” most food entrepreneurs lack the sales and marketing skills they need to succeed. But Mari-Lyn can help.

Mari-Lyn Harris is a business consultant who has been coaching entrepreneurs since 1996. She coaches food startups to build out customized plans for their future. Mari-Lyn is also the Founder and CEO of Food 4 Social Change. The vision is to create jobs by assisting food entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of a bold and vibrant business community. One of the things Food 4 Social Change offers is a business networking group to help create a vibrant food community.

Call Mari-Lyn at 510-564-7880 to help you develop your customized marketing map.

Food4SocialChangeLogo

How to make oatmeal when you’re in the shower

By | cooking, Recipes | One Comment

Have you been searching for a quick way to make a super healthy breakfast without too much fuss? You just found what you’ve been looking for!

When you make oatmeal on the cooktop, you have to continue stirring it or else it won’t cook evenly and it’s likely to burn. I recently discovered a tool that allows me to hit a start button and then take a shower or go on about my morning routine without any worries. In 20 minutes, just about the time it takes me to shower and get dressed, breakfast is ready.

make oatmeal while you're in the shower

make oatmeal while you’re in the shower

Here’s how you can make quick “old-fashioned” oatmeal that’s just as nutritious as it is delicious. If you love oatmeal, but feel crunched for time in the morning, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make with a VitaClay cooker. I used to make oatmeal on the cooktop, until I discovered the VitaClay Smart Organic Multicooker. Now I always make it in my VitaClay, but I still use my same favorite oatmeal recipe:

Dr. Lorraine’s Oatmeal

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 heaping tbsp steel cut oats
  • 2 heaping tbsp oats or multigrain hot cereal
  • 1 banana, diced (the riper the better)
  • 1-2 tbsp dried apricots (or dates or figs) chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt

This recipe makes one large serving or two small servings. Double or triple it if you want to make breakfast for the family.

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Here’s how to make oatmeal in a VitaClay: Place all the ingredients in the cooker. After experimenting with different settings, I’ve found that it works best to cook it for 20 minutes using the soup setting. Select the “Slow Cooking”setting. Click on Hour to select 0 and then click on Minute to select 20. After the 20 minutes are up, the cooker automatically switches into warm time mode, so your breakfast will be warm, even if it takes you some extra time to get to it.

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Oatmeal made in a VitaClay turns out with a delectable creamy/chewy texture much better than anything you can make in a microwave or cooktop. Some of the oats do stick to the bottom of the clay pot, so you need to scrape it out with a large spoon or spatula. Don’t worry about the fact that it sticks a little–it adds a terrific texture to the oatmeal.

I like to add about a teaspoon of Manuka honey to the oatmeal and then douse it with some soy milk. If you’re strictly vegan, you can skip the honey or replace it with stevia. If you’d like some crunch or extra protein, add some pecans or walnuts.

There’s no need to wash the VitaClay pot right away. I usually let the ceramic pot cool off while I eat. And then I put it in the sink and add a little water. Later, it washes out easily with a soft brush. I’m so happy with this new time-saving tool for making a great breakfast!

Time-saving tip #1: If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, mix the dry ingredients together in the evening so that you only add the coconut milk and fruit in the morning.

Time-saving tip #2: You can chop up a supply of bananas on the weekend, freeze them, and pull them out as you need them.

Time-saving tip #3: You can chop up a supply of apricots, dates or figs, keep them refrigerated, and pull them out as you need them.

If you don’t already have a VitaClay, buy one now. It’s an easy way to take one step closer to achieving better health by starting your mornings with a nutritious boost.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON IMAGE to gain the mental power to achieve your fitness goals. This is how you can begin living the life you've always wanted to live.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON IMAGE to gain the mental power to achieve your fitness goals. You can begin today to live the life you’ve always wanted.

 

5 Essential Appliances For Easy Healthy Meals

By | cooking, eating, water | One Comment

Why did the blonde put her iPhone in her blender?
Because she wanted to make apple juice. Wattpad

Lots of people want to eat healthier, but aren’t sure how. If you want to make more healthy meals at home, I recommend investing in these essential appliances. When you learn to use these tools effectively, you can easily make healthy meals at home every day.

1. Water Filtration System

The taste and nutritional value of the juices, teas, soups, pasta and other dishes you make all depend on the quality of the water you use.

Any water filtration system is better than none, but some systems are better than others. Distilled water is the purest. It’s H2O. In addition to hydrating your body, another main function of water is to help detoxify your body.

Tap water, bottled water and well water typically add noxious substances to your body. Because they’re already contaminated, they aren’t as effective as distilled water in helping to rid your body of toxins. Doesn’t it make sense to use pure H2O to ensure you aren’t adding more toxins to your body through the water you consume?

Drink Distilled Water Daily to Detox and Defend Your Body

You may have heard a myth that you shouldn’t use distilled water because it’s acidic or it pulls minerals from your body, but consider the source. “Often it is heard that the body needs the minerals found in water. Not so. Our food supply is the proper source of minerals.” J. Edward Smith

2. High-Power Juicer/Blender

rainbow fruit smoothiesBegin your day with a juice drink. This is a great way to help flush your body and cleanse away anything left from the prior day or two. The first thing I drink every morning is a smoothie made with fresh fruits. I often have a blend of citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit, mandarins, lime or lemon. You can drink it at home or take it to go, but it’s best if you drink it as soon as possible.

Over the years I’ve tried several different juicers, all of which had high ratings at the time. Many of them are cumbersome and difficult to clean. I’ve also purchased countless blenders in all the top brands, many of which were used to make smoothies numerous times a week by several family members. Very few blenders survived more than a year. They simply aren’t built to last. Despite the disappointment with most juicers and blenders I’ve owned, I never lost hope that eventually I’d find ones that were easier and more dependable.

One day several years ago I saw a guy demonstrating a Blendtec in a Costco. I had no intention of making such a large purchase that day, but the demo and the samples were so compelling that I decided to cave in to this impulse buy. He had what I wanted. The Blendtec has turned out to be the best juicer/blender I’ve ever owned. It works pretty much like a blender, but it’s much more powerful and much easier to clean.

With the Blendtec, you can make countless combinations of juices, smoothies, soups and sauces using whole fruits and vegetables. Unlike a juicer, it doesn’t extract the pulp, so you end up with less food waste.

I love drinking fresh juice not only for the health benefits, but because of how much I enjoy the tastes and because of how good I feel after drinking them.

3. Refrigerator/Freezer

Choose a refrigerator with lots of clear drawers. Most homes and apartments in the US come equipped with a refrigerator, so most people don’t shop for them very often. But if and when you do have the chance to shop for a refrigerator, look for one that has lots of clear drawers that can easily be pulled out and placed on your countertop. This makes it easy to store produce. Many whole fruits and vegetables can be stored without any additional packing, except for what nature gave them, so if you have lots of drawers to organize them, you can keep a fruit drawer full of oranges and apples, for example. You can use the largest drawers to store larger vegetables or fruits such as cauliflower, cabbage or watermelon. My husband and I eat lots of produce every day. I store a lot of it (without any packaging) in drawers .

Become familiar with the shelf-life of various fruits and vegetables. Even if you regularly eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, it can be helpful to check to how long they typically last. StillTasty.com is a great resource to check when you want to see how long something will last. I just did a quick search for carrots, and came up with a dozen different ways to consider processing and storing them, including juicing, freezing, canning and more. It’s a great resource. I often get great ideas just by checking this tool. It’s especially helpful if you have a surplus of one type of food. I’m always open to trying new apps. I recently discovered EatByDate.com. It has a nice clean interface and might be a good tool for people learning to eat healthier, but it’s not very helpful for more experienced cooks.

If you don’t have enough room in your refrigerator for lots of fruits and vegetables, clear out the sodas, beers, condiments, packaged foods or whatever else is using up your refrigerator space. Chances are, you’ll be better off without them.

4. Cooktop

Is your kitchens well stocked with lots of pots and pans, including many you rarely use? If you live in a standard American home or apartment, you probably have a cooktop with four burners, but you rarely use more than two at a time. You probably have a big oven designed to hold a huge turkey and all its fixings. But you only cook like this a few times a year, if that. Even if you like to bake, you could get by with an oven half the size.

chinese food cartoon Funday MorningSimpler is better. In order to compete with other brands, companies add new designs, materials and features to cooktops and cooktop/oven combinations. Whenever you have choice, go for simple.

You only need one or two burners to make a quick healthy meal. This is one of the many lessons I learned in China: two burners are better than four. How many times do any of us use three or four burners at once? Not often, right?  Yet most cooktops sold in the US have four burners. Four burners take longer to clean than two. Our kitchen in China had a cooktop with two large gas burners (not four) that put out big flames. Directly under the two burners were two large drawers, one to hold the wok and a ceramic soup pot and another to hold a rice maker. The few cooking utensils hung on the hung on the wall near cooktop. This simple design made it so easy to cook and clean up. The kitchen in our upscale Chinese apartment did not have an oven. Yet we were able to have healthy meals every day without one.

You can make a quick healthy meal in one pot. One of the biggest lessons I learned from Zhu, our cook in China, is that you can cook just about anything in a wok. Before I moved to China I didn’t know anything about preparing Chinese foods. I had owned a wok for years and used it from time to time, but I had no idea of how powerful one kitchen tool could be. Zhu would clean, chop and prep all the ingredients first and then move on to the cooking.

Most foods, when prepped appropriately, can be stir fried in minutes. Check out this clip by Luke Nguyen, owner of Red Lantern, to see how quickly and easily you can prepare foods in a hot wok.

Although some ingredients may take a few more minutes, you can see how easy it is to prepare tasty dishes. If you want to make several different ones, you can make them simultaneously in the same wok or skillet. That way you only have one pot to clean up when you’re finished cooking. If you plan to use it for your next meal, store it on your cooktop to save time.

Stir-fry cooks come from all woks of life. PunOfTheDay

5. Food processor

What’s your idea of a quick and easy meal? A food processor is to a healthy eater what a microwave is to a Standard American Diet (SAD) eater. Depending on what you’re making, food processors can cut your food prep time in half.

Get a BPA-free food processor with high ratings and good reviews. I’ve owned a number of different food processors over the years. They all have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. I recently purchased a Cuisinart 9-cup food processor not only because it’s BPA-free and has great reviews, but also because it fits between my countertop and cabinets. I also like the sleek design and the fact that it came in a brushed stainless. It only takes a quick wipe to make it look clean, which isn’t always the case with other finishes and colors.

Make a big pot of soup every week. When you have distilled water, a refrigerator full of fresh ingredients and a food processor or Blendtec, you can make a big pot of soup on your cooktop that you can enjoy for several meals in the upcoming week or or month (if you freeze some).

4 Super Smart SOUP Recipes You Can Savor Year Round

Donate your toaster, can opener and  other unnecessary gadgets to make room for your Blendtec and food processor. If you keep them on your countertop in the location where you’ll use them most, it makes it much easier to get to them and you’ll use them much more often.

One final word of caution. Never leave a pot of alphabet soup on the stove when you go out or it could spell disaster. PunOfTheDay

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11 Equipment Essentials for Easy Everyday Exercises

By | Biking, clothing & accessories, cooking, gardening, laundry, longevity | 2 Comments

It’s easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you rely on a car to get around. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive equipment to become more active. There are countless ways you can assimilate more activities into your daily life. It’s best to introduce small changes over time. You don’t need to go out of your way to exercise or go to the gym. There are many alternatives that are much more practical.

people walking

72-year-old Phil Woods is on a 2,700-mile mission (25 miles/day) to inspire older adults to walk more

Why exercise anyway? Many centenarians have spent decades doing activities that keep them up and moving around on a daily basis. But the activities not necessarily strenuous in the way you may think. You don’t need to join a gym or participate in a team sport in order to exercise.

Many centenarians were relatively poor for part or most of their lives. Many of them did, and still do, rely on walking, biking, or public transportation as their main mode of transportation. Some were farmers or laborers. Others have never worked outside the home, but raising a family, cooking, cleaning, gardening or participating in community activities have kept them moving around day after day for many decades. These activities are surprisingly simple, but profoundly beneficial over time.

Here are 11 equipment essentials that can help you live a more active lifestyle:

1. Walking shoes. A good pair of comfortable shoes is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your health. Walking is especially important if you work at a computer or have a desk job where you sit for numerous hours each day. Your body tenses up if you sit in one place for too long. If necessary, set a reminder alarm to go off every 30 minutes or so and get up to walk around and stretch. If possible, take a few breaks throughout the day to walk for 15 minutes or more. If possible, go for a brisk walk during lunch and after work. If you want to increase the intensity of your walk, pick up your speed and jog or run for part of the time. Women especially need to be reminded to wear comfortable walking shoes as often as possible. KEEN has lots of great choices on boots, shoes and sandals. High heels may be ok for some special occasions, but as these models demonstrate, heels are not appropriate attire for walking. Here’s why . . .



2. Broom. Sweep your floors. Clean your home. The next time you feel annoyed by the fact that cleaning is one of those jobs that never ends, think about some of the benefits. Be thankful for your home and the fact that you have the mobility to keep it clean. When you clean your home, you have opportunities to kneel down to clean things on or near the floor, lift buckets full of water, and stretch upwards while cleaning door trim or vents. Why pay for a membership to a sweaty gym when you can workout for free in your own home? Do cleaning exercises instead.

3. Drying Rack. When you hang your laundry up to dry, you get more exercise than you do when you toss everything in the dryer, especially if you’re bending over to lift items from a laundry basket and reaching up to a clothesline. By hanging your clothes up to dry, you reap numerous benefits. Washers and dryers increase the wear and tear on your clothes. When your clothes aren’t soiled, use the gentle cycle on your washer and skip the dryer. This also helps to cut back on your electric bill. The less time your clothes spend in the dryer, the better. Laundry exercises are much more practical than the bending and stretching exercises you do in an aerobics class.

Laundry Study Shows Americans Have Few Hangups

4. Music. People go to Zumba, in part, because they can feed off the energy of the music and the people around them. But you don’t need to go to an exercise class to listen to music that energizes you. Download some workout songs that you like and listen to them often, like when you’re cleaning your house or hanging up clothes. When you wear headsets, not only do you cut off other people, but you may even put yourself in danger if you’re out walking and don’t hear the honk of a car. Use them cautiously.

man walking up stairs5. Stairs. Whenever possible, use stairs and escalators instead of elevators. Even if an escalator is moving, you can use it like a staircase. Keep walking. If people are in front of you, excuse yourself and ask if you can pass by. In many cases, escalators give you a little extra exercise because the rise is typically a bit higher than standard steps. The best part about stairs is that you don’t have to pay for them. If you get out on a regular basis, you’ll find staircases in many places.

6. Cast Iron Cookware. Trade in your teflon and aluminum pans for cast iron. Cast iron pots, pans and muffin tins typically weigh a few pounds. So you get a mini workout every time you lift them, rinse them out or store them in your cabinets. Teflon and aluminum add toxins to your food, so it’s better to avoid them anyway. When you cook at home you have a much better idea of what you’re eating. So remember that it’s not enough to just buy cast iron cookware. You also need to get into the daily habit of cooking healthy meals at home in order to benefit. My kitchen is well stocked with Lodge Cast Iron Cookware. I pump iron every day.

7. Bike. The bike is one of the most efficient forms of transportation. Not only is it a great way to get around, it’s also good for you. Why buy a stationery bike that doesn’t go anywhere when you can buy a real bike that can take you places? By biking more you may be able to save money by using your car less. Be sure to get a bike that suits your size so you’ll be comfortable and safe when you ride. As you find more ways to use your bike, you might want to add some accessories, such as lights, a basket or a rear mount bike rack, so that you’ll use it more often. I love my Wald basket and bungee cargo net combination for quick errands. Bike riding helps you maintain balance and endurance. If you want a cardio workout, ride your bike in a hilly area or pedal faster. Remember to wear a helmet and a good pair of biking gloves.

8. Public Transportation Pass. People who rely on public transportation are more likely to walk more. If you own a car, do what you can to rely on it less and less over time. If you don’t live near a public transportation stop, consider driving to a commuter parking lot and finishing your commute on public transportation. If this isn’t practical, you may be able to find other ways to use public transportation. When you plan trips, look into your options of traveling by bus, train or plane instead of taking your own car. Next time you travel, see if you can manage your trip without renting a car. The less you rely on a car, the more active you’ll tend to be. ClipperCard

This CAR Game Will Drive You Crazy

old man woman gardening9. Trowel. Grow your own vegetables. Gardening helps you connect with nature and it has the added benefit of supplying you with of food. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can use a trowel to do basic gardening with potted plants. When you have plants inside or outside your home, you’ll get a little more exercise as you water them, repot them from time to time and swap them around to different locations in your home. If you have access to a balcony, porch or yard, you can grow more and get more exercise as you kneel down to do some weeding or bend over to cut clippings from your herb plants.

10. Sportswear. Wear comfortable sports attire as often as possible. This makes it easier for you to stretch and flex. Do more of this every day. If you get any resistance at all, you want it to come from your muscles, not your clothing. Depending on the type of work you do, you may be able to find lots of great sportswear that can double as casual wear for work. This makes it easier for you to walk, bike or stretch before, during or after work. Columbia Sportswear

11. Water bottle. As you increase your physical activity, make sure you stay hydrated with water. Avoid all drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup. If you head out for a walk, take a large water bottle with you. Fill it with water or a fresh juice drink. Drinking some extra water or fruit juice is a great way to flush your body and curb your appetite.

Drink Distilled Water to Detox and Defend Your Body

You don’t necessarily need to make these specific changes to your lifestyle. What is important is that you think about the simple things in your daily routine and, over time, make minor changes to incorporate more activity. Seek activities you enjoy. If it isn’t fun or rewarding in some way, it will be difficult to maintain anyway. As you find ways to be more active every day, you’ll find that there really is no need for you to do something silly like run on a treadmill in your garage.

Although running, weight lifting, or high-impact sports may be good for your heart, they tend to be damaging to your knees or other body parts that get overused. Most centenarians report that they were active throughout their lives, but typically not in highly strenuous activities. They’re more likely to work out in their garden than in a gym. They’re more likely to be walkers than runners.

Some people are so lazy, they don’t even exercise good judgment. Alfred E Neuman

Seek ways to add practical activities to your lifestyle. The more movement you incorporate into your daily life, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Active living every day is much better for you than irregular binge workouts a few times a month.

Alliance for Biking & Walking logo

4 Super Smart SOUP Recipes You Can Savor Year Round

By | cooking, eating, restaurants, water | One Comment

Do you want to prepare more meals at home, but feel like you don’t have enough time or skill or whatever? If so, it might be time to soup up your kitchen. It’s is one of the simplest ways to make a meal with minimal effort. The next time you need to pull together a quick and healthy dinner, make soup.

SOUP is a Simple Organic Universal Pleasure.

Here are four of my favorite SOUP recipes: Simple SOUP, Organic SOUP, Universal SOUP and Pleasure SOUP.

Simple SOUP

Soup is relatively easy to make. Everything goes into one pot, or sometimes two if you make noodles on the side. As long as you have a number of ingredients on hand, you can almost always pull together a tasty soup. With just a few vegetables, beans, spices or herbs, you have the makings for a good meal. If you add barley or another whole grain, you can make a well-balanced complete meal in one pot. If you like rich soup, add extra carats.

pee and ham soup

You can make soup one day and have the leftovers the next day or two, or freeze portions of it in separate containers and eat it sometime in the near future.

Soup clean-up is relatively easy compared to other cooking methods. After a meal you only have one pot and a few bowls and spoons to wash. If you have leftovers, you can put the lid on the soup pot and store it in your refrigerator for the next day.

Sometimes singles avoid cooking because they don’t want to bother to cook for one. Anytime you need to cook a meal for one person, soup is a great option. It’s worth taking the time to make a good pot of Single SOUP that can last for numerous meals.

Organic SOUP

One of the biggest benefits of cooking at home is that you have a much better idea what you’re eating. When you eat out, the menu may list the majority of ingredients, but restaurants need to control their costs, so the majority of them use conventional foods which are likely to contain traces of pesticides or herbicides which can be toxic over time. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know that other quality and cleanliness issues can sometimes be an issue as well.

hair in soup cartoon (large)When you make soup using organic ingredients, the soup can be as delicious as it is nutritious. Soup made with medicinal ingredients such as ginger, garlic, turmeric or miso can be surprisingly tasty and healthful. As with any food you eat, carefully consider the source and avoid ingredients that come in packages. Another advantage of making your own soup is that you can customize it to suit your own taste and nutritional needs.

One great thing about soup is that you don’t need to plan recipes in advance. You can buy first and plan later. The best way to shop is to buy what’s fresh, local and in season. If you want to try some new recipes with what you have on hand, type the main ingredients into any search engine, such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing.  This is a great way to discover new recipes and websites.

If you’re in a hurry and want to filter out everything except recipes, use Yummly. You can type in any combination of ingredients such as “vegan soup garlic sweet potato,” for example. This is an easy way to explore tastes from other cultures or to add new spice to some of your tried and true recipes.

If you’re making soups for a special someone who doesn’t yet appreciate the value of organic foods, tell him or her that it’s Orgasm SOUP. Almost everyone appreciates the value of a good meal or orgasm. When Harry Met Sally

Universal SOUP 

In most cultures, people eat soup. It’s a universal dish with many benefits. When you’re making soup, you can add extra ingredients from the refrigerator that need to be eaten. It helps to cut back on wasted food. People rarely ask about every ingredient in the soup as long as it tastes good.

When you make soup, many people will eat things they normally wouldn’t if they were prepared alone or in large recognizable pieces. Soup flavors all blend together, fading away the distinct tastes of individual ingredients. This is a great way to get family members to add more variety to their diet so that they get all the nutrients they need to maintain good health.

Soup is a great appetizer. In many parts of Asia, it’s common to begin a meal with a small cup of soup. Soup helps you feel partially satisfied before eating more. If you want to lose weight, begin your meals by savoring a small bowl of soup. It can help to curb your appetite.

Soup can be the main dish. Throughout Asia, you can find noodle and hot pot restaurants that feature soup as the main course for lunch or dinner.

alphabet soup cartoon GlasbergenMany of the world’s centenarians eat soup year round. Hong Kong has the highest percentage of centenarians in the world. Many of them eat Cantonese slow-cooked soups, such as fish skin noodle soup, or won ton soup. These soups don’t include butter, cream, oil or fatty meats. They enjoy the mild pleasant flavors of the fresh ingredients.

You can put just about anything in soup. Hong Kong and Chinese people are known for eating bird’s nest soup made from swallow’s nests. Hong Kong people are the biggest consumers of this healthful delicacy which can cost anywhere between $30 to $100 USD. The nests are high in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. When dissolved in water, it has a gelatinous effect. Bird’s nest is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to boost the immune system, aid in digestion, improve focus, reduce symptoms of asthma and more.

Chinese centenarians are likely to be familiar with long-simmering herbal soups. Herbs are carefully chosen to regulate various body functions. In China, there are many books on this subject.

The Japanese are notorious for living longer than people in most other countries. Miso soup has been a staple food in Japan for centuries. In traditional Japanese restaurants, you can order miso soup with breakfast, lunch or dinner. Miso is a combination of soybeans and yeast which is aged for months, and sometimes even years. The resulting fermented paste can be used not only for soup, but for many other dishes as well. Miso helps to alkalize the body and boost your immune system. Miso contains antioxidants and and other anti-aging properties that can help to preserve the beauty of your skin.

Soup is an inexpensive way to stretch your food dollars at different times in your life when you need to. Back in my college days when money was tight, I’d often make University Soup. Making soup from inexpensive foods like potatoes, garlic and onion can help to keep your food costs down. Believe it or not, many people are living off America’s waste. Dive! 

chicken doctor people soup prescription

By the way, The Onion is a great ingredient to keep around.

Pleasure SOUP

Soup is a great food year round. It can warm you up when you’re cold, be your main food when you’re dieting, or help you gain strength when you’re not feeling well. Just the smell of simmering soup can help you feel better. Cold soups are great in the summertime.

Soup is a warm comfort food for people of all ages. Even babies and old people without teeth can eat many different types of soups. Whenever necessary, you can add certain ingredients to your soup to achieve certain physical results. If you add extra beans or broccoli to your soup, the fiber can help relieve constipation, for example. Although it may not be your favorite, Plunger Soup brings out pleasure in the end.

When you include a variety of herbs, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients into the pot, soup turns out to be one of the world’s healthiest foods.

Soup’s Most Important Ingredient: Water

When you’re making soup, the quality of the water you use is just as important as all the other ingredients. Pure H2O is ideal.

Drink Distilled Water Daily to Detox and Defend Your Body 

When you make soup, be sure to use a safe pot made of stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron. Never use anything that contains a teflon coating or aluminum. Mother Jones

Avoid eating canned or packaged soups. Most are loaded with salt, preservatives, and other chemicals that have little to no nutritional value and may even harm your health if you eat them too often.

SOUP is a simple, organic, universal, pleasurable way to show you care.

Organic Soup Kitchen logo

 

Drink distilled water daily to detox and defend your body

By | cooking, eating, water | 15 Comments

Your body has a natural craving and thirst for pure distilled water . . . every day.

Have you ever tried to drink more water to help minimize brain fog, headaches, or other some other nagging condition? At the advice of your doctor or an article you read, perhaps you tried to increase your water intake for a short time, only to find that it didn’t taste good or feel right. It’s probably because you drank tap or bottled water.

Tap Water cartoon by Creative Loafing, shows need for distilled water

In municipal water supplies (tap water), bottled water and even well water, you may find pharmaceuticals, parasites, herbicides, pesticidestrihalomethanes, deadly amoebasfluoridechlorineperfluorinated compounds, arsenic, and a multitude of other unregulated chemicals and toxins depending on the source of the water. Where Water Burns

H2O is water and H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide. What is H2O4? Drinking. Ha ha. ASU

“Hard water then is your greatest enemy. It will destroy fond hope you have by striking you down when you should be enjoying the fruits of your labors. Crippled joints, repeated surgeries, enlarged hearts, hardened arteries, gall stones, kidney stones, hearing problems, forgetful minds, all draw your activities from the great out-of-doors into creaking rocking chairs and finally into bed-ridden old people’s homes.”  The Choice is Clear by Dr. Allen E. Banik

Drugs in Drinking Water shows need for distilled water

Mike Keefe InToon.com

Any water filtration system is better than none, but some systems are better than others. Distilled water is the purest. It’s H2O. In addition to hydrating your body, another main function of water is to help detoxify your body.

You may have heard a myth that you shouldn’t drink distilled water because it’s acidic or it pulls minerals from your body, but consider the source. ” Often it is heard that the body needs the minerals found in water. Not so. Our food supply is the proper source of minerals.” J. Edward Smith

Tap water, bottled water and well water typically add noxious substances to your body. Because they’re already contaminated, they aren’t as effective as distilled water in helping to rid your body of toxins.

“I mixed this myself. Two parts H. One part O. I don’t trust anybody.” Steven Wright

Dear Diary, This is the day I decided to drink distilled water. 

Why not use pure H2O to ensure you aren’t adding more toxins to your body through the water you drink? My husband and I currently use the Megahome countertop water distiller. It works well for 2-4 people because it can make a gallon of distilled water in about five hours. I usually make 2-3 gallons each day for the two of us.

Have you ever tried drinking distilled water to cleanse the inside of your body?

Try this simple experiment. Take a few minutes to jot down any physical issues you’re having. Then start drinking and cooking with distilled water every day. Note the benefits you experience within 30, 60 and 90 days. You’ll need about one gallon per person each day. Ever since I started drinking distilled water and using it for tea and cooking, I’ve noticed that I feel better and have much more energy throughout the day.

Now that I feel the difference, I won’t to go back to tap. When I go out, I take with me a glass water bottle filled with distilled water, or I take green tea that I made with distilled water. I also carry a small TDS water tester with me everywhere I go to check water before I decide whether or not I’m going to drink it.

A $15 water tester is worth more than a $150 water filter. 

Most people are aware of the environmental and health issues with bottled water, but continue buying it anyway. I heard that one company is working on making powdered water to sell at a high price, but they haven’t yet figured out what you can add to it so you can drink it. Aha

If you believe in showering the outside of your body on a regular basis, you can certainly understand why it’s even more important to shower the inside of your body with pure H20 every day.

If you have access to a sunny spot, you might want to get a solar powered distiller such as the Eliodomestico. This beautiful distiller would make a great addition to any garden, patio or balcony. Or if you’re handy, you might want to do some research on how to make your own DIY Solar Still.

Eliodomestico solar water distiller

Gabriele Diamanti, award-winning Eliodomestico designer, developed this open-source distiller project.

 

Dear Diary, this is day I decided to drink distilled water

By | cooking, longevity, Natural Remedies, restaurants, water | 5 Comments

Margie opened her door and welcomed me with a big smile as if I were a friend she hadn’t seen for a while. Her sunny one-bedroom apartment was tidy. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview this lively 91-year-old.

People in Loma Linda, CA, live 4-7 years longer, on average, than other Americans. This is why I wanted to visit this quiet haven outside Los Angeles, to meet with Margie and other 90+ year olds. Loma Linda is America’s longevity hot spot. I came here to ask the same question as many other researchers.

What is your secret to longevity?

water bottle - DropInTheBucket.orgMargie spoke openly right from the start. “I’m wearing a wig, but these are my own,” she told me as she smiled and pointed to her teeth.

As I asked about her diet and health habits, she recalled different people and life experiences.

“I have the same birthday as Hitler,” she said, “April 20, and I went to his bunker.” She told stories about living in Germany for six years with her husband who was a marine and passed away 15 years ago. Then she talked about homeschooling her two sons.

She told me about her 95-year-old brother (a farmer) and four sisters, ages 93 (a teacher), 89 (a nurse and dietician), 83 (a teacher) and 76 (a nurse educator) all still living and all vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists. She had one other sister who passed away at the age of 40.

She talked seamlessly about the past, present and future. “I’d like to get rid of my computer,” she said. When I asked about the wood elephants lined up in her windowsill, she had a story for each one. She got one in Germany, one in Africa, and another one at the local Goodwill.

Although I had to repeat myself a sometimes because of her hearing, she spoke with the energy and enthusiasm of someone decades younger.

“I’d like to move to New Zealand,” she said at one point. “The fruit they serve here at the Villa doesn’t have any flavor and I can’t afford to buy fresh organic fruit,” she said. “I just read a book about . . . ” and on and on she continued.

Here’s a summary of the health tips I extracted from her stories. These are some of the things she doesn’t do which she believes may have contributed to her longevity:

  • she never eats meat
  • she doesn’t drink milk (she says it causes colds)
  • she never drinks alcohol
  • she doesn’t smoke
  • she doesn’t drink caffeine (she believes that black tea is especially bad because it’s hard on the heart)
  • she avoids sugar most of the time
  • she doesn’t use fluoride toothpaste (she mentioned that baking soda and salt are safer)

When’s the last time you did a check up on your dentist? 

Here are some of her habits she believes may have contributed to her longevity:

  • she has been a vegetarian her whole life
  • she worked hard on the family potato farm for many years and she has always included a wide variety of potatoes in her diet
  • she used to be a primary school teacher, but she still loves learning, being around people and telling stories
  • she drinks homemade smoothies made with fresh or frozen fruit such as berries, banana or apple
  • she loves grapefruit juice
  • she eats soy products
  • she keeps busy and has something to do every day
  • she takes enzymes regularly (because her sister who’s a dietician advised her to do so)
  • she has access to great doctors in Loma Linda (but some of her prior doctors are dead now)
  • she is spiritually active (as a Seventh Day Adventist)
  • she has a community of friends she meets with every day (having common meals and social time with others who live in the same retirement villa)
  • she does her best to sleep well every night
  • she has been drinking distilled water for about 44 years

None of these things surprised me because many of her lifestyle habits are consistent with others who live into their 80s, 90s and beyond. But her distilled water story did stand out.

Margie Francisco 91 years old 20130728_113511

Dr Lorraine with Margie in Loma Linda on July 28, 2013

About 44 years ago, she came down with a debilitating strep/staph infection from well water in Idaho and was in and out of the hospital 32 times to treat cellulitis. This is when she decided to switch to distilled water to avoid going through anything like this again. She made a decision and stuck to it because she didn’t trust the water.

When it came time for me to leave, Margie slowly ascended from her chair and said with a smile, “this old grey mare ain’t what she used to be.” She didn’t want me to leave without seeing more of her recent artwork. She waved me into her bedroom and pulled a painting off the wall.

“You need to see it up close,” she said. “I used acrylics to paint these flowers.” Although I was impressed with the quality and detail of the painting, I was even more fascinated by her dexterity and strength as she leaned over her bed to pull a framed painting off the wall. Most Americans don’t make it to this age and of those who do, not many would be able to do this seemingly simple stretch-balance-strength task. I love being around lifelong learners with a positive attitude. I could have talked with her for days.

The day I met Margie, July 28, 2013, is the day I decided to drink distilled water. I made the switch immediately, beginning with bottled distilled water.

Over the next few weeks I did some research and learned that drinking distilled water is a great way to cleanse your body. Dr. Weil is one of my virtual doctors. When I’m looking for health advice, I often check to see what he has to say about a subject. Dr Weil drinks distilled water and uses it for cooking as well.

Got a virtual doctor yet? If not, now’s the time. 

So are you ready to chug some H2O? Water is as important to your health as sleep, but remember stop drinking liquids about an hour before you go to bed so you can sleep all night without having to get up to pee. BitofFun

After doing some research on distillers, I ended up choosing the Megahome Water Distiller. It didn’t take me long to conclude that this is the most important appliance in my kitchen.

Drink distilled water daily to detox and defend your body.

.

Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine logo

The Top Secret to Identifying Spoiled Meat

By | cooking, eating, money, restaurants | No Comments

no meatWhy should you never tell a pig a secret? Because they squeal. Jokes4Us

Do you want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about what you’re eating? Well, you may need to talk to a pig to find out.

Of course you want to eat safe food. But can you trust “the system” to ensure that all your meat is safe for consumption? It would be great if all the growers, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)slaughterhouses, processors, packers, transporters, grocers and FDA were are all looking out for us, the customers, but are they really?

A little red or white meat may not be bad for you, but a little yellowish or brownish meat is definitely bad for you! Gwizfunny

We live in a capitalistic society where money is a top priority. Each time to take a bite, you’re eating food “as is,” which encompasses everything that happened to it all along the way before it ended up on your fork. Buyer beware. When in doubt, check it out. Yogitastic

Michael Anthony offers some good tips on how you can know if you have spoiled meat . . .

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood? If you’re willing to fork out enough money, you can go on a back stage studio tour of Universal Studios to see how they make fire, blow things up and kill people. You have the opportunity to see how frivolous movies are made, so doesn’t it seem to make sense that you can see how your foods, so essential to life, are made?

To see how organic food is grown, you can go to a farm like Tara Firma for free any weekend to see how they raise healthy animals. Some farms, like Hidden Villa, are specially designed to teach people of all ages about sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry.

If you want to see how organic fruits or vegetables are grown, the majority of organic farmers will welcome you with open arms to take on-site pictures with your friends and family. Some U-pick farms, like Swanton Berry Farm, encourage their customers to check out the farm and pick their own berries.

Lots of people are proud of the way they do business. They’re tickled when you take pictures and share your experiences with your social networks.

Farm Sanctuary's Animal Acres

Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

Do you like Eating Animals? Even if you do, ag gag laws make it illegal for you to see what’s going on behind the scenes in factory farms. The people who work there can’t show you the horrendous conditions either. If they do, these “whistleblowers” face challenges that can affect their work and personal life for years. If you do something as simple as take pictures of a CAFO or slaughterhouse, you risk being charged with a crime!

Why do the CAFO workers call the animals “Ink?” Because they keep trying to run out of the pens. Jokes4Us

If the meat in your local grocery store came out of one of these top secret facilities, doesn’t this make you a little suspicious? What’s the big secret? Bill Moyers warns Americans in this Huffington Post Green story that these ag gag laws are making people sick! Who takes care of the farm when the farmer is sick? The pharmacist. AJokeADay

According to the CDC, about 1 in 6 people in the US get sick each year after eating contaminated food. CDC Foodborne OutbreaksAnd the number is much higher if you take into account the cumulative health effects of eating meat tainted with drugs, hormones and chemicals. Your risk is lower when you eat at home, and even lower when you’re conscientious about where you get your food.

For the sake of your health and well-being, think about whether you want to eat anything that’s coming out of a top secret mill. If a food facility is too dangerous and unsightly for a kids’ field trip, do you really want to support these companies by buying their questionable consumables? Check out this article by Joby Warrick before you before your next visit to the meat department in your local grocery store: Do You Want Urine, Feces and Pus In Your Beef?

McDonald’s announced it’s considering a more humane way of slaughtering its animals. They fatten up the animals until they’re so uncomfortable that they want to die. It’s the same thing they do to their customers. HappyCow

 

Mercy for Animals

Turkeys and Americans Get Stuffed on Thanksgiving

By | Comedy, cooking, eating, holidays, love | No Comments

What’s the difference between a turkey and an American?

Turkeys get stuffed on Thanksgiving, but Americans get stuffed every day.

turkey stuffed (1)

 Turkey with bacon and craisin stuffing by Australian MasterChef Julie Goodwin

Millions of Americans get stuffed two or three times day. Most fill up with prepared foods and snacks at home and on fast foods and snacks when they’re not at home. It’s the western way. If you don’t like hamburgers, soda, cookies and other similar stuffings, you’re often ridiculed by the masses who do.

McDonald’s is the #1 most visited business overall in the US. Huffington Post. Eating fast is America’s favorite pastime. In fact, it’s a sport. Check out Major League Eating for current records on competitive eaters stuffing themselves with everything from turkeys to pumpkin pies to cow brains.

Eating is the secret hobby that will never show up on hobby lists. But Americans love to eat. In fact, the US holds the record as the most obese nation in the world. Reuters. Watch Fast Food Nation to see how this came to be.

Thanksgiving is one of the few days a year when many Americans observe food in an old fashioned kind of way, by pulling out their food processors and making home cooked meals. For decades, western women have been programmed to believe that cooking is drudgery. So Thanksgiving is one of the few days a year when women bother to cook. Men drink as they entertain the kids and watch TV. Beer commercials, football, truck commercials, parades, pharmaceutical commercials and the evening news help to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

Breaking News: Man still on death row after fifteen years. This is what happens when you ask for your last meal to be an all-you-can-eat  buffet. Sickipedia

Thanksgiving is one day of the year when you can find all-you-can-eat buffets in homes throughout the country. It takes plenty of time and money to pull off this annual feast. Moms and grandmas spend hours shopping, planning, decorating, baking, stuffing turkeys and teaching the younger women the right way to make the family’s sweet stuffings. I remember my first Thanksgiving with my new mother-in-law. She put me in charge of the sweet potatoes and later told me that I didn’t do it right because my recipe didn’t include marshmallows. I failed one of the initial rites of passage into the family tribe.

Turkey Eating Competition

105-pound woman gobbles down an entire turkey in 10 minutes out-eating her male competitors, including one man four times her size

On Thanksgiving Day Americans celebrate the stuffing of turkeys and the stuffing of people. This is followed by Black Friday, one of the biggest sales day of the year. This four-day weekend is the kickoff to the holiday shopping season and celebration time for retailers.

On Thanksgiving we’re supposed to take time out to be appreciative. But between all the shopping, traffic lights, cooking, cleaning, drinking, eating, watching commercials and playing games and there’s little time or patience left over to take time to say thank you to anyone who isn’t a sales clerk. If this sounds familiar, perhaps it’s time to simplify your life.

We could be thankful that we have enough food to stuff everyone in the country, but unfortunately, some people become obese while others go hungry. We could be thankful for the four-day holiday, but it probably does more harm than good to most people’s health and finances.

You may not be able to change holiday traditions for everyone in the country, but you can begin by making changes in your own traditions. Perhaps you’d like to eat something other than turkey this year?

If you’re concerned about gaining weight through this year’s holiday season, check out the Film Diet Plan. With some thoughtful planning, you can find ways to do less stuffing and more thanking. Are you ready to answer the question, “what are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?”

Everyone was finally seated around the table ready to dig in to Thanksgiving dinner when little Joey picked up his fork and began to eat.

“Wait Joey,” his mother said. “You can’t eat until we say grace.”

“We don’t need to pray here,” he said.

“Of course we do. You know we always pray before we eat at home.”

“That’s at our house,” he replied. “but this is grandma’s house and she knows how to cook.” SHE

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Sick of diets? Film Diet Plan will help you escape the fat trap

By | cooking, eating, Movies, Natural Remedies | 3 Comments

man-and-woman-watching-tvHave you been struggling to lose weight for years? This is one of those moments in life when you came to the right place at the right time.

This diet plan allows you to unlock good and bad secrets that are likely to make you both angry and ecstatic. You don’t have to count calories, but you do have to follow the simple plan. Over the next few weeks and months, you will begin to feel like a blind person miraculously regaining sight.

Most diet plans focus on changing your eating or exercise habits. But your weight challenge isn’t only about what you eat or how often you go to the gym, it has a lot to do with what you’ve been taught through your family and culture. And it has a lot to do with how much you think or don’t think about what you eat.

Dr. Lorraine’s Film Diet Plan will bring on a paradigm shift in the way you think about food. You’ll finally understand why you’ve been unable to escape from a seemingly hopeless trap.

Big corporations that stock grocery stores and supply fast food chains are exploiting you and everyone else who eats their bait. They’ve ambushed every industry in the process: farmers, slaughterhouses, packers, migrant farmworkers, supermarkets, and fast food chains. And they’re doing an equal amount of damage to the people who consume their addictive, harmful, imitation food-like substances that come in plastics, Styrofoam, cans and other packages that pollute our environment.

If fat seems to be hanging a little lower each month, then your low fat diet is working just the way they want it to. DW

To them it’s a money game. You pay a rather small financial price to participate in the beginning, but in the long run you put your health and life at stake.

These corporations have successfully programmed you through advertisements, the media, internet, doctors, politicians and special interest groups. They sell addictive food-like chemical concoctions that tease your taste buds while wreaking havoc on your health. Each time you open up your wallet and pay for their junk, you’re one bite closer to sickness. Perhaps it’s already eating away at you.

Whole Foods Market logo

You can begin your escape from the fat trap by avoiding these types of grocery stores that are only concerned about their profit and have no interest whatsoever in your health.

Shop at grocery stores that specialize in more healthful organic foods such as The Fresh MarketSprouts Farmers Market, Whole Foods Market, and local farmer’s markets. They filter out tons of junk, literally, that you don’t want to put in your body. When you go, take your time and ask lots of questions. These are the types of places where you can find people who tend to eat healthier whole foods. They can help to steer you in the right direction and give you some great recipe ideas.

What can you make with beans and onions? Tear Gas. Jokes4Us

Here’s how Dr. Lorraine’s Film Diet Plan works.

Watch one or two of the following films each week for the next several months until you’ve seen all of them at least once. It’s that simple. The films are listed alphabetically, but you can watch them in any order. Choose the film you feel most drawn to next. That’s what will work best for you. It’s like choosing what you want to eat from a menu, except you’re choosing what you want to watch.

menuWhen you watch them, you must give your full attention to each one. Take notes if you want. Every time you’re buying or eating food, think about the films and make your choices accordingly. Your subconscious is astoundingly powerful. Once you gain awareness, you will have the confidence, will-power and strength you need to succeed.

In the upcoming months, do not allow skeptics to derail or discourage you. Decrease your time with nay-sayers and increase your time with encouragers. As you progress on the Film Diet, you’ll find it easier and easier to go out of your weigh to change eating habits in ways you never imagined.

If you regularly eat with your spouse, kids or others who live with you, it’s helpful if you do the Film Diet as a team. But regardless of whether or not others join you, you can do this on your own. Just as you feed your body each day, you can and must feed your mind each week.

Begin the Film Diet Plan today. Later you will look back and know that it was one of the best decisions you ever made in your life. Dim the lights. The show is about to begin. And you’re the star.

Following is the list of films along with trailers and links to where you can find them. Your mind meal is about to begin. You’re about to tap into a new energy source that’s just as important as food. It’s time for you to choose something from the menu:

A Delicate Balance (2008)

Learn more about the film and watch it for free at ADelicateBalance.com.au.

All Jacked Up (2008)

Click here to get the All Jacked Up DVD. Learn more about the film at AllJackedUp.com.

A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms (2009)

Click here to get River of Waste. Learn more about the film at ARiverOfWaste.com.

Bad Seed: The Truth About Our Food (2006)

Click here to get Bad Seed. Learn more about the film at BadSeed.info.

Dirt! The Movie (2009)

Click here to get Dirt! The Movie. Learn more about the film at TheDirtMovie.org.

Earthlings (2005)

Click here to get Earthlings. Learn more about the film at Earthlings.com.

Farmageddon (2011)

Click here to get Farmageddon. Learn more about the film at FarmageddonMovie.com

Fast Food Nation (2006)

Click here to get Fast Food Nation.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010)

Click here to get Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Learn more about the film at FatSickAndNearlyDead.com.

Fed Up! (2002)

Click here to get Fed Up!

Food, Inc (2008)

Click here to watch Food, Inc. on Documentary Addict.

Food Fight (2008)

Click here to watch Food Fight for free on Films for Action.  Learn more about the film at FoodFightTheDoc.com

Food Matters (2008)

Click here to get Food Matters.  Learn more about the film at FoodMatters.tv.

Forks Over Knives (2011)

Click here to get Forks Over Knives. Learn more about the film at ForksOverKnives.com.

Fowl Play (2008)

Click here to get Fowl Play. Learn more about the film at FowlPlayMovie.com

Frankensteer (2005)

Click here to watch Frankensteer for free at Films For Action. Learn more about the film at BullFrogFilms.com.

Fresh (2009)

Click here to get Fresh. Learn more about the film at FreshTheMovie.com.

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives (2012)

Click here to watch Genetic Roulette for free on YouTube. Learn more about the film at GeneticRouletteMovie.com.

Hungry for Change (2012)

Click here to get Hungry for Change. Learn more about the film at HungryForChange.tv.

Ingredients (2009)

Click here to get Ingredients. Learn more about the film at IngredientsFilm.com

Killer at Large (2008)

Click here to get Killer at Large. Learn more about the film at KilleratLarge.com.

King Corn (2007)

Click here to get King Corn. Learn more about the film at KingCorn.net.

Mad Cowboy (2006)

Click here to watch Mad Cowboy for free on YouTube. Learn more about the film at MadCowboy.com.

McLibel (2005)

Click here to get McLibel.

Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home (2012)

Click here to get Peaceable Kingdom. Learn more about the film at PeaceableKingdomfilm.org.

Planeat (2010)

Click here to watch Planeat. Learn more about the film at Planeat.tv.

Processed People (2009)

Click here to get Processed People. Learn more about the film at ProcessedPeople.com.

Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs (2012)

Click here to watch Seeds of Death free on YouTube.

$tatin Nation: The Great Cholesterol Coverup (2012)

Click here to get $tatin Nation. Learn more about the film at StatinNation.net.

Supersize Me (2004)

Click here to watch Supersize Me for free on YouTube.

Sustainable Table: What’s on Your Plate? (2006)

Click here to get Sustainable Table. Learn more about the film at SustainableTableMovie.com

Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World (2004)

Click here to watch Sweet Misery for free on YouTube.

The Future of Food (2004)

Click here to get The Future of Food. Learn more about the film TheFutureofFood.com

The Harvest (2011)  

Click here to get The Harvest. Learn more about the film at TheHarvestFilm.com

The Perfect Human Diet (2012)

Click here to watch The Perfect Human Diet on YouTube. Learn more about the film at PerfectHumanDiet.us.

Vegucated (2010)

Click here to get Vegucated. Learn more about the film at GetVegucated.com.

The Film Diet Plan is a good partner to other healthy diet plans. If you have friends or family members who are struggling with their health or weight, pass this on. You’ll reach your goals quicker if you discuss the films with them. The more you talk, the better. It keeps your mind and mouth occupied with talking rather than eating. DW

Did you know the US has more attorneys per capita than any other country in the world? For those of you who live in the United States of American Lawyers, I need to include a disclaimer. So here’s your warning. Please consult with your doctor before starting any diet plan. In this case, please consult with your optician before watching any of these films.

If you have any questions about the Film Diet Plan, feel free to contact me privately or leave a comment below. Check back regularly for updates on the films or the diet plan. And please keep me posted on how you’re doing. Don’t rush through the films or your meals. A slower pace will help you reach your goals quicker.

Slow Food snail logo

SlowFoodUSA.org

 

A $15 water tester is worth more than a $150 water filter

By | cooking, restaurants, water | 3 Comments

Do you feel like you should be drinking more water, but just can’t seem to? If so, there might be something in the water that’s turning you off.

Good water is that clear liquid that looks transparent and doesn’t make you sick immediately, right?

Maybe.

href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PBRC26/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B002PBRC26&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwdrlorrainn-20">Blue Gold: World Water Wars

In every corner of the globe, we’re polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water as population and technology grows. Click here to buy Blue Gold.

It might be water, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. Don’t judge it by the way it looks. It may contain clear odorless poisons such as chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, mercury, prescription drugs, and many other toxins that can eventually cause a slew of side effects and lead to disease. Because small traces of such poisons can accumulate over time, it’s difficult to pinpoint the cause.

It’s no wonder some people say they don’t like water. When you don’t like the taste, trust your gut feeling and don’t drink it. Or better yet, use your water tester to check the purity. The purer the water, the better it tastes. And you’re less likely to ingest invisible particles that may harm you.

A good water filter is the most essential appliance in your kitchen, but a water tester is the most important gadget in your purse or laptop bag. For just a few dollars, you can make a big investment in your health. If you have to choose between the two, start with a tester.

I first learned about testing water when I lived in Shenzhen, China. One of my expat friends urged me to test the water before drinking it. Since it was such a small investment, I decided to get one.

I quickly got into the habit of checking water everywhere I went. I was surprised at how much it varied from place to place. According to the manufacturer, 50 and lower is safest to drink. In Shenzhen, I typically got readings from 20-180. At this time, I was shocked when I saw readings in the high 100’s.

But then my husband and I traveled to Indonesia, known for some of the dirtiest water in the world. The bottled water at the Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta tested at 284! I thought that was shocking until we took a trip back to the US. When we arrived at Dallas airport, I tested the table-top water dispenser at the American Airlines Admirals Club. It was just as high as the water in Jakarta!

Dear Diary, this is the day I decided to drink distilled water

For the past several years, I’ve been carrying a water tester with me in my purse wherever I go. I use my HM Digital TDS tester to check the water before deciding whether or not to drink it. It only takes a few seconds. I turn it on, dip it in the water, and get an instant reading. I never know what to expect.

A water tester is more important than a water filter

A water tester is more important than a water filter

I was pleasantly surprised when I tested the water recently at New Lun Ting Cafe in San Francisco. It had a reading of 43. Compared to local tap water, that’s not bad. The closer to zero, the purer the water. I asked the waitress about it and she told me what I expected.

“We have a water filter,” she told me.

But you’d be surprised how many restaurants don’t. I often get readings over 100, 200 and sometimes even over 300! Some of the highest readings I’ve seen were along the Pacific coastline in California in and around Santa Maria, Ventura and Solvang where the water in restaurants tested in at a 350-450. I can’t help but wonder what the water was like before they started fracking in this area? CaliforniansAgainstFracking.org

Feel free to check out some of my Yelp reviews for specific readings at various locations. I don’t want mystery particles swimming around in my body!

Think about how often you drink liquids outside your home. If you travel or eat out frequently, you can use a tester to check the water you use for drinking, cooking, and even bathing. It can help you decide whether or not you want to want to make a cup of tea, order soup at a restaurant, or fill up a bathtub and soak in the water.

You’ve probably heard before that your skin is your largest organ. It absorbs the water you bathe in. Since you can’t see all the sh*t that’s in your water, so wouldn’t it be nice to have a gauge to help you give you a rough idea how much sh*t it might contain?

Your body is made up of more than 50% water. It carries oxygen and essential nutrients throughout your body. You need water daily to flush pesticides and other impurities out of your body, not put more in.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually see all the sh*t that’s in your water?

EvolutionOfWaterCarryingBannerman

Don’t assume that bottled water is better or worse than other water. Once you start testing various water sources, you’ll be shocked at how much readings vary from one bottle to another, one restaurant to another, and even one building to another.

What do you call people who spend $2 for a bottle of Evian water? Just spell Evian backwards: N A I V E.

Clean water is one of the most essential elements to sustaining life, second only to oxygen. You can live without oxygen for 2-5 minutes, and without water for only 2-5 days.

If you don’t already have a portable water tester, I urge you to buy one today so that you can start making an informed decision about the water you choose to drink.

Water is the only drink you really need. Before you leave home, check to make sure you have your keys . . . and your water tester.