“Fermented foods add zip to meals while supporting proper digestion.” Corinne Garcia
Along with it you must present the proper drink offering, consisting of one quart of fermented drink with each lamb, poured out in the Holy Place as an offering to the LORD. (Numbers 28:7; NLT)
Did you grow up in a home where food was preserved and “put up” for the winter? How many of you experienced “home canning” at some point in your life? We grew much of our own food on the farm while I was growing up. And we did a lot of preserving, canning, and freezing of food. Mom “pickled” various vegetables as well.
For some of our readers it may be difficult to comprehend that there was a time when we had no refrigeration to keep food from spoiling. Our ancestors were smart though and through the generations they learned ways of preserving food for times when food was scarce. Fermented foods have made a come-back in a big way and are now recognized as some of the healthiest foods we can eat!
Sally Fallon has done much to popularize the fermented foods movement. She says it best, “It may seem strange to us that, in earlier times, people knew how to preserve vegetables for long periods without the use of freezers or canning machines. This was done through the process of lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by the many species of lactic-acid-producing bacteria. These lactobacilli are ubiquitous, present on the surface of all living things and especially numerous on leaves and roots of plants growing in or near the ground. Man needs only to learn the techniques for controlling and encouraging their proliferation to put them to his own use, just as he has learned to put certain yeasts to use in converting the sugars in grape juice to alcohol in wine.”
So, since these fermented foods are loaded with healthy bacteria that make our gastrointestinal systems sing a happy tune, they’re great to add to our menus. One of the most common fermented foods is sauerkraut made from cabbage. Yogurt and kefir are also well-known fermented foods. A staple in Asian diets is kimchi, a lacto-fermented condiment of cabbage with other vegetables and seasonings that is eaten daily.
Don’t turn up your nose at the sound of “fermented” foods. Embrace them as something that offers great benefits to the health of you and your family.
Father, thank You for the knowledge of how to preserve food in a healthy manner.
Link of the Day
Photo by Sharon
“Over 2/3 of Americans are now overweight or obese.” Mercola.com
I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. (Prov. 4:11)
I know that we hear this over and over again! However, it is worth repeating…Americans are FAT! The 2009 CDC statistics showed that the number of obese people in the U.S. actually outnumber the amount of merely overweight people! And in 2011, one in three children is now overweight or obese. That’s nearly triple the rate from 1963! Isn’t this rather unbelievable?
Thousands upon thousands of pages have been written on how to “cure” this epidemic. And nearly every day brings a new system or product to make one thin and trim. A recent article from Mercola.com provided me with some fuel for thought on this. This isn’t a treatise on weight loss nor is it a system or product. But it is some practical thoughts on why we pack on unwanted pounds.
- Failure to plan. The old adage holds true here. Failure to plan means planning to fail. Recently someone shared with me that they heard a woman declare, “If becoming a certain size or weight means I have to try “that” hard, then I must not be meant to be smaller or weigh less.” Whoa! What, in life that has value doesn’t require time, planning, and commitment? To be healthy and a comfortable weight means that we make time to eat and prepare food. Meals are planned, meaning we make lists and do regular grocery shopping so that we’re not tempted to eat fast food or processed, packaged food.
- Drinking fruit juice and soda. Sodas, both diet and regular are downright poison and have no good reason for ever entering your shopping cart, your home, or your body. They’re either loaded with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, both of which are extremely harmful to the body and contribute greatly to the obesity epidemic. Fruit juices are essentially liquid candy, containing high levels of sugar. Eat the fruit, not the juice.
- Eating outside the home. It is well established that most people overeat when eating out. And most restaurants aren’t serving you healthy, organically grown vegetables, free-range poultry, and grass-fed beef. But they are probably dishing up some servings of MSG, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup to add to your already growing waistline.
- Not eating vegetables. The more I read about health, nutrition, and fighting disease, I’m discovering one solid common denominator. Eating vegetables is ONE of the very best things we can do for our health! I hear myself saying to my clients, “Eat more vegetables.” Or I’m asking them, “How can you get more vegetables into your body?” Think of eating vegetables at every meal. With the convenience of prepared mixed salad greens, it’s simple and easy to have a green salad every day. If your life depended on you eating five servings of vegetables each day, how would you do it? And, by the way, your life DOES depend on it.
- Not moving enough. We have to move more…and more….and more. The more sedentary we tend to be, the more we have to purpose to get up and move. Even if we’re eating healthy, nutrient dense food but sit around the majority of the day, we can pack on the pounds….and it won’t be muscle mass. Think of what you can do to move more. Make a plan and follow through. Your body will be so happy that you did!
Father, we are so thankful for the knowledge and wisdom that You provide for us so that we can be as healthy as we can be.
Link of the Day
What are the 10 Things that Can Pack on Pounds?
Photo by John C Abell
“In my opinion, we are the rats of the pharmaceutical and chemical companies that liberally spread their synthetic chemicals worldwide, with no one fully understanding the long-term adverse effects — especially the complex interactions from injecting thousands of toxic chemicals into the plant and animal kingdoms sustaining our planet.” Victoria Inness-Brown
For in the end it bites like a poisonous serpent; it stings like a viper. ( Prov. 23:32; NLT)
Those of you who have followed my blogging for any length of time know that I am vehemently opposed to people drinking diet sodas or using aspartame in any form or fashion. There has been massive amounts of information written on the dangers of this “food additive.”
Dr. Mercola is one of many practitioners who continually blows the whistle on this poison. He recently published another article sharing even more. He actually interviews Victoria Inness-Brown as she tells about her own personal aspartame experiment. It is fascinating.
Victoria is not a scientist or a chemist but she is a concerned consumer who witnessed loved ones and family members consume large amounts of diet soda. She became alarmed enough to do her own personal research and experiment in hopes of convincing her family members to stop using it.
Over a period of 2½ years, this courageous woman self-funded a study using 108 rats. There were no sponsors and no one was offering her remuneration for her experiment. Thirty male rats and thirty female rats were used as the experimental group. The remaining 48 rats (24 females and 24 males), were used as controls.
Typically, researchers use pure aspartame for their studies. However, since Victoria is not a food manufacturer she had no access to pure aspartame and used NutraSweet instead. She put NutraSweet directly into the water of the aspartame group.
Victoria had no lab technicians or employees to assist with her experiment. She cared for and fed the rats herself; took videos of her findings, then laboriously documented all aspects of the experiment. Her hope was that the visual footage would provide documentation and support for the anti-aspartame community who work tirelessly to remove aspartame from food.
She gave the rats the amount of aspartame within the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) set by the FDA which is 50 mg. per kilogram. That amounted to 14 cans of diet soda per day for females and 13 for males. “Wait a minute!” some of you are saying. Who drinks 14 cans of soda per day? Well, apparently many people do! (And some even more.)
So, what happened with her experiment? Sixty-seven percent of the females developed golf ball sized tumors. Twenty-one percent of males developed tumors. Some tumors were the size of her palm. So, there was about a 3 to 1 ratio of tumors in the female rats compared to the male rats. And a large number of the tumors actually appeared on the rats’ mammary glands.
Along with the tumors, Victoria also observed neurological disorders, paralysis, torticollis, cerebral palsy symptoms, obesity, skin and eye disorders, and genetic damage.
What can we as consumers learn from this woman’s study? Even if we can’t get food manufacturers to remove this poison from our food, we can vote with our wallets by choosing NOT to purchase any products containing aspartame.
NOTE: Be sure and look at the link to see the some of the pictures of the rats.
Father, thank You for giving us wisdom and knowledge and the ability to know how to purchase food that will nourish our bodies and not destroy them.
Link of the Day
My Aspartame Experiment
Photo by Ruth L
“I don’t think that anyone sets out with the intention of becoming a workaholic. Nor does it seem likely that most people allow it to happen willingly. Of course, for some, being a workaholic is seen simply as an unfortunate by-product of being successful and wealthy.” Lifehack.org
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. (Psa. 127:2; NLT)
Recently, I’ve been working with a group of ladies on goal setting and having healthy accountability. I asked one of the women (privately) what she thought she might want to work on as a goal. She gently laughed and said, “I work too much.” She expounded on that a bit and I probed further. (That’s MO for a coach.) I asked how many hours a week she works. Again, that gentle laugh along with, “I really have no idea.” We chatted a bit more about that. I discovered that she really does enjoy her job and likes what she does but she admitted that as a type A personality, she knows things are a bit out of balance and she wants things to change so that she can make room in her life for some other things of value.
I just saw this cute but poignant cartoon from Alice Wessendorf of healthier talk.com that offers a good summation of the term, “workaholic.” Today’s quote from lifehack.org also offers an excellent article on the subject as well. The article makes the distinction between someone who enjoys their work and gets wrapped up in it for a specific period of time to finish a project or win a promotion versus the workaholic where work is an end in itself. Even though working hard may offer power, prestige or money, what matters most is simply working. The article says that, “Just as an alcoholic drinks because he or she must, not because they enjoy it, so a workaholic is addicted to working — even when there is no rational reason for doing so.”
Most people don’t set out to become a workaholic and the author of the above article suspects that it happens rather gradually with no real conscious awareness on the part of the person involved. It’s hard to say where and when someone crosses the boundary of being a hard worker into the mine field of workaholic.
The article goes on to offer indicators of whether someone might be crossing over into dangerous territory. I’ve highlighted a few below.
- Workaholics are totally preoccupied with work. It dominates their thinking nearly all the time. They talk about it, even when the subject is inappropriate.
- Workaholics either don’t take vacations, or time off when they are sick, or they take their work with them. Going on vacation makes them uncomfortable. They dwell on visions of work piling up.
- Workaholics cannot delegate. They are obsessed with staying in direct control of everything linked to their work. They usually justify the amount of time they spend working by convincing themselves that only they can handle whatever it is that they do.
- If they have to undertake non-work activities, they try to link them to work. Social activities become occasions for work-directed networking.
- Many, many workaholics are permanently in denial. Like alcoholics, workaholics often deny their problem. They become extremely clever at hiding the truth from themselves.
Hopefully, dear reader, you won’t be able to identify with any of the above indicators. If so, perhaps a coach could help you see a different perspective.
Father, thank You that you designed our lives to be balanced and enjoyable full of peace and victory.
Link of the Day
Are you in danger of becoming a workaholic?
“However, the effects of gluten sensitivity range far beyond the gut and include low energy, fatigue, brain fog, skin rashes, numbness in the extremities, fibromyalgia, muscle and joint pain — even problems with coordination. The long term consequences of having a gluten allergy can be devastating. Mary Ackerley, MD
But the wheat and the spelt were not destroyed because they had not yet sprouted from the ground. (Ex. 9:32; NLT)
I know that I’ve written other articles on gluten, however this subject is getting as much press lately as America’s budget and debt ceiling — well almost. 🙂 Gluten is not only being talked about by nutritionists and others in the health and wellness industries; it’s also being talked about by traditional practitioners and people everywhere. Recently while shopping at a local health food store, I was amazed at the lengthy gluten-free section in the store. It was massive.
I’m not advocating eating all of the “gluten-free” products out there. Food manufacturers have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon like white on rice and are “producing” junky and unhealthy foods and slapping a “gluten-free” label on them faster than you can say, “Pass the bread.”
If you’re not familiar with gluten, it’s the protein (a mixture of gliadin and glutenin) found in barley, bulgur, wheat, rye, triticale, kamut, spelt, oats, farina, couscous, and semolina. Sensitivity to gluten seems to manifest in a spectrum of issues ranging from nagging aches and pains, fatigue, and digestive uneasiness all the way up to full-blown celiac disease.
Gluten sensitivity occurs when the body tries to digest gluten but instead fights the gluten particle as if it were a foreign substance such as a virus or bacteria. This then leads to inflammation in the small intestine which causes the release of certain substances that perpetuates the inflammation.
Interestingly enough, gluten sensitivity is not just a disease of the gut. Since the gut houses nearly 70% of our immune system, gluten sensitivity becomes a multi-organ, and a multi-symptom disease. Autoimmune disorders, such as insulin dependent diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel, and hypothyroidism have shown to be adversely affected by gluten.
My challenge to you dear reader, is that if you continue to have some nagging symptoms that don’t seem to respond to treatment, you have nothing to lose by going two weeks without eating gluten…and see what you notice. If you notice any improvements, then go two more weeks without eating it. You may think you’ve noticed very little. However, when you reintroduce gluten back into your diet, you may then realize the return of that joint pain, runny nose, brain fog, skin rash, or afternoon fatigue.
Today’s link by Dr. Frank Lipman offers further insight and tips on eliminating gluten.
Father, thank You for continued wisdom and insight in how to care for our bodies.
Link of the Day
Feel Good Fast: Let Go of Gluten
Photo by Lori_NY
“This could be even bigger than the vitamin D discovery.” Dr. Joseph Mercola
“And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.” And so it was. (Gen. 1:30; NLT)
How many of us had mothers who continually “encouraged” us to eat our greens? And how many of us wondered why it mattered? And now today we encourage our children, grandchildren, and others we love to “eat your greens!” There are numerous benefits to eating greens but one that is making a new and growing blip on the radar screen is the gift of vitamin K found in those greens.
We’re all familiar with the profound effects vitamin D has on our bodies. Researchers are calling vitamin K the next vitamin D due to its systemic effects.
Vitamin K has powerful effects on the building of bone, cardiovascular health, certain forms of cancer, and dementia, along with its commonly known coagulation effects.
There are three basic forms of vitamin K, i.e., K1, K2, and K3. K3 represents several synthetic forms. K2 is called menaquinone and has several subdivisions abbreviated MK-4 through MK-10. MK-4 works mostly with the liver, synthesizing blood clotting factors, and MK-7 has cardioprotective benefits as well as bone building properties. Even though this can be rather confusing, know that K2 is found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kim chi, some cheeses, fermented soy products such as natto, and butter from grass-fed cows.
K1 is from green leafy plants and is called phylloquinone. Here’s where our mother’s advice comes in. K1 is found in spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, collards, broccoli, and Swiss chard. Mama probably didn’t know this but some benefits of eating those greens include:
- Normal blood clotting
- Protecting bones from fracture
- Preventing postmenopausal bone loss
- Preventing calcification of arteries
- Protection against prostate and liver cancer
So, what happens if someone is deficient in vitamin K? They’re likely to have symptoms related to problematic blood clotting or bleeding. These may include heavy menstrual bleeding, gum bleeding, bleeding within the digestive tract, nose bleeding, and easy bruising. Other deficiency-related problems involve bone issues, such as osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures.
Biotics Research combines 500 mcg of K1 and 50 mcg of K2 as MK-7 with antioxidants in a new product called Bio-K Forte Caps.
Father, You always knew that green plants were good for our bodies. Thank You for providing them for us!
Link of the Day
Photo by mallydally
“Change your words. Change your world.” Purplefeather
Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding. (Prov. 10:13a; NLT)
I have to confess that for most of my life I was one of those who insisted that the words that one says have absolutely no impact on the circumstances in their life. Fortunately, I have come to the conclusion that I was totally wrong in my belief and have duly repented.
Earlier this week I came across the above video on Facebook. I find it a fascinating testimony to the reality of my new-found belief and felt compelled to share it with our loyal Daily Gram readers. The video has been viewed over 4.5 million times in the 14 months since it was uploaded to YouTube.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Make it a magnificent weekend. There’s certainly lots to celebrate.
Father, I pray that others will similarly come to the life-changing conclusion that there is a definite connection between the words that come out of our mouth and the lives that we live.
Link of the Day
The Power of Thoughts and Words
“We found that people who were more physically active had more brain tissue nine years after the initial evaluation and a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment.” Kirk I. Erickson, PhD
All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. (Acts 3:1; NLT)
“Walking a Mile a Day Protects Brain from Effects of Aging.” I just discovered that headline and found it noteworthy. I also thought our readers might want to know this little tidbit too. Every week I hear friends and clients talk about their lack of memory or mental clarity. “I won’t remember that.” Or, “I forgot!” are common phrases we all hear (and say) each and every day.
An Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology of the University of Pittsburgh named Kirk Erickson wrote a paper entitled, “Physical activity predicts gray matter volume in late adulthood: The Cardiovascular Health Study.” The Neurology journal published his work in the fall of 2010.
Dr. Erickson collected data on about 300 people between the ages of 60 and 65 years of age about their activity level. After nine years, MRI exams were done looking for evidence of brain atrophy. Four years later, more examinations were done looking for evidence of mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
They discovered that people who were more physically active had more brain tissue nine years after the initial evaluation and a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment! Folks, that’s impressive!
They also learned that the protective effects of the brain came to those who walked at least 1 mile a day or about 6 to 9 miles per week. So, how does walking help to protect your brain from premature aging?
Dr. Erickson says, “We get a lot of our information about how this works from animal studies. Many studies in animals find that exercise increases the total number of cells in the brain, increases the amount of blood circulating to the brain, and increases the number of connections that the cells make to one another. This makes for a more efficient, more interconnected, and more nutrient rich environment, which results in improvements in learning and memory.”
He goes on to say that we decrease gray matter atrophy with greater amounts of exercise. And we also reduce our risk of cognitive impairment the more we exercise. So, rather than search for a magic pill or potion to prevent our brains from aging prematurely, perhaps going for a brisk walk several days a week is a better investment.
Excuse me while I go for a walk!
Father, thank You for our brains! Help us to do all that we can to steward them well.
Link of the Day
Walking a Mile a Day Protects Brain from Effects of Aging
Photo by nathey4
“Sadly, in the next eighteen minutes … four Americans that are alive will be dead through the food that they eat.” Jamie Oliver
Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing… (James 2:15; NLT)
Perhaps many of you will recall the Daily Gram that I wrote last year when Jamie Oliver took Huntington, WV by storm with a Food Revolution? It was a noble fight with a victorious outcome!
Well, Jamie is back…again taking a certain city by storm. However, the school district of LA has been less than open to Jamie’s revolution. The episodes are provoking and poignant. [Tuesdays in March and April (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC] While doing some searching for this article, I discovered that Jamie was a TED fellow!* I just spent 20 minutes listening to a riveting and tear-causing talk about the obesity of children in this country given by a young, passionate, English father of four little children!
First of all, why would a young English Daddy come to this country to educate the most educated country on earth about FOOD? He cares. Second, what does he have to say that hasn’t already been said? Plenty! I just took 3 pages of notes, front and back, from his powerful talk.
Jamie is not a doctor, health professional, nutritionist, or dietitian. He’s a 34 year old chef from Essex, England with a passion to see lives changed and…saved!
Jamie’s talk was full of mouth-dropping, eye-popping statistics and demonstrations. In a country where people carry weapons and guns and live in fear of murder and mutilation, Jamie showed a graph revealing the real killers in America. With heart disease, cancer, and stroke being the top three killers, and many other diet caused diseases listed accordingly, guess what place homicide took in the poll? DEAD LAST! Diet related diseases are the biggest killers right now, today, in this country. Not guns!
Another poignant demo was a wheelbarrow full of sugar cubes that he dumped out on stage. Watch the video to find out where that came from.
Jamie ended his talk by giving lots of action steps for us as individuals and us as a country to take toward reversing this deadly trend (pun intended). He made the statement that every American child should leave school knowing how to cook ten meals…to save their life. He also challenged homes to begin cooking again! “Put back what’s been lost.” His heart is to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook, and empower people everywhere to fight obesity!
Go Jamie! I salute and support you!
Father, bless Jamie and his efforts to transform the lives of our children.
Link of the Day
Jamie Oliver . com
*According to TED.com, TED scours the world and chooses 25 fellows each year who are considered the most significant paradigm-shifters and brings them to CA for an annual conference where they present their message.