Healthy Food = Healthy You

Maybe you already noticed how much your diet influences you. Eating what you like is a good thing, up to a certain point.

It’s possible that you eat the right food for your body. Is it also the right one for your mind?

Do you feel anxiety coming up after you have eaten certain food?

You should try to watch whether your food, or certain food stuff triggers your anxiety. This might be the case with caffeinated drinks and foods. Caffeine is no good for people who suffer from anxiety. It’s better to drink a coffee made of toasted barley which doesn’t influence your nervous system.

You can test your food. Eat what you have always eaten, for a period of 2 to 3 weeks. Don’t add other food. When you get aware of more anxiety after certain meals or certain food stuff, don’t eat them any longer. You can then replace those foods. Find out, of what type they are. (proteins, carbohydrates, fats)

Instead of eating wheat products, change to oak meal or to rye products. Even soy products can replace wheat.

One good advice: eat your salad after having eaten your meat, your fish or your pasta. Salad is watery, especially if you add some spinach. It helps you digest your meal.

If you need some sweet, eat an oak meal cookie or a fruit. Both give you the fiber you need and they also give you the energy you want. So you don’t risk a sugar crash which would only increase anxiety and mood ups and downs.

As you can see, much of your well being depends on your meals. Healthy meals make healthy people!

Healthy people suffer less anxiety and less stress. And that is actually your goal: a healthy and anxiety-free life.

Microwaved Foods – Healthy or Harmful?

I recently received an email asking if I could explain about ‘microwave ovens’, eating ‘microwaved food’ etc. So here it is.

The news is not good, if you prefer ‘ignorance is bliss’, now might be a good time to ‘accidentally’ have something better to do! When we think of ‘natural’ health & well-being, it would make sense that we would want to ‘cook’ our food in a ‘natural’ way.

It doesn’t take much intuition to realize that microwaving your food, is about as ‘unnatural’ a way to cook your food as you can get. Doesn’t the fact we use the terms, ‘zap’ it or ‘nuke’ it in the microwave, send a chill up your spine and suggest something is not quite right here?

A critical point is that microwaves don’t actually ‘cook’ your food at all. They basically just heat up the water content of the food and cause the food particles to resonate at very high frequencies. This ‘heats up’ your food, but this is very different from ‘cooking’ your food.

It’s like your food is heated but still ‘raw’. It doesn’t change the chemical structure of your food properly (and in many cases deforms the food molecules), thus substantially reducing your foods nutritional value. Worse however, is that microwaves can (and usually do) create harmful compounds that can lead to serious problems/disease (high cholesterol, cancer etc). * See the research further down.

Now, before you start cursing me again for making you feel bad (because you love your microwave and think life would be hell without it), remember, like all the health tips we give, you need to make them practical and still be able to function and enjoy life. However, while a little bit here and there won’t kill you (not immediately anyway!) – regular intakes are a real problem.

Basically, microwave ovens decay and change the structure of food by the process of ‘radiation’. Do you think if they were marketed as “radiation ovens”, they would be so popular? No way, but that’s exactly what they are. Simply put, you are interfering with/disturbing the ‘natural intelligence’ of the food (which is by far the most important part of any food).

Why wouldn’t we hear more about their negative effects if they were so bad? Basically, for the same reason we don’t hear about many of the things that jeopardize our health (until years after), vested interests and ‘heads in the sand’. Most people don’t want to give up something that is so ‘convenient’!!! And as modern science doesn’t value the fact that there is more to cooking food, than just heating it up, not enough proper research is being done. It’s just another case of modern society, trying to use ‘technology’ to save time… unfortunately at the expense of our health & well-being.

TIPS:

1. Avoid using microwaves/eating microwaved food whenever possible.

Yes, I know you’re busy, you don’t have time to cook and it’s so easy to just ‘zap’ it in the microwave. I know I’m being Scrooge again, and it’s all so easy to say “Don’t use microwaves”, but this really is a big one.

There’s probably not that many other things you could do to improve your long-term health more than throwing your microwave out the window… or at least using it far more sparingly.

Personally, I think you are better off to go and buy some half decent take-away (non-microwaved) than consistently eating ‘zapped’ food (seriously!)

2. THAWING FOODS is not so bad:

If you want to use your microwave for thawing frozen foods, that is not so bad. It’s still much better to let them thaw out naturally, but using a microwave for this purpose and cooking your food ‘naturally’ is not as bad as actually ‘cooking’ with your microwave.

3. ‘NEVER’ use PLASTIC:

Never heat your food in the microwave using plastic containers. When microwaving, carcinogenic toxins can be leached from your plastic and paper plates or covers and mix with your food. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. The combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin (Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer) into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

* This comes from Cancer News at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and a statement by Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital. Full details below.

SOLUTION:

Use glass, corning ware or ceramic containers for heating your food.

4. *** MOTHERS: DON’T Heat your baby’s milk in the microwave (especially in plastic bottles): **

Most people know the enormous benefits of breast milk for infants (as natural as you can get). However, microwaving breast milk (expressed milk) has been shown to break down the essential disease-fighting ability of breast milk (which helps protect your baby) and cause ‘hot spots’ (which can burn your infants mouth).

While this is not ideal in itself, the fact that microwaving causes ‘hot spots’ in the first place, shows it does not heat things evenly/properly. Add on the general problems of using plastic bottles as highlighted above, and it really isn’t the best idea. * The same applies for formula milk/any type of milk in plastic containers.

Better Alternatives:

i) Warm the milk by placing the container in a cup/saucepan of hot water or

ii) ideally boil the milk in a saucepan and let it cool down to warm drinking temperature.

* More hassle? Yes. More time-consuming? Yes. Better for your baby? ABSOLUTELY.

Practical Help: How to Reduce your Microwave Use?

i) Plan ahead:

where possible, decide what you are going to have in advance, so if you need to thaw something, you can take it out of the freezer beforehand (you may need to be before you go to work in some cases).

ii) Weigh up the health benefits of cooking ‘naturally’ versus microwaves.

Is it really that much extra time/hassle? Instead of putting something on a plate, covering it and putting it in the microwave, you’re essentially doing the same in an oven/saucepan. Add a bit of extra time for cooking and washing saucepans etc (if you don’t have a dishwasher), and you are not that much worse off time-wise.

Tips for Getting Take-Away:

i) If you get take-away and they go to cook it/heat it up in a microwave, ask if they can ‘oven heat’ it instead (just enough so it’s not ‘cold’) – so it doesn’t take that much longer!

* In addition to the health dangers, there is nothing worse than your crispy, crunchy pastry or whatever, being microwaved into a soft, soggy, mushy heap (Urgghhh!!!).

ii) If they can’t/won’t do that (i.e oven heat it), depending on the food/season, you might prefer to just have it ‘unheated’/cold. Cold is not ideal, but better than being ‘nuked’.

iii) If it has to be heated and microwave is the ‘only’ way, ask them to microwave it on ‘medium’ (for a little longer) rather than on ‘high’.

If you want to know more about microwaves/microwaving food – who invented them, the science behind them (why they are so unhealthy), the research done so far etc,read on.

History of the Microwave – The Nazi’s:

The Nazis invented the first microwaves. First known as ‘radiomissors’ (argghhh!!!), they were used for preparating meals on a mass scale during the invasion of Russia.

After the war, the Russians had retrieved some of these microwave ovens and conducted research on their biological effects. So alarmed by what they learned, the Russians banned microwave ovens in 1976.

Research on Microwaves:

More and more research is now suggesting people who regularly eat microwaved food over a period of time, sustain significant adverse changes to their blood chemistries and the rates of growth of certain diseases.

These can include:

* An increased rate of cancer cell formation in the blood.
* Increased rates of stomach and intestinal cancers.
* Lymphatic disorders, leading to decreased ability to prevent certain types of cancers.
* Higher rates of digestive disorders and a gradual breakdown of the systems of elimination.

1. Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel was the first scientist to conduct quality clinical research on the effects microwaved nutrients (on the human body).

His small but well controlled study showed the degenerative force produced in microwave ovens and the food processed in them. This included,

Increased cholesterol levels
Decreased numbers of red blood cells
Production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature)
Decreased hemoglobin levels (possible anemia problems).

His conclusion:

Microwave cooking changes the nutrients in the food, and changes take place in the participants’ blood that can cause deterioration in the human system.

1. Hertel’s scientific study was done along with Dr. Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry.

2. A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that… broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97% of the beneficial antioxidant chemicals it contains.

By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11% or fewer of its antioxidants.

3. A recent study at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York demonstrated that microwaving food creates toxic compounds (known as AGE’s) that are associated with serious illness such as heart disease and diabetes etc.

AGE’s form when sugars, proteins and fats amalgamate in high-temperature cooking, the most harmful of which is microwaved food.

4. Microwaving baby formulas converts certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic isomers, which are toxic to the nervous system – this is from the British journal The Lancet (Dec. 9, 1989).

Microwaved Blood Kills Woman:

A 1991 lawsuit involving a woman who had hip surgery and died because the blood used in her blood transfusion was warmed in a microwave. Blood is routinely warmed before transfusions, but not by microwave. The microwave altered the blood and it killed the woman.

More on Microwaves & Dioxins:

This is from an email (around Jan 06), Re; Cancer News from John Hopkins. It was received from a nursing supervisor at Greenville Memorial Hospital. It was sent to their staff.

Cancer News from Johns Hopkins:
No plastic containers in microwave.
No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dioxinchemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies.

Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us.

He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

He recommends using glass, corning ware or ceramic containers for heating your food.

You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners and soups, etc, should be removed from the container and heated in something else (* Note from Mark – re-heating/cooking frozen food – e.g TV dinners, is not highly recommended anyway). Paper isn’t bad, but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons. He also pointed out that Saran wrap is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous dioxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.

Alternative: Cover food with a paper towel instead.

The Natural (Ayurvedic) View:

For those familiar with the Ayurvedic dosha system, the understanding from Maharishi Ayurveda is that microwaves disturb vata dosha. Vata is that ‘governing principle of Intelligence’ that governs all communication and movement in your mind-body. If out of balance it can adversely affect your nervous system, and lead to problems ranging from anxiety, disturbed sleep through to constipation and early/chronic fatigue.

MORE INFORMATION: THE PROVEN DANGERS OF MICROWAVES:

For more on what microwaves themselves actually are and some of the dangers, see the great article by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell

http://www.choosecra.com/hl-reports-microwave.html

For a great run down on all information, scientific studies etc regarding microwave ovens, see http://www.laleva.cc/environment/microwave.html#Anchor-23240

Laughter Medicine: Speaking of Healthy Eating:

A preacher goes to a nursing home to meet an elderly parishioner.

As he is sitting there he notices this bowl of peanuts beside her bed and takes one. As they talk, he can’t help himself and eats one after another.

By the time they are through talking, the bowl is empty. He says, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I seem to have eaten all of your peanuts.”

“That’s okay,” she says. “They would have just sat there. Without my teeth, all I can do is suck the chocolate off and put them back.”

– Cheap Remeron –

Parents and Food: Healthy Role Models?

A mother brought her young son to me as a nutrition and personal training client. She was concerned about her son’s weight and wanted me to give him nutrition advice and coach him in swimming.

Now, coaching swimming is not a skill I have, but I agreed to be his nutrition coach and also train him at the fitness club. We used gym equipment, water exercises and some swimming. The kid had a great time exercising and “invented” a few pool exercises, using paddleboards. They were vigorous exercises – and he loved them because they were his own creations.

But mom wasn’t happy. She wanted her son to swim (and eat “fruits and vegetables”) so he’d lose weight. Her son was quite defensive about his weight.

Mom #2

A different mother wanted me to meet with her teenage daughter, who was on the school swimming team. She feared her daughter would get fat due to adolescent hormonal changes. She pressured her daughter to skip the snacks served before the after-school training sessions and eat nothing till she got home for dinner.

The daughter said mom never ate anything during the day and just drank green tea. The girl was angry about all of this but afraid to say so.

Food ‘Programs’: Are Any Of These Familiar?

Food programs can take many forms and cover a lot of territory. Many parental quirks about food are passed on to their kids, either intentionally or unconsciously.

This post has more questions than answers, but the questions are worth exploring.

• Do you make your kids clean their plates?

Where did you learn that? As Dr. Phil might say, How’s it working for you?

A father told me that, once his kids put food on their plates, he made them eat all of it. Supposedly, it taught them to gauge their needs, but sounded like child abuse to me. Apparently, dad’s never heard of Tupperware.

• Along the same lines, what are your rules about throwing away food?

The U.S. makes 3950 calories per day for every man, woman and child. Under those conditions, throwing away food isn’t a sin. It’s survival.

Unfortunately, starving children are everywhere, but eating food you don’t need – or making your kids do that – won’t help the starving children.

• Do you serve overly large portions to your kids?

The average stomach is about the size of the person’s fist. Yes, it stretches, but think of the size of a kid’s fist.

• How often do you weigh?

How do you react? Do you strive for a precise weight or accept a range? How does your weight affect your feelings of attractiveness?

• What do you not allow yourself to do because (or when) you feel fat?

• Do you comment negatively about other people’s bodies, weight, shape?

• Do you use food to reward yourself (or your child)?

• Do you use food to alleviate stress or a bad mood?

Two of my clients with very different eating patterns had one thing in common.
One client had anorexia and did anything to keep from eating: she’d sleep, chew gum, drink water, exercise. The other client used food as an answer to virtually everything: fatigue, thirst, bad moods, stress, and more.

What they had in common was that neither one was taking care of her needs. But which one would you admire?

This is a complex topic and, again, brings up more questions than answers. It’s worth becoming aware of the behaviors your children have seen in you, and the ones you’ve encouraged in them.

Rigid thinking around food and weight can send a perfectionistic message. That can be tough for any child to live up to – or overcome.

Raw Food Health Benefits – Why is Raw Food Healthy?

Raw food health benefits are numerous. In nature, our food has been blessed with everything that we need to consume for our survival. But when we cook our foods we change its natural constitution and often destroy the enzymes and nutrients that our bodies need to be their healthiest. Humans are the only mammals that cook our food, and this has not necessarily been an advancement in terms of our diet and health.

Of course, not all vitamins, minerals and all other nutrients are lost after foods are cooked. However, cooking food at high temperature kills many enzymes that are present in food. These enzymes are the chemical substances that help us get the benefits of the essential nutrients such as the vitamins and the minerals.

Cooking also alters the constitution of the foods we are eating. You can not seem to avoid the word “fiber” in any of the discussions about what we need more of in our diets today. But what makes fiber so important? Why is it important to maintain a fiber rich diet? Well, in short, fiber in its raw aids in digestion. The cooking of food greatly reduces the quality and ability of fiber to help with the digestion of food properly.

There are other important, and often unintended, raw diet health benefits. One of the most significant of these is the ability to lose weight quickly while on a a raw foods diet while at the same time having an increased energy level. Many of those on a raw foods diet also experience a dramatic improvement in their complexion and other signs of bodily health.

A raw diet generally includes lots of fresh fruits, green vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and more. Fruit juices and vegetable juices also become a part of your daily regime when you are on a raw food diet. These foods are not only high on the nutritional benefits, they are great on taste.

A final benefit of a primarily raw diet, particularly one that is organically based, is that it can help detoxify your system of the unwanted wastes that have accumulated in your body over a period of time. So, if you want to get rid of extra weight, boost your energy level, improve your digestive functions and get rid of the harmful toxins in the body, you should certainly consider making the switch to a raw foods diet.