Picky Eater

November 4, 2009, 7:16 pm
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Michael Pollan’s Favorite Dietary Dos and Don’ts
Posted by: Dr. Mercola
November 03 2009 | 30,111 views

Earlier this year, Michael Pollan posted a request for reader’s rules about eating. Within days, he had received more than 2,500 responses. Here are some of Pollan’s 20 favorites:
1. Don’t eat egg salad from a vending machine.

2. Don’t eat anything that took more energy to ship than to grow.

3. If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry.

4. Eat foods in inverse proportion to how much its lobby spends to push it.

5. Avoid snack foods with the “oh” sound in their names: Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Ho Hos, etc.

6. No second helpings, no matter how scrumptious.

7. It’s better to pay the grocer than the doctor.

8. You may not leave the table until you finish your fruit.

9. You don’t get fat on food you pray over. (Meals prepared at home, served at the table and given thanks for are more appreciated and more healthful than food eaten on the run.)

10. Breakfast you should eat alone. Lunch you should share with a friend. Dinner, give to your enemy.

11. Never eat something that is pretending to be something else (artificial sweeteners, margarine, etc.)

12. Don’t yuck someone’s yum. There is someone out there who likes deep-fried sheep eyeballs and, well, more power to them.

13. Make and take your own lunch to work.

14. Eat until you are seven-tenths full and save the other three-tenths for hunger.

15. I am living in Japan and following these simple rules in preparing each meal: GO HO – incorporate five different cooking methods, GO SHIKI – incorporate five colors, GO MI – incorporate five flavors.

16. One of my top rules for eating comes from economics. The law of diminishing marginal utility reminds me that each additional bite is generally less satisfying than the previous bite. This helps me slow down, savor the first bites, stop eating sooner.

17. Don’t eat anything you aren’t willing to kill yourself.

18. When drinking tea, just drink tea. I find this Zen teaching useful, given my inclination toward information absorption in the morning, when I’m also trying to eat breakfast, get the dog out, start the fire and organize my day.

19. When you’re eating, don’t talk about other past meals, whether better or worse. Focus on what’s in front of you.

20. After spending some time working with people with eating disorders, I came up with this rule: Don’t create arbitrary rules for eating if their only purpose is to help you feel in control.


New York Times October 11, 2009


November 2, 2009, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We all know that eating too much refined sugar is not good for us, but what do we really do to keep our intake at a healthy level? The average American consumes an astounding 2-3 pounds of sugar each week, which is not surprising considering that highly refined sugars in the forms of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are being processed into so many foods such as bread, breakfast cereal, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and a plethora of microwave meals.

In the last 20 years, we have increased sugar consumption in the U.S. 26 pounds to 135 lbs. of sugar per person per year! Prior to the turn of this century (1887-1890), the average consumption was only 5 lbs. per person per year! Cardiovascular disease and cancer was virtually unknown in the early 1900’s. There seems to be a direct relationship between the increase in consumption and an increase in many diseases.

What refined sugar can do to your health:

Suppress the immune system.
Upset the body’s mineral balance.
Contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
Produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
Cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
Reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).
Promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
Cause hypoglycemia.
Contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
Cause kidney damage.
Can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
May lead to chromium deficiency.
Can cause copper deficiency.
Interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
Increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
Can promote tooth decay.
Can produce an acidic stomach.
Can raise adrenaline levels in children.
Can lead to periodontal disease.
Can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
Can increase total cholesterol.
Can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Can contribute to diabetes.
Can contribute to osteoporosis.
Can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
Leads to decreased glucose tolerance.
Can cause cardiovascular disease.
Can increase systolic blood pressure.
Causes food allergies.
Can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
Can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
Can contribute to eczema in children.
Can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
Can cause atherosclerosis.
Can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
Can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
Can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
Can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
Can cause depression.
Can increase the body’s fluid retention.
Can cause hormonal imbalance.
Can cause hypertension.
Can cause headaches, including migraines.
Can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly.
Can increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes.
Can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.
Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.

With the Swine flu, regular flu, and common colds in mind it is extra important to keep our bodies as strong and as healthy as possible. Know that when you eat sugar, your immune system is slowing down to a crawl. Same with processed foods…

There are a lot of sweet alternatives, like honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar, and rice syrup to name a few.
Set the example for your children, and you’ll be rewarded with a REAL sweet child!


October 26, 2009, 6:44 pm
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In case you were not aware of the tragedy that happens to our food, here it is just one example. The list is long and it involves all food grown by industrial agriculture, from dairy to potatoes.

Ignorance is bliss? Not for long…

This is not a fun movie to watch, Supermarket Secrets is something most people do not want to watch because being aware of things will force them to take action and make new choices, and become very picky!

Be well,


October 23, 2009, 5:02 pm
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I know many small companies are struggling and St. Claire’s is no exception. They are one of the few companies that make healthy candies, so I am doing all I can to help them grow and stay in business! St. Claire’s doesn’t have affiliates, but they do have great organic candy! Just in time for Halloween!

October 20, 2009, 5:49 pm
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During the cold and flu season watching your intake of nutrients that can fight them is critical. One way to get my daughter a significant amount of anti cold and flu ingredients is making juices. The trick is to start with their favorite fruit(s) and then add the secret boosters.

The best known cold and flu fighters are:

Lemon, Ginger and Honey
The anti-viral properties in lemon fight infections and halt the progress of a cold. Ginger’s warming action is excellent for treating a cold or flu. Honey adds an anti-bacterial property to help hasten the healing of an infection.
You can also prepare an excellent warm drink with these!

Cabbage, Carrot and Celery
Cabbage and carrots stimulate the immune system and the production of anti-bodies that make good remedy in fighting off bacterial and viral infections. The addition of celery makes the recipe more tasty and provides the vitamins and minerals to support the immune system.

When you feel a sore throat or a cold coming, eat raw garlic. Garlic has very potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It is also effective to prevent recurrent infections, frequent yeast infections and other infections.

I know this last one is hard to “cover up” but can easily be added to the tomato sauce on a spaghetti. Onion, especially the sweet ones can replace garlic and has similar properties.


October 14, 2009, 4:44 pm
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Image Source: Microsoft Image.
Getting closer to Halloween is a scary thing for several reasons. In the first place because of the fact that our children are roaming the neighborhoods, in the dark, by themselves. At a certain age they will balk at the parental presence, even if you keep your distance or cloak yourself in Halloween camouflage. One solution for this scare is to operate in troops of at least 4 children and include a mean looking dressed up dog. If that is not enough peace of mind for you, there is this new GPS device you can check out at the electronics stores, that allows you to track your child remotely.

Another approach to this chilling challenge is to find a local Halloween event you can visit with your family. Several shopping centers and churches host such events. Examples range from the Annual Zoo Boo at the Alexandria Mall (from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), to the National Museum of Crime & Punishment that has a Halloween program set among real historic criminal artifacts, to name a few.

The second horror of this spooky feast is the massive amounts of candies that find their way to your kitchen table. It is hard to think outside the (candy) box, if you really don’t want to hand out candy. Dentists advice that chocolates are the least damaging candies because they dissolve quickly and don’t stick to teeth as much as all the other High Fructose Corn Syrup creations do.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is not the only frightening ingredient, as many parents have to worry about peanut butter, lactose and many other allergies as they comb through the sweet harvest of the night. Home made treats are impossible for obvious reasons, and stickers and plastic party store stuff just adds to our already huge Halloween trash pile… Apples? They don’t come wrapped, so that’s a NO. How about toothbrushes? Now that’s a great treat! Or will the children feel tricked?

September 28, 2009, 12:46 pm
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It’s thought that 85 percent of the American public is deficient in vitamin D and over 95 percent of African American or deeply pigmented individuals. And, in the United States, the late winter average vitamin D is only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a VERY SERIOUS deficiency state.

Some of the deficiency has been caused by the scare of sun exposure in the past years. Yes, too much sun (burn) is not good, but not enough is just as dangerous! We also spend less time outdoors, just look at yourself and see how much time you spend outside every day? Children hardly play outside anymore and spend vast amounts of time in front of computer and TV screens.

By John Cannell, MD, The Vitamin D Council
“Here is an example, according to Dr. William Grant — one of the top vitamin D researchers in the world – the cancer rate in Iceland is 90 per 100,000 people per year. Those in the tropics, meanwhile, have rates of 25 per 100,000!

In 1994, Dr. Rehman gave 60,000 units of vitamin D a week to 27 children (ages 3-12) with frequent childhood infections and compared them to controls. The children also had elevated alkaline phosphatase (like many American children), which usually indicates vitamin D deficiency. He gave the kids vitamin D for six weeks along with calcium. He didn’t say if he used real vitamin D (cholecalciferol) or if he used ergocalciferol. Anyway, he gave them 60,000 units a week for six weeks, about 9,000 units a day.

Within a few weeks, “infections were fully controlled and no recurrences were reported for six months.” The kids just stopped getting sick! An ignored study, ignored facts, not repeated, not remembered. The author didn’t measure vitamin D levels, but 9,000 units a day of vitamin D for six weeks should bring most vitamin-D-deficient children to 50 ng/ml, probably higher.

I’m skeptical by nature. So I decided to experiment on myself. Physicians experimenting on themselves are one of the great traditions in medicine. I bought some 50,000-unit capsules of real vitamin D from Bio-Tech. The next time I got the crud, I took a single capsule (50,000 units) of cholecalciferol, which is perfectly safe for adults.

In Europe, they give 10 times that amount as “stoss therapy” all the time. I was amazed how much better I felt the next day. If you decide to experiment on yourself, do it once or twice. Don’t keep taking 50,000 units every day or you will get toxic. Also, keep close tabs on your vitamin D level.

Children don’t need the 60,000 units a week to improve their immune system, although Dr. Rehman found that amount safe for six weeks — 60,000 units per week for a young child is a pharmacological dose, not a physiological dose.”

Vitamin D is not only good for your bones but also your number one defense against the flu! “Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections. It produces over 200 anti microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic. And, when you consider the fact that you only have 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D has been shown to influence more than 2,000 of them, the bigger picture of its true impact on your health can be easily understood. It may, in fact, have literally thousands of health benefits! So it’s likely we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of its true potential for reversing the modern disease state.”

More from the Mercola website:
“Vitamin D deficiency has been clearly linked with Syndrome X. (21) Syndrome X refers specifically to a group of health problems that can include insulin resistance (the inability to properly deal with dietary carbohydrates and sugars), abnormal blood fats (such as elevated cholesterol and triglycerides), overweight, and high blood pressure.”

There are several sources for vitamin D, the sun, foods with added D (like milk and margarine) and foods with naturally rich in D.

Now is the time to get your extra D and if you have health concerns have your levels of D checked. “You can find out what your levels are by asking your doctor for a blood test called a 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. (Please note, there are two types of vitamin D tests, and this one is the one you want.) There are also two primary labs in the U.S. and you ONLY want to use Lab Corp.”

Sources: Dr. Mercola


Be well, MO