Monday, March 9, 2015

How to have healthy bones without supplements

Calcium isn't all that we need for healthy bones. We are forgetting other important nutrients that make our bones strong and concentrating too much on calcium. What we eat plays an important part in out bone health.  
If we eat a lot of acid forming foods we rob calcium from our bones but if we eat mostly plant based foods, our bodies will stay in balance and therefore need to eat less than the recommended dietary calcium.  
When we eat a mostly plant based diet, we are eating quite a bit of calcium. How do you think cows get calcium in their diet?
We need to eat foods that contain Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K to make strong bones.
We also need to keep an Acid-Alkaline Balance so that we don't rob our bones of calcium.
I know that I am a victim of the "Great Calcium Debate". I was taking calcium supplements because I don't drink milk and thought that I was not getting enough calcium in my diet. I now have calcifications in my body. The doctors say that my calcifications are not from taking supplements but I think that they are. I now make sure that I am getting my calcium through my diet and I'm not worried about eating mega amounts of calcium. I think when we eat correctly our bones will be strong. After all for years no-one took supplements and they were fine. I hope this helps you too.

This is a partial clip from
I've only included the charts here. Please follow the link for the explanation of why we need a balance of nutrients for strong bones. ~ Beth
Here are some of the best plant-based sources of calcium:
Food Source
Calcium (mg) per ¼ cup
Magnesium (mg) per 1/4 cup
Blackstrap molasses
Sesame seeds
Almond butter
Amaranth flour
Navy beans
Turnip greens
Ground cinnamon
Fresh peppermint leaves

Here’s a chart to help you out with some common foods:
Alkaline-forming Foods
Neutral (or Almost Neutral) Foods
Acid-forming Foods
Green vegetables and lettuces (especially asparagus, broccoli, spinach, parsley)
Lemons and limes
Olive oil
Herb teas
Raw honey
Raw sugar
Sprouted lentils
Raw goat cheese
Wild rice

Artificial sweeteners
Wheat/White flour
Processed cheese
Beer and soft drinks
Cow’s milk

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Is Chewing Gum Bad For Your Health

Man, I love chewing gum!!! I knew that this is not a great food. After all the gum I chew is sugarless and of course has artificial sweeteners in it.  But I was telling myself...I'm not eating it, just chewing it.  And it's better for me than many junk foods out there.

Here are some reasons not to chew gum:

  1. It interferes with your digestion.  Chewing gum tells your brain that you are chewing real food.  You stomach gets ready to digest that food and nothing is coming.  This process messes up your digestive enzymes and your bodies ability to digest food properly.
  2. Gum is full of artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and Phenylalanine.
  3. Gum is full of artificial colors, artificial preservatives and chemicals.
I knew all this and I continue to chew gum because I love gum!  Well I didn't know about #1.  

I found this article From Food Babe with some tips on a better gum to chew and what's really in that gum.

I recommend that you read the article for yourself and make up your own mind as to whether or not you will chew gum.

~ Beth

Monday, February 2, 2015

Can Carrageenan Cause Digestion Issues?

I have known for a while that Carrageenan is questionable but I did not know that it may cause digestive issues too.  I have been avoiding this for the most part.  I suppose that every now and then I drink almond milk with this ingredient in it.  But I don't have a lot of carrageenan.  So I wonder is this contributing to my digestion issues or not.  Like I said, I don't have carrageenan often or in large quantities.  I think my digestive issues may have more to do hormonally than anything else.  Because they didn't start until I went through a hysterectomy. 

Here is a few clips that I found on the web that you can do some research on your own about this.  I know that I will be extra careful to avoid carrageenan, now that I know it can cause digestive issues. ~ Beth

#1 Article:

According to the Google,

“Carrageenans or carrageenins are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.”

Edible seaweeds, like kelp and Nori, right?

The problem with Carrageenan

Not so much…

It is important to note that Carrageenan is not digestible and has no nutritional value. It is often used because it thickens and emulsifies products and it is often found even in organic and “natural” products.

It may seem that a simple product derived from seaweed should be non-menacing, and I wish it were. This article explains some of the potential problems:

“Although derived from a natural source, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to that your body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella. The result: “Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” explains veteran carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago. She says the food ingredient irritates by activating an immune response that dials up inflammation. Her previous work showed a concerning connection between carrageenan and gastrointestinal cancer in lab animals, and she’s involved with ongoing research funded through the National Institutes of Health that is investigating carrageenan’s effect on ulcerative colitis and other diseases like diabetes. 

#2 Article:

In this article Dr. Weil recommends to avoid foods containing carrageenan especially for persons with inflammatory bowel disease.

#3 Article:

Although derived from a natural source, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to that your body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella. The result: "Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding," explains veteran carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago.

The Natural Ingredient You Should Ban From Your Diet

#3 Article:

And Finally from the Cornucopia Institute a few clips - to read the whole article click here: Carrageenan the Risks and Reality

In fact, the medical community has long recognized that inflammation is associated with more than 100 human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and arteriosclerosis. Inflammation is also linked to cancer. 

“Carrageenan exposure clearly causes inflammation; the amount of carrageenan in food products is sufficient to cause inflammation; and degraded carrageenan and food-grade carrageenan are both harmful,” says Dr. Joanne Tobacman, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago. In other words, we simply don’t know if any amount of carrageenan can be considered safe. 

Many individuals experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms (ranging from mild “belly bloat,” to irritable bowel syndrome, to severe inflammatory bowel disease) have noticed that eliminating carrageenan from their diets leads to profound improvements in their gastrointestinal health. 

My suggestion is to read your labels.  Remember that carrageenan is not only in non-dairy milks.  It's found in both dairy and non-dairy yogurt, lunch meats and other processed foods.  It's easy to make you own nut milk.  I have a link on my site for how to make nut milk. If you don't want to make your own non-dairy milk, Eden organic makes great non-dairy milks without carrageenan.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The 5-2-5 Plan of juicing

So it's the weekend and I love the 5-2-5 plan.  I juice during the week and have weekends off.  I still have had a juice for at least one meal during the weekend.  The reason I like the 5-2-5 plan is that it gives you the freedom to eat if you wish.  Of course don't overdue it.  I did cook fish one night and I said that I would only eat a little bit of it and it tasted so good that I kept on eating it and I was so uncomfortable.

That is the part that I love about juicing. Is that your system gets reset and you crave veggies!  Also, you stomach shrinks and you eat less food.  I don't know how long I will keep on doing the 5-2-5 plan.  But I do know that at least this week, I will juice again.

I find juicing so much easier than planning meals and cooking.  Just juice and go.. no worries.  I think that if I keep going this way that if a work lunch comes up, I may just get lunch that day and drink my juice the next day.  I'm not going to make a big deal out of my juicing plan.  I am just going to give myself the freedom to plan on juicing and be free to go away from the plan if I would like to.

My ultimate goal right now is to eat mostly raw foods and juicing is a good way to do this.  I heard that you should eat 80% raw foods.  I don't know that I could do that forever. But maybe I can eat at least 50% raw foods forever.  At this point, it's just an experiment.  We will see how I do.  I just know that right now, I feel so good from juicing that I don't want to stop.

For those of you out there that may have the problem that I had.  Constipation while juicing.  I thought that I was weird for having this problem but other juicers out there have had this problem too.  Read on to find out how I fixed this problem.

On day one (Day 1 Juice) I mentioned that I was nervous about juicing again because I got constipated the last time I juiced.  Something that I never expected should happen but after doing some research, I found out that this is common.  I think most people tend to go when they do a  juice fast though.

I'm glad that I did some research on this and didn't give up because I found out that if this happens to you that you should take psyllium husk.  The recommended dose was 1 TBS and I'm glad that I did 1 tsp.  I feel so much better right now!!!!

I just love it when I happen to stumble upon good health information out there.  It always seems to come at a the right time.  Now I feel that I could do this juice fast another week!  I have all the tools now.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Juicing Day 3 and 4

I know that I haven't done my juicing perfectly so far only because I ended up with a sinus infection and needed to take antibiotics that upset my stomach.  So yesterday with my pill I ate one portobella mushroom cap and that seemed to help with the upset stomach.  This morning I ate one "juice bar" with my pill.  I found out that you don't really need to eat much to help relieve the upset stomach.

I may have some yogurt or oatmeal on my other days with my pills.  I'm trying to keep whatever I eat raw or a plant food.  I'm trying to avoid grains except oatmeal.  And of course the vegan yogurt will help get my system back in balance.

I was planning on only doing this for 5 days but since I couldn't juice correctly.  I'm going to keep going and eating the small foods with my pills to get me through this.  So next week I will juice again.  Who knows, maybe I'll just keep on going like this.  I like the idea of juicing for 5 days and then having the weekends off.  I find it so much easier to get ready for work by making juices for my lunch than rather trying to figure out what to bring for lunch.

Here is a picture of the "juice bar" as I call it.  Jason Vale has his own brand of Juice Bars.  I think whatever you eat during the juice time should be low human intervention food as Jason Vale would say.

I think that we should always eat as close to nature as possible.  Think about if you were stuck out in the jungle or a deserted island.  What would you eat?  I don't think that you would be eating bread.  How would you make it?  You would gather fruits and nuts.  Maybe catch a fish or a wild animal if you were lucky.  You would be eating mostly raw foods.

Honestly, when we were created, we were created to eat from the Garden of Eden.  We didn't cook any food or eat any animals back then.  That is the perfect diet.  I'm not saying that we should cook anything but we should be eating a mostly raw diet for optimum health.  And definitely be eating less animals.  We just have it backwards.. eat a huge piece of steak and a small portion of veggies with french fries.  If you eat like this all the time you are missing vital nutrients.  And if you eat like that, you should juice often to clean out your system.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 2 of my Juice Fast - not going so well

Well darn it all.. I hoped to juice this cold out of me but today I gave up and went to see the doc.  I guess I am glad that I did that because I have a sinus infection.  I hope that I still can juice.  But I know that antibiotics normally cause an upset tummy with me.  Maybe I will still juice but eat something like an apple when I take my pills.  I may not be able to finish off my juicing week perfectly but I'm still going to attempt it the best that I can.

I do plan on doing this as soon as I'm off the antibiotics. I have to complete one week of juicing without eating.  I know that some of you out there think this is a lot of work but I think it's so much easier then planning and cooking meals.  Just just everything and go, so simple!

Some tips that I have learned is to cut up your veggies the night before and put each juice in a separate bag or container.  I put any fruit that I will be using on the counter and cut that up in the AM.  The other thing is to invest in a good quality juicer.

I purchase the Omega Wide Mouth Juicer.  It's a bit loud but it can handle whole apples and it juices fast.  I also found that it seems to produce more juice than my old juicer.  Now that's value in itself.  It's very easy to clean up and the juice is done in seconds.

Happy Juicing!

Follow this link for the juicer that I purchased:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Doing a juice fast again - Day 1

I've decided to juice for another week. I'm at least going to do this for five days. Jason Vale was the inspiration to juice again. He is promoting a seven day juice. The last time that I did this, I had some issues with constipation so I am a little nervous this time. I did decide to eat plain lettuce today to hopefully add fiber so that this won't happen again.

 I think day 1 is the hardest day of doing a juice fast.  Probably lots of people give up just because they think it's too hard and don't try to keep going.  I do know from doing this juice fast before that you have to make it to at least day 3 and then it's easy.  I suppose that you could keep going forever if you make it past day 3.  I do know that you have to keep you mind set on the goal because we are all so use to eating yummy food just to eat it, not because we are hungry.

Sometimes, I wish food didn't taste so yummy and then I would have an easier time controlling my weight.  It's just such a battle.  It's just so easy to overeat.  and in reality we don't need a lot of food to survive. Our bodies are designed to be able to survive famines.  So we can get by on very small amounts of food to survive. 

I think that it's a good thing to keep busy when you are doing a juice fast so that you don't think about eating.  Honestly, I'm not starving, a little bit hungry but it's not overwhelming, just a little bit annoying.  Like I said keep busy and you won't notice that you are hungry.

Here is the link to the juice plan that I am following. Jason has lots of juice plans in different amounts of days so anyone can do it.