In this edition of Vibrant Living I share an article on gender differences concerning weight loss, results of a study on Omega 3 fatty acids and bone health, some health quotes to feed the mind, and my personal diet menu for a day so you can see what I eat....yummy. Enjoy!


"Our capacity to love is seen in the results of our own self-care." ~Ray Kent


On many occasions I’m asked, “So Hugh, what do you eat.” So here it is, I’ll share yesterdays menu with you.

Every morning, unless traveling, I have a large green smoothie and have done so for about 5 years. The years before that I used to have mono fruit meals, but they just never carried me far enough and I also wanted to get some greens in earlier than lunch. My good friend forest woman had been doing morning green smoothies for about 4 years at that point, and I was impressed with how long they carried her so I decided to give it a try. Of course I had to wait until persimmon season was over first. lol

As I said it’s a large smoothie, approx 3 quarts, half fruit and half greens. I always start out with a juicy fruit to get things blending easily and then add the greens to that, and lastly my bananas because they need little blending. I change up my smooties with the seasons as fruits and greens come and go. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. lol

My Typical Morning Smoothie

3 oranges

small chunk of fresh ginger

package of fresh blue berries

1 bunch Collard greens

½ bunch Cilantro

½ bunch flat leaf parsley

½ bunch dandelion

large handful of fresh broccoli sprouts

2 tablespoons super green powder

3-4 bananas

sometimes I add a teaspoon or so of chia, flax, or hemp seeds

Notice I don't add any water unless I have to. I try to use the natural juices of the fruit for liquid.

During the week I have a snack of a few dates and one or two apples, then take my last meal about 2-3pm in the afternoon. On the weekends I take my morning smoothie later so typically go without my snack unless I am burning lots of calories. I try always to let my body tell when and what it wants to eat, i.e. fruit, greens, a little fat, a small meal or something larger. In that way I nurish my body with what it needs at that moment, and I make it as easy as I can on my digestive system as well. And because my body (body, mind, spirit) tells me what it wants I'm rewarded with Vibrant Health.

My last meal might be a large salad, with citrus tahini dressing, a green smoothie with less fruit than the morning and not quite as big, or as yesterday:

one pint of green juice (cuke, celery, kale)

½ an hour later 10-12 oranges

¾ of an hour later an avocado mashed with a tablespoon of super green powder, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and water to mix. I just ate that with a spoon, but could have used celery sticks or lettuce leaves if I felt like it.

That was a really yummy lunch that digested well and carried me until my morning meal 18-19 hours later.

I believe it’s very important to give our digestive system a chance to rest each day, and when we do eat to make it as easy as we can on our systems. That’s another reason I’m so fond of my morning smoothie and enjoy fresh juices and simple meals as well.

I hope this helps, and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have about my diet, yours, or questions in general. hugh@raw-foods-diet-center.com


Weighing in on Gender Differences in Weight Loss

Most of us would agree that it seems like men lose weight faster than women. The fact is it doesn't just seem that way it is that way. Most men do lose weight faster than women for a number of reasons:

• Men have more muscle.

Men have more lean body mass, or muscle. Muscle not only burns more calories than fat, but it also increases metabolism. With a higher metabolic rate, a man will lose more weight than a woman, even when consuming the same number of calories.

• Men have higher testosterone levels.

Higher levels of the hormone testosterone help men build more muscle and burn more fat.

• Women are predisposed to store and retain more fat.

Women have a higher level of the hormone estrogen, which helps keep fat on a woman's body to make it easier for her to get pregnant.

• Low thyroid is a common problem in women.

Women have low thyroid problems more often than men. According to MayoClinic.com, "Women, particularly those older than 50, are more likely to have hypothyroidism." The hormones produced by the thyroid gland are critical to regulation of the body's metabolism. Low thyroid results in lowered metabolism.

• Men have greater lung capacity.

Greater lung capacity makes physical exercise easier, allowing men to exercise with less effort. Exercise is a key component of a well-rounded weight loss program.

All this certainly doesn't mean women should throw in the towel on weight loss. Everyone has a unique make up of hormones and genetics, and so everyone loses weight differently. But with a healthy lifestyle approach, we will all achieve our fitness goals.

There are many things women can do to lose weight in a healthy way, and I would say returning to a natural diet high in minimally processed foods would be a great first step. When eating whole, and preferably 75 to 100% raw, you can eat just about as much as you like and still lose weight. As long as you don’t make fats the central component of meals then the pounds should begin to fall away.

This is not to say there might not be other issues such as hormones affecting your efforts to lose weight. What I’m saying is that returning to a natural diet is a great first step and foundation to take off from. There are many qualified natural health professionals today that provide testing and can determine is you have any issues holding you back. And there are natural methods to reclaim your health from any malady you may be dealing with.

There is a great deal more info on weight loss including recipes at my website: https://www.raw-foods-diet-center.com/ Commit yourself to making the changes necessary to begin enjoying the rest of your life in a way that will bring you joy and happiness instead of the status quo.


"Health is man's normal state." ~ Herbert Shelton


Information on B12

"As a result, signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may not show themselves until after five to six years of poor dietary intake or inadequate secretion of intrinsic factor. Since normal body stores of vitamin B12 may last an individual three to six years, deficiency of vitamin B12 is usually not apparent in a vegetarian until after many years. The classic symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is pernicious anemia. However, it appears that a deficiency of vitamin B12 will actually affect the brain and nervous system first. The diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency is best made by measuring the vitamin B12 level in the blood." Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition

"Vitamin B12 supplementation has been shown to enhance sleep patterns, allowing for more restful and refreshing sleep." Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

I suggest anyone who’s been vegan for several years have their B12 levels tested just for peace of mind. If your levels are good, that’s Great, keep doing what you’re doing, and if they’re low then you’ll be able to address it before it hurts your good health. By the way, low B12 levels are just as common amongst meat eaters.


"Health is the highest gain." ~ Buddha


Plant-derived omega-3s may aid in bone health

Plant-based omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may have a protective effect on bone health, according to a team of Penn State researchers who carried out the first controlled diet study of these fatty acids contained in such foods as flaxseed and walnuts.

Normally, most of the omega-3 fatty acids in the diet are plant-derived and come mainly from soybean and canola oil. Other sources are flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts and walnut oil. Smaller amounts also come from marine sources; mainly fish, but also algae. Omega-3s are thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect and may play an important part in heart and bone health.

"The unique thing about this study is that we know exactly what the participants ate because we closely controlled their food," says Dr. Rebecca Corwin, associate professor of nutrition. "These people are really dedicated to spend a total of 24 weeks in the study with 18 weeks eating only what was supplied to them." Blood tests showed that all subjects ate their supplied food and did not cheat on their regimens.

Walnuts, which are high in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, supplied half the total fat in both diets. They appeared in walnut granola, honey walnut butter, walnut pesto and as snacks. The ALA diet also contained flaxseed oil to increase the ALA content of the diet. Other sources of ALA, such as canola oil, were not used in this study.

Blood tests screened for two biological markers of bone health, one that indicates bone formation and one that indicates bone resorption or breakdown. Throughout life, two different types of cells – osteoblasts and osteoclasts – constantly build and break down bone. In this process they produce chemicals that researchers can measure in the blood. This process allows broken bones to heal, and bones to remain strong, but if more bone is lost than is rebuilt, osteoporosis occurs.

The biomarker for bone resorption, N-telopeptides, decreased significantly during the ALA diet and marginally during the LA diet compared to the average American diet. Levels of bone-specific alkaline phosphatases, a measure of bone building, were unaffected by the diets.

"If less bone is being resorbed and the same amount of bone is being created, then there is a positive balance for bone health," says Corwin.

The researchers note that "recent epidemiologic data suggest that the effects of dietary fats on bone health may be particularly strong in men." So, while middle-aged men are often overlooked in studies of bone health, incorporating plant sources of omega-3 into the diet may not only improve cardiovascular health, but also enhance bone health.

The California Walnut Commission supported this research and partial support was provided by Penn State's General Clinical Research Center NIH grant.


Some of my thoughts on the article above:

Other sources of omega-3 oils are hemp and chia seeds, and the plant purslane. Even romaine lettuce has a fair amount of omega-3’s, although I personally would not rely on it for my total intake, but it does contribute for those eating a head a day. If you eat a few inner leaves without dressing you can readily pick up that oily feeling in your mouth.

Also note who paid for the study. It doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water, but it’s always good to be mindful of who’s funding or contributing to a study. I personally believe omega ‘3, 6’s and 9’s are extremely important for a well rounded diet which is why I included this study in the newsletter. Most lacking in the standard western diet are the omega 3’s, and if any are consumed their assimilation may be hindered or blocked completely by an excess of omega 6’s which are way too prevalent in the western diet, a diet excessively high in animal products.

The article mentions canola oil, which is actually rapeseed oil. Originally the rapeseed plant was quite toxic to humans and livestock, but hybridized to lower the erucic acid and glucosinolate levels primarily so it could be a mainstay food for livestock. And now Monsanto has a GMO version they are spreading as fast as they can throughout the world. My concern is residues of toxins in a concentrated food such as Canola oil, the method used for extracting the oil and any solvents that may remain in the oil, and of course consuming anything GMO.

Then there is the concern over the use of rapeseed at all because rapeseed is currently grown with a high level of nitrogen-containing fertilizers, and the manufacture of these generates nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas with almost 300 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. And of course these chemical fertilizers ultimately end up in the oceans and then in our water supply wreaking havoc with the health of all living organisms on the planet. Another reason to buy organic whenever possible, knowing that it's not just our health, but the health of the planet at stake.


"Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it's still the right thing to do." ~HGC


If you would like to share one of your favorite original raw food recipes please send one in and we'll post it in the next newsletter. And of the greatest importance, I value your opinion so please feel free to send your comments or questions to hugh@raw-foods-diet-center.com


Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh




The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I’m not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else’s body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what’s best for us.

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