Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
I think you’ll really enjoy this edition of Vibrant Living. I know, I say that every month...lol. I do feel that this newsletter is loaded with valuable and useful information. Each month I do my best to bring you information that will ultimately improve your health and vitality. This month we have a great Stuffed Tomato recipe (excuse my language my Aussie friends), a short article on pesticides and their impact on our lives, 5 reasons to consume leafy greens, an article on different raw food diets, veggie stats and the environment, news brief on the early onset of puberty and more. Enjoy!
“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ~ Herophilus
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 cucumber shredded
1/3 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
4 inch chunk of diakon radish shredded
1 avocado diced
handful of your favorite fresh sprouts
handful of dulse torn or chopped into small pieces
½ small hot pepper finely diced (optional)
1 tablespoon of super green powder (optional) for those looking to get more minerals and to alkalize their diet.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes, cut the stem area out of the center and set aside. Carefully spoon out the contents of each tomato and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Spoon back into tomatoes, set tomato tops back on and place cilantro sprigs in the hole at top.
Depending on your location and availability of ingredients feel free to substitute and experiment. Instead of cilantro use parsley, basil or mint or other herb to completely change the taste. Add a little raw olive, hemp, or flax oil instead of the avocado if that works better for you.
IS A FRUIT BASED RAW FOOD DIET HEALTHY?
There is much discussion these days, as there has been for quite some time, as to whether or not a high fruit diet is healthy long term. There are passionate discussions on both sides to the pros and cons, and then there are those somewhere in the middle.
The mostly fruit camp espouses the “fruit or fat” mantra which asks would you rather get your calories from fruit or fat, and since we’ve been taught for quite some time now that a high fat diet is not good, then these folks would seem to be on the right track. But wait, the low glycemic people counter with the fact that the mostly fruit diet raises insulin levels, homocystine levels, increases fungal growth, and while short term may offer exceptional health benefits, ultimately it leads to a decline in health and pre-mature aging.
The low glycemic folk postulate that modern day fruits are nothing like those our ancestors used to consume. That they’re much larger and sweeter than they were hundreds if not thousands of years ago. And it is quite true that man has been hybridizing his food for 10,000 years, developing larger, sweeter, less seeded, more palatable and calorically dense foods. In 2009 I had an opportunity to hike deep into the rain forest in eastern Australia. During the hike I saw huge ancient fig trees with tiny fruits that were by today’s standards quite bland and not at all like what we eat now.
The banana we know today is only 200 years old and is cloned, and has no seeds. The tomato is hybridized from a small bitter and toxic plant in South America brought to Europe approx 500 years ago which over time has been bred into what we eat today. But since its origins were from a toxic (nightshade) plant many people still have trouble with it today.
The issue of hybridization is not limited to fruits alone, vegetables and most nuts have been altered to suit man’s needs as well. The end result is food that looks nothing like the plant it came from ages ago. The only two foods I know of that have not been altered are sea vegetables, and Brazil nuts, which are still picked from the wild trees in the forest. The idea of eating wild foods is gaining momentum in the natural health movement and is a topic for another day.
So knowing that nearly all our foods have been altered from their natural state do we just give in and go back to an unhealthy processed food diet? Of course not. Like every other situation in life we do the best we can with what we have in the moment. And in this instance that means consuming as many fresh, ripe, organic, raw foods as we can. Realistically I think for most people that means 75 -80% raw foods which would provide incredibly good health.
Now back to the topic at hand; which raw foods and in what quantities do we consume? My personal belief is that it is easy to overdo sweet fruit, greens are the key to success, and that not all fat is bad for you. When I first started on a 100% raw food diet I ate much more fruit than I do today. I thrived at first, but after doing considerable but not unpleasant cleansing I found that adding in more greens and cutting back on fruit made me feel much more balanced.
For the past several years I ate only two meals per day and didn’t eat past 2 or 3pm, sometimes taking my last meal at 12 noon. Now I have relaxed that somewhat to a place where I still do not over eat, but listen to my body when it is calling for nutrition.
My morning smoothie has a base of fruit and is loaded with greens, about two heads or bunches, 2 tablespoons of super green powder, and a tablespoon of either chia or flax seed. If I’m doing physical work I have a small fruit snack 5 to 7 hours later. Weekdays I follow several hours later with 32 oz. of green juice. Sometimes I have a veggie snack with some type of fat at around 3 or 4pm. It all depends on my level of activity and what my body is telling me it needs at that particular time. On the weekends I still normally only eat two meals, at approximately 7 or 8am and then again at 2 or 3pm. I might drink a green juice an hour before the 2nd meal.
This is what works best for me, so what works best for you might look entirely different. However I do feel people in general do tend to consume too much fruit, much of it picked prematurely and allowed to ripen in boxes or store shelves, and that their health suffers for it. Even fruit fresh off the tree or vine can be an issue if overdone. In general people that are very active can handle more fruit than those that are not, but ultimately your personal health profile, meaning your genetic makeup, existing health status and/or conditions will determine what percentage of fruit, greens and fat will make you feel best.
If you’re eating large quantities of fruit and still not feeling satiated then it may be time to look at what nutrients that diet is not providing. Usually it’s a craving for minerals, which come most readily in greens. Green juices, sprouts, and super green powders like Ormus Greens and Vitamineral Green are all excellent ways of boosting minerals because they’re easily to assimilate and don’t stress the digestive system . And of course include fresh leafy greens in your everyday diet as well.
I would like to note for the record that I see many people eating loads of fat on the raw diet. It may be plant fat, but after a point it all plugs up the system and makes things difficult for digestion and for the body to effectively carry out the metabolic process. Tracking nutritional intake for a week or so can shed a lot of light on any diet. Programs like Cron-o-meter that have a fairly complete nutritional break down system can help with that.
Whatever your particular make-up, I feel eating foods with the highest nutritional value, that place the least amount of stress on your digestive system are the best. And please remember over eating places a huge stress on your digestive system. As your body gets the nutrition it truly needs you may find that your caloric intake will go down, possibly even lower than suggested norms.
I feel it’s best to do what makes you feel best and gives you the results you’re seeking, and if you’re not getting the desired results then alter your plan. I have made changes and alterations to my diet and lifestyle for the better ever since I became aware of the strong impact that diet and lifestyle have on health, and I imagine I will continue to make shifts and alterations until the day I move on to the next plane.
I hope this article has given you some food for thought, and perhaps helped you sort out some things as far as your diet and health go. If you have questions please feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to answer. :-)
Why do some people raise such a fuss about pesticide and chemical use in our environment today?
Children whose homes and gardens are treated with pesticides have 6.5 times greater risk of leukemia than children living in untreated environments. Pesticides can be absorbed through the skin, swallowed or inhaled (most toxic). Only 5% of pesticides reach target weeds. The rest runs off into water or dissipates in the air. Drift from landscaping ranges from 12 feet to 14.5 miles. And since eventually everything in the air or on the land ends up running into the water supply, pesticides end up reaching all of us.
Besides sensitivity and toxicity what other health risks do pesticides present?
increased risk of leukemia
cancers (lung, brain, testicular, lymphoma)
increase in spontaneous abortions
greater genetic damage
liver and pancreatic damage
disturbances to immune systems (asthma/ allergies)
increases in stillbirths
decreased sperm counts
Highly valued as a spice, ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used medicinally for thousands of years by Chinese physicians. Ginger acts as an antioxidant and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and pain-killing properties. It also improves liver function and lowers cholesterol as well as having beneficial effects on the heart. Ginger has anti-ulcer activity and improves the function of the muscles in the gut while helping to relieve spasm. Ginger is also valued for its warming properties.
- Nicola Reavley, The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs
• It takes about 300 gallons of water per day to produce food for a vegan, and more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce food for a meat-eater.
• You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year.
• Food for a vegan can be produced on only 1/6 of an acre of land, while it takes 3 1/4 acres of land to produce food for a meat-eater.
• Vegans and vegetarians save more than 100 animals a year per person. -Statistics borrowed from www.goveg.com
FIVE REASONS TO EAT YOUR LEAFY GREENS
Many of the nutrients in dark leafy greens help to slow the aging process or prevent age-related illness. Combined with other B-complex vitamins, folate helps to regulate mental function, and is linked with preventing Alzheimer’s disease Vitamin K, which is necessary for the bones to retain calcium, can be the missing link in cases of brittle bones and osteoporosis. Macular degeneration can be avoided by eating dark leafy greens because of their high vitamin A content, especially lutein.
Probably the most critical anti-aging aspect of the leafy greens is vitamin E. This potent antioxidant has been linked to slowing the aging process by several research groups. One study by the National Institute of Aging found vitamin E to decrease the overall cause of mortality by twenty-seven percent.
2. Cancer Preventing
Dark green leafy vegetables are one of the best cancer preventing foods because of their high level of antioxidants. They are good sources of the primary water-soluble, and fat-soluble antioxidants - vitamin C and E; but, they also rich in the carotenoids - beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Their high fiber content as well, helps the body eliminate toxins and possible carcinogens, and the phytochemical quercetin has anticancer and antioxidant properties. Eating leafy green vegetables three or more times a week has proven to significantly reduce the risk of stomach cancer; eating them once a day reduces your chances of getting lung cancer by half, and including them on a regular basis, prevents breast and colon cancer.
3. Skin Care
Beautiful, healthy skin is supported by eating different types of leafy green vegetables. Vitamin A minimizes the production of sebum, helping to limit acne. This nutrient also strengthens the skin's protective tissue and helps to flush out toxins. Vitamin E also protects skin cells from free radical damage.
4. Heart Health
Researchers at the Harvard Public School of Public Health concluded that eating dark leafy greens every day will reduce one's risk of coronary heart disease by twenty-three percent. This is for a number of reasons. Folate helps to reduce the amount of homocyteine in the body, an amino acid which in high levels is linked to heart disease and stroke. The antioxidants in leafy greens help to prevent free radicals from lining artery walls, and the fiber content helps to remove unwanted plaque build-up.
5. Pregnancy Health
Leafy green vegetables are a perfect food to eat during pregnancy.Folate is one of the most crucial nutrients for the health of a growing fetus as it is necessary for proper development of the nervous system and normal DNA functioning at the cellular level. The nutrients in dark leafy greens, in combination with their omega-3 fatty acid content, make these vegetables almost as potent as a pre-natal vitamin supplement, and much easier for the body to absorb.
It is important to always eat greens with a fat source because many of the nutrients are fat soluble - this means salad dressing, cooking oil or butter, cheese, and nuts. Also, keep in mind, the darker the green, the healthier the vegetable because a richer colortranslates into a higher chlorophyll content. Dark green leafy vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked; blend a variety in salads, saute in olive oil, add to soups, omelets, and casseroles. Make them a part of your daily diet, and pass on the good advice - eat your dark leafy greens.
Sources: Organic Facts & American Heart Assoc.
Meat, High-Protein, Puberty?
Meat and High-Protein Diets Linked to Early Onset of Puberty By Susan Brady - Published: Monday, 14 June 2010
Every generation seems to enter puberty at an earlier age than their predecessors, but what exactly is the cause of this shift? There are certainly enough postulations and assumptions going around: increase in obesity among children, hormones used by meat and poultry producers, and now, a link to a high-meat diet.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the average age for female puberty was 14 years. In one century that number had dropped to 12.5 years of age. That's 18 months in a span of 100 years, or about 1 month for every 5 years that has passed. That is a significant evolution
A new study, conducted by the University of Bristol, involved 3,000 girls and reviewed their dietary intake at ages 3 and 7. Follow-ups recorded onset of puberty. What they found is that girls who had a higher intake of meat (and protein) at ages 3 and 7, were more likely to begin menstruation at age 12.5. The higher intake translated to 12 or more servings per week of protein.
"It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy."
1867-1937, Editor of Saturday Evening Post
Please contact me with your questions, feedback and comments here.
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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