Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Best Protein Powder

Since writing about my smoothie people have asked more questions about protein powder. Let me tell you why I like Sun Warrior and Garden of Life brands.

Sun Warrior is SPROUTED brown rice protein. Sprouted being the key word. It means they take the rice plant before it sprouts so it's all nice and green and has all the nutrients intact and they harvest it for it's nutrients which is rich! It comes in original flavor and also chocolate and vanilla which the flavors are sweetened with stevia. Sun Warrior has some other products but I have only used the Classic Protein Powder. It is raw, NON-GMO and vegan as well! The cost is about $1 a scoop.

Garden of Life is SPROUTED as well but instead of just brown rice is also has sprouted 12 other grains. I think this variety is good. The body shouldn't breakdown the same food over and over again. It also comes in original, chocolate and vanilla with the flavored ones being sweetened with stevia. It also has probiotics and digestive enzymes in it which Sun Warrior does not. However Garden of Life has fermented soy which helps with digestion you just have to be careful if you are sensitive to soy. The best is to bring it in and have it muscle tested. It is also about the same price as Sun Warrior.

I think as far as taste goes both brands are about the same in taste. A little chalky if you drink alone with water but blended tastes just fine.

A newer brand out on the market that looks good is Aloha which I have not tried as of yet but I plan on it being my next protein powder purchase. If you have tried Aloha or have suggestions on protein powder please share! I'm always looking for new ideas and doing research.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Spanish Black Radish on the Standard Process Farm

I had the privilege to go to the Standard Process farm and see first hand how they make the supplements from seed to bottle. I was most impressed with the Spanish Black Radish. They were huge and so healthy.

They then get chopped up and put into a dehydrator which the one I saw was brand new and took an extra hour to do compared to the old one. The reason they 'downgraded' to a slower one was for better quality. That's how you make an awesome product even more awesome!

And this what it looks like once out of the dehydrator.

Standard Process either dehydrates or juices their crops. With the crops they juice the leftover pulp makes for great compost! Here's a photo of their compost piles.

At every meal the centerpiece was a bottle of zypan which was disheartening because I am currently taking multizyme, lol!

And finally they are now selling Spanish black radish in a big bottle!
Spanish black radish supports gut health by promoting the body’s detox pathways by cleansing the colon through moving out toxic material. It also helps the valves of the large intestine not to spasm. When the valve is in spasm constipation can occur. Spanish black radish also has an antibiotic action because it is high in sulfur. It also acts as a natural diuretic and promotes systemic detox by activating the liver’s primary detox mechanisms. MSM is a popular supplement to provide sulfur to the body but Spanish black radish not only provides the sulfur but synergistic folate, vitamin A and C, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Spanish black radish also helps in helping connective tissue as in arthritis and supports the body during a yeast infection. It is for all those reasons I am excited it now comes in economy size!

So there you have it! My Standard Process scrap book!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Favorite Green Smoothie

Many times a week I tell patients to add in more green vegetables into their diet. Instead of them taking another supplement I rather them get what their body needs straight off their plate (or bowel)! Sometimes I tell them they need it because they are testing low in iron and kale and spinach are great for iron. Sometimes I tell them to eat more leafy greens for calcium. Kale, collard greens and bok choy are good for that. Sometimes patients need the chlorophyl to help purify the blood and any 'green' is good for that! Green leafy vegetables are also a good source of protein for my vegetarians/vegans. But what if you are bored with the salad or green juice or already eating 2 salads a day? How do you add in even more? My answer is with a green smoothie!

It's easy to prepare. I don't have to think about what to have for breakfast. I just pop it all into the blender and I am done. After years of making different ones this is the recipe I like the most. All ingredients are organic. The avocado makes it creamy and the cocoa makes it chocolatey. If you don't like the chocolate taste feel free to not add it. It tastes good without it too. For the health benefits of adding cocoa, read my blog. Feel free to be creative with it and make it your own!

1 1/2 cups green leafy veggies
4 frozen strawberries
half an avocado
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Tablespoon flax seed
1 1/2 cups water or nut milk
1 scoop protein powder (Sun Warrior or Garden of Life)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Visit to the Standard Process Farm Part 1

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a seminar, "Advanced Fundamentals" at the Standard Process farm in Wisconsin. I saw first hand how the crops grow on the 420 acres of farmed land to make 335,000 gallons of juice a day. The workers start at 630am to harvest and juice or dehydrate the crops before moving them to the production building 10 miles down the road.

Standard Process has been in business since Dr. Royal Lee made catalyn (Standard Process's multivitamin) for his dying mother in 1930. Dr. Lee grew up on a farm and knew how to take the nutrition in the food and make it into something the body could use to heal. As Hippocrates says, "let food be thy medicine."

The soil is the darkest soil I have ever seen for it is the soil that makes Standard Process's supplements the best in whole food vitamins. The plants get their nutrients from this dark, nutrient-dense soil and it is those nutrients, juiced or dehydrated, that are made into supplements that help us heal when we take our Standard Process vitamins. For food is the genuine replacement parts for the body that is constantly turning over new cells.

To create this rich soil when Standard Process buys new land it needs to be cultivated for 3 years before crops can be harvested. So it's only in the 4th year that farming can begin. 90 acres are being cultivated right now.

Besides constantly testing the soil to make sure of it's nutrient content, Standard Process uses cover crops to prevent wind erosion and rain erosion of the soil. After a harvest cover plants are planted just to grow and then once mature are tilled back into the soil to never be harvested but to cover the soil so that it is never left bare and could be damaged from wind or rain plus the nutrients that the cover crops soak up are put back into the soil for the next planting of actual crops.

By nature the Standard Process land is marsh land and so their problem is how to keep water out of the land. Besides, the 6.5 inches of rain that came down the night before I visited the farm was no helpful. And so you see in this picture an impromptu pond among the crops.

Another way to keep the soil as amazing as it is is by not planting the same crop in the same area for at least 5 years. Because different crops absorb different nutrients from the ground such rotation of plants won't strip the soil of nutrients.

One of the arguements for non-organic food is that organic food cannot feed the world. Well, after seeing farming done correctly, I bed to differ. Organic farming, done right, can feed the world. We aren't going to win the battle in the courts. Every time a court case against Monsanto goes to the Supreme Court they win. The only way to win is by our grocery carts and choosing what goes in them. Please choose carefully and buy non-gmo, organic when possible!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Having Trouble Sleeping? Try Sleepy Dust

When one of my patients asked me if a mixture of sugar and salt would help her fall asleep I instantly wanted to say, 'Of course not!'. Such a thing is something she read online and even when asking me my professional opinion she said that maybe she was asking as an excuse to feed her sweet tooth. But instead of saying no, curiosity got the best of me and when she sent me the link and I did my research I was surprised at how the data did add up. I was aware of how many good minerals was in sea salt but not necessarily aware of the mineral content of unrefined sugar. In this medicinal mixture we are not using regular table salt or your basic sugar but unrefined sugar and salt that still have all their natural minerals intact.

I love to test new things on myself first before recommending it to patients but this natural remedy is hard to test unless you have trouble sleeping. So for those of you who try it I would love the feedback!

How to Make Sleepy Dust:

5 Tablespoons organic cane sugar
1 Tablespoon sucanat/rapadura (this is completely unrefined sugar cane juice, with all minerals intact)
2 teaspoons sea salt or Himalayan salt

Put the mixture in a small glass container, and shake well. The sucanat (you can find at Whole Foods or any other health food store) has a tendency to separate from the rest so always shake before using. Keep it next to your bed where you can easily reach it in the middle of the night with a glass of 8 ounces of water. You can use it before you go to bed to de-stress and get ready for sleep, and when you wake up in the night.

To use it, just keep a small spoon nearby and scoop a tiny bit out and stir it into the water. You really only need a small pinch. If you are afraid the water will wake you up
later in the night then do less water.

The recipe comes from Matt Stone in his book, Eat for Heat:
“The salt and sugar mixture is an absolute must for nighttime stress events. For wakeups between 2-4 am, accompanied by a feeling of excess adrenaline circulating through your system (adrenaline peaks at this time), salt and sugar under the tongue is the only way to go. You don’t want to be chewing anything, wandering around the house looking for food, opening the fridge and looking at bright lights when hoping to fall back asleep, and so forth. You want to remain as unstimulated as possible. Keep the sugar/salt mixture by the bedside for easy and thoughtless access until you stop having middle-of-the-night wakeups.”

There’s a reason why your eyes snap open at 3 am. You’re having a biochemical reaction to excessive amounts of stress hormones floating throughout your body that’s trying to sleep. In a healthy body with a healthy metabolism, hormone levels cycle moderately through highs and lows throughout the day. When you have a stressed metabolism, natural peaks of stress hormone levels spike to abnormal highs, initiating a stress response. When this happens at night, it seriously disrupts sleep patterns, and often causes you to wake up—often leaving you so wired up that you’re unable to fall back asleep.

Sugar and salt are known to be detrimental to the body because we over eat them and we don't eat them in their natural form. But in their natural form they are loaded with minerals that help the body balance out the stress response. To see more on the mineral content of salt, click here. Sugar and salt in their natural form act as “batteries” for the cells—glucose provides direct fuel to the mitochondria while a balance of sodium in the intercellular fluids allows for proper cellular respiration and energy production.

Once the body has the right balance of minerals and especially if you are not as stressed you won't necessarily need the sleep dust but if you take it when it's not needed it definitely won't do any harm. Either way have, 'sweet dreams'!

For other tips on sleeping well, read my other blog on sleeping tips.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

For the Love of Chocolate

Over the past dozen of years or so, a steady stream of science has emerged, showing that cocoa possess extraordinary life-imbuing and disease-fighting properties. Most notably, cocoa demonstrates significant benefits for the cardiovascular system, helping to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and even reduce the risk of cancer.

Cocoa contains over 700 known compounds. And for all we know, there may be many more that remain undiscovered. Of particular interest to scientists are the antioxidant compounds in cocoa. Antioxidants are compounds that plants manufacture to prevent their own cells from premature destruction due to exposure to heat, light, air, moisture and time. In the human body, many of these compounds prevent reactive oxygen species (ROS) from destroying cells and causing premature aging and disease. Cocoa is especially rich in polyphenols, a group of protective antioxidant compounds found in many plant foods such as red wine and tea. Yet, of all foods, cocoa has the highest antioxidant polyphenol content, and provides the greatest cardio-protection.

Cardiovascular disease is the primary killer of adults. The polyphenols in cocoa are cardio-protective in two ways. They help to reduce the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or so-called ‘bad cholesterol.” Oxidation of LDL is considered a major factor in the promotion of coronary disease, most notably heart attack and stroke. Additionally, polyphenols inhibit blood platelets from clumping together. This clumping process, called aggregation, leads to atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. By inhibiting aggregation, polyphenols reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Another dimension of the benefits of cocoa and chocolate consumption concerns mood. Cocoa is rich in agents that enhance the production of various feel-good chemicals in the brain, notably serotonin and dopamine. This means that cocoa possesses anti-depressant, mood-elevating properties. This is no surprise to the any millions of people who self medicate with chocolate every day.

Of the mood-modifying compounds in cocoa, one is PEA, or phenethylamine. This chemical, which occurs in chocolate in small quantities, stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of pleasurable opium-like compounds known as endorphins. It also potentiates the activity of dopamine, a neurochemical directly associated with sexual arousal and pleasure. Phenethylamine increases in the brain when we fall in love, and during orgasm. The giddy, restless feelings that occur when we are in love are at least partly due to PEA. This adds a rather remarkable dimension to cocoa, and may account for why it is so highly prized. For while there are a great many agents in nature which boost libido and enhance sexual function, (High Libido Diet) chocolate alone actually promotes the brain chemistry of being in love. Chocolate is the gift of lovers for this very reason.

Cocoa additionally boosts a sense of well being by increasing brain levels of serotonin, the so-called feel-good brain chemical. For this reason cocoa provides a highly desirable mood boost to women during PMS and menstruation, when serotonin levels are often down. In fact, women are consistently more sensitive to cocoa than men. Women typically experience stronger cocoa cravings than men. And for many, cocoa is the perfect PMS prescription. A little cocoa can restore a feeling of well being.

The one thing that hinders chocolate from being a great super food is all the sugar we put with it. It is best to make your own using raw, organic honey. But if the craving hits and you need something convenient and cocoa nibs are not a choice go for Green and Black's 85% organic dark chocolate that is made with organic cane sugar.

Monday, September 7, 2015

B. Good, Best Burger Joint!

It's a dream come true! There really is a local, non-gmo, hormone-free meat with gluten-free bread burger joint. Only thing is that it's not in NY yet. Closest one to the Big Apple would be Greenwhich, CT but if you are traveling in the northeast definitely check it out especially in Boston where the original b. good restaurant is. B. good is about good food, both tasting good and good for you. The potatoes come from Massachusetts, the beef come from Maine, and the bread comes from a bakery in Long Island City. Having grown up on a dairy farm myself I appreciate them knowing the farmers directly and posting photos of the farmers in the restaurant with a slogan, "food made by people, not factories". I love the idea of small businesses supporting other small businesses. Their soda also comes from Maine and is made with organic cane sugar instead of white refined sugar. Since I let my daughter have cane sugar as a treat she was so excited to try soda for the first time in her life; she's 6 years old. After taking a sip of the regular soda, root beer and lime-lemon sodas at the soda fountain she declared she doesn't like soda (wow!) and went for their beet-ginger lemonade which I thought was too sweet and diluted with water before giving it to her to drink.

At Fairfield, CT, opening day where there were hamburger costumes for kids to dress up in and free sunglasses!

For my vegetarian patients they do have veggie burgers and what looks like an awesome kale and grain bowl which you can choose organic quinoa or super-grain mix. I have not muscle tested the kale yet to see if it's toxic but you know I will! (to read more about kale being toxic). I find some brands do test okay and some do not test well. The french fries are baked not fried and they have sweet potato fries as well which I prefer for my daughter because of the extra boost of vitamin A. They also have a separate counter just for fresh pressed juices and shakes made from fresh produce from Connecticut. All food is in season; I love it! Here is more info on their menu and locations!