Posts Tagged ‘healthy protein’

Dietary Basics, Part 2

May 19, 2012

16. Some experts are really into legumes, some not. Soaking is essential. (and anytime I say “soak” I mean pouring water over the bean or grain, letting it sit overnight, and then pouring off the water and rinsing. If you want to go the extra mile here then you add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the soak water…I use whey from my kefir-making, but that is harder to come by).

17. Dairy is really best eaten raw: raw butter, raw milk, raw cheese (which is the easiest to procure, but is very acidic due to its concentration). The easiest dairy for most folks to digest is raw goat’s milk made into kefir or yogurt, with the temp never going above 105 degrees. It is untrue that you can’t make yogurt at that temp: I do it all the time! And speaking of probiotics, sauerkraut is great: but do not buy the canned, or cook the fresh. We are aiming for the “live” food here.

18. Certified organic extra virgin olive oil is best for raw use on salads (and that form is pretty much a guarantee that you are getting top quality, as adulteration in olive oil is rampant).

19. For cooking, use ghee or coconut oil (saturated oils are not damaged by heating; all the polyunsaturated oils are, and they’ve been messed with in manufacturing),

20. One of my favorite cookbooks for finding recipes that reflect the info I’ve given you is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. lots of way cool advice on how to do fermenting, bone broths, soaking, etc. plus “regular” recipes. If you pop onto my website ( www.irisherbal.com , you can click on books, find it there, and it will take you to Amazon.com.

21. Herbs and spices are medicine! Add lots to what you are cooking. Go ethnic! Play! We’re finding that common ordinary herbs and spices are incredibly active: anti-inflammatory, cancer-cell-death-precipitators (turmeric, for example), and they make meals taste better and more interesting, especially if you are cutting down or eliminating sugar.

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Dietary Basics, Part 1.

May 1, 2012

Reading opposing views about diet is like watching debates about political and economic issues: everyone is focused, passionate, and sure they are right. Facts are marshalled and tossed at one another like hand grenades. So what I’m presenting below is a biased (cause I’m doing it, and I am unable to be totally objective) collation of the info that seems most agreed upon by a variety of alternative researchers.

Basics:

1. Many believe that each person has a metabolic type: protein, carb or mixed. Many folks fall into mixed. The folks that do well as vegetarians and vegans tend to be carb types. (Protein types tend to function better on heavier intake of protein, especially meat; mixed is the combo plate; carb types really thrive on dairy and grains).

2. Organic really does matter. Eat as little conventionally raised food as possible, though local that is mostly organic (even if not certified) is excellent, especially since every day past the date that a vegetable was harvested means fewer nutrients. Fresh really is better.

3. Variety, in both kinds and colors is good. Rotating the eating of various kinds of meats, grains, pseudo-grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds helps reduce food sensitivities.

4. The amount of cooked and raw in any one person’s diet is dependent upon the following: season, climate, altitude, and a person’s constitution (most easily understood from a Chinese standpoint–at least for me–). So if someone has a cool, moist constitution, foods that are warmer and drier are “better” for that person.

5. All grains have a variety of problematic issues (gluten, lectins, etc.) and are best soaked over night, fermented, sprouted, reduced in quantity, or not eaten (celiac disease may be just the tip of the iceberg say these clinicians).

6. Fermented foods are very good for a variety of reasons and for a variety of bodily systems.

7. Balance of omega 3’s to omega 6’s is important: eating salmon (and sardines and herring), grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, walnuts and flax all help provide omega 3’s to balance omega 6’s from other nuts and seeds, grains (like corn), etc. There are some folks who cannot convert the type of omega 3’s in vegetable foods to a usable form in their bodies. They would need to ingest cod liver oil and/or the animal sources previously listed.

8. Pseudo grains (quinoa, amaranth, wild rice and buckwheat) are healthy, but must be soaked overnight (with that water discarded) for better digestibility.

9. Soak all nuts and seeds for better digestibility. I describe how in a previous blog).

10. NO fried, canned, artificial, genetically modified, or processed anything.

11. Grilled and roasted is fine, but that wonderful tasting browned part is actually not so healthy…sigh.

12. No soy unless fermented (some folks can eat tofu till the cows come home and not have issues; however, many of us court thyroid and other problems). Tempeh and miso are healthy vegetarian sources of protein.

13. No peanuts unless organic, and not too many of them.

14. Reduce or eliminate coffee, alcohol, and recreational drugs. There is some research that has shown that most women do best on only one glass of wine a day. Make it Pinot Noir for highest resveratrol content. Coffee is a paradox: some do great, and studies show less dementia, better focus, less constipation, etc. Others get fibroids, acid reflux, and adrenal fatigue.

15. Bone broths are very important for healing from any major disease: see my blog for details on how to make.

Most importantly: prepare the best food you can afford with love and care; chew thoroughly; eat slowly; share a meal with a friend as often as you can.

Meat Or Vegetarian Protein?

February 17, 2012

Is there a more contentious question in nutrition?

If you had asked me back when I was a vegetarian (or vegan) I would have answered very differently that I do now. I was so sure I knew the answer. Now I am only sure that some folks are very healthy as vegetarians or vegans, and others are not. Especially at our high altitude and the intense cold during winter, many women I know who were once vegetarians are now eating some meat, and feeling better. Also, many of us ate WAY too much soy (especially if, like me, you ate it as “burgers and dogs,” i.e., processed and tricked out to look and feel and sorta taste like meat). Our low thyroid function is partly a legacy from all the soy consumption.

Dealing with this question could easily be a book! Next week I’ll talk about Weston Price and his research into traditional diets, which I think is a less biased way to deal with this question. As we look at what healthy groups of a variety of people in a diversity of environments actually ate (and usually over a very long period of time), we can base our conclusions on historical facts and observations of a scientifically trained dentist. We will find commonalities that are intriguing.

 There was and is no one way for a group of people to eat healthily. And there is quite a bit of evidence that some proteins are not very healthy at all (canned meats, deep-fried fish and other meat, animals fed in feedlots with food that is not their natural diet, and anything GMO).

One caveat for those who are strict vegetarians or vegans: B12 is very hard to get in those diets. A recent Mercola article puts it well:

Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal tissues, which vegans and vegetarians do not typically eat. The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs, which blocks the uptake of true B12 and actually increases your need for it.

  • B12 is stored in your liver, kidneys and other body tissues. As a result, a deficiency may not be apparent for about seven years.
  • Initial symptoms of deficiency include: lack of motivation, apathy, mental fogginess, muscle weakness and fatigue. Chronic long-term B12 deficiency can lead to serious conditions such as depression, dementia, and fertility problems.

If you’d like to read the entire article, please go HERE.

Some Thoughts About Protein

February 12, 2012

One of the most interesting “perhaps facts” about protein is the belief among some researchers that the human brain evolved into its present larger and intricately developed size due to the tendency of “proto-humans” to eat protein-rich foods, especially fish. Presently, my research in diverse fields including weight management, thyroid health, and adrenal fatigue are also pointing to the importance of adequate healthy (meaning uncontaminated, not over-cooked, and from sources that are as organic as possible) protein in our diets, especially for breakfast. This has a large bearing upon gene expression as well, since what we eat is one of the 3 major ways (the other 2 are toxin avoidance/release and stress reduction) we can either adversely or beneficially affect how the  DNA cards we were dealt at birth play out.

The more I do research, the more I realize that in ANY field, including alternative health/herbs/nutrition, the “experts” (whether defined by letters after their names and/or experience in the field) DO NOT AGREE with each other on a regular basis. Unfortunately there is much internecine fighting around just about any topic you can name in this vast area of human understanding….and that goes double for how much and what kind of protein. And many of the so-called gold standard studies are not as comprehensive, well designed, or factual as we’ve been led to believe….sigh.

Given all the disagreement and conflicting theories, how does one navigate this nutritional minefield? I am finding that where several “authorities” from a diverse cross-section agree, there might be some valuable info. Add to this the actual clinical experience of folks with degrees, and we start to see some patterns, like the one I mentioned above about adequate protein for breakfast. The trick here is to define “adequate.” Women probably need from 46 to 90 grams a day, and men need from 56 to over a 100 grams per day. The amount varies due to age, size, type of work done, energy expenditure, metabolic type, constitution, and probably a few more arcane indicators, not to mention the belief system of the person or group advocating a number along this spectrum! What I find really telling in this is the tendency of folks to “err” at the extremes: either they eat fast food burgers with enough protein for an entire day in one meal, or they barely eat enough to prevent deficiency disease. There have been some studies done that show that as we age, we often neglect our protein intake. When this is due to poverty, that is a tragedy. When not eating enough protein is due to the influence of  experts who were wrong, or because we, over time, got comfortable with the overconsumption of carbohydrates….well, that too is a tragedy.