Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vegan Broth

rosół z kuryImage via Wikipedia
If you want a good soup or stew, better make a vegan broth first. There are many ways to make a good broth, and here is my way:
I fry chopped onions for about 5 minutes, add water, chopped carrot, wakame seaweed, a clove of garlic, with the peel, I also use scraps and skins from other vegetables,  add salt , ginger, some natural soy sauce, herbs like thyme and cook for 30 minutes. Cool down, strain it and refrigerate till you need it. The rest of the veggies you can bind with arrowroot and eat with rice, as nothing is thrown away in a healthy kitchen.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Tempeh Cacciatori

An all-vegan cacciatore recipe made with tempeh instead of meat and simmered with plenty of herbs and spices for flavor. No need to forego your favorite Italian foods when you are vegetarian or vegan, just use tempeh instead, as in this cacciatore recipe.
1 pound fried tempeh
1 tsp sesame oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp tomato pesto
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons white miso
1 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp natural sea salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ginger
Cut the fried tempeh into 2 inch squares. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sautee the onion and garlic for two minutes. Add the tomato pesto, broth, mushrooms, herbs salt and spices and stir thoroughly blended.
Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring often.
Add the tempeh squares and the miso and continue to simmer until the tempeh is heated through.
Serve the cacciatore with whole wheat pasta or brown rice.
Cacciatore means "hunter" so this is a vegetarian hunter recipe  ideal for warm summers, as it is rather Yin. I give it a Yin -4 on my Yin Yang food scale. If you do not want to use tomatoes, you can replace them by pureed pumpkin.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Black rice beats blueberry antioxidants

Blueberries are a well-known source of antioxidants, but black rice bran is better, according to scientists reporting to the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.
 Black rice, which turns a deep purple colour when cooked, is rich in iron, high in fibre and packed with anthocyanin antioxidants.
spoonful of black rice bran contains more healthy antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries. Black rice, which turns a deep purple colour when cooked, is rich in iron, high in fibre and packed with anthocyanin antioxidants.
"Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fibre and vitamin E antioxidants," reports Zhimin Xu, and associate professor in the department of food science at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Anthocyanin antioxidants have shown promise in fighting heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Several studies have shown they can reduce blood levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as LDL or bad cholesterol.
Xu and his colleagues believe black rice is a better source of the antioxidants because it's much cheaper and more widely available year-round than blueberries.
It's also more flexible. Manufacturers could use black rice bran to boost the health value of breakfast cereals, beverages, cakes, cookies and other food.
It could even be used to bake ultra-healthy blueberry muffins.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/08/27/con-black-rice.html#ixzz0xsjriBHj

Humor for the weekend

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a Lobby - American Meat Institute
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Pinal Gland

Another reason to eat unprocessed food.


Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barc...Image via Wikipedia
First of all, I do not believe in taking vitamin supplements; you have all your vitamins if you follow a balanced diet of vegetables and grains. Together with other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids, vitamins are necessary for your body to function properly.
Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions, including function as hormones (e.g. vitamin D), antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E), and mediators of cell signaling and regulators of cell and tissue growth and differentiation  (e.g. vitamin A). The largest number of vitamins (e.g. B complex vitamins) function as precursors for enzyme cofactor bio-molecules (coenzymes), that help act as catalysts and substrates in metabolism.
Vitamins are classified as either water soluble or fat soluble. In humans there are 13 vitamins: 4 fat soluble (A, D, E and K) and 9 water soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C). Water soluble vitamins dissolve easily in water,  and in general, are readily excreted from the body, to the degree that urinary output is a strong predictor of  vitamin consumption. Because they are not readily stored, consistent daily intake is important.
Fat soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of lipids (fats). Because they are more likely to accumulate in the body, they are more likely to lead to hypervitaminosis than are water soluble vitamins. 
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Food for Life distributes food on an internati...Image via Wikipedia
Life is an oxidation process, and when the "rust" finishes its job, we pass away.
But there is hope, we just have to find our Dinitrol food, the elements that stops or even can reverse the oxidation process, these elements are called antioxidants.
Antioxidants are classified into two broad divisions, depending on whether they are soluble in water (hydrophilic) or in lipids (hydrophobic). In general, water-soluble antioxidants react with oxidants in the cell cytosol and the blood plasma, while lipid-soluble antioxidants protect cell membranes from lipid peroxidation.
These compounds may be synthesized in the body or obtained from the diet.
Selenium and zinc are commonly referred to as antioxidant nutrients, but these chemical elements have no antioxidant action themselves and are instead required for the activity of some antioxidant enzymes. Not only enzymes can function as antioxidants, but also vitamins, bacteries, amino acids, etc...
Also here more is not always better, as an overdosis can lead to pro oxidant activities.
To give examples of some antioxidants:
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) you find in fruits and vegetables
Vitamin E (tocopherols, tocotrienols) in vegetable oils
Polyphenolic antioxidants (resveratrol, flavonoids) in green tea, soy, fruit (particularly in berries, the smaller and darker, the better), olive oil, cocoa, cinnamon, oregano and red wine, but more in the vine leaves than in the wine.
Carotenoids (lycopene, carotenes, lutein)in fruit and in vegetables.
As with most healing food, a balance is very important , and all antioxidants should be taken in their natural form.
Turmeric is a great antioxidant too, with a specific action on the liver.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Arrowroot and kudzu

Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) is used as starch in the natural cuisine.
It thickens at a lower temperature than does flour or cornstarch, is not weakened by acidic ingredients, has a more neutral taste, and is not affected by freezing and it is, together with kudzu, the healthiest choice as starch.
Arrowroot cultivation was found in the Americas as early as 7,000 years ago.
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) contains a number of useful isoflavones, including daidzein (an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent). Daidzin is a cancer preventive and is structurally related to genistein (an antileukemic agent). Kudzu is a unique source of the isoflavone puerarin. Kudzu root compounds can affect neurotransmitters (including serotonin, GABA, and glutamate.) It has shown value in treating migraine and cluster headaches. It is recommended for allergies and diarrhea.
Research in mice models suggests that kudzu is beneficial in women for control of some postmenopausal symptoms, such as hypertension and diabetes type II. In traditional Chinese medicine, kudzu is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It is used to treat tinnitus, vertigo, and Wei syndrome (superficial heat close to the surface).Kudzu has been traditionally been used as a remedy for alcoholism and hangover in China. The root was used to prevent excessive consumption, while the flower was supposed to detoxify the liver and alleviate the symptoms afterwards.Some TCM hangover remedies are marketed with kudzu as one of their active ingredients.

FREE group distant Reconnective Healing session

Dear Friends,

I will be doing another FREE group distant Reconnective Healing session on September 18/19th, 2010 (this is one session but the day varies depending on your location).  This healing session is appropriate for anyone interested including children and even pets.  Enroll here.

My previous group session was well received and I expect this one to be very effective as well.  It seems there is a amplification of the energy when working with a large group.  Also, this energy appears to be increasing over time so that the work continues to get more powerful.  

Please go to my site for details and to enroll yourself or others.  


Mark D. Meurs
Thai: 085-622-0764
USA (831)440-7473

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The 5 Elements: the fifth Element is Water

Water is the element of the kidneys and the urinary bladder, and rules  the bones.
The emotion related to the kidneys is fear and fright: if you are always afraid of things, you bet your kidneys are in trouble.
The sound related to the water element  is groaning. Salty is the taste related to water. The ears and hearing are influenced by the health of the kidneys. 
In nature we see water as cold, as winter, as storing, as black/dark, as salty, as north and the earth "grains" are beans.
During winter time we should pay special attention to the kidneys: winter time is time for less physical activity, to go to sleep early, to meditate.
We also advice stretching to keep the spine and joints flexible: everyone, whatever the age, should be able to bent forward and touch the ground with the palms of the hands.
For foods you should choose hearty soups and stews, whole grains, roasted nuts, dried foods, small beans, seaweeds and steamed winter greens. Cook food more Yang (longer, at lower temperature, and with less water). If salty is the taste of winter, it is still dangerous to add too much salt in your food, so please keep it balanced, as you already have salt when you eat seaweed.
Bitter foods will do well too; endives, celery, sometimes chicory root, burdock root, etc.
As I wrote for the wood element: if the liver and the kidneys are perfect, your life will be perfect, as they influence the other organs a lot! 
When the kidneys are healthy, we are calm but active, courageous but gentle, accomplishes a great deal without stress.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Tomato (Tamatar)Image via Wikipedia
We all know macrobiotics do not like to use the tomato in the kitchen, because it's extreem Yin nature.
But there are ways that you sometimes can use it : I use it after 12 hours drying in my de-hydrator (3 kg becomes 300 gr after drying) to make tomato pesto, or baking tomatoes (cut in half) for 50 minutes in sesame oil, or cooking tomatoes for 90 minutes to make ketchup.
I use temperature (Yang) and salt (Yang) to neutralize the acid nature of the plant.
In his book "Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition", Paul Pitchford writes that tomato is very cooling in nature, it builds the Yin fluids and relieves dryness and thirst, it tonifies the stomach and cleans the liver: it purifies the blood and detoxifies the body in general. He add the caution: tomato upsets calcium metabolism and should be avoided in cases of arthritis. Large amounts of tomatoes are weakening for everyone.
So if used in the right season and in the right quantityt, you sometimes can use tomatoes.
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The 5 Elements: the fourth Element is Metal

Metal is the element of the lungs and the large intestine, and rules  the skin and the hair.
The emotion related to the lungs is grief and melancholy: when you have grief in your dreams, it is the first sign that something is wrong with your lungs.
The sound related to the spleen is weeping: if you weep very easy when you see a movie, that means that you have to strenghten your lungs.
The pungent taste is the taste related to metal. The nose and the smell are influenced by the health of the lungs.
In nature we see metal as dryness, as autumn, as harvest, as white, as pungent, as west and the earth grain is rice.
In autumn we should pay special attention to the lungs.
For foods you should choose mildly sweet foods and round foods (e.g. pumpkin) and foods that represent the center: millet, corn, cabbages, sweet potatoes, squash, sweet rice, rice, peas, chestnut etc...
A three day single grain fast should be very beneficial in this season. 
If you combine foods, leave the combination as simple as possible and with a minimum of seasoning as we have to prepare for a period with less choice in food.
When the lungs are healthy, we create order and are very effective. Click here to see the other Elements.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The 5 Elements: the third Element is Earth

Earth is the element of spleen and pancreas, and rules the muscles and the flesh. The emotion related to the spleen is worry and anxiety: when you have anxiety in your dreams, it is the first sign that something is wrong with your spleen. The sound related to the spleen is singing.
The "sweet" taste is the taste related to earth : with sweet we mean natural sweet like in carrots and onions: eating this kind of sweet is good for the spleen. The mouth and the taste are influenced by the health of the spleen.
In nature we see earth as dampness, as late summer, as transformation, as yellow, as sweet, as middle and the earth grains are millet and barley, so both very healthy for the spleen.
In late summer we should pay special attention to the spleen: Zen meditation and abdominal breathing are ideal for this season and will prevent diseases later on in wintertime.
For foods you should choose mildly sweet foods and round foods (e.g. pumpkin) and foods that represent the center: millet, corn, cabbages, sweet potatoes, squash, sweet rice, rice, peas, chestnut etc...
A three day single grain fast should be very beneficial in this season. If you combine foods, leave the combination as simple as possible and with a minimum of seasoning as we have to prepare for a period with less choice in food.
When the spleen is healthy, we are immune for any disease, and are hard working, practical and responsible. To read the first and the second Element, click here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 5 Elements: the second Element is Fire

The first element was Wood.
Today we are going to write about the second element: Fire.
Fire is the element  of the heart and the small intestine, and rules the blood and the vessels.
The emotion related to the heart is joy: when you are overjoyous, and we laught too much for no apperent reason,this is not always a good sign. Depression too, is a sign of a bad heart condition.
The bitter taste is the taste related to fire : eating bitter is good for the heart. The tongue and speech are influenced by the health of the heart.
In nature we see fire as heat, as summer, as growth, as red, as bitter, as south and the fire grains are corn and amaranth.
In summer we should pay special attention to the heart: eat plenty of bright colored food, and enjoy creating beautifull meals, cook lightly and occasionally add some spicy flavor. Be sure to add food with minerals and oils in your diet as you loose a lot by sweating.
Cold drinks and ice cream should be avoided: in summertime you should drink hot drinks and take warm showers to feel more comfortable.
To cool the body down serve some salads, sprouted beans, tofu, cucumber etc...Also cayenne , fresh ginger and limes should have a place in your summer diet.
Avoid heavy food as meats, eggs, excesses of nuts and seeds and eat less grains in % of your whole plate.
Also try to move more: swimming, riding the bike, take long walks, stretching are all good exercises for the summer time and good for the heart.
People with a healthy heart are friendly, humble and see everything very clear; they are born problem solvers. Scroll down to see the first Element.
Don't forget to visit our recipe page, I added 9 new recipes in the last 2 days.
At the bottom of the recipe page I  started an ingredients list too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The 5 Elements: the first Element is Wood

Please read first my introduction to the 5 elements .
The first element is Wood. Wood is the element of liver and gall bladder, and rules  the ligaments and the tendons.
 The emotion related to the liver is anger and impatience: when you have angry dreams, then is the first sign that something is wrong with your liver, then angry thoughts, then shouting, and when you get angry actions: this means your situation starts to be critical.
The sour taste is the taste related to Wood : eating sour is good for the liver. The eyes are influenced by the health of the liver.
In nature we see Wood as wind, as spring, as birth, as green, as sour, as east and the Wood grains are wheat and oat.
In spring we should pay special attention to the liver: eat less, very light, young plants, fresh greens, germed grains, raw foods, cook short time, steam vegetables;
fast 3-4 days to clean the liver of the fats and heavy foods of winter.

Reduce your intake of miso, salt and soy sauce and all animal food and alcohol. Sweet and pungent food is recommended: sweet are ognion, carrot, etc.... Pungent are basil, rosemary, ginger, dill, bay leave etc...

If the liver is healthy, not much can go wrong in your life as it will be free of stress and anger.

If the liver AND the kidneys are perfect, your life will be perfect!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The 5 Elements

We wrote about the 5 Elements last week .
The positive aspects:
Fire: entrepreneurship and enthousiasm
Earth: understanding and concentration
Metal: correct judgement
Water: willpower and decisiveness
Wood: courage and energy
The negative aspects:
Fire: euphory and hystery
Earth: worriness
Metal: sadness and depression
Water: anxiety, indecision and  languidly
Wood: anger and excitability
Do you recognize yourself? Do you recognize your partner?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Make your own bath cream

Chamomile FlowersImage via Wikipedia
For the coconut cream, buy either tins or blocks of creamed coconut and follow the instructions to make it up into liquid form.
30g dried chamomile flowers (or 60g fresh)
500ml sunflower oil
20 drops of lavender essential oil
100ml coconut cream

1. Mix the chamomile flowers and sunflower oil together in a glass heat-proof bowl. Cover and place the bowl above a pan of simmering water. Simmer gently away for 1 hour, being careful the pan does not boil dry (make sure there is no gap between the pan and bowl), then leave to cool.
2. Once cool, strain the oil and discard the spent flowers. Stir in the lavender essential oil. The resultant chamomile and lavender-scented oil also makes a brilliant soothing skin and massage oil that will keep for up to 1 year.
3. To transform the floral oil into a dispersing bath milk: whisk the oil 1 tablespoon at a time into the coconut cream, making sure the mixture is thoroughly combined between additions of oil. You should end up with a rich milk, about the consistency of double cream. All you've got to do then is bottle it up.
USE: Pour 100-200ml of the milk into the bath. Can be used for adults, also children aged 2-16.
STORAGE: Keep refrigerated, and use within 1 month. In this recipe we use chamomile flowers, but of course we can use other herbs too like lavender etc...
This is a recipe from the BBC series:"Grow your Own Drugs".
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The farm stand is becoming the new apothecary, dispensing apples — not to mention artichokes, asparagus and arugula — to fill a novel kind of prescription.
Jodi Hilton for The New York Times
Morgan Lichtenstein, a worker in the healthy weight program, shopping with Deannah Ryner, 8.
Jodi Hilton for The New York Times
A sample farmers market coupon.

Readers' Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
Doctors at three health centers in Massachusetts have begun advising patients to eat “prescription produce” from local farmers’ markets, in an effort to fight obesity in children of low-income families. Now they will give coupons amounting to $1 a day for each member of a patient’s family to promote healthy meals.
“A lot of these kids have a very limited range of fruits and vegetables that are acceptable and familiar to them. Potentially, they will try more,” said Dr. Suki Tepperberg, a family physician at CenterCodman Square Health Center in Dorchester, one of the program sites. “The goal is to get them to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables by one serving a day.”The effort may also help farmers’ markets compete with fast-food restaurants selling dollar value meals. Farmers’ markets do more than $1 billion in annual sales in the United States, according to the Agriculture Department.
Massachusetts was one of the first states to promote these markets as hubs of preventive health. In the 1980s, for example, the state began issuing coupons for farmers’ markets to low-income women who were pregnant orbreast-feeding or for young children at risk for malnourishment. Thirty-six states now have such farmers’ market nutrition programs aimed at women and young children.
Thomas M. Menino, the mayor of Boston, said he believed the new children’s program, in which doctors write vegetable “prescriptions” to be filled at farmers’ markets, was the first of its kind. Doctors will track participants to determine how the program affects their eating patterns and to monitor health indicators like weight and body mass index, he said.
“When I go to work in the morning, I see kids standing at the bus stop eating chips and drinking a soda,” Mr. Menino said in a phone interview earlier this week. “I hope this will help them change their eating habits and lead to a healthier lifestyle.”
The mayor’s attention to healthy eating dates to his days as a city councilman. Most recently he has appointed a well-known chef as a food policy director to promote local foods in public schools and to foster market gardens in the city.
Although obesity is a complex problem unlikely to be solved just by eating more vegetables, supporters of the veggie voucher program hope that physician intervention will spur young people to adopt the kind of behavioral changes that can help forestall lifelong obesity.
Childhood obesity in the United States costs $14.1 billion annually in direct health expenses like prescription drugs and visits to doctors and emergency rooms, according to a recent article on the economics of childhood obesity published in the journal Health Affairs. Treating obesity-related illness in adults costs an estimated $147 billion annually, the article said.
Although the vegetable prescription pilot project is small, its supporters see it as a model for encouraging obese children and their families to increase the volume and variety of fresh produce they eat.
“Can we help people in low-income areas, who shop in the center of supermarkets for low-cost empty-calorie food, to shop at farmers’ markets by making fruit and vegetables more affordable?” said Gus Schumacher, the chairman of Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit group in Bridgeport, Conn., that supports family farmers and community access to locally grown produce.
If the pilot project is successful, Mr. Schumacher said, “farmers’ markets would become like a fruit and vegetable pharmacy for at-risk families.”
The pilot project plans to enroll up to 50 families of four at three health centers in Massachusetts that already have specialized children’s programs called healthy weight clinics.
A foundation called CAVU, for Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited, sponsors the clinics that are administering the veggie project. The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and Wholesome Wave each contributed $10,000 in seed money. (Another arm of the program, at several health centers in Maine, is giving fresh produce vouchers to pregnant mothers.) The program is to run until the end of the farmers’ market season in late fall.
One month after Leslie-Ann Ogiste, a certified nursing assistant in Boston, and her 9-year-old son, Makael Constance, received their first vegetable prescription vouchers at the Codman Center, they have lost a combined four pounds, she said. A staff member at the center told Ms. Ogiste about a farmers’ market that is five minutes from her apartment, she said.
“It worked wonders,” said Ms. Ogiste, who bought and prepared eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, corn, bok choy, parsley, carrots and red onions. “Just the variety, it did help.”
Ms. Ogiste said she had minced some vegetables and used them in soup, pasta sauce and rice dishes — the better to disguise the new good-for-you foods that she served her son.
Makael said he did not mind. “It’s really good,” he said.
Some nutrition researchers said that the Massachusetts project had a good chance of improving eating habits in the short term. But, they added, a vegetable prescription program in isolation may not have a long-term influence on reducing obesity. Families may revert to their former habits in the winter when the farmers’ markets are closed, these researchers said, or they may not be able to afford fresh produce after the voucher program ends.
Dr. Shikha Anand, the medical director of CAVU’s healthy weight initiative, said the group hoped to make the veggie prescription project a year-round program through partnerships with grocery stores.
But people tend to overeat junk food in higher proportion than they undereat vegetables, said Dr. Deborah A. Cohen, a senior natural scientist at the RAND Corporation. So, unless people curtail excessive consumption of salty and sugary snacks, she said, behavioral changes like eating more fruit and vegetables will have limited effect on obesity.
In a recent study led by Dr. Cohen, for example, people in southern Louisiana typically exceeded guidelines for eating salty and sugary foods by 120 percent in the course of a day while falling short of vegetable and fruit consumption by 20 percent.The weight clinics in Massachusetts chosen for the vegetable prescription test project already encourage families to cut down on unhealthy snacks.
Even as Ms. Ogiste and her son started shopping at the farmers’ market and eating more fresh produce, for example, they also cut back on junk food, she said.
“We have stopped the snacks. We are drinking more water and less soda and less juice too,” Ms. Ogiste said. “All of that helped.”

Friday, August 13, 2010

The 5 Elements

The 5 Elements system of the "Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine" serves as aid for understanding the correspondences between every facet of life; the system takes a diagnostic step towards unification of the person, including organs, emotions, body parts, and environment, linking these with the 5 dynamic categories that empower and control one another by means of creation and control cycles.

The 5 Elements are: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.
5 elementsHere is the cycle of Creation:
Woods burns to make Fire,
whose ashes decompose into Earth,
where are born and mined Metals,
which enrich Water,
which nourishes trees (Wood).

And there is a cycle of Control:
Wood is cut by Metal,
Fire is extinguished by Water, 
Earth is penetrated by Wood,
Metal is melted by Fire,
Water is channeled by Earth.

In a serie of articles we will discuss every element seperately aswell as its relations with our organs and emotions, and how to eat to support the order of the Universe. At the end of the serie, we will  explain the relations between all the elements.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From the Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Dietary guidelines -- the advice that Americans are issued to help us eat healthier -- aren't working very well judging by the number of people who are overweight, obese or have nutrition-related illnesses. That may be because the guidelines aren't paying enough attention to food, according to a commentary released Tuesday.

The dietary guidelines and recommended dietary allowances, or RDAs, were formulated about 70 years ago to target illnesses related to nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin D and rickets. But nutritional deficiencies that cause rickets and scurvey and beriberi aren't as common today. And, the authors noted: "the greater the focus on nutrients, the less healthful foods have become."

The commentary, written by two nationally recognized experts in nutrition and nutrition-related illness, states that the nation has gone astray by focusing on the nutritional components of food, such as various types of fat, sugars and vitamins. Instead, people should be advised to focus on foods, such as emphasizing the consumption of whole foods over processed foods, which would reduce salt intake among other benefits; and fruits and vegetables, which would increase vitamin and fiber intake.

The argument is convincing. For example, the authors said, the dietary guidelines focus on advice such as "avoid too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol." But, despite attempts to simplify food labels, "few individuals can accurately gauge daily consumption of calories, fats, cholesterol, fiber, or salt."

The RDAs are based on carbohydrates, proteins and fats despite the fact that various foods within each of these groups can have much different health effects. For example, chicken, fish, beans and nuts are all proteins.

It's probably the combination of nutrients in foods and the makeup of the diet over the long-term that influences nutrition-related illnesses, such as heart disease and some types of cancer. . . .individual compounds in isolation have small effects on chronic disease," the authors wrote.

Moreover, the dietary guidelines are often misused by food manufacturers. Based on the addition of a few ingredients, foods can be advertised as healthy.

"Taking the nutrient approach to self-serving extremes, the food industry 'fortifies' highly processed foods, like refined cereals and sugar-sweetened beverages, with selected micronutrients and recharacterizes them as nutritious," wrote the authors, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and Dr. David S. Ludwig, both of Harvard Medical School." The commentary was released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

Nutritional science should not be abandoned, they said. But the focusing on nutrients over foods "contributes to confusion, distracts from more effective strategies, and promotes marketing and consumption of processed products that normally meet selected nutrient cut points but undermine overall dietary quality." 

Anyone for peaches, rice and fish instead of vitamin C, starch and omega-3 fatty acids? 

-- Shari Roan / Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Antioxidants: getting older, growing younger

Blackberries are a source of polyphenol antiox...Image via Wikipedia
Like our cars need anticorrosion treatment to stay in good shape, so do we: our anticorrosion (anti-aging) product is called "antioxidants".
Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells;  an antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing this oxidation process.  Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves.
The main oxidation process in  life is aging, so in order to reduce aging, we need to add the right antioxidants to our food.
Where we can find those antioxidants? Antioxidants are present in  vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols, among others.
 Many antioxidants are often identified in food by their distinctive colors—the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots;  the yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron; and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes.  The most well-known components of food with antioxidant activities are vitamins A, C, and E; β-carotene; the mineral selenium and the compound lycopene.
Of course , as we dont live in a laboratory, we want you to take your antioxidants in the most natural form, aswell as it its most effective form. The darker the berries, the more anti-aging they are, dried tomatoes are much more antiaging than fresh tomatoes, as the concentration of the antioxidants is 10 times greater in dried tomatoes; a glass of red wine a day  gives you a lot of antioxidants, a bottle red wine a day will not do you any good.
Just to show you that more quantity doesnt add more quality in your life, regularity and diversity are the keys to  "getting older, growing younger".

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010


How I came to health food?
I was born in 1955 and most of my young life, my father was working for Dr.Oetker, specialized in cake and dessert mixes. So I was fed a lot of sugar and unhealthy foods. When I was 20 I was diagnozed with epilepsy, and I knew I was on the wrong path.
So I started searching. Once, age 22,  I attended a yoga class and there was a magazine "The Natural Way" from the organization with the same name, and I read that they organized a one week macrobiotic training in Brittany (France) so I registered.
I traveled all the way to Brittany and the minute I walk into the farm where the training was held, my life changed: it was like I found the key, the compass to find my way trough the Universe.
That week I lost 10 kilograms and I was never sick again. I quit my job and started working for "The Natural Way" in their hotel on the Belgian coast where I learned the basics of cooking , as I never had cooked before. After six months I moved to Ghent (BE) where I started working for Frans Copers in  his macrobiotic restaurant Sue En.
From him I learned the most, I stayed there 3 years till Frans moved to Japan. Meanwhile I had the chance to meet Michio and Aveline Kushi, Dr Mark Vancauwenberhge  and later on, Dr Rik Vermuyten, all famous macrobiotic teachers.
The most I learned was by experimenting on myself as experience is the best master.
This posting is dedicated to Sunee

Monday, August 9, 2010

Too many Pickles

Japanese rice symbol 2Image via Wikipedia
I have too many pickles in my fridge, so this week I will eat mostly brown rice and pickled vegetables, to clean out my refrigerator and my liver.

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ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17:  Facey McStubbli...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Why do we grow hair? Why do men have more hair than women?  Why beard and moustache?
From personal experience I know that growing body hear, especially on the torso, is from eliminating protein: 3 years ago, when I went complete vegan, I started to grow a lot of hair on my tummy, it was so bad that I had to shave my tummy 3 times in one month.
So the more proteine that you eat, the more body hair you will grow. Did you know that the average body grows 11 kilometers of hair a year?
Of course our forefathers in the ice age, ate more protein than their female partners, as the men were hunters, had first access to the meat and needed more protein for the next hunt.
As it was very cold, the hair grow on the area that needed the most protection against the icy weather, the face.
That is my theory; what do you think?

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Exercises Part III

After Part I and Part II, today I want to tell you about foot reflexology.
Our 6 organ pairs are "reflected" on the soles of our feet. That is why walking a few miles every day keeps you healthy: while walking we stimulate the soles of our feet, and so, we stimulate all organs. Of course we can massage our feet too
Another possibility is to buy those foot reflexology sandals. It can be painful in the beginning, but the more painful it is, the more you need it.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits conta...Image via Wikipedia
I once wrote that you should play with your tastes, as every one of the 5 tastes has a healing influence on 1 organ pair: the sour taste loves Wood (Lv, GB), bitter loves Fire (Ht, SI), sweet loves Earth (Sp, St), acrid or pungent or spicy loves Metal (Lu, LI), and salty adores Water (Kd, Bl). But we also should play with the colors of our food as every color has it's phytonutritient.
Once upon a time we thought that fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals were all the nutrients necessary for maintaining good health.
Now science added phytos(phytonutritients).
The best known phytos are carotenoids, flavonoids, and isoflavones. Carotenoids include yellow, orange, and red pigment in fruits and vegetables.
Dark, green, leafy vegetables are rich in the carotenoid, beta carotene, but the usual yellow color is masked by the chloraphyll, the green pigment in the vegetables.
Flavonoids are reddish pigments, found in red grape skins and citrus fruits, and isoflavones can be found in peanuts, lentils, soy, and other legumes.
Phytos are very important as they help to improve the immune system, fight cancer, repair DNA and they are strong anti-oxidants. So next time you go grocery shopping, try to get more color in your food.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cooking the Whole Food Way

The revised and updated edition of the popular, whole foods cookbook-with more than 80 new recipes...now 100% vegan!

With a dash of fun, Christina Pirello introduces whole foods cooking, inviting health-conscious readers to cut out processed and chemically enhanced food, as well as dairy, sugar, and meat, and embrace fruit, whole grains, vegetables, and beans. From savory soups to innovative entrŽes and delectable desserts, here are more than 500 recipes and ideas for wholesome, gourmet eating. With tips on meal planning, a shopping guide, productresource list, and extensive glossary, Christina makes healthy eating a most delicious adventure.
 In May, I saw Tal Ronen on TV, he is the author of the book "The Conscious Cook", an excellent vegan cook book. He prepared a cream soup using cashew cream and here is how the cream  is made.
Servings: Makes about 2 1/4 cups thick cream or 3 1/2 cups regular cream
2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water
Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch.
Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth.  
 (Click on the picture to find the book in our store)
To make thick cashew cream, which some of the recipes in this book call for, simply reduce the amount of water in the blender, so that the water just covers the cashews.
As  nuts are Yin, I always roast them a bit before use.
Health benefits of Cashew nuts:
Cashews are packed with soluble dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals; that help to protect against diseases and cancers.
Cashews are rich in energy and nutrients. They are rich in “heart friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids that help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol.  Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Cashew nuts are very rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Eat just a handful of cashew nuts every day to avoid minerals deficiencies. Selenium is an important micro-nutrient which functions as co-factor for antioxidant enzymes such as Glutathione peroxidases, one of the most powerful antioxidant in the body. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis.
Cashews are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that our body requires them from external sources to replenish and essential for metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates in the body.
The nuts are also containing good amount of Zea-xanthin, an important flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes. It is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions, help prevent age related macular degeneration.