Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Green Dream

I have a dream... that everyone will eat five servings of vegetables per day, not counting potatoes, ketchup, or corn. Fresh fruits are great to, but lets face it, most people fail to eat enough of the greens (and the oranges, reds, purples, and yellows). Perhaps it's because most "fast-food" whether from home or Burger World is majorly deficient in plant-foods. Have you ever noticed how bleached your kid's diet is? Where does the bulk of Johnny's calories come from? White flour? Fruit juice? Cheese sticks? Milk? Don't get me wrong, some of these foods might be OK, but where is the color? Where is the fiber? Where are all the phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals?

When you look at your plate as you go to eat dinner, you should see a rainbow. Or at least more than two colors. Most dinners in America are "black and white," or perhaps "brownish and off-white or yellow." When it comes to plants, color is the Creator's "highlighter" to say, "eat this." Green means chlorophyll, pre-vitamin A, magnesium, protein, folate and other blood and bone building materials. Red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple means carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, and many other cancer-preventing, cell-protecting compounds.

So what to do? So many colors, so little time. I have long taken some of my red, blue and greens as powders. This makes getting the five servings per day a snap. I scoop some Best of Greens, along with some Bio Fruit into a little water and juice, shake, and I'm on my way. This is a small price to pay to prevent cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Green food or Superfood powders are the rage. Health food stores have an increasing number lining the shelves. Or I'm sure you've been confronted by an overly excited "Moma Via" or "Juice Less" distributor (..."testomonials, testomonials! ...here, drink the Kool-aid; it will make all your wildest dreams come true!"). These products may be just fine, but I've found them to often be overpriced and oversold. You don't need to get your superfoods out of a wine bottle, but if you can't get your day's salad, broccoli, and berries you need to take some no-nonsense food powders as part of your breakfast or lunch routine.

By nonsense I mean all the fillers that most expensive superfood powders contain. These include rice bran, lecithin, and perhaps other fiber like psyllium. There's nothing wrong with these ingredients except they are quite inexpensive and when you read the fine print on the nutrition label you'll discover that more than half of your "green powder" is actually "brown powder." This is one of the reasons I've been using Best of Greens from Purium Health Products for almost 10 years. It's simple, pure, and contains the most powerful greens derived from high quality sources. They also make Bio Fruit, which is a conglomerate of the best flavonoid-rich fruits, without too much sugar.

I also don't recommend the so-called "Nano-" supplements, such as NanoGreens. We really don't know enough about the these nano-foods and how they might influence our biochemistry. With increasing rates of allergies and food intolerance, we should get nutrition the old fashion way, normal digestion and absorption.

So get yourself to the Farmer's Market every week for all your fresh fruits and vegetables, and if you just can't get the five-a-day, keep some "instant color" on hand with superfood powders. Your cells will thank you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

No perfect diet for humans

Humans are omnivores and though our ancestors may have eaten differently in various parts of the world, they had one thing in common; they ate foods that were "whole," nutrient-rich, free of added sugar, and unprocessed to the point of being depleted. By necessity they ate what was fresh, in season, minimally processed, and prepared using age-old techniques to aid in preservation and digestibility.

Enter our modern eating traditions with an abundance of calories from refined grains, sugar-added everything, refined vegetable oils, processed and packaged foods we have little clue how they came to be; "How do they make Goldfish Crackers?" A misconception of what healthy eating looks like is to think it constitutes twigs, grass, and a cornucopia of tasteless tree bark. How far from the truth. Healthy eating is a joy-filled adventure of colors, tastes and textures. It stresses quality over quantity. It's not vegan, vegetarian, or Atkins, but consists of a variety of plants, fruits, and animal products that have been raised in a healthy manner. In addition, we should drink plenty of water and perhaps some tea now and then to promote health.

Here's a short list of some "Real Foods" from the Real Foods Market Newsletter:


Berries are low in calories, high in fiber and loaded with plant compounds that improve memory and help fight cancer.


Nut-eaters have lower rates of heart disease.


Beans are notorious for their high fiber content and are a part of the diet of people-from almost every corner of the globe-who live long and well.


Protein is a feature of every healthy diet ever studied. The word "protein" comes from a Greek word meaning "of prime importance."


Meat can be a health food if the meat comes from animals that have been raised on pasture land, have never seen the inside of a feedlot farm and have never been shot full of antibiotics and hormones.

Raw Milk

Countless devotees believe raw milk to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

Wild Salmon

Wild salmon, whose omega-3 content is consistently higher than its less-fortunate farm-raised brethren, gets its red color from a powerful antioxidant called astaxathin. The combination of protein, omega-3s and antioxidants makes wild salmon a contender for anyone's list of great foods.


Another great food: eggs-one of nature's most perfect creations, especially if you don't throw out the all-important yolk. (Remember "whole" foods means exactly that-foods in their original form. Our robust ancestors did not eat "low-fat" caribou; we don't need to eat "egg-white" omelets.)


There are no "bad" vegetables, but some of them are superstars. Any vegetable from the Brassica genus-broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale-is loaded with plant chemicals called indoles, which help reduce the risk of cancer.


Apples deserve their reputation as doctor-repellants: they're loaded with fiber, minerals (like bone-building boron) and phytochemicals (like quercetin, which is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and to have anti-cancer properties). Some exciting new research suggests that pomegranate juice slows the progression of certain cancers. Other research shows it lowers blood pressure.


Jonny Bowden said tea deserves special mention. It is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world (after water). All forms of tea are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Onions, Garlic and Shallots

Garlic has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties; hundreds of published studies support its antimicrobial effects as well as its ability to lower the risk of heart disease. A number of studies have shown an inverse relationship between onion consumption and certain types of cancer.


A healthy diet doesn't have to contain every one of the "healthiest foods on earth," but you can't go wrong putting as many of the above mentioned foods in heavy rotation on your personal eating plan.