April 21, 2013
Zorin Denu via Compfight
Here’s a healthy habit you can easily add to your routine: sip on room temperature or warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice throughout the day.
The benefits of lemon water are many: it cleanses your system, is mucous-resolving, and encourages the production of bile in your liver. Moreover, lemon increases the acidity of the stomach while alkalinizing your blood. I suggest drinking a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning (about half an hour before breakfast) to cleanse your blood and get your digestive juices flowing.
February 28, 2013
tracy benjamin via Compfight
I have been sick with a horrible cold and fever for the better part of last week – it hasn’t been fun. When I felt this cold creeping up on me, I took a detour during lunch to Clover, a Cambridge favorite, to pick up a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in the hopes of giving my immune system a burst of vitamin C (which failed, I should stick to my usual astragalus pills from now on). Anyways, as I was placing my order, the gentleman who works there told me “isn’t it crazy how it takes 12 oranges to make a glass of juice?!”. I was quickly reminded why I rarely drink juice at all these days. I was too embarrassed to cancel my order, so I took my 12 oranges in a glass and drank them (very slowly) throughout the day.
The reason why this juicing trend is not great for your health is not because the ingredients are bad for you, on the contrary, I think it is great that so many people are enjoying their fruits and vegetables. However consider this:
SUGAR: when was the last time you sat down and ATE 12 oranges in one sitting? And how easy is it for you to gulp down that glass of juice in 3 minutes? Think of the amount of sugar rushing through your system. Unreasonably high amounts of sugar in your body leads to mineral deficiencies, inflammation, blood sugar imbalances, weight gain (the extra glucose your cells do not need are stored as fat) and a plethora of other unpleasant side effects.
PROCESSED: Even if you make your juice at home with the freshest of ingredients it is still a processed food. What you end up drinking is not a whole food, but rather the fruit or vegetable minus the skin and pulp. This is problematic because: 1) without the fiber the glucose rushes through your system, spiking your blood glucose levels causing a sugar rush and subsequent crash. Moreover, the processed juice digests extremely quickly and is unlikely to leave you feeling full for very long. 2) Without consuming the skin and pulp you are missing our on many of the nutrients that you would otherwise enjoy by eating the whole food.
Proponents of juicing say that drinking juice allows you to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables (you can drink more than you can eat) – and that is certainly true, except for the fact that you are not eating (drinking?) the whole food as nature intended. For those who think that they need to drastically increase their intake of raw vegetables I would suggest blending rather than juicing (with blending you blend and drink the whole food and therefore do not have to worry about a loss of nutrients and the lack of fiber. You are also less likely to blend 10 apples and drink them all in one sitting).
February 20, 2013
Massimo Regonati via Compfight
About a year ago, on a flight from DC back home to Boston, I ended up chatting with a delightful woman that was sitting next to me on the plane. I told her what I did and we somehow ended up talking about dairy, and she half jokingly exclaimed that she was “done with cows”. She swore off meat and dairy because, sadly, it seemed everywhere she turned there was a horror story either about how cows are treated in factory farms to how homogenized milk may be bad for your heart health to how naturally occurring hormones in cow milk may cause cancer (did you know that they milk pregnant cows – ridiculous, right?).
Today, I am sad to say that I am also very close to being “done with cows”. I very rarely eat beef (once a month at most, and only if I make it at home with the highest quality organic, grass feed beef – never in a restaurant), and I have severely limited my dairy intake to a few drops of organic unhomogenized milk in my tea once a week or so). Even though according ayurveda milk is a thoroughly nourishing food, modern practices have completely denatured it to the extent that I do not trust what I am drinking.
Whether or not you choose to limit your dairy intake, it is important to know what the labels mean. To help you with this I have created the brief chart below explaining the difference between homogenized, pasteurized and raw milk (click on the image for a clearer PDF version).
Also, take a look at my resources page (a work in progress). There you will find additional resources to help you decipher what is in your food.
February 18, 2013
Eduardo Amorim via Compfight
Have you seen this article? If you haven’t please take a quick glance at it.
The list of things wrong with the way we raise animals for human consumption is getting longer and longer. The only way to protect yourself (and the animals) from these horrors and health risks is to either become a vegetarian or to purchase the highest quality, most humanely raised meat available (it may cost more now and take a little extra effort, but something tells me your health will thank you later).
Since food marketers are getting sneakier every day, I put together a little chart which will help you understand what the food labeling on your meat packaging means. For example, is “natural” really better than conventional meat? The answer (sadly) is no, not usually.
If you click on the below picture you can download it as a PDF to print and bring along with you while grocery shopping.
P.S. check out my resources page, where I will regularly share useful charts to help you demystify the process of shopping for healthy food (it is a work in progress so check back often).