Thursday, December 24, 2015

One Degree of Change #30

One Degree of Change #30

It's almost Christmas!  Does your kitchen look festive with all those cookies and candies that are so special this time of year?  I know our kitchen does.  I am so lucky to have patients that are great bakers.  Yes, I indulge a bit in the holidays.  My choice is always homemade goodies.  I know that real butter and sugar are used in the recipes, not trans-fats or high fructose corn sugar.  For our holiday family get together, our contribution to the Christmas dinner is dessert.  It is always tempting to buy the pre-made pies because it is easy. Have you ever read the label on a store bought pumpkin or pecan pie?  I guarantee you that half of the ingredients sound like a science experiment. These are the ingredients listed for a S*** L** Pumpkin pie:
 Pumpkin, whey, high fructose corn syrup, enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, eggs, vegetable oil (palm, soybean and/or cottonseed oils), corn syrup. Contains 2% or less of each of the following: skim milk, modified corn starch, salt, sugar, spices (includes cinnamon), carrageenan, natural flavor, sodium tripolyphosphate, dextrin, dextrose, soy flour. 

It's a little scary when you realize Sodium Tripolyphosphate is a solid inorganic compound mostly used in household cleaning products and industrial cleaning processes! And you are going to serve that to you the family you love?

These are our fresh baked pies!
Apple, pumpkin and cracker pies!
One Degree of Change #30: Bring Homemade Desserts to Holiday Dinners! How hard is that!  Not really, maybe a little extra time on your part.  But the results are so worth it.  You can go on the internet to find all types of recipes.  We are doing three desserts: pumpkin, apple and cracker pie.  All made with real, organic grass-fed butter, real organic heavy cream, real apples, real pumpkin (OK, we are using canned, organic pumpkin in a BPA free can), coconut sugar and cage free locally sourced eggs.  Of course you have to top those desserts with something.  No Cool Whip either! After you read these ingredients, you will never be able to eat Cool Whip again!  Try a little experiment, put some in a dish and let is set for a couple of weeks.  It won't change form, it won't melt, it won't change colors!
Cool Whip ingredients! 

If we are home, we make fresh whip cream with real vanilla and heavy organic whipping cream.  Since we will be in my brother's kitchen, to simplify preparation, we will bring vanilla ice cream made from milk, eggs, sugar and cream.  Much more delicious than the chemical concoctions sold as toppings.

We have a week left of the year 2015 that is surrounded by foods and drink we don't normally consume any other time of the year.

Here are five simple tips to enjoying the holidays in a healthy way:
  1. Keep moving! 10,000 steps per day (Ask Santa for a fancy pedometer!)
  2. Practice portion control (Savor each bite, taste the love that was stirred into the recipe!)
  3. Select homemade goodies, made with real butter and sugar.
  4. Make and take homemade goodies to spread the love.
  5. Eat "clean" outside of your holiday meals. 

Enjoy your holidays!  Enjoy your family! Do some random acts of kindness to continue the Christmas spirit!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

One Degree of Change #29

One Degree of Change #29

Our cat, Tipper, all nestled in!
One of the most important items on my to-do list is sleep.  We spend on the average about 6.5 hours sleeping per night. That is 2372.5 hours annually.  Our sleep time is our repair time for the human body.  Protein synthesis happens, amino acids are utilized to repair muscle and the brain recovers from the trauma we create in a day.

 While certainly we might need more sleep, it is the quality of sleep that is most important.  Starting with a good foundation in the form of a mattress is incredibly important.  Don't be afraid to spend a few extra bucks on a quality mattress.  My recommendation to patients is to purchase a medium firm mattress.  And don't just lie on it for 5 minutes when you are mattress shopping. Anything feels good for 5 minutes! Try lying on it for 45 minutes.  It is a decision you will have to live with for the next 8-10 years. Don't be bullied by the salesperson either.  Otherwise you will be sold the most expensive mattress instead of the one you need.  Also check with your doctor about a prescription for medical necessity to purchase a new mattress.  This gives you two possibilities of saving money, depending on where you live.  In Florida I can write a prescription which will allow the patient to purchase the mattress tax free and they can also pay for it with their HSA (Health Savings Account).

Next step is your bedding.  Sheets and pillowcases are a must.  And who doesn't love slipping into a set of luscious sheets.  I remember my first time house sitting when I was in college and the guest bed had Egyptian cotton sheets.  That was the moment I became a sheet snob!  The sheets felt like butter and I felt like royalty.  I remember searching for the tag on the sheet bottom to figure out what I had just experienced.  No more 200 count sheets for me!  But then I found bamboo sheets.

One Degree of Change #29:  Buy Bamboo Sheets and Towels!  Always in the interest of protecting the environment, I wanted to use sheets that were made from a renewable source.  We have a local vendor (, Angie Ringler, who now exclusively sells natural cleaning products) that used to have a small store with renewable sourced items.  She suggested that I try the sheets that were made from bamboo.  I was thinking to myself, "How soft can sheets made from bamboo actually be and how are they a renewable source?!".  So I did a little research, okay, a lot of research and here's what I found.

Top Ten Ecological reasons for using bamboo as a textile:

  1. Growth: Bamboo is in the grass family. It is the fastest growing plant in the world. Some species grow at a rate of 35 inches in a 24 hour period.
  2. HarvestingOnce a new shoot emerges from the ground, the new cane will reach its full height in just eight to ten weeks. Each cane reaches maturity in three to five years. It is a grass and so it regenerates after being cut just like a lawn without the need for replanting.
  3. Land use:  Since bamboo can be used as food, fiber and shelter with relative ease, it can be grown in smaller areas due to its clumping nature.  It grows densely which eases the pressure on land use.
  4. Greenhouse gases:  Bamboo forests decrease the CO2 and generates 35% more oxygen than regular trees.
  5. Deforestation:  Because of its quick growth and multitude of uses, bamboo can encourage communities to not utilize native forests.  When a forest is cut down for use, it doesn't grow back.  It has to be planted for regrowth.  Bamboo is similar to cutting grass, which also encourages growth.
  6. Water use:  Bamboo requires very little water and holds up well in harsh weather.  Compared to a thirsty crop of cotton which takes 5238 gallons of water to produce only 2.2 lbs. of cotton and 73% of cotton is grown on irrigated land.
  7. Soil erosion:  Replanting crops like cotton encourages soil erosion.  Bamboo has an intricate root system that never gets interrupted.  It acts as a watershed and can weave a matrix along river banks and deforested areas to preserve the soil.
  8. Biodegradable:  Sunlight and microorganisms can degrade bamboo since the fibers are made from cellulose.  When bamboo clothing has reached its end life, it can be composted.
  9. Pesticides and Fertilizers: A monster benefit of using bamboo as a fiber is that it requires no fertilizers or pesticides.  Bamboo contains an antimicrobial agent called bamboo-kun which acts as a natural pesticide and fungicide.
  10. Feeds the animals:  The leaves, stems and soft shoots are the main food sources for the giant panda, red panda, bamboo lemurs, chimpanzees, mountain gorillas and elephants.
The question still remains... "How soft can bamboo sheets and towels be? They are amazingly soft and breathable.  When I brought my sheets home and unpackaged them (which I recycled, of course), I was a bit disappointed because of the roughness I felt.  I washed them and when I was transferring them from the washer to the dryer, I was very worried.  They felt like cardboard.  Yikes!  The dryer cycle finished and I admittedly was not excited about my purchase.  Opening the dryer I found the softest, buttery set of sheets.  I thought a miracle had been performed in my dryer.  And this happened each time I laundered them.  I couldn't wait till it was "nighty-night time"!  

I am known to sleep with the fan on the "Gale Force Wind" setting because I am a sleeping inferno.  These sheets were cool, breathable, luscious and felt better than 1000 thread Egyptian sheets.  I'm a happy sleeper!  And the bamboo towels are soft and extremely absorbent.  Being in Florida, I also appreciate the quick drying of the towels.  Less likely to smell musty.
Here's your plan of action: Go to this link: and scroll down the page, you will see the sheets and towels (click on the picture) that I use.  They can easily be purchased on Amazon!  And be proud that you are protecting the environment and getting to enjoy a beautiful product.  Thanks, Angie, for the recommendation!

This one degree of change can effect the world we live in, making it a better place to enjoy the journey!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

One Degree of Change #28

One Degree of Change #28

The early morning is my most favorite time.  I go to the gym around 4 am.  I come home and go for a short run.  Prepare my favorite cup of joe and sit by our beautiful pool.  It is my meditative time, my creative time and my writing time.  I look forward to start each day just to see what I can create and make come true.

 As daylight ensues, the animals and birds come alive.  Not unusual to have a gator swimming in the canal and an osprey fishing next to it.  I have a bird feeder and a hummingird feeder which begin to serve breakfast at the first hint of sunlight.  My bees in my hive begin to forage the local area, jetting in and out of the hive.  Our cats begin the hunt for lizards that they will never catch.  The dogs come out every once and awhile to check in, making sure they are not missing anything.  All of this is done with may sacramonial cup of coffee.  It is not that I even "have" to have it.  It is just part of my morning.

One Degree of Change #28: Drink Organic Fair Trade Coffee!  When I was a kid, I remember the commercial with Juan Valdez going to the mountain top to pick the coffee beans.  The tag line for Folger's coffee was "mountain grown, the richest kind". I thought to myself, wow, that is some special coffee.  After all my grandmother drank Folgers coffee every morning.  Then I took a geography class and learned that all coffee is mountain grown.   There are two types of beans, Arabica and Robusta.  Arabica is grown in high elevations and is known to have a stronger and better flavor.  Robusta is grown in elevations of 2000 feet or less and produces more beans, but not the flavor.  Most coffee are a mixture of both to keep some coffees more affordable.  I don't drink coffee because it is cheap, I enjoy the flavor.  So I love the quest to find those coffees to enjoy.  Sorry, Juan Valdez!

In order to continue with my responsible ways, I select coffee that is organic and fair trade.  What's the difference? Since so many people start their day with coffee and also self medicate with it in the afternoon, the demand is great.  The goal for the big producer is to produce maximum amount ant the lowest cost.  The land is cleared on the mountain tops so the genetically modified coffee plants can grow in full sun.  The crops are sprayed with chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides.  The runoff from the stripped land contaminates our water sources.  The farmers that have to spray the crops are exposed to the chemicals, as well as the workers who actually handle the crops.   And then we get to enjoy the contamination in our cup each morning.  And might I add that the workers in the big production companies are paid poorly as well as the farmers who had to grow all those contaminated beans.  Enjoy!

How can you have a cup of coffee now, without thinking of all that.  Sorry for ruining the java experience for you.  So to convince you to select  and drink organic, fair trade coffee, here are 10 benefits of organic coffee!

  1. Coffee beans have important organic minerals and nutrients, which include naicin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, magnesium, manganese and potasium.
  2. Protects cognitive health and prevents mental degradation as we age.
  3. Reduces the risk of stroke and in females, reduces heart disease.
  4. There is a 23-50% lower chance of developing diabetes.
  5. Helps to optimize our metabolic efficiency due to the vitamin B sources in the coffee beans.
  6. Caffeine speeds up the metabolism and causes the burning of calories at a higher rate.
  7. Caffeine helps to maximize fitness goals by energizing the body to push through fitness routines a little harder.
  8. Research is still underway, but liver protection is noted in many of the studies that I researched.  An 80% reduction in the chance of developing liver cirrohsis was a noted effect.
  9. Acts as an anticarcenogenic by protecting against two types of cancer: liver and colorectal, which happen to be the 3rd and 4th deadliest types of cancer.
  10. Acts to energize the body and mind which decreases depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Convinced? When shopping for organic you need to look for these terms, 100% USDA Certified Organic and 100% Fair Trade.  Here's a source for fair trade products: Now you enjoy your cup of black gold (mine is with organic half and half and stevia, so its more like creamy, brown gold) with a clear conscious.

It's just one degree of change!  
Make that coffee clatch an organic, fair trade one!  
And don't forget to compost those coffee grounds,
they are the richest kind!
And please remember to drink responsibly!

Friday, September 4, 2015

One Degree of Change #27

One Degree of Change #27

It is still summertime for us in Florida.  Also hurricane season is in full swing.  I chuckle as I watch water and canned supplies fly off the shelves at the grocery store.  Not because I don't think people should prepare for a possible hurricane, but that it is a great excuse to stock the pantry and cabinets with junk food!  It is not like we are going to starve to death if we don't have power for a few days.  I imagine since we don't have "snow" days in Florida, our "hurricane" days equal the same experience.  So we just prepared for Hurricane Erika, which fizzled into alot of rain.  I watched the weather forcasters excitingly predict the possible harm.  The governor of Florida declared a state of emergency.  The frenzy began and then diminished.  Now our state of emergency is a state of increased obesity, diabetes and heart disease, because now the state of Florida has to eat all the junk food they bought to survive the storm!  I guess I should just consider it job security!

One Degree of Change #27:  Try raw milk!  So if the hurricane knocked out our power and the commercial diaries in Florida couldn't produce milk, what would you do?  Try raw milk of course.  If you remember a few degrees of change ago (One Degree of Change #23), 
I talked about commercial milk and the standards by which it is produced.  It is so interesting that the FDA allows high fructose corn syrup and trans fats in our food, but they have a fit when a local, organic farmer is selling raw milk.  Most people have never even tried raw milk.  As a kid, a grew up in Dayton, Ohio.  I had a school friend whose family owned a dairy.  I would wish every night that on Thursday, she would ask me to spend the weekend.  That meant we got to get up early Saturday morning and do the milking chores.  She hated it, I was so excited I could hardly sleep!  But it was all worth it to milk the cows by hand into the stainless steel buckets.  I admit to drinking several weeks worth of the creamy, rich nectar.  My mom feed us Carnation Instant milk that she would make the night before and put it in a gallon milk jug.  We never knew the difference, but after that first weekend at the dairy farm, mom's gig was up!

So what are the benefits of raw milk? Here are 10 benefits of drinking raw milk from healthy grass fed cows.

  1. It is an incredibley complex whole food.
  2. It is complete with digestive enzymes, antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties.
  3. It is chock full of both water and fat soluable vitamin complexes.
  4. It has a wide range of minerals and trace elements.
  5. It has all of the eight essential amino acids we need and do not make ourselves.
  6. It contains more than 60 enzymes.
  7. It contains CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) which is an Omega 6 Fatty Acid that has positive effects on insulin resistance, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  8. Numerous studies show that raw milk is effective in decreasing allergy, eczema and asthma symptoms.
  9. Protects against infection, diarrhea, rickets, tooth decay and TB.
  10. Over 80% of patients that were advised to be lactose intolerant were able to drink raw milk.
Of course, just like anything in this world, you must take care to get a great source of raw milk.  Know how the cows are fed, if they are given antibiotics and how the milk is collected and stored.  The sources are out there.  Locally in Florida we have access to both cow and goat milk.  Go to this website: and get some information for yourself. 

Now go out and get a milk mustache!
Moooove over pasteurized milk, the raw revolution is coming!
    begins September 28th and 29th! 
    Call TODAY to reserve your seat!

Friday, July 24, 2015

One Degree of Change #26

One Degree of Change #26
Whistling duck

I have been sitting outside reading this morning with the background entertainment of two Whistling ducks.  I have taken the last two months to review and ponder my "One Degree of Change" blog.  I have read through each one.  The information is very easy to do, or not to do.  Everyone I speak to comments that it is so hard to make a change.  It really isn't.  It is only a matter of taking the simple, mundane tasks in life and applying them.   Eating that one bad thing everyday, doesn't change your health today or tomorrow, but over a long period of time.  Maybe if you had a sudden life threatening heart attack after eating that "bad thing", it would make you change, because your life depended on it.  It is those little, tiny changes that you make each and every day that affect your health, your wealth, your relationships and your planet.  After reviewing the last 25 degrees of change, I have selected the Top Ten Degrees of Change.  These are the most read and commented on blogs from this past six months that I have been writing this blog.  These are the hot topics.  This blog is read all over the world, which is so amazing.  So these are topics not just that the United States are interested in, but even Switzerland, France and Morocco.

One Degree of Change #26: Just pick one!  These are the Top Ten Degrees of Change blogs in order.  Your mission if you choose to accept it is to read through the top ten and pick one that resonates with your desires in life.  If you are not growing, you are dying, so why don't you grow a little today!

10. One Degree of Change #17: Stop using Aluminum foil.
 9.  One Degree of Change #20: Get rid of all Processed Products with more than 10 grams of Sugar!
 8.  One Degree of Change #13: Compost your Veggies, Fruit and Yard Waste!
 7.  One Degree of Change #16: Repurpose furniture or donate it to Habitat for Humanity.
 6.  One Degree of Change #19: Eat Local Free Range Eggs.
 5.  One Degree of Change #15: Recycle Everything Possible!
 4.  One Degree of Change # 3Eat out only 15 times a month, or less!
 3.  One Degree of Change #12: Find & use a favorite reusable H20 bottle.
 2.  One Degree of Change #  4Clean out your refrigerator door of all foods with the 
                                                      HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!         
And the drumroll, please.....
The Number 1, most read One Degree of Change is:
  1.  One Degree of Change # 6: Try one new veggie per month.

The responses to the above degrees of change do not surprise me.  My patients are always asking questions and wanting more information on how to eat better, why certain foods effect them so harshly and what they can do to create a healthier environment for their families and themselves.  Look around, folks, 2/3 of our population in the United States are either overweight or obese.  Top three killers are Heart disease, Diabetes and Obesity.  Here is a short video that explains: Combatting Obesity.

Are you ready to make a change? 
 Even if it is mundane, but could make a huge impact on your life in the future? 
Be like Nike, Just do it!

Monday, May 11, 2015

One Degree of Change #25

One Degree of Change #25

Prayer rock built on the edge
of the Oleander River
Almost half a year has past, since I began my 100 Degrees of Change.  What have you done?  Have you made just one degree of change or many degrees of change.  My goal is to help you make an easy transition to a healthier lifestyle and planet.  If we all make one degree of change, can you imagine what a different place this world would be?

After returning to U.S. soil, my transition back to my "normal" life has been exciting.  When on my exotic travel through Morocco, I spent my quiet time meditating (Transendental meditation), to create some new opportunities.  I was inspired by the beauty of the land.  Our geography changed many times throughout the trip.  We began and ended in Marrakech.

Our trekking led us through the High Atlas Mountains, where we spent five days in the village in Riad Tighza.  We trekked from 1900 meters to around 2600 meters (8528 ft!) on several different treks. I sat by a river while the others trekked on.  The power and intensity of the water flowing from the melting snow was like music.  Of course the perfect opportunity to scour the river banks for stones to build a prayer rock.

Each rock has to be selected for size, color and shape. As I place each stone, I make a gratitude prayer.  Sometimes asking to bring something into this world and sometimes to ask for something to be taken away.  Each prayer rock is done with intention.  And then I get to leave them behind with only a photographic image.
Prayer rock built in the Sahara Desert!
 My desert prayer rock was done after meditating in the Sahara.  The peace and quiet calmed my heart and soul.  Not a sound other than the wind. The desert sand would burn the tops of my sandaled feet during the day but at night if felt as if you were dipping your toes into ice water. So I left a piece of my intention behind in Morocco.

Like the stones I used in my prayer rock, they are the building blocks of the structure.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein for the human structure.  Last week I talked about eating like a caveperson.  How do you know if you are getting enough protein to build muscle in the body?  Well, here's how we do it!

One Degree of Change #25: Eat 1/2 your bodyweight in grams of protein.  What on earth does that mean??  This simple calculation will give the amount of grams of protein that your body needs in a day.  This amount will be approximately 30% of your dietary intake of protein for the day. 

Here's your equation: 
Your bodyweight divided by 2 = grams of protein you should eat per day.

Example:   130 (my bodyweight) / 2= 65 (65 grams of protein per day)

One gram of protein= 4 calories, which means I would be eating (65 grams x 4) 260 calories of protein per day.

So why do we need protein? Well, proteins are complex organic compounds.  The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids.  They provide energy for your body.  Every cell in the body has a protein component.  Your hair and nails are mostly made of protein.  You build muscle and repair tissue by ingesting protein. It is an important building block of muscles, cartilage, bones, skin and blood.  You make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals from protein.  Protein, as well as fats and carbohydrates, is a macronutrient, which means that the body needs relatively large amounts of it.  But different than fats and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein.  So, there is no reservoir to draw from when it needs a new supply.

Proteins are made up of amino acids.  There are 20 different amino acids that hold hands to make all types of protein.  Nine of them cannot be made by our bodies, so they are referred to as essential amino acids.  This means that it is essential that our diet provides these.  There are two types of protein.  A complete protein source provides all the essential amino acids, usually called "high quality protein".  Animal-based foods, for example, eggs, cheese, milk, fish, poultry, and meat are considered complete proteins.  The second type of protein is an incomplete protein.  This means that source of protein is low in one or more of the essential amino acids.  Thirdly, we have complementary proteins.  No, this doesn't mean that the protein tells you that you have nice eyes or beautiful hair (sorry, couldn't resist)! It means that it takes two or more incomplete protein sources that together provide adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids.  This is what makes it so tricky to be a vegan.  For now, let's keep it simple.  Pick the complete protein for now.


• Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein

• Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams

• Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce

Free range Chicken

• Chicken breast, 3.5 oz - 30 grams protein

• Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)

• Drumstick – 11 grams

• Wing – 6 grams

• Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams

Wild caught Fish

• Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce

• Tuna, 6 oz can - 40 grams of protein

 Free range Eggs and Local Dairy

• Egg, large - 6 grams protein

• Milk, 1 cup - 8 grams

• Cottage cheese, ½ cup - 15 grams

• Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8-12 grams, check label

• Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz

• Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz

• Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz
Here is your 5 step action plan:
  1. Calculate your protein requirement for the day.

    Try free range eggs.  We hard boil several at a time.  I use this egg cooker by Cuisinart.  Put the eggs in, turn it on, and it beeps when it's done! No more green eggs!
  3. Add one protein source to each meal.
  4. Try a protein snack instead of fruit or sweet treats.  It will keep your blood sugar level and keep you from being hungry.
  5. Purchase local grass fed and free range protein sources.  Look at One Degree of Change #19 & 20 for sourcing. 
Okay, you know how much protein you need, why you need protein, complete protein source list and your action plan.  What are you waiting for?  Start today!
Tomorrow never comes!!!
Make that change!



Monday, April 27, 2015

One Degree of Change #24

Casting a shadow at sunset on the Sahara dunes!
One Degree of Change #24

What an amazing adventure Morocco has been! And we still have three days left.  What a different culture.  And the food has been right up my alley.  All the food has been freshly selected that morning from the hand picked vegetables to the freshly procured protein of the day.  Olives at every meal and fresh baked bread (heirloom wheat, and other grains) are served morning, noon and night. Desserts consist of fresh fruit, oranges, apples and bananas.  And the mint tea, which is ritually prepared as an offering every where we visited or spent the night.

We camped in the Sahara desert and rode camels into the sunset.  I climbed atop a 300 ft sand dune and sat to watch the sun sink into the night. A definite must do! It was spectacular! Then when the moon slipped away from the sky, the stars where a palette in the sky. I could see every star, planet, the Milky Way, shooting stars, satellites and the International Space Station! Simply awestriking!
The ritual mint tea served as a welcome everywhere in Morocco! 

The other interesting thing that I noticed, so different from the U.S., is the obesity level is very low. The obesity level of the area is only 13.3%, but on the rise from the early 90's, when the rate was only 4.1%.  Mind you, I do see some slightly overweight folks, but they are working in the fields and doing hard labor.  They grow a lot of what they eat and make their own fresh bread.  The greatest rate of obesity is definitely noted in the urban areas.  That is such a low percentage compared to the U.S., tipping the scale at 34.9% for obese Americans in 2013. And the other one third of the state is overweight! What a sad statistic!  Are you one of those statistics?  Here is a link to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index).  Just so you know! A normal BMI should be between 18 and 24.  Are you shocked that you fall into one of those overweight or obese categories? Then let's do something about it!

ONE DEGREE OF CHANGE #24: Eat More Like A Caveman or Cavewoman!  If you are serious about getting into the one third of the population that has a normal BMI then I have a plan for you! First of all what the heck does it mean to "eat like a caveman"?  The term comes from the paleolithic diet or from the stone age.  Back in that time, the people were hunters and gatherers. They didn't shop at a grocery store or have processed foods.  If the ate protein, they would have to decide if it was worth the energy expenditure to capture the protein source.  Usually not! So they picked berries, found leafy greens, munched on nuts and discovered root vegetables. All food items that didn't require cooking or very little. No grains, no dairy, no sugar, no legumes, no beans and no salt.  So you see, we are already predispositioned to eat that way. And honestly, it meets all the requirements of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Here are ten steps to eating like the Stone Agers:
Typical dinner in Morocco! 

  1. Eat protein at every meal.
  2. Eat more good fat.
  3. Eat foods that support your gut.
  4. Keep your omega 3 fatty acids coming.
  5. Have a glass of red wine instead of beer.
  6. Entertain at home so you can create foods to support your efforts.
  7. "Google" recipes that are paleo.
  8. Convert your favorite family recipe to a paleo form.
  9. Visit my One Degree of Change #6 to pick a new veggie to try each month.
  10. Recheck your cabinets and pantry for processed foods, anything in a box or package.
It is really an easy transition, but don't be too strict as you make your changes.  Be gentle with your choices. Select a cheat day, allow yourself to have something you have been craving. Just one degree of change is all that it takes!

Be the change! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

One Degree of Change #23

 One Degree of Change #23

The market in Marrakesh!
To begin my blog for this week I want to welcome all the readers from France, Switzerland and Russia!  I am honored to share a One Degree of Change to the rest of the planet!  This week as I prepare my weekly post, I am grateful to be sitting in Morocco in the Riad Stilane in Marrakesh.  I'm on a two week adventure in a part of the world that is so intriguing.  During my journey I will share the culture, especially the nutrition culture.  Our first night we feasted on a rooftop over looking the Medina.   It was a 6 course meal for $18 USD!  The first course was green and black olives with fresh baked bread (heirloom wheat, I might add).  The second course was comprised of five bowls of vegetables, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, and a medley of different veggies.  All are freshly selected early that morning.  Next a beautiful platter of cous cous with roasted potatoes, zucchini and carrots.  The best tasting carrots I have ever had.  The next course is the protein course which included lemon chicken, another chicken dish and of lamb.  To finish the meal, as if that wasn't enough, we were brought mint tea and coconut macaroons and almond cookies.  Grateful to have to trek back to the Riad.

One Degree of Change #23: Replace Cow's Milk with Nut Milk!  I always tell my patients that we are they only mammal that never weans.  Meaning, you don't see a full grown cow still nursing from it's mother, do you?  The dairy farmers would lead you to believe that milk is the most healthy nectar, but I beg to differ.

Image result for cows being milked in a dairyI have been preparing for a continuing education course that I will be teaching to doctors on Nutritional Deficiencies.  In this course I will cover food allergies and in my research I found some extremely interesting studies concerning food allergens and children.  The number one food allergy across the board, rich. poor, ethnicity or gender is cow's milk! Let's take a look at why cow's milk is so traumatic to the system.  Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't drink cow's milk (sorry commercial dairy farmers).

  1. Cow's are pumped full of hormones to increase production. This acts as an endocrine disruptor on humans.
  2. Commercial dairies use a boat load of antibiotics.  Why do you think we have so many antibiotic resistant bacteria these days??!!
  3. Number one cause of food allergens in children
  4. Good milk drinkers are more likely to die from heart disease.
  5. Among women, who drank milk, are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis and hip fractures.
  6. Heavy milk drinkers are prone to cancer, most likely due to the hormones used.
  7. Two thirds of the dairy cows have mastitis (infection of the udders), the powers to be allow a 100,000 somatic cell count per milliliter which means that the milk contain what is actually pus.
  8. Manure from dairy farms contaminates hundreds of square miles of  groundwater, rivers and streams. 
  9. Cow's milk protein plays a role in triggering Type I diabetes by a process called molecular mimicry.
  10. Milk contains D-galactose which is a pro-inflammatory and increases the effects of aging.
And that is just a list of 10.  The studies that I read preparing for my upcoming teaching stint were quite shocking.  Even more than I already knew.  Holy cow, Batman, now what do I do?  Here's your 5 step action plan:

  1. Go to your local health food store or grocery and go to the aisle where you can find the boxed milk on the shelf.  Usually near the coffee and tea aisle in a big box grocery.
  2. Pick two boxes of nut milk.  I suggest almond and coconut.  Least likely to be an allergen.
  3. Read the labels!  You do not want a nut milk with added sugar.
  4. Put one box in your refrigerator and one box in your pantry/cabinet.
  5. Let the family try both types. Try Hemp/Chia seed or cashew milk next.  I like cashew the best.  It is creamy and similar to milk.  Take a vote and pick one to replace the cow's milk in the fridge.
Image result for nut milkNow, that wasn't difficult.  And you will enjoy cooking with the nut milk also.  If you get really daring and ready to step outside the "box" (pun intended), try making your own!  It is very simple.  This is a very simple recipe.  Give it a try!
  • 1 cup raw organic nuts soaked in water overnight (12 hrs) cover with spring water and add 1/4 tsp of salt. Breaks down the enzymes to improve digestion.
  • 4 cups spring water
  • vanilla extract or vanilla bean (optional) I use a Madagascar Vanilla
  • 1/8 cup of dates, honey or stevia (optional) adds a hint of sweetness
  1. Drain and rinse nuts.  
  2. Put half the  nuts and water in blender, Nutribullet, Blend-tec, Vitamix or Ninja.  The mixture expands as you blend it.
  3. Blend several minutes until creamy and smooth.  
  4. Strain mixture by pouring through cheese cloth or kitchen towel into a large bowl.
  5. Put liquid back in blender with the vanilla and your choice of dates, honey or stevia.
  6. Store in a glass jar or container in the refrigerator.  Keeps for one week.
  7. Save the nut meat, spread on a cookie sheet, dry it in the oven and then put in the blender to make nut flour!
Alright, you go make some nut milk!  I will continue my Moroccan journey.  We walked through the Souk (market) last night on the way home from dinner.  The stands of fruits, nuts and dates were plentiful.  I wish we had these intense markets at home!

We are off to the Atlas mountains this morning.  We will be hiking over the river and through the streams to a village, where we will take in the splendor!  If we are one degree off our course, we will not make it to our destination.

Stay on course!  One Degree of Change at a time!

PS. sorry no pictures, limited wifi and couldn't post with my tablet!