Sunday, March 22, 2015

One Degree of Change #20

One Degree of Change #20

Eagerly awaiting "Jump Day" for the baby wood ducks.  Just peeked in the box while momma duck was on a nest break. The eggs are all covered with downy feathers.  There at least a dozen eggs.  No hatchlings yet, but according to my calculations we are T-minus 7 days! 

Once again, nature is so amazing in the fact that the momma duck knows exactly what the babies will need to be fed.  She doesn't fly into the local convenience store to pick up some prepackaged, processed food like substance.  And I know that this spring time season fills the shelves at the stores with all kinds of sugary treats to fill baskets that "some bunny" is supposed to deliver. But wake up people, no living creature in nature would purposely serve their children something that mimicked a nutritious food.  Just cruise down the aisle of your local supermarket or "drug" store and look at all the options of "egg like" candy!  I counted ten different types from jelly bean eggs to malted milk eggs.  That's enough to send anyone into a diabetic coma.  Your pancreas would pass out from the information overload of the thoughts of sugar.  Don't get me wrong, it's okay to have a treat every once and a while, but they start marketing this stuff just as the Christmas holiday is ending.

One Degree of Change #20: Get rid of all Processed Products with more than 10 grams of Sugar!  Since it is Easter candy time, I thought it would be fun to pick on those 600 million cute, little chicks and bunnies that Americans eat every year.  Here's the lowdown on these sugar treats:

  • 32 calories per peep (chick or bunny).
  • Box of five = 160 calories (because who eats just one).
  • Fat free (not really, because sugar is converted into fat for the most part).
  • There are 8 grams of sugar in each peep.
  • That's 2 teaspoons of sugar per peep, the box of five equals 10 teaspoons.
  • No cholesterol, no fiber, no protein, absolutely no nutrition!
  • Contain 13% of you daily carbohydrates.
  • Ingredients for a yellow chick or bunny: Sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, contains less than 0.5% of the following ingredients: yellow #5 (Tartrazine), potassium sorbate (a preservative), natural flavors, carnauba wax (in case you wanted to wax your car).
  • Because of the gelatin, they are not considered vegan.
  • Gluten-free, if the package states that it is, depends on the factory in which they are produced.
With all those yummy ingredients, who can resist? Some body is eating my share of the 600 million peeps! So how many carbohydrates/sugar should you have in a day?  Here is how I calculate the number of calories an individual patient should have per day to maintain weight:

 Multiply your body weight — in pounds — by 13 if you’re sedentary,
                                                                                 16 if you’re moderately active and
                                                                                 18 if you exercise regularly.

Example: My bodyweight is 130 lbs. X 16 = 2080 calories.  If I wanted to lose weight, I would decrease my number to 13, which would decrease my caloric intake to 1690 calories per day.

Now you need to calculate the number of grams of carbohydrates that you need in a day.  Here is the formula that I use:

Total caloric intake X 45-65%, then divide by 4 = grams of carbohydrates.

Example: My total calories for the day are 2080 x .45 = 936 / 4 = 234 grams of carbs per day. 

So that means I could have 29.25 peeps for the day! Not!  I choose to partake in nutrition rich and fiber dense carbohydrates.  Here is your 10 step approach to decreasing your processed sugar intake:

1.  Now go through your pantry and cabinets.
2.  Look at the boxes, bags, and don't forget the cans and jars of processed food (if it was made in a plant or factory, it is processed) in your possession.
3. Take just one cabinet. 
4. Pull everything out and read the labels
5. If it has more than 10 grams of sugar per serving, make it go bye bye!
6. Donate unopened packages to a food shelter like Lake Cares Pantry in Eustis or find an organization in your area. **See below
7.  Empty open containers and put into garbage.
8.  Rinse and Recycle the empty containers.
9.  Make a shopping list with healthy alternatives.
10. Cross your heart and promise to be good to it!

Can you make some changes in your shopping habits?  At least if you are going to have a sweet treat, purchase some fair trade chocolate to fill that basket the bunny brings to your house.  Equal Exchange carries Fair Trade chocolates and cocoas, which are delicious treats that support small-scale farmers and their families, made with organic chocolate and sugar from co-ops in Central and South America. They are always organic, always small-farmer grown! It is a win-win!  But you still have to watch your sugars!

The great thing about your "One Degree of Change" is that it makes you a healthier person and
the planet a healthier place to live! 
Come on, it's only one degree!

**Addendum: After having a discussion on Facebook with one of my patients, I agreed to change #6 in the steps to decreasing sugar in your diet.  It was discussed that donating the bad food to the pantry should not be done as those are the folks who can least afford the sickness that comes from those kinds of foods. She suggested throwing it away in the garbage and leaving it for aliens! I suggested using it as a fire starter. She followed up with "Maybe leaving  it for the aliens will explain to them why we became extinct??"  What more could I say, but "That's awesome"!  What do you think we should do?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One Degree of Change #19

One Degree of Change #19

Jump day!
Dr. B's Dew Duck Inn!  No Vacancy!
This is an exciting time in our backyard!  We have three Wood Duck boxes, two that are placed on posts in the water and the other sits on our dock.  I purchased the new duck box house and prepped it with fresh shavings last year because our other one rotted and fell apart.  The neighbor across our canal had intentions of adding a boat house this year.  I was going to ask the dock builders to sink a post to install the new duck box.  That hasn't happened yet.  After our rescued duck was released I checked the duck box and observed downy feathers lining the box!  A few days later while enjoying our view, we noticed two eggs on the dock!  So we walked on to the dock to inspect and as we went to pick up the eggs, out flew momma duck!  So we gently opened the side door and placed the eggs on the nest with about a dozen other eggs.  The duck box is just setting on the dock, not secured and the opening was not facing the water.  I wanted to turn the nest box so the opening was over the water and of course secure it.  No, I did not use duck tape, but a couple of bungee cords to safely, gently secure the box.  We have been watching momma enter and exit the box morning and evening to keep her brood safe.  Incubation is 28-32 days, T-minus 15 days.  Waiting for jump day!

Are these the kind of eggs you eat?
One Degree of Change #19: Eat Local Free Range Eggs.  Of course, I am referring to chicken eggs.  Eggs are quite possibly the world's perfect protein source.  The six grams of protein in each has the highest biological value -- a measure of how well it supports your body's protein needs -- of any food, including beef.  The yolk itself contains Vitamin B12, deficiencies of which can cause attention, mood and thinking problems. 

Depending on where you're getting your eggs, though, you could be getting a lot more than you bargained for in that egg carton. Here's an example of what you might get:
  • Arsenic, added to feed to promote growth in hens (linked to various forms of cancer)
  • An extra dose of antibiotics which is also used to promote growth (linked to antibiotic resistance & obesity in people).
  • A heaping helping of salmonella. Hens confined to cages had 7.77-times greater odds of harboring salmonella bacteria than eggs from non-caged hens. (2010 study published in the journal Veterinary Record)
  • Feed for the hens may also include pesticides, animal byproducts and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
And guess what? There is no independent third party that certifies egg producers as "cage free" so you have to take their word for it.  Once again, obtaining locally sourced free range eggs is a must and a plus.  The taste of a fresh egg is so rich.  The yolk is so yellow it is almost orange.  And the benefits health wise are endless.  If you are within my locale, try local feed stores, farmer's markets and Lake Meadow Naturals.  If you are outside of our area go to Eat Wild, you can type in your place of residence and find local eggs and more!
Recycled materials used to make this backyard coop!
Photo by Janet Gamache

Chickens paying rent!
Photo by Janet Gamache
If you can't find a local source, create your own.  One of our friends, Janet, always wanted chickens.  She has made her dream come true. She also realized the health benefits of eating locally sourced foods. She researched how to build a coop, utilized recycled wood, repurposed an old hot tub base and built it herself!  She purchased chicks (she recommends to spend the extra $$ to ensure you are buying pullets) that were a month old.  Within five months she had her first eggs!  She has three chickens named Kaleesi, Doodle and Noodle.  She said they are easier to take care of than a dog.  She feeds them table scraps and they roam around the backyard eating insects.  At night they march into their nesting boxes to sleep and prepare for their daily chore of laying their eggs.  Janet warns that it is extremely important to be certain that the coop is locked for the night.  Dogs, raccoons and predator birds love to invade and partake of your egg source.  Also chickens are clever.  They can open locks, so several locking mechanisms maybe necessary to secure your prized chickens.  The chickens are part of Janet's social life too.  When entertaining guests in their backyard, the chickens take part in the festivities.  How cool is that!

If you want to make your own coop, do your homework.  The internet has DIY plans or you can purchase pre-made coops from local feed stores and sometimes farmer's markets.  Make sure when you purchase your chicks that they are pullets. No one wants a noisy rooster as a neighbor.  And be certain the type of chicken you purchase is hardy for your locale.

Purchasing free range eggs from a local source also supports the local farmers who are doing the right thing for the environment and for the quality of the food they produce.  Don't pay the big box producers rent!  Or better yet, be the landlord and accept only eggs for the rent! 

What will your One Degree of Change be?
The chicken or the egg?
Or both!

Friday, March 6, 2015

One Degree of Change #18

One Degree of Change #18

Flying Y Ranch in Marianna, FL
Photo by Lynn Yarborough
Where's the beef? If you are in my age range, mid century modern, then you will remember the Wendy's catchphrase used for advertising. And if not, just click on the phrase and you will have your Wikipedia information.  I wrote about aluminum foil last week and the dangers of its use, which lead to my thoughts of grilling! In Florida, we have already had our two days of spring and will be moving in to summer very soon. And steaks on the grill are the perfect start to summer. My choice is always local grass fed beef. There are several reasons listed below confirming my reason for shifting to the grass fed source of beef.  I have patients who are cattle ranchers and are shifting their endeavors to production of grass fed beef.  So some of the information I will present to you is straight from the cow's mouth, so to speak.

One Degree of Change #18: Eat Local Grass Fed Beef
I am so grateful to live in Florida.  We have weather that allows us to have great food year round.  I encourage patients to eat local.  I give them the 10 mile radial challenge.  That means to eat foods within a 10 mile radius of their home.  So now your challenge is to find local grass fed beef!            Why?   Several reasons:

Photo by Lynn Yarborough

1. Support local ranchers.  They are passionate about what they do.
2. Grass fed beef is lower in Omega 6 Fatty Acids and higher in Omega 3 Fatty Acids= less inflammation to the body, increased cellular brain support and a reduction in cancer.
3.  Grass fed beef is leaner, so it is lower in calories coming from fat.
4.  It is four times higher in Vitamin E, which is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.  It is also a potent antioxidant which has a strong anti-aging effect.  That's enough of a reason for me!
5.  Grass fed beef is the richest known source of another type of good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" or CLA. CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer and reduction of tumor growth.

Did you know that in factory farms, animals are switched to an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. But corn and soy are not the only ingredients in their “balanced rations”.  Many large-scale dairy farmers and feedlot operators save money by feeding the cows “by-product feedstuffs” as well. In general, this means waste products from the manufacture of human food. In particular, it can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble gum, floor sweepings from plants that manufacture animal food, bakery, potato wastes or a scientific blend of pasta and candy. Here are some of the “by-product feedstuffs commonly used in dairy cattle diets in the Upper Midwest.”*
  • Candy. Candy products are available through a number of distributors and sometimes directly from smaller plants… They are sometimes fed in their wrappers…. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops or gum drops are high in sugar content.
  • Bakery Wastes. Stale bread and other pastry products from stores or bakeries can be fed to dairy cattle in limited amounts. These products are sometimes fed as received without drying or even removal of the wrappers.
  • Potato Waste is available in potato processing areas, and includes cull potatoes, French fries and potato chips. Cull fresh potatoes that are not frozen, rotten, or sprouted can be fed to cows either whole or chopped. Potato waste straight from a processing plant may contain varying amounts of inedible or rotten potatoes. French fries and chips contain fats or oils from frying operations.
  • Starch. Unheated starch is available from some candy manufacturers and sometimes may contain pieces of candy.
  • Pasta is available from pasta plants and some ingredient distributors as straight pasta or in blends with other ingredients, such as candy.
*This list is excerpted from “By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest,” published in 2008 by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Madison

So, where's the beef locally?  You have several choices.  If you are near our Winter Park office, you have Lake Meadow Naturals located in Ocoee.  If you are near our Eustis office, you have even more choices because we are getting into the pasture areas.  Local Harvest is a link that not only shows you those local to Eustis, but also any city or state by entering your city or zip.

The choice is yours. 
Now that you know better, you have to do better!


P.S. We got to bring Linda the duck home from the  Eastside Veterinarian Clinic in Clermont.  We released her Wednesday morning!  We opened the crate door and she flew off into the wild, blue yonder.  Hopefully to find her mate!  And they lived happily ever after!  I love happy endings!