Sunday, February 21, 2016

One Degree of Change #36

One Degree of Change #36

And, I missed it!  Another chance today!
I always want to acknowledge my readers from faraway!  This week I want to welcome my readers from Brazil, Ukraine and the UK!  I really don't mean to bore you with the butterfly theme, but the chrysalises that I posted last week are almost ready.  Two of them have started to turn dark and you can see the wings exposed as the chrysalis becomes transparent.  Maybe later this morning or tomorrow, but I will update the picture when it happens. So make sure you check back!

Monarch Fairy and Plumerias

by Hiroko Reaney

My fascination with butterflies is partly from my love of flying and the other is spiritual.  They are like fragile, magical fairies dancing on the air. A butterfly represents a spiritual transformation and journey to me. I started life as an egg.  I transformed into a small caterpillar that started out simply, learning to function on this big planet.  I crawled along, day to day, growing but then searching for the inner meaning of my journey (this happened when I was in my late 30's). My search for inner meaning was like wrapping myself in a cocoon.  I meditated, read, and studied turning my focus inward.  At one point, I emerged and spread my wings to fly.  A butterfly's life is short, the Monarch has the longest lifespan, six months.  It is a constant reminder of how life is fleeting and moves by so quickly.  It is funny, when we were younger a minute seemed like a day, now as I have gotten older, a day seems like a minute.  The butterfly reminds me to enjoy the power of the moment and make the most of my existence on this planet. It is very interesting to put your thoughts into words.

Image result for kale
Oh, Kale Yeah!
One Degree of Change #36: Make and Drink a Green Shake Twice a Week!  It is so easy to increase your dietary needs for foods that are nutrition rich and fiber dense.  No matter what diet you subscribe to; from flexitarian to vegetarian, from paleo to omnivore, the most important diet is to benefit from eating nutrition dense foods.  These foods are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, protein and vitamins.  They also should be included in your diet daily. Here are my Top Five Nutrition Rich and Fiber Dense Green Foods to add into your daily diet.

  1. Kale: Vitamin and mineral packed; may help to fight cancer
  2. Collard & Mustard Greens: Rich in Vitamin A, C & K; reduces DNA damage to blood cells
  3. Bok Choy: Potassium for nerve & muscle function; B6 for efficient carb, fat & protein metabolism
  4. Spinach: Vitamin & mineral packed; maintain vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity
  5. Brussel Sprouts: High fiber content and ability to bind with bile acids help decrease cholesterol; improve stability of DNA in white blood cells

 Let's start with twice a week. An easy way is to incorporate some of these foods is to make a super food shake.  We get a basket of fresh produce each week by Lee Farms Webster.  Don't be jealous, but it is delivered to our doorstep each Thursday.  I know, lucky dog!  Anyway, sometimes we don't have time to get to all our fresh veggies, so we freeze them.  Especially kale and spinach, when it starts to be on the side of no return, I put it in a big container. I toss it in the freezer to use with my shakes.  When we are doing the Standard Process Purification Program, shakes are included twice a day for the 21 days.  I am always creating new recipes for the participants to use during the program.  We continue the shake even after the program because it is a quick and easy way to make a nutrition rich and fiber dense meal.

Here is one of the recipes that is my favorite.

My "Green" Mango Shake/Smoothie
Dr. B's Green Mango Shake:
1/2 cup coconut or cashew milk
1/2 cup water
1/3 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup frozen kale or fresh
1/2 cup frozen spinach or fresh
1 tsp hemp seed
1 tsp flax seed
1 tsp chia seed

Grated ginger root (I keep mine in the freezer) to taste
2 scoops SP Whey Pro Complete (optional)

Place all ingredients into container and blend.  I promise you won't even taste the kale and spinach!  

Personally, I use a NutriBullet.  I can't wear the thing out!  We use it every day for shakes.  But we also use it to make soups and dips, like guacamole.  You don't need to purchase one, but when your blender finally does it's last blend, replace it with a Nutribullet.  There are also other machines that are quite capable such as the Vitamix and the BlendTec.  The Nutribullet is so easy to clean and use.  I timed myself one morning.  From start to finish, which included getting the ingredients out, making the shake, then putting everything away and cleaning up, it took me less than 10 minutes (yes, I really timed myself).  Do your research before you buy!

The other benefit of using the Nutribullet or similar appliance is the nutrient extraction that happens when you make the shake/smoothie.  I use whole flax & chia seeds along with hemp hearts.  The most beneficial disease fighting antioxidants are found inside the seeds.  The ingredients are broken down into the most absorbable state for digesting and utilizing these super nutritious foods. The seeds usually get discarded if we use a juicer and a regular blender isn't strong enough to breakthrough the outer covering.  Also the greens that I suggest to use are better broken down via something like a Nutribullet.  The stems and leaves are broken down and better absorbed with the process of extraction than we can do by just chewing.

We still need to chew foods because that is a very important process that activates the digestive system.  Chewing the food, prepares the stomach by the release of enzymes.  These enzymes aid in breaking down the incoming food.  While in the acidic environment of the stomach, in combination with the enzymes, the food is further broken down to be sent to the small intestine.  The nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine.  Most of our population are on proton pump inhibitors or eat Tums like they are candy because they don't digest their foods well.  These inhibit the release of the gastric acid necessary to break the foods down.  So starting with a shake can help to return the digestive system to its proper working order.  Start with one a week and then try for two a week.  

Transform your health, improve your digestion and reduce your risk of serious diseases with this One Degree of Change.  Heal yourself, prevent disease and become more resilient & stronger than you ever thought possible.  Be the change!

Friday, February 12, 2016

One Degree of Change #35

One Degree of Change #35

Hello to all my Russian readers! And Germany! And Poland!  This morning as I was prepping my blog for this week, I looked at my stats.  I had more readers from Russia than the United States.  My fascination with one degree of change stems from the simple caterpillar. I have Milkweed, the host plant for the Monarch butterfly, in my entry way garden.  Being in Florida, we have year round foliage because of our amazing weather (although it is 41 degrees outside this morning).  These three caterpillars made their chrysalises on a finial that I have next to my garden, and that is not the first time either. Two metamorphosed the same day and the third one about four days latter. Just amazing! All those one degrees of change added together to create a beautiful butterfly.

One Degree of Change #35: Plant a Butterfly Garden! You don't have to have a green thumb.  And since spring time is on the way, this is the perfect time to get your seeds and plant them inside.  When the weather is appropriate in your location, plant them outside.  Milkweed is very easy to grow.  It is a host plant for the monarch butterflies, which means, not only does it feed the growing caterpillar, but is a place for the eggs to be laid.  Nature has a pretty good system.  Momma Monarch lays the eggs on the bottom side of the leaves to protect them from the elements.  When the eggs hatch, they are already on their food source.  The caterpillars know exactly how much to eat of the poisonous milkweed (creates a toxin to protect them later from predators) to get to the proper size ( I wish my patients knew that).  Then they metamorphose into a beautiful, iridescent, lime-green chrysalis with a bead of gold dots around the rim.  The whole process from hatched egg to full butterfly takes 10 to 14 days.

The Monach's have a migratory process that is fascinating and unique to butterflies.  Some migrate from east of Rockies to the same 12 mountain spots every year in the Transvolcanic Range of the Sierra Madre in Central Mexico.  Millions hibernate there at an altitude between 8600-10,000 feet in the oyamel fir trees.  The others migrate from west of the Rockies to winter in the central coast and southern California eucalyptus trees.  Only one generation of the four life cycles makes the migration.  It takes 3-4 generations to return north for the summer.  Scientists still are baffled at how the butterflies from different generations always return to the same spot.  Inherited flight patterns ruled by circadian rhythms, magnetic pull of the earth and the position of the sun in the sky appear to be the probable cause of this miraculous journey.  Okay, my European, South American and Australians  readers, you can also take part in this.  There are migratory patterns in Russia, the Azores, Sweden, Spain and Portugal.

But, here's the problem.  The colonies were depressed by 59% in 2013.  Why?  In the spring only half return.  The loss of migrating butterflies is due to storms, high winds, snow, starvation and bird predation, which is understandable.  The biggest cause is from human interference.  Yes, all the lovely fungicides, pesticides, and insecticides that are sprayed on our crops and in our own yards.  The most well know source is neonicotinoids, which are the most widely used pesticides in the world.  They can travel from soil to seed to pollen.  Also destroying the milkweed plant itself.  Household products like Round up, Ortho Bug B Gone, and Amdro Quick Kill are legally applied in our home gardens, but are deadly to butterflies, as well as bees.

Here are your steps to be part of the solution, instead part of the problem:
Image result for small butterfly container garden in florida
Milkweed, the host plant for the Monarch Butterfly!

  1. Get rid of the Round-up, find a natural solution for weeds like these on the Treehugger website.
  2. Order your Milkweed seeds from this link.
  3. Start your seedlings now to be ready for the spring.
  4. Do not purchase Milkweed from big box stores, they are treated with chemicals and genetically modified.
  5. Contact your local agriculture center to find out what plants attract butterflies in your area.
  6. Make six foot circle on your lawn mixed with dirt and compost to plant your seeds or do a container garden. 
  7. Make sure you have a water source, a small bird bath with a large rock in the middle for the butterflies to land.
  8. Enjoy!  And be proud that you are making a one degree of change to make this world a better place for the Monarch butterflies!
Enjoy this short video of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar to a chrysalis.  It happens in a few hours.

Be in awe of the world we live in. Be part of the solution. Create a One Degree of Change to benefit the Monarch Butterfly!
Recently hatched Monarch in myown butterfly garden!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

One Degree of Change #34

One Degree of Change #34
Image result for cup of coffee

By now you know that I'm at the gym in the wee hours of the morning.  An update on the gym manager that sprayed the Lysol that nearly asphyxiated me, she no longer sprays the Lysol.  At least she doesn't do it when I'm there.  As a special perk to the early workout birds, the gym is now offering fresh brewed coffee.  I love the scent of the brewing coffee as it wafts through the gym to my olfactory bulb in my brain.  Of course, it is pulling me by the nose to partake. And of course, I'm going to be disappointed because there are Styrofoam cups, Coffee-mate Non-Dairy Creamer, both powder and liquid, as well as a selection of pink, blue and yellow packets.  Way to crash my limbic system in a heart beat.  The very place I go to support my wellness as well as my musculoskeletal system is not aware of the concept of health.  I forget that I know way to much because I research and teach this information all the time.  It is now time for me to ruin yet another food stuff (I'm using the term food loosely) that you or a loved one may be using on a daily basis.

First let's chat about pouring the hot coffee into that Styrofoam cup. What harm is that?  The word styrofoam refers to polystyrene or styrene.  It leaches out of the cup when hot foods or liquids are placed in it.  It is only a possible carcinogen and only increases your risk for leukemia, lung tumors, respiratory problems and lymphoma.  And there may be some possible side effects like fatigue, headaches and feeling like you are drunk.  Certainly another factor is the environmental challenges that styrene creates for our planet.  Drink responsibly!

Secondly, those pink, blue and yellow packets are chemicals that fool your pancreas into thinking it is sugar.  They are nothing but colorful, little packets of cancer.  The synthetic food industry is smart. Splenda is sucralose which sounds like sucrose (table sugar).  Aspartame in Nutrasweet and Equal sounds like aspartic acid (an amino acid which occurs in sugar cane).  In Sweet 'N Low there is saccharine which sounds like saccharide (a general synonym for sugar). There is no mistake that "Nutra" sounds like nutrition and Equal means equivalent.  Clever little tricks that make you believe that these ingredients are harmless and natural sugar substitutes.  Try stevia or raw sugar instead, just for the "health" of it.

And thirdly, what you have been waiting for, drumroll, please......

One Degree of Change #34: Use Organic Half & Half in your Coffee, instead of Non-Dairy Creamer! I do a ton of research because I teach CE's (Continuing Education to maintain licensure) to doctors, as well as speaking publicly on the topic of nutrition.  I will tell you this, there are a lot of doctors that don't know diddly squat about nutrition other than there are the Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F & K.  Somebody has to teach them.  Remember what Maya Angelou says, "Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better".  Here's to you "knowing better"!

Image result for coffee mateNon-Dairy Creamers, well, it is descriptive on purpose because the FDA is looking out for you.  That's because if it says non-dairy, there is no dairy in the product.  In Europe, they must use the term "whitener", because the label "cream" would lead one to think there is actually dairy in the product.  I pick on Coffee-mate brand made by Nestle because that is what was in the gym this morning.  It was made popular by Nestle in 1961 and remains that way today.  In 2014, the company had revenue in the 91 billion range.  Somebody is drinking this stuff, and it's not me!  They have more than 22 flavors  Here are the ingredients of the powder:

  • corn syrup solids- sugar made from cornstarch
  • vegetable oil (including partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil) TRANS FAT! (Read One Degree of Change #5)
  • sodium caseinate- milk protein that does contain lactose
  • dipotassium phosphate- a water soluble salt that prevents coagulation
  • mono- and diglycerides- fats that emulsify and extend shelf life, the future trans fats
  • sodium aluminosilicate- an anti-caking salt made of aluminum, silicon and oxygen
  • artificial flavor- depending on the flavor you buy (but won't be buying now)
  • annatto color- coloring agent
  • Carrageenan: Extracted from red seaweeds, this food additive is a type of vegan gelatin and has been in use for hundreds of years.
  • Whiteners
Basically, you are pouring vegetable oil with sugar into your cup of Joe!  The shelf life is two years with no refrigeration necessary.  Think about how long those little tiny containers of non-dairy creamers sit on a restaurant table, day after day. Did you know you can blow up powdered non-dairy creamer?  I'm a big fan of Mythbusters.  Here's a fun little video of what happens to non-dairy creamer when you had fire! Additionally, it has more calories than Half & Half.  

Here is your plan of action to remove these non-dairy:

    Image result for organic valley half and half
  1. Learn to love it black!  You will save calories for more fun foods.
  2. Use REAL cream or half & half.  Look for Organic and grass feed on the label.  This is what I use, Organic Valley.
  3. Go vegan or if you are lactose intolerant, try a nut milk, read my One Degree of Change #27 for more info.  There are many to choose from:  almond, cashew, or coconut.  If you have a nut allergy try hemp, chia or flaxseed milk.

No excuses.  You can still have your cup of Joe and drink it too!  Remember to drink fair trade coffee.  Life is too short for bad coffee.  Make your cup a good one and good for you as well.  It is only one degree of change to make you a better you!