Category Archives: Physical Health

The Search for Real Food

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I have been on an elimination diet for a month…now, that doesn’t mean I was able to be totally strict with it but for the most part, I did follow it. I would “slip” every now and then and pick myself right up and continue on. One learns valuable truths about one’s eating habits through the cravings along the way…my craving was and always seems to be, BREAD. Good bread, real bread, bread worth eating.
What did I learn? Well, I have to say that I have been learning how to search for “Real” food. It was imperative to have done the basics before hand…eliminating sugar and drinking the necessary water. Without those two in place, I could not have survived this month.
The elimination diet itself is just phase one…phase two now will be to add foods back into my diet but unlike the time before, I am going to be quite selective. I am treating my body as the temple it should be…and eat only REAL. The ingredients are being scrutinized…I am going to make my own bread out of einkorn wheat. I am going to eat only real butter. I am making my own yoghurt. I am not going to eat any packaged snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies. I am going to make my own chocolate using cocoa and honey as the sweetening…
I will make my own soups in the crockpot. I will make salads in the mason jars so that when you look into my refrigerator, you are going to see healthy foods on every shelf. Lucious fruits and colorful vegetables all ready to eat. I’ve been making “ice cream” out of bananas and actually prefer it…
Real Food. I am really looking forward to it.
Will you join me?
Take the time to read the ingredients in your foods…since it’s summer, buy local foods from your farmers’ markets. You are what you eat…
til next time…Eva

Elimination Diet – 3 of 3

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Elimination Diet…Part 3 of 3

Now we get to the good stuff…what foods you are able to eat.

Allowed Foods:
Oils: sunflower, sesame, virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, safflower oil

Nuts: Nuts in the shell or cracked without additives(Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pecans)

Almond and Sesame butter

Eat mainly fresh or fresh-frozen foods.

Fish(Fresh, Packed in Water, or Packed in Olive Oil)

Sea Salt(commercial salt often contains corn starch and chemicals)

Garlic Powder

Vegetables: (Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Cabbage, Carrots, Squash, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Avocados, Celery, Okra,
Radishes, Greens, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Parsnips, Green Peppers,
Rutabaga, Leeks, and Turnips)

Fruits: Fresh or Frozen.(Bananas, Grapes, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Kiwi, Papaya, Mangos, Coconuts,
Plums, Persimmons, Berries, Melons, Cherries, Apricots, Pomegranates)
Note: eat only small servings of fruits as fruits contain lots of natural sugar.

Sweeteners: Honey in very small amounts, Stevia

Meats: Wild Game(Deer, Rabbit, Duck), Deep Water Ocean Fish, Salmon, Lamb, Crab, Lobster, Oysters,
Clams, Scallops, Turkey.
(Other elimination diets I have seen allow most meats and fish other than Beef and Shellfish.)
Avoid processed, smoked or cured meats since they contain starches, fillers, milk, corn,
sugar, food coloring and other additives.

Also, if you eat an allowed food presently quite often before you start the elimination diet, it is
quite possible that you are allergic to that food…and it is advised that you refrain from eating that
during the elimination diet(mine was almonds…)

I know in the beginning I was almost afraid to put anything into my mouth and was not eating enough. The trick is to make sure you have allowable foods in the house. I made soups of allowable foods and that saved me for many of my weak moments. It’s only for 30 days…keep telling yourself that 🙂
Til next time…Eva

Elimination Diet: Part 2

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The Elimination Diet: Part 2

Foods to Avoid

You may look at this list and think, “What am I going to be able to eat?” And yes, it looks very limiting…but think of this time as a chance to heal yourself and understand the connection between your health and what you eat. All of the Elimination Diets have the basics eliminated but others have added other items as well. Dr. Cranton’s Elimination Diet is very thorough because he adds other things to eliminate and not just food.

What to Avoid:

Dairy Products(milk, cheese, yoghurt)

Eggs

All Grains(wheat, corn, rye, barley, oats, rice)

Sweeteners(NutraSweet, equal, aspartame, cane sugar, beet sugar, corn sugar, fructose, glucose, and brown sugar)

Citrus(oranges, grapefruit)

Legumes(beans, peas, peanuts, soybeans)

Meats(beef, chicken, pork, lunchmeats, shrimp)

Apples

Tomatoes

White Potatoes

Food Colorings

Chemical additives, emulsifiers, yeast, preservatives

Chocolate

Cola

Processed and Packaged Foods

Caffeinated Coffee, Tea and Alchoholic Beverages

Avoid chemical exposures. Do not breathe tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes, solvent fumes, chemical fumes, or perfumes.

Use scent free laundry and house cleaning products that have no chemical odor.

Use only hypoallergenic, scent free toiletries and cosmetics.

Avoid tobacco in any form

Condiments

Black, Cayenne and Hot Peppers

Yeast containing foods(bread, wine, vinegar, mushrooms, dried fruits)

Avoid any fruit or vegetable that was regularly eaten more often than once a week(example…if you snack regularly on almonds, eliminate them…even though they are permitted.)

Very little or no fruit juice

If you are planning to do the elimination diet, I would suggest that you do some preliminary homework with it…I have found that if you have been gradually improving your health and have been eliminating the sugar, cutting down on the wheat consumption, drinking more water, it will be easier to live with the elimination diet.

Start planning…chances are, there will be family members who are not going to be on the diet. Figure out a way to keep their foods separate from what you are allowed to eat so that you won’t be tempted. This can be done by their having a section of the refrigerator and freezer as well as cupboard space. Do whatever you can to make it easier for you.

This will also be a time for you to try new foods that you haven’t done before…for example, mine is artichokes…be adventurous and try something new and it may become a favorite.

til next time…Eva

Elimination Diet…Part 1 of 3

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If you have suspected food allergies or just feel some foods aren’t working for you, attempting the Elimination Diet might be something for you to try. It’s not for the weak hearted…it’s a month long(or longer) and many foods are taboo for the month. There are many varieties of the Elimination Diet. I’ve used the following one by Dr. Elmer M. Cranton. I did it a few years ago to determine if I had allergic reaction to wheat/grains because I was coughing every time I ate anything with wheat and I couldn’t make the connection. I remember one time my daughter and I had gone to a fast food restaurant and had gotten a burger…I couldn’t stop coughing and we had to leave quickly. Another symptom I would have was frequent heartburn…several times a day. I went on the elimination diet and for the first time in such a long time, I wasen’t coughing…I also lost weight that never returned.

According to Dr. Elmer M. Cranton (2005), the Elimination Diet is useful in two ways.. to help diagnose suspected food allergies and/or relieve stress on the immune system. One thing to remember is that this is not a life time program…it is a direction towards feeling good again.

To diagnose for allergies, it is recommended to stick with it for a month and observe any changes/improvements in the way you feel. Symptoms that may improve are skin rashes, fatigue, congestion, digestive tract problems, joint pain, discomfort of any kind.

The suspected foods and beverages that were eliminated during the month are then re-introduced to your diet one by one and you over a few days notice if any of the symptoms return. If they don’t, it is then safe to eat that food again.

If the diet is used to relieve stress on your immune system, the time frame is 3 months. This is a period of rest and can give your system the time to recover its’ tolerance to the foods you previously couldn’t tolerate. The foods may then be tolerated as long as they aren’t eaten often. When you do this diet, it’s known as the Cave Man Diet or the Rare Food Diet because it avoids your commonly eaten foods.

It is recommended that you keep a daily diary of your symptoms, diet and any improvements that you notice. You may experience withdrawal symptoms during the first week or two…and incidentally, whatever it is you crave or have withdrawal symptoms of, is probably the allergy causing food.

Various changes you may notice: Relief from:

Nasal or Lung Congestion
Constipation/Diarrhea
Heart Burn
Joint Aches
Drowsiness after meals
Mucous
Bloating
Mood Swings
Urinary Problems
Fatigue
Gas
Foggy Thinking
Fluid Retention
Digestive Disorders
Pain
Part 2 will be all the foods you will need to avoid
Part 3 will be the foods you are permitted to eat.

til next time…Eva

Water…Getting Enough?

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Drinking enough water? If you’re like me, we try so many techniques, diets, the latest findings…yet we absolutely balk at the concept of drinking the allotted proverbial “8 glasses of water” that we are told to drink. Why is this? I know for me, in the cold weather I have a difficult time drinking cold water. I drink tea constantly. I know I should probably just have the hot water with lemon.

Then there are all those drink temptations out there…the sugary(and artificial sweetener) drinks…sodas, energy drinks, frozen slushies(used to be my favorite..a frozen coke), coffee drinks, sweet tea and the list goes on.

Since once I write a habit on this blog, I persevere with it(mind you, I do slip up now and then but go back to it). I’ve decided that I’m once and for all drinking my water…and hope you will join me.

Have you read F. Batmanghelidj, MD’s “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”? I read it years ago and recently re read it. Basically the story is this…our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water.(this varies according to age…babies have a higher percentage 75-80%). Most of us by not drinking enough water and not eating water-rich foods(aka processed junk), have allowed ourselves to become de-hydrated…and not just de-hydrated but CHRONICALLY de-hydrated!

Chronic de-hydration, according to Dr. Batmanghelidj and others, cause disease in the body. Many diseases that plague modern society could be taken care of by cleaning up our diet and upping our water intake.

DEHYDRATION-PRODUCED DISEASES:

multiple scleroses
high blood pressure
diabetes
cholesterol complications
stroke
fainting spells
emotional learning opportunities
blood sugar imbalance
aids
cancer
hiatus hernia
digestive learning opportunities
stomach ulcers and others

DEHYDRATION SIGNS:

Here is a list of signs of dehydration in varying degrees:

Mild Dehydration(2%)
thirst
reduced appetite
skin flushing(face and neck)
dark colored urine
dry mouth
fatigue
mild headache
chills
dizziness

5% Dehydration
Decreased sweating and urination
increased heart rate, respiration and body temperature
extreme fatigue
muscle cramps
severe headaches
nausea and constipation
neurosensory disturbances(tingling, numbness)

10%(Severe)
Muscle spasms
vomiting
rapid pulse
dim vision
painful urination
confusion
respiratory depression
neuromuscular seizures
chest pain
unconsciousness

HOW MUCH WATER?

Your body needs an absolute minimum of 6-8 glasses of water a day(adjustments need to be made for physical activity, body mass and ingestion of diuretics). It is recommended that you drink your water in the following time periods:

1 glass a half an hour before taking food(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
1 glass 2 1/2 hours after each meal
2 glasses before going to bed

The reason for drinking water before your meals is that the water enables your body to digest your food.

For people who can’t sleep, drinking a glass of water and putting a pinch of salt on the tongue as well as having had adequate exercise during the day will enable sleep.

At the end of this post will be several websites with a myriad of information about water intake, well worth looking at and studying.

So, the question is, how to keep track of your water intake? I’ve tried a few methods…keeping a checklist of how many glasses a day(there is an app for your phone too), keeping the allotted number of bottled water in the fridge for the day, and my latest is I got a bottle with the total amount I need for the day. I find for me, a combination of the large bottle and having the individual bottles for when I need to leave the house, works best for me.

It’s all been a learning process…I realize for me that the reason the water intake didn’t work before was because of my sugar intake. Now since I’ve weaned off sugar, sugary drinks no longer appeal to me. I now go out to eat and basically there are three options of drinks…water, unsweetened coffee and unsweetened tea. Makes life simple.

Drinking your allotted water has it’s physical aspects as well…your skin becomes clearer with wrinkles fading, your energy level increases…two biggies I would think!

til next time…Eva

http://secretsofwellness.com/your-body%E2%80%99s-many-cries-for-water/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/symptoms/con-20030056

http://www.hydration.net.au/page/shop/info_page/a/infopage_id/e/46

http://ezinearticles.com/?Tinnitus-and-Dehydration&id=3148092

The “No Poo” Concept

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“No Poo” means…no shampoo. After reading the ingredients in the shampoo and conditioner I was using, I went online to see what options were available. I found many links regarding the “No Poo” concept which actually means washing your hair with baking soda and then rinsing it in vinegar water.

Yes, baking soda and vinegar. Ok, I was perfectly fine with this concept but my basic concern was the question of what it would do to my haircolor? My “natural” haircolor at this point is patches of gray. I also realize that hair color is high on the toxic list and I guess I was at a catch all situation of do I try this No Poo concept and risk who knows what color my hair would become plus all of the websites I visited stated that one of the downsides of the no poo concept is that you can have many, many BAD HAIR days until your hair and scalp adapt.(your hair and scalp get very oily until it becomes stable).

You and I are well familiar with Bad Hair Days…I am going to be honest here…if my daughter and her age group have a bad hair day, they can simply tie it back, put some cute headband or whatever on their head and look adorable. But, at my age, if I did the same and walked out of the house, people would take a look at me and know straight away that I was hiding something!

So, I decided not to drastically try the no poo concept…what I did do was dilute the shampoo and conditioner that I do use…I made an herbal tea(strong) of sage(my hair color had been fading and I want to discontinue it if possible. Doing the research, Sage is good for darker hair and will gradually darken your hair…the key word here is gradually…). I took an empty shampoo bottle, filled it 7/8 of the way with the sage tea and poured my shampoo in for the remainder of the bottle. I did the same with the conditioner.

Now when I take my shower, I have the nicely scented sage shampoo mixture and the conditioner. It lasts approximately 4 shampooing times…very diluted and very economical. I have been getting compliments on my haircolor as well…it’s very subtle at the moment but looks very healthy.

Different herbs will give different scents and color:

Hair lighteners can be made from: calendula, chamomile, saffron, turmeric, yarrow, red clover and mullein flowers.

Hair darkeners can be made from: rosemary, sage, marjoram and blue malva flowers
Coffee, black tea and walnut shells can be used too.

If you want to make a rinse, take the desired herb and make a strong tea of it and when it is cool, rinse your hair with it, catching it and keep pouring it over your hair(they suggest 15 times) and then don’t rinse it.

So, at this time, I will stick with the diluted shampoo and conditioner…someday I may try the no poo concept…

til next time…Eva

De-tox challenges…

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I find that the more I do to improve my habits, the more I find to do. Once I’d gotten the oil-pulling and the dry skin brushing as a habit, then I started looking at the ingredients of the lotions, shampoos, etc. that I was putting on my body. What’s the use of doing the de-tox if I keep adding the toxins back into my body?

So, today I decided to take a few of the items I use and find out what the ingredients really are and if they are toxic to my (and your) system.

I took my shampoo and my everyday lotion and deciphered the ingredients(the ingredients on my shampoo bottle were so small and in white…very difficult to read as well as pronounce).

Next step was to find the ingredients online…I found several excellent websites to guide you along the way towards the toxic ingredients in our cosmetics…
http://www.lotionsecrets.com
http://www.nontoxicalternatives.com
http://www.livestrong.com
http://www.fitsugar.com
http://www.tightlycurly.com
tightlycurly has an extensive ingredient list that is alphabetical.

I found out that the shampoo I had been using had several objectionable ingredients:
sodium laurate sulfate
sodium lauryl sulfate
(cheap harsh detergents used in many shampoos. Causes eye irritation, dry scalp, skin rashes and
other allergic reactions)

Propylene Glycol (beware of related chemicals labeled PEG and PPG. Causes hives and eczema)

Synthetic colors..labeled as FD&C or D&C followed by a number..can be carcinogenic.

Synthetic Fragrance…no way to tell what chemicals are in the product.

Glycerin…can be manufactured naturally or synthetically

Stearalkonum chloride..was designed by fabric industry as a fabric softener…companies use it in hair conditioners and lotions cause it is cheaper.

PVP/VA Copolymer…a petroleum derived chemical used in hair products and some cosmetics…considered toxic if it is inhaled and can damage the lungs.

Petrolatum…mineral oil derivative that can clog your pores. It is used cause it is inexpensive.

Diazolindinyl Urea…Imidazolidinyl Urea…both preservatives. Primary cause of contact dermatitis. They release formaldehyde which can be toxic.

Methyl, Propyl, Beryl, Ethyl, Parabens…preservatives that can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes.

Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)
foaming agents. They cause allergic reactions, eye irritation and dryness of hair and skin. Are toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

One of the websites I was looking at stated that teenaged girls are at the most risk basically because of all of the cosmetics and hair supplies they use.

As I’ve said before, we all need to start asking the questions and doing our own research to determine what is right for us. After looking at all of this, I found websites on the “no poo” method…which means you don’t use shampoo at all…you put a baking soda and water paste or spray on your hair to wash it and rinse it with apple cider/white vinegar and water. Maybe that’s the way to go…I’ll let you know if I decide to go that route or make my own shampoo and conditioner…

til next time….Eva

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Sugar…Part 2

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I have been getting rid of every food in the house that has excessive sugar in it and have been reading every label…

Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms:

Below is a list of possible withdrawal symptoms of sugar withdrawal…have been reading that depending on how addictive you have been, the time can be months before you feel better. Luckily I gave up soda a while ago and the gummies/candy.
I’m not too keen on artificial sweeteners of any kind…honey is probably the sweetener of choice for me…but not in the immediate future…I feel I have to go cold turkey. Fruits and fruit juices in moderation. Today I made oatmeal and instead of the water, I used apple cider, added some cinnamon and vanilla…I must say it tasted so good!

POSSIBLE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS OF SUGAR WITHDRAWAL

a. Headaches, Irritability, Shaking
b. Feeling Sad or Down
c. Fatigue
d. Sleep Patterns Affected
e. Cravings
f. Poor Energy
g. Nausea

I personally have the headache, irritability and poor energy.

How to get through these withdrawal symptoms? I’ve been reading that drinking a lot of water helps, personally I found a cup of coffee helps me a lot. Finding substitute foods to eat when you are craving your old sugary standbys…That’s the point I am at now…will report on different foods tomorrow…
til next time…Eva

The Perils of Sugar – Part 1

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GranulatedSugar

A few weeks ago, I bought a pound of peach gummies from my local bulk products farm store. They are in a plastic box with lid. After hubby goes to bed, that’s usually when I’m on the computer and like to do some snacking. I remembered that I had gotten the gummies. Normally I have some restraint, but this time I ate the whole amount! I noticed that my throat hurt a bit and I had a buzz. At this point, I realized that maybe it’s time I listened to my body and curtail the sugar habit.

Yes, sugar is addictive and habit forming. Refined sugar that is. According to the USDA, Americans each consume over 150 POUNDS of sugar in a year. That’s 31 bags of sugar!(5 pound bags!).
Refined sugar in any significant quantities is toxic to many human bodies(from “Sugar Busters”). Refined sugar didn’t exist until 500 AD(honey was the sweetener). Already in 1647, Dr. Thomas Willis wrote of his observations on diabetes and the negative effects of sugar. In 1976, William Dufty wrote a book called “Sugar Blues” and stated that diabetes and other diseases grew significantly as refined sugar consumption increased.

David Gillespie who wrote “Sweet Poison” states that “you are breaking an addiction, so you need to stop consuming all sources of the addictive substance. They are all hard to give up because they are addictive – but they are all easy to give up once you understand what you are doing and why.” “Your palate adjusts significantly and quickly when you delete sugar. You can suddenly experience a whole range of flavours that either you didn’t know existed before or were muted by the presence of sugar. One thing people often remark on after they’ve been weaned off sugar for a month or so is that suddenly they can smell it. They can tell you where the confectionary aisle or the breakfast cereal aisle is in a strange supermarket by smell alone.”

Studies show there is a correlation of fructose to fatty liver disease as well as to appetite stimulation, gout, diabetes, memory loss and obesity.

David Gillespie also states, “how many of our organs sugar systematically destroys without symptoms until it is too late. First the liver, then the pancreas, then the kidneys, and ultimately the heart”

I don’t know about you, but after reading this, I finally realized that if I am to achieve optimum health, I would have to drastically cut down my sugar intake. But where to start?

1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams of sugar.

I started looking, really looking, at the ingredients of the foods I ate…and some were real shockers…for example, my favorite yoghurt…well, 31 grams of sugar…7 1/2 teaspoons of sugar? I drink a lot of hot tea in the winter and usually have a teaspoon of sugar in each one…

For today, look at the ingredients of the foods you eat…some are going to shock you..(one was those juice drinks…I used to let my daughter drink them, thinking they were an ok alternative…I publicly apologize to her now…my ignorance probably caused a lot of hers and my teeth problems over the years).

I’ll return tomorrow with Part 2…
til next time…Eva