Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Everything in Moderation? A New Look

Posted by myhealthexperts on January 27, 2009

If caffeine is toxic - whats moderation?

If caffeine is toxic - whats moderation?

A common phrase I often hear from my clients when asked about their health is ‘everything in moderation.’ But what exactly defines moderation? How do we know that our moderation is really balanced? Are there hidden factors we are unaware of that skew our idea of moderation? Is moderate exposure to toxins a safe and healthy choice?

In this era of increasing health risks such as cancer, infertility, emotional issues like depression and anxiety, and the epidemic of childhood issues like ADD/ADHD and autism – can we afford to wait until after the fact to realize we did not do our best to prepare ourselves and our family?

Dr. Eunice Stagliola, MyHealthExperts resident toxicologist, is going to speak on such issues in the first of her lecture series on ‘Living Toxic’. This lecture is going to be this Wednesday, January 28 at 7 pm at Tommy K’s in Stamford. Seating is limited so RSVP ASAP!

Tommy K’s is at 54 Research Drive, Stamford. Call (203) 325-9544 for directions. Please feel free to share this invitation with others you think may be interested.

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Healthy Granola Recipe

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 11, 2008

Healthy Granola Here!

Healthy Granola Here!

In a recent post I listed 5 healthy breakfast ideas. One of them involved granola. Truth be told I am not a big fan of commercial granola formulas. Most all of them have some type of vegetable oil, which may be adulterated and/or high in inflammatory Omega-6 fats. Plus they often have too much sugar. Worse – if they add fruits or nuts, chances are those items were heated and as such have lost most of their nutrient value. Not good.

So I set out to make a healthier granola. I went to Tommy K’s to get the best prices on my ingredients. I was shocked – a pound of organic cinnamon was $6.95! I am a big fan of herbs and spices and buy in bulk to save money – so $6.95 for organic (high potency) cinnamon is a deal. In case you do not know, cinnamon is great for normalizing blood sugar levels and this can decrease AGE (advanced glycation end-products). So if you want to lose weight or slow the formation of wrinkles (glycation of proteins), or have a family history of diabetes, cinnamon is great to help regulate blood sugar.

(Note: If you live out of town or want items shipped to you, call Tommy K’s at (203) 325-9544)

Here is how I made my granola:
– 2 cups of whole oats (not instant)
– 2 tablespoons of Quinoa (a grain) to add more crunch (not required)
– 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
– 1 table spoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 cup maple syrup
– 4 tablespoons coconut oil

– Preheat oven to 300 degrees
– Put all solids in a bowl (so whatever you add, nuts or seeds as well, go in the solids bowl)
– Heat coconut oil on pan to liquify
– Add all liquids in separate bowl (oil, vanilla, syrup)
– Mix liquids and then pour in solids bowl.
– Mix all together
– Place mix in glass or metal baking tray.
– Heat mix in oven for 25 minutes (stir occasionally)
– Allow to cool so oats become dry and crispy

Thats is! Then I add my blueberries, ground flax seeds, yogurt, coconut milk, cacao chips and if needed, some stevia to sweeten. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with, very stable at high temperatures (no adulteration), and it takes great!

Enjoy!

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How To Get Your Kid Into Harvard (or Yale)!

Posted by myhealthexperts on November 25, 2008

Passport to Prosperity?

Harvard: Passport to Prosperity?

My graduate thesis at New York Medical College was on “Nutrition and Brain Function in Children” so I learned a few things about optimizing brain function. And of course when our brains are working, everything else works too. We are after all – controlled by our brains.

In the wealthy suburbs parents send their kids to pre-schools that cost upwards of $30,000/year. This is the supposed track to getting them into the best schools and careers possible. But do the best intentioned parents often miss the boat? I’ve got some amazing discoveries to share that you’ve probably never heard anywhere before! But first:

1.) Is This a Healthy Goal?

In a society where its increasingly obvious that the norm is unhealthy on all levels, we need to look deeper into what society has us all chasing. Perhaps here we need to ask “whats so special about Harvard (or any other school)?” Look at so called ‘health care’: the best doctors, from Harvard and Yale, are blind lackies for the Medical-Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex, using modalities designed to make massive profits, not keep people healthy. Chemotherapy for example has a long term success rate of only 2.1%. How smart is managing disease instead of promoting health?

Look at Wall Street: the best minds from Harvard and Yale (speaking symbolically here of course) were great at making themselves massive profits, but as we’re just starting to see, bringing our great nation to its knees. How ‘smart’ is blind greed?

Bloomberg News had a recent article reviewing the careers of the great financial experts who have been called in to save the economy – and it concluded they were the same ones who helped create the current disaster. It went on to state that they should instead be given subpoenas for financial fraud!

The current system does not give our children any wisdom. And in a world where the air is thick with smog, the land and water contaminated with toxins, and we’re in a global depression on top of global warming, wisdom may be more valuable than a Harvard MBA.

2.) Lets instead make our children the best possible human beings they can be:

A better, more wholistic goal then would be to help our children simply be the best they can be. If they go to Harvard, great. If not, thats great too. There is a new paradigm emerging, and your kids will live it more than you can ever imagine. It will be forced on them just as ‘the sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons’.

By realizing the winds of change you will better guide your children through the cultural shifts already starting to happen. One of community over individualism, happiness over ambition and greed, and health over fast food, fast cars and fast cures (drugs). Lead by example.

3) Stop Being So Selfish:

‘Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself’ Kahil Gilbran.

Its not about you and your kid is not your ‘mini-me’. Having children is a selfish act, but parenting is an opportunity to practice selflessness. Yet so many ‘driven’ parents are driving their kids mad trying to make them into something they weren’t. Trying to compete with other parents or having your child compete with other kids increases the liklihood of programming an undertone of unhappiness into every facet of your childs life.

4) Take Care of Your Childs Basics:

Basic means primal – what we are designed by evolution to eat. And how we are basically designed to move in this world (aka exercise). Children need whole foods and daily exercise. Giving your kids the ‘video valium’ by putting them in front of a video game or TV does them no good. They need to be moving around, developing strong bodies and neural networks through play. Yes play has a vital evolutionary role, it programs the individual for life.

Whole foods means as close to natural as possible. This does not mean foods like cereal, milk, cheeze wiz, and juice. These are a great way to ruin your childs sensitive brain chemistry. Don’t blame them the next time they throw a fit – blame the food you are feeding them. If you need to give your child milk – at least make it raw milk, or better – hemp or almond milk.

One parent who I know has an adorable son with a learning disability. Nothing major but noticable. I repeatedly told her about looking into the basics first – food allergies, adverse reactions to vaccines, etc. Simple things that a qualified (few are) doctor could test for and clear up for her son. In fact there is a great book on the Four A’s that I advise any parent of a child with allergies or behavioral and/or learning issues read.

She still has yet to read it or do anything out of her comfort zone to help her son. Yet she feeds him cookies and candy – this is normal after all. To me this is stealing the childs future right out from underneath him. Something as simple as the nutrient alpha-lipoic-acid has been used to assist heavy metal detox for kids, and yet she would have no idea what this even means.

    For most kids, the following basics apply:

-Cut out sugar, white flour and soda
-Dilute juice with water – lots of water
-Kids need lots of healthy fats – avocado, flax, coconut milk/oil, nuts, seeds, hemp, soft egg yolks.
-Get them on a good multi-vitamin & DHA (fatty acid) supplement
-Try to eliminate the main food allergens: Wheat, Soy, Dairy, Corn, and Peanuts. This is especially critical if your child has allergies, asthma, and/or behavioral or learning challenges.

My graduate thesis showed that children who had higher test scores tended to eat better, exercise, took a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement and had more active and engaged adult caretakers. Which leads me to point 5.

5) Take Care of Your Basics:

Eat right and exercise! No parent is as patient and loving when they are wired on sugar and caffeine as when they are healthy and fit. Every aspect of your life flows better when you honor the life and body you inherit for these few short decades.

Despite that voice inside telling you to not eat healthy and exercise daily we all know, logically at least, that health and fitness are investments in ourselves that pay back huge dividends. Even more so for our children, and in more ways than one! After all, you might just live long enough to see your grandchildren get into Harvard!

If this was helpful to you, please share it with other parents who want to help thier children as well.

Best in Health;
Brian

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5 Great Breakfast Meals

Posted by myhealthexperts on November 21, 2008

Diabetes Delight!

Diabetes Delight!


Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day. It literally breaks the fasting state we experience during sleep. Usually cortisol is high in the morning (this helps us wake up) so eating can help offset this elevation of stress hormone.

Many people feel too busy to eat a good breakfast, so they opt for the quickies: coffee, orange juice and either a bagel or muffin. These are some of the worst foods one can consume, and ensure long term health risks. My goals for breakfast: Low sugar, nutrient dense foods, as raw as possible, wheat free, healthy fats and of course good taste!

Breakfast can be a great way to jump start your committment to a healthy (and Whol-E) day. So here are 5 fast but healthy breakfast meals:
1) Breakfast Smoothie: This is very fast and easy. Start with some basics and build from there. My smoothie video is worth watching. I usually add 10 oz. water, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 apple, and then a large handful of mixed greens. Blend well, then add some fish oil, or flax seed (grind in coffee grinder first). I add 2 raw eggs, but if you are not there yet, add a scoop of protein powder. I also add stevia and cinnamon to taste. These taste great and are super-nutritious!

2) Yogurt & Granola: I prefer goat or sheep milk yogurt, its healthier than cows milk. And I use a low sugar, low fat granola – FEED is a good brand, Galaxy Granola is my fav, and Bear Naked is okay if it’s all you got. I add only a little granola, and instead fill the yogurt up with blueberries, ground flax seed, some cocoa nibs (love these!), and coconut milk. I also add stevia and cinnamon to taste.

3) Oatmeal, Berries, Flax and Almonds: I add almonds &/or flax seed to practically everything. Slow cook oatmeal is best as its a lower glycemic index. Cook the oatmeal, then add almond or coconut milk when its done, plus ground flax seed and the berries. You can also add egg whites when the oatmeal is cooking and it will increase protein content. You can even add a scoop of protein powder. I also add stevia and cinnamon to taste if needed.

4) Breakfast Burrito: I am addicted to brown rice and sprouted wheat tortilla’s. You can jam them with healthy goodies and they taste amazing. For breakfast – I will cook a few eggs over easy (soft yolks are very healthy) and then add them to the tortilla (already warmed in the oven). I also add some chopped apple, avocado, almonds, sometimes goat cheese and/or flax seed, and then a healthy salad dressing (Braggs makes great salad dressings). These are fast and super healthy!

5) Egg white omelette: Several egg whites and of course, as many greens and veggies as you feel comfortable stuffing in there. I add raw onions, spinach, and mixed greens as the eggs cook. This softens up the greens and takes the edge off the onions. A slice or 2 of brown rice or sprouted grain bread could make an acceptable addition. I use avocado as a spread, but coconut oil or butter works and even ghee (raw butter), or organic butter is acceptable.

I always cook with coconut oil or butter – these are the only stable fats that do not create toxic substances when heated. And I use only stainless steel or cast iron cookware, teflon is not safe to use. Try them and realize its easy to eat healthy!

Please feel free to share this with anyone you think can use some healthy advice.

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Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants

Posted by myhealthexperts on November 4, 2008

Here is a question one of my readers recently asked me:
Q: I’m a 37 year old male. I suffer from erectile dysfunction, memory loss and depression. I’m looking for supplements to address my deficiencies. I think I have a manganese deficiency. What do you recommend?

A: I’m all for your desire to treat yourself. But thinking that a specific nutrient is the key is the wrong approach. Thats taking the conventional medicine way but instead of treating symptoms with drugs youre using nutritients. If you do want to ascertain what if any deficiencies you have, you must seek a qualified health professional (not your typical doctor) who can assess your nutrient status via blood, hair and other testing procedures.

For yours, and anyone else’s issues that are not life threatening or signs of more serious disease, you can always start some lifestyle changes yourself in addition to seeking professional care. If going solo, its best to start with the basics. A healthy diet, exercise and some form of mindfulness training are the foundation of your health and life.

Mindfulness training goes by many names; call it what you want, spirituality, religion, meditation, cognitive therapy, personal growth etc. Its a process by which the undisciplined, emotional, ego-centered voice in our head we commonly think of as ‘self’ starts to lose control to a more disciplined, balanced, rational, awakened self free of the dark energy and negative thoughts our common self lives on.

You diet must be more aligned with your evolutionary design. The recent advent of processed food, genetically modified foods, and even cooking have all ravaged the nutrient profile in modern human diets, leaving us vulnerable to a plethora of dysfunction. Combined with the modern environment full of increased toxins, increased information overload and chronic stressors from many sources and you have a recipe for disaster. So its probable that most of us will develop some type of disease and/or health concerns.

How did our ancestors eat? Usually whatever they could pick or kill from their local environment. They picked fruit, nuts, greens, and roots, and killed local game like rabbits, seals, deer, and bison. This ‘pick/kill’ diet varied all over the globe. As omnivores, humans are remarkably capable of adapting to all sorts of diets. People have thrived on high fat, low carb diets to low fat, high carbs. The macronutrients are not the key – its the fact that all these foods were raw and fresh. From whale blubber to Yucca these foods were eaten with their nutrient contents intact.

I’m not saying any cooked food is bad. Certain nutrients are made available from heating. But in general nutrients are sensitive to degradation from 4 sources: heat, light, oxygen and time. It’s not easy making the shift to more raw foods, unless you have your mind on your side. Thats another reason to make regular practice of awakening a daily ritual. If you do need to cook, use lower temperatures as this is less destructive than high temperatures.

In general – a diet rich in greens, moderate in everything else is best. Moderate grains, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, and meats. Reduce dairy, and whatever dairy you consume should be raw – not pasteurized or homogenized. Eat organic where possible, especially animal products where toxins accumulate in higher amounts. Grass fed beef, wild salmon, organic eggs are great sources of protein. I eat my eggs raw, and my beef and salmon pan seared on the outside and raw inside. Avoid wheat, eat brown rice, millet, spelt, or sprouted grain products instead.

When I first started eating raw eggs and beef, I gagged several times. It was simply a mind game I realized and quickly eliminated that silly fear. The key is to take small steps, make changes in comfortable ways that do not stress you out. For example, getting off milk – do it in stages. Go from whole milk to 2%, then 1% then mix almond milk with 1% milk at 50-50 ratio, then shift to pure almond milk. Its easy that way.

To offset modernity and its associated toxins – the use of broad spectrum nutritional products is warranted. Think of nutrition as music – the more varied the instruments are the better. Together the symphony sounds more complete. This variety of instruments is identical to nutrition – take in a variety and in general never go for one single instrument (nutrient), unless directed by as health professional. With that said let me contradict myself and give you the other side: there is good science to support the use of certain nutrients that most people are short on.

Magnesium for example is one. Most people get far too much calcium and too little magnesium. And multi-vitamins are short on it as well, so some extra magnesium is a good idea. And of course a high quality multi-vitamin.

One more thing – try to decrease caffeine, sugar and bad fats found in processed/fried foods. These items are toxic to varying degrees. Drink green tea instead of coffee.

Start with these basics and give it three to six months. See if your conditions improve. In the short term, you can take a natural PDE-5 inhibitor like the herbs cnidium and a nitric oxide agent like L-Arginine for the impotence. St. Johns Wort or L-Theanine could work for the depression, and the memory loss may be more complex than this article can go into.

How does one make these changes? Mindset – you need to have a warrior mind. Call it what you want, only a focused, clear and disciplined mind will rise above the odds. Work on your mind and the rest will follow.

Erectile Dysfunction, Depression are Testosterone Issues:
I encourage all my male clients over 30 to get their testosterone levels checked. There is a silent epidemic of male hypogonadism (low testosterone) in men now for a variety of reasons. If you test low, contact me and I will share my natural, safe testosterone program for men.

PS: the title of this article is a reference to the subtitle of “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollen

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Food Addictions: Hidden Variable in Fat Loss

Posted by myhealthexperts on January 18, 2008

Ironically the foods that we often find ourselves craving are the same ones we are allergic to.  Even your doctor would not typically be able to discern this as they measure the common IgG response in the body to determine allergies. IgG elevation is typified by common allergy symptoms, including runny nose, red or watery eyes, etc.

Subclinical (meaning not always able to be diagnosed by a doctor in a clinical setting) allergies, like subclinical vitamin deficiences, often go untreated. In this case, a food allergy can illicit an IgE response that can lead to reactions such as headaches and weight gain.

They do this because the food triggers the allergic reaction which then releases epinepherine into the body. This is one of those ‘feel good’ chemicals and so we end up craving the very food that is bad for us!

In addition, foods like wheat and chocolate (dairy too) produce opiate like compounds in the body that also are addicting, hence we can end up craving those foods as well. Wheat in particular is riddled with so many negatives I tell all my clients to avoid wheat products as much as possible. If you must consume grains, use brown rice, quinoa, pure rye, oats, or even the new sprouted grain products (Ezekial) as they are less associated with side effects.

Top foods to avoid that produce toxic reactions in the body are wheat, sugar, soy, corn and dairy.  Learn to gradually shift your consumption of these to healthier alternatives. For sugar, naturally occurring sugars in fruits are better (I swear by apples), as is Agave, Stevia and if you must, the occassional use of Splenda (try not to).

With soy, fermented soy appears safer, so items like tempeh and tofu could be used.  The health benefits of soy are questionalbe and as I try to adopt a ‘Controversy Free’ philosophy, if there is doubt, its best to avoid it as much as possible.

For corn there are also many substitutes from other less popular grains.  Dairy can be safe if you get raw, unpastuerized but this is not easy to come by. So nut milks like almond, or even goat products appear to be less reactive in the body.

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Celery- Sexy?

Posted by myhealthexperts on January 13, 2008

My clients know I am big on daily celery use in my smoothies. This is for many reasons, celery contains anti-cancer compounds called coumarins. Coumarins also enhance activity of immune related white blood cells. Celery also has 3nB -a potent coumarin compound that can lower blood pressure.  But primarliy I like celery because it contains androsterone, an odorless hormone released through male perspiration that turns women on. (Women are very sensitive to pheromones!)

Hmmm Good!

Banannas are also a good food here (I limit their use because of their high sugar content) because they have the enzyme bromelain which is purported to increase libido in men (I am not sure on this ‘claim’ so don’t quote me!).

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No Abs Abs?

Posted by myhealthexperts on January 13, 2008

No Abs Abs!

Someone recently asked me what I do for abs (after she saw this pic of me). I said ‘nothing’ – and in fact I am currently on the fat side of my ‘normal’ range. I went on to tell her I use what I call the “No abs Abs” routine:

Exercise:

I do nothing specifically to work my abs. I feel abs can get plenty of stimulation from an intense workout – exercises like tricep pushdown, squats, Chop Wood, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, etc all require work from the abs. Most exercises benefit from you tightening your abs as you conduct the movement, and of course so do your abs!

Diet:   Burning the fat off the abs is the most important thing to see good abs. Eat clean and do some cardio to keep the fat off, and you should begin to see lines where fat once was!

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