Friday, November 30, 2012


This information comes from Ray Sahelian, M.D. .

Rooibos tea originates from the leaves and stems of the indigenous South African plant Aspalathus linearis. Rooibos tea is also known as Red-Bush and grows on high mountain ranges. Rooibos has gained much attention for clinical purposes in the case of nervous tension, allergies, dermatitis, and various digestive problems. Recently, antioxidant activity has also been attributed to the tea on the basis of its flavonoid content. 
Rooibos tea is a powerful antioxidant, has anti-HIV activity, may protect brain cells from damage by toxins, and additionally has anti-tumor potential.

Dr. Sahelian states that he has rooibos tea on his kitchen counter along with other teas which he drinks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Are you aware that most canned soups are high in sodium (salt)?  Even if you don't eat canned soups as a meal, you are probably using them in recipes.  Now I am not saying you can't use them, I use them myself at times.  But pay attention to the sodium content, use low-sodium options, or when using in recipes, omit any salt called for, etc.  Just be aware of the sodium content and adjust accordingly.  As an example, if you eat regular canned soup as a meal with crackers, use unsalted crackers, etc.
Note: This picture is not an endorsement of this particular product.  It is just a picture I was allowed to use.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Let's face facts.  You know you have food in your kitchen right now that shouldn't be there.  I'm not talking about expired dates.  I am talking about foods you know you shouldn't eat.  Whether they are unhealthy for you or something that will sabotage your diet, you know they are there!  Get them out of your house and don't bring them back in - ever!  Give them away, if you have a hard time throwing food away.  If you can't bring yourself to toss food in the trash, box them up and take them to your local food bank or other charity; just get rid of them!

Do yourself a favor first.  Do not attempt this when you are hungry.  This should be done after a meal.  There is no need to test your resolve by trying to get rid of your favorites when you are hungry!

Here is a partial list of things that need to go.  The list will be different for everyone depending on one's health or dietary needs but this is a good beginning for anyone:
  • white rice
  • regular pastas
  • sugary treats
  • high-fat foods
  • sugary cereals
  • sugary beverages
  • buttery microwave popcorn
  • regular potato chips (baked are okay in some circumstances)
  • canned fruits in syrup
  • refined white breads


Monday, November 26, 2012


Are you constantly watching how much you eat, always on a diet, and always hungry?  Well take heart, there are foods you can eat until you are full without gaining weight.  In fact, most vegetables, fruits, grains, etc fall into this catagory.  Now remember, we are talking foods eaten raw, steamed, or prepared without added fat, frying, etc.  The following are a partial list of what are known as negative calorie foods; foods that you can eat without adding calories and thus weight gain to your body.  In other words, your body uses up whatever calories it takes in just to digest these foods.
  • apples (not apple pie; raw apples!)
  • black beans
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cucumbers
  • grapes
  • kidney beans
  • lettuce
  • oatmeal
  • whole-grain pasta
  • pineapple
  • brown rice
  • tomatoes
Again, this is a partial list but I'm sure you get the idea.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


A sensible and well-informed approach to eating is essential to good health.  by Kenneth Cooper, MD

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Kenneth Cooper, MD, is the founder of the world renowned Cooper Clinic in Dallas Texas.  He has stated, "In 1968 when my first book Aerobics was published, and in 1970, when I founded The Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, preventive medicine was still a new concept.  I wanted to help move medicine away from a strict emphasis on disease treatment toward disease prevention through exercise, diet, and stress control." 

We owe thanks to Dr. Cooper for awakening awareness in all of us to not only exercise but how our diet can help or hinder our overall health.  He continued on to say, "From the beginning, we emphasized aerobics and nutrition.  The two go hand in hand.  Not that it's always easy to eat right or to change ingrained habits  - our busy lives put our nutrition at risk.  We grab food on the run without thinking about what we are putting into our bodies.  When we do try to eat better, we are often confused about what we should eat."  Dr. Cooper's last statement there is why I started this blog.  My goal is to help us all, yes - me as well as you, - learn to use food to help our bodies be healthy working machines.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


What you eat affects your entire body and that includes your hair!  Did you know that eating fish, lean meat, nuts, and organic dairy helps grow strong hair strands?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Truffles are a type of fungi as are mushrooms.  They are fat-free and low in calories, are rich in minerals, and their high glutamic acid content may boost immune function.  But truffles are very expensive. They are so expensive because they are hard to come by.  They grow underground among the roots of certain oak, hazel, and linden trees.  How about this?  Truffles musky scent is due to a pheromone, a sex-attraction hormone identical to the one secreted in the saliva of male pigs.  Due to this scent, trained sows are more efficient than dogs at rooting out the expensive fungus in the regions of France and Italy where they grow.  Experiments in growing truffles commercially have not been successful so they are so rare and expensive that only tiny shavings are currently used to flavor dishes.  You will probably want to get your minerals from other fungi (mushrooms) and other foods!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Dr. Gordon is the founder and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC and sponsors several annual symposia that address the issue of Food and Medicine programs.  His training sessions include hundreds of doctors from around the country.  Dr. Gordon is a pioneer in the use of nutrition to impact cancer.  When asked if what he teaches makes a difference, he replied, "People with cancer are told by their oncologists, 'This is the treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, maybe even immune therapy.  Everything else is regarded as, at worst, unnecessary, peripheral, or, at best, complementary....'.  I think that is a major misconception.  The data in standard textbooks on nutrition and cancer is that cancer is related in some way to nutrition.  It stands to reason that if nutrition is a significant factor in the development of cancer, you would want there to be a focus on nutrition as part of the treatment and the prevention of recurrence in cancer."

If you or someone you love receives a diagnosis of cancer, I believe it is important to discuss nutrition and your diet with your medical team.  If they are dismissive, do research on your own or seek out other doctors or nutritionists to help you.

There are many posts on this blog regarding foods and cancer.

 A healthy diet always includes lots of fruits and vegetables.

Monday, November 19, 2012


In doing some research on foods and their relationships to cancer, I came across some interesting information on dates.  Since dates are often used in holiday foods I thought this would be a good time to post this info.

Some of the sugars found in Libyan dates were shown to have potent antitumor properties.  Another of the sugars in dates is beta-D-glucan which regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose. 

Did you even realize there is a sugar which helps control blood sugar levels?  Prior to this research I certainly didn't.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


What a great thought that something so tasty may help keep our minds sharp longer!  Researchers have discovered that both blueberries and strawberries reduce cognitive decline in us older adults.
The results of their research suggest that cognitive aging could be delayed by up to 2.5 years in elderly people who consume greater amounts of the flavonoid-rich berries. Credit is given to the high amount of flavonoids, natural chemicals that exert powerful effects in our bodies, that are found in these berries.


Friday, November 16, 2012


I like to remind my readers from time to time that I am not a doctor nor nutritionist.  The articles you read on this blog are researched from various medical sources.  I never post my opinion unless I state clearly that it is just my opinion, so you can trust what you read here.  However, keep this in mind; We are all different and each of us has our own nutritional needs.  Food has a tremendous influence on our health and we should really think of our foods as medicines, whether good or bad.  But keep in mind that what you read here should not replace your medicines or your doctor's advice.  You should always consult your doctor regarding major changes in your diet or your exercise routine.

Just remember that everything you put in your mouth will affect your body for better or worse!

Much of my research is done here in the library at the college.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple that should be in everyone's pantry.  First of all, they are an excellent source of protein so anyone who wants to cut back on animal protein definitely needs chickpeas in their diet.  Chickpeas are also an anti-inflammatory, which has been discussed on this blog as vitally important to our overall health.  Another nutritional benefit of eating chickpeas is the fiber benefits.  Again, fiber has been discussed on this blog as vitally important to good health.  Chickenpeas are also good regulators of blood sugar and cholesterol.  And along with other high-fiber vegetables, chickpeas help to flush toxins from the body and they may reduce colon cancer risks.

It really is easy to include chickpeas in your diet on a regular basis.  Add them to salads, toss them in soups and casseroles, etc.  As a diabetic, I sometimes just open a can of chickpeas and eat a spoonful or two if my blood sugar starts to spike on me.  If chickpeas are not a regular part of your diet, you must consider adding them!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I think most of us know we have a problem with the overuse of antibiotics.  It seems to make us feel better to have the doctor write us a prescription when we feel bad.  However, keep in mind that antibiotics are not needed or helpful for the common cold.  The experts recommend the following for the common cold:
  • Try over-the-counter analgesics (think aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen) to relieve aches and fever.
  • Try over-the-counter antitussives to ease coughing.
  • Try over-the-counter expectorants to help thin mucus (drinking plenty of water helps, too).
  • Try over-the-counter decongestants to shrink nasal passages and reduce congestion.
If your cold appears to be something more serious or the above things do not help after a few days, contact your physican.  You may have a different problem.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


You may be surprised to know that those on chemo should eat chocolate.  Chocolate, because of the butter, sugar, etc that is added to make candy, is often thought of something to stay away from.  That is so untrue!  We have heard a lot recently of the benefits of eating small amounts of dark chocolate on a regular basis.  One thing we haven't heard much about is the positive effects for patients taking chemotherapy treatments.  One of the great things about chocolate is that is it an anti-inflammatory, good for us for so many reasons.  Chemically speaking, the human body literally suck in the nutrients in chocolate.  This is especially true for the flavonoids (the proanthcyanidins) which have chemo-protective effects.  Eat dark chocolate, often mentioned on this blog, because it has 4 times the antioxidants found in tea - a well known source of antioxidants.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Even people who have been diabetics for years are sometimes at a loss as to what their blood sugar (glucose) readings should be throughout the day.  Here is a guideline of what healthy readings should be at various times:

Before Meals your reading should be 90 to 100.
One hour after meals your reading should be less than 180.
Two hours after meals your reading should be less than 160.
Three hours after meals your reading should be less than 140.

It is recommended that your A1C reading (this test measures your blood sugar over a 2 to 3 month period) be 7 or less.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We've all heard the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."  But have you ever heard you should eat a carrot a day?  Actually, a carrot a day is a very good idea.  Studies show that a carrot a day could cut lung cancer risk in half, probably due to their high vitamin A content which is vital to promoting lung health.  Carrots are also rich in beta-carotene which is associated with preventing not only lung cancer but also cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, bladder, prostate, and breasts.  Find a way to work more carrots into your diet to reduce your cancer risks.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Yes, Cashews Can Be Good For You

We all know too many cashews can be bad for the waistline.  But cashews are good for you, too.  Cashews are a good source of copper and that is important because copper deficiency is associated with increased risk of colon cancer and no one wants to deal with that dreaded disease.  Cashews, as well as avocados - by the way, are also high in oleic acid, an anti-cancer component of monounsaturated fat.  Cashews, as with other nuts, are whole foods therefore active calories, and they contain fiber.  So go ahead and enjoy some cashew chicken, etc, or enjoy a few unsalted cashews as a snack. 

NOTE: As with all foods, moderation is the key to eating healthy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


"Fiber is suddenly hip, Grandma, it turns out, was just ahead of her time."  This is a quote from the Health & Nutrition Letter, Tufts University, February 2009.  Thank you for letting us know our mothers and grandmothers knew what they were telling us!  The fact is, fiber is a very vital part of our diets and we should have 25 grams daily.  People tend to think, fiber - yuck!  Those people feel that way because they do not understand how to add fiber and how tasty it can be.  Check out the sandwich pictured below as an example.  Instead of white (refined) bread, Whole grain bread is used and it is a tasty substitute over white bread.  White bread basically has no taste; whole-grain adds a subtle, almost nutty, taste.  Note the seeds on the top of the bread.  What an easy way to add fiber.  Fresh, whole vegetables are also shown.  The lettuce, onion, tomato, peppers, and herbs all add fiber!  Remember this the next time you make a sandwich.

Picture courtesy of The Full Plate Diet

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Fruits and their juices are both healthy.  However, especially when it comes to citrus fruit, it is a good idea to eat the fruit rather than have a glass of juice.  This is especially true for dieters and diabetics.  The fruit contains fiber, usually lost when the fruit is turned into juice.  Fiber is very important in all our diets but becomes even more important for the dieters and diabetics.  Fiber helps to keep our systems clean and best of all, it makes us feel full longer.  Nothing wrong with drinking a glass of orange juice, just make sure you eat the fruit on a regular basis, too.  I mentioned orange juice because it is the most common citrus fruit we drink and also because it has the most fiber of all the citrus fruits.  On average, the medium-sized orange will contain 3 grams of fiber.  And remember you should be getting 25 grams of fiber a day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


You should aim for 15 to 20 grams of protein per meal to keep your metabolism revved up, per Karen Ansel, RD.  About 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat, poultry, or fish will do it.  You can also get protein in other foods; read the nutrition labels.  Just because a product says PROTEIN on the label doesn't mean you should have it.  For instance, the product shown below is a good product and this is not to condemn it.  However, it does show the importance of reading the nutrition labels.  5 grams protein and 19 grams sugar per 1 cup.  It is especially important for diabetics and dieters to not be fooled by the word Protein on the label.  There is not enough protein in this product to counteract the amount of sugar.

Keeping your metabolism fired up and going is key to losing weight and keeping it off.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Cabbage is one of our very healthy vegetables that should be a regular part of our diets for various reasons but today we focus on the cancer-fighting properties of cabbage.  Cabbage is a natural anti-inflammatory and a natural antibacterial food.  Along with its cruciferous kin such as kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, bok choy and turnips, cabbage is extremely high in anticancer phytochemicals. IC3 or indole-3-carbinal, a property of cabbage and the above list of its cousins, almost doubles how quickly the liver can break down estrogen so it doesn't remain in the body.  Some female cancers feed off estrogen so IC3 is important against them.

Do not overcook cabbage as it is important to retain one of its compounds called sinigrin.  Sinigrin reacts with an enzyme to release molecules that detoxify carcinogens and inhibit the division and growth of tumor cells.

There are various ways to enjoy cabbage.  If you don't care for cabbage on its own, add it to soups, make it into a slaw, etc.  However you prepare it, make sure it is a part of your diet.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Would you believe it?  Research has shown that for anyone planning to diet, you should start your diet on Sunday.  Research has shown that those who start dieting on Sunday have the most weight loss success.  On the flip side, this same research has shown that those who start their diets on Tuesday have the least success.  I am not stupid; I will just pass this research along without comment!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This may sound silly but researchers believe those who use a big fork actually eat less than those who use a small fork.  They believe the big fork helps one to better gauge how much they have eaten.  If you are trying to lose weight or watching how much you eat, give this a try.  Perhaps over time you will find yourself eating less!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Too many of us don't eat enough fruits and vegetables.  Here are some things you can do to make sure you are getting the fruits and veggies you need on a daily basis:
  • Add some veggies to non-vegetable soups such as a handful of peas or carrots and/or celery, sliced or diced, to soups such as chicken noodle, etc.
  • Add lettuce, tomato, cucumber slices, etc to sandwiches.
  • Add some salsa to scrambled eggs.
  • Instead of fried eggs, have an omelet stuffed with mushrooms, peppers, etc.
  • Top your morning cereal or oatmeal with fruit or berries.
  • Add peas or mushrooms to rice.
  • Before you start eating, look at your plate.  Try to make it half fruits and vegetables.
These are just a few ideas I have listed here.  I'm sure you can think of even more ways to get more healthy fruits and veggies into your diet.

Picture courtesy of