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    • Does MILK do a body good?

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    •  7/30/2009 5:22:42 PM
    • If you don’t drink milk…where do you get your calcium?


      Not having cow’s milk in our home now for almost five years we tend to hear this question a lot.  I understand the beliefs that are behind this question…but it still doesn’t make it any easier for me to hear.  It actually at times makes me mad- that the public is so oblivious when it comes to the nutrition in dairy products that they believe not consuming it does them harm…when the exact opposite is true.


      There is so much to say on this topic- it would probably have to be told in more than one blog.  But I thought I would start with some thoughts that LOGICALLY tell us why we shouldn’t drink the milk that comes from a cow.  I will need to do a blog on the scientific reasons later.   These logical thoughts are what I tell my children when they ask about cow’s milk…if they understand them- why shouldn’t the rest of us.



      • Cow’s milk is genetically formulated for its young, it is the food for a 90 lb. calf at birth, which will eventually reach the weight of somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds in only 2 years.  Human milk is genetically formulated for its young; it is the food for a 5 to 10 lb. infant who will eventually reach the weight somewhere between 100 and 200 lbs. in 18 years.  In other words, cow’s milk is specifically designed for an animal that will grow very large, very fast.  So when speaking logically, if we want to get real big, real fast, like a cow…we should drink their milk.


      • Every mammal on Earth- whether it’s a dog, a cat, a whale, a cow, a hippo, a giraffe, a tiger or a human being, large or small, omnivore or carnivore- eats his first food from his mother’s breast.  Each species has its own milk that is unique to that species and no other.  This highly nutritious milk it is the best possible food during infancy.  Every mammal stops drinking milk once it is weaned, except human beings.  We not only continue to drink milk after infancy but we choose to drink milk from an animal that is not even remotely close to us in size.  Does this seem a little off to you?  If we were to drink another mammals milk- we would be better to drink chimpanzee's milk since they are most like us genetically...right?  Actually studies have shown that the human body digests goat's milk far better than a cow's, since their digestive tract is more similar to ours.  So why did we choose a cow?


      • The protein component in milk is a thick coarse substance called casein.  There is 300 percent more casein in cow’s milk than there is in human milk, and it is used to make one of the strongest glues in existence- a glue used for gluing wood together (I will need to do an entire blog on casein in the future).


      • Osteoporosis- Why do we have such high incidence of this disease when we drink all that calcium in cow’s milk?
        The countries around the world that have the least incidence of osteoporosis are the African and Asian countries.  The countries whose population consumes the least amount of dairy products are the African and Asian countries.  The four countries of the world whose population has the highest incidence of osteoporosis are the United States, Great Britain, Sweden and Finland.  The four countries of the world whose population consume the greatest amount of dairy products are the United States, Great Britain, Sweden and Finland.
        When we eat a diet high in animal products- high amounts of calcium is being leached from our bones- which in turn causes disease.


      • The longest living peoples in the world do not eat DAIRY PRODUCTS and live to be happy and healthy into their 100’s (The Abkhazians of Russia, the Vilcabambans of Ecuador, the Hunzas and the Okinawan’s of Japan)


      • The body absorbs the calcium differently from different foods and absorbs calcium most efficiently from vegetables.  Only about 32 percent of calcium in milk is absorbed, while 54 percent of the calcium in bok choy is absorbed.  There is 334 mg. of calcium in 100 calories of skim milk.  There is 787 mg. of calcium in 100 calories of bok choy.


      • Scientific studies have consistently repeated the observation that most common cancers are associated with stimulated growth in childhood, especially growth fueled by a diet heavy in growth-promoting animal products, such as cow’s milk.


      • Most of the animal products eaten by children, such as cheese and milk, are exceptionally high in saturated fat.  Saturated fat consumption correlates with cancer incidence worldwide.  It also raises cholesterol levels and causes heart disease.


      Every health expert out there acknowledges that a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fat and cholesterol is best.  Dairy products are extremely HIGH in fat and cholesterol, and are DEVOID of fiber…the exact opposite.  So why do people still feel the need to eat dairy- CALCIUM.  Where do I get my calcium…the same place a cow does- from PLANTS!  Everything that grows from the ground has calcium in it- in particular our green vegetables.


      The Correct Statement is:  GREENS do a body good! 


      Information found in the following books:


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    • No time to make Dinner?

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    •  7/22/2009 7:11:43 PM
    • So I have been running all day and dinner time came a little too fast.  We had no leftovers and I really only had 30 minutes to make and eat dinner with the family.  This meal literally took 2 minutes to make and my kids and husband ate it right up.  I just pulled everything out of the fridge- put it together- warmed it up...and my meal was complete.




      2-Minute Bean Roll-up

      Whole wheat flour tortilla

      Black beans

      Salsa (I used a fresh chunky style we buy from the local market)


      Lime (squeezed on time)


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    • THE SECRET TO LONGEVITY....Hunza who?

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    •  7/22/2009 5:07:08 PM
    • What’s the SECRET TO LONGEVITY?

      A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were enjoying an evening with some friends.  We were playing a question and answer game and the question was asked:


      “If you could switch places with someone for 1 week, live as they live- who would it be?


      Of course we heard answers like: The President of the United States, Bill Gates and even Oprah.  My answer came to me pretty quick- I was a little hesitant to share at first because it definitely wasn’t like the others.  I eventually told everyone my answer-  "If I could, I would switch places with a HUNZA".  I received some funny looks, so I did go on to explain exactly who a HUNZA is.


      My fascination with the HUNZAS started years ago when I was reading a health book (can’t remember which one) that quickly talked about a group of people who live in the northernmost part of Pakistan, where six mountain ranges converge.  They live in an extraordinary fertile valley that for hundreds of years has been in complete isolation from the rest of the world.  Until recently, to get to the Hunza Valley was near impossible because the only way in was an extremely dangerous trail winding through the mountains and in some places this trail was only two feet wide (it has been called “The most dangerous road in the world”). 


      Believe me, the complete isolation and the winding road isn’t what made me want to live there for a week…it is the LONGEVITY of this people that intrigues me.


      I read the book “Hunza: Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Oldest Living People” written by Jay Milton Hoffman.  In the 1960’s Dr. Jay Hoffman was asked by the U.S. National Geriatric Society to go to Hunza and study the health and longevity of this isolated people.  He wrote,


      Down through the ages, adventurers and utopia-seeking men have fervently searched the world for the Fountain of Youth but didn’t find it.  However unbelievable as it may seem, a Fountain of Youth does exist high in the Himalayan Mountains…Here is a land where people do not have common diseases, such as heart ailments, cancer (cancer is unknown), arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis, hay fever, asthma, liver trouble, gall bladder trouble, constipation, or many other ailments that plague the rest of the world.  Moreover, there are no hospitals, not insane asylums, no drug stores, no saloons, no tobacco stores, no police, no jails, no crimes, no murders and no beggars.


      Another Doctor visited this people, Dr. Paul Dudley White and tested 25 Hunza men he believed to be 90 and 110 years old…not one of them showed a single sign of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels.  They had 20-20 vision and no tooth decay…no vascular, muscular, organic, respiratory, or bone disease.


      After having read Dr. Hoffman’s book and really enjoying what I learned I came across another spectacular book that documents this amazing people:  “Healthy at 100” written by John Robbins (  After reading this book it instantly became one of my favorites.  I was able to learn much more about the Hunzas.


      The most important question I had about this disease free, long living people was WHAT DO THEY EAT?


      They consume very little meat (they have minimal pastureland) except on rare feast days.
      Meat and dairy products together constitute only 1 percent of their total diet.
      - Protein and fat are almost entirely of vegetable origin.
      - They depend entirely on natural foods rather than processed and manufactured ones.
      - They eat substantial amounts of whole grains: wheat, barley, millet and buckwheat.
      - Vegetables also play a prominent role, particularly DARK LEAFY GREENS (mustard greens, spinach and lettuce) and also root vegetables, beans and legumes that can be sprouted.
      - They grow Flaxseeds; almost every meal contains freshly ground flaxmeal in one form or another.
      - A large part of their diet is eaten uncooked, in the summer, as much as 80 percent of the food is eaten in its natural state.
      Vegetables are picked just prior to consumption and almost always eaten raw.
      In the winter, they soak their lentils and beans and eat them sprouted.
      When vegetables are cooked they are typically lightly steamed using minimal amount of water.
      - THEY EAT A LOW CALORIE, WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED DIET (overall daily calories 1,900)
      (All taken from the book- "HEALTHY AT 100")


      The Hunzas grow all their food on fertile terraces along the mountain side that is watered by the rich mineral waters that come down from the mountains- which makes their soil the most fertile in the world.  They grow a wide variety of fruit and are said to have flavor and nutrient value no where else in the world…”their apricots have been described as the most luscious fruits on earth.”


      Of course there is more to their LONGEVITY than the food they eat.  Since they live in the middle of many mountains- their form of travel (walking) is mainly straight up or straight down.  They are consistently exercising their bodies- every day of their lives.


      Unfortunately, the Hunzas aren’t what they were 40 years ago.  The western world and its influences have invaded their precious landscape, thus disease is not the unknown anymore.


      Science has determined that CALORIE RESTRICTION can prolong a human’s life…but I also like to look at everything else the Hunzas did to allow them to live into their 100’s- disease free.  If you read John Robbins “Healthy at 100” you can see all the aspects of their life plus he documents more long-living people.  I know that I can’t live exactly like them even if I wanted to- but I can take some of these tips and try my best! 


      To be honest, do I really want to live entirely as the Hunzas do- not really.  But their way of life truly does inspire me…and I would really like to try one of their apricots!


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    • TIP OF THE DAY- Spinach

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    •  7/21/2009 2:18:13 PM

      When I buy my spinach that I will be using for my green drinks- the minute I get home from the store I place the bag in the freezer.  This way the spinach lasts twice as long and it makes my green drinks even more cold.



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    •  7/21/2009 9:19:43 AM
    • "The time to begin paying attention to a child's health is long before birth. Even the mother's diet twelve months before conception can influence the child's future health. It is important to eat healthfully prior to conception as well as once pregnancy has begun. Proper nutrition and good health habits are more important than ever during pregnancy and can help in maintaining good health for both mother and baby." (Disease-Proof Your Child, Joel Fuhrman, M.D.)


      I thought that I would blog about PREGNANCY NUTRITION- being that I am currently pregnant with my third child. Before I start explaining what I should be eating and why- I would like to ask the question...


      Does anyone else find it hard to eat nutritionally excellent while being pregnant?


      My first trimester was the hardest.  I have great pregnancies over all- the one small side-effect I feel (only in the 1st trimester) is feeling tired most of the day.  Combine that with feeling hungrier than usual- makes for some not so good eating days.  I have definitely changed my ways and have really tried to focus on eating right…but at times I still feel like I am falling short.  I have stayed away from highly processed foods, dairy and I eat animal protein sparingly (all disease causing foods) but am I getting enough of the good stuff? 



      What is the good stuff?

      As you can guess- the best diet for a pregnant woman is a WHOLE FOODS PLANT BASED DIET consisting of Vegetables, Fruits, Beans, Nuts and Seeds.  This is the same nutrient dense diet that is recommended for everyone.  BUT…there are a few additional foods that are essential when pregnant or nursing.


      DHA and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
      Nutrition for the brain.  These nutrients are essential for optimal brain development for the unborn child as well as a nursing infant.  Since the brain is mostly made of fat- it makes sense that we need to consume the right fat to help a healthy brain develop.
      Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are great examples of great brain food that can maximize human potential.  Berries and vegetables are also rich in brain-favorable nutrients.
      I try to eat walnuts and flax seeds (ground using my coffee grinder) every day, in addition to a Vegan DHA supplement (purchased from


      Pregnant women need more daily protein in their diet for growth of muscles, bone, blood vessels and nerves in both mom and baby.  The great thing about eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet is that I get plenty of protein when I eat my cooked beans (1 cup cooked beans = 15 grams protein) and my nuts and seeds (15 grams = 1 cup walnuts or ½ cup sunflower seeds), and my dark leafy greens (11 grams per 100 calories).
      I try to focus on eating 2 ounces of nuts and seeds daily, have beans in at least one of my meals and always try to eat dark leafy greens- whether in my green drink, in a salad, or mixed in with my meals.


      This nutrient is needed to make baby’s teeth and bones.  Again- very easy to consume enough calcium when eating a nutrient dense diet.  I get my calcium the same way cows get their calcium…green vegetables.  Beans, sesame seeds and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without the problems associated with dairy.
      I try to focus on eating my GREENS daily and I also take an herbal calcium supplement a couple times of week.


      Again- all the needed vitamins are found in whole foods.  Vitamin A= oranges and leafy greens.  Vitamin B = avocados, almonds and leafy greens.  Vitamin C = potatoes, citrus fruits and broccoli.  Vitamin D = sunshine.  Iron = apricots, dark leafy vegetables and raisins.
      I try to consume as many vegetables as I can.  I also take a multi-vitamin with all these essential vitamins.


      In summary...three words:  DARK LEAFY VEGETABLES!  These are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet (Kale, Collard Greens, Chards, Spinach, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens, etc.)  I really want to focus on eating these DAILY!

      Eating an optimal diet for pregnancy is very doable when eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet.  This blog has definitely been good to remind myself what foods are needed.  Have I eaten perfectly…No.  But I am trying :)  My mother gave me great advice that I try to focus on in my daily life:  To live in the present- try not to dwell on the past or even look too much to the future. To focus on eating well today... (not being concerned about yesterday or how well I will eat tomorrow) but how good I can take care of myself right now. That's the key when striving to accomplish goals- it really seems to work for me.



      • I am wondering what to do about food adversions during my first trimester. I have been eating a whole foods vegan diet for about 2 months proir to becoming pregnant with my third child. Since about my 6th week of pregnancy, when I started feeling nauseous, I've been very turned off to a lot of different foods, mainly the healthy ones. When I do get a craving and feel like eating it is usually for something like frozen pizza. Any tips or ideas on how to get through the next 6 weeks and stay on the wagon?
      • We understand how different appetites can be when pregnant. We find pregnancy to be one of the hardest times to eat healthy. For us, knowing how important it is for our unborn babe helps motivate our taste-buds somewhat. Our advice would be to do your BEST and listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and hopefully your nausea will decrease soon. We found that when salads didn't sound good, a green smoothie did. Another quick advice would be- Don't be too hard on yourself, just do your best! Good LUCK!
      • There's no magic formula for a healthy pregnancy diet. In fact, during pregnancy the basic principles of healthy eating remain the same get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. However, a few nutrients in a pregnancy diet deserve special attention.Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects, serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. Lack of folate in a pregnancy diet may also increase the risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery. The synthetic form of folate found in supplements and fortified foods is known as folic acid. In addition to making healthy food choices, taking a daily prenatal vitamin ideally starting three months before conception can help ensure you're getting enough of this essential nutrient.
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    • The status quo is for DUMMIES!

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    •  7/15/2009 12:12:37 AM
    • "The science is there and it must be made known.  We cannot let the status quo go unchallenged and watch our loved ones suffer unnecessarily.  It is time to stand up, clear the air and take control of our health." (The China Study)


      So where has the status quo gotten us?  Anyway you look at it, America's health is failing.  We spend far more on health care than any other country in the world, yet 2/3 of us are overweight, and over 18 million American's have diabetes.  Our number one killer, heart disease is as prevalent today as it was 30 years ago, and the "war on cancer" has gotten us no where.  And my number one issue is where we are leading our children.  Our children are getting disease earlier and earlier in their lives...why is that?  Why are one third of our children overweight?  What are we doing wrong?


      As T. Colin Campbell would say..."These issues all come down to three things: BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER."


      I believe too many of us follow the status quo of nutrition.  Whether our beliefs come from our mothers, or our mother's mother, or our public school system or even worse- the media.


      "How did we get to a place where the companies that profit from our sickness are the ones telling us how to be healthy; where the companies that profit from our food choices are the ones telling us what to eat; How did we get to a place where Americans are so confused about what is healthy that they no longer care?" (The China Study)


      I hope you can see that when it comes down to it- I am pretty passionate about HEALTH and how our nation's idea about HEALTH is killing us (and that I really like T. Colin Campbell's book- The China Study).

      I started my journey the day I had my first child.  I didn't want to put anything in her mouth that would do her harm.  I remember reading the book "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron and falling in love with the idea of making my own baby food using whole foods.  After nursing exclusively for more than 6 months, I loved slowly feeding my little girl organic baby food made from my kitchen.  More importantly knowing the vegetables, fruits and whole grains she was eating was exactly what her body needed.  My little girl ate it all and loved it, from avocados to millet to steamed broccoli and brown rice.  I don't believe an ounce of refined sugar went into her mouth until her cake on her first birthday...and she didn't even like the taste of it...if only that's how it was today :)


      After becoming so intrigued with my child's nutrition I couldn't help but start researching nutrition for myself.  I found the book "Fit for Life Not Fat for Life" by Harvey Diamond and I could not put it down.  This was my first book describing why a WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED DIET is the key to Health. A diet that mainly consists of Vegetables, Fruits, Beans, Whole Grains, Nuts & Seeds and trying to eat them WHOLE as much as possible (unprocessed and no preservatives or additives).  I started eating the way Harvey Diamond said to eat and I lost all my baby weight plus more in fewer than 8 weeks.  I was thinner than I was in high school.  I started running races and being pretty competitive.  I can say that I was a new person- a totally different person than I was before I had my first child and a happier, healthier person.


      I am now pregnant with my 3rd child (almost 5 years since I started my journey) and I am still reading and researching this way of eating.  Have I eaten perfectly ever since I started...that's a big NO.  It is definitely a process...I know some people can dive right in and make it work while others need to take baby steps.  I have come a long way and happy where I am today...but I definitely want to keep going.  This blog will be a motivator for me (especially during my pregnancy...when I want to be eating the best but for some reason it's takes far more effort than usual).


      The science is there...and it cannot be denied.  And it's actually not that hard to find if you want to find it.  My absolutely favorite book is of course "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell and another amazing author is Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  His books include:  "Eat to Live" and "Disease-Proof Your Child".  They are must reads.


      I am excited to share my journey with you.  To share my thoughts, my accomplishments...and my "real world" obstacles that we all face.  Hope you enjoy!



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