Tuesday, May 31, 2011

REAL FOOD MEET UP GROUP!

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease".
~Thomas Edison


Hi there!

Well, its finally here! A REAL FOOD meet up group! Edie, Laura and I have been talking about doing this and here it is!

This group is being formed to bring like minded folks together to discuss REAL FOOD, long-term, life-long optimal health!

I hesitate listing topics because they are endless :) but include: allergies, permanent weight loss, preventing illness, child/baby/pregnancy nutrition, exercise (not what you might think!), book reviews, where to purchase real food etc... ( I am sure I am missing some big ones listed here!)

REAL FOOD recipes will be available to taste at the meetings.  If you do decide to bring a REAL FOOD recipe, please bring the recipe with and I can print copies of the recipe for those interested.

Everyone is welcome no matter where you are at on your health journey! PLEASE pass along!

I wanted to set up a "meet up group" on line web site but there is a cost of $72.  I do not want to charge anything for this kind of group.  I will just be using my email to keep expenses down to ZERO! :)

Our first meeting is on:

Saturday July 30th 1:00 @ my house
16517 Lanfear Drive
Lockport IL 60441
jeniclark@comcast.net


Please RSVP (especially for this first one so that I can see if there is an interest in this group or not)

THANK YOU!

"I don't eat health food, I eat REAL FOOD that just happens to be healthy!"
~Jeni Clark

http://www.realnutritionblog.blogspot.com/

xo!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What about EGGS? Are they healthy?

YES! YES! YES! Big Time!
Bread is a staple in the SAD (Standard American Diet).  While we pass on the bread here in the Clark household, eggs are a staple in our diet :)  We consume eggs daily in some form!
Raw yolks being my first choice (easy to add to a smoothie!), then scrambled eggs, eggs mixed in bakery items, you name it! In my opinion, and in much of what I read, eggs are superior nutrition.  However, all eggs are NOT created equal and what prompted me to blog about it!
So, how do your eggs stack up?
You will be AMAZED at how lousy store bought eggs are for you!

The quality of eggs means how nutritious they are for you (or not). Organic, free-range eggs are clearly your best choice.  However, there are problems in the weak organic egg regulations that allow organic producers to slip their eggs through despite not being up to par. Read again :)
The BEST eggs come from chickens that can graze outside on bugs and grass.  I say “best” because these eggs contain more nutrients!  Not to mention they taste dramatically better!  They LOOK and FEEL different too. Their shell is hard.  Healthy egg yolks look dramatically different then store bought eggs. These yolks are the deepest orange and firmly formed when you crack open the egg. (vs light yellow and runny) and the whites are clear.  Now, this is not the best picture.  I took this with my phone, but can you spot the ORGANIC healthy egg?


Its the one on the far left! Now see below more pics:








Now the picture quality is NOT there, but in "real life" there is a dramatic difference in appearance on the inside and out!

ORGANIC, FREE RANGE, GRASS FED (pasture) hens eggs have 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more Vitamin A, 2 times more omega 3 fatty acids, 3 times more Vitamin E, 7 times more beta carotene, 8 times more Vitamin D, more folic acid and B12. AMAZING!
Eggs provide eight essential protein building amino acids and contain six to seven grams of protein and five grams of fat which helps in the absorption of all the egg’s fat-soluble vitamins.  Remember you need FAT to absorb the nutrients. (This is why I always say, eat FAT with those veggies or fruit!)  Eggs contain the minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.  Choline is another nutrient contained in eggs.  It is a fatty substance found in every living cell and is a major component of our brain. Choline helps break up cholesterol deposits by preventing fat and cholesterol from sticking to the arteries.  See, EGGS are our friend!
These nutritional differences between store bought and farm eggs are most likely due to the chicken’s diet.  Chickens are omnivores and must consume both animal and plant sources.  A vegan diet prevents chickens from being truly healthy and therefore prevents them from producing healthy eggs.  For instance, store bought hens are fed grains and corn based junk and are kept in cages inside.  Most of these eggs are treated with chlorine baths! YUCK!
Here is a story:
So I know all this about eggs, yet have a hard time digesting eggs without running to the bathroom shortly after consuming! (sorry for the details) I discovered I am FINE with Organic Free Range Grass fed eggs! FINE! So, therefore, it MUST have been what the chicken were consuming that was irritating me!  I do not eat corn or grains, but if the chicken LIVES on corn and grains and I consume the chicken's egg, well I will have problems! Interesting needless to say!
MORE YOLKS PLEASE!
Back in the day, I was the gal to eat egg whites and tossed the yolk! What was I thinking!??! A BIG BIG no-no! Egg
yolks are the BEST source of lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidant nutrients).  Yolks are known to combat macular degeneration and cataracts and supporting overall healthy vision.  They have a long list of other benefits, including protecting the skin from sun damage and even reducing one’s risk of colon and breast cancer! Not to mention, eggs have been around since the beginning of time! LOL! I will talk more about “OLD” foods vs. “NEW” man-created foods. This is a biggy!

So, how do you find these eggs?
If at all possible, I would encourage you to avoid buying all store bought eggs unless you have no other choices. Ideally it would be best to locate a local famer where the chickens are fed well and raised in humane conditions and allowed to eat insects.


I belong to the Lemont Co Op here in IL. There, you have access to healthy TRUE Organic eggs.  Prior to this, I got my eggs at Garden Patch Farms in Homer Glen (off of 159th street) These chickens do not graze on grass but are let outside year round and allowed to pick at the ground.  They are fed a corn based diet so they are not ideal but better then store bought.

You can also check out:
·         http://www.eatwild.com/
·         http://www.localharvest.org/
·        
THE down right WORST eggs are the Omega-3 fortified eggs! I know! You are probably like WHAT??!! I see people buying these at the store all the time and want to literally whip out a brochure talking about eggs!  The chickens tend to be fed poor quality sources of Omega 3 fats that are already OXIDIZED! YUCK AGAIN!

Please forward to anyone you think might be interested in improving their health!  Also, comments are welcomed!

Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY week!
xo
Jeni Clark~

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SUGAR Part 2 (short and "sweet" and to the point!)

SO, what do you use!?

After all the reading, I believe Stevia is the best option. PLEASE, NOT the junky, processed Stevia!

Dr Mercola has a bunch of articles on sweetener if you are interested.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/16/stevia-the-holy-grail-of-sweeteners.aspx

For some, not us, RAW honey and Grade B Maple Syrup are options.

:)

And now for a quick, real-life story!

My daughter finished her last day of swimming. A sport, exercise, something you would relate to health and fitness, right? Wrong. At the last class, her instructor began to pass out Dum Dum suckers! Calei politely said "no thanks, they have corn syrup and food dye in them". 

I was SO PROUD!

Now, the next part of the story I have NO CLUE WHY I said what I did! I told her, "Calei when we get home you can have a Trader Joes sucker!" (no corn syrup or food dye but OMG tons of sugar!!!)  She was like "okay"... but really NO BIG DEAL!

We get home and I pull out the suckers (WHO KNOWS why we still have these from Halloween--she doesn't eat them!) and then remember we had dates in the fridge. I said "Calei, would you like a sucker or dates?"

She happily yells, "dates, dates, dates!!!"

SO I was EVEN MORE PROUD!

WOW have we come FAR! What an amazing journey! And she is learning all this at FIVE years old! YIPPY! Great day in the Clark household!

Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY week!
xo
Jeni Clark~

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

SUGAR: White Death!

Ooo yep, I said it, DEATH! I have learned SO MUCH about sugar... enough to make my head spin! And I know, that MOST people do not know this information because if they did, they would NOT consume sugar at ALL, let alone give it to their kids and BABIES (see formula blog!) I attempted to write this blog myself, but decided to give as many details as possible and use Raymond Francis's article. Its lengthy, but SO WORTH the read! You will NOT regret it one bit! If you don't do anything BUT eliminate sugar from your diet (all forms) you will be WAY ahead of the game!

Health is a choice. If you choose health, sugar is not an option. Sugar is a dangerous metabolic poison and a leading contributor to our epidemic of chronic disease. If we want to vastly improve health, one single choice we can make is to stop, or at least minimize, sugar consumption. The less you eat and the less frequently you eat it, the better off you will be.

History
Our biologic ancestors did not have access to sugars in the refined forms that exist today. Sugar was a rare commodity, found primarily in fresh fruits, or perhaps a batch of honey. Advents in technology brought forth the first sugar refineries during the Napoleonic period. At that time sugar was expensive, and average consumption was about 7 pounds per year. By the end of the 19th century, sugar was affordable, and available to almost everyone.
Since 1909, sugar consumption has increased by 70%!! Americans now eat an average of about 150 pounds of sugar per year, up 25 pounds (20%) since 1970!!

Until recently, man ate no refined sugar at all. Not being designed for it, even a small amount of sugar throws the body into biochemical chaos for a period of 6 to 8 hours. Sugar is actually an anti-nutrient.  Rather than supplying the body with nutrients, as a food is supposed to do, sugar actually robs the body of nutrients.

What is an anti-nutrient?
Sugar disturbs the mineral relationships in our bodies.  The body has to use minerals, vitamins and enzymes at alarming rates!  For example, to metabolize only ONE molecule of sugar the body requires 56 molecules of magnesium leading to magnesium deficiency!  Magnesium deficiency leads to problems like high blood pressure, and neurological and immune issues!


In terms of caloric content, sugar makes up more than 25% of the
average American's diet and up to 50% of some children's diets! An empty calorie food with no nutritional value whatsoever, sugar is replacing valuable complex carbohydrates as a source of energy for humans. Historically we did not eat these refined sugars, and doing so throws the body into a chaotic state of disregulation.

Overview
Here's the problem: The human body was simply not designed to handle refined sugars. They bring about a deadly combination of malnutrition and toxicity. Feeding refined sugar to a human body is similar to burning high-octane aircraft fuel in an automobile engine. Impressive amounts of energy, but after a while, you damage the engine. Metabolizing refined sugar is quite a challenge, but if forced to, the body will struggle to cope with it. This struggle causes serious disturbances, and after time, disease is the guaranteed result!!
If sugar were introduced today as a new product, the FDA would not approve it. FDA approval requires that a product be safe. Evidence that sugar damages health is overwhelming. It has been associated with diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. In fact, the rise of chronic disease in modern societies has paralleled the rise in sugar consumption. When these facts are examined, one might consider feeding sugar to children a form of child abuse... Instead, we give children sweets as a "reward" for being good!  (Not to mention, read my blog on FORMULA!)

Nutrient Deficiencies
Food is supposed to support life. Sugar will not support the life of humans, animals, insects, or even bacteria!! Sugar really isn't food! Sugar requires specific nutrients in order to metabolize in the body. The refining process strips these nutrients from the source materials like sugar cane, so that metabolism requires the body to deplete itself. The body uses up its reserves, causing deficiencies of various B vitamins, magnesium, chromium, and other nutrients.

Here are some examples of clinically significant
sugar-related deficiencies:

20 psychotic teenagers, being unsuccessfully treated with psychotherapy and tranquilizers, were completely cured by vitamin B1 supplementation. Sugar had depleted their B vitamin reserves making them deficient and causing abnormal behavior. One can be sure there are tens of thousands of teens out there right now with similar problems.

Chromium deficiencies have been linked to both excessive sugar consumption and heart disease. Coronary disease patients average twice the sugar consumption of healthier people, and have significantly less chromium in their tissues.

Sugar and vitamin C use the same transport mechanism. Excessive sugar intake overloads this transport system and may cause vitamin C deficiencies.

Sugar inhibits the release of omega 6 essential fatty acids from storage in fat tissues, thereby contributing to essential fatty acid deficiency.

Oh there is more!
Metabolic Chaos: Heart Disease, Hypoglycemia & Immunosuppression

Sugar throws body chemistry into biochemical chaos lasting for six to eight hours after consumption.  During this period, hormone, fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism are greatly disrupted. After consumption, refined sugar is rapidly absorbed by the body, which dangerously increases the sugar content of the blood. Excess sugar causes production of excess insulin, which signals cells to take up sugar. Cells then absorb sugar, to get it out of the bloodstream. This solves one problem but creates another: Now the body's cells have too much sugar. To correct this imbalance, cells turn the sugar into saturated fats and cholesterol. This brings us to heart disease.  In terms of heart disease, eating sugar is similar to eating saturated fat, only much worse because sugar creates a lot of other problems. Increased insulin levels not only tell the body to store fat, but they alsotell it not to release fat. This makes people get fat and stay fat. It causes fat to be deposited in our cells and organs, resulting in atherosclerosis, fatty liver and kidneys, and obesity. These fats cause blood cells to become sticky thereby increasing the chances of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Sugarincreases "bad" LDL cholesterol, decreases "good" HDL cholesterol, and increases triglyceride levels in the blood. If antioxidant vitamins and minerals are deficient, these triglycerides can be oxidized causing serious health problems. In addition, red blood cells are choked by the saturated fats and this reduces
their ability to carry oxygen to our tissues.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
is another problem caused by sugar consumption. When insulin is secreted into the blood, it makes blood sugar levels fall rapidly. Insulin levels remain high however, so the body continues to take up sugar beyond the point where it needs to. The result is hypoglycemia.
Symptoms include weakness, dizziness, crying spells, insomnia, aggression, and depression. Sugar in breakfasts or lunches can cause children to do poorly in school. They become hypoglycemic about 60 minutes after eating sugar and this affects brain function. Many teachers claim that their students are "brain dead" after lunch, and this is why.

Sugar-induced hormone imbalances tax and weaken the immune system to the point where it can no longer defend the body. When insulin causes blood sugar to fall excessively low, the adrenal glands secret hormones that pump blood sugar back up. Daily consumption of sugar causes an overworked biochemical balancing act resulting in adrenal exhaustion, which in turn decreases the body's ability to respond to future stress. Adrenal exhaustion is now a common problem in the chronically ill. Sugar quadruples adrenaline levels, while increasing both cholesterol and cortisone. Cortisone is known to depress immune function. Studies show that the ability of white cells to destroy harmful bacteria is
reduced as sugar consumption rises. This is why children, who eat lots of sugar, are more susceptible to colds, flu, and other infections.

Allergies:
Sugar causes food allergies. Most food allergies start with improperly digested food. Sugar reduces the supply of digestive enzymes leading to incompletely digested food. Undigested food molecules enter the blood stream where the immune system sees them as the enemy and attacks them, forming antibodies.
Regular eating of a food to which one has become allergic causes regular reactions, leading to immune exhaustion and a variety of related problems.

Osteoporosis:
Sugar is a leading cause of osteoporosis. Sugar increases calcium loss in the urine. When the body is loosing calcium, in order to keep blood calcium within normal limits (homeostasis), the body removes calcium from the bones. Physicians, not understanding the cause, are often mystified when their osteoporosis patients have normal blood calcium levels, while suffering bone loss.

Immunity
Sugar depresses immunity. Sugar damages the function of immune cells, causing immunity depression and reaching a low about two hours after ingestion. Those eating sugar several times a day will suppress immune function all day. Combine this with the immune exhaustion resulting from sugar-causing food allergies and you have a real problem.

Arthritis
Sugar causes arthritis by first causing food allergies, which result in the formation of immune complexes.  Immune complexes can collect in and do damage to joints. Another mechanism is that joints can accumulate excessive calcium as a result of sugar, causing altered calcium metabolism

Fiber Deficiency
Humans were designed to derive energy from complex carbohydrates, which are naturally high in fiber.
By contrast, a high sugar diet provides calories without the fiber that is essential to human health.
Insufficient fiber causes materials to move too slowly through the digestive tract. This can cause constipation, which is a big problem in our society. It also causes waste to remain too long in the colon where it can serve as food for harmful bacteria, thereby producing gas and toxins, and promoting intestinal inflammation and bloating.

Fiber has been shown to remove toxic and carcinogenic substances from our bodies.
Lack of fiber leads to toxic absorption and excessive stress on the liver.
Fiber binds to hormones like estrogen and removes them from the body. Without fiber, the estrogen may be reabsorbed and excess estrogen is known to cause disease.
Fiber slows down the rate of sugar entry into the blood stream, so foods like sweet fruits are suitable and healthy alternatives to refined sugar.
Fiber has been shown to improve diabetes control because high fiber diets greatly reduce the need forinsulin.

Conclusive Research
Human volunteers who were fed sugar experienced a rise in cholesterol levels plus a marked increase in blood pressure.
Laboratory animals died sooner when sugar was added to their diet.
Rats fed a high sugar diet did less physical work, were unable to reproduce as well, and had shortened life spans.
Other animal experiments concluded that refined sugar "causes serious disturbances in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism," and caused diabetes in the animals.
People who have little contact with refined sugar have virtually no tooth decay.
The saturated fats produced by sugar metabolism cause pimples, acne, senility, and heart disease.
A high sugar diet increases the severity of premenstrual syndromes in college women.
Sugar feeds cancer cells causing them to grow faster and has been linked to colon, kidney, prostate, breast, rectal, ovarian, uterine, and nervous system cancer.

In our society, staying away from refined sugar is no easy task. Sugar is added to most processed foods and many food labels list sugar under more than one name. This can be confusing to the consumer.

There is so much sugar in processed foods that manufacturers try to hide the truth by using different kinds of sugar.
Look for sugar under names like:

Sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, maltodextrin, raw sugar, brown sugar,
turbinado sugar, honey, rice syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, concentrated fruit juice, barley malt etc...

Sugar in whole fruits is acceptable, but not so in fruit juices because the lack of fiber allows rapid absorption of the sugar.

Most especially, don't feed sugar to children. The dangers of eating sugar were even known to the ancient world. In the Bible, Proverbs 25:27 says, "It is not good to eat too much honey." We seem to have forgotten this ancient wisdom.

A sure sign of toxicity is a craving for sugar. This means that the body's chemistry has become so dysfunctional that it now depends on sugar. Excess sugar is so toxic that to get rid of it the body coverts it into saturated fat. This fat accumulates in arteries and other organs, doing long-term damage.


Deficiency and toxicity are the two causes of disease, and sugar is a leading contributor to both. This is why sugar is a major cause of our modern epidemic of chronic, degenerative diseases.
Few Americans die of old age. Most of us die from preventable chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These are the direct result of chronic abuse to our body chemistry.

Raymond Francis is an M.I.T.-trained scientist, a registered nutrition consultant, author of Never Be Sick
Again and Never Be Fat Again, host of the Beyond Health Show, Chairman of the The Project to End Disease and an internationally recognized leader in the field of optimal health maintenance.

REPRINTED FROM BEYOND HEALTH® News
Sugar - A Poor Choice
by Raymond Francis

Reprinted with permission
from: Beyond Health® News
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website: http://www.beyondhealth.com
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Copyright © 1998, 1999, Beyond Health®

Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY week!
XO
Jeni Clark~