Juice for Life

My journey to health inspired by the documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" one juice at a time. hit counter
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TMI: Juice Fasting and Pooping

This may be too much information for you, but it’s a question that needs to be addressed. So I’ve been doing all sorts of research to find out about what exactly is considered normal/regular poop while juice fasting and haven’t found much of anything.  Although I didn’t find what I was looking for, I did find that constipation is a side effect of juice fasting. Why?  By juicing, you remove the majority of the fiber and as we know fiber is good for moving things along.

What’s considered normal?  Well from my observations it appears to vary from person to person.  When my friend and I were on our 8-day juice fast, our bowel movements were quite different. The first few days he pooped out black tarry loose stool. I, on the other hand, was suffering from constipation.  The first few days were frustrating because I was only shooting out rabbit pellets. Blah! (On a regular diet I consistently go about 2x/day.)  Then about halfway through the fast, I started pooping out the loose tarry stuff.

Take Home Message:

  • A side effect of juice fasting could be constipation.
  • You should expect loose stool.
  • From Food Matters, I learned that drinking lots of water can also help with detoxifying through urination and poop formation.
  • If you are really concerned about your bowel movements during your juice fast, then consult your doctor (preferably a naturopathic doctor, not like I’m biased.)

In the end, our bodies are all different.  If you’re like most Americans putting garbage into your body and now trying to detox, there’s a back-up of a lot of crap in there that needs to come out.  

Documentary Review on Food Matters

Food Matters.

I highly recommend this documentary because it takes a provocative stance against the American healthcare system and challenges you as the consumer to make an informed decision about the health of you and your loved ones.  Below I’ve included some key points I’ve learned from the film.

Nutrition

“Produce takes about five days before it gets to the grocery store.  So how much nutrition value are you really getting?”

  • Have you ever thought about going to the farmer’s market?  It pretty much takes the middleman out of the equation and you pretty much get the produce as fresh as possible.  If you can’t make it to the farmer’s market, there are also other programs like www.eatwiththeseasons.com.  They get all their organic produce from local farmers and give you options for fruits and vegetables that are available with the given season.

“Vitamin E is good for heart disease, healing burns, help reduce seizures in epileptic teens.  Vitamin C is an anti-toxin, anti-histamine, anti-viral, helps regulate blood sugar, helps elevate mood. One vitamin can cure many illnesses because a deficiency in one vitamin can cause many illnesses.”

  • We often forget the role of vitamins and minerals in the optimization of our health.  Every time we put something in our mouth, we either build up our bodies or break it down.

Medical Training


“ Less than 6% of graduating physicians in the USA receive any formal training in nutrition.  26% of patients are more malnourished than when they went in.  About 80-90% of those patients go into the hospital because of their poor nutrition.”

  • This bit of information is a bit perplexing to me.  I feel that nutrition and exercise are two factors that we can control in our lives to prevent chronic disease.  I believe that medical doctors should be educated in the realm of nutrition for food is medicine.  There’s a growing new medical field out there that not many people are aware of.  It’s called naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic medicine has 6 main principles, in which it is based upon (taken from www.naturopathic.org)
  • Let nature heal. Our bodies have such a powerful, innate instinct for self-healing. By finding and removing the barriers to this self-healing—such as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic physicians can nurture this process. 
  • Identify and treat causes. Naturopathic physicians understand that symptoms will only return unless the root illness is addressed. Rather than cover up symptoms, they seek to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.
  • First, do no harm. Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to ensure their patients’ safety:
    • Use low-risk procedures and healing compounds—such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts and homeopathy—with few or no side effects.
    • When possible, do not suppress symptoms, which are the body’s efforts to self-heal. For example, the body may cook up a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection. Fever creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Of course, the naturopathic physician would not allow the fever to get dangerously high.
    • Customize each diagnosis and treatment plan to fit each patient. We all heal in different ways and the naturopathic physician respects our differences. 
  • Educate patients. Naturopathic medicine believes that doctors must be educators, as well as physicians. That’s why naturopathic physicians teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
  • Treat the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. The naturopathic physician knows that all these factors affect our health. That’s why he or she includes them in a carefully tailored treatment strategy.
  • Prevent illness. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic physicians evaluate risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease. By getting treatment for greater wellness, we’re less likely to need treatment for future illness.

What exactly do they learn?  They learn both western medicine and eastern medicine from botanical medicine to physical medicine. With my newfound health journey, I’ve found their principles to be right in line with my own.  If you have any questions about naturopathic medicine, please feel free to contact Aron Choi at aronchoiND@gmail.com. 


Cleansing

“Upon rising, drink lots of water!  Drink at least 2 liters of water before eating or drinking anything else.  S lost 150 pounds in about an 18-month period, on raw, organic foods.  He actually moved all that toxicity out of his body through his bowels.  12 bowel movements (poops) in one day.  One time had 12 bowel movements and lost 15 pounds in one day.  We usually think of weight through sweating it off. In this day and age, with the toxicity that’s in the average fat cell you don’t want to move it out through your skin   You want to move it out through your bowels as quickly as possible.”

  •  I’ve always thought of sweating as the main mechanism of cleansing.  I often forget that drinking more water can help solidify help move along that leftover buildup in our intestines.  Twelve bowel movements from drinking water and eating lots of fruits and veggies?  That’s insane!
  • Buildup of crap in your intestines can cause diverticulitis and even worse colon cancer.  My dad has had diverticulitis twice and the most frustrating part is his refusal to change his diet.  He’s gotten better by adding fresh fruit and veggie juice to his diet.  So we’re taking baby steps.  The solution is easy: eat more veggies and fruits.  It’s implementation is not.  In the end, the individual must be motivated to make a change within himself.  For in the end, no one’s will is stronger than your own.

Chronic Disease


“ Dr. Dean Ornish conducted a study with people who have severe cardiovascular disease and put them on a strict diet, which is a vegetarian diet loaded vitamins and nutrients and good things that grow on the ground.  Also had them do stress reduction and they were able to arrest or REDUCE their cardiovascular disease in a year or two.”

  •  Cardiovascular disease is reversible!?!?!  It’s not too late to make a change and improve your life.  Why wait until something goes terribly wrong to make a change?  Did you know that Bill Clinton had multiple bypass surgeries and is now vegan?  Don’t wait until you get your bypass surgery/stroke/heart attack to make a change.  Now is the time!

Environment


“ One of the major problems is the soil and what we do to the air, the water, and everything. We keep taking from the soil and then the soils become deserts.  When the soil is deficient, the plant is deficient and can’t build the necessary defenses which attracts the weeds and bugs.”

  • Don’t you find it interesting that it’s cheaper to buy produce that’s been saturated with harsh chemicals and pesticides than to get organic produce?  Well organic produce not only provides you pesticide free foods, but it also helps replenish the soil with the proper nutrients needed for generations to come.

Raw Diet

“Dr. Paul Kouchakoff was the first to show in the 1930s that if you ate a diet that was more than 51% cooked food, that your body would react as if it was being invaded by a foreign organism.  He was the first to demonstrate that if 51% of your meals were raw, that you would have no leukocytosis or you’d actually have no white blood cell reaction. So your body would not be activated by a false alarm.  Because we’re dealing so many immune system issues today, we have to make sure that at least 51% of our meals is raw so that we don’t over burden an already over burdened immune system.”

  •  By completing a juice fast, you’re truly on a 100% raw, vegan diet.  However a juice fast is temporary.  So when jumping back on a regular diet, don’t forget to make sure that more than half of your diet is raw in the form of juice, salads, smoothies, or whole fruits/veggies.

Pharmaceutical Companies


“ The perfect drug, from the point of view of a drug company, is one first of all, that doesn’t kill people to make because people need to take it for long term to make it profitable. Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.”

  • So why are we supporting them?  People often say that juicing is expensive.  Well, so are hospital stays, surgeries, and drugs!!! So why are we so apprehensive to dish out the extra money to make fresh organic juice?  We do it because it’s easy to make up an excuse than to take responsibility of our lives.  In the end, you are in control of your own destiny including your health.

Nutrient Therapy:


"High dose IV Vitamin C at 30, 60, 100K mg’s a day directly into the bloodstream to kill cancer cells. At that high a dose, vitamin C is selectively toxic to cancer cells that’s exactly what chemotherapy is.  But with vitamin C, there’s no damage to healthy cells, and they don’t get nauseous or lose their hair.  Why isn’t this being done?  The assumption would be then why doesn’t my doctor know about it or why isn’t in on TV? Why would you teach about vitamins in medical school, who studied medicine and practice medicine and are heavily funded by pharmaceutical companies.  The pharm companies won’t advocate for vitamins. The govt. doesn’t know anything that it isn’t told by the pharm companies and lobbyists.  The people don’t know because they had an education. they never had the word orthomolecular in it.  Dr. High Riordan which is therapeutic nutritionist not the answer to any question posed in med school.  Two divergent plans on healthcare. An impossible dichotomy.  Tell them that it’s been working.  Even the national institute of health shows that its working.  High dose nutrient therapy can arrest or reverse cancer.  Not enough people demand it.”

  • Nutrient therapy seems like a better natural alternative, but not enough people know about it.  Have I personally known anyone undergo this type of therapy? No.  But it does seem to offer a better alternative to chemo and radiation.  This appears to be a seemingly simple procedure, but is banned in the US.

Overall this documentary was eye-opening.  I highly recommend it to any one who’s trying to make a lifestyle change for the better.  In the end, you are your own doctor.  Educate yourself and be an advocate for your own health.

Review of the Young Vegetarians: Getting the Nutrition they Need

It’s funny to hear people’s reaction when I tell them that I am now vegetarian.  The next line usually follows with “What do you do for protein?”  It blows my mind that no one for a second ever asks a straight carnivore how they get their vitamin A, C, E, B9, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium.

In CNN’s article entitled, Young Vegetarians: Getting the Nutrition they need,”  the author highlights many key points for proper nutrition.   Vegetarians must be more aware of finding alternate sources of protein, Vitamin D, B12, Calcium, and Iron.  Like any other diet, you could do it really right or really wrong. You could technically eat french fries, grilled cheese, and milk shakes everyday and still be considered vegetarian.  However, to become vegetarian the right way you must evaluate which nutrients are missing and find plant-based sources to fulfill your dietary needs.

The meat industry has brainwashed us to believe that animal protein is the only type of protein.  However this is not true.  I’ve taken this information from my previous blog post, but I truly believe that it is important for us to know what other sources are out there.  Examples of plant-based protein include (per each cooked cup):

Protein recommended daily value: 0 .9 grams per kg of healthy body weight/day

  • Soybeans: 29 grams
  • Lentils: 18 grams
  • Black beans: 15 grams
  • Kidney beans: 13 grams
  • Chickpeas: 12 grams
  • Veggie baked beans:
  • Pinto beans: 12 grams
  • Black-eyed peas: 11 grams
  • Peas: 9 grams
  • Spinach: 5 grams
  • Broccoli: 4 grams

Vitamin D (recommended daily value 400 IU)

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining calcium balance, regulating the immune system, reducing risk of multiple sclerosis, secreting insulin, and regulating blood pressure.

  • 1 cup fortified soymilk (Silk): 120 IU
  • 1 cup fortified rice milk (Rice Dream): 100 IU
  • 1 serving fortified breakfast cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts): 40 IU
  • 4 dried Shitake mushrooms: 250 IU
  • 5 Chanterelle Mushrooms: 200 IU
  • 1 cup of white muschrooms: 70 IU

Vitamin B12 (recommended daily value 2.4 mcg/day)

Vitamin B12 is essential for the health of your nerves and red blood cells.  It also helps keep a healthy digestive system. It can also protect one from heart disease and help control unhealthy levels of cholesterol. It’s necessary for healthy skin, hair and nails. If you’re vegetarian and eat eggs and cheese, you need not worry about a deficiency.  However, if you’re vegan you must be aware of a vitamin b12 deficiency which could lead to permanent cognitive disorders as stated in this article.

  • 1 tsp. Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula Nutritional Yeast (T6635+) 1.3 mcg
  • 1 cup fortified soymilk (Silk, Edensoy Extra, Soy Dream) 3.0 mcg
  • 1 cup fortified rice milk (Rice Dream) 1.5 mcg
  • 1 serving fortified breakfast cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts, etc.) 1.5 mcg
  • 1 veggie hot dog (Yves Veggie Dogs) 1.5 mcg
  • 4 slices veggie bologna (Yves) 1.2 mcg
  • 1 cup Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer herbal tea 1.2 mcg
  • 1 serving of Swiss cheese 3.34 mcg
  • 1 egg 1.95 mcg

Calcium (recommended daily value [1300 mg/day (Ages 9-18); 1000 mg/day (19-50 yrs); 1200 mg/day (51+)]:

Calcium strengthens bones, prevents obesity, protects cardiac muscle, prevents colon cancer, prevents PMS, prevents kidney stones, maintains healthy pH levels, and controls blood pressure.

  • 1 cup cooked collards 356 mg
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli 178 mg
  • 1 cup navy beans 130 mg
  • 1/2 cup tofu (Nasoya firm, Chang Shing) firm 200 mg
  • 1 cup fortified plant milk (Silk, Westsoy Plus, Rice Dream) 300 mg
  • 1 cup calcium fortified orange juice 300 mg
  • 1 serving Total breakfast cereal 1000 mg
  • 1 Tbs. blackstrap molasses 170 mg
  • 5 dried figs 60 mg

*Iron  [recommended daily value 32 mg/day (Menstruating vegetarian women); 14 mg/day (Vegetarian men)]:

Iron is necessary for hemoglobin formation, muscle and brain function, body temperature regulation, oxygen carrying capabilities, making neurotransmitters, builds concentration, and strengthens the immune system.

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas 6.8 mg
  • 1/2 cup tofu (Chang Shing firm) 12.6 mg
  • 1/2 cup tofu (Nasoya firm) 2.1 mg
  • 1 veggie hot dog (Yves Veggie Dogs) 4.5 mcg
  • 1 cup cooked kale 1.2 mg
  • 10 dried apricot halves or 4 dried figs 1.7 mg
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 5.2 mg
  • 1 packet instant oatmeal 6 mg
  • 1 cup Corn Flakes or Cheerios 8.1 mg
  • 1/2 cup Grapenuts 16.2 mg
  • 1 cup Total cereal 18 mg
  • 1 Tbs. blackstrap molasses 3.6 mg
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 4.4 mg

*Consuming Vitamin C rich foods with meals can increase iron absorption. Foods particularly rich in Vitamin C include bell peppers, broccoli, tropical fruit, melon, and citrus.

As a vegetarian, it is important to become educated about your food choices. Is your body getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals to nourish your body?  Take the time to evaluate your diet to become a new improved happy healthy you!


Links Used:

Plant-based protein link: http://www.massgrown.org/high_protein_vegetables.html

Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, & Iron Link: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/AR_Orgs/SANE/Vegan/nutrients.pdf

You can find this CNN article at: http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/21/health/young-vegetarians-nutrition/index.html?&hpt=hp_c2

crucifytheverse asked: Hi there! I'm just wondering if anything more than a couple day juice fast is recommended for first-timers. What nutrients will I need to focus on? Do you tend to get too hungry?

Hi!  I completed an 8-day juice fast. I would say that you would want to do at least 5 days because the first few days were rough.  My third day was the hardest because I just felt extremely fatigued.  However, the days following I felt so much energy and I was exercising pretty hard too.

In terms of nutrients that you should focus on for juicing, educate yourself on the ANDI scale.  http://www.eatrightamerica.com/andi-superfoods  I’ve made every effort to put kale, watercress, or collard greens in most of my juices to ensure that I get the most nutrients.

I did get hungry.  Everyone gets hungry, but I think the key is to never let yourself get to the point where you feel famished.  Make sure to have juice with you at all times and continue to sip on your juice throughout the day.  By doing so, you stabilize your sugar levels and control your hunger pangs.

Keep me posted on your juicing journey.  I’d love to hear from you.

Getting your Loved Ones to Juice

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m Filipino.  This seemingly simple fact means that I have a long lineage of strong-willed men and women.  This also means that anyone older than you is always right.   I’m also American.  I believe in the freedom of speech and the ability to exercise that right.  As a Filipino-American with a family history of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol, I decided that I wanted my family to embark on this journey with me.  It’s been a struggle, but I just got my dad and my sister juicing. Yay!  Here are some tips to help you get your loved ones to join you in your journey.


Tip #1: Bring your juicer with you when you go visit their home.

The first day I juiced was Saturday, September 3rd, Labor Day Weekend. On the 2nd day of my juice fast, my dad barbecued short ribs and chicken.  In order to help me survive my first temptation and show my family my determination, I brought my juicer. 

Tip #2: Get them involved.

Have them partake in the process of juicing. This could be anything from going to the farmer’s market with you to the actual process of shoving the fruits and veggies down the chute.  You may be surprised how much fun you can have as a family from juicing. My sister loved the process of juicing; however she wasn’t much of a fan of the juice I made.  So she made her own juice and put things that she liked including lemons, peaches, and mint.  

Tip #3: Educate them.

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/farmanac/5940213955/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Knowledge is power. A month ago, I wanted to my dad to watch the documentary, “Fat, Sick, and nearly Dead,” but he quickly responded with a “Hell no and walked away.”  He wasn’t ready to make that change back then.  Over the course of the weeks, I believe he’s noticed a change in me and has been more willing to learn about juicing.  Earlier this week, I brought my sister and dad with me to Whole Foods and explained the ANDI scale to them.  I showed them the list of the most nutrient dense leafy greens including kale, watercress, and collard greens.  By understanding that piece of information, they were more receptive to adding these unusual veggies in their juices.  When things don’t go as planned, don’t get discouraged.  Just try again.

Tip #4:  Just keep bringing your juice with you.

I brought my juice in my blender bottles and people would ask me about my muddy green concoction.  Whenever I went to my parent’s house, I’d bring some juice with me and asked my dad if he wanted to try it. Some days, he’d say yes.  Other days, he’d just dismiss it. 

Getting your loved ones to try the juice you made can be a little bit tricky.  My family never had kale until I introduced it to them.  Before they didn’t really like it, but now they put it in all their juices. If you’re loved one is a little bit picky,  start out with more fruits then slowly add more veggies. 

Tip #5: Lead by example.

Over time my family and friends noticed that I had shed a few pounds and became interested in learning more about juicing. My friends and family know my passion for food. I mean I would go on “food tours” with my friends and devour decadent treats.  So my friends and family know that I’ve had my personal battles with food. People want to learn from someone they can relate to.  By making strides in the right direction, you, too, will make waves in your social circle.

Tip #6: Share your journey.

I began sharing my journey through facebook, e-mails, and personal conversations.  You’d be amazed by the number of people who want to make changes in their life, but just don’t know how to start.  I was so surprised that I felt compelled to start this tumblr.

In the end, people have to want to change in order to change.  You can’t shove fruits and veggies down their throat, but you can control the food you put in your mouth.  Be an advocate for a new improved and healthy you.  All else will follow.

Anonymous asked: thanks for the "forks over knives" review comment. i'll definitely get around to watching it sometime. also, i totally lol'd at the whole filipino comment. i'm not a big fan of pork so the time i visited the philippines, it's like lechon 24/7 all around me! (~ whatever-it-takes)

haha…thanks for reading!  I really appreciate the support!!  Let me know if there are any other documentaries or books you recommend.  I’d love to hear from you.

Documentary Review of “King Corn”

So yesterday I watched King Corn.  It’s about two guys who follow the source of their food and discover that it leads them all back to corn.  Then they decide to grow their own corn and follow it start-to-finish.

                         

Do I recommend it?  Well, I don’t think it should go high on your priority list of informative food documentaries to watch. I personally believe that “Food Matters”, “Food Inc,” and “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” are much more entertaining and informative.  “King Corn” is pretty neutral and doesn’t take a strong stand on anything. 

There were, however, a few key points I learned from the film:

1 acre of corn can produce 200 bushels, 10,000 pounds, or 5 tons of food.

  • Can you even imagine 5 tons of food?
  • Why would we produce so much of a single type of food?  Well, it’s because the government subsidizes farmers who grow corn.  The more corn they grow, the more they get paid.  If the farmers were unsubsidized, they wouldn’t make a profit and they wouldn’t grow it.
  • In the past, 1 acre would only produce 40 bushels of corn.  However, technology has expedited the process tenfold. Tractors make it possible to harvest 30,000 seeds of corn in 18 minutes.  Genetically modified corn make it possible for them to live in such close proximity to each other.  Some types of  genetically modified corn make it possible to be pesticide-resistant.

Farmers can’t even eat the corn they produce.  It’s inedible.

  • The corn that we eat is so ridiculously processed that we can’t even it straight from the source.

Liberty Link Corn has been genetically modified to resist pesticides and kill weeds.

  • So does anyone else think that it’s bizarre to have a species of corn be able to withstand pesticides?  So the pesticide will kill all the weeds, but it won’t kill the corn we eat? Interesting….

                                    

In about 10,000 bushels of corn, about 32% is exported or become ethanol, 490 lbs become sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, and 5,500 lbs. become part of animal feed.

  • The government supports corn farmers because it’s cheap. It can be converted to animal feed, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, maltodextrin, invert sugar, dextrose, starch, etc.
  • The government’s subsidy program keeps corn farming on full blast with a ridiculous amount of surplus.

We’ve given up the nutritional value of corn for mass production.

  • The origin of corn came from Mexico and that species of corn was high in protein.
  • Did you know that natural corn comes in different colors ranging from red to purple.  So maybe next time you buy a few ears of corn maybe you’ll try to get the ones that aren’t yellow or white.
  • The modified corn we’ve developed is now yellow with a high starch content.

For every kernel of corn produced to become high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), 70% of it ends up in sodas.

  • HFCS doesn’t generate the stop signals we need to stop consumption.
  • HFCS has empty calories and has adverse effects on our metabolic rate.

Cows are not meant to digest corn.

  • By feeding cows corn, they put weight on faster and aren’t able to move.  If they don’t move, they become fatter.  So you know those tasty marbles of fat in your steak?  That’s probably because that cow couldn’t move and just laid in its feces.

                                     

There’s a much lower fat content in wild grass fed cattle.

  • When comparing fat content in cattle, grain fed cattle about 9 grams of saturated fat; whereas, grass fed cattle has 1.3 grams of saturated fat.

WalMart, a corporation known for its cheap prices, now offers organic foods.

  • Walmart chooses products based on the interest of consumers.  American’s new found awareness about food has forced them to dabble into the organic market.

Make a change.  Everytime you purchase an organic product, you essentially are voting for a life change.

    We want cheap food, but rarely think about its impact on our environment and on our health.   It may be cheap for now, but it may come at a steep price in the future.   What price are you willing to pay?  Are you willing to pay up now or later?

    Forest Green Monster Recipe

    This is one of many of my favorite juicing recipes.  It captures the citrus sweetness of grapefruit, but it’s acidity is offset by the fructose in apples and peaches.  It’s rich green color which is derived from the chard.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

    This serving makes about 40 oz.  So long OE’s and Helllloooooo Juices!

    • 1 Ruby Red Grapefruit (peeled prior to juicing)
    • 12 Stems of Chard
    • 2 Gala Apples (Sliced and deseeded)
    • 3 Peaches (depitted)

    For your information, I’ve included the health benefits of each component of this juice combo.

    Grapefruit (http://www.organicfacts.net/)

    • High in Vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant.
    • Contains Bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals to protects against cancer, tumors, and heart diseases.
    • Increases metabolic rate
    • Lowers insulin levels
    • Has calcium for bone health, dental care, prevention of colon cancer, potassium to regulate heart rate and blood pressure, and lycopene which has prostate cancer-protective properties.

    Chard: (http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/swiss-chard.html)

    • Rich in Vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant
    • Rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium (good for controlling heart rate and blood pressure), iron, manganese and phosphorus.
    • Excellent source of Vitamin K which is important in the health of our bones.

    Apples: (http://www.whole-food-supplements-guide.com/health-benefits-of-apples.html)

    • Rich in Quercetin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, an anti-allergen and has been used to treat skin and prostate cancers.
    • RIch in Epicatechin which have been shown to reduce plaque build-up in the arteries of animals and to reduce the cancer causing effects of carcinogens.
    • Rich in Procyanidin which is believed to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
    • Contains Pectin which is good for cleansing the liver.
    • The nutritional makeup of the apple prevents the body from releasing too much insulin even though apples are rich in natural sugar.

    Peaches: (http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/peaches.html)

    • Rich in Vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant
    • Moderate source of vitamin A for your vision and ß-carotene to convert Vitamin A into a usable form in the body.
    • Rich in many essential minerals such as potassium to regulate heart rate and blood pressure, fluoride for bones and teeth and band iron for red blood cell formation.

    These are just a few benefits of drinking this concoction.  Can you think of any other combination of food that could facilitate this many health benefits?  Next time you put something into your mouth, you may want to think twice.  Is this helping or hurting your body? Drink up!

    Documentary Recommendation “Forks over Knives”

    My personal awareness for health increased tenfold in the past three weeks beginning with the must-see documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  I don’t know about you, but I would like to stack the cards in my favor.  And with my family history, they’re definitely not.  I’ve watched one grandma undergo a total knee replacement surgery due to severe osteoarthritis.  Then I watched my other grandma get her toes amputated due to diabetes.  I’ve had my grandpa sent to the ER for severe hypertension. I’ve watched my dad inject insulin.  I realize enough is enough.  My family history may be working against me, but this documentary, “Forks over Knives,” has empowered me to take control of my life. 

                                                   

    This documentary was a definite eye-opener. I’ve now adopted a new life motto: “I eat to live, not live to eat.” 

    Here are a few misconceptions I learned from the film. 

    Misconception #1: Meat is a necessary part of our diet for protein.

    Before I would have said the same thing.  I mean I’m Filipino.  Filipino cuisine is saturated with rich fatty meats. Filipinos think that being vegetarian means eating chicken and fish..haha. 

    However, I learned that we can also get protein from other sources like tofu, nuts, and seeds.  So I did some of my own research and found the amount of protein found in some of these plant-based foods (one cooked cup taken from (http://www.massgrown.org/high_protein_vegetables.html):

    • Soybeans: 29 grams of protein
    • Lentils: 18 grams of protein
    • Black beans: 15 grams of protein
    • Kidney beans: 13 grams of protein
    • Chickpeas: 12 grams of protein
    • Veggie baked beans: 12 grams of protein
    • Pinto beans: 12 grams of protein
    • Black-eyed peas: 11 grams of protein
    • Peas: 9 grams of protein
    • Spinach: 5 grams of protein
    • Broccoli: 4 grams of protein

    Misconception #2:  Dairy is a necessary part of our diet for calcium.

    In this documentary Dr. T. Colin Campbell (who grew up on a dairy farm and has a Ph D. in nutrition, biochemistry, and microbiology from Cornell University) conducted a study on the effect of dairy on rats.  In this study, he compared two groups: Group A had a diet consisting of only 5% casein (the major protein found n dairy) and Group B had a diet consisting of 20% casein.  Both groups were exposed to an equal amount of toxins and..Voila!…he found that Group A had NO development of cancer.

    Okay. I know what you’re thinking, but that’s in rats. What about humans? You want a human study?  Well, you’re in luck: there’s the China Study (he also wrote a book, which I plan on reading..stay tuned!)  Dr. T. Colin Campbell conducted a study in China and found that those who consumed more animal protein got the most chronic disease. 

    Don’t get me wrong.  I loooove cheese: manchego, sharp cheddar, bleu cheese or goat cheese.  The list goes on.  As an informed consumer, how can I ignore this new found information?

    I did my research to find plant-based foods high in calcium and this is what I found (http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/15-non-dairy-foods-high-in-calcium.html):

    • Sesame Seeds: A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 351 mg of calcium
    • Spinach: A cup of boiled spinach has 245 mg of calcium
    • Collard Greens: A cup of boiled collard greens has 266 mg of calcium
    • Blackstrap Molasses: One tablespoon has about 137 mg of calcium
    • Kelp: One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg of calcium
    • Tahini: Two tablespoons of raw tahini (sesame seed butter) have 126mg of calcium
    • Broccoli: Two cups of boiled broccoli have 124 mg of calcium
    • Swiss Chard: One cup of boiled chard has 102 mg of calcium
    • Kale: One cup of boiled has has 94 mg of calcium
    • Brazil Nuts: Two ounces of Brazil nuts (12 nuts) have 90 mg of calcium
    • Celery: Two cups of raw celery have 81 mg of calcium
    • Almonds: One ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 75 mg of calcium
    • Papaya: One medium papaya has 73 mg of calcium
    • Flax Seeds: Two tablespoons of flax seeds have 52 mg of calcium
    • Oranges: One medium orange has 52 mg of calcium

    I’ve learned that a plant-based diet is really the way to go. Not sure if I’m ready to go cold turkey and make the leap toward being vegan.  However, I feel like I am much more aware of my food choices.  I’m making moves in the right direction.