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Posted on 06/25/2015

While we’re still waiting for the weather to really heat up, CaveChick knows that when it gets hot in Chicago, it gets hot fast. Once the temperature starts to rise, the importance of hydration does too. For some, it might be a struggle to drink the recommended eight to 10 glasses of water per day, especially when you’re craving something sweet! When we came across this recipe for watermelon ice cubes on tasteandtell.com, the urge to take a slight twist on these refreshing cubes was too hard to resist.

These ice cubes make a great addition to your daily dose of water and are perfect for summer barbeques and patio dinners. The best part? You get the sweet taste without taking in loads of sugar!

This quick and easy recipe only requires:

-¼ of a watermelon (six cups), cut into 1-inch cubes
-Fresh mint leaves
-Water, seltzer, or any other drink you’d like to put these in Instructions: Place watermelon in a blender and puree

Pour puree into ice cube trays
Wash mint leaves and place one mint leaf within each cube
Freeze for at least four hours up to two days
Place in drink of choice and enjoy!

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Posted on 05/04/2015

Oh! the Confusion of Labels

Doesn't it drive you crazy? I'm talking about trying to understand packaged food labels. You think you have it down but then, when you think you have it figured out, media headlines send you back to the ropes. Recently we had just such a headline letting us know KIND Bars aren't 'healthy' as the company claims, according to the FDA. What do you do in this crazy world of food labels? My suggestion is, ignore it! Most of it anyway. This is easy to do if you have a basic understanding into the politics of 'food' and what defines 'healthy', 'wholesome' and 'food'.
 

Oh! the politics.....The government, FDA, has decided after collecting all sorts of scientific data (and maybe a few lobbying $$) what we should eat and in what amounts they considered healthy. Labeling laws are meant to let the consumer know that if certain terms, statements or adjectives are used on a label that it is truthful according to the FDA and their determined Nutritional Values. In most cases these statements are not based on the ingredients use to make the product but the Nutritional Values alone. As we move on you'll see there is a huge problem with this way of thinking. But let's get back to the label. KIND bars claim to 'Health' was based on ingredients albeit not by the FDA Nutritional Values label law regulations. So too much saturated fat in a serving was the labeling problem. KIND bars are made of an assortment of nuts, dried fruit and honey. Sound wholesome but that's not the point. Too much saturated fat per serving is the point according to the FDA. The nuts are cited as the culprit for their natural state puts them in the high fat food category. (Don't get ahead of yourself! Fat isn't a bad thing IF it's eaten correctly.) According to the FDA label regulations in order to use the term 'Healthy' a serving must have less than 1g of saturated fat. The Am Heart Assoc and the FDA agrees that saturated fat intake should not exceed 16g per day, which is about 6% of calories in a 2000 calorie a day diet. Confused yet? The FDA is telling you it's ok to eat up to 16grams of saturated fat a day but not more that 1g in any one item at any one time. Hold on to something because this regulation stuff gets even better! The FDA recommends for a healthy diet to consume 1.5 oz of nuts a day. They must not want you to eat them all at once because depending on what nut you are eating 1.5 oz of nuts has 3-4grams of saturated fat. The USDA (another government regulatory body) recommends 1 oz of nuts daily but the USDA My Plate dietary chart recommends ½ oz daily. At the end of all this confusion all that really matters is that the FDA label law states in the use of the adjective 'Healthy' on the product label it can not have more than 1g of saturated fat per serving. Pheww....

Alright, so what's the take away on a label? It's the ingredient list. Read it first! Then ask yourself what is it you want to achieve by eating this item? If you are looking to be healthy; do the ingredients reflect that end goal? “Well, I don't know?”, might cross your mind. For giggles I am going to assume everyone wants to eat to be healthy. Health starts with wholesome. Wholesome is found in Nature as God provides. Our language has been corrupted so words can be misleading as in 'natural'. Natural is not necessarily health or wholesome.
 

To get a refresher on food and nutrition please read my previous cavechick.com blog posts: Nutrition 101, part 1 & 2, New Resolution, Three Key Points to Your Healthy Life and You Say You Don't But Do You? Links below:
 

http://cavechick.com/blog/2014/03/07/you-say-you-dont-do-you

http://cavechick.com/blog/2013/11/17/three-key-points-your-healthy-life

http://cavechick.com/blog/2013/04/10/repost-new-resolution-%E2%80%93-healthy-diet

http://realresults-inc.com/site/general/lori-diversey-nutrition-101/

http://realresults-inc.com/site/general/lori-diversey-nutrition-101-part-2/

 

Be Healthy Be Natural Be Tempted
 

(To disclose, I have no interest in KIND Bars.)

Posted on 10/16/2014

Join CaveChick and Momma Cuisine for a live Twitter Chat!  This is new to me so very excited to experience Social Media in a new way. We'll talk allergies, kids, nutrition, empty calories and COOKIES!  Maybe you'll even win some in the CaveChick Cookie Give Away.  

Log in at the link below.

http://mommacuisine.com/2014/10/13/chicago-twitter-chat-cavechickcookies-thurs-101614-at-7pm-cdt/

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Posted on 08/21/2014

Yum! Dinner time.  This Carrot & Kohlrabi Salad is one of my favorite late summer salads.  It's very refreshing, nutrtionally dense and cleansing. Use raw seasonal root veggies easily found at your local Farmer's Market.  Enjoy...........

Carrot & Kohlrabi Salad

1 c. Raw Carrots, scrubbed and shredded
1 c. Raw Kohlrabi, scrubbed, peeled and shredded
1 c. Raw Dakron Radish, scrubbed and shredded
1/2 c. Thompson Seedless Raisins, organic prefered
1/2 c. Brianna's French Vinegarette Dressing

Put all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well.  (I like to use my super clean hands.)  The ingredients are approximate.  Feel free to add the dressing to your taste.  A little more Brianna's French Vinegarette Dressing makes it a little zestier!  
Servings: 3-4 as meal, 6-8 as side.

Posted on 08/21/2014

Yum! Dinner time.  This Carrot & Kohlrabi Salad is one of my favorite late summer salads.  It's very refreshing, nutrtionally dense and cleansing. Use raw seasonal root veggies easily found at your local Farmer's Market.  Enjoy...........

Carrot & Kohlrabi Salad

1 c. Raw Carrots, scrubbed and shredded
1 c. Raw Kohlrabi, scrubbed, peeled and shredded
1 c. Raw Dakron Radish, scrubbed and shredded
1/2 c. Thompson Seedless Raisins, organic prefered
1/2 c. Brianna's French Vinegarette Dressing

Put all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well.  (I like to use my super clean hands.)  The ingredients are approximate.  Feel free to add the dressing to your taste.  A little more Brianna's French Vinegarette Dressing makes it a little zestier!  
Servings: 3-4 as meal, 6-8 as side.

Posted on 05/07/2014
I am thrilled to be entering the So Delicious Recipe Spring Fling Dairy-Free contest!  I've renamed my entered recipe for the event.  My So Delish Apple Salad has been enjoyed by my family for almost 20 years.  We went totally dairy-free in 1995 upon realizing  that dairy products were the main offender to my family's good health. I then became very aware of the important food choice.  Originally made with another dairy-free yogurt, I made the switch when So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk 'yogurt'  was introduced to the market.  I don't know what can be better than coconut yumminess and medium chain fatty acids.  Thank you So Delicious for that bit of awesomeness!  
 

Now what can say Spring any better than fresh ingredients?  My So Delish Apple Salad is not only fresh but quick and easy to make!  Nutrient dense, wholesome, natural and fresh ingredients make for a perfect side or main dish, any time, for any occasion, any where and any time of day.  It's sure to be a party favorite.  You can even have it for breakfast.  Sprinkle some ground Flax Seed, unsweetened shredded Coconut or raw Old Fashion Rolled Oats on top!

Enjoy.........

         

 
So Delish Apple Salad
 
2- 6 oz  So Delicious Dairy-Free Cultured Coconut Milk, Plain flavor
2 medium or large Fuji or Gala apples, diced (organic if possible)

2 stalks celery, split lengthwise and sliced thin (organic if possible)
3/4 c. Organic Thompson Raisins
3/4 c. Pecans, slightly chopped (if using raw pecans- toast, cool & slightly chopped)
1/2 - 1 cup Mini Marshmallow, optional
 
Wash apples and celery stalks.  Put aside.  Using sharp knife and cutting board split celery stalks lengthwise and slice thin. Put into medium size bowl.  Cut, core and dice apples.  Add to bowl.  Finally, add raisins, slightly chopped pecans and the 2 - 6 oz So Delicious Dairy-Free Cultured Coconut Milk, Plain flavor yogurts to bowl.  Fold all ingredients gently until well mixed.  Store refrigerated.  Before serving add & fold mini marshmallow, optional.  
 
Posted on 03/07/2014

You say you don’t, but do you?
 
It should serve us well if we put personal responsibility back into our health.  Take a moment to feel and think about what’s going on in your body.  If it isn’t right, something is wrong!  The surest culprit is what you feed yourself.   Let’s talk food allergies.  It is estimated that 90 percent of Americans have allergies to one or more foods.  Oddly, when I speak of food allergies or a food sensitivity no one ever has them!  Allergies and sensitivities to food pose a real health threat and should always be considered because they involve your immune system.
 
Modern scientific study found that sometimes substances create antibody type responses. These measurable reactions defined the modern post 1925 medical definition, immunological theory. How doctors treated their patients changed as scientific testing became more exacting.  Prior to 1925 allergies were viewed as ‘altered reactions occurring with time’ and causality was the mode of detection.  “A doctor’s practice was to find the ’cause’, as nothing can exist or happen without a cause. This newer definition of what defines a food allergy is not as useful since only a small percentage of negative food, and environmental, reactions can be detected by an IgA response,” says Dr. Elson M. Haas, Staying Healthy with Nutrition.  “Is is possible to have a negative/normal allergy blood test (or skin prick test) and still have an allergy,” states WebMd.
 
Other than a skin or blood reaction what kinds of symptoms can food reactions (allergy/sensitivity) present?  Symptoms should not be avoided or hidden as an acute problem not addressed turns into a chronic health issue.  Realize that symptoms once grouped and labeled, by the medical establishment, become named diseases that doctors then prescribe set groups of medication for. The named diseases get treated without addressing the cause.   Food allergy/sensitivity symptoms can affect any part of your body.  Systems of the human body are the nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, lymphatic system and endocrine system.  We only have so many organs.  There aren’t many parts in our ‘engine’ to malfunction.  We do have genetic predispositions of system and/or organ weaknesses. This is where family health history is good to remember.
 
Dr. Elson M. Haas created a nice list of some allergy symptoms:  “Fatigue, Headaches, Learning disabilities, Hyperactivity, Emotional outbursts, Mood swings, Irritability, Depression, Muscle aches, Muscle weakness, Anxiety, Disorientation, Poor thinking, ‘Brain Fog’, Stomachache, Diarrhea, Constipation, Nausea, Vomiting, Dark circles under eyes, Recurrent vaginitis, Runny nose, Postnasal drip, Sinus congestion, Canker sores, Earaches, Tinnitus, Ear congestion, Recurrent ear infections, Cough, Sore throat, Hoarseness, Chest congestion, Itching, Hives, Eczema, Nonspecific rash, Palpitations, Tachycardia, Edema, Heartburn, Loss of sex drive, Weight gain, Obesity, Weight swings, Binge eating, Overeating, Frequent hunger, Joint pain, Swelling of hands or feet, Juvenile & Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alcoholism, Drug addiction, Cigarette smoking, Asthma, Hay fever, Regional ileitis (Crones), Ulcerative colitis, Seizures, Bloating and Vaginal itching.”  Believe it or not, bed wetting and vaginal yeast infections should also be held suspect to food allergy scrutiny!
 
Let’s take a look at these symptoms.  Most, if not all on Dr. Haas’s list, are inflammatory responses in one way or another.   These examples are also directly related to food and environmental allergies and sensitivity.  Inflammation is the newest buzz word in the health vocabulary.  ‘Experts’ blame an imbalanced immune system.  Immune systems don’t become imbalanced but instead over worked to the point of failure.  Food allergies and sensitivities weaken the immune system.  Taking medication to mask the symptoms still weakens the immune system further.  The last thing anyone wants is to have an acute problem turn into a chronic problem turn into a immunological problem.  The pharmaceutical companies now have a treasure chest of drugs available as immune suppressing for various ‘conditions’.   Ask yourself if the child with an unrecognized dairy allergy, that exhibits the symptom of asthma and is only medicated their entire life, turns into the person diagnosed with COPD?  My pediatrician had told me that my daughter’s constant bronchitis was a developing asthma condition not caused by anything but systematic to her.  After 5 years of constant antibiotics and more chest x-rays than I want to remember her asthma symptoms disappeared when I stopped feeding her diary products.  For her, asthma symptoms equaled a dairy consumption reaction.
 
Don’t let the supposed marketing of health benefits of a particular ‘food’ sway you into thinking that you shouldn’t have a negative reaction from it. Have you seen posters promoting dairy products at your child’s school?  Dairy products are a top allergen and linked to diabetes, bronchitis, asthma, skin issues, sinus & ear infections, digestive issues strep and more.  How many of you have been told by your physicians that you must adopt a dairy-free lifestyle if you want to be healthy and reduce the risk of chronic health problems in the future?  Not many I’m sure.  I will bet there are lots of antibiotics, prescription meds, surgeries and ‘treatments’ being prescribed for sinus infections, ear infections, bronchitis, tympanostomy tube (ear tubes) surgeries and asthma medication and ‘treatments’.  Let’s not forget all those visits to the drug store for various OTC ‘remedies’.
 
My young family dealt with illness for years.  Always sick.  Always on antibiotics.  My children suffered with ear infections, bronchitis, asthma, sinus infections, acne, bacterial infections, strep, migraines and fevers.  These were part of our everyday life.  The pediatrician never mentioned allergies or food avoidance in the 5 years I was her customer.  My husband was visiting doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with him.  Sure there was a diagnosis of hay fever but never food allergies.  Time and time again he was given prescription meds for sinus problems but otherwise was told there was nothing wrong with him.  He was offered the option of anti-depressants as the doctors felt he had a stressful job.  That was the same diagnosis he received after 1 week of testing at a major Minneapolis hospital.   As for me, I had developed an acne problem after the birth of my first child.  Again, never mention of allergies from doctors but antibiotics and birth control options were readily available to control acne. (In hind sight, I believe my illnesses as a child and subsequent removal of my tonsils was due to dairy.)  Maddening that for all the visits to the doctor we weren’t getting better, just getting medicine.
 
It wasn’t until I independently decided to learn about the health and diet connection that my family’s health took a dramatically positive turn.  What I found was that the food we eat and the substances we come into contact with have a powerful impact on our entire being.  Yes, “Common foods are (were) found to be the most frequent precipitating factors in (these) illnesses” according to Dr Ralph W. Moses in his introduction to An Alternative Approach to Allergies, by Dr. Randolph.  This insight gave my family and me the control over our health!
 
I hear you saying to yourselves: “I don’t have food allergies. I have mold allergies. That’s why I get sinus infections.”  “My child has short euthanasia tubes.  That’s why she gets ear infections.”  Or, “my son doesn’t have food allergies, he just has asthma.”  Remember every reaction has a cause and food should always be considered as suspect.  Food should always be held suspect because it’s what always has direct access to your body.  It’s your fuel.  Cars don’t even run properly if the wrong fuel is used.  For example, I can be sensitive to mold.  Mold bothers my sinuses. Sure many damp days, musty houses and mulch lying season make give me sinus pressure but ‘moldy’ food is a bother too.  I avoid foods like mushrooms, anything with brewers yeast like vinegars, wine, beer, alcohol and baker’s yeast products like breads.  My husband’s immune system was so shot in the height of his illness that he could not even eat leftovers. (Mold starts forming soon after cooking.) My husband experienced brain fog as a food reaction.  My children also have mold allergies. I saw one of my child go berserk when he was tested for brewer’s yeast and another turn into the happy drunk from a baker’s yeast test.  Sensitivity to artificial ingredients caused aggression in one of my children.  Coughing from scented detergent, excitability from bananas and talkativeness from chocolate.  Believe me when I say, allergies and sensitivities are a powerful contradiction to good health!  How we individually react to foods must be heeded.
 
I’ll leave you with this project………..How do you feel?  List any complaints.  What do you eat?  List the foods you eat by ingredients.  Be specific and list all ingredients in prepared foods.  It is important to see what you are eating.  We tend to have problems with the foods that are consumed most frequently.  We even crave food that is problematic.  You are making a food diary.  With this information you will be able to see what ingredients you really eat and what foods are more likely to be causing undesirable symptoms.  As Dr. Doris Rapp, Is This Your Child? says, “you have to start thinking about what you eat, touch and smell.”  Have fun!
 
Be Health……..Be Natural……..Be Tempted
 
Sources
An alternative Approach to Allergies, Theron G. Randolph, M.D. And Ralph W. Moss, M.D., Harper and Row Publish, 1989.
WebMD.com/allegies/guide/bloodtest
Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Elson M. Haas, M.D., Celestial Arts, 1992.
Is This Your Child, Doris Rapp, M.D., William Marrow and Company, 1991.
Dr. Doris Rapp – Children’s Allergies to Food & Environment:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fRDpcWZUEiU
 

Blog post first published February 4, 2014 at Real Results:  http://realresults-inc.com/site/general/dont-you-lori-diversey/

Posted on 11/17/2013

Sally tells me she makes healthy food choices. “I’m eating a healthy diet”, she says, “I’m very frustrated that I’ve been having rheumatoid arthritis flares more often.” “I stock it up to being just like my mom,” says Sally, “Mom has suffered with arthritis for years.” I could see the frustration Sally was experiencing. A healthy diet is to give you good health and Sally didn’t feel like she was getting any benefits from eating ‘healthy’.   Should Sally just chuck the healthy eating? Well, the answer is…..of course not!

There are three key points to Sally’s personal healthy life she should review and reconsider. Health, which is a symptom free life, comes from wholesome food choices, consideration of personal food allergies and sensitivities and food contradictions. Sally should first review what is considered healthy food. It must first be wholesome. Recall the Real Results’ New Years Resolution – A Healthy Diet blog post (http://realresults-inc.com/site/general/resolution-healthy-diet/) which outlined the parameters of foods that are to be considered ‘healthful’.  To start a healtful diet is a wholesome food which is whole, natural and unrefined. Wholesome truly nourishes you the way nature intended. It doesn’t just fill you up with a few added vitamins. It’s important to remember that if you are suffering from unpleasant symptoms, whether chronic or acute, you do not have the immune strength to deviate from wholesome whole food choices. If it all checks out that Sally is eating a wholesome whole food diet then she can address the next critical component: What defines ‘her’ healthy diet?

Equally important to wholesome food choice is knowing that a healthy diet is unique to you. What is ‘healthy’ to you is not necessarily healthy to someone else. This is mainly due to our own personal genetic makeups. I for one am very sensitive to dairy products. Yet, every where I turn I’m being told dairy is a part of a healthy diet. Bottom line, it isn’t healthy for me! How personal food culprits deprive you of good health is unique to you. It all depends on your unique genetic makeup. If you were Sally you’d probably be wondering how to figure out what foods are problematic. Well, it’s not hard and not time consuming. It just requires some self awareness on your part and a little food journaling. Consider yourself your own guinea pig! With the information from a food diary you will be able to see what foods you really eat, how often and which are more likely to be causing those undesirable symptoms.

It is important to know what you are eating. We tend to have problems with the foods that are consumed most frequently. As an extra whammy we can even crave the foods that are problematic for us. Sally could recognized that on days she eats apples or dairy products, for example, her joints really ache. As described by Dr. Theron Randolph, An Alternative Approach To Allergies, this individualized approach “concerns the interaction between you and your own particular environment, which is different from anyone else’s. You must eliminate them (offending foods and environmental chemicals) from your diet and environment or learn to control their intake in order to get well.” The key to an elimination diet is to eliminate the foods you eat most often for at least 2-3 months depending on the severity of your symptoms. No cheating! You should notice an improvement or total absence of symptoms …… The next piece of your healthy food choice diet is the consideration is food contraction. These are foods, that through scientific study, have shown to antagonize or promote various symptoms in those who are susceptible. So steer clear of these foods. Eliminate them from your diet for 2-3 months, or until your symptoms disappear. In our modern google age it’s easy to find out these possible know offenders.

In Sally’s situation she’d like to know which foods are contradictions to joint health. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) article, Food and Arthritis, has listed the following foods as known arthritis triggers. These should be omitted from Sally’s diet immediately and not revisited until she is symptom free and ready to start a reintroduction plan.
Dairy products*
Corn Meats**
Wheat, oats, rye
Eggs
Citrus fruits
Potatoes (nightshade)
Tomatoes (nightshade)
Nuts
Coffee (I would include caffeine foods as well, chocolate, tea, etc.) *
All dairy products should be avoided: skim or whole cow’s milk, goat’s milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. **
All meats should be avoided: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.

In addition to the items listed include tobacco and all of the plants in the Nightshade family: Potatoes, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Peppers (including chili peppers, habenero, cayenne pepper and paprika), goji berries, ashwagandha (an adaptogenic herb from Ayurvedic medicine), Cape gooseberries, ground cherries and garden huckleberries. Garrett Smith, NMD, author of Nightshades, Weston A. Price Foundation, says 90% of his arthritic problems were cured by omitting all nightshades. The only way to be sure that your symptoms are related to a food intolerance is to follow an elimination diet, where you leave out a certain food from your diet, for a period of time. This is followed by a ‘challenge’, where you reintroduce the food to see if it causes a reaction. If Sally’s arthritis is related to a food allergy or food sensitivity she’ll notice a flare-up of her symptoms within a few days of reintroduction of an offending food. Symptoms of food intolerance can develop relatively slowly after eating a food – after hours or even days. Keeping a food journal will be extremely helpful in keeping track of what makes up your diet so that you can be aware of what foods are a contradiction to your great health. Take action.

What acute, chronic, extreme or seemingly benign symptoms do you live with? Dandruff, acne, constipation, headaches, asthma, edema or sleep disturbances? Anything is open to possible food induced culprits. You should review and reconsider your food choices. Health, which is a symptom free life, comes from healthy food choices, consideration of personal food allergies and sensitivities and consideration of recognized food contradictions. Take charge of your health through your personalized healthy food choices!

Be Healthy Be Natural Be Tempted

Sources:
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, PCRM, Food and Arthritis
Weston A. Price Foundation, Nightshades, Garrett Smith, NMD, Tuesday, March 30, 2010
An Alternative Approach To Allergies, Dr. Theron Randolph and Ralph W. Moss, Ph. D., Harper & Row, 1989.
Real Results post Oct, 16, 2013 http://realresults-inc.com/site/general/key-points-healthy-life-lori-div...

Posted on 10/01/2013

Milk Free Monday!!

What's the healthiest milk alternative?

CaveChick's Answer: Given there is no reason to drink 'milk' (you can get all the nutrients you're expecting to get from dairy milk in healthier, more absorbable forms, eating a plant based diet).

Instead let's ask: What's the best cookie dunking, cereal pairing and smoothie making beverage?

There are so many wonderful and tasty alternative 'milk' beverages on the market these days. Rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, flax milk, coconut milk and even, hemp milk. I always go with the unsweetened versions because really, who needs added sugar? Unless, of course, you're enjoying a cookie! Read the labels. The added sugar in most of the milk alternatives can get pretty hefty. I suggest you get the family involved in trying them all. Always consider food allergies and sensitivities when you are choosing your foods. Find the ones you like and rotate them in your diet. Rotating foods in your eating plan is always a good idea as it can help prevent food sensitivities, even allergies, from occurring. I like to rotate my alternative milk choices between almond, coconut and flax. Yum, I think I'll have a CaveChick cookie and Almond milk now!

P.S. You may have noticed I didn't mention soy milk. Soy is a high allergen. It is also very much a phytoestogenic compound. These are some things to be concerned about.

Posted on 04/10/2013

Everyone wants to be healthy. The problem is that modern 'healthy' comes along with a same for everyone diet. Surprise! A 'healthy' diet is not the same for everyone. Enjoy the following re-posted Real Results. Real People. article, January 28, 2013.

http://realresults-inc.com/site/general/resolution-healthy-diet/

Welcome to a New Year, a beautiful new Real People website, a new blogger (me, CaveChick-The Nutritional Foodie), and new resolutions. Did you resolve to eat healthier in 2013? If you did, you're not alone. However, do you now ask yourself, “What is 'healthier'? Most people are confused and so turn to books, magazines, TV commercial, doctors, friends and family and the government food pyramid for answers. They'll then try gimmicks, diets and the latest eating trend. The 'eat healthy' resolution usually goes by the wayside because of lack of commitment, unobtained results and total confusion. So many opinions and ideas to wade through-juicing, smoothies, meat, high protein, fat free, vegan, eat for your blood type, paleo, gluten free, supplements, etc. Makes my head spin!

I'd like to offer a simple solution......Forget it all! Choosing what to eat is a simple task. Or at least it should be. To begin your new eating lifestyle you must be clear on what you expect from your effort of eating healthy. It must be realistic. For instance, you can't expect to live forever but you can expect to loose weight, lower blood pressure, clear acne, strengthen immune system, have more energy and get rid of pesky acute or chronic symptoms like asthma, migraines, sinus issues and maybe heal disease. With a clear idea of what is expected from this healthy diet let's answer the big question........What is a healthy diet?

First and foremost, a healthy diet begins with the understanding of what is healthy food. Healthy food is whole, natural and unrefined food. It is food that is presented to us from the earth, not the laboratory or manufacturing plant. Healthy food never contains artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives or flavor enhancers like MSG (monosodium glutamate). It is not genetically modified (GMO) or super hybrid, think common wheat. 'Healthy' is farm style vegetables and fruits, unpeeled, whole grains, raw nuts & seeds, fresh eggs, fresh fish and fresh meat (not deli meat!). These are nutritious foods that living things have evolved over the millions of years eating, including humans. With that said, it's important to remember why humans and all living things posses the desire to eat. Eating is designed to nourish; to obtain vital vitamins, minerals, amino acids and sugars in a balanced form. The further away you get from eating these whole, natural and unrefined foods, the further you get away from nourishing your body. Just remember what the food you choose to eat, those calories you consume, are meant to do. If it isn't nourishing it's just filler and it needn't be eaten because it is taking you away from your desired reward. And don't fall into the trap of thinking the enriched or vitamin added products are healthy. That's just unhealthy food in disguise! Does adding a few vitamins to corn syrup water make for a healthy beverage? Of course not!

Sadly, we are a society that has lost touch with food. It seems common practice is to eat to 'fill up' with a heaping plate of refined enriched white pasta, white rice or a bowl of packaged cereal “with 11 vitamins and minerals” added. If you look at the conventional or standard diets they consist almost entirely of super hybrid refined wheat flour. This super hybrid variety of wheat has be fashion in the lab to contain a higher gluten proportion, resist pesticides and grow differently. Great for growing and manufacturing but maybe not so much for our digestion or health. Refining of wheat flour removes at least 36 nutrients except for the 4 synthetic nutrients that have been replaced. Refining removes most of the B vitamins (folic acid, pyridoxine B6, pantothenic acid B5), vitamin E, chromium, zinc and manganese which are essential to human health. Don't think nutritious food is important? It has been shown that people with B vitamin deficiencies are more likely to have severe depression symptom. Is there a correlation between refined grains and the state of our nation's mental health?

Refining also removes fiber and beneficial fats. The fiber of whole grains reduces cholesterol, heart disease and ensures gastrointestinal health. This accounts for far less colon cancer, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and constipation. “The fiber content of the whole grains is probably the biggest difference between the natural, or primitive, diet and the industrial, or Westernized diet, and likely a big difference between poor health and good health,” says Elson M. Haas, M.D., Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Fiber from the bran and fats from the germ aids satiety and helps keep blood sugar levels even by slowing glucose absorption. Refined grains are metabolized as sugar. Remember, refined grains are metabolized as refined sugar so the white bakery bread, white rice and white pasta you eat is just like eating sugar!

Equally important to a 'healthy diet' is knowing it is special to you. What is 'healthy' to you is not necessarily healthy to someone else. I for one am very sensitive to dairy products. I get acne and reduced immune function. Yet every where I turn I'm being told dairy is a part of a healthy diet. The government food pyramid even lists it as a needed food and it's a required offering in public food programs. Bottom line, everyone has food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. Dairy allergies might cause some to have postnasal drip that progresses to an ear infection, while someone else might have acne and another to have bowel issues. How these food culprits deprive you of good health is unique to you. It all depends on your unique genetic makeup.

Figuring out what bothers you is easier to discover when you are eating a truly whole food diet. Let's use bread as an example. If you notice after you eat bread you get lethargic or have sinus pressure and the ingredients in the bread you eat are whole wheat, water, yeast and salt there are only 4 ingredients to view as potential culprits. Now tell me what you'd do if your bread's ingredient label reads: wheat flour, water, high fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, yeast, barley malt, wheat gluten, salt, calcium carbonate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, vit D3, vinegar, mono and diglyerides, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phospate, yeast nutrients (amonium chloride, ammonium sulfate), enzymes, yeast extract, wheat starch, calcium dioxide, ferrous sulfate (iron), B vit (Niacin, Thiamine, Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavion (B2), Folic acid), soy lecithin, azodicarbonamide, soy flour, whey, calcium propionate (to retain freshness), Datem, sorbic acid?

The later is a crazy ingredient list and I hope you are asking yourself why would anyone eat that! You get my point though. I want to leave you today to remember why living species actually posses the desire to eat. It's the way to nourish and grow. If you are eating food void of nutrients how does your body get nourished? If your body is left un-nourished what will support your immune system, neurological system or life systems? If your body is left starving for nutrition you will not be healthy as it will allow for illness and disease.

There are a lot of temptations out there but the further you move away from your healthy diet the longer and harder it will be to obtain your results.

Be Healthy.......Be Natural........Be Tempted by good stuff!

By: Lori Diversey

First published: Real Results-inc.com (01/28/13)
http://realresults-inc.com/site/general/resolution-healthy-diet/