Thursday, December 27, 2012

Put Down That Slice of Bread!


Even “Healthy” Whole Wheat Is Linked to Heart Disease, Arthritis and Dementia

What could be more wholesome than whole-wheat bread? For decades, nutritionists and public health experts have almost begged Americans to eat more whole wheat and other grains.
It’s bad advice.
Most of us know that white bread is bad for us, but even whole-wheat bread is bad, too. In fact, on the Glycemic Index (GI), which compares the blood sugar effects of carbohydrates, both white bread and whole-wheat bread increase blood glucose more than pure sugar. Aside from some extra fiber, eating two slices of whole-wheat bread is little different from eating a sugary candy bar.
What’s particularly troubling is that a high-wheat diet has been linked to obesity, digestive diseases, arthritis, diabetes, dementia and heart disease.
Example: When researchers from the Mayo Clinic and University of Iowa put 215 patients on a wheat-free diet, the obese patients lost an average of nearly 30 pounds in just six months. The patients in the study had celiac disease (a form of wheat sensitivity), but I have seen similar results in nearly everyone who is obese and gives up wheat.


How can a supposedly healthy grain be so bad for you? Because the whole wheat that we eat today has little in common with the truly natural grain. Decades of selective breeding and hybridization by the food industry to increase yield and confer certain baking and aesthetic characteristics on flour have created new proteins in wheat that the human body isn’t designed to handle.
The gluten protein in modern wheat is different in structure from the gluten in older forms of wheat. In fact, the structure of modern gluten is something that humans have never before experienced in their 10,000 years of consuming wheat.
Modern wheat also is high in amylopectin A, a carbohydrate that is converted to glucose faster than just about any other carbohydrate. I have found it to be a potent appetite stimulant because the rapid rise and fall in blood sugar causes nearly constant feelings of hunger. The gliadin in wheat, another protein, also stimulates the appetite. When people quit eating wheat and are no longer exposed to gliadin and amylopectin A, they typically consume about 400 fewer calories a day.


Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue, is an intense form of wheat sensitivity that damages the small intestine and can lead to chronic diarrhea and cramping, along with impaired absorption of nutrients. But wheat has been linked to dozens of other chronic diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It also has been linked to…
Insulin resistance and diabetes. It’s not a coincidence that the diabetes epidemic (nearly 26 million Americans have it) parallels the increasing consumption of modern wheat (an average of 134 pounds per person per year) in the US. The surge in blood sugar and insulin that occurs when you eat any kind of wheat eventually causes an increase in visceral (internal) fat. This fat makes the body more resistant to insulin and increases the risk for diabetes.
Weaker bones. A wheat-rich diet shifts the body’s chemistry to an acidic (low-pH) state. This condition, known as acidosis, leaches calcium from the bones. Grains—and particularly wheat—account for 38% of the average American’s “acid load.” This probably is the reason that osteoporosis is virtually universal in older adults.
More heart disease. A diet high in carbohydrates causes an increase in small LDL particles, the type of cholesterol that is most likely to lead to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Studies at University of California, Berkeley, found that the concentration of these particles increases dramatically with a high-wheat diet. The increase in small-particle LDL, combined with diabetes and visceral fat, increases the risk for heart disease.


People who crave wheat actually are experiencing an addiction. When the gluten in wheat is digested, it releases molecules known as exorphins, morphinelike compounds that produce mild euphoria. About one-third of people who give up wheat will experience some withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, moodiness and insomnia. My advice…
Go cold turkey. It’s the most effective way to break the addiction to wheat. The withdrawal symptoms rarely last more than one week. If you’re really suffering, you might want to taper off. Give up wheat at breakfast for a week, and then at breakfast and lunch for another week. Then give it up altogether.
Beware of gluten-free products. People who give up wheat often are tempted to satisfy their craving by buying gluten-free bread or pasta. Don’t do it. The manufacturers use substitutes such as brown rice, rice bran, rice starch, corn starch and tapioca starch, which also increase blood glucose and cause insulin surges. Even oatmeal can cause blood sugar to skyrocket.
Switch grains. Small supermarkets now stock quite a few nonwheat grains, such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth. They’re easy to cook, and they taste good—and they don’t have the gluten and other wheat proteins that trigger weight gain, inflammation and insulin resistance.
Helpful: If you aren’t willing to give up wheat altogether, you can substitute an older form of wheat, such as spelt or kamut. These grains haven’t undergone all of the genetic modifications, so they’re somewhat better for you than modern wheat. Any form of wheat can be a problem, however. You’ll want to limit yourself to small servings—say, a few ounces once or twice a week.
Get plenty of protein. Protein satisfies the appetite more effectively than carbohydrates. Eat eggs for breakfast and chicken salad for lunch. For dinner, you can have fish or even steak.
New finding: New research has shown that people who eat a reasonable amount of saturated fat in, say, red meat (about 10% or a little more of your total fat calories) have a reduction in small LDL particles, as well as an increase in protective HDL cholesterol.
Source: William Davis, MD, a preventive cardiologist and medical director of Track Your Plaque, an international heart disease prevention program. Based in Fox Point, Wisconsin, he is author of Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (Rodale).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Supplement Spotlight: Add Ginkgo-PS to Your Brain Game

December 18, 2012 at 7:45 AM , ,

Does this sound familiar to anyone? You get up, get yourself ready, drive yourself to your local shopping center, and then once you get to your destination, you stop… stand there… and think: “What did I need to get here?” Then you don’t remember until you get back home.
It happens to me all the time. Recently, while wandering a favorite store in some less-than-sensible shoes, I swear all the blood left my brain and went to the pain in my feet, because when I got home, I realized I made a dumb purchase and forgot the whole point of why I was in that store in the first place.
I worry for my future.
But not too much, because, fortunately, it is possible to keep our brains sharp as we age.

The Brain is Amazing

A couple years ago I came across a book that taught me how incredible our brains can be. The Brain that Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge is a fascinating read of what could be a super boring scientific subject. The book covers some mind-blowing (ha ha) examples of how people have overcome serious challenges thanks to the plasticity of our brains. It also provides insight into things we can do to make a real and lasting difference in our cognitive function well into old age.
BraincroppedLike a puzzle, many habits fit together to keep our brains fit. Here are a few tips:
  • Meditate, relax, and make sure you get enough sleep. A calm brain learns better and stress can actually kill cells in the brain.
  • Learn something. Doing something that requires real concentration — think learning how to dance or speak a new language — keeps the brain fit (including the part that makes dopamine, which is triggered when you experience something new).
  • Socialize with friends and family. Consider playing a rousing game of Scrabble or Words with Friends while you’re at it!
  • Consume lots of antioxidants and moderate amounts of caffeine. I recently read that caffeine boosts circulation in all parts of the body except the brain — where it actually constricts blood flow.
  • Stay active. Exercise helps the brain build new neurons and increases both oxygen and blood supply to the brain.
You can supplement the benefits of an antioxidant rich diet and exercise by adding Ginkgo-PS™ to your supplement regimen every day, because it will help deliver similar benefits.

Why Ginkgo-PS is Groovy

The two main ingredients in Ginkgo-PS are Ginkgo biloba and phosphatidylserine. Both are sourced from suppliers with quality standards as rigorous as USANA’s—so you know the purity and efficacy are good.
Gingko_USThe herb Ginkgo biloba has been around for zillions of years. It is well accepted as a natural way to support cognition and circulation. In fact, it primarily helps cognition because it promotes healthy circulation—better blood flow helps deliver blood and oxygen to the brain. Ginkgo biloba also acts as an antioxidant, defending cells against damaging oxidative stress.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a fatty acid that plays a role in cell signaling and has been shown to support memory function and cognition. Some of the benefits of PS come from its favorable impact on brain glucose metabolism, acetylcholine levels, and maintaining normal capacity for norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine dependent neurotransmitter systems.
It turns out that while both ingredients are pretty cool on their own, they are more effective if combined, as they are in Ginkgo-PS. A study published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical & Experimental in 2007 showed that “administration of GBE [Ginkgo biloba extract] complexed with phosphatidylserine resulted both in improved secondary memory performance and significantly increased speed of memory task performance.” Results that were not seen when only Ginkgo biloba was used.
USANA’s Ginkgo-PS delivers the right amount of these key ingredients to provide real support for memory and cognition.
Watch this video to see USANA Senior Scientist Mark Levy, Ph.D., explain the benefits of Ginkgo-PS.

If you are unable to view this video, please visit the USANA YouTube channel.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jen Groover: 7 Ways to Thrive Through the Holidays

December 11, 2012 at 7:45 AM

USANA Spokesperson Jen Groover
USANA Spokesperson Jen Groover
While it’s said to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” for many the holiday season can be the most challenging time of the year — more things to do, more places to go and an overwhelming sense of needing to be extremely jolly.
To overcome the pattern of stress and depression many endure during this time of year, her are some key tips:
1. Surround yourself with friends and family that inspire you; avoid the ones that bring you down.
2. Remain focused on being grateful for the things you have, not what is missing.
3. Be careful not to overindulge in alcohol and junk foods. Not only do these make you gain weight, which adds stress, but they can almost immediately cause effects of depression.
4. Keep up your exercise routine. No matter how much shopping needs to be done or how many holiday parties you need to attend, keep your workout routine at the top of the priority list.
5. Volunteer to help those who are less fortunate. There are so many organizations that need help, especially during the holidays, it will be easy to find places you can be of service.
6. Make sure you are eating healthy, which may include drinking USANA Nutrimeal shakes. Are your taking your USANA HealthPak™ filled with your essential vitamins and antioxidants on a daily basis?
7. Redecorate your house. Clear your space and start anew by clearing out clutter and rearranging the furniture to invigorate your living and work spaces.

*The mentioned celebrity is either a distributor or dedicated user who has received compensation for her partnership and/or complimentary USANA products.
Tis the season for overeating! The holidays are quickly approaching and there are tempting treats at every turn. Chocolates, baked goods, candy and sugary choices galore.

During the holidays, it's perfectly fine to savor one of your favorite desserts or to have an extra glass of egg nog or two, but you shouldn't use the whole month of December as an excuse to overindulge.

On the last day of this month, tens of thousands of Americans will resolve to lose weight and to get healthier in 2013. But my question is, why wait until January 1?

You may be hesitant to adopt a healthier lifestyle for fear that you'll have to change too much all at once, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming! Why not start now and be well on your way by the time the clock strikes 2013?

Here are five tips that you can use to help ease into a cleaner diet:

   Cut back on take out. By shopping for fresh ingredients and making your own meals, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor! Fast food is chock full of unhealthy fats, sodium, sugar and calories. There are also preservatives and other chemicals that our bodies could do without.
   Learn to read labels. Very little good comes out of boxes where food is concerned, but if you know how to read labels, you can start making better choices. If you have to spend more than a few seconds to decipher a food's label, then your body won't know what to do with those unpronounceable additives either! Skip anything with flavor enhancers, flavorings or fake colors.
   Stop drinking calories. Sugary coffee drinks, sodas, juices . . . they're not good for us. They serve no nutritional purpose and they are nothing but empty calories. Reach for water to quench your thirst and you'll be doing yourself a big favor.
   Eat more vegetables. Bulk up on veggies. Eat them with every meal and don't be stingy. I'm not talking about iceberg lettuce, either! Reach for dark leafy greens (organic, please!) like spinach and kale. Snack on carrot sticks and broccoli. Eat a rainbow each day and you'll be amazed with the results.
*    Stop buying crappy food. You know which foods are not serving your health, so stop buying them. You don't need those cookies and cakes. Those tubs of ice cream and bags of chips look good at the time, but if you bring them home, you'll only eat them- so leave them on the store shelves!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thriving Through the Holidays

by Jim Rohn

The holidays are upon us; a time of celebration and joy. I love the last days of November through the beginning of the New Year. The pure magic of the holidays is something that I anticipate and enjoy each and every year.

For some though, the holidays have lost the joy and excitement they at other times have had. The pace of life has grown so fast—much faster than those first holidays I remember in my life—that some people don’t enjoy the times they get to spend with their family and friends during what is supposed to be days filled with joy and peace.

Why is that? Probably a lot can be laid at the feet of how fast-paced our times are, but that isn’t all.

I believe our holiday times should be wonderful and filled with lasting and enjoyable moments and memories. So how can we ensure that we come out of the holidays in January with great memories of the past month? Here are six thoughts that will help you experience the holidays the way they were intended to be experienced:         

Be Temperate

Holidays can be days of excess for many—too much food, too many cookies and treats. Too much chocolate, schedules that are too busy. One thing that will help you enjoy the holidays is to be temperate. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the treats. Enjoy the busy schedule of activities and parties. But also be disciplined enough to know when to hold back, when to say, “No.” When we go overboard we regret it and lose the opportunity to fully experience that moment. But when we enjoy a little and refrain from going too far, then we can enjoy all that little piece of time has to offer.

Lower Your Expectations

Much of the frustration people experience from the holidays is from setting their expectations too high. They expect too much from friends or family, and when they don’t get what they want, they get frustrated. They expect presents to be perfect and when they aren’t, they get frustrated or disappointed. Instead of having huge expectations this holiday season, just take it as it comes and enjoy what you can. And this brings me to my next point.

Enjoy What You Can and Ignore the Rest

This holiday season, go with an attitude of knowing that things will be what they will be. You can’t control other people or their actions. If a family member pushes the limits of your patience, ignore that and instead focus on how much you can enjoy the time you have with other family members. If things don’t go perfectly—which they won’t—then enjoy what you can and let the rest slide. You will feel a lot better about life if you can take all things a little easier.

Stay Out of Debt

Debt is a killer. It will steal your enjoyment of life. Be sure to stay within your financial boundaries this holiday season. The last thing you want is to start the New Year with a deeper burden financially. Know where you are financially and stay within those limits. You don’t have to impress anyone, just buy gifts that you can afford and express your feelings in the giving of the gift.

Take Time for Yourself

Be sure that, no matter how busy you get, you take time for yourself. Take time to read. Take a long bath if that relaxes you. Take a walk. Spend some time of quiet in front of a fire. Don’t rush through the holidays and sap all of your energy. Your mind and body need to be reenergized, so be sure to take time to do so.

Focus on Your Spiritual Life

Ultimately, no matter what tradition you come from, the holidays are historically days in which we focus on the spiritual. Men and women are created with a natural draw toward spiritual life. However, our culture today tends to stay away from a focus on the spiritual, and that has even crept into our holidays. Be sure to place an emphasis on building your spiritual life and growing in that area. This will help keep you grounded and able to deal with anything that may come your way.

Friends, this time of year is another chance to remember the important truths of life and to enjoy time with dear friends and family.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What It Takes to Make It

by Randy Gage

August 14th, 2010

People often ask what it takes to be successful in Network Marketing.  I have a short, simple answer…

All you got.

Fortunately it doesn’t take more than all you got.  But it does take all you got.  In fact, I’ll suggest this business will be the hardest one you’ll ever do, period.

And I’m qualified to make that statement.  I’ve been president of the Chamber of Commerce, worked in the corporate world, run distribution companies, managed medical centers, launched HMO’s, started restaurants & clubs, Internet marketing, information entrepreneur, owned a hairstyling salon, and published a magazine.  

I’ve consulted with literally hundreds of other entrepreneurs in all kinds of businesses.  And can assure you, Network Marketing is harder than all of them!


Quite a few reasons.  First, the essence of the business is leadership development.  Not an easy thing to learn. Or teach.  This takes tremendous people skills.

Because of that, MLM requires large amounts of personal growth and self-development.  And working on yourself is tough work!

Other businesses you can get by on just skill, just talent or just money.  Here you need heart.  Guts.  And love.

With Network Marketing, you have to go all in.  You can start it part-time, you can start it with a limited commitment, you can start it not even believing it will work.

But to succeed at it, at some point you’ll have to move from kindergarten to the big leagues.  You’ll have to go from a night or two a week, to four or five nights a week.  You’ll have to commit and you’ll have to develop belief.

Here’s why…

You can’t really get anyone into our business.  It doesn’t work that way.  You can only commit, develop that belief and become so passionate that people want to be a part of what you’re doing.

MLM is like golf.  The only person you compete with is yourself.  

The enemy isn’t other companies.

It’s not negative prospects.  

And it’s not government regulation, high prices, or backorders.  

The real enemy is your doubts and fears.  It’s what’s between your ears.

Most people today doubt their beliefs and believe their doubts.  You have to be different.  And that means daily self-development.  Keeping your dream in front of you.  And making sure your dream is bigger than your fears.

Yeah, you can probably win a free cruise, get a bonus car and rake in some nice bonus checks.  That would probably motivate you to go to a job every day.  That would probably motivate you to do any one of those other businesses I named.  

But it’s probably not enough to get you to do Network Marketing.

Because our business is a lot tougher than those.  Our business means contacting prospects, driving to work with long distance lines, and sacrificing lots of pleasures early on for the long term.  

It means really getting out of your comfort zone and growing.

So your dream has to be even bigger.  It has to include other people’s dreams.  Taking your eyes off of just yourself and looking how you can contribute in a meaningful way.

It’s going to mean facing rejection and maybe ridicule.  Facing your fears.  Dealing with dropouts and no shows.  Negative publicity, misperceptions, and adversity.

We know every adversity has in it the seeds of a greater opportunity.  But that opportunity is not automatic!  

It is there only if you make a conscious choice not to be a victim; a conscious choice to learn the lesson and find a new door to walk through.  And remember, every room has a door.

Network Marketing is HARD.  So why do it?

Because it will be the most rewarding business you ever do in your life.  Yes it can give you those trips, car and bonus checks; it can get you free.  But it also does so much more…

The confidence you develop, the skills you learn, the satisfaction you gain are priceless.  Who you have to become to be successful in our business makes it all worth it.

And the joy that can only come from contribution…

When your new team member calls you screaming with excitement because they’ve sponsored their first person.   The breakthroughs you witness when someone buys their first suit, makes their first presentation, or calls that prospect that scares them beyond measure. When one of your people conquers their fear in any way, it will bring you rewards you can’t get anywhere else.

In our business you reach success by helping other people reach success.  That is what gets you up at 6 am to do self-development, that is what gets you to pick up the phone, that is what keeps you awake driving home at 2 am from a meeting for a new person on your tenth level.

So yeah, it doesn’t take more than you got.  

But it does take all you got.  

Just know it’s worth it.

So find someone you respect and make them a promise that you will do what it takes to win.  

Ask them to hold you accountable.

Then make yourself the same promise.  After that, make a public declaration. 

Are you up for that?

Then tweet this post, “like” it on Facebook, blog it, or email a link to everyone on your team.  Bookmark this and come back to it whenever the seed of doubt creeps in.

Start EVERY day with positive self-development.  Don’t answer your phone, answer the door, or leave the house until your consciousness is vibrating at thermonuclear level.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are worthy.

Then go out and be amazing!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 vitamins that help build muscle tone

Comments 0 | Recommend  3
September 20, 2012 5:34 am
By Pamela Reinsel Cotter
Dr. John Cuomo, executive director Research and Development for the global nutrition company USANA Health Sciences, says there are five vitamins that can help you build your muscle strength and tone.


"Muscle is mainly made up of protein," Cuomo says. "Therefore, protein metabolism (breaking protein down into amino acids and combining those amino acids into new proteins) is critical for muscle building."
"In addition, muscle function is dependent on energy production. The energy used by all cells is called ATP. Glucose (carbohydrate) is a key fuel for ATP production. We use glucose as the main fuel to produce energy in all cells, including muscle cells."
Here are the nutrients he recommends:
Vitamin D -- Helps immune and muscle function. Studies have shown that proper vitamin D levels in the body are associated with muscle strength and performance.
Fish oil -- Or the omega-3 fats in fish oil may decrease muscle protein breakdown. This may be through improvements in insulin sensitivity, and insulin resistance is associated with muscle breakdown.
Vitamin C -- Required for collagen and elastin synthesis, and it is also an important supplement to take daily because it's responsible for the health of the blood vessels, which support the muscles' needs for oxygen and nutrients.
Vitamin E -- An antioxidant that helps cell membrane recovery from oxidative stress. Cell membrane reliability is essential for cellular function and growth. 

B vitamins -- B1 (thiamin) is important for protein metabolism and the formation of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to cells, including muscle cells, and without oxygen energy, production is compromised. B2 (riboflavin) is involved in energy metabolism, glucose metabolism, the oxidation of fatty acids, with some effects on protein metabolism. B6 (pyridoxine) is important for protein metabolism, growth, and carbohydrate utilization. And B12 (cyanocobalamin) is important for the maintenance of nerve tissue and is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, energy metabolism, and cell regeneration.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The choice isn't hard, eat Swiss chard!

by Leanne Ely

It's so exciting in the spring of the year to see the beautiful rainbow-colored leaves of swiss chard at the farmers' market and on my plate! More than just a pretty face, these gorgeous veggies are full of nutrition. While I like chard best in the spring when it's at its freshest, I love eating this green wonder all year round.

Swiss chard comes not from Switzerland, but from Sicily. Around the world this leafy green is known as strawberry spinach, white beat, Chilian beet, Roman kale, silverbeet, leaf beet, spinach beet, Sicilian beet or, simply, as chard.

It's very easy to grow your own chard, and you know how I feel about growing your own food. Just do it!

Let's take a look at the benefits this stunning vegetable provides us with:

Vitamins K, C and A. Swiss chard is a superhero when it comes to Vitamin K. There are up to 8 times the recommended daily amount of this vitamin in a cup of boiled chard. Vitamin K, of course, helps our bones grow nice and strong! The Vitamin C in chard helps our immune systems and it's also high in Vitamin A, helping to keep our peepers in good health.

Calcium. In addition to all this bone-strengthening Vitamin K, chard also contains calcium that helps keep our bones healthy.

Anti-oxidizing, Anti-inflammatory and detoxing agents. Those pretty veins in the leaves and the stem of chard are full of antioxidants. The betalains in there are anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory and detoxing agents that are all super good for you.

Blood sugar regulating. There's a ton of protein and fiber in swiss chard, which helps keep blood sugar levels nice and even. There's also a special flavonoid in chard that helps our blood sugar levels. Syringic acid helps to inhibit the activity of a problematic enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. This leads to fewer carbs being broken into simple sugars, allowing blood sugars to keep nice and steady.

To get the most benefits from your chard, I suggest you steam it a little bit to bring out its sweet taste. Through the cooking process, acid is released from the chard's leaves and you don't want to eat that, so make sure to discard your cooking liquid.

I enjoy swiss chard in pasta dishes, omelets and in salads.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Flour Power

I have been trying modify or create healthier recipes for those who are attempting to eat gluten-free or to lower the glycemic index and load of baked goods.  More and more people are finding that baked goods interfere with their digestive system.  Personally I believe it has something to do with GMO modified grains, hence the problem. The information below will help you understand flours which will should be helpful in finding the right combinations for you.   Kay Strong

by Leanne Ely

Now, y'all know I don't think baked goods are terribly necessary for anyone to be eating (I've said it before, that none of us needs another muffin!), but there are times when you do need to use flour. By now, we all know that white flour isn't an optimal choice for good health, but with so many options on the shelves, which one do you choose? And when?

First thing's first.

Let's talk about a flour we're all familiar with-wheat flour.

Wheat Flour

Made from ground wheat, wheat flour is a big step above white flour if you have not adopted a gluten-free lifestyle for your family. It can be difficult at first to make the switch to whole wheat (always look for whole wheat not just wheat!) so I recommend gradually replacing white flour in a recipe with whole wheat until you're used to the consistency and difference in flavor.

Now what's all this about gluten? Wheat flour contains gluten. Gluten is a protein that makes bread chewy. It also helps dough to bind through the baking process. Gluten, however, is a problem for those suffering from celiac disease, wheat allergies or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It's estimated that 10% of people are walking around with some form of gluten sensitivity, and every day more and more people are stating to discover that gluten is the source of many different problems from digestive issues to bloating.

If you don't care about the gluten content of the foods you eat, but you'd still like to spice things up with your flours every now and then, give spelt a try.

Spelt flour. Spelt is a cereal grain in the wheat family, but it is considered a wheat-free flour. It contains some gluten and it bakes very similarly to wheat flour, but it has a very nice nutty, sweet flavor. Spelt is easier to digest than wheat, but it is lower in fiber. Important to note: the gluten in spelt is broken down really quickly, so it's important to not over mix it or you'll end up with a product that crumbles into oblivion!

Gluten-Free Flours

Luckily, there are more gluten-free flours available now than ever before. Keep in mind, though, that there is no true substitute for wheat flour in terms of texture and taste. You can't replace all of the whole wheat flour in a recipe to an alternative type of flour and  expect the same results.

Quinoa flour. There's much debate surrounding the question of whether quinoa is paleo friendly. Whatever it is (and you can decide for yourself!), it's a very good source of essential amino acids, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium and zinc. This flour is excellent in muffins, banana bread and other baked goods. However, go easy on it. The nutty flavor of this flour can easily take over a dish, so substitute only about a quarter of the total flour volume of a recipe with quinoa flour.

Rice flour. Made from milled rice-kernel hulls, rice flour contains lots of Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, fiber and other trace nutrients. Rice flour is great for baked goods, homemade crackers and pastas. You can also use this gluten-free flour to thicken sauces and gravies. Easy does it on the rice, though, because the FDA is still trying to figure out how safe it is for us to be eating!

When it comes to flour, gluten-free does not always equal primal or paleo-friendly. There is a difference. The following flours are gluten-free AND primal.

Primal Gluten-Free Flours
Most of these alternatives have many more minerals and vitamins than white or wheat flours do so it won't hurt to incorporate them into your cooking whether you're a primal eater or not.

Almond flour. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds that have been beaten into submission into an unrecognizable product! In the store, you may have trouble finding almond flour, so look for almond meal. Or, buy your own blanched almonds and grind them into a powder with your coffee grinder or food processor. Almond flour tastes best in baked goods, grain-free granolas and "flourless" cakes.

Coconut flour. This yummy flour is made from pulverized meat of the coconut. It has a sweet, mild flavor ad is used frequently in paleo cooking in everything from pancakes to muffins.

Arrowroot powder and tapioca starch. These flours are controversial because of their starch content, but lots of primal eaters use them. Arrowroot powder is awesome for thickening sauces without changing the taste of the dish. It gives baked goods and pancakes a nice, light texture. Tapioca is similar, but it also lends some elasticity to a dish.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vitamins more effective at Type 2 Diabetes treatment than pharmaceuticals

By J. D. Heyes 

(NaturalNews) A dramatic rise in obesity rates across the country in recent years has led to a parallel increase in new cases of diabetes, but not everyone who develops the chronic illness will need medication to deal with it. Some diabetes can be better controlled through the use of vitamins, contends noted pharmacist Stuart Lindsey.

According to Lindsey, who in January wrote a column entitled Confessions of a Frustrated Pharmacist which was critical of pharmaceutical orthodoxy, current medical treatments for diabetes are "among the least successful in medicine," and that's despite the billions of dollars spent treating and researching the disease every year.

"Medicine has succeeded in making diabetes very expensive for the patient while making the disease a cash cow for the numerous businesses that cater to the diabetic," he wrote in a new column recently. "We should expect to see some improvement in diabetic treatment, but in fact the basic protocols haven't changed much in twenty years."

And, Stuart says, current research doesn't seem to be getting any closer to a cure. In fact, he notes that many a scientist have made entire careers out of "researching" diabetes.

Motivated by need, not greed

So what has motivated this "frustrated pharmacist" to find a cure or better treatment for diabetes?

"My interest in the lack of results from standard treatment of diabetes came into sharp focus when pain in my feet led to my being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes," he writes (Type 2 is the less serious form of diabetes and doesn't require insulin injections like the more serious Type 1, but Type 2, left untreated, can develop into Type 1). That pain, it turns out, was neuropathy, a condition caused by nerve damage - common to diabetics.

"From my observations at work, I already knew that the drug treatments for peripheral neuropathy were questionable," Stuart writes. "Introducing amitriptyline, gabapentin and Lyrica, which are sedatives and pain killers, made the people sleep a lot. Medically, it's obvious that sedating nerves doesn't solve anything. When such patients step up to daily long term narcotics and finally get some pain relief, they still haven't solved their problems."

So, Stuart was determined to find a way to mitigate his diabetes rather than just cover up the symptoms. To do so, he began studying just how blood glucose levels and blood sugar affected the diabetes-prone body. His research led him to a 2005 paper written by a researcher in the United Kingdom named Paul Thornally. His paper talked about how many diabetic patients have a deficiency of thiamine (B-1).

"Elevated blood sugar promotes a type of toxicity in the kidneys that causes thiamine to be excreted by the kidney at a rate much higher (sixteen to twenty-five times higher) than normal, leading to an acute deficiency of thiamine," Stuart wrote, quoting for the paper. "From other studies, it is known that deficiencies in all B vitamins, as well as vitamin C and D are common in diabetics. This can cause most of the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, which include: polyneuropathy, nephropathy (kidney damage), retinopathy (eye damage) and eventually heart failure.

"This raises the question of whether the symptoms are from diabetes or acute beriberi?" he said.

After receiving his diagnosis, the curious pharmacist rejected the standard medical treatments being recommended by his doctors, who wanted to place him on statins, metformin and Byetta. Instead, after reading Thornalley's theory regarding vitamin deficiencies in diabetics, Stuart started a regimen of vitamin and mineral supplements.

"Although the pain in my feet was quite severe, I wanted to avoid the regular drug regimen because it relied upon taking lots of pain killers that don't cure the problem. I reasoned that when the body's B vitamin levels are depleted due to high blood sugar, replenishing body stores through diet alone is difficult, so supplementation will be necessary," he said.

So Stuart began taking a dietary supplement of thiamine (benfotiamine, 250mg 4 times a day); vitamin B-6 (250mg/day); pyridoxal 5 phosphate (P5P, 100mg/day); magnesium (aspartate, citrate, malate, or chloride); and acetyl-l-carnitine (1000 mg/day) - "depending on the severity of my peripheral neuropathy symptoms." He later added vitamin C to reduce inflammation and prevent oxidation from high levels of blood sugar. His doctor didn't approve of the regimen but was curious nonetheless, said Stuart, who promised his doctor he would begin the standard treatment if his way didn't work.

Nutrients don't cure but they can work to mitigate the damage

The results came pretty quickly. He said within a week the most "overt" neuropathy symptoms - the shooting pains in his ankles - were mostly gone. Other symptoms also mostly disappeared, including the numbness in his toes and overall foot pain.

"Now I know this treatment may not be a cure for diabetes. But it is a valid and reasonably inexpensive way to control the symptoms, which are held at bay as long as you keep your thiamine levels high. If you quit taking thiamine and the other B vitamins, the symptoms come roaring back," he said.

Despite warnings that his health would begin to deteriorate - kidney problems, pancreatic problems, eye trouble - he went on self-treating. Two years later, he got his results: Good news. Mostly.

Two key elements - Creatinine and Microalbumin levels - were in the "low, normal" range, though his fasting blood sugar levels (those taken during periods of fasting) are still high, as is his overall blood sugar levels. But he believes his nutritional supplementation has staved off, though not cured, his condition.

"In my case, the unusual positive results are evidently due to my nutritional approach. I substituted supplements of several essential nutrients forpharmaceuticals and stayed in relatively good health. And I continue to try supplementing with other nutrients such as antioxidants which are known to help prevent diabetes," Stuart writes. "This suggests that the health issues are actually caused by nutritional deficiencies that can be easily prevented."

Sources for this article include:

Monday, November 12, 2012

7 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Home

By Dr. Mercola
When it comes to cancer, you probably want to do what you can to avoid it. But how do you do that when it seems like everything around you poses a cancer risk?
Here are seven important steps to removing the most obvious cancer risks from your home.
They include checking for and removing: radon, nonstick-coated pots and pans, makeup and personal care products with toxic ingredients, BPA-lined cans and bottles, cleaning products and air fresheners, toxic building materials, furnishings and household cleaning supplies, as well as common pesticides and weed killers.

1. Check Your Home for Radon

Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the earth. Though you can't see it or smell it, radon can enter your home through cracks in your foundation, well water, building materials and other sources, where it can contaminate the air you breathe.
Because radon is radioactive, it's also carcinogenic; radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking.
Any home, whether new or old, with a basement or without, well-insulated or drafty, can have a radon problem; the EPA estimates that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes has elevated levels. Radon is measured in "picocuries per liter of air," or "pCi/L." Outdoor air generally has radon levels of about 0.4 pCi/L, whereas the average radon level indoors is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L. While the U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal stating that indoor radon levels should be no higher than outdoor levels, the EPA recommends taking action only if your home's levels exceed 4 pCi/L.
This does not necessarily mean that 4 pCi/L is "safe," however, as there really is NO safe level for radiation. Even the EPA admits that lower levels can still pose a health risk, and you may want to take precautions to further reduce the amount of radon in your indoor space even if it's at or below 4 pCi/L.

Radon Testing and Remediation

Fortunately, testing your home for radon is simple, and if levels are elevated there are ways to reduce them to protect your health. There are a number of resources for test kits:
  • If you'd like a certified technician to measure the radon levels in your home or other indoor environment, you can contact the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists.1 Testing costs from $100 to $300.
  • You can also obtain information on certified technicians and do-it-yourself testing from the EPA.2 State and regional information can be found there.
  • The National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University offers discounted test kits available to purchase online.3
  • Other do-it-yourself test kits for radon run between $20 and $30 and can be purchased online and at your local hardware store.
If your home has elevated radon levels, it's important to find a qualified radon service professional to fix your home immediately. Some U.S. states maintain lists of contractors that have met certain qualifications for radon mitigation; your state radon coordinator will have this information.4 There are also two privately run national radon programs that can help you find a qualified radon service professional:
  • The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)5
  • The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)6
Finally, Kansas State University maintains national radon hotlines:
  • National Radon Hotline: Purchase radon test kits by phone.
    1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236)
  • National Radon Helpline: Get live help for your radon questions.
    1-800-55RADON (557-2366)
  • National Radon Fix-It Line: For general information on fixing or reducing the radon level in your home.
    (800) 644-6999
The cost of radon reduction measures depends on the size and design of your home and the specific methods needed. Costs range from $800 to $2,500, with an average cost of $1,200. Radon reduction systems may be able to reduce your home's radon levels by 99 percent. There are a variety of ways to reduce radon levels in your home, including:
  • Sealing cracks in floors and walls
  • Increasing ventilation through sub-slab depressurization with pipes and fans
  • Removing granite countertops if they are emitting high levels of radon
  • Replacing ionization smoke detectors with the photoelectric type

2. Replace Non-Stick Cookware and Avoid Stain-Resistant Fabrics

About 70 percent of cookware sold in the United States contains a non-stick coating that contains PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and other perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which are used to make grease-resistant food packaging and stain-resistant clothing as well. Even though there are many names, if the item in question is "non-stick" or "stain/grease resistant," it will have some type of fluoride-impregnated coating that is best avoided.
Remember that non-stick cookware is perfectly safe to have in your home as long as you decide never to heat the pan. At room temperature there is virtually no release of fluoride into the air. But of course the purpose of non-stick cookware is to heat it and cook food, and that is when you run into problems.
It's well documented that when non-stick pans are heated the coating begins breaking down, releasing toxins into the air in your kitchen. When the pan reaches 680 degrees F (which takes about three to five minutes of heating), at least six toxic gases are released. At 1,000 degrees F, the coatings on your cookware break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB.
Research has revealed that these toxins can accumulate in your blood at an alarming rate and may lead to chronic disease over time. You can keep your exposure as low as possible by avoiding (or getting rid of) products that contain PFCs. This includes:
Non-stick cookware (choose either ceramic or glass instead) Microwave popcorn Packaging for greasy foods (including paper and cardboard packaging)
Stain-proof clothing Flame retardants and products that contain them Stain-resistant carpeting, and fabric stain protectors

3. Clean Up Your Beauty Regimen

Women who use make-up on a daily basis can absorb almost five pounds of chemicals into their bodies each year, so this is not a matter to take lightly. Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them, because when you eat something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break it down and flush it out of your body. When you put these chemicals on your skin however, they're absorbed straight into your blood stream without filtering of any kind, so the toxic chemicals from toiletries and beauty products are largely going directly to your internal organs.
There are literally thousands of chemicals used in personal care products, and only a tiny fraction of them have ever been tested for safety. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, nearly 900 of the chemicals used in cosmetics are known to be toxic. It's impossible to list them all, but some of the most common culprits to avoid include:
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) Musks Mercury
Paraben 1,4-Dioxane Lead
Phthalates, including dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP) Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum Nano particles
Antibacterials Hydroquinone Formaldehyde

Please note that in order to avoid formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, you need to know what to look for as they're typically NOT listed on the label; at least not in those words.
Common ingredients likely to contaminate products with formaldehyde include: To avoid 1,4-dioxane, watch out for these ingredients, which create 1,4-dioxane as a byproduct:
Quaternium-15 PEG-100 stearate
DMDM hydantoin Sodium laureth sulfate
Imidazolidinyl urea Sodium myreth sulfate
Diazolidinyl urea Polyethylene

Fortunately, there are more natural cosmetics available today than in years past. When it comes to personal care products, I like to use this rule -- If you can't eat it, don't put it on your body. Ideally, you'll want to look for the USDA's verified Organic seal. I also highly recommend using the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database7 where you can look up a wide variety of products and brands to find out what they're really made of, and whether or not they're safe.

4. Avoid Canned Foods and Plastic Containers

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used component of plastic containers and food packaging, such as the inner lining of cans, despite the fact that more than 200 research studies show BPA is harmful to human health. The use of BPA is so pervasive that scientists have found that 95 percent of people tested have dangerous levels of BPA in their bodies.
Avoiding canned foods is perhaps your best way to avoid BPA. Recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health8 revealed that canned foods and beverages can increase your BPA levels by a staggering 1,000 percent in a mere five days! The lead researcher noted that given this new finding, canned goods may be an even greater contribution to your BPA levels than plastics.
Interestingly, research has shown that you can help protect yourself from the adverse effects of inevitable BPA exposure by eating traditionally fermented foods, such as raw grass-fed organic kefir, fermented veggies, or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement. These foods contain "friendly bacteria," some of which have the ability to break down BPA, as well as reduce your intestinal absorption of it.9 Naturally, avoiding sources of BPA is your best bet. Here are 10 tips to help reduce your exposure to BPA around the house:
Only use glass baby bottles and dishes for your baby Use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel travel coffee mugs rather than plastic or Styrofoam coffee cups
Get rid of your plastic dishes and cups, and replace them with glass varieties Avoid using plastic wrap (and never microwave anything covered in it)
Give your baby natural fabric toys instead of plastic ones If you opt to use plastic kitchenware, at least get rid of the older, scratched-up varieties, avoid putting them in the dishwasher, and don't wash them with harsh detergents, as these things can cause more chemicals to leach into your food
Store your food and beverages in glass containers Avoid using bottled water; filter your own using a reverse osmosis filter instead
IF you choose to use a microwave, don't microwave food in a plastic container Before allowing a dental sealant to be applied to your, or your children's, teeth, ask your dentist to verify that it does not contain BPA
In the event that you do opt to use plastic containers for your food or beverages, be sure to avoid those marked on the bottom with the recycling label No. 7, as these varieties may contain BPA. Containers marked with the recycling labels No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 do not contain BPA (however they may contain other unsavory chemicals that you're best off avoiding by using glass instead).

5. Clean Out Your Cleaning Products

Research has found that breast-cancer risk is twice as high among women who report the most use of cleaning products and air fresheners, compared to those who rarely use such products. While it is very difficult to prove that a person's exposure to household cleaners over the course of 10, 20 or 30 years is what caused their cancer diagnosis, it is well known that commonly used household chemicals do, in fact, cause cancer, along with other serious health effects like reproductive and developmental problems in developing children.
Mold and mildew cleaners and air fresheners have shown the greatest correlation with breast cancer. Some of the chemicals of greatest concern that you'll want to avoid include:
Synthetic musks Phthalates 1,4-diclorobenzene
Terpenes Benzene Styrene
Phenol Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) Formaldehyde
Petroleum solvents Butyl cellosolve Triclosan (antibacterial)

My top list of cancer prevention strategies has always included reducing your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, and synthetic air fresheners. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy task to accomplish.
For those times when you need to do a bit of cleansing, one of the best non-toxic disinfectants is plain soap and water. You can use this for washing your hands, your body and for other household cleaning. Another all-purpose cleaner that works great for kitchen counters, cutting boards and bathrooms is 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. You can also keep your home very fresh and clean by making your own natural cleaning products using items you probably already have around your home. Some more tips for making simple and effective all-natural cleansers:
  • Use baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar to clean drains and bathtubs, or sprinkle baking soda along with a few drops of lavender oil or tea tree oil (which have antibacterial qualities) as a simple scrub for your bathroom or kitchen.
  • Vinegar can be used to clean almost anything in your home. Try it mixed with liquid castile soap, essential oils and water to clean floors, windows, bathrooms and kitchens. It can even be used as a natural fabric softener.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is safer to use than chlorine bleach for disinfecting and whitening.
  • Vodka is a disinfectant that can remove red wine stains, kill wasps and bees and refresh upholstery (put it into a mister and simply spray on the fabric).
For a great video on how to use these ingredients and other tips for cleaning your home without hazardous chemicals, please review the article How to Keep Your Home Clean Naturally. If you really want to use a commercial product, look for one that uses a natural base. To find out about the ingredients in common household products, there's a searchable database you might find helpful from Environment, Health and Safety Online (EHSO)10.

6. "Green" Your Building Materials and Furnishings

The building materials used in your home can be a major source of toxic exposures of multiple kinds, from formaldehyde emissions from pressed wood products, to VOC's from carpets and paints, just to name a few. Your furnishings can also harbor toxic chemicals.
While paints have gotten a lot less toxic over the past 25 years, most paints still emit harmful vapors, such as VOC's, formaldehyde and benzene. These types of fumes can be released daily for about 30 days after application. Low levels can continue to leak into the air for as long as a year afterward, so you'll want to make sure you ventilate the area repeatedly. Another danger is lead-based paint, which can be found in many homes built before 1978. Once the paint begins to peel away, it releases harmful lead particles that can be inhaled. In 1991, the U.S. government declared lead to be the greatest environmental threat to children.
Fortunately, it's getting easier to find high-quality non-toxic paints, also known as "low-VOC" or "no-VOC" paint. Both large paint companies and smaller alternative brands now offer selections of such paints. For a list of distributors and manufacturers, check out healthyhomeplans.com11. Also limit or eliminate exposure by carefully selecting non-toxic carpeting, such as those made of wool, or opt for non-toxic flooring like solid wood or bamboo instead. One of the primary hazards when it comes to furnishings is flame retardants: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). These are commonly found in:
  • Mattresses
  • Upholstery, drapes and curtains
  • Television and computer casings and circuit boards
Studies have linked PBDEs to learning and memory problems, lowered sperm counts and poor thyroid functioning in rats and mice. Other animal studies have indicated that PBDEs could be carcinogenic in humans, although that has not yet been confirmed.
Your mattress may be of particular concern, as many contain not only PBDE's, but also toxic antimony, boric acid, and formaldehyde. Shopping for a safe mattress can be tricky, as manufacturers are not required to label or disclose which chemicals their mattresses contain. However, some manufacturers now offer toxin-free mattresses, such as those made of 100% wool, which is naturally fire resistant. There are also mattresses that use a Kevlar, bullet-proof type of material in lieu of chemicals for fire-proofing. These are available in most major mattress stores, and will help you to avoid some of the toxicity.

7. Eat Organic and Tend Your Garden Without Harmful Chemicals

Many pesticides and herbicides are potentially carcinogenic, and you may be exposed to them either via the foods you buy, or in your own garden.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic, and most are also damaging to your nervous system as well. Some of the pesticides/herbicides classified as probable or possible human carcinogens by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) include:
Chlordane Heptachlor Tetrachlorvinphos
Carbaryl Propoxur Lindane
Dichlorvos Phosmet Permethrin
The answer, of course, is to opt for organically-grown produce and organically-raised, pastured animal products, and using organic or non-toxic gardening methods around your own home.

It's well known that conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are often tainted with unacceptable levels of pesticide residues, but you're also exposed when you eat animal products. Animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's) eat feed full of pesticides, and these toxins accumulate in their flesh and fat over the course of their lifetimes. When you eat factory-farmed meat, you then ingest these accumulated pesticides.
As for fresh produce, certain fruits and vegetables tend to be far more contaminated than others, simply because they're more susceptible to various infestations and therefore sprayed more heavily. Some foods are also more "absorbent," with thin, tender skins.
Such foods would be high on your list for buying organic. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) produces an annual shopper's guide to pesticides in produce12 that you can download. It lists the produce with the highest and lowest levels of pesticide residue, which can help save you money if you can't afford to buy everything organic.
Fermented foods can be helpful here as well, as some of the beneficial bacteria produced in fermented foods have been found to help detoxify organophosphorus insecticide. A 2009 study13 showed that during the fermentation of kimchi, the insecticide degraded rapidly until day 3, and had degraded completely by day 9. Four lactic acid bacteria were identified as being responsible for the effect.

Finally, do not use synthetic pesticides in your home or garden, or in the form of insect repellant, lice shampoo, pet sprays or otherwise. There are safe and effective natural alternatives for virtually every pest problem you come across.
For instance, boric acid powder is a very effective deterrent to roaches and ants. Sprinkle some in the inner corners of your cabinets and in the corners under your cabinets. Pests will carry it back to their nests on their feet and kill the remainder of the infestation. Boric acid is non-toxic for animals and only kills the insects. Or, for a homemade garden spray that will discourage most pests, use some mashed garlic paste combined with a little cayenne pepper or horseradish. Add a small amount to a gallon jug of water and let it sit for a day or two, shaking it occasionally. Just spray a small amount onto a few leaves first to make sure it's not so strong that it will burn them.

For more details on these types of natural solutions to pests of all kinds, I recommend the book Dead Snails Leave No Trails by Nancarrow and Taylor, or visit the website BeyondPesticides.org14. They have a section on do-it-yourself natural solutions to a wide range of pest problems along with a resource to find pest management companies that use non-toxic products.