Chronic Diseases

February 5, 2007

The World Health Organization has released a new study on chronic diseases. I was surprised to learn that twice as many people die from chronic diseases as from all infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), maternal and perinatal diseases and nutritional deficiencies combined. Wow! To follow the general news, you would think it’s just the opposite. Actually, I have a problem with throwing in the nutritional deficiencies, since I think most, if not all, chronic disease is the result of nutritional deficiencies, just a slower version. Why else do we see different ethnic groups, each emphasizing different types of food groups, having lower levels of certain types of chronic disease? We see lower incidence of heart disease among groups who include healthier fats, lower levels of cancer when there is a high level of fruits and vegetables, etc. Just because we don’t see full-blown Rickets in our country doesn’t mean we’re receiving optimal levels of Vitamin D — especially with the current fear of sunrays.

When I go to a regular grocery store, I find myself wanting to beg people not to buy, or eat, most of the food they put into their baskets. Things loaded with sugar, white flour, bad fats and preservatives. They are often overweight and show visible signs of undernourishment, as do their children. Their bodies are starved for real food full of real nutrients.

Several years ago we were on a trip to Hawaii with our nutrition company. One thing that struck us, since we’d been to relatively few company meetings, was the number of octogenarians in our group. These folks looked and felt young for their age. They had sharp minds, and a love of life. You could find them out at midnight enjoying an evening stroll with a sparkle still in their eyes. It was inspiring! Many of these individuals had been sick, some seriously so, for many years. But, after applying good eating habits, and good nutritional supplements, they had regained their health, and in fact were out-living most of their contemporaries — and enjoying it!

I believe we can avoid the chronic health problems by learning how to eat healthfully, including exercise in our daily routine, and taking nutritional supplements for optimum health!

Sugar High, Immune Low

February 20, 2006

It’s that time of year; fever, sniffles, sore throats, hacking coughs. You can hardly go anywhere that you don’t encounter a sick person. The store isles are packed where the cold medicines are sold. And the newspapers report that the hospitals are full up. Ironically, or not so, the epidemic proportions usually start shortly after the holidays. Funny how it coincides with our largest consumption of sugar for the year.

Now, I like sweets, and I think we are called to celebrate God’s goodness to us - with sweets, and meats, and fats! So, what can we do to counter the negative impact the sweet things have on our health?

You need to realize that every time you eat sugar, or honey, or maple syrup, your immune system is lowered for three hours. Yep, three hours. So, if you give your family say, pancakes for breakfast, and you serve them with syrup, or jam, their immune system will be low for the next three hours. Next comes lunchtime, the reward for finishing might be a cookie. Or, maybe you include pop, or a sandwich made with peanut butter (the spreadable kind), or even lunchmeat, these can both contain sugar. Now, the immune system has been in a suppressed state for six hours. As the afternoon rolls on, the kids get cranky and need a pick-me-up before dinner rolls along. Even if you reach for a whole grain cracker, or a healthy brand of yogurt, it most likely has at least one source of sugar! You get the picture. There is not a single moment during the day that your family’s immune system is at peak performance. Yet, we are under constant bombardment from the microbial and oxidative world. Fortunately, there are foods and supplements that will boost your family’s immune system. And there are ways we can feed our families that help to cut back on the amount of sweets we serve them.

When you make pancakes, don’t feel like you need to add that tablespoon of sugar the recipe calls for. It’s completely unnecessary. Instead, to boost immunity, add chopped nuts. Nuts are a good source of essential fatty acids and protein, both of which are immune boosters. In all this, I’m assuming that you are using whole grain flours. Adding an additional scoop of protein powder will insure even more immune building power. White flour will lower your immune system in several ways; use it as seldom as possible! I prefer whole-wheat pastry flour, but there are a large variety of grains available and they all have something unique to offer for building health. To top off your pancakes, serve them with natural applesauce spiced with cinnamon, which is currently being highlighted as having many health-giving properties.

Lunch is my least favorite meal of the day, maybe because I feel interrupted! I found my kids really liked simple creamed soups that I could make quickly. If you keep stock on hand, this is especially easy. Serve it with a slice of cheese and some health-giving bagels, or crackers. If you serve the quick fix kids-love-it, macaroni and cheese, add some wheat germ, wheat or oat bran, and some grated cheese. Always try to serve fruit with lunch. The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is as true today as when Ben Franklin penned it. Another idea is a simple peasants lunch consisting of cheese, bread, and fruit. Wholesome, satisfying, and soul-feeding.

Add beautiful color to the dinner plate with lots of vegetables. The most delicious organic winter squash was available this year. It had richer color than the conventionally grown, and the earthiest flavor I’d ever had in winter squash. I’m so excited to see more affordable organic produce becoming available! Think of your dinner plate as a painting palate, and use bright colors. Every fruit or vegetable that has bright, dark colors is packed with antioxidants that will boost the immune system. A helpful habit we kept was to only have dessert on Friday night, or with company.

I feel I need to talk about juicing since so many people ask me questions on the topic. Juicing is okay, but is not an all-encompassing health panacea. It is good for extracting live enzymes, which are vital to good health. It is not good for receiving the cell protecting benefits of the antioxidants found in the whole fruit or vegetable. For instance, I’ve read that only about 3% of the carotenoids from carrots can be extracted by juicing, or by chewing. The remainder is trapped in the pulp and cannot be released without cooking. (Which is why I have a huge problem with the raw food camp. You simply cannot get all the nutrients you need from raw food!) Juice is a concentrated form of sugar. If you are using supplements that are juice extracts, you may not be getting all the immune boosting benefits that you should. And please, if you give your children juice, keep two things in mind. You should not replace milk (natural goat, or cow) with juice. Your child will be losing valuable nutrients. Also, cut the juice with at least half water. Or, better yet, use whole fruits and let them experience all the incredible textures God made, while getting many additional benefits not contained in the juice!

Food is so much fun! What an amazing Creator we have. Every time I start writing about it I can hardly stop because I get so excited. Alongside the nourishment we get from good food, we can add even more immune boosting power with supplements. My company, GNLD, has been the leader in immune building, and antioxidant products for almost 50 years. In the past 15 years, only one of my children (now adults) has needed an antibiotic. Remembering how many we had used prior to taking the GNLD nutrients, that says something! Consider adding some of our antioxidants (Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Vita-Gard) and essential fatty acids (Formula IV, or Tre-en-en) to your family’s daily routine. You’ll spend a lot less on medicine, and have more time for all those important things - like writing for your blog!

Next article, I’ll talk about how much sugar Americans are consuming, and some of the devastating health effects it is having.

Don’t Worry, *B* Happy

September 26, 2005

I think my gravestone may read: “That person needs B vitamins.” But seriously, given our over-processed, denatured, precooked, super-heated, super-cooled, transported, microwaved, chemically-laced American diet — just about everyone has to be deficient in one, if not all the B vitamins.

Here are a few things that I have witnessed when people started taking B vitamins: irrational behavior transformed to rational, women with severe, debilitating PMS become models of love and civility, memory improvement, ashtma improvement, geographic tongue disappears, chronic bad breath cured, people weaned off of anti-depressents (with doctors knowledge), insomnia improved, energy level raised, sensitivity to noise overcome, just to name a few things. These are all things realated to very real, physical things that are happening in the body, or not happening in the body, due to the role of B vitamins.

We cannot have a gnostic view of our bodies and our health. We are material beings, and our creator made us that way. He also made us with very real nutritional requirements in order for our bodies to be nourished and to function properly. To deny that, is to deny reality, the reality that God himself created. (Am I repeating myself?)

An article I read once claimed that because the author’s mother had made a peanut butter sandwich (Skippy, white bread and jelly made with sugar) with faith and love, and he received it in faith and love, it had everything in it that he needed for nourishment and health. Perhaps that peanut butter sandwich was miraculous. But, that would be the only explanation for what he claimed! Put to the test of what was actually contained in the sandwich, it would fall woefully short of nourishment for a living person.

I do not think God is responsible for miracles on the table three times a day. (Now, for some of us, it may seem a miracle to get any kind of food on the table three times a day!) But, I do think he gives us responsibilities that originated back in the garden that Adam and Eve were to faithfully tend. Our creator made it very clear that he had given us good things for our use and nourishment. Each different food, from meat to fruit, vegetables, dairy products, grains, etc. has a unique blend of elements that are designed to feed the cells that make up our bodies — about 73 trillion of them. If we limit our diet to processed, packaged foods, we can never get the amount of nutrients our cells require for health. In fact, even when we cook most things from scratch, it will still be a challenge due to farming methods that have lowered nutrient levels, transportation, storage, and the depressing fact that most of us do not have an active enough lifestyle to take in the amount of food that would be needed to provide the vital nutrients. The area of nutrition is full of wonderful lessons about our Creator, and also about the creature (us). We are ashes and water, amazingly arranged, and transformed dirt and water!

Nourishing our very organic bodies with good food, and good supplements is, I think, good stewardship. Why? Because, I am going to help myself and my family to be: more loving, more forgiving, more energetic, and more fruitful for the Lord. Especially, if I begin with B vitamins!

More on B’s soon!

Chew the Fat

September 4, 2005

Fat is so important in our diets! There are good fats, and bad fats. Generally speaking, if God made the fat, and we have kept it in its natural state, the fat is good. That includes saturated fats, such as butter. There are different fats that come and go in popularity. Wheat germ oil was very popular in the early health food world. That, and brewer’s yeast, were the two prominent aromas I would inhale upon entering a health food store back in the 1970’s! Today there is a huge choice of fats available for us to enjoy and benefit from.

Now, not all foods today have healthy fats — not even “natural” foods that we buy in their raw state. If the chicken has been cooped up in an artificial enviroment, the egg yolk will not be as healthy as the yolk of a free roaming fowl. The same is true of our meats, vegetables and grains. None of these reflect the healthier fat/nutrient profile that were present a half a century, or more, ago. When we are able, we need to buy organic, natural and unprocessed. And we need to add whole food supplements to our diets to insure we are taking in the nutrients our bodies need.

Fats keep our joints lubricated, our cell membranes healthy, our brains working, our skin smooth, and keep food in our stomachs longer, so we feel satisfied with what we’ve eaten. We need fats to absorb certain vitamins and minerals. (Can you explain the logic of drinking fat free milk to help prevent osteoporosis — since calcium is absorbed with fat?) And, there is even evidence of higher cancer rates among the low fat crowd. Some fats are antioxidants, some are antimicrobial and antiviral.

Children need fat for the healthy growth of body, a healthy immune system, and especially for healthy brain development! There are many articles published now about the hazards of vegetarian, and low fat diets for children.

Because fats are so important to the brain at all ages, this is an area scientists are looking at as a possible link in the cause of Alzheimer’s. Nearly all of the generation currently being affected by this disease were raised on food that had hydrogented fats in the ingredients. We all remember those margerine ads! You know, “Everything’s better with Blue Bonnet on it!” These hydrogenated, and partially hydrogenated, trans-fats are proven to cause damage at the cellular level! The increased consumption of hydrogenated fats correlates with the rise of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s!

Try adding some different fats to your diet such as wheat germ oil, walnut oil, coconut oil(great in cookies, cakes, and granola), safflower oil, and, don’t forget, plenty of olive oil. (Personally, I am such a fatoholic, I like to put some butter on my bread, and then dip it in the olive oil… mmmm.) Make sure these are cold pressed, or expeller pressed. Anything else will do more harm than good.

And for adding the most important essential fatty acids, talk to me about Tre-en-en Grain Concentrates, and our choice of three different omega III fatty acid products. They’re life-changing in terms of increased energy, and reduced inflammation!

Inspiring

August 17, 2005

I know, I’ve been more than neglectful of my blogging life. Please forgive me. Considering that web logs originated in the late 1990s, and only rose to be commonplace in the last 5 years, I’m still not as far behind as I could be! But, I’m starting anew, and with fresh inspiration. Jeremy, my oldest son, has taken time from his busy schedule to aide his mothers’ plight with a beautiful new blog template. Keep watching! It’s coming soon!

Changes in the Air

August 15, 2005

The mechanics of our solar systm and universe have been researched and written about in ever expanding detail. All of it is fascinating, but does little to explain the anticipation I feel for the coming change in the weather and pattern of life. Just a week ago, I detected the first hint of coolness in an evening breeze. After living here in San Antonio for over 6 years now, it was a very welcome feeling!

That set off the usual longings for some favorite foods from the fall menu. Now, I know I’m being a bit premature, I just can’t help it! So, meatloaf (seasoned with fresh herbs from the herb garden) was the choice for the homecoming dinner for Graham and Joel, with large slices of deep chocolate Crazy Cake for dessert. Last night we inhaled the delicate, delicious fragrances of nutmeg and cinnamon as a fruit crisp bubbled away in the oven. Tonight, we’re having our first bowl of hot soup for the fall season. I know it is still over ninety degrees outside, and we are still in the month of August, but there are clouds in the sky and the air conditioner is on. We have the tools, in modern life, to overcome hinderances like the real temperature.

Recipes will follow soon.

Family Loss

August 15, 2005

In June we eperienced the sad event of Mark’s mother passing away. While she had lived a long life, having turned 80 in April, for almost 10 years prior to that, she had an increasingly hard time understanding the world around her. She suffered from Alzhiemer’s for longer than any of us know for sure. Donna Fisher was a woman who loved her family, and loved the Lord Jesus with all her being. Her warmth, creativity, and zest for life will always be wonderful examples for her family.

Because this illness is on the increase, I want to spend some time on occasion talking about what we can do to help protect our brains from Alzhiemer’s. More to come!

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