Monthly Archives: September 2006

Healthy Living Real Food

Breakfast Really Is The Most Important Meal – Here's Why

For years we’ve heard why we should always eat breakfast in the morning. It’s not a new concept. However, for years I believed that I didn’t have to eat a full-course meal in order to start my day off right or to feel prepared for the coming day’s demands. I used to make tea and toast with peanut butter and fruit spread (with no added sugar) on it, and call it good. I’d often get a jittery feeling after eating this combination, and often I would get the sensation of my heart beating faster in my chest. I assumed it was just my physiology and dismissed it as nothing significant. Then of course within two hours, I was starving for something else to eat. When I started seeing my naturopath about my health issues after getting nowhere with my traditional doctor, she mentioned breakfast. The topic of protein came up immediately, along with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. These are all common sense items to eat, so why hadn’t I been eating them? What was wrong with tea and toast with peanut butter and fruit spread?

The problem was this – to start, I was injecting my system with a shot of caffeine and no pure water. Caffeine automatically sends the body into hyperactive mode. Caffeine is also a diuretic which causes your body to urinate and lose more fluid. When you sleep, your body looses 2 to 3 cups of water. You have also deprived your body of needed fluid for the past 8 to 10 hours since you went to sleep the night before. Dehydration alone can cause all types of issues from lethargy, headache, heart palpitations, inability to concentrate, and constipation. Now let’s move onto the bread – the bread I was eating was a processed “whole wheat flour” product, not whole grains. The body will convert anything containing carbohydrates into sugar. Whole grain bread pieces usually have somewhere between 15 and 20 grams of carbohydrates – and they are the complex, good kind your body needs. Processed breads containing flour are simple carbs that are burned up immediately in your body and converted to sugar. Processed breads contain on the average of 25 grams of carbohydrates. Now add the 7 grams of carbohydrates from the peanut butter, and 8 grams from the fruit spread. How many carbohydrates do we have to protein? Forty grams of carbohydrates to 9 grams of protein from the peanut butter plus caffeine. This combination is a sure set up for disaster. Besides the other symptoms listed above, jitters, malaise, dizziness,and even nausea can result. Especially if this regimen is repeated day after day. Proteins and carbohydrates should be more balanced out. Yet, if you look on most packaged foods people eat, you will see a huge difference in the ratio of carbohydrates to protein — usually 4 or 5 to 1. This ratio is difficult to acheive if you are eating whole foods that have not been altered in some way – for example, two or three eggs with raw cheese and sprouted grain toast with real butter, tomatoes and apple or banana slices. To learn more about how sugars work in the body, visit The Weston A. Price Foundation web site. Think about it.

Eating breakfast provides your metabolism with the necessary support to keep your body’s other functions running smoothly and uninterrupted until snack or lunchtime. Skipping breakfast causes a plummet in bloodsugar levels which leads to binging on unhealthy foods throughout the day (carbohydrate cravings), makes your body feel less inclined to participating in some kind of beneficial exercise, and will contribute to your overall sense of feeling well. Many overweight people have found that just by changing their eating habits to eating a healthy breakfast in the morning, doing some kind of exercise everyday, adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to their meals, and eating a moderate amount of healthy fats such as meats, cheeses, nuts, and eggs, they have finally been able to lose the stubborn weight they’ve been fighting against for years.

I had always been too busy or distracted to prepare myself something to eat that required cooking. I had been doing the same thing with my son for several years. I am ashamed to admit that I used to just fix him a bowl of processed cereal (it did say organic, so it must be healthy, right?), milk and some fruit. Why not? I had eaten that many mornings as a child and nothing negative had occurred. Oh, right, but I had eaten that way for years, and now I was suddenly having trouble! The light finally went on. I had been reading some literature about different ways to eat breakfast and I came across a great book called “The Schwarzbein Principle” by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein. The book described how breakfast should be a major meal of the day and that it should include a large helping of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. This was the identical advice my naturopath had given me. I started preparing eggs and vegetables and fruits with whole, sprouted grain bread. Sometimes I’d have nuts along with and some herbal tea. Occasionally I’d allow myself some caffeinated tea, but I always drank plenty of water and took my whole food supplements. Within days I started feeling great again. That’s all it took. Just a little preparation and motivation to eat the right foods that my body was deprived of for so many years. I can say with absolute impunity that I have my energy back and have returned to a state of health. I’ll never look back again.

For more information on how to get on the right track by determining what fats are healthy and which are not, visit NewsTarget where you can learn about how to unclog your arteries without drugs or surgery.

Alternative Medicine Real Food

What You Should Know About ADD, ADHD, and Autism

In the last thirty years, ADD, autism, and related “ailments” have become an increasingly popular diagnosis in the doctor’s office when parents present their children for treatment. It often starts in the classroom, where a child is singled out by the teacher and is brought to the attention of the parents. Teachers will report that the child has been disrupting class, is unruly, and generally behaves in a manner unfit for school environment.

Parents immediately assume there surely must be some mental imbalance and often wind up in the doctor’s office only to receive the dreaded words that so many hear, “Your child has ADD,” or “Your child has autism.” What isn’t being addressed, much to the child’s disadvantage, are factors like diet, exercise, and environment at home. These elements are so important, and usually overlooked by the physician.

A relevant story I have to share is one that bears mention since it illustrates the incorrect thinking pattern our society has developed about diet and its direct affects on our health, well-being, and behavior. Recently, my naturopath told me about a family who brought in their seven-year-old son to obtain help with his ADD diagnosis given by his pediatrician. The naturopath went over the habits and diet of the son and his family. What was revealed was that this family only prepared a home-cooked meal about two days out of the week, the rest of which they ate out at McDonald’s because they were simply too busy to do otherwise.

This, along with other dietary indiscretions were uncovered such as poor choices for other mealtimes during the day. A good deal of these selections included non-whole grain carbohydrates in the form of processed foods like crackers, bagels, cereals, and so forth. He was also consuming a lot of other artificially produced foods like yogurt, fruit snacks, and juice drinks. There were very little to no vegetables included in the daily regimen, and only occasionally fresh fruit.

The naturopath made suggestions about cutting out the refined carbohydrates, sugary foods, and adding in more organic and fresh fruits and vegetables, adding in natural proteins in the forms of meat and eggs with no antibiotics or hormones, and preparing food cooked at home.

After the recommendation was given, the family asked why they had not been provided with any alternatives to what their pediatrician had decided upon, which was a prescription for Ritalin. The naturopath reminded them that they had come to her for help and she had offered her best advice for getting their son back on a healthy track. Ultimately, the family decided that these options would not work for them, left the office, and chose to put their son on Ritalin.

This unfortunate story is sadly not the exception in our society. It is, in fact, a very common occurrence. Conventional Western Medicine refuses to acknowledge the vital role proper nutrition plays in supporting our health and instead turns to drugs and surgery to correct many problems that could be solved in very simple ways. Many health problems like ADD originate due to poor diet and could easily be remedied if people would only take the time to really pay attention to what they are eating and participate in moderate exercise and stress reducing activities.

If people want their children to do well in school and in life, they will pay close attention to what their children are consuming. Ignoring these crucial factors will only prolong issues and cause the situation to become more acute.

Look around at foods marketed to kids and you will see some very obvious culprits as well as some not-so-apparent ones. Anything from cereals to crackers to snack items that appeal to children are usually processed, contain chemicals, preservatives, added sugar, and most significantly are void of any real whole grains (i.e., they contain enriched, processed flours that are on the whole unhealthy).

Very little of many children’s diets contain adequate amounts of protein, a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, or actual whole, sprouted grains. It is no wonder the health of so many children is in danger with ADD and diabetes diagnoses at an all-time high and continuing to rise. Conventional thinking and our current food pyramid dictates that we receive most of our calories from carbohydrates and eat just enough protein to keep us from passing out.

Many of the natural fats have been eliminated from foods and replaced with unnatural or trans-fats, which have been shown time and time again to be dangerous to consume and to cause a number of health problems. Many of the natural fats being removed contain enzymes, co-factors, and essential fatty acids our bodies need to function at normal and healthy levels, and removal of these elements actually set up the stage for disease and illness.

There is also a correlation between diet and autistic symptoms in children. Many children with autistic tendencies or even those who have been diagnosed with full-blown autism can greatly benefit from a drastic change in diet to alleviate their symptoms. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride is a well-known and respected neurosurgeon who has conducted an extensive amount of research and written insightful literature about how diet can cause autism to develop.

Many children with autism are experiencing the effects of what Dr. McBride refers to as “deeply abnormal gut flora” which affects the brain and neurological systems in a child’s body via extensive damage to the digestive tract caused by a nutritionally-depleted diet from eating processed foods. Visit the GAPS Diet web site for more information on this revolutionary breakthrough in autism research.

According to one study conducted, “Average and ADD children were fed a drink containing glucose, a simple sugar that is absorbed immediately into the bloodstream. All carbohydrates, including complex carbohydrates like whole wheat, are broken down into glucose. Both sets of children experienced sharp increase in blood sugar. Both sets also experienced a sharp increase in blood insulin levels, and then a corresponding drop in blood sugar levels. This decrease in insulin normally triggers an increase in the hormones epinephrine and Norepinephrine, which increase glucose entry into the brain to compensate for the drop in blood sugar.” The result allows for a marked change in behavior ranging to fidgeting, inability to sit still, and nervousness or hyperactivity.

When children are witnessed acting out, is it really misbehavior or is there perhaps some underlying nutritional deficiency responsible for it? For more information on how this common diagnosis can go awry, visit the Born To Explore page.

Want more information on healthy foods that promote wellness in your child?

The importance of dietary fats

How well do you know your food? Find out!

Disturbed about what your kids are eating in school?

Hormones in the milk – do you know what your kids are drinking?

The big gluten-free lie

Whole and healthy meat…does it really exist?