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Things I've learned and recipes tried in my journey to get my health back!!! Here you will find tips, articles and healthy recipes that taste spectacular, yet contain nothing artificial, refined or processed!

Healthy Vegan Fudge

This fudge is ooh sooo yummy! I took it to work this week(today updated being 11/17/2009) and a whole plate full disappeared in 10 mins flat! I didnt dare mention healthy because well all know what most think of healthy. I found a good base recipe for fudge then tweaked the ingredients to make it healthy. The result was in my opinion the best fudge I've ever tasted(next to grandmas anyway) and it will not affect the blood sugar like regular fudge, so eat up! Here is a description of how turbinado(used in this recipe) is better for blood sugar. As well as other natural sweeteners...Click Here.

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups turbinado sugar aka demerara(I use this but it does not cost that at walmart)

12 ounces coconut milk(pure coconut milk with nothing added, i.e. Thai kitchen brand)

18 ounces vegan chocolate(I use these)

1/2 lb extra virgin coconut oil

3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1 pinch sea salt

1 nuts, of your choice or raisins

Instructions

1. Bring to a boil the sugar and milk, and let it boil exactly six minutes, stirring constantly. (If you can do this over a double-boiler it will help you, but it isn’t required.).

2. In another pan or bowl, have the chocolate, oil, vanilla extract and salt ready. You can use chocolate chips or good quality bar chococate. The better the quality of chocolate, the better the fudge.

3. Pour hot mixture of sugar and milk over the other ingredients, and blend together until all the chocolate has melted. Using a high powered hand mixer or stand mixer will make a smooth fudge. If you try to mix it by hand it will start to harden before its mixed and come out dry and grainy.

4. Add nuts—whatever type you prefer, and in the size you prefer in fudge.

5. Pour into pan and set for six hours in the fridge until the fudge has set.

makes 36-40 servings

Add this recipe to your tastyplanner.com recipes.

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

It's been a really long time since I posted! I've really been neglecting my blog, so I'm making a mental note to post a new recipe at least once a week! Today's recipe I got from another blog, but I cut a few corners, making it quicker and easier while still keeping it healthy.



Ingredients

1 Jar 505 organic green chili


Enchilada Filling


2 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed, drained

4 cloves garlic, minced

Fresh lime juice from 2 big juicy lime

2 large diced sweet potatoes

1/2 cup chopped roasted mild green chiles

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder mild or spicy

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro(I used freeze dried)


Assembly


2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, as needed

16 organic white or yellow corn tortillas


Method

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In the meantime, for the Enchilada Filling, using a mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans with minced garlic and lime juice. Toss to coat the beans and set aside. Fry sweet potatoes until golden, then add veggie stock and turn on low until sweet potatoes are soft, add the chopped green chiles; add the spices. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the 505 Green Chile Sauce into the bottom of a 9x9 glass baking dish.

To assemble the enchiladas, grab a skillet and heat a dash of oil. Lightly cook the corn tortillas to soften them, one at a time, then layer 8 of them in the bottom of your pan. Pour sweet potato mixer on top of tortillas, then pour on the beans. Next lightly cook the other 8 tortillas and layer them on top.

Top with the rest of the sauce.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are piping hot and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

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Nectarine spinach and greens salad with garlic and herb dressing

My kids LOVED this. I'm not sure what prompted me to try nectarines with greens, but I'm sure glad I did. They ate it up, and there wasn't a single bit left. The flavors compliment each other amazingly. Yummy and refreshing all in one, what more could you ask for?

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Crunchy Nutty Brown Rice

Crunchy Nutty Rice

Serves: 10

I thought some might want a new twist on plain ol rice. This sounds really yummy. I think it would be awesome with almonds or chopped peanuts!

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup chicken stock or broth(more water, or vegetable stock to make it vegan)
1-1/3 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans(or other nuts)
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1 cup finely chopped celery
5 oz. sliced water chestnuts
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Black pepper to taste
Sea Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Bring water and stock to a boil in medium-size saucepan.
2. Add rice and stir. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Reserve.
4. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet.
5. Sauté onion and celery over moderate heat 3 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients including reserved cooked rice. Fluff with fork before serving.

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Healthy homemade pizza with vegan cheese

My daughter is allergic to dairy so I had to come up with a healthy alternative for her since she loves pizza. I made this on friday and Kevin demanded that I make it again on sunday he liked it so much.If you cant find vegan cheese, it would be great without any type of cheese also!

This recipe is for making the dough in a bread machine on the dough setting.

If you use Tasty Planner here is the link so you can save it to your recipe box.


Prep time: 10 Min. Cook time: 45 Min. Serves: 16

crust:

1 1/2 c. hot water

2 tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1 tbsp. basil (or to taste, I love basil)

2 tbsp. crushed red pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

3 1/2 c. naturally white flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast

sauce:

6 oz tomato paste

1 tbsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

2 Cloves Garlic

1/4 tsp salt(or to taste)

toppings:

2 packages vegan mozzarella cheese

1 package natural ham

1 can pineapple tidbits in its own juice(no HFCS here!)and well drained

other toppings of choice(all veggies to make it vegan)

place first 7 ingredients into bread pan, add flours then make a well for the yeast, add yeast and set bread machine to dough cycle. Add more water or flour as needed to get a pliable dough.

in the mean time mix together the sauce ingredients and let sit until dough is done.

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

This makes a HUGE thick crust so lightly grease an 11×13 glass baking pan(or two pizza pans might work) with olive oil. turn dough out into pan and pat down while spreading it out in the pan. Poke holes in the entire crust with a fork. spread sauce out on crust, then top with toppings of choice. sprinkle cheese on top of toppings, then bake pizza in oven for 30-45 mins or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and starting to bubble.

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Don't feel guilty about buying plastic water bottles!

Why should you, when there are water bottles that are "plastic" and made from plants??? They even come in 3 and 5 gallon sizes! Check em out....

http://www.primowater.com/

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Is it hard?

I had a friend tell me yesterday that "you have a very complicated eating life , you wear me out. lol" It made me wonder if other people might think eating naturally is complicated, hard or confusing. It really isn't. My "diet" breaks down to this; no refined sugar, no dairy, and no processed food. How is it simple? I no longer buy things that come in a box(other than the occasional whole grain, quinoa or rice noodles from the health food store). I'm not saying it doesnt take a little research either. I've spent a lot of time reading articles and reading labels at the grocery store. Getting back to nature eating what God put on this earth, what is complicated about that? I admit there were a few things that threw me for a loop that I thought were natural but aren't. Another thing that really shocked me is some of the items I've found that have High Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS) in them, a few examples: Yogurt, dried cherries, "100%" fruit juice/frozen concentrates, mayo, A1 sauce, and ketchup just to name a few. Eating naturally is so easy, even the cavemen did it(yea I know it was cheesy, but it is the truth)! It is less complicated than following any of the fad diets out there! I dont count carbs, I dont count calories, and I dont count fat, and there are no phases either, so it really isnt hard at all.

Some tips for shopping healthy:

1. buy as many organic products as you can instead of non organic.

2. stay away from boxed or white foods, the few exceptions I have to this rule are organic canned tomatoes, and organic beans. I can get these items organic and to be certified organic they can not have anything in them are not naturally occuring. Not to mention that I cant get organic fresh tomatoes(which go bad quickly anyway and are more expensive) and I cant get dry organic beans either.

3. sugars. these took me quite a while to figure out and has been the hardest aspect of getting healthy. I have a family of 5 so I had to find something that was healthy yet affordable at the same time. Agave nectar is an awesome natural sweetener but pretty pricey so it wouldnt work for my family. I finally decided to use turbinado sugar for several reasons, first is that the sugars dont enter your bloodstream as rapidly as some of the others(honey, syrup etc) which is a big thing for me because I have hypoglaucemia. It can be used in recipes the same way as regular sugar(I use less than what recipes call for though with good results) and you get more bang for your buck with it. You can get turbinado sugar at the health food store, but in doing my research I found that turbinado sugar is evaporated cane juice, and I also found that florida crystals makes an organic cane sugar that is quite a bit cheaper and more easily found. You can get it at walmart which is where I do most of my grocery shopping anyway. The ingredients are, organic evaporated cane juice.

4. always make extra! make extra dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch, this saves time, money and frustration. You dont have to worry about finding healthy lunch ideas, and you save money by not buying bread(which has HFCS in it anyway), lunchmeat and those nasty cheese slices. It saves time because you dont have to plan different lunches and shop for extra items. It saves the frustration of trying to figure out alternative lunches when you get bored with what you normally have. You get something different everyday, and most meals that are truly healthy taste better the next day anyway.

5. buy oatmeal in bulk if you can. I buy mine 25lbs at a time. for me a 25lb bag costs around $17.21. oatmeal is so virsatile too. I use it in everything, like baked oatmeal for breakfast, and I grind it up in the blender and add 1/2 tsp. guar gum to it too use as an all purpose flour for cakes, cookies, breads(quick bread, no yeast), and a thickening agent. 25lbs lasts my family about a month, but I make a cake at least once a week, 2 9x13 pans of baked oatmeal a week, several dozen cookies and a loaf of bread. It does take a *little* extra work, but knowing that its healthy and yummy at the same time makes it totally worth it!

I have tons more tips that I will add at a later date. Its getting late here and I can't think of anymore at the moment. If anyone has questions about natural cooking/baking please ask and I'll answer as best I can!

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Foods That Make Your Skin Glow

Top skin creams average about $400 per ounce (and you thought gas was expensive!), yet most offer little proof that they do half of what they promise. Want to save a bundle and improve your skin? Load your shopping cart with nutrients that have been shown to possess skin-hydrating, sun-protecting, and even wrinkle-preventing powers, says Manhattan dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD. Here’s her grocery list of the best foods for your skin:


Firm and Bright
You’re probably up to your eyebrows (Botoxed or not) with the mantra “eat more fruits and vegetables.” But if you’ve yet to take that advice to heart, maybe knowing that they prevent wrinkles will do the trick.

The skin doc’s three top picks: sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

What they do: Replenish your skin’s supply of antioxidants, so they're ready to scarf up free radicals whenever they make an appearance. Free rads are highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage cells and contribute to just about everything that can go wrong with skin, from dryness to wrinkles.

Fresh and Juicy
Your body can’t store much wrinkle-fighting vitamin C, so you need to top up your supplies regularly. The easiest way: Have some citrus every day.

The skin doc’s four top picks: oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit.

Ounce for ounce, oranges are the top citrus source of C, but you can only eat so many, right? For variety, make lemonade; squeeze limes on melon; add grapefruit to salad; and, instead of drinking soda, fizz OJ with sparkling water. It all adds up.

What they do: Keep skin’s vitamin C levels high. While C is a nifty antioxidant, that’s not the key reason it’s here. It helps keep collagen -- the supportive protein fibers that stop skin from sagging -- strong and resilient. (Flimsy collagen means lines and wrinkles.) Since collagen breakdown really picks up in your mid-30s, eat citrus early and often to head off aging.

Smoothing and Soothing
There’s a particularly potent antioxidant known as EGCG that does all kinds of good things for skin. The best place to find it? True teas: black, green, or white (not herbal). Brew a full teapot every morning so that sipping 4 to 6 cups throughout the day is a no-brainer.

The skin doc’s #1 pick::green tea.

While all true teas contain EGCG (by the way, that stands for epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the various types of green tea have the most. Dr. Wechsler’s personal favorite is hojicha green tea (available at http://www.adagio.com/). “The roasting process that turns this green tea a brownish color also lowers its caffeine content,” she says -- handy if you’re caffeine sensitive or it’s one of those days when you don’t need another stimulant.

What it does: Gives your skin a healthy dose of EGCG, which is a great multitasker. EGCG puts a damper on inflammatory chemicals involved in acne and sun-related skin aging, it helps prevent skin cancer; and it has a lion-tamer effect on tumor cells. What’s more, green tea contains L-theanine, a de-tensing amino acid -- and anything you can do to stanch the flow of the stress hormone cortisol helps keep collagen fibers intact.

Dark and Green
Certain dark green vegetables, whether they’re fresh, frozen, raw, or steamed, really deliver on vitamin A, one of the most skin-essential vitamins going.

The skin doc’s three top picks: spinach, turnip greens, and broccoli.

What they do:Deliver a hefty supply of vitamin A, which supports skin-cell turnover, the process that keeps cell growth and development humming along flawlessly. Without enough A, skin becomes dry, tough, and scaly.

Fish Faves
Several cold-water catches give your skin a double benefit: age-fighting omega-3 fatty acids and the restorative powers of protein.

The skin doc’s seven top picks: salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, Pacific herring, and most shellfish.

Just don’t, uh, go overboard. As good as omega-3s are for skin (and the rest of you, too), worries about the amount of mercury in many fish mean it’s smart to limit seafood or freshwater fish to two meals a week. That’s a must for young children and for women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant, or who are nursing. (Go here for the government’s fish guidelines)

What they do: Omega-3s fight inflammation, now considered one of the top skin agers, and they also help protect against sunburn, enhancing the effects of your sunscreen’s SPF. Protein is required to build and repair skin cells and to make enzymes and hormones that help keep it glowing.

Fill your grocery cart with all of these foods and you won’t just look younger, you’ll be younger. Eating at least one serving of fish a week and getting the right amount of antioxidants through diet or supplements lowers your biological age. In fact, the antioxidants alone can make your RealAge up to 6 years younger.

For more ways to look years younger, take the RealAge Skin Care Assessment.

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Foods that fight pain

Foods That Fight Pain

by: Debra Bokur, Healing Lifestyles & Spas Magazine Recipes by: Deborah Madison

Surprise: Your kitchen shelves are actually a medicine cabinet, filled with natural remedies for pain relief.

Once upon a time, corner drugstores did not exist. Instead of bottles of mass-produced capsules and pills, people relied on plants and other natural ingredients that were close at hand for pain relief, trusting in the wisdom and traditions handed down by generations of elders and healers.

In folklore, medicinal herbs were often believed to be imbued with magical qualities and spiritual powers. Cultures in Asia and other parts of the world have compiled detailed pharmacopeias of plants and their various attributes, along with recipes for their preparation for the treatment of varying complaints.

By the 15th century, trade routes between Asia and Europe had expanded, introducing Europeans not only to such spices as ginger, cardamom, and turmeric, but also Ayurvedic medicine. Cardamom, a member of the ginger family, was favored by the ancient Egyptians as a perfume; and in Biblical times, turmeric was used as both a flavoring for foods and as a perfume. Turmeric, explored in several well-documented studies, has exhibited a greater ability to reduce inflammation than hydrocortisone.

Ginger's ability to provide relief for chronic joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis has been shown to rival that of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) commonly used to reduce inflammation and block this type of pain. Cherries, red peppers, and sunflower seeds have also shown the ability to reduce the pain of headaches, gout, and muscular discomfort. The recent uproar over the side effects of some NSAIDs has alerted consumers to their potential risks. If foods and plants have been used successfully throughout history as antidotes and cures for pain, why has Western medicine been so slow to embrace their use? "Unfortunately," explains Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., Medical Director of Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, Inc. and author of Pain Free 1-2-3: A Proven Program to Get YOU Pain Free! (McGraw Hill, 2006), "almost all the information that physicians receive is paid for by the drug companies. This includes the journals they read, the conferences they go to, and the drug reps that supply them with studies. Fortunately, more and more physicians are becoming holistically oriented and are learning about natural remedies."

Pain comes in two main types: chronic and acute. Acute pain, such as a headache or the type you experience when you slip and twist your ankle, comes on quickly and usually subsides within a reasonable amount of time, or with the healing of the initial injury. Although it may start out as acute pain, chronic pain persists over a long period of time, and can give birth to side effects including depression, anger, stress, and despair – which only serve to make the original pain more unbearable. "Cherries, turmeric, and ginger can be helpful for both, but are likely to be most effective for chronic pain," says Teitelbaum, adding that the use of botanical and food medicines is more effective if used in conjunction with other natural modalities. "Patients do best when they combine (the use of) natural remedies, nutritional support, diet, exercise, and psycho-spiritual modalities. In my thirty years of treating patients, I have found that a simple way to assist your psyche with the healing process is to choose to keep your attention on what feels good. Joseph Campbell summarized it brilliantly when he said, 'Follow Your Bliss.'"

We chose to follow Deborah Madison, cookbook author and founding chef of Greens restaurant in San Francisco, into the kitchen, where she created recipes that include natural ingredients for the relief of common pain. Madison is also the author of eight award-winning cookbooks, including Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (Broadway, 1997) and Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen (Broadway, 2006).

Add these foods to your diet for healthy and pain-relieving benefits:

GINGER Pain relief for a variety of conditions, including headaches, Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

TURMERIC Powerful anti-inflammatory, particularly useful in the relief of pain from rheumatoid arthritis.

CHERRIES A popular remedy for gout. Can help relieve both chronic and acute types of pain.

RED PEPPERS A source of salicylates, naturally occurring pain compounds. Contain capsaicin, which stimulates the release of endorphins.

CARDAMOM The true, or green version, of this spice is useful in relieving stomach pain and digestive cramps. A member of the ginger family, it offers many of the same properties.

SUNFLOWER SEEDS A rich source of the chemical phenylalanine, which helps reduce and control pain.

Recipe for Healing:

RED LENTIL & VEGETABLE SOUP WITH TURMERIC & COCONUT MILK

(Serves 4–6)Historically, turmeric has been used to address pain associated with headache, gout, arthritis, swelling, and tendonitis. There is a generous amount of turmeric in this red lentil and vegetable soup. Any tendency it has to become acrid is corrected by the inclusion of plenty of lime juice and creamy coconut milk.

Ingredients

4 tsp. ghee butter or sunflower seed oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup finely diced winter squash or zucchini
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
3 tbs. cilantro stems, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
1 can light coconut milk

juice of 1–2 limes, or to taste
2 scallions, including an inch of the greens, thinly sliced freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Over medium heat, melt the butter or heat the oil in a wide soup pot. Add the vegetables and cilantro stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, turmeric, and cumin, and cook another 3 or 4 minutes before adding the rinsed lentils and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils have broken down and are sufficiently tender, about 20 minutes. Puree about half of them in a blender and return them to the soup. Stir in the coconut milk and return the soup to a boil. Taste for salt and add several grindings of pepper and season to taste with lime juice.

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more on dairy

This is super long but a good read....

As many as 75% of humans are "lactose intollerant". That should be a HUGE clue that humans aren't meant to consume cow's milk!

There are better ways of getting calcium than taking in dairy. Humans are the only animals that continue to consume dairy after being weened off the breast. Also cow's milk was designed to fatten the calf - it wasn't designed for humans... A quote I agree with says, "Cow's milk contains three main nutrients: sugar or lactose; fat; and cholesterol, which are high in unhealthy calories and contribute to atherosclerosis. These nutrients are great for getting a baby cow to gain some 400 pounds in its first year of life. They are deadly for humans when consumed on a regular basis. There is absolutely no reason for humans, of any age, to drink cow's milk, just like we don't need dog's milk, or rat's milk, or giraffe's milk. "

Here is an article on other means of calcium that are much much healthier than consuming cow's milk.

The National Dairy Association has spent MILLIONS of dollars to spin cow's milk in their favor. This link is to the Washington Post story on how the NDA spent $200 million to make a study spin the claim that dairy helps people lose weight... it doesn't...

Thanks to countless millions of dollars in advertising, almost everybody thinks they need milk. Over the past several decades, cow's milk and its byproducts have come to be seen as an essential part of the diet of most Americans. Milk and milk products such as cheese, yogurt, ice cream, whey, kefir and butter have been effectively promoted by the Unified Marketing Plan 1 with a budget in excess of $165 million a year. But this promotion hasn't just been about advertising. Federal laws mandate that all schools will provide children with milk at each meal or face the loss of federal funds. Those responsible for this man-date have chosen to ignore the fact that up to 90 percent of African-American, 70 percent of Asian, and 15 percent of Caucasian children are unable to digest the sugar (lactose) in milk.

Despite this and other controversies regarding health consequences, dairy consumption has steadily climbed since 1980. Half of all dairy consumption (per capita consumption currently exceeds 584 pounds per year) comes in the form of cheese, a super-concentrated form of health-compromising saturated fat and salt.

Of all the animals on the planet, people are the only creatures who routinely consume the milk products of other species. What has been assumed to be a beneficial practice is, in fact, more than merely questionable. The scientific evidence suggests that the consequences of this practice are devastating.2

It appears likely that no other component in the modern diet causes more pain and suffering, including premature death and disability, than dairy products. There is compelling scientific evidence that our consumption of dairy products is strongly associated with the following conditions:

1. Childhood onset (type one) diabetes 3
2. Constipation
4
3. Otitus Media (ear infections)
5
4. Sinus congestion and Rhinitis
6
5. Skin problems including rashes, dermatitis, eczema, hives and acne
7
6. Asthma
8
7. Digestive disturbance (including irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease)
9
8. Arthritis and joint pain
10
9. Cancer (lymphoma, leukemia)
11
10. Obesity 12

The problems with milk are numerous:

1. Milk proteins – All dairy products, especially low or non-fat dairy products, contain abundant quantities of milk proteins. Milk proteins are the most commonly implicated causal factor in promoting the diseases listed on the previous page. 13

2. Bacterial contaminationDairy products are among the most common foods recalled by the FDA for contamination with bacteria such as salmonella, staphylococci, listeria, Ecoli 01573, and Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. 14 Pasteurization kills most of the bacteria found in milk; however, in doing so, it creates viral fragments that may also be health compromising. 15

3. Biological concentration of toxins – All animal products, including dairy products, biologically concentrate the various poisons, including pesticides and other environmental contaminants. The resulting meat or milk products have highly concentrated levels of these toxins.

4. Hormones – In order to maximize milk production, dairy cows are routinely injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH). This hormone dramatically increases milk production but also increases insulin-like growth factor-1 which has been shown to promote the growth of cancer cells. 16

5. Antibiotics – Large quantities of antibiotics are given to dairy cattle and may be contributing to the increasing problems of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

6. Gut leakageDairy proteins appear to be particularly well suited to stimulating inappropriate immunological reactions when they are absorbed through an inflamed intestinal mucosa, a process commonly called "gut leakage." In vulnerable patients a variety of inflammatory processes are aggravated and may be associated with many of the disease processes listed above. 17

In over 20 years of clinical practice, the most consistently effective dietary advice that I have given my patients is, "Avoid the consumption of all dairy products."

Q. Is soy milk safe for children?

From Shereen Jegtvig,
Your Guide to Nutrition.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
Hi Shereen,
I have recently heard disturbing news that Soy products are bad for children. My 10 year old daughter has soy milk daily with her cereal (because she likes the taste) and occasionally other soy products too. Should I give her normal s/s milk instead. Thank you for your help.
Lynn
A. Soy milk has been used as a replacement for cows' milk for many years. In the past few years there has been some concern that the isoflavones in soy milk may have estrogenic effects on infants who are fed soy milk formulas. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that soy milk formulas are safe and effective for infants, and recent research shows no hormonal effects in long-term feeding of soy milk formulas. Although the hormonal effects may not be a concern, many babies develop allergies to soy milk, so it is best to breast feed infants or use non-allergenic formulas.

For older children like your daughter, soy milk has been shown to have positive effects on cholesterol levels in overweight children. Consumption of soy milk may also improve lung function in children and adults who have asthma.

The Baby Center had similiar information:

Question: Is it safe to give my toddler soy milk if she won't drink cows' milk?

Answer: Yes, soy milk is a good alternative for children over a year old who don't like or are allergic to cows' milk. Soy milk comes in different flavors (you can add your own flavors if you like), and it's perfectly safe to give those to your child. Soy is also a good source of protein.

Be sure to buy whole soy milk, not the low- or nonfat versions, because fat is important for brain development in children under 2 years old. Also, make sure the milk is fortified with vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium.

You may want to make sure your child's diet contains other calcium-rich or calcium-fortified foods because soy milk contains phytates, naturally occurring substances found in whole-grain foods, legumes, and nuts that can decrease the absorption of calcium and other minerals. For example, while the label on a container of fortified soy milk may say that an 8-ounce glass contains 200 to 300 mg of calcium, the phytates can prevent your child from absorbing that full amount. Studies have found that the body absorbs only about 75 percent of the calcium from soy milk. Calcium-rich or fortified foods include broccoli, kale, lime-processed tortillas, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified juices, cereals, waffles, and breakfast bars.

Because soy milk is plant-based, it doesn't have any vitamin B12, a vitamin that you get only from animal foods (including cows' milk). Pouring soy milk over a cereal fortified with vitamin B12 is enough to ensure that your child starts the day with the right amount of nutrients.

Many brands of soy milk highlight the fact that they contain isoflavones. Isoflavones are phytoestrogens, estrogen-like hormones found in plants such as whole grains, potatoes, dried beans, and apples that may lower blood cholesterol levels in adults. The phytoestrogens found in soy milk are safe for children and adults.

A cranky, unhappy toddler may well be responding to physical discomfort. Tummy troubles of one type or another can make anyone feel miserable. Milk is a major part of most children's diets. If a child is intolerant to milk, this can affect how he feels every single day of his life. Nausea, cramps, and pain can squelch the normal joys of discovery and mastery.

But the classic symptoms of milk intolerance are diarrhea, spitting up, or abdominal pain. Many kids with milk intolerance also wheeze, especially when they get a cold. They can also have the dry, sensitive skin of eczema and their noses always seem to be running. Ear infections are also more common than in other kids. Constipation, however, has not been typically associated with milk intolerance -- until now.

The observation that constipation might sometimes be caused by milk intolerance has appeared in the medical literature from time to time, dating back as far as 1954 (Pediatric Clinics of North America, 1954; 4:940-962). But only recently has there been a well-designed study published showing that this is indeed the case. The results of this study, when widely known, can set many children free to enjoy the exuberance of childhood without pain.

Researchers at the University of Palermo in Italy worked with 65 children with chronic constipation. All of these children had been treated with laxatives when dietary measures had failed. Even with the medical treatment, these children were still constipated, having hard, painful stools only every 3 to 15 days. Forty-nine of the their little bottoms had fissures and redness or swelling from the hard plugs of stool.

Each child received either cow's milk or soymilk for 2 weeks, with no one knowing which was which. Next, they had a week during which they could eat and drink anything they wanted to wash out the effects of the first 2 weeks. Then they switched sides for 2 weeks and got the milk that they didn't get the first time. Careful recordings of the bowel habits were made.

When the secret code was broken at the end of the study, they found status quo constipation for each child while he or she was on cow's milk. But while they were taking soymilk (which causes firmer stools in most kids), 68% of these kids were no longer constipated! The redness, swelling, and fissures on their bottoms healed (New England Journal of Medicine, 1998; 339:1100-1104). How wonderful to finally have relief after diet and medicines hadn't worked for so long!

The results were most dramatic in kids who also had frequent runny noses, eczema, or wheezing. Nevertheless, sometimes constipation can be the only symptom of cow's milk intolerance.

This has broad implications. The children in this study were those with severe chronic constipation that was unresponsive to medications. I am convinced that they are only the tip of the iceberg. There must be a much larger group of mildly allergic children whose constipation improves with laxatives. Time may prove that it is better for these children to avoid the offending protein by switching milks rather than being treated with laxatives.

Presumably, swelling of the intestinal lining causes the constipation. Whatever the exact mechanism, the problem is with the protein in cow's milk, not with the fat or lactose (the sugar). Skim milk or lactose-free milk will not help with this one. Switching to soymilk and other soy products might transform the life of your son in only a couple of weeks!

Unfortunately, some children are also soy protein intolerant. As it happens, this is more common in kids who are allergic to cow's milk protein. If you don't get good results within 2 weeks, I suggest also eliminating soy from the diet for 2 weeks as a trial. You might use Alimentum or Nutramigen (protein hydrolysate infant formulas) as the milk for these next 2 weeks because it is much less likely to be allergic to the protein in them. If they work, you can then experiment with other sources of calcium, protein, and fat for the future (perhaps rice milk).

From Wikepedia:

Soy milk is nutritionally close to cow's milk, though most soy milk commercially available today is enriched with added vitamins such as vitamin B12. It naturally has about the same amount of protein as cow milk. Natural soy milk contains little digestable calcium as it is bound to the bean's pulp, which is insoluble in a human. To counter this, many manufacturers enrich their products with calcium carbonate which can dissolve in the acid of the stomach. Notably it has little saturated fat, which many consider to be a benefit. Lower fat varieties, however, contain less protein than cow's milk.

Soy milk is promoted as a healthy alternative to cow's milk for reasons including:

In 1995 the New England Journal of Medicine (Vol.333, No. 5) published a report from the University of Kentucky entitled "Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Soy Protein Intake on Serum Lipids." It was financed by the PTI division of DuPont,"The Solae Co."[1] St.Louis. This meta-analysis concluded that soy protein is correlated with significant decreases in serum cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), a.k.a. bad cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations. However, high density lipoprotein (HDL) a.k.a. good cholesterol, did not increase. Soy phytoestrogens (isoflavones:genistein and daidzein) adsorbed onto the soy protein were suggested as the agent reducing serum cholesterol levels. On the basis of this research PTI, in 1998, filed a petition with FDA for a health claim that soy protein may reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

The FDA granted this health claim for soy: "25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." One serving of soy milk (1 cup or 240 mL), for instance, contains 6 or 7 grams of soy protein.

In January, 2006 an American Heart Association review (in the journal Circulation) of a decade-long study of soy protein benefits cast doubt on the FDA-allowed "Heart Healthy" claim for soy protein. The panel also found that soy isoflavones do not reduce post menopause "hot flashes" in women, nor do isoflavones help prevent cancers of the breast, uterus, or prostate. Thus soy isoflavones in the form of supplements is not recommended. Among the conclusions the authors state, "In contrast, soy products such as tofu, soy butter, soy nuts, or some soy burgers should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low content of saturated fat. Using these and other soy foods to replace foods high in animal protein that contain saturated fat and cholesterol may confer benefits to cardiovascular health."[2]

The original paper is in the journal Circulation: January 17, 2006[1]

[2]

However, the soy industry has also received similar criticism from the dairy industry for reasons including:

Although in general soy milk is not suitable for babies or infants, there exist baby formulas based on soy protein, i.e. soy milk, that are used primarily in the case of lactose intolerant children, those allergic to cow's milk or parental preference for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Heinz Farley's Soya Infant Formula is suitable for vegans and is approved by the Vegan Society in the UK. These formulas are commonly named "soy milk", but contain extra carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals. However care must be taken that children with "Soy protein intolerance" are not fed soy milk.

See Soy Health

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Dairy

Health Concerns about Dairy Products

Many Americans, including some vegetarians, still consume substantial amounts of dairy products—and government policies still promote them—despite scientific evidence that questions their health benefits and indicates their potential health risks.

Osteoporosis
Milk’s main selling point is calcium, and milk-drinking is touted for building strong bones in children and preventing osteoporosis in older persons. However, clinical research shows that dairy products have little or no benefit for bones. A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children.1 Similarly, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study,2which followed more than 72,000 women for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. While calcium is important for bone health, studies show that increasing consumption beyond approximately 600 mg per day—amounts that are easily achieved without dairy products or calcium supplements—does not improve bone integrity.2

for more go to this link....

http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/dairy.html

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Dangers of Splenda.

The Potential Dangers of Sucralose(Splenda)


By Dr. Joseph Mercola. D.O.
www.mercola.com
reprinted by kind permission of author (see copyright notice below)

There's a new artificial sweetener on the block and it is already in a wide range of products (CLICK HERE to see list), some even sold in health food stores and manufactured by nutritionally-oriented companies. But is it proven safe? Does it provide any benefit to the public? Does it help with weight loss? Are there any long term human studies? Has it been shown to be safe for the environment? The answer to all of these questions is unfortunately a resounding NO.
The artificial sweetener sucralose, which is sold under the name Splenda™, is one of the up-and-coming "next generation" of high-intensity sugar substitutes. It is non-caloric and about 600 times sweeter than sucrose (white table sugar), although it can vary from 320 tp 1,000 times sweeter, depending on the food application. The white crystalline powder tastes like a lot like sugar, but is more intense in its sweetness.

Finish reading here....
http://suewidemark.com/splenda.htm

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High fructose corn syrup

Lately theres been a lot of buzz about this stuff. Check out the article, then check your labels. You'd be surprised where its found. I found it in dried cherries, really....

Diet Danger: High Fructose Corn Syrup

The Effects of Corn Syrup Aren't So Sweet

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
Trying to save money, food companies introduced High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) into the food market in the 1970s. Sweetening manufactured foods this way is profitable, because it is less expensive and much sweeter than sugar, yet easy to transport because of its liquid state. Today HFCS is found in a variety of foods from soda pop to ketchup, fruit drinks to salad dressings, cereals, breads, flavored yogurt, and sauces.

What is Fructose?

Fructose, a monosaccharide, is sometimes called "fruit sugar" because it is naturally found in fruits. Fructose is also found in honey, and is a component of table sugar (sucrose), which is a disaccharide composed of fructose and glucose.

When we eat most carbohydrate foods, the blood sugar level increases and insulin is secreted to transport the sugar into the body's cells. Besides helping to transport blood sugar, insulin also triggers the release of a hormone called leptin. Leptin helps control hunger by signaling the brain that the body is full and therefore to stop eating.

The interesting fact about fructose is that it is metabolized in a totally different way than other carbohydrates. It does not stimulate or require insulin for transportation to the cells. Since there is no need for insulin release, there is also no secretion of leptin. Therefore the feeling of satiety is altered—you continue to eat and possible overeat.

Is Fructose the Enemy?
Fructose should not be eliminated from your diet. It is primarily found in fruits, which provide a wealth of nutritional benefits to the body. Fructose found in fruits is fine! However, are we setting up our bodies for damage by constantly feeding it foods that have been filled with sucrose (fructose and glucose) and heavily loaded with HFCS, which is approximately one-half fructose?

What the Research Says…

A few studies have demonstrated that participants who consumed soda sweetened with HFCS did not reduce their total caloric intake to compensate for excess calories consumed as HFCS (compared to subjects who drank artificially sweetened soda). The data suggests that HFCS does not provide the body with a sense of fullness. This may cause an increase in excess calorie intake, leading to weight gain.

A recent study conducted by the University of Cincinnati provided additional information. Mice freely consumed either water, fructose-sweetened water, or soft drinks. The researchers found increased body fat in the mice that drank the fructose-sweetened water and soft drinks—even though these animals decreased the amount of calories they ate from solid foods.


Whenever possible, avoid food products that contain HFCS and refined table sugar. This is not a magical cure for weight loss, but the preliminary research indicates that it may play a role. These foods often have little—if any—nutritional value.
  • Take inventory of your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Start reading the fool labels. If HFCS is one of the main ingredients (which are listed in descending order on the food label), scratch it off your grocery list—permanently.
  • Try to limit foods that have "sugar" as one of the first ingredients.
  • Start shopping around the perimeter of your grocery store; this is where you will find the foods in their natural, unprocessed state.
  • Fill your grocery cart with low fat dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, cereals and breads.
Although food manufacturers may lose out on your business, your body will thank you.

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Healthy chocolate chips!

I've been searching for a couple of mos. now for healthy chocolate chips, and I've *finally* found them! check it out...

click here to get them!

NO: Gluten, wheat, dairy, casein, egg, soy, peanut, corn, potato, yeast, hydrogenated oil, artificial anything, or worries-made in a gluten-free & peanut-free bakery.

Ingredients: Evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, Non-Dairy Cocoa Butter.

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Tropical Basil Chicken

40 Minutes to Prepare and Cook

This dish has amazing flavor and is totally healthy!

Ingredients


2 tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 small organic onions
1 cup orange juice or mango juice or mixture of both(pure juice with no sweeteners)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tbsp lime
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Lightly oil a large frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, add chicken and cook until light golden, 3-4 min per side. Meanwhile, thinly slice onion. When chicken is golden, scatter onion around chicken. Pour in juice. Sprinkle with dried basil, cumin and salt.
Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, turning chicken halfway through, until chicken is springy when pressed, 6-8 minute Squeeze juice from lime overtop. Remove chicken and place on dinner plates. Increase heat to high. Boil pan juice, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 2 minute Stir in fresh basil. Drizzle over chicken. Serve with wild rice and slices of mango.

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Skillet Black Beans and Rice

This has wonderful bright flavors, and is sooooo filling.Also a great way to get healthy whole-grains and fiber into your diet. It could be a vegetarian main dish or even a side dish. It is simple to prepare. If you like more spice, add a little cayenne.

Prep time: 5 Min. Cook time: 45 Min. Serves: 6

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic clove, minced

1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans, undrained

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can organic diced tomato, undrained (I like Mexican or Italian style)

1 (4 ounce) can green chilies

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon cilantro(dry) or 1/4 Cup fresh

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons Cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 cups brown rice cooked

1 cup water

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high.
Add onion and cook about 3 minutes until tender.
Stir in remaining ingredients EXCEPT rice.
Bring to a boil then stir in water and rice.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with sliced avacado and a banana as sides if making this a main dish.

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Natural pain killers

I have Fibromyalgia(FMS) and Chronic Fatigue(CFS) I am currently on 2 meds for these conditions. Cymbalta for the pain and depression that comes with the FMS and Amitriptyline(Elavil) to help me sleep at night. I also have Chronic insomnia which I feel came from the FMS pain keeping me awake at night. In my search for natural remedies for these problems I found a few good alternatives. Click here to see remedies for pain. Some of the herbs listed on that site, also help with sleep problems.

On of the ones listed on that site is Kava Kava, which in the end I think is the right choice for me. I found this website, that goes into more detail about Kava Kava, check it out!

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Herbal (Dill) "Pancakes"

These make a good alternative to flatbread, much cheaper and healthier than anything store bought too!

Prep time: 10 Min. Cook time: 20 Min. Serves: 6

1 cup whole grain flour(I use oat flour)

1 whole egg

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 salt and pepper, as per taste

2 tablespoons dill, as per taste

Combine the flour, egg, seasoning water in a bowl using either use a whisk or a handheld blender.

Once mixed, add the dill paste and oil; beat for further 2 minutes until batter is that of Pancake consistency.

Heat a pancake griddle (medium heat); spray with a vegetable spray.

Drop a small amount of batter as for pancakes.

If required, a touch of butter can be used to add to the flavour.

Flip; cook for a minute.

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Healthy Thai Coconut Milk Cake

This cake was awesome. A bit spendy but so worth it!

A deliciously moist and flavourful cake that is every inch the exotic creation!
PREP TIME: 15 Min. COOK TIME: 30 Min. SERVES: 8
INGREDIENTS

1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1/2 cup Turbinado
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and cornstarch.
By hand, beat in sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and oil.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tests done.

For frosting I tried a recipe that was yummy, but more of a glaze because I couldnt get it to thicken up. Here is the recipe I used.

PREP TIME: 5 Min. COOK TIME: 7 Min. SERVES: 8
INGREDIENTS

3 large egg whites
1 cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups grated fresh coconut
INSTRUCTIONS

Heat whites, sugar, water, syrup, and cream of tartar in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisking, until mixture is warm and sugar is dissolved. Beat mixture, still over heat, with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until thick and fluffy, about 7 minutes. (Depending on mixer and weather, this may take longer.) Remove frosting from heat. Add vanilla and beat until cool and spreadable.

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