Category Archives: food and health

Pueblo Food Experience

The video really speaks for itself, but here is a writeup that can be found on the videos page providing a little bit of important background:

“The process of assimilation of Native Americans by the outside world, which started centuries ago, continues to this day. One aspect of this continued assimilation is the change in traditional diets. As a result, our health has suffered greatly. Diabetes, cancer, kidney and liver failure, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, allergies, obesity, alcohol and drug addictions are but a few of the symptoms of living in this modern time. One can blame some of this on the environment and life styles, but much these symptoms come from what we put in our mouths. Native peoples are particularly susceptible to diabetes because of their inability to process refined sugar and carbohydrates. Over-processed and packages foods have become the normal diet. These foods contains high levels of sugar and ingredients that are heavily sprayed with chemicals, bleached, and genetically modified (GMO) which side effects are still being learned. These food products are harming to all people, but the Native populations are being hit the hardest because we were not used to eating European foods. Our bodies have not had the long evolutionary time to adjust and are suffering greatly because of it.

Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute put together a program in an attempt to address some of these health issues. A group of Native volunteers agreed to eat only their native foods for a determined period of time. Their health conditions were monitored. Improvement of their overall health was achieved while encouraging cultural preservation. The results will be used to show how eating this way might improve health. Recipes and food sources are being collected in order to share with others that might want to eat this way also.

floweringtreepermaculture.com

Loosely Following in the Paleo Theme: How To Peel A Banana Like A Monkey

 

Debunking the Paleo Diet

Christina Warinner dropping wisdom about the paleo trend.

This is just the thing I have been looking for as I study ideas in truly healthy lifestyles. I’m coming to this whole paleo thing late in the game and strongly opinionated. There is much about it that makes sense, and Christina goes over many points that can be taken from our ancestors’ diets and lifestyles.

4 take away points from this video:
  • Christina Warinner doesn’t just debunk, but offers her view on real Paleolithic diet(s)
  • She doesn’t just critique the paleo diet, but tears into the modern diet as well
  • She offers a way forward that is inclusive of as many facts as possible
  • Great point in the critique of Paleo marketing
What I think she does that’s not totally honest is misrepresent the modern ideas of the popular Paleolithic diet. I don’t think it’s proponents would much disagree with many of her points from what I have learned up to now. I wonder what you think of this information, and if you know of other science based info on diet and healthy living that you would recommend.

Coyotes Guide

A long, long time ago, maybe two hundred thousand years ago, and in a few places still today, the native people who lived off their land schooled their children – but they did it invisibly. Our ancestors’ children didn’t go to school. School surrounded them. Nature was a living teacher. There were many relatives for every child and every relative was a mentor. Stories filled the air, games and laughter filled the days, and ceremonies of gratitude filled mundane lives.

This Guide passes on this method of invisible schooling, so that people will connect with nature without knowing it. They’ll soak up the language of plants and animals as naturally as any of us learned our native language. Do you remember learning to talk? Probably not. Spoken language happened around you all the time, and allowed you to experiment with words, make mistakes, and every single day grow vocabulary. Mentoring with the language of nature happens just the same. With stories, games, songs, place-names, animal names, and more, you invisibly and subtly stretch your students’ language edges.

The invisible school of nature proves to be more than just effective, it is also fun, healing, and empowering. Like the Coyote whose methods at first seem unorthodox or even foolish, in the end, it works better than anyone could dream.

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The Connection Between Stress and Weight Gain

Beat Stress, Weigh Less

The Connection Between Stress and Weight Gain
— By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

via http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=1482

These days, it seems that everyone is stressed. We all have too much to do and too little time to do it. Times are tough, money is tight, and deadlines are imminent.

What happens when you’re stressed? You tend to eat more, sleep less, skip the gym and feel rundown. Additionally, stress is linked to a number of illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and an increased risk for cancer.

No wonder so many of us are gaining weight. A study in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology studied stress related work demands, difficulty paying bills, strained family relationships, and depression or anxiety disorders in a nationally representative group of 1,355 men and women for more than nine years. The overall result? Men tend to gain weight when unable to make decisions at work, learn new skills job or perform interesting job duties. More types of stress affected women’s waistlines, according to the study. In addition to weight gain associated with financial problems or a difficult job, women also gained weight when dealing with strained family relationships and feeling limited by life’s circumstances. Overall, this study found that people who reported increased stress gained more weight if they already had higher body mass indexes. In other words, if you’re overweight already, you’re even more likely to gain weight when under stress.

Click to read full article

What If We Were Wrong about High Fructose Corn Syrup?

The Truth about High Fructose Corn Syrup

Sweet Surprise or Health Demise?

— By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

If you had asked me five years ago if I thought there was something unique about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that could lead to weight problems, I would have said “yes.” In fact, I was one of those Registered Dietitians who encouraged families to beware of the “evil” high fructose corn syrup.

Today I am here to confess that as a trained, nutrition professional, I blatantly ignored the No. 1 rule of providing reliable nutrition education for the public. I forgot to rely on published research and evidence for my nutrition recommendations! So today, I am going to set the record straight after reviewing not just one research study but all of them. Read on to find out whether high fructose corn syrup deserves its bad rap and how it really compares with regular sugar . . .

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=486

War on Vitamins

via: http://www.realitysandwich.com/war_vitamins

Matt Toussaint

In response to a petition filed by a drug company, the American Association for Health Freedom reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has banned a naturally occurring form of Vitamin B6, pyridoxamine, deeming it a “new drug.”  This gives the FDA the authority to raid businesses and seize any products or supplements containing the now illegal pyridoxamine — unless, of course, you are talking about fish, chicken, whole grain foods, nuts, or any of the other natural sources that produce this “drug.”  Any nutritional supplement that contains pyridoxamine is now considered “adulterated”, and manufacturers are legally responsible for ceasing production at the risk of being arrested and shut down for drug trafficking.

This is not the first time the FDA has resorted to such actions.  Ephedra, a well known herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, was labeled “dangerous at any dose” in its natural form yet pharmaceutical companies were allowed, and still are, to push over-the-counter cold medicines containing the same active chemical, ephedrine.  A similar situation occurred with red yeast rice (and its lovastatin molecules) that are used to treat high cholesterol.

According to Natural News, “the bottom line is this: FDA approvals and bans have nothing to do with science and everything to do with protecting drug companies profits. If a drug company can make money selling a vitamin as a drug, the FDA will gladly ban the vitamin and protect the drug. If a drug company can rip off molecules from Mother Nature and patent them, the FDA will ban those same molecules found in nature.”

Natural News will be posting a petition in the near future demanding FDA reform, so be sure to stay tuned in to their website for updates.

Creative Commons Image: “Comida y Drogra” courtesy of Daquella Manera on Flickr.

Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise

Use Fitness, Not Food, to Change Your State of Mind
— By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer

from http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/articles_print.asp?id=1276

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–>Some days, I am just in a mood. I don’t know what you call it, maybe stressed, bored, lonely, angry, sad, anxious, or tired. I call it “getting into a funk.” When it happens, I have allowed my circumstances to dictate my attitude and my thinking and then—bam! Before I know what hit me, I’m in a full-blown funk. While I like to exercise when a bad mood rises, others turn to unhealthy habits like emotional eating or smoking. When you’re upset, stressed or otherwise not feeling like yourself, exercise—and the mood-enhancing endorphins it produces—can be the best thing for you. Don’t you believe me?

The next time you feel that mood coming on, identify what you’re feeling and why. Are you bored because your best friend is out of town? Are you feeling lonely since the kids have left the nest? Or maybe you are stressing over finances. Whatever it is, pinpoint it. Then use the specific ideas below to bust your bad mood with a feel-good exercise prescription.

Your Mood: Angry
Your blood is boiling! You want to take this anger out on someone before you explode!
Mood Busting Exercises: Kickboxing, boxing, shadowboxing, or martial arts.

Whether you follow a kickboxing video or take a group class, you’ll release anger with every punch, kick and jab. Imagine the target of your anger as you do a set of 12 front kicks! Besides getting your anger out you’ll blast calories with these cardio workouts. Any form of martial arts, often overlooked as a form of exercise, will also work. Besides actually making contact with pads, targets, and shields (a major stress and anger releaser!), you’ll gain gaining confidence, discipline, and focus.

Your Mood: Bored
You’re stuck in a rut and want to do something interesting, but you’re not sure what.
Mood Busting Exercises: Spinning class, step aerobics, or a new fitness DVD
Beat boredom (without food) by taking a high-energy Spinning class at your local gym. Set to great tunes, you’ll be surprised how quickly an hourlong class flies by. Step aerobics is another great workout when you’re bored because it’s always changing. You have to concentrate on the choreography—sort of like learning a simple dance that involves a step. You’ll build skills and feel really accomplished when it’s over! Lastly, head to the library or video rental store and pick up the first workout DVD that looks interesting to you. Do it at home or invite a friend over to try your newest exercise venture!

Your Mood: Lonely
When you feel lonely, throwing a pity party for one will only make it worse. Sometimes the best thing for you is to get out and socialize.
Mood Busting Exercises: Any group fitness class

Exercising with a group of people who are all following the same routine and all have similar goals can really make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. No matter what type of class you choose, there are plenty of reasons why group classes are so popular: They offer social support, a friendly environment and an opportunity to meet people who have similar interests.

Your Mood: Depressed
Depression is no joke. Millions of people suffer from depression that is debilitating and emotionally painful, but exercise is scientifically proven to help treat depression. While finding the motivation to take the first step is the hardest part, the right activity can help.
Mood Busting Exercises: Outdoor walking, biking, or running

There’s something restorative about nature. Getting outside to breathe in fresh air and admire the scenery can make a world of difference in your perspective. Plus, regular exposure to sunlight can boost your mood and ward of seasonal depression, too. No matter what outdoor pursuit you enjoy (think outside of the box and try canoeing, climbing, or team sports, too), moving your body can help improve your outlook and symptoms.

Your Mood: Stressed
We’re all busy, often taking on more responsibilities than we can handle. When life gets crazy and you want to throw in the towel, you can wind down without giving up on your obligations.
Mood Busting Exercises: Mind-body exercises like yoga, Pilates, or Tai chi

Mind-body exercises take focus, patience, and attention. Because of the complexities of maintaining the correct form and breathing, which connects the mind and body, it’s almost impossible to think about your to-do list while you’re in the middle of a good yoga or Pilates class, for example. The quiet, meditative atmosphere in these classes (and videos) allows you to tune in to the present moment—something that the overly stressed should do more often! If you’re thinking that you’re too busy or overwhelmed to try a class, then take advantage of short video workouts that are often broken up into 10- to 30- minute segments.

Have you ever finished a workout and thought to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t done that! I really just wasted my time.” Probably not. Chances are you feel better physically and mentally. Regardless of your funk, exercise can be a useful tool to get you back to bust your bad mood and get back to your normal self. What are you waiting for?

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Mindful Eating

from The Center for Mindful Eating

Mindful eating has the powerful potential to transform people’s relationship to food and eating, to improve overall health, body image, relationships and self-esteem. Mindful eating involves many components such as:

  • learning to make choices in beginning or ending a meal based on awareness of hunger and satiety cues;

  • learning to identify personal triggers for mindless eating, such as emotions, social pressures, or certain foods;

  • valuing quality over quantity of what you’re eating;

  • appreciating the sensual, as well as the nourishing, capacity of food;

  • feeling deep gratitude that may come from appreciating and experiencing food

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 Mindful Eating Practices