more thoughts about agave

As if we haven’t done this subject to death.

From the consensus of many people commenting on my blog about Mercola coming out against agave, it looks to be about 50/50. People who’ve had a positive experience with that product, versus people who’ve had a negative experience. The only ways I can explain this are (a) we are all individuals, with varying reactions to the same foods, and (b) wide variability in sources.

I went to visit my friend Francine last week and grilled her more. She owns a thriving female hormone clinic called Wellnique in Orem, Utah, specializing in bio-identical hormones. (This keeps women off synthetics like Cytomel and Synthroid, which is a very good thing.) She is a licensed nurse practitioner (requiring an M.S.) and nutritionist. Here is the gist of our conversation:

Robyn: “Francine, you’ve told me that you have Type II diabetics in remission from making no other changes in diet besides switching from sugar to agave. You know there’s a lot of debate right now about various types of agave, and inferior suppliers, and whether agave really has less blood sugar impact.”

Francine: “I absolutely have had amazing results with GOOD agave. When my patients have used the cheap stuff, they gain weight. But with the Xagave brand, which is raw and organic, and they are very involved in their sourcing, I have had tremendous success.

“I often read studies about various things and try them in my clinical practice. If I don’t get the results in my patients that studies guarantee, I’m not going to use it.

“For instance, some studies show that alpha lipoic acid supplementation combats visceral (belly) fat. But I have yet to see any evidence of that in my patients. So I don’t recommend it any more. I want the science AND the positive results in my patients.”

Let me be clear here (Robyn writing): sugars impact your blood sugar, period. Organic and raw from a reputable company like Madhava, GloryBee, Xagave are the ONLY forms of agave I would suggest, and use them sparingly. Let greens and vegetables be the staples of your diet.

Use fruits/dates for the most part when you want sweets. Consider the concentrated sweeteners if you choose not to give up “treats” that remind you of your comfort foods–and not every day. I eat a treat only on occasion after a very healthy (raw or mostly raw, often probiotic-rich) meal.

Let’s talk about food and sex

No, this isn’t that episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza tried to combine the two in a feverish fantasy . . . and if you can’t handle some frank talk about an important part of your life, WARNING: hurry and get out of this blog and come back tomorrow.

Did you know that what you eat has EVERYTHING to do with your sex life? For you women who are having a hard time convincing your husband to get on board with your conversion to whole foods, this essay might be just the ticket.

Food affects your sex drive profoundly. And I can prove it. I now have over 175 respondents in my green smoothie questionnaire now, polling people who’ve undertaken a green smoothie habit for at least 30 days:

So far, 17 percent of my respondents have reported an increased sex drive as a result of drinking green smoothies. And keep in mind that not all respondents are sexually active, and some already had a very high libido so they ignored that question. Therefore, 17 percent is likely a lower number than what you can expect, those of you considering joining us in the Gospel of Green..

Guys, your wife isn’t as into it as you are? There’s no drug better than a quart of green smoothie a day (and kicking Hostess to the curb). Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you want even more sexual energy, toss some maca or bee pollen in the blender.

In my experience working with people on their nutrition, I have found that being even 10 or 15 lbs. overweight can dramatically affect your sexuality in a negative way. So, green smoothies are an aphrodisiac–and donuts and Doritos are very literally the opposite: a sex-life stomper.

How?

First of all, you don’t like how you look 10 lbs. overweight. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror with your clothes off, you aren’t likely to be sexually willing, confident, playful, adventurous, and energetic. And what is the best way to lose ten pounds? Dieting? No way!

Just start eating the right foods like you learn to do in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. No calorie counting or carb-gram-obsessing necessary. Eat whole plant foods (and stop eating processed foods) and you’ll naturally be satisfied with whatever you eat in the right quantities.

That’s because you don’t have endocrine disruptors, hormone inhibitors, and addictive chemicals in the form of refined sugar, MSG, food dyes, refined salt, and much more destroying your sex drive and your sexual performance.

Second, when your energy is depleted, as it always will be on the Standard American Diet diet, you lose the sexual interest and stamina you once had. Sexual dysfunction happens the same way all degenerative disease does: it is linked to lifestyle choices. Your reproductive system, after all, is affected by the same things your cardiac, circulatory, and endocrine systems are–they are are inextricably linked, as they are all part of one complex organism.

When you eat lots of raw plant food, and go easy on (or eliminate) meat, dairy, and processed stuff, your body has its energy reserves available for all the fun and rewarding things in life.

For an experiment, eat at Tucano’s or Rodizio’s (or a Brazilian restaurant where they bring around meat dishes and offer you some until you can’t eat anymore). How amorous do you feel that night? I’ll answer for you: you don’t want anything except SLEEP. And the sleep you do get is troubled, and you feel sick all night.

Now try eating 100% raw plant food for a day, or longer than that. Watch what happens to your libido. And a great sex life leads to a great relationship, from which all good things flow.

I hope you give this a try. I hope my bravest readers will let us know what your observations are after your experiment on these words. Blog anonymously if that’s what it takes!

HAVE FUN! (And I mean that in the wildest, most passionate way possible.) Have you forgotten what that means? Then start drinking a DOUBLE SHOT of green smoothies!

–Robyn

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 9 of 12

Some stats on hormones and  antibiotics in our meat supply, and Mad Cow disease:

U.S. beef cattle that receive hormone implants: 90% (100% in larger feedlots)

 

Independent European Union scientists’ report on the effect of hormones added to U.S. beef: they are “complete carcinogens” (able to cause and promote cancer by themselves) (hormone 17 beta-oestradiol)

 

Antibiotics administered to people in the U.S. for treating disease: 3 million pounds

 

Antibiotics administered to livestock in the U.S. annually for purposes other than treating disease: 24.6 million pounds

 

Antibiotics administered to livestock in Demark annually for purposes other than treating disease: zero

 

Adverse health effects as a result of Denmark’s elimination of antibiotic use for purposes other than treating disease: none

 

Prevalance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in chickens in Denmark prior to ban on routine use of antibiotics: 82 percent

 

Prevalance three years after the ban: 12 percent

 

CJD or Mad Cow Disease: caused by feeding cows their own meat and bones

 

Still legal and widespread in the U.S.: feeding pigs and chickens their own bones, brains, meat scraps, feathers, and feces

 

Finding of Yale study examining brains of Alzheimers brains post-mortem: 13 percent of them actually had CJD or Mad Cow disease

 

How many Americans currently are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s: 4 million

Tell me: Why risk it?

“the plural of anecdote is not data” . . . part 3 of 4

This is an excerpt from the intro of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

 

Advances in the field of nutrition are taking place faster than ever in history.   For example, just this decade, the “master hormone” leptin has been discovered, which governs the other hormones.   New data calls into question the popular counsel of the past decade to eat 4-6 small meals daily: leptin research suggests that we should eat three meals daily and allow our bodies much rest from digestion.   In just 2004, a class of glyconutrients (sugars) have been found to have powerful healing properties, which disputes a decade of anti-carb “experts.”   Many people become frustrated by all the new information and competing voices telling us what to eat, what not to eat, and why.   So that you don’t give up and “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” I have a bit of common-sense advice that super-simplifies the essence of a statistics class.

 

The main way to push through the inevitable cognitive dissonance is to read and learn all you can:  12 Steps to Whole Foods  is a good start, and you may also consider the reading list on www.greensmoothiegirl.com (I am adding to it shortly). When you encounter contradictions, consider several things.

 

First, what is the funding behind the research?   You don’t have to become paranoid to examine whether research was undertaken to objectively examine an issue, or to promote an agenda.   It’s simply a part of being a savvy consumer of information in an age when we are all bombarded with thousands of voices.

 

For instance, if a study tells you that drinking wine daily prevents heart disease, use your critical thinking skills.   Why did researchers study wine instead of grape juice–or better yet, grapes?   Before you go out and stock up on a year’s supply of wine, ascertain if you can who paid for the study.   Was it the wine growers of Sonoma Valley?   Often studies in the modern age are funded, second-level, by an industry wanting to promote a product (often one that is under fire), even if the legitimate-sounding researchers named in the media, such as a university, are not directly linked to a motive.   When that is the case, researchers know they are to publish whatever they can that is favorable to a product or industry, and publish nothing they find that is unfavorable.

 

Second, is the study valid?   This is the highest standard in statistics and research, and it means does the study measure what it purports to measure?   This seems simple enough, but it is in fact a difficult thing for researchers to achieve.   If wine drinkers have much less cancer than beer drinkers, wine must be preventing cancer, right?   Not necessarily.   Maybe wine drinkers are a higher socioeconomic class than beer drinkers, in the aggregate, and beer drinkers also eat more fast food and smoke at higher rates.

 

Third, in tomorrow’s post.