I don’t want green smoothies when it’s cold!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   I LOVE green smoothies, but lately, since it’s getting cooler outside, I’m wanting something warm . . . got any ideas?

 

Answer:   Yes, what I do is have my green smoothie (never warm, yuck!) PLUS something warm or hot that I really enjoy, like warm sourdough bread or a bowl of soup.   Eat the hot thing last!   (That’s a better idea anyway, as enzymes are already in your stomach when cooked food arrives, signaling to bodily systems not to tax themselves providing manufactured enzymes which take resources away from metabolic functions.   At my house, we always eat the green smoothie or salad FIRST, then our other food.)

How much fat should I eat?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   How much fats do you take in a day? From what I gathered from your book, it looks something like: 1 tablespoon flax oil in green smoothie, 2 tablespoons coconut oil on lips and skin, a handful of nut and seeds for snacks in the afternoon.   Am I right?   I am about the same age as you.   Would the above be too much oil in a day?

 

Answer:   That’s an appropriate amount of fat for an active person in her 40’s.   (Some of that 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil may be eaten–I couldn’t put that much on my skin–and I also might use a Tablespoon or less of extra-virgin olive oil for cooking dinner, too.)

 

I might eat a few hundred calories more than the average woman my age whose weight is healthy, just because I also work out hard and am really hungry otherwise0.   I used to put everything I ate into a program called DietPower (about $35 when I bought it at dietpower.com).   By programming in my workouts AND my food, and weighing every day, I was able to establish my EXACT metabolic rate.   I learned that at 5’8″ and 135 lbs., I burn about 1600 calories a day.   (I burn more and can therefore eat more if I run 5 miles, for a 500 calorie expenditure.)

 

I no longer count calories or worry about that at all.   (Also, many whole-food items aren’t in the DietPower database.)   I find that if I don’t eat any processed foods, addictions don’t exist, and I can eat how much I want, within reason.   My friend Michelle says that she overeats anything (and uses oatmeal as an example–something she says she’ll eat four bowls of), but I don’t believe it.    Not if you go OFF refined foods for a short time to eliminate those addictions.   People not eating refined foods simply do not have a tendency to overeat legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.   That’s because they’re natural and don’t distort hormones and the other finely tuned systems in the body to create unnatural cravings.  

 

When you eat only whole foods, you are tuning your body in to its needs.

 

what enzymes do to make food digestible . . . part 3

We don’t think of our stomach as being two-chambered, but Howell goes to lengths to document all the experts and studies (including Gray’s Anatomy) saying that it does, in fact, have two distinct parts.   And in the upper stomach, or “food enzyme stomach,” gastric juices are not released, and peristalsis is not yet churning the food.   Most nutritionists don’t know this.   But that’s where the digestive enzymes inherent in raw foods do their work for about 30-60 minutes before the lower stomach opens and stomach acid must begin to work.   If the food is cooked, it sits there doing nothing, with any bacteria you swallowed with it getting a foothold.   Or, the predigestion that can take place there only with raw food makes the draw on the body’s supply much less when that food continues on through the digestive tract.

 

Think of a snake, for instance, who eats a rat.   That rat is so large that it can’t enter the snake’s stomach for some time to be broken down by stomach acids, until the natural enzymes that came inside the rat break it down.   The healthy ancient meat eaters of various cultures ate not just meat and dairy products, but fermented products–foods that are broken down into component parts by live food enzymes.   Some bizarre examples are Eskimos who eat the contents of a caribou’s stomach (and a number of other putrefied foods) as a “salad,” and Indians of the Amazon River basin, who chew boiled yucca, spit it into jars, and let it ferment with the amylase enzyme in saliva.   This food is their main nourishment, with the average person drinking a gallon a day!

 

Because of the terrible draw on our enzyme processes when we don’t supply exogenous food enzymes, all metabolic activity is affected.   Consequently we have dental cavities, baldness, thinning hair, and breaking nails, allergies, acne, headaches, constipation, cancer, energy problems, and so many more diseases.   Animals in the wild simply don’t have the hundreds (thousands?) of diseases that modern man does as a result of destroying the enzymes in our food.   Even the “healthy” among us tend to have many of the smaller ailments that no animal eating raw food in the wild has.   Dr. Howell says that the idea that “nature cures” we’re all familiar with can refer only to metabolic enzyme activity, because “there is no other mechanism in the body to cure anything.”

 

In 1943, Northwestern University established the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes through experiments on rats.   Dozens of other research teams later strengthened this law’s premise with similar findings.   Researchers studied the amount of digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas.   What researchers found was that an organism values its enzymes highly: it will make no more than are needed for the job.   So, if raw food containing exogenous enzymes are provided, the body has to manufacture very little, leaving its resources and energy well allocated to metabolic processes.

Many studies from the first half of the 1900’s prove that when an animal eats lots of starch, amylase is primarily produced.   A meat-eating animal is found to produce mostly protease.   A whale’s stomach has no amylase in it, because a whale eats no carbohydrate.   And people? When we bring in lots of exogenous enzymes in our food, our body produces very little, leaving those capacities free for other metabolic work.   Scientists missed knowing this, and Medicine and even Nutrition, as disciplines, have misunderstood or ignored these discoveries.   By and large, those charged with guiding us to good health have ignored the critical factor of helping us avoid enzyme burnout.

 

Just like people have enlarged livers or enlarged hearts when those organs are heavily taxed, the pancreas becomes enlarged when a body is fed lots of enzyme-free (cooked or processed) food.   Lab mice eating a cooked, enzyme-free food have a pancreas two to three times heavier than wild mice eating a raw-food natural enzyme diet.

what enzymes do to make food digestible . . . part 2

Howell outlines three types of enzymes we need: digestive enzymes, which digest food, metabolic enzymes, which run every function of our bodies, and food enzymes from raw foods, which start the digestive process.   So what enzymes are involved in digestion?

 

Amylase is the enzyme used to digest carbohydrate, and it is concentrated in saliva.   Protease is the enzyme that digests protein, found in concentration in the stomach.   Lipase digests fats and is manufactured by the pancreas (along with additional amounts of amylase and protease).

 

Exogenous food enzymes (from the outside–raw food or enzyme supplements) are critical because you need your endogenous enzyme activity (manufactured by the pancreas) to be allocated to metabolic processes.   When your body has to produce concentrated digestive enzymes because your food didn’t arrive with its own live enzymes, you’re guilty of forcing your precious enzyme activity to do the labor of digestion while also expecting it to metabolize well.   Results include all the disease effects of using up limited resources in the wrong places.

 

What most of us learned in biology classes when we were young isn’t totally accurate.   That is, we were taught that the 3,000 enzymes discovered (and likely many more undiscovered) are catalysts, the sparks that are needed for every action and reaction in the body.  They are, in fact, catalysts–used in chemical activities (in this case, in living beings).   That doesn’t tell the whole story, because that’s not ALL enzymes are.   They have more, biological, functions beyond the neutral, chemical catalyst role.   They contain proteins, and some contain vitamins.   Plus, they do wear out, and are routinely flushed out by the organs of elimination.   And we make a truly fatal mistake believing that we can waste them indiscriminately.

your body needs IODINE . . . part 2 of 3 on thinning hair

I have been reading a bunch of scientific papers by David Brownstein and G. Abraham on iodine, as I have suspected that iodine deficiency may be partly to blame for the fact that 1 in 4 American women has a thyroid problem (countless men, too), and most of those are undiagnosed.

 

You may know that your thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism.   If you have hypothyroidism, among a host of other symptoms, you are likely to have low energy and gain weight easily (and have a hard time losing it), regardless of your caloric intake.   (And hyperthyroidism, which is  that gland revving and eventually burning out,  often manifests with buggy eyes and manic energy.)   If your way of testing your thyroid is to go to an M.D. and ask for a test, you likely tested only T3, and that doesn’t show anywhere near the whole picture.   Also, the M.D.s accept a “normal” range that is inappropriately huge.

You need to go to a clinic specializing in hormones, and usually those are run by nurse practitioners.   Locally (Utah County), three clinics specialize in this, but I recommend Francine at Wellnique in Orem, who prescribes only bioidenticals rather than synthetics.   Get a full-panel blood test and have her analyze the interplay of a variety of factors including T3, T4, progesterone, and testosterone.   (Unfortunately most insurance companies won’t pay for this.)   You have to have iodine to synthesize T3 and T4.   And iodine is frankly hard to come by in food sources.

North Americans and Western Europeans have a high rate of goiter, or thyroid enlargement as felt by palpating the neck.   That’s a classic sign of iodine deficiency.   The studies I reviewed showed anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of Caucasions to have this disorder, rather easily rectified for most with iodine supplementation.

I’ve included a link below to quite a few iodine studies, for the meticulous, analytical, and detail oriented among you. 

You won’t be surprised to hear me say that the best way to get highly bioavailable iodine is through plant food:   the Japanese get it through sea vegetables, like seaweed, kelp, and dulse.   They have very low rates of breast and reproductive cancers and other iodine-deficiency problems, whereas we have high rates of all those problems.   If you like nori sheets, eat a few every day.   Roll hummus and/or veggies in it, or tear it up and put it in soup.   I personally don’t like it, so I season food with kelp, but that’s not enough.   I am using a Lugol solution of iodine and potassium iodine to try to achieve the average Japanese rate of iodine through seaweed consumption.

These are some papers regarding research on iodine:

http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Research_I.shtml