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Bottled water

In the face of regular reports about toxic tap water, millions of people have turned to bottled water. But although manufacturers are supposed to subscribe to health regulations mandating “clean room technology” and accurate labeling about water source, in many countries regulations are poorly enforced and only a small percentage of the bottles are recycled. In numerous independent tests, bottled water has been found to contain levels higher than those approved, many are not properly labeled and many contain tap water that has been treated in one way or another. If treated by reverse osmosis or distillation, the water has no minerals and is less healthy. If treated by ultra violet radiation the strength of the u/v element is crucial for destroying bacteria, while most chemical pollutants remain. Bottled water is not required to have a sell-by date or use-by date, allowing growth of bacteria over time.

Recent research on bottled water and treated tap water has also revealed that when the ratio of Calcium to Magnesium is more than 1 to 1, there is an increased incidence of heart disease and renal stones.

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The Department of Water Affairs in SA has a Blue Drop Report which enables consumers to see the result of government water surveys of their area. But it is not a particularly transparent report and is not regularly updated for all regions. By contrast, the EPA publishes on its website an annual list for every region of the USA with results of local water testing. Of the approx 75 000 toxic chemicals used in society the EPA has set MCLs (maximum contamination levels) for 87, based on their effect on a 175 lb adult. Each substance is tested separately with no adjustment for accumulated effects or for the impact on children. Pollutants are divided into micro organisms, disinfectants, disinfectant byproducts, organic chemicals and inorganic chemicals. BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates from plastics do not even make it onto the contaminant list, although scientific evidence is gaining momentum that these products, from common plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC with a resin code of 3) and polycarbonates (7), cause hormone changes and contribute towards cancer, fetal abnormalities and reduced immunity. Nor do these pollutants appear among the approx. 1000 chemicals on the updated PROP 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive abnormalities, published by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment in California. They do not appear on the SA list. Surveys on surface water in South Africa have demonstrated toxic materials well in excess of prescribed amounts.

dirty river waterPOLLUTANTS IN WATER AND THE GOLD STANDARD FOR ACCEPTABLE LEVELS

With so much water on the earth, you may wonder, why is the pollution of the current available supply such an issue? Because desalinating sea water is costly and distilled water is not the answer to healthy water as it lacks essential minerals.

The question: “Can I trust my tap water?” not surprisingly depends on where you live.

Allegedly about 90% of the earth’s surface water is infected to varying degrees with parasites such as cryptosporidium and giardia, bacteria such as E coli, Vibrio cholera and salmonella, and roto or polio viruses. Some groundwater also has nitrates from excessively fertilized soil. They are easily converted to nitrites which are carcinogenic.

The most worrying inorganic contaminants in water include excess aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, fluoride, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, sulfate, thallium and zinc. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency is something of a gold standard for water quality and of  its 54 listed organic pollutants the most harmful include alachlor, acrylamide, atrazine, benzene, benzopyrene, carbofuran, chlordane, carbon tetrachloride, chlorobenzene, dioxin, heptachlor, PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenols), toluene and vinyl chloride. Most of these stem from petroleum refineries, chemical factory discharge, leaching of landfills or pesticide residue. Any radio active substances are clearly not a boon. South Africa has a far less extensive list, known as the SANS 241 2005 Drinking Water Specifications, published on the DWA web site.

Even after treatment, some products remain in concentrations regarded as too high for human health. Scientific evidence also steadily recommends reducing prescribed limits, so that when the permitted level of arsenic of 50 micrograms/liter, was shown to pose a risk of cancer, the EPA revised the levels. All municipal water has chlorine added, regarded as harmless enough in liquid form in approved amounts, but harmful as a gas (hence in hot water showers) or in combination with other chemicals resulting in toxic chlorine byproducts. As effective as it is against most harmful waterborne diseases, chlorine has no impact on Cryptosporidium or Giardia, which bypass poorly managed filtration plants.

clean river water

LOVE WATER; LOVE EARTH; LOVE LIFE

About 14 billion years ago, first there was light, and then there was gas. Some of it eventually cooled, resulting 4.5 billion years ago in the emergence of our unique planet earth, surrounded by water and gas. On it millions of species evolved until humans emerged, multiplied and mastered the elements to create, not quite the paradise intended, but rather a place too hot, too polluted and too conflicting for comfort.

Child Pouring WaterCould be you are a parent, worried about your children’s health, or an individual with a conscience about your role in the progressive deterioration of your earth home. You may be concerned about your own medical bills or merely want to relax when you open the tap and pour water into a glass to quench your thirst. Chances are you’ve heard about the harmful chemicals and organisms in municipal tap water, or about the misleading belief that bottled water is healthier than tap water. You may have leaned towards bottled water until you were bombarded with the impact that bottling has on CO2 levels and on the cost of every sip of bottled water to your pocket (on average 1900 times more than municipal). The theory that drinking high pH water or de-ionized water keeps you healthy may also have crossed your path.

So, what do you believe? Whom do you believe? And what do you do about your chosen beliefs?  I investigated the issue and arrived at a combination of common sense and science- supported solutions, varying from the simple and inexpensive, to the complex and more costly. First, I absorbed some basic facts.

80%percentage of water on earth of the earth’s surface is covered with water. 3% of it is fresh of which 75%
is frozen. Less than 1% of all the water on the earth is available fresh water for drinking. If all the water were in a gallon jug, the available drinking water would constitute one table spoon.
Ultimately all the water on earth dropped down from the sky as rain, ran over the earth in rivers or streams and collected in dams and seas.  En route over and through the ground, water dissolves chemicals and lands up at a pH of between 4.0 and 9.0 (below 7.2 is acid while above is alkaline). The lower the concentrations of acid-generating gases in the air (soxes, noxes and coxes) and the less contact with acid-generating substances in the ground, the less risk of the water’s becoming acidic. Acid water is corrosive and is able to dissolve and carry with it potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) such as cadmium, lead and chromium in significant concentrations.  Water utilities use chemicals to adjust the pH of municipal water, to make it less corrosive, to help purify it (coagulation and precipitation then filtration), to adjust its hardness or softness and to disinfect it (chlorine, ozone, UV light).

 

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HAPPY EARTHDAY 2015

 

How should we celebrate Earth Day to make it stand out and matter?

Should we shoot off a stack of firecrackers to help boost China’s economy, send a pile of facebook messages, recycle a few more plastic bottles, buy everyone we know another trinket to toss, or ourselves an extra gizmo to flash, raise or drop our fans and heaters by another degree, talk about sustainability, teach our kids about climate change, lobby our legislators to look to our ailing mother and not their feisty pockets?

Or should we be still for a moment to feel the breeze, notice the colors of the occasional tree and flower, hear the bird symphonies, smell the scents of spring or autumn and taste the freshest water we can find. Then perhaps we will be touched with reverence for the wonder of our earth home and resolve to keep it alive. Then we will be flooded with gratitude for the ways of nature and resolve to do our utmost to protect our precious planet.

We could start by simply adopting three principles;

  • Cultivate diversity;
  • Respect the worth of every living entity and
  • Communicate openly and honesty with one other

Whether you believe in a creator or in an accidental universe, it is an ecological miracle in which we find ourselves. Who can bare the thought of our being so callous as to destroy a 4.5 billion year old delicate web of interweaving activities, linked by an harmonious ebb and flow of energy- surely the greatest mystery and miracle of all.

In MamaEarth we have a saying: Each of us has one life; we all share one earth; everything is connected; our actions have a ripple effect around the globe; talking today is futile if it doesn’t lead to action tomorrow.

Think Ecology as a metaphor for everything and make every day a happy earth day.

Happy Earthday to you……

sustainable_concert_0001

HAPPY EARTHDAY 2015

 

How should we celebrate Earth Day to make it stand out and matter? Should we shoot off a stack of firecrackers to help boost China’s economy, send a pile of facebook messages, recycle a few more plastic bottles, buy everyone we know another trinket to toss, or ourselves an extra gizmo to flash, raise or drop our fans and heaters by another degree, talk about sustainability, teach our kids about climate change, lobby our legislators to look to our ailing mother and not their feisty pockets?

Or should we just stop for a moment to feel the breeze, notice the colors of every tree and flower, hear the bird symphonies, smell the scents of spring or autumn and taste the freshest water we can find. Then perhaps we will be touched with reverence for the wonder of our earth home and resolve to keep it alive. Then we will be flooded with gratitude for the ways of nature and resolve to do our utmost to protect our earth home.

We could start by simply adopting three principles;

  • Cultivate diversity;
  • Respect the worth of every living creature and
  • Communicate openly and honesty with one other.

In MamaEarth we have a saying: Each of us has one life; we all share one earth; everything is connected; our actions have a ripple effect around the globe; talking today is futile if it doesn’t lead to action tomorrow.

Happy Earthday to you……

Alina's house and sunflower pic_IMG_1398

BEAUTIFUL NEW WORLD

Beavering away at achieving a sustainable world can be soul destroying. One begins to doubt the dream and wonder if the world is ready for it. Taking a holiday with my family seemed to me a smart idea, but smarter still was my daughter’s suggestion that we test a SLOW LIVING villa in Tuscany. This was someone who claimed success. A week at Villa Il Fontanaro in Umbria is proof that a sustainable world is indeed possible and oh, so desirable.

A clear intense blue sky, swathes of yellow sunflowers, trees of every hue and shade of green and villas of natural stone and brick are the first hint of a clean and natural world, suggesting that even in these polluted noisy times, there are places where parents can build a world based on a dream of Eden. Local grown fruit and veggies, organic cheese, salt water pools, fly screen instead of sprays, honey from antibiotic free bees and virgin olive oil for the Olympian gods were part of this dream. In these parts goats and lambs meander and ma-a-a and wine is bottled from organically grown vines.

But Adam well knew, we must live by the sweat of our brows and the ease of Il fontanaro demands serious commitment from the mother and daughter who manage and master this sustainable world.

Their prime commitment is to their olive oil production and knowing what we now know about the health benefits of (genuine) extra virgin olive oil, their imbibing large quantities of it must surely contribute to their vibrancy , vitality and success.  Once you have tasted the natural tang of olives grown organically, pressed at the perfect moment of ripeness, quick bottled and multi awarded, you will never have to rely on labels again to differentiate fake oil from the real ambrosia.

An added treasure to Tuscany and Umbria is the survival of the small village and community investment in local culture. People here did not need the latest research into happiness to teach them that a strong community and rich cultural heritage promote a healthy happy life. Il Fontanaro is surrounded by villages reaching back to Roman, Etruscan and Renaissance times. Florence, Pienza, Assissi, to name but a few, throw a dart in any direction and within one to two hours you are in well preserved, historic villages. Archways, cobbled streets, mountain vistas and glorious art works, draw you back to an ordered past where wars and conflicts are long passed, leaving only the traditional cultures, carried out with fun and humor, commitment and some craziness.

The apparent simplicity of life is deceptive, since all the people we met through the Pinellis are skilled, competent and successful farmers who market top grade produce into Europe the United States. They know about history, culture and commerce and access IT not for brainless diversion, but to keep connected to the larger world. For them going forward also entails going back, to eating food in its season and covering ground with natural clover rather than weed killer tainted grass, even if it is mowed by robotic lawnmowers.

Was there something in this air centuries ago that inspired a Pope to build an ideal humane town, Pienza; that moved ST Francis to build an order in Assissi dedicated to caring not only for humans but also for animals and nature and that inspired Giotto to decorate a church with exquisite friezes suffused in light? If this is the result of sustainable living, why should we ever settle for anything less?

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WAYS TO REGULATE THE USE OF SUGAR

As more evidence emerges about the harmful effects of sugar, the question arises; should governments intervene to reduce sugar consumption?

Since sugar contributes to creating an acidic environment in the body and to growth of non- beneficial bacteria in the gut and since it is linked to diabetes, obesity, infertility, heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, arthritis, asthma and almost every condition that is aggravated by inflammation and poor gut flora, it is irresponsible not to take steps to reduce its intake. Research also indicates that it is far more addictive than cocaine. Hence it would seem that sugar is as much a health hazard as tobacco and should also be regulated.

This would not be the case if  we had a clear idea of how much sugar we are consuming. But, playing on our addiction, industry hides sugar in virtually every manufactured food we buy.

Our bodies could not produce energy without carbohydrate and sugar, just as we could not live without proteins that build tissues and enzymes, or fats that are essential for cell, brain and nerve functions. Glucose is the enzyme that manages sugar metabolism, converting excess sugar to glycogen for storage until it is needed for energy. Leptin is the enzyme that regulates fat metabolism by reducing hunger when fats are ingested and by converting fats into their useful components. When sugar and fat are consumed repeatedly and in excess, the body develops insensitivity to both glucose and leptin causing a cascade of physiological problems to ensue. Quantity and frequency of intake are what matter and since sugar is ubiquitous in manufactured food, it is consumed way in excess of its need and beyond the ideal ratio of food groups which is 25%-35% of fat, 45 % Carbohydrate and 20% protein. Who would imagine that one can of coke contains 7 tsp of sugar or that one can of Red Bull has 7.5 tsp.

Regulating sugar by means of a sin tax, as with alcohol, is unlikely to be effective since it is virtually impossible to monitor the amount of sugar added to the vast range of products that contain it.  Surveys in the US indicate that most people consume approximately 35% of their sugar intake from energy drinks, 10% from fruit juices, 18% from desserts, 6-8 % from sweets and 15 % from general products. In many instances the form of sugar used is HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which is far worse than cane or beet sugar.

Certainly HFCS  could either be banned or if added, require a danger warning; ” CONTAINS HFCS. ”since it is artificially produced from GMO corn and it is converted mainly to trigylceride, an unhealthy fat. It is cheaper than sugar and therefore benefits manufacturers while harming consumers. It has becomes almost impossible to find an ice cream that is produced without it.

South Africa dealt with unhealthy trans fats by means of an outright ban. In time that could be the way to deal with HFCS.  But in the meantime the public deserves information on the amount of sugar that has been added to their food.  Any product to which sugar is added should carry a legible warning label ; ” CONTAINS SUGAR x tsp per 100 gr or x tsp per cup”.

At least in this way consumer awareness will grow and freedom of choice will be preserved.  It would also be a wise move to ban sugar sales at tuck shops, thereby creating awareness among our kids that sugar is unhealthy and discouraging them from becoming sugar junkies.

MamaEarth invites any parent who would like to join the advocacy group of Moms Against Sugar and Starch Abuse, MASSA,  (dads, sisters and brothers likewise)  to sign into our facebook page and add your voice to our campaign against excess sugar, HFCS and refined carbohydrate (as much a problem as sugar). The more the voices raised against unhealthy manufactured food, the more likely we are to effect change.

Dr Ruth Rabinowitz (MamaEarth Director)

Watch this discussion on sugar regulation on youtube and contribute to the debate!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7jQMblM-ZE

 

 

 

 

HAPPINESS

Dr Ruth Rabinowitz.  MamaEarth Director. 24th March 2014.

WHAT IS IT?

Why is the modern world generating so many unhappy people? Why do so many people hate themselves so much, that they hate others to the point of killing them? In the face of so much connectivity why has happiness become so elusive?

We all pursue happiness, but do we know what we are looking for?

Do you know when you are happy, or only realize it retrospectively when you aren’t? And when you describe yourself as unhappy are you sad, angry or stressed; as happy are you joyful, elated or at peace? It’s hard to tell as happiness and unhappiness are umbrella terms for a range of positive and negative emotions. The negative are easier to identify than the positive, but being consciously happy grows in importance when survival is taken for granted and personal choices abound.

We experience ourselves as whole beings, comprising body, mind, emotions and a soul. Happiness is associated with changes in all of these dimensions. Complex as Happiness is, a common feature to all happy experiences is the apparent flow of energy. When we are happy time flies, our spirits soar, we feel one with the world, we reach beyond our limited selves; an orgasm, a liberating dance, an epiphany, a creative moment, a satisfying achievement.

Sometimes the moment comes spontaneously as when we dance or sing with abandon, other times it requires consciously linking our bodies, minds and feelings, even our souls. In the depths of prayer, the height of transcendence or the peace of meditation, energy flows through us; when we mindfully connect our bodies, feelings and thoughts in the present moment, energy flows through our amygdala, our cerebral cortex our nervous system and our cells.

HOW DOES IT ARISE?

The flow of energy is initiated by positive experiences in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves. Stimuli can originate in our environment reaching us via our senses, in our brain through a positive thought or intention, or in our body where actions cause the release of chemicals that induce feelings of pleasure.  While the experience may by individual, shared, it is magnified. The further the reach of energy and the more genuine the communication, the more intense the happiness. Trapped inside our egos, cut off from sensory stimuli or filled with cynical and judgmental thoughts, we become ensnared in a web of conflicting emotions and energies.

BIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR MOOD

The biological markers for happiness and depression appear, unsurprisingly, in the mechanisms by which energy is transmitted through the body via nerves, glands, organs and parts of the brain. The body, like the earth, functions as an ecosystem. A delicate balance of  chemicals such as nor adrenaline, adrenaline, oxytocin, endorphins, serotonin and dopamine are involved in maintaining a healthy balance between fright and flight responses, active and resting states, aggression and compassion. Dopamine, for example, is released when goals are embraced, feelings of confidence boost serotonin levels. Exercise releases endorphins the feel good hormone, sugar spikes lead to mood fluctuation, adrenaline released through stress, counters oxytocin released during orgasm, breastfeeding and expression of love. This complex of chemicals is far from well understood, even with the constant advances in antidepressant medicines, but it does appear that our world of chronic stress, self absorption, isolation and poor nutrition plays havoc with our ability to experience peace, harmony and happiness.

Barriers, either conscious or unconscious, to the free flow of energy through the nervous and endocrine system cause various levels of emotional, physical and mental stress. Therefore bringing suppressed thoughts into consciousness, becoming aware of one’s negative default patterns, reducing the intensity of unpleasant emotions and memories stored in the amygdala (as with tapping), treatment with acupuncture, all contribute towards happiness.

JOURNEY TOWARDS HAPPINESS

Happiness is not an event, it is a journey, which can be represented as a seesaw climbing a positive spiral. Unlike being unhappy, being happy usually requires work, the ability to tolerate discomfort and endure disappointment, laugh at oneself and life’s ironies, lose our ego focus and become more integrated with the world. We also need to sustain the hope that even when we are in a trough, peaks will return and deliberately focus on the glass half full, rather than the glass half empty. Sophocles, hearing the ebb and flow of waves on the Aegean thought of the turbulent ebb and flow of human misery. John Donne proclaims “no man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent a part of the main.” The way we use our energy, view ourselves and our environs, can contribute to a positively spiraling world or towards destructive ideas, emotions and actions.  What can be more empowering than the realization that our personal feelings contribute to the well- being of the world?

KIDS IN ALEX EXPLORE THE IDEA

Wanting to put flesh on these theories, I explored happiness with 40 schoolchildren in the barren suburb of Alex, as part of a healthy lifestyle program. We went back to the source of energy to understand its positive and negative elements. As far as we know, the energy of our universe appeared 14 billion years ago and morphed through galaxies, sun, earth, air, water, proteins, plants and animals to us. We register that same energy through our eyes, ears, nose, taste and touch, release it from food to grow and to think and then use it to act in a way that impacts on the world in which we function. Use our energy positively, contributing towards give and take relationships in a balanced way ( as with sustainable use of resources) and most likely happiness will result; use it negatively (as with selfish gratification that causes pollution)  and most likely some form of unhappiness will ensue.

At once sobered and excited by the realization of their innate power to impact on the fate of the world our students honed in to their own feelings. We covered the board with a range of emotions. Clearly, they agreed, negative emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, envy and hatred do not engender happiness. Which are the emotions and actions that do?

We compiled a list of positive emotions and the actions that produce them and then voted to give each item a rating. Joy, love, laughter, peace, pride, confidence and compassion were desired forms of happiness. Love of moms was high on the list, but education was higher. Love of God, friendship, parties, singing and dancing were well supported. When it came to gratifying wants (like cake, cellphones, popularity) versus needs (like air, water, food, sex, shelter, functioning body and brain, communication, loving relationships, identity, play), the choice became more complex. Balance between too much and too little, was the agreed benchmark both for our hierarchy of needs and for things we want, to produce happy outcomes. Most agreed that owning cell phones and watching TV did not create happiness for long, but that learning, writing a poem, visiting grandparents on the farm, acting and playing with friends not only provided happy times, but also happy memories. Creativity, communication and working together, we concluded, undoubtedly promote happiness, as do gratitude and focusing on the positive. Resonating with the experiences of others through books or movies does likewise, albeit fostering a more remote kind of happiness.  But high expectations and envy of others does the opposite.

We experimented with using our senses fully and being alive to the energy that creates us. We observed colors, shapes, patterns and contrasts, listened to natural sounds or songs, imagined tasting food with attention and smelling flowers or rain, and agreed that the result is a feeling of well being, a form of happiness. Various bodily sensations such as dancing, a massage and feeling the sun’s warmth, can induce a happiness high.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?

The 20th March was UN designated International Happiness Day. Were you happy that day? Research suggests that choosing to be joyful, loving oneself, extending that love into the world and focusing on gratitude, kindle the flame of happiness. Those who find meaning, give service, have supportive communities, are alive to the world of nature and culture, laugh easily and often, are bettering themselves through learning a skill or talent, exercise often and express themselves creatively, appear to be among the happiest on the planet. Longevity is associated with similar factors. Fashion, image and status, often pivotal goals in modern society, do nothing for happiness. Over work, excessive stress, lack of sleep, severe, noisy surroundings and feelings of alienation, drag people down.

Many of the factors scientifically validated as engendering happiness resemble the teachings of moderate religions, which nurture love of self and fellow man, compassion, respect and gratitude- doing unto others as we would have done to ourselves. Unlike disease which can be equated with a loss of homeostasis, happiness can be generated in a state of harmony or peace, found not in the hectic, instantly gratifying world we are promoting, but in acts of kindness, silent contemplation, prayer or meditation.

Body chemistry and circumstances can be insurmountable. But there is a growing belief that we have the tools for being happy in our own heads, hearts and hands. I give the last word to Hans Christian Andersen, in the Snow Queen, where the frozen heart of the critical, unloving, rational Kai, ensnared by the Snow Queen, is melted by the hot loving tears of Gerda, who traveled to the end of the earth filled with the wonder of life, to express her love for him. They lived happily ever after.

 

 

 

WHICH DIET WORKS BEST_ Paleo, Vegan, Mediterranean, Vegetarian?

DR Ruth Rabinowitz MB BCh

 

 

 

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Midst a slew of contradictory research on whether to avoid wheat, meat, fat, grains, dairy and soya and whether to go Paleo, Vegan, Mediterranean or Vegetarian, come words of wisdom from Dr Jon Barron. Read his newsletter on his web site for a more extensive view of the issue.

 

 

DR Jon Barron So what diet do I recommend?

After intensively studying this field for 48 years now, my diet of choice is the Mediterranean diet–but a very particular form of it. Historically speaking, the Mediterranean diet is not “actually” the diet of any country or area; instead, it is “inspired” by the traditional dietary patterns of the peoples of southern Italy, Greece, and Spain. The more generic forms of the diet–and the form followed by most of the physicians in the survey–center around high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, with moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

The version of the Mediterranean diet that I recommend modifies that as follows:

  • High consumption of non-starchy vegetables and greens. Although the Mediterranean diet is not necessarily a vegetarian diet, fresh vegetables and salad greens are its single most important component. Fresh vegetables have high nutrient density. That is: they provide high levels of nutrition with the fewest number of calories. Broccoli, for example, provides more protein per calorie than a lean steak. Note: that’s per calorie, not per ounce or pound; and it’s not a complete protein. You need other amino acid rich foods to complement it so that you can maximize its protein value. But that said, fresh vegetables are among the most nutrient dense foods available. Vegetable juices are also extremely healthy. Just don’t go crazy with the high sugar vegetables such as beets and carrots.
  • Moderate to high consumption of wild caught fish (if desired…and if it’s still available).
  • Moderate consumption of organic, free-range chicken or turkey (if desired). Remember: non-organic poultry is likely to contain high levels of arsenic and chicken tumors.
  • Moderate consumption of nuts and seeds (if not allergic). And keep in mind that sprouting nuts and seeds–if you can find any that are not pasteurized nowadays–dramatically improves their nutrition level and health benefits, while reducing the possibility of any adverse reactions. Among the best nuts to eat are almonds and walnuts, and for seeds we’re looking at sunflower, flax, and chia seeds.
  • Moderate consumption of chlorella, spirulina, and blue green algae (if not allergic). They are a great source of protein (albeit quite expensive). They are also nutrient dense and are great for removing toxins and heavy metals from the body, especially chlorella.
  • Moderate consumption of fruit. Fruits are incredibly high in antioxidants, which is good. But they are also very high in sugars, which is not so good. Eating whole fruit helps modify the sugar hit. If you drink fruit juices, then you absolutely must restrict yourself to fresh squeezed–and dilute them with fresh water when you drink them…to cut the sugar hit.
  • Moderate consumption of oils and fats such as:
  • Olive oil.
  • Walnut oil.
  • Avocado oil.
  • Coconut oil.
  • Organic butter from grass fed cows.
  • With supplemental krill oil, squid oil, fish oil, and flax lignans.
  • Avoid like the plague all manmade trans fats (natural ones are fine) and all ultra-refined, high omega-6 vegetable oils (the kind that can last on your shelf for years without ever going rancid).
  • Moderate consumption of organic, cage free eggs (if desired).
  • Low to moderate consumption of organic, free-range meat and meat products (if desired).
  • Low consumption of organic, raw dairy products–mostly as yogurt and cheese (if desired). Whey is certainly a concentrated source of supplemental protein, but it’s also extremely high in allergens. I would keep consumption moderate to low.
  • Low consumption of legumes and, if you eat them, make sure you soak them before cooking and then cook them well before eating.
  • Low consumption of unfermented soy products such as tofu and soy milk. Adults can consume moderate levels of fermented soy, but children should avoid all soy as the phytoestrogen content is just too much for them.
  • Low consumption of unrefined, organic grain products. (Avoid the newer strains of non-organic high gliadin wheat.) And if you have celiac disease, then avoid them altogether. Do not substitute with high glycemic, non-gluten knock offs. Since this diet recommends low consumption of these foods anyway, simply eliminating them is not that big a sacrifice. If you don’t have a gluten problem, barley is not a bad choice as it is low glycemic. Even better ispre-sprouted barley, which is a nutritional powerhouse.
  • Extremely low (or no) consumption of high glycemic refined grains, starches (e.g. potatoes), isolated sugars, and any modern, high-gliadin, genetically engineered strains of wheat.

It is said that we dig our graves one forkful at a time. There is much truth in that statement. Likewise, making smart dietary choices gives you much better odds of living a long, healthy life. Not a guarantee–just better odds. In the end, it’s your body, your life, your choice. Only you can determine what that choice will be–not your doctor.