Saturday, January 28, 2012

the devil in a white dress

I feel like I am doing this post a little prematurely because there are so many little side issues on this topic that I was hoping to discuss prior so it would be less confusing, but I feel like its extremely important and effects way too many people, so bear with me. 

Statistically, 75% of percent of people have an issue digesting milk. In my life, I think I know only about 4 people who love milk and have no problems consuming it. It is more common for adults to have a dairy intolerance, however I often hear a lot from parents about their kids suffering from milk issues. Maybe because milk is such a staple in a child's diet and as adults we often don't drink too much of it, unless its accompanied by a cookie :) Do kids really need milk? Oddly enough, its a personal question. Parents feel very strongly about whether or not their kids drink milk. One, its a comfort thing; they drank milk as babies and still have that connection to it. Two, the nutritional value. Here's where it gets a little blurry. Yes, raw milk contains a lot of nutrients like vitamins and calcium. When a child drinks a glass of milk they consume all of those nutrients in one glass. Raw milk is a whole food. That's a good thing, except for the fact that after consuming milk, your body does not feel the need to consume anything else. Which is why more than likely, your child would be perfectly happy living on pasta and milk. Kind of explains those fights about broccoli right? Along with all those nutrients milk contains, there are some bad things in there as well. 

Ready, set, go. 

Commonly, people with dairy intolerances have issues that are fairly simple. You drink a glass of milk or eat a five cheese panini (just guessing I would "never" do that :) and within minutes to an hour, your running to bathroom to you know what. I like to refer to it as "SMP" (-blank- my pants) or my other favorite "DA" (diarrhea attack). Hope that gave you all a little giggle :) 

Other issues with milk are not so simple. Milk has been linked to heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. Some also think the high fat content in milk is linked to childhood obesity. 

Milk consists of three things: fat/cream, whey, and milk solids. The issue is in the milk solids. The solids consists of proteins, lactase, and sugars. One of the proteins is called casein. There are many different types, but the culprit is beta casein. 

Here's the doozy. What you may not know is that there are two types of cows; A1 and A2. At one time, all cows were the same type, A2, until 5,000 years ago when a mutation occurred in the proline amino acid converting it to histidine. The cows with this mutation, are called A1 type cows and are cows commonly used in The United States, like Holstein cows. 

More science talk. ready? The side chain of the amino acid is called BCM 7. This can be a powerful opiate and have some bad effects on animals and humans. The proline has a strong bong to this chain and it cannot be traced in A2 cows. But in A1 cows, the bond is very weak and can enter your GI tract when your body breaks it down. It can also be traced in the blood and urine in A1 cows. 

BCM 7 is what causes the neurological impairment in animals and humans; i.e., autism and schizophrenic changes. And because the GI tract is connected to your immune system, hence why it causes auto immune disorders like heart disease, diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia. It also binds to mucus s and stimulates secretion.  

I feel like these issues are more present in The United States than in other countries and this kind of fuels my fire. Think about it...American cheese, good? Eh kinda, but good good, no definitely not. When you think of good cheese you think of brie, gouda, gruyere, etc. Well thats because European countries refused to use A1 cows to make cheese because it just didn't work as well. Bad cows leads to bad milk leads to bad cheese. And more importantly, leads to bad issues in people.

So what should you do? Again, that's a personal issue. But there are so many milk alternatives out there for a reason. Soy, almond, coconut, goats, and sheep's milk. I've heard parents say they don't want their children drinking the almond or coconut milk because of the sugar, but have you ever looked at the sugar content in regular milk? There's kind of a lot in there. Other milk products offer no sugar added and flavored/non flavored varieties. The choice is up to you and what works best for your family. 

If you want to read more about this, look for the book titled 
"The Devil In Milk" by Keith Woodford


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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My New Year's Resolution

Aside from no longer being a pushover and speaking my mind more often (I'm sure you're thinking "you have a blog, you speak your mind all the time"), NO people take advantage of nice people and I'm over it. Anyways, so aside from those resolutions, I wanted to think of something that benefitted my health. I consider myself a pretty healthy eater now, but it has not always been that way. I grew up eating fast food, processed food, artificial food...bad stuff. When I was a kid, fast food was on the rise and corporations were making "improvements" in the food industry to make meals faster and more simple; until recently, the health concerns over these foods has not been as widely advertised. It's still not enough, or people wouldn't be eating it. So yes, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Wendys, Burger name it, I love it. Some people say they feel sick after eating fast food, 
I never did, I felt great! 

Last year, I saw the movie Food Inc. and decided to give up eating meat from McDonalds. There were times I walked in there and thought "screw it, I'm getting chicken nuggets," and really those little cheeseburgers with the little diced onion and pickle...ugh I die. But I never did it. I couldn't stop getting those horrible images in my head of obese chickens and cows walking around in their own poop. So here I am a year strong, little cheeseburger and chicken nugget free. The fries are another story, I had them about 3 times, hungover, and they were fantastic!

Like I said in my "new year, new spices" post, 2011 was probably my healthiest year of eating I've ever had. But I am human and I do make mistakes, and I do have a best friend that's obsessed with Taco Bell. I went twice and had horrible heartburn for a full 24 hours. Yes, I am now one of those people that feels sick after eating fast food.

So for this year, I want to step it up a notch and give up all meat from fast food restaurants. They're all corporations and use a lot of the same meat. I knew that, but it still didn't get me as bad as McDonalds, so if I can give up those adorable little cheeseburgers, I can give up the cheesy gordita crunches (ah I can't believe I'm saying this!), late night drunken jack n the box visits, and Carl's Jr chicken stars (yes I eat them and yes it's horrifying).

 I'm done.

I decided this on January 9th. This particular day I had a horrible migraine from the bottle of champagne that I drank the day before, and after working all day and having an appointment til 10 oclock at night, I drove through Wendy's for the last time. I was forced to get the new "cheesy cheeseburger" because they don't make regular cheeseburgers anymore? ugh I don't know, but I'm glad to be through with this place. 

With that said, here are the exceptions to my rule: 

  • In n Out, come on they're legit...
  • Albertos or anything in San Diego County ending in a "ertos" -If you think I can give up rolled tacos and carne asada fries, you've lost your mind. 
I'm looking forward to this next year and doing more good things for myself. I'm sure it will be hard at times (road trips or 2 am when nothing else is open...), but it will all be worth it. 

chicken nuggets

chickens that never see the light of day

chickens made obese to increase the amount of breast meat produced

cow feed lots where cows can barely walk deep in their own feces, and fed corn (which they can't process) in order to fatten them up

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dye? WHY??

Most of the time dyes are pretty obvious when you seen them: 

Sour Patch Kids? check. 
Kraft mac n cheese? check. :(
Sunkist orange soda? check.
Red Vines? check.

All of these brightly beautiful colored items contain artificial dyes, you can tell just by looking at them. However, there are foods and products out there that you would never think contained dye and you have to do a little research. key word, "little", it's so easy, simply turn the packaging over and READ.

Here are the top 5 things I was surprised to find artificial dyes in:

1. Advil Liquid Gels

This actually just came to me yesterday when I realized I was all out (which I never thought would happen, I buy the costco pack). I did a little googling and I guess I'll have to shop elsewhere to find a more natural version since they contain FD&C Green No. 3 and pharmaceutical ink (which is titanium dioxide, propylene glycol, methyl alcohol, and isopropanol; mmm sounds healthy...)

Check all of your medicines and vitamins, especially children's that are commonly dyed to make them more appealing. Many name brand companies now offer "dye free" varieties.

2. EOS Shaving Cream

I literally just bought this a couple months ago in the vanilla scent. It looks like a somewhat natural product and states that its paraben free, I never even thought twice about needing to check the ingredients. While in the shower, the bottle was turned around and two dirty little words caught my eye: Red 40 and Yellow 6. The shaving cream does have a tan tinge to it, but it certainly doesn't look dyed. Even their sensitive skin/fragrance free version is dyed, rude!

3. Microwavable Popcorn
Now that I see it, it's pretty obvious that there's dye in there, but it was not always obvious to me. We're trained to think of butter as yellow, but we never really think why. Well, butter is yellow based on a carotene eaten in grass fed cows, this can vary based on the seasons or types of butter you buy (irish, sweet cream, etc). Natural butter may be yellow or white. If you are not shopping at a natural foods store, check the ingredients of your butter and microwavable popcorn for artificial dyes.

4. Oranges

Yep, good ole fashioned oranges. Just like Americans expect their butter to be yellow, they expect their oranges to be a perfectly bright uniform shade of orange. If you are not buying organic oranges or oranges from a natural foods store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, you could very well be buying oranges that have been injected with artificial coloring to make them more appealing to consumers. They do the same thing with cherries. Processed foods I get, but I never expected a whole food to be tampered with. I'm disgusted with what the FDA lets go on in this country.

5. Salad Dressing

With the start of the new year, I'm sure people have been chowing down on salads. Salads can generally be pretty healthy, except when you slather them with dyes! Brands to watch out for: Ken's, Lite House, Kraft, and Wishbone. Pay extra attention to colored dressings like thousand island, catalina, french, red wine vinaigrettes, raspberry vinaigrettes, etc. They all may contain Red 40.

I feel like I'm on a roll and want to do a list of ten!! But I'll spare you all, and just give you a short list of advice for shopping dye free:

  • Organic products will not contain artificial colors as well as other artificial ingredients
  • Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are committed to selling items without artificial colors and flavors
  • Pay extra attention to canned goods (pickles, canned veggies & fruits) and frozen foods, they are generally very processed and cheaply made using dyes (...think blueberry Eggos)
  • Cutting dyes out of your life is a great way to start eating healthier as a whole because majority of foods that contain dyes are not the best for you and could also contain other artificial ingredients and high fructose corn syrup

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