|To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail. –Abraham Maslow|
Steps You Can Take to Improve Health
You may be surprised that you have more control over your good health than your doctor. Oh, the doctor may tell you what is good for you, what you should do. But how many follow the doctor’s advice when it flies in the face of daily practice?
This commentary neither pretends to replace the doctor, nor to replace his or her advice. This is just an explanation of ways you can take your own health in hand. And a little help along the way.
Terms to understand–First, a little explanation in common terms rather than medical lingo. We begin with blood. Almost everyone knows that blood is the carrier of our life. Without blood, the heart, the brain, and all our organs would be useless. Associated with the blood, is the condition of the blood. If ingredients are not in balance, we begin to feel “bad.” Sometimes not real bad, but just bad.
One of the primary balances in the blood is the level of sugar there. Too little and you find yourself trying to increase your energy levels and alertness. You also want to maintain a happy weight. All this is achieved by balancing blood sugar levels will play a large role in your daily routine.
Balancing blood-sugar–So how do you “balance” your blood sugar? By eating the proper kinds of food. You see, you have all the physical tools. You have an incredibly complex and hardworking body. It breaks your food down into glucose. The glucose is sent into the bloodstream. When this happens, a hormone, insulin, is released by an organ, the pancreas. The insulin assists the movement of that glucose for the body to store it as energy. Usually, your body creates the correct amount of insulin to match the specific type of food you eat. This occurs and the levels are balanced. Our body then burns more stored fat.
Enter the problem–Why don’t we just burn fat and lose weight? Because, we corrupt the system. We corrupt it by eating what is called high-glycemic food. When we eat high-glycemic foods, foods that are broken down too quickly, our blood sugar rapidly spikes. The major high-glycemic food that aborts the system is processed raw sugar and all foods prepared with it. Nor does artificial sugar help. An important government study done on artificial sweetener found users actually gained weight more than when raw sugar was used.
Getting back to elevated levels of glucose, the glucose causes a large amount of insulin to be released. Instead of helping to reduce the sugar continuously, it drops, spikes, drops, spikes blood sugar levels. This roller coaster of blood sugar levels can cause mood swings, hunger, more sugar cravings. Also often weight gain. And diabetes.
How do you balance your blood sugar?
Foods to avoid–First, avoid foods that are processed or full of refined sugar. Consume foods that are low on glycemic scale. A number of approaches are used, like most diets, but diets are hard to follow. Better to determine which foods sabotage your body’s normal function and avoid them. Sugar, for example, is addictive. Check the ingredients labels on canned vegetables, sausage, breakfast cereal, and virtually every food prepared for sale in the supermarket. If it is not labeled organic, you’ll likely find sugar in the ingredients. And why not. If you’re in the business to sell food, just add a little addictive substance, make sure the suckers keep returning. It’s good business for big business.
It also helps to avoid the white starches as much as possible–white rice,bread, white potatoes (use sweet potatoes instead).
Foods to enjoy–A mix of protein, healthy fat, fiber, and non-starchy fruits and vegetables will help. For protein, try adding some grass-fed beef or wild-caught fish into your diet. Substitute acceptable food if you are vegetarian or vegan. Both of the former help slow the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. For fruits and vegetables, try to incorporate tons of leafy greens, kale or spinach for example, or low-fructose fruit, such as berries and kiwi.
Here are some recipes that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but will provide the proper nutrition for healthy living.
To drink–Green Tea: It is loaded with antioxidants1 called polyphenols2 and catechins3, which have proven anti-inflammatory properties4. (See the footnotes for explanation of terms.)
Another drink–Dried oregano steeped in water. Surprise! You thought oregano was just an Italian spice. Yes, that too, basically on pizza wetink.But try it on scrambled eggs. Yum! But here we take a different tact. Steep fresh oregano leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes.Voila! Delicious tea, iced or hot.
Now for food–Mediterranean Bowl
First, simply prepare the quinoa to be used in this recipe.
½ cup raw quinoa
1 cup water
Salt to taste
- Rinse the quinoa well in cold water.
- Place the quinoa in a pot
- Add water and salt
- Cover with pot lid
- Place pot on medium-high heat
- Bring to a boil
- Lower to simmer when boiling begins
- Cook until quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 20 minutes.
- Make sure quinoa is cooked through.
- Fluff with a fork.
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
- Half of the cooked quinoa,
1 chicken breast (cut into pieces),
- ¼ cup of olives,
- ½ an avocado
- Cucumber, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can of lentils, rinsed and stored in fridge
- Place spinach in apot
- Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
Saute until spinach is well wilted.
- Mix chicken breast, olives, avocado, cucumber, and lentils
Dessert–Peach Coffee Cake
Ingredients (This makes a cake for 8-10 servings)
¾ cup almond flour
¾ cup coconut flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
4 large eggs
½ cup erythritol5
1 Tbsp maple syrup
¾ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
¼ cup avocado oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
⅔ cup chopped fresh peaches (1-2 large peeled peaches)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda,
salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
- In a separate bowl combine eggs, maple syrup, erythritol, coconut milk, avocado
oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir to combine (no lumps should remain).
- Add half the batter to the cake pan, then sprinkle peaches over the batter.
- Top with remaining batter and bake 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool before slicing and serving.
The Learning Curve–Definitions
It is probable that you know all these terms, but since I have no way of reading your mind, I am going to provide them–just in case.
- antioxidants–as you take materials into your system, usually by mouth in the form of food, everything is normal. But in a variety of ways you also have cells called free radicals circulating in your system. These are cells missing an electron in its outer shell. These incomplete cells seek other cells with complete shells, that is enough electrons to complete the outer shell. Free radicals attach to the complete cells. This process is called oxidation, like iron rusting. Too much oxidation causes a variety of problems, so it is desirable to avoid oxidation. Enter the antioxidents, that is, cells that work against oxidation; a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products in our bodies.
2. Polyphenols– a complicated group of plant-based chemicals. They’re found in everyday food. These chemicals are a group of over 500 phytochemicals. They are naturally occurring micronutrients in plants. When you eat plants with polyphenols, you reap the health benefits as well. You find them in a wide variety of plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes.
3. Catechins–a type of natural plant-based chemical and antioxidant.
4. anti-inflammatory properties–to understand, begin with Inflammatory response: A fundamental type of response by the body to disease and injury, a response characterized by the classical signs of “dolor, calor, rubor, and tumor” — pain, heat (localized warmth), redness, and swelling. In protecting the body, there are some foods that promote healing. These have the anti-, or against, inflammation properties.
5. erythritol–a form of alcohol sugar (alcohols are already a combination of sugars and ethanol). Normally it is the perfect noncaloric sugar substitute. Large amounts can cause side effects, but if not overdone it generally is safe. Like all substances, however, some people suffer side effects from its use. If you react to the substance, don’t use it.
CBD oil has been reported to lower blood sugar levels too! Check it out at http://HealthyOils.biz