Category Archives: Nutrition

How To Eat Sweets And Avoid Sugar

A mountain of sucrose at the Redpath Sugar Plant in Toronto.

Did you know that when people first learned to refine sugar from sugar cane, only the wealthy could afford it—and they used it like a drug?  We’ve come a long way baby. Unfortunately, now almost everyone can afford sugar and it’s added to just about everything.

The 22 teaspoons of sugar the average American consumes each day is a primary contributor to devastating health effects like soaring rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Most people know sugar is bad for them, but they want their cake and they want to eat it too. Continue reading

How to Make Dairyless Kefir

Dairyless kefir is easy to make, good for you, and delicious.

Pop quiz: What is Tibicos? If you guessed an island nation in the Caribbean, or a new organic hot sauce, excellent; but you’re wrong.

Tibicos, often referred to as water kefir grains, is a symbiotic mix of beneficial bacteria and yeast that can be used to create a probiotic- and enzyme-rich raw beverage with impressive health benefits. A friend of mine even claims she cured notoriously-stubborn toenail fungus by consuming homemade water kefir!

Someone I met at a party a couple of weeks ago gave me some kefir grains, and I’ve been making and drinking about 16-plus ounces a day since.

I‘ve tried making other home-brew probiotic beverages (kombucha, jun, dairy kefir)—tibicos is easier and cheaper to make than any of them.

Put about four ounces (by volume) of tibicos grains in a one-quart glass jar with about one quarter Continue reading

The Slow Fast

I’m nearing the end of a six-day fast as part of a gallbladder / liver flush. They should call it this a “slow”, ‘cause when you’re fasting, everything seems to slow down.  I mean, you slow down physically and mentally, and it seems like it’s going to be forever before you can eat again.

I also find my senses are intensified while fasting—especially my sense of smell. Case in point: Yesterday, while biking home, I noticed a strange, sweet, honey-like smell as I reached the bottom of my driveway.  I glanced left and saw the beehives on my neighbor’s land, about 35 feet away. I had passed those hives hundreds of times before, but only after not eating for days could I smell the honey they contained—from 35 feet away while biking by at 10 mph.      Continue reading

A Raw Shake: It’s What’s for Dinner

I have a personal opinion, which isn’t really based on science, that a raw shake is better for me than a shake made from protein powder and a bunch of other ingredients out of cans and packages.

I mean, I can’t prove it, and yet — I can’t help but think there’s nothing healthier than getting a bunch of fresh greens from the garden or the fridge, or a fresh avocado, some raw nuts or seeds, spices, and blending them up.

Now, I don’t have the science to back it up. I can’t say ‘Look: Here’s this study,’ or ‘Look: here’s this paper.’  But give this idea a try and tell me what you think.

I was first inspired to make raw shakes by my then-girlfriend Michelle, who was really into raw food at the time. She introduced me to the yummiest (raw) chocolate shakes ever. Continue reading

Avocado

Can You Be Vegan and Primal?

Avocado

Many vegan diets include lots of grains and sugar. Instead, I'm going to eat more avocados!

You’re already familiar with the three main arguments for eating vegan food.
• Environmental: Eating vegan can reduce our ecological footprint.
• Ethical: Eating vegan eliminates killing other animals (or “enslaving” them for milk or eggs)
• Health: Some people believe eating vegan is healthier.

Personally, I believe we each have unique constitutions and that there is no one-size-fits-all diet or lifestyle. That said, I think there are certain foods and lifestyle choices that work well for most people, and I often look to how we evolved and what feels good, based on trial and error, for guidance. I’m always trying new approaches to health, and over the years I’ve tried a lot of things.  Continue reading

Sardines

Top 10 Affordable Foods for Healthy Living (Vegan, Vegetarian and Omnivorous)

Sardines

Sardines have protein, Omega-3's, and they're low on the food chain. Plus, they're delicious. Photo courtesy Massimiliano Marcelli.

Eating healthy can be easy and affordable. I like a variety of foods to keep things interesting and to help me get various nutrients. I love knowing how to eat cheap and healthy and I have some favorite staples, foods that are healthy, simple, and affordable. Here are some of my favorite vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Vegan
Organic Peas. I buy them frozen at Trader Joe’s for $1.99/lb, with nothing added. They make a great foundation for a vegetarian breakfast, lunch or dinner. And, of course, I thaw them in the fridge and eat them raw. You can steam them lightly if you like.
Organic Greens. My favorite place to get these is at my favorite Farmer’s Market vendor here in Santa Cruz, Route 1 Farms. At a dollar a head for red leaf, green leaf or romaine lettuce, and more, it’s very wallet friendly. Picked that morning, these greens go in my raw shake or with a

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Wheat field

Are Whole Grains Healthy?

Wheat field

It's pretty, but wheat may be bad for your health.

A little quiz: what foods want to be eaten and what foods do not want to be eaten?

Fruits such as apples, avocados, etc. want to be eaten. That’s one way fruit-bearing plants spread their seeds — by tasting so good (botanists call the dispersal of seeds by animals “zoochory”). Animals do not want to be eaten and they try to prevent being eaten by fighting back and/or running away (fight or flight). Many plants don’t want to be eaten either—especially if you eat their seeds and destroy them in the process. But, unlike animals, plants can’t run away or fight back. So some plants have developed other defense mechanisms against “predation.” These include things like spines (cacti), toxins (think poison oak), and “anti-nutrients.”

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Farmhouse Culture Kraut

Top 5 Health Tips

Optimal health and vitality result from myriad long-term lifestyle choices — but there are a few key habits that can yield amazing results.

• Minimize sugar and grain consumption.
It is now well established that sugar contributes to a number of negative health impacts — fat storage, insulin resistance and diabetes, general inflammation, compromised immunity, and even cancer. That also holds true for grains, which are quickly transformed into sugars in our bodies. (Yes, this includes whole grains, alcohol, soda, and even certain vegetables like potatoes. Health guru Dr. Mercola recommends aiming for less than 25 grams/day of sugars, especially fructose.

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