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Posts tagged ‘Fruit’

White Refined Sugar is an Anti-nutrient

What this post is about:

  • Eating refined sugar actually does you more harm than good
  • Refined sugar costs your body small amounts of certain micro-nutrients
  • If you tried to live on just refined sugar, you would almost certainly become very sick in surprisingly little time, and eventually die
  • 5-a-day is just not enough! And most people are not eating 5-a-day!
  • Sugar is a poison
  • People think healthy food is boring, because it tastes bland – but only to their palate which has been poisoned by sugar and salt – when people tell me they think vegetables taste boring and bland, I know it’s the PERSON that is ‘broken’ not the vegetables
  • A diet high in sugar and processed foods, and low in fresh vegetables, is likely high in processed carbohydrates and processed sugars
  • Such a diet is causing low-level nutrient deficiencies and vast swathes of our population are suffering poor health as a result

White refined sugar

If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you will by now know that I have a real issue with white refined sugar, and in my opinion, MotherNaturesDiet ranks refined sugar as public enemy #1 in the health world. shutterstock_160886558 I have written lots about sugar before (from here on, when I use the word ‘sugar’ in this post, I am referring to white refined sugar, good old table sugar, or the modern mass-produced sugar-syrups that are used as ‘sugar’ in modern food manufacturing, such as HFCS and similar compounds that come under so many names) and I shall endeavour not to repeat myself too much in this post. If you are interested in reading more about the evils of sugar, go to www.MotherNaturesDiet.me and find the little ‘search’ box a short way down on the right hand side of the page, type in ‘sugar’ and hit return, and you will find lots of posts about sugar. Today, I want to draw your attention to the subject of sugar as an anti-nutrient, and the implications this has for the rest of your diet, and how it impacts the Recommended Daily Amounts (RDAs) the government suggest you consume of various vitamins and minerals. As you read, you will see how this all ties together. As with most of my other long posts, I will try my best to keep the science to a minimum, so that this article makes sense to everyone. I will purposefully over-simplify the science, and write this in pretty plain English, so that the article is of interest to the widest possible audience. Scientists and nutrition experts please forgive the simplicity!

Sugar as an anti-nutrient

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Smoothies, Juices and liquid meals

Last week I posted MND TV Episode 7, which covered fruit, fruit sugar and fruit consumption as part of a healthy diet.

This week I am sharing MND TV Episode 8, which covers fruit smoothies and vegetable juices, and the pros and cons of liquid meals in general.

Here it is – http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/10/20/mnd-tv-episode-8/

This episode won’t give you actual recipes, it’s more about getting you to understand what is good and bad about liquid meals, and the difference between smoothies and juices.

Enjoy!!

 

Fabulous Fruit!! How much fruit should we eat? Does fruit make you fat?

Recently, as the world slowly wakes up to the fact that sugar is ‘the enemy’ and not fat, so fruit has come under attack. There is lots of talk out there about fruit – folks saying fruit will make you fat, folks saying fruit is such a source of sugar that the moment you eat it, it all just turns to filing up your fat cells, and all kinds of other rubbish!

So, MND TV Episode 7 is all about fruit – setting the record straight and letting you know the truth about fruit.

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/22/mnd-tv-episode-7/

Grab an apple, get yourself comfortable and enjoy!!

MND TV Episode 6 – Fat makes you Fat! No, It’s the SUGAR! Just eat your 5-a-day!

MND TV Episode 6 – a very brief word on some of the ever-changing advice out there in the land of diets, health and fad diet sales tricks!

“Don’t eat fat it will make you fat!”

“No, no it’s not the fat now, it’s sugar – just don’t eat sugar, it’s the cause of rising diabetes and the obesity epidemic.”

“Just eat your 5-a-day!”

“Oh no it’s not 5-a-day anymore, it’s 7-a-day, you must eat your 7-a-day to combat cancer and other diseases!”

Why these gems of wisdom are not helping, and society as a whole seems to be suffering more ill health despite decades of this advice.

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/16/mnd-tv-episode-6/

This Episode is short and is really just a follow-up to MND TV Episode 5.

Growing your own fruit and veggies

This afternoon I thought I would plant some fruit bushes in the garden, a job that I was expecting would only take a couple of hours. In the end it took 6!!!

This whole area was just a stony patch of dry ground where some old chairs sat and my kids stacked up old toys and lots of footballs, after I cleared it and started digging, it turned out to be the most stone-filled, root-strewn, sandy and awful soil ever. So, I had no choice but to dig it all out. The whole patch is 7 feet by 7 feet, and I dug out the whole 7 feet by 7 feet to a depth of 9 inches, that’s 36 cubic feet, or exactly one whole cubic meter of stony soil (that’s about 1 ton of soil) dug out by hand, with one fork and one spade. That was a workout!

Then I laid the slabs on sharp sand down one side, the bricks down the other, then refilled with fresh top soil and mixed in lots of manure, compost and some ericaceous potting compost to encourage the acid-loving blueberry bushes to grow.

The actual planting up at the end only took half an hour, but the rest of the job worked out for bigger than I planned! I would not have got up at 6:30 and gone out for an hour’s hard sprint training this morning if I had known I was going to do 6 hours sweaty graft in the hot sun this afternoon! Whatever happened to Sunday being a day of rest!! Read more

Is the food we eat today, nutrient depleted?

Should we take vitamin and mineral supplements?

I was asked the other day, if we are eating fruits and vegetables from depleted soil, and therefore they do not contain enough vitamins and minerals, and therefore should we all be taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral complex as a supplement?

If you read my blogs on this site on a regular basis, then you will know that I am broadly against taking dietary supplements, I just think that the majority of people, the majority of the time, don’t need them.

To be clear, there are times when supplements play an important role, particular when someone is deficient or ill, then supplements can be used to restore good health. Often supplements are a “useful tool” in repairing a damaged body. If there is a problem, supplements can help enable or support one function or process, in order to support growth or repair in another function, process or system.

So supplements have a place and many nutritional therapists and other practitioners correctly use supplements to fix deficiencies and restore normal function. Read more

7-a-day offers health benefits and protection from cancer. Eat the MND way and get 17-a-day

Earlier this week, there was a lot of noise in the press concerning news released by University College London (UCL) about a study they conducted, the findings of which suggest that the UK guidelines for eating fruit and vegetables should be raised from 5-a-day to 7-a-day. I am sure you have heard about this in the press, so I just thought I would share a few of my MND thoughts with you.

Summary of this post:

  • Eating much more veg could CUT a QUARTER of all CANCER deaths
  • Vegetables are much more beneficial than fruit
  • The UK government should subsidise organic vegetables through tax breaks, and add tax on to sugar and junk food
  • MotherNaturesDiet offers ALL the benefits you need – lots of vegetables and good protection from cancer and heart disease
  • I personally eat an average of 17 per day, if you follow MND in full, you should too

Firstly, there seems to have been a lot of resistance to this new proposal, many members of the public complaining that they don’t like this idea. I find such resistance strange – I mean, why don’t people want to know how to be healthier, not get sick, and live longer? I would welcome any advice in those areas, not reject it. The results from the report conclude: Quote “Eating seven or more portions reduces the specific risks of death by cancer and heart disease by 25% and 31% respectively. The research also showed that vegetables have significantly higher health benefits than fruit.”

WOW, just WOW. I don’t see any reason why people are not leaping up and down with untold joy at this information. Cancer and heart disease are the two biggest killers in our society. Cancer is an utter scourge on humanity, it wrecks lives and hurts us all, we all know someone, we’ve all lost someone we love to cancer. And here, research proves almost beyond question, that ensuring you eat lots of vegetables is one way to STOP a QUARTER of all cancer deaths. HOLY SHIT BALLS. You know how “Cure cancer” is one of the great quests of the human race – EAT VEGGIES. That’s a quarter of the problem already solved. WOW, be excited, isn’t that an AMAZING conclusion!!!

It’s incredible!! If a drug company patented a new drug tomorrow and took it to market claiming “Will cure 25% of all cancer over the next 4 decades” they would make BILLIONS from it and every doctor in the land would be prescribing it, and every cancer patient or pre-cancer scare/high-at-risk patient would want that drug. Well, that drug is here, and it’s called broccoli. It’s called kale. It’s called cabbage. Just eat your veggies. Read more

Do supplements work?

As you know, here at MND I take a pretty hard line on supplements – personally, I believe that unless you are an extreme athlete, or suffering from ill health and need to repair, or living in/through particularly hard times or a tough environment, then I don’t think supplements are needed for MOST people. I believe that if you are healthy, and eating a balanced healthy diet, following the 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet then really supplements should not be necessary.

Supplements companies quote a lot of very ‘borderline’ research in their marketing materials, and they often use very ‘suggestive language’ and desirable images to convince you to buy the products.

This graphic is VERY interesting!! supplements snake oil

This chart shows a large number of popular supplements that are available, plotted in rank of how much real scientific evidence there is to support their effectiveness. (This graphic is not from me here at MND, full credit to the source, with thanks.)

Supplements ‘have a place’ in helping people heal from ill health, or in helping athletes perform at the highest level (in terms of replacing minerals lost in extreme training, mostly), but for most people, I think supplements are a waste of money.

I think a good clean diet high in top-quality organic whole foods, gives you all you need.

A few supplements are worth having. For example, many of us do NOT live near the sea and do not get enough fresh fish in our diet (me included!) so a daily cod liver oil supplement makes good sense. And while I think I personally eat a great diet rich in anti-oxidants (I estimate I eat 10 to 12 portions of fruit and veg per day, mostly veg), for most people there is a strong case for including more anti-oxidants in your diet.

Still, in my opinion, most supplements are ‘expensive urine’ – the body does not metabolise the nutrients the same in supplement form as it does in whole foods, and for many/most people, half the supplements ends up down the toilet within a few hours.

Previous posts about supplements that you may like to see:

Beware of health and wellness industry rip offs

Meal Replacement Drinks – the Bad, The Worse and The Plain Ugly

 

Meal Replacement Drinks – the Bad, The Worse and The Plain Ugly

This post is the second in a series of lengthy posts exposing the reality behind the lucrative market for diet and health supplements.

The first post in this series can be read here: Beware of health and wellness industry rip offs

For the last year I have been gathering my thoughts about MEAL REPLACEMENT and weight loss shakes. In this post, I will expose what I think is wrong with liquid meal replacement diets, I will look briefly at the companies selling these solutions to a confused public, and one by one, we will look at the ingredients and nutritional composition of several of the best known brands on the market.

 

If you don’t want to read this lengthy blog, then I’ll summarize it all for you here in simple bullet points.

  • They are all fake, synthetic formulas. Synthetic vitamins and other nutrients do not give your body the same benefits that natural nutrients do when consumed in whole fresh foods
  • Heavily processed powders full of synthetic ingredients, artificial sweeteners and chemically processed sugars have NO PLACE in a healthy lifestyle, in my opinion. Many of these shakes contain soy, rice, sugars, dairy (whey protein) and ‘fillers’, cheap sugary carbs to pack the product out and give it enough calories to fill you up
  • Meal replacement shakes, when taken as a weight-loss strategy, are not sustainable for the long-term. Any temporary behaviour can have a temporary effect. However, it requires long-term, permanent lifestyle change to effect long-term, permanent health and body changes. If you want to lose weight permanently, change your lifestyle, don’t resort to some powdered supplement as a quick-fix, short-term solution
  • You should be aware that many of the most popular meal replacement shakes and weight loss shakes, are sold under MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) schemes (what we used to call pyramid selling schemes but for some reason we are not allowed to call them that any more). These companies are not set up to help make you healthy, they are set up to make their founders and senior staff very rich. Pyramid schemes only work while people keep buying the product, so the goal is to get you in, get you on the program and keep you buying – your health and weight loss has nothing to do with it
  • The list of ingredients should be scrutinized rigorously – look for sugar, sugar and more sugar
  • The list of vitamins and minerals that the can, tub or packet claims the shake will deliver, cannot be taken as a definitive guide to what your body might absorb and use. You need to understand how synthetic nutrients are absorbed differently to nutrients delivered in real whole food, in order to understand why this is so
  • Meal replacement shakes are expensive, and that is money that you could spend on high quality, real, organic food. I never understood why people fall for these marketing tricks of the ‘diet food’ industry. I see it this way: if you are overweight, it’s extremely likely that you have either been eating too much food, or too much cheap, low-nutrient, high-sugar, junk food. Either way, just eat less, and eat real, plain, simple food. Think about it – SAVE money, just eat less. The solution to losing weight isn’t “go out and buy loads of extremely expensive powder to mix with some milk or water and spend half the day feeling hungry” – surely, the solution ought to be “eat less”. See, a solution that saves money, not one that costs more. Common sense thinking

Read more

Explaining the Acid-Alkaline balance

I am often asked for clarity on this issue of the acid-alkaline diet. There is a whole “diet industry sub-culture” grown up around the acid-alkali thing, and there are a lot of companies selling supplements and products designed to help you ‘get alkaline’.

This keeps coming up, and I keep meaning to write about it, so I thought I’d address it properly, once and for all.

I’ll keep this as short and non-scientific as I can, I hope that helps keep things clear and simple.

Alkalizing

We hear all this talk of “You eat the wrong foods and your body will be too acidic.” The people promoting this stuff say that your body will be too acidic, they promote dark field microscopy, suggesting that you should pay hundreds of pounds for a ‘live blood test’ and they often will say they can see acid in your blood. They tell you this leads to everything from osteoporosis to diabetes to heart disease and cancer, and they often say the cause is eating animal products, meat and dairy.

These people need to define ‘your body’ when they say “your body will be too acidic.”

What bit of your body do they mean?

Your digestive system, the entire system, is acidic by default, from the entrance to your stomach right through to your anus. It needs to be acidic in order to foster the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Your stomach uses hydrochloric acid to break down your food, it’s just about one of the strongest forms of acid found naturally occurring anywhere on the planet. If your stomach was alkaline you would not be able to break down food properly (especially proteins); if your intestines were alkaline you would not be able to grow the enzymes (enzymes are a type of protein) that are required to complete digestion and pass the nutrients through your gut wall. So your entire digestive system, the largest energy-using system in your body, is acidic and needs to remain that way in order to be healthy.

Bones? They are alkaline, they are your body’s calcium deposits, you cannot make them acidic. If you had acidic bones you would find yourself in hospital with all kinds of problems going on.

Muscles? You cannot make them more acid or alkaline. Lactic acid builds up during hard exercise and then clears, this is completely normal.

Organs? Heart, brain, skin? If you tried to change the pH of your organs you would very probably die!

The only parts of your body which can change pH are the fluids. Obviously, blood is the most important and voluminous fluid in your body. (Everything is made of water, mostly, including your blood.) The pH of your blood is tightly controlled by a process called acid-base homeostasis. Your arterial blood (blood flowing away from the lungs, rich in oxygen) must be between pH 7.35 and pH 7.45. If it deviates from that by even 0.2, you’ll be dead in about 48 hours. So when these guys who sell dark field microscopy tell us “You can see the acid in your blood” and all this – they are talking garbage.

So controlling the “acidity in your body” really comes down to understanding the processes involved in regulating blood pH. If your blood becomes too acidic, you have a condition called acidosis and you will be very sick and hospitalized immediately.

Food

When we eat, the food is chewed in our mouths, crushed and swallowed. In our stomachs, it is further crushed and squashed and mashed up with hydrochloric acid. It moves out of the stomach into the duodenum, where bile salts are injected in, reducing the acidity considerably, then the pancreas does it’s funky stuff, spraying in insulin and other compounds. This mashed up, still quite acidic food then moves into the small intestine, then the lower intestine for slow absorption of the nutrients. As the nutrients pass through the gut wall, they are broken down into what is essentially glucose molecules, which are then taken by the blood to the liver, which is a bit like the ‘Royal Mail Sorting Office of your body’, figuring out what everything is and filing it away or sending it off to where it needs to go, on a molecular level.

Kidney function

As glucose molecules pass through your kidneys they enter little capsules called glomerular capsules which help filter your blood to pass waste into urine for elimination. (I’m keeping this is simple as possible guys!! Honest!!) At this point, these little capsules can monitor and influence blood pH. These glomerular capsules can and do influence and control acid-base homeostasis. If the blood is showing signs of acidity, this is where base (bicarbonate) can be used to maintain the correct pH.

The kidneys control quite a few useful processes in your body. As well as controlling acid-base homeostasis, they also control the balance of calcium and magnesium in your body, and the kidneys help regulate a number of metabolic processes involving sodium and calcium, essential for muscular contractions. So the kidneys do play a role in managing calcium in your body – your kidneys regulate the amount of calcium in your urine and to some degree some functions of the kidneys are connected to calcium-density within your bones.

It’s this measure of calcium in the urine that has driven a lot of the acid-alkaline diet idea. The foods you eat have some effect on the amount of calcium in your urine, and the theory has been build around testing these calcium levels and suggesting that they are indicative of a loss of bone mineral density.

Extra science detail here…

Blood pH is different in venous blood (blood heading back to the lungs, via the heart) as this is more acidic, full of waste (carbon dioxide). Your lungs also help balance your blood pH, pulling in more oxygen when required. When you exercise hard, as your muscles work hard they produce lactic acid (that feeling when your muscles ‘burn’ as you approach exhaustion) and in order for your blood to clear this acid away, you need more oxygen. Once you ease up the exercise, your lungs will keep working hard, bringing in oxygen to supply the muscles (this is called oxygen debt) to clear that lactic acid.

Now, when we eat foods, the glucose molecules that pass through the gut wall and into our blood, are ferried off to various places where they are required to provide energy to various cells to do various tasks within our bodies. Once those glucose molecules reach those cells, they enter the cell, and complete a chemical reaction, and the cell produces energy to do whatever function that cell is designed to do. From that chemical reaction, there is a little waste.

Acid ash

Think of it the same as the engine in your car. Fuel goes in, it’s broken down into tiny amounts, which go into cylinders (where the pistons are) and there it is burnt, or turned into energy, but there is a little bit of waste, that comes out of the exhaust pipe. The acid-alkaline folks tell us that certain foods we have eaten leave a waste ‘ash’ that is acidic, and certain foods leave a waste ash that is alkaline. This is broadly true, and whether or not the ash is acidic or alkaline is largely determined by the mineral content of the food eaten, and this is is completely normal and your body handles it constantly all day long.

That waste has to be removed from your body, carried away, and so it enters the bodies transport system – your blood. That is then when the blood flows through the kidneys, to the glomerular capsules described above, and this is where blood pH is maintained.

So, the amount of this ‘acid ash’ we hear about really is determined by the mineral content of the foods you eat. A high protein diet (think, steak for breakfast and dinner every day) and a diet high in grains (it’s those grains again!) is likely to have the most net-acid-producing effect on the body. There is a lot more detail to it all than this, but I am trying to keep this as super-simple as I can.

Having read all this, we can understand how the acid-alkaline diet idea started, but the reality is that studies show that there is actually no evidence that a diet high in protein and grains, leads to a loss of bone mineral density. In fact, in complete contradiction, studies show that high protein diets can actually support bone mineral density.

Alkalizing diet – just another fad

In my personal opinion, the bit where the major promoters of ‘alkaline diets’ have gone wrong, is taking it too far in terms of minute details. When they start telling you not to eat a banana or an apple because it’s acid forming…they have gone too far.

Why?

  • Bananas and apples are real, whole, fresh foods – compared to cigarettes, cola and a cream cake, you’ll be fine. Diet perfectionism be damned, it does more harm than good – Read more about diet perfectionism here: https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/09/18/avoiding-diet-perfectionism-and-the-trap-of-crippling-inaction/
  • These folks have mainly done their research using a method called PRAL – which stands for Potential Renal Acid Load. Basically, they measure acidity and mineral content in your pee as a marker to what your glomerular function is up to. If your pee is acidic or too high in calcium, they assume your body is flushing a lot of acid waste out. But as far as I can tell, many of the PRAL studies these people quote were done between 1995 and 2000 and did not single out a million other factors than can affect the body flushing out waste – such as emotional stress, physical workload and loads more besides. There can be many factors affecting the mineral content in your urine
  • PRAL is not an exact science. It’s not like they took 100 people and said “eat nothing but lemon’s for 1 week then we will test your pee”!!! Many foods leave detritus inside us for days, all sitting around washed in acid in our guts! I have written to several of the big name “alkaline diet” gurus in the Western world asking for more information, and not one has been prepared to explain to me the methodology of these lab tests. Some have written to me and privately rubbished PRAL as “fundamentally flawed research”

 

So in as brief a nutshell as I can, that’s what the acid-alkaline thing is all about.

Just stick to eating the Mother Nature’s Diet way. A sensible balanced diet, lots of fresh vegetables, some fruits, a balance of meat, oily fish and eggs, and a few nuts as snacks. Eat fresh whole foods, and you will be fine. My advice would be to ignore this silly “last 1% diet perfection” advice about “too many apples are acidic” – your only worry about too much fruit is the high sugar load, which might not help if you are trying to lose weight. Get the common sense scoop on fruit here. All vegetables are good for you, don’t pay too much attention to these folks and there “Acid-Alkaline” charts, that stuff is a distraction. Sure, some people will be intolerant to some plant foods, especially foods in the night shade family – such as tomatoes – but for most people, most vegetables are fine.

Don’t let these folks blind you with their sales and marketing ploys – they are telling you what’s wrong so you will buy their green superfood supplements…don’t get me started on that!!!!

In my personal opinion, most of the folks selling the green supplements are scare-mongering. If you live a healthy lifestyle, your body is amazing and will look after itself brilliantly. Mother Nature is so good at that stuff.

 

As always, questions and comments welcome, thanks all.

Stay healthy, stay happy.

 

Home grown abundance is so yummy!

Best crop ever today – this is JUST today’s pickings from the strawberry patch in our garden. There would have been a 4th bowl, maybe a 5th, but we are a family of 5 and we were all eating them as we picked them!

Breakfast in the morning will be half an avocado, heaps of fresh strawberries, handful of crushed ice, splash of water, fistful of fresh dandelion leaves from the garden…blend that lot up for a yummy breakfast smoothie!

Enjoy the weekend folks.

 

How does juicing fit into a paleo diet and lifestyle?

Summary of this blog post:

Answering questions from a reader -

Q: Should we take supplements and superfoods?

A: No, we should just drink freshly extracted organic vegetable juice every day.

Q: Juices and sweet fruit smoothies?

A: Yes to the juices, but go easy on the smoothies.

I recently posted a video titled “There is no such thing as superfood”

After watching this, and after some discussion, a friend of mine asked me “Do you disagree that supplementation can help compensate for the difficulty in acquiring all nutrients and anti-oxidants in modern diets? I.E. when not eating full primal?”

I recommended juicing as the only form of “supplement” that I think is worth taking and this friend eats a mostly paleo/primal diet, and as such our subsequent discussion can be broadly defined as looking at ‘is there a place for juicing and supplements in a paleo diet’ – but of course, the discussion is of interest to anyone who cares about living a healthy lifestyle.

Read on for this Q&A discussion in full.

Read more

There is no such thing as superfood

MotherNaturesDiet.com promotes eating REAL fresh organic food, not so-called superfood. Don’t get caught out by the marketing talk that is selling you diet industry supplements just because they call them superfoods!

Learn more here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt_Nlbczk1M

How much fruit should we eat?

We are all aware of the well publicized advice that we should eat lots of fruit and veg. However, many people get their ‘5-a-day’ predominantly from fruit, and not from vegetables. MotherNaturesDiet promotes eating twice as much veg as fruit, and I encourage people to keep fruit consumption to modest levels, depending on seasonal availability and climate.

This short video, just 5 minutes, explains in a bit more detail why it’s important not to eat too much fruit, and why we should ideally eat twice as much veg as fruit.

http://youtu.be/cUR1ESblOWg

Over-coming a ‘sweet tooth’

Earlier, I found myself dipping a teaspoon into the jar of chocolate spread (kept in JUST for the kids you understand...and actually it wasn’t a teaspoon, it was my finger, but I was trying to sound civilized and sophisticated and not admit to behaving in a way that my mother would be ashamed of...) and thinking ‘Damn, why am I craving something sweet today? I thought that if I ate enough protein and fat, and ate plenty of good natural healthy food so that I wasn’t hungry, then I wouldn’t still crave sweet things…?’ and I was instantly agitated and cross with myself, and spent the next ten minutes beating myself up mentally for my own weakness.

To be clear, since I gave up grains and other starchy carbs, my cravings for sweet tastes have subsided a lot

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Rapid Crash Weight Loss – is there a healthy way?

I received an amusing email today. A friend who is single suddenly has a hot date lined up and wants to quickly lose weight and look tip-top as rapidly as possible. The email said (slightly tongue-in-cheek of course) "Any thoughts on how I lose 3 stone in 5 days?" and I laughed, a lot.

I can totally empathise with this situation. I have found myself in a similar situation many times in my life when I have had occasion to suddenly panic at the thought that I have some hot date or important meeting coming up when I want to look my best and there is no time to lose weight and get in shape. I am sure most of us can empathise with this feeling to some degree.

It may be a date with a hot woman

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We wouldn’t feed pizza to a rhino, so why are we feeding it to our children?

Think about the so-called food available to us today.

Imagine you are visiting the zoo, and you see the zoo keepers feeding the animals. They put the food out for the big rhino, buckets of roughly chopped up vegetables, perhaps some pieces of fruit, and all seems well. During a demonstration talk, the keeper offers the rhino a jam doughnut as he cracks some joke about "even this big guy likes a treat each day" and most of the spectators laugh as the rhino eagerly gobbles down the doughnut. A few people would quietly be thinking 'you shouldn't give things like that to an animal, it's cruel' but they don't say anything, they keep their opinions to themselves for fear of appearing to be an extremist.

But now let's say things are different, let's picture a different scenario. Imagine if our rhino is kept in his muddy, grassy enclosure and fed bucket loads of pizza, burgers, chips, pies, pastries, cakes, ice cream, chocolate bars and biscuits. Every day the public visit this zoo and watch the keepers fill our rhino's drinking trough with cola or beer or milkshake, and the ground of his enclosure is littered with chewing gum, pizza crusts, cheese sandwiches and cookies. What would the vast majority of zoo visitors say then?

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Principal benefits of juicing

I was recently asked about the health benefits of juicing.

Interestingly, someone said “I know we should, I know it’s supposed to be good for us, but why?”

Confusing science

Juicing, especially drinking alkaline, green, vegetable based juices, has a load of benefits, and I have 9 or 10 books on the subject of alkaline health and juicing, and I have been to a couple of seminars about it, so it’s quite tricky to answer in just a few sentences. The more you study this subject the deeper it gets and then the more there is to learn. As I study the subject of acid-alkaline balance more, I find great inconsistencies in the science. I find I am troubled by the science, but it would take me the next 20,000 words to explain, so let's stay 'on the surface' for now, we can always go deeper another time.

I'll attempt to summarise the 'main stream' alkalising argument for you here.

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Home produce

Come on British Summer Time…where’s the sun?!?!?

Our home strawberry patch can produce a bowl or two PER DAY when the sun shines, but this last week or so, with no sun and endless rain, all those delicious, nutritious, tasty organic strawbs are going mouldy in the damp soil before they have even had a chance to ripen under the sun.