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Posts tagged ‘Juicing’

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!!

How eating an extremely nutrient rich diet can help you resist the signs of ageing

I’m putting my opinion and belief out there today. I’m stretching the ‘100% proven’ science a bit here, piecing together facts and theories. Why? Because I believe I’m right, and I think there is value to you in sharing these thoughts.

WHY is nutrient dense food important?

This is an important point that so many people – particularly YOUNG people – overlook. JUST having enough of a certain micronutrient to sustain function is one thing, but having enough LEFT OVER for non-essential jobs inside your body, that’s another thing altogether.

Now, if you are a qualified nutritionist or doctor, just bare with me for a moment, I’m going to massively over-simplify the world of nutrition here for a moment…you won’t like it, but stick with it and you can comment at the bottom if you think I’m wrong.

So there are these RDA’s – Recommended Daily Amounts – of vitamins and minerals. It is suggested that we take these amounts in order to maintain energy, combat disease and stay generally healthy.

Now let’s just take 1 micronutrient, say, Vitamin A (A seems like a good place to start!). Vitamin A does a massive amount of things inside your body – among them, there is thyroid function, skin growth, eye function, protein synthesis, immune system function, calcium assimilation (for bone growth) and much more. Read more

2013 Popular Posts #1: How does juicing fit into a paleo diet and lifestyle?

Here it is! Number ONE, the top spot, the most popular post I have written on MotherNaturesDiet.com all year – by a LONG way, this post has been viewed THOUSANDS of times, more than twice as much as the post in second place!

Green juiceI am often asked –

  • Is juicing healthy?
  • Are we supposed to consume calories in liquid form?
  • Should I take vitamin and mineral supplements?
  • Are vitamin pills good value for money?
  • Are the foods we eat today nutrient-depleted? Is the soil nutrient deficient?
  • What’s the difference between juicing and blending?
  • Will juicing help me lose weight fast?

This most-popular post answers all these questions and more.
Read more here – https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/05/26/how-does-juicing-fit-into-a-paleo-diet-and-lifestyle/

2013 Popular Posts #9: HEALTHY Rapid Crash Weight Loss

I received an amusing email from a friend a while ago.

This friend, who is single, suddenly had a hot date lined up and wanted 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.

This post notes the madness of short term thinking, and then explores what can really be done to make a big impact in a short space of time, while still being HEALTHY.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/02/24/rapid-crash-weight-loss-is-there-a-healthy-way/

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.

 

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. But it doesn’t have to be that way…

The evening before last, I was privileged to be at The Odeon Leicester Square to attend the UK movie premiere of the excellent health documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’

http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

The movie is about an Aussie businessman who was grossly overweight, suffering poor health (he had urticaria, something I have battled and beaten myself over the last 8 years) and he was heading for a heart attack. He made this movie about his journey back to good health.

The movie is inspirational and a shortened version of it Read more

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

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

Read more

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.

Read more

June 2012 Health Retreat visit in Spain

I just returned from a lovely week at the wonderful Obsidian Retreat on the Costa Blanca, in Spain. Obsidian is a great place full of lovely friendly staff and guests and I enjoyed a fabulous week drinking healthy green juices and soaking up the sunshine. I have know the owners Andy and Carol for a few years and they have become dear friends of mine, they are such a great couple, deeply passionate and enthusiastic about helping people rediscover good health.

The retreat is mainly focussed on weight loss and diabetes reduction, promoting an alkaline vegan diet, and raw food and juicing. I personally don’t need to lose weight and I don’t have diabetes, but still I can thoroughly recommend a week relaxing at Obsidian just to enjoy good food, good health, good company and good weather. It’s a great place to detox and de-stress and enjoy relaxing in a healthy environment.

I enjoyed loads of delicious nutritious juices, and some wonderful salads and vegetarian evening meals. I lost 4 pounds over the week, despite trying not to lose any weight, and I am sure my body enjoyed relaxing walks, chilling by the pool and soaking up the sun. Many guests go to Obsidian to quickly lose a lot of weight, and those choosing the all-juice option typically lose about 10 or 11 pounds each week they are there. Many stay for several weeks. This weight loss is very fast, but it’s healthy, as the juiced raw green vegetables provide all the wonderful nutrients your body requires.

Picture shows me with one of my lovely new friends pinching what’s left of my belly – I was complaining about my tum, because I can’t yet see my 6-pack, and she was teasing me!