Posts Tagged ‘fish’

Ch Ch Ch Chia

 

Chia-pet

Remember those chia pets that were all the rage in the 70s? How did that happen? I guess that’s what makes things a fad. Pet rocks, Mexican jumping beans, and the best- streaking. FADS from the 70s/early 80s were pretty weird. Well at least chia seeds actually serve a nutritional purpose.

 

Most people don’t realize how amazing these little seeds are.

 

Nutritional Content of Chia Seeds

 

*Iron.  3 times than spinach for strong healthy blood for improved energy

 

*Calcium. 5 times calcium of milk for strong bones and teeth.

 

*Potassium. 2 times potassium of bananas for building muscle.

 

*Protein. 2 times protein of any other seed or grain for muscle strength and energy.

 

*Antioxdants. 3 times antioxidant levels of blueberries for cancer prevention.

 

*Fiber. Twice as much as broccoli for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, and constipation.

 

*Omega 3s. Nearly 5 times the omega 3s found in salmon for brain health and balancing hormones.

 

*As an added bonus, chia seeds are considered in Chinese medicine to reduce anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.

 

 

You can add chia seeds to your morning smoothie. But one of my favorite ways to eat them is my recipe recently featured on The Better Show.

 

Chia Seed Pudding

 

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or rice or almond)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extra
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds

 

Mix coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, vanilla in a bowl.

Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.

Top with fresh raspberries and almonds.

 

Dig in and enjoy!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Something Fishy With Your Fish

 

 

Unknown

 

 

 

Fish. Most people think it’s the perfect food for getting your protein and essential fats. A majority of doctors recommend at least 2 servings a week. Eating seafood regularly healthy or completely safe is a myth. That you need to eat fish for optimal health is another myth. So what exactly am I talking about? Seafood is less than perfect because of toxic levels of mercury and radiation it can contain, along with high levels of cholesterol.

 

Mercury

 

Almost all fish are contaminated with mercury as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna (all types)*, swordfish *, sea bass *, oysters, marlin *, halibut, salmon *, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, sea bass *, mackerel *, and shark *. Pregnant women have been advised for years to avoid canned tuna due to the mercury content and the potential effects on the fetus. Keep in mind that mercury exposure is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.

 

(The above fish, which are asterisked, are not only dangerous to consume, but also endangered due to over fishing. Due to increased demand, the number of sea animals consumed per year is now 90 billion. Blue fin tuna population has dropped 96%. No wonder they’re on the verge of extinction.)

 

High concentrations of mercury can result in:

 

*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness

 

*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, & blindness

 

*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, & loss of muscle coordination

 

Radiation

 

Fukushima was such a horrific tragedy in 2011 for the people of Japan and felt all over the world. Unfortunately, the after effects of this disaster will be with us for decades to come. Before unseen radiation amounts has leaked into the Pacific and is contaminating all creatures and plant life living in it. Obviously, the closer to the spill, the higher the levels of exposure and risk are. Fish living near Fukushima have been declared completely unsafe.

 

I’ve seen some blogs comparing the radiation levels in fish from the Pacific to natural occurring radiation found in a banana. It’s like comparing natural sugar found in fruit to artificial sweeteners. There are different types of radiation, some more dangerous and longer lasting than others. Also, it is well known that radiation exposure is cumulative. The University of South Carolina and University of Paris-Sud finished a study in 2012, which concluded that even low levels of exposure to radioactivity are hazardous to animals and humans. One of the reasons is it that our bodies are unable to flush out radiation, so there is a cumulative effect.

 

Cholesterol

What about all the healthy fat found in fish? Yes, depending on the fish, it may contain high levels of omega 3s needed for healthy brain function and hormone levels. But many of them also contain high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day. If you are high risk for heart disease, you should keep that number under 200mg daily. Just to give you an idea, a dinner containing shrimp will easily exceed 200 mg just from the shrimp alone.

 

Examples of cholesterol in fish

 

100 gram serving                                                 cholesterol amounts

Shrimp                                                                               195mg

Oil-packed Sardines                                                     142mg

Oysters                                                                               105mg

Striped Bass                                                                     103mg

Crab                                                                                    147 mg

Squid (in calamari)                                                         233mg

 

Fish are high in omega-3s because of the seaweed they eat. So why not get your healthy fats right from the source? Other great options for healthy fats include flax, chia, sesame, and hemp seeds, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spirulina, kale, acai berries, and walnuts. All of these foods are nutrient dense and some a packed with protein.

 

Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your eating habits. If you’re nervous about all the fish you’ve eaten over the years, take a blood test for heavy metals. But you can change what you eat today. Have a kale salad topped with roasted cauliflower, and walnuts for a delicious, truly healthy promoting meal.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

The Truth About Dairy

 

Another question I get asked a lot: “Don’t you need milk for calcium?” The answer is a big “NO.” On top of dairy not having much calcium compared to many plant foods (see below), a lot of people are allergic/lactose intolerant. This means they can’t access the calcium in dairy anyway and it can make them really sick. Dairy has also been linked to heart disease, prostate cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

 

The dairy industry paid almost $200 million in the US in 2011 on advertising. So that’s pretty much everyone believes you can only get enough calcium from eating dairy. Marketing. The guys at Mad Men would be proud.

 

A staggering statistic that also disproves this myth- On average, Americans eat the most dairy and have the highest rates of osteoporosis. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we eat almost 300 pounds of dairy per year.

 

Besides not having the highest levels of calcium, eating a lot of dairy and animal protein makes your body acidic. To alkalize itself, the body leeches calcium from your bones.

 

Inuits have the highest dietary calcium intake of any other people in the world– above 2000 mg per day from fish bones. Their diet is also the highest in the world in protein- up to 400 g a day mostly from fish and have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world.  The Bantu of Africa consume an average of 350 mg of calcium a day and have almost no cases of osteoporosis.

 

Still don’t believe me? Look at these numbers.

 

Calcium Sources

In milligrams per 100 gram serving

Butter                                 20
Whole milk                       118
Chickpeas                        150
Collard greens                203
Parsley                              203
Soybeans                         226
Almonds                           234
Sesame seeds                1160

 

In milligrams per 8 oz (1 cup)

Soybean sprouts            50
Alfalfa sprouts               25
Nori                                 1200
Kombu                            2100
Wakame                         3500
Tofu                                350
Quinoa                           80
Kale                                72
Okra                                81
Corn meal                     50
Oats                               40
Carrot juice                  57
Navy beans                  140
Pinto beans                  100
Lima beans                 60
Black beans                 60
Lentils                           50
Hazelnuts                     450
Walnuts                         280
Sunflower seeds          260

 

 

Recommended Daily Allowance

 

* 0-6 months                           200 mg

* 6-12 months                         260 mg

* 1-3 years                               700 mg

* 4-8 years                              1000 mg

* 9-18 years                            1300 mg

* 19-50 years                          1000 mg

* pregnant/lactating               1300 mg

* 51-70 years male                1000 mg

* 51-70 years female             1200 mg

* 70+ years                             1200 mg

 

So as you can see, ‘Milk it does the body good” campaign just isn’t true. Do yourself a favor. Go to your local farmers market this weekend. Try some fresh, green veggies. Buy yourself a juicer and enjoy. Grab a handful of almonds. Eat some hummus. Your bones will thank you.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

 

Note: Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens binds with calcium and reduces its absorption. They should not be considered good sources of calcium.

The Dangers of Mercury

 

I can’t tell you how upset I was to find out my dentist had been putting a known toxin in to my mouth. What?!?! Since I was 4 years old, my poor little body had been intentionally exposed to neuro-toxin. How could he? And all those vaccines I got. How could my pediatrician have done such a thing? What happened to the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm?”

 

 

I first learned about the dangers of mercury and how we can be exposed to it my first year of college. I was grateful that I had already given up eating seafood, so that wasn’t a concern.

 

Finding all of this out, I got to thinking, “How much mercury HAVE I been exposed to?” I thought I was living a pretty healthy life- organic vegetarian, using green beauty products. (And cheap beer can be vegetarian. Right?) But maybe I was wrong.

 

I didn’t have any symptoms of mercury poisoning, but I still had my blood tested in grad school for mercury. The levels were high. I immediately had all my silver fillings taken out and still refuse any vaccines. I did a series of liver cleanses to flush out the mercury and any other heavy metals in my system. I now have a clean bill of health. I do a liver cleanse at least once a year to keep healthy.

 

Luckily, our bodies have the ability to remove this heavy metal through nutritional and herbal support. I already had a diet high in antioxidants, which improves the liver’s function to rid the body of all toxins, including heavy metals. I added a few more healing modalities that support the detoxification process: acupuncture, massage, saunas, a juice fast, and fiber supplements.

 

Side Effects Of Mercury Poisoning


The presence of mercury is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.

 

High concentrations of mercury can result in:

*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness
*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, & blindness
*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, & loss of muscle coordination

 

Sources

 

Unfortunately, there are very high rates of mercury poisoning in several industries, especially among munitions workers, laboratory technicians, farm workers, and coal burning plant workers.
Apart from exposure to industrial waste and pollution, you might be at risk for mercury poisoning through your amalgam (silver) fillings, eating seafood, and getting vaccines.

 

Silver Fillings
Dentists all over the world now refuse to use amalgam fillings, because of the direct link to their use and mercury poisoning. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway have all banned mercury fillings. The World Health Organization has found that the average individual could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgam fillings, which is considered a toxic dose. Mother’s pass on the mercury in their fillings to the children through their breast milk.

 

Fish
Almost all fish are contaminated as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna, swordfish, sea bass, oysters, marlin, halibut, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, and shark. Pregnant women have been advised for years to avoid canned tuna due to the mercury content and the potential effects on the fetus. Now it’s best to avoid all seafood.

 

Vaccines
Mercury is also found in any vaccines containing thimerosal, which is a preservative found in many vaccines. It is possible to request vaccines that don’t contain this extremely toxic preservative.

 

What Next?

 

Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your habits. Get your blood tested. Take out those silver fillings. Don’t eat fish. Do a liver cleanse or two.

 

Once you’ve done a cleanse and flushed out mercury and other heavy metals from your system, it is important to limit exposure from your diet and environment. Try to avoid the following items that can contain mercury: pesticides and fungicides, certain cosmetics, medications, and hair dyes, fluorescent lights, and some solvents.

 

Live Natural. Live Well.

 

Heather

Eating Healthy Fats Make You Smarter

Did you know your brain is about 60% fat?  That your hormones are made from fat? 60% of your heart’s energy comes from burning fats.  Your lungs need fat to work and keep them from collapsing.  Fats help you absorb certain nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

I know there’s all this confusing information out there about what’s healthy to eat and what isn’t.  One myth out there is that fat is bad.  Low fat and non-fat products became all the rage in the 90s, but not all fats are created equal.

Monounsaturated fats are the healthy kind. The best example is olive oil, but don’t cook with it.  High temperatures change the chemical make up of olive oil, which can make it carcinogenic (cancer causing). For cooking, I’d recommend refined coconut, safflower and non-GMO canola oils.

Great sources for healthy fat:  nuts, seeds, and avocado.  I suggest adding flax or coconut oil, plus some almond butter and hemp seeds to your morning smoothie.

Signs that you might not be getting enough of the good stuff

* Lack of mental clarity upon awakening

* Depression

* Infertility

* Weight gain

* Brittle Fingernails

* Allergies

* Arthritis

* Poor Sleep

* Poor Memory

* Dry hair & skin

* Lack of Concentration

* Fatigue

You might have heard of Omega 3, 6, and 9 Essential Fatty Acids, but aren’t really sure what they do.  EFAs can reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses. Sources for Omega 3s:  seaweeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, borage oil, and primrose oil.  Yes, some fish are a great source of EFAs, but almost all fish have dangerously high levels of mercury in them. Fish get their omegas from eating seaweed. So why not eat the original, safer source instead?

Definitely stay away from trans fats/hydrogenated oils: These fats form when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation, and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels, repeatedly linked to heart disease. These fatty acids can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other serious health problems.  For the men reading this, trans fats also reduce sexual performance. They’re found in most processed foods, fast food, crackers, and cookies.

You should also minimize most saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream and meats. They are also found in some tropical plants and vegetable oils such as coconut, palm and palm kernel. Coconut oil is actually really healthy and is the oil to use for cooking since it is far less likely to be damaged through heating.

I know a lot of you reading this are probably thinking, “I’m young, I don’t need to worry about this kind of stuff until I’m in my 40s or 50s.”  I hate to break it to you, but that’s not really the case.  More people are overweight and becoming diabetic at a younger age than ever before.  I recently saw a patient who had his first heart attack at 35 years old.  He grew up eating a typical American diet and rarely exercised since college.  The hardening of his arteries started in his 20s.  Once that damage is done, it’s really hard to heal.  I don’t want to scare you.  Hopefully, it will motivate you to make smarter food choices from now on.

So when you’re eating on the run, grab some walnuts instead of pizza.  Your body and your brain will thank.

Live natural.  Live well.

Heather

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