You may think that nanoparticles are something of the future… but in fact they are already in our food supply.  And I’m not talking about astronaut food.  I mean simple processed foods like a bag of pre-shredded cheese and even toothpaste.  This article describes a few of them.  A nanoparticle is really nothing fancy, it’s just a really small particle of anything.  Modern manufacturing practices lead to the creation of many nanoparticles in our food, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not.  The problem is that these extremely small particles behave differently in our bodies since they can simply bypass cells and other barriers that our body has in place to protect us from the environment.  But what affect can it have on us?

This research paper has shown that eliminating nanoparticles from the diet of Crohn’s disease patients caused a significant reduction in their symptoms and resulted in remission of half the patients (the control group had no change in symptoms).  If you are not familiar with Crohn’s disease, it is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease that is characterized by a deep inflammation of portions of the small and large intestine.  The causes are not well understood.  But this paper is a very good start.  The two nanoparticles that were targeted for removal from the diet in this study were titanium dioxide and aluminosilicates.

These nanoparticles are commonly found in pre-made meals, processed meats, vegetable or fruit skins with soil residue, tea/coffee whiteners, flavored milk products, processed cheese (especially pre-shredded cheese as an anti-caking agent), baked goods, any powered packets for sauces, food dyes (especially in soft drinks), almost all toothpastes (as a whitening agent), and tap water.

Many of these “food” items should be avoided anyways due to lack of nutrient density, but this just goes to show that one should be wary of highly processed foods and any ingredient that can’t be easily pronounced or easily understood as to where it came from.  I encourage all to know where your food comes from, and if possible, make it yourself.

This seasonal favorite is quite filling and packed with flavor along with a hint of Thai inspiration.  It is also a delicious remedy when fighting off ailments during the winter months.  We prefer the soup to be thick, but you can add more chicken stock (up to double) to thin out the soup to your preference.  Several ingredients have options depending on what you have available, although the flavor just isn’t quite as addicting without the bacon fat and fish sauce.

Serves 4-6         Prep time: 30 minutes    Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 butternut squash or kabocha squash
4 tablespoons bacon fat, coconut oil or Ghee,  divided
1 yellow onion or shallot diced
four cloves of garlic peeled
1 tsp chopped fresh or dried sage
several fresh sage leaves for garnish
1 tsp black pepper
1 apple cored and chopped
16 ounces of low sodium chicken broth
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or 1 tsp salt)
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Roast the whole butternut squash for 10 to 15 minutes to soften.  Remove the butternut squash and peel.  Chop off the bulbous end and cut in half to scoop out the innards. Chop squash into 1 inch chunks.  Toss the squash in 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in a roasting dish and bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender.

2. While the squash roasts, use a skillet to sauté the onions, ginger and the rest of the bacon fat until the onions begin to brown on the edges.  Add the garlic, sage, and pepper and sauté for another couple minutes.  Add the chicken broth and simmer another couple minutes.

3. Combine the baked squash, fresh apple, fish sauce and other ingredients into the blender.  Blend and pour soup in bowls.  Garnish each bowl with a fresh sage leaf.

Many religions and philosophies have tried to make the point that Gabe Hoffman, Holistic Health & Nutritional Counselor, makes so eloquently in this inspiring talk starting at 1 hour 18 minutes into this video.  For Gabe, cancer was not a chance to die, it was an opportunity to live.  Cancer helped him learn how to truly live, love, and have courage.  This philosophy is so important for us to apply in our own lives with any challenge we face.  If we can see challenges as an opportunity for personal transformation instead of being victimized, if we can consciously choose “life” and self-power in the face of doubt and hopelessness, if we can reflect empathy and courage and love to others in our life, then we will be living up to our full potential and vitality.  In Gabe’s words:  be the hero in your own journey and wake up every morning with the thought “what would the hero do now?”.

First of all, I very much appreciate Chris Kresser’s ability to research a topic, understand the detailed biology behind it, and summarize the statistical findings in an objective manner.  His work is invaluable and I encourage everyone to search for topics of interest on his website. He recently posted about the benefits, and lack of negatives, in eating full fat dairy in this article:  Still Think Low-Fat Dairy is the “Healthy Choice”?  Think Again!  The fatty acids found in dairy can reduce inflammation and prevent disease.  Studies have not been able to show a correlation between dairy fat and obesity, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes; in fact sometimes they show the opposite. Of course the best source of dairy is organic and 100% grass fed.  Be aware that “grass fed” does not always mean 100% grass fed and the cows could be grain finished with corn, or even GMO corn.  So only buying organic or non-GMO certified guarantees the avoidance of GMOs.  However, Mark Sisson does well to remind us in this post not to chase perfection.  Kerrygold butter is quite excellent, but is neither organic nor 100% GMO free.

I recognize that dairy may not be for everyone though.  You must listen to your own body.  If you are lactose intolerant it is because of the lactose sugar found in dairy, not the fat.  Also, if you have intestinal permeability (leaky-gut syndrome), then you may develop immune reactions from the undigested dairy proteins getting into your blood stream.  This is a separate and very serious problem.  So if you don’t react well to dairy, don’t have it at all.  However, none of these problems are due to the fat in dairy. In conclusion, enjoy full fat yogurt, butter, whole milk, and triple creme brie!

Humanity has now come to the point where you can spit into a test tube, send it in the mail, and get back data on your genome for only $99 (23andMe.com).  One goal is to identify if your DNA has any specific sequences that associate with health conditions.  This article discusses a particular SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) that has been associated with increased risk to autoimmune diseases, specifically Celiacs.  Since my fiance has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and I know I have a gluten sensitivity if nothing more, I will give this whole genome testing thing a try just because I am so curious!

Unfortunately, 23andMe does not provide any associative evidence for what health conditions you are more or less susceptible too anymore.  The FDA has prevented them from providing “Medical Advice”.  However you can still review your own data set for the SNPs that have been published in reports.  This site has compiled them for your own review.  It is important to remember that when checking the risk allele they can be in any order (CG is the same as GC).  Also, the risk alleles can be reported in the complementary form (A<->T or C<->G).  So this means if a risk allele is AC and your data shows GT… you’ve got it.  If you don’t understand this paragraph and want to attempt this yourself, please read up on the basics of genetics first.

Science is not at the stage of providing all of the epigenetics data (which genes are expressed or “turned on”) along with the genome sequencing for only $99, but its a start!  We still have a long way to go before the analysis of personal epigenetics data is fully understood anyways.  Just keep a positive outlook that your hard-coded genes are regulated (expressed or inhibited) by many factors including how we take care of ourselves (diet, exercise, and stress levels).  So your DNA does not have the final say in who you are.  You do!

Autoimmune diseases can be caused by intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome) and triggered by many environmental factors, but most commonly:  gluten and dairy.  Many autoimmune reactions have been linked to gluten as the number one causal antigen.  The list of autoimmune diseases is enormous and growing to include:  Celiacs, Hashimotos, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Graves, Type I Diabetes, and possibly even Alzheimers and Osteoporosis.  It is mind blowing to think these all may have very similar causalities.

Also, the same article discusses how bifidobacteria has been found to protect against Celiacs disease.  This bacteria is commonly found within our gut flora and transferred to infants through their mother’s breast milk.  Many probiotics include bifidobacteria as well.  I am still searching for experimental data on how to permanently alter the colonization of our gut flora for the better.  For now, I’m continuing with live probiotics like fermented vegetables and water kefir.

I will keep up the research on autoimmunity and the microbiome and will let you know how the genome sequencing goes!

As more researchers become interested in the microbiome… more research is being unveiled!  This now popular point of discussion is still quite new to modern medicine, however it will be the single largest contributor to a better understanding of the human body over the next 25 to 50 years.  The microbiome consists of all the bacteria cells living within our body that outnumber our human cells 10:1.  A large portion of these bacteria live within our digestive system, especially the large intestine, and are responsible for much of our nutrition and immune system.  The complete role of the microbiome is still yet to be discovered, yet it is understood to have a role in almost all diseases, autoimmune reactions, chronic illness, cancers, and even psychological disorders.  Literally almost everything that can go wrong within your body!

This article only begins to scratch the surface.  It states that artificial sweeteners have been found to have a significant affect on the type of bacteria that flourish in your gut, and that this response has been linked with glucose intolerance, a precursor to diabetes.  In effect, artificial sweeteners may cause diabetes just as easily or even quicker than eating regular sugar due to the affect it has on our gut bacteria reacting to something “sweet” in the “food” we eat.

Artificial Sweeteners could cause Spikes in Blood Sugar

In my opinion, there are no shortcuts.  The food we eat is literally what creates who we are.  And the health of our gut bacteria is vital to getting the nutrients out of that food and regulating our immune system.  Whole natural nutrient dense foods are always the way to go.  If you can’t recognize it or pronounce it, don’t let it become part of your body.

Having trouble with soreness from intense workouts?  Have some roasted garlic and tea!  Inflammation is a very general issue that affects everything in our body from workout recovery to stiffening blood vessels and heart disease.  It is your vascular system’s response to harmful stimuli affecting your immune system and heart function triggered by either intense workouts, overall lack of exercise, or foods with too much sugar or salt.  The best way to avoid inflammation is through regular exercise, especially cardio, and foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamins C and E, fiber, omega-3 fats, and low on the glycemic index.  These foods include garlic, grapes, olive oil, tea, vinegars, nuts, aloe, tumeric, ginger, and cinnamon!

Articles:

The Hidden Dangers of Inflammation

What Really Causes Heart Disease

Back to the Nutrition Section

What if you could make dark leafy greens taste better and healthier for you at the same time?  While munching on kale is quite refreshing, sometimes you may want to give your poor jaw a break.  By blending greens into a smoothie, the plant cellulose is broken down more than through chewing and releases more of those highly valued nutrients.  Add some fruit such as a banana or berries to make any strong leafy vegetable taste like a decadent dessert.  Who knew?  Sometimes being lazy is actually better for you!  As my good friend Mike always reminds me, “It’s all about balance”.

Remember:  juicing is not the same as blending since it removes the valuable fiber and many of the accompanying nutrients.

Recipes and more info about how blending greens can bolster your immune system:  Greens for Immune System Health

 

Everyone loves raw fish right?  Surprisingly, raw meat is immensely nutritious, even more so than cooked meat.  Most traditional culture’s have various raw or pickled fish dishes.  And it tastes amazing with fruit!  What a perfect combination for people who prefer a hunter/gatherer diet.  Try your own variations on this recipe and discover some delicious fruit and fish combinations for yourself.

Serves 4        Prep time: 20 minutes        Wait time: 1 day

1lb fillet of wild salmon (skin removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
1/4 cup julienned white onion (sliced into thin crescants)
1/8 cup julienned red pepper (either bell pepper or hot pepper depending on your spice tolerance)
1 cup grapes (sliced in half lengthwise)
juice from 3 lemons
tt basil (dried or fresh cut into ribbons)
tt sea salt

1. Place the cubes of slamon into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and salt (the lemon juice should just cover the fish).

2. Cover and refridgerate for 1 day or overnight. You should stir the salmon once while marinating to ensure the lemon reaches all the salmon.

3. Add the onion, peppers, grapes and basil to the bowl. Mix well and let sit in the fridge for another 20 minutes.

4. Enjoy! Be sure to drain most of the lemon juice as you serve.

Posts Categories

Previous Posts

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.