Why Bears Are Not Extinct

I picked up the book, Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks..But People do! by Matthias Rath, M.D a few years ago. The title caught my eye in the book store. Rath  explains in his book that animals can produce their own vitamin C which protects their blood vessels.  Rath believes cardiovascular disease is an early form of scurvy. Clinical studies show that optimum daily intake of vitamins and minerals can reverse coronary heart disease.

Bears and other hibernating animals have an average cholesterol levels of 400 mg per deciliter. If cholesterol causes heart attacks and strokes, the bear and other hibernating animals would be extinct long time ago as a result of heart attacks. The bears produce large amounts of vitamin C which stabilize their artery walls so they are unaffected by cholesterol.

According to Matthias Rath, the bears are not extinct because:

  • Elevated cholesterol blood levels are not the primary cause of heart attacks, strokes, or atherosclerosis.
  • It is more important to achieve and maintain stability of the artery walls through optimum vitamin supply than lowering cholesterol and other risk factors in the blood stream.
  • Cholesterol and other repair factors in the blood stream can only become risk factors if the artery walls are weakened by chronic vitamin deficiency.

The Paleo Diet is high in vitamins and other nutrients recommended in Dr.Rath Cellular Health Progam outlined in his book.

A large study about the importance of vitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease was performed in Europe. Cardiovascular diseases are more frequent in Northern European countries and Scandinavia, compared to Mediterranean countries.  The vitamin intake is low in Northern Europe. The diet in the Mediterranean countries is rich in vitamins.

Professor K.F Gey, from the University of Berne in Switzerland compared the blood levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as cholesterol to the rate of cardiovascular disease in these countries. He found that:

  • The people in northern European countries did not only have the lowest blood levels of vitamins but also the highest rate of cardiovascular disease.
  • The people in southern Europe had the highest blood level of vitamins as well as the lowest rate of cardiovascular disease.
  • A high intake of vitamin C, E, A had a greater impact on decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease than lowering the cholesterol.

While not Paleo, the regular diet in southern Europe is high in bioflavonoids and provides an optimum amount of vitamins daily. The Paleo Diet also eliminates other factors such as sugar and dairy.

Source: Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks…But People Do! by Matthias Rath
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This post is linked to:
The Living Well Blog Hop


Lower Cancer Risk with a Diet High in Carotenoids

According to Dr.Colgan in his book, You Can Prevent Cancer, resent research shows that carotenoids have an important anti-cancer function. By increasing the flow of regulatory signals, carotenoids can enhance the communication between cells. Normal cells can use this enhanced communication to talk to cells damaged by carcinogens, this will prevent the damaged cells from turning malignant. This communication also inhibits proliferation of already malignant cells. Our bodies produce malignant cells daily that can proliferate into cancer. According to Colgan’s book, carotenoids provide strong protective mechanism to keep these cell under contro.

The Paleo diet contains plenty of vegetables and fruit, just make sure that you include lots of carotenoids. List of fruit and vegetables high in carotenoids found here.

Source: You Can Prevent Cancer, Michael Colgan, PhD.

The Food Revolution in Sweden

The Low Carb High Fat movement is huge in Sweden. More and more people over in the Scandinavian countries turn their back on grains and low fat food. One exception is Denmark who added a fat tax but the high fat movement is thriving in Sweden and Norway. One of the most influential persons in this movement is the Diet Doctor, Andreas Eenfeldt, MD. Watch his popular lecture  from the Ancestral Health Symposium last year.

Can Milk Cause Type 1 Diabetes?

Loren Cordain thinks milk is filtered cow’s blood that contains almost all of the hormones and the protein building blocks, bioactive peptides, found in the blood of the cow. It seems possible for these to survive pasteurization and cross the intestinal barrier and enter our blood stream. Milk contains protease inhibitors so that the hormones and peptides are not destroyed by our gut enzymes. This is a good thing for a helpless calf that needs his mother’s hormones to grow quickly but not for humans.

Milk contains bovine insulin that manages to survive our digestive enzymes and cross the gut barrier to finally end up in our blood stream. The bovine insulin is different than the human kind and is flagged by the immune system as a foreign particle.  Cordain says, even though the process is not clear, the presence of bovine insulin antibodies in our system is related to an increased risk for type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease, the immune system destroys beta cells in the pancreas so that it cannot make insulin anymore. This means that people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin shots for the rest of their lives. Type 1 diabetes occurs mostly before the age of 10 in children. Milk has been identified milk as a major risk factor in several epidemiological studies. Especially if children have been exposed to milk and milk formula before the age of three.

Source: The Paleo Answer by Loren Cordain.
Photo credit

Interesting article:

The Sugar Content of Dried and Fresh Fruit

Some people on Paleo are very low carb and avoid fruit while others eat plenty of fruits.We are all different and some of us can handle a higher fruit intake than others. Personally I thrive on a less amount of fruit than my husband does. There is nothing that says that you should avoid fruit on the Paleo diet, but Cordain says in his new book, the Paleo Answer, that it is wise to avoid dried fruit and eat sparingly of the high sugar fruits if you’re overweight and/or suffer from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and abnormal blood lipids.

As you will see below, dried fruit is a lot higher in sugar than fresh fruit and should  be eaten in limited amount for most us. Fresh fruit is by far the best for us. Children are more active and don’t need to limit their carbohydrate as much as adults. Just make sure that the dried fruit is unsweetened.

Dried Fruits
Extremely High in Total Sugars/Total Sugars per 100 Grams
Dried Mango – 73.0
Raisins – Golden – 70.6
Zante Currants – 70.6
Raisins – 65.0
Dates – 64.2
Dried Figs – 62.3
Dried Papaya – 53.5
Dried Pears – 49.0
Dried Peaches – 44.6
Dried Prunes – 44.0
Dried Apricots – 38.9

Fresh Fruits
Very High in Total Sugars/Total Sugars per 100 grams
Grapes –  18.1
Banana – 15.6
Mango – 14.8
Cherries, Sweet – 14.6
High in Total Sugars
Apple – 13.3
Pineapple – 11.9
Purple Passion Fruit – 11.2

As you can see, fresh fruit is a better choice than dried fruit, even better, try to eat more berries since they have a very low glycemic index.

This post is linked to:
Fat Tuesday
Simple Lives Thursday

Is Paleo Anti-Cancer?

Paleo is more than a diet, it is a lifestyle that means a more natural and minimalist approach to living. People eating the Paleo way clean up their diet by removing grains, sugar, legumes, and dairy and replace them with meat, fruit, and vegetables. The absence of packaged food means less exposure to toxins linked to cancer. This way of eating seems extreme by many, especially by people still promoting a high carbohydrate diet low in fat.

Loren Cordain states in his latest book, The Paleo Answer, that The Paleo Diet can greatly reduce your risk of getting cancer  due to the many nutritional elements that it contains. With the focus in the media about breast cancer it is interesting to note that lung cancer is responsible for almost twice as many deaths as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Lung cancer is highly preventable in most cases since almost all lung cancer is caused by smoking.  Doctors such as  Dr.Urquhart and Dr. Samuel Hutton both treated non westernized people and they discovered that cancer was non existent.  Other well known European diseases were also absent, they noted.  The natives immunity to cancer disappeared the more westernized they became over the years.  Dr. Schweitzer discovered the same thing when he arrived in Gabon in 1913, that he didn’t encounter any cases of cancer . He credited the absence of cancer to the difference in nutrition of the natives compared to the Europeans. He also noticed that cases of cancer occurred  the more the natives lived like the whites.

Loren Cordain agrees in his book that the absence of breast, colorectal, prostate and other cancers had everything to do with the natives’ diet in Gabon. 

According to Cordain, the Paleo Diet is a low glycemic index, low-glycemic load diet. I learned in Cordain’s book that a very recent meta analysis of ten studies and more than 575,000 subjects performed by Drs. Qin and Dong show that a high glycemic diet increases the risk for developing breast cancer. Anther meta analysis showed similar results.  As Robb Wolfe mentions in his book, The Paleo Solution, whole grains and refined grains both turn into sugar in the body.

Apart from the Paleo Diet’s low glycemic load, it is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and low in omega 6 vegetable oils. Studies of animal models  and tissues of breast cancer show that omega 6 fatty acids stimulate cancer growth while omega 3 fatty acids inhibit it.

The Paleo Diet is milk and dairy free. As mentioned early on in the book, drinking milk boosts  blood concentrations of female hormones. Milk drinking will elevate blood estrogen levels and increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancer in women and increase the risk for prostate and testicular cancer in men. ( I will cover milk more in detail in a future post.)

The Paleo Diet is extremely high in fresh vegetables and fruit. These are Mother Nature’s best medicine. Meta analysis of population studies have shown that fresh vegetables and fruits indeed protect women from many cancers.

As you can see there are many benefits of eating the Paleo way.

Johanna Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband.

Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

This post is linked to:
Fat Tuesday

Fight Back Friday

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I made some stuffed acorn squash for dinner last night and they were delicious.  I enjoy stuffing the squash to make them more filling and interesting now when we are grain free. We always add some greens on the side. We only had some dark leafy greens with the squash since the meat filling included veggies already.
Use what you have at home
As usual I added what I had at home instead of following a particular recipe. However, the inspiration for this recipe came from Whole9Life.com. I made enough of the meat mix so that I would have some leftovers for breakfast or lunch.
The players
2 acorn squash
2 1/2 ground turkey
1 yellow onion
1 yellow squash
1 green bell pepper
1/2 red cabbage head
A bunch of kale
3-4 cloves of garlic ( I love garlic)
thyme, cumin, oregano,
I cut the squash in halves, scoped out the seeds, filled each squash with a tablespoon of water , and placed them on a pan filled with 1/4 of a cup of water. I baked them for about 35 – 40 minutes at 400 degrees just like Whole9Life.com suggested.
The meat
I sauteed the meat and onion in coconut oil and added all the other ingredients.
It’s really not much to this dish. Cutting the ingredients is the most time consuming so I made the meat mix a couple of hours before dinner time. You may want to switch out or reduced the amount of the cabbage and kale if you have a thyroid problem.
————————————————————————————————————-Johanna Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband.  

Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

Quick and Easy Grain and Dairy Free Breakfasts

People wonder what I serve for breakfast when we don’t eat cereal grains in our family. It is not unusual that I serve last night’s dinner the next morning. Last night was a busy night so I just fried some cabbage, onions, ground beef, and garlic in a dutch oven. I let it finish up in the oven. My daughter who is eleven today, is a slim girl with big appetite so she finished up last night’s dinner for breakfast. I am running low on fresh vegetables, but she was also served a small bowl of fresh fruit to go with the meal.  

When we eat lunch and dinner everyone has to eat what is served, and the food for breakfast is mostly the same for everyone with a few exceptions. The birthday girl got to choose today so little brother was stuck with a chicken breast that I cut up for him. I like to add more protein for them during breakfast then I do for lunch, I’ve noticed that their blood sugar is more stable that way. They last hours on a breakfast like this. Some days I reduce the amount of meat and add one or two eggs. I normally throw in kale, mushrooms, onion and garlic with the meat. I normally add a more variety of the fresh veggies on the plate. The little guy, well he is 10 this year, had some fruit also. 

Here is another breakfast from the other day. Lots of garlic and onions were added to the chicken and kale mix.
I use plenty of coconut oil when I cook and I often add extra fat on the kids’ meat. My husband got me a lead free crock pot yesterday, and I am planning on cooking meat  overnight so that I have meat ready for breakfast. My children don’t have any blood sugar problems, but I still keep an eye on the fruit intake and encourage them to eat more vegetables. 

As you can see breakfast in our house is not much different than a lunch or dinner. I should add, that it is best to go easy on cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and kale if you suffer from a hypothyroid problem.

Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils. She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband. Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

Grain Free Date, Chocolate, & Cashew Snack Bars (Lärabar Style)

I decided to make some Lärabars today. My seventeen year old son does Track and Field so he is gone between 7:30 am to midnight once a week on track meets. It is quite challenging to make sure that he has enough food with him for the whole day. They only serve junk at the schools, and at the last meet they sold a brown bag of food for 5 dollars. I was horrified when I heard that the bag contained a burger, a candy bar, a soda, and a bag of chips. I often ask my son if the coaches ever talk about nutrition and the importance of eating well in order to perform well in athletics. The answer is no every time I ask him. I find this very sad the children and young adults are expected to perform in athletics when they are fed only junk food. 
These bars are really quick and easy to make and they kind of fit into our Paleo Diet since they are grain and dairy free without any added sugar. These are made especially for our active lifestyle doing sports, and they will be great for an endurance athlete like my husband.
I browsed a few sites to get some ideas on how to make them. I came across an article featuring the athlete Greg Parham, and he shared his recipe for his Cavemen Energy Bars which I thought sounded delicious. I also came across a great recipe on the The Inner Gourmet’s blog. So I took some ideas from both those recipes and created some really delicious snack bars. Everyone in the family thought they tasted great. Next time I will double the recipe and try some other variations. 

The Bars

About 8 oz. or so of dates
1/2 cup of  raw cashews (soaked are best)
Shredded coconut
1 teaspoon of dark cocoa (try to find raw if possible)
You can add some honey as a sweetener if you like. 
My daughter is my helper in the kitchen so she did most of the work today. First we heated the dates so we could peel them. She ground the cashews and set aside, then she chopped the dates in the food processor. It took a while to finish up the dates since they were sticky and stuck to the side but she managed to get a nice and smooth batch of dates. 
She put the dates in a big glass bowl, and added the other ingredients one at a time. It wasn’t easy for her to blend all the ingredients so I had to help her squeeze it all together. You really need to use your hand in order to blend all of it. You have to try and see what works the best, either add all the ingredients at once or one ingredient at a time.
We rolled it out with a rolling pin and cut it in several pieces. 
You can experiment and make other flavors. My daughter and I am thinking about making an apple pie flavor next since we love the Lärabar version. Another idea is to flavor them with some essential oils. What flavors would you make?

Thanks for visiting!
Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils and Nature’s Sunshine. She is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband.  

Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

Grain and Dairy Free Snacks for Children

Coming up with healthy snack foods for children can be hard no matter what diet we are following. We are following the Paleo Diet so we exclude grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods.  My children are very active so I need to make sure they get enough food throughout the day. I try not to let my children fill up on things that would spike their blood sugar. We also like the good fats in our family so I make sure that  a sufficient amount of healthy fats are included in the children’s diet. 

Starting off the day with the right food

Our day often starts with leftovers from previous night’s dinner, which could include things such as pieces of chicken, steak, or fish. We add a piece of fruit, sliced avocados, some tomatoes or similar things. Sometimes we eat eggs in various ways. This kind of breakfast  lasts us quite a long time. It also makes sure that the blood sugar is stabilized so we don’t get hungry within an hour again. 

High protein snacks are great for satisfying a growing and hungry child so I make sure I include sufficient amount of protein. I try to make it simple, so here are some of the things we use for snacks:

  • Jerky with or without some fruits. I haven’t made my own yet but I am planning on it.
  • turkey with avocados and some walnuts, almonds and/or cashews.
  • lean beef slices with a couple of apricots/melon balls
  • apple with raw almonds
  • hard boiled eggs with mixed berries
  • steamed broccoli topped with coconut oil and shredded meat such as turkey or chicken
  • deviled eggs made with coconut oil, flax seed oil, and ginger instead of mayonnaise and mustard.
  • veggies dipped in homemade salsa or guacamole
  • cold meat such as london broil
  • hard boiled eggs
  • pureed banana and strawberries with coconut milk/oil – I freeze for  a while before serving
  • a variety of nuts
  • slices of cantaloupe, some meat, and some nuts
  • homemade un-sweetened applesauce
  • unsweetened dried fruits.

I recently made the Spicy Nut Mix from the Paleo Diet Cookbook. I combined nuts such as raw walnut, brazil, and macademia nuts with oil, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. After mixing well I put the blend on a baking sheet in a single layer and roasted in the oven for about 15 minutes. This was a great alternative to our regular Saturday candy.  Nuts should be soaked prior to eating.

I make sure that the protein is served with fat, fruit or vegetables. We also do certain smoothies/shakes for the whole family based on our workout and activity level. Baked yams are also included as part of our work out nutrition.

Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils . She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband. Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

This post is linked to Sunday School at Butter Believer!