Monday
Feb162009

Why I Recommend Supplements

I do recommend supplements for people who wish to attain their optimal health. The reasons for this are multiple:

1. The first is that most of the food supply has been grown farm land which has been depleted by current farming methods over the past 30 years. When only simple nitrogen is added for fertilizer the plants may appear normal but are actually inferior to the organically grown counterpart in which organic matter is returned to the soil for fertilizer.

2. The second reason is that, in hunting and gathering days, it's estimated that we needed to consume between 4,000-5,000 calories to maintain. It's no problem to obtain sufficient vitamins and minerals etc, in 4,000-5,000 calories of fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat. However, it's obvious that we cannot eat this number of calories these days and maintain a reasonable weight.  

3. The third reason is that most of us eat some processed foods. Since foods require vitamins, minerals and enzymes for their metabolism in the body, when we eat most processed foods, some of the nutrients that they   originally contained are no longer present in amounts sufficient to provide for their metabolism. Therefore, if you do not take supplemental nutrients, your body will actually have to donate the necessary factors to metabolize the nutritionally inadequate processed food and you are likely to become depleted of some nutrients unless you supplement.

4. Some deficiencies actually cause people to crave the wrong types of food. An example of this is magnesium deficiency which often causes chocolate craving. Having adequate levels of necessary nutrients may help weight loss efforts in some cases and at least insure that persons on a restricted diet are getting the proper micro-nutrients,

In July of 2002 the AMA actually recanted it's long held stance (due to the overwhelming evidence to the contrary) regarding vitamins and actually issued a recommendation that physicians advise their patients to use vitamin supplements.

Tuesday
Feb032009

How To Bring Flax Into Your Diet 

You can buy flax at your local health food store. Unless they sell large quantities of it, you should find it in the refrigerated area, so that it does not become rancid. You get more benefit out of the seeds if they are ground (a clean coffee grinder works better than your teeth) or at least bruised (such as with a mortar and pestle) as intact seeds pass through your system without full benefit.

At home flax should be refrigerated or frozen to prevent the fragile oil in them from becoming rancid. Rancid flax will smell like paint and will loose its slightly sweet and nutty flavor. The seeds should not be exposed to high heat or air for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, just buy a small amount (1 lb. or less), in order to keep your quantity fresh.


EASY IDEAS FOR USING FLAX

Eat plain with a spoon in a bowl as a snack
Add to hot or cold cereal,
Sprinkle on salad, plain yogurt with fruit, cucumbers
Spread on sandwiches (peanut or almond butter sandwiches)-may make paste with a few oily nuts such as pecans in food processor
Mix into dough of cookies, breads, muffin
Blend with smoothies, potato dishes,.


FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS:  

FLAX HAYSTACKS

Chocolate chips (preferably dark)
Flax seeds or meal
Orange Peel (make sure if frozen that water has evaporated off )
Cinnamon to taste (optional)

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Remove from heat source. Add in as much flax as the chocolate will hold while chocolate is still warm. Then add in optional orange peel and cinnamon to taste.  
Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool and become firm. Store and enjoy in a quantity of  2-1/2   Tablespoons of flax per day.

 

Tuesday
Feb032009

Cooking With Tumeric

EASY IDEAS:

-Add 1 tsp. of tumeric to each cup of rice while cooking   (add to water at start)
-Use 1/4/ tsp. of tumeric in a small amount of olive oil when frying an egg.
-Mix tumeric into ground meat, potato, bean dishes before cooking.
-Curry powder contains a lot of tumeric and can be used in a variety of dishes.
-Visit your local East Indian Restaurant for more ideas and dishes for curry use.

BAKED TANDOORI CHICKEN

Marinate chicken pieces ovenight in a mix of:
10 T. yogurt (plain)
1 tsp. Indian chili powder (or 1 tsp. cayenne and 1 tsp. paprika)
1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic, ground fresh or dried
2 tsp. ginger, ground fresh or dried

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes (until yogurt absorbed into chicken and very thick sauce. Serve with basmati rice. Optional garnishes : Cilantro and lemon wedges.

EAST INDIAN LENTIL SOUP (DAHL)

2 c. lentils (I prefer the red "masoor dahl" that you can get in most Indian Grocery Stores, however you can use any lentil you like. Don't be afraid to be adventurous lentils come in red, green, yellow, brown, and white! The red lentils take the least time to cook - only 20 minutes.)

6 c. water or enough water to cook (for some lentil varieties you may need up to 12 cups
2 tsp. Tumeric
1 tsp. Chili - from the East Indian Store or substitute 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp. Cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp. Salt
One onion, diced
1-2 medium tomatoes, diced
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
fresh cilantro
1/2 lemon or 2-3 key limes

Cook lentils until soft. In a separate small skillet, heat the oil slightly and add the tumeric. Cook tumeric a few seconds until it turns a dark gold color. Then add onion, tomato ,and optional apices: garam masala, cumin, chili - you can be conservative with these if you are timid and add more to the soup later. Pour contents from skillet into cooked lentils and add the fresh cilantro and squeeze lemon/line to taste. Serve warm.

Serves 6.

Wednesday
Jan142009

Cruciferous Vegetables?

Cruciferous vegetables include:

Broccoli
Kale
Bok Choy
Swiss Chard
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower

Ideas for bringing crucifers into your diet:

Broccoli seeds can be sprouted in a few days and have the most powerful anticancer agents per ounce. Be sure to buy seeds which are sold for sprouting, not planting.

Broccoli tops are the most beneficial part of the plant, these can be diced finely when raw and added to guacamole as a healthy extender. Also eaten raw with a healthy dipping sauce. Broccoli could be eaten raw in slaw type salads as well. Try to eat some raw as some of the anticancer agents are significantly diminished by cooking even slightly.

Kale can be cooked in stews or eaten raw on sandwhiches.  It can also be roasted into kale chips.

Bok Choy is most often used in Chinese dishes - a simple one is a stir fry with tofu and Chinese mushrooms (such as shitake) in a light soy sauce or oyster sauce.

Swiss Chard can be stir fried with olive oil, garlic, lemon or vinegar, soy sauce or salt, and chili if you like.

Brussel Sprouts are also good steamed, stir fried or stewed.

Cabbage can be eaten in slaws, used as wrappers for other ingredients and baked or steamed, stir fried, or eaten canned as in saurkraut.

Cauliflower can be eaten raw, steamed, or sauted. It is also a nice blend with curry dishes.

Friday
Jan022009

How To Evaluate A Healthcare Providers Credentials 

Buyer Beware - Your Life May Depend On This.

The reason that I am writing this is that in my practice, I have seen multiple unfortunate occasions in which a patient has come to me after being promised a cure by an alternative practitioner and they did not get the expected outcome.   Too many of these cases were people being taken advantage of in their will to live, for example, with a cancer diagnosis. In some cases this has cost a patient not only tens of thousands of dollars, but also their life.   This is not always due to a lack of knowledge on the practitioner's part, but also I feel due to a lack of scruples, lack of mercy, and just plain greed in too many cases. Many "alternative" practitioners are also very limited in their scope of practice and may relegate a patient to a less or ineffective treatment because they are not adequately licensed to order standard tests or treatments that could provide a better outcome. They may not tell a patient about a more effective treatment because of lack of training, and also a desire to inappropriately hold on to a patient who they can keep charging fees to.

It is not enough to base your faith on a health care providers personality. Some even well meaning persons who may call themselves doctors may have ideologies that are in conflict with well established scientific data and may without ill intention cause a patient to delay obtaining care for a problem for which a cure may have been probable if they had more accurate information.
It is difficult for people to decipher just how qualified their health care provider is. Even though the term "Doctor" is most often thought of as an allopathic (M.D.) physician, remember that the term can (and is) also used for people with Ph. D's of any field, as well as veterinarians, dentists, chiropractors, naturopaths, homeopaths, oriental medical doctors osteopathic physicians, divinity degrees, as well as mail order degrees and honorary degrees in which the holder did not actually attend school.

If you are considering seeking out health care, here are some guidelines:

1. Ask what credentials the doctor holds and how many years of training did the doctor attend full time. Also ask if they are licensed in their specialty and for the name of the licensing board.  

2. Call the licensing board which is usually located in your state capital, and ask if the doctor is licensed and if there have been any restrictions, or complaints about the license. If the license has been restricted this is a red flag. If the doctor is not licensed, I would not seek care from that person as they are practicing medicine without a license which is illegal and they are misrepresenting their credentials.

If a health care provider has no license, not only is it illegal to practice, but there is no governing body which they are under. This basically means they can do anything they want to you without reprimand or code of ethics or practice standards since there is no licensing board to file a complaint against or "watchdog" so to speak..

3. Ask if they are Board Certified. This will tell you that the doctor has completed a residency (area of specialization) and if recertified, is keeping up to date in their field. Doctors who do not complete a course of training successfully cannot be Board Certified. If a medical doctor is not Board Certified, s/he may have only attended one year of training after medical school, after which their contract was not renewed. Most often this is because they were the weakest resident in a "pyramid" type program, or the doctor may have been in to much a hurry to get out in practice and make money, because this interested them more rather than becoming the best that they could in their field. Another red flag is a medical doctor who had only a short period of training in a specialty (especially less than one year) after externship (first year of residency) as this would reflect that s/he was "let go" or left out of fear of being fired from the position due to lack of competence. Of note that after one year of training post medical school, medical doctors can be licensed in many states.

4. Ask for references. Particularly from your medical doctor. A good question to ask is if he would send his family to a particular doctor. Also, in the case of alternative practitioners who your medical doctor may not know, ask for patient references, particularly those with your exact same diagnosis. If the patient was happy with the care they will generally be happy to provide a positive reference. If they do not have a survivor with your identical diagnosis, then perhaps they do not have enough experience in this area, or they do not have competence in the area you need.   If they quote HIPAA privacy regulations as preventing them from giving you any references, ask the doctor if his staff can call the patient who could provide a reference and ask the patient to contact you, so that this would not violate any of the patient's privacy without their consent.

5. Ask if they carry malpractice insurance. This in itself should not deter you, however, only licensed practitioners can be insured by a liability carrier. You can also ask a malpractice carrier if there have been any claims in which the doctor was found to have been at fault. You could then discuss the matter with the doctor as a "settlement" doesn't always reflect any problem on the physician's part.

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