Tag Archives: The Life Force Diet

7 Reasons to Eat More Beets

People either love beets or they hate them, mostly because they haven’t discovered all the wonderful ways to enjoy beets.  I, personally, am in the LOVE BEETS camp.  I still remember the first time I ate them as a child.  I wanted them every day after that.  Whether you already love them, or just haven’t discovered their marvels, here are 7 reasons to eat more beets.

1. Beets are high in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C, making them an excellent source of nutrients, and a particularly good choice for pregnant women who have higher folate needs during pregnancy.

2. In their uncooked state, beets also contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. In other words, it’s a great anti-inflammatory food that helps protect us from the effects of aging and disease.

3. Beets are one of Nature’s miracles in the prevention of cancer.  The fiber found in beets seems to increase the body’s special immune compounds that are responsible for detecting and removing abnormal cells before they can become cancerous.

4. Beets help fight cancer.  The phytonutrients–proanthocyanidins–that gives beets their rich purplish-red hue has potent anti-cancer capabilities.

5. Beets have been recommended for many years to help purify the blood.

6. Beets also help cleanse the liver—one of the most overworked organs in the body, with over 500 functions including: cleansing toxins, removing excess hormones, and metabolizing fat.

7. They are versatile.  They can be eaten raw (grated), steamed, boiled (although many nutrients are lost in the cooking water), or added to soups and stews. I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil and unrefined sea salt. Remember: the anti-cancer properties of beets lessen with heat! So it’s always a great idea to enjoy a little grated raw beetroot on your salads.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

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photo by: redfox

Join the Kindness Revolution

We’re living in the Age of Entitlement. Take, take, take. Buy, buy, buy. That’s what it frequently seems like anyway. I often wonder why people have become so focused on themselves. Isn’t it time to give back? Then I was reading a friend of mine’s blog. Jo Davidson, songwriter, pianist, journalist and more, interviewed the author of a book called 29 Gifts on Zentertainment Radio. Jo shares some of the interview:

 

“At age 33 Cami Walker, the author of 29 Gifts, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the life she knew changed forever. When she was going through some of her most difficult symptoms, she received an uncommon prescription from a friend, an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami was amazed by what unfolded during her month-long journey.”

Now I’m curious. While I’m curious about what Cami received and can’t wait to get my hands on her book, I’m also interested in what I can give.

Some initial thoughts come to mind.  I love to cook and tend to shower my loved ones with healthy breads, baking, curries, and other concoctions I create in the kitchen.  So, food immediately comes to mind.  And then there are the obvious hugs and kind words, giving away the clothes that no longer fit, or extra furniture.  After that, it starts to become a conscious effort.  "What can I give?"

So, here’s the plan:  I want to start a Kindness Revolution.  I’m tired of all the lying, backstabbing, gossiping, and other parasitic characteristics I’ve seen in many people lately.  But, instead of getting even with all those who hurt us, why not join the Kindness Revolution?  Why not raise the bar?  Rise to the highest common denominator instead of dropping to the lowest?  I think kindness is the answer to the world’s ills.  And, I’m hoping you’ll agree.

Over the next 29 days I’m going to be blogging about my experiences as I try to do my part.  Join me, Jo, Cami, and all the others out there who are ready to be part of the solution–the Kindness Revolution. You don’t even have to spend a penny. You can give prayers, smiles, hugs, kind words, a shoulder to cry on, or donate some of your things to people who might need them. There are so many ways we can give of ourselves to transform the world. Let’s face it there are a lot of people who could use some caring and sharing right now.

Please join me in The Kindness Revolution. Isn’t it time we all learned we’re connected, we’re in this together, and that the way we treat each other really does matter? If you’re going to join me in The Kindness Revolution, please add your comments to my article below to let me know.  Let’s raise the roof with good deeds.  And, don’t forget to come back and share how giving transforms your life. I’d love to hear about it. And, I’ll let you know how it goes for me too. Hmmm. I’m not sure what I’ll give today…my husband had a 15 hour workday that was pretty difficult. He won’t be in until late tonight so I think I’ll make him a homemade pizza with a gluten-free crust tomorrow. That will be my gift to him for all his hard work and for just being a great husband and person.

Join me as I blog about my experiences, give away free books, and you can share your experiences in giving.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan and the upcoming book The Phytozyme Cure.  Learn more at: www.DrMichelleCook.com.

 

 

7 Natural Energy Boosters

Do you experience a daily afternoon energy crash that only lifst with a caffeine boost or feel a general sense of fatigue throughout the day?  According to research you are not alone.  Fatigue is the second most complained about problem to doctors in North America.






Unfortunately, many people turn to caffeine to boost their energy levels.  That approach provides short-lived energy at best.  At worst, it may cause damage to your body in the form of caffeine addiction, blood sugar fluctuations and adrenal gland depletion that makes you more vulnerable to stress.  Since caffeine continues to work for about 12 hours, that afternoon coffee may leave you lying awake counting sheep when you are ready to sleep. 

Nature offers many natural herbal energy-enhancers.  Some of the best include:  bee pollen, royal jelly extract, Siberian ginseng, spirulina, gotu kola, ho shou wu, and cayenne. 

1.  Bee Pollen

Bee Pollen is touted as a source of perpetual youth in many of the world’s great books, including the Talmud, Bible, Koran, scrolls of the ancient Orient, Greece, Rome, Russia, the Middle East.  Ancient Greek athletes ate bee pollen regularly to increase their strength and vitality. More recently, the USDA discovered that bee pollen even has anti-cancer properties.

Bee pollen is packed with 22 amino acids, natural antibiotic factors, DNA/RNA (the genetic coding of plants), 18 enzymes (to aid digestion and other bodily functions), glucosides (natural sources of energy in the body), plant hormones, 27 minerals and at least 16 vitamins, it is no surprise that it increases energy and vitality.  Avoid bee pollen if you suffer pollen allergies or if you are allergic to bees.

 

2. Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is the natural result when bees combine honey and pollen.  It is a powerhouse of B-complex vitamins.  It also contains many other vitamins, minerals, hormones, enzymes, 18 amino acids, and natural antibacterial and antibiotic substances.  It has traditionally been used to address bronchial asthma, pancreatitis, liver disease, insomnia, stomach ulcers, kidney disease, bone fractures, immune problems, and skin disorders, but royal jelly is also effective for increasing energy.

 

3.  Siberian Ginseng Extract

As the name suggests, Siberian ginseng originates in Siberia.  It also grows in Japan, China, and Korea and parts of Canada.  It has been used medicinally for at least two thousand years.  Siberian ginseng is one of only a handful of herbs that is an adaptogen, which means that it works to normalize bodily functions.  It inhibits the adrenal stress response and works as an immune stimulant, particularly for fighting the effects of stress and depression.  It aids the liver in detoxifying harmful toxins, including chemotherapeutic agents and radiation.  Siberian ginseng also stimulates the activity of several immune system components:  B and T cells, making it excellent for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other viral infections.  Athletes around the world use Siberian ginseng as a training aid because of its reputed ability to increase resistance to stress, increase performance, bolster the immune system during workouts, and reduce fatigue.  But it also helps strengthen energy levels over time.

 

4.  Spirulina

The Aztec people knew a good thing when they saw it.  They discovered spirulina, a single-celled algae that they called tecuitlatl and soon made it a staple of their diet.  It is high in usable protein, a great source of Vitamin B12 (often called the “energy vitamin”), 8 minerals and many vitamins, including 7 types of vitamin A precursors known as carotenoids.  It is also packed with chlorophyll, the green pigment that gives spirulina its colour and its blood purification properties.  And, of course, it boosts energy levels. 

           

5.  Gotu Kola

 Gotu Kola is an herb that contains many nutrients and healing phytochemicals.  As one of the primary energy herbs used by herbalists, gotu kola lessens fatigue and depression without the effects of caffeine.  Actually, unlike caffeine that may keep you awake into the evenings, gotu kola actually helps improve sleep at night.

 

6.  Ho Shou Wu

Also known as fo-ti or ho she wu, the root of this native Chinese vine is a powerful tonic to increase energy and maintain youthful vigor, while still having a calming effect.  It contains a natural form of lecithin that helps lessen arterial plaque and lower blood pressure.  In laboratory studies, ho shou wu effectively reduced blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and even prevented cholesterol from forming in test animals.

 

7.  Cayenne

Cayenne works to boost energy by improving circulation.  It is also effective to help ward off colds, sinus infections, and sore throats.  It even helps reduce pain and inflammation.


As with all herbal medicines, it is best to consult with a skilled health professional prior to starting any herbal or nutritional supplement.

 

 

Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. 






Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan and the upcoming book The Phytozyme Cure.  Learn more at: www.DrMichelleCook.com.

 

 

New Year, New You Detox–Week 2: Cleanse Your Bowels and Urinary Tract

Over the next four weeks, I’ll continue to share a modified version of my detox plan outlined in my book, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. If you missed, last week’s article, "Get the Junk Out," it’s not to late to start detoxing. The next four weeks include:

 

Week 2—Kidney and Colon Cleanse
Week 3—Lymphomania
Week 4—Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse
Week 5—Cleansing Your Blood, Lungs, and Skin
 
While it isn’t necessary to do all five weeks, it tends to provide the best results. As I mentioned last week, don’t detox if you’re diabetic, pregnant or lactating. And, always consult your physician before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any herbs to your health plan.  You can start at any point in the 5 week plan or just do a single week to target specific organs.
 
The New Year, New You Detox

-Drink plenty of purified water (at least eight to ten cups per day). This is essential throughout the program because it helps to flush out the many toxins that will be stirred up and eliminated from fat stores and organs in your body. Drinking adequate water will provide the necessary fluid for your body to push toxins out of your lymphatic system (more on this important system next week) through the creation of lymph fluid. It also helps flush out your kidneys, which also require adequate water to function properly. Start your day with 2 cups of pure water with the juice of half a lemon to balance your body chemistry. Drink no more than ½ cup of water with meals otherwise you will dilute your body’s digestive enzymes, which can weaken digestion and overall health over time. Drink water throughout the day, ½ hour before or 1 hour after meals.
 
-After drinking your morning lemon water, wait 10-20 minutes (take your shower) before having a large fruit breakfast. Eat fruit all morning. The enzymes, fiber, and nutrients put your body on the fast track to cleansing. 
 
-Eat plenty of vegetables on this program, preferably raw, steamed, or lightly sautéed. The enzymes, fiber, water content, vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein that fruits and vegetables provide will help ensure that your nutritional needs are met, particularly since the detox mechanisms in your body have specific requirements. Make bright and colorful vegetables the focal point of meals and snacks and eat as many veggies as you’d like until you feel full—you shouldn’t feel hungry on my detox plan or you’re doing it incorrectly. Limit your consumption of white potatoes however.
 
Start lunch and dinner with a large green salad since they are full of enzymes to help your body with digestion of your meals, instead of depleting your body’s owns supplies. Also, leafy greens are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll (the green colour in plants that also helps cleanse your blood), and many phytochemicals.
 
-For the complete article,  click here to check out my blog.
 
Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook.  Adapted with permission of the author from the book, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. (Wiley, 2006).  For educational purposes only.
 
Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan.  Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.

 

Nutrients Depleted by Common Pharmaceutical Drugs

Move over Rolaids and Tylenol.  Step aside Tums and Seldane.  If you spell relief D-R-U-G-S, you might want to consider the effects of doing so. 

First there are the obvious side-effects of drugs. The pharmaceuticals that millions of people turn to for relief from pain, inflammation, and other symptoms are not only causing side effects, they are actually damaging the health of many people. Drug side effects are the third leading cause of death. By some estimates six thousand people die every year from "simple" non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These commonly-used drugs can contribute to congestive heart failure, kidney disease, suicidal depression, cataracts, ulcers, macular degeneration, hearing loss, tinnitus, memory loss, fatigue, liver disease, and many other health concerns.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can also deplete your body of much-needed vitamins and minerals required for your body’s basic functions. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, and the countless others on the market can deplete your body of Vitamin C, folic acid, iron, zinc, and other essential nutrients. These nutrients are needed to keep your immune system strong, heal tissues, maintain cellular integrity, build healthy blood, heal wounds, and nourish skin and hair.
 
Here are some of the common types of drugs and the nutrients that they often deplete:
 
Pharmaceutical Drugs and Nutrients They Can Deplete
 
Pain-Killers
Drug Names:  Acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, and Nabumetone
Nutrients That Can Be Depleted:  Vitamin C, folic acid, iron and zinc.
 
Birth Control Pills
Drug Names:  Micornor, Triphasil, Ovral, and Ortho Novum Pyridoxine
Nutrients that Can Be Depleted: (Vitamin B-6), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin C, magnesium and zinc
 
Steroids (Corticosteroids)
Often used for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, skin disorders, and immune disorders
Drug Names:  Prednisone, hydrocortisone, desamethasone, beclomethasone, triamcinolone
Nutrients that Can Be Depleted:  Pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, zinc and potassium
 
Antidepressants
Drug Names:  Amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine
Nutrient that Can Be Depleted:  Coenzyme Q-10

Hormone Replacement Therapy/Estrogen Replacement
Drug Names:  Premarin, Climara (estradiol), Estraderm
Nutrient that Can Be Depleted:  Vitamin B-6
 
Beta Blockers
Drug Names:  Propranolol, timolol
Nutrient that Can Be Depleted:  Coenzyme Q-10
 
Acid Blockers
Often used to relieve irritation and pain from gastric acid
Drug Names: Lansoprazole, Omeprazole, Ranitidine
Nutrients that Can Be Depleted: Folic acid, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, Copper and Iron

Antibiotics

Drug Names: Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Penicillin

Nutrients that Can Be Depleted:  Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine), Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, and bowel flora
 
Obviously, sometimes drugs may be necessary.  But it is important to know the ramifications of taking them, and in the case of nutrients depleted, to replenish the body’s stores.
 
Of course, you should never stop taking a drug that has been prescribed by a doctor without his or her guidance. Before you stop using any drug, it is important to see your physician. Sudden discontinuation of some prescription drugs can cause severe health problems so it is important to work with a physician if you choose to stop using any medication. And, remember, there are thousands of drugs. New ones are coming onto the market all the time. The above chart is just a sampling of the drugs currently available, some of their common names, and the nutrients they can deplete.
Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.

 

Top 15 Cleansing Foods to Detox Your Body of Harmful Chemicals

64311_10151349080785823_2020637278_nWhen it comes to cleansing your body of harmful toxins, food really is the best medicine. You’ll be amazed to learn that many of your favorite foods assist with cleansing your body’s detox organs like the liver, intestines, kidneys, skin, and more. Help ward off the harmful effects of pollution, food additives, second-hand smoke, and other toxins by reaching for delicious fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, and oil.

Apples–Because apples are high in pectin, a type of fiber that binds to cholesterol and heavy metals in the body, they help eliminate toxic build up and to cleanse the intestines.

Avocados–We rarely think of avocados as a cleansing food but these nutritional powerhouses lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels while blocking artery-destroying toxicity. Avocados contain a nutrient called glutathione, which blocks at least thirty different carcinogens while helping the liver detoxify synthetic chemicals.

Beets–Time to whip up some delicious borscht soup since its main ingredient, beets, contain a unique mixture of natural plant compounds that make them superb blood purifiers and liver cleansers.

Blueberries–Truly one of the most powerful healing foods, blueberries contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Blueberries also act as antibiotics by blocking bacteria in the urinary tract, thereby helping to prevent infections. They also have antiviral properties and help to block toxins from crossing the blood-brain barrier to gain access to the delicate brain.

Cabbage–Cabbage contains numerous anticancer and antioxidant compounds and helps the liver break down excess hormones. Cabbage also cleanses the digestive tract and neutralizes some of the damaging compounds found in cigarette smoke (and second-hand smoke). It also strengthens the liver’s ability to detoxify.

Celery and Celery Seeds–Celery and celery seeds are excellent blood cleansers and contain many different anti-cancer compounds that help detoxify cancer cells from the body. Celery seeds contain over twenty anti-inflammatory substances. It is particularly good for detoxifying substances found in cigarette smoke.

Cranberries–Cleanse your body from harmful bacteria and viruses that may be lingering in your urinary tract with cranberries since they contain antibiotic and antiviral substances.

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil–Loaded with essential fatty acids, particularly the Omega-3s, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are essential for many cleansing functions throughout the body.

Garlic–Eat garlic to cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites and viruses from your body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also helps cleanse build-up from the arteries and has anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful substances. Additionally, garlic assists with cleansing the respiratory tract by expelling mucous build-up in the lungs and sinuses. For the health benefits, choose only fresh garlic, not garlic powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.

Grapefruit–Add a ruby red grapefruit to your breakfast to benefit from pectin fiber that binds to cholesterol, thereby cleansing the blood. Pectin also binds to heavy metals and helps escort them out of the body. It also has antiviral compounds that cleanse harmful viruses out of the body. Grapefruit is an excellent intestinal and liver detoxifier.

Kale–Steam some kale to benefit from its powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds that help cleanse the body of harmful substances. It is also high in fiber, which helps cleanse the intestinal tract. Like cabbage, kale helps neutralize compounds found in cigarette smoke and strengthens liver cleansing.

Legumes–Add a handful of cooked beans to your next meal since they loaded with fiber that helps lower cholesterol, cleanses the intestines, and regulates blood sugar levels. Legumes also help protect the body against cancer.

Lemons–Excellent liver detoxifiers, lemons contain high amounts of vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make an important substance called glutathione. Glutathione helps the liver detoxify harmful chemicals. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (not the bottled variety) to pure water to support your cleansing efforts on a daily basis.

Seaweed–Seaweed could be the most underrated vegetable in the western world. Studies at McGill University in Montreal showed that seaweeds bind to radioactive waste in the body. Seaweed also binds to heavy metals to help eliminate them from the body. In addition, they are powerhouses of minerals and trace minerals.

Watercress–If you haven’t tried watercress add this delicious green to your next sandwich since it increases detoxification enzymes and acts on cancer cells in the body. In a study at the Norwich Food Research Centre in the United Kingdom, smokers who were given 170 grams of watercress per day eliminated higher than average amounts of carcinogens in their urine, thereby eliminating them from their body.Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables assists with detoxifying harmful substances from your body. Who knew cleansing could taste so good?

Adapted with permission from: The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook (John Wiley & Sons, 2006). Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROP, DAc, DNM,  is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.

 

Detox Your Brain–Part 2

Healthy food choices may be your best ally in protecting your brain against environmental pollutants and toxins found in common foods.  Research now shows that certain nutrients and phytonutrients found in particular foods can protect the brain against harmful toxins.

Colorful fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, strawberries, and spinach, contain a category of flavonoids, called polyphenols. Polyphenols prevent oxidative damage in the brain. A study of rats fed extracts of blueberries, strawberries, and spinach for eight weeks showed that these potent antioxidant foods reversed some effects of age-related brain decline. 

Blueberries contain a group of flavonoids called proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins have a unique capacity to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins. Proanthocyanidins decrease free radical activity within and between brain cells. Blueberries appear to have some of the highest concentrations of these powerful antioxidants. 
 
Dr. Egemen Savaskan at the University of Basel in Switzerland discovered that resveratrol found in grapes, grape juice, and red wine protects brain cells from beta-amyloid-induced oxidative damage by mopping up free radicals. Beta-amyloid plaque has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
 
Tomatoes contain a powerful memory-boosting phytonutrient called lycopene. Researchers at the University of Kentucky studied a group of Catholic nuns. Those who consumed at least thirty milligrams of lycopene in their daily diets were 3.6 times more able to take care of themselves physically and had sharper memories than those who didn’t consume high amounts of lycopene.
 
Researchers found that a group of natural chemicals found in tea are called catechins have demonstrated promise as brain protectors. In another study, green tea extract was shown to protect animals from the effects of a serious neurotoxic (brain-damaging) agent.
 
When it comes to brain health, Mother Nature offers some of the greatest protection against pollutants in the environment and toxins in food. Boost your brain protection by eating more colourful fruits and vegetables, particularly: blueberries, strawberries, spinach, grapes, and tomatoes. And, don’t forget to enjoy a nice cup of green tea too.
 
 
Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, ROHP, RNCP is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan.  Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.

 

Tips for Healthy BBQ

There are many signs of summer: camping, mosquitoes, road trips, and of course, BBQ. If you’re like most people you’ve already cooked more than a few meals on the grill this summer. While BBQing can be a healthy way to eat, there have been some concerns about it being linked to health conditions like cancer. Here are the answers to the most common BBQ-related questions I’m asked:

 One of the biggest concerns about BBQing is the possible link between BBQed food and cancer. Is there a real risk?

There is a link between BBQed foods and the risk of cancer. Basically, when foods like meat are heated over high temperatures or come in contact with flames, certain compounds can form. These compounds are called: Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). These compounds are known carcinogens. But, you don’t need to remember their names to lessen your risk of exposure to them.
 
How can we enjoy grilled food and still reduce our exposure to these cancer-causing agents?
Well, there are actually a few easy things that you can do to reduce your exposure to these compounds.
 
Choose foods that are low in fat like lean cuts of meat, poultry or fish. Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are primarily formed when fats are heated to high temperatures or fall into the flames and create smoke. By choosing lean cuts of meat and of course vegetables which are naturally low in fat, you reduce the chance of these compounds forming at all.
 
You should also trim excess fat from meat prior to cooking it.
 
What about avoiding flare-ups as much as possible while you’re BBQing?
 
Paying attention while you’re BBQing helps to lessen the likelihood of flare-ups, intense smoking, and charring is helpful too, which can result in healthier meals.
 
What about marinating our foods prior to BBQing it? Does that have any impact?
 
Yes, definitely. Certain types of ingredients used in marinating foods can really impact the formation of carcinogens.
 
Marinate foods like meat in olive oil and lemon juice-based marinades. Research shows that these two items can reduce the formation of the cancer-causing compounds by up to 99% while cooking. Not to mention that they tenderize the meat, add great flavor, and help keep it moist during cooking.
 
Scientists at the Food Safety Consortium project at Kansas State University have discovered that herbs in a particular family used in marinades drastically reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines. These herbs include: basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage. Simply use one or more of these herbs, preferably fresh, in a marinade prior to and during cooking. Fortunately, they add tremendous flavor so most people won’t even know you’re making they’re BBQed food healthier.
 
What about barbecued vegetables? Are they a healthy option?
           
Yes, as long as you avoid overcooking them. The longer they cook the more certain vitamins like vitamin C and B-complex vitamins break down. So don’t overcook them. Also, avoid eating any charred parts of the vegetables. 
 
One of the easiest ways to make BBQing healthier is to add vegetables as much as possible. Making kebabs is a great way to do this. By alternating lean meat and vegetables, the veggies will not only add flavor, they’ll also help to keep the meat moist and add fiber and nutrients.
 
Does keeping your grill clean prior to cooking help as well?
 
Definitely it’s important to keep your grill clean prior to every use. Not only is it more appetizing to eat food that’s been cooked on a clean grill, but you’ll be lessening the amount of char that you’ll be eating. The charred parts of food can cause free radical formation in your body and since free radicals are linked with premature aging, disease, and tissue damage, it’s best to reduce your exposure as much as possible.
 
Do you have any final advice about healthy grilling?
Yes, I love BBQed food as much as the next person. So, I think it’s important to remember that you don’t have to give up BBQed food if you’re trying to eat healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle. You can have your grilled food and enjoy it too, along with your health by following the simple tips I mentioned like choosing lean meat (if you’re eating meat at all), marinating food in olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs and adding more veggies to the grill.
 
Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, ROHP, RNCP is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan.  Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.
 

 

8 Foods that Fight Fat

Tired of that spare tire?  Sick of your love handles?  You can naturally increase your body’s fat-burning power by eating more of the foods that help your liver (your body’s main fat-metabolizing organ) burn fat better.  The result?  A leaner (not meaner) you!  There are many fabulous foods that fight fat but here are some of my favorites:

Leafy Greens: Spinach, spring mix, mustard greens, and other dark leafy greens are good sources of fibre and powerhouses of nutrition. Research demonstrates that their high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants helps prevent hunger while protecting you from heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and memory loss.
 
Beans and Legumes: Legumes are the best source of fiber of any foods. They help to stabilize blood sugar while keeping you regular. They are also high in potassium, a critical mineral that reduces dehydration and the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
 
Garlic and Onions: This dynamic duo of foods contains phytochemicals that break down fatty deposits in the body, while also breaking down cholesterol; killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi; and protecting against heart disease. With a little help from garlic and onions, you can burn fat while warding off illness.
 
Cayenne: This hot spice lessens the risk of excess insulin in the body by speeding metabolism and lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels, before the excess insulin can result in fat stores. Spice up your next meal with cayenne and lessen those love handles.
 
Turmeric: The popular spice used primarily in Indian cooking is one of the highest known sources of beta carotene, the antioxidant that helps protect the liver from free radical damage. Turmeric also helps strengthen your liver while helping your body metabolize fats by decreasing the fat storage rate in liver cells. Add a teaspoon of turmeric into your next curry dish to help your body fight fat.
 
Cinnamon: Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture showed that a quarter to one teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps metabolize sugar up to twenty times better than food not eaten with cinnamon. Excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage. Before you sip that chai tea latte or eat your oatmeal, sprinkle on the cinnamon.
 
Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil: These seeds and oil attract oil-soluble toxins that become lodged in the fatty tissues of the body. Once attracted, they help to escort fat-soluble toxins out. That spells fewer fat stores and a trimmer you.
 
Adapted from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook.
 
Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, ROHP, RNCP is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com

 

Gluten-Free Life Force Biscuits

These super healthy biscuits can be whipped up in under 10 minutes (plus only 20 minutes cooking time). 

Mix together:

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour or other gluten-free flour

2 Tbsp. organic brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

 

Add the following ingredients to the flour mixture:

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 organic eggs

1-2 Tbsp. almond milk (or rice milk) to obtain soft, but not sticky consistency

 

Mix ingredients together.  Roll into a log shape and cut into 3/4 inch slices.  Place biscuits on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.  Enjoy with fresh fruit, 100% fruit spread, or as an accompaniment to soup or salad.

 

Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, CNC is a best-selling and six-time book author, whose works include:  The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, The Brain Wash, and Healing Injuries the Natural Way.  She is a doctor of natural medicine, doctor of acupuncture, holistic nutritionist, and energy medicine practitioner.  Her work has been featured in/on:  Woman’s World, First for Women, Dr. Roizen’s YOU: The Owner’s Manual Radio Show, Gaiam Life, Yahoo! Shine, and The Huffington Post.  www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.

 

Copyright 2009 Michelle Schoffro Cook from the upcoming book, Life Force Cuisine.

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