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Gillian McKeith is turning people against healthy eating

30 Nov

She's turning me off eating well...

Here in the UK we have a reality TV show currently on air called I’m A Celebrity, Get me Out of Here. The point of the show is to give the British public the power to humiliate D-list celebrities by putting them in hideous situations where they are forced, for example, to eat bugs, beetles, spiders, kangaroo testicles and crocodile eyeballs. One of the celebrities on this particular show is a woman called Gillian McKeith. Gillian is a famous TV ‘nutritionist’ who helps fat people with bad rashes to lose weight and get healthy. She is now also worth millions through her health foods brand – Gillian McKeith. I used to think she was a great revolutionary pioneering the health movement but now I wish a hungry crocodile would chomp her up.

On the show – she is not only a complete and utter wimp, she is a very annoying whinger and whiner, she is constantly ‘getting a cold’ and ‘not feeling well’ and looks pale and sick, old for her age, too skinny and is a real pain in the butt. She is the least popular person in the show’s history and I am devastated. She is making people who eat really nutritious diets look like unhealthy wimpy freaks and I hold her responsible for giving healthy eating a bad name.

I eat very healthily, 75% raw in fact, and I am (touch wood) never sick, pink and fleshy and also not stupid enough to put myself in the jungle without being mentally prepared. The general public don’t need any excuse to keep eating MSG flavoured crisps loaded with trans fats coupled with a fizzy sugar hit and she’s doing them no favours by behaving like such a dingbat. Frankly – I certainly do not want to end up like her – she’s making even me rethink my healthy diet…

Cilantro pesto cures muscle aches and hair loss says my cousin Meg

31 Oct

Thanks sonaspicesla.com for the picture

Well – actually my lovely cousin Meg just passed on this really interesting info about the healing powers of cilantro AKA coriander. I eat a lot of coriander so am excited to hear that not only does it add essential flavour to some of my ‘dry’ raw food concoctions but it is clears my body of heavy metals, a problem I haven’t previously really considered.  Ranging from muscle aches and pains, headaches and hair loss to depression and low concentration, according to many sources on the internet – the symptoms are frighteningly wide and varied.

In the article Detoxifies Heavy Metal (mercury from amalgamated fillings) by Klaus Ferlow in an excerpt from The Botanical Review — a technical bulletin published by The Institute of Quantum & Molecular Medicine:

Since Roman times cilantro has been used as food and medicine. A recent study by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura from the Heart Disease Research Foundation, New York,  has discovered that the herb cilantro will detoxify mercury from neural tissue*., is used to help stimulate the appetite and relieves minor digestive irritation.This is a remarkable discovery. It is a novel technique, which greatly increased our ability to clear up recurring infections, both viral and bacterial. Bioactive Cilantro blend is an inexpensive, easy way to remove (or chelate) toxic metals from the nervous system and body tissues. Cilantro blend contains yellow dock to help drain the mercury from the connective tissues. It is an excellent blood cleanser, tonic, and builder, working through increasing the ability of the liver and related organs to strain and purify the blood and lymph system. Achieves it’s tonic properties through the astringent purification of the blood supply to the glands and acts as a cleansing herb for the lymphatic system.

Here’s a recipe from Lena Sanchez on website rawfoodinfo.com

Cilantro Pesto
1 clove garlic
cup almonds, cashews, or other nuts
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil

Put the cilantro and olive oil in blender and process until the cilantro is chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and process to a lumpy paste. (You may need to add a touch of hot water and scrape the sides of the blender.) You can change the consistency by altering the amount of olive oil and lemon juice, but keep the 3:1 ratio of oil to juice. (It freezes well, so you can make several batches at once.)

As rawfoodinfo.com says: Cilantro has been proven to chelate toxic metals from our bodies in a relatively short period of time. Combined with the benefits of the other ingredients, this recipe is a powerful tissue cleanser.

Two teaspoons of this pesto daily for three weeks is purportedly enough to increase the urinary excretion of mercury, lead, and aluminum, thus effectively removing these toxic metals from our bodies. We can consider doing this cleanse for three weeks at least once a year. 

Lena Sanchez also tells us that 

Dr. Omura said he discovered, almost by accident, that the leaves of the coriander plant can accelerate the excretion of mercury, lead and aluminum from the body. He had been treating several patients for an eye infection called trachoma (granular conjunctivitis), which is caused by the micro-organism Chlamydia trachomatis. Following the standard treatment with antibiotics, Dr. Omura found that the patients’ symptoms would clear up initially, then recur within a few months. He experienced similar difficulties in treating viral-related problems like Herpes Simplex types I & II and Cytomegalovirus infections.

After taking a closer look, Dr. Omura found these organisms seemed to hide and flourish in areas of the body where there were concentrations of heavy metals like mercury, lead, and aluminium. Somehow the organisms were able to use the toxic metals to protect themselves from the antibiotics.

It just so happens that while he was testing for these toxic metals, Dr. Omura noticed that mercury levels in the urine increased after one consumed a healthy serving of Vietnamese soup. The soup contained Chinese parsley, or as it is better known in this country, cilantro. (Some of you may also know it as coriander, since it comes from the leaves of the coriander plant.)

I’ve taught a recipe of raw coriander pesto in one of my classes – using a dash of chilli and lime juice instead of lemon – it’s absolutely delicious. This is one recipe I recommend on a daily basis.

Is Bill Clinton a raw foodie?

12 Oct

After plants and before plants - photo from The Telegraph


I’ve always liked Bill Clinton, aside from the Monica-cigargate episode of course, but now he really rises to the top of my esteem. By talking openly about how and why he is embracing a near vegan diet, he is making highly nutritious food mainstream and acceptable and that is frankly amazing for the nutritional health of the planet.

My ‘educated’ friends, family and work mates regularly scoff me for my ‘crazy/mad/extreme’ rituals of drinking wheatgrass shots, chlorella and spinach shakes or even coconut water. I let it go because I know that understanding that food is a nutritious fuel good for our mind, body and souls and not just a low cal, low fat way to get through the day, means accepting that the way we’ve been brought up in terms of diet is fundamentally not helpful to our bodies. It’s not easy. Our parents did what was best for us based on what their parents told them. Now that new best friend Bill advocates a plant based diet, proves the benefits by looking great and talks about it – we ‘crazies’ have an ambassador and we have hope. Perhaps even my friends will be convinced…

The Telegraph reported the story in the article ‘Bill Clinton’s new diet: nothing but beans, vegetables and fruit to combat heart disease.’ It says: Bill Clinton says he has turned his back on hamburgers and pizzas for good, and now follows a diet of beans, vegetables and fruit in an effort to combat heart disease.

Mr Clinton’s penchant for burgers and barbecue and his battles with heart disease are well documented. But he has now gone public in America with the secret he shared with guests at his daughter’s nuptials – he is following a near-vegan regimen.

He was under orders from Chelsea, who is a long-standing vegan, to lose weight before he walked her down the aisle. But he opted for a plant-based low-fat diet, free of dairy or meat, because of bold claims that it naturally reverses coronary disease. He underwent bypass surgery in 2004 and then earlier this year had stents inserted to hold open his clogged coronary arteries.

“I went on essentially a plant-based diet,” the former president, 64, who is back on the campaign trail stumping for Democratic candidates in next month’s mid-term congressional elections, told a television interviewer who asked about his weight loss.

“I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit. I drink a protein supplement every morning – no dairy, I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder so I get the protein for the day when I start the day up.”

He references a book called The China Study, which if you look at their website is a book that draws on findings in rural China, that detail the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The report also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists. The New York Times has recognized the study (China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project) as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” and the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.”

I haven’t it read yet – but I will do asap. Thanks Bill.

Cherry juice is perfect for thirsty insomniacs

18 Jul

In this unusually hot and summery month of July in London, my new best friend and drink of choice is concentrated cherry juice with chilled soda water. Not only is it deliciously refreshing and tasty, but according to a zillion trusted sources only a tablespoon of cherry concentrate a day can significantly ease gout, arthritis, muscle pain and insomnia, prevent stroke and heart attack, and ongoing studies suggest that it may even prevent cancer. I don’t have either arthritis or gout, and don’t do enough sport to warrant muscle pain, but I can say I am sleeping like a log.

Cures gout, joint pain, prevents heart attacks and strokes
According to glamorous website joint-pain.com, ‘cherries have been shown to lower levels of uric acid in the blood, which is one of the most common causes of gout pain. A study at the University of California Davis showed that consuming a serving of cherries daily significantly lowered the blood uric acid levels of women by as much as 15 percent. The secret to the benefits of cherry juice is a compound called anthocyanins, which are the pigments that give cherries their bright red color and are also believed to be the key to helping the body relieve inflammation. As an added bonus, these same anthocyanins may significantly reduce your risk for colon cancer, the third leading cancer in America. Doctors and scientists believe that the anthocyanins in the cherries is what caused the decrease in blood urates and what causes cherry juice gout relief. They also feel that consuming anthocyanins on a regular basis may help lower heart attack and stroke risk, and are even studying the benefits of cherry juice and how it may have direct applications to the treatment and prevention of cancer.

Melatonin in cherries helps you sleep like a baby
On the riveting medical news today website – Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D, a biomedical scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center and one of the world’s leading authorities on melatonin, says while melatonin supplement pills have been heavily promoted as a sleep aid, foods such as cherries – available year-round as dried, frozen and juice – may be a better alternative for boosting the body’s own supply of melatonin. “When consumed regularly, tart cherries may help regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep,” says Reiter. “And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits.”

Recover quicker from marathon training
If you are one of those super fit running freaks, not like me, you’ll also be pleased to know the research results of Dr Glyn Howatson, exercise physiologist and Laboratory Director in the School of Psychology and Sports Sciences’. He examined the properties of Montmorency cherries in a study that found that athletes who drank the juice recovered faster after the London marathon running than a placebo controlled group. Inflammation was also reduced in the cherry juice group, as was oxidative stress, a potentially damaging response that can be caused by strenuous physical activity, particularly long distance endurance exercise.

Even the rarely open-minded Daily Mail is on the case reporting that ‘drinking a glass of cherry juice a day offers the same health benefits as eating 23 portions of fruit and vegetables.’

I’m onto it and you should be too.  There are several brands but right this minute the raw food hypocrite is drinking CherryActive concentrate. You can buy it here or at Wholefoods or Planet Organic.

Gandhi was a raw food hypocrite too

3 May

I’m in India at the moment and a few days ago visited the Gandhi Smitri museum in Delhi. Here I bought numerous pamphlets which are collations of Gandhi’s various lectures, speeches and articles he presented and wrote on various topics over his life. Reading through them I see that Gandhi is also a raw food hypocrite.

Gandhi advocates a raw diet many times in his writings but as he says in a speech to the London Vegetarian Society in 1931: Man is more than meat. It is the spirit of man for which we are concerned. Therefore vegetarians should have that moral basis – that a man was not born a carnivorous animal, but born to live on the fruits and herbs that the earth grows. I know we all err. I would give up milk if I could, but I cannot.

The pamphlet I refer to in this post is titled; ‘the moral basis of vegetarianism’. In it are these articles Gandhi wrote for the Young India newspaper on the 15th August 1929 such as this one: As a searcher for Truth I deem it necessary to find the perfect food for a man to keep body, mind and soul in sound condition. I believe that the search can only succeed with unfired food and in the limitless vegetable kingdom there is an effective substitute for milk, which every medical man admits, has its drawbacks and which is designed by nature not for man but for babies and young ones of lower animals.

In Young India newspaper a week later, he wrote: If one may take ripe fruit without cooking, I see no reason why one may not take vegetables too in an uncooked state provided one can properly digest them. Dieticians are of the opinion that the inclusion of a small quantity of raw vegetables like cucumber, marrow, pumpkin, gourd etc in one’s menu is more beneficial to health than eating of large quantities of the same cooked. But the digestive systems of most people are very often so impaired through a surfeit of cooked fare that one should not be surprised if at first they fail to do justice to raw greens.

More evidence that if you can at least try to eb raw and aim towards it as a lifestyle – you’re on the right, not only physically but also spiritually and ethically. Reading this inspires me to keep trying.

Being a hypocrite is good for you

26 Jan

Eat well for the planet and your body

Good news – my hypocrisy is vindicated.  According to this article; ‘Why the shift away from veganism in the raw world?’ by Fresh Network, vegans and raw food experts all over the world are turning back to animal products to supplement their diets for better health and more energy.  Having never turned completely away from animal or cooked foods, I now wonder if it is a primitive instinct for nutrients rather than extreme lack of willpower that makes me the raw food hypocrite. 

However much of a relief that is, I still believe, based on my own personal experience, that overloading on meat, cooked and processed foods is really unhealthy.  And of course, I also strongly believe that we should always eat well for the planet as well as our bodies and minds.

Why the shift away from veganism in the raw world? on Fresh Network

As you may already have noticed, a big change has taken place in the raw food world, and this change is ongoing. More and more raw food authors, coaches and speakers are coming forward either to say they’re not vegan anymore, to publicly promote the health benefits of certain animal products, or to warn that the vegan diet does not provide all necessary nutrients so vegans must supplement.

Taking into account those raw leaders who have never been completely vegan anyway, we can now count very few raw food promoters who are 100% vegan themselves and who also say that a 100% raw vegan diet provides us with everything we need (i.e. that there is no need to supplement). We decided a while ago that this phenomenon deserved a closer look, so we have been busy discussing this shift with our contacts and also investigating what may be causing it.

Before going any further, we wish to acknowledge the gigantic ethical and environmental justifications for avoiding animal products, and the fact that for many, eating these foods is not an option, regardless of any alleged or real health benefits. And indeed this is why there are passionate vegans who do not believe the vegan diet is our natural diet, but who choose to stay vegan and supplement rather than consume animal products.

The rest of the article, including interviews with some some of the leading raw and vegan foodies, is here.

Raw food in season in January

8 Jan
 

fresh and seasonal is best for your body and the planet

If you pick your fruits and vegetables from where they love growing and when they love growing, you will not only reap maximum flavour, but also maximum nutritional value.  Fundamentally, the idea is that the fruits and vegetables will be happier growing to their full and ultimate individual potential at their ideal pace.  And consuming anything happy can only be good for us.

Imagine if we all ate fruit and vegetables like that all the time. We’d be healthier, more clever and probably wealthier because we wouldn’t, for example, be paying exhorbitant transportation costs for say, mangoes from the Congo.  Not only do our back pockets suffer from the cost of tranporting unripe genetically modified fruit grown in hot houses, but more importantly, our eating behaviours (and I am including myself) are at the expense of our increasingly fragile planet.  Raw and seasonal is the best sustainable and nutritional way to go.

I find my seasonal info here at Eat the Seasons:

VEGETABLES
beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, salsify, shallots, spinach, swede, turnips

FRUIT
apples, clementines, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, satsumas, tangerines

HERBS, FLOWERS, FUNGHI, NUTS
almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, chives, coriander, hazelnuts, mushrooms (cultivated), mushrooms (wild), parsley, truffles (black), truffles (white), walnuts

Delicious detoxing? I’m teaching raw food recipes on 23rd Jan

2 Jan

I'm teaching a raw food detox class at Books for Cooks on 23rd January

If you are anything like me at the dinner table around Christmas time, you’ll have an extra chin, even more rolls on your stomach (and back…), two large love handles and big bags under your blood shot eyes by now.  Sounds gorgeous doesn’t it?  Um, well, no… However – it just so happens that not only am I about to embark on a serious detox to get rid of those unwanted bits but I’m also teaching a raw food/detox preparation class at the wonderful Books for Cooks, here in London, on 23rd January.

Books for Cooks is Notting Hill’s famous specialist cookbook shop, crammed with thousands of tasty titles and equipped with a squashy sofa for cookbook junkies in need of a long read. Cookbooks are put to the test in their café at the back of the shop, while cookery classes take place in the demonstration kitchen upstairs

The class will be based on an international selection of raw food treats using organic ingredients in season at the moment.  I also throw in some of my extra strong opinions on nutrition and living the good life.

1. a green smoothie 
2. raw spring rolls
3. raw som tam salad
4. raw sushi
5. various raw mexican salads
6. raw cauliflower couscous
7. raw chocolate

Of course the menu may change slightly as we get closer to the 23rd, however, essentially, I can promise I’ll prove that a raw food detox doesn’t have to be dull, worthy and a royal pain in the backside to make and live by.

So – to book, click right here.

US researchers conclude raw food eaters thin but healthy

16 Dec

a fresh raw fruit and vegetables is best for you

OK – so that conclusion is music to my raw food ears and I’m going to say those four highly irritating words – ‘I told you so’.  I told you a raw food diet was good for you and not just because you’re thinner, have better skin, look younger, have clear bright eyes and lots of energy.  And this BBC story sort of proves I was right.

I say ‘sort of’ because this report is a very frank analysis of the research and a raw food diet overall. It takes into account some of the potential negatives including damage to bone mass and the obvious necessity for a balanced diet.  It recommends including  raw fruit and vegetables into your diet, not following it 100%.  This could mean anything from munching a blueberry muffin to leading a 99% raw fruit and vegetable lifestyle and everything inbetween. I suggest, from my personal experience,  a diet of 70-80% raw.  I think this is not only possible for us punters but also very healthy.  While the study is based on extreme 100% raw foodies and helpfully concludes that they are thin and healthy, the article also provides the biggest clue, to us less fanatical, as to why.  It’s all in the chorophyll, which can be most efficiently found in fresh leafy greens. Hello green smoothies!

On another note, there are a few reasons why I can imagine this story wouldn’t be taken seriously.  Firstly this is a BBC report from 2005 that I’ve only just tracked down. Secondly, the study was ‘found in the Archives of Internal Medicine’ whatever they are.  And then, thirdly, you quickly discover that only 18 people were tested… Mmmmm.  Well.  Can such a small sample count? Probably not.  But who cares. It’s great news and you should read and digest every word!

Extracts from BBC News 29 March, 2005
People who follow a raw food vegetarian diet are light in weight but healthy, according to US researchers.

It has been suggested that eating only plant-derived foods that have not been cooked or processed might make bones thinner and prone to fractures. But a study in Archives of Internal Medicine found although bones were lighter on this diet, turnover rates were normal with no osteoporosis. The lower bone mass is down to raw food eaters being slim, believe the authors.

Dr Stephen Walsh, nutrition spokesperson for the Vegan Society, said it was to be expected that people who ate only raw foods would be slimmer and that this would in turn have an effect on bone mass.

Elaine Bruce, experienced naturopath, homeopath and director of the UK Centre for Living Foods, said calcium was important for building bones, but that inorganic calcium in the form of supplements would not do the job.

“You have to have organic calcium as it occurs in fresh green leafy vegetables. “What we do in our programme is maximise that intake by having it in juice form.”

She said that the chlorophyll found in green plants and vegetables also contained the right amount of magnesium that is essential for the uptake of calcium for healthy bones.

“The chemical composition of chlorophyll and blood is very similar which further facilitates this uptake,” she added.

Meatloaf is a vegetarian

11 Dec

Knowing my passion for raw food, my clever friend Wybe sent the raw food hypocrite this brilliant image, designed by JWT Kuwait for International Vegan Union. 

I can safely say that if this was a reflection of my body, there would be some chocolate, an espresso, cheese on biscuits and a pizza in there also!

While their website looks pretty bad, the content on it is really interesting and useful.  For example, I found out that there are no vegan organisations in Swaziland, and that Pythagorus, Tolstoy, Thomas Edison, Kate Bush, Billy Idol, ‘Weird’ Al Yankovich, Mel C, Prince, Moby, Justin Timberlake and even  Meatloaf are vegetarians.