Monday, September 26, 2011

Tips for Healthy Eyes Courtesy of Dr. Ben Kim

As many of you know, I do follow Dr. Ben Kim's natural health newsletter and blog. Although I don't always agree with his food choices that are high carb, he has a lot of valuable information to impart. So, I pick and choose.

This newsletter was about eating for more healthy eyes and especially to avoid macular degeneration of the eyes, which is an insidious disease causing blindness. My mother suffered from it and was nearly totally blind before she passed away on 9/11/2011. I wish I had had this information sooner! And the good news is what he recommends is very Atkins friendly. I have copied and pasted the newsletter for you, and will leave it to you to click the links for more info. Who knew about these benefits of avocados?? And the avocado dill dressing is very Atkins friendly- I intend to try it tomorrow! Have a look:

Dear Reader,
Last week, I heard from a longtime client and friend
in California who reported experiencing vast improvement
in her vision within the past year.  In September of 2010,
she was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration,
so she had plenty of motivation to try some of my
First, I asked her to work at making frequent and
gentle blinking a subconscious habit to keep her eyes
properly lubricated.  To learn why this is important,
have a look here:

Next, I suggested doing the following eye exercises
twice a day:
And finally, I recommended that she take one tablet of
our whole food Vision Support formula daily:
These were the only changes that she made to her
lifestyle, as she was already following a nutrient-
dense, plant-centered diet with small amounts of
clean animal foods like organic eggs and wild fish.
Even if you've come across this information before, I encourage
you to have a look at the posts above, as I updated
them this morning and included some pictures of
the three acupressure points that you can use to
maintain and even improve your vision. 
All small actions that can really make a positive
difference in your vision IF you adopt them as habits.
One of nature's best foods for supporting your vision
are avocados.  Ripe and creamy avocados are naturally
abundant in lutein, an antioxidant that is thought to
help prevent free radical damage in the macular region
of your eyes.  Avocados are also a good source of
vitamin C, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin
E, all of which are needed for healthy eyes. 
For a look at how to create your own avocado dill
dressing - perfect for serving up with salads, steamed
vegetables, and whole grain dishes, have a look at
Kristen's pictorial here:
Don't skimp on the fresh lemon juice, as it will help
this dressing stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.
Here's another thought from Maya Angelou that I've
been thinking about:
"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.
But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean."
I think she's referring to bitterness as resentment
that we do nothing about, and anger as constructive
expression of things that we feel are unfair. 
To be at peace and experience our best health, I'm
certain that we must work at becoming great at
preventing bitterness.  Whatever bothers us, we
really ought to find a mechanism for releasing it in a way
that's respectful to all involved. 
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful
week ahead,
Ben Kim

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wheat Belly review courtesy of Dana Carpender

As most of you know, I have been slow doing blogs due to the recent death of my mother. Now, I am taking a breather from daily running and chores and trying to catch up on reading and reporting to you. Last night I did some reading on Dana Carpender's blog "Hold the Toast," and was especially fascinated with her review of the book, Wheat Belly." Once again, I have renewed my vow to totally give up gluten. After reading this review, I was amazed at just how addictive gluten is and the conditions and symptoms attributed to consumption of products containing gluten! I recognized some of those symptoms in myself when I consume gluten-containing products, especially the sheer addictiveness of it!

If you are from the South, and know something about Southern funeral customs, you know that food is an integral part of the process. Our family was inundated with food brought to the house immediately after my mother passed away, and then the ladies of my mother's church prepared a gargantuan feast for all attendees afterward in the church dining hall.  I guess I could have remained low carb, if I had eaten nothing but meat for four days. But, I didn't. I ate casserole's, home-made cake and heavenly yeast risen rolls, potato salad, sweet potato souffle, and you name it. As a result, I am in dire need of a low-carber's rehab unit! A locked down unit! I am addicted once again to all the gluten containing foods! Somewhere in my mind, I have always thought that addiction was too strong a word for what is ailing me now. IT'S NOT! All I want at this point is more of the stuff. And yet, it makes me feel so bad! So, back to square one for me tomorrow.

I have ordered the book, Wheat Belly, and will give my own review when I finish. Meanwhile, have a read at what Dana has to say about the book. It is informative and fascinating, although a little scary.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crispy Snack for the Non-Lover of Pork Rinds Courtesy of Pat

If you are like me and only use pork rinds in a pinch, and don't really love them for a crispy snack, Pat, one of our OFL's has contributed this. I haven't gotten around to buying the pepperoni, but I will, definitely! I love a salty, crunchy snack! I'll let you tell it in her own words:

Crispy Pepperoni

Well, my daughter came up with a great snack idea. Neither of us like pork rinds much, so she was searching the Atkins website for something else to try when she found/invented pepperoni chips. Just take thinly sliced pepperoni pieces and lay them in a single layer on a plate. Cover with a paper towel and microwave for a minute and 15 seconds (to 1 minute 30 seconds). Remove the pepperoni pieces to a paper towel. They are spicy, crunchy, potato chip-like things. A great crunchy snack. No idea on calories as almost all the oil cooks out, but zero carbs!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Working OFL's Guide to Staying on the WOE

A lot of our OFL's are involved with school systems and the like here and there and have been off during the summer. Now, everyone is returning to the fall/winter/spring schedule. If you have been off for the summer, or like I am, involved in caring for elder family members, it can be really difficult to stay on the WOE! We are constantly inundated with high carb, sugary things that are so easy to grab if you haven't prepared in advance!  And then, there are those people we come in contact with who say "well, a little bit of potato salad, rice, bread, pie, cake, etc. won't hurt you." IT DOES HURT!  So, I have comprised a (by no means complete) guide to preparing for being out in the working world or just being too busy to cook two diets as I am. If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section and I will add them to this post.

1. Eggs can be a life saver. I always have a few boiled for tossing in a chicken salad, tuna salad or just eating in a pinch. Lemon pepper on a boiled egg really lends a nice zing to it.

2. MIM's are also a staple for me. I cook four at the time. I usually eat one at time of cooking. Two are always made without sweeteners and spices. Sometimes, I add cheese, dried onion flakes, or herbs to the two unsweetened ones- or even bacon bits. Remember our OFL, Carole says adding a little bit of water to the batter makes a better consistency. I freeze the extras in zip-lock bags. It's really easy to grab on the way out the door and by the time lunch rolls around or you are hungry again, it is thawed.

3 Canned chicken and tuna are things I keep on hand. The chicken salad on the previous post can be made in a hurry . Or use the same recipe for tuna. I don't recommend using seafood with that recipe for taking with you. You could even throw a quick chicken soup together to take with you on cold days. See Carole's recipe on a previous post.

4. I buy a pound or so of deli roast beef and turkey with no preservatives and freeze portions of it. This is great to chop and toss in a salad, or use in a "sandwich" made with a low carb tortilla.

5. I now buy pre-washed salad mixes- a little more expensive, but worth the saved time in labor. You can also buy pre-chopped veggies for salads. I generally find a time when I'm not terribly busy and chop a lot myself and store in zip-locks in the fridge. These chopped veggies are also good to grab and take with you for snacks.

6. Our deli makes delicious rotisserie chickens and ribs, so occasionally, I take advantage of that. A rotisserie chicken will do for a family meal and leftovers are good in salads, low carb tortillas and the like. Same with the ribs.

7  I keep low carb tortillas on hand to make "sandwiches." Mine are spinach and herb with 12 gm fiber and only 5 usable carbs.

8. If I have extra time, I make the foccacia bread recipe that is on this blog. It is good for sandwiches, sliced and made into pizza, etc.

9. When I do have time to really cook, I try to cook double meats and veggies, so there is a meal prepared for the next day. Sometimes, I cook a lot of meat at one time and freeze some in portions that will be easy to take out of the freezer and use in salads and the like.

10. When I cook bacon for breakfast, I always cook extra and store it in the fridge in zip-locks. It's great to have on hand for BLT's, salads, etc.

11. I try to have several varieties of hard cheese around. When time permits, I will slice at least part of what I have in the correct portions to eat and have it in zip-locks ready to grab and go.

12. When time permits, I measure different nuts into correct proportions and zip-lock them for grabbing.

13. If you are at the stage of the WOE where berries are permitted, zip-lock them in correct proportions. I NEVER trust myself to eat the correct amount when I'm hungry, so I try to have the right amounts ready.

14. I keep baby dill pickles around. I've found there is something about that dill flavor that curbs my appetite.

15, I store olives in the correct proportions in zip-locks.

16. Occasionally, I make a frittata when I find myself with extra time. It refrigerates well, and is delicious hot, warm or room temperature. A generous slice of this will make a good lunch tot take with you (if you have access to refrigeration at work.)

17. Although they are not my favorite snack, I do keep small bags of pork rinds around to take with me. They are very filling in a pinch.

18. I also keep sugar free jello in the little cups. Easy to grab and go.

19. I keep a clear plastic box with lid in the fridge with all my zip-locked food in it. If you work, it is easy to pick items for snacks and lunch to take with you. Your planning has already been done in advance! You can also see at a glance what foods you need to re-stock on. This also discourages others not on the WOE from eating all your legal food!

I'm sure all of this is just the tip of the iceberg, so feel free to add suggestions in the comments section.