30 March, 2007

The Diet Is Also For Athersclerosis.

As I describe in my natural diet book, The Body Friendly Zen Cookbook (and the namesake of this blog) a variety of slow cancers and illnesses such as atherosclerosis, urinary tract infections, and more, are due to cell inflammation.

Chemical treatments can reduce these inflammations, in fact here's the article on how anti inflammatory and anti oxidant chemicals appear to be beneficial for arterial plaques, reducing them and thus the associated angina and risk of heart failure.

This is also the case for many so-called slow cancers, cell inflammation first makes the cells dysplasic (i.e. adopting characteristics of cancerous cells) and finally that triggers cancerous changes in the cells. It's a very layman's description but it suffices - inflammatory disease of the cells leads to irritation, which leads to changes, usually not good changes.

In The Body Friendly Zen Cookbook I describe how natural anti inflammatory and anti oxidant compounds found in various foods can be used to halt, reduce, and even reverse the progress of cancer, plaque, and other illnesses. A lot of it has to do with interactions between these active compounds, i.e. if you're not aware of them, you may well be taking two foods which cancel out one another's beneficial effects. Similarly, there are some combinations which increase the beneficial effects of those active compounds by up to tenfold.

The book also shows you how to avoid the things which cause cell inflammation in the first place. The recipes are redacted to include the right foods in the right combinations, and better yet, the book shows you how to apply the principles to all other meals you might normally prepare, so that you really end up with very low impact on your lifestyle.

The whole diet was chosen for this minimal impact, which is certainly less than the impact of chemotherapy or surgical intervention. Due to all these reasons, the diet is one which can be followed at any time, and which will provide benefits to you at any stage of health. It's a set of good general guidelines to follow in general, and a specific diet that you can use immediately to reduce symptoms, reduce the illness, and possibly save yourself a stressful trip to surgery. And it's always good, as in the article linked to in the second paragraph, to read more and more confirmations of what I've been urging in the diet book all along.

Of course, I don't recommend that you just self-diagnose and just go for the diet for reasons of illness - I urge every one of you to consult your doctor and go for initial advice and regular checks on the progress of any illness. We have the technology to both diet AND take medical advice, and it's always best to play safe...

18 March, 2007

Carbon Myths and Carbon Truths

You read about "carbon offsetting" and perhaps you wonder if it's all rubbish. Well, there are some figures around and some facts around and some myths around - and a LOT of predators who will bend you over for carbon credit input dollars. Here's my take so far:

To clear your carbon debt for the year, some articles claim that you'd have to replace 111 lightbulbs with CFL bulbs. They say you'd have to switch to smaller hybrid cars for X years to clear the debt for one year, and so forth.

In reality, every light bulb you replace with a CFL or CCFL bulb is immediately reducing your carbon debt. If you put the petrol-guzzler in the back of the garage and the scooter and the Prius near the front, you are immediately reducing your carbon debt. If you set your air conditioning to two degrees warmer in summer and your heating to two degrees cooler in winter, the effect is immediate, you use less fuel and create less pollution. If you put water pressure reducing discs in your shower heads and take shorter showers, that is something you can do right now which takes effect right now.

"But," I hear you say, "that only reduces the carbon debt, I want to cancel it!"

Well, you can offset all you like by adding trees or other activities like that but the sad truth is that just by living you add to the debt, it's unavoidable. And you can plant a tree to offset your carbon debt now but it won't produce any benefit for a few years, and even then it is a bit of a gamble if it will balance your carbon debt or will be way behind the curve.

Also, the carbon debt you acquire is out there and then you add an input, but the unavoidable thing is that for some period oif time, your pollution load *is* added to the atmosphere for a certain period, it's like injecting yourself with snake venom and then a shot of antivenene later - the venom will have been there for some period and killed certain nerve and muscle cells and no amount of antivenene will repair that damage.

So cast a jaundiced eye on the companies that say they will repay your carbon debt because A) they need money to survive and B) they don't generally care about global warming beyond how many dollars they can extract from you and C) they will want more than just "a little" money for their version of "saving the world..."

I'm not saying that inputs are bad, I'm saying that you will need to look carefully at what methods you should use, whom you should trust - and in the meanwhile, reduce your debt now so that there will be less to balance later.

06 March, 2007

Meat To Please You

I've neglected diet tips for a while now, but last Saturday I spotted another one of those things that make you go hmmmm and it was in relation to the meat purchases. Here are a couple of observations:

First, I buy very little meat from a chainstore supermarket. They have all the tricks down pat, how much they can inject the meat with saline, how much they can irritate it to stay red, how much they can preserve it.

That's important to you for several reasons. First - "inject with saline?" Surely no self-respecting butcher would do that? Right. No self-respecting butcher would. But these days most butchers buy their sides of beef or even bulk cuts from a meat processor/abattoir. They have no such compunctions and they want your money so they will do that.

It's done for a number of reasons, first being that thanks to Heart Smart ticks, the market prefers leaner beef. So abattoirs would prefer to buy leaner cattle rather than buy fat cattle by the kilo and then throw part of the profits away in the fat. So the meat is less marbled and bacause fat equals flavour, the meat tastes more bland. (Yes it's true bbq steaks tasted so much better when you were a kidf because the meat WAS more flavoursome.) So saline raises the flavour of the meat, and ensures YOU go back to your butcher more often, and in turn the butcher goes bak to that processor more often.

Secondly saline is a preservative, and can allow the processor to store the meat longer before needing to sell it. That increases their bottom line because they can stockpile cheaper beef against a time when beef prices are up, and make a few cents a kilo on the deal. Which adds up to hundreds of dollars in some orders.

Lastly, as a fringe benefit to the meat processor, saline increases the weight if the meat, thus making another few hundred dollars per order when the processor sells saline solution at the price of beef or chicken...

And your supermarket is generally either a meat processor or a meat processor outlet, NOT a butcher. Heck, your butcher may not even be a butcher but just handle bulk cuts and turn then into mince and saleable sized cuts. And unless they can tell you where their meat comes from precisely, assume that there's a meat processor involved.

One way to tell with beef is to put some in the freezer in a plastic bag, freeze it, then thaw it again. Beef with a lot of saline will produce a puddle of very thin and pink watery blood, whereas unsalined beef will produce slightly watery red blood.

The other thing to watch for is lovely blood red beef. It has been treated with a chemical irritant which causes the redness. It's done with minced beef particularly, but watch out for it on the steaks and other cuts, too.

Why should you care? Hello! Irritant! This stuff irriates the meat into presenting inflamed red blood cells, and then you eat that and you're made of... ummm what are we made of again? Oh yes MEAT! and then we wonder why inflammation-based diseases are on the increase. It can make sensitive people ill, cause hyperactivity in some, and can cause a range of symptoms.

How can you tell? Some butchers spray the irritant into the mince mixture, but most just spray the top of the tray, and over the tops of the trays of steaks and so forth. You can tell because meat normally goes grey after sitting for a while. So if your butcher lifts a steak out of the tray and there is a grey steak behind it, the top steak has been sprayed. If the scooped out part of the mince is grey while the surface is pink, it's been sprayed. (It was this that I saw at my local butcher and I'll be asking them a few questions next time I see the owner there, some very hard questions . . . )

Ask for the grey steak or mince. It will taste the same but be better for you.

Last thought for you. Would you eat the stuff in your rubbish bin? Well, why eat the animals that have been fed on stuff like that all their lives. Trust me the Japanese know why they will pay $1000 for a kilo of grain and red wine fed beef. The flavour comes through.

As far as I know there is only one mark that guarantees that the cow or chicken or whatever has not been fed ground-up other animal carcasses, chemical waste from other manufacturing plant, and a ton of antibiotics and steroids. That is the 100% Organic label. If you value your health, that's what to go for.

01 March, 2007

Solar Incentive #1,022,323

Best reason yet to install a solar farm on the roof!

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