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Posts Tagged ‘diet’

This past weekend I had the pleasure of connecting with a couple older friends. The topic turned to health, aging and their complaints surrounding getting old. It got me thinking about healthy aging. What does it mean to age gracefully? What are some keystones in the healthy aging process?

Of course my first thought is diet. (Exercise too but that’s for another rant.) Just as they’ve done to everything else the boomers are changing the way we think about aging. They are searching for answers and solutions about their health. But this is fraught with controversy and conflicting information. From my perspective there is no right diet for everyone. Food sensitivities, organics, seasonality, locality, sustainability all need to be taken into consideration. As a general rule, less processed more whole foods are better. Being a foodie, of course I think it should taste delicious, but I’m not immune to the power of convenience either. I don’t believe the two to be mutually exclusive.  Eat from the farmer’s market people!! http://www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org/ Or consider having your produce delivered by one of the many Community Supported Agriculture programs. In Seattle there’s almost no excuse for not enjoying delicious, healthful eating.

Even my well educated friends I saw this weekend, who ARE diet conscious have trouble knowing what to focus on. Low fat? Low Carb? Weight watchers?(This one makes me cringe, but hey, it works and obesity isn’t healthy either.) Culturally we’ve become disconnected from our food, and we’ve certainly lost the idea of food as medicine.

Then there is the question of supplements. Which ones to take? How often to take them? Fish oil has hit mainstream awareness but other healthy heavy weights like fermented foods and beverages (Kombucha!!) are still on the fringe.(Though not for our wise readers!) Check out the book “Nourishing Traditions” for more info on the benefits of fermented foods.

I checked our Dr. Andrew Weil’s website. I’m not his biggest fan but he’s instituted a shift in the public awareness around alternative medicine which I think is good. He has created a new food pyramid which I think is useful in conceptualizing what foods to eat and in what ratios. Here’s the link. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html Here’s what he has to say about it.

  • It is a practical eating guide that consumers of all ages can use, with tips on how to reduce risks of age-related diseases and improve overall health through diet.
  • It is an interactive educational graphic to help today’s families prevent disease while eating well.
  • It is a simple tool that promotes optimum health and healthy aging by providing dietary advice that addresses inflammation.

 What is hard for me to see is that in their quest for healthier happier lives consumers’ pill boxes are filling up. I feel that it’s easy to underestimate the power of food, to discount food as viable medicine. More and more we are seeing the interactions of various medicines having unwanted and unhealthy results. Why not try a diet change first or at least concurrently with medications? I believe this to be especially important in all chronic diseases with an inflammatory component. A good resource for this is the “Anti inflammatory diet and recipe book” which we carry at our office. It explains that MOST diseases have an inflammatory component, not just the obvious ones like a stiff, swollen knee or allergies. This is one reason that acupuncture can treat such a wide variety of illnesses as well. It reduces the inflammatory response.

I guess my point is, don’t underestimate the power of the foods you eat. While medications can take care of symptoms, they can also have nasty side effects and unwanted interactions. Your diet is the foundation of your health, and a simple way to give yourself the best chance to age gracefully and healthfully.

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Eli is just over 12 weeks now and things are looking up. He had quite the fussy belly there for awhile. He was waking from a dead sleep and crying out. The gas was truly impressive. I’d be in the other room, Eli would let one go and Joel would ask if it was me…It was Eli EVERY time ( I swear.) Who knew such a little guy could make so much noise. Then there was the three consecutive meals of lasagna I ate which caused an all out red rash all over his little tush. NOW every time he pooped he’d scream. Boy did I feel bad.

So I did  some research to find out what foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Now I’ve done almost every cleanse in the book, except for that maple syrup, cayenne pepper one. But I have done gluten free, no nightshades, no- sugar, alcohol, corn, citrus, soy, grains,eggs, salt, spices. The list goes on and on. This one was new to me though.

So-I’ve eliminated eggs, soy, beans (gas producing), cinnamon, spicy foods, anise, onions, garlic, wheat, nuts, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, citrus, apples (sorbitol), bananas, chocolate, coffee, caffeine, dairy. I think I got everything… Oh yeah tomatoes. I eat lots of pork chops, fish, sweet potatoes, rice and quinoa. Pretty good really but I do miss yogurt and broccoli, AND cucumbers.

We also started giving him Gripe water, a homeopathic blend for colic, a Chamomile blend, baby acidophilus, and of course baby acupuncture. I do a special non needle technique for babies. It’s a Japanese style which is very gentle but effective. The whole process takes 10 min. and leaves him feeling really relaxed.

All and all I’d say it was pretty effective. Labor intensive yes but worth it. His little butt is snow-white and healthy looking and his cheeks are getting chubbier everyday. Lots of smiles and less thunder farts. I’ve started adding a few things back in that I know don’t bother him. Nuts seems ok, wheat (strangely enough.) Some spices like cinnamon seem ok too. Sunchokes ( which give ANYONE gas) are not a good idea. Good news though!!! hoppy beer actually improves things dramatically. Oh darn.

Lindsey Lawson MS L. Ac

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I’ve compiled 3 more days of what I plan eat.  I’ll shop for these ingredients tonight so I have them on hand in the coming days, but what I acutally eat might be different.  I plan on making plenty of Black Bean Soup and a couple of the other recipes, so if I get home late or don’t feel like preparing a lunch to take to work, I’ll eat left-overs.  Here’s my menu (and let me know what you think via the Comments):

 

 

Breakfast: Mediclear Smoothie

Mid-morning Snack: 1 apple

Lunch: Beet Salad (see Handout) AND Quinoa Pilaf (see HO) AND Oven Roasted Chicken (left over from last night’s dinner)

Mid-afternoon Snack: Celery sticks with Almond Butter AND Grapes AND 2 scoops Mediclear in Juice or water

Dinner: 4 oz. Baked Salmon AND ½ c. basmati brown rice AND ½ baked sweet potato with 1 tsp maple syrup AND ½ cup snow peas, sautéed with garlic and oil

Thursday

 

Breakfast: Mediclear Smoothie

Mid-morning snack: 1 banana with almond butter

Lunch: 2 scoops Mediclear in water or juice AND Mixed Green Salad with shredded carrot, cucumber slices, walnut halves, and olive oil and organic apple cider vinegar vinaigrette.

Mid-afternoon snack: raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and Bean Dip (see recipe in Handout)

Dinner: Mediclear in water or juice AND Black Bean Soup (see recipe in Handout) AND 1 cup steamed cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper

Friday

 

Breakfast: Mediclear Smoothie

Mid-morning Snack: 1 pear or apple AND 1 handful almonds or cashews

Lunch: 2 scoops Mediclear in juice or water AND Chickpea Mango Salad (see recipe in Handout) AND ½ cup quinoa or basmati rice w/ drizzled olive oil and/or tamari

Mid-afternoon Snack: raw vegetables and bean dip from yesterday’s snack

Dinner: 2 scoops Mediclear in juice or water AND Quinoa Stir Fry

 


1/3 cup quinoa 4 large Kale leaves, chopped

2/3 cup plus ½ cup filtered water 2 large carrots, chopped

1/8 tsp salt 2 cups chpped broccoli (heads and stem)

1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp mustard seeds Dash of sea salt or wheat-free tamari

½ tsp whole cumin seeds ¼ cup raisins and/or ¼ cup chopped

1 med. onion, chopped almonds (optional) for garnish

In a smaill saucepan, bring quinoa and 2/3 cup cwater, and 1/8 tsp salt to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a deep, large pan over medium heat, sauté mustard and cumin seeds in olive oil until mustard seeds pop. Add onions, and sauté on low heat until onions soften.

Immediately add kale, carrots, broccoli, and ½ cup filtered water. Saute 3 – 5 minutes on low to medium heat, till the vegetables are crips-tender. Add remaining ingredients; combine all in a large bowl with cooked quinoa.

That’s all for now.  Let me know how things are going for you.

Eric Nissen, ND

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