Tag Archives: simple food

Saving my sister’s life with food

The food abuse had been going on for years, leading to obesity, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.  This  was managed with a myriad of medications. I think at one point she told me she was on nine different medications!  Some 20 years later, it all came to a head with a medical crisis (though there were many warning signs prior to this), one that to this day leave some serious physical, mental and emotional scars.

It sounds dramatic but I can assure you it’s no  exaggeration because I was there and I’m still there today helping my sister negotiate her way back to health through nutrition.

But let me back up a bit to the day I flew to Alberta with no idea if I would be heading straight to the hospital or my sister’s home.  Because for the past year or so, her life consisted of one medical crisis after the next that no medical professional could figure out.

She was plagued with chronic, acute diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, near fainting spells, severe pain in her shoulders, neck and head that seemed to be progressively getting worse.  The irony was that she was losing weight, something that had alluded her for years even though I was right there, with all the knowledge and expertise in nutrition and weight loss, for whatever reason, she didn’t want to know.  As time went on and her symptoms were not improving, the realization hit home; her disease could no longer be chemically managed through traditional medicine.

During our many telephone conversations I had suggested the possibility that the medications could be causing these issues.  However, she felt that the doctors, either her own or the many that had treated her in the ER would have caught that. Eventually, one of them did.  It turned out that she had developed a severe reaction to Metformin, the drug prescribed to control the type 2 diabetes.

It was shortly after I arrived, following another doctor visit, that she was given this information about the Metformin.  She was immediately taken off the drug and within 24 hours there was an improvement in her symptoms. She also decided, along with her family doctor that she wanted to come off  many of the other medications she was being prescribed.

Of course she was depleted and exhausted but now she could focus on recovery and building back her strength.  She became increasingly interested in nutrition and the type of foods that would support her recovery and those foods in particular that could also help manage her blood sugar. So I got to work, I finally had an opportunity to help her gain control of her health and trust me, I had her undivided attention this time!

It was not easy I was dealing with food restrictions, likes, dislikes and sensitivities.  But she was a willing participant, highly motivated and desperately wanting to feel better.  So I started to cook, using  real whole foods, plant foods, anti-inflammatory foods, supportive herbs and spices all prepared in a method for easy digestion and maximum nutrient uptake.  I filled the fridge and freezer and left a menu of easy to follow recipes.

There were also some supplement requirements due to vitamin and mineral depletion, in particular, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.  I started slow and kept it simple.  I didn’t know how her body would react. There has been some trial and error and set backs, but the good news to date is that her blood sugar is stable, she has kept the weight off  and  now, she is in control of her health.

 

Important small print you must read:
Disclaimer
The information contained herein is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.

Celery, an overlooked vegetable

You probably haven’t given much thought to celery, an often overlooked vegetable.  But think again, this inexpensive vegetable is chock full of nutrients that pack a punch when it comes to our health.  Let me tell you about a few of those health benefits, some that may surprise you:

  • Low calorie, no surprise here and well, we can all use that
  • High fibre, exercise for our digestive tract
  • Excellent source of a wide range of antioxidants including Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Manganese-we need that to keep that nasty oxidative stress at bay so our cells stay healthy
  • Antioxidant phytonutrients-these babies protect against inflammation, a well known marker for a number of disease states
  • Phytochemicals that are thought to help lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels
  • High in Vitamin K-important for blood clotting and bone health
  • Low on the Glycemic index/load factor meaning no spikes in blood sugar

We mostly think of celery as cut up and eaten raw with dips, peanut butter or cheese (no cheese whiz please!), but did you know that celery lends itself well to being cooked just like the one from my favourite cooking mag fine cooking.  I hope you will give it a try and if Beluga lentils seem a little exotic or hard to find any brown lentil will do.  I personally love puy lentils (also known as French lentils) they hold their shape beautifully and taste great. Enjoy.

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/caramelized-celery-lentils.aspx

Important small print you must read:
Disclaimer
The information contained herein is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.

No fat, so fat. Why has low fat become so fat?

My husband and I were on a trip recently to Long Beach, California.  As we found the breakfast choices at the hotel unappealing, the usual bagel, zero nutrition cereal choices, sweet rolls and 8 dollar oatmeal, we decided to get a few things for the refrigerator in our room.

We found a large grocery store nearby and with basket in hand we attempted to find some plain yoghurt, granola, nuts and fruit.  For those of you who have read my post: My life long adventure with food, you know all about my love for full fat plain yoghurt.  It was pretty obvious once we started down the dairy aisle that my experience back in the 1980’s was about to repeat itself.  The difference here was not a lack of choice but all the choices we found in the dairy aisle that did not resemble the real thing.

Food manufacturers have taken this natural food that really is healthy and turned it into a sugar laden, additive containing fake food.  The worst part is that this is marketed as a healthy food choice, containing calcium, protein and those very important probiotic cultures.

Not so, by the time all the alterations take place there’s nothing left but empty, sugar laden (real or fake), additive loaded, artificial calories that feed our addiction for more empty calories.  This is a reflection of most if not all packaged foods out there.

As far as I could see from the average Long Beach, Californian roaming around the market, most were overweight; this preponderance of low fat products has not worked and I do believe we have known this for quite some time.

There are statistics out there to prove it just go to StatsCanada or Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the numbers on obesity are mind boggling and not improving.

I once had someone show me their low fat cheese in their fridge, they remarked with a smile, “I can eat as much as I want, its low fat.”  This person is seriously overweight with a number of serious health conditions.

So, do like this Greek girl does, go for the full fat yogurt.  Put in some real fruit, and then eat a reasonable amount.  You’ll be amazed at how good it tastes, how satisfied you feel and eventually you’ll see how much better both you and your waist line feel .

 

 

Important small print you must read:
Disclaimer
The information contained herein is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.