Why I will NEVER recommend DAIRY + Tips to Bone Health

One in every two women and one in every four men over the age of 50 are going to break a bone due to osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. It is up to you to take control of your bone health!

Eating a wide variety of plant foods in sufficient calories should supply the body with the calcium it needs sufficiently, without supplementation necessary.

According to the Academy’s Nutrition Care Manual:

Vegans can obtain calcium from a variety of foods, including (USDA, 2007; Manufacturer’s information):

  • Low-oxalate vegetables (see below for calcium content)
  • Calcium-set tofu (120 to 430 mg per half cup)
  • Figs (68 mg per five dried figs)
  • Soybeans (88 mg per half cup)
  • Tempeh (92 mg per half cup)
  • Calcium-fortified foods (300 to 350 mg per cup orange juice; 200 to 350 mg per cup soymilk; 55 to 1,000 mg per ounce ready-to-eat breakfast cereal)screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-24-54-pm

My Top 5 Tips for Bone Health?

  1. Exercise: Resistance training and impact activities like running and jumping improve bone mineral density, so be sure to incorporate these activities into your daily life. Recommendations are to resistance train at least 2-3 days a week for 30 minutes / day and to train aerobically at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes with moderate effort.
  2. Eat Plants: As shown in the video, antioxidants in plant foods have been shown to help bone health. The more the merrier.  Animal foods and animal protein have been shown to cause an acidic effect on the body that may interfere with calcium absorption and retention and could be associated with high rates of hip fracture in Western civilization where high amounts of animal protein from meat and dairy are consumed.
  3. Incorporate These Foods: Low-oxalate veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, as well as okra, figs, calcium set tofu, and fortified plant milk.
  4. Sunshine: Let your skin see the sun at least 15 minutes / day of direct sunlight. If you live in a darker, cooler area, I would recommend supplementing about 10,000 IU vitamin D and maybe even include mushrooms and vitamin D fortified foods like cereals and plant milks to cover the vitamin D necessity.
  5. Take it WITHOUT A Grain Of Salt: Eat less sodium. Sodium effects our calcium retention. Try bringing flavor to dishes with lemon, lime, or even orange juice. Also, try fresh herbs and flavorful veggies that you like, like thyme, garlic, sage, cilantro, basil, or onion.

I hope this blog post helps to bring you closer to the optimal health and happy life of your dreams.  Much love! Reines and SHINE, it is wake up time.

References:

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

V Benetou, P Orfanos, U Pattersson-Kymmer et al. Mediterranean diet and incidence of hip fractures in a European cohort. Osteoporosis Int. May 2013. 24(5): 1587-1598. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23085859

E de Jonge, F Rivadeneira, N Erler, et al. Dietary Patterns in an elderly population and their relation with bone mineral density: the Rotterdam Study. European Journal of Nutrition. August 24, 2016. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-016-1297-7

M Hassan, A Rezabakhsh. Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health- Narrative Review Article. Iran Journal Public Health. June 2015. 44(6): 742-758. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524299/

BC Melnik, SM John, P Carrera-Bastos, et al. The impact of cow’s milk-mediated mTORC1-signaling in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. Nutr Metab (Lond). Aug 14, 2012. 9(1): 74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22891897

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Rainbow Ginger Citrus Zoodles | Raw, Vegan, Simple, Delicious.

The research I am doing for my graduate program is on plant foods and cancer- I am on cloud 8374378457 with all the EUREKA WHATT research that is out there!! Sulforaphane in broccoli, sweet potato protein, flavanols in cacao, cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, the plant kingdom cures cancer!! Amazing! The best is to get organic and picked ripe because plants produce natural components called salvestrols to protect themselves from harm similarly to how the plant foods protect us.  It. Is. Unbelievable. Potent cancer killers without harming the body, truly healing it. Mind, body, spirit, immunity, vitality, sustainability ❤ Eat the rainbow, reap the success, love, beauty, and happiness *starstruck*

Rainbow Citrus Zoodles

citrus zoodles

The Noodles:

  • 4 small zucchini, spiralized
  • 2-3 medium carrots, spiralized
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 purple cabbage leaves, sliced thin

The Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh scallion
  • a quarter sized chunk of ginger
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini
  1. Combine noodles in a large bowl
  2. Blend sauce ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth
  3. Drizzle over noodles, mix and devour with some people you love!

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry with Creamy Peanut Sauce | Oil Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

I love not following recipes, don’t you? This is just a crazy good experiment of mine inspired by Healthy is a Verb and Ambitious Kitchen.  Came out pretty bomb.  I have no idea what the exact measurements are, I was just throwing stuff together.  Feel it out, and make it with whatever veggies you like. With V day coming up, this is the perfect one to share with your hubby.  Or, save the rest for later gator! Have fun!

squashstirfry

The Stir Fry

  • 1/3 cup water, (keep a glass of water close by, this is used to prevent sticking to pan without added oil)
  • 1/3 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated finely using cheese grater or minced
  • 1 small chunk of fresh ginger, also grated finely
  • 1/3 head of broccoli with stem, chopped
  • 2-3 red cabbage leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup of mushrooms, rough chop
  • 2 leaves bok choy, thinly sliced, stem and all!
  • 1/2 roasted spaghetti squash, scraped
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (I totally forgot about these until after I took pic and ate some of it, makes a great crunch!)
  1. If you haven’t roasted your squash yet, prehead oven to 400*F. Cut it in half the long way and place it open side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for ~45 minutes or until soft
  2. In a large frying pan over medium to high heat, heat the water, onion, garlic, and ginger, about 3-5 minutes, mixing often
  3. Throw in the broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, and mushrooms, let it get happy for another 2 minutes
  4. Next comes the bok choy and mix another minute, feel free to add water if needed
  5. Scrape out half of the spaghetti squash (keeping seeds- yum love squash seeds!) and mix that in
  6. Mix in ~1/2 cup of peanut pinto sauce and mix until well combined
  7. Peel orange and cut it into slices perpendicular to the way the sections go to make nice little orange pieces like in the picture. Makes for a delish orange, peanut, gingery kind of asian vibe
  8. Mix in orange chunks, and top with lime to squeeze and crushed / chopped nuts. YUM!

Peanut Pinto Sauce

  • ~1/2 cup dry pinto beans, soaked for 6 hours and boiled for ~30 minutes, [or feel free to use canned no salt added pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I like Eden’s brand the best, if using Eden’s, drain, but no need to rinse)] 
  • ~1/4 cup of peanut butter (the kind with one ingredient only: Peanuts. if there are “hydrogenated oils” on the ingredients label, toss it)
  • ~2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ~1 cup boiling water (from cooking beans)
  • juice of ~1/2 lime*

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.  Not sure about the measurements but I think it would be hard to make this combo taste bad. Hope you’re hungry!

*I put lime or lemon juice on everything, for flavor, for peak iron absorption, and it makes me feel amazing!

How to Sprout and Cook Beans: Cheap Protein Packed Magic Foods

Cooked or Sprouted Beans?

Which is healthier?  Nobody says it better than Dr. Michael Gregor of http://www.nutritionfacts.org.  Watch his video on the topic here. The main takeaway: America should definitely eat more beans, no matter sprouted or boiled. One protein and fiber packed disease fighting food that is literally $0.45 per pound?! Is this real life!? Buying dry beans in bulk not only stretches your dollar ridiculously (sprouting is seriously a garden on steroids), but beans are an important element in our diets. If you do buy canned, be sure that it is low sodium. I recommend purchasing the Eden’s brand.

The Nutrients

According to USDA’s supertracker  1/2 cup of pinto beans cooked from dry contains 6 grams of protein (as much protein as an egg) , 4 grams of fiber (recommendation is about 25 grams / day), and about 20% the daily recommendation for folate. What supertracker doesn’t mention is that many studies have shown that phytates in beans are incredible magic cancer fighters. The fiber and antioxidants in beans also help promote healthy gut bacteria, weight goals, decrease inflammation, the list goes on. Enjoy!

Recipes

All of these recipes with beans from Forks Over Knives , the Post Punk Kitchen and Pinterest look awesome! My personal favorite recipes with beans are Black Bean Brownies and my mom’s EPIC Chili! Although these recipes call for canned, I use boiled and it works just as well.  Hummus with chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, ohh baby there are SO many kinds of beans!!! I CHALLENGE you to try them ALL!

Step 1. SOAK

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1/4 container with dried beans
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Fill the container with water and let sit for about 6 hours or overnight

Step 2. RINSE

 

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Dump out water and they are ready to boil!

Step 3. BOIL OR EAT RAW

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Rinse 1-3 times a day for 1-3 days to sprout. Keep on countertop or in a warm and dry place. To cook, just boil for about 30 minutes, feel free to add a garlic clove, bay leaf, or other spices. Low sodium vegetable broth is good too.
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To stop the tails from growing, put them in the fridge. 🙂 Yum!
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Eat your medicine ❤

Phytochemicals, Cancer, and Raw Food Vs. Cooked Food

Dr. Silvia D. Stan of Purdue University presented a very interesting lecture, “Cancer Prevention and Phytochemicals.”

After researching so much about GMOs and listening to Purdue University’s Food Toxicology expert, Dr. Huber’s talk, it is clear to me that GMOs pose a threat to the health and safety of Americans.

According to Dr. Stan’s talk, cancer is a disease of malfunctioning cells.  Tumors develop initially from normal cells and can either become benign (localized, non-invasive) or malignant (invasive, metastatic) tumors.  Benign tumors are more common as people get older and won’t be a problem unless they disrupt the function of the body.  For example, a benign tumor on the skin would most likely be harmless, but a benign tumor in the brain would start compressing the brain and have a severe effect.  Also, a benign tumor in the thyroid gland, would interfere with endocrine function causing hypothyroidism.  Malignant tumors are the definition of cancer, they can go to neighboring tissues and grow large tumors. They can start in one organ, say in the breast for example, and can metastasize, say into bone tissue (sarcoma), and spread throughout the body.

Tumors that arise from different tissues have different names.  Tumors that arise from epithelial cells (skin cells) are called carcinomas which account for 80% of tumors.  Examples of tumors that arise from non-epithelial cells could be sarcomas which is cancer of the bone, as well as leukemia, and lymphomas, which is cancer in the blood, and gliomas (brain or spine originating from glial cells), and neuroblastoma which are nervous tissue tumors as well.

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Dr. Stan discussed how according to the figure above, the estimated new cases of cancer is different than the estimated deaths caused by cancer as of 2013.  This means that there are still many issues with the effectiveness of the treatment of different types of cancer, so it is important that we learn how to prevent it.

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This slide goes over how cancer develops.  Dr. Stan explained how all cancers initially start off as normal tissue, and they develop progressively.  I am personally extremely interested in this again for learning about what dangers GMOs might bring to normal tissues, as well as how to naturally prevent and reverse cancer, possibly with a raw vegan diet rich in phytochemicals.  “As normal cells accumulate mutations, they start getting transformed into benign tumors, and as they accumulate more mutations, that tissue becomes more transformed, and it starts to proliferate.” As you can see in the image above the integrity of the cell changes.  The normal cells have a small nuclei and as cancer progression continues the nuclei becomes large and the cell divides rapidly and easily.  “Normal cells start accumulating mutations and for pancreatic cancer examples of this are K-ras patients and HER2, these are oncogenes which get mutated and then they get activated, and they lead to proliferation of cells.  As more mutations get accumulated, for example p16, p53, DPC4, BRCA2, those are examples of tumor suppressor genes that get mutated and therefore inactivated.  ‘Tumor Suppressor Genes’ keep the tumor small, so when they get inactivated the early lesion can grow faster and may lead to more advanced lesions and eventually the development of cancer and the metastasis to other organs.”  Dr. Stan explained how cancer development can take decades, which means there leaves a large window for preventive strategies or for preventive agents to be utilized to prevent the development or the progression of cancer.

Both hereditary and environmental factors can influence cancer risk.

Diet an Cancer: Things to Consider:

May Increase Cancer Risk:

  • Excessive Fat Intake
  • Excessive Calorie Intake

“It has been shown also that in rodents that caloric restriction can lead to reduced risk of developing cancer”

May Reduce Cancer Risk:

  • Dietary Fiber (adequate amounts are important for prevention of several types of cancer, such as colon cancer)
  • Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals, especially important for maintaining health status)
  • Phytochemicals (have been shown to have the potential to prevent the development of cancer)

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“There are other factors in the diet that can lead to the development of cancer, this has to do with carcinogens.  For example, high intakes of grilled meat can lead to increased risk of some cancers.  That is primarily from the compounds that get formed during grilling.

A fellow student in the class asked if these carcinogens are present on other grilled foods, such as grilled vegetables.  Dr. Stan explained, “Different compounds are formed when different macromolecules get burned.  Meats are high in protein, and obviously are going to lead to the formation of different compounds.  There are also nitrosamines in meat products, especially in processed meats, which are going to lead to the development of cancer as well.

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There are thousands and thousands of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables.  Research is underway to determine which ones are most bioactive.

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Increased phytonutrient intake doesn’t just decrease risk of cancer, but other diseases!

“In order for a phytochemical to be effective, what do you think will need to happen?”

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Bioavailability:

“We consume different amounts of fruits and vegetables, how much of those are needed because so much is needed for a beneficial effect.  In order for these phytochemicals to work they need to be present in enough amounts in the blood.  Researchers are going to see different diets that show effect with different levels of phytochemicals.  It is important to have physiological and feasible levels to be able to make a correlation that that is going to make an effect.  So, plasma levels of phytochemicals are important for activity.”

Raw vs. Cooked Food:

“Also, how the food is processed is going to effect the amount of active compounds that work.  “Raw food vs. cooked food.”  During the metabolism and absorption some phytochemicals need to be broken in a certain way so they can be congugated, and in order to be absorbed they need the action of a certain enzyme. For example for isothiocyanates, they need an enzyme called myrosinase, which is released during chewing of the raw vegetable.  If the food is boiled, the enzyme is inactivated, so obviously that is going to effect the action of the phytochemicals.  So, the contents in the food can effect the amount of the active compound.”

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As you can see, Dr. Stan mentioned how the bioavailability and composition of phytochemicals can vary.  This made me think of organic vs. GMO as well as fruits and vegetables ripened in ethylene gas chambers as opposed to picked when ripe.  I can imagine the picked ripe, organic fruits have vegetables have more phytochemicals than GMO conventional ones.

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