Archive for January, 2012

Sweet Tooth?

I know I’ve talked a lot about foods that are bad for you (and more is coming!), so now I’m going to let you in on what foods are good for you!

Of course, when ‘sweet’ is mentioned, it brings up all the times that we have been told that sugar is bad, and it is – if  you overdo it.

And some sweets are better for you than others – for instance, honey is better than white refined sugar, because it is made naturally and not processed. And again, some types are better than others – unpasteurized honey is healthier than pasteurized, because when it is pasteurized it is heated to such a degree that all the nutrients get scorched out.

So this post is about those sweets – the ones that are healthier than others

My mom is gluten intolerant, so she can’t have cookies and peanut butter & jam sandwiches.  But she discovered a long time ago something that is way better than sandwiches – peanut butter and jam in a small dish. There are other variants that she uses often that are even healthier: peanut butter and banana, and peanut butter and honey, and peanut butter, banana, and honey.

Another easy snack is nuts and honey in a dish.

The thing about using honey when you have a sweet craving is that you can’t eat much of it because it’s so rich. So if you use honey for those snacks instead of sugar or maple syrup, you will have to eat less, and smaller snacks are good.

This snack takes time to make, but if you make a big batch and freeze it, you can have it on hand for when the sugar cravings kick in.

Honey Roasted Nuts

2 cups of any nuts (this recipe was originally almonds), roasted for 10 min at 350

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp oil

Put the honey, water, and oil in a pan on medium to high heat.

When it comes to a boil, add the nuts and stir.

Keep on high until the liquid is gone, and then turn off the stove.

Coat with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp salt

Put on a tray to cool – make sure you spread them evenly; otherwise they clump together (they’re good that way too, but they aren’t supposed to be eaten in clumps).


How People Get Type 2 Diabetes

I read an article a few days ago that talked about East Africa and their health problems. Surprisingly, out of a list of 9, only 2 were dietary-related (anemia and malnutrition). Now, the ‘Western Diet’ – which is what we eat in Canada, USA, Australia, UK, and other first-world countries – seems to have quite a bit more of an impact. Out of 6 health problems here, 4 of them I believe are dietary related (cancer, diabetes, obesity, and mental diseases).
I found this interesting, and did a bit of research about the East African Diet. They grow all their fruits and vegetables, and ‘live off the land’. They also eat milk, meat, and blood. These tribes don’t have chips, chocolate, deserts, fast food, processed food… they don’t buy things out of boxes and bags. They find and grow their own produce and animals – they don’t have major industries doing it for them. They live on one grain – teff.

Now, the ‘Western Diet’ is much different. We buy unrefrigerated food off the shelves – and it lasts for months, years (which raises the question, “why?”). We snack and watch movies during the weekends. We sit in front of TV’s and computers for entertainment for hours at a time.

Now, why does it not surprise me after hearing that, that we are obese and overrun with cancer, diabetes, etc.? Why does that not surprise me?

 Yesterday I researched what causes type 2 diabetes. The answer was what what I was starting to suspect it would to be – processed foods and sugars.

This is how it works:
1. You eat heavy meals with lots of bad and refined carbohydrates and sugars.
2. You eat more heavy meals with lots of bad and refined carbs and sugars.
3. You eat heavier meals more often with lots of bad and refined carbs and sugars.
4. While you are doing this, you watch TV for hours, and
5.  You spend less than a half-hour working out.

Making sense so far?
Lets try going deeper.

(Even though there could be sharks in the water, you don’t pretend they’re not there and continue to swim… you stay away from them!)

1. You eat heavy meals with lots of sugars and bad carbohydrates (don’t worry, I won’t say that again). Now, your liver converts carbs and sugars into energy. When you have a lot of them at one sitting, your liver may get full, so your pancreas releases a (good) hormone called insulin into your bloodstream. This makes your blood cells store the fats and sugars so that you can use them later on; when your liver is done converting the sugars, you burn off the energy from the conversion, and there is room to use the elements that were stored in your cells.
2. Now, if you continue to eat more heavy meals with lots of bad carbs (not all carbs are bad – and I’ll research it later and post on it) and not burn energy, your liver is often full, and the pancreas needs to release insulin often to store the excess fats and sugars.
Lets stop here and use an analogy. Your liver is the pump/filter. The water (food) goes in, it pumps it out cleaner. The clean water is used to make steam to power ‘something’. The pump is pumping water by the gallon, but the ‘something’ is using it by the ounce. Now, the pump can’t stop, because the water keeps coming in. So a tube is attached to the pump, and sends the extra water to buckets. Eventually, the buckets will be full. But! If the buckets grow, they can hold more water! So the buckets get bigger to hold more water.

Does this make any sense? The body can be confusing.

Now, the buckets are your cells. The tubes are the insulin. The water is the food. The steam is the energy that the food is converted into. The ‘something’ is you.

This is the way it works (in simple terms). The liver is full, so the insulin takes the excess fats and sugars and gives it to the cells in your body. If the liver continues to be full, the insulin levels stay high in order to continue sending it to your cells. When the insulin levels stay high, your body becomes resistant to the insulin. This insulin resistance is the cause of type II diabetes.

It seems like the major key to not developing diabetes would be :
1. Don’t eat until you are full, eat until you are not hungry.
2. Don’t eat processed foods, make it yourself.
3. Treat treats as treats. Don’t have junk food regularly. This includes candy, gum, chocolate, pop, and fast food.
4. Exercise for 30 minutes a day at least, even if this just taking a brisk walk.
5. Eat regularly, with proper proportions.

Sweets, processed foods, and ‘refined’ carbohydrates are the ones I was talking about above. I wasn’t saying throw out the fruits and veggies. Any grain or sugar that has gone through a whitening process is refined. Processed foods range everywhere from cheese to crackers to chips.

There is one exception to the rules of don’t snack and don’t regularly dessert. It is, “Only on special occasions”.

Food Rules

This is a new book that I’ve started to read. Michael Pollan takes eating down to its simplest form to explain the best way to eat. So far, I’ve found it easy to read and entertaining. His rules and tips are simple and make sense – anyone can follow them.

The End of Food is one of the books I am currently reading while I research the food additives I am blogging about. Thomas Pawlick talks about how the nutritional value of our food has gone down in the last 50 years and the toxins in it have gone up. He also touches on various other subjects.

It’s very interesting and very informative, and although I haven’t got through it yet, I have learned a lot.

I would definitely recommend it for anyone who’s interested.

Quick Way to Get Rid of Acne

It was my mom’s idea – Hydrogen Peroxide for acne.

And it worked! I looked it up on the net before trying it, just to make sure it was safe to use. Turns out that people use it on wounds, piercings, and acne! Its only downfall is the momentary stinging.

The Miracle

Here’s how it works…

First, pour some into a small bowl or into the cap of the bottle.

Then, use a cotton swab to apply the peroxide right on the acne. Do this two or three times a day, and it should work quite quickly.

Tea Tree oil works pretty well, too, but I find that peroxide is even better.


The Menace Everywhere

It’s in everything, and it’s not properly fermented. It has health benefits, and it has health hazards.

 Soy contains trypsin inhibitors that stop your stomach from breaking down the protein; phytic acid, which stops you from absorbing important minerals; nitrosamines, certain types of which cause cancer; and the high levels of aluminium, which accumulates in numerous organs in the body (the brain, lungs, kidneys, thyroid, and liver), and competes with calcium, damaging the skeleton. In babies and toddlers this stunts growth. Soy also disrupts the hormonal balance in infants, and scientific studies show that it may cause infertility and other menstrual problems because of the phytoestrogens it contains.
Now this is only in improperly fermented (or not fermented at all) soy – what we manufacture in America and Canada. It is properly fermented in Asia.

Unfermented Soy

Soy is used in meat substitutes, it is put in cold meats, prepared meats, ground meats – almost anything that has gone through any process at all – prepared dishes, fake seafood, filler for restaurant meals, and countless other things that probably don’t need it.

A few vegetarians I have talked with say that they didn’t eat meat for a certain amount of time, they substituted it with soy, and then they tried it again and they couldn’t eat it – it made them vomit. The above information may be the answer to this. Soy contains trypsin inhibitors which make it difficult for your body to absorb and digest protein. For this reason, if you are a vegetarian, you probably shouldn’t replace meat with unfermented soy. Fermented soy, certainly – go right ahead… it has some health benefits. I personally believe that animal protein is necessary in a diet, and so I would advise not completely replacing the meat, but do what you will – it’s your diet, and your body.

I think I should mention again that unfermented soy is in most baby formula. It can cause unbalanced hormones, which would result in early puberty, which of course doesn’t show up until the children are teens. If you are pregnant, (which, since this is a teen blog, odds are you aren’t) you shouldn’t be eating soy – it contains genistein, which causes problems in fetuses and in children. This may be the reason for some defective babies, miscarriages, and infertility.

Almost everything that we eat prepared contains unfermented soy, but if you avoid it whenever you can, you will likely have less problems now and when you are older.

Humans as a race are slowly killing themselves – and they are completely unaware of it.

Fermented Soy

Other Links

Where I got the bulk information from

The other site I got the bulk information from


The effect of soy on male (mouse) reproductive organs

The effect of soy on postmenopausal women

Soy in relation to breast cancer

The dangers of phytoestrogens in soy

The effects of soy on both male and female mice

A Terrible True Story

Factory-farmed chickens are mistreated. Plain and simple.

Hens in factory-farming egg facilities are put in cages so tight that they cannot maintain comfortable positions or turn around. This kind of treatment causes aggressive tendencies in the chickens, who will peck the others if they can reach them. To save space, the cages are placed close together, and more often than not, the chickens can reach each other. To vent their aggression, they will peck at each other, so their beaks are trimmed – actually cut off.
Each hen is taxed to the limit, being fed chemicals to make them lay more eggs, and sometimes left in the dark alone without food and water for up to a week. This spurs them into laying eggs if they have stopped. After this period of time in the dark, reports state that some hens would lose over 30% of their body weight.
The average hen is forced to lay about 250 eggs a year; after which many suffer from accumulation of liver fat – as their livers work hard to make fat for the yolks of the eggs. Because they are unable to pass another egg some of them die during egg laying. Another common problem with factory-farmed chickens and their eggs is osteoporosis. This is when the chicken is not able to obtain enough calcium for the calcium-rich egg shells, and the shells become brittle. The chicken’s body must take over 30x its skeleton calcium to make a single egg-shell, and the chickens often die or suffer long-term from broken and brittle bones and paralysis.
Because the hens are unhealthy, their eggs are automatically thin-shelled and have pale yolks. Because the yolks are so pale, they feed the chickens tartrazine to make them look more yellow.
I am not saying don’t eat eggs – we need the few remaining vitamins and minerals that are in them – I am only saying that if you can get eggs from a farmer in (or outside of) your neighbourhood, town, or city, you should. A few dozen won’t seem like much, and everyone else will buy them, but at least you can do your part.

It’s a cruel world that treats animals a way that they would never treat humans.

Other Links

more about tartrazine

Yellow 5

Poison in the Form of Yellow Powder

Tartrazine (also known as Yellow 5) is an azo dye that is derived from a chemical called benzene, which is a colorless or yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a sweet odor and is highly flammable. It is naturally found in and synthesized from gasoline and crude oil.

The word synthesize means to produce a substance through a chemical reaction, which means there has been a chemical reaction to draw out the benzene from the gasoline. So not only is it from toxic substances, but it is processed as well, and then the tartrazine is extracted from the benzene!
In a nutshell, Yellow 5 is a chemical from a toxic substance that has been processed twice.
It causes thyroid tumours, asthma attacks (in asthmatic people), ADHD, and allergic reactions.
This is not an extremely dangerous chemical, but it is still damaging, as shown above.
The following is a list of foods you can find it in; the list is in no way complete, and these items do not always contain tartrazine (although they often do).

Mountain Dew Label

Mustard, Mountain Dew, cotton candy, most candies, instant pudding, Jell-O, corn chips, pastries, some potato chips ,cakes, gum, marzipan, jelly, jams, and marmalades, yogurts, horseradish, noodles such as Mr. Noodles, Kraft Dinner, and egg noodles, wine, beer, mixers, pops, caviar, soups, sauces, some instant rice, ice cream, ice pops, candy, Peeps marshmallow treats (and likely other marshmallows), pickles, powdered drink mixes, juice, and other fruity drinks.

Tartrazine is not just in our food, but it is also in medicines, drugs, stamp dyes, tattoo ink, crayons, moisturizers, makeup, soap, cosmetics, vitamins, hair products, and many pharmaceutical drugs.
It is fed to chickens in powder form to make the yolks of their eggs appear more yellow. This opens up a whole other world of discussion, which I will talk briefly about in the next post.
Scientific studies show that in any group of 100 people, up to 26 of them will be allergic to tartrazine, and that reactions to tartrazine are greatest in people who are asthmatic and allergic to aspirin.

I’d like to note that yellow 5 isn’t any worse or better than red 40, yellow 6, or any of the other azo dyes.

When we as humans are unaware of what we are feeding ourselves and the next generation, things are obviously messed up.

Other Links

petition to FDA