Monday, August 6, 2018

Healthy Snacking

Potato salad is one of the the most popular side dishes in America and, second to the potatoes, mayonnaise is the primary ingredient.  Is that bad?  No.  Eggs are a great source of protein, omega-3 fats and vitamin B12.  However, mayonnaise is mostly a source of fat. So, here's the concept:

Mayo-Free Potato salad

While some fat is good for you, the standard American diet is loaded with it - and cutting it down painlessly is usually a good idea. 

This recipe idea replaces the mayo with a combination of fat-free Greek yogurt (another protein powerhouse) and Dijon mustard, which adds a ton of flavor.  Feel free to change the herbs and veggies suggested here to better suit your taste.  This is just the way I do it.

The Blueprint:

  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup non-fat Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup onions, diced (approximately half of a small onion)
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon dill
  • ¼ teaspoon marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you do:

  1. Put eggs in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, pull off heat, and set aside 12 minutes.
  2. Mix yogurt, mustard, vegetables and herbs in a large bowl
  3. Peel the eggs, quarter them, then smash with yogurt mixture using a fork or your fingers.

Not too difficult, right?  I say give it a try, at least once.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Health benefits of Saffron

What do you think is the most expensive food in the world?  By weight, it's worth more than gold.  Well, it's saffron.  Forget caviar and truffles.  At $2,700 per ounce, saffron makes them second-class culinary citizens.  By the way, saffron is prized not just as a delicious spice, or as an impressive dye (in Buddhist robes, for example - a single tiny thread of saffron gives 10 gallons of water that unique golden hue) but also as an enticing fragrance note in high-class perfumes.

It’s also chock full of rather amazing health benefits. 

Here's what it has and what it can do for your system:
  • It's got a powerhouse of immune-system boosting antioxidants that protect against everything from infections to cancers.
  • It's an excellent source of essential minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese (nearly 400% of the daily recommended value), iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
  • It's a super source of vital vitamins A and C, and of folic acid, riboflavin, and niacin - all essential for optimum health.

Who knew these delicate threads could do all that?  For one thing, the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Ayurvedic healers knew - and so did healers in the Middle Ages.  Some poor rogues were caught adding fake saffron to saffron, to make it look like more saffron.  As punishment, they were buried alive.  Today, modern medicine agrees that saffron is the real healing deal, and faking it will still get you in trouble.

Why does saffron cost a fortune?

So many natural health-givers are easily affordable, so what’s up with saffron's price?  Crocus flowers, our lovable harbingers of spring, contain thread-like stigmas (part of their reproductive systems).  These threads - saffron, when harvested and dried - are extremely fragile, crumbling at the slightest touch.  The only way to separate them from the flower is by hand... with tweezers. It’s incredibly delicate and time-consuming work.

You can't do this in your back yard either.  Check it out:  there are only three stigmas per crocus.  So it takes 80,000 hand-harvested flowers - about an acre, or 90 percent of a US football field - to get a single pound of saffron.  Not quite as easy as growing organic fruits and vegetables, now is it?

Saffron is a wonderful multi-tasker

Don’t let it’s labor-driven cost put you off, because a little goes a long way.  That’s why it’s used in small, affordable doses, in so many ways:
  • As an anti-depressant for people with mild to moderate depression
  • To slow the spread of some cancers, without damaging healthy cells
  • To relieve symptoms of asthma and whooping cough and to loosen phlegm
  • As a sleep aid
  • To reduce blood pressure and arterial pressure
  • To increase antioxidant levels in people with coronary artery disease
  • To slow development of Alzheimer’s disease
  • To relieve flatulence and heartburn
  • To prevent retinal damage associated with age-related macular degeneration
  • To relieve menstrual cramps and PMS

How much saffron would be helpful?

Fortunately, given the cost, you don’t need huge gulps of saffron-infused potions to benefit from its remarkable powers. For example:
  • A dosage of 30 mg daily in 2 divided doses was effective in improving symptoms mild to moderate depression, and in premenstrual syndrome.
  • Improved antioxidant activity was shown in coronary artery disease patients who were given saffron 50 mg extract twice daily.
You should convey this information to your family doctor if you’re in those categories.  If you’re in good health, 30 mg of saffron extract daily will likely keep you that way.

But wait a minute.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get all you need in a tasty meal?

Saffron's on some of the healthiest menus

There are countless incredibly tasty recipes that use saffron, from every corner of the globe.  Authentic Indian/Pakistani curries, or just plain saffron rice, are some examples.  Others are Middle Eastern couscous, Mexican and Middle Eastern rice and chicken, Italian risotto, all sorts healing-style beverages and so on.

I’m pretty confident that a steady diet of saffron-rich meals would deliver all of its health benefits.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How smart do you need to be?

I think you need to be VERY smart in life.  Personally, I think that living in a big city makes you smarter (though not wiser).  Other than that, I think that your IQ is probably a result of who your parents were, more than anything else - i.e. genetics, plus the environment you were raised in.  But you know what?  IQs are falling all over the world, and what could be causing that?

In the United States, national standards for public schools have been steadily lowered since the 1960's.  The average high school graduate today would fail miserably at the tests they used to give in the 1800's.  Now, that's not intrinsic IQ so much as trained, mental laziness - though, in reality, there's no practical difference.

But what about all of the improvements in technology?   We must be getting smarter as a society because of all that, right?  As it turns out, we might actually be getting less so.  What would you expect when machines do all the thinking for you?  One study found that IQ scores have been falling by as much as seven points per generation.  This is in stark contrast to the last century, during which there was such a steady and significant rise in IQ scores that it garnered a name: the Flynn Effect.  First detected by scientist James R. Flynn in 1978, the Flynn Effect was seen across many countries and was expected to continue its upward IQ trajectory, but Norwegian researchers think it may have already peaked.  Analyzing over 730,000 standardized IQ test scores from 1970 to 2009, the study found a steady decline in IQ averaging about 0.03 points less each year.

So, what can we do?  Well, you can't change the world but you can change your world.  We (each of us) can save our brains and smarten up by simply modifying our habits and lifestyle a little bit.  Here are six easy changes that I think can help boost cognitive health and improve IQ:

1. Sleep more.

Many studies have found a direct correlation between sleep, productivity, and intelligence.  A good night's sleep gives your brain a chance to recharge, store memories and strengthen neural connections.  According to the CDC, more than one-third of Americans consistently do not get enough sleep - increasing their risk for chronic disease and cognitive decline.  I suggest aiming for around eight hours of restful sleep per night, and up to 12 for growing kids.  The animal kingdom has this figured out.

2. Eat your vegetables.

Eight servings of vegetables every single day is the ideal amount.  Vegetables, leafy greens especially, contain key nutrients that boost brain health.  I recommend trying to eat locally grown organic vegetables from healthy soil when possible, but really any vegetable is a good one.  Overall, a healthy & balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, good fats and lean proteins will keep your brain functioning in tip-top shape.

3. Turn to supplements.

In an ideal world, it would be best to get all of our vitamins and minerals from whole food sources, but supplementation is definitely needed.  Check out a whole-food product like colostrum, which also supports your body's production of HGH (the anti-aging hormone).  Some nutrients may be hard to absorb, especially for older adults and those on medications, and restrictive diets may not provide all of the necessary nutrients.  This means you may be missing out on crucial vitamins that support your brain and overall health. In that case, a super-food shake may be perfect.  Check in with your doctor about whether you should be incorporating more supplements into your routine.  Some brain-boosting supplements you may want to consider include vitamin D, B12, and omega-3.  Over 40 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which plays a major role in the development of new neural connections.  Vitamin deficiencies may be affecting our brain health and influencing the IQ score decline.

4. Protect the gut-brain axis.

Do not kill your microbiome! The gut-brain axis, a connection between the trillions of bacteria living in our gut microbiome and the brain, has been shown to be intricately connected to our health. Unless absolutely necessary, say no to antibiotics, which indiscriminately wipe out both "good" and "bad" bacteria.  Also, don't excessively sanitize, which can kill off "good bacteria" - i.e. cleaner is not 'necessarily' better!  And watch out for sneaky microbiome killers like artificial sweeteners.  Again, something like that super-food shake is excellent for maintaining gut health.

5. Reset your circadian rhythm.

Your brain runs on an internal clock called your circadian rhythm.  The circadian rhythm rules your sleep cycle, hormone levels and overall health.  When it's out of whack, it can affect your ability to process information, make decisions and recall memories - all of which could translate to scoring lower on an IQ test (to say the least).  Getting in tune with your circadian rhythm can maximize brain health.  This is where sunlight and nature come into play.  These environmental factors clue your body in to the natural cycles that rule a healthy circadian rhythm. I recommend everyone get some nature time every single day.  If nothing else, get some morning sun to reset your circadian clock each day.  Limit blue light from computers, phones and video games after 6 p.m., which can suppress the "sleep" hormone melatonin and mess with your ability to fall asleep.

6. Cultivate purpose.

Even if we eat right, rest well and use cutting edge supplements, we may still be missing a crucial component of brain health - purpose. Research has shown that knowing your purpose in life conserves cognitive function and reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.  In fact, having a sense of purpose has been linked to lower death rates.  By cultivating a purpose-driven life, we can not only protect our brain health but our overall health as well.

So, as it turns out, all hope is not lost for human intelligence.  The key to reversing the downward trend in IQs and boosting brain health is as simple as changing our diet, lifestyle and what we focus on.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Colostrum explained (Part 1)

Colostrum is something that few people have heard of or understand.  Spoiler alert:  I market colostrum-based products.  Why?  I believe in them - very strongly.  In fact, I'm a huge believer in vitamins and supplements.  I have been all my life.

When I first got turned on to Anovite, I'd never heard of colostrum.  Once I got into it, and started to learn more, I decided to build a business around it - a decision I don't regret.  In fact, one thing I can tell you with certainty is that a Health and Wellness Home Business works a lot better when you have a unique product that no ones ever heard of.

Well, that last part's changing.

Anovité has been buzzing with a bunch of exciting things recently and one of those (buzzes) was colostrum being talked about on Dr. Oz.  Now the question for me is: How does it help my business?

The Dr. Oz colostrum mention was brief but impactful, pair that up with our team's proven business system and you have some exciting marketing tools.

My 'hippy' mentor, Gino (and his lovely wife), talks about the show a little bit here:

You know, a lot of people don't believe this is real - Network Marketing, I mean. It's real, alright - and it's happening right now. If you're not a part of it, that's cool. You're on the sidelines watching the game. But... time waits for no one (and it's whipping by fast).

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The easiest diet trick there is

Dieting isn't easy.  It's generally not 'fun' and it takes a serious commitment.  Is there an easy trick to it?  Yeah, sort of (at least it helps).

Are you ready for the secret?

Researchers from the University of Illinois looked at the dietary habits of more than 18,000 adults and found that participants reduced their total daily caloric intake when they increased the amount of water they drank each day by just one percent.

Those who increased their normal water consumption by one, two, or three cups, saved anywhere from 68 to 205 calories throughout the day.  Why?  At the most basic level, water helps fill you up and leaves less room for junk, says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Diet Change. "Lots of times a person thinks they may be hungry but in reality, they are slightly dehydrated instead," Gans says.

Is 200 calories a 'lot'?  No, but it all adds up.  So... you might be reaching for a snack when all you really need is a glass of water.  That's the easiest trick there is.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Health and Wellness home business advice (Part 4)

First of all, you need a home business.  Your job is not going to be enough to take care of you - not now, not ever.  But to establish and grow your home business, you're going to have to overcome the #1 obstacle - skepticism.   It applies first to you, but secondarily, to everyone you interact with on the subject of your new mission in life.

My mentor, Gino, recently finished a video we hope may benefit all of you who deal with skeptical prospects - you know, the ones that tend to jeer about your opportunity (or perhaps the one in the mirror).
So, we hope you'll take the time to watch and then share this video with all of your future prospects and we hope it helps you overcome the most wonderful objection in the business - SKEPTICISM.

Check it out:

"Hustle Until the Skeptics Ask If You're Hiring."

Obviously, our team has chosen the Health and Wellness industry for the purpose of developing a home business. The reason for that is that Health and Wellness is the hottest trend in America (and elsewhere) today. The answers for weight loss, disease prevention and increased longevity are what people are asking for. All we do is give them the answers and turn them on to a red-hot home business.

When you're ready to join us, we'll be here. We're waiting for you.

Risks of eating chicken?

Chicken can be a danger

What makes it potentially risky is that it didn't come from your farm.  It’d be nice if we could just assume the foods we eat are always safe. 

Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.  In fact, chicken - the most-consumed meat in the US - is often far from safe.  It has higher levels of salmonella than previously thought and it's bathed in harmful chemicals before it comes to us.  If that weren’t bad enough, salmonella-tainted meat is often knowingly sold over the counter.

You need to protect yourself.

Contaminated at times - but sold to you anyway

When you start to learn about the chicken industry, one number really jumps out at you: 15.4%.  That’s the percentage of chicken that can have salmonella before a company is mandated to recall it.  It’s a worrying number!  Salmonella can knock you out for days... or sometimes do worse.  To put that into perspective, for every 100,000 chickens tested, anything below 15,400 salmonella-infected chickens is considered “safe. by the USDA (at least at the time of this writing).”

That’s a lot of sick chicks ending up on dinner plates - maybe even yours.

More alarming, perhaps, is that very few chickens are ever tested.  Only a few samples are taken from each batch.  As long as the findings are below 15.4%, they’re all put back into circulation.  Even those that tested positive.  Salmonella isn’t considered an “adulterant” so finding the nasty bug isn’t grounds for a recall.

But you know what?   It gets worse.  As it turns out, salmonella isn’t the only thing you need to worry about.

A chemical brine that you don’t want to swallow

After chickens are slaughtered, they’re given a bath in disinfectants.  That does a pretty good job of killing salmonella, but there's a problem.  The primary chemical in these disinfectant baths is chlorine.  That’s the same chemical found in pools and even chemical warfare in Syria.  It won't kill you, and washing away any trace of salmonella is a good thing.  However, long-term exposure to chlorine can cause a whole host of problems. The most common are respiratory maladies.

Ominously, chlorine can also combine with organic compounds to create carcinogenic trihalomethanes (THM), which also encourage the production of free radicals.  Chlorine has been linked to breast, bladder, and rectal cancers - and, of course, free radicals can cause cancer anywhere in the body.  Not good.

By the time a chicken gets to you, hopefully it’s been well washed.  Even if all the chlorine is gone, though, it’s already interacted with the chicken.  So, you could very well be ingesting THMs any time you enjoy a chicken dinner.

Get back to basics - as often as possible

Naturally, you don’t want salmonella.  The good news is that as long as you cook your chicken well, the microbes won’t survive.  For me, it's the disinfectant bath that is most worrisome.  That’s why, in my opinion, you should avoid factory-farmed chicken as often as possible.  But you know what?  Some organic chickens (while healthier in many other ways) are also subject to a disinfectant bath.

Basically, the safest way to ensure you are avoiding any chlorine (or THM) in your chicken is to know how your chickens are cared for and prepared.  That means doing a little research on any organic brand you buy.

Better yet, you can go all-in and buy locally-grown chickens from farmer’s markets, where you can talk to the people who are actually preparing your meat.  Find one that you trust, and stick with them.  If you aren’t near a farmer’s market or any locally-grown chickens, at least call the supplier (if possible) and find out how they care for their meat.

Keep salmonella away from your lips

Believe it or not, most cases of salmonella don’t come from eating under-cooked chicken.  I think that just about everyone knows not to eat pink, under-cooked chicken.  Instead, most cases come from eating cross-contaminated food.  Whether a vegetable shares a cutting board or a knife, it can carry the salmonella right onto your plate.  That’s why it’s so important to give your raw chicken its own space.  Don’t let it sit on a counter that could be used for something else.  Make sure you use dedicated knives and cutting boards, separate from all other foods.  And always make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw poultry.

When handling a firearm, always assume it's loaded.  Likewise, it’s safest to simply assume every chicken has salmonella, and treat it that way.  Show it respect, and you have nothing to worry about.  As I've explained, the deeper you go into the chicken industry, the scarier it looks.  Salmonella rates are higher than we thought, disinfectants are a huge potential health problem, and regulations are lax enough that poultry known to carry salmonella can still wind up on your dinner plate.

Just know where your chicken comes from, treat it with respect in your kitchen and you won’t have to worry about microbes or chemicals.

Your chicken dinner shouldn’t make you sick. And if you follow these tips, it never will.