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What is MSM?

03/11/2010

Here are the basics…

MSM(methyl-sulfony-methane, or dimethyl sulfone) is organic sulfur, a naturally occurring compound in the human body. In its purified form, it’s an odorless white crystal with a slightly bitter taste.

At moderate levels, it helps to ensure the proper functioning of various body processes, including healthy skin, nails and hair.

At higher levels, it can function as a pharmaceutically active agent for a variety of uses, including treatment for allergies and asthma, parasites, digestive disorders, arthritis, muscle soreness and cramps.c

MSM and its related compounds-DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) and DMS (dimethylsulfide) – are the source of nearly all of the sulfur in humans, plants and animals. The chemical formula for MSM is (CH3)2SO2. It’s essentially DMSO with an extra oxygen molecule, and as such isn’t lipid-soluble like DMSO.

David Wolfe describes it like this: “MSM is a naturally-occuring form of dietary sulfur found in fresh raw foods that are involved in the cycle of rain. MSM is deficient in foods grown in greenhouses or in foods grown through irrigation. MSM is volatile and destroyed by cooking. In the body, MSM softens leathery internal tissues by rebuilding connective tissue with elastic sulfur bonds. This is how MSM lives up to its reputation of building collagen and maintaining healthy joints. This is also why MSM increases flexibility (good for yoga), hastens recovery time from sore muscles, and is excellent for recovery from athletic injuries.”

I am going to give it a try and see if I notice a difference. With the amount of running I am doing these days AND with how dry it has been, I will be curious to see if it makes a difference. If you have any feedback on MSM, please leave a comment.

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What is a complete protein?

03/05/2010

According to the Wiki…

A complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all of the essential amino acids for the dietary needs of humans or other animals. [1] This does not refer to the protein source only containing all the essential amino acids, but also containing them in complete proportion for use by the human body. A source may contain all essential amino acids, but contain one in lower proportion to the others, making it an incomplete protein.
The following table lists the optimal profile of the essential amino acids, which comprises a complete protein [2]:
Essential Amino Acid mg/g of Protein
Tryptophan 7
Threonine 27
Isoleucine 25
Leucine 55
Lysine 51
Methionine+Cystine 25
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine 47
Valine 32
Histidine 18
Complete proteins contain adequate amounts and proportions of these essential amino acids.
Nearly all whole foods contain protein, and nearly all forms of protein contain all twenty protein-forming amino acids in some quantity. However, proportions vary, and some forms of protein are partly lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids. Meals prepared with a mix of protein foods can provide a better balance of the essential amino acids and therefore a more complete protein source. Apart from soybeans, vegetable sources of protein are more often lacking in one or more essential amino acids than animal sources,[3] typically being deficient in lysine and methionine.[citation needed]
A variety of proteins in the diet is one way of assuring that the body’s amino acid needs are met. All the essential amino acids can be obtained on their own from various everyday plant sources, which, contrary to popular belief, do not need to be combined in the same meal (see Protein combining).[4]

So if we look at Goji berries, hemp seed, raw cacao, quinoa, amaranth, spirulina and bee pollen, these are all examples of whole foods that are non-animal sources of COMPLETE protein.  They contain all 9 essential amino acids in the proper proportions.

The debate is whether the human body can assimilate vegetable sourced aminos as effectively and efficiently as animal based aminos. Depending on who you read, you’ll find different versions of the truth. But as far as the definition of a complete protein, there are many good options in non-animal form.

I continue to rely on fish in my diet in order to “round” out my omega 3 and protein sources. I find that it adds a layer of depth to my diet that is vital for my metabolism. However I also am a huge fan of the superfoods and make power smoothies daily with a combo of whole fruits, spirulina, bee pollen, maca, hemp seeds, raw cacao and a brown rice based protein powder. My energy has never been more even throughout the day. I have a steady supply of good strong energy all day long.

My belief is that our relationship to food should be a constant process of discovery and experimentation. As such, it never gets stale or boring and we are always coming back to the all important question: HOW DO I FEEL? If you feel good, chances are something is working. If you don’t…maybe it’s time to be curious about what you could be doing differently.  Because, after all, don’t you want to feel good? I do.

Plant some pigweed people!

03/04/2010

Truth is that Purslane–aka pigweed–is one of the most amazing vegetables that you don’t know. It is a common weed that grows all over the place. Purslane is the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids of any green, leafy vegetable. Interestingly, purslane contains the EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) form of Omega-3, which is rare for a plant source of fatty acids. Purslane is also naturally high in magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and iron. Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as n-3 fatty acids) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. In addition to these established benefits for cardiovascular disease, omega-3 fatty acids in high doses (e.g 6 to 10 capsules per day) are used to treat depression. New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Purslane–aka Pigweed, little hogweed, or Pusley–is a great addition to the garden. I just ordered some from Seeds of Change. If you don’t have a garden, it would also work really well as a container herb. So there you go people…go plant some pigweed and get your Omega 3 naturally!!

http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.aspx?item_no=PS15913

For more information check out this link love for the little piggy…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea

Ocean’s Alive

02/27/2010

There are a lot of things in human health and wellness that are very intuitive and that just plain make sense. We think of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding processed foods as the basics. However, one of the items that I have missed for some time now is phytoplankton and sea vegetables.

Dr. Jerry Tennant, MD, from the Tennant Institute of Integrative Medicine, explains that the micronutrients and electrolytes in marine phytoplankton (microscopic plants/organism that live in the ocean) are exactly what human cell membranes need to carry out their metabolism. Not surprisingly, the composition of human plasma, or fluid surrounding cell membranes, is similar to that of sea water. Relying solely on land-based food sources may lead to deficiencies in these micronutrients and electrolytes. While transient sub-optimal nutrition may be forgiven, a constant diet lacking in these micronutrients will adversely affect every function, structure, and detoxification functions of the human cell. Good nutrition will enhance the structure and function of all organs in our bodies. Our brains, muscles, hearts, arteries, joints, bones, skin, hair, hormones, immune system, vision, digestion, kidneys, liver will carry out their jobs much better. Metabolically, our lipids, and sugars can be optimized, thus providing more overall energy, minimize weight problems, and improve sleep. These nutrients improve mental function, and memory. They reduce depression, harmful effects of stress, and mood swings.

I have been experimenting for a short time with a product that David Wolfe has made available through Sunfood…Ocean’s Alive. He describes the product…

“This unique super-nutrient from the ocean provides the body with an increase in residual energy that builds up significantly when it is ingested on a daily basis. With its abundance of naturally produced vitamins, minerals and original life force (absorbed directly from the Sun), everyone that partakes will enjoy a ‘whole body’ inner strength that they have never experienced before.

A team of European doctors, microbiologists and botanists spent many years and millions of dollars researching 40,000 species of marine phytoplankton in the ocean to determine the best species in each category to use for bio-fuel, aqua culture, exotic fish food and ultimately human consumption. Only four species of Marine Phytoplankton were found to be beneficial for human consumption and based on nutritional profiles, one species was super beneficial and was the single species chosen for production.

As a result of this extensive research, technologically advanced commercial facilities have now been developed and constructed to produce marine phytoplankton in large volume using sophisticated bio-reactors. The bio-reactors consist of extensive glass tubing interconnected in a horizontal grid the size of a football field. A ‘Spring Bloom’ environment is created that allows natural photosynthesis to occur using sunlight to grow the marine phytoplankton bio-mass. The purified sea water solution in which the marine phytoplankton grows ensures that there are no other species contaminating the bio-mass. This method produces a pure ‘Beyond Organic’ super concentrated nutrient.

Once the bio-mass reaches maturity, it is then harvested into a powerful centrifuge that spins the water out from around the cells but leaves the water within the cells protecting the valuable life energy. The centrifuged bio-mass has the consistency of thick peanut butter.

To create the ‘Oceans Alive’ liquid nutrient combination, the live marine phytoplankton bio-mass is transferred from the centrifuge and immediately blended into an ‘ocean derived’ concentrated ionic trace mineral solution. This concentrated solution is highly beneficial to human health as it contains more than 90 ionic and trace minerals and is produced using a natural evaporation process employing the sun and the wind which eliminates 93% of the sodium. This purified ocean water concentrate has the power to preserve the marine phytoplankton in suspended animation, protecting the original life energy, allowing it to be bottled and stored at room temperature with no deterioration. The live blend is then super charged by infusing it with billions of biophotons and finally potentized energetically with its own frequency to maximize the nutritional life force!”

The ocean as a source of a perfect food…what a concept…not surprising.

Yoga miracles…Indeed!

02/24/2010

I want to share an open secret with all y’all who need a little more yoga in your life. Not that any of you need any more yoga in your life, ’cause you’re probably just beaming with sun salutations and down dog on a daily basis. But just in case you need a little boost in that direction, my friend Anne has a lovely website that might just help you get back on track. She is an amazing yoga teacher whose life revolves around wellness and bringing yoga to everyone in bite-sized pieces. I know for myself, sometimes all it takes is five minutes of stretching and I feel a billion percent better. Well that’s Anne’s theory as well. Give yourself a treat and follow some of her suggestions as to how you can change the way you feel in just five minutes.

Oh, yeah…you just check it out…

http://www.fiveminuteyogamiracles.com/

Sprout Far

02/23/2010

Some of you know that I used to sell sprouts at Farmer’s Markets throughout Southern California. Recently I have been sprouting again…so to speak. I have gathered up sprout jars and started sprouting several different seeds. Aside from the fact that it brings back memories, sprouts are a live food that are power packed.

My current line-up: Lentils, garbanzos, white wheat berries, and soaked almonds. Last night I took my sprouted chick peas and did a “raw” hummus that was killer. Here is a fun site that has a lot of the basics of sprouting. Here is my challenge to you…can you get yourself a sprout jar and some seeds and grow some live food right on your kitchen counter? I bet you can!!! I highly recommend lentils and wheat berries to start because they are so great as toppers on salads.

http://www.sproutpeople.com

The Journey

02/19/2010

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver