Day 2: Of My Vegan Diet – Breakfast

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Ok, it’s day 2 of my vegan diet and it is going great thus far. Earlier for breakfast I had organic oats w/Flaxseeds, mixed with 1 tbs of wheat germ, almond milk and some raw orange blossom honey I purchased at my local farmers market.

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I drink a lot of fluids throughout the day. It’s 10:30am and I already had two cups of green teas and my smoothie. My smoothie had spinach, blueberries, strawberries, mango and almond milk.

I bought a lot of fruits to work just in case I get hungry in between meals. I’m not snacking on any processed foods just raw foods and maybe some nuts.

It’s an amazing feeling because my bowels have been very frequent throughout my first and second day already.

It’s a great feeling!

Superfood Power of Spirulina

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Wholesomely Nutritious
Spirulina are single celled organisms that survive by producing their energy through photosynthesis. These algae are in the class of cyanobacteria because cyano is Greek for blue. They contain chlorophyll (green color) phycocyanins & anthocyanins (blue color) which blend to give them the characteristic blue-green color.

Spirulina contains an incredible array of nutrients that make them a functional whole food for sustaining life without the need for other foods. These algae contain pre-digested protein (in the form of amino acids) for quick absorption and high utilization rates. Spirulina contains essential omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA & DHA. Algae, in fact, are the very source that fish, krill and other animals obtain their omega 3’s.

Spirulina is a rich source of the tough to find essential omega-6 fat GLA. It also provides nucleic acids (DNA & RNA) that provide a megadose of raw materials for DNA repair. Spirulina is a very rich source of critical B vitamin methylating agents such as B6 and folic acid. Spirulina has an extraordinary array of anti-oxidant phytonutrient anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are renowned for their powerful anti-carcinogenic properties.

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Spirulina has strong anti-microbial effects that help create balance in the gut flora. It does this by controlling the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the digestive system. This is critical for optimal digestion and nutritional absorption. Additionally, it is a very important part of detoxification through the bowel systems.

Cleans The Blood
Spirulina is a powerful blood cleanser due to its rich source of chlorophyll. It contains roughly ten times the amount of chlorophyll in green vegetables per volume. Chlorophyll helps build red blood cells in the body and provides an easily absorbable form of magnesium. This combination helps oxygenate the blood stream and removes organic toxins.

Spirulina is very rich in carotenoid anti-oxidants. It has 10 times the amount of beta carotene (a form of vitamin A) per volume as carrots. Spirulina is also loaded with zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants are extremely important for good vision and overall eye health.

Spirulina contains polysaccharides that act to improve the functional productivity of the bone marrow, thymus and spleen cells. Phycocyanin and allophycocyanin, which help to form the blue color within spirulina (along with anthocyanins), have been shown to increase white blood cell counts.

Spirulina is also the world’s best source of the anti-oxidant powerhouse superoxide dismutase (SOD). The superoxide molecule is one of the most tissue damaging substances within the body. SOD is a biological adaptation specifically designed to destroy the superoxide radical and to protect against any subsequent tissue damage. Inadequate superoxide dismutase formation leads to accelerated aging and tissue degeneration.

The combination of SOD and carotenoids within spirulina make it very good for skin care. It is remarkable for improving aging spots, eczema, acne, & rashes. This combination also dramatically improves eye health. Individuals with glaucoma, cataracts, & poor vision should be sure to consume spirulina regularly.

Resources:
http://spirulina.org.uk/what_is_spirulina.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement)
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/412276
http://www.spirulinafactory.com/spirulina-benefits.asp
Organic Spirulina on Amazon

Cut THIS From Your Diet if You Want to Protect Your Brain …

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I found another amazing study I just had to share with you all. It’s a study that linked fructose to low cognitive abilities. American’s are addicted to sugar and carbs. I at one point was addicted to sugar however, now I have self-control on what I eat. What we put in our mouths not only affect our weight but, it significantly affects how we mentally perform on a daily basis. When researchers fed rats a fructose solution as drinking water for six weeks, then tested their ability to remember their way out of a maze, the results certainly grabbed the researchers’ attention – and they should grab yours, too.

The rats that was fed the fructose syrup showed significant impairment in their cognitive abilities—they struggled to remember their way out of the maze. They were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.

Additionally, the fructose-fed rats showed signs of resistance to insulin, again showing that consuming large amounts of sugar, and in this case fructose, may block insulin’s ability to regulate how your brain cells store and use sugar for the energy needed to form healthy thoughts and emotions.

Researchers concluded that a high-fructose diet harms your brain, as well as the rest of your body. According to Dr. Mercola he believes that regularly consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day will dramatically increase your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as it will inevitably wreak havoc on your body’s ability to regulate proper insulin levels.

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Too Many Carbs and Too Much Sugar Increases Your Risk of Cognitive Impairment
Among people aged 70 to 89, diet proved very influential in contributing to the risk of mild cognitive impairment, including problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment, down the line. The new study revealed carbs and sugar to be the biggest culprits, while protein and fats were protective.

•Those with the highest carbohydrate intake were nearly twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those with the lowest intake of carbohydrates.

•Those with the highest sugar intake were 1.5 times more likely to experience mild cognitive impairment than those with the lowest levels.

•Those with the highest fat intake were 42 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment

•Those with the highest protein intake reduced their risk by 21 percent

•When compared with total fat and protein intake, those with the highest carb intake were 3.6 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment

Why might this be?
Because a diet that’s focused on unhealthy carbs and sugar seriously interferes with the ability of insulin to do its job Researchers noted: “A dietary pattern with relatively high caloric intake from carbohydrates and low caloric intake from fat and proteins may increase the risk of MCI [mild cognitive impairment] or dementia in elderly persons.”

What Dietary Strategies Help Protect Your Brain?
Obviously the first and most important step is to limit carbs. Ideally your best carbs are fiber-based vegetables. It would be wise to avoid sugar and grains and replace those calories with healthy fats, like butter, avocados, coconut oil and olive oil. Nuts can be used but not overdone as you do not want to increase protein much above one half gram per pound of lean body weight.

On a brighter note, the above-mentioned study also found that rats given omega-3 fats in addition to the high-fructose diet were able to navigate the maze better and faster than the rats in the non-omega-3 group.

The researchers concluded that a type of omega-3 fat called DHA is protective against fructose’s harmful effects on the brain. DHA is essential for synaptic function—it helps your brain cells transmit signals to one another, which is the mechanism that makes learning and memory possible. Your body has difficulty producing enough DHA from vegetarian omega-3 precursors, so it must be supplemented through your diet, and this is one reason why getting enough animal-based omega-3 fats is so essential.

Resources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22810099
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528805.800-food-for-thought-eat-your-way-to-dementia.html?cmpid=NLC%7CNSNS%7C2012-0309-GLOBAL%7Cmg21528805.800
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22473784p
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22801434

Omega 3’s: Are you taking them?

Omega-3 fatty acids are the brain-boosting, cholesterol-clearing good fats (monounsaturated). Dr. Oz lists them as 1 of the 5 critical vitamins every woman should take, 1 of 5 daily nutrition needs and as one of the most important steps expecting mother’s can take to promote their baby’s healthy development. There are 3 basic forms of omega-3:

  • Alpha-linelenic acid (ALA) found in English walnuts and vegetable oils like flaxseed, soybean and olive which the body eventually, but in small quantities, converts to DHA.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found primarily in fish oil, this is the ultimate form of fatty acid in humans. Most people get far too little of this all-important fatty acid, especially since the conversion of ALA to DHA is slow and minimally yielding. Getting a daily dose of of DHA (600 to 1000 mg)  from supplements is preferable to reap the health benefits. You have a choice of taking a fish oil supplement or one derived from algae or krill, a shrimp-like crustacean.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is also found in fish oil, so it’s absorbed if you’re taking a daily dose of DHA omega-3.

What to look for when buying fish oil supplements:

  • Fish oil supplements vary in the amounts and ratios of DHA and EPA they contain. For example, salmon oil naturally contains more DHA than EPA; a supplement derived from algae may only contain DHA. Krill oil contains significant amounts of both EPA and DHA. Read the labels and remember whatever supplement you buy, it must have at least 600 mg of DHA.
  • Be aware that only about one-third of the oil from fish is rich in EPA and DHA. Many supplements also contain vitamin E or other antioxidants to stabilize the oils and prevent them from becoming rancid. If you choose to buy a fish oil supplement, check the label carefully to see if it recommends refrigeration to prevent spoiling.
  • Most brands of fish oil have been proven safe, free of detectable traces of mercury, and do not contain unsafe levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a toxin and pollutant believed to pose various health threats. To avoid contaminants in an unrefined supplement, it’s best to choose a fish oil supplement made from small, oily fish like anchovy, sardines or krill.

Here’s how a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids can improve and protect vital aspects of your body’s daily functioning:

  • Lubricates joints Helps provide the lubrication joints need to function at an effective level. By keeping joints lubed, you experience less grinding and less overall wear and tear – and thereby – less pain as you age.
  • Decreases inflammation in inflamed joints.
  • Fights wrinkles As we age, fat cells in our skin’s third layer thin out and tend to get a bit bumpier; omega-3s help make that layer thicker and smooth. The effect? Wrinkles go away and skin becomes fuller.
  • Protects Vision Our eyes’ retinas are a membranous structures and the whole eye is covered in a soft double layer of membranes, making your eyes’ health dependent on the liver (who knew?). The liver helps metabolize fat-soluble vitamins that feed and maintain those membranes. If you’re deficient in DHA, it affects how we see by delaying the system that converts light into neural energy in the retina.
  • Pumps the heart Where to begin?! Omega-3s reduce triglycerides, stabilize your heartbeat, make platelets “less sticky” and can even lower blood pressure. The EPA you get with your daily DHA dose helps prevent artery-blocking clots. In the Iowa Nurses Study (and 3 others), 1 ounce of nuts a day decreased the incidence of heart disease between 20 and 60%.
  • Attacks Acne It may surprise you to know that an inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids contributes to breakout-prone skin. Trade sugar (and meat) for avocados, walnuts, salmon or trout to help control acne.
  • Clears Cholesterol Boosts levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and helps clear your arteries.
  • Boosts the Brain In keeping your arteries clear, you’re immediately improving brain function. They also alter your neurotransmitters to help reduce depression.
  • Enhances Fertility Improves fertility rates in both males and females by improving sperm’s swimming ability and the environment for implantation in women.
  • A Pregnancy Prerequisite Omega-3 fatty acids directly affect brain development, making it crucial for expectant mothers. Additionally, research indicates they decrease a mother’s risk of depression. When the mother doesn’t have enough of these essential fatty acids, the baby borrows from her. Some prenatal vitamins now include omega-3s, so be sure to check the label or grab a handful of walnuts each day.

 

For more info: http://www.mercola.com/article/omega3.htm