Where's the Beef?

  • By Healthy Living Liberty Lake
  • 09 Aug, 2016

We are what we eat - we've been told that by our moms since we were a kid. But just when you think you're eating a healthy diet comes a new book that proves otherwise and may, in fact, cause some nausea. Called Sorting the Beef from the Bull - the title says it all!  This book is a collection of food fraud tales from around the world. And explains the role of science in uncovering some of the biggest food scams.

Here are some examples:
Remember 3-4 years ago when burgers and ready-to-make meals sold in the UK contained horse DNA? Well, it wasn't just the UK - horse meat has turned up in Florida with some 16% of meat having undeclared meat - mystery meat.

Another study in 2006 found that at least 22 percent of the processed meats they tested (like sausage and salami) were not what they appeared to be. For instance, 11 of the 28 supposedly "beef" sausages actually contained chicken... and ONLY chicken.
Pink slime is still added to our hamburger, including in our children's lunches sold at school.

And there are actually chicken eggs that aren't from chickens that are sold in China. How?

With coloring agents and moulds, sodium alginate and calcium chloride become the tools for making a fake egg – complete with yolk. Wax and plaster are combined to provide this sham’s shell and then the bogus eggs can be placed into cartons and sold at market. Profits are double to quadruple those of traditional chicken farmers. Oh, and a little bonus is that any leftover ‘egg white ’ mixture can be dyed green or purple and with a little added juice ( just a splash), you ’ve got yourself some fake grapes as well! No chicken can do that!
Fake eggs started appearing in China in the mid-1990s and continue to crop up from time to time. The fraudsters have moved onto the next market before the customer knows they’ve been swindled. But some fakes are so good that people are even cooking them up and eating them. The health consequences of eating these eggs are unclear; though most of these ingredients are already used in food products, they are not used in the quantities found in the fake eggs.

There are soy-based products that taste and act like cheese. Fish paste is flavored and fashioned to look like crab. A week-old cut-up apple has been dipped in chemicals to make it look like a freshly cut apple. And gelatin, sugar and some other additives are mixed together into fried egg-shaped sweets for the delight of children. So why is one fake egg acceptable while the other is not? Because it is about how it’s sold to the consumer – it’s about what it says on the packaging.

We must make our purchasing decisions based on the information we receive and if we’re being lied to – whether it’s myrtle leaves in our oregano, horse meat in our beefburgers or a ham and cheese pizza that’s actually turkey and cheese substitute – it’s cheating.  
Last year 70% of chickens sold in the US were found to be contaminated with arsenic - because an animal drug containing it had been added to their feed by farmers. Although the FDA ended up ordering chicken farmers to use less arsenic-based drugs, the meat on the market now still contains the poison.

So what do we do?
We buy organic meat as much as possible - know where your meat and eggs are coming from! Local ranchers sell beef and pork, and you can even participate in the auctions at the Spokane or Kootenai county fairs and buy your meat from a 4H kid. Our daughter sells her steer each year this way. Owning 1-3 chickens is easy, they require very little work or space, and will give you fresh eggs daily. Buy your vegetables at the farmer's market, and grow your own as much as you can. This way, you know exactly where your food is coming from.

Beef from the Bull

By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 18 Jul, 2017
We've all heard the advice to drink more water. 8 glasses a day, to be precise. Whether you're thirsty or not, it's good for you. I've always doubted this advice since it had no sound reasoning behind it, other than "detoxification". But now, a new study done by the University of Melbourne casts doubt on this advise.

Many who advocate drinking eight glasses or more of water daily are not aware of the potentially fatal side effect of water intoxication.  We are fortunate in that we have a mechanism to regulate fluid intake to keep us from over-drinking. The study showed for the first time that the brain activates a "swallowing inhibition" when excess liquid is consumed.
Participants in the study had to rate the amount of effort that was required to swallow water following exercise when they were thirsty, and then later when they were persuaded to drink an excessive amount of water. There was a 3-fold increase in the swallowing effort after over-drinking, which validated that the swallowing reflex is inhibited when enough water has been consumed.

MRI was used to record the activity in different areas of the brain involved with swallowing. The prefrontal areas made more active when the participants attempted to swallow with a great effort, meaning that the frontal cortex steps in to override the swallowing inhibition, in order to avoid water intoxication.  

Intoxication occurs when levels of sodium in the blood become abnormally low, which can cause symptoms of lethargy, confusion, nausea, convulsions and coma. In my 25 years of practice, I've had 2 patients die from excessively drinking water, causing sodium to be very low, which caused brain swelling. There have even been incidences where athletes in marathons were advised to fill up with water and then died, because they followed those incorrect recommendations and drank far in access of their actual need.

The researchers advocated doing what our bodies demand, stating that we should just drink according to our thirst, not a deliberate schedule.  We should trust in our "swallowing inhibition" that the brain activates if excess liquid is consumed.  The  brain helps maintain tightly calibrated volumes of water in our bodies. Do drink when you're thirsty. And remember on hot summer days, like we have now, you'll need to drink more to stay hydrated. Even more so with exercise.  

But don't drink water just b/c someone told you should drink at least 8 glasses a day .   Drink when you're thirsty, and you'll be fine.
By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 07 Jul, 2017
Everyone's ideas of happiness is different, but there is one thing we all have in common.  Serotonin- the critical neurotransmitter needed to boost mood.  People with low serotonin levels are often depressed, pessimistic, and generally not pleasant to be around.  Serotonin is called the "happy hormone", but also has other health benefits which make us healthy at the same time.

10 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Serotonin Levels:

1. Eat animal protein.  An amino acid called tryptophan helps produce serotonin, and animal protein is the best source. Tryptophan is especially high in chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beef and dairy. Whey and egg protein are scientifically proven to increase this amino acid in the brain.
2. Sunshine - natural light has a positive effect on mood, and triggers serotonin synthesis.  The brighter the sunlight, the more serotonin the body produces.  This could explain feeling down in the winter or on rainy dark days.
3. Vitamin D - helps convert tryptophan into serotonin.   Here, we need to supplement as we rarely get enough UV rays  to make enough.  You'll typically need between 2000 IU - 10,000 IU daily.
4. Omega 3's - help boost serotonin production in the brain.   Need 2000-4000mg daily.
5. Eat Curry - curry has turmeric, which is considered a potent anti-depressant.   Helps to increase serotonin in the brain, while reducing inflammation.
6.Caffeine - this has a positive effect on levels of serotonin in the brain, which is good news for most of us.   Don't overdo, however.
7. Exercise - has been shown to increase serotonin levels because motor neurons activated during physical activity boost the release of serotonin.  Regular exercise will spike tryptophan levels in the brain.
8. Massage - proven to reduce cortisol and increase happy hormones by as much as 28%.  Plus it feels great.
9. Nuts - contain tryptophan, so the more you eat, the happier you'll be.  They also have numerous other health benefits, such as decreasing inflammation, helping to prevent heart disease, cancer and respiratory ailments.
10. Green tea - contains L-theanine, an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels.   It also has a powerful antioxidant that prevents brain damage.

There you go, this is a good place to start, especially if you've been feeling down lately.   B vitamins may also help, but if none of this is enough, then see your doctor.
By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 14 Jun, 2017
Have you ever heard of Hashimoto's?  It's a common cause of low thyroid, or hypothyroidism. It's an auto-immune disease, which means the body is making antibodies against the thyroid and destroying it.

To diagnose, a blood test for thyroid antibodies must be done. Like all auto-immune diseases, it is much more common in women than men.
With Hashimoto's, blood levels often show an elevated TSH, and a low T3.  T3 is the active form of thyroid, and when the Free T3 is less than 3, expect fatigue as a common complaint.  

The conventional treatment of Hashimoto's is to prescribe a synthetic T4 , such as synthroid or levothyroxine.  This is not optimal, however, as often the T3 remains low.  And, in a review of patients on levothyroxine, long-term use was related to cardiac dysfunction, left ventricular hypertrophy (or heart failure) and rapid bone loss. Therefore, I typically will prescribe a T3/T4 combination, such as Armour or Nature Thyroid.
However, the goal is to reduce the antibody levels. To do this I recommend a supplement such as Thyrotrophin PMG made by Standard Process.   It must be taken three times a day and can act as a decoy, allowing the antibodies to attack it rather than the thyroid itself.
Now there is another option which has great promise.

Researchers looked at 40 men and women with Hashimoto's.  Half got placebo, and half got black cumin seed for 8 weeks.  Levels of T3, TSH and thyroid antibodies were measured before and after, and also the person's body composition.
What did they find?  "treatment with black cumin seed significantly reduced body weight and BMI. TSH and thyroid antibodies decreased, while T3 levels increased in those taking black cumin.  Those on placebo had no difference in their levels."

Every single measurement of Hashimotot's disease improved with this herb!  TSH improved 50%.  T3 levels improved 15%.  And antibodies decreased 50%.  All without side effects.

You can buy black cumin at any health food store or online - if you have Hashimoto's, give this a try.  
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