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Health & Diet

   BirdsNest  Hagar has had the worst time this Summer, really he has felt lousy and achy for a good while. Trip after trip to the doctor, numerous blood workups, finally his doctor said let's do one more workup....Sunday night he had high fever and violent chills. We went to bed at 11pm, early for us, but back up at 3am with cramps and aches. Doc called him Thursday, Lyme disease. He is smack dab in the middle of an acute episode. 30 days of antibiotics. Anyone know of anything else that can be done to help the antibiotic along? So many people around here have had it, there is a specialist in Chincoteague,Va that he will try to get an appt with. I am sure hoping that he can get some relief from the joint pain, he has been fully miserable.
August 23 at 17:30 EST .

   2 people like this.

   MeiDei  As soon as I saw high fever & violent chills I thought Lyme! Oh, I know what he's going through. I was on antibiotics for 2-1/2 months & get tested every year. The aches can last for a long time, some get over it quickly & then there are those of us it recurs; I pray Hagar is of the former group. By all means see a specialist.
August 23 at 18:48 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Wrightwinger  Some folks have trouble tolerating beef after this disease, if I recall correctly. Hope he gets well soon!
August 24 at 14:39 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Balogreene  A tough disease. I never go outside if I don't have to, but, I have friends who suffer from it. One it recurs every few years. I don't know what to do but keep seeing your doctor. Is there nothing on the net, that isn't too out there?
Tuesday at 21:53 EST .

  3 people like this.

   MeiDei  Does anyone know how to tell the difference between Genetically Modified food in the store and that which hasn't been "modified"? Not fresh, but canned, bottled, packaged.
August 19 at 18:58 EST .

   3 people like this.

   Bettijo  Genetically Modified Foods

The best way to avoid genetically modified foods is to know which foods are genetically modified and which foods are not. It helps to understand the difference between heirlooms, hybrids, and GMOs.

With heirlooms, you save the seeds of a fruit or vegetable with favorable characteristics. Other than selecting which plant seeds to save, the seeds are not manipulated.

Hybridization is the act of cross-pollinating two plants; each with a dominant favorable trait resulting in fruit that will bear both of those traits. Seedless watermelons are a good example of a hybrid; they are not a GMO food.
Foods That Are Genetically Modified
Beets, corn, cotton, Hawaiian papaya, soy, rice, canola, alfalfa, yeast (for making wine ), and milk (with RGBH ) are genetically modified foods that have been deemed "fit for human consumption," and are being produced and sold to us.

More than half of the cotton grown in the world is genetically modified. Cottonseed oil is frequently used in food production.

Genetically modified rice has been approved, but it is not yet in large-scale use. GMOs were recently banned in Hawaii, but they excluded papaya from the ban.

Genetically modified wheat has been developed, but not yet approved for consumption. Unfortunately, commercial wheat fields have been contaminated with the genetically modified seed. There is a good possibility that we have been consuming GMO wheat.

Other genetically modified foods that have been deemed fit for human consumption, but are not being sold (or are very hard to find being sold ) at this time (due to consumer and/or farmer demand ) include summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes.

Conventional factory farmed animals are fed genetically modified grains. If you need one more reason to never eat factory farmed meat or eggs, there you have it.

GMO foods for human consumption that are not yet approved include rice, salmon, bananas, apples that don't brown, and a purple tomato may be coming to your local neighborhood supermarket in the near future.
Genetically Modified Foods on our Grocery Store
First and foremost, the easiest way to avoid genetically modified organisms is to eat whole, unprocessed foods that are labeled organic. When organic is not available, know the most likely offenders; these include soy, alfalfa, Hawaiian papaya, and occasionally sweet corn (GMO sweet corn is not yet common in grocery stores ).

When buying packaged foods, such as snack foods, know your GMO ingredients. Without a GMO free guarantee, one should avoid corn, dairy, soy, canola oil, sugar (sugar beets ), and any conventional meat. Conventional, factory farmed livestock are fed genetically modified grains, including GMO foods that aren't even trusted for human consumption.

As far as corn is concerned, it should be noted that popcorn comes from corn that is not genetically modified and sweet corn on the cob is, typically, not genetically modified (but like how genetically modified organisms can contaminate crops, GMO sweet corn may become more common very quickly ).

Also, note that even when you buy organic, in order to completely avoid GMO foods it is imperative to know and
August 21 at 07:05 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Bettijo  trust the company when it comes to soy, alfalfa, wheat, sugar (from sugar beets ), and corn. A reputable producer of food that cares about their customers' health and freedom of choice will test their products regularly (like Eden Foods and Bob's Red Mill ). GMO contamination is a very serious problem, and it's getting harder and harder to grow food without genetically modified seeds sneaking into the crops and taking over.
August 21 at 07:08 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Gerty  Would someone review the dangers of GMO to us, once again?

With this extensive list provided by MissBettijo, it would probably put things in perspective.
August 24 at 06:48 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Wrightwinger  The genetic modifications are to improve yields, to make them tolerant of some pesticides like roundup and to improve disease tolerance. Sometimes the modifications are pretty weird. Goats have been modified to produce spider silk proteins in their milk to make it easier and cheaper to to make really tough fibers from the stuff. At any rate, many animals prefer to eat non GMO grain, and will bypass GMO foods in preference. There is some merit to the idea that GIGO applies to our food as well as to computer code. (Garbage in, garbage out )
August 24 at 14:47 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene  Thank you WW. Gerty, I love Miss Bettijo, but she doesn't tell us the difference between splicing for favorable characteristics, and GMO. I personally believe her list of GMO contains some foods that are just hybrids done differently.

I agree, can someone please tell me what it is that makes it GMO as opposed to cross-pollination, hybridization, gene splicing, etc.
Tuesday at 21:58 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Wrightwinger  There are several folks in my family that don't tolerate glutin in bread. We have found a type of bread mix that makes my mom very happy called Pamela's bread. My wife makes it for her in a bread machine and I slice it for her. It looks, smells and tastes pretty good. Here is the website for it, along for other glutin free products.
August 17 at 16:32 EST .

   2 people like this.

   Balogreene  I must just be in a bad mood.
If I was gluten intolerant, I would go to a doctor quickly. Supposedly the only people who can not eat gluten, have celiac's disease, which is very serious. If you don't have celiac's, you are not gluten intolerant, but there is something else wrong with your gut, like maybe diverticulosis (or osis, depending ).
Or a friend of mine had an appointment to see about celiac's cause of her reaction to grains turns out she had bowel cancer (a very slow growing, nothing to worry about, but must be fixed type of cancer ).
Gluten is the thing in wheats that makes good bread. I have to admit, I have a ton of gluten-free recipes, cause I don't need the carbs or other side-effects. But, according to scientists, allergists, nutritionists, etc. only about .01% of people have a true gluten intolerance.
Tuesday at 22:06 EST .

  4 people like this.

   MeiDei  For what it's worth: Sunday Dr. Samadi (FOX FNC Sunday House Call ) answered questions about certain nuts. He was specific that one of the best was almonds - preferably with their skins still on and unsalted. To get the most benefit without a side effect from the skin he suggested you soak the almonds in water for at least 3 hours before eating as this neutralizes some chemical.
August 15 at 23:20 EST .

   5 people like this.

   MeiDei  The Five Most Nutrient-Dense Greens Source: International Health Institute

Leafy green vegetables are essential to a healthy diet...but there's a lot of confusion about which ones are best. Luckily, researchers at William Paterson University in New Jersey set the record straight once and for all. They've scored and ranked greens according to the essential nutrient content and bioavailability of each serving. And the results may surprise you...

Here are the top five most nutrient-dense greens:

5. Spinach: This popular green scored an 86/100. Spinach is rich in vitamins A and C. But don't forget that it's also a great source of magnesium. This mineral helps support over 300 enzyme systems in your body. And every 100 mg of magnesium you eat each day may help lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer by up to 13%. That's only about four cups of spinach a day.

4. Beet Greens: We've told you before they aren't just for show... Beet greens scored an 87. These greens are high in fiber, and vitamins A, C, B6, and K. They're also a good source of bioavailable iron and calcium. Beet greens may help protect you from stroke and lower your diabetes risk. Try adding them to a salad to get used to their taste. Another way to experience the health benefits of eating beet greens is to add them to fresh juice or smoothies.

3. Chard: It's a popular ingredient in high-end restaurants. But most people probably push it aside. That's a shame: Chard scored an 89 for nutrient density. That's because it's full of vitamins K, A, and C. It'll also give you a good dose of magnesium, copper, and manganese with each serving. But one benefit of chard that this study didn't consider is that it's a good source of kaempferol. It's a powerful, cancer-fighting flavonol. The kaempferol in chard may help cut your risk of developing gastric cancer in half.

2. Chinese Cabbage: It's a name that can apply to napa cabbage and bok choy... And no matter which variety you use, you're getting more nutrition per bite than nearly every other food in existence. It scored an impressive 92. Chinese cabbage became the "king of vegetables" after it was used to help save the life of a dying Qing Dynasty empress in the early 1900s. No doubt its high doses of vitamins C, A, and K, as well as calcium, fiber, and selenium played a major part in this. But new research shows that apigenin, a flavone in Chinese cabbage, may cause cell death in certain types of breast cancer.

1. Watercress: It wasn't our first guess either... But it scored a perfect 100. It makes sense: Watercress contains major doses of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants like lutein. It's one of the oldest leafy greens in the human diet. Legend has it that Hippocrates built his first hospital near a watercress-producing stream to have easy access to it. But its power goes beyond legend... Research suggests eating it may help prevent cancer,
July 12 at 11:40 EST .

   9 people like this.

   Balogreene  That IS good to know. I would have thought they'd say broccoli (the direct result of the fall of man ), or Kale (spinach, but more bitter ). Glad to see they have a lot of my favorites on that list.
July 13 at 11:13 EST .

  8 people like this.

   NotaBene  I always use chard instead of spinach. My mother always cooked with chard because her uric acid was high and the doctor told her she could not eat spinach. I am so used to chard that I do not know the difference. My chard quiche is delicious.
July 13 at 12:05 EST .

  11 people like this.

   MeiDei  Light Steaming is recommended for the above greens which supposedly removes the downside of spinach especially. Have never made a guiche & would welcome your recipe NotaBene.
July 13 at 12:09 EST .

  9 people like this.

   NotaBene  MeiDei, go to the Recipes page for my quiche recipe.

A quiche is like a pie but only has pastry on the bottom. I make many quiches, it is wonderful for lunch.

Hope it works for you.
July 13 at 23:49 EST .

  10 people like this.

   Alice  Wow! thank you, MeiDei. I too expected kale to be on that list. My husband likes spinach, but I prefer other greens, especially mustard and kale. Well now I'll try these others. I know I like bok choy since I love Chinese food, but I've never cooked it myself. On the to-do list now!
July 15 at 12:05 EST .

  7 people like this.

   MeiDei  Alice, use Napa cabbage instead of regular to make cole slaw. It's easier to digest and supposedly doesn't interfere with thyroid medications - but any cole product should be eaten 6 hours or more after taking meds.
July 15 at 18:34 EST .

  8 people like this.

   Alice  Eek!! I did not know this about cruciferous veggies and thyroid -- just searched on cabbage and thyroid meds.

Thank you, MeiDei!!

And since I found a BBQ place whose cole slaw I love, I felt so virtuous, not to mention being sure to have broccoli and Brussels sprouts pretty often too.

Ooh, Napa slaw, will definitely do that. The easier to digest part is so good to read, too.

As it turns out, I take thyroid meds 1st thing, but occasionally 'first thing' is very close to 11 AM. So usually, no interference, but so good to know.

Speaking of thyroid, our pharmacist just recently thought to label the little orange plastic container to say avoid calcium with the thyroid. It wasn't a lot of morning calcium, but I did have to change things up a bit. It's always something... :- )
July 15 at 21:22 EST .

  9 people like this.

   NotaBene  Last year my blood glucose was 122. I read in the connection that cinnamon lowers your sugar. I follow the adviece of an Ldotter. This year my blood glucose is 102!

I cannot remember who posted this but THANK YOU. My doctor is very happy and so am I. The connection is great.
June 19 at 02:05 EST .

   18 people like this.

   NotaBene  It should be "I followed the advice of an Ldotter". Sorry for the typos ...
June 19 at 02:06 EST .

  11 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Doesn't matter who mentioned it, it works. My diabetes doc told me about it a couple of years ago.If you will notice, they keep changing the number for pre-diabetes. A couple of years ago it was 120, now they want your sugar under 100. Mine was 108 this morning but after 2 hrs in the garden it was 74 , then I ate my PB/Banana sandwich. Now back out to the garden.
June 19 at 08:15 EST .

  7 people like this.

   MeiDei  I don't have a blood sugar problem but heard about cinnamon years ago. I usually add a few good dashes of it on top of coffee in the basket before turning on the coffee maker. Tasty.
June 19 at 08:50 EST .

  12 people like this.

   Gram77  Well this is a surprise! I never check this site out and it seems I've been missing some good info. Cinnamon in coffee? Must try this.
June 26 at 09:22 EST .

  6 people like this.

   Balogreene  Me too MeiDei, a touch of cinnamon, and 6 teaspoons of Benefiber. I get a lot of goodness out of a pot of coffee. I also mix cinnamon in locally grown honey, and take a tablespoon (like the one you use to stir your coffee ) every day. Helps digestion, and allergies.
July 2 at 18:44 EST .

  6 people like this.

   MeiDei  How interesting Balo - I make fresh ginger tea for indigestion but will had the cinnamon to the honey I use!
July 3 at 10:08 EST .

  7 people like this.

   Alice  That's great news how well it works for you, Notabene! I looked into this some.

It turns out there are 2 kinds of cinnamon, and what we get for seasoning is almost always the cassia type, which comes from eastern Asia and which I love to use as a spice. The other originated in Ceylon / Sri Lanka and is named Cinnamomum zeylanicum or Cinnamomum verum.

We have to be cautious about the amount of cassia cinnamon we take, because it contains coumarin which can cause liver problems in some people or maybe a boatload hurts anyone's liver; try an internet search on 'coumarin in cinnamon' if curious about this.

So if we are going to use a lot of extra cinnamon to reduce blood sugar, it looks like we should go with the Cinnamomum zeylanicum. I priced it recently at the health food store -- about $11 for 4 ounces if I remember right. Way more than the cassia/regular grocery type, but if someone is already on diabetes meds, their liver may be somewhat stressed from that already. For what it's worth, the NIH study I ran across while looking for the info was on rats and used the 'Ceylon' cinnamon (
July 8 at 16:42 EST .

  14 people like this.

   NotaBene  Thank you Alice for your post. I am taking the Cassia cinnamon, did not know there were two types. I looked in Amazon and found also the Ceylon one which I will use in future. I am not diabetic but the doctor was a little concerned that my sugar was too high. As BirdsNest posted above the number for pre-diabetes was lowered and now doctors want you to be under 100.
July 13 at 12:02 EST .

  9 people like this.

   Gerty  Some one recently gifted me a package of kale all dressed up to look like tiny, green potato chips. After overcoming the urge to just re-gift it to my sister, I tried some.

I am truly amazed! Loved every bit of it and finished it all--especially after reading the benefits kale has to offer.

Looking for recipes now--trying to get that crispy crunch I experienced from the gift box.
June 16 at 19:48 EST .

   12 people like this.

   BirdsNest  I considered baking some fresh kale but I wasn't sure if it would "stink" up the house.
June 19 at 08:16 EST .

  8 people like this.

   MeiDei  For some reason kale, like mustard greens, doesn't keep very well for me. Mostly I use it in soup or sauted with bacon. Once, several leaves naturally dried out & I was going to discard them but since they were bright green I treated them like I do with fresh parsley that I dry...I broke up the leaves and put them in a small spice jar & the next time I made a seafood chowder I added the kale at the last 5 or so minutes. Pleasantly surprised it was better than using fresh.
June 19 at 08:58 EST .

  6 people like this.

   MeiDei  This past w/end Carol Alt on FNC had a segment on Oil Pulling - has anyone tried it? She says she's been doing it for the past 2 years. I believe it's origins are from ancient times in India.
June 10 at 22:45 EST .

   13 people like this.

   Alice  My sister has been doing oil pulling for a while, and gets good marks at the dentist's office. (I do not know whether she shared this with the dentist. ) I'll ask her for details, but I know she does it while getting ready for work in the mornings, and she got the idea from a friend who does it. My gums have been a problem lately, and I am seriously considering it.

A search on oil pulling at gives you a bunch of links to Dr. Mercola's positive take on it, and the articles at the site have references linked.
June 16 at 10:45 EST .

  13 people like this.

   MeiDei  Does your sister use only one kind of oil? I've read various articles, some suggesting the use of one or two specialty oils vs the articles that say use whatever you have.
June 19 at 09:12 EST .

  8 people like this.

   Alice  Sorry for the delay replying! My sister uses sesame oil because she likes the flavor, specifically organic sesame oil from Whole Foods Market.

I mention where she gets it because her husband goes into the city fairly often for other reasons and picks it up for her. She has also tried the organic oil from her local grocery store and discovered it was rancid -- so the best-by date is important to check wherever you get your oil. Or maybe what she got locally did not have good bottling practice or something.

I happen to have organic coconut oil on hand, so I'm going to use that.
June 25 at 00:12 EST .

  5 people like this.

   BirdsNest  This morning my fasting blood sugar was 120.I ate a PB and honey sandwich on whole wheat bread(about 55 gm carbs ). That should have hiked my BS to somewhere around 180. I worked in the garden planting the rest of the tomatoes,planted a bunch of seeds, fed the critters and was hungry in a couple of hours so I ate another PB/honey sandwich. Back out to the garden to bury the edges of the plastic mulch (the tomatoes and peppers rows ). It was hot and I was tired and sweaty so I came in to cool off. Took my BS,it was 129. Strenuous exercise does help with blood sugar, but I don't think I can keep that kind of pace! I was wiped out.
May 10 at 20:01 EST .

   22 people like this.

   Alice  Re strenuous exercise bringing down blood sugar, yes! Our bodies were made for hard work, apparently (sigh ). I have to force myself to see a wonderful miracle in how little food we actually need to eat relative to how much work/exercise we can do. But your garden! you inspire me to go do what I have been thinking about!

It seems to me that 120 is a little bit high for a fasting level, so I was wondering how you'd do on something less 'carby' and more over on the fat or protein side, especially in the evenings. I have seen you are a fan of Dr. Mercola too. I keep meaning to go through his questionnaire for tailoring my diet, but have not done it yet. He found that he did not do well on a vegetarian diet (triglycerides through the roof, if I remember right ).
May 14 at 11:37 EST .

  17 people like this.

   Alice  Thanks for the link, Attercliffe! That will be quite useful in this household.
May 25 at 09:02 EST .

  9 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Half of a PB/Honey sandwich would be 38gm carbs. And a delicious treat. I am on insulin but only if my reading is over 200. Then I take 2 units of insulin plus adjust for whatever I am eating, if I am eating 60 gm carbs, then I take an additional 3 units insulin. And bed time insulin of 11 units. Being super strict with diet had me looking like a wraith so my doctor suggested insulin and eating real food instead of avoiding so much carbs. Exercise does help a lot and even though I am active during the winter I am a "blur" during warmer months.

I will visit that site.
May 27 at 07:19 EST .

  7 people like this.

   Alice  Thank you so much, BirdsNest. It's a very delicate balance you describe, and I am continually trying to acquire useful information and advice. My husband is taking around 30 units nightly, plus daily metformin and exercise, and is still struggling to lose weight. I struggle with my tendency to nag about what he eats, so I look for new info instead of talking about that with him again and again.
June 2 at 11:45 EST .

  14 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Alice...have your husband ask his doctor about Victoza(Liraglutide ). It is a diabetes drug that has shown great promise as a weight loss drug. My diabetes doc wanted Hagar to try it but he is way skeptical about many drugs. If I am correct, I believe Paula Deen is on this drug for her diabetes. And from my reading about it you administer it as an injection. Read up on the side effects and do some research before you try it.
June 3 at 07:34 EST .

  17 people like this.

   Alice  Birdsnest, thank you again. The doctor did prescribe Victoza for my husband about a year ago, and it was ok for about 6 months, but after that, his lower back and the backs of his legs got stiff and painful. When he reported it, the doctor said he was 'allergic' to it and to quit taking it. (I doubt 'allergic' was meant to be precise, but I suppose it could be. The side effects from this can be quite serious. )

Garcinia cambogia was recommended by a lady at the health food store, and he has been trying it, but so far he has not lost significant weight with it. WebMD and the local doctor are highly skeptical of it. I found one study from Georgetown U Med Ctr in 2004, Preuss, claiming it worked. (Lady that sold it said Dr. Oz had featured it, for what that's worth. ) But I will say hubby is in the throes of those last hard 20 or so pounds that have to come off, not the first, easier 30. He exercises hard, too.

The other herb I think helps, but with the glucose levels when he eats carbs, rather than with weight loss, is gymnema sylvestre. I know I can tell a difference when I take it just before sweets -- it seems to block the sugar rush. I just hope it helps him as well. (He is not currently willing to do the extra tests to verify. ) It is a traditional choice in India for diabetes. I'll also mention that his multi-vitamin for diabetics has some chromium and vanadium, etc.
June 5 at 15:38 EST .

  9 people like this.

   Nugoddess  I suffer from sleep apnea - I stop breathing while sleeping (and all the while I thought it was Buzz sneaking in, putting a pillow over my head! ) Anyway, after a sleep study (totally painless ) my physician prescribed a CPAP - Continual Positive Air Pressure, which provides breathing support while sleeping.

I asked Buzz to pick it up for me but wouldn't you know, that stinker tweeked the prescription. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ...

(wait for it! )


   May 6 at 07:06 EST .

   23 people like this.

   Yottyhere  AIn't modern medicine wonderful???
Everything is so technical these days.
May 6 at 12:37 EST .

  21 people like this.

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