Thistle Dew Nutrition

Ramblings from a "Simpler" and perpertual student of natural health, with a strong focus on how to eat well to prevent chronic diseases.

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Location: Saugatuck, Michigan, United States


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Vacations and Birthdays

Well, I'm on my way to Florida for a two week vacation. One of two things is going to happen: #1) My parents have a computer and I can get on-line, so I will actually have lots of time to write and post to this blog that has until now been quite neglected, or #2) My parents don't have a new computer and this site will continue to be neglected.

Wish me luck!

BTW: I'm going to spend my 40th Birthday (gasp!) on Key West eating, drinking, and shopping my way from one end of Duval Street to the other. Lordy how I love being old enough to afford to do that!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank a veteran

Today is Veteran's day. Seek one out and thank him. Nothing can get a grown man to choke up faster than a simple sincere "Thank You!" I have handed out thank you cards to veterans that were made by elementary school children and one of the oldest, crustiest of them all sat down and cried. He said he had never had anyone thank him for his service.

In the weeks and months to follow, if you get the chance, thank another veteran.

More on the evils of Soda Pop

(Disclaimer: This is not posted with MJS in mind.)

Now this is what I’m talking about! Soda pop is bad; not just because of the huge amount of sugar (read as empty calories) or artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, or the caffeine, but the bubbles. Honestly, it’s the phosphorus used to make the bubbles that are so bad. Please read below from

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA), found a link between regular consumption of fizzy colas, including diet varieties, and increased risk of hypertension.

"Researchers from various institutions, including Harvard School of Public Health, surveyed 155,594 women, with no recorded hypertension, over 12 years.
They had intended to examine links between caffeine drinks and hypertension generally, but said that, over the long-term, they found “strong evidence to refute speculation that coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk in women”.
Yet, the good news for the beverage industry was quickly dashed by new fears over fizzy colas.
More than 30,000 of the women were diagnosed with hypertension at the end of the 12 years. “We speculate that it is not caffeine but perhaps some other compound contained in soda-type soft drinks that may be responsible for the increased risk in hypertension,” said the researchers, warning this could have a “considerable impact on public health”.
Hypertension is recognized as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure.
Around 50m Americans, almost one sixth of the US population, are thought to have hypertension and the number is increasing, according to JAMA."

The author is Chris Mercer, writing for

Why can’t they take the next step and admit it’s the phosphorus? Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But they make all sodas with phosphorus, and phosphorus and calcium fight each other for the same places in the body, especially in the bones. Because when someone consumes too much phosphorous it kicks the calcium out of our bones and settles right in. You can easily see that this could cause osteoporosis and other diseases of the bones, but a lack of calcium in the body is also strongly linked to hardening of the arteries, plaque build-up, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Quoting one of my favorite authors,
Elson M. Haas M.D. (Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, Delstial Arts)
: “When the diet is high in phosphorus, we can lose extra calcium through the urine, resulting in calcium being pulled out of the bones. Phosphorus is very plentiful in meat foods and is of particular concern in soda pops that have added phosphoric acid (phosphate). This phosphorus-calcium imbalance may lead to kidney stones and other calcification problems, as well as increased atherosclerotic plaque. This issue is fairly complex and is under investigation.”

I need to mention that phosphorus is not bad for us, and we do need it as much as we need calcium to be healthy. It’s just it is so easy for us to drink/eat too much of it that we have mineral imbalances which leads to poor health. For a very well written article on the subject go to this link:

I shouldn’t write this but… If I were a conspiracy theorist I would wonder if Pfizer and Merck were paying off Coke and Pepsi for the favor of causing so much prescribe-able disease.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Food Combining, or not.

Food Combining is one subject that I don’t know much about, but as far as I can see this is one subject where a little bit of information can be helpful, and probably isn’t dangerous. So, here goes…

The general idea behind food combining is that different foods are digested and assimilated at different speeds in our stomach and digestive tracts. Also, different digestive enzymes are produced at different times in our bodies, and each one is made to digest different foods. Theory #1 is that we should eat foods in groups depending on how easily they are digested and by which digestive enzymes.

· Do not drink any liquids before, during, or after a solid food meal. This one trips me up a lot. How do they categorize soup?
· Eat all fruits separately. Do not eat any fruit with other types of foods because they are the most easily and quickly digested. This is especially true regarding melons, and you might as well throw tomatoes into this group too.
· Divide the rest food types into meats/proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables. This is confusing because many vegetables are considered carbohydrates, and the die-hards won't combine protiens with fats, among other minutiae. From these three food groups you can eat any two at a time: Meat and carbohydrates, meat and vegetables, or carbohydrates and vegetables. Real serious food combiners separate cooked and raw vegetables.

This theory effectively throws the idea of a “square meal” right out the window. Nothing could be worse for the OCD Food Combiner than setting a plate of pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, beans, and cranberry sauce in front of him. No wonder why they sell so much Alka-Seltzer during Thanksgiving weekend!

So if you have a salad for lunch either put beans and croutons on it OR put meat and cheese on it, not both. Don’t eat raw tomatoes with your salad, or just about anything else for that matter, because they are too acidic. You can have steak and a potato for dinner OR Steak and broccoli, not both. You can have rice with protein or nuts (no veggies) OR rice with veggies (No protein). Get the idea?

Well, I just read this web page and realized that it is SO VERY MUCH more complicated than I realized:

After reading a small portion of this site I realize that my old theory of eating 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day is a great way to live. That way you can have a fruit meal, a whole grain meal, a vegetable meal, a protein meal, another grain or vegetable meal, and a dessert (of course!). I just can’t image how Obsessive-Compulsive the guy was who came up with this. I have to say though that they are completely correct in how the digestive enzymes work in the body, and that this type of diet would most probably correct gas, digestion, irritable bowl, and ulcer problems in those people who have these diseases because of years of excessive food intake.

I don’t think food combining as a weight-loss diet is a good long-term plan. Not only is it difficult to sustain long term, but like the now defunct Atkins diet, it is missing too many of the nutrients it proposes are assimilated better through eating this way.

More later on my 6 meals a day program.