FOOD for LIFE with PLANTS

WHOLE PLANT FOOD LIFESTYLE  & GLUTEN FREE

Gluten-free diets are all the rage right now, mostly referring to wheat/barley/rye-free diets.  Every food manufacturer is catering to this trend, substituting the “safe” grains:  oats, corn, sorghum, rice, and others.  However, recent research reveals that ALL grains contain some form of gluten, and those who are sensitive may not be able to eat safely any grain.  Here is one possible source of the problem:  “If you find yourself reacting to all grains, it's actually far more likely that you're reacting to gluten cross contamination in the grains, not to the various grains themselves. Grains can be surprisingly cross-contaminated, generally due to shared harvesting and storage equipment at the farm level.” [https://www.verywellfit.com/do-all-grains-have-gluten-yes-but-not-that-kind-3973245]

[NOTE:  In any event, avoid PROCESSED foods; eat the whole grain/plant, fruit or vegetable, whatever you eat.  In this way you better control what enters your body.]

Furthermore, anyone could be gluten sensitive without having celiac disease.  Gluten sensitivity is responsible for far more disease symptoms than we ever thought possible.  Here is another recent finding:  “Gluten intolerance can affect nearly every tissue in the body, including the brain, skin, endocrine system, stomach, liver, blood vessels, smooth muscles and even the nucleus of cells. CD and NCGS are associated with an astonishing variety of diseases, from schizophrenia and epilepsy, to Type 1 diabetes and osteoporosis, to dermatitis and psoriasis, to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism to peripheral neuropathy. (13) Because the range of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance is so broad and nonspecific (e.g., can be attributed to any number of conditions), many patients and doctors don’t suspect gluten may be the cause.” [https://chriskresser.com/50-shades-of-gluten-intolerance/] 

Among such diseases:  neuropathies, especially idiopathic neuropathies—those which causes are unknown. A diabetic knows the cause of his neuropathy; I don’t know the cause of mine.

I was diagnosed with CIDP nearly 20 years ago and was fortunate to see it go into remission for years—till about two months ago.  Plagued mainly by numbness in my feet, with some occasional pain, now my hands are numb, with pain mostly at night after a day during which I have used my hands strenuously, as in gardening.  Tests have ruled out anything except a flare up of my peripheral neuropathy; and while my doctor has commended my new whole plant food lifestyle, he also advised me to try giving up wheat along with other possible suspect grains.

The only way to tell if grains are contributing to my inflammatory condition is to give them up entirely for several weeks.  If I don’t see improvement in several weeks, apparently I am not gluten sensitive.  I also have sinus problems, and post-nasal drip; and it’s possible that gluten insensitivity is causing them as well.  If the sinus problems clear up, that will be a clue to what is going on.

In the meanwhile, I am completely gluten-free as of May 1, 2018.  Now, what can I eat?  For flour:  tapioca or cassava flour [ground from the root of the yucca plant], coconut, arrowroot, and other flour I have never heard of:  tigernut flour, for example.  I am using a mixture, not just one of these. Of course, almond and other nut "flours" would also be safe, but are so expensive.  I have made some brownies substituting a mixture of these flours, and they came out well.  I also made some pancakes which I found satisfying. 

I recently came across some intriguing recipes using chickpea [garbanza bean] flour.  I made the quiche and a scramble (like scrambled eggs)--and was pleased. Other dessert, cracker, and flat bread recipes look promising.  Here are some links--you can also google "chickpea flour recipes":  

 http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/chickpea-flour-recipes/

 https://runningonrealfood.com/vegan-chickpea-flour-pancakes/

[Uses oil]:  https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-socca-a-naturally-gluten-free-chickpea-flatbread-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-169513

I also discovered a wonderful sweet potato flat bread which I want to try.  Here's the video showing you to make it:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRj0tPEjcBY

OTHER RECIPE SITES FOR WHOLE PLANT FOOD & GLUTEN-FREE:

 https://www.veganricha.com/category/grain-free

 https://happyherbivore.com/2014/01/grain-free-vegan-plant-based-substitutions/

 https://againstallgrain.com/category/recipes/vegan-2/

 https://www.bakerita.com/quick-grain-free-hot-cereal-gluten-free-paleo-whole30-vegan/

 https://www.rickiheller.com/2011/07/no-cook-allergy-friendly-grain-free-breakfast-porridge/

 http://powerhungry.com/2017/02/97-grain-free-breakfast-cookies-vegan-paleo/

PANCAKES FOR ONE PERSON [This is the recipe which I tried and really liked--would also make a great bread substitute]:   https://avirtualvegan.com/oil-free-vegan-pancakes-one/

 

To replace my morning oats, I substituted buckwheat groats for a few days.  They cook quickly in about 15 minutes, and have a similar consistency.  I planned also to try amaranth or a mixture of amaranth and buckwheat as a breakfast porridge instead of oatmeal, and to cook buckwheat groats in place of my brown rice with beans.  However, Dr. Osborne says that buckwheat and amaranth, as well as quinoa,  contain proteins similar to those in the grains, and that they may be problematic.  So I'm not sure what I will eat for breakfast.  I do want to eliminate ALL potential problem grains and foods close in structure so as to determine once and for all if any of them are causing the inflammation.  Once I make that determination, I may be able to go back to eating them.  I hope so.

Since I just started the gluten-free diet, I haven’t much yet to report; but I will continue to adjust my diet accordingly.

 LIST OF FOODS TO AVOID-- Dr. Peter Osborne recommends eliminating all of the following from your diet in order to avoid any possible gluten—the primary food and all derivatives:  https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/guidelines-for-avoiding-gluten-unsafe-ingredients-for-gluten-sensitivity/

Unfortunately, he also recommends avoiding all members of the nightshade family which includes the Irish potato . I'm not ready to go there yet!  I just planted tomatoes and eggplants in my garden!

I purchased Dr. Peter Osborne’s book, NO GRAIN, NO PAIN, which I am currently reading.  Here are helpful links on the subject: 

GLUTEN FREE SOCIETY [founded by Dr. Osborne] - https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/

DR. PETER OSBORNE WEBSITE - https://drpeterosborne.com/

ARTICLE IN PSYCHOLOGY TODAY - https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/overcoming-pain/201203/gluten-sensitivity-nonsense-or-new-disease

NEUROPATHY ASSOCIATED WITH GLUTEN SENSITIVITY - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077388/

http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/learnaboutpn/typesofpn/inflammatory/celiac.shtml

SINUS PAIN AND GLUTEN –

https://www.foodintol.com/sinus-pain-headache-research-on-food-sensitivity

https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/food-allergy/wheat-gluten/sinus-problems-with-gluten-allergy.htm

FOODS TO AVOID WITH WHEAT GLUTEN –

https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/sources-of-gluten/

SENSITIVITIES TO GRAINS BEYOND WHEAT--

https://www.pccmarkets.com/sound-consumer/2011-08/grains_beyond_wheat/

https://bodyecology.com/articles/beyond-gluten-free-how-corn-and-oats-are-becoming-just-as-troublesome-as-wheat-gluten

 GLUTEN-FREE UPDATE--July 15, 2018

 My doc ordered a celiac panel, and supposedly I do not have celiac.  Nevertheless, my sinuses are much improved on a grain-free diet.  Also, the numbness, especially in the little finger on my left hand, is much improved.  I plan to remain wheat/barley/rye free and to gradually return to other non-grains and a couple of the grains.  So far, I have reintroduced [all organic] oats, corn, and buckwheat.  I plan to stay with mostly items which I have not eaten all my life--so much less likely to be gluten-sensitive to those.  Things like amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa I just had started eating, so I am probably not sensitive to those.  

 

 

 

CAN A WHOLE FOOD DIET HELP YOU WITH STRESS?

 A Whole Food Diet based on Plants Helps with Stress And Makes You A Calmer Person

 The same diet lifestyle that can help you lose weight, reverse heart disease, diabetes and cancer can also keep you calmer and stress-free—or nearly stress-free!

 When the body is under stress too frequently, it can lead to a disrupted balance of different hormones and inflammatory molecules that may contribute to the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are waste products that can be produced due to chronic stress, exposure to toxins, and normal metabolic processes. They are highly reactive and can therefore bind to and damage cells if they become too numerous, contributing to a process known as oxidative stress. Out-of-control oxidative stress can damage proteins, DNA, and other parts of cells, and therefore may contribute to many diseases, including cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma.

 Following an anti-inflammatory diet high in antioxidants, fiber, and essential phytonutrients, and low in processed foods, trans fats, and refined sugars, helps your body to maintain stress hormones like cortisol within a healthy range, reduce cravings, and stay balanced. This way of eating also helps stabilize blood sugar levels and squelch inflammation.

 In particular, certain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients can help your body cope with and recover from stress.  Incorporating whole, fresh foods that provide these nutrients in your diet can help you cope with stress and remain calm, focused, and balanced throughout your day.

 Some of the top stress-fighting nutrients include:

    Antioxidants

    Vitamin C

    Magnesium

    Omega-3 fatty acids

    Glutathione

    Zinc 

    B vitamins

 Top Stress-Relieving Real Foods

 1. Berries--  Antioxidants are compounds found in foods like fruits and vegetables that help to remove or neutralize these free radicals before they initiate oxidative stress and harm our cells. For example, berries, such as blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries, as well as other fruits and vegetables with a blue/red hue, are rich in antioxidants in the flavonoid family called anthocyanins. These naturally occurring plant pigments are responsible for the vivid red-orange and blue-violet colors of fruits and vegetables and are powerful antioxidants within the body. Consequently, consumption of natural antioxidants like anthocyanins is associated with reduced oxidative stress, inflammation, and risk of degenerative diseases.

 Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports the adrenal glands to help you maintain optimal hormone levels. Vitamin C-rich foods like berries, citrus fruits, bell peppers, and kiwi also help protect your cells from free-radical damage that may be increased with chronic stress. Research suggests that vitamin C can help prevent stress-induced oxidative damage to the body, reduce overall inflammation, and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as obesity and cardiovascular disease.

2. Walnuts--  Walnuts are rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, that help nourish your nervous system and calm your mind. When you’re stressed, stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine increase in your body. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help counteract the negative effects of these hormones. Studies suggest that those who consume adequate omega-3 fatty acids have reduced anxiety and can better cope with stress.

3. Avocados--  Avocados are also high in healthy fats, and they offer many of the same health benefits as walnuts.

 Avocados also contain glutathione, one of the master antioxidants and detoxification enzymes in the liver and other tissues that help protect your body from oxidative stress. Chronic stress depletes your body of this important molecule, which is crucial for maintaining healthy immune function, protecting cells from environmental toxins, and preventing cancer.

 Consuming avocados and sulfur-rich foods like the cruciferous vegetables broccoli, kale, and cauliflower can help you maintain adequate glutathione levels. You will absorb the most glutathione from avocados if you eat them raw and combine them with foods that contains vitamin C. Try tossing fresh avocado cubes with grapefruit segments in your salad for a stress-busting meal.

4. Leafy Greens--  Leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale, and arugula are rich in many phytonutrients and antioxidants, including B vitamins and magnesium. Magnesium is a crucial mineral for maintaining calm and relaxation. Other great sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, beet greens, quinoa, and sesame seeds.

 Magnesium also improves your body’s overall response to stress and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Many people are deficient in this important mineral, which may contribute to the risk of insomnia, anxiety, and heart disease.

A magnesium deficiency can disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis and central nervous system, which coordinate many aspects of the stress response. These systems are crucial for allowing your body to regulate its stress response by releasing the proper amounts of hormones and neurotransmitters. Disruption in their normal function may often lead to irritability and nervousness.

 In addition to magnesium, leafy greens provide your body with B vitamins, which are essential for healthy nerve and brain function. For example, folate contributes to the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is involved in your experience of pleasure and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

5. Cashews--  In addition to providing stress-reducing healthy fats and satiating protein, cashews are rich in zinc, which is an essential mineral for neuropsychological performance and modulating your body’s response to stress. Many enzymes in the body require zinc to function properly, including those that help protect your body from oxidative stress.

 Emotional and physical stress can deplete zinc and lead to deficiencies in this important mineral. Your brain is especially rich in zinc, so it’s not surprising that zinc deficiency can lead to symptoms of depression, irritability, and food cravings. Other plant-based sources of zinc include garbanzo beans, pumpkin seeds, and mushrooms.

 6.  Bananas good for mood:  Cortisol, the stress hormone, is at its highest at the start of the day for most people, so this is when you need something to keep your stress levels to a minimum.

Bananas are the perfect solution, as they contain fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6,  and natural sugars. They also contain an amino acid called tryptophan that is known to reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

 7.  Pistachios:  Yep, those tasty green nuts can actually help you lower your stress levels, people! Pistachios contain vital phytonutrients and antioxidants that are thought to help with heart health and lower blood pressure. In turn, the lower heart rate will help your body cope with stress far better.    It’s also worth pointing out that even the physical act of shelling these nuts can help with stress as well. Giving your hands something to do will help you relax, and you get a tasty treat at the end, too. Bonus!

 8.  Cacao beans and powder stress relief:  Another rich source of tryptophan is cacao. Eating this chocolatey treat will release two feel good hormones called serotonin and dopamine and will provide you with B vitamins, calcium, iron and potassium, too. 

Raw forms of cacao are better as they contain seven times more antioxidants than the heated form of cacao, cocoa powder.

 9.  Chia seeds:  Not only are chia seeds great for reducing stress levels, they also support good cardiovascular health as well. This is because they are rich in omega 3’s, B vitamins, calcium, fibre, iron, magnesium and potassium.  Chia seeds can easily be added to cereal or smoothies and are also a fantastic addition when you are baking—you can use them as an egg substitute

 10.  Sweet potatoes--Sweet potatoes are a great comfort food that boasts calcium, vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium, and great fiber. Although they have a high carbohydrate content and taste sweet, they will not raise your blood sugar as much as white potatoes and may even halt cravings by lowering your glycemic index.

 Other stress reducing plant food:     Almonds,  Oranges, Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, Quinoa,  Oats

    Mindful Eating--  Your attitude towards food and the way you eat can also make a difference in how your body handles stress. Mindful eating—paying attention to the smell, taste, temperature, and texture of the food; being aware of your dining experience and surroundings; and recognizing your hunger and level of fullness—can add to your food’s stress-busting benefits. Slowing down, pausing, and remaining calm in the present moment allows you to decrease stress and make more balanced food choices.

 Instead of turning to traditional “comfort” foods, which are often high in sugar and contribute to inflammation, soothe your stress and stabilize your energy with real, whole foods. Incorporating these foods into your diet can boost your body’s natural resistance to the harmful effects of stress.

 When you adopt healthy stress-management patterns in your life, like focusing on a stress-busting diet, you help your body build resilience. This gives you the innate strength and physiologic balance to build true mind-body health.

 Comparing meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians: 

A recent study showed that people who ate a plant-based diet were less likely to suffer the effects of anxiety. A total of 620 participants – a mix of vegans, vegetarians and omnivores – completed a survey about their mood, and the results were positive for those following a plant-based diet.

 Both male and female vegans had lower anxiety scores and stress levels than the non-vegans who were questioned, and the good news doesn’t end there. Researchers found that those who switched to a plant-based diet showed significant improvements in their stress levels in just two weeks. One reason for the dramatic change is thought to be the lowered dietary levels of arachidonic acid.

 While omega-3 fatty acids are believed to have a positive effect on mental health, the opposite is true of long-chain omega-6 fatty acids such as arachidonic acid (AA).  This long-chain fatty acid is found only in meat and it is often linked with brain inflammation. This, in turn, could lead to mood swings, depression, anxiety and stress.  So, as AA is not found in plant foods, vegans are naturally avoiding something that has been proven to affect mood. Good news!

 

REDUCE STRESS & MAINTAIN HEALTH

    Eat foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other phyto-nutrients

    Eat a balanced and varied diet that promotes overall physical and mental wellbeing

    Exercise regularly

    Stay hydrated

    Get the right amount of sunlight

     Zinc 

    B vitamins

 


SOURCES: https://chopra.com/articles/top-5-plant-based-superfoods-to-beat-stress

https://happyhappyvegan.com/veganism-help-with-stress/

 


 

TOP 10 MOST INFLAMMATORY FOODS:

 1.    Sugar

2.    Common Cooking Oils--Pro-inflammatory Agent: Common vegetable cooking oils used in many homes and restaurants have very high omega-6 fatty acids and dismally low omega-3 fats. A diet consisting of a highly imbalanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio promotes inflammation and breeds inflammatory diseases like heart disease and cancer.

 

3. Trans Fats-- Pro-inflammatory Agent: Trans fatty acids are notorious for their double whammy effect: they increase the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, while lowering levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol. But that is not all they can do. They have also been found to promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin, laying the ground for degenerative illnesses to take place. [found in deep fried & fast foods]

 

4. Dairy Products--Pro-inflammatory Agent: As much as 60% of the world’s population cannot digest milk. In fact, researchers think that being able to digest milk beyond infancy is abnormal, rather than the other way round. Milk is also a common allergen that can trigger inflammatory responses, such as stomach distress, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives and breathing difficulties in susceptible people.

 

5. Feedlot-Raised Meat--Pro-inflammatory Agent: Commercially produced meats are feed with grains like soy beans and corn, a diet that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Due to the small and tight living environment, these animals also gain excess fat and end up with high saturated fats. Worse, to make them grow faster and prevent them from getting sick, they are also injected with hormones and fed with antibiotics. The result is one piece of meat which you and I shouldn’t be eating.

6. Red Meat & Processed Meat--    Pro-inflammatory Agent: Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that red meat contains a molecule that humans don’t naturally produce called Neu5Gc. After ingesting this compound, the body develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – an immune response that may trigger chronic inflammatory response. Low-grade, simmering inflammation that won’t go away has been linked to cancer and heart disease.

 

7. Alcohol—Pro-inflammatory Agent: Regular high consumption of alcohol has been known to cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx (voice box) and liver. Over time, the chronic inflammation promotes tumor growth and gives rise to cancer at the sites of repeated irritation.

 

8. Refined Grains--Pro-inflammatory Agent: A lot of the grains we eat nowadays are refined. They are devoid of fiber and vitamin B compared to unpolished and unrefined grains that still have the bran, germ and the aleurone layer intact. This makes refined grains as good as refined sugars, which are practically empty calories. And like refined sugars, refined grains have a higher glycemic index than unprocessed grains and when they are consistently consumed, can hasten the onset of degenerative diseases like cancer, coronary disease and diabetes.

 

9. Artificial Food Additives--Pro-inflammatory Agent: Some artificial food additives like aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) reportedly trigger inflammatory responses, especially in people who are already suffering from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

 

10. <Fill in the blank>    Allergic Food--Pro-inflammatory Agent: Why is this blank? Because it is meant for you to fill in with the food that you are sensitive to. Many people are sensitive to certain foods but are totally unaware of it. Unlike food allergies whereby symptoms usually come fast and furious, symptoms caused by food intolerance may take a longer time to manifest. Consequently, when symptoms of food intolerance do appear, they are often brushed off as common minor ailments such as tiredness and headaches. But repeated, long-term exposure to food that irritates can cause inflammation and lead to chronic disease.

SOURCE:   https://theconsciouslife.com/top-10-inflammatory-foods-to-avoid.htm

 

Alkaline vs Acid foods -- Body Ph

 Food Ph -- Balancing Acid and Alkaline

 

Healthy Alkaline Blood

Video  of alkaline and acidic blood

Alkaline diet: Food Secrets 

Here a natural practitioner, Dr. Axe,  explains :

Another article and chart:  

 Balancing Alkaline & Acid

 

           A surprising number and variety of physical problems and diseases can be caused by the problem of foods that are acid-producing after digestion. Today the vast majority of the populace in industrialized nations suffers from problems caused by the stress of acidosis, because both modern lifestyle and diet promote acidification of the body's internal environment.

The current typical Western diet is largely composed of acid-forming foods (proteins, cereals, sugars). Alkaline-producing foods such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities. Stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol are also extremely acidifying. Stress, and physical activity (both insufficient or excessive amounts) also cause acidification.

Many foods are alkaline-producing by nature, but manufactured processed foods are mostly acid-producing. It is important to consume at least 60% alkaline-producing foods in our diet, in order to maintain health. We need plenty of fresh fruits and particularly vegetables (alkaline-producing) to balance our necessary protein intake (acid-producing). And we need to avoid processed, sugary or simple-carbohydrate foods, not only because they are acid-producing but also because they raise blood sugar level too quickly (high glycemic index therefore fattening); plus they tend to be nutrient-lacking and may be toxic too.

What is the body's pH?
Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body therefore contains a wide range of solutions, which may be more or less acid. pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution - the ratio between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The pH of any solution is the measure of its hydrogen-ion concentration. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is.  The lower the pH reading, the more acidic and oxygen deprived the fluid is. The pH range is from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral.  Anything above 7.0 is alkaline, anything below 7.0 is considered acidic.

Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline (7.35 - 7.45). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. If blood pH moves below 6.8 or above 7.8, cells stop functioning and the body dies. The body therefore continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.

An imbalanced diet high in acidic-producing foods such as animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods puts pressure on the body's regulating systems to maintain pH neutrality. The extra buffering required can deplete the body of alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, making the person prone to chronic and degenerative disease. Minerals are borrowed from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage--a condition that may go undetected for years.

 

means acidic    - means alkaline

• Milk and Dairy Products: +1.0-+23.6

• Meat and Meat Products: +9.5

• Fish: +7.9

• Grain Products: +3.5-+7.0

• Vegetables: -2.8

• Fruits and Fruit Juices: -3.1

The following website contains a great chart of alkaline and acid forming foods:

ACID & ALKALINE FORMING FOODS