Eating

Day: 33+6

Almost to 34 full weeks, we are so excited about THE time! Got the wipes and Moby yesterday, a few more cloth diapers are still on the way, there are still a lot to do around the house, but I feel fine and somehow I feel there’s still time, nothing is going to happen any time soon 🙂

Michael and I watched part of the DVD “Eating” last night, the main focus of this movie is to explore the reason of the heart disease and cancer epidemic in our society: over consumption of meats and dairy products kill Americans. The SAD (standard American diet) which involves a lot of meats and has very little vegetables and grains is the direct cause of artery blockage, and the widespread surgeries needed to clear the cholesterol and fat in the arteries. So instead of going through surgeries, the alternative is to switch onto a plant-based diet, even for intake of calcium and protein (this is interesting because Ina May Gaskin mentioned in her book that all the pregnant women at the Farm use vegetarian source of protein which is the building block for growing babies). I was appalled to hear that even chicken, fish still give you the same amount of cholesterol as red meat, and skim milk does the same thing, the recommended 3 glasses of milk a day is equivalent to 21 slices of bacon when it comes to fat and cholesterol. There are many other plants that provide plenty of calcium and protein, such as broccoli, spinach or potato. Even though fish gives you the fatty acid that’s good for the body, they get it from eating algae.

I’ve done some research on dairy products, if you look at breast cancer rate by countries, it is interesting that top countries are the major dairy producers – lot of cheese and milk. I happen to notice, also, that the only Asian country on this particular is Japan, ranked at #26 – in Asian cultures, people do not eat much dairy products at all until recently.

So maybe after pregnancy (now I am eating a lot of chicken to obtain sufficient protein), we will switch to plant-based diet completely? The claim in the movie does make sense to us: the animal-based diet clogs up the arteries, and the plant-based diet improves immunity. There were couple of cancer or stroke survivors in this film chose to change their diet instead of going for bypass surgery, chemotherapy (we should all know what radiation does to the body) and became much healthier or cancer free. Instead of trying to get rid of the cancerous cells, which live in all of us, improving the immunity to fight the these cells from multiplying. A good start will be checking into the Rave Diet. Also the newer edition (3rd) is out we might check that out as well.

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8 Comments

Filed under Dig-In, Third Trimester

8 responses to “Eating

  1. Kim

    Please do some more research before you make this change!! The reason for disease is not in what food you eat, but in what KIND of food you eat. The countries in the world who eat the most dairy and meat are the same countries who use feed lot cows to produce that dairy and meat. Cows are not meant to eat grain and be confined all day long in their own excrement. It turns their stomachs acidic and causes them to contract E-coli. Cows are meant to eat grass and roam free. Dairy and meat from true pastured, grass-fed cows have good fat that your body needs and many nutrients that cannot be absorbed by your body from plant sources. All fat is not created equal. For example, your brain cannot use fat from plant sources, it needs an animal source. Cod Liver Oil is one of the best ways to nourish your brain.

    When indigenous cultures are studied, we find that many of them have no instances of heart disease, cancer, obesity…and they eat mainly whale blubber, cow blood, liver, butter, eggs, cream, cheese, pork, lamb, and beef, with nearly no plants at all. I also personally know vegetarians that are so over-weight they have to have gastric by-pass surgery and now they have cancer. So, it is clear that being a vegetarian isn’t the answer.

    Along with meat and dairy, the SAD also includes lots of processed foods. This alone may account for the high rates of disease in this country.

    I do think that our diet should contain a LOT more plant-based foods, but excluding any one food group is not healthy.

    Check out http://www.westonaprice.org

  2. I am not sure about whether animal-based diet is a necessity, so I am not sure about whether it should be a food group, and that’s what we need to research more on.

    EU countries ban the US beef and dairy products for the exact reasons you talked about, and the second part of the movie (which we watched last night) goes into great details on this particular issue – animal cruelty, big businesses that promote the meat industry, etc. However, a lot of the major dairy and meat producers are still grazing their cattle, they do hold much higher standards.

    The particular word “vegetarian” can mean so many things these days – some eat eggs, some eat shrimp, and many “vegans” let themselves loose on donuts and sodas, I think there’s a huge difference between a vegetarian and someone who’s on a complete plant-based diet. I would seriously doubt someone who’s on a plant-based diet being overweight, not to mention gastric by-pass surgery.

    We have completely cut out processed sugar based on the research we’ve done, because we do not believe it is food. We have also eliminated the cow-milk in our diet, it should not be a surprise that people drink a lot of milk still end up with osteoporosis, I’ve looked into this one in great details for a few months ago, lots of debates, this is the one thing that convinces me that to absorb calcium from milk is a fallacy: all the milk you can find in the store has to be pasteurized, which makes the calcium insoluble for the body to absorb, so for now, we stick to yogurt (live culture) only and other calcium sources mostly vegetables. And I am talking about, of course, rBGH and antibiotics free.

    It’s interesting though to study the the traditional Eskimo diet, which had little in the way of plant food, no agricultural or dairy products, and was unusually low in carbohydrates. I would like to find out if it is the high fat, high protein that keep them healthy or the no dairy, low carbohydrates do the trick. One thing for sure these days, it is harder and harder to get high quality, pollutant-free seafood, at the very beginning of my pregnancy, Dr. Gil advised me on taking cod liver oil, and we talked in great details and researched a lot, and I decided to go with the vegetarian source – flax seeds, chia seeds walnuts. The problem with the cod liver oil is the ratio of the omega-3 and 6 is often messed up and the quality (chemical-free) varies on the manufactures, with our ever growing polluted water systems, I felt more comfortable with the vegetarian sources – again fish gets it from the algae. Brian Peskin has an interview on fish oil: http://pinnacle-press.com/Fish-Oil-2/index.html

    I agree that the brain is mostly fat but the building materials of the human brain are essential fatty acids, not fat. According to http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/fats.html (article: Human Brain-Fats), on the food source of the two essential fatty acids:

    “The first essential fatty acid you need is Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is the foundation of the “omega-3” family of fatty acids. Food sources of omega-3 ALA include flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, sea vegetables, and green leafy vegetables.

    The second essential fatty acid you need is Linoleic acid (LA). LA is the foundation of the “omega-6″ family of fatty acids. Food sources of omega-6 LA include expeller cold-pressed sunflower, safflower, corn, and sesame oils.”

    • Kim

      You are right. Pasteurization of milk messes up a lot of the nutrients and that makes it nearly worthless for our bodies. Have you considered raw milk (of course from healthy grass-fed cows with no hormones or antibiotics)? I know it is illegal to be sold for human consumption in NC, but there are legal ways to obtain it. It is worth some research for you if you haven’t looked into it. However, you are also right, that many cultures stick to only cultured dairy products like yogurt (I actually make my own yogurt for this reason), kefir, cheese…and this is a healthy alternative especially when a good milk source is not available.

      http://www.realmilk.com/

      Also, it IS hard to find good sources for non-contaminated seafood. I buy Cod Liver Oil straight from Norway, where the waters are less polluted. The manufacturer doesn’t process the Oil with any chemicals and he tests each batch for the presence of any PCB or mercury or any other harmful substance. I don’t blame you for wanting to be cautious of this though! (I said that the human brain needs fat, I just meant that short-hand to mean fatty acids. You are correct. I have done some research however that suggested that they brain could not absorb the fatty acids from plant sources.)

      It is important to make sure that Omega 3 and 6 are in the correct proportion, as you mentioned and this is another reason that meat/dairy from feedlot cows IS quiet unhealthy and leads to disease. But meat/dairy from true grass-fed cows (never given any grain and never confined) has the Omegas in the right proportions.

      Yes, I tend to think that the problem with the SAD is with processed foods and poor farming practices. People use the label ‘vegetarian’ to allow them to eat any junk food they want and I know you don’t do this. I really wish America would get the hint that we have bad farming practices when we see EU countries banning our meat. I heard about this and was outraged at our government.

      I am working on making many changes to my family’s diet, but it takes time. Currently I grind my own wheat for flour so I can be assured it is WHOLE wheat and the nutrients are intact because it is ultra fresh. I also culture my own dairy and only eat natural sweeteners (like honey).

      It is so much fun to talk about these things! I learn so much from you and I really enjoy “getting to know you” over our little internet chats! You are an information junky like me. It can be hard to sift through the information and decide what is real because much research is biased towards the author’s point of view. Thanks for talking through things with me!

      • The matter of the fact is we really don’t know much about nutrition and diet (especially the doctors are not the kind of people I would consult, they are not trained to prevent diseases they are trained to cure the symptoms), so a “complete” diet may be able to ensure that we don’t miss anything our body needs. Now I have my mom here, just imagine the extra rules that come into play – no food or drinks under room temperature for example. When I go to China, I would love to start some classes on Chinese medicine and acupuncture, under the great influence of multi-national pharmaceutical firms, I’m afraid that these valuable way of curing health problems will fade away!!! I am really glad being pregnant leads me to a total different field of interest of study! Learning is always fun…

        I really enjoy talking to you about these topics as well, it’s not the American people I think that are willing to eat junk food, it’s the industry that promotes junk food (and sadly they are exporting the junk for big dollars all over the world), many people can’t afford the good food, however in reality we have alternatives to obtain such high quality food w/o paying a huge price. What’s really missing in our society is the education and the willingness of truly being open-minded to learn. We would love to grow our own food as well – farming is one of the most awarding experiences I had even though I only did it for one season, and maybe make yogurt, that sounds way too fun! You have to tell me more about it 🙂

        Although I’ve heard honey is not the great source of sweets either, it’s regurgitated so its not as good as some other natural sweetening sources, we sometimes use organic grade B maple syrup for occasional treats :P, there are talks about stevia but Dr. Gil said we have to watch carefully how it is made, who makes it, what other stuff is added into it also.

  3. Kim

    Yes, Maple Syrup is our other natural source for sweeteners. We have some Stevia, but my husband doesn’t enjoy the flavor. I guess it would be best to really cut down on sweets so that it is only a rare treat, but we have to make changes slowly or my husband might revolt! Ha!

    I think it would be so interesting to learn about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Our insurance doesn’t cover these practices and we don’t have the money to pay for it out of pocket, or I would love to try some of them. There are so many traditions that westerners look at as “weird” but I bet many of them have really good reasons. I have recently been reading about the difference b/t modern methods of soy processing/fermenting and traditional Asian methods. The Asian method is much more healthy, but it can be so hard to find traditionally fermented soy products here. It is true that there is so much we don’t know about nutrition and how our bodies use nutrients!

    The yogurt is easy, though I have just started to do it, so I have a lot to learn. There are two main kinds of cultures, the kind that needs heat and the kind that doesn’t. I bought some cultures online that don’t need heat. I just mix it with milk and let it sit on the counter and it turns into yogurt! Then you use a little of that batch to make the next batch and so on (so you only have to make the purchase once). I like it because it is easy and you don’t have to have any special equipment. Here is the website I bought it from.

    http://www.culturesforhealth.com

    How long will your mom be here? I would love to meet her!

  4. That’s so interesting, I buy the Seven Stars Farm yogurt now from Whole Foods, will definitely check out the website. Tofu has so much varieties, and you can get a lot of them from Grand Asia, but they are not organic, at home my dad has a machine that grinds the beans and makes soy milk then you add in stuff to make soft to extra firm tofu. Although I drink very little soy milk because it does contains estrogen which is not good for the male, something you need to be aware of as well, the fermented soy products like miso will be okay but not the unfermented ones.

    Mom will be heading back with us on August 22nd, so she will be here all along, it will be cool to hang out before we go back for sure!

  5. Kim

    As far as I can tell, the Seven Stars brand is the best brand available in the grocery store. The stuff I make at home is not as thick as the stuff you get from the store, but I just strain it and it gets thicker.

    The only soy product we are currently using is the traditionally fermented soy sauce we get from Whole Foods. I would like to find some traditionally fermented tofu since my husband’s favorite dish is ma po dofu. Maybe I’ll check at Grand Asia.

    I plan to go to the next Chinese class. Maybe we can get together after that? Btw…are you on Facebook? That might be a better format for our chats 🙂

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