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Monday, November 22, 2010

WheatGrass-my new best friend!

Wheatgrass.  It can simply be described as one of the healthiest substances on earth.  Ron Burgundy would call it "glorious".  I call it a lifesaver.  But anyone wanting to jump-start his or her way to a better “you” would benefit from adding this green juice as a supplement to their diet.  I know everyone has heard of wheatgrass, whether it is in their local health food store….or the infamous episode of sex and the city (i.e. when Samantha used it to as an internal deodorant for a guy's . . . ok, I'm leaving that one alone.)  I simply want you to look at some facts about wheatgrass.  Then let’s decide together if this is for you.

1. Wheatgrass contains over 90 minerals.  90.  Yes . . . 90. Including a high concentration of the most alkaline minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium.
      (Why do we want an alkaline system?  Because it’s a disease-free zone).  Low acid = no sick time. Every one who wanted a good recommendation for good alternate source of calcium from last week's milk blog…. well, here is your huckleberry…. coming in at 35mg per serving.
2. It contains the essential enzymes: Protease (assists in protein digestion), Cytochrome Oxidase (a powerful antioxidant), Amylase (facilitates digestion), Lipase (a fat-splitting enzyme), Transhydrogenase (strengthens the heart muscle) & Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) (found in all body cells and is known for its ability to lessen the effect of radiation and slow cellular aging). Translation= skinny bitch with great skin and a normal pooping cycle.
3. Just one teaspoon of Wheat Grass powder, weighing a mere 3.5 grams, is nutritionally equal to an entire spinach salad weighing a full 50 grams – it packs a punch!
4. Wheatgrass has more vitamin C than oranges and twice the vitamin A as carrots!
5. Wheatgrass juice helps your body to build red blood cells, which carry oxygen to every cell. By increasing the oxygenation in the body, you can help offset smog and carbon monoxide and increase your endurance during physical exercise.
6. It also contains 19 amino acids, the building blocks of protein
7. Yes, it's gluten-free. At the early stage of harvest and growth, there is no gluten protein. Work.

Impressed?  Not yet?  Ok, let’s keep going.

Many people starting wheat grass for the first time will experience a great initial cleanse.  i.e., it’s a natural way to take out the garbage. i.e., things will "really" get moving.  Does this image help??!……

Cleanse the Body: Wheatgrass is an extremely beneficial food in terms of both its cleansing capabilities . . . According to ‘The Wheatgrass Book’ (Wigmore, 1985), just 140g of fresh wheatgrass offers the same nutritional value as over 3kg’s of fresh green vegetables!  3kg’s I know most of you don’t get that in a year! That’s 6.6 pounds, Americans!

Wheatgrass is a great source of vitamins B, C, E and carotene, which are hugely effective in destroying and eliminating free radicals and cleansing the body. Wheatgrass is also highly regarded for its ability to cleanse the blood, organs and gastrointestinal tract.  Because it is also high in saponin, wheatgrass offers excellent support to the lymphatic system, helping to carry away hundreds and thousands of toxins from the cells of the body. Kulvinskas (Survival into the 21st Century, 1975) wheatgrass helps to ‘detoxify the body by increasing the elimination of hardened mucus, crystallized acids and solidified, decaying fecal matter. And you know how I hate/love fecal matter.

I feel like I’ve said enough, but let’s look at the big one.

Fun Fact: The chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass is almost identical to the hemoglobin molecule in human blood. The only difference is that the central element in chlorophyll is magnesium and in hemoglobin, it is iron. Fun? that's amazing!

What does this mean for me, Dr. Fred? Well, if I have to spell it out for you….. All energy from the earth starts where? Answer: The sun! Welcome back to high school.  Plants convert energy from the sun using chlorophyll, co2 and water.  Photosynthesis.
Once light energy has excited a sufficient amount of chlorophyll, the light energy is brought to a singular part of the chloroplast. Carbon dioxide molecules, water molecules and a natural chemical called adenosine diphosphate are combined using light energy as a catalyst for the chemical reaction. This reaction produces pure oxygen, which is given off as an unwanted byproduct, and a new chemical called adenosine triphosphate or ATP.”

The reason I choose to break this down?  Because I want to try and grasp the significance of what you are eating. It's the base board of all life.  This is a way for us to get nutrition from the base of the food chain; it’s pure, untainted, and rich in simple fuels for the body. You are drinking the sun. 

Some History: 
Well, what I always wonder….as I happen to do… who started eating grass and found out it was good or helpful in our overall health. Turns out, Charles Schnabel, an agricultural chemist, conducted the first experiments with young grasses in 1930, when he used fresh-cut grass in an attempt to nurse dying hens back to health. “The hens not only recovered, but they produced eggs at a higher rate than healthy hens. Encouraged by his results, he began drying and powdering grass for his family and neighbors to supplement their diets. The following year, Schnabel reproduced his experiment and achieved the same results. Hens consuming rations supplemented with grass doubled their egg production.” 

Sources and what to buy:
Here is where it gets interesting. Wheatgrass shots sold in your local health food store or in juice generation are very expensive. Some cost upwards of 4 dollars a shot.
So… I propose to you two options (there are more, but we both know you are indecisive) :): 

Option Number 1:
There are two companies who make a good wheat grass powder. By good, I mean dehydrated below 107 degrees for enzyme preservation and grown outdoors throughout winter-(this yields a higher vitamin content). The companies are: Sweet Wheat and Amazing Grass. I, personally, use Amazing Grass. It’s affordable and I really like the marketing aspect of the company. They have some wonderful products and also have some great alternatives for kids. i.e., portable green packets for children to pop in their lunch box. Can you imagine your child glowing with energy and focus in the classroom . . . charging towards his/her doctorate, and eventually supporting you in your rickety old age.  For this, you may thank me.  Seriously, the wheat grass powder is great, although it kind of tastes like you're drinking the lawn. I’ve found if you throw it in your smoothie you won’t even notice the taste. Also a shot of water and then a shot of apple juice mixed in works wonders. 

Option number 2:
For those with a green thumb and a flare for adventure….you can grow your own. There are numerous kits online which will send you everything you need. Then you simply buy a hand crank juicer....

     . . . they are cheap, like 20-30 dollars online! So you just follow the directions and the best thing about this stuff… keeps growing as you trim it. Just like body hair! 

I’m sorry I couldn’t help it . . . actually, this man’s back hair grows back much slower than your wheat grass garden. Another benefit is the healthy supply of oxygen you’ll be pumping into your home from the . . . say it with me . . . photosynthesis happening in your casa!

Personal experience:

Personally . . . my personal experience, as in . . . my person has noticed extreme focus, great energy, a regular schedule . . . a timely visit three times a day.  T.m.i., maybe, but let's say hi to him one more time . . . I know . . . the angry toilet never gets old.

And, I feel like a superhero when I kid the weights in the gym. I’m anticipating getting my blood worked up as soon as I get a chance to see if there are any chemical changes in my hemoglobin profile . . . but I honestly feel like I’m 18 years old. Ask my castmates in White Christmas, I am pretty much bouncing off the walls and keep up with any of them and all are an easy (cough) ten years younger.

If you are looking for some reputable sights on which wheat grass has been written up . . . here are a few of my favorite links (Not too shabby, I’d say):

2.    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

3.    And finally my boy …you guessed it…Lance Armstrong…….has about ten articles dedicated to the green power plant!

                   is what I buy! And cheap! The 60 servings or the 30! the 60, obviously, is a much better value.     

                                                             As always with any product you should START SLOW especially if you are a processed sugar standard american diet type of gal'! If you take too much too fast and your diet consists of a lot of processed foods, sugar, etc..and you throw yourself into detox, the effects are strong enough for someone to get discouraged...headache, nausea, upset digestive system...there's a lot that should go with it...i.e. water, better again, please write me with any specific questions. Again I am not  a medical doctor, and while I have played one onstage, this article is an summary of many studies, and opinions through out the nutritional and medical community. Take everything with a grain of *sea salt, and find your own truth. Find what speaks to you. shanti! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

I remember 11-16-06

November 16th... Four years ago to the day I found myself in an emergency room in New York City. I remember thinking how badly I needed to get a hold of some pushover doctor, one who would simply write me a script for a pain killer, an antibiotic, or some miracle medicine that would stop the intense abdominal that was pulsing through my mid-section. In my head I rationalized that I (a) pulled a groin in the dance class I had just taken, (b)  pulled “something” in the show I was running at the time and the delayed muscle soreness had just set in, or (c) I had some horrible S.T.D. All three would have been better and less shocking than a diagnosis of cancer.
            It’s true, 28 years old…(yes, that’s correct I’m 32 now)…. and you never expect to hear those words. Not only did I have cancer, but it had also spread and apparently relocated itself in nine individual little colonies know as tumors throughout my chest cavity.
            I have found that what we remember throughout our lives is to say the least ....selective.  But I remember everything about that day. It’s a grainy filtered old movie that never stops playing. I remember the girl who was coming down from a heroine trip, strapped to her hospital bed in the E.R. I remember the group of medical students who wandered into the room where I was being held pre-diagnosis…..who then proceeded to ask if they could examine my primary tumor? "My what?"" Tumor of what?" "What the f..k?" Yes, this actually happened.  And yes, I’ve let it go. I remember trying to call my dad, chocking on tears only to learn my phone had been turned off because I missed my payment to AT&T…..I’m with sprint now. J.  I remember finally reaching my Dad, who after learning his first-born had cancer, calmly told me everything would be ok…”just get on a plane and come home.”….We went straight to the hospital in Rochester and never left.  I remember calling my best friends to tell them I had caner?  I can see every leaf on the walk home from 110 and central park west, I see the colors, I remember which cracks I stepped on in the sidewalk, I can see the moisture on the ground from the rainy fall mist that had been persistent all day. I remember the longest subway ride of my life….the one out to JFK on the A train. Why the fuck didn’t I take a cab?!!!I was not thinking clearly…I just knew I needed to get home, and the subway went to Jet blue.  I can see the face of every person in my packed rail car.  I had been crying.  Why they looking at me? Do they know I have cancer?  I wondered where they were going, and If they were coming from work, but I knew that whatever was on their minds it was lighter then mine.  I was angry at them for the freedom of frivolous thought and knew no one had been just dealt a cancer card in the last two hours.  I then I again started to breakdown wondering if I would ever again ride a subway car, free from this pressure, this diagnosis, this sickness. I remember how good it was to walk off the airplane and see my Dad and step mom. I can remember the nurses in the hospital….they seemed to care, much more than those in NYC….it had the feeling and warmth of home. I remember the growing hurt pushing against my insides…I could barley stand upright at this point. I remember that first I.V. of morphine which washed away the pain. I remember waking up and having ten family members huddled around my bed. I remember feeling loved.  I remember meeting my doctor  and him handing me a copy of lance Armstrong’s book and promised me he would let me die. He then shook my hand, hard and I wasn't afraid.   The last thing I remember about that day is walking in the bathroom. I wanted a moment alone before I would go into surgery. I wanted my digital camera…I remember wanting to take a picture of my face…let’s be honest, I also took a picture of my ball before they hacked it off.:-) But I wanted to remember that moment most of all. I knew Life would never be the same again. (See picture) Still smiling that shit eating
            So, here we are four years later. I’m still alive. Truth be know, if you know me and are a part of my life I’m better than alive. Life flows through me and I cherish every moment. Cliché….Cancer is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It’s true.  At 32, I’m an old soul who has knowledge and power beyond his years.  And while this entry does not talk about a health product or practice, it speaks about it author.  I am here to spread what I have learned to overcome caner. What I have learned to be a better… more capable person and help you in being a better you. As always, feel free to email me with any questions you may have concerning nutrition and exercise. I will be honest, supportive and I’m learning more everyday.  Thanks for listening and stay tunned for some great new articles in the next few weeks! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sprouts, Sprouts, Sprouts

Sprouts, Enzymes and digestive aids oh my.

There it is, my blog.

Go buy them.


As my research into he human body evolves, I become more disenchanted with the supplement industry and more in love with what nature has given us. Again I need to tip my hat to the vegan raw food community as it continues to yield new discoveries which make feel stronger, healthier and more alive than ever before. So I thank you. There I said it. Continuing…..

The spouted seed  or nut is a miracle to your digestive track, plain and simple. Why?  I will tell you….provided you want to feel better, look better, and live longer…..sold? I though so……

First we need to have a talk about something your body does every day. Process food. In the good old u.s.a, or super sized nation as I like to call it…(Look around the local walmart and see what I’m talking about). We cook , burn, can, sauté, package, and process our food before we eat it. With the exception of McDonalds most of these food sources at some point contained enzymes. Naturally these chemicals aided in the digestion of the food we eat. Unfortunatlly for enzymes….. they die when cooked at a temperature of 118 degrees or higher. So, in short: you are a murderer. So…there’s that. But aside from your crime, you’ve laid a task on your body 2x as hard to break apart your food.  Now devoid of any natural enzymes, your stomach and pancrease go into over drive, struggling to tear apart the meal you just ate.  Do you ever eat lunch and wanna take a nap. I grew up thinking that was good or at least normal. I remember going to work with my dad, leaving at noon for a 4-patty burger at Wendy’s and then falling asleep at the desk at his engineering firm. It was accepted of course that I was not only lazy but I kind of owned the fact that I was an inherent f..k up. Sad really.  Had I know that my young body was struggling to break apart the dead rotting food in my stomach I would have JUST STOPPED EATING THAT STUFF.   Food should take about 2 hours to leave the stomach and you should feel energized after a meal. It’s fuel for the fire. Instead I was slowly killing myself.
So wait a minute. Dr. Fred…are you saying I should go Raw?! I can’t cook my food?! Well, If you want an honest answer, yes, that would be the best possible healthy diet for your body.  However I understand this isn’t a change someone makes in our society. So there are some options. One being: the sprout. Sprouts are packed with natural enzymes and oxygen vitamins they fight cancer and are filled with healthy fats. They are easy to add to salads, smoothies, or just about any dish and they are packed with the power to break down your food. Hear the power points of what they do!

p.s. Anyone dealing with a serious illness could only benefit from a raw Vegan lifestyle. Today’s market is packed with great veggie protein alternatives.
Sprouts contain oxygen. Because sprouts are a ‘living’ food, they contain hundreds of molecules of oxygen, which is essential for healthy cells. Oxygen-rich foods can ward off viruses and even kill off bacteria. You need a fair amount of oxygen-rich foods in your diet to enjoy the benefits, and sprouts can help you achieve your nutrition balance for the day!

Sprouts have an alkalizing affect on the body. Your body needs to be alkaline in order to be healthy, and there are several foods and toxins that can offset this balance. Sprouts are very alkaline, so you’ll be helping your body achieve balance with ease.

Sprouts contain healthy fats.  Sprouts contain EFAs, the essential fatty acids your body needs to perform basic body functions. You need a certain level of fat in your diet in order to ward off infections and strengthen your immune system. Sprouts are rich in EFAs, so they can support a healthy diet and keep your metabolism functioning at its optimal level.

Sprouts are natural sources of fiber. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy, and helps you feel fuller between meals.  Eating more fiber can support your healthy diet and reduce the risk of constipation.  Loading up your sandwich or a meal with sprouts can give your daily fiber counts a boost, and help you digest your meal easily.

Sprouts can give you a dose of vitamins B and C. Sprouts contain a number of vitamins and minerals, and the quantities are even greater when you soak the seeds overnight.  Soaking the seeds overnight increases the levels of vitamin B, so you will always be doing your body a favor by doing this.

Eating sprouts increases your protein count. Sprouts contain a significant amount of vegetable proteins, and can support your healthy diet. They can even be a healthy alternative to meat, so if you’re vegetarian, sprouts should be a part of your daily or weekly diet!

Sprouts are very low in calories. If you’re watching your weight and cutting back on calories, sprouts will support your lifestyle.  Sprouts contain only 9 calories per ounce, and these are a combination of healthy carbs, protein, and healthy fats. You can load up your pocket pita, sandwich and salads with generous amounts of sprouts to enjoy all of the benefits of this amazing vegetable – and do it guilt-free!

I don’t think I need to say anymore. Sprouts are easy to find at any health food store. Or if you want to save more money and buy your own can sprout your own sprouts. Just lay the seeds in a wet or damp towel for 4 days in the window sill. We did that in science class…remember!?

Here are some fun facts from a great article on the power of sprouts!

Amazing Phytochemicals
Alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that can protect us against disease. Also a buzz word from last weeks Vitamix article! Plant estrogens in sprouts function similarly to human estrogen but without side effects. They increase bone formation and density, prevent bone breakdown (osteoporosis) and are helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, PMS and fibrocystic breasts tumors. Canavanine, an amino acid analog present in alfalfa, has demonstrated resistance to pancreatic, colon and leukemia cancers in vitro.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers found substantial amounts of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in broccoli sprouts which are very potent inducers of phase 2 enzymes that protect cells from going malignant. Broccoli sprouts actually contain 10-100 times higher levels of these enzymes than does the mature vegetable. Yes please…pass the sprouts!
Alfalfa sprouts are also one of our finest food sources of saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats. Animal studies prove their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Saponins also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T- lymphocytes and interferon. The saponin content of alfalfa sprouts multiplies 450% over that of the unsprouted seed. Sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging. It wouldn’t be inconceivable to find a fountain of youth here, after all, sprouts represent the miracle of birth.

Here are two great deals on seeds for sprouting your own oxygen, energy filled seedlings!