20 Ways to Incorporate Whole Food into your Kitchen

This was taken directly from http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11467-20-ways-to-build-a-whole-food-kitchen-on-a-budget.html. Some of it would seem common sense, but still some good tips in there!

“20 Ways to Incorporate Whole Food into your Kitchen

1) Buy local. Ideally, you never need to set foot in a grocery store.  Change your shopping habits and buy from local farmers, either directly from their farm or from a farmer’s market.  You will get your produce at the optimum time, right after it was picked. As well, you can directly ask the farmer about his practices.  Sometimes farmers grow organically and they just haven’t gone through the expensive and highly regulated certification programs that exist to make increase the monopoly of factory farms.

2) Join a food co-op or CSA. This is win-win, because it helps out the farmers and it helps out your family.With both of these options, you can register ahead of time (in some cases you pre-pay for the season) and then receive a box brimming with abundance from your own area.  You will get to try lots of new things (this is how we tried one of our family favorites, rutabaga, for the first time) and you will get to do this at a fraction of the price.

3) Buy produce that is in-season. Purchasing food that is in-season is not just cheaper, it is nutritionally beneficial too.  Buying strawberries in January and asparagus in October requires that the produce be picked before it is fully ripe, and the produce begins to decompose and lose nutrients the second it is separated from the plant.  Avoid the high cost of transporting your “fresh” Christmas berries and melons and stick to the items that nature is currently providing in your area.

4) Grow as much as you can in the space you have.  Plant a sunny windowsill with salad veggies and herbs, grow a container garden on a balcony, or turn your yard into a mini-farm.  Every bite of food you grow yourself is a revolutionary act.

5) Plan your menu AFTER shopping, not before. This allows you to stay on budget because you aren’t shopping for special ingredients to make pre-planned meals. You can take advantage of the best deals and plan your meals around those.  This can also help by keeping those unplanned budget purchases from going to waste in your crisper drawer while you carry on with your planned menu.

6) Drink water. We generally stick to drinking water. Not fluoridated tap water – we purchase 5 gallon jugs or fill them in a spring when that option is available.  Water is cheaper and healthier.  Beverages that you make yourself like coffee and tea are far less expensive than the soda pop and energy drinks that fill most modern refrigerators, not to mention, relatively free of the toxic chemicals that overflow in the store-bought drinks.

7) Buy staples in bulk. Organic grains like brown rice, wheat berries, cornmeal, barley and oatmeal can be purchased in bulk quantities.  This reduces the price to lower than or equivalent to the smaller conventional packages that are offered in your local grocery store.

8) Buy some meats frozen instead of fresh.  Some butcher shops freeze meat that isn’t sold immediately and sell if for a lower price.  Look for deals on frozen chicken breasts, frozen fish, and frozen turkey breast. Fish is nearly ALWAYS cheaper frozen. Just read your ingredients carefully and make sure you are just getting fish, and that the fish is from a safe source (not the radiation-laden Pacific Ocean, for example, or a tilapia farm where they feed fish their own recycled feces).

9) Buy meat in bulk.  Look into buying beef in quantity.  Check out the prices at local farms for a quarter of a cow.  You will pay slightly more for the lesser cuts but much less for the better quality cuts.  It balances out to a much lower price for meat farmed in the healthiest way possible.

10) Add some lower priced protein options.  While lots of us would love to have grass-fed beef and free range chicken breasts twice a day, the cost is prohibitive.  Add value-priced wholesome protein with beans, farm fresh eggs, homemade yogurt and cheese, nuts, and milk.

11) Stop eating out. Just one McCrud meal for a family of 4 is between $20-30.  Delivered pizza is about $25 plus a tip. The $45-55 that you would spend for this “convenience” could buy a lot of whole foods.

12) Get into the habit of bringing a cooler with you.  If you are going to be out running errands for the day, load up a cooler with healthy snacks, water, and even a picnic lunch.  This is the perfect answer to the lament from the back seat, “I’m huuuunnnngryyyy.”

13) Don’t buy anything with an ingredients list greater than 5 items. The more items on the ingredients list, the more likely you are to be consuming someone’s chemistry project.  Even things that sound relatively innocuous, like “natural flavorings” can be, at best, unappetizing, and at worst, harmful.

14) Cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you might expect.  I don’t spend hours each day slaving in the kitchen. Spend a weekend afternoon prepping your food for the week ahead and you can have weekday dinners on the table in less than half an hour.  Consider the price differences in homemade goods:  homemade tortillas (pennies for a package that would be $3 at the store), pizza dough, peanut butter oatmeal cookies, trail mix,  and granola bars. This stuff is literally pennies on the dollar in comparison to the same goods store-bought.

15) Some conventionally grown foods are okay. Learn about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.  Some foods have a fairly low pesticide load, even when conventionally grown.  Use these foods to help offset the higher prices of items that are soaked in poison, like strawberries.

16) You will actually eat LESS when you feed your body.  Part of the reason that the obesity problem is epidemic in North America is because people are desperately seeking nutrients from depleted food-like substances.  Their bodies are crying out, “I’m hungry!” even though they have consumed thousands of calories, because their nutritional requirements are not being met. What’s more, many chemicals are added because they are engineered in a way that makes you want to eat more and more (like MSG, for example).  They don’t stimulate the satiety centers in the brain that tell your body that it’s full.

17) Brown bag your lunches.  When I worked outside the home, most of my coworkers ate out every single day.  They often invited me along, saying that a certain restaurant offered “healthy” food.  The thing is, the price of that presumably healthy food was 4-6 times higher than the healthy food that I had brought from home.  My daughter takes a healthy lunch from home to school every day, as opposed to eating the offerings there.  Depending on the school, this may or may not be cheaper, but it’s guaranteed to be more nutritious.

18) Preserve food.  Whether you grow it yourself, rescue it from the “last day of sale” rack at the grocery store, or buy it by the bushel from a farmer, learning to preserve your own food allows you to buy in bulk and squirrel some of that delicious food away for the winter ahead.  Canning, dehydrating, and freezing are all methods to help extend the summer harvest for use later in the year.

19) Eat leftovers.  The act of eating leftovers is almost unheard of, it seems.  But if you put aside small amounts of leftovers in a freezer container, you can make “soup” for a meal that is basically free because it came from items that would have otherwise been discarded.  Use larger amounts of leftovers for lunch boxes or  a “buffet-style” meal for the family.

20) “Shop” from nature.  You might be surprised to learn how many edible plants are growing wild in your own neighborhood.  Even city dwellers can often find things to forage.  When we lived in the city, we used to pick up fallen walnuts from a tree in a local park.  For those not ethically opposed to it, hunting or fishing can abundantly supply your protein needs, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are consuming antibiotics and hormones with game.”

Most important meal of the day

Sadly, most people have cereal and milk for breakfast every day. This is sad because cereal and milk are some of the worst things to put in your body (if you actually want to feel good and have energy throughout the day). I have so many patients complain of lethargy and lack of energy, and the overwhelming majority are eating milk and processed sugar for breakfast. It still surprises me that I have to tell people why these things aren’t good for you. However, I do.

Cereal is fairly obvious in that it’s virtually all sugar. Sugar is ok if it’s from a good source like fruit. It’s bad if it’s been refined and processed. You get none of the natural nutrition and just the extra calories. The sugar floods the bloodstream and causes the pancreas to work in overdrive at releasing insulin to clear the sugar from the blood and get it into the cells. Refined high-glycemic foods are the reason we have so much type II diabetes in our society.

Dairy is inflammatory. Period. There are a lot of good things about milk, but they all come with the price of chronic inflammation. Human bodies aren’t built to be consuming dairy other than breast-milk as young children. Our calcium and vitamin intake can easily be fulfilled by vegetables, fruits, fish, and nuts. This is coming from someone who LOVES milk. I love the taste of it. It’s wonderfully refreshing. However, I can’t argue with my body. My energy was zero when I was consuming milk and cereal. I was literally tired all the time. My wife and I now start out every day with a smoothie. The ingredients vary sometimes, but usually are frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, a banana, and some orange juice. We’ll usually have some eggs with it, and since we’ve ate like this, we both have a great amount of energy throughout the day.

Rather than trying to justify why milk and cereal are good to consume, just try it for a week or two. Make yourself a smoothie, have a couple hard-boiled eggs, maybe a handful of nuts, or some leftover salad or salmon from the night before. No one says breakfast can’t be leftovers. Anyways, you’ll notice wonderful benefits almost right away when you eliminate milk and cereal from the diet. Just try it… you might like it!

Fasting benefits

Good article on some of the benefits of fasting. It seems cancer cells don’t tolerate fasting as well as normal, healthy cells. Well I’ll just let you read it… Enjoy!


Valentine’s Day

Well, Megan and I are halfway through the plank challenge… and what a challenge it has been! We are only doing the side-planks, but the 90 seconds on each side yesterday was pushing us quite a bit! I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Valentine’s day tomorrow. Here’s some interesting info about the real St. Valentine, courtesy of





The Orthodox Saint Valentine

St. Valentine the Hieromartyr (Feast Day – February 14 and July 6)

“The ancient martyrology of the Church of Rome marks February 14th as the remembrance of “the martyr Valentine, presbyter of Rome” (Valentinus means “vigorous” in Latin). Unfortunately the historical data for the saint is incomplete.

The Martyrdom of the Saint in Rome

Saint Valentine lived in Rome in the third century and was a priest who helped the martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Claudius II the Goth. The great virtue and catechetical activities of the Saint had become familiar. For this he was arrested and brought before the imperial court.

“Why, Valentine, do you want to be a friend of our enemies and reject our friendship?” asked the emperor.

The saint replied “My lord, if you knew the gift of God, you would be happy together with your empire and would reject the worship of idols and worship the true God and His Son Jesus Christ.”

One of these judges stopped the Saint and asked him what he thought about Jupiter and Mercury, and Valentine boldly replied, “They are miserable, and spent their lives through corruption and crime!”

The judge furiously shouted, “He blasphemes against the gods and against the empire!”

The emperor, however, continued his questions with curiosity, and found a welcome opportunity to finally learn what was the faith of Christians. Valentine then found the courage to urge him to repent for the blood of the Christians that was shed. “Believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized and you will be saved, and from this time forward the glory of your empire will be ensured as well as the triumph of your armory.”

Claudius became convinced, and said to those who were present: “What a beautiful teaching this man preaches.”

But the mayor of Rome, dissatisfied, began to shout: “See how this Christian mislead our Prince.”

Then Claudius brought the Saint to another judge. He was called Asterios, and he had a little girl who was blind for two years. Listening about Jesus Christ, that He is the Light of the World, he asked Valentine if he could give that light to his child. St. Valentine put his hand on her eyes and prayed: “Lord Jesus Christ, true Light, illuminate this blind child.” Oh the great miracle! The child saw! So the judge with all his family confessed Christ. Having fasted for three days, he destroyed the idols that were in the house and finally received Holy Baptism.

When the emperor heard about all these events, he initially thought not to punish them, thinking that in the eyes of the citizens he will look weak, which forced him to betray his sense of justice. Therefore St. Valentine along with other Christians, after they were tortured, were beheaded on 14 February in the year 268 (or 269).

The Relics of the Saint in Athens

After the martyrdom some Christians salvaged the body of the Saint and put a bit of his blood in a vile. The body of the martyr was moved and buried in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla, a burial place of most of the martyrs. Over the years somehow he was “forgotten” since almost every day there were buried in these catacombs new martyrs for several decades. The memory of Valentine’s martyrdom however remained robust, particularly in the local Church of Rome. Officially the memory of St. Valentine was established in 496 by Pope St. Gelasius.

Fifteen centuries pass and we arrive at 1815, at which time the divine intention was to “disturb” the eternal repose of the Saint. Then the relics were donated by the Pope to a gentle Italian priest (according to the custom of the time). After this the relics are “lost” again until 1907 where we find them in Mytilene in the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady. It seems that after the death of the priest that a descendant of his had inherited the relics who had migrated to Mytilene, which was then a thriving community of West-European Catholic Christians. There they remained until 1990 when they were moved to Athens in the Church of Saints Francis and Clara’s Italian community, where they are today.

Saint Valentine the Greek

We should first say that there is not sufficient information on the national origin of the Saint, though there are some other (shades of) evidence that the Saint was of Greek origin. For example, the earliest depiction of the Saint bearing the inscription «O ????C BA???????C” in Greek, is in the Church of Our Lady the Ancient (Santa Maria Antiqua) of the 6th century which was the parish of Greeks in Rome. The church particularly venerated saints who were Greeks and generally from the East. The decoration and renovation of the church was ordered by the Greek Pope John VII (705-707) and finished by his successors, including the last Greek Pope Zacharias (741-752). But perhaps it is no coincidence that after seventeen centuries, the remains arrived in Greece. The issue here still requires research.

Saint Valentine: Patron of Lovers

Apart from the historical data we have for Valentine’s life, there is accompanied various legends, such as from those who say he is the patron saint of lovers.

The Saint had a reputation as a peacemaker, and one day while cultivating some roses from his garden, he heard a couple quarrel very vigorously. This shocked the Saint, who then cut a rose and approached the couple asking them to hear him. Even though they were dispirited, they obeyed the Saint and afterwards were offered a rose that blessed them. Immediately the love returned between them, and later they returned and asked the Saint to bless their marriage. Another tradition says that one of the charges against Valentine was that he did not adhere to the command of the emperor which stated that men who had not fulfilled their military obligations were not allowed to marry; meanwhile the Saint had blessed the marriage of young Christian soldiers with their beloveds.

Besides all this, the likely choice of him as the “saint of lovers” is to be associated with the pagan festival of Lupercalia, a fertility festival, celebrated by the Romans on February 15. Others connect the celebration of this feast with the mating season of birds during this period. Certainly, however, the Saint has nothing to do with the commercialism (marketing) of flowers, gifts and secular centers which trivialize Eros, this great gift of God.

Saint Valentine and Orthodoxy

Many, however, raise the objection that St. Valentine is not mentioned anywhere in the calendar of the Orthodox Church. Indeed on 14 February in the calendar of the Church there are commemorated Saints Auxentios, Maron and the martyrs Nicholas and Damian. The explanation is simple: in ancient times hagiographic directories, biographies and martyrologia were written to be primarily used locally in their own character, and the fame and reputation of a saint locally does not mean that it extended also throughout the Church. So there may be saints honored widely in one region and completely unknown in another, eg, St. Demetrios, who is famous throughout the Eastern Church, yet in the West is not honored at all, and is almost unknown, but this does not mean that he is not a saint. Another example of the modern Church: St. Chrysostomos of Smyrna († 1922) who in Greece is known, yet in Russia is completely unknown, but this does not mean that he is not a saint.

Honor Martyrs – Imitate Martyrs

We honor our saints and St. Valentine when we imitate their courage to proclaim their faith in Christ the Savior, even at the cost of their lives. We honor them when we beseech them to appeal to God to have mercy on us and forgive our many sins. We honor them when they are our models of the life in Christ. We do not honor the saints when we measure their ‘worth’ by worldly amusements and festivities in the best circumstances … Honor Martyrs – Imitate Martyrs!”



New tables

I’m excited to announce that I’ve purchased some new tables in the last week. The first table is a flat bench. This table works well for simple passive therapies (ice, heat, electric stim). I didn’t intend on purchasing one now as I haven’t even received my stim unit yet, but when buying the other table, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. The other table is an Activator Hi-low table. This table is especially good for using the Activator Methods system of adjusting. I don’t use it on many patients, but it’s very helpful for those who don’t want to be “twisted” or “popped.” Additionally, the table is very helpful for elderly or acute patients, who have a difficult time climbing on/off an adjusting table. It needs some cosmetic work to get it up to par, but overall is generally in good condition. The hi-low function works by having the patient stand on a platform, while the table is then lowered down, and the platform then automatically lowers after the table is fully horizontal. I’m very happy with the purchases so far!20130131_182819_resized 20130131_182812_resized

Healthy fats

Eating healthy doesn’t mean avoiding fats in your diet. Your body actually requires fats to function optimally. The individual cells in your body are coated in a lipid membrane. Many important processes involve the movement and communication through this membrane. Staying hydrated and getting a healthy supply of good fats can help to keep the cells communicating properly. Avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, fish oil, coconut, seeds, and nuts (other than peanuts) are all examples of healthy fats that should be a daily part of meals and snacks. Try consuming more of these on a daily basis and see how much your body appreciates it!

The importance of a good diet

Do you remember the scene from “Back to the Future III” when Doc and Marty realize that they can’t get fuel for their vehicle to get to 88mph in order to activate the flex-capacitor and return to 1985? They couldn’t access gasoline, so they tried to pour some liquor in the engine and blew the carburetor. This scene was funny, but it also demonstrates a great lesson in what happens when you put the wrong type of fuel in a machine. The machine doesn’t effectively operate with the capacity of how it could function with proper fuel.

Our bodies are very similar. They are made to run on fuel with nutrients and proper energy content to allow for an efficiently operating system. When the fuel is not appropriate, the body can’t operate the way it should. A person experiences extreme energy surges and crashes, feels groggy, doesn’t heal properly, and certainly doesn’t maintain the physical figure of what a human should resemble. Keep in mind, the biggest correlation with life expectancy is actually waist size. The larger the waist, the shorter the life-span. It’s a greater correlation than smoking!

Many people nowadays have turned eating into satisfying sugary cravings, rather than refueling. What is really frustrating is that people don’t realize that that eating healthy can also be delicious. I remember after doing a 3 week cleanse last year, making the decision to eat buffalo wings. It literally felt like there was poison in my body after eating healthy for 3 weeks. I had indigestion issues for almost an entire day. It really showed how the body responds to those “everyday” junk foods, after it’s been operating efficiently.

Now there are a great number of nutrients shown in some dairy and enriched-bread food labels. However, with those nutrients comes a great deal of inflammation and irritation to the digestive track. There is a vast amount of research supporting this, so go ahead and read up on it a little more yourself if you don’t believe me. The key is to find foods that have a great nutritional content and anti-inflammatory properties. This can be found in a diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and lean meats. It may sound boring, but it certainly doesn’t have to be!

Check out this site for some delicious recipes.

Getting sick?

It seems that there are a lot of bugs going around now. Everywhere I go, someone is saying they’ve been sick or their family is sick. A common misconception is that people are getting sick due to it being colder. Well that may be partially true, but the main contributing factor is now thought to be attributed to the winter humidity. When the air is very humid, the particles in the air attach themselves to the moisture in the air and due to their new added weight and gravity, they fall. In winter, without this moisture, many of the particles simply float or linger for a longer time.

So if picking up a bug has more to do with being exposed to the bug, than simply making poor decisions with staying warm, there must be a reason some get sick while others do not. This has to do with the efficiency of the body in fighting off the bugs. The more efficient the body is functioning, the better chance you have of fighting off a bug which you will inevitably be exposed to. Several simple things that can help with functioning well.

Get a good amount of sleep.
Getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night is essential for most of us to properly function. The body needs time to repair itself after a day of usage. Additionally, during sleep is when the spinal discs decompress. After a day on your feet or in a seated position, the discs naturally get compressed. When you lay on your back, the discs have a chance to expand and decompress again. This is also why most people are 3/4 of an inch taller in the morning. Proper rest contributes to a properly functioning immune system, which will be the most effective tool in battling viruses.

Drink plenty of fluids.
Most people drink when they feel thirsty. The mechanism for thirst is based on survival, but not necessarily optimal health. Your thirst mechanism will keep you alive if you heed its warning, but in order to function efficiently, you’ll need to be a little more intentional. If you’re not used to drinking much water, just start small. Several juice glasses full of water a day… then move to a juice glass an hour. I see many patients with active symptoms which will significantly decrease after they hydrate themselves well. Additionally, think of a stagnant pond vs a flowing stream. Which water is safer to drink from? The flowing water. The human body is composed mainly of water. A constant flow of clean water helps to keep the fluid cycle fresh. This also simply keeps our cells hydrated and healthy.

Take a Vitamin D supplement.
Most people don’t get much sunlight when it’s cold outside. Sunshine is our natural method of acquiring Vitamin D. “Vitamin D boosts immunity by stimulating production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial protein that serves as a “natural antibiotic” in the body,” said Michael Zasloff (a professor of surgery and pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center). I take 5000 IUs daily. This is much more than the recommended amount. I’d rather have too much than not enought though. As long as I’ve been faithful with this, I’ve never gotten sick. That’s not to say Vitamin D is the cure when you are sick. It’s the prevention that keeps you from getting sick.

Get some exercise.
This one is very simple. A 30-40 minute session of cardiovascular exercise will increase cardiac output, heart-rate, and blood flow. When you exercise, your body increases white blood cell numbers and circulates them more quickly through your body. Increasing the cell numbers and circulation helps the white blood cells to be victorious when they come across a nasty foreign invader.

These are all relatively well-known methods of staying well, but sometimes a reminder helps. Happy New Year to everyone. Stay healthy!

Goodbye Christmas. Hello New Years resolutions!

So I hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but love the practice. I dislike that some people only set goals once a year, but with that said, it’s still a great opportunity for a fresh start. The advantage is strictly mental, in that you can tell yourself, “well I’ve been doing it all year so far, so I might as well keep up with the new habit” when you are looking to give up your resolution. It offers a little bit of foundation for forming new habits or eliminating old ones. So with all that said, why not make some resolutions that will enhance your quality of life… an apple a day… exercising 3x a week… or even limiting yourself to fast food or junk food several times a month instead of several times a week. Whatever it is, set some goals that are achievable for you, stick to them, and have the life you want!

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15