Category Archives for "Improved Diet"

Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds – Spicy Flavored Recipe

Raw, spicy, sprouted pumpkin seeds

Raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds is one of those recipes I can't stop making. They just taste so good!

Sprouted pumpkin seeds are scrumptious and nutritious. 

This recipe tastes like party in your mouth.

Note:

After only 24 hours of soaking and waiting, the seeds won't grow a little tail. It's too early, that happens after the 3 or 4th day.

Our goal is to start the germination process of the seed, allowing some of the seed to convert the fats and starch into vitamins and minerals. This makes it more nutritious for us to eat.

Step 1



Collect the ingredients. For this recipe, all you need is:

- 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (or any red pepper)

Bonus: 1 1/2 teaspoon brewers yeast flakes (gives it a nacho cheesy flavor)

Add pumpkin seeds to a glass jar.

I bought my raw pumpkin seeds in bulk, learn more here.

Add raw pumpkin seeds to jar

Add raw pumpkin seeds to jar

Step 2



Fill the jar with filtered water. Leave on the counter.

Soak the pumpkin seeds in water for 8 - 12 hours

Fill jar with filtered water.

Fill jar with filtered water.

Step 3



Drain, and rinse until the water runs clear (2-3 rinses is usually enough).

Let sit for 24 hours. Be sure to rinse at least 3 more times - every 8 hours.

The seeds will be plump at this time, because they have rehydrated with water.

I use "Sprout Ease - Econo Topper", these are for wide mouth glass mason jars. Makes rinsing a snap!

Drain, and rinse water until it runs clear

Drain, and rinse water until it runs clear

Step 4



Rinse one more time.

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix until all the seeds are covered with the spicy mixture. 

Mix all ingredients

Mix all ingredients

Step 5



Place on a baking sheet and let air dry, or put in a dehydrator at 118 F, for 4-5 hours

When done seeds are crunchy, and the mixture becomes hard around the pumpkin seed.

Dehydrate 4 hours at 188 F.

Dehydrate 4 hours at 118 F.

Step 6



Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. They will last about 3 days.

Store seeds in a jar in refrigerator

Store seeds in a jar in refrigerator

Raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds - a quick and easy raw recipe

Mine never last more than 2 days, because they are so tasty and filling.

They make great snacks, and salad toppings too.

Coffee pleasure, or a hidden danger

Coffee Hidden Dangers

I cringe every time I read a new study about the benefits of coffee. I have to wonder who is actually funding these studies. Or, which coffee aficionado chose to extol it’s benefits. After all, it's a 20 billion dollar industry, and over 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed world-wide.

But something is awry, and this time I want to put my finger on it.

The most recent study is this one (coffee consumption and health).

Here is an excerpt:  “Coffee consumption seems generally safe within usual levels of intake, with summary estimates indicating largest risk reduction for various health outcomes at 3 or 4 cups a day, and more likely to benefit health than harm”.

What's really going on here?

On the surface, all seems fine. But what is really going on?

It’s part of a continuing trend in society. Move away from whole food. Rely on short bursts of energy via caffeine and sugar. Try to get through the day.

But it doesn’t work. Caffeine and sugar act likes drugs in the body.

Can you get addicted to water?

Drink 4 cups of water each day for a 3 months, and then quit. Do you get a headache. Do you suddenly feel withdrawal symptoms. Do you need to get your “morning water” first thing, or risk having a really bad day. 

Or course not. Water, like so many other natural substances isn't addicting.

But watch out if you miss your morning cup of coffee, or worse try to quit completely. People report massive headaches, and strong cravings. They have what is called caffeine dependence.

Glass of water

Glass of water

Your health is the sum total of your choices

This leads me to the main point. Health is the combined effect of all choices, but those same choices can also lead to disease.

Coffee on it’s own may not be bad at 2-3 cups a week. But adding 3-4 cups a day, along with a poor diet, and little exercise can culminate in deteriorating health effects.

According to the World Health Organizaion, the number of new cases of cancer is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.

Cancer is not going away, rather it's in full force and gaining steam!

Behavioral and dietary risks

Also from the Word Health Organization:

"Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use."

Thank goodness coffee isn’t listed. But if it was, would that be enough to remove it from your lifestyle?

Lifestyle choices have changed

Over the years lifestyle choices have changed. People consume less vegetables and fruit, exercise less, and generally sit more.

Coffee is part of this lifestyle choice. It’s a tasty quick fix, that even comes with a power jolt. But people didn’t always go to the corner coffee shop 3 -4 times a day for a hit.

Look at the massive addiction to fast food, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine drinks, and sugar. The desire for instant gratification and instant energy reign supreme.

However, the untold story is that there is an increase in disease, sickness, and toxicity. More and more people are hearing these dreaded words - you have cancer.

Coffee and lots of sugar

Coffee and lots of sugar

People are sicker than just one generation back

All of these new behaviors are having a dramatic effect on health.

So when a study comes out like the one mentioned, don’t look at it so quickly with rose colored glasses. They say 3-4 cups a day is ok. I say Really?

Look at the big picture. People are generally more diseased than even just one generation back. Something must have happened.

Some cancers are on the rise

Look at the statistics. These charts, show a huge increase in cancer rates from 1975 to 2014, for 3 types of cancer.

thyroid cancer

Thyroid Cancer Rates Increasing

Thyroid Cancer Rates Increasing

liver and intraheptic bile duct cancer

Liver Cancer Rates Increasing

Liver Cancer Rates Increasing

kidney and renal cancer rates

Kidney Renal Cancer Rates Increasing

Kidney Renal Cancer Rates Increasing

It wasn't always like this

Did you ever look at vintage photos from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Ever notice how the bodies of most people were trim, lean, and appeared generally fit.

They had coffee, but most of the population drank a lot less than 4 cups a day. They also ate sugar, and sweets. But not anywhere near the levels consumed today. Fast food didn’t exist either, other then the hearty meals served at local diners.

Compare the people back then to the population of today. A side by side comparison would make you think these were two different species. The humans today are almost TWICE as BIG!

Not twice as tall, but twice as wide.

Leaner people back then

Leaner people back then

Obesity is becoming a crisis

Something is wrong, and it's wrong on a global Scale. It's now official, 1/3 of the world population is obese or overweight. 

The big link between obesity and cancer

There is a link. It has now been found that 40% of all cancer cases linked to obesity, or being overweight.

Something has to change, and soon!

How does this relate to coffee?

So what does all of this information have to do with coffee?

The over consumption of more than 2-3 cups of coffee a week will have a detrimental effect on health. Doing so will change how the individual hydrates during the day.

Consuming (4) 8 oz cups of coffee is 32 oz of liquid. For some people, this is the only liquid the drink all day long.

It goes without saying that coffee is not pure water. Rather it is tainted with the charred remains of the coffee bean.

Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day will change how a person hydrates their body.

Coffee is replacing water consumption

So instead of giving the body clean, pure water, which it needs. It receives instead, a hot, caffeinated, sugared, fatty beverage that must be internally processed before use.

But who drinks one 8 oz cup of coffee anymore. Sizes are closer to 16 oz, and up. Three cups of 16 oz coffee equals 48 oz of liquid (that's a little bit under a half a gallon).

Stated simply, people are replacing required water with coffee.

Coffee doesn't have any real nutrition

Coffee is a brewed drink from roasted coffee beans. The beans are the seeds of berries from the coffee plant.

When enjoying a hot cup of coffee you will get a short burst of energy. But there is no real nutrition. Therefore it doesn’t positively affect the daily nutritional requirements.

Some more data.

Black coffee contains no significant amounts of the macronutrients, fat, carbohydrate and protein.

Per 100ml, black coffee contains a number of micronutrients, notably potassium (92mg), magnesium (8mg) and niacin (0.7mg).

The sodium level is very low.

There is also manganese (0.05mg), and riboflavin (0.01mg).

But that's it. No calories, unless you put in milk, cream and sugar. Which almost everyone does.

Coffee is acidic

But here is the real kicker. Coffee is acidic.

Dentin is one of the four major components of teeth (enamel, dentin, cementum and pulp). It is the second hardest tissue that lies underneath the outer Enamel layer. Enamel is harder.

According to this dentist:

Dentin dissolves below 6.50
Enamel dissolves below 5.50

Ready for this:

Black coffee is 5.70 on the PH scale
Starbucks regular is 4.85

Black coffee can dissolve dentin, but a starbucks coffee can dissolve both dentin and enamel.

Ouch!

Damaged teeth

Damaged teeth

Acidosis can lead to bone loss

What about osteoporosis.

A loss in calcium contributes to bone loss.

Coffee is acidic. The body must neutralize the acids. It can do so in 3 ways.

1. by diluting it with higher water percentage'

2. storing it in fat

3. neutralizing it with low PH minerals like that of calcium.

But where does the calcium come from to neutralize the acidity? It comes from the skeletal system.

Drinking acid beverage like coffee is suicide

Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day is suicide. It's a sure fire way to increase the acidity of your body.

Why do this when it has been shown that acid loads show calcium loss from bone.

If the body is acidic, it will do everything in it's power to neutralize those acids. As shown from the excerpt of this study.

"The role of the skeleton in acid-base homeostasis in adults may contribute to the progressive decline in bone mass that occurs with age, which is ultimately expressed as osteoporosis. The bone loss may result, at least partly, from lifelong mobilization of skeletal calcium salts to balance endogenous acid generated from dietary precursors."

Is coffee really worth all of this

The real question you have to ask yourself is it really worth it. Sure they say drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day won't hurt you. But it's not the whole picture.

Take into account the lifestyle changes over the past 20 years. The increase of some cancers, and the acidity of coffee itself.

Is it really worth it, just for a few moments of pleasure. 

Clearly there are healthier beverages available.

Why not do yourself a favor, and put down the coffee and pick up the water bottle.

In the end, you are the only one that will be taking care of you.

So start today, by caring for your health and body. Dump the coffee, and use that 5 bucks for a fresh veggie juice.

Raw Breakfast – Apples, Sprouted Oats & Honey Recipe

Raw breakfast with apples, oats, honey

Get rid of that gooey, cooked mush they call oatmeal, and keep it simple with a raw breakfast! Try this delicious recipe, because it contains only 3 simple ingredients. Dump the cooked, processed foods, and start your day with this healthy alternative

It's so easy. You’ll only need apples, sprouted oats, and honey (learn more about health benefits of honey here).

Raw breakfast alternative for cooked oatmeal

I always enjoyed oatmeal in the morning. But since I switched to a raw diet, I needed plenty of new options.

A few months ago I bought a 25 pound sack of raw oats, and a bushel of Jonagold apples. So I had to find something to do with all that goodness.

This recipe came to me as I was thinking about those processed oatmeal packets that contained oats, dried apples, brown sugar, and preservatives. I simply switched out their dried and manufactured ingredients and replaced them with raw, whole food. I fell in love with my new recipe on the spot.

I have been hooked for over 2 months. I never seem to get tired of it! In fact I am looking forward to having it again today.

Simple raw recipe - 3 & 3

This recipe is so simple. It and takes less than 3 minutes to prepare & 3 natural ingredients.

I found this great company on Amazon that sells oat groats. Here is the 25 pound sack I bought, yeah it's big.

But they also sell smaller sizes so you can test it out for yourself.

Oat groats are also gluten free. Which is a big bonus for many people.

25 pounds of raw oat groats

25 pounds of raw oat groats

If you don't have an orchard or farmers market nearby, go out and treat yourself to organic apples. 

The bushel of Jonagold's cost me $20. Let me tell ya, it's a lot of apples. I've filled both of my vegetable crispers with apples, and I have more out on the shelf in my kitchen.

Buy organic apples

Buy organic apples

As for the honey, I use raw, unpasteurized Wildflower Honey From Georgia Honey Farms. They have many types. Plus you can buy directly from their website. Or, look in your local Costco, that is where I found my jar.

Oat groats

In nature, as the oat plant matures, the oats fall to the ground. Overtime, with rain and sun, the oat nestles into the earth and begins to grow. First as a seedling, then building it’s root system to support the new plant. The important thing is that there is a protective outer shell on the oat. This is called the hull.

Oat groats are the kernels of oats that are hulled. That means the tough outer shell (hull) has been physically removed. Since groats no longer have the tough outer shell, they can actually be sprouted quite simply. This process can occur in just 1-2 days.

Oats

Oats

Sprouting oats

These are the simple steps to sprouting your own oats:
1. Soak the oat groats in filtered water for about 8-12 hours.
2. After the alloted time period, drain all the water, and rinse one more time.
3. Leave the oats in a warm place, ideally 70-80 degrees F. The warmer the oats are, the faster they will sprout.
4. Next, plan on rinsing them twice a day, morning and night.
5. Within 1-2 days you will see a short white tail - that is the seedling beginning to grow.

Congratulations you now have sprouted oats.

Unsprouted Oat Groats

Unsprouted Oat Groats

Sprouted Oat Groats (3 days)

Sprouted Oat Groats (3 days)

Keeping Oats Warm:  I have found that the back part of the refrigerator (external, not in the refrigerator) is typically warmer due to the compressor coils and fan motor. Sometimes I leave the oats near that area. You can also try leaving them in an oven that is off with the light on. Sometimes the heat of the light provides enough warmth to help them sprout.

Recipe: raw apple, sprouted oats, and honey

To create your tasty and simple raw apple-oat-honey breakfast follow this simple recipe.

1. Wash, and remove the core from 1 or 2 apples.
2. Chop the apples into small bite-size pieces and put in a mixing bowl
3. Add into the bowl 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sprouted oats
4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey on top of the oats and apples.
5. Mix up all ingredients so the honey covers the apples and oats.
6. Sit down, give thanks, and dive into this delectable treat.

Recipe apples, oats, honey step 1

Add the apples

Recipe apples, oats, honey step 2

Add the sprouted oats

Recipe apples, oats, honey step 3

Add the honey

Recipe options

​There are endless options that you can add to your base apple-oats-honey combo. Here are 2 that I do.

  • sometimes I don’t like to wait for the white tail on the sprout. After soaking 8-12 hours and rinsing the oats I use them at that time. They are very chewy, and very tasty.
  • sometimes I add 1/8 teaspoon of any or all of the following spices to the mixture:
    nutmeg, allspice, ginger or cardamon

Feeling decadent?

How about a chocolate raw treat. Try this one!

  • sometimes I sprinkle on 1 teaspoon (sometimes more), of raw cacao powder. This creates a raw desert that tastes like a chocolate covered granola bar. I mean really, it doesn't get any better than this!

Simple and tasty

There you go. I hope you enjoy this simple, tasty, and nutritious breakfast treat as much as I do.

So what are you "tossing into the mix" to make it your "signature breakfast"?

Coconut Health Benefits – Yummy and Healthy

Coconut Health Benefits

Coconut health benefits exist both in the mature and immature stages of a coconut. The water from a young coconut is used as a refreshing, and revitalizing sport drink. The fatty acids found in coconut meat are antiviral and antibacterial. Plus, studies show that the saturated fat from coconut doesn’t appear to have an impact on cardiovascular health.

All the goodness of coconut

The meat from mature coconuts is consumed in dishes, deserts and beverages. It is also pressed to make coconut milk. The extracted oil is used for cooking, soap, heating, lighting, moisturizing, health care products and cosmetics. It’s husk is used in grow mats as seed starters, and it's wood turned to charcoal for water filtration. The wood is also used in cooking, toys, and building products.

Coconut treats

Coconut treats

It’s called the tree of life because the entire palm is used (meat, water, husk, shell, leaves, and wood). But the best use is, in my opinion, is for it’s health properties. For each 100 gram serving, there are 354 calories with 24 grams of carbohydrates, along with vitamins and minerals. The raw meat contains about 33 grams of fat, about 35% of it’s total content. Of that fat, 60% is in the form of lauric acid.

Coconut water and coconut milk

In the young coconut, the water contains only about 19 calories. Coconut milk which is pressed from the mature coconut flesh contains the oil and the aromatic parts of the coconut. It’s fat content is about 24%, and one cup of this milk has over 552 calories which is why it is used sparingly in dishes.

The external husk of the coconut is a fibrous casing protecting the hard kernel within. The kernel contains coconut water or some milk depending on the maturity of the coconut.

Coconut now exists in over 90 countries around the world. So wherever you are you should be close to a source.

Coconut sugar and protein

The concentration of sugars in the young coconut vary through it’s maturity cycle. It starts around 1.5% to 5.5% (glucose, fructose, and sucrose), and when fully mature (9 months) it decreases to 2% - mostly sucrose.

Maximum protein content occurs in 10 month old nut. Green unripe coconuts contain meat which is soft and jelly like and can be removed with a spoon. However the mature coconut requires hard tools to scrape and remove the edible meat. The white meat of the coconut kernel is about 4.3% globulin. Globulin is one the major blood proteins of the human body alongside albumins, and fibrinogens.  Globulins are produced in the liver or by the immune system in the human body.

Removing coconut meat

Removing coconut meat

Coconut health benefits

The electrolytes in coconut water resemble intracellular fluid more closely than extracellular plasma. Therefore, there have been documented cases of it being used an an intravenous drip during medical emergency procedures. This is due to it’s similarity to plasma.

It contains potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Sodium, chloride, and phosphate are also present in much lower concentrations. Coconut water is also rich in many essential amino acids including lysine, leucine, cystine, phenylalanine, histidine, and tryptophan.

Coconut water is used as a rehydration fluid from diarrhea due to it’s beneficial levels of amino acids, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. So it is quite beneficial for rehydration.

Athletic performance is a highly studied area. Rehydrating on or off the field is the utmost in importance to both elite athletes and weekend warriors.

The sugars present in coconut water are mostly glucose and fructose in the immature coconut, and sucrose in the mature coconut. Coconut water helps to replace glucose in the body, which is our main source of energy fuel.

Rehydration with coconut water

Whole body rehydration and blood volume was studied after exercise. The study used 3 fluids - fresh young coconut water, carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water. Rehydration was similar in all 3 fluids, but plasma glucose concentration was significantly higher with coconut water and the carbohydrate-electrolyte-beverage versus water. Furthermore, coconut water was more enjoyable to drink, sweeter, and caused less fullness and nausea. Plus there were no reported upset stomach conditions in the study. This made it a healthy drink, that was far easier to consume.

Coconut water

Coconut water

Coconut water is a natural, raw, and refreshing beverage that can be consumed straight from the young coconut with a straw. Next time you are exercising replace your store bought energy drink with fresh coconut water.

When traveling, especially to South East Asia, young coconuts are plentiful, and sold on the streets. In the United States young coconuts are mostly sold in Asian Markets of the major cities.  These young coconuts are imported from other countries. But in Florida they can be found near Miami  such as this big 40 acre coconut palm plantation.

Antibacterial & anti fungal

Coconut contains two antimicrobial fatty acids (lauric acid - 50%, capric acid - 6%). Both are found in the fat of the coconut. Lauric acid has antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal properties. Capric acid is also antimicrobial. Coconut fat normalizes body lipids, helps protect the liver from alcohol damage, and reduces the anti-inflammatory response of the immune system.

Lauric acid is formed into monolaurin in the human body. Monolaurin is an antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal that destroy some viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes and Helicobacter pylori, and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia.  Lauric acid also appears to inactivate fungi, yeast and protozoa including several species of ringworm, and the yeast candida albicans.

Capric acid is formed into monocaprin in the human body. Monocaprin has also been shown to have antiviral effects against HIV and is being tested for antiviral effects against herpes simplex and for antibacterial effects against Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted bacteria.

Coconut - saturated fat and cholesterol

Lauric acid and myristic acid from coconut are both found in breast milk. They have also been beneficial in combating or reducing the risk factors in heart disease.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil

Two groups of Polynesians on separate atolls were studied for their consumption of coconut and the their associated levels of saturated fat, and cholesterol. Each group both ate coconut as a staple food. Group 1 had a higher percentage of coconut in their diet than Group 2 (63% vs 34%). As a result Group 1 had a higher intake of saturated fat, and higher serum cholesterol levels - about 35-40mg higher than Group2.

Both groups show lauric acid, and myristic acid in their fat tissue from the coconut consumed. However, the study was unable to link the high consumption of saturated fat from coconut the the harmful effects of cardiovascular health.

How to gain the coconut health benefits 

  • Buy virgin coconut oil and use a natural moisturizer for face, hands and body. Dab a little on your palm and rub in to your skin until absorbed.
  • Eat a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to gain the benefits of it's fatty acids (lauric and capric). (I did this for a while, but never got used to it so I switched to eating both the mature coconut meat, and dried coconut )
  • Buy a young coconut at Whole Foods, or your local health food store. They look like small white diamonds about the size of a cantaloupe melon. They are usually in the chilled section. Store in your refrigerator. After exercise, puncture a small hole on top and insert a straw. Enjoy an exquisitely satisfying natural sports hydration beverage. When finished, increase the hole size and scoop out the young coconut meat. It's sooooooooo delicious!
  • Buy dried raw coconut flakes and sprinkle on your morning cereal or fruit
  • Buy a whole, mature coconut. Tap lightly along the entire center perimeter with a hammer until you hear a crack. Continue tapping lightly until the coconut splits open. Remove all the coconut meat and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy a coconut snack anytime, it'stasty and very filling

Mr. Self-Care Says

"This is my favorite dried, raw coconut. Every time I open a new bag, a burst of fresh and inviting coconut fills the room. The small, white flakes have a slight crunch and makes a great afternoon snack!

It's a 2-pack so you won't run out."

Enjoy your coconut today!

No matter how you enjoy coconut your body will thank you. Either as a rehydrating sport drink, or as a food full of antiviral and antifungal benefits.

Coconut is one food you definitely want to have a lot of in your home.

Discover Even More

Honey Health Benefits – It’s time to enjoy it again

Honey health benefits

It’s time to put honey back in your life. If you have been pushing it way, take another look. Honey is nutritional, and healing both internally and externally. Honey is good for you in it's natural, raw state. You'll find all the honey health benefits you need below.

Honey is composed of a complex mixture of carbohydrates (Fructose, glucose and maltose), water, and a small amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and phenolic compounds so it's considered a whole food.

We've been eating honey a long time

Honey is produced by honeybees. The bees collect nectar and sweet deposits from plants. They then store it in honeycombs where it is harvested. It is a natural and safe food product.

As a species, we have been eating honey for a long, long time. Honey was even written about on a Sumerian tablet back in 2100-2000 BC. There it mentions honey’s use as a drug and an ointment, according to Crane E. in “Honey, a comprehensive survey.”

Eating honey a long time

Eating honey a long time

Honey Health Benefits

There's even a healthy therapy built around it. Did you ever hear the word apitherapy? It’s the branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products for healing.

Which sweetener to choose?

With so many sweeteners on the market, it’s hard to know what’s healthy.

In my household I always fall back on the unprocessed, raw, and the natural choice? In this case honey wins hands down. It also provides internal and external health benefits.

Because of the honey health benefits, I dumped table sugar a long time ago. But I’ve tried other sweeteners along the way like the white processed Stevia, and it's powdered green whole leaf counterpart. Plus I was into raw cane sugar for a while. But comparatively speaking, none is as tasty, nor as healthy as honey.

As of late, honey is my go-to sweetener, and here is why.

No added weight gain

It’s a common belief that since honey is sugar it will make you fat. But an animal study comprised of 3 powdered diets (sugar free, sucrose, mixed sugars, and honey) showed otherwise. The result: “overall percentage weight gain was significantly lower in honey-fed rats than those fed sucrose or mixed sugars, despite a similar food intake.”

No added weight gain found

No added weight gain found

Diabetics also benefit from honey

Diabetics, who must monitor their blood sugar levels are told to stay away from honey due to it’s high glycemic values. However, type 2 diabetic patients where given natural honey for 8 weeks. The results were amazing. Their body weight, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglyceride decreased, and their high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol increased significantly.

Good nutrition versus empty calories

Honey health benefits abound. Honey is essentially concentrated sugars in water. But it also contains a very complex mixture of other saccharides, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, polyphenols, and carotenoid like substances, maillard reaction products, vitamins and minerals.

The three main honey enzymes are diastase (amylase) which convert starch or glycogen into smaller sugar units, invertase (sucrase, α-glucosidase) which convert sucrose into fructose and glucose, as well as glucose oxidase which produce hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid from glucose.

Common table sugar contains sucrose from heavily processed sugar cane. All other nutrients are removed during manufacturing. There are no proteins, enzymes, or amino acids left. This is why it is called an empty calorie. There is no nutrition in table sugar, it only contains carbohydrate calories.

For example, look at the small comparison below. Note how honey health benefits rule over common table sugar.

100 gram serving

Honey

Table Sugar

calories

304

387

protein

.3 mg

0 mg

fats

0 mg

0 mg

vitamin C

.5 mg

0 mg

calcium

6 mg

1 mg

magnesium

2 mg

0 mg

zinc

.2 mg

0 mg

Athletic performance

Carbohydrates constitute about 95 to 97% of honey, of which are mainly fructose and glucose. Due to its high carbohydrate content honey is an excellent source of energy for athletes.

However, there are also about 25 different oligosaccharides.  The most well known effect of most non-digestible oligosaccharides is stimulation of the growth of Bifidobacteria (probiotics)which improve food digestion and assimilation in  the colon.

Great for athletes

Great for athletes

Free Amino Acids

The honey health benefits continue. Protein content in honey is roughly 0.5% made up mainly from enzymes and free amino acids.

Amino acids are combined to make protein. But during digestion, the consumption of a protein source must be broken back down into amino acids for use by the body. 

Honey contains the free-form amino acids, making them "pre-digested", and ready for assimilation upon consumption.

Inhibits micro-organisms and fungi

Fungal infections can occur in the lungs or the skin. They are more likely to occur when taking anti-biotics or during times of a weakened immune system. Honey inhibits the growth of micro-organisms and fungi. The antibacterial effects have been reported for many strains.

Even ringworm and athletes foot are found to be responsive to honey.

Antioxidant effects

Honey also provides antioxidant effects on free radicals. Antioxidant activity is thought to prevent some chronic diseases. Honey has been found to contains antioxidant activity including glucose oxidase, catalase, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoid derivatives, and organic acids.

Antimutagenic and antitumor activity

Mutagenic substances promoting mutations of the genetic structure. All honeys exhibited a significant inhibition of mutagenicity. Glucose and fructose were found to have a similar antimutagenic activity as honey.

Treatment of wounds

A blend of manuka and jelly bush honey) has been one of the first medically certified honeys licensed as medical product for professional wound care in Europe, America and Australia. Honey is equally found as an active ingredient in products such as ointments for the treatment of wounds and burns. 

The viscous nature of honey is believed to provide a moist environment around wounds that allows skin cells to re-grow across the wound as well as it provides a protective barrier to help block against  further contact infection.

Healing with honey

Healing with honey

Stimulation of tissue growth

Want further proof of honey health benefits, then look into wound care and healing. 

The re-growth of tissue is very important in the wound healing process. Honey stimulates the formation of new blood capillaries (angiogenesis). The growth of fibroblasts that replace connective tissue in deeper layers of the skin and produce the collagen fibers to strengthen healing. Honey also stimulates regrowth of new skin cells over a healed wound. This helps prevent scarring and keloid formation.

3 simple ways to benefit from honey

Honey health benefits can be gained in many ways, but they really break down into 3 main categories.

Drink It

The simplest thing to do is to drink honey. Squeeze 1/4 of a lemon in a 16 oz glass of water. Add a teaspoon of honey, and stir. Drink throughout the day. Don't like it cold, warm the water 1st before adding the honey for a tasty morning beverage.

Eat It

Eating it is even more fun. Sure you can have it right out the jar, but it's a perfect compliment to fruit. Here's what I do. I chop a cored apple and add it to a bowl. I then sprinkle on cinnamon and nutmeg. Lastly I slow drip (because it's fun) a teaspoon of honey over the apple. Then I mix it up. Also, if I have sprouted oats on hand, I mix in a 1/4 cup of the oats for an amazing tasty treat.

Wear It

Honey can be worn. Not as a jacket, or a pair of pants. But as a layer to soothe cuts, and burns. It's simple to do. Put a little honey on a band-aid, and then apply it to your skin. Or put it on a clean, dry pad and apply to the damaged skin. Leave on for an hour, and then reapply as needed. Don't forget, honey is sticky so rinse well with water to avoid sticking the the drapes or small animals.

Summary of honey health benefits

Dump the table sugar and come back to honey. It's a far better choice than sugar any day. Use it to create a post workout sport drink, or use it on a wound or burn to assist in healing.

Inside or out, honey can't be beat.

Don't forget, look for the "all raw" version. Processed honey is heated, which will kill many of the enzymes naturally found in it. 

Enjoy honey, and let it assist you in your travels on the road to health.

How to do a morning detox, without food

Morning detox with lemon water and cayenne.

This information is for anyone looking to increase productivity, remove brain fog, feel better, drop a few pounds, and have energy all morning long. Can a morning detox do all that?

What about intermittent fasting

It wasn’t long ago that I would start the day with huge servings of sprouted oats/fruit, or an entire blender full of green smoothie. I had to eat big to stock up on fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. At least that’s what they told me. If I didn’t eat big I surely wouldn’t make it to lunch.

However, things changed when I began intermittent fasting combined with a morning detox. Now I only eat during an 8 hour period, leaving the remaining 16 hours food-free.

Couldn't find the food balance

I work from home and the morning is my productive time. Eating breakfast creates only 2 states for me. I either feel bloated which slows me down. Or, I feel hungry 30 minutes after a meal making me think even more about food. Both conditions block my productivity. I can't spend most of my morning resting, nor eating. I have things to get done. 

I just couldn’t find the secret food combination that provides nutrition, satiation and energy. For some reason, eating breakfast (big or small) opens the valve to a massive, never-ending feeding frenzy - all day long. 

Morning Detox Food Free

Morning Detox - Going Food Free

Intermittent fasting along with the morning detox changed all that.

Solution - a new morning routine

Since I wouldn’t be eating breakfast, I needed a few ideas for my new morning routine. Here’s what I came up with.

#1: I could do nothing. That means I would neither eat, nor drink until noon
#2: I could drink herbal tea and honey, choosing a different herbal blend each day
#3: I could turn the morning hours into a detox period.

For the next 3 months I decided to turn the morning hours of 7 am - 12 pm into a detoxification period. I focused on cleansing beverages, and body movements. My morning drink is now lemon water and cayenne pepper. My two body movements include yoga/meditation, and 5-10 minutes on a mini-trampoline.

Lemon and cayenne, the power combo

Lemon and cayenne work well together. Plus citrus oils have even been shown to have anti-tumor properties. Cayenne on the other hand, or more specifically capsaicin (the hot stuff) found in the cayenne, helps with metabolism, energy, and satiation.

However, what I was really after was the detox. I wanted the brain fog gone, and to think clearly all day long. Somewhere my diet was messing me up, and something must be in my circulatory system causing that fog. 

What about toxins

I learned that excess environmental toxins get stored in body fat. Overtime I have been removing all the bad stuff in my diet. But what about the toxins already stored in my body. Basically if the body can’t get rid of toxins through the kidneys, liver, colon, or skin, they get stored. So that was also part of my goal. I wanted to break down the fat, release any toxins that are stored, and flush them out of my body.

If I could leave more time for digestion and less time eating I just might be able to sway the pendulum. And hopefully the brain fog  would clear.

This is where lemon water and cayenne morning detox came to the rescue.

What I did - my morning detox routine

Each morning upon rising, I head down to kitchen and fill up a 1/2 gallon (64 ounce) mason jar with filtered water.

Next, I cut up a lemon, and use a hand juicer to extract the juice from one half. I put the other half in the refrigerator for the next day.

Then I put 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in the filtered water. At first I started small with half a teaspoon. Now I can easily tolerate 2 teaspoons.

Lastly, I shake the lemon juice, water, and cayenne vigorously. Then I pour 16 ounces in my favorite glass, and put a straw in.

I then proceed to drink this mix until noon. After I finish my 1st glass, I pour another which fills me up until lunch.

What I use

Half Gallon Ball Mason Jar for the morning detox

Half Gallon Ball Mason Jar

McCormick Cayenne for the morning detox

McCormick Cayenne from Cosco

Zatarains Cayenne for morning dexo

Zatarains Cayenne from Walmart

365 Cayenne for the morning detox

365 Cayenne from Whole Foods

I used a 1/2 gallon mason jar. I also had a huge 14oz container of cayenne from Amazon. After I went through that I picked up a Zatarains from Walmart since I was in a pinch. However, on my next trip to Whole Foods I will get the organic cayenne.

Note: I choose to use a glass container to eliminate any plastic taste, or residues. After all, this is a detox, and glass is inert.

How it worked

This is my 5th week and I am very happy with the results of my morning detox. For the first few weeks I had to clear my throat often during the morning Since cayenne is acidic, there was an increase in mucous that naturally protects the throat/stomach lining. However, that seems to be gone now, and I clear my throat very rarely, if at all. 

The brain fog is almost all gone too. It was noticeably less after 2 weeks. But now, I can think clearly all morning long. My productivity has doubled - really!

Also, the moment I feel hungry in the morning I drink the lemon and cayenne mix. Almost instantly I feel full. There are no more food cravings. The only time I feel hungry is first thing in the morning. But after my first sip, it goes away until noon. As long as I drink my two 16 oz glasses of lemon/cayenne water I am good to go until noon.

Weight loss too

Best yet, I have dropped at least 2 pounds. Not sure if this is from skipping breakfast, the increase in metabolism from the pepper, the reduction of toxins/fat, or a combination of the above. Either way I am pleased with the results of my morning detox.

Lastly, my meditation has become deeper, and easier to sustain. I am distracted less. I can sit quietly breathing for 20 minutes in more comfort than before (much much less fidgety).

I will do the morning detox for 3 months

This combination is working really well for me. I plan to finish up the 3 months, and then re-evaluate. Eventually, I may do another round, or change it up by dropping the cayenne but keeping the lemon water. But I'll decide when I am done based on how I am feeling.

Either way, I can’t remember the last time my head and thoughts have been this clear all morning. Plus, the morning food cravings, and mood swings seem to be a thing of the past.

Lemon and cayenne seem to be a powerful, synergistic combination that make up the basis of my morning detox.

Instructions  / steps for a morning detox drink

  1. Fill a 32 ounce, or 64 ounce glass jar with filtered water
  2. Cut a lemon in half, and add the juice of half that lemon to the water. Put the other half in the refrigerator.
  3. Start by adding 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the lemon water
  4. Shake the mixture, and a pour a full glass
  5. Drink with a straw to decrease the amount of lemon and cayenne on your teeth
  6. Drink the rest of the water in the jar throughout the day
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