Tag Archives: food

Comparing Different Starches

I learned a long time ago that every part of the world lives off of a different grain or staple (a source of starch eaten every day).  In TCM literature, it says, ‘of the five grains, the bean is the most nutritious.’  Beans are a humble food that provide a lot of protein, fiber, and starch.  They are a powerhouse of nutrition.

A lot of people around the world live off of rice, the majority white rice, the minority eat brown rice.  While it is popular and it does sustain life, it is rather high glycemic and not particularly dense in nutrition.

I once read in an old book, ‘the main foodstuff of the African is the sweet potato.’  This tuber is a good source of starch, and you could easily eat them everyday to good result.

Wheat products, like bread and pasta, are a big problem.  While the middle east and Europe have been living off bread for centuries upon centuries, it is not the best crop or staple.  Gluten, the protein found in wheat is allergenic to many, and the wheat itself absorbs a lot of toxins from the environment.

Corn is special.  Some call it a grain while others call it a starchy vegetable.  While not being particularly dense in nutrition, it is a good source of starch and fiber, and it was the mainstay of the native american diet.

Quinoa is a pseudo-grain that is really a flower seed.  It is a lot like brown rice, except it has more fiber and twice the protein content.  It used to be grown in Bolivia and Peru, where it was called ‘the mother grain’.  The protein in quinoa is just as good as any animal protein, balanced in all 8 essential amino acids, and it’s increasing popularity is not without merit.

Potatoes also grow in abundant varieties in the mountains of Peru.  There are over 80 varieties there.  While one does best to avoid idaho russet potatoes, since they are a nightshade, there are other varieties which are much healthier.  Red potato is my favorite.  Yukon Gold is good too.

There are other lesser known staples out there.  But the reason I wrote this post is to remind people that complex carbohydrates, or starch as it is known in its pejorative term, are actually quite important, and one can’t live off of protein and vegetables for very long.  I know sugar restriction is useful for short term weight loss and reordering a bad diet into a healthy diet, but starch will always be the main source of fuel for the human body, and living off of ketone bodies for the rest of your life is not a good idea.

It’s an alarming trend to see Americans cling to low carb dieting without really understanding human history, physiology, nutrition, and the importance of the ecology.  There is a good way to do dieting and there is a wrong way.  Don’t look for quick fixes or slimness in a bottle or Paleo Pie.  They don’t exist.  Human nutrition hasn’t changed in thousands of years, yet science, agriculture, and the media want to lead you astray.

People living outside the West are suffering from food shortages, have no need for nutrition lessons, eat a lot more fiber, and have to walk to get anything for themselves.  The American man doesn’t realize how good he has it, and I hope those who read my blog gain something from my philosophy.

 

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Comparing Different Proteins

Protein is of primary importance.  While no one who eats regularly is really deficient in protein, the more you eat protein, the stronger and more energetic you feel.  In this essay, I will try to give my view on the best protein.

Beans, peas, and lentils, and other legumes like peanut, are actually really good.  They’re vegan, so no one was injured in their production, they’re cheap, and they’re easy to store.  The downsides are the gasiness one might get from eating too much of them, and the general boredom from getting all your protein from them.

Seeds are a good source of vegetarian protein, but it’s not wise to eat more than a small amount per day, since they’re loaded with fat and calories too.

Quinoa is a pseudo-grain that is actually a flower seed but cooked and eaten like rice.  Quinoa is the best plant protein, containing an optimal balance of all 8 essential amino acids.  The problem is it doesn’t taste like anything.

Then you have the mighty chicken egg.  This is the optimal protein, the best one for human nutrition.  Even vegans sometimes don’t mind compromising their standards and eating an egg or two.  They’re that good.

Then you have dairy, like milk, cheese, and yogurt.  I find that these aren’t the best proteins in the world for a slew of reasons.  For starters, cheese is loaded with salt and fat.  Milk has lactose in it, a sugar that causes digestive discomfort and diarrhea.  Yogurt is good protein, can be found in low fat versions, and has less sugar in it because the fermenting bacteria have eaten away most of the lactose.  But i’ve come to the conclusion that the egg is superior to the dairy product in most respects.  There’s no downside to eating eggs, besides animal rights you might say, but there are tremendous downsides to eating milk/cheese/yogurt.  Some science indicates cheese has opiate effects and is therefore addictive.  Other scientists say that the protein in milk is inflammatory and can lead to autoimmune disease.

The fish is the best animal to eat.  I’ve never seen an old fish.  The reason why fish never get fat, old, and wrinkly, is because they are constantly swimming, eat a sea vegetable and smaller fish diet, and the fat underneath their skin is fluid, not solid like lard.  That makes for a healthy animal and a healthy dinner.

Then you have meat, and it doesn’t matter if it’s chicken, duck, cow, pig, sheep, or goat, or anything else.  Meat can be really good or really bad depending on how the animal lived and how strong and healthy it was.

So really, there’s no point in writing this essay, it’s all common information.  My suggestion is to always go lower down on the food chain rather than higher up.  This is better for everyone, you included.  Animals are above birds, birds are above fish, fish are above unfertilized eggs, eggs are above beans and seeds and quinoa and so on.  The lower down it is, the less toxic it is.  The most toxic animal is the human being, because we are the apex predator.

Human beings in the western world often have a choice about what they’re eating.  With a proper education, one can live quite well.

Philosophy, Religion, and Diet

In this era, anything goes.  But some people still adhere to dietary laws as entailed by their religious views.  Observant Jews don’t eat pork, shellfish, or meat and dairy together.  Muslims don’t eat pork or drink alcohol.  And most of the religious traditions of the Indian subcontinent advocate a lactovegetarian diet.

Veganism is growing in the USA.  The biggest reason people do it is because of sympathy for the animals and also environmental concerns.  Veganism is not a religion.   But if one examines history, it is the Ancient Hebrews who first considered vegetarianism a lifestyle choice.

Kosher vegetarianism is a very sane, moderate view of diet.  Meat symbolizes death and decay, while milk and dairy products symbolizes life and growth.  Fish and Eggs are considered Parve, or spiritually neutral.  A kosher vegetarian eats plant foods, dairy products, and is not against eating fish or egg.

In the east, amongst people like the Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Jains, lactovegetarian is reccomended.  Some Bengali vegetarians consider fish and seafood to be ‘fruit of the sea’ and therefore still eat it.

And amongst the Taoists, no food is taboo.  It’s about eating the right portions and proportions of food relative to each other.  Christians too say any food is clean to eat.

My view is to do what is best for yourself.  Don’t tell people about your eating habits and don’t bore them with your list of abstentions.  I like dairy products, so I’m not giving them up.  I do what is best for myself.

I believe meat, fish, and eggs was originally natural and good, but capitalism, consumerism, and overpopulation ruined everything.  Applying the factory line production method to agriculture was a grave mistake by humanity.  Animals are not machines, every animal, from insect, to cow, to dog, to monkey, to man has sentience.

In this era, it’s not hard to go to a supermarket and get anything you need, all year round.  I live in a part of the USA where there are few natural disasters.   Veganism and Vegetarianism is a vote for the environment, for animal rights, and reverses many diseases.  Only in this country is it easier to get restaurant food with animal foods in it than without.  I’ve decided to stop going to restaurants, unless its for a slice of pizza or vegetarian sushi.

I think kosher vegetarianism is the most sane way to go as far as diet.  Dairy is very nourishing, in some cases too nourishing, and fish and eggs should be an option for people who don’t have the time or inclination to prepare their own food.  The main thing is to eat what’s available and not obsess about diet.  But in this crazy society, even the nutrition textbooks are wrong, let alone the media and public perception.

At the end of the day, gaining or losing weight is about calories in and calories out.  But also at the end of the day, looks and weight don’t matter so much.  You don’t need the body of a bodybuilder to be healthy.  And a six pack of abs means nothing.  Judge your health by how you feel, how long you live, and the state of health you’re in.

As an aside, remember that years upon years of weight fluctuation on the atkins/paleo/ketogenic diet causes insulin resistance and liver derangement.  A doctor can’t invent a crash diet that violates everything we know about nutrition and get away with it.  Bodybuilders and boxers use the low carb approach before contest because it causes a rapid decrease in water weight.  Don’t think the atkins diet is a lifelong diet.  No one in Asia, Africa, or South America is adhering to this philosophy, because they have no obesity problem.  They eat a lot of fiber and walk a lot.

 

Progress Update

I have made significant changes recently in my own health journey.  I’ve decided the ketogenic diet is not for me.  While low carb, high fat does give you short term results, one invariably adds sugar and starch back to the diet and weight fluctuates.

I’ve become pretty much vegan, and I find this diet helps keep the blood sugar low and the weight in check.  I’ve come to the conclusion that starchy foods are the BEST foods not the WORST foods.  Things like beans, sweet potato, corn, carrot, pea, lentil, quinoa are actually the best foods because they contain fiber as well as starch and vitamins and minerals.

Beans are the humblest food, and yet, still the best.  They combine vegetarian protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates in the same food, and there is an endless variety of them.  Beans are a way cleaner fuel source than meat.

I still eat some rice, but I’ve learned that both brown and white rice are high glycemic foods (compared to the above foods).  The glycemic impact of the rice is mitigated by eating other things with the rice.

I am not completely vegan, I still love dairy products like ghee and yogurt, and I’m not against the concept of fish or egg every now and then.  I’m opportunistic and realistic and pragmatic.

It is much cheaper and more convenient to live this way.  Beans are much cheaper protein than any type of meat, and it’s easier to clean up after yourself as vegan.  When you buy meat or fish at a supermarket, you have to cook it before it goes bad.  This is constant stress and labor.  And eating meat in a restaurant, one never knows what quality of meat they use or how it was handled in kitchen.

Ultimately, any food is good food.  That’s what Jesus said, and it’s pretty logical too.  If it’s organic material, it’s food for another species.  Eating living tissue is called vivisection.  All food, whether it be plant or animal in origin, is dead.  The more plant food you eat and the less animal food you eat, the better your health will be.

The Easy Way to Be Fit

Better than weight training and a low carb diet, which just inflates your muscles and doesn’t build functional strength and doesn’t last as soon as you go off this regimen, is something much better.

And that would be intermittent fasting.  In the end, it’s not so much about what you eat or whether it is organic, free range, or all that nonsense.  It’s about how much you eat and how often.

Most people in America don’t go more than 4 hours without eating, and some ‘graze’ all day or eat a meal every two hours.  This is not good for your digestive organs, hormonal balance, insulin levels, teeth, and a whole slew of other things.

There are many ways to break up the day into periods of eating and not eating.  But the theory is, when the body has a chance to rest from food, insulin levels drop and the organs of digestion get to rest.  The best is to skip breakfast, eat your first meal at 10am, then wait four hours, eat again, wait another four hours, and eat your last meal of the day.  You can snack a little before 8pm, and that’s it.  Nothing fancy.

Fasting before and after sleep is a powerful tonic.  The body gets to rest from digesting food all the time and nourish the brain and organs instead.  It might be necessary to drink black coffee when you wake up to help you get going, but I suggest skipping breakfast and not snacking after dinner.  In addition, don’t graze or snack in between meals.  This is the easiest way to stay fit.

If you do intermittent fasting, the quality of the food you eat is less important.  You can eat meat, sugar, bread, milk, anything in moderation as long as you are not eating too much or too often.  That’s why I call it the easy way to get fit, it’s a no brainer.

Of course, it takes discipline and restraint from snacking all day.  I suggest eating protein with every meal and replacing some of the carbs with fat.  Good fats are good foods.

In general, one should eat to live not live to eat.  Don’t see food as a reward for good behavior.  You’re not a kid anymore.  See food as fuel for your body and lifestyle.  Eat what you need to eat, not what is most tasty and exciting.

Intermittent fasting plus ketogenic diet is the real caveman diet.  Cavemen didn’t graze on sugar and starch all day because they couldn’t afford to.  They went through periods of feast and famine, and were lucky to eat one piece of fruit per summer.  Wheat and all starchy grains were an invention of the agriculturist later on in human development, which doesn’t make them inherently bad, just unnatural.  Brown rice is the most harmless and energetic grain, the starchy fruit of a grass species.

The less often you eat, the more hunger you have for the food and the better it tastes.  This is the original way to live, enjoying the bare minimum with zeal, not sitting around the TV munching on cheetos and soda.

Good Carbs

Not all carbs are bad.  That should be clear.  In fact, one could live off of starch if one had too, it’s been done before.  But in the short term, sugar restriction is the best way to lose weight.

Some of my favorite foods are carbs, and I eat them every day.  Things like brown rice, apples, oats, lemons, bananas, etc… are all good carbs.  The real trick is to eat wholesome, unprocessed foods and not man made garbage.  Just eat natural food and your health will return.

Since the low carb diet is popular now, that is how athletes and bodybuilders get ripped in the short run, people are avoiding carbs entirely.  But that is not smart.  Carbs like whole grain and fruit are actually full of fiber and antioxidants, and since grain is cheap, it is easy to sustain yourself on very little money.

It is a precarious balance, between ingesting sugar/starch and burning it off through cardiovascular exercise.  It is important to get in enough water too so you are not low energy and sluggish.

Ultimately, it’s about calories in and calories out, and fat has the most calories per gram.  The low carb fad will die out, and people will realize that any natural food is good food, and all these restrictions are just academic in the end.

The Real Culprit

The worst food for human health is not meat, eggs, or fish.  It’s not even dairy, because there are dairy products that aren’t bad.  It’s starchy junk.  Starchy foods like beans and grains actually feed disease in the body, and shorten lifespan.  You may ask, why did people start hybridizing and cultivating starch in the past?  And the answer would be economics.

Beans and grains are cheap filler and are useful for feeding a growing population.  It’s not poison, it’s just fodder, and if you know what’s best for you, you’ll eat high quality food not fodder.

The best food for human consumption is vegetables of all kinds.  The best are the low-starch green vegetables, like broccoli, spinach, green bean, and kale.  Animal protein does not cause obesity or disease, at least not in moderate amounts, and there are both native american tribes who ate a lot of animals and lived in perfect health, and some who were vegetarian.

The low carb, high fat diet is by far the best for human health.  Atkins didn’t invent it, he just took credit for it in the modern era.  In the absence of carbohydrate, the body burns both dietary fat and adipose tissue for fuel rather than sugar.  If one does go on a low carb, high fat diet, one should do carb cycling too.  Carb cycling is like a cheat day when you add a lot of sugar back to your diet temporarily.

But if you know what’s good, you’ll eat more greens and less grains, and not be afraid of animal foods.  There are vegetarian sources of protein, like seeds and nuts, but the main factor in the human race being superior to the animal kingdom lie in hunting and cooking food.  Chimps and gorillas, our closest animal species, are vegans who eat fruit and seed.  But what is often not mentioned is that they spend most of their hours every day chewing coarse fruit and bamboo.  It’s not a productive life.

I personally don’t believe in evolution, one species can’t mate with another and produce viable offspring.  Man was created, and some type of adaptive change is recorded in the mythology of the bible.  Man is not another species vying for survival, that is an erroneous belief.  Man is the pinnacle of creation, and every plant and animal is for man’s use.

Adam was created to be a steward of the land, not to manipulate his own descendants with greed and treachery.  All of our problems are rooted in economics, and there seems to be no earthly cure for this mess.  The real solution is for humanity is for sages to attain enlightenment and teach ordinary people the way to live.  The sage leads by example.  Some people are born with more talent than others, and it is the responsibility of the greater man to teach the lesser.

 

Fluids are Fundamental

Mostly everyone should be drinking more water.  Many people in America are walking around dehydrated.  One way of getting more water in is to drink more fluid foods, like lemonade, soups, and smoothies.

These fluid foods are good for your health.  In China, even to this day, people drink hot broths in between meals and even in between servings.  It is important to consume a lot of fluids, not just to avoid dehydration, but to fill up on less calories during the day.  Less is more.

One important ingredient in all three dishes, that is, lemonade, soups, and smoothies is celtic sea salt.  Now you might think, who puts salt in lemonade or smoothies?  Well, some salts are better than others, and complete salt, as in from dehydrated ocean water, contains a lot of electrolytes within.  Adding a tiny amount of celtic sea salt to anything fluid makes it more re-hydrating, and is a good alternative to buying and consuming gatorade or the like.

Fluid foods are hydrating, low in calories, help you feel fuller longer, and they also cure bowel problems, so that both constipation and diarrhea are alleviated.  Remember, your fluid foods should be made using the same principles as solid food.  And that would include protein, vegetables, fat, and a bit of low sugar fruit, while avoiding dairy, sugar, and gluten.  This diet makes sense.

In the future, I will be recording videos of me in the kitchen, and uploading them to youtube and this blog.  I hope people out there see my cooking techniques and perhaps are inspired to make changes in their lives too.

 

Worst of the Worst

There’s a lot of bad, unhealthy, low-quality foods out there.  There’s hydrogenated fat, there’s high fructose corn syrup.  There’s refined wheat flour.  The list can be quite long depending on your beliefs about nutrition.

But one of the worst foods for you is dairy products.  Of course, everyone likes creamy, milky, sweet, bland food.  But I’ve been hearing the anti-dairy facts since 1998, when I began studying Traditional Chinese Medicine.  And the facts are clear.

Dairy products are the worst foods out there.  Milk, Cheese, Cream, Ice Cream, etc… are all mucous-forming and yin-tonics in a yin-heavy world.  There are dairy products that aren’t that bad, like plain yogurt and clarified butter, but even they aren’t good for everyone.  There’s a lot of merit in going dairy-free.

The alternatives are so much better for you.  That includes rice milk, coconut milk, and almond milk.  There’s no question that the milk of a different species should not be consumed, especially after weening off your mother’s milk in infancy.  People who drink cow’s milk are the minority around the world, not the majority.

There are other things one should avoid in dieting.  Things like excessive sugar, which is acidifying, and also gluten, which brings with it a lot of toxicity.  Even starch can be bad, depending on what food you eat.  But dairy is all the way junk and should not be seen as essential to the human diet.  Because it isn’t.

And this goes without mentioning farmed meat, everything from beef to lamb to chicken to whatever barnyard animal you slaughter.  There was a time when people lived on family farms and slaughtered their own animals.  These were active people who lived on the land and healthy animals that lived somewhat normal lives.

There’s so much toxic food out there, and it’s easy to make bad decisions.  But one basic decision that can influence your life for the better is to go dairy-free.  Find substitutes in your cooking that taste similar, and you will get acclimated to the substitutes and not cow udder secretions.  Almond milk is good in coffee.  Tofu is good in stir-fry.  Tempeh makes a good meat substitute.  And coconut milk is good in curries and smoothies.

You’ll be better off if you go dairy-free.  So do it.  Even if you indulge in cheese or ice cream once in a while after going dairy-free, your taste buds will change eventually and you will notice what dairy really is.  The baby-food of a bovine, not essential nutrition of an adult human.

 

Nutrition is the Best Hobby

Everyone should be educated on the subject of nutrition.  It is the most fundamental knowledge.  You are what you eat, your body is literally reconstituted nutrients from the soil, but your mind and spirit are made of other things.  There shouldn’t be so many overweight and sick people in a country where food scarcity is hardly an issue to most.

Most people bring about their own destruction.  Benjamin Franklin said, ‘nine in ten men are suicides.’  If you really valued your own life, you’d eat higher quality food and not mess around with the cheap stuff, like too much protein or too much sugar, dairy, and gluten.

If people were smarter, they’d dedicate some time every day to the production of their own food, and also some time to study nutrition.  Nutrition is all about finding out what is best for yourself.  Help yourself.

Of course, exercise is important too.  But diet is more important than exercise in the fitness equation.  If you really want to look and feel good, you have to exercise, but if you just want to be normal bodyweight and live nutrition is the first subject to learn.

I know people have day jobs, so eating home cooked food is not always an option.  But if people had more knowledge, they could make better food choices at restaurants and whatever.  It seems the West has exchanged one set of diseases for another.  Although more people are living to adulthood than in previous centuries, and infectious disease isn’t such a big threat in the developed world, people aren’t living the quality of life that is optimal.

Just educate yourself, and all things will fall into place.