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Winter Immunity Starts With Breakfast

Yes, you read that correctly. Unfortunately, most people’s breakfast choices are inappropriate for both winter and immune health. The standard American breakfast of cold cereal, cold pasteurized milk, cold fruit, cold fruit juice, and coffee is a recipe for problems: too little protein, too much sugar, too cold, often too much caffeine; i.e. not enough nutrition to carry us into lunch, let alone develop good immunity. Yes, you can tweak that combo by eating cooked oatmeal that was soaked overnight in whey and water (this makes it more digestible). We can add home-made yogurt made from raw milk (again, much more digestible). By adding soaked nuts the protein content rises and again, more digestible.

However, according to a lot of research I’ve been doing about nutrition for healthy blood sugar response, strong immunity, stable energy, healing our adrenal glands and increasing our ability to handle stress, we need to consider a whole new approach: hot protein at breakfast. If you are an omnivore, this can mean lean organic/free range meat, and /or eggs, vegetables, and an appropriate amount of complex carb (whole grain bread, yams, winter squash, etc.). Lacto-ovo vegetarians can go for eggs, cheese, veggies, and a healthy starchy carb. If you are vegan, time to go for the nuts, grains like quinoa, and cultured soy (tempeh, miso), as well as veggies. What is important is warm food (if you are living in a cold climate), a good amount of protein, colorful vegetables, and not too much starchy carbs (unless you’re setting out to shovel snow! Then have another piece of toast).

This combo gives us good energy without the blood sugar spikes, provides us with both calories and nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients), and a healthy balance of macro-nutrients (including fat, which we need for adequate hormone production). So try to limit yourself to one cup of java (preferably organic), or substitute green tea, and fire up the stove. I bet you’ll feel better.

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Acid / Alkaline

One of the most important tenets of holistic/alternative health is eating a healthy nutritious diet. The devil in the details is primarily regarding what makes a food group fall into this category, as well as how much of that food to eat. The concept of acid and alkaline is starting to crop up in my research more frequently, and includes studies and experience from medical doctors as well as alternative practitioners.

A good introductory article explaining this concept can be found HERE . Be sure to read down at the bottom about his rebuttal of a “Quackbusters” article, which helps make the concept even more understandable.

One of the most intriguing research articles I’ve come across is about cellular pH. You can read about this  HERE .

And wouldn’t you know, I can’t seem to find my reference for the third piece of recent findings…sigh; however, what this entailed is a study that shows how lack of stomach acid, or stomach acid that is too high in pH, can lead to an overall acidic environment in the body. In other words, as we age, our stomach acid can weaken, and what we mistakenly think is some kind of over-acidity is actually an under-active acidity that fails to fully digest protein, which leads to all kinds of problems as the not-broken-down-enough food heads south.

If you have trouble digesting protein (and sometimes fat), which is often a feeling of over-fullness in the stomach (sometimes accompanied by moderate pain, but really doesn’t feel like reflux) after a high protein meal, try a Betaine HCl-Pepsin supplement whenever you eat protein, especially meat or fish. After 27 years of being a vegetarian when I began eating meat I couldn’t digest it. A protease and lipase (protein and fat) enzyme helped, but it wasn’t until I added Pure Encapsulation’s Betaine HCl-Pepsin (made from beets, not synthetic, and no fillers) that I could finally eat cooked protein. This supplement also helps one utilize/absorb calcium, B12 and iron. Call Cathy toll-free @ 877-286-2970 for more info on ordering.

Lastly, in my research I have found that many alternative practitioners/sites go by the “ash” method of determining acid and alkaline values (including the article first cited); however, many of the holistic medical doctors are using the newer “PRAL” values. Yes, it can be confusing. Go  HERE  for an excellent quick explanation of the difference between the two, with lots of good links to better lists of how foods are either acid-forming or alkaline-forming in the body as we digest that food.