Healthy Never Tasted So Good Chew on This… Cuz That Ain't Right

June 14, 2012

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

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Count Every Penny… They Add Up

To Eat healthy is a life-style, not a choice. Eating healthy is a conscious decision made with every meal prepared and everything we consume. Education is the key; knowledge is power. It is more important to learn how to fish than it is for someone to give you a fish. Once you learn how to fish, you can get as many fish as you can catch. Learn how to grow your own food, shop for best quality and prices and cook nutritious meals.

To eat healthy foods, especially without preservatives and additives tastes better, provides you with more nutrition and promotes better brain functioning and overall health. Better brain functioning allows you to think more clearly and better health gives you more stamina and energy. Maintaining a healthier life-style can reduce your overall medical bills saving you additional money as well. Money saved is money earned that can be used to eat healthy foods.

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Suggestions for parents to eat healthy:

  1. put pre-cut fruits and vegetables in containers with cold water in the refrigerator so kids have easy access for snacks,
  2. have children use child safety scissors to cut coupons for fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, whole-grain cereal (both you and the child benefit; save money and better health),
  3. for younger children, you pre-cut the coupons and the child has to match the picture with the product in the store,
  4. shop Wednesday and Thursday when most stores run additional specials,
  5. buy what is in season, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables, Seasonal Fish
  6. buy frozen if not fresh not canned it has preservatives and water which you are also paying for unnecessarily,
  7. shop at ethnic stores (Asian, Indian, Hispanic, etc) prices are generally cheaper and fresher for items used in their daily cooking, also often sold in bulk so you can decide how much to buy rather than buyer prepackaged,
  8. shop Farmer’s Markets
  9. prepare and cook using the stove not the microwave, nutrition is retained and overall texture and flavor is better,
  10. take a cooking class that also teaches nutrition, food combining and budgeting
  11. search YouTube for visual answers, we learn better wen we see it but even better when we do it ourselves,
  12. Mindful Eats has additional suggestions,
  13. Repurpose  and Upcycle leftovers (food recipes),
  14. check out Eating Healthy Because of Food Stamps,
  15. check out How to Eat When You’re Really Broke ,
  16. If you need more assistance contact Food Assistance, USA Family.

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

June 12, 2012

Diet Soda… Drink Liquid Poison

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Aspartame_Kid

Aspartame Kid

Recently, one of the students from CSUB asked to shadow me as part of her university course requirements for nutrition. I agreed. Last week, the student shared with me her personal experiences after drinking a diet soda. I asked her to provide me with a writeup as part of her work. She shared with me the article written below and I am submitting the article under guest writer.

Guest Writer: Amanda Anderson, CSUB

Diet soda sounds like heaven on Earth for those who are trying to cut calories. What price would you be willing to pay though to cut a few calories out of your daily caloric intake, especially if you have been told that would help you lose weight when you are overweight?

 A few years ago, I was an avid diet soda drinker thinking that I was making a healthier intelligent choice.  However, when my doctor said that I was dehydrated, I started to drink water and cranberry juice on occasion. For a few years, I mostly drank water and cranberry juice.  I was very surprised to get a better feeling. I felt like I had more energy than I did when I drank all of the caffeine I had consumed with the diet soda.  I continued to drink more water with the occasional cranberry juice because I knew I had to stay hydrated and the water was doing just that. 

Recently, while I was at a friend’s house, this past weekend, she had offered me a diet soda.  Not giving much thought to it at the time,  I figured that one diet soda (12 ounce can) wouldn’t hurt and so I drank it.  As I already said, I had been drinking just water and cranberry juice so a soda might be a welcome change just to have something different.  Within a couple hours I had the worst headache imaginable and for the entire weekend I was nauseous and hungry to the point I could not get satisfied.  For some reason, despite my upset stomach, I felt like I needed to eat and I craved fatty foods.  I would imagine to a lesser degree, this is probably what an addict must go through. It seems as though in that short period of time with just one 12 ounce can, I was addicted. During the weekend, I didn’t think that it was the diet soda, but then after I analyzed what I ate, how I felt and the cravings I had never had before in addition to  all of the food and drinks I had consumed, the soda  was the only variable that had changed from my normal typical diet.  

What are millions of people putting into their bodies? If you have a diet coke bottle around you, read the ingredients. Other than carbonated water, do any of the ingredients sound natural or safe?  Do you know what the ingredients/chemicals are doing to your body? I didn’t think so.  The primary culprit for these reactions in the ingredient list is aspartame, which is linked to many detrimental health effects on the human body especially the brain.  According to certified nutritionist Dr. Janet Hull, aspartame is correlated with 100 side effects, including: confusion, slurring of speech, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, aggression, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, nausea, abdominal pain, and peptic ulcers (Livestrong). Hopefully you have lost your craving for diet soda by now. Diet soda is not safe for your body and the only fluid, in my opinion, one should be drinking is water. Water is completely natural and with a splash of lemon juice can also be quite delicious. Enjoy your summer with some ice water and leave the coca cola at the store!

REFERENCES:

Aspartame and Neurological Side Efffects

The Effects of Aspartame on Health

Aspartame – Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Among Children

Aspartame consumption Is Never Safe

Aspartame Causes Birth Defects and Mental Retardation

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

June 1, 2012

What’s Causing Our Overweight Nation?

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What is really causing our nation to be overweight? We are the root cause of the problem in our nation. We need to take responsibility and stop pointing a finger at someone else, genes, depression, and the host of other reason we can give whether they are legitimate or not; accept responsibility. It does not matter if it is the government allowing preservatives or chemicals to be added to our food and water supply, we can take action individually. Look at what an individual ant can move and how much more powerful we are in comparison. The ant has the will-power to get the job done and so should we. Focus on making the change for the better.

http://www.nih.gov/health/NIHandweightofthenation/images/screencap.jpg
The Weight of the Nation (short clips)

In general:

  1. we over indulge (in most cases a serving of any given food item is 4 ounces ie meat, fruit, vegetable,
  2. we eat too fast a minimum of 20 minutes,
  3. we do not chew our food long enough,
  4. we lack exercise a mere 20 minutes minimum daily,
  5. we eat too many chemicals in our food
  6. we do not drink enough water (1/2 our weight in ounces)
  7. we do not have enough knowledge in food combining for optimal health

This we can change, we have to get in the right frame of mind to accomplish what we say we want. Talk is cheap, action is needed.  What we should do is:

  1. focus on ourselves first,
  2. focus on getting our job done,
  3. focus on doing the absolute best we can,
  4. set goals like millionaires: 5 yrs from now, 3 yrs from now, 12 months from now, and go backwards in 3 month intervals until we get to one month, 3 weeks and backwards to 1 week then today and every day we should be doing something that pertains to attaining the 5 year goal, every goal of every day, week, month and year is linked to the overall goal
  5. get knowledgeable about food: what is does for the body and in your particular body, pay attention to how your body reacts when you eat certain foods, understand food combinations
  6. eat healthy:
  • 9-12 servings of fruits and vegetables (yes 9-12 and it can be done)
  • in moderation eat: figs and dates unsulphured
  • eliminate processed meats (hot dogs, cold cuts, bacon, etc)
  • eliminate refined sugars
  • reduce carbohydrates from processed white flour and white rice
  • increase whole-grains – brown rice, wild rice, red rice, quinoa,
  • increase consumption of nuts – walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans,
  • increase consumption of seeds – sunflower seeds (unsalted), pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds,
  • use coconut oil and coconut butter, olive oil and grape seed oils
  • stick to a water and fiber chart Weight Loss Schedule

We watch the experts like Dr. Oz, Dr. Kline, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and Deborah Clegg to name a few, but we are still having trouble. A right mind set is necessary. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2/3 of our nation is obese. This generation’s life expectancy is shorter than their parents. the top 5 out of the top 10 causes of death is related to being overweight with diabetes, cancer and stroke among them.

According to the experts, as little as 5% weight loss reduces your chances of diabetes. For every 1 pound you are overweight, you have 4 lbs per square inch of pressure on your knees. This joint pressure causes tremendous pain and can be drastically reduced.

Research has shown that having a buddy to exercise and eat with or talk to helps keep you on track. Knowledge is power so keep a log of EVERYTHING you eat and the quantity. Snacking contributes a great deal to the overall problem because we generally do this without thinking. Make conscious decisions about what you are eating. Plan out your meals and snacks.

Exercise is crucial.  No time for the gym!  No problem. Here are some suggestions on getting it done throughout the day:

  1. jumping jacks or jogging in place while waiting for the popcorn to pop (3min),
  2. exercise on commercial breaks (3 min, there are approximately 6 within an hour so you can get an easy 20 here),
  3. side bends while sitting at your desk (1-2 min),
  4. leg lifts while sitting at your desk (3 min) this also helps circulation and reduces swelling of the ankles,
  5. using a resistance band under your chair do arm raises, no bands, keep a 24 ounce can of something in your desk
  6. check out exercises for individuals in wheel chairs and follow them while at your desk.

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

May 30, 2012

School Lunch Food New Guidelines

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2 gluten free school lunch ideas

Found on this Lunchbox.com

New guidelines for school lunches have been created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act .  Now, both fruits and vegetables must be served every day of the week with specific weekly colors of vegetables.  In the past, schools had the option to offer food that was either fruits or vegetables.

Also, in the past, schools were encouraged to offer food with whole-grains, that is no longer the case. Schools are now required to serve whole-grain rich foods. In other words, children will now be served REAL food with less processed foods with chemicals; back to basic food the body is able to process and absorb.

School lunches will no longer have french fries. This is definitely a boost to their brain power.  For more information on the importance of reducing starchy vegetables and the adverse effect on the brain, read “How to Destarch High Carb Vegetables” on the Live Strong Web site.

The new menu will have reduced saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.  The portions will be more age appropriate as well.  Keeping in line with the reduction of fat is milk. White milk served will be nutrition-rich, low-fat and fat-free.  All chocolate milk will be fat-free.

According to Dr. Keith-Thomas  Ayoob, RD, child nutrition expert who has written books and appears regularly on Good Morning America, many kids are over fed and under nourished. This is very evident, just look around you on a daily basis. Yes, they are being over fed, the wrong high carb foods and not enough vegetables and fruits. Also, parents themselves are indulging in the same bad food habits.

Something I found while shopping at several stores to determine food comparisons was:

  1. the cereals were predominately those with high sugar(s) content,
  2. whole grain cereal were minimal and at a few stores, non were on the shelf as an option,
  3. breads were loaded with preservatives and not whole-grain,
  4. brown rice was hard to locate, not prominently displayed with the white rice.

Suggestion to the food stores:

  1. put the whole-grain cereal boxes at kids eye level,
  2. sample the whole-grain cereals,
  3. encourage vendors to sample the whole-grain cereals,
  4. sample seasonal fruits and vegetables

Suggestion to the food manufacturers:

  1. make the whole-grain cereal boxes kid appealing,
  2. make the high sugar cereal boxes dull and drab,
  3. eliminate the sugar cereal commercials,
  4. create fun kid commercials for the whole-grain cereals,

Visual for parents:

An Excellent Food Plate image from Santa Clarita, CA

School Lunches: All Wrapped Up _ SignalsSVC.com

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

May 28, 2012

How to Reduce Produce Food Prices

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First thing to note is the farmers are NOT the ones making all the money. The stores selling the produce are the ones actually reaping most of the profit. Why are the stores selling the produce making so much more? You the consumer have created this produce price monster! How, you ask? Let me explain the process of how the produce or any product gets to market then, it will be evident how you created this “produce price monster” as well as you have the ability to destroy the “produce price monster” as well.

Recipe for Reducing Produce Food Prices

Step one: the farmer prepares the soil, plants the seeds, tends the crop, protects it from the havoc of Mother Nature and finally takes it to a distributor. Now, the farmer knows he must put it at a price the distributor will buy it from him/her. Depending on the weather’s effect on the crop that year, the farmer may only break even. He has to get something for all his work so often he/she has to settle for less than what he/she would like.

Step two: the distributor marks the product up to sell it to the stores. The distributors usually have multiple relationships to move the produce quicker than the farmer could so alone. This is why the farmer went to the distributor in the first place.

Step three: the store buys the produce and marks it up before you purchase it from them. The store’s markup on produce is generally the highest in the store. In many instances this could be 60% above the already marked up distributor price. Why is the markup so high? Spoilage! When YOU, the consumer, do not buy the produce and it spoils, it is thrown away or given to shelters and food banks just before it goes bad.

How can you the consumer have an impact on reducing the price of produce?

  1. buy seasonal (highest nutritional value and boosts immune system),
  2. buy more fresh seasonal produce so the stores have less waste,
  3. shop the reduced for quick sale produce section,
  4. freeze seasonal produce (retains nutrients for later consumption),
  5. can seasonal produce,
  6. eat more seasonal produce (helps immune system and weight maintenance or loss),
  7. buy in a group with others and share for variety
  8. keep pre-cut fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator available for kids to snack on as they want
  9. know what is in season, Peak-Season Interactive Map by State at Epicurious
  10. Agritourism, California Wine Coast Farm and Wine Tours
  11. Farmers’ Market Listing Across the United States, Interactive Map

The average age of California farmers is 58 with 20% age 70.  This mean California needs to grow a new crop of farmers to produce enough food for future generations.

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

 

May 22, 2012

What’s In Your Milk?

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Monsanto, Vaccines, rBGH

 

Coconut milk or goats milk is much better for human consumption than cows milk. The proteins in cows milk is difficult on the human digestive system. An indicator of the harshness on the system is evidenced by the increased number of people that are lactose intolerant to the point an entire new industry was created ie Lactade. The proteins in goats milk is very close to human milk and those having difficulty digesting human milk can digest goats milk without any difficulty. coconut milk is even more desirable because it is not from any animal source and contains additional electrolytes and minerals and amino acids vital to human body function.

We have been conditioned to believe cows milk is good for us however, with the Monsanto issue of rBGH (growth hormone) in meats and milk and the detrimental effects on humans who consume them, alternatives are imperative.

Some issues with Monsanto (Samuel S. Epstein, M.D):

  • rBGH makes cows sick.  Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 toxic effects,

including mastitis, on its POSILAC label.

  • rBGH milk is contaminated by pus, due to the mastitis commonly induced by rBGH,

and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis.

  • rBGH milk is chemically and nutritionally different than natural milk.
  • rBGH milk is contaminated with rBGH, traces of which are absorbed through the gut.
  • rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), which

is readily absorbed through the gut.

  • Excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as a cause of breast, colon, and

prostate cancers.

  • IGF-1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers.
  • rBGH factory farms pose a major threat to the viability of small dairy farms.
  • rBGH enriches Monsanto, while posing dangers, without any benefits, to consumers,

especially in view of the current national surplus of milk.

KCAL 9 10 pm Thursday 5/17/2012

Mad Cow Lifted at 2 California Dairies 18 May 2012

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/05/18/mad-cow-quarantines-lifted-at-2-central-calif-dairies/

First U.S. Case of Mad Cow Disease in 6 years Confirmed in Central California

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/04/24/first-u-s-case-of-mad-cow-disease-in-6-years-confirmed-in-central-california/%

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

Fries… How to Cook Homemade

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There are several foods that autistic individuals are drawn to and even crave with French fries at the top of the list. However, this “can’t live without” vegetable when fried, roasted, grilled or fried at high temperatures creates acrylamides a toxic human carcinogen that is detrimental to the brain. Given autism is a neurological disorder, these fried vegetables inhibit normal brain function resulting in adversely impacting the forward growth and development of the autistic individual.

Here is what you can do to minimize the toxic affects and hopefully transition the individual to more healthy food choices. Try substituting foods that will have similar tastes and textures. In the meantime, follow the destarching and baking instructions below. This is not a quick process, but isn’t the health of you and your loved one worth the time?

This method should be used with high starch vegetables (beans, peas, corn etc) which are usually root vegetables (yams, potatoes, beets, jicama, etc )

Destarching reduces the toxic human carcinogen acrylamides    by 23% by washing, 35% by soaking 30 minutes and 48% by soaking 2 hours.

Below is how to destarch before beginning the cooking process:

  1. Using a vegetable brush and clean water with a few drops of Clorox or vegetable cleaner, scrub the outside of the vegetables,
  2. cut in strips so they resemble French fries,
  3. as you are cutting the strips, place them in a bowl of ice water,
  4. soak in the ice water for twenty (30) minutes,
  5. scoop the vegetables out of this water making sure to leave all this water behind,
  6. put the vegetables in another bowl of clean ice water,
  7. refrigerate for 2 hours making sure the vegetables are covered with cold water,
  8. remove from refrigerator and pat dry,
  9. vegetables are now ready to bake or fry; baking is my recommendation as it is healthier and any acrylamides produced will be half those created by frying provided the baking temperature is less than what you would use in frying.

Cooking:

  1. Put cut vegetables in boiling water (approximately 170 degrees),
  2. blanch for 3-4 minutes,
  3. remove from water, towel dry and cool for 30 minutes,
  4. spray a baking sheet with a nonstick spray,
  5. at this point some people will put in a bag with corn starch and coat to get extra crispy, but this coating will add to the level of acrylamides which has been  reduced in the destarching process,
  6. place cut vegetables on the sheet in a single layer,
  7. drizzle lightly with olive oil, grape seed oil or coconut oil,
  8. toss with your hands to make sure well coated,
  9. bake at 300 degrees for approximately 2 minutes (very lightly brown, pale),
  10. remove from oven, cool 30 minutes,
  11. put in the freezer for one (1) hour
  12. if you are not going to finish cooking at this point, put in freezer bags to finish cooking later,
  13. if you are going to finish cooking, bake at 375 degrees until the desired browning is attained, approximately 4-5 minutes,
  14. to assist your body with breaking down the remaining carbs, starches and sugars, toss with pureed garlic and onion, fresh ground rosemary and finely chopped Italian parsley
  15. Enjoy without ketchup as it has added sugar and would undermine all your efforts to produce this healthy snack.

For more details on why it is important to destarch, read our post: “How to Destarch High Carb Vegetables”

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

April 25, 2012

Your Body Knows Different Sugars

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Recent television commercials promoting cornsugar.com states, “sugar is sugar and your body doesn’t know the difference”. It is my contention that your body knows the difference between sugars and it is easy to show evidence supporting my supposition. Using scientific evidence of Glycemic Index, I submit the Glycemic Index for various sugars:

Artificial Sweeteners n/a [chemicals]

Stevia 0

Xylitol 7

Agave Nectar 15-30

Fructose 17-22

Brown Rice Syrup 25

Raw Honey 30

Coconut Palm Sugar 35

Barley Malt Syrup 42

Amasake 43

Sugar Cane Juice 43

Lactose 46

Organic Sugar 47

_____________________<50 = Low Glycemic Index (GI)

Maple Syrup 54

Blackstrap Molasses 55 (not considered a sugar, sugar cooked off)

Evaporate Cane Juice 55

High Fructose Corn Syrup 62

Sucrose 64

Brown Sugar 64

Turbinado 65

Raw Sugar 65

_____________________ 56 – 69 = Moderate Glycemic Index (GI)

Cola 70

Corn Syrup 75

Table Sugar 80

High Fructose Corn Syrup 87

Glucose/Dextrose 96-100

__________________________ 70 and greater High Glycemic Index (GI)

Date Sugar 103

Maltodextrin 150 a common sweet food additive derived from starch

The Glycemic Index is determined by how the particular sugar raises the blood sugar level in the body over a 2-3 hour period. If, as the television commercials state, sugar is sugar and your body doesn’t know the difference then, your body would respond exactly the same when introduced to each of the sugars. Given the fact that the GI is scientifically determined and your body responds differently to each then, scientifically speaking, your body know the difference and thus responds differently to each ingredient categorized as a sugar.

Stop Feeding Sugar to Kids!

Another note to consider is cancer patients are advised to avoid sugar because the sugars feed the cancer. Sugars encourage cancer growth, inflammation, arthritis and a host of other diseases. If it is true that we all carry cancer cells and depending upon what is going on in our lives and what we eat, activation of these cells may happen; our body’s response indicates it knows the difference between sugars.

Foods with Hidden Sugars

Finally, the lower the GI the slower the sugar is released into our body and acts as energy. The higher the GI the more rapid the sugar is released into our body and is eventually stored ad fat. The body chooses to use as energy or store. Making a choice to use as energy or store means the body knows the difference. In order to choose and react differently means your body KNOWS the difference.

Health Disclaimer

All information in this recipe is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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