Have you ever experienced that rare moment when you’ve been around long enough to see signs of system-wide transformation occur before your very eyes? Dear reader, such has been the case with the role of food and medicine in the span of my professional career, during which I’ve devoted myself and my talents towards this very end—bringing science to the table, and food to the treatment plan.
The moment that filled my heart!
My foundation, Healing Kitchens, works with different hospitals and cancer centers to provide culinary content for their patients. We recently accepted an invitation to pay a call at Stanford Health Care. We’ve done some interesting work at Stanford in the past, including online, live and printed material for neuroendocrine cancer patients and for their survivorship program and website. We had modified my Cancer-Fighting Kitchen approach with specific protocols for neuroendocrine and carcinoid syndrome—two very specialized forms of cancer—and word got out. A colorectal surgeon at Stanford putting together a trial for pre-op prep for her patients suggested we meet and talk about the role food can play in patient preparedness and recovery.
The surgeon and her team were curious: what would happen if we have people shift their eating to an immune-boosting diet full of anti-inflammatory foods and also include exercise? Would it help people recover faster and with less chance of complications?
This was MUSIC to my ears! The notion of helping patients BEFORE they go into surgery with food!!!! We introduced her to my famous healing, nourishing Magic Mineral Broth. Oh my gosh, she said, is this a clear broth? I can give this to all my patients!!! Long story short, we’re working on a package to go into this critical trial.
One of the first American advocates for soy milk was Henry Ford, who opened a soy milk plant in his Michigan research center in 1934.
Sugar is heavily ingrained in our food system today, but what can be even more overwhelming is the number of sugar substitutes you can choose from. Should you use sugar alternatives? Are they better than sugar? And how do you pick the best one(s) for you?
If there was an award for the most overused food ingredient with the least nutritional value, sugar would likely win in a cakewalk.
I’m not talking about sugars naturally found in fruits and vegetables. I’m talking about added sugars — mainly plain ‘ol white sugar and its troublesome twin, high-fructose corn syrup.
There’s really nothing beneficial about sugar — besides the temporary appeasement of your taste buds — but most of us eat way more of it than we should.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and nine per day for men. But the average American consumes 94 grams every day or over 350 pounds a year.
So, what about alternative sweeteners or sugar substitutes?
Approximately 145 million people in the United States are estimated to have used sugar substitutes in 2018. Sugar substitutes attract consumers because they’re labeled as being naturally derived, or calorie-free, or simply because they’re not sugar.
But what are sugar substitutes made of? And how do they rank in nutritional value? Are certain sugar substitutes better for you than others?
Before I get into all of that, let’s examine why sugar is not a health food.
Avocados are popular and loved by many. In fact, consumption in the U.S. has risen more than fourfold in the last 20 years. But how much do you know about the creamy green fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!)? Are there avocado health benefits you should know about? Where do they come from? And are they sustainable? Keep reading to find out!
You can find avocados almost everywhere — from grocery stores and farmers markets to chocolate pudding recipes.
Once considered a delicacy, this green tree fruit is now a common addition to tables and menus all over the world.
People’s love affair with avocados has gained traction in recent years. The growth in sales outpaces that of any other fruit. And in 2015, The Washington Post dubbed avocados “America’s new favorite fruit.”
Do you know anyone, perhaps a friend or family member (or maybe even yourself), who has had a heart attack?
Chances are you do. According to the American Heart Association’s 2018 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 92 million American adults are living with cardiovascular disease.
And every 40 seconds, a heart attack occurs in the U.S. alone.
Heart disease has become a global epidemic. It’s the #1 cause of death on the planet.
It’s affected my family, too. I never even got to know my great-uncle, Burt Baskin, because he died of a heart attack six years before I was born.
How Heart Disease Affected My Family
You see, my great-uncle Burt was one half of the ice-cream company, Baskin-Robbins. And the other half was my grandpa, Irvine Robbins.
Antibiotics are powerful drugs. Medical professionals often prescribe them. But the truth is, factory farms use the majority of antibiotics. And the overuse of antibiotics is causing antibiotic resistance — one of the most serious public health issues facing our world today. Learn more about the dark side of antibiotic use — and what this has to do with food recalls. And most importantly, learn what you can do about it.
When I was three months old, I came down with a high fever. Up until that point, I had subsisted entirely on breast milk. Although I lived in a relatively unpolluted environment, I’d picked up contamination from somewhere.
Before long my fever was raging at 104 degrees, and I was so weak I was unable to muster a cry.I’m grateful that my parents took me to a doctor, who put me on antibiotics. Within hours, my fever was down, and my sickness had reversed.
That antibiotic prescription may have saved my life.
What Exactly Are Antibiotics?
By Ocean Robbins • Adapted from Ocean Robbins’ soon-to-be-released book, 31-Day Food Revolution (February 5th, 2019). Get your copy here now.
We have access, today, to more information about diet and disease than any population that’s ever lived. We can review the findings of tens of thousands of studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, from any laptop or smartphone.
Thousands of nutrition and diet books are published every year, while billions of websites tell you what to eat and what to avoid.
Unfortunately, many of them are wrong.
Winter is when all life force burrows deep in the bosom of the earth and it can certainly be a trying time both mentally and physically. The days are darker, shorter and not to mention colder. Your body naturally wants to hibernate, you feel the need to sleep and eat more. Inevitably, finding balance can be a little more trying during this time (it’s so temping to stay inside and hide from those grey skies) but being proactive about your health and wellbeing is an important goal during this time. Ensure you take time to replenish, so that when spring comes, the gathering energy will burst forth with new growth and you and your body can enjoy those active, sunshine filled months of spring and summer.
I am going to show you how to find balance during the winter months by tuning into this dormant season, aligning yourself with the magic of Mother Nature and the chakra energy system. My recipe book titled ‘The Yoga Kitchen’ follows the 7 energy centres within your energetic body known as the chakras. This invisible energy is vital life force, which keeps you vibrant, healthy, and alive. Each of the seven chakras, has an important part to play in your overall balance and have long been the traditional method for yogis to understand the anatomy of the subtle body.
Almost everyone snacks at some point. And as it turns out, what you snack on can have a huge impact on your health! These healthy snacks will help you stay on track.
By Ocean Robbins • Adapted from Ocean Robbins’ soon-to-be-released book, 31-Day Food Revolution(February 5th, 2019). Get your copy here now.
The journey of a thousand miles, the old saying goes, starts with a single step. Over the course of a lifetime, steps add up to shape destiny — for good or ill.
Of all the small steps we take, the cumulative impact of snacks may be the most deceivingly significant.
So having some healthy snacks onhand is an excellent way to stay on track.
How Much Do You Snack?
I have a friend who eats carefully for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then figures it’s okay to cheat a little around snack time.
She has a point. After all, it’s what you do most of the time that matters. A doughnut now and then won’t kill anyone whose overall dietary pattern is sound.
Can you remember a time when you weren’t in a good mood?
At a Food Revolution Network retreat, I asked team members to say three words about how they were feeling. When it was my turn, one of the words I used was sad.
Looking at me, you would have never known that’s how I felt. On the outside, I looked happy — I was even laughing not long before we started the exercise. But how I looked was a far cry from what was going on in my heart and in my mind.
Can You Boost Your Mood Naturally?
The truth is, we’ve all felt sad or even “down in the dumps.” And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it’s hard to turn that frown upside down.
If you ever feel down, or lonely, you’re hardly alone. We live in a world where depression is at an all-time high. Worldwide, depression affects 322 million people.
Christmas is upon us! As well as being a joyous time of eating, drinking and being merry, for many the festive season can also be one of the most stressful and unhealthy times of year. So what can you do to survive the season and come out the other end actually feeling you have had a break, rather than feeling in desperate need of one?
I have compiled my top 7 tips to ensure you get the most out of the festive season and make it through relatively unscathed…
Fad diets come and go, but officially the subject of nutrition is guided by science. The public stubbornly thinks in terms of "good" foods and "bad" foods, so when the government's nutritional experts issue scientifically based advice, any attempt at a nuanced picture generally gets lost. Recently there were headlines when the highest board for dietary protocols, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council, reversed a government warning about avoiding foods high in cholesterol, which has been in place nearly 40 years.
The public is likely to shrug off this about-face, or else decide that eggs, the most common food high in cholesterol, is no longer a "bad" food but has moved into the "good" column. This ignores the council's message, which weighed one thing against another. For people in a normal state of health, saturated fats from animal products pose a higher risk than high cholesterol. This finding is more a shift in focus than an about-face. It's still unhealthy, the majority of nutritionists agree, to eat too much red meat as opposed to eggs, but eggs are high in saturated fat, too, so you shouldn't overdo them, either.
A 2018 study examined the link between organic food and cancer. And it came to some remarkable conclusions. Researchers found that eating organic foods can help cut overall cancer risk due to the reduced exposure to dietary pesticides.
By Charles Benbrook • A version of this article was originally published on Environmental Health News
More than 1.7 million Americans will be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and 35% of these cases will prove fatal.
A little less than $150 billion was spent fighting cancer in 2017.
Imagine the excitement that would accompany the discovery of anything — a new drug, therapy, diet, or lifestyle change — that promises to cut overall cancer frequency by 5%.
Every year, such a discovery would spare 87,000 people this most-feared diagnosis and reduce deaths by 30,000 and cancer-related health care costs by around $7 billion.
Such monumental benefits would justify major investments and significant policy change.
Well, not necessarily.
The holiday season brings feasts, parties, merry-making and heavy foods. Big meals complete with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy leave us sleepy and ready for an afternoon nap on the sofa in front of the fireplace. If you're concerned about increasing your immunity during the flu season, you'll want to avoid overeating.
Instead, take time to savor each bite and stop eating when you are satisfied. Before each meal, pause for a moment and be thankful for your digestive system, the food, the cooks and the Creator. Digestion is the process of taking in and assimilating Intelligence from the universe to feed and nourish our own Inner Intelligence.
Through our digestive tract and our senses, we digest and metabolize our food and our experiences. If we digest well, we maintain good health. If we don't digest so well, ama is formed (ama is the ayurvedic term for impurities, the sticky stuff that clogs the srotas, or the channels of flow). Ama is defined by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as, "the product of unripe digestion of food and experiences." Ama is fertile ground for viruses and bacteria to multiply and cause disease.
Protein is a buzzword these days, but what is protein? And how much protein do you need? What are the ideal plant-based protein sources? Can you have too much protein? And what is protein deficiency? Here’s what you need to know about this critical nutrient.
“But where do you get your protein?”
Anyone who adopts a plant-based diet or even considers going vegetarian is likely to hear this question with alarming frequency.
You don’t have to look far to see what can sometimes border on something of a protein obsession. From protein shakes, bars, and powders to cereals, cookies, and protein-focused diets and meal-delivery services, attention to protein seems to be just about everywhere.
But what is protein? How much protein do our bodies really need? Is more always better? Or is it actually possible that some people could be getting too much?
Is matcha tea good for you? How is it different than other green teas? And are some types of matcha better than others? Get answers and discover some incredible health benefits of drinking matcha tea.
Matcha tea comes from the same plant that originates all green, white, and black teas: the camellia sinensis bush. The name “matcha” literally means “powdered tea.”
The process of turning tea leaves into a powder is not new. Matcha was the primary way to consume tea in China during the Tang Dynasty (600-900 AD).
In the 1100s, a huge transfer of knowledge and culture from China to Japan occurred, and that’s how matcha made its way across the ocean. Matcha and Zen Buddhism flourished together, and the two were often considered inseparable.
By the 1500s, matcha took hold as part of the formal Japanese tea ceremony, which celebrated stillness and simplicity. It grew in popularity in Japan, even as it lost its appeal in China.
As temperatures get cooler, do you want to know how to boost your immune system? Discover some of the best foods to boost your immune system and which supplements you might want to take. The right foods can help you avoid falling victim to colds and flu this year!
Do you sometimes get colds or the flu, particularly in the colder winter months? If so, you’re not alone. In the U.S., the average adult gets sick two to four times per year, and the average child between six and eight.
You probably know the basics of cold prevention, like practicing good hand washing and avoiding contact with sick peers. But have you ever wondered why two people could have exactly the same exposure to a sick friend — and one of them gets sick, while the other doesn’t?
The difference is often their immune system.
So how can you boost your immune system? It turns out that one of the most powerful tools for a strong immune system can be found right inside your own kitchen: the food you eat.
Let’s take a look at what your immune system does and how to boost your immune system with food, so it can protect you from nasty, cold-weather bugs.
Antioxidants have become a health buzzword. And the media and many marketing departments have seized the opportunity to tout their many supposed health benefits, claiming antioxidants can prevent cancer, protect against heart disease, slow aging, and more.
But beyond all the hype, what are antioxidants? How important are they? And what are their proven health benefits?
Learn the truth about these compounds in food, and discover which antioxidant-rich foods will give you the most bang for your buck.
What Are Antioxidants? And How Do They Help Your Body?
Deep in your gut, 40 trillion chemists are hard at work helping you digest your meals, making essential nutrients you can’t produce on your own, protecting you from disease, and even shaping which parts of your DNA manifest and which remain dormant.
These talented creatures are fungi, bacteria, and other single-celled organisms. And they are a bigger part of who you are than you have probably ever imagined!
While your body includes about 22,000 human genes, it also hosts as many as two trillion microbial genes that are technically not “you,” but rather benevolent guests working in exquisite harmony with your body. Some of these microbes flourish on your skin, but the vast majority take up residence in your digestive tract.
Study of the microbiome — the community of microorganisms living inside your body — could well be the most compelling frontier of health science.
The digestive process breaks down food and beverage particles so that your body can absorb the nutrients it wants and excrete the rest. Trillions of organisms join in the effort.
Eric Adams, the elected leader of New York City’s largest borough, had type 2 diabetes so severe he was losing his eyesight as well as the feeling in his legs.
Doctors told him he’d need to be on medications for the rest of his life and that he faced a high probability of blindness and amputation.
No doctor he visited ever said anything about nutrition. But Adams didn’t let his diagnosis determine his fate.
He was one of millions of people inspired by the powerful film and implementation guidance of “Forks Over Knives.” He learned about and adopted a whole-food, plant-based diet — and soon afterwards, his condition and all accompanying symptoms were completely reversed.