How Raw Milk Can Be Dangerous & Where It Is Legal

Many in the natural health community point to the laws against raw milk as an example of how our healthier choices are being stripped away from us. For most of us, it’s no secret that pasteurizing and homogenization of milk turns it into a product that feeds parasites, causes allergies, and should be avoided. But within our natural health community there is considerable debate about whether or not raw milk is good for you. Some say it is a powerful super-food that can cure what ails you. Others say that we were not meant to ingest milk products as adults, and any and all animal milks are bad for you. Another common and very logical argument is that humans should drink human milk and cows, with their multiple stomachs and radically different digestive systems, should drink cow milk. End of story. It certainly makes sense that cow’s milk is formulated for cows and this is why cow’s milk is bad for humans. But raw milk advocates say that when milk is pasteurized and/or homogenized, the enzymes needed for humans to digest cow’s milk are destroyed. They argue that raw milk is easy to digest and very beneficial.

Podcast: Green Divas Interviews Michael Edwards about Raw Milk

Is Raw Milk Dangerous?

It certainly can be! When you are drinking cows milk from a conventional dairy farmer, you are drinking milk that was often contaminated with e-coli, salmonella, and a host of other pathogens. Not to mention puss, antibiotics, growth hormones, and many other ingredients you don’t want any part of. This is milk from cows that are stuck in a small pen virtually their whole lives, fed acidifying grains, injected with a wide array of drugs, and continually impregnated, while having it’s calf taken away at every birth. Factory farming practices are the source of e-coli and salmonella outbreaks, and these mutated superbugs do not exist naturally in nature. Raw milk from a conventional farmer is not fit for human consumption, and is in fact very dangerous. It should be illegal. But, for that matter, many of the conventional farming practices we use should be illegal.

It’s a whole other story when you drink raw milk from a healthy cow. If the cow was grass fed, and is healthy, the milk is healthy. If you have not developed an allergy to milk (due to consuming conventional milk), raw, whole  milk from a small farm that does things the right way can have amazing health benefits. And yes, we mean whole milk, not skimmed. The fat has nutrients needed to help digest the milk, and the fat is very beneficial to us. But it’s not easy to find raw milk. Even if you can find it, you may not be able to just walk up and buy it. Many people get their raw milk legally by purchasing a share of a cow, and therefore take their share of the milk produced. In some states there is a loophole allowing people to purchase raw milk for animal consumption only. Below is a chart showing raw milk laws as of May 2014, information courtesy of  Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Where and How Can You Buy Raw Milk?

Raw Milk Retail Sales Legal

States that allow sales in retail stores but require a permit allowing sales on/off farm and at farmer’s markets.

Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, South Carolina, California, Maine, Oregon*, Washington, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania* Goat & sheep milk only

Raw Milk On-farm Sales Legal with License

Massachusetts, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas, New York, Utah* Sales are legal at retail store if producer owns and operates store** Sales are legal at retail store if producer has majority ownership in store

Raw Milk On-farm Sales Without License Legal

Arizona3, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon1, Illinois, Mississippi1,2, New Hampshire3,4,6, Vermont3,4, Kansas, Missouri4, Oklahoma3** Limit on volume of goat milk sales

Raw Milk Via Herdshares(Otherwise Known As Cowshares)

Legal by statutea, regulationb, court decisionc, or written policyd

Alaskab, Michigand, Tennessee,a,8 Coloradoa*, North Dakotaa, Wyomingb*, Idahoa*, Ohioc* Farms operating share program need to be registered with the state

Raw Milk Sales for Human Consuption Illegal

Alabama7,8, Indiana7,8, Montana, Virginia7, Deleware, Iowa, Nevada*, West Virgini, Florida8, Kentucky2,5,7, New Jersey, Georgia8, Louisiana, North Carolina8, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island2,51 – Limit number of lactating animals 2 – Only sales for goat milk are legal 3 – Limits sales by volume 4 – Delivery is legal 5 – By prescription only 6 – Sale at farmer’s markets legal 7 – No law on herd shares either for or against 8 – Sale of raw milk for pets legal

For more information on raw milk sales, check out State-by-State Review of Raw Milk Laws. Please verify your own state’s laws before purchasing raw milk. This information is not legal advice. If you choose to consume raw milk, we ask that you do your best to ensure a higher level of humane treatment is given to the animals. For conventional farms, and many organic farms, a dairy cow’s life is an incredibly sad existence. The practice involves continually impregnating the cow, taking away her children, and taking all of her milk for sale. This is simply inhumane. My conscience would feel better about eating a steak than drinking a glass of milk from this kind of farm. When shopping for raw milk, whether it be from cows, goats, or sheep, pay a higher price for the healthiest and most humane product you can find. And regardless of how powerful you think the health benefits of milk are, don’t forget, nothing beats a diet with a foundation of raw fresh produce.




The First Steps to Health

When someone shows interest in natural health, the first question is often, “Where do I start?” Organic food is often prohibitively expensive or hard to find, and there are thousands of supplements pushed, each marketed with its one promise to magically cure what ails us. It can be overwhelming, and getting started is, for many people, the toughest part.

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that there are some very easy, relatively inexpensive steps almost anyone can take to holistically improve their health.

The bad news is that health and vitality is not to be found in a bottle or some other form of packaging.

I, the owner of Green Lifestyle Market, a company that sells supplements, am here to tell you that if you’re looking for a quick fix, an item you can purchase and consume to allow you to continue living a toxic lifestyle, this is the wrong article. And anyone who tells you that you can get all of your daily nutrition in one shake, smoothie, pill, or powder is only trying to sell you something.

Drink Lots of Good Water

I weigh 210 pounds and I try to drink a gallon of water a day. I need less water when I eat more raw produce, but I still shoot for a gallon of water a day. I get spring water when I can, fresh from a spring that I trust. But if you don’t have access to a spring, or if you have a seriously compromised immune system, distilled water could be a better choice, initially. Just make sure you’re not drinking a gallon of tap water a day. Tap water is toxic, and fluoridated water is a crime against humanity.

Sometimes just plain water is boring. I usually make cranberry stevia lemonade. I take fresh lemons and pure bottled cranberry juice and sweeten it with stevia. For more, check out our Stevia Lemonade with Cayenne within our Cheap and Easy Detox Diet Plan article.

I find that this lemonade is easier to drink when I am not feeling particularly thirsty, and there are tons of health benefits! The lemon and the cranberry help flush out toxins and balance the body’s pH while providing you with electrolytes and other nutrients.

Eat More Raw Fresh Produce

I eat a huge salad almost every day. If I make rice and beans, I add avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and shredded carrots right on top. If I eat soup I add shredded and diced vegetables right before eating. When I snack, I choose fruit and vegetables. I eat red bell peppers like other people eat apples. Approximately 80% of my diet (by bulk) is raw fresh produce. Check out my salad recipe in that article, too.

the joker memeAs the editor and chief of Organic Lifestyle Magazine, I am telling you that “organic” is not the most important thing.

When you’re shopping for produce, if you can afford it, and if it is available, buy organic. By all means, this is very important and you will feel the difference. But when choosing between organic frozen carrots and fresh conventional carrots, I’m picking fresh almost every time. I draw the line at genetically modified foods. To understand what foods to be aware of in order to avoid GMOs, read our Foods that are GMO article.

Cut Out These Foods

GMOs

Soy should not be consumed unless first fermented and not genetically modified. Over 99% of the soy we consume is terrible for our health. Soy naturally has enzyme inhibitors that wreck havoc on our hormones. The way Asians were eating it for thousands of years included fermentation, which nullifies the enzyme inhibitors. This is why health nuts soak and sprout their nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Like soy, conventional corn and potatoes that you find in your grocery store are almost always GMO and should be avoided.

Gluten

There are two problems with wheat. The first problem is that through our farming practices we have genetically modified the gluten protein. This is not to be confused with what we call GMOs. Hybridization is the practice of cross-pollinating plants. For instance, the bananas we eat today are hybrids. They are nothing like the bananas of our ancestors. So, at a genetic level the bananas and every other food we eat today are actually genetically modified, but this is not the same thing as what we refer to as GMOs.

So while our hybrid practices has made much of our food more palatable and more nutritious, it has changed the gluten protein in wheat into something we cannot properly digest.

In addition to the modified gluten, we also do not make bread the way we used to. Our technique for making bread included a fermentation process using lactobacillus bacteria that broke down the gluten proteins and rendered the wheat digestible, or we would soak and sprout the wheat before making the bread.

For most people, cutting out wheat in their diet yields amazing vitality. Try it for a week and you’re bound to notice a difference.

Refined Foods

Your food should give you nutrition. But refined foods rob your body of nutrition. Consuming white rice, for instance, is acidic. Your body uses minerals to balance out the acidity in order to keep your body’s blood at a slightly alkaline pH. If not, you’re dead. So every time you eat white rice, you’re robbing your body of alkalinizing minerals to maintain this balance. Brown rice has these alkaline minerals. This is true for white flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and almost any other refined food. Eat whole foods that have all of their nutrition. Once your taste buds adjust, you won’t even be able to stand the refined crap everyone else ingests. It’s very much like quitting smoking. You wonder how you ever put up with the smell, because now it makes you sick!

Dairy

Some people tolerate raw (unpasteurized, un-homogenized) cow’s milk from grassfed healthy cows very well. Others don’t.  But nobody does well on conventional dairy products. It’s not natural. And milk is a very poor, toxic source of calcium. If you’re looking for calcium, eat green vegetables.

Squat

We are meant to squat. We squatted to go to the bathroom, we squatted to hide from prey, we squatted to hide from predators, we squatted to keep our asses off the ground while relaxing, we squatted many, many times day. In the wild, if we couldn’t squat, we didn’t have much more time to live. Squatting is the most important exercise you can do. It even helps detoxify the body. It puts gentle pressure on your organs while aligning them properly to help eliminate waste. Squatting can even help with several ailments including constipation, kidney infections, back pain, and even baby malposition during labor.

We should all be able to do 100 squats in a row, going all the way down. Most people can’t do 10.

If you cannot squat, try get-ups. Lay down on the floor. Get up. Lay back down on the floor.  Alternate the leg you use to get up.

If you can’t do get-ups, sit in a chair, and stand, and sit, and stand some more. Try to use your legs as much as possible while using your arms and momentum as little as possible.

Conclusion

Many people read an article like this and ask with disdain, “So what can I eat?” There are so many choices out there. But the problem is not so much a lack of choice as it is a lack of convenience. You’re not going to get healthy nutrition from packaged, processed, easy foods. If you want fast food, that’s what fruit is for. But if you’re making dinner and you want to prepare a healthy meal, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make a meal from scratch using whole, unadulterated foods.

There are so many other things you can do for your health. For instance, a huge step you can take is growing your own food. If you can do this, the return on your investment will be a bit slow, but hugely rewarding once realized. But for most people, nothing else need be done until these steps are first realized. If you suffer from serious health issues, you may want to see Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseasesand checkout and bookmark this list of “Foundational Articles.”

Recommended Supplements:
Further Reading:



Five Reasons Small-scale Gardening Could Save the World

Gardening has been largely a lost art form with plots drying up and being replaced in favour of lawns, parking lots, and other commercial endeavours. People have decided to completely forego the skill of gardening in favour of completely depending on large scale farming operations to produce their food. The implications of this trend are now starting to be seen, and they could be disastrous. It’s time to shift back to our agrarian roots. It’s time to understand how gardening can save us and the world.

Fresh and Organic Food

When one relies on the conventional food system, it is difficult to find food that is both fresh and organic. Organic food is becoming more mainstream in many parts of the world, but it is still a very small percentage of the overall food that is made available. Fresh is a near impossibility for most, as the elapsed time between harvest and consumer availability is often anywhere between 2-4 weeks.

The only way to help solve this problem is to either produce some of your own food, and/or rely on local organic farmers markets to get your food both fresh and organic. With good food management and preservation skills, this seasonal activity could help feed you and your family for several months, and even up to a year.

Once a person gets a taste of organic and fresh food, they will have little to no desire to go back to the conventional system. Not only that, fresh organic food is at the peak of its nutritional value and can deliver multiplied benefits that could literally save someone’s health.

Known Origin of Food

Another issue with the food on most people’s plates today is that they have no idea where that food originated and what has happened to it from the farmer to the fridge.

Is the food you are eating TRULY organic? What type of soil was it grown in? Where has it been stored, and how has it been transported? How long has it been from harvest to your plate? Has there been anything done to preserve it, and if so, what?

These are all questions that are easily answered when someone decides to grow their own food or puts their faith in a farmer that they personally know and trust, and can visit! Anything outside of these methods leaves the consumer in the dark and creates forced faith.

When one knows the origin of their food, they know its wholesomeness with little question, and that can be a game changer in optimizing one’s health.

Gardening is Therapeutic

Anyone who has spent a short time in a garden will quickly realize how therapeutic it can be to the mind, body, and soul. The fresh smells, sights, and sounds that can be picked up around a garden is something to envy.

Simply being at one with nature and its miracle, along with the act of physically connecting to the soil (also known as grounding), is very healing and can provide a gardener with multiple benefits that can never be obtained from picking up your food from the local supermarket.

Get in a garden, get grounded, and express gratitude. This is a simple process that can help you regain your health.

Gardening Develops Survival Skills

One thing that seems to be lacking in today’s society is survival skills. In the last 30 years, we have been taught survival skills such as clipping coupons, looking for sales, and refrigerating food.

Gardening is a core skill that should never be lost. The ability to produce food is something that should never be taken for granted, as it is a skill that may be required in times of financial hardship and supply disruptions. If one doesn’t know how to garden, either situation could be catastrophic.

Gardening is clearly an activity that could save a family, and many like them, should either scenario occur.

Gardening is Sustainable

Industrial farming practices have placed the burden on a very small percentage of people to produce food for the rest of the world. As a result, engineered seeds, chemicals, pollution, resource and soil depletion, as well as farmer burn out has occured.

There is no need to put that amount of pressure on such a small number of producers, and it can’t be continued. The best case scenario is that production doesn’t fall off, but the world ends up with food that is denatured, toxic, and completely malnourishing. This could take a terrible toll on the world and could spell the end of civilization as we know it.

Gardening is much more sustainable. Even the ability to produce up to 10% of our own food needs could dramatically reduce that burden and create more natural agricultural practices that are working with nature, not against it.

This may be one of the most important acts we can do in our lifetime, to save ourselves and the planet.




The Vaccine Argument – Why It’s Important Regardless of Where You Stand

In my experience, vaccines are a touchier subject than politics or religion. If you take on an anti-vaccine stance, you probably know what it’s like to be ridiculed, called names, condemned, and shamed.

The pro vaccines people believe that the non-vaccinated are putting everyone at risk. The anti crowd believes that the immunization risks far out way the benefits.

I see both sides. Clearly. I get it. I’ve done a ton of research and I’ve debated many, many times. But I do not vaccinate. I do not vaccinate my dog or my child.

I think it’s possible that vaccines have their place. On the other hand, I also believe that a very healthy person is at a much greater risk from vaccine injury than any disease. But I am under the radical assumption that when the body is fed properly and not overburdened with toxins, the body is not susceptible to pathogens. I also believe in the crazy notion that illness, including HIV, cancer, and almost every other disease, is curable through natural means. I understand that this sounds crazy to most people.

I see times changing. I remember when people looked at me like I should be locked up for eating organic. It wasn’t long ago that most of us believed GMOs where going to save the planet and feed all the hungry. Even many of my tree hugging friends were under the impression that GMOs where the only way to produce enough food to feed all of us.

I see the vaccine debate moving in the same direction as GMOs. I predict that most everyone will be anti-vaccine or at least hesitant to vaccinate with anything more than just a few immunizations. I bet the flu shot will fall out of favor very soon. I think vaccines are ineffective, dangerous, and cause much more harm than good.

But, I admit I could be wrong. I could be wrong about all of it.

So let’s assume I am. Vaccines do more good than harm. Now let’s take it a step further and pretend that almost all of us crazy non-vaxers decide to come on over to the inoculation side. And everyone trusts Merck. And we all vote that vaccines are mandatory for everyone in the U.S.

What then?

Would Merck remain this trustworthy, innocent corporation? No. Because there is nothing trustworthy about them now. Merck and many other vaccine manufacturers have committed heinous crimes against both adults and children. One of many examples is in this proceeding YouTube video where Bayer and the U.S. Government knowingly gave HIV tainted vaccinations to children. And we all heard about laws they tried to pass in Texas that force children to vaccinate against an STD. Pharmaceutical companies, like almost every other corporation in this country, put profits above everything else. And we all know what corporations are perfectly willing to do to our children in the name of profit. This includes the medical companies. It happens all the time, and is even reported (usually very briefly) in mainstream media. They cannot be trusted!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg-52mHIjhs

Vaccine companies have already made it almost impossible to sue them. They are trying to make it illegal not to use their product. And they have been proven to commit crimes against people in the name of profit.

Furthermore, at least for the informed, it is no longer a debate as to whether or not vaccines can cause autism or other damage. Even vaccine manufactures are acknowledging this. The argument is about how often vaccine injuries happen, and if they are a benefit to society.

Without those crazy anti-vaccine guys, where would we be right now? Imagine if nobody stood up and said GMOs are bad news. Imagine if we all still took antibiotics every single chance we could. Imagine if those crazy advocates for lead free gasoline, paint, and other products didn’t exist?

My point is, we need this opposition to keep greed in check. It’s the “crazy” and “radical” progressives that got us safer working conditions, cleaner air to breathe, etc.  Even when they’re (we’re) wrong, the opposition often keeps greed in check. If nobody questioned the safety and efficacy of immunizations, I can only imagine how much less safe they would be today. It took our voices just to get some of the mercury out of a few of the vaccines.

Debate is healthy. It’s absolutely necessary. Right or wrong, we need it to keep people and corporations in check.

Further Reading:



How I Lost Over 150 Pounds, and How My Life Changed

I used to weigh 368 pounds. I had a 58 inch waist. I was 46% body fat. In addition, I was often sick and had many allergies. My body hurt. Moving was becoming more and more difficult. I was only 17.

I was one of the targets at my school. I was ridiculed and picked on incessantly. The name that everyone knew me as was Fat Ass or sometimes Pillsbury.  And I did have a fat ass. It was huge. I did not store my excess fat in a manly way. It was all badonkadonk!

I was beat up regularly, and I felt tortured. < ahref="https://www.phentermineonline.com/phentermine-before-and-after">Before age 17 I had been in about 75 fistfights, none of which I started. I would get jumped by someone, and if I won, I got jumped by three of his friends. I was the laughing stock of the school and the punching bag for anyone looking to get some fight cred, or to just take out their anger.

I was rarely taken seriously, and the few friends I had were younger than me, as no one my age would be seen with me. While I appreciated the friends I did have, I was still the punch line for many of their jokes. All this simply led to more eating.

On top of all of this, I had a very hard time with social skills. Looking back and talking with some doctors, it became clear I suffered from undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome, as well as a host of other developmental issues. I was tactile defensive and had a very hard time properly communicating with people. Looking people in the eyes was (and at times still is) extremely difficult.

How I Got in Shape

I owe that weight loss to a beautiful woman I had a huge crush on. She was older than me and absolutely stunning. I had to be with her. It was the best motivation a 17-year-old virgin could hope for.

The day after I saw her, I rode my bike to the YMCA. I worked out, lifting weights and using the Stairmaster. I ate more fruits and vegetables and stopped eating entire packages of hot dogs, whole blocks of cheddar cheese, and half gallon containers of yogurt. As much as I loved to tell people that I was genetically predisposed to obesity, the reality is I ate like there was no tomorrow.

I remember that first day I went to the gym. It was a Tuesday. Then came Wednesday. The only difference between that Wednesday and every other Wednesday that preceded it was that I went back to the gym, and I continued to eat better.

I didn’t do everything right, though. I didn’t know any better. I drank Sprite like it was going out of style. I followed the old food pyramid model, so bread was the foundation of my diet. But I quit binging, and I exercised every single day like a man possessed. I lifted weights 5 days a week, played basketball 6 days a week for 2 hours every day, and I ran 6 miles every Sunday. I could not be stopped.

The more I lost, the better I felt. The better I felt, the more I listened to my body. I noticed that the more produce I ate, the better I felt. I ate more produce and fewer packaged foods. When I finally gave up Sprite (after learning how bad refined sugar is for you), my allergies went away! Food allergies, pet allergies, seasonal allergies, allergies I had lived with for years and thought I was stuck with forever, disappeared. But they quickly came back as soon as my diet went off track.

At almost one year to the day, I got my weight down to 215 pounds. I still had a little chub, but I was in incredible shape. I ran 30 miles just to see if I could run a marathon without stopping.

The Difference

Obviously, I was not made fun of the way I used to be. I wasn’t picked on. I was able communicate better, to socialize, and to be more comfortable with eye contact and touching. A couple of times, some of the people who used to torment me tried to pick a fight, and I was able to scare them into backing off. After all the fights I had been in, my new found confidence, my ability to communicate, assert myself, and intimidate, as well as a massive amount of real world experience with fighting, I was easily able to convey to people that I was no longer an easy target. The few guys that decided to try me anyways got put in their place, and that only increased my confidence.

Oh…and I got the girl.

It actually felt like I could have had any woman in that town. At age 18, I knew what it felt like to be popular for the first time in my life. I dedicated my life to putting a stop to bullying. It was a rough town I grew up in, and my friends and I (and I had many more at that time then I ever did in my life) went around looking for people who were being picked on. We would stop the bullying. If need be, I did it by force. Then I moved away, and my vigilante days were over. Well, for the most part. I’ll still fight the good fight if someone is in need.

Relapse

I still, to this day, struggle with my weight. It is an ongoing battle. Some people need to throw out the scale. I need to weigh myself every single day. If I don’t, I quickly notice my pants getting tight. My weight fluctuates by about 25 pounds. I’m 6’3”, so that’s not as extreme as you might think, but it’s still a lot.

About 10 years ago, I ballooned back up to 290. I knew much more about health at this point, as I had been studying naturopathy for many years, but I had not been practicing what I preach. I was engaged to what is commonly referred to as a “chubby-chaser” and we ate and ate and ate together. I loved to cook, we both loved to eat, and she was a tiny little Asian woman who could eat almost as much as I could and not put on a pound. We ate a lot of starchy Asian foods like sticky rice and fried noodles. It was easy to put on the weight with her. But eventually I wanted to get back in shape. Not because I was being picked on, not because people didn’t respect me, and not to “get the girl.” I wanted to get in shape for me this time. As I lost weight, I noticed once again a tremendous difference in how I was treated. I hadn’t even noticed the decline in how people looked at me as I gained the weight, but as it came off, everyone seemed to respect me more and more. My ideas at work were given more consideration, and people wanted to ask my opinion more often. I was invited out more. And that chubby-chasing girl friend of mine? Even she changed her tune. She was digging the new me, a version of the old me that she found a new appreciation for. (And ever since then she has preferred men in good physical condition, so I guess I cured her of that).

How I Lost 50 pounds

I worked out, of course, but this time I had a job and a life, so working out to the extent I did before was not an option. I cut out all of the refined foods. I severely limited the starches. I got down to 220. My diet was 80% raw fresh fruits and vegetables, mostly vegetables. I ate a huge salad every day for breakfast. It filled me up for hours and eliminated my cravings for the rest of the day. Instead of my famous pesto pasta, salads became my specialty.

I also drank a gallon of stevia sweetened lemonade with cayenne every day. This helped to reduce my appetite considerably as well, and it also flushed toxins. A healthy liver facilitates healthy weight loss.

My snacks were produce, usually vegetables. Not just celery and carrots like most people think about when they think of snacking on veggies, I ate kale, collards, chard, beets, peppers–any vegetable that could be eaten raw. I was known for a being the guy who ate vegetables the way people eat fruit. “He’s eating that bell pepper like it’s an apple!” they’d say, bewildered.

Those are my three biggest recommendations: A gallon of stevia sweetened cayenne lemonade with made with clean pure drinking water, a big salad every single day, and snack on produce as well. If money isn’t too tight, I would also say to get SF722 and FloraMend to fix the gut which can radically help reduce bad food cravings.

Stress Eating

Then my whole life changed. It was turned upside down. These words don’t do it justice. My life was shaken up like a snow-globe. I was arrested. I was charged with a crime I did not commit. I went to jail for a month. I bailed out. Then I awaited trial for a year out on bail, and I put back on the weight. I am and always have been a stress eater, and starches are my biggest weakness. I ate and I ate and I ate because I couldn’t cope. I was looking at 30+ years and a lot of other crap that I could not handle. I guess I did handle it, as I’m here. But the way I handled it was with food. I got back up to 310 pounds.

How I Lost 100 Pounds

I went to jail.  My bond was revoked, and I spent another year waiting for trial, but this time in jail. I had nothing to do in jail but read and work out. It’s a bit harder to binge eat in jail, though I certainly saw some people doing it. But I was determined to come out of that situation better than I went in, and one of the ways to do that was to get fit again, once and for all.

I traded my deserts, juices, milks, and starches for vegetables, and got as many donated to me as I could. I could even put together a decent salad. The diabetics traded my candy for their oranges. They hate fruit. That explained the diabetes.

The only problem with this is I ended up with a jail cell full of people who decided to follow my lead. I was very popular in that dorm and become sort of the jail doctor for my fellow inmates. Any ailment, they’d come to me, and I could almost always fix it. I was honest, so people said, “What can I do to get healthier?” and I’d tell then, eat vegetables! So the price of vegetables skyrocketed like gold has done in the last few years. Suddenly, I was having to get money from my family to buy store food to trade for vegetables. Eventually even this quit working and almost all 60 of those inmates wanted to eat their veggies. Even the diabetics wanted their fruit!

So I switched dorms. Well, actually, I got into a fight with a bully, and was moved to another dorm. Then I realized I could just repeat this pattern whenever the price of produce got too high. So that’s what I did, and when I got out a year later I was 205 pounds. I wouldn’t say I was healthy. I aged considerably in jail. It’s not like the vegetables there had an ounce of nutrition, but they were certainly the best choice I had. For the first time in my life,  I knew what it felt like to be fit and unhealthy at the same time.

Stretch Marks and Loose Skin

When I got into my best shape, which was 210 and very strong, I tightened my skin considerably. The bouncy, loose, flabby skin went away. When I took systemic enzymes and really got strict on my diet, the stretch marks faded. You can still see them, but only if you look closely. I believe that most cases of loose skin that people complain about after weight loss can be alleviated by getting down to a very low body fat, and then adding on some weight if desired. I don’t think it’s loose skin as much as loose fat.

Supplements for Weight Loss

I also took vitamin D and Total Nutrition. I found this helped speed my weight loss and noticed a difference immediately, compared to not supplementing.

Conclusion

So we have three distinct methods here:

  • Workout like a man (or woman) possessed in order to lose your virginity
  • Eat right, drink a lot of water, and workout regularly
  • Go to jail

I recommend the second one. But also, find your motivation, and focus on it. And see yourself as healthy. Appreciate your body. Know that it’s brought you this far no matter how you treated it, and love it for this. Love yourself. It’s hard to treat yourself well when you don’t.

Today, at this very moment, I weigh 212 pounds. At 204 I start to get that elusive six-pack. I only had it for a very brief moment. I’m working on it. But I’ve never gone over 235 since that last time before I got arrested, and at 235, I’m just a little pudgy.

I still eat for stress, but I started practicing my gallon a day routine again, I am back at the gym, and I am aiming for that six-pack. I want it.

If you’ve been overweight for a long time, and you’re ready to get in shape, check out Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones and Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases.

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Eliminate Arthritis Naturally

Arthritis is the swelling of a joint. Arthritis has the ability to cause severe joint and muscle pain and loss of the body’s movement (loss of ability to walk, climb stairs, or even brush your teeth). It can also cause stiffness, swelling of the joints and cartilage, inflammation, joint deformities, and bone loss.  Arthritis affects the muscle, cartilage, and the skeletal system at the joints where two or more bones meet.

There are over a hundred different varieties of arthritis that affect more than 46 million adults and more than 300,000 children in the United States alone.

The Most Common Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis

A degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. This is the most widespread variety found in North America today.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is a serious condition where the cartilage becomes inflamed as a result of body immune system failure. Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling kinds, especially for women.

Gout

This type typically affects men who drink alcohol and eat a large amount of red meat.  It is very painful and usually attacks the smaller joints of the body such as the toes and the fingers.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This rare kind of arthritis affects the spine.  As a result of inflammation, the bones of the spine grow and fuse together over time.

Fibromyalgia

Again, this variation affects mostly women and shows up as widespread pain that hits the muscles and the ligaments attached to the bone.

All these different varieties have a few things in common, which when remedied, will not only bring about relief, but for the most part can bring about a complete reversal of the condition. There is hope! Yes, something can be done about it.

Common Contributing Causes of Arthritis

  • The excessive consumption of commercial red meats and dairy products brings about an acidosis condition which causes the acid/alkaline ratio (the pH of the body) to go dramatically out of balance.
  • Poor quality commercial foods bring about a state of malnutrition.  People are simply not getting enough nourishment in the form of vitamins and minerals from the foods they eat every day. Basically, they eat far too much junk!
  • The large amounts of toxins taken in from pesticide laden foods like alcohol, coffee, soda pop, sugar, and white flour products actually trigger many of these conditions in the first place, including those autoimmune disorders that are all too common.

Relieve and Reverse Arthritis Naturally

Anti Arthritis Diet

The most important thing you can do to reduce and eliminate arthritis is to eat an organic diet with limited meat and dairy. Do not consume factory farm animal products. Focus on produce, produce, and more produce. Few people get enough produce! Eat organic whenever possible. While this kind of diet will rid the body of most disease and ailments, supplementation is necessary for many people and can speed up the process of getting healthy for anyone.

The Body’s pH

Bring the body back to a natural and healthy pH. The Body Balance+ Formula is a great way to help facilitate this quickly. But a healthy diet will also do this for almost anyone in time.

Supplements that Reduce and Remove Arthritis

A multi vitamin/mineral formula such as the Total Nutrition Formula is the easiest way to get in more nutrition. Even a diet focused on healthy organic produce can still use more nutrition, especially with our degraded soil conditions.

In addition to a good nutrition powder, I also recommend a protocol that includes MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), my Total Tonic Formula, Echinacea, vitamin C (5000Mg a day),  vitamin D3 (5000Mg a day), vitamin E (1200Mg day),  omega 3, coenzymeq10 (100Mg a day), a vitamin B-Complex, vitamin A (50,000IU a day), and finally a digestive plant enzyme with every meal.

For arthritis relief and to speed the healing of the joints, you can do no better than the Bone, Flesh & Cartilage Formula.  It truly is amazing for anyone suffering from joint pains, skeletal issues, muscle aches, and injuries.

Also, exercise! Your body is a use it or lose it kind of a vessel. Yoga and squats are what I recommend for anyone, especially with these health issues. Obviously not everyone can dive right into yoga or even do a partial squat, so start off slow, stay safe, and do what you can.

Take your time with all of it. Be patient. It takes most people years to develop disease such as this, and while it can be reversed much more quickly, it does take time.

Arthritis in the elbows, wrists, knees, hips and shoulders are often caused by, and/or exacerbated by thyroid problems and a leaky gut. Check out , How To Kill Candida and Balance Your Inner Ecosystem and see Understand Hypothyroidism – Prevention and Natural Remedies.

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Animal vs. Plant Protein – What’s Better?

Starting a conversation about protein sources between a vegan and a meat eater is a lot like discussing politics or religion with a stranger. More often than not, it’s not going to end peacefully. However, there are many myths and inaccurate claims made on both sides of the fence with regards to protein intake and the best sources, and it’s time to clear it up.

Calorie Content

One of the first big debates with animal vs. plant protein is calorie content. Meat eaters will argue that you need to eat far more vegetables than you do meat in order to get a beneficial amount of protein. In fact, some will argue that you will basically starve trying to get enough protein while spending your entire day eating.

It’s true that vegetables have a lower caloric density than meat. Yes, you would have to consume more volume to equal the same amount of protein. But this may be a moot point. Unless you are training moderately to heavily, the protein content you require could easily be met by a vegetarian diet. Furthermore, a lower calorie vegetarian diet is easier on the digestive system than a diet with animal protein (largely due to meat being cooked).

If you train intensely, it will be more difficult to meet your caloric needs on plant protein alone. This is where meat can help pick up the slack and provide you with the extra calories you may require. For example, a 3oz serving of steak provides 174 calories and delivers 26 grams of complete protein. A 3oz serving of cooked quinoa provides 34 calories and delivers 3.5 grams of complete protein.

If you feel you require more calories with protein, for whatever reason, animal meat is definitely an easy option. And it is the only way many people are going to get enough protein. Due to the lack of produce and other whole foods in our diet, most people’s vegan protein comes from soy and other unhealthy ingredients in processed foods. Not only are these foods highly processed and toxic, the proteins are difficult for the body to assimilate and they cause a host of health issues.

Complete vs Incomplete

One of the most cited points in an animal vs. plant protein debate is the fact that animals provide a complete protein, whereas plants can’t do the same. This is an erroneous assumption for two reasons:

  • There are plant sources of protein that are complete (for example, chlorella, hemp seeds, bee pollen, chia seeds, and quinoa).
  • You can combine different plant proteins to make a complete protein in any given meal, like lentils and brown rice. The reality is that plant-based diets contain such a wide variety of amino acid profiles that vegans are virtually guaranteed to get all of their amino acids with very little effort.

There are logical and understandable reasons why animal protein may be more desirable to people, besides taste and convenience. While vegans argue that meat causes cancer and other serious health problems, health minded omnivores will state, and correctly so, that improper cooking methods and poor quality meat (factory farmed), are the causes of poor health issues.

Assimilation

One of the least talked about subjects when it comes to the animal vs. plant protein debate is assimilation. Very few people consider the fact that the amount of protein contained in the food source is rarely the amount of protein your body digests and properly assimilates.

For years, soy protein isolate has been used in protein powders and even baby formula to help increase protein intake. However, what many failed to consider is that conventional unfermented soy is a highly indigestible protein, and assimilation is a fraction of what is printed on the label. In addition, most soy is genetically modified, and unfermented soy enzymes inhibitors can cause serious hormone imbalances.

Generally speaking, good forms of plant protein will be more easily digested than good forms of animal protein. In fact, to better digest animal protein it should be paired with fresh non-starchy vegetables in order to provide the enzymes and probiotics required to break it down properly for optimal digestion.

Furthermore, typical cooking methods of animal protein ruin your ability to properly assimilate it. Today, we usually cook food quickly and at high heat by pan-frying, microwaving, deep-frying, and barbecuing. All of these methods form advanced glycated end products, which are difficult to metabolize, and the problem becomes considerably worse with added sugar (which is present in nearly all sauces that may be applied while cooking).

If you want to avoid these glycated end products to improve your assimilation and avoid negative immune system reactions, cook your food on low heat (up to 180F) with water whenever possible, and avoid adding sugar. Glycated end products, other free radicals, and broken damaged acids are all a result of cooking foods, and cooking faster and/or longer creates more of them. They are all toxic to the body.

Amount of Protein Required

 

Of course, a big factor in how much protein you actually need depends on your activity level. These numbers vary between “protein experts”. However, the following numbers can provide a guideline:

  • Sedentary – .8 grams per kg of body weight (160lbs is 72kg which is 57.6 g of protein required daily)
  • Endurance – 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kg of body weight (160 lbs is 72 kg, which is up to 100g of protein required daily)
  • Body builders – 1.4 to 2.0 (some say as much as 2.5) grams per kg of body weight (160 lbs is 72kg, which is up to 130g of protein required daily)

With a fairly sedentary lifestyle (inactive to very light exercise like walking), you can very easily meet your protein requirements through a plant-based diet. An endurance athlete will need to know the higher and more efficient plant-based proteins to be able to do the same, and the body builder will have to consistently consume only the most nutrient and protein dense forms, many times a day, in order to meet the right quota.

In the case of body builders, it will likely be much easier to consume animal meat to get the amount of calories and protein they require, but they should be wary of proper combinations with non-starchy protein rich plant sources in order to actually absorb the high level of protein they take in.

However, there are vegan body builders winning competitions on plant-based protein alone, so those needs can be met.  If you seriously doubt the ability to build muscle mass on a plant protein based diet, I would ask you to consider where cattle and pigs get their protein to build muscle mass (hint: plant-based sources, not other animals).

Eating Protein

If you do choose to eat animal meat as your primary source of protein, choose those that are raised humanely and not injected with antibiotics, hormones, or steroids and are pasture fed or fed organically. Grass fed beef is a great example of a good source of animal protein.

Also consider how the meat is cooked. Beef and fish do not need to be completely cooked and therefore are much easier on the digestive system. Chicken and pork on the other hand, should be cooked completely, which makes the meat more acidic and much more difficult to digest, which compromises your protein assimilation. (We don’t recommend eating pork.)

When looking at good vegetarian and vegan protein sources, consider chlorella/spirulina, hemp, bee pollen, chia, and quinoa, which are all above 25% protein (quinoa, chia, bee pollen,) all the way up to between 40% and 70% (hemp and chlorella).

When preparing a plant-based protein, cook it gently or not at all. A properly made smoothie can easily yield more than 30 grams of protein in a highly digestible format. Combine this with a quinoa and vegetable dish and you have a protein rich meal.

In the end, you can meet your protein needs with either

Our ancient ancestors, in most parts of the world, ate far more plants than animal protein and certainly did not eat animal protein nearly as often as we do in modern times. We could learn a lot from them and limit the animal protein in our diet as we add in more high quality plant protein to increase the absorption and assimilation of our various protein sources.

If you do choose to ingest animal flesh, please buy meat that you know was treated as humanely as possible. These animal products are better for us, better for the environment, and of course better for them.

And if you decide you want to avoid animal sources altogether, you can certainly obtain the complete protein and calories you require through plant-based sources alone. If you have high protein requirements, it just may take a bit more planning and work in the beginning to ensure you meet your needs, depending on your activity levels.

Complete Vegan Sources of Protein

The following are plant-based foods that contain all of the essential amino acids that make up a complete source of protein.

  • Chlorella – 58-75% protein
  • Spirulina – 51-71% protein
  • Hempseed – 47% protein
  • Chia – 21% protein
  • Quinoa – 14% protein
  • Buckwheat – 13% protein
  • Amaranth – 13% protein
  • Soy – 81% protein (look for whole, organic and fermented soybean sources for proper digestion)

Bee pollen, while not vegan, is another plant-based complete protein that is 25% to 40% protein.

vegan

It’s nice to know what your complete sources of plant-based protein are, but with a little variety, it’s easy to get all the essential amino acids in your diet. Also, many traditional dishes offer all of the essential amino acids. For instance, brown rice and beans is a complete source of protein. Vegetables have such a wide variety of amino acids, it’s actually easy to just eat a few vegetables and get all of them. Further, you don’t need all of the essential amino acids in one meal, or even in one day, to build complete protein in your body.

Conclusion

If you’re considering reducing your animal consumption, or cutting it out completely (or you already have), know that there are plenty of choices out there. Being healthy is all about eating well, and eating well is all about whole foods.  Almost everyone could use more fresh, whole, raw and/or home cooked foods in their diet.

Also, the amount of meat we consume is not sustainable. We as a society cannot continue to eat as much meat  as we do unless we turn to lab created flesh or some other scientific answer, which will likely create a whole host of new health problems. But if we reduce our meat consumption drastically, grow some of our own food, start looking at how and where we can grow more food (such as rooftops and stacked gardens), and we buy from local and small scale farmers, not only can we feed everyone well with plenty of land left over, we can also dramatically reduce our impact on our environment (there is nothing more impactful that we could do), radically improve our health, and we could remove a lot of needless suffering, too.

Did we miss any complete protein sources for vegans? Let us know! And if you have any other tips on healthy protein intake, please tell us about them.