Holistic Habits by Cheryl A. Mothes, Ph.D. Natural Health Nutrition Counselor (16)

We are increasingly aware of metals and other toxins that can build up in our bodies due to our environment and food pesticide residues. Today let us look at the “Clean 15” list which are the fruits and veggies with the least pesticide residues: avocado, corn, onions, peas and asparagus, cabbage, mushrooms and sweet potatoes, pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon, mango, and kiwi.

We still need to wash them because they have been handled by who knows HOW many people, but they are safer. Go buy some great “Clean 15 foods” and have a marvelous meatless Monday!

Today we are again looking at the importance of reducing food pesticide residues, this time sharing the “Dirty Dozen” list which are the fruits and veggies with the most pesticides, so you can be more mindful of washing them: strawberries, cherries, grapes, nectarines, apples, peaches and pears, spinach, kale/collard/mustard greens, peppers, celery, and tomatoes. Now what is the best way to wash ALL your foods? Wash your own hands with warm water and soap first. Rinse the foods under running water BEFORE you cut any peel or tops off, soak produce with ridges or crevices in a bowl of water for a few minutes, use a gentle brush on produce with thick skins, and dry the produce off before prepping it. We do not need to buy commercial products, just use cold water. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

Much of the reason our world thinks “moderate drinking” or a glass of red wine each day is good for us is because of what is called the famous “J curve” in research. In most of the alcohol studies and health benefits, drinkers were “misclassified” meaning “former drinkers” were classified as “abstainers”. When studies classify subjects correctly, the J curve disappears, showing that drinking alcohol is very unlikely to improve our health. Given that it is an intoxicating, addictive, toxic, cancer-causing drug, alcohol is not a good choice, and the “presumed health benefits from moderate alcohol use has finally collapsed.” On this wonderful Wednesday, look at your health on the shelf by removing the alcohol.

If we are completely plant-based eaters, do we need supplements? You may have heard of people taking fish oil supplements for the Omega 3 fatty acids, but they are not plant based, of course. Vegans can get Omega 3’s from soy, walnuts, chia, flax, and hemp seeds but it is not harmful to take an Omega 3 supplement and the best are algal oil – from seaweed or algae. Additionally, plant-based eaters can benefit from Vitamin B12, which can be found in almond or soy milk or a supplement. Iodine is also sometimes a need for plant-based people. The supplement Wholier provides all these needs, and you can order it online. It is important to know that most plant-based eaters are far more nutritionally sound than those eating the Standard American Diet, so do not fret too much about deficiencies as you plantify your plates!

It is FIX IT FRIDAY and this is delicious hot meal that’s plant-based, nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory in every way! It is called loaded spaghetti squash and it is from the No Meat Athlete Cookbook:
Cut a spaghetti squash in half, remove t! seeds and cook it face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 30 minutes at four hundred degrees.
In a large bowl, combine:

1 T dried herbs or Italian seasoning
Two chopped roasted red peppers
Two cups chopped baby spinach
One can chickpeas
1/2 cup can chop artichoke hearts
1/4 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
One cup low-sugar, low-sodium pasta sauce (or they have a great recipe in the cookbook)
1/2 cup chopped basil

When the squash comes out of the oven, spoon the mixture into each half and bake for another 10 minutes. When you serve it, use a fork to “flake out” the squash and it will look like spaghetti, then you have all the wonderful sauce to complete this wonderful meal!

And a blast from the past:

God wants us to live longer and stronger and feel better than most of us do. This is WORLD Alzheimer’s Month and again, we could talk ALL MONTH on it! Did you know that deaths due to Alzheimer’s have increased by 87% in just the last ten years? It also is by far the most expensive disease to manage, and here is the super part – recent studies demonstrate that 90% of Alzheimer’s cases can be PREVENTED! Again, it is all about lifestyle. The five main lifestyle solutions are represented by the acronym NEURO: Nutrition, Exercise, Unwind, Restore and Optimize. And with nutrition, the key is less meat, more plant-based foods. Enjoy your meatless Monday and strengthen your defenses to thwart off Alzheimer’s disease!

Yesterday we shared that it is World Alzheimer’s Month – our National Alzheimer’s Month is June so some of this sounds familiar! Lifestyles are key to preventing this horrible disease, and the acronym NEURO, which is Nutrition, Exercise, Unwind, Restore and Optimize is key. The Blue Zones, where everyone lives longer and better, can give us tips for the “unwind, restore, and optimize” parts. You see, they are not
spending every waking moment scheduled with work, social obligations, chores – and here, we have the electronics that ramp up the urgency – they do not. Time away from our devices, scheduling time to pray, meditate, and taking the focus off our own issues, napping, moving more – these all help us unwind – “downshift” as the Blue Zones call it – to be physically healthier. Stay tuned for more details and have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

We are focusing on World Alzheimer’s Month this week, and most believe that genes determine everything, but the truth is that our brains are vulnerable to what we eat, how much we exercise, our ability to manage chronic stress, the quality of our sleep and the ways in which we challenge our brains. Our genes change over time when exposed to harmful triggers like poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyles, chemicals, and chronic stress. SO, we can combat all these diseases simply – yes, it is simple – by reducing those factors that put us most at risk: sugary and processed foods, pollutants and heavy metals, lack of exercise and stress. Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

We are talking this week about Alzheimer’s, and most importantly the fact that 90% of it can be prevented. Two-thirds of those with this tragic disease are women. In a large study it was found that women with the highest saturated fat intake had nearly a 70 percent higher risk of negative changes in brain function. There are profound insights into the relationship between nutrition, longevity and avoiding chronic disease, and we know that those who eat meat, including poultry and fish, have twice the risk of developing dementia as those who are plant based. So, Thursday’s “Power of the Plate” tip is to eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains to stave off Alzheimer’s!

It is Friday’s holistic habit of the day, and we are finishing the week on Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, a groundbreaking book was published called, The Alzheimer’s Solution, which demonstrates that Nutrition, Exercise, Unwinding, Restoring, and Optimizing our brains are the keys to preventing Alzheimer’s. And here is another huge benefit – those same lifestyle changes save us from OTHER chronic diseases! The book has important keys: a whole-food plant-based diet that is low in sugar and salt is something we have talked about many times. But the importance of an active lifestyle that incorporates moving EVERY HOUR is recommended. And stress management that is supported by strong communities, meditation, spending time in nature and mindful breathing is part of the plan as well. Lastly, 7 to 8 hours of regular, detoxifying sleep and cognitive activities like games and meaningful social interaction are especially important. Have a fantastic Friday everyone!

Content is daily radio script from my KHIS radio spot – tune in at 6:15 (CST) every morning to Justin and Meredith’s morning show 89.9 FM.
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