Cut Throat Medicine: A New Theory on Why You Have Tonsils and What Happens If You Lose Them

Why do we have tonsils? Is there a particular function they serve?

Despite high tech medicine, there are still some basic questions about how the human body works that stump the medical profession. And the function of the tonsils is one of them.

When I was in medical school, almost nothing was mentioned about the tonsils. Textbooks devote only a paragraph or two to these organs. So doctors know more about how to remove them than what they do in your body.

Despite not knowing what they do or why our bodies have them, US doctors perform about 650,000 tonsillectomies each year. At around $10,000 per surgery, this means that removing tonsils generates close to $6.5 billion annually. And that’s for only one surgical procedure.

Removing the tonsils was at one time the fashion, and was supposed to relieve throat infections, although evidence suggests that there is not a significant enough decrease in throat infections following tonsillectomy to justify widespread use of this procedure. Now, the primary reason for tonsillectomies in children is for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders thought to be caused by enlarged tonsils obstructing the throat and airway.

What do doctors know about the function of the tonsils?

Medicine contends that the tonsils are part of the lymphatic system which helps to fight infections, since the tonsils contain lymphoid tissue that produced white blood cells and antibodies. However, tonsils are not lymph nodes. Lymph nodes have sinuses through which lymph fluid filters. Nothing like that happens with tonsils.

The tonsils are walnut sized glands composed of lymphoid tissue that surrounds several deep crypts, or folds. Lymph does not filter through the tonsils, but saliva filled with bacteria and food does contact the tonsil crypts. Bacteria are known to reside within these folds. As we swallow, food and saliva wash past these folds sending samples of the bacteria in them down our throats.

Medicine claims it has no idea what tonsils are really supposed to be doing in the body, apart from some vague immunity function. Textbooks say the tonsils are the first line of defense against infection, although any pathogen in the tonsils is already in your intestines and/or lungs, so it is hard to understand how this is a first line of defense. The tonsils are also said to trap pathogens in the mouth, although there is no mechanism to describe how tonsils can do this since they are not a filter, as are lymph nodes. In fact, tonsils are accused of spreading bacteria, not trapping it. Research also shows that removal of the tonsils does not seem to increase susceptibility to infection. So the role of tonsils in immunity is unclear.

Strange, isn’t it, that medicine can map the human genome, but they can’t tell you what the tonsils are for.

Tonsils and Bacteria

I would like to propose a new theory on the function of the tonsils and why we have them. But to understand their purpose in the body, you need to understand bacteria.

Most people realize that we live in a bacterial world. Our skin and mucous membranes are covered with colonies of bacteria. Our intestines are filled with bacteria. Each of us may have over 500 species of bacteria living on and in us.

Some of these bacteria can cause disease when the body is weakened. Other bacteria are helpful, aiding in digestion and fighting off bad bacteria. The emerging field of probiotics recognizes the importance of bacteria to health, and tries to supply needed bacteria to the human body. Lactobacillus acidophilus in yogurt is one example of a beneficial bacteria used to aid digestion.

The study of the interaction between bacteria and their human hosts is a relatively new field, so many links are just being discovered. Studies have already shown that intestinal bacteria can cause weight gain, or weight loss. Bacteria are needed for the production of certain B-vitamins and Vitamin K.

The discovery of the role of the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the formation of stomach ulcers and cancer led to antibiotic therapy for these conditions. Now, however, scientists are warning that this bacterium is also beneficial. Maladies such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus (an ulcerlike disease in the esophagus), and cancers of the lower esophagus and gastric cardia (upper stomach) have been dramatically and progressively increasing since doctors have been eradicating this bacterium with antibiotics.

H. pylori has also been shown to control the levels of the human hunger-causing hormone ghrelin, produced by the stomach lining. Ghrelin increases appetite for high calorie foods. As a result of antibiotic therapy to kill H. pylori, levels of ghrelin become elevated, increasing hunger and food intake, and resulting in obesity.

It’s clear that some bacteria are an important part of our bodies and physiology. We have lived with them since the first humans. And we rely on them for health.

Bacteria and Digestion

One important benefit of bacteria to our health is the service they provide for digestion. Bacteria help us digest things we could not easily digest by ourselves.

Take the case of cows, goats, horses, and other grazing animals. These vegetarians cannot digest the cellulose in the grasses they eat without the help of bacteria. The bacteria breakdown the cellulose into sugar, which the animal can absorb. Without these bacteria, these animals would starve on their vegetarian diets.

So important are these digestive bacteria that these animals have special organs for incubating their bacteria and fermenting their food. Cows, goats, and sheep have a rumen, essentially a large fermentation sac that holds the eaten greens and bacteria. Horses ferment their grass diet in a sac called the ceacum, which is located between the small and large intestine.

Essentially, bacteria are part of these animals. They have special digestive organs that specifically rely on bacteria for digestion. You cannot understand the function of the rumen or ceacum of these animals without understanding the role of bacteria in their process of digestion.

In humans, bacteria also help the digestion of our food. While we make our own digestive enzymes for breaking down starch, proteins, and fats, bacteria in our intestines do their own digestion of our food, adding their digestive products to what we produce. We end up absorbing the products of bacterial digestion as well as the products of our own.

Given the high population of bacteria in our intestines, our bodies have lined the intestines with lymphoid tissue that is part of the immune system. This tissue produces white blood cells which in turn produce various substances, such as antibodies, that control and cultivate our bacteria to keep them from getting out of control.

Essentially, our bodies are part bacteria. We have organs that rely on bacteria, and an immune system with the ability to use and manage bacterial populations.

How do bacteria get into the human digestive system?

One way bacteria get into the human digestive system is with the food itself. Fermented foods, such as yogurt or sauerkraut, have their own bacterial ingredients, and these help in the digestion of these foods. Raw foods in general have more bacterial content, and the enzymes provided by these bacteria aid digestion, which is a main reason why some people are raw foodists. Most people, however, cook their food, killing potentially bad bacteria but also killing beneficial bacteria and their helpful enzymes.

The greatest source of bacteria for our intestines is the mouth. Our mouths are filled with bacteria. Each time we swallow or eat food, oral bacteria are washed down into the stomach. While the stomach has an acidic environment that kills some bacteria, many get through the stomach and into the intestines.

Mouth bacteria are everywhere – around the gums, on the tongue, and in the tonsils.

“Stones” or “kernels”?

Many people have “stones” in their tonsil crypts, also called tonsilloliths. These whitish plugs are sometimes a cause of annoyance and they can be expressed from the tonsils by gently pressing. The “stone” is composed of bacteria, calcium, and cell debris, and is reminiscent of kefir kernels which are used to develop bacterial cultures. Perhaps these tonsil stones are also for developing bacterial cultures.

Of course, the tonsils are exposed to food as well as bacteria. These get caught up in the tonsil crypts. The crypts would allow certain bacteria to flourish in response to this food. Each time we swallow, the bacteria in these crypts essentially seeds the digestive tract.

It seems, then, that the function of the tonsils is as incubators for intestinal bacteria. The crypts are there to create an environment where our food meets our bacteria. Lymphoid tissue surrounding the crypts help cultivate the correct bacterial balance for our diet.

The tonsils, then, seem to be digestive organs. Their function is to manage the microflora of our digestive system.

If you eat lots of dairy products, for example, the milk in your throat coats the tonsils and lets milk-eating bacteria flourish there. These bacteria can then inoculate your intestines to aid in digestion.

Of course, this may be only one of several other functions of the tonsils in the control of bacteria. But the fact that there are crypts or pockets in this organ which hold food and bacteria suggests that this organ is involved in bacterial homeostasis. Its location at the back of the throat and in close contact with food suggests its digestive function.

If true, then this means any change to our oral environment may impact on our tonsil bacteria. Alcohol, sugar, smoking, dehydration, and taking drugs may alter the bacterial community in the tonsils and impact on digestion. It could lead to derangement of the bacterial microecosystem within the tonsils. This may cause digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, food sensitivities, and more.

If the bacteria within the tonsils gets out of hand, the tonsils swell as white blood cells are activated to manage the bacterial community. We have all experienced swollen tonsils. It is usually caused by bad bacteria taking over the tonsil crypts.

This is when medicine comes into the picture. Doctors recognize that tonsils get infected and can spread infection as you swallow, continually seeding your intestines with these bad bacteria. This can cause trouble swallowing and breathing, so the doctors often suggest tonsillectomy, about 650,000 times each year.

What happens if you remove the tonsils?

One disturbing outcome of tonsillectomy is excessive weight gain. Childhood obesity is a real problem and could be related to tonsillectomies. However, the medical community does not want to acknowledge the link, since they see no mechanism for the connection.

How would removal of the tonsils cause obesity? If you think of the tonsils as only lymphoid organs with no known function apart from some uncertain immune function, as medicine currently does, then this question is a mystery. However, when you think of the tonsils as digestive organs, it makes sense.

If the purpose of the tonsils is to help seed the digestive system with helpful bacteria that aid digestion, then loss of these bacterial enzymes means less efficient digestion. Certain deficiencies may result from the lack of bacterial enzymes, causing the tonsillectomized person to eat more to get needed nutrition. Eating a ‘normal’ quantity may not be enough to provide all the needed nutrition, although it still may provide lots of available calories. To get the nutrition needed, excess food is consumed producing excess glucose absorption and resulting fat deposits.

On the other hand, lack of certain bacteria may make calories less available, leading to weight loss.

We rely on bacteria for digestion, and on the tonsils to cultivate the right bacteria. Without tonsils the bacterial flora of the gut will be less controlled, and you might not have the correct bacteria for your digestive needs, leading to all sorts of problems.

This may also explain some food allergies. Food allergies usually result when foreign proteins are not completely digested into their component amino acids. Amino acids do not typically cause allergies, but proteins and protein fragments can be powerful antigens leading to allergies. Without the aid of bacterial digestive enzymes, there is a greater chance that these proteins will not be fully digested, increasing the chances of allergic reactions.

If removing the tonsils can lead to excessive weight gain, then what happens when you give people antibiotics? Shouldn’t antibiotics kill at least some of the bacteria within the tonsils? Shouldn’t this have a similar outcome as tonsil removal?

Actually, antibiotics also cause weight gain.

Why has the field of medicine failed to recognize this function of the tonsils?

Modern medicine has gained its power with the development of antibiotics. Bacterial diseases can kill, and antibiotics have saved lives. The prejudice against bacteria has permeated the medical and popular culture, resulting in antiseptic hand washes, mouthwashes, and an over sanitized world. You can’t expect an industry that discovered antibiotics to easily embrace bacteria as important to health. As a result, the tonsils are seen as a “first line of defense” against invading germs and nothing more. Once these bad germs get hold of the tonsils, they should be removed, they assert. It never occurred to them that the tonsils also hold good germs. To the antibiotic addicted medical model, there are no good germs.

There is a basic flaw in modern medical reasoning. Modern medicine considers some parts of the human body as unnecessary. Doctors are not trained to think that there is a reason for everything in our bodies. However, our bodies were designed by nature (or God) to work a certain way, even if we cannot currently understand that design. Crypts in tonsils collect bacteria for a purpose, even if our current science cannot fathom that purpose. Any doctor that removes the tonsils or the appendix or any other part of the body because, they assert, it has no purpose is only slightly less a fool than the person faithfully following their prescription.

This does not mean that tonsils should never be removed. There may be cases when this is necessary. But the cause of the tonsil problem needs to be addressed. Why would these bacteria-managing organs lose control over their bacteria?

The Causes of Tonsil Problems

Perhaps the greatest cause of tonsil problems is the overuse of antibiotics. We know that antibiotics can cause diarrhea as it disturbs our intestinal bacterial community. Antibiotics will also disturb our tonsil bacterial community. Eating foods with beneficial bacteria, such as yogurt, is often recommended after antibiotic use to reseed the intestines with these beneficial species. People who still have their tonsils may recolonize their tonsils with these good bacteria. Those without tonsils may need to continually reintroduce good bacteria with their food.

Another problem may be the use of alcohol, both as a beverage and as a mouthwash. Alcohol will disturb our tonsils, irritating the mucous membrane and altering the microfloral composition. Smoking may also be a problem. Nicotine has been shown to affect a broad spectrum of bacteria in the mouth, suppressing some bacterial species and stimulating others.

Realizing that the tonsils are digestive organs may open up a new field of medicine where we can clean and reseed tonsils with the proper bacterial community for our dietary and health needs.

What About the Appendix?

Of course, this raises a question about another organ that medicine says we don’t need – the appendix. This organ, like the tonsils, holds bacteria. It is at the mouth of the large intestines, or colon. Could the appendix be seeding the colon with beneficial bacteria for colonic digestion? After all, the colon is where vitamin B-12 is activated by bacteria. Could the appendix be the tonsils of the colon?

Don’t expect an answer from the medical community. There are nearly 300,000 appendectomies performed in the US each year.

Could a tonsillectomy lead to obesity?

By the time a surgeon sees an appendix or tonsil, it is usually when the organ is inflamed with disease. Perhaps in some situations the removal of these organs is appropriate and necessary.

However, before you can make that decision, you need to know what the tonsils and appendix normally do and what you might be missing without them.

Our culture is facing an epidemic of obesity. If tonsils are indeed important managers of the body’s intestinal bacterial communities, then loss of tonsils may be an important factor for creating obesity and other intestinal and colonic diseases.

Gas, indigestion, irritable bowels, food cravings, diarrhea, food allergies. The list of possible negative impacts of tonsillectomy will likely grow as knowledge of the role of bacteria in maintaining health grows.

In the meantime, if your doctor tells you to remove part of your body because he doesn’t know what it’s for, then find another doctor.

3 Day Detox Diet For The Body – What Can It Do?

Detoxification is a popular and effective way to cleanse and purify the body to keep it working like brand new. Of course, aside from its health and wellness benefits, detoxification can also eliminate water retention and help shed excess pounds. Thousands of people all over the world detoxify themselves on a regular basis and this number even includes several Hollywood celebrities. If you’re considering detoxification whether for weight loss or body cleansing, then a 3 day detox diet would be the best place to start.

What Is A Three Day Detox Diet?

Basically, a 3 day detox diet describes what you should expect – a diet that lasts for three days. Detoxification diets vary in the foods that they promote and allow, and there is no strict food requirement for this type of diet. The only requirement is to follow the diet strictly for the whole three day period.

Why Three Days?

Now you may ask, why follow a 3 day detox diet? Why not follow a 24-hour detox or a 7-day one instead? This question is very common among beginners and newbies, and the answer is that a 3 day detox diet would be the most conducive and appropriate one because it is just short enough for someone who has never tried this kind of dieting before, but it’s long enough to produce results.

Some people follow a 24-hour diet but most of the time, short diets like this fall short when it comes to producing results. Diets that take too long, on the other hand, can be difficult to follow – especially for someone just starting.

What To Expect with the 3 day Detox Diet?

Again, there is no strict plan to follow if you’re considering the 3 day diet. You can follow any other detoxification plan but reduce the duration to three days. If you finally pick out a diet to follow make sure that you follow some safety procedures:

  • Take in as much water as you can. Eight glasses a day is the minimum.
  • Liquid intake is important to help flush out the toxins, yet you should not rely on sodas, carbonated drinks, coffee or sweet fruit juices. If you suddenly crave for a sweet drink, drink fresh fruit juice instead.
  • Pick a diet that won’t starve you. Your 3 day detox diet should be detoxifying in a way, but should also be safe to follow. It should not simply just consist of liquid drinks or just one type of food, as it may compromise your required nutritional intake.
  • Follow the diet thoroughly. If your diet says only raw food for the three days, then only eat raw fruits and vegetables and don’t eat meat or cooked grains. Following your diet properly will give you the best results.

Regardless of your 3 day detox diet of choice, it’s important that you take these considerations to make sure that you stay healthy and safe. Take note of any possible changes such as nausea, light-headedness or frequent bowel movements. These are usual effects of detox diet plans, however you should know how much is too much and when that happens, you should see the doctor right away.

Food Safety Bacterial Growth Requirements

As food safety bacteria are very similar to us they need similar conditions in order to grow. The main conditions are food, moisture, warmth and time.

Food and Moisture.

There are four main food types:

· high risk foods

· raw foods

· low risk foods

· ready to eat raw foods.

High risk foods are common in food poisoning outbreaks. They are usually composed of protein, are ready to eat, stored under refrigeration and no further processing such as cooking is required. Examples include pates, sandwiches, filled rolls, fresh cream and artificial cream cakes, pies and cold cooked meats.

Raw foods are a major source of food poisoning organisms. High risk foods must be kept away from raw foods at all times or cross contamination will result, compromising food safety and food poisoning will occur.

Low risk foods do not pose a food safety hazard mainly because they lack one or more of the requirements for bacterial growth. They could be acid foods with a pH of less than 4.5, they may have a high sugar, salt or fat content which are good natural preservatives. They may be dried products or preserved foods not requiring refrigeration. They may be foods that require ambient storage.

The last category of food is ready to eat raw foods. These include fruit and salad vegetables and they must be thoroughly washed before consumption to minimise the risk from low-dose pathogens.

High risk food contains sufficient moisture for bacterial growth.

Warmth.

The next thing to consider is warmth. If we control warmth then bacterial growth will not occur.

The maximum recommended temperature for freezers is -18°C. At this temperature there is no bacterial growth, bacteria remain dormant. Although some bacteria are killed during the freezing process, many remain alive.

Fridge temperatures should be between 1 and 4°C. Although the maximum legal fridge temperature in the UK is 8°C. At fridge temperatures some bacteria will grow very slowly including Listeria and C botulinum.

The next range of temperatures is the temperature danger zone. This is between 5 and 63°C. Once food is being prepared it must be kept out of the temperature danger zone. If food is left in the temperature danger zone bacterial growth will occur, affecting food safety and food poisoning will result. As bacteria enter the temperature danger zone at 5°C they start to grow slowly. As the temperature increases the bacteria will grow more profusely. Bacteria grow best at 37°C, which is body temperature. As temperatures increase from 37°C bacterial growth slows down. Most bacteria are killed by 52°C. The UK recognised safety cooking temperature is 75°C, although foods can be cooked at a low temperature over a longer period of time.

The hot holding temperature is 63°C, which is the top of the temperature danger zone. If food is to be served hot, for example in a carvery situation it must be retained above 63°C. If the food is above this temperature, there is no time limit to how long the food can be served for and there is no food safety hazard.

If cold food is refrigerated, it must be retained at 1 and 4°C. The time limit would depend on the food product. The food could not be retained without time limit as eventually there would be mould growth (mould can grow at very low temperatures).

The two hour hot rule allows foods that had been prepared and are meant to be served hot, to be served at ambient temperature for no more than two hours. For example if food is being retained at 63° C and suddenly the heating equipment breaks down then that food which is losing temperature can be sold for a further two hours. After two hours the food is allowed to be chilled and reused at a later occasion after refrigeration.

The four hour cold rule allows foods that are normally sold at refrigeration temperature to be served at ambient temperature for no more than four hours. For example if sandwiches are prepared and refrigerated, and the refrigerator breaks down, the temperature will rise. The sandwiches must be sold within four hours. After four hours any remaining sandwiches must be disposed of.

In order to check temperatures of freezers, fridges, cooking temperatures and delivery of foods, a temperature probe must be used. It must be a thermocouple temperature probe which is able to be calibrated. You can calibrate with boiling water, when the probe should indicate a temperature of 100°C. The bottom range of temperatures can be checked with mixture of ice and water. The probe should indicate a temperature of 0°C. Probes must be cleaned and disinfected between use. This can be achieved by using alcohol wet wipes or simply boiling water. The temperature probe must be inserted into the thickest part of the food which is known as the core temperature.

For further information and details of food hygiene training courses go to: Food Safety Training.

A Lupus Diet – Eliminate Lupus With Nutritional Healing

Lupus and Digestion

When dealing with an anti-inflammatory disease such as lupus, it is extremely important you use your first line of defence, the nutrients from food, to support your body’s ability to avoid flares and promote healing. Although doctors say that there is no lupus cure, it simply isn’t the case. Not only have I completely healed (and tested negative) for lupus, others have as well. The best news is that many of us healed in different ways, one of which is through a lupus diet.

As with many auto immune and degenerative issues, lupus can compromise the digestive tract, making it essential the nutrients you are eating are being absorbed. It is also necessary to determine if you have any food sensitivities and allergies, that will also affect how well you digest your food, if your body reacts to it and therefore how you feel.

Although not often publicized, the best diet for lupus and healing is ultimately the best diet for everyone as it is derived from the unparalleled nutrition offered from fresh fruits, vegetables and whole foods while avoiding far too common processed, fatty, refined foods so abundant in our food stores. The simple reason this type of diet is so helpful is because it is, by nature, an anti-inflammatory diet. The best diet for Lupus includes simple, freshly prepared natural raw foods while eliminating fast processed foods and the 4 ‘white foods’ including sugar, salt, flour and carbohydrates.

Lupus patients are also well advised to be careful when consuming nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and pepper in addition to alfalfa as these have been linked to trigger flares. It is important to note, however that people have different dietary needs and don’t react the same to foods, so what may trigger one patient may not be a food trigger for another.

Say good-bye to fatty foods!

Fatty foods are essentially inflammatory. It is for that reason they should be completely avoided, at least while you are in the healing process and working to eliminate lupus and experience a lupus cure. It is far better to allow your body to heal and regain a properly functioning immune system and then slowly introduce a few favourite foods back, (while looking forward to regaining your health and vibrancy).

In addition to being inflammatory, fatty foods also cause what is known as ‘thick blood’ which lowers the body’s oxygen supply to the cells and tissues in your body. Not only can this cause tissue damage, which promote auto-antibodies (the last thing your body needs, as it causes an inflammatory response) but also significantly dampens your energy levels. Chronic fatigue is one of the primary issues dealing with lupus, so please heed this caution in particular for your dietary practices.

Nutritional Healing for Lupus A low-fat, whole food, plant based diet is the diet of choice if you have lupus, or any disease concerning inflammation (which most disease do!). Not only will it decrease your joint pain, reduce strain on the kidneys, spleen and other organs, it will also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attack. Another added benefit is it will also support weight loss, which many lupus sufferers write to me about, as a consequence of steroid side effects.

Most importantly, this diet will reduce the number of antigen-autobodies in your body, a primary factor that causes lupus flares. Many people are now aware of the great health benefits derived from Omega 3. The primary benefit concerns the fact that these essential fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory, exactly what we need if we have lupus. Therefore, with reduced inflammation comes reduced pain and increased mobility.

Because our common food intake doesn’t provide enough of these healthy fats, it is extremely wise (especially if you have lupus) to supplement with them. Flaxseed oil is a popular source of Omega 3, however recently there is evidence that your best source of omega 3 comes from fish oil, in particular krill oil. Of course, eating a diet rich with Omega 3 is important, and the most common source of EFA’s is from salmon, and other cold-water fish such as tuna. Other sources include avocados, spinach, and mustard greens.

There are a lot more lupus diet do’s and don’ts you should be cognizant of, including the debate on protein (including soy protein and lupus), and which nutrients are destroyed through various drugs you may be prescribed. These dietary issues are typically not discussed by your doctor and if you would like more information please visit the site listed below. What you eat matters! (If it matters when we’re not ill, think of how much more important it is for when you are!). Remember, lupus can and has been healed and you have every reason to believe it can work for you too (or at minimum, significantly reduce lupus symptoms). Despite doctors claiming there is no Lupus cure, for those of us who no longer have it, we beg to differ. If you have any question on lupus please feel free to contact me at the email address listed below.

Wishing you and your loved one’s the very best, especially in good health and lupus-free!

Health Benefits Of Raw Roasted Sprouted Almonds And Other Nuts

Raw…Roasted…Sprouted?

After being picked, most nuts are dried-not only to improve flavour and add more crunch to the texture, but to preserve them. These are what we know as raw kernels. From there, the marketing of nuts begins: shelled or unshelled, salted or unsalted, roasted, sprouted, candied, spiced, packaged, or bulk. But what happens to their nutritional content in the process in how nuts get processed.

Raw or Unroasted nuts.

Contrary to popular belief, raw nuts are not simply plucked from trees and sold on a grocery store shelf. As mentioned previously, most nuts are dried to preserve them and improve their flavours and textures. These are raw nuts. While raw nuts are fairly nutritious and have no added fat, they’re often bland and tasteless.

Raw nuts also contain enzyme inhibitors which help to protect the seed and keep it from germinating too early and dying off. This also helps to keep the species going. But these enzyme inhibitors, when introduced into the body, actually neutralize the enzymes your body uses to control inflammation and aid in digestion. In fact, eating nuts with these enzyme inhibitors can cause the pancreas to swell. There are only two ways to destroy these enzyme inhibitors:

  1. Roasting, which also destroys the enzymes,
  2. Sprouting, which keeps the beneficial enzymes intact.

Roasted nuts.

While roasted nuts have a lot more artificial flavour than raw nuts, there are some definite disadvantages to them:

  1. Added oils,
  2. Additives,
  3. More difficult to digest,
  4. Less nutritional value.

Nuts can be either dry roasted or roasted in oil. As you probably already know, dry-roasted nuts contain less fat than nuts roasted in oil. In fact, roasting nuts in oil is a lot like deep frying-nuts are dumped into highly saturated palm kernel or coconut oils, adding about a gram of fat and 10 calories per ounce to nuts with an already high fat and calorie content.2 Then roasted nuts are often heavily salted and almost always have other ingredients added to them such as sugar, corn syrup, MSG, preservatives, and other additives.

In addition, many people have trouble digesting nuts because of the high fat content. Adding more fats during roasting makes them even more difficult to digest.3 Finally, roasting destroys most of the nutritional content of nuts. Vitamin B, particularly vitamin B1 (thiamine), which helps produce energy and keep the heart healthy, is most often killed off in roasting. And roasting not only destroys the enzyme inhibitors, it destroys the enzymes needed by the body to help with digestion. So roasted nuts may have more flavour than raw nuts-but at a price: your health.

Sprouted nuts.

Sprouted nuts neatly solve the nutrition problem of roasted nuts and the tastelessness of raw nuts. The process dates back thousands of years and is still practiced today in non-meat-eating cultures where nuts are a staple food. This traditional process, called sprouting, does not begin with drying as in the case of raw or roasted nuts. Instead, freshly picked nuts are soaked in water and causing the nuts to begin germinating. The nuts are then removed from the solution and slowly dried at a very low temperature with low humidity.

This slow drying process destroys the enzyme inhibitors, releasing the full nutritional content of the nut and allowing the body’s natural enzymes to more easily digest the nuts. This process typically takes up to a week to prepare as in the case of well-selected almonds where dead nuts are rejected as they do not sprout. While much more time-consuming, sprouting makes nuts more digestible, gives them much greater nutritional value, makes them crunchier, and best of all, releases an unmistakably fresher flavour.

Diet For Dogs With Bladder Stones – Treating and Preventing Bladder Stones With Dietary Modification

If a dog is suffering from bladder stones or if it is prone to bladder stones, it is very important to feed the right kind of diet. The right diet for dogs with bladder stones is a low mineral, high fiber diet which maintains the right urine pH balance and reduces the risk. Let us take a detailed look.

A mineral rich diet is usually not suitable for dogs that are vulnerable to urinary problems or dogs that are suffering from bladder stones. Such a diet increases the chances of stones significantly. So, the right diet, after any urinary problems have been removed or corrected, is a low-mineral, high-fiber diet which contains very little amount of minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphates and plenty of fibrous vegetables and raw meat. Check with your veterinarian to make sure this type of diet is best for the type of stones your dog is suffering from.

If a dog’s urine pH is alkaline or neutral, it becomes vulnerable to bladder stones. If it is acidic, the chances of stones and other urinary problems are greatly reduced. So, the diet you feed your dog should maintain the right urine pH balance. Commercial pet food that is mineral-rich is not considered the right kind of diet for dogs with bladder stones because it tends to alter the urine pH of the affected dog. This is why it is advisable to give your dog food which maintains the right urine pH balance. Often a veterinarian will recommend a Prescription Diet for dog’s that are vulnerable to stones.

One of the simplest ways to reduce the risks of stones in dogs is by making them drink lots of water and urinate frequently. So, clean, filtered water plays a very important role in the diet after bladder stones in dogs. If your dog drinks plenty of water and urinates frequently, small mineral crystals in the bladder are flushed out with urination. This greatly reduces the risk of bladder stone formation in dogs.

To make sure your dog drinks a lot of water, you can add a few drops of cranberry juice or any other citrus fruit juice to water. This not only improves the smell and taste of water, but it is also good for your dog’s health. It inhibits bacteria from multiplying and infecting your dog’s urogenital area. This is something you need to keep in mind while formulating a diet. Not every dog will take to the taste.

Regular physical exercise is something that can help dogs that are vulnerable to urinary problems. When your dog stays physically active, it tends to drinks lots of water, which is ultimately good for its urogenital health. Regular exercise also stimulates your dog’s immune system and makes it healthier.

Apart from dietary modifications and physical exercise, natural homeopathic supplements can also help your dog stay away from urinary problems. These supplements contain herbal extracts that strengthen the urogenital system of your dog and lower the risks of bacterial infections and stones considerably. So, adding a small dose of these supplements to the diet after bladder stones were a problem is a good idea.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Whole Foods?

Some say eating whole foods is an entire lifestyle. It's not just about eating raw foods or eating unprocessed meals. It is about so much more. It's about bringing environmentally-conscious reusable tote bags to pack your groceries in; it's about riding your bike instead of driving to work; it's about dyeing your hair with henna rather than chemicals; it's about wearing clothes made of hemp; it's about solar panels, reducing our carbon footprint and backyard composting. Others say the offerings at Whole Foods Market stores are overpriced and overrated.

There are many benefits to eating whole and natural foods. As Whole Foods Market chairman John Mackey says, "There's no inherent reason why business can not be ethical, socially responsible, and profitable." Shoppers can pat themselves on the back for helping the small organic farmer in America, versus foreign workers across the country.

Those who shop specifically at the Whole Foods stores can also feel good knowing that the lowest wage for employees is $ 13.15 / hour, with benefits that include healthcare. Furthermore, no executive makes more than 14 times the employee average. They've also purchased a year's worth of wind power energy for their stores. Fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats without hormones, preservatives, pesticides and other unnatural additives seem like the most basic components of a healthy diet.

Price is one of the main criticisms of Whole Foods Market, and is sometimes casually referred to as "Whole Paycheck" for that very reason. Consumers opt into an agreement where they're willing to pay a few dollars more for whole foods that they feel are healthier, better for them and more ethical.

Some critics wonder if the movement can be justified. Are the foods locally grown? How do we know there are not hormones or additives in this food? Questions aside, the notion that only well-off members of society can afford to shop at these stores suggests that the whole and organic food craze may be little more than a quest for distinction, a sort of status symbol of the rich.

Even though prices are high, the foods market is doing some things to promote thrift. This holiday season, Whole Foods has rolled out a promotional list of environmentally-friendly gifts that cost less than $ 20. They've also offered "Value Tours" of their stores to show consumers how to save a few bucks and include more money-saving tips on the company blog. "We've been nimble, and we're really able to help our shoppers when they may have to shop with a budget for the first time," said Whole Foods spokeswoman Kate Lowery.

Food Preparation Areas

We'll use the term "preparation areas" to refer to food planning. After all, a lot more activities than cooking are crammed into most kitchens. Right here are some of the major work sections you may find.

Fabrication:
The fabrication area is wherever raw (or processed) foods begin their journey to their final destination: the guest's plate. Sometimes referred to as pre-prep, it is here that we break down prime cuts of beef, clean and fillet fish, cut up chickens, open crates of fresh produce, and decide what gets stored and what gets sent on to the other parts of the preparation region. In planning for each region, begin with a flowchart to determine which functions should be included.

If the restaurant plans to handle its own meat-cutting duties (and numerous do to save money), you'll require room for a sink, a heavy cutting board, portion scales, meat saws, grinders, and slicers. Some of these items can be placed on mobile carts and shared with other places of the kitchen.

Preparation:
Within the preparation region, foods are sorted further into individual or batch servings. The loin we trimmed in the fabrication area is cut into steaks, lettuce and tomatoes are diced for salad assembly, shrimp is battered or peeled. Ingredients are also mixed: meat loaves, salad dressings, casseroles. Salad and vegetable prep areas are found in nearly every foodservice setting. They are busy places, and their focus should be on efficiency. When designing the layout, remember the require for worktables, compartment sinks, refrigerators, and mechanical equipment. Order some worktables with food and condiment wells that are cooled from beneath with ice, allowing simple accessibility. A prep area with unique requirements is the garde manger, a term that encompasses both food planning and decoration
or garnish.

The garde manger region is the source of cold meals: chilled appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, salads, patés, sandwiches, and so on. Obviously, refrigeration is of paramount significance here, as are knife storage and room for hand-held and small appliances: ricers, salad spinners, graters, portable mixers, blenders, juicers. Colorcoded bowls, cutting boards, knives, scrub brushes, and even kitchen towels all assist to avoid cross-contamination among various kinds of raw foods.

Manufacturing:

Yes, it's finally time to do some cooking, within the production area. This region is divided into hot-food planning, usually recognized as the hot line, and cold-food preparation, known as the pantry. Manufacturing
may be the heart from the kitchen area, and all the other places are meant to support it.

Holding:
As its name suggests, the holding region may be the one in which either hot or cold foods are held until they're needed. The holding area takes on various degrees of importance in various types of foodservice operations. Basically, the larger the quantity of meals produced, the a lot more critical the need for holding room. For banquet service and in cafeterias and hospitals, food should be prepared well in advance and stored at proper temperatures. In fast-food restaurants, the require is not as excellent but it still exists.

Assembly:
The final activity of the preparation area is assembly of each item in an order. At a fastfood place, the worktable is where hamburgers are dressed and wrapped and fries are bagged. At an à la carte restaurant, it may be the cook's side of the pass window, where steak and baked potato are put on the same plate and garnished. Again, in large-scale foodservice operations, grand-scale assembly takes up a lot more room.

The menu and type of cooking you do will figure out the makeup of your manufacturing region. Will you need a fabrication region at all, if yours is a fast-food franchise that uses mostly prepackaged convenience meals?

Conversely, cooking "from scratch" will most likely require a lot of room for preparation, baking, and storage. Batch cooking, or preparing several servings at a time, will also affect your space allocation. Finally, the number of meals served in a given time period should be a factor in planning your room. Your kitchen area must be able to operate at peak capacity with plenty of room for everyone to perform efficiently. For a hotel with banquet facilities and for an intimate 75-seat bistro, this means very different things.

Home-Made Dog Food – Make High Quality Dog-Food At Home – Part 2

According to Donald R. Strombeck (DVM, PhD.) in the book, Dog and Cat Diets; The Healthful Alternative – most commercial foods wrongly contain carbohydrates as their PRIMARY energy source.

He also says that while dogs can digest some carbohydrates, an estimated 20% pass through undigested.

The excessive levels of carbohydrates in some commercial foods are there mainly to add bulk, and since they are not entirely digested are just wasted space in the can or bag!

The beauty in homemade dog food is that you control the amount of carbohydrates and can vary it according to your individual dogs needs!

Several home recipes for dog food feature a rice component because it is one of the best assimilated sources of carbohydrates for dogs.

White rice digests the fastest, while brown is much more slowly digested, due to the protective rice husk. Diabetic dogs benefit from the slower energy release of brown rice or a mixture of the two.

I have also used pasta, either white or whole meal, depending on what I am making. But you WILL find that dogs, like us – prefer white pasta?

Try using both fresh vegetables and frozen mixed vegetables – the frozen home brand vegetables are convenient and very cost effective. Studies I have read for humans, show that frozen vegetables are almost as nutritious as fresh.

These days we choose to cook our dog food, and the dogs LOVE it – but if you prefer the concept of a BARF diet (bones and raw food) you can also leave it raw, especially if you are using human grade meat sources!

One of the main reasons many vets recommend cooked meat over raw is that of food safety. Cooking meat kills many harmful bacteria – however if you start with quality human grade meat or verified fresh pet meat, the risk is greatly reduced.

On page 26 of his book Stromberg says “Dogs and cats in the wild select diets containing negligible fiber. Thus, dogs and cats have low requirements for fiber.”

Most recipes for homemade dog food have small amounts of vegetable fibre, this will be more than sufficient for your dog.

It has recently been discovered that Omega 3 & Omega 6 are helpful with human health – so too with dogs. Dogs need more Omega 6 than Omega 3.Recipes for homemade dog food should always contain good sources of both Omega 3 & 6 in LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond).

I also supplement with fish, olive and additional sunflower oil, to provide extra sources and to assist in keeping skin and coat condition. Our Staffordshire Bull Terriers are known to be prone to some skin conditions and grass allergies, the use of these oils can help to reduce these problems.

When using my recipes for homemade dog food – you can use pretty well any herbs you like in moderation – BUT do be careful with pepper and chili in large quantity – it may cause irritation to some dogs an especially puppies.

I use curry powder, additive free stock powder and tomato paste in my recipes, these are added for flavouring only.

NEVER add any sort of onion to dog food, they lack the ability to digest it and can make them ill. Onion in sufficient quantity can kill your dog!

If you are ready to give your dog the absolute BEST food that you possibly can; while still SAVING REAL $$$ compared to the putrid stuff they pack into cans and bags – then visit my site for more information!

Thanks for your interest!

Steve

Vegan Cooking School Options

So you’re vegan and have this passionate love of food. You would like to pursue this passion further, but you’re not sure what the vegan cooking school options are out there. Happily, there are plenty! There are quite a few schools that focus on plant-based meals, and many that aren’t exclusively vegan can be geared toward you, so you won’t find yourself chopping chickens and preparing fish if you’re not into that.

There are many casual plant-based cooking classes around the world if you’re looking for something just for fun without any fancy certification. In this article, though, I focus more on professional programs that have varying degrees of intensity. Some require only a little time and money if you don’t want to be a professional chef; others will take you the full distance to running your own kitchen.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of some popular schools around the world, with some information about each.

Living Light Culinary Arts Institute
Where is it? Fort Bragg, California
What do they offer? 100% vegan and raw food instruction
When do the programs run? Multiple times a year, depending on the program
Website: rawfoodchef.com

The Living Light Culinary Arts Institute is located in a small coastal community on the Mendocino coast. If you love the ocean, temperate weather, and raw vegan cuisine, you’ll love this school. Run by Cherie Soria, the “mother of raw food”, this is THE raw foods institute. This is the one that draws people in from all around the world and produces top-of-the-line celebrity chefs of all kinds.

There are several types of courses, including a Gourmet Chef Certification Series (6 weeks), Advanced Instructor Training Certification Series (4 weeks), Raw Food Nutrition Educator Series, and the full-out Professional Chef Series, which runs almost an entire year, including a 250-day internship at the school.

Many of the well-known raw food chefs around the world went to Living Light for their training, including Chad Sarno and Jennifer Cornbleet.

The Natural Gourmet Institute
Where is it? New York, NY
What do they offer? Public classes and professional chef training that are plant-based and vegan-friendly
When do the programs run? Inquire by e-mail on their website
Website: naturalgourmetinstitute.com

The Chef’s Training program they offer is an intensive, professional course which can be taken part-time or full-time, but runs 619 hours. This school does teach people how to prepare seafood, chicken and eggs, but if you’re vegan you can opt out of that. This school teaches a wide range of cooking styles, including how to ferment, prepare raw foods and macrobiotic foods, and even Chinese medicine and medicinal cooking. The emphasis is on whole, plant foods.

The Natural Gourmet Institute offers a fun Friday night dinner, where the people enrolled in the school prepare a fine-dining experience for the general public at big, communal tables (with candlelight!), so if you’re in the area, you could swing by and see what it’s all about.

The Matthew Kenney Academyformerly the 105 Degrees Academy
Where is it? Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What do they offer? Chef certification program in raw foods
When do the programs run? Monthly, or several times a year for the more advanced classes
Website: kenneycuisine.com

Matthew Kenney offers very small and personal raw food chef’s training classes (typically 4-8 people). It’s designed for beginners and chefs alike.

There are two 4-week training sessions – Level 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine, and Level 2: Advanced Raw Cuisine. The Level 1 courses run every month and is Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm. The Level 2 course runs 4 times a year and is the same hours as the Level 1 classes.

Cordon Vert School
Where is it? Altrincham, Cheshire, UK
What do they offer? Vegetarian leisure classes and workshops, a diploma program for professional chefs only
When do the programs run? Several times throughout the year; programs are short
Website: cordonvert.co.uk

The Cordon Vert School offers classes at their Vegetarian Society headquarters, and they even have rooms for lodging. They have a variety of vegetarian courses, ranging from 1 to 2 day workshops, classes for leisure, and professional classes. Their professional diploma class, a week in duration, is only available to professional chefs. However, their workshops and leisure courses are open to the general public, and occur frequently throughout the year.

Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
Where is it? Austin, Texas
What do they offer? Full professional chef program that is vegan-friendly, public classes
When do the programs run? Begins every August and February
Website: naturalepicurean.com

This school specializes in vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, ayurvedic and raw food preparation and cuisine. They offer a full 900-hour professional chef training program. All of the training takes approximately a third of a year, if you jump straight from training into internship. This is an intensive course that will fully prepare you to work in a natural kitchen.

They also offer public classes, though they’re sparse and seldom due to the emphasis on the professional chef training program.

The School of Natural Cookery
Where is it? Boulder, Colorado
What do they offer? Professional training as a foundation course, with the option to go further
When do the programs run? Most are in the Fall and Spring
Website: naturalcookery.com

The foundation course at the School of Natural Cookery is a 16-week diploma course where you learn fundamentals, bread making, gastronomy, nutrition and more. If you achieve a very high mark in this course, you may take a 4-week personal chef course or teacher training course. However, in order to pursue the teacher training course, you must have finished their classes as well as have five years experience with natural food.

Courses are typically offered for a spring semester and a fall semester and run the duration of a typical school semester.

Vegan Culinary Academy
Where is it? Anguin, California
What do they offer? Online courses and a 1000 hour professional apprenticeship
When do the programs run? Anytime
Website: veganculinaryacademy.com

There are two major highlights of this school – first, someone who is looking for a professional apprenticeship opportunity will find it here, and it can be completed in six months to two years depending on how much you work, and second, they offer a distance learning program. The online program requires only that you have a camera and a computer with internet, and each student gets personal attention from the instructors in addition to all of the class materials and lessons. The apprenticeship is geared toward those who are already chefs, dietitians or food service directors.

Heaven on Earth Vegetarian Institute
Where is it? Hamilton-Stoney Creek, Ontario
What do they offer? A vegan, macrobiotic and ayurvedic 3-module program
When do the programs run? Mid-October to mid-March for all 3 modules
Website: heavenstudio.ca

This institute offers a Holistic Health Consultant & Cooking Certification program that runs in 3 modules and goes far beyond cooking. It delves into many aspects of holistic health, including yoga, pranayama, diet and lifestyle changes for preventing diseases, and of course healthy food preparation. All of the cooking is vegan with the exception of one class, where fish is included.

Natural Kitchen Cooking School
Where is it? Mercerfield, New Jersey, Haddonfield, New Jersey and New York City
What do they offer? A natural chef training program
When do the programs run? October to May, one weekend each month
Website: naturalkitchenschool.com

This school has several locations and occurs during weekends, making it more accessible. The class sizes are kept small (12 or less) so personal attention and assistance can be given.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does cover the major vegan-friendly cooking schools out there. Every year, more and more small classes pop up in different cities, so if you’re just looking for some basic instruction and have no interest in pursuing a career in cooking, check out what your city (or nearby city) has to offer. If you are looking to get serious with preparing that awesome vegan food, there are a few great choices on this list that could help you achieve your dreams.