The Starch Solution by McDougall
I'm currently reading The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! by Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall. This slant on the whole-foods plant-based diet might be a valuable option for some who don't seem to do as well on raw foods. Check it out and see what you think!
There have been several books written about low-carbohydrate diets in the past decade or two. These include such luminaries as Protein Power by Mary Dan and Michael Eades; Enter the Zone by Barry Sears; Eat Right 4 Your Type by Peter D’Adamo; South Beach Diet by Arthur Agaston; The New Atkins for a New You by Eric Westeman; The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain. The Paleo Diet has been one of the more recent and very popular low-carb books, and I’m going to explain some of the major reason why these low-carb diet books are not going to work, and how they are unhealthy for people.
1. Very little peer-reviewed research published to support these types of diets
2. Imprecise data from the Paleolithic times; indirect procedures must be used to reconstruct the traditional diet of pre-agricultural humans.
3. The view of the authors of these books has been challenged on several grounds by other eminent scientists and researchers, such as assuming that contemporary hunter-gatherers are representative of historical hunter-gatherers.
4. There is no evidence that genetic adaptations favoring the consumption of animal-based foods could have occurred to convert early humans into true carnivores.
5. Humans cannot synthesize vitamin C, which is only made in plants. Other mammals that require vitamin C are all plant eaters, so why would humans be any different?
6. For most of the early human history, people did not have the speed or strength [or methods] to catch and slaughter large animals for food, making the possibility of diets high in animal protein rather slim.
7. Human anatomy compares well with that of our nearest non-human primate relatives, like chimpanzees, who have always relied on a primarily plant-based diet. Humans and chimpanzees share a similar intestinal anatomy, and the diets of the non-human primates consist of only 4 to 6 percent animal-based food, mostly from termites and ants.
8. The highly questionable nature of animal versus plant food dietary estimates taken from archaeological studies, due to the fact that plant foods leave little to no trace in fossilized remains is suspect. Additionally, we don’t know much about the lifespans of prehistoric humans; if they didn’t live long enough to develop food-related diseases, then fossil remains can’t be used as evidence about long-term health consequences of a particular diet.
9. There are no peer-reviewed studies showing an association of lower rates of diet-related diseases and low-carb/Paleo diets.
10. A whole-foods plant-based diet has been repeatedly shown to provide substantial health-related benefits that are fairly rapid and relatively free of side effects. There is a substantial body of evidence to support a vegetarian, vegan and even raw foods diet as being much healthier for most humans, than a low-carb or “Paleo” diet has shown. Stick with a roughly 80% carbohydrate, 10% protein and 10% [or less] fat and most people will do much better in maintaining their health.
You can read more about the contrasts of a whole-foods, plant-based diet to low-carbohydrate, high protein/high fat diets in the following books:
The Low-Carb Fraud by Campbell and Jacobson
The China Study by Campbell and Campbell
Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease by Dean Ornish
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by C.J. Esselstyn
The Starch Solution by John McDougall and Mary McDougall
21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health by Neal Barnard
Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Furhman
The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life, One Luscious Bite at a Time by Dr. Douglas N. Graham
[Specifically for the Big Island]
1. It’s VERY easy to grow your own food in most places on the island [a few areas are pretty dry and may be more difficult without irrigation; a few other areas/locales are a little too wet].
2. Farmer’s markets are widespread, even in the very rural areas.
3. The warm weather. Year-round, the weather in most places on the Big Island makes it fairly easy to grow many food items. In some areas, such as higher on one of the mountains, it might be harder to grow some items. The warm weather also makes it easier to eat more fruit if one is interested in being a primarily fruitarian.
4. The variety of fruits and vegetables is awesome! One can find some unusual or rare kinds of fruits that are much more difficult to get on the mainland, such as coconuts and durians [not to mention many others; see our photo gallery for additional tropical fruits].
8 Reasons Why it's hard to be a vegetarian, vegan, raw fooder and/or animal rights activist in Hawaii
[Specifically for the Big Island]
1. No organized groups, at all [unless you count animal welfare organizations such as trap, neuter, release programs].
2. Very few veggie-friendly restaurants [that focus or highlight vegetarian items].
3. Small [< 200,000 people] and very spread out population which makes it hard for people to get together if someone wants to organize an event.
4. Five to six “health food stores”; three are owned by the same individual. Three are on the Hilo [east side] of the island; two are on the west side [Kailua-Kona area] of the island. There used to be two more on the west side, but they closed in 2013, so the choices are now even more limited. There may still be one at the north end of the island. Also, these stores are rather small, and there is nothing like a Whole Foods or other larger ‘health food store’ on the Big Island [and I haven’t heard of any plans to bring one]. There was a “Down to Earth” but it closed.
5. The ‘big box’ supermarkets have pretty typical offerings; a few are incorporating more organic and ‘natural’ products, but not many.
6. Few veggie-friendly places to visit or stay [I know of only a couple that have as one focus vegetarianism, but it is not their primary focus].
7. The main businesses of Hawaii are tourism [specifically for the mainland U.S. and Japanese travelers, as well as a few other more minor countries] and medical-related companies.
8. The host culture focuses on meat-based items [the luau highlights a roast pig, for example].
by Willow Aureala
I don't know about you, but over the past several years I have heard a LOT about genetics and cancer [along with genetics and obesity, genetics and other disorders]. Genetics seems to be a really hot topic in these times; however, Dr. T. Colin Campbell's research in the famous China study [along with many other studies] showed that there is a much higher link to cancer when people eat protein from animal sources than from their genetics. His [and others'] research showed, for example, that rats and people who ate a diet high in animal protein [he compared, for example, rats given a 5% diet in casein protein and rats given a diet in 20% casein protein; casein is the primary protein in cow's milk] we much more likely to get many different forms of cancer than those who ate a low protein diet. Now, if you're like me, you might wonder how much of a difference rat diets and rat metabolism compared to human diets and metabolism there may be. Campbell reports that rats and humans have an almost identical need for protein, that protein operates the same way in rats as it does humans, and that the level of protein intake causing tumor growth is the same is the same level that humans consume (1, p. 65). Studies were also done with mice. And, from the China study, Campbell and his colleagues also found that people who ate higher levels of animal protein also had higher levels of different forms of cancer. Based on these and other studies, Campbell writes: "The results of these, and many other studies, showed nutrition to be far more important in controlling cancer promotion than the does of the initiating carcinogen (1, p. 66). Another pattern emerged from research on animal and plant-based proteins: "nutrients from animal-based foods increased tumor development while nutrients in plant-based foods decreased tumor development" (1, p. 66). The China study involved a rather homogenous group of people, called Han, so genetic influences were all but ruled out. Campbell's [and others'] conclusion from the various research studies on protein is that we should only get about 10% of our calories or energy from protein [or 50-60 grams]; the average American eats more along the lines of 15-16% [or 70-100 grams] (according to Campbelll at the time his book on the China Study was published in 2008; the amount of protein consumed by Americans may have increased since then).
There are about 12 grams of protein in 100 calories of spinach [15 ounces], 5 grams of protein in 100 calories of raw chick peas [about 2 tablespoons], and about 13 grams of prein in 100 calories of porterhouse steak (about 1 1/2 ounces).
Campbell and other researchers discovered that a low protein diet of 5% even reduced or eliminated certain markers [called foci] of cancer (1, p. 58-9)! Additional studies were conducted comparing plant and animal proteins, with the result being that plant protein did not promote cancer growth, even at higher levels of intake, as compared to casein (1, p. 59). Even wheat gluten did not produce cancer at 20% levels of intake. Thus, concludes Campbell, it is possible that cancer could be controlled through nutrition! Campbell, who had been raised on a dairy farm, and had believed, as many others of his time believed, that dairy was a superb protein source. As his research continued on for more decades, his belief about protein [and other notions about nutrition] was radically altered. Plant sources became a much more sound choice, and now he promotes a 'whole food plant based diet' (see his book Whole for more info, too). And, of course, Campbell is not alone in his attitude shift or belief about nutrition; many others have come to the same conclusion. Why many others, including intelligent scientists, refuse to act on the abundant research on a whole foods plant based diet is for another story!
So, when people ask you "Where do you get your protein?" you can say, "fortunately, I get mine from healthy plant sources, and am much less likely to develop horrible diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or other "diseases of affluence like diabetes!
1. Campbell, T.C. and Campbell, T. M. 2008. The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.Benbella Books, Dallas, Tx.
By Willow Aureala
[Note: this article relates to adults, not children]
A few years ago, I came across an article, somewhere on the internet, about DHA and that it may be low or deficient in a vegan, raw food diet, or perhaps even in a vegetarian diet. So, I was reading about this fatty acid, and I came to the conclusion, at that time, that I would do well to add some into my nutritional plan. I did some additional research about essential fatty acids, the different forms of essential fatty acids, and found that there was one company at the time, DEVA, who sold a DHA supplement that was for vegans [sold in vegan capsules and made from algae; most DHA supplementation comes from fish oils and is sold in gel caps, which are not vegan]. However, I decided that the DEVA product was too expensive, and decided to try using flaxseed oil [as flaxseed oil was also recommended for essential fatty acids for vegans/vegetarians], but gave that up after a while, partially because I didn’t notice any difference [although now I know that this isn’t relevant; more on that below], and partially due to cost. However, I recently came upon another article about DHA and decided to investigate it using peer-reviewed scientific research, rather than just reading about it on the internet from suspect sources.
I do want to reveal that examining DHA and essential fatty acids in an article is using ‘reductionist’ research [examining individual components outside of the whole], which Dr. Campbell, one of my nutrition heroes, warns about in his book Whole. As revealed in his book Whole, an apple’s nutrients work quite differently in the body when eaten whole, as compared to breaking down its components and making them into supplements, and this may be the same for other things such as DHA. But, for now, DHA seems an important topic for a healthy raw vegan diet, so until I have additional information that causes me to change my mind, this article provides the current state of the art in research on the topic. It may well be that vegans or raw food vegans can get enough of the ‘good’ beneficial essential fatty acids in a well-rounded diet, and that we don’t need to worry or wonder about ‘elements’ such as minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. But, it is helpful to have a good understanding of these nutritional topics, so I will forge ahead in this article on DHA.
To understand DHA, we need to know a bit about essential fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids are named because they are ‘essential’ [we can’t live without them and our bodies don’t make them] and our bodies need them to do other things. Essential fatty acids are also referred to as PUFAs: polyunsaturated fatty acids, and researchers report that long-chain PUFAs are more beneficial than short chain fatty acids. Omega-3 (n-3) is considered an important PUFA. Long-chain PUFAs are in such things as fish and algae, and have been found to have positive effects on blood fat and heart function (2). Researchers have found that vegetarians and vegans tend to be deficient in long-chain n-3 fatty acids, in particular EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), as these are found more in animal sources (especially fatty fish but also eggs and seaweed) than plant sources (1; 5). Welch et al found, however, that the differences were not as large, between meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters, in the amount of n-3 PUFAs, indicating that perhaps a conversion of ALA to DHA is higher than was thought before (2010 p. 1040). ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) is another essential fatty acid. ALA is found in a variety of foods, such as walnuts, flax seed, hemp seed, rapeseed [canola] oil, soya and some leafy green vegetables. ALA can be converted in the body into EPA and DHA, but this may require a large amount of ALA in order to produce [or convert via enzymes] more long-chain DHA and EPA (5, p.1040-41). However, one research article found that increased supplementation of ALA increased EPA but not DHA in blood plasma levels (4, p. 137). Also, Sanders wrote that “small amounts of preformed [I’m guessing he meant supplementation with DHA] DHA (as low as 200 mg) result in a large increase in the proportion of blood lipids in vegetarians and vegans” (2009, p. 137). Similarly, a study by Wu et al (2006) found that supplementation with DHA increased the levels of DHA and EPA, as well as decreasing cholesterol (which is also a good thing) (p. 386). So, this means that taking a DHA supplement does increase plasma levels of DHA; the question remains, however, is this increase meaningful and necessary to maintain good health? Sanders also points out that “there is no evidence of adverse effects on health or cognitive function with lower DHA intake in vegetarians” (2009, p. 137).
Another issue is that converting ALA to EPA can be negatively affected due to ‘competition’ when omega-6 PUFAs are ingested as enzymes compete for conversion (5, p. 1041). This leads to the concern over intake of too much omega-6 fatty acids that I’ve seen in discussions and articles on the topic of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
So, what should a vegetarian, vegan or raw food vegan person do about DHA and supplementation, if anything?
Dr. John McDougall reports on some of the same research I've reviewed above in his book The Starch Solution and comes to the conclusion that humans get plenty of DHA from plant sources.
Jack Norris, RD, has a recommended supplementation program for vegans, if one decides to supplement:
· To get the same or similar levels of DHA in the diet as meat-eaters or fish-eaters, take a DHA supplement with 300 mg per day; OR
· To ensure that one likely has an adequate amount of DHA in case one’s body isn’t making enough, supplement with 200-300 mg every two to three days [the insurance option].
· Those over 60 years of age would probably do well to supplement with 300mg per day of DHA.
· Avoid omega-6 oils: reduce or cut out oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and oils labeled ‘vegetable oils’ and sesame oil as these contain higher amounts of omega-6 oil. Use instead olive, avocado, peanut or canola oil [although some believe that canola oil is very bad for people to use]. If you cook, only cook canola oil for short periods of time with low heat.
· Add some ALA to your diet. Include about 0.5 g of uncooked ALA daily, which would be the equivalent of: 1/5 ounce of English (not black) walnuts (about 3 halves); ¼ tsp flaxseed oil; 1 tsp canola oil; or 1 tsp ground flax seeds. [Another source also suggested 1 TBSP of chia seeds.] I like to grind the flax seeds and put them on my salads or other evening meal. They could also be included in smoothies.
While we have limited data at the present, probably a good combination of the above would be to supplement with an algae-based DHA capsule [or, DHA is also available as an oil in a dropper delivery system] every 2 to 3 days or so; eat a few walnut halves, add flaxseed oil or ground flaxseeds to one’s smoothies or evening meals every day or every other day; and avoid the omega-6 oils, at least until we know more about DHA levels (and other essential fatty acids) in vegetarians, vegans and raw fooders.
(Norris also cautions that “too much” omega-3 can cause bruising and bleeding in some people, and suggests consulting a professional if this is a concern.)
[you can read more DHA and essential oils on Jack Norris’ website: http://veganhealth.org/articles/omega3 ]
1. Lu, SC; Lu, WH; Lee, CA; Chou, HF; Lee, HR; Huang, PC. 2000. LDL of Taiwanese vegetarians are less oxidizable than those of omnivores. Journal of Nutrition, 130, 1591-1596.
2. Mori, T.A. and Beilin, L.J. 2001. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids blood lipids and cardiovascular risk reduction. Current Opinion in Lipidology, 12, 11-17.
3. Norris, Jack April 2014. Omega-3 fatty acid recommendations for vegetarians. Retrieved from: http://veganhealth.org/articles/omega3
4. Sanders, Thomas A.B. 2009. DHA status of vegetarians. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 81, 137-141.
5. Welch, A.A; Shakya-Shresthra, S.; Lentjes, Marleen; Wareham, Nicholas; Khaw, Kay-tee. 2010. Dietary intake and status of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in a population fish-eating and non-fish eating meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans and the precursor product ratio of alpha-linoleic acid to long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92, 1040-1051.
6. Wu, WH; Lu, SC; Wang, TF; Jou, HJ; and Wang, TA. 2006. Effects of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation on blood lipids, estrogen metabolism, and in vivo oxidative stress in post-menopausal vegetarian women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 60, 386-392.
Spirulina: 10 Reasons Why It's Important for Raw Fooders [and vegans and vegetarians]
By Willow Aureala
I remember in the 1970s hearing about spirulina from my mother and her friends. They were talking about spirulina as being a replacement for regular ‘food’ because it contained so many nutrients. I think my mother tried eating [or drinking] just spirulina for a while, but found it too difficult to replace all of her food with spirulina tablets or powder. I don’t remember if I tried it then or not. That sort of ended that experiment with the ‘supplement of all times’!
Fast forward to 2014, and I’ve been eating or using spirulina in my foods [such as salads, smoothies and the like] for many years now on the assumption that spirulina is a healthy additional substance (based on all those ‘alternative health people’ telling me that spirulina is good for me!). However, I was just going on assumptions based on what I’ve heard and what little I’ve read, and I’ve been wondering if my assumptions are accurate. So, I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out if spirulina is indeed a healthy and nutritious substance for humans to eat, and whether or not it is an important addition to a vegan or raw food diet.
What is spirulina? Is it a healthy, nutritious superfood? Is it important for vegetarians, vegans or raw fooders? Does spirulina help make us more ‘alkaline’? Does it contain important nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals, or other elements as have been described and touted by some in the ‘alternative health’ industry?
I did some research, starting with a general internet search, and didn’t find anything scholarly [peer-reviewed]. Then I did another general internet search using a different search engine, and found some interesting articles that I was able to obtain from a library. Here are some highlights of what I discovered from scholarly, peer-reviewed articles (the articles are the numbers in parentheses; see references) on the subject of spirulina:
1. What is spirulina? It is a “microalgae that includes a diverse group of prokaryotic and eukaryotic photosynthetic microorganisms that can grow rapidly due to their simple structure. They are microscopic unicellular organisms capable of converting solar energy to chemical energy using photosynthesis” (4, p. 4123). Nuhu says that calling cyanobacteria algae is a misnomer as they are true prokaryocytes that are very similar to eubacteria (3, p. 1). Cyanobacteria, another form of algae, is one of the oldest known microorganisms, having been dated to 3.5 billion years ago on our planet (4, p. 4123).
2. Some of the many bioactive compounds found in microalgae include: 50-70% protein [also 1, p. 1231; 3], 30% lipids, 8-14% carotene, polyunsaturated fats [PUFAs or essential fatty acids some of which humans can’t synthesize [also 5, p. 480], astaxanthin, acetogenins, bromophenols, terpenes, sterols, alkaloids, minerals, carbohydrates, y-linoleic acid, antioxidants (1, p. 1231; 3, p. 2; 6, p. 96 ), and “fairly high concentrations of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, C, E, K, D, and others” (1; 4, p. 4124, 4125, 4127). The minerals in spirulina are Potassium, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Selenium, Sodium, Zinc (1, p. 1231). Spirulina also contains enzymes, such as lipase (1, p. 1231). The broad composition of spirulina is this: protein, 50-70%; carbohydrates, 12-15%; lipids, 6-13%; nucleic acids, 4.2-6%; and minerals, 2.2-4.8% (1, p. 1231).
3. Vitamin B12 bioavailability: there has been much discussion in different arenas regarding the actual bioavailability of nutrients found in different foods, such as the tomato and lycopene, where researchers have claimed that the lycopene is absorbed and utilized by the body only when cooked, but the research results about this topic is still being debated. Regarding the bioavailability of B12 in spirulina, according to some authors (1, p. 1232), only 36% of the B12 in spirulina is “active in humans”, which means that although there may be a higher than necessary amount of B12 in spirulina, the human body may not be able to synthesize and utilize all of it. The other vitamins and minerals found in spirulina appear to be more bioavailable, in general, however. For example, iron, B1, B2, and B3 are shown to be absorbed by the human body in appropriate amounts (1, p. 1232).
4. “Calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium are present in quantities [in spirulina] comparable to found in milk” (1, p. 1232).
5. Some cyanobacteria have been found to have toxic properties, but not spirulina (3, p. 2).
6. Anitoxidant properties of Spirulina have been attributed to phycocyanin and allophycocyanin, which are called phycobiliproteins (3, p. 2).
7. Spirulina fusiformis has been found to have free radical scavenging activities (3, p. 2). Peptides are also important components (“bioactive substances”) found in marine organisms, including microalgae.
8. Enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase and lipase, are also found in microalgae (1, p. 1231; 5, p. 483).
9. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is currently being manufactured from microalgae (more on DHA in another article) (4, p. 4125).
10.The Omega-3 fatty acids that have been touted as reducing coronary heart disease, and thus, many practitioners have been recommending taking fish oil supplements or eating more fish instead of other meat, are thought to come from the plankton in the ocean’s food chain (4, p. 4128).
I have a bottle of spirulina that I purchased through Costco. On the label I see: “Nature’s Multi-Vitamin” and “All Natural” and “Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica.” I’ve actually been to the laboratory in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii [a huge outdoor facility] that produces this spirulina and have seen their production process myself. And, even though it’s grown on the island where I live, it’s still very expensive to purchase even on the island. For the “supplement facts” part of the label, I read [notice the genus and species name]:
Serving size: 1 teaspoon (3 g)
Amount per serving
< 1 g
Hawaiian Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis)
Gamma Linolenic Acid [GLA]
Superoxide dismutase (SOD)
*Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
**Daily Value not established.
In conclusion, it appears that spirulina would be a valuable addition to a raw fooder, vegan or vegetarian diet [or just about anyone else’s diet], although I don’t think I’d call it a ‘superfood’. There appear to be plenty of nutrients that are valuable for this group of people, especially protein [as one answer to “Where do you get your protein?” question, although there is a low percentage of protein available in one teaspoon] and Vitamin B12 which is a concern for many on a vegetarian, vegan or raw food diet (although vegans and raw foodists may still want to take a supplement for B12 due to the fact that not all of the B12 found in spirulina is absorbed by the human body) . Whether or not it helps with the alkalinity/acidity issue, I am unsure. It wasn’t discussed in any of the literature [peer-reviewed scholarly articles] that I found or could find. It was also a bit confusing when reading about microalgae whether the authors are referring to different species or specifically Spirulina spp. For example, in some articles I read, the authors seemed to be saying that specific nutrients come from a different species of microalgae. However, it appears that, in general, what is sold as “spirulina” would be adequate and probably accounts for most of the nutritional spirulina sold as consumable for humans. Be sure to purchase from a reputable source; I’ve gotten a ‘bad’ batch of spirulina once from NOW. Just one time, though, in all the years I’ve been buying it. Nori and Chlorella may also be valuable additions to a healthy diet, as they also contain bioavailable B12 (2).
I don’t eat spirulina every day, but maybe I should put it in more things, such as smoothies and salads. I do like to put it in my “modified guacamole” and sometimes the ‘souper salad’ that a friend and I created [see recipes]. Thus, I encourage you to consider adding it [and, perhaps, Chlorella and nori; you can mix and match!] to your nutritional plan; spirulina appears to be a healthy and nutritional alga that could be added to many of your recipes. The taste is not unpleasant, but if you put it in a smoothie (certainly in green smoothies!) or a raw soup or something like that, you might not even be able to taste it! Or, perhaps, you might develop recipes that incorporate spirulina to make healthful, green spirulina dishes! Go raw! :)
1. Hoseini, S.M.; Khosravi-Darani, K. & Mozofari, M.R. 2013. Nutritional and medical applications of spirulina microalgae. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, 13, 1231-1237.
2. Kumudha, A; Kumar, S.S.; Thakur, M.S.; Ravishankar, G.A. and Sarada, R. 2010. Purification, identification, and characterization of methylcobalamin from Spirulina platensis. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 58, 9925-9930.
3. Nuhu, Abdulmumin A. 2013. Spirulina (Arthrospira): An important source of nutritional and medicinal compounds. Journal of Marine Biology, p. 1-8.
4. Priyadarshani, I and Rath, B. 2012. Bioactive compounds from microalgae and cyanobacteria: Utility and applications. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 3(11), 4123-4130.
5. Raposo, M.F. dJ.; de Morais, R.M.S.C.; and de Morais, A.M.M.B. 2013. Health applications of biocompounds from marine microalgae. Life Sciences, 93, 479-486.
6. Samuels, R; Mani, U.V.; Iyer, U.M., and Nayak, US 2002. Hypocholesterolemic effect of spirulina in patients with hyperlipidemic nephrotic syndrome. Journal of Medicinal Food, 5(2), p. 91-6.
I'm not sure we have enough heroes today. Thus, I consider Dr. T. Colin Campbell my hero. I recently read T. Colin Campbell's book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition [and he was co-author of the China Study] and I loved it! He is my new hero because his book covers some very important topics that I really appreciated: why the whole food plant based diet is the healthiest for most humans [based on his and others' many years of scientific research]; the Big Pharma and problems with it; some of the major problems with the "disease care industry" in the U.S.; the cruelty involved in the "meat" industry; how most (approximately 90-95%) of the 'diseases' currently afflicting many Americans could be solved by healthy nutrition alone (and Dr. Campbell isn't alone in this percentage; see Dr. Roy Wolford and Lisa Wolford's 1994 book The Anti-Aging Plan, where the authors suggest at least 85% of diseases can be controlled by diet/nutrition); Dr. Campbell's naivete in believing that good scientific evidence would convince others how important the whole food plant-based diet is (I can relate to that!); how even many cancers would be either prevented or halted with a whole foods plant-based diet; that our country's disease care system is unfortunately linked to profit, which makes it difficult for those in the industry to truly focus on health and prevention; that reductionist thinking is creating more problems than it may be solving; he even lambasts the supplement industry [which I applaud him for; I, too, became disenchanted with the supplement industry many years ago]; and many other important topics.
I appreciated reading in Whole about the research conducting by a Dr. Liu [a former student of Dr. Campbell's], who studied antioxidants and other factors in apples. After Dr. Liu discovered how rich the antioxidants are in apples, he then conducted 'reductionist' research and analyzed the apple's parts and made an amazing discovery: the whole apple is much better [more nutritious] than its parts! Less nutrition, including antioxidants, are available when the apple is broken down for selling as supplements than is the whole apple. I found this very ironic, and appreciated even more the now defunct magazine entitled Just Eat An Apple that Frederic Patenaude wrote and published for a few years. Fred named the magazine because, according to Fred's book Raw Food Controversies, RC Dini used to say, "just eat an apple!" when people would ask him "what should I eat for protein?" Right on Dr. Campbell, Dr. Liu, Fred and RC Dini!
With Whole, Dr. Campbell is contributing to the growing amount of research conducted by reputable scientists, medical doctors, researchers, and others how important eating a healthy, whole plant-based foods is, and how unhealthy meat, dairy and processed foods are. Whole built on the foundation of Dr. Campbell's China Study and other research, and helps support the vegetarian, vegan and raw food tenants, as well as noting how damaging the meat and dairy industry's practices are, which have been written about by several authors, notably John Robbins in Diet for a New America, as well as others. I found Dr. Campbell's book to be especially exciting and inspirational because he not only covers so many important topics that I have been reading about and researching on my own for years, but as a researcher and scientist himself, with other 40 years of research under his belt, his information packs a wallop!
I also appreciated Dr. Campbell's story that he naively thought that by telling others the truth, based on sound science, the disease care system would change. When I was in my 'activist' mode many years ago, participating in tabling sessions, going on the radio and television shows, participating in debates and the like, I, too, naively thought that by telling the truth, things would change. Dr. Campbell's experience shows that while some people change, getting the disease care system to change is going to be extremely difficult.
I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to read Whole, and refer you to the reading list noted elsewhere on this website for other related books; the more we educate ourselves, as well as have supporting evidence for important topics such as diet and animal cruelty, the more we can make informed decisions! We [I] may not be able to change the world as fast as we'd [I'd] like, but we can change our own way of thinking and eating, and make positive in-roads in our own lives!
Did you know that many nutcrackers, especially those that can crack macnuts (or macadamia nuts, which have one of the hardest shells of all the nuts), cost about $80 [or more]??! That’s crazy!
Well, I’m going to share with you how to make a FREE nutcracker that WILL crack macnuts, as well as other nuts, and it should take you about 10 minutes [or less]! And, you only need a rock and chisel to make it!
First, find a decently heavy rock, ideally with one flat side. The flat side will rest on the ground so that it’s stable.
Second, use the chisel to create a small rounded hole; you might want to make it about ½” deep at first, then test it to see if it will crack a few nuts and to see if you need to make it bigger. It’s better to make it not deep enough, then test it, then you can make it deeper if need be. And, that’s it! You’ve got a free nutcracker! The only thing you might need to purchase is some kind of hammer. A regular hammer might not work; a 2 or 3 lb steel sledge hammer seems to be ideal for cracking macnuts, but not smashing the nut meat inside the shell. I was able to find a used sledge hammer for a buck at a garage sale! (thanks to G.P. for the idea of using a rock to make a nutcracker!)
The picture below shows a rock with a small hole carved into the middle of it; might be a bit difficult to see, but there is an indentation in the middle of the rock and it works great in cracking macnuts, as it does in cracking other types of nuts, too!
The authors of the blog could be either Willow or Allan of Anima Journey.