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Tag: whole foods

Lifestyle changes as effective as angioplasty for heart disease

As obesity has increased in the United States, diabetes has reached near- epidemic levels. About 24 million people are afflicted, most of them with Type 2, also known as adult-onset, diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common effects of diabetes: About 65 percent of diabetics die from heart disease or stroke.

The Los Angeles Times reports research results showing that, “for most patients with diabetes and clogged arteries who have not had a heart attack, treatment with drugs and lifestyle changes are as effective at reducing death as immediate bypass surgery or angioplasty.” (italics are mine)

A 2007 study of nondiabetics also found that drug treatment and lifestyle changes were as effective as angioplasty in preventing deaths.

Hmmmm… Let me get this straight. Does this mean that someone suffering from heart disease, be they diabetic or not, could get the same clear-artery results just from changing their lifestyle (diet and exercise) and drug regimen as they can from undergoing a traumatic and invasive angioplasty procedure?

I’m not going to address the drug regimen as I’m not a medical doctor, but as a Certified Nutritional Consultant I do feel absolutely comfortable with the statement that one of the best lifestyle changes you can do to manage or reverse heart disease and/or diabetes is to follow a Perfectly Whole Foods Diet as much as possible and eschew the processed, artificial foods so prevalent in our modern world.

The mainstream medical community is starting to recognize that the prescription for robust health and healing must include as a whole foods-based diet. More and more alternative therapies are being integrated into mainstream medicine. Maybe some day more doctors will prescribe better foods along with or instead of more drugs and surgeries. The change is coming.

The Perfectly Whole Foods Diet: A path to health.

The Stoll Foundation for Holistic Health offers today’s guest post by Kam Tecaya on The Perfectly Whole Foods Diet. I love sharing this with you because it explains an eating philosophy I wholeheartedly believe in and strive to follow as much as possible. Much gratitude to Dr. Walt Stoll for helping us along on to our journey toward health.

Eating fewer refined foods and more natural, whole foods greatly improves health.  It’s not a new concept, but unfortunately our fast-paced, convenience-oriented, adulterated-taste-bud society requires that we need to be taught how to eat healthful foods.  Many people, especially in the west, do not understand that the foods they eat harm them.

Nature designs foods a certain way on purpose.  Whole foods contain numerous nutrients that work synergistically with each other to create a nutritive, healing affect in our bodies.  When we consume refined foods for several years, we deplete the natural stores of micronutrients in our bodies, and eventually symptoms develop.  However, restoring health can be easy, delicious, and inexpensive.

A whole food is one that has nothing removed.  When you peel a carrot, remove a potato skin, or remove bran from wheat, these foods become refined.  A limited amount of processing can take place, like grinding, mashing, or drying — as long as nothing is removed.  Carbohydrates are the most commonly altered foods and also the most offensive to our bodies when they are so altered.

The Perfectly Whole Foods Diet (PWFD) is one where all refined carbohydrates are avoided completely.  For the quickest and greatest results for any health issue, use the PWFD.  It is not hard to follow the PWFD and the advantages are huge.

The benefits of eating a whole foods diet, especially the Perfectly Whole Foods Diet, are wide ranging and can be dramatically positive.  Everything from physical illness to mental illness can be alleviated.  Chronic pain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, acid reflux, obesity, and allergies are just a few of the many physical ailments that will likely be aided, and possibly totally eliminated, by eating a whole foods diet.  Also, it is too seldom remembered that our mental health is directly linked to our physical health.  Research has shown that changes in diet have huge impact on ADD, autism, depression, PMS, and even serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.

The Stoll Foundation for Holistic Health is a non-profit organization that aims to reach people seeking alternatives to drugs and surgery to improve their health.  We improve the lives of people we connect with through health education, offering inexpensive solutions for disease reversal, and providing support for a healthy lifestyle.  To learn more, and if you or someone you know could use extra support in taking charge of their own health, please see our website at or email  We have compiled a list of resources covering everything from self-help wellness programs to resources for the uninsured.  We are here to help you help yourself to feel better.

Do Diabetics Need to Limit Carbs?

Reader question: As a type 2 diabetic I look for healthy recipes, & the immune boosting food sounded like a great thing. But when reading the carbs @110 per serving — OMG we are only allowed 60 carbs per meal. This is not at all doable.

I’m sad to learn that you must be operating on outdated dietary information if you limit yourself to so few carbs. Where is your body getting the fuel to run? The American Diabetes Association recommends a “whole foods” diet, not one in which you count carbs.

Limiting carbs is helpful when you’re eating processed foods which lack nutrition anyway. In the natural health world, we’ve seen diabetic patients be able to wean off of insulin by following a “Perfect Whole Foods” diet, as described in the book Recapture Your Health by Dr. Walt Stoll and Jan DeCourtney.

While my recipes are based on whole foods and can be used when following a perfect whole foods diet, some contain items which are fine for normal eaters (like white rice) but stray a bit from the absolutism needed for a diabetic eating regime (substitute for brown rice). My cookbook, Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Healthy Approach to Dutch-Oven Cooking, is not directed at diabetics per se; they are just one of the groups of chronic disease sufferers — not mention regular people — that can benefit from eating a whole foods-based diet.

Spaghetti Squash

Last week I introduced my kids to spaghetti squash. They were happily eating away when I crowed about them eating “squash.” The mistake I made was in calling it “squash”. I should have just called it “noodles,” which I tried to do to salvage the meal, but it was too late.

Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash

I love spaghetti squash. One summer I grew it in the garden and we ate spaghetti squash weekly until January. That might have been a little much spaghetti squash, even for me.

I took a class on squash once and learned that you can pretty much cook squash any way you want: boiling, baking, roasting, microwave, slow cooker, etc. My preferred way to cook spaghetti squash is to wash it off, set it on a baking sheet, stab it with a knife a few times on the top (so the steam can escape the cavity), and leave it in the oven until it’s soft and an inserted knife doesn’t encounter any resistance. I’ll often bake it at 400F, but it doesn’t matter what temp you use; the hotter the oven, the faster it will cook, of course.

Once it’s soft, remove it from the oven, let it cook for maybe 20 minutes, until you can handle it, and slice it lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Then, take a fork and gently work it through the strands like a comb, until you have lots of “noodles.”

At this point, I usually put a pile of squash on a plate and top it with marinara sauce and veggies for a quick and easy meal.

If you’re trying to avoid simple carbs, like pasta, spaghetti squash is a great substitute. Filling, yet completely digestable as a whole food, we like to have it as a main course.

I had some left over last week, so I added it to homemade chicken soup and used it as soup noodles. This got a mixed review from the kids: my daughter loved it and my son refused to touch it.

Win some, lose some. As usual, I’ll keep presenting the new food until it becomes familiar and accepted. In the meantime, I’ve still got some extra squash left over. I’m thinking about adding it to a quiche of rainbow chard and mushrooms… I’ll keep you updated.

Foods that aren’t really food anymore

Many of the nutritious foods in our world have been hijacked by industries that have processed, refined, added, and mutated the item so that it has little in common with it’s healthful ancestor.

Yogurt, breakfast cereal, and pizza are just a few of the foods named in the list of Good Foods Gone Bad.

The best foods have the fewest ingredients on their labels, or better yet, no labels at all, and a short shelf life.

For instance, when choosing a processed product, such as fish sticks, which contain good-for-you pollack or other white fish, check the label and be sure you can identify the rest of the ingredients used in the breading. Avoid high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, and anything unpronounceable and you won’t be shooting yourself in the heart instead of giving your heart a boost.

To continue with the fish stick example, my family enjoys Ian’s Fish Sticks just for this reason. Here is the ingredient list for Ian’s Fish Sticks: minced pollock, unbleached wheat flour, evaporated cane juice, yeast, sea salt, water, wheat starch, wheat flour, cottonseed oil, garlic.

Nothing unpronouceable. No trans fats. Real sugar, not a sugar substitute. In short, everything is familiar. In my book, these fish sticks are an okay packaged food to serve my family on occasion. I’d love to hear your opinion!