How to Make Fasting Easier, Safer and More Effective

In the podcast above, Chris Kresser — an acupuncturist, licensed integrative medicine clinician and co-director of the California Center for Functional Medicine — and I talk about KetoFasting, the program I developed and detail in my latest book, “KetoFast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Timing Your Ketogenic Meals,” which launches today. Within a week or two the accompanying KetoFast cookbook will also be released.

My previous book, “Fat for Fuel,” released May 16, 2017, became an instant nationwide No. 1 best seller, beating out the No. 2 best-selling book by a significant margin.1

However, while The Washington Post and some others accurately listed “Fat for Fuel” as No. 1 based on Nielsen ratings for that first week,2 The New York Times (NYT) — considered the pre-eminent list of best-selling books in the U.S. since 1931 — didn’t even include it in their top 15.3

Such a blatant omission is highly unusual, so Hay House, my publisher for that book, reached out to find out why the NYT censored it. The NYT replied the book was “disqualified” because too many of the sales went through Amazon. This in and of itself is unusual, considering Amazon is a primary outlet for all books.

Based on what happened with “Fat for Fuel,” I expect more of the same with “KetoFast.” Still, the NYT was unable to prevent “Fat for Fuel” from becoming a best-seller and fueling a keto revolution that is now the hottest lifestyle trend around, and I doubt the NYT will be able to quell the success of KetoFasting either, even if they decide to repeat their censorship.

From ‘Fat for Fuel’ to ‘KetoFast’

There’s no doubt conventional, government-approved advice has utterly failed to help people manage their weight and prevent disease. We’re facing overwhelming rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s, with future projections heralding more of the same. We need a radical U-turn, and the foundations for how to accomplish that are clearly spelled out in “Fat for Fuel.”

This is why I recommend you read that book first, and implement the nutritional basics of a cyclical ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting before you move on to “KetoFast.” You could look at the two books as two parts of a complete lifestyle program, with “KetoFast” picking up where “Fat for Fuel” left off.

The key to weight management and optimal health is to optimize your mitochondrial function — hence, the term metabolic mitochondrial therapy (MMT) used in “Fat for Fuel.” In short, if your mitochondria are not functioning properly, none of your bodily systems will function properly, and in order for your mitochondria to work, having the metabolic flexibility to burn fat is essential.

“Fat for Fuel” explains the many metabolic advantages you gain once your body regains the ability to burn fat for fuel, and details how to do it. The initial phase of the MMT program — which ends once your body is able to effectively burn fat for fuel — can take anywhere from weeks to months or longer, depending on how metabolically damaged you are.

While much of the book centers around diet (raising the amount of healthy fat and decreasing net carbs is what pushes your body into burning fat for fuel), it also reviews a variety of other strategies to improve your mitochondrial function, such as cold thermogenesis, photobiology, detox, exercise, the dangers of iron overload and the pernicious influence of electromagnetic fields (EMF).

“KetoFast” is the next phase once you’ve successfully implemented the MMT program, as it now combines a cyclical ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting with cyclical partial fasting.

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KetoFasting Will Amplify Benefits of My Basic MMT Program

The impetus behind “KetoFast” was two major realizations: First, that water-only fasting is a tremendously beneficial health intervention; and second, that while water-only fasting used to be an ideal strategy, the fact that in the 21st century we have increased toxic exposure that makes it potentially dangerous to do extended water fasts.

We’re now surrounded by and exposed to some 80,000 chemicals in our environment, most of which are fat soluble, meaning they accumulate in your fat cells. Meanwhile, fasting effectively drives toxins out of fat cells, which can have devastating results if you’re severely toxic.

What’s more, since you’re not eating, you’re also not providing your body with the nutrients it needs to effectively neutralize and eliminate those released toxins. My answer to make fasting safer was to devise — based on the best scientific evidence I could find — a fasting program that mimics multiday water-only fasting, while supporting your detox pathways and minimizing the risks associated with toxicity.

The KetoFast protocol is also easier to comply with than multiday water fasting, and provides greater benefits because you’re able to do it far more frequently than you could do multiday water fasting.

The caveat, again, is that you need to have done at least a month of daily intermittent fasting and achieved nutritional ketosis as laid out in “Fat for Fuel” before you move on to KetoFasting. Once you’re metabolically flexible and can burn fat for fuel, the combination of cyclical nutritional ketosis and partial fasting can further amplify your weight loss and overall health and longevity.

Why Fast?

As mentioned in the featured interview, fasting has a wide range of health benefits, including radically improved sleep, which in turn is a crucial component of good health and longevity. When you’re fasting, you’ll often find you’re sleeping much better, and your cognition typically improves thanks to the biological cleansing and regeneration that occurs throughout your body, including your brain.

In my view, one of the primary reasons for why you would want to fast is to accelerate autophagy. This is your body’s innate cleanout process, in which damaged mitochondria, proteins and cellular components are digested and then recycled during the regeneration phase, which occurs during refeeding.

It’s important to realize that many of the benefits of fasting actually occur when you start eating again, and this is why cycling in and out of fasting and feasting is so imperative. Half of the process occurs in the absence of food, while the other half occurs when food is reintroduced.

This is yet another reason why I don’t recommend longer fasts, as this will prevent you from fasting often, hence limiting the number of cycles of regeneration you get.

Fasting also boosts your readiness score, which means following a fast, you’re able to work out really hard. I do KetoFasting twice a week, and on the days following my KetoFast, that’s when I do my strength training and load up on protein and carbs. I’ve found it’s a really fabulous and nearly pain-free way to radically improve your metabolic health.

Other Benefits of Fasting

Fasting is also known to provide many other health benefits, including:4,5,6,7,8

Stem cell activation — Stem cells play an important role in health and longevity as they are instrumental in repairing and rejuvenating your cells and tissues. By upregulating autophagy and mitophagy (autophagy in your mitochondria) 9 and boosting stem cells you will lower your risk of most diseases, including cancer10 and neurodegeneration.11

Nutrient composition is important here, and in “KetoFast” I provide details on how to optimize autophagy and stem cell activation processes by eating certain foods (and avoiding others) at the right time.

Releasing ketones into your bloodstream, which help preserve brain function and protect against epileptic seizures, cognitive impairment12 and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Boosting brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which stimulates creation of new brain cells and triggers brain chemicals that protect against brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.13,14

Increasing growth hormone by as much as 1,300 percent in women and 2,000 percent in men,15 thereby promoting muscle development and vitality.

Lowering insulin and improving your insulin sensitivity; studies have shown intermittent fasting can both prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes, which is rooted in insulin resistance.16,17,18,19

Increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which helps your body break down fat to be used as fuel and benefits your metabolism.20,21,22

Boosting mitochondrial energy efficiency and biosynthesis.

Lowering oxidative stress and inflammation.23

Improving circulating glucose24 and lipid levels.

Reducing blood pressure.

Improving metabolic efficiency and body composition, modulating levels of dangerous visceral fat and significantly reducing body weight in obese individuals.

Reproducing some of the cardiovascular benefits associated with exercise.

Regenerating the pancreas25 and improve pancreatic function, reversing diabetes.

Improving gut health — While the exact mechanisms are still unclear, I believe fasting helps jump-start microbiome health by increasing bacterial diversity and repairing leaky gut. Overall, fasting facilitates healing of your gastrointestinal tract and enhances the integrity of your gut lining.

Protecting against cardiovascular disease.

Reducing low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol.

Improving immune function.26

Synchronizing your body’s biological clocks.27

Eliminating sugar cravings as your body adapts to burning fat instead of sugar.

Increasing longevity — There are a number of mechanisms contributing to this effect. Normalizing insulin sensitivity is a major one, but fasting also inhibits the mTOR pathway, which plays an important part in driving the aging process.

Safety and Contraindications

For all its benefits, fasting — especially multiday water-only fasting — is not for everyone. As with other types of extended fasting, you should not do KetoFasting if you are:

  • Underweight
  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Have an eating disorder

This is a small minority of people, and for pregnant and breastfeeding women it’s a temporary contraindication. For most others, fasting is likely to provide significant health benefits, and my KetoFast protocol raises not only your chances of fasting successfully but also improves safety, as it’s designed to support detoxification.

Why I Don’t Recommend Continuous Nutritional Ketosis

“Fat for Fuel” and “KetoFast” both stress the importance of a cyclical ketogenic diet. A common misconception is that because nutritional ketosis is so beneficial, it stands to reason that remaining in ketosis for the rest of your life would be the way to go. I disagree with this approach, having experienced the drawbacks of it firsthand.

For starters, continuous keto can start wreaking havoc with your hormonal system, specifically your thyroid. It’s important to realize that nutritional ketosis is a catabolic process, meaning you’re breaking things down. This is a good and necessary process, but you also need to build your body back up!

Many advertise the ketogenic diet as something you stay on forever, and I quickly learned that was a bad idea. After some months, you begin to lose muscle mass, for example, which is the complete opposite of what you’re looking for, especially if you’re older, since you will automatically lose muscle mass with age anyway.

Hence, I strongly recommend cycling in and out of ketosis once you’ve regained your metabolic flexibility and are able to effectively burn fat for fuel. In other words, you stay in ketosis only long enough to make sure you’re burning fat, and then you move into a more balanced approach where you’re adding in higher amounts of healthy carbs once or twice a week.

The Dark Side of Water-Only Fasting

I also do not recommend strict multiday water-only fasting, even though historically this has been a very successful and beneficial approach. The reason for my change in view is because our toxic exposures have dramatically increased, which makes fasting riskier now than it ever was historically.

As mentioned, fat-soluble toxins are stored in your fat cells, and when you fast and rapidly lose weight, those toxins are released, with potentially devastating effects.

Matters are made worse by the fact that many people have poorly functioning detoxification systems and simply aren’t metabolically healthy enough to metabolize all those toxins. Phase 2 detox pathways in particular tend to be dysfunctional or impaired in many. Toxicity is typically the reason why people feel horrible when fasting. It’s not an artifact of the fasting process in and of itself.

Another reason why I don’t recommend multiday water fasting is because compliance is so poor. Naturally, if you cannot comply with the program, you cannot reap the benefits. Many would rather lose a foot than go without food for five to seven days straight. My KetoFasting protocol is a pragmatic approach designed to optimize compliance.

Lastly, when you’re doing multiday water fasting, you’re really limited in how many times a year you can do it. If you did it once a month, which would be rare, you’d still only cycle through the regeneration process just 12 times in a year. If you fast once a quarter, you’re down to four times a year. You also have to refeed more cautiously after going without food for several days.

With KetoFasting you can cycle through the regeneration process anywhere from 52 to 104 times a year, and you can jump right into feasting, eating lots of protein and carbs the day you break your fast.

KetoFasting Defined

I do not think it is wise to jump into KetoFasting without doing the preliminary work detailed in “Fat for Fuel.” You really need to be metabolically flexible and able to burn fat for fuel before you start KetoFasting. At bare minimum, you should not skip step No. 1 (below). That said, the following is a three-step summary of my KetoFast protocol.

1. Introduction — The first step is to compress your daily eating window to six to eight hours for at least four weeks, meaning you eat all of your calories for the day during those six to eight hours, and for the remaining 16 to 18 hours, you’re fasting. Also, be sure to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime to avoid creating unnecessary free radicals.

I recommend testing your ketones to confirm that you are in ketosis (which means your body is burning fat), especially if you are heavy to start with, or diabetic, as it might take you longer to shift. Ketocoachx.com is the best blood ketone meter out there and only costs 70 cents per strip. It is a brand-new meter that became available at the end of April 2019.

2. KetoFast days — Once you’ve restored your metabolic flexibility to burn fat for fuel you can move into the second phase, which involves having a single 300 to 500-calorie meal, ideally breakfast, followed by a 24-hour, water-only fast, once or twice a week.

To determine how many calories you should have at this meal, first calculate your lean body mass by subtracting your percent body fat from 100. (So, if you have 20% body fat, you have 80% lean body mass.)

Multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.8) by your current total body weight to get your lean body mass in pounds. Next, multiply your lean body mass in pounds by 3.5. This is the number of calories you’ll want to eat for that meal. The following is a general guide for the nutrient ratios you’re looking for in this meal:

Carbs — Less than 10 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) so as not to replete your glycogen stores. Primarily, your carbs would then be nonstarchy vegetables, seeds or nuts.

Protein — Half of your personalized daily protein requirement, with a focus on plant based protein, not animal protein. If you’re younger than 60, a general recommendation for your daily protein requirement would be 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, or 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.

Let’s say your daily protein requirement is 80 grams. For this meal, you’d cut that in half to 40 grams. The key here is not just lowering your overall protein intake, though; rather, it’s restricting branched-chain amino acids (such as leucine, for example), found primarily in meat and dairy products.

The reason you want to restrict branched-chain amino acids at this meal is because they inhibit autophagy — essentially blocking the very cleanout process you’re trying to activate through fasting. Aside from plant-based protein, an ideal form of protein to include in this meal is collagen and/or bone broth, which provide great support for your connective tissue without inhibiting autophagy. Chlorella is another excellent protein you can include.

Fat — The remainder of your calories comes from healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, MCT oil, butter, olive oil and raw nuts.

By eating just that one 300- to 500-calorie meal and then fasting for 24 hours, you essentially end up having eaten once in 42 hours. This will effectively allow your body to deplete the glycogen stores in your liver, which sends autophagy soaring.

On your KetoFast days, you also need to avoid any supplements you might normally take that will inhibit autophagy. Commonly used supplements that should be avoided for this reason include methylfolate, vitamin B12, exogenous ketones, colostrum and glutamine.

Supplements that support autophagy that you can take during your KetoFast include berberine, ECGC, pomegranate peel extract or powder and organic chamomile tea, as these activate autophagy and will support the process.

3. Refeed day — After completing your 42-hour KetoFast, it’s time to feast. This is also the perfect time to do hardcore strength training and load up on animal protein such as grass fed organic steak and/or whey protein, as now you’re in rebuilding mode, which includes muscle building.

You can also kick your carbs up to 100 or 150 grams. An ideal sequence for this day is to do your strength training in a fasted state, then have a big meal afterward. Now’s also the best time to use your sauna (see below).

As for the number of meals on refeed day, I keep it consistent with my normal intermittent fasting schedule. I simply eat more at each meal. So, for example, instead of having two eggs on my salad, I’ll have three on refeed day; instead of having vegan protein in my smoothie, I’ll switch over to organic grass fed whey concentrate.

Tips and Tricks

In the featured interview, I also discuss tips and tricks to get you through some of the more common issues people complain about when fasting or going on a cyclical ketogenic diet. Here’s a quick summary of some of the key points:

Cravings — Many struggle with hunger when fasting, but one of the beautiful benefits of intermittent fasting is that once you’re able to burn fat for fuel, hunger and carb cravings vanish, since at that point your body is able to access your fat stores and create energy out of your body fat.

This is one of the reasons why you’ll want to do intermittent fasting for at least a month and make sure you’re in nutritional ketosis before you start KetoFasting. When you are insulin resistant, your body is not able to access and convert body fat to energy in an efficient manner, hence carb cravings and hunger pangs are the norm among sugar-burners.

Sauna — Aside from a cyclical ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and cyclical partial fasting (KetoFasting), another key strategy that can help optimize your health span are sauna bathing and thermogenesis, or the cycling between hot and cold exposures.

I specifically recommend using an EMF-free near-infrared sauna for general health optimization but especially when KetoFasting to help with detoxification.

I recommend using your sauna daily but especially the morning after your KetoFast, as at this time your body will be releasing a significant amount of toxins. If you’re strength training, consider taking a sauna directly after, and then break your fast with a high-protein meal that has plenty of branched chain amino acids and fresh fruit to stimulate mTOR.

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Ractopamine War Is Heating Up

The U.S. has asked China to lift a ban on U.S. pork fed the additive ractopamine, but so far China has rejected the request. China has seen huge losses in the pork industry due to African swine fever, which may lead to the deaths of up to 200 million pigs.1

Still, even while facing protein deficits as a result, the country has been resistant to importing ractopamine-treated meat. In fact, ractopamine, a beta agonist used to increase weight gain, feed efficiency and leanness in pigs, cattle and turkeys, is banned in most other countries, including China, Russia, Taiwan and the European Union.2

Only 26 major meat-producing countries allow ractopamine use,3 while at least 160 have banned it.4 The growth drug, marketed as Paylean for pigs, Optaflexx for cattle and Topmax for turkeys, is controversial not only because it’s linked to adverse effects in animals but also because of human health concerns.

The continued use of the drug in U.S. meat is causing tensions during talks aimed at ending the U.S.-China trade war. According to Reuters:5

“China would likely lift a ban on U.S. poultry as part of a trade deal and may buy more pork to meet a growing supply deficit, but it is not willing to allow a prohibited growth drug used in roughly half the U.S. hog herd, two sources with knowledge of the negotiations said.”

Ractopamine Mimics Stress Hormones, Leads to Health Problems in Pigs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of ractopamine in feed for pigs in 1999, later adding in approval for cattle and turkeys. The approval was based largely on studies conducted by the drug’s maker, Elanco, which focused not on safety for the animals or humans, but rather on economics, including what dosage to administer to raise bigger animals, faster.6

According to the Center for Food Safety (CFS), “The drug mimics stress hormones and increases the rate at which the animals convert feed to muscle.”7 In so doing, however, a number of adverse effects have been reported in pigs, including high stress levels, lameness, hyperactivity, broken limbs and death.

Problems with behavior and cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, reproductive and endocrine systems have also been reported.

“Fed to an estimated 60 to 80 percent of pigs in the U.S. meat industry, ractopamine use has resulted in more reports of sickened or dead pigs than any other livestock drug on the market,” CFS noted. “According to FDA’s own calculations, more pigs have been adversely affected by ractopamine than by any other animal drug — more than 160,000.”8

One study of ractopamine in monkeys showed the animals developed rapid heartbeat, whereas rats developed a host of birth defects ranging from cleft palate and short limbs to open eyelids and enlarged heart.9,10

Further, a study published in Translational Animal Science reported that the use of ractopamine has been associated with increased risks of nonambulatory and injured pigs, increased cattle mortality on feedlots and abnormal cases of hoof sloughing at beef packing plants.11 In short, hoof problems appear common in cattle taking the drug and related beta agonist drugs such as zilpateral (Zilmax), including the outer shell of the hoof falling off.

Pigs taking the drug are more likely to lose the ability to walk and become more difficult to handle and transport, succumbing more easily to stress as well.12 Ractopamine-treated pigs may become more aggressive and are more likely to be handled roughly by their handlers.

Due to their stimulated aggressive behavior, pigs taking the drug are also more likely to be injured during transport.13 In a review of the evidence, the researchers found additional adverse effects depending on the dose:14

“The evidence presented in the current review demonstrates that RAC [ractopamine] fed pigs may be more difficult to handle at doses above 5 mg/kg and physiological responses and rates of non-ambulatory pigs may increase when RAC fed pigs are subjected to aggressive handling, especially at the 20 mg/kg dose.”

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Health Risks of Ractopamine to Humans

The Codex Alimentarius Commission approved a maximum residue level of ractopamine of 10 parts per billion (ppb) in pork and beef, 40 ppb in liver and 90 ppb in kidneys.15 Only one human study was reviewed in the setting of this international standard — a study that involved six men, one of whom dropped out of the study due to adverse effects.16 Further, according to CFS:17

“Data from the European Food Safety Authority indicates that ractopamine causes elevated heart rates and heart-pounding sensations in humans. Other examples of health problems include information from the Sichuan Pork Trade Chamber of Commerce in China, which estimates that between 1998 and 2010, 1,700 people were poisoned from eating pork containing ractopamine.”

Further, two drugs similar to ractopamine — zilpaterol and clenbuterol — are banned by the Olypmics because they affect adrenalin. In 2010, a cycler in the Tour de France failed an antidoping test for clenbuterol, which he blamed on residues from eating meat.18

A study in the journal Talanta further explained, “The use of highly active beta-agonists as growth promoters is not appropriate because of the potential hazard for human and animal health.”19 There’s even data showing human intoxication after consuming liver or meat from cattle treated with beta-agonists.20

Warning labels on the drug also state the risks outright, the Cornucopia Institute reported, including telling handlers to wear gloves and protective gear when handling it:21

“‘WARNING: The active ingredient in Topmax, ractopamine hydrochloride, is a beta-adrenergic agonist. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure,’ says the label for the turkey feed. “Not for use in humans. Keep out of the reach of children.

The Topmax 9 formulation (Type A Medicated Article) poses a low dust potential under usual conditions of handling and mixing. When mixing and handling Topmax, use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask.

Operators should wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling. If accidental eye contact occurs, immediately rinse eyes thoroughly with water. If irritation persists, seek medical attention.”

Ractopamine Is Administered Right Before Slaughter

Part of what makes ractopamine so controversial is the timing of its use. While some other livestock drugs are stopped in the weeks leading up to slaughter, giving some time for them to dissipate from the animal’s system, ractopamine is administered in the weeks before slaughter.

When the U.S. Agricultural Research Service tested more than 1,000 pork kidney samples for four veterinary drugs, including ractopamine, the drug was detected in 22 percent.22 A Consumer Reports investigation also found detectable levels of ractopamine in about one-fifth of 240 pork products tested. The drug was also said to negatively affect the taste and tenderness of the meat.23

“While levels we found were below U.S. and international limits, Consumers Union, the policy and action arm of Consumer Reports, calls for a ban on the drug, citing insufficient evidence that it is safe,” Consumer Reports noted.24 There is also evidence that the drug is present in manure, which is applied as fertilizer to soil, making it likely that it is also entering waterways, with unknown effects.25

However, research suggests the drugs may have endocrine-disrupting effects on marine species, including Japanese rice fish, or medaka.26 At least one study also showed ractopamine may be taken up by alfalfa and wheat from contaminated soil, at varying quantities depending on the concentration in soil.27

‘Natural’ Meat May Come From Ractopamine-Treated Animals

In a survey of more than 1,700 adults who said they try to eat healthy at least some of the time, 45% said they are likely to look for options that are all natural.28 When it comes to meat, however, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows the claim to be made for products that contain no artificial ingredients and minimal processing.

This means the meat may contain drugs, including antibiotics, hormones and preservatives, and still legally claim it’s natural on the label, misleading consumers. The Animal League Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit against meat giant Hormel for this very reason, alleging that the company engaged in potentially misleading advertising by using a Natural Choice label.

It turns out that the pigs used for Hormel Natural Choice products are the same as those used to create their spam, lunchmeat and bacon products, most of which consumers would not regard as natural. Further, most of the pigs have no access to the outdoors, and some products labeled Natural Choice came from pigs that received antibiotics and ractopamine.

The Superior Court of the District of Columbia dismissed ALDF’s lawsuit, however, because the labeling is legal under the USDA definition of natural. “There’s a difference between what’s legal and what’s ethical,” Nikolas Contis, a senior partner at brand consultant PS212, told Farm Progress. “I think it’s unethical. They know the words are misleading.”29

ALDF attorney David Muraskin added, “It’s a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase something they have no intention to purchase.”30

Where to Find Truly Natural Pork

At one time, all pigs raised on U.S. family farms were heritage pigs, accustomed to roaming on pasture and in forests. The pigs don’t take well to confinement conditions, however, and were soon replaced by commercial pigs bred to grow fast and tolerate crowding.

Whereas commercial pigs reach market weight in about six months, heritage pigs take about a year to do so. They’re raised by a number of small farms, which typically sell the meat through farmers markets, food co-ops and occasionally to restaurants or niche markets.

The USDA doesn’t define heritage breeds of pork, but the Livestock Conservancy defines them as heritage breeds if they have a long history in the U.S., are of noncommercial stock, thrive outdoors and on pasture and are purebred animals of their breed, according to Civil Eats.31

If you choose to eat pork, I encourage you to avoid CAFO meats and instead either buy your meat direct from a trusted grass fed farm raising heritage breeds or look for the American Grassfed Association (AGA) logo, a much-needed grass fed standards and certification for American-grown grass fed meat and dairy.32

The AGA standard allows for greater transparency and conformity33 and is intended to ensure the humane treatment of animals and meet consumer expectations about grass fed meat and dairy, while being feasible for small farmers to achieve.

The AGA pastured pork standards include a forage-based diet derived from pasture, animal health and welfare, no antibiotics and no added growth hormones. Because of the atrocious state of the CAFO pig industry, grass fed heritage pork is the only pork you should eat. At the very least, if you can’t find grass fed heritage pork, choose organic pork products, as ractopamine is not allowed in organic foods.

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Director John Singleton Dies After Stroke

April 29, 2019 — Acclaimed director John Singleton died from a stroke Monday, shortly after his family removed him from life support. Singleton, 51, had the stroke on April 17.

“We are sad to relay that John Singleton has died,” a statement Monday from the Singleton family read. “John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.”

Singleton found fame at just 23 years old with his debut feature, 1991’s Boyz N the Hood, for which he was nominated for two Academy Awards — the youngest ever nominated for best director, and the first African-American writer-director to be nominated. Most recently, he was the co-creator and executive producer of the FX series Snowfall.

Strokes happen when the blood supply to a part of your brain is blocked by a blood clot, or a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Parts of the brain become damaged or die, and every minute counts. Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. It kills more than 185,000 Americans each year — it’s the fifth-leading cause of death — but many more survive, often with physical disabilities. And it affects African-Americans more than any other racial group in the United States.

Black people are more likely to have a stroke on the younger side, like Singleton. Their risk of having a first stroke is almost double that of white people’s, and they’re twice as likely to die of stroke.

But up to 80% of strokes can be prevented with lifestyle changes and treatment of things that raise your risk of having a stroke, like high blood pressure and diabetes. Singleton’s family said he had high blood pressure.

The odds of survival go up if you seek help quickly, so knowing the symptoms could save your life. The American Stroke Association uses the term “Act FAST” to help you remember:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 911

Sources

Entertainment Weekly: “Director John Singleton to be taken off life support after stroke, family says.”

Yahoo.com: ‘Boyz n the Hood’ director John Singleton dies at age 51.”

National Stroke Association: “Recognizing Stroke,” “Minorities and Stroke,” “Understand Stroke.”

Imdb.com: “John Singleton.”

American Stroke Association: “Stroke Symptoms.”

Time: “Boyz n the Hood Director John Singleton Dies at Age 51 After Stroke.”

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Anti-Vax Use of ‘Brady Bunch’ Show Angers Actors

MONDAY, April 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) –Some former Brady Bunch cast members are unhappy that an episode of the 60s-70s TV show is being used by anti-vaxxers as evidence that concern about the dangers of measles is overblown.

In the 1969 episode, all six Brady children come down with the measles. They play games and fool around, and are thankful they don’t have to take any medicine or get shots, NPR reported.

“If you have to get sick, sure can’t beat the measles,” character Marcia Brady says.

The episode is now being widely used by people who oppose vaccines, including Dr. Toni Bark, who testifies against vaccines in courts and at public hearings across the United States, NPR reported.

“You stayed home like the Brady Bunch show. You stayed home. You didn’t go to the doctor,” Bark says. “We never said, ‘Oh my God, your kid could die. Oh my God, this is a deadly disease.’ It’s become that.”

But measles — and the use of the episode — is no laughing matter for Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia on the Brady Bunch. She says she was furious when she found out a few months ago that an anti-vaccination Facebook group was circulating memes of her with measles from that episode, NPR reported.

“I was really concerned with that and wanted to get to the bottom of that, because I was never contacted,” she says.

“I think it’s really wrong when people use people’s images today to promote whatever they want to promote and the person’s image they’re using they haven’t asked or they have no idea where they stand on the issue,” McCormick says.

“As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated,” she adds.

The year that episode first aired, the U.S. had more than 25,000 measles cases and 41 deaths, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The number of measles cases in the U.S. so far this year are at levels not seen since before the virus was declared eliminated in 2000, NPR reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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3 Ways To Fall Asleep Faster & Get A Better Night’s Sleep

By Mark DeNicola

In Brief

  • The Facts: Insomnia is a very real experience for many people in this world. Before you pop any pills or spray lavender on your pillow here are three uncommon things that can help you sleep better at night.
  • Reflect On: How quickly are you able to fall asleep at night? And are you getting enough sleep regularly?

You likely don’t need me to convince you of the fact that sleep is a beautiful thing.

Not only is it quite comfortable and cozy, it’s also the core activity responsible for helping us to recharge and reset daily.

While some of us have little to no issue with not only falling asleep in our beds at night but also pretty well anywhere we can “safely” close our eyes, there are also quite a few of us that struggle to get the shut-eye that we need.

And while all insomnia is undoubtedly frustrating to deal with, it can be particularly challenging when you know you need the rest, but the second your head hits the pillow your mind opts to kick into overdrive.

It reminds me of an animated meme I saw a couple of years back but haven’t been able to find since. On the left side of this graphic it had the outline of a person standing up with their emotions (which were represented by a liquid) filling the lower half of their body. On the right side, it showed the same person now lying down in bed; however, this time, because of the horizontal nature of this position, all of their emotions now filled a portion of their entire body, playfully representing how our minds have a tendency to kick in at night.

As someone who has been kept up by my mind on far too many occasions to count, here are the 3 things that I’ve found to be the most effective in helping me fall asleep faster and ultimately get a better night’s sleep:



1. Put Down Your Phone

The first decision that I’ve found to be incredibly helpful at getting me to sleep faster at night is to not end my night by being on my phone. I know that we are all addicted to varying degrees, and smartphones only become more capable and therefore appealing, but their potential negative impact on our sleep is becoming clearer by the day.

My daily goal is to put all devices away at least one hour before bed. Of course, there are a number of occasions where this simply isn’t possible, and that’s why I also suggest that you consider investing in a pair of blue light blocking glasses. For more information on what these glasses do and to read about my experience with them be sure to check out THIS ARTICLE that I wrote solely about them.

Since writing that article I now wear my blue light blocking glasses daily, including right now as I type out this article.

2. Meditate

Before you ho and hum at the idea of meditation being presented to you yet again as the solution to another common issue, hear me out. One of the biggest rejections I often hear from those who don’t meditate is that, when they try, they can’t seem to focus and as a result they fall asleep. Given the purpose of this article, can I safely say ‘case closed’?

While I often opt to guide myself through my bedtime meditation I’d also like to recommend a great guided meditation specifically designed to help you sleep by the Director of Mindfulness at UCLA. And guess what? It’s FREE! Check it out HERE.

3. Write It Out

The last tool I’d like to suggest is nightly journaling. If that doesn’t sound particularly appealing to you, instead think of it as a mind dump. I personally love to just let my mind say everything it wants to with no structure so that it feels heard, but I’ve also done things as simple as what’s suggested in The 5 Minute Journal, where you simply end your day by writing out some awesome things that happened over the course of the day, and some quick things you could have done better.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

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Australian Gov’t Wants to Kill Two Million Feral Cats By Dropping Poisoned Sausages From Airplanes

By Amanda Froelich

Cats: they may rule the Internet, but the Australian government has a merciless stance toward them. To “solve” the country’s feral cat problem, the government intends to kill two million free-roaming cats (a large chunk of the total feral cat population) by 2020. That’s approximately between 2 and 6 million felines.

According to CNN, certain areas in Australia are even more committed to exterminating public enemy number one. In the northeastern state of Queensland, a council is offering a $10 ($7) bounty per feral cat scalp. The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has slammed the policy for being “cruel.”

The neighboring country of New Zealand has a similar stance toward cats. Prominent environmentalists have proposed a cat-free future, which has led to a heated debate on the merit of exterminating or allowing feline cats. In this article, we’ll dive into both sides.

Why would anyone be anti-cat?

The simple answer is that feral cats kill. The first cat arrived in Australia in the 17th century. Since then, their numbers have skyrocketed. Today, the feral cat population is estimated to cover 99.8% of the country.

Unlike domesticated cats, feral cats live in the wild. They may belong to the same species, but feral cats are forced to hunt for survival. As a result, they typically act a lot less “cute” when approached by humans — or other critters, for that matter.

An estimated 20 mammal species have gone extinct due to the feral cat population, according to Gregory Andrews, national commissioner of threatened species. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that as a result, feral cats are the single biggest threat to native species on Australia.

This is a big deal, considering the island nation was cut off from the rest of the world for thousands of years. As a result, 80% of Australia’s mammals and 45% of its birds are found nowhere else on the planet.

Victims of feral cats include native birds and reptiles. In fact, a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy told CNN that cats are believed to kill more than 1 million native birds, and 1.7 million reptiles across Australia every day.

Feral cats also prey on the brush-tailed rabbit-rat, which is classified as “vulnerable” by the Australian government. “We are not culling cats for the sake of it, we are not doing so because we hate cats,” said Andrews.

It seems that those in favor of exterminating the wild felines are driven by a compulsion to protect native species and the fragile ecosystem. Of course, there are valid arguments against the government’s plan.

Misdirection, maybe?

As CNN reports, it is possible the government is creating a stir to avoid tackling more pressing concerns, such as habitat loss by urban expansion, logging, and mining. These sensitive issues are devastating the environment, perhaps far more than hoards of feral cats. But, is action being taken to curb unsustainable activity? Probably not to the extent, it should be.

Doherty touched on this when he said, “There’s a possibility there that cats are being used as a distraction to some extent. We also need to have a more holistic approach and address all threats to biodiversity.”

The method of poisoning the cats is also a topic of discussion. According to New York Times, poisoned sausages will be dropped from airplanes to thin out the feral feline population. The sausages will be made from kangaroo meat, chicken fat, spices, and herbs. Reportedly, they are capable of killing a cat within 15 minutes of being eaten.

The sausages are manufactured at a factory in Perth and are intended to be dropped from planes at intervals of 50 kilometers in places where cats freely roam. To ensure the sausages taste good, the man who developed them tested them on his own cats. Of course, he omitted the poison.

“They’ve got to taste good,” said Dr. Dave Algar “They are the cat’s last meal.”

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!


Amanda Froelich — I’m an RHN, plant-based chef, freelance writer with 6+ years of experience, Reiki master therapist, world traveler and enthusiast of everything to do with animal rights, sustainability, cannabis and conscious living. I share healthy recipes at Bloom for Life and cannabis-infused treats at My Stoned Kitchen. Read More stories by Amanda Froelich

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

h/t CNN, CBS Local IMAGE CREDIT: Pixnio

Subscribe to Natural Blaze for health freedom and natural living headlines to your inbox. Follow Natural Blaze on Twitter and Facebook.

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Dyspareunia – 8 Homeopathic Remedies for Painful Intercourse

Dyspareunia (painful intercourse) refers to pain experienced during or after vaginal intercourse. It is a common problem and many women tend to face it at one point or another in their life. The pain in dyspareunia can be felt at the vaginal opening or deep in the pelvis. It may be burning, aching or throbbing pain varying from case to case. It can lead to distress, mood changes, loss of sexual interest and relationship problems. Homeopathic medicines for dyspareunia help treat the condition effectively and offer long term relief.     

Homeopathic medicines for Dyspareunia

Homeopathic Medicines for Dyspareunia

Homeopathy medicines are highly effective to treat the complaint of dyspareunia. Dyspareunia arising from various reasons can be managed with homeopathy medicines as they work to treat the root cause behind it They are natural remedies that bring about excellent results. The top medicines to treat dyspareunia in females are Sepia, Natrum Mur, Platina, Argentum Nitricum and Staphisagria. The most suitable medicine among them is selected individually for every case based on its characteristic features. These have been discussed as follows:

1. Sepia – Top Grade Medicine for Dyspareunia

Sepia is a very beneficial medicine for treating dyspareunia. Females needing Sepia experience intense pain during intercourse. In such cases, the vagina is dry and extremely tender. Sexual intercourse is often intolerable, and blood may appear from the vagina after coition in some cases. There may be some associated pelvic disease like ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and endometriosis. In such conditions, other symptoms like abnormal vaginal discharge, menstrual irregularities, painful periods may be present along with dyspareunia. Sepia is also a leading medicine for managing the complaint of painful intercourse in women during menopause. There may be other attending symptoms like hot flushes, excessive vaginal bleeding, low libido, irritability, sadness, indifference, and mood swings during menopause. It is also well-indicated for dyspareunia arising with some skin infection or eruptions of the female genitalia.

2. Natrum Mur – For Painful Intercourse from Dryness of Vagina

Natrum Mur is very beneficial to treat cases of painful intercourse from dryness of the vagina. Along with dryness, the vagina is also sore and itchy. Burning and smarting are felt in the vagina during coition along with pain. There is also an aversion to sexual intercourse. There may be some depression or history of grief present in cases needing Natrum Mur.

3. Platina – For Painful Intercourse from Sensitivity and Vaginismus

Platina is a significant medicine to manage cases of painful intercourse from a sensitive vagina. Females requiring Platina have sensitive, tender vagina and cannot bear to touch it. They may even faint during coition. In many cases, there may be vaginismus that makes intercourse impossible. Pains of drawing nature may appear in the ovaries and uterus after intercourse that tend to last for several hours altogether.

4. Argentum Nitricum – For Pain followed by Vaginal Bleeding

Argentum Nitricum is considered in cases of dyspareunia when painful intercourse is followed by vaginal bleeding. There may be a complaint of vaginal discharge with cervical erosions in females needing this medicine. Here the vaginal discharges are profuse, yellow, corroding. They may be bloodstained too. There may be many phobias and anxieties in females with above symptoms in cases where Argentum Nitricum is indicated.

5. Staphisagria – For Painful Intercourse from Sensitive Genitals

Staphisagria is prepared from seeds of a plant named Delphinium Staphisagria also known by the name of Stavesacre. The natural order of this medicine is Ranunculaceae. Staphisagria is another medicine for managing painful intercourse from sensitive genitals. It is a useful medicine for women to manage the complaint of dyspareunia in the early days of married life. Along with painful coition burning while urination and constant urge to urinate may be present. Staphisagria is also a prominent medicine for cases where a history of sexual abuse is present.

6. Kreosote – For Pain, Burning in Vagina during Intercourse followed by Bleeding

Kreosote is well-indicated for treating dyspareunia with the characteristic feature of pain and burning during intercourse and bleeding the next day. The genitals feel sore and fear and trembling arise from the mere thought of coition. There may be vaginal discharges that are highly offensive. The discharges are also acrid, leading to violent itching in the vagina with soreness and burning after scratching.

7. Ignatia – For Managing Sore Pain in Vagina during Intercourse

Ignatia is prepared from seeds of a plant called Ignatia Amara which belongs to the natural order Loganiaceae. Ignatia is indicated for dyspareunia when there is extreme sore pain in the vagina during intercourse. A heated sensation may be present in the vagina. Some prominent symptoms related to the mind may also be present. These include sadness, weeping, excessive irritability, desire for loneliness, aversion to talking and sudden mood swings. Excessive worries, depression, and history of grief may be there with the above symptoms.

8. Lycopodium – For Burning in Vagina during Coition

Lycopodium is prepared from the spores of a plant called Lycopodium Clavatum also known as Club Moss and Wolf’s-Claw. This plant belongs to the family Lycopodiaceae. Lycopodium is helpful for managing the sensation of burning in the vagina during coition. The burning persists after coition in most cases, and vaginl dryness may also be present.

Main Causes of Dyspareunia

Some causes of dyspareunia include vaginal dryness, insufficient lubrication, skin disorders of the genital area (like eczema, lichen planus), vaginal infections, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) and vaginismus (involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal walls leading to temporary narrowing of the vagina). Pelvic disease like endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and uterine fibroids are some other reasons for dyspareunia. An injury/trauma to the genitals can also lead to painful intercourse. Congenital abnormality also leads to painful intercourse (eg., in case of vaginal agenesis where the vagina is not fully formed and imperforate hymen). Apart from the above, certain psychological issues are other contributing factors behind painful coition. These include stress, anxiety, depression and a history of mental trauma including sexual or emotional abuse. Women may also complain of dyspareunia during menopause and after childbirth.

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10 Homeopathic Medicines for Chorea

The term chorea is derived from the word “choreus,” which means to dance. Chorea is a hyperkinetic movement disorder characterized by involuntary and unpredictable body movements, mainly of the limbs and the face. The main symptoms of chorea can be minor like fidgeting (restlessness) or severe uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs. Depending upon the cause difficulties with speech, swallowing and gait may accompany. The cause of chorea can be genetic or non-genetic/acquired. Homeopathic medicines for chorea help manage the associated symptoms in chorea and should only be used as a supportive treatment.       

homeopathic medicines for corea

Homeopathic Medicines for Chorea

Homeopathy plays a supportive role in managing chorea. Homeopathy medicines for managing chorea are of natural origin and don’t have any side effects. The top grade medicines for managing chorea are Tarentula Hispanica, Mygale, Agaricus, Cina, and Causticum. The most suitable medicine is selected based on the individual characteristic features in every case.

1. Tarentula Hispanica – Top Grade Medicine for Chorea

Tarentula Hispanica tops the list of medicines for managing chorea. In cases where this remedy is required, all the limbs are affected with involuntary movements. This can be attended with intense hyperaesthesia (increased sensitivity of skin). Constant movements of the arm, tossing of the arms from side to side, constant motion of hands that leads to difficulty in doing anything with the hand are some accompanying symptoms. Involuntary movements of the leg and feet are prominent, leading to an inability to walk. Difficulty in speech, heaviness of the tongue with involuntary movements, and choreic movements of the head are also present. In such cases, the head is turned violently from side to side and in other directions. Nervous contractions in muscles of the face are also noted. All these movements are less intense at night in cases where Tarentula is required.

2. Mygale – For Uncontrollable Movements of Face, Arms, and Legs

Mygale is a beneficial medicine to treat chorea with uncontrollable movements of arms, legs, and face. Among them, the contractions and movements of facial muscle are most marked. There is a constant motion of the legs. The legs jerk excessively, making it difficult to stand or walk. The gait becomes unsteady and it becomes difficult to keep hands in the same position even for a minute. The person needing Mygale may also have involuntary head movements, throwing the head backward and then forwards is prominent. Constant jerking of the head (mostly to the right side) is also noted. Shrugging of shoulders, difficulty in putting out tongue and grating of teeth at night are other indications to use Mygale. The chorea symptoms get better during sleep and are worse in the morning where Mygale is indicated.

3. Agaricus – For Chorea with Uncertain, Unsteady Gait

Agaricus is well-indicated for cases of chorea where an uncertain, unsteady gait is prominent. While walking the person tumbles over everything in the way. It is given for both involuntary motion/jerking of single muscles of a body part as well as involuntary trembling/dancing of the whole body. The limbs may feel cold and weak with above indications. It is also helpful when chorea affects limbs crosswise i.e. left arm and right leg.

4. Cina – For Chorea Affecting Face and Upper Limbs

Cina is a helpful remedy for chorea affecting the face and upper limbs. The involuntary movements on the face are marked around the eyes. Another feature is throwing of arms from side to side. The limbs are distorted with jerking and trembling. A weakness of the hand is also present, making it difficult to hold things. Complaints usually appear on one side. Few general symptoms like irritability, screaming, striking and restless sleep may also be present.

5. Causticum – For Right-Sided Chorea

Causticum is the next prominent medicine for managing chorea. Causticum is most indicated in cases of chorea when the right side of the body is more affected. The face, tongue, arm, and leg get affected. There is a marked twisting and jerking of limbs. An unsteady gait is present with involuntary body movements. A weakness of muscles is also present with the above symptoms. Worsening of symptoms may be noted during the night. Causticum is also indicated for chorea during pregnancy.

6. Cuprum Met – For Left-sided Chorea

Cuprum Met is a valuable medicine for chorea affecting the left side of the body. There is jerking of arms and legs. The arms and legs also feel weak, weary and lame. There may be muscle contractions. Jerking of hands is also present. The person can hold nothing in hand and the objects fall to the ground. Speech is also affected with trembling of the tongue.

7. Magnesia Phos – For Chorea when Symptoms are Better During Sleep

Magnesia Phos is an important medicine for chorea when symptoms are better during sleep. Involuntary shaking of limbs, face, mouth, and head is present. Involuntary movements of limbs along with contortions may also appear. A sudden forward motion of the head is well-noted. There is jerking of the mouth and speech is also very defective. The symptoms appear only during waking hours.

8. Veratrum Viride – For Chorea when Symptoms are Worse during Sleep

Veratrum Viride is a well-indicated medicine for cases of chorea where symptoms are worse during sleep. The symptoms present are involuntary motions of facial muscles (face turned into horrible contortions), jerking/continual nodding of the head, jerking of arms and legs. Constant movement of the lower jaw may also be present. The speech also gets affected, with the dropping of words when speaking. All of the above movements continue to occur during sleep.

9. Secale Cor – For Chorea when Symptoms Start from the Face

Secale Cor is used in cases of chorea when the chief indication is symptoms beginning in the face and then spreading all over the body. The symptoms may become severe and rise to dance and jumping. The arms and legs are in constant motion. Head movement from side to side is present. The trunk also appears to be in constant motion. The tongue jerks out and speech becomes difficult and indistinct.

10. Kali Bromatum – For Violent Chorea from Fright

Kali Bromatum is a significant medicine to treat violent chorea that arises from fright. Great trembling of hands is noted. Legs and arms are affected. The gait is unsteady, irregular, and staggering (similar to a drunk person walking). The muscles of the face are affected, the tongue protrudes with a jerk, and the person can barely speak. All the movements are violent.

Causes of Chorea

As stated, chorea can be genetic or acquired.

Genetic causes for chorea include Huntington’s disease (the most common inherited cause of chorea), neuroacanthocytosis, Wilson’s disease, and Benign hereditary chorea.

Non-genetic or acquired causes for Chorea are Sydenham’s chorea (arise as a complication of streptococcal infection), Chorea Gravidarum (that occurs during pregnancy), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), drug-induced (as from medications, anti-epileptic and antipsychotics), senile chorea (uncommon, that occurs in elderly adults ), metabolic disorders like hypoglycemia and endocrine disorders.
In some rare cases, AIDS may also cause chorea.

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Mango Coconut Jellies

Mango jellies recipe

Jellies are so fun and easy to make, not to mention delicious! This one in particular combines sweet and tangy mango with rich creamy coconut making a healthy, tropical treat. There are so many possibilities when it comes to jellies – we would love to see your creations. Share yours on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram @HealthPostNZ.

Prep time: 15 min
Set time: 1 hour
Makes: 30-40

Ingredients

MANGO LAYER

COCONUT LAYER

coconut mango jellies

Preparation

MANGO LAYER
1. Peel, chop and blend mangoes into a smooth paste. Add to a small saucepan and heat on medium until just starting to bubble. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in 3 TB gelatin.
2. Pour mango mixture into silicone molds or dish, filling only ½ way. Place in refrigerator to set.

COCONUT LAYER
3. Add coconut cream, lemon juice and zest to a small saucepan and heat on medium until just starting to bubble. Remove from heat and add in remaining 1 ½ TB gelatin.
4. Once mango layer has set, pour in coconut layer and return to refrigerator.
5. Once set, remove from molds or cut into pieces and enjoy. Keep leftover jellies refrigerated and eat within a few days.

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New Foods for a New Year

New foods for a new year

When I think of the foods that many of the health experts I know keep as pantry staples, there’s a common theme – these foods are nutritionally dense, rich in natural flavour, and are beautiful wholefoods that can be used in multiple ways! Consider stocking up your pantry with these new-tritious foods in 2018.

SEA VEGETABLES & SEAWEED
Karengo, Nori, and Wakame are just a few of the sea vegetables easy to purchase in NZ and are a simple, tasty and nutritious addition to meals. Add soft karengo to the top of salads, or into a nut mix. Create wraps with nori sheets, and add tougher wakame into soups and stews.

MISO
Miso, an ancient superfood, is a tasty, salty fermented paste made from soybeans, consumed usually as a soup. Soybeans are a complete source of protein and because they are fermented they provide support to our digestive health. As well as soup, miso can be used as a base in salad dressings, or as a spread on sandwiches.

SAUERKRAUT
Sauerkraut is another fermented food to support a healthy digestive system. Fermented foods also provide essential nutrients like vitamins C and K, and minerals like calcium.

BUCKWHEAT
Buckwheat, despite its name, isn’t related to wheat and is a gluten-free seed. Buckwheat can be sprouted, toasted, boiled, or just eaten raw as part of savoury or sweet dishes. A fibre rich plant that offers about 13% protein, and abundant minerals like magnesium and potassium, buckwheat is a great replacement for gluten containing grains.

Raw buckwheat

NUTRITIONAL YEAST
A powerhouse of minerals and B vitamins, nutritional yeast can be easily sprinkled to any savoury dish, or mixed with a bit of olive oil and tamari to make your own homemade ‘vegemite’. A source of chromium and magnesium, nutritional yeast can also support healthy blood sugar levels.

TAHINI
Made from sesame seeds, tahini is a great natural source of calcium and has also been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. Mix it into homemade hummus, or use as a dip with vegetable sticks for an afternoon snack.

FRESH HERBS
Utilise the fresh herbs that are popping up in the garden. Parsley, mint, oregano, basil and sage are aromatic wonders, making even a basic meal come alive. These and many other fresh herbs provide phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

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