Whole Grains What is a whole grain? Basically a grain is a seed and is made up of three parts: the GERM, which contains vitamins (especially E), oils and proteins and can sprout under the right conditions; the ENDOSPERM or starchy bulk of the grain which nourishes the seedling; and the BRAN or tough outer covering that protects the grain, containing protein, minerals, fiber and small amounts of vitamins. As long as the grain or seed remains intact it will live for some time in a dormant condition. When exposed to warmth and moisture, it will begin to wake up and sprout. A processed grain will not grow if planted, and similarly provides less food energy when consumed. If the integrity of the grain is disrupted by grinding, cracking or rolling, it cannot remain alive. It dies, and decay will eventually begin. For this reason, any whole grain which is not in its natural state, such as whole grain flour, cracked wheat, corn meal, etc., will eventually spoil unless it is refrigerated. Even under cold storage, it will remain fresh...

Freedom of choice in health care has been a highly visible issue during the past few years. All the way across this huge country in Washington DC. the federal government is valiantly attempting to “re-engineer” the medical behemoth. meanwhile, we need to do it for ourselves as individuals right now. We can’t wait for “them” to figure out how it’s really going to happen; how costs will be contained; how to begin winning the war on cancer and other chronic diseases; how to protect the neediest.

The single most important ingredient in healthy longevity is love. Glorious love, who lifts us skyward. Full-spectrum love, who knows all colors. Without love, we perish. Trickling down from this rainbow are the elements: clean air, clean water and sunlight. A good stiff dose of these three basics, every day, can cure just about anything. But since many of us live in the city, our health care happens at one level lower. The next level is that wonderfully wholesome, sensuous, nourishing, living stuff called FOOD. That processed, additive-laden, addictive, socially complex, political weapon. It has become easy in the land of plenty to take food for granted, never thinking about how or where it was produced. The food level is a focal point for shifting into health consciousness because it can take us higher or hasten our crash. Below the food level is chronic use of medicine and other drugs to deaden our pain. At the bottom of the pit greed and violence fester.

Helping Your Eyes Last A Lifetime Can you imagine your world not being able to read, or appreciate the scenery, or see what your family members look like? Many people with good eyesight take this blessed gift for granted. Starting in their late ’30s most folks experience a natural decline in visual acuity. Especially in this age of computer technology, where 65% of all professionally employed adults have a least some exposure to working at a computer screen, we need to protect our eyesight. There are three basic areas which will be discussed here. First is PREVENTION of failing eyesight; second is NUTRITION for the eyes; third is EXERCISE to maintain eye health. Just like for any other part of the body or mind, the best approach to health is prevention of disease. Prevention and repair both can often be accomplished with proper nutrition and adequate daily exercise.

Adult-Onset Diabetes Mellitus (Type II) The name of this set of symptoms comes from the Greek; diabetes means “passing through” and mellitus means “honey.” In other words, “honey passing through,” or high levels of sugar in the urine, was what the ancient doctors first observed. The disease is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood, which “spills over” into the urine, and is almost universally related to chronically high intake of simple carbohydrates in the diet. With 4% of the population medically diagnosed with Diabetes mellitus, it has become the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the incidence is rising. The good news is that 90% of non-insulin dependent diabetics will be cured by achieving their optimal weight and eating a balanced diet. This means no donuts!

Old age is a consequence of civilization; it is seen seldom in primitive societies and very rarely seen in wild animals. Although in this century the average lifespan of women and men has increased by 30% since the onset of industrialization and by over 300% since Neolithic times, we don’t exactly know how or why aging occurs. We do know that aging is a function of cells ceasing to divide. Some scientists speculate that any given differentiated cell can only divide a fixed number of times (as opposed to a cancer cell, which is undifferentiated, and theoretically immortal in that it continues, unchecked, to divide). The human body has more than 10 million, million (that’s 13 zeroes) cells, all of which are differentiated into nerve, muscle, adipose, etc., and are thus mortal. Given that we all die at some point, the objective now is to maximize the QUALITY of our lives and avoid controllable causes for pre-mature death.

The Spectre of Balding Women – Caroline, a new mother in her mid-twenties, came for help in a state of deep depression. The first words out of her mouth were “I’m turning into my mother…” When I asked her what that meant, she said that both of them were moody, irritable with their loved ones and, the symptom that was upsetting them most of all, going bald. While many women (and men) will exaggerate the extent of their hair loss, there was no doubt that Caroline’s once-lush mane was noticeably thin and dry; her scalp was scaly and visible at the forehead and temples. I asked her if there was a history of thyroid problems in her family. She confirmed that there was not, and that both she and her mother had recently evaluated their thyroid status by blood test, because either over- or under-active thyroid function can cause hair thinning. However, I kept with my hunch that there was a hormonal component to this puzzle.

Q: Tis the season to be sneezing. Is there ANYTHING I can do about my pollen allergies?

Curbing Carbohydrate Cravings There are many approaches to weight loss; it is a multi-million dollar industry in our land of plenty. The bottom line is to eat fewer calories than you expend daily, but not drastically fewer, until you’re happy with how you fit into your clothes, then resume a diet and exercise program that will maintain the desired weight. Regular, preferably daily, exercise is a must; and a brisk walk is a terrific choice. Exercise not only burns calories, but gets you away from the fridge, stimulates the cardiovascular system thereby improving bloodflow, tissue oxygenation and the overall sense of well-being, and promotes lymphatic drainage which will help rid the body of toxins.

Q: I’ve been accused of being a couch potato. I suppose it’s true but I’m just not the natural Joe Athlete type. I have no fundamental interest in playing tennis or jogging. But I still want to look good and feel good when I reach (shudder) middle age. Any recommendations?