All Posts for January 2012

Monet’s Garden Inspires Poem by Mary Lou Meyers

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

This is a perfect example of January 31st’s special day, “Your Heart With Art Day,” noted on The Home Page.

Claude Monet’s Le jardin a’ Giverny

Each morning I take the path that leads
to Claude Monet’s “Le jardin a’ Giverny,”
the print I bought in a Second Hand store
to replace the Norman Rockwell painting
of umpires huddling under an umbrella in a downpour.
The colors blur like the rain or tears streaming down,
until I see erupting out of my dark dismal format,
a luminous path.  I breathe rare Mozartian air.
Now I compress this light into my life,
it is Springtime all year round for me,
though clouds oppress more each day,
though snow has stolen what light there is
in its bones of decay.
What delicacy of brush strokes teased the flowers
into submission, beauty in the filigree of leaves,
a protoplasm of light and depth.
The fixed weight of time has no license here,
space exists in translucent light alone,
divided between the green plants and the sky above.
Near the end of his life, frustrated with recent paintings,
which never seemed to emerge like his eye’s image,
he said his only true masterpiece was his garden,
in banks of color or in a single stem.
Bulbs and seeds planted according to his dictates,
a riotous spectrum adhering perfectly
to his schedule of blooms creating intensity and tone,
each completing a note in a balanced composition.
It’s the path I want to take on my last day,
the perfect harmony of sun, not overcoming
shadows that save us from its penetrating gaze.
Not the betrayal of life’s built-in texture.

The Perfect 10 Diet by Dr. Aziz: Update/ Quotes/Additional Info

Monday, January 30th, 2012

A few weeks ago I reviewed Dr. Michael Aziz’s book, The Perfect 10 Diet, which discusses in great detail how 10 important hormones affect our weight. The book is packed full of information and I highly recommend it, because it is more than just a book about weight gain. It’s a book about regulating your hormones to get healthy and stay healthy.

I decided that I would quote or rewrite some of the important statements as my way of providing more information. My notes would cover 3 or 4 pages and I think that would be overwhelming.  So here are more tidbits about this link between hormones, food, exercise, etc. and weight gain.

Quotes are in italicized format and red color for emphasis are mine:

Your health is priceless. (Introduction)

Because being overweight or obese makes people vulnerable to a variety of diseases (such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer), a failure to maintain a healthy weight ultimately may compromise how well and how long you will live. (Foreword)

Fat is not the culprit in our diet; sugar is. (p. 6)   Sugar is like crack, but without its appetite suppressing qualities. (p. 91)

Here’s the truth: real, natural food is the miracle medicine Americans desperately need to improve their health…..Just eat real food and don’t fear natural fats to get your diet balanced. (p. 25)

Myths listed and debunked on page 54: Margarine is healthy; eating saturated fat can cause heart disease and cancer; eggs are bad because of their high cholesterol content; cholesterol-rich foods…should be greatly limited because it may negatively affect blood levels; polyunsaturated oils, such as soybean oil, are healthy. (Dr. Aziz addresses these myths throughout his book.)

Dr. Aziz warns us to avoid soy protein isolates because… This food is highly processed. Soy protein isolate is manufactured with added chemicals and then spray-dried at high temperatures to become a protein powder. Nitrates, which are potent cancer promoters, are formed in the process; as a result, the protein is denatured and contaminated are formed. (p. 113)

Animal fat has nothing to do with heart disease.  It’s the manufactured fats, not the natural fats, that contribute to heart disease. (p. 116)

Saturated fats (ex. coconut oil and butter) ..are very stable when heated and do not oxidize easily. In addition, they do not contain any dangerous trans fats or chemicals when extracted. (p. 123)

Organic dark chocolate made with reduced sugar and real cocoa butter is a favorite on the Perfect 10 Diet. (Easy on insulin and no trans fats.) (p. 125)

Excessive amounts of dairy in the diet can make it too high in protein which can negatively affect thyroid health. (p. 127) (Note that he says excessive amounts.)  An abundance of fat-free dairy in your diet can  lead to exaggerated insulin secretions. (p. 149) (Insulin is one of the perfect 10 hormones Dr. Aziz discusses in detail, especially in its relationship to weight gain.)

Cooking with extra-virgin olive oil is preferable to cooking with refined polyunsaturated oils. But reserve it for light cooking since it can oxidize at high temperatures. (p. 131)

Nuts are mostly made from oleic acid, which has been shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health….Macadamia nuts contains selenium, which research indicates may prevent cancer. (p. 132)

Canola oil is extracted from the poisonous rapeseed tree (Made-up word standing for Canada oil). It is refined or manufactured…genetically modified and contains erucic acid, a toxic fatty acid removed by mechanical and solvent extraction. (While it is a good source of Omega 3 oils, Dr. Aziz noted that most of them are lost in the refining of canola oil—avoid!) (p. 133)

…remember that our dietary recommendations were written by politicians, not scientists. (p. 139)

You’ve already read that sugar is bad, so you might be thinking that artificial sweeteners are okay on The Perfect 10 Diet. Actually, they’re worse. (p. 165)

The road to good health starts with your kitchen. (p. 173)

On the Perfect 10 Diet, dinner is the lightest meal of the day....Never go to bed on a full stomach. (p. 177)

When you eat the food that your body was designed to recognize, you support your hormones. In turn, you lose weight. ( p. 195)

Eat right; value your health; relax; follow a healthy lifestyle…You can’t go back to your old eating habits (if you want a perfect 10 body) (p. 219)

Each hour of exercise can add 2 years to your life. (p. 235)

I recommend a combination of exercises in order to maximize HGH secretion. (HGH is one of the 10 important hormones discussed in the book.) (p. 238)

Research indicated that eating fat before exercising improves performance….Eating carbohydrates after a workout is abetter option. (p. 239)

Medical schools and training programs don’t teach about natural remedies because they get grants for research from pharmaceutical companies —which , of course, sell only patented drugs like the horse hormone (referring to the product Premarin ).  No wonder we are a sick society. (p. 255)

Remember, the goal of the Perfect 10 Diet is to reprogram your body to burn fat as your primary source of energy. (p. 263)

Eating rich, delicious food does not mean indulging or eating to excess…You don’t have to count calories, fat grams, or net carbs, but portion control is definitely important. (p. 267)

The Perfect 10 Diet addresses all hormones. (p. 279)

(The rest of the book includes recipes, frequently asked questions and a review of other popular diets and food sources…a very complete book! It is published by Cumberland House, an imprint of Sourcebooks.)

P.S. I could have posted this in Reviews, but because it is part of my series for Nobody Eats Like Me category, I put it here.