Thursday, March 28, 2013

Split Pea and Coconut Soup - filled with high antioxident spices!  And as I always say, add some chopped greens to wilt at the end of cooking.  And I'd use dried coconut.  See the dried coconut/coconut flour thread:
  • 2 cups green or yellow split peas, rinsed and soaked in cold water 2 to 3 hours
  • 1 -- (14-ounce) can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced cilantro stems
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped red potato, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 to 2 -- limes, cut into wedges
  • Drain peas, place in a large saucepan and add 4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Peas should be whole, but tender.
  • Combine coconut milk, onion, ginger, cilantro stems, curry paste and celery in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes; simmer until potatoes are almost tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add peas, fish sauce and salt. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Anti-Aging Vocabulary Lesson

Glycation - a process in which protein or fat molecules bond to simple sugar molecules creating advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are implicated in aging, heart disease and diabetes. This is what happens when you consume more sugar than your cells need and will take in. the sugar keeps circulating around in your bloodstream doing damage until it gets back to the liver where it gets turned to triglycerides which raises your LDL especially the small particle LDL that damages arteries and excess triglycerides are stored in the liver causing fatty liver disease.

Telomeres - tiny units of DNA that cap the end of each chromosome. They shorten with time because they cannot replicate completely each time the cell divides. Eventually, the telomeres are gone and the cell can no longer be replicated. And you age and die. Some people start out with longer telomeres than others. Short telomeres can be indicators of risk for various diseases.

Free radicals and oxidative stress shorten telomeres and thus shortens your life: smoking, pollution, stress, extreme exercise, etc. The right kinds of exercise such as interval training and walking/chores, etc lenthen them. As does glutationine which is manufactured by your body from sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine and plant compounds such as those abundant in onions, cabbage, and garlic.

Other nutrients that lengthen telomeres include vitamin D, B12, Omega 3 EFAs, Zinc, Vitamin C, E, polyphenols in grapes, cacao and green tea, curcumin (tumeric), beta carotenes, Magnesium, CoQ10, etc. Really, anything that reduces or prevents oxidative stress. Anything that's an anti-oxidant, anything that boost the immune system, anything that reduces inflammatory response.  Also anything that prevents or repairs damage to DNA such as magnesium and CoQ10.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Clear Skin Vocabulary Lesson

Here's a whole lot of big words you'll see over and over if you ever care to do your own research into acne formation.  These describe the real root of the problem. Sebum and bacteria don't clog your pores. Dead skin cells do.


Your skin cells, basically. They make up the majority of the cells in the outermost layer of your epidermis.  Keratin is a protein in your skin, hair and nails.


An over production of cells. You'll also see this term in research into cancer.


Over production of skin cells. This is what we suffer from.


The natural elimination of cells from the SC


Programmed cell death.


Patches that hold skin cells together

Retention Hyperkeratosis 

Rapid build up of cells in the follicles and the subsequent inability of the body to slough off those skin cells thereby creating a tough, glue-like substance leading to follicular blockage. Studies have found that individuals suffering from acne lack the necessary enzymes to break down the cellular glue that leads to the blockage. Since the follicle is blocked it provides the perfect “non-oxygenated” environment for P Acnes bacteria


Over production of skin cells plus a delay in, or impairment of apoptosis (- programmed cell death) in keratinocytes that prevents the desmosomes (patches that hold cells together) from disintegrating at a normal pace allowing them to become extra rough and 'sticky' and more likely to clog pores. This tendency is genetically influenced.

Keratin Buildup is linked to skin conditions such as acne, keratosis pilaris, allergies, eczema, dermatitis, ichthyosis vulgaris,  and sebhorreic keratosis, as well as other conditions such as rhinitis and asthma.

Hyperkeratinization is stimulated by the hormone IGF-1 or Insulin-like Growth Factor 1.

IGF-1 production is stimulated by insulin and is in Dairy. Excess IGF1 can be bound up by IGFBP-3 (insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3)  another hormone that also accelerates cell apoptosis .  You can increase your levels by controlling insulin levels. Pretend you are a diabetic and eat, sleep and exercise accordingly.

Chronic Inflammation also stimulates hyperkeratinization via  interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha),  a pro-inflammatory cytokene expressed by your keratinocytes.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Young, Glowing, Healthy Looking Skin -- How to Fake it Until You Make It.

A healthy diet is essential to healthy skin.  

But until you get there, here's how to fake it.  With oil! I highly recommend you moisturize with oil.  Apply it a few drops to wet skin or with wet fingers to easily apply a  very small amount.  And then, you get a dab more oil on a couple of fingers and pat at the top of your cheekbones, away from your nose.  Shine on top of your cheekbones looks fresh, dewy and young. Shine near or on your nose and forehead looks greasy. You can do this on top of your makeup.

Ideally, you want to use a fresh, quality, properly stored Safflower or Grapeseed Oil, but if you have a good olive oil, hemp seed, camellia, almond or other oil on had, feel free.  The reason for the other oil recommendations is that they are high in linoleic acid, a major and vital component of sebum that does what it is supposed to do, protect and make your skin glow. Rather than look greasy and clog pores.  A deficiency in linoleic acid in sebum leads to a variety of skin problems including acne. And the sebum in people with skin problems has been found to be deficient.  When you apply it topically it spreads throughout your sebaceous glands, changing your lipid makeup. This actually applies to all mammals, so if you have a dog with itchy sensitive skin, try it on him too.  I do, and it has worked wonders. Examples of skin problems affected by a deficiency in linoleic acid include acne, eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilares, hypersensitivity to allergens, and dry itchy sensitive skin of all types--aka dermatitis.

The reason I stress high quality and proper storage is that most plant oils are high in polyunsaturated fats which are very prone to turning rancid. And the average oil in the average supermarket is likely already going rancid. (Careful with them in your diet as well!). A quality oil should come in a dark bottle or tin. If the manufacturer of the oil doesn't put it in a dark bottle, they don't care about the quality of their product. Buy it from someplace where there is a high turnover. Or where it's kept refrigerated, ideally in the dark.  And once you get it, put a few ounces in a dark bottle for your regular use and keep the rest in the refrigerator.

You can find all my research on the role of linoleic acid in acne here: