Saturday, March 28, 2009
There is no shortcut to health. It just entails doing the right things on a consistent basis.
In other news, I have started a facebook cause to get the word out about the Asian diet. Health care costs are going to bury this country if we don't pull up from this nose dive of health. The health of a nation can be a great asset, but our ailing health is a huge liability. Too many people have been manipulated to put money in the hands of the food manufacturers and the health care system. We cannot continue getting less healthy. And the Asian Diet is a great way to start. If you have a facebook account, please search for the cause "get healthy with the asian diet", join it, and tell your friends.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Brown rice is white rice, but with a thick husk around it. This is like eating walnuts and not taking the shell off. Nature put some nutrients in to make that shell, but they're not for us. They have a poor bio-availability. Our bodies have to take more time to process through the shell. Most of it passes through us with a net loss of energy and a slowing of our metabolism. Difficult-to-digest foods are not good for us and slow down our digestive systems. this steals our energy, makes us lethargic and makes our bodies ask for more food.
White rice is the most hypo-allergenic, easily assimilated, and energetically neutral of the grains. All food and herbs have properties (warming, cooling, moistening, drying, etc.) but white rice is completely neutral. While white rice is the best, though, it should not be taken to the exclusion of the other grains. All foods have things that no other food will give us, so we need a wide variety. You should have all the grains available, even brown rice. If you soak the other grains overnight, they will have the same cooking time as white rice. then you can cook them together and have a wide variety of grains, but cut the concentration of the more difficult-to-digest ones.
Brown rice was popularized in the macrobiotic movement. Their studies used brown rice as it is found in Japan which is partially milled. They take 3/4 of the husk off. The stuff we get here is completely un-shucked and is too difficult to digest (although you could mill it yourself if you really wanted to).
Brown rice was also touted as being superior because of the experience of the Japanese armada. They fed their navy white rice, and they developed beriberi (a disease due to deficiency of B1). Then they fed the brown rice and the beriberi resolved. So there is some B1 that we can pull out of the brown rice. Does that mean we need it? No.
The thing about this experience is: That's all they were feeding the soldiers. Only rice, nothing else. Almost every other fruit, vegetable and meat out there have B1. If you are eating any semblance of a balanced diet, you don't have to worry about beriberi. Also, vegetables will give you all the vitamins and fiber that you need.
In China, they eat just about everything. The fact that they took the time to knock the hull off of the brown rice indicates that there must be a good reason. It makes it easier to digest.
There are those who argue that we want difficult digestion - That by making it harder, the metabolism will respond by working faster. This is like pouring water on a fire to make it burn hotter. It does not work this way; just look at the Asians. All they eat is cooked or pickled and easy to digest foods. they eat more calories per day than us and have less obesity. This is due to efficient digestion.
I wrote a book called “The Asian Diet: simples secrets for eating right, losing weight, and being well” which explains how the lessons of the Asians cultures have contributed to their good dietary habits and can help improve ours. There’s more info at http://www.theasiandiet.com . I know this site is not supposed to be used to sell anything, so I urge you all to check it out from the library. You can read it in a day. There is a lot we can learn from the lessons figured out from thousands of years of experimentation, observation, and documentation.
Monday, March 23, 2009
As I posted before, no one measures the calories that we excrete. Not all the food we put in our bodies is absorbed. Only that part which we absorb will turn into energy or become stared as fat; and that amount will vary from person to person. Just because a muffin gives off 200 calories of energy when set on fire (that's how they measure calories), that tells us very little about how many of those calories any particular person will absorb.
They used to think the same thing about vitamins. That the form didn't matter, it was just the amount. Now we understand that vitamins are absorbed differently depending on the form in which they are ingested. The same is true for calories. One the blogs, I see a lot of people assert (as they have been taught) that "A Calorie is a Calorie". This is not true and is an idea put forward by those who's products tend to give off less heat when set on fire (ergo assigned less caloric value). Calories from natural sources will be easier to absorb nutrients, deliver a more steady release of energy to the body, and will be eliminated more efficiently.
and for B. White rice is brown rice with a thick hull around it. It is kind of like eating a walnut and not taking off the shell. Of course, nature had to put some nutrients into making that shell, but those are not for us. They have a poor bio-aviliabilty and will slow the metabolism because they are more difficult to digest. White rice is the best, most hypo-allergenic, easily assimilated, and energetically neutral of the grains (all foods and herbs have properties- warming, cooling, moistening, drying, etc... white rice is completely neutral).
Brown rice was popularized in the macrobiotic movement which started with studies in Japan. Brown rice in Japan in partially milled, which is to say that they've knocked about 3/4 of the hull off. The stuff we get here is completely unshucked. So unless you're going to mill it yourself, it's a tall order for our digestive systems to process.
But what about the vitamins? You should get all the vitamins you need from the vegetables; and veggies should constitute the bulk of your diet. The Japanese armada was feeding its soldiers white rice and they started getting a disease called beriberi that comes from a lack of vitamin b12. They switched to brown rice and the beriberi went away. The thing is: That's all they were feeding the soldiers. B12 is found in virtually every fruit and vegetable. So as long as you are eating produce, you won't have to worry about beriberi.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I spoke with my publicist for the first time and she feels that I will soon be doing radio interviews to disseminate the info that is in my book The Asian Diet. I am still looking for a local publicist and, now that the book is in stock, I need to start booking speaking engagements. I don't know what is taking Borders so long to unpack the book and update their computers. Barnes and Noble has had it up for 4 days now, Borders still has it listed as being available May 1st.
So now my quest to learn to speak Korean has been put on hold. I am spending all my time writing articles and press releases, in addition to seeing patients and playing with my little girl. I know I need to strike when the iron's hot and promote the book as it's released, but it is hard because I don't want to miss any time with my daughter. She is so cute, she commands a lot of my time.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
This book is taking off, get your copy before they run out. It will change the way you understand food and empower you to take charge of your health. It's an easy read, but full of important information.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Simple Secrets for Eating Right, Losing Weight, and Being Well
by Jason Bussell, MSOM, L.Ac.
Book review by Michael Abedin
A long time ago, humans found themselves here on the planet. A couple of hours later, they found themselves here and hungry, so they started eating things…
Jason Bussell, The Asian Diet
Imagine a system of healthcare in which you paid your doctor a monthly fee to keep you healthy, one in which you’d stop paying him if you got sick, and might even get a refund. The Chinese came up with that idea a few millennia ago, and it served them pretty well until the Communists came along. By the time of the Cultural Revolution, though, Chinese medicine had about a four thousand year foothold, and most of its principles survived – including the notion that the first thing a physician should do before reaching for herbs or acupuncture needles is to restore balance, especially in lifestyle and diet.
In fact, lack of balance in lifestyle, diet, and attitude is one of the biggest pathologies in Western culture from the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (Bussell calls it Oriental Medicine, which has a cooler abbreviation – OM.)
Are you nuts?
Bussell had a degree in psychology and worked in psychiatric wards before he decided to become a full-fledged doctor, and it paid off – based on everything he heard, it seemed like he’d have to be crazy to be a doctor in the American healthcare system. That’s when he discovered OM, and he’s now an acupuncturist and herbalist, a self-proclaimed white guy practicing Oriental Medicine.
The Asian Diet is what its subtitle says – simple secrets about health based largely on diet, not a collection of magic bullet cures. Some of the secrets won’t be anything startlingly new to anyone who’s spent any time learning to eat a healthy diet:
• Balance and moderation are good in all things, including diet.
• Dairy isn’t such a good thing, although not just for the reasons you’d think – it can actually reduce calcium levels in your bones. (Eggs, by the way, aren’t dairy products.)
• Simple foods are better than processed.
• Exercise every day (not too much) and don’t get stressed.
• Vegetables are good.
Other secrets, however, may border on heresy for anyone who’s made the search for a pure and perfect diet into a substitute for the religious upbringing that they thought they’d cast aside years ago:
• White rice is better than brown, and shouldn’t be lumped with white flour and white sugar as part of the Evil Triumvirate of White Foods. (The brown rice craze started with the original Japanese macrobiotic movement, which used rice with most of the hull removed.)
• Vegetables are better than fruit, and fresh fruit is better than juice. Juice is actually kind of thick and sticky in the body, just like it is outside of the body.
• Cooked foods are better than raw – even vegetables. Digestion is more important than nutritional value, and cooking actually starts the digestive process. Fermentation (pickling) is a form of cooking, prominent in Asia.
• Fill your tummy about half full of solids and a quarter full of liquids (water or green tea) with each meal.
• The biggie? Eat animals – ones that had a pretty good life before they became food, like everything eventually does. Don’t just eat muscle tissue, though, eat all the parts, and eat small amounts of mammals, not just fish and chicken. Think of it as sort of homeopathic, if you need to – and remember that moderation and balance are the keys.
Like any book about food, The Asian Diet has a section at the end with recipes
and the benefits of different foods, and this is where Bussell will most likely open up a whole new market for the idea of a healthy diet from the mysterious East.
Alcohol, it seems, is good for treating hemorrhoids.
The Asian Diet is published by Findhorn Press, a prestigious publishing house that had its origins in a spiritual community in Scotland in the early 1960’s, and is available at bookstores, Amazon.com, and www.findhorn.com
Michael Abedin is publisher and editor of Austin All Natural, a print and online publication in Austin, TX. (512) 803-0721, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Another thing I have been working on is creating a radio show on blogtalkradio. I have not yet decided on the time, length, or frequency, but I may start hosting a call-in show for questions about health, acupuncture, and the Asian Diet. I will keep people posted.
Today was a great example of how people are misinformed about food. I have a friend who has been slowly putting on weight. We got to talking and she revealed that she eats very healthy. She has yogurt, cereal, microwave diet meals, fat-free and sugar-free baked goods, and cottage cheese. The Asian Diet will tell you that none of these things are healthy. For one thing, diary is designed to make things grow. Overweight people do not want to grow. Secondly, they are cold. Cold food steals your energy in order to heat it. This slows your metabolism. Diet microwave meals have a lot of preservatives and chemical additives. Keep it simple and eat simple foods. Just because it says "lean" or "fat-free" or "sugar-free" does not mean it's good. I've got some great Arsenic that is low-calorie, no saturated fat, caffeine free, lactose-free, etc. That doesn't mean it's good for you.
Somehow we have been convinced that foods are nothing more than the sum of their parts. This is how medicine used to see the body, but now they recognize the interactions between the different systems. The same is true for foods. They are immensely complex, and so are our bodies. To simplify an orange to equaling vitamin c is like saying that people have value because of their livers and for all that their livers can do. There is a lot more to us than our livers, and there's a lot more to an orange than vitamin C. We did not evolve by seeking out and eating sources of vitamin C. We evolved by eating food. Plain and simple. As Michael Pollan wrote in his book "In defense of food: an eater's manifesto" we should "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants". It's a good book and I suggest everyone read it. And if you would like to read more about chinese medicine check out acfom.com
They tell me that I should keep these posts short, so
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Today I leave you with one of the truisms presented in the book. The way the things are outside the body is the way things are inside the body. Think about foods that are heavy, dense, and sticky. Is that how you want to be? So you don't want to have too much of those things (cheese, sweets, ice cream, etc). But don't start evaluating all the foods you eat and discard any that you consider to be dense. I'm sure someone may hear this notion, decide that rice cakes are the lightest food, eat only rice cakes, and think that they are being healthy. Other truisms in the book are "you should have a little of most foods", and "you should eat a wide variety of foods".
That's all for now.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
This book is great
Pros: Reliable Information, Broad Appeal, Easy To Understand, Well Written
Best Uses: Gift, Older Readers, Younger Readers
Describe Yourself: Everyday Reader
This book has taught me so much. All of it makes sense: why we should not eat a lot of salad, how our food choices affect our daily functioning, how to be happy. I thank Jason Bussell for writing this book and would encourage everyone to read it. It's a great read and only took me 2 days, but it will change my life forever. Now that I know what these different foods do to me, I will be able to make the choices to live a long and healthy life.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Bacteria has gotten a bad name and is regarded by many as an enemy of good health. This is not always true. There are certain bacteria that we need for proper functioning and protection. For example, women's vaginas need a certain amount of bacteria to prevent the growth of yeast which leads to yeast infections. Our intestines harbor bacteria that help digest our food. When we take antibiotics, these intestinal bacteria get wiped out and can often cause intestinal problems such as diarrhea.
Probiotics are supplements that restore the good bacteria in our gut. Some people think that we should always be on this supplement. I disagree. I think that probiotics make sense when you are taking antibiotics. When your troops are under attack and being killed off, you need to supplement the troops. When there is no war, you don't have to keep sending in more brigades. Too much or too little of anything is not a good thing. I also worry that artificially regulating your bacteria levels too much can impair the body's ability to self-regulate.
So you might think "I am not taking antibiotics so I don't need probiotics". I hope that this is true, but antibiotics have infiltrated much of our food supply. Dairy, beef, pork, and poultry are often tainted with antibiotics because commercial over-production keeps the animals in disgustingly crowded pens which encourage the spread of disease. It is just like when people have been confined in Ghetto's in the past. Overcrowding breeds disease. So what do the industrial farms do? Do they recognize that overcrowding is damaging and provide the livestock with more space? No, the keep them in this unhygenic environment and shoot them up with antibiotics.
This is why is it so important to buy free-range, antiobiotic-free, dairy and meat products. Most of us have been ingesting probiotics unknowingly on a daily basis, so most of us could benefit from a course of probiotic supplementation. But I don't want people to be on these supplements too long. Fix the problem, then avoid the problem in the future. Though beware, that butter you put on your bread in the restaurant is probably not antibiotic-free. Nor are much of the dairy and animal products that you will be served in a restaurant. So periodic courses of probiotics may be necessary.
Eat well, be well. That is the lesson of The Asian Diet. To learn more about Asian wisdom and medicine, check out the website for my office, A Center for Oriental Medicine
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Man is born gentle and supple.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.
Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
An army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and yielding will overcome.
[Tao Te Ching, 76]