The History of Kefir Grains

milk kefir grainsKefir, also known as kephor, talai, mudu kekiya, kewra, and bulgaros, is a fermented milk food product originally from the Caucasus region’s mountainous areas.
One of its alleged health benefits is that it can inhibit lactose tolerance. This, however, was questioned by some research studies seeing as lactose maldigestors can actually help in tolerating lactose from kefir. This could be proof that lactose in kefir is actually as high as regular milk products. Fermented milk products are also proven to travel or transit in the digestive tract slower than regular milk. This situation actually keeps lactose intolerance at bay.

Factory-produced kefir no longer has the traditional component of real kefir grains. This keeps the kefir flavor constant, giving the factory-made ones the nickname, “kefir mild”.
Ambient temperature is necessary when fermenting kefir the traditional way overnight. Fermentation of kefir produces the lactose that is sour, carbonated, and comparable to alcohol. The consistency will remind one of yogurt.
One more example of kefir food product and by-product is the water kefir. This refers to kefir grown or fermented in water sugar or dried fruit extract. The fermentation period usually lasts for at least one day.
A group of kefir researchers purported that the traditional way of making kefir is by putting kefir grains in an animal skin bag. The grains are soaked in pasteurized milk and injected with sheep intestine flora and culture. Mixing of pure and semi-pure cultures during kefir fermentation have not proven to be successful as of yet, probably because the mechanisms of grain formation is a bit of an unknown territory in the field of kefir studies.
Research studies also show how kefir grains are similar to carbohydrates with bacterial origin due to lactobacilli. This is allegedly responsible for the final shape and structure of the kefir.

Weight Loss Recipe Enemies

weight loss recipe

Most everyone knows enough to tell the difference from healthy and unhealthy foods. As a rule of thumb, I always say that unhealthy foods are when immediately after eating you think, “I should not have eaten that.” And I am also a firm believer in making one’s own weight loss recipe.

To make an effective weight loss recipe though, one should know who the arch enemies of healthy foods are. There are the usual suspects that have gotten such a bad rep over the years that even non-experts like us could spot them from a mile away. Here are a few of the weight loss recipe enemies:

Butter– OHMIGOD HOW GOOD IS BUTTER, RIGHT?! I cannot think of anything else that is better for frying, nothing more mouth watering, not one think that can be added to make anything fried better. I could write a series of love songs devoted to the richness and absolute divinity of butter.

I would pledge my allegiance to butter. Except for a teeny tiny thing—it will eventually kill you since it’s basically just tastier lard. So yeah, I’m happy for you and Im’ma let you finish, butter, but unclogged arteries are still essential to stay alive—TO STAY ALIVE!

Cream– okay so if butter is the holy grail of all things fried and glorious, this right here is the knockout of all things dessert. That foamy, luscious goodness that stays in your mouth for a few seconds to tease and then dissolves to a smooth layer on your tongue. I love you, cream; please say you love me, too.

Unfortunately, cream certainly does not love back. She is a cold, calculating hag that can only be enjoyed for a small fraction of your life then leave you only with a memory. Again, health gets in the way.

Sugar– Ah, sugar, the good ole friend who has always been there for us. Constantly reinventing herself in new concoctions that blow our taste buds to bits, sugar cannot and will not be silenced. This form of carbohydrate might be simple (some would even say cheap) but she is not one to be quickly forgotten.

weight loss recipeMost of us have held sugars sweet taste in our mouths since childhood and have since learned that she isn’t all that good for you. And as grownups we realize that not only is she bad for us, she’s everywhere—what a psycho. So beware of this temptress, beware her siren song.

So there you have it, the main perpetrators in the complaint launched by weight loss recipe (WLR) proponents. WLR pros has been campaigning for zero tolerance when it comes to the utilization of these 3 architects of health decay and it’s not that easy to say who’s winning. Even harder to say which side I am on.

While information on weight loss recipe propaganda has been informative, butter et.al still remains to be yummy. Who will win this conflict? Only time and heart disease statistics will be able to tell.

Getting Eating Disorder Treatment

eating disorder treatmentDealing with eating disorder is a highly touchy subject. For one thing, the person who needs help probably does not want help as s/he equates getting help with gaining weight, and for another thing, the disease is mostly psychological so you cannot help if the person doesn’t want help. But that doesn’t mean eating disorder treatment is completely unconstructive.

On the contrary, it may save a person’s life. The first step is to be alert and see the warning signs. Now, it’s hard to distinguish a person with an eating disorder as the stereotype is not true—not everyone who has an eating disorder is frighteningly skinny; it is hard but not impossible especially if you are close to the person who has it.

For example, being concerned with appearances is normal; on the other hand, being so affected about the way you look that your relationships suffer is not. Having food that does not sit well with your stomach is normal; suddenly denouncing former favourite foods as disgusting and making excuses not to eat is not. Other warning signs may include going to the bathroom frequently right after dinner, hoarding and eating food in secret, and compulsive weighting of self daily.

If this is the kind of thing that is happening to a person close to you, be ready to administer eating disorder treatment immediately. Assuming that the person does want help, the first thing to understand is that communication is important. Listen carefully to what the person is saying about his/her problem rather than jumping to the solution.

It’s crucial to listen because the usual root of the problem is emotional—not physical. Knowing that someone is sympathetic to his/her problems is already a big load off the person’s shoulder and is a tiny step closer to recovery. Be sure to be consistent with this although out the process.

On that note, do not place feelings of shame or guilt onto the person. Eating disorder treatment is about correcting the behaviour, yes, but shame changes nothing—it only makes people more secretive about their ways. Avoid using words like “you should” or “you’re not”; instead say ting from an “I” perspective—for example “I am concerned about your health”.

The next step is to seek professional help. While being supportive is well and good, part of that support should come from a trained professional. Personally, I think this is a good idea as it is hard to remain objective to the problems of a person you care deeply about.

eating disorder treatmentProfessional eating disorder treatment can come in the forms of psychological counselling, nutritional counselling, support groups or residential treatment (a combination of these can also be an option). On the topic of psychotherapy, experts are of the opinion that family counselling is best as it will allow family members to comprehend the disorder better. At this point, it’s all about being empathic to the needs of the person with the disorder.

Having said all this, what is your role as someone close to the person? The best thing to do is to not lecture the person to avoid battles over food—remember: food is only a symptom, not the root, of the problem. Make the person feel that you only genuinely want him/her to get better.

Being judgmental about the problem isn’t going to make it go away. Thinking the problem irrelevant or frivolous isn’t going to make it go away. Eating disorder treatment, on the other hand, can alleviate the situation.

The Path to Eating Disorder Recovery

eating disorder recoveryIt is very commonly assumed that an eating disorder is a superficial disease as it deals with an obsession about outward appearances. But that couldn’t be further from the truth—having an eating disorder is tantamount to having a psychological disorder. And eating disorder recovery is mostly overcoming those psychological issues.

How is an eating disorder a psychological problem, you might be asking. Well, it’s basically a distortion of how you see yourself in the mirror, a disconnect between what is real and what is projected. To correct the body image and to go through eating disorder recovery, one must first know where the disconnect is coming from.

The warping of self image may come from a number of things but it is usually attributed to one’s environment. This can mean two things—the immediate environment (or family, peers, etc.) or the larger aspect of the environment (society media, etc.). Both factors are of equal importance.

One’s immediate environment comprises of the people who surround you every day. People’s opinions tend to become important to you especially if you are with them daily—how these people react and speak to you often become yardsticks in how much self esteem one has. The way you measure yourself against people (and their opinions) often lead to over analyzing and self doubt.

Society and media often tend to have a very specific view of what is and is not beautiful. So much so that someone who does not necessarily fit this category may automatically feel hideous. To fit into the stereotype is such a large undertaking that developing an eating disorder along the way seems like a indispensable side effect.

eating disorder recoveryEating disorder recovery tackles these issues and resolves to put right the person’s relationship with food as sustenance rather than enemy. Though we have said that the cursory issue of food is a symptom rather than the root of the disease, it is still imperative that this be rectified. The emphasis is on getting better on all aspects.

Having said that, there is a distinctive part of eating disorder recovery that deals with having to relearn eating. Arguably, it is the most heartbreaking process for the family of the person. Imagine having to teach a loved one how to be unafraid of food and weight, imagine how sad to see that person cry because you’re trying to help him/her.

That is another thing, eating disorder can happen to anyone (be it male or female) and thus, eating disorder recovery is still a highly personalize matter. One person can take to it immediately, immediately wanting to get better. While another person may take a long time and still be in deep denial about his/her problem.

If you have an eating disorder and feel that you don’t want it to take over your life anymore, know that you can put a stop to it. Find help. There is so much more to life than counting calories.

If you know someone who has an eating disorder, be supportive. The main thing about eating disorder recovery is knowing that you are loved. Help someone regain his/her life back.

Following the Diabetes Diet

diabetes dietThe misconception about a diabetes diet is that it’s mostly about religiously avoiding sweets—it’s not. Creating a dietary regimen that prevents and/or controls diabetes is mostly about eating healthy and maintaining regular meal times. Also, a redefinition of what constitutes a sweet treat is in order.

Many experts agree that a good diabetes diet is made up of eating at a consistent time and putting emphasis on vegetables, fruits, and whole foods. What you need to do is cut back on a lot of refined foods and processed sugars. A good tip when buying at the supermarket is to avoid the middle and just shop at the edges where the word “instant!” does not come up so often.

The most important thing is to keep the blood sugar levels to a steady rate so that means no overeating! Re-educate yourself on what can and cannot be considered a square meal—it doesn’t always mean eating until your stuffed; in fact, it shouldn’t mean that at all. Even if you are eating healthy meals, that doesn’t give you a free pass to eat a lot.

The mistaken belief of a diabetic diet that is devoid of sweets should be abolished—you can still eat sweets! It’s just that you need to be a little more careful. The key to this is careful planning; for example, if you know that you’re going to be eating sweets today or perhaps have already eaten sweets, make an effort to eat healthier as the day progresses.

Other useful tips include: do not keep sweets around the house because if it’s there, you’re probably going to eat it. Also, you can just eat sweet treats outside the house—thus, making it a real treat as you won’t be having it often. Share your dessert, wherever you are, this will keep sugar levels in check.

diabetes dietAnother good thing about eating less of these kinds of food and pledging allegiance to healthier meals is that your cravings shift as well. Soon, you will be craving more for whole foods rather than plain junk. I like to think of that as an added bonus when following the diabetes diet.

It is also important to know the definition of complex carbohydrates as these will be the carbohydrates you will need to consume. Simple carbohydrates such as candy should be replaced with whole wheat bread or pasta. Other suggested foods are brown rice (as opposed to white), or oats (as opposed to processed cereals).

Read up and research nutrition books in order to determine the best set of carbohydrates for your diet. There is no shortage of information. Your diet will only ever be limited by budget.

Fibre also plays an important part in the diabetes diet as it improves blood sugar control (good for both preventing and controlling diabetes). Fibre is also associated with lowering the risk of heart disease, not to mention, promotes that feeling of fullness so you need not overeat. If it sounds like something a normal person ought to do anyway, it’s because it probably is.

Regular eating habits are also very important as blood sugar drops to an alarming rate whenever meals aren’t consumed as per the routine. Creating a habit out of this will also help your body with regards to metabolic activity. Remember: a diabetes diet is just a healthy diet with a different name.

The Negative Side Effects of Weight Loss Pills

Weight Loss PillsWeight loss pills are pharmaceutical drugs designed to suppress the appetite of the consumer. There are also drugs of this nature which exhibits properties that can burn away the stored fat inside the body which then leads to loss of weight. However, like any other commercial drugs, weight loss products can have serious side effects that the public must be aware about.

Some weight loss supplements may contain chemicals such as Phen or Fen which could increase the possibility of having pulmonary hypertension. These are also weight loss products that contain laxatives – a chemical that makes the large bowels to empty. Laxatives can become harmful since it tends to decrease the stomach’s ability to properly digest the food.

There are also pills that contains diuretics which can cause electrolyte imbalance and potassium deficiencies. There are also weight loss drugs with addictive substance and can become habit forming to the person. There are also weight loss supplements that have gastrointestinal effects such as rectal and abdominal pain among others.

Some weight loss pills are also found to inhibit the body from absorbing important nutrients such as Vitamin D, K and Beta-Carotenes. There are also drugs for weight loss that might complicate previous health concerns of the consumer such as those with history of congestive heart failure and stroke. There are also dangers for consumers who have malabsorption syndrome, anorexic and those who have abused narcotic drugs in the past in taking in weight loss supplements.

Other negative effects of some weight loss products include hair loss, fever, depression, high blood pressure, chronic headaches, restlessness and insomnia. Some people may also experience diarrhea or constipation while consuming weight loss supplements. Some weight loss pills are also linked to impotence.

Weight Loss PillsThe list of ill-effects of diet pills continues on. It was found that some weight loss supplements can cause nervousness or tremor which could lead to heart failure. It is also common news to find people who accidentally overdosed themselves with diet pills which resulted to their death

Do not be deceived by so-called herbal diet pills or those supposedly made out of natural substances. The pills may not necessarily be much healthier and safer to use than conventional ones. There are cases when such “natural” diet pills have caused major health problems to its consumers.

You must be asking now if weight loss pills really works. The answer is both a yes and a no. Yes, to some degree because diet pills have been found effective in losing weight to some people and no because the effect of diet pills is only for a short and limited time.

The reason is that the human body is an awesome piece of God’s work. It tends to be reactive to the substances when continually exposed. As such, the initial intake of diet pills can do wonders but then the body adjusts such that the initial dose may not produce fruitful results as before.

As such, take only weight loss pills when one, it is doctors’ prescribed and two, under your doctor’s close supervision. Negating one can lead to drastic failures while forgetting these two rules is a disaster. So think twice before swallowing that little pill – you might get more than what you paid for.