Thursday, September 7, 2017

Apples : The Tasty Sin...

 Ever since Adam and Eve, it's been associated with sin

In the story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, and the vehicle of man's falling into sin. Today, we refer to something we prize as, "The apple of our eye" Historically, carbonized remains of apples have been found by archeologists in prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland, dating back to the Iron Age. There is also evidence to show that apples were eaten and preserved by slicing and sun drying them during the Stone Age in Europe.

The first remains of apples that were found, are from around 6,500 B.C. in excavations at Jericho in the Jordan Valley. Also around 5,000 B.C. Feng Li, a Chinese diplomat, gave up his prestigious government position when he became consumed by grafting apples as a commercial venture according to "The Precious Book of Enrichment." Greek and Roman mythology referred to apples as symbols of love and beauty. Jump ahead to 1665 Sir Isaac Newton watches an apple fall to the ground, and wondering why it fell in a straight line, is inspired to discover the laws of gravity and motion. Robert Prince in 1737 established the first commercial apple tree nursery in America called William Prince Nursery in Flushing, New York. One of America's fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800's. Well there really was a Johnny Appleseed, and his true name was John Chapmen. His dream was for the land to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Most historians today classify him as an eccentric but very smart businessman, who traveled around the new territories of his time, leasing land and developing nurseries of apple trees. It is estimated that he traveled 100,000 square miles of frontier country. Ahead to 1989, researchers at

Cornell University use a "gene gun" to successfully transfer an anti-bacterial gene from a Cecropia moth to a fireblight susceptible apple tree. This gene transfer from an animal to a plant enabled the tree to develop its own fireblight resistance. Here, agriculturalists and naturalists applaud, and chemical companies cringe. This puts land grant colleges of agriculture, in a bind because their funding comes from herbicide and pesticide manufacturers. Recently in 2000 researchers at the University of California discover powerful new anti-oxidants in apples. Here's some fun Apple facts:
  • There are 7,500 different apple varieties worldwide, and 2,500 grow in the U.S.
  • Apples can be as small as a cherry or as large as a grapefruit
  • Apple trees don't grow from seeds, they are grafted or budded
  • Apple trees can live to be 100 years old
  • 61% of apples are eaten fresh and 39% are processed into juice and sauce
  • Red Delicious is the most widely grown followed by Golden Delicious
  • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
  • A medium apple is about 80 calories.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
  • The largest apple picked weighed 3.2 pounds.

"An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away"

In the past five years, no area of apple research has been more dynamic than the area of apple polyphenols. The balance of  phytonutrients in apples is more unique than many researchers previously suspected. In terms of flavonols, quercetin is the primary phytonutrient found in apples, and it's far more concentrated in the skin than in the pulp. You might wonder why apples end up with such an amazing array of polyphenols. The recent research studies show polyphenols to be the favorite mechanism used by apples to protect themselves from UV-B sun radiation. Multiple studies have shown apple intake to be associated with decreased risk of asthma. French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones. A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Another Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17%. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39% and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44%. The pectin in apples, supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes. Since most of the polyphenols in apples function as antioxidants, it's not surprising to see so many health benefit studies focusing on the antioxidant benefits from apple. Particularly strong is the ability of apples to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats. This benefit is especially important in our cardiovascular system since oxidation of fat in the membranes of cells that line our blood vessels is a primary risk factor for clogging of the arteries.
The cardiovascular benefits of apples are well-documented in research studies, and they are closely associated with two aspects of apple nutrients, their water-soluble fiber, pectin content, and their unusual mix of polyphenols. Total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol are both decreased by eating  apples. Preliminary reliable health benefits of apples have  been established for several age-related health problems, like macular degeneration of the eye. According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples. Researchers also claim lung cancer, and anti-asthma benefits. The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin, and may help in the management of diabetes.
The apple is actually a member of the Rose family, Golden and Red Delicious apples are mild and sweet, while Pippins and Granny Smith apples are notably tart. Tart apples, that keep their texture during cooking, are preferred for cooked desserts like apple pie. Delicious apples, and other sweeter varieties like Rome and Fuji apples are usually eaten raw. Whole apples are a much better nutritional choice than apple juice. Not only are whole apples richer in dietary fiber, but the current processes of juicing seem to drastically reduce the polyphenolic phytonutrient concentrations originally found in the whole fruit. You've no doubt heard the saying, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." Well, research studies agree. An apple that has been bruised from being dropped, or  damaged in some other way, it will start to release ethylene gas. Ethylene gas can damage the other apples. So handle your fruit with a little TLC, and remove any damaged apples from groups of apples that you are going to store store.

  • Popular varieties for eating are; gala, granny smiths, golden delicious, pink ladies, fujis, jonathons, mutsu, red delicious and spartans.
  • Other eating varieties are; cox orange pippins (very popular apple in England), braeburns (popular New Zealand graft variety), lady williams and gravensteins.
  • Apples that are good for cooking; granny smiths, cox orange pippins, gravensteins, lady williams and golden delicious.

Now, to diffuse an urban myth, apple seeds do contain a small amount of cyanide, which is a lethal poison, but you are protected from the toxin by the hard seed coating. If you eat whole apple and seeds, they pass through your digestive system relatively untouched. If you chew the seeds thoroughly, you will be exposed to the chemicals inside the seeds, but the dose of toxins in an apple is small enough that most adult's can easily detoxify it, but possibly not children.So tell the kid's don't eat the core, where the seeds are. Aside from eating raw apples there there are the deserts. I don't think many of us can ignore the captivating aroma of a fresh out of the oven warm, but cooling apple pie, tarts, or fritters. Or maybe the mouth watering delight of a caramel dipped, or candied apple on a stick rolled in your favorite chopped nuts. Or a warm mug of apple cider, by a cozy fire after a long day of skiing. Or apple sauce with our turkey on Thanksgiving. Is there anything funnier than watching a bunch of kids bob for apples? You see apples aren't only good for us, they are just plain good. FYI according to the Environmental Working Group's 2013 report "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides," conventionally grown apples are among the top 12 fruits and vegetables on which excessive pesticide residues have been most frequently found.

Therefore, to avoid pesticide-associated health risks, avoid eating apples unless they're organic. If you want to roll the dice, and purchase non-organic apples, you may want to ask your grocer about the kind of wax used to protect the apple's surface during storage or shipping. Carnauba wax (from the carnauba palm tree), beeswax, and shellac (from the lac beetle) are preferable to petroleum-based waxes, which contain solvent residues or wood resins. Eat them raw, eat them cooked, or another favorite have them with your favorite vodka. It's no secret apples are one of the truly great foods we could always add more of, to our lives. Good Luck...

Appletini / Apple Martini

It's best to chill both the vodka and the apple pucker.
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps or,
1/2 oz. Apple Juice or Cider  

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  
Garnish with an Apple Slice

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Revenge Of The Steak !!

          Is rBGH in your meat, milk, and milk products ??

First off, the growth hormones given to dairy cows,and beef cattle are different. In dairy cows, the controversy centers around recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a synthetic version of a hormone cows produce naturally. For beef cattle it's steroids, where it all leads is to sick cows, and polluted meat from massive doses of anti-biotic. Beef cattle producers administer a variety of steroid hormones, including natural, and synthetic versions of estrogen, and testosterone to make animals grow faster, convert their food into muscle more efficiently, and make their meat leaner. Synthetic hormones in milk lead to increased levels of a growth factor, known as insulin-dependent growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in both milk, and milk products, and meat.

First let me say if you haven't realized it by now, no one is going to look out for you, and your families nutritional well being. It's your responsibility, You, Not the Farmers, Not the Government, you decide what ultimately ends up on your dinner table so choose wisely. I'll attempt to explore the topics to help you ask the right questions. You elect congressmen and women who are on the right side of these issues, and hold them accountable, deal?
So that brings us back to, rBGH, recombinant bovine growth hormone. According to the organic consumers association, rBGH is a genetically engineered, potent variant of the natural growth hormone produced by cows. Manufactured by Monsanto, it is sold to dairy farmers under the trade name POSILAC. Injection of this hormone forces cows to increase their milk production by about 10%. Monsanto has stated that "about one third of dairy cows, are in herds where the hormone is used". Monsanto, supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), insist that rBGH milk is indistinguishable from natural milk, and that it is safe for consumers. This is blatantly false, the fact's are rBGH makes cows sick. 

Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 toxic effects, including mastitis, on its Posilac label. rBGH milk has been shown to be contaminated by pus, due to the mastitis commonly induced by rBGH, and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis. Also, rBGH milk is chemically, and nutritionally different than natural milk. Milk from cows injected with rBGH is contaminated with the hormone, traces of which are absorbed through the human gut into the blood. So, rBGH milk is supercharged, with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), which is readily absorbed through the gut. So, excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as a cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancers, because IGF-1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers. Based on 37 published scientific studies as detailed in Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, (professor emeritus of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and world renowned author), in his book What's in Your Milk?, "excess levels of IGF-1 in rBGH milk pose major risks of breast, colon, and prostate cancers."

A little history, In 1937, the administration of BST was shown to increase the milk yield in lactating cows by preventing mammary cell death in dairy cattle. Until the 1980s, there was very limited use of the compound in agriculture as the sole source of the hormone was from bovine cadavers. During this time, the knowledge of the structure, and function of the hormone increased. With the advent of biotechnology, one of the pioneering biotech companies, Genentech succeeded in cloning the gene for BST. Monsanto had working along the same lines, and struck a deal with Genentech in 1979 to license Genentech's patents and, collaborate on development of a recombinant version of BST. The two companies used genetic engineering to clone the rBST gene into E. coli. The bacteria are grown in bio-reactors. Then they're broken up, and separated from the rBST. Which is purified to produce the injectable hormone. FDA approved Monsanto's application in 1993. Monsanto launched rBST, brand-named Posilac, in 1994. A 2007 USDA Dairy Survey estimated rBGH use at 15.2% of operations and 17.2% of cows.

In September 2010, the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit Court, analyzing evidence submitted in briefs, found that there is a "compositional difference" between milk from rBGH treated cows, and milk from untreated cows. The court revealed that milk from rBGH treated cows has: increased levels of IGF-1, higher fat, and lower protein content. Today there is a very well established correlation between abnormally high levels of circulating IGF-1 and the development and growth of human cancers. Although IGF-1 occurs normally in the milk of both humans and cows, we as consumers have been concerned about massively elevated levels of bovine IGF-1 in milk, and meat treated with rBGH. Regulatory bodies in several countries, such as the EU, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand have all rejected Monsanto's application to sell rBST.

Here are some companies you can trust when it comes to rGBH, in response to concerns from consumers and advocacy groups about milk from cows treated with rBST, some dairies, retailers, and restaurants have published policies on use of rBST in production of milk products they sell, while others offer some products or product lines that are labelled "rBST free".

  • Costco  has no overall rBST policy, but sells brands, such as "Kirkland", with labels pledging that no rBST was used in milk production.
  • Wal-Mart announced in March 2008 that its private label Great Value milk will be "sourced exclusively from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones like recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST)"
  • Kroger announced  "it will complete the transition of milk it processes and sells in its stores to a certified rBST-free supply by February 2008."
  • Dean Foods has no overall rBST policy, but has brands, such as "Oak Farms", with labels pledging that no rBST was used in milk production.
  • Winder Farms, a home delivery dairy and grocer in Utah and Nevada, sells milk from rBST-free cows.
  • Guernsey Farms, a dairy farm and distributor located in Northville, Michigan sells and distributes rBST-free dairy products in Southeastern Michigan. Its milk has been labeled rBST free for a number of years.
  • Safeway in the northwestern United States stopped buying from dairy farmers that use rBST in January 2007. The two Safeway plants produce milk for all Safeway stores in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and parts of northern California. Safeway's plant in San Leandro, California had already been rBST-free for two years.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill announced in June 2012 that it will serve rBST-free sour cream at its restaurants.
  • Publix, a supermarket chain, states on its website: "Publix milk is rbST-free. (No added artificial hormones.) However, the FDA has stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows"
  • Braum's, a dairy and ice cream retailer in the midwest with a private herd, says on its website that it does not administer rBST to its cows.
  • Starbucks website, as of August 2012, has no statement about use of milk from cows treated with rBST. For example, its Animal Welfare policy is silent on the issue. However it announced in January 2008 that it would no longer sell milk from cows treated with rBST in its stores in the US. The Organic Consumers Association, an advocacy group, claimed that Starbucks' change was due to their advocacy work.
  • Ben & Jerry's ice cream uses milk and cream from dairy farms that have pledged not to use rBST.
  • Tillamook County Creamery Association, a co-operative made up of 110 dairy farms, indicates on its website that its cows are not treated with hormones.

Please patronize these companies because when it comes to food additives they care about your health.

The Center For Food Safety states:
Operations using rBGH do so with little regard for the cows or the humans that eventually eat them, the beef industry pumps growth hormones into upwards of 80% of beef cattle raised in the U.S. each year. These hormones are intended to boost growth rates, and increase body mass. Even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not allow producers to treat chickens, or pigs with steroid hormones, the agency does permit the practice for cattle and sheep. The USDA also allows for a ridiculous amount of anti-biotic application also. Overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture has led to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that make treating illness more difficult. Hardy strains of the bacteria survive the exposure, and pass on that resistance trait to successive generations. Preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobials will require changes in all major areas of use. Such as human medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture. Agricultural uses deserve special attention now, since they account for 70% of the antibiotics, and related drugs used in the United States, and since they provide antibiotic resistant bacteria with a direct route into people's kitchens.

Factory cattle farms who use rBGH, and antibiotics to grow their cattle also pose a major threat to the viability of small organic cattle, and dairy farms. While rBGH enriches Monsanto, it exposes consumers to dangers, without any benefits. So once again we see mega factory farm organizations like Monsanto with a strong Washington lobby controlling public policy much to the determent of the of the beef eaters in the USA. While the congressmen, and women they've bought line their pockets with gold. Paid for by the health miseries of the unsuspecting consumers who believe that someone is looking out for them, and their families nutritional health interest's.

These are organically raised grass fed cows. Do they look distressed? Now if you'd rather consume hormone-free dairy or meat products, look for organic options. U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for products labeled organic require that animals not be treated with either growth hormones or antibiotics, products bearing a USDA Organic seal are in compliance with these rules. On non-organic foods, look for the right words. Check the packaging or label for "no added hormones" or "from cows not treated with rBGH". Don't assume that other wholesome-sounding terms, such as natural or free range, mean that the food comes from animals that weren't given growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. Good Luck...

  Detecting Hormones In Your Milk

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Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
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Friday, August 11, 2017

It's Melon Season !!

                The cantaloupe is really a muskmelon.

The true cantaloupe is a different species of melon than we are used to, it is mostly grown in France and rarely found in the United States. It gets its name from the Italian papal village of Cantalup where it was first cultivated around 1700 A.D. Due to their similarities we will still use the term "cantaloupe" when referring to the muskmelon. The cantaloupe is a melon that belongs to the same family as the cucumber, squash, pumpkin and gourd. The exact origin of melons is unclear, although they are thought to have originated in either India, Africa or ancient Persia. Historical texts from Greek and Roman times also mention cantaloupes. They were introduced to the United States during colonial times but were not grown commercially until the very late 19th century. Many of the cantaloupes available today are hybrids of muskmelons and true cantaloupes and have qualities that reflect both.

Cantaloupes are often picked, and shipped, before fully ripening. Post-harvest practices include treatment with a sodium hypochlorite wash to prevent mold growth and Salmonella growth. Cantaloupe is an extremely nutrient-packed fruit,and has very low calories. It is concentrated with high levels of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. It's also one of the very few fruits that has a high level of vitamin B complex, B1, B3, B5, and B6. The high amount of beta-carotene and vitamin C in cantaloupe also makes it an excellent fruit in helping to prevent many degenerative diseases. Some of the other health benefits include:

Anti-coagulant: A unique compound in cantaloupe helps decrease the viscosity of the blood, hence preventing the abnormal formation of blood clots in the cardiovascular system.

Arteriosclerosis: Regularly consuming vitamin C retards the development of hardening of the arteries.

Cancer prevention: The high vitamin C content acts as a good anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals.

Cataracts: The natural vitamin A from beta-carotene in this juice lowers the risk of cataracts, and generally helps improve your vision too.

Cholesterol: Drinking juices high in anti-oxidant has been proven to fight the oxidative stress. This is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDL's in the blood, and making them a concern for heart disease.

High blood pressure: Potassium in this melon helps us excrete sodium, thus bringing down high blood pressure.

Immune system: The strong content of vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, naturally building a good immune system.

Insomnia: A special compound in cantaloupe relieves the nerves, and calm anxieties. A help for insomniacs. 

Water retention: Especially in pregnant women. Cantaloupe helps your body excrete excess sodium, thus reducing water retention.

While beta-carotene and vitamin A are fat-soluble antioxidants, vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in the water-soluble areas of the body. So, between it's beta-carotene, and vitamin C content, cantaloupe has all areas covered against damage from oxygen free radicals. In addition to its antioxidant activity, vitamin C is critical for good immune function.

For the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened melon. There many things that you can look for to tell if a melon is ripe. If you tap the melon with the palm of your hand, and if you hear a hollow sound, the melon has passed the first test. Pick a melon that seems heavy for its size, and one that doesn't have any bruises or soft spots. The rind, underneath the netting, should have turned to yellow or cream from the green color that the unripe fruit has. The end opposite where the stem was should be slightly soft, and you should be able to smell the fruit's sweetness. Be careful though, an overly strong odor may be an indication of an overripe fruit. Leaving a firm cantaloupe at room temperature for several days will allow the texture of its flesh to become softer, and juicier. Only leave cantaloupe at room temperature if it is whole, unsliced, and not fully ripe. Once the cantaloupe has reached its peak ripeness, place it in the refrigerator to store. Melon that has been cut should be stored in the refrigerator and should be wrapped so that the ethylene gas that it emits does not affect the taste or texture of other fruits and vegetables. If left at room temperature for 2-4 hours, and not eaten, sliced cantaloupe is considered no longer safe for consumption and must be discarded. Mostly because of Salmonella contamination.

A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that minimal processing of the fruit, cutting, packaging and chilling, does not significantly affect its nutritional content even after 6, and up to 9, days. A more delicious, sweet and savory fruit you'll never eat. Cantaloupe, while just fine eaten alone as a desert also goes good with many cheeses, wines, and even deli-meats. I think it's great breakfast cereal, smoothies, or yogurt. It's a standard in fruit salads, and it also makes great warm weather milk-shakes. Good Luck...

Cantaloupe Milk Shake:


2 cups cut Cantaloupe pieces                                              
2 cups Milk
1 cup Plain Vanilla or French Vanilla icecream
1-3 tps Honey
1/2 tps Almond extract

1. Blend cantaloupe pieces till a smooth pulp is formed.
2. Add milk, honey, almond extract and blend again for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add ice-cream to it and whip for 1 minute adding 1-2 ice cubes.
4. Serve chilled.

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Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !! 
But, hurry, this offer will end soon! 

Call - (949) 443-0133 for details on how to receive Orange County's premier personal trainer experience! 

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PLEASE CONTACT ME; Doc Masters, at

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Artichokes Natures Aphrodisiac

        An Aphrodisiac: arouses or intensifies sexual desire.

The name aphrodisiac is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. From ancient times, there have been foods that were believed to increase sexual prowess and desire, and food historians tell us that ancient Greeks were not immune to promises of improved performance and stamina, and heightened pleasure.

The legend of artichokes goes like this, the first artichoke came about because of a lovely girl.  This beautiful young girl lived on the Island of Zinari. The Greek God, Zeus was visiting his brother Poseidon one day when he was leaving, as he emerged from the sea, he spotted this beautiful young girl, Zeus sees the opportunity and seduced her. They got along so well, he decided to make her a goddess, so that she would be closer to his home in Olympia. The young girl became the goddess Cynara and visited Zeus whenever his wife Hera was away. However, the young goddess soon missed her family back on mortal earth. So she would sneak back for a visit. Unfortunately for Cynara, Zeus discovered her escapades. Zeus was enraged. He hurled her back to earth and with a strike of a thunderbolt, and transformed her into the plant we know as the Artichoke. Coincidentally, the Latin name for Artichoke is Cynara Scolymus. Besides their history in Greek mythology, Artichokes have other aphrodisiac qualities, they have a high mineral and trace element content. Artichoke origins dates back to the time of the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.), who wrote of them being grown in Italy and Sicily. The Greeks called them kaktos. Globe artichokes are known to have been cultivated at Naples around the middle of the 9th century. Egyptians believed that the artichoke enhanced sexual power and aided in conception. In 16th Century Europe, only men were allowed to consume artichokes because of their reported libido-enhancing qualities. In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), married to King Henry II (1519-1559), of France at the age of 14, is credited with making artichokes famous. She is said to have introduced them to France when she married King Henry II in the mid 16th century. The French Court considered Katherine De Medici scandalous for eating such a large quantity of artichokes but her husband wasn't complaining. Henry the VIII was extremely fond of artichokes as well.

The "Book of Nature," by Dr. Bartolomeo Boldo in 1576 said, "Artichokes have the virtue of provoking Venus for both men and women. For women making them more desirable, and helping the men who are in these matters rather tardy." Artichokes were brought to the United States in the 19th century, first to Louisiana by the French and then to California by the Spanish. Today California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop. Approximately 80% of that is grown in Monterey County, where Castroville California proclaims itself to be "The Artichoke Center of the World", and holds a huge annual artichoke festival. In 1947 Marilyn Monroe, still going by her given name Norma Jean, was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. Now it was a surprise to me that, even though we eat it like a vegetable. artichokes, are not really a vegetable. They are the large flower bud, of a kind of thistle in the sunflower family. That's why the artichoke has a slightly nutty flavor. Once the flower matures, the Artichoke becomes inedible so the buds are harvested by hand before the purple flowering. Artichokes are large plants, like sun flowers, they grow three to five feet. They have long, great green leaves and tall stalks, in which the spiky flowers bloom. If Artichokes are allowed to fully bloom, the petals open up to reveal a purple pink flower top.

For our health, the total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables. Cynarin, an active chemical constituent in Cynara, causes an increased bile flow. The majority of the cynarin found in artichoke is located in the pulp of the leaves, though dried leaves and stems of artichoke also contain it. This diuretic vegetable is of nutritional value because of it's an aid to digestion, strengthening liver function and gall bladder function, and raising of the HDL/LDL ratio. This reduces bad cholesterol levels, which diminishes the risk for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease. The artichoke is being examined in research labs to explore its phytochemical contents. Two of these compounds, cynarin and silymarin, possess powerful antioxidant properties that may be beneficial in helping the liver to regenerate tissue growth. That our ancestors considered the artichoke an appetite stimulant is no surprise. Research has found that the phytochemical cynarin truly does stimulate the taste buds. It's also responsible for bringing sweet flavors to any foods you eat immediately after eating the artichoke. Fiber is a prime feature of this food with one medium artichoke supplying a hearty 6 grams. Dieters can also enjoy the artichoke for its low count of only 60 calories. With it's delicate taste, artichokes are also a heavyweight on the protein chart offering 4 grams. The artichoke is a no-fat, no cholesterol treat that offers a host of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, chromium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and calcium. The vitamin A content soars to 212 IU. For the B vitamin, niacin, it supplies 1.20 mg while vitamin B6 offers .13 mg. All-important folic acid adds up 61.2 mcg and vitamin C provides 12 mg. Artichokes are a good source of calcium measuring 54 mg while iron supplies 1.5 mg. Magnesium climbs to 72 mg while potassium scores an impressive 425 mg. Even zinc makes an appearance with .6 mg. Because artichokes are so well endowed with nutrients and phytochemicals, many health researchers believe eating them could contribute to the prevention of certain types of heart disease, cancer, and birth defects.

You should select Artichokes that are deep green, and those that feel heavy for their size. A tight leaf formation is also a good thing to watch for. A test of freshness is to squeeze them. That should produce a squeaking sound. Size has very little to do with the flavor. Make sure the leaves aren't dry and open they should be plump and tight. I guess what intrigued me most as a child about cooking, and eating artichokes was the process. You didn't just rinse chop and throw in them in a pot like other veggies. You had to wash, and carefully trim, because the damn things would stab you. This is a big deal when your a kid. Then you had to prepare and stuff the leaves then steam them. Then you got to eat your way through the leaves to your reward at the center. There are as many recipes for cooking artichokes as there are artichoke leaves. My advise is; try them all! For what it's worth here's my recipe:

1. Trim the stem down to the base and discard, You could boil and eat them but I don't.

2. Trim the tips of the leaves, the barbs with a pair of scissors.
3. Rinse them thoroughly, bugs like to crawl in them. Then turn  upside down and drain for a few minutes.

4. Prepare a Dutch oven type pot with about 1-2 inches of water and a vegetable steamer tray.

5. Slice some Parmesan cheese into small squares, and garlic small enough to fit between the leaves, and rinse some bay shrimp. 


6. Gently part as many leaves as you can, and insert 1 piece of each. (cheese, garlic, and shrimp) to each leaf.

7. After the Artichokes are stuffed, arrange them on your steamer in your pot and steam for approx. 2hrs. Keep an eye on the water level and add water as needed. When you can pull a leaf easily from the Artichoke THEY ARE READY!!


9. Continue until all of the petals are removed.

10. With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and enjoy a buttery reward.

Science has shown that pantothenic acid, is the reason for artichoke's sexy reputation. Artichokes tonify the liver, which governs nervous system response, so eating artichokes increases our response to stimulus, and increased response to stimulus means increased arousal, which means...
Now as for their verifiable aphrodisiac qualities, speaking from personal experience I can't remember a time that I prepared Artichokes when a romantic interlude didn't ensue, truth be told. Which is probably the reason I took this point of view in writing this article. Romance, my friends as we all know, has a lot to do with how you set the table, if you know what I mean. Believe what you want, but the only way to know for sure is to give it a try. What have you got to loose. At the very least you're in for a great tasting low calorie, high nutrition meal. The rest of the night well... that's up to you. Good Luck...

         Making Invisible Ink With Artichokes:

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Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Boy's & Girl's, It's Time To Pop Your Cherries !!

 Cherry Fairy Says, "Cherries aren't a fruit they're a prize"...

A friend recently reacquainted me with a better place to eat cherries than the dinner table, and I'm a firm believer that there isn't any treat worth having that doesn't have a cherry on top ! Cherries contain single stony seed, like plums and prunes. People have been using cherry fruits as a decoration, ever since the first bakery opened it's doors.
Cherries also seem to have a very erotic quality. You'll never forget the girls who can tie a cherry stem in a knot with their tongue, will you! Now the native range of the wild cherry extends through most of Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa, and the fruit has been consumed throughout it's range since prehistoric times. A cultivated cherry is recorded as having been brought to Rome by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from northeastern Anatolia, modern day Turkey, also known as the Pontus region, in 72 BC.. Bing Cherries were First Cultivated in State of Oregon in the early 1870's, and quickly became the top ranking of all north american cherry varieties to date. This delicious, bite-size fruit is much more than a whip-cream topping. While rich in vitamins, cherries also contain melatonin a naturally occurring hormone. Produced by the pinealocyte within the penial gland, melatonin plays a major role in regulating a persons biological clock. Cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, and of over 150 flavonoids found in plants, anthocyanins have the greatest antioxidant capacity.

Scientists have concluded many successful studies with melatonin on treatments of cancer, migraines, cluster headaches, mood disorders, fertility, ADHD, autism, bi-polar disorder, insomnia, and preventing memory loss in alzheimer's patients just to name a few.
One cup of cherries contains 27mg of melatonin, an antioxidant which guards against the breakdown of collagen. This results in a slower rate of wrinkle formation and fine lines within the skin. Cherries are also rich in vitamin A (beta carotene) and provide 88 IU's per serving. Vitamin A has been known to increase collagen production and can help soften facial lines. Cherries have 19 times the amount of beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries. Well this little powerthouse can even help prevent and fight cancer. They also contain queritrin which is a potent anticancer agent, and they contain ellagic acid, which some experts now believe is one of the most useful compounds for cancer prevention. Cherries also are a rich source of healthy antioxidants, helping to repair free-radical cells in the body. Another compound found in cherries is perillyl alcohol (POH), which is very effective in reducing the occurrence of all types of cancer. It stops the spread of cancerous cells by depriving them of the crucial proteins they require in order to grow. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found that Bing cherries, consumed consistently over time, may help defend the body against inflammation tied to arthritis and heart disease.

At the Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California, their research published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed healthy volunteers consumed about 45 Bing cherries each day for 28 days. Then blood samples revealed that levels of nitric oxide and C reactive protein dropped by 18-25 percent. Why should you care? Nitric oxide and C reactive protein are two of several indicators which measure inflammation in the body. According to the researchers, the cherries contain natural properties which help suppress some of the compounds linked to inflammation. This is their second study, corroborating such findings in humans. Sometimes those headaches seem to be never ending, but new research from Michigan State University suggests eating cherries can be just as effective as aspirin. In fact, eating just 20 cherries can be 10 times more effective than taking aspirin. Anthocyanins present within the fruit deconstruct enzymes which cause inflammation and relieve pain associated with headaches at a more rapid rate. Potassium removes excess sodium within the bloodstream and calms the blood-vessel walls. It is not a surprise that cherries loaded with 306 mg of potassium per serving can have a positive impact on blood pressure. 
  • Sweet cherries are a great source of potassium, which is important for maintaining normal blood pressure, and contain a number of potent anti-cancer agents
  • Tart cherries have been shown to improve athletic performance, endurance and recovery, reducing post-exercise pain and inflammation. Tart cherries also help relieve and prevent arthritis and gout
Recent studies suggest blood pressure can be lowered by 25% when eating this potassium rich fruit. When you are looking for something to rid yourselves of belly fat, remember cherries are rich in pectin, a fiber which converts to a slow-digesting gel in your stomach, blocks fat storage and increases fullness by up to 32%. New research suggests increasing pectin-rich foods in our diets may enhance weight loss by up to 38%. One cup of cherries provides about 2.7g of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for intestinal health and helps to prevent constipation. Fiber also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Your body can't digest fiber, you absorb fewer calories when you eat it.

Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice after a workout can speed up your recovery, according to a study conducted at Northumbria University in England, reports ScienceDaily. In the study, athletes who drank Montmorency cherry juice, recovered more quickly after running a marathon than participants who took a placebo. Throughout the 48 hours following the marathon, athletes in the cherry juice group suffered less inflammation and oxidative stress, which is a potentially harmful side effect of long-distance running and strenuous physical activity in general. The deep red color of the cherries was our first heads-up that the fruit is special, and now science is taking that a step farther, and finding thru research a link between food, and medicine. Now it isn't all about health 24/7 so don't forget all the great deserts that are made with cherries. Like pies, tarts, cheesecake and girls! If you can't get fresh cherries where you live, try dried cherries, they're like raisins. For a change of pace, swap dried cherries for your usual after-workout energy bar. A 1⁄2-cup serving of dried cherries has 200 calories and about 49 grams of carbohydrates, about the same as an energy bar. Remember tart cherries are pumped full of melatonin, which can positively impact sleep patterns, and who doesn't want to sleep better. If you eat enough (about a handful) you may sleep better.
Good Luck...

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Black Seed, The Cure For Death ??

 Black Cumin Seeds, a most revered medicinal history

Black Cumin seed, is the seed of the Nigella Sativa. The seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant are black, and look something like sesame seeds. Both the seeds and seed oil are used as nutritional supplements. Black Cumin seed (also known as "black seed") has been consumed for centuries, especially in the Far East, Middle East, Egypt and India. It's both a spice and traditional medicine used to treat a range of hepatic and digestive disorders, as well as fever, headaches and skin diseases. The flowers are delicate, and usually colored pale blue and white, with five to ten petals. The fruit is a large and inflated capsule composed of three to seven united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. Its many uses have earned Black Cumin seed the Arabic approbation Habbatul barakah, meaning the "seed of blessing". Let's look at the history;

According to Zohary and Hopf, archaeological evidence they report N. Sativa seeds have been found in several sites from ancient Egypt, including Tutankhamun's tomb. (King Tut) Although its exact role in Egyptian culture is unknown, it is known that items entombed with a pharaoh were carefully selected to assist him in the afterlife. According to Wikipedia, the earliest written reference to N. sativa is thought to be in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, where the reaping of nigella and wheat is contrasted (Isaiah 28: 25, 27). Easton's Bible dictionary states the Hebrew word ketsah refers to N. sativa without doubt. The prophet Mohammed reportedly said that seeds of the Black Cumin plant could cure "anything but death itself". According to Zohary and Hopf, N. sativa was another traditional condiment of the Old World during classical times, and its black seeds were extensively used to flavor food. Seeds were also found in Hittite flask in Turkey, dating from 2nd millennium BCE.

The NaturalNews, reports Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have discovered that an extract of Nigella Sativa seed oil, known as thymoquinone, can remedy one of the most virulent and difficult to treat cancers: pancreatic cancer. The extract does this by blocking pancreatic cell growth, and actually enhancing the built-in cellular function that causes programmed cell death, or apoptosis. According to Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, nigella sativa helps treat a broad array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders. Previous studies also have shown anticancer activity in prostate and colon cancers, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. 

Using a human pancreatic cancer cell line, she and her team found that adding thymoquinone killed approximately 80% of the cancer cells. This study helps dispel the myth that herbs are just herbs, and are thus ineffective in treating disease. A study performed by S. Banerjee for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, showed that thymoquinone promotes anti-inflammatory effects, inhibits cancer cell growth and proliferation and even causes cell death in cancer cells. This study was mostly performed in cell cultures, but the results encouraged further examination of thymoquinone in clinical trials involving the human population. Studies have also shown that Black Cumin seeds can offer benefits as an anti-bacterial agent. One study examined the effects of Black Cumin seeds against the bacterial infection of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA.

This study, performed by A. Hannan for the Department of Microbiology at the University of Health Sciences in Pakistan, showed that Black Cumin seeds offered an inhibitory effect against several strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. These results are significant because methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus can become resistant to antibiotics, so use of Black Cumin seeds may become more prevalent in the treatment of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus if resistance occurs. There is scientific evidence stating that administration of Black Cumin seeds can offer anti-convulsive benefits. According to "Medical Science Monitor," more than 15 percent of childhood epilepsy cases are resistant to treatment even though anti-epilepsy medications are widely available. A study performed by J. Akhondian for the Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran examined the use of extracts from black cumin seeds on 23 children, ages 13 months to 13 years, with refractory seizure disorder. The results of the study showed a significant reduction of the frequency of seizures in the group treated with black cumin seed extract. This herb is just one of many that are now being discovered as breaking the mold and defeating the lie. This herb proves useful and helpful in treating every day illnesses and complex illnesses as well.
One of Black Cumin's most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the respiratory system, including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms. The seeds help increase body tone, stimulate menstrual period. Black Cumin seed oil helps calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates urine production, helps treat pertussis, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure. The seeds are very effective in curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver, probably due in great part to the anti-tumor compound beta-sitosterol found in the seeds. For many years the medical community discounted the health benefits of Black Cumin seed oil in favor of modern drugs. It has been referred to as an old folk remedy, but scientists are now taking a closer look at the medicinal value of the seeds of Nigella Sativa. So let's review:

  • Black Cumin extract is anti-hypertensive, carminative and anti-parasitic.
  • Black Cumin is used to treat diseases related to the respiratory system, circulatory and immune system, stomach and intestines, kidneys and even the liver.
  • The seeds have been known to prove effective in fighting parasitic infections, asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms.
  • They also provide health benefits like increasing body tone, stimulating menstrual period, increasing milk production in nursing mothers and increasing the flow of breast milk.
  • Black Cumin seed oil calms the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates excretion of urine, helps petrussis and improves digestion.
  • Black Cumin stimulates body's energy and helps in recovering from fatigue and dispiritedness.
  • It provides an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and boils.
  • Black Cumin oil encourages the production of bone marrow and cells of the immune system, increases the production of interferon, protects normal cells from the damaging effects of viral diseases, destroys tumor cells and increases the number of antibody producing B cells.
  • Black Cumin contains potent sexual hormones, stimulants, digestive enzymes, antacids, and sedatives; all of which help boost the immune system and preempt diseases.
  • The seeds contain beta-sitosterol - an anti-tumor sterol. They are very effective in curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver.
  • Black Cumin seeds are also used to treat flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation and dysentery.
  • A teaspoon of Black Cumin seed oil, when mixed with honey and consumed regularly during breakfast, lunch and dinner, results in good health and strong immunity to diseases.
  • The seeds, when taken in capsulated form, help in strengthening hair as well as nails.

Black Cumin seed is a food as well as a traditional medicine, and it appears to be both nutritious and non-toxic. So, for those interested in experimenting with it, there are few problems associated with consuming the seeds or oil. Nonetheless, black seed products should be avoided by pregnant women, as one of the traditional uses is to induce abortion. I have a mortar & pestle that I use for crushing the smaller seeds into a powder to add to foods. If you don't the seeds will pass right through you. Seeds like cumin, flax, chia, hemp, all pulverize easily and can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, deserts, and baked goods. If you decide to use black cumin seed or oil, (why wouldn't you) check labels and product information carefully. Black Cumin is commonly referred to as black seed oil, black onion seed, black caraway, and black sesame seed, and other names, but only Nigella Sativa is true black cumin. Good Luck...

  Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Weekly.

Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Californis, and our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
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Call now, (949) 443-0133 or e-mail us at  for details on how to benefit from Orange County's premier personal trainer experience!
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Can You Bring Home The Bacon !!

Now That We're Not Afraid Of Natural Fats Anymore,Right ?

Feel free to bring home the bacon, since we all know now that trans-fats (hydrogenated oils) high fructose corn syrup, and sugar are the culprits behind clogged arteries, and the obesity epidemic in the US. So let's talk Bacon. If you aren't a Jew or a Muslim you're gonna love this one ! (if so my apologies, see you next week with a new tip.) Now let's get started. Bacon is a cured meat, meaning that you use a natural way to prevent the meat from spoiling by way of salt, and often nitrites. Bacon traditionally comes from a pig. Although fake bacon recently has appeared made from turkey and other products. Which may have less saturated fat but is questionably healthier than good ole pork bacon. Pork bacon consists of both the meat of the pig, plus the fat, known as lard. Bacon usually comes from either the belly of the pig, the back or the sides. The amount of fat or lard in bacon depends on how fat the pig is, with the belly usually being fattier than the back, especially in America.

There are bacon beers, bacon bikini's, bacon martinis, bacon burgers, bacon ice-cream, bacon coffee, bacon candy, bacon toothpaste, bacon condiments, bacon, oh well you get the idea. We as Americans LOVE bacon ! By now you should be over the turkey industry telling you their product is healthier than pork bacon. Because if you actually spent time reading the label of turkey bacon, you'd see it contains a laundry list of ingredients, many of which are not good for you such as hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy protein, wheat gluten, disodium inosintae, silicon dioxide and nitrites. Well today you're going to learn how to find your way around pork bacon. First a little history. In ancient times, whenever man found wild boar, he domesticated it, kept it, cared for it, and looked upon his pigs like a flock of little refrigerators with feet, they were future dinners waddling around the pen. From Europe to Asia to New Guinea, wherever wild boar were found, they were quickly turned into captive pork-making machines You are probably familiar with the phrase "bring home the bacon." In the twelfth century, a church in the English town of Dunmow promised a side of bacon to any married man who could swear before the congregation and God that he had not quarreled with his wife for a year and a day. A husband who could bring home the bacon was held in high esteem by the community for his patience. Bacon or bacoun was a Middle English term used to refer to all pork in general. The term bacon comes from various Germanic and French dialects. It derives from the French bako, Old High German bakko, and Old Teutonic backe, all of which refer to the back. Now there are special breeds of pigs particularly raised for bacon, notably the Yorkshire and Tamworth, and...FYI
  • Bacon is one of the oldest meats in history dating back to 1500 BC.
  • In the 16th Century, European peasants would proudly display the small amount of bacon they could afford.
  • 70% of all bacon in the US is eaten at breakfast.
  • Over 2 billion pounds of bacon is produced each year in the US.
  • Until the first world war, bacon fat was the cooking fat of choice in most US households.
The first large-scale bacon curing business was set up in the 1770's by John Harris in Wiltshire, England. Today, Wiltshire remains the main bacon-producing area of Britain. Columbus liked bacon. He brought pigs to the New World. John Harris liked bacon. We celebrate Columbus day every year. I think we should start celebrating Harris Day, too. At the very least, the man should have some statues raised in his honor. It took until 1924 before we had pre-packaged bacon, arranged in slices, the way we most commonly see it today. The Oscar Mayer company is responsible for that, and for the shingled arrangement of bacon in its package. It's not as if Americans didn't eat bacon before 1924. We ate plenty. But we are a lazy people, and the minute that bacon became a convenience food, and we didn't have to slice of a slab ourselves, we went crazy for it. 25 years later, 3 million companies were producing pork products in the United States, and most of those were makin' bacon. At this point in history, bacon was merely a food. It was eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was a survival protein during the Great Depression, because it was cheap and kept a little bit longer than other meats, and was as common as dirt. No one talked about bacon. No one obsessed over bacon. Bacon was just was an indestructible element of the American diet, as common as air.

Sadly some people still think saturated fats are evil, and as a result have banned bacon from their homes. However, fatty acid experts today emphasize that saturated fat from natural sources like meats, dairy, and tropical oils like coconut, and palm are not detrimental for our health, but instead much better than the polyunsaturated and hydrogenated substitutes we've been recently using. Sure, maybe it's confusing to try and tell yourself that saturated fat isn't bad like we once thought. However, it's important that you realize that we were fed lies and deception that only made us fatter, sicker and more unhealthy. We need to change this way of thinking. 
The bottom line is that saturated fats, like that found in bacon CAN and SHOULD fit into a healthy diet. A  healthy diet is low in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and synthetic chemicals, artificial sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup, but high in fresh organic low-pesticide fruits, and vegetables, organic grass fed meats, wild caught fish, and organic nuts and seeds. To understand why bacon, and the fat it's rich in, (lard) is a healthy choice for us to use in our diets along with other beneficial fats and proteins, let's look at the nutritional science of this food.

Stay with me now, if we take 1 tablespoon of pure lard, we see that is consists of an even balance of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, with some polyunsaturates and cholesterol (all animal fats contain cholesterol), but no trans fats. Specifically, it contains*:

• 5.9 grams of saturated fatty acids
• 6.4 grams monounsaturated fatty acids
• 2 grams polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly omega-6)
• 14 mg cholesterol
* analysis from Mass Spectrometry at Univeristy of Alberta, 2003

If you compare lard to vegetable shortening, you get**:
• 3.8 grams saturated fatty acids
• 6.7 grams monounsaturated fatty acids
• 3.9 grams polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly omega-6)
• 2 grams trans fatty acids (man-made)
• 0 mg cholesterol
**anaylsis from ESHA Food Processor

The trans fats, this man-made, fake lard substitute, has now been linked directly to heart disease morbidity and mortality, and there is a strong move to rid our shelves of this dangerous fat as soon as possible. As recently as this Friday the FDA is announcing it is moving to ban trans-fats. If your label reads hydrogenated oil those are trans fats !

According to packaged sliced bacon can be kept in its unopened vacuum-sealed package in the refrigerator up to a week past the expiration date. Once opened, keep it tightly wrapped in a zip-top bag and use within one week. Sealed packages of bacon can be frozen up to one month before the fat begins to go rancid.  Consumers these days are in a non-fat mode. As a result, pork is about fifty percent leaner today than it was 30 years ago. A three-ounce portion of lean pork is only about 200 calories. For those on high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, bacon makes a great snack when fried up crispy. It supplies that crunch that is often missed on these diets, while most of the fat is rendered out. A standard cooked slice of bacon contains about 30 to 40 calories per slice, and even less if you cook it slowly until very crisp and drain well on paper towels. When cooking bacon, do not cook at high temperatures for long periods of time. High heat can turn the nitrite curing agents into nitrosamine. Nitrates are used to not only preserve color but also as a preservative agent to retard rancidity in the fat and kill botulism bacteria. Nitrites have been the subject of controversy as a potential cancer-causing agent in some animal experiments. There are nitrate-free bacon products on the market. Which I highly recommend. Check labels. 

Cured vs. Uncured
Curing is the process of preserving the meat and leeching out the moisture. Usually this is done by a mixture of salt, sugar, and sodium nitrates.

Uncured bacon, or bacon that does not have added nitrates, is derived from pork bellies. Uncured bacon is a misnomer because manufacturers still cure the bacon, but use other types of natural brine. The USDA defines bacon as cured pork bellies with added synthetic nitrates or nitrites, so bacon without added chemicals is considered uncured. Bacon, either cured or uncured, is soaked in a brine to prevent botulism and to provide a recognizable flavor to the meat. Nitrates, which are naturally occurring compounds from plants, mix with certain bacteria to form into nitrites. Traditionally, bacon is cured in a mixture of salt and water with synthetic sodium nitrite added as a preservative. Uncured bacon uses a type of natural nitrates, found in celery powder or juice and sea salt, to obtain a similar bacon taste without using potentially harmful chemicals such as sodium nitrite. Uncured bacon is also known as nitrate free bacon and organic bacon. Unless it says "nitrate free" or "uncured" on the label, it will have sodium nitrates. Because of the difference in curing processes, uncured bacon is generally considered safer to eat. According to Applegate Farms, nitrites can potentially cause cancer in some situations. Under high heat, nitrites mix with amines, a compound naturally present in meat, to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. A large-scale 2011 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that participants who consume dietary nitrites had higher levels of gastrointestinal cancer. Other research have also confirmed that nitrosamines are human carcinogens.

Smoked vs. Unsmoked

Smoked bacon is the type generally consumed in the United States. The differences come in the type of wood used to smoke the meat. This is where the unique flavors come into play, as hickory smoked bacon has a different flavor from applewood smoked bacon, which is my personal favorite. While those two, are the more common woods used to smoke bacon, there are numerous others, depending on the chef and the locale.
According to the differences between the two bacon types come from the way in which they are cooked. The smoked bacon is just that, smoked over a specific type of wood to give it a distinct flavor, unsmoked bacon is cooked to whatever specification the chef would like, with no flavor initiated into the meat before it is sold commercially. Geography also plays a role here, as unsmoked bacon is rarely consumed in the United States.


Pancetta is an Italian-style bacon that is cured with salt, peppercorns and cloves. Traditionally, pancetta is not smoked. Usually, pancetta is packaged in a roll like a sausage, and is sold to order by the slice.

Irish Bacon
This smoke-cured bacon takes on the appearance of a boneless pork loin roast. Irish bacon is lean meat obtained from the "eye" part of a piece of pork loin. This bacon can be sliced to any thickness desired.

Canadian Bacon
Similar to Irish bacon, Canadian bacon is also obtained from the pork loin. It contains less fat and calories than American-style bacon. This bacon is also sometimes referred to as "back bacon" because the meat for the bacon comes from the back of the pig.

American-Style Bacon
Virginia hickory smoked bacon is one of the most common types of American-style bacon. This type of bacon comes from the stomach of the pig. American-style bacon is cured in salt and then smoked; before slicing, the rind is taken off.

Slab Bacon
Slab bacon is a large, single piece of bacon with the rind left on. This type of bacon receives additional flavor when it's smoked.

Peppered Bacon
The name of this bacon says it all: The bacon receives a spicy coating of coarsely ground black pepper.

Apple Wood-Smoked Bacon
My personal favorite is smoked from burning pieces of apple wood which is the key to curing this bacon and infusing it with a apple sweet, rich flavor.

If you are concerned about your health, talk to your doctor before changing your diet. People with certain conditions, such as hypertension, maybe should avoid most bacon because of the high sodium content. Make sure you buy uncured bacon from a reputable company that uses natural ingredients. Good Luck...

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Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special that allows you to enjoy a one month personal training program. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost .

But, hurry fast, this offer will end soon!
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