Tracy’s Pick of the Week: 3/17/14 – 3/23/14

Photo by Judah Kelber

Photo by Judah Kelber

Imagine, on one morning, you are on a train on your way to work. You see a gentleman reading a newspaper with one hand, and enjoying his energy bar with the other hand.

Question: what food is he having right now? Can you answer that?

“Energy bar”?

Well, think again. What does “food” mean to you? Is energy bar a type of food, or only a “food-like substance”? Read on and find my answer for you!

1. Cherish an Unsound Hero – Glutathione – in Your Body

Glutathione.

Okay, that may be a strange word to you, but not to your body. Since it is lesser known to the general public, Dr. Frank Lipman specifically came up with a post to call for more awareness to this special component – “your body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent”. High levels of glutathione can improve your immune system, ward off free radicals and dampen inflammation, as well as neutralize and clear heavy metals and toxins from the body.

Because this agent is made inside your life, protecting liver well is crucial. Therefore Dr. Lipman offers some solutions with different perspective to improve your liver function such as fighting chronic stress, opting for healthy diets containing foods like garlic, onions and asparagus, exercising more often, and avoiding heavy long term exposure to toxins and pollutions.

Maybe you have noticed this already – there is the universal truth here emerging again and again:

The mix of stress relief, healthy diets, exercising and minimizing toxic exposure is the ultimate answer to truth health.

It not only expels toxins, but also activates and increases the production of healthy agents inside the body. I’ve become more convinced that there is actually ‘no magic pill” for true health and clear skin. The rule is actually simple and universal. The key is you need to notice it and take small steps to make it happen. Don’t you think?

2. Ten Ways to Manage Your Stress

Now that we’ve touched upon the importance of stress relief in the first article, let’s move dig deeper to some tactical approaches for relieving stress. Besides traditional stress relief methods (e.g. exercising and nourishing your mind by reading or doing positive affirmation), there are a few new ways to handle tension that might sound refreshing to you:

  1. Stay hydrated because dehydration can lead to more stress. On the other hand, keeping the body hydrated can boost energy and stay focused, which can reduce stress levels.
  2. Get enough sleep because without adequate sleep the brain cannot function properly, and because lack of sleep also causes the body to release stress hormone cortisol.
  3. Get anti-stress minerals, the best of which are magnesium, calcium and potassium, because these three minerals can effectively relax the nervous system. Example food choices are dark leaf greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard, as well as avocados, quinoa and almonds.

3. Drinking Soy Milk? Read This!

This post lists four reasons for you to rethink about your soy milk intake:

  1. Soy milk is highly processed and needs to pass through aluminums tanks, the process of which might well transfer aluminum into the end product.
  2. Soy can be genetically modified and contaminated with a large amount of pesticides (if you want more reading regarding soy as an common genetically engineered ingredient, please refer to Environmental Working Group).
  3. If the soy milk on the market contains carrageenan, the product can cause digestive issues and inflammation.
  4. Soy milks may disrupt endocrine and thyroid functions as well as well the hormonal system.

Are you looking for solutions? There you go:

  1. Opt for almond milk or hemp milk instead.
  2. Should you choose to consume soy, choose organic and fermented products such as tempeh or miso.

4. Really, What Is Food Exactly?

This is another interesting article because it teaches you to tell food-like products from real foods. This reminds me of a similar talk by Michael Pollan, New York Times Best Selling Author of In Defense of Food, who also says that we are not eating food any more but “edible food-like substances”. Interestingly, this article takes it a little bit further by also stating that “foodiness” is a sign of “a deceptive manipulation of the consumer”, because the manufacturers are likely to add into the products too many salts, sugar, preservatives and other chemicals that can cause harm to your health in the long term.

So, the solution is this: stop focusing on what nutritional benefits or values this manufacturer claims to have, but ask yourself: “am I eating real food to truly nourish my skin and body? Or, am I just treating my body as another gas station and filling it with all the convenience foods that can do more harm and good?”

If you have 15 minutes to stay on this blog post, watch a TED talk given by the author, Erica Wides, at Berkeley for deeper insights with some Jon Stewart flavors  ; )

5. Behind the Scene of the Cosmetics Industry

21st century is all about consumer empowerment. With more and more free education online, we are becoming more and more knowledgeable and savvy in making wise choices. Here is a great example that illustrates what I mean: No More Dirty Looks, dedicated to helping us make clean, safe, natural and responsible cosmetics products by blogging DAILY (wow!). I have subscribed to their site already. Maybe you could consider doing so, too. Otherwise, stay tuned with my news updates (I know you may keep a busy schedule and not have time to check them all out). I will share with you whatever interesting that comes up from them in the future.

In the meantime, take a look at an interview on the TODAY Show. The highlight of this five-minute clip is the “confrontation” between Siobhan O’Cornnor and Alexandra Spunt, co-founders of No More Dirty Looks who represent for consumers (in my personal opinion), and John Bailey, Chief Scientist for the Personal Care Products Council that represent the industry and government. In this short video, you will learn how cosmetics products can disrupt our hormones and reproductive systems and cause other issues. You will also learn why Bailey believes the beauty products are considered “safe” even they contain toxic chemicals.

So, now that you have finished reading this post, have you got any idea already? What does food mean to you? Please comment below. I’d love to learn about your definition of “food”.

 

For a more savvy you,

Tracy

 

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