Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vitamin D Vs. Sun Screen

The Paradox: Vitamin D and Sun Light

Sun is necessary for life.
Many of us depend on the sun for our only source of vitamin D. which has been thrust into the national spotlight as crucial preventing osteoporosis and cancer. The major function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to maintain strong bones. Recently research suggests D may provide protection from several autoimmune diseases.

This hormone like vitamin has subtle yet important effects on regulating vital cell growth and on our immune and cardiovascular systems. A strong connection has recently been found, for example, between low blood levels of vitamin D and congestive heart failure-a condition which afflicts many seniors.

Holick MF. Vitamin D: A millennium perspective. J Cell Biochem 88:296-307, 2003.
Vitamin D expert Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University is concerned that vitamin D deficiency is becoming a major public health problem. Deficiency is known to be common in older people. Women consuming at least 500 IU of vitamin D from food and supplements had a 37% lower risk of hip fracture than those who got less than 140 IU daily. Feskanich D et al. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutrition 77:504-11, 2003.

Rickets resulting in skeletal deformities in children and osteomalacia are classic vitamin D deficiency diseases. Milk, is a poor source of Vitamin D.
A few foods contain vitamin D-mackerel, salmon and sardines are about the highest. Fortified milk contributes some D, but older people would have to drink six to eight glasses daily to achieve recommended intakes from milk alone. You don’t need that much milk. Dr. Holick recommends a daily multivitamin that contains vitamin D.

Over 1 Million US sun worshipers a year are diagnosed with skin cancer; the most common form of cancer; Basal cell carcinoma. I can’t help vision the scene in Indiana Jones where the guys face melts off when he opens the Holy Grail. Well, without the earth’s protective layer of Ozone, we’d end up like that. Is that motivation enough to protect the ozone layer and reduce your carbon footprint on God’s green earth?

As a youth sowing my wild oats in Boston during the late 60’s and 70’s, I often hopped the “T” and Day-“Tripped with friends to Nantasket Beach on the South Shore of Boston. Sun Screen, what sun screen? After frolicking in the surf all day, I’d come home as red as a boiled lobster. I was medium rare. After all, I have red hair, fair skin, and freckles. I was not designed, ever, to get tan. Peer pressure made sure I at least gave it a good try. Actually tanning and sunburn are your body’s way of going into protection mode from the Suns damaging radiation. Yes, radiation. The last thing on our minds was that our Holy Temple was converting sun light into vitamin D.
Our society has determined being tanned a sign of glowing health and affluence. The previously silky, smooth skin of my friends who spend their spare time broiling themselves in the warmth of old Sol, now look like alligator luggage as their skin rapidly ages.
Be forewarned that certain diseases, such as lupus, can also make a person more sensitive to sun exposure. Some medications, such as antibiotics and antihistamines and even certain herbal remedies, can cause extra sensitivity to the sun’s rays. Discuss these issues with your Integrative or Family physician.

Seek shaded areas during outdoor activities. Re-apply sunscreen periodically throughout the day, and frequently if you're exercising in the heat, wear clothing that protects as much skin as possible.

If you must apply ‘self-tanning creams’, remember that you still must apply sunscreen. Your skin may be darker, but that doesn't mean you're protected.
For numerous reasons, get your vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes food concentrate vitamin supplements. Don't seek the sun, please. We want you around for a while.

Happy Spring,
Chef Wendell

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


As a child of the 1950’s Mom would lovingly offering me the center core of cruciferous cabbage every time she made slaw. A little salt and Mom’s sweet gift became crunchy culinary nirvana; Bible belt soul food.

Cabbage is one of the oldest known vegetables. The ancients were on to something exceptional when they began cultivating cabbage. In the East, pots containing cabbage dating back to 4,000 B.C. have been found in Shensi province in China.

The noble cabbage first appeared somewhere in the Mediterranean. Ancient Romans praised it for its plethora of medical attributes. Flourishing with luscious vitamins C and K, folate, potassium and selenium, fiber, and chlorophyll, as well as antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals, carotenoids, lingnans, and indole-3-carbinol, (take a deep breath) these nutritious foods are super! Isothiocyanates stimulate our Earth Suit to break down potential carcinogens, preventing our normal cells from becoming cancerous cells. Pretty cool, eh? Only cruciferous vegetables contain the nutrient isothiocyanates which has been associated with a decrease in lung cancer. Nonsmokers will also benefit since second-hand smoke is so widespread.

Cruciferous vegetables are what help reduce homocysteine levels which reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Homocysteines are an amino acid derived from animal protein and have nothing to do, however, with anyone associated with the Sistine Chapel.
Are you eating enough cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, watercress, rutabagas and Kale? Listen up, men, corn and green beans won’t cut it. The government's set goal of getting 75 percent of Americans to eat two servings of fruits and having half of the population consume three servings of vegetables each day by 2010, said Dr. Larry Cohen of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In scientific reality, we should consume a minimum of 7 to 13 portions of a variety produce daily. Did someone say Salad Bar?
Each portion is considered a half cup and it’s easier to accomplish that you think. One cup equals a portion of leafy greens, such as cabbage. Raw is best. Heard someone recently say that they hate the smell of cooked cabbage and the only way he would eat it if it was redolent of bacon and cooked to oblivion. That’s no way to treat one of Nature’s star healing attractions, is it?
Many of us spend our life either taking preventive measures, or living life recklessly with the attitude that “I’m gonna eat all the steak I want, ice cream, greasy burgers, and smoke all the cigarettes I want so I can enjoy my life. Gotta die from sumthin, right? I may not live as long as you tree hugging, dirt eaters, but I sure am going to enjoy the time I have by eating steaks whenever I want” Whatever! That’s OK, if you are hell bent on self-destruction. Not wanting to be negative, but it is a scientific fact. Heavy meat consumption, little or no vegetables or fruit in the diet, whiskey, gravy and fast food, for example, considerably shortens one’s gift of life.
Our Creator wants us to feel good, using His tools. As you purchase or harvest your first batch of cabbage consider its illustrious history as medicine to the ancients.
Cabbage in America is drowning, submerged in a viscous pool of deadly, deified mayonnaise. We add vinegar, sugar and spice, onion and carrot, then accompany it with fried chicken cooked in pork fat. Darned tasty combination, however, ask yourself, is taste the only criteria that decides what you eat?

Next time, try preparing Sweet and Sour Style Slaw with a fun vinegar, salt and pepper, Stevia powder sweetener, celery seed, grated carrots, green onion, and some diced red peppers. Deliciously crisp, clean, and ready to defend our loved ones.


Chef Wendell

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Red Cabbage and Alzheimer's

After being a chef for decades, red cabbage was not on the top of the list of vegetable side dishes or cool salads. It turns other foods red and when you cook it, it looses it's brilliant color.

Now I'm more aware.

We often make Red Cabbage slaw at home with an oil and vinegar dressing with a touch of Stevia, sea salt, celery seed, onion, and black pepper. Red cabbage has much more protective compounds than white cabbage. There is 8 times the vitamin C in red cabbage over white cabbage. Both have anti-cancer virtues, also.

Food Science and Technology Magazine indicates that the Anthocyanins, antioxidant phoyphenols, in red cabbage can protect brain cells against the damage caused by amylolid-beta protein.

Do not over cook red cabbage or you will destroy the healing vitamins and plant compounds.

Protection from the heart break of Alzheimer's is in God's Apothecary. Go red! Try using shredded red cabbage as 'lettuce' on a sandwich. Loads of fiber.

Chef Wendell

Friday, May 2, 2008

Soy Dangers--The Truth Will Set You Free

  1. Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.
  2. MSG , a powerful neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and added to scores of soy foods.
  3. Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's need for B12.
  4. Processing soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines. Yummy.
  5. Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
  6. High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
  7. Babies fed soy formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed breast milk.
  8. Baby's exclusively fed soy milk formula receive the equivalent of 5 birth control pills per day.
  9. Soy phytoestrogens are powerful anti-thyroid agents.


Fermented soy products like Tempeh and Miso are the only soy products Integrative Physicians suggest.

Peace, Love and Honest Advertising

Chef Wendell