With the warmer weather the Earth starts giving us the food that our bodies need. Dandelions are starting to pop up. This fabulous Spring vegetable is very good for us and comes at the start of Spring which is the season of cleansing and new starts. Many people don't realize but dandelion greens are included in most Spring Salad mixes. The plant provides us with potassium, iron and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B, C and D. It is a great cleanser for the body and flushes our system—it's a diuretic. Ancient civilizations used it to treat swelling, digestive issues, kidney problems, inflammation, appendicitis, liver and gallbladder problems and stomach problems. How to incorporate dandelion into your diet—use it in salads, saute it then dress it with a little lemon and sea salt and olive oil (check out the new recipe in my recipe section). Make dandelion tea-one of my favorites. Don't forget too look to the Earth to tell you what time of year it is for your food sources and body. When the Spring greens start sprouting, start cleansing with the greens. Incorporate a little Spring into each day, and eventually, each meal and your body will thank you for it.
It's hard to believe but the amount of sugar and flour consumed by the average person has skyrocketed over the past 65 years. In the 1940s the average person at 22 teaspoons of sugar a month, today, the average person eats 30 teaspoons of sugar a day and the average teen eats 54 teaspoons of sugar a day. Added together experts say the average person today eats 1 pound of sugar and white processed flour a day. You should know that both of these get processed as sugar in your body. With all that sugar, how can our bodies process fat? Your body burns the fast burning energy first—that's the energy you get from sugar and white processed flour. It doesn't burn fat until it no longer has fast energy to burn. This is why so many people find success with the Atkins and Paleo diets. But your body needs grains. Note I said grains, not flour. Flour typically has been stripped of the parts that provide all the nutrients; then it has to be enriched or supplemented with nutrients to keep people from getting sick from lack of nutrients. Historically, that's not how people ate. Grains are an important part of our fall/winter diet but we want to make sure we're getting nutrient rich grains, not supplemented, stripped, processed grains. When grains are overly processed, as stated above, your body processes them as sugar. This taxes your pancreas and it's ability to produce enough insulin to handle all the sugar. This causes your pancreas to burn out, your liver to try and handle the extra sugar and your kidneys to malfunction—not good. The difficulty in trying to eat processed foods and avoid this is that there are 78 different names for sugar: sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, cane sugar, evaporated cane sugar, crystal dextrose, just to name a few. Some of the names for wheat flour are all purpose, bread, bromated, cake enriched, wheat gluten, atta, durum, farina, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, and triticale to name a few. The moral of this story: as much of a pain as it can be, it is essential to read labels if you're buying anything processed. Know your labels. And if you're not sure, look it up before you buy!!