Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Spine Surgeon Reveals Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain

backpain

Spine Surgeon Reveals Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain

 

As many as 8 out of 10 Americans struggle with back pain, and many resort to surgery as a solution. Unfortunately, this often does not resolve the problem, and in some cases simply worsens the situation.

 

Dr. David Hanscom, an orthopedic surgeon with a practice in Seattle, is unusual in that he tells most of his patients they don’t need surgery. He’s written a book detailing his novel approach to chronic pain treatment, called “Back in Control: A spine surgeon’s roadmap out of chronic pain.”

 

Spinal Fusions Rarely Cure Chronic Back Pain

 

Spinal fusions are a lucrative business and great source of revenue for the hospital and surgeon. Unfortunately, they rarely work for the patients. Spinal fusions arose from the assumption that disc degeneration was a source of back pain.

 

Therefore, it was thought that by fusing the disc together with the bone, which eliminates motion, you would get rid of the pain. However, that has since been proven false.

 

“Disc degeneration actually does not cause back pain. That’s been well-documented,” Dr. Hanscom says.

 

“The success rate of the spinal fusion for back pain was about 24 percent, but we still kept doing it. Then, in 1994, when this paper came out Washington showing that the return-to-work rate one year after a spinal fusion for back pain was 15 percent, I just stopped.

 

Every paper since then has showed pretty much the same dismal results; there’s maybe a 20 to 25 percent success rate of spinal fusion for back pain…

 

And the downside of a failed spine surgery is terrible. It’s really bad. These people are condemned to live their entire lifetime, 30 to 40 more years, in chronic pain.”

 

Despite such findings, spinal fusions are still popular. Each year, some 600,000 spinal fusions are performed in the U.S. with a high percentage of them being performed for non-specific low-back pain, at a cost of more than $600 billion.

 

Neurophysiological Disorder (NPD)

 

By 1988, Dr. Hanscom was suffering from burnout, which included 16 NPD symptoms. He did not know the nature of the problem and would be in this state for another 15 years.

 

Chronic pain was one of his symptoms. He inadvertently solved his chronic pain in 2003 and it took another few years before he understood that he had full-blown Neurophysiologic Disorder (NPD). He began sharing his experience with his patients in 2006.

 

NPD is rooted in chronic stress and anxiety. Your body becomes full of adrenaline, and every organ system starts responding and acting up. According to Dr. Hanscom, there are over 30 symptoms created by an adrenalized nervous system.

 

“Some of my 16 symptoms included migraine headaches, ringing in my ears, burning on my feet, itching on my scalp, migratory skin rashes, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

It was brutal. What I didn’t realize… is that anxiety is actually one of the classic manifestations of neurophysiological disorder. I developed extreme anxiety. I did not become a major spine surgeon by having anxiety; I became a major spine surgeon by suppressing anxiety.

 

As you know, when we try not to think about something, we think more, right? Interestingly, the burnout rate in medicine is about 50 to 55 percent and has a lot to do with suppressed anxiety.

 

Whenever I give lectures on burnout and I use the ‘anxiety’ word, the whole room just goes absolutely quiet. If I hadn’t gone through it myself, I would not really be able to talk about it….

 

We also found out that anxiety or mental pain and physical pain are processed in the same part of the brain. They’re essentially the same thing.”

 

Over the following decade and a half, Dr. Hanscom struggled to recuperate, and through a combination of pure luck and trial and error, he eventually developed a system for treating chronic pain by addressing not just the physical, but also the emotional/mental component of anger and anxiety.

 

While there’s nothing particularly new about this process, it involves going through a sequence of strategies that allow you to calm down and de-adrenalize your nervous system. Hundreds of patients have now tried this system, and lead pain-free lives.

 

This system includes:

 

Addressing your sleep

Expressive writing

Relaxation techniques

Nutrition and mild medications

Physical therapy and rehabilitation, including structure strengthening exercises

The Therapeutic Value of Expressive Writing

 

One of the strategies that had a profound impact on Dr. Hanscom’s own recovery was expressive writing — the act of writing down your negative thoughts and emotions. Interestingly, there are over 200 research papers published since 1982 documenting the effectiveness of expressive writing.

 

“The research began with expressive writing around prior traumas and many different formats have been studied. The most straightforward method is ‘negative writing.’

 

This is where you’re simply writing down your current negative thoughts – the darker, the better – and you’re destroying them instantly. You’re not writing positive thoughts; you’re writing down your negative thoughts.

 

You are not destroying them to get rid of the thoughts. They are permanently etched into your brain. You are allowing yourself to write with complete freedom, so the exercise separates you from your thoughts. Again, when you try not to think about something, you think about it more. None of us like unpleasant thoughts, so we keep tossing them aside. Dr. Daniel Wegner out of Harvard pointed out that by simply writing down the thoughts you’re trying to suppress, it breaks the cycle,” he explains.

 

Expressive writing exercises are now a foundational component of Dr. Hanscom’s program. By breaking up the psychological pathways of anxiety and frustration, it allows you to reprogram your brain. Back pain is a classic type of chronic pain that responds well to expressive writing. An interesting study showing the emotional aspect of back pain was published last year.

 

Using MRI brain imaging, they showed that while people feeling acute back pain had an activated pain center, as you would expect, people who have been in chronic pain for more than 10 years experience pain in the emotional center of their brain only. The pain center was completely dormant.

 

Patients in the acute pain group were then rescanned every three months, and they found that within 12 months, if the pain still persisted, it migrated from the pain center to the emotional center. So, chronic pain is experienced in a completely different part of your brain compared to acute pain.

 

An Extreme Success Story

 

Dr. Hanscom recounts one rather extreme example of how effective this technique can really be. A gentleman broke his back in a horse riding accident. He subsequently needed surgery on most of his thoracic spine, which led to severe chronic pain. By the time he came to see Dr. Hanscom, he’d been in pain for eight years. Two other surgeons had told him he needed a fusion from his neck all the way down to his pelvis for pain. He came to Dr. Hanscom for a third opinion.

 

“He had disc degeneration, but he had a straight spine. He had no indications for a major spinal fusion surgery. I said, ‘Look, I don’t think you need a surgery no matter what. There’s just nothing there to operate on. By the way, here are your writing exercises. Take a look at the book, see what you think, and call me in a couple of weeks.’ He’s a Ph.D. scientist and he thought I was just absolutely out of my mind. ”

 

The man’s girlfriend convinced him to try the writing exercises despite his skepticism, and by the third writing exercise — about three days later — he was 80 percent pain-free. After participating in one of Dr. Hanscom’s workshops at the Omega Institute, he became completely pain-free, and he’s now been pain-free for a year.

 

“He’s doing normal things now after eight years of chronic pain, he’s even back riding his horse in the hills at a full gallop. If he’d had those operations, he’d have a spine as stiff as a board, the chance of getting rid of his pain is almost zero, and it would’ve been disaster.”

 

Three Components to Treating Chronic Back Pain

 

According to Dr. Hanscom, disc degeneration is never a reason for surgery. In his view, surgery simply isn’t the right solution for back pain or neck pain. Sciatica and leg pain may be relieved through surgery, however. When it comes to treating back pain, he believes there are three components to getting better:

 

Learning about the mechanics of chronic pain and understanding that it’s a neurological disorder

Treating all the variables simultaneously. This includes sleep, stress, medication, nutrition, mental outlook on life, and physical conditioning. “There’s never one answer for chronic pain. People say, ‘I tried a chiropractor, it didn’t work.’ Well, that could help 10 percent, but if you’re not sleeping, it’s not going to work. You have to combine modalities to get better,” he says. “Sleep is No. 1. The entire project is null and void unless you’re sleeping”

Taking control of your own care. For example, for some people chiropractic or acupuncture may be very helpful, whereas it may not work for others. You need to take an active role in determining what’s best for you, and pursue treatments that work in your case

When seeing a new patient, for the first month or two, Dr. Hanscom works with simple medications to address sleep problems and pain. Then he will immediately ask you to start the expressive writing exercises, which teach you awareness and detachment, allowing you to reprogram your brain. Active meditation is also used.

 

“I simply have them put their brain on sensory input, maybe 20 to 30 times during the day. If you’re anxious and frustrated, you simply listen to your sensory input. Instead of fighting the pathways, you place your attention elsewhere.

 

The second phase of the treatment is all about learning more about chronic pain, and addressing the physical part of your pain. He also stresses the need to work on forgiveness. Since pain pathways and anger pathways are linked, whenever your anger pathways are fired up, your pain pathways are going to be fired up, and vice versa.

 

Dr. Hanscom recommends the book, Forgive for Good by Fred Luskin, the director of the Forgiveness Projects at Stanford University, and who did four major research projects on forgiveness.

 

A retired physician and professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, Dr. John Sarno, was a forerunner in the field of using forgiveness to address chronic pain, and many of Sarno’s concepts have formed the foundation of what Dr. Hanscom now teaches.

 

It’s also important to realize that working on your anger and anxiety issues may be a long-term process. An old issue may be triggered at any time, and unless you immediately address it, your pain may come back right along with your anger and anxiety. As noted by Dr. Hanscom:

 

“It can be base level stress or quirky stress. But you will get triggered. It took me a long time to accept that fact. I teach this stuff. But when I get triggered, I get angry about being triggered.”

 

Surgery Is Best Reserved as a LAST Resort

 

In many if not most cases, pain can be resolved using very simple strategies. The key is to find what works for you, and more often than not, there’s an emotional component that needs to be addressed. Dr. Hanscom, like me, strongly recommends leaving surgery as a very last resort.

 

I also struggled with back pain for about five or six years, despite getting regular exercise and trying a large number of different treatments. Still, I persisted and continued to try different strategies. The approach that finally resolved my back pain was simply to avoid sitting! I now sit about one hour per day, and I have no back pain.

 

“I can’t tell you how bad the suffering is for people with failed back surgery,” Dr. Hanscom says. “I see people like you all the time, where some simple intervention solved the problem. And then I’m watching another person come in with five back surgeries in five years. They started out just like you. It’s hard to watch.

 

I’m incredibly determined to bring this right to the mainstream public. I don’t think mainstream medicine is going to buy into it, but I’m incredibly determined to get this out into the general public knowledge because, right now, the business in medicine is doing procedures that don’t work because they make a profit, period… [But] I’m working very hard about creating my own gravity around the situation, and we’re making some definite progress here at the hospital. My partners and I are looking at [pain] differently.”

 

More Information

 

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Hanscom’s book, Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain. Please do keep in mind that while it may initially seem like there’s nothing new here — perhaps you’re already familiar with medication and physical therapy for example, and therefore think it simply will not work for you — it’s the process that makes it work.

 

And most importantly, your willingness to truly and fully engage in the process will determine much of your outcome. Dr. Hanscom views his book as a framework that presents known solutions to the various aspects of pain. Once you understand your situation in light of this structure you will find your own solution.

 

“It’s a very paradoxical process. You actually can’t fix yourself. [But] you are putting tools into place to allow your brain to heal,” he says… “For instance, a lot of people have read the book and started their writing. Nothing really happens until those writing exercises start. Usually by the second or third … phone call they’re sort of doing the tools but they’re heading for the wrong direction.”

 

This happens because sometimes these people are writing all day, long, Dr. Hanscom explains, and that’s actually counterproductive because you’re trying to capture your thoughts and “fix” them — which is another form of trying to regain control.

 

“This is a process about letting go of control, not having more control,’ he says. It’s completely opposite of what we’ve been taught about stress. That’s why I think finding a coach of some sort who can guide you through the process is critical.I do think a psychologist can be very helpful for guidance and wisdom… There’s just not an exact answer for different people. It’s more like a menu of options. But the key is staying persistent with the process.”

 

I would also encourage you to sit less, as sitting may actually be aggravating your back or neck pain. Cut it down to about three hours a day or less if you can. Also, while it’s not a popular idea, consider being grateful that your body is wise enough to tell you that there’s something in your life that needs to be changed, be it emotional in nature, or physical. A book that addresses this is Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants, by Dr. Paul Brand. Once you pinpoint the real problem, your pain can finally be released.

 

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The One Food That Causes all Cardiac Problems

sugar

 

 

According to soda companies like Coca-Cola, sugary beverages can be safely enjoyed as part of a “balanced” diet and lifestyle. But what kind of “balance” are they really talking about?

 

In essence, the “balance” referred to here is a balance between poison and nutrition. The idea they’re promoting is that if you eat a healthy diet, you can safely indulge in a little bit of poison every now and then.

 

This is the only balance they can refer to, because when it comes to real foods and pure water — which is the only beverage your body cannot live without — maintaining balance is not really an issue.

 

When you eat real food, it is beneficial and you don’t need to concern yourself with adverse effects like obesity and diabetes.

 

Even a Little Junk Food Adversely Impacts Health

 

Food either supports health, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be construed as an acceptable part of a healthy diet. It should be accurately portrayed as a junk food to be consumed as little as possible, if ever.

 

The idea that junk food can be safely enjoyed in moderation was recently demolished yet again with the publication of a study1,2,3 showing that eating just one junk food treat per day for one month is enough to trigger metabolic syndrome in healthy people.

 

The treats, which provided an additional 1,300 calories per day, included an assortment of candy bars and pastries.

 

In people already diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which includes symptoms such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar levels, indulging in one milkshake per day for one month exacerbated their condition.

 

Metabolic syndrome in turn can have deadly consequences, raising your risk for diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. As noted by co-author Suzan Wopereis:

 

“Acute affects of diet are mostly small, but may have large consequences in the long run.

 

Our novel approach allows detection of small but relevant effects, thereby contributing to the urgently needed switch from disease-care to healthcare, aiming for a life-long optimal health and disease prevention.'”

 

Snack Ads Dominate While Cost of Severe Obesity Now Tops $8 Billion

 

Medicaid spends $8 billion per year on severe obesity4 — an expense that is entirely avoidable. Obesity may also be a contributing factor to increased use of prescription drugs in the US.

 

Harvard researchers warn that 59 percent of American adults now use at least one prescription drug5 — a 50 percent increase from a decade ago. More people are also taking multiple drugs, which increases the risk of adverse drug interactions.

 

About 15 percent of adults now take more than five drugs, and the researchers suggest this rise in drug use may be related to an increase in obesity.

 

To prevent obesity though, people need to be told the truth about nutrition and processed foods. The food industry must be held accountable for its lies, and junk food advertising for kids needs to be minimized or abolished.

 

According to a recent report, 40 percent of the ads kids see on television are for sugary snacks, and research6 shows these early impressions can significantly shape their future food habits.

 

Since 2010, snack ads have increased by 18 percent. In 2014, preschoolers saw an average of 582 snack ads on TV, kids aged 6 to 11 saw 629 snack ads, an increase of 10 percent since 2010, and teens saw 635 snack ads, an increase of 29 percent.

 

Food companies are also targeting certain ethnic groups to a greater extent than others. As reported by CNN:7

 

“Marketing of savory snacks to black and Hispanic youth shot up 551 percent, whereas yogurt ads dropped 93 percent between 2010 and 2014. Black children saw 64 percent more snack food ads on TV than white children, and 129 percent more ads for savory snacks.”

 

Adults are also seeing more ads for junk food. In 2014, adults saw 793 snack ads, a 32 percent increase since 2010. Millions of junk food ads were also placed on YouTube and Facebook in 2014.

 

Soda Linked to Increased Risk for Heart Failure

 

Swedish researchers are also warning that soda consumption may raise your risk for heart failure. The study8,9 included 42,000 men (aged 45 to 79) who were followed for nearly 12 years. Men who drank two or more glasses of soda or other sweetened beverages per day had a 23 percent greater risk of developing heart failure than those who avoided these types of drinks.

 

While the study cannot prove causation, lead author Susanna Larsson told Reuters10 that: “The take-home message is that people who regularly drink sweetened beverages should consider reducing their consumption.”

 

Cutting Sugar Can Quickly Improve Your and Your Child’s Health

 

Another recent and widely publicized study demonstrates just how quickly your health can improve simply by cutting out added sugars. The research11,12,13,14 was led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist who has long argued that added sugar is toxic when consumed in too-high amounts.

 

By replacing refined sugars and processed fructose with starches, obese children saw significant improvements in biomarkers associated with health in just 10 days, even though their overall calorie intake and the overall percentage of carbohydrates remained the same.

 

The study reduced the amount of added sugars from an average of 27 percent of daily calories down to about 10 percent, which is in line with the most recent recommendations by the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, issued in February.

 

 

“Every aspect of their metabolic health got better, with no change in calories. This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight. Rather, sugar is metabolically harmful because it’s sugar.”

 

On average, the children (aged eight to 18) saw the following improvements in their lab work and disease markers after this short intervention:

 

LDL cholesterol fell by 10 points

Diastolic blood pressure fell five points

Triglycerides were reduced by 33 points

Fasting blood sugar dropped by 53 percent

Insulin levels also significantly improved

Refined and Processed Sugars Are Different from Sugars Found in Whole Foods

 

From a health standpoint, the children were not placed on an ideal diet — they were fed hot dogs and baked potato chips for example, but this was done specifically to demonstrate the impact of added sugars on metabolic health.

 

Refined sugar and processed fructose such as high-fructose corn syrup is FAR more harmful than glucose and other sugars found in whole foods. Even fructose in whole fruit is less harmful than processed high-fructose corn syrup due to the presence of fiber in the fruit.

 

Soda Politics and the Energy Balance Scam

 

 

The video above was produced by the Global Energy Balance Network, a front group secretly funded by Coca-Cola.16,17,18,19,20 The chief aim of this group appears to be to confuse consumers about soda science, and divert attention away from the mounting evidence showing that sweet beverages are a major contributor to obesity and diseases associated with insulin resistance, such as diabetes.

 

As reported by The New York Times,21 which exposed the ties between Coca-Cola and the Global Energy Balance Network back in August of this year:

 

“Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new ‘science-based’ solution to the obesity crisis: to maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise, and worry less about cutting calories. The beverage giant has teamed up with influential scientists who are advancing this message in medical journals, at conferences and through social media…

 

‘Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, ‘Oh they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much’ — blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks, and so on,’ the group’s vice president, Steven N. Blair, an exercise scientist, says in a recent video announcing the new organization. ‘And there’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.'”

 

To claim that evidence is lacking is beyond ludicrous, and in support of the New York Times’ exposé, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) wrote a Letter to the editor22 signed by 36 leading researchers, scientists, and public health officials, noting that Coca-Cola is blatantly ignoring the “well-documented evidence that sugary drinks are a major contributor to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.”

 

My recent interview with Marion Nestle about her new book, Soda Politics, goes into extensive details on how the soda industry manipulates and distorts the truth on this issue to protect their business.

 

 

 

 

Food Companies Should Stop Fighting the Obvious, Obesity Expert Says

 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed adding “added sugar” to the Nutrition Facts panel on processed foods, set at 10 percent of total energy intake for a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet. The total amount of added sugar would also be listed in grams. With few exceptions, food companies are aggressively opposed to the proposal, claiming it will only add confusion,23 as they believe all sugar calories are metabolically identical.

 

In an article24 titled “Food Companies Should Stop Fighting the Obvious: Sugar is Ruining Our Health,” Dr. Lustig blasts the food industry’s outdated view that all calories are created equal, and that there’s insufficient evidence demonstrating that added sugars are different from sugars found in whole foods.

 

He also notes that U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala) has even introduced a House bill that would restrict federal nutritional guidelines to those backed by “robust scientific evidence” only. This means any nutritional guideline would have to be proven through randomized controlled trials.

 

“The problem is that clinical nutritional data almost never reach robust proof, because you can’t change the diets of people for 50 years to see if they develop more diabetes or heart disease; it’s expensive, unethical, and unlawful,” Dr. Lustig writes. “Scientists have shown that adding extra sugar to people’s diets worsens cardiometabolic risk factors, such as high triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose and insulin levels, or low HDL — all components of what is called ‘metabolic syndrome.'”

 

Dr. Lustig goes on to discuss the findings of his latest study, in which biomarkers for health were significantly improved in obese children in just 10 days by trading added sugars for starches. Both are carbohydrates, but his short-term experiment clearly shows that all calories are NOT created equal when it comes to their health effects. As noted by Dr. Lustig:

 

“Our study… establishes a direct relationship between added sugar and these chronic diseases, unrelated to its calories or its effects on weight… [E]very aspect of their metabolic health improved… all without changing the children’s calorie intake or weight and without exercise.

 

We simply substituted starch for sugar in their processed food and watched their health improve. This is not correlation. It’s causation — the most robust evidence of all… To turn our epidemic of metabolic syndrome around, the food industry must reduce the sugar it surreptitiously adds to processed foods… Science should drive policy, but the politics get in the way.

 

And politics is based on money. The food industry nets about $450 billion per year, yet America wastes at least $830 billion per year caring for diseases linked to metabolic syndrome… This is unsustainable, and a major reason why Medicare and Social Security will be broke by 2030. The USDA must do the right thing and curb Americans’ consumption of added sugar, rather than kowtowing to the processed-food industry.”

 

Are You Eating Too Much Sugar?

 

The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend limiting your daily added sugar intake to 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women. The average American, however, consumes around 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day, and this is quite clearly far too much for your body to handle. A meta-review25 published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that once you reach 18 percent of your daily calories from added sugar, there’s a two-fold increase in metabolic harm that promotes pre-diabetes and diabetes.

 

I strongly recommend limiting your daily fructose intake to 25 grams or less from all sources, including natural sources such as fruit — regardless of whether you’re male or female. That equates to just over 6 teaspoons of total sugar a day. If you’re insulin resistant, which applies to about 80 percent of Americans, you’d be wise to limit your total fructose to 15 grams per day until your insulin resistance is resolved.

 

You don’t have to become another disease statistic… The power to get healthy really is in your hands, and one of the most powerful strategies to improve your health is to cut down (or eliminate) refined sugar and processed fructose (corn syrup). A good place to start would be to cut down on soda and juice if you’re currently drinking it on a regular basis, until you get to zero. Then, start working on trading out processed foods for whole foods. It’s not rocket science to figure out what a healthy diet is. In short, it’s REAL FOOD — food in its unadulterated state, or as minimally processed as possible.

 

The following chart will provide a few more clarifying details:

 

Foods that promote weight gain      

Processed foods of all kinds   Whole, unadulterated (ideally organic) vegetables, fruits, and berries

Added sweeteners, regardless of whether they have calories or not. This includes all forms of added sugars, especially processed fructose (such as high-fructose corn syrup), but also artificial sweeteners, which confuse your metabolism and trick your body into storing fat            Unprocessed, unpasteurized traditionally cultured and fermented foods, such as kefir, kambucha, natto, kimchee, and fermented vegetables of all kinds

Meats from confined animal feeding operations, as they’re typically fed genetically engineered grains contaminated with glyphosate instead of plain grass, plus antibiotics and other growth promoters to fatten up the animals as quickly as possible.

 

Farmed fish are also fed an inappropriate diet that reduces their nutritional quality

Foods that promote healthy weight

 

Organically-raised grass-fed meats, pastured chicken, and wild-caught fish that are low in contaminants

Processed grains of all kinds, including organic ones, as they all break down into sugar in your body. Unless organic, grains may also be contaminated with glyphosate even if they’re not genetically engineered. Such is the case with most conventional wheat for example  Fresh sprouts, which can be easily grown at home. A wide variety of seeds can be sprouted, which maximizes their nutritional value.

 

For example, once sunflower seeds are sprouted, their protein, vitamin, and mineral content will typically provide you with 30 times the nutrient content of organic vegetables

Trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as margarine, canola, corn, and soy oils            Healthy fats, including organically-raised grass-fed meats, fatty fish like wild caught salmon, coconut oil, olives and olive oil,26 avocado, raw nuts,27 organic pastured egg yolks, and butter made from raw grass-fed milk.

 

For cooking, tallow and lard are ideal. Since they’re saturated fats, they do not oxidize when heated. And, since saturated fats do not have double bonds that can react with oxygen, they also cannot form dangerous aldehydes or other toxic oxidation products.

 

Coconut oil is another healthy option, as it too resists oxidation when heated.

 

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Zucchini Pasta with Green Goddess Vinegarette

zxucchini

Zucchini Pasta with Green Goddess Vinaigrette

Servings: 16

  • 8 zucchini
  • 4 avocados
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed to a liquid
  • Sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chili vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups basil
  • 2 cups mint
  • 4 cups pear tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, chopped
  • Parmesan to taste for a garnish

1.Using a spiralizer or mandolin, turn the zucchini into pasta. If you do not have a spiralizer, you can do this with a mandolin. Salt with a little sea salt and let the “pasta” sit, so it softens.

2. Mix the all the ingredients for the Green Goddess vinaigrette — the avocados, coconut oil, chili vinegar, lime juice, and honey — with a hand blender. Season to taste.

3. Now heat the pasta with three tablespoons of the coconut oil on medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.

4. Mix the pasta with the Green Goddess vinaigrette and most of the basil and mint, but set some of these herbs aside. Add the mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining herbs, the pine nuts, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.

Picture shows two types of Zucchini, green and yellow and no tomatoes

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Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

applecranberryoatmeal

Slow-Cooker Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

 

 

Ingredients

 

6

cups water

3

cups old-fashioned oats  ( can substitute Irish or Steel Oats)

2

apples, peeled, chopped

1/2

cup sweetened dried cranberries or raisins ( I want to try whole cranberries, maybe add in the morning)

2

tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1/2

teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4

teaspoon salt

 

 

Directions

 

1 Spray 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In slow cooker, mix all ingredients.

2 Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours. Serve porridge with brown sugar and milk or cream, as desired.

 

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