Better Eyesight

>> Friday, November 16, 2007

When I was a child, our parents told my older brother and I that we should eat our carrots because it would improve our vision. He and I somehow wound up carrying this idea to the extreme view that eating carrots somehow bestowed a magical power to the eyes, going so far as to enable us with night vision. So that night there we were, two small boys in a dark room, armed with fresh carrots, happily munching away to kickstart our new superpowers.

Yeah, that didn't work.

However carrots HAVE been proven to aid one's eyesight, that much is true as long as you understand that one carrot stick just isn't going to do the trick. But try this recipe, from the Encyclopedia, for a delicious vision tonic:

Wash but don't peel two medium carrots (if you can get differing varieties get one each of the Chanteney and Nantes types). Juice these, and then wash-don't-peel and juice one small beet (eating the greens later). Blend these together with a half cup of unwhipped cream, half a teaspoon vanilla and half a teaspoon maple syrup.


A grapefruit note

My wife has a habit acquired from her mother or grandmother: When eating a grapefruit she will peel it completely to the point where only the prime, juicy contents of each slice are left for heavenly consumption. It really is the most delicious way to enjoy a grapefruit, made even better only by chilling the fruit prior to eating.

Prior to our marriage I would only eat grapefruit sliced in half, removing the contents of each slice with a grapefruit spoon. This method takes a little less time, regardless of whether you use your knife to free the flesh from the bitter skin before diving in with the spoon or not. On the other hand, it seems a bit messier and a little more wasteful as you're always left with but a little of the flesh stuck inside.

Both of these methods, however, fail to truly capture the benefits of this fruit in their entirety, because grapefruit have a layer of bioflavonoids such as hesperidin and rutin stored within the bitter white rind just under the outer skin. These bioflavonoids help maintain the body's small blood capillaries, and set the body's "fat thermostat" a little higher, making them especially useful in chemically "burning off" excess stored fat.

A great way to capture these elements is to peel the grapefruit lightly, leaving as much rind on as possible, and sending it through a juicer.


Thyroid Notes

>> Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My mother-in-law takes thyroid medicine and any kind of doctor-prescribed drugs (or any drugs for that matter - they're all the same) and it makes me sick to think about it. In a recent juice book that I'm reading, The Encyclopedia of Healing Juices, I've found a few notes about the thyroid:

Extended consumption of cabbage can deplete iodine within the body, which will weaken the thyroid gland. Kelp can offset this iodine loss.

Cranberry juice may help an underactive thyroid, again because of the iodine levels in the berry. Don't go buying Cran-whatever juice and expect miracles, though - processed juices usually contain added sugars, are often diluted with water and/or other juices, and have usually been pasteurized, which kills the nutritional value of the juice.

Radishes are amazing in their effects on the thyroid. They contain a sulfur component called Raphanin that regulates the thyroid gland - it both speeds up and slows down its hormone production. A *very small* amount of radish juice is well-recommended wherever a thyroid condition is concerned.


Juicing and Exercise

>> Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I started reading another juicing book that (apparently!) we've had in our possession for some time, called the Encyclopedia of Healing Juices, by John Heinerman. I find it amazing that I've had it for quite some time now and never opened it up before, because despite having the word "encyclopedia" in the title, it's an incredibly interesting book to read.

The book steps through a plethora of vegetables and fruits, listing the contents (vitamins & minerals) of each, telling what they're good for - and giving case examples occasionally, and describing how best to prepare each one. I'm currently testing out the asparagus juice; it's supposed to keep your skin healthy and mine has been too dry for - well, ever since I can remember, regardless of whether or not I drink enough water. I'm optimistic that it'll help, but then, I'm also ramping up on all other sorts of juicing, so it's not a controlled experiment.

In the future, I DO plan to get a vita-mix; I'm absolutely convinced those are the best blender-type juicers possible - I just haven't gotten one because they're so terribly expensive. I should just go ahead and buy one as I'm sure I'd be happy with it. There are some expensive purchases that make me feel really good months and years after I've bought them. (Like my teapot; it's a zojirushi vacuum boiler/heater thing. It was about $179 for a TEAPOT but it's been absolutely 100% worth it.)

I haven't done any bodyweight-only exercises for a while. I did change things up a bit last night, though - my wife had brought down the mini-trampoline and put it in the basement for our daughter. I remembered reading that bouncing on one of those is actually one of the best cardio exercises you can do, so I grabbed some handweights - some easy 2-pounders - and jumped through a large portion of a movie (Arthur and the Incredibles - thumbs up!). It really did get the heartrate pumping FAST. I'll keep this up, definitely. :)


This is really KEY to a simpler life.

>> Tuesday, May 29, 2007

From The Four Hour Work Week, "It is impossible to realize how distracting all the crap is -- whether porcelain dolls, sports cars, or ragged T-Shirts -- until you get rid of it."

Here's to that. Right offhand I can think of TOO MANY things I own that I could easily get rid of.


So, should it still be called "Smoking"?

>> Sunday, March 18, 2007

Smoking 2.0: Smoke Free, Tar Free, Battery Powered = Healthy? - Medgadget -

An interesting new alternative to the standard, tar-your-lungs smoke stick (cigarette), the NicStic vaporizes nicotine instead of burning it. The user still has a little stick in their hand, and it does produce a new odor apparently unpleasant even to smokers, but on the other hand there is no smoke. So, theoretically it's acceptable for use indoors.

My thoughts: I'm not so sure it would go over well with non-smokers who would have to share space with a user of the NicStic, so this too would probably be shunned to the outdoor realm - but considering that there is indeed no smoke to fill one's lungs, I'd respect a user of these quite a bit more than a regular smoker. At least they're not killing themselves - and others - with their habit.


The Soy Controversy and more

>> Friday, March 9, 2007

Someone recently asked me whether I liked a popular, brand-name soymilk. I don't drink Soymilk anymore because of the controversy that soy causes. Yeah, I know soy is still in a lot of foods, especially those little protein bars (the ones that taste like candy bars and claim to be good for you), but that's beside the point. Check out

In addition, the company that makes the soymillk in question this morning takes soy and adds sugar, plus artificial flavors. It also adds sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate for preservatives. IF they're going to add a preservative, they should NOT use the benzoates (either sodium- or potassium- ); these can combine with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to form benzene -- a known carcinogen. (Potassium Sorbate is safe at least in comparison) So, they are essentially making something quasi-healthy into something definitely-not healthy. I can't get myself excited over that.

Having a little fun, I did a quick search on some of the other ingredients in this particular brand of soymilk. It's important to consider however that these ingredients are not common to only soymilk, but many, many manufactured foods available today. ALSO please note that this is the result of a quick websearch and may or may not be documented properly.

  • Potassium Citrate can have the effects on you that can stop your body from working and stop your blood flow and circulation. Do not have it if you are pregnant, or sick.
  • Dipotassium Phosphate - the purpose of this in food is to prevent protein coagulation and also to prevent its precipitation. However, this active ingredient is commonly sprayed on leaves as a fertilizer, and seems also to help control certain fungal diseases on ornamental plants. It's also added to antifreeze solutions as a buffer, liquid detergents as a dispersion medium, and what-the-heck, added to paper, um, just because?. It's generally okay to consume, but ... why would you want to?
  • Sodium Polyphosphate - An emulsifier. Harmful if swallowed or inhaled, and in contact with the skin. Why do they even have to add emulsifiers? Can't people stir their drinks anymore?
In conclusion, the safest way of choosing what to eat would be to just not eat processed foods at all. You can't even trust the organic brands to be good for you, considering that the Big Corporate Food companies have been buying up the small, organic companies and making those brands their own -- without telling anyone. But that's another story.


About Psychic Lunch

Psychic Lunch was founded in 2009 by a nerd and father who wants people to be healthy. The information on this site is researched, but should be considered opinion; that is, you should always do your own research and come to your own conclusions about what is and what is not healthy. Products endorsed on this site are actually believed in and used by the author.


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