A GREAT INTERVIEW WE WANTED TO SHARE COMPLIMENTS OF ONE OF OUR RACING PARTNER.... WHISKEY-TANGO-FOXTROT ADVENTURE RACING.... CHECK OUT THEIR INTERVIEW:
It's that time again. January 1st. You know, that special day that seems to roll around once every year where many people wipe the slate clean from their not-so-good holiday eating and decide to start "eating better" for the next 365 days. The food you put in your body is the fuel for your outdoor activities, and the better you eat the better you will perform. It's a very easy thing to say, but a very hard thing to follow through with, especially if you're not exactly sure where to start.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Adventure Racing: As the New Year rolls around, many people use the time as a chance to reflect on their diet and to make changes to how they eat. What are the five worst foods in a “typical” American diet that everyone should look to eliminate as they head into 2012?Melissa Costello: “The 5 foods/drinks to eliminate would be Soda (including diet), French Fries or anything fried, Pastries & sugary fat laden foods, highly processed meats (such as lunch meat, hot dogs, etc.), Ice Cream.”WTFAR: It can be a bit overwhelming to try and jump head first into changing your daily diet. Do you have any quick and easy ideas to introduce more vegetables into your diet as you start to change your habits towards healthier foods?Melissa Costello: “Yes, baby steps. Try adding one new veggie a week into your diet, look for a fun recipe using it and get creative.”WTFAR: What are your favorite “go to" foods that everyone should incorporate into their diet as soon as possible?Melissa Costello:Quinoa- Which is a seed (most people think it's a grain) that is a perfect protein.Kale - The highest nutrient food out there - eat it raw, steamed, sautéed or in soups!Brown Rice - Another staple to get lots of fiber, protein & healthy carbs.Chia Seeds - Awesome super food which is the highest in Omega's.Any kind of vegetable - I love fresh veggies and always keep a stash of them in my fridge to cook up in a jif. I serve them over a big bowl of grains with a raw side salad. It's the perfect meal!WTFAR: Caffeine. Many people love it, and have a hard time giving it up. If you had to make a choice for the caffeine-aholics out there, which drink would you choose: regular pop, diet pop, coffee, or tea?Melissa Costello: “TEA for sure, but make it GREEN!”WTFAR: Many people, like myself, have a desk job by day, and try and conquer the outdoors in the early morning or at night. Any suggestions for fighting those low blood sugar “cubicle blahs” and the associated mood swings that seem to always pop up in the afternoon? Melissa Costello: “Yes, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid caffeine as much as possible and eating sugar, as that is what causes the mood swings. Make sure you eat a breakfast that has a good combination of protein, fiber, carbs and healthy fat. Oatmeal is perfect with nuts, fruit and a drizzle of honey or agave!”WTFAR: Here’s a scenario that many of people struggle with: Late at night, burning that last hour of the day before bed, you’re watching TV, reading a book, or browsing the web, and the dreaded food craving hits. Give in or fight it off?Melissa Costello: “You can give in if you choose something healthy, like 1/2 a green apple with some almond butter.”WTFAR: You created all of the recipes in P90X Creator Tony Horton’s book, “Bring It”. My favorite happens to be the Black Bean Yam Chili, and even though I am a butcher in the kitchen there are many times I resist the pleas of common sense and don’t follow a recipe. What’s your best advice for the “pseudo chef” who thinks he/she can “wing it” without a recipe and ends up making a bland dish? Melissa Costello: “I think this is just a matter of practice. Winging it is good, because it can teach you how to be creative in the kitchen. You can always add more spice afterward!”WTFAR: What food or spice have you found useful lately that the average non-chef might not know about?Melissa Costello: “I love to use cardamom, especially in my baking. It’s warming and really good for the digestion. I even put it in my chai tea!” WTFAR: Adventure Racers are on the go running, biking, or paddling for 12, 24 or even more hours straight, so proper fueling is a must in order to maintain energy levels. If I was going to grab a fistful of nuts and throw them in a plastic bag for a power snack what nuts should I go with? Or do you have any other recommendations for easily portable power snacks?Melissa Costello: “Almonds are the best. You can pair them with some dried fruit so you can restore you glycogen or some cut up apple slices.”WTFAR: When I’m in one of my mostly vegetables & grains eating phases, my teammates don’t want to be hiking behind me or even worse, stuck sitting behind me in a canoe for hours. When moving to a more plant based diet, does your body ever adjust to the different fuel you’re using, or is the gassiness just an associated byproduct of eating healthier? Melissa Costello: “Yes, your body does adjust eventually, but it's helpful to take probiotics as well as digestive enzymes with your meals to help that.” WTFAR: You’re one of the stars of the yoga workout in the new P90X2 exercise videos. How has yoga helped you in your day-to-day life?Melissa Costello: “Yoga has brought peace and serenity into my life. It has helped me to relate to myself and my body differently by the connection with the breath. I wouldn't be lying if I said, it has saved my life!”So the next time you head to the grocery store, keep Melissa's tips in mind. You only have one body, so treat it well! *****Want to know more about KarmaChow and Melissa Costello?The KarmaChow free “Feast of News” monthly newsletter : http://karmachow.com/newsletterFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarmaChowTwitter: https://twitter.com/#!/karmachow
By Dr. Mercola
Some of the most potent immunosupportive agents come from mushrooms, and science is just beginning to tap into this vast natural medicine warehouse.
There are mushrooms that kill viruses, mushrooms that kill bacteria, and even mushrooms that kill yeast—which may surprise you, given they're both fungi.
Some mushrooms destroy cancer cells, and others facilitate nerve regeneration.
Fungi are incredibly resilient, even surviving radioactivity.
They can actually harness radiation to thrive, as was found by a robot sent to map the inside of the entombed Chernobyl nuclear reactor in 1999.
The robot found a hardy fungus chowing down on 200 tons of melted radioactive fuel.
In addition to bringing us nutrition and powerful medicine, mushrooms offer great benefits for the planet.
You may be surprised to learn that mushrooms have the following green applications:
I'd like to share some information with you today about a few of the rock stars of Kingdom Fungi. Some of these were discussed inmy interview with Steve Farrar, who has worked and studied mushrooms professionally for the last 30 years. If you missed that informative interview, I highly recommend listening to it as well. But first, you need a little understanding about how mushrooms grow and what makes them so unique.
Mycelium: Mother Nature's InternetMushrooms are nature's recycling system. If it weren't for mushrooms, we wouldn't have plants, because mushrooms (and their "parent" mycelium) break down rocks and organic matter, turning them into soil that provides the framework to nourish plants..
Mushrooms are actually only the fruiting body of a more vast fungal form—the mycelium. The mycelium is a fascinating cobweb-like mat that infuses nearly all landscapes. It is through the mycelium that the fungus absorbs nutrients from the environment. When two compatible mycelia combine, the resulting mycelium occasionally forms fruiting bodies called mushrooms. The mushrooms make spores, which fly away to make new mycelial colonies, and the lifecycle is complete.
Mycelial mats can be too small to see or cover vast areas of ground.
Their extreme tenacity makes the soil spongy and able to support 30,000 times its weight. A single cubic inch of soil can contain 8 miles of mycelium cells. The largest living organism on Earth is a mycelium in Eastern Oregon that covers 2,200 acres, is ONE cell wall thick and 2,000 years old.
Paul Stamets believes fungal mycelia and the intricate, branching network they form function as "the Earth's Internet," a complex communication highway that is sort of Mother Nature's neural net. In some ways, mycelia are "sentient" and seem to demonstrate learning. If one pathway is broken, it develops an alternate path. According to Stamets, when you step on it, it knows you're there and "leaps up" in the aftermath of your footstep, trying to grab debris. The mycelia—not JUST the mushrooms—contain many of the healing agents for which mushrooms are revered.
Hanging with Fungi Increases Your Odds of SurvivalWe're more closely related to fungi than we are to any other kingdom. We share the same pathogens, meaning bacteria and viruses. As a defense against bacterial invasion, fungi have developed strong antibiotics, which also happen to be effective for us humans. Penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline all come from fungal extracts.
The predominant mushrooms displaying antiviral activities are the polypores, sometimes called bracket fungi or woody conks, tough and fibrous fungi characterized by many tiny holes on the underside of their caps. Polypores have been dubbed the "frontier" of new medicines and are thought to be the ancestors to most of the gilled mushrooms. Interestingly, there are no known poisonous polypores, whereas there are more than one hundred poisonous gilled mushrooms.
Paul Stamets recently discovered that a very rare polypore called Agaricon is effective against the poxviruses—including smallpox. This has the Department of Defense very interested, as smallpox is one of the most feared bioterrorism agents. Agaricon was also found to be effective against flu viruses.
History tells us that living in cooperation with fungi will increase our odds of survival. After major extinction events, it was the fungi that thrived because they didn't need light and lived on dead organic matter. Organisms pairing with fungi flourished, and those that didn't fared poorly.
Many of the mushrooms valued for strong medicinal properties grow on trees, as opposed to the ground dwellers you've likely seen.
These tree fungi concentrate the unique elements that the host tree has absorbed over its lifetime, which may be ten or twenty or even HUNDREDS of years. Many of these mushroom species are long-term residents of Old Growth Forests and play an essential role in nutrient recycling by decomposing old trees. The mushroom wraps itself around these special nutrients, capturing them in the fruiting body of the organism and turning it into a little medicinal powerhouse. Maybe it's time for us to embrace the mushroom and harness it's medicine the way the Asians have done for thousands of years.
Blends of Mushrooms are More Effective Than any One Mushroom AloneIt is therapeutically best to utilize a blend of several mushroom species, because "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." For one thing, it is easier for pathogens in your body to adapt and become resistant to one mushroom than to several. Secondly, each mushroom species has a unique arsenal of anti-infective and immunomodulating agents.
These special agents include:
Because mushrooms have such powerful immune-boosting effects, it isn't surprising that some have great potential for battling cancer. Mushrooms with anti-tumor activity appear to increase the number and activity of killer T and natural killer (NK) lymphocytes, with no toxicity to healthy cells. Cancer cells are notorious for "hiding" from chemo agents. New research has shown that certain mushroom extracts help chemotherapy drugs better locate and identify cancer cells by "uncloaking them," thereby making chemo more effective.
This is getting some open-minded oncologists very excited! Medicinal mushrooms also strengthen your immune system if you are undergoing chemo, so cancer patients get a double benefit. The list of health benefits science is revealing to us about mushrooms is still growing, but thus far includes the following:
Increased longevityImproved blood flowCholesterol and blood sugar normalizationLiver protection, including protection from adverse effects of alcohol consumptionKidney supportAntiviral (including HIV), antibacterial, and antifungal propertiesDestruction of cancer cells; improved outcomes for people receiving chemo and radiationImproved respiratory illnesses, including asthmaReduced risk for heart disease, decreased platelet aggregation and improved blood flowNerve regeneration (Lion's Mane mushroom)Improved skin and hairIncreased sexual function and athletic ability
It's important to eat ONLY organically grown mushrooms. Remember, what makes mushrooms so potent is that they absorb and concentrate whatever they grow in—good OR bad. Mushrooms are known to concentrate heavy metals, and air and water pollutants.
Now that you have the overview, let's take a look at a few of my favorite health-enhancing mushroom species. We'll start with a delicious little mushroom you have probably seen on your dinner plate or at your local market—the shiitake.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)Shiitake is a popular culinary mushroom used in dishes around the world. It contains a number of health-stimulating agents, including lentinan, the polysaccharide for which it was named. Lentinan has been isolated and used to treat stomach and other cancers due to its antitumor properties, but has also been found to protect your liver, relieve other stomach ailments (hyperacidity, gallstones, ulcers), anemia, ascites, and pleural effusion.
One of the more remarkable scientific studies demonstrating shiitake's antitumor effect was a Japanese animal study, where mice suffering from sarcoma were given shiitake extract. Six of 10 mice had complete tumor regression, and with slightly higher concentrations, all ten mice showed complete tumor regression.
Shiitake mushrooms also demonstrate antiviral (including HIV, hepatitis, and the "common cold"), antibacterial, and antifungal effects; blood sugar stabilization; reduced platelet aggregation; and reduced atherosclerosis. Shiitake also contains eritadenine, which has strong cholesterol-lowering properties.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)Reishi is known as Lingzhi in China, or "spirit plant." It's also been called "Mushroom of Immortality"—a nickname that kind of says it all. Reishi has been used medicinally in Asia for thousands of years. One of its more useful compounds is ganoderic acid (a triterpenoid), which is being used to treat lung cancer, leukemia and other cancers. The list of Reishi's health benefits includes the following
Cordyceps has hypoglycemic and possible antidepressant effects, protects your liver and kidneys, increases blood flow, helps normalize your cholesterol levels, and has been used to treat Hepatitis B. It has antitumor properties as well.
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)Turkey Tail is also known as Coriolis, or "cloud mushroom." Science is showing that Turkey Tail mushroom holds an arsenal ofcancer-blasting compounds. Two polysaccharide complexes in Turkey Tail are getting a great deal of scientific attention, PSK (or "Kreskin") and PSP, making it the most extensively researched of all medicinal mushrooms with large scale clinical trials.
A seven-year, $2 million NIH-funded clinical study in 2011 found that Turkey Tail mycelium improves immune function when dosed daily to women with stage I–III breast cancer. Immune response was dose-dependent, with no adverse effects.
In addition to breast cancer, Turkey Tail has been found to hold promise for other cancers, including stomach, colorectal, lung, esophageal, nasopharyngeal, cervical, and uterine. PSP has been shown to significantly enhance immune status in 70 to 97 percent of cancer patients. Turkey tail is also being used to treat many different infections, including aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, E. coli, HIV, Herpes, and streptococcus pneumonia, and is hepatoprotective. It may also be useful for CFIDS.
Himematsutake (Agaricus blazei)The last mushroom I'd like to mention is the newcomer on the block: Himematsutake, also called Royal Sun Agaricus, a relative of the common button mushroom. Himematsutake was not cultivated in the East until fairly recently but is now a very popular natural medicine, used by almost a half million Japanese.
Himematsutake mushroom is attracting many scientists worldwide due to its remarkable anticancer properties related to six special polysaccharides. Like many other medicinal mushrooms, this fungus can also protect you from the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy. But its benefits don't stop there—Himematsutake can also decrease insulin resistance in diabetics, normalize your cholesterol, improve your hair and skin, and even treat polio.
There are many more mushrooms deserving mention—far too many to include here. But at least you can begin to appreciate the scope of benefits mushrooms have to offer, based on the handful of examples above.
Final ThoughtsA carefully designed blend of medicinal fungi can deliver a powerful therapeutic punch, whether you just wish to help protect yourself from seasonal colds or flu, or you have a more serious condition such as cancer. Either way, these special mushrooms can be an excellent adjunct to a healthful diet and lifestyle to improve your immune health. If you are interested in more information about medicinal mushrooms, you might consider visiting the following sites:
Back in Line BLOG
Drs. Nate, CJ, and Hannah will take turns sharing information they stumble across from certain research, publications, or may just post a quick healthy tidbit to keep you motivated to leading a happier, healthier lifestyle!