The Newsletter Archives
Here you will find newsletters published in the last several years on Pathways4Health. If you are looking for something in particular, please use our search feature in the left hand sidebar. You may also subscribe to receive newsletters monthly by entering your e-mail address in the box to the left and pressing "Subscribe."
- Fall 2015: Sourdough Bread, A Well-Bred Loaf
The crisp days of Fall lead us from garden to kitchen and again to the joys of baking. This newsletter, which outlines the steps for making 3-day sourdough bread with heirloom flours, is written for my many friends who want sourdough bread baking to become a new family tradition.
- Summer 2015: Traditional Whole Grains for Good Health and the Prevention of Chronic Disease
Many people today avoid bread, grains and grain-based products due to fears of gluten, weight-gain, and/or environmental pollutants such as arsenic, a carcinogen often found in rice. But, if we do so, we then miss out on the many vital nutrients and health benefits that traditional whole grains have long provided to support good health.
- Spring 2015: The Science of Sourdough and Its Health Benefits
For centuries, sourdough fermentation added taste, texture, and flexibility to bread dough, while it also reduced the blood sugar impact and enhanced the nutritional value of whole grain bakery products. But in recent decades with the introduction of bakers yeast and high-gluten “dwarf” wheat, the many benefits of sourdough fermentation and heirloom grains have perished, while gluten intolerance has been on the rise.
- Dietary and Lifestyle Strategies for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux affects four out of every 10 adults in America, some 100 million people. It presents not only as heartburn and indigestion but also chronic cough, post-nasal drip, and allergy and asthma-type symptoms and can lead to esophageal cancer. Acid reflux can be curbed through appropriate diet and lifestyle.
- Fall 2014: Choices? Myths? A Case for the Affordability of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
In the early postwar period, Americans spent 24% of every dollar on food. This ratio has fallen steadily over the last five decades and is now less than 10%. Does this suggest there is “room” in the average family budget for quality food? What else is the typical American family buying to make fresh produce feel so unaffordable?
- Summer 2014: Eating for Climate Change
In response to the dire conclusions from the recent National Climate Assessment, let’s think of some easy, empowering ways to use the thermal effects of warming and cooling foods to help save energy and the environment. Which foods are warming? Which are cooling? Take the quiz for some summer fun.
- Spring 2014: Creating Complete Proteins from Plant Foods
Understanding how to construct complete proteins from economical plant sources can help take the pressure off family food budgets challenged by rising meat prices and the recent cutbacks in food assistance programs. Shifting more dollars toward plant-based protein foods can also help arrest livestock production’s impact on global warming.
- Winter 2014: A New Year’s Guiding Star
Have you ever stopped to think how today’s convenience foods stretch us beyond the evolutionary norm?…How we tax our system by eating foods with a long shelf-life, foods that bacteria in the local environment cannot break down? Several guidelines can assure that the foods we choose honor our biological limits to help prevent inflammation and chronic disease.
- November/December 2013: Smoke Points and Canola Oil
High-temperature cooking damages fats and oils, which begin to decompose well before they start to smoke. Food companies refine oils to make them more heat resistant, something that damages them in the process. I believe that all vegetable oils, particularly canola, which is a GMO and untested, undermine health and foster obesity and other chronic disease.
- September/October 2013: Living with and Experimenting with Sourdough
Using sourdough in every day baking contributes taste, texture, and prolongs shelf life. It also helps to increase the nutritional value and absorption of nutrients of baked goods, while it moderates the metabolic stress often associated with carbohydrates. In this role, it has important implications for the prevention of insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity.
- July/August 2013: Summer Shorts…Healing Reactions; Kuzu, a Medicinal Food
Healing reactions: If summer’s pace and luscious produce inspire you to lighten up, remember that dietary shifts can bring reactions, which are positive signs of healing. And, Kuzu: A medicinal food with many applications, and well-suited for the vacation traveler.
- May/June 2013: Alkalizing Foods to Prevent Disease
To preserve our body’s mineral stores and prevent chronic disease, we must consume sufficient alkalizing minerals to offset the acid-forming foods in our modern diet. Nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables provide minerals to neutralize acid-forming sugar, alcohol, stress, and refined/processed foods. Understanding acid/alkaline is important for prevention and self-healing.
- March/April 2013: Weight Wellness
With the lengthening days of Spring, we often think of moving more and getting in shape. Summer shorts and swimsuits may heighten our resolve to shed a few pounds before warmer weather. This newsletter discusses some broad concepts for weight loss, within the major context of health and wellness.
- January/February 2013: New Year’s and Growing… Older… Better
This newsletter outlines strategies for maintaining health throughout the life span. Its focus is on prevention. There are many empowering steps that we can take throughout life to feel our best; diminish the risk of chronic disease; and avoid suppressive, synthetic drugs that can tax the liver and kidneys.
- November/December 2012: Reviving Culture and the Health Benefits of Sourdough
The discovery of baker’s yeast more than a century ago ushered in mass-produced commercial bread and brought an end to the traditional art of sourdough baking. With its loss has also gone better taste and texture and the many health benefits of sourdough…a lower glycemic index; reduced phytic acid for better mineral absorption; better protein profile; higher levels of vitamin B12; and, for many people, better tolerance to wheat .
- September/October 2012: Defending Traditional Grains
With the increase of wheat allergies and celiac disease, obesity and diabetes, wheat has come under attack. But, any diet that omits wheat and other whole grains is not a universal or sustainable choice. We can blame “new-fangled” dwarf wheat, modern wheat processing methods, and dietary/lifestyle factors that make us less tolerant of wheat.
- July/August 2012: Discovering Fresh Whey
Fresh whey is the byproduct of cheese-making. Every pound of cheese results in nine pounds of whey; and surplus whey can become an environmental problem. There are many ways to use whey in the kitchen. Fresh whey is not a whole food, but if you like cheese, consuming whey by incorporating it in your favorite recipes can support both the environment and good health.
- May/June 2012: A Chicken, With Gratitude—the Food Chain and the Hidden Dangers of Soy
Far richer in phytates and oligosaccharides than any other bean, soy was never relied upon as a major foodstuff. Today, because soy is cheap, extends shelf life, is low in fat, retains moisture to make products seem fresh, and prevents shrinkage during cooking, soy derivatives with toxins and carcinogens from processing are found in most packaged, processed foods.
- March/April 2012: Welcoming Spring, Attuning to Spring
A part of good health means attuning to the energy of the seasons. The calendar seasons are deceiving. We gain more sunlight time in the winter quarter than in the 3 months of “official” spring. By early March, we can begin to think of eating Spring’s bounty of bitter greens and pungent rhizomes to help break up excesses and cleanse and detoxify the body after heavy winter meals.
- Jan/Feb 2012: Vitamin D…In Winter and Throughout the Year
Getting enough vitamin D is especially difficult in winter, yet vitamin D, a hormone, assists in the prevention of many chronic diseases. How we obtain vitamin D…from sunshine, supplements, or foods…is a personal decision, best made when we understand the tradeoffs and the interactions of vitamin D with its essential partners, vitamin A and vitamin K2.
- November/December 2011: Salt, The Essential Gift from the Sea
Salt is needed to sustain life. The problem with salt today lies more in the type of salt that we consume–table salt rather than traditional sea salt–and that we ingest much in hidden forms through processed/restaurant/fast foods. Only 5% of the salt we consume is from the shaker; 75% is from processed foods.
- September/October 2011: Gift from the Sea…Sea Vegetables
Ocean vegetables provide 10-20 times the minerals of land-based plant foods—the complete array of minerals the body needs. When cooked with land-based foods, they add mineral nutrition to any dish. They are an often-overlooked resource for good health and healing.
- July/August 2011: Summer Shorts and Skinny Dips
This summer issue addresses a variety of reader questions that relate in one way or another to the general theme of the life force of foods. When we consume produce fresh from the garden or foods with few stages of processing, we benefit from their greatest life force energy. Foods with vitality feed our own endowed source of life force energy.
- June 2011: Lightening Up This Summer–For a Healthier Liver
As a sequel to my April and May 2011 newsletters on blood sugar and metabolic stress, this a short June piece on the liver. Spring and summer are the perfect seasons to think of revitalizing the liver.
- May 2011: Monitoring Metabolic Stress
Carbohydrates, in refined form, can lead to blood sugar issues. Yet, “traditional” carbohydrates—whole and minimally-processed grains as well as legumes, fruits, and vegetables—help prevent insulin resistance and chronic disease.
- April 2011: Controlling Blood Sugar
Because a bagel, bran flakes, or a “Heart-Healthy” bowl of instant oatmeal is free of cholesterol and fat, we might think of these as a good way to start the day. But, when viewing foods with this lens, it can be easy to lose sight of the detrimental blood sugar effects of such fractured, concentrated carbohydrates.
- March 2011: Barcodes and Health
Barcodes, whose initial digits already code the country of origin, could be made to code the environmental and health “footprint” of a product. The glycemic index as well as the amount of sugar, transfats, chemical ingredients, and GMOs could be coded, with products taxed accordingly. Barcode-taxing could shift incentives away from fractured, commercial foods toward whole foods grown sustainably for a healthier population and a healthier planet.
- February 2011: Attuned to Winter
In winter, what does it mean to eat in season? At this the dormant time of year when plants are at rest, consolidating their energy for the expansive growth season ahead, it seems that nature leaves little to sustain us. So it may sound silly to think of eating in season. Yet, deep in winter’s bare-shelved food pantry, I believe there is a valuable and intended message.
- January2011: Rediscovering Breakfast
Planning to eat a good breakfast really begins the night before. We sow the seeds of a good breakfast when we eat early enough and lightly enough in the evening so that we wake up hungry. Eating a good breakfast also starts with planning in advance, perhaps the day or evening or weekend before, to have something delicious to wake up to.
- November 2010: Living by the Clock
The Chinese energy-body clock is built upon the concept of the cyclical ebb and flow of energy throughout the body. During a 24-hour period Qi moves in two-hour intervals through the organ systems. Timing our eating, sleeping and exercise to the peak energy of our digestive, restorative, and lungs/heart supports good health and avoids unnecessary taxing the system.
- October 2010: Signatures of Foods
Like people, foods have their own signatures that reveal much about their character. Foods give us valuable clues through their taste, color, shape, and their general character and appearance. Understanding how to read a food’s “signature” means we can use everyday foods to achieve better balance and vitality and to assist in a variety of health conditions.
- September 2010: Seasonal Harmony
Have you ever stopped to think how seasonal foods are perfectly matched to our own seasonal needs? Today, with giant supermarkets that offer fresh foods from around the globe, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that foods grown locally and in season help synchronize us with own local weather conditions.
- July/August 2010: Sunscreens & Vitamin D
Balancing the risks and the benefits of exposure to the sun, particularly with the erosion of the ozone layer, is challenging. This article covers sunscreen safety, as well as the role of sunshine and vitamin D in supporting health
- June 2010: Reliance and Responsibility
For the Greeks, the caduceus embodied the healing power that could be attained by balancing the body’s inherent healing ability with complementary and appropriate strategies of intervention–a strategy that still has relevance to us today.
- May 2010: Oils and Inflammation
As a sequel to last month’s newsletter on inflammation, let’s look now at one of the key factors that creates inflammation—the recent shift in the quality and quantity of fats and oils we consume.
- April 2010: Managing Inflammation
If you are concerned about inflammation, the overarching idea is to try to eliminate inflammatory foods—refined vegetable oils, trans fats, refined flour, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. These are not whole foods and they are not in keeping with tradition. They are fractured, empty-calorie foods that fuel the fires of inflammation and chronic disease.
- March 2010: Cooking With Bones
Our ancestors valued every part of the animal–but even more than muscle meats, they prized the rich nutrition of organ meats, marrow and bones.
Bones, of course, give structure and foundation to any living being, and bones are tied to the basic prenatal “essence” energy endowed to each of us at conception/birth. Both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) appreciate the vital importance of this life-force/self-actualizing energy, called Ojas (Ayurveda) or Jing (TCM).
- February 2010: Investing in Stocks
Housebound in the frigid, snowy days of winter, I often think of starting up a long-simmering bone stock to fill the house with welcoming aromas. Winter is the perfect season to awaken the senses and nourish the body by making bone stocks. Hearty stocks can be sipped alone to boost the immune system and as an antidote to colds and the flu, or they can be used in cooking to add depth, flavor, and nutrition to your favorite recipes.
- January 2010: The Gift of the Kitchen
In January, we often make resolutions to return to healthier eating habits, so I wanted to feature in this newsletter a shopping guide for stocking your pantry for the New Year. While the list is not meant to be exhaustive, the sources provided are what I believe from my own experience to be some of the finest organic, sustainably raised foods currently available.
- December 2009: Stress, Sleep, and the Cortisol Connection
Cortisol is a vital hormone that helps us deal with stress. Cortisol makes us active and mentally alert and, since it enters the brain to deliver glucose for energy, it also works to aid learning and memory.Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle—of late-night eating and activity, as well as daytime multi-tasking and lack of exercise—throws off the body’s natural cortisol clock. Eating and electronic stimulation from television and computers elevate cortisol. So, too, does chronic stress.
- November/December2009: Commercial Dairy
Excessive dairy, like sugar, can undermine health. When we think of dairy, we think of bone health, yet there are many co-factors required by the body–such as magnesium and silica–to enable the body to store calcium into the bones. Dairy is a build-up, growth food that can lead to excess, and mucus build-up/tumors, when over-consumed by adults. Dairy is also a nuturing environment for the growth of bacteria. For many, good health is best maintained, especially during the cold and flu season, by avoiding dairy and instead consuming calcium through plant foods. Greens and other plant foods contain many of the cofactors required to allow the body to absorb and utilize calcium.
- October 2009: Red Meat and the Environment
In September, we looked at the two separate issues covered by the labels of animal products…how humane was the treatment of the animal and how healthy is the product for us to eat. But today’s labeling practices do not talk about sustainability or bring energy and environmental considerations into our focus. While animal products may vary in how they affect our health, even the very best of them such as 100% grass-fed beef, affects the health of our planet in a negative way simply because of the sheer volume that we raise.
- September 2009: Reading Labels of Perishables
In September, gardens are rip and overflowing, and farmers’ market bustle. What a perfect time for a family outing to learn more about where our food comes from, to find reliable sources for fresh produce and animal products, and to support local, organic farming efforts.
- July/August 2009: Fermenting
Fermenting is a living, dynamic process. Results will vary with temperature, humidity, and the ingredients used. Even with the same ingredients, every fermenting experiment can be unique, since fruits and vegetables vary in their degree of ripeness and nutrient density. And, ferments will also be unique because they incorporate on any given occasion a kaleidoscope of fermenting microorganisms from within your local environment. Of the millions of microbial cultures, no exact set will ever be replicated again in quite the same way. It is an endlessly interesting experience.
- June 2009: Natural Sweeteners
Attracted to sweets, civilizations have for centuries consumed natural sweeteners for pleasure, energy, and health. Early healers understood, for example, that in minute doses honey could even be used medicinally. Because natural sweeteners do come with a host of vital nutrients that aid metabolism, they are a better choice than sugar. This newsletter is a guide to natural sweeteners.
- May 2009: Sugar Cravings
A good way to cut back on sugar is to change the way we think about it. In today’s world, sugar is cheap and readily available. It no longer deserves a special place as a “treat” relished by past generations. Rampant diabetes and other chronic, inflammatory disease can help us redefine sugar as a cheap commodity that does nothing to enhance our health and our emotional well-being.
- April 2009 Sugar, A Depleting Chemical
Sugar is a chemical…sucrose, C12-H22-O11. Sucrose, stripped of 99% of its original cane nutritive essence, offers calories, while tapping into the body’s store of minerals that are required for its metabolism. Sugar is not one of nature’s foods. It is only through great labor, capital investment, precision, and expense–cane must be pulverized, refined, and bleached–that sugar cane is converted into the simple chemical, sucrose. Without human tinkering and innovation, we would not have sugar, a preservative (there is nothing left to spoil or go rancid) and cheap energy source, so integrated into our food culture of today.
- Febuary/March 2009: Foods for Depression
Depression is as complex as it is pervasive. It involves many factors…genetic pre-disposition; allergies; trauma; lack of connection and purpose in life; too much stress; and the lack of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. It also involves food: too much sugar; too little healthy proteins; too much of the wrong kinds of fats; and too much commercial dairy relative to other calories consumed.
- January 2009: New Year’s Resolutions for Good Health
At the New Year, religious holidays, vacations, birthdays, and the beginning of new seasons, we are often motivated to make resolutions. The winds of everyday life often blow us off course, and a few guideposts and reminders may be all we need to get back onto a healthy track. This newsletter offers a few ideas should you be in the spirit to consider a few resolutions for better health.
- December 2008: Cellular Health…Using Cell Phones
Cell phones are a wonderful convenience, but it will be years before we understand their implications for health, particularly the health of the brain. Meanwhile, there are certain precautions that we can take for their judicial use.
- November 2008: Winds of Change…Working Locally, So Globally
Thanksgiving, and what we can do locally for a global impact.
- October 2008: Excitotoxins and Brain Health
Over the last few decades, we have witnessed a dramatic rise of autism, hyperactivity, learning disorders, and speech problems among young children, as well as, for older age groups, dementia and neurodegenerative issues. Excitotoxins are on element to consider regarding mental function and the health of the brain.
- September 2008: Endings and Beginnings
The caduceus reminds us that the health of the individual rests with a successful integration of allopathic (Western/intervention) medicine and the innate, natural healing powers of the body.
- July/August 2008: Plants, Antioxidants and Phytonutrients.
Plants adapt quickly to environmental change, providing phytonutrients and antioxidants to assure our own well-being. These phytonutrients and antioxidants that plants produce for their own protection against the sun’s radiation and predators provide a bounty of life-giving nutrients for us, as well.
- June 2008: Sunscreens and the Sun for Health
In the year’s longest days when the sun is at its maximum power, let’s look at strategies for staying healthy in the sun. There are many issues to consider. We want to protect ourselves. But we also want to recognize that the sun bestows important health benefits, including the prevention of many chronic diseases.
- May 2008: Weigh Out–Lighten Up to Get in Shape
May is really the first month when warmer weather is consistent enough to support a resolve to lighten up after the contractive winter months…to eat lighter, cooling, cleansing foods, to feel renewed energy, and to get in shape so we feel out best.
- April 2008: Michael Pollan, Systems Theory, and Food
Michael Pollan bring the concept of foods as systems, pioneered several decades ago by Annemarie Colbin, to mainstream thinking. Systems theory regardng food and health is the text to combat allergies, obesity, diabetes, and a variety of other chronic diseases that plague our country and more and more nations around the world.
- March 2008: Bracing for Transitional Winds with Good Fats and Oils
The last one hundred years has seen a dramatic shift in American preferences from butter and other natural fats to unrefined vegetable oils. With this shift has gone an increase in heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic disease.
- February 2008: Combating Winter with Good Fats and Oils
The structure of fats and oils and some thoughts on how to use traditional fats for good health and vitality.
- January 2008: A Nutritional Roadmap for the New Year
A theory of nutrition based on whole foods as systems, uniquely designed to nourish the body, which is also a system. The principles for choosing foods, developed by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., that has and will continue to stand the test of time.
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