Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's Good To Be The King...

Basil is considered the "King of Herbs" by many chef's.

The round, often pointed leaves of the basil plant looks a lot like peppermint to which it is related. Its highly fragrant leaves are used as a seasoning herb for a variety of foods like the main ingredient in pesto, the mixture of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. I for one, can't imagine cooking a meal in my kitchen with out fresh basil. I grow sweet, lemon and Thai. Basil is an easy herb to grow. It will grow both inside and outdoors, but does better outside. Basil thrives in the sunshine. Bottom leaves that become yellow is an indication that the plant either needs less fertilizer or more sunlight. First a little history. Basil is originally native to India and other tropical regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years.

 The word basil comes from the Greek "basileus", meaning "king", as it is believed to have grown above the spot where St. Constantine and his mother St. Helen discovered the Holy Cross. This is the reason that it is now being used in the preparation of the holy water in Greek Orthodox Churches. Pots of basil are kept around the alter for their religious healing that the Greeks believe will take place. Basil was also used by the Greek and English royalty for their baths, and medicine. Basil is still referred to as "the king of herbs" from world-renowned chefs. In India where it grew originally, it was held in great admiration and was actually used in courtrooms to have the Indians swear their oaths upon. In Italy however, basil symbolizes love. When an Italian suitor wanted to show his love he would place a sprig of basil in his hair to win his hearts desire. It is the same in Mexico where people would keep basil in their pockets in hopes that the man or woman that they loved would return their love forever. In Romanina, they followed much of the same legend, where the man would give basil to his love and they would officially be engaged. In ancient Rome basil has also long been revered.

They called it Basilescus, which refers to the Basilisk, the fire-breathing dragon. The legend says, if you took basil every day then it would ward off attacks from the beast. On the Greek island of Crete, basil was considered an emblem of the devil and was placed on most window-ledges as a charm against his influence. For many cultures, and countries basil was  much more than an herb to eat.  It was a way of life. Basil was not introduced in Britain until the 16th century, and the British in turn brought it to North America, via the Massachusetts Bay Colony where it was introduced in 1621. The Oxford English Dictionary quotes speculations that basil may have been used in "some royal bath, or as a  medicine."

Today mostly basil is commonly used fresh in cooking. In general it's spice added at the last moment, as over-cooking destroys the flavor. The dried herb in jars resembling hay has lost most of its flavor. It's mostly aroma,and what little flavor remains tastes very different, a weak flavor. I say don't use it, your only cheating your meals of this sensational herb. There are over 160 varieties of this herb. Here are some of the more popular. I've highlighted in blue the flavors that I grow, and cook with;

Common name Species and cultivars Description
Sweet basil O. basilicum With a strong clove scent when fresh.
Lettuce leaf basil O. basilicum 'Lettuce Leaf' Has leaves so large they are sometimes used in salads.
Mammoth basil O. basilicum 'Mammoth' Another large-leaf variety, stronger flavor than sweet Genovese.
Genovese basil O. basilicum 'Genovese Gigante' Almost as popular as sweet basil, with similar flavor.
Nufar basil O. basilicum 'Nufar F1' Variety of Genovese resistant to fusarium wilt.
Spicy globe basil O. basilicum 'Spicy Globe' Grows in a bush form, very small leaves, strong flavor.
Greek Yevani basil O. basilicum 'Greek Yevani' Organically grown version of Spicy globe basil.
Fino verde basil O. basilicum piccolo Small, narrow leaves, sweeter, less pungent smell than larger leaved varieties.
Boxwood basil O. basilicum 'Boxwood' Grows tightly like boxwood, very small leaves, strong flavor, great for pestos.
Purple ruffles basil O. basilicum 'Purple Ruffles' Solid purple, rich and spicy and a little more anise-like than the flavor of Genovese Basil.
Magical Michael O. basilicum 'Magical Michael' Award-winning hybrid with an uncommon degree of uniformity, and nice flavor for culinary use.
Dark opal basil O. basilicum 'Purpurascens' Award-winning variety, developed at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s.
Red rubin basil O. basilicum 'Red Rubin' Strong magenta color, similar flavor to sweet basil, also called Opal basil.
Osmin purple basil O. basilicum 'Osmin Purple' Dark shiny purple with a jagged edge on the leaves, smaller leaves than red rubin.
Cuban basil O. basilicum Similar to sweet basil, with smaller leaves and stronger flavor, grown from cuttings.
Thai basil O. basilicum var. thyrsiflorum Called Ho-ra-pa  in Thai, gets its scent of licorice from estragole.
'Siam Queen' O. basilicum var. thyrsiflorum 'Siam Queen'[2 A named cultivar of Thai Basil
Cinnamon basil O. basilicum 'Cinnamon' Also called Mexican spice basil, with a strong scent of cinnamate, the same chemical as in cinnamon. Has purple flowers.
Licorice basil O. basilicum 'Licorice' Also known as Anise basil or Persian basil, silvery leaves, spicy licorice smell comes from the same chemical as in anise, anethole. Thai basil is also sometimes called Licorice basil.
Mrs. Burns lemon basil O. basilicum var. citriodora 'Mrs. Burns' Clean, aromatic lemon scent, similar to lemon basil.

Research studies on basil have shown unique health-protecting effects in two basic areas, basil's flavonoids and volatile oils. The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Orientin and Vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells, these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. In addition, basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. These anti-bacterial properties of basil are not associated with its unique flavonoids, but instead with its volatile oils, which contain estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene. Lab studies show the effectiveness of basil in restricting growth of numerous bacteria, including : Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O:157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs. In a study published in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Microbiology Methods, essential oil of basil was even found to inhibit strains of bacteria from the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas, all of which are not only widespread, but now pose serious treatment difficulties because they have developed a high level of resistance to treatment with antibiotic drugs.

Studies published in the February 2004 issue of Food Microbiology, have shown that washing produce in solution containing  basil or essential oil (at the very low concentration of just 1%) resulted in dropping the number of Shigella, an infectious bacteria that triggers diarrhea and may cause significant intestinal damage, below the point at which it could be detected. While scientists use this research to try to develop natural food preservatives, it makes good sense to include basil in more of your recipes, particularly for foods that are not cooked such as salads. So adding basil to your next vinaigrette will not only enhance the flavor of your fresh greens, but will help ensure that the fresh produce you consume is safe to eat.
The eugenol component of basil's volatile oils has been the subject of extensive study, since this substance can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX), like many non-steriodal over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID'S), including aspirin and ibuprofen. This enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol in basil qualifies basil as an "anti-inflammatory" food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. Basil is a very good source of Vitamin A, through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a powerful anti-oxidant, and not only protects epithelial cells (the cells that form the lining of numerous body structures including the blood vessels) from free radical damage, but also helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream. Only after it has been oxidized does cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls, initiating the development of atherosclerosis, whose end result can be a heart attack or stroke. Free radical damage is a contributing factor in many other conditions as well, including asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The beta-carotene found in basil may help to lessen the progression of these conditions while protecting cells from further damage. Basil is also a good source of magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms or a spasming of the heart muscle or a blood vessel. Basil is also excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, and calcium. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.

Basil is a great plant as you can see to have in your garden or even potted in your house. Plants are easily available at your local grocery store or neighborhood garden nursery. Don't miss out, spice your meals with some fresh basil today. Good Luck...

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

It's Pumpkin Month !!

   It's Fall and so our lives are consumed with the color orange

The images of Halloween Jack-O Lanterns are everywhere, but what about pumpkins are they really healthy? Well, if they weren't you could bet I wouldn't be writing this article! Let's see, how about some history. Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico dating back to 5500 B.C. So references to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon." "Pepon" was changed by the French into "pompon." The English changed "pompon" to "Pumpion." American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin." All the while Native American's were using pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries long before the pilgrims landed. They also dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. Native Americans would also roast long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and eat them. When the European settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the natives, and pumpkin soon became a staple in their diets. The early settlers used them in a wide variety of recipes from desserts to stews and soups, and even made beer out of it.

The origin of pumpkin pie is thought to have occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and then filled it with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire. Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers. Pumpkin flowers are also edible. The pumpkin blossoms can be eaten, batter-dipped and fried. Pumpkins range in size from less than 1 pound to over 1,000 pounds. The current world record holder is  Tim Mathison. On October 11, 2013, Tim brought his now world record 2032 pound pumpkin to the Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park Weigh-off at Morgan Hill, Ca. For cooking purposes, you should pick the smaller sizes, they will have more tender, tasty flesh. Select pumpkins which are free of blemishes, harvested with their stems intact, and pick the ones that feel heavy for their size. There are so many roadside pumpkin stands this time of year, pull over and see what they have to offer. Unless they are waxed by the grower, a shiny skin indicates the squash was picked too soon. Look for a dull finish. For extended storage, you should wash the skin in a solution of about a tablespoon of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water to disinfect the skin and discourage mold or rot. Then dry your pumpkin immediately because dampness encourages spoilage. If you find mold, wipe it with vegetable oil to remove the mold and seal the spot.

The Orange Bulldog pumpkin, is resistant to the wilt, and viruses that would plague more traditional-looking varieties. These pumpkins are generally more squat than round, and can range in size up to 30 pounds. It's open-pollinated seed so there's a pretty wide variation in the fruit. If you don't carve it, it will last forever you can treat it like butternut squash, storing it in the pantry through the fall and winter. So if we have a zombie apocalypse, you can survive on this pumpkin.
Now while pumpkins are a tasty source of vitamins, and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin C, A, and potassium which helps prevent arteriosclerosis, that can lead to strokes or heart attacks. The real fun is in the seeds. While pumpkin seeds are available year round, they are the freshest in the fall when pumpkins are in season. The health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds are well known. Let's look at some. The high content of zinc makes them beneficial for the prostate. They reduce inflammation. They can also protect against the parasites in the intestines, and their anti-inflammatory properties, and can help lower blood cholesterol too. The seeds are also good sources of protein, as well as iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. About a quarter-cup of seeds can provide over 20% of the recommended daily iron intake. According to the USDA, one gram of roasted seeds contain 5.69 mg L-tryptophan and one gram of seed protein contains 17.2 mg of L-tryptophan. (One cup of milk contains 183 mg.) This high tryptophan content makes pumpkin seeds interesting to researchers studying the treatment of anxiety disorders.  So it stands to reason you could eat the seeds as preventative measure against onset of anxiety attacks, mild depression and other mood disorders. About 100grm. of pumpkin seeds, about a handful, contains 30% protein.

The carotenoids found in pumpkin seeds, and the omega-3 fats found in pumpkin seeds are also being studied for their potential prostate benefits. Men with higher amounts of carotenoids in their diet have less risk for BPH (enlarged prostate). Zinc in pumpkin seeds might also impact prostate function. In animal studies, the addition of pumpkin seeds to the diet has compared favorably with use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in reducing inflammatory symptoms. However the pumpkin seeds did not have any of the side-effects of the drug indomethacin. Pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to arthritis. In a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers published the amounts of phytosterols present in nuts and seeds commonly eaten in the United States. Phytosterols are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers. Pistachios, and sunflower seeds were richest in phytosterols, followed by pumpkin seeds. They keep fresh for a long time, If you keep them in a quality, food storage container.

Not only do they taste good, they are packed with alpha and beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A and E and other nutrients with only 15 cal per 100 grams. Pumpkin's and their seeds are without a doubt, one of nature's wonder food's. Try some pumpkin deserts, and breads at your local bakery this season. If they aren't part of your regular diet now, try some seeds this season too. You certainly can't knock the benefits. You can buy them in the shells, and shell them yourself, or buy them already shelled. I suggest you don't buy them out of huge bins at the health food store, because they don't stay fresh, and a little moisture can ruin the batch. Sprinkle them on  over grilled fish, in salads, or eat them by themselves. Use your imagination. I even mix mine with  a little chili powder, for a change up. It's always better to buy your seeds or nuts unsalted, if you don't like them unsalted, add your own quality sea salt. If you want to know how to pick your best pumpkin check this video.

Also if you are old enough, and you like beer, try a Pumpkin Ale this year it's seasonal, and tastes great, and by all means if you spot a pumpkin maiden at a farm stand on the side of the road this year stop and sample her wares. Good Luck...

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Apples : The Tasty Sin...

 Ever since Adam and Eve, it's been associated with sin

In the story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, and the vehicle of man's falling into sin. Today, we refer to something we prize as, "The apple of our eye" Historically, carbonized remains of apples have been found by archeologists in prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland, dating back to the Iron Age. There is also evidence to show that apples were eaten and preserved by slicing and sun drying them during the Stone Age in Europe.

The first remains of apples that were found, are from around 6,500 B.C. in excavations at Jericho in the Jordan Valley. Also around 5,000 B.C. Feng Li, a Chinese diplomat, gave up his prestigious government position when he became consumed by grafting apples as a commercial venture according to "The Precious Book of Enrichment." Greek and Roman mythology referred to apples as symbols of love and beauty. Jump ahead to 1665 Sir Isaac Newton watches an apple fall to the ground, and wondering why it fell in a straight line, is inspired to discover the laws of gravity and motion. Robert Prince in 1737 established the first commercial apple tree nursery in America called William Prince Nursery in Flushing, New York. One of America's fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800's. Well there really was a Johnny Appleseed, and his true name was John Chapmen. His dream was for the land to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Most historians today classify him as an eccentric but very smart businessman, who traveled around the new territories of his time, leasing land and developing nurseries of apple trees. It is estimated that he traveled 100,000 square miles of frontier country. Ahead to 1989, researchers at

Cornell University use a "gene gun" to successfully transfer an anti-bacterial gene from a Cecropia moth to a fireblight susceptible apple tree. This gene transfer from an animal to a plant enabled the tree to develop its own fireblight resistance. Here, agriculturalists and naturalists applaud, and chemical companies cringe. This puts land grant colleges of agriculture, in a bind because their funding comes from herbicide and pesticide manufacturers. Recently in 2000 researchers at the University of California discover powerful new anti-oxidants in apples. Here's some fun Apple facts:
  • There are 7,500 different apple varieties worldwide, and 2,500 grow in the U.S.
  • Apples can be as small as a cherry or as large as a grapefruit
  • Apple trees don't grow from seeds, they are grafted or budded
  • Apple trees can live to be 100 years old
  • 61% of apples are eaten fresh and 39% are processed into juice and sauce
  • Red Delicious is the most widely grown followed by Golden Delicious
  • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
  • A medium apple is about 80 calories.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
  • The largest apple picked weighed 3.2 pounds.

"An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away"

In the past five years, no area of apple research has been more dynamic than the area of apple polyphenols. The balance of  phytonutrients in apples is more unique than many researchers previously suspected. In terms of flavonols, quercetin is the primary phytonutrient found in apples, and it's far more concentrated in the skin than in the pulp. You might wonder why apples end up with such an amazing array of polyphenols. The recent research studies show polyphenols to be the favorite mechanism used by apples to protect themselves from UV-B sun radiation. Multiple studies have shown apple intake to be associated with decreased risk of asthma. French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones. A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Another Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17%. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39% and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44%. The pectin in apples, supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes. Since most of the polyphenols in apples function as antioxidants, it's not surprising to see so many health benefit studies focusing on the antioxidant benefits from apple. Particularly strong is the ability of apples to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats. This benefit is especially important in our cardiovascular system since oxidation of fat in the membranes of cells that line our blood vessels is a primary risk factor for clogging of the arteries.
The cardiovascular benefits of apples are well-documented in research studies, and they are closely associated with two aspects of apple nutrients, their water-soluble fiber, pectin content, and their unusual mix of polyphenols. Total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol are both decreased by eating  apples. Preliminary reliable health benefits of apples have  been established for several age-related health problems, like macular degeneration of the eye. According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples. Researchers also claim lung cancer, and anti-asthma benefits. The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin, and may help in the management of diabetes.
The apple is actually a member of the Rose family, Golden and Red Delicious apples are mild and sweet, while Pippins and Granny Smith apples are notably tart. Tart apples, that keep their texture during cooking, are preferred for cooked desserts like apple pie. Delicious apples, and other sweeter varieties like Rome and Fuji apples are usually eaten raw. Whole apples are a much better nutritional choice than apple juice. Not only are whole apples richer in dietary fiber, but the current processes of juicing seem to drastically reduce the polyphenolic phytonutrient concentrations originally found in the whole fruit. You've no doubt heard the saying, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." Well, research studies agree. An apple that has been bruised from being dropped, or  damaged in some other way, it will start to release ethylene gas. Ethylene gas can damage the other apples. So handle your fruit with a little TLC, and remove any damaged apples from groups of apples that you are going to store store.

  • Popular varieties for eating are; gala, granny smiths, golden delicious, pink ladies, fujis, jonathons, mutsu, red delicious and spartans.
  • Other eating varieties are; cox orange pippins (very popular apple in England), braeburns (popular New Zealand graft variety), lady williams and gravensteins.
  • Apples that are good for cooking; granny smiths, cox orange pippins, gravensteins, lady williams and golden delicious.

Now, to diffuse an urban myth, apple seeds do contain a small amount of cyanide, which is a lethal poison, but you are protected from the toxin by the hard seed coating. If you eat whole apple and seeds, they pass through your digestive system relatively untouched. If you chew the seeds thoroughly, you will be exposed to the chemicals inside the seeds, but the dose of toxins in an apple is small enough that most adult's can easily detoxify it, but possibly not children.So tell the kid's don't eat the core, where the seeds are. Aside from eating raw apples there there are the deserts. I don't think many of us can ignore the captivating aroma of a fresh out of the oven warm, but cooling apple pie, tarts, or fritters. Or maybe the mouth watering delight of a caramel dipped, or candied apple on a stick rolled in your favorite chopped nuts. Or a warm mug of apple cider, by a cozy fire after a long day of skiing. Or apple sauce with our turkey on Thanksgiving. Is there anything funnier than watching a bunch of kids bob for apples? You see apples aren't only good for us, they are just plain good. FYI according to the Environmental Working Group's 2013 report "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides," conventionally grown apples are among the top 12 fruits and vegetables on which excessive pesticide residues have been most frequently found.

Therefore, to avoid pesticide-associated health risks, avoid eating apples unless they're organic. If you want to roll the dice, and purchase non-organic apples, you may want to ask your grocer about the kind of wax used to protect the apple's surface during storage or shipping. Carnauba wax (from the carnauba palm tree), beeswax, and shellac (from the lac beetle) are preferable to petroleum-based waxes, which contain solvent residues or wood resins. Eat them raw, eat them cooked, or another favorite have them with your favorite vodka. It's no secret apples are one of the truly great foods we could always add more of, to our lives. Good Luck...

Appletini / Apple Martini

It's best to chill both the vodka and the apple pucker.
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps or,
1/2 oz. Apple Juice or Cider  

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  
Garnish with an Apple Slice

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Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !!

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Revenge Of The Steak !!

          Is rBGH in your meat, milk, and milk products ??

First off, the growth hormones given to dairy cows,and beef cattle are different. In dairy cows, the controversy centers around recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a synthetic version of a hormone cows produce naturally. For beef cattle it's steroids, where it all leads is to sick cows, and polluted meat from massive doses of anti-biotic. Beef cattle producers administer a variety of steroid hormones, including natural, and synthetic versions of estrogen, and testosterone to make animals grow faster, convert their food into muscle more efficiently, and make their meat leaner. Synthetic hormones in milk lead to increased levels of a growth factor, known as insulin-dependent growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in both milk, and milk products, and meat.

First let me say if you haven't realized it by now, no one is going to look out for you, and your families nutritional well being. It's your responsibility, You, Not the Farmers, Not the Government, you decide what ultimately ends up on your dinner table so choose wisely. I'll attempt to explore the topics to help you ask the right questions. You elect congressmen and women who are on the right side of these issues, and hold them accountable, deal?
So that brings us back to, rBGH, recombinant bovine growth hormone. According to the organic consumers association, rBGH is a genetically engineered, potent variant of the natural growth hormone produced by cows. Manufactured by Monsanto, it is sold to dairy farmers under the trade name POSILAC. Injection of this hormone forces cows to increase their milk production by about 10%. Monsanto has stated that "about one third of dairy cows, are in herds where the hormone is used". Monsanto, supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), insist that rBGH milk is indistinguishable from natural milk, and that it is safe for consumers. This is blatantly false, the fact's are rBGH makes cows sick. 

Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 toxic effects, including mastitis, on its Posilac label. rBGH milk has been shown to be contaminated by pus, due to the mastitis commonly induced by rBGH, and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis. Also, rBGH milk is chemically, and nutritionally different than natural milk. Milk from cows injected with rBGH is contaminated with the hormone, traces of which are absorbed through the human gut into the blood. So, rBGH milk is supercharged, with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), which is readily absorbed through the gut. So, excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as a cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancers, because IGF-1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers. Based on 37 published scientific studies as detailed in Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, (professor emeritus of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and world renowned author), in his book What's in Your Milk?, "excess levels of IGF-1 in rBGH milk pose major risks of breast, colon, and prostate cancers."

A little history, In 1937, the administration of BST was shown to increase the milk yield in lactating cows by preventing mammary cell death in dairy cattle. Until the 1980s, there was very limited use of the compound in agriculture as the sole source of the hormone was from bovine cadavers. During this time, the knowledge of the structure, and function of the hormone increased. With the advent of biotechnology, one of the pioneering biotech companies, Genentech succeeded in cloning the gene for BST. Monsanto had working along the same lines, and struck a deal with Genentech in 1979 to license Genentech's patents and, collaborate on development of a recombinant version of BST. The two companies used genetic engineering to clone the rBST gene into E. coli. The bacteria are grown in bio-reactors. Then they're broken up, and separated from the rBST. Which is purified to produce the injectable hormone. FDA approved Monsanto's application in 1993. Monsanto launched rBST, brand-named Posilac, in 1994. A 2007 USDA Dairy Survey estimated rBGH use at 15.2% of operations and 17.2% of cows.

In September 2010, the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit Court, analyzing evidence submitted in briefs, found that there is a "compositional difference" between milk from rBGH treated cows, and milk from untreated cows. The court revealed that milk from rBGH treated cows has: increased levels of IGF-1, higher fat, and lower protein content. Today there is a very well established correlation between abnormally high levels of circulating IGF-1 and the development and growth of human cancers. Although IGF-1 occurs normally in the milk of both humans and cows, we as consumers have been concerned about massively elevated levels of bovine IGF-1 in milk, and meat treated with rBGH. Regulatory bodies in several countries, such as the EU, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand have all rejected Monsanto's application to sell rBST.

Here are some companies you can trust when it comes to rGBH, in response to concerns from consumers and advocacy groups about milk from cows treated with rBST, some dairies, retailers, and restaurants have published policies on use of rBST in production of milk products they sell, while others offer some products or product lines that are labelled "rBST free".

  • Costco  has no overall rBST policy, but sells brands, such as "Kirkland", with labels pledging that no rBST was used in milk production.
  • Wal-Mart announced in March 2008 that its private label Great Value milk will be "sourced exclusively from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones like recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST)"
  • Kroger announced  "it will complete the transition of milk it processes and sells in its stores to a certified rBST-free supply by February 2008."
  • Dean Foods has no overall rBST policy, but has brands, such as "Oak Farms", with labels pledging that no rBST was used in milk production.
  • Winder Farms, a home delivery dairy and grocer in Utah and Nevada, sells milk from rBST-free cows.
  • Guernsey Farms, a dairy farm and distributor located in Northville, Michigan sells and distributes rBST-free dairy products in Southeastern Michigan. Its milk has been labeled rBST free for a number of years.
  • Safeway in the northwestern United States stopped buying from dairy farmers that use rBST in January 2007. The two Safeway plants produce milk for all Safeway stores in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and parts of northern California. Safeway's plant in San Leandro, California had already been rBST-free for two years.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill announced in June 2012 that it will serve rBST-free sour cream at its restaurants.
  • Publix, a supermarket chain, states on its website: "Publix milk is rbST-free. (No added artificial hormones.) However, the FDA has stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows"
  • Braum's, a dairy and ice cream retailer in the midwest with a private herd, says on its website that it does not administer rBST to its cows.
  • Starbucks website, as of August 2012, has no statement about use of milk from cows treated with rBST. For example, its Animal Welfare policy is silent on the issue. However it announced in January 2008 that it would no longer sell milk from cows treated with rBST in its stores in the US. The Organic Consumers Association, an advocacy group, claimed that Starbucks' change was due to their advocacy work.
  • Ben & Jerry's ice cream uses milk and cream from dairy farms that have pledged not to use rBST.
  • Tillamook County Creamery Association, a co-operative made up of 110 dairy farms, indicates on its website that its cows are not treated with hormones.

Please patronize these companies because when it comes to food additives they care about your health.

The Center For Food Safety states:
Operations using rBGH do so with little regard for the cows or the humans that eventually eat them, the beef industry pumps growth hormones into upwards of 80% of beef cattle raised in the U.S. each year. These hormones are intended to boost growth rates, and increase body mass. Even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not allow producers to treat chickens, or pigs with steroid hormones, the agency does permit the practice for cattle and sheep. The USDA also allows for a ridiculous amount of anti-biotic application also. Overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture has led to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that make treating illness more difficult. Hardy strains of the bacteria survive the exposure, and pass on that resistance trait to successive generations. Preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobials will require changes in all major areas of use. Such as human medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture. Agricultural uses deserve special attention now, since they account for 70% of the antibiotics, and related drugs used in the United States, and since they provide antibiotic resistant bacteria with a direct route into people's kitchens.

Factory cattle farms who use rBGH, and antibiotics to grow their cattle also pose a major threat to the viability of small organic cattle, and dairy farms. While rBGH enriches Monsanto, it exposes consumers to dangers, without any benefits. So once again we see mega factory farm organizations like Monsanto with a strong Washington lobby controlling public policy much to the determent of the of the beef eaters in the USA. While the congressmen, and women they've bought line their pockets with gold. Paid for by the health miseries of the unsuspecting consumers who believe that someone is looking out for them, and their families nutritional health interest's.

These are organically raised grass fed cows. Do they look distressed? Now if you'd rather consume hormone-free dairy or meat products, look for organic options. U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for products labeled organic require that animals not be treated with either growth hormones or antibiotics, products bearing a USDA Organic seal are in compliance with these rules. On non-organic foods, look for the right words. Check the packaging or label for "no added hormones" or "from cows not treated with rBGH". Don't assume that other wholesome-sounding terms, such as natural or free range, mean that the food comes from animals that weren't given growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. Good Luck...

  Detecting Hormones In Your Milk

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Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
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Friday, August 11, 2017

It's Melon Season !!

                The cantaloupe is really a muskmelon.

The true cantaloupe is a different species of melon than we are used to, it is mostly grown in France and rarely found in the United States. It gets its name from the Italian papal village of Cantalup where it was first cultivated around 1700 A.D. Due to their similarities we will still use the term "cantaloupe" when referring to the muskmelon. The cantaloupe is a melon that belongs to the same family as the cucumber, squash, pumpkin and gourd. The exact origin of melons is unclear, although they are thought to have originated in either India, Africa or ancient Persia. Historical texts from Greek and Roman times also mention cantaloupes. They were introduced to the United States during colonial times but were not grown commercially until the very late 19th century. Many of the cantaloupes available today are hybrids of muskmelons and true cantaloupes and have qualities that reflect both.

Cantaloupes are often picked, and shipped, before fully ripening. Post-harvest practices include treatment with a sodium hypochlorite wash to prevent mold growth and Salmonella growth. Cantaloupe is an extremely nutrient-packed fruit,and has very low calories. It is concentrated with high levels of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. It's also one of the very few fruits that has a high level of vitamin B complex, B1, B3, B5, and B6. The high amount of beta-carotene and vitamin C in cantaloupe also makes it an excellent fruit in helping to prevent many degenerative diseases. Some of the other health benefits include:

Anti-coagulant: A unique compound in cantaloupe helps decrease the viscosity of the blood, hence preventing the abnormal formation of blood clots in the cardiovascular system.

Arteriosclerosis: Regularly consuming vitamin C retards the development of hardening of the arteries.

Cancer prevention: The high vitamin C content acts as a good anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals.

Cataracts: The natural vitamin A from beta-carotene in this juice lowers the risk of cataracts, and generally helps improve your vision too.

Cholesterol: Drinking juices high in anti-oxidant has been proven to fight the oxidative stress. This is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDL's in the blood, and making them a concern for heart disease.

High blood pressure: Potassium in this melon helps us excrete sodium, thus bringing down high blood pressure.

Immune system: The strong content of vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, naturally building a good immune system.

Insomnia: A special compound in cantaloupe relieves the nerves, and calm anxieties. A help for insomniacs. 

Water retention: Especially in pregnant women. Cantaloupe helps your body excrete excess sodium, thus reducing water retention.

While beta-carotene and vitamin A are fat-soluble antioxidants, vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in the water-soluble areas of the body. So, between it's beta-carotene, and vitamin C content, cantaloupe has all areas covered against damage from oxygen free radicals. In addition to its antioxidant activity, vitamin C is critical for good immune function.

For the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened melon. There many things that you can look for to tell if a melon is ripe. If you tap the melon with the palm of your hand, and if you hear a hollow sound, the melon has passed the first test. Pick a melon that seems heavy for its size, and one that doesn't have any bruises or soft spots. The rind, underneath the netting, should have turned to yellow or cream from the green color that the unripe fruit has. The end opposite where the stem was should be slightly soft, and you should be able to smell the fruit's sweetness. Be careful though, an overly strong odor may be an indication of an overripe fruit. Leaving a firm cantaloupe at room temperature for several days will allow the texture of its flesh to become softer, and juicier. Only leave cantaloupe at room temperature if it is whole, unsliced, and not fully ripe. Once the cantaloupe has reached its peak ripeness, place it in the refrigerator to store. Melon that has been cut should be stored in the refrigerator and should be wrapped so that the ethylene gas that it emits does not affect the taste or texture of other fruits and vegetables. If left at room temperature for 2-4 hours, and not eaten, sliced cantaloupe is considered no longer safe for consumption and must be discarded. Mostly because of Salmonella contamination.

A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that minimal processing of the fruit, cutting, packaging and chilling, does not significantly affect its nutritional content even after 6, and up to 9, days. A more delicious, sweet and savory fruit you'll never eat. Cantaloupe, while just fine eaten alone as a desert also goes good with many cheeses, wines, and even deli-meats. I think it's great breakfast cereal, smoothies, or yogurt. It's a standard in fruit salads, and it also makes great warm weather milk-shakes. Good Luck...

Cantaloupe Milk Shake:


2 cups cut Cantaloupe pieces                                              
2 cups Milk
1 cup Plain Vanilla or French Vanilla icecream
1-3 tps Honey
1/2 tps Almond extract

1. Blend cantaloupe pieces till a smooth pulp is formed.
2. Add milk, honey, almond extract and blend again for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add ice-cream to it and whip for 1 minute adding 1-2 ice cubes.
4. Serve chilled.

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Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special. This is the perfect opportunity to get personally trained and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !! 
But, hurry, this offer will end soon! 

Call - (949) 443-0133 for details on how to receive Orange County's premier personal trainer experience! 

For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California:
PLEASE CONTACT ME; Doc Masters, at

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Artichokes Natures Aphrodisiac

        An Aphrodisiac: arouses or intensifies sexual desire.

The name aphrodisiac is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. From ancient times, there have been foods that were believed to increase sexual prowess and desire, and food historians tell us that ancient Greeks were not immune to promises of improved performance and stamina, and heightened pleasure.

The legend of artichokes goes like this, the first artichoke came about because of a lovely girl.  This beautiful young girl lived on the Island of Zinari. The Greek God, Zeus was visiting his brother Poseidon one day when he was leaving, as he emerged from the sea, he spotted this beautiful young girl, Zeus sees the opportunity and seduced her. They got along so well, he decided to make her a goddess, so that she would be closer to his home in Olympia. The young girl became the goddess Cynara and visited Zeus whenever his wife Hera was away. However, the young goddess soon missed her family back on mortal earth. So she would sneak back for a visit. Unfortunately for Cynara, Zeus discovered her escapades. Zeus was enraged. He hurled her back to earth and with a strike of a thunderbolt, and transformed her into the plant we know as the Artichoke. Coincidentally, the Latin name for Artichoke is Cynara Scolymus. Besides their history in Greek mythology, Artichokes have other aphrodisiac qualities, they have a high mineral and trace element content. Artichoke origins dates back to the time of the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.), who wrote of them being grown in Italy and Sicily. The Greeks called them kaktos. Globe artichokes are known to have been cultivated at Naples around the middle of the 9th century. Egyptians believed that the artichoke enhanced sexual power and aided in conception. In 16th Century Europe, only men were allowed to consume artichokes because of their reported libido-enhancing qualities. In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), married to King Henry II (1519-1559), of France at the age of 14, is credited with making artichokes famous. She is said to have introduced them to France when she married King Henry II in the mid 16th century. The French Court considered Katherine De Medici scandalous for eating such a large quantity of artichokes but her husband wasn't complaining. Henry the VIII was extremely fond of artichokes as well.

The "Book of Nature," by Dr. Bartolomeo Boldo in 1576 said, "Artichokes have the virtue of provoking Venus for both men and women. For women making them more desirable, and helping the men who are in these matters rather tardy." Artichokes were brought to the United States in the 19th century, first to Louisiana by the French and then to California by the Spanish. Today California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop. Approximately 80% of that is grown in Monterey County, where Castroville California proclaims itself to be "The Artichoke Center of the World", and holds a huge annual artichoke festival. In 1947 Marilyn Monroe, still going by her given name Norma Jean, was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. Now it was a surprise to me that, even though we eat it like a vegetable. artichokes, are not really a vegetable. They are the large flower bud, of a kind of thistle in the sunflower family. That's why the artichoke has a slightly nutty flavor. Once the flower matures, the Artichoke becomes inedible so the buds are harvested by hand before the purple flowering. Artichokes are large plants, like sun flowers, they grow three to five feet. They have long, great green leaves and tall stalks, in which the spiky flowers bloom. If Artichokes are allowed to fully bloom, the petals open up to reveal a purple pink flower top.

For our health, the total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables. Cynarin, an active chemical constituent in Cynara, causes an increased bile flow. The majority of the cynarin found in artichoke is located in the pulp of the leaves, though dried leaves and stems of artichoke also contain it. This diuretic vegetable is of nutritional value because of it's an aid to digestion, strengthening liver function and gall bladder function, and raising of the HDL/LDL ratio. This reduces bad cholesterol levels, which diminishes the risk for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease. The artichoke is being examined in research labs to explore its phytochemical contents. Two of these compounds, cynarin and silymarin, possess powerful antioxidant properties that may be beneficial in helping the liver to regenerate tissue growth. That our ancestors considered the artichoke an appetite stimulant is no surprise. Research has found that the phytochemical cynarin truly does stimulate the taste buds. It's also responsible for bringing sweet flavors to any foods you eat immediately after eating the artichoke. Fiber is a prime feature of this food with one medium artichoke supplying a hearty 6 grams. Dieters can also enjoy the artichoke for its low count of only 60 calories. With it's delicate taste, artichokes are also a heavyweight on the protein chart offering 4 grams. The artichoke is a no-fat, no cholesterol treat that offers a host of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, chromium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and calcium. The vitamin A content soars to 212 IU. For the B vitamin, niacin, it supplies 1.20 mg while vitamin B6 offers .13 mg. All-important folic acid adds up 61.2 mcg and vitamin C provides 12 mg. Artichokes are a good source of calcium measuring 54 mg while iron supplies 1.5 mg. Magnesium climbs to 72 mg while potassium scores an impressive 425 mg. Even zinc makes an appearance with .6 mg. Because artichokes are so well endowed with nutrients and phytochemicals, many health researchers believe eating them could contribute to the prevention of certain types of heart disease, cancer, and birth defects.

You should select Artichokes that are deep green, and those that feel heavy for their size. A tight leaf formation is also a good thing to watch for. A test of freshness is to squeeze them. That should produce a squeaking sound. Size has very little to do with the flavor. Make sure the leaves aren't dry and open they should be plump and tight. I guess what intrigued me most as a child about cooking, and eating artichokes was the process. You didn't just rinse chop and throw in them in a pot like other veggies. You had to wash, and carefully trim, because the damn things would stab you. This is a big deal when your a kid. Then you had to prepare and stuff the leaves then steam them. Then you got to eat your way through the leaves to your reward at the center. There are as many recipes for cooking artichokes as there are artichoke leaves. My advise is; try them all! For what it's worth here's my recipe:

1. Trim the stem down to the base and discard, You could boil and eat them but I don't.

2. Trim the tips of the leaves, the barbs with a pair of scissors.
3. Rinse them thoroughly, bugs like to crawl in them. Then turn  upside down and drain for a few minutes.

4. Prepare a Dutch oven type pot with about 1-2 inches of water and a vegetable steamer tray.

5. Slice some Parmesan cheese into small squares, and garlic small enough to fit between the leaves, and rinse some bay shrimp. 


6. Gently part as many leaves as you can, and insert 1 piece of each. (cheese, garlic, and shrimp) to each leaf.

7. After the Artichokes are stuffed, arrange them on your steamer in your pot and steam for approx. 2hrs. Keep an eye on the water level and add water as needed. When you can pull a leaf easily from the Artichoke THEY ARE READY!!


9. Continue until all of the petals are removed.

10. With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and enjoy a buttery reward.

Science has shown that pantothenic acid, is the reason for artichoke's sexy reputation. Artichokes tonify the liver, which governs nervous system response, so eating artichokes increases our response to stimulus, and increased response to stimulus means increased arousal, which means...
Now as for their verifiable aphrodisiac qualities, speaking from personal experience I can't remember a time that I prepared Artichokes when a romantic interlude didn't ensue, truth be told. Which is probably the reason I took this point of view in writing this article. Romance, my friends as we all know, has a lot to do with how you set the table, if you know what I mean. Believe what you want, but the only way to know for sure is to give it a try. What have you got to loose. At the very least you're in for a great tasting low calorie, high nutrition meal. The rest of the night well... that's up to you. Good Luck...

         Making Invisible Ink With Artichokes:

Doc's Fitness Tip's Publishes Weekly.

Flex-Appeal Personal Training  Service, the publisher of Doc's Fitness Tip's is Located In Dana Point, Ca. Our 20+ years of personal training experience also proudly serves the communities of, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and MissionViejo,Ca. 
Flex -Appeal is currently offering, for new customers, a 2 for 1 personal training special. The perfect opportunity to get personally trained, and bring a friend or spouse for FREE! Or Split The First Months Cost !! 

But, hurry fast, this offer will end soon! 

Call - (949) 443-0133 for details on how to receive Orange County's premier personal trainer experience!  

For the best Personal Fitness Training in Orange County, California: