Is Soy Sauce Bad For Your Health?

In 2012, I committed myself to a healthy, natural lifestyle. I gave birth to my kids naturally; switched to non-toxic personal care products; cut back on certain foods in my diet; spent more money on essential oils, health supplements and organic foods…you get the idea. Heck, this past week, I even bought an expensive, non-toxic sofa without flame retardants—it was designed with hardwood sourced from FSC-certified domestic forests, CertiPUR-US certified poly foam, and certified organic cotton interior lining. Before 2012, I never expected to give a darn about the materials that were used to create our old, torn sofa.

But when a friend started talking about the dangers of soy, I kind of just looked the other way and pretended not to hear him. Because of my Asian background, I have eaten a lot of soy sauce in my life—and I love it. So, what’s the deal with soy sauce, anyway? If you love soy sauce like I do, you might be pleasantly surprised with some of the information that I found. Turns out, there’s what I like to call “Bad Soy Sauce” and “Good Soy Sauce.” I also found a tasty substitute for soy sauce!

Bad Soy Sauce

Bad soy sauce goes through acid hydrolysis and contains soybeans, caramel color, corn syrup and salt. The process to create bad soy sauce is complete in a few days.

I call this bad soy sauce because it contains artificial ingredients and GMOs. I would also like to note that 1 tablespoon of soy sauce usually contains about 38% of your daily value of sodium. That’s a whole lot of salt in one tablespoon!

Good Soy Sauce

Good soy sauce goes through a fermentation process and contains soybeans, salt, and enzymes. Wheat is often added as well. It takes approximately six months to create this type of soy sauce.

I call this good soy sauce because of the fermentation. Thanks to the fermentation process, this soy sauce may be beneficial for your gut. If you choose to eat soy sauce, try to find an organic brand (avoid the GMOs) that contains less sodium.

Soy Sauce Replacement: Coconut Aminos

This is what is listed under Ingredients on my Coconut Aminos bottle (I get mine at Thrive Market):

“Organic coconut tree sap aged and blended with sun-dried, mineral-rich sea salt.”

Coconut Aminos is a delicious replacement for soy sauce—and it contains only two healthy ingredients. If you are like me, you are probably wondering, “does it taste like coconut?” No; thankfully, it does not! Also, one tablespoon of coconut aminos contains only 12% of your daily value of sodium. I would say that this is a big improvement from 38% (the daily value of sodium for one tablespoon of soy sauce).

What do you think of soy sauce and coconut aminos? If you like this blog, consider liking the Facebook page as well!

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Reference

Soy Sauce. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/soy-sauce

Turmeric: One That Wins Over Diseases

My enthusiasm for natural health began more than six years ago, and I am still amazed whenever I discover a natural solution that works so well. A few months ago, my husband started taking turmeric oil and he started to feel relief from his joint pain the very next day!

Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years for cooking and medicinal purposes. A search on PubMed for turmeric resulted in 4841 articles. Current research shows that turmeric may be beneficial for the nervous system, skin and metabolic processes. These are just some of the benefits that I found on the database.

I was also fascinated by the names of turmeric. In Sanskrit, turmeric has at least 53 different names. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Hridayavilasini: gives delight to heart, charming
  • Jayanti: one that wins over diseases
  • Jawarantika: which cures fevers
  • Kashpa: killer of worms
  • Laxmi: prosperity
  • Mehagni: killer of fat
  • Varna Datri: enhancer of body complexion
  • Vishagni: killer of poison

Essential oils are 50 to 70 times more potent than herbs. Have you tried turmeric essential oil? Contact me for the purest essential oils!

Reference

Aggarwal, B. B., & Prasad, S. (2011). Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. In I.F.F. Benzie, S. Wachtel-Galor (2nd ed.), Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.

Fun, Fab, FAT diet

It’s dinnertime! It’s time for the low fat, low carb, low sodium meal again. Sound delicious? Not really! These are the kinds of meals that I used to make in 2010. I’m so glad that I am not eating this way anymore. Do you know why? Research shows, and health gurus agree that…fat…is…good for us! Our brains and bodies need fat to work properly. It’s also difficult to feel satiated when we don’t consume enough fat. Filling up on carbs to feel full may lead to health problems like diabetes and obesity.

If you want more information about a diet high in fats, you may want to read about the Ketogenic diet. My husband has been on this diet and has lost 40 pounds. Personally, I don’t follow a particular diet. I believe that the ideal diet includes organic/natural/clean foods and should contain mostly vegetables/fruits/nuts/seeds, some meat, and minimal grains/sweets.

Regardless of the diet that you follow, our bodies need fat. Some healthy fats include organic/free-range eggs, organic/free-range chicken, organic/grass-fed beef, organic/grass-fed butter, coconut oil and olive oil (please note that olive oil is unhealthy at high temperatures).

Let’s get back to dinner. Now I’m hankerin’ for a large portion of colorful vegetables, some grass-fed beef and a small portion of quinoa. Let’s throw in some organic, full fat butter. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Bon Appetit!

Healthy Smoothies

Making smoothies is a fun and easy way to add more vegetables, healthy foods and supplements to your diet. Continue reading for some tips on making smoothies!

THE BLENDER

First off, if you want to make smoothies on a consistent basis, I recommend that you buy a high-quality blender. The first blender that I used was not very powerful and it was a smaller machine. It took a long time to mix all the ingredients together and the finished product was not very smooth. When it broke, we bought a two-quart Waring (MX1000XTX) blender. This professional blender cost us a lot more than our last one, but it was worth it. The Waring quickly and effortlessly blends fruits and vegetables with a 3.5 horsepower engine!

THE INGREDIENTS

Vegetables: I like to use kale and spinach because I need to add more green foods to my diet. Carrots and cucumbers are also great choices. These will all provide vital vitamins, minerals and fiber to your body!

Fruits: I love pineapples, kiwis, avocados, bananas and berries. Be careful not to put too much fruit in your smoothies, especially if you have diabetes and/or if you are trying to lose weight.

Seeds: I usually forget to eat seeds unless I add some in my smoothies. In addition to a long list of other healthy benefits for the body, flax seeds and chia seeds provide support for the digestive system, skin and heart.

Supplements: I like to use Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein. According to the bottle, Multi Collagen Protein is a “superfood powder” that is designed for “promoting healthy skin” and “supporting healthy joints.” Bee pollen is also wonderful for the immune system and the whole body!

Natural Sweeteners: If you want your smoothie to taste sweeter, opt for raw honey or organic stevia. In contrast to artificial sweeteners that harm your health, honey and stevia can boost your health in many ways. For example, honey is packed with antioxidants that can help prevent diseases and research has shown that stevia can help fight cancer.

RECIPES AND RESOURCES

Smoothies for Specific Ailments: In the past, I regularly made smoothies from the book entitled “Dr. Tom Wu’s Different Approach in Natural Healing: Conquer Cancer and Other Diseases with Simple Foods.” This book contains smoothie recipes for specific ailments/body systems. The Skin/Digestion smoothie was helpful with my daughter’s eczema and my psoriasis. I haven’t made this smoothie in awhile because it was time-consuming to make and it didn’t taste very good. However, I definitely recommend this book for people that want to heal their bodies with healthy foods. In addition to an improvement in my skin, I always felt more energized after drinking Dr. Wu’s smoothies.

Gut-Healing Smoothie: My favorite recipe contains almond milk, kale, spinach, avocado, bananas, ginger, flax seeds, bee pollen, hemp hearts, raw honey and collagen protein. Unlike other healthy smoothies, this one is reasonably tasty because of the bananas and honey. I always feel satiated and strengthened after drinking this smoothie; it also makes my dry skin feel better. You can find the recipe at Dr. Axe’s website (click here). Please note: for this recipe, you might need to decrease some of the ingredients to fit them all in your blender (they did not all fit into my two-quart blender).

Thrive Market: If you aren’t sure where to buy certain ingredients and health supplements for your smoothies, consider Thrive Market (click here to read more about Thrive). Buying health supplements on Amazon is not recommended.

What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes?

I Am My Own Lab Rat: The Lab Rat Discovers Fish Oil

I’m a Registered Nurse and was taught that regular use of health supplements is usually unnecessary and potentially dangerous. For this short blog post, I am not going to cite a slew of research articles that confirm or negate this view. I am simply going to share my experience with you. It turned me into a regular user of health supplements!

In 2014, I started having strange symptoms in my hand and foot. I would bend my thumb and it would lock into place for about half a minute. Around the same time, the same symptom occurred on my foot while I was driving. Luckily, I was only a block away from home! After this, I started to have tightness in my entire hand which led to pain in my hand. After about a week, my hand became so tight that I could barely write with it. My doctor tested me for an electrolyte imbalance and found everything to be normal. Instead of undergoing more testing, I decided to do some research on my own. This research let to my discovery of fish oil. I started taking fish oil and all my symptoms were gone within a week! I started taking fish oil in 2014 and have not had the same issues since then.

What is your view on health supplements? If you use them, please use non-GMO, high-quality supplements that are made from whole foods!