Flow Hive update video

This is an update on my Flow-Hive beehive. For those who haven’t heard, this is a new design that allows you to harvest the honey from outside of the hive directly into jars with little disturbance to the bees.

These bees have only been in the hive for a few months so they are still establishing themselves. It probably won’t be until next year that I will be able to harvest honey from them for the first time.

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Burrito Bowl Video

This is a simple nutritional and tasty dish that you can throw together in no time. Enjoy

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Aquaponics update video

As I haven’t given any feedback on my Aquaponics lately, this is a short video showing you just how productive it is, 3 years after first construction.

The fruit trees are a very recent addition and just look how well they are fruiting in their first year.

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Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Video

Who would ever think that a raw carrot cake could be so tasty. Give it a try and you won’t be sorry.

For those who would also like the recipe in written form the details are as follows;

For the carrot cake base:
– 2 cups carrot pulp (see note below for instructions on using whole carrots)
– 1/2 cup pecans, soaked 6+ hours, drained & rinsed
– 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
– 1/2 cup shredded coconut
– 1 Fuji apple, cored and cut into medium size pieces
– 1 quarter size chunk of ginger
– 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the frosting:
– 1 1/4 cup cashews, soaked 6+ hours, drained and rinsed
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
– 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon lemon juice
– 3 Medjool dates, pitted
– 1/3 cup water, more or less for desired consistency

1. For the frosting: In a high-speed blender blend all the above frosting ingredients, minus the water. Add the water in slowly using just enough to blend making it creamy. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

2. For the cake: Place the chunks of apple into the food processor. Blend until it becomes coarsely shredded. Be careful not to over process. It should be coarse pieces. Then add the carrot pulp along with all the rest of the ingredients above for the cake mix. Pulse until it becomes a coarse sticky mix. Once again, make sure to not over process.

NOTE: If using whole carrots cut them into medium size chunks and add them with the apple to blend, making coarse pieces.

Press the mix evenly into a non stick loaf dish, then add the frosting generously on top. Place in freezer for about one hour. Take out of the fridge and let it sit for about 25 minutes before eating. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and voila’!

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B12 supplementation for all Vegans and Vegetarians

This is a must read for all Vegans and Vegetarians.

dr-klaper

Dr. Michael Klaper Reveals The Truth About Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin needed in DNA synthesis. It’s critical in maturing red blood cells in your bone marrow. And it helps nerve fibers form and function in your brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.

With a deficiency of B-12, vital cells will not develop properly. You can become anemic and suffer from spinal cord damage.

B-12 is also required to turn the amino acid homocysteine into methionine. If you have a B-12 deficiency, homocysteine will build up to toxic levels in your bloodstream, damaging your arteries and leading to atherosclerosis.

Not to be grim, but advanced B-12 deficiency will lead to paralysis, dementia and death.

Where Does B-12 Come From?

Vitamin B-12 comes from microorganisms… mostly bacteria that live in soil, water, and the digestive tracts of animals.

In centuries past, people could get B-12 by drinking from streams. Or by working in gardens and then eating without washing their hands thoroughly. Since we no longer do these things, “natural” plant based sources of Vitamin B-12 have dropped out of modern life.

It’s true that there are bacteria in the human gut that synthesize B-12. But they live well beyond the part of the intestine where B-12 is absorbed

If you’re a vegan, there are only two reliable sources of B-12: fortified foods and supplements.

For B-12 to be absorbed from your gut into your bloodstream, it must combine with a protein secreted by the stomach lining called intrinsic factor.

B-12 is stored in your blood, liver and muscles. 0.2% of your B-12 stores are lost each day. So if you don’t consume a regular, reliable source of B-12, you’ll eventually become deficient. This could take years to manifest fully.

Unfortunately, the medical literature brims with case studies of vegans — infants, children, adults, and the elderly — who’ve incurred bodily damage from B-12 deficiency.

Long-term vegans who don’t supplement may not appear to suffer in the short term. But they may actually have elevated levels of homocysteine, or subtle neurologic dysfunction.

Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk.

  1. Vegans who avoid fortified foods like cereal, rice milk, and soy milk. These most typically include raw food vegans and macrobiotics.
  2. Infants who are breast fed, and whose vegan mothers don’t consume enough B-12.

If these groups don’t supplement their diets with a reliable B-12 source, they will eventually develop deficiency.

Signs of Deficiency

In adults, typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes.

These symptoms often develop gradually over several months to a year before the B-12 deficiency is recognized.

They’re usually reversible on administration of B-12. But there’s no entirely consistent and reliable set of symptoms. And there are cases of permanent damage in adults from B-12 deficiency.

If you suspect a problem, then get a skilled diagnosis from a medical practitioner. Unfortunately, the symptoms above can be caused by other problems too, not just B-12 deficiency.

How Can You Test For B-12 Deficiency?

Measuring B-12 levels in the blood is not accurate. That’s because the B-12 analogues in sea vegetables, green powders, and other foods can give a falsely high reading of B-12 in your blood.

What’s more, even if you have “normal” B-12 levels, damage to your nerves and an elevation of homocysteine levels can still occur.

Damage to your nerves and brain can occur long before anemia manifests. So waiting to see if anemia shows up is waiting too long. For these reasons, the best tests measure the amount of homocysteine and MMA (methylmalonic acid) in your blood. These substances increase when B-12 is deficient. If either of these levels (or both) are elevated, you have presumptive evidence of a B-12 deficiency. It should be treated immediately with oral B-12 supplementation.

If you do get your B-12 level checked, the value should be at least 350 mcg/dl.

How Much B-12 Do You Need To Take Daily To Avoid Problems?

Little of the B-12 you swallow is actually absorbed. So we recommend a daily intake of…

  1. 5 mcg daily from fortified food like cereal, rice milk, and soy milk. Read the food label to determine how much B-12 is present in each serving.
  2. 100 mcg from a daily supplement, preferably chewed to increase absorption. We recommend veganmultivitamin.com, which contains 30 mcg of Vitamin B12… that’s 500% the US RDA.
  3. 2000 mcg from a weekly supplement to keep your B-12 level in the safe range.
  4. Vitamin B-12 can be absorbed orally, even if intrinsic factor is deficient, if enough B-12 is taken.

Where B-12 is Not Found.

The soil particles on unwashed vegetables or vegetables do not supply adequate B-12 to prevent deficiency. This is true even if they’re left sitting at room temperature.

Foods commonly reported as “good B-12 sources” are usually tested with methods that measure B-12 analogues. Those methods give no accurate measure of the true B-12 content, nor whether it might actually be dangerous from its analogue content.

These foods include tempeh, tofu, amesake rice, barley miso, miso, natto, rice miso, shoyu, tamari, and umeboshi prunes. These foods don’t contain B-12 on a consistent enough basis to fulfill your daily requirements.

Seaweeds, especially nori, have so many B-12 analogues, that they may actually cause B-12 deficiency by blocking the action of active B-12.

Only dulse may be a reliable B-12 source. But to meet your B-12 requirements from dulse alone, you’d have to eat large amounts of it daily. And the amount of iodine from that much dulse would likely become toxic to your thyroid gland.

Merchandisers of blue-green algae (from Klamath Lake, OR), chlorella and spirulina all claim B-12 is present in their products. However, the tests they use all measure analogues. So the amount of active B-12 in their products is unknown and the presence of analogues in these products might actually precipitate B-12 deficiency.

If a merchandiser states that their product is a good source of B-12, they should offer “gold standard” proof. Namely, they should show that their product lowers levels of homocysteine or MMA in the blood. All other test methods are suspect.

Where B-12 is Found in Vegan Diets.

Vitamin B-12 is commonly added to commercial rice milk, soy milk, and cereal. It is also added to many meat analogues made from wheat gluten or soybeans. However, meat analogues tend to be high in salt, fat, and artificial ingredients; so we do not recommend them.

Read the labels to see how much B-12 is in each serving.

Brewer’s and nutritional yeast do not naturally contain B-12. But one brand, Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula, also known as Red Star Yeast T6635+, fortifies their product with 5 mcg per tablespoon.

If you buy B-12 fortified nutritional yeast, be sure to keep it in your refrigerator or freezer, and keep it out of the sunlight.

Note: Yeast products, like nutritional yeast, will not cause the growth of candida or any other type of yeast in your body. Besides being a totally different kind of yeast from candida, nutritional yeasts are processed so that no living yeast organisms are present.

Is There A Vegan Alternative To B-12 Fortified Foods and Supplements?

The short answer is “No.”

As mentioned earlier, our ancestors could get B12 by drinking from streams. Or by working in gardens and then eating without washing their hands thoroughly. Since we no longer do these things, “natural” plant-based sources of Vitamin B-12 have dropped out of modern life.

And the modern world, with its oxidizing air pollution, chlorinated drinking water, thinning ozone layer, etc, places metabolic demands on our bodies that the ancients and their diets never faced.

If you’re vegan, eating B-12 fortified foods or supplements is not optional. It’s absolutely necessary.

If you’re a purist who doesn’t eat commercial rice milk, soy milk, or cereal — and you also shun supplements — then have your B-12, MMA, and homocysteine levels checked annually. If the values become abnormal, begin B-12 supplementation immediately.

However, don’t even consider this option if you’re pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or nursing an infant.

Recommendations: Food Sources and Supplements.

Both vegans and vegetarians should obtain sufficient B-12 from fortified food or supplements. Again, we recommend www.veganmultivitamin.com, which contains 30 mcg of Vitamin B12… that’s 500% the US RDA.

It is not wise to rely upon any sea vegetables such as algae, nori, or spirulina or upon brewer’s yeast, tempeh, or “living” vitamin supplements that use plants as a sole source of B12.

Nor is it wise to rely solely on one type of fortified food, such as Red Star Nutritional Yeast.

Recommendation for Vegan Infants.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that infants of vegan mothers be supplemented with B12 from birth. That’s because their stores at birth and their mother’s milk supply may be low.

Exceptions to these Recommendations.

People with digestive or malabsorption diseases — such as pernicious anemia — B12 metabolism defects, kidney failure, or cyanide metabolism defects should consult an accredited health professional.

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Dr Klaper on probiotics

This is an article that is very worth while reading

dr-klaper

Q&A: PROBIOTICS PRINCIPLES

Dear Dr. Klaper:

I’ve been told to consume probiotics after taking antibiotics. What is the best kind of probiotics, should I take them while I am taking the antibiotics, and how do I know if the bacteria I have purchased are really alive? – B.P.

Dr. Michael Klaper answers questions on a wide variety of health and nutrition-related subjects.
To submit a question for inclusion here, send e-mail to: answers@DoctorKlaper.com.

UPDATED: January 18, 2017

Dear B.P.,

Keeping the resident population of bacteria and other microbes in our intestinal tract balanced and beneficial is essential for good health, especially during and after taking a course of antibiotics.

We are learning that our population of gut bacteria interacts with our body in many remarkable ways, from stimulating our immune system to producing neurotransmitter molecules that ride the bloodstream up to the brain and influence our very thoughts and moods! A healthy population of normal gut microbes helps to prevent unfriendly bacteria and yeast from injuring the intestinal wall, which can result in increased intestinal permeability – the so-called “leaky-gut syndrome.” This can, in turn, lead to severe inflammation and autoimmune diseases that can damage vital organs and even threaten our lives.

Consequently, keeping our gut flora balanced and beneficial is essential and ingesting a preparation containing health-enhancing bacteria can be a timely strategy (along with a whole-food, plant-based diet.)

The bacteria in our intestines are originally common soil bacteria. How do they get into our guts? Animals who live earth-connected lives, like grazing deer and antelope, are constantly refreshing their intestinal flora as they eat and drink. They pull up clumps of grass with soil particles clinging to the roots and ingest the microbes when they swallow. When they drink from a nearby stream, they, again, ingest bacteria in the water that wash into the stream from the soils with every rainstorm. They, in turn, excrete the microbes back into the environment. So, a river of soil microbes moves through their digestive tracts and back to the soils – they are part of the flowing energies of the living Earth.

Humans, too, used to live Earth-connected lives, foraging for roots and tubers, digging them up covered with soil bacteria and usually eating them unwashed. We, too, drank from streams and rivers like other animals. Thus, we constantly refreshed our soil-born gut bacteria population, just like the deer and antelope. Our ancestors never swallowed probiotic capsules – Nature provided it free of charge.

But modern life, far from replenishing and nourishing our gut flora, is an assault on our intestinal microbial populations. Think of the bacteria-killing nature of what we swallow these days:

  1. Drinking water treated with chlorine. (I am not against chlorinating the water supply – I do not want to be treating cases of typhoid fever or cholera. But every drink of tap water contains chlorine – specifically added to kill bacteria! Our produce fruits and vegetables are washed in chlorinated water. Not “gut flora friendly,” to say the least!
  2. Soft drinks (colas, etc.) are often made with phosphoric acid, which gives them their “bite” on the tongue. Phosphoric acid kills microbes – and gut wall cells.)
  3. Coffee – the coffee oils that give coffee its taste are quite harsh on bacteria
  4. Alcohol – the glass of wine, that mug of beer may taste good, but, think about it: in the hospital, we dip our surgical instruments into alcohol to kill bacteria – and, yet, people drink it as a recreational beverage! Alcohol in the concentrations that people commonly drink kills every cell – plant or animal – that it touches.
  5. Herbicides on plants foods – molecules intentionally designed to chemically injure plant cells. Most of the microbes in your gut share the same cell machinery as true plants – cell walls, chromosomes, etc. So, herbicides on foods can damage microbe balance, too.
  6. Antibiotics from doctor’s prescriptions – often requested by the patient and dispensed reluctantly by the doctor for viral infections not affected by antibiotics.
  7. Antimicrobials in the meats from factory-farmed animals is a HUGE problem, unbalancing our gut microbes and spawning antibiotic-resistant “super-bugs.”
  8. Teas – both black and herbal. The peppermint plant, the chamomile plant and their kin are not making those lovely oils with your cup of herbal tea in mind. Those are anti-bacterial oils made to kill bacteria before they invade the leaves and stems of the plant. I am not saying an occasional cup may not be soothing and have beneficial properties, but consumed in large amounts, they can be one more element in the daily assault on our healthy, stable, beneficial, multi-trillion organism population of gut microbes.

No wonder so many people have imbalances in their gut microbial populations, known as their “micro-biome.”

As the normal inhabitants are killed off by this modern-day onslaught, unfriendly yeast, bacteria and other microbes can set up housekeeping along and within the intestinal wall and then proceed to damage that intestinal barrier, leading to the “leaky gut” syndrome and all the inflammatory conditions that arise from that condition.

Consequently, if you subject your micro-biome to any or all of the above injurious agents on a regular basis, or if you have recently taken a course of prescribed antibiotics, ingestion of a good probiotic may well be a wise idea for you to prevent diarrhea, yeast overgrowth and a host of other problems.

Of course, before we discuss probiotics – which are edible products that contain beneficial microbes – it goes without saying that you would want to do all you can to avoid the bacteria-harming agents listed above.

If you want a healthy micro-biome – and especially if you are trying to heal a “leaky gut,” consider:

  1. not drinking alcohol, soft drinks, and coffee,
    2.     minimizing tea-drinking
    3.     minimize eating herbicide-sprayed fruits and vegetables,
    4.     severely reducing or eliminating animal products from your diet
    5.     avoiding needless antibiotic prescriptions, as for viral infections,
    6.     eliminating chlorine from your water via distillation, evaporation/condensation, or effective filtering, like reverse osmosis. Chlorine is volatile – letting a pitcher of tap water stand overnight will allow much of the chlorine to evaporate by morning.

Once you have taken the above steps to minimize injury to your gut flora, which organisms do you want to help establish in your intestinal lining? There are a group of bacteria that are especially beneficial and I always look for these names on the label of any probiotic I purchase:

Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus. salivarius
Lactobacillus. bulgaricus
Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus bifidus
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Bifidobacteria longum

Certain organisms appear to be especially beneficial for specific conditions:

  • Lactobacillus plantarum and L. casei have anti-inflammatory properties, making them especially valuable for people with inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Lactobacilis acidophilus is valuable for rebalancing the bowel after taking antibiotics, and for thwarting recurring urinary infections in women.
  • Sacchromyces boulardii, a beneficial member of the yeast family, is effective in stopping diarrhea, either from antibiotics, radiation to the pelvis, or “travelers’ diarrhea.” It can be used as a preventative if one is traveling to a destination where contracting traveler’s diarrhea is a strong possibility, in which case it can be started 2 to 3 days before departure and taken each day while traveling.

 

What, exactly, are probiotics and how to use them…

Products with an assortment of beneficial organisms, combined with nutrients such as fructo-oligosaccharides and other substances to support their growth, are called “probiotics.” Many, if not most of the bacteria in these products are of the family “Acidophilus” (the “acid-loving” bacteria.) Although not scientifically accurate, through popular usage, probiotic products have often come to be known as just “acidophilus.”

The growth-supporting nutrients alone are termed “pre-biotics.” (If you have colitis, Crohn’s disease, or another condition involving inflammation of the intestinal tract, you should purchase acidophilus without F.O.S., since these and other sugars can sometimes make these inflammatory conditions worse.)

The beneficial organisms must be put into the gut in substantial numbers. A good probiotic product has at least 5 BILLION organisms per dose. (This is often expressed as “colony forming units, or “cfu’s.) For severe derangements of the intestinal flora, this dose may need to far greater, up to 100 billion cfu’s per dose.

This is one reason why I think eating yogurt as a probiotic is pointless. Standard, commercial yogurt is pasteurized to kill bacteria before it is sold – so most brands are useless as a probiotic source. The “cultured” or “bacteria-fortified” yogurt products usually have a few million organisms, at best. Thus, you would need to consume dozens of tubs of yogurt to equal the bacterial numbers in a good probiotic.

Why consume all the dairy protein, gelatin, and sugar inherent in most of these products – substances known to make many medical conditions worse – when all you really want are the beneficial organisms that you can purchase purely in a good probiotic product?

Is your probiotic alive?

Very importantly, it is very important to be sure that the probiotic product you are paying for and ingesting really contains live, beneficial bacteria. That is, the organisms may have been quite viable when they left the factory, but if they were stored in an unrefrigerated warehouse and/or shipped on an unrefrigerated truck, by the time they get to the shelf of your neighborhood health food store, it may be dead, white powder. So, how do you tell?

Test it!

You can determine the vitality of your probiotic product with a simple kitchen counter “experiment.” Start by pouring one-quarter cup of soy milk (cow’s milk will also work) into each of two small bowls or cups and then stirring in 2/3 of a teaspoon of the probiotic powder (the contents of 3-4 “vegi-caps”) into one of the bowls. (The other bowl of milk is the control.)

If your probiotic comes in tablets or “enteric pearls” you must crush them up into a powder to assure adequate contact with the milk. Do not just drop an intact tablet into the bowl. Place the tablet into a plastic bag or folded paper and, using a hammer wrapped in a thin towel or the bottom of a heavy drinking glass, pound the tablet into a powder, and then add it to the milk.

Allow both bowls to sit out at room temperature overnight. When you examine the bowls in the morning, the milky contents should not look the same. Since Lactobacillus acidophilus is the bacteria strain that curdles milk, there should be signs of bacterial activity in the bowl containing the probiotic. You should see either (a) chunks of curdled milk, or (b) a film of yogurt, or (c) bubbles of carbon dioxide, and if you put your nose near the milk, it should smell like sour milk.

If both bowls look just the same, let them sit out on the counter one more night. The next morning, when you pour the contents of both bowls down the sink, if the physical characteristics of the white liquids appear to be the same, you have non-viable product and should get a fresh supply, a different brand – or your money back. Your probiotic product (except for pure Sacchromyces) should be able to curdle milk.

When to take probiotics…

I believe probiotics are best consumed one hour before meals or two hours before bed – times when the acid in the stomach is at lowest ebb. Why? You want to have as many live bacteria as possible pass through the stomach into the small intestine as possible. When you eat a meal, your stomach fills up with potent hydrochloric acid, which would kill many of the beneficial organisms. So, to “sneak” the bacteria through the acid vat of your stomach, it is wise to ingest the probiotic an hour prior to eating, before the stomach fills up with acid – or well after it has emptied.

Since modern life – with its steady stream of chlorinated drinking water, alcoholic beverages, antibiotic-laced foods, etc. – seems to be an intensive assault on our normal intestinal flora, one could make the case that everyone could probably benefit from a “freshening up” of their intestinal bacteria with a brief one to two-week course of acidophilus, several times per year, or, perhaps one weekend each month.

Certainly, after a course of medically-prescribed antibiotic therapy, the healthy balance of bacteria should be re-established in the intestine by consuming a probiotic preparation for two to four weeks after taking the last antibiotic dose. It is OK (and probably wise) to take the probiotic while you are taking the antibiotic, just be sure to space them out in time – that is, if you take the antibiotic morning and with dinner, take the probiotic mid-day (an hour before lunch) or an hour before retiring.

Many probiotics are better able to retain their potency when kept in the refrigerator, though not all brands require this. If there is any question about the potency of the product you have purchased – test it! Try to consume the entire product within a few weeks of purchase, so it does not lose its potency in the refrigerator or on the shelf.

Used wisely, probiotics can be a useful tool in keeping our body, and thus, our health in optimal balance.

Here are three probiotic products I recommend to my patients:

  • Renew Life – Ultimate Flora Women’s Complete 90 Billion (30 Veg. Capsules)
  • Renew Life – Ultimate Flora Men’s Complete Diet Supplement (30 Count)
  • HealthRight Nutraceuticals – ND Probiotic Dietary Supplement (120 Count)

To schedule a private consultation by phone or video, please call the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California (about one hour north of San Francisco). The Front Desk at TrueNorth can be reached from 9a – 5p Monday through Saturday, and 12:30p – 4p on Sundays. Phone: 1-707-586-5555.

Yours in health,
Dr. Michael Klaper

 

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Sweet Buckwheat Pancakes video

How about trying this delicious sweet Buckwheat Pancake. A slight variation on the savoury Buckwheat Pancake last published

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