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Optimum Connections

News from Optimum Choices, LLC

April 2006

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Contents

Upcoming Classes
Current news
Spring Sale
Oil of the month
Is a vegetarian diet the healthiest way to eat?
Book of the month
Contact us

Upcoming Classes

Doggie Massage Class

Saturday, April 15, 2006, 1:00-3:00 pm
Sherlock Hound
4369 Stuart St, Denver, CO 80212
Call: (303) 433-3234  to register
Cost: $25 payable to Sherlock Hound

Dogs have muscles too! Massage is no longer just for humans--dogs can benefit just as much as humans. Come learn how to help your dog feel better with massage and acupressure. Class topics will include:

  • Benefits of massage for dogs
  • How to do a simple relaxing massage for your dog
  • Acupressure points that provide specific benefits
  • Tuning in to your dog energetically
  • How massage helps older dogs feel better

Click here for more details.

Current News

Supernutrition for Optimum Cellular Nutrition Seminar

Saturday, April 8 (9:30 am to Noon)
with Dr. Roland Thomas, BSc, ND
Sponsored by Holistic Healing Services

Optimum Choices will be exhibiting BioPreparation algae product for animals

Even with the best of nutrition, we remain under attack from increasing pollutants and other cancer-causing and bio-hazardous agents in our food, water and air.
For superior natural protection, we must boost our health with phytonutrients and immunize ourselves with micro nutrients, such as those provided in bio-algae concentrates... Bio-algae concentrates with over 20,000 person years of Russian research fulfill the promise of Optimum Cellular Nutrition! A revolution in supplementation, these bio-algae concentrates are 100 years ahead! Dr. Thomas will share with you step by step how this quantum leap in holistic cellular nutrition was researched, proven and applied with human and animal for over 30 years.

A Place for Peace Center
1605 West Mulberry, Fort Collins, CO
(Parking across Mulberry next to city park lake)
For directions call: 970-679-4286

Registration fees: $10.00 in advance – $15.00 at the door
Material and booklet Included

Limited Seating – Reserve TODAY to Assure your Seat and Booklet
Call William Comer at 970-679-4286 or Roland Thomas at 303-683-8113

The International Association of Animal Massage & BodyworkNational Animal Massage Conference in Boulder

The International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork (IAAMB) will be holding its national conference this year in Boulder, Colorado. This is exciting news for those of us located in the Denver/Boulder metro area. If you or anyone you know does professional animal massage, bodywork or energywork, or if you are considering pursuing a career in it, this is the conference to attend. We attended it last year in Toledo, Ohio and found it very worthwhile. Optimum Choices will be exhibiting our BioPreparation for animals product at the conference. For more information, see IAAMB's website:  www.iaamb.org/conference/index.htm. Next year it will probably be in Virginia so don't miss your chance to attend the conference locally if you live in the front range area of Colorado.

Hurricane Katrina dogs still seeking homes

You probably assumed all the Katrina animals had been rescued and re-homed by now, right? Unfortunately, that's not the case yet. There are still some rescued Katrina dogs in Denver seeking homes. For more information, see: www.optimumchoices.com/katrina-help.htm.

Misha May Foundation seeking funds to purchase training center

The Denver-based Misha May Foundation, that saved more than 80 homeless dogs and cats after Hurricane Katrina, now needs its own home. The Misha May Foundation, dedicated to preventing the euthanasia of neglected and untrained homeless dogs through affordable training, is one step closer to greatly expanding its operation and vastly decreasing canine euthanasia in metro Denver. An ideal building in Denver has been located, according to Lorraine May, executive director, but an additional $60,000 is needed immediately to make a down payment and meet start-up costs. For more details, click here.

Spring Sale

April showers bring our spring sale on Joint Treats, helping your dog be more spry (springy) as you start to enjoy outdoor activities together again with the return of spring. Receive 10% off your order of Active Care Healthy Joint Treats if you purchase at least 3 bags at one time (shipped to one address). If ordering online, put "April Showers Sale" in the special order instructions (mailing) box of the shopping cart or in your e-mail to info@OptimumChoices.com. Offer good until midnight on April 30, 2006.

Healthy water for less: Multi-Pure® Fast Track special offer

For a limited time get Multi-Pure's popular new Aqua Dome water filter for $100 off the retail price! This is a $180 value filter for only $79 + tax, shipping/handling and a $4 registration fee (to become a distributor). We took advantage of this offer recently and are passing on the word to everyone that wants to drink healthy water for less money. Multi-Pure is a leader in water filtration technology and with this promotion, we were able to afford the purchase of a filter, eliminating trips to the health food store to fill up our 5 gallon bottles with filtered water. See our article on Healthy water for you and your pets to find out why we recommend filtering your water.

For more information, see our Multi-Pure page, e-mail us or call 303-271-1649 or 866-305-2306 (toll-free).

Oil of the month

by Russell Louie

Egyptian Gold oil blend

Ingredients: Frankincense, lavender, Idaho balsam fir, myrrh, spikenard, hyssop, cedarwood, rose, and cinnamon essential oils.

Egyptian Gold oil blend was the new oil introduced at the 2005 Young Living Convention. It was originally only packaged in the Gold of the Gods convention kit. This kit contained bottles of Egyptian Gold, Thieves, frankincense and lavender along with a nice DVD. The essential oils found in this exquisite blend were treasured by the pharaohs. These oils were used by the priests to access higher powers, heighten spiritual awareness and seek spiritual illumination. The oils in Egyptian Gold were worth a king's ransom in gold. Now you can experience these ancient secrets of the Gods.

Optimum Choices has three 2005 Convention "Gold of the Gods" kits available complete with DVD for $55 each. The DVD includes one section on Essential Oils in Ancient and Modern Medicine and a second section on Essences of Life: Using the oils. It makes a great gift for that essential oil aficionado. Send an e-mail to Russell Louie if interested: russell@OptimumChoices.com.

Packaging: 5 ml bottle, (Product Code 3332)

Price: $38.82/$34.16/$29.50

Click here to order on our Young Living World Essential Oils website. Go to Product Catalog and do a Product Search on "Egyptian Gold" or go to "Essential Oils", "Blends A-M".

Is a vegetarian diet the healthiest way to eat?

by Margaret Auld-Louie

Most people would answer this question "yes". Based on our research, we would answer this question "no". Vegetarianism is the politically correct way to eat but we do not agree that it is healthier or better for the environment. The assumption in most media is that a vegetarian diet is healthier (such as cancer preventive and "heart healthy"), kinder to the environment and more spiritually advanced. In recent years, many teenage girls have become vegetarians or even vegans because it is "cool" and they feel it is healthier and kinder to animals. The majority of people we know assume that Russell and I must be vegetarians because we don't eat the Standard American Diet (SAD), we avoid junk food, we love animals and they know we follow a healthy diet and pursue spiritual growth.

However, we do not follow a vegetarian diet nor do we feel it is the healthiest way to eat, especially for the long term. For the short term, it can be cleansing but in the long-term, the body does not get the nutrients it needs to be healthy, particularly for children, teenagers, parents-to-be and nursing mothers. And despite assumptions to the contrary, a vegetarian diet is not necessarily kinder to animals or the planet than a diet containing meat. Did you know that soy farming in South America claims more acres of rainforest than beef? While much of this is grown to feed European animals, the soy industry is also vigorously promoting soy for people, and soy is often a major component of the diet of vegetarians. Soy is not an appropriate, healthy or natural food for either animals or people unless it is slowly fermented (see our article on soy here). And eating a vegetable-based diet doesn't prevent animals from being harmed either. Most vegetables, even organic, are grown on large farms that use mechanized vegetable farming, resulting in numerous animals being killed (the soil organisms, insects, rodents and birds that live wild in the vegetable fields). In addition, monoculture agriculture (growing one plant in great quantity) depletes the soil and is ecologically damaging. Neanderthin author Ray Audette states "The production of wheat in ancient Sumeria transformed once-fertile plains into salt flats that remain sterile 5,000 years later." Slate, the online magazine, recently ran an article on Whole Foods pointing out that most of the organic produce at their store rarely comes from the small, local, family-run farms they promote but rather from a few large corporate farms in California. Transporting organic food from these farms cross-country uses a tremendous amount of energy. Growing plants for food is not always the best use of land, either.  Two thirds of the earth's land is unsuited for cultivation but can be used to graze animals and these animals can subsist on plants that are not fit for human consumption. The Maasai people in Africa are nomadic herders and they believe that tilling the land for crop farming is a crime against nature. Once you cultivate the land, it is no longer suitable for grazing.

We realize that many people are vegetarians because they object to killing animals and then eating them. Our feeling is that since we are biologically designed to need nutrients only found in animal products, and our bodies have the physiology (teeth and digestive system) of omnivores (animals that eat both animal and plant material), then it cannot be wrong for us to kill animals for food anymore than it is wrong for a lion to kill its prey. What is wrong is the inhumane manner in which animals are raised and killed today in factory farms. These animals are fed inappropriate food for their species (such as animal parts being given to herbivores), raised in filthy conditions, do not have room to move around and are given antibiotics and hormones to keep them alive in these horrid conditions and maximize production. We agree that meat from these animals is not very healthy to eat and the animals are cruelly treated. On the other hand, eating animals raised on pasture without hormones or antibiotics, from a mixed-used farm run by small farmers, is not cruel in our opinion, nor does it damage the environment. In fact, a farm that integrates animal husbandry with growing vegetables is the most ecologically sound use of land and kindest to the environment. The manure from the animals is used to fertilize the plants and the animals help to protect the plants from destruction (such as chickens eating insects that destroy plants). The meat, dairy and eggs from such a farm will contain far more nutrients and a more appropriate balance of fats than factory-farmed food. This food is more expensive and difficult to find but is becoming more widely available as people request it. The meat is typically labeled as "grass fed" and can be found at some health food stores. (The dairy and eggs usually must be purchased direct from the farm). For a thoughtful discussion on the ethics of eating meat, see this article: www.westonaprice.org/healthissues/ethicsmeat.html.

What about the argument that vegetarians can obtain all the nutrients they need from food if they combine proteins (beans & grains) and take B12 supplements? And what about cultures such as in India that have been successfully vegetarian for thousands of years? The fact that vegetarians do need to take an artificial supplement (B12) to meet their needs for vitamins tells me, as a biologist, that the diet is inappropriate. If a species is eating the diet designed for it by Mother Nature, it should contain all the nutrients in the food the animal needs for optimal health, without having to add man-made substances created in a laboratory. Some people argue that soy and blue green algae contain B12, however these are forms of B12 that cannot be absorbed by humans and, in fact, increase the need for B12. Vitamin B12 is found in dairy and eggs, so it is primarily vegans who are at risk of B12 deficiency. The argument against veganism being a "natural" way of eating is that if these same people who are vegans had lived just a few decades ago, when fortified foods and vitamins were unavailable, they would have died. So, how do Indians stay healthy on a vegetarian diet? There are two factors: 1) their diet usually contains dairy products (and raw milk, in the era before pasteurization, is very high in nutrients) and 2) their grains are infested with insects, which provide many beneficial nutrients including B12. Some Hindus are vegans but apparently the insects infesting their grains provide the B12 they need. When they later moved to England, they developed megaloblastic anemia (caused by B12 deficiency) within a few years. In England, the food supply is cleaner and does not contain insect parts as in India.

However, it's not just B12 that is lacking in a vegetarian diet. Other critical nutrients lacking are the fat-soluble nutrients, particularly Vitamins A and D. The beta carotene found in vegetables is not the same as Vitamin A (though it may be listed on the label as the same). It has to be converted by the body into Vitamin A and not all bodies can make this conversion, particularly children, people with hypothyroid issues and diabetics. So maybe children really do have a sound reason for not wanting to eat their vegetables (their bodies are not as good as adults as absorbing the nutrients in plant foods). Vitamin A is critical for a healthy immune system and many former vegetarians have found that they are healthier and get fewer illnesses when they eat animal products.

Vitamin D is also critical to health and to the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It is difficult to get enough D from brief periods of time in the sun at the latitude of the U.S. Only sunning at midday during the summer months with most of the body surface exposed will produce enough. Traditional cultures, even in the tropics, ate diets high in Vitamin D such as intestines, organ meats, skin and fat from certain land animals, as well as shellfish, oily fish and insects. The Standard American Diet does not provide sufficient Vitamin D and vegetarians get even less, since it is primarily found in animal foods, particularly animal fat.

What about the frequent statements in the media that eating meat and animal fats produces cancer and heart disease? Many scientists have shown these claims to be false or to only be associated with processed or overcooked meats. Instead, a high-carbohydrate diet as well as excessive consumption of polyunsaturated fats from refined vegetable oils are associated with cancer. Primitive cultures, such as the Eskimos, Aborigines and Maasai traditionally eat diets high in animal products and animal fats but show low rates of cancer and heart disease unless they switch to a modern Western diet. Then they are prone to the same rates of degenerative diseases that plague us. The media frequently uses the term "artery clogging saturated fats", however, studies have shown that arterial plaque is composed mostly of unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated. Mary Enig, the PhD expert on fats who first sounded the alarm on trans-fatty acids, has shown that both trans-fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats are the major culprits behind cancer and heart disease, not saturated fats.

Numerous studies show that low fat diets are associated with many problems such as depression, violence, cancer and fatigue, as well as growth problems, failure to thrive and learning disabilities in children. High-carbohydrate/low-fat diets tend to increase insulin in the body which is now known to cause inflammation leading to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Excessive carbohydrates as well as monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, also lead to weight gain. Vegetarian diets and in particular vegan diets are by nature high-carbohydrate/low-fat. Maybe it's not just junk food that is making our children obese and prone to mental problems--autism, violence, learning disabilities, depression, etc. Animal products and especially animal fats (including the fats in whole, raw milk) provide nutrients that are especially needed for growing bodies and the developing brain and nervous system. Instead, schools are providing low-fat, pasteurized milk to "counteract" the obesity epidemic and well-meaning parents think a vegetarian diet is healthy for children.

A low fat diet is also likely associated with the increasing rates of infertility afflicting couples. Traditional cultures fed parents-to-be animal products that are super high in the nutrients needed for healthy reproduction such as eggs, liver, fish eggs, cream, butter, seafood, etc. Native American couples experiencing infertility would go on a "bear fat" diet, which usually resolved the problem. Today, we're told that it's healthier to eat vegetarian and that being vegan is the ultimate in health. A local paper, which runs a weekly feature on how couples met and what their wedding was like, ran a story several months ago about a vegan man who persuaded his fiancé to become vegan as well. The story focused on how wonderful it was that this couple was eating so "healthy". Unfortunately, that couple may well have difficulty conceiving and bearing children and their children's health will likely suffer as well. They won't know why this is or even associate it with what they are eating because they think their diet is perfect.

SalmonProponents of vegetarian diets also don't take into consideration biochemical individuality. As some former vegetarians have discovered, not everyone can be healthy on a vegetarian diet, no matter how well balanced and supplemented. Nutrition expert Sally Fallon describes the Native American and Irish races as "obligate carnivores", meaning that their bodies require animal meat and fat to obtain all the nutrients they need and adds that they tend to become alcoholics when their diet is lacking this. People with ancestry of Innuit, Scandinavian, Northern European or sea coast peoples that ate diets high in seafood may have lost the ability to convert alpha-linolenic acid into EPA and DHA (essential fatty acids found only in animal foods). This means they can't get the fats they need from flax oil or other plant oils. If you have pets, you should note that this is also true of many dogs and all cats. (Cats, being pure carnivores, have no need for and therefore don't produce the enzymes that convert plant oils into EPA and DHA.) Flax oil or seeds added to pet food and supplements is useless to a cat.

If a vegetarian diet is not the ideal healthy diet, then what is a healthy way to eat? We think it makes sense to look at what traditional cultures have eaten for thousands of years, before the advent of Western processed foods (like white flour, white sugar, refined vegetable oils, etc.). There are few cultures left now that are untouched by Western civilization. Fortunately, researchers such as Dr. Weston Price studied the diets of traditional people in the 1920's and 1930's when it became possible to travel to the far corners of the globe, before these cultures started eating modern foods. He was hoping to find a healthy vegetarian culture and was disappointed when he did not. He found that all healthy cultures used some animal foods. Also, paleontological evidence shows humans have always been omnivores. For more information, see our article on Healthy Traditional Diets.

While the ideal diet will contain animal products from animals raised outdoors on pasture, vegetables from small, organic family-owned farms and wild seafood, even the less ideally-raised animal foods still contain essential health-promoting nutrients. Sally Fallon tells the story of an elderly neighbor who opened his refrigerator and showed her a shelf full of cream. Though the cream was grocery store pasteurized cream and not from grass-fed cows, it still promoted the health and longevity of this elderly man because cream is so concentrated in the fat-soluble nutrients (like Vitamins A and D).

For more information on vegetarianism, we recommend the following resources:

Book of the month

 

Eat Fat, Lose Fat : The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats
by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon

ISBN: 0452285666

review by Margaret Auld-Louie

This book, which has just come out in paperback, is not just for people wanting to lose weight. It's for anyone wanting to feel better and be healthier, since it explains how to change your diet to incorporate traditional foods and methods of preparation which maximize nutrients vs. the processed, depleted foods in most modern diets. The authors are nutrition experts: Mary Enig, PhD is a world-renowned biochemist and lipids (fats) expert. She was one of the first scientists to sound the alarm on trans-fatty acids (back in the 1970's) and was ostracized at the time for that. Finally, more than 25 years later, their dangers are widely known and on January 1, 2006, it became law for the amount of trans-fats to be listed on ingredient labels. Sally Fallon is President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching accurate nutritional information based on traditional diets.

One important factor in traditional diets is the liberal use of animal fats from pasture-raised animals, which are high in important nutrients, including Vitamins A and D. Coconut oil is also a very healthy traditional fat, used for thousands of years, that is especially helpful for weight loss because the type of fat in it tends to be burned for energy rather than stored and it raises the metabolic rate. I can personally vouch for that, having eaten coconut oil one time in the evening with my dinner and then not being able to sleep all that night because it energized me so much. When I mentioned that to coconut oil expert Dr. Bruce Fife, he said that he avoids eating it after 6 pm.

An entire chapter of the book is dedicated to explaining the real facts on fats--that saturated fats are essential for health and are not the artery-clogging, cancer-producing demons reported in the media. The authors describe the history of the myth that high-fat foods cause heart disease and the evidence against this, both scientific and historic. For instance, traditional cultures such as the Maasai, Eskimos and Native Americans ate up to 80% animal fat, yet were free of heart disease. They describe the health benefits of eating animal fats and coconut oil, including helping with a myriad of ailments such as: chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, mood swings, thyroid imbalance, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, food cravings, bacterial/fungal/viral infections, digestive problems, gas and bloating, skin problems, wrinkled skin, lifeless hair and liver problems. They then present 3 menu programs: one for weight loss, one for health recovery and one for maintenance, with recipes incorporating coconut oil and other forms of coconut. They also emphasize other important components of a healthy diet, such as incorporating lacto-fermented vegetables and drinks, as well as raw dairy. Other popular diet plans such as Atkins, Zone, Weight Watchers and South Beach are analyzed and their strengths and weaknesses explained.

If you have been on a low-fat diet for some time, do not jump "whole hog" into the meal programs in the book, as your body probably cannot tolerate a high fat diet right away and you may get sick. You need to do it gradually. I experienced this problem myself a couple of years ago, when I tried eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with a large amount of butter and became very nauseated a couple of hours later. On their website, the authors advise: "After following a low-fat diet for many years, your body is not used to fats. You need to start slowly, with just 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil and less fat in your meals. Then gradually build up your coconut oil and fat intake—we’ve had several individuals report that they could tolerate the fats just fine after a slow buildup. Be sure to include Swedish bitters in your diet as these help in fat digestion. Beet kvass can also be very helpful." (Beet kvass is a fermented beet beverage that is very healing for the liver.)

This book focuses heavily on the benefits of coconut products and how to incorporate them into your diet. If you want a more comprehensive cookbook and historical/scientific explanation of healthy traditional diets, we suggest you also purchase their previous book, Nourishing Traditions. That book, which is larger, covers in more detail how to prepare traditional foods, such as fermented vegetables and beverages, but has much less information on or use of coconut.

Contact us

Click here to give your pet
the fountain of youth today!

E-mail

General Information: Russell@OptimumChoices.com
Webmaster: Webmaster@OptimumChoices.com
Newsletter Editor, Margaret Auld-Louie: Editor@OptimumChoices.com

Telephone

303-271-1649
866-305-2306 (toll-free)
Normal office hours are 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM Mountain Time (U.S.). If you would like a return call outside those hours, please specify what days and times are best.

Location (call first for appointment)

416 Plateau Pky
Golden, CO 80403-1533
U.S.A.

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