HOUNDLOVER1   17,107
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still no run, but lots of thoughts about exercise and why I love it

Monday, February 27, 2012

We have snow again, it's cold and windy instead of spring-like. At least I'm not sad about missing any fun things outside. So instead I listened to an online interview with Mark Sisson, which is part of the Paleo Summit put on by undergroundwellness.com
The nutrition part was interesting although there weren't really any surprises. But at the end something caught my attention:
They started talking about exercise and the first statement was identical to what Gary Taubes says in his book: EXERCISE IS NOT A WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT.
It's not an issue of working out harder, longer or more often, either. Regardless of how much we work out, unless we are physically prevented from eating more to replace the calories we burned, there will be no weight loss. The reason is that body weight is determined by hormones just like height is regulated by hormones. It is the nutritional composition that determines hormone production at least in part (the insulin part). But exercise is still extremely valuable. The word that was mentioned was "play". I can't remember the exact sequence of key words but the whole idea was about having exercise be outside (and outside of the gym), fun, relaxing, stress-reducing and playful. That was right up my alley.
I have a very selfish attitude about exercise. It's my free time, carefully guarded from many disturbances in my life. I want to have FUN, I want to ENJOY movement . Everything else, like an increase in HDL, is merely a nice side-effect. Once the idea of exercise is not married to weight loss or weight maintenance, we can exercise in a way that suits our personal preference and natural abilities. Mine are neither speed nor strength nor much team spirit but I do have some endurance and pretty good balance as well as a good sense for rhythm and music. Any sports that allow me to use these strengths make me feel good, in particular when I get to be outside (in most weather). I play with my dogs when I throw the ball for them or run with them, I play a game of exploring when I go for a trail run or hike or take my horse out for a trail ride. I like to ride, ice skate or otherwise move to music that I enjoy and that helps me to tune into the mood of the music. I enjoy developing my endurance to be able to continue my activities for longer periods of time.
I believe we all know what exercise we are passionate about. It may be hard to imagine getting involved in it right now as we see our physical limitations. But we should never let our athletic dreams die.
What are yours?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELECTRALYTE 2/28/2012 12:58PM

    I love this blog, well I love all of your blogs.
This energy I am feeling from cutting out the wheat and sugar has made me feel exactly this way!
The new Lab pup is very high energy. We are getting a routine of going out to play ball and run around every morning when he gets up, and then a long walk in the woods or a run on the beach just PLAYING!
I feel like I am getting a very, very good workout but man, it sure is FUN!

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LISEIGHT 2/27/2012 4:07PM

    I so completely agree that exercise has to be fun.
I realised that I was failing to maintainmy attempts at doing daily sun salutations before breakfast, and identified why this morning: because, strangely enough, I cannot enjoy it when my kids keep in interrupting. I need to get in the 'zone' to enjoy it, so tomorrow, I shall do it in the peace of my bedroom, with my music on, and let my husband look after the munchkins for 10 minutes, after all., that is all it takes,,,, though if I get to really enjoy it, it will not feel like enough, well, I shall cross that bridge when I get there! I might try to do a short one at night too, as that might help me sleep, and I am sure not to get disturbed then... hum, here's an idea!

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MAGGIE101857 2/27/2012 9:46AM

    So true! The key is finding what works for you -- EXERCISE is not a "dirty" word!! It should not be a punishment, but a way of life, and life needs to have FUN in it! emoticon I have vowed to swim this summer in Lake Michigan - we have a beautiful beach and YES, the water is cold. Last year I got in the water only once - this summer, I am going for it!!! Swimsuit and all!! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 2/27/2012 9:39AM

    I love this description of what exercise should be. My very favorite type of exercise is hiking. I like running too. I also like water aerobics a lot although it is at the gym. But to me it's fun. I have to find things I like in order to stick with them. Thanks for a great blog.

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Map of GMO crops worldwide

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Note that the US is by far the leader in producing GMO crops. Looks like our "Christian Country" has gotten a little off track as far as what God wanted us to do about food.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARDAMOMMA 2/27/2012 2:55PM

    I think that if we need to give up other things (movie tickets, cutting down on how much you use your car, Starbucks, whatever) to afford more organic and non-GMO food, it's worth it. Americans have never spent such a tiny amount of their income on food as we do now. (10% now vs. up to 50% in earlier times.)
Another way to afford more organic and non-GMOI food is to grow some it ourselves.

I think the US is a pluralistic, rather than a Christian country, and that we should all love and accept one another regardless of religious beliefs.
Great post!


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HOUNDLOVER1 2/26/2012 4:23PM

    I agree that we need to eat the healthiest diet we can afford and also know our personal sensitivities. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what those are. Having had a history of cancer and being slightly hypothryroid for me it is worth it to pay extra for organic food and I cut in other areas of my budget to make this possible. For others it may be enough to just increase raw fruits and veggies and healthy fats (incl. saturated fats) and avoid the dirty dozen (most polluted foods).

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CONRADBURK 2/26/2012 3:57PM

    Try to eat the healthiest food you can afford! That is all you can do. There will always be organic food, because it is increasing in popularity. I don't buy organic because I can't afford it. If I ate everything organic, my grocery spending would double. I already spend a lot eating whole foods and nothing processed. When it comes to food, "Caveat Emptor" applies, which translates, "Let the buyer beware."
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDROMEDA1967 2/26/2012 3:54PM

    My brother and I were just having a conversation about this earlier today. We found a shopping guide that lists all the various products made from GMOs. Here's the link:

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JANETELIZABETH1 2/26/2012 3:39PM

    I see there is no mention of the UK but of course they import lots of foods from around the world so it gets into the food chain that way. A couple of weeks ago in an English supermarket here (Spain) I saw USA sweet potatoes on sale.

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My response as a Christian to a post on the "Wheat Belly" blog

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I wanted to share this comment I made on the "Wheat Belly" blog knowing that it might be interesting for those of my Spark friends who share my spiritual beliefs in a loving creator whose laws are there to protect and nurture and give us the best quality of life possible.
It is not making the assumption that God only reveals himself to Christians or that other people's experiences are not as valid or that God cares about Christians any more than about anyone else.
Here is my post:
I would like to add my perspective as a strong believer in a diet full of what God has designed for food (which is not modern wheat).
My favorite book on this is not Jordan Rubin”s book but Rex Russell”s book “What the Bible says about Healthy Living”, to which Jordan Rubin wrote the foreword. Rex Russell wrote this book in the 1996. He has taken the principles of Biblical eating and explained why the human machine runs best on the fuel and the replacement parts that it was designed to receive: natural foods. He has backed this up with the results of many scientific studies in his book. For people who are not religious you can replace the word God with Nature and still find this to be useful.
These principles are:
1.Eat only substances God created for food.
2. As much as possible, eat foods as they were created- before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
3. Avoid food addictions. Don”t let any food or drink become your god.

Eating modern wheat violates all three of these rules.
Modern wheat should either be considered as man-made or at least as man-modified and it has been shown to be addictive.
While traditional wheat varieties like Einkorn and Emmer may be suitable for some people (who don”t have celiac or gluten-intolerance) they may only be safe in any significant quantities for people who did not grow up on the modern Western diet of white flour, corn, soy and sugar. In other words, lowering carbs by cutting out most or all grains and beans and sweeter fruits may be a therapeutic step necessary at least temporarily to improve insulin sensitivity, and, depending on how much damage was already done to the pancreas and other body parts, may be necessary for the rest of someone”s life to be healthy.
Both Einkorn and Emmer are available for purchase online for people who believe they have a high tolerance for carbohydrates in their diet or who want to consider growing wheat grass from these more natural wheat grains.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 3/2/2012 7:37PM

    What you write here is a big encouragement to me. It is very important to me that I credit the amazing Creator for my body's complex design and marvelous intricacies.

The biochemistry behind good nutritional science is fascinating. God's creative genius is impressive on the cellular and microscopic level, so many interdependent processes in incredibly delicate balance.

I agree with what you said about how to approach healthy eating. That is my outlook. Now I have been working on the Leptin Reset according to Dr. Jack Kruse since the first of the year. It has taken me a number of weeks to implement all the processes, but I am very encouraged about many factors.

The most dramatic result is no hunger. I can truly forget about food, literally for the first time in my life. I also find my emotions are more stable and my energy level is excellent. Less soreness after strength training, also. Weight is holding steady so far, but I have been overweight for 30 years, so I expect I am a tougher case.

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    Thank you for writing this. I've been so conflicted about this subject for several weeks now, this puts things perspective.

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FEB_SHOWERS16 2/27/2012 9:31AM

    I LOVE Jordan Rubin! That's a great post! Thanks for sharing!

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JUSTBIRDY 2/26/2012 9:19PM


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KKINNEA 2/26/2012 2:50PM

    Well put and thoughtful

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JANETELIZABETH1 2/26/2012 1:54PM

    I totally agree...God knew best when He created man's food source!
Thanks Birgit

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STILLWATERSSB 2/26/2012 1:38PM

    Well said!

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Insulin - why it matters even if you are not diabetic

Friday, February 24, 2012

We all need insulin to survive. Any type-1 diabetic is living proof of this. Insulin is responsible for many metabolic functions in the body. Our pancreas produces insulin in response to all carbohydrates and also in response to proteins, but at lower levels. There is some controversy about the role of insulin compared to that of other hormones in the body but nobody doubts that insulin is extremely important.
Every time we eat carbohydrates, starting when we think about eating them, our pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is not the enemy any more than carbohydrates are the enemy. The only thing in question is how many carbohydrates and what type we should consume and how much insulin production is healthy for us. There may be huge differences between individuals when it comes to healthy levels of carbs but I see strong evidence that having too few carbs is far less likely to be harmful than having too many. Carb calories tend to be far less expensive than protein or fat calories, in part because some crops are subsidized in this country.
The effects of switching to a low-carb diet may be a little uncomfortable and in some cases (existing diabetes or pre-diabetes and any other serious illnesses) should only be attempted under the close supervision of a doctor that is very knowledgeable about nutrition and hormones.
Insulin is a big factor in where our body stores deposits calories that are not immediately needed for energy (regardless from which source they come). High insulin levels will lead to more storage of energy in fat cells rather than directing calories toward muscle cells where they can be used for energy in the near future.
Whether this insulin is produced by the pancreas or needs to be added to our bodies via insulin-injections for more advanced type-2 diabetes, insulin will always encourage the body to store more calories as fat.
Medications of any kind should be seen as a last resort only when health can not be achieved by eating better and undertaking other lifestyle changes (less stress, more sleep, more activity). Type 2 diabetes should no more be treated with oral medications or insulin long-term than the effects of nicotine due to smoking should be treated with medication long-term because in most cases type 2 diabetes can be cured with lifestyle changes alone.

Overproducing of insulin by our body and insulin shots to supplement what an insulin-resistant body can't produce will increase body fat, especially visceral (belly ) fat and increase the disease risks of many other diseases, in particular cardio-vascular disease.
So is insulin the villain? No, but people who encourage eating habits that increase insulin production and/or long-term management of type 2 diabetes with drugs or insulin injections may be.
Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise dramatically in this country and I believe it is the most important reason why our health-care costs are spinning out of control.
I am hoping to know more about all of this from experience soon as my body is adjusting surprisingly fast to a diet that is very low in carbs and my energy levels improve.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODZDESIGN95 2/29/2012 9:38AM

    Just saying as a diabetic it is pretty hard fasting with meds RAWORGANICVEGAN. Everyone say eat organic but with the cost of things, kids, etc.Everyone has a voice about this or that. Why don;t they lower the cost of food?? maybe some would be willing to buy it. I do buy some while it is on sale. Just saying.............

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QUEEN_REINA 2/25/2012 9:33PM

    Thanks for sharing this info. I really wish I knew more about all this...

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 2/25/2012 8:24PM

  veggies and fruit are carbs. they are good healthy carbs.

As far as I think anything man made and or processed is no good for the human body.

I do my very best to eat fresh food and as much of it raw as possible.

I like to eat a good balance of carbs, protien, good protein, free ramge. organic, grass fed, and good fats and stay away from all sugar and fake sugars and if I eat dairy is also is grass fed, organic and free range.

I don't like eating anywhere but at home because then I know exactly what I am eating.

Food used to be good and whole some and healthy when I was growing up and when I was raising my childdren but now we have to be so very careful what we put in our bodies.

Thanks for the blog

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HOUNDLOVER1 2/24/2012 10:26PM


I believe you are right about the importance of inflammation and how it contributes to modern diseases. The question is what all causes inflammation. It looks like wheat definitely does as is documented well in the book "Wheat Belly". There are probably endless other causes as well.
I also agree that many European countries consume large amounts of grain and sugar, but many also consume more fruits and vegetables than what is part of the standard American diet.
The figures you give for the obesity rate in European countries is correct if you do not count "overweight" people but only "obese" people. It is all a matter of definition. If you count overweight and obese people the statistics are like this:

Austria over 45 %
Italy around 45 %
Germany 49%
France 37%
Some European countries have much higher rates:
Greece close to 60%
Iceland over 60%
United Kingdom over 60%
Spain over 50%
Overall I think we need to seriously look at carbs, but we also need to look beyond carbs as well. Emotional eating for instance is still very possible even on a low-carb diet. Stress-induced eating is also very possible. Hypothyroidism and adrenal burnout are extremely common and very often undiagnosed and can make weight loss very difficult until properly treated.

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HOUNDLOVER1 2/24/2012 10:07PM

if I want to respond to someone directly I comment on their spark page and also comment here, that way everyone can follow the conversation.
I have no doubt that type 2 diabetes can be cured through a raw organic lifestyle minus grains and have tried to make people aware of this. But not everybody has access to enough fruits and vegetables and nuts to make this possible. Some people live in climates where the growing season is too short to do without animal products. Eating low-carb animal products is another effective way to improve health and cure type 2 diabetes. There are many people here on spark in the paleo/atkins/low carb teams who have shared their experience with this. Whether one chooses mostly plant or animal foods depends on many factors. Many people are doing very well with a mix.

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ROSEWAND 2/24/2012 7:49PM

    Houndlover, thanks for response to my mine.
After studying insulin, inflammation and other
dietary issues for over twenty years, and being
aware of the importance of nutrition for much
longer, I am of the opinion that weight issues
are extremely complex and not completely
understood by anyone even the scientists who
research these issues.

More and more the research is pointing to
Inflammation in its many guises as being
The main culprit, as it is the main culprit
In most of our chronic diseases. As you have
discovered, insulin response plays a major role
In this rubric. The overly processed carbs
so ubiquitous in the SAD (standard
American diet) are directly responsible as
is the over-consumption of omega 6 fats.
gut health or lack of it also contributes.
Healthy gut flora needs fiber from healthy
carbs to thrive. Ironically fat cells themselves
greatly contribute to the inflammatory burden
as does just plain overeating. Pollution,
stress and aging itself all increase inflammatory

Working to reduce inflammation is the key
To successful weight loss. And as you have
noted, there are many approaches to this
problem. Each of us must find the right
combo for ourselves. For most people,
It is not necessary to eliminate or greatly
reduce healthy carbs. In fact many healthy
carbs particularly vegetables and fruits
actually reduce inflammation,

I, personally, tried the low carb route 40
years ago and found it less than satisfying.
I have done far better at losing and stabilizing
my weight with an diet centered around healthy
low glycemic carbs, healthy fats and
small to moderate amounts of eggs, fish, and dairy.
I eat no meat. I do eat legumes regularly and even
small amounts of pasta and white flour occasionally.

Obesity rates in Europe
while on the rise are far below those in the US which
is 30% as you know.

Germany 13%
France just over 9%
Italy 9%
And Austria famous for their sweets just over 9%

As all these nations are traditionally somewhat
carb-centric, we need to look beyond carbs
even simple carbs to solve this crisis.

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SUGARSMOM2 2/24/2012 6:27PM

  It makes you wonder how in the world we are going to ever get better with our healthy habits .

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ORGANIC811LFRV 2/24/2012 6:19PM

    I see you are replying to commenters on your blog. For the most part people do not come back to see them. If you want to respond to their comments, do so on their SparkPage so they can get the message for sure.

As to Type 2 diabetes as with most all diseases is curable by a raw organic life style. Juice Feasting is one aspect of this healthy way of life. The body rights itself perfectly when give the chance by consuming ample amounts of fresh organic produce focusing on the greens.

I am not certain how I stand on high carb/low carb. So many differing viewpoints it makes my head spin. I eat low fat raw organic and I am living proof that it does transform ones health, body, mind, and opens one to the connection between everyone and everything.

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WOUBBIE 2/24/2012 6:14PM

    You can almost tell just by looking at someone how sensitive they are to carbs/insulin. The bigger you CAN get the bigger, generally, you WILL get on a Standard American Diet.

For the largest and most carb-sensitive only the most stringent carb/insulin reduction will make a substantial difference in their weight and health. And that is the only thing that finally curbs the endless hunger that they suffer from.

Our culture has mistakenly implied that weight gain is a mental issue as opposed to a biochemical one. The scientists have it right. Public health officials need to listen.

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HOUNDLOVER1 2/24/2012 4:41PM

you are right that carbs vary greatly in how much insulin they produce. Removing those foods that are highest on the glycemic index is definitely the first step. After that has been done many people may find, like I did, that this is not enough to normalize insulin levels for optimal health and to get rid of belly fat. In my case eating even a moderate amount of whole grains seems to have been too much.
Concerning Europeans, the obesity levels have been rising dramatically in Europe as well. I grew up in Germany and it was indeed relatively rare to see severely obese people over there 20 years ago. But they have been catching up quickly since about the 1980's. I was in Germany last 3 years ago and while the percentage of severely obese people was still lower, the percentage of moderately obese people (about 50 lbs over normal weight roughly) was almost identical to the United States. This is in spite of the fact that processed foods and fast food are not as widespread as here and most people eat at home a lot more.
If we had never consumed processed sugar or processed food in general in our lives cutting out whole grains and beans may not be necessary because our body's insulin sensitivity would be greater. This may be the case with people in Asain countries who ate white rice without becoming obese and/or insulin resistant. Given that most people have eaten too much processed junk when they grew up we may have to take slightly more extreme measures now to restore equilibrium to our bodies.

Comment edited on: 2/24/2012 4:47:02 PM

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ROSEWAND 2/24/2012 3:54PM

    Different types of carbs vary significantly in how
much they signal the production of insulin. The
amount of fiber and the level of processing play
a major role in how our bodies respond to carbs.

Insulin is produced in response to the levels of
sugar in the blood. Slowly digested carbs have
a small impact on blood sugar. Compare eating
a bowl of high fiber low glycemic raspberries to
rice cakes. The berries will have a small healthy
effect on blood sugar and insulin production
especially when eaten with other low glycemic
foods. The rice cakes drive blood sugar to
the stratosphere.

Even the way a food is cooked and prepared
will impact the insulin response. Pasta is
a great example. Wheat pasta cooked lightly
al a dente and served with olive oil has a
small impact while highly processed pasta
from a can is an insulin driver.

Think about the Europeans. The French eat
lots of breads and pastries. The Italians eat
pizza, pastas, and breads. The Germans eat
noodles and strudels. The first thing you
notice when you arrive in Europe is how thin
everyone is. It is rare to see an overweight
person especially among those under 50 or
60. If carbs, in themselves, were such a problem,
would not the Europeans have the same issues
with obesity as we do?

Asian cultures also depend on high amounts of
carbs to feed large populations. They have much
less issues with obesity than we do when staying
with traditional diets.

Comment edited on: 2/24/2012 4:00:42 PM

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HOUNDLOVER1 2/24/2012 3:49PM

so glad you are making such quick progress. Sounds like your physician cares more about the patients than about his pocket book. emoticon
Best wishes on this journey.

Comment edited on: 2/24/2012 3:50:33 PM

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SUEWORTHY 2/24/2012 3:31PM

    Very interesting and well written. I am a type-2 diabetic and my doctor actually told me to start a low-carb lifestyle. So I did and my morning bloodsugar dropped more than 20 points over two weeks and I find I can now use just a bit less oral medication. I'm looking forward to going back to get my report from my physician and see how the low-carb eating plan works after a 3-month period.


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KKINNEA 2/24/2012 3:17PM

    Agree, you have pinpointed well the pitfalls and truths of insulin and type 2 diabetes.

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Good run - more interesting resources

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I went for a run today and while I was still pretty slow I felt so much better than two days ago. I ran for 5.5 miles which took me 1 hr. 20min 45seconds. Average heart rate was at 135. Average speed was 4.1 mph.
The funny thing was that I kept getting over my target heart rate several times because a heartrate of 138 felt like 130. This was true throughout the whole run. I really have no explanation for this. I have gotten pretty good at estimating my heartrate over the last few months and am within 2 beats most of the time. It didn't really feel like a runner's high, just like running was easy and I could go faster easily. I also felt like I easily could have done double the distance today. Overall I hope this is a sign that my body is starting to get used to the low carbs.
In spite of my good intentions to record what I eat and how many carbs exactly I consumed I was unable to do so. Typically I eat one meal away from home at a salad bar and I can only estimate how much I ate of everything. I also find myself having to choose between posting on my blog, recording nutrition data, exercising and getting enough sleep. Recording nutrition simply isn't as important as long as I feel I'm making good progress.

There was a post on the raw vegan team with a link to an interesting website. I found this video post particularly interesting and am planning to learn a little more:


It reminded me that animal fat has higher levels of pollutants and that it is especially important to buy animal products organic and grown in relatively unpolluted areas if possible. It is also important that many phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables may protect from toxins in our food supply.


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