The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

Edible mushrooms are as ‘magic’ as food gets.  We are not talking about hallucinogenic mushrooms here.  Regular mushrooms we can eat are special enough…

Years ago, I  learned that mushrooms have powerful health benefits.

Why:

  • Mushroom’s phytochemicals, such as beta-glucan, enhance the activity of several different types of immune cells including natural killer cells, which attack and destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells.
  • Mushrooms contain known angiogenisis inhibitors, which makes it harder for your body to grow new blood vessels.  You are born with most of the blood vessels you will ever need, so these inhibitors are valuable because they make it harder for your body to grow fat and tumors
  • Mushrooms add unique flavors and textures to vegetable dishes, and are delicious paired with fresh herbs.
  • Consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with decreased risk of breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers.
  • In one recent Chinese study, women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (about one mushroom per day) had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer. Even more dramatic protection was gained by women who ate 10 grams of mushrooms and drank green tea daily—an 89% decrease in risk for premenopausal women, and 82% for postmenopausal women, respectively.

(Information for bullet points found here and here.)

Little did I know…

I learned about the health benefits of mushrooms years ago, and began including them more in my diet. I started added them in soups, pasta, and sometimes on my salads.

Recently, I heard a podcast about medicinal mushrooms that blew my mind.  It inspired me to write this blog post. Everyone knows about crimini, portobello, and shiitake mushrooms. Most of us can find those at the grocery store. Those mushrooms are all beneficial. All kinds of edible mushrooms are high in fiber, phytochemicals, and an excellent source of Vitamin D. What I didn’t understand was the protective and healing power of rare mushrooms.

What I learned the benefits of lesser known mushrooms like reighi, chaga, cordyceps, oyster, lions mane, and turkey tail, I was inspired. I found new ways to add even more mushrooms to my diet… But first, lets

These 2 podcast episodes opened up a whole new world to me:

Tero Isokaupilla podcast episode

This episode the Rich Roll podcast featuring Tero can be found here.  Tero is

I read his book too. Here are some of the best parts:

This is the other episode that blew my mind.

Paul Stamets podcast episode

Check out that podcast episode here, and Paul Stamet’s website at www.fungi.com)

The mushrooms in my life now:

First of all, I wanted to try growing my own.

  • First of all, I wanted to try growing my own. I ordered an oyster mushroom kit on amazon.com that was called ‘grow your own blah blah’. All I had to do was open the box, cut the plastic open, scrape off the top later, and spray on water every day.
      • At first, I didn’t think it was working. Then, after day 3 or 4, I saw them explode. Here are some pictures I took every day after work. In other words, you will see how much they grew over a 24 hour period.

So much fun. They are done growing when their edges start to turn brown. All it takes is a twist to pull them off from their base and they are ready to go. I rinsed them off, chopped them up, and sautéed them in a small amount of olive oil (the oil supposedly helps their nutrients become bioavailable in your body). I put them on a veggie burger and went to town.

With this particular kit, when you are done with one side of the soil, you can flip the brick over and repeat the process. In my experience, the second batch didn’t grow nearly as much as the first time, but it was still cool. The first kit was totally worth it, but now I am inspired to try building my own. All you need to do is order spores online, and then build the right stuff to grow it in, for example damp sawdust in a bag. Next time, I will try this method because although the kit was fun for the first time, I didn’t really get enough mushrooms to make it worth $20.

Four sigmatic coffee:

Tero Isaupallika has company called Four Sigmatic that sells high-quality products containing medicinal mushrooms. So far, all I’ve tried is their cordyceps and lions mane coffee. Personally, I like the cordyceps better so far. I took a box camping with me and it was freaking sweet. Add one packet to 7oz. (I use 16 oz.) of water

Chaga tea:

Reishi powder.

Avoid uncooked mushrooms

It’s important to remember that mushrooms should only be eaten cooked. Several raw culinary mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their agaritine content.  Paul Stamets and Joel Fuhrman agree on this.

Morning routine, 2017 edition

Morning Routine

I wake every week day at 5 am.  Come hell or high water. That’s the only way to get my morning routine done before for work.

The most important part is keeping the alarm on the other side of the room.  If my alarm clock is physically within reach, I hit the snooze button every time, usually multiple times.  By having it on the other side of the room, I have to physically get out of bed and wake up!

After I am out of bed, this is what I do:

1)  On my phone, I start playing a spiritual talk that I picked out the night before.  This helps my mind wake up. I choose to listen to a dharma talk because they are calming, positive, and thought provoking.  Spiritual concepts help get me centered before my day begins.

2) While I am listening, the next step is getting in touch with my body. I do this with some gentle stretching, foam rolling, and yoga.

3) When I finish exercising, it’s about 5:25 am now.  I set a timer for 20 minutes and start to meditate.

The app I use is called Insight Timer (android version here).  Headspace is okay, but Insight Timer is the best mindfulness app I’ve found so far.  It has all kinds of guided meditations, relaxing music, a free and versatile timer, and a list of people who are meditating nearby and all over the planet.

5) I shave, shower, get dressed. It’s 6 am now. At the end of my warm shower, most days I gradually cool the water down until I get that ‘holy shit’ factor. It’s exhilarating.

6) Journaling. Not so much ‘dear diary’, in the mornings I have specific exercises that help me cultivate gratitude and identify my most important actions for the day. I have 5 that are outstanding: These include:

  • Gratitude journal with a twist… I think of 5 things I’m grateful for, and also come up with 3 things that would make today great.
  • Tony Robbin’s questions to ask to put yourself into state. I gleaned these from his Personal Power II audio program… So good.
  • Morning pages – writing down 3 pages (or for 10 minutes) anything that comes to your mind. A great way to clean the soul and put that monkey mind back in it’s cage
  • ‘Daily 10’ practice. Got this from James Altucher. Come up with 10 new ideas for solving a problem you have, no matter how ridiculous they are… Every once in a while you’ll come up with a gem.
  • ‘Fear Setting’. A technique from Tim Ferriss. This one is tough but extremely rewarding. Usually don’t do this one in the morning because it takes longer than I can afford. I included it here just so you can be aware.
    • 7) I then read something positive or motivating for about 30-45 minutes.  I love giving my mind something positive or motivational to chew on for the rest of the day.

    8) It’s about 7am now, and it’s time to walk Missy.  During these walks, I have to try to do something productive or else I feel like I’m wasting 30 minutes a day.   I usually read more of my book, a magazine, or listen to an audio program.

    9) It’s 7:25 now.  I make a cup of tea and then venture off to work.  I listen to a podcast or audiobook on my way to work.

    Everyday I spend 50 minutes round trip in the car, and I find this time to be an opportunity to learn something valuable.

    10) When I step out of my car, I’m ready to attack the day.  I have a mental edge. Most people unwillingly rolled out of bed 45 minutes ago and aren’t ready for fully awake and accomplished me.

    My body is awake, my mind is calm, and I already feel productive because I got a whole lot done before 8 am that I don’t have to worry about after work.

    Conclusion

    To wrap it up, I’ll include some other ideas of steps I’ve either tried before or am trying to incorporate in my morning routine in the future:

    • Rebounding
    • Inversion table
    • Wim Hof Method

    I’ll finish with this important note:

    On weekends I don’t even worry about my morning routine.  I sleep in as long as I can.  Time off gives me some space around it to relax and then by Monday morning, I’m ready to go again.

    How I lost 50 pounds as a nutritarian

    How I lost 50 pounds as a nutritarian

    Imagine a world where nobody died of a preventable condition like heart attacks, cancer, or a stroke.

    Imagine a world where no one is obese and medications are not necessary.

    Imagine a world where people can enjoy their retirement without getting sick or being taken away from their family members long before their time.

    Does this sound crazy?

    I would argue it is not.  I believe with everything in me that the answer is yes, a world like that is possible.

    After reading this article, you will begin to understand how we can show us create that world today if we really wanted to…

    What is the truth?

    Does what we eat really matter that much?  How was a human being designed to eat in the first place?

    Let me share with you what I’ve learned.

    Here you will learn basics of nutritarianism, how I lost 50 pounds doing it, and seven things you can do to live a long life without counting calories, dieting, or drugs.

    Losing 50 pounds

    My story… coming very, very soon.

    What is a nutritarian?

    The term nutritarian represents people who recognize that the nutrient density (in other words, the quality) of their food is directly related to their long-term health and quality of life.

    The nutritarian diet style is mostly plant based and emphasizes eating powerful superfoods that facilitate weight loss and increase resistance to diseases.

    Nutritarianism is different than being vegan or vegetarian.. Notice that veganism isn’t focused on achieving good health, it is focused on animal cruelty (which i’m not saying is not important!).  You can be on a vegan diet and be just as unhealthy as anyone else.  Skittles, for example, are 100% vegan and COMPLETELY lack any beneficial nutrients.  You can eat skittles all day be a proud vegan, and still destroy your body.  Long-term that wouldn’t be pretty…

    Philosophically, a nutritarian eats in pursuit of true health, disease resistance, and a long enjoyable life.  To put it simply, nutritarianism is eating the way science and long term health studies say we should.

    The term ‘nutritarian’ was coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his book, Eat to Live.  Today, I use this word to describe my own diet style because I believe in it so much.

    The benefits of a nutritarian eating style include:

    • Statistically increasing your chance to add 20-40 years to your lifespan (in great shape!)
    • Effortless weight loss and walking around at your normal weight
    • Eating great tasting foods without ever having to feel hungry
    • No more calorie counting
    • Potentially prevent heart-disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, osteoporosis, psoriasis, and arthritis from ever happening to you
    • Get rid of your food cravings once and for all
    • Age gracefully and stay independent during your golden years

    The nutritarian diet has no tricks.  Again, it’s completely based on unbiased science and is simply the best method for eating we know about today.

    Consider these words from Dr. Fuhrman’s book, ‘The End of Dieting’.

    “A nutritarian diet style is more than just a way to eat – it’s an attitude, a mind-set, a method that you can follow for a lifetime.  When you focus on eating the healthiest foods possible, you eat to live better, without the fear of disease and death, which makes for a more peaceful and pleasurable life.  The nutritarian diet style enables you to lose weight and keep it off permanently, without experiencing hunger or depriving yourself of food.  It is the healthiest and most effective eating style in the world. 

    A low-calorie, high-nutrient diet slows down the aging process, helps repair cells, reduces inflammation, and helps rid the body of toxins.  Once you begin to learn which foods make the grade by having a high proportion of nutrients of calories, you’re on your way to lifelong weight control and improved health.” (Fuhrman 125)

    How Our Current System is Screwing Us

    In our current system today, the nutrients in our foods are measured by weight.

    Since the way nutrients in our food system today are measured by weight, it is easier for the food industry to get away with trickery and deceit.

    For example, lets say we took a gallon of water and boiled it good.  Then, we take a whole stick of butter (which gets 100% of it’s nutrients from bad fats) and drop it into the water.  Shake it up real good so it blends together and wa-la pour it back into the container.  Now, in our local supermarket, you  can sell that jug of butter water to people and advertise this product as being 98% fat free.  That’s because by weight, it is!  But when it comes to nutrition, to evaluate foods based on this system is utterly ridiculous.  It’s confusing the shit out of people.

    This system would be perfect for someone who wants to exterminate our population, and shocker: today people are fatter and sicker than any point in history, but they have no idea what it takes to achieve true health.  Nutrients in food being measured by weight makes zero sense.  If we didn’t do it this way, it would be easy to see how poor and dangerous the quality of a lot of the foods that we eat are.  Why don’t we measure food by the quality of it’s nutrients instead?

    It is how measuring food should have been done in the first place.   The food industry wouldn’t like that would they?  It would make their food much harder to sell.  Not surprising why they keep spending tens of millions of dollars on our federal lawmakers to make sure it stays this way…

    The only thing that matters is the nutritional quality of the calorie.  To summarize, we should only eat calories that are packed with the most nutrients possible, and eliminate (as best we can) calories that lack them.

    Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients

    In America today, “55% of the calories Americans consume come from processed foods, with contain hardly any micronutrients. 30% come from animal products, 11% from vegetables, fruit, nuts, and beans, 4% from whole grains ” (Fuhrman 125).  Are you starting to see the problem?  No wonder we are so sick.

    Let’s talk about some background information real quick.  When we eat food, there are two kinds of nutrients that we are receiving: macronutrients and micronutrients.

    Macronutrients contain calories.  There are three kinds of macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and protein.  Every calorie you consume is some ratio or combination of fats, carbohydrates, and protein.  As you will learn, none of that is what we should be focusing on.  We hear about these virtually every day, but really they aren’t very important.

    Micronutrients (or sometimes called phytochemicals or phytonutrients), are nutrients that do not contain calories.  Most of them don’t show up on nutrition labels.

    There are three kinds of micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.  (some say the fourth would be fiber, but I’m not touching that here).  The amount of these you include in your diet, long-term, will make or break your health and determine if you are overweight.

    As a side note, I will not usually get very deep into the science because that is not my area of expertise and other people (Fuhrman, Rhonda Patrick, Dr. Gregor) can say it 100x better.  If you are interested in learning more science, I suggest that you do your own homework.  Fuhrman’s books are still my very favorite.

    The concept of macronutrients versus micronutrients is very important.  It turns out we don’t need to worry nearly as much about what balance of fats, carbohydrates or proteins is in the foods we eat.  If you simply eat the right foods, you never have to worry about it. .

    Most people who eat the Standard American Diet (we call it SAD, because the effects are very sad) are severely deficient in micronutrients.  If you have noticed, almost every damn diet or weight loss program out there is a fad diet style that proposes some ‘golden ratio’ of fats, carbohydrates (sugar), and protein, but really, they are all equally missing the fucking point.  The ratio of and amount micronutrients that we consume are the only thing that really  matter.  Here’s why:

    Consider the following.  There are only 13 kinds of vitamins (Vitamin A, K, C, D, etc.) and about 16 minerals that our body can’t generate on our own and need to get from our diet.

    Guess how many phytochemicals there are that our bodies need to function properly?  Well over 10,000 (a conservative number, I’ve seen sources that say up to 25,000) and new ones are being consistently discovered in our foods.  As Dr. Fuhrman says, you can’t put into a daily vitamin or spray onto Cheerios a nutrient that hasn’t been discovered yet.

    What micronutrients look like at the store

    The vast majority of micronutrients are ONLY found in natural plant-foods.  A tomato, for example, has over 1,000 different kinds of phytochemicals  that are essential for proper immune function and our body’s ability to resist disease.  Coca-Cola, corn chips, and white bread have close to a whopping zero.  We need to eat more natural food that are rich in nutrients, low in calories, and packaged as nature intended them to be.

    For example, eating a whole orange is not the same as drinking orange juice!

    When juice is squeezed, processed, heated, and then stored in a refrigerator for weeks or months on end, it loses most of the beneficial micronutrients that are originally present in the orange.  They lose almost all of their micronutrients after processing.  Oh ya, and then when you spray it with some vitamin D that was created in a lab, it’s nowhere near as effective or safe as when you get it from a natural food, like shiitake mushrooms.

    Getting generous amounts of micronutrients per calorie with unprocessed, natural food is athe goal of the nutritarian diet style.  That way, your body is nourished with a comprehensive array of both discovered and undiscovered nutrients in their natural states, just as nature intended. (Fuhrman ???)

    Check out this video about it.  At a fundamental level, understanding the difference between macro and micro nutrients is what enabled me to lose 50 pounds and is a major factor in decision making based on how I eat today.

     

    The ANDI Food Scoring System

    The Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) is also an idea developed by Joel Fuhrman.  Once again, simple and genius.  We already talked about how our food should be measured based on the amount of nutrients per calorie, NOT the amount of nutrients per weight.  This index does exactly that.

    It was based on…

    To clearly see what food are good for you and what foods are not, check out the ANDI Food Index.  Surprise!!  Also created by Joel Fuhrman.  The man is a nutritional genius.  Learn from him

    The goal of a nutritarian diet style is to only eat foods that give you the most nutrients per every calorie that you eat, and this system does exactly that.  No wonder Whole Foods has adopted it as their criteria for evaluating food they buy.  The rest of the world should do the same…

    H = N/C

    Dr. Fuhrman came up with this equation, and it is as simple as it is genius.  This describes everything you just read in one easy formula

    It reads, Health = Nutrients divided by Calories.  In other words, your health, in terms of how long you live and the quality in which you live, can accurately be predicted by the nutrient density of every calorie that you consume.

    This idea is revolutionary.  What he is basically arguing is that some of the calories we consume are highly nutritious, where as other, empty calories, contain no beneficial nutrients whatsoever.  He calls this ratio the nutrient density of your diet.  We want to eat calories that contain a lot of nutrients the way nature intended them to us, and want to eliminate junk (or empty) calories that do nothing beneficial for your body.

    I won’t go into this much here, but believe that the more empty calories you consume, the more weight you will gain and the risk of getting a myriad of nasty diseases go through the roof!  Learn more about that from the experts listed at the end of this post.

    Simply by eating the right foods that contain a lot of nutrients, you can live a much longer, enjoyable life.

    When you understand this concept, you will never have to count calories or check nutrition facts again.  If our government and major corporations would support this way of thinking, people would be a lot less confused and not nearly as sick and disease-ridden as we are today.

    Our healthcare system would not be causing our country to go bankrupt, and people wouldn’t have to experience their loved ones succumbing to terrible diseases if people understood this principle, H = N/C

    Make Healthy Food Taste Great

    The idea that you will be losing something by giving up animal products or processed foods is a myth.

    You can easily learn recipes and ways to make healthy foods taste great.  Your taste buds will change, get used to, and even crave natural plant foods in time.

    Not wanting to eat healthy foods because they don’t ‘taste good’ is just an excuse.  Honestly, is how food tastes your only requirement or decision making step when it comes to what you eat every day?  If so, you’re fucking screwed.  Base your decisions on how food effects your body, how human beings were supposed to eat, and you will earn good health into your golden years.

    people eat the same 10-15 things over and over, all you have to do is change your 10-15 to healthier options.

     

    7 Things You Can Do

    We should all recognize by now that ‘diets’ never work for the simple reason that as soon as one goes back off their diet, they usually revert to their normal eating habits.  Their normal habits are probably what got them in trouble in the first place or else they wouldn’t be on a diet!  True health isn’t about weight loss or figuring out percentages of calories.

    Develop a new attitude towards diet style and you will drastically improve your health.  These are a few of my recommendations:

    Rock a nutrient diet style by doing the following:

    1) Focus on what you can eat in unlimited quantities, not what you can’t eat 

    Life is much easier this way.  Instead of thinking about foods that should be off limits to you, try to spend your time thinking and fantasizing about healthy foods you can eat

    2) “The salad is the main dish”

    Our goal should be to eat 1 lb. of raw, and 1 lb. of cooked vegetables every day.  If you can do that most days, the rest will fall into place.

    Romaine, iceberg, kale, spinach, onions,

    “The salad is the main dish”

    Dr. Fuhrman suggests putting a sign up on your refrigerator saying “The salad is the main dish”

    One last thing, check out recipes and ways to make your own salad dressings.  The problem with most commercial dressings is they have way too much oil to be considered a health food.

    Consider a standard blue cheese wedge salad people order at restaurants.

    3) Try to eat G-Bombs every day

    Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds.  Eat them as often as you can.  All have incredibly powerful benefits, here I will only cover a few:

    Greens: Pound for pound, and calorie for calorie, the most powerful foods on Earth.

    4) Smoothies

    My fast and favorite way to eat cleanly.

    5) Eat less, and not as often

     

    6)Carefully consider supplements

    7) don’t eat low nutrient foods

    Cookies, candy, pasta, bread, donuts, olive oil, pizza, cheese, steak, chicken, etc.  Yes, basically everything that ‘tastes good’ compared to natural plant foods, but you know what?

    Further Learning…

    This article is in no way comprehensive.There are many more interesting ideas, statistics, and explanations in Dr. Fuhrman’s work that I didn’t include here.

    For example, in most of his books, he breaks down the science of why low-nutrient foods like processed wheat, oils, animal products are so incredibly dangerous.  He explains in the reasons that natural, colorful produce and other plant foods are so incredibly good for us.

    In my opinion, Joel Fuhrman is the leading medical researcher and expert on the planet today when it comes to what we know about nutrition today.  I don’t blindly follow him, and I am always open to other people’s ideas and criticisms of his work, because this industry is constantly changing and we learn more from the science every year.

    If you like what you learned here and want to learn more about nutrition, also check out Dr. Michael Gregor, Ray Cronise, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. David Katz, Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Dr. Calwell Esselysten.  They all pretty much say the same thing.  (But Fuhrman says it better, in my opinion…)

     in mind that this whole article only talks about food and nutrition.   When it comes to your health… what you eat is not the only thing by any means.

    For example, if you are super stressed out and hate your job, or in a toxic relationship that you know you need to get out of, you can eat all of the broccoli that you want and still be on your way to serious health problems!  Just as important it is to pay attention and learn how to take care of your health, we should all do the same in our work, relationships, and sense of purpose for something greater than ourselves, and a connection to a higher power.

    Health is a comprehensive subject with many determining factors.
    For more information about nutritarianism, here are some links below.  For more information about other health topics including some of my other favorite experts, check out my Health & Nutrition resource section.

    Let me know what you think!  I would love to hear about objections, things I could do to improve this article, and would love to hear comments if you found it useful.  Thank you!

    The Nutritarian Diet as explained by Fuhrman himself.Nutritarianism

    The Nutritarian Pyramid

    Understanding ‘Nutritarian’ Eating w/ Dr. Joel Fuhrman

    The Science of Nutritarianism – YouTube

    The Worlds Best Diet – YouTube

    Woman Sheds 200 Pounds with ‘Nutritarian’ Lifestyle – YouTube

    In Conclusion

    In our culture, people seem to think you walk down the street, turn the wrong corner and get attacked by a random act of cancer.  Not true.  Poor health, disease, and obesity are all something you have to earn through years of poor eating choices and nutritional ignorance. 

    Your body is a self healing machine.  Human beings were never designed to get diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, and strokes.  All this crap is caused by the foods we eat.  Wake up people!!  Take this shit seriously.  You only get one shot a t life.

    If you really care about yourself and for your family, you need to take care of your health as best you can.  I hope I’ve helped.