I live in a place (Western Australia, New Zealand) where the importation of honey or products containing honey is restricted. Can you still supply them to me?
A:We have contacted the NZ and WA authorities to determine how to heat treat the honey we use in our uncooked bars to ensure it is not a risk to the agriculture of those regions. We have obtained certificates of authority on the proviso that we heat treat the honey and can attach a certificate to your shipment so your bars will make it OK through quarantine. If you would like more information on this subject here is a link to the WA quaratine data: http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr/imported_assets/content/pw/q/qhoney_dlsheet.pdf
Dr Mercola recently wrote a blog post slamming Agave that you use in your bars. Why do you use it?
A: I am a subscriber to Mercola’s daily newsletter, and about twenty others! I saw that post and queried my supplier on it. What Mercola’s article says about light and dark agave is completely untrue - it is different degrees of processing that determines the colour - and the derogatory statements he makes about processing may be true for some, not all agave. I do not use preservatives in my bars so I need plenty of ingredients with antioxidant properties to stop the oil in the nuts from going rancid. I include honey mostly as a binding agent but also because it has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Agave has similar properties and has half the glycemic index of honey but nowhere near the same stickiness. Yakon syrup is a carbohydrate that the body does not make the enzyme to digest, so it passes through the digestive system. It also tends to make the body take longer to convert to glucose the food it accompanies, thereby modifying the sharp rise in blood sugar from refined and processed foods or fructose.
Will the bars help reduce my appetite? I’m trying to cut down from my pre-operation eating (since I’m not feeding so much muscle now) but find myself hungry so then I look for snacks!
A: I have a bar mid-afternoon and it lasts me for a few hours. That is pretty common. I am a sedentary worker (computer programmer), not a manual one, so I don’t have a high energy demand like some others. The nopal powder I include is an acknowledged appetite suppressant and immune system booster.
You mentioned that the nutrients could do me some good. Are there other benefits (either from individual ingredients or a combination) that you know of (eg: improvement in skin, sleep patterns, weight loss, healing)?
A: 6 different people said starting on the Premium Energy Bar formula was date coincident with improved sleep and the Nutrition Booster Bar formula is 20 ingredients better than that.
The several ingredients that are strong antioxidants cannot hurt the healing process and some of them have anti-inflammatory benefits too.
Is this a “breakfast bar”/meal replacement? Or is it a snack to help me through the day.
A: In order to be called a meal replacement bar it would have to contain 25 grams of protein and conform to a whole bunch of other restrictions that did not have a lot in common with my goal of providing a broad spectrum nutrition boost from natural, mostly raw ingredients.
I have one client who regularly eats one for breakfast another who dashes between a day and night job and uses it for dinner and another rather large guy who used it instead of sandwiches for lunch and felt less like having an afternoon nap as well as losing 10 kilos in 4 weeks.
Do I need to eat it at the same time every day?
A: No. Personally I find it fills the gap for me mid afternoon so that’s nearly always when I have mine. At least one of my clients (who is very not a morning person) finds it helps him get out of the blocks and away to a clean start to his day by having it for breakfast. Another has it for lunch. So I recommend you experiment with eating it at different times of the day to find what works best for you and your body.
Will it adversely affect the expected outcome?
A: I don’t have any specific expectation common to all users. I suspect that I will get a wide selection of things that people notice.
In order for this to qualify as a scientific trial it would need to be run by someone other than the manufacturer with a placebo bar that looked and tasted the same but did not have the same ingredients in it. How you get that I don’t know but for sure it would not be cheap making a plastic bar that looked like one of these! :-)
Half the participants would eat the real bar for a month and the other half would eat the placebo.
Then you have a rest for a fortnight where both groups ate neither bar then you swap and have the group that ate the placebo in the first month eat the real bar and vice versa.
Neither group would know which was which and to prevent any supervisor\observer bias, the immediate observers would not know which was which either.
Quite a process.
Can I break the bar up into smaller pieces to eat throughout the day when I get a “snack attacks”?
I have just been told to restrict my salt intake to under 150mg per serve. How much salt is in your bars and slices?
A: I just checked that for a client and am pleased to report that most of our products are under 30mg and even the most salty, the nut slice, is under 150mg.
Can you freeze the bars?
A: My eldest daughter and one other client I know of have both reported no problem with bars that were frozen and thawed. As with all foods, once thawed they should not be refrozen.
Are the bars 100% organic?
A: Regrettably not. Many (coconut oil, tahini, sultanas, currants, raisins to name a few of the bigger ingredients), but not all, of the ingredients in the bars are certified organic. Much of the time I cannot source the organic variety of some of my ingredients and some that I can source are 200% to 400% more expensive - most people are not prepared to pay that much extra to have the bar 100% organic. If you wish me to make a bar from 100% certified organic ingredients, drop me a line and I will discuss the current availability of organic items and your requirements with you. We will have to make them to a custom recipe depending on what organic ingredients are available at the time.
Do you make custom batches?
A: Yes we do. One of the early testers is allergic to coconut and brazil nuts and doesn’t like nutmeg so we crafted a custom recipe for him. He just calls every few weeks and I make a custom batch for him. My eldest daughter was told to consume what she considers obscene quantities of flax seed oil, which she finds the taste of quite ghastly, so I incorporated that and hid the taste as best I could.
Can you ship to overseas destinations?
A: Yes. Whenever we get an order from the USA we complete an online lodgement with the FDA to advise them of what is coming in so it does not get impounded.
With other countries please check with your government’s appropriate department before giving us an order. That’s one reason we are so up front with the ingredient list. The main reason is, of course, so if you know you are allergic to any of the ingredients I have used you are best to know about it as soon as possible.
I am trying to lose weight but your bars seem to have quite a bit of fat in them. Shouldn’t I be aiming to restrict my intake of fats?
A: Reducing your carbs will drop the excess weight faster than reducing your fat intake. There is an article “Modify Your Diet So You Feel Terrific ” on Dr Mercola’s site overviewing the concept of eating a diet based on a ratio of protein, carbs and fats that is appropriate for your body.
And here is some data from a post to Dr Mercola’s site.
High Protein and Low Carb Diets
A number of diet authors have proposed high protein and low carb diets. Protein Power by Michael Eades, The Zone Diet Books by Barry Sears, and the Atkins Diet Books are all examples of the low glycemic concept. The idea of this diet is keep blood sugar at steady levels, and keep insulin levels low. Low insulin allows weight loss and reduces inflammation. According to these authors plentiful protein is OK because it does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels. Those who subscribe to the philosphy of keeping 80%+ of your food intake alkaline would undoubtedly take issue with that but I digress. We’re talking about fat.
Broda Barnes Adds Fat Back
Broda Barnes writes an interesting chapter about obesity and weight loss in his book, “Hypothyroidism the Unsuspected Illness”. He found that by adding fat back into a carbohydrate restricted diet, his obese patients were able to lose weight effortlessly.
Professor Hu and his associates have gone on to study specific high-fat foods in “Nut and peanut butter consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women.” They report their most interesting findings in the November 27, 2002, issue of JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.
Women in the study who reported that they eat at least five ounces of peanuts and peanut butter a week reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 21 percent compared to those who rarely or never ate them. The researchers also found that women in the study who frequently ate tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, and others) reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes 27 percent compared to women in the study who rarely ate them.
The 27 percent reduction in the chances of getting diabetes is “pretty substantial,” Dr. David Jenkins, a professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto, told HealthScout News. Dr. Jenkins studies the health benefits of nuts and is famous for creating the glycemic index in 1981.
But doesn’t eating nuts and peanuts cause us to gain weight?
A: Researchers tracked 83,818 women in the Nurses’ Health Study for 16 years. These women, none of whom had a history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer, completed food-frequency questionnaires about every four years between 1980 and 1996. The questionnaires included information on their nut, peanut, and peanut butter consumption.
Researchers calculated the average change in weight during the 16 years they studied the women. After adjusting for factors like age, family history of diabetes, physical activity, and baseline weight, the average weight gain for the four categories of nut consumption wasn’t significantly different. In fact, those women who ate the most nuts tended to weigh a bit less and have a slightly lower body mass index than the others.
I think it’s also worth considering that nut eating has been shown to help reverse metabolic syndrome – considered to be a precursor of type 2 diabetes.
I can’t help wonder with your cocktail list if there is enough of any one ingredient to be of benefit?
A: You’re not the first person to ask that question.
I guess it breaks down like this in the unusual way that I think.
Good for you is better than bad for you.
Any good is better than any bad.
More good is better than less good.
The more good the better.
The greater the variety of foods from which you obtain your nutrients,
the more chance you have of not being deficient in any one nutrient.
The more raw food you eat, the better chance you have of your body utilising plant based enzymes rather than having to manufacture all it needs to digest your food.
My wife picked up a pamphlet on Chia seeds just after I started including them in my bar and it had some interesting data in it. The ancient Aztecs used to cultivate 229 crops. 75% of the planet currently lives on 12 with 50% living on 4 - wheat, rice, corn and soy. The author stated that one of the contributory factors for the current increase in degenerative diseases is due to us getting our nutrition from too few sources.
After reading that I listed all the foods I ate in a week and it added up to 41. So I am getting a wider range of nutrients out of one bar than I consume in an entire week of meals. Your point is well taken, the amount of each ingredient in a single bar and its value in the diet is not as great as if you ate more of each. But if I have a bar a day, those good things add up. And, if you consider that my bar offers a sensationaly broad range of nutrients that you should have more of them, I won’t argue with you! I also advise you to not eat more than one a day!
So if I can make a food bar for me (and others) that delivers nutrients from a wide variety of sources and I have one a day as well as eating a wide range of vegetables etc. and forgo processed and refined foods almost completely, then I am giving my body the best chance I can give it to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible and not be afflicted with degenerative diseases.
Not everyone feels that way about the food they eat. And to be honest, I haven’t always felt the way either. Rather than incorporating my bar as a key nutritional staple in their diet, some people just want a tasty snack that’s not too unhealthy. It fits both requirements.
Two of the weightiest arguments in favour of a bar with that many ingredients are that each ingredient delivers different nutrients and different benefits to the body and many individual ingredients are synergistic and combined have an effect greater than the sum of their parts.
One of the key reasons for me continuing to add ingredients is that nature is amazingly, incredibly, almost unbelievably synergistic. Both in the direction of create and destroy.
For instance Hort Research in New Zealnd established that multiple antioxidants are not additive in their effect, they are multiplicative.
As are poisons. You can take a dose of aluminium sufficient to kill one out of 100 people and combine it with enough mercury to kill 1 in 100 people and the combination will kill 100 out of 100 people.
Hope this helps explain my philosophy and motivations.
Just like the food ads on TV, nothing on this site should be taken as nutritional or health advice appropriate and specific to your individual body or circumstances.
The fact that such a high percentage of people are overweight or obese would tend to indicate that “doing what everyone else is doing” is a recipe for disaster. A bit like joining the lemmings heading for the cliff.
To work out what is an optimum diet for your body right now, I recommend you consult a person highly trained and experienced in actually getting results with dietary recommendations. Just because they have a GP certificate on the wall is no indication that they are anything more than a legal drug pusher, part of the problem, not part of the solution. I am told a GP spends less than 10 hours in their 7 years of uni on the study of nutrition. This extract from an article on Food Navigator says it all:
“A society that views food as taste-bud entertainment rather than a basic of well-being was always bound to run into health problems. But with obesity now afflicting 300 million people, and diabetes set to reach similar numbers within two decades, the problems borne of food abuse are emerging as more than a glitch. They amount to a profound loss of direction in our understanding of both food and medicine.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," said Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine two-and-a-half thousand years ago. Yet today’s medical profession barely works with diet, instead majoring in the prescription and distribution of high-power drugs, designed to right the wrongs of decades of body mismanagement.
“Instead of scribbling off prescriptions willy-nilly, doctors would better serve the aims of achieving healthy patients by drawing food and diet into their repertoire. Now.
“Not all health conditions can be alleviated through diet. But many can, and often without setting up secondary health risks.
“Statin drugs can lower cholesterol, but side effects include liver damage and kidney failure. A diet high in unsaturated fats, soluble fiber and phytosterols also lowers cholesterol, but without the side effects.
“This makes it a route that many would opt for. But most people are unaware that the choice exists.”
If, as a result of a visit to a dietary specialist, you would like us to formulate and create a customised food bar for you, we would be only too pleased to do so.
And what I DON’T put in my products is as important as what I do include:
|No artificial colours|
|No artificial fragrances|
|No artificial sweeteners|
|No cane sugar|
|No flavour enhancers|
|No detectable gluten|
|No added preservatives|
|No high fructose corn syrup|