Yesterday I went to a sound bowel meditation in a familiar part of the city I hadn’t been to in a while, so after the meditation I went to a nearby grocery store I had explored in the past that caters towards the African population.  I used to frequently explore grocery stores of several different cultures, and still purchase from a few of them today.

When I was in the parking lot about to leave, I coincidentally ran into one of my friends.  He told me about the different foods in there, so I thought it would be great to share that information with you.

He said the chicken is from hens and the meat is tougher because the chickens are allowed to live longer.  Here in the US, the growth and fattening of many chickens is artificially accelerated.

Click HERE today to schedule an appointment if you would like to improve your kidney function, reduce blood pressure or blood sugar, address autoimmunity, or support your digestive health.

Online Course – “Natural approaches to high blood pressure and low kidney function” – Click HERE to schedule a 15 min intro call with Dr. Miles so we can determine if the course would be of great benefit to you!  

I asked him about a vegetable I bought that was new to me, called Okazi (also known as wild spinach and other names depending on the country or region).  I bought it because it said it was high in protein, which is not a claim you see on many vegetables.  He told me they throw it in soups, and to expect it to have a stronger aroma than regular spinach.  The flavors and aromas from produce that comes from other countries (particularly countries in Africa) can be stronger and it is usually indicative of greater nutrition.  If you speak to US baby boomers, they will likely tell you the produce tasted better (i.e. had more flavor) when they were younger.  We now know that the nutritional content in many US foods has gone down over the years.

We talked about the sodas that were inside, which are different because they are imported.  It may be from brands that we all know, but the brands create different recipes per the different countries.  In this store, the sodas are made with sugar and not high fructose corn syrup, which is what I noticed when I visited Ghana.  These sodas taste lighter than the US ones.  By ‘lighter’ I do not mean less flavor.

My friend told me that many Africans have not developed a taste for American food, but they are starting to.  I find that unfortunate in some ways, perhaps good in others, so I’d like to provide further detail.

Click HERE today to schedule an appointment if you would like to improve your kidney function, reduce blood pressure or blood sugar, address autoimmunity, or support your digestive health.

Online Course – “Natural approaches to high blood pressure and low kidney function” – Click HERE to schedule a 15 min intro call with Dr. Miles so we can determine if the course would be of great benefit to you!  

There are some things I have seen in my cultural grocery store explorations that I’d like to address:

Emphasis on grains and beans, as well as grain and bean flour, for the main portion of the meal. Not always as many fruits and veggies, but more than likely the starchy veggies/tubers are there

  • Some cultures boast of having a larger belly, but if you are not of that mindset, it would benefit you to flip to emphasizing more fruits and veggies as the main parts of your diet and/or walking more again, while reducing the amount of grains, beans, and starchy veggies in your meal (you do not necessarily need to cut them all out, but just reduce the portions).  Chances are that you do not walk around as much as when you were in your home country, so all those grains, beans, and starchy veggies may not be getting used by your body as much as they were before, and instead turning to fat.  Fat can promote extra estrogen production in the body, which can lead to hormonal imbalances.  Also, do not disregard the added stress you may have living here vs back home.  This stress can be obvious and not so obvious.  If you have more stress, it can also lead to those carbs not being processed as efficiently as they were before, so adjustments may need to be made to the diet and/or stress management practices.
  • To consume more fruits and veggies
    • Try to purchase more of those that are already in your culture’s store.
    • Second option is to ask the grocery store that caters to your country or culture to start importing more of them (preferably without added sugar or other preservatives).
    • Third option is to go to other cultural grocery stores (Mexican and Indian grocery stores tend to have fresh fruit).
    • Fourth option is to go to farmer’s markets around your city, which provides produce locally grown in the state you reside (or nearby) and may be higher quality.  You can do a web search for ‘farmers markets near me’ to see locations and times.
    • Fifth option is to go into the American grocery stores and explore more fruits and veggies.  Key point: only buy what you need.  Making the double effort to maintain your purchasing relationship with your cultural grocery store can be important for your community, and yourself in terms of keeping community and avoiding isolation.

Click HERE today to schedule an appointment if you would like to improve your kidney function, reduce blood pressure or blood sugar, address autoimmunity, or support your digestive health.

Online Course – “Natural approaches to high blood pressure and low kidney function” – Click HERE to schedule a 15 min intro call with Dr. Miles so we can determine if the course would be of great benefit to you!  

Soybean oil, Canola oil

  • In the US, these are not considered good quality oils despite them being present everywhere.  I personally have a sensitivity to soybeans, so I tried some of the sauces containing soybean oil within another store catering to a different culture just to see if I’d tolerate it better, but I did not.  I am not sure where the soybean oil comes from for that store, and maybe it is just my own sensitivity, but I expected the reaction to not show up as severely if the quality was better (which has been the case for other experiments I’ve done on myself in the past 😊).  Thus, you may want to switch to sesame oil or coconut oil for cooking, and flax oil or extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil for topping things like salads.  I am not a big fan of peanut oils either.  However, if you did not have any trouble with these three oils back home, you feel healthy and are healthy on routine labs, and you know the ones you are purchasing in your grocery store are harvested and manufactured in your country, they may be okay.

Petroleum in hair and skin products

  • Petroleum may also be seen in the product ingredient list as petrolatum, mineral oil, mineral oil jelly, petroleum jelly, or paraffin.  I have ubiquitously seen petroleum in hair and skin products in every cultural grocery store I have explored.  Petroleum comes from oil, which is often an industry that is not concerned about your health.  I encourage you to look up the various health issues petroleum can cause, particularly when it is not fully refined.  Again, you may want to check the country source of the petroleum in your products and how that country handles petroleum to assess its risks.  Organic plant-based oils and butters are likely going to serve your health much better.

It can get confusing to know what is healthy sometimes.  If a fruit, veggie, or spice has a bigger flavor (not due to an added ingredient called monosodium glutamate / MSG), richer aroma (that naturally stems from the item itself), if the food or beverage feel lighter in your body, and if what you ate or applied to hair or skin does not irritate your skin or eyes, then these can be helpful indicators for your health and can encourage continued purchasing of products from grocery stores catering to your culture, and may help assess what you buy outside of your culture’s stores too.  Combine these indicators with knowledge as well, because unhealthy things sometimes come with no difference of sensation, and the effects may show up slowly and surprisingly vs obvious and abruptly.  The source, harvesting and manufacturing processes of what you consume or apply to your hair and skin matter (ewg.org is a resource for US products to learn more).  Always remember to keep exercising, drinking enough water, and getting great sleep.

As far as developing a taste for American foods, do not develop a taste for fast food or processed foods here.  Preparing your meals from scratch is still one of the healthiest things you can do when it comes to food.

—————————————————-

Online Course – “Natural approaches to high blood pressure and low kidney function” – Click HERE to schedule a 15 min intro call with Dr. Miles so we can determine if the course would be of great benefit to you!  
 – Did you know that high blood pressure puts you at risk for kidney damage and a chronic decline in kidney function? Yet many are not told by their doctors in detail about this risk factor or about their kidney function declining until it is quite low and they are close to needing dialysis or a transplant.  In this course, I teach you 1) how to monitor your own kidney function, and I provide natural approaches to 2) reduce blood pressure and 3) preserve and improve kidney function.

Click HERE today to schedule an appointment if you would like to improve your kidney function, reduce blood pressure or blood sugar, address autoimmunity, or support your digestive health.

Join my email list!