Dieting Plans

Low Carb Diet and Atkins Recipes



Vitamins (or VItal AMINes) are, as the name suggests, vital for good health. The primary source of vitamins is from our dieat, however due to the excessive processing of modern foods, which destroys or renders inactive many vitamins, plus the chronic problem of depleted soils, many people today are deficient on one or more vitamins, and many modern diseases can be either worsened, or even caused by vitamin deficiencies.

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With the exception of Vitamin D, which is manufactured in response to sunlight, the vitamins are an essential part of the diet and play vitally important roles in controlling organ and body funtion.

Click on the links below to find out more about each of the vitamins and its role in health and disease.

Vitamin A ( Beta-carotene)

The B-Vitamins

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Folic Acid
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)

Trace elements

Trace elements Small is beautiful!
Whilst, by definition, trace elements are required in minutely small doses (less than 100mg/day) this does not mean they can be ignored. Trace elements are among THE most important factors in maintaining and recovering health.
Boron is increasingly becoming reconised as an essential requirement for health bones.

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Chromium is perhaps the one mineral that can aid weight loss and help prevent diabetes.

Cobalt An essential component of Vitamin B12

Copper Essential to zinc, iron and Vitamin C function. Many hormonal effects

Fluorine Important trace mineral often confused with the poison fluoride.

Germanium The secret behind the health benefits of garlic, ginseng and mushrooms.

Iodine Metabolic control, modulation of oestrogen and foetal health

Iron The energy mineral.

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back from trace elements to minerals


Protein and Weight Loss - The Basics
Consuming an adequate amount of high quality protein while on a weight loss program is critical to success. Protein can help reduce cravings, enhance calorie-burning, and preserve muscle – all key elements to a rewarding weight loss program.

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There is a large abundance of information on protein and weight loss. Most of this information seems far too technical and confusing. This article is intended to provide the basic, essential information that you need to know about protein if you are on a weight loss program or are thinking about going on a weight loss program. I address the critical issues in this article including the benefits of consuming protein, how protein can help you, and when, what kind, and how much protein you should consume while on a weight loss program.

Benefits of Whey Protein During a Weight Loss Program

Consuming enough protein through your diet while on a weight loss program can have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of that program. A study of 32 women and 95 men who replaced two meals with a 15 gram whey protein supplement each day for six months showed the effectiveness of protein on improving weight loss. Although 15 grams is a small amount of protein, the results were still very positive. On average, during these six months participants lost 20 pounds while cholesterol and triglycerides – key health parameters – also improved.

Getting adequate protein can help to lose fat instead of muscle, increase calorie burning, and keep you feeling full rather than starving and struggling to maintain your diet. In addition, protein also helps to improve muscularity, build HDL (“good”) cholesterol, improve antioxidant function, support blood sugar metabolism, and improve immunity.

During weight loss, our bodies can easily lose a lot of muscle mass and even bone mass due to the restricted calorie diets. You can largely prevent this from happening by eating more protein while on your weight loss program. If you consume an adequate amount of protein while losing weight you can do your best to make sure that you are losing fat as opposed to muscle. This redistribution – less fat and the same or more muscle – will result in a shapelier and more ideal body figure.

Consuming protein can also enhance calorie burning – improving the results of your weight loss program. Protein can directly benefit muscle function and health – including improving calorie burning by muscle which enhances your weight loss regimen. A high protein, low carbohydrate diet helps to burn more calories when the body is converting protein to glucose. Therefore, to maximize the effectiveness of your weight loss program’s ability to enhance calorie burning, consume plenty of high quality weight protein.

The third and arguably most immediate benefit to consuming whey protein during weight loss is its ability to improve your feeling of fullness or satisfaction after eating. Whey protein is helpful in improving your brain’s feeling of satisfaction after eating; there are elements in protein that regulate appetite, a benefit derived only from consuming a high amount of whey protein. Research has even hinted that whey protein might be more effective at satisfying hunger than carbohydrates or fats.

In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants reported greater weight loss and less hunger when on a higher protein diet. Protein appears to act like an appetite suppressant resulting in less binge eating between meals. An especially important time to eat protein at breakfast, this will help you control cravings for starches and sweets throughout the day.

Protein has innumerable benefits for the body and it is especially important for dieters on a weight loss program. Consuming an adequate amount of whey protein will help you preserve muscle mass, enhance calorie burning, and improve your feeling of fullness – all of which will lead to a more successful weight loss program.

How Whey Protein Helps Weight Loss

This is not meant to be a technical article about the bodily processes that create the benefits listed above through consuming whey protein. But, I will mention a few basic items to provide a bit of background information about how whey protein helps weight loss.

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Protein is comprised of amino acids. Scientists have found that branch chain amino acids are the most important amino acids. If you consume enough of the right kind of protein, you will get a lot of leucine – one of the most important amino acids – which can activate a slow metabolism and improve your body’s ability to lose weight. Leucine can signal your muscle and help prevent muscle loss during weight loss. Therefore, with adequate amounts of this amino acid, your weight loss will come from fat instead of muscle.

Additionally, protein helps ensure that you are making quality HDL (“good” cholesterol) at an ideal rate. A high protein diet can help to lower triglycerides and support HDL formation. Both of these results will help weight loss.

Nitrogen, contained in protein, is preferred by the body; therefore protein is more likely to be converted to carbohydrates rather than fat. This uses up energy and helps us burn more calories. Protein is the main metabolic activator of the liver. When your liver is working in an optimal state, you can dramatically increase your metabolic rate much more than through carbohydrates or fat.

In conclusion, the body has specific processes for using the protein you consume. For the most part, these processes result in favorable outcomes superior to the consumption of carbohydrates and fat – hence the popularity of high protein, low carbohydrate, and low fat diets.

When, What Kind, and How Much Whey Protein to Consume

Now that you know the benefits of consuming whey protein while on a weight loss program and a bit about how it works you need to know when, what kind, and how much whey protein to consume. With the over-proliferation of information available on these topics, I will only provide the essential information for you to evaluate your protein supplementation needs while on your weight loss program.

When is the best time to consume whey protein?

The body has varying needs for protein throughout the day. There are basically four main times that are optimal for consuming protein: in the morning, before a workout, after a workout, and before going to sleep. The last option, before going to sleep, is not ideal for those on a weight loss program because you should not really be eating anything for a few hours prior to going to sleep. Protein, although not as bad as fat, is still calories that you should avoid eating too late while on a weight loss program. Eating protein at night is likely only necessary for those involved in strength training who want to minimize protein breakdown while sleeping.

So, we are left with three choices. Consuming some protein before a workout can be beneficial for energy (good a couple of hours before working out). Right after a workout your body goes into a stage of growth and recovery, having the amino acids that make up the protein is key at this point. But, the most important time for consuming protein is at breakfast or first thing in the morning.

In the morning, your body has just gone through a full night of not having food and your protein levels are low. A high protein breakfast wakes up the liver and gets it active. A high protein breakfast can increase your metabolic rate by 30 percent for as long as 12 hours – equal to the calories burned during a 4 mile jog. In a recent study, individuals who ate a high protein and high carbohydrate breakfast lost nearly 23 pounds on average in the first 4 months of an 8-month study. Those who ate the high protein and high carbohydrate breakfast reported having fewer carbohydrate cravings and felt less hungry, especially before lunch. Even eating just two eggs for breakfast instead of consuming the same amount of calories from carbohydrates has been shown to boost weight loss by 65%.

To summarize, breakfast is the ideal time to consume protein when on a weight loss program, but before and after workouts are also good times. Having a high protein breakfast is needed to maximize the benefits of your weight loss program.

What is the best source of protein?

Protein is contained in a lot of foods, but you need to be careful while on a weight loss program because many of the sources of protein are high in fat. Some of the highest sources of good protein are animal and dairy sources including cottage cheese and red meat. Other sources include eggs, chicken, pork, nuts, vegetables, and seeds.

There are two kinds of protein: complete and incomplete. Soy and animal proteins are called complete proteins because they contain all of the essential amino acids. On the other hand, plant products, including vegetables and nuts, are called incomplete because they do not contain all of the essential amino acids. Your body needs complete proteins, but that does not mean you cannot get what you need without eating meat or soy products. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, eat a combination of plant proteins that complement each other such as rice and beans to make sure you are getting all of the amino acids your body requires.

You want to look for protein sources that are low in fat and calories, yet are nutrient-rich. Sources of animal protein are usually higher in fat than plant-based sources. But, there are lean complete proteins such as seafood, lean beef, egg whites, and skinless chicken. Other protein sources that have a lot of protein and are low in fat include beans, nuts, and seeds.

Here are some good sources of protein and their approximate protein content (in grams):

3.5 oz roasted chicken: 27g
3 oz broiled ground beef: 21g
3 oz roasted ham: 18g
1 large egg: 6g
4 ounces milk: 4g
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese: 14g
½ cup cooked kidney beans: 7g
1 cup vegetables: 4g
1 ounce nuts: 7g
One easy way to get the best benefits from protein without any fat is to use high quality whey protein. The best whey proteins used advanced filtration techniques to remove saturated fat, cholesterol, and lactose while leaving all the protein molecules intact.

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Another consideration when choosing a protein source is the absorption rate of that source. The better a protein is absorbed by the body the higher it’s “Biological Value” (BV) the protein source is said to have. The following are some of the BV’s of a few of the popular sources of protein:

Whey isolate: 110-159
Whey concentrate: 104
Whole egg: 100
Fish: 83
Beef: 80
Chicken: 79
Casein: 77
Soy: 74
When compared to whey concentrate, casein, fish, eggs, beef, and chicken, whey protein isolate has a superior absorption rate – you are getting more protein for less consumption. Not all protein sources are created equal, but you can get a lot of good protein from a variety of sources. The greatest value (price and quality) in protein are products that contain a combination of whey protein isolate and concentrate, these sources both have a superior absorption rate and low fat content. But, you should still be eating a variety of sources of protein while on a weight loss program.

How much whey protein do you need?

Researching the answer to this question will provide you with a barrage of apparently contradictory recommendations and “facts” regarding how protein your body actually needs. Everyone – even the government – seems to have a very opinionated answer to the simple question of how much protein do you need in your diet? But, nobody really knows the true answer at this point, we are only able to speculate and draw logical conclusions from the mountain of data and research available.

The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein is 56g for men and 46g for women. RDAs are published by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Science, that establishes goals for healthy persons. The RDA is the “average daily intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (approximately 98 percent) healthy individuals”. But, ideal protein intake is probably higher than these suggestions during weight loss as long as carbohydrate intake is decreased. The RDA does not take into account the amount of protein needed to preserve muscle during weight loss and facilitate fat burning.

There are many, often contradictory, methods for calculating your daily protein needs. Therefore, I will present two methods, one simple and one calculated, for determining your approximate daily protein needs.

Simple Method

Formula: your weight (in pounds) x 0.7

This means that a 200lb person would need 140g of high quality protein per day and a 140lb person would need 98g of high quality protein per day. This method is simple, easy, and requires no additional information other than your weight.

Calculated Method

Formula: (BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) x Activity Level Indicator x 0.2)/4*

The Calculated Method takes into account your BMR which is an indicator of how many calories you burn at rest. This gives a personalized component to calculating ideal protein consumption that weight alone does not give. For example, two people may weigh exactly the same, but have two completely different metabolic rates meaning they should probably be consuming two different amounts of protein each day.

The activity level indicator is an additional component to personalize the protein calculation based on your activity level. The following are the indicators:

Mildly active (exercise 3 or less times per week for 30-60 minutes): 1.25
Moderately active (exercise 4 to 6 times per week for 30-60 minutes): 1.50
Highly active (exercise daily for 60 minutes for more): 1.75
Example: a 140 lb highly active person with a BMR of 1250 would need to consume 109 g of protein each day ((1250 x 1.75 x 0.2)/4* = 109).

*The amount of calories must be divided by 4 to get the accurate amount of protein in grams because there are approximately 4 calories per gram of protein.


Adding More Phytonutrients To Your Diet Provides Big Benefits
Adding more phytonutrients to your diet might just seem like a prescription for more food, more confusion, more to worry about. But in reality, making sure you get enough of the phytonutrient benefit is as easy as adding color, freshness and variety.

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Phytonutrients are found naturally in a variety of foods, such as legumes, nuts, teas, fruits, vegetables and grains, but are not considered necessary to sustain life (as are fats, protein, vitamins and minerals). Many people choose to increase phytonutrients in their diet by improved diet as well as nutritional supplementation. Read More About------->proper nutrition

Phytonutrients are thought to have a variety of beneficial and significant benefits to our health. Eating more whole foods in the form of fruits and vegetables and the like can benefit you by protecting you from cancer and certain diseases. In addition, it’s believed that phytonutrients can improve cell-to-cell communication within the body, possibly repair DNA damage from smoking and other toxic substances, and strengthen the immune system.

So how do you add more phytonutrients to your diet? It’s as easy as adding color, variety and freshness.

Color – When you think of phytonutrients, think color. Think of the bright red of a perfectly ripe tomato, or the rich redness of a summer grape. Although fruits and vegetables are the best source of nutrient-dense phytonutrients, most Americans get woefully low amounts of fresh produce in their diets. According to the USDA, while it’s recommended we get at least 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, most Americans get little more than 3 servings. Of that, deep yellow and dark green vegetables account for only 0.2 daily servings on average.

Yet it’s the richly colored vegetables and fruits that provide the best sources of phytonutrients. If your grocery cart isn’t full of color (and that doesn’t include colored Goldfish crackers), add some next time you’re shopping.

Variety -- Although fruits and vegetables are the best sources of phytonutrients, they aren’t the only source. So while you want to add a lot of color to your diet in the form of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables like berries, grapes, tomatoes, peppers, spinach and the like, think about adding other sources of phytonutrients as well. Consider adding a glass of tea at lunch or dinner or some chopped pecans or slivered almonds to your oatmeal in the morning.

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Freshness – There is much debate on the value of fresh vegetables versus frozen. It’s fair to say everyone agrees that canned holds little nutritional content, so adding can of veggies to your cart isn’t the best plan (this excludes canned tomatoes which retain the freshness and nutrient value of fresh). But in a pinch, or in the off season, frozen vegetables can certainly be included in your daily diet. Frozen fruits are always fine, as long as they are whole, unprocessed and without added sugar.


Minerals, the ignition key for vitamins and controllers of many processes.

Minerals are the keys to the engines we know of as vitamins. NO vitamins can be absorbed or carry out their intended functions without the presence of specific minerals in very particular amounts.

Minerals are fundamentally metals and other inorganic compunds that not only provide much of the structure of, for example, bones and teeth. In additin they are critical to countless body processes and can be separated into two main groups, major minerals - which are required in amounts greater than 100mg per day and trace elements, of which less is required.

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Major minerals include:

Potassium and

Trace elements include

Vanadium and

Review each mineral to find out what it is, what its functions are, how much you need in your diet and where to find it.


Fats - natures way of preparing for hard times and the source of the biggest myth in medicine

Vegetable oil, lard, butter, olive oil, cholesterol and many others too numerous to mention - fats are with us all day, every day - or so it seems. So what are they, what is their purpose and how do they affect health?

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Think of fat and you almost invariably think of being overweight and low-fat diets. Fats, however, are an essential part of the diet and the oft-missed fact is that most of us aren't eating enough of them!

Is this too good to be true? Actually no, it isn't. the simple answer is that in the average Western diet, we consume too little fat overall, but actually the wrong types of fat - and before you think "here we go again", modern medicine has got it completely wrong - what most of us need is more natural and saturated fat and LESS of the synthetic plastics known as hydrogenated vegetable oils or trans-fatty acids. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves - first things first:-

What are fats?
Fats (or more correctly, fatty acids) are an essential part of the diet. Contrary to much of what we seem to hear, they are not confined to meat and animal products, but are also present in virtually all seeds, nuts and many plants themselves - think of olive oil for an example.

The way in which we refer to fats often belies their true functions - cholesterol, for example is not only the essential ingredient for both male and female hormones, it also has important healing functions. Other fats, such as the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA are fundamental to brain and nerve function.

What do they do in the body?
The simple answer to this is - lots of different things. The way we traditionally think of body fat is the adipose tissue we gain when we eat too much or eat the wrong things (the second is much more important than the first).

More properly known as "adipose tissue", this type of fat is the body's way of storing excess energy, so that it can be retrieved later. This process is very efficient and is regulated in the liver by the presence of various hormones, but is largely controlled by insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.

In fact, the reason the body decides to store fat is usually that it has all the carbohydrates (sugars) it needs for its energy supplies and as a consequence, it converts the extra to fat and, at the same time prevents the "burning" of stored fat for fuel. (for more about this, see the chapter on insulin resistance). However, as already mentioned there are numerous types of fats.

Essential Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats in the same way as amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Many can be manufactured in the body from other fatty acids and by the conversion of sugar in the liver.

Those that can't and therefore must be provided in the diet are called "essential fatty acids".
Essential fatty acids are divided into two groups, namely Omega-3 and Omega-6. All essential fatty acids are naturally polyunsaturated, and the 3 or 6 in the name tells you that the first double bond on the molecule is 3 or 6 carbons from the end.

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Essential fatty acids that MUST be included in the diet include the following:

Linoleic acid (LA) (omega-6)
Arachidonic acid (AA) (omega-6)
Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) (omega-6)
Dihomogamma linolenic acid (DGLA) (omega-6)

Alpha linolenic acid (LNA or ALA) (omega-3)
Eicosapentenoic acid (EPA) (omega-3)
Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) (omega-3)

Whilst the Omega-6 essential fatty acids are abundant in all sorts of vegetable oils and meats, the omega-3's are much harder to come by. They can be found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, trout) as ell as some seeds and nuts, including walnuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. Unfortunately, however, most of us are not including enough of these items in our diet - if we are including any at all!

A recent study discovered that, in the USA, 25% of adults tested had so little Omega-3 essential fatty acids in their blood that they were undetectable.

Hang on, 25 percent of the population in the country with the biggest incidence of depression, other psychiatric "illness", aggression, murder and childhood "behavioural issues" have absolutely NONE of the fat which makes up 50% of the brain and covers every nerve fibre - could there be a correlation here?

You bet there is!

Lack of Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been directly linked to ALL of the above, as well as birth weight of babies, low gestational age at birth (prematurity), incidence of Ischemic heart disease and longevity.

What is worse is that lack of these essential fatty acids in your blood strongly suggests that you are eating the wrong kind of fats, as well as omitting the right ones.

What can you do about it.

Firstly, you can try to add into your diet the foods that contain Omega-3 essenial fatty acids, listed above, to which can be added grass-fed beef (grain-fed beef has NO omega-3 content). In doing this, bear in mind that some Governments, such as the UK are now recommending that you eat no more than 200g of sea-fish a week, due to the levels of the toxins dioxin and mercury in fish, especially fish livers, where toxins concentrate.

Secondly, and this goes for most people, you should add a high-quality omega-3 supplement to your diet. Be sure that the fish oil used to produce it is from sources that filter out all the toxins (we only know of one manufacturer that uses this expensive process, but charges no more for their oil than others), is PURE Omega-3 and is not diluted with other oils, e.g. vegetable oils.

Essential qualities of Omega-3 essential Fatty acids

Make sure it is PURE Omega-3
Check it is undiluted
Ask if dioxin has been removed
Pregnancy warning.

By the time most mothers come to term, their bodies are completely exhausted of the Omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are the main building blocks of the baby's brain and nerves. For a healthy baby, and to help prevent premature birth you MUST include these supplements in your diet, taking note of the required qualities above.


Carbohydrates are one of the three main types of foods, known as macronutrients, along with proteins and fats. The Western diet is high in carbohydrates, both raw and refined. In fact, many health professionals and weight loss "experts" say we should eat more carbohydrates and less protein and fat.Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. Unlike people, carbohydrates are not all created equal. You may already be familiar with the concept of simple carbohydrates, like fruits and the equally accepted concept of "complex" carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and potatoes.

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Although this is one way to differentiate, we believe there is a much more important method, which has massive implications for health, weight-management and disease prevention.

Simple carbohydrates

Fruit and vegetable sugars
Sucrose (sugar)

"Complex" carbohydrates

Starchy foods (like potatoes)
Grain and grain products (pasta, bread)

But before we get to that (click here if you can't wait), let's start with the basics.

Carbohydrates are generally simple compounds and contain only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are all eitehr a single sugar (or monosaccharide) or a chain of conected sugar molecules (or polysaccharides). Simple sugars include fructose, glucose and sucrose, whilst examples of polysaccharides include starch and gums. The difference between simple sugars is purely the position of the oxygen atom on the ring of carbons.

In the body, all carbohydrates are broken down (and/or chemically converted) to their simplest form - glucose, which is the "fuel" of preference in the body and is required day and night, awake or asleep for brain function. Sugar levels therefore have to be regulated so that, even when food is not present, the brain gets the glucose it needs. When the body loses control of blood sugar, major problems occur, which will quickly lead to death if not corrected. The inability of the body to control blood sugar in known as diabetes.

Diabetes is increasing in the UK and USA at an incredible rate and is already blamed for using over 10% of all health care resources. Recent estimates suggest that within the next 20 years or so, this will increase to 30% of ALL health care costs. Clearly something has to be done about this.

In fact, it's really quite simple, but requires a change in approach from the authorities and a recognition that fat intake isn't the only important thing in weight control (diabetes is closely associated with obesity).

Glycaemic index (glycemic index if you are in the USA)

Glycaemic index is the term used to determine how quickly carbohydrates release their sugar into the blood. Some carbs release their sugar very quickly and cause blood sugar to "spike" sharply, whilst others release their sugar more slowly, elevating sugar to a lesser degree but for a longer time.

This is important, because the body regulates the level of blood sugar through a complicated series of chemicals and hormones, the principle one of which is insulin. High blood sugar stimulates release of lots of insulin, which makes the liver convert sugar to fat. (and you thought it was fat intake that on)

Diabetes is caused by the repeated release of increasing amounts of unsulin as the tissues get used to it and begin to respond to it less and less, creating insulin resistance. This is the first step to diabetes, in which the pancreas (where insulin is made) "gives up" and stops insulin production altogether. The result is a total loss of control of blood sugar - diabetes. (click here for more information on diabetes, how to prevent it and natural treatments)

Glycaemic index (GI) is explained in more detail here, but it should be clear from even the bief explanation above that it can have a major impact on health. Not only can diabetes be caused by consumption of too much high GI foods, it is this and NOT over consumption of fats that is responsible for the increasing level of obesity seen in the Western world, especially obesity in children.

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Conversely, it is quite possible to minimise both your weight and your chances of developing diabetes by keeping a close eye on the GI of what you eat. People who eat a low GI diet, especially a low-grain diet stand a significantly reduced risk of these, and other diseases.Carbohydrates have come in for a bashing lately, mostly because of the Atkins diet. This radical diet proposes cutting out carbs together and replacing them with protein. Whilst this can be effective in radically reducing weight, it can also be very dangerous.

As a rule, diets are a bad idea anyway, as they are usually followed by a return to your previous regimen which quickly leads to weight gain. The only way to consistently lost and keep off weight is to change what you eat - permanently. Click here to find out more about weight control.

Amino Acids

Supplemental Amino Acids
Supplemental amino acids are available in combination with various multivitamin formulas, as protein mixtures, in a wide variety of food supplements, and in a number of amino acid formulas. They can be purchased as capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders. Most amino acid supplements are derived from animal protein, yeast protein, or vegetable protein. Crystalline free-form amino acids are generally extracted from a variety of grain products. Brown rice bran is a prime source, although cold-pressed yeast and milk proteins are also used.

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Free-form means the amino acid is in its purest form. Free-form amino acids need no digestion and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. These white crystalline amino acids are stable at room temperature and decompose when heated to temperatures of 350F to 660F (180C to 350C). They are rapidly absorbed and do not come from potentially allergenic food sources. For best results, choose encapsulated powders or powder.

When choosing amino acid supplements, look for products that contain USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) pharmaceutical-grade L-crystalline amino acids. Most of the amino acids (except for glycine) can appear in two forms, the chemical structure of one being the mirror image of the other. These are called the D- and L- forms for example, D-cystine and L-cystine. The "D" stands for dextro (Latin for "right") and the "L" for levo (Latin for "left"); these terms denote the direction of the rotation of the spiral that is the chemical structure of the molecule. Proteins in animal and plant tissue are made from the L- forms of amino acids (with the exception of phenylalanine, which is also used in the form of DL-phenylalanine, a mixture of the D- and L- forms). Thus, with respect to supplements of amino acids, products containing the L- forms of amino acids are considered to be more compatible with human biochemistry.

Each amino acid has specific functions in the body. The many functions and possible symptoms of deficiency of twenty-eight amino acids and related compounds are described below. When taking amino acids individually for healing purposes, take them on an empty stomach to avoid making them compete for absorption with the amino acids present in foods. When taking individual amino acids, it is best to take them in the morning or between meals, with small amounts of vitamin B and vitamin C to enhance absorption.

When taking an amino acid complex that includes all of the essential amino acids, it is best to take it a half hour away from a meal, either before or after. If you are taking individual amino acids, it is wise also to take a full amino acid complex, including both essential and nonessential amino acids, at a different time. This is the best way to as-sure you have adequate amounts of all the necessary amino acids.

Be aware that individual amino acids should not be taken for long periods of time. A good rule to follow is to alternate the individual amino acids that fit your needs and back them up with an amino acid complex, taking the supplements for two months and then discontinuing them for two months. Moderation is the key. Some amino acids have potentially toxic effects when taken in high doses (over 6,000 milligrams per day) and may cause neurological damage. These include aspartic acid, glutamic acid, homocysteine, serine, and tryptophan. Cysteine can be toxic if taken in amounts over 1,000 milligrams per day. Do not give supplemental amino acids to a child, or take doses of any amino acid in excess of the amount recommended unless specifically directed to do so by your health care provider.

Some recommended amino acid products include the following:
A/G-Pro from Miller Pharmacal Group, a complete amino acid and mineral supplement.

Anabolic Amino Balance and Muscle Octane from Anabol Naturals. Anabolic Amino Balance is a complex of twenty-three free-form amino acids. Muscle Octane is a blend of free form branched chain amino acids (L-leucine,L-valine, and L-isoleucine). Anabol Naturals also pro-duces free-form single amino acids.

Amino Blend from Carlson Laboratories, a complex containing twenty amino acids, both essential and non-essential.

Alanine plays a major role in the transfer of nitrogen from peripheral tissue to the liver. It aids in the metabolism of glucose, a simple carbohydrate that the body uses for energy.

Alanine also guards against the buildup of toxic sub-stances that are released in the muscle cells when muscle protein is broken down to meet energy needs quickly, such as happens with aerobic exercise. Epstein-Barr virus and chronic fatigue have been associated with excessive alanine levels and low levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine. One form of alanine, beta-alanine, is a constituent of pantothenic acid (vitamin 65) and coenzyme A, a vital catalyst in the body.

Research has found that for people with insulin-dependent diabetes, taking an oral dose of L-alanine can be more effective than a conventional bedtime snack in preventing nighttime hypoglycemia.

Arginine retards the growth of tumors and cancer by enhancing immune function. It increases the size and activity of the thymus gland, which manufactures T lymphocytes (T cells), crucial components of the immune system. Arginine may therefore benefit those suffering from AIDS and malignant diseases that suppress the immune system. It is also good for liver disorders such as cirrhosis of the liver and fatty liver; it aids in liver detoxification by neutralizing ammonia. It may also reduce the effects of chronic alcohol toxicity.

Seminal fluid contains arginine. Studies suggest that sexual maturity may be delayed by arginine deficiency; conversely, arginine is useful in treating sterility in men. It is found in high concentrations in the skin and connective tissues, making it helpful for healing and repair of damaged tissue.

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Arginine is important for muscle metabolism. It helps to maintain a proper nitrogen balance by acting as a vehicle for transportation and storage, and aiding in the excretion, of excess nitrogen. Studies have shown that it also reduces nitrogen losses in people who have undergone surgery, and improves the function of cells in lymphatic tissue. This amino acid aids in weight loss because it facilitates an increase in muscle mass and a reduction of body fat. It is also involved in a variety of enzymes and hormones. It aids in stimulating the pancreas to release insulin, is a component grade L-crystalline amino acids. Most of the amino acids (except for glycine) can appear in two forms, the chemical structure of one being the mirror image of the other.

These are called the D- and L- forms for example, D-cystine and L-cystine. The "D" stands for dextro (Latin for "right") and the "L" for levo (Latin for "left"); these terms denote the direction of the rotation of the spiral that is the chemical structure of the molecule. Proteins in animal and plant tissue are made from the L- forms of amino acids (with the exception of phenylalanine, which is also used in the form of DL-phenylalanine, a mixture of the D- and L- forms). Thus, with respect to supplements of amino acids, products containing the L- forms of amino acids are considered to be more compatible with human biochemistry.


Antioxidants - nature's "mop-up" squad to counter the "free radical" menace.

Antioxidants (or free radical scavengers) are potentially THE most important part of a basic nutrition program. Commonly plant extracts, these compounds are incredibly important as they circulate in the blood, "mopping up" the free radicals which cause cell damage and disease.

"Free radicals" are unstable compounds in the body that will "do anything" to become stable, which they do by stealing an electron from another molecule. In the process they make the other molecule unstable, and by this method, they cause tissue damage, which must be repaired to maintain health.

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Whilst this process is used by the body to destroy bacteria and maintain healthy cells, it can get out of balance if there are not enough antioxidants (substances that react with free radicals, neutralising them) in the system, leading to a situation known as "oxidative stress". In this state, there is more damage being done to cells than the body can cope with and the end result is disease. Oxidative stress has been linked to everything from heart disease to cancer.

What causes Oxidative stress?
There are many causes of oxidative stress in the body, from ionising radiation (x-rays, over exposure to strong sunlight) and toxic chemicals (commonly found in everyday cleaning products , cosmetics and some foods) to dietary deficiencies. Dietary causes include both consumption of the wrong things - refined sugar and flour, foods high in nitrites (such as bacon and sausages) and virtually all prepared foods, as well as lack of consumption of natural foods like fruits and vegetables, which contain natural antioxidants.

Common dietary causes of free radicals
  • Refined sugar
  • Refined flour and other grain products (corn, pasta)
  • Food additives
  • Prepared foods (high in both sugar and preservatives)
  • Mouldy foods
  • Foods cured in nitrites (bacon, sausages, salami etc)
  • Foods high in pesticides (non-organic produce)
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils, margerine etc
Commonly ignored foods that protect against free radical damage or are better than their "synthetic" counterparts, above.
  • Whole, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Natural vegetable oils (olive oil, flax seed oil)
  • Dairy products (butter, cheese)
  • Limited amounts of raw cane sugar and wholegrain (including wheatgerm) flour.
  • Fresh, organic, grass-fed meats (beef, lamb)
  • Using antioxidants to prevent (and recover from disease)

Antioxidants, however, are not all the same. Some last for longer than others in the body, meaning that they have to be consumed less often, whilst different antioxidant molecules are more or less effective against specific free radical molecules. Review the different types of antioxidants and their effects here.

So how do you choose an antioxidant?

The simple answer is "more is better". Most modern antioxidant preparations contain a vairety of compounds which have different effects and durations. These preparations are known as "broad spectrum" antioxidants as they give an array of different protective properties against a variety of radicals. Unless you are specifically trying to act against one particular radical, a "broad spectrum" antioxidant is likely to be the best choice for you.

There are also some modern preparations of antioxidants that provide intensive, high dose antioxidant therapy for people whose needs are either specific or immediate. Such products tend to offer a variety of antioxidant compounds, and some even claim to overcome the traditional limitation of "1 antioxidant molecule to 1 free radical" by employing "cascading" systems of antioxidants, which free up the more powerful molecules so that they can "catch" one free radical after another over a prolonged time frame.

Nutritional Supplements

what are they, how do they work and how do you choose them?
Nutritional supplements are without a doubt one of the most easily accessible and also one of the most confusing aspects of natural health. Manufacturers of nutritional supplements often blind us with science and scientific (or pseudo-scientific) names. Here we summarise the different types of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutritional supplements, so that you can both understand what they do and why they are necessary for healthy living.

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Why do we need nutritional supplements or food supplements?
Since the 1920s, Western Governments have known that the majority of our food crops have been grown on mineral-depleted soils, which makes them not only more susceptible to plant diseases and insect attack, but also nutritionally fairly worthless.

In addition to this, animal feeds have changed from the natural foods they eat in the wild to highly processed, chemical laden concoctions that are designed to maximise growth rate, muscle mass and therefore value whilst minimising cost and the time it takes to turn them into a healthy profit. The result is meat that is dangerously high in chemicals and totally lacking in the natural nutritional elements that have kept us healthy for so long (until the 20th century!).

If this weren't bad enough, the modern reliance on pharmaceutical medicine to remove all symptoms of disease instantly has led us away from the traditional cures that sought to replace what was missing in the body. Indeed, many modern drugs, such as diuretics actually make us lose the very minerals we require for health at an increased rate.

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As a consequence, virtually everyone in the Western World (many "primitive cultures" are much better nourished than we are) needs to supplement their diet to a greater or lesser extent. the most commonl types of nutritional supplements fall into the following categories:-

Types of Nutritional Supplements

Essential fatty acids
Plant extracts
Trace elements

Glycemic Index

All carbohydrates increase blood sugar levels (and so have a glycemic index) and therefore cause insulin to be released from the pancreas in order to control the amount of glucose in the blood. The more glucose that has been made available in the blood, the more insulin is released to control it. The relative effciency with which carbohydrates do this is known as the glycemic index.The importance of the glycemic index is that it predicts how much insulin will be released and therefore, how the body will respond. For example metabolise fat (use it for fuel - low glycemic index) or store excess energy as fat (high glycemic index).

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This happens in two ways.

Firstly, the presence of insulin (high glycemic index) instructs the liver that energy requirements are more than being met by current food intake, so the breakdown of fat to provide energy from body stores is unnecessary. Therefore, insulin (and so high glycemic index) stops the body from burning fat for energy.

Secondly, and at the same time, excess sugar in the blood is quickly targeted to be stored for later energy requirements and is converted to fat. So, insulin ( and high glycemic index) also causes the body to store more fat.

If the blood sugar level remains high, i.e. with really high glycemic index foods, more insulin is released in an effort to reduce it.

From these two very simple rules, it should be easy to see that any high glycemic index food that causes sudden increases in blood sugar and therefore massive release of insulin is likely to lead to increased fat production and storage.

Not surprisingly, therefore, people who eat a lot of sugary foods and other foods with a high glycemic index, such as refined flour, potatoes, white rice and cereal-based foods are more likely to retain fat than those that don't. Unfortunately, this is exactly what we are told to do by modern medicine and Government, who clearly have no idea about weight control.

The following table gives an indication of the relative glycemic index of various foods.

Glycemic index of popular foods

glycemic index
glycemic index
glycemic index
Maltose (beer)*Rye bread (crispbread)Oatmeal porridge
Cooked parsnipsMuesli (no sugar)Wholewheat pasta
Cooked carrotsBrown riceSweet potato
White RiceCooked beetsDried Peas
Biscuits / cookiesGarden peasApples
Baked potatoBoiled potatoPears
Cornflakes / cerealWholewheat breadWhole milk
BagelsCorn, polentaKidney beans
White BreadSultanas / raisinsLentils
Corn chipsOrange juiceSoybeans
MangoesOatmeal biscuits / cookiesHigh water content fruits (melon etc)
Ripe bananasWhite pastaApple juice
PapayaBuckwheatblack-eye peas
Rice cakesPinto beansGreen vegetables

*the Glycemic index of Maltose is actually higher than that of glucose. i.e. malt and it's products (like beer) actually stimulate more insulin release than pure sugar!

What is clear from this table is that different varieties of similar foods have different effects. For example, boiled potatoes have a lower Glycemic index than baked potatoes and wholewheat varieties of bread and pasta are much better than their white counterparts. This effect on glycemic index is explained below.

The effect of eating high glycemic index foods consistently is to lead to constantly high insulin levels. In this situation, the body becomes accustomed to these high insulin levels and starts to respond to them less effectively over time. As high glycemic index foods are eaten further, this progresses, more and more insulin is required to have the same effect on the tissues. This phenomenon is known as insulin resistance, and is the first step towardsdiabetes.

The glycemic index situation is made worse if the body has insufficientchromium. Chromium helps insulin to exert its effect on the tissues, encouraging sugar uptake and thereby reducing blood sugar. In the absence of chromium, insulin is much less effective, sugar levels stay high and MORE insulin is secreted in an effort to control them

The Good News

Thankfully, it is not all bad news. Whilst It is best to avoid foods with a high

glycemic index, they often have direct alternatives with a moderate or even low glycemic index. This is because the insulin-stimulating effect of carbohydrates is greatly reduced in the presence of fibre, as found in some fruits and the wheatgerm present in whole wheat. This moderates the insulin response, spreading out the absorption of carbohydrate over a prolonged timespan and so reduces the amount of insulin released (lower glycemic index.

In addition, the use of chromium supplements makes insulin's job easier, helping reduce blood glucose (and therefore insulin) to normal levels.

In this way, the effect of brown rice and wholewheat alternatives to white flour products is much lower, and therefore much less detrimental to health. This is why it is best to ALWAYS use wholewheat / wholegrain versions of these foods, with a lower glycemic index.

Glycemic Index, Insulin resistance and diabetes.

Whilst diabetes is discussed elsewhere on this site, it is worth touching here on the role of insulin resistance in the development of the disease.

Diabetes is the inability of the body to produce enough insulin to control blood sugar. As a consequence, those who suffer from diabetes suffer from a number of problems related to the massive spikes of sugar immediately following a meal and subsequent troughs in between meals, which, if unchecked can lead very quickly to coma and death.

It has long been known that frank diabetes is often, indeed usually preceded by a period of insulin resistance, in which, as described above, more and more insulin is released with each subsequent dose of high glycemic index carbohydrate in order to overcome the increasing insensitivity of the tissues to insulin's "demands".

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Eventually, the body reaches a stage where, no matter how much insulin is produced, the tissues no longer respond and blood sugar remains unchecked. In such a situation, the pancreas can "give up" completely, and all insulin secretion may stop. Whether this happens or not, diabetes is the result, and huge doses of insulin are required to be injected to overcome the problem, regardless of glycemic index. Needless to say, the high insulin levels mean that many diabetics are overweight. This adds further stress to the system.

Prior to this "end stage" diabetes, there is much to be gained from limiting the intake of high (and even medium) Glycemic index foods (not just sugar, as advised by medicine) and taking an appropriate dose of chromium supplements to make the existing insulin more effective.

Weight management foods

How to control weight permanently without constant dieting
Weight control has been one of the major health concerns of the Western World for many years. Obesity in the UK is fast approaching approaching the chart-topping statistics of the USA and it's not just the adults that are getting bigger - child weight management is an increasing worry.

All this is happening despite the concentration on high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein diets which we are told are required for weight management. In fact, the rate of increase is accelerating, suggesting that this might not be the best way to control weight at all.

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Macronutrients - Carbohydrate, protein & fat

Everyone has heard of the concept of a "balanced diet" and most of this probably try, in at least some ways to achieve this. Unfortunately, there is no universal agreement on what the balance should be, and it is probable that the overemphasis on low-fat (a product of the cholesterol myth) is, at least in part, responsible.

In both the USA and UK, dieticians propose diets that get most of their energy from carbohydrates, although the proportions vary. The realities are somewhat different. In the UK the average diet gets about 44% of energy from fat, 15% from protein and 41% from carbohydrate. In the USA, the figures are 48% fat, and 26% each for protein and carbohydrates.

This as if the diets of the two countries are very high-fat, but when you consider that fat metabolism produces twice as much energy per gram as either carbohydrate or protein, fat content of the diet appears much lower.

Clearly, the diets proposed by Government are not working. What is needed is a simple, long-term solution, free from vested interests and dogma.

The difference between diet and dieting.

Dieting, or the temporary change in what we eat in order to fulfil a specific objective over a given timeframe, has been the mainstay of weight control for so long that it is difficult to believe it will not continue indefinitely. Apart from the fact that many diets are unpalatable, restrictive, unpleasant or downright dangerous, those who follow a prescribed diet for a few days, weeks or months invariably return to their old habits again afterwards - that is human nature. Diets don't work in the long term!

Returning to your previous diet means that you will return to your previous shape / size weight - there is no getting away from it. The only way to overcome this, therefore, is to make a complete and permanent change to the things that you eat. This, in turn, can only be achieved if the food you are to eat is attractive, tasty, varied and enjoyable as well as being nutritious.

Thankfully, this is not hard to achieve, but before we propose the right way to achieve it, we must first consider what is is that's wrong with the Western diet.

Carbohydrate craziness.

For many years, dieticians and their ilk have insisted that the ideal diet is high in carbohydrates. Whilst, in general, most fruits and vegetables are (when grown on soil that has not been depleted of its minerals or chemically poisoned) both tasty and nutritious, most people don't think of these as carbohydrates and instead think of pasta, bread, potatoes and rice - commonly known as "complex carbohydrates".

As we have shown, these foods are high glycaemic index (GI) foods, meaning that they readily convert to blood sugar and stimulate the release of insulin, which both stops fat metabolism and encourages fat storage. this situation is made much worse in the absence of sufficient chromium, which helps insulin to encourage sugar uptake by the tissues, so reducing blood sugar. Lack of chromium is known to be one of the risk factors of developing diabetes.

Note - the body is stimulated to store fat not by eating fat, but by eating high GI carbohydrates. This is the principle contributor to obesity on both the USA and Britain, not least because many people rely these days on fast food and prepared meals, which not only contain high GI foods, but also sugar and trans fats, which we will deal with next.

One of the best ways to counter this is to convert to a low grain or no-grain diet.

Margarine kills - stick to butter!

In addition to eating the wrong type of carbohydrates, many people also eat not only too little fat, but the wrong kind of fat.

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Fats derived from animals are not only completely natural, they have been part of our diet for millennia. Many of the "unsaturated" fats sold nowadays, however, have only been in existence for a few decades and are not natural at all. Top of this list are the trans-fats that are produced when making hydrogenated vegetable oils.

These trans-fats, created by the very people who started the cholesterol myth, have been directly linked to both heart disease and cancer, which cannot be shown for animal fats. In fact, when proper grass-fed meat is consumed (grain-fed meat has different nutritional values), we gain many benefits other than just the protein and fat content, including vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

The fats most often missing from the diet are often the most important. In a recent study, over 25% of all Americans tested had so little omega-3 fatty acid in their blood that it was undetectable, despite the fact that this essential fatty acid is one of the main components of the brain and nerves among many other cellular functions.



Also known as Dillweed and Dillseed. From the family Umbelliferae.
A native of southern Europe and western Asia, dill grows wild in the cornfields of Mediterranean countries and also in North and South America. The generic name 'Anethum' derives from the Greek 'Anethon'. 'Dill' is said to come from the Anglo-Saxon 'dylle' or the Norse 'dilla', meaning to soothe or lull. Dill was found amongst the names of herbs used by Egyptian doctors 5.000 years ago and the remains of the plant have been found in the ruins of Roman buildings in Britain.

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It is mentioned in the Gospel of St Matthew, where it is suggested that herbs were of sufficient value to be used as a tax payment -oh that that were true today! Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pa) tithe of mint and dill and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law.

During the Middle Ages dill was prized as protection against witchcraft. While magicians used it in their spells, lesser mortals infused it in wine to enhance passion. It was once an important medicinal herb for treating coughs and headaches, as an ingredient of ointments and for (aiming infants with whooping cough - dill water or gripe water is so-called upon today. Early settlers took dill to North America, where it came- to be known as the Meeting House Seed", because the children were given it to chew during long sermons to prevent them feeling hungry.


Anethum graveolens


Annual. Hi 60-150cm (2-5ft) spread 30cm (12in). Tiny yellow/green flowers in flattened umbel clusters in summer. Fine aromatic feathery green leaves.




Seed can be started in early spring under cover, using pots or plug trays. Do not use seed trays, as it dues mil like being transplanted, and if it gets upset it will bolt and miss out the leaf-producing stage.

The seeds are easy to handle, being a good size. Place 4 per plug or evenly spaced on the surface of a pot, and cover with Perlite. Germination lakes 2-4 weeks, depending on the warmth of the surrounding area. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, the air and soil temperatures have ailed in rise and there is no threat of frost, plain out 28cm (9in) apart.

Garden Cultivation

Keep dill plants well away from fennel, otherwise they will cross pollinate and their individual flavors will become muddled. Dill prefers a well-drained, poor soil in nil sun. Sow mid-spring into shallow drills on a prepared site, where they will be harvested. Protect from wind. When the plants are large enough to handle, thin out to a distance of 20cm (8in) to give plenty of room for growth. Make several small sowings in succession so that you have a supply of fresh leaves throughout the summer. The seed is viable for 3 years.

The plants are rather fragile, and it may be necessary to provide support. Twigs pushed into the ground around the plant and enclosed with siring or raffia will give better results than attempting to stake each plant individually.

In very hoi summers, make sine that the plants are watered regularly or they will run to seed. There is no need to liquid feed, as this only promotes soft growth and in turn encourages pests and disease

Pests and Diseases

Watch out for greenfly in crowded conditions. Treat with a liquid horticultural soap if necessary. Be warned slugs love dill plants.


Spring: Sow the seeds successively for a leaf crop.
Summer: Feed plants with a liquid fertilizer after cutting to promote new growth.
Autumn {early): Harvest seeds.
Winter: Dig up all remaining plains. Make sine all the seed heads have been removed before you compost the stalks, as the seed is viable for 3 years. If you leave the plants to self-seed they certainly will, and they will live up to their oilier name of Dill weed.


Pick leaves fresh for eating at any time after the plant has reached maturity. Since it is quick-growing, this can be within 8 weeks of the first sowing.

Although leaves can be dried, great care is needed and it is better to concentrate on drying linseed for storage.

Cut the stalks off the flower heads when the seed is beginning to ripen. Put the seed heads upside down in a paper bag and tie the top of the bag. Put in a warm place for a week. The seeds should then separate easily from the husk when rubbed in the palm of the hand. Store in an airtight container and the seeds will keep their flavor very well.

Container growing

Dill can be grown in containers, in a sheltered corner with plenty of sun. However, it will need staking. The art of growing it successfully is to keep cutting the plant for use in the kitchen. That way you will promote new growth and keep the plant reasonably compact. The drawback is that it will be fairly short-lived, so you will have to do successive sowings in different pots to maintain a supply. I do not recommend growing dill indoors - it will get leggy, soft and prone to disease.


Dill is an antispasmodic and calmative. Dill tea or water is a popular remedy for an upset stomach, hiccups or insomnia, for nursing mothers to promote the How of milk, and as an appetite stimulant. It is a constituent of gripe water and other children's medicines because of its ability to ease flatulence and colic.


Dill is a culinary herb that improves the appetite and digestion. The difference between dill leaf and dill seed lies in the degree of pungency. There are occasions when the seed is better because of its sharper flavor. It is used as a flavoring for soup, lamb stews and grilled or boiled fish. It can also add spiciness to rice dishes, and be combined with white wine vinegar to make dill vinegar.

Dill leaf can be used generously in many dishes, as it enhances rather than dominates the flavor of food.

Before it sets seed, add one flowering head to a jar of pickled gherkins, cucumbers and cauliflowers for a flavor stronger than dill leaves but fresher than seeds. In America these are known as dill pickles.


Salmon marinaded with dill

This is a traditional Scandinavian dish of great simplicity and great merit. Salmon treated in this way will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

420-800g (1 1/2-2lb) salmon, middle cut or tail piece
1 heaped tablespoon sea salt
1 rounded tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
1 heaped tablespoon fresh dill

Have the salmon cleaned, scaled, bisected lengthways and filleted. Mix remaining ingredients together and put some of the mixture into a flat dish (glass or enamel) large enough to take the salmon. Place one piece of salmon skin side down on the bottom of the dish, spread more of the mixture over the cut side. Add the second piece of salmon, skin up, and pour over the remaining mixture. Cover with foil and place a plate or wooden board larger than the area of the salmon on top. Weigh this down with weights or heavy cans. Put in the refrigerator for 36-72 hours. Turn the fish completely every 12 hours or so and baste (inside surfaces too) with the juices.

To serve, scrape off all the mixture, pat the fish dry and slice thinly and at an angle. Serve with buttered rye bread and a mustard sauce called Gravlaxsas:

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4 tablespoons mild, ready-made Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Mix all the above together, then slowly add 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil until you have a sauce the consistency of mayonnaise. Finally stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons of chopped dill.
Alternatively, substitute a mustard and dill mayonnaise.

Other uses

Where a salt-free diet must be followed, the seed, whole or ground, is a valuable replacement. Try chewing the seeds to clear up halitosis and sweeten the breath. Crush and infuse seeds to make a nail-strengthening bath.