Diabetes, Almond Milk & Yogurt

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Linda asks:

I have a question about almond milk. Is it bad for you? I’ve been told by many people to eat yogurt to get good bacteria in you.

So, Linda, is almond milk bad for you? Well, if you make almond milk yourself, it can be a really great thing. It’s really difficult to make, though. You have to peel the almonds and then blend them up. It’s really kind of challenging to make real raw almond milk. They have almond milk in the stores. Unfortunately, it’s a processed food. There are some good brands, but most often you’re having almonds that have first been boiled and then they’ve been blended into some kind of milk and then they’ve also been bleached, and then there’s some kind of sugar added, even if it’s a cane sugar or natural sugar. It’s not really an amazing food. It’s pretty tasty stuff, it tastes great. There’s some interesting properties about almonds. They’ve got a lot of protein, some good fat and some good calcium.

But if you’re going to do almond milk, I would make it yourself. I don’t know why, especially in the U.S., we Americans have this obsession with milks for breakfast and everybody wants to know what kind of milk should you have, what kind of this, what kind of milk, and there is another option, which is don’t drink milk. It’s not a bad option for a lot of people. If you’re someone who does great with dairy, by all means, if you can get access to a good dairy and it works for you, but not drinking milk is totally fine. It’s totally possible, and you don’t necessarily have to have the soy milks or sesame milks or almond milks.

In a lot of cases, if you stop drinking anything except green juices, for a lot of people, they find that it’s a really healthy alternative. What I find is, with all these milk substitutes, what people really are looking for is something new to put on their breakfast cereal, and no matter what you pour on your breakfast cereal, it’s kind of a bad breakfast. So, get away from the cereal. The milk isn’t the worst culprit there; it’s the cereal itself.

Sorry, I took you on a little tangent there, Linda, but in terms of eating yogurt, there are some good yogurts now that actually do have live bacteria in them. That said, probably 99 percent of the yogurts you’ll find in the world are dead. The bacteria has been killed, they’ve been pasteurized. You can make yogurt at home. It’s really, really easy. It takes about 12 hours, you set it and forget and you wake up in the morning and it’s ready. If you’ve never made your own yogurt, go for it. You can make dairy-alternative yogurts as well. They’re a little bit more tricky, but you can do it, and there’s no reason not to. That’s the best way. But if you’re buying store-bought yogurts, there’s probably not a whole lot of bacteria left in them. Most of it’s been killed off in the pasteurization process.

Valerie asks:

I was wondering, what is the inspiration behind the Vinyasa Flow yoga? Is it Ashtanga, Anusara, etc?

So, it’s a great question, Valerie. You’ll hear lots of different terms in yoga studios, like Vinyasa, flow yoga, power yoga, all these different names for basically dynamic, athletic styles of yoga. Almost all of them are derived from Ashtanga, Vinyasa yoga that came out of my source in India, from a teacher called Sri. K Pattabhi Jois, who passed away in 2009. A very, very influential yoga teacher and yoga series and it’s pretty much the foundation behind any flowing Vinyasa, dynamic breath movement series that you’ll find all over the world. Everything that I teach that’s dynamic is completely, completely derivative from Ashtanga yoga. So, hope that’s helpful.

Lee asks:

Before I try out The Noodle pose, I’d like to check with you, what should be the proper way to do it be? Where should be the “pivot point” be when I lie on the chair? Upper back or middle?

So, a Noodle is a gravity pose we teach over a chair. You can do it on a fitness ball, but you need a really big one. We were actually doing it last weekend over a piece of furniture, like a TV stand loaded up with pillows and it actually worked really well.

Basically, what you want is a square-shaped something or other. You load it up with pillows so it becomes rounded and just flop your body over it. Lee, the best thing is, don’t over think it too much. Just use a lot of padding. So put a whole bunch of pillows on it and just wiggle. The truth is, you can do the pose in a few different places, as long as the edge of the chair is not digging into your back it’s going to be comfortable. What you’re looking for is a big, round arch. You don’t want to feel like there’s a hinge anywhere, where you’re getting caught on the chair.

And you can try different things, too. Like I said, if the chairs you have in your house don’t work quite right, you can try an exercise ball. Just make sure you have a big enough one. You should feel a stretch all throughout your back, including your shoulders.

Joy asks:

My daughter, now 40, was in an auto accident 8 years ago and was disabled. She uses an electric wheelchair but she can walk with a cane. She has gained a lot of weight in about 6 months and was diagnosed with diabetes. She keeps it under control with diet and meds, but about a month ago she decided to go “wheat-free” and that has seemed to help her quite a bit. Is there any program that would benefit her?

This is a fantastic question. So, diabetes is a huge problem and doesn’t matter if you’re in a wheelchair, not in a wheelchair. Insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and diabetes is pandemic right now. There’s a couple of guys I can refer you to. The one who does the most interesting work, in my opinion, is Dr. Mark Hyman, and his website, I don’t know where it is, but I’ll put it in the show notes here. He’s got a whole bunch of books, but The Blood Sugar Solution is his most recent book, and I just read it and I’m recommending it to everyone. It’s an excellent book.

Going wheat free is definitely helpful. Wheat is converted into sugar, which can lead to insulin resistance and aggravate diabetes, for sure. I’m not a doctor, not an expert in diabetes, but I do a ton of research on blood sugar and diabetes, and so that’s the doctor I’d refer you to, is Dr. Mark Hyman. Take a look at what he’s doing.

Also, we sell a DVD called Simply Raw. It’s about reversing diabetes using raw food. Now, for most people, that’s too extreme, but it’s a very, very good benchmark to take a look and say, okay, wow, these people can do this in two weeks. What happens if over the next two years I start to move away from the starchy, processed sugary foods and just move towards a plant-based diet? Really, really emotional film as well. It’s called Simply Raw. We have it in our store, and it’s something we haven’t promoted recently but we should promote again because it’s fantastic. So, I hope that’s helpful, Joy.

Lee asks:

I have tight calves, along with everything else. Which poses will help loosen them up?

Lee, Wide Dog is a pose that we teach, and you can do One-Legged Wide Dog, where you stick one leg way high up in the air while you’re in Downward Facing Dog. And you want to hold this for a good long time. It will be really uncomfortable, but try to hold it for three to five minutes-plus.

Amy Joe asks:

I have two large pine trees in my backyard that the yoga trapeze would hang from. (If you don’t know, the yoga trapeze is our inversion device that we sell. It’s really fun.) It would fit nicely between the trees, but there’s no limbs to hang them on. We live on a lake, so it would look very nice hanging up there. Any suggestions on how to get it hung outside?

Okay, so we’ve got two trees and she’s trying to hang the trapeze between them, but there’s no limbs to hang them on. That’s a difficult one, Amy. The only way that I’ve seen this done is you take a bar, like a thick pipe, like a steel pipe, and you would have to tether that to each of the trees, to make a bar going across, just like you would if you were building a tree house or something like that. A 2×4 might work, it might look a little better, but probably want something stronger like a steel pipe.

And from there, it’d be very, very simple. So if you have a way to tether a steel pipe between those trees, you might be able to latch it on, just with some strong rope. That might be a way to go.

Do you think taking YOGABODY Stretch supplement will help my tendonitis heal faster? I’ve had tendonitis for two months now and probably would be healing faster if I actually rested it sooner and kept going to yoga, because it didn’t hurt that bad yet.

That’s for sure true. Amy, I always say this, but most serious injuries are actually re-injuries, and that first injury warning sign we ignored, and I’m as guilty of doing this as anybody, but it’s always something to keep in mind. YOGABODY Stretch might help. Methylsulfonylmethane, which is MSM, is one of the key ingredients and it has anti-inflammatory and healing properties for your body’s tissues. Not guaranteed to help you, but it could be very helpful for you. Wishing you a speedy recovery.