Don't Wait for a 'Reason' to Pay Attention to What You're Eating

We've now learned very clearly that we can't blame our 'genes' for our current or future health.  What we are doing right now will decide our health in the next 5, 10, or 20 years. This isn't some mystical, vaguely probable statement.

What you are eating, and how you are living right now WILL determine if you live a healthy life or not... and could determine how long you live.

Growing up in a Mediterranean country influenced my eating preferences in such a way that I consumed more veggies and grains than the Average American. If there wasn't' a protein, a carb, a veggie dish and a salad at the table, my table was not complete. I did indulge in sweets, ate a lot of cheese and yogurt, and occasionally would include fried foods to my diet.

As I got older I tried to curb the sweets and fried foods.  I have never been into rigorous exercise, preferring walks and dancing. Then stress took over for a few years.  I got divorced, lost a sister to cancer, a brother in law two years later, got laid off after 14 1/2 years, and opened a Cafe in 2010 that needed my full-time presence 6 days a week.

A life lesson awaited me. I no longer have the luxury of dilly-dallying about what I should or shouldn't eat.  It's all very clear, very black and white.  I don't cheat because I can't afford to. My food, like your food, is my medicine.

Had I been on my current diet all those years, and taken the right supplements, I feel in my heart that I would have avoided this specific experience.  The lesson would have come packaged some other way.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the learning and tremendous eye-opening experience. It has now given me the ability to be of service to others going through Cancer, or wanting to do whatever it takes to help prevent it. A gift.

But please don't wait to have such a reason to take a good look at what you eat, and what your diet may be doing to your body and immune system.

“The amount of antioxidants that you maintain in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.” -  Richard Cutler M.D., Director Anti-Aging Research, National Institute of Health (NIH).

We know the things that lower our Antioxidant levels, and hence our immune system's ability to fight disease:

  1. Smoking
  2. Stress
  3. Foods high in fat
  4. All simple carbs (flour, sugar, white potatoes, etc..)
  5. Inflammation
  6. Exercise (you need more antioxidants than the average person if you exercise regularly)

7. Exposure to toxins

“Scientists now believe that free radicals are causal factors in nearly every known disease, from heart disease to arthritis to cancer to cataracts.  In fact, free radicals are a major culprit in the aging process itself.  By controlling free radicals, antioxidants can make the difference between life and death, as well as influence how fast and how well we age.”- Lester Packer, Ph. D.- Head of the Packer labs at the University of California at Berkeley.  Dr. Packer, author of The Antioxidant Miracle, is regarded as the world’s foremost antioxidant research scientist.

If you are not including 6 - 7 servings of a large variety of organic high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, limiting fats and protein, and avoiding simple carbs entirely, you are not reaching the optimal disease prevention state of health.

This may sound like a tall order, and because I know there may be days when I may not reach my goal, I take bio-available, pharmaceutical grade supplements that support my antioxidant and essential vitamin levels. 

There was a time when humans ate to live. Those days are gone for most of us. Unfortunately, we've taken the 'eating for pleasure' too far. We are now surrounded by foods and food products that have very little to do with nutrition and good health. We are lured to create recipes that tantalize our taste buds and deal our bodies bolts of stress and inflammation.

Sugar, cream, butter, white flour, vegetable oils, frying, meats, canned foods, preservatives, food coloring... all stress the body, all lower antioxidant levels.

“Antioxidants can cut your risk of heart disease up to 70%, diabetes 40%, lung cancer 30%, and breast cancer 20% studies show. Many leading authorities now urge all adults to take a daily supplement."  USA Today, January 18th, 2004.

Don't wait for symptoms to make a change, don't wait for a call from your doctor with test results, make the choice to eat your way to good health now.

I live what I preach

Please make the decision to start the path to optimal health today.  This website is dedicated to helping you do so. Every recipe here follows the optimal disease prevention diet.

If you decide you need help of any kind, contact me. Whether it's meal planning, supplement questions or recipe requests!

Is your good health worth the sacrifice of convenience, habit and indulgence?

 

Blood Sugar and Weight Loss Support in a Bean?

A friend of mine told me about green coffee bean extract a few weeks ago, and I have finally found a minute to do a little research. My sister who lives in London, and my older brother both have Type II Diabetes.  I am always looking for natural ways one can keep blood sugar levels in line, because sometimes we all cheat on our diets!

I posted the list of Foods that Help Lower Blood Sugar, so add this to them.

I don't subscribe to TV, but I understand Dr. Oz had a show on the benefits of Green Coffee Bean extract. After doing a little digging here's what  found:

Green coffee bean extract is a powerful anti-oxidant

Friday, May 18, 2012 by: Dr. David Jockers

There are two major types of coffee plants; Arabica and Robusta. The highest quality green coffee bean extract comes from the Arabica plant which is higher in the polyphenol anti-oxidants chlorogenic and caffeic acids. The majority of coffee drinkers are missing out on much of the benefits that coffee contains. The deep roasting process significantly reduces the anti-oxidant content.

Additionally, coffee is one of the most widely pesticide/herbicide sprayed crops in the world. Studies have shown over 1000 toxic chemicals in roasted coffee. It is essential to use organic coffee that is free of these dangerous chemicals that mimic hormones, congest our liver, kidneys and bowels and promote cancer growth.

Another powerful carcinogen is produced when high temperature cooking (baking, frying & roasting) damages sugars which then interact with the amino acid asparagine. This chemical reaction creates the potent carcinogen acrylamide. Instant and deeply roasted coffee has been shown to have significantly more acrylamide than brewed coffee.

There are many great health benefits associated with coffee consumption. A recent 2011 study indicated that individuals who consumed the most coffee had the lowest risk of type II diabetes. The researchers found that the chlorogenic acid reduces the release and creation of excess glucose in the body.

Blood sugar balance

Blood sugar balance is an absolutely critical measure of healthy aging in the body. Too much sugar and grains in the diet will lead to blood sugar imbalances. The body then goes through spirals of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. These blood sugar imbalances cause inflammation in the body that damage hormonal control systems, organs, and immune function.

Glucose overload is another major cause of blood sugar imbalances.  The common sign of this is elevated fasting blood sugar levels. At night, the individual has elevated glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) enzyme activity that causes an elevated release of blood sugar from the muscle and liver. The body is basically eating these tissues.

The latest evidence shows that healthy fasting blood sugar ranges are between 65-85 mg/DL. Meanwhile, post meal ranges (2 hrs after) should never go above 120 mg/dL. When levels test higher it is a clear indication of oxidative stress damaging cells and tissues of the body.

The major anti-oxidant in green coffee bean extract, chlorogenic acid, has been shown to profoundly inhibit the release of the G6P enzyme which significantly stabilizes blood sugar levels. In one clinical study a dose of 400mg of green coffee bean extract showed a 32% reduction in the post meal blood glucose spike. This translates into someone who would have an extremely dangerous 160mg/dL blood sugar level down to a safe post-meal level of 109mg/dL

Stable blood sugar allows for better energy, mental clarity, hormone function, detoxification capabilities and weight loss. Raw green coffee bean extract along with other superfoods such as cacao and cinnamon all show great results in stabilizing blood sugar and improving overall bodily functions. The combination of these three also synergizes to create even greater effects in the body.

Due to the diuretic effects of caffeine in the coffee it is necessary to consume extra water. The water should ideally be from a natural spring or have gone through a deep filtration process to remove environmental toxins.

Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171062 http://greencoffeebeanbenefits.com/

And a second reference that states:

There are many reasons you may not be losing weight. If you started lifting weights, then chances are you are building muscle, which would negate any fat loss. This is good because muscle burns more calories than fat, so chances are you’ll see nice weight loss results down the road.

Second, if you do not sleep enough or aren’t eating enough, your body’s metabolism will slow down, negating the powerful weight loss properties of green coffee extract. Women should eat at least 1,200 calories per day and men should eat at least 1,500 calories per day.

Third and finally, the most likely culprit is that you’re still eating too much. Studies have shown that humans tend to under-estimate their caloric intakes by 25-40% on a normal basis. Therefore, you could be eating 300-600 calories more per day then you think you are.

Another likely culprit for overeating is due to emotional eating. Dr. Oz recently tackled this problem that affects a large percentage of the population. You see, when we are sad our dopamine levels are significantly lower. To increase these pleasure chemicals in our body, we eat junk foods, which have chemicals designed to increase these dopamine levels.

To combat this, Dr. Oz recommends taking saffron extract,  a natural extract from a flower grown in tropical regions. Saffron extract replaces the dopamine levels you are lacking, which prevents you from snacking on unhealthy foods.

Source:
WebMD article: Green Coffee Beans May Aid Weight Loss (click on Title).

CAUTION: If you have hypertension, or a medical condition that cautions against the consumption of Caffeine, do not take this product.  Always check with your doctor before starting any Supplement.

~ Be Well!

When Supplements Become Dangerous

It's important to remember that Supplements are powerful, which is why we take them of course. But what we don't often think about is their potential interaction with prescription medications we are also taking.  Based on the meds I am taking, my MD probably couldn't tell me what Supplements to avoid, unless they were obvious ones. Do your research!

Supplements can increase the effect of some medications or inhibit the effectiveness of others. They may interact in a way that is less than desirable, so it's important to tell you doctor when you are thinking of adding supplements, and if she/he isn't sure about interactions, turn to the a reliable internet source, or better yet, an Anthroposophic or CAM practitioner.

Based on an article I read in an AARP publication, I did a little more research and am going to list some common Supplements and possible interactions here.

Aloe

Aloe Vera

Major interaction: Digoxin (Lanoxin)

When taken by mouth, aloe latex is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).
Taken orally, aloe vera may also interact with blood sugar-lowering medicine used to treat Diabetes.

Bitter Orange

This supplement contains chemicals that can speed heart rate and increase blood pressure to dangerous levels.

  • There have been reports of fainting, heart attack, and stroke in healthy people after taking bitter orange supplements alone or combined with caffeine. People should avoid taking bitter orange supplements if they have a heart condition or high blood pressure, or if they are taking medications (such as MAO inhibitors), caffeine, or other herbs/supplements that speed up the heart rate.
  • Due to lack of safety evidence, pregnant women or nursing mothers should avoid products that contain bitter orange.
  • Bitter orange oil used on the skin may increase the risk of sunburn, particularly in light-skinned people

GinkgoGingko Biloba

Ginkgo biloba interactions include bleeding when combined with Warfarin, raised blood pressure when combined with a Thiazide diuretic and coma when combined with the anti-depressant Trazodone (Desyrel, Oleptro, Beneficat, Deprax, Desirel, Molipaxin, Thombran, Trazorel, Trialodine, Trittico, and Mesyre).

Ginseng

Major Interaction: Warfarin (Coumadin)

Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. American ginseng has been reported to decrease the effectiveness of Warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. Do not take American ginseng if you take warfarin (Coumadin).

Moderate Interaction: Medications for depression (MAOIs) and Anti-diabetes drugs

American ginseng might stimulate the body. Some medications used for depression can also stimulate the body. Taking American ginseng along with these medications used for depression might cause side effects such as anxiousness, headache, restlessness, and insomnia.  Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.

American ginseng might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking American ginseng along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. Medication dose might need to be changed.  Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Kava

In March 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory to consumers of the potential risk of severe liver injury from the use of dietary supplements containing kava (also known as kava kava or Piper methysticum). Reports from health authorities in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom have linked kava use to at least 25 cases of liver toxicity, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver failure, prompting some of these countries to remove kava from the market.

Avoid driving and operating heavy machinery while taking kava because the herb has been reported to cause drowsiness.

Licorice Root

  • In large amounts, licorice containing glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and low potassium levels, which could lead to heart problems. DGL products are thought to cause fewer side effects.
  • The safety of using licorice as a supplement for more than 4 to 6 weeks has not been thoroughly studied.
  • Taking licorice together with diuretics (water pills), corticosteroids, or other medicines that reduce the body’s potassium levels could cause dangerously low potassium levels.
  • People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about using licorice.
  • When taken in large amounts, licorice can affect the body’s levels of a hormone called cortisol and related steroid drugs, such as prednisone.
  • Pregnant women should avoid using licorice as a supplement or consuming large amounts of licorice as food, as some research suggests it could increase the risk of preterm labor.

Melatonin

Major Interaction: Sedative medications (CNS depressants)

Melatonin might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking melatonin along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

Moderate Interaction: 

Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs)

The body makes melatonin. Birth control pills seem to increase how much melatonin the body makes. Taking melatonin along with birth control pills might cause too much melatonin to be in the body. Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.
Caffeine
Caffeine might decrease melatonin levels in the body. Taking melatonin along with caffeine might decrease the effectiveness of melatonin supplements.
Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
Taking fluvoxamine (Luvox) can increase the amount of melatonin that the body absorbs. Taking melatonin along with fluvoxamine (Luvox) might increase the effects and side effects of melatonin.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Melatonin might increase blood sugar. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. By increasing blood sugar, melatonin might decrease the effectiveness of diabetes medications.  Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Melatonin might increase the immune system. Taking melatonin along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.   Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept)...
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Melatonin might slow blood clotting. Taking melatonin along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

For Full list Click Here.

St. John's Wort

  • Research has shown that St. John’s wort interacts with many medications in ways that can interfere with their intended effects. Examples of medications that can be affected include:Photo by Elizabeth J. Czarapata. Click for an enlarged version.
    • Antidepressants
    • Birth control pills
    • Cyclosporine, which prevents the body from rejecting transplanted organs
    • Digoxin, a heart medication
    • Indinavir and possibly other drugs used to control HIV infection
    • Irinotecan and possibly other drugs used to treat cancer
    • Seizure-control drugs, such as phenytoin and phenobarbital
    • Warfarin and related anticoagulants.

Taking St. John’s wort with certain antidepressants may lead to increased serotonin-related side effects, which may be potentially serious.

For more Info Click Here.

Vitamin K

Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with VITAMIN K: Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, vitamin K might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

Yohimbe

  • Yohimbe has been associated with high blood pressure, increased heart rate, headache, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tremors, and sleeplessness. Yohimbe can be dangerous if taken in large doses or for long periods of time.
  • People should not combine yohimbe with MAO inhibitors as effects may be additive. Yohimbe should be used with caution when taken with medicines for high blood pressure, tricyclic antidepressants, or phenothiazines (a group of medicines used mostly for mental health conditions such as schizophrenia).
  • People with kidney problems and people with psychiatric conditions should not use yohimbe.
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take yohimbe.

Zinc

FDA notified consumers and healthcare professionals to discontinue use of three Zicam Nasal Gel/Nasal Swab products sold over-the-counter as cold remedies because they are associated with the loss of sense of smell that may be long-lasting or permanent. The FDA has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the use of the three Zicam products.  In these reports, many people who experienced a loss of smell said the condition occurred with the first dose; others reported a loss of the sense of smell after multiple uses of the products.

Conversely, if you are taking any of the following drugs, see cautions below.

Aspirin

Aspirin DEPLETES Folic Acid, zinc, potassium, vitamin C and iron. Avoid higher doses of the following if you take Aspirin. Vitamin E,. Bromelain, Garlic, Ginger, Magnesium, Ginkgo, all which act as blood thinners and thus could cause bleeding.

Ativan

Avoid any herbs that act as a sedative, like Kava Kava, Lemon Balm, Calif. Poppy, St. John's Wort or Valerian.  Exception: Melatonin.

Lisinopril

This also DEPLETES Zinc, which could lead to an increase in blood Copper levels and foster cancer angiogenesis and progression. Zinc supplements are encouraged if taking this medicine.

Lovastatin

Statins DEPLETE CoQ10, a nutrient needed for healthy muscle, heart and brain function. AVOID Red Yeast supplements with this drug.

Take Fiber supplements 1 - 2 hours away from this med to avoid reducing its absorption.

Niacin taken in large doses with this drug has been reported to cause potentially serious muscle disorders. Bu taking a low dose (500mg) actually enhances the effectiveness of the Statin drug. IT may also be beneficial to take Vitamin E with this drug to prevent the possibility of oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol.

Nadolol

DEPLETES CoQ10. Supplementation is recommended.

Power Lunch Ideas

If you read my post entitled Power Breakfast Ideas, then you know that thinking about meals and what to eat during cancer treatment is a difficult task. Besides your emotional and physical reaction to the changes taking place, your mind just isn't capable of adding yet one more thing to worry about.

Ideally, someone can help you with meal prep a few days a week.  If not, below are some easy ideas to help you ensure you're getting the necessary nutrients during or after treatment, to build your immune system and boost your energy.

Click here to be taken to the Fantastic Foods section under Diet and Nutrition for more ideas on what to eat!  I hope this Power Lunch Guide is helpful to you.

~*~*~*~

Sardine or Salmon Salad Nicoise: romaine, arugula, endive and radicchio greens, 3 oz. wild caught cooked salmon, or 3 sardines, tomatoes, red bell pepper, lightly steamed green beans, sunflower sprouts, avocado and apple cider vinaigrette or lemon juice and olive oil.

Hoda’s Garbanzo Bean Salad: 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, 1/4 c. cooked organic brown rice, ¼ c, chopped scallions, 2 Tbs. chopped red onion, ¼ c. chopped tomatoes, 1 Tbs. each chopped basil, mint, parsley and ½ - 1 tsp. chopped jalapeno pepper,  Season with a little salt, juice of 1 small lemon and 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil.

Tabbouleh Lunch: (click here for my recipe) and ½ baked acorn squash, small organic greens salad or steamed greens flavored with garlic powder and a squeeze of lemon (swiss chard, kale, spinach, beet greens).

Tempeh Sloppy Joes: Chopped grilled tempeh mixed with tomato paste, 1 tsp. olive oil, garlic, diced bell pepper & chili powder and a dash of salt. Serve open-face on 1 slice whole-grain bread, with steamed broccoli and beets or carrots. (courtesy of Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC)

Bison Burger: Organic grass-fed bison or beef burger (scant 1/4 lb) topped with ripe tomatoes or tomato paste, lettuce, red onion and sprouts; serve with sweet potato oven-fries sprinkled with pepper & garlic powder. Add a side salad of organic greens and chopped apple with a lemon, garlic, olive oil dressing.

 Whole Grain Pasta Salad:  Use buckwheat or kamut pasta; add chopped veggies, parsley, basil, garlic. Heat enough tomato paste and water to make a sauce, adding oregano, basil, garlic powder, black pepper, a little sea salt and olive oil.

 Veggie Wrap: Organic cooked brown rice, organic black beans, avocado, cucumber, broccoli sprouts, scallions, chopped cilantro and onions, wrapped in a sheet of Nori seaweed or whole-grain organic tortilla or rice-paper wrap.  (courtesy of Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC)

Tempeh Fingers: Marinated strips of tempeh wrapped in steamed chard leaves, with a baked sweet potato or yam topped with a mixture of 1 Tbs. flax oil, 1 Tbs. nutritional yeast 1 Tbs. chopped chives or green onion and shredded rice/ almond cheese.

 Vegetable Curry: Curried veggies over 1/4 c. organic brown basmati rice or faro, cooked in green tea. Serve with a cucumber, mint and tomato salad.

Vegetable or ‘Free-Range Chicken’ Burrito: Mix cooked chicken or roasted veggies with organic pinto or black beans, a little brown rice, salsa and/or guacamole in a Whole Wheat tortilla.

Pacific Brand Organic Soup: In a pinch these can be used as a base (tomato, butternut squash, and mushroom varieties).  Add your favorite veggies, beans or whole grains.

~ To Your Health!

Power Breakfast Ideas

During treatment, one of the last things you feel up to doing is thinking about what to eat. You already know it's critical that you alter your diet if you haven't yet, but to call upon mental resources to focus on cooking the right things is a challenge. I am blessed that many family members live within 1 - 10 miles of us, so three of my nieces took it upon themselves to rotate weeks and cook 2 main dishes for me (compliant with my diet), which they delivered the 3rd day after each Chemo treatment...when the side effects manifested! They made enough so that I got at least 4-5 meals out of each delivery.

Breakfast was easy once I got into the habit of shopping for the groceries I would need early in the week, (either my daughter or Jon would replenish fresh produce as we ran out), and developed a few routine favorites.

Lunch and snacks depended on what I had in the fridge or the pantry, so I was sure to stock healthy, easy to prepare foods...Sardines, organic beans, hi-fiber bread or RyeVita crackers, salsa, baby carrots, spinach, lemons (for squeezing in tea and on almost anything), almond butter, organic fruit spreads, coconut milk, homemade hummus, avocados and nuts. I'll post some ideas for these two meals soon.

Remember that you are eating to both support your immune system and to boost your energy during treatment. Spice up your food to instantly add antioxidants.

To help you develop the knack of easily creating healthy breakfasts, or for someone who may prepare them for you, I put together the Power Breakfast Guide below.  Be generous with the use of spices you like in any of these breakfasts.

~*~*~*~

Berry Oats: ¾ c. of organic oats, 1 cup blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries, 1 Tbs. chopped almonds or pecans, 1 Tbs. freshly ground flax seeds, coconut or cashew milk, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and cinnamon. Add cup of Matcha* or Sencha green tea (buy in bulk on Amazon).

*Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. Matcha is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content

Parfait: 6oz. of organic soy or coconut yogurt, 2 Tbs. fresh ground flax meal, and 1 cup organic berries (blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries..), a slice of gluten free hi-fiber toast with a tsp. of Coconut Oil, and a cup of matcha or sencha green tea.

Jeanne's Special: One or two boiled organic hi-omega-3 eggs with 1/2 cup steamed spinach, kale or swiss chard and 1/2 cup rosemary-baked sweet potatoes, cup of green tea.

Tasty Lebanese Eggs: Poach 1 or 2 organic hi-omega-3 eggs. Mix 2 Tbs. tomato paste, dash of salt, and 1 Tbs. hot water and stir.  Finely chop 1-2 fresh organic garlic cloves and lightly sauté in 2 tsp. ev olive oil on medium low heat, until pale golden. Add tomato paste and stir. Top poached eggs with tomato mixture and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with 1 hi-fiber piece of toast, 1 c. fresh spinach or a handful of watercress and a cup of green tea.

Mediterranean: Whole grain toast topped with 1 tsp. flax or hemp oil, 1 clove garlic crushed with a dash of salt and 1 tsp. nutritional yeast, cucumber, basil and fresh tomato slices, and a cup of green tea with dash of black pepper.

Oats n Apples: 3/4 c. Organic steel-cut oats with grated red apple (with skin), 1 Tbs. chopped almonds or walnuts, 5 - 6 organic raisins, 1 Tbs. flax seeds freshly ground, cinnamon and coconut milk.  Remember your tea!

Miso-Veggie soup: (miso, spinach, bok choy, mushrooms, tamari, scallions), and 1 slice of whole-grain rye-flax toast with almond butter, cup of green tea with dash of black pepper.

Breakfast Burrito: Fill a whole wheat or gluten-free high-fiber tortilla with 1/2 cup black beans, chopped romaine lettuce, chopped green onion, avocado slices, salsa, grated home-made Almond cheese and a chopped boiled egg.

smoked_salmon
smoked_salmon

New Yorker: Hi-fiber Rye bread or mutli-grain topped with tofu sour cream, smoked salmon, red onion and organic lemon slices, and 1/2 cup steamed green beans. Don’t forget your green tea with dash of pepper!

Tofu scramble: cook silken tofu with grated carrots and zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, garlic and a dash of cumin, or do the same with scrambled hi omega-3 eggs, and 1 slice whole grain toast topped with "better butter" (mix equal parts organic grass-fed butter/flax oil).

CheeseyToast: Toast 2 slices hi-fiber Flax Seed bread (like Udi's) topped with sliced cassein-free Almond cheese, tomato slices and a sprinkle of organic thyme. Serve with 1/2 c. steamed Spinach drizzled with olive or flax oil and a dash of salt and cinnamon. Cup of Matcha tea.

~*~*~*~*

~ Be Well! ♥

In the News: Integrative Medicine: Antioxidants and Chemotherapy

Hurray!

That's my reaction every time I read a published article on the critical role antioxidants play in our health and healing.

Today I want to share this article with you from the Sacramento Bee. It reaffirms my own experience and what my blog is all about.

Please Share widely!

Antioxidants and Chemotherapy

By Drs. Kay judge and Maxine Barish-Wreden

Published: Thursday, May. 31, 2012

Inflammation, and the use of antioxidants to put out inflammatory fires, is a hot topic these days. What do we mean by inflammation?

Inflammation is a natural and necessary response in the body whenever we are accosted by harmful germs or when we injure ourselves. When this occurs, our immune system steps in to fight foreign invaders and to bring our body back into balance so that we can heal.

Inflammatory chemicals are produced during this process, which can be harmful to our tissues, but antioxidants in our foods, such as vitamins C and E, help to quell this response and restore order to our tissues.

Inflammation can run amok, however, and cause persistent damage to healthy tissue, especially if we smoke or if we are overweight or obese. Chemotherapy drugs that are used to treat cancer also produce severe inflammation in the body, and this particular inflammatory response helps to kill off cancer cells. But it also harms healthy tissue in the process.

Many oncologists have been fearful of having their patients take any antioxidants during chemotherapy for fear that antioxidants might reduce the effectiveness of the chemo.

In a recent article in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Dr. Keith Block, a renowned integrative cancer specialist affiliated with the University of Illinois, discussed his review of more than 2,300 studies on the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy, and his report is very reassuring.

In summary, antioxidants often help to reduce side effects from chemotherapy, and this may allow patients to complete their full course of medication without interruption, which itself leads to better outcomes. Certain antioxidants also enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, reduce long-term toxicity and improve survival.

Not a single study reviewed by Block showed any evidence of antioxidants interfering with the effectiveness of chemotherapy. In fact, a recent article looking at the impact of antioxidants in Chinese women undergoing treatment for invasive breast cancer found that use of antioxidant vitamin supplements in the first six months after diagnosis resulted in a reduced risk of both mortality and cancer recurrence.

Other studies have suggested survival benefit in certain cancers when patients take melatonin, as well as reduced toxicity from chemo with the use of glutathione and coenzyme Q10 among others.

farmers mkt 1
farmers mkt 1

So if you are affected by cancer, what should you be thinking about to protect yourself during and after chemotherapy? First and foremost, begin by eating a super-healthful, plant-based diet that is loaded with dark-colored fruits and veggies so that you maximize your intake of antioxidants from your food, which is the most powerful way to get them.

You can also consider supplementing your diet with some of the more powerful antioxidants, such as fish oil, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium, though we recommend that you meet with an integrative cancer specialist first so that you can determine which supplements are ideal for you, given your particular tumor as well as your treatment regimen.

And for those of you who have been affected by cancer, either because you or a loved one have faced this disease, there is a conference coming to Sacramento in September that you should know about. It's titled "Cancer as a Turning Point, From Surviving to Thriving," and it is a gathering of some of the best and most inspiring experts in this business.

Cancer as a Turning Point is sponsored by the non-profit organization Healing Journeys, whose vision is that everyone touched by cancer or any life-altering condition be empowered to move from surviving to thriving. This conference is usually offered in two cities across the country every year, and this year we are fortunate to have it in Sacramento.

The fantastic lineup of speakers in September will include Dr. Lise Alschuler, a naturopathic physician who is also a renowned integrative cancer specialist, as well as Marianne Williamson, a spiritual teacher and writer. The conference is free to all attendees, though donations are greatly appreciated to offset the cost, and donations are also tax-deductible. For more information, and to register, go to www.healingjourneys.org.

And for more information on an integrative approach to cancer treatment, look at Block's 2009 book "Life Over Cancer" (Bantam, $28, 608 pages) or Alschuler's gem that she co-wrote with Karolyn Gazella, "The Definitive Guide to Cancer: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing" (Celestial Arts, $25, 496 pages), now in its third edition.

~ Be Well! ♥

The Windmills of Your Mind

Are You your thoughts...?

Have you ever considered that perhaps, once our brain has been programmed with what and who we think we are... dating back to messages and impressions received in childhood and the teen years, that becomes the theme music over which all the lyrics of our life are written?

Unless we start to consciously erase and re-record our theme music, writing new movements to create the person we want to be, we're stuck.

We get so caught up in the constant and unrelenting work of our minds (sane and less than sane thoughts) that we identify those ramblings with who we are!

IF you meditate, then you've observed the absurd goings-on in our attic! My goodness, how busy!

meditation-1287207_1280.jpg

Deepak Chopraadvises us to attempt to live in those moments of silence between thoughts.  A challenging and wonderful practice.

During a normal day many of our thoughts are logical and grounded so they aren't huge offenders... it's the thoughts that judge...telling us we aren't smart enough, or kind enough, or beautiful enough, or tough enough that we love to identify with and that can drag us down.  It's the instantaneous reactions, void of purposeful control or scrutiny, that get us in trouble.

You are... or become... what you identify with.  Release your identification with your thoughts and choose who you are by they way you act and react to life.

One of the laws of the cosmos is: Like attracts like. If you send out negative, self-defeating thoughts, more of that will come your way. On the other-hand, if you insist on finding the good, the positive, or the opportunity for a change, in whatever you face or in yourself, the universe will amplify this aspect.

We all have weaknesses. Focusing on them makes them bigger.

We all have strengths. Focusing on them makes them bigger.

Another Deepak Chopra insight: "Be conscious of your decisions and make the best choices you can at the time and in the circumstances, and you will be making the forward ... progress."

~~~~

When I was a girl, one of my mother's close friends and distant relative was a darling woman named Shareefi.  She was one of the two daughters of a religious elder in our community. She was short and little on the round side, with a matching face...like the moon.

I don't think I can recall one time that she wasn't smiling...her eyes twinkling with deep creases at the ends.

It didn't matter what the conversation was about, Shareefi smiled through every word. If it was what one may consider sad news, she let her smile drop of 2 seconds, but it's as if her face couldn't relax into anything but cheerfulness.

That was 36 years ago... she obviously made a lasting impression on me. What a wonderful example of how to radiate our inner beauty into the world!

Own who you are. Recognize your beautiful self. Accept yourself for your strengths and weaknesses, because that's how we're all created...with aspects we have conquered and others to work on.  That's the point of life. So why not accomplish our growth with a resolve to do it cheerfully, like Shareefi?

While you can't control most situations life will offer you, you can definitely control how you choose to reactto them. It may take a little practice, but soon you'll re-program your brain not to automatically kick into upsetness, anger, self-defense, or alarm when things go differently than you expected.

How great to be able to handle every 'crisis' or 'disappointment' with calm and grace?

For an inspiring talk byHazrat Inayat Khan on Self Control, click here.

What is your ideal?  Hold that up before your mind's eye daily, it's your goal. Be relentless in your pursuit.

The next time you find yourself feeling low because of a some situation, or because someone is judging you, say to yourself, “I am not defined by situations or opinions, I know who I am.”

Inayat Khan said, "The greatness of man lies in the greatness of his ideal."

Become your ideal, but even as you strive to do so Love this beautiful creation that you are now.

We are all flowers growing together in the Universal Garden, whether temporarily in the shade, or struggling to bloom, each one worthy of shining in the sun.

~ Namaste. ♥

A Safe Chewing Gum to Treat Ear Infections!

I came across this article and just had to share it with you.  I regret the number of times I had to get antibiotics for my daughter when she was an infant due to recurring ear infections!  

Study Shows Xylitol is a Sweet Alternative to Antibiotics for Ear Infections

The author of this article, Carolanne, is a nutritionist, natural foods chef, and wellness coach.

Xylitol has been shown to have many health benefits, yet few know of its healing power to prevent ear infections in children. It inhibits bacterial growth thus helping to avoid the use of dangerous antibiotics.

Xylitol is a natural low-calorie, low-glycemic sugar substitute produced from the fibers of fruits, vegetables, and trees such as plums, raspberries, corn, and birch. Xylitol is as sweet as sugar and can be used safely by diabetics. As xylitol is a mild sugar alcohol, excessive consumption over 30 grams per day can cause a temporary laxative effect that disappears with continued use as the body adapts. It is also important to find a source of xylitol that is GMO free if made from corn.

The health benefits of xylitol were discovered during the sugar (sucrose) shortages of World War II in Finland where xylitol was produced locally in abundance from birch trees. The Finns began to notice a substantial drop in tooth decay as well as ear infections.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 857 children it was found that those using xylitol chewing gum reduced the incidence of ear infections by a full 40%.  A daily amount of 8.4 grams of xylitol was divided and given five times per day for two months.  The study concluded that xylitol inhibits the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, both of which are the primary bacteria that cause ear infections. Lozenges or xylitol syrup were found to be ineffective as was a dosage of anything less that five times a day at the specified amount.

In the United States, ear infections are treated aggressively with antibiotics. Use of antibiotics can lead to numerous health complications such as the creation of "super bacteria", recurrent infections, the destruction of friendly flora in the intestines leading to an overgrowth of fungi and yeast, and a compromised immune system. Antibiotics may also intensify, or sometimes create, symptoms of autism by aggravating Candida albicans overgrowth. Ironically, antibiotic treatment does not prevent complications associated with ear infections such as serous otitis, pneumococcal meningitis, or hearing loss.

For those concerned with the risks of using antibiotics for ear infections, xylitol has proven to be a safe and effective alternative.

Sources for this article:

Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Niemela M. A novel use of xylitol sugar in preventing acute otitis media. Pediatrics. 1998;102:879-884. Kontiokari T, Uhari M, Koskela M. Anti-adhesive effects of xylitol on otopathogenic bacteria. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1998;41:563-565. Ear infections: researchers study chewing gum as "preventative medicine," allergies as cause. Autism Research Review International. Volume 11, Number 1, 1997;7

Butler CC, Van Der Linden MK, MacMillan HL, et al. Should children be screened to undergo early treatment for otitis media with effusion? A systematic review of randomized trials. Child Care Health Dev. 2003;29:425-432.

Kaleida PH, Casselbrant ML, Rockette HE, et al. Amoxicillin or myringotomy or both for acute otitis media: results of a randomized clinical trial. Pediatrics. 1991;87:466-474.

Rothrock SG, Harper MB, Green SM, et al. Do oral antibiotics prevent meningitis and serious bacterial infections in children with Streptococcus pneumoniae occult bacteremia? A meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 1997;99:438-444.

Schmidt, Michael. Beyond Antibiotics: Strategies for Living in a World of Emerging Infections and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria North Atlantic Books, 2009.

Disclaimer: We do not suggest using this information as an alternative to seeking Medical Advice.

How are You Impacting Your Teen's Health?

It is imperative that we pay attention to what our pre-teens and teens are eating.  We are heavily involved in setting the stage for their future health. Here is an excerpt outlining the Nutritional needs of teenagers:

Balanced Diet

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that teenagers have a balanced and varied diet. Eat five fruits and vegetables per day. These can be fresh, frozen, or dried. For energy, eat complex carbohydrate foods, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread and sweet potatoes. Eat lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, beans and nuts to boost your daily protein intake. Protein builds and repairs the tissues in your growing body.

Snacking

Snacking on unhealthy foods can lead to unnecessary weight gain. Having breakfast will prevent this. Breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day and also helps with your memory and concentration. If you get hungry between meals, avoid snacking on chips, chocolates, cookies, cakes and other high-fat or high-sugar foods. These foods contain saturated fat, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease if eaten frequently. Snack on more nutritious foods such as cheese, yogurt and fruit.

Calcium and Iron

The body's demand for calcium is at its highest during adolescence. Calcium is vital in your diet to build strong bones and teeth. A low intake of calcium during this time can lead to osteoporosis later in life. This is a bone disease where the bones become fragile and likely to fracture. From ages 13 to 18, the daily recommended allowance of calcium is 1,300mg, according to the National Institutes of Health. For age 19, the daily recommended allowance of calcium is 1,000mg.  Eat calcium-rich foods such as low-fat dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and fish.

Iron also is an important mineral in a teen's diet, especially for young women. Eat iron-rich food such as meat, poultry, liver, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, green leafy vegetables, pulses, beans and nuts.

___________

Once a week 4-5 of my son's friends come over to participate in a role playing game  called MouseGuard, and I make sure that I prepare  healthy snack items for them.  It's surprising how well they like what I make and comment that at home it's invariably chips, or crackers, or soda, or candy that they snack on.

It takes under 10 minutes to assemble a plate that you can put in the fridge for your teen to find when they get home:

Girls who take Birth Control pills are at risk of Vitamin B depletion, and should supplement with a well rounded B vitamin.  This is not a trivial matter. Please, please try to encourage your children to eat a wide variety of foods.  And if you need tips for picky eaters, DROP ME A NOTE! I can send you list of  Lunch Ideas that are creative and healthy.

"Lifepak Teen" is a good supplement for kids between 9  - 18 and supplies the following vitamins and minerals:

Serving Size: 2 Capsule Servings Per Container: 60

  • Vitamin A   5000 IU
  • Vitamin C (as Calcium Ascorbate)  100 mcg
  • Vitamin D  200 IU
  • Vitamin E  50 IU
  • Vitamin K1  20 mcg
  • Thiamin  1.5 mg
  • Riboflavin  1.7 mg
  • Niacin  20 mg
  • Vitamin B6  5.0 mg
  • Folate  200 mg
  • Vitamin B12  15 mcg
  • Biotin  150 mcg
  • Calcium  250 mg
  • Iron  4.5 mg

Calories  

On average, boys require about 2800 calories per day; and girls, 2200 calories per day. Typically, the ravenous hunger starts to wane once a child has stopped growing, though not always, says the dietitian. “Kids who are big and tall or who participate in physical activity will still need increased amounts of energy into late adolescence.” During middle and late adolescence, girls eat roughly 25 percent fewer calories per day than boys do; consequently, they are more likely to be deficient in vitamins and minerals. Read more here.

Eating Disorders

Here's a little 'literature' on eating disorders that many young people have, which underlines the need for monitoring our teens and what signals they may be responding to:

Also, households where there are high academic expectations are well-known breeding grounds for eating disorders.

Finally, many young women between the ages of 14 and 25 develop an eating disorder when they are not only under stress at school or college but also uncertain of their sexual orientation or sexual attractiveness.

Websites

BAM is a website that is both Fun and Informative, and is recommended by Nutrition.gov as a place designed for kids 9-13 years old:

  • "BAM provides information to help them make healthy lifestyle choices. The site uses games, quizzes, and other interactive features to teach kids about topics such as food and nutrition, physical activity, and general safety."BAM!
  • WebMD
  • HealthyChildren.org

~ Be Well.  ♥

Since Chemo brain is common side effect of Chemotherpay, unless one is taking the right supplements to combat it, it can take a year or more to recover. I found this post relevant and enlightening!

You Want Me to Buy a What Maker? ?

Something is happening to our baking, frying and dough shaping skills! :(

At least someone thinks so...

I think it's reached epidemic proportions because you can't turn around before another innovation in the field of  bakeware, uuh, excuse me ... "Novelty Electrics" pops up!

Apparently, a slew of us no longer know how to pour cupcake batter into a muffin tin and place in an oven to bake, someone decided to make a gadget that bakes cupcakes. Phew!

Oh, and we can't cut dough into rounds that puff up when cooked, so we need a doughnut hole baking gadget. Seriously?

I learned that eggs need to be fried in circular molds in an Egg cooking gadget so they look like uniform flying saucers.

egg mold
egg mold

And dare you bake Brownies in anything but a pre-sliced and ready to serve sectioned pan?  We've been convinced that 'edges' are tastier than the gooey center pieces, so apparently we need brownies that have 4 outer crust edges.

Nordic Ware Platinum Brownie Bites Baking Pan

Finally, for the thousands of us who have tried and tried, but still can't manage to roll puff pastry around mini hotdogs to make pigs-in-a-blanket for the tailgater... FEAR NOT! -- the Perfect, Photogenic, Pesky,  Personal Pigs-in-a-Blanket Baker has come to the rescue! (say that three times in a row...)

I  don't mean to sound old-fashioned (when did that become an old-fashioned word?), BUT likerolling dough with a wood rolling-pin that I've had for 15 years; I like shaping dough with my hands; I enjoy putting a tray full of dough thingies in my oven and having each creation be a tiny bit different from the one next to it.

I want my fried egg to be slightly asymmetrical, with fluted wings around the perfect golden center.

fried eggs
fried eggs

And if you don't like the gooey middle cuts of my Brownies...well, boo you!

Sinfully Brownie

I don't need a rice cooker because I AMa rice cooker! :D

The only 'gadgets' I own and use enough to warrant having them, are my Crock-pot (God Bless it's hard-working soul), and my new BOSS (I bow to its oil-less creations).

I own the perfectly acceptable and necessary kitchen electrics... a high quality mixer, a food processor, a toaster oven, a masticating juicer, waffle maker and a powerful blender.

And who has room for all those extra Novelty Baking doodads?  Do they last more than 2 years before they fall apart? Are you really still cooking with Teflon coated cookware? I threw mine out 2 years ago, and that was rather belated.

I feel it's honoring the skills my mother taught me to knead, roll, cut, stuff and crimp dough.  No one is going to rob me of the pleasure I get from doing so.

My son and his cousin were 14 when we sat around our kitchen table, and I taught them how to stuff grape leaves.  They did a marvelous job.  In 15 years if someone decides we need a grape-leaf-stuffing-and-rolling gadget, I hope those two refuse to buy it.

I hope they remember the day we sat together joking about the juices squirting all over as they rolled each leaf, and my telling stories about helping my mother make fabulous dishes that took 2 or 3 hours to complete. I hope they remember the pride they felt when I served our family the grape leaves at dinner, and praised the boys for a job well done.

Den 0311
Den 0311

And when they sit around their kitchen table teaching their children how to crimp a spinach pie or stuff grape leaves, maybe they'll have a story to tell about me.

 Here's to being old-fashioned! Yes? ♥

Foods and Plastics... Should They Mingle?

I found a link to this article on the epigenetics project blog and wanted to share it with you.

I have a HUGE thing about plastics, aluminum foil and food, and now research is showing that plastic containers, bottles and wraps leach chemicals under all circumstances!

When my children were young I never packaged their lunches in plastic wrap without first wrapping the item in wax paper. I don't let plastic wrap touch the top of food I store in the refrigerator, and when I freeze meats, I wrap them in wax or parchment paper first, and then aluminum foil.

As you may know, acidic foods EAT right through aluminum foil in a very short time.

If you wrap a pizza slice in foil and look at it a few hours later...every point that came in contact with the tomato sauce has a hole in it!  Aluminum is toxic to our bodies!

 

Plastic in Food: Inevitable Transfer

It's long been known that infinitesimal bits of plastic get into our food from containers. The process is called "leaching" or "migration." The chemical industry acknowledges that you can't avoid this transfer, noting on its website that "[v]irtually all food packaging materials contain substances that can migrate into the food they contact."

Laura Vandenberg, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in biology at Tufts University in Boston stated: "But almost any plastic container can be expected to leach trace amounts of plastics into food," she says.

Heating food in plastic seems to increase the amount that's transferred to food.

Migration also increases when plastic touches fatty, salty, or acidic foods.

Although most of the chemicals making the culinary crossing are considered "safe," Jacob tells WebMD that's generally not because they've been proved safe, but rather they haven't been proven to be unsafe.

Well, that's enough for me.

Clever Plastic-Free and Low-Tech Ways to Store Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Ramon Gonzalez May 15, 2012

Lloyd Alter

Many fruits and vegetables taste better eaten the day they’re harvested from the garden. But what if you need to store your crop before you can prepare it? It’s possible to store your fruits and veggies using old technology and avoiding plastic altogether for zero waste storage.

How­ To Store Fruits and Vegetables.

Tips and tricks to extend the life of your produce without plastic.

The Ecology Center Farmers' Markets produced a large list of ways to store your produce without using plastic to push the markets and customers toward zero waste. Below is a sampling of the plastic-free tips and tricks of vegetable and fruit storage.

Fruits

Apples- Store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage, put in a cardboard box in the fridge.

Citrus- Store in a cool place with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.

Apricots/Nectarines- On a cool counter or fridge if fully ripe

Cherries- Store in an airtight container. Don’t wash Cherries until ready to eat, added moisture encourages mold.

Berries -­Don’t forget they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag woks well, only wash before you plan to eat

Strawberries- Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.

Veggies

Always remove any tight bands from you vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breathe.

Asparagus- Place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. Will keep for 5 days outside the fridge.

Basil- Basil does not like the cold or to be wet. The best method is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside, left out on a cool counter.

Broccoli -Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

Carrots- Cut the tops off (but save them for tea) to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days, if they’re stored that long.

Cauliflower- Will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.

Lettuce- Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.

Zucchini- Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

Beth Terry of My Plastic-Free Life skips the damp towel for carrots and stores them in containers of water that she frequently changes. According to Beth, the carrots, cut or whole, keep for a couple of weeks.

Saving Food from the Fridge

© Jihyun Ryou

How did we store food before we handed that job over to technology? Korean designer, Jihyun Ryou, tackled that question in her project, Save Food From the Fridge, which Lloyd Alter wrote about earlier here at TreeHugger, when she went in search of oral knowledge of elders and farmers.

What emerged is a simple and elegant way of storing and connecting to the ingredients we tuck away in the back of the refrigerator until they lose their flavor or start to decompose.

As gardeners we know about companion planting, but do we practice companion storage? Growing up apples were stored on the kitchen table or crisper in the fridge, while potatoes were relegated to the darkest corner of the food pantry.

Jihyun takes advantage of the ethylene gas emitted by apples as they ripen to suppress sprouting in potatoes.

What low-tech and plastic-less methods do you use to store your food?

Turning Back Time with ... Gum

My goodness... just think how many gazillion dollars could be made by this chewing gum company if every kid and adult who indulged in potty mouth language, had to chew 2 pieces every time they said a poopie word! ! (Yikes, does that count?) When we were young Mom would reach for the Tabasco bottle whenever a nasty word, no matter how mild, slipped out of our mouths!  I did a lot of running until I was able to control my mouth... and I DID learn to do so.

My high-schooler told me he wished he lived in a different time, when kids didn't talk in 4-letter words, and cared about their appearance. He wold have fit in well in the 50's.

When he turned 14 he would wear a suit jacket to school on Fridays. He is still doing that in high school.  He'll wear a suit and tie on some days, and then swing the other way and wear a purple kimono with a dragon climbing up the back!  He makes a splash either way, and likes to poke at people's shock threshold, but Thank God, in a mild way.

I'm so thankful it's clothing and not drinking or piercings or tattoos, not that the latter two don't look good on many people. 

Cheers! ♣

Whimsical Eats

In my Appealing to the Eye post, I mentioned how visually appealing food just tastes better!  And if not better, well it sure draws you to want to try it. Getting children or finicky eaters to try something new or eat something 'healthy' is a challenge I'll bet each one of us has faced at one time or another.  But with just a little bit of creativity, they seem to be willing to override their objection if the food looks fun.

When my children were young, I told stories to distract them while eating, created faces on their sandwich bread by gluing pieces of fruit or cheese with peanut butter, or cut veggies in odd shapes.  It worked!

For Christmas, my daughter bought us two plates, one for me and one for my boyfriend, J.  This morning I was in a mood for a 'silly breakfast', a technical term referring to a plate of food that has an element of the ridiculous in it. I pulled out the "her's'"plate.

Don't you think your picky eater might be tempted to eat a flamboyant hat, earrings, and a bow in the shape of a heart and wings....and what if you expressed exaggerated distress as each item disappeared?

What do you think of my silly breakfast?  Would it pass the test?

What is your most creative way to get 'good' food into the stomachs of those you love?

breakfast face
breakfast face

~ Kawabunga! ♥

The Kitchen Sink - a Competition!

I have often wondered what kind of savory dish could be called 'The Kitchen Sink'. Well...

I challenge you to send me your photo or recipe of the Healthy Dishyou would consider fit to hold that Title!(No sugary desserts or fast food allowed!)

My contender is made from 4 dishes that my daughter and I cooked yesterday, with a bowl of each left over.  Hers was a 1) Red Cabbage, Celery and Carrot medley, and my three were 2) Swiss Chard with Tomato Paste, Onions, Garlic and a bit of lemon and sumac, and 3) Carrot, Green Bean, Red Pepper, Onion with Red Vinegar and Olive Oil, and 4) Pearl Barley Pilaf.

So I mixed the lot and heated them up.  The colors were lovely, and I realized that in this concoction were some of the Super Foods that boost our antioxidants and a wonderful array of vitamins. Low fat, high fiber, and delicious!

I tend to do this when I have 3 - 4 small bowls of leftovers and I am rushed for time.  Most every time the results have been quite pleasing... most of the time that is... yeah mostly.

I'm calling this the RainbowKitchenSink.

Waiting to see how creative you can get... :)

mixed veg dish
mixed veg dish

Send 'em in...  tic, tic, tic...

Kitchen sink award
Kitchen sink award

Here is the Award!

~Get cookin' ♥

Weight Management Aids - source

A few of you have been struggling with weight management.  I did for 7 years, but thanks to my very strict diet I lost 28 lbs. in 7 months and will not be putting them back on again.  That's what happens when you no longer have a choice about what you eat. Don't get me wrong, I love my new diet.

I recently attended a seminar that talked about success with the following products when added to healthy diets and moderate exercise.

I was impressed with the company's reputation, and the number of practitioners who use these products with their clients.

Metabotrim is designed to support normal metabolic processes and assist in your body’s conversion of food to energy with effective ingredients—chromium chelate, L-carnitine, and B-complex vitamins.

AC Complex helps control appetite, reduces cravings, and supports a healthy metabolism, and maintains lean muscle mass.

If you're interested in weight management aids check them out here.

For questions drop me a note.  I can provide you access to wholesale pricing.

~ Be Well!

Beating Cancer with Nutrition

Below are a couple of pages from Dr. Patrick Quillin's book "Beating Cancer with Nutrition" to aid in motivating you to take care of yourselves now, BEFORE you have a 'reason' to.

If you feel you can't get all the recommended foods in your diet, then high-quality supplements can help.  I am happy to refer you to the brands made by reputable companies, known for the purity of their products, some of whom were recommended to me by the Complimentary practitioners I consulted with.

Please take the time to read this excerpt (since it took me two days to type out :)), and let me know if there is ANY way I can be helpful.

*~*~*~*~*

For the past 10 years, Dr. Patrick Quillin has served as the Director of Nutrition for Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He is an internationally respected expert in the area of nutrition and cancer. He has earned his bachelor's, Master's and doctorate degrees in nutrition and is a registered and licensed dietitian ( RD & LD) and Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) with the American College of Nutrition.

Starve the Cancer

Cancer is a sugar-feeder.  The scientists call it an “obligate glucose metabolizer”. You can slow cancer growth by lowering the amount of fuel available to the tumor cells.  Americans have become humming birds in their constant consumption of sweet fluids and foods.  The resulting constant high blood glucose levels yield many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and yeast infections. Trying to beat cancer while eating a diet that constantly raises blood glucoseis like trying to put out a forest fire while someone nearby is throwing gasoline on the trees.

sugar cubes
sugar cubes

Stop eating sugar. Eat very few sweet foods, including high glycemic fruits. Begin an exercise program to burn blood glucose down to a manageable level.  Your cancer is not going to be happy as you begin to starve it.  You will develop cravings worse than you currently have.  Ignore them and push through the discomfort.

Make fish and colorful vegetables the staples of your diet.  Eat small amounts of fresh fruit…(Berries, apples, pears, peaches) at a mixed meal, which will blunt the rises in blood glucose. Use cinnamon liberally, since it helps to stabilize blood glucose.  Take supplements of chromium and magnesium. I have yet to see a cancer patient beat the disease who continued to load up on the average amount of sugar in our diet, which is 140 pounds per year per person.

cinnamon
cinnamon

Avoid Malnutrition

Cancer is a wasting disease.  Over 40% of cancer patients actually die from malnutrition, not from cancer. Cancer generates chemicals that lower appetite while increasing calorie needs. The net effect is that many cancer patients begin to lose weight. You cannot fight a life-threatening disease while malnourished. You need all the proper nutrition you can get to feed your immune system, which is your army assigned to killing the cancer cells.  The backbone of the immune system is protein.

If you cannot eat solid foods, then try the high protein shakes.

Nutrition

While chemotherapy and radiation can kill cancer cells, these therapies are general toxins against your body cells also. A well –nourished cancer patient can protect healthy cells against the toxic effects of chemo and radiation, thus making cancer cells more vulnerable to the medicine.  Proper nutrition can make chemo and radiation more of selective toxin against the cancer and less damaging to the patient. (It's during this phase that you should consider supplements that support your body, and enhance the drugs' effectiveness).

Turbocharge Your Immune System

Your immune system consists fo 20 trillion cells that compose your police force and garbage collectors.  The immune system is responsible for killing the bad guys, any cells that are not participating in the processes of your body, including cancer, yeast, bacteria, virus, and dead cells. “Kill the bad guys and take out the trash,” That is what your immune system is supposed to do.  But since you have cancer, something is wrong with your immune system; usually either stress, toxic burden, or malnutrition.

Eat well and take professionally designed nutrition supplements. Lower you stress levels.  Use guided imagery to imagine your immune cells like sharks gobbling up the cancer cells. This technique REALLY WORKS!! Detoxify your body. The average American has 1,000 times more heavy toxic metals than our primitive ancestors before the dawning of the industrial age. Toxins shut down the ability of the immune system to mount a good battle against cancer cells.

As your cells divide billions of times daily, mistake cells are the inevitable consequence.  These mistake cells sometimes grow into cancer cells, which your immune system is programmed to gobble up like Pac Man. The average adult gets 6 bouts of cancer in a lifetime, yet only 42% of Americans will end up in a cancer hospital.  The other 58% had a respectable immune system, which protected them.

Nutrition products that have demonstrated an ability to bolster immune function include; colostrums extracts, whey extracts, aloe extracts, mushroom extracts (Maitake, AHCC [Immpower]), yeast cell wall extracts (1,3 beta glucan), IP-6 (phytic acid), ImmKine, and Essiac tea.

The Healing Power of Whole Foods

It is amazing how simple the answer to cancer can be. Our brilliant researchers have spent 33 years and $50 billion of your tax dollars wrestling with the complex issue of curing cancer.  Yet Nature has been solving the dilemma for thousands of years. All of us get cancer all of the time, yet magical ingredients in whole food diet are there to help the body beat cancer.  Ellagic acid from berriesinduces “suicide” in the cancer cells.  Lycopenes from tomatoes help to suppress cancer growth.  Genistein in soy, glutathione in green leafy vegetables, and S-allyl cysteine in garlic are examples of the new scientifically-validated cancer fighters of the 21st century.

You don’t have to wait 7 years while some drug company goes through $800 million drug approval process, nor for FDA approval, nor for a doctor’s prescription for some drug that has many toxic side effects and costs thousands of dollars each month. These miracle anti-cancer agents are waiting patiently at your nearby grocery store and health food store.

Herbal Medicine

There are thousands of herbs that have been used for thousands of years to treat cancer. None are guaranteed cures for all cancers, but many are non-toxic boosters of immune function and detoxification pathways. If you want the basic herb that all cancer patients should be using daily, then start with garlic--  as a food, seasoning, and/or pill supplement.

garlic
garlic

Many other herbs that merit attention are: Atragalus, Echinacea, goldenseal, licorice, ginseng, ginkgo, ginger, Rhodiola rosea and cat’s claw are on the hit parade of herbs to help you toward recovery from cancer. Work with a professional who can help guide you toward the herbs best for your disease, your therapy, your wallet and your stomach tolerances.

Healthy Fats

While too much fat and the wrong kind of fat have been killing millions of Americans for the past 50years, we are now finding a new form of fat malnutrition: deficiencies of the essential fats. Fish oil, borage or primrose oil, flax oil, conjugated linoleic acid, and shark liver oil are all fats that can help you beat cancer.  For a simple starter, begin taking a few capsules of fish oil daily, preferably basic cod liver oil with all the good Vitamin A and D intact. You can also make a delicious, healthy Italian dressing by using flax oil, olive oil, water, vinegar, and some seasonings.

Healthy fats line the cell membranes and help to lower blood glucose by making insulin more effective. Healthy fat make the immune cells more likely to recognize and destroy cancer cells.

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~ Be Well. ♥