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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Herbs, Health Benefits, Tea Recipes

Fresh Grown Spearmint leaves, they come back every year
Great for mild indigestion problems and makes a healthy delicious tea!


Spearmint Tea
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried mint leaves, picked from your garden. You can buy metal round tea steep containers for your dried leaves.  Steep for 10 minutes.
Optional:
If desired, sweeten with honey, brown sugar or maple syrup.

For prompt relief of mild stomach disorders, nausea, vomiting or flatulence, drink a cup of the tea in small sips after meals, up to 3 cups a day, not recommended for children.

One of several berry bushes we have planted along with an array of herb gardens
Herbal Tea
1 ounce blackberry leaves
1 ounce raspberry leaves
1 ounce chamomile flowers
1 ounce peppermint leaves


Prepare this mixture and boil a handful in 1 quart of water until about half of water has boiled away. This herbal mixture will ease the pain of intestinal gas, combat mild diarrhea and soothes intestinal inflammation. Again not recommended for children.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Dreaded Topic Diet Failures and Tips


Did you know that 3500 calories = 1 pound?
That means that you would have to decrease your calorie intake to lose 1 pound a week by 500 calories a day or burn 500 calories a day which is very difficult.

So we have been told to be on a successful diet stay away from anything with white, like flour, sugar, potatoes, pasta and bread.

Eat more whole grains, wheat bread, sweet potato, whole grain pasta and brown sugar instead.
Carbs are almost impossible to cut out all of them.

No wonder diets have a 95% failure rate good grief!
Age is against us, we need to increase more activities because our metabolism slows down. We have to eat less, not an easy task to give up the foods you grew up on.
Then we look back and say " grandma and grandpa lived to be 95" so why do I have to diet and eat foods I don't like?
Well the answer is incredibly mind boggling.  Life was simple then, the stress levels that cause all the earlier signs of  heart attack, stroke and other aliments come earlier now in life due to the ever changing life styles, none of what was to be imagined in our ancestors days. They had to walk, they had to work harder but strenuous activities that kept them in good cardio shape. Once they got older things started to break down. Of course there are always cases where you were born with a defective heart or had some kind of debilitating situations. Then there were diseases then not curable like today because of more modern medicines. Never the less we still have heard of many more case of younger ages with heart disease, cancer, stroke and other diseases caused by the difference life style and changes of new society.
We have more than one person working in a family now, child care outside the home sometimes, bills mounting up that's nothing new and many bankruptcies.
The stress is overwhelming then add a diet to the mix. You would think we would all be stick skinny with the mounting problems in life.
What's the good news? 
The strength and willpower in your mind. You have to be ready to commit to any life change. Diet, child bearing, new job, new house etc. Once you embrace this the failure rate lessens. Have you ever been told that someone who obsesses on becoming pregnant sometimes can't,  when they gave up all hope then adopted a child, they then got surprised after years of trying and get pregnant.  Sometimes we just try so hard, stress gets in the way, everything stops working the right way and just causes a multitude of more problems. Weight will start to come off if you follow some basic life style changes with committment.
Change what you always do. You'll get what you always got if you do what you've always do. Learn new behaviors. Write them down to remember the new ones, catch yourself before you go back into the one's that got you there in the first place. Like that dollap of butter on those potatoes, don't do it.
Walk further, don't take the first close parking space you see. If you love to plays games on the computer, use a timer to get up and walk around take a 1/2 hour break move around, you do it at work with no problem. It's all making best practices and good sound decisions based around what has to change.
Eating habits must change. Stop eating fast foods, snacks with heart clogging oils, save the one's you love when you reach your goal that should be your reward. You will soon love the way you look you just need to change your habits that got you there.
Then there are health reasons why you gain weight. Thyroid issues? Have it checked. You may be beating yourself up and it's not your fault at all.
Do not binge, starve then eat. All you will do is yo yo your weight and it will come back with a vengeance.
If you hate vegetables, then you will have to learn to like them it's that simple, you will have to make some sacrifices to get the end results. Have patience it doesn't happen overnight. You will look and feel better.

Here's some tips for a successful journey to healthy weight loss:

Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time:

Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking.  As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
Start slow first thing to do is cut down, take less portions then don't add all the extra gravy etc on the food.

Simplify:
Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.

Every change you make to improve your diet matters:
You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Keep making healthier food choices, get more activity in your life and enjoy each day making the change to better health.

Water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Exercise. Find something active that you like to do and add it to your day, just like you would add healthy greens, blueberries, or salmon. The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise may even motivate you to make healthy food choices a habit.

Greens. Branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options—all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets.
Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mango's offer vitamin C, and so on.

Eat healthier fats:

Monounsaturated fats, from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame).
Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, flax seed oils, and walnuts.

Last tip:
Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods. Processed foods like canned soups or frozen dinners contain hidden sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.
Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium.
Always choose fresh or frozen vegetables over canned vegetables ( if you use canned rinse for several minutes under cold water to remove salt).
Cut back on salty snacks such as potato chips, nuts, and pretzels.
Choose low-salt or reduced-sodium products.
Limit alcoholic beverages red wines are your best choice
Try slowly reducing the salt in your diet to give your taste buds time to adjust.

                                  Wishing you all good health and a successful diet journey!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Celery and The Health Benefits With an Italian Celery Mushroom Salad



Celery is from the same family with parsley and fennel.  It can grow to over a foot high. The ribs of celery are crunchy and are often used to make soup or salads. Celery leaves has high content of vitamin A, K,  the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with high supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids.


Celery has always been associated with lowering of blood pressure. When combined with other juices, it provides in recent studies to show that celery might also be effective combating some kinds of cancers.


Do not leave it at room temperature for too long as it tends to wilt quickly.
TIP: If your celery has wilted, sprinkle it with a little water and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. It will regain crispness.

Italian Style Celery and Mushroom Salad

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
4 celery stalks, from the heart of the celery, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped Italian fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces shaved Parmesan

 In a medium size bowl, add the mushrooms, celery, parsley, and chives, and season with salt and pepper. Mix together the lemon juice and olive oil, and toss with the vegetables. Just before serving, toss again with the Parmesan.

One Last TIP:

Cutting off the root stalk will start to regrow in water... just cut off above the base and place in 1/4 inch of water. Use an old plastic bowl.... watch it grow on your window sill... it works!