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Showing posts from April, 2014

What is Deep Organic?

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So this article, "What is Deep Organic: An Introduction to Biodynamic Farming", all about anyway?

In short, it is in line with how many people want to eat today -- more holistically and down-to-earth. It is taking organic to an even more organic level by including just about every "nook & crannie" that an organic farmer wants to abide by such as properly caring for wetlands, plants, fields, animals and even the people.

What biodynamic agriculture is trying to do is to establish a designed restoration of the natural environment and by so doing this also enhance the quality of food.

Learn more about Biodynamic farming, its methodologies, its founder and its attempt to revitalize our growing need of quality food, healthy environment and nourishing communities...

What does "Organic" truly mean?

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Organic at its most basic definition would be the process of growing foods as naturally and holistically as possible. Hence, the less processed the foods, the better. But, certainly there is a complete "blur" as to what the interpretation of "Organic" would be when discussing this very point with different people across the country, wouldn't you agree?

And what of buying "Local" foods -- what does that mean exactly. I suppose that would once again, depend on who you speak with, i.e., teachers, farmers, scientists, environmentalists. And is it understood that "local" does not only mean "distance", but there are other issues to consider such as sustainability? I know that I for one don't have all the answers -- but, it serves us to learn from people in our communities like teachers, farmers, scientists and environmentalists.

Just because you go to "Whole Foods" to buy your food, is there a complete assurance that a food…

Building a Culture of Health | 2014 RWJF Annual President's Message

Sustainable vs. Industrial Agriculture

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The word "sustainable" is so frequently used today and with very good reason. It is only fitting to clarify the differences of what makes agriculture sustainable and what makes it industrial though -- just to make sure we are all on the same page. Why should you care? Here are the reasons why you should...

1) Health: For starters, I'm sure we all would agree that health is important. What would be the point of having a great car to drive or a great house to live in or a great partner to be with if you are sick all the time or you just don't feel well!

The foods that come from sustainable farms use a sparse amount of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or even petroleum-based fertilizers. What does this mean for our health? It is all good as this sustainable methodology enables people to better health outcomes and the prevention of many chronic diseases that are largely preventable.

Industrial agriculture is strictly looking at profitability and so in order to ensure t…

Learn How to Snack Smarter....

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I absolutely remember when I was growing up that snacks were just a "no-no" -- especially coming home hungry from school, mom didn't want us to ruin our appetite for dinner. There was no reason to snack since three meals a day should be good enough. Well, times have changed...

Here are a few good reasons to keep on snackin':

1)  It keeps your metabolism going strong.
According to psychologist and weight-control specialist, Stephen Gullo believes that two to three small snacks in between meals keeps the metabolism at a good steady pace. Also, registered dietician, Keri Glassman comments that never letting your energy diminish to such a point as to be extremely hungry is definitely a smart way to go... 2) It helps you eat less at meal times.
 Having a snack that is around 100 to 200 calories is a good amount to have and it should have a good balance of a carbohydrate (like a banana), fats (like string cheese) and protein (hummus or low-fat yogurt). These three keep you s…

What does "mindful eating" really mean?

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By being mindful, we become aware of our surroundings and recognize that we can thoughtfully connect ourselves with our environment and those that are around us. In one sense, being mindful of what we do on a daily basis just makes us more connected and fills us with energy and purpose. Think of it. When you practice yoga for instance, you challenge your bodies by stretching and bending to maximize the various energy systems (chakras) to work at their best strengths. What could be more mindful than paying attention to our connection with the world which then allows us to do so many things like having better mental clarity, better communication and listening skills, more confidence, improved relationships and so much more!

The same principal can be applied to food -- by eating mindfully. When was the last time that you really savored your food, even if you were in a hurry. Could you imagine if you savored everything you ate? That would be amazing and at the same time you would naturall…

7 surprisingly healthy fats to eat

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Eating fat or rather fatty foods could be so confusing. I mean, how much fat should you have? What is the right kind of fat to have? Are there better fats to add to your diet? What is saturated and unsaturated fat? So many questions, right?

First off, here are 7 surprisingly healthy fats to add to your diet if you haven't already.
Avocados contain lutein (for eyes) and chlorophyll (antioxidant). Coconut oil has a good amount of vitamins K, E and iron.Shea butter contains both vitamins A and E and also has a lot of antioxidants. It usually
can be found in health food stores or even online.Macadamia nut oil has a good amount of monunsaturated fatty acids which are good fats to add to your diet. It is high in vitamin E and antioxidants as well as about an equal amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.Chia oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids and it has a strong nutty flavor which is good for vinaigrettes or even adding to fish or veggie dishes. Normally, chia oil is found in health foo…

Eating What We Know We Should Be Eating

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At times I reflect -- especially after a weekend -- why it is we give ourselves permission to eat what we want to eat without regard to what it is we will be missing. And by missing I mean, important nutrients or vitamins that may be missing from our diets that would make us feel and perform at our optimal levels.
I mean do you really think about eating a piece of cheesecake or Panna Cotta on a Friday or Saturday night with family or friends just as easily as eating that same piece of cheesecake/Panna Cotta on a weeknight when we know we will be working or going to school the next day? Probably not.What is that? Do we think that the calories won’t count the same on Friday or Saturday as opposed to Monday or Tuesday? Our minds play tricks on us!
So, what can we do about this? I’m sure there is no secret potion to take or some special rule to follow, but, it just means being aware of what we are doing – at all times! It doesn’t mean we’ve got to beat ourselves up about it or give ours…

National Geographic: The Future of Food

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National Geographic gives a terrific perspective on the future of our food and how to feed our growing planet.

Slowly enjoy your meal...one bite at a time

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Slow Food. While this movement has been around for 25+ years, many people are still slow to learn what it really is and how beneficial it would be in our approach to how we eat and how we view the health of our world in general.

To tell you the truth, I myself did not know about the Slow Food Movement until quite recently. But, if you are interested in learning about good, clean and fair food, Slow Food is where to start! In short, Slow Food goes against everything that Fast Food is by honoring home cooked meals, caring for our environment, eating and shopping locally, buying organic and so much more!

Here are 10 salient points to know and recognize anytime you hear the words, "Slow Food":

1. Start out by knowing what Slow Food means...

Slow Food is not only about food, but more about a lifestyle -- a healthy lifestyle by which to follow. This healthy lifestyle change is meant to join us to the way we see/consume our food socially, politically, environmentally and more. This…

The latest in health guide devices....

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The good thing about health guide devices -- is that technology has allowed for people to become more interactive with their health devices and hence more accountable for their health and wellbeing. The following article on mHealth devices, specifically:
FitbitThe ShineBasis Watch
gives a panoramic view of what these devices can do and how they keep people interested and engaged.

You can read about these three devices, here.

On another note, Kolasa's Guide to Healthier Living which was written about in a web magazine called the Daily Reflector based out of Greenville, Pitt County and eastern North Carolina, had an interesting comment from a reader.

The comment in the article for healthy living asked if wearable health monitors really worked and were good to have. Advice was given from a medical student who stated that they can indeed help with the improvement of one's nutrition.

A staggering statistic: 85 to 90 percent of positive health outcomes are the result of an individu…

Be SMART by eating SMART

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There are numerous benefits of what it takes to eat “Smart”. We all know this, but how do we ensure that we do so? That is the million dollar question, isn’t it?
If we can think about eating like we do about strategizing, that would be a great start, wouldn’t you agree? After all, if we want to be productive human beings, we need to plan our actions, as we do our food choices. It is to easy to say we are in a hurry, then drive through the drive through of a fast-food restaurant to pick up something quickly. How can we expect to be successful in writing a proposal or business plan or even planning a trip if we do it in the same way we do going through the fast-food window by fueling our bodies with nutritionally poor choices?
The objective? Eat SMART
·S=Specific ·M=Measurable ·A=Attainable ·R=Relevant ·T=Time-bound
How can we do this? Start out with Specific. Be specific about the types of foods you put in your body meaning skip the donut or bagel with an extra shmear of cream cheese, have a…

The Beautiful & Most Beneficial Star: Star Anise

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History of the amazing fruit called star anise really is amazing. The pretty star-shaped fruit that comes from an evergreen plant from the southern region of China has similar taste profiles of anise (licorice). This surprisingly pretty fruit is not only healthful, but compounds found within it have been used in the reduction or prevention of cold sores, Dementia, non-Alzheimer's, flu, Heapatits B, HIV/Aids, Mononucleosis, septic shock and even tooth decay!

Remarkably, star anise has been used for thousands of years by Chinese practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the flu in order to alleviate the disturbances that mucous can cause in the respiratory tract. It is known to act as an expectorant; but, more importantly, for those who have suffered from the many complications caused by the flu, it has been found that a compound in the fruit is used for Tamiflu. Tamiflu is by far the most commonly prescribed medicine for treating the flu and the compound name found wi…

New Globalized Diet: Wheat, Soy & Palm Oil Rule

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The concentration of crops such as wheat, soy and palm oil are just about everywhere -- I'm talking globally! Should this be worrisome to any of you out there? I would say so. It seems completely "wacky" to me that you could travel to Egypt or Japan or for that matter any other country and pretty much get the same foods that we do here at home in the United States. I mean, what happened to us? To me there is nothing like going to another country and eating the foods that are native to that particular area, but it seems that for pickier eaters there are no worries since you are more than likely able to enjoy pizza in Egypt or Japan.  Aside from losing the adventure of learning what is a native food in a country, you don't have to experience that culture at all -- sad. But, apologies, I got off track.

There certainly are pros and cons to globalization, but in this particular scenario, it is a bit scary. So, what does that mean for us? According to this article, a new s…

What "Eat the Rainbow" should really mean

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In this day and age of chronic diseases and all the health issues that lead us down that path, the last thing we need is more confusion by the creator of Skittles -- The Wrigley Jr. Company, creator of the Mars bar.

We have all heard the phrase, "Eat the Rainbow," but, does everyone really know what that means? It gets to be so confusing, especially for kids who don't have the equipped understanding of really knowing what good nutrition should be.

Here is a break down of ingredients made to create a better understanding of what "eat the rainbow" really should be.

Cauliflower: Nutrition
Purple Cabbage: Nutrition
Carrots: Nutrition
Red Bell Pepper: Nutrition
Lemon: Nutrition
Mixed Greens like Swiss Chard, Dandelion Greens, Spinach: Nutrition












Portion Control: Do You Know How Much You Are Eating?

This has and continues to be "tricky" for just about anybody, unless you are constantly walking around with a measuring cup and/or a food scale, it is hard to really know how much you are eating, period! Especially if you are distracted by the television, a great conversation or drinking one too many drinks, finding the right amount to eat to fit your metabolism needs does not always happen.

Learn more about Portion Control by clicking on the link below....

Portion Control: Do You Really Know How Much You Are Eating?


The sweetly, spicy flavor of NUTMEG

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Nutmeg seems be one of those exotic spices used to make a dish either savory and delicious or even warm and appealing. Although nutmeg is available in powder form or whole, it's best to use nutmeg whole -- in using a small grater, a small amount goes a long way by imparting great flavor.

The history of this spice, it's unique taste and how it has been used for thousands of years in the kitchen as well as the medicine cabinet adds an intensity to its allure as well. The sweet and piquant flavor that it has comes from an oil that the nutmeg itself contains called myristicin. This oil can be found in many other plants such as carrots, celery and parsley as well.

What is myristicin known for? Myristicin does have healing powers to it (although it has its limits as seen in the following video), but to a lesser degree has proven to be a possible remedy for the prevention of anxiety, cancer, depression, memory loss and more.

In the kitchen, nutmeg goes well with the following spices…

Lemongrass and its wide range of uses

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There are so many different herbs and spices that are beneficial for us -- not only medicinally, but also in the kitchen. One that I try to use from time to time is Lemongrass. This grass is usually found in Latin and Asian markets, although many grocery stores carry it as well. Try it out this weekend in a   recipe I found online that is really easy to make and delicious as well.

Lemongrass is in fact, grass and is found primarily in Southeast Asia. The lemony, zesty flavor that it imparts to dishes such as curries, shrimp, poultry and fish is truly mouthwatering too! Some other ways to use it in the kitchen would be in:
Add cut lemongrass stalks to the water when steaming seafood -- it adds a nice lemony dimension to your dish.Adding stalk to foil when barbequing fish is a good idea. You can also use lemongrass to add extra aroma to your poultry or meat or even use lemongrass in a spice grinder with an added garlic clove can add great complexity to a marinade. In Malaysia, there is …

THYME: The Pro-Health Wonder Drug

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Have you ever wondered about the flavors that are created upon cooking a meal? Or have you been in a restaurant and you ate something that was just -- so -- delicious? This is what such ingredients like thyme could add to those restaurant or home dishes -- complexity and pure deliciousness.

Thyme goes so well with so many other spices too, like garlic or nutmeg or oregano or rosemary and it enhances foods like beef, chicken or fish too. But, in addition to the wonderful flavors it could add to a meal, thyme also brings important medicinal value to the table.

So what does thyme help prevent? It is so good for various things like aging, alcohol abuse, cancer, cough, flu, infection and heart attack to begin with! Now with cold/flu season still around, many people still have issues with a nagging cough that won't go away. A great remedy? Thyme tea. Just steeping fresh thyme in hot water is enough to soothe a sore throat and work wonders on a cough that seemingly won't go away.

Did…

The Benefits of Ginger

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At times I take for granted that a certain food will taste a certain way – especially when it carries with it the delicious aroma and flavor of a plant or spice – like Ginger. Just yesterday I was feeling a bit “queasy” from something I ate, so I decided to make some ginger tea, and sure enough, I felt so much better.
It amazes me that ginger has been around for many thousands of years and used by various cultures from India, China, the Middle East and even the Roman Empire! How were they so ahead of their time in knowing that there was such a remedy for an upset stomach!
Ginger has also proven to be effective in other ways as well, like morning sickness, general nausea after a surgery and even chemo-induced nausea for cancer patients. Some other wonderful remedies that ginger provides? Remedies for asthma, arthritis, cholesterol problems, migraine and even heart attack prevention!
In knowing that this underground stem has so many health benefits makes me appreciate it even more in eve…