"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." Hippocrates

"One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarter keeps your doctor alive." Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb

"It is a matter of common knowledge that any processing that foods undergo serves to make them more harmful than unprocessed foods." McDonald's Corporation legal statement, shown in the documentary Supersize Me.

“Control the oil and you control entire nations; control the food and you control the people.”~ Henry Kissinger

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meatless Mondays...it's a great start!

I had heard of this movement, but didn't know they had a website until I stumbled across it in another blogger's post.  Meatless Mondays encourages folks to eat vegetarian for one day a week.  I think it's a great start. I remember back 15 years ago when I didn't think I'd make it as a vegetarian, it never occurred to me to try just one day a week. Like 99.9% of all meat eaters, I thought I needed a lot of animal protein or my body would shut down. ;) It seems rather funny now, but that's what our media and USDA have us brainwashed into believing.  I think I will go sign up with this website and start a Meatless Monday posting here. I did notice there are alot of vegetarian and vegan websites listed. :)

I wish everyone could realize the benefits that could come from everyone doing a Meatless Monday even if you can't take the whole plunge. :) Many benefits include our health, our environment, we could support local farmers (love those farmer's markets!), we would need to slaughter less animals and could be more humane to the ones we do, and let's not forget our wallets. Go Veg! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Strong scientific evidence shows that eating berries benefits the brain

As we age, one of the functions that can often deteriorate dramatically is our mental function - our brain power, if you will. The good news is, researchers may have discovered a way to prevent this kind of decline: Eat more berries.

That's right. According to research published in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, eating more blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits may help prevent age-related memory loss and other mental status changes.

In the journal article, Dr. Barbara Shukitt-Hale, PhD, and Marshall G. Miller note that as we live longer on average, there are increasing concerns about the social and monetary costs of treating Alzheimer 's disease and other forms of mental decline. That concern will only grow as the U.S. population continues to age.

Keep your brain healthy and functioning as you age

According to the research, eating more berries can have benefits for the aging brains. "To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies on the topic," said a press release from the ACS.

A review of the data found that there was strong scientific evidence that berry fruits help the brain remain healthy in a number of ways. For example, berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, "compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals." In addition, research shows that berry fruits alter the manner in which neurons in the brain communicate.

"These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition," said ACS, a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress.  "They suggest that further research will show whether these benefits are a result of individual compounds shared between berry fruits or whether the unique combinations of chemicals in each berry fruit simply have similar effects."

'Berry' good benefits

The ACS research isn't the first to suggest that antioxidants in berry fruits are beneficial to your overall health. The Global Healing Center also says berries are high in antioxidants and "have been shown to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet."

The antioxidants in berries and other fruits act as "scavengers" of free radicals, which create a destructive process on the cellular level, causing molecules within cells to become unstable, according to Dr. Edward Group.

"They may even be a big player in the formation of cancerous cells by a 'chain-reaction' effect, causing other cells to become damaged," he writes. "Because of the inherent instability of free-radicals, they try to attack other healthy cells to get stable themselves. This then causes the once-healthy cells to react in the same way, attacking others in [a] never-ending attempt for cellular stability."

Sources for this article include:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meal Plans March 4 - 9

Sunday March 4:
B: pinto beans
L:  Curried eggplant & chickpea soup, Ezekiel wrap (MSF cal. turk'y "burger", peppers, mushrooms)
D: 13 bean soup

Monday March 5:
B: 1/2 pita bread (MSF cal. turk'y "burger", asparagus, mushrooms), 12 oz fresh juice (carrot, apple, spinach, lemon, cucumber)
L: curried eggplant & chickpea soup, org. blueberries, pistachios, tea
D: chickpea & spinach soup, nut sure salad (mixed greens, apple, walnuts, balsamic vinegar), hummus, jasmine tea

Tuesday March 6:
B: Kashi GoLean cereal w/almond milk, 12 oz fresh juice (carrot, apple, spinach, lemon, cucumber)
L: curried eggplant & chickpea soup, org. blueberries, pistachios, tea
D: pinto bean soup

Wednesday march 7:
B: 13 bean soup, 12 oz fresh juice (carrot, apple, spinach, lemon, cucumber)
L:  1/2 pita (hummus, red peppers, mixed greens), org. blueberries, pistachios, tea
D: fishy sandwich, fries

Thursday March 8:
B; 13 bean soup, 12 oz fresh juice (carrot, apple, spinach, lemon, cucumber)
L: 1/2 pita (hummus, red peppers, spinach), org. blueberries, almonds, tea
D:vegan foccacia pizza (spinach, mushroom, black olives), Red & black bean w/chickpea soup

Friday March 9:
B: Kashi GoLean cereal w/almond milk &banana, 12 oz fresh juice (carrot, apple, lemon, cucumber)
L:  1/2 pita (hummus, red peppers, spinach), grapes, almonds, tea
D: seitan & veggie curry stirfry over LC Pasta (dreamfields)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Enjoy jasmine and its many benefits

Derived from Chinese Green Tea leaves, jasmine tea has become one of the most popular teas around. Other names it is known by include Xiang Pian or Mo Li Hua Cha. This tea offers many health benefits, ranging from reducing stress to preventing certain types of cancer.

Jasmine tea is also widely known to lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol levels and regulate aging processes in our bodies. It is claimed that drinking jasmine tea can assist those who want to lose weight. It also possesses sedative qualities and is said to help prevent strokes, arterial sclerosis and heart attacks.

A study done at Kansas State University showed that jasmine teas are able to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella, as well as those responsible for causing cholera, flu and dysentery. Gargling with this tea and/or using it as a mouthwash is said to help prevent tooth decay.

Using Jasmine tea can also assist with relieving headaches and respiratory problems. It helps to balance fluids in the body, making it a good choice for those suffering from water retention caused by PMS or any other medical condition. It has been claimed to have aphrodisiac qualities because of the fact that it contains linalool, jasmon, Indole and benzoic acetate (all of which are utilised by herbalists when preparing aphrodisiac remedies).

Preparing different types of jasmine tea:

Many people prefer to simply purchase the ready-prepared varieties, although you can also prepare the tea yourself from scratch using the following tips.

Iced tea can be made by using the green and white varieties of jasmine tea. Ensure that it is properly cooled before adding ice to it though. The green and white varieties of jasmine tea also contain higher concentrations of antioxidants than the oolong or black varieties.

Black: Boil some water and pour 1 cup (250ml) over a teaspoon of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Oolong: Pour 1 cup (250ml) boiling water over a teaspoon of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain and serve.

White: Bring water temperature to 185F and pour 1 cup (250ml) over 2 teaspoons of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 5 to 8 minutes. Strain and serve.

Green: Bring water temperature to 160F and pour 1 cup (250ml) over a teaspoon of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 1 to 2 minutes. Strain and serve.

The reasons for different steeping times is that should it steep too much or too little, it can cause the tea to either be too weak or become bitter.

Pregnant women should exercise caution and not consume too much jasmine tea. It should also not be consumed on an empty stomach as it can cause raised levels of acidity in the body.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Meal Plans Feb 26-Mar 3

Sunday Feb 26:
B: scrambled tofu, 10 oz fresh juice (apple, carrot, lemon, spinach)
L/D: pinto beans, rustic italian bread

Monday Feb 27:
B: Kashi Heart to Heart cereal/soymilk, 10 oz fresh juice (apple, carrot, lemon, spinach)
L: 1/2 pita (lettuce, pepper, hummus), blueberries, pistachios, tea
D: eggplant curry soup, red cabbage slaw, seitan & mushroom burger

Tuesday Feb 28:
B: Kashi GoLean cereal/almond milk, 12 oz fresh juice (apple, carrot, lemon, spinach)
L: 1/2 pita (lettuce, pepper, hummus), blueberries, pistachios, tea
D: seitan & mushroom burger w/red cabbage slaw, red bean & mushroom soup

Wednesday Feb 29:
B: Kashi GoLean cereal/almond milk, 12 oz fresh juice (apple, carrot, lemon, spinach)
L: salad (mixed greens, green pepper, carrot) w/italian dressing, pistachios, blueberries, tea
D: hummus w/pita points, seitan & mushroom burger

Thursday Mar 1:
B: Kashi GoLean cereal w/almond milk, 12 oz fresh juice (apple, carrot, lemon, spinach)
L: 1/2 pita (lettuce, green pepper, onion, hummus), blueberries, pistachios, tea
D: tomato & corn chowder, hummus w/pita points

Friday Mar 2:
B: pinto beans, 12 oz fresh juice (apple, carrot, lemon)
L: 1/2 pita w/mixed greens, green peper, onion, humus, blueberries, tea
D: bbq tofu & veggie stirfry, tea

Saturday Mar 3:
B/L: pinto beans, 12 oz fresh juice (apple, carrot, lemon,spinach)
D: blackened crab-stuffed tilapia, broccoli florets, salad w/ranch dressing