Window Garden Harvest & Tips

A peak into my window gardening progress and some easy and helpful growing tips.  Such a good hobby if you are looking for something to promote well being mind, body and spirit.

As always, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  REPOST, COMMENT💬, and YES, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for dropping by!

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Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

What’s for dinner?

How many times a week do we hear or ask this? On a tight budget but need to fill your family’s bellies with nutritious AND delicious food? Tired of the same dishes and need to awaken your taste buds? Sometimes this is such a tall order. First of all, eggplant is not only a versatile fruit, and yes, I said fruit (not vegetable), it has so many health benefits.

Eggplant contains many nutrients that are essential for our health and it’s low in fat and cholesterol. It is a great source of Vitamins B1, B3 and B6, potassium, manganese, copper, folate, magnesium and tryptophan.

Just a cup of cooked eggplant contains about 30 calories. Eggplants also contain phytochemicals that strengthen health.

Eggplant Parmesan provides a healthy dose of vitamin A, approximately 25 to 29 percent of the daily requirements needed. This vitamin provides a variety of eye benefits and helps us to make antibodies that strengthen our immune systems. We recieve up to 17 percent of the daily recommended intake of calcium and 10 to 13 percent of the vitamin C needed daily as well. One of my favorite things about eggplant is that is is filling and provides satiety.  Or as my Grandma used to say, food that sticks to your ribs😍!

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe:
What you will need🍆🍴

2-3 medium size eggplants
2 eggs
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of flour
Seasonings & herbs: salt, black pepper, paprika, granulated or garlic powder, dried oregano and dried parsley
3 cups of your favorite homemade or store bought spaghetti sauce
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese (1/2 c to decrease fat and calories)

Sunflower or olive oil

Directions:

▶Make a dry batter for the eggplant by adding the cornmeal, flour, about 1/3 teaspoons of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of all other seasonings (black pepper, granulated or garlic powder, oregano, paprika and parsley. Tweek to your taste buds keeping in mind that you will also season the eggplant pieces as well.

▶Wash and dry your eggplants thoroughly.

I enjoy the fiber and nutrients received from the skin of the eggplant so your choice to peel or leave it as is.

▶Slice the eggplant (about 1/4 inch in thickness) then cut the circularly sliced pieces in 1/2 and place in a large bowl.

▶Season to taste with the above seasonings, making sure not to oversalt (I suggest sprinkling lightly with each seasoning listed above).

▶Crack 2 eggs and beat them in a small bowl.  Pour the beaten eggs over the seasoned eggplant slices and thoroughly coat each piece by mixing with your hands.

▶Ok OLD SCHOOLERS, get a large and clean disposable sack or large freezer bag/paper sack and place dry batter in it. Next place your eggplant pieces. It’s great to include your children in this part of the process. Close the bag by holding the opening firmly and just shake like crazy 😆until you see all eggplant pieces are coated thoroughly with egg and dry batter.

▶Bake the pieces in a few large baking pans that are generously oiled with sunflower/olive oil, making sure also to lay the pieces flat and add oil on top of them as well to help them to cook more crispy and not mushy. Bake 25-30 minutes at 175 °C /375°or so F and take them out to turn them over. Return to bake another 20 minutes or so (oven cooking times may vary).

▶Take a medium size baking pan and lightly coat it with cooking oil (olive/sunflower)

▶Now place a thin layer of your spaghetti sauce followed by a layer of eggplant pieces then a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

Continue to layer in this order (usually makes about 4 layers).

The last layer should be topped with a generous layer of sauce on top of the eggplant followed by all of the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings and dried herbs again except for salt.

▶Bake at the above temperature until cheeses are melted (about 20 minutes). Remove and let sit about 10 minutes and serve. I hope you enjoy my version of this tasty dish!


Please give feedback on this recipe and your version of this dish. Follow👫Like👍Comment💬 and of course share🙌!

Prepare Now for Cold and Flu Season

 

As we try to brace ourselves to fight off colds and other viruses in the coming season, I have found one thing that seems to boost the immunity and help the body recover from these viruses.  For a long time, we have used ginger and lemon as a tea, but I had always been thinking how I could make it even more potent.

It suddenly occurred to me that so many recipes that I have used in the past that call for lemons as the ingredient specifically require the use of the lemon rind.  Just in the small amount of the rind, we know that we get a powerful amount of flavor.  Well it’s not just the benefit of the added flavor from this small amount of the rind ingredient, we also gain:

  • 5-10 times more vitamins and minerals in the rind than in the juice of the lemon
  • Cancer fighting protection from a phytonutrient called salvestrol Q40 as well as limonene.
  • Flavenoids also found in the rind help to slow down the division of cancer cells
  • Due to the amount of calcium and vitamin C, lemon rinds are excellent for promoting bone health and all sorts of joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory polyarthritis.  It even helps with osteoporosis
  • Decrease in cholesterol (LDL in particular).  This is the cholesterol that is not healthy for us.  This in turn will lead to better circulation and heart health.

So, I thought to myself, why not use the entire lemon in a tea with my usual ginger, but instead of using in the form of chunks, blend it  ALL up.  Here is what you will need:

  • About enough ginger root to fit into the palm of your hand or about the size of a medium sized lemon. Peel the ginger root and rinse it with water.
  • About 1/4 cup of brown sugar (and 1/2 cup of white sugar , or use all brown sugar if you please)
  • 4 tea bags of whatever type of tea you would like (optional)
  • About a tablespoon of honey
  • 1&1/2 liters of boiled water (filtered or good quality bottled water, not tap)
  • A medium or large lemon, washed with soap and water. DO NOT PEEL. Use the rind and the entire lemon so as not to lose the vitamin C in the rind.
  1. Once you gathered your ingredients, chop the washed lemon and the peeled ginger root into chunks as seen above.
  2. Place the chunks of ginger, chunks of lemon, honey, sugars and about 1/3 of the boiled water into your blender.  Blend the ingredients for about a minute.
  3. Meanwhile, put the tea bags (optional) and the rest of your boiled water into a medium sized pot and pour the blended contents into this pot and stir a few times (above uppermost right picture).
  4. Let the ingredients steep by covering the pot with a top for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. After steeping, strain all at one time or one serving at a time as seen above.
  6. Save the strained ingredients in a tupperware and use it once more if you desire but within 1-2 days.  Store in the fridge.
  7. Enjoy your Immune System Boost and hopefully prevent catching so many colds and the flu this Winter, and if you do I hope this will aid in a quicker recovery!images

TO PREVENT FRIENDS AND FAMILY FROM GETTING SICK, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  REPOST, COMMENT💬, and YES, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for dropping by!

Give Yourself a Tumeric Tune-up

Can you use a boost or want to cleanse out toxins but want a natural source?  Want to jump start your metabolism?  Suffer from Acne?  How about Arthritis and other inflammatory diseases?  Take a few minutes to read.  You may add on to your life or someone you care for by using the following info about a super food that we all should keep in our kitchen.

Tumeric is a plant that is the main spice in curry.  Most people know it for its bitter taste and its bright orange color.  It has a sharp taste and smells like pepper.  In addition to its use to flavor and color curry, its root is also used in the making of medications. 

In addition to its antiinfective properties (antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal) tumeric is also loaded with protein and dietary fiber.  It is packed with a host of vitamins and nutrients such as niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.  If that’s not enough, check out these additional uses.

Top 10 Claims to Fame 

Prevents cancer

Helps to relieve inflammation such as in arthritis and has anti-oxidant properties to destroy free radicals.

Prevents liver disease

Controls diabetes

Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

Reduces cholesterol level

My favorite- boosts the immune system!

Can improve digestion

Heals wounds

Can help to maintain ideal body weight

Bonus:  I have found it helpful with lemon juice for controlling acne!

How does it work

Some components in tumeric may help to decrease swelling (inflammation).  Tumeric also has anti-oxidant properties which decrease free radicals that can damage the cells in our body.

Sources such as Web MD report that for most problems, tumeric has been used in doses of 500 mg twice a day and up to 500 mg four times a day.  As with everything, it is not without side effects, however, I would rather use something natural that has been around for ages instead of popping a pill.  Feel free to comment on your experience with this natural root.

References and further reading:

Top 10 Health Benefits of Tumeric

Web MD Review of Tumeric

I have found truth to the claims that it is an immune system booster, great for alleviating pain, good for healthier looking skin, great for joint flexibility and so much more.  It has been used for thousands of years and has been used in Ayurvedic medical practice in India.  A few other things I did not know about it is that it supports healthy eyesight and that it supports healthy respiratory function.

How much tumeric should you take?

As always, you should ask your doctor, however, many doctors are not into non-pharmaceutical healing.  I can only report to you what has been done by various individuals and ask that you be responsible and talk it through with your healthcare provider before trying anything.  There are so many drug-drug and drug-herb interactions that it may also be helpful to download an app to your phone.  Its great for preliminary information on interactions and is called “Natural Medicines Database”.

I have found various sources that say that to gain benefit from tumeric, you should use about 1 teaspoon a day of the ground dried root powder.  20160122_115521 (2)

I buy tumeric from the grocery store in the spice section.  Make sure to read the label so that you are getting 100% (or as close as possible).  I suspect that a small amount is curcumin, about 2%, but just remember that all brands are not created equal.  My label looks like this:

20160122_120358 (2)

If you do your own research, you will find dosages vary a lot, mainly because some studies have used them for prevention of unwanted symptoms or disease and some studies used it in curative doses.

So how do I use it?

I like to take the juice of half of a lemon and a teaspoon of tumeric powder and put it in about 1/2 cup of room temperature water.  Take it to the head then rinse it down with a half cup more of room temperature water.  I use a good brand of bottled water with a pH a bit above 8.  I do this about every other day.  The lemon is good for liver detox and is high in vitamin C and other minerals.  Both components are good for clearer skin.  You will get the benefits of both.  I do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and boy does it wake me up!  You will find that others use ginger root with these two which you are welcome to do.   I like to be able to keep it easy without having to chop or juice.  I find that the easier it is, the more successful I am with sticking to it.

Another recipe:  http://www.thesweeterthejuice.com/make-ginger-lemon-turmeric-wellness-shot/

Disclaimer:  As always, please remember to consult your doctor before using any medication, herbal or natural product/supplements.  If you are pregnant or nursing, please especially be cautious of using any medication, herbal or natural product/supplements without consulting your doctor.  This information is only to be used as a supplement to instructions given by your medical professional and you should always inform them of the usage of other medications, herbs or natural products/supplements.

STOP!!!! Before leaving this page!!!

If there has been something useful or that you enjoyed in this post, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  COMMENT💬, and yes, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for stopping by!

Five Ways to Fight Breast Cancer

breast-cancer-black-_Syda_Productions_large

So, you just received some of the worst news of your life.  Everything stands still for what it seems like an eternity as the doctor breaks the news to you, “You have breast cancer.”  Millions of thoughts race through your mind.  If you are not Superwoman and just an ordinary woman like the rest of us, millions of thoughts run through your mind and your life may even flash before your eyes.  The end that you see is so dark and feels so lonely. (Men, let us not forget that 1 out of 1,000 men also receive this diagnosis).

Well we all know that this vessel that our souls are housed in is breaking down by the minute and there is more to healing than just the physical.  It takes a holistic approach to treat and ultimately cure any disease.  An approach to treatment that considers mind, body and spirit!

Before you finish writing the story of your life, why not add some chapters and take it one day at a time, of course, leaning on the Creator of All, our Heavenly Father first and foremost to help you fight this battle?  He has put everything we need here to prevent and even heal Dis-Eases.

Where does cancer come from?

Most researchers would agree that there is some type of gene mutation that occurs.  A small percentage of cancers occur as a result of an inherited gene mutation from our parents that we are born with.  Most gene mutations occur after birth and aren’t inherited.   They may be caused by outside forces, such as smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation and a lack of exercise.  During cell growth, these gene mutations occur frequently.   The majority of the time, our cells contain a maintenance plan to repair a cell that is performing incorrectly, however, when the mistake is missed, the cell can become cancerous.

What natural things can I do to help my body heal?

Keep in mind that all of the things below are meant to serve as supplemental care to cancer treatment.  Some choose to treat only naturally and others may decide to use a combination of holistic plus a more westernized approach.

  • ALKALIZE YOUR BODY:  Cancer cells thrive off of an acidic environment and just love to break down sugar.  After getting in your 5 servings per day of veggies and fruits that you need to eat to maintain a healthy diet, juicing veggies with a small amount of fruit is extremely powerful!  Green vegetables like kale and spinach help to alkalize the body fluids the best.  Blending instead of juicing and making smoothies is another healthy way to alkalize.  Keep the fruits to a minimum and add natural anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh ginger and spices such as tumeric.  Make sure you get organic foods and pass on the pesticides. This is an excellent reference for juicing and great ideas:  Juicing and Cancer

 

  • WATER IS SO IMPORTANT:  What is your water source?  While researchers are still trying to decide if the pH of our water has any influence on stopping or slowing cancer growth, ask them if they would rather drink from the tap or drink water that has been properly filtered and chemical/toxin free.  Water makes up a major part of our body weight so we should know that what we replenish with is very important!  At a lower pH, cancer cells thrive.  Can you drink water with a pH that is too high?  Sure.  There is a balance to everything.  Ideally we would all drink spring water but not many of us have continuous access to a spring.  Ionized water is also held in high regard when it comes to aiding in cancer treatment.  It’s a great antioxidant and therefore neutralizes free radicals in the body that are known to aid in cancer development.  (see article for full explanation Ionized Water Treatment).  If you must drink bottled water and do not have a good filtration or purification system in your home, FUJI bottled water is great and is more alkaline.  FUJI also has a reverse osmosis purification system that can be installed into your home which is also more ideal.  ( FUJI Water System )

 

  • Lack of Sleep and CancerThere was a 2003 study done that showed how well we sleep may determine how well our body will be able to fight cancer.  Not too long ago, I also wrote a post about the link between high cortisol levels (the “stress hormone” triggered during times of anxiety) and lack of sleep as well as how lack of sleep can lead to us being more susceptible to other diseases and disorders.  Relationship Between Cortisol and StressSome even believe that our mental well being may also be a big part of the recovery process or can contribute to the worsening of cancer.  In previous studies, physicians found that problems with sleeping change the balance of 2 or more hormones that influence cancer cells, one of them being cortisol.  Cortisol is a big player in regulation of our immune systems and the release of cells called “natural killers” that help our bodies to fight cancer.  We have a natural rise in cortisol and it reaches it’s peak at dawn after we have slept and it lowers during the day.  Sleep disturbances can disrupt this rhythm, leading to a lower ability of the body to fight breast cancer.

    A second major player is the hormone melatonin which is also affected by sleep. It’s produced by the brain during sleep and may have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells that can lead to cancer.  Melatonin also lowers estrogen production from the ovaries so if you suffer from lack of sleep, this leads to a deficiency in melatonin.  Levels of estrogen most likely will result, thus increasing the risk of breast cancer.   Bottom line….we all need to sleep minimum 7 hours per night and sleeping during the night is more in tune with our bodies and our circadian rhythms.  See below reference for more reading.

    How Sleep Affects Cancer

  • What things should I stop doing?

There are so many things that we eat that can allow cancer to thrive but more importantly there are things that we use such as personal hygiene items and cosmetics that can literally be killing us.  Please refer to my recent post.  It is best to go natural when at all possible and eliminate these items, especially in the battle against cancer.  The less exposure to toxins and the more awareness to prevent further exposure, the more your body can begin to repair itself. Pretty Kills (known toxins you may be using)

  • What role do Mind and Spirit play?

Now that we have spoken so much about the body and how to not only heal, but prevent further damage in various ways, I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t speak about the role of our mental health and spiritual beliefs.  Why is it that more and more hospitals are finding that patients that spend time in the hospital garden have less anxiety and a better state of mind?  Studies found that gardening not only provides exercise, takes our minds off of our worries, but may also influence how we eat  as well.  Many researchers also agree that physical activity holds a major role in healing from cancer.  Gardening is seen as a hobby versus exercise, so people generally enjoy it more than running on a treadmill or aerobics.  If you have ever tried gardening, you also look forward to the daily surprises in the growth that takes place.  These things are definite positive influences on stress hormone levels, blood pressure, and our immune systems.

Let us also remember that we can control some things, but ultimately if we are walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh, we believe in something that is much bigger than all of us.  I believe in prayer and that whatever we ask, be it our Heavenly Father’s will, it shall be done.  So many things in life can come and shake the foundation of our faith, however, we must continue to believe and show our belief through our works.  Spiritual well-being is at the core of all and this I believe is a great starting point for many ailments if you are seeking full recovery.

If there has been something useful or that you enjoyed in this post, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  COMMENT💬, and yes, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for reading!😄

 

Pretty Kills

cosmetics2

How many cosmetics or personal grooming agents do YOU use daily? The average woman uses up to 16 products per day and men around 6 per day.  Men, before you stop reading, consider this; don’t many of you use shaving balm or shaving cream, deodorant or antiperspirant, lotion, cologne, bath soap, face soap, toothpaste, or lip balm/chap stick?  Need I go on?

Ladies, let’s just dive on in shall we?  Do we really need to go there, because many of us could open a cosmetic booth in the mall with the number of products we own.  And before you say, “Our government protects us and monitors products that are being sold on the market,” here are some quick hard facts about regulations and regulating bodies.  The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates cosmetics under two laws:    1) The FD & C Act (Food Drug Cosmetic Act and 2) the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.  Long story short, cosmetics ARE NOT FDA approved but are said to be FDA regulated.  What???????  😨 This doesn’t even make good sense!

Here’s the kicker:  Cosmetics only need FDA approval if color additives are used, however, if a product on the market isn’t within compliance or a firm or individual goes against the laws, the FDA “can” pursue enforcement against them.  Oh, but wait a minute!  If no one is really diligently looking for problems, this makes our use of many products a huge experiment in my opinion.  Also, it puts the burden of reporting adverse effects in the consumers’ laps.

I know you may be thinking, “I only use things labeled as ‘Herbal, Natural or Organic‘”, but just know that there are no legal definitions for these terms.  Many companies prey on us by using these meaningless claims on their packaging.   Since the 1970s, it’s said that the FDA has only banned about 8 out of thousands of products.  I can imagine that this number is not complete seeing that there are so many cosmetic products on the market and growing daily.

Many of these products are deemed safe because of the amounts in which the ingredients that potentially or knowingly cause health hazards are considered acceptable; but what about the cumulative effects by the time we use even 2 or more of these cosmetics daily?  Not to mention what some of the products are doing to our unborn children.  Most of our children will be born with levels of the below toxins, not even having a fresh start in life.

Here is a very short list of commonly used chemicals in some of our favorite cosmetic products.  I will just say that I have much work to do to at the least, minimize me and my family’s exposure to these agents or avoid them altogether:

  1. Triclosan:  this agent is found in many antibacterial products such as toothpaste, lotion and soap.  There is some hinting at harmful effects in animals in studies done by the FDA and body hormone levels, more specifically the reproductive organs.  It may even be a cancer risk.  In addition, being an antibacterial agent may contribute to the increase in antibiotic resistance from certain bacteria.
  2. 1,4-dioxane:  many cosmetics contain a by product of this in low levels, however, it has been shown to induce cancer in rats and high levels may cause organ damage in humans.
  3. Lead Acetate:  I shouldn’t have to go any further with this one, but I will.  This is an extremely toxic metal associated with neurological and organ toxicity.  It may even play a role in the development of cancer and of course lead poisoning is especially dangerous for kids.  This may be in your favorite lipstick or imported cosmetic.
  4. Formaldehyde:  Can I say gross!  This is not only cancer causing but used for embalming the dead.  Do we really need to use it as a nail hardener?
  5. Mercury compounds:  Mercury is used mainly as a preservative in some eye shadows and other eye make-up as well as some skin whitening creams.  The FDA is said to regulate this.  This substance is extremely toxic and can be absorbed via the skin and into the brain, causing brain damage.  I am sure many of us have heard the theory on the link between mercury and autism in children.  There are mercury derivatives in immunizations and these claims have come up by physicians and concerned parents time and time again; however, that’s another story.
  6. Coal Tar:  a product commonly used in shampoos to combat dandruff, hair dyes, treatment for psoriasis.  It is a KNOWN human carcinogen.  This chemical causes damage to our DNA, thus can lead to a high risk of cancer development.  It also can cause increased risk of sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer.
  7. Phthalates:  there are multiple types such as DBP, DMP, and DEP.  These are commonly found in nail polish, soap, hairsprays, shampoos and perfumes.  They may cause risk to an unborn child and beware that perfumes don’t have to list that they contain these.
  8. Diethanolamine (DEA):  used in lotions, shampoos and other cosmetics as an emulsifier and foaming agent.  There are inconclusive results from the Department of Human Health Services that DEA is a carcinogen, but I would say, when in doubt, avoid!
  9. Mineral Oil:  can cause testicular tumors in babies, clogs pores and has not been proven to give the skin anything beneficial.  It’s also called liquid petroleum or paraffin oil.
  10. Sanitary pads and tampons:  some of these can contain pepsides and dioxins.  These substances can stay in your body for many years.
  11. Beware of cocoa butter products that are not 100%- they can contain a lot of mineral oil.
  12. All that glitters is not gold:  avoid products that have glitter and unnatural coloring.  In general, these products usually contain many of the above agents.

Since cosmetic companies aren’t required to ensure that a product is safe, it’s a great idea to replace products that may be deemed risky with natural things.  If you just MUST use something, prioritize.  Let’s be realistic, we all need some form of odor protection.  Be kind to those around you!  So, my list of things to start finding a replacement for are the common everyday things such as:

Deodorant: there is a very good tip I found while cruising Hipster Veggie’s YouTube Channel about using lime juice daily applied to the armpits.  You will need to find what works best for you.  Also, look for a deodorant free of aluminum.  Be good to your brain and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

Soaps: Look for soaps that are pure and 100%.  I am finding that I need to order from online small companies that really take ownership in their products.  Go local and know your cosmetic provider if at all possible.

Moisturizers:  the best moisturizer I have ever used is coconut oil for hair, body and face.  I have sensitive skin and can’t use a lot of products anyway.  Used after patting dry after a bath or after washing my face leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.  Make sure you have a product that is organic and 100% coconut oil.

Hair products:  the internet is full of ideas on maintaining healthy hair.  The old mayonnaise as a conditioner worked for me growing up.  A combination of honey, hemp oil and olive oil has been great as a natural styling gel for my hair for many years.

These are my priorities and a few ideas that have helped me.  I am already a lover of the natural and things that heal rather than things that go against our health, so I ‘m willing to do without nail polish, makeup, hair dyes and goops in a bottle, etc.  The time you invest in shortening your list of things that contain the above products can actually buy you time in your actual lifespan exponentially!  I hope that you decide to research how you can limit your exposure of the chemical hazards above and use more natural products.  Although not convenient, maybe even be inspired to make your own.

Helpful resource:

US FDA Cosmetic List Recalls

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Garden Whisper

This poem and mood was inspired by my modest window garden.  I truly miss planting in the earth and having a big back yard, however, sometimes you have to stir what you got!  Be grateful in all that the Most High gives and He will increase what you have beyond your dreams.  Such order in nature and as I observe the growth of my tomato and melon plants, avocado, lemon and pomegranate trees, although small, I get a sense of calm as I care for them and watch the progress made from week to week.  Did you know that since the mid 80’s hospitals began to take advantage of the calming effect received by patients who suffer from pain and anxiety.  These are huge sources of stress that damage our immune systems.  So, test this theory out on a stressful day and take a stroll through a garden.  Even consider starting your own.  Even a window garden like mine can be beneficial.  Isn’t your health worth it?

Go Go Goji!

Goji berries are amazing, and although small, are packed with so many vitamins and nutrients. They are also known as lycii fructus, lycium barbarum, wolfberries and even Red Diamonds.  Top 10 reasons to incorporate them into your regular diet:

  • High antioxidant action
  • Improves immune function
  • High in fiber and nutrients
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Fights cancer
  • Detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • Enhances eye health
  • Increases fertility
  • Energy, sleep aid and mood booster
  • Blood health

In addition, it has been said that they prolong life.  Goji berries contain beta sitosterol which decreases the development of cancer, aids in arthritis and allergies and prevents premature aging. Goji berries have neuroprotective effects due to their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Goji up for Cold and Flu season! These berries are packed with Vitamin C and Iron which also helps to boost our Immune Systems.

Other nutritional facts in 28 grams:

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 18 Amino acids which includes all of the essential ones
  • 22 trace minerals
  • Loads of fiber
  • Vitamins C, A, riboflavin, iron, potassium, copper, thiamine, zinc, selenium, and calcium.  This is nature’s multivitamin!

Dosage:

Generally this depends on your condition. Here is a reference which may prove helpful.

dosage suggestions

How to use them in your diet:

These berries are Berry versatile! They can be purchased at health food stores as dried fruit and used in salads, in smoothies along with chia seeds, in trail mix or homemade granola bars, or just as they are. You can also use them to make a tea, smoothies, shakes or juice if bought fresh.

Caution!!!  ⚠💊Consult your healthcare provider before starting if you take high blood pressure meds or blood thinner medications such as warfarin or anti-diabetic medications.  Goji berries may interact with these medications.

I recently started using them in breakfast pancakes and cake recipes to add more fiber and nutrients to give a fuller feeling. So far, they have worked well to suppress my appetite. Give them a try and let me know what you experience!😄🍒🍇

Quick Easy Quiche

Quiche is such a versatile and filling dish.  It’s packed with nutrition and the star ingredients, eggs, have some bragging rights as well.  There was a time that eggs were shunned and thought not to be so healthy for us.  The logic was that since they are high in cholesterol (213 mg/large egg), that eggs are big culprits for heart disease.  After a 25 year study, it was found that saturated fats in foods were the main culprit for high cholesterol in the blood, thus linked to cardiovascular disease.  Dairy products high in fat and fatty meats are examples of foods that can trigger the production of cholesterol in the body.  As of 2000, the AHA (American Heart Association) has revised its dietary guidelines so that an egg a day is fine and a cholesterol limit of 300mg/day is currently recommended.

Why are eggs good for us🍳:

Eggs contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are powerful disease fighting nutrients and antioxidants.  They are a great source of protein (7 grams), 75 calories and 340 grams of carbs.  Of the 5 grams of fat, they only contain 1.6 grams of saturated fat.  The choline content is good for our brains and the carotenoids that they contain may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.  In addition, eggs contain Vitamin A, Folate, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Vitamins D, B5, B12, B2, Phosphorus and Selenium (and Omega-3 if you use pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs).  Eggs have also been found to increase HDL (good cholesterol).

Keep in mind that we still must not go overboard as with any food.  In about 30% of people who have been found to be “hyper-responders”, eggs can cause high LDL (bad cholesterol) and higher total cholesterol levels but in the majority of people, eggs have no impact at all on blood cholesterol.

Quick & Easy Broccoli & Mushroom Quiche Recipe

First the Crust

You can either buy it or make it yourself.  This recipe may look overwhelming, but trust me, it’s not that bad.  If you are making it yourself, here is a very quick rule to remember.  As a rule of thumb, use 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part water.  More exact amounts are as follows:

  • 8 ounces/1 cup of butter (cold)
  • 2&1/2 cups of self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 6-8 tablespoons of ice cold water

Add dry ingredients into food processor then pulse a few times.  Add half of your butter to the food processor and pulse 6-8 times.  Add the rest of the butter and pulse again 6-8 times.  Sprinkle in about 2 tablespoons of the cold water and pulse again.  Continue adding the cold water a tablespoon at a time and pulse after each addition.  Do a pinch test of the crust mixture to see if it holds together and when it does, it’s mixed thoroughly enough.  Take the mixture out and put it on a flat surface and begin to flatten it with the palm of your hand.  Work it into a ball.  Don’t over work the dough or it will be tough.  You will see the small pieces of butter in your dough and this is good for a flaky crust.

Once you have formed a ball, divide the dough into 2 and lightly flour it.  Wrap the pieces in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour.  After an hour, take it out and let it sit at room temp for about 10 minutes to let it soften.  This will make it easier to roll out.  Roll the dough with a rolling pin into the shape of your pan.  Roll it onto the pin and quickly transfer it by unrolling it into your pan.  Be careful to fit the dough into the corners of the pan.  Cut away any edges that hang over the pan.

Use parchment, wax paper or foil and lay on top of the dough then add dry rice or beans filling the pan 2/3 of the way.  Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C for 20 minutes.  Take out and  poke wholes in the bottom of the crust and after cooling a few minutes return it but without the dry rice/beans.  Let it bake another 10 minutes.  Take it out and let it cool completely.

Filling

Saute any veggies that you want for your quiche.  My favorites include broccoli in combination with mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onion, fresh garlic and a very small amount of your choice of cheese (optional).  Lightly salt and pepper to taste and add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and sweet paprika.  A dash of cheyenee will spice it up a bit!  Saute all veggies over medium heat in a few tablespoons of olive or sunflower oil until onions and red bell peppers are beginning to carmelize, being careful to stir every so often to prevent sticking.

At the same time, you can mix your eggs for the quiche.  For my family of 6, I use about 7 eggs, beaten in a medium size bowl, about 1/2 cup of flour added slowly while mixing, about 1/4 cup of milk (almond is great to add more nutrients and keep saturated fats at a low) and a pinch each of salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.  I love to add a small amount of thyme as well.

Putting it all together

Take your crust in your pan and place your veggies in it, being careful to drain off any liquid.  Now is the time to add low fat cheese or if you use your favorite cheese that is high in fat, use very little (1/2 cup or less).  Now add your egg mixture over the veggies and cheese.  Bake at 350 F/175 C for about 30 minutes.  Oven times and settings will vary so watch closely and check it after about 15 minutes.  It should be firm but not hard or runny.

Hope you enjoy and by the way, don’t feel guilty about the butter.  Remember, this amount is spread over the entire pan and in my opinion, if you’re gonna make your crust, there’s nothing like real butter!  Enjoy your quiche for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Serve at room temp or even cold.

So if you liked the info on eggs or the recipe, comment back and or like.  Always love to have the feedback!

 

 

Grilled Asparagus and Broccoli Recipe

Just had to reblog this recipe. Who says healthy can’t be tasty?

Recipes by chefkreso

Hey guys! Do you ever find yourself racking your brain thinking about the side dish you’re going to serve next to a juicy rib eye steak or grilled chicken breast? Well it happens to me more often than I’d care to admit. But there is an easy, delicious and healthy solution if you love grilled vegetables. For me grilled vegetables are a the best option if barbecuing with friends. It’s easy to make, it is healthy compared to other side dishes like fries, and it is very delicious.

Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods in the world and many people don’t eat it as much, but with just some seasoning it can be really delicious. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, C, B6, B2 and E, chromium, folate and fiber among other healthy nutrients. Asparagus, similar to broccoli, is rich in vitamins A, E, C, K and B6 as…

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