I have been trying to think of a title for this blog entry and “Why?” seems to fit best. Regarding the subject I wish to discuss, all my thoughts and questions contain “why” somewhere.
For example, why don’t more people read? Why don’t more people do research? Why do people have amazing faith in the untrustworthy yet question validity? Why don’t more people ask MORE questions? I think there is a lot of effort and work behind wonderment and why questions many rather avoid.
You are probably wondering what this blog is all about. Why? 😉 Gotcha!
Hello to you, it has been awhile since I have written, all the same reasons, of course: work, school, life. I have just been a busy girl! Oh! And we have a new dog! Remember my last post, “Indecisiveness“…well, Mandy Pandy (her nickname) has been in our home since February 19th. We formally adopted her on February 27th, but that will be another blog! Here is a sneak peek of our new girl:
Ya…made her wear a sign of shame last week.
Anyway, back to it. My husband and I have been doing vast research on GMOs (genetically modified organisms), GE and GM foods (genetically engineered/modified), organics, Monsanto, politics, pharmaceuticals, etc., for many, many months now. My husband really preaches it. Sometimes I just want to hide my head in the sand around our family and friends because he can be quite overbearing with this subject. However when you get an amazing testimony from someone who happened to listen…that is what this blog is about. Why don’t more people ask questions? Why don’t more people listen?
We began asking many questions after seeing Food, Inc. The questions multiplied once we saw Genetic Roulette. Actually, our questions tripled and our whole lifestyle and eating habits changed. For the better. We also learned much from the documentary King Corn. Of the three, Genetic Roulette answers so many “why” questions and introduces the viewer to critical thinking.
So, my husband shared some information with an elevator vendor at a commercial building he oversees. The guy actually listened. He watched all three of these movies and told my husband he now “sings the no-GMO song.” Wow! This gentleman has started reading labels, he gave up soft drinks, he eats organic food and avoids GMO products. In just a couple of months he has lost over 16 pounds, has been taken off of his blood pressure and cholesterol medications, and he has been spreading his testimony to his friends and family. As well, his wife and two children have completely changed their diets. He is now a believer! This made my husband’s day and triggered my curiosity as to why more people won’t consider the dangers of GMO’s.
Have YOU seen any of these movies? Do YOU read food labels? How do YOU feel about GMOs? Do YOU care? We have so many friends who could care less about this topic or their own eating habits. Are YOU opposed to eating organic? Why or why not? Many dislike the fact that organic food products are higher priced than non-organic foods. While this may be true, in the long run imagine what you will save monetarily and gain for your health by eating organics. Don’t get me wrong, I used to LOVE consuming Cheetos and whole cans of Pringles. I am also not okay with ingesting pesticides, are you?
So, I challenge you to do some homework. I am providing a simple list below. I guarantee you will be singing the no-GMO song too! If you are not willing to do this homework, please allow me to ask why? Again, I am challenging you and would love, love, love to hear back from you and for you to share your testimony. Because you WILL have one. Don’t just take my word on it. Do your homework and ask “why” questions.
One month from now I want to hear from you,
1. Watch the movie Genetic Roulette. If you wish to also watch Food, Inc., and King Corn, feel free to do so.
2. Start reading all of your food labels. Avoid products that contain corn, corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and soy. Corn and soy are the top GMO crops. Any and all corn or soy products you consume, make sure they are organic.
3. Stop drinking soft drinks. Period. Not even diet. Just give them up. Substitute lemon water, plain water or organic teas.
4. Shop, buy and eat ONLY organic produce and food products. Look for that USDA stamp and organic certification. Frequent your local farmers markets.
5. Keep a journal on how you feel, changes you notice. How is your energy? Any changes in weight? Sleeping better? Consider getting a blood panel done, talk to your doctor about your diet change, and have that blood panel tested again after one month. Numbers do not lie. You will be amazed!
Aside Posted on
“When life gives you lemons make grape juice and sit back and watch the world ask how you did it.” -Tori Truax
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We have a lemon tree in our backyard that produces abundant amounts of lemons it seems year round! Right now we have more lemons than I know what to do with, so I decided to do some research this morning to find additional uses for all these lemons we have.
Did you know the Ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons and drinking lemon juice was an effective protection against a variety of poisons, and that recent research has confirmed this belief?
There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances-notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene-that promote immunity and fight infection.
These are well-known health facts about lemons. But there’s so much more to this little yellow fruit. Whether you use them in the form of juice, teas, drinks, dressing, poultices or in the bath, take advantage of lemons’ natural healing power.
NOTE: If you suffer from heartburn, kidney or gall bladder problems or have a citrus allergy consult your doctor before using these remedies or drinking lemon juice. To protect your teeth enamel, wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after chewing, drinking or rinsing with lemon juice. Rubbing lemon juice or oil and drinking lemon juice is not suitable for children under the age of 10. Lemons are effective home remedies for a variety of health concerns but in the case of serious illness always consult your doctor first.
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Some lemon facts:
1. Lemons are alkalizing for the body: Lemons are acidic to begin with but they are alkaline-forming on body fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH.
2. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work against infections like the flu and colds.
3. Your liver loves lemons: “The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile,” says Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden. Fresh lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
4. Cleans your bowels: Lemons increase peristalsis in the bowels, helping to create a bowel movement thus eliminating waste and helping with regularity. Add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink first thing in the morning.
5. Scurvy is treated by giving one to two ounces of lemon juice diluted with water every two to four hours. In 1747, a naval surgeon named James Lind cured scurvy with fresh lemons. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor could have one ounce of juice a day. In the past, lemons were replaced with limes; this is where the English got their nickname “limeys.”
6. The citric acid in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.
7. Vitamin C in lemons helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease.
8. The lemon peel contains the potent phytonutrient tangeretin, which has been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
9. In India, Ayurveda medicine values the lemon as a fruit and for its properties. It is sour, warm, promoter of gastric fire, light, good for vision, pungent and astringent.
10. It destroys intestinal worms.
11. When there is insufficient oxygen and difficulty in breathing (such as when mountain climbing) lemons are very helpful. The first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest, Edmund Hillary, said that his success on Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemons.
12. Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties; experiments have found the juice of lemons destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.
13. Blood vessels are strengthened by the vitamin P (bioflavinoids) in lemon thus prevents internal hemorrhage. Also, making it useful in treating high blood pressure.
14. The symptoms of eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy have been shown in research to improve due to the rutin, found in lemons.
15. Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including naturally occurring limonene; oil which slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals and flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells.
16. According to The Reams Biological Ionization Theory (RBTI), the lemon is the ONLY food in the world that is anionic (an ion with a negative charge). All other foods are cationic (the ion has a positive charge.) This makes it extremely useful to health as it is the interaction between anions and cations that ultimately provides all cell energy.
17. Lemons help abolish acne.
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There are so many uses for lemons and recipes, I cannot believe it!
History, Trivia and Interesting Lemon Facts:
- Fashionable ladies used lemon juice as a way to redden their lips during the European Renaissance.
- The lemon is a small evergreen tree native to Asia (as well as the fruit that grows on the tree).
- The lemon is thought to have originated in the Indus Valley (a Bronze Age civilization in South Asia) because of a lemon-shaped earring from 2500 BC found by archaeologists in the area.
- Lemons have been in cultivation around the Mediterranean from as early as the first century AD.
- Lemon trees produce fruit all year round. One tree can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year.
- Once upon a time lemons were presented as gifts to kings because they were so rare.
- California and Arizona produce 95 percent of the entire U.S. lemon crop.
- Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber.
- Lemons contain more potassium than apples or grapes. Potassium is beneficial to the heart.
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Here is a delicious recipe I will share with you for a dairy-free lemon pudding. 🙂
This dairy-free, low-fat lemon pudding is a thing of dreams! It’s bold in flavor and richness but not in calories and is made with just 6 simple ingredients, including one you would never imagine…
Cauliflower! Crazy? I know!
Many of us are allergic to dairy, sensitive to it, or have developed a love hate relationship with it. We eat, we enjoy, our stomachs hurt, our complexion suffers, but we just can’t imagine a life without the good stuff. Taking the dairy-free lifestyle for a test drive or committing to it because of sensitivities can be a challenge… but it doesn’t have to be this way!
One of my favorite tricks to making a healthy, dairy-free, approved dessert is to use cauliflower in place of thick creams and added starches. I know what you’re thinking, ‘cauliflower in dessert?’ YES! If you flavor it just right with things like vanilla extract, lemon or orange zest, chocolate or citrus juice, you do not taste the cauliflower one little bit. All you have is smooth, creamy, sweet goodness. Skeptical? I have just the recipe that will prove that dairy-free doesn’t mean that you have to be gnawing on cardboard, or giving up your favorite low-fat treats. This pudding is impressively low in fat, rich in flavor, highly creamy, and under 130 calories per serving. Crazy, right? Let’s get right down to business!
Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 2/3 cup •
Calories: 127.5 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 4 g • Carb: 25 g • Fiber: 5 g • Sugar: 13.5 g
Sodium: 142 mg
- 3 cups (350 grams) of roughly chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- zest from 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add cauliflower, almond milk, sugar, extract and zest to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, uncovered. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes, until cauliflower is very soft. Remove from heat.
Add in lemon juice and pour into the bowl of your food processor or blender. Blend on high for 1 minute, or until very smooth. Pour into a clean bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight, for at least 18 hours. Refrigeration helps the bold lemon flavor subside and really transforms this pudding. Do not skip this step!
- Feel free to use any type of non-dairy milk you have on hand. I like using unsweetened almond milk for my dessert recipes because it’s naturally sweeter (and lower in fat and carbs) than other non-dairy milks.
- Any type of sugar would work here. White, brown, coconut sugar…
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Have a wonderful Monday,
Guess what folks? Edible chia seeds ARE exactly the seeds chia pets are made from and I have been curious lately WHY we are being so encouraged to EAT THEM. I hear “chia seeds” and I see this cute little animal below:
Chia pets were extremely popular during the ’80s and ’90s. The terra-cotta animals are spread with chia seeds that over time sprout and create a green, grass-like carpet of fur. (And yes, you can eat that fur!) The company that began making the pets in just animal shapes continues to release new shapes and products to this day. You can find chia pets shaped like many things including even our President Barack Obama!
But, did you know that the seeds themselves used for chia pets are actually edible? Chia seeds have been cultivated since Aztec times. They are still grown and eaten in South America, from Mexico all the way down to Argentina. Now chia seeds are even grown in Australia, which has become the foremost producer.
How To Eat Chia Seeds
Chia (Salvia hispanica) can be eaten raw as whole seeds. It can also be ground for use as a flour in baking, similar to ground flax. The seeds can be added to porridges, puddings, juice drinks, teas, and smoothies — the seeds turn gelatinous when they come in contact with water. Sprouted, chia can be added to salads and sandwiches, similar to alfalfa. Yum!
Many people eat chia for its nutritional benefits. Athletes like them because they’re packed with fiber, which means it keeps them fuller longer and provides more energy. Chia seeds also have a small percentage of protein, many essential vitamins and minerals, like potassium and calcium, and a very high amount of omega-3. The seeds actually do contain extractable oil, a reason why the Aztecs called the seeds chian or oily.
Some additional benefits of eating chia seeds include:
- Feeling full and losing weight without starving
- Balancing blood sugar levels
- Help prevent diverticulosis and diverticulitis
- Add healthy omega-3 oil to your diet
- Feel more energized all day long
- Bake with less fat
- Age defying antioxidants
- Reduces cravings for particular unhealthy foods
- Adds a flavorful punch
- Saves you money
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Lastly, I have discovered that my most favorite healthy meal of the day, Shakeology, contains the superfood chia seeds, in addition to so many other amazing nutrients.
So, with all this being said, you can eat your chia seeds, have a chia seed plant (and eat that too) or drink Shakeology once a day…you decide!
I have to admit, salt is my weakness. I love salt and extra-extra salt! I have found the older I have gotten the more salt and spicy foods I crave. This led me to do some research. There is indeed a valid reason behind this: as we age, like all the other cells in the body, those special sensory cells that make up the taste buds eventually wear out. As we get older, the taste buds begin to disappear from the sides and roof of the mouth, leaving taste buds mostly on our tongue. To avoid excessive use of salt, I have added a few more spices into my diet, cooking and as toppings.
Here are some great salty healthy snacks I am sharing with you salt lovers to start your week:
Tip: Remember to drink an 8-ounce glass of water with your salty snacks to reduce water retention and bloating salt can trigger.
1. How about a handful of low-sodium pretzels? Pretzels are every dieter’s best friend, a light and crunchy snack food.
2. Nuts. Most nuts are high in fat, but eating just a small serving of walnuts, peanuts and almonds can keep your cravings under control and even serves as a source of healthy fat. They are also high in protein.
3. With movie or without popcorn! Instead of buying microwavable popcorn, why not try making your own with coconut oil? Add a variety of toppings for fun. Popcorn is a great way to steer clear of unhealthy foods and get your salty-food fix. Snacking on popcorn is a great replacement for potato chips or other unhealthy food and is a good source of fiber.
4. Soy crisps/crackers. Soy crisps are very low in calories and available in a variety of flavors. You can eat these just like regular potato chips and do it without the guilt! My husband and I especially like the Trader Joe’s thin soy crisps.
5. Low-fat crackers. Enjoy a handful of Triscuits, Wheat Thins or other low-fat crackers that contain less than 150 calories per serving. These crackers are also great with salsa and other fat-free dips if you want to further satisfy your craving.
6. Cheese! My favorite snack in the world, but requires self-control! How about reaching for a low-fat string cheese when you’re having strong cravings for cheese. String cheese is packed with protein and can take care of almost any salty craving; plus, most types of low-fat string cheese contain less than 100 calories per serving.
7. My next favorite salty snack: roasted pumpkin seeds! Pumpkins seeds are a great source of fiber, and also contain a significant amount of iron, magnesium and protein. Add these to your daily menu to enjoy a low-calorie, guilt-free snack and get through any diet day with ease. Stick to the “small handful rule” and put that bag of seeds away! These are very easy to consume by the bowl-full!
8. How about edamame? Edamame are whole green soybeans that are rich in fiber, potassium and other essential vitamins and minerals. These are a great low-calorie snack food that can take care of those salty cravings in a jiffy.
9. Veggie sticks and hummus. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors, or even try making your own. Hummus is a spread or dip that’s made with a base of chickpeas and some olive oil, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats. Pickles and olives are also wonderful salty dip tools!
10. Chips and salsa. Try baked chips, blue tortilla chips, or pita chips.
Bonus: Have an avocado! Just add some sea salt, pepper and other spices if you wish.
Have a great Monday!
I received an e-mail about an hour ago that just made my day. I just had to share. It was from my mother.
Her joy just radiates.
“Thanks for the great tip. Went to Curves and had a ball. I got there about 11:00 AM and there were about 6 older women about my age and a couple of them around 80 years old, which made me feel in the right group. They were so friendly and told me they were a bunch of huggers and loved to hug and gave great hugs and then they all came and hugged me and introduced themselves. They are hoping I come when they are there and said they have a lot of fun and goof off a lot but always get there workout done. They dance around like I did on the little squares and looked so cute doing it. They were such a friendly group and said sometimes they go to lunch afterwards but not too often, maybe once a month. As they left they each came and hugged me again and they all hugged each other. The trainer was terrific and I just really had a great time and had a good workout. Wow, it really is quite a good workout and uses all your muscles. Am looking forward to continuing and to the new friendships. What a great bunch of ladies and I know God was directing the whole thing since they fit my age level and silliness. I just loved it all. Thanks for introducing me to Curves.” –Ginger B.
The resistance used in the Curves program is especially excellent for combating osteoporosis. I love that my workouts do not hurt my neck or hurt me! I have herniated discs and other spine problems involving my neck from an automobile accident years and years ago, so I have to be very careful, and I stay away from weight use with my upper body. Rather, I use my own muscles for strengthening and resistance during their fantastic 30-minute cardio workout.
The overall benefits my mother is going to gain to her health by joining Curves are just immeasurable. This led me to think about relationships and how important it is to have some kind of belonging with others. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “belonging” as “a close or intimate relationship.” We as humans, need to belong. To one another, to our friends and families, to our culture and country, to our world. Isolation, loneliness and low social status can harm a person’s subjective sense of well-being, as well as his or her intellectual achievement, immune function and health.
Since I made changes to my fitness, nutrition and added Shakeology as part of my daily meals, I can testify to the amazing benefits I have received. I no longer have bilateral hip or bilateral feet/ankle pain that I was having on a daily basis from my rheumatoid arthritis. I have lost weight at a healthy level, not rapidly (sure to come back) from some quick fix diet or over-the-counter protein shake. I have made healthy lifestyle changes, I am making precious progress and I feel so good. This is why I would love to help you on your journey for success. I would feel honored, actually.
Accountability and belonging to one another is a healthy choice we all should make and Keep Choosing Consistency day in and day out.
Have a lovely weekend,
P.S. Please contact me at any time if you would like more personalized FREE coaching and take a look at Shakeology, which is something I cannot imagine ever going without in my life. I am putting the link to the ingredients here: http://cdn.trek2befit.com/downloads/Shakeology%20Ingredients.pdf
Go take a look! 🙂
So, who is your team? Ravens or the 49ers?
Whether you enjoy football or not, there is a good chance you will be hosting or attending a Super Bowl party this weekend. The fun part of Super Bowl parties is all the delicious (fattening!) variety of foods and beverages. My mouth is already watering thinking about it!
If you love spinach, artichokes, cheese and hot, here is an amazing low-calorie traditional side dish most people enjoy that you may want to bring or make for your Super Bowl party.
During your Super Bowl party, Keep Choosing Consistency in your healthy eating,
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Bring this hot spinach and artichoke dip to your next football party, no one will know it’s light!
This is easy to prepare ahead of time, then throw it in the oven when you are ready to eat. Serve this with Pretzel Crisps or pita chips, but baked chips would also be great. This dip is also delicious with carrot sticks!
Calories: 73.3 • Fat: 4.4 g • Carb: 3.4 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 5.2 g • Sugar: 0.6 g
- 13.75 oz artichoke hearts packed in water, drained
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- 4 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- olive oil spray
Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking. Makes about 3 3/4 cups.