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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NOT SPRING BLOOMS, NOR SUMMER BLOOMS BUT...

"Winter Blooms"



The biggest winter of New York
January, 23, 2016


     New York had one of the biggest snowstorms this past January.  While the snow was falling and melting away, there were other things happening indoors that did not stop the natural process of occurring as plant life continues to survive.  The blooming of flowers had begun early than we expect during the months of December 2015 and January 2016.  That's right it may have been cold and snowy but that did not stop these plants from blooming in the windowsill.

Vicks plant
Blooming in Winter Indoors
December 15, 2015


Meyer Lemon
Blooming & Producing Fruits in late fall  and lasting in winter indoors
December 15, 2016


My niece had her eye on this one lemon.  She couldn't wait to pick it off!

A big juicy organic Meyer Lemon
December 15, 2105

Some of the flower petals were dropping on the floor.  It was a sign that the tree plant was eliminating the weak flowers that would not produce any fruits.  Unfortunately none of the flowers survived.  But, if you look closely there is one more lemon way behind in the back.

Last fall 2015 I bought a dwarf pomegranate plant on sale at the farmers' market for $18.



Pomegranate Flower
Blooming in Winter Indoors
January 27, 2016


Last Meyer Lemon of the season
February 11, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FEBRUARY IS THE MONTH OF RECOGNITION - HEART AWARENESS

"Happy Birthday To You..."


Celebrating the "Heart"
2016 another year


     It's CELEBRATION TIME!  Once again we must celebrate and honor the main organ that gives us 100,000 times of heartbeats a day.  Everyday is a miracle blessing.  Are you continuing in taking loving care of that precious heart of yours?  I hope so because without that care our bodies cannot be at its best to function and may not make it to that next birthday.

     Learn and understand the risks factors of cardiovascular disease, such as, obesity, inactivity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  By maintaining a healthy diet, getting exercise (being active), and not smoking you can control the risk factors to help protect that heart of yours.


                                                                                            
                                                                                                  and Many Returns!
                                                             



Friday, February 19, 2016

ACTION PLAN TO BE YOUR BEST


"Healthy Habits and Healthy Diet Tips"


Action Plan to be MY BEST
Journal
2016




     We are fully moving ahead into 2016 as you can see February days are just flying.  Some of you have already started an action plan for 2016 on creating healthy habits and learning healthy diet tips to get yourself and family members at his or her best.  No action plan?  It's okay.  I have one for you in which you can use as a guide.

 
So, what are the healthy habits in which you can gradually get accustom to?

 
Stretch every day to increase your flexibility.  
Learning to do yoga is an excellent way to stretch those muscles and circulate the blood.  Yoga has healing powers that benefits the body, mind, and spirit.  Practicing the technique of yoga will help build strength in the muscles, perfects your posture, prevents cartilage and joint breakdown, protects the spine, improves bone health, lowers stress levels, increases blood flow, helps the lymphatic system fight infection boosting immunity, helps the heart rate, regulates adrenal glands, boost mood, encourages a healthy lifestyle, lowers blood sugar, boost HDL good cholesterol, helps you focus, calms the body, maintains the nervous system, helps breathing, and helps the digestive system.

 
Get a good night sleep.  
A restful night's sleep is very important for the body.  Drink a cup of lavender, chamomile, or lemon balm tea at night can help your body relax and prepare for sleep.  What's even better is taking a dose of magnesium before bed.  Magnesium reduces symptoms of chronic pain, fatigue, and insomnia.  It provides protection of numerous chronic diseases especially those associated with stress and aging.

 
Magnesium
  1. bone health
  2. plays a role in activating vitamin D in the kidneys
  3. helps diabetes
  4. heart friendly
  5. premenstrual syndrome
  6. cramps
  7. asthma
  8. relaxes the nervous system
  9. bigger and stronger muscles
  10. better flexibility
  11. remineralizes teeth
  12. alkalizes the body's pH balance
  13. hydrates the body (electrolyte)
  14. relieves constipation
  15. enzyme function capability 


 According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for infants up to 3 years of age 40-80 mg; adults males is 270-400 mg; for adult females is 280-300 mg, for pregnant females 320 mg daily; and for breastfeeding females 340-355 mg, for children between 4 and 6 years old 120 mg; children between 7 and 10 years old 170 mg; adolescent males 270-400 mg; and adolescent females 280-300 mg daily.  
 
Take a brisk 30 minute walk.  
Get up from your office desk or from the sofa to take a brisk walk.

 
Supplements.
Maximize your multivitamin with one that contains nutrients made from "real foods" not synthetic ingredients.  Read labels on the bottle to make sure you have the necessary Bs, amino acids, digestive enzymes, greens, and minerals.  No soy, no preservatives, no corn oil, no yeast, and no artificial colorings.





Restore, improve, and protect the digestive tract flora with probiotics.  Probiotics is key to having optimum good health.  The body needs the good bacteria flora to fend off the bad bacteria we have in our system on a daily basis.  As a reminder the digestive tract is 70% of our immune system.  Researchers have now come to realize probiotics (good bacteria) is a link to having good body functions with the heart, brain, immune system, and especially the gastrointestinal tract. 
Recommend probiotics that have multi-strains of good bacteria and delivers billions CFU.  Read labels to make sure it's dairy free, soy free, yeast free, no preservatives, no artificial coloring, and no corn.

 
Protect your skin from the inside out.
Vitamin C (plays an important role in the formation of collagen), biotin, flax seed oil, black currant oil, evening primrose oil, wild salmon oils (omega 3 fatty acids) helps with your skin, hair, and nails.  Omega 3 fatty acids fights inflammation and pain.  Recommend 500mg - 1000mg for adults.  As for kids look for kid friendly brands.  Read labels to make sure it's dairy free, soy free, yeast free, no preservatives, no artificial coloring, no high fructose corn syrup, and no corn. 

 
Tame inflammation.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known as the most versatile healing spice in the world.  The chemical compound, curcumin, found in the turmeric root gives its richly golden hue and the powerful healing we receive from it.  Turmeric has anti-inflammatory action found to help prevent or alleviate some of the following diseases we are now facing in many people all over the world: 
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer


How can you get more turmeric in your health diet?

 
There are three ways to incorporate the healing spice:
  1. Turmeric tea (boiling/steeping ground turmeric in purified water).  Drink at least 3 cups a day.
  2. Turmeric extract supplement capsules dosages of 400-600 mg and make sure black pepper is listed as one of the ingredients.  Black pepper helps the turmeric (curcumin) absorb in the body.  You can take three times daily but read the directions on the bottleRead labels to make sure it's dairy free, soy free, yeast free, no preservatives, no artificial coloring, and no corn. 
  3. Cook with the spice.  You can make curry dishes, sprinkle on your meats, extract the liquid from the root with a juicer or blend the root in your blender for smoothies, cook in rice, pasta, and quinoa.  Be creative when making your meals.
Protect your heart.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is beneficial for heart health.  It assists in maintaining the normal oxidative state of LDL cholesterol, helps assure circulatory health, supports optimal functioning of the heart muscle, and vessel walls.  Coenzyme is made naturally in the body but as we get older or plague with diseases it decreases.  The standard dose is 90 mg and a high dose is 200 mg.  Read labels to make sure it's dairy free, soy free, yeast free, no preservatives, no artificial coloring, and no corn.    








 Healthy diet tips
  • Drink a lot of water throughout the day.  Stay hydrated, avoid sugary drinks, and artificial sweeteners.
  • Eat a variety of wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables.  "Rainbow colors of vegetables."  Get in the habit of cooking.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight and feel good.
  • Eat moderate portions.  Do not over eat.  Do not full up your plate.  "Portion control."
  • Snack smartly. "Protein snacks."  Opt for nutrient dense fruits and nuts or veggies and hummus instead of cookies or chips.  
  • At least 50% of your foods should be organic.
  • Eat a well balanced breakfast - protein, nutritious carbs, vegetable, and fruit.  Do not skip breakfast!
  • Eat at a slow pace and be mindful.
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
  • Reduce your sugar intake.  Substitute sugar with stevia, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, raw honey, or coconut nectar.  What's even better pureeing sweet fruits, such as, bananas, mangoes, and apples can help sweeten things. 
  • Eat foods high in fiber (beans, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens).
  • Eat 100% whole grains.  Avoid refined foods, such as, breads, pastas, and cereals that are not whole grain.
  • Avoid processed foods. "Pre-made meals."  Ready to eat foods, deli meats, frozen pizza, microwavable foods, foods with added ingredients for flavor and texture are heavily processed foods.
  • Include extra serving of vegetables at each meal.  For example, add some spinach or mushrooms into your eggs, opt for a salad filled with different dark leafy greens at lunch or dinner, and serve two different vegetables for dinner.
  • Add 3 to 4 ounces of high quality protein to each meal.  Opt for wild caught salmon, eggs, poultry, or grass fed meats (organic).
     There you have it - a complete guideline to help you create healthy habits for days, weeks, months, and years to come. 




                                                                                            Namaste


                                                                                      



 



Friday, January 8, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!

Homework:  2016 resolutions




     I'm back from an extended hiatus break.  The missing months that I have not been producing new postings, I was enjoying life and taking a much needed vacation during the summer to my mother's homeland, Thailand.  I was visiting almost the entire country and cross the border to one of the country's neighbor, Laos.  Thailand was a trip of a lifetime that required extensive amount of research and travel booking.


Big Buddha Phuket
Phuket, Thailand
August 5, 2015


     Besides the mini vacation, I was just doing the daily grind of "survival" working.  Now, I'm ready looking forward to upcoming new things and get back in the habit of updating my blog.  

     I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and hope the start of the New Year 2016 brings you all peace, happiness, prosperity, and blessings.

     January 1st of the new year starts off most people's resolutions.  Do you have any to share? 

Here are a few things to chew on in helping you jump start ideas for 2016:

Discover a new passion
Everyone has an inner desire they love to do or wanting to seek a new goal in life.  Learn something new that would be fulfilling and expand the mind.  

Focus on what's important
Eliminate the things you don't need before another year piles on.

Travel more
Traveling to different places within one's own country or abroad would help boost your mood, and help you relax.

Quit smoking
Getting rid of cigarettes can help cut your health risk down from being sick.  The most effective way is going cold turkey. 

Listen to your favorite music
Music can be uplifting and put you in a better mood.

Be healthier
Eat more vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices.  Drink more water.  Exercise, walk, or utilizing the stairs more.  Socialize.

Quit drinking or at least cut back tremendously
Obsessively drinking alcohol puts your kidneys and liver at a dangerous risk in malfunctioning.

Treat yourself
Rewarding oneself would boost your confident levels and encourage you to do even better.  Another way to up lift the mind, body, and soul.

Turn back the years
Stress and the daily bad eating habits plays a significant role on making us look older than what age we actually are.  Decide what makes you stress and eliminate it.  Choose the right beauty products and foods.  Read labels.  Get the necessary sleep the body needs.

Cutting the sugar
Be creative in making your own sweets and juices.  Sugary foods hinders the body to help function at its best.

     My goals for 2016 are:

  1. Purge and organize my home
  2. Learn a new skill or craft (video/digital editing)
  3. Utilize my cookbooks and food magazines (creating new dishes) 
  4. Continue to travel
  5. Volunteer
  6. Extend family
  7. Exercise - yoga 
  8. Cutting the sugar
  9. Gaining more weight (yes, I said it)


Hopefully, these ideas will have you decide your 2016 goal.



                                                Happy New Year 2016!


                                                             Namaste







Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

STRAWBERRY TURMERIC TONIC

"It's Juicing Tuesday"


Strawberry Turmeric Tonic 





It's Juicing/Blending Tuesday!  Oh, yeah right.  It sure has been a while that we had one of these post segments.  Let's get back in the habit.

So, what's in season? Strawberries! 

Organic Strawberries
(the darker the berries the sweeter it is)


If you have noticed in your local stores or your garden, those berries are just popping up in bundles.  The supermarkets are having deals now.  I went to whole foods last week and saw organic strawberries were $3.49!  

"Now in Season"
Grab, grab, grab


How about that!  Normally, they were $5.99.  You got to grab those produce that are in season especially organic.  Keep in mind strawberries are considered one of the dirty dozen produce items.  Why?  Strawberries are usually sprayed heavily with pesticides since they grow low to the ground.  It is very important to go for organic berries.

How about starting to grow your very own strawberry plant?

Strawberry plant kit
(cost $1 at Target Stores)



Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for it to sprout.  I transferred the soil and seeds to one of the garden raised beds.  Maybe that will help.  We shall see.

Now back to our original topic- Strawberry Turmeric Tonic

This tonic water is one of the ways you can incorporate the benefits of strawberries, limes, and turmeric in your diet.  All three have significant benefits to help heal the body from inflammation and to fight diseases.

Strawberries Nutritional Facts:

  • High levels of antioxidants - polyphenols
  • Fiber
  • Heart friendly- increases the HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers blood pressure
  • Low calories
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C - about 8 strawberries
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Boost short term memory
  • Helps burn stored fat
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Promote eye health

raw honey, lime, and organic strawberries

  • 7 cups of purified water 
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 lime
  • 3 organic strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
**Feel free to add more strawberries, lime juice, and more raw honey if you like.

Essential Tools:  Blender, tea pot or pot, pitcher, and mesh strainer

Directions:

  1. Boil 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder in purified or distilled water.  For about 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Let the tea cool down and strain it.  
  3. Thoroughly wash off your lime and strawberries.
  4. Slice off the top part leaves of the strawberries.
  5. Squeeze the juice out of the lime.
  6. Add the strawberries, lime juice, and raw honey into a blender. 
Ready to blend away!

Once the turmeric tea is cooled, strained, and in a pitcher then add the strawberry puree mixture.

Pour the strawberry mixture into the turmeric tea

Tip:  The strawberry puree mixture can also be use to make a nice strawberry limeade by just using water.

Wholesome good.  Super beneficial!


Strawberries meets Turmeric

Stir away and chill.

Stir or shake away!


                                                                                      Live the Good Life!

Monday, June 8, 2015

MORE TRANSPLANTING SPRING 2015

"Rainbow Swiss Chard"


Rainbow Swiss Chard
Vacant spot is now filled
Garden Bed #3



The time has come for the swiss chard to be transplanted to the garden.  Besides, I was so ready to kick them out the outside (windowsill) - tiny bugs was on them.  The problems we face when having live plants.  Plants are beneficial to the environment and helps clear toxins from the air.

Planted Rainbow Swiss Chard
April 11, 2015

As of June 6, 2015 they looked good to be transplanted.

Rainbow Swiss Chard Seedlings
June 6, 2015

Then I decided to throw garlic cloves in the garden beds.  Hopefully, they will sprout and grow.

Garlic Cloves

Now, Arugula has taken occupant in Swiss Chard place in the pot.  More organic greens!  

Arugula
Planted seeds 6-6-15
Arugula is a healthy investment.  We all know it can be a bit pricey in the stores.  So, why not grow it your own?  It's so simple! 

Pot + Soil + Seeds + Water + Sun = Great Healthy Investment 




Monday, June 1, 2015

BOUNTIFUL OF MUSTARD GREENS HARVEST SPRING 2015

"It's Harvest Time"

Japanese Mustard Greens
"Ready for Harvest"
May 30, 2015


The time has come to pick those greens.  They were screaming out "pick me, PICK ME!" 

I've reaped in the benefits with a nicely full basket of fresh organic mustard greens.  I've saved myself at least $8 worth.  Organic fresh dark leafy greens produce goes for $3.99 or more depending on the place of supermarket you go to.  Most will charge per pound.

Basket of Mustard Greens


Love the food you grow...

Thanks to Mother Nature 

And know where your food comes from!


As a reminder every Monday is Harvest Time at Daphne's Dandelion


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

GARDEN RAISED BED #3 AND MORE...

"Gardening 102"

Garden Raised Bed #3  "Spring 2015"
May 25, 2015




The temperatures has been rising in high 80s this past weekend.  It was a nice three day weekend due to Memorial Day holiday.  We love three day weekends.  I took advantage to work on the backyard again and just about done with the planting.  I just have to transfer the swiss chard and broccoli seedlings once they are capable to stand the outside world.

I wanted another raised bed.  I know... I know... I have too many plants.  But these plants are super beneficial and cost effective too!  Planting/Gardening is a hobby for me to relieve my stress, get some needed exercise, and it's a mediation as well.  "When the body is at ease, the mind is at ease."

Last month I ordered a 42 in. by 42 in. garden raised bed kit from Home Depot at a clearance sale price of $29.98.  Who would pass a price on that?!  Yesterday I finally was able to assemble this raised bed kit.  It took me five minutes to assembly but practically the whole day yesterday to organize and fill the bed.  The weather was super hot (hot as hell) but I wanted to get all the plants out in the ground and outside as early as possible since we are limited to the warm weather. 


simple and ease to assembly
(no instructions were in the box)

a perfect fit

laid out my weed blocker cover

added the raised bed frame on top

added organic soil, peat moss, garden lime, and garden tone

started my dimensional measurements
(this raised bed I wanted organization)

box formation
(better and clearer)

plant away
1st row across:  Rosemary, Marigold, Thai Basil & Cayenne Pepper, Hydrangea
2nd row across:  Marigold & Lacinato Kale, Purple Basil, Vacant (not filled), Sage
3rd row across:  Marigold & Radicchio, Lemon Thyme, Thai Basil & Marigold, Lacinato Kale
4th row across:  Marigold & Yellow Sweet Pepper, Radicchio, Little Finger Eggplant, Stevia & Marigold

Garden Tip:  Plant perennials.  "The Gift that Keeps Giving.  Year after Year."

I had planted these in pot containers...

Blackberry Plant
May 25, 2015

You cannot have a summer with cucumbers and berries!

Cucumber Plant
May 25, 2015

Also, I planted geraniums and snow pea seeds in containers.  (see top picture next to 3rd raised bed)


Updates:  As of May 24 & 25, 2015


Golden Cayenne Peppers Blooming
May 24, 2015

Meyer Lemons Growing
May 24, 2015
Japanese Mustard Greens
May 24, 2015

Two of my tomato plants are struggling.  Under distress.

had to put a stake to hold up the poor thing
San Marzano Tomato Plant
May 24, 2015

another tomato plant not happy
May 24, 2015

As you can see you do not need a green thumb to be a gardener.  Many plants will not make it and some will.  I believe it's trial and error.  You won't know unless you try it.


                                                                                  Enjoy gardening!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

THE 2015 GROWING SEASON IS IN FULL SWING...Reaping the benefits?

"Yes, Indeed"

2015 Garden Raised Bed
(work in progress)
Lacinato Kale, Radicchio, Marigolds, Lemongrass, Stevia, Lavender, Cucumbers, & Sweet Red Pepper
May 17, 2015




This past Sunday I started full swing in working on the backyard to prepare for more planting.  Gardening is work but it has beneficial results for the environment and yourself. Gardening is exercise and a stress reliever.

Bought new soil...




New starter tomato plants...


San Marzano, Black Krim Heirloom, & Golden Jubilee
"Tomatoes"

Found a good location to transplant the tomato plants...


clear any debris, cut any roots, apply good soil, and peat moss
*added bonus - eggshells I crumbled and added in the soil

*Garden Tip:  Eggshells are beneficial to plant life.  When using eggshells make sure you thoroughly rinse off the shells with water and mild liquid soap to avoid salmonella.  After rinsing let the eggshells dry out.  Then completely crush them up and sprinkle away.  Fends off pests and supply calcium nutrients to the plants.

Welcome to tomato and blueberry land
Tomato Plant

While finding a home for the tomato plants I came across a JAPANESE MUSTARD GREEN SPROUT!  Wow, these greens are just popping up all over the place.

Spreading the mustard green love all over

Unfortunately, I had to remove the sprouts to put them all in one location.  I've noticed their little roots - still young...

Hopefully the greens will survive their transplant new location

Besides the mustard greens sprouts popping up in the ground - my collard greens are back!  One collard green survived and thriving!  Planted one marigold, the mustard green sprouts, and a tomato plant in this area to keep the collard green company.

another area for plant life

Working on another area to add more plant life.  Goal is to plant perennials in this area.  Cost effective and less work for future.

new plant life will be in this area

*Update - As of May 17, 2015 the mustard greens (inside the elevated raised bed) still looks healthy and thriving and ready for harvest soon.  

Japanese Mustard Greens

Remember my Meyer lemon plant.  Well, she is still holding on strong and produced lots of flowers.  As usual some flowers dropped off and some stayed on (the stronger ones) and produced these future lemons!

Meyer Lemons are GROWING!
2015

P.S. the hot mess on the ground that's yellow and white are cornmeal and baking soda.  I had to control the ant population.  It hasn't been a week since I had placed some of my pot plants outside and already they've been attacked by the ants!  I'm hoping those little buggers will take the cornmeal mixture back to their hide away home and be gone.  Eventually, the rain will wash away the mixture off the ground.  I do not like spraying pesticides or bug spray around edible plant life or in home because of the toxins it can do to the body.

On that note... I highly recommend everyone grow something or place a plant on their windowsill, patio, terrace, and backyard.  Reap those benefits.  Know where your food comes from.  


REAPING THE BENEFITS "2015"




                                                                                                     Enjoy the Spring Season!