Thursday, September 18, 2014


"Strengthen The Immune System"
     It's not fall or winter (the seasons when cold, flu, bacterias, and viruses runs rapidly).  But, some people are being sickened at this present time with new viruses that has no cure or treatments.  I complied a list of alternatives that can help those who has a weakened immune system.  If you have been sick at least twice in a year, then you need to strengthen that immune system.  Those who has not (lucky ones), can take heed as well.  As a reminder the digestive system is 70% of your immune system.
  1. PROBIOTICS - having a healthy gut is imperative for a good immune system.  The good bacteria can help fight infections.  A probiotic supplement can significantly boost the body's ability to fight.  Recommend 14 billion - 25 billion multi strain of probiotics that includes B. lactis.  Alternative from the pill supplement is the liquid.  Kefir liquid probiotics is good (see previous posting on kefir and probiotics).
  2. VITAMIN C - prevents colds in children and adults.  Reduces the length of infections.
  3. ZINC - shorten the lengthen of infections.  Alternative from taking pill supplement is zinc lozenges.
  4. ECHINACEA - herb helps prevent and reduce symptoms of infections by 58 percent.  Alternative from taking the pill supplement is the tea.
  5. GOLDENSEAL - known as a herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer.  Anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.  Alternative to the pill supplement is the tea.
  6. RAW HONEY - anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.  Raw manuka honey is best.  (see previous posting on Manuka Honey).
  7. LEMON - considered as a blood purifier.  Excellent flavonoids and vitamin C. 
  8. VITAMIN D3 -  actively fight diseases and germs.  Prevention 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for adults and up to 1,200 IU daily for children.  Alternative to the pill supplement is the liquid.  Please read labels.  (see previous postings on Vitamin D3)
  9. ELDERBERRY - anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and antioxidant properties.
  10. TURMERIC - anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.  (see previous posting on turmeric)
  11. GREEN TEA - high antioxidants.  Drink more than 1 cup a day.
  12. GARLIC - 1 raw crushed/smashed clove a day.  If you cannot eat it by itself mix it in tomatoes or avocado or with other herbs rosemary, thyme, and oregano in olive oil. (see previous posting on garlic)
  13. Avoid touching public areas.  Wash hands thoroughly, cover your mouth when coughing, and sneezing.
                                                                                         Strive to be healthy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


"Chew On This Radio Conversation"
Over a year ago a friend and I went to a Vegan Festival in NYC.  There were various vendors demonstrating their products and seminars were given on alternatives of eating meatless.  Jazz Vegetarian, host Laura Theodore, gave a cooking demonstration on some of her vegan recipes.  I had video tape it (will post soon).  But, for now listen to her interview she did on Blog Talk Radio with Dr. Pam Popper on the topic "Food Over Medicine." 
Chew on this ...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


"It's Juicing Tuesday"
Watermelon Lemon Balm
"Soothing, Refreshing, and Hydrating"

It's Tuesday!  What are we juicing?
Watermelon Lemon Balm
  •  6 cups of distilled or purified water
  • 1/2 cup of lemon balm sprigs
  • unlimited chucks of watermelon (remove the seeds)
1. Boil the water and lemon balm sprigs. About 10-15 minutes until water is at a rapid boil.
2.  Let the liquid steep and cool down.
3.  Strain the sprigs.
4.  Once the liquid is cool then add the watermelon in the blender. *optional - you can add more lemon balm leaves - remove stems
5.  Liquefy the ingredients.
6.  Serve chilled or room temperature.

 Lemon Balm Benefits:

Lemon Balm
(Melissa Officinalis)
A member of the mint family
Calming Herb
  • Helps with insomnia and anxiety
  • Heal herpes (cold sores)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Relaxes muscles in the bladder, uterus, and stomach
  • Helps treat Grave's disease
  • Anti-viral properties
  • Help treat thyroid issues* (due to the powerful healing of this herb - If you are taking thyroid medication, consult with your doctor and let your physician know.  Lemon Balm can interfere with thyroid medication.)  Lemon Balm has the ability to regulate thyroid hormone production.
  • Helps Alzheimer's and Dementia - improves memory and lengthen attention span
  • Relieve PMS
  • Fights bronchial inflammation
  • Relieves indigestion
  • Relieves heartburn
*Lemon Balm is an health investment.  A perennial herb and aroma of lemon scent when you rub its leaves.  Fresh lemon balm is sold in most Farmers' Market.  So, stop by a market and invest in optimal health!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


"Repotting and Gardening"
Repotting and gardening can be a tedious task to do and a exercise work out as well.  It requires lifting, bending, standing, and walking.  Gardening is a stress relief benefit and calorie burning activity.  I like gardening because it alleviates my stress and it's peaceful.  A good nurturing for the soul.
Recently, I had purchased several plants from vendors at a Farmer's Market and a Nursery.  I try to buy edible plants that are hard to find in stores and gives me the healing benefit for my health.
Why is potting or repotting important to do?
Repotting helps keep houseplants healthy and expands more growth for the plant. 
What materials and tools do I need?
A new bigger pot, new soil, and water (watering before transfering helps make the transfer easy and loosen up the roots and soil).
What edible plants am I repotting?
Wolf Berry
Known as "Goji Berry"
Goji berries are very expensive.
You would mostly see dried goji berries in health food stores costing in range of $16.99-$26.99).
Fresh goji berries are hard to find in supermarkets and health food stores.
I stumbled upon this goji berry plant at the Union Square Farmer's Market from one of the vendors - selling at $5 a pot.  I was surprised to see the fruit plant on the shelves because I haven't seen any market selling it.  I grabbed one real quick!
Fresh organic Goji Berries
"The fruit of immortality"
Why are Goji Berries important?
Wolf berry, known as Goji Berry, is a bright red fruit of the lycium babarum perennial tree shrub grown in Asia.  In Chinese mythology, goji berry is the fruit of immortality.  Today it is considered as the "longevity fruit."  Goji berry is one of the most powerful healing plants that was used in two ancient medicines, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Tibetan Medicine over 2,000 years ago.  The people in Tibet and Mongolia cherish the red berry for the medicare benefits.
Benefits of Goji Berry
"A report in a 2004 issue of The Journal of the the American Nutraceutical Association concluded that wolf berry juice has the high levels of antioxidants and showed beneficial immunomodulatory (immune-boosting) effects in mice."
  • Rich in carotenoids
  • Beta carotene
  • Lycopenne
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Vitamin C
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Eye protection
  • Protection against free radicals
  • Promote muscle growth
  • Enhance immunity
  • Protect liver
  • Improve sexual function and fertility
  • Strength legs
  • Promote weight loss
  • Improve circulation
  • Improve skin and hair health
  • Protection against cancer
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduce blood glucose
  • Antioxidants

What does it taste like?
Goji berry has a slightly sweet and sour taste.
Wolf Berry "Goji Berry"
Mother Nature's Gift that keeps on giving

  Here is a mini documentary segment from the Medicine Hunter on goji berries...



Nagami Kumquat
(Fortunella Margarita)

The first time I saw a nagami kumquat was when I was in Phoenix, Arizona.  A road trip driving from Flagstaff, Arizona to Phoenix airport with my friends. I told them we have to stop at the "True Food Kitchen" restaurant which Dr. Andrew Weil and Fox Restaurant Concepts owns. We could not leave the state of Arizona without eating at this restaurant. There was a garden elevated raised bed in front of the restaurant and the nagami kumquat was planted in the raised bed - from that point on I had to find out how can I taste or purchase a plant like that. Over a month ago I saw the plant in a local nursery in Long Island. The nursery was having a sale with a 40% off coupon on anything in the store. I bought the plant for just $32. A good deal!
Nagami Kumquat is a citrus fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family, in the genus, Fortunella.  Kumquats are native to the South Eastern parts of China.  They are known to be called "the little gems" of the citrus family.  There are several varieties of kumquats.  Kumquats look like tiny baby oranges.  The Nagami or Oval Kumquat is a common variety in the United States.  Nagami kumquat was introduced into Florida from Japan in 1885. 
Nagami Kumquat
What are the health benefits? 
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants
  • Lutein
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Protection against free radicals
  • B complex Vitamins
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

Nagami Kumquat
Mother Nature's Gift that keeps on giving

Dwarf Curry, Holy Basil, and Vietnamese Coriander

Dwarf Curry, Holy Basil, and Vietnamese Coriander

These herbs are unique and has excellent health benefits.  The herbs are hard to find in your supermarkets.  Most likely, you would have to venture out to ethnic stores.  If you are lucky, it may pop up in your local Farmers' Market.  I found the herbs at Union Square Farmers' Market.

Dwarf Curry has a strong curry aroma.

Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum) is a powerful herb native to India and known as "tulsi."  It is sacred in the Hindu religious tradition and it is worshiped in the mornings and evenings by the Hindus.  Holy basil is the most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine.  In Hindu mythology, tulsi, symbolizes the Goddess Lakshmi.  The herb has a strong aroma, can be used in cooking, and making teas.  Holy basil was used centuries ago to treat a variety of medical aliments.

Healing power of Holy basil?
  • Sharpen memory
  • Helps the nerves
  • Strengthen the stomach
  • Fights fevers and colds
  • Fights bronchitis
  • Helps asthma
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces stress
  • Mouth infections
  • Skin disorders
  • Bad breath
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
 Vietnamese Coriander (Polygonum Odoratum) a spicy flavor with hints of cilantro. Vietnamese coriander is known as "Rau Ram" in Vietnam.  A perennial herbal plant.

  • Helps the digestive system

Lavender and Mums
I've planted more perennials at the side of the house.  My local supermarket had 1 gallon lavender plants on sale for $3.99, of course I had to grab some quick! Mums were on sale too!
After all that repotting and gardening - I had to pour myself a nice glass of ginger wine...
Chill glass of Ginger Wine


Sunday, August 31, 2014


"A Night Preview Of My Garden Summer 2014"

My organic garden
August 29, 2014

Here are some pictures I took on Friday night of my garden after I had just watered it.  It has been a slow growing journey due to New York did not have a heat wave summer season.  But, the past few days temperatures heated up to high 80s and another 90 plants sparked a growth spell jump.  Now, when you enter the backyard you feel like you are in a jungle.

August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

Collard Greens
August 29, 2014

Freestyle Raised Bed
August 29, 2014
"Enter if you dare"

Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Lavender, Lemongrass, Marigolds,
Collard Greens, Eggplants, Parsley, Scallions, Asparagus, and Green Peppers
August 29, 2014

Elevated Raised Bed
August 29, 2014

Growing In Pots
August 29, 2014

Cucumbers and Eggplants
August 29, 2014

Potted Herbs
Turmeric, Bay Leaves, Sweet Marjoram, Cayenne Peppers,
Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, Mint, Sage, and Oregano
August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."
                                                                     Quote Warren Buffett
The growing season continues... While attending the family reunion last month I've noticed cousin Darrel had an apple tree right in the middle of his front yard.  How about that a nice size apple tree (organic apples)!
"What are you growing?"
Living It Up Alternatively
Viewer Darrel 

Apple Tree
The Gift that keeps on giving


Friday, August 22, 2014


"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.  Knowing is not enough;  we must apply.  Being willing is not enough;  we must do."
                                                                     Quote Leonardo Da Vinci
More blog viewers are still sending in what they are growing for summer 2014.  Summer season is not over yet. 
"What are you growing?"

Living It Up Alternatively
Viewer Kendall

"A few months ago I've planted three pineapple crowns.  I had saved the crowns off the pineapples we've bought and planted them in the ground.  Here is what it looks like now..."
3 pineapple crowns (center row)
and our other garden plants


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Someone was waiting in the shadows for IT!"
Feels like "each his own" these days

It's hard to get a nice sweet ripe fruit these days without someone snatching it before you can grab it.  This time I covered the fig tree plant over with bird netting to protect the figs.  Last year, my nephew and I missed out on a nice big juicy ripe fig.  He wanted to take it off the tree but I told him wait until later.  Sure enough someone waited for us to leave and bit a chunk off.  So this year I tried to get one step ahead of the snatchers but I guess the snatchers outsmarted my ass.

Repotted Fig Tree
Summer 2014

I had this fig tree plant for over two years.  I bought it at the Union Square Farmer's Market for $15 and it was half this size with figs already on it.  My friend and I repotted it in late May.

Figs have excellent health benefits:

  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Weight management
  • Protects against breast cancer
  • Anti-diabetic properties (the leaves and fruit)
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Protection against macular degeneration
  • Manganese
Fresh figs are in season from June - September.

Got to get it while you got it...

Organic fresh ripe Brown Turkey Fig

 Nothing beats a fresh fig - not even a fig newton cookie.

Fig on top of yogurt

 So, have you tried a fresh fig?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


"Alternative Health Power"


Peaches are known as "the fruit of calmness" in Hungary.  In China, it is the symbol of "longevity and good luck."
Now, it is known to the world as one of the number one breast cancer fighter of foods.  Recently, researchers at Texas A&M revealed that peaches contains two antioxidants (polyphenols) that can help kill breast cancer cells and keep the healthy cells intact.  This study finding was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.  "They found it essentially caused the most aggressive cancer cells to commit suicide."
Peaches has the ability to inhibit the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.  The natural antioxidants (polyphenols) are found on the skin.  Peaches that are most red (see in picture) have the more cancer fighting compounds. 

*Update:  Peaches are good for the liver, blood circulation, intestinal tract, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterus, eliminating blood toxins, and menstrual pain.  For a more in depth on the research of peaches from the Alternative Chinese Medicine stand point click here
Fresh fruit is better.  Frozen is the second best.  But canned peaches do not pack the same fighting punch you get with fresh fruit.  Organic is best no pesticides.  If you are not lucky to have a peach tree in your backyard or cannot spend on organic produce, then thoroughly wash the fruit.
You can wash with equal parts of water and vinegar to limit bacteria and pesticides.  This procedure can be done to all fruits and vegetables.

Peaches in equal parts water and vinegar

Health tip:  Eat at least three peaches a day.  Plums and nectarines are good as well.

*Update Health tip:  "According to Chinese medicine, women should eat one fresh peach per day or half a cup of sun-dried unsulphured peaches every second day near the time of the menstrual cycle.  It is helpful for blood circulation within the intestinal tract and blood surrounding the uterus."

In conclusion, the research finding is astonishing- Peaches cut your risk of breast cancer by 40% (2-3 whole peaches).  We have hope in trying to beat this deadly disease.  It's imperative that we all keep up on medical research to find out what can we do to help prevent diseases from attacking our bodies.  Don't stay in the clouds of not knowing start seeking for answers and solutions.
By the way,  breast cancer is not only for women.  Men are accessible as well.   Highly recommend do self exams, keep up with your mammograms, and if something is not right seek help. 

Friday, August 15, 2014


"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"
                                                                                                     Quote Audrey Hepburn

Once again...Blog viewers and followers are sending in pictures of what they are growing for summer 2014.  This viewer is not letting her obstacle in not having the space by a window,  terrace, patio, front yard, or backyard stand in her way of growing.

"What are you growing?"

Living It Up Alternatively
Viewer Tarsha


"I started back using my Aerogarden.  It is a indoor aeroponic gardening appliance in which you can grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers.  I have it set up on my kitchen table."

Look how much my greens are growing

"I am growing musclin mix, the big greens in the back are arugula, salad greens, romaine lettuce, deers tongue, and baby greens."