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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WHAT ARE YOU SNACKING?

 
"A Roasted Medley"
 
 
Roasted Pecans, Almonds, and Pumpkin Seeds
with spices
 
 
Last night I created a healthy alternative snack to help me fend off my sweet tooth attack I'm currently battling.  I have given up junk food sweets and candy for Lent.  Hopefully I can hack it for 40 days.  But, why only 40 days?  Hmm... It's a start for me to see if I have the discipline in kicking the junk food addiction.  If I succeed, then I will go on further.  I must say it is hard because once the body is used to the artificial sweets it's a fight to ignore the addiction.  Remember the post on "Sugar Addiction"?  Sugar addiction is a serious habit that should not be ignore especially for too long.  Why?  The longer you are taking in sugary foods the more damage is occurring inside of your body.  Therefore, causing severe havoc on your blood sugar levels leading into diabetes and damaging your pancreas or losing limbs, fingers, toes, teeth, and eyesight.  Remember you cannot replace a pancreas organ.  Keep in mind cancer loves sugar.   High sugar foods causes weight gain.   

The past few days I've been reading up on how to make "healthy snacks" that can be nutritiousness for my body and help the body heal.

Here is what I've created that can satisfy a sweet tooth and hunger.  Keep in mind nuts and seeds are packed with healthy heart fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein!

 
Roasting Seasonings
 
  • 1/2 cup of raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • a dash of sea salt *optional
  • a dash of chili or cayenne pepper *optional
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme

Tip:  You can use coconut oil or grape seed oil.  You can use honey, raw coconut nectar syrup, or raw agave nectar. You can use any nuts or seeds.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients.  Then on a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional) spread out the nuts and seeds on the sheet.

*You can drizzle little more pure maple syrup before it goes in the oven.

Ready to roast!

Roast in oven for 10 - 15 minutes only.  Do not over cook.

Your "healthy snack" is ready to munch on!

Get with THIS!
"Roasted Medley"
Alternative Snack

After eating this Roasted Medley you will feel no need to reach out for this...
 
Oh My Goodness Badness
"Sweet Table"
 
Keep it moving because you will have this baggie of healthy goodness...

Ziploc bag of Roasted Medley
with dried cranberries and dairy and soy free mini semisweet chocolate chips


Health Tip:  Portion Control is the key to maintain a healthy weight. Click here
The Secrets of Portion Control

Let's start in making that change to kick the junk food addiction!



 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

DID YOU HAVE YOUR VEGGIES TODAY?

Tatsoi, Red Cabbage, Turnips, Parsley, and Radicchio
"A variety of nutrients"

Vegetables today?  I hope so!  If you want to have good health, then you must obtain the necessary nutrients by eating a variety (different) of vegetables daily.  Different vegetables have specific substances that helps the body function and fight off various diseases.  Vegetables are high in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and low in calories.  Therefore, eating a variety of vegetables can help control blood pressure and control weight.

Try not to rely much on supermarkets when looking for different vegetables.  It is best to venture out to places, such as, local Farmers' Markets, food co-ops, or health food stores.  What's even better growing your own vegetable garden (if possible).

By going to Farmers' Markets you will find some vegetables that are like these...

Rainbow Swiss Chard and Celeriac (Celery Root)

Beautiful, right?  Amazing the color depth vegetables gives off.


Tatsoi
(known as either Spinach Mustard or Rosette Bok Choy)


Savoy Cabbage
Wow!!  I had to take this home.  I never saw this type of cabbage.  A friend told me it taste really good and a good technique in cooking the savoy cabbage is by sautéing it in olive oil and garlic.  The leaves remind me of lacinato kale (Tuscan or dinosaur kale).



Don't be intimidated on the appearance
"Savoy Cabbage"

In the world of vegetables, the family Brassica genus reigns supreme - most powerful superfood. 

Who are the Brassica family?

The family members are:
  • Red and Green cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Turnips
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
The benefits?
  • Compounds of indoles
  • Fights off cancer
  • Fights off fibroids
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Kills bacteria and viruses
  • Blood purifier
  • Antioxidants
Health Tip:  Eating cabbage more than once a week can help reduce your colon cancer odds by 66 percent!

Cooking Tips:

Roasting?


Sautéing or Braised?



Raw Salad?



There are so many versions or techniques on how you can eat cabbage.  Try out the three ways and decide which one you would like best.

Open your arms and palate to the Brassica Family or the different vegetables that are available!


                                                                                                 Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2015

HE'S BACK...

"Still Loving What He Loves Best"
 
 
Viewer Gregory
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Its been a while that we have heard from viewer, Gregory.  He sent me a video message letting me know he is still enjoying life living it stress free.  You all remember Gregory's stress free releaser, right? It's fishing in California at the lakes.  Check out previous posts on his fish outing excursions in the past.  But, first watch his short second mini video on what went down at the lakes.  Now, this is very interesting on what goes on at the lakes.
 

video
 
 
                                                                                                    Thanks Gregory!
 
 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

LUNAR CHINESE NEW YEAR 2015

"Happy New Year"
 
Ring in the YEAR OF THE SHEEP
(Goat or Ram)
2015
 
 
     It's another New Year CELEBRATION. We all love celebrations.  This particular New Year time brings a spectacular celebration for the Chinese community.  A celebration for new beginnings, family, and positivity.  During this festive time the Chinese start to clean their homes, throwing away garbage, and dirty things in light of a new start.  It's the year of  SHEEP- gentle and calm.  Most will be eating noodles for longevity, whole fish for abundance, wearing or decorating red (brightness, happiness, energy, and positive hopes), displays of tangerines and oranges for prosperity (wealth and luck), giving red envelopes of money to children, parents, and friends for best wishes of the new year.
 
Here is an interesting article on Chinese New Year & China Highlights http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/special-report/chinese-new-year/
 
 
                                                                                  Enjoy the celebration!
 
 
 


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

IT'S A CELEBRATION! DID YOU FORGET?

"February Is Heart Month"
 
 
Every year we MUST CELEBRATE THE HEART
 
 
  
     The heart beats 100,000 times a day and 35 million times a year.  It's one of the "main organs" that needs special attention.  Did you know heart disease and stroke are two of America's leading causes of death?  According to the American Heart Association heart disease is the No.1 killer of women and is more deadly than the all forms of cancer combine. 
 
     Hispanic women are more likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.  African Americans are the highest in having high blood pressure in the world.  High blood pressure is more severe in blacks than whites but develops early in life.
 
What are the symptoms for heart attacks to be aware of?
  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Back pain
  3. Jaw pain
  4. Nausea
  5. Flu like symptoms *are often reported weeks and days before a heart attack
  6. Sweating
  7. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, sore pain in center of chest that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes
  8. Pain either in one arm or both arms
  9. Pain in stomach
  10. Lightheadedness
  11. Vomiting

What are the signs of a stroke?
  1. Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg *especially on one side of the body
  2. Confusion
  3. Trouble speaking and understanding
  4. Trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  5. Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  6. Severe headache
*Do not wait more than five minutes if experiencing any of the above symptoms.  Seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

What can I do to avoid developing a heart attack or stroke?

You must eat healthy! 

Healthy = fresh vegetables + fresh fruits + increase whole grains + probiotics + reduce sodium + no smoking + read labels + avoid trans fat (partially or hydrogenated oils) + limit alcohol + no drugs + limit or eliminate red meats + avoid food preservatives + avoid sodium nitrates + reduce stress + avoid process package foods + drink water + drink herbal or green teas + reduce take out foods + eat wholesome homemade foods + adapt to a Mediterranean Diet + adapt to a Vegetarian Diet (at least 75%) + adapt to eating organic or locally grown (at least 50%) + ask your doctors how you are able to reduce or eliminate your prescription drugs (look into alternative ways to by manage your health issues) + snack on seeds + snack on raw or roasted unsalted nuts

 And...

Get Moving
Add some physical exercise activity every week
 
If you use this as a guide to a healthy diet lifestyle, then you will be ready for that next birthday.
click here to revisit February American Heart Month

Find out the 8 secrets to a Mediterranean Diet click here  "The Mediterranean Diet"

Find out the 7 secrets to Being a Cool Vegetarian from Jeff Golfman.




Get Ready for that CELEBRATION

Now are you ready to blow out those candles? 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU & MANY RETURNS!




                                                                                                   Namaste
 
 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

WHAT ARE YOU GROWING, MR. GREEN?

Viewer Vanessa













Vanessa is back with some very interesting pictures she took while visiting her dad in Florida during the holidays. 

So, what is her dad growing in his back yard?




Moringa
(it's the "new crave" for that optimum health)

Sugar Cane


Thyme



Leaf of Life

 Can we all say, Mr. Green, is "Living the Good Life"!

Monday, February 2, 2015

KUMQUAT WINTER HARVEST 2015

"Nagami Kumquat"
 
Almost 100% fully ripe
Kumquats
 
 
Another citrus winter harvest for 2015!  You do not have to be in the sunny states to enjoy a citrus harvest.  You can have a citrus plant in wintry places like this!
 
  
Citrus trees can thrive indoors in a nice comfortable, preferably sunny window area.  What I come to understand about citrus fruits and not even just citrus plants but other foods, such as, sweet red peppers, that you got to have patience.  Patience is a virtue.  It took many months to develop  and turn to the bright orange.  When I bought this plant it already had unripe kumquats formed on it.  The kumquats started turning the last weeks of November 2014.
 
By December it looked liked this...
 
Kumquats turning from green to orange
December 7, 2014
 Peeking through the shadows of the leaves and branches you can see one has fully ripen...
 
One fully ripe kumquat
December 7, 2015
Within days and more weeks I was able to pick a few here and there...  
 
Ripe Kumquats
December 25, 2014
 
And over a half a dozen more yesterday!  Gave some of my harvest to family and friends.  My nephews cannot get enough of them.  But, my mom and sister hesitates in eating them.
 
Why?
 
They do not like the "kumquat experience" it gives you.
 
What experience?
 
My first experience was a remarkable one.  I had never eaten one before.  The first time I seen (up and close) of a kumquat plant was when I visited Phoenix, Arizona at the True Food Kitchen Restaurant (highly recommend - located in various states).  But, just recently I ate one for the first time- OH MY!  The skin is edible (the best sweet part).  I bit into one and BAM didn't expect that SOUR sensation.  Talk about a facial expression you don't want to see.

How do you eat a kumquat?

 
 
 So, do you have a kumquat experience you would like to share?  Did you like it?


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SAGE AND CRANBERRIES

Roasted Butternut Squash
 
 
 
 
This side dish gives off an inviting warmness and a bit of a holiday feel.  It's perfect to eat for the cold weather season.  Butternut squash is a hardy winter squash and can last on your counter (table) for a long time.  The squash is very firm and hard.  It can be a pain and tedious task in cutting into it.  The squash will give your wrist and hands a bit of a work out.  It's worth the hassle!  You will need to use a good knife in cutting into any of the Cucurbita family.
 
The first time I tasted this combination of ingredients with the butternut squash was when I visited Whole Foods supermarket at the cooked food station.  I tried a sample several samples they were giving out to the customers.  It was really good the dried cranberries balanced the sweetness of the squash.  I wanted more than just a small sample cup.  But, I didn't want to pay $8.99 lb for it- very expensive. 
 
What did I do?  Well, I looked at their ingredient card they had in front of the butternut squash dish and memorized the ingredients - simple!  If you like something, just read the ingredients and recreate it.  Your taste buds can be your guide as well.
 
Ingredients
 
2 Butternut Squashes
(chopped)
 
Dried Cranberries, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nutmeg, Shallots and fresh Sage
 
*Only six ingredients to make this warmness dish.
  • 2 medium size butternut squashes
  • 2 medium size shallots or 1 large sweet yellow onion or *one of each
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh sage - chopped
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
Directions
 
Thoroughly wash your squash.  I like to use equal parts of water and vinegar to soak the squashes in for a few minutes.  Then wash off and remove the skin.  Split the squashes in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Cut into medium chunks (same sizes).  Remove the outer skin off your onions and wash them.  Cut the onions in large chunks.  Wash your fresh sage and chop up 2 tablespoons.  Combine all ingredients together - the nutmeg, cranberries, olive oil, onions, sage, and squash.  Place the squash in a casserole or baking sheet.
 
 
Ready to be roasted!


Place in the oven at 400 F for about 40 minutes until tender and lightly browned (depending on your oven).  Toss the squash halfway through roasting.


Roasting away!

  Ready to be served.

Eat time!

Enjoy the foods that loves you...

  


 



 
 
 
 
 



Friday, January 16, 2015

GUESS WHO STOPPED BY FOR MANY DINNERS?

"The Cucurbita Family"
 
 
Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash, and Pumpkin
"We are still in season"

Hopefully, everyone is eating the foods that are in season.  If you haven't invited the Cucurbita Family to your home as of yet, then do so now while they are visiting your local supermarkets and farmer's markets.




                                                                                 Extend the love with welcome arms!






Tuesday, January 13, 2015

TURMERIC TONIC WATER

 
"The Elixir of a Long Life"
 
Turmeric Tonic Water
"The Anti-Inflammatory Water"
 
 
Lengthen your years and reduce your pain with this pure natural tonic water.  Don't you think it's time to live for the good life?
 
I was grateful enough to be able to harvested some turmeric roots and a nice big cayenne pepper for winter 2015.  Long and behold, Oh Meyer has grant me a ripe lemon!  She had produced only two lemons this past season which took a long drawn out six months process to grow.  But, I see Oh Meyer is blossoming more sweet fragrance flowers - hopefully can it be over a dozen strong healthy flower buds?
 
Meyer Lemon Tree Plant
"The Gift that Keeps on Giving"
 
 Oh Meyer will contribute to a good tonic water.
 
Turmeric Tonic Water Ingredients

*For a more potent tonic the ingredients can be doubled.
  • 6 cups of purified or distilled
  • 1 half of organic lemon
  • 1 cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey *optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt *optional
  • 1 piece of ginger root the size of your little (pinky) finger
  • 3-4 pieces of fresh turmeric roots (nice sizes) or 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric powder

Organic Meyer Lemon
 
I'm savoring every piece of this lemon because it will be a while for the next batch to be produced again.  I used a small piece with the skin and all!  That is why I highly recommend you use an organic lemon.
 
I used my mortar and pestle to grind up the cardamom.  First I put about 8-11 green cardamom pods in the mortar and smashed them with the pestle.  Then removed the tiny black seeds.
 
Fresh Ground Cardamon
Almost got a teaspoon
 
Then I pulled out my juicer.  I haven't utilized it in a long time.  A shame because it's sitting right on my counter.  *Note to self - please use or remove it from counter.
 

Add the turmeric roots, ginger roots, cayenne pepper, lemon and peel
in the juicer chute
 
Let the extraction begin...
 
Wow not much but it's something
 
Then add the water, the root juice, sea salt, and honey to the water.  Stir well.  It's ok if there are stuff at the bottom of pitcher- just shake and mix before pouring.
 
Turmeric Tonic Water
Can be served chilled.
 
Frugal Tip:  Save the pulp.  It can be utilized for soups, baking goods, etc.
 
Pulp
"I'm useful"


Live it.  Love it.  Enjoy it.

                                                                                                   Namaste