Grow. Eat. Live.

Grow.  Eat.  Live.
Grow. Eat. Live.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017


"Getting Your Probiotics By Any Means Necessary"
The Good Bacteria

Different kinds of probiotics to add in your daily health diet

     Can you think of the last time you had fermented foods, organic yogurts, probiotic supplements, or probiotic beverages?  If you have to take a while to answer, then you are not getting what your body so righteously deserve.  Probiotic is known to be the "good bacteria" that consists of live active bacteria to help the gut (intestinal) flora.

     A healthy intestinal flora is vital for forming stools and maintaining your immune system.  The digestive tract is 70% of your immune system.  The importance in keeping a high level of live good bacteria is extremely crucial since the digestive tract is a big part of our immune system.  If the immune system is weaken, then your body will be under attack by certain diseases, such as, cancer, respiratory, autoimmune disorders, constant diarrhea, yeast infections, constipation, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), risk in developing ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, and mouth yeast infections.

 Can gut bacteria cure or prevent certain diseases and moods?

     The role of probiotics plays in the functioning of the body has become more evident to the medical world.  Scientists has come to realize the link between the heart, brain, gastrointestinal tract, and mental (mood) state with gut bacteria.  The body needs a strong functioning intestinal tract so it can digest and absorb nutrients we consume on a daily basis.  The nutrients we receive from foods help feeds the whole body system, such as, nervous system, heart, and brain.  Scientists says the human body has a second brain known as "enteric nervous system (ENS)".  It is considered a different type of brain.  Therefore, meaning it consists of two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining the gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to the rectum.  ENS main role is controlling digestion, breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and expelling of waste.  It does not help with the thought processes, conscious thoughts, and decision making like our other brain that is protected by the skull.

Here is a video on "Gut bacteria and health" by Dr. Juliet Ansell...

     According to reports in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute colon cancer rates are on the rise among Generation X and Millennial.  They are facing four times the risk of colon and rectal cancer as to the baby boomers.

What are the signs my body has too much bad gut bacteria or gut flora imbalance?
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Excess intestinal gas
  • Constipation
  • No intestinal gas
  • Prostate issues
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Candida infection
  • Chronic anemia
  • Chronic respiratory problems
  • Dairy intolerance
  • Vitamin B deficiencies
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Chronic vaginal infections
  • Chronic bladder infections
  • PH balance of your stools
  • Depression
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn/Acid reflux
  • Constant colds
  • Behavior issues
How can I restore and improve my gut flora?

Fermented foods provide excellent benefits.  Fermented foods are packed with probiotics or good bacteria. It is not a new type of food.  Fermented foods have been practiced for years in different cultures around the world.  For example, the Bulgarians are known for their high consumption of kefir, fermented milk, and yogurt.  Bulgaria is one of the countries with people who are 100 years and older.  The Asians are known to eat pickled fermentation of cabbage (kimchi), turnips, cucumbers, garlic, eggplants, and carrots. The Germans are known to eat sauerkraut.  Studies have shown eating fermented foods (probiotic rich foods) has a positive affect on overall health.

Refrigerated shelves of fermented foods in supermarkets

There are recipes and cooking classes that are available in learning how to make one of the popular forms of fermented foods, kimchi.

Traditional kimchi...

Vegans can enjoy this recipe demo...

No time in making homemade kimchi? OK, no problem.  Kimchi can be found at supermarkets and farmer's markets.  I suggest when buying store bought kimchi you read the labels!  Look at those ingredients on the label closely to make sure there are no chemical preservatives, artificial coloring or flavors, and most important how much sodium is in it.  If you are battling high blood pressure, then eat it in moderation.

Ingredients on a bottle of store bought kimchi

If you do not like kimchi, then try sauerkraut.

Store bought sauerkraut
*read the ingredient labels

If you just cannot hack the taste or smell of fermented foods, then reach for organic yogurts. There are many versions of yogurts sold at supermarkets that are dairy, soy, dairy free, and soy free. Companies are watching and listening to consumers buying habits and lifestyles.  Nowadays, everyone are trying to eat healthy.

dairy free yogurts

Yogurts are consumed with several strains of good bacteria.  Yogurts that have more than one strain of bacteria will give the body a better boost.

Ingredients on organic Greek yogurt
*you want to see live active multi cultures strains 

Plain yogurts are best.  Why?  You are in control of what you put in the yogurt.  The majority of the store bought yogurts have either high fructose corn syrup, high sugar grams, and artificial ingredients. The plain versions you can add your own fresh fruit, honey, maple syrup, nut butters, or whatever toppings you like.  The bonus to this method is your whole body system would get a healthy dose of fiber and natural ingredients you've added on your own.

Probiotic supplements are another way in getting the good bacteria in your system.  Vitamin, supermarkets, and pharmacy stores all have probiotic supplements on their shelves or located in the refrigerator area.  When purchasing the supplements make sure there are multi strains of bacteria, no artificial ingredients (colors), no preservatives, no corn, or no soy.  If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, then make sure the bottle states dairy free.  Always keep your probiotics in a cool place.

Eating prebiotic foods helps the gut bacteria to produce nutrients for your gastrointestinal system as well...

Organic dark leafy kale and swiss chard greens
The best prebiotic foods to eat:

  • Dandelion Greens
  • Leafy Greens (kale, swiss chard etc.)
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Apples
  • Oats
  • Konjac Root
  • Cocoa (not processed)
  • Burdock Root
  • Flax seeds
  • Yacon Root
  • Jicama Root
  • Seaweed
In conclusion, it is clearly shown how probiotics and a balance of prebiotics helps the whole body connect with one another to sustain a healthy system to thrive.  The body will clearly let out a symptom on letting you know something is not right.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


"October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month"

Pink Ribbons
"Breast Cancer Awareness"
Knowledge Is Power

     Lets' all not forget the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  We dedicate this month in giving awareness of this disease.  Spread the word, tell friends, coworkers, and family members.  

Tameka Forman...

is helping to spread the message by creating this lovely pink ribbon and passing it out to her coworkers.  Awareness is very important.  Learning about this disease and knowing what to do can help save a life.  What you know someone else may not know.  So lets' keep spreading the message...

Please click the link...

                                                                                         Thank you!

Friday, August 5, 2016


"Better Blood Flow"

Eat those veggies

Here we go!  I'm revealing once again foods to give your body a better blood flow to the heart.  We all know the heart is the most vital organ of the human body without it our bodies cannot function at a normal rate.  We must take care of the heart as best as we can.  

Organic Beets
(leafy greens are edible)

The vegetable beets improves blood circulation, aid in skin care, prevent cataracts, treatment of anemia, fight cancer cells, and helps respiratory problems.

The fruit grapes gives a better blood flow within three hours after eating one and a quarter cups of it.  At 60 calories a cup, is a sweet deal than eating a slice of cake.

Dark chocolate improves circulation because of the flavonoids (antioxidants) it provides.  By pass the snickers, twix, M&Ms, and grab in favor one ounce of pure dark chocolate that contains at least 60 percent cacao. (no imitation)

Whole grains has fiber and vital nutrients.  The better grains:

  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice (organic is best)
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Whole wheat breads and pastas
  • Bulgur
  • Popcorn (organic is best) 
Spice roots, ginger, and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory herbs that gives a boost in circulation, lowering blood pressure, keeping the blood thin, anti-viral, lower cholesterol, and prevents internal blood clots.

Health Tip:  When shopping for leafy greens, always pick deep green.  Remember the darker the green, the more antioxidants and nitric oxide.  Organic is best.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


"It's Juicing/Blending Tuesday"

Chili Watermelon Cooler

It's juicing or blending Tuesday!  I hope you are keeping up with a dedication day of juicing.

What are we juicing or blending?

We are making Chili Watermelon Cooler.

Summer is still here and many fruits are in season.  Seasonal fruits are on sale at your local supermarkets, farmer's markets, community or urban gardens, and your backyard gardens.

Watermelon Sprout
(Planted some seeds Summer 2016)

A coworker gave me half of her watermelon she grew last season 2015 and I kept the seeds.  I planted about three seeds on April 16, 2016.  The seeds sprouted up May 16, 2016.

Three watermelon sprouts
May 28, 2016

*Update:  Gave away two sprouts to friends and last week my sprout that I transferred into my garden raised bed has died.  Some sprouts will live and some won't.  Do not be discouraged.

Watermelon is one of the summer fruits that you will find available at this time.  Watermelon is an excellent fruit that can keep your body hydrated.  The fruit holds 92% water  and has 46 calories per cup.

"Hello I'm Available...NOW"

Health benefits that we cannot ignore:

  1. Fiber
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Vitamin A
  4. Potassium
  5. More lycopene than raw tomatoes (1.5 times than a large tomato)
  6. Fights heart disease
  7. Fights cancers
  8. Maintains blood pressure
  9. Antioxidant
  10. Stops free radicals from damaging DNA cells
  11. Relieves muscles soreness
  12. 92% water
  13. Speeds up your metabolism 
Its refreshing sweetness, and burst of color can add a brightness to your plate or cup!

Organic Chili Pepper & Watermelon Chunks


  • 8 ounces of filtered or purified water
  • 2 cups of watermelon  
  • 1 chili pepper
Why the chili pepper?

The chili pepper I grew was ready to be harvest from my fruits and vegetables garden.  

Chili pepper has beneficial health properties to help the body fight pain, inflammation, and promote weight loss.  The chili pepper's heat comes from capsaicin - a compound produced to protect the pepper from fungal attacks. 

Tool Appliance:  Blender


Ready to blend!

  1. Wash thoroughly watermelon before cutting.
  2. Cut the watermelon lengthwise in half.
  3. Discard seeds and rinds.
  4. Cut up half the watermelon in chunks. 
  5. Wash thoroughly the chili pepper.
  6. Remove the stem of the pepper.
  7. Split open the pepper.  *optional if you do not want your beverage to be too spicy then remove some of the seeds from the pepper.
  8. Place all ingredients in your blender.
Refreshing Sweetness
"Tummy watch it comes"

Blend away!

Spin & Blast away!

Ready for that refreshing beverage quencher that has excellent health benefits.  Homemade is better than any store bought beverage.


Bottle up your Chili Watermelon Cooler!

Chili Watermelon Cooler
Juice beverage to quench your thirst with a spice kick

Can be served chilled.

Health Tip:  According to researchers, athletes who consumed a little more than 16 ounces an hour before exercise had less muscle soreness and a lower heart rate within a day.


Friday, July 22, 2016


(Red Bush)

Organic Rooibos Tea
"Youth Preserving"

It's been so long we had one of these post segments.  I've realized I still have not finished revealing the six healthy skin, hair, and nails tips.  We are up to Reveal #3.

Rooibos has many health benefits for the skin and powerful medical properties. It has aspalathin and anti-inflammatory antioxidants that calms redness and roughness. 

Plus, it helps protects aging associated from sun exposure. 

Rooibos is a favorite among South Africans and grows only in the mountainous region.

Researchers suggest drinking a cup a day of the red or green brew can repair and beautify your complexion as effectively as many pricey skin creams.

Bonus Tips:  Rooibos can help prevent Alzheimer's disease by staving off age-related damage to brain cells, helps fight allergies, improves circulation, prevents some cancers, settles stomach, calm and relaxes, defends cells and DNA from scavengers free radicals.

                                                        Enjoy a nice cup today!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


"The Gifted Talented"

Karlene Lopez
"It's All About The Brains - the amazing 200th post"

We all know how precious the brain organ is to the human body.  Right?  If you didn't know, then please feel free to read the post on how the brain works, why we should care for the brain, and an added bonus of the gifted talented participants whom were spotlighted on

Recently, Lopez has notified me that she is still drawing, painting, and now designing fashion T-shirts and gloves.

Here is the latest drawing Karlene Lopez has created that will put you all in awe or admiration of her latest masterpiece.  As we recall, Lopez had no training in drawing but practiced on her own.

I would like to present to you Karlene Lopez's new original art creation...

An original art piece on 9 x 12 canvas panel
by Karlene Lopez
July 2016

Karlene Lopez has stated...
     "If anyone is interested in purchasing any or the original latest creation please let me know.  I'm going to do some more art pieces.  It's an original drawing of my own design not a print."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


"It's Juicing/Blending Tuesday"

Dairy Free Mango Lassi

Today is the day!  What are we juicing/blending?


It wakes up our taste buds, digestive system, and the tummy will enjoy.

Cardamon is traditionally used to improve one's taste sensation. 

I have altered the usual mango lassi recipe by eliminating the yogurt and sugar. 

Naturally Sweet
Dairy Free Mango Lassi
Ripe Mango, Coconut Milk, and Ground Green Cardamon

  • 1 cup of chopped mango (about 2 riped mangoes)
  • 1 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp (teaspoon) of ground cardamon
Tool Appliance:  Blender

  1. Thoroughly wash the mango.  
  2. Remove the skin. 
  3. Slice up the mango. 
  4. Discard seed.
  5. Place all ingredients in the blender:  mango, coconut milk, and cardamon.
  6. Blend away.
Tip:  You can use frozen mango or add ice if you prefer it to be cold.  



Friday, July 8, 2016


"A Better Heart"

     Lately, more younger people are developing high blood pressure.  High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke - which are the leading causes of death in the United States.  About 70 million American adults have high blood pressure - that's 1 of every 3 adults.  Are you in that category?  If so, what are you doing about it?

  1. High cholesterol levels.  High levels of the bad LDL cholesterol contribute to the buildup of arterial plaque.  
  2. High blood pressure.  The higher your blood pressure, the more your arteries swell and stretch. Keep in mind blood pressure is considered high if it's consistently at or above 140/90 mmHg.
  3. Coronary artery calcium score.  This a direct measurement of the amount of plaque in your arteries.  The higher the score, the more plaque you have and more preventive measures you and your doctor need to consider.  For example, drug medications.
  4. Diabetes.  High blood sugar drives inflammation that can damage the endothelium.  Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can narrow the arteries.

The next future posts I will reveal to you foods that can help you with healthy circulation to the heart.

Let's start with...
Focusing on Fruits

  • Watermelon
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi 
  • Oranges

Eat at least two cups each day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016



Listeria is one of the top foodborne bacterias you do not want in your food or kitchen.  Lately, there has been several recalls from well known big stores and food companies recalling products, such as, frozen vegetables and chicken salads.  Listeria can make people sick, shut down organs, and even death.

So, what actually is listeria?

Listeria causes an infection called listeriosis.  Contaminated food is almost always what spreads it.  Listeriosis is a foodborne illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes - bacteria found in soil and water.  It can be found in a variety of raw foods as well as in processed foods and foods made from unpasteurized milk.  Listeria is not like many other bacterias because it can grow even in the cold temperature of the refrigerator.

Animals can carry the bacteria and pass it to foods.

Is listeria highly dangerous?

Yes, for some.  Anyone can get the illness.  This foodborne bacteria isn't serious for most health adults and children.  But, it can be deadly for certain at risk groups, such as:
  • Newborns
  • Pregnant women and their babies
  • Older adults 
  • People with weakened immune systems, such as, HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease
What are the symptoms?

Listeriosis symptoms can take a few days, or even weeks, to appear.  Symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Mild flu-like symptoms

 What can we do to reduce the risk?

Food safety experts recommend these strategies for reducing your risk of listeriosis:
  1. Skip it.  Avoid raw milk and raw milk products.
  2. Chill it.  Listeria can grow in cool temperatures - but it grows slower in the cold.  Keep your refrigerator setting at 40 degree F  (4 degree C) or lower- and your freezer at 0 degree F (minus 18 degree C) or lower.
  3. Separate it.  Put raw meats in sealed containers so drippings can't get on other foods.
  4. Wash it.  Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables.  Before eating, rinse fresh produce under running water, even if it will be peeled.  Scrub firm items, such as melons, with a clean produce brush.  (I particularly soak my fresh fruits and vegetables in equal parts of vinegar and water for a few minutes then wash it off.  Vinegar kills off germs and bacteria) 
  5. Heat it.  You can help kill listeria by heating food well.  Heat ready to eat foods and leftover until they are steaming hot.  Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil when reheating.
  6. Toss it.  Don't keep leftovers for more than three days.  Use ready to eat, refrigerated items, such as, deli meats, as soon as possible.
  7. Scrub it.  Wipe up spills right away.  And regularly wash the inside of your fridge with hot water and a mild dish detergent.  After rinsing dry surfaces with paper towels.
What is the treatment for listeriosis?

Antibiotics can treat listeriosis.  If you're in one of the high risk groups above and suspect an infection, see your doctor or medical assistance right away.

Quick additional tips?

Here are additional tips for getting rid of germs from your kitchen:
  1. After each use, wash wooden cutting boards in warm, soapy water.
  2. Clean nonporous cutting boards in the dishwasher.
  3. Frequently wash laundry cloth grocery bags and dish towels in the hot cycle.
  4. Wash hands after handling hot dogs, deli meats, and raw meats.
As always I highly suggest you take probiotics supplements daily.

                                                                               Be safe and remember these tips!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


"Juicing/Blending Tuesday"

Almond Berries Smoothie

Our Tuesdays of juicing or blending are back!  Once again trying back at it to designate the day of juicing/blending.  It's summer, the weather is nice, and we all want to get our bodies back in shape.  Juicing and blending is an excellent way to get the nutrients we need for our bodies and a better way to help absorb those nutrients.  It gives the digestive system a rest. 

What are we juicing/blending today?
Almond Berries Smoothie

Main ingredients
  • 1 cup of almond milk 
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut water probiotic
  • 1 cup of mix organic fresh berries - raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries (triple threat - Berries are powerful natural antioxidants)

Dairy Free
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Coconut Water Probiotic, Raspberries, Blueberries, & Strawberries

Other added ingredients

  • 1/2 frozen ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea  (gives you a boost of energy and antioxidants)
Tool Appliance:  Blender

Blend away!

Tummy Get Ready for a good dose of super powerful  antioxidants that fight free radicals 
  Live well.  Drink well.  Be well.