Cholesterol: Know Your Numbers

Me: How’s your blood work?

 Hubby: The doctor said my cholesterol was a little high.

 Me: What was it?

 Hubby: I don’t know.

 Me: (staring at him with my mouth open).

This is an over-dramatization, but the point is clear. It is common for folks not to know or ask their doctor about their cholesterol numbers. You noticed I said numbers with an ‘s.’ There is more than one number that you need to know when it comes to cholesterol.

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Protein Needs

I need a lot of protein since I work out a lot.

The real question is how much protein the average (healthy) person needs?  (All the info I provide will be based on adult needs.  Interestingly, protein deficiency is unlikely in the United States, but might be an issue for the elderly with health complications or, of course, the pregnant/breastfeeding mom).

Protein is essential because of the amino acids it uses for a variety of body functions.  Protein makes up over half of the solid content in all cells.   It is used for enzymes, hormones, immunity, and structure of amino acids, which will help with muscle building.

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Parental Rights Questioned Due to Diet

I belong to an on-line vegetarian group.  I have access to a wonderful group of professional folks who know how to plan well-balanced vegetarian meals.  But recently, a few members have stated that they have been approached by a vegetarian parent to help them establish that vegetarian diets are healthy in an effort for that parent to obtain custody of their child.  Evidently, the meat-eating parent thinks that the diet is unhealthy for their child.

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Edible Weeds

Weeds in your yard? Don’t worry they might be edible! I recently attended a garden tour of an organic garden with weeds. I took photos so I wouldn’t forget and have posted some common one that you would find in the Long Beach area.

Many know the dandelion is all edible. I’ve even seen it sold at a local farmer’s market. It can be bitter, but edible. A recent website also focuses on edible weeds.

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Food for Your Face

Cucumber Mint Facial Tonic

In Aruyveda medicine, the belief of not putting anything on your face that you wouldn’t put in your body is a is a basic tenent. Several months ago, I wrote on super foods that we should all incorporate into our bodies. A lot of these foods make wonderful facial masks and help improve your skin. As I make my own face toner, I reflect on the benefits of the ingredients for my body. The recipe I’m providing comes from a local who taught classes on natural skin care. So, for you do-it-yourself-ers I have provided the recipe to make your own facial toner to help tighten your pores and nourish your skin at the same time.

    Cucumber Mint Facial Tonic

(Use Daily)

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Mood Food

Feeling sluggish or down in the dumps?  Your diet might be to blame.  There are a few foods that can help you with a perky attitude.

Omega-3 Fatty acids – Includes cold water fish, such as salmon and sardines, flax seed, walnuts, nuts and seeds.  The fat in these foods help the brain cells and neurotransmitters function properly and possibly help some folks with depression.

Soluble Fiber Foods – Includes oatmeal, barley, beans, fruits and some vegetables.  These foods help regulate blood sugars.  The soluble fiber forms a gel in your GI tract that slowly release the sugar from some of these foods into the blood stream.  It helps you from feeling hungry too quickly.

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Soaking Flour/Grains

Soaked Flour Pumpkin Muffins

I’ve recently have taken some classes on making better bread.  Going back to scratch cooking has been something I’ve hesitated doing since it can be time consuming.  It does require some planning, too.  In taking on this effort, I have learned some valuable information.  I’ve known for a while that the flour we use in grocery store is inferior, but I didn’t know to what extent.  So I’ve learned how to grind my own flour.  I’ve also learned the concept of soaking grains and flour.  This has become an important part of the nutritional aspect of baking bread products.  Soaking grains and flours can help release the phytonutrients (the plant nutrition) that the body can use more readily.

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Journaling: Writing Your Way to Better Health

Are you stuck in the same exercise routine? Are you struggling to eat better?

A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that writing exercises (aka journaling) can help alleviate symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. This is why writing or journaling is one of the foundations of weight loss and health. I have a friend you says that some of the hardest writing she has done is about her health. I can’t disagree; this is a tough process for some.

But don’t fear: there are several types of journaling that might be beneficial for you to meet your health goals:

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Worth a Hill of Beans

(Yes, I borrowed the title…I’m not that clever)

When I told some folks at work that I eat a plant-based diet, automatically the conversation went to what I eat for protein.  “Oh are you eating Gardein?” Because I don’t like most of the meat-substitutes out there, I use beans as my primary source of protein.  For reasons I’ve explained in one of my previous blogs, I avoid canned beans when possible.  So, I thought I would share the benefits of this nutritonal powerhouse, the bean.

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Garden Passion – Update

I thought I would share my current gardening passion and the progress that has occurred with my garden gutters. My seeds have started to sprout! The photos below will show the progress that has been made in about 2 months. Just so everyone is aware, it has been a warmer winter in So Cal.  I did plant some heirloom variety lettuces in one of the garden gutters.  I planted strawberry seeds in my other garden gutter.  You can see the photo of the small strawberry seed that are just starting. The benefit: I’ve not seen bugs; this includes slugs and pill bugs which usually eat tender seedlings.

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