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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Recommended Reading 08/04/19


I have been on a social media  "cutback" over the past few weeks.  I haven't posted anything on the blog for 3 weeks, but I am back with my favorite type of post.  Let us get started with:

ENVIRONMENT
Being one that works outside, I have definitely noticed a change in the environment; 
IT IS GETTING HOTTER.  I have noticed small changes in nature.  One example: Podocarpus is ornamental shrub used in Florida as a hedge or a specimen bush.  They produce a small purple berry which ripens in July- August which birds quickly consume.  They are edible and can be made into a native jelly.  The concern, is last year and this year I have not found very many.  Another example is the Smilax vine, just this year I have noticed a large decline in new growth (which is delicious raw and better saute'd in vegan butter and garlic). In the natural areas that I work it grows in abundance.   Not sure why this is but it is puzzling.  Nothing like the looks I get when I break off  a fresh tender shoot and eat it.  No, it doesn't taste like chicken, more like fresh asparagus!  Non-native invasive species are on the move from the southern warm areas in Florida towards the north.  Ex:Melaleuca trees (predominantly found in southern Florida) have now moved into northern central Florida.  I have even found a lone small Melaleuca on the Fl-Ga. border!
Climate Change is happening right now and we have the knowledge to stop the madness.
*It's warming.
*It's us.
*We're sure.
*It's bad.
*We CAN fix it.

Bees and other pollinators are crucial for our food production:
The Netherlands  have turned 316 bus stops into homes for bees.

The Florida Everglades is changing daily. The Snakes That Ate Florida: Python Invasion.

Since Shark Week wraps up today on Discovery Channel here are some crucial points on sharks:
100 Million Sharks are killed every year.

Watch "Saving Jaws"  on tubitv.com for free.

HEALTH
Niacin (B3)helps our bodies turn food into fuel. Studies have also shown it raises good HDL and lowers triglycerides as well or better then prescription drugs. Her are 30 foods high in niacin.

How can you can consume iron rich foods to get the right amount your body needs? What is iron? and why is it important

From the No Meat Athlete: The Only Plant Power Bowl You Will Ever Need.

9 High Protein Breakfasts without eggs.

Everyone needs a daily mindfulness practice.  Here's a some simple techniques.

Start each day with gratitude and see how your outlook will change.
 Have a great week.
Be kind.
Judd

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Power of Peas


Image result for peas

EAT YOUR PEAS!!

Children cry at the sight of them, while mom's try to hide them in mashed potatoes.  I remember it well, I begged my mom not to make me eat them,  I could not swallow a spoon full of peas, my throat just wouldn't open.  But now, I love peas, especially with vegan butter, salt and pepper mixed with home-made mashed potatoes.  Peas just weren't getting any respect.
There is a "pea revolution" going on.  Pea protein is high in muscle building in BCAA, branch chain amino acids, but is considered an "incomplete" protein because it is low in methionine and tryptophan.  Luckily "incomplete" proteins can compliment each other to provide all the necessary amino acids.  Research has shown that if you are eating a variety of sources throughout the day, it all evens out.  Also pea protein is naturally free of dairy, nuts and gluten, making it perfect for those with allergy or dietary restrictions.  And it is easier on the digestive system than dairy-based proteins.  Plant-based proteins are more sustainable than animal-derived ones, making it another great reason to chose pea protein.  They use less water, fortify the soil and use less energy resources to produce.
These sweet little orbs are packed with vitamin K and soluble fiber which can lower cholesterol and help you lose weight by making you feel full and satisfied longer.
Beyond Meat's Beast Burger  has 20 grams of protein derived from pea isolates per burger.  If you haven't grilled one of these, you simply must.  You will be totally surprised and your carnivore friends might look at 'veggie' burgers in a new light.

3 Ways Protein-Packed Peas Are Winning Over Hearts, Minds and Taste Buds Everywhere

Animal agriculture is not sustainable and we must switch to a plant-based food system.  Want to help reverse global warming?  Try adding this food group to your diet.

We all know how expensive protein powders cost, mostly because of the process to obtain the protein isolates.  But here is a way to save money by making your own powder:
From Scratch Powder
3/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
3/4 cup hemp seeds
3/4 cup flax seeds

Grind all seeds in a food processor until a fine powder is formed.
Store in a airtight glass container.
This makes 8-1/4 cup servings. Use it in baked goods, soups, sauces or smoothies.

Have a great week.
Be kind.
Judd

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Recommended Reading 07/07/2019



It's reading time!  These are my favorite posts to do.  Knowledge is power.  Being able to share the articles and videos I come across is fulfilling and I hope you enjoy.  I hope they open your minds to new ideas and solutions to any issues you personally might be encountering.

ENVIRONMENT
We should all know by now that we are in a climate emergency.  The world is changing and we need to drastically change the way we are living our lives.
Climate crisis: Europe's cities dangerously unprepared for heat wave hell
 Alaska Heat Wave  It was 90' in Anchorage, Alaska on July 4th.
The youth will show the way: Greta Thunberg on igniting an Environmental Movement.
Even the world's investors are demanding action: $34 Trillion
Fresh water discovered under the North Atlantic.
The hype around hemp: Hemp is Back

HEALTH
New study shows risks from highly processed foods.
Foggy, Anxious, Irritable? here's what toxins can do to your brain health.
You know it's hot outside: Your Body in Extreme Heat
While you are outside, try these 5 Natural Ingredients you can use as DEET-Free mosquito repellent.
Want to live longer? Welcome to The Blue Zones Life

CRAZY

Your next uber?

Competitive Tag


Have a great week.
Be kind.
Judd


Sunday, June 30, 2019

BBQ Pineapple Pizza




This is our all time favorite pizza recipe from Chef Chloe Coscarelli's cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen. We own all of her cookbooks, but we seem to always go back to this recipe the most!  

If you're pizza freaks like we are (and who isn't?!), we also recommend Chloe's amazing Grilled Pesto Pizza with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Balsamic Reduction on page 98 of the same cookbook, as well as her Garlic and Artichoke Pizza in Chloe's Vegan Italian Cookbook.

Now on to the recipe:

1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
2 cups barbecue sauce* (purchased or prepared. We use Chloe's recipe.)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 large onions, sliced (We prefer sweet white onions)
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced pineapple
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (Optional. We do not use!)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds pizza dough. (We use two packages of pizza dough from the Publix deli. We also just discovered Trader Joe's pre-made pizza crusts, which comes 2 to a package).

*Make your barbecue sauce ahead of time to save on time.

1. Press the tofu between two towels or paper towels using a heavy frying pan (or something similar) to remove excess moisture, and cut into cubes and toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce. Bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees, turning a couple of times throughout. Remove and turn up oven to 450 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, sauté onions in the olive oil until tender and caramelized, about 20 to 30 min. Season generously with salt and black pepper and set aside.

3. Coat the border of the crust with a mixture of olive oil and garlic powder and spoon the remaining 1 cup of barbecue sauce onto the pizza crusts and spread, leaving a border along the sides. You may not want to use all the sauce, just enough to coat the dough.
4. Layer the tofu, caramelized onions, pineapple and cilantro.

5. Bake for about 15 to 20 min, until the crust is slightly browned or golden.

*BARBECUE SAUCE (Makes about 3 cups)

2 cups ketchup (We prefer Publix Greenwise or Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup (again, we use Trader Joe's) or packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir frequently and take care to not allow it to stick to the bottom of your pan and burn.






Sunday, June 23, 2019

It's Hot Out, Drink Up!


IT'S HOT OUT, DRINK UP!


Did you know that water makes up two-thirds of our bodies?   Water is the major component of every kind of tissue we have from blood to bone and everything in between.  We need to be hydrated at all times or else our bodies do not function properly.  Around three-fourths of our water is in inside the walls of our 70-plus trillion cells.  Water is involved in every system and every event in our bodies.  Nothing happens without it.  Inside our cells is where salts, electrolytes and water combine to create the electrical energy that fires up our mitochondria, the power plants of our cells.  Water controls our body's temperature,  responsible for removing waste matter produced in our cells past the cell membranes to be filtered and removed by our liver and kidneys, it keeps our joints cushioned in the form of Synovial fluid.  Water operates our immune system, transporting white blood cells from our bone marrow to our tissues to fight off disease. The lymphatic fluid carries toxic substances and carcinogens to the lymph nodes where they can be destroyed.  Our brains and nervous systems are nearly 85-90% water!  All "electrical" events that happen there need water to work.

We need to stay hydrated!

As much as we need water, we are constantly losing it.  Through normal bodily functions like sweating, urine, tears, saliva and even breathing we lose about three quarts of it per day.  And we don't store it, so we need to replenish it constantly. 

How much do we need?

A good rule of thumb is 1 ounce per 2 pounds of body weight.  The most important thing is to drink more than our thirst seems to require.  The more we drink, the more our bodies will use and the more we will crave it.  After your first pee of the day your urine should be clear or pale yellow.  It will be darker the first pee because your body is removing the waste from detoxing the night before.  If it is darker during the day, you are not hydrated enough!  Most important is you need to be drinking water, not sodas or even store bought flavored waters( which are usually high in sugars and artificial colors).  Drink filtered water or for something different try filtered water with a tea bag of green tea, No sugar, your taste buds will grow accustomed to and even crave it in a very short time.  Green tea is very high in antioxidants, which helped in cell hydration.  We like to use any type of tea that has Hibiscus flowers in its blend.  Hibiscus tea has been shown to contain an even higher concentration of antioxidants.  Celestial Seasonings  brand can be found most everywhere and there "Zinger" flavors have Hibiscus in them. One tea bag can be used over the course of the day. 



Because I work outside and its usually hot and humid, I try to consume 1 gallon of distilled water with 1/2 teaspoon of  Pink Himalayan Salt daily. I feel amazing and hydrated.  For more information on that, here is an excellent article by Darin Olien on the benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt.   And another one from Natural News.  

By drinking good clean water all day long, you will be amazed at how great you will feel!

Thirsty?

Have a great week.
Be kind.
Judd


Saturday, June 15, 2019

More Tacos Please!

More Tacos Please!



 I don't believe I've met anyone who doesn't like tacos.  I could eat tacos everyday being there are so many variations of ingredients that are available.  
According to research the origin of tacos dates back to the 18th century in Mexico.  The word "taco" referred to little pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder to be used as an explosive device placed into the walls of silver mines.  Miners would use them to excavate the ore from the rock walls.  Basically they are named after a stick of dynamite!  You can imagine the corn tortilla like a piece of paper wrapped around some goodies. One of the first ones were known as "tacos de minero"  miners tacos.  When the lure of industry in Mexico City, migrant workers began using them for inexpensive breakfasts and lunches.  With different cultures from around the world, especially Lebanese workers, they began to fill there corn tortillas with spit-cooked pork.  By the early 1900's with the influx of Mexican migrant workers (working railroad construction and mining) tacos and tortillas made their way to the US.  By 1920, the migrant workers began to advance economically while still eating traditional Mexican fare, but then began to use more beef, lettuces and cheeses.   In 1954, Glen Bell created Bell's Drive In and Taco Tia in San Bernardino, California.  By 1962 he opened his first Taco Bell in Downey, California serving Tay-Kohs.  And so began our love for tacos.

For the plant-based eaters there are many recipes and variations of excellent tacos.

Here are some of my favorites:

First start with an exceptional organic non-GMO shell like
  
Recipes:

Don't forget Breakfast Tacos

Check out the Happy Pear video 5 Minute Vegan Tacos

Just use your imagination.  There is no right or wrong way to make tacos.

Image result for vegan tacos

Have a great week. 
Be kind.
Judd

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Power of Kombucha


The Power of Kombucha


Related image


Image result for kombucha


Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage with great health benefits for your heart, brain and especially your gut.  Due to the fermenting process in making kombucha, it contains a large amount of living healthy bacteria known as probiotics.  These bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system as they absorb nutrients and fight infection and illness.  Originating in the Far East over 2000 years ago, it is known as the "Immortal Health Elixir".  Since 80% of our immune system is located in our gut and the digestive system is the second largest part of our neurological system, it is no surprise that the gut is considered the "second brain"  Just a "gut feeling"?  Regularly drinking Kombucha is a great addition to maintaining peak immune health in addition to eating a whole foods based diet.


While we lack certainty, an impressive body of studies do suggest that kombucha tea could have antimicrobial, energizing, and detoxification effects. And it may even help prevent disease, including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
For example:
  • Kombucha could potentially help prevent a broad range of diseases. A 2014 review of animal studies published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that kombucha tea contains properties that could help prevent many diseases, particularly “broad-spectrum metabolic and infective disorders.” They concluded that it may be able to help with detoxificationantioxidation, and healthy immune function.
  • Kombucha could slow or kill harmful microorganisms. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Food Chemistry reported that kombucha made from both black and green tea had antimicrobial potential. Researchers also found that the green fermented tea had the most antimicrobial potential. Other studies have shown that kombucha could kill bacteria that commonly cause food poisoning.
  • Kombucha may have cancer-fighting power. A 2013 study published in Biomedicine & Preventive Nutrition showed that kombucha had remarkable potential to inhibit angiogenesis. (Angiogenesis is the process by which cancers lock in a steady supply of blood and become dangerous.)
  • Kombucha may help protect the liver. A 2009 study on some very unfortunate rats publishedin the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology revealed that kombucha tea was effective in improving liver function and lowering the side effects of toxins.
  • Kombucha may reduce heart disease risk. In other studies also done on rats, kombucha improved two markers of heart disease in as few as 30 days. A 2015 study published in Pharmaceutical Biology found that kombucha lowered “bad” LDL. It also led to higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
  • Kombucha may help manage diabetes. A 2012 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine on diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbohydratesreducing blood sugar levels. Kombucha also improved liver and kidney function.
  • Kombucha is a rich source of probiotics. Kombucha is a fermented food and carries a large number of probiotic bacteria that may be beneficial to your digestive health. A 2014 study published in Food Microbiology identified a prominent Lactobacillus population and numerous beneficial yeast species that were abundant in kombucha.
You can purchase Kombucha at just about any grocery store.  You can also make it yourself very easily in about a two-three week period.

STEP #1
From: Cultures For Health

  1. Purchase a bottle of raw, unflavored kombucha.
OPTIONAL STEP: Make 1 cup of black or green tea.  While the water is hot, add 1-2 tablespoons white sugar. Mix until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, then cool completely to room temperature.  While this step is not critical to the process, adding a cup of sweet tea to the bottle of ready-made kombucha gives the yeast and bacteria additional food to consume during the process of growing a new culture.  Learn more about choosing the best ingredients for making kombucha tea.
  1. Pour the raw kombucha and the cooled tea into a glass jar.
  2. Cover the jar with a tight-weave dish towel or a paper coffee filter. Secure the covering with a tight rubber band.
  3. Ferment the tea in a warm spot, 68-85ºF, out of direct sunlight, for about 7 days.  
  4. After a week, it is common to see a baby SCOBY developing across the surface of the liquid. A new SCOBY starts off as a clear film or blob and then slowly become less translucent, more white, and thicker as time goes on. If no signs of SCOBY development appear after 3 weeks, discard the batch and start over. We recommend waiting until the SCOBY is at least ¼-inch thick before using it to brew the first batch of kombucha tea. Reaching that thickness may take up to 30 days.
  5. Retain the kombucha tea and the new SCOBY for making your first batch of kombucha and then follow our instructions on kombucha tea at home.

STEP #2

You will need a large 2 quart glass jar, never use metal or plastic.
Bring 8 cups of filtered water to a boil.
Steep 3-4 tea bags of unflavored black(preferable), green or white tea for appr 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup sugar, for the scoby to consume as food.
Let cool to body temperature, add your scoby and 1 cup kombucha from scoby farm.
Cover jar with a coffee filter or paper towel and secure with a rubber band to keep flies, etc out while brewing.
Place tea in a warm, dark place.

STEP #3

Your scoby will now go to work turning that sweet tea into Kombucha.  The process can take 5-30 days depending on the temperature and other factors.  After a few days you should notice a new "baby" scoby forming.  A few more days later you may notice a faint vinegar smell, signaling that your brew is fermenting.  After a couple of weeks you can sample with straw or wooden spoon, but remember to be patient, good things are happening in there.

STEP #4

When you are satisfied with the flavor, you can now transfer the "booch" to sanitized smaller individual bottles with caps to enhance the fizz.  With clean hands, carefully remove your scoby and 1 -1/2 cup kombucha to original scoby container.  Cover with cloth and your ready for your next batch.  This where you can have the option of flavoring your booch.  Just add 20% of your favorite flavored organic juice.  Set your sealed, filled bottles out at room temp for a few days to promote carbonation and flavor.  You can leave them for a few days or week, then refrigerate them and enjoy!

Kombucha can also be used as a base for salad dressings and sauces.

For more information on Gut Health see my series here: Gut Health: Part 1

Have a great week.
Be kind.
Judd