Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tomatoes: Fruit or Vegetable?

Tomatoes: Fruit or Vegetable?
The answer should be "Who cares!"
Scientifically they are both, but the versatile tomato's benefits are wonderful.
Benefits include:
*Abundant source of antioxidants. A great source of lycopene which defends against cancer.
*Rich source of vitamins and minerals. One tomato provides 40% RDA of vitamin C
*Reduces cholesterol levels and protects the heart.
*Improves vision. Vitamin A formed from the high amount of beta-caratene.
*Digestive health. Effectively removes toxins from the body with the help of high fiber content.
*Lowers hypertension. Daily consumption with its high potassium amounts reduces tension in our blood vessels, lessening the risk of strokes.
* Low calorie food. Which helps in weight loss, only 22 calories in one tomato.

Most vegetables lose some nutrient value when heated, but tomatoes actually improve this value, especially lycopene, when cooked.  Also tomato juice has twice the amount of antioxidants then raw tomatoes.  The versatile tomato can be used in so many ways, raw, cooked, stewed, juice, soups, salads, stuffed and on and on.
Grow your own or buy organic, just make sure to eat tomatoes everyday.
Store them on the counter not in the refrigerator, it halts the ripening process and diminishes the flvor and texture.

Tomato fun fact: 
In the Middle Ages, wealthy people often ate from pewter plates, but foods with a high acid content, like tomatoes, caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. For the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered toxic.

Some of my fondest memories of my grandmother are of her and I sitting in the garden and eating beefsteak tomatoes right off the vine.  Good times.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

It's Hot Out! Give Me Some Cold Brew Coffee!

When it's this hot out, no one wants to drink hot coffee.

The newest craze in coffee is "cold brew".  It seems everyone is jumping on the wagon.  You can find it at Starbucks, local coffee cafes, grocery stores and even at your local convenience store is stocking it on the shelf.  I have been brewing my own cold brew for a few years now and its super simple to do.  If you have been paying the high price to enjoy this wonder drink you might consider brewing it yourself. 

Why is cold brew better than drip/hot coffee?  
Coffee is a very healthy drink, it can boost athletic performance, reduce the risk of diabetes, colon cancer, gall stones and Parkinson's disease as well as improve liver health.  By not heating the coffee beans the coffee is less acidic, therefore it improves control of acid reflux, increases amounts of antioxidants( high temperatures destroys antioxidants) Cold brew has a very smooth less bitter taste.

To brew your own all you need is:
*32 or 64 ounce glass container (pitcher or large mason jar)
*A cloth coffee "sock" or cheesecloth.
*Course ground coffee of choice.
Clod filtered water.

Fill the "sock" with 1/2-3/4 cup ground coffee.
Slowly pour cold water over coffee into container.
Stir coffee for better saturation while in water.
Refrigerate over night.
It's ready to drink 12-24 hours.
You can store your brew in a growler.

I mix tsp of coconut palm sugar, a small amount of non-dairy milk and straight cold brew (you can mix 50/50 with water if you want) into a glass bottle and enjoy!

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Natural Allergy Relief

Anyone who has been hiking before or even working in the garden has probably encountered "stinging nettle".  You never forget the stinging pain on your leg or hands that comes with brushing up against this wonderful weed.  But the natural benefits outweigh the sting of Nettle.  The first recorded use of it was by Roman soldiers battling the harsh cold by rubbing leaves on their arms to induce inflammation just to warm their skin!  Its leaves have long stinging hairs that inject chemicals into the skin of unlucky persons or animals who cross its path.  It is its natural defense mechanism.

Some of the great benefits when consuming nettle are:
*Helps to detox the body, it is a natural diuretic, flushing out harmful chemicals and 
excess liquids. especially useful in urinary tract infections.
*Promotes healthy blood circulation and cardiovascular health, with high amounts of
iron and vitamin c its helps to alleviate anemia and fatigue.  Also with high amounts of potassium it lowers your risk of strokes and heart attacks.
*Reduces arthritis pain, the antioxidant properties minimize the swelling related with arthritis and used topically can relieve some pain also.  
*Alleviates allergic reactions, even though the physical contact of nettle causes inflammation, the ingestion of it does the opposite by dampening the body's response to allergens.  It binds with the body's histamine receptors to lessen the effects of allergy symptoms. 

One of the most effective ways to consume Nettle is drinking a tea blend of  nettle, peppermint tea  and honey.  Nettle by itself has a very strong earthy taste, the honey and peppermint smooth it out a little.  You can find a variety of different brands to purchase online or at your local health food store,  Some even sell it in bulk so you can make your blend.

The next time you have the sniffles from pollen, etc in the air, brew  a cup of Nettle tea!  During heavy allergy season drink it daily you will definitely see a difference.  
It is always better to find a natural remedy from nature than bombarding your immune system with a man-made alternative.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Power of Turmeric

Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.  It's what gives "curry spice' and mustard its yellow color.  It contains a medicinal compound called curcumin which is the main active ingredient.  It has a powerful anti inflammatory effect and is a very strong anti-oxidant.  Unfortunately curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body.  It helps to combine it with black or cayenne pepper which contain peperine, a natural substance which enhances the absorption  by 2000% !  Also being fat soluble, adding a fat such as coconut oil helps also.

I first started taking curcumin a few years back when I was suffering from MCL issue with my knee.  With the advice from the nutritional guru: Mitch from my local health food store "Love's Whole Foods", I began taking curcumin supplements. Within three days the inflammation was reduced considerably and most of the pain subsided.  I was amazed and begin researching more about this wonder herb.  I begin consuming "Golden Milk" which consists of a turmeric paste, cayenne pepper and non-dairy milk with a little coconut oil.  
Turmeric Paste:
 1/4 cup turmeric powder (buy bulk at health food stores).
!/4 cup filtered water.
A pinch of cayenne or black pepper.
1 tbs unrefined organic coconut oil.
On warm heat mix together until a thin paste is formed.
It should only take a few minutes, DO  NOT BURN IT.
Let it cool and store in a small glass jar (jelly)

When ready to consume, warm a non dairy milk(8-10 oz.) in a pan until it just starts to steam.
Add 1 -2 tsp of paste to the milk into a recycled glass bottle (I use the same bottle because it will stain it.) Shake it up! Enjoy.
If you are dealing with inflammation try drinking one bottle twice a day to see amazing results.
I like adding it to my post workout smoothie to aid in inflammation.

Here a few of the benefits of consuming it:
*Relieves arthritis and sore muscles 
*Prevents ulcers
*Helps in detoxing the body
*Alleviates pain and fever related to illness
*Improves brain function
*Helps prevents and treats cancer 
The benefits of turmeric are too many to list, check out some videos from

When working out of town I bring along some homemade gel-tabs filled with powder mix from the paste recipe: turmeric and cayenne pepper. In case of of unexpected sprains etc.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Recommended Reading

It's recommended reading time...
As I have posted before, I come across a lot of interesting articles, podcasts and recipes etc. throughout the week.  Here are a few that might interest you.

It's very hot and humid outside stay hydrated  "The Truth About Water".
Eating healthy isn't difficult "A Whole Foods Vegan Diet, The Ultimate Guide".
Being the best that you can be " 9 Ways to Live Like a Spartan"
Get off the udder and cut out the cheese "RRP: Neal Barnard, Breaking the Dairy Addiction"
For a quick and easy dessert 2 Ingredient Chocolate Banana Nice Cream

Have a great week.
Be kind.

"The future depends on what we do in the present"
Mahatma Gandhi