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Where Inspiration, Education and Action Live

August 31, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on THE BEST HOMEMADE GEL BAG EVER

Need an ice bag? Make these handy bags and keep stored in your freezer.
Here is how to make them:

  1. Karo Syrup (the ONLY use for this stuff).
  2. USE zipper plastic bags in 1/2 gallon and quart sizes, fill with the Karo Zipper
  3. Freeze

KARO FREEZER BAGS make THE best ice packs:

  1. They never leak. Double bag them just to be sure!
  2. They DO NOT condense. Keeps you, your clothes and your furniture DRY.
  3. They will shape and mold to your body. They can wrap beautifully around an elbow, knee or ankle.
  4. They stay cold for a very long time!

Keep different sizes on hand for different needs. The most useful sizes are quart and 1/2 gallon bag sizes. I tried to make smaller sandwich bag sizes but they did not hold the cold very long.

 

July 15, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on HEALTHY: WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?

WHAT DOES HEALTHY MEAN?
Meet my mother, Alicia Enriqueta de Cotilla who just turned 96.

When I tell people my mother’s age they say nice things, because they cannot see her. When I am out shopping with Mama and I tell people her age they never believe me. She just doesn’t look or act it. Mama has a sharp mind and an agile body; she lives alone, drives to the gym every day, pays her bills and solves her own problems.
Yes, she has good genes but above all else Mama is smart and she has solid food rules she has always lived by. Mama doesn’t smoke, other than the occasional Cuban cigar. She doesn’t drink either, except for the occasional celebratory cup.
Mama would daily feed us tablespoons of cod liver oil. We drank eight-ounces of fresh cow’s milk three times a day and one eight ounce glass of fresh orange juice. Mornings were daunting with sixteen ounces of fluid to get down.
She worked hard to feed us good foods, believing that healthy food built not just healthy bodies and strong minds but a nurturing spirit. Food was more than fuel for the body; it was food for the soul and the mind. Mama would grate fresh carrots into cheese cloth and squeeze the juice into cups for us to drink. She cracked open coconuts with a swing of her hammer while her polished red nails bit into her palm. She worked the nail-head out and poured us each a drink.
Whenever we complained about some food we hated, like liver, she would patiently tick off its health benefits. Her lessons stuck in the recesses of my brain. When it was my turn to feed my own children I followed my mother’s example, except for the cod liver oil.
We never ate cereal for breakfast; Mama believed that lots of protein grew healthy brains and strong bodies. We ate food that most of my friends never recognized like yuca and black beans.
Mama never fed us meat that came in a casing or a package she could not see through. We never ate bologna, hot dogs or salami; if she could not tell the animal the meat had come from we didn’t eat it.
“After all”, she would say, “anything can be ground up and stuffed in a casing. Only God knows what’s inside.”
We always went food shopping as a family. Twice a month we crossed the Bayonne Bridge into Elizabeth to shop at the Finest. There were no taxes in New Jersey on food or gasoline. It was fun to see all the foods that we saw advertised on TV. We begged for boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Skippy Peanut Butter. Mama always took these moments to teach us food-lessons.
“Wow,” she would say, “That’s the one on TV, isn’t it? What’s in it anyway? I forgot my glasses; could you read me the ingredients?”
Her tone held no clue. No judgment in her stance. She leaned towards the cart she was pushing and relaxed into the moment. I volunteered to read the ingredients, eager to bring home that box.
Every time I ran into a word I did not recognize she stopped me and asked, “Now what IS that?”
I never knew, so I read on, feeling uncomfortable. She let it go while I read. As the list and questions grew, I started to get an uneasy feeling. Eventually I gave up, unsure if even I wanted to eat this stuff. As I reached the end of the list I had no choice left but to put that box back on its shelf. Mama leaned over me smiling and hugged me to her.
“Why are you so smart?” she asked as she hugged me tight. “I believe that you have made the best choice! What a clever girl you are, taking such good care of your health.”
We moved out of the aisle toward the meat section. Mama stopped her cart and looked down at me. “Doing the right thing is never the easy thing.” She sighed, squeezing me one last time before moving on.
“Down the outside of the market”, she started, trying to distract me. “That is where the real food is. Don’t be tempted by the commercials on TV to change your mind. Stay out of the aisles where fake-food lives. Fake-food is made in a plant and you want to eat foods that come from a plant.”
Mom understood the connection between health and food. She also understood that what you ate affected how you felt. Whenever I complained of a sour or tender tummy it was always met with a battery of question and never a quick fix:
• How much water did you drink today?
• Did you poop this morning?
• What were your poops like?
• When did you last eat?
• How long have you been feeling like this?
As we walked she shared her stories with me. Placing her arm around my shoulders she reminded me about her father. “Remember your Abuelo Francisco made a living selling produce. But it wasn’t just fruits and vegetables he sold but all the crops from the country.”
“Your Abuelo was not a country man but he knew food, understood the connection between food and health. He was a curios man in love with plants — you’re a lot like him.” She rubbed my back as she remembered.
“‘A happy cow gives tasty beef’, he always said. He knew that a well-cared for cow allowed to roam open fields eating grass produced the best tasting beef.”
Mama reached into the meat case and pulled out a huge tube of ground beef. “Never buy this.”
I peered down and squinted at the package, “It looks pretty. Why can’t we get it?”
She rubbed the edges, turned it around in her hand, a quizzical look on her face. “Yes, it is a pretty package, but can you see what’s inside? I can’t. Help me, you look.”
Together we flipped it around but could see no actual beef. There was beef imprinted on the outside but there was no little window or flap to see what was inside. Hmm, why was that? Mama was right; I could not see the actual meat.
Mama looked at the price tag, “Well the price sure is tempting. But is it worth it to my health? My wallet will be happy but what good is the money without the health to enjoy it? I think I’ll pass. You? ” She turns her face towards, genuinely asking me to weigh in.
Of course I agreed with her. Who knew what the inside really looked like? So we put the package back in its case and walked on.

By this time my head was pounding. She bore on and I played the role of dutiful daughter, I listened.
“Your Abuelo always kept his own flock of chickens. We lived in town, we were city folk not country people and cities were different back when I was a girl. Everyone had a kitchen garden, chickens and often a cow for milking. But anyway, he leased the space behind our house for the chickens to have plenty of room.”
“’Cows like to have space and chickens do too’, your Abuelo would always say. “When they are allowed to have room they do more than just give us meat and eggs. They work the soil; eat bugs, poop, and lay eggs — the chickens, not the cows – while walking around building strong muscles. How can that not affect the taste?”
“When a chicken is raised right, the eggs not only taste better, they look different. Crack the egg into a frying pan and the yolk stands tall and is a deep yellow, almost touching on orange. The eggs from the store run straight to the edges of the pan, the yolk pale by comparison. I miss your Abuelos fabulous eggs.”
“As kids we loved to hop the fence and steel those warm eggs. We took your Abuelas thick needle and with it we poked holes on each end. We sucked out mounds of them, a snack to keep our energy up for playing.” She laughs, shaking her head as she walks on, propelling the shopping cart forward. “That was our idea of a snack.” She snickers some more and a smile lights her eyes as she leads me forward along the perimeter of the market.
“Our bodies are like our cars. Good clean gasoline and regular maintenance keeps our engines clean and healthy. Good clean food is our body’s fuel. Feed it well and our bodies will give us good health. Just like a car. Keep it well maintained and feed it good gas and it will last almost forever. Your body is the same.”
At 62, I have spent my life following Mamas health rules and I have benefited from them. I have no health issues and take no medications. I am strong and have high energy. Mama taught me well. I listened to her and followed her teachings. I don’t eat as much meat as she once fed me and consume a lot more leafy greens than she ever did.
I thank her for the building blocks to good health her food rules have built.
At 96, my mother stands as a testament to the validity of her teachings about what being healthy looks like. Her high energy level, clear intelligent mind and vibrant health add credence to her teachings.

July 10, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on Cutest Bags EVER!

http://www.lapopdesigns.com/

Slip these small bags in your pocket, purse or glovebox and never be caught without.
Don’t let the cute fool you, they are UTILATARIAN and adorable.

July 2, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on CONTAINER GARDENING 101

If you are very lucky in your life, you will have a friend from Argentina. Why? Because they will expose you to culinary delights you never dreamed of, like CHIMICHURRI.

Chimichurri is a delicious uncooked sauce that goes well on EVERYTHING. Though traditionally served at an Argentinian Asado it is also great on fish, chicken, empanadas, eggs, zucchini………….EVERYTHING is better with a drizzle of CIMICHURRI on it.

Here is Carlos’ famous (AND secret, so don’t share) Argentinian Chimichurri recipe

• 1 bunch Italian parsley
• 1 small bunch fresh oregano
• 2 oz lemon juice
• 2 oz Olive oil
• 2 oz wine vinegar or 1 oz Apple Cider Vinegar
• 2 cloves garlic, I used double the amount
• bay leaf powder or freshly chopped leaves
• paprika
• salt, red crushed pepper, cayenne and black pepper to taste

Clean the herbs and mince them finely.
Coarsely chop the garlic then place everything into a blender, mix until well blended.

Great as a spread on sandwiches and veggie wraps.

The ingredients for CHIMICHURRI are easy to grow and do very well in a container.
Oregano and parsley grow beautifully in a large container that can sit poolside or on your deck and flourish all summer long.

Illustrated above is a cute example of what you too can create. This one has garlic chives in the center with oregano and parsley on either side with an up-cycled driftwood plant marker.

July 2, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on FREAKANOMICS RADIO

Ever hear this show?
Check out this highly informative, slightly mind blowing show around food.

March 20, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS

What ARE SUPERFOODS? a dear friend asked me as we sat on the porch enjoying a visit. Honestly I could not answer her but I told her I would find her an answer.

I set out to answer a friend’s question and got caught in a quagmire.

Here is the long and short of it; there is no medical or nutritional bottom line definition for superfood. Like Organic, it has lost all relevant meaning and has become a marketing “buzzword” that has gained a great deal of traction in the last few years. As Americans continue to struggle to learn about health and wellness and what that looks like, healthy eating has become impossible to define or even have a standard of measure. In order to help you navigate this insane world here are some definitions to help you aim in the right direction.

SUPERFOODS are calorically low foods that contain micro-nutrients necessary for health but not found in abundance in the foods we eat most often. You may have seen some lists of superfoods in your favorite magazine or heard it on a news report.

The lists vary a great deal and there are some I have to question, based on the nutritional knowledge I have studied. Yet, some are really worthy of including in your diet to help build a healthy immune system and to add vital trace minerals and nutrients.

OUR ELEVEN FAVORITE SUPERFOODS:

  1. beets
  2. cacao
  3. blueberries
  4. miso
  5. almonds
  6. eggs
  7. sweet potatoes
  8. sea-vegetables
  9. kefir
  10. chlorella
  11. sprouts and microgreens

These are in no specific order.

Try a Superfood. Give it a month and see if your body benefits from it. It takes at least one month to see any nutritional benefits, three months to really see changes.

A very wise teacher once told me: “Try everything in life. If it works repeat it if it doesn’t don’t”. Sound advice from a wise soul.

March 1, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

There is so much traveling down the information highway ; Blogs, Newsfeeds, Tweets, Apps and e-mails, all faithfully reporting the latest and the greatest. Every single day we turn on gadgets that spray an ocean of information at us to help us be better, create more, grow stronger muscles, bigger brains, lower weights.

We embrace it, get caught up in the momentum of it and even disseminate some of it, yet how much are we truly learning? How much of what we learn are we folding into our lives and routines? How much are we REALLY learning?How much healthier, smarter, stronger or more creative are we becoming?

How is all of this information benefiting us?

At the first of the New Year we stand around a fresh clean start, the moment is pregnant with possibilities. We embrace resolutions and embark on momentous paths towards a new life full of possibility and change. Then May rolls around and we think back to our New Year’s resolutions and groan. We feel disappointed. How many resolutions did we keep?

Honestly, how realistic were we?

Did you know that it takes EIGHT WEEKS to form a new habit? Eight weeks for every new resolution. Did you also know that if you want that resolution to become a life-style change it takes FOUR MONTHS? The Ancient Chinese healers used to say that it takes one-hundred days to form a new habit. Cut yourself some slack, ok?

So where does the information highway lead us? Where did it start and where the heck is it taking us? Let’s bring back a sense of wonder to our lives, otherwise all of this information creates a society that simply swallows without pausing to chew.

Want to change? Want to incorporate some of the wonderful information rolling down the highway? Keep these points in mind when making any new goals:

  • Relapse is an opportunity NOT a failure.
  • Establish expectations. At the end of eight weeks where do you want to be?
  • Get a buddy to help you. This person holds your vision and helps keep you on track.
  • Learning means a change in behavior.
  • We learn new things by placing them over something we already know.
  • We are each individually hardwired to learn in different ways, either by: Seeing it, Hearing it and/or Doing it. We are either Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic learners. Some folks are a combination of these, but mostly just one.

So use the information highway, hop on it and enjoy the ride.

The choice is always yours, it always has been.

February 18, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on HAYFEVER or ALLERGIES GETTING YOU DOWN?

Allergies getting you down? Try irrigating your nasal passages.

What? Try using a Neti Pot.

What is a Neti Pot? The NETI POT is an oddly-shaped vessel made of glass or ceramic that comes to us from the ancient writings of the Ayurvedic healers of India.

Using non-iodized sea salt (saline) dissolved in sterile-filtered-water* that is placed in the Neti Pot and used to flush the nasal passages.

Here are the mechanics of its use:

  • Keeping your nose firmly facing forward, bend your neck leaning your ear towards your shoulder, stopping when your ear is roughly parallel with the floor.
  • Insert the NETI POT spout into your nostril and allow the water to flow in and back out of your nose. Irrigate that side with HALF of your solution. REPEAT the process on the other side till the vessel is empty.

 When done, lift your head and gently blow your nose.

When using a Neti Pot it is a good idea to add the Neti-Wash Plus for everyday use, but if the flu or an infection has set in to your nasal-passages, it is a good idea to add the NETI POT WASH FLU to your saline preparation.

Neti Pot Recipe:

  • 1 glass quart jar of filtered and cooled boiled water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of pure sea salt (without Iodine or any non-clumping additives)
  • 1 dropper-full of Neti-Wash-Plus

I like to mix this up ahead of time to have on the counter and ready to use FOUR to FIVE times  a day when a cold, the flu or a sinus infection sets in. *If you PRE-MIX the solution using BOILED-FILTERED WATER that has cooled, it becomes a hassle-free experience.

When NOT sick, just use the Neti-Pot as needed; after raking leaves, dusting or any time you have been around sick or contagious people.

February 9, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on FISH AP

Health experts all agree – eat more fish, but are ALL fish good for you?

The next time you are at the fish counter and can’t make up your mind, just take out your smart phone (don’t have one? print it out and fold into your wallet) and let the SEAFOODWATCH guide you to the healthiest, and usually, the cheapest choices.

Fish choices change weekly so download this site/app or print their guide.

 

 

February 1, 2017
by admin
Comments Off on GIVE YOUR HEART TO HEALTH

It is February, the month of love. This year lets shake it up by doing something for ourselves, let’s Give Our Hearts to Health.

Health is yours by doing THREE SIMPLE THINGS:

  1. Be gentle with your heart, never do or eat anything that does not please you.
  2. Health is about adding NOT subtracting or denying yourself. NOR should it taste gross either.
  3. Keep it simple by just reading labels.

If you do not recognize an ingredient or can’t pronounce its name, please do not introduce it to your body.

Is the ingredients list over a paragraph long? Leave it off your plates!

That is it folks, all you need to know.

If you want to Give Your Heart to Health: Be kind to yourself, add things that help you, and keep it simple by reading labels.

Everything in your life is a choice. Choose health, choose yourself and above all choose to be kind with yourself. Success is yours through small daily goals and choices.

Here are two simple tips to lower your cholesterol:

  1. Eat two meatless meals per week and make at least one of them WILD HARVESTED FISH (Organic fish is a meaningless term).
  2. Eat tree nuts daily, a handful or two is all you need. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios are great choices. And while we are learning: Peanuts grow in the ground not on trees. In some places they call them groundnuts. Cashews are a part of the fruit and not really a tree-nut either.


Have fun and Give Your Heart to Health.