Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Drinking Greens

Whipping up a green drink with a blender/juicer is a very fun and creative way of getting in those fruits and veggies.

I made a spinach juice the other day and added bananas, dates, oranges, and almonds. The bananas helped to make the drink abit frothy-if you like that. And, in general, the fruits added sweetness. Yummy!
I realized afterwards I needed a finer strainer, but in the end the drink was very tasty.
I had a blast making it, and kids would love to be a part of it-esp. the drinking part.
Here are some videos that guided me. There's definitely more out there.

This is too much fun! And Easy!

Basically you just play in your kitchen

G-d bless!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Electron Wars....Phasers On!!!

The contenders: Free radicals versus Anti-oxidants


What are they:
They are unstable atoms or molecules that have unpaired electrons.

Atoms are the basic building blocks of ordinary matter. They join to form molecules which form to make the things around us. Atoms contain protons, neutrons, and electrons. B/c electrons "prefer" to be paired, free radicals tend to indiscriminately steal electrons from other atoms/ molecules, thus creating secondary free radicals and leaving havoc in their wake.

How they operate:
Chemical reactions in the body involve transference of electrons. As food gets broken down, electrons are removed, causing oxidation, and is stored as chemical potential energy called ATP. Oxidation is like an apple turning brown.

And it's all done in an amazingly controlled manner.

Free radicals change the rules of the game. Actually, there are no rules. Any electrons they can steal are up for grabs. And if the theft causes damage to the cells-hardening it and thus preventing them from getting nutrients-big deal.

Their weapons:
Processed and refined foods, food additives like MSG, pollution, smoking (to name a few)

*Free radicals are a natural part of life. We get them when we exercise, from sun exposure, etc. The problem is when there is TOO MUCH and nothing to counteract them.


What are they:
Substances that prevents oxidation, and they include beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

How they operate:
Anti-oxidants carry a two fold mission. One, they bind with free radicals, neutralizing and rendering them harmless. (I bet even the free radicals are relieved!) Thus, they prevent biological damage. Second, anti-oxidants assist in repairing cells that have ALREADY been damaged.

Apparently, the body produces some anti-oxidants on its own. But it's crucial to bring reinforcements through food (only?). And I'm not talking about Doritos or Bamba.

Their weapons:
Berries, citrus fruits, apples, pomegranates. Deep greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach.
Broccoli, cauliflower. Legumes like black and red beans. (Is your mouth watering yet?)
Carrots and sweet potatoes!

Green tea and even coffee have anti-oxidants.

These are the contenders.

*What can I say, I'm alittle biased.

G-d bless!

check it out:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

De-tox! De-tox! De-tox!

Well, Purim came and went. I had a wonderful time.

Strangely enough all the leftover goodies and pastries are still around...

Lately, I've been seriously considering doing a de-toxification externally (just throwing out those foodstuffs!) and internally (getting a real de-tox program.)

I've heard that toxins can accumulate in the body, and removing them is essential for good health.

But in choosing a de-tox program, it's always good to go shopping and to ask for solid advice.

Afterall, there was a scam re: detox and foot pads. Apparently, you could attach these pads to your feet, and while you sleep, the toxins would supposedly be removed from the body, evidenced by the pad turning a brown-ish color. However, it was discovered that holding them over a pot of boiling water produced the same effect! (I could just laugh! Foot pads? Gimme a break!)

Ok, maybe that's an obvious one, but what about all those de-tox pills, drinks out there? Cleanse the liver, cleanse the colon, etc.

Well, if it was up to the British Dietic Association that consist of 6,000 dieticans across Britian, they would throw every single de-tox program out, claiming them to be "nonsense" and a "waste of money."

Whoa. Strong words.

What am I supposed to take from all this?

Well, for one thing, yes, there are toxins in the body. (Hello, that's why we breathe out carbon dioxide....)
And two, it's definitely important to get guidance from a trusted source.

Three, is there a "quick fix" to cleansing the body? (Esp. if there's still Purim pastries in the fridge?)

Four, both pro de-tox'ers and anti-de-tox'ers agree that the body has natural ways of removing toxins from the body-which is what I really want to focus on here. Natural, hunh?

You're actually doing it right now.

And so am I.

No, I'm not talking about blogging. lol

Actually, it's breathing! With each breath we take, we are removing metabollic waste from inside us. But know!

DEEP breathing rids the toxins at a FASTER RATE! Now, this isn't something I've tried to do before, but I found a rather simple and safe oxygen therapy to try out...
(Check out some oxygen therapy!)

Physical activity is another key element. Even here, our breathing definitely becomes deeper. And, of course, it helps us lose the extra weight, 'cuz by the way, excess body fat is the preferred place for toxins to settle. (Excess body fat is also the breeding ground for tumors, including uterine fibroids.)

Aside from helping stabilize blood sugar, getting up and seriously moving allows the blood and lymph circulation to get the nutrients to the right places and the toxins OUT THE DOOR! Or, at least out your pores/openings.

And this is walking, jogging, swimming, etc. If we've got a gym, great. If not, it's NO EXCUSE!

Both groups also agree that drinking fluids is VITAL for waste elimination. Fluids as in water. H20. Not as in soda or coffee. WATER!

Lastly, pro de-tox'ers are really into their juice drinks. They're usually fruits/greens pureed into a smoothie. And anti-detox'ers, like the BDA, say that including fruits and veggies are also important in the body's natural cleansing system. Ok, so whether it's in solid or liquid form, let's get those veggies in!

And how about a green smoothie for breakfast? Ooh...

Ok, I've just inspired myself.
Tomorrow, I might just have to renew my resolve and start again. But that's ok. The important thing is to start! Even if we're starting over each day! By the end of the week, we would've done more than had we not even begun!
And if you're in need of some psychic de-tox, check out

G-d bless!

Check out

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Purim!

Purim is here...

Purim is a Jewish festival commemorating the bible story of Esther.

On this day, people dress up in funny outfits and costumes, hear the story of Esther, send gifts to one another, give money to the poor, and EAT! Oh, yes, what's a festival day w/o food?

We eat. And eat some more!!

There's a sort of indulgence that can easily happen on such a day...And it can easily become complete self-absorption as we build more of ourselves. Our physical selves, that is.

But, when we are munching away, we are taking something from outside ourselves and bringing it in. It's not part of us, yet it sustains us. And so, we have a BIG reason to be grateful to G-d everytime we're eating.

Here He is, providing and taking care of us...

Of course, we should be taking in proper foods, chewing it, and sitting down. You know everything our moms told us in yesteryears.

But, we also can add joy and gratitude to the table. (I'm sure my momma told me this, too) Then, we're aware that it's not just a physical experience. And the food isn't just protein and carbs replacing cells and building "body." As we humble our hearts from thanks, the food becomes a gateway of spirituality. It becomes soul food, nurturing a very hidden but major part of ourselves. Our spiritual selves, that is!

So, whether it's Purim or any festival, whether we're just snacking or preparing a feast, let's stay connected to our Provider by being grateful and happy for the crunchy, chewy, mushy, sticky, soup-y, spicy, salty, and sweet gifts He sends our way.

G-d bless!

"We're Moving on Up!"

Farming for the future?

I have a friend who owns a rather small apartment. With three children, she really needed extra space. With her high ceilings, she figured if she can't expand horizontally, she'll expand vertically. So, she had these large "shelves" about 7 feet from the ground, made to store her suitcases, extra toys, and other things. Made from wood, they're thick, strong and spacious. It's like having a quasi-room upstairs, sort of... Her "gallerias," as she calls them, are quite beautiful. Her home is just art-sy, funky, and unique!

Well, apparently Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier had the same idea, but not for storage. His idea is for farming. He hopes to use glass skyscrapers as farms in heavily populated areas, like India/ Middle East.

If you can't go horizontal, go vertical.

Behold, skyfarming!

I think my friend would approve...

G-d bless!

Check out

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen....Vitamin A

Vitamin A is fat soluble vitamin that is crucial to many processes in the body. Fat soluble means just that, it needs a certain amount of fat in order to be utilized.

Vitamin A is also called retinol or preformed vitamin A, and it's found in animal sources, like egg yolks, liver and organ meats, butterfat, seafood, and fish liver oils.

This vitamin doesn't play around. It helps in vision, stimulates several immune system activities, acts as anti-oxidant (protecting the body against pollutants and free radicals, hence cancer). It stimulates the secretion of gastric juices needed for protein digestion, plays a crucial role in building strong bones and rich blood.

And there's more.

It helps with cell growth and development and is essential to reproductive processes in both men and women.

Deficiency in vit A affects skin, hair, eyes, and the immune system. It's also been linked with growth retardation and bone abnormalities.

Oy vey.

What I recently learned was that when I'm munching and crunching on a, say carrot. I'm getting provitamin A aka carotene. Carotenes are powerful anti-oxidants and are found in yellow, red, orange or dark green fruits and vegetables.

Think spinach, sweet potatoes, kale, collard greens, carrots, and tomatoes.

Once in the body, carotenes are converted to vitaminA in the intestine. That's news to me!

And know!

At times, some diabetics, and folks with poor thyroid function cannot make this conversion. Children convert them poorly, and infants not at all. (Thus, getting it from animal sources is good)

Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, writes that high amounts of synthetic vitamin A from supplements can be toxic, esp. to those with impaired liver function and whose diets are poor. However, high levels of natural vitamin A have no toxic effects.

(That makes me a bit nervous, and I'll tend to fall back on my momma's advice of everyting being in moderation!! Hmm, but what is moderate? There are the RDA values, but some claim that in reality they are too low! Animals foods are quite potent vs. vegetable sources. And perhaps, as always, variety is best. That includes having a variety of the veggies that we eat...) reports that there are no toxic side effects of carotenes(you might get some discoloration in hands/feet, but it's considered harmless and reversible). In fact, Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences did not establish a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for carotenoids when it reviewed these compounds in 2000.

There are certain veggies, like carrots that are high in carotenes. And know, when carrots are lightly steamed/cooked, the tough cell walls are broken down and release the beta carotene, making it more available for the body to use. (Aw, shucks, whether, they're raw, cooked, or in bowl of soup, they're just a versatile bunch of folks...)

In any case, all the power to both preformed and provitamin A. They're both important, and for me, it's nice to be aware of what form I'm eating when I'm eating it.

G-d bless!

Check it out:

Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Riding the Waves...

With any change in life, questions arise. Doubts. Especially self-doubts.

"What am I?" "Can I really..?" Sometimes it's gentle-like a light drizzle.

Pitter patter.

Hardly noticeable at times.

And sometimes it comes in the form of a full-blown storm. Roaring thunder, strong, unrelenting winds, crashing waves, dark and thick engulfing clouds, and worst of all, fear...

How do we stay calm in the storms that rage both outside and in?

How do we ride the waves?

How do we keep balance?

And if we fall, how do get back up again? (B/c we CAN get up...)

How do we remain centered?

How do we find Truth?

How do I find MY truth?

Can I transform the fear?

Can I appreciate or even enjoy the change while it's happening?

And, more importantly, how long will it take to realize that I am not alone, and that He's been riding the waves with me

all along...


G-d bless!