Meals Are For Making Connections!
I recently took a survey on what made me happy.
What was I doing when I was the most happy?
The exercise started with: remember a time when you were happy, what were you doing?
Everyone of those questions led me to food...well not just food but eating a meal with others. Oh and good food.
Connections are made over food.
We go to networking lunches, sit down on holidays for family dinners and who can forget the romantic candle light dinner with a loved one.
Gathering around the table, with everyone excitedly talking about their day, their hopes for the future and the food....
I just don't feel the same about yakking in a car, or over the phone, or while hanging at a Starbucks...it's just too boring and empty.
I want to plate some food!
We raised our boys with family meals....very rarely did we eat on the run, even when they were in high school and had schedules jammed packed with stuff.
I loved those meals, even though the food, in retrospect was at times not as healthy as I wish it had been.
I love to go out to dinner with my sons and their girlfriends and sit around the table and talk.
When we go into the city, our day is always planned around where we are going to eat. Without that special meal, I feel like the trip was just not as special.
We plan our visits and look to find healthy food that is served in a interesting atmosphere.
In 2004, less than 28% of the families out there ate dinner together.
If not at dinner, when do you talk? How do you find out about how your kid's school day is going? The latest love interest? The school gossip? Let alone talk about current events? Decide family vacations?
My biggest joy is to make food for people that they will enjoy, that will enhance their health and feelings of wellbeing and to sit around a table and talk......
You Deserve to be Healthy!
Candida and Your Digestive Health
I'm sure you've heard of it but do you know what it really is and how it can affect your health?
Candida is becoming a major disease and an underlying factor in many other diseases.
Candida yeast is a type of fungus, that is not beneficial to your body.
It exists everywhere and we come in contact with it throughout our day in what we touch, eat and breath.
It is not a problem unless you experience an over-growth, then it interferes with the balance of the body.
This over-growth then leads to all kinds of health concerns.
Many think that this only affects women but not true.
Men, women and children are affected alike.
As many as 90% suffer from this flora in-balance.
This imbalance can be seen in tons of common health issues like: allergies, asthma, bloating, coughs, cramps, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, trouble concentrating, diarrhea, constipation, acne, hives, poor memory, sinus issues, poor sleeping patterns, puffiness, sore throat and weight-gain.
This list is just a small percentage of how we are affected by Candida.
Most Candida issues can be remedied in about 2 months, unless there is another underlying issue.
If you suspect that you have a Candida issue do your research or hire someone to help you change your diet and lifestyle.
One of the biggest issues is the consumption of sugar and processed white flour products.
This type of diet feeds the Candida which makes the whole situation worse.
Candida yeast will actually send off chemicals that will create cravings for the sweet sugary foods that it needs to thrive.
A Candida reducing diet will include eliminating sugar and processed foods, reducing the consumption of raw fruit and consuming probiotics, beneficial herbs and fiber.
So take back your health and eliminate Candida in your digestive tract.
Creating a healthy flora balance in your body is the key to good health.
You Deserve to be Healthy!
Creating Healthy, Appetizing Meals for Cancer Patients by guest blogger Jillian McKee.
Cancer patients face a myriad of difficulties that range from large, such as undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, to small, such as the fact that food often tastes different during and even after cancer treatment. However, even smaller issues can take on greater importance, as an OncoLog article points out that cancer patients who lose just 5 percent or more in body weight may have a harder time tolerating chemotherapy and have higher mortality rates.
Cancer patients often experience symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, sore mouth and/or throat and dry mouth during treatment. In addition, the emotional effects of having cancer and the stress of having to deal with treatment and fears and anxiety that are associated with cancer can cause patients to lose their appetite or have regular nausea or vomiting.
Because of these issues, many cancer patients need a specific nutrition plan to help them maintain a healthy weight and nutrition level despite not feeling well or hungry.
If you or your loved one has a cancer diagnosis, such as having been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is a good idea to design a nutrition meal plan for before, during and after treatment. Many patients do not have the energy to go to the store or make meals during treatment or when they do not feel well, so loved ones may want to go for them or cancer patients may want to go to the store and prepare some meals on days when they feel better to have items on hand later on.
Examples of some nutritious, healthy food that should appeal to cancer patients and be gentle on their bodies include the following:
- Clear broth soups with pasta, such as noodles or stars
- Fruit juice, milk, tea, water, electrolyte-rebalancing sports drinks
- Mild cheeses, such as American, cream cheese, or cottage cheese
- Scrambled eggs
- Baked chicken
- Whole wheat bread for turkey sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and peanut butter toast
- Mashed potatoes
- Well-steamed vegetables that are tender and soft
- Enriched cereals, both hot and cold
- Fruit sherbet
- Greek yogurt
- Canned fruit
- Corn (off the cob)
- Protein snack bars
- Tuna fish sandwiches
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies
- Pita bread and hummus
If you are looking for ways to add protein to the diet, considering making tuna or turkey melts with cheese and add grated cheese to soup, mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. Also, try making yogurt drinks and smoothies with some protein powder mixed in.
Adding calories to someone with an upset stomach or poor appetite can be difficult, so appeal to the specific cravings of the cancer patient and add calories to meals and treats. For example, offer granola, which is high in fat and calories, for breakfast or add to yogurt for a snack. Try dried fruit as a snack or a treat.
Speak with your doctor for additional nutritional tips and to find out what areas of the meal plan needs additional focus, such as adding protein or calories. Remember that a healthy, nutritious diet will help the patient feel better with more energy and experience an improved quality of life. Spending the time and energy to create a workable meal plan is always worthwhile.
About Jillian McKee
Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.
Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jillian/
Cantonese Egg Foo Yung
3 oz oyster mushrooms
1 cup finely diced Bok Choy stalks
1 sweet red pepper, diced finely
1/2 cup onion chopped
3 T vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 T dry sherry or dry vermouth
1 cup chicken broth
1 T each soy sauce and chili sauce
hot red pepper sauce to taste
1 T cornstarch
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan, except 1/2 c chicken broth and cornstarch.
Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup broth and add to sauce pan and heat and stir until thickened.
Place oil in a saute pan and saute the veggies until soft.
Remove from heat.
Place eggs in a bowl and add sherry or vermouth. Mix but do not beat.
Add cooled vegetables.
Heat 1 T of oil in a pan, when hot, ladle egg/veggie mixture into pancake sized rounds and cook on medium heat. Turn and cook until brown on both sides.
Plate and dress with sauce.
Check out my Friday Fast Food Tips video: http://ow.ly/bU2xz
I read a lot!
Anything that has to do with food, farming and good health.
The book The Jungle Effect has been recommended to me over and over and finally I had the opportunity to read it.
Seems that there are "cold spots" all over the world where certain diseases are virtually non-existent.
The inhabitants from these areas only retain their disease-free status when they eat the indigenous food. If they move elsewhere and adopt a more modern diet the incidents of the disease rises to the level of modern times.
The factor making the area disease-free is the food not genetics.
Each disease has a different "cold spot".
There is Okinawa, Japan for breast and prostate cancer.
Cameroon, West Africa for bowel issues.
Iceland for depression.
Crete, Greece for heart disease.
This is just to name a few!
This book tells stories of patients that have come to see the author, who is an MD, either because they are showing signs of a certain disease or they wish to avoid the disease.
With a lot of research and travel to these cold spots the author really delves into the native foods and dishes and finds the scientific reason for the health benefits.
This book is fascinating and affirms that what you eat has a huge impact on disease.
Check it out and get cooking. Pick the health concern that is most importnat to you and look at the cold spot and the foods eaten there.
Gatta go chop some veggies!
The Jungle Effect on Amazon!
Antioxidant Orchard Salad
4 ounces walnuts
1/4 teaspoon agave
pinch sea salt
2 ounces grapes, halved
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 ounce red onion, thinly sliced
2 ounces cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
1 ounce cranberries
1 teaspoon mint, minced
2 teaspoons pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Toss the walnuts with the agave and sea salt. Toast in a 350 oven until browned. Remove from the oven.
2. Process all the rest of the salad items in a large bowl.
3. Toss dressing ingredients and pour over salad.
Digestive Health - Asparagus
Spring is the time for all those cleansing veggies.
After a long winter of heavy warming foods our bodies welcome the spring vegetables and their ability to lighten us up for the hot summer months to come.
One of my favorite vegetables is Asparagus.
This spring power-house is not only full of folic acid but is a super digestive support food.
Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that helps the body produce and maintain new cells. In particular, red blood cell formation is dependent on adequate levels of this vitamin. It may also help cells resist changes in their DNA associated with the development of cancer. Folic acid plays a very important role in pregnancy by significantly reducing the incidence of birth defects known as neural tube defects (malformations of the spine and brain).
Asparagus is also high in fiber and protein. Fiber helps everything move on through the system at a healthy rate.
Asparagus also contains significant amounts of the nutrient inulin, which is referred to as a “prebiotic.” Inulin bypasses the first segments of digestion and arrives at the large intestine undigested. Because of this, it is an ideal food source for certain kinds of “good” bacteria in our intestines that are associated with better nutrient absorption.
So go out and grab a bunch while it is fresh and in season.
Two of my favorite ways to cook it is:
Roasted with olive oil, garlic and herbs on a pizza pan in a 400 degree oven until brown or
Sauteed in a pan with garlic and when browned add some balsamic...yum and so quick.
I must admit I will easily polish off a bunch on the way home from the store!
Don't forget to make it organic and local if you can!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
At least 20% of all Americans have IBS.
It is the most common gastrointestinal complaint.
80% of sufferers are women and it usually makes it’s appearance in a person’s late teens to early 20’s.
This issue accounts for 10% of all doctor’s visits and over 50% of all gastroenterologist referrals.
What is even more shocking is the vast majority of sufferers never seek medical help; they just try to learn to live with it.
Irritable bowel syndrome has gone by many names in the past: spastic colon, spastic bowel, colitis and functional bowel disease.
While IBS does not change the structure of the bowel it can significantly effects the lifestyle of the suffer.
For those with IBS the interaction between the brain and the gut is just not working properly.
IBS sufferers have a colon that reacts to stimuli that never affect the normal person's colon. That unusual reaction is also much more severe.
If you are suffering from this condition chances are you probably know where every bathroom is in all places that you frequent.
Many people create their schedules around their bathroom needs.
Some find that early morning appointments are just too risky and therefore schedule everything for later in the day.
So what are the symptoms of IBS?
*Abdominal pain and spasms
*Bloating and gas
* Diarrhea alternating with constipation is most common but many have just one or the other.
* Stool is too hard or too soft.
* Going the bathroom more than three times a day or less than three times a week.
*Symptoms increase after eating, at times of stress and during menstruation.
* Mucus in your stool.
*Symptoms are greatly relieved after going to the bathroom.
*If you are bleeding, have a fever or are anemic these are not symptoms of IBS.
There is not a single cause of IBS, each person is different and has a different combination of factors.
Here are a few of the factors that can get the IBS ball rolling:
*25% of IBS cases are infection related.
The bowel gets inflamed and then gets into the pattern of being over sensitive.
* Food sensitivities and intolerances are issues in 2/3 of all IBS sufferers.
IBS is more common in for those from family with allergies and sensitivities.
The most common offending foods are wheat, corn, dairy, coffee, citrus and chocolate.
* Hormonal imbalances, many women have flare-ups during menstruation.
* Environmental sensitivities
*Flora imbalances due to Candida and the taking of antibiotics.
* Mind-body interaction
You are more likely to have IBS if you have issues with anxiety or depression.
The key to taking control of your condition is to narrow down what factors are affecting you.
You are the only one that can manage and remedy your IBS.
You will have to make some changes in your life and probably some of those will be major but a life without IBS is worth it.
In our next two issues we will discuss the steps that you can take to re-gain control of your life.
Coming up in February I will be offering an IBS teleseries workshop.
Look for more info next issue!
and always remember....
You Deserve to be Healthy!
I don't know what I would do without my friends. My Gluten-Free Club is filled with videos from my expert business gal friends. They are generous with information, warm with feeling and filled with laughter.
I recently filmed a segment with Scarlett. She is an image consultant and a wardrobe stylist. She has a successful business and is loving every moment of it. When I asked her if she would do a video with me that would play as a lifestyle issue for my members about some simple fashion ideas she easily said yes. that's Scarlett, always ready to help you. Always with a bright smile and a exuberant personality.
I am amazed and at her generosity.
I grew up with guys, had jobs that mainly employed guys and most of my friends in the first 45 year of my life have been guys.
Wow was I missing out.
I now have some of the best friends of my life and they are all women. Smart, fun and caring business women. There is just something about the way we can all relate. We are willing to jump in and help without any ego. That alone makes me proud to be a woman.
I have really dedicated my business to helping women get healthy. I address the problems that are unique to our gender and do so in a manner that is conversational and supportive. It has been an honor to know some of my clients.
Go Woman Power!
I Am Just Not Feeling It!
Each of us is a science experiment. We are all unique and are affected in different ways by all the things that we eat and do. Some people can eat junk food and it never seems to affect them. Some never exercise but they appear to be in good shape. For most of us, what we eat matters. When we really start to pay attention we realize that the connection between what we eat and how we feel, look, and think is huge. Do you feel groggy and lazy after lunch? Do you snap or feel irritable with your coworkers or family when you haven’t eaten in a while?
Food changes your mood.
Look at caffeine and alcohol. They are the ultimate mood changers. The typical person eats a diet that is high in sugar and processed food and that leaves them in a bad mood. Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure states that “junk moods come from junk foods”. All those foods that are so easily accessible – french fries, chips, candy bars and ice cream are loaded with salt and sugar and preservatives. Some can make you feel high for a while, but then you drop like a brick as your blood sugar plummets. Ever notice how you crave different foods at different times? When we are down, we sooth ourselves with a bowl of chicken soup – comfort food. We crave protein when we are looking to be focused. We crave food that enhances romance, like spicy food, avocados, chocolate, and chilies when we are on a date.
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that relay thoughts and actions to the brain. Serotonin can make us feel relaxed. Dopamine makes us feel stimulated. When we eat, food breaks down in our digestive track and creates changes in our system that send messages to our brain via these neurotransmitters. Pasta releases serotonin and thus we feel relaxed after a spaghetti dinner. Eat too much pasta and chances are you will be dozing on the couch. Eating protein releases dopamine and nor-epinephrine in the brain and helps us to be alert. Too much protein and we get short tempered and irritable.
When you eat fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains throughout the day, you keep your body fueled and your blood sugar level on an even keel. You also are getting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Combining carbohydrates and proteins enhances the availability of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter said to have a calming effect and to play a role in sleep.
So if you're wondering just how food affects you, keep a food journal for a week or two. Write down what you eat, how you feel, your stress level and how your body feels after the meal. This is the first step that I take with each of my clients. It is very illuminating for them to see, what they are eating and how it affects their everyday lives. Once you see what you normally eat and how it affects you then, start to add in foods that will give you more energy, help you to lose weight, and look better. This will keep your moods on an even keel and keep you alert and awake throughout the day.
So what can you do to boost your mood?
Exercise. You don't have to sweat it out at the gym to make a difference. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air.
Get organized! Sometimes clutter can make one feel overwhelmed and mildly depressed. Getting things in place can ease your mind and bring a smile to your face too!
Laugh . The simple act of laughter releases endorphins and is shown to improve your mood. Even smiling will have that effect.
Listen to music . Put on your favorite tunes and rock the blues away. Perhaps you enjoy soothing classical music. Dance around if you can.
Set small, achievable goals . Oftentimes, if our busy lives are broken down into more manageable tasks, we can feel happiness at minor accomplishments.
Volunteer . You may think that you do not have time in your busy life, but I'll bet you can find 2-3 hours a month to make a big difference in a few peoples' lives. That is a sure-fire way to feel great!
I am a digestive health coach. I help my clients have more energy and a eliminate digestive problems by eating food they love!