Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
This movie looks as if it will provide an interesting view of modern food production.
Unfortunately it's not showing in my area. Looks like it's playing in Houston, hopefully there are a lot of opportunities for folks all over the country to see it.
Go to the official site to see if it's playing near you.
You can also go to the Whole Foods Blog to read their take on the movie and their food process.
I believe this is an important issue. Our processed food and the way we eat is making most of us sick. It's not healthy for us, our kids or our future. We need to care more about what we eat and make a choice to eat for health.
I've just learned how to add my Examiner.com articles here and will be sharing them through this blog as well. Let me know how you like this format.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
My friend Tracy recently mentioned that she is growing basil in her back yard garden and would like to eventually make pesto. Pesto is a delicious way to add flavor to a wide number of dishes, it's not just for pasta. It can be used for a fabulous sandwich spread for tomato or tomato and mozzarella sandwiches. It's wonderful to use on chicken and thinned down it is a great dressing for a cold bean salad.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual herb with a very strong flavor; originally from Asia it is now most common in Italian cuisine. Basil comes in a number of different "flavors" so in additional the sweet basil that we are used to you can also get cinnamon, lemon, Genovese (which has sort of a clove flavor), licorice basil and a wide number of others. Basil is a very useful herb with high levels of vitamin K as well as calcium, iron and vitamin A. If you plan to grow it all summer to harvest in the fall for pesto you can increase your yield by pinching the flower stems. This will prevent the flowers and seeds from forming and keeps the essential oils from drying up.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Vinegar has been around for centuries and has a wide variety of uses both in the home as well as in the diet. In the home many people are familiar with vinegar as a glass cleaner. However it can also be used for things like removing oily stains from carpet (1 t. liquid detergent, 1 t. vinegar, 1 pint warm water), cleaning your coffee maker, deodorizing the dispos-all, and many more tips. You can find other household uses for vinegar here.
In terms of health benefits vinegar has a number of different uses. One of my favorites is to use it as a fruit and veggie wash; according to this article from NPR a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar removed 98% of the bacteria from the outside of the fruit being tested. For headaches a compress soaked in a 50/50 solution of warm water and vinegar is reputed to be helpful in reducing or clearing the pain. Vinegar also makes a great gargle for a sore throat (1 t. vinegar in 8 oz water) and is widely believed to be helpful in easing the pain of sunburn; simply spritz vinegar from a spray bottle on the sunburn, being careful not to spray on broken skin.
Frequently vinegars are enhanced by adding herbs to them. The healing effects of the herbs combine with the benefits of the vinegar, for example tarragon is noted for helping with digestion and vinegar, being high in acetic acid, helps the body to absorb minerals. There is also the use of hibiscus vinegar which may help with allergy symptoms. Edible hibiscus (and not all of them are) is very high in quercetin which has helpful properties for those dealing with allergies. You can learn more about hibiscus and hibiscus vinegars here.
If you live locally, in the Houston area, you can purchase some delicious hibiscus vinegars (and teas) from Village Botanica. If you don't live locally you can purchase their products online. The direct link to the vinegars will be online for the summer season within the next week. If you do place an order, please mention my name, Mira Dessy, for a 10% discount on internet orders only.
photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Essig-1.jpg
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
We all know the common advice about keeping healthy. Eat right, exercise and get enough sleep. Many of us think that exercise means vigorous physical activity. Although that is a great way to get in shape and stay fit it is not always possible.
Some people have health conditions that prevent them from being able to engage in activities such as aerobics, tennis, jogging, or team sports. These conditions include severe arthritic conditions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, low blood pressure problems such as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and others. Unfortunately many people afflicted with conditions that prevent them from being as physically active as they are used to may think that there is nothing they can do to stay active. This leads to weight gain, loss of muscle tone and can even affect other body systems.
It doesn't have to be that way. If you are unable to engage in heavy physical exercise, if even long distance walking is beyond you or yoga triggers your low blood pressure, there are things you can do to stay healthy. The first is to realize that pushing yourself to exhaustion is not going to help. If you can walk for five minutes a day that's where you start. If you can do a few Tai Chi poses start there. It takes time to build your body back up. And your new activity level may be reduced from what you are used to, but remember, any movement that you can do is helpful for your body.
Here are a few links to some websites with information on different types of gentle exercise that you may be able to do to keep your body moving. You may need to engage in these activities with a fitness professional who can guide you and monitor your progress on your journey to health. As with any health condition please consult a healthcare practitioner before you engage in new types of physical activity.
- stretching exercises
- other stretching exercises
- walking for health
- water aerobics
- free online yoga classes
- Tai Chi
Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
They May Be Causing a Decrease in Hand-Washing Among Children
© Hildra Tague
Jun 6, 2009
Both parents and schools used to have a common practice of teaching, and supervising, children in proper hand-washing techniques. Now hand sanitizers have taken over.
Hand sanitizers are everywhere! There is little doubt of their efficacy. Both homes and schools allow unsupervised use without batting an eye. Yet there is a problem in substituting them for hand-washing. Could this next generation suffer from not being taught hand-washing habits?
Read the rest of the article