Coronavirus Misinformation

What do the items in this picture have in common? Two things.

  1. All of these items keep you and your environment clean.
  2. All of these items are currently flying off grocery shelves to the point they are not available all the time.

Yes. This is the Pandemic world we are living in today! My blog followers are asking for advice and information on how to handle this awful virus that currently plaques the world, so I want to respond with some common sense to simplify what you should do right now.

DO NOT TAKE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR AS THE TRUTH! I can’t express this enough! There is so much information being shared and just like the game Telephone or Grapevine, as the information gets passed through social media and a number of people, it gets skewed. I know of multiple deaths occurring due to misinformation. Don’t trust the self proclaimed experts on social media. Don’t even take my information for face value. You want to get the scientific truth from the people with the most authority. Go directly to the CDC. Here is the address to their website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

I will still give you a list of the simple things I am doing to stay healthy:

  • TAKE THE VIRUS SERIOUSLY. This is probably the worst Pandemic in our lifetime. Making no changes to your daily life is putting you and others at risk of severe illness and possible death. And if you and nobody you know gets ill or dies, congratulations! You might say “See, it was not big deal” when in reality taking action is what prevented you and your loved ones from becoming another static.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS. They’ve already proven that just vigorously washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds cleans off the virus and bacteria. Make sure to get the back of your hands and deep between your fingers. I saw results from an experiment that showed soap and water worked the best, even against hand sanitizer. Washing your hands isn’t just for the bathroom, I also wash before and after I cook, after going through mail, before and after I go to the store or get gas for the car.
  • CLEAN, CLEAN and CLEAN AGAIN. If you touch something that an infected person touched you could catch the virus. Constantly clean all the surfaces around you that routinely get touched, preferably with a disinfectant. This includes door knobs, light switches, drawer/cabinet handles, phones, remote controls, computers and their accessories.
  • STAY AT HOME. Don’t leave your home unless you absolutely have to. Most companies have an option to work from home. I’ve been working from home for 2 weeks now and while I miss my co-workers we chat online to keep each other company. The only time I plan to leave my home is for necessary groceries, and I found a store that will pull the items for you and load them into your trunk so you do not have shop inside. Other stores will even deliver to your home, so there is really no reason to leave.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING. If I leave my home I make a point to stay at least 6 feet away from other people and I do not touch anything I don’t need to. Also trying to keep my hands from my face which I’m terrible at!

Just a reminder, these are just the things that I am doing to stay healthy. The real experts are at the CDC. They have the most scientifically proven recommendations. Check out the link I shared above for the most accurate information.

STAY HEALTHY ALL!

What is Clean Eating ?


You have probably heard about the Clean Eating Diet but what is it? First, I would like to remove the word Diet and just call it clean eating. It’s really a way of life. You may get a number of different answers on how to eat clean and that’s because there is no single definition, and many people who claim to eat clean have some exceptions. I believe in clean eating because the basic principle of clean eating is relatively the same as the diets prescribed for people with diabetes, heart disease, gastric issues and weight loss.

My goal is to make the concept of clean eating simple for you and unless you are in bad health, allow you to occasionally make exceptions.

Lots of Fruits and Veggies – As with any kind of healthy eating or diet you should be eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. The majority of your vitamins and minerals important to body processes come from this source.

Minimal Fat Meats – This means meats such as fish, seafood, chicken and very lean cuts of pork or beef in their natural state.

Low Processed Carbs – Low processed means things like potatoes beans, peas or grains. The type of grains you may consider is oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole grain cereals and an occasional whole grain bread are ok.

Cook More –  Rather than buy convenience food, cook! The meal in the picture is a simple tiny roast, browned, topped with veggies and thrown in a crock-pot. Making your own salad dressing is simple. A little vinegar and oil mixed with a variety of herbs. I prefer balsamic vinegar as it has a strong, sweet flavor.

No additives, artificial colors, flavorings preservatives, etc.- Read your labels. Try to find items with 5 ingredients or less and nothing that you can’t pronounce.

In essence the idea is to eat food as close to it’s natural form as possible. Any processing increases ingredients that usually include unwanted chemicals, fat, sugar or salt. Processing also degrades the nutrient content of your food. Some people also say that you should eat 6 small meals a day. I prefer to look at it as having a little snack between meals. Nuts, yogurt or a piece of fruit are all acceptable. Those are also on your clean list. Make sure your yogurt does not have an additives as we mentioned earlier.


As you can see it’s fairly easy if you just focus on unprocessed food. I hope this simplifies clean eating for you and that it can guide you to a tasty and nutritious lifestyle.

Fermented Food – Fountain of Youth?

You have probably heard fermentation is the latest health craze. Most people relate to fermentation as vinegar, yogurt or sauerkraut, but many people do not fully understand there is a health benefit to the process of fermentation or how it works. The fermentation process is basically a variety of bacteria that feed of the sugars of food, building lactic acid and releasing beneficial probiotics, enzymes, omega fatty acids and a variety of vitamins.

How does fermented food improve your health? It may surprise you but your gut is responsible for the majority of your immune system. Your ability to maintain good health is very much dependant on the gut’s microflora that resides there and the food you eat to support it. Microflora is a complex combination of good and bad bacteria, yeast, fungi and other micro-organisms that all play a part in keeping the body working properly and fighting off disease.

As you can see, probiotics are very important to add to and support the gut which in turn improves your immune system. Just like eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is important to get all the different vitamins and minerals you need, eating a number of different fermented foods is important to get the  variety of probiotics you need to keep your gut or immune sytstem working at it’s best. So rather than depending on your yogurt for all your probiotic needs, you may want to expand into a wider range of fermented foods. There are many varieties of pickeled items you can purchase and are readily available.

But why do they call fermented food the fountain of youth? Physical aging, especially in the skin, is easy to see. It’s caused by the body’s exposure to free radicals and toxins or lack of necessary elements. Continued support to your immune system allows the body to fight and regenerate. People with good immune systems physically age slower.

I watched a Japanese documentary that discussed fermentation and toured farms and facilities that supplied a number of our imported fermented foods including miso and pickled vegetables. At one point the interviewer asked a woman and her family how old they were.  It was shocking to find people in their 60s looking like they were in their 30s. Their daughter who was in her 30s looked like a child and claimed the only time she went to the doctor was when she had her baby. Another woman whose job was to sprinkle the fermenting fungi onto soy to make miso had not a wrinkle on her face. It was all amazing. Keep in mind that these people ate the foods they produced on a daily basis and were exposed to the activators most of their lifes.

Rather than focus on this fountain of youth claim, know that watching what you eat and adding some fermented foods to your diet is great for your overall health.

 

 

Let it Go

There is so much happening in the world today that it’s driving many people into a high emotional state. Unfortunately some of those people have been so emotional for so long that it’s worked them up to violence!

This high emotional state is not good for your health. It creates not just mental, but also physical stress on the body. If you don’t take a break from focusing on what’s upsetting you, your body literally goes into a fight or flight response resulting in an increased use of adrenaline and irrational behavior. It’s only a matter of time before your organs suffer the consequences and it starts effecting  your health.

I seem to remember a cartoon that we play for our children. A young woman lives in what she believes is a horrific situation and her and everyone around her is under significant stress. This young girl finally comes to the realization that all she needs to do is just “let it go” to find her happier side and control her emotions to live a better life.

Why can’t we all learn a lesson from what we teach our children and focus on making the world a better place for us and the people around us? It’s not only to improve our circumstances but also create a healthier life for ourselves, our friends and our families.

 

Gardening for your Mental Health

Gardening

Feeling depressed? Have I got a cure for you!

A study done at Bristol University and University College London found that soil can boost your mood giving you another good reason to get outside and grow some fresh fruits and vegetables!

Soil contains the bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae which is a good bacteria that causes increased release of Serotonin. The hypothalamus is responsible for your mood and requires a lot of serotonin. Gardening gives you contact with this bacteria and boosts your mood! Have you ever met an unhappy gardener? Honestly, I haven’t!

The same process also improves your immune system which proves, once again, that stress and anxiety are closely tied to your immune system.

So what better reason do you need to go play in the dirt?

Healthy Pizza

Flatbread Pizza

Don’t let anyone tell you that pizza isn’t healthy. It’s all in how it’s made.

First, you want to make it yourself so you can take out anything unhealthy. You don’t have to spend a lot money or time. It’s very simple!

You can find prepared flat bread pizza crusts at most stores now. They come in all natural and  gluten free versions. All you do is add toppings!

This pizza started with a scoop of minced garlic in a 1/4 cup of olive oil brushed on the top. Basic tomato paste is spread over the oil and dried basil sprinkled on top.

Then add your vegetables:
Tomato slices
Onion
Bell Pepper
Spinach Leaves
Black Olives
Fresh Basil Leaves
Any other vegetable you have lying around

Although I don’t show cheese here, I did add some low fat mozzarella. You can add cheese substitutes or leave it without. It really tastes fine just the way it is.

 

Fear of Real Food

Vegetables

I was having lunch in the break room at work when a younger co-worker was commenting how she really wanted a burrito for lunch but only had a sandwich. I’m lucky in that my employer offers a selection of healthy foods for sale in the break room. Another co-worker told her they had burritos in the freezer section so she took a look. She read the package……”All natural, no preservatives, no additives, organic and non-GMO!” I thought to myself, sounds like a great lunch! To my surprise she put the burrito back and said, “I can’t eat this! I don’t know what the hell is in it!” I couldn’t believe the distrust of a food that basically told you it was REAL food.

I’m afraid that the younger you are, the less you know about your food! I watched some viral videos over Thanksgiving of people who stuffed their turkeys with ducks, chickens and Cornish hens as part of a new cuisine trend. What made them viral was the expression of younger people who were surprised when they were un-stuffing the turkey and thought that the turkey was pregnant! I hate to have to say this, but for those of you who don’t know……baby turkeys and chickens come from EGGS that are laid. They don’t get pregnant!

On April Fools Day a video went viral showing a man who planted a banana and kiwi together and theoretically crossed the two together. The stem grew and a banana grew at the end of it, but when he cut the banana open it was a kiwi! I can’t tell you how many people thought it was real!

I think everyone should go out to a farm to understand how things are grown and where the animals come from. Then, actually watch people cooking from the ingredients you find on the farm.  Now that’s real food.

 

Health from Food in its Natural Form

 

farm veges

For those of you have been following me, you know many of my posts come back to the same thing. There is no magic pill to a healthy diet. It’s all about eating food in its most natural form.  This New Year’s when you are deciding what resolution to make for your health consider the one that will be healthy no matter what you are trying to fight. Eating food in its natural form boosts your immune system and fights weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and all of the most concerning diseases.

Eat less processed foods and add more fresh fruits and vegetables. You don’t need that much meat to meet your daily protein requirements so eat a small amount of plain, non-processed meat.

I watched a tremendous show on PBS that you should see. It will make it clear for you. You can watch it online: http://www.pbs.org/show/in-defense-of-food/

Time Release Caffeine Lasts All Day

coffee beans

Can you imagine getting your caffeine fix all day from one cup of coffee? If you can’t drink coffee because caffeine makes your energy soar and crash you may have a new option. Nestlé Research Centre in Switzerland is working on a coffee that will TIME RELEASE the caffeine to eliminate the highs and lows the body experiences and give a nice smooth bump in energy all day long! According to Nestle the technology that makes this possible is cubosomes. It’s kind of like a capsule that medications come in to slowly release the drug over time.  Keep an eye on this one if you are a coffee drinker!

Lighten up Holiday Stress

xmas lights

Stressing out with your holiday to do list? I’m here to tell you to cut that list in half! I don’t care if you think your sister will be disappointed if you don’t make your annual holiday fudge. It doesn’t matter if you buy everyone in your office a gift. Driving to the mall in a foot of snow only to find a single parking space a mile away is not how you want to shop for presents.  Order gifts online and have them mailed directly.

There are so many things you think you need to do during the holidays but your friends and family would probably prefer being with you over receiving something material. The most important thing to put at the top of your holiday list is to spend TIME,  not money on your friends and family. Take a break from your pocket book and running around. Hold a potluck get together at your house and play games, watch movies or something else you would all enjoy doing. One of my favorite things to do is go to the local gardens or zoo for their annual light show. I’m sure you have one close to you. Get outside and breath some fresh air, and relax under a glowing, colorful lighted wonderland. It’s a stress relieving break from the holiday rush.

Happy Holidays!