Category Archives: Blog

Cashews – 5 Ways This Versatile, Tasty Nut Can Boost Your Health

Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen (1887) Cashews are making a name for themselves not only because of how delicious and versatile they are, but because of the numerous health benefits that are being discovered.

Cashews are actually the seeds that are attached to the bottom of a fruit called the Cashew Apple. Although we don’t use Cashew Apples a lot in North America, they are considered a real treat in the Caribbean and their native Brazil.

Here are 5 ways that including cashews in your diet can help give a boost to your health.

1. They are very good for your heart. Cashews contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats, the kind that are good for your heart, that can help reduce high triglyceride levels.

Studies show that 4 servings of nuts, such as cashews, per week, might possible reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by a possible 36%!

2. As we age, our bones and our body’s ability to rebuild bone tissue, becomes compromised. Cashews contain large amounts of magnesium helping with bone structure.

3. Research indicates a reduction in the formation of gallstones by at least 25% may be attributed to the consumption of an ounce of cashews or other nuts per week.

4. Cashews contain a high level of copper, helping your body get rid of free radicals, retain elasticity of joints, blood vessels, and bones, as well as regulating heartbeat. Maintaining the proper levels of copper in our systems is also linked to increased ability to resist infection, proper absorption of iron and restoring the balance of LDL to HDL cholesterol levels in the body.

5. Cashews can help you lose weight. Because of their lower than average fat content, they are the perfect choice to add to your weight lose plan. They can be used in curries, added to salads or just eaten as a snack. And cashew nut butter can be added to a smoothie in the morning or a mid-morning snack with celery sticks.

It’s important to look for nuts that are organic, untreated and raw for the best results. So head on down to your local health food store and stock up on these yummy, healthy treats today!

Boogie Your Way To A Healthier You

45613-photo(252).jpg If you’re like me, you love to dance. It’s one of a my all-time favorite things to do and I am so happy I married a great guy who loves to dance as much as I do. We’ll dance to almost any kind of music but we do like rock, old and new, the best.

Because we love dancing so much, we never really considered the health benefits. It’s an added bonus to find out there are many. Did you know that shaking your booty can:

  • strengthen your cardiovascular system and heart
  • keeps our brain active
  • burns loads of calories
  • reduces stress and increases confidence
  • strengthens core muscles
  • slows agin process by keeping us moving and our joints lubricated
  • keeps bones strong, preventing osteoarthritis
  • strengthens and tones legs
  • develops poise and balance
  • And dancing makes us happy.

Dancing is also great for the brain. The intricate steps of ballroom dance create new neuron pathways, keeping the brain nimble and sharp. Dancing can make you smarter.

Not only are there incredible benefits to dancing the night away but when you are out for a night on the town, just being with friends can has a positive impact on your health. Laughter releases endorphins, companionship raises mood levels and shifts our state of being.

There are many ways to get our exercise, shift our mood and take charge of our health. But one of the funnest ways to accomplish this goal is to get out of the house and go dancing.

5 Painless Ways To Improve Your Diet Today.

Fresh, organic vegetables in the basket Food, wonderful food. We crave it, we sacrifice for it, we wash with it, we love it and hate it.

Food evokes such emotion in us humans. As soon as we can’t have something, we suddenly need it more than we ever thought possible. And many times, that thing we crave is the food we really shouldn’t be indulging in. Eliminating these foods from our diet can seem like an impossible challenge. How do we change from bingeing on a bucket of ice cream to nibbling carrot sticks?

Well, it doesn’t have to be as drastic as that. Here a 5 easy ways to add changes to your diet today without going through withdrawal hell.

1. Don’t look at changing your diet all at once and don’t think of it as taking away the things you love. Look at it from the perspective of what can you add in. Add a pre-dinner salad with a light dressing. Don’t load on the high fat Ranch or Ceasar. A little olive oil and balsamic vinegar or garlic vinaigrette will do nicely. This serves to not only bring in some fresh veggies but it also takes up some room in your stomach so you don’t eat as much.

2. Add yummy green smoothies to your day. I try and replace one meal with a green smoothie. I will usually try and make it my breakfast. I think it’s easy on the stomach, nice and fresh and it seems like a good way to start the day. Mind you, today it was 30 below Celsius and today my body wanted something hot and filling. So I made the smoothie for lunch. Perfect.

Some days work out and some don’t. I hadn’t been a fan of green smoothies until the last few months. Now I love them. If you are already a fan of fruit smoothies, that’s great. It’s simply a matter of adding in a bit of baby kale, some cilantro or parsley, a couple pieces of celery or cucumber and you won’t believe how yummy it is.

3. I love stirfries. My wok is one of my favorite kitchen essentials. But many recipes call for sauteing in oil. I have found that using chicken broth or a bit of water works just as well for me. Once it’s all cooked up and I add the sauce, I then add in that yummy toasted sesame oil, just a few teaspoons, and it is just delish. And a wonderful bonus…..stirfries are loaded with yummy veggies, a little bit of meat and very little fat. Good for you and yummy, too.

4. Drink your water. Yes, this is something so easy that you can add into your daily diet that will make a difference throughout your body. Did you know that our body is made up of at least 65% water? And did you know that roughly 95% of people are chronically dehydrated? That’s bad. Your body needs to be properly hydrated to have all systems functioning properly.

You need at least 8 8oz glasses of water per day. And one lovely little “diet” trick is to drink one or two glasses of water before you eat. You won’t be nearly as hungry, you will have given a nice boost to your digestive system and your skin, brain, joints, organs and various other body parts, will thank you.

5. When you look at the number of diets that are out there for you to choose from and how each one will give you any number of foods that are bad for you, is it any wonder that you are so confused? I am, too. So my plan has been to:

a) decrease the amount of gluten in my diet (although I do enjoy a slice of garlic bread or a big plate of homemade pasta once in a while). Gluten really is somewhat damaging to the lining of the intestine and can cause microscopic cuts that allow larger pieces of food to be released into our system where they should not be. This is called Leaky Gut and although the pieces of food are still incredibly tiny, they can still cause damage.

b) eat lean meat. I have never been a big fatty meat eater anyway, but I am now a bit more conscious of it now. And it hasn’t really changed the way I eat. To me, the meat tastes better and, in some of my recipes, the fattier meats just wreck the recipe.

c) add more organic foods into my diet and increase the amount of fresh fruits and veggies. I do love a huge salad made up of different greens, purple cabbage, red pepper, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli and drizzled with my favorite balsamic; a Raspberry Chipotle Reduction. Oh my!!! ( Yes, I love George Takei’s facebook page. )

Easy Peasy!! Simple things you can add to your diet can make a world of difference to your health and enjoyment of life.

Are You Eating From The Rainbow?

Big Collection of fruits and vegetables isolated on white Are you choosing foods from all the colors of the rainbow?

A friend recommended this technique to me and I found it to be lots of fun. As I tried to add more and more color to my plate, I had more and more fun creating meals that were just downright pretty.

One of my favorite things to create was a big salad with yellow peppers, spring greens, purple cabbage, shaved carrots, white cauliflower and sliced organic strawberries. Then I just drizzled a bottled Raspberry & Chipotle balsamic reduction over it and it was just WOW! So good.

Stir fries are another great way to add that rainbow of color to your meal. We really like a pan full of peppers, asparagus, purple onion, shredded chicken, carrots and water chestnuts sauteed just till tender crisp. I don’t use oil to saute these days. I find that a bit of water or chicken broth added to the pan works just fine. I just cover with a lid and steam till they are done the way we like. We have a couple sauces that we like but I think the favorite is Spicy Garlic Sauce. I jotted down the recipe for you below.

Spicy Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2T chicken broth
  • 2T water
  • 2T soya sauce
  • 2T garlic, finely chopped
  • 2t sesame oil
  • 2t sugar – I use date sugar. It’s filled with potassium, fibre and other nutrients.

If you like saucier stir fries, simply adjust measurements to suit. I have made this for 10 people and just increased everything to create more sauce. I also added a couple tablespoons of cornstarch (non-GMO!!! ) to thicken it a bit.

Instead of using rice or noodles, I sometimes like to serve stir fries over spinach or cole slaw mix. Takes the place of noodles quite nicely.