Tag Archives: nutrients

Rambutan…..rambu-what???

rambutan(source)

Native to Malaysia, this fruit is also grown in  Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia.  This particular tree can grow to about 50 – 80 feet high, but it’s not the height that interests me….look at the fruit!  Have you ever seen anything like this before??

Rambutan is closely related to the lychee fruit (and I know you remember THIS post, she said sarcastically).  And here’s the weird part…there are three different kinds of rambutan (no, that isn’t the weird part, the next part is the weird part). 

There is the male fruit, the hermaphrodite functioning as males and the hermaphrodite functioning as females Wha???

To the peeps in southeast Asia, this little beauty is as normal as an apple is to us, or at least most of us.

2004:07:29 18:02:35

YepShe’s pretty hairy, isn’t she….or he?  The word rambut in Malay is ‘hairy’, which you can see on the spiky rind, but don’t worry…if you bit into one of these little jewels there would be no ouchie.  They are soft and harmless.

So what do we do with it and how the heck do we eat it:   You can purchase the rambutan in Asian/Chinese markets in the produce area.  And you want to look for ones with bright red skin, not so much orange or yellow.  And don’t purchase if you see they have ‘black’ hairs….in fact, don’t purchase anything in the produce section with black hair on it…..(insert gag here).

Health Benefits:  Rambutans are high in vitamin C, plus copper, manganese, and trace elements of many other nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and iron.

How do we get to the good part:  Make a cut through the skin with a sharp knife.  Note: If your rambutans are very ripe, they can also be twisted open between your hands, and the fruit simply pops out.  Next peel away the skin and either cut out the seed inside or pop it into your mouth and have fun spitting the seed out!  (they frown on this in the produce department so wait until you get home).

Here’s a beautiful and tropical fruit salad to enjoy! (via)

tropicalfruitsaladblog

Ingredients:

  • YIELD: 1 large bowl of fruit salad
  • 1+1/2 cups fresh papaya, cubed
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup mango, cubed
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced or cut into quarters
  • 1 cup other fruit, local OR exotic such as blueberries, melon, dragon fruit, lychees, longans, or rambutans
  • Garnish: starfruit slices
  • FRUIT SALAD DRESSING:
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar OR palm sugar

Preparation:

  1. Stir fruit salad dressing ingredients together in a cup until sugar dissolves.  Set aside.
  2. Place all the fresh fruit in a mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over and toss well to mix.
  4. Pour or scoop the fruit salad into a serving bowl, or into a prepared pineapple boat (as pictured).  Garnish just before serving with a star fruit slice.

Star Fruit Tip: To keep starfruit from going brown after slicing, simply drizzle over some fresh lime or lemon juice.

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sick and tired of being sick and tired?

tired1

Most of the foods we eat are obviously not good for you……no matter how good they taste.  Especially all these fun treats we have around the holidays!  These foods include sugar, trans fats, dairy products, fried foods, junk foods, carbonated drinks….oh the list goes on and on.

Turns out, when we eat these foods, we can’t stop – and that’s when we overeat and just never feel fully satisfied.

Why?

The reason  we feel tired, sluggish and bloated (but not satisfied) is because we are not getting enough nutrients from the foods we are eating!  We are filling ourselves with low-nutrient food and lots of chemicals.  Our digestive system is working overtime to process these foods and in the meantime, they have decided to stick around….for days…..undigested.  Ick.

Sugar, put down the sugar!!!

sugar-addiction

Says Dr. Oz, in his book, You on a Diet, “Simple sugars create a rebounding effect.  You’re feeling blah, so you eat a 3 Musketeers.  That sugar surge works like an electrical jolt, and you instantly feel more energy.  But less than two hours later, that energy surge (in the form of elevated blood sugar levels ) plummets, and then you feel blah again.  Your conclusion?  You must need another Musketeer!  That rebound effect can put your body in biological turmoil, where you eat to feel better, though what you’re eating is actually making you feel sluggish, so you swirl and swirl around, always feeling like you need to eat.”

What’s a person to do???

  • Eat a little fat 20 minutes before your meal (70 calories or so like 6 walnuts, or 12 almonds)
  • Fill up on fiber in the A.M. (think oatmeal, cereal, whole grains and fruit)
  • Change your plate (try using a smaller or kid’s version of a plate for smaller portions)
  • Slow down, turbo (take your time, put down your fork and chew, chew, chew)
  • Get spicy (add a little hot pepper or salsa to your food to increase your metabolism)

Start simple by eating a large salad.  Nix the croutons, heavy dressing and cheese.  Have fruit for a pick-me-up snack.  Add more veggies to your dinner, drink lots of water and YOU, my friend, are on your way to a healthier, happier YOU!

VegetableMyths_Spinach

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don’t get all wishy-washy about a detox bath…

Oh, you dirty thing, you!!  You need a bath!!  A detox bath!

A trip over to Wikihow gave me exact directions on how to have a fabulous detox bath while eliminating toxins and absorbing  minerals and nutrients from the bath water.  Some use mineral clays, aromatherapy oils, seaweeds and enzyme herbs to draw the toxins out of the body through the skin, but this recipe is using common products such as, epsom salts, baking soda and a little ginger.

Here are the steps to get you on your way to good health:

  • Prepare your bath on a day that you have at least 40 minutes available. The first 20 minutes are said to help your body remove the toxins, while the second 20 minutes are for absorbing the minerals in the water.
  • Fill your tub with comfortably hot water. Use a chlorine filter if possible.
  • Add Epsom salts (a.k.a. magnesium sulfate). Soaking in Epsom salt actually helps replenish the body’s magnesium levels, combating hypertension.[1] The sulfate flushes toxins and helps form proteins in brain tissue and joints.[2] Epsom salt is very inexpensive. It can be purchased in decently sized bags or cartons at discount stores in the garden center or pharmaceutical area. Very large bags can be ordered from garden centers.  (For adults 100lbs or more, use 2 cups or more to a standard bath)
  • Add 1 to 2 cups or more of baking soda (a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate). Baking soda is known for its cleansing ability and even has antifungal properties.[3] It also leaves skin very soft. Large bags can usually be found in the swimming pool chemical area, but the boxes from the bakery aisle will work fine.
  • Add ground ginger or fresh ginger tea (optional). Ginger is heating to the body and may cause your skin to turn slightly red for a few minutes, so be careful with the amount you add. Depending on the capacity of your tub, and your sensitivity, anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/3 cup can be added.  (Most people sweat profusely with the addition of the ginger, and if you wrap your body in a blanket immediately after getting out of the tub, you can continue to detoxify through perspiration for another couple of hours. This is especially beneficial if you are trying to rid the body of a bug of some sort, like the flu, or a cold).
  • Add aromatherapy oils (optional). There are many oils that will help the bath to be a pleasant and relaxing experience (such as lavender and ylang ylang) as well as those that will assist in the detoxification process (tea tree oil or eucalyptus). Around 20 drops is sufficient for a standard bath.  (If you prefer, you can use fresh herbs. Add mint leaves (warming), lavender flowers (soothing), chamomile (soothing), or anything else that suits your mood.)
  • Swish all of the ingredients around in the tub, then soak. Again, 40 minutes is recommended (the longer the better), but aim for at least 20. You should start sweating within the first few minutes. (If you feel too hot, start adding cold water into the tub until you cool off.)
  • Get out of the tub slowly and carefully. Your body has been working hard and you may get lightheaded or feel weak and drained. On top of that, the salts make your tub slippery, so stand with care.  This might be a good time to call in someone you don’t mind seeing you in the raw,  to help you out of the tub.
  • Drink plenty of water. Any time your body detoxes (after this type of bath, a massage, or chiropractic work, for example), you need to flush out toxins. If you don’t, you will likely feel sick afterwards.

Remember…detoxing is a lifestyle therapy and cleansing foods and juices can optimize your detox program.  As with all new therapies, please consult your doctor or health practitioner before beginning any new therapy, even if it is just a detox bath.

EXTRA TIPS…….

  • A bath of Epsom salt and baking soda bath is detoxing in and of itself, but other items can be added for further effects.
  • Don’t eat immediately before or after the bath.
  • It’s also a good idea to drink water before and during your bath, especially if you’re feeling overheated from the tub water.
  • Dry brush your skin before the bath for further benefits.
  • Relax for the rest of the day and allow your body to continue to detoxify and heal itself.
  • Have your towel nearby the tub and ready so that you can wrap up immediately and continue the detox.
  • Shower off the Epsom salts if desired, but it’s not necessary.
  • Other additives used by some are grapefruit seed oil, rosemary, and thyme.

WARNINGS:

  • Avoid putting hydrogen peroxide in your bath. As an oxidizing agent, it can have corrosive effects on your skin.[4]
  • Do not take a hot bath or a detox bath if you are pregnant, or have heart, kidney, or any other health issues.                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or otherwise take the place of the advice of your licensed healthcare practitioner.

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phyto…what?

Did you know there are over two thousand known phytonutrientswhich are active substances that give fruits and vegetables their color, flavor, smell and natural disease resistance?  Our phytonutrient consumption is associated with reduced rates of many different cancers.  Think color!  Think the rainbow!!  Blueberries, oranges, lemons, herbs, carrots….there are so many different choices to consider.

According to Dr. Don Colbertphytonutrients in fruits and vegetables can be grouped according to color.  Each group has it’s own set of unique protective benefits.

  • Orange: carrots, mangoes, cantaloupes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, and apricots all have carotenoids, which help prevent cancer and heart disease.
  • Red:  tomatoes, watermelon, guava, red grapefruit, all contain a powerful carotenoid called lycopene, linked to prevention of heart disease and prostate cancer.
  • Red/Purple:  blueberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries, raspberries, grapes, eggplants, red cabbage and red wine contain a powerful flavonoid called anthocyanidin, which contains approximately 50 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin C and 20 times more powerful than vitamin E.
  • Orange/Yellow:  oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, yellow grapefruit, papaya, pineaple and nectarines are rich in vitamin C and protect us against free-radical damage.
  • Yellow/Green:  Spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, leeks and peas are typically rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Green:  broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, watercress, bok choy, kale, collard greens, and mustard greens are considered cruciferous vegetables with anti-cancer properties.

Remember, living foods exist in a raw or close-to-raw state and can make your eyes sparkle, your hair shine, and a glow to your skin!  Who doesn’t want that??

It’s time to take back our food choices and how we eat them so we can become vibrant, healthy people!  Now is the time!

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changing the way we eat…

Seriously, we can be such idiots when we are hungry.

Do you realize that we have completely transformed what, when and how we eat, since our great-grandparent’s day?  We live our lives in such a hurry, eating in our cars, in front of our televisions sets or standing in the kitchen.  We throw frozen food in little plastic trays in the microwave and don’t even give it a second thought.  We have forgotten to stop and enjoy the aromas, feel the textures or even taste our food.  (I’m guilty too!)

Back in our great-grandparents day, or even our grandparents day (depending on your age), most had gardens and did their own growing and harvesting.   As Michael Pollan states, “If it came from the planet, eat it.  If it was made in a plant, don’t.”

Back in the 1850s, the women of rural American were still  primarily cooking with ingredients that were grown on their own farms or in their gardens.  Any foods  they couldn’t produce themselves were often purchased in bulk  from the local general store. Can  you imagine if our ancestors were to walk into our grocery stores today?  The center of the store, where the packaged, over processed foods live, is larger than the produce section!

Our ancestors ate whole and unprocessed vegetables, along with fruits, grains, beans and nuts.  They didn’t run to the freezer section to grab some frozen french fries or a lean cuisine.

Somewhere along the way we became disconnected from the real foods that have to be plucked, harvested or squeezed and have chosen the ‘easy‘ way.

The good news is that we CAN change and our health will benefit in the long run.

Buy live, organic foods.  If you are able to make a trip each day to the store your food will be that much fresher!  Take a few minutes to inspect your produce carefully.  Remember, organic produce may be less colorful or less perfectly shaped, but have you every bought a big, red tomato from the grocery store only to find out that it was weak and had no flavor?  YUK!  They might not look perfect, but at least you know there aren’t pesticides sprayed all over them.

Start paying attention to the times of the day that you eat your food.  Use all your senses.  Look at your food, smell your food and enjoy your food!  Make it special!  Turn off the television and play some relaxing music.  Start your meal off with a blessing.  Sit at the table, even if you are alone, and maybe it’s time to pull out the good china!  Try to place your fork back on the plate after each bite so you can focus on what you are eating.

You’re worth it!  The point is to be relaxed and chew slowly.

Now…be sure you have living foods on your plate!  You may be surprised to find that by making good choices now, you can dramatically improve the quality of your life!

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Even pastry chef’s know that old age can crepe up on you….

Did you know that according to the United Nations World Population Prospects,  the average lifespan of a woman  is 80.8 years?  The “point 8” is interesting to me.  I need to know if that is hours or days, mainly because of my blog.  Someone is going to have to either shut ‘er down, or take the wheel.

Aging happens to all of us and usually much quicker than we would prefer.  The key is to age gracefully. 

Our cells, on the other hand, don’t age.  They are just sloughed off as their efficency diminishes and are replaced by new ones.  So many, many years of chemical-laced foods, pollutants, overuse of prescription drugs and antibiotics all seem to weigh down our bodies and show up on our skin.  If you add stress to the mix, then our minds and spirit will suffer also.

So what’s a middle-aged gal supposed to do?  Give in?  No, my friend! 

AGE IS NOT THE ENEMY….ILLNESS IS.

We can increase our lifespan, boost our metabolism and enhance our immune response!  According to Dr. Linda Page, we can start our anti-aging campaing by examining which lifestyle factors affect aging the most.

  • Take a long hard look at the prescription drugs you use: Many drugs lead to serious body imbalances by impairing your nutrient uptake.  They also tent to interact, especially drugs that affect hormones, like Viagra or Andro or Propecia.
  • Take another look at your diet:  You’ve probably already cut the fat and fried food.  But the chemicals in foods like lunch meats and pre-prepared meals are the culprits for early aging.  They can create an over-acid condition in the blood, trigger many allergies and like drugs, set up a free-radical cascade favorable to disease.
  • If you eat a lot of sweets or have hard alcohol drinks regularly, your diet is probably high in sugar:  Sugar is also a hidden ingredient in most processed foods.  A high sugar diet wipes out immunity and reduces tissue elasticity.  Artificial sweetners with aspartame are linked to degenerative nerve disorders.
  • Take a look at your teeth and gums:  almost nothing shows age faster than discolored teeth, lost teeth or red, receding gums.  Consider taking CoQ-10 for gum problems, about 200 mg daily at least for the first month and see a good holistic dentist to solve the discoloration problems.
  • Take a look in the mirror: If your neck is no longer straight, but at a slight angle, or if your shoulders are hunching, you may be losing bone density.  Start a strengthening exercise program right away.  Exercise can rapidly reverse this aging sign.

We’re all trying to look for that “magic bullet” to slow down the aging process, and adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, adequate rest, avoiding tobacco, and a diet full of healthy foods and beverages can be the best defense against aging.

“Dietary choices are critical to delay the onset of aging and age-related diseases, and the sooner you start, the greater the benefit,” says Susan Moores, RD, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association.

Remember….. smart lifestyle choices are within your control, and are among the best things you can do to help prevent disease and retard aging.

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