What I’m Reading Now?

I’m journeying on a new path to learn how to meditate. I need to bring calm, stillness, and peacefulness to my mind. I’ve heard and read about the many amazing benefits on practicing meditation, and I’m at the right stage in my life where I need it the most. With a full time career, three children, husband, and a dog; it’s a time much needed. I chose The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe to kick start my journey because it came highly recommended by Bill Gates. No, I don’t know him personally, although I wish! I follow his blog, gatesnotes. If you don’t, you should. He’s brilliant, Google him. Bill is the reason why I researched Andy in the first place. Andy is 47 with many years of training in monasteries in India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Russia, and Scotland. He’s even an ordained Buddhist monk.

Andy’s approach to meditation is clear and easy to understand. He teaches amazing techniques, and they’re easy to apply to your everyday busy lifestyle. Andy also believes all you need is 10 minutes a day. Obviously, if you have the ability and time to meditate longer, by all means meditate. When you think of 10 minutes, it’s actually not that long; however, it’s hard for the average person to sit still with a clear mind. More importantly, the practice of meditation is about much more than simply sitting down for a set period of time each day. Andy says, “it’s about training in awareness and understanding how and why you think and feel the way you do, and getting a healthy sense of perspective in the process.” His book also looks deeper in the differences between understanding mindfulness and headspace. He even have an app called, Headspace available on IOS. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I intend to. Let’s take a look at mindfulness, Andy explains it as the temptation to judge whatever emotion that comes up, and therefore neither opposing or getting carried away with a feeling. And headspace is the result of applying this approach. Headspace delivers a sense of ease with whatever emotion is present.

How many times you’ve been in a situation where someone pissed you off? It angers you, and you feel like you just want to explode. Then you move through your day retelling that scenario over and over to everyone you possibly can share it with. Instead of moving forward productively with your day, you dwell and relive that situation over and over again transferring that negative energy to your friends, love ones, and even into your workplace. This behavior is toxic and becomes debilitating to your mind, body and soul. Who wants to go through life this way? Surely not me! Knowing how to let go and release these toxic thoughts and energy is my goal.

Andy’s book offers four steps to help you achieve meditation. His Take10 summary is recommended to follow each and every time before you meditate.

  1. Getting Ready
  2. Checking-in
  3. Focusing the mind
  4. Finishing-off

The book explains in detail what you need to do in each step to get your mind and body ready. I’m almost midway finish reading the book. I feel more confident than ever. This book has already taught me about the layers of my thoughts, dealing with my emotions, and how to tackle each one as they come to mind. I’ve re-read many chapters and made side notes. It’s definitely a page turner. If you’re interested in learning how to meditate, this book may help you. I would love to hear about your journey or any suggestions on meditation.

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Healthy Start to Your Day

Quick oats!

What do you start your day off with? For me it’s sometimes a green smoothie, an almond butter toast with flaxseeds and chia seed toppings. Today, it’s my oatmeal. Midway through devouring my breakfast, I just had to snap a picture and blog about it. This was so simple to make. It didn’t require any frying. I literally just added hot water and waited 10 minutes. Then I topped it with cinnamon, ground up flaxseeds, blueberries, blackberries and half of a banana. This is what a healthy breakfast should look like. People often say, “oatmeal is boring!” I could see that, but then you should jazz it up. Be creative! Add cocoa nibs, which are cocoa bean pieces with nothing added to them. This would be for those chocolate lovers. Shredded coconuts and raisins are delicious too, or even some nuts. I added bananas for some sweetness because I don’t use sugars.

I think oatmeal is one of the healthiest most nutritious meal you can start your day off with. It’s packed with so many vitamins, fiber, and minerals. It’s also cheap, and easy to prepare. If you were to have a cup of basic quick oats everyday, it would cost you $.043. Can’t beat that!

Tell me what you think!

Enjoy & Eat Organic for Life!

Cranberries for Urinary and Prostate Health

Did you know that urinary tract infections or diseases affect both women and men? UTI’s can put men at risk for prostate illness as well. The British Journal of Nutrition recently published a study where research followed 42 men with lower urinary tract disease. They found that the men also had elevated PSA and non-bacterial prostatitis. The researchers assigned the men to take either a supplement with 1,500 mg per day of dried powdered cranberries or a placebo.

The researchers tracked the men for six months while they took either a powdered cranberry supplement of 1,500 mg a day or a placebo, and then evaluated them with the International Prostate Symptom Score. This test evaluates urination, average flow, total volume, and post-void residual volume. The men taking cranberry showed significant improvement. There was no improvement in the control group. It makes common sense that if cranberries help wipe out UTI’s, it’s responsible that they would also help your prostate as well. Also, the men who took the cranberry supplement experienced lower PSA levels. It is likely that one will have to take 1,500 mg of dried cranberry powder in order to have effective results as did the men in this study, a dose that is easily obtainable both in health stores and online.

There are many ways to incorporate cranberries into your diet. It’s not just an American traditional Thanksgiving side dish. Cranberries can be added at any time throughout the year. Dried cranberries especially are delicious in salads and baked goods. Swap out your usual raisins for cranberries. Another way to incorporate cranberries into your daily diet is by adding them to smoothies. Frozen cranberries are available all year round. both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. It’s also worth noting that cranberries are a very good source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin E, two pivotal antioxidant nutrients. And in addition, they are a very good source of the mineral manganese, which is needed for proper function of some forms of the enzyme superoxide dismutase.

How do you incorporate cranberries in your diet? Please share…

Source: “The effectiveness of dried cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) in men with lower urinary tract symptoms,” Vidlar A, Simanek V, et al, Br J Nutr, 2010; 104(8): 1181-9.

Reasons to Eat More Walnuts

The simple walnut offers a wide list of benefits. For starters, a new study shows that eating whole walnuts or walnut oil can slow prostate cancer growth.  But if you need more reasons than this, maybe the following reasons may persuade you to add these delicious nuts into your diet.

A large study at Harvard found that people who ate a handful of nuts every day were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause in a thirty-year period.

• English walnuts decrease cardiovascular risk by decreasing LDL and total cholesterol.

• Walnuts help control weight.

• They help control insulin in diabetics.

• Eating walnuts increases male fertility.

• Walnuts enhance cognitive function and improve thinking ability.

• Eating walnuts has been shown to suppress breast cancer tumors, perhaps from their omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols.

• They have also been shown to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer by decreasing angiogenesis.

• Walnuts are a source of highly potent, high-quality antioxidants.

• Ellagic acid, a major polyphenol found in walnuts, has remarkable bone-building activity at the cellular level.

• Eating walnuts and walnut oil can reduce the stress response and lower the resulting blood pressure.

Just a quarter cup of walnuts provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of omega-3 fats as well as providing copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin. It’s better to buy walnuts raw and organic to avoid those that are irradiated and pasteurized.

—Adapted from “13 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Walnuts” by Margie King, at http://greenmedinfo.com

A New Way to Detect Breast Cancer

Not long before Mihir Shah was to be married in 2007, his soon-to-be mother-in-law got a diagnosis of breast cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and survived, wearing a wig to the wedding. But while the women in Mr. Shah’s family — in both India and the United States — were able to get breast cancer screening, it made him think of the millions who weren’t as fortunate.

More than 90 percent of women in the developing world don’t have access to early detection of breast cancer. One reason is that mammograms, the gold-standard screening technique, are rarely used because of their high cost and a lack of trained radiologists. India has one radiologist for every 100,000 people; the United States has 12.

Then there are logistical challenges like a lack of electricity and poor roads. Many people are not aware of cancer, and the disease still carries a stigma.

Read on – nyti.ms/2BT0ap3

Do Collagen Supplements Help Skin, Hair, Nails and Joints? – The New York Times

. Is there any truth to the claim that collagen supplements will help my skin, nails, hair, digestion and joints?

A. Some small studies suggest that collagen supplements may have limited benefits, but the evidence is far from definitive, and marketing claims seem to have gotten ahead of the science.

Collagen is the main structural protein in animals — humans included — and plays a vital role in tissues like bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and skin. It’s also increasingly popular in nutritional supplements, which claim to replenish these same tissues.

— Read on www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/well/live/do-collagen-supplements-help-skin-hair-nails-and-joints.html

Refueling With Beets

People often ask me, what vegetable should they eat daily? I used to say, organic kale or spinach. Now I tell people to eat beets along with their greens. Eating any form of green vegetables is crucial in any diet, but eating the whole beet plant is a two for one deal. The beet greens are just as edible and highly recommended to eat just like any other green vegetable. According to the whfoods.org, beet greens nutritional intake consist both of fat-soluble vitamins like A and K, as well as water-soluble vitamins like vitamins C and B2.  Beet greens are also packed with vital minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium.  In the phytonutrient category, beet greens show special benefits in the area of carotenoid richness. Beets are also naturally sweet so eating the greens will counter balance the sugar in the beets. Instead of tossing the green tops in the garbage, juice them with the beet or sauté a bunch and serve as a side dish.

Video: How Sugar Beets are Turned into Table Sugar

I recently stumbled upon this study done by researchers at Wake Forest University. According to the study, beets contain a high level of dietary nitrite, when ingested nitrite converts into nitric oxide (NO). Don’t get it confused. Nitrite into Nitric Oxide! So, the NO increases the blood flow and oxygen in the body. With this increase of blood flowing to your brain, your performance may be enhanced. This study is fascinating because they also discovered that drinking a beetroot juice supplement before a workout can make the brain of older people look younger. Whether you’re looking for performance enhancements or a younger brain, it’s definitely worth getting your daily doses of beets in.  Another study results were outstanding. Results indicated that beetroot juice given as a single dose or over a few days may improve performance at intermittent, high-intensity efforts with short rest periods.

  1. Muscle recovery after workouts
  2. Improved time trial performance
  3. Decreased cost of work when performing

Thus means you can finish the race or workout feeling less fatigued. Eating beets will increases your body’s endurance. I suggest based off of my research, opt out of the Gatorade and go for beet juice instead. My passion is eating healthy and spreading my knowledge of the importance of eating a nutritional diet, mainly plant-based. It’s been over a year now since I’ve added exercising into my lifestyle. In the beginning, I was exhausted and achy from my workouts. It was difficult to get on a consistent regimen but since I’ve got added beets to my weekly diet, I’ve noticed a positive upward shift in my energy pre and post workouts. I’ve always enjoyed eating and growing beets, and now that I’m working out, I’ve incorporated beets in my daily diet. I juice, shred for salads, or roast in the oven. Beets and their greens are now a staple in my household. If I could only get my two boys to eat it!

Other Health Benefits of Beets

Beets can lower blood pressure; promote eye, respiratory, and bone health; build immunity and increase stamina; and fight premature aging. There’s evidence they may even help prevent cancer. They’re highly nutritious, abundant in phytochemical compounds, low in fat and calories. Beets’ also supports detoxification.

Simple Beet Juice Recipe

  • 1 medium beetroot with the greens
  • 1/2 peeled lemon
  • Small piece of ginger
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cucumber

Here a little home video of me picking beets from my garden. I hope I was able to inspire you to start eating beet greens.

Sources

        Study:Effects of beetroot juice supplementation on intermittent high-intensity exercise efforts
        Study: Beetroot juice supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of exercise without improving mitochondrial efficiency: but how?
        Study:The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease
        Study:Effects of Beetroot Juice on Recovery of Muscle Function and Performance between Bouts of Repeated Sprint Exercise
        Beet Greens –whfoods.com

Is It Better to Drink a Little Alcohol than None at All?

Find out if the light to moderate alcohol drinkers prevail at the end of the video. My husband and I have heated discussions about this. We both were very much surprised at the end. Yes, alcohol causes cancer and many other complications. Certain studies like the famous J-shaped curve one, where yes, excessive drinking is bad, but light drinkers appear to actually have lower mortality than abstainers?

Click the video link below to listen for the answer.

— Read on nutritionfacts.org/video/is-it-better-to-drink-little-alcohol-than-none-at-all/

Still Harvesting My Greens in November

Just got in from the gym and decided to make myself a protein green smoothie. This is always a quicker option than cooking, especially when your tired. Check out my beautiful bouquet of greens. Just freshly cut from my garden. It’s November and cold here in New York, however my collard greens, curly leaf kale, Tuscan kale, and parsley are surviving strong. Even the two days of frost we had a couple of weeks ago. Kale and collards are cool-season greens that are part of the cruciferous family along with cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and bok choy. They grow best in the springtime and fall and can tolerate frost. Leafy greens are power food packed with power nutrients. Plus all greens are low in calories. And a serving of just about any of the deeply colored ones contains your daily supply of vitamins K and A, most of your daily vitamin C, and a hefty helping of fiber, B vitamins and essential minerals. They’re great additions to smoothies too.

  • 1/2 cup of kale
  • 1 cup collard greens
  • 1/2 cup of figs
  • 1 cup of flaxseed milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp of organic Maca powder
  • 1/2 cup of ice

Check out the protein content on this plant-based flaxseed milk. It taste sooooooo good. I bought it from Whole Foods.

Benefits of kale

  • Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Kale
  • Glucosinolates and Cancer-Preventive
  • Kale also extend to its cholesterol-lowering ability

Resource: The World’s Healthiest Food – Kale

Curly Hair Don’t Care

Giving myself another check over before I hit the NYC pavements. Hairs kinda wet, curly, and a little messy. Don’t care at this point. Just finished two back-to-back classes at Equinox. I must have burnt over 900 calories. I’m tired, hungry, freshly showered, and definitely beat! Right now I’m walking down LEXINGTON Ave getting ready to catch the number 4 train straight to Brooklyn. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the hubby to scoop me at the train station. I’m also thinking about my plant-based protein dinner I need to fix before I hit the sacks. Lentil or black bean burger? No bread of course!

I hear the 6 train coming….

Healthy Eating Equals a Healthy Life!