Tag Archives: gluten sensitivity

Lessons From a Gardener’s Promise

If by recent post we have inspired you to take in the “pulse of life” at a local nursery, maybe you are wondering how so many people are gushing with optimism and hopefulness? How can holding a little six-pack of plants instill such anticipation and confidence? Are there bigger lessons for us to absorb and to apply in other aspects of our lives?

How does the gardener approach … well, gardening?

Soil prep. This step is essential for a plant to thrive. Can’t grow in rocks. Think about it. Are we expecting our bodies to thrive while we ‘plant’ them in rocky soil filled with added sugars, unpronounceable chemicals, or ingredients that are incompatible with digestion?

Plant selection. What’s the goal for the plant? Beauty, crop yield, or an attractiveness to butterflies, bees, or hummingbirds? What are our goals? What is the effect of our actions today? Are we being true to ourselves? Are we adding beauty, yield, and attractiveness to the world around us?

Care. This is where the “Gardener’s Promise” comes in. The gardener knows, by doing the right things consistently, the results will come … in time. Water. Pull a few weeds. Prune as needed. Fertilize regularly. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Will the desired results come in a day… a week … or even a month? Often not! Why do we expect instant results for ourselves?

One kind word to an unfriendly acquaintance will not yield a bosom buddy. Relationships are built over time. Generally, a consistent effort to reach out in friendship will break down barriers.

Launching any self-improvement program will need careful and patient tending as well.

Case in point. I wanted to build upon my at-home exercise efforts which always include 2 minutes of daily planks and Super Brain Yoga with Power Poses. I started going to a gym in January that features a 30-minute circuit, along with its other activities. Twice a week. Like clockwork. Hadn’t gotten a swimsuit look; but if I skipped, I could tell a difference.

I wanted more. More results. Is it possible to really have a tighter tummy? I’ve seen videos about grannies who have turned things around. Why not me?

Time to apply the “Gardener’s Promise.” More sunshine (more effort and a wider variety of exercises), fewer weeds (sugar and carbs), better fertilizer (fortified protein shake for lunch), and patience. If you are doing the right things, keep at it day-by-day, and the results will come.

My morning plank routine is now twice a day. I have added 15 minutes of cardio before hitting the machines and doing other exercises. Still not ready for that swimsuit quite yet.

But I am standing taller. I am stronger. When my abs hurt a bit the next day, I know that I am making a difference. Some recently acquired winter bulges are disappearing.

I am remembering the “Gardener’s Promise.”

Happy “gardening”-

Deidre

PS- Cardio exercise today will be 5 minutes longer. Smoothie already enjoyed for lunch. (Primal Protein, frozen cantaloupe, frozen banana, ground flax seed, collagen hydrolysate).

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Celiac Awareness Month – Let’s Talk About Your Guts

It’s Celiac Awareness Month.

Have you been asking yourself questions like these:

  • Is this gluten stuff all a hoax?
  • Is it just a “trendy diagnosis” – as our daughter’s pediatrician once offered?
  • What’s at stake if we don’t, at least, investigate the possibilities?
  • Is going gluten-free worth the effort?
  • Do you have to get tested?
  • What if your test is negative for Celiac Disease but you are still symptomatic?

I have, once again, dove into some of the latest news on Celiac Disease, (CD), and all things gluten for this post. Let me tell you, it was hard to tear myself away from the research, as one article linked to another and another.

While one person out of a hundred is diagnosed worldwide with CD, that number is expected to double every fifteen years. Why? Many people are currently undiagnosed, and the causative factors of pro-inflammatory diets are spreading.

Starting my fact-finding internet tour at Celiac.org, I found that, in fact, a Colorado study found a 3% incidence rate of Celiac Disease for youngsters by the age of 15! Yikes!

In case you are not up-to-speed with the term Celiac Disease, let me recap. CD is a genetic autoimmune disorder in which consumption of gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye grains) results in damage to the small intestine, causing a host of symptoms (See lists below).

So, who should be tested for CD?

It was recommended that anyone suffering from an unexplained, stubborn illness for several months should be tested for CD.

HOWEVER – there are also two more categories of sensitivity:

NCGS– Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity- whereby a person is not severely reacting to the gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye grains, but are reacting on some level, which can be problematic.

NCWS- Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity- whereby a person is reactive only to wheat.

How do you know if you might be reactive to gluten on any level? Check out this abbreviated list of possible signs and symptoms. I’ve seen lists that link scores and scores of common conditions to some level of gluten sensitivity because the resulting inflammatory response to each person is unique. This could be you:

Signs and Symptoms for Adults:

  • Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Osteoporosis
  • Liver and biliary tract disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Migraines
  • Foggy brain
  • Dermatitis herpetiforme (itchy skin rash)
  • Infertility
  • Missed periods
  • Canker sores
  • Signs and Symptoms for Children:
  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Pale, foul smelling fatty stools
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and behavioral issues
  • Delayed growth
  • Delayed puberty
  • Dental enamel defects
  • Short stature
  • Failure to thrive
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Check? Check? Check?

Let’s talk about infertility, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, (PCOS), and gluten. There’s a lot. Google those three terms together and you’ll be busy reading for a long time.

According to Nutritionist and Health Educator Melissa Diane Smith, “85% of her PCOS clients test positive for sensitivity to gluten. When these women remove gluten from their diets, they often see a marked improvement in their PCOS symptoms.”

The May/June edition of the Journal of Reproductive Health in 2011 reported a prevalence of silent CD (undiagnosed CD) in female infertility in Middle East and European studies.

An American study of 188 infertile women showed a 5.9% increase of silent undiagnosed CD. Many who also suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) were found to have CD.

Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, writes that 5-10% of women 18-44 years of age have PCOS. He tracks links in his patients with PCOS to high blood sugar and diabetes. He cites the role of insulin is intrinsically linked to PCOS.

How do you know if you have PCOS?

Some of the symptoms of PCOS are:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Acne
  • Increased facial hair
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Metabolic issues related to insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation

Have some ideas popped off the page for you?

Are you seeing yourself or someone you know?

Increasingly, we have to be our own patient advocates. Doctors moan when their “internet-trained” patients slam them with all sorts of “internet-acquired diagnoses,” but you can ask to have certain issues looked at … especially if they have not been able to find any help for you.

You can ask for blood tests associated with Celiac Disease, or any level of gluten or wheat sensitivity. If blood tests for CD are positive, a biopsy of the small intestine may be offered to check for damage. You have to be actively consuming gluten for the blood tests to be valid.

Don’t want blood tests? Simply eliminate all forms of gluten for three months. Celiac.org has sample 7-day gluten free meal plans for adults and for kids on their website that will give you a start. My book, Toolkit for Wellness, will show you ways to not only avoid gluten, but other foods as well that create an inflammatory response within our bodies.

Gluten sensitivities are serious things that contribute to very real illness, disease, and general un-wellness. One doesn’t simply “cut back” on gluten. It’s all or none. A single gluten infraction can sometimes take those who are extremely sensitive as long as three months to get over!

This is serious business.

It’s our choice.

In good health –

Deidre

 

 

 

 

Power Up and Prepare For Liftoff!!

Each day, it seems, we are in the cockpit of life preparing for a takeoff. What switches are we supposed to flip in order to “power up” our engines? There are so many on our dashboard. Can we realistically try to flip them all every day; or are there a critical few that will give us the lift and acceleration we need for a good takeoff and flight?

After spending hours every week researching, reading, and experimenting with activities that will, “do our bodies good,” one meal, one breath, one movement at a time, I’m left thinking “Ack!” How can I share idea after idea with my readers without over-whelming them, too?

There must be 50 “good” things I should be doing all of the time just to start my day off right.

Wait a minute.

The goal is not to feel like a failed, spineless weakling if we are not doing these things. The idea is to lead a natural, comfortable life that uses nature’s laws to optimize health – and – to accept the responsibility of intention.

Do we intend to “do our body good”?

We want – no, demand – that our bodies keep us going every day; but are we helping our bodies to do that?

Are we a friend or a foe to our body?

I sure want my body at its best 100% of the time so I strive to “power up” each day as best I can to give my mind-body-spirit the “food” it needs to do that.

Granted, smooth uninterrupted daily routines probably exist only in fairy tales.

Nearing the 10th month of being a full-time caregiver for my sweet husband who is confined to bed, I know full well how easily “me time” can disappear. Keeping myself on an even keel, though, is vital to being at my best for him – and me. Those who juggle kids, family, and jobs find free morning time at a premium as well. I hear you.

So, what are the essential few things I do to power up? You’ve seen many of these before. I will explain any new ideas in more detail.

POWERING UP

  1. ALWAYS: Super Brain Yoga and Power Poses as explained in the last post HERE. If there is time for only one thing, this is it. In addition to reinforcing inner balance and focus, I am filled with thoughts of gratitude – thanks for being equipped for strength and victory. I am open to receive that strength; and feel confident to move forward, no matter what may come my way.

Gratitude increases levels of that “feel good” hormone serotonin; who couldn’t use more of that each day? Be ‘intentional’  by boosting yours.

  1. ALMOST DAILY: Drinking lemon juice in warm water while coffee is brewing. Did your grandmother do this? Mine did. She swore by it and lived to be over 100. Today, we know that a simple drink of lemon juice in warm water is a marvelous detoxifier, helps regulate bowels, and actually helps de-acidify the digestive system! Start by using the juice of ½ of a lemon in one cup of warm water. Swish your mouth out to eliminate remaining juice from reacting with tooth enamel.

Once lemon juice is inside your stomach, the digestive process will cause an alkaline environment that will improve reflux. I refuse to resort to OTC or prescription meds for reflux. Lemon juice in warm water absolutely nails this problem for me. If I skip a couple of days, the reflux returns.

  1. ALWAYS when I am home: Power Coffee often with 2 Breakfast Cookies- plain coffee just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Learn about this amazing drink HERE and these guiltless cookies HERE. After this dynamic duo, I am good for hours!
  1. ALMOST DAILY: Oil pulling for at least 5 minutes, preferably up to 20. Now, this is a new topic for Foodtalk4you, but oil pulling is thousands of years old and is considered medicinal for the whole body.

One of the best articles I have read about the benefits and history of oil pulling is found HERE.  In case you do not have the time, let me summarize this article and why I do this almost every day.

  1. Oil pulling is simply swishing coconut, olive, or sesame oil in the mouth for the purpose of cleansing the oral cavity, refreshing breath, and removing toxins.
  1. It’s easy to work into my daily schedule. Oil pulling can be done first thing during the morning shower; or I often do it after breakfast (Power Coffee and Breakfast Cookies!) while I tidy up the kitchen. This is habit stacking at its best! No extra time needed!
  1. Oil pulling is a safe and effective way to detoxify not just the mouth but the entire body because toxins are absorbed into the oil which is spit out. Coconut oil is highly absorbent so its benefits of moisturizing skin, raising healthy blood cholesterol, increasing energy, and killing toxins are easily accessed by oil pulling.
  1. I see and feel a difference right away. Imagine: fresh mouth with NO CHEMICALS!

How to do oil pulling:

  1. Use 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Just scoop it up with a spoon and put into your mouth and chew on it until it is a swish-able liquid. Hint: You may want to start with a smaller amount just to help yourself warm up to the experience.
  1. Swish the oil around your mouth, flushing the fluid around and between teeth. Take your time and do not be so vigorous that you tire your muscles!
  1. Swish for 5-20 minutes; the longer, the better. Remember, the oil is picking up toxins and needs adequate time to really ‘clean house.’
  1. Spit out the oil which has become white (full of yuck) into the trash. Do NOT spit the toxin-laden coconut oil down the drain as it will clog plumbing. Coconut oil is solid at cooler temperatures, remember.
  1. That’s it! Enjoy natural cleanness and fresh breath. A gentle tooth brushing, and you’re good to go!
  1. TWICE A WEEK: Weight training exercises. I am still a proponent of home-based exercises, (See the exercise chapter in my book Toolkit for Wellness), but I just was longing for the targeted benefits of weight training machines. Give me a good thirty-minute circuit workout, and my body just smiles a great big, “Thank you!”

Since joining the local $10-a-month Planet Fitness Gym, I have maintained my twice weekly visits (or more) since January 1st! By not doing the sweat-inducing cardio machines, I can easily dip in to the gym between errands, change back into my street clothes and carry on.

Twice recently, I did do some cardio, and may keep that as my last stop, one extra day a week, but my main focus right now is the no-sweat 30 minute weight training circuit. Now you can work up a sweat, but my weights are high enough that 10 reps will do just fine, thank you!

So if you are not getting up an hour early each day for the ‘perfect start,’ then just know there are a few things that you can do in your normal, real-life routine that will definitely perk up your body and your day.

A routine that is not forced.

A natural routine.

Something intentional to “do your mind-spirit-body good!”

In health-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

Three – Two – One …….. Blast Off!!

Happy 2017!

If we’ve learned anything from 2016, it has to be that life can often seem very short. While long-term goals are necessary for keeping your life moving forward and staying on track, remember,  today is a beautiful day to be day one!

So if you are on your 100th consecutive day of doing something good for yourself; or, if it’s day one again – today is all we have anyway. Right?

So let’s blast off each day with a little something that is yummy, delicious, and easy to do. This is also excellent for your energy levels, clarity, and focus – AND – is full of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammation elements which will soothe your insides.

What am I talking about? Power coffee you make yourself with a few basic ingredients!

It even looks like a latte! What could be better?

I tried something similar last year, but stopped because I was using a blender which cooled off my coffee and because…well…I could do without it.

This week, however, I came across a better idea for energizing coffee. Switching out my big blender with my immersion blender has enabled me to keep my coffee hot, blitz any leftovers quite easily, and make clean-up a cinch.

After experimenting the first time with a single cup of this amazing blend, I assembled enough ingredients for a week. The following is the basic recipe for one serving. To make ahead, simply multiply the recipe’s dry ingredients, mix, store in a jar, and add a spoonful to coffee along with the teaspoon of coconut oil for each day.

POWER COFFEE

Into your morning cup of coffee add:

1 tsp coconut oil

¼ tsp. turmeric

Trace amount of cayenne pepper

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp raw cacao

½ tsp collagen

¼ tsp nutmeg

A sprinkle of cardamom

½-1 tsp coconut sugar

Blitz this in a blender or use an immersion blender.

ALERT: Immersion blenders do create a bit of a splash. Do NOT use your coffee cup as a blending bowl. Red face…been there, done that…cleaned it up. What I have discovered is to blend it in the coffee pot IF it is half full. K-cup folks can just use a standard blender; just preheat the blender jar with a bit of hot water first.

What I have discovered about Power Coffee is that I am not ‘charged up’ in a jittery way. I am focused. There is no need to ‘dig deep’ to get out of my chair to start the day’s activities. I am experiencing very stable energy levels and my ‘drive’ lasts and lasts. This is all on coffee that is 50% decaf.

Three days in and I am so pleased! There are calories in this, so I either delay breakfast or decrease the amount I eat. Because I am being well-nourished with this long-lasting drink, my eating has automatically decreased.

Will this do my body good? Yes!

Here is a little information on some of the ingredients:

Coconut oil is special in the category of saturated fats. In addition to being a superb source of energy, coconut oil consists of medium-chain fatty acids which have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and protective to the immune system. Coconut oil is linked to being protective from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The bacteria-killing property of coconut is well established. The breakdown of coconut oil in the body also leads to more efficient metabolism.

Turmeric, also known as curcumin, is an ancient healing ingredient with amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show, turmeric is protective against forming the precursors of Alzheimer’s. Its anti-inflammatory properties are shown to relieve symptoms of arthritis, and it is protective against cancer.

Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, is loaded with anti-oxidants, calms inflammation, and is linked to brain health.

Raw cacao powder is NOT cocoa powder. Cocoa powder has milk, sugar, and other additives. Raw cacao is simply dried and ground cacao beans.

Cacao beans

Raw cacao beans were called ‘food for the gods’ in ancient cultures due to their great benefits. Cacao beans are a rich source of anti-oxidants, fiber – both soluble and insoluble, carbohydrates, protein, monounsaturated fatty acids that are not harmful to cholesterol levels, some amounts of caffeine and theobromine that are stimulants and anti-depressants, and a host of minerals and vitamins.

Raw cacao powder is made without heating the cacao beans above 116 degrees. Then they are cold pressed to make a paste. The paste is cold ground to yield a raw cacao powder. Thanks to the cold processing, the anti-oxidants and other nutrients are not destroyed.

Collagen is essential for hair, skin, nail, joint, and bone health and is a source of protein. Got creaky joints? Got wrinkles? Get collagen!

I wish you a happy “blast off” as you greet each day with Power Coffee.

“Do your body good” and start the New Year off feeling calm, yet energized, and let me know how your body likes Power Coffee by leaving a comment.

Hello 2017! I’m ready and raring to get started!

Deidre

PS- As a special thank you to my loyal readers,  my Editor, Sheree Alderman, and I have created a PDF of every recipe from last year for your printing pleasure! You can access that collection here: FOODTALK4YOU YEAR END 2016 RECIPES; as well as from the new RECIPE tab on the home page! Click on it to find a drop down menu where you will find a recipe collection, the one from 2016.

You can also access a printer-friendly recipe for this delicious energy-boosting coffee here: POWER COFFEE RECIPE.

Hope this helps! Let us know how you like these improvements!

Til next time-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

 

Chilly November Night’s Butternut Squash Soup!

If you buy a butternut squash every year thinking you’ll dbutternut-squash1o something creative with it but don’t…. If that lowly butternut squash just sits on your counter promising to be nothing more than an object you might want to grab in self-defense during a home invasion… Then stay tuned for some great news!

Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest until good is better, and better is best!

Plain butternut squash soup is… good.

Add caramelized onions and garlic to get something… better.

79583a8c-8bb5-44cd-bde5-718df55d33d2Add anti-inflammatory spices, creamy good-fat from coconut milk, and bone building gelatin, and you’ll have the best steamy bowlful of butternut squash goodness you’ve ever had! It’s the BEST!

Let’s get right to the recipe. This is so easy to do and was a lot less of a mess to do using my immersion blender! Wow! First time using it for creamed soups – no more transfers to the blender and then to another soup pot.

Easy-peasy!

The day before, I sliced a butternut squash lengthwise, scooped out 2e42de54-6751-414e-a47c-443a8c118e3cthe seeds, and put the cut sides down on to a rack in a baking dish with about ½ inch of water in the bottom. I baked the two halves at 350 degrees until tender enough to easily poke with a cooking fork into the thicker neck section of the squash – about 50 minutes. When cooled enough to handle, I scooped out the flesh and stored it in a container overnight.

Armed with plenty of cooked squash, putting this soup together the next day was a smooth process. Pun intended.

Simply follow the recipe below:

GOOD – BETTER – BEST BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Into a large soup pot on medium heat add:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped*
  • ½ BULB of garlic (that’s about 5-6 cloves), peeled, smashed, and chopped*47f1a1b0-bda5-4000-ae72-43b90f36c9b0
  • Extra Virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of a soup pot
  • A dollop of grass fed butter for an extra yummy factor (about a Tablespoon or so)

Slowly sauté veggies until clear. Reduce heat and add a tablespoon or two of water to continue cooking to caramelize veggies. This may take 7-10 minutes.

43591fc8-2c67-4df6-9879-d93d40dc9a12(*) Make sure to let these prepared allium family vegetables rest at least ten minutes before cooking. See my book, Toolkit for Wellness, page 162, to learn why.

Add the following seasonings and ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of curry
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ can full fat coconut milk (if the cream is solid, scoop out about half to use and pour about half of the clear fluid into soup pot)
  • ¼ cup of Great Lakes unflavored gelatin, evenly sprinkled over the top of the ingredients
  • 1 – 8 ounce free range chicken broth with about ½ cup of water to rinse out containerimg_3024
  • Flesh of one baked butternut squash

This is where the fun started for me. Using my trusty immersion blender, I simply blitzed the cooked soup ingredients into creamy wonderfulness. No more using a dripping ladle to fill a blender in small hot batches to blitz, then pour into ANOTHER soup pot to finish. Yay! I can’t recommend my immersion blender enough!

Once the soup was piping hot there was nothing left to do but enjoy!

Deidre

I’ve worked up my 649df344-82a1-49a0-a863-ccbe511e85ceappetite for some healing soup and will be pulling out some of this Good – Better – Best Butternut Squash Soup from the freezer for dinner tonight!

Please let me know how you like this.

Editor’s note: Please CLICK HERE for a printer-friendly “Best Butternut Squash Soup” recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Day One – Beautiful!

How many times have you had to start over? Losing weight? starting-overExercising every day? Writing that book? Learning how to play the guitar? Liberate yourself from the weight of backsliding or inaction by facing forward and declaring, “Today is a beautiful day to be ‘Day One’!”

That’s what I did recently.

Before the focus of our household became defined by my husband’s hospice care, I was already trying to lose those “last five pounds.” I had been actively engrossed in expanding my exercise repertoHospiceire to include pull-ups – sort of semi-pull-ups – real push-ups, and using a heavier kettlebell. Success was within my grasp! Just keep at it a little bit every day.

After the March 21st trip to the ER, everything changed. Survival mode ruled the day. Stress threatened to overwhelm. The coping techniques I wrote about in Toolkit for Wellness became my best friends.

Stress does a number on how our bodies function. Well, I knew that; but, wow! The pull for carbs – even gluten-free ones – is insidious. I felt I deserved the carb-y treats just for surviving the day.

A good day? Carbs to celebrate!

Exercise? Yeah, right.

WalkingGo for a walk? Can’t leave home without a sitter.

Planks? Push-ups? Have to be later, busy with my husband’s needs.

Gradually over the course of almost four months, I became out of shape and fifteen pounds over where I want to be.

But I am keeping my spirits buoyed by wonderful moments with my husband, the encouragement and frequent contacts with family, friends, helpers, and the wise use of free time at home to enjoy looking at the birds and squirrels, and by coloring.

I placed no pressure on myself for any additional requirements except to eat lots of the veggies I loved.girl-exercising

But it was time to take control.

I think you reach a point when you no longer want to be a ‘victim’ or just someone always in a reactionary mode. I want to call the shots.

So do it! Enter “Day One”!

CoffeeBack to exercises done during coffee brewing time. We drink the stuff every day. That time is already allotted. Piggy back habits by exercising during brew time.

I had to start slowly again. Backsliding does that. Who cares? Who’s looking? Only me. Start over. No big deal. That’s how it works – a little bit every day.

My full-body plank had shrunk to 20 seconds. Fine. Day One is 20 wall-squatseconds. Day Two is thirty seconds.

I find there are ample opportunities to do more movements in the kitchen – exercise central for me. Waiting for a pan to heat up? Squats right in front of the stove. Nuking something for a minute? Kitchen counter push-ups. Waiting to stir the veggies sautéing in the pan? Time for arm circles.

The following is a list of exercises I am currently doing during brew time and at other cooking times. These are fully explained in my book, Toolkit for Wellness, staplank-girlrting on page 237:

PLANKS- These are always first because they are the hardest. Full body plank followed by half-plank. My goal is to do a two-minute full body plank.

SQUATS- These are so easily done any time, especially while waiting for a pan to heat up.

STEPS IN PLACE- Starting with very high and slow steps gradually getting faster and shorter, then returning to high steps. This is my favorite for getting pumped up.push up

PUSH-UPS- These right now are done at the kitchen counter but will eventually follow planks.

KETTLEBELL LIFTS and SWINGS- Returning to my lower weight kettlebell, I do single arm lifts, double arm lifts, around-the-world swings, and standard kettlebell swing through.

BALLET POINTS- From a “first position stance,” I point my toe/leg to the front, side, and back, ten times each for both legs

FLY LIKE AN EAGLEarmsPalms up with arms to the side, lower outstretched arms 1/3rd of the way down to your leg and back up 8 times. Repeat 2/3rds of the way down 8 times. Repeat all the way down 8 times. Continue to do arm circles, palms up both forward and back 8 times. Continue with pumping arms back 8 times. Whew!

TODAY is a beautiful day to be “Day One”! What are YOU working on?

Deidre

 

 

 

 

 

Paradigm Shift

Hello readers! As most of you may have realized, (and by the amount keep-calm-this-requires-a-paradigm-shift-1of email I’ve gotten, you have), I have been absent for a short while. This is an attempt to explain my absence. In the same way people can tell a train is headed their way by putting an ear to the rails of the tracks to listen for the vibrations created even miles away, I knew our family focus was moving in this direction. It was just a matter of time. Unfortunately, that time has come.

I felt compelled to publish and market my book, Toolkit for Wellness, over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season just because those rail “vibrations” were getting stronger.  “Hurry up!” it said.

Not knowing what my life would look like, I still mapped out a creative pattern for future foodtalk4you postings; and to introduce the concept of a virtual Book Fair that I hoped would become a popular and regular thing. Those plans are still ongoing, just a little slower than expected.

In February and early March, I hesitated to book speaking or book signing dates because “the train” was getting closer. Fortunately, I was able to do a few of those things before everything changed.

Deidre and Virgil Edwards
Deidre and Virgil Edwards

On March 21st, I had to summon the Rescue Squad to transport my dear husband of 39 years to the emergency department of our local hospital because he couldn’t breathe – even while on oxygen. An 11-day hospitalization ensued, and we prepared for his return home to a bedroom now equipped with a hospital bed. Twelve days later he was put under hospice care where he remains today.

paradigm-shiftThe “train” is definitely traveling through our lives right now. We don’t know how long this train is, we only know that we will be walking through each train car in succession until it passes completely by.

There are so many helping us through this journey. Your thoughts, prayers, visits, and hugs are evidence of God’s sustaining love. Hospice and home-help aides are making our struggles and burdens lighter.

We have learned not to fret about decisions anymore because each decision that troubled us in advance was answered by the gradual unfolding of events.

In so doing, we are seeing everything happening in its natural order. 463483-beautiful-flowers-spring-flowers-bloomingUnfortunate and sad, to be sure, but I am comforted by keeping the image of a beautiful flower as it gradually opens up, petal by petal, revealing a glorious creation in full bloom.

As the declines come, my beloved is being supported by the sunshine and fresh air of love, gentleness, and kind, compassionate care.

Strangely enough, I have been able to share the message of foodtalk4you and Toolkit for Wellness to many of the health care providers who have come our way. Even my tax accountant was glad to hear of a gluten free/anti-inflammatory diet that would help eliminate his psoriasis like it has done for another friend of mine.

8165cabcada4018b0ee1cf450f214791Thank you, readers, for your patience and understanding. I am so grateful I have family and friends who are helping us through this difficult time of transition and grief.  As you can see, all priorities have shifted, so things will remain quieter from my little corner of the world. Hopefully, we will continue to post new articles that you will find helpful and interesting.  We are  lining up a few guest writers who have some very good information for you. Our plan, at this point, is to carry on as well as we can. Thank you so much for your understanding.

As with any new post, if you are signed up as a subscriber, (Put your dogemail address in the box on our front page-left side,) you will get an alert telling you we have a new post, just like before. As I’ve said in the past, we NEVER sell or even let anyone see your email address except Sheree or myself. So please don’t worry you’ll be spammed. You can also cancel at any time, whenever you wish. We can still be friends!

God bless all of you who seek out better standards for yourselves and a healthier lifestyle. We’re gonna get through this!

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Deidre

 

Ginger Tea – Oh So Goodness!

I used to call it the “creeping crud.” You know, the variants as sinusitis, person-with-coldbronchitis, laryngitis, coughing, sore throat and the like? Those of us who sing, teach, coach, or otherwise strain our vocal cords on a regular basis, need some relief and prevention.

Enter – Ginger tea!

A fellow singer keyed me into this years ago as a preventative, as well as a therapy. I’d see her going from one rehearsal to another, always clutching her ginger tea. After picking up her habit, I can vouch for the effectiveness of ginger tea; both, as a preventer of illness, and as an aide to healing when the “creeping crud” arrives despite every effort.

FullSizeRender(1)The recipe is simple enough:

Green tea

Fresh ginger

Fresh lemon juice

Honey

For two cups of tea, I boiled water, added about an inch of fresh ginger peeled and sliced, juice from ½ lemon, a teaspoon of local honey, and three green tea bags.

Let’s take a look at the healing and health-promoting properties of each ingredient:

Green tea: loaded with antioxidants with many medicinal properties, benefits-of-ginger-tea-for-good-healthhas properties that improve brain function, increases metabolism and increases fat burning, properties in tea called catechins, can positively impact oral hygiene and reduce infection risks, may help the body process blood sugar, has been shown to be heart healthy, and can decrease the risk of cancer.

Ginger: ancient Chinese source for digestive issues such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, morning sickness, and cold-bugchemotherapy-induced nausea. Its pain-reducing capabilities can help with pain and inflammation seen with arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps. It has been shown to inhibit the virus that causes colds.

Lemon: antiseptic properties, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and pectin fiber. Functions as an anti-inflammatory. The list goes on.
Honey: anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties among others.

Now you can see why drinking this is like putting the power of Superman into a cup. Antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and antiseptic properties in every sip!

Wow!

Daily green teas:

Some people brew a super-strong cup of tea using 8 bags of Bigelow Green Tea. It’s their morning “shot” of goodness. I have found Bigelow brand to be the most authentic tasting tea in tea bags.

IMG_1849I have also discovered the joys of loose leaf green tea available on-line from Ten Ren Tea. The Oolong variety has a wonderful aroma and taste. A bag of loose leaf Oolong is expensive, but it lasts a long time. A little bit less than 1 tablespoon of tea leaves yields two of these small pots full of fragrant green tea which will fill my mug twice. Just enough to start the day off right, and my beverage of choice on Sunday morning before singing in choir or before going to special morning choir practices.

A couple cups of Ginger TeFullSizeRender(2)a or regular green tea will soothe the mind, tummy, and go a long way to boosting our wellness!

Enjoy a cup while you go through your Affirmations!

In health-

Deidre

 

 

The Pumpkin Patch is Open!

Do you do a happy dance when all things pumpkin-flavored reappear PumpkinSpiceLattein the fall? It’s a short season, so I look for every way imaginable to ramp up pumpkin goodness. I have two pumpkin delights to share with you today. First, a pumpkin version of Bulletproof Coffee, and a pumpkin spice version of my Breakfast Cookie recipe.

My early morning solo-brew is either loose leaf green tea or Bulletproof Coffee. It’s a part of my Series of Good Things that starts most days:

Large glass of water after swishing out the cobwebs first thing each morning.

Water on face to open eyes – a real must to enjoy what follows.

Open all the curtains.

Plank_modified_opHead for my mat in the guest room to do full and half planks, full and half push-ups, and a slant. (All exercises are explained in my Toolkit for Wellness which is finished, but still needs formatting, subtitle, and a NEW book cover- more on that in a bit).

Make my way into the kitchen to preheat tea pot/French press pot and start heating water.

Do my step-to-jog-to-run-in-place exercise while the water is heating.

Brew either the coffee or the tea for 5 minutes.

Do squats and lifts with a kettle bell or arm exercises during brew time.

Pour and enjoy.

Bulletproof Coffee is special coffee made from mold-free coffee Pumpkin-3-Rbeans. I learned from Dave Asprey, who writes the Paleohacks newsletter and sell it, that most all coffees are polluted with mycotoxins that can adversely affect people. Think sinus congestion, headaches, and other ailments. Enter mold-free Bulletproof Coffee.

After the coffee is brewed, I add the healthy fat of 1-2 teaspoons of organic ghee and blitz it in my Vitamix. Ah-mazing!

Being it is pumpkin season, I have been adding a couple tablespoons of pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and -yes- a half teaspoon of sugar! This is truly a sensory delight! My own pumpkin spice latte right at home! Even GOOD for me!

What would go great with a Pumkin-spicepumpkin latte, but Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies? Below is the annotated recipe I have published before on this blog and am putting into my new book, Toolkit for Wellness. We are not interspersing pictures this time so you can see it all together.
Breakfast Cookies freeze well and are a staple to have around for a light meal (2 cookies) or a light snack (1 cookie).

This is like a sneak preview of what is in the recipe chapter of the book!

Breakfast Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by Danielle Walker

This is a large recipe that makes about 27 cookies using two large parchment covered cookie sheets. I use an 11-cup food processor to mix most of this, followed by a final stirring using a large bowl to incorporate the two batches of ingredients.

In a food processor, place the following ingredients and pulse 2-3 times for 15 seconds each. Pulse until dates are in very small pieces and bananas are smooth:

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 large, ripe bananas broken into chunksplenty-of-pumpkin`

7 medium-sized dates /or/ 5 large Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained

2 Tbsp. ghee /or/ palm shortening

1 cup unsweetened applesauce /OR/ replace with pumpkin puree

Pour the majority of this mixture into a large bowl. Scraping is not needed. Then place the following ingredients into the processor bowl and pulse for 5-6 bursts until incorporated:

1 cup of hazelnut /or/ almond flour* – This time, I used 2/3 cup almond and 1/3 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/4 cup hemp seed hearts

1/4 cup Great Pumpkin-Patties-RLakes gelatin

3 tsp. cinnamon /OR/ replace with pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. baking soda

Add the following to the nut flour mixture and pulse 3-4 bursts until incorporated:

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup dried fruit of choice usually a berry /OR/ golden raisins

Add contents of food processor to those in the large bowl and hand mix using a large wooden spoon or spatula until well-combined. The batter is a bit wet, but should hold its shape well. If it seems too wet, add some more nut flour.

Using a golf ball-sized cookie scoop, form dough and place onto parchment paper-covered cookie sheets.

Using damp fingers, gently press each on down a bit.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I used a convection oven, which automatically lowers the temp to 325 degrees. A regular oven may take a little less time at the higher setting. Cookies will still be a little bit soft but not mushy when done. Place cookies on a cooling rack where they will firm up.

A couple of these make an awesome breakfast, especially when Pumpkin-2-Rspread with almond butter alone or almond butter mixed with a tad of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Justin’s version of Nutella has organic cane sugar as the third ingredient after hazelnuts and almonds and contains only 8 grams of sugar compared to the others 21 grams of sugar as the first ingredient!

* I have used various combinations of flours depending upon what I had in stock. Coconut flour will dry dough, so the amount of moistness will change depending on how much coconut flour you use.

Click this link for a printable recipe of FoodTalk4U-Breakfast Cookies

NEWS from Toolkit for Wellness!

5181280_origThe book cover currently posted on our Facebook site is NOT the one I’ll be going with! I know everyone just loved the “blue cover” but deep down inside, I just knew it was not representing the larger message. A member of a Facebook Community I am in, not only gave me some pointers as an author, but also shared with me a concept cover based on what he had gotten from my book. Well, folks, he was spot on! So, off to a graphic artist I went and I am waiting to see how this turns out!

A new cover means a delay, but if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right! I look forward to sharing the new look with you as soon as possible.Pumpkin-patch-find

Like us on Facebook!

Here’s to pumpkin!

Deidre

Just One (Good) Thing After Another!

My absolute favorite morning routine sets me up for greeting the food-talk-4-u-2new day with renewed and centered energies. Whenever possible, this is what sets me on a great path. I call this a “Series of Good Things.” We started talking about this in the fall series of Designed for Health classes, and with my deeper understanding of habits and habit formation, it is all coming together for me with positive results.
Let me share:

Rise and shine at the same time each day! In doing so, I am waking naturally a few minutes before my gentle phone alarm announces itself. With more consistent bedtimes, waking up is not so problematic. Sleeping in has robbed me of too many retirement mornings, and I regret it when I do. No. Getting up at a consistent time is my first good thing.

food-talk-4-u-3Drinking that first full cup of cold water right after swishing out the “cob webs” from my mouth is good thing number two. Start the day with the best “hydrater” of all: water.

If my husband is up, I will make the bed on my way to the closet to dress. Good thing number three. The bedroom is neat and I am already on a roll!

Moving into the kitchen, I pass the refrigerator first, so I grab my food-talk-4-u-4cold Bragg’s apple cider vinegar from the door, pour a tablespoon-full into a glass, add about 6 ounces of water, and chug. This is a personal experiment; many in my spring Designed for Health class are doing it for cholesterol benefits. My research has netted a zero on scientifically proven health benefits except for well-documented benefit of improved blood sugars. I am doing it to add acid to my stomach in hopes to improve some reflux issues. While we refer to acid reflux, often it can be a result of not enough acid in the stomach. We will see. No harm for sure, and – hey- that’s more water! Good thing number four.

Then, I have to start my day feeding my menagerie of birds and squirrels! Watching their antics off the back porch is our major amusement and delight. That’s number five.

food-talk-4-u-5Taking a few deep, mindful, meditative breaths while pausing to sit on the porch swing helps me calmly set myself up for a new day. “Thank you, God, for this new day; thank you, Lord, in every way for your blessings great and small; make me a blessing to others this day. Amen.” Six.

Then, while the coffee or tea is brewing, number seven is my favorite to check off because, not only do I enjoy doing this, but getting to it can be hard for me. Plank time! Starting with a child’s pose to stretch my lower back, I move forward to do my two minutes of planks: full body plank followed by a “restful” half-plank from the knees.

The rest of coffee brewing time is dedicated to slow motion squats, Plank_modified_opkitchen-counter slow motion push-ups, palms up arm circles, ballet-bar style toe points to the front, side, and back: very good for balance. That is number eight!

Bing, bing, bing! Coffee’s ready! That’s number nine!

So – exercise minimums are met, bed is made, water is drunk, nature is fed; well… it’s a series of good things!

food-talk-4-u-sugar-8To keep that good vibe, I make sure half of my breakfast plate is veggies! Leftovers work great as a side to my two eggs or they can be scrambled together as a frittata. If all else fails, after frying the bacon and before cooking the eggs, I will grab a giant handful of greens to sauté with a bit of good oil (coconut, avocado, or olive). That’s number ten!

I hope that you, too, have a “series of good things” you are doing for yourself each day. Please share them with me!

To summarize some good things we have covered here and in class about improving our over-all wellness:

1. Mindful breathingBeautiful girl breathing and smiling on the beach with the sea and blue sky in the background

2. Gratitude each day

3. Drink some extra water

4. Taper-off and eliminate added sugars

5. Eat real food. Eat food without labels!

6. Half of your plate each meal should be (mostly green) veggies

7. Use good fats- butter and ghee from pastured cows, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil

8. Supplements should include Vitamin-D, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and magnesium with your calcium

9. Toss the grains- they cause inflammation seen and unseen, and work against vitamin and mineral absorption

10. You may also want to toss the legumes: dried beans and peanuts- because they can have an adverse effect on digestion, can block absorption of vitamins and minerals, and can be inflammatory

11. Keep a regular bedtime and get enough sleep

12. Move and stretch your body every day. I have just started weekly Yin Yoga classes and am just loving it! More restful sleep; greater inner awareness and calm; and a more balanced feeling.

13. Set tiny, repeatable “tweaks” to move yourself toward better wellness.

14. Simplify, simplify, simplify!

15. Rather than getting more “stuff,” gather experiences in your life!

16. Smile!food-talk-4-u-7

As I concentrate on finalizing my book, preparing single day seminars, and simplifying my own possessions by cleaning and tossing out, I will be taking a bit of a blogging sabbatical. There may be the occasional summer recipe or thought, but I am going to practice what I preach by simplifying and daily application of things that make our ultimate goals come true!

Have a great summer!

In health and wellness-

Deidre