Tag Archives: smoothies

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

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing Spooky With This Smoothie!

woman-scaredOne of my Designed for Health students, Steve Lambert, still jokes me about my heavy duty green smoothies that were – in retrospect- admittedly a challenge to drink. Apologies to all!

It is not necessary to add EVERY great and healthful ingredient to one single smoothie. Our daughter, Serena Ann, inspired me to create something healthy AND tasty!

With the basis of frozen fruit, yogurt, protein, and a handful of greens, I am committed to having an ENJOYABLE SMOOTHIE every morning this week!

Today’s concoction included:

  • A generous handful of frozen cantaloupe
  • A modest handful of baby kale
  • A half cup of coconut milk
  • A tablespoon of chia seeds
  • At least a half cup of vanilla yogurt
  • A scoop of protein powder
  • A half cup of water

Tomorrow I may change out the protein for a handful of almonds. This is very drinkable and I am being rewarded with good fats, fiber, probiotics, and a serving of powerfully beneficial greens!

Happy Halloween! May there be NO spooks in your smoothie!

witch-pumpkins

 

Deidre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought – The Anti-Inflammation Diet

We’ve all seen the headlines, “Local man loses 22 pounds in three weeks by not eating one kind of thing!”  My chiropractor was almost  giddy as she shared the news with me that one of her patients had lost 22 pounds in just three weeks by following her advice – and mine, too, by the way – by not eating just one kind of food. He wasn’t that interested in losing weight, he just wanted to feel better. Weight loss was just an added bonus. Do you want to “just feel better”?

When my readers do this, they notice improvements in how they feel within the first week. The added bonus? My chiropractor thinks that, in no way, was that fat loss. What was lost was inflammation.

Pus, perhaps? Ewwwww!

Certainly fluid. Inflammation goes hand-in-hand with fluid rushing to the site of the “igluten-free-foodsnjury.” What if that injury is body-wide? No wonder joints are swollen, hurt, and have limited range of motion.

So what did this man and my readers try? They cut out gluten.

I’ll never forget one of my Designed for Health students who pulled me aside to show how she was able to once again put on her rings. She didn’t have to tell me she had lost weight, her slender face and trimmer figure spoke for itself. Her painful, swollen joints were gone. Her Multiple Sclerosis symptoms were far diminished. Life was good!

She felt better!

She cut out gluten. What-is-gluten

The following excerpts from my book, Toolkit for Wellness, should help you understand the mechanics behind going gluten-free and why the benefits can be so far-reaching for you. These excerpts are regarding gluten only; the lectin and phytates parts have been omitted to save space.

Glutens, and Lectins, and Phytates, Oh My!

dark forestTo quote Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz, “I don’t like this forest—it’s dark and creepy!” “Do you suppose we might meet any wild animals?” To which the Tin Man replies, “Mostly lions and tigers and bears!”

“Lion, and tigers, and bears, oh my!”

When you delve into the forest of so-called whole grain goodness, it’s a clear case of: “Glutens, and lectins, and phytates, oh my!”

While Judy and the gang became fast friends with the bashful lion, we are in no way friends with glutens, lectins, and phytates. Why? What are they anyway? ‘Johnson-Gluten-Graphic-2-1024x680

Well, going back to a better understanding how things work, let’s look at the nature of what we eat.

All living things work very hard to protect their own life. Animals run, jump, fly away, and if caught, claw, squirt toxins, sting, and bite to stay alive.

grainsWhat’s a plant going to do? Clearly not jump out of the ground and run!  Plants protect their precious seeds with coverings that are hard to penetrate, like nuts and their shells. Some fruits have noxious skin such as mangoes. Grains protect their seeds with toxic anti-nutrients: glutens, lectins, and phytates.

Briefly, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye grains. Gluten, the lectins, and phytates found in other grains, can affect a couple factors in the integrity of the structure and proper functioning of the lining of the small intestine.

Remember Dr. O’Bryan’s analogy of the fuzzy, shag carpet structure of the small intestine lining? The shag carpet structuleakygutcureres need to be maintained for proper absorption of nutrients. They can become damaged, bent, crushed even, which renders them useless in nutrient absorption. To keep his carpet analogy going, in the presence of glutens, we now have Berber carpet.

If that’s not disastrous enough, the integrity of the junctions holding the individual cells of the small intestine lining together is compromised and the intestine becomes “leaky”—also known as intestinal permeability. This is where systemic inflammation and autoimmune issues start.

Inflammatory processes are good if we have cut our finger. Temporary inflammation helps witglutenh healing the cut; but body-wide, chronic inflammation leads to auto-immune issues and disease.

All humans produce a protein called zonulin when gluten is consumed. People with Celiac Disease produce way too much. The excess zonulin causes the junctions between the cells lining the small intestine to open up, allowing toxins, and clumps of gluten molecules to get through which are then absorbed into the blood stream.

Imagine molecules of protein escaping from being absorbed for use sickerand instead, are floating around and being seen as foreign invaders. Our bodies will naturally mount an immune response which is what starts the inflammatory process I have outlined previously. Where ever this immune response happens is where trouble happens, pick an organ, any organ; pick a body system, any body system.

Researchers are saying more and more, the bedrock of most all disease is auto-immune in nature. The gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye (and the lectins and phytates in other grains and nuts) are what serve as a launching pad for auto-immune and inflammatory diseases. This is why the signs and symptoms of any level of gluten sensitivity are so broad.

gluten2To summarize an article of Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s, “The Gut-Disease Connection,” from May 8, 2014, the first step in the development of autoimmune disease is leaky gut. In the event we can reverse the leaky gut, the possibility of shutting off the autoimmune response becomes real.

Is that dark, creepy forest of whole gain goodness looking even creepier yet? Can you connect these dots to the ills we see all around us?

Why are we becoming a nation of people who are obese, diabetic, weak boned, anemic, tired, and head-achy, with ADHD in our children, and victim to mounting auto-immune diseases and Alzheimer’s? Has our DNA broken down?

Science is getting smarter but we are getting sicker! What’s wrong Abstract cells in mitosiswith this picture?

1% of us are allergic to gluten in a drastic way and symptoms of Celiac Disease, as it is called, can manifest fairly early in life. There are Celiacs who have no digestive issues; and there are non-Celiacs who are gluten intolerant with plenty of digestive issues. I have read recent articles stating there are some people on the gluten sensitivity spectrum who are only reactive to wheat. But sometimes it can take decades before the relenting damage reaches the threshold of causing life-altering disability. In fact, I want to share Bob’s story with you right now so you can appreciate what gluten overload, good stress, and bad stress can do to an adult body.

Bob’s Story:

After coming to America at age 17 from Asia, Bob enjoyed a totally American life, immersed in its culture, including the Standard American Diet. Fast forward to Bob at age 70, as he and his wife enjoy a summer trip to Germany and Austria. The good stress of a vacation in Europe is easily off-set by enjoying the cuisine-du-jour, which certainly includes fabulous German and Austrian pastries, breads, and bakery goodies three times a day. Ah! Very exciting times! Maybe not enough sleep, but plenty of pictures and good memories.

 Before they returned home that same month, Bob was experiencing symptoms of a cold, some diarrhea (traveler’s diarrhea?), and decreased appetite. Had Bob picked up some kind of virus? Okay, many travelers pick something up, nothing serious. By July, they were home; but Bob became very, very sick with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea every day. Needless to say this trim man of 125 pounds was rapidly losing weight. The doctors ordered a host of tests, especially for cancer; but they all came back clear. One doctor called this “mysterious” and wondered if he had, indeed, picked up something exotic in Europe.

Add to this mix the stress of moving to another state to be closer to family, leaving behind fabulous friends and a strong church community. Needless to say, Bob got worse. By March the following mysterious illnessyear, Bob and his doctors were convinced he was going to die. He was down to 79 pounds. In a last ditch effort, his test results were forwarded to Massachusetts’ General Hospital for further analysis.

Finally an answer was coming!

Bob had become so allergic to gluten, he was “one notch away” from being a person with full blown Celiac Disease. He had become gluten intolerant. It took eight months to finally get a diagnosis. Eight months of suffering.

 Four months later, still on a gluten-free diet, Bob is now back up to 112 pounds and feeling better each day. It took a couple weeks for him to see any changes for the better, but improvements are happening all along as his body heals.

None of us are immune to the onslaught of forces that create some degree of gluten sensitivity.

Nearly 30% of us are non-Celiac, but test positive for antibodies that indicate the body is at war with itself in some way or the other when gluten is ingested.

In all of my readings, I have never heard of a single person who has not felt better after they stopped eating all forms of gluten. They felt better, they often lost weight, their brains were clearer thinking, their aches and pains lessened, their arthritis improved, their energy levels improved, and their bellies were happy. Truly the list goes on and on.

But your grandma lived to be 102 and she ate bread all of the time? Well, Grandma’s wheat was not the wheat we are eating today. The dwarf wheat grown now is especially high in gluten.

What is one to do? Give gluten-free a real try for 30-60 days; and if  your symptoms improve, great! If you improve somewhat, but still have some level of dis-ease, then expand your eliminations to include all grains (rice, corn, oats, etc.). Once you are normalized, try reintroducing non-wheat grains, one at a time, and note your body’s response. Everyone is unique. Maybe you can eat a bowl of oatmeal or a serving of rice.

Take Away Thoughts:

• Aside from adding to a starchy carbohydrate-laden diet, which causes great swings in blood sugar levels and promotes fat storage, grain consumption presents other problems that contribute to destruction of the small intestine lining and can lead to systemic and chronic inflammation.

Take Away Actions:

• Give healing a chance! For just thirty days, eliminate all gluten and just see how improved you feel. I predict you will start feeling better after just 7 days.

 There you have the low-down on gluten. All of the recipes featured on this website and in my book are gluten-free and non-inflammatory.

Put the bounce back into your step by going gluten-free.

Click on the link here to check out Toolkit for Wellness!

In health-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

February Book Fair!

Welcome to the first Foodtalk4you Book Fair!

Since becoming an author, I haveWriter_banner-630x630 been blessed to discover a vast array of new releases that cover a broad range of topics about health, life, self-improvement, and even business. My reading list is growing each week, and contains books that I want to share with my readers.

So, the idea of a monthly Book Fair just came to me. If you like this, plans are set to do a weekly Book Fair during July so you will have extra titles to peruse while on vacation at the beach or in the mountains!
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My Story of Survival, by Mimi Emmanuel, is an inspiring story that takes my message of anti-inflammatory eating another step. Read my review:

5.0 out of 5 starsStory of My Survival

This is a God-send read for those with mysterious food intolerance.

By Deidre J. Edwards on December 6, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

At the end of your digestive rope? Hang on, you are not alone and I have a friend who can help! This is an honest-to-goodness real story of one woman’s grit and self-determination when faced with an overwhelming medical conundrum as to why her body was on revolt.

You can’t be the master of a sinking ship without becoming a master builder – becoming a student on how to patch and rebuild. Mimi Emmanuel learned how to craft her own survival diet out of just a very few ingredients. While she hopes that none of her readers would ever have to follow her diet, she shares this journey to show that there are answers to be found. There are times when the standard elimination diet is far too broad for those suffering from a fried immune and digestive system.

She shares the Spartan but nourishing diet she had to follow for FIVE years as well as how she has tippy-toed into a more varied Phase 2. I especially like her “useful facts” she places throughout the book to not only make her case as to nutritional needs, but also spark a deeper interest for further study and personal application. I will most definitely recommend this book to those I teach about diet and nutrition.

Now let’s hear from Mimi herself:

“Why did I write this book? I wrote this book because I know that many people suffer because of all kinds of health problems and often these problems are diet related. Obviously, not always. But I wrote this book for those people who suffer from health problems due to diet related issues. My diet may be suitable for anyone who suffers from gut problems, food allergies, food intolerance and chemical sensitivities.

In addition, many conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Lupus, Lyme, diverticulitis, and various other health problems and even menopausal symptoms are relieved when all allergens are taken out of the diet or minimized as much as possible.

I hope that my low reactive diet will give my readers the inspiration, in collaboration with their health professionals, to come up with their own variation suited to their situation.”

Here’s the link to Mimi’s book. CLICK
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5.0 out of 5 stars I’m ready to put my spare room up for rent!

Our daughter has happily used Airbnb accommodations for years, so I was interested in the behind-the-scenes story on how someone becomes an Airbnb host.

AirbnbRead my review here:

I’m ready to put my spare room up for rent!

By Deidre J. Edwards on November 3, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Sally takes the reader on the journey she and her husband took–all of the thinking, emotions, planning, and how to avoid any pitfalls in this delightful, easy-to-read guide to all things Airbnb!

So many people are downsized out of a job, or long for a form of self-employment that will actually PAY for something. You can succeed with your dream of adding extra income to the family coffers with this guide by your side! She has already done all of the leg work and research for the reader–she has done all of the heavy lifting–all the reader has to do is follow her lead and profit!

From an exploration of different motivators for Airbnb hosts, to an understanding who the ideal client would be for your location, this guide leaves nothing out from the process. There’s how to communicate with clients, how to prepare the home/room, safety tips, legal issues, problem solving tips, and worthy resources for further study. Rest assured, by reading this book, you will be well-prepared on all aspects of launching your own Airbnb career with your eyes wide open!

Here’s what Sally has to say:

After my daughter was born, I left Corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom. We took a drop in family income. We no longer had a cushion to pay for the “luxuries.” Things like a family vacation, a new car, or home improvements. Saving for retirement was completely off our radar. I also missed the freedom and success that came from earning an income of my own. Yet, I knew I wanted to be a full-time mom to my kids. So I made a decision: I’d be a stay-at-home mom and earn a side income.

Since then, I’ve started a local business, built affiliate websites, created an online course, conducted user testing, sold used items, offered freelance services, and more. All in my “spare” time. Some of these things worked out… and some didn’t. In my book, Make Money On Airbnb, I share one of my most successful ventures. I teach you exactly how we earn $2,500 a month renting out our home on Airbnb.

Here is the link to Sally’s book. CLICK

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I am sharing another medically-related book with you because so many are searching for answers outside of a doctor’s office. Irene’s book underscores and amplifies everything I have written.

Read my review:

How to be your own patient advocate!Power of Ed. Pt.

By Deidre J. Edwards on November 12, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

No one should EVER go into a doctor’s office without some kind of education about health; and especially, how different diseases can be treated by alternative methods. If getting educated about self-care is something new for you, Irene’s book is a great start!

From my own experience with a daughter who was an undiagnosed celiac for a decade, I knew immediately from reading about the author’s daughter what the problem was. Anytime you can learn something new about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it’s a great thing; and I encourage potential readers to learn from this easy-to-read resource!

Irene follows many different patients as they bounce around the medical system looking for answers when the answers were in plain sight. Just look at the table of contents which covers most of today’s prevalent conditions and buy this book immediately! Really, I just kept nodding my head in agreement as I read case-after-case; and how in each one, a treatment was found – often from outside of the mainstream medical community – and patients’ lives were changed for the better.

If you are dealing with any of the diseases mentioned in this book, please read! As a retired RN, I have seen similar things many times. We as patients MUST come to the doctor’s office with a knowledge base, and you can get that here!

Irene shares her thoughts:

This information-packed reference book offers the wisdom, strategies, and stories of over 20 health experts who started their professional paths after overcoming their own health challenges. Unable to find solutions within the conventional medical system, my storytellers embarked on their own health journeys and discovered alternative healing strategies that allowed them to heal. These people share their proven tactics and fundamental principles that guided them to recovery, they empower us by illuminating the path they took, so we can apply what they learned to our own health and well-being.

This book is designed to educate and empower the reader as a patient.

As an empowered patient we become our own best health advocates!

As our own health advocates – we determine and choose what works best for us from both alternative and conventional medicine, and propel our road to recovery, vibrant health and joyful life!

The book has been endorsed by such gurus in the health and wellness world, as Bernie Siegel (a great surgeon, and NY bestselling author recognized as one of the Top 20 Spiritually Influential Living People on the Planet), Jamie Reno (author, award-winning investigative reporter, global patient advocate, and three-time cancer survivor), Burton Goldberg (publisher, producer, and author of 18 books on alternative health), Kenneth R. Blanchard (an exceptional MD and author), and a number of other outstanding authors and health practitioners.

Here’s the link to Irene’s book. CLICK

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I love children’s books that have built in value and life lessons!

Read my review for Sheree Alderman’s book:

GeorgiChristmas Classic in the making that can be read all year long.

By Deidre J. Edwards on February 28, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Her first book is a new Christmas Classic to be enjoyed all year round! This mindful tale of Georgi, a camel, helps children identify with growing up, lasting friendships, and finding one’s calling. Families should read this aloud every Christmas, right next to, Twas the Night Before Christmas! Discovering one’s destiny, having faith to step forward, and the sweet reward of having done a job well, are but a few of the life lessons Alderman helps children discover. Well written, great story line, and easy to read, with a rich vocabulary to stretch young minds.

Let’s hear from Sheree:

Georgi Who Saw the Angel is not just a holiday story… It is a rainy day… snowy day… grandparent’s day… mom and dad day…stay in bed day…any kind of day… journey where you will meet the most unloved, unwanted, and unimportant little camel named Georgi, and see how he becomes the priceless servant of a very high-ranking king. Georgi is blessed by God to lead the smallest parade of believers to the biggest event in human history.

Here is the link to Sheree’s book. CLICK

Hope you have found our first Foodtalk4you Book Fair to be interesting and that you have found some titles you would like to read or pass along to a friend.

Definitely food for thought and food for action!

-Deidre

 

 

 

 

Food That Says, “I Love You”

Times have changed in some respects; and in others, not at all. I IMG_1791remember reading aloud the Laura Ingalls Wilder series of Little House on the Prairie to our children every night as we all learned of Laura and Almanzo’s adventures. Today, our grandchildren listen to The Adventures of Harry Potter. I don’t know what the children eat at the Hogwarts School, but Almanzo’s favorite repast had to include fried apples ‘n’ onions.

Being more of a city girl transplanted to small town North Carolina, this notion of apples ‘n’ onions did not beckon to my palate or culinary desires. Too bad.

First of all, they aren’t fried- as in deep fried. I don’t deep fry anything. In country jarIMG_1790gon, frying apples implies sauteing and browning until tender and even possibly cooked down to a mush.

But apples ‘n’ onions? Really?

Well, this is the month of love. If you fix apples ‘n’ onions you will LOVE the flavor of this impossibly delicious side dish that happily occupies its spot in the perfect plate fruit/fat component and part of the veggie area. Pair this side with any kind of dark-green lea fy veggie, along with lean chicken or pork protein, and you will have a meal that says, “I love you”!

With just three ingredients, this is a cinch to do, and quantities vary according to what’s on hand.

Apples ‘n’ Onions Recipe

Apples – 3-4 apples

Onion (I used a Vidalia onion) – one medium-sized onion

Coconut oil- 1-2 Tbs. of coconut oil to coat the pan wellIMG_1779

Method:

In order to activate the beneficial anti-inflammatory enzyme, allicin, slice up the onion first so it has 10 minutes to rest before heating.
Peel, slice, and core the apples into desired shape. I use an old-fashioned hand crank apple peeler/slicer/corer and just cut the slices into sI love foodmaller pieces.

Melt 1-2 Tbs. coconut oil into large sauté pan on medium heat and add prepared apple and onion slices. You may want to add a pinch of salt.

Stir occasionally and gently cook until browned and tender. Serve warm.

Recipe number two involves an oft’ forgotten little green nugget that used to be buried under an avalanche of melted Velveeta. Boy, once you stop eating “food-like substances,” as found in dairy “products” such as Velveeta, the very thought of returning to them sends chills down the spine. Ick!

IMG_1853-1
Raw Brussels sprouts and cranberries

So, what to do with that bag of Brussels sprouts? This latest recipe supersedes any I have tried thus far! My book contains a great pan-cooked version of Brussels sprouts that’s really fine and has similar ingredients, but these roasted sprouts are the BEST!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half8

1 cup activated pecans*, coarsely chopped

½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, (not dried and sweetened), coarsely chopped

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. finely chopped shallots

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

IMG_1862-1
Roasting!

1 tsp. Kosher or sea salt

½ tsp. ground pepper

Optional: 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar to toss in after roasting

Method:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a large baking pan, toss all ingredients together except balsamic vinegar. When all ingredients are mixed and coated with oil, arrange Brussels sprouts so the cut side faces down in baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes or untiToolkitforWellnessBolder(1)l golden brown on the edges.

Optional: Toss with balsamic vinegar when roasting is complete. These smelled so good and tasted so good right out of the oven; I forgot the vinegar and never missed it.

*Activated Pecans: Soak raw pecans in salted water 24 hours; drain; dehydrate 105 degrees in dehydrator 14 hours or bake at lowest oven temperature until crispy. This process is explained in my book, Toolkit for Wellness, and makes the nuts way more digestible and yummy.

So, there youKeep-Calm-Valentines have it! Healthy anti-inflammatory eating at its very best. Some old-school goodness from the past and some modern farm-to-table style of today!

Say, “I love you” with some good eatin’!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Deidre

 

 

 

 

Free Affirmations Flash Cards!

As a National Board Certified Teacher, I was well acquainted with affirmationsflash cards. The students loved them. A flash card is the only way to learn facts, in my opinion. I have also used them to benefit my meditative time. Positive messages, or affirmations, are also a hot topic for: stress reduction, calming down before bed to get better sleep, mindfully starting the day, and putting your consciousness and faith in the right place.

These flash cards are near and dear to my heart. They came about as a result of reading Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking. His up-lifting Bible quotes and affirmations that he penned or quoted from others so moved me that I wrote them down on pretty square sheets of paper.

A medical team performing an operation
A medical team performing an operation

Around the time of my retirement in 2012, I felt a need to shore my spirit up with affirmations that would sustain me through a waiting period before some much needed major surgery. Contrary to what I thought, I was not going to just ‘have my usual care-free summer’ then have my surgery in late August. No. My physical activity ground to a near halt. My spirit wanted me to hustle around walking along the beach, straightening up the house in anticipation of a post-surgical healing period, and tucking away teaching mementos.

Nope.

It seems that patience is a life lesson that I keep having to work on. It’s a recurring personal theme. Anyway, to get myself in the right frame of mind, going through these affirmations waaffirmation2s pure gold. After using these precious squares of wisdom and calm on a daily basis, somehow they got shuffled off into a drawer.

Recently, a friend of mine was facing some major surgery herself, and was a bit tearful about the whole thing. This had been something she had vowed she did not want to do, but do she must. When trying to console her and give her my prayers for peace and a successful outcome, I remembered these gems. How I wished I could have handed them to her!

I had needed my surgery badly, too, and was happily anticipating the day of its arrival. After a recovery period of several months, I was going to be and feel so much better. When waking up from the anesthetic, the first thing I said was, “I’m so happy!” I was so happy for the waiting to be over and so happy to start my recovery, but still in need of my affirmations! Recovery can be maddeningly slow.

There is that lesson in patience, again. Without these little gems, I would have gone out of my mind before and/or after my surgery.
We do not need to be getting ready for surgery, though, to benefit from daily affirmations. They are a great way to start, finish, or revive during the day.

These affirmatioCosmetic-Surgery-recoveryns would be best printed by you on some pretty paper. Choose your favorite color or find a great floral print or gentle pattern that would not take away from the message on them. So, print your set; there are 8 pages. Each page has lines for you to cut them out. I do keep mine in a certain order because the flow of thought works well for me. You’ll notice there are some blanks on page 8 and a full blank page for 9 so you can add your own.

How to use your affirmations:

The whole idea behind putting these on ‘cards’ and not just printing them out as a list is to give us an opportunity to mindfully read and reflect on each one; taking time to consider, ponder, and apply its truth.I-believe

Many of these are Bible quotes that may appear to repeat, but the message is from a different source. Sometime we need repetition. The one about the ‘rough being a state of mind’ is in reference to golfing. When the ball lands in the rough, it is our mindset that controls how “doomed” we feel. It’s not being Pollyanna, it’s being optimistic and embracing a can-do spirit. Mindset is everything.

CLICK BELOW FOR FREE AFFIRMATION FLASH CARDS!!  (.pdf format). You can download and print them off!

Affirmation Flash Cards   

So, let’s continue with the positive flow of the New Year.

Gosh, we have tackled: 1) Stress, 2) Kale, and 3) Water intake already! Now we can continue with positive thoughts each day.

It has been a personal pleasure to share these Affirmation Flash Cards  with you! Please share with me any of your own that I could pass on to others!

In health-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

Top Google Searches for 2016!

Heard on the news recently about the top 3 Google searches for 2016, where everyone’s focus seems to be on improved health? Can you guess? Here they are:

  1.  How to get rid of stress
  2.  How to make kale chips
  3.  How much water do you need to drink to lose weight

Let’s help ourselves and the world by addressing those hot-topic issues.

How to get rid of stress?strss

A stress-free life will never be experienced this side of heaven. We are, however, so much more in control of our response to stress. Sometimes we can control how much stress is on our plate – sometimes not.

Mindset is the key!

Have you ever allowed a ‘grumbly’ mood take over? From then on, every little thing that does not suit you gets amplified? Things snowball to the negative? On the flip side, have you ever been so happy and positive that nothing could turn you away from your happy frame of mind?

I noticed this past December that, no matter where I went, there was a holiday song in my heart, if not my ear, and I was extra courteous to all drivers and pedestrians. I was excited, happy, and wanted to embrace the world. Instead of grumbling at slow lines in the market, I said a prayer for the harried cashier, and counted my blessings to be in the midst of such abundance…and I looked for ways to share mine.

When the storms do blow, and the waters rise in spite of our best efforts, well, that’s stress! The ‘fight or flight’ hormones flood our beings. We are challenged to first regroup ourselves before flying off the handle with our response.

How do you start the calming regrouping process? I have even said “STOP!” out loud to myself, something short of a Jimmy Cagney slap on the face, to wake myself up. This is a reminder that spiraling out of control is a choice; and I do not want to do that. Definitely a time for cleansing breaths followed by a few affirmations. If possible, stepping back and away from Happy1the “stresser” is helpful. Asking for help, or sharing your burden with another, can be key in getting a handle on things and gaining perspective.

As far as how much stress is on our plates, we all should pause and take into account:

  • How much of that stress is self-created?
  • Can we eliminate any of the stress by paring down on the number of obligations we put ourselves under?
  • Have we asked for help?

How to make kale chips!

A reprise on a favorite recipe already shared:

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Savory and Cheesy Kale Chips

Soak ¾ cup (preferably raw, unprocessed) cashews in water for at cashew nutsleast one hour.

Assemble the following ingredients and put into a food processor:

1 large clove of garlic, peeled, and sliced

2 Tbs. coconut aminos (a gluten-free version of soy sauce or you can use wheat-free tamari)

2 Tbs. avocado oil or coconut oil

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 lemon, juiced

1/8 tsp. smoked paprika

1/8 tsp. salt

cashew processorProcess soaked, drained cashews and the ingredients listed in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed.

Evenly distribute paste over one bunch of cleaned and prepped kale leaves, and massage leaves with paste to work in the goodness and to break down the kale a bit.

cheesy-kale-chipsEvenly space prepared-chips onto parchment-covered baking sheets and bake in 180 degree oven for 1 hour; turn leaves over; continue baking about 45-60 more minutes, until all leaves are crispy. Store in a zip lock bag. Enjoy!

How much water do you need to drink to lose weight?

The very question concerns me. There is no formula for “water in…fat out.”

The bigger over-riding question is how much water do we need to drink to be healthy? …to have a properly running digestive system? ….to avoid headaches?

Granted, drinking a glassful of water 30 minutes before each meal has been shown to “fill” a person up enough to actually cause eating less during the mealdrinking-water. Whether to base a ‘weight loss diet’ around that is questionable, if the quality of the food is not considered. My book, Toolkit for Wellness, and these posts are all aimed at food choices that do not cause inflammation and create a healthy balance of non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Proper hydration is obtained when the urine is a pale yellow/amber. You will notice that first thing in the morning, your urine is a darker yellow because you were not drinking any fluids during the night. As you begin to hydrate yourself, your urine’s color lightens up. If your urine starts looking as clear as water, you may be a bit too hydrated. It is possible to drink too much waterwater which causes loss of valuable electrolytes/minerals. Consistent over-hydration could land you in the hospital!

So there you have it: stress, kale chips, and water.

Done. Done. And done!

FYI: When you throw your back out on New Year’s Eve like I did, twisting as you get out of your easy chair, the absolute BEST therapy is walking! Just keep doing it. So much for my accelerated exercise routine for January 1st! But, hey, I can walk and do kitchen counter push-ups!

Now, if I could just sit in a chair comfortably again… off to the chiropractor!

Happy New Year!

Deidre

 

 

 

 

New Year – New Beginning = New You!!

As we contemplate turning the calendar page over to a new year, it 472704661_d1seems so natural to consider what we want to accomplish for ourselves in 2016. Beyond returning to work, beyond picking up the pieces after happy holiday clutter, and beyond the next trip to the market – what are our goals for 2016? Can making a resolution EVER result in triumph? I think so. I know so!

frust2Don’t you think it is a commendable thing that we consider turning over a new leaf? Even though resolution making has become almost an empty effort because of poor track records, it does reflect hope in self-betterment.

But taking things from resolution to reality can often seem overwhelming and usually result in feelings of frustration and failure soon after the resolution is made.

That’s why I spent considerable time sharing with the readers of ToolkitforWellness-2[1]Toolkit for Wellness there IS a good way to create change in our lives. We are all too aware of our ‘failure’ at fleshing out our resolutions each year, but this need not be so. Exacting any kind of change or additional projects in our lives is best done in small steps, not in giant leaps, and with a solid, measurable plan.

Consider the differences between wishful thinking and successful planning. One big difference is, when thinking of a goal or resolution, we tend to think BIG and very GENERAL:

01-livewelllakewood• Lose weight
• Exercise more
• Drink more water
• Eat healthier
• Start my own business

What does any of that mean? Do you have a plan? What does it look like day-to-day? What are the individual daily steps you need to take to get you there?

Before you join a gym, commit to doing home exercises each morning while your coffee brews. Rack up success at this small commitment first. My book gives you ideas and a plan on how to do this.

Take the bread/starch component out of just one meal a day – namely, DSC_0795breakfast – and enjoy daily success at feeling better. Add a serving of vegetables to breakfast in the form of a giant handful or two of spinach or baby kale lightly sauteed in a dab of extra virgin olive oil to go along with your bacon and eggs. You will never miss the toast and your meal will last for hours.

Toolkit for Wellness readers absolutely KNOW how to drink more water, AND are DOING it! It’s EASY because it is NATURAL!

1Understand what ‘healthier eating’ means. If you have made that one small change to breakfast, you are well on your way! Keep up the good work with breakfast every day and notice the boost in your sense of accomplishment and self-esteem! This is a resolution that will be lasting, perhaps for the first time!

Take a look at lunch in February. Rome was not built in a day, but with small DAILY steps, a strong sense of accomplishment, a proven track record, and a plan in your Toolkit for Wellness, you are DOING this!

Starting that business? Are you learning how to do it? Dream. Write it down. Learn all you can. Stay inspired with other like-minded people. Take the first preparatory sDream-Big-PPT-Titletep. Do some tiny thing each day to move you forward. Tell others. Share your excitement. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Becoming an author was at least a five-year dream for me. A few false starts, sure; then, Toolkit for Wellness actually began to take form in February 2015 and was published November 2015. Much learning. Big support group. Stretching beyond my comfort zone. And SO worth it! I am empowering others with hope and a plan!

My resolutions for 2016

  • Strengthen my morning routine a.k.a., ”Series of Good Things,” with special emphasis on an expanded exercise routine with added weights, and more time in meditation and prayer. Take notes, journal, and make this my next book.
  • Write once a week for foodtalk4you,com and add value for my readers from sharing in-depth research
  • Prepare for and do more Designed for Health Seminars
  • Expand the reach and presence for Toolkit for Wellness by planning my first book signing early in the New Year, and getting it into key retail locations.

jumpWhat are your resolutions? Care to share? We can cheer each other on! Leave a comment!

In 2016, readers of FoodTalk4You will see more recipes for healthful eating that will reflect an anti-inflammatory diet, more stress-relieving ideas, and more exercise ideas – all food for our body, mind, and soul!

I wish each of you the happiest and healthiest of New Years!

Deidre

 

 

 

Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag! (Oh yeah…)

Poor Santa! So much sugar! But the poor fellow LOVES cookies! Is there an answer? Yes! santa 2No need for the Old Elf to be totally deprived of his seasonal favorites! Step into my Christmas kitchen for a quick recipe share of two satisfying confections that do not deliver a huge sugar/carb hit. These macaroon and oatmeal recipes will more than fill the bill for treats that do not overdo things and Food-Talk-4-You-12will keep you in balance.

Midnight Macaroons were developed to be part of a regular care package sent to our daughter for a moment of hugs-across-the-miles during her grueling night shifts as a Resident Physician. She shared them with her fellow residents during their – rare – breaks.

Midnight Macaroons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees or convection oven to 325 deFood-Talk-4-You-3grees

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl:

• 1 1/3 cup unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
• 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour (I used Krusteaz Brand)
• 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
• ¼ cup cocoa
• 2 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Brand)

Food-Talk-4-You-2Beat/whip 3 large room temperature egg whites until they become fluffy.

Then gradually add 1/3 cup white sugar while beating.

Add ¼ teaspoon almond extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Spoon whipped egg white mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and gently fold Food-Talk-4-You-5ingredients until combined.

Using a cookie scoop – I used a 2 inch scoop – place dough onto prepared baking sheet. These will not spread out.

Bake 25 minutes and cool on a rack. Smaller cookies will need less time to bake.

For an optional added chocolate “hit” you can easily dip the tops of these into melted dark chocolate.

These are not especially sweet (YAY!) and are totally satisfying and provide LOTS of nutritional goodness through the egg whites, coconut flakes, and dark chFood-Talk-4-You-6ocolate.

I stress in Toolkit for Wellness – barring severe allergic reactions – an 80/20 approach to anti-inflammatory eating should meet our needs to be mindful of how we ‘fuel’ our bodies without making Food-Talk-4-You-8us obsessive. I choose to stray from the path of “no grains” once in a while as a serving of white rice is savored or a gluten-free corn chip is enjoyed at a party. But, oatmeal labeled “gluten-free” has been calling me like sirens from the deep.

I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Brand Gluten-Free Rolled Oatmeal last year and ended up just giving it away to a friend. I didn’t trust myself to not go down a very slippery slope into regular bowlfuls of carbohydrates in the morning. Well, I took the plunge this year and used some of that oatmeal to create a fabulous treat. So far, so good. One cookie every other day or so! Who is in control at all times? Me! I can do this!

Traditional oatmeal cookies call for a total of 1 cup sugar (brown and white), but I eliminated one third cup of that and did not lose a bit of flavor or fun. I think this could even be made with less sugar than that and be just fine.

Low Sugar, Gluten-Free Oatmeal, Raisin, Walnut Cookies

Food-Talk-4-You-1Preheat oven to 350; or 325 degrees for a convection oven. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine in a medium-sized bowl:

• ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking soda
• ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
• 1 cup gluten-free flour

Cream in a large bowl:

• ½ cup grass-fed butter
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 1/3 cup white sugar

Mix into the butter mixture:

• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 teaspoons water

Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.

Stir in:

• 1 ½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
• ¾ cup activated nuts, chopped (See Recipe chapter in Toolkit for Wellness)
• ½ cup golden raisins

Using a cookie scoop, put scoops of dough onto prepare baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes for 2” cookie scoops. Smaller scoops will require less time.

cookies in freezzer
Cookies in freezer

My only improvement on these delicious recipes is that I will use a smaller scoop next time so I can have more cookies and smaller servings.  A move to smaller treats will keep these cookies closer to the 80 side of the equation! These both freeze well, by the way; so the treat can last longer if you are not sharing them.

icaughtsantacom-2-90_grid_6So, now we see Santa settling by the hearth with his NEW, favorite book to learn of other amazing ‘tweaks’ he can make in his daily life that will revolutionize his health and peace of mind!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!

Deidre

PS- Thank you for making Toolkit for Wellness a Best Seller in ALL of its categories at one time or another!

Remember! The eBook is still at $0.99 until Christmas when the price goes up. If you prefer reading on a devise, that’s a great bargain for yourself or someone you care about.

But wait, there’s more! The paperback version is ready and also available through Amazon! Click HERE to get yours today!