Thursday, October 29, 2009

Healthy Vegetarian Recipe

Vegetarian Recipe Of The Day

Basmati Rice, Chickpeas & Toasted Almonds

This is a great vegetarian recipe with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats using my favorite type of rice, Basmati Rice (an aromatic rice grown primarily in India), toasted almonds and chickpeas which are a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. If you can’t find Basmati rice, try substituting Texmati, Jasmine, or any long-grain rice.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (19 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes.

2 Add the bell pepper and rice, stirring to coat. Stir in the water, lemon zest, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

3 Stir in the chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and toasted almonds at serving time.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Information, per serving:
calories 242 • total fat 5g (0.6g saturated) • cholesterol 0mg
• dietary fiber 5g • carbohydrate 42g • protein 8g • sodium 270mg • good source of: fiber, folate, thiamin, vitamin C

Source: U.C. Berkeley Wellness Newsletter

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Five Tips To Boost Your Energy

Drink more water. In many cases, fatigue can be the result of dehydration. So first start by drinking some water. A great way to start your day is to drink a glass of water with a little lemon juice as soon as you wake up in the morning.

Do some low intensity exercise. Taking a walk in the morning or at lunchtime will get your body and mind moving and some research suggests it can boost your energy by 65%.

Stretch and Breathe. Simply doing a few stretches to the major muscles and engaging in rhythmic systematic breathing for a few minutes can rejuvenate your body and mind while lifting your energy.

Get some sunshine. The sun balances and boosts your circadian rhythms so try to get up to 30 min. of it a day. Open your blinds and go outside for a walk.

Eat a high protein snack. A handful of almonds, glass of soy milk, a few bites of chicken salad are just a few ways to get a protein boost that can help boost your brain and body more than a sugary snack that will leave you dragging.

Five More Tips To Boost Energy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Expand Your Mind and Change Your World In 30 Minutes

You will find the Real News Network an eye opening and refreshing blend of information of substance that your psyche craves amidst the plethora of homogenized garbage assaulting your senses. This thirty nine minute presentation is circa Nov 2008 but substantive in nature. If your a thinking man or woman using more than a fragment of your brain, you will enjoy the discourse, expand your mind and just might be motivated into action to change the world you live in.

Aside from the presentation of Paul Jay, The Real News Network has plenty of interesting aspects of information that you will find much more interesting and absorbing than garbage news and TV that you may have become accustomed to.

Enjoy and hope it expands your mind. Find out more about The Real News Network.

The Real News Network Business Plan

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can You Trust Food Labels?

The GAO Cites FDA Ineffectiveness and Poor Oversight of Food Labeling

You cannot always trust what you see on a food label on a packaged processed food when it comes to the nutrition content. One government agency is starting to get things moving though. The GAO – Government Accountability Office released a report citing the FDA’s ineffective and poor oversight of food labeling for domestic and international products. According to the report the FDA has failed in its duties and has not conducted routine random sampling to test the accuracy of Nutrition Facts labels since 1990 and the agency only conducted very limited non-random nutrition samples of products whose labels were suspected of being labeled inaccurate. "These findings by the GAO seem to point to another example of how FDA mismanagement is failing consumers. As Congress moves toward reforming FDA's food safety responsibilities, this is another area that warrants close examination and potentially a major overhaul.” Says, Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of the FDA budget. The Center for Science in The Public Interest (CSPI) regularly files formal complaints with the FDA urging it to stop misleading labeling claims, but the labeling violations have often continued unabated. Recent deceptive claims include:

* Capri Sun beverages were labeled as “All Natural” even though they were made with high-fructose corn syrup (when contacted by CSPI, the company said it was modifying the label). The FDA has failed to formally define the term.

* Gerber Graduates for Toddlers Fruit Juice Snacks depicted fruits on the label and suggested that the product is made from fruit. But the product’s predominant ingredients are corn syrup and sugar. CSPI, but not the FDA, is challenging the claim in federal court.

* Kraft’s Crystal Light Immunity Berry Pomegranate drink falsely claimed that its vitamins A, C, and E will “help maintain a healthy immune system.” The FDA said it would consider placing the issue on its work plan for next year.

* Mars Cocoa Via Brand Heart Healthy Snacks claimed that it “Promotes a healthy heart”, and "reduces" bad cholesterol.” The chocolate candy contains significant amounts of saturated fat, which can raise bad cholesterol. The company has ignored an FDA warning to halt the claim, and the agency has failed to follow-up its demands in court.

* Nestle Crunch Ice Cream Bars have claimed “0g Trans Fat,” but contain 11 grams of saturated fat, which also raises cholesterol levels. The FDA failed to act on a CSPI complaint over the issue.

* Thomas’ Hearty Grains Double Fiber Honey Wheat Muffins label has boasted that the product is “made with whole grain,” but the predominant ingredient is white flour. The FDA issued a weak policy pronouncement on the issue, but has taken no enforcement action.

Another report released this month states that the FDA and USDA are not "kept in the loop" regarding imported foods further exacerbating an already dysfunctional food supply system that is increasingly reliant on food imports to sustain our food supply economy. So, the bottom line here is to be wary but eat smart.

GAO Report On Food Labeling
CSPI Report on Accuracy and Truthfullness In Food Labeling

Friday, October 16, 2009

Commando Pull Ups For A Strong Upper Body

Improve Your Fitness with the Commando Pull-ups Exercise.

How Many Can You Do?

I have been doing pull-ups for years but don't remember ever trying this version. Since I tried this out a few months ago, I now do them intermittently in addition to my other upper body exercises. The most I was able to do was 23. Take into consideration that I have been working out for 27 years so I have plenty of practice. See if you can do the commando pull-ups and how many you can get. Leave me a comment and let me know. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Action Day For A Brighter Planet Against Global Climate Change

Change The World Wednesday's

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. Blog Action Day 2009 will be the largest-ever social change event on the web and this year the focus is on global Climate Change. My post is targeted at building a
Brighter Planet through the 350 Challenge.

Blog Action Day

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge is inspired by Bill McKibben’s awareness campaign about the importance of the number 350, the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that we must aim for if we want to keep the planet relatively safe.

Brighter Planet makes it easier for anyone to get involved in the fight against climate change. On Brighter Planet you’ll measure your carbon footprint, discover simple ways to reduce it, track your progress, and share your experiences. They help people manage and mitigate their environmental footprint through several avenues including free social web applications, web-based campaigns, products, and climate solutions.

Carbon offsets play a crucial role in building a sustainable society. Many renewable energy projects are well suited to produce energy and meet stringent standards, but lack sufficient financing. Carbon offsets fill that void by investing in these projects. To learn more about Bright Planet or climate change click on the link or the 350 Challenge badge below.

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Global Warming Facts and Figures

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Antibiotic Use In Farming Contributes To Food Borne Illness

Outbreaks of food borne illness are on the rise and most associated with the increase in contamination by bacteria making it's way into the food supply in greater occurrence and severity. This is a direct result of the dysfunctional food system in need of a major overhaul.

Livestock and poultry farmers use antibiotics to facilitate growth as well as to prevent and fight infections in the animals. An added side effect from the administration of synthetic hormones is that the resulting increase in infections and disease results in livestock farmers using increased levels of antibiotics to try to overcome the infections. This leaves a greater residue in the animal which subsequently can make its way down the food chain to you. These practices also don't kill all the bacteria thus exacerbating the development of drug resistant bacteria. This subsequently undermines the effectiveness of drugs used to combat infections in humans whereby putting people at higher risk of illness and death. To make things worse, many factory farms administer antibiotics as a function of their protocol using them on livestock even though they don’t have an infection.

Here are the simple facts:

1.) There is widespread use of human-use antibiotics in livestock production.
2.) Much of that use is routine and prolonged “subtherapeutic” dosing of animals with antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracycline to speed animal growth.
3.) That use causes food borne bacteria and other bacteria to become resistant to the same drugs used to treat bacterial infections in humans.

This situation has become so serious that even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the FDA not to approve fluoroquinolones for treating flocks of poultry, but the FDA caved in to drug-industry pressure. As a result the predicted problem has occurred: Campylobacter, which causes food poisoning, is becoming resistant to fluoroquinolones. That will make it harder to treat those illnesses. Salmonella and E-coli contaminations are on the rise while treatment of these infections becomes more difficult. In fact the CDC- Center for Disease Control states that these infections caused problems in treating illnesses with increased rates of illness and death.

Things can be changed. Richard Young, a policy adviser for the Soil Association stated “We estimate that a move to less intensive, more health-oriented livestock farming, could reduce farm antibiotic use by up to 75%. This would help to safeguard the future effectiveness of critically important drugs, and over the coming years, save countless human lives". The University of Vermont has shown that natural pasture raising of dairy cows actually can reduce farm expenses increase revenues and increase production value of dairy cows. These are a few practices that would eliminate much of the need for antibiotic as well as hormone treatment practices making the food supply and environment much safer. How can you go wrong employing methodology that is safer, more financial lucrative, heals the environment, improves health of people and reduces risk of disease?

If you care to get involved, voice your concerns to the FDA commissioner: Main Tel: (301) 827-2410

Center For Disease Control
Drug Resistant Staph Germ's Toll Higher Than Thought
Center For Science In The Public Interest
Fluoroquinolone Use in Food Animals
Soil Association

Image: Fotosearch

Friday, October 9, 2009

Microwaving Food Can Make You Sick

Study Shows Microwaving Leftovers Doesn't Kill Salmonella

We know food safety is a concern for many families and that there are risks associated with eating animal protein. It is also true that people have succumbed to food borne illness such as E-coli or Salmonella. However, we often think that this is due to foods not being prepared properly. You should also consider the issue of how you are reheating foods for yourself and family.

Microwaving food may not provide protection from food borne illnesses like Salmonella or deadly E-coli. The Journal of Epidemiology reports that reheating food in a microwave can be dangerous. They studied a salmonella outbreak and discovered that 100% of the individuals reheating meat leftovers from a picnic became ill while none of the individuals who reheated the meat using a regular skillet or oven became sick. Just some food for thought on this Friday morning. Have a great weekend.

American Journal of Epidemiology

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eco Running and Eco Walking. Healthy Environmentally Friendly Way To Exercise

Change The World Wednesday's

Eco running is simply an act of being conscientious to clean up the environment while your getting some exercise. This can also be done when you go for a walk as well or while out playing with your kids. EcoRunning is the brainchild of Samuel Huber an avid runner and environmental champion. Check out more details about Sam at his site Eco-Runner.

It's practice is simple. The next time you go for a walk or run to get some exercise carry a bag with you and pick up garbage you see along the way. Either dispose of it in the nearest garbage can or when you get home recycle the appropriate junk and discard the rest in the trash. Not only is this good for your health it is good for the health of the environment. This is also a great way to get your kids involved in a healthy environmentally friendly activity to help raise their awareness of environmental concerns. For more information on how to get your kids involved as well as your local schools, please visit
Eco Friendly Kids Program.

Download EcoRunner Kids Fitness Program
More about Change The World Wednesday's

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ecovative Design Makes Natural Products For A Healthy Sustainable Earth

All natural biodegradable and compostable packaging and insulation for a more sustainable planet.

Ecovative Design makes product packaging that is 100% compostable and biodegradable. It’s made from seed husks and mushroom roots. Their business philosophy embraces a cradle to cradle mindset when developing their products. This focus ensures that their packaging is environmentally friendly through every step of the process and life cycle of the packaging.

The EcoCradle™ sustainable product packaging and insulation products are 100 percent natural using local regionally available agricultural products. For instance, a facility in Texas may use cotton seed hulls whereas a facility in Virginia may use soybean hulls or a facility in China may use rice husks. The products are also fully compostable so they can be used in your garden to add nutrients to the soil while reducing landfill waste.

The production process uses about ten times less energy than production of synthetic materials such as Styrofoam and incorporates no petrochemical in the process unlike the production of Styrofoam. In addition, the pilot plant used in developing the first EcoCradle™ products runs on hydroelectric power which emits no green house gases. Their Greensulate™ sustainable rigid board insulation reduces the amount of energy used to build a home, reduces the amount of CO2 emissions by homes and offers a safer non-toxic affordable insulation alternative. To read more details about this exciting new company and their products please visit EcoFriendly Packaging and Insulation

Ecovative Design LLC

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mercury Poisoning is a Serious Health Issue

Mercury poisoning is increasing in the human population but the good news is that if caught early and you employ elimination strategies, then many of the side effects are often reversible.

Mercury, a common POP (persistent organic pollutant), is commonly found in the environment as a result of burning fossil fuels and in high concentrations can cause serious harm to your health. It is transformed by bacteria in the environment into methylmercury which is extremely toxic. These toxins most often enter the food chain through water and water runoff, dumping by factories, and inefficient disposal. From there they enter into food sources such as plants, fish, shellfish and animals which are then consumed by unsuspecting human consumers. Methylmercury is also an agent that undergoes biomagnification. This means that as the it travels along the food chain it increases in concentration. The higher up the food chain the greater the concentration as is the case with tuna fish. Serious side effects of mercury toxicity include birth defects, blindness, deafness, and mental deficiency. Symptoms of mercury poisoning

* Impairment of the peripheral vision
* Disturbances in sensations ("pins and needles" feelings, numbness) usually in the hands feet and sometimes around the mouth
* Lack of coordination of movements, such as writing
* Impairment of speech, hearing, walking;
* Muscle weakness
* Skin rashes
* Mood swing
* Memory loss
* Mental disturbance
* Swollen lymph nodes
* Fatigue
* Loss of balance
* Inability to concentrate
* Diminished intelligence
* Impaired social behavior

Two important suggestions would be to use a water filter to purify your drinking and cooking water. Secondly, to prevent mercury poisoning in children do not feed fresh or canned Albacore or White tuna fish to your children more than once a month if they are under 6 yrs old and no more than twice a month if they are between 6 and 12 years old. This is due to the high mercury content and its effects on the brain sometimes resulting in diminished mental ability, coordination and problem solving skills. Chunk light tuna is better but still should be limited to no more than three times per month. This applies to women of childbearing age as well since mercury harms unborn fetuses. It is unfortunate that a mother also exposes her newborn if she has mercury in her system since it travels into the breast and breast milk. As a matter of fact, the highest levels of these contaminants are found in breast milk. That being said, mother’s milk is still the best food for babies. The massive nutrient value in balanced amounts is best at helping to develop a strong immune system for babies. So, don’t quit breast feeding just eat and drink smarter. It would also be a good idea to limit consumption of shellfish. For more information see Mercury poisoning causes, symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

Mercury Factsheet
Remove Heavy Metals Like Mercury From Your Body
Image: Fotosearch

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Smart Living Tips For Health, Wellness, Peace and Happiness

Twenty Five Simple Tips To Help You live a Healthy and Happy Life.
Practice them regularly

*Eat at home more often
*Eat 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks a day
*Take time to spend time with your family
*Use smaller plates to give the appearance of larger portions
*Eat Less by cutting your portions in half
*Get up 15 minutes earlier & Go to bed 15 minutes earlier
*Pack your lunch and snacks
*Think differently about meals: eating salads, wraps or whole grain bread with vegetables can be a breakfast too
*Drink more pure filtered water
*Quit buying $4 cups of coffee. Coffee is the most widely pesticide sprayed crop in the world.
*Get organic if you’re going to drink coffee and make it at home
*Learn a new skill or hobby like playing an instrument or self defense course *Remember at least 21 days of consistent commitment is what it takes to develop a new habit or change existing patterns then it is a “walk in the park”
*Get involved in a cause(s) Have a sense of purpose Give back Spend less Save more *Use your brain. Learn to speed read or practice crosswords or other intellectually complex game
*Read more books
*Take time to get a little sun exposure on your skin
*Use a Superfood supplement with probiotics
*Don’t drink beverages with high fructose corn syrup
*Eat raw foods more often and not always cooked foods
*Get a dehydrator, it can warm food without cooking and can make great healthy snacks that will last a long time in the cupboard or fridge
*Think healthy productive thoughts
*Make time to visualize your goals and plans. Visualize yourself in complete state of wellbeing, healthy and vibrant
*Cherish your friendships
*Take 3-5 deep breaths several times a day
*Live-Love-Laugh and Be Thankful

Sure there are plenty of other smart tips but this list should get you going in the right direction. Have a great week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chronic Childhood Diseases Linked To Chemical Exposure Are Increasing

Phillip Landrigan gave a sobering presentation to a group of over 150 top scientific and medical professionals on the state of our children's environmental health. The news was not great. He outlined the fact that over $55 billion dollars each year is spent on chronic childhood diseases resulting from chemical exposure and this situation has been surging in recent years.

Who is Phillip Landrigan and why should you care? Dr. Landrigan is the Harvard educated professor and Chairman of the Preventative Medicine Department as well as the Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Landrigan went on to point out that children are much more susceptible to the adverse effects of environmental contaminants and the environment is extremely significant as a determining factor in overall health.

Many of the common chronic childhood diseases such as Asthma, allergies, learning disabilities etc. are linked to environmental contaminants and there are over three thousand chemicals used in high volume for which there is no publicly available toxicity information. This is particularly significant given the fact that children would require much less exposure to a contaminant to have a similar response as an adult.

Read more about Children's diseases linked to chemicals

Organic Consumers Association


Friday, October 2, 2009

Enjoy The Ride. Twenty Tips For A Positive Life

Life is definitely full of challenges and too often it zips by without fully appreciating the simple things that bring harmony or we forget to practice simple strategies for a better life. Here is a great video presentation of twenty tips for a positive life. It is food for thought that will instill a sense of balance and help you to Enjoy The Ride. (click the Enjoy The Ride link to be taken to the video)

Inspired Lemonade

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ridiculous Bogus Exercise Device

It seems as though other countries are not immune to bogus exercise devices and marketing of shoddy products for health and fitness. Here is an ad that I am sure will make you laugh with disbelief. It reminded me of the old 1970's adds for the machines that would shake your gut and butt as a means to shake the fat off or the 1980's passive exercise machines that did the work for you. If any of these things really worked they would be everywhere and everyone would be using them. There may be another motive for purchasing this thing, you will see what I mean. Warning, be prepared to bust a gut laughing. Hope you enjoy it.