Monday, February 28, 2011

Blueberries and Alzheimers

 I have had some family members that have suffered with this horrible disease, it strips them of everything and who they are.  If there is even the slightest chance that blueberries can help prevent it, then they are in my daily diet plan.

Blueberries actually reverse some of the effects of aging on the brain — and boost short-term memory and spatial learning. People who eat a cup of blueberries a day perform well on tests of motor skills. And purple grape juice is also rich in flavonoids, and boosts mental performance.
And then there is curcumin — the active component of turmeric. This has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and helps remove the harmful metal buildup of metal associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Recent lab tests suggest that it directly targets the brain plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

This may help explain why India, where turmeric commonly tints curry dishes, has a particularly low rate of Alzheimer’s (AD).

I am always open to hearing stories from guests as well as taking suggestion's on what you would like to lnow more of or see more of.  Thank you all and God Bless!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Romaine or Iceberge?

I was once told it didn't it was a filler but had no nutritional value what so ever.  I find out now that was false.  As you will see below it certainly has nutritional value.   So basically the real question is which lettuce is best?


One cup of iceberg lettuce:
  • 8 calories
  • 0.5 gram protein
  • 0.7 gram fiber
  • 10 mg calcium
  • 78 mg potassium
  • 1.5 mg vitamin C
  • 16 mcg folate
  • 13.3 mcg of vitamin K
  • 164 mcg beta carotene
  • 152 mcg of lutein + zeaxanthin
One cup of romaine lettuce has:
  • 8 calories
  • 0.58 gram protein
  • 1 gram fiber
  • 16 mg calcium
  • 116 mg potassium
  • 11.3 mg vitamin C
  • 64 mcg folate
  • 48.2 mcg vitamin K
  • 1637 mcg beta carotene
  • 1087 mcg of lutein + zeaxanthin.
Romaine would be the better choice with more nutrients but either is a wonderful food to eat every day!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Foods and Vitamins that Help with joint Pain

Vitamin C-which is abundant in strawberries, blueberries and raspberries-may help slow wear and tear on your joints. A study from Boston University Medical Center shows that arthritis sufferers who had the highest vitamin C intake were three times less likely to strain or injure their joints than those whose intake was lowest. The vitamin's antioxidant activity may keep free radicals from wreaking havoc. Plus, vitamin C plays an essential role in the formation of collagen, a key component of cartilage and bone. Try to get 120 milligrams daily, which can be provided by two oranges. Other C-rich foods: cantaloupe and broccoli.

A well-balanced diet can help you maintain bone strength and a healthy weight. Also, studies show that moderate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals can help ease some of the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis.

• calcium Most women with arthritis, especially those over 45 and women taking glucocorticoids, need calcium supplements to help to prevent the loss of bone that leads to osteoporosis.
• B vitamins Several B vitamins may help reduce joint inflammation and pain. Foods enriched in vitamin B-3 (niacin) include lean meats and fish, tofu, cottage cheese and sunflower seeds; vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) is found in meat, eggs, soybeans, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, lentils and peanuts contain; and vitamin B-6 is found in meat, fish, whole grains, wheat germ, whole wheat, bananas and soybeans.
• vitamin C Some studies have suggested that vitamin C may reduce the risk and progression of osteoarthritis. Foods high in vitamin C include broccoli, red peppers, citrus fruits, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and strawberries.
• vitamin D Osteoporosis may progress faster in women with low levels of vitamin D, because the vitamin helps calcium to protect bones and joint s. Foods high in vitamin D include fortified dairy products and fish such as salmon, halibut, sea bass, tuna, cod and herring.
• vitamin E This vitamin helps ease osteoarthritis pain and leg cramps. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower and safflower seeds, wheat germ and whole wheat flour, and various fruits and vegetables.

Foods That May Help Include:

Whole Foods

To nourish your joints, try a big bowl of steaming oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon, add some raisins, diced apple, toasted pumpkin seeds, and chunks of banana. Wash it down with a tall glass of cold orange juice. This nutrient-dense fiber-rich breakfast can give you all the energy you need until lunchtime.

Instead of deli meat on white bread for lunch, treat your joints to a salad of mixed greens, diced carrot and tomato, a handful or two of nutty chickpeas, and some white meat chicken strips, topped off with an olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese. Add a peach or some melon or a cup of yogurt for a snack or two during the day.

Greasy fast food burgers and fries doused in sugar-laden ketchup for dinner? Not for your joints! They'll be pampered with fragrant brown rice, flaky baked salmon seasoned with a fresh garlic, rosemary sauce, and steamed sweet potato, or butternut squash, and snow peas. To start, a crisp spinach salad topped with walnuts and fresh romano cheese.

Contrary to popular belief, healthy food is not about bran muffins and celery sticks. There are many different whole foods, from vegetables to meats and dairy products, available these days that can help you pack in the nutrients that feed your joints.

Whole foods contain the nutrients necessary for joint health: vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, the B vitamins, vitamin K, and folic acid; minerals like calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and iron; and other beneficial nutrients such as bioflavonoids and beta-carotene.

The best way to protect your joints is to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. You have a much better chance of getting all the vitamins and minerals you need if your diet includes an assortment of different foods, than if you eat the same thing every day. If you're trying to lose weight, nothing works better than replacing the high fat, high sugar, high starch American diet with meals centered around fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and lean meats.


Remember that piece of succulent baked salmon? Evidence suggests that fish may be helpful in osteoarthritis. Fish, especially cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, herring, tuna, sardines, and cod, have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fats are used by the body to make substances that reduce inflammation.

Fish is also a wonderful and delicious source of essential protein, which is needed for the repair of damaged joints. Some fish also contain vitamin D, a critical nutrient for strong, healthy bones that can help prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Eat fish often, as it may help ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis as well as improve your overall health.


Add some zest to your salad dressing with fresh ginger. Some people with osteoarthritis report that using ginger regularly helps reduce the pain and swelling in their joints. Ginger contains active components that stop the body from producing inflammatory substances that add to inflammation in the joints.

A versatile spice that adds an exotic bite to any meal, ginger can transform practically any dish from mundane to exceptional. Try mincing a sliver of fresh ginger for a topping on steamed vegetables, meats, fish, baked fruit, and fresh salads. While fresh ginger is the most flavorful, dried ginger may also be beneficial.

A Stinky Treat

Garlic. It tastes so good that we put up with the bad breath afterward. But our powerful little friend also packs a wallop in the healthy-foods department and works great for swollen joints. Combine garlic with herbs listed on the next page for some good cooking. And for date night, use some mint leaves to clean up your breath. They'll help your swelling, too.

Read more: - Connect to Better Health

Nutrients in Food That May Help Include:

To Reduce the Risk or Progression of Osteoarthritis

Vitamin D

When osteoarthritis patients get plenty of vitamin D in their diets, their joint damage progresses more slowly. In contrast, people who don’t get enough vitamin D, have more rapidly occurring joint damage, leading rapidly to disability. Vitamin D not only helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage, it's necessary for rebuilding healthy cartilage and maintaining strong bones. Shrimp and fortified milk are two very good sources of vitamin D.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant in the body. By neutralizing free radicals, vitamin C helps reduce inflammation and damage that occurs in osteoarthritis.

Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of healthy connective tissue and cartilage, and may even be able to help undo some of the damage that has already been done. The osteoarthritis of patients who get plenty of vitamin C in their diets seems to progress more slowly compared to people who have diets low in vitamin C.

Excellent food sources of vitamin C include broccoli, parsley, bell peppers, strawberries, cauliflower, lemons, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, papaya, kale, cabbage, spinach, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, chard, collard greens, raspberries, peppermint leaves, asparagus, celery, fennel bulb, pineapple, and watermelon.


Beta-carotene is another powerful antioxidant. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene helps destroy free radicals before they can cause excessive damage to joints. A diet rich in beta-carotene also helps slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

Fortunately, beta-carotene is easy to spot because it gives fruits and vegetables, such as apricots,and carrots, their bright orange color.

Excellent food sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, winter squash, collard greens, chard, cantaloupe, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, cayenne pepper, peppermint leaves, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and apricots.


Niacin, also known as vitamin B-3, plays many roles in the body and is needed for healthy cells. Although researchers aren’t quite sure why, a diet high in niacin may help protect people from ever developing osteoarthritis in the first place. Some studies show that niacin may cut osteoarthritis risk in half.

Excellent food sources of niacin include crimini mushrooms and tuna. Very good sources include salmon, chicken breast, asparagus, halibut and venison.

To Reduce the Pain of Osteoarthritis

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, like vitamin C and beta-carotene, is yet another antioxidant that helps eliminate damaging free radicals. Vitamin E is also very good at reducing inflammation, which contributes to the problems in osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that osteoarthritis sufferers with high intakes of vitamin E report a significant reduction in their pain. Many are even able to reduce the amount of pain-killers they need to take. Mustard greens, chard, turnip greens, and sunflower seeds are a few excellent sources of vitamin E.


In Australia, boron has been a very popular remedy for osteoarthritis for many years. It's especially useful in areas where the diet tends to be low in boron, which can occur if the soil contains low levels of boron, or if people are eating diets that are low in boron-rich foods. Boron is needed in the body for the production of many substances, including hormones and vitamin D, both of which are very important for healthy bones and joints.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in some studies to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. When the diet contains plenty of these essential fats, the cells make less of the pro-inflammatory substances and more of the anti-inflammatory substances.

By reducing inflammation, omega-3 fats help prevent the damage to the cartilage and connective tissue that usually occurs in osteoarthritis.

Excellent food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, walnuts and salmon.


Some studies show that niacinamide can improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and may be able to reduce the amount of pain-killers needed. To date, researchers are not sure exactly how niacinamide, which has many different functions in the body, is able to help with osteoarthritis.

Substances to Avoid

Vitamin A and Retinoids

People who take very high doses of vitamin A for a very long time tend to wind up with joint pain and damage that looks a lot like osteoarthritis. These high doses could not be obtained from diet alone and are also much higher than doses that appear even in multivitamins.

This means that only people who are taking extra vitamin A as a supplement are at risk. Also, certain medications typically used for skin conditions are made from vitamin A-like chemicals called retinoids. Retinoids may also cause joint damage. If you are taking medications like these, you may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of joint problems with long-term use.


Genetic hemochromatosis is a hereditary condition that occurs mostly in people of Caucasian descent. People with this condition absorb more iron than they need and then store it in their bodies. As much as 80% of people with this condition, also called iron-overload, develop osteoarthritic joint changes if they consume too much iron. If they continue to get too much iron, it can build up in their organs and cause severe organ damage.

Typically, the amount of iron found in a healthy, balanced diet is not enough to cause problems. However, iron supplements should be avoided by persons at risk for osteoarthritis, even iron-containing multivitamins, unless a doctor has specifically recommended iron supplementation.

Recommended Diet

What should you eat if you have osteoarthritis or are trying to avoid getting it? The best advice is to eat a varied diet high in necessary nutrients.

A diet filled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean meats, and especially cold-water, wild-caught fish is sure to provide you with all the nutrients that are important in maintaining overall health and flexible, healthy joints.

This way of eating may help halt the progressive damage of osteoarthritis, as well as help you cut back on the amount of pain-killers you need by reducing pain and swelling.

Throwing a little bit of ginger into your cooking for some added zip may further reduce symptoms.

Stop giving your joints SAD (Standard American Diet) foods. Leave the refined white flour, fat-laden products on the shelf, and switch to foods rich in the nutrients your joints need. Flexibility in your diet will translate to flexibility in your joints.

• A one month trial elimination diet is recommended.
• Avoid coffee, caffeine-containing drinks, soft drinks, alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking.
• Eliminate red meats, dairy products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, etc), eggs, all grains and pastas (except rice), peanuts, soy, cashews, oranges, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant for 3-4 weeks.
• Eliminate all red meats foods.
• Drink water, sparkling waters, non-caffeinated teas, and non-sugared juices in moderation.
• Eat only whole foods. Canned beans, prepackaged salads, greens, and vegetables are acceptable. Frozen fruit and vegetables are acceptable.
• Eat 2 large servings (bowls) of green vegetables daily - cooked or raw.
• Eat as much raw or cooked orange-yellow vegetables as possible.
• Eat 2-4 whole fruits per day.
• Eat 1-2 handfuls of nuts or seeds per day. (For weight loss small palm full)
• Eat 1-3 cups of beans per day.(For weight loss 1 cup)
• Eat 1-2 cooked cups of rice per day. (For weight loss 1 cup or eliminate)
• Keep a food/symptom diary that has the headings: date, time, weight, food, symptom, exercise across the page.
• Move everyday for at least ½ -1 hour in ways that don’t hurt your joints. Non-pain movement helps joint pain.
• A basic high potency multivitamin/mineral is recommended with extra calcium/magnesium (1000/800-600 mg) if one chooses not to eat a lot of green vegetables rich in calcium and magnesium.

Well I am going to take this challange I know its is going to be tough because all the foods I am use to are on the do not eat list!  If any of you want to do this with me let me know we can support each other with idea's.  I will post my daily excercise and food on a page to the right of this blog. 

Lord knows this can only help, I don't wwant to be left in a wheel chair for the remainder of my life!

Foods to Avoid with Osteoarthitis

Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent disease caused by continuous degeneration of the bones and cartilages of the joint. Frequently used joints like knuckles and wrists, and weight bearing joints like hips, knees and ankles, are most susceptible to this condition. Ailing joints lose significant amounts of mobility and functionality, and often exhibit symptoms like inflammation, swelling and pain. Keeping your weight under control and maintaining a healthy balanced diet can effectively deter the onset and reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Conversely, unhealthy food choices can trigger inflammatory responses and exacerbate your condition. The following is a list of four types of foods you should avoid if you have osteoarthritis.

1. Whole Fat Dairy

Whole fat dairy is high in saturated fat, which promotes cholesterol buildup, hinders blood circulation and can instigate inflammatory responses. Some researchers advise that dairy foods should be avoided completely if you have osteoarthritis. Dairy is hard to digest and is one of the common allergens. But if you do not have a milk allergy, you may benefit from the extra calcium, vitamin D and linoleic acid in milk. To stay on the safe side, your best bet is to switch from dairy to soy products. Soy is comparable to milk in terms of the above nutrients. It also contains generous amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and a variety of antioxidants that help fight inflammation.

2. Trans Fat and Saturated Fat

There is nothing like trans fat to clog up your arteries, and you should take care to completely eliminate trans fat from your diet. Foods that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil have hidden trans fat. Saturated fat is a little better, but can still raise your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Fried and oily food, red meat, pastries and desserts are all strongly inflammatory and can aggravate your joint problems. Trade your red meat for cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, cod, and halibut. Cold-water fish are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E and pantothenic acid. These nutrients are very effective in dousing inflammatory and suppressing arthritic pain and swelling.  Steam, boil and simmering your food are the best cooking methods to preserve the nutritional content without the excess oil.

3. Highly Sweetened Foods

Refined sugar is known for causing inflammations. Highly sweetened foods are also loaded with empty calories and frequent intake of these foods can make you gain weight. Some artificial sweeteners leave remnant chemicals in your body, which can exacerbate your joint issues. Opt for fruits as your sweet treats. Fruits are naturally sweet and are loaded with fiber, antioxidants vitamins and minerals which can help relieve your symptoms without the danger of weight gain.

4. Salty Foods

Sodium inhibits your body’s absorption of calcium and deters collagen production. A high sodium diet can lead to the loss of bone mass and reduced joint space. Keeping your daily sodium intake to below 2,000 milligrams is crucial to building healthy bones and cartilages and preventing joint deterioration. Spices like ginger, red chili pepper and cumin are all known herbal remedies for osteoarthritis. Use these herbs to enhance the flavor of your food instead of salt.

Nutritional factors are very important in the successful treatment of these problems. As has been pointed out repeatedly, there are many ideas about which foods or supplements to use for any condition, and I do not want to enter such confused debates at this stage. While staying clear of such controversies, it is appropriate to focus on which foods to avoid as they definitely aggravate arthritic problems. A basic exclusion diet would Include:
  • Coffee, wether decaf. or regular. * Red meat of any kind in any form.
  • Vinegar and anything based upon vinegar such as pickles. Apple cider vinegar may possibly be an exception.
  • Vegetables that contain high levels of plant acids. e.g. Tomatoes and Rhubarb.
  • Berries rich in fruit acids such as Gooseberries, Red and Black Currants
  • Refined white sugar and products that contain it.
  • Refined white flour and its multitude of products.
  • Artificial additives, flavorings and preservatives.
  • Processed foods. * Red wine, port and sherry.
  • Carbonated drinks. * Shell fish
  • Any food or beverage that causes the patient specific problems.

Such diets will produce the best results in the earlier, more painful stages of this long drawn out disease. In the extreme of long standing O.A., there is a balance that must be found between nutritional dogma that might not be too effective and eating habits that have a positive psychological effect on the patient.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Go Green

Greens are a healthy and important part of our diets.  They are load with plant vitamins and nutrients our bodies strive for.  Try to add more green to your diet and I promise you will feel better.

The results of many experimental studies show that green foods have marked beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, immune response and cancer prevention. These effects are attributed in part to their high concentrations of chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll, the phytochemical that gives leaves, plants and algae their green hues, is the plant equivalent of the oxygen-carrying red pigment hemoglobin in red blood cells. Dietary chlorophyll inhibits disease bacteria and exerts therapeutic effects on bad breath and internal odors.

Wheat and Barley Grasses
Young cereal grasses—especially wheat and barley grass—are distinguished by their brilliant emerald green hues. Before World War II, drug stores throughout the country, but especially in the grain-belt states of the Midwest, sold tablets of dried wheat or barley grass as a kind of primitive vitamin supplement. Today, young wheat and barley grasses are dried and powdered to make dietary supplements, or picked fresh to process in juicing machines.

At the early grass stage of their growth, wheat and barley are closer to vegetables than grains in composition. This is important to note because while I strongly discourage eating wheat and wheat products, I believe wheatgrass is an excellent addition to your diet.

The nutrient profiles of green cereal plants change quickly as they grow. As the plant grows, the chlorophyll, protein and vitamin content of cereal grasses declines sharply and the level of cellulose (indigestible fiber) increases. Over a period of several months, the green leafy cereal grasses become amber waves of grain bearing the kernels we harvest to make into flour—an unhealthy, pro-inflammatory food.

There is very little nutritional difference between wheat grass and barley grass, although it is important to note that barley grass acts as a free radical scavenger that also reduces inflammation and pain, and wheat grass contains P4D1, a "gluco-protein" that acts like an antioxidant, reducing inflammation. It is also thought to be able to help the body attack cancer cells.
You can get cereal grasses in powder or tablet form. Dried cereal grasses are certainly easier to handle than fresh, which must be juiced. However, fresh grass juice contains healthful enzymes not found in dried grass powder and is likely to be higher in just about every phytonutrient found in cereal grass. Many juice bars and health-oriented markets offer these juices on their menus.

  • Wrap small portions of cheese, meats, rice, or condiments in greens. Even restaurants are now offering "lettuce wraps." "Blanched cabbage (boiled a few minutes in water or tomato juice to soften it) is also a good wrap," Audrey T. Cross, PhD, a nutritionist at Columbia University in New York City, tells WebMD.
  • Speaking of cabbage, a cooked hunk sauced with a little mayonnaise is delicious, according to Cross. Cabbage is rich in anticancer antioxidants and bioflavinoids.
  • Dress up frozen pizza with frozen or fresh spinach or green pepper. When you order out, ask for double green pepper. Green pepper is packed with vitamin C, Smith notes. Spinach (and Swiss chard and kale) is especially good because it contains lutein, a complex substance that can help prevent the blinding eye disorder called macular degeneration. Lutein also lowers cholesterol.
  • Steam veggies to keep them green. If you don't have a fancy steamer, a few minutes suspended in a colander over a pot of water works.
  • For leafy greens, steaming can result in a gray mess. Acids in these greens destroy the chlorophyll, leaving an unappetizing wad. Instead, treat spicy greens like mustard greens or chard by precooking in 2 cups of water per pound for three to 10 minutes.
  • Drink the water afterwards. It's surprisingly tasty.
  • Some greens are bitter -- try adding raisins.
  • Sneak cut-up zucchini into meatloaf. The same goes for pasta sauce; load it up with greenery.
  • If you make canned soup, toss in frozen peas or string beans. The FDA has declared that frozen is as nutritious as fresh. A box of veggies in macaroni and cheese is also delicious.
  • At the salad bar, make a veggie sandwich. Add balsamic vinegar and munch away!
  • Check out the prewashed department. In addition to prewashed lettuce, mesclun, field greens, and other variations (the darker the green, the better), grocery stores now carry prewashed broccoli florets and cut-up celery. Who says crudites are just for parties? Toss some ranch dressing in your lunch box, along with prewashed veggie chunks, and it's a perfect desk nibble!
  • Don't forget the fresh herbs next door to the prewashed greens. Make pesto (mashed olive oil, garlic, and basil leaves) and spread on crusty bread and pop under the broiler.
  • Or toss some fresh tarragon on asparagus, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Now this does beat canned!
  • When you finish eating, banish that garlic mouth by eating your parsley garnish. According to Smith, parlsey is surprisingly full of nutrients.
I will be looking for great green recipes!  have a great day! Hugs to all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Powerful Chicken Soup

Awesome homade chicken/turkey soup:

This is so easy and so healthy, expecially with all the colds and flus circulating this will certainly help prevent it from happening to you or help you get better : : )

1 whole chicken/small turkey quarted
fresh thyme
fresh rosemary
1 lemon and zest
1 orange and zest
1 clove of garlic
one small onion minced
4 carrots
4 turnips
4 parsnips
4 celery stalks
1 can stewed tomatoes no salt

I get the chicken/turkey whole and quarter it myself.  I place the pieces into a large deep stock pot filled with water about 3 inches from top.  Add tied bunch of thyme, chopped garlic, rosemary, add the zest of one small lemon then cut lemon into 4 wedges and add to pot.  Add zest of one small orange then cut into four wedges and add to pot. Salt and pepper about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, you may need more depending on taste.

Bring to boil and let slow boil for about 20 minutes.  remove ornage and lemon pieces from pot and disguard. Continue to boil another 20 mintues low boil.  Then remove chicken onto cutting board.

Grab a strainer and a large pot and strain the broth so to remove all the herb sticks and and other floating debri (lol) you want a clean broth. 

Put the clean strained broth back on stove top and add 4 chopped carrots , parsnips, turnips, celery (use the leaves of the celery) and 1 canned stewed tomatoes to the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.  meanwhile clean the chicken /turkey from the bones and cut into bite size pieces.  When all the veggies are tender add the meat to the pot.  You may want to add more salt and pepper at this point, taste it first. 

I serve this in a bowl topped with some fresh parsley and grated romano cheese......Yummyyy

This soup is so full of power foods and so nutritous it tastes great like it is or you can put it over rice, noodles, or dumplings...

The aroma that fills your house is amazing with this soup recipe!

Featured Hummus recipe - Rita's Best Recipes

Today I am featuring a recipe from a new friend of mine who lives in Africa her name is Rita please clink on link below to see her blog and all the wonderful recipes I have yet to try. 

I love hummus and there is nothing yummier than this recipe.  It's quick and easy and works out sooooo much cheaper than going to buy it.  I keep it in the fridge and it's a great go to party dip or put into chicken wraps.  The uses are endless.  Tahini is a sesame paste and you can buy it in your local supermarket or health food shop.  BTW, Andrea believes that this should be part of a major food group.


1 tin chickpeas
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tbsp tahini. 
3 cloves garlic 
2 tablespoons lemon juice. 
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil


In a pot warm the chickpeas and liquid from the tin with the cumin.  Once warm, drain the chickpeas reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid and put chickpeas and liquid into a food processor or blender. Place all the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning to taste. Allow to cool and place into airtight container and refrigerate. 
When serving as a dip, make a well in the middle of the hummus and drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add some toasted pine nuts.

The Power of Fish

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - heart healthy benefits
Early Arctic explorers noted that the Eskimos, despite their consumption of high-fat and high-cholesterol foods, had a very low incidence of heart disease. Scientists and physicians were stumped and considered it a paradox, until they looked more closely at their diets. What they found has changed the way nutrition and health care professionals prevent and treat heart disease today: The Eskimo's diets were rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fats because the body cannot produce them; they must be consumed from foods in order to survive. The primary dietary source of omega-3 is fish, although some plants also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and have many health benefits. To benefit from omega-3 fats, the American Heart Association recommends most people consume two meals of fish every week (about 6 ounces of fish).
Two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The role of EPA + DHA in the prevention of cardiovascular disease has been extensively studied.
The form of omega-3 in plants is called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Although ALA does provide health benefits, its has a lesser effect on cardiovascular disease risk than EPA and DHA.
Cold water varieties of fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines and herring contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
How are omega-3 fatty acids beneficial?
Here's how omega-3 fatty acids may protect you from cardiovascular disease:
  • Lower risk of sudden death. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias and all-cause mortality in people with existing cardiovascular disease.
  • Reduce blood clot formation. Omega-3 fatty acids act as a natural anticoagulant by altering the ability of platelets in the blood to clump together.
  • Inhibit the growth of plaque. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the lining of the arteries smooth and clear of damage that can lead to thickening and hardening of the arteries.
  • Decrease triglycerides. High blood triglycerides are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the rate at which triglycerides are produced in the liver.
  • May increase levels of the good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Because omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels, they may also increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol that protects against the development of heart disease.
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties. The development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is thought to involve the body’s inflammatory response. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the production of substances that are released during the inflammatory response and in doing so, prevent substances from accumulating and sticking to the lining of the arteries.
  • May lower blood pressure. Several studies have examined the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on blood pressure. Those who eat fish tend to have a lower incidence of high blood pressure.
How much omega-3 is recommended?
The American Heart Association recommends that patients without documented coronary heart disease eat a variety of fatty fish (see list below) and aim for at least two servings per week (total of at least 6 ounces).
If you have heart disease, your health care professional may recommend you increase your food sources of omega-3 to reach a daily goal of one gram of EPA + DHA. If this amount is too difficult to achieve from diet alone, your health care provider may suggest taking a fish oil supplement.
If you have high triglyceride levels (including those who are taking triglyceride-lowering medications), your health care provider may also recommend you increase food sources of omega-3. If these strategies are not effective, your provider may tell you to incorporate fish oil supplements into your diet. To effectively lower triglycerides, 2-4 grams of EPA + DHA are recommended daily. Research studies have shown that this amount lowered triglycerides approximately 25 percent to 35 percent.
Note that a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids can cause bleeding in some people. Therefore, anyone who takes 3 grams or more of omega-3 fatty acids from supplements should be under a physician’s care.

Amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Selected Fish and Seafood
FishServing SizeAmount of Omega-3 Fat
Atlantic Salmon or Herring 3 ounces cooked 1.9 grams
Blue Fin Tuna 3 ounces cooked 1.5 grams
Sardines, canned 3 oz. in tomato sauce 1.5 grams
Anchovies, canned 2 ounces drained 1.2 grams
Atlantic Mackerel 3 ounces cooked 1.15 grams
Salmon, canned 3 ounces drained 1.0 gram
Swordfish 3 ounces cooked 0.9. gram
Sole, Flounder, Mussels 3 ounces cooked 0.4 gram
Wild Catfish, Crabmeat, Clams 3 ounces cooked/steamed 0.3 gram
Prawns (Jumbo Shrimp) 6 pieces 0.15 gram
Atlantic Cod, Lobster 3 ounces cooked/steamed 0.15 gram
Trout, Orange Roughy 3 ounces cooked <0.1 gram
Tuna, white meat canned 3 ounces drained 0.5 gram

 What about Mercury in Fish?  Shouldn’t I be Concerned?
Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and as a result of industrial pollution.  It falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans and is converted to methylmercury in the water.  Methylmercury, in excess, can be harmful to health, especially the health of an unborn baby or young child. 
Fish that are particularly high in mercury include shark, swordfish, tilefish, and King mackerel.  These fish should be limited by everyone, and avoided by pregnant/nursing women and young children. Pregnant and lactating women can still safely eat 12 ounces/week of fish that are not high in mercury, including shellfish, canned fish (choose canned LIGHT tuna, which has lowest amount of mercury of canned tuna), smaller ocean fish, and farm-raised fish.
For more information on the mercury content in fish, please visit the US Department of Agriculture website at:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Healty Food Under $1.00

Even with rising food prices, it's possible to shop for healthy foods without spending a fortune (also I found a way to not pay at all see link below).

Most of us don't need to hear it or read it...we feel it everytime we go to the grocery store.  But, just because food prices are rising doen't mean you can't make healthy choices. 

Here is a list of the top 10 healthy foods (also power foods) you can buy for under a $1.00!!!

3. Baby Carrots (in bags)

1. Apples
Great for: Snacks, green salads, main dish salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large apple.
Price per serving: About $1. Apples sell for about $1.99 per pound, and an extra large crisp apple weighs about 1/2 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: 117 calories, 5 grams fiber, 17% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 7% Daily Value for potassium.

2. Bananas
Great for: Snacks and fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, and smoothies.
What's a serving? 1 banana.
Price per serving: About 45 cents. Bananas sell for about $0.89 per pound, and a large banana weighs about 1/2 pound
Nutrition Info per serving: 121 calories, 3.5 grams fiber, 14% Daily Value for potassium (487 mg), 20% Daily Value for vitamin C.
3. Baby Carrots (in bags)
Great for: Snacks, casseroles, stews, veggie platters, and side dishes. 
What's a serving? About 1/2 cup or 2 ounces raw.
Price per serving: 19 cents. A 16-ounce bag costs about $1 on sale and contains about 8 servings (2 ounces each).
Nutrition Info per serving: 27 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 200% Daily Value for vitamin A, and 7% Daily Value for vitamin C.

4. Canned Beans
Great for: Green salads, casseroles, stews, and chili. Types of beans range from 50% less sodium kidney beans and black beans to white beans and garbanzo beans.
What's a serving? Each can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 15-ounce can for about $1 on sale.
Nutrition Info per serving: About 120 calories (for kidney beans), 7 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, and 6% Daily Value for calcium, and 10% Daily Value for iron.
5. Canned Tomatoes
Great for: Italian and Mexican recipes, chili, stew, and casseroles. Flavor options range from no-salt-added sliced stewed tomatoes to diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil.
What's a serving? One can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 14.5-ounce can for about $1 on sale (often less for store brands).
Nutrition Info per serving: About 25 calories, 1 gram fiber, 10% Daily Value of vitamin A, and 15% Daily Value of vitamin C.

6. Oranges (extra large navel oranges)
Great for: Snacks, green salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large or extra large orange.
Price per serving: 40 cents for a large orange and 79 cents for an extra large orange. Oranges sell for around $0.79 per pound, and a large orange is about 1/2 pound, whereas an extra large orange is about 1 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: (for an 8 ounce orange): 106 calories, 5.5 grams fiber, 10% Daily Value for vitamin A, 200% Daily Value vitamin C, 17% Daily Value for folate, 9% Daily Value for calcium, and 12% potassium.

7. Pears
Great for: Snacks, as an appetizer with cheese, green salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large pear
Price per serving: about 45 cents for a large pear. Pears sell for about $0.90 per pound, and a large pear weighs about 1/2 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: 133 calories, 7 grams of fiber, 16% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 8% for potassium.

8. Lentils (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold bean salads, and casseroles.
What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: 14 cents. A 16 ounce bag sells for $1.12 (on sale) and contains eight servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: 195 calories, 14 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 24% Daily Value for Iron, 10% Daily Value for magnesium and potassium.

9. Pearl Barley (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold salads, and casseroles.
What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: About 12 cents. A 16 ounce bag of dry pearl barley sells for about $0.94 and contains about 8 servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: 199 calories, 9 grams fiber, 2.5 grams soluble fiber, 6 grams protein, 8% Daily Value for iron, and 11% Daily Value for magnesium.

10. Yogurt (plain, lowfat, or fat-free)
Great for: Smoothies, yogurt parfait, dips, and dressings.
What's a serving? An 8-ounce or 6-ounce container is usually a serving.
Price per serving: 60 cents. This is usually the price for an 8-ounce container of plain yogurt.
Nutrition Info per serving: (for 8 ounces of fat-free plain yogurt): 130 calories, 13 grams of protein, 45% Daily Value for calcium, plus active cultures such as acidophilus and bifidus.

Click here to find out how its possible to get free groceries and make extra money! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Strawberry Mint Salad WOW

I am featuring this recipe because it is that good!
This recipe is by "The Amorous Cook "

Strawberry Mint Salad

This delicious italian dessert is great alone or on top of vanilla icecream. It's a quick, fresh, healthy dessert that I promise you, & everyone else you share it with, will love! This dessert is made with an italian sweet anise liqueur called Sambuca. This strawberry salad only calls for a shot and a half of the Sambuca to help carmelize the strawberries. It gives the strawberries a sweet anise flavor along with the sugar.

2 cups of strawberries thinly sliced
1 handful of mint leaves chopped..(chop leaves in thin slices for a nice presentation)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 shots of Romana Sambuca

Mix all these ingredients in a bowl. Let it chill and marinate in the fridge for a half an hour. Then serve cold.

*** Note from me... This recipe the way it is is awesome but since this blog is for power foods, I made this recipe and substitued the sugar with teaspoon of Truvia (sugar substitute) and the liquor with fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice worked out wonderfully! 

Don't forget that strawberries are also a power food high in antioxidants they also are a natural teeth whitening food!  So make up a batch and please let us know what you think!!!
Thank you Maria for sharing this great recipes with us!
To see more delicious Italian recipe's from The Amorous Cook click here

Eat Broccoli and avoid Arthritis


  • Solforafane
  • Indoles
  • Folate
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Viatmin C
  • Beta Carotene
  • Luten/Zeaxanthin
  • Vitamin K
Broccoli is an excellent source of vegetarian iron.  If broccoli did nothing but protect us from cancer, that would be enough, but this power food vegetable works on other ailments as well.Broccoli is high in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium.[9] A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C.[10] The 3,3'-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity.[11][12] Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled.[7] Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.[13][14] Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family.[15] It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides beta-carotene.[15]
A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.[16] Broccoli consumption has also been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease.[17]
See also Broccoli sprouts for possible health/medical benefits.Over 21 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from the most common form of arthritis -- osteoarthritis. Primarily associated with growing older, the condition is marked by the wearing away of cartilage, the cushioning between the bones in the joints. As osteoarthritis gets worse, the cartilage disappears and bone rubs on bone, producing pain and swelling. Mainstream medicine offers symptomatic relief -- but no cure -- with medications including liver damaging acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen which, long term, can cause ulcers and bleeding; some NSAIDs may increase the risk for heart attack and stroke, too.
But despite the view of many that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of aging, researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) believe they are hot on the trail of a way to prevent this form of arthritis from developing in the first place. The potential solution? A natural, bioactive compound called sulforaphane that is found in cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli.
The UEA scientists have already discovered sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction in osteoarthritis. Now the same researchers are launching a new and groundbreaking project to investigate how sulforaphane may act to slow or even prevent the development of osteoarthritis. This initial study will pave the way for additional patient trials that could lead to safe and natural ways of preventing and treating this painful disease.
In a statement to the media, the UEA research team noted that broccoli has previously been associated with a reduced risk of cancer. But their study is the first major research into its effects on joint health. As part of their three year long project, the UEA scientists will also investigate the impact of other natural compounds on osteoarthritis -- including diallyl disulphide, a component of garlic that appears to slow the destruction of cartilage in laboratory models.
  • As reported previously in NaturalNews, phytochemical compounds in cruciferous vegetables are turning out to be remarkably powerful disease fighters and health builders. For example, scientists at Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center at Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and the Richard J. Solove Research Institute have discovered that a substance in broccoli and Brussels sprouts specifically blocks the growth of breast cancer cells ( Other research has concluded eating broccoli can protect against asthma, too (

    Ways to add more broccoli in your diet:
    • Keep fresh or frozen broccoli on hand to use in stir fries
    • Puree leftover broccoli with some sauted onions and mis with lowfat milk or soymilk and add nutmeg for a fast delcious soup
    • Toss some shredded raw broccoli, with red cabbage , red onion, some homeade dressing and some poppy seeds for a quick slaw
    • Snack on cooked broccoli right from the fridge 
    • Steam broccoli add some salt and pepper and fresh lemon juice 
    • Roast broccoli with colliflower coat with olive oil pepper and garlic roast in oven till tender slighlt brown 
    • broccoli florets are great with hummus
    • Stir fry shredded cabbage with a teaspoon of sesame oil  
Carbohydrates6.64 g
Sugars1.7 g
Dietary fibre2.6 g
Fat0.37 g
Protein2.82 g
Water89.30 g
Vitamin A equiv.31 μg (3%)
- beta-carotene361 μg (3%)
- lutein and zeaxanthin1121 μg
Thiamine (Vit. B1)0.071 mg (5%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)0.117 mg (8%)
Niacin (Vit. B3)0.639 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.573 mg (11%)
Vitamin B60.175 mg (13%)
Folate (Vit. B9)63 μg (16%)
Vitamin C89.2 mg (149%)
Vitamin E0.78 mg (5%)
Calcium47 mg (5%)
Iron0.73 mg (6%)
Magnesium21 mg (6%)
Phosphorus66 mg (9%)
Potassium316 mg (7%)
Zinc0.41 mg (4%

When shopping for broccoli pic the greenest and smalles heads ( the deeper the color , the more phytonutrients). Yellowing florets are sign broccoli is past its prime don't buy it.  If there are leaves on the stem they should be fresh and firm looking.  Broccoli will keep in fridge in crisper for 5 - 7 days.  Boiled broccoli can loose 50% more of it vitamin c, so steam it or bake it if possible. 

I guess I needed more broccoli in my diet, now I know and I hope you younger generation add this power food to you daily life it is well worth it trust me!

Click here for a broccoli recipe I love from Food Networks