Monthly Archives: April 2015

Organic Celery

Posted by Colleen

Since its spring and we are getting our vegetable gardens ready for harvest or going to our local Farmers Markets we’ll talk about some benefits of vegetables.  There is such a variety of colorful vegetables to grow or buy and as the saying goes “variety is the spice of life”. So, today let’s talk about organic celery.

Celery is high in vitamins A, C, K, and the B vitamin compounds folate and choline.  Celery contains 263 mg of potassium per cup, and it also contains reasonable amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.  Celery supports bone health, healthy blood pressure and kidneys as well as helping to avoid muscle cramping during workouts. Recent research has greatly bolstered our knowledge about celery’s anti-inflammatory health benefits, including its protection against inflammation in the digestive tract itself.

Celery contains 94 to 95% water which is important for us during the hotter weather, consuming more of the water containing vegetables and fruits will be a great idea to implement, when planning your meals or snacks.

It is recommended to wait to chop up your celery just before you are adding it to a salad or cooked dish, rather than chopping it up the night before and leaving it stored in the refrigerator overnight.  This will help to preserve its maximum nutrient potential.  Also, it is recommended to consume fresh celery within 5 to 7 days because of potential nutrient loss after this time period.

Tips for Self Care

Posted by Linda

How do you achieve balance in your life while caring for yourself and caring for others? The first step is to be present in your life and that means paying attention to what you are doing. So many times, we run down the list of what we have to accomplish each day while succumbing to the pressures of life. How do you take care of yourself when little children are so demanding and needing you. Likewise, how is it possible to choose a job that you actually like and is suited to you when financial survival is at stake. These are issues that we can not solve in one setting or just because we make up our minds to ignore certain circumstances, but they are accomplished by taking one step at a time.

Do you remember what you did before you washed the clothes or drove to the grocery store. Do you remember the drive? What did you see, flowers, trees, the sky or the clouds, birds? In order to appreciate the beauty that we have and not just rush about, we need to pay attention in the moment, be present. Without that awareness, we are not able to make appropriate changes.

Why is it important to look at your life as a whole rather than compartmentalize? There is one of us who does everything, one person who feels satisfied, or out of whack, uncomfortable and yearning for something different. It is you and me. This person, instead of being balanced, strong, and healthy is exhausted, depressed, and anxious. I choose to achieve better health, less stress, and of course experience happiness and joy.

Being present, mentally, emotionally and physically requires asking yourself how am I feeling now? To see where you are putting your energy and how you spend your day, get out a piece of paper and some colored pens and draw a circle with you at the center. Then divide it like you would a pie with three major divisions, You, your Family and Friends, and Work. Then make as many sections as you require within each one of those. For example, under You, you might have stress management, health, and exercise, so that you can estimate how much time you spend in each area. Under Friends and Family, you might write husband, children, friends, and recreation. After you complete the circle and estimate the hours you spend doing each activity, then challenge yourself to bring some of these categories into a better balance so that you can experience more of the life that you desire.

Save our Bees!

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“Honeybees are responsible for one in every three bites of food that we eat. More than $19 billion worth of crops a year are pollinated by bees, and $150 million worth of honey is produced annually in the U.S. alone.

If bees are so important to our ecosystem and economy, why are we letting them die?

TakePart.com is launching a year-long campaign dedicated to the health, well-being and restoration of the bee population. Take Action! Sign the petition now and check back often for more ways that you can help #SaveOurBees!”

http://www.takepart.com/save-our-bees

How To Store Musical Instruments

Posted by Caroline

Never store a musical instrument in direct sunlight or near a heat source or in a hot car. This causes damages.

Do not allow a woodwind instrument to get wet or the pads that cover the holes will absorb water and no longer cover the holes correctly. Store sections separately in its case. Store extra reeds, swabs and other cleaning supplies in your instrument case or a pencil case.

Useful mobile storage units

Posted by Caroline

If you need a portable storage system look for mobile filing carts, carts with drawers and shelves, for kitchen carts that you can store out of the way in closets or under desks and wheel out when you need them. These units are also perfect for extra bathroom storage or for holding sewing and craft supplies, kids toys, socks and underwear and extra pantry foods. Tuck one into a corner of a closet for handy access to pet accessories, hats and other items.

Reward or Bribe?

When it comes to parenting, a wise grandfather told me, “never reward bad behavior“. He is gone now, but I wish that I had a chance to tell him how often those words have popped into my head and how helpful they have been. Sometimes the lines between reward and bribery can be fuzzy. However, if you say to a child, if you behave when you go to Aunt Mary’s house, I’ll give you a truck or five dollars or something, that looks like bribery to me. If you say to the child who just returned from Aunt Mary’s house and was on their best behavior by say, being helpful to her, and on the way home I suggest that we stop for ice cream, that to me, is a reward.

What is the difference? A reward is something earned that is not done in the expectation of some sort of payoff. Bribery gives a child motivation to do something that does not result from some higher level of caring or respecting or serving others. When you start a pattern of bribery, the expectation will grow bigger. Also, when you give out jelly beans at age five, what do you think that you will have to do to exact a certain kind of behavior when they turn 10 or 15? That road traveled seems like it will be a difficult one indeed.

What kind of children do we want? I never wanted a child who would grow up always expecting or needing a material reward for positive actions. We know that just does not happen in life. I want a child who is generous, sharing and caring and who will be good for goodness sake. I think we would all be a little bit better off if that were so.

Food Synergy

Posted by Colleen

Do you know what synergy is?  The definition of synergy is; the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately. Did you know plants have synergy?  Some plants work well with each other and some plants the synergy is negatively impacted.

Spring is here and it’s time to start thinking about what vegetables to plant in your garden.  Two plants that grow peacefully together are corn and potatoes in adjacent beds, but corn and indeterminate tomatoes not so much.  Corn acts as a support for climbing bean vines, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil for the high feeding requirements of corn and squash, and the squash provides mulch and root protection for the corn and beans.  After cooperating, beautifully in the garden, corn and beans form a complete protein when eaten together.  How’s that for synergy!

Peas and lettuce don’t compete for sunlight and peas actually help shade lettuce to stay cooler, synergy, working together.  Since most people like to grow tomatoes, tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, herbs like parsley, basil, mint and chives are all good companions for tomatoes.

Fennel nothing likes to get near it so maybe container gardening would be better suited.  Fennel releases a chemical which does bad thing to its neighbors.

And as far as food goes when it gets from your garden to your table here are some helpful hints; if your making bean soup add tomatoes in your soup the tomatoes will help you absorb the iron in your beans.  There is a beneficial compound called, sulforaphane, found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard and horseradish and this compound is more readily absorbed, when you eat a mixture of foods from the broccoli family, rather than any single one.  Try tossing a little grainy mustard to your steamed broccoli for an added zest of flavor and nutrition.

Here is a recipe for a salad dressing using grainy mustard; 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar, 1 TBSP spicy brown mustard, ½ tsp dried dill, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Whisk the first three ingredients together in a small bowl, add the dill, salt and pepper whisk again to combine.  Put in fridge for 30 minutes to blend flavors.

This dressing is excellent on a broccoli salad, a green salad with chopped leftover chicken for protein, sliced avocado for good fat and your favorite chopped veggies.  Add a tablespoon of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for garnish and enjoy.