Monday, August 20, 2012

Fresh Snacks From the Garden

Our house is bare of the types of snacks children have come to love - ice cream, cookies, what do you say to a 9 yr old who is not happy because she is wanting an evening snack and there is nothing she likes available.
I suggested spinach leaves with dried cranberries rolled up inside - her own snack invention...she did that earlier in the day. I suggested the flax/quinoa seed crackers...didn't feel like it.
Then it dawned on  me - the garden! Surely the carrots, her very own row, must be ready or near enough. So out we went....with a hand spade in hand.  I dug up cute little carrots for her - she was delighted.  We picked lots of vine ripened tomatoes - orange heirlooms to Romas to an heirloom Russian variety that has a blush color. I accidentally pulled up a fairly large beet when pulling a weed...time to pickle!!
Abby happily washed up her carrots and didn't even mind taking out the compost. They were super fresh, flavorful and cute - about 4" long for the longest one.
I made myself a lunch plate of little tomatoe half seasoned with Italian seasoning, the other half seasoned with Celtic sea salt and black pepper. Yum!

I just came across a recipe for a power juice at Whole Living - made with beets, carrots and apple. I am going to have to give it a try since our garden can supply 2/3 of what is needed.
Credits to this juice blend - “Detox Cred: Antioxidant superstars, red beets contain betalains, compounds that fight inflammation and support your detox by neutralizing toxins and making them water soluble and easily flushed from the body. In one study, beet fiber increased the production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver.”

As I don't have a juice extractor, I will simply use my Ninja Pro Blender, which is an awesome smoothie maker, and probably go with a bit thicker texture and benefit from the additional fiber.

Red Power Juice
-1 small beet, chopped
-5 carrots, chopped
-1 apple, cored and chopped
-1/4 cup fresh mint sprigs

DirectionsPress beet, carrots, apple, and mint sprigs through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately.
Another smoothie using the fresh carrots, also from Whole Living, utilizes mango and we happen to have that on hand as well. I wonder if I can talk Abby into this tomorrow morning...I will just blend the carrots in the Ninja blender and strain the pulp, or I should serve all of it as I firmly believe pulp has most of the nutrients and fiber we need.

Orange Fresh Juice
1 mango, chopped (or 1 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks)
1 cup fresh carrot juice
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup ice cubes (omit if using frozen mango)

Puree ingredients in a blender until smooth.

How is the harvest going from your garden? Include your children in the harvest and the taste of the vegetables will be enjoyed all the more!

To your health!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Statins Deplete CoQ10

In the past couple of years I have learned a lot about statin drugs - one of the greatest money makers for Big Pharma. I read once that the numbers acceptable for cholesterol show a  history of being dropped through the years as it was realized what a big business it was to prescribe.
Coinciding with the introduction of statin drugs, and increase in liberal prescriptions being doled out - was/is a steady increase in elderly having memory loss.  Why is this, we might ask... to explain it, today I am simply going to cut and paste from my e-news bulletin from Dr. Joe Mercola. I highly encourage you to subscribe to his e-news and it will give you the ability to search his site for a number of health related issues - from GMO to parabens, toxic baby care products to the benefits of short bursts of cardiac exercise.
Here is what he writes today:
  • One in four Americans over the age of 45 are now taking a statin drug, despite the fact that there are over 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to diabetes and increased cancer risk.
  • Statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which can have devastating results. If you take statin drugs without taking CoQ10, your health is at serious risk. If you have symptoms of statin damage such as muscle pain, take anywhere from 200 to 500 mg of CoQ10 or ubiquinol, which is the reduced form. Ubiquinol is the recommended form if you’re over the age of 25. For preventative use, take around 100-200 mg.
  • Statins also impair the function of all sterols, including cholesterol and vitamin D (which is similar to cholesterol and is produced from cholesterol in your skin), all your sex hormones, cortisone, the dolichols, which are involved in keeping the membranes inside your cells healthy
  • Odds are greater than 100 to 1 that if you're taking a statin, you don't really need it. The ONLY subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol.
  • Statins are in fact classified as a "pregnancy Category X medication"iv; meaning, it causes serious birth defects, and should NEVER be used by a woman who is pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

  • What do you think? Safe? Beneficial? I think not.  Everyone gets to make a choice, but I am glad my husband chose to change his diet, take beneficial supplements, and got off the cholesterol meds. When we become empty nesters I want him to know who I am, and still be able to identify the bird calls and species that he is so skilled at.  Bird watching is something that has, in large part, been put on hold, but an activity that brought us together over 20 years ago and something we would very much like to do, and travel doing it to see some more exotic species, when we retire.
    To your health,
    Rita S.