Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sprouting? Sure Beats Shoveling...

Haven't we had enough snow this winter? I think we have had well over 60 inches in Mpls./St. Paul. I don't think we'll be gardening any time soon so I have decided to bring a winter garden inside and try sprouting. I have never sprouted before but I know there are many benefits and here are -

The Top 10 Reasons Why to Sprout!

1) Pennies Per Serving
2) Simple & Easy to Grow
3) Grows Quickly
4) Toxin-Free Food
5) Complete Food
6) Tasty & Delicious
7) Highly Nutritious
8) Low Calories & Low Fat
9) Detoxifies Your Body
10) Helps to Build Your Immune System

I purchased my sprouting kit from the Handy Pantry Distributors because their seeds were certified organic, non-GMO and the prices were reasonable. The manual has easy sprouting instructions and explains all the health benefits of sprouting. Some recipe ideas are another added bonus.

The kit includes three growing trays so I decided to grow Alfalfa seeds, Lentils and a Five-Bean Mix.
Tonight, I rinsed the seeds and put the covers on. The seeds will need to be rinsed about
2-3 times per day for about 4 days. When the sprouts have grown and filled in the trays I am
supposed to take off the cover and expose to sunlight to develop chlorophyll which will turn
the sprouts green.

Hope it will be a sunny day soon! Four more weeks till Spring???

Sunday, February 20, 2011


A couple of days ago, my husband, Tony, asked me to look at the rash on his back and stomach that was itching. I wasn't sure what it was but I took a few pictures and told him if it got worse he might need to go to the doctor. Later in the day, I sent the pictures to my sister and she said they might be bed bugs. Tony travels all the time and there have been several stories in the media about bed bug proliferation throughout the U.S. It sure appeared our initial hunch had come to fruition. - Bummer -

Check out the picture to see what his back looked like -

We treated the rash with calamine lotion and Shaklee's Enfuselle Hydrating Toner that has witch hazel extract which is supposed to give relief.

I knew that I wasn't going to sleep another night in our bed. Not knowing if the bed bugs were in our bed and/or house, we de
cided to go out and purchase a new bed which was long over due anyway. After getting over the sticker shock we found a new mattress and bought new sheets, mattress pad and pillows as well.

We still needed to go home and thoroughly clean our bedroom and house. I used another Shaklee product called Basic G (a concentrated germicide). This product is registered with the EPA as a disinfectant #47371-129-7294. It is effective against numerous bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens. I always put a couple of drops in each load of laundry as a preventative measure against who knows what... I am not sure if it will tackle the bed bugs, however, I don't want to use any toxic chemicals if at all possible. We'll see how it works.

For anyone that travels, knowing what to look for might help to prevent getting bed bug bites - 1) check the linens for blood stains from their feces, 2) pull the sheets off and check the mattress and box spring for any blood stains as well, 3) check the headboard, baseboard and walls for any clusters of small white eggs. These suggestions might seem tedious but trust me, you don't want to deal with these annoying critters.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Three Bean Chili - Put to the "Gas" Test


I saw this recipe in Terry Walters "Clean Food" Cookbook that I recently bought and thought it looked good. Many people are apprehensive of eating beans (legumes) because of their gaseous side effects. This chili, however, features something called kombu which is supposed to tenderize and help to reduce the beans' unpleasant side effects.

What is kombu, you ask? When I asked my husband and sons they replied - a leaf, a root or seaweed. My son Andrew, guessed seaweed (sea vegetable) and that is the correct answer! Below is a picture of what it looks like:

Some of the many health benefits of beans: they are great for stabilizing blood sugar levels, high in protein, soluble and insoluble fiber. They contain the most fiber of any vegetable.

1 thumb-size piece of kombu 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves 2 onions, chopped,
2 green bell peppers, diced 4 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste 1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chile powder 6-8 drops hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans 1 1/2 cups cooked aduki beans
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans Water or vegetable stock as needed

Garnishes: chopped scallion, shredded soy or rice cheese, tofu, etc.

Place kombu in bowl with enough water to cover and soak 10 minutes or until soft. Drain, mince and set aside.

In large pot over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in olive oil 3 minutes or until soft. Add green peppers and saute 2 minutes more. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, oregano, cumin, chile powder, hot sauce, cayenne and salt. Add cooked beans and kombu, stir to combine and simmer at least 45 minutes. Add vegetable stock as needed to thin. Garnish as desired. Serves 6.

My boys need a little more protein, so I added bison meat. They loved this chili!

We put this recipe to the test when we went to church later that night and it just so happened to be a mass for "healing of the sick" so of course the church was packed. Well, the kombu seemed to work for three of the four of us. Thank you Jesus, we got out of that service without leaving our mark.

Whether you have digestive upsets due to foods, emotions, health conditions or aging - Shaklee has a product called EZ-Gest that can help. EZ-Gest has multiple enzymes (compared to popular single-function digestive aids) that help with digestive support. I use this product when I have heavy meals. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Consider "Alternative" medicine!

For the past six months, I have been struggling with tendonitis in my elbow. I'm not sure exactly how it came about but it could have been from too much gardening or painting, being too aggressive in the weight room or swinging the golf club wrong. At any rate, I have been trying to aggressively heal this as golf season is soon approaching. As I look out my window, however, there are at least two feet of snow that need to melt.

Anyway, some say that I should get a cortisone shot but that will only give me temporary relief and it is not solving the problem. Instead, I look to more holistic approaches to healing the body. I have been seeing my chiropractor and he has given me some stretching exercises to do which seem to help.

I decided, however, to take it a step further and try acupuncture! Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that has successfully treated billions of Chinese people and is one of the fastest-growing alternative health care methods in the world. Even some health care providers are starting to pay for this.

As you can see from the picture (a real Glamour Shot - huh?), small acupuncture needles are inserted into an acupoint on the skin. A simplified explanation, is that these needles stimulate the body's Chi (energy) which circulates through fourteen major energy channels called meridians in the human body. A blockage in the energy flow can cause a deficiency of Chi which may lead to imbalances in the body as health problems. The number and frequency of treatments needed is unique to each person and their health situation. I have definitely seen relief after three treatments but I plan on a few more visits.

If you have an unresolved health problem, you might want to consider acupuncture.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Don't Be Tempted to Buy Cheap Supplements!

NEVER buy vitamins or supermarket/pharmacy brands without checking them first. Cut-rate products contain additives, food allergens, sugar, artificial food coloring, flavoring and dyes. Many supplements are coated with shellac or contain potentially hazardous chemicals like chlorine.

Other problems include potency and purity which can vary widely from pill to pill and bottle to bottle. Freshness is another issue. The FDA does not require expiration dates on supplement bottles so many companies don't include them.


There is no regulation on the dietary supplement industry so anyone can put a product on the market. ARE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS SAFE? - BUYER BEWARE!

--Check out these two reports --

ARE YOU GETTING YOUR DAILY DOSE OF LEAD? The FDA did a study on amounts of LEAD found in women’s vitamins, pre-natal vitamins and children’s vitamins. Out of 324 brands tested, only 4 did not have lead in them! The FDA allows a certain amount of lead to be acceptable in supplements, however, SHAKLEE BELIEVES THAT NO AMOUNT OF LEAD SHOULD BE ACCEPTABLE.

Click on the link to learn more:


CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT on the World’s Largest Supplier of Fish Oil Supplements that contain PCB’s (industrial chemicals). Initial defendants include Houston-based Omega Protein, which is the largest producer of omega-3 fish oil in the world; GNC; drug store chains Rite Aid Corp. and CVS Caremark Corp. and others.

Click link to learn more:

I have been using Shaklee products for 34+ years and I can trust that the products are Always Safe, Always Work and are Always Green. Shaklee performs up to 350 tests for purity, freshness, potency and safety on all raw ingredients for a single product. Products undergo as many as 262 separate quality assurance tests throughout the manufacturing process as well. No other company does this extensive research.

To learn more, check out my Shaklee site or Better Health in 31 Days.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ole' - Friendships are good for your health!

Hola Amigos!

My husband and I just got back from a week in Manzanillo, Mexico with our dear friends as you can see from the pictures. There was lots of food, cervezas, laughter and relaxation.

Did you know that friendships not only enrich your life but can improve your health as well? Even when life is so hectic, it is important to make time for friends.

Some healthy benefits of friendships include:

Sharing the good times with others
Increase in happiness and self-worth
Increase a sense of belonging
Reduce stress and risk of mental illness
Help in getting through life's traumatic events

The older I get, the more selective I am in which friends I spend my time with. As Joel Osteen says, "Some people you have to love from a distance." Are your friends building you up or tearing you down? Don't spend time with people who do not make you a better person! Can't wait for the next trip - any suggestions?

Hasta luego...