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Healthy Produce: Purchase vs. Grow Your Own

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Are you concerned with the quality of your organic food?

I know I sure am.

It’s not bad enough that the quality of organic food is declining and the organic standards are being weakened. Now Whole Foods Market is implementing a new rating system that can give non-organic, pesticide-laden produce a higher rating than USDA certified organic produce.

This is maddening.

What can you do about it?

Grow your own food.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb or don’t have a lot of time.

I have failed at gardening year after year after year. This year was my last ditch effort. After attending an event where there were numerous organic gardeners giving free advice and selling the best organic plants and amendments, I decided to give it another shot. I bought one zucchini plant, then went out on a limb and bought a cucumber plant a couple weeks later.

The zucchini started dying first. I struggled to figure out why. I adjusted the watering, worm castings and organic fertilizer that was highly recommended by the organic gardeners who gave me what seemed like no-fail advice. It just kept getting worse and worse. Then the cucumber plant also started dying. I was at wits end. I didn’t know what to do. I just knew I wanted to grow my own food from now on and I was going to figure out how.

I saw an ad online for an Aerogarden, a hydroponic growing system compact enough to keep on your counter indoors … and they guaranteed their seeds would grow or they would replace them. I thought it was worth a try, so I bought one. To make a long story short, it did grow, but it was such a cramped space that the lettuce and herbs did not produce as bountifully as if they had more space. I expected to be able to stop buying lettuce and herbs and make my salads exclusively from my Aerogarden. That was not the case. While I was getting small amounts every day, I still had to supplement my salad greens and herbs with those I bought.

I was again frustrated. Even though I was growing my own food, it did not measure up to my expectations of how much I would be harvesting daily.

One day while walking through the farmer’s market, I came across a vertical, aeroponic growing system that uses no soil, waters itself automatically, uses 90% less water than conventional gardens and you can grow year round.

I was interested.

I bought a Tower Garden and have not only put plants started from scratch into my new garden, I took the lettuce and herbs that didn’t have enough room in the Aerogarden, that had just about outlived their useful life, and put those in my Tower Garden. They have continued to grow much taller than would have been possible in the Aerogarden and have even started sprouting new growth at the bottom of the stalk of one of the lettuces.

I was going to take my dying zucchini and cucumber and put them in the Tower Garden too. Unfortunately, the zucchini was too far gone. It was dead. However, the cucumber seemed like it might have some life left in it. So, that went in the Tower Garden. It’s been about three weeks and it has very slowly shown new growth at the end of the plant. I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it. Then just yesterday, at three places along the stem where all the leaves and flowers had dried up and fallen off, I noticed new leaves sprouting … on a part of the plant that I had thought was dead. My cucumber plant is coming back to life.

Just a week ago I went to a presentation where I was able to pick up some seedlings for my TG. It’s been amazing and very fulfilling to watch these plants grow.

Anyone can be a successful gardener. If I, an infamous plant-killer for many years, can grow a healthy, nutrient-dense garden, anyone can.

If you are local to San Diego County, you’re invited to come to an event at my office in Escondido on Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m.

Get more info and directions here.

If you’re just too far away to come, check out my website and contact me if you have any questions.

It is more important now than ever to have safe and healthy food and now you can grow your own whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a plant-killer like me.

Click here for info on the Tower Garden event at my office.

Click here to learn more on my website.

9 Health Benefits of Celery

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Celery is a nutrient dense powerhouse of nutrition.

It is rich in fiber and antioxidants and contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. A rich source of vitamin K, it also contains vitamin A, the B vitamins B1, B2, B6, folate and vitamin C. In addition, it’s a good source of dietary potassium and sodium, essential minerals that your body needs. Note that sodium is not the bad guy when you eat the right kind and in the proper balance.

Celery …

  • helps fight bad breath
  • is good for your heart; it can lower your blood pressure.
  • is good for your digestion
  • has anti-cancer properties; contains compounds that help prevent cancer and stop growth of tumor cells
  • has anti-fungal properties
  • contains anti-inflammatory compounds; it may help reduce joint pain and soothe the nervous system
  • contains diuretic compounds; it is helpful with bladder infections and urinary tract infections
  • can reduce uric acid levels and eliminate gout attacks
  • may help migraines

Celery can be eaten raw, added to salads, fresh homemade juice or smoothies. Also, you can add it to soups and stir-fries. Eat it as a snack by itself or with your favorite nut butter. It’s nutritious and delicious.

Juicing vs. Smoothies

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Which is better?

It depends on your health goals

If you want the most nutrients per glass, you’ll want to juice. Ninety-five percent of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need are in the juice of raw vegetables and fruits. The emphasis should be on vegetables 5:1 over fruits. This highly concentrated mega-cocktail of nutrients enters your bloodstream rapidly and by-passes your digestive system. Your digestive system gets a rest and your body gets a power-packed infusion of nutrients.

When you juice, you are not getting the fiber – just the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. You get the nutrition without the fiber. If you don’t have enough fiber in your diet from fresh whole foods, this might not be the option for you.

On the other hand, when you have a smoothie, you get vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and fiber. The nutrient density is less than what you get in freshly made juice, because the quantity of produce you use in a smoothie is significantly less than when you make juice. However, you get all the fiber from the vegetables and fruits you use in a smoothie. Like with juice, I recommend vegetables 5:1 over fruits. Fruit smoothies are high in sugars and most people could use less sugar in their diets, even if it is from whole foods.

Both freshly made juice and smoothies can be healthy choices. It’s a matter of what your health goals are.

Here’s the recipe for the juice I make every day from all organic produce:

4 ounces of green juice from cilantro, parsley, collards and kale
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root
half a cucumber or enough to make 4 ounces of cucumber juice
1 small beet or half a medium beet
2 carrots (the carrots and beet should make about 4 ounces)
4 ounces of celery juice (about 3-4 ribs)

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the bottom a large mug, then pour in the juice and stir.

Enjoy!

10 Banned Foods That Every American Should Stop Eating

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10 Banned Foods to Avoid

Are you eating food that’s already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/banned-foods-infographic.jpg" alt="10 Banned Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Are you eating <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/10-banned-foods.htm"><strong>"food that's already banned"</strong></a> in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>

Liver- Gallbladder Cleanse

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Eat fresh beets. This is especially important for women.

6 week program to stimulate your gallbladder and innervate your liver and colon:

Mix:

  • 1 cup of finely shredded organic raw beets
  • 2 T either extra virgin olive oil or raw flax oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Take a tsp of this every hour or two during the day for 3 days. Then 2 tbsp 3 times daily before meals for 1 week. Continue taking 2 tbsp 3 times a day 3 days a week for 1 month.

This is a powerful flush for your liver and gallbladder. It will help stimulate better digestion in general, lower blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides), and help you regain energy

This should be repeated once a year.

If this does not lower your cholesterol and triglycerides, and solve your liver/gallbladder problems, you may need digestive enzymes.

NOTE: This is not medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. If you have high cholesterol and/or triglycerides or any other health problems, you should check with your doctor.

Health Benefits of Beets

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Two vegetables in one! That’s what you get with beets … the root and the leafy greens. Both are power-packed sources of nutrients and fiber.

Beets are good for your heart. They lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as homocysteine levels in the blood. In addition, they increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

They fight inflammation and help support your body’s detoxification systems, aiding in cleansing the liver and purifying the blood.

Beets have anti-cancer properties when eaten raw.

They boost stamina and have anti-aging effects.

Beet greens are a good source of Vitamin C and carotenoids which are converted into Vitamin A in the body.

The beet root is a good source of the B vitamins, including folate (raw beets), as well as iron, manganese, copper and magnesium and some vitamin K1.

Both the greens and the root can be eaten raw or cooked, as well as used in fresh juice or smoothies. In fresh salads, the greens can be used in place of lettuce and the root can be grated.

Although beets are high in sugar, they have a medium glycemic index of 64.

Beets are not listed on EWGs list of Pesticides in Produce. However, since they are a root vegetable, they will pick up toxins that might be in the soil. So, my recommendation is to buy organic or from a local farmer whose soil is uncontaminated.

Health Benefits of Kale

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Kale is a power-packed, nutrient dense leafy green vegetable … a superfood.

It is rich in vitamins, especially A,C and K.

Also a good source of minerals, especially calcium, potassium, copper and MN.

In addition, kale is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

It contains fiber too.

A good source of antioxidants, it helps protect your body from free radical damage and enhances immune function, helping you to stay healthier.

Kale is anti-inflammatory.

It is good for your heart, your vision and your skin.

Delicious steamed or stir fried and seasoned with a little Celtic Sea Salt and lemon juice.

It can also be used raw in salads.

Good for green juice or green smoothies.

Kale chips make a great snack instead of potato or corn chips.

Kale is one of the “Dirty Dozen” so you want to make sure you buy organic.

Health Benefits of Asparagus

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Asparagus helps the body build red blood cells and strengthens your blood vessels.

It stimulates the kidneys and is good for the liver, skin, bones and ligaments.

Green asparagus is a very rich source of vitamin A.

It also contains the B vitamins and vitamins C and E.

It is high in chlorophyll and fiber, as well as potassium, iodine and zinc.

Steam with the tips up and more vitamins B and C will be preserved.

White asparagus has fewer nutrients than the green. It has no vitamin A.

Purchase organic or conventional since asparagus is on EWG’s “Clean 15” list.

Enjoy!

Seeds of Death: Unveiling The Lies of GMOs (FULL LENGTH VIDEO)

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The world’s leading Scientists, Physicians, Attorneys, Politicians and Environmental Activists expose the corruption and dangers surrounding the widespread use of Genetically Modified Organisms in the new feature length documentary, “Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs”.



Healthy Eating … It’s a Challenge

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Is eating healthy food, consistently, every day on a regular basis a challenge for you?

If you’re like most people, the answer is probably yes! Even the most conscientious healthy eaters may often find themselves in a predicament when it comes to choosing nourishing foods or meals.

There can be many reasons for this …

If you’re just becoming conscious of making healthy food choices you may be confused by the many conflicting opinions as to what’s healthy and what’s not. There are numerous resources that claim to offer you the best choices for your health and well being. But, they don’t all agree.

Who do you believe?

How do you know the truth about what healthy food choices are?

Perhaps you’ve been preparing food the same way for years and now you find out that your preparation methods are not the best and may contribute to ill health. Or maybe you just haven’t taken the time or don’t have the time to learn how to prepare food from scratch.

Where do you start?

Do you eat out frequently, or just on occasion?

How do you know how healthy the foods are at the restaurants you choose? If you eat at fast food restaurants, you probably already know they aren’t the healthiest choices. But what if that’s all you can afford?

And what about taste?

You may have some favorite foods that you love that don’t provide the best nutrition. Maybe you think that healthy food doesn’t taste good. Or perhaps you haven’t tasted any healthy foods that suit your taste buds.

Deciphering the ingredients …

Let’s not forget about the various different products that come in packages – boxes, bags, jars, etc. Have you ever tried reading the ingredients lists to figure out if they really are healthy or not? Or maybe you just gave up because it all seems like Greek to you.

Well, there are answers to all these questions.

There are reliable sources for healthy eating information. Preparing healthy food doesn’t have to be hard. And yes, healthy food does taste good.

It’s no surprise that eating healthfully can be a challenge given the way our food is grown and processed and the advertising messages that are sent to you via all the different media.

So, let’s go sort it all out. Come on over to Healthy Eating Advisor on Facebook and let me know what you want to know.

See you there!