Someday we’ll find it…

…the rainbow connection
the lovers, the dreamers and me…
Rainbow over New York Harbor

Rainbow over New York Harbor

(Photo from Askrom)

Photos of the rainbow that appeared over New York Harbor on Tuesday evening. I missed it, but others took some really nice photos of it. Here’s one of the full arc:

Full rainbow over NYC

Full rainbow over NYC

(from B.I.L. NYC)

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Older neighborhoods = less weight gain

I saw this interesting article from the NY Times‘ health section: a study shows that residents of  older neighborhoods (e.g., ones that were built decades ago) are less likely to gain weight. It points to the fact that you can walk to places – like stores – in older neighborhoods.

I grew up in an older town that had a main street several blocks from my house. As kids, we used to walk down to “town” or ride our bikes there. Of course, we were going to town looking for candy, but at least we were getting out and walking towards it instead of having mom drive us to it.

7 ways to stay healthy without breaking your budget

Has inflation hit you through your grocery bill? I’ve noticed recently that my food shopping has become much more expensive over the past few months. Here are some ways to cut costs without sacrificing your health:

1. Eat in season – If you’re buying fresh produce, it’s always better to eat whatever is available right now. Sure, you can get apples in spring or early summer, but they’re more expensive – and less fresh – than the seasonally-ready strawberries or blueberries.

2. Buy local – farmer’s markets often have comparable or better prices on certain items that you might find in your grocery story. By buying from the farmer’s markets, you’re supporting smaller businesses, helping the environment and getting fresher food (since the produce doesn’t travel as far).

3. Buy organic selectively – some conventionally-grown produce is so highly sprayed that you would be better off buying organic to avoid the massive amounts of pesticides you’d otherwise be consuming. For some other items, it’s not as crucial that you choose organic. See this article on MSNBC for more about which items should be organic.

4. Go veg – Eating vegetarian meals can save you a lot of money as veg sources of protein cost substantially less than animal products. If you’re opposed to becoming vegetarian full time, you can try it part time – plan to have some vegetarian meals during the week. You can get protein from plant sources such as tofu, tempeh, and beans.

5. Reduce your protein – If you are still adamant about keeping meat in your diet, use the Chinese Medicine philosophy of eating meat – eat mostly vegetables, with meat as a flavoring or condiment in your meal. One serving of chicken, beef or pork should only be 3 oz. This is much less than you’d get in a typical restaurant or takeout meal, but this is all you really need.

6. Eat less – It may sound drastic, but frequently we Americans are eating more than we actually need. Slow down your eating, and tune into your body. Do you really need the next bite? Or are you satisfied? If you’re hungry later, you can always have another small meal.

7. Fast – It sounds extreme, but a one-day fast will not only save you money, it can also help you live longer and healthier. Fasting allows your body to take a break from digesting all of the time, giving it the crucial rest it needs to renew and repair. But before you jump into fasting, you should get guidance from an experienced health coach or professional.

Birth Control Pills, Sunscreen and Local Eats

So much health news, so little time. Here are a few articles from the headlines I’ve read recently that may be of interest:

Birth control pill risk: Are you on the pill? You might want to consider these possible side effects from long-term birth control use.

Sunscreen and cancer: Is your brand of sunscreen actually increasing your risk for certain cancers? Read more about the controversy.

Grow it yourself: Locally-grown food — grown by yourself or someone you hire to tend your garden — is suddenly the new fashion. Learn why

Milk thistle: a head ache cure?

Many visitors to this blog arrive via my newsletter or through a news feed. But some end up here through a search engine keyword result. So, to answer one of those questions, I’ve decided to write about milk thistle and head aches: specifically, does milk thistle cure head aches?

First of all, what is milk thistle?

From the Mayo Clinic Website:

Milk thistle has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years, most commonly for the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders. A flavonoid complex called silymarin can be extracted from the seeds of milk thistle and is believed to be the biologically active component. The terms “milk thistle” and “silymarin” are often used interchangeably.

Milk thistle is an herbal extract that usually comes in a liquid form. It is typically used to help rejuvenate an overextended liver. The liver can become weakened from diseases, overindulgence in rich foods, alcohol, prescription and recreational drugs.

The liver is one of the main organs of digestion and helps filter waste out of the body and nutrients into the body. When the liver is weak and unable to perform its job to peak capacity, the immune system can also become weakened – more impurities in the system means more work for the immune system which leads to an overtaxed immune system.

So, can milk thistle help headaches? Well, maybe not most of them. But one type that it may be able to help is the migraine.

Migraine headaches may be triggered by many different things, including allergic reactions and sensitivities to foods or beverages containing nitrates, MSG, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, or alcohol. Now, if you’re willing to experiment with your diet by eating cleaner food (e.g., by cutting out foods that don’t trigger congestion, allergic reactions, or make you feel sluggish), doing a diet detox or cleanse, and adding in supplements such as milk thistle to heal the liver and strengthen your digestive system, it may help you decrease or eliminate your migraine headaches.

You can also supplement with milk thistle during a cleanse and detox diet. The milk thistle can help you strengthen your liver as you cleanse your whole digestive system. By adding more fiber to your diet while you clean it up, cutting back on heavy foods such as meats, cheese, refined flour products, caffeine and alcohol, while adding in more greens, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, you may gain more energy, have healthier-looking skin and hair, and start shedding pounds.

If you are interested in a cleanse or detox diet, please contact me.

You are what you eat

You are what you eat. How many times have you heard that expression? What does it even mean to you at this point? Probably not much – am I right?

But think about it. You are what you eat. It means that everything you eat becomes what you are. The food you eat is taken in as fuel for your whole body. It breaks down, and it becomes your blood, bones, muscles, flesh and organs. The food you eat impacts your body chemistry and hormones, which can even affect your thoughts, emotions and feelings.

That’s why it’s so important that you consider what you are putting into your body. It’s not just because how you eat can make you look thinner or sexier, run faster, jump higher or think smarter – these are the superficial reasons. The real reason is because you have the power to change your own body in the future by what you put into it right now. You have the choice of eating cleaner, healthier foods that are rich with nutrients or highly-processed, chemicalized junk foods that are nutritionally bankrupt. You vote with your dollars on what is more important to you – access to an abundance of whole, nutrient-dense foods or artificial, manufactured, reconstructed and fortified food-like items.

Which do you choose? And why do you make that choice?

Back from the honeymoon

I’m finally back in town, back online and ready to write. I had a beautiful wedding and a restful, relaxing honeymoon. I have to admit that it’s been a little difficult to get back into my work and routines, but now I’m here and ready to continue to explore living a delicious life with you. Stay tuned for more new posts, recipes, thoughts, discussions, and classes – coming soon!