A Substitute for Cow’s Milk

I attended a workshop Sunday and learned a new recipe. Instead of drinking cow’s milk or soy milk, try cashew milk.

If you’re like me, the sound doesn’t seem enticing, but after watching how the milk was made and tasting a sample, the milk actually tasted…good.

According to the health expert who spoke at the seminar, cashew is noted for its magnesium content (surpassed only by sunflower seeds). Since cashew is rich in magnesium, as well as vitamins B1 and B2 (superior to almond and walnut), its use is recommended in case of:

  • Nervousness, irritability, depression, weakness, and abnormal tiredness.
  • Spasms in hollow organs: the colon (irritable bowel), the uterus or the cornorary arteries.

Here’s the recipe for the Cashew Milk.

Blend in a blender until creamy, about 1 minute the following:

2/3 Cup raw cashews

1/8 Teaspoon salt (seaweed salt)

2/3 Cup water

1 Tablespoon honey (agave nectar)

Add 3 1/3 cups of water

Add 2 cups of Almond Milk

Mix well and refrigerate. Shake well before serving. Should serve up to 8.

 Bon Apetit! : )

 

Extend Your Life by Doing This…

Floss.

I watched the Dr. Oz show one day and they happened to speak about myocardial infarction (heart attack). It was mentioned that when someone has a heart attack, doctors might ask if the person flossed. According to research, when left undetected by brushing, the bacteria in the dental plaque can seep into the gums, get into arteries, and cause buildup and blockage of the vessel, which could lead to a heart attack or some form of heart disease. The result of which can be devastating.

My memory sifts back in time nine years ago to the wee hours of a Sunday morning. The phone rang and a few minutes later my mom commanded everyone to get dressed and be buckled in the car. “What’s going on?” I asked. “Uncle B had a heart attack,” mom says. “We have to get to Chicago.” The drive from our home to Chicago usually took four hours (which included traffic), but this was one time my family was less concerned about the speed limit.

Every minute being in the car seemed like an eternity. “How much further to Chicago?” my sister asked. “Not long,” dad said.  During the ride, mom kept in touch with my aunt who would update us on our uncle’s situation.  The news didn’t seem to get better.  I hope he makes it, I whispered to myself. He’s strong; he doesn’t know how to give up.

We approached the “Chicago” exit and applauded to know we were nearer–then mom’s cell rang. “Dear God no!” were the only words uttered from my mom and like a ripple effect the entire crew in the car was overcome with tears. To our dismay, uncle B, who made us laugh everytime we were in his company, who wouldn’t allow anyone to touch the remote when Venus or Serena Williams played, who would go to the ends of the earth to protect his wife and kids–died. (He was in his 50’s.)

I miss my uncle dearly and wished he was still alive. Since his passing, my eyes have been opened and my mind kept aware of a disease so prevalent in America today. Heart attack is one of the biggest causes of death in North America and the number of lives lost to this disease continues. We may not have control over everything that happens to us, but we have control over how we choose to live.

If flossing can help prevent a heart disease and extend my life, I’ve already launched myself into the habit. It may seem menial and even daunting to do after every meal but it’s worth sweating this small stuff.

The Best Beverage in the World

It’s called water.

It’s been around for ages and there’s nothing new about it…but why has it filled the thirsts and delights of so many?

There’s nothing fancy about it either…it’s tasteless, odourless, colorless, and dear I say (somewhat) priceless–depending on where you buy or get it. It’s also a lot of other things, too. But it dawned on me last week how important and vital this liquid form we call water is.

I developed a huge headache one morning and couldn’t figure out why. I had gotten adequate rest (about seven hours) the night before and had consumed my daily food portions enough to fill my stomach. Then, as if the health version of Tinker Bell sprinkled her fairy dust on me, I wished to drink some water. I drank off one bottle, then another, then another. Within minutes my headache was gone. Usually I would take an Ibuprofen or Advil to help delay the headache throbbings, and would become so dependent on them they became my answer to every headache I got. This time, I broke free from that dependence and went instead to water (the beverage of ages I call it).

I learned from one of my cousin’s (who’s a nurse) that I was dehydrated and should drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Now, if you’re like me you’d be saying that’s a LOT of water. But here’s why. Our bodies are made up of water. That’s right, water (60% of water that is). Interestingly, our brain is made up of about 85%, even our bones (as hard as they are) make up about 10 to 15 % of water. That’s why it’s so important to drink water to replinish it. Water for our bodies is like gasoline is to cars (non-hybrid that is). We just can’t live without water.

I asked my nurse cousin jokingly, well, what kind of glass is that to use? and, what’s the conversion from glass to bottle? (Is there any?) She told me that a bottle of water contains .5 L and we’re to drink 250 mL daily. That’s about 3-4 bottles of water daily. That sounds better, but even that amount can be alot. It’s already enough drinking half a liter of water!

“Never mind how much,” she says to me, “Think about the benefits!” My skin might give a better glow, it can feel smoother, and I won’t feel as fatigued. My headaches will dramatically decrease too, and I’d feel rejuvenated and more alert. Not bad for a beverage that has no taste, no color and doesn’t pass a smell (a sweet one that is). My nurse cousin added that with these benefits, water will increase my likelihood of going to the bathroom more. This is only because my body is flushing out the bad stuff from my system and the water helps my body to be cleansed.

One other thing my nurse cousin mentioned is that one could drink TOO much water and be intoxicated. I’ve never heard of any situation like that, but I’ve learned that depending on one’s body mass, size, height, etc. water intake will vary, though a good start to daily drinking it is around 3-4 bottles a day. 

Since that discussion, my daily intake of water has taken root even to a point that every time I eat I forego the sugary drinks and choose instead to drink water. I would cheer at doing this, but it’s not been easy. Though, I remind myself that if I want to be healthier I’ve got to start taking care of my body.  Every time I think of drinking water, I think how much more care I am providing for my body to prevent catching anything (like the flu). 

No wonder water has been THE beverage that’s outlasted all others…Now, if only I can get passed drinking more than one bottle a day.

Take a break from it all and walk…

I woke up Sunday morning to a bright and sunny day. Birds were chirping or tweeting : ) outside my window and the cool breeze flushed my face. I couldn’t resist the temptation, I just had to go outside.

Walking crossed my mind, so I grabbed on my exercise clothes, suited up, had breakfast and left to go walking.  I don’t usually exercise, maybe because I’m afraid of the pain that comes after or the dedication and sheer commitment one must acquire in order to make it a habit.  Whatever it was, I began to walk.

I walked to the school track near my home, which is so nice to have. The school grounds are gracious to leave the track open for anyone willing to take on the mile wide road. When I got there, three people were already there. This was around 10 a.m. I stretched, breathed in the smell of the fresh air. Aaaghhhh…it was pure bliss, then I took the giant leap to begin my brisk walking.

After about seven laps around the track, I sprinted as fast as I could just to see if I still had it in me to do so. When I was in elementary school, being part of track and field was a requirement–the school I was placed in back then encouraged its students to engage in physical activity and that standard has never left me. After sprinting, I slowed back to my brisk walking and panted like a dog salivating for water (needless to say, I ran out the house without bringing any beverage).

I must say after my walking, I felt SO good, SO alive, SO free! It was refreshing and for the first time in my life in 2010, I was doing something that was good for me. Walking not only made me feel good physically, but it allowed me to engage in nature;  see the world around me when I took stops to look at flowers, birds, the sky, say “hello” to people I came across, and admire the gardens of homes as I passed them by.

Walking is truly an activity I’m going to take up more often. I hate saying I’m too busy to do it, but I’m making it a habit to squeeze in some walking time–Time doesn’t wait for anyone, so make the most of it and do some good for yourself while you can. Walking really does make the body feel good and your mind suddenly seems more sharpened. So, every Sunday, I hope to do my walking and during the week, work on aerobic exercises in my home. They say, milk does the body good, I say walking does the body and mind even better.

Reaping the benefits of Anti-oxidants

I love the Dr. Oz show! If you’ve never gotten a chance to see it, you should! He’s a licensed doctor who shares many health topics with viewers. Yesterday, his show touched on anti-oxidants and the health benefits of consuming foods that have them.

According to healthline.com “Anti-oxidants are a broad group of compounds that destroy single oxygen molecules, also called free radicals, in the body, thereby protecting against oxidative damage to cells.” Basically, anti-oxidants are substances that are believed to help prevent a variety of ailments.

Here are top 10 Anti-oxidant Foods (based off Lisa Turner’s article, Better Nutrition, 2002):

  1. Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. Blueberries are said to “delay the onset of age-related loss of cognitive function.”
  2. Broccoli: Also includes cruciferous veges like cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. These can help prevent cancer and ward of heart disease.
  3. Tomatoes: No matter how you pronounce it TWO-MAY-TOE or TAH-MAH-TOW can help maintain mental function as we age. Tomatoes also contain glutathione, an anti-oxidant, which helps boosts the immune system.
  4. Red grapes: Want to keep your heart beating longer and stronger? Red grapes it’s said can boost heart health,  reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, gastric ulcers, stroke and osteoporosis.
  5. Garlic: Known as “the stinking rose” it’s the word’s oldest known medicinal and culinary herb. BTW, it’s loaded with anti-oxidants! It can lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and keep blood from clotting.
  6. Spinach: Lutein, an anti-oxidant found in spinach, can help protect your vision. Studies claim that those who eat less spinach can develop cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the most common causes of vision loss. The greener the better!
  7. Tea: Of the tea family, it is said that green and black tea are beverages with equal benefits of anti-oxidants. It is said that tea is one of the best beverages to take to prevent degenerative diseases.
  8. Carrots: Filled with “beta-carotene”, an anti-oxidant of the carotenoid family, can also be found in beets, sweet potatoes, and yellow-orange veges. Beta-carotene can protect against lung cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, esophageal/stomach cancer, and can minimize the progression of arthritis by 70 percent.
  9. Soy: Think tofu, or Soy Milk products like Silk. Soy contains genistein, an anti-oxidant, which can help to prevent breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Soy can also lower cholesterol levels, prevent osteoporosis, and help alleviate menopause symptoms.
  10. Whole grains: Vitamin E is found in whole grains and whole grains are rich in “phytic acid” A.K.A. IP-6. Think of cereals with whole grains, breads made of whole grains are good too, pasta (whole wheat), etc. IP-6, found in whole grains, is also said to prevent sunburn,  breast, colon and liver cancer.

For the entire article, click here.

To get a clip of Dr. Oz’s Amazing Anti-oxidants segment, watch here.

The best way to arm yourself against illness and other diseases is to educate yourself! Hope you learned something. If I missed any other food groups packed with anti-oxidants please share. More knowledge, the better. : )