Avocado Every Day keeps the Doctor away

Move over apples, the new health axiom is “an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.”

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pictures courtesy of Pexels

Even though a medium sized avocado adds around 250 calories to your daily intake and 24 grams of fat, the fat is predominantly the “good for your heart” monounsaturated variety.  Avocados also lower our “bad cholesterol” or LDL (low density lipoproteins) because they contain high amounts of plant based phytosterols.

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Start by incorporating avocadoes into your daily meals.  Chopped, pureed, or mashed, use your imagination to try avocados for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Just be careful what you eat them with (skip the chips).  Keeping in mind that a healthy allotment of fat is 65 grams within a daily diet of 2000 calories, simply replace the fats you have been eating for years with avocado.  Eliminate the “not so good for you” fats  like margarine or butter, peanut butter, oils, and mayonnaise.  As well as the heart healthy fat, you will be adding vitamins, minerals and fiber with this substitution.

 

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The power of vinegar

Is the power of vinegar an old wives’ tale or a well known fact?  Vinegar is basically acetic acid and as such makes an effective and inexpensive cleaning agent.  I must admit, being very aware of and sensitive to TOXINS, I do use extra strength (10%) plain white vinegar for many things.  Here are a few of the uses:

  •     carpet cleaner
  •     drain unclogger (with baking soda)
  •     laundry cleaner (disinfects) and softener
  •     weed killer, but be aware that it is non-selective meaning it will kill your grass too, so is best used between patio stones etc

 

Apple cider vinegar (ACV), made from fermented apples, has the benefits of acetic acid as well as enzymes, magnesium, probiotics and potassium.  It has become more popular recently as a dietary aid and home remedy to:

  • relieve heartburn
  • relieve sunburn
  • detoxify your liver and lymphatic system
  • lose weight and maintain healthy weight
  • remove skin tags
  • treat acne
  • clean wounds (antiseptic)
  • balance blood sugar levels
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • boost energy
  • condition hair
  • keep blood alkaline
  • clear sinuses by thinning out mucus
  • clean teeth
  • improve circulation

 

That is an impressive list of benefits for both white and apple cider vinegar.  White vinegar can be used as a cleaning agent directly from the bottle.  Apple cider vinegar should be diluted before use.  To drink it,  add one or two teaspoons to an eight ounce glass of water.  As a weight loss remedy, drink it before meals.  Rinse your mouth after drinking to prevent erosion of enamel from your teeth.  There are other adverse side effects of apple cider vinegar too, especially if consumed in excess.

So dig out those bottles of vinegar from the back of your pantry and put them to work as non-toxic cleaners and home remedies.

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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

The many benefits of coconut oil

Coconut oil has many benefits, some well known, some not so much.  I have read about its wonders in the weight management/diet category recently, but when I researched further I found lots of other great reasons to use it.

photos by pixabay

 

Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fat and three medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) called capric, caprylic and lauric acid.  Upon ingestion, instead of being stored as fat, MCFAs are processed by the liver immediately forming ketones which supply energy.

Research is hopeful that this energy from the ketones can actually help repair brain function in Alzheimer patients whose brains have lost the ability to produce insulin which formerly supplied the energy.  Another interesting and hopeful theory is that this energy produced by the ketones cannot be used by glucose-dependent tumors in cancer patients.

The MCFAs in coconut oil also exhibit anti-fungal, anti-microbial, analgesic (painkilling) and antioxidant properties.  These properties are beneficial in the treatment and prevention of many health issues including:

  • stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, digestion problems
  • urinary tract and yeast infections
  • kidney stones
  • arthritis
  • skin problems like eczema, rashes, psoriasis, cradle cap, dandruff, dermatitis, burns
  • high blood pressure and heart disease
  • tooth decay and gum disease*
  • liver damage
  • thinning hair or hair loss
  • osteoporosis.  coconut oil reduces bone loss and increases bone volume
  • type II diabetes
  • anti-aging and hormone balance
  • weight loss, losing body fat, building muscle, improving energy and endurance
  • low milk production in breastfeeding moms

*Oil pulling is a simple detoxification procedure used in the treatment and prevention of tooth decay and gum disease that involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out.

A simple way to add coconut oil to your daily routine is to replace the sugar in your diet with coconut oil, especially when you are fighting a cold or infection. Remember, sugar is your enemy!  It enhances and encourages the growth of bad bacteria, viruses, fungus and even parasites while coconut oil shuts them down. Buy some and try it, let me know what you think.

 

Healing fats

Have you ever heard of healing fats?  I had not until recently when I came across an article that intrigued me.  It was about healing fats and the Shepherd’s Diet.

The Shepherd’s Diet is based on the theory that the human body is a fat burning machine designed to burn (lose) more fat by eating more fat.  The catch is the fats you consume should be healing, healthy fats (supposedly mentioned in the Bible, hence the name “Shepherd’s Diet) and not the unhealthy, man-made, fake (trans) fats so popular today.

The fact is that obesity has become a bigger problem (pun intended) since fat-free diets became popular and recommended.  Why?  Because most fat-free and low-fat products are loaded with addictive sugar, now known to override the fat burning machine.

Sugar and fake (man-made) fats promote bloating and slow the metabolism.  They also cause brain fog and raise our bad cholesterol levels.  The fast food industry is saturated with these fake fat products, but the most popular one, margarine, is a staple in most of our homes.

What are the healthy, healing fats recommended in the Shepherd’s Diet?  This list names a few to start with:

  •  unrefined sesame, extra virgin olive, walnut, coconut oils
  • flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds
  • hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts
  • trout, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines
  • avocados
  • butter or ghee (clarified butter)

 

Try switching to these healthier healing fats, but remember, they are all high in calories.  Limit your fat intake to 30 percent of your daily calories.

photos from Pixabay

Simple tips to lose pounds and inches

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Each year (at least for the past 4 years since I started my landscaping business) I notice the pounds and inches creep up on me throughout my offseason.  The main reason is the difference in my lifestyle between the two seasons.

In the spring, summer, and fall (from April to October here in Canada) I spend a minimum of 6 hours a day working in gardens.  Not that gardening is an extreme form of exercise, but the stretching, bending, squatting and walking does add up.  During the winter months, my main work is freelance writing for which I sit at a desk for those 6 hours.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out which lifestyle is healthier.

The fact that the Christmas holiday season falls during these winter months does not help.  Like most people… Continue reading

Sugar, Sugar

 

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In the diet or health and wellness world, sugar is a bad word these days.  Apparently, processed foods, even the fat-free, fat-reduced or light products are not the way to go as they are making us fatter and fatter.  Why?  Because of the large amounts of sugar they contain.

Sugar comes in many forms and names.  Packaged, processed or prepared foods may be convenient and tasty, but are loaded with various forms of sugar:

  • sucrose, maltose, fructose, dextrose, glucose (anything ending in ‘ose’)
  • honey, syrup, nectar, sweetener, cane crystal, molasses, cane juice, malt

Sugar in any form causes our blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise and fluctuate, causing weight gain and more.  When the sugar is metabolized in our bodies, it is stored as fat.  A level, controlled blood sugar level is the best way to maintain a healthy weight and ward off diseases such as:

  • diabetes
  • breast, endometrial and colon cancers
  • heart disease and high blood pressure
  • infertility
  • sleep apnea
  • osteoarthritis
  • liver and gallbladder disease
  • stroke

 

Starting your new weight loss program does not have to be difficult.  Aim to eat more fresh, non-processed foods. If you are tempted to buy convenient, processed foods, beware of the hidden sugars; read the labels!

Cut out sugar from your diet for a healthier, slimmer 2017.

Concoct your own healthy smoothie

I try to make a healthy smoothie every morning.  I used to make them for my sons when they were young, now I make them for myself for a quick, nutritious start to my day.

These smoothies contain… Continue reading