Gut health, what, why and how

Recently, a video I saw on social media caught my attention.  I had a few minutes to spare, so listened to Dr. Amy Lee explain why gut health is so important to achieve and how to achieve it.  Dr. Lee specializes in internal medicine as well as wellness, nutrition and obesity.  Listen to the video and make up your own mind if it makes sense to you.

It made complete sense to me as I have battled with my gut health for years and finally feel that I am in control.  I learned the hard way what works for me and what does not.  This information may educate you and steer you in the right direction if you too suffer from poor gut health that presents itself in numerous symptoms. Keep an open mind, you may not even realize your gut health is so crucial.

gut health

The video did turn out to be an infomercial for a specific product that Dr. Lee is selling, but the information she shared throughout the commercial was interesting.  I can attest to the fact that she is bang on about the foods that are bad for your general health.  If you have followed any of my previous posts, especially my very earliest ones, you will know that I have suffered for years with the pain resulting from food sensitivities and poor gut health.

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An Avocado a Day keeps the Doctor away

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

avocado
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.

avocado

Start by incorporating avocadoes into your daily meals.  Chopped, pureed, or mashed, use your imagination and 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.

 

Extreme summer breaking records

No doubt we have had an extreme summer this year in Ontario.  Extremely high temperatures and accompanying drought conditions were followed by an extreme amount of rainfall over a very short time period, then topped off with an over abundance of annoying, hungry mosquitoes.

extreme summer

We should be moving up this list as our daytime temperatures are still soaring high.  The good news is our evening/night temperatures are currently cooler, much better for sleeping.  Most people will agree, moderate is much more tolerable than extreme.

Despite the extreme weather we have experienced, after last summer’s lack of sunshine and heat, no one can complain we did not get enough of either this summer.  I must admit thought, this extreme summer has limited my time in my gardens!

 

Home improvement in south-western Ontario

One of the (many) joys of parenthood is seeing your children evolve into successful, hardworking adults.  This also applies to the children of close friends, so whenever I can I like to share and promote their adventures and endeavors.  One such longtime friend of my husband is proud to announce that his son has started a new home improvement business with his girlfriend….
home improvment

This young couple is based in Aylmer, Ontario (west of Toronto) but will travel as far as London, Mississauga and Barrie to help you upgrade your home.  Their business is called Paint by Mimi, but they are experienced in many other types of residential upgrades too.  For affordable, reliable, and excellent home improvement services such as painting, landscaping, roofing or irrigation installations, be sure to give them a try.

Call soon for your free quote: (905)703-0047

 

Recent lung study no surprise to me

A recent lung study on the dangers of cleaning supplies came as no surprise to me.  You can read it here.  Years ago I realized that many common household cleaners bothered my lungs so I quit using them and switched to Melaleuca products.

Melaleuca products are created with plant based (natural) ingredients including tea tree oil (melaleuca)  Hence, the name of the product line.  Contact me if you want to know more about this wonderful group of products that includes a beauty line, essential oils, bath and body care, nutrition and weight loss.  Oh, and cleaning products.

lung study
Melaleuca plant


lung study

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Blue grass beauties

My new favourite ornamental grasses these days are the blue tinged beauties.  Every year there are more and more ornamental grasses available to choose from in the garden nurseries, but my eyes seem to be increasingly drawn to the blue grass varieties.  I love the way the soft, steely, blue hue compliments the color of other perennials.  While other ornamental grasses are grown for their attractive seed heads, the blue versions are chosen more for their attractive coloring.

These are blue oat grass, one of my favourites…

 

This is a newer variety, called Blue Lyme Grass…

blue lyme grass

Most ornamental grasses like full sun, but there are a few that tolerate some shade.  Be sure to check the labels before purchasing for sun requirements and hardiness zones.

 

 

 

 

Boomerang Lilac adds bonus blooms in mid to late summer

Everyone loves lilacs and their beautiful, unique spring blooms.  Unless you are allergic to their powerful fragrance.  Did you know there is a variety that reblooms?  It is appropriately called the Boomerang Lilac.  You can order one here or check out your local nursery.

Like their name implies, the new blooms arrive on new growth that occurs after the first bloom is over. This is my boomerang lilac.  There are a few new blooms that have arrived with our recent rainy spell.

You can barely see the promise of new blooms today, but by next week the tree should be full of their stunning color and fragrance, creating a late summer focal point in my garden.

 

Encourage kids to discover their green thumbs by planting seeds

Encouraging kids to develop green thumbs is a great outdoor activity, especially for this gardening loving Grandma.  Recently I taught my two oldest grandchildren (1.5 and 4.8 yrs old) the fine (very simple) art of planting seeds.  I filled some large pots with soil and added bamboo trellises shaped like teepees for the plantings to climb on.   I chose pole beans and morning glories to plant as they are both fast growing seeds, perfect for impatient children.  In fact, our seeds sprouted within a few days and in less than three weeks their tendrils had started to climb the teepees…

 

 

A few weeks after that and the beans have climbed up, around and through the teepee shaped trellis, producing purple pole beans.  No sign of the morning glories yet…

 

 

Now, if I could only get the kids to eat the pole beans.  Grandma certainly will…

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I must admit that I have never planted purple pole beans before and did not realize they turn green when they are cooked….

You can entice children to enjoy gardening by getting them their own gloves, tools and watering can. My grandson loves the little “critters” I have on my back deck too…

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Lanark Ontario, home of glorious hanging baskets

On the way to our cottage we pass through the village of Lanark in Eastern Ontario.  With a population of merely 800 people, Lanark is a quaint little town, known for its lilacs, maple syrup, Fitz’s Take Out and glorious hanging baskets.

Lanark

As a gardener, I cannot help but notice and appreciate that someone takes the time each summer to plant, hang and water numerous hanging baskets, overflowing with colorful flowers…

 

LanarkLanark

This is no easy feat this summer as we have had a record amount of hot dry days that have left many a hanging basket wilted and sad looking.  Not so these baskets, they have been gloriously beautiful all summer!

 

Rain drops keep falling on my head

Gardening in the rain is usually not a problem for me, in fact I prefer a light drizzle to the intense heat we have been experiencing lately.  A light rain keeps me cool and keeps the bugs away. It also cuts down on the amount of sunscreen I use.  I do draw the line however at thunderstorms or torrential downpours.

Today started off great.  A light rain was falling so I headed to one of my favourite gardens, located in the exclusive and very private setting of the Kanata Rockeries which were designed by one of the founding fathers of Kanata Bill Teron.

 

 

Then the dark(er) clouds rolled in bringing heavier rainfall and distant thunder…

 

rain

 

That was my cue to head (run) to my van.  When the downpour did not let up after five minutes and the thunder got closer, I headed home.