Friday, March 8, 2013

Grow some Mint, watch processed meats, add some new grains

  If you could only grow one big pot of herbs, you might want to pick mint. It's so versatile. You can make sprays that deter insects, make small pouches of dried mint and tuck into your pets sleeping area to end fleas, add mint oil to cleansers to make your house smell nice, add it to iced tea, use in cooking for a fresh taste, and here's one to save, if you have hiccups, brew up a cup of water, add a couple of squeezes of lemon juice and some mint leaves, brew and drink.  Uses seem to be endless, it's a pretty plant and pretty much easy care. Planted outside be forewarned, it spreads like crazy and will take over an area quickly.
  If you are looking for new tastes and textures in your diet, here are some newer to the US grains to try, Teff, Kamut, and Millet. Also black rice, which I have not seen yet. The first three are high in protein and you use just as you would rice, barley etc.  but they give you many health benefits, and the protein level is high. Which leads me to my next thought, there are new studies out that show eating processed meats shorten your life by 13 years or so, because they cause cancer and other illnesses. An interesting study can be found at "The Atlantic", worth checking out.  One of my Sunday school classmates is battling cancer, wish there was better news for her. The old saying you are what you eat is still holding true, to avoid so many illnesses  be very aware of what you put in your body, food is medicine .If  you must eat processed meats, eat only 1 ounce a day to keep damage to a minimum.
  If you are spring cleaning your body, getting in shape for summer, try loading your plate with one half veggies, 1/4 protein, like chicken or fish, and 1/4 carbs, trying to pick to the healthy ones, like sweet potatoes. A breakfast of a couple of eggs with veggies stir fried into them is  great way to start the day, gives you energy and no mid morning let down. Add a few strawberrys, kiwis etc on the side. Juice is known to be high in sugar and low in nutrition so go for fresh fruit.
  If you are shopping for groceries this week, here is a little ammunition to help you navigate the whole grain trap. If a product is truly whole grain, there is a symbol on the box/bag. If it says on the label bran, or wheat flour or fiber, those are not whole grain. A seven grain bread may not be whole grains at all.  Look for 100% whole grain and the little box  that backs that up somewhere on the package.
 Improving your health is as easy as learning to avoid the "whites," flour, sugar, salt, shortening and rice. Go for the whole wheat's, brown rice, unsaturated oils etc. Once you make the change, its not hard to stick with, and the taste of your food is greatly improved. as well as your health.
  We had an interesting week,  wind, a bunch of rain and then a good snow for our area, school was out the last 2 days, don't know about today, didn't hear the bus but it might have been by. If these mountain roads have any snow, buses will not tackle them, too big a chance of sliding off the roads.
We are supposed to warm up into the 60's at least the next few days, yea, it's been a long time coming.  Will be good to get outside again and do a little spring yard prep and cleaning.
  Hope you are looking at some spring days too, won't be long and we will be complaining about the heat. Til next time, stay well.

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