Herbs, Spices, Healing

and Health

    Herbs and spices have been used since ancient times for their healing properties.  Not only do they make our food taste better, but they can actually make us healthier. 

    Mint is a culinary herb that can aid in our body's digestive process.  Peppermint contains carminatives--menthol, anethole and carvone--that settle the stomach and relieve gas.  It can also aid digestion by stimulating bile production. 

    Ginger can relieve constipation and encourage gastric emptying.

    Cilantro, coriander, thyme, garlic, oregano and cinnamon are good antimicrobial herbs, which can defend your body against various kinds of bacteria.

    Oregano, basil, parsley and rosemary are antioxidant herbs.  Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called "free radicals."  Antioxidants may play a role in the management or prevention of some medical conditions, such as some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and some arthritis-related conditions.  WebMD, 2015; Nikki Andruik "Life is Good" 2015

The Truth about

Whole Grains

    To eat or not to eat whole grains?  Are they really good for you?  The short answer is yes!  But there are a long list of reasons why.  Whole grains possess all of the original kernel--bran, germ and endosperm--in their original proportions.  When you eat refined grains, the healthiest parts--the bran and germ--are stripped away.  Just read your labels and make sure that whole grain is one of the first three ingredients listed.

    Whole grains contain fiber.  It digests slowly, helping you to feel fuller longer.  Adults should be getting anywhere from 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.

     Whole grains help to lower cholesterol by absorbing low-density lipoproteins ("bad" cholesterol), which contribute to heart disease.

    Whole grains are a good source of B vitamins and essential minerals.

    Some great whole grain foods are brown rice, quinoa, barley and oatmeal.

We are What We Eat

    A healthy outside begins with a healthy inside.  True or false?  It's absolutely 100% true!  What we eat will determine our energy level throughout the day, our mood, our body's proneness to disease and our outer appearance.  Studies have shown that healthy eating promotes our long-term physical, mental and emotional well-being. 

    Do you typically have enough energy to get you through your day?  Do you feel the need to give your body caffeine in order to make it through that long afternoon meeting?  Try consistently eating 5 to 6 small meals OR 3 meals and 2 snacks throughout your day.   Make sure your meals consist of fruit, vegetables, proteins, nuts and whole grains.  Fruits will give your body that natural sugar to give you energy and protein will keep you satiated and full, which will keep you from unhealthy snacking.  A great "on the go" snack is a mixed bag of grapes and almonds. 

    When you eat a healthy breakfast, you begin your day more energetically, enthusiastically and more likely to feel happy and content.