Food, Health

Super Sorghum

Many Health Benefits

This little miniature-sized kernel is packed with health benefits and is believed to prevent certain types of cancer, can help control diabetes, is gluten-free, offering a dietary option to people with celiac disease. It improves digestive health, builds strong bones, promotes red blood cell development, and boosts energy and fuel production.  What’s not to love?

Sorghum is mineral-rich, and contributes 10g of protein and 6g fiber per 1/2 cup to the diet. It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. You can pop it like popcorn or use it as a replacement for rice or barley in your favorite dishes or soups.

Sorghum is a drought tolerant cereal grass native to Africa, but is widely cultivated throughout the world, including the U.S, Central and South American and India.

If quinoa and millet are just not doing it for you, why not give sorghum a try. You can even buy it as flour and as beer and in packaged foods like crackers.

I especially love popcorn and this is a good alternative to popcorn. It is oh, so flavorful, especially when you pop the kernels in ghee. Another benefit to eating sorghum is that there are no annoying hulls that get stuck in your gums and teeth. They are a bit small to pick up with your fingers so it does take some getting used to. Also, not all of the kernels pop, but they are also edible but I tend not to eat the un-popped ones.

1/3 cup sorghum
2 tablespoons melted ghee
medium high heat, put a lid on it when it begins to pop and shake the pan a bit
add a little salt and enjoy!
Food, Health

Avocado and Toast Best Friends Forever

Lately, it’s all things avocado. Avocado toast, avocado colored shoes, guacamole. There are even giant avocados grown in Florida that measure three feet long and cost around $45. That is some serious green there!

Avocado is incredibly nutritious: Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B5 and B6, Vitamin E. It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).

Benefits of Avocado

Contains more potassium than bananas

Loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids

Loaded with fiber

Eating avocados can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Avocados weigh in at around 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats.  They do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat.

Avocados are considered a high-fat food but the fat content is oleic acid—a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also in olive oil.

You can get as creative as you want to with avocado. Of course, there is avocado toast where you spread avocado on toast and top with an egg. Add some arugula to the top with a sprinkle of lime juice and celery salt. I’ve had avocado in breakfast bowls comprised of brown rice, egg and slices of avocado with a sprinkle of soy sauce. There are a myriad of ways to prepare it.

Seriously, you can’t go wrong with eating avocado in any way, shape, or form. They taste good and are good for you. My favorite way to eat them is mashed with a clove of pressed garlic, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to prevent oxidization and to add flavor, a sprinkle of sea salt, a hint of tabasco and then I dig in with some tortilla chips. Yum!

Health, Inspiration

Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine…

Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune

I love the sweet scent of jasmine on a hot summer evening as I sit on the porch and drink an ice-cold glass of water and listen to the breeze gently blowing and rustling the tree leaves. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. The jasmine sits in a comfortable spot in a container on my porch and runs up a small trellis. Every time I think of jasmine, I think of the Seals and Crofts song with some of the lyrics evident in the blog title and photo caption.

Not only is the sweet scent pleasant on a summer evening but scientists have discovered that the fragrance of jasmine could potentially help replace medication for sleep, anxiety, stress, and a host of other modern day illnesses.

It has been determined that jasmine can

-Reduce anxiety and nervous tension

-Boost mood and improve cognitive performance and alertness

-Improve sleep quality

-Balance hormones

-Treat hot flashes and mood swings

-Increase libido

Scientists who conducted tests on laboratory mice discovered that the fragrance of jasmine augments the effects of a chemical named GABA on nerve cells.  This chemical reaction is what helps relieve anxiety and stirs up the desire to be still and at rest.

Being in nature naturally reduces anxiety and stress and it has been found that there is a correlation between stress and oxygen levels.  Adding the soothing aroma of jasmine can positively impact mental health and improve your mood in general.

Now if only my bedroom window was closer to the jasmine.

Health, Mind, Soul, Body

Living with Pain

I had a headache today and I was trying to determine the cause. It seems that I do have headaches a little more frequently as I get older and want to explore the root cause so that they do not become chronic. I think the headaches are caused from tension.

I can experience tension from the seemingly smallest things and I think tight neck muscles contribute to the headaches. I probably need to move my body a little more. I am becoming more attuned to my body and what might trigger it to feel poorly. I have realized that I need to eat at a particular time each day, which also helps with the upkeep of a healthy metabolism, and to keep my body hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Many headaches are caused by dehydration.

Muscles can become tense when working at a desk all day or tensed up with cold weather or cold air conditioned rooms. I find when I travel to warmer climes, my muscles tend to melt like wax. Ah, an excuse for a warm weather adventure!

When muscles become tense deep breathing exercises can help with relaxation, calming the body and also can boost energy. Yoga can target specific areas of the body and I am amazed at how different yoga postures can align the body. I cross my legs when I am sitting and that is probably one of the worst things you can do for you body and for your posture.

Massage also helps with tight muscles and drinking water after a massage session can eliminate the body of toxins.

I am also wondering whether eye strain from reading and working on my phone can contribute to tension. I like to work on my computer but find that working and reading on a phone even though convenient, leaves me with blurry vision sometimes.

Try to recognize the patterns when your body experiences pain or discomfort. Usually, it is your body trying to tell you something.


Magic Pill

If only it were that easy. Photobank gallery/

After visiting the doctor for nerve pain, I was prescribed a medication that would deaden pain and numbness. The prescription was ready when I went through the pharmacy drive-thru on my way home from the doctor appointment.

I thought I would do some quick research on the medicine before I began taking it. Common side effects include involuntary eye movement, dizziness, drowsiness, fluid retention, relaxed easy state, low energy, altered mental status, depression, anger, dry mouth, double vision, loss of memory, involuntary quivering, nausea, weight gain, confusion, hives, suicidal thoughts or tendencies, aggressive behavior, anxiety, and the list goes on. Of course, the drug company is listing all the possible side effects, but who wants to take any chances. Reading further, I learned that it is addictive as well.

Now don’t get me wrong. Medicines are sometimes needed to help a patient, but I got the feeling that the doctor wanted a quick and easy “remedy” to try and alleviate the problem until I saw a specialist. He meant well but doctors are under time constraints and he was probably looking for the quickest possible solution. I, however, am willing to put some effort into my well-being, even if it takes more time to figure out what my body is trying to tell me.

I have decided instead to use my “bed buddy” which is a microwaveable heating wrap to loosen tight muscles as well as massage, yoga for stretching along with relaxation and ibuprophen.