Category Archives: Interesting Tidbits

Local vs. Organic Produce

Produce season is upon us and you may find yourself wondering which is better for you and your family: locally grown or organic produce. Should you support local farmers even if they spray chemicals on your food? Should you support organic farmers no matter the dent it makes in your wallet?

It doesn’t matter.

You’re eating produce and that is what really matters.

mission-impossiblePicture it this way: if you don’t eat plants, you’re like the action hero who clings to the top of a speeding car as it careens through traffic. He’s spread eagle, fingers and toes gripping any crevice in the vehicle’s exterior as momentum threatens to dislodge him. Riding on a car like this is bad for our hero’s health. It’s only a matter of time before the car comes to a stop and our hero catapults over the hood. Injury and death are givens if our hero stays on top of that car.

If you eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and/or legumes, on the other hand, you are the hero who sits inside the car and buckles up. Are you guaranteed not to ever be injured or die while riding inside the car? No, of course not. But your health is in a much safer position than when you were clinging to the roof. Locally grown organic produce is the five-star-safety-rated top-of-the-line vehicle with a police escort, but any fruit or vegetable gets your butt firmly inside the car.

veggie carThe documentary Food Choices touches on the topic of pesticides. Dr. Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org, states that if half of Americans would eat one extra serving of fruits or vegetables a day, it would prevent 20,000 cancer deaths per year. All of the pesticides on that extra produce would cause 10 cancer deaths per year. The number of people who potentially get sick from pesticides on produce is statistically insignificant compared with the benefit of those people eating produce…even non-organic non-local produce.

My personal recommendation is to eat local produce whenever possible simply because it tastes better. If you can pick your own, that’s great. If you can grow your own, that’s even better. But don’t sweat it if you’re getting your non organic produce off a truck from across the country or the world. By eating produce, you, the hero, are no longer spread eagle on the top of a careening car. Your butt is planted firmly inside the safety zone. Well done, Hero!

Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. Leviticus 25:19

 

Both images courtesy of Pinterest.com

Happy 4th of July! (A Potluck Poem)

4th-of-July1-1024x892Another potluck barbecue.

What to bring? What to do?

Chips and dip? Potato salad?

Deviled eggs or angel cake?

Macaroni? Pan of brownies?

Do I buy or do I bake?

Bag of pretzels? Bake some beans?

Quite a spread, but so few greens.

Be the one to bring the veggies!

Be the one to bring some fruit!

Carrots, hummus, homemade salsa,

Garden salad, bowl of peas,

Watermelon, red strawberries,

Bring a plant that’s sure to please!

Be the one to bring some veggies.

Be the one to bring the fruit.

When asked to bring some picnic fare,

Choose some vegetables to share!

 

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13

P1010165Recipe for Homemade Salsa

 

The image is courtesy of Health Home and Happiness

More cool red, white, and blue healthy food ideas at Eat Well Spend Smart

1 Minute Blueberry Recipes

During blueberry season each summer, my family eats about a pound of berries a day. I’d like to share a couple of my favorite blueberry recipes with you. They can be prepared in under a minute, are chock full of antioxidants, and have no added sugar or preservatives. As a bonus feature, if you try all three recipes in the next 24 hours, you get a free gentle colon cleanse.

2014 July 2 163Two Fisted Blueberries

1. Wash blueberries.

2. Grab two fistfuls of blueberries (don’t squeeze too hard unless your fists are hovering over toast and you’re looking to make Instant Jam).

3. Empty your fists into your mouth at a non-choking rate of speed and say “Mmm-mm-mm-mm-mmmmm”.

 

2014 July 2 216Blueberry Cereal

1. Fill bowl with blueberries. (Sometimes I add some Cheerios.)

2. Add milk and eat with a spoon.

3. When your children ask you what you’re eating, say “Blue Sugar Bombs, but you can’t have any”.

 

2014 July 2 168Two Fisted To Go Cup

1. Fill plastic cup with blueberries.

2. Carry it around with you and periodically shake berries into your mouth. This is great for car rides. Nothing draws stares at a red light like chewing your beverage.

 

“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.” Genesis 1:11

And I’m so glad He did!

Strengthen Your Core in the Kitchen

core-is-cookinWomen spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If we did core exercises every time we entered the kitchen, we’d be able to use our iron hard abs to tenderize meat. Whether you’re deciding what to cook for dinner, waiting for water to boil, or unloading groceries, a minute or two of core exercises here and there add up to better fitting pants.

Women’s Health has a good (and short) video showing four ab exercises we can do standing up. Replace those dumbbells with cans of beans, gallons of milk, or sacks of flour, and we’ll be cookin’ in the kitchen in more ways than one. 

March Ab-ness has begun, but it’s not too late to join in! Pick a goal and start today!

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

Help, They’re Taking my Excuses

The BBC is out to get me. Out to get me healthy, that is. They keep publishing news about studies that show there is no wrong way to exercise. First researchers set the exercise bar at 150 minutes per week. That’s two and a half hours, which sounds like a lot, but if you break it up into 30 minutes a day, five days a week, it becomes very doable.

Unless…

bbc-vacuumExcuse #1: I can’t make it to the gym five days a week this week because my kid is sick, my other kid has a dentist appointment, it’s snowing, my car’s in the shop, there’s a Downton Abbey marathon on TV, my sneakers don’t match my only clean t-shirt, and no one wants to sweat on a Friday. May as well give up.

BBC: Your exercise doesn’t have to be done in a gym and doesn’t have to be 30 minutes in a row. Every little bit of exercise adds up, so five minutes of walking because you parked at the back of the parking lot, or ten minutes vacuuming the house, or 7 minutes pulling weeds in the garden, or 20 minutes shoveling snow all add up. No excuses.

Unless…

bbc-bikeExcuse #2: I have a sedentary job and a busy schedule driving here and there and the only time I can do any real exercising is on the weekends. But going for a hike or playing tennis or taking a long bike ride doesn’t count, right? I mean, if most of my exercise is all in one day, it doesn’t do any good, does it?

BBC: Actually, it does; it does a lot of good. It does almost as much good as spreading the exercise out over five days. Again, moving your body for 150 minutes per week is what’s important, not how those minutes are grouped together.

So…

There’s no wrong way to exercise? Every little bit counts and every a lot bit counts and all of it adds up to reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and type two diabetes, not to mention looking and feeling fantastic?

BBC: Yes.

Then I’d better get moving. No excuses. BBC, can you please publish an article on how eating chocolate burns fat?

BBC: When a scientific study proves it, sure.

Sticking with the non-fiction, then, are you? Fair enough.

 

“For in him we live and move and have our being.”  Acts 17:28a

 

Weekend exercise alone ‘has significant health benefits’ http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38560616

Could Vacuuming Save the Nation? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3670523.stm

Merry Christmas! Give me a gift, please

img_4134Merry Christmas!

I am grateful for every one of you who reads this blog and I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

 

Will you consider giving me a gift? If you’ve read my book, will you leave a review for it on Amazon or Goodreads? If you already have, THANK YOU. I’ve been tickled and blessed by the reviews I’ve received so far. Reviews are how strangers decide whether or not a book is worth reading. If you liked my book, please tell the world!