Sunday, October 19, 2014

Puerto Rico - La Isla Del Encanto- Con Orgullo! (April 2012)





Sorry for not blogging, but I will be in Puerto Rico until November...I will be back with lots of photos. Until then, take care.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Cheap Kitchen Shelf

Hi everyone. I wish to deeply apologize for being away from blogging. These past few weeks has been incredibly crazy and super busy for me. I wanted to share with you a shelf I put up in my kitchen. It looks great.








I love organic wooden decor and I have a lot of it, but what I love more is that I only spent $20 on all the shelf decorations including the shelf...great budget and frugal decorating, all found at garage sales.
Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October, Berry of the Month...Eggplant Has Great Health Benefits



Eggplant is low in calories -- just 20 calories per cup, mostly from carbohydrates, a potent source of energy. It comes loaded with vitamins and minerals, but its health benefits extend beyond just adding vital nutrients to a meal. Eggplant contains other compounds that promote good health as well, even to the point of helping to prevent cancer and lowering cholesterol. Once you realize how beneficial eggplant is to your health, you may want to give more consideration to it becoming a regular part of your diet.

Chlorogenic Acid

Chlorogenic acid is a plant compound that is known for its high antioxidant activity. Antioxidants shield your cells from oxidation -- a harmful chemical process that damages your cells and contributes to disease. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service found chlorogenic acid to be the dominant antioxidant compound in eggplant. They report that this is significant because chlorogenic acid has a great capacity to fight free radicals -- the chemicals that cause oxidation -- and is also able to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Chlorogenic acid is also antimutagenic, which means it can protect cells from mutating into cancer cells; and it is also antiviral.

Nasunin

Nasunin is an antioxidant compound found in the peels of eggplant. The August 10, 2005 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" reports that a study shows the nasunin in eggplant has antiangiogenic abilities. The Cancer Center at the Angiogenesis Foundation explains that when something is angiogenic, it stimulates new growth of blood vessels and blood supply. While that sounds like it could be a good thing, when it comes to cancer, it is not. Cancerous cells can gain angiogenesis ability, which means they can develop a means to increase their own blood supply, which can cause a cancerous mass or tumor to grow rather quickly. Nasunin in eggplant has the ability to prevent angiogenesis from occurring. 
Many doctors and scientists believe that a compound in eggplant can effectively treat certain types of skin cancer. The phytochemical, known as BEC5, is believed to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. BEC5 cream is purported to have worked in thousands of cases, mainly in Australia and England with a success rate of nearly 100% when used for 12 weeks. There are conflicting reports as to its effectiveness and the FDA has not approved its use in the U.S. It is not known whether obtaining BEC5 from eating eggplant will help to prevent or treat cancer.
8 Health Benefits of Eggplant

The eggplant, known as aubergine in France and England, is thought of as a vegetable but is actually a berry of the nightshade (Solanaceae) plant. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent. Here are 8 health benefits of eggplant:

Antioxidant Activity

Eggplant contains several phytonutrients with good antioxidant activity: caffeic, chlorogenic acid and the flavonoid, nasunin. Nasunin is a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to fight free radical activity in the body. Animal studies have found that nasunin protects lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. Chlorogenic acid is also considered a potent antioxidant with many proven benefits.
Heart Health

Animal studies show that eggplant may help lower overall cholesterol in the body and help to improve blood flow. The antioxidant compounds in eggplant help to prevent oxidative stress to the cardiovascular system and thus reduce the risk of heart attack and heart disease. Eggplant is also a good source of fiber, which is needed to maintain good cardiovascular health.

Brain Health


Eggplant contains nasunin, an antioxidant anthocyanin, which may help to promote healthy brain function. Nasunin protects brain fats through scavenging free radicals that target brain lipids.

Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals

 Eggplant is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help protect against type 2 diabetes and keeps the digestive system regular. One cup of eggplant contains about 8% the DV of dietary fiber. Fiber can aid in digestion and weight loss. It helps to balance the metabolism. The fiber in eggplant helps to reduce cholesterol and relax blood vessels, which suggests it may play a productive role in maintaining good heart health. The vitamins in eggplant consist primarily of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B vitamins, vitamins like B1, B3 and B6. B vitamins play an essential role in the proper function of the central nervous system, energy production, hormone balance and healthy liver function. Eggplant is also loaded with  folate and vitamin C. These vitamins are also believed to help balance blood sugar and reduce cholesterol. Eggplant is also rich in minerals, boasting a large quantity of potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. With no fat, six carbs and 27 calories in a 1-cup serving, eggplant makes an excellent addition to any diet.

Weight Loss

Maintaining the proper DV of fiber and B vitamins can be a great way to contribute to healthy weight loss. Fiber promotes a healthy, active metabolism and B vitamins can help the body to process fat. Eggplant is also rich with nutrients while offering very few calories (only 19 per cup), which makes it a great addition to an active, effective weight loss program.

Bone Health

Eggplant contains many of the minerals needed to maintain strong, healthy bones: manganese, potassium, magnesium and copper.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Diet Restrictions & Preparation


Being on a diet has been really hard. Saying goodbye to so much food begins by being committed to your goals, as well as to closing the mouth and choosing the food we eat wisely. Everyday I must prepare the food I will be eating and it is very time consuming. After all the food is completely prepared, I put them in individual bowls so I can eat them for lunch & dinner. Here is one of my daily food preparations and for breakfast I always have either a bowl of homemade quick oats made with 100% raw honey and a protein veggie smoothie or I will eat 2 rice cakes with some gluten free peanut butter and a veggie protein smoothie. 






Its been hard to remove some munchies from my diet. This diet should work well with my daily 3 mile walk, yoga, weight lifting & early morning stretches...I should loose a lot of weight by next Summer...let the weight loss quest continue.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Great Vegetable Kabobs


One of the dishes I made this month was some skewers full of veggies, ripe Plantain bananas, tofu chunks and veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, yellow onions, yellow & red peppers & mushrooms).  I soaked over night my ingredients in some salt, black pepper and 1 bottle of Grove Farms Fat Free Honey Dijon Mustard Dressing. 


Since I live in an apartment my Cusinart Panni Presser is my best friend when it comes to grilling.


After 15 minutes on high the Kabobs are done.

Don't they look great and they were delicious.



Friday, September 5, 2014

The Amazing Coconut


The Coconut...an amazing fruit with great overall benefits.

You can drink it as a great thirst quencher, you can bake with it, you can cook many great dishes with it and the coconut oil has great overall benefits to make life a bit nicer.  

Here are 52 Uses for Coconut Oil

  • Eat a spoonful when you need an energy boost.
  • Use it as the base for a homemade body scrub.
  • Use to condition your wooden cutting boards.
  • Use as a super conditioner on your hair (apply to dry hair, leave in as long as possible and then shampoo as normal).
  • Use as a styling agent if you have really dry hair. Just rub a tiny bit on your palms and apply to your hair and style as normal.
  • Keep a little container in your purse for lip moisturizer.
  • Add a spoonful to your dog or cat’s food. CO is great for our furry friends!
  • Replace nasty, unhealthy vegetable oils in your cooking and baking with CO.
  • Make healthy ice cream topping.
  • Use it for oil pulling.
  • Use a tiny dab on your underarms for a natural deodorant.
  • Use coconut oil instead of shaving cream.
  • Add to your bath tub for a moisturizing soak (a drop of peppermint oil is wonderful!).
  • Use as a makeup remover.
  • Use it to help sooth chicken pox, shingles, or other rashes or skin irritations.
  • Use it to treat athlete’s food, ringworm, or other fungal or yeast infections.
  • Take a spoonful with your vitamins to help improve absorption.
  • Spread a thin layer on cuts or burns to speed up healing.
  • Take up to 5 spoonfuls per day for improved thyroid function.
  • Add a spoonful to your smoothies for extra nutrition and flavor.
  • Use on the delicate tissue around your eyes to help prevent wrinkles and sagging.
  • Use as the base for homemade toothpaste or lotion.
  • Use in place of massage oil.
  • Use in place of KY Jelly
  • Use on your baby’s diaper rash or cradle cap.
  • Use to help reduce visibility of stretch marks or to prevent stretch marks.
  • For nursing mothers, use coconut oil on your nipples to prevent cracking and irritation.
  • For nursing mothers, consuming coconut oil will help increase your milk flow.
  • Apply to bee stings or bug bites to soothe and heal the wound.
  • Women can use in the nether regions to relieve yeast infections, dryness, and/or discomfort.
  • Eat a spoonful with each meal to improve digestion.
  • If you’re prone to nosebleeds, coat the inside of your nostrils with coconut oil regularly.
  • Helps soothe and heal hemorrhoids.
  • Take to helps reduce or eliminate migraines.
  • Use as the base for a vapor rub.
  • Mixed with peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, or tea tree oil makes an excellent insect repellent.
  • Mix with baking soda for a non-toxic “Goo Gone”.
  • Use to help detox the body during a cleanse or fast.
  • Use as a metal polish, but always test a small area first.
  • Use as a leather moisturizer.
  • Season your cast iron pans.
  • Use to oil your pans and baking dishes instead of pan spray.
  • Got gum stuck in your hair? Try using coconut oil to remove without cutting your hair.
  • Use instead of WD-40.
  • Use as a personal lubricant (not safe with latex).
  • Take a spoonful to help with heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion.
  • Use as a natural sunscreen.
  • Mix with a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice and use as a furniture polish (always test a small area first!).
  • Mix with butter and toss your popcorn in it.
  • Use on cracked or rough heals to help smooth them out.
  • Massage into your nails and cuticles to help strengthen them.
  • Use as the base for homemade chocolate candy.
  • Take a couple spoonfuls every day to help overall immune function.
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