Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest Post - Evita Ramparte

7 Health Benefits Of Coconut Water

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of coconut water. I’ve talked here about all the great benefits before, and when Evita Ramparte kindly and generously offered to give us her take on the wonder drink, I jumped at the chance! You can read about Evita’s miraculous journey here. So, without further ado, here is Evita in her own words:

Coconut is the king of all super foods. Because it has high counts of vitamins and minerals, among many other things, that are bio available, our bodies absorb and consume them almost immediately. Here are the most amazing health benefits of coconut water.

7 Health Benefits Of Coconut Water

Friday, December 14, 2012

When Words Fail Us

I am struggling with finding words strong enough to express the sadness and pain I feel about the devastating events of today, both in Connecticut and in China. The horrendous murder and maiming of innocents, and many of them young children, defies any kind of explanation or attempt at making sense. Michael, Annie, Nicholas, Jayden and I send our prayers and our love to all who were affected by the tragedy. Please, let us remember to treat one another with kindness and love every day and let us find ways, both big and small, of easing each other's burdens in life. Let us overcome unspeakable darkness with the lights of joy and love.


Sunday, December 9, 2012


A friend recently sent me this video and it made my day. Life truly is wondrous.  Let's take the time to appreciate every moment we are given. Enjoy and share with those who are dear to you.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Recently, I watched in wonder as a boy of about 10 years rode a unicycle expertly down one of the streets in my neighborhood. He was obviously having a great time, gliding up and down driveways, tracing large circles on the sidewalk and generally looking about as comfortable on that one wheel as most people do hanging out in their favorite easy chair. When he looked up and saw me admiring him, his face beamed with pride and joy.  I called out, “You are really good at that!”

“Thank you!” He smiled and rode toward me.

“How long have you been riding?”

“Oh, not too long. I started practicing on my friend’s uni every day after school. I just got my own today.” As we spoke, he maintained his equilibrium by rolling back and forth a couple of feet in front

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Recently, I received an email with pictures of Hornero birds building their mud nests, complete with a windbreak to protect their eggs and young offspring. The amount of time and work involved in making these perfect little homes boggles my mind. But even beyond that, I am amazed at how the birds know just what to do. Clearly, there is silent and powerful knowledge passed down from one generation to the next, and it plays a substantial role in allowing the species to survive and to thrive.

We humans also pass on our accumulated knowledge to our young. Many times, we use words. But, much more often, we teach through our actions. When I was a child, I heard adults say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” And I thought it was the silliest thing I’d ever heard. If what they were telling me to do was so great, how come they weren’t doing it, too?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Almost -Traditional Quinoa Tabouli

Do you love quinoa and the exotic flavors of the Middle East? This new version of a famous traditional dish will become an addiction you won’t need to quit! It’s easy to make and packs a nutritional punch. Whether you eat it as a side dish or an entrĂ©e, Almost – Traditional Quinoa Tabouli is about as good for you as you can get. Whip up a large batch, put it in your fridge and enjoy! It keeps for 2-3 days, with the flavors blending and maturing for ever-increased yumminess.

This recipe was given to me by a dear friend, who learned to make Tabouli by watching her Lebanese grandmother turn it out year after year. Traditionally, it is made with cracked wheat bulgur,  which she replaces with quinoa in order to avoid gluten and increase the nutrition factor. With just a handful of easily found ingredients and a few simple steps for preparation, anyone can make it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

G-M-Oh-Oh (Part 3)

Pretty scary stuff, don’t you think? What I find most disturbing is how quickly GMOs have entered our food supply without proper research and understanding of their long-term impact on our health and well-being. We have already had confirmed instances of harm.

For example, in 1989, dozens of Americans died and several thousands were afflicted and impaired by a genetically altered version of the food supplement – L-tryptophan. A settlement of $2 billion dollars was paid by Showa Denko, Japan’s third largest chemical company.

But that’s not all. There are so many other potential risks we face as a result of the spread of genetically modified crops. Here’s a sampling:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

G-M-Oh-Oh (Part 2)

In G-M-Oh-Oh (Part 1), I talked about what Genetic Modification is, and the different methods with which it is done. In this post, we will take a look at the many common foods that have undergone Genetic Modification (GM). Hey, you can eat whatever you choose, but, isn’t it a good idea to know what it is that you’re putting into your body before you reach for it? I think so. If you agree, read on.

The public was first offered a commercially grown GM food in 1994, when the FDA approved the sale of the Flavr Savr tomato. This tomato had been engineered to slow the ripening process, which was supposed to have enabled farmers to let the tomato ripen before harvesting, as opposed to the traditional method of harvesting green tomatoes and allowing them to ripen during transport. It didn’t quite work out as intended. The unfortunately-named Flavr Savr tomatoes actually had very little flavor, which, combined with how difficult they were to transport, led to their being off the market only 3 years later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

G-M-Oh-Oh (Part 1)

GMOs have been in the news a lot lately, so I’d like to talk about what they are and how they impact our lives (hint: it’s a pretty big impact!). And because there’s so much to say, I’ll be dedicating 3 blog posts to this topic. I hope that you’ll share this information, folks, because, at the very least, it’s important to be informed about what you’re putting in your body.
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms.  They are also called transgenic organisms, as well as Genetically Engineered Organisms( GEOs). Sound like something from a futuristic sci-fi movie? Well, it kind of is. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Koo Koo for Coconuts!

Quick, name a drink that is a nutrition heavyweight, tastes great and comes in its very own sterile and portable container. If you said coconut water, you’re right! Not to be confused with coconut milk, which is the product of grinding and squeezing the flesh of mature coconuts, coconut water is the clear, light liquid found inside young green coconuts. In places like India, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean, one can buy young coconuts from street vendors, drop a straw into the big fruit and enjoy the delicious and refreshing water right on the spot!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can-Do Kimchi

What comes to mind when you hear the words “fermented foods”? Do you picture some exotic, oddly colored brew that you’d have to be a little screwy to even think about putting in your mouth? The truth is that a lot of our favorite, tried-and-true foods have undergone the fermentation process. Want to see some fermented foods and drinks that we regularly consume? Just take a quick look around – cheese, bread, chocolate, yogurt, wine. Not so exotic, eh?

Our ancestors were pretty smart cookies. They had to find ways of preserving food, both for journeys, and for storing through bounties into leaner times.  While the exact details of the first fermentation experiments remain a mystery, what we do know is that all over the globe, and throughout human history, people have been letting food “spoil” in order to keep it “fresh”. What we also know is that these “spoiled” foods are chock-full of the good bacteria that we need in order to have healthy and optimally functioning bodies. This is especially critical in modern times, with rampant antibiotic use, not just in medical practice, but also in our food supply. It’s true that antibiotics are handy for killing off bacteria that can cause us great harm. But they are also notorious for being the battering ram that simultaneously lays waste to the good bacteria our bodies need for the proper functioning of the digestive and immune systems. If the gut is depleted of these protector bacteria, we are left open to all kinds of disease. So, it’s critical that we regularly replenish the good bacteria.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shared Joy is Double-Joy

Growing up, all my friends wanted the usual pets – dogs, cats, hamsters, horses. You know, the regular pet arsenal. Me? I wanted a chimp. Oh, did I want a chimpanzee. I had pictures of chimps on the walls of my room, I checked out library books and pored over chimp-related details, I even tried to dress as a chimp for Halloween once. Any time which seemed like the right time (but, in retrospect, clearly wasn’t), I nudged my parents about maybe bringing a chimp home to live with us. To my unending surprise, through all my pleading and well thought-out reasoning, they remained unmoved. Couldn’t they see what a great pet a chimp would make? Still, you had to give me points for my single-minded dedication to this cause.

It wasn’t until years later that my dream was realized. Well, sort of. My partner, Michael, endeared himself to me forever, when early on in our relationship, he displayed an inspired performance for me. Jumping wildly around the room and perfectly imitating the ooh-ooh-aah-aah of my favorite animal, he made me laugh until the tears flowed and won my heart like no other.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Roots and Wings

There’s a new-ish term I’ve been hearing a lot lately - helicopter parents. It refers to those parents, usually mothers, who hover over their children, scheduling every aspect of their lives, and going to extremes to shield them from disappointment and difficulty. No doubt about it, the mothers’ behavior stems from loving and wanting only the best for their children. I, too, share this desire, but my methods are a little different.

We know that exposure to germs in childhood helps strengthen the immune system and protects children from developing allergies and asthma. Ongoing studies are also suggesting that there is an age threshold to this building up of the immune system – lack of exposure during the early years can’t be compensated for in adulthood.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Video Caption Contest!

Would you like to win your choice of great prizes? Then head on over to YouTube and add your wittiest comments on this video. Enter as many times as you like! More info in the drop down box under the video. Hurry, contest closes on August 10th.

I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Goldmine in Your Kitchen

You know that old adage that goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is? Most of the time, I totally agree with it. But in this case, we have an exception. 

What if I told you that you could grow your very own fresh food right in your kitchen, and that it would be just about the most nutritious stuff you could put in your body? And that all it would cost would be a few minutes of your time and less money than you’d pay for a cup of coffee?

Seems like a sales pitch? Well, it is. Sort of. I want you to start sprouting sunflower seeds, because once you start, you’ll be hooked. Send no money now. Or ever. Just read on and learn the how’s and why’s of having your own indoor sprout garden.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cleansing Cole Slaw

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ― Hippocrates

Don’t you just love summer? Even if you’re busy with work and family, the long, warm days make everything seem just a bit more relaxed and laid back. One of my favorite things about the season is the abundance and variety of produce that nature gifts us with.  The possibilities for flavorful and nourishing dishes are endless.  I like to take old favorites that are traditionally less than healthful and re-imagine them as delicious and nutritious dishes for my family to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hide It Under a Tree? Oh, No!

There's an old song I like to sing and the lyrics go like this: 

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."

Ten gentle words wrapped in a simple tune, easy to learn and fun to sing.  Yet, we shouldn't underestimate the truth and power they contain.  We are, each of us, born with a light that makes us a unique expression of life, unlike anyone who ever was or ever will be.  That spark is easiest to see in babies and small children. The wonder in the eyes, the immense delight found in small things, the utter lack of self-consciousness.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

From Little Things, Big Things Grow

I’m a multi-tasker. And not just because, as a mom and business person, I need to be.  I actually really love taking an action that results in multiple benefits. It’s like bargain shopping, only instead of saving money on things, I’m investing time that brings big rewards into my life.

One of my favorite “bonus buys” is container gardening. With the most minimal of materials, I get so much value. My children and I choose our containers, fill them with organic soil and plant seeds for yummy veggies we will all enjoy. But, just like on the late-night infomercials, there’s much, much more.  You see, while we are elbow-deep in the cool brown soil, we talk about the day’s events, or a book we’re reading, or what we plan to do in the future. Somehow, our worries and small grievances meld with the bits of earth that slide between our fingers, and we feel renewed and replenished through our work. By nurturing the seedlings with the regular watering and tending they require, my children learn, in a very concrete way, that their actions matter. And when we harvest and eat the fruits of our labor, not only are we getting fresh, organic food that nurtures our bodies, but we also feel the connection between the workings of nature and what ends up on our plates.

Need more convincing? How about this. Instead of sitting in front of a screen and engaging in virtual activities, my children go outdoors, breathe fresh air, get the benefits of sunlight and move their bodies in real space.  Remember that healthy habits are best started in childhood, so if you don’t want to grow your very own couch potatoes, get your children up and out of the house early and often.

One of the easiest ways to get started is to plant carrots. Here’s how.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not

I have a certain fondness for animals. Not just the cute and cuddly ones - I love them all. One of my favorites is the dung beetle. These prehistoric-looking little troopers spend their entire lives searching for, collecting, eating and living in dung. They even use it for reproducing. In fact, the beetle is so compelled by the odor of manure, he will fly up to 10 miles in search of just the right variety. Nature is a funny and surprising force, isn't it? If you've never seen a dung beetle rolling around his ball of waste, here's a little treat for you.

Like the beetle, people spend a lot of time pushing poo around.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Water you doing the rest of your life?

Every choice in life comes with a price tag. Usually, we don’t mind because the benefits vastly outweigh the costs. Ask a mother holding her newborn, if the pain of childbirth was a fair trade for the miracle in her arms. Or an Olympian, standing on the gold medal podium, if the years of grueling training were well spent. Clearly, to get something, we need to give something.

But in today’s world, there are times when we give up a lot for dubious returns. Take chlorine, for example. About a hundred years ago, when it was introduced as a disinfectant for our water supply, chlorine was hailed as a glorious weapon against cholera, typhoid and many other water-borne diseases. And, no doubt, it has since saved untold numbers of lives. Also, the corollary benefits have been massive – whole cities have grown and prospered as the result of the availability of disease-free tap water to homes and industry.

Ok, so what’s the problem?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are you gonna eat that?

Sometimes people tell me that they hate the taste of greens and wheatgrass, or that they find the very rich chlorophyll taste of E3Live hard to take.

And, every time, like clockwork, that old Listerine slogan pops into my head. You know, the one that goes, “The taste you hate, twice a day”? For those of you too young to know what I’m talking about, here’s a then-unknown Morgan Freeman to fill you in.

The idea was that people used Listerine for its benefits, despite its horrid taste.  While the ad campaign was brilliant, I, myself, don’t use Listerine. Why? Because there are much healthier mouth rinse alternatives. But that’s another blog post for another day.

Back to the greens.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Anemic Vegetables

“Eat your veggies!” we are told. And for good reason. A diet rich in fresh vegetables, packed with vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients  we are still learning about, is one of the best gifts we can give our bodies. Please note that the key word here is fresh.  If I pick a vegetable straight from my own organic-nutrient-rich garden, and eat it right away, my body gets loads of nutrients it can use to replenish my cells, give me energy and fight diseases.  But, the longer I let that vegetable sit around, the less beneficial it will be to me.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Of Mice and Me

I have mouse-magnet toes. Really. Don’t believe me? 
Read on.

I was poking around in the basement of the house I grew up in, looking for some long-lost thing or another, when all of a sudden, I knew that I was not alone down there. Maybe it was a sound, or a movement in the periphery of my vision. I’m still not sure. But I did know that I needed to get out and fast. I did a quick check of the area between the door and my spot on the floor. About 10 feet of space. I could cover that in a few seconds, no problem.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Not Your Mother's PB & J

Pumpin’ Fruit Punch! Blastin’ Berry! Awesome Orange!
The brightly colored packages practically jump off the shelves and demand our attention as we walk through the grocery store.
“Look mama, it says berry! It’s juice!” Nicholas helpfully informs me.
Poor little guy hasn’t learned about marketing yet. So, I explain to him that the liquid inside the pouch decorated with frolicking fruit really isn’t juice. It’s more like juice’s delinquent cousin who breaks his toys and blames it on the neighbor’s kids.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Today, as most mornings, I am feeling my children away from my side. I have been so fortunate in being able to home school them during their early formative years. Together we have traveled the entire length of Route 66 and Route 10, from Oregon to Southern Florida, with many stops along the way to learn about science, history, the arts, geography and the wonders of our beautiful country. We have played music and danced, cooked dinners and read bedtime stories, gone air boating and “hunted” alligators (well, ok, we really just sit in the Everglades and observe these magnificent creatures). 

But now, the time has come for my children to begin their formal education and I am blessed to have found just the perfect school for them. Every morning, they eagerly set off for adventure. And every afternoon, the drive home is a happy cacophony of breathless stories of the day’s exciting events. I know they love this next stage of their lives. Still, it’s hard to be without my babies.