Archive for the 'Health and Fitness' Category

Increase Your Vitamin C intake and Ward off Seasonal Allergies

Posted on May. 1st 2013 No Comments »

It’s that time of year again, where many of us are suffering the symptoms of the dreaded seasonal allergies. Yes, we are plagued with itchy, watery eyes, an itchy throat and the the terrible ever- running nose.  But did you know that there are foods that can dramatically decrease the affects that these airborne pollens have on our bodies?

Many foods actually have natural antihistamines found in them. The term ‘antihistamines’ refers to a class of drugs that are used for allergy treatment, which inhibit the release or action of histamine which is a chemical released by the immune system during an allergic reaction. These drugs help control or alleviate the allergy symptoms by counteracting the effects of histamine throughout the body. Since the store bought, chemically created version of these drugs can cause unwanted side affects, opting for something more natural seems like a no-brainer.

And it gets even better…Natural antihistamines not only relieve symptoms of an allergy, but can also reduce the frequency of future episodes while by strengthening the immune system.

Vitamin C

Foods high in the important nutrient Vitamin C are said possess strong antihistamine properties. Additionally, it is a well-known antioxidant which fights against free radicals and boosts the immune system.

Eat these Vitamin C rich foods:

  • Bananas
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries
  • Guavas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwifruit
  • Oranges and Clementines
  • Kohlrabi
  • Bell Pepperss
  • Green peas
  • Broccolli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale

Add these amazing foods to your Natures Garden Delivered order this week and enjoy breathing a little bit easier and get outside to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather in Arizona.

Guest Post By: Elise Redlin

Elise is the Marketing Director at a digital marketing firm in sunny Tempe, AZ but spends her free time exploring the health and beauty advantages to green cuisine and living with her daughter and boyfriend. She’s a true believer that there is a reason to celebrate each and every day.

Posted by redlincook | in Health and Fitness


Posted on Aug. 5th 2011 No Comments »

Yummy Breakfast!

Ever want to go out for a meal but worry about what exactly you will end up eating? Do you have food allergies or prefer organic/ humane sources of produce and protein?  Nourish in Scottsdale has provided a haven for those dining out that have concerns about preparation and sourcing of ingredients.  The owner, Kirstin Carey, has Celiac disease which is the inability of the body to process gluten and leads to serious complications if a gluten free diet is not adhered to.  Unwilling to sacrifice her favorite foods, Nourish was developed out of her love of food and recreating dishes to be allergen free.  Wheat/Gluten Intolerance is not the only allergy to be considered. Corn, Dairy, Soy, Egg, Nut, and Vegan preparations are all taken in stride.

Taking a look at menu can be a very liberating experience for someone who has been limited in dining out options.  The menu clearly labels the dishes with what allergens they are free of.  It really takes the guess work out of making a decision!  If you are dining with others who have no allergy concerns, regular bread/pita options are available.  The kitchen follows a strict no-cross contamination policy when handling non-gluten items.

I was excited to have breakfast at Nourish and was thrilled to be ordering a waffle that was Dairy, Egg, Gluten/Wheat Free!  It was a healthy, delicious waffle that was made with chia seeds and cocoa powder. It arrived warm and fluffy.  Served with Agave syrup it was a real treat. The air crisped sweet potato fries were a perfect side dish.  My lunch date had an egg breakfast sandwich served with regular bread and the sweet potato hash.  He heartily dove in and was staring longingly at my waffle, which I happily shared.

The menu has so many appetizing choices, it can definitely make you want to come back for more.  The Nourish Healthy Colorful Mac & Cheese sounds delicious!  The gluten free pizzas would make a perfect casual lunch with friends.  A gluten free, organic wine and beer list also available. Do not miss the opportunity with dessert at Nourish.  They offer the Lemon Island Cheesecake by Innocent Indulgence that is just divine.  Nourish has also partnered with other local bakeries to provide other allergen free goodies.

Nourish will be hosting a Gluten Free Expo on August 13, 2011 and more information and tickets on this exciting event can be purchased here

Top 5 Eco Tour Locations Worldwide

Posted on Jul. 19th 2011 No Comments »

The crowds of the cities, congestion of the highways, and lines at airports and hotels can make travel downright miserable. It is not uncommon to find someone who says they are happier just taking a couple of days off from work and staying home. Yet, travel deals are cropping up that make it easier than ever to explore another part of the world. Vast tracts of nature still abound and environmental sustainability is the focus of many hotels and resorts in remote parts of the globe. Central and South America as well as Southeast Asia, Africa, and the isolated Galapagos Islands in the Pacific are just a few such places.

South America has a wide range of climates, but the mountain vistas of Argentina and Chile are some of the most spectacular in the world. There are big cities not far away from vast expanses of nature, such as Buenos Aires and Santiago, and you can certainly start out at one of these places. Treks out to the rugged terrain on a four-wheel drive or on horseback begin not far away. You can explore huge national parks or sip your way through Argentina’s wine country. This is a well-rounded trip because it is possible to get lost in the wonders of nature, and experience cosmopolitan cultures whenever you desire to get back to civilization.

    On a trip to Belize and Guatemala, there are dense rainforests to explore. The beaches are spectacular as well, so after hiking the jungle you can relax on white sand beaches and even explore the immense coral reefs around Belize. A vacation package can include small hotels in different spots, to which you can travel to in small planes and all-terrain vehicles. It is also easy to get immersed in the local culture, explore the ruins of Mayan civilization, and just slow the pace a bit and catch up on relaxation.

      India is also a top destination for an eco tour. It’s a large country and it would take a long time to explore all of it, though there are more than enough natural wonders, historical sites, and cultural elements to be seen. Safaris offer up close sights of tigers and elephants in their natural surroundings, and long rivers provide slow-paced journeys. In between, you can explore dense, modern cities like Delhi and Mumbai and, on a tour, the lodging can range from modern hotels to small guesthouses. Dense crowds and environmental concerns have been seen in India, so it is one of the best places to take an environmentally sustainable trip. Preserving the environment has become one of the country’s top priorities.

        If cities and civilization are far from your mind, an eco tour to the Galapagos Islands will keep the sight of big crowds away from your thoughts. The Galapagos are all nature, and have been the subject of various scientific studies, including those of Charles Darwin himself. You can visit 13 islands with plant life that is seen nowhere else, and landscapes that have been uniquely created by the volcanoes that constructed the islands. Cruise on small ships, take a walking trip through the wilderness, and stay at small, eco-friendly lodging right on the islands. Here, you know the lodging and transportation are built to protect the local ecology. The Galapagos Islands are one of the most protected areas in the world.

          A fifth destination for an eco tour is Tanzania. The natural wonders of Africa rank among the top unspoiled areas in the world. This is a place for adventures like climbing up Kilimanjaro or hiking the hills above the Great Rift Valley. You can also witness wildlife conservation at its best at Serengeti and Lake Manyara. It is also possible to observe wildebeest migrations, and see plant and bird life that can’t be seen anywhere else.

            Vacation packages for eco tours abound, and all of your lodging, transportation, and food needs are included. At any of these top locations, you’ll feel like the rest of the world is a universe away. Who doesn’t need to slow down the pace in the most natural surroundings there are?

            Kara Taylor is a freelance writer and has been published on several topics including eco tours.

            Posted by poppa-d | in Green Living, Health and Fitness

            Quintessential Quinoa

            Posted on Nov. 2nd 2010 No Comments »

            A staple of the Incan warrior’s diet, quinoa (pronounced kin-wa) is an excellent addition to anyone’s nutrition regimen. While often mistakenly referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that is related to leafy greens. Once known as “the gold of the Incas”, quinoa offered these warriors a powerful fuel that sustained them through battle. What differentiates quinoa from other healthy plants is that it offers complete protein, which is a full spectrum amino acid profile. Balancing your diet with quality sources of both animal and vegetarian sources of protein helps the body maintain a healthy pH for healthy living and athletic recovery.

            Read the rest of this entry »

            Posted by Chris | in Health and Fitness, Quinoa, Recipe, Scallion

            8 Healthy Office Snacks

            Posted on Oct. 26th 2010 1 Comment »
            Don’t get caught in front of the vending machine again. Pack these eight healthy snacks (each less than 200 calories) to keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the work day.

            Desktop Snacks

            Working eight or more hours a day can make it difficult to eat healthfully unless you plan ahead. Research shows that eating every four hours helps to keep your metabolism charged and your energy level high. Before you dig in your drawer for spare change and head to the vending machine, plan ahead and stash low-calorie, nutritious snacks in a cabinet, drawer, or your briefcase. Each of these snacks has less than 200 calories and are sure to satisfy when the 3 p.m. cravings hit.

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            Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness

            Simple Pleasures

            Posted on Oct. 12th 2010 No Comments »

            Short on time and long on responsibilities? Overwhelmed by stuff? This year, resolve to simplify your life. The goal is to cut back on the clutter―both in your closet and your schedule―so you can focus on more meaningful things. “Living simply means less stress and leading the life you want,” says Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide (Broadway Books, 1997) and publisher of the Seattle-based quarterly newsletter Simple Living Journal. “It’s about living consciously and deliberately.”

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            Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness

            Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

            Posted on Sep. 28th 2010 2 Comments »

            To give you an idea of just how important fruits and vegetables are, here is a quick overview of some of the many ways fruits and vegetables affect our health.

            Increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables can:

            • decrease your chances of having a heart attack or stroke
            • lower your blood pressure
            • help you avoid constipation and the painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis
            • guard against two common aging-related eye diseases – cataract, and macular degeneration
            • delay or prevent memory loss and a decline in thinking skills
            • help you feel full with fewer calories and so control your weight and waistline

            Read the rest of this entry »

            Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness

            Top 10 Reasons to Go Organic

            Posted on Aug. 24th 2010 1 Comment »

            The central idea behind natural and organic farming is sustainability. It represents the “True” cost of production, taking all environmental factors into consideration unlike almost all other goods currently produced. By increasing the health of the environment, you are insuring the health of the crops and ultimately the health of all living things. It’s about maintaining natural ecological balances. This beautiful balance gives us much more than just healthy fruits and vegetables.

            1) Fresh organic produce contains on average 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce. Science says that it’s good for you.

            2) Going organic is the only practical way to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) food. Organic producers are leaders in innovative research. Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.

            3) If you eat dairy or meat products, going organic has never been more essential to safeguard you and your family’s health. Intensively-reared dairy cows and farm animals are fed a dangerous cocktail of antibiotics, growth promoting drugs, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines on a daily basis, whether they have an illness or not. These drugs are passed directly onto the consumers of their dairy produce or meat.

            4) Organic farms support and nurture our beautiful and diverse wildlife. Organic farms nurture the whole environment, wherever you are. Organic agriculture respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.

            5) You will dramatically reduce the amount of pesticide residue you ingest on a daily basis. Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.

            6) Reduced reliance on chemical and agri-engineering corporations. The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.

            7) Organic farming is healthier for the soil. - Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.

            8) Organic farms respect our water resources - The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.

            9) Organic dairy cows are not injected with milk-boosting hormones such as recombinant bovine somatotrophin (rBST) which may increase insulin levels in humans.

            10) Organic produce simply tastes so much better. Fruit and vegetables full of juice and flavor, and so many different varieties to try! There are about 100 different kinds of organic potatoes in production, and that’s just potatoes!

            Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness

            10 Tricks to Eat Less

            Posted on Aug. 10th 2010 1 Comment »

            Nowadays, more and more people are trying to reduce their calorie intake. How much we eat does not affect only our looks, but our health as well. Moreover, some even believe that eating less will extend their life span and will help them avoid health problems associated with aging.

            The “French paradox” is a very good example for this matter. Only 7% of French people are obese (as compared to more than 22% of all Americans) although they do not eat only salads all day. French people, like everyone else, like to smoke drink wine, eat food products high in calories (buttered croissants, goose liveres, pastries, etc.) The only difference is that they eat less of everything as they are used to serving smaller portions.

            Researchers found that an average food portion in Paris has about 270g, while in Philadelphia an average food portion has about 350g. A soft drink is 52% larger in the US as compared to France.

            We thought that presenting some tricks that might help us reduce the quantity of food we eat and prevail in the battle with calories would be helpful.

            1. Eat less, but more often. Is better to eat smaller portions than few large ones because in this way food is properly digested and nutrients are better used. When we eat a lot at one sitting the body cannot effectively “process” all the food.
            2. Drink water before you eat. This will make you feel full and will decrease your appetite.
            3. Eat on smaller plates. The main advantage of a smaller plate is that it gives the impression of a normal serving although it holds less food. When going to a restaurant switch the dinner plate with a salad one.
            4. Brush your teeth. Some people might refuse to have quick snack or even a meal when their teeth have just been brushed and feel clean.
            5. Include more vegetables in your meal. Eating more vegetables can make us feel satiated even if few calories are assimilated. So, look in your meal for ingredients that can be substituted with vegetables.
            6. No more sugar. Sugar is a very important source of calories, causing an increase in appetite. In 100 g of sugar there are approximately 400 calories. Try to replace as much as possible those products that contain sugar. (e.g. replace soft drinks with seltzer water)
            7. Eat slower. The body must have time to process and fully estimate the quantity of food that is eaten.  When we eat fast, we sometimes might not realize that we are satiated.
            8. Say NO to chips, snacks, breads etc. Besides the fact that such products are well known for their “weight attraction” due to their ingredients, such products can make us want to eat and drink more (especially salted ones).
            9. Chew gum. Chewing sugar-free gum can give us the impression that we are eating. So, when hunger strikes, try some gum first.
            10. Go for more taste and less quantity. 43 percent of consumers choosing organic food do so because of “better taste”. You feel more satiated with fewer calories.
            Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness


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