Tag Archives: disease

Reasons & Recipes To Make The Lowly Legume Your New BFF

18 Feb

ImageFunny sounding name, don’t you think? It always got more than a few snickers in grade school as our teacher robotically recited the food groups as part of the state mandated curriculum. We never really knew what it meant; in fact if you ask most adults, they are equally ignorant. Turns out one of every kids favorite dishes, baked beans, is actually the mysterious legume.

Fast forward to the Northeast Blackout of 2003, when the power-grid went down plunging several states and Canadian provinces into darkness for days, taking other utilities and gas stations down with it. Like many, I was sent home early from work and soon found myself at the local supermarket. Anything refrigerated or frozen had been sealed off from the panicked shoppers; a 30ish woman was running up and down the aisles wailing repeatedly “what will I feed my children?” At first I though she was a total idiot but then it occurred to me, she was of a generation that was raised on prepackaged processed microwavable food and she had no clue about nutrition, meal preparation or real food. Truth be told, other than canned tuna or peanut butter, I was at a bit of loss on how I would get protein in the uncertain days or weeks ahead. That’s when I rediscovered legumes.

Turns out legumes are a major component of everything from the hummus in your pita to the refried beans in your burrito, but there is a whole world of legumes out there. For those of you who wish to get your protein from places other than the fatty toxic mix of pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics infused meat of stressed-out diseased animals from factory farms; legumes provide a wonderful alternative. Legumes are also a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, cholesterol lowering fiber and slowly digestible carbohydrates, which are especially important if you are diabetic or at risk. See nutritional chart.

While legumes are available fresh, most people use the canned or dried form for convenience. Canned legumes have a shelf life of about 5 years & are packed in liquid, which make them the preferred staple for an emergency pantry when fresh water may not be available due to extreme weather conditions. Dried legumes are the least expensive, and are best for storage since they are less bulky and have a 10 year shelf life, while lacking the sodium, preservatives & chemicals used in the packaging of the canned variety. The best prices on dried legumes are usually found at Indian grocers. Dried legumes need to soak overnight and usually cooked for an hour; see cooking chart.


If you or your family is new to legumes, you may want to start out slowly. Here are some easy tasty recipes, one for each legume, that include something for everyone: dip, salad, crunchy snack, soup, side dish and main dish. Enjoy!

Make legumes your new BFF, and you will be trilled at how much it trims from your grocery bill as well as your waistline.

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How To Fight Colds, Flu & Allergies

17 Jan

ImageCold and Flu season is upon us with a vengeance, but what if I told you there were safe, effective, and inexpensive natural ways to reduce colds, flu & allergies? Think it’s too good to be true? Think again! These methods have been used all over the world for generations, long before the FDA even existed, and are guaranteed lobbyist and Madison Avenue free!

Even if you don’t have medical issues, prescription and over-the-counter medications can have many unwanted side effects, these natural methods are gentler and far more effective since they not only address the symptoms but strengthen the body’s natural defenses. Always check your doctor before using any method, even if it’s natural. I’m going to tell you about my top 3 ways to detoxify the body and boost your immune system and have included links for more details, including the recipes and demonstration videos depending on what interests you. These methods are also helpful in treating numerous physical and mental ailments. They are also handy if you are engaged in a weight-loss, smoking session, or alcohol & drug rehab program, since it is all about detoxification. Follow directions exactly for each or not only will you ruin the results, but it may cause harm or at least discomfort. Substitutions & shortcuts may seem tempting, but don’t do it.

  1. Neti Pot. This will give you instant relief. I call it “the nose enema”, but before you get all squeamish, think about how many times you blow you nose in public, carry around snotty tissues, use nasal spray, hocker, or heaven forbid…pick your nose. Now that is what I call disgusting, not washing out your sinuses in the privacy of your home bathroom. It works by washing mucus and debris out of your nasal passages, including viruses, germs & allergens. It also soothes dry passages that cause nosebleeds and reduces swelling and irritation. Cool huh? Best of all, it’s safe for pregnant women & those with medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, unlike over the counter and prescription drugs. For a complete list of respiratory conditions it helps, click this link. Just a few words of advice: use the pot that looks like a ceramic genie lamp, not the plastic kind; clean and sterilize after each use; use the recipe with baking soda; follow directions exactly, using the exact ingredients & temperature; practice makes perfect, but not too often. Click this link for the demo video.
  2. Liver & gall bladder cleanse. This is best to use right after you have recovered to remove toxins form germs, viruses and medications. Face it, we are full of poop which plasters our intestinal walls, preventing the good stuff from getting absorbed & the bad stuff from getting dumped. Our livers and gall bladders are overworked dealing with not only the environmental toxins beyond our control, but those we ingest willingly, like processed foods and prescription medications. This cleanse addresses both issues. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not fun, but you will feel fantastic afterward. Not only will you feel great and have more energy, but you will notice other things, like the dark circle and bags under your eyes will practically disappear. Click this link for a full list of health benefits.I set aside a weekend to do this, since you will need to stay close to a toilet. Just a few tips: follow the directions and don’t cut corners or substitute ingredients; cut down or stop caffeine & nicotine a few days before so you will sleep better; sleep on your back only & not flat; make sure none of your containers contain metal; use a straw to drink all mixtures and put it at the back of your tongue so you can’t taste anything. Here’s a link to the recipes and step-by-step directions. And while I have never passed stones as such, I have passed lots of these pre-stones that look like day-glo green peas. Cool huh?
  3. Massotherapy. This is the kind you find at a clinic, not in the back of a free local entertainment newspaper. This method works by moving toxins out of your tissues via the lymphatic system. If you have ever had a muscle cramp which eased when you rubbed it, you understand what happens when toxins build up. As your muscles relax your sinuses will drain like crazy too, so be prepared. Massotherapy can be expensive and is not often covered by insurance, so to save money I go to my local massotherapy school. Just a few tips: drink plenty of water afterward and pee to get rid of the toxins and prevent a nasty headache; Epsom salt bath afterward can also pull toxins out through the skin; avoid cold temperatures and physical exertion afterward to allow the body to heal. Here’s a link to the health benefits and conditions detox massotherapy addresses.

Here’s some links to some other detox methods I like to use, along with a surprising list of the physical and mental conditions they help, including autism. It helps to have a variety of methods available depending on your individual needs and situation.

So unless you have someone to wait on your hand and foot when you get sick, you crave the attention, and don’t care about the cost to your wallet and liver; try these methods and I think you will be shocked at how good you feel and wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

Good news readers, you can now follow me on Facebook! Simply visit Real Penny Wise and click LIKE. Be sure to SHARE with your friends too.

How To Survive The Impending Milk Apocalypse

25 Aug

ImageRight about now mothers all over the USA are fretting about the likely price hike and shortage of milk in the near future due to the current drought. The International Dairy Federation estimates the average American consumes about 23 gallons of liquid milk per year, and that does not include the abundance of products that contain milk.

The average cow drinks about 50 gallons of water a day and produces about 6 gallons of milk. But what about all the water needed to produce the 100 pounds of feed a cow eats each day, not to mention water used for sanitation and procession of milk and milk products? In all, it takes a whopping 2,000 gallons of water to produce just one gallon of milk. Does that sound like a great return on investment to you?

Rather than being paralyzed by the impending milk Apocalypse, now is a great opportunity to break dependence on milk consumption. But wait, the TV says “milk does a body good” so it must be true, right? That message is brought to you by Madison Avenue, the same people who told you cigarettes were not only not dangerous, but that they were actually good for you and that doctors recommended smoking! For generations people bought that crap hook, line and sinker and for generations we have paid the price both financially and in human suffering.

If you are “lactose intolerant”, congratulations; you are actually normal. Yup, no animal was designed to drink another animal’s milk nor drink milk beyond infancy when babies loose their “baby teeth”, and humans are no exception.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or still believe the world is flat, you know most milk does not come from picturesque farms where happy cows graze lazily on lush hillsides, but from inhumane, filthy, factory farms were abused, stressed, and often diseased animals are pumped full antibiotics and synthetic hormones; not to mention a whole host of pollutants from pesticides to diesel fuel. Yum-yum! You, in turn, are feeding this to your precious babies. Dairy product consumption has been linked to numerous illnesses and diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, various allergies and Crohn’s disease.

So what do you do about it?

Back in the 1970’s when there was a milk shortage, we poured cold water over our cereal or just ate it right out of the box; it wasn’t a big deal. Today great milk alternatives like rice, soy, and almond, are chock full of nutrition with out the harmful chemicals. The protein and calcium that you get from milk you can easily get from other sources. Click on this link for a handy nutrition chart of great alternatives.

With no shortage of online recipe sites, it’s never been easier to incorporate good nutrition into your daily meals. Children imitate their parents so you will have to set the example by eating your vegetables, but you’re all big boys and girls now so I have no doubt you can handle it. You’re going to do great!

When To Trash Your Make-Up

1 Aug

ImageWe all do it; finally find your favorite color and stock up for the Apocalypse.  But aside from the danger of being a time-warp fashion victim, you are setting yourself up for some serious health problems.

Expired cosmetics not only fail to perform, but also result in skin irritation, dermatitis, allergic reactions and infection. Then there’s the problems caused by dirty make-up and applicators, and yes I’m talking about “the f-word”…feces! Critters include infectious bacteria such as staphylococcus, micro-coccus, and E. coli; causing attractive conditions like herpes, pink eye, strep throat, skin boils and abscesses. I know you’re a clean person but think of all the things you touch in your own home, like door knobs and faucets handles, that are loaded with germs no matter how much you clean.

So what’s a girl to do? Here are some helpful tips:

Never share make-up. I don’t care if it’s you BFF or your twin sister; this is one of those situations where it is OK to be selfish.

Step away from the testers. I know it’s hard when those cloying cosmetic sirens are beckoning you from the display, but be strong and don’t touch them. Picture a dirty public toilet; I don’t care how ritzy the store is. Ditto with mall makeovers, I don’t care if they do use fresh applicators, you don’t know where the opened product has been.

Know your dates. There are 2 dates you need to remember: expiration date and period after opening (PAO). The expiration date tells you the shelf life of an unopened product, the PAO is the time period you can safely use the product after it has been opened.

Here are some PAO expiration guidelines:
Powders (blush, eye shadow, bronzer, finishing)  1-3 yrs
Nail polish  1 yr
Sun screen  1 yr
Lipstick, lip gloss   1 yr
Pencil (Eye, Lip)  1 yr
Crayon (eyeliner, eyebrow)  6-8 mos
Skin care products: jar  6-10 mos, pump 1 yr
Bronzing liquid   6 mos
Mascara  3-6 mos
Liquid eyeliner  3-4 mos
Foundation liquid 1 yr

Keep it clean. Buy makeup in air-tight containers instead of jars. Leave lipstick or a closed tube of mascara in the freezer overnight to kill bacteria and germs. Scrape off the top layer of pressed powders occasionally. Sharpen your eye and lip pencils to remove the bacteria on the outer layers and use diluted bleach to clean the sharpener. Use disposable applicators or wash your brushes every week.

Use common sense. If you see changes in color, texture or smell; throw it out.

Cosmetics are to enhance your natural beauty, by keeping your make-up new and clean, you can keep it that way.

How Eating Fiber Will Save You Money

30 Jul

ImageAlthough any fiber will have an effect, the best fiber is from fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains that are whole and raw or minimally processed. I do not recommend fiber laxative and fiber added foods because they are processed and have all sorts of undesirable ingredients added, like sugar, plus they are expensive. Buy the real stuff, it’s cheaper and tastes much better.

Save on groceries. You can grow fruits and vegetables in your own yard or container garden for free. Meat and dairy are expensive and unless you buy truly organic, you are subjected to harmful substances such as hormones, carcinogens, antibiotics, and disease. Yum, right? Animal products contain no fiber (animals have bone, plants have fiber). But you need protein, right? No problem. Legumes are packed with fiber and protein, without all that fat and cholesterol, and are available very cheap, especially in dried form.

Save on weight loss remedies. You can lose pounds quickly just by just pooping. If you don’t have enough fiber you are literally carrying around extra pounds of poop (usually 5-25 lbs) constantly. Sexy, huh?  With less poop plugging up your intestine walls, nutrients can enter the blood stream and toxins can exit, giving you more energy for exercise. Fiber helps you feel full faster and longer which means less desire to snack or overeat.

Save on medical bills. Fiber can help prevent, control or reverse a number of expensive and debilitating diseases. The first and most obvious is relief of constipation and hemorrhoids by moving feces out of the body more quickly and easily. High cholesterol and resulting ailments like heart attack and stroke, benefit from fiber in much the same way by preventing and cleaning out build up in the circulatory system. Fiber helps control blood sugar levels which is critical in preventing, managing and even reversing Diabetes. Diabetes is a really expensive disease, not just for the medications and supplies needed for daily management, but for the complications caused by the progression of the disease. The disease can be completely cured in many with Type 2 by making lifestyle changes including diet. Gallstones and kidney stones can result the release of large amount of insulin in to the blood to cope with the sugar spikes; fiber slows digestion to prevent this. Fiber can help prevent or remedy infection, especially diverticular disease, by preventing and removing build up of toxins in the colon.

So which would you rather have: tasty natural inexpensive fiber, or debilitating conditions and expensive treatments? Seems like a no-brainer to me!

Hate cauliflower? 5 Recipes & 5 Health Benefits To Change Your Mind!

26 Jul

ImageIf you’ve never been a fan of cauliflower, here’s some tasty recipes and compelling health information that is sure to win you over. So ditch those expensive supplements and eat something nutritious and delicious for a fraction of the cost!

  1. Bend It Like Beckham with Indian favorite Aloo Gobi.
  2. Colcannon, the Irish equivalent of mac & cheese.
  3. Low carb version of the classic potato leek soup is every bit as yummy.
  4. Mmm, cheesy casserole!
  5. Uber easy garlic roasted.

Here’s some healthy reasons to love cauliflower!

  1. Antioxidants. Cauliflower is a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, which are both powerful antioxidants. It also contains carotenoids beta-carotene and phytonutrients kaempferol, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid and caffeic acid. All these compounds will help protect you from free radical damage and reduce your risk for diseases caused by oxidative stress, especially cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory. Cauliflower also contains high amounts of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation, and other anti-inflammatory substances include glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. Cauliflower consumption can help decrease the risk of inflammatory diseases including arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.
  3. Vascular Disease. Cauliflower’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect against cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Decrease in diameter of blood vessels leads to decreased blood flow to essential organs: brain (stroke), heart (heart attack) and kidneys (kidney failure). By decreasing chronic inflammation, cauliflower is able to maintain excellent blood flow to essential organs of the body.
  4. Digestive. Cauliflower has fiber, and we all know fiber cleans the poop off the walls of your intestines, which allows for better absorption of the nutrients in your food. It also contains glucoraphin which helps protects against bacterium helicobacter pylori in your stomach lining, reducing your risk for stomach ulcer and cancer.
  5. Nutritional. Cauliflower is chock full of  vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and B9 (folic acid), and serves as a good source of proteins, phosphorus and potassium.

So, grab a fork & spoon and dig in!

Clean Your Toothbrush!

11 Jul

ImageYou wouldn’t use the same dirty spoon every day for months without washing it, would you? You need to replace your toothbrush about every 3 month, but you need to clean it once a week to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses. Since power toothbrushes have moving parts, there are more places for critters to hide, including slimy mold (yuck!) This is especially true if you have just gotten over an illness or have a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. (Or if you have a spiteful roommate or sibling that likes to dip other people’s personal items in the toilet!)

Here’s a couple options:

  • Automatic dishwasher. This is the easiest; just throw it in when you wash and sterile your dishes as usual. You may want to put it on the top rack unless you know it won’t melt in the utensil caddy.
  • 30 second soak. Place brush upside down in a small cup, then fill with just enough antiseptic mouthwash to cover the the head of the toothbrush completely and let soak for 30 seconds before dumping the solution and allowing the brush to air dry.
  • Overnight soak. Follow directions above, but this time use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and allow to soak overnight.

With many people not having dental insurance in this country, this is a good way to preserve not only a healthy smile, but also good physical and financial health.

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