Honey by Hillary Stein

The other day I was reading about natural honey (since I love sweets!) and came across some really cool facts I thought I would share. Natural honey is wonderful as a food and also as a medicine. There are many different grades of honey, depending on factors such as where it is sourced and what containers it was stored in.

  • While honey is sweet like white sugar, it is unique in that it also has small amounts of nutrients our bodies need for healthy living including: calcium, potassium, magnesium, and folic acid.


  • Honey is a source of antioxidants which aids in protecting against some diseases. The quality of the antioxidants depends partially on the floral source of the honey. The darker honeys are known to have a higher antioxidant content.


  • Honey is a great sports activity enhancer because of its high energy boosting ability. Plus, it is a lot cheaper than commercially sold sports bars and drinks. Because honey is in a pre-digested form it is directly absorbed into the body unlike refined sugar which needs to go through normal digestion.


  • A recent study showed there is an antibacterial property to honey which makes it a better choice than refined sugar when it comes to tooth decay. Fruit juice starts to erode the tooth enamel ten minutes after consumption. Honey showed a delayed reaction on the teeth of 30 minutes, and the prominence of the erosion was less.

These facts make it highly worth substituting honey in some foods for other sweeteners. So for that next peanut butter sandwich opt out of jam and bring on the honey!

Because of the possible presence of botulinum , infants under 1 year old should not be feed honey.


Mint Raspberry Lemonade – This is so good!

cran-raspberry lemonade
cran-raspberry lemonade
Mint Raspberry Lemonade

This is a version of my fabulous sister-in-law’s recipe.  Grow some mint and try this. Mint is very easy to grow but be selective where you put it because it is invasive. This is a great container plant.


Mint Syrup

1 ½ C sugar

1 C water

6-8 sprigs of fresh mint

Combine water and sugar. Bring to boil to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add mint. Let sit for several minutes. Strain leaves.


Fruit & Mint Lemonade

½ C mint syrup (or to taste)  You can serve this without the mint syrup–but you will be missing out!!

Fresh pureed fruit (raspberry or strawberry is wonderful) you can use frozen.

Or you can be daring and try mango or blueberry!


1 Can of lemonade or fresh lemon juice, water and sugar to taste

Mix and serve chilled

I Love You Mom


I love you mommomm1mom


I Love You Mom

I sure have some great times with you Mom. Nothing beats a good yardsale adventure with you.

I have the best mom in the world. Yep, sorry about that the rest of you guys.

She can make me laugh like no one else can. When you are in her company you know that you are loved.


I also can’t forget the best mother-in law in the world!  I adore this picture of her holding one of her babies.

I would like to dedicate this video to the two magnificent mom’s in my life:








Living healthy and looking at the whole picture is more than just exercise and eating right. Those two are certainly key, but there are other areas to consider. We want a healthy physical life but also emotional, mental, and spiritual.  Sleep is a major contributor to our feeling great or feeling crummy. Our bodies repair system kicks in during sleep. Basic information about sleep can be found on the websites I have below. We have REM sleep, where dreams occur and Non-REM sleep, where body repair occurs. We need both. Check out the sites below:

This website has tons of information on sleep.

This website has an interesting test you can take to see if you may have a sleep disorder.

At the same time, over 100,000 billion of cells restore themselves in their 7-year cycle. Growth hormones are released, cells are actively replaced and muscular tissue is built up through protein synthesis. Mineral losses are replenished. Wounds heal. Corticosteroid hormones build up our resistance to infections and tiredness. We become immune again to all kinds of diseases. White corpuscles surround and destroy bacteria. In the lymph glands and the spleen, they remove bacteria from the blood. 

During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regenerates tissues, builds bone and muscle, and appears to strengthen the immune system. As you get older, you sleep more lightly and get less deep sleep. Aging is also associated with shorter time spans of sleep, although studies show the amount of sleep needed doesn’t appear to diminish with age.

It is worth exploring ways to improve your sleep!





I am not sure why it has taken me so long to post about yoga.  It’s a love of mine. The incredible sense of wellbeing after I attend a yoga class is almost addictive. Let me mention some of the benefits:

1. Deliberate breathing to match movement enhances the sense of wellbeing.

2. Yoga is strength training. Yes, it strains the muscles. I used to think of yoga as poses that looked like a human pretzel.  It is that for some, but there is much more to it.

3. Part of yoga practice includes balance. With patience in yourself and practice, the balance comes.  Balance manifests itself in many things in life. My husband marvels at my balance as I maneuver my bike around tricky areas where he has to get off of his bike.

4. I love the stretching portion of yoga. It doesn’t matter how flexible or not you are. Practice shows improvement.  In turn, this helps guard against injury.

5. Perhaps my favorite part of yoga is practicing calming my mind…a difficult task in this whirlwind life. Also, you can have a deeper sleep because of the relaxation that accompanies yoga practice. Yes!

Find a class! It is difficult at first, so give it time and I think you will end up loving it too!

Be a Label Reader

Be a Label Reader

Be a Label ReaderBe a Label Reader

Recently a friend spoke at a workshop about healthy eating. Wow, what inspiration! This gal reads labels and is very selective about the foods she will buy. I was an unsuspecting buyer, purchasing food products where labels professed being a healthy choice. After hearing my friends lecture I am paying more attention and notice many of the prominent food in the stores are filled with stuff that is anything but natural. I have become leery of ingredients I’ve never heard of, or can’t pronounce. In essence, we should be eating a good deal of our food in its ‘whole’ form for optimum health.

You’ve heard the following list before but it is worth repeating for optimal health. A few of the ‘bad stuff’ ingredients added to packaged food to avoid are:

Trans fat

Patially Hydrogentated oil

Refined grain

High fructose corn syrup


There are a myriad of packaged foods to make life more convenient. The packaging is incredibly appealing. Beware though; you may pay for this convience later in life. Many of the devastating diseases are linked to the ‘bad stuff’ list. Companies pay millions to make their packaged products as appealing as possible. Here is interesting reading on the topic.

One thing I avoid ALWAYS is artificial sweeteners. Here are some reasons why: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/artificial-sweetners-unhealthy-eco.htm

There is every opinion imaginable when it comes to what foods to eat, plus what you hear is CONSTANTLY changing! If you eat it and you feel great after eating it, that is a pretty good clue it’s worth eating. That is not the perfect indicator, but it usually works for me.



Great Grains!

Great Grains

Great GrainsGreat Grains!

Grains that I have tried and really liked:

  • Spelt               Pricey, but delicious in bread, use in cookies but you need a little more flour than if you use wheat flour. (grind)
  • Quinoa          Considered a perfect food–I put a small amount of quinoa in with rice every time I cook rice.
  • Kamut          Use in coffee cake, muffins or bread. (grind)
  • Oats               The less processed the oats are, the better they are for you (for instance, rolled oats are better than quick).
  • Buckwheat Use in small amounts because of the strong taste. (grind)
  • Wheat          Substitute out some white for wheat flour in most everything you cook.  Use White Wheat, it is more alkaline (which is what you want), Red Wheat is more acidic. (grind)
  • Corn              Try ground corn in corn bread with spelt flour. (grind)
  • Brown Rice Cook a little longer than white rice.
  • Barley           Use whole barley for sprouting.

Add grains in SLOWLY if you are not used to them.  If you don’t, you may end up with a stomach ache.

great grains

Alkaline or Acidic?

Alkaline or Acid?

Alkaline or Acid?Alkaline or Acidic?

What is pH?

A quick chemistry lesson: pH is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity. The pH scale runs from 0-14 with 7 in the middle being neutral. Everything below 7 is “Acid”, the lower the number the more acidic and everything above 7 is “Alkaline”. Most experts agree that ideal health exists when the pH of the general body fluids is around 7 or slightly above.

If you are eating too many acidic foods you may be setting yourself up for illness. Here is a list of alkaline and acid foods. Lists don’t always agree but this list will give you a general idea of what you need to be eating more of. You may be eating all the wrong foods.

You can balance out higher acidic foods by eating more of the alkaline foods within reason. Just remember a healthier diet consists of more alkaline foods.

It is amazing how much better you feel when you eat more alkaline foods.

Take A Deep Breath

Take a Deep Breath
Take a Deep Breath

Image by Janielle Beh

I have discovered a powerful means of achieving a high sense of wellbeing. Would you believe that it comes through breath? I first started to experience this when I began doing Yoga. Yoga consists of a breathing technique.


Take a deep breath!

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/running-air-breathing-technique the following is a quote from this webpage:

“From the Belly

Before learning the rhythmic patterns that will take your running to a new level, you must first become a belly breather, that is, learn to breathe from your diaphragm. When you inhale, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward, while muscles in your chest contract to expand your rib cage, which increases the volume in your chest cavity and draws air into your lungs. Working your diaphragm to its fullest potential allows your lungs to expand to their greatest volume and fill with the largest amount of air, which of course you need for your running. The more air you inhale, the more oxygen is available to be transferred through your circulatory system to your working muscles. Many people underuse their diaphragm, relying too much on their chest muscles and therefore taking in less oxygen, which is so important to energy production. The other downside of breathing from your chest is that these muscles (the intercostals) are smaller and will fatigue more quickly than your diaphragm will. To rely less on your chest muscles to breathe, you’ll want to train yourself to breathe from your belly, that is, with your diaphragm. Practice belly breathing both lying down and sitting or standing, since you should be breathing diaphragmatically at all times—whether you’re running, sleeping, eating, or reading a book. Here’s how to learn the technique:

• Lie down on your back.

• Keep your upper chest and shoulders still.

• Focus on raising your belly as you inhale.

• Lower your belly as you exhale.

• Inhale and exhale through both your nose and mouth.”



There is so much more I want to say on this subject but will save it for  a later post.

Exercise your brain

exercise your brain

Exercise your brain

This summer my parents got me going on Lumosity. I’ve read up on the benefits of stuff like this and figure I could use all of the help I can get!


exercise your brain

The following is an article from www.lumosity.com :

How Reading Stimulates Your Brain
What is the value of an English literature class — could you read on your own time and experience the same benefits? In a recent interdisciplinary collaboration between Stanford neurobiologists and assistant English professor Natalie Phillips, researchers used the Jane Austen classic Mansfield Park to investigate how the type of critical reading taught in most English classes may alter brain activation patterns.
Casual versus critical reading
As a longtime literary scholar, Phillips had always been interested in how reading literature could shape how people viewed the world. From anecdotal evidence, at least, it seemed as if the type of critical textual analysis taught in classrooms heightened attention when compared to casual reading.To test this theory, Phillips and researchers from the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging used an fMRI machine to scan the brains of 18 participants as they read a chapter from Austen’s Mansfield Park. First, the participants were asked to read the chapter casually, as they would for fun. Then they were asked to switch to close reading, a common term for the type of scrutiny to detail and form required to analyze text in a literary course. To ensure that participants could successfully switch between these two modes of reading, all participants were PhD candidates pursuing literary degrees.Researchers observed a significant shift in brain activity patterns as the PhD students went from casual to critical modes. Critical reading increased bloodflow across the brain in general, and specifically to the prefrontal cortex.
Executive function and the brain
The prefrontal cortex is known to play a role in executive function, which refers to a set of higher-order cognitive processes that manage how you divide your attention and coordinate complex activities. Phillips and her team posit that executive function may play help explain the observed changes in participants’ brains.This field of “literary neuroscience” is a new one, and Phillips hopes that these preliminary results will lead to further research on how reading can shape and shift cognition. Though it’s still too early to understand exactly what the future of this new branch of research holds, Philips suggests that critical reading could one day be seen as a valuable tool in “teaching us to modulate our concentration.”


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