Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing…

Real_ authenticWhat you see is what you get! We have heard that statement many times but what  does it mean to be real. Do most of us try to fit in and adjust to present company? How many of us walk into a room and care what people are thinking? Do we realize what a strain caring about what people think can place on oneself both mentally and physically, just because we are trying to live up to a certain image or ideal. Some say to be real is to be authentic. But you can hear the word authentic being thrown around so much that we even see it written on a bag of potato chips. Is being real more about how your core self is reflected in what you say and do? Psychologists sayreal_challengers that being real is accepting both your strengths and weaknesses and not feeling you have to hide them from the world around you. People who are real or genuine seem to feel better about themselves and often show great resilience when they are faced with challenges. Just because someone “tells it like it is” does not mean they are being real. It is not about being accusatory or shaming someone because one may feel they are being honest. Authentic is not about real_friendshipbeing obnoxious. True authenticity is more about how we feel deep inside and not how we feel about other people. Giving another person a chance to slowly expose their inner real self instead of prejudging them can lead to a long-lasting relationship. Taking a moment to breath and reflecting on what we are about to say and do can be a more fulfilling way of connecting with our inner self as well as with others. Kurt Vonnegut the famous author once said: “Practice any art–music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage- no matter how well or badly, not for money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what is inside you, to make your soul grow.” 

Butternut Squash, Red Kidney & Lima Beans with Quinoa…

Butternut Squash, red kinney, Lima

-1 large onion
-2 tablespoons canola oil
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-7 oz. can of tomato sauce
-1 cup vegetable broth
-1 teaspoon of pepper flakes
-1 tablespoon of dried basil
-1 tablespoon dried parsley
-1 small sweet potato
-2 cups frozen butternut squash chunks
-1 package lima beans
-½ cup quinoa
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-½ cup raisins


-Saute’ chopped onion in canola and coconut oil until light brown                                 -Add tomato sauce, broth, spices let simmer for 8 minutes                                            -Add red kidney beans, frozen butternut squash, lima beans –cover and with low flame mix every so often until all ingredients become hot                                                           -Add steamed sweet potato and mix

At the same time:
-Cut sweet potato in small cubes and steam separately
-In a small pot cook quinoa 17 min. (when done add olive oil and raisins, mix, cover and set on the side. Raisins will become plump.
(Serve with side of quinoa mixture)


Re-arming a Jellyfish…

Jelly fishMany invertebrates such as salamanders and starfish can regrow a body part if one is lost. This was also believed of jellyfish until experiments proved otherwise. Being symmetrical is a crucial characteristic of a moon jellyfish which is a necessity for movement and feeding. When two of the eight arms were removed from the jellyfish it did not proceed to regrow them. Instead it used its muscles to push and pull the remaining arms until they were once again evenly spaced. This new scientific phenomenon has been termed Symmetrization and it is how a jellyfish is able to heal itself.

Why we Love Cheese…

Americans have an incredible love of cheese. In fact, many European countries also Cheeseinclude cheese as part of their daily diet. Researchers are suggesting that It may be that cheese contains a tiny bit of an addictive substance. Casein is a concentrated milk protein, which occurs during cheese making and converts to a morphine-like chemical called beta-casomorphine 7 after digestion. Interestingly enough the chemical that is produced naturally seems to encourage calves as well as human babies to crave milk so they are more likely to nurse. In cheese the level of casomorphine is more concentrated which is why the addictive effect may be greater

Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry…

Too HungryAbstaining from breakfast or putting off eating in hopes of dropping some pounds may totally backfire. Letting yourself get to the point when you are experiencing uncontrollable hunger can lead to making unhealthy choices. A substantial breakfast along with being prepared with healthy snacks is a good way to start the day. In so doing, when those sudden pangs of hunger arise you will be prepared instead of being so hungry that you make choices that you will regret and feel bad about.


Dill weed, as it is sometimes called, is part of the family of plants with hollow stems calledDill umbellifers. Other plants included in this family are carrots, fennel, cilantro and parsley. Its origin can be traced back to Southern Russia, the Mediterranean and Western Africa but its name is derived from an Old Norse word “dilla” which means to calm and sooth. The Greeks used it as a symbol of wealth. The Romans believed it brought good fortune and made wreaths for their athletes from it. The Egyptians used it as an aphrodisiac and to ward off evil. However, in spite of all the beliefs placed on this herb, these different cultures used dill to sooth stomach ailments and to relieve one of flatulence. In fact it was commonly served at large banquets to sooth over-indulgence. The essential oils in dill seem to stimulate the secretion of bile and digestive juices and at the same time usher gas gently down the digestive tract and out of the system. It accommodates and enhances the flavors of vegetables, meats and seafood. My personal favorite use of the herb is simply mixing it with scrambled eggs.

Diet-Acne Connection…

acneAcne is a disorder causing inflammation of the skin and hair follicles. It can affect those as young as 4 as well as adults past 50. It has always been attributed to either stress, heredity, gender, age, hormones, or bacteria. However, more and more of a connection is being made to the effects of the over processed western diet on the condition of our skin. According to studies done at Colorado State University, non-westernized populations do not suffer from acne. In studying populations in both Paraguay (the Ache tribe of hunter-gatherers) and in Papua, New Guinea (Kitavan Islanders) not one single trace of acne was found. This led scientists to believe that the condition was more environmental then genetic. Processed high glycemic carbohydrates seem to be the culprit. Incorporating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, avocados etc.) because of their anti-inflammatory qualities may be one of the best courses of action to take to relieve this condition.


Making the Most of Rainwater…

Efforts are being made in Los Angeles to capture every drop of water that falls from the sky. Elmer Avenue is a flood prone area in the San Fernando Valley. Until recently stormElmer Avenue water would be funneled to the storm drains via tunnels and then out to sea. Due to the efforts of The Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, The Tree People, and 24 homeowners, Elmer Avenue has become a shining example of the Green Movement. The project involved capturing curbside water for reuse with permission from all the residents who donated a portion of their front yardage closest to the street. Biowales, a type of filtering system, were installed in these curbside meandering gardens which enable rainwater to be filtered and banked in an aguifer. The cost of the project is $2.7 million. The 37 acres drained by The Elmer Avenue Retrofit Project will produce enough water to sustain the residents of the street.

Acupuncture and Constipation…

When acupuncture was administered to the abdominal region it relieved the symptoms of Acupunctureconstipation according to a new study. A study of 1,075 patients was conducted by Chinese researchers and results were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Participants suffered from severe constipation which meant that they were unable to have a bowel movement more than twice a week. Symptoms also included extremely hard stool and straining when trying to eliminate. Two groups were formed. One group received acupuncture and the other a sham treatment. After eight weeks 31.3% of the group who received the acupuncture treatment reported having an extra bowel movement per week. One theory is that acupuncture stimulates the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.