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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unagi For Stamina

Unagi is one of my favourite combo ingredients at the Blue Fin Sushi bar in Smithers. Its grilled eel and a favourite “replenisher” for the Japanese who hold an annual festival at the end of summer called "doyou-no ushi-no hi" or Eel Day. The tradition was started to replete the dehydrated and possibly stamina-deprived people after a long hot summer.

Nutritionally speaking, unagi contains vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E, which are effective agents for rejuvenating the body.  Unsaturated fatty acids like DHA and EPA are more abundant in unagi than in other seafood. The benefits of these unsaturated fatty acids are decreased cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevention of vascular diseases, reduced risk of developing arthritis and the promotion of normal brain development, nervous system function and good eyesight.

The best way to eat eel is to barbeque it with a sweet sauce basted on.  Serve on sticks, on crackers with cream cheese or in your favourite California roll.

Bake Your Tomatoes with Oil

Tomatoes are good for us, but did you know cooking your tomato for 15 minutes greatly increases its health benefits?

Its all about the anti-oxidant, cancer fighting lycopene. The darker the tomato or tomato product, the higher the percent of lycopene you will find.

Tomatoes are also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium, some of which you lose in a cooking process. But the benefits of the lycopene far outweigh the negative.

 Lycopene can stall the growth of cancer tumors. It can protect against skin cancers and sunburns and reduce the risk of prostate, breast, endometrium and lung cancers when heated  with dietary fats ( like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil). That means your salsas, tomato sauce, ketchup and tomato soups are healthier than you thought!. Low sodium and no sugar added products even more so.

While great for the eyes, a daily, normal intake of oil and tomatoes can protect against sunburn from the inside out. It also boosts the levels of procollagen, a protein that plays a crucial role in preserving skin structure.

So its an apple and a tomato (baked with olive oil) for me, a day to keep the wrinkles and the doctor away.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Throw Tomatoes at Cancer

Tomat (oe) or tomat (a), fruit or vegetable? Call it what you will but the lovely red tomato is one powerful food item that really packs an anti-cancer punch.

It’s called  Lycopene; a carotinoid, a pigment that is found in tomatoes, red carrots, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit, guava and certain other red colored fruits and vegetables. When lycopene is consumed as a supplement, it doesn’t have the same effect as eating a whole tomato which also contains beta-carotene, vitamin C and phenols, The synergy of this combination is what really packs the anti-cancer one-two.

Lycopene is water soluble meaning your body will absorb it easier when heated with oil. Toss warmed tomatoes with a TBSP of olive oil and spices before pouring over your favourite whole grain or rice pasta. Blend your tomatoes into a sauce or soup or eat stewed on the side.

Lycopene has strong antioxidant properties, which means that it helps to remove free radicals from your body. Free radicals can harm cells and DNA and are thought to cause many different types of cancers, and other diseases as well as some signs of aging. Free radicals can result from smoking, alcohol, excessive sun exposure and exposure to pollution. They are also a by-product of natural metabolic functions.
As lycopene isn't used by the body in other ways, it is left to mop up free radicals. For example, lycopene can collect in the tissues of the lungs, and '"quench" free radicals there, stopping them before they can damage the cells. Lycopene is thought to be particularly effective in preventing prostate cancer, but it may also be effective in preventing lung, stomach, breast and endometrial cancers. Lycopene may be able to provide internal protection from damaging sun radiation and thus helps to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. It is also thought to help prevent heart disease.
Lycopene is non-toxic and although it is not an essential nutrient for human life, it doesn't appear to do much harm in higher doses. At worst, people who have excess lycopene in their blood will turn an orange color, but limiting consumption generally returns the skin to normal in a few weeks.

That’s a tomato a day, an apple a day, a piece of seaweed and flax seed a day. It’s a good thing I’m hungry all the time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toxins Can Be Flushed

T is for Toxin

Everyday our bodies are bombarded with toxins. They get breathed in or absorbed by our skin from household cleaners, beauty products, plastics and cash register receipts to name a few. These can make you feel tired and sluggish.
Add to that the radiation toxins from medical tests like x-rays and cat scans, environmental toxins floating in our air, the chlorine in our pools, our drinking water, even from the sun above. Some toxins your body stores, like the radiation. Others can be flushed. There are boxed “de-tox” kits available on the market, but Dr. Oz recently suggested they may be abrasive or corrosive to your colon.

The longer these toxins stay in your body, the better the chance of them wreaking havoc on your organs. Your body fights these contaminants, but there are things you can do to give it a hand:
  1)    Drink lots of liquids every day to aid in the flushing process

2)      Drink the juice of half of one lemon every day. It will help your liver cleanse itself.

3)      Try Dr. Oz’s gentle weekend detox program here:

4)      Try eating the occasional meal without meat to give your digestive system a break. Use nuts and beans to give you protein.

5)      Once a month soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of your favourite scent. Lavender is particularly popular for this. Relaxing is also very good for you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina  is one of the world’s Superfoods, meaning it has a dozen or more unique properties that promote optimal health. It is a blue-green variety of cyanobacteria and cousin to algae, dulse, kelp, nori and wakame.
Spirulina has the highest concentration of protein found in in any food and has as much iron as red meat. It has high levels of chlorophyll, a known blood builder and can aid in the production of more stem cells found in bone marrow. It has four anti-oxidants in one, including beta-carotene which can increase life span and build the immune system.
Ingesting spirulina makes its anti-oxidant blue and green pigments available to our cells. This will better protect us against UV radiation at cellular level.
I buy a jar of powdered Trophic Pure Essential “Greens Concentrate” locally at the PharmaSave, but have also seen it in health food stores. It has spirulina as well as a list of other cancer-deterrent necessities in it.
 One teaspoon a day to keep my body in optimal kick-cancer-butt mode.

Save Your Life with Self Examination

"S" is for self examination

Prevention is worth a pound of cure. Never did words ring truer than in this day of cancer epidemics.
The key to surviving cancer is early detection.

Unusual lumps, bumps, masses and changes in skin color or texture on different body parts, sudden change in bowel habits and unexplained loss of weight are a few of the common symptoms which go unnoticed but play an important role in exposing a possible cancer or other medical condition.

Forty percent of breast cancers are found through self-examination. Discovering a hard round pea shaped mass in my left breast prompted concerns for an ultrasound which resulted in finding breast cancer in my right breast. The left was nothing but a tiny benign mass. To me, it was a beacon that saved my breast and possibly my life.

About the age when young men start to shave they need to  learn how to check their balls! From 15-35 is the prime age for testicular cancer and self-examination is very important. Over 95% of testicular cancer is cured if discovered early.

Practicing monthly self-examinations will keep you in touch with your body. Getting help from a spouse could be a fun way to “watch your back.” A partner can literally watch your flipside for you to spot any changing moles or new growths.

For more information on how to self-exam :

Oral cancer:

Thyroid cancer:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Radishes: Take A Second Look


Those crunchy, peppery vegetables are not often seen for their powerful health benefits.

Along with vitamin C the radish offers folate, B vitamins and vitamin K as well as essential minerals that include potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, sodium, copper and zinc. Radishes can be eaten raw or cooked in casseroles or soups. The radish greens can be used in salads, stir-frys or sautéed on their own in oil.

While the fiber in the radish helps fight colon cancer, the vegetable also contains a group of compounds called isothiocyanates, which are shown to be effective against other cancer cell lines. Studies have shown that these compounds  can induce cancer cell death.

White, red, purple or black radishes have also been said to prevent many cancers, support the circulatory system and heart, strengthen the immune system, detoxify the body and are a perfect diet food.  A 1/2-cup serving of radish slices contains only 19 calories and 4 carbs.

You can also use grated radish as a poultice for wasp or bee stings or as a facial for red spots to draw out a clogged pore.

Maybe give the radish a second glance when grocery shopping!

Radiation Exposed

 From the American Cancer Association website:
What is radiation?
Radiation is the emission (sending out) of energy from any source. X-rays are an example of radiation, but so is the light that comes from the sun and the heat that is constantly coming off our bodies. There are different types of radiation, and many of them are not linked to cancer.
Types of radiation
Radiation exists across a spectrum from very high-energy (high-frequency) radiation to very low-energy (low-frequency) radiation. From highest to lowest energy, the main forms of radiation are:
·         Gamma rays
·         X-rays
·         Ultraviolet (UV) rays
·         Visible light
·         Infrared rays
·         Microwaves
·         Radiofrequency (radio) waves
·         Extremely low-frequency (ELF) radiation
An important distinction that affects the health risks from radiation is whether the energy is ionizing or non-ionizing.
Ionizing radiation
Ionizing radiation has enough energy to knock electrons off of atoms or molecules. This is called ionization. Ionized molecules are unstable and quickly undergo chemical changes.
If ionizing radiation passes through a cell in the body, it can lead to mutations (changes) in the cell's DNA, the part of the cell that contains its genes (blueprints). This could contribute to cancer, or to the death of the cell. The amount of damage in the cell is related to the dose of radiation it receives. The damage takes place in only a fraction of a second, but other changes such as the beginning of cancer may take years to develop.
Types of ionizing radiation include x-rays, mammograms, gamma rays, some high-energy UV rays, and particles given off by radioactive materials such as alpha particles and protons. These forms of radiation have different energy levels and can penetrate cells to different extents, but all are capable of causing ionization. The worst offenders seem to be CT scans and radiation therapy used for cancer patients.
Does ionizing radiation cause cancer?
Scientists and regulatory agencies agree that even small doses of ionizing radiation increase the risk of developing cancer, although by a very small amount. In general, the risk of cancer from radiation exposure increases as the dose of radiation increases. Likewise, the lower the exposure is, the smaller the increase in risk. But there is no threshold below which ionizing radiation is thought to be totally safe.
Sources of ionizing radiation
People may be exposed to ionizing radiation from 3 main sources:
·         Natural background radiation comes from cosmic rays from our solar system and radioactive elements normally present in the soil. This is the major contributor to worldwide radiation exposure.
·         Non-medical, man-made radiation can come from workplace and other sources, and is also a result of above ground nuclear weapons testing that took place before 1962.
·         Medical radiation comes in the form of diagnostic x-rays and other tests, as well as from radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is currently used to treat some types of cancer and involves dosages many thousand times higher than those used in diagnostic x-rays.
Medical radiation
Ionizing radiation is used in the diagnosis and treatment of some medical conditions. This can be in the form of radiation that penetrates from outside the body, or radioactive particles that are swallowed or inserted into the body.
Imaging tests: Certain types of imaging tests, such as x-rays, CT scans, and nuclear medicine tests (such as PET scans and bone scans) expose people to low levels of radiation in order to create internal pictures of the body. (MRI and ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation.)
The increased risk of cancer from exposure to any single test is likely to be very small. Still, concerns have been raised in recent years as the average amount of radiation a person is exposed to from medical tests has risen. Children's growing bodies are especially sensitive to radiation.
Because of the very small but real risk, and the fact that radiation exposure from all sources can add up over one's lifetime, imaging tests that use radiation should only be done if there is a good medical reason to do so. The usefulness of the test must always be balanced against the possible risks from exposure to the radiation. In some cases, other imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI may be an option. But if there is a reason to believe that an x-ray or CT scan is the best way to look for cancer or other diseases, the patient will most likely be helped more than the small dose of radiation can hurt.
Radiation therapy: Ionizing radiation is an effective way to treat certain kinds of cancer. During radiation therapy, high doses of ionizing radiation (much higher than those used for imaging tests) are directed at the cancer, resulting in the death of the cancer cells. However, this can lead to DNA mutations in other cells that survive the radiation, which may eventually lead to the development of a second cancer.
Overall, radiation therapy alone does not appear to be a very strong cause of second cancers. This is probably due to the fact that doctors try to focus the radiation on the cancer cells as much as possible, which means few normal cells are exposed to radiation. Still, some studies have linked radiation therapy with an increased risk of leukemia, thyroid cancer, early-onset breast cancer, and some other cancers. The amount of increased risk depends on a number of factors, include the dose of radiation, the location in the body, and the age of the person getting it (younger people are generally at greater risk later on).
If cancer does develop after radiation therapy, it does not happen right away. For leukemia, most cases develop within 5 to 9 years after exposure. In contrast, other cancers often take much longer to develop. Most of these cancers are not seen for 10 years after radiation therapy, and some are diagnosed even more than 15 years later.
When considering radiation exposure from radiation therapy treatment, the benefits generally outweigh the risks. However, some combinations of radiation therapy and chemotherapy are more risky than others. Doctors do their best to ensure the treatment that is given destroys the cancer while minimizing the risk that a secondary cancer will develop later on.
Try to be informed before you undergo any treatment or tests and weigh the benefits versus the possible risk.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Q 10 Co-enzyme

I was told by the Nutritionist to take Q-10 during chemotherapy to protect my heart from damage. Lately, I've been reading more about Q-10 and the amazing benefits it can provide:

Coenzyme Q-10 is an important vitamin-like substance required for the proper function of many organs and chemical reactions in the body. It helps provide energy to cells. Coenzyme Q-10 also seems to have antioxidant activity. 
Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is naturally found throughout the body, but especially in the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas.  It is eaten in small amounts in meats and seafood. Coenzyme Q-10 can also be taken as medicine. As we age, we lose the amount of Q-10 in our system.

Many people use additional coenzyme Q-10 for treating heart and blood vessel conditions such as congestive heart failure  (CHF), chest pain (angina), high blood pressure,, and heart problems linked to certain cancer drugs. It is also used for diabetes, gum disease (both taken by mouth and applied directly to the gums), breast cancer, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, increasing exercise tolerance, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and Lyme disease. Some people think coenzyme Q-10 will treat hair loss related to taking warfarin, a medication used to slow blood clotting.

 Q-10 might also increase energy. This is because it has a role in producing ATP, a molecule in body cells that functions like a rechargeable battery in the transfer of energy. Coenzyme Q-10 has been tried for treating inherited or acquired disorders that limit energy production in the cells of the body (mitochondrial disorders), and for improving exercise performance.

Some people have also used coenzyme Q-10 for strengthening the immune systems.
To know more, ask your local nutritionist. 

Borrowed from WebMed:

Quinoa- A Complete Protein

(Pronounced keen-wa)

 Quinoa is a seed derived from a vegetable related to Swiss chard and spinach. Maybe that's why it has so many healthy properties.
Native of South America, Quinoa is used like a grain in cooking and is considered one of the grains and cereals food group. It has more protein than rice, millet or wheat and contains all nine essential ammino acids, not to mention riboflavin, selenium, iron and magnesium.
It's gluten-free and non fattening with a low glycemic index which won't spike your body sugars. Most of the calories are protein and complex carbohydrates which break down slowly in your digestive system. 

Serve quinoa like you'd serve rice: as a side, in soups, salads or wraps or eat like oatmeal. Use quinoa flour in gluten-free cooking. 

The main drawback to quinoa is that the seeds are covered with saponins, which are plant compounds that foam when they're mixed with water, similar to soap. The saponins won't hurt you if you consume them, but they give a bitter flavor to the quinoa seeds. Rinsing them well before cooking will fix this problem.
1 cup dry quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked quinoa. Boil in either 2 cups of water or vegetable or chicken broth for 15 minutes with the lid on.You can check on it periodically and give it a stir without worrying. Let it stand off the heat for five minutes with the lid on and then fluff with a fork. 
Try adding salt or other aromatic spices during cooking: A clove of smashed garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary, a dash of black pepper.
Can I use my rice cooker to make quinoa?
Yes! Just use the 2:1 liquid to quinoa ratio and follow the instructions on your rice cooker.
Quinoa has a nice chewy texture like rice and is very filling. Once you try it, it might become a healthier staple choice  in your kitchen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pomegrantes Are Powerful, Proven or Not

If it looks good, tastes good, is a natural fruit with rich tannin colours, then surely it must be good for you? Just how good is in debate across the Internet with many websites touting the words anti-oxidant, Super food etc.

 photo by  "Fir0002/Flagstaffotos".

"Despite limited research data, manufacturers and marketers of pomegranate juice have liberally used evolving research results for product promotion, especially for putative antioxidant health benefits. In February 2010, the FDA issued a Warning Letter to one such manufacturer, POM Wonderful, for using published literature to make illegal claims of unproven antioxidant and anti-disease benefits."

Regardless of this statement, the pomegranate is a fruit high in vitamins, and minerals, bright red in color with a thick skin, and bursting flavor. Based on the fact we are supposed to eat a variety of coloured fruits and vegetables for different health benefits, the pomegranate is now high on the list for me. And it tastes great as well!

Because they are a seedy fruit and take time to consume, many people choose to drink pomegranate juice as a convenient way to acquire the many nutrients. If you want the full benefit of the pomegranate, make sure it hasn't been cut with less beneficial juices such as grape or apple.

To open and seed a pomegranate, you need to cut off each end before making four quarterly interval top to bottom surface cuts into the sides. In a bowl of cool water, pull the fruit into four segments. The water will absorb the staining juices and let the seeds sink to the bottom while the catacomb flesh floats to the top to be later removed with ease.

For a video on how to cut a pomegranate, check this out:

Plastic: Poisonous or Not?

Plenty of us have received the e-mail from the John Hopkins Hospital with warnings of toxins leeching from frozen or hot plastics water bottles and other plastics. 

MythBusters has discredited this e-mail, verifying the J. Hopkins never released this statement and researching the SC & Johnson company, who refute the claims about heating their plastics.
Health Canada (HC) has set safety standards for plastic manufacturers to adhere to. Companies like SC & Johnson that sell Saran Wrap and Zip Lock products. When marked microwave or freezer safe, or if they display a microwave symbol on their packaging,  they are safe. That's not saying there aren't any toxins. It means if there are any, they are at what HC considers to be "safe levels."
Before microwaving, HC suggests to always remove food from packaging like Styrofoam trays and containers not labelled microwave safe. These containers are considered unstable meaning they could melt or warp, potentially "causing harmful chemicals to leech into the food."

That statement acknowledges there is such a thing as leeching from plastics, which tells me there is a risk here.

"Cover the food with a microwave safe lid or microwave safe plastic wrap that does not touch the food. Covering food in the microwave will help trap steam, which will help cook the food evenly and thoroughly. Leave a small gap so that steam can escape."

In my mind, HC is still acknowledging a risk from heating microwaveable plastic without directly saying so.

Did you realize that yogurt containers, margarine tubs and sour cream plastics are meant for cold foods, not for heating? They might not even be freezer safe. When in doubt, stick to stainless steel, glass or clay or freezer-use marked plastics.

I also read this transcripted statement from the show 60 Minutes: Plastic containers come with recyclable numbers on the bottom or lower part of the container. When buying water in bottles, "the better bottles are numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5. Avoid number 3 and 6 for other chemicals. And number 7 means Bisphenol A (BPA)" a bad chemical now banned for use in baby bottles and pacifiers.
If the bottle doesn't say freezer or or microwave safe, I am going to take that as a warning about leaving it to freeze or overheat in my vehicle. What are a few precautions in the face of my health?

Buyer Beware: if a product says it is BPA Free, it may simply mean the company used another unbanned toxin in its place. Do your homework.

The key to avoiding toxins is to simply try and use as many natural products as you can in your daily life. Natural beauty and cleaning products, organic foods and chemical free containers.

A glass water bottle keeps your water tasting great. Try one:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It’s a slippery argument to say the least. 

While both olive and canola oil are deemed heart healthy oils the two are very different. Olive oil is made by pressing ripe olives and collecting their juices; canola oil is made from a hybrid of the rapeseed plant. The different types of olive oil refer to the amount of pressings. Cold pressed being the best method to extract all the nutrients, extra virgin being the first most beneficial pressing while pure and light being the last, least beneficial.

Here's what I found:

Canola oil is manufactured at high temperatures, using a mechanical process that often involves the toxic chemical hexane. Hexane is extremely harmful to humans yet  "probably" safe at the low levels found in Canola oils. Canola oil is degummed, deodorized, bleached and further refined at high temperatures. 
All in all, olive oil is considered the healthier oil because of the nutrients it contains. Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants, polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids with can promote cardiovascular health and cognitive function as well as boosting your immune system and protecting you from many types of cancer. Olive oil can even help prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes, since it helps your body produce adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Olive oil even has anti-inflammatory properties, and can be of immense benefit to those with inflammatory diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
But I also read that that while the two oils are  identical in caloric content (9 calories/gram), canola oil has less saturated fat than olive oil. Your body needs a certain amount of fat per  day (about 25 percent to 30 percent of calories consumed) to function normally, but saturated fat is associated with increased LDL and cardiovascular disease, so canola oil is the better choice. It's also high in the omega-3 fatty acids and other monounsaturated fats that help to promote healthy cardiovascular function. 

So confusing ………………..

Until I found this:
Unsaturated, or heart-healthy, fats are not identical with regard to their function in the body. Some fall into the sub-category of omega-3 fatty acids, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, are particularly helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). According to Canola Info, canola oil is higher in omega-3 fatty acids (11 percent of the total fat) than olive oil, in which only 1 percent of the total fat is omega-3.

Omega-6 fatty acids also are unsaturated fats, but they are less beneficial to the cardiovascular system than other unsaturated fats. According to the Mayo Clinic, although omega-6 fatty acids don't increase LDL like saturated fats do, they can lead to swelling of artery linings, which is associated with narrowed arteries and heart disease. Canola Info says canola oil contains 21 percent omega-6 fatty acids, a much higher percentage of these less healthy fatty acids than olive oil, which contains only 9 percent.

I think I like the cancer preventitive polyphenols and anitoxidants together with the fact that olive oil is a natural, non-modified food.
Yet you have to also garner in that olive oil has a slight taste where canola oil does not, so health benefits aside, some chefs prefer canola when baking.
Personally, I can’t imagine anything tasting bad when olive flavoured?
You decide.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"O" Is For Obesity

We all know being overweight is hard on your body. It stands to reason that being obese is even harder; enough to increase the risk of cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

That’s a load of bad lottery tickets. You are bound to win something in the game you’re playing.

But I only have a small muffin top. At what point is a person considered overweight or obese?

I’ve discovered it’s all about body fat. When you have an abnormally high proportion of body fat, you are considered one of the two. To find out which one, you divide how tall you are by how much you weigh. That number will give you your BMI or Body Mass Index. To find out your BMI, go to this link:

Guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) place adults age 20 and older into the following categories based on their BMI:
BMI Categories
Below 18.5
18.5 to 24.9
25.0 to 29.9
30.0 and above

·         An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
·         An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
Keep in mind that this does not directly measure body fat. You need a 1950’s ice gripper gadget named calipers to measure the thickness of your spare tire, but it gives you a good idea. Athletes may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat .
That would be me. Yeh right Deb.

So maybe it’s time to trade in your favourite sinful pleasure for something else that rocks your cravings. I turned to figs and dates that absolutely make my teeth sing with sweetness. A salty fan? Eat Dulse, (natural dried seaweed) and whole grain brown rice crackers. A bread-phenatic? Make your bread with gluten-free flours and honey instead of sugar, coconut oil to replace butter and up the healthy nut additions.

And keep moving. The more you move, the more fat you burn.

For more information, talk to your doctor on different ways to lose weight.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Remarkable Rural Writer's Retreat

My ADD had me wound so tight I could have flown through the doors to the general hall at the rustic Banner Mountain Lodge this weekend. Greeted by the Rural Writer's Retreat  organizers from Smither's local writer's group, we were escorted to our rooms: mine a cosy  upstairs loft- a hobbit home I loved and appreciated for the next three days.

We work-shopped and ate, had writing exercises, then ate and completed the day with a game, or wine tasting or our hearing each other's work. We rubbed elbows and raided the fridge for amazing leftovers with authors, publishers and editors.

I got what I went for and more. Filled with wonder, joy, fresh resolve and determination I said good-bye until next year  and left. I don't remember going  home from the retreat, even though I had been driving.

While there I gained overwhelming validation for my self-help cancer book, currently titled Running From The Cancer Cooties.My first "ADD meets Mystery" series was met with equal enthusiasm  I gained more than a few fans. I also became a devotee of Betsy Trumpener (CBC  Daybreak North) who wrote a collection of wild and vivid stories in The Butcher of Penetang, Maggie De Vries of Missing Sarah (a memoir of her beautiful  sister, a drug addict and sex trade worker whose DNA was found on Robert Picton's farm) and publisher Vici Johnstone (Caitlin Press)

Seated here filled with elation and vibrant energy, I realize the need to get this recent book project up and out the door before I lose the momentum I have already created. Publishers are booking Fall of 2014 already and it takes a year for a book to be prepped for publication. But that doesn't mean the manuscript sits idle. No, it is edited and edited , changed and morphed into the most powerful tool it can be. I look forward to seeing the revised edition as much as most of you.

For that reason, the blogs will be sparse and on a "when I need a break" moment only.

Please bear with me. I'll be back to weekly blogging before you know it to finish the alphabetical cancer prevention tips. Then the blogs will continue about ADD facing  life on the road selling books and talking about cancer prevention in a book store near YOU!

Thanks everyone. Keep the Faith!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"N" Is For All Kinds of Nuts

Feeling tired? Need a mid- morning or mid-day pick up? Don’t reach for another coffee... grab a hand full of raw, unsalted nuts. One hand full can fill you with an amazing amount of energy. Nuts are loaded with nutrients which include essential oils and minerals we may be missing in our diet.

Nuts are high in monounsaturated fats that actually keep us heart-healthy and disease-free.

Healthy nuts are also great sources of protein, minerals and other life-enhancing nutrients. Scientific studies show that different types of nuts and seeds can actually prevent heart disease, weight gain and the accumulation of LDL cholesterol.
...if you don’t eat the entire bowl, that is. A perfect snack would be 10 almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts. Two tablespoons of peanut butter. You get the message. Also, some nuts are much better for you than others. And an added health tip- all nuts should be organic, eaten in their raw state, and not be  irradiated or roasted.

To make it easy for you: walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are the best choices, but to be fair, here's a list of other nuts and their good and bad points:

Almonds: They stabilize blood sugar and are high in calcium, have the highest fiber content, highest magnesium content and are lower in total fat than most other nuts.

Brazil Nuts: They contain Omega-3s, an essential Fatty Acid and high levels of selenium, which may help to prevent breast cancer. Unfortunately, they tend to be high in unhealthy saturated fat, so eat one or two only.

Cashews: They are high in magnesium (second to almonds), which is a mineral that helps to build strong bones. They are also lower in overall fat than most other nuts. However, they are high in saturated fat and tend to be low in fiber.

Hazelnuts: They are a good source of protein and offer high levels of 
Vitamin E and Beta-Sitosterol, which contribute to heart health and help to fight cancer. They are also high in fiber and low in saturated fat.

Macadamias: They are high in 
monounsaturated fat, are a good source of thiamine and contain small amounts of phosphorous, selenium, calcium and potassium . That said, they are low in protein and high in overall fat.

Peanuts: Really legumes (more similar to peas and beans), peanuts are highest in 
Protein and have small amounts of Omega-3s.

Pecans: They are high in Vitamin E and regular consumption may help to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. On the down-side, they are low in protein and are higher in fat content than most nuts.

Pine Nuts: Actually seeds from pine trees, Pine Nuts contain large amounts of 
thiamine (Vitamin B1) and Protein. If you are on a diet, they may act as an appetite suppressant.

Pistachios: They are high in calcium, magnesium and Vitamin A, as well as
 fiber and iron. Eating salted ones or more than a handful flattens any benefits.

Walnuts: The All Star! They are high in Vitamin E and have an ideal ratio
of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, protect your heart's health and guard against arthritis. 

For a great website on the different types of nuts and their individual benefits and drawbacks, check out the website called How Healthy Are Your Nuts? At