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My Blog

  • Let's Think About the Positives this Memorial Day

    Posted on Monday, May 31, 2010

    With all the negative comments and depressing events in the country and the world it can be disheartening, frustrating, and embarrassing to absorb and dissolve into the national news threads. And those negative threads explode with hundreds of comments.  Let’s see if we can turn those negatives into positives and explode with hundreds of comments that turn things around. Who will join in?

    Today is Memorial Day. A day to celebrate all of those who have served our country in some capacity, those who lost their lives to give us safety, security and freedom. I am so grateful for those people who were brave and had the courage to go to foreign places, knowing they may not come back, to fight for the freedom of those at home and the generations to follow.    

    Let’s all look for some positive, encouraging, optomistic and uplifting words we can use to describe our lives and our country.  Let’s to give THANKS to the families who are mourning those lost family members, those who are MISSING loved ones, or who are celebrating themselves with our retired/discharged/injured soldiers?  My father served in the Army for 20 years and fought in the Korean War.  Several cousins are serving now in various armed forces with one cousin presently serving in Afghanistan.  

    For my positive words, I’d like to say that I think our nation, although not always viewed positively, is endless in the possibilities of making our dreams come true.  That is something that would not be possible without the diligence and hard work of our forefathers, our country’s leaders, as well as, the mental and physical strength of our military forces who have laid down EVERYTHING for the sake of keeping those dreams attainable.  As a second generation American, my grandparents came to this country in search of the American dream.  When I think about how blessed I am to be living here instead of another country where the citizens do not share the freedoms we have, it amazes me that I was fortunate to be born here in America.

    So share your positives about living in America today.  And give thanks to those who continue to fight for our freedom.  Happy Memorial Day!

    5 Replies
  • Is Your Microwave Cooking Making You Sick?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    Is Your Microwave Cooking Making You Sick?
    A look at how microwaved food can negatively affect your health
    by Catherine Ebeling - RN, BSN & Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist
    co-authors - The Fat Burning Kitchen

    Do you know what (besides a television) is in almost every home in America? It's a microwave oven. Because microwave ovens are quick and easy and don’t take up much space, they are used for meal preparation in the home, at the office, and even restaurants. Even your favorite healthy restaurant may depend on these electrical devices to quickly heat up or cook foods. So, the question here is —
    Are microwave ovens safe, and is it ok to eat the food cooked in them?
    Before we look at the science of how microwaved food can affect your blood chemistry and negatively affect your health, let’s look at a bigger picture, common-sense thought process about this...
    If you think about it from this perspective, the human digestive system evolved over tens of thousands of years to digest food that was either raw or cooked in water or by heat. However, food cooked via microwaves is a totally alien and unknown cooking method to the human digestive system.
    It’s just common sense that such a radically different cooking method will alter the chemistry of the food to negatively impact our health.
    Now onto a little more science...
    Let's take a look at how microwaves ovens work
    Microwaves are a part of the whole electromagnetic spectrum of energy that includes light waves and radio waves. They travel at the speed of light—which is about 186,282 miles per second. So how does that oven heat up the food so fast?
    Inside the microwave oven, there is a "magnetron" which is a tube full of electrons. The electrons in the microwave oven react with magnetic and electronic energy and become micro wavelengths. This is the radiation that interacts with the molecules in food.
    Food molecules have a positive and negative end, kind of like the way a magnet has a north and a south polarity. The electrons from the magnetron produce wavelengths that react with the positive and negative parts of the food molecules. The food molecules then start vibrating, up to several million times a second. This molecular "vibration" is what creates the heat in the food.
    This agitiation deforms the molecules in food and creates new unnatural radiolytic compounds previously unknown to nature. These strange foreign compounds in microwaved food have been shown to damage the blood, the digestive system, and our immune systems.
    Microwave ovens have been actually been around for about 40 or so years, but so far, only a couple of in-depth scientific studies have been done on them.
    Research showing negative health impacts of eating microwaved food
    Extensive research, though, was conducted in both Switzerland and Russia on microwaved foods and their effects on the human body. Both studies concluded that microwaving foods significantly deteriorated the nutrient value of the food, distorted protein molecules in the food, and created new, radically unnatural compounds. Most alarming, however, was that the subjects’ health deteriorated from eating the microwaved foods.
    Their findings included:

        * Blood hemoglobin (the extremely important oxygen-carrying component of the blood) decreased significantly after eating microwaved foods.  

        * White blood cell count rose, (as it does in response to an infection).

        * LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) increased, and HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) decreased.

        * Carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents in foods increased.

        * Higher incidence of digestive system cancers.

    The Russian scientists found the microwave oven significantly scary enough to actually ban its use—up until recently.
    When food is cooked in a microwave oven, it has:

        * Significantly less B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and fats.

        * Broken down and de-natured proteins.

        * Loss of vital enzymes and phytochemicals.

    And here is a really interesting study—done on grain germination:
    The grain watered with microwaved (and cooled) water would not not even germinate or grow! It's pretty obvious that microwaving changed the water chemically and destroyed its ability to nourish a plant.
    Ok, so maybe it's ok to just heat leftovers in the microwave oven once in a while?
    NO! Actually, food heated in a microwave is heated unevenly creating super-heated spots and cool spots. Those cool spots may actually harbor bacterial growth such as salmonella, and you end up with food poisoning.
    In addition, when you use plastic containers or plastic wrap in contact with your food, you end up getting all sorts of nasty chemicals like di(ethylhexyl)adepate, or DEHA, (a carcinogen), Bisphenol-A or BPA (a cancer-causing agent in plastics) and xenoestrogens (synthetic estrogens) in your food!
    In one recent study, it was found that carcinogenic ingredients in plastic wrap were 10,000 times the FDA limit for safety!
    Exposure to BPA, used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and other plastics, has been shown to cause reproductive problems and erectile dysfunction, and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans.
    Xenoestrogens are really nasty synthetic estrogens that seem to show up everywhere. In men, xenoestrogens can cause low sperm counts and feminization (like the dreaded "man boobs") and breast cancer and reproductive problems in women. Xenoestrogens promote weight gain around the belly and chest in men, and in women, it shows up as fat in the butt, hips, thighs and the back of arms.
    So, in addition to being really unhealthy, microwaved foods can make you fat!
    Parents should never warm breast milk or formula in the microwave oven—not only can it superheat the milk and burn the baby, but microwaving destroys the very valuable nutrients, enzymes and protein vital to babies’ growth!
    And here is something really scary: in 1991, a patient received blood that had been warmed in a microwave oven. That patient died of a severe anaphylactic reaction to the blood. The microwaving created something totally unrecognizable by the body!
    If you want to be safe, healthy and LEAN, avoid your microwave—totally. Personally, I threw out my microwave about 6 years ago and haven’t even missed it!
    There are far healthier and better alternatives:

        * Eat vegetables and fruit raw preferably, or if cooked, sauté lightly (with a little water and some grass-fed butter) or steam until tender crisp in a pan on the stove.

        * Heat water for tea, etc in a pan or tea-kettle instead of the microwave—or, better yet—is to get a steaming hot water tap—I love these things!

        * Plan ahead and defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator.

        * Heat up ALL leftovers over low heat in a pan or in a toaster oven in aluminum foil (it still only takes 4-5 minutes to heat leftovers)

        * If you must use a microwave (and I don't know why you would!), use only glass containers instead of plastic.

    Or you may want to try this—small countertop convection ovens are great for cooking foods faster and more evenly than a regular oven or on the stove. My favorite little convection oven is the Flavorwave oven from US Wellness Meats, a GREAT site for grass-fed beef too!
    You can actually cook a frozen 15-oz. ribeye is in 20 minutes, and it is delicious; browned, tender and juicy. These little convection ovens will broil, bake, fry, roast, grill or steam your favorite foods, including meat, chicken, and vegetable. It takes 20-30% less time than a regular oven, and uses about 75% less energy.
    This is a far healthier option than a cancer-causing, nutrient-robbing, microwave oven!
    Please feel free to email the link to this page to your friends and family so they can make the smart decision to throw out their microwaves and protect their family’s health!

    5 Replies
  • Where did the time go?

    Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2010

    I, like most people, am not very good at managing my time.  Everyday seems to pass by and I’m still trying to complete all that I started out to do. There are so many distractions as well, just on the internet alone.  Do you experience this?  In trying to find a good way to manage my time, I found a formula that can hopefully help if not just myself then maybe some others who find themselves in the same place.  The formula is P.L.A.Y.F.U.L..  Here is the plan I will use to better attach my days. Try it yourself and let me know if and how it works.

    P - Plan the Day  - Many self help articles will list this as the number one tactic to get yourself organized and on the road to productivity.  Spend some time the day or night before to plan your day in advance before you go to bed.  Include not just work related items but personal ones as well.  Every time I do this, it really helps me with so many areas of my life.  First, I sleep so much better because I don't lie away thinking of all the things I need to do the next day.  It keeps me to be so much more organized if I even include what we will eat for dinner.  You can divide your day into morning, mid-day and evening as you think of things you need to accomplish.  Sometimes it's easier for me to just write down a list and later separate them into the time areas.  

    L- List Time Limits - Once you make your list then begin to itemize them by importance or time.  Determine which items are more important or need to be accomplished in a certain time span. Is this something that will take more than one day to accomplish?  Then determine what needs to be completed and when so you can plan it out for the next day or days.  Listing tasks by order of importance and placing them within a scheduled time frame will allow you to stick to those tasks with less confusion as to what you should be doing and accomplishing.

    A - Assign a Accept your Schedule  - This is sometimes the most difficult part of the process.  As we begin to assign our  activities, there will always be things to distract us, especially if we work with other individuals.  When I was a teacher I wanted to be available to my students.  I did not want to be the kind of teacher who gave the students assignments and then went to sit at my desk. But I also needed to have time to check their work.  The time to visit the students individually need to be included in the schedule.  Now that I work from home, I need to assign a schedule of time for certain activities that MUST be accomplished every day.  That is the only way that I will be able to be successful in my business.  I learned that if I stick to what I have assigned myself there seems to be time for other matters as well. By respecting ourselves and our own schedule, we not only teach others to respect it, but to respect the time they should set for themselves to accomplish goals.  Sticking to our schedule is truly a benefit to all and we will discover that things get accomplished.

    Y – Yourself  - Make sure you plan time for yourself to recharge.  We need to schedule time for ourselves and time to relax and have fun.  If we go through our day without any type of relaxation, life will become tedious, boring and may lead to an overall feeling of depression. Get out to walk or exercise preferably in the middle of the day as a break.  If that's not possible then make sure it's at least in your schedule, either before work or after.  Think of the activities you enjoy and make sure you allow yourself time to do those activities.  Remember all work and no play....

    F - Focus but don't Forget to Follow Delegating - Focusing on the things that are easy for you to do yourself should be accomplished first but don't forget that others thoughts, ideas and assistance can sometimes help the task to be completed sooner.  It may be better to assign tasks that your children can do such as cleaning the dinner table or sorting the laundry.  Sometimes work related activities can be shared with others.  Are there tasks at work or at home that can be delegated to others you work with or other family members?  Share the work load whenever you can.

    U - Understand  - Since we are planning our day and using a strategy, be kind to yourself and understand that you need to give yourself time to develop this new habit.  Researchers say that it takes someone 4-5 months before a practice becomes habit.  Another point is patience.  Be patient with yourself as you learn to use this new strategy.  Another step in understanding is to view your goal, or activity or assignment as smaller pieces leading to the whole.  Try not to look at a project or assignment and think, I'll never get this finished or completed in time.  Break everything down into smaller time increments.  Take things little by little, bit by bit, piece by piece.  Celebrate each accomplishment.  Celebrate each success.P -  

    L - Look for the Positive and have a Positive Outlook  - As you begin each day and look over your plan for that day, begin with a positive outlook.  Say some positive affirmations to yourself before you begin your day.  As you look toward your day, begin your assignments with a positive thought, such as this is the work that will help me achieve my end goals.  Visualize the end result and think of how it will feel once you do accomplish your task, activity or assignment.  This will help you complete the task and you may find that you complete it sooner than expected and with a better quality of work.  A positive outlook is also contagious.  Beginning each day with a positive attitude may just help someone else have a better day as well.  

    Each year we all look for better ways to accomplish our goals and work.  There are so many suggestions about how to manage our time.  Find the way that works best for you and stick to it.  Make sure you use it regularly to make it a habit.  You may be surprised at where you find yourself!  

    I hope these P.L.A.Y.F.U.L. suggestions help.  Let me know what you think and Celebrate your Success.

    Have a PLAYFUL Day!


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    8 Replies