Tag Archives: healthy digestion

Restoration Ecology

In 1997, ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwach approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with an off-the-wall idea.

In exchange for donating portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Area de Consevacion Guanacaste- a nature preserve in the country’s Northwest, the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of change, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby.

The site was left untouched and largely unexamined for over a decade.

Compared to the adjacent barren former pastureland, the site of the waste deposit was “like night and day”, the area was so thick with vegetation.

The results published in the journal “Restoration Ecology” highlight just how completely the discarded fruit parts assisted the area’s turnaround.

Researchers believe better management of discarded produce, like orange peels, could be the key to helping forests regrow.

In many parts of the world, rates of deforestation are increasing dramatically, sapping local soils of much-needed nutrients and, with them, the ability of ecosystems to restore themselves.

In much of the world is awash in nutrient-rich food waste. In the US, up to half of all produce is discarded most currently ends up in landfills.

The next step is to examine whether other ecosystems, dry forest, cloud forests, tropical savannas, react the same way to similar deposits.

The ecologists measured various qualities of the site against an area of former pastureland immediately across the access road used to dump the orange peels two decades prior. Compared to the adjacent plot, which was dominated by a single species of tree, the site of the orange peel deposit featured two dozen species of vegetation, most thriving.

In addition to greater biodiversity, richer soil and a better developed canopy, researchers found that such forests absorb and store atmospheric carbon at roughly eleven times the rate of old-growth forests.



Evoware: Edible Seaweed Cups

Indonesian company Evoware, makes cups customers can eat, instead of throwing away. They are made from seaweed and taste like jelly, in flavors from peppermint to green tea.

Evoware makes edible cups, as well as other containers, from farmed seaweed free of chemicals. They are relying on its biodegradable alternative to plastic packaging to reduce contamination of the environment.

Evoware co-founder David Christian said the idea of seaweed-based edible packaging was spurred by his desire to fight an explosion in plastic waste over the last few years in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital of 10 million people.

Indonesia produces 10 million tonnes of seaweed each year and targets 19 million tonnes by 2020.

From the first product Evoware developed, the seaweed-based jelly cup, it is expanding into other types of packaging, such as dissolvable sachets for coffee or seasonings.

Evoware products are made by hand and are very expensive compared to plastic on price.

The edible seaweed Ello Jello cup can be up to 5 times more expensive than ordinary crepe cones, and it uses wrapping of plastic and paper to preserve its texture.

Indonesia, which has some of the worlds filthiest rivers and once-pristine beaches littered with plastic waste, has joined a Limited Nations led cleanup drive after being rated the second biggest plastic marine polluter, behind China.

Evoware is a socially responsible enterprise that elevates and environmentally friendly lifestyle and provides innovative value to urban society.

Evoware products are eco-friendly, biodegradable and even edible and healthy for the body. Their impact is not just on the environment, but also on the livelihood of seaweed farmers.

Evoware’s mission is to create innovative solutions from seaweed to solve plastic waste issue, while increasing the livelihood of Indonesia’s seaweed farmers.


‘Plant- Based’ will be the Hottest Food Trend of 2018

In 2018, plant-based foods will become the new organic.

It’s a trend that is already firmly ensconced in the tribal world of predominately female millennials.

Statistics prove over the past decade consumers under the age of 40 have upped their fresh vegetable intake by 52%.

Between 2012 and 2016 researchers have seen a 25% increase in vegetarian claims and a 257% rise in vegan claims in new grocery store products.

Over the past year, faux burger brands like ‘Beyond Meat’ and ‘Impossible Burger”. Which stimulate the way beef cooks and tastes, have penetrated the mainstream market.

In 2018, look for more meatless “meat dishes” to appear on menus, such as mock schnitzel Milanese or faux fish, and for vegan cheese to become increasingly common as the topper for faux burgers and pizza.

When swapping out meat, dairy from your diet, be sure to account for the protein you’re missing out on. Many plants contain high amounts of protein, including:

  • Soy products such as tempeh
  • Grains such as quinoa and buckwheat
  • Seeds such as hempseeds and chia seeds
  • Nuts such as almonds and cashews
  • Legumes such as beans, peas and lentil
  • Vegetables such as kale, zucchini and portabella mushrooms

Plant based meats are ripe for innovation. People have been making plant-based meats the same way for decades, and until recently, a few people thought of this market segment as a solution to urgent global problems.

Today, The Good Food Institutes Sci Tech team is releasing the first ever open-sourced guide to accelerate the success of the plant-based meat industry and direct entrepreneurs toward high-impact areas of innovation.

Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward and Niomi Smart both have written cookbooks based on the plant-based diet and are active sharing recipes on Instagram.



Marijuana Chewing Gum

The cannabis industry is growing, and studies are showing that this super-plant can help to cure a multitude of aches and pains, from the relief of irritable bowel syndrome to minimizing pain caused by fibromyalgia. Now there’s a pleasant solution that will benefit everyone: marijuana-infused chewing gum.

The active ingredient marijuana chewing gum, CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid , which means that you won’t get ‘high’ but you’ll still receive the pain relief from the CBD.

Axim Biotechnologies has created a chewing gum containing CBD called MedChewRX and is currently conducting medical trials.

The benefit to chewing the marijuana gum as opposed to inhaling or eating it is that it can be digested directly in the mouth, bypassing the liver for faster relief. Other benefits to the chewing aspect for pain sufferers is the neuroprotective and neuro-stimulatory effects on the mind, stress relief, stimulation of the cardiovascular system and improvement of age-related cognitive decline.

Chewing marijuana gum is also more socially accepted than smoking, and allows for those with fibromyalgia to get quick pain relief almost anywhere without fear of backlash from those around them.

There have been some side effects reported so far, though it is unclear what those are, and the medicine displays a lack of the “peak”, or a less potent high, associated with traditional forms of cannabis.

For now, more research is being done into how this can be a safe, effective delivery method for cannabis for pain relief.

The goal is to provide on-the-go relief for chronic pain sufferers so that they can continue to function normally throughout their day pain-free.

MedChewRX is set to be released in 2018. It will be the first official medical cannabis chewing gum approved by the FDA. Soon the gum will be sold in dispensaries.

Marijuana –Infused Gum for Digestive Pain relief.

Marijuana Chewing Gum to relieve Fibromyalgia pain.



5 Senses of Fun

5 Senses of Fun was created by the knowledge acquired by the in-house autism expert Kaitlyn, who has had autism since birth. This sensory fun business is for everyone. All of the products they represent are approved by Kaitlyn. The long term goal is to create a meaningful employment for her in a field she has a passion for. This is her business, they are working together as a family to make this happen for her.

Kaitlyn’s mom Ingrid is a good friend of mine, who I admire and support her starting this small business called 5 Senses of Fun.

As a mom of a child with autism myself, we share similar philosophies supporting our children to be successful with a meaningful employment.

Kaitlyn’s mom Ingrid and I both find most of the information now on autism is from people with autism. If it’s a parental question, from a parent of a child with autism, or if it’s a sibling question we would ask a sibling of a sibling of a person with autism. We appreciate the medical side of information, but only to a limited degree. Since autism isn’t something to be “cured” there isn’t a lot of medical help that can be provided.

5 Senses of Fun is Kaitlyn’s store. She loves everything sensory and wants to share it with everyone. She may be only 11 years old, but she knows her products.

5 Senses:

Touch: Tactioception; products include stress balls, Crazy Aaron’s thinking putty, strange attractor, finger ring fidget, knot genie and much more

Smell: Olfacoception; products include Piggy Paint, Piggy Paint scented nail polish and much more

Sight: Ophthalmoception: products include maze pens, elastic jumping tube, and liquid timers

Hear: Audioception: products include musical twirling pipe, corded max lite ear plugs and much more

Taste: Gustaoception: products include chewable pencil topper, Arks heart chew and much more

Fidget Spinners: Different spinners will give you different input sensations

Be sure to check out the 5 Senses of Fun website: www.5sensesoffun.com.

It is your one stop sensory shop. Everything is approved by their in house autism specialist Kaitlyn.


11 Ordinary things Women weren’t allowed to do in the ‘50s & ‘60s in the States

Take a look to see just how many surprising things women were not allowed to do back in the day.

  1. Open a Bank Account: Women could not open a bank account without their husband or a male relatives permission until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974
  2. Serve Jury Duty: Slowly, states separately allowed women to sit in the jury box over the years until Mississippi finally became the last state to legalize it in 1968
  3. Practice Law: Even if women had gone through all the years of school and passed every test, women could still be denied the right to plead a client’s case until 1971
  4. Take Birth Control Pills: The contraceptive was approved in 1960, but it was still banned in several states for the next few years
  5. Go on Maternity Leave: If a women was able to have a job, they most often lost it, when they became pregnant until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
  6. Breastfeed in Public: Public areas were still able to prohibit mothers from breastfeeding until a bill was finally passed by Congress making this discrimination illegal
  7. Attend an Ivy League University: Harvard would not allow women applicants until 1977, but Yale and Princeton were only slightly ahead by admitting their first female students in 1969
  8. Attend a Military Academy: The first female students at West Point Academy were not accepted until 1976
  9. Run the Boston Marathon: The legendary marathon was an all-male event until 1972
  10. Serve in Combat: Despite all of the hard work women have put into the military for decades, they were not allowed on front lines until very recently in 2013
  11. Become an Astronaut: NASA denied women until Sally Ride broke the mold in 1978

We are obviously still battling against several issues today, but seeing the things my mother and grandmother were forced to endure has really opened my eyes. I always knew things were different back in the day, but I cannot believe how long it took for a wife to not be legally classified as “subordinate” to her husband, much less how difficult it was for a single women to get her own bank account and credit card.

Some of these setbacks were cleared up in the 1970s and 1980s, but I was shocked by how recently a few of these restrictions were still in place.



The Elf on the Shelf

A Christmas tradition from the 2005 children’s picture book, The Elf on the Shelf, written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, and illustrated by Coe Steinwart.

The book tells a Christmas-themed story, written in rhyme, that explains how Santa Claus knows who is naughty and who is nice. It describes elves visiting children between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, after which they return to the North Pole until the next holiday season.

As a parent myself to two adult children, this Christmas tradition was not known when my children were young. It was introduced in 2005, so I never had the responsibility of this new Christmas tradition. Parents today are responsible for being creative in how The Elf on the Shelf will entertain their young children.

The Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition adds to the magic of Christmas and the story of Santa Claus.

At the North Pole, Santa has many helpers who make the Christmas season special. His scout elves serve as his eyes and ears in homes around the world.

This story describes how Santa’s ‘scout elves’ hide in people’s home to watch over events. Once everyone goes to bed, the scout elf flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa the activities, good and bad that have taken place throughout the day. By hiding in a new spot each morning around the house, the scout elf plays an ongoing game of hide and seek with the family.

The Elf on the Shelf explains that scout elves get their magic by being named and being loved by a child. Once the elf is named, the scout elf receives its special Christmas magic, which allows it to fly to and from the North Pole.

The legend tells how the magic might disappear if the scout elf is touched. “There’s only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow. Please do not touch me, my magic might go, and Santa won’t hear all I’ve seen or I know”.

The story ends on Christmas Day with the elf leaving to stay with Santa for the rest of the year until the following Christmas season.

Children awake each morning excited to see where the elf is perched. Parents use their imagination to provide fun and special Elf on the Shelf memories.

There are two main rules when it comes to the official Elf on the Shelf. First, the elf is to be moved to a different location in your house every night while your children are asleep. Second, you need to make sure your children never touch the elf, or else he’ll lose his “magic”.

Some parents love the annual arrival of Elf on the Shelf, while others look at the arrival of December with dread.

The Elf on the Shelf is another bit of magic to add to this season, and to celebrate the unconditional belief in the impossible that is unique to children, so do what works for you.



The Hidden Symbolism behind your favorite Christmas Decorations

Wreaths: Christians believe wreaths represent thorns worn by Jesus and the tiny red berries represent his blood

Candy Canes: The origin of this holiday staple, say the white represents purity, the red represents Jesus bloodshed, and the shape is supposed to be the staff of the Good Shepherd

Christmas Trees: Of all holiday decorations, the tree is the most iconic. The tradition started, because in many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away evil spirits and illness, according to history

Gingerbread Men: According to the Catholic Church, these cookies are intended to remind us of when God created Adam in the Garden of Eden, and therefore his creation of all of us

Bells: Since bells are traditionally rung at the beginning of mass in Catholic services, they’ve naturally become a part of Christmas décor over the years

Mistle Toe: Since mistletoe survives by attaching itself to a tree (and would die without the tree), to Christians it represents how humans only exist because of God

Holly: Legend says that the berries on this plant were originally white, but that the blood Christ shed stained them red forever, which is why it is now a common Christmas decoration

Tinsel: This metallic decoration symbolizes light and is hung on a Christmas tree to make sure darkness has no power during the holiday season

Stockings: Legend says a widowed father to three girls was having a tough time providing for his daughters. After St. Nicolas heard about his situation, he decided to climb down the family’s chimney and filled the girl’s stockings with gold coins

 Christmas Gifts: The inspiration behind giving and receiving gifts on Christmas started when the wise men brought their gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor Jesus being born. Now it is a way to share joy amongst loved ones



Christmas Quotes to get you in the Holiday Spirit

Dr. Seuss: Christmas will always be a long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand

Benjamin Franklin: A good conscience is a continual Christmas

Washington Irving: Christmas is the Season for kindling the fire of hospitality

Clement Clarke Moore: Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Dale Evans: Christmas, my child, is love in action

Mo Rocca: Christmas is a stocking stuffed with sugary goodness

Alexander Smith: Christmas is the day that holds all time together

Marjorie Holmes: At Christmas, all roads lead home

Charles Dickens: There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor

Andy Rooney: One of the most glorious messes in the world as the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly

Will Ferrell, “Elf”:  The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear

Charles M. Schulz: Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone

Burton Hills: The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree; the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other

Bob Hope: My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple, loving others

Norman Vincent Peale: Christmas waves a magic wand over the world and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful

Roy L. Smith: He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree

Edward Pola and George Wyle: It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Charles Dickens: I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year

Peg Bracken:  Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas

Harlan Miller: I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month

Zuzu Bailey, “It’s a Wonderful Life: Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings

Mary Ellen Chase: Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind

Winston Churchill: Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection

Laura Ingalls Wilder: We are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time

Edna Ferber: Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling

Charles Lamb: New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday

Hamilton Wright Mabie: Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love



Too Busy for Health?

You probably have a million things to do each day – there’s no end to your to-do list at work, then you get home and have to make dinner, do the laundry, clean the bathroom, etc. etc. You’d love to make health a priority, but there’s never any time.

But the catch is… how do you maintain the energy you need to keep going all day long, if you don’t have time for health? At some point, it’ll all come crashing down – if it hasn’t already!

You might start feeling tired and drained… and find it more and more difficult to get through that to-do list.

You might start feeling exhausted by the time you get home… And end up ordering pizza for dinner (and feeling guilty about it afterwards).

And you might end up feeling rundown, completely stressed-out, and overall lousy about life in general!

This is NOT where you want to end up!

Wouldn’t you rather have loads of energy and feel great… to get through your workday, and still have energy to cook a healthy dinner, look after your house, and enjoy some time with your family or friends, or doing something you love?

You can! Here are 3 steps that can help you fit health into your day.

Make a Plan. A little planning can go a long way. Decide the night before what you’ll have for dinner the next day. Pull items out of the freezer. Precut some vegetables. Prep a few healthy snacks for the next day as well.

Keep It Simple. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Keep it simple by having a few quick and easy go-to recipes and snacks on hand. Make a quick stir fry with a frozen vegetable mix. Have a sandwich for dinner. Have fruit and pre-portioned nuts on hand for easy grab-and-go snacks.

Schedule It. Make health a priority by including it in your schedule. Schedule in a 20 minute walk at lunch time. Schedule in a healthy snack at 3 PM – to keep from reaching for the donuts at 4 PM.