Hula Hulas & other things I'm Loving

homemade hula hoops (or as they call them in Mexico, hula hulas)
(photo from here)

raw almonds that haven't been irradiated or pasteurized - soaked/germinated/sprouted


the peppery arugula growing in the garden

getting vitamin d from the sun

What are you grateful for today?

Noni & Guifiti

While in Guanaja (Honduras), I learned about a couple of regional health elixirs from the locals and wanted to share my discovery.

One is noni juice from the noni shrub. A 75 year old ex-deep-sea marine I spoke with swears by the stuff, drinks the juice every day, and admits it tastes pretty bad. The fruit, leaves, flowers, bark, and roots have been eaten and used topically for hundreds of years by different cultures to treat various ailments. Many claim that noni contains valuable nutrients and phytochemicals that can treat asthma, lower cholesterol and inhibit cancerous cells from growing - a controversial claim that "modern" medicine has not proven yet...

Another is the Garifuna tonic guifiti - an elixer of plants soaked in rum. Made from medicinal plants (including local spices and noni), the recipe is guarded and passed on generation to generation. The Garifuna use guifiti for all sorts of ailments: impotence, menstrual cramps, pain relief, nerves, high blood pressure, low blood pressure... I remember the bottle I saw had a long list of all sorts of things. I tried some, and it was spicy, herby and swampy tasting - not that bad :-)

Images: Noni photos from Wikipedia, Guifiti photo by April

Bonnie's Health Info Group

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bonnie Penner online, and have since joined her incredibly informative "Health Info Group".

Bonnie is passionate about healthy living, and loves sharing her research on contemporary health topics like: plastic water bottles, Teflon pans, parabens, and artificial sweeteners... important stuff that isn't exactly mainstream knowledge yet. She says:

" is my passion and when I can make a difference in someone's life I feel great. I have seen too many people suffer, in my opinion needlessly, from health related issues only because they did not know any better."

If you're interested in receiving Bonnie's "Health Info Group" emails, send her an email and request to be put on her list: It's free to join, and she does not advertise or sell email addresses.

On a related note, I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm going to start having guest contributors submit content to the site. I've asked Bonnie, and she has agreed to let me post her write-up on plastic water bottles (coming soon).

Thank you Bonnie!

Dirty Dozen

Healthy organic apples growing on a Swiss farm I visited this summer.

Ever hear of the Dirty Dozen? Not the film, but the infamous list of produce types, rated by which ones have the most pesticides and chemicals. The list, put together by the EWG, actually shows 44 foods and each one's pesticide load. Needless to say, these chemicals are very unhealthy. Here's how we can eat less of these toxins (from Food News):

Healthy Advice from the Web for 2008

We could all use a little healthy advice now and then, so I've compiled
some helpful hints from the world wide web. Being the start of the new
year, there was a surge of info to sort through. Here are some gems ~

Happy New Year!

On top of the world at Calakmul.

Happy New Year!

For my first post of 2008 I would like to share some highlights from the past year, and let you know what's percolating for this year. 2007 was a productive adventurous year for me, and for

news bites~

Antioxidants Abound In Ripe Fruit
~ keep eating those delicious fall apples!

Key To Good Health May Be Concentrating On Food Not Nutrients
~ getting your nutrients from healthy whole foods is where it's at

50 Ways to Beat the Reaper
~ from men's health magazine: these tips are good for women too - apparently, a bit of chocolate is good for everyone :-)

today's bites

*Women's Dietary Intake Study Ties Yogurt Consumption To Healthier Body Weights
"Research conducted by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, Minneapolis, shows women who eat yogurt frequently are less likely to be overweight and more likely to meet their recommended daily intakes of important nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D."

That sounds great - though I'd like to see the same study done by someone other than a giant processed food-selling corporation...

*Flu shot's vigour diminishes
This year's flu shot "may offer only 40 to 50 per cent protection" - not that it was ever 100%... once again, the virus has mutated.

*Porh Pawh's Bakery Café
70 Adelaide St E Toronto, ON, 416-368-7294
I totally want to check this place out :-)

*Awesome sounding recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini:
Glace aux Deux Figues

Cocoa: Dutch vs Raw

Cocoa beans in a cacao pod
Cocoa beans in a cacao pod (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service)

I'm sure you've all been noticing the studies constantly popping up proclaiming chocolate's health benefits.

In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity. One thing I recently learned was that alkalized cocoa (like the dark and mellow Dutch Processed cocoa) is lower in healthy antioxidants (here: flavonoids) than the more unprocessed (and more bitter) "raw" cocoa. I figured when it came to chocolate, and by extension cocoa, "the darker the better". Not so for cocoa. Dutch Processed cocoa still contains healthy antioxidants (and tastes awesome), just not many as raw cocoa.

Once again, the less processed food wins as the healthier choice!