• “Hydro”-Therapy

    Drink­ing water dur­ing the win­ter sea­son is cru­cial. One hardly feels thirsty dur­ing win­ter months, but stay­ing ahead of cold sea­son requires some good old fash­ioned “hydro-​therapy”.

    Often neglected dur­ing the win­ter sea­son, keep­ing one­self hydrated is of utmost impor­tance. In light of stay­ing healthy and pro­mot­ing opti­mal well­ness, explore the ben­e­fits of warm or hot water.

    The biggest ben­e­fit may be from the mere tem­per­a­ture of the water and not even any added fla­vors (lemons, gin­ger, mint, etc.). Drink­ing any water, espe­cially warm water, the first thing in the morn­ing can help flush the diges­tive sys­tem and rehy­drate the body.
  • “Oh Baby!“

    Rais­ing babies is hard work. There is no need to tell that to any of the grand­par­ents who were lucky enough to spend time with their pre­cious lit­tle ones over the recent hol­i­day season.

    Observ­ing today’s young par­ents of babies and tod­dlers is edu­ca­tional, if not mind-​blowing.

    Mak­ing deci­sions for their opti­mal health and well-​being begins early and presents a mul­ti­tude of required quick responses.
  • Athlete’s Foot

    There is a lot more to eat­ing for sports and phys­i­cal activ­ity than merely chow­ing down on carbs or chug­ging sports drinks.
    The good news is that eat­ing to reach peak per­for­mance level likely doesn’t require a spe­cial diet or sup­ple­ments. It’s all about work­ing the right foods into a fit­ness plan in the right amounts.

    Marathons, endurance and adven­ture races and triathalons are all gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. Sum­mer vaca­tions often require build­ing sta­mina for hik­ing, walk­ing and increased activ­ity above nor­mal levels.

    The energy needs of endurance ath­letes are high. Every athlete’s calo­rie needs are dif­fer­ent, depend­ing on gen­der, age, body com­po­si­tion, train­ing reg­i­men and daily activities.

    Dur­ing heavy train­ing and rac­ing cycles, strive to avoid extreme changes in weight. Smaller ath­letes in light train­ing may need a min­i­mum of 2,000 calo­ries per day; larger ath­letes and those in heavy train­ing may need well over 5,000 calo­ries per day. Calo­ries should come from a vari­ety of sources.
  • Cook­ing Greens

    About the Pro­duce Beat: David John hosts this weekly pro­gram regard­ing every­thing you ever wanted to know about fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles: selec­tion, stor­age, prepa­ra­tion, vari­eties, sea­sonal avail­abil­ity, trivia, and his per­sonal secrets about how to enjoy pro­duce.
  • Fork “Over” Knife

    A plant-​based diet can boost opti­mum health, decreas­ing the risk of heart dis­ease, Type 2 dia­betes, and cer­tain can­cers.

    The main advan­tages with a plant-​based diet seem to be related more to the foods con­sumed (eat­ing plenty of veg­eta­bles, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts) rather than those foods avoided (pri­mar­ily meats).

    Stay­ing at a healthy weight is eas­ier on a plant-​based diet and menu. A “less meat, more plants” style of eat­ing can improve qual­ity of life.

    Asso­ci­ated ben­e­fits include the reduc­tion of inflam­ma­tion and dis­eases attrib­uted to inflam­ma­tion. Lower cho­les­terol and blood pres­sure lev­els are oth­ers plus ups seen with plant-​based food choices.

    There are many dif­fer­ent types of plant-​based diets. The three most com­mon ones are: Vegan: No ani­mal prod­ucts such as meat, eggs, or dairy prod­ucts. Lacto-​vegetarian: No meat or eggs, but dairy prod­ucts are accept­able. Lacto-​Ovo-​vegetarian: No meat is con­sumed, but dairy prod­ucts and eggs are allowed.
  • Fresh Turmeric

    Turmeric: what it is, health ben­e­fits, prepa­ra­tion, usage.
  • Going Global

    Gath­er­ing twelve round fruits on the eve of a new year is said to usher in pros­per­ity and good for­tune. Let it roll.

    Eat­ing round fruits for each month rep­re­sents a healthy approach to the new year. It may be daunt­ing if all done at one sit­ting, unless berries or grapes are avail­able.

    Lucky for us that so many globe-​shaped fruits are read­ily avail­able nearly year-​round.

    These days, apples and oranges are almost taken for granted. They get packed in school lunches every day with hardly a thought. Okay, so maybe they do get sliced into smiles or smaller por­tions. They start out as a round piece of fruit.

    Grapes, pears, quince, cran­ber­ries, kiwi, per­sim­mons, mango and pome­gran­ates are sea­sonal choices that fit a resolve to improve monthly intake. Some of these, while sourced from around the world, will take some plan­ning month-​by-​month to work into the meal rotation.
  • Heal­ing Kitchen

    Encour­ag­ing an appetite is hardly the worry for most healthy indi­vid­u­als. Too many of us are try­ing to squash our food crav­ings.

    For oth­ers, it can be quite a chal­lenge to coax eat­ing for sus­te­nance and nour­ish­ment.

    Nearly every­one knows a friend, neigh­bor or fam­ily mem­ber who suf­fers from lack of inter­est or desire to eat or drink.

    Typ­i­cally, this is due to a tem­po­rary set­back, like hav­ing the flu or recov­er­ing from den­tal work. The con­di­tion is short term and nor­mal eat­ing pat­terns will resume.

    Dimin­ished appetites from chronic con­di­tions (aging and dis­ease) jeop­ar­dize opti­mum health and often indi­cate some­thing more seri­ous can be at work. Depres­sion, sad­ness, grief and health dis­or­ders are all on the table when the will to eat goes south.
  • Lighten Up!

    Zuc­chini and other sum­mer squash vari­eties seem to be every­where. What are we wait­ing for such a squash sur­plus at our fin­ger­tips?

    If pasta noo­dles are on the table at least once a week, this is the best sea­son to go for a light­ened up ver­sion with noo­dles cen­ter­plate.

    Alfredo, mari­nara and pesto clas­sics make for irre­sistible sauces on top of squash noo­dles.

    Grain free squash cut in either wide rib­bons or curly or flat thin noo­dles beckon to kitchen enthu­si­asts to explore all options. A sim­ple dressed up top­per of mint, basil, gar­lic and lemon juice keeps life sim­ple.

    Asian noo­dle bowls are a world apart from Italy. Pad Thai, lo mein, stir fries and broth­ier dishes meant to be slurped give way to robust flavors.
  • Peanut Power

    Peanuts are found almost every­where in the Amer­i­can food cul­ture find­ing their way into every­thing from snacks at base­ball game or cock­tail party to the daily “brown bag” peanut but­ter and jelly sandwich.

    Con­trary to what their name implies, peanuts tech­ni­cally are not nuts. They are, in botan­i­cal fact, legumes and are related to other foods in the legume fam­ily includ­ing peas, lentils, chick­peas and other beans.

    Peanuts grow in a very fas­ci­nat­ing man­ner. They actu­ally start out as an above ground flower that, due to its heavy weight, bends towards the ground. The flower even­tu­ally bur­rows under­ground, which is where the peanut actu­ally matures.

  • Processed Foods

    Processed foods get a fair share of sham­ing and bash­ing. The bad rap fits for those foods with­out any redeem­ing nutri­tional value.

    This applies to foods amped up with sug­ars, trans­fats, sodium, arti­fi­cial fla­vor­ings, col­or­ing agents and preservatives.

    Com­mon pro­cess­ing meth­ods are can­ning, freez­ing, dehy­drat­ing, sun-​drying, cook­ing and fermenting.

    Turn­ing the “pro­cess­ing” aspect into a health­ier con­no­ta­tion of food prepa­ra­tion requires lit­tle more than kitchen time and some spe­cific kitchen tools.
  • Rad­i­cal Roots

    Just as car­rots used to be pre­dom­i­nantly pur­ple and not orange, radishes used to be pre­dom­i­nantly black, not red.

    The black radish was first cul­ti­vated in the east­ern Mediter­ranean and is believed to be a rel­a­tive of the wild radish.

    As an ancient veg­etable, radishes were grown in Egypt before the pyra­mids were built. Remains of them have been found in exca­va­tions. In the 19th cen­tury they were a pop­u­lar vari­ety of radish in Eng­land and France.

    Sim­i­lar to other vari­eties of radish, black radishes are easy to grow, though as win­ter crop they take slightly longer to mature than spring vari­ety radishes.
  • Road to Well­ness

    No sur­prise that the Fit­bit App was one of the top ten free apps down­loaded after the Christ­mas hol­i­day.

    No doubt, there are many other cool ways to track fit­ness on var­i­ous devices these days. Any­one with a smart­phone is capa­ble.

    Get­ting moti­vated and set­ting goals are what is required for a road to well­ness.

    Real­is­tic, approach­able tar­gets will be the ones that stick. A thirty minute a day min­i­mum approach to exer­cise is a good start for those more seden­tary folks. Walk­ing is an activ­ity that is acces­si­ble to most every­one. No mem­ber­ships required.

    The gen­eral rec­om­men­da­tion is to walk 10,000 steps per day. This is a good goal for some­one just get­ting started. Fit indi­vid­u­als can and should strive for more.
  • Sum­mer Ton­ics

    By def­i­n­i­tion, a true tonic invig­o­rates, restores, refreshes or stim­u­lates. Sounds good, right? Par­tic­u­larly when the mer­cury is high and energy lev­els are low.

    Let’s not men­tion alco­hol nor so called “mock­tails” here. A really authen­tic tonic stands on it’s own mer­its.

    Amer­i­cans as a whole know how to over-​indulge. It makes sense that a new gen­er­a­tion back­lash aims to eat less, stay healthy and pay close atten­tion to con­sump­tion.

    Inclined to drink to their own health, Mil­len­ni­als know when it’s time to pass on a craft beer or vin­tage glass of wine. Mind­ful­ness has an appeal that stay­ing sober sup­ports. Enter sum­mer ton­ics.

    Non-​alcoholic drinks no longer stand as merely a glass full of club soda with a lime wedge. Adult bev­er­ages should feel like a cel­e­bra­tion as we keep our wits about us.
  • Tem­ple Cui­sine

    Temple Cuisine
    If the body is a tem­ple, then feed­ing it tem­ple foods sounds fairly logical.

    At the start of each new year, res­o­lu­tions abound with all sorts of vows as to what goes on the plate, in the mouth and ulti­mately into our bodies.

    Every­day food eaten in Bud­dhist tem­ples is known as tem­ple food. Bud­dhist monks and nuns per­son­ally cul­ti­vate and pre­pare the food as a form of “daily practice”.
  • Time for Peas

    Young peas have an inher­ent veg­e­tal sweet­ness that “plays well with oth­ers”, so to speak.

    Gone are those days of mushy green peas that barely resem­ble any­thing fresh and plop out of a can. Lost are the ones that have to be choked down the pipe after los­ing a bet.

    In are the fresh har­bin­gers of spring that burst with tex­ture and the true taste of “greenness”.

    Incred­i­ble fla­vor and tex­ture are the two con­vinc­ing pea fac­tors. Almost “but­tery and nutty” could describe the fla­vor of cooked, sweet peas.

    The pea starch­i­ness rivals any other good legume for stand­ing up in a dip, spread or mash. Soups, sal­ads, stews and cas­souletes keep the focus on big pops of green fol­low­ing March madness.
  • Turmeric

    Turmeric is one of the main spices in curry and a close rel­a­tive to gin­ger root.

    Known for its bright yellowish-​orange hue, turmeric is very com­monly used in Indian cui­sine and tra­di­tional ceremonies.

    This root is thought to have orig­i­nated from some­where in the Himalayas. From there, its pop­u­lar­ity grew among many culture’s cuisines and traditions.

    Used as a warm­ing herb in Ayurvedic and Chi­nese tra­di­tions, it is com­monly called on to help reduce damp­ness or cold. Out­side of the edi­ble appli­ca­tions, turmeric is used as a nat­ural dye— the gor­geous and intense color has been trans­ferred onto fab­rics and paintings.