Monday, July 14, 2014

Healing herbs?

     There has been some very interesting studies done on the healing properties of herbs.  We in the west tend to dismiss anything that doesn't come in a pill bottle, but maybe it's time to take another look.   Now please understand, I'm no doctor or expert of any kind, so please do your own research and consult with professionals if you have specific issues.  That said, a recent scientific review had some interesting things to say.


High in rosmarinic acid, rosemary effectively treats allergies because of its antioxidant properties. "Rosemary's flavor is pungent, somewhat piney, and mintlike," says Michael J. Balick, PhD, author of Rodale's 21st-Century Herbal. "Fresh sprigs of rosemary and rosemary flowers can be steeped in vinegar or wine to add a subtle flavor. Use rosemary branches as skewers for grilling meat and vegetable kebabs." 
Also keep in mind that rosemary offers other medical benefits besides clearing up your wheeze. "The herb is used primarily to treat poor digestion and appetite, joint pain, and sluggish circulation," Balick says. 


A prominent part of Asian medicine and culinary garnishes, shiso is especially effective against seafood allergies—which is convenient considering that most sushi is served with the green leaf on the side (it's often holding the wasabi). Shiso is also a common treatment for bronchial asthma.


"Sage tastes lemony, camphorlike, and pleasantly bitter," says Balick. This herb can be mixed into any meal—breakfast (omelets), lunch (soups and beans), or dinner (pasta and poultry). "[Sage is] excellent for sore throats, coughs, and colds," he adds. "For a unique and tasty appetizer or accompaniment for potatoes, dust larger sage leaves with flour, then fry them in a quarter-inch of hot oil for about 30 seconds, until crispy."

There is tons more to look at and consider, here is a good book on the subject.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Today at the market

Just a few walking around pick at the Fond du Lac farmers market

Friday, July 11, 2014

What's in the market this week?

Fridays are going to be dedicated to looking ahead to what you might find in your farmers markets the coming weekend.  So lets take a look.  Obviously somethings will vary from market to market but I will try to make it as inclusive as possible.

     From Artichokes to zucchini, this is a time of year when there are an abundance of vegetables available at the market, here is the Wisconsin Food Journal  list of what's in season.
Artichokes, beans, beets, bitter melon, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumbers, dried chiles, fennel, garlic, kohlrabi, mushrooms, okra, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, salad turnips, sprouts, squash blossoms, summer squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.   That's just vegetables, here are some in season fruits:  Apricots, blueberries, cherries, currants, juneberries, mulberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

      It's seems as though in the middle of July everyone has zucchini, so much so that some are trying to give it away to everyone they see.  If you have bumper crop of it here is one very easy and tasty recipe to try.

you'll need
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 tablespoon your favorite grilling seasoning
3 zucchini cut length wise about 1/4 inch thick

This could not be easier.  Spread the olive oil and seasoning on both sides of the zucchini, toss it on a medium heat grill,  3-4 minutes, turn, 3-4 minutes.  Toss on a plate and eat.

Get to the market this weekend!!!   Let me know what you find, and what you are doing with it.


Monday, July 7, 2014


Monday's from here on out will be snippets of health and food news that I glean from the ever expansive interwebs.  Here is one for those of us that have trouble passing up the snacks.

Here's a surprise: Your willpower runs on sugar. Like your muscles, your brain needs glucose to function at an optimal level, says Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., social psychology area director at Florida State University and coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. In a series of nine studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Baumeister discovered that people with steady glucose levels were more persistent at attempting to complete an unsolvable task than those whose glucose levels declined during the experiments. "Increase your blood glucose and you can fuel your willpower," he says.

But put down the Skittles. Sure, glucose is easily available from straight sugar, but your body also creates it from fruit, many vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. You can even build glucose by pumping up your protein, says Baumeister. "It takes your body longer to make glucose from protein, but the benefits can last longer," he says.

But the problem is that weight-watching men often adopt extreme low-calorie diets. "If you starve yourself, you'll have low glucose," says Baumeister. And without sufficient glucose, your brain doesn't have the fuel it needs to resist junk food. So if you feel your energy fading, don't skip smart snacks, like nuts. 

And this is one I struggle with constantly!!!!
Scientists have a name for my drive-thru cave-in: compensation. It's the inclination to reward yourself for a job well done, and that feeling can fight with your weight-loss intentions. In fact, the harder your workout is, the bigger you may think your compensation should be, says Timothy Church, M.D., Ph.D., director of the laboratory of preventive medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. "When men endure a tough, hourlong workout or push through a 7-mile run, they feel a need to celebrate," he says. "But a good workout is not carte blanche to eat whatever you want."

The solution: Don't rely on your willpower to deny yourself a well-earned treat. Instead, use it to ensure that your reward doesn't outweigh the workout (literally). "Do the math: If you burned off 700 calories, keep your food intake to less than that," says Dr. Church. It's a pat on the back that doesn't wipe out your hard work. Or go with a nonfood reward: Buy yourself an iTunes download every time you work out, or treat yourself to basketball tickets when you rack up 10 training sessions.