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Beware the C.A.T. May 11, 2011

A double dose is an overdose. Do you suffer any of these?

The list of symptoms goes on and on. If you haven’t guessed, C. stands for caffeine. Caffeine is considered a psychoactive stimulant not a food. Cut back today. Skip the grande and grab a tea. Watch the serving sizes. More than one serving a day can and most likely will have adverse effects. If those aren’t enough to stop you, maybe vanity will. Caffeine dilates your blood vessels causing redness in the face and making blemishes more apparent.

Drink responsibly does not mean don’t get caught.

In the past 3 years I have known 5 people affected or killed by alcohol use and 3 who just felt the need to join AA. A. is for alcohol and I have cut back my drinking to almost sober due to these events which are very common. Chances are you know someone who has had one of these things happen. None of these people were considered full-out alcoholics by their friends and family. And none of these people thought they had a real problem:

    • An underage adult who lost their license. It hurts when you can’t get to your job.
    • A twenty something who had to seek medical attention for blood sugar and blood pressure.
    • A diabetic who passes out regularly due to “moderate”  intake of wine at dinner.
    • A relative who died of liver failure.
    • A YOUNG in-law who died of a brain aneurysm.

Just because you’ve never been caught doesn’t make you a responsible drinker. Its time for us to stop acting like stupid sheep at the party. There is no reason to have more than one serving size (not a giant serving) of alcohol to  “liven up.” If it takes you more than one, you’re already drinking too much. And please stop the “one for the road” nonsense. You don’t need to be loose on the road. Alcohol directly kills more than 23,000 Americans per year. I also don’t care if red wine has resveratrol or not, one 6 oz SERVING twice a week is what doctors consider moderate. No more than that. And if you have blood sugar problems, just don’t.

I shouldn’t even have to say this.

T. is for tobacco. Tobacco directly kills more than 435,000 Americans every year! IT IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE U.S. It yellows and browns your teeth and skin. It causes blood pressure and circulation issues. It’s the dumbest waste of money, I’ve ever seen. You know the facts on tobacco. I am soooo sorely disappointed every time I see someone my age, who I know knows what they are doing, pick up a cigarette. Stop it. Just stop it. You’re killing yourself, poisoning others and polluting the earth. Is the short-term jolt really worth feeling run down the rest of the time and destroying your immune system? Is it worth the ugliness? Is it worth a month’s groceries every year? There is no such thing as moderate smoking. You have to give it up. For resources on quitting, please visit

I know this will be an unpopular post with many of the people I know. And if you’re angry or off put by it, you probably need it most. I’ll take your scathing remarks because if it makes one person think twice, its worth it.

Live well and Be well.


Tummy Friendly Vegetarian Chili May 9, 2011

Filed under: Natural Living,Recipes — njr711 @ 10:35 pm
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I know the last thing the world needs is another non-original chili recipe but…

Recently, I tried to stretch a few pantry ingredients and made a sort of chili/salsa. It was light enough for the warmer weather. It ended up being delicious and satisfying. Very satisfying! We were all pleasantly full but not bloated. It gave us that cellular hum of digestive peace that you only get after eating light, nutritious and satisfying meals. So here it is. Enjoy!

  • 14oz can of black beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 14oz can of pinto beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 6-8oz can of corn niblets, drained
  • 14oz can of diced tomatoes, you can substitute sweet potato puree here
  • 1 packet of low sodium chili seasoning, MSG free
  1. Bring all ingredients to a BOIL for 2-3 minutes. This essential to making gas free beans.
  2. Stir, bring pot to a low simmer and cover for at least 10 minutes. The longer the better!
  3. Serve over corn bread with just a dab of sour cream or cheddar cheese.
  4. Eat up!


A Laugh for Mother’s Day May 6, 2011

Filed under: Babies & Motherhood,Natural Living — njr711 @ 3:37 pm
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“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby.If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”

~author unknown


Milling Around

I’ve spent a good deal of time on or near a treadmill. I’ve maintained them, cleaned them and showed many people how to properly use them. I developed great contempt for them and only use them when all of the ellipticals and bikes are taken at the gym. Did you know that one of’s definitions for milling is “to move around aimlessly, slowly or confusedly, as a herd of cattle?” Aimless and slow are not exactly my goal at the gym!

This month I discovered the muscles supporting my right knee are imbalanced due to recent inactivity. I had to develop a new personal workout routine. I tried something that I have seen in a handful of fitness articles but never actually done for fear of drawing too much attention to myself. I used the treadmill sideways. It was love at first workout! In just 3 workouts the pain in my knee is gone. Plus after a few minutes you can really feel that burn in your inner and outer thighs.  It doesn’t exactly count as a full cardio routine but I suggest adding 10-20 minutes of this to your routine:

  • Attach the emergency stop cord!
  • Stand parallel to the machine belt.
  • Start slow and build your way up as you gain better balance.
  • Lead with the leg closest to the front of the treadmill.
  • Stop the machine and switch directions.
  • Repeat leading with the opposite leg (which should now be closest to the front) for an equal amount of time.

Don’t just treadmill, tread sideways!

*If you’ve had a severe injury or knee replacement you should consult a physical therapist before trying this exercise.


Sweet Vegetable Tea May 5, 2011

My pregnancy with my first son was magnificent and nauseating. I lived off ginger ale and saltines for several months until a co-worker gifted me a book called, “Bless the Baby” by Melanie Waxman. Now my lovely sister is pregnant with her first child and suffering the same stomach issues.

Crackers themselves are hardly the breakfast of champions and a new mom should attempt to provide better nourishment to the new life developing inside of them. This is a terrific recipe for pregnant women and nursing moms to drink along with eating crackers.

Sweet Vegetable Tea adapted from “Bless the Baby”

  • 4 cups spring water
  • half an organic onion, finely sliced
  • one organic carrot with tops, washed and finely sliced
  • one cup organic cabbage, washed and shredded
  • one cup of organic winter squash, seeded, washed and finely sliced   *Substitute 1 extra carrot for winter squash if squash is unavailable.
  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add all vegetables and boil for approximately two minutes.
  3. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove vegetables and drink warm.

This warm beverage is not exclusively for pregnant women; It is great for anyone suffering from constipation or blood sugar issues.  This is also a terrific cleansing tea. Enjoy!


Aldi is Love (via Simply because…) May 3, 2011

Filed under: Hot Deals,Natural Living — njr711 @ 1:01 pm

Please take a moment to read a friend’s recent blog. I love to see people choose FRESH foods in whatever way they can afford.

Aldi is Love Recently I have taken on one of the hardest tasks in life. Getting fit and eating healthy. After about… I dunno… two years of trial and error? I think I have it figured it out, and I will probably end up discussing it more than you care to hear about.  You have been warned 🙂 Newho, I have found that one of the key components in health and fitness is eating. You have to be sure you are fueling your body with the proper foods because at the en … Read More

via Simply because…


Decoding the Label: Sweeteners April 20, 2011

Cancer diagnosis, behavior disorders, obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise nationwide. It is widely accepted that processed foods are partially if not mostly to blame. Many people are trying to be smarter grocery shoppers. You’re reading labels and avoiding corn syrup. But sometimes you just don’t know what all of the ingredients on the label mean. Here is a little pocket guide of some of the most common sweeteners and alternate names found on the market. Items in red are on my don’t buy list. I suggest you highlight it, hit Control P and print selected area. Take it with you for a few grocery trips.


  • Acesulfame is an artificial sweetener sold under the brand name of SunSweet.
  • It is also known as acesulfame K or acesulfame potassium.
  • Although FDA approved, long-term health effects have not been adequately researched.


  • Agave syrup is a natural sweetener made by extracting and heating the juice of the agave plant.
  • Regardless of color, agave syrup is mostly comprised of fructose sugar.
  • Fructose has a lower glycemic index than sucrose (table sugar). Although agave is safer than sucrose, it is still a sugar and should only be consumed in moderation.


  • Aspartame is an artificial sweetener sold under the brand names of Canderel, Equal, NutraSweet.
  • The FDA rejected any scientific attempts at proving long-term negative health effects in the 20th century as false with a little urging from Monsanto’s lawyers. I would tell you how I feel about Monsanto but they might sue me.

Barley Malt

  • Barley malt is a natural sweetener typically used for fermentation. It is used as a nutritive supplement in the U.K.
  • It is also known as maltose or maltose syrup. Maltose is a unique type of sugar.
  • Maltose has a lower glycemic index than sucrose. Maltose is a still a form of sugar and should only be consumed in moderation.

Corn Syrup & High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are natural sweeteners typically derived from extreme processing of genetically modified corn.
  • Corn syrups will soon be called corn sugars. Regular corn syrup is mostly a glucose sugar. High fructose corn syrup is more processed and is appropriately named fructose.
  • The effects on the body are similar to sucrose. While corn syrup itself isn’t that bad. The overuse of it is killing us. Many thanks to Monsanto for providing the world with useless genetically modified seeds.


  • Honey is perhaps one of the oldest and most natural foods available!
  • Honey is pure glucose.
  • Honey is very chemically stable and the body knows exactly what to do with it. Honey is my preferred sugar substitute. Moderation is very important if you are diabetic.


  • Saccharin is the oldest artificial sweetener on the market.
  • Saccharin was once banned by the FDA as unsafe for human consumption and on the EPA’s toxic chemicals list. It has since been removed and deemed safe for consumption. Questionable, very questionable.


  • Sucralose is an artificial sweetener processed with chlorides.
  • Sucralose is sold by the brand names Splenda and Nevella.
  • Sucralose may kill beneficial bacteria in the gut and have a laxative effect. No long-term health effects have been proven yet.


  • Sugar is a natural sweetener and is the control that all other sweeteners are compared to. It is typically manufactured from cane sugar or beets.
  • Sugar is also known as sucrose. Sucanat is a less processed form of sugar cane.
  • Unless you are diabetic, I recommend using sucanat in moderation when making sweets. Excessive sugar consumption can cause issues with insulin production and weight gain.

Sugar Alcohols or “itols”

  • Most sugar alcohols are food based but heavily processed and often labeled as natural. Most are derived from corn. Some are derived from birch or fruit. Sugar alcohols are relatively new on the market and many are only approved as supplements or have just received food status from the FDA.
  • Almost any ingredient ending in itol is a sugar alcohol. Mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, etc. all fall under this category.
  • Sugar alcohols are typically marketed towards diabetics as safer than sugar and more natural than artificial sweeteners. They are also used in oral hygiene products and chewing gums. Be cautious with sugar alcohols. They can cause headaches or have diuretic and laxative effects. I don’t consider them a danger yet but I try not to buy them very often because they are so new. The long-term effects have yet to be seen.


  • Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from a category of plant leaves related to sunflowers. The level of processing depends on the brand. It is currently sold as a supplement, not food, in the U.S.
  • Stevia is also known as SweetLeaf or SugarLeaf
  • Stevia is a form of fiber and may have a mild laxative effect. Stevia is safe for diabetics and may even improve glucose tolerance! Due to “industry complaints” stevia has been the subject of controversy remaining unapproved by the FDA. In more recent studies, the World Health Organization has found no validity to the complaints. Stevia sweeteners are top sellers in supplement stores. Coca-cola has jumped on the centuries long trend and I expect that it will be fully approved by the FDA very soon.

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