Thursday, December 29, 2011


In a previous post I commented on the book by Dr. William Davis titled "Wheat Belly".   I recently bought the book and I am now reading it.  Of course I read the end of the book first as I wanted to read what foods were on the 'can eat list' and how he framed his wheat-free diet.

Dr. Davis, a cardiologist, has found the following health benefits by eliminating wheat from your diet.  He bases his theory on research clinical trials conducted by others and the diet he put thousands of his patients on.

  1. Weight loss in the first few months
  2. Alleviation of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  3. Recovery from intestinal challenges including ulcerative colitis and celiac disease
  4. Improvement in overall cholesterol and LDL counts
  5. Improvement in bone density and reversal of osteopenia
  6. Relief from skin conditions including psoriasis, oral ulcers and hair loss
  7. Reduction of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis
There are a number of interesting observations that he makes in this book.  One of them is about the differences between ancient varieties of wheat such as emmer and einkorn and the modern varieties we now consume.  Dr. Davis has a wheat sensitivity and on separate days he consumed bread made with either the ancient variety or the modern variety.  The ancient variety did not bother him, did not substantially increase his sugar levels nor did he have side effects.  Eating bread made with a modern variety of wheat resulted in substantial increases in blood sugar and made him nauseous.  The genetic breeding over the past 20th century has changed wheat.  He calls wheat a super carbohydrate and eating whole wheat bread increases blood sugar to a higher level than sucrose.  He also feels that wheat is addictive for some people and is an appetite stimulant.   

Monday, December 26, 2011


During the past few months I have been eating seaweed salad.  Up until eating this salad, most of the seaweed I had eaten was found in nori sheets, used to make sushi.  I had eaten dried seaweed flakes but them to be salty.

I found this prepared seaweed salad at Costco.  The salad is processed in Canada but I don't know where the seaweed is initial harvested.   The salad is called an Asian style salad and has a sesame flavour with a hint of pepper.  The salad also includes strands of kikurage mushroom.
Label on the salad container. 

Close-up of seaweed salad.
I eat this salad by itself and I also add it to lettuce salads as a toping.  When I add it to other salads I don't add salad dressing, except for maybe some rice vinegar, as this seaweed salad had dressing added to it made with sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and red pepper.  The only thing that I would prefer in this seaweed salad would be for the salad to have less sodium.

I really like this salad and I don't have any competition in sharing it.  The DH finds it too chewy and has told me that I can enjoy it all by myself.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Many of us are experiencing food choice overload this holiday season.  At work there is an endless array of desserts, crackers, cheeses, spreads and chocolates to sample.  Going over to friends' homes can also provide some tempting options to indulge in extra calories.  What is a girl to do?

It doesn't matter if it is the holiday season in December or you are on a cruise with 24 hour food service.  We are faced with the same challenges.  Do we want to indulge, are we being careful about what we eat, have we given ourselves permission to gain a few pounds, or are we treating the food environment on these occasions no different than any other time of the year.   Here are some highlights of food choices I may have to make.

Chocolate brownie
Is this chocolate brownie tempting enough to have to walk three miles to burn off the equivalent calories?
Caramel pecan frozen yogurt
 My once a week ice cream perk....I need to keep it to once a week.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Victoria Moran, ( has written a number of books on holistic health, wellbeing, spirituality, and food.   She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, and has appeared on multiple U.S. talk shows.   

I just started to get her weekly newsletter and Ms. Moran’s eighteen points for looking great and feeling really well are well worth repeating.  These points resonate with me and make sense.  I have blogged in previous postings thoughts, ideas and suggestions about some of these suggestions including juicing, drinking lemon water, exercising, and pets.

1. See yourself as the star of your life every day of your life.
2. Stand up straight: you’ll look slimmer and feel more in command of any situation.
3. Make your first drink of the day hot water with an ample squeeze of fresh lemon.
4. Eat breakfast: it’s one of the habits centenarians have in common.
5. Half the time, do dry skin brushing before your bath or shower (brushes are sold at natural food stores).
6. The other half, precede bathing with abdyanga, self-massage with warm sesame oil.
7. Treat yourself to a professional massage every 21 days to keep your immunity up to par. Massage schools have bargain prices. If you live in a city served by, they often have low-cost massage offers , as well.
8. Invert yourself with a yoga headstand or shoulderstand or by lying on a slantboard (
9. Use creative sun protection: a hat, gloves, barrier (i.e., zinc oxide) sunblock properly applied, avoiding the midday sun.
10. Buy yourself a juicer that’s powerful and easy to clean. Fresh vegetable juice is an infusion of vitality.
11. Keep a pitcher of water on the counter, a bottle in your bag, and hot water easily accessible.
12. If you wear makeup, get a lesson every year or so—and remember to lighten up with some concealer just inside your eyes.
13. Get your brows shaped: it can be like a nonsurgical eye lift.
14. Exercise four to six days a week and include weight training at least two days every week, upper and lower body.
15. Adopt a pet: you’ll be saving a life, and people with companion animals live longer.
16. Have role models, women you know or have heard of who’ve grown older with elegance, grace, and style.
17. Whether you’re turning 30 or 80, see maturing as a gift to appreciate. And let yourself grow older the way you want to do it.
18. Live for something bigger than you are. Explore your spiritual nature.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This vegetable saute dish is quite versatile and it can be made with either chicken or chick peas, it all depends on your personal preference.  I made both dishes in two separate pans for supper one recent evening.  The DH ate the dish with chicken and I ate the chick pea vegetable saute.  We both liked the dish and the fact that we have leftovers for another meal this week.


1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 medium coloured pepper, chopped
1 cup of shredded zucchini
2 small fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp sweet red chili sauce
salt and pepper to taste

2 raw chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 heaping cup of cooked chick peas


Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.  Add the onions and garlic, lower the heat to medium low and saute for 5 minutes until soft.  If the onions and garlic are sticking to the pan, add a bit of water.  Add the chicken or chick peas to the pan.  Cook the chicken or chick peas for 5 minutes.  Stir often.  Add the celery, pepper and zucchini.  Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often.  Add the tomatoes and spinach.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the cilantro and sweet red chili sauce.  Stir the mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 2 to 3.

Vegetable saute with chicken served over brown rice.

Vegetable saute with chick peas served over brown rice.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


For some suppers I like to make a frittata using eggs and vegetables.  For this dish, I used two small cobs of fresh corn and fresh spinach.  Using fresh corn adds some sweetness and crunchy texture to the frittata.  Frittatas can include a variety of vegetables added to beaten eggs and then the dish is either cooked on top of the stove or baked in the oven.  I cooked the frittata on top of the stove.  Both the DH and I enjoyed this corn and spinach frittata.

For this recipe, I provided the ingredients and directions below each of the photos.

Two small fresh cobs of corn.
Cut the raw corn off the kernels.

Saute the corn in one tbsp oil on medium heat in a large frying pan for five minutes.

Add three handfuls of chopped spinach to the frying pan. 

Cook for three to four minutes on medium heat.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


There are many health benefits for adding lemon juice to water.  Lemon and water flush toxins out of your body.  Even though lemons are acidic, they are alkalizing in your body when you consume them.   Much of the food we eat is acidic which can create a number of health issues.  Decreasing the acid in your body and making it more alkaline will make you feel better.  

Lemons are high in vitamin C.  Your skin also benefits from consuming lemon juice.  Your skin will look better because of the detoxifying effects of lemon in your system.

One product I recently bought is called Morning Rise and Shine by Prairie Natural.  The product is also vegan.  A small scoop is equivalent to half a lemon.  I add a scoop to a large glass of water each morning and drink this mixture to take my vitamins.  It has been two weeks since I started adding this lemon concentrate to my drinking water each morning.  I can't pinpoint any particular improvements.  The DH is also drinking this mixture and he is finding he has less gastro esophagus reflux and his tongue feels cleaner.    

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I enjoy eating cod, it is not overly coarse nor too fine in texture.  This recipe is easy to make and the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and parsley sauce gives it extra flavour.  You can use fat free or low fat mayonnaise and reduced amounts of cheese if you want to decrease the fat content.  The recipe is finished off by sprinkling toasted almonds over the fish after it comes out of the oven.  The DH and I enjoyed this fish and leftovers can be eaten for lunches or supper.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Stories about dogs used in military service, in therapy, search and rescue and protection always interests me.  I have written several posts in the past on service dogs.  In the December 1, 2011 edition of the New York Times, there is a feature article written by James Dao, on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that can be experienced by military dogs working on the front lines.  The mental strains of combat can affect these four legged soldiers.  Some estimate that more than five percent of the deployed 650 military dogs used by the American forces are developing canine PTSD.  There are a number of different symptoms shown by dogs with PTSD.    

Most military dogs are German shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Labrador retrievers.  In this photo, a soldier is working with his yellow Lab (Soldier and his dog).  There are about 2,700 working dogs on active United States duty.  

There is debate among the veterinarians, dog trainers and behaviour specialists on how to treat PTSD.  Behaviour modification therapy and/or drugs are used for treatment.  Dogs don't have to be in the military to experience PTSD.  It can affect our pets who have experienced traumatic events including car accidents.  For those military dogs with PTSD that can't recover, they may be retired or assume different duties.  PTSD is a disorder that probably can't be cured.  Dr. Nicholas is quoted in the New York Times article as stating it is more about management, dogs never forget.