Essential ingredients for healthy cooking

Going through my cabinets I had to take stock of all the ingredients that would make my cooking healthier. I had to get rid of the processed foods, anything with MSG and sugary snacks. We added fresh fruits and vegetables,cooked healthier meals and drank more water and 100% juice. Some of the staples we have in our home are:

Agave Nectar:

Agave nectar, also known as agave syrup, is derived from the juice of the agave,  a plant widely cultivated in Mexico. Agave syrup is typically composed of 90  percent fructose, though that percentage may vary according to processing  methods. Its composition makes it less likely to cause the blood sugar spikes  that occur after ingesting white sugar. Agave also boasts a sweeter taste than  sugar, so you need less agave than sugar to achieve a comparable level of  sweetness.

Read more:  How to Use Agave Nectar in Place of Sugar | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_8220081_use-agave-nectar-place-sugar.html#ixzz2OQOW1y4V

Sea Salt:

Sea salt not only provides enhanced flavor benefits, but it is healthy for  the body. Unrefined sea salt contains over 80 mineral elements that the body  needs. Because it is harvested and packaged in its natural form, it retains  minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine and  manganese. It also contains electrolytes and other nutrients that are essential  for enzyme production and for the maintenance of the body’s immune system.  Unrefined sea salt easily replenishes the sodium and other salt minerals the  body needs. Pure water and natural sodium can treat conditions such as muscle  cramps, edema, gout and water retention.

Sea salt is favored in cooking because of its vibrant, pure flavor and its  natural health benefits. It is available in various grain sizes, including  coarse, fine and extra fine.

Read more:  Sea Salt Benefits | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5457437_sea-salt-benefits.html#ixzz2OQPOp4I1

Coconut Oil:

According to Bruce Fife, coconut oil is known as the “healthiest oil on earth.”  Coconut oil is one of the world’s most nontoxic versatile oils that can be  utilized by the human body to promote optimum health.

Read more:  Coconut Oil Health Benefits | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5471583_coconut-oil-health-benefits.html#ixzz2OQPkUWo9

Turmeric:

The health benefits of turmeric powder have been known for centuries. Recently,  scientists have uncovered how turmeric powder benefits health. The exciting news  that curcumin, the main constituent of turmeric, has genuine disease fighting  capabilities should lead to the development of more potent curcumin compounds  that could help fight a variety of diseases.

Read more:  The Health Benefits of Turmeric Powder | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5081704_health-benefits-turmeric-powder.html#ixzz2OQPzuclK

Red Pepper :

Cayenne pepper, part of the  family of chili peppers, was first found in Central  and South America thousands of years ago. During the fifteenth and sixteenth  century, these peppers became popular in other region. Today, many people enjoy  the hot, fiery flavor in a number of dishes. Cayenne pepper is an excellent  source of vitamin A. Vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and dietary  fiber are also found within this spicy herb.

Cayenne pepper stimulates the blood flow and lowers blood pressure. It helps  with vitamin distribution and is helpful in overcoming fatigue.

Read more:  Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_4813476_health-benefits-cayenne-pepper.html#ixzz2OQQQ1JJt

Cinnamon:

Cinnamon has been used as a spice for many foods and drinks throughout the ages.  Scientists studying the health benefits of cinnamon have found it helps your  body fight off disease. Cinnamon offers nutritional benefits and preventative  health advantages. Only a small amount of cinnamon is needed daily to realize  the health benefits of this wonder spice.

Read more:  Health Benefits of Cinnamon | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5397451_health-benefits-cinnamon.html#ixzz2OQQrvyoZ

Bee Pollen:

The use of bee pollen as a health support tonic is mentioned in a range of  ancient texts, including the Bible, Talmud, Koran and Book of Mormon. Even  ancient Chinese medical documentation describes the use of bee pollen to address  energy-balance concerns; in fact, bee pollen is still prescribed by  acupuncturists and naturopaths.

Read more:  Health Benefits for Bee Pollen | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_5857970_health-benefits-bee-pollen.html#ixzz2OQRDIYUH

Sesame Oil:

Historically, sesame oil has been used as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and pain reliever in skin conditions, gum disease and a variety of other illnesses. Modern science now knows that sesame oil is a powerful antioxidant (a substance that reduces the presence of harmful chemicals in the body), high in polyunsaturated fats and an excellent source of vitamin E and minerals. Sesame oil, in fact, has the fourth-highest concentration of polyunsaturated fats of any oil. Polyunsaturated fats are important for cell growth and development and are especially beneficial to the heart. Polyunsaturated fats are also thought to be important in the prevention of illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and autoimmune disorders.  Because sesame oil is a natural, readily attainable source of these important polyunsaturated fats as well as its vitamin and antioxidant properties, it has begun to pique the interest of traditional Western medicine. Sesame oil has been the subject of multiple clinical studies and continues to be examined as a potential treatment for cancer, menopause, gum disease, high blood pressure and heart disease.1080

 

Plant Life !!

Everyone should have some kind of interaction with plants. Whether it’s in nature and long walks, growing your own, or welcoming them into your family as house plants. Plants offer stress relief as well as purifying the air and adding nutrients to the foods you cook. I have always had a green thumb, so to add some plants to my house was nothing new to me. I got the kids to help and we adopted two aloe plants. We also started an herb green house that we found for a dollar at the dollar store. We are growing cilantro, basil, thyme and rosemary. We do have other plants in the house that are great for purifying the air, and just bringing a feeling of calm and peace to the house.It is said that the energy and love you put into a plant will help it grow big and strong, and for herbs , that love energy will be passed along to your food.  Invest in a great plant and make your house a sanctuary !! Grow LIFE !! 1067

Egg,Spinach and Mushroom Spinach wrap

Ahhh the little things !! My lifestyle change began in my kitchen, one of my favorite places. I noticed the small changes made big differences. When mama is getting healthy the whole house benefits and this was one of those great things. Instead of still eating like I was pregnant, and making biscuits and eggs for our weekend breakfast, I made these wraps. Fresh vegetables,coconut oil (instead of butter) and spinach wraps amped up the health level on this wonderful treat. You can use any veggie combo you want like peppers, onions, etc to make it unique to your taste. All you need to do is sautéed the veggies in about a tsp of coconut oil. You can substitute the eggs with egg beaters or something similar and season with minced garlic , sea salt and black or red (cayenne pepper).

Saute your ingredients

Add to wrap and enjoy !! 1062

Im BAACK !!

999

1000WOW !! It has been a busy couple of months. In february I was in Costco and found out that I have really high blood pressure. I tested my self on this machine that does, blood pressure, bmi and other health related issues. When I had my son in November I was induced almost three weeks early because he was not gaining weight. They initially thought he would be around 5 or 6 pounds and I was already at 37 weeks. My blood pressure was high, so they put me in the hospital right away to have him. When he was born, he weighed only 4 lbs. It was scary, but he was fine (just a little jaundiced) and he came home with me in the proper time.They almost kept me because of my blood pressure. It finally went down and I was able to go home. I thought the worst was behind me until I took the test at Costco and was shocked. I immediatly called my mom and she told me to make an appointment with my doctor right away. I went in to see him and my blood pressure was still really high. Then he hit me with the dreaded ” we need to put you on blood pressure medication right away”. This hit me like a ton of bricks !! I was thirty seven, breastfeeding and not a fan of “prescritptions” I was hoping that meditation and some rest would be all I needed but that was not the case. It was so hard to give up breastfeeding , that bonding time meant so much to me. The reality was, as my family and so many others said to me ” Continuing to breastfeed is not worth your life if you have a stroke, do it for the kids”. So that began my journey to get myself healthy(er) and to be more aware of my body and the way it operates. I will share with you my journey and how little changes can make a big differences in your life. My starting weight when I went and got tested at the doctor was 187. I started at 160 before I was pregnant and the doc suggested I get down to a healthy weight of 150. So my journey begins !!

Healthy blood pressure levels are lower for children than for adults. The first number is systolic pressure and should be less than 120 in adults over age 20; diastolic pressure is the second number and should be less than 80.