Tag Archives: Living

A Cup Of Tea Warms Your Heart And More!

I get up early to workout most mornings, before my kids get up.  Then my day often feels like its pace is a dead-run.  Around 4:00 PM, my energy begins to wane.  Coincidently, that’s usually the time my children complete their homework.  What I enjoy at that time, is a cup of hot tea, and to just ‘be’ for a few moments.  Decompress.  Hear about the stories of the day, and recharge my batteries.  

An added bonus is the health benefits tea provides:

  • Tea contains antioxidants. Oolong and Green tea provide this.
  • Tea may reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. A study found a nearly 20% reduction in a risk of heart attack and a 35% reduced risk of stroke around people who drank1-3 cups of green tea per day. *
  • A Japanese study found that tea can decrease tooth loss due to a positive balance of pH in your mouth
  • Herbal teas are known to assist in better digestive functions. I use Dandelion tea for this purpose.
  • Iced brewed tea if enjoyed without adding sugars or sweeteners is calorie free!  I brew, then chill blends of green and Oolong tea every day instead of soda.

Sample Teas

I recently tried several varieties from Adagio.com through their sampling offerings. The Peach Oolong and fragrant and satisfying.  I love that they provide info on the levels of caffeine and the temperature and steep times for optimal enjoyment for each kind.

Tea is Good for the Heart & Reduces Cancer

American Dietetic Association Spokeswoman, Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, LD boldly says, “There doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea. It has less caffeine than coffee, and the compounds in tea-their flavonoids- are good for the heart and reduce cancer.”  For me though, it’s not just about the tea, but the life-experience of enjoying a quiet moment with my family.

*www.today.com/series/one-small-things/top-10-health-benefits-drinking-tea

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Could Biodynamic Farming Be Better For You & Your Community?!

Just when you thought you were well versed in healthy eating terms, they throw another food label into the mix to keep things interesting!  

Biodynamic describes a sustainable farming method that looks at the farm itself as a ‘living organism’.  This means that the growing site is self-sustaining, self-contained and follows the cycles of nature, explains Elizabeth Candelario, managing director of Demeter, the global certification program for biodynamic farms and products.  She explains that biodynamics builds on the organic protocols, but then takes the measuring bar a bit further.  It guides how the farms are managed, based on the natural rhythms of each plot of land.

Another critical element to this healthy growing style is that 10% of the total acreage must be set aside for biodiversity including sustaining and improving pollination health. (Bees blog).  It considers protection of endangered species, wildlife and diverse life forms to be a priority (cleaneating.com– Jan/Feb 2017).  

The drive behind this style of farming is protection of the land, and growing more flavorful produce and fruits while protecting the environment. Caldelario explains that ” the healthier the soil, the healthier the food, the healthier the person, the healthier the planet.”

This is the seal that denotes farming this way, and you can find farmers who are certified at biodynamicfood.org.  Ask your grocer to carry their products for the better health of your family and your community.

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Sugar! Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?.pngI became more aware of the dangers of high sugar intake in American diets when I began blogging 6 years ago, and made diabetes a platform issue for my website, PaulasHealthyLiving.com. Our nation’s sugar habit is a driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the US and it’s believed to be a contributing factor to cancer and Alzheimer’s according to The New York Times (January 1, 2017).

The questions is, if it takes three weeks to change a habit, could you go four weeks without added sweeteners?

I challenged myself with this concept after a doctor asked me to remove maladextrin, a sugar substitute, to help with stomach issues I was experiencing.  It’s a daunting task, but it could help you reset your sugar taste buds.

Sugar comes with many different names:

If you begin looking at ingredient lists, you may be shocked how frequently you will see these names within the first 3-4 names on ingredients lists. The higher they are on the lists, the more there is in the product.  See the level of sugar in commonly consumed drinks and products across the nation.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar per day for women, and 36 grams per day for men.

A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams.

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?You may find yourself reevaluating a lot of the ‘healthy’ foods you regularly consumed previously like

  • granola or packaged cereals which predominantly contain added sugars
  • processed orange juice
  • flavored yogurt
  • pizza sauce
  • sugar free snacks

One effort to assist in this challenge would be cooking, and therefore, controlling your own food.  

If you buy it from outside aisles of the grocery, instead of the inside aisles, it more likely to help you in your quest.

What you will find at the end of the experiment is the pure taste in things such as

  • honey crisp apples
  • oranges
  • sweet red peppers and
  • many other foods

I’m not an advocate of all-or-nothing diet plans, and a bit of 80% cocoa dark chocolate makes my heart sing in the afternoon sometimes, but you will realize a renewed, sensitive set of taste buds that have been dulled by processed foods.

It’s an awakening to the beauty and amazing nature of natural food items and improved health is a bonus!

Paul Maier, Contributing Editor for Indian Hill Connection Magazine

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Are There Any Real Benefits In Buying Organic Produce?

The controversy continues over the nutritional and health supremacy of organic fruits and produce over conventionally grown.  

Every week a new ‘definition’ point of view is established.  

Paula Maier - OrganicThese are some facts to take into account.

It has been found that in about 60% of studies that organic food is higher in some nutrients than conventionally produced food.  

These statistics can be refuted by other studies, but you need to look if the studies that are being compared are done on the same physical area over-time.  Otherwise you are comparing apples to oranges because the soil being tested is not the same.

Polyphenols are antioxidants and may be one of the main reasons fruits and vegetables are healthy for us.  

One issue to consider is what the organic growing process filters versus conventional growing.  

Plants grown organically have to grow stronger from the start because they have to fend off a range of insects and growth disease on their own.  

This ‘defensive compound’ they create may help to keep us healthier according to Charles Benbrook, a researcher at Washington State University. He is with the National Academy of Sciences as chief science consultant for the Organic Center.  

He states. “If you keep putting on more and more nitrogen fertilizer the way conventional farms do, you drive yields up and produce bigger plants.  But, this dilutes the plants’ levels of vitamins, minerals and polyphenols.”

Shelf-life and sugar content

Apples, celery, pears, potatoes, strawberries, sweet bell peppers and sweet potatoes are higher in pesticides on the Dietary Risk Index (DRI), and lower on the Organic Risk Index (ORI).  This affects their shelf-life, and sugar content.  Also to be considered is if the plants are grown domestically (where they are subject to our mandates and regulations about growing procedures) or abroad.

Bottom Line?  Seek out the information in DRI from the EPA and other agencies, and imported vs. domestic statistics when you are making decisions about whether you want to buy organic or domestic fruits and vegetables.  

Make informed decisions with all of the facts.

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