Getting Healthy

Book Review…Eating for Beauty

 

  
Eating for Beauty Kindle Edition by David Wolfe (Author)

Lately I was in the emergency room with my three year old, watching people come in and go out for hours. As I sat there, I started noticing which people in the waiting room probably took the time to exercise and watch what they ate. I started feeling convicted that not taking better care of ourselves during the early and mid-life…(or whatever-the-heck-you’re-fifties are)…is selfish because in twenty or so years, our kids and grandkids will then have to take care of us based on the decisions that we ourselves make now.

The book Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Aging appealed to me because I am finally getting a grip on my own version of a “holistic” lifestyle—a belief that each aspect of one’s life affects any other aspect.

I believe that the words  “beauty” and “health” are closely related. I often play piano at various nursing homes …and often the people who I find the most attractive are the women who took take care of themselves along their journey.

Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Aging is a book about the difference between acid and alkaline foods, food classes, detoxification, beautifying foods and recipes, and how all of this affects anything from our skin to our voice….that will be of interest to people seeking not only to improve his or her appearance, but also vitality and health.

The title, Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Agingis appropriate for the book because the book educates the reader about the benefits of the specific foods he eats, discusses the importance of  exercise, and encourages each of us  to live a beautiful life through both our thoughts as well as our actions.

The central theme…”what we eat affects how we look”…is carried out throughout the book through…

  • a discussion of what each food is capable of contributing to the body
  • in-depth descriptions of beneficial foods 
  • more than 30 gourmet “beauty recipes” 
  • scientific explanations of the human body’s chemical reactions to various elements of nutrition, physical activity and sleep
  • the “Beauty Diet,” a diet based on raw foods that is designed to “cleanse, nourish and beautify”

The author of the book is David Wolfe, one of America’s foremost nutrition experts, …who has also written the best-selling book The Sunfood Diet Success System. 


The main idea of Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Aging is…

Raw organic foods are so much better for us than foods that have been processed further and further away they are from their true raw potential. 


“Garbage In—Garbage Out”…remember that expression from back in the days when we were all carrying around floppy disks for our computers?!

The same is true about ourselves…you cannot put bad food into your body…and expect to have great skin or hair…not to mention good health.

I found this book to be incredibly enlightening and educational book, filled with nutritional nuggets and inspiration.

On the other hand, the one thing that I disliked most about the book was the level of commitment and the practicality of eating a raw food diet on a regular basis that maintaining a program like this would involve…

After all, a Mississippi girl’s gotta eat…and probably would choose fried chicken over raw potatoes any day of the year.

I would recommend this book mainly to readers who are looking for ways to improve their appearance, vitality, and health. 

     

    Starting the Day Off Right

    Stepping Out the Door In Well Read Shoes

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    Another resolution that I have made for this New Year is to actually put some time into studying the Bible for myself.

    But not only is my Father’s house a big, big house with lots of rooms…the Bible is a big, big book with lots and lots of chapters and verses and ideas.

    Being a musician of sorts, I’ve been taught to “start at the very beginning”…when you read, you begin with ABC…when you sing, you begin with do-re-mi…when you study the Bible, why not start with Genesis…

    So now that I’ve decided to study Genesis, how?!

    Actually there are several different Bible study methods that have been used for decades, including…

    • Bible Doctrine Studies
    • Book-by-Book
    • Character
    • Life-Focused
    • Topical

     

    1.  Bible Doctrine Studies…These studies place a heavier emphasis on theology by studying a particular doctrine. An example of a doctrine study in Genesis is What Happened in the Garden?...a book that offers scientific, literary, business, educational, and legal perspectives on creation…and how what we observe in the legal system, literature, gender roles, education, psychology, and science today are actually connected with creation.


    2.  Book-by-Book...Book-by-Book Bible Studies move through a particular book or passage of the Bible in an attempt to understand…

    • background and history of the original message
    • events that take place
    • how the text applies to our own lives today
    • key themes,  topics, and verses
    • major principles, insights, and lessons
    • people mentioned in that passage
    • personal applications that are personal, practical, and possible

    I am a big fan of Warren Wiersbe, author of over 150 books, and his Be Series  of commentaries on every book of the Bible. The first book about Genesis is Be Basic and studies chapters one to eleven.



    3.  Character Bible Study
    …A character study is the study of a specific biblical character person and his or her heart, attitude, personality, strengths, and weaknesses… how he or she thinks, feels, and responds to circumstances….one of the character’s quality traits that you would like to work on yourself…a situation similar to the one being discussed that is happening in your own life.

    An example of this would be Noah: Man of Destiny,  a novel about the man who built a large ship and spent months caring for thousands of animal, but also stood against a sinister belief system emerging throughout the land, escaped legendary beasts, tracked kidnappers, and acquired the skills he would need when God called him to his greatest adventure.


    4.    Life-Focused Bible Studies...These studies begin with real-life issues that are relevant today and seek to apply God’s Word to our lives in intentional ways. Many of these books share stories from real-life experiences, such as struggles people have faced in their own marriages, families, and work.

    Live Relationally bKenya Heitzig is an example of a lifetime-focused Bible study on Genesis. This study studies of the women in Genesis who experience death, marriage, divorce, rape, and family tragedy…women such as the complicated Tamar and the often oversimplified Eve…women who are wives and mothers, slaves and owners, sinners and saints… 

     5.  Topical Bible studies involve choosing a specific topic, thinking of questions you’d like to have answered about that topic, and finding every single reference to that topic. An example of a topical study would be the ark…through books such as Inside Noah’s Ark: Why It Worked which show how the ship was an actual working vessel…and how a crew of just eight people could have housed, fed, and watered all of the representatives of the animal kinds.

      
     

    Starting the Day Off Right

    Encourage One Another

      

    In this society far too many of us spend far too much of our time criticizing and complaining….and as a result, so many people and relationships are suffering from alienation, indifference, and even hostility.

    And at the heart of this suffering is a lack of affirmation, appreciation, or even acknowledgement.

    Many of us have been taught that affirmation is a humanistic, self-esteem, ego-boosting tool for manipulating others.

    Yet appropriate affirmation motivates the other person, without fueling pride…and encourages with words that are thoughtful, intentional, and respectful.

    Appropriate affirmation recognize Christ-like characteristics in others, as well as the work that God has done and is doing in the lives of the people around us.

    We must always make sure to keep God at the center of our affirmations by following the biblical pattern of saying, “I thank God for you…” 

    Affirming the work that God has done and is doing in others honors God so that the person is encouraged and God gets the glory.  

      Scriptures that demonstrate the purpose of building each other up include…..

      1.  Hebrews 10:24…
        

       2.  Romans 15:2 
        
      3.  1 Peter 3:9

      3.   
       
      Forty percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent actually reach their goals. 
      You can spend way too much time analyzing everything, thinking about getting started online, reading every article and book in sight, and never getting anything done…but with all the available resources out there, you will probably still be trying to figure out where to start….and simply writing that New Hear’s resolution on a new list of resolutions in December…

      • “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Stephen King

      Even though you don’t have the perfect plan and are not sure exactly how it’s going to work out, the best way to learn is by doing….

      Regardless of the goal that you have set, there are many who, what, when, where, how, and why questions that you might ask yourself including…


      1.  WHO…Next talk to other people about your goals. This will make you feel both more excited and more committed.

      • Who benefits the most from me achieving this goal?
      • Who can help me achieve it? Who else is or should be involved?
      • Who else believes in me and my ability to reach this goal?
      • Who will support me? Who probably won’t support me? 

         
      2.  WHAT…First of all, write down specific goals that you want to achieve. Keep your list of goals in front of you. Frame them if you want.

      • What is my biggest passion and dream in life? What one wildly bold goal would I like to accomplish that would truly inspire me to get up each morning?
      • What do I want to accomplish? What will success look like?
      • What is the probability of ever reaching this goal?
      • What is the biggest obstacle hindering me from achieving my goals? 
      • What skills, tools, and resources do I need to acquire or master?
      • What is my next step? 

      Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.” — Malala Yousafzai

      3.  WHEN…Focus on immediate tasks…only your tasks for today and the week ahead of you…so that you do not get discouraged or overwhelmed. Now, perhaps the most important task—get organized. Break larger goals into smaller tasks. Set up a plan or schedule. Break down the year into months, and then create specific action steps for each week. 

      • When can I find the time to do whatever it takes to reach this goal?
      • When would be a realistic time for me to have reached this goal?
      • When will there be enough information to know if and when I should set new goals?
      • When will I start working toward this goal?

        

      4.  WHERE

      • Where do I want to be this time next year?
      • Where will I acquire the necessary knowledge?
      • Where will my goal be accomplished? 
      • Where have I written my “chosen frozen” goals down so that they can become something tangible to focus on, evaluate, and refine on a regular basis?

      . “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” — Golda Meir

      5.  HOW…Choose appropriate milestones and benchmarks for your particular goal. Reward yourself whenever you reach a milestone or benchmark.

      • How will I benefit from reaching this goal? 
      • How will I stay focused during the process? 
      • How will the business be different one year from now?
      • How will this goal be achieved?
      • How does this deadline influence your daily activities?
      • How should I best spend my time, instead wasting time on unrelated, unimportant, non-strategic activities?

        

       “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill



      6.  WHY… Schedule a weekly check in with yourself. Evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Remind yourself why you set these goals in the first place. 

      • Why am I going to do this in the first place?
      • Why am I willing to invest time, energy, and money in doing this? 
      • Why is achieving this goal so important to me? 
      • Why is reaching this goal important? 

        

      My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”— Maya Angelou

      Celebrating Life

      Celebrating Life-September…Labor Day Menu

        
      Being an Army wife, the Fourth of July has aways been a special holiday for our family…and, of course, being from the Deep South, our celebration centers around food.

      So today I’m sharing with you the menu that I have decided on for Labor Day this year.

      Growing up within spittng distance of Memphis, Tennessee,  I grew up eating “dry ribs” as part of each picnic or deck party.

      The most important step in making “dry ribs” is making the “dry rub,” that special mixture of herbs and spices that define the flavor of the meat.

      Just about every family in my “neck of the woods” has its own “secret family recipe” for dry rub…commonly consisting of various proportions of allspice,black pepper, brown sugar, cayenne, cumin, dry mustard, celery salt or celery seed, chili powder, dried oregano or rosemary, ginger, or white pepper.

      The following recipe is the dry rub recipe that I have been using since I crossed over the Mighty Mississippi into the Texas frontier twenty-five years ago. I like to make it in bulk to keep on hand…also great on chicken, pork chops, and anything else that doesn’t eat you first.

       Memphis-Style Dry Rub

      4Tbsp black pepper
      2C brown sugar
      3Tbsp cayenne
      2tsp celery seed
      3Tbsp cumin
      2tsp dried oregano
      1Tbsp dry mustard
      4Tbsp garlic powder
      3Tbsp salt
      1C sweet paprika

        

       I

      Labor Day Ribs...Rub dry rub all over 2 St. Louis-cut or spare rib racks. Marinate in fridge overnight. 

      Start with a 200-220°F grill or smoker. Lay the ribs down so that are not directly over the heat source. Cover the grill or smoker. Let ribs cook for six hours, turning and rotating every hour.

        
      Hawaiian Macaroni Salad from Yellow Bliss Road
        
      Basic Potato Salad from The Baker Upstairs

        
      Overnight Slaw

      • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded
      • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
      • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
      • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
      • 1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
      • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
      • 1/2 cup canola oil
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon celery seed
      • 1 teaspoon mustard seed

      Combine cabbage, onion, peppers and olives. In a large saucepan, mix remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 1 minute. Pour over vegetables, and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Mix well before serving. Yield: 16 servings.

        
      SUMMER BERRY SPARKLING SANGRIA

      To make.…Combine 1 bottle Colavita Pinot Grigio Wine, ½ cup vodka, ¼ cup elderflower liqueur, ⅔ cup sliced strawberries, ⅔ cup blueberries, ⅓ cup raspberries, ⅓ cup blackberries. Refrigerate.

      To serve...muddle a few of the berries in each glass. Add ice, fill two-thirds full with wine mixture, and top with club soda. Serve with fresh mint sprigs.
        
      Paula Deen’s Classic Apple Pie 
      3/4 cup brown sugar
      1/4 cup flour
      1 tsp cinnamon
      pinch of nutmeg
      7 medium green apples, peeled and sliced
      1 tbsp lemon juice
      3 tbsp butter, cubed
      2 unbaked pie crusts
      egg wash for brushing on crust

      1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF.Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.Place the apple slices in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the dry ingredients mixture to coat.

      2.  Press a pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Fill with the apple mixture.Drizzle the lemon juice over the apples. Sprinkle the cubed butter over top as well.

      3. Place the second pie crust over the filling (you can make a lattice top or simply cut slits to vent the steam). Press edges to seal.

      4.  Bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

        Sweet, Sweet Sunday

         12 Steps Towards the Fountain of Youth… August 21…Senior Citizen’s Day

           
        Today is August 21, is Senior Citizen’s Day…a day to honor senior citizens…and also face the fact that you yourself will probably be a “senior citizen” also…especially now that the age to start calling yourself a senior citizen is 55, which is only seven years away for me.

        Aging gracefully and feeling healthy requires looking at the whole picture, every aspect of your life-physical, mental, and social.

        Any steps that can be taken now to improve your health and sense of wellbeing, both now and in the future, are steps well worth taking. Here are a few steps that you can do now to move closer and closer to the Fountain of Youth, and the Age of Reality…

        1.  Detox your home…
        We may not be able to control how many toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, but we can take steps toward detoxifying our own homes, such as…

        • Filtering water. 
        • Leaving windows open as much as possible for better ventilation. 
        • Replacing beauty products with less toxic and chemical-free options. 
        • Switching from standard household cleaners to environmental friendly versions. 
        • Using glass instead of plastic whenever possible.


        2.  Dry-brushing your skin….Dry-brushing your skin not only smoothes, exfoliates, and detoxifies your skin…but also improves blood flow, increases energy, reduces cellulite, and supports the lymphatic system. Working this five-minute, health-boosting practice into your daily routine is well worth the effort.

        To dry-brush your skin…
        Using a brush with firm bristles and a handle, brush towards your heart with long, smooth strokes…starting at your feet and working upwards. 

        3.  Eat more greensOne of the best things you can do for your health is to eat more greens-spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli or bok choy. Your skin, mood, digestive system, and every other organ of your body benefits from your simply eating more greens. This can be done by…

        • Asking for extra vegetables instead of potatoes. 
        • Opting for a salad instead of fries
        • Selecting recipes full of greens that inspire you, and ones that you will actually be excited to eat

          4.  Eat more healthy fats. …Increasing the number of  “fatty” foods-avocado, coconut oil, eggs, fish and nut butters, and olive oil-that you consume can decrease your risk of disease, help fight depression, improve your cognitive function, and strengthen your bones.

          5.  Eat without distractions...Eliminating distractions and being mindful when we eat, instead of sitting in front of the TV or mindlessly looking at your phone as we eat, not only reduces anxiety and overeating, but also promotes weight loss.


          6.  Go to bed earlier.
          …Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Develop a bedtime ritual-such as meditating, journalling, taking a leisurely bath-that actually works for you. Avoid screens-particularly phone and TV-for at least an hour before going to bed. 

          7.  Make a meal plan.…Set aside time each week to create a healthy meal plan and grocery list. Even preparing one healthy meal or snack ahead of time will help you save money and keep you from making poor food choices. 

          Try a meal or grocery delivery service. This may cost more, but will save you money spent eating out every meal.

            8.  Practice gratitude….Gratitude shifts your focus from the negative-fear, anxiety, anger, and depression-to the positive. Gratitude has also been scientifically proven to have the ability to change your life–relationships, self-esteem, mental health, and even sleep. 

            Commit to a consistent daily ritual of writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Negative emotions will become harder to feel when you are mindfully practicing gratitude day-after-day
            9.  Read food labels…Read labels. Look for foods that contain fewer ingredients and no added sugar, chemicals, and fillers.


            10.  Schedule workouts....The hardest part of making sure your workouts actually do happen is to schedule them into your calendar ahead of time, instead of leaving it up to a time that is convenient and then making excuses not to go.

            Fitness classes that charge a cancellation fee, recruiting a friend to exercise with you, and signing up for a long-term class will help hold you accountable and keep you focused.


            11.  Up your fiber intake
            ….Foods with high fiber content-ground flax seed, beans, raspberries, almonds, kale-is imperative to keep things moving along our digestive tracts.

            12.  Volunteer your time...Ghandi once sa that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Volunteering shifts our focus on helping others instead of remaining caught up in our own problems and isolating ourselves



            Finally, your mother was right…Don’t forget to floss your teeth, sit up straight, and wash your hands.

            Flossing not only keeps your gums clean and removes plaque, but also helps you avoid bad breath and heart disease. 

            Sitting up straight can instantly boost your mood, improve your confidence level, and open up the lungs to receive more energy.

            Washing your hands is a simple habit, but single-handedly the best way to avoid picking up viruses.

              Getting Healthy

              When life gives you lemons, drink them

                
               

              August is also National Water Quality Month.

              Being dehydrated can negatively impact everything from your mental focus to energy and metabolism. 

                
              One of the most important purchases you can make when creating a more healthy home and lifestyle is a water filter. 

              The type of filter that you should buy depends on just how clean your tap water is to begin with.Checking water quality can be done either by checking your municipality’s mandatory Consumer Confidence Reports, an annual water quality summary that’s released each year by July 1st, or using a test kit from the local hardware store. 

              NSF International is a trusted organization that sets certain standards for judging water purity. Filters are tested by adding specific contaminants to the water and then determining how much of each impurity remains after going through the filter.

              • NSF Standard 42...This means that the filter passes for “aesthetic effects,” like making the water taste and smell better. 
              • NSF Standard 53...This means that the filter removes a given list of dangerous impurities, like lead and giardia.
              • NSF Standard 401…This means that the filter also removes trace amounts of prescription drugs and pesticides. 

              To see how your current water filter rates, check the NSF website.

              Water filters range from personal on-the-go filters to pitcher filters, faucet-mounted filters, refrigerator filters, and countertop filters…and also vary as to price, filtration method, and size.

              • Aquacristal 
              •  Aquasana
              • Big Berkey 
              • Brita Everyday Water Pitcher
              • Full Circle Home Wherever Lemon Water Bottle
              • Soma Pitcher

                  

                 
                A few health benefits of fruits most commonly used in infused water, for example are…

                • Cucumbers…Cucumbers contain 95% water and are actually more nutritious than plain water. Cucumbers help keep you hydrated and also help flush out toxins from the body.
                • Ginger…Ginger helps calm your GI tract.
                • Lemons…Lemons are full of Vitamin C which can help boost your immune system. 
                • Limes…Limes contain citric acid, which is an excellent fat burner and are also full of antioxidants.
                • Mint Leaves…Min leaves can help you lose weight because the leaves stimulate the digestion of fat and help eliminate toxins from the body.

                Fruit infuser water bottles make infused water that much easier to make and keep you from having to deal with fruit and leaves touching your lips every time that you take a drink.

                Colorful infused water full of fresh fruit-such as blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry-will also help you lose weight.

                Water can also be a good way to “cleanse” your system, instead of spending a bunch of money on expensive store-bought cleansing programs.

                A “cleanse” differs from a “detox.” 

                A cleanse flushes out any unneeded bad junk inside your body..

                A “detox” involves cutting the “junk” out of your diet, and perhaps even your home and lifestyle, that are just “dirtying up” your system, making you sick, and causing fatigue, gas, bloating, and water retention. This will naturally feel more alert and awake with much less mental fog. 

                Before you begin a cleanse or detox, be sure cut out all the carb-loaded drinks. alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, sugary foods, and saturated fats at least a week before starting.This will help reduce any withdrawal symptoms and allow you to benefit more from your cleanse or detox.

                Be sure to eat more foods that are high in the healthy fats, such as avocados, raw nuts, and seeds.

                1.  Lemon Cucumber Mint Fat Flush Water... Cut the cucumber into very thing slices and add about a half a lemon and squeeze the juice in. Add as much mint as you like.

                2.  Orange-Kiwi Infused Water..
                ..Combine 2C water or sparkling water, 2 ice, 1 slicedorange, 2 peeled and sliced kiwis.

                3.  Strawberry Infused Vitamin Detox…
                Slightly mush up 1C strawberries in a bowl with 2 sprigs fresh rosemary. Add 2C cubed watermelon. Pour filtered water over the fruit. Chill.

                Lasting Through Lunch

                On the Lunch Menu Today…Baked Fish Filet Sandwiches…Better Than McDonald’s

                  

                Baked Crispy Fish Sandwiches

                • Tartar Sauce…1/2C mayonnaise, 3Tbsp pickled relish, 1Tbsp chopped fresh dill, 1Tbsp Dijon mustard, Dash hot sauce
                • 1Tbsp olive oil or butter
                • 1-1/4C panko breadcrumbs
                • 1 pound white fish (halibut, tilapia, cod, etc.)
                • 1tsp salt
                • 1/2tsp pepper
                • 1/2C mayonnaise
                • 1C all-purpose flour
                • 1 tsp garlic powder
                • 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
                • Hamburger or potato buns, split
                • 4 slices of American or cheddar cheese
                • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into rounds (optional)
                • Shredded lettuce

                  1.  Prep…Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Heat just the baking sheet for 30 minutes.Remove pan from oven.  Drizzle with oil.

                  2.  Make the tartar sauce...Stir together 1/2C mayonnaise, relish, dill, mustard, and hot sauce together in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.

                  3.  Toast the panko…Heat the oil or butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering or melted. Add the panko and 1/4tsp salt. Toast, stirring frequently, until evenly light golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer toasted panel to a pie dish or large shallow plate. Let cool completely. 

                  4. Bread the fish…Cut the fish fillets as needed into pieces that will fit in the buns. Mix the toasted panko, flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a pie plate. Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow dish. Dip the tilapia in the egg mixture, allowing any extra to drip off. Dredge in the toasted panko mixture to completely coat, shaking off any extra. Use your hands to press the crumbs into the fish as needed. Place on the heated baking sheet. Drizzle fish with a little vegetable oil.

                  5.  Bake the fish…Bake until the fish is golden-brown and flaky, 12 to 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. 

                  6.  Make the sandwiches…Lightly toast the rolls cut-side up directly on the oven rack, about 3 minutes. Top each piece of fish with a slice of cheese. Return them to the oven until the cheese melts. Spread the tartar sauce on the cut sides of both the tops and bottoms of the rolls. Place some lettuce on the bottom half of each roll.  Top with the fish, and top half of the roll.

                  Satisfying the Sweet Tooth

                  National Peach Month

                    
                  The month of August is National Peach month…a month to honor and enjoy the great flavor of juicy peaches. So…

                  1.  What exactly is a peach?

                  The peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree native to China that bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach.

                  The scientific name Persia, as well as any variations of the word “peach,”  came from the word “Persia” because peaches were thought to have originated in Persia, or modern Iran. The Romans called the peaches “Persian Apples,”naming them after the country that introduced peaches to the West.

                  The tree belongs to the family Rosaceae (the rose family), subfamily Prunoideae, genus Prunus, and subgenus Amygdalus (having a corrugated seed shell like an almond).

                  The fruit is a drupe, with a single reddish-brown, oval-shape, 1.5-2 cm long seed encased in hard wood. this seed may also be called the “stone” or the “pit.”

                  2.  What Is the True History Of The Peach?

                  Actually peaches originated in China, where they have been cultivated since 1000 BC. Today China remainsthe largest world producer of peaches.

                  Even today in modern China peaches have special significance and “mystical attributes,” such as the ability to bring luck, abundance and protection. Peaches also symbolize immortality and unity. Peach blossoms are carried by Chinese brides.

                  Peaches traveled west via the silk roads to Persia, earning them the botanical name Prunus persica. In Persia, peaches were discovered by Alexander the Great, who introduced peaches to the Greeks around 320 BC.

                  By 50 BC., Romans grew and sold peaches for the modern equivalent of $4.50. Once the Romans cultivated the fruit, they were able to transport it north and west to other countries of their European empire.


                  3.  Where are peaches grown, other than China?

                  Italy, particularly the regions of Campania and Emilia Romagna, is the second largest producer of peaches and the main exporter of peaches in the European Union; 

                  Spaniards brought peaches to South America and the French introduced them to Louisiana. The English took them to their Jamestown and Massachusetts colonies. Columbus brought peach trees to America on his second and third voyages.

                  In the United States, California produces more than half of the peaches grown…even though so many peaches are grown in Georgia that it became known as the Peach State.

                  4.  What are a few of the over 700 varieties of peaches?

                  • Clingstone…the flesh sticks to the stone…generally used for canning
                  • Donut…flat with rounded sides that draw in toward an indented center, like a doughnut without a hole…a descendant of the flat Chinese peach
                  • Freestone…the flesh does not stick to the stone…the kind generally found in supermarkets. 
                  • pêches de vigne...considered to be the finest peaches of all…small, red-fleshed…covered with grayish down…grown in vineyards in France and generally found only there
                  • Saturn…a flat variety that resembles the rings of Saturn
                  • White…typically sweeter and less acidic…most popular in China, Japan, and neighbouring Asian countries, 
                  • Yellow…have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness… most popular kinds in Europe and North America

                  5.  How nutritious are peaches?

                  Peaches are a good source of vitamin A (11% RDA), vitamin B(10%), vitamin C (19% RDA), potassium (10% RDA), and fiber (3 grams, 10% RDA).

                  A medium peach contains only 37 calories. One large peach has only 68 calories.
                    

                  Now for a few recipes…

                       
                  Bellini

                      

                  Peach Blueberry Parfait

                      

                      Peach Cheesecake

                         
                      Peach Cobbler

                        
                      Peach Melba

                        
                      Peach Pie

                         
                      Peach Slushie

                      Satisfying the Sweet Tooth

                      August Dessert of the Month—The Poke Cake

                        
                      Poke Cake is more of a process than an actual recipe…and there are as many different variations of Poke Cake as there are…

                      (Different flavors of cake mix) x (Different flavors of Jello or instant pudding…

                      Betty Crocker makes 27 different flavors of SuperMoist cake mix…Jello makes about thirty different flavors of pudding…that alone makes for 810 possibilities…
                      So how do you make a Poke Cake…

                      • 1.  Bake a normal cake, either from a mix or from scratch.
                      • 2.  Poke holes in the top with some object, such as the base of a wooden spoon.
                      • 3.  Pour sweetened condensed milk, pudding, or jello over the holes…(this allows the liquid to seep into the cake and makes it moist and flavorful).
                      • 4.  Refrigerate the cake for a few hours so that the liquid has absorbs into the cake.
                      • 5.  Top with Cool Whip and other optional toppings such as caramel syrup, nuts, candy bits,  and fruit.

                      Making this cake actually doesn’t involve a recipe…it’s more like creating a ice cream sundae…but better…

                      Getting Dressed

                      National Eye Exam Month

                         

                      August is National Eye Exam Month, the perfect time to schedule annual eye exams for both yourself and everyone else in your family.:

                        National Eye Exam Month, a month dedicated to the importance of eye health and safety, was founded by Sears Optical Eye Exam Month in 1989. Today most ophthalmologists use this as a time to sponsor Eye Care America, a campaign for seniors ages 65 and up that can qualify for a free eye exam. . 

                        Why even have an eye exam in the first place?


                        1.  To detect eye conditions… An optometrist can spot early onset signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, cataracts, hypertension, and high cholesterol just by conducting an eye exam.

                        During your exam, your eye doctor will look for eye muscle imbalance, vision disorders, and eye disease that could potentially cause future problems.

                        Having your eyes examined on a regular basis can help detect these problems before they escalate and affect not only your vision, but also your overall health.

                        The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have a baseline eye exam at age 40, the time when the early signs of disease or changes in your vision may occur. 

                        This baseline screening can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage, when treatment can have the greatest impact on preserving your vision.


                          2. To determine if you need a stronger prescription, or if you need eyeglasses or contact lenses….Your eyes obviously change over time, especially after the age of 40. Having a current prescription reduces eyestrain and helps you see better. 


                          3.   To improve your children’s school performance…Eye exams are an important part of healthcare for everyone, but especially for children. 
                          According to the Vision Council of America, one out of every four children in the U.S. has an undiagnosed vision problem.

                           It is also estimated that 48% of parents with children under the age of 12 have never taken their children to see an eye care professional. 

                          Vision problems and poor vision are two of the most common reasons why children fall behind in school each year.

                          Eye exams ensure normal vision development and can detect any vision problems that could contribute to possible learning and reading difficulties. 

                          Early identification of such problems is crucial because children are more likely to respond to treatment when problems are diagnosed early.


                          4.  To keep from having headaches... If you have been having unexplained, constant headaches, the problem could lie with your vision. An eye care professional may be able to pinpoint the cause behind your headaches and help give you the relief you deserve.

                          5.   To prevent eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or cataractsMany serious conditions like these often have no symptoms, but an optometrist can detect early signs of such diseases, helping to prevent serious damage.

                              

                            Makeup Tips for Women Who Wear Glasses

                            Eyewear makes your eyes the immediate focal point of your face, so it’s imperative to apply your makeup in a way that’s flattering to both your frames and your face.

                            Less is definitely more. Applying makeup to wear with glasses is not a matter of piling on more and more makeup. Instead it’s about using the right makeup and techniques…things like keeping your eye makeup simple, using a light hand, blending everything carefully, and keeping your makeup tidy, well-defined and as close to “perfect” as possible.

                            Yet putting on eye makeup can not be thought of as merely a waste of time because any makeup that you apply will simply be hidden behind your glasses.

                            1.  Primer…Use a primer, such as NARS’ Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. This will create a canvas to prevent eyeshadow from flaking off throughout the day. 

                            2. Concealor… If you wear glasses, your under-eye area is one of the first things people see on your face. Be sure to apply an under-eye concealer like MAC’s Pro Longwear Concealer.

                            3.  Eyeshadow…A full-out smoky eye would look slightly overwhelming. Stick to neutral shades. Get your color from liner, not eyeshadow.

                            4.  Eyeliner…Eyeliner is also essential. The thickness of the liner should correspond with the thickness of your glasses. If your frames are thick, apply a thick line of liner to the upper lash line…If your frames are thin, apply a softer line.

                            Wear colorful liners-greens, blues, or purples-such as these Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in a shade that is darker than your natural eye color.

                            5.  Mascara
                            …Finish with two coats of waterproof mascara.

                            6.  Highlighter…
                            Apply a highlighter like Benefit High Beam to the inner corners of your eyes.

                            7.  Brows….Eyeglass frames draw attention to the brows, so keep your arches well groomed. Pluck or trim and scraggly hairs. Fill in any sparse spots with a brow pencil or powder shadow.

                            8.  Lips…Go bold with your lips. 

                            9.  Face…Keep blush and bronzer minimal.