Test Kitchen – Honey

Image result for free pics of honey bees               vs               Image result for free pics of sugar

HONEY vs SUGAR?

We are all aware that the overconsumption of sugar is a fatal flaw of the SDA (Standard American Diet). The ongoing and controversial question discussed on TV talk shows, written about in news articles and books etc. is ‘what can you  use to replace sugar’? And, will what you replace it with be good for you?

The natural sources for sugar include fruits, juices, and high-sugar vegetables like carrots and beets. These are all a part of a well-balanced and healthy diet. Glucose is the sugar naturally found in the foods you eat and is a primary energy source for your body and brain’s cells.

The downside is – can sugar pose serious risks to your health? Yes, it can when consumed in the form of refined sugar. What is refined sugar? “Refined sugar is any type of sugar product that has gone through a process to enhance or refine the raw sugars obtained from sugarcane and other foods.” It comes under many names – high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, barley malt, glucose solids, sorghum syrup, sucrose, and etc.

There is an alternative to these many forms of refined sugar. HONEY is one of the best. It has been around through all the ages of man. Given to man by our Creator himself. The following are verses from the Bible, which has many such verses in the many books in the bible:

Isaiah 7:15 “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”
Proverbs 24:13  “My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.”

Noah took the honey bees on the arc – why? Because it was a staple for maintaining the health of the Israelite people. It was the primary source of sugar; used in baking, and to make a fermented beverage called mead. And, who would have thought – honey was used, as well, as an embalming substance.

It is said that Honey is mentioned more than 61 times in the Bible.  Our Creator knew what he was doing.

So what makes honey different from sugar?  Honey is a whole food made by bees, while sugar is an extract of the sugarcane plant (the isolated component is technically called sucrose). Honey is a complex substance made up of hundreds of different compounds, macronutrients and micronutrients, prebiotics and probiotics, enzymes and various components of which we hardly have an understanding of. It as well has twenty-five different kinds of “sugar” to include sucrose, glucose, and fructose. However, the “sugars” in honey don’t have the same negative health effects  as those in processed sugars because they are natural. Honey is known to have a positive effect on appetite hormones. According to The Journal of Medical Food, it has been found that “honey can lower C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and plasma glucose, even in diabetic and hyperlipidemic people.”

Now you know how great honey can be and is…but, is all honey created equal? The best ways to get the best honey is: (1) Always choose raw honey which is left in its natural unprocessed form.  When honey is heated etc. a large percentage of the beneficial nutrients and components are altered or destroyed. (2) Eat local honey – as local honey has allergy-healing benefits because of the traces of pollen from local allergenic plants. It will help to fortify the immune system which in turn aids in fixing dysfunctions that  can be associated with allergies.

The right honey and good honey has been shown to destroy over 250 different strains of bacteria, a wide range of viruses and harmful fungi. Honey energizes, is an excellent brain food, and again, helps to build up the immune system. Scientific studies show that, “Honey contains natural antioxidant properties that can destroy biologically destructive chemical agents which have been linked to many diseases such as cancer. Not only could honey’s antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals in the body, they are also part of the nutrient supply for growth of new tissue.”

The only caution I am aware of is that honey is not good for children under the age of 1 year. Infants, do not have completely matured digestive systems and are susceptible to botulism food poisoning. Even though honey does not always contain the spores, it is more likely to contain botulinum (the spore that causes botulism), than some other food products. Therefore, it is recommended that parents avoid giving it to infants and small children. By the age of 2 children have more mature digestive systems, and, develop helpful bacteria in their intestines, which act as a defense against the harmful botulism spores that children are susceptible to. At this point in a child’s life, they can consume honey as an aid in easing the symptoms of colds and coughs. My dad used to give us, what he called, “Hot Toddies”. He made them by putting honey in a warm glass of water with lemon juice added. It was like drinking (but he made us sip it), warm lemonade. I gave them to my children, and still use them today on me. Another way that I use honey is in what I call my ‘vinegar and honey’ cocktail. Using, usually, an empty honey bottle, I fill it 1/2 way with honey and the rest of the way with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother). I shake it up and leave it in the cupboard. If I feel a cough or cold coming on, or not, I add 1 tablespoon of the honey/vinegar mixture to an 8 oz. glass water and drink it, usually more than one time a day. I found that drinking my ‘vinegar and honey’ cocktail at least once a day everyday, keeps me cold and flu free.

Scientific studies show that, “Honey contains natural antioxidant properties that can destroy biologically destructive chemical agents which have been linked to many diseases such as cancer. Not only could honey’s antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals in the body, they are also part of the nutrient supply for growth of new tissue.”

In addition, I could talk about how ‘honey’ is used in skin care products. It is a natural moisturizer. Keeping the skin hydrated, honey in skin care products prevents dryness, and rejuvenates moisture depleted skin.

In my opinion, HONEY IS AN AMAZING NATURAL PRODUCT – created by the Creator himself.

What is your choice? Refined sugar or Honey? I know what mine is, as  a honey lover, I use honey as the main sweetener in everything I bake, make, eat and/or drink. Alternatives that I use as well, are “pure” maple syrup, Agave’ Syrup, Truvia, and Stevia.

Image result for free pics of honey bees    BEE sure you make the healthy choice!

Thanksgiving!

Image result for free thanksgiving pictures“To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.” (Thomas S. Monson

I could not say it better. We all have so much to be thankful for in spite of the adversity in our lives. 

MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HOUSE ON THIS DAY!

                                                        HAPPY  THANKSGIVING!

Image result for free turkey pictures

The Coffe Controversy

Image result for free pics of coffeeIs it or is it not good for you. People question me about this all the time. Since the Keurig Coffee maker came into existence, coffee has become a big item. There are people on the TV, some of whom tell you it is good, and others who tell you it is bad. So what is it?

Millions of people start their day with a cup of coffee, and some continue to drink it throughout the day. Their excuse – “it gives me energy,” “it wakes me up,” “I can’t get through the day without it.” The caffeine in coffee makes it a strong contender for caffeine abuse. It creates chemical dependence.

In my opinion, IT IS NOT GOOD IF YOU WANT TO BE A HEALTHY HUMAN BEING! It is like being addicted to other drugs, and, there are consequences to include adrenal gland failure – the stimulating effect of caffeine causes the adrenal glands to secrete the hormone adrenaline, the overuse of which exhausts them – the adrenals; severe blood sugar swings; acid imbalance – the excess secretion of acid in the stomach. As I have mentioned many times optimal health calls for an alkaline pH balance to the body (80% alkaline, 20% acid). Other consequences; coffee depletes essential minerals in the body – it causes the excretion of some minerals in the urine and inhibits the absorption of others (one of which is iron). The non absorption of iron increases the risk of anemia. Regular consumption of coffee may lead to cardiac sensitivity, abnormal heartbeats, anxiety, irritability, intestinal irritation, and insomnia. (Source: Dr. Scott A. Johnson – The Word of Wisdom, Discovering the LDS Code of Health.)

I hear it all the time, “but I only drink decaffeinated coffee. However, scientific research tells us that decaffeinated coffee still contains at least 9% caffeine. Also, the chemicals used to decaffeinate coffee create additional health concerns particularly the large amounts of hydrogen peroxide, of which there is 500 to 750 micrograms per cup after the preparation. Thus coffee contains a hydrogen peroxide generating system. It is a mutagenic component in Instant coffee and decaffeinated coffee. What is a mutagenic component? It is a component that causes mutation changes in the body system such as a relatively permanent change in hereditary material involving either a physical change in chromosome relations or a biochemical change in the codons that make up genes. (Sources: PubMed.gov  – and Websters Collegiate Dictionary)

This is serious stuff folks. Frankly, there just isn’t a healthful type of coffee to drink, in spite of the hype telling you otherwise.

Now I am hearing, “well, I will just drink tea!” Contained in both coffee and tea are three xanthine alkaloids, (theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine). One big difference between coffee and tea is that coffee contains much more caffeine than tea – depending on the coffee, almost 4 times more than black tea, and more than 5 times the amount in green tea. Bottom line – they all contain caffeine – a drug that should not be consumed if you want your internal organs to stay healthy.

My Detox Program prohibits the use of any caffeinated drinks, and particularly, coffee. My clients go through rigorous physical symptoms of withdrawal when they quit drinking coffee, tea, etc. These include headaches, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue, etc.

I cannot begin to say that it is okay to drink coffee in spite of Keurig company as well as other folks who are pushing coffee as being healthy – even saying it depends on the coffee bean, and the drink preparation. I know there are ‘coffee geeks’ out there who will contradict everything I have said and researched. Your goal may be, as is the goal of many of my friends, to create the healthiest, best tasting cup of coffee on the planet. But these goals only add to the caffeine addiction, and it is an addiction. And, NOT a healthy addiction, re-read the first paragraph.

And, my biggest pet peeve – PARENTS WHO GIVE THEIR BABIES, SMALL CHILDREN, AND TEENAGERS COFFEE. When I question it, their answer is commonly, “oh, just a little taste – it won’t hurt them.” Well folks, it does hurt them….just re-read the above.

However, it is up to you to decide whether Coffee is Healthy or Poison…but as for me I will continue juicing and drinking lots of the water I purify myself.

Image result for free pics of healthy drinks.

Shouldn’t common sense fit in here somewhere?

Wrinkles…..

Wrinkles, Wrinkles…..what can you do about wrinkles?

Believe me, I have tried everything short of a face lift. You know the kind where they cut you from ear to ear and pull the skin-tight. This method seems to be rare today, as you see advertisements on TV for everything but.

There are creams, injections, lotions, and women have even used Preparation-H for hemroids. They figure that if it shrinks hemroidal swelling it should shrink wrinkles. I tried it once: it did work: and no harm was done. As I understand it now, the company that makes Preparation-H has changed the formula, so the results, when used on the face are not there.

So. What do you do? Go to the grocery store for a facelift? The grocery store shelves are stocked with items that are supposed to either fast forward or turn back time when it comes to wrinkles.

In case you didn’t know – your skin is your body’s largest organ, making it a huge target for free radicals. What are free radicals? They are unstable molecules which form as you process oxygen. They travel the highway throughout your body damaging cells and causing all sorts of havoc – to include wrinkles. There are other reasons for wrinkles, as well. As you age, your body naturally produces less collagen and elastin. These are the connective tissues that make your skin firm and supple. The fat layer under your skin also begins to disappear. Then you see your saggy and wrinkled face – and want to scream….and it’s not even Halloween. It has been my observation, though, that women who are overweight, seem to have pudgy faces and no wrinkles, especially the older women. I have a hard time letting myself get overweight just to avoid a wrinkled face. I read somewhere that its your genes that determine when sag and wrinkles occur and how fast this process progresses. But, and I am sure you have also heard, that smoking and too much exposure to the sun can speed up the process. I think I have the gene problem and the sun problem. I was a sun-loving child…even used Crisco on my body to get a sun tan. It worked. However, I now think I am reaping the consequences of that fetish.

A person can’t help producing ‘free radicals, but they can be neutralized. How? Well what do you know – it’s in the food you eat. How often have you seen me write about FOOD for health? It was found by Dr. Mark L. Wahlqvist of Monash University in Melbourne, “that if foods contain powerful antioxidants – whether in the form of vitamins, carotenoids, polyphenols, or other phytochemicals – they counteract dangerous ‘FREE RADICALS'”.

SO! What foods should you be eating? Most of the ones on my list when I counsel my Detox Clients. They include some of the following:

  • Eggs (did you know they are an animal by-product and are not considered dairy?)
  • Spinach, Eggplant, Asparagus, Celery, Garlic, Onions, Lima Beans, Olives
  • Cherries, Grapes, Melons (lots of melons), Prunes, Dried fruit, Apples (lots of apples), Pears
  • Herbal Tea and water
  • Fish

What foods should you avoid? They are on my Detox food list too.

  • Dairy products – to include Milk, Butter, Ice Cream, Yogurt (unless you make it out of Coconut Milk)
  • Red Meats – all of them to include beef, pork, lamb and their derivatives
  • Soft drinks – all of them,
  • Cakes, pastries etc. (eat berries, melons, and other alkaline fruits as a replacement for sweet, sugary desserts
  • Potatoes (did you know potatoes are Alkaline when you eat them raw and acidic once they are cooked)
  • And last but not least – Coffee, Regular tea, smoking, chewing tobacco, etc.

Follow the above FOOD etc. changes and you just might be seeing a younger-looking you in the mirror.

Other news, I read about, is that “Doctors in England speculate that if you have wrinkles, you might actually be protected from skin cancer. Most people believe that wrinkling indicates sun damage and a higher risk of skin cancer. But, that is not the whole story.” According to Dr. Christopher E.M. Griffiths, professor of dermatology at the University of Manchester’s Hope Hospital, “there are different types of skin and they react differently to sun exposure.” I like this information – living in Florida and still being a sun lover.

More interesting information from Dr. Griffith – Yes, the ultraviolet rays from the sun destroy the elastic collagen fibers in all types of skin. He goes on to say that “if you are wrinkled, that means your skin type repairs itself but doesn’t replace the collagen.” For you with smooth skin – like many of my friends, “your skin is replacing the damaged collagen.” I wonder if there is an age limit in there somewhere.

That brings us to the age-old question about ‘Skin Cancer’. Dr. Griffith believes that the amount of collagen in your skin could affect your risk of skin cancer. He explains, “a substance, called transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, helps rebuild the collagen. HOWEVER, it also suppresses your immune system. For you who understand the immune system you know that a weakened immune system has a difficult time fighting off all diseases – to include cancer. To put it mildly – the same process that keeps your skin smooth and firm might also allow cancer to develop. Gives you something to think about. Presently, this theory is still speculative!

From talking to my friends who suffer with skin cancer, the most common term used is ‘basal cell carcinoma’. Dr. Griffith noticed that patients with this ‘common form’ of skin cancer, had fewer wrinkles than other patients. They did a study of over 200 people and discovered that those with heavily wrinkled faces were up to 90% less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than smooth-skinned people. I had better start loving my wrinkles.

You can’t control the type of skin you were born with. However, it is very important that you take the usual steps to protect yourself from the sun. I guess I am a rarity. Other than the Crisco I used to get tanned (in my youth), I rarely use sunscreen. For some strange reason, I rarely get sunburned, even when I am in the sun all day long. I do have the wrinkled skin – but no signs of skin cancer. I use a few of the ‘grocery store’ skin care products, and DIY remedies (oils) to curtail further wrinkling.

When I asked my Primary Care Doctor what he could do for me to get rid of my wrinkles…he looked at me…laughted…and said, “Wear them as a badge of honor!”

NOTE: Dr. Griffith recommends: ” It’s best to avoid sunbathing and use the higher factor sunscreens.” From me – just remember that they wash off if you are swimming, and from perspiration, so if you use them, you need to apply more often.

  • Here’s and old Folk Remedy: Zap your wrinkles with a homemade, scented moisturizer. Choose an essential oil, such as lavender, lilac, or rose, from the health food store, or beauty store. The oils must be pure and not full of fillers or diluted. Pick up an atomizer as well, then follow these simple steps.
  • Fill the atomizer with 1 cup of pure water
  • Add 2 or 3 drops of an essential oil
  • Refrigerate the solution overnight
  • Simply spray on the face, and then blot your skin with a tissue

I don’t blot with a tissue, as I want the mixture to soak into my skin, so I distribute it around my face with the light circling motion of my fingertips.

It would be nice if we could look like the TV and Movie Stars, but then you have to remember – they are HEAVILY MADE UP – except for those who have had BOTOX treatments, and/or have had multiple old-fashioned FACE LIFTS. Is it worth the money, and pain? Only you can decide!

Image result for free pics of wrinkled faces

Note worthy last-minute thought: Why is it that men seem to wear their wrinkles well? But then, many of the men cover their wrinkles with all that facial hair that is so popular these days – especially the beards all the way down the neck.

HAVE A GREAT WRINKLE FREE DAYOR, “JUST WEAR YOUR WRINKLES AS A BADGE OF HONOR!