Picky Eater

September 28, 2009, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s thought that 85 percent of the American public is deficient in vitamin D and over 95 percent of African American or deeply pigmented individuals. And, in the United States, the late winter average vitamin D is only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a VERY SERIOUS deficiency state.

Some of the deficiency has been caused by the scare of sun exposure in the past years. Yes, too much sun (burn) is not good, but not enough is just as dangerous! We also spend less time outdoors, just look at yourself and see how much time you spend outside every day? Children hardly play outside anymore and spend vast amounts of time in front of computer and TV screens.

By John Cannell, MD, The Vitamin D Council
“Here is an example, according to Dr. William Grant — one of the top vitamin D researchers in the world – the cancer rate in Iceland is 90 per 100,000 people per year. Those in the tropics, meanwhile, have rates of 25 per 100,000!

In 1994, Dr. Rehman gave 60,000 units of vitamin D a week to 27 children (ages 3-12) with frequent childhood infections and compared them to controls. The children also had elevated alkaline phosphatase (like many American children), which usually indicates vitamin D deficiency. He gave the kids vitamin D for six weeks along with calcium. He didn’t say if he used real vitamin D (cholecalciferol) or if he used ergocalciferol. Anyway, he gave them 60,000 units a week for six weeks, about 9,000 units a day.

Within a few weeks, “infections were fully controlled and no recurrences were reported for six months.” The kids just stopped getting sick! An ignored study, ignored facts, not repeated, not remembered. The author didn’t measure vitamin D levels, but 9,000 units a day of vitamin D for six weeks should bring most vitamin-D-deficient children to 50 ng/ml, probably higher.

I’m skeptical by nature. So I decided to experiment on myself. Physicians experimenting on themselves are one of the great traditions in medicine. I bought some 50,000-unit capsules of real vitamin D from Bio-Tech. The next time I got the crud, I took a single capsule (50,000 units) of cholecalciferol, which is perfectly safe for adults.

In Europe, they give 10 times that amount as “stoss therapy” all the time. I was amazed how much better I felt the next day. If you decide to experiment on yourself, do it once or twice. Don’t keep taking 50,000 units every day or you will get toxic. Also, keep close tabs on your vitamin D level.

Children don’t need the 60,000 units a week to improve their immune system, although Dr. Rehman found that amount safe for six weeks — 60,000 units per week for a young child is a pharmacological dose, not a physiological dose.”

Vitamin D is not only good for your bones but also your number one defense against the flu! “Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections. It produces over 200 anti microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic. And, when you consider the fact that you only have 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D has been shown to influence more than 2,000 of them, the bigger picture of its true impact on your health can be easily understood. It may, in fact, have literally thousands of health benefits! So it’s likely we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of its true potential for reversing the modern disease state.”

More from the Mercola website:
“Vitamin D deficiency has been clearly linked with Syndrome X. (21) Syndrome X refers specifically to a group of health problems that can include insulin resistance (the inability to properly deal with dietary carbohydrates and sugars), abnormal blood fats (such as elevated cholesterol and triglycerides), overweight, and high blood pressure.”

There are several sources for vitamin D, the sun, foods with added D (like milk and margarine) and foods with naturally rich in D.

Now is the time to get your extra D and if you have health concerns have your levels of D checked. “You can find out what your levels are by asking your doctor for a blood test called a 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. (Please note, there are two types of vitamin D tests, and this one is the one you want.) There are also two primary labs in the U.S. and you ONLY want to use Lab Corp.”

Sources: Dr. Mercola


Be well, MO


September 25, 2009, 6:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My good friend Deborah from the Seven Oaks Lavender Farm and farmer Deanna have started the Farmers Online Market named Farmer Girls.

From many local farmers they sell local vegetables, meats, eggs, cheeses, flowers etc. via their website. Clients order on-line and pick up at the distribution point once a week. I like this concept very much because it provides you with fresh, great tasting local foods of your own choice (not a package with “things” you don’t know how to prepare or too much of one kind, or just too much for your size family.

They started in Fauquier county but hopefully they grow as fast as there products and expand into our neighborhoods!
Update: Soon there will be a drop off in Burke (Fairfax County)

Thank you Deb and Deanna for this healthy and tasty initiative!


September 11, 2009, 7:49 pm
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Luckily my daughter figured out after a few cafeteria lunches that she prefers me to make her lunch. And I have to say that her school does a pretty good job with providing as much nutritional value as possible. They serve salads and fruits and promote healthy eating habits. Yet there is still a lot of refined, processed stuff going over the counter.

The book lunch lessons is addressing that issue as well, and I hope I’ll get the opportunity this year to do a presentation at her school and make more parents aware of what we can change and how we can improve the way we feed our children.

I know we all have busy schedules, but we all need to eat and we all need to feed ourselves with nutrition that fuels and sustains our busy lives. We are marinated in marketing adagio that prepared foods take less time, yet we all know that a good meal can be prepared in the same amount of time!

You can make things ahead in the weekend, like a home made chicken soup for example or a rice dish. I try to include: protein, complex carbs (whole wheat products, brown rice), veggies, fruit and dairy. It’s not complicated, you can discuss it with your child and together you can create new options.

I also try to reduce trash, so sandwiches are now in a flat box and other items in small boxes we can re-use. The Japanese are masters of the lunchboxes (called bento box) and they include complete meals and get very creative sometimes 🙂

So my daughter is a happy “bringer” as she calls herself and I am the happy buyer!

Cheers, Mo

August 18, 2009, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you do not have time to prepare a healthy breakfast in the morning, eat a banana! It is that simple. 5 reasons why bananas are super food:

1. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6. One small banana supplies about 1/3 of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B-6. They are a good source of vitamin C, riboflavin, magnesium, biotin and carbohydrates. Banana is rich in iron that can be very helpful in cases of anemia.

2.Banana is also an energy booster. It also contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is known to make you feel happy and improve your mood.

3.Banana is good for people who have high blood pressure because it is low in salt. It is also high in potassium, an element important in the regulation of blood pressure.

4. Banana is an effective treatment for diarrhea, and in a study involving infants with persistent diarrhea, green banana and pectin improved small intestinal permeability and reduced fluid loss. Bananas are well known amongst travelers to third world countries for their anti-diarrhea properties.

5. Bananas have also been found to help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that cause stomach ulcers. It also has a natural antacid and high fiber.

Carbohydrate counters fear not! There are about 35 grams of carbohydrate per large banana, but we’re talking about complex carbs, not factory made simple carbs joined with processed sugars. Everyone needs carbs, period, and everyone should have the type of carbs that come in quality fruits like bananas.

Let’s sum it up again:

– The banana is a good source of folate, Vitamin B6 & C & magnesium.
– The banana is naturally low in sodium & fat.
– The banana contains about 2 grams of fiber per serving.
– The Vitamin C content in bananas helps combat infection.
– The potassium content in bananas combat high blood pressure.
– This super food promotes good digestive health and has the capability to combat both diarrhea & constipation much like the power of bran.

And because of the nifty package provided by Mother Nature herself, the banana is perfect for on-the-go events, such as picnics, snack time away from home, and both school & work lunch boxes.

So, now you know all about that incredible fruit, freeze them for an hour and you have a nice cold afternoon summer snack, or bake a banana bread with walnuts and you have a great breakfast.

Cheers, MO

August 15, 2009, 2:42 pm
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It was one of these hot and humid days when my daughter and I decided to check out a local farmers market. Sarah begged for a little “pet” plant as she called it, inspired by a story I was reading to her about a pet plant who ate dirty socks. In this story the parents want to get rid of the plants because of all the socks they have to buy, but when the two boys give the two plants a name and call them their pets, the situation changes drastically, boosted by local media coverage.

After tasting some pineapple tomatillos, creamy yogurt, and handmade cookies Sarah’s eye caught a funny shaped egg plant and when we picked “him” up he clearly looked like a penguin eggplant. We had to buy him and bring this new pet home.

Sarah made a bed for him and played for hours with her new friend. Eggy made it through the week but started to soften and today we had to “use” him in another way. “As long as you’re gentle with him mom” said Sarah as I started to cut him up and sauté his pieces in a pan with olive oil and Italian herbs. She tasted him but didn’t like it, I am not sure if it’s because it was her friend, or just a very old egg plant.

July 30, 2009, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A week ago I had the privilege to attend a workshop with Bill Brooks, “Cooking with vegetables”. I grew up with daily, freshly, from scratch, prepared foods including salads almost every day of the year. My mom is a salad genius, during winter time she would use what ever vegetables were available to make a more “sturdy” winter salads, with rice and beans for example.

I really wanted to improve on my vegetable cooking, a trade of it’s own. Now that my tiny garden patch is producing an abundance of veggies it’s time to learn to make kid friendly vegetables. One important thing I learned lately is that when children are involved in the preparation they are more likely to try it and like it!

The recipe below is not only very healthy but also pretty. Bill watches all items that provide for a good looking and nutritional meal: tastes, colors, and textures. In the simple dish below you have the wonderful flavors of the berries, lemon balm, and nuts, the combination of purple and yellow pleases the eyes and the crunch of the pecans gives it a bite and includes a healthy mono unsaturated fat.

The joy of growing and cooking your own produce is a very rewarding and tasty experience. The recipes that Bill provided are simple, healthy, and elegant.



4 cups yellow summer squash, cubed
1-2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
¼ cup lemon balm, chopped (lemon thyme may be substituted)
1 cup blueberries


Steam squash until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool quickly in ice water to stop cooking. Pat squash dry.

Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash sprinkling with sugar; stir and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add pecans and sauté for 2-3 minutes until squash begins to brown. Add lemon balm and stir to coat squash. Add blueberries and sauté until blueberries soft but not bursting. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

Namaste (The light within me honors the light within you)

July 9, 2009, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Blue berry peach pie from a local farmer after being attacked by our family.

“I grew up on that stuff” is a statement I hear rather often, unfortunately it is no longer valid since the ingredients and production of “that stuff” is completely different than what we grew up with…sad but true and therefore a good idea to get the most natural stuff possible.

I usually hear this when discussing food items that are not so healthy for you, like certain cereals, pop-tarts, and most other processed food and snacks. When we grew up they used regular oils or just plain butter, now we are dealing with the VERY dangerous “partially hydrogenated oils” in the top ten of causes of death and this STUFF is in about anything you buy at the grocery store…if you don’t pay attention…

They used to use sugar, now they use High Fructose Corn syrup a sweet chemical concoction that has turned obesity into a major epidemic since it’s introduction in the early 80’s.

Add to this MSG (monosodium glutamate) a neurotoxic flavor enhancer and you have the opposite of that “stuff you grew up with”!

Just eat how mother nature presents you her nutrition and you’ll grow up a healthy person!

Cheers, MO