Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Natural Anxiety Soothers

The other day I heard from a friend of mine with a new baby -- her second in three years. She sounded harried... hardly a surprise. She described her life as an endless round of attending to her two children, caretaking her husband, housekeeping and managing her career. She's not sleeping well and frequently feels jittery and anxious. Not being one to turn automatically to pharmaceuticals, she called to ask if I knew of any natural remedies for stress and anxiety.
Fortunately I knew the best expert to call about botanical and natural medications: Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council. He had a number of suggestions for products that are soothing, relaxing and helpful in overcoming anxiety symptoms. Some have even been found to help improve sleep.
Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. A 1999 study measured the brain activity of volunteers after a single 200 mg dose of theanine. Researchers reported that the supplement helped generate alpha brain waves, which are usually considered to be associated with relaxation. Theanine (also known as L-theanine) is available in natural food stores.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is among the most important neurotransmitters in the brain, involved in relaxation and inhibition. In fact many of the pharmaceutical drugs used for treating anxiety, including Valium, act by enhancing the effects of GABA. Some research suggests that as a supplement, GABA works better when combined with other ingredients like theanine. If you can find the two together in a supplement, it makes sense to take them that way.
Lemon balm (a plant, Melissa officinalis, in the mint family) is another mild sedative. One study of 24 healthy volunteers published in Phytotherapy Research in 2006, found that a single dose of 600 mg of a product combining valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and lemon balm reduced reported anxiety.
Kava is from a plant called Piper methysticum. Though there has been controversy associated with its use, kava has a long history as an herbal medicine to relieve anxiety, stress and insomnia. A 2006 review of randomized clinical trials on herbal remedies that relieve anxiety published in Phytomedicine found evidence "beyond reasonable doubt" for kava's effectiveness in the treatment of anxiety. "It relaxes skeletal muscles without causing drowsiness, so you can become physically relaxed but remain mentally sharp within just 15 minutes of taking a product containing kava," Blumenthal said. Recommended kava products are 70% standardized extract, sold in 100 mg doses, thus containing 70 mg of kavalactones (it will say so on the label).
Blumenthal cautions against taking kava with alcohol or with drugs that have an adverse effect on the liver (e.g. acetaminophen, or Tylenol). Also, kava has been associated with some liver problems. It is not considered safe for breastfeeding women, pregnant women or people with a history of liver disease.
Lavender is associated with relaxation, often used as aromatherapy in spas and as an ingredient in supposedly soothing lotions and teas. Just breathing the aroma of natural lavender oil -- in a spray or infuser, or as a massage oil -- has a mild relaxing effect, Blumenthal told me.
While the above products can help ease tensions during the day, sometimes you need some additional help at night. According to Blumenthal, these sleep inducers may work as well as the popular pharmaceutical drugs, but without their adverse side effects:
Valerian is "a natural sleep aid and daytime sedative," Blumenthal said, adding that contrary to the popular myth, it is not related to the pharmaceutical drug Valium. Small doses of valerian can be used for calming during the day and higher doses as a sleep aid about a half hour before bedtime. Valerian can be taken in combination with lemon balm or other mildly sedative herbs (e.g. chamomile, hops, etc.), which makes it an even more powerful sleep aid.
Hops (Humulus lupulus) can also be helpful, according to Blumenthal. Yes, this is the same ingredient used in making beer -- it is a gentle sedative that promotes relaxation and is available in pills, as well as in tincture and bulk flower form in health food stores. It can be taken together with valerian, Blumenthal noted.
As a general precaution, do not take any of these products while pregnant or breastfeeding. While all are available at health food stores and online, it is important to take them only under the supervision of a trained practitioner. If anxiety and/or insomnia are more than an occasional problem, you may need to take a broader look at your life and make some changes -- whether it's delegating responsibilities at home to family members or professionals, or shifting job obligations or saying "no" to some committees. Anxiety is a message that something's not right. Natural or pharmaceutical, nothing will solve such problems except solving the problem itself. You can't take care of everyone if you don't take care of yourself.

Tilapia Tostada

Tilapia fish is just right for this dish. Some fish are too overpowing but Tilapia has a smooth mellow flavor with a mild, sweet-tasting fillets. It's turning out to be a favorite of mine. There are plenty of tilapia recipes to choose from because the tilapia fish is versatile and takes seasonings well. Be sure to try grilled tilapia for a real treat. You can also find tilapia recipes for baking, broiling, and frying.


4 flour tortillas (I useHigh Fiber Low Carb Low Fat Wraps for the added protein)

3 Tblsp olive oil

1 lb. tilapia

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 sm red onion, thinly sliced

1 heart romaine lettuce, thinly sliced crosswise

2 med tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1 avocado, quartered, skinned, pitted, and sliced lengthwise

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Feta Cheese(optional)
My Fresh Pico De Galo(recipe) Click link..
Roasted Garlic Juice Spray


1.Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
2.Brush tortilias with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Grill, flipping once or twice, until crisp, about 2 minutes. I set them on the grill about a minute and made rolled burritos.
3.Brush tilapia on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spary a fine mist of my favorite Roasted Garlic Spray, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Grill, flipping once, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. I found it hard to turn them, they get flakey, so I just cooked on one side with cover on grill. Let rest 4 minutes and pull into chunks with fork.
4.Place each tortilla on plate. Scatter on onion, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and radicshes. Lay tilapia pieces on top. Fan sliced avocado quarters over tilapia. Sprinkle fetta chesse.. Add a dallop of Pica de gallo. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!!
Makes 4 servings.
380 calories,26 grams protein, 19 grams fat.

My fresh from the garden home-made Pico De Gallo


4 medium tomatoes, seeded, chopped (2 cups) Sometimes I think it's best to just leave the seeds in. What harm can they do. Rouphage?

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

4 cloves garlic chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

1 large jalapeƱo chile, seeded, finely chopped

Tortilla chips, as desired


1. In medium nonmetal bowl, mix all ingredients. Cover; let sit at room temperature for about 3o minutes..

2. Serve with tortilla chips.

Cover and refrigerate any remaining salsa up to 5 days.

Jalapeno Peppers!
My wonderful garden. Lovely Cherry Tomatoes

Champion Fishermen's Choice..

Garlic Juice - Champion Fishermen's choice.

Thousand of fishermen each year buy our cold pressed garlic juice to use on their bait. They discovered that fish love garlic! Many have won fishing tournaments using it. They either spray it on or inject it into the bait. Injecting it allows the garlic to slowly ooze out and last a long time in water - and the fish are attracted to it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Margarita Grilled Corn on the Cob

8 ears fresh corn in husks
4 tsp. finely shredded lime peel (peel from 2 to 3 limes)
2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. chili powder
Small Limes (optional)


1. Carefully peel back corn husks, but do not remove. Scrub ears with stiff brush to remove silks. Rinse ears. Pull husks back up around corn. Place in large pot; cover with water. Soak 2 to 4 hours; drain well. Peel back husks and pat corn dry with paper towels.

2. For lime salt, in small bowl stir together lime peel and salt. Brush some of the butter on corn. Sprinkle lightly with lime salt and chili powder. Fold husks back around ears. Tie husk tops with strips of corn husk or 100% cotton kitchen string.

3. For charcoal grill, grill corn on rack of uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender, turning and rearranging occasionally. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place corn on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.)

4. To serve, remove ties from corn; peel back husks. Pass remaining butter, lime salt, chili powder, and limes for squeezing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Creamy Thyme Potato Gratin

Rich layers of potatoes seasoned with savory cream cheese, thyme and garlic and topped with crunch Parmesan bread crumb topping is perfect as a special occasion side dish.


4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced(about 4 cups)

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 ounces (1/2 of 8-ounce package) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss potatoes with melted butter, thyme, garlic salt and pepper in medium bowl.

2. Mix cream cheese and cream until blended. Layer 1/3 of potato mixture in 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture evenly over potatoes. Repeat layers, ending with potatoes. Mix parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in small bowl. Sprinkle over potatoes. cover with foil.

3. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and top is golden.


Friday, March 13, 2009

GOOD FACTS TO KNOW: 1. Budweiser beer conditions the hair 2. Pam cooking spray will dry finger nail polish 3. Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 minutes 4. Mayonnaise will KILL LICE, it will also condition your hair 5. Elmer's Glue - paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and blackheads if any 6. Shiny Hair - use brewed Lipton Tea 7. Sunburn - empty a large jar of Nestea into your bath water 8. Minor burn - Colgate or Crest toothpaste 9. Burn your tongue? Put sugar on it! 10. Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect stings too 11 Bee stings - meat tenderizer 12. Chigger bite - Preparation H 13. Puffy eyes - Preparation H 14. Paper cut - crazy glue or chap stick (glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals) 15. Stinky feet - Jello ! 16. Athletes feet - cornstarch! 17. Fungus on toenails or fingernails - Vicks vapor rub 18. Kool aid to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a cycle, it will also clean a toilet. (Wow, and we drink this stuff) 19. Kool Aid can be used as a dye in paint also Kool Aid in Dannon plain yogurt as a finger paint, your kids will love it and it won't hurt them if they eat it! 20. Peanut butter - will get scratches out of CD's! Wipe off with a coffee filter paper 21. Sticking bicycle chain - Pam no-stick cooking spray 22. Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a can in your garage for your hubby 23. Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls 24. When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch and watch them slide on 25. Heavy dandruff - pour on the vinegar ! 26. Body paint - Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the Crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice! 27 Tie Dye T-shirt - mix a solution of Kool Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the T-shirt and soak 28. Preserving a newspaper clipping - large bottle of club soda and cup of milk of magnesia , soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years! 29. A Slinky will hold toast and CD's! 30. To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with Colgate toothpaste 31. Wine stains, pour on the Morton salt and watch it absorb into the salt. 32. To remove wax - Take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb into the towel. 33. Remove labels off glassware etc. rub with Peanut butter! 34. Baked on food - fill container with water, get a Bounce paper softener and the static from the Bounce towel will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak overnight. Also; you can use 2 Efferdent tablets , soak overnight! 35. Crayon on the wall - Colgate toothpaste and brush it! 36. Dirty grout - Listerine 37. Stains on clothes - Colgate toothpaste 38. Grass stains - Karo Syrup 39. Grease Stains - Coca Cola , it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from car batteries! 40. Fleas in your carpet? 20 Mule Team Bora! x- sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours. Maybe this will work if you get them back again. 41. To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little Clorox , or 2 Bayer aspirin , or just use 7-up instead of water. 42. When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you 'squeeze' for freshness or softness? Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.. Each day has a different color twist tie. They are: Monday = Blue Tuesday = Green Thursday = Red Friday = White Saturday = Yellow. So if today was Thursday, you would want a red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)! The colors go alphabetically by color Blue- Green - Red - White - Yellow, Monday through Saturday. Very easy to remember. I thought this was interesting. I looked in the grocery store and the bread wrappers DO have different twist ties, and even the ones with the plastic clips have different colors. You learn something new everyday! Enjoy fresh bread when you buy bread with the right color on the day you are shopping. Don't forget Gatorade for Migraine Headaches. PowerAde won't work. Pass this information on to friends so they can be informed

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pomegranates may help prevent artritis, diabetes and other diseases!!

Pomegranate: The Wellness Fruit
This antioxidant-rich superfood may help protect against arthritis, diabetes and a long list of other diseases.
There are many good reasons to pick up a pomegranate: they're festive, seasonal, pack tons of antioxidants and, a new study suggests, may help to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease.
In a recent study from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, researchers gave mice either a daily dose of pomegranate extract or water, in addition to their regular food. Ten days later, the mice were chemically induced to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
After six weeks, all the water-treated mice developed arthritis, but only two-thirds of the pomegranate-treated mice did. When the pomegranate drinkers did develop arthritis, it tended to set in later and with much less severity. What's more, the pomegranate-treated mice had significantly lower levels of inflammatory compounds in their joint fluids, suggesting that the antioxidant polyphenols in pomegranate juice might short-circuit the inflammatory process that causes pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis.
Most studies link pomegranate’s benefits to its powerful punch of polyphenols—including anthocyanins (found in blue, purple and deep-red foods) and tannins (also found in wine and tea). In a study published earlier this year, researchers found that compared with other antioxidant-rich beverages including blueberry juice, cranberry juice and red wine, "pomegranate [juice] naturally has the highest antioxidant capacity," reports David Heber, M,D. Ph.D., study collaborator and director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
Arthritis is just the latest in a long list of conditions for which pomegranate juice shows therapeutic potential. Research suggests the fruit has benefits for the heart: studies have shown it may help to reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure. Other work found that when men with prostate cancer drank a cup of pomegranate juice daily, the increase in their levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of disease progress, slowed. Still more preliminary studies hint that pomegranate juice may help manage diabetes and erectile dysfunction.
Critics point out that much of this research, including the recent study out of Case Western, has been funded by PomWonderful—the leading pomegranate juice brand—which has poured some $25 million into clinical research involving the fruit. But others point out that the results—much of them published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals—speak for themselves.
Bottom Line: It's still too early to recommend drinking pomegranate juice to alleviate arthritis symptoms, but a cup a day of 100 percent juice delivers plenty of antioxidants that may provide other health benefits. Check with your doctor first, however, as pomegranate juice may interact with some medications, including statins. Don't forget fresh pomegranates—in season now. Although you don’t get as many tannins eating the seeds as drinking the juice, you will get a bit of fiber and abundant punicic acid, a polyunsaturated heart-healthy oil.