Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to Dehydrate Spinach and Swiss Chard

Lay spinach or Swiss chard leaves on dehydrator tray
I always seems to have more fresh spinach and Swiss chard than I can use in a week or so. I belong to an organic food coop and have a standing order for both these nutritious veggies but I need to use them fairly quickly to get the most value from them.

I use lots of Swiss chard and spinach in my daily green smoothie so I wondered if perhaps I could just dehydrate them and add them in dried form. It turns out I can easily dehydrate both spinach and Swiss chard.

Dehydrating veggies and fruits retains much of the nutritional value of these foods, plus dried fruit and vegetables takes up much less space in your pantry.

How to Dehydrate Spinach and Swiss chard.

These leafy vegetables are easy to dehydrate. 
  • Wash with water and pat dry
  • Cut thick stems from leafy parts
  • Chop stems into one inch pieces - You can dehydrate these too and toss them into soups and stews!
  • Lay leaves loosely on the trays of your dehydrator, allowing space for air flow around leaves. I usually put the stems and thicker pieces on the bottom rack so they get the most heat.
  • Set your dehydrator on 105 degrees
  • Allow veggies to dry for several hours. Check after about 4 hours and then every hour or so thereafter to find the time when they are crisp and all the moisture is evaporated.
  • Once your spinach or Swiss chard is dried, put it into a zip lock plastic bag and store out of sunlight. I usually label my bags with the contents and date so I use the oldest first.
It's easy to grow spinach and Swiss chard in a small garden space.

How to Use Dehydrated Spinach and Swiss Chard
  • Add dehydrated veggies to your morning smoothie like I do. I usually crumble them into powdery form first.
  • Add to soups and stews, then add a little more water to the broth because the dried veggies will absorb some liquid.
  • Add to stir fry
  • Crumble and add to bread or muffin mixes before you bake them
  • Crumble and add to salads as a topping.
Just about anyplace you'd use fresh spinach or Swiss chard, you can also use the dehydrated version.

Every since I learned how to dehydrate spinach and Swiss chard, I have a constant fresh supply of these nutritious veggies.  It's easy to grow these cold weather crops in a small garden area too. In this small bed pictured, I have some beets, collards, Swiss chard, mustard, parsley and fennel growing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to Prevent, or Possibly Cure Heart Disease

Is is possible to cure heart disease? Most of us know that a very healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease. In fact, heart disease is called a "lifestyle disease" because, even if you have genetic factors in your background, a healthy lifestyle can still keep you from getting heart disease.

Recently, I was told, despite living a very healthy life, that I had carotid artery disease. How could this happen when I exercise, eat right, and have low cholesterol and blood pressure? Plus, I have no family history of heart disease either.

I had a swelling in my neck and a Doppler of the area revealed "minimal" atherosclerosis.

A visit to a cardiologist helped to clarify the situation. He said that even though I'd lived a very healthy life for the past 10 years, plaque begins building up in the arteries in our late teens. My lifestyle choices had no doubt kept the plaque from getting worse.

He recommended just following up in a year or two but no medications. However, this episode led me to research heart disease a little more. I'd never felt I was at risk but now I was more interested.

What I found in my research is that many do think heart disease can be prevented certainly, but some think it can even be reversed once its established. Through diet, exercise, decreasing stress and different supplements, there are many things you can do, even if you've had a heart attack, have had heart surgery or are on various medications for heart disease.

I found a wonderful ebook, titled How to Prevent, or Even Cure Heart Disease, by cardiologist Robert D. Wilcox, Jr. Dr Wilcox was a conventional cardiac surgeon for 7 years but became discouraged with how little he saw conventional heart medicine really helping patients. He pioneered the use of alternative, natural treatments for heart disease and built a successful practice from this.

Dr. Wilcox explains in his ebook why diet and exercise is important and exactly what you should do. He also discusses different natural remedies for heart health and some that remove plaque from veins and explains the dosages he gives his own patients.

These remedies and natural solutions to heart disease are not expensive but your own cardiologist probably won't tell you about them, beyond the usual advice to improve diet and exercise habits. These natural remedies discussed in How to Prevent or Even Cure Heart Disease can be used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments as well and in fact, you should discuss them with your doctor if you have heart disease.

If you would like to prevent heart disease as you get older or if you already have heart disease, it's never too late to begin taking better care of yourself and being proactive about your health.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Natural Remedies for Bronchitis

Although I'm only very rarely sick, I recently I took a trip to visit family and came down with a cold which quickly went to my chest. Whenever I do happen to get a cold or something, I usually run through the phases in a matter of a day or two. However, if it goes to my chest, then I have a larger problem as I've been told by a doctor I have chronic bronchitis. If I want to protect my lungs, I know I have to avoid letting any cold get that far.

Having been through this before, as soon as I felt that familiar tightness and pain in my chest, I knew that I had to act fast to keep the severe congestion from taking hold. I started doing my usual immune boosting things but I also checked on to see what products people recommended. People with many different lung problems, from bronchitis to asthma to emphysema recommended a product called Clear Lungs. 

Since I needed it immediately, I went to the local herb shop to see if they had some, which they did.

Clear Lungs is a blend of Chinese herbs and the directions say to use it every 4 hours but that relief should be felt immediately. I took it every 4 hours the first and second day and then went to twice a day. I actually felt a lessening of congestion and the tightness in my chest within the first few hours.

I also added some Nutribiotic - Grapeseed Extract Liquid Concentrate, which kills bacteria and acts like a natural antibiotic. I just used it as directed. If you try Grapeseed extract, be sure and take some yogurt or probiotics with it, as it has the same effect as an antibiotic and kills all bacteria, both good and bad. Good bacteria is essential for proper immunity and digestion.

Another thing I did to get rid of the congestion fast was to use a vaporizer for two nights, along with the Clear Lungs and GSE taken orally. Within 2 days, I felt completely normal. If you've ever suffered from bronchitis, you know that many times the symptoms can stretch on for days or weeks.

Clear Lungs can be taken daily to maintain lung health. Many of the reviewers on Amazon said it helped them use an inhaler less for asthma and helped bronchitis and emphysema. I ordered some through Amazon so I can take it daily.

The best way to avoid illness is to keep your immune system in the healthiest condition possible. However, if you to feel you're coming down with any type of lung congestion, I highly recommend Clear Lungs. If you have a case of bronchitis, try Clear Lungs with Grapeseed extract and see if it doesn't help clear up the condition.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Raspberry Keytones for Weightloss

Have you tried raspberry keytones for weighloss? I saw this weight loss tip on Dr. Oz a couple months ago and decided to try it as it's an all natural weightloss solution. Myhusband and I started taking the 250 mg capsules daily and for us, it has been working.
Recently, we went on a 7 day cruise where there were huge amounts of delicious food. I'd just lost about 9 pounds and, even though the food was terrific, I didn't want to gain weight again. We took our raspberry keytone capsules with breakfast and lunch and walked after every meal and I didn't gain a pound!

If you want to try raspberry keytones for weightloss, I'd suggest also eating a healthy diet and cutting back portions. I became a vegetarian about 3 months ago and started cutting portions before I tried the raspberry keytones so I was already on my way to losing weight. If you eat large portions and don't cut back, I'm not sure if the keytones work as well.

These are the raspberry keytones I use, which you can buy on Amazon. They are also available from other online sources. I have a local Vitamin Shoppe and didn't find them there so Amazon was the easiest place for me to order.

Genetic Solutions Raspberry Ketones 100% Natural Weight Loss Supplement - 120 Capsules, 250 Mg (As Featured on Dr. Oz)