Archive for the 'Kids Health' Category

Yoga & Food Inc.

I am fresh out of a screening of Food Inc. hosted by one of the brains behind Best Tools For Schools (www.toolsforschools.ca), Candace Derickx.  The documentary seemed to become a trending topic on Twitter one evening and many individuals invited their passion to shine through with opinions, sharing knowledge and wisdom.  Since many of us had yet to see Food Inc it was kind of Candace to open her home to us to view the movie. I think my lovely husband was slightly hesitant  with me watching this documentary after the impact that Fast Food Nation (http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Food-Nation-Dark-All-American/dp/0060938455) had on our eating habits. He knew I would be coming home with other diet related changes we would need to change.

Watching this amazing documentary my thoughts continued to come back to the yoga principle ahimsa (http://littlelotusyoga.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/yoga-seeing-the-whole-picture-part-1/) Ahimsa translates to non-harming. Non-harming to not only ourselves and those around us (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally), but to the environment, animals and property.  Ahimsa is the first yama (translates to personal restraint) in the 8 limbs of yoga. When you hear yoga you may think of movement, exercise or meditation. However, yoga movement (asana) is only 1 component of the 8 parts of yoga.  Food Inc reminded me that I have been taking such an important principle for granted and I was shocked back to reality.  How I had begun to lose my focus when it came to the food we were preparing for our family?

As a country girl, born and raised, I saw where a lot of our food was coming from. The chicken I ate came from my own backyard. I saw the chicks grow to chickens; they would run around freely and were feed properly. Our turkey came from our neighbour. Our eggs came from up the road and we were invited to get our own in the morning, still warm to the touch.  Our beef was bought in bulk from a local farmer whose cows we would see regularly roaming the fields and were well taken care of. Maple syrup was always local, freshly made and for a few years was made in our own backyard.  During the summer and fall neighbours would bring us fresh vegetables from their gardens and I loved picking berries (probably eating more than we actually picked as kids!) at the local berry farm’s where we had seen the berries grow in abundance.

I am afraid to say that I took all our fresh food for granted. As a child, growing up in the country, it was part of my life. Sure we went to the grocery store for various items weekly, but the local farms were in abundance in our family food supply as well.  I care too much about my families’ health, the environment, the animals of the world, and our planet earth to take any of this for granted anymore.  I am pledging to come back to my yogic roots and continue to think about how I can apply ahimsa on a daily basis.  What have you been doing to ensure your family is eating wholesome, nutritious, local food that is not part of a vicious chain of chemicals, processed foods and maltreated animals? What are you willing to change as a family to help protect our planet Earth?  Together, one person at a time, we can change how the food we eat is developed and processed. We can demand that the food we eat come from properly treated animals and plants. It’s time we step up to large corporations who are changing our food chain without informing the public of what we are actually eating. I challenge you from my heart to yours to continue to educate yourself on this topic and be active!

Buckwheat Honey for a Cough and Your Health

It’s always fun to share something that is good for you and tastes good too. Buckwheat honey is a staple is our house and this is why.

From Good Housekeeping magazine “Buckwheat honey is a safe alternative to OTC cold meds, say Penn State researchers: It’s actually more effective than dextromethorphan, a common cough syrup ingredient.  Study leader, Ian Paul, M.D., recommends 1/2 teaspoon for ages 1 to 5, one teaspoon for 6 to 11, and two teaspoons for 12 and up every couple of hours as needed.”

I use buckwheat honey everyday in my tea as an alternative to sugar.  Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels has a positive effect on overall health, and honey seems to contribute to this goal. In a recent study of thirty-nine male and female athletes, following a workout, the participants ate a protein supplement blended with a sweetener. Those who ate the supplement sweetened with honey, as opposed to sugar or maltodextrin, enjoyed the best results. They maintained optimal blood sugar levels for two hours following the workout and enjoyed better muscle recuperation.

One of the main health benefits of buckwheat honey is related to the honey’s dark color. It has been established that dark honeys are generally richer in antioxidants than lighter colored honeys. This is because the antioxidants that are present in honey are one of the chemicals which give it color. Honey made from buckwheat flowers contains a type of antioxidant called polyphenol, which gives the honey its distinctive dark copper color.

Darker honeys such as buckwheat also tend to contain more vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidants. Buckwheat honey is a minor source of eighteen amino acids. This type of honey also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can hasten wound healing and may even reduce scarring.

One of the factors that gives honey made from buckwheat some of its nutritional benefits is that it is a monofloral honey. This means that the honey is entirely made from buckwheat flowers, and is not blended with other types of honey that may contain fewer antioxidants or other nutrients. Raw honey may be even more beneficial, as some of the honey’s nutrients may be destroyed when it is heated during processing.


 

Candace also blogs for
the Yummy Mummy Club!