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April 4, 2007

What's in Your Garden?

Spring fever is at an all-time pitch. The calendar says it's spring. The sun's shining on my almost-created garden beds. The seeds I started a few weeks ago are looking forward to their new homes. But it's still too cold outside!

What's a backyard gardener to do, but extol the virtues of growing your own food? I hope that by the end of this short article I will have convinced you to consider planting something edible this spring. Even one little plant. How cool would that be?

Here are my top 3 reasons why...

Continue reading "What's in Your Garden?" »

May 29, 2007

Responsibility or Blame?

Responsibility or blame? Hearing vs. listening? Will we ever get it right?

This weekend, I had a great opportunity to eavesdrop in on a conversation about certain principles of organic gardening. They correspond almost perfectly with some principles we work with every day in the holistic health field. We'll explore them in the next article.

But first, I want to make sure you can hear me.

See, over in the gardening conversation, something also happened that's often replicated in our (holistic health) world. Some people confused responsibility with blame. Because they didn't get the distinction, they were confused and offended by the information the person who started the conversation intended to convey.

It's too bad. They listened, but they couldn't hear. Not only did they get their feathers ruffled unnecessarily, but ...

Continue reading "Responsibility or Blame?" »

June 1, 2007

Health and the Disease Triangle

An article in the current issue of Organic Gardening magazine caught my attention. Yes, I'm avidly producing a garden this spring. But that's not the first thing that popped into my mind as I read.

What I found really fascinating is that they were talking about a principle I've considered many times over the years -- in relation to human health. Oooh. This is interesting!

I did a little Internet research, and there it was. The same principle. "The Disease Triangle." Without wandering off onto the little path of "if the gardening people get this, how come the human health paradigm is so slow to pick it up," let's get right down to details!

See, this has really interesting implications, not just in the garden, but for your personal health and well-being.

Continue reading "Health and the Disease Triangle" »

June 7, 2007

Healthy Environment - Healthy You

Healthy environment - healthy you. It's often as simple as that. (The idea's simple at least!)

In our last two articles, we spoke first about looking around your life for areas where you can make a difference in what happens. No point wasting energy in an area where you can't make a dent. But if there's a good chance your action or intent can influence the positive result you desire, then you might as well dive in and get hopping.

Then we went on to explore three aspects of plant health that have interesting implications when we look at our own health and well-being: susceptibility of the host, the presence of a pathogen, and the condition of the environment. Today, we'll delve a little deeper into the mysteries of health and environment, for our plant friends as well as ourselves.

Our goal is to identify areas where our positive action or intent can influence the nearly universal desire to be truly healthy and feel good.

Continue reading "Healthy Environment - Healthy You" »

June 15, 2007

Tips for an Endless Summer

"Where did the time go?"

I've thought it and I'll bet you have too. And doesn't it just seem like summer flies past so much faster than winter does? :-) Of course that's perception. And perception can be shifted.

How would you like your summers to linger on and on? They can, of course, at least in the privacy of your own mind. The trick is simple and extremely inexpensive.

Ready to create your own endless summer?

It isn't really the passing of time that bothers us, you know. After all, aren't we eager for time to hurry up before an event we're excited about? Of course! People even get antsy waiting for retirement -- which if you think about it blows the whole "upset about the passing of time" conversation right out of the water.

It isn't really the passing of time that's the problem. It's the feeling that the time hasn't been used to its fullest advantage.

So let's get our brain cells clicking and use this summer well!

Continue reading "Tips for an Endless Summer" »

July 3, 2007

Food Independence for Newbies: 3 Tips

Happy Independence Day to all of my US readers! One of my most appreciated freedoms living in this country at the present time is the many options we still have regarding where our food comes from. Citizens of many other regions can say the same. We're all fortunate.

I suppose it can't go without saying that food choices are an integral part of anybody's healthy living plan. In fact, if we were to spell out a "gold standard" for healthy food choices, here are the basics that many of us would like to begin with:

1. Eat a variety of foods
2. Produced locally, in the same region you live in
3. Grown in fertile soil
4. With no chemical herbicides or chemical fertilizers involved
5. Freshly harvested or naturally preserved
6. By someone whose lifestyle and growing practices you are familiar with

It's a tall order, but a worthwhile goal to work toward. Most of us won't make that goal tomorrow, but this isn't a black and white issue. If last year you met the "gold standard" goal 10% of the time and this year you make 20%, then you're moving in the right direction.

But what if you're a complete newbie? Someone whose best sense of healthy cooking is a box of Hamburger Helper prepared at home? What if the list I just made comes as a complete surprise? What if you just picked up Kevin Trudeau's "More Natural Cures..." book and heard him say: "Do not eat any food produced or sold by a publicly traded corporation or a "brand name" product?" (Pg. 268)

Where is a motivated newbie supposed to start?

Here are 3 simple tips you can use right now to get moving in a healthier direction:

Continue reading "Food Independence for Newbies: 3 Tips" »

January 9, 2009

Healthy on a Budget: Must You Get Fat?

As if you didn't have enough else to worry about during these rough economic times, experts warn that there's yet one more threat to watch out for. You may get fat.

Yes, I've heard that there is a "proven" relationship between income and weight. Actually, the last time I saw this statistic quoted, it was based on neighborhood. In other words, you live in a low-income neighborhood, you eat like everyone else in the 'hood (perhaps due to limited options at the neighborhood store moreso than actual income), and you weigh more than the average person in a higher income neighborhood (with easy access to a better store).

Now, they assume that if your income goes down, your weight will go up. That you, the formerly high-end eater, will abandon fresh foods and go for more junk. Because, they say, "junk is cheaper." Oh gag.

You heard it here first. There is another way. Keep reading for one, just one, simple tip to help you avoid income-related weight gain. Do this, and you will not have to worry about buying an entire new wardrobe, next size up.

Continue reading "Healthy on a Budget: Must You Get Fat?" »

January 10, 2009

Healthy On A Budget: Food-Centric

Food-centric or recipe-centric? How would you describe yourself?

We tend to be a pretty recipe-centric culture. A big fan of The Food Network, I think you'd find that recipe-centric carries the day ... with the notable exception of one of my personal favorites, Iron Chef America. If you've never watched it, the challenge is to make 5 dishes featuring a particular ingredient in under an hour. Extraordinarily food-centric!

Even here in North Dakota, as I explored the Department of Agriculture's Holiday Showcase last fall, I noticed that most of the food entrepreneurs were recipe-centric. Not what I'd expected in this state where land is plentiful and agriculture is king. Nonetheless what was there.

Healthy on a budget says "Think Food-Centric."

Continue reading "Healthy On A Budget: Food-Centric" »

January 11, 2009

Healthy on a Budget: Rosemary

So you've hit the economic downturn and it's time to cut back. Food is one of the easiest places to scale down and you have. It's time for spartan, tasteless fare. Right?

Uhn-uh. Not on my watch!

Simple and inexpensive does not have to equal boring and bland. One of the most economically reasonable ways to bring a gourmet touch to your table is by using fresh, flavorful herbs. My personal favorite "cheap thrill" is the herb Rosemary, which I'm lucky enough to have available year-round. You can, too, even if you live in the North. I'll tell you how.

Continue reading "Healthy on a Budget: Rosemary" »

February 28, 2009

Healthy On A Budget in Real Life

Remember that ridiculous article I referred to a while back -- Will The Recession Make You Fat? We had a few "healthy on a budget" posts to explore some low-cost alternatives to eating a bunch of Happy Meals and breakfast cereal dinners.

Well, just this morning on Twitter, my friend @FarmerPhoebe turned up a wonderful resource! The Less Is Enough blog details a woman who is right now, even as we speak, doing a wonderful "dollar a day" 30-day healthy food project.

Granted in today's dollar, her program is a little more spartan than most of us would prefer for the long-term. From the sound of things, I expect even she would agree. But it's not bad! She's making healthy choices and making it work. Check it out if you have a minute. Send her some encouragement. She is, believe it or not, managing to consume real food.

March 10, 2009

Food Rules and Brilliant Physicians

Earlier today, I was captivated by a New York Times article. Michael Pollan (Author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma) asks readers to contribute their "food rules." I did -- my entry is on page 59. I hope you'll add your own "rules," too.

In today's Healthy Living post, however, I would like to excerpt from the very first comment added in reply to Mr. Pollan's request. It's by Dr. Joel Galati, a liver specialist (and apparently a very early riser). I am a new fan! Here's what he has to say:

"... As a physician, many of the ills we face are directly food related. How we eat, the rules we live by, are passed from one generation to another. It is clear now why we see diabetes, obesity, and heart disease in families. While genetics play a role, the eating “rules” are the same..."

— Joseph S. Galati, M.D.

Now that's my kind of talk! My own $ .02? Don't be afraid to challenge the rules. Sometimes the "black sheep" wins!

Continue reading "Food Rules and Brilliant Physicians" »

March 26, 2009

7 Reasons to Love Local Foods

This morning's New York Times shares a rather frightening shopper's experiment regarding the traceability of our food supply. A couple years ago I publicly speculated about trying to figure out where the Jolly Green Guy gets his peas. Well it turns out, that question really isn't so simple to answer. Out of 40 products that a team of federal investigators bought from a variety of supermarkets across the country, they could only trace the probable origins of 5 -- and 3 of the 5 were cartons of eggs! In these days of product ingredient contamination, that's a little scary.

I'm thinking that food grown close to home sounds better and better. How about you? Here are today's top 7 reasons to "Go Local."

Continue reading "7 Reasons to Love Local Foods" »

May 13, 2009

Fresh Food Has More Chi?

Food Energy affects every one of us every single day. Several years ago, I embarked upon a health-promoting journey that include answering the question "What should I eat to be healthy?" Of course good health involves more than simply what one eats, but food is important!

I was in consultation with an acupuncturist at the time, and he had a lot of ideas about what a person should eat. I decided to ask his opinion.

"Do you suggest," I asked, "That a person should eat organic foods whenever possible?"

"Not necessarily," the acupuncturist replied. "It all depends on which food has the best chi. You may find some conventionally-grown foods that have better chi than organic, in which case I'd go with the good chi."

Continue reading "Fresh Food Has More Chi?" »

June 7, 2009

Garden Visitors: Bunnies!

Awwww. We've got bunnies!

BabyBunnyMay09%20copy.gif

I've been gardening fast & furious the last few weeks, in an attempt to get a whole bunch of veggies planted out and protected from the elements. Things have not been dull. In fact, we've had visitors!

Notice that this little fellow is peeking "out" from inside the rabbit fence and not the other way around. It was his very first day outside the nest, and he really wanted out. Fortunately, "Operation Bunny Freedom" was a complete success.

Here's the story:

Continue reading "Garden Visitors: Bunnies!" »

August 4, 2009

Fresh Foods Taste Great!

Fresh local produce in season. Don't you just love it? Mmmm. I don't know about you, but I just can hardly wait for that first tomato of the season!

Fresh produce tastes great and it's good for you. In fact, it's National Farmer's Market Week! Hoo boy! To help you plan your shopping, the good folks at Rodale have just put together an informative article on tips for the farmer's market.

Once you've done your shopping, if you're interested in some cool veggie information (this might even get the kids interested) and fresh serving suggestions, check out the Fresh Garden Energy website. Creative collaborator Judy and I are just tweaking the finishing touches...

Elizabeth Eckert, Healthy Living & Wellness Coach

Elizabeth Eckert, PhD

I enjoy observing human nature and helping people get healthier. I'm the author of Word Cures, webmaster of the WordCures.com healthy living website, and an organic vegetable gardener. I hang out in spacious North Dakota with Max, my precocious pup. (more)

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About Foods & Gardening

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Healthy Living DIY in the Foods & Gardening category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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Note: The information and ideas offered here are personal opinions of a general nature. No opinion posted here constitutes medical advice, either general or personal. If you have a health concern, please consult with your medical doctor and follow his or her advice. The author disclaims responsibility for any misuse or misinterpretation of any opinion posted here.

(c) 2006-09 Elizabeth Eckert


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