Vitamin K- The Forgotten

Vitamin K is a group of compounds. There is K1 which is found in plants. K2 is synthesized in our intestinal tract and present in animal products and fermented food.

Vitamin K has a reputation for promoting blood clotting. It also contributes to strong bones and heart, lowering cancer risks, and protects against diabetes and internal bleeding. The body needs fat to properly absorb it. Vitamin K is stored in the liver and fat cells.

Dr. Cee Vermeer, a Vitamin K researcher, believes most people have a vitamin K deficiency. We may get consume enough to maintain clotting but most of us do not get enough to protect us from other health issues. National research says that only 25% of Americans receive the average requirement of 90-120 mcg of vitamin K.

Being deficient in the vitamin can have some far-reaching effects such as varicose veins, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, tooth decay, pneumonia and some cancers… lung, prostate, and liver and leukemia.

Vitamin K transports calcium through the body regulating clotting and plays a major role in platelet aggregation. It also promotes blood circulation in peripheral bodies and tissue. Vitamin K is also important when it comes to brain development and works in the nervous system by enabling metabolism of fats in brain cells. It also is said to stall degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s by enhancing your memory.

Chronic kidney disease is linked to Vitamin K as well. Low levels appear to play into the development of accumulation of calcium in small blood vessels of skin and fat tissue, to include kidney tissue.

Vitamin K has a low toxicity potential. People with blood disorders and pregnant women need to be careful in their consumption of the vitamin in food and supplement form. If you have a history of heart disease or stroke, you should consult your doctor before changing your vitamin intake.

Vitamin K plays a major role in overall health. Foods high in Vitamin K keep the blood healthy and the bones strong.

Here are some foods rich in vitamin K….

Kale and leafy greens

Natto (Japanese food made with fermented soybeans)

Brussel sprouts

Broccoli

Cabbage

Scallions

Prunes

Fermented dairy products

Asparagus

Fresh and dried basil

Soybeans

Cucumber

Extra virgin olive oil

Our body works hard to take care of us. We should do what we can to give it what it needs to do the work efficiently. I have been mean to my body but the more I learn, the more I want to do better. I thank my God and my body every morning for working hard to keep me alive to get one step closer to being who I am meant to be. Now I have to do my part to show my appreciation…..

Is Thanksgiving Important to Anyone Anymore?

thanksgiving191I will never forget the Thanksgivings that I experienced as a little girl. So much fun and family! Oh, how I missed the days when my family planned meals and I got a chance to play with cousins and eat all of the great food that my family made. My family has a bunch of great cooks! We ate until we were miserable, took, naps and got up and did it all over again. Ahhhhhh Family!

The true meaning of Thanksgiving for me is family, gratitude, and thankfulness. It should be a WHOLE day focused on spending time with family and friends enjoying each other’s company, good food, and a great football game. I honestly do not like the new era where we almost forget about Thanksgiving and go right into the Christmas holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, I just like to have that day to hang out with loved ones and eat and laugh the day away.

We cannot let this day go by and not teach our children what Thanksgiving meant to us when we were their age. I tell my boys what we used to hear and do and we have made our own traditions along the way because being a military family, we were rarely with family for the holidays.thanksgiving193

  • We watch the parades, football, and television specials.
  • We take time away from tv and devices to just hang out and talk with loved ones.
  • There is rarely any drama. People should put aside their differences for at least a day and be grateful for the time spent.
  • Talk about food. Who made what…what is in it. What is your favorite food?
  • We always say what we are thankful for in our prayers before eating. It teaches gratitude and I teach my boys this beyond the holiday.
  • Contributing to food shelters/banks and other charities help to make Thanksgiving about sharing and be thankful for the abundance that you have.
  • Prepare a dish or do a craft together. When I involve my boys in cooking, they seem to eat more. Crafts are just fun and they reinforce family time.

I like to shop for the holidays but I hate that for me to do it, someone has to take time away from their families to work. This holiday truly should be enjoyed but it can bring about as much stress as it does joy. From what I understand, there are many Americans that don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving anymore. Depending on the job or career you have, Thanksgiving is just a time for you to work and make someone else rich while you sacrifice time with your family.

thanksgiving192There is really is no hype of build-up to Thanksgiving anymore. There is no Black Friday excitement because the deals are already out there for the taking. Compared to Halloween and Christmas, we just can’t see that Thanksgiving has much of a presence at all and it is so sad.

Thanksgiving no longer has a central tone to it. Yes, we get excited about the football game and the food, but they rarely focus on the family getting together to be grateful and thankful for time with each other. Do they even bother to “sell” the holiday the way they do Halloween, Christmas, and the New Year? They may try to push a few cooking supplies or recall romaine lettuce again but ummmmmmm… (shrugs).

At the end of the day, I guess there is no way to really market Thanksgiving in a way that focuses on family and thankfulness because who can make money off of that right? The lack of marketing for it makes people forget about it more and more every year.

Well regardless of the lack of marketing, I plan on getting together with loved ones and stuffing my face and taking a few naps during the game. I plan on hearing plenty of laughter and talking between us all and remembering to be thankful for the opportunity to care for one another.

Wishing you the best Thanksgiving with your family and friends!!thanksgiving194

Eat everything! Laugh…cry…nap…cheer and eat leftovers all weekend.

Be grateful. Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Friendsgiving!

Sipping Tea: The Benefits of Chamomile

chamomileSo I am a lover of tea. I used to drink a lot of sweet tea but now I am strictly hot teas and I do not sweeten them so I try a lot of different flavors to get my mind off of wanting to sweeten them.

So chamomile is made using dried chamomile flowers. It is an herbal tea and most herbal teas are not safe for everyone. The potency of the tea does matter when it comes to chamomile. You have to brew it according to directions because if you are vulnerable to the tea, you could endure some side effects.  I would start with the tea bags and use them as directed and work your way up.

Chamomile is one of my favorites. It has been used for a lot of different health concerns. chamomile1Researchers have even started looking into it helping to manage cancer and diabetes and so far it has been showing some good signs. Thankfully for most of us, chamomile is safe to use as a supplement to other treatments but I would not try to replace my current medical treatments, especially if my illness is a serious one.

So what are the benefits?

  • Reduces menstrual pain. There have been studies that link the tea to reduced cramps. The study found that after drinking the tea for a month, women in the study reported less anxiety and distress that is associated with period pain.
  • Lowering Blood Sugar. Researchers have found that chamomile is not a viable substitute for diabetes meds but it has been found to lower blood sugar and can be used as a supplement.
  • chamomile2Slowing or preventing osteoporosis. The loss of bone density increases our risk for broken bones and posture issues and anyone can get it! It is more common in post-menopausal women due to the effects of estrogen. Chamomile tea may have an anti-estrogenic effect and also helps promote bone density.
  • Reduces Inflammation. Chamomile has chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation. As I am getting older, this has become an issue for me. I usually look to Tumeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties but this possible benefit is a plus.
  • Helping you sleep better and/or relax. In studies, there were patients that fell asleep shortly after consuming the tea, which also suggests that it does help to relax people. Many researchers believe that chamomile behaves like the medication, benzodiazepine, which is a drug that is used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
  • Treating a Cold. Anecdotal evidence and a few studies have shown that inhaling the steam from the chamomile tea can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. This has not been proven yet.
  • Treating mild skin conditions. A 1987 study found that applying chamomile extract directly to a wound can assist with wound healing. If you can find an ointment with chamomile in it, it may help with your eczema and mild inflammatory skin chamomile4conditions but it is not as good as hydrocortisone cream.
  • May promote digestive health. A few studies have shown that chamomile is helpful in preventing stomach ulcers because it may reduce the acid in the stomach and prohibit bacteria growth that contributes to ulcers. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it protects against diarrhea, nausea, and gas as well.
  • May improve heart health. The flavones have the potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important markers for heart disease risk.

Other benefits are improving skin health, relieves anxiety and depression, and boosting immune health.

chamomile3

Who should not consume chamomile tea?

  • People with a history of severe allergies, especially pollen. Chamomile may have pollen and other plant contamination so be careful.
  • People who have had a previous allergic reaction to chamomile, of course.
  • Infants and young children. It is similar to honey where it may be contaminated with botulism spores. Healthy adults can fight the infection but infants may not be able to.

IMG_4029

So, if you decide to try chamomile tea to treat an illness or condition, it should be used as a supplement to any medical treatments you are currently doing. It is definitely possible to see ongoing health improvements with regular doses, like 1-2 cups per day. Chamomile tea is a healthy drink that is rich in some powerful antioxidants that have varying health benefits. 

Try some today!

 

Feed Me: Baked Eggs with Bacon

bakedeggs1So I am in this new fancy kitchen of mine so I have been trying to make fancy food. I seriously have been wearing my little apron and everything acting like I am on Iron Chef or something. I am trying new, healthier dishes, trying new ingredients…it has been fun!

 

So it is breakfast time and you don’t have time to stand over the stove to fix your eggs and bacon…you have to try this.

I have giant children in my house and if you are like me, you have to make extra. It is a quick and easy prep and you can get dressed and have breakfast ready on those crazy days.

You will need:

  • 8 Large eggs
  • 6 cooked bacon slicesbakedeggs3
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh dill
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425. Stir all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In an ovenproof skillet, add the whipping cream and the dry ingredients together and simmer over medium-low heat. Break eggs into the mixture.

Bake until the whites of the eggs are set and the yolks are to your desired doneness. You can break the yolks or scramble the eggs if you prefer. Sprinkle the dish with the bacon and cheddar cheese. Serve with some toast and enjoy!

bakedeggsTry not to overcook. Eggs continue to cook after they are removed from the heat so be careful.

You can also make this dish with egg whites and spinach…my favorite!

Have a Good Morning!

Health Minute: Celery

celery3

When my babies were smaller, I used to love making “ants on a log” …that was their celery4favorite snack. “Ants on a log” is easy to make and is a tasty and healthy snack. All you need is celery, peanut butter, and raisins. BOOM! They didn’t even know how healthy that was..hehehehehe

Now that they are older, unless celery is in a recipe, I do not even purchase it very often…not until recently when I was refreshed on its benefits and how it can change your body.

They say that celery is made up of mostly water and holds no nutritional value. This iscelery2 not true! Celery provides us with a few health benefits.

Now, celery is made up of 95% water, that’s true but it is a vegetable that is very high in fiber,  which aids in digestion and promotes regular movement (we all need that!). When you eat it in combination with whole foods that are high in fat and protein (hello peanut butter, hummus), it is said to help you lose and maintain weight because it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer…..hello!

Celery has phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory properties. I usually looked to turmeric for this but that is a bonus. Phytonutrients are good for your liver function as well.  It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

celeryIf it is gonna benefit you like this, why not reintroduce it into your diet, I am! I actually wanna try it with hummus…I have never tried that because I can’t get past the look and the fact that I am a mom who nursed all of her children (baby poop)…but I am going to give it a go and see what happens.

Don’t forget that because it is made up of mostly water, it is a good source for hydration. We have to drink lots of water, especially during the summer. Staying hydrated is going to give us energy, keep our skin looking good, rids the body of toxins, and keep us from passing out in this heat because of dehydration.

So give celery another try….Here are some other benefits….

  • Lowers inflammation
  • reduces high cholesterolcelery1
  • treats high blood pressure
  • fights infection
  • cures bloating and improve digestion
  • reduces the risk of UTIs
  • boosts your immune system
  • improves your mood
  • fights cramps
  • reduces blood sugar
  • improves eye health
  • boosts energy and brain health

let’s go!!

Around Town: Fayetteville’s Circa 1800

img_7662I love to eat! That’s the truth and trying out new a place is part of the fun. I have been living in North Carolina for some years now and I can honestly say that I had never spent that much time hanging out downtown until 2018. So now that I want to do more around here than go to work, church, and go home, I am out here looking for what ol’ Fayetteville has to offer.

img_7657I have been to Circa 1800 a few times and I have always found the atmosphere wonderful. The staff treats you well and they always look put together and smiling. They make you feel like you are one of the most important people in the restaurant by being extra attentive to your needs. The menu is short and sweet and the drinks are all divine. It seems that most people are there for the chocolate martini.

I have had the pork chop before, but I had the shrimp and grits recently……all I can say is wow! Everything is so tender and seasoned with perfection. Myimg_7654 portion of shrimp and grits was enough for three meals and so so good. I also had their southern spring rolls that are made with their collard greens…..OMG!! They were so delicious and again…seasoned to perfection. I am not a sauce person but I even dabbled in that and it was marvelous. My drink was water(always water) but I just had to have a glass of wine so I went for their Moscato which was perfect with my meal.

img_7658.jpgIf you live in the Fayetteville North Carolina area and have never tried Circa1800, I would say it is one stop you have to make. The atmosphere is more on the fancier side so make it a date night where you have time to walk around downtown before or after your meal. The prices are more than the typical restaurants around town but the money is worth the atmosphere, service, and dinner that you will experience.

And do not skip dessert here, which I usually do. The bananas foster is absolutely wonderful!img_7659-1