• Still Time to Plant Some Veggies!

    I just got back from a two week trip visiting family and friends. It was great and so glad to be home. I took a survey of my potted vegetable garden and it fared pretty well, thanks to a friend coming by to water.

    I was surprised to find beans and bell peppers since there were no flowers when I left. Since I’m still new to this blogging thing I fortomatogot to take photos BEFORE picking, so here is some of what I have now.

    There is nothingspa plants soooo tasty as fresh picked veggies for your meal and way more healthy without the pesticides used by most growers!    Next best thing is getting produce from your local Farmer’s Market.

    If you have never tried growing your own veggies because you feel you don’t have space maybe this will change your mind.    Kale

    As you can see, I use pots of all different shapes, sizes and types. I started using the cloth variety last year. I got ‘Smart Pots’ and they held up very well and the big ones were light enough for me to bring inside when it started snowing. Yes, Fir tomato 4.2014I grew tomatoes all winter inside next to a West facing window.

    If you are thinking it’s too late to get started, well it is not. Check you local nursery, they may even have started putting everything on sale! I live in the high dessert area on the East side of the Oregon Cascade Mountains. This  area has a very short growing season outside so most everything that is left is on sale. Before I went on my trip, the end of July, I saw tomato plants with green tomatoes on sale at Bi-Mart.

    If there are no plants to be had, get a packet of lettuce, spinach or radish seeds. They are pretty easy to get started and have a short seed to table time. Once planted the big thing to remember is to keep them moist! I use a spray bottle until the sprouts are about an inch or two tall and then water from a container. Plants in pots need to be regularly fed with fertilizer unless you purchased the special planter fertilizer soil mix. I usually start the seeds in small containers and then transplant them into a larger pot, except for the radishes and carrots. Root veggies don’t transplant very well.

    Here are a couple Curly leaf lettuces ready for transplanting and also a photo of one that I transplanted two weeks ago before my trip. Once I transplant these two little guys I will planlettuce sproutst more seeds so I’ll have a continual crop of lettuce.

    Curly Lettuce

     

     

     

     

    To keep the little bugs and the bigger critters away, I regularly mist my produce with a Peppermint essential oil spray. It is easy to make and safe to ingest for people and pets.

    spray bottle

    Just mix

    • 8 ounces of water in a spray bottle
    • with ½ teaspoon natural soap (ex: Liquid Castile Soap)
    • and 12 drops of Peppermint essential oil. Buy it

    It is best to use a glass bottle so if you are using a plastic spray bottle be sure to store the leftover in a labeled glass jar.

    This also works well on keeping ants and spiders away too! Check out this blog

    I only use a specific high grade of Essential Oils (since I will be eating my plants, I want to make sure my oils are pure and free of non-desirables)

    Purchase Essential Oils at Retail or to get a Wholesale 25% DISCOUNT (noselling required) or Contact me Kathy@kathyskinner.com

    Well, I’m off to water, feed and tell my plants how proud I am of how well they grew while I was away.

    NOTE: The advice shared in document has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. Kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance – thus helping the body’s natural defenses to restore homeostasis

    August 11, 2014 • Essential Oils, Healthy Hints • Views: 1327

  • PREVENTING HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES

    Despite the fact that most heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, a significant number of people die and suffer from extreme heat events every year in the U.S., say health officials.

    Did you know that from 1979 to 2003 (the most recent stats I could find), more people died in the United States from extreme heat than from the combination of hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes? Fortunately, most heat-related deaths and illnesses are PREVENTABLE, according to U.S. health officials.

    What is Heat-thermometora Heat-Related Illness?

    A heat-related illness is a medical condition that may occur as a result of heat exposure. Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Heat-related illness encompasses a wide range of conditions, from minor illnesses to life-threatening medical emergencies, even death.

     

    Recognizing the Symptoms:

    Heat Rash – is caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. And looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters.

    Heat cramps: strenuous activity or exercising in the heat causing painful muscle spasms in the arms, legs, or abdomen. Usually the body temperature is normal the skin will feel moist and cool, but sweaty.

    Heat syncope (fainting): generally the sudden onset of dizziness or fainting after exposure to high temperatures. The pulse may be weakened, and the heart rate is usually rapid. As with heat cramps, body temperature is normal the skin is pale and sweaty but remains cool.

    Heat exhaustion: is a warning that the body is getting too hot. Some signs may be nauseous, giddy, thirsty, weak, and sweating profusely. Again, the body temperature is usually normal with the skin usually cold and clammy. The heart rate (pulse rate) is normal or elevated.

    Heat stroke: is a serious, life-threatening condition that occurs when the body loses its ability to control its temperature. Heat stroke is the most severe and often fatal form of heat-related illness, and requires immediate medical attention.

    A symptom is a fever that rapidly rises to dangerous levels within minutes, usually above 104 F (40 C). Confusion, combativeness, bizarre behavior, feeling faint, staggering, strong rapid pulse, dry flushed skin, and lack of sweating are other symptoms. Delirium or coma can also result from heat stroke.

     

    What to Do:

    • Move the person to a cool spot (shade) and a restful position and help them rehydrate by sipping cool liquids if possible (avoid carbonated drinks or alcohol)
    • Apply a cool damp cloth to the forehead, the back of the neck, the bottoms of the feet, and the chest or neck. Add Peppermint essential oil if you have it. (Sponge bath or body bath if extreme body temperature rise.)

    While heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion may all be present in mild degrees, you should always contact a doctor or seek emergency medical attention if the symptoms of these conditions are severe or worsen with time. Heat stroke is a true medical emergency. If a person has the symptoms of heat stroke, you should notify emergency services (911) immediately.

    Water drinking

    The Best Defense is Prevention!

    • Drink more fluids (water is best), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
    • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, caffiene or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps so you might want to avoid them.
    • Stay indoors and, if possible, in air-conditioned room. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
    • NOTE: Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
    • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
    • NEVER leave any person or animal in a closed, parked vehicle, even if the windows are a little open it will still become a ‘Hot-house’ is a very short amount of time.

    If you must be out in the heat:

    Take the time for proper planning and preparation, such as bringing along extra water for increasing fluid intake, wearing appropriate clothing and sunscreen, remaining in a cool environment, acclimating yourself to the hot environment, and using common sense. For example:

    • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
    • Cut down on exercise
    • Try to rest often in shady areas

    Any one of us at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, but some people are at greater risk than others. Be attentive and caring by check regularly on infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, those who have a mental illness or are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.

     

    REFERENCES:

    Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008

    Minnesota Department of Health

    NCEH’s Health Studies Branch

    NOTE: The advice shared in document has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. Kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance – thus helping the body’s natural defenses to restore homeostasis

    July 19, 2014 • Essential Oils, Healthy Hints • Views: 1443

  • How Your Food Is Served = How Much You Eat!

    Bag-of-Potato-Chips-7466339

    Did you know that how your food is SERVED, can greatly influence how much you eat? I’m not talking about how ‘pretty’ it looks but rather the size of the container.

    Many studies have repeatedly shown that we serve ourselves up to 45% more food when the package we’re serving from is the BIGGER bag/box! 

    Here are some other serving pieces we need to be aware of:

    • Size of the utensils Just a couple of scoops of anything can add up really fast when the scoop is the size of a shovel. Soooo, be sure to use measuring cups and spoons! If possible serve with a tablespoon and eat with small flatware.         ServingSpoon_2-750px
    • Size of the plate – When you use a smaller plate, it looks as if it holds more food – which means your eyes are telling your brain which tells your stomach that this plate of food will be more filling.
    • Height and width of drinking glassesTall skinny glasses appear to hold much more than short, wide ones – another way to fool your eyes into thinking that your stomach will be getting more.

    Another way to put more control into the portions you are serving up is to serve up in the kitchen instead of at the table. When serving dishes are on the table, it’s just too easy to have “just another spoonful”. The only serving dishes you should keep on the table are those holding low-calorie veggies and salads.

    The color or pattern of your plate can affect your ability to visualize how much you’re eating. When there’s a large contrast between the color of the food and the color of the plate, – picture a dark square of chocolate cake on a bright white plate – it’s easier to visualize the portion, which makes it easier to control how much you are eating. Just think back to the last time you had a Chocolate Brownie alamode with chocolate drizzle on a white plate. You could really see what you were getting! It looked so yummy, too! Unfortunately if you were at a restaurant it was probably 4 times a regular serving size and served on a large plate. I hope you had a few people to share it with.

     

    All this talk of Portion Sizes helps us realize what we need to do to maintain or get to a Healthy weight but sometimes we just need a little help to keep use on track. Did you know that Essential Oils are a natural way to help curb your appetite and they give you Health Benefits, too!

    Here are two Essential Oils that can do just that.

    Grapefruit Essential Oil bottle Grapefruit Essential Oil – Helps manage hunger cravings, fights cellulite. Supports healthy metabolism. Helps reduce mental and physical fatigue. Helps with sore muscles and joints. Helps lifts mood. Helps purify and cleanse the body. Just add 2-3 drops into a glass of water and drink first thing in the morning and through out the day. Add 5 drops to a Tablespoon of a carrier oil (I use Fractionated Coconut Oil) and rub on trouble spots after your shower.

    Slim & Sassy, the Metabolic Blend is a doTERRA proprietary formula of grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon essential oils. Just add 2-4 drops to 16 oz. of water and drink between your healthy meals throughout the day to help manage hunger, calm your stomach, and lift your mood. Can also rub on trouble spots (see Grapefruit above) The Slim & Sassy blend is pure essential oils, does not contain diuretics or stimulants, and has zero calories.

    Now I’m not recommending just any essential oil because not all oils are created equal! Most are made synthetically or have synthetic essential oils in addition to ‘pure’ essential oil. Click HERE to learn more about the different purity and quality of essential oils brands.

    If you would like to make a retail purchase or get a 20 – 25% DISCOUNT Click HERE or contact me Kathy@kathyskinner.com

    It can be really tough to figure out what a “normal” portion size is, especially when restaurants and not to mention some well meaning family members fill our plates to overflowing.

    While most of us know the basics about nutrition, it’s time we take a few minutes to rethink how much we eat. It’s just as important as what we eat!

    Check out this blog post: Getting Your Portions Back on Track

    Cheers!

    Kathy

    NOTE: The advice shared in document has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. Kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance – thus helping the body’s natural defenses to restore homeostasis

     

    July 8, 2014 • Essential Oils, Healthy Hints • Views: 1981

  • Portion Sizes for Animal & Plant Proteins

    overflowing plate of food

    Most of us don’t get enough lean animal & plant proteins. I continually recommend having a serving with every meal and snack. Check out the portion sizes below. You will notice that not a handful but rather just 1/4 – 1/3 cup of seeds or nuts make a great snack or topping for a salad. So if you are grabbing a “handful” you are probably eating two servings. That is great for upping your protein but not so good calorie-wise.

    The thickness and circumference of the palm of your hand is about the right portion size for low-fat animal Proteins, Nuts &  Seeds or more specifically:

    Cooked Proteins of lean red meat, poultry, or fish – 2-3 ounces

    1 egg

    Cooked beans, tofu, or tempeh – 1/2 cup

    1/3 cup nuts (about 22 almonds)

    Nut butter – 2 tablespoons

    Milk or Yogurt – 1 cupIce-Cream

    Cottage cheese – 1/2 cup

    Cheese – 1 1/2 ounces (4 stacked dice)

    Ice Cream – ½ cup

    Women aim for 4-8 servings of protein and 2–3 servings of dairy

    Men aim for 7–12 servings of protein and 2-3+ servings of dairy

    Contact me for a chart showing Hand Serving Sizes

    Kathy@kathyskinner.com

    Click HERE to learn how your food is served and how it can influence the amount you Eat!

    Have an AMAZING Day!

    Kathy

    July 1, 2014 • Healthy Hints • Views: 2224

  • Serving Size of Complex Carbs, Simple Sugars & Fats by Using Your Hand

    measuring cups and spoons

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m out and about I’m not carrying around a set of measuring cups or spoons. So I like using my hand which is always with me 🙂 It helps me to recognize a serving size which helps me with my portion control and therefor my calories.

    One Serving Size of Complex Carbs & Whole Grains, Legumes & Vegetable Proteins, Starchy Fruits & Vegetables are about the volume of a clenched fist or more specifically:

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    • 1 slice of bread
    • Cooked grain like bulgur, oats, rice, or pasta – 1/2 cup
    • Cold cereal – 3/4 cup
    • 1 medium potato
    • Corn – 1/2 cup

    Women aim for 4–6 servings per day

    Men aim for 6–9 servings per day

     

    Simple Sugars, Dressings & Spreads are

    LESS than diameter & thickness of thumb

    or more specifically:Thumb

    • Oils, butter, margarine, or mayonnaise – 2 teaspoons of oil
    • Regular salad dressing – 2 tablespoons

    Women aim for 4–8 servings per day

    Men aim for 8–12

     

    Don’t try to remember all of this at once. Just work at remembering one type of food group at a time and once you have it down add in another.

    Next post I’ll give portions for Proteins, both animal and non-animal.

    June 24, 2014 • Healthy Hints • Views: 3296

  • Getting Your Portions Back on Track

    It’s that time of the year when we start peeling off the clothing layers and discover what’s been hiding underneath. Whether you are dismayed or happy at what you find, this is a good time to re-evaluate our eating habits. After checking to make sure I am drinking all my daily water, I look at my portions.

    It’s amazing how more food seems to creep onto my plate! Even ‘healthy’ foods need to be portioned correctly.

    A PORTION is how much food that we eat in a sitting, for a meal or snack. The first step to mastering portion control is to identify what a RECOMMENDED SERVING of your food selections looks like. So when you have a meal that includes some meat, vegetables and grain, for example, you’ll notice how many servings of each you have on your plate.

    Today, let’s start with what ONE serving of Fruit or Vegetables loFruit oks

    One Serving of high water contents whole Fruit & Veggies are about the circumference & thickness of spread out hand or more specifically:

    Cooked vegetables – 1/2 cup

    Raw leafy vegetable (like lettuce) – 1 cup

    Vegetable or fruit juice – 1/2 cup

    Fruit can be 1 medium fruit (about size of a baseball);

    1/2 banana

    Melon or fresh berries – 1 cup

    Dried fruit – 1/4 cup

    Women – at least 2 fruit servings and 3 vegetable servings a day

    Men – at least 3 servings of fruit and 4 of vegetables.

    Next time we’ll talk about starchy fruits and vegetables along with carbs and grains.

    See you then,
    Kathy

    P.S. If you are struggling with emotional eating, check out my post Dealing with Emotional Eating

    June 21, 2014 • Healthy Hints, Mind Managing • Views: 1779