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grow-your-own

8 Vegetables to Plant This Spring

If you want to improve the nutritional quality of your food, there is no better way than to grow it yourself! You know the produce is fresh, and you can control the quality of the soil it grows in. Since spring is just around the corner, it is time to be thinking about what to plant in that garden. Here are some ideas for some vegetables and when to plan them:

 

Arugula

This plant adds a nice zest to dishes! The seeds should be planted as soon as the soil is workable. They will grow fast—you should have a harvest in 3-4 weeks. You can replant it every 2 weeks until the weather becomes too hot.

 

Beets

There are many varieties of this vegetable. You can venture into new territory and try a yellow or white variety instead of the classic red. These provide an early summer harvest. They like a bit of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to help them along.

 

Broccoli

Broccoli is filled with anti-oxidants and is a nutritional powerhouse. It can be transplanted as early as 4 weeks before the last frost date (which in our area is April 15). Broccoli will take 50-100 days to harvest.

 

Carrots

Who doesn’t love a great snack of carrots! The seeds can be planted as early as two weeks before the last frost date. Plant them deep in loose soil. If you want baby carrots, they can be harvested in 30-40 days. For full mature carrots, they will require 50-80 days.

 

Peas

Peas come in several varieties: English, green, sugar, or snap. It might be fun to experiment and try all of them! These can be planted 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Approximately 55-70 days later, you should be ready to reap your harvest.

 

Lettuce

This vegetable can be grown at any time. Begin your planting as soon as the soil is workable. It prefers partial shade, so it will grow in areas where some other things won’t do as well. Lettuce is sensitive to cold, so if we have a cold snap, covering them with blankets can protect them.

 

Onions

No matter which type you prefer, these can be planted early. Onions do best with time-released fertilizer.

 

Radishes

These can be planted in between other veggies, because they don’t require much room. They need well-drained soil, and no feeding is necessary. Radishes grow quickly, so check them often. They should be picked once they are an edible size to avoid becoming bitter. Plant them as early as 4 weeks before the last frost.

 

What are you going to plant this season? Anything unusual? We’d love to hear your gardening stories—they’re an inspiration to us all to get our hands in the dirt!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/3-tips-for-pain-free-gardening/

http://maronewellness.com/more-tips-for-pain-free-gardening/

 

colorful-fruits

Use the Color Wheel to Plan Your Menu

We always seem to be on the lookout for one “superfood” that will solve all of our health problems. However, the truth is that health comes best through a variety of foods—especially in a variety of colors, because each color offers different nutritional benefits. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain both antioxidants and phytochemicals which can reduce the risk of many chronic health issues including cancer and heart disease.

These are the different colors along with the foods that fit into that category and the health benefits they bring.

 

White

Foods

Bananas

Cauliflower

Garlic

Mushrooms

White onions

 

Benefits

The natural plant pigments in these foods have shown in studies to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. They also reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

 

Orange and Yellow

Foods:

Apricots

Cantaloupe

Carrots

Mangos

Orange Peppers

Papaya

Peaches

Pumpkin

Sweet Potatoes

Yellow Peppers

 

Benefits:

These foods contain carotinoids that help to keep our eyes healthy. Orange and yellows reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and also provide an overall boost to our immune system.

 

Red

Foods:

Beets

Cherries

Cranberries

Pink Grapefruit

Pomegranates

Raspberries

Red Cabbage

Red Grapes

Red Peppers

Rhubarb

Strawberries

Tomatoes

Watermelon

 

Benefits:

This color contains lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene is helpful in reducing the risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer, and anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that keep our cells protected from damage by free radicals.

 

Green

Foods:

Artihokes

Asparagus

Avocados

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Green Cabbage

Kiwi

Lettuce

Green Onions

Peas

 

Benefits:

Greens are rich in anti-oxidants which promote eye health, reduce risk of cataracts, and protect against some types of cancers.

 

 

Blue and Purple

Foods

Blackberries

Blueberries

Eggplant

Prunes

Plums

Purple Grapes

 

Benefits

Blue and purple foods contain anthocyanins which protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

 

Each color has its benefits. If we make sure we get a good balance of all of them, we can increase our chances of vibrant health!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/eating-healthy-you-can-stick-with-it/

http://maronewellness.com/10-tips-to-eat-healthy-on-a-budget/

 

Photo by ja ma on Unsplash
A-Cup-Of-Tea

The Best Teas for Your Health

This is great weather for a hot cup of tea! Not only does tea warm you up, but it can also contain some important health benefits. If you choose herbal or lesser processed teas, these are some of the primary benefits of many popular teas.

 

Rooibos

Pronounced ROY-boss, this tea comes from Africa and is known as red tea. It contains alpha hydroxy acid which is used to regain youthful looking skin. It has anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory properties which help to alleviate pain caused by inflammation. Rooibos contains ingredients which work as a broncodilator to help with allergies and asthma. The Quercetin in Rooibos can even prevent allergies from triggering in the first place. This tea also has been shown to help control diabetes and support heart health.

 

Chamomile

This herbal tea has a number of uses. It helps with insomnia. It boosts our immune system. If you get a cold, a cup of this tea can relieve your symptoms. Chamomile is known for relieving digestive issues such as indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and nausea. Applying it to the skin can treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff.

 

 

Peppermint

Even though there hasn’t been much research done on this herb, it has been used for years to settle an upset stomach, relieve a headache, soothe irritable bowel syndrome, and to help with breathing.

 

Ginger

Ayurveda refers to ginger as the universal medicine because it is good for so many things. It helps the body absorb nutrients. IBS and stomach pain can be alleviated with ginger. It is also used for weight loss, to fight cancer, and to help diabetics manage their glucose levels. Ginger is helpful for better circulation and digestion. It can protect against Alzheimer’s disease. One of the benefits it is most known for is its ability to reduce inflammation.

 

Echinacea

This herb fights the flu. It lowers blood sugar. Research is promising that it may lower blood pressure. It is also known for reducing inflammation.

 

Nettle

Those with osteoarthritis find a friend with nettle in reducing their inflammation. This herbal tea is also a good blood cleanser. It helps the body to rid itself of stored toxins. Nettle also helps to lower blood sugar and reduce allergic rhinitis.

 

Green Tea

Although it is not an herbal tea, green tea has been shown to improve brain function in the short term as well as lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s in the long term. Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost metabolism. It also kills bacteria which can cause bad breath and dental carries. It also shows promise of lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

 

Herbal teas are powerful medicine. As with any other herb, be sure to check with your health professional before adding them to your diet. Some of them can also cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. It is wise to begin slowly and give your body time to react to the tea before you drink additional cups.

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/rosemary-herbal-memory-remedy/

http://maronewellness.com/healthy-benefits-turmeric-curative-spice/

http://maronewellness.com/can-you-stomach-ginger-binge/

http://maronewellness.com/herbal-remedies-chronic-sinusitis/

 

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

holiday-parties

Holiday Overeating? Eat These Foods to Help

Have you overeaten or eaten more than you intended to over the past few days/weeks? If so, here are a few good foods to help get your body back to normal and feeling better quickly.

 

  1. Yogurt. In our gut we have “good” bacteria that help to digest food and “bad” bacteria that can potentially be harmful. When we eat poorly, the “bad” bacteria can overtake the “good” bacteria. Eating yogurt helps to put “good” bacteria in our gut to counteract the “bad.” This will help to prevent gas and diarrhea.
  2. Ginger. Ginger stimulates the production of saliva, bile, and gastric enzymes. These keep food moving from your stomach through to your small intestines to reduce gas production. One of the best ways to get ginger is to make a cup of ginger tea. It is also good in salads and smoothies.
  3. Salmon.  The Omega 3s are good for your heart, which can be stressed with an unusual diet. The protein in salmon helps to stabilize blood sugar and may prevent blood sugar spikes after a meal that is overloaded with carbs.
  4. Nuts. Several types of nuts are good for the heart. Almonds and walnuts are some of the best. The Vitamin E in nuts also protects the arteries.
  5. Bananas. Much holiday food is loaded with sodium. Bananas will help to lower blood pressure which can rise after a sodium-rich meal.
  6. Green Tea. The flavonoids in green tea assist in lowering LDL, the “bad” cholesterol and also help to get high blood pressure back to normal.
  7. Spinach. The Vitamin B2 in spinach helps to metabolize fat. Our bodies have to work hard after a binge; B2 gives our body a boost. The vitamins in spinach also fight disease and infection which can develop as a result of being around large groups of people. Spinach is best either raw or lightly steamed.
  8. Water. Last but not least, is water. This liquid is better than anything else in flushing out your system after overeating. It aids in digesting food and softens stools to keep things moving along. If you are suffering from indigestion, try using seltzer water for the calming effect of the fizz.

 

We wish you a wonderful holiday season. Hopefully these ideas will make it even better!

healthy-holiday-desserts

Expand Holiday Dessert Choices Without Expanding Your Waistline

December is the month for desserts! However, if you’re trying to watch your calories, the holiday dessert bars can become quite a field of land mines. Not all desserts have to be high in calories, sugar, or fats, though. Here are some suggestions so that your can enjoy those sweets without the regret later!

Healthier Holiday Desserts

  • Berries and Cream. A bowl of fresh berries with a small dollop of whipped cream or sour cream satisfies a sweet tooth without breaking the calorie budget.
  • Dark Chocolate. Eating an ounce of dark chocolate a few times a week will be satisfying and provide flavonoids. Dark chocolate has less sugar and more cocoa than milk chocolate. Look for chocolate that is 70% cacao or higher.
  • Yogurt Parfait. Add a few berries and nuts to a parfait glass of yogurt for an  enjoyable treat.
  • Pineapple Dole Whip. Freeze 20 oz. drained pineapple chunks for a couple of hours. Add the pineapple, ¼ c. of almond milk, a teaspoon of lemon juice and lime juice, and a ¼ c. of a natural sweetener to a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Bites. Put pomegranate seeds in the bottom of 12 lined muffin cups. Drizzle melted dark chocolate on top. Repeat layers of pomegranate seeds and chocolate and finish with more seeds. (Will use 2 ½ c. of seeds and 5.25 oz. of chocolate). Top with a pinch of sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • Chocolate Dipped Apple or Banana Slices. Spritz the apples with lemon juice and freeze the bananas. After dipping in chocolate, roll them in nuts for an added bonus.
  • Fruit and Cheese. Pair come cheddar, brie, or goat cheese with dates, figs, applies or any other firm fruit.
  • Poached Pears. Simmer the pears gently in lemon water, apple juice or other liquid. Top with cream or crème fraiche if desired.
  • Baked Apples. Baking brings out the natural sweetness of the apples. Add raisins for more sweetness. Top with some cinnamon.

 

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy some healthy holiday desserts this season!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/refined-sugar-what-to-use-in-its-place/

http://maronewellness.com/super-bowl-party-food-playbook/

http://maronewellness.com/eating-healthy-even-holidays/

Refined-sugar

Refined Sugar: What to Use in Its Place

Refined sugar is everywhere around us these days. In 2001 the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter reported that Americans spent $21 billion on candy—more than the gross national products of Lithuania, Costa Rica, and Mozambique combined! There has been a rise in Type 2 diabetes that experts are now calling an “emerging epidemic.” The FDA estimates that approximately 2/3 of the sugars we eat come from those added to processed foods.

Refined Sugar Alternatives

Overuse of refined sugar is obviously an issue. And we all crave sweets, but we do not have to give them up completely. Several sweeteners available today, eaten in moderation, can quench our sweet tooth without ruining our health.

 

  • Barley Malt: Can be purchased as a powder or as a syrup. Very concentrated—1/8 tsp. replaces 2 tsp. of refined table sugar. Good for those on a weight-loss regimen or with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
  • Honey: Contains anti-oxidants. Has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Rich source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Blackstrap Molasses: Rich in iron and minerals. Is a byproduct of sugar refining. It is the “good stuff” left over after all the nutrients are refined out of regular sugar. This is one of the best sugar substitutes.
  • Brown Rice Syrup: Similar in texture to honey. Good for people with diabetes. Made by fermenting and boiling brown rice.
  • Stevia: Also known as honeyleaf. Completely safe. Calorie-free. Available in liquid or powdered form. Does not affect blood sugar metabolism. In powdered form, ¼ – ½ tsp. equals a cup of refined sugar.
  • Unsulfured dried fruit: Can be used on top of cereals instead of sugar, or the dried fruit can be cooked, pureed, and mashed to use in baking as a sugar replacement. (This can be done ahead and then when ready to use, soak in boiling water to soften and rehydrate.)

 

Sugars, in any form, should be kept to a minimum in our diet.  Some other foods that help to reduce cravings for sugar include whole grains, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, and bananas.

 

What are you doing to reduce your refined sugar consumption? We’d love to hear your comments!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/13-tips-help-keep-healthier-eating-new-years-resolutions/

http://maronewellness.com/21-days-to-a-clearer-mind-and-increased-energy/

http://maronewellness.com/inflammation-a-leading-cause-of-weight-gain/

eat-less-feel-better

5 Tips to Help You Eat Less and Feel Better

Diets that create various ways to make you eat less aren’t easy to follow! Sometimes just making a few lifestyle changes can help you to get rid of those unwanted pounds just as well. Here are a few ideas:

 

  1. Don’t try to multitask while eating. Whether you are checking emails, watching TV, driving, or doing any other activity while you eat, your mind is distracted by the other activity. When this happens, you will miss your body’s signals of satiety (fullness) while you are eating, which then leads to overeating. When you are truly hungry, stop your other activities and focus on the process of eating. You will enjoy your food more and be less apt to eat more than your body needs.
  2. Prepare food from scratch as much as possible. Food coming from the perimeter of the grocery store is more healthful than the boxed, bagged, and frozen prepackaged foods that are available. Most fruits and veggies will give you their best health benefits if eaten raw. Eat as many of them as close to nature as possible.
  3. Add a bowl of soup to your meal. Beginning your meal with a broth-based soup will help you to feel more full before you get to the other, higher-calorie courses of the meal so you will eat less of those.
  4. Use some psychological helps to keep you from overeating. Serve your food on a smaller plate so it looks like you have more food. Rather than serving your meals family style, use a buffet format. When you fill your plate away from the table, you have to think twice before getting up to get seconds.
  5. Stop eating as soon as you feel satisfied. Don’t wait until you feel “stuffed.” It takes your body 20 minutes to digest the food to the point that your brain completely registers that you are full. If after 20 minutes you are still full, then get a small portion of something more to eat.

 

These are a few tips to help you eat less–but not by any means an exhaustive list. We’d love to know the things that have worked for you as well. Please comment and share them with us!

 

http://maronewellness.com/super-bowl-party-food-playbook/

http://maronewellness.com/7-tips-make-weight-loss-successful/

banana-ice-cream

One-Ingredient Ice Cream

 

 

It has been a hot summer so far! So a cold dessert sure hits the spot–and you can get one without sacrificing your health. A very quick and easy ice cream can be made from only one ingredient: bananas!

 

How to Make Banana Ice Cream

 

Get some bananas which are ripe enough to be sweet. Cut them into slices and freeze overnight, or at least 4 hours. Take them out and put them into a food processor. It will take a bit, so be patient. It will go through stages: crumbly, then gooey, then smooth but with chunks in it. Periodically scrape down the food processor. Eventually the chunks will smooth out, and you will end up with a rich, creamy ice cream.

 

This dessert can be eaten right away, but it will be soft. If you prefer your ice cream more solid, transfer it to an airtight container and put it in the freezer until it firms up.

 

For Some Variety:

 

This basic recipe can be spiced up by adding other ingredients to change the flavor. Here are a few ideas:

 

Toward the end of the blending of the ice cream, add in one of these:

 

  • A tablespoon or so of peanut butter or Nutella.
  • Some chopped almonds or other nuts.
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger.
  • Honey (Or combine peanut butter and honey)
  • Frozen strawberries, peaches, or other fruit. (You can also add more fruit on top.)
  • 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder per banana and ¾ tsp. of vanilla.

 

We hope you enjoy your summer. Let us know your favorite “flavor” of ice cream!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/13-tips-help-keep-healthier-eating-new-years-resolutions/

http://maronewellness.com/health-improvement-program/

quick-meal-ideas

Meal Maker: A Tool to Make Cooking Easier

We recently came across a website that we thought you might find helpful. It is hosted by Nimali Fernando, M.D., M.P.H, or “Dr. Yum,” as she calls herself. She has a pediatric office in Fredericksburg, VA where she focuses on helping children eat healthier through her Dr. Yum Project. To learn more about her program, check out her website at https://www.doctoryum.org/.

 

Meal Maker Machine

 

On her website she has a helpful tool for your own kitchen. She calls it a Meal Maker Machine–it helps you make a quick, nutritious meal with the ingredients you already have in your kitchen or can readily find. When you open up the Meal Maker Machine page, it presents you with several types of meals: Stir-Fry Maker, Curry in a Hurry, Super Soup Maker, Busy Night Bake, Salad Maker, Power Pasta, and Yum Bowl.

 

To use it, begin by clicking on the type of meal that sounds good to you. For example, if you choose the Stir Fry Maker button, you are given several options. You can choose the oil you want to use. Next you choose the aromatics, then the protein source, any veggies, which type of sauce and seasonings you would like, as well as some additional options to “yum-ify” your meal further. When you have completed the options, a recipe is created with the specific ingredients that you chose. Below the recipe, they have even provided a short 2-3 minute video with tips on how to make the recipe.

 

Recipes

 

If you don’t want to make your own recipe, you can go to the Meal Maker Machine Recipes section. There you have options to choose recipes that are already created. You are able to narrow the search by dietary restrictions if you have any. Some of the options include gluten free, allergy-friendly, vegan, vegetarian, carb-conscious, or budget-friendly. Once you have made your choices, you will see several pages of photos of food. Just click on any photo to get the recipe.

 

We can all use a little extra time these days. Hopefully this will make your meal planning and preparation a little easier. Try it out, and let us know how you liked it!

 

osteoporosis

Osteoporosis: Some Tips to Help

Osteoporosis is a diagnosis that many of us fear as we age. It causes our bones to become weak and brittle. Just a minor stressor such as coughing or bending can cause a fracture. This happens because old bone tissue is being broken down and removed faster than new tissue is being produced. Our hips, spine and wrist tend to be most prone to fractures. Weight bearing bones such as the pelvis, femur (leg bone) and the lower back vertebrae are also very likely to be injured. Although anyone can be affected, osteoporosis tends to show up in Asian and Caucasian women the most frequently.

 

Indicators That You May Be Suffering from Osteoporosis

 

  • Bone fractures
  • Collapsed vertebrae
  • Chronic back pain
  • Loss of height
  • Stooped posture

 

Osteoporosis Solutions

 

The leading cause of osteoporosis is lack of exercise. To help reduce the chance of getting osteoporosis, three specific types of exercise are best: weight bearing, resistance, and flexibility exercises. If you already have symptoms, exercise will help to slow the progression. Weight bearing exercises include activities such as hiking, jogging, jumping rope, and high-impact aerobics. Resistance exercises make your muscles work against a force or weight. Examples of resistance exercise include planks, straight leg raises, or weight lifting. Flexibility exercises allow your joints to maintain their full range of motion. These may include stretching exercises, yoga, or swimming, for example.

 

Proper nutrition will also help your body to produce the new tissue that it needs to stay healthy. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the two most important nutrients for preventing and managing the disease are calcium and Vitamin D. They also said, however, that “there are a number of foods, nutrients and vitamins, besides calcium and vitamin D, that help to prevent osteoporosis and contribute to bone, muscle and joint health, including protein, fruits and vegetables, and other vitamins and minerals.”

 

Nutrition Response Testing® is a system that reveals what nutrients your body is lacking. Dr. Marone can do an assessment and recommend the nutritional supplements that will give your body exactly what it needs.  Both chiropractic care and Nutrition Response Testing are very helpful in the fight against osteoporosis. If you are dealing with the disease or are wanting to prevent the devastating effects of it, please call our office at 864-963-9304 to see how we can help you.

See also: http://maronewellness.com/muscle-testing/

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.