Lifestyle Works

Hoe Into Your Garden

It makes sense that cultivating a garden of any type can help one's state of mind. Focusing on nourishing plant life takes one's attention to nature and away from negative thinking that fosters mental problems such as depression.

Some practitioners recommend walks in nature, not malls, to help regain balance. Then there's the sunshine received while gardening to promote more vitamin D3, which also reduces depression risks.

Also, there are the fruits of gardening food, the food itself. Most food gardening is done without synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. So it's organic despite not having the label! It's also very fresh and full of life. Agri-business products tend to lose nutrients while sitting around in warehouses and stores or in transit with long distance shipping.

The UK is renowned for individual or private small scale gardening, which historically has tended to be botanical. But there has also been a rising interest in gardening foods over the past few years. There have been several British newspapers and magazines quoting studies that prove gardening promotes an emotional and mental disposition that discourages depression.

Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, Cubans were forced into a food supply crisis. They responded valiantly by growing food wherever they could on their own. And the Cuban government did better than look away, it helped promote and support that movement.

Even more amazing is the same situation of urban gardening flourishing in modern Russia. Today, a majority of Russia's food supply is from small scale farming and family gardens that are encouraged and supported by the Russian government.

This Natural News article, "Russia's small-scale agricultural model may hold the key to feeding the world" may raise both your eyebrows and astonish you .

That same thrust toward small scale private and collective volunteer urban gardening for food has cropped up in the USA as well. However, local, state, and federal governments have put up obstacles and enforced restraints against this grass roots movement instead of supporting it or at least looking the other way.

Despite this, a South Central Los Angeles food activist, Ron Finley, has boldly created an urban food guerrilla movement, taking over abandoned lots and public road medians and parkways with local volunteers using small-scale agricultural techniques to help feed the community.

In his TED talk, he lamented how "fast food drive-throughs are killing more South Central youths than drive-by shootings." His guerrilla gardening approach has inspired young local volunteers who never had anything to do with gardening or even purchasing fresh organic whole foods before.

Ron summarized it this way, "Growing your own food is like printing money." Now that's a solution not only for depression, but for encouraging healthy eating. "Food is the first medicine" is not just a clever expression. It's the real deal., July 18, 2013, PF Louis

8 Reasons To Eat Avocado

Avocado's high calories and fat content have made some people shy of using it. But avocados are being recognized by health experts more and more to be so vital that they recommend eating some avocado every day!

(1) Avocados are high in easily assimilated plant protein. All the amino acids are set for your metabolism to assemble into complete proteins.

(2) A study showed that eating hamburgers with a slice of avocado limited triglyceride serum level increases. Most knowledgeable cardiologists consider triglyceride serum levels as stronger markers for potential heart disease and inflammation than LDL cholesterol.

(3) Avocados are high in natural vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cancer.

(4) Avocados help the liver manufacture glutathione, considered the master antioxidant. Glutathione actually refreshes and recycles spent antioxidants from other sources.

(5) The mineral magnesium, involved with over 300 metabolic processes, is also abundant.

(6) Reduce breast cancer risk with avocado's high lutein, vitamin E, and high content monounsaturated oleic fatty acid.

(7) Improve heart health for promoting better blood flow and lowering blood pressure by consuming avocados. Again, this is due to their abundant oleic acid content.

(8) Improve brain function and stave dementia by consuming avocados. Avocados are a close second to blueberries for promoting brain health because the high oleic acid also helps create and maintain myelin, which protects the nervous system and brain and helps speed neuron transmissions.

Dr. Ann Kulze, MD and author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet: A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss and Lifelong Vitality, recommends a quarter to half an avocado daily. It can be used in salads or sandwiches or as a side dish.

Avocado is actually a dark green pitted fatty fruit, which is ready to eat when it's slightly soft to the touch., 18 July 2013, PF Louis

Recipe of the Month

Avocado Pasta

2 onions, diced 1 can coconut cream
2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 avocado
1 c mushrooms, chopped 1 packet penne pasta
Salt to taste Pinch cayenne pepper (opt)

Boil water in a pot with 1 t oil and add the pasta. Boil until cooked and drain. Sauté the onions and garlic in water. When the onions are half cooked, add the mushrooms. Add the pasta to the veges to heat. Add salt to taste. In a separate bowl combine mashed avocado and coconut cream. Mix well. Stir in the avocado sauce just before serving or last 1-2 mins of cooking. Don’t overheat.