Book Review: The Body Book

If you haven’t heard about Cameron Diaz’s book The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body then I urge you to go to your local bookstore and buy it – now. I’ve always been a huge fan of Diaz, but this book has made me jump up for joy. Her frankness about the human body combined with her eagerness to learn how all of its systems, organs, and cells work together just so we can breathe, walk, run, eat, sleep, and think is refreshing.

As a holistic health advocate, I’m constantly advocating balance. Living in balance, eating in balance, exercising in balance. It’s when we are in excess or a drought that our systems become unable to run at its optimal level. Diaz agrees. Through her book she wants to “help you connect with your body and understand its basic needs and functions so that you have the knowledge and confidence to go out into the world and be the healthiest person you can be.” That statement, all by itself, is a reason that I’m promoting this book for every single person of any age. Especially women.

An Advocate for True Health – The Smart Way

photoReading The Body Book will bring you up close and personal with your body including how the food you eat effects every single part of your body from your skin to your gut to your mind. Diaz also sheds light on her own personal battles including her fast food obsession that included two bean burrito tacos and a coke every single day for three years. (No one is perfect!)

You’ll understand what “hunger” actually is and how your body is an “elegant machine” that needs the right fuel. How learning to eat the macronutrients and micronutrients that your body craves is so important to your health. Diaz does a great job on describing the how and more importantly, the why. Why does our body need protein? Why does our body need healthy fats? Why do our cells need minerals? The processes are described in a way that allows you to understand without being a doctor, a nutritionist, or even having a background in any sort of health related field. Diaz speaks to everyone.

Beyond the Physical Body

Not only does Diaz focus on the body’s physical attributes, but she also focuses on the mind-body connection (read my article on page 4), which is something that is often times left behind in books about health and well-being. You can be eating all the fruits, vegetables you want while exercising, training, and drinking lots of water, but taking care of your mind is just as important.

Diaz asks readers to admit that their body is amazing, embrace the concept of getting older, turn knowledge into action, strive for consistency, and aim for that “yeah!” feeling. Learning how your mind works will not only help you stay happier and healthier, but it will also set you up for success with improved discipline (to help you modify behaviors like ordering that grande latte every afternoon) which will lead you to success.

Most importantly, one of the main reasons I love this book and recommend it to you, my readers, is that the goal of the book isn’t to promise weight loss in 7 days, or acne free skin in 14 days, or even a husband in a year. Instead, it’s about learning to love yourself and treat yourself accordingly forever. Kudos Cameron on an inspiring book that was released at a time when women (and men) need it most.

For the Love of Cauliflower!

IMG_0221I admit it. I’m in love. It’s a great love. One that I expect will continue to excite me for years to come. Hopefully one that will be full of different colors, spices, and flavors. A love that makes me excited because it’s easy, yet will always bring exciting moments to the table. Yes, I’m in love with cauliflower and I don’t care who knows it!

I’ve been lucky enough to plant cauliflower at the farm I’m working at, watch it grow, and eat it. There’s nothing that is more satisfying (well not too many things.) To see those little white pillows hiding in those huge collard like leaves which you then wrap into a ponytail until the big day comes when it’s time to eat it – it’s like playing hide and go seek with your food.

Not only is it fun to plant, tend to, and harvest, but it’s also fun to eat. Especially those big leaves! Before working at the farm, I never knew how delicious those leaves were. Why would they take them off when they sell cauliflower at the supermarket? I don’t know! (Note: Both recipes below call for cauliflower leaves, however if you can only get cauliflower at the supermarket sans leaves – don’t fret! You can use collard greens or kale as a replacement).

And if I wasn’t making you excited enough for some cauliflower recipes, it’s really good for you too (of course!) Since it resembles your brain, it benefits your brain as a good source of choline and Vitamin B, both needed for brain development. It also contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells and slow tumor growth. That same sulforaphane improve blood pressure and kidney function. It’s a known anti-inflammatory which helps calm your immune system and reduce your chances of suffering from countless inflammatory related diseases. And if that wasn’t enough, it also supports your digestive system by detoxifying and providing a good dose of fiber to keep things running smoothly. It’s packed full of vitamins including 77% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C among other vitamins such as vitamin K, thiamin, magnesium, and potassium. See, healthy things are delicious!

Below are two recipes that I’ve made recently with my CSA share. They’re both delicious and will satisfy your hunger despite being vegetarian. Cauliflower is such a hearty vegetable that you don’t even realize you’re not eating meat!

IMG_0222Roasted Cauliflower with Arugula Pesto Pasta

This recipe came about because I needed to use arugula and cauliflower, but I was craving pasta. Presto! Arugula pesto mixed with roasted cauliflower. It’s extremely satisfying. You even get a few doses of your greens for the day – all while eating pasta! It’s like a cheat day, but not!

1/2 lb Fresh Arugula
2 cloves garlic
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Head and leaves of cauliflower (if you’re getting it at a farmer’s market you’ll have lots of huge, beautiful leaves)
Smoked paprika
1 lb whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup Parmigianno Regiano
6 very thinly sliced pancetta pieces (If you’re vegetarian, feel free to leave this out, I won’t know!)

First roughly chop (into bite size pieces) a whole head of cauliflower, leaves and everything. (If you don’t have cauliflower leaves, chop up collard greens or kale). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then place in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the leaves are crisp and the cauliflower is cooked through.

On another baking sheet, lay thin slices of the pancetta on the sheet and bake until cooked through (about 10-15 minutes). Be aware that it will smoke, so put some fans on!

Bring a pot up to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dante. Drain, reserving a 1/2 cup of the liquid.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the arugla, garlic, Parmigianno Regiano, salt, pepper, and enough olive oil until the mixture comes together to a thick paste.

In a bowl, combine the pasta and pesto. Add a little of the pasta cooking water until the pesto is loosened up enough to coat the pasta. Add the cauliflower, leaves, and crumbled bruschetta. Top with extra cheese if you want!

 

Cauliflower SoupCauliflower Soup 

During our honeymoon in Italy, my husband and I had the best cauliflower soup we’ve ever had. Well it was the first time he’s ever tried it, but it won him over. It was delicate, smooth, and not overpowering. I’ve been trying to recreate it and I think I’ve come pretty close with the below recipe. Of course, I’ve put my own spin on it, making it super healthy (no cream here) without losing any of the flavor.

 

3 tablespoons olive oil
medium onion (6 ounces), sliced thin
head very fresh cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets
Salt, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Chop up the leaves of the cauliflower (you can use collards or kale instead). Toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bake for 15 minutes until the leaves are crisp.

Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat. Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil (I like to use chipolte flavored oil), freshly ground black pepper, the cauliflower “chips” and toasted whole wheat bread cut in cubes.

Talking Health with Teenagers

Health is an interesting subject. We’re living in a world where “health” is the new hit topic along with “organic,” “gluten-free,” “vegan,” “animal rights,” and “meatless Mondays.” With so much information going around, it’s sometimes hard to remember what the actual goal really is: to be healthy. 

Healthy-livin

But what does “healthy” actually mean? Does anyone really know? Is everyone’s definition of “health” different? Is it really just about being free from illness and disease or is it something more than if we’re a vegan, or if we’re a runner, or if we meditate. Is there something else that we need to focus on to really be “healthy?”

What Does it Mean to “Be Healthy?”

I was confronted with this question a few weeks ago when I was asked to speak in front of a group of high school students on the topic of health. As someone who thinks about health constantly, I took a step back to see just what makes someone “healthy.” Is it the food that they eat? The amount of exercise they get? Whether they’re stressed or not? How much television they watch?

Turns out, when I really think about it, health is an attribute that is directly effected by the countless decisions you make everyday, from the food you put in your body, to how you move your body, to what you’re thinking, and what you believe. At least in my humble opinion.

teaching-childrenSo as a jumping off point to my presentation, I asked the high school students what they thought health really meant. They replied with various answers: “well-being,” “not being sick,” “eating good food,” “exercising.” None of these answers are wrong. Health takes into account all of these factors and so many more.

I believe that that’s what’s missing from today’s “health talks.”

Yes, the food that you put in your body is an integral part of your body’s reactions, however even if you’re eating the best food possible, if you don’t have direction or aren’t moving your body or feel like you’re a part of something, then it’s not complete. You’re not whole yet.

Even though I only had 40 minutes, I touched on this subject lightly and then dove into nutrition, because I do believe that when you feed your body whole foods, you’re more likely to want to move your body, have a clearer mind, and want to live a fuller life. My goal was to reach the younger generation and get them to realize that good food is possible, it’s delicious, it’s affordable, and it will help them soar to greater heights, helping them play harder on the tennis court, be more focused in the classroom, and be a better sister, brother, son, daughter, friend, etc. 

abstrackt culinary backgroundDuring my short time with them, I was happy to see that I had the attention of the majority of students (I had tough competition with the iPhones), but I think it was my demonstration of sugar that really blew their mind, which I was hoping to do at least once in my presentation.

I didn’t want to shatter their lives, which in the end doesn’t let them change anything because their just so overwhelmed by the information that it’s almost like “oh well, it’s too much for me so I’ll just continue what I’m doing.” I wanted to give them another option, an option that allows them to take a piece of the information that I was giving them, for example that when you eat a lot of processed foods you also eat a lot of sugar and you don’t even realize it, and leverage it.

To just teach them how to read the ingredient label and nutrition label is something that they can use without telling them “don’t eat that, or this, or the other thing.” It’s impossible to change someone’s diet in a day. Well nothing is impossible, but it’s improbable that they will stick with it! 

When I entered that gym, I knew that my main concern was to get these young adults to think a little bit more about the food that they’re putting into their bodies. That it matters on so many levels. And as I stood at the table after my presentation, countless kids coming up to me to ask me questions, take home the recipe handouts and yogurt coupons and hoping to eat a fresh mango or pear, I smiled to myself. This is what a food revolution is about. This is where it’s going to stick. This is where the youth of America will take the reigns to demand fresh, nutritious, and affordable food. This is the home of the catalyst. And I just want to be there to help keep the embers glowing brighter and brighter.

To learn more, contact me below or at info@mbeewell.com

 

Stay healthy, happy, and focused and of course, “Bee” Well,

Melissa

 

quote-hippocrates_550-413

 

My Best Bets for a Healthy Yogurt (and Giveaway!)

Yogurt is a staple in my refrigerator and I know I’m not the only one who can’t live without it. It’s full of great bacteria for your gut, is an excellent option for a morning protein punch (or snack), and can be added to your favorite dips in lieu of not so healthy condiments.

Hundreds of Yogurt Brands
Hundreds of Yogurt Brands

Despite all of its positive traits, the industry has found a way to make the majority of yogurt found in the supermarket equivalent to eating a piece of cake. Their deceiving packaging is confusing for many who view yogurt as a simple and healthy addition to a meal or snack.

The shelves are lined with over a hundred different types of yogurt, many claiming to be non-fat, low fat, and the magic pill to a slimmer waist. It’s frustrating to see commercials that associate weight loss with eating a yogurt that tastes like key lime pie. (You know what I’m talking about!) I’m not sure if they have good intentions, but I do know that our yogurt craze is turning into an unhealthy craze.

Sugar is one of the main points of contention for yogurt lovers. Yogurt does contain naturally occurring sugars (lactose is a naturally occurring sugar in milk products while fructose is a naturally occurring sugar in fruit). For example, one cup of plan low-fat yogurt has about 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar. However, it’s the added sugars that you need to watch out for such as sweeteners.

Key Lime Pie Label
Key Lime Pie Yogurt

If you look at the image below you can see that one serving of the light and fat-free key lime pie yogurt has 11 grams of sugar. Obviously, a very small portion of that is natural (a serving is 6 ounces so about 6 grams). Now, if you look at the ingredient label you’ll see that the second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, which means that’s the second largest ingredient in the yogurt. Then the 9th ingredient is aspartame. (If you don’t know what aspartame is, please check this article out. Aspartame contains three different components: methanol, phenylalnine and aspartic acid, all of which have been shown to either stimulate brain cells to death, severely disrupt hormone balances in the brain or act as a dangerous nerve poison. It also accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA, which included seizures and death. And think of how many kids are eating these “fruity” yogurts everyday because it’s “good for them.”) Then there’s Yellow #5 and Blue #1, which both are chemicals derived from petroleum (yes, the stuff you put in your gas tank in your car). They have been show to have long-term health problems such as asthma, skin rashes and migraines.

So after reading what’s actually in your yogurt that tastes like something it’s not, I want to share with you the good news – you can still eat your yogurt, get all of the benefits for your gut flora and consume a lot less sugar with no artificial ingredients. All you have to do is choose the right yogurt and most importantly, always read the ingredients!

greek-yogurt-berries
Simple and Healthy

First off, the probiotics in some yogurts balance the micro flora of your gut which can you keep you regular and maintain a balanced digestion system. Now, you’re not going to get the benefit of yogurt bacteria in those popular “low fat, low carb, lose 10 lbs. immediately by eating 15 grams of added sugar” yogurt. What I recommend is purchasing plain yogurt, either regular or Greek style, and then sweetening it with some honey or your own fruit. You’ll save on the calories and know exactly what is in your yogurt so you’re not wondering why you waistline won’t go down or why you’re experiencing migraines everyday even though you’re eating what the marketing companies have touted as “healthy yogurt.”

Here are some of my favorite brands:

Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt – Stonyfield is a home run for those looking to purchase organic. They pride themselves on being “obsessively organic” and offering consumers tasty, wholesome and nutritious food. This is a mainstay in my refrigerator.

navigating-the-yogurt-aisle-Siggis-plain-pg-fullSiggi’s Icelandic Style Skyr Plain Yogurt – This has become another favorite. Skyr, pronounced “sk-eer” is the traditional yogurt of Iceland that has been made for over 1,000 years. It’s rich and creamy with a high protein count; actually it’s the highest ratio of protein to sugar of other flavored yogurts. In the plain yogurt, there’s only 4 grams of sugar (all naturally occurring) and if you want to try their other flavors such as orange and ginger (one of my favorites) there’s only 9 grams of sugar, 14 grams of protein and 100 calories. On top of that, the milk is made from grass fed cows in upstate New York without the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), they use no aspartame, sucralose, gelatin, artificial colorings, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and they’re certified gluten-free. In one two words: deliciously healthy.

Fage Greek Yogurt – Simple and delicious. Fage is one of my favorite Greek yogurts; one serving has 7 grams of sugar and is all naturally occurring. No added sugars here! All you get is milk and live active yogurt cultures.

Noosa Finest Yoghurt  –  This rich and creamy Aussi style yoghurt that is made in Colorado was a surprise home run for me. It’s definitely a treat with 11.5 grams of sugars in a serving of the honey noosa, but it’s flavored with honey and organic cane sugar. Basically what you would be adding to your yoghurt at home.

Yogurt Giveaway!

In honor of my rant on yogurt, I’m giving away a Siggi’s gift package of gift certificates, coupons, and a free 40-minute health consultation to the first five people who comment below.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on yogurt!

Who Keeps Me Healthy?

The other day I was asked by the American Recall Center to share my own story about “Who Keeps Me Healthy?” So many people come to me for nutrition advice, that it’s interesting to think about the person or people who keep me on my toes. I had some thinking to do.

My Husband and Layla, Leading the Way

I thought back to when I made my first conscious decision to optimize my own health. I’ve always had a passion for food and health, but when a loved one gets sick, it somehow always cements the point and pushes you onward and upward.

Growing up, my grandparents mainly cooked “old fashioned” meals of mashed potatoes, vegetables, and meat. I remember it also being sprinkled with some fast food treats and my favorite, cinnamon twirls. I’m not sure exactly what it was that caused the cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease, but I knew that somehow, it was related to how well you treated your body. (This is not to say that my grandparents ate unhealthy foods, actually they ate pretty well, always with their grandkids in mind). Then and there, I decided I would take care of my body to the best of my ability and enjoy my life, all so I could live a long and healthy life.

Cooking for My Family
Cooking for My Family

I realized that just like any other relationship, how you treat your body is how your body will treat you. Treat it well, with the best of food, exercise, and mindfulness and you’ll be rewarded with a relationship that flourishes. Treat it like a garbage dump and you’ll eventually land there too.

Flash forward a few years; I began to sense how my own body began reacting differently to certain foods, while others would allow me to operate at an optimal level. My body wasn’t able run on “junk” without stalling. Days of eating bagels and cream cheese for breakfast were updated to steel cut oats with apples and peanut butter or my “smoothie of the day.” It was a gradual process, but one that my body is still thanking me for.

Staying Happy and Healthy
Staying Happy and Healthy

Today, I don’t just stay healthy, both physically and mentally, for myself, but mainly for my family. I want to put my best self forward so I can support them in whatever they need now, tomorrow, next week, next month, and 10, 20, 40 years from now. Whether it’s my husband who’s looking for a healthy and delicious meal, my dog who desperately wants to go for a run everyday, my dad who’s looking to lower his high blood pressure, or my brother who wants to supplement his training with healthy meals, I have made a commitment to be there as their guide to living and enjoying a healthy life.

So in honor of the American Recall Center’s “Who Keeps You Healthy” campaign, I want to thank my family for keeping me on my toes and being my “Health Hero.” I may drive you crazy when I tell you the sugar content of that power bar you’re about to tear open or how much sodium is in that white bread or when I try to sneak in vegetables to your meal, but in the end I know I’m not only keeping myself healthy, but you healthy too. After all, what’s the point of staying healthy if no one is enjoying the ride with you?

To my family, you continue to come to me for advice, challenge me with countless questions, and make me realize the importance of staying healthy.  Thank you for fueling my passion, being my inspiration and being my own “Health Hero.

“Bee” Well,

Melissa

Winter Health: Staying Happy and Healthy with Vitamin D

Winter has shown very little signs of relenting in the Northeast. In Philadelphia alone, a 130-year-old record was shattered when, for the first time in history, the city had four different 6+-inch snowfalls in one season. However, it’s the bitter cold that has driven many of us into hibernation and some of us into having the winter blues.

130213_AF_BearHibernation.jpg.CROP.article568-large
We’re All Sick of Hibernating

This winter we’ve experienced below freezing temperatures for days at a time, high wind gusts, and overcast days. As a New Jersey resident, I expect snow and cold, however, when it comes on without any 40-50 degree breaks, it can be extremely depressing. Well, since we’re, yet again, in a bitter cold blast as the reporters like to say, I wanted to share my favorite “Winter Pick Me Upper” that will leave you feeling a little brighter. After all, spring is just around the corner!

Vitamin D – The Winter Blues Cure?

One of the best supplements to add to your routine, especially in the winter, is vitamin D. Our body needs the sun to produce vitamin D, however depending on where you live, the recommended levels can be almost impossible to achieve with the winter sun. The hormone is made in the skin after being exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet light. Even in the summer, when the sun is out the longest and at its peak, many people still don’t get enough vitamin D because many sunscreens block the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Don’t get me wrong, wearing sunscreen is an absolute must in the sun, however going out during off peak hours for just 30 minutes (morning or evening) without sunscreen can help you rev up your vitamin D levels.

Staying Happy and Healthy for Spring's Arrival
Staying Happy and Healthy for Spring’s Arrival

So I’ve told you how difficult it is to get the recommended levels of vitamin D in your system, but why would you care and what does this have to do with staying happy in the winter? Well, I’m happy you asked! vitamin D has been shown to increase brain health and emotional well-being. According to Dr. Weil, “Receptors for vitamin D occur throughout the brain, and it appears to play an important role in the development and function of that organ, including the activity of neurotransmitters that affect mood.” Not surprisingly, low levels of vitamin D are related to seasonal affective disorder.

Not only can vitamin D elevate your mood, but it can also help you combat the flu and the common cold. Countless studies have continued to find the extraordinary benefits that vitamin D provides. One study found that vitamin D tempers the damaging inflammatory response of some white blood cells, while it also boosts immune cells’ production of microbe-fighting proteins.

These are just two of the many ways vitamin D supports your body and immune system.

Adding Vitamin D to Your Diet

TWL-01224-1Now the next question becomes, since it’s almost impossible to get naturally, how do you achieve the proper levels of vitamin D in your diet? And there’s only one answer – supplements. Now, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to get your daily dose by eating foods rich in vitamin D. Some great options are adding fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, fortified milk or juice, egg yolks, liver, and my favorite, cod liver oil to your daily diet. However, the best way to make sure you’re getting your vitamin D levels is by adding a supplement to your diet. I take about 2,000 IU per day (from a combination of my multivitamin, vitamin D, and cod liver oil).

Farm Fresh Eggs
Farm Fresh Eggs

Always be sure to check with your doctor before adding a supplement to your diet, an excessive intake of vitamin D (what excessive actually defines is different according to many doctors some put it at 4,000 IU while others are well above 10,000 IU) can cause problems such as kidney damage. You can also contact me for more information and guidance.

If you’re feeling blue this winter, try adding some vitamin D to your diet. It will leave you feeling happier and healthier, just in time for spring’s arrival!

‘Bee’ Well,

Melissa
info@MBeeWell.com

Explaining M”Bee”Well with the Help of Bees

M”Bee”Well Explained

Bees, especially honeybees, are an important part of my life. I’ve always felt a connection to them.  Maybe because my name, Melissa, means honeybee in Greek or maybe it’s their hard working mentality. For every holiday, I can count on one of my loved ones to gift me with a jar of organic honey which I enjoy with hot tea, brie,and toast or even some sort of bee pendant. The name of this website, MBeeWell is a little play on words – I didn’t spell anything wrong, it was meant to contain the word “Bee” in it because to me, bees are one of the most important sectors of not only my life, but also a cornerstone to our entire food system and health.

Fruits and Vegetables are the “Bee’s Knees”

If you go way back to your Biology days in the classroom, you’ll remember that bees are pollinators and if you remember the Imagenews in 2006-2007 of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) you’ll recall how important bees are to our current agriculture system. To refresh your memory, more than 100 of our food crops such as blueberries, apples, cherries, grapefruit, avocado, squash, and onions are dependant on bees as pollinators. Bees contribute to 35% of the food we eat, that’s $15 billion worth of US produce and $215 billion worldwide! Some of the only crops that don’t need bees are grain crops that rely on the wind. If you look a little closer, most of the crops that are pollinated by bees are fruits and vegetables that contain so many compounds that have kept animals and humans alive and healthy – just like nature intended!

Bees are so important for these crops that beekeepers create colonies by “domesticating” them then bring them to farmer’s crops in order to pollinate the field. Due to the expansiveness of crops, bees no longer “naturally” live there and wild bugs and habitats have been destroyed. Bees are brought in to do what Mother Nature intended.

This act of nature where two species cooperate to benefit both is called mutualism. We need bees to pollinate our crops and bees need pollen to survive. Unfortunately, CCD has taken a major toll on bees. In 2006-2007 32% of honeybees vanished, in 2007-2008 an additional 36% disappeared in the US. Other countries are having the same problems: the UK lost 30% in 2007 and Italy lost 40-50%. Scientists have yet to find an exact cause for the disappearance of bees, but some beekeepers believe it may be a pesticide known as neonicotinoids and countries such as Italy have now banned its use.

CCD has brought the spotlight back on the importance of bees as our ancient partners in the art of growing food. Haagen-Dazs came to the aid of the honeybee when they announced that 40% of their ice cream wouldn’t exist without them, so they donated $250,000 to the cause and created a new flavor, Vanilla Honey Bee (which is delicious), in their honor.

“Bee” a Supporter

Anyone can do their part in restoring bees. If you have a yard or small garden, be sure to have plenty of flowers, fruits, and vegetables for bees to “snack on.” A yard with just grass doesn’t draw any bees! Also, look for organic honey to decrease the amount of pesticide use and be sure to purchase real raw honey (about 75% of the honey sold in the US is not 100% honey). The best option is to purchase your honey from a local beekeeper (maybe me one day!)

Another Benefit of Bees – Honey Image

As I said before, I love bees, especially for their honey which has been a known superfood for centuries. It’s not just for mixing in your tea or providing that sweet taste on your muffin. Honey is loaded with polyphenols (the same group of antioxidants found in superfoods such as extra virgin olive oil) which protect cells from free radical damage. Honey also has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-septic qualities. Allergy suffers may even see a 60% reduction in symptoms! The most recent study showed that honey treats mild nightime coughs caused by upper-respiratory infections among children aged 1-5. These studies are just proving what our ancestors have known all along – honey is a food that you want to have in your cabinet!

If that wasn’t reason enough to start adding honey to your superfood arsenol, let’s see if this convinces you: raw honey is high in nutrients and enzymes that kill bacteria, it increases calcium absorption, helps athritic joints, is a natural laxative, it increases muscle restoration and glycogen after a workout, and it contains calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesisum, copper, chromium, and selenium. Honey also provides instant energy without the insulin jump of white sugar (1 tablespoon of honey is 64 calories to 15 calories of sugar) because it contains carbohydrates which easily convert to sugar and help maintain blood sugar levels.

Tip: Try honey on baked brie with raspberries and while you’re eating it be sure to thank all those hard working bees.

Still interested? Good… check this out!