Environment · Healthy Living · Hot Topic

Water: The Most Important Nutrient 

~Since we were young we’ve been told how important water is to the Earth as well as the human body. The Earth is covered by 71% water. Our bodies are composed of approximately 72% water, with the brain over 75%. That’s a lot of water! Even in vet tech school, one of my instructors drilled it into my brain that water is the most important nutrient, so much so he made it a test question. I’m not kidding, he actually did…

But he was absolutely right! Water is used for everything from circulation to skin health, flushing out toxins and even breathing. And of course we’ve had this fact ingrained into our minds: we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. But everyone’s version of a glass is totally different, so how do you know that you’re staying properly hydrated? Dr. Edward Group, founder of Global Healing Center, says that 8 glasses is an absolute minimum. He says that a better way to calculate how much you should be drinking is to take your body weight and divide it in half, which is how many ounces of water you should be drinking per day. (His example: 180# / 2 = 90 ounces of water.)

Let’s crunch some numbers: 180/2=90, there is 8oz in a cup, that’s about 11 cups of water per day. I don’t know about you, but I drink at least 1 liter of water per day, sometimes 2 when I’m at work. I have one of those Camelbak water bottles that has the measurements on the side of the bottle to keep track on how much I’m drinking. I wasn’t a big water drinker back in the day, I usually opted for soda instead. Then I started drinking 2-3 cans a day, feeling sluggish and unhealthy. It wasn’t until a year or two when I cut down on my soda consumption and switched to water. Now I only drink soda occasionally or when I go out to eat.

Water is important to all of us.

We should do everything in our power to protect it and make it easier for everyone to access. I’m talking to you government people, the people of Flint, Michigan have been fighting for clean drinking water for 3 years too long. Water is a basic human right and necessary for life.

 

farmers market · fruits · healthy eating · organic

Enter the Dragon (fruit)

~On my last trip to the grocery store (Mariano’s, my favorite!) I went home with items I had on my list and a few that weren’t. One of those was a dragon fruit. As strange as it was sitting in my cart next to the dried apricots and packages of Noosa yoghurt, there were good reasons behind it:

  1. How often do you find dragon fruit in a mainstream grocery store?! I thought you could only find those in an Asian specialty market or overseas.
  2. Dragon fruit has been one of those things that I’ve wanted to try but was too chicken to in the past. My sister’s tried it before and didn’t think much of it, so I was kind of hoping to convince her otherwise.
  3. Because what the hell?

There were actually 2 sections of dragon fruit in the produce department, those that were organic and those that weren’t. Of course I went with the organic one, even if it was a titch on the pricey side (over $3/lb). Plus the conventionally grown ones looked withered away.

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Before I ended up buying the dragon fruit, I hadn’t know much about them beside that they came from Asia and that they looked really pretty on the inside. After some research I learned that dragon fruit can also come from South America, Mexico and Israel. The specimen I purchased happened to be from Vietnam. And apparently it’s a type of cactus! Also know as ‘pitaya’, it comes in 3 colors: pink skin with white flesh (as pictured), pink sink with red flesh, and yellow skin with white flesh.

After I had cut into the fruit, but right before I pulled apart the two pieces, I did an imaginary drum roll in my head, hoping that it would look as I had predicted. It sure was!

The kiwi like black seeds were speckeled
throughout the fruit as if an artist had taken a calligraphy brush and meticulously placed each individual seed inside the flesh.

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Pitaya

Now the next question: how do I eat it?
I took a spoon, inserted it just behind the flesh up against the skin and scooped it out. Cutting each half into pieces, it was tasting time.

 

 

 

 

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I took a bite, and another….and another…. and nothing. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It literally had no taste whatsoever. It was like one of those popular girls in high school: pretty but with no substance.

 

*Check out these pitaya pics and more in the Photo Garden!*

Environment · healthy eating · Healthy Living · organic · vegan · veggies

Return to VeggieFest: 2017 edition

~Last year I discovered VeggieFest, a unique lifestyle festival honoring those who have the courage to refrain from meat. This time around I wanted to take my boyfriend with me to share in the experience. Truth be told, it didn’t go as well as I had imagined.

The ran fell on our proverbial  parade (it was a really nice day, not a cloud in the sky) in the form of parking. It was absolutely horrendous. When we had approached the venue, cars snaked around the lots back and forth desperate to find a spot. Unfortunately we got stuck in one of the coils and by the time we made it to the parking garage and found a spot, almost an hour had passed. Nevertheless, I was still trying to make this a positive experience for the both of us.

Once we got to the grounds where the festival was held, it was nothing but tents and a massive crowed of people sprawled before us. I immediately bee-lined for the international food court, which is what I was most looking forward to. You pay for food at the food court in the form of food tickets, where the exchange was $1= 1 ticket. I bought $20 worth of tickets, hoping to try a few different things, especially stuff I didn’t try or get the chance to try last year.

The first thing I tried as soy beef & broccoli with noodles and veggies for 6 tickets from a Chinese stand. It must have been popular because there was a long line. And for good reason because it was delicious! Even though I knew it wasn’t beef, it tasted just like beef! My boyfriend thought it was pretty tasty too, mentioning that he liked the beef alternative BETTER! But I still think he’ll stay a carnivore ;P

Next was a selection of his choosing: veggie burgers. I’ve had a few veggie burgers in the past (mostly at the cafeteria in college) and they weren’t that great, so I was a little on the fence about it. But that too turned out to be delicious!

After we ate our way around the food court we wandered around the rest of the festival peering at the different vendor’s tents while live music played in the background. One thing I noticed was really popular among festival goers was boxed water. Essentially it was purified water in a carton rather than a plastic bottle to be more environmentally conscious. I liked the idea of it, and it was refreshing. I wondered where i could find it?

Unlike last year, I only purchased a bottle of peppermint oil from the doTERRA vendor. I was also disappointed to find that the people selling the mango nectar and Doug & Katia from Waterfall Glen weren’t at the festival.

While this year may not have been as fun as last year, VeggieFest is still something I would definitely check out and recommend to anyone who is either vegetarian, vegan or wants to do something fun and free (free admission and parking!)

 

farmers market

Hello out there…

~To my dear readers, whether you’re joining me for the first time or a returning reader:

I first want to say I’m sorry if you felt like I ditched you or fell off the face of the planet, or, God forbid, gave up on farmer’s markets. I took a break from blogging and the markets to refresh my thoughts and focus on some personal and financial issues. I’ve always thought of the blog (and you guys of course), but had to take a step back because I was starting to feel overwhelmed.

But as I woke up this morning, I realized how much I missed going to the markets and not knowing what I’d find or discover something new. So today for the first time in two months, I went to the Frankfort market and got my inspiration back. I also realized how much I missed writing! I’ve told myself that if I wasn’t  a vet tech I would want to be a writer.

Slowly but surely I’ll return with more posts and restoring the blog to its former glory, striving to make it better 🙂

Love you all! ❤

-The Garden Goddess

Environment · Healthy Living · Hot Topic

Pitch the Plastic

** Some of the images in this post may be disturbing to some readers. Viewer discretion is advised**

~I was originally planning to post this on Earth Day, but something of this magnitude shouldn’t be reserved for just one day. It’s astonishing how reliant we’ve become on plastic, so much so that Americans throw out 185 pounds of plastic a year. And it isn’t just in America: there is an average of 35 BILLION plastic water bottles thrown away a year, but only 25% of those actually get recycled…

If you were brave enough to do the math, it ends up being 8,750,000,000 bottles that actually get recycled. But what about the other 26,250,000,000?? They either end up sitting in landfills for the rest of eternity or…

plastic-bird

 inside the stomachs of birds, seals, turtles or other marine life. As intelligent as these creatures are, a turtle can’t always decipher between a jellyfish and a plastic bag. And the result is saddening

plastic turtle

There are many steps we can take to turn this horrible phenomenon into a preventable measure. France and Germany are already a step ahead of us where they’ve banned plastic plates and cutlery.

But a small group of women from Union City, Tennessee are taking things to a new level of sustainability. Affectionately referred to as “The Bag Ladies”, these women take plastic bags and turn them into sleeping mats for the homeless and victims of natural disasters.

It takes about 600-700 bags to make 1 mat, in September 2016 they’ve made 88 mats, that’s 52,000 plastic bags they’re recycled!! Way to go ladies!

Since I can’t knit, I’m saving plastic in my own ways.

*Using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones
*Recycling
*Taking a reusable canvas bag to farmer’s markets and grocery stores
*If I forget to bring a canvas bag, I ask the bagger at the grocery store to give me paper bags.
*Using paper plates and bringing my own utensils to work for lunch
*Signing CARE’s petition to ban plastic bags in my town and neighboring towns

If you care about animals and the environment as much as I do, take these steps (if you aren’t already) to make the Earth a better place to live for animals and humans alike and PITCH THE PLASTIC!

*Bag Ladies (source):  http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/story/33059644/i-am-local-6-bag-ladies-make-plastic-bags-into-beds-for-homeless

*For more information about CARE, find them on Facebook: Citizen Against Ruining the Environment -CARE
or e-mail them at carelockport@yahoo.com*

eggs · farmers market · healthy eating · organic

What the duck (eggs)

~For the past year or so I’ve been on the hunt for duck eggs. Searching market after market with no luck, my hope was starting to dwindle. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I finally hit the jackpot, but it wasn’t at a farmer’s market. They came from my boss!

When he’s not doing incredible veterinary work, the owner of my clinic raises ducks in his backyard. He told me he had about 15 ducks and they were chewing up his lawn while he was in the middle of repairing an obese Lab’s ruptured cruciate ligament (the animal equivalent of a human’s ACL). After taking an updated set of vitals, he asked me if I wanted some eggs. I jumped at the chance! With a smile he said he would bring me some next time they were laying.

About a week later, I was cleaning the treatment area and he asks if I was going to be there for a while. I said yes, and he disappeared. After about 15 minutes, he arrived back at the clinic with a half dozen duck eggs with my name on it. My face lit up and thanked him for the awesome (and soon to be delicious) gift.

The next morning before work, I opened the carton and marveled at the size comparison of the eggs to that of chicken eggs. I decided to make over easy duck eggs served on toast. Instead of butter, I coated the pan with ghee until it melted. Next, I cracked 2 eggs into the pan and cook them over medium low heat. Once the egg whites were cooked through, I tried to delicately flip them in the pan, but it was a rather clunky task. Nevertheless, they didn’t break. Once flipped, I turned the heat off and let the other side cook from the residual heat.

While I was cooking the eggs, I was toasting some bread in the toaster. They reached a perfect golden brown where I lightly buttered them and placed the crown jewels on top. Finally, the eggs were decorated with a garland of fresh micro greens and salt & pepper.

 

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I broke into the center and out poured a lovely waterfall of yolk. I was worried that I might have over cooked them since I had trouble flipping them (needed a bigger pan). I’m so happy they came out so well, and the taste was amazing!

*Check out my pictures in the Photo Garden and I’ll post the recipe in the Recipes menu very soon!*