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EASY SPROUTING

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A few months ago after browsing in the health food store, I bought a sprouting jar and some sprouting seeds and followed the directions on the package.  Unfortunately, all I got after a few days was a jar of bad smelling seeds and no sprouts.  I thought to myself: great, this is yet another “plant” that has died at my hands (I am convinced plants hate me; my husband says they just don’t feel the love.  Not 100% sure he is actually talking about the plants worried )  Anyhow, I put the jar away, thinking sprouting was just not my “thing.”

A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my kitchen cupboard and saw the jar again.  Just sitting there, challenging me (hey, at least it wasn’t talking to me….yet) and I decided this is silly, I am a Nutritionist for G-d’s sakes.  I can’t be afraid of sprouts!  I know all the health benefits, I tell clients how great they are and besides, I hate spending $6 on a tiny box of ready-made sprouts. So I decided to try again, using a different brand of seeds.  I’m so glad I did, because I have been making awesome sprouts since then and my family loves it….. in salad, sandwiches or even on it’s own.

So what are the health benefits of sprouting?

  1. Sprouts, like most fruits and vegetables, are alkaline to the body, and a healthy body is alkaline as opposed to acidic.  Unfortunately, most of us consume way too much acid-forming foods on a daily basis in the form of eggs, meat, coffee, soft drinks, etc.
  2. Sprouting makes the high nutrient content of the seeds more readily available.
  3. Sprouts like alfalfa, radish, broccoli and clover contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that protect us against disease.
  4. Sprouts contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging.
  5. Aside from the nutrients, sprouts are also abundant in enzymes, which can keep our bodies healthy and fit. (Cooking food under fire results in the loss of enzymes in our food).
  6. Best of all, sprouts are very easy to digest.

Here is my easy sprouting method:

I use the BioSnacky Sprouting Jar from A. Vogel, which costs about $10 and can be found in most health food stores.  The seeds I use are Mumm’s organic sprouting seeds  because the two types I got from A. Vogel simply did not sprout well.  I’m not saying they’re bad seeds, I just have a much easier time with Mumm’s for some reason.  Plus, for less than $3 you get enough seeds to make approximately 10 jars of sprouts.

It’s really simple: Put 2 Tablespoons of seeds in the jar and rinse well.   The cap has draining holes so you don’t have to twist it off or take the seeds out, just pour the water out.  Then fill the jar with water and let soak for a few hours standing upright.  Rinse again and turn the jar on it’s side as shown.  You can use a plate or even a paper towel to place it on.  Rinse and drain the seeds twice a day and turn the jar back on it’s side each time.  After 2 days you will see little sprouts forming, as shown below left and after 4 or 5 days* you will have a full jar of delicious sprouts read to be eaten, as shown below right.

Day 3 Sproutsweight, Rebecca Lazar - EASY SPROUTING

Alfalfa Sprouts, Day 3 and Day 5

Put sprouts in the fridge and consume within 2 or 3 days. Enjoy and comment below on your sprouting experience happy

* Note that some beans and seeds require longer soaking and/or sprouting times.  Check the individual packages for directions.

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POLITE WAYS TO TURN DOWN FOOD

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weight, Rebecca Lazar - POLITE WAYS TO TURN DOWN FOODHave you ever gone to someone’s house for dinner or to a party where the hostess is relentlessly trying to shove food down your throat?

I have.

Sometimes, this is a genuine effort on the part of the hostess to get everyone to enjoy the party and/or impress the guests with her culinary skills.  That’s ok, I totally respect that.  It becomes an issue, however, when the person tries to get you to eat unhealthy or high fat foods that you have chosen to try and limit, whether to lose weight or simply to lead a healthier lifestyle.

I’ll never forget the time I was literally made to feel like I was out of my mind for not wanting to eat nitrate-filled fatty pastrami covered in flaky pastry dough.While I could see my arteries harden just looking at it, when I tried to politely decline, the hostess got insulted, turned to her freind and said “She’s, you know, a Nutritionist,” with the word Nutritionist emphatically whispered like I had some G-dforsaken disease.  Well, that was many years ago, and I have since learned a thing or two about how to tactfully avoid eating what I feel is too unhealthy or too fattening without insulting the person attempting to feed me.  I’d like to share these tips with you so you can feel empowered as opposed to guilty when confronted with these situations.

Here are some great responses for that pushy friend/hostess:

The STALL TACTIC:  “I can’t wait to try some in a few minutes.”  Since you are not exactly turning the person down, they feel that they’ve won and will drop the subject.  You can use the stall tactic several times, if necessary, but hopefully you won’t need to because your hostess will have moved on to her next victim.

The I’M SO FULL routine: “I wish that I hadn’t eaten such a late lunch, but I’m stuffed.” No one can refute your statement about being full, but if they are still persistent, then let them know that having one more bite may make you throw up sick .  Quite possibly on their beautiful new carpet.  Ok, maybe that’s a little harsh, but you get the point…..and so will she.

The FOOD RESTRICTION Response: “Oh man, that looks good! Too bad my Doctor says I can’t have ___________.” Even the pushiest people are likely to back off when they hear you have a diet restriction. Especially if that restriction came from a Doctor.  The trick is, if you say that you aren’t eating gluten, for example, then don’t reach for a bread roll.  If you don’t think you can be consistent, then just say you are looking into your chronic digestive issues and are avoiding foods that aren’t completely natural, until you know what’s going on.  You can finish with “I know, crazy, right?”

SPREAD THE FOOD AROUND:  This is for when someone actually puts food on your plate that you didn’t want.  Simply spread it around your plate to make it look like you took a few bites.  Usually, nobody will notice, but if they do, and have the audacity to comment on it, refer back to the STALL TACTIC.

KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS:  This one is for the passive aggressive comments such as “Oh my G-d, look at you, you’ve lost so much weight, soon you can hide behind a telephone pole!” or “Wow, you are always watching what you eat, I don’t know how you do it,” or my personal favorite “Come ON, one bite won’t hurt you.” Kill them with kindness by responding “Thank you for noticing the healthy changes I’ve been making. Your support means a lot.”  Even if their words weren’t meant as a compliment, why not just take it that way?

If all else fails, you may have to find the nearest potted plant to toss the food into when nobody is looking.  Noooo, I’m only kidding winking .

Keep in mind that a true friend will never sabotage your efforts but will help you along the way towards reaching your health and fitness goals!

 

 

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TOP 5 REASONS TO BUY THE TRX

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weight, Rebecca Lazar - TOP 5 REASONS TO BUY THE TRX

If you’ve been following my Facebook Page, you have realized by now that I’m a teensy bit obsessed with the TRX Suspension Trainer – an exercise tool created by a former Navy Seal that hasn’t excited me this much since the aerobic Step was created by Gin Miller way back in 1989.  When I first attended a step class in the early 90’s, I turned to my best friend and said “there’s no way in hell I’ll ever be able to do that.”  In a short time, I was an avid stepper, and it’s one of my favorite exercise activities to this day.  I’m telling you this because I find a lot of people are intimidated by the TRX, and I’m not sure why. Is it the way the it hangs there, in the middle of your gym floor and you don’t want to look like an idiot trying to figure out the way it works?  tongue

Well, here are the top 5 reasons you should buy a TRX, even if you are intimidated by it, because you will quickly learn how easy it is to set up and use properly:

1) You can take the TRX anywhere.  Yes ANYWHERE.  Attach this thing to a tree, the monkey bars at the park….hell, you can attach it to a freakin’ traffic light if you so desire…..check out this wild and crazy guy:

weight, Rebecca Lazar - TOP 5 REASONS TO BUY THE TRX

Of course, you CAN go the conventional/normal route and just use a sturdy door frame in your house or a beam on your ceiling.  Safer…..and maybe a little more sane.

2) Beginner to advanced, anyone can use it.  Check out my 12 year old son…..awww, how cute is he? Anyhow, he loves using the TRX and found it super easy to use and understand as soon as I showed him a few moves.  If a preteen can do it, so can you!

weight, Rebecca Lazar - TOP 5 REASONS TO BUY THE TRX

3) TRX has lots of videos to get you started.  Whether you are looking for more cardio-based, strength training exercise, a more advanced military training style program, or simply to get rid of back pain and improve your posture, there’s a DVD routine for you.  They even come with booklets clearly depicting the exercises shown in the DVD so you can do them anywhere (refer to Reason #1 to buy the TRX).  No excuses!

4) TRX will give you the best abs.  Period. Let’s just say that after having 4 kids, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made with the help of the TRX.  It not only gives you nice looking abdominals, but strengthens your entire core no matter what exercises you perform using it.  Their motto isn’t “All Core All The Time” for nothing!

5) Get FREE shipping on your order.  How can you beat that?  Seriously, you have to click the banner above and get one.   You’ll thank me, I promise.   And share this post with your friends! Better yet, buy it for your friends!

Don’t want to take my word for it?  Check out this video below:

P.S. TRX now has another amazing product call the Rip Trainer – learn more about that HERE.

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FLU PREVENTION & TREATMENT

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I occasionally start arguments when I tell people I do NOT recommend the flu shot.  Oh well, I just love stirring trouble big grin .  Well, instead of arguing the valid reasons why you shouldn’t get it, I will just offer you the best ways to help strengthen your immune system and treat a cold or flu the natural way, using supplements & eating healthy:

SUPPLEMENTS

Antioxidants: Vitamins A, C, and E boost the immune system by increasing the white blood cells that fight disease, and blocking the enzyme neuraminidase, which viruses need in order to reproduce. A good quality antioxidant formula will do the trick.

Garlic: A very effective anti-viral (not to mention anti-fungal), it’s no wonder that our grandparents and great-grandparents used it for pretty much whatever ailed them. It’s best used raw and crushed within one hour of crushing; although enteric coated capsules are available (the capsule doesn’t break down until it reaches the intestines) so now we can actually consume garlic and still go out in public.

Resveratrol: In addition to inhibiting neuraminidase, Resveratrol also sends a message to cells to stop manufacturing viruses. This anti-viral found naturally in red wine, peanuts, raisins and red grapes but is more effective taken in supplement form, unless you’d like to drink many, many glasses of red wine daily–while this might be tempting, I don’t recommend it winking

Vitamin D: Plays an important role in the body’s immune defense system, so it’s a good idea to take 1000 IU of Vitamin D daily, especially during the winter months or if you always use sunscreen. If you are low in Vitamin D, as indicated through a blood test, you may have to take more for optimum health.

Green Tea: Another effective anti-viral, this can be taken in supplement form, although I prefer the actual tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants and low in caffeine, although if you are sensitive to caffeine like I am, decaf green tea is available.

Pro-biotics: Natural bacteria in the gut are essential to maintaining proper health (not to mention digestive function). It never hurts to take this important supplement, especially for people who have received repeated courses of antibiotics.

Echinacea: One of the more popular supplements, Echinacea helps stimulate the immune system and fight viral infections. (Do not use if you are allergic to daisies or ragweed. If you have asthma or a general propensity for allergies, you’re also more likely to have an allergic reaction to Echinacea, so it’s best to avoid in that case).

Influenzinum or Mucococinum: A homeopathic flu prevention remedy taken typically once a week or every 2 weeks during the flu season. (Do not take these if you are pregnant or have an auto-immune disorder).

DIET

Say no to sugar, additives, preservatives, and artificial food coloring: I know this is a tough one, but these items weaken the immune system and make it more likely that you will get sick.

Limit dairy products: Dairy products increase mucus production, certainly not helpful for a cold or flu.

• And of course, drink lots of water: This helps to flush toxins out of your body.

OTHER METHODS

Wash your hands. Purell your hands. You know the drill. Coming in contact with germs doesn’t mean you have to get sick. Washing your hands is a simple and effective way to destroy bacteria and viruses.

Gargle with salt water and clean your nose with salt water on a q-tip: Sounds hokey, but this is actually medical professional advice, not alternative medicine! Since it takes some time for the virus to take hold, much like washing your hands, these methods can kill it where it enters so it doesn’t spread.

Get enough sleep and try to relax: Do not under-estimate this one. Stress wreaks havoc on the immune system and makes you more susceptible to getting sick.

If you still catch that cold or the flu, the supplements listed as preventatives can also be taken to reduce the symptoms & duration, but here are some additional ones that help destroy the virus:

Oil of Oregano: Study outcomes vary on its effectiveness against flu, although for the common cold, much like that Buckley’s commercial, “it tastes disgusting but it works”.

St. Johns Wort: Oddly enough, this herb has nothing to do with warts. It’s normally used as an anti-depressant but it is also a very potent anti-viral. (Do not take if you are on prescription anti-depressants).

Olive Leaf Extract: Helps eliminate the flu virus by interfering with certain amino acid production processes.

Goldenseal and Elderberry: Two more excellent flu fighters.

Now, before you run out and buy every item I listed here, please note that not all supplements are created equal. The cheaper ones have fillers, binders and coatings that make them not break down as easily, and are certainly not absorbed well by the body. They may also contain much less of the active ingredient(s) than a high-quality supplement, and some have even been found to contain toxins. It’s better to spend a little more and get good quality supplements from a health care professional or at a reputable health food store. There, you will also find combination formulas that contain many of the ingredients mentioned in one easy to take capsule 2 or 3 times daily.

Additionally, please do not give any of the items listed to children because not only do you have to be careful with dosing, some are simply not safe for kids. However there are some herbal remedies, such as Echinacea, Goldenseal and Elderberry that are available in liquid form (tinctures) that are specifically designed for children. If you are unsure, it is always best to consult with a natural health practitioner. That being said, the homeopathic remedies listed below can be safely used for younger kids (and adults as well) to reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms. Give 3 pellets, 3 times a day of your chosen remedy, 15 minutes away from food or drinks. If there’s no improvement after 3 doses, switch to a different remedy. If there is some improvement, stop the remedy and only give again if and when those same symptoms return.

Gelsemium, 30ch: A flu remedy when the symptom picture is complete and utter exhaustion.

Bryonia, 30ch: The remedy to try when everything in the body hurts, especially if there is a headache, cough, and irritability.

Mercurius solubilis, 30ch: for a lingering flu that just doesn’t seem to go away. Symptoms include sore throat and tender, swollen glands.

Wishing everyone a great Holiday Season!

This article was written exclusively for the Toronto Jewish Family Magazine and first appeared in their November 2012 issue.

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FREE NOVEMBER 2012 GIVEAWAY!

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FREE GIVEAWAY…..Just because I feel like it winking

Anyone can enter, no purchase necessary, and it’s quick and easy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This awesome kit of 6 Weleda body oils has NO toxins, all natural ingredients, and smells great!  It includes a terrific cellulite oil and Arnica massage oil for those achy muscles.

weight, Rebecca Lazar - FREE NOVEMBER 2012 GIVEAWAY!Good Luck! and P.S. Much appreciation for SHARING…..it will provide incentive for bigger giveaways in the future! happy

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