We Are What We Eat: Potassium, the Real Special K

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Today, in the second in a series  of posts examining the building blocks of our bodies, we are getting know Potassium, one of the vital elements that we need on a daily basis for metabolic function, for basic health and well-being. When it comes to potassium, most budding chemist know that its atomic number is 19 and its symbol is K, and athletes know that this important element somehow keeps them from cramping during extended periods of exercise; jocks know that bananas are a good source of it, and Gatorade and other sports drink makers add it to their sugary concoctions to give them that extra edge. When we perspire, and when athletes sweat heavily, we lose mostly water-which is why it is important to keep hydrated-and sodium and chloride. (By the way, if your sweat is really salty, if you get caked in white powder once it dries, you are ingesting too much sodium; not a good thing).

We also lose other electrolytes like potassium, magnesium and calcium, needed to maintain fluid balance, regulate the pH in our blood and assist in normal muscular function. Continue »



Let’s Get Freekeh

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Nutritionists are almost unanimous when it comes to espousing the health benefits of whole grains. So today let’s talk about one of the healthiest whole grains out there – freekeh.

Unlike refined flours, whole grains have their germ, endosperm and bran intact, providing fibre, plant protein, complex carbohydrates,  fats and oils and a multitude of  vitamins and minerals.    Continue »



Prepare Your Grill For Grilling Season

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Hello sunshine! Isn’t it nice to see a bright blue sky at seven p.m., the snow receding from your lawn, the chill of winter air mingling with the occasional warm breeze…and in just eleven days – it’s hard to believe – it will be spring, the vernal equinox, the day that the sun’s path, moving from the southern hemisphere to the north, crosses the equator. On March 20, the day is the same length as the night, which for many of means only one thing; it’s time to clean up the trusty barbecue and get it ready for the first grilling of the year! Continue »



We Are What We Eat – Magnesium

Popeye-Spinach   We all know that we are what we eat, that our bodies are made of elements that are required to build and maintain this mortal coil; 99% of our bodies are composed of just six elements, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen nitrogen, phosphorous and calcium, (made memorable by the acronym CHONPC). Five other elements, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium make up the remaining 1%. Yet all of these elements are our clay, and all are essential for life. Miss out on a few of these and suffer the consequences. And there are other trace elements found in our bodies too, some of which are essential in their given role, like fluorine, which seems to only harden tooth enamel. Continue »



Spring Really Is Closer Than It Seems

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A Good Thing: Snow cover is a great insulator for garden perennials.

Before we know it, we are going to be complaining about the heat. Is that even possible? I have a faint memory of doing just that in the not so distant past. In the meantime, even though I am not a skier, I’m very happy to see those massive piles of snow, which are doing a great job of insulating the perennials in the garden. The snow doesn’t insulate as in keeping warm, it insulates by keeping plants (and soil) cold, and therefore dormant, so they don’t start growing, only to met with another icy blast.

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