Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, nutrition

Best Smoothie Ingredients

Customize your smoothies to suit your needs and your dietary restrictions.  Pick and choose the ingredients you like to eat or drink.  This will make your custom smoothies easier to swallow, literally.  These ingredients may vary with age too.  For example, seniors may add ingredients that combat arthritis, but the younger generation might not yet care about arthritis. I recently started adding frozen beets to my smoothies as I read they are good for my circulation.

Vitamins & Minerals

Everyone needs vitamins and minerals, regardless of your age. Do your research to see which ingredients contain the vitamins you are deficient in. For example, if you need vitamin B12, use milk or yogurt as your base.

Add Creaminess

Bananas add creaminess and sweetness as well as vitamins B6 and B12, potassium and magnesium. If you are on a calorie restriction however, bananas are not usually recommended as they have a high glycemic index.

Avocados add creaminess too with the added benefit of good (omega 3) fats, fiber, and many vitamins including folate and vitamin K.

Berries are Terrific

Berries are antioxidants and add fiber to your smoothies. Most are also high in vitamin C. Raspberries are very seedy though, so can make your smoothie not so smooth. Blueberries and/or strawberries are terrific. Buy them frozen to keep them easily accessible and their nutrients fresh.

Dark Leafy Greens

If you don’t eat enough dark leafy greens, throw some in your smoothie. They are loaded with vitamins such as A, C and K as well as folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Most are also antioxidants too. Don’t use too many at once though, or your smoothie will get too sludgy. Been there, done that!

Add a Boost of Protein

Protein is always a nice addition to provide even more nutrition to your smoothies. I use hemp hearts and collagen in mine. As well as a good source of protein, collagen is purportedly good for my arthritic joints as well as my aging skin. Protein powder works too and helps keep your smoothies smooth.

Green Tea

Add a few cups of green tea to your smoothie to boost your antioxidant level and reduce cholesterol, body fat, tooth decay, bad breath, and blood pressure. Green tea also gives you a caffeine boost.

If green tea is not your thing, add milk or almond milk for the liquid necessary to blend all the chunkier ingredients.

Spice it Up

Spices such as turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin etc. add flavor and many health benefits. Most are antioxidants, and help to combat inflammation and even cancer.

Conclusion

Tweak your own ingredient list so your smoothie is both tasty and healthy. That way you will continue to concoct and drink them. They make a great start to your morning or a hydrating and healthy boost any other time of day.

Posted in food, gluten-free, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, wheat-free

Gluten-Free Pizza, my Journey to Find the Best

Since I was diagnosed as wheat intolerant way back in 2011, I have been searching for the best gluten-free pizza. After all, pizza is one of the things I miss most about avoiding wheat. It’s been a journey, but I think I have discovered my favourite.

The winner is, (in my world) Daiya Foods, a plant-based (yes, even the cheese) company serving up a variety of dairy-free foods. Their products are not all gluten-free, but I bet they are all delicious. Their focus is on dairy-free foods, with a long list of choices including cheese cake, yogurt and even cheesy macaroni!

I first discovered Daiya Food’s gluten-free pizza at my local Sobeys store here in Kanata. I purchased the fire-roasted vegetable version and was not disappointed. In fact I have purchased it quite often. I like to keep at least one in my freezer for a quick snack or meal. Although my husband is not wheat or gluten intolerant, he has been commenting on just how good my pizzas look compared to his regular, gluten-full version.

I have since found other varieties (at Loblaws) and tried the mushroom and roasted garlic flavour most recently. With only two toppings, I prefer it to the fire-roasted vegetable version that I found a bit too top heavy. Both have thin crust, which bakes up perfectly crispy, not cardboardy or tasteless like some other brands I have tried.

gluten-free pizza
Gluten-Free Pizza from Daiya Foods

A little research on my part found Daiya’s website where I discovered all their other diary free, plant-based products, including the sure-to-be-delicious other gluten-free pizzas. Not fond of meat on pizza, but a topping lover, my next choice will be the margherita style. Although, the plant-based pepperoni or sausage on their meat lovers, pepperoni and supreme pizzas may be tastier than the meat they mimic. Maybe I will have to give them a chance.

A bonus for all you dairy intolerant folks, the cheeze shreds on these pizzas are hard to believe they are not the real thing. They melt beautifully and taste delicious. Soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, but I promise you won’t notice.

I am not sure if my earliest purchases were of the “new, improved recipe” indicated on these boxes, but I will enthusiastically vouch for the two (going on three) of these I have tried!

Posted in baby, family, grandkids, loreeebee.ca

A Photo A Week Challenge: Laughter

This is my granddaughter excited to see her new baby brother for the first time. He was born in April, 2020 when siblings were not permitted to visit new arrivals in the hospital, so big sister had to wait until he came home…

A Photo A Week Challenge
meeting baby brother!
Posted in guest post, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Healthy Morning Routines To Kickstart Your Day

This article was originally posted on PyrureOrganic.com, modified as a guest post here on Loreeebee…

How you start your morning sets the tone for the day. With that in mind, you can see how your morning routines can help you or hurt you when it comes to your health goals – whether that’s feeling energized and focused, managing blood sugar levels, keeping fit, preventing heart disease or controlling your weight.

In my roles as a registered dietitian nutritionist and a certified diabetes educator, I’ve watched thousands of people work to get their healthy habits in order. Behavior changes and new habits seem to flow better when the morning starts off right. A successful start to the day simply breeds more success.

Here are 5 ways you can get your morning in tiptop shape.

1. Start your morning before you even go to bed

Sometime in the early evening, check your schedule so nothing surprises you first thing tomorrow. Get organized by picking out your clothes, packing lunch, gathering any papers or books you may need, and grabbing a piece of fruit for a snack and some Pyure Organic Stevia packets to sweeten your mid-day work beverages. Then get into bed on time. A good nights sleep is critical to feeling energized and being well. In fact, research suggests that short sleeping increases the risk for weight gain, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

2. Wake up gently

Skip the jarring, blaring alarm clock, and wake up to something you enjoy. I open my eyes to a simulated sunrise and soothing bird chirping sounds. It’s made a difference in how I feel each morning. And try to find an extra few minutes before jumping out of bed to think about the good that lies ahead in your day. Start your day with positive feelings whenever you can.

3. Do coffee right

Or tea. Sipping on a warm caffeinated beverage can be a nice way to ease into your day. And both coffee and tea are associated with less risk of Type 2 diabetes and likely have heart health benefits, too. But sip smartly. For the sake of your weight, blood sugar, and heart, avoid extra calories, added sugars and saturated fats. Instead of syrups and heavy cream, add a splash of milk and a non-caloric sweetener.

4. Eat a health-boosting breakfast

It’s good to sit down to a nourishing meal, but even if you’re on the go, pick wholesome foods. Let this first meal of the day fuel you for a positive and productive morning. Eat favorite foods that fill you with both protein and fiber. For a leisurely breakfast at home, try savory oats topped with greens and an egg. Or enjoy a Greek yogurt and fruit parfait. If you’re on the run, grab a couple of hard-boiled eggs, half of a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread, and some fresh fruit. If you eat breakfast at work, steer clear of the typical sugar bombs like donuts, pastries, and your officemate’s candy dish. Instead, bring overnight oats with whatever fruit is in season. Say no to the sugar, and jazz up your oats with stevia or a sugar-free honey alternative and cinnamon.

5. Get some exercise

Morning is my favorite time to exercise because it gives me time to think about my day and what I want to accomplish. And I feel terrific starting my work or chores knowing that I already did something good for myself. Sadly, only one-third of adults get the recommended minimum amount of exercise each week, and a mere 5% of adults get 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Now really, it doesn’t matter if you exercise in the morning or later on. But each morning, do commit to exercising at some point during the day – even if you can find just a few minutes. Every time you exercise, you do your body good. Physical activity is good for controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. It’s also good for the muscles, joints and bones. Exercise can lift your mood and help you sleep better, too.

Conclusion

Make changes to start your day in ways that support your goals. Give yourself the gifts of time, nourishment and joy. Healthy morning routines will kickstart your day.

Sources:
Posted in blog, loreeebee.ca, social media

Domain Nightmare for my Blog

Recently I have experienced frustrating (and somewhat embarrassing) issues with my blog. It all started when I canceled the domain I paid for through WordPress way back when I was new to the blogging world. The problem arose when someone else picked up the domain through GoDaddy. Now that is a common occurrence but is causing me grief because the site is now an adult only (or soft porn) site. Not quite the image I am trying to portray…

The Blog in Question

The blog in question is called Lorieb.com. I will not provide a link or even tag it as I no longer not want to associate myself with that blog. If you are curious about just what kind of site it currently is, you can google it yourself. My biggest concern now is that this blog still links to my Facebook page. Why you ask? That’s what I am trying to find out. I am not sure if the association is intentional (fraudulent don’t you think?) or accidental.

Steps to Investigate

I have contacted FB with a request for them to investigate my predicament. I have not yet heard back from them. I appear to be caught up in a loop of reporting problems, lists of solutions (that don’t work, or apply) with nary a real person to contact or chat with.

When I asked WordPress for help, they discovered the domain was purchased through GoDaddy. That was a step forward, but now they (WP) cannot do anything further to help the situation. They did suggest I contact the new domain holder, but I have had no success finding out who exactly that is.

I have also contacted GoDaddy and was told they cannot make changes because the new domain owner has tight security options. I bet they do! I suggested they (GoDaddy) contact the new blog owner to ask them to delete the link to my FB page. They (GoDaddy) refused to do so. Once again, contacting someone who cares appears to be a recurring theme.

Recourse

In the meantime, I have been painstakingly going through my (almost) one thousand blog posts, removing the offending name from my tags and categories. I even changed the name of my WordPress blog (did you notice?) so it does not sound or look anything like the offensive site. I apologize for any confusion his may have caused any of my followers. I have also (I hope) removed any links I created to that website on any of my blog pages, pictures, business website, correspondence etc.

How You Can Help

Please notify me if you happen upon the blog through any of my links. As a non-IT person, I’m sure I have missed a few! And, if you are aware of anything else I can do to prevent this site from linking to me, I would appreciate the help. I am not sure either if those of you that followed me under that name would still be on the list of subscribers; you may want to check your list of blogs you subscribe to.

Last, but not least, if you get an invitation to like or subscribe to my (sort of) new blog (loreeebee.ca), it’s not a scam, please accept it and help me move on.

Loreeebee

Posted in DIY, gardens, grandkids, loreeebee.ca

Propagation Project, Seeds and Cuttings

Recently I told you about a project my seven-year-old granddaughter and I started in between her online classes. We gathered seeds from my gardens as well as the kitchen, then tried to sprout them in a mini greenhouse. A month later and we have success. Well, some success.

Successes

Our melons were the quickest out of the gate, and are looking the best so far…

Cantaloupe

Others, like hibiscus, red peppers and lemons are a bit slower, just starting to show signs of growth…

Roots from cuttings

For another project we tried placing leaf cuttings in water so they would form roots. I had read that coleus are particularly fond of this treatment, so I took several cuttings of the numerous coleus I planted in gardens this past summer. They were so gorgeous I just had to give propagating them a try. We are also trying to root some begonias that looked spectacular next to the coleus in containers I planted at our local hospice…

Bingo, the coleus rooted up well, in less than one week! The thicker, fleshier begonia stems are still a work in progress. Eight rooted coleus stems have now been promoted to pots with soil:

Rooted coleus

Potted coleus

Lessons Learned

When many of our seeds showed no growth at all, I investigated further. Rural Sprout for told me some seeds just don’t germinate well straight from the garden or kitchen. We will keep trying though.

We learned to water the seeds from below (inside the tray the pots sit on) instead of from above. This prevents the formation of mold on the soil surface. It also prevents the stems from rotting once they start emerging from the soil.

With the cuttings, we learned to remove all but one leaf from the stem and keep that leaf out of the water. You learn this from the foul smell that the water quickly emits if any leaves touch (rot in) the water. I knew this from fresh cut flowers in vases, just forgot to apply the knowledge to this project. To prevent the leaves from touching the water you can use plastic wrap over the jar of water with holes poked in for the stems.

I have a perfect solution in a glass vase spacer, basically a glass disc with holes in it that fits on the top of a vase. In this case, it sits on a cup full of water…

Glass disc with holes is perfect for tiny stems

I have a kitchenette in my basement with lots of counter space, a sink, and a nearby window to provide natural light, providing a perfect setup for these botany projects.

Come spring we should have lots of plants for our gardens and containers. Any ideas of other seeds we can try? We’ve got lots of time!

Posted in life lessons, loreeebee.ca, rant

Erasing History, Why is it so Selective?

I find it extremely annoying and disconcerting that people want to eradicate historic people and events. History is based on facts, some good and some not so good, but none that should be erased to make us feel better about ourselves. Hopefully we have evolved enough to avoid repeating the same politically incorrect transgressions.

Canadians (some) Demanding all Traces of Sir John A MacDonald be Removed

Sir John A MacDonald has been on the literal hit list in Canada lately. Schools, buildings, streets, statues, bridges, and the like are being renamed because of the belief that his federal policies were suspect when he was our Prime Minister. As our very first Prime Minister, he was instrumental in our country’s development and deserves a place in our history.

I find this obsession to erase history frustrating and ridiculous. Where do we draw the line? Who decides who was bad, really bad, bad enough to wipe them out?

Erasing history
Sir John A. MacDonald, Wikipedia

What About O.J?

These feelings of disgust were re-awakened yesterday afternoon when I was watching football and O.J. Simpson’s name came up. Inducted into the football hall of fame for his prowess on the field, he is still idolized and celebrated often by commentators and fans.

I don’t know about you, but I was totally dismayed that O.J. literally got away with murder. Twice. Talk about a travesty of justice. Yes, he was convicted in a civil suit, awarding money to the families of his victims, and spent some time in the clinker, but still got away with murder in the criminal courts.

O.J. Simpson, Wikipedia

What’s the Difference?

The point of this rant? Why is there a difference between the way we are willing to acknowledge the historic actions or behaviour of Sir John A and O.J? Why does O.J. Simpson continue to be idolized and revered when Sir John A. MacDonald and other historic figures are getting toppled from our graces, shunned, with all traces of them discarded from our lives?

Life Lessons

Learning from our mistakes should be considered valuable life lessons. We should be taught to move on and refrain (hopefully) from repeating the same mistakes. That doesn’t mean the lessons or mistakes didn’t happen and shouldn’t be acknowledged. Life lessons get chronicled in our brains, or, in some cases, our journals or diaries.

In Conclusion

It seems to me that we are offended by everything and everyone these days. If our ideologies are threatened (??) we demand all traces of the offender removed from society. If we can accept the accomplishments and talents of one man without judging him on his lifestyle, ethics, or morals, why can we not accept the valuable contributions of others?

I believe that history is in the past; we learn about people, places, and things and decide how to incorporate the good from the past into our futures. Every country in the world can dredge up unsavory actions of their leaders and heroes. It’s how the indiscretions are dealt with that should decide the success and health of the country moving forward.

Well, I feel (somewhat) better after this rant, but I would like to hear from others. Am I wrong? Or just easily offended.

Posted in current events, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, mental health

Mental Health More Critical During Pandemic

Mental health issues have become much more prevalent during the Covid pandemic. Unfortunately, these issues have not (yet) been given the respect they deserve. I say yet, because I hope someone in power will step up and recognize the increased need for help.

This group in Canberra, Australia has stepped up to address mental health in a big way. MIEACT or Mental Illness Education Act was created in 2014 but is recognizing the increased need for mental health support during the pandemic.

I saw this post on Facebook recently where MIEACT describes the ways to improve your mental health:

Did you know that you can consciously create opportunities for your body to release Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphin, increasing your wellbeing, stabilizing mood, improving motivation and increasing connection?

MIEACT

 That’s lots of ways to make yourself feel more cheerful and healthier!

According to AtlasBiomed, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin are all “happy hormones,” chemicals that are released within our bodies naturally sending positive, feel-good messages to our brains.

Good on MIEACT for sharing these ways to improve our mental health. Hopefully, the rest of the world can step up too to recognize, support, and tackle mental health issues in their areas of the globe.

Posted in health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Best Anti-Aging Vitamins: 5 Supplements to Help Turn Back the Clock

This article was originally posted on Ivee, adapted for posting on Loreeebee:

While aging may not be the most pleasant experience, the memories, experiences, and life lessons we learn along the way are invaluable. What if someone told you there are ways to stop, or at least limit, the symptoms of aging? With help from specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, we can help rewind our body’s biological clock by replenishing valuable nutrients that we lose with age. That being said, aging is inevitable, and symptoms are almost impossible to avoid altogether. If nothing else, utilizing this collection of nutrients can increase our body’s efficiency to improve our quality of life.

What Happens When We Age?

As we age, our body stops producing certain chemical compounds that were plentiful when we were younger. Additionally, our telomeres shorten with age. Telomeres help protect the ends of our chromosomes from deteriorating. When our telomeres shorten, our body’s cells go through a negative transformation that drastically affects our health and lifespan. 

Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased risk of disease and lower survival rates. Most of the symptoms related to aging are cognitive. Yes, our hair turns grey and we start to get wrinkles, but the slow cognitive decline is the most reported and impactful result of aging. So let’s take a look at five supplements that can help reduce these effects. 

Five Supplements That canTurn Back the Clock
Curcumin
Photo from Pexels

1. Curcumin

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, a spice used predominantly in Asian dishes that comes from the turmeric root. Curcumin is rated highly for its powerful anti-aging effects due to its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that help protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Additionally, this antioxidant protects our cells from cellular senescence which occurs when cells stop dividing. As we get older these unresponsive cells accumulate, accelerating the aging process and the progression of age-related diseases.

You can easily increase your curcumin intake by incorporating turmeric in dishes or by taking curcumin supplements!

2. CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is another antioxidant that is self-produced by your body. It is responsible for energy production and protecting cells from damage. As we age, our levels of CoQ10 begin to decline, and symptoms such as fatigue and brain fog become more and more apparent. 

In 2015, researchers ran an experiment to test the effects of supplemented CoQ10 in 443 older adults. The study found that supplementing CoQ10 and selenium (an element that aids metabolism) over four years improved their overall quality of life, reduced hospital visits, and slowed the deterioration of mental performance. 

Though CoQ10 shows the potential to be a powerful anti-aging supplement, there still needs to be more research and definitive evidence before it can be recommended as a natural way to prevent aging. Make sure to talk to a health care professional before trying it out.

3. Vitamin B12

This popular vitamin aids our body in numerous ways, such as keeping our nerve and blood cells healthy. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak

Aside from its “inner body benefits,” such as added energy and cognitive clarity, B12 can also aid our bodies cosmetically. It can help improve our appearance by reducing skin redness, inflammation, and dryness. It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails become stronger.

Our bodies don’t produce B12 naturally, but we can obtain it through various foods like fish, eggs, and chicken. Different types of vegetables, such as mushrooms, are high in B12 as well. B12 is also available as a daily supplement and can be found at your local pharmacy or natural food store.

4. Vitamin D 

Weakening immune systems are also a sign of aging so catching a common cold will have a much more significant impact than it did when we were younger. Thankfully, a new UK research study has found that Vitamin D can have a positive effect on the immune system and help offset some age-related health issues.

It is also widely accepted throughout the scientific community that vitamin D compounds protect the skin against the hazardous effects of many skin aging-inducing agents, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

You can absorb vitamin D naturally through the sun’s rays, but vitamin D supplements are widely accessible at any pharmacy or vitamin shop for an extra boost if you don’t spend much time outdoors.

5. NAD+ Treatment 

While we know this isn’t a vitamin or antioxidant, the potential of Nicotinamide adenine dinuleotide (NAD+) is something we cannot overlook. That’s because it is one of the most potent anti-aging molecules you can put into your body. In short, NAD+ keeps your cells “young” and helps to rewind your biological clock.

NAD+ treatment is relatively new on the scene. As of right now, the FDA has only given the green light for oral NAD+ supplements. However, injecting NAD+ intravenously is a very efficient way to receive the nutrient, as it allows for almost 100% bioavailability. 

NAD+ treatment can last anywhere from two to six hours and has been reported by some as being quite uncomfortable. Some patients have reported nausea, chest tightness, and lightheadedness. Fortunately, these symptoms are short-lived and pretty much counteracted by the treatment’s lasting impact on energy levels, mental clarity, and overall sense of rekindled youth.

Conclusion

Aging is inevitable, we all know that. As we age our body slowly reduces its efficiency and there is no way around that. These supplements and treatments are in no way the “end all be all” for aging symptoms; what they do provide is a higher quality of life and help to manage current and future symptoms of aging.

Reading this information, I think my daily diet and routine covers four of five of these age reducers. My daily smoothie contains turmeric and Co-Q10 containing strawberries, spinach and broccoli. Meat, cheese, mushrooms and eggs are common ingredients in my meals, covering my vitamin B12 requirements. I also make a habit of getting my natural vitamin D by spending as much time as possible outdoors.

I did a little research of my own regarding NAD+ and it turns out cremini mushrooms, tuna and salmon are all natural sources of the anti-aging compound. That means I’m covered for all five after all. I should be looking younger any day now!

Posted in gardens, gardens4u.ca, loreeebee.ca

Last Garden Project of the Season for Gardens4u

I finished my last garden project of my Gardens4u season recently. The beautiful weather we have experienced lately has certainly helped in that I was able to extend the season a bit.

This latest garden project was for a neighbour. I had already designed a garden in her front yard a few years ago…

…but the condition of her lawn after the drought conditions of this past summer convinced her to extend the garden right to the road.

So, she dug up what little lawn was left, giving me a blank slate….my favourite design opportunity! I amended the existing soil with composted manure, then added stepping stones to divide the yard visually….and to provide access for maintenance as well as amusement for her grandchildren…

 Instead of one large garden, I treated the sections as individual gardens with taller plants in the center and lower ones around the perimeters. I think this will create added visual appeal. (this may be difficult to see now, but will be obvious when the plants mature) Several existing plants were moved to achieve this effect; those that were previously at the edges of the garden were moved to the fronts of each new bed, with taller ones planted behind them. A row of drought-tolerant, succulent groundcover now edges the curb where the lawn refused to thrive.

 After the plants settled into their new homes, mulch was added to finish off the project and protect the new plants over the winter. 

The neighbouring yard/garden visible in my pictures is the mature version of one of my very first Gardens4u projects, way back in 2012.

The challenge now is waiting until spring to see this latest design come alive!