ZUMBA, HAVE YOU HEARD OF IT?

 

There are many benefits from practicing Zumba!  In the 1990s, a Colombian dancer and choreographer , Alberto Perez,  developed a dance fitness program called Zumba, which combines elements of dance and aerobics, including hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo.   It has become a popular new style of exercise, and is regularly practiced by over 15 million people in more than 175 countries.   Combining fast and slow dance moves with elements of resistance training, Zumba is a full-body workout that encourages social interaction.  I love it!  Some of the benefits other than learning different dance elements are: 

Burn Calories and Fat: its a combination of aerobic exercise  and resistance training. The fluctuation from controlled movements to rapid, high-intensity cardiovascular exercise keeps your metabolism in high gear, which can equal anywhere from 300-600 calories burned in a single hour, depending on your workout intensity. 

Promote Endurance: Continuous movement while working out can be tough, and with the common breaks and cool-down periods of strength training, you don’t build up as much endurance as a long-duration workout. Zumba’s standard hour-long classes get your body accustomed to ongoing exercise and energy expenditure, which can make working out easier and more enjoyable.

Improve Posture and Flexibility: The movements involved in Zumba aren’t what most workouts include  so it improves  flexibility in regular Zumba users.

Boost Confidence: The social aspect of Zumba  improves your dance moves and your physical health in a fun, informal setting like a Zumba class. 

Increase Coordination: Your coordination improves because of the multi-tasking elements of Zumba.

Reduce Anxiety: Zumba will  boost your mood, because dance is a social activity and everyone is doing the same thing and enjoying it.  Zumba  causes the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters that can improve mood and eliminate stress in the body.

Work Out the Whole Body: As a dance-based form of fitness, Zumba acts as a full body workout, where you use almost every muscle group of the body in a smooth, comprehensive fitness regimen. And the more you practice Zumba the better you will get.

This is an activity for all people of all ages!

If the music is good you dance

AMISH CREAMED CORN CASSEROLE

Amish Creamed Corn Casserole

Cook time: 1 Hr  Prep time: 5 Min  Serves: Several

Ingredients

2 can(s) creamed corn
3 can(s) whole kernal corn, drained
2 eggs
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
1 Tbsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
2 – 3 Tbsp butter, cut into slices
handful real bacon bits or bacon crumbled

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. In a 3 quart casserole; add the corn, saltines, sugar, salt & pepper. Mix eggs and add to casserole. Stir all well.
2. Lay butter pats evenly over casserole and sprinkle with bacon. Bake 1 hour 15 – 30 minutes. If the corn starts drying too much on top, add some foil and finish baking.
3. When serving, I mix the bacon into the corn. Enjoy!

ALOE VERA

 





 

 

 

I have lots of Aloe Vera growing in my yard and besides being a beautiful plant that requires little maintenance, the plant has many uses. Aloe grows in hot dry climates and produces a gel and latex which are used in making medicines. The gel is the clear jelly like substance in the leaf and the latex is just under the plants skin and is yellow.

Aloe can be taken orally or on the skin. Some of the conditions that Aloe is useful for are for high cholesterol, weight loss, diabetes, hepatitis, inflamed bowel diseases, ulcers, fever, inflammation and many other ailments. Aloe vera is excellent on your skin if you have a burn, sunburn or dry skin. I have used the aloe gel in a smoothie too.

Aloe vera contains over 70 properties including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, etc. Some products claim the name aloe vera, but quite often have other ingredients that are not good for you. If you can, find aloe vera in a pure form to get the most benefits.

There is much more to know about aloe vera and its benefits to your health.

 

LIMES – BENEFITS AND RECIPES

We have a wonderful lime tree in our yard that produces enough limes to keep us in limes every day! There are a lot of health benefits from the lime including weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care and treatment of peptic ulcers, respiratory disorders, gout, gum problems and urinary disorders, etc.

Limes are consumed all over the world and used in beverages, cocktails, jams, jellies, candies and in cooking. The oil taken from the skin of the lime is used in soft drink concentrates, body oils, cosmetics, hair oils, toothpaste, toilet and beauty soap, disinfectants, mouth wash, deodorants and many other products.
There are two main sour lime varieties, Tahitian and Key. The key limes you would recognize because of the famous pie.
Limes contain antioxidants, which research has shown stops cell division in several cancers. Scientists noted that in several African villages where cholera epidemics had occurred, lime juice included in the diet protected against cholera.

Free radicals can mingle with healthy cells of the body, damaging blood vessels and allowing cholesterol to build up against membranes, which can cause inflammation. That’s why vitamin C can be used as a remedy for reducing the painful symptoms of arthritis and the prevention of atherosclerosis, not to mention colds and flu. Because of all these benefits, it’s not surprising that foods containing significant amounts of vitamin C, like limes, can actually contribute to lowered incidences of other problems, such as strokes, diabetic heart disease, and cancer.

 

A couple of recipes you might like:

Beer Margaritas

“Who would believe that beer would be the perfect solution to eradicating fluorescent green margaritas? Well, it is! Best to use not-so-micro brews to avoid an overpowering beer flavor. Use the limeade can to measure the ingredients, and adjust with extra water if the mixture seems too sweet. Straining the pulp is always a good idea, unless, of course, you like pulp!”
Ingredients
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
12 fluid ounces tequila
12 fluid ounces water
12 fluid ounces beer
ice
1 lime, cut into wedges
Directions
Pour limeade, tequila, water, and beer into a large pitcher. Stir until well-blended, and limeade has melted. Add plenty of ice, and garnish with lime wedges. Adjust with additional water, if needed.

Grilled shrimp with a lime base

3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (30-40 per pound)

Directions
Mix together the Cajun seasoning, lime juice, and vegetable oil in a resealable plastic bag. Add the shrimp, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.
Cook the shrimp on the preheated grill until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center, about 2 minutes per side.

CRANBERRY SALSA – JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!

Cranberry Salsa

Looking for something new and exciting for your Thanksgiving or Christmas get togethers? This
Cranberry Salsa is the perfect appetizer to serve to your guests over the holidays! 
It’s a delightful mixture ofsweet, tangy and spice, and it pairs perfectly with the smooth 
creaminess of the cream cheese.Serve this spread with assorted crackers, spoon it over 

turkey, chicken or pork tenderloin, 

Ingredients:
12 Ounce package frozen cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
6 green onions (chopped)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
1 jalepeno pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
8 Ounce package cream cheese (regular or dairy­free)
assorted crackers

Directions:
Place cranberries and sugar into the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until coarsely chopped.
In a bowl, stir cranberry mixture, green onions, jalapeno, cilantro & lime juice.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, place softened cream cheese on a serving plate. 

Using a slotted spoon, drain salsa and
pour over the top of the cream cheese.Serve with assorted crackers

Ctenosaura similis

 

These two pictures are of the iguana that lives with us!

 

 

 

 

 

Ctenosaura similis (black iguana) sounds like a small dinosaur!    We have one living in our back yard in a small wood pile. Constant entertainment for Oskar and Chica, our two little dogs. Black Iguanas are natives to Mexico and Central America.    This one of the fastest running species of lizard. Yikes, they are capable of growing to 1.3 meters.    They can have a crest of long spines down the centre of their backs. Black iguanas are excellent climbers and I have seen them go straight up a brick fence with little effort.    They prefer a habitat where there are lots of crevices to hide in.

Black iguanas like to eat flowers, leaves, stems and fruit but will eat smaller animals, eggs, and bugs.    I know our black iguana loves to eat the outer parts of papaya and other fruit scraps i give him.

Male black iguanas show dominance and interest in females with head bobbing.    Once he catches her, within 8 to 10 weeks the female will dig a nest and lay up to 30 eggs that hatch in 90 days.   The babies  once hatched crawl out of the sand.    They are typically green with brown markings when they are young.

 

STREAKED BACKED ORIOLES



 

The streak-backed Oriole, also known as Flame-headed Oriole or Scarlet-headed Oriole is pretty common along the Pacific Coast, we see them often in Punta Perula. They are a large oriole with mostly bright orange body and black streaks on its back. They eat mainly insects but individuals feed on fruit, seeds and nectar as well. I have seen them pecking at my hanging bunch of bananas once they are starting to ripen. But they mostly eat insects.

The orioles are seasonally monogamous, staying with one mate for the breeding season. The female constructs a nest of plant fibres in the shape of a long hanging basket from 28 – 30 inches long. You see them hanging from the tips of tree branches. They usually hold 3 to 4 eggs which are pale blue and spotted. They incubate for 12 – 14 days and the babies remain in the nest for about 2 weeks before leaving. Both parents feed the babies. Their reproductive age is after about one year, although they are not at their full colors yet.

Streak-backed orioles as having a gentle “wheet” call, also describe a “jerky, discordant, jangling warble,” which usually ends in a raspy rattle.

They are a beautiful bird if you are a bird watcher and like to photograph birds!

 

HOW ABOUT FRESH COCONUT AS A HEALTH BENEFIT

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NOW WE KNOW FRESH COCONUT WATER IS GOOD FOR YOU, HOW ABOUT FRESH COCONUT….

Raw coconut is rich in medium-chain triglycerides, a type of dietary fat that may encourage weight loss.  Raw coconut is rich in dietary fiber, with one cup of shredded meat yielding  7 grams.  “Nutrition Reviews” explains, diets rich in fiber can boost health by normalizing bowel movements, reducing your risk of hemorrhoids, preventing blood sugar swings, lowering blood pressure, providing long-lasting satiation that discourages overeating, protecting against diabetes and even boost your immune system. In addition, the fiber in raw coconut may improve your cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein–or LDL–cholesterol in your bloodstream.

USDA notes that a cup of shredded coconut contains 60 percent of your recommended daily intake of manganese, 17 percent for copper, 11 percent for selenium, 11 percent for potassium, 10 percent for iron, 9 percent for phosphorus, 6 percent for magnesium and 5 percent for zinc.

Coconut oil, for instance, is considered the best and safest oil to use for cooking — even superior to extra virgin olive oil when it comes to giving the body what it needs for optimum health. Unlike other fats and oils that we typically use for cooking and baking, coconut oil does not form dangerous trans fatty acids in our bodies, which can raise our cholesterol levels; clog our arteries and even make our skin sag and wrinkle. Plus, this ultra-safe oil can give your body important antioxidants that can help build stronger cells and improve your overall health and well being.

Coconut oil also makes a superb topical oil that can help to naturally rid the skin of dangerous toxins.Another great benefit of coconut oil is in protecting your teeth from the bacteria that can cause cavities and disease. Simply rubbing a little fresh coconut oil on your gums and teeth can keep them stronger and healthier than virtually any other dental treatment.

There are many more benefits from the coconut either topically or internally.  

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DIABETES – BEST FOODS FOR DIABETICS.

Diabetes, quite simply, is a disease that result in a person having high blood sugar. More than 380 million people around the world suffer from this disease, and numbers are increasing every year.

Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes represents  90% of global diabetes cases and is often referred to as “adult-onset diabetes”. Type 2 diabetes is a result of lifestyle, not a disease that you are born with and it  means that your body is unable to properly utilize the insulin that your pancreas produces.  The ways that insulin is replaced in the body can cause either low or high blood sugar, both of which can be very dangerous. There is no known cure for diabetes, although there are medications that people take to monitor and regulate their blood sugar.

However, there is another option – managing your diet properly! There are many essential foods that diabetics should add to their diet that can help keep their bodies healthy and regulate their blood sugar in a natural way. According to a recent study plant-based foods contain antioxidants  that may improve blood sugar in people at risk for diabetes and heart disease. Let’s take a closer look at the 15 best foods for diabetics.

1) Spinach – spinach,  kale, Swiss Chard and broccoli are great for diabetics. The low-calorie and low-carb nature of these vegetables, combined with their high antioxidant potential, makes them ideal for fending off chronic illness. A study reported a 14% reduction in developing Type 2 diabetes when green, leafy vegetables were a regular part of one’s diet.

2) Dark Chocolate  – The high content of flavonoids and other antioxidants in dark chocolate reduces insulin resistance, increase insulin sensitivity, lower cravings for food and sweets, and also lowers chances of heart problems and blood pressure issues.

3) Beans – The high fiber content of beans is important for managing glucose absorption, but recent research has also shown that legumes are able to lower stroke risk and regulate insulin release in the body, making it a major diabetes booster.

4) Garlic – Although its direct impact on diabetes is somewhat unclear, garlic is known to reduce blood cholesterol, lower chances of blood clots,  reduce the risk of stroke, and lower blood pressure, all of which are associated with complications or are indicators of diabetes risk.

5) Fish – Not only do the omega-3 fatty acids  in fish like salmon,  mackerel, and herring reduce your risk of heart disease, which diabetics are already prone to,  but the healthy combination of protein  and fat actually slows the absorption of carbohydrates, which helps your body maintain stable blood sugar levels.

6) Blueberries – Is praised for being rich in antioxidants, and the anthocyanins in blueberries can significantly lower your chances of contracting type 2 diabetes by more than 20% according to recent research.

7) Egg whites – Egg whites are a healthy lean  protein and are very low in carbohydrates, which means that it doesn’t impact your blood sugar levels and helps you prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

8) Oatmeal – The high content of soluble fibre  in oatmeal can help to reduce feelings of hunger, while also blocking the absorption of carbohydrates, which can keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Furthermore, it lowers the changes of cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol, which are dangerous for those who suffer from diabetes.

9) Tomatoes- The carotenoids and flavonoids found  in tomatoes work as great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents in the body, lowering your risk of chronic diseases, heart conditions, cholesterol, and other telling signs that can often lead to diabetes. They are also non-starchy vegetables, so they will keep your blood sugar levels under control.

10) Nonfat Yogurt  has been shown to be a major booster for diabetics, as the high-protein, low-fat, and low-carbohydrate combination lowers the absorption of glucose into our body, while the calcium content has also been shown to lower type 2 diabetes risk.

11) Quinoa – This grain is a complete protein, which is extremely important for our health, and it is also packed with fiber, which increases insulin sensitivity and regulates the absorption of carbohydrates into the body, preventing fluctuations in blood sugar that diabetics have to avoid.

12) Red Onions – The antioxidants found in red onions  make them powerful anti-cancer food, they are good for boosting heart health, and reduce the chances of chronic diseases like diabetes.

13) Almonds –  provide a huge boost of magnesium and monounsaturated fats, which regulates carbohydrate metabolism.  Research has also shown that a high-magnesium diet  helps to lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 30%.

14) Olive Oil – By replacing butter and lard with olive oil you can reduce your chances of developing diabetes by more than 50%, not to mention the important antioxidants and monounsaturated fats that reduce heart disease and cholesterol, both of which diabetics are prone to have problems with.

15) Sweet Potatoes  – Compared to their white cousins, sweet potatoes have been show to reduce  A1C levels (a measurement of blood sugar) by up to .5%, while the anthocyanins and other antioxidants help to prevent chronic diseases like coronary heart disease and cancer, for which diabetic patients are at higher risk.