To See or Not To See…or To Simply Deny???

Climate Change

© 2013 Pittsburgh Post Gazette – Rogers



From Ornamental to Medicinal: Our Incredible Edible Banana Trees

Banana Tree Flower, Banana

Although we do not live in a coastal region, we love the tropical, ornamental swagger our banana trees add to our backyard. For a couple of decades now, my husband and I have taken on the arduous task of planting the descendants from one single banana tree each year. Before the first frost hits in the fall, we dig them up, wrap the roots in plastic bags and store them in the crawl space until the last frost has passed (which is usually the first week in April).

After a mature banana tree produces the flowers that bring forth the bananas, the tree has served its purpose and is no longer useful. Or so we thought.

I recently discovered that the flower (or blossom) of the banana tree is edible. Not only that, almost all parts of the banana tree are edible and offer some amazing health benefits (wards off infections, boosts mood and reduces anxiety, boosts the supply of milk that helps new mothers feed their young better, manages diabetes and anemia, and improves digestion just to name a few). While I am still investigating the aforementioned benefits, check out this video below and see what you think. Going forward, I believe we will hold off trashing those banana trees that have passed their prime each year. From ornamental to medicinal…who knew?

Staying on Track

Fitbit Alta, activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices

Image Source:

After going in for my annual checkup a few years ago, it only took the sudden shock of hearing how much I weighed to say “Whoaaaaaaa Nellie!” I believe that news alone made my blood pressure go up, which the nurse took afterward mind you. Now while my weight was not out of control, it was more than I have ever weighed in my life. For several years I used a pedometer to get at least 10,000 steps in a day to stay active, a little bit anyway. Last year, one of my best friends, who is an exercise buff wanted me to use the same type of activity tracker that she used so that we could be each other’s accountability partner. 

Exercising, activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices

Image Credit: axelle b

Ahhhhh….so I lost the pedometer and started using my Fitbit Alta activity tracker. I didn’t need anything ultra sophisticated, but this Fitbit Alta helps me track so much stuff like my daily steps, the number of miles walked, calories burned, active minutes performed and how many hours I slept! Yep, you won’t believe how much vital information it provided that only got me hyped up even more.

activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices, Fitbit Alta

Image Source:

Did you know that walking 10,000 steps per day can help to reduce the rate of type 2 diabetes by 50% and can reduce stroke rates by 70%? The older we get sometimes makes staying focused, active and proactive about our health and wellness a little challenging. All too often, poor eating habits, the lack of consistent exercising along with a little-added stress on top of that can affect our motivation.

Fitbit Alta, Exercising, cycling, activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices

Image Credit: Jean Beaufort

Improve your health, energy, attitude, and productivity by walking, running, swimming, cycling, yoga, or Zumba. Don’t allow inactivity, excessive weight gain, and lifestyle traps make you sink into the evils of health related issues. Take charge and do something. Don’t just sit there and allow time to rob you of your good health and wellness.

Improve your health, energy, attitude and productivity, Fitbit Alta

Image Credit:

Fitbit is my new hassle free way of turning health and wellness into an entertaining and accountable mission. If you don’t have an activity tracker or pedometer, at least make a commitment to do some type of physical activity each day for at least for ten minutes and drink plenty of water, especially right after you get up in the morning. You can’t imagine how energized and focused you will feel, just by making a few simple changes in your life, like eating better.

Observing National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month on Food Porn Friday

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, Farmers Market, Fruits, Vegetables

Oh, the brilliant rainbow of bold colors that you see displayed in the fruit and vegetable bins when you visit your local farmers market or free standing produce stands. Did you know that June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month? This is another great reason to celebrate eating healthier during these hot summer days while getting your heart-smart grub on. 

There is a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your area that provide some amazing health benefits, which include lowering your cholesterol, helping you to lose weight, contains beneficial fiber, improves your vision and cellular growth. Fruits and vegetables also contain natural sources of daily recommended vitamins and minerals. Here are 40 Garden-Fresh Vegetable Recipes that are quick and simple to whip up from the folks at Midwest Living.

Happy #NationalFreshFruitandVegetablesMonth on #FoodPornFriday!


Good Night, Sleep Tight

Sleeping, From Behind the Pen, napping

All too often, I get excited about a project I’m working on and when it’s time to call it a night, I keep going because I am on a roll. While that may not be a problem if it occurs once in a while, I find that I allow myself to indulge in stretching my awake time far too often than I should. I am an early riser, and while that is a good thing I tend to also be a late retirer. Besides my occasional fatigue, I really did not give a whole lot of credence to the health and wellness implications due to my insufficient and erratic sleep patterns. 

Somehow, many of us have come to the conclusion that in our daily 24-hour span, we must somehow be compelled to use all 24 hours with activity. Where does that leave time for sleep and relaxation? Oh, you don’t think you have the luxury for that kind of time? Well, think again. If you don’t make the time, not find the time, but intentionally carve out a portion of the time you have to rest and relax, then you may be forced to do so.

What exactly do I mean? Well, since this is Better Sleep Month, I wanted to examine my sleep habits and how my lack of rest affects every facet of my being. Our bodies aren’t robotic, and rest and sleep are part of the natural course of life. It behooves you to relax, meditate and bask in overall daily gratitude. Learn how to breathe and not just suck in breaths. If we fail to sufficiently rest our bodies, then we may suffer the consequences of a complete shutdown where you can’t move no matter how hard you try.

Medical studies show that getting a good night’s sleep is quite beneficial to better health. Research has found a link between insufficient or the lack of sleep and how these elements are connected to serious health issues such as heart disease, obesity, weight gain, extreme fatigue, outright crankiness, and diabetes. Why put others at risk for your carelessness caused by the lack of adequate rest?

Sleep is vital for memory, learning and retaining information. Sleep can also be a natural supplement to medication and increasing metabolism. You will be amazed by what a little sleep will do. So, good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…Happy #BetterSleepMonth!

For the Health of It: Have a Heart

Women's Heart Health Month, American Heart Month, American Heart AssociationThroughout the month of January, we observed National Staying Healthy Month. If you are still holding fast to your healthy lifestyle goals as we enter the second month of 2016, HOORAY for you and congratulations! Keep making healthy lifestyle changes for your body, mind and spirit.

During the month of February, we move to heart awareness topics that’s critical to our overall health and well-being. February is Women’s Heart Health Month and American Heart Month. Friday February 5, 2016 is the 13th annual celebration of National Wear Red Day for women. It’s no secret that one in three women die of heart disease and strokes every year. In fact, although we think breast cancer is the primary killer of women, it is actually heart disease that is the #1 killer of women.

The heart, a muscular organ in the body pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The American Heart Association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Learn more about the causes, resources and prevention guidelines of heart disease and how you can play a major role in the fight against heart disease, heart failure and strokes. Visit the American Heart Association’s website