Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wonders will never cease
Ever have one of those days where a small detail seems to flip the whole world around ? The bad times are the stuff we groan about, but the good ones are better than Christmas !
The day started off snorky but well. We are tackling actual chemistry experiments at the moment, and I am limping through in a makeshift fashion till I can get to the science store on Sunday to buy what I need. Long story, but the bottom line is I am going to be spending Mothers Day afternoon NOT with my family or my own mom, but combing through a store looking for corks, plastic tubing, bunsen burners, test tubes and more. It is the absolute soonest I can get there. It kind of sucks, but it is one of the most rewarding things in the world to see Nick actually "get" a concept we have gone over time and time again.To me that is like winning the lottery AND spending a week in the Tropics rolled together in a neat little ball. It was a great morning, and it got better with a rainstorm. I noticed that as the rain fell I was breathing a lot easier, which confirms that what I am dealing with is allergies. Time to address the root cause of this instead of just the symptoms.
We broke for lunch ( grilled cheese and hummus on a Thomases lite English Muffin with cole slaw and carrots on the side), and I noodled around a little on the computer. One of my friends reminded me of the benefits of eating locally produced honey in cases of airborn seasonal allergies. It sounds odd, but through the bees almost "magical " process of converting pollen to honey, various chemical changes occur and honey made from locally grown flowers becomes capable of building a bodies tolerance to the allergen in a safe way. Honey is amazing stuff ! It not only sweetens foods but has some nutritional value and compounds that help heal wounds. I remember last fall making a mental note of finding some locally produced honey to start feeding the guys because of their yearly bout of allergies. They had an allergy free year and I forgot about it- and the source I found for locally produced honey. After we wrapped up the school day I started researching sources on Google for locally produced honey, and Bob called reminding me he was stopping at the new Whole Foods for some organic oats and asking if I needed anything else. On a lark, I asked him to look and see if they had any locally produced honey. He did , and SCORE !!!
A honey that is produced in the neighborhoods of Chicago, which is within 40 miles of my home. Bees can and will go many miles to obtain pollen, so it is logical to assume that they have hit on numerous flowering weeds, noxious plants in the area, flowers, trees and more. A good thing. And the good thing got even better when I decided to check out their webpage. Turns out their apiairy is located literally blocks from where my grandparents lived when I was a small child. My parents grew up in that area and my great grandparents lived there as well. Old stomping grounds ! The honey is produced through a cooperative that provides employment for those whom have been through the criminal justice system and otherwise would not have employment- and even better factor. I was totally psyched !
Dinner was a new favorite- spinach salad with sweet potatoes, lentils, walnuts and dates.
All healthy, nutrient dense foods that taste yummy in combination. But what exactly are some of the good things that come from lentils and sweet potatoes ? Why should I eat them you ask ? Here are some reasons:
Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A , and a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Vitamin B6, is used to convert homocysteine, into other benign molecules. High homocysteine levels have been linked tyo an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Vitamin A can help prevent the damage from second hand smoke and other pollutants.It can also help reduce the symptoms of emphysema.Sweet potatoes are high in oxylates, so those with kidney and gall bladder
disease should avoid them.
Lentils are the fast food of the bean world- no soaking required and go from dried to cooked in a
mere 20 minutes time. They are a good source of dietary fiber, which can not only help lower cholesterol but keep blood sugar levels from a rapid rise. They also contain significant amounts of folate and magnesium , as well as other minerals and protien. Folate helps to lower homocystine ( as well as B6) and magnesium helps to improve blood flow through it's calcium channel blocking abilities.(calcium can be a bad thing if it winds up in the incorrect system in the body- the circulatory system being one of these).Lentils are also high in iron, which helps to increase the hemoglobin levels in the blood , which transports oxygen to the cells through the bloodstream.Lentils do contain purines, which can be a problem for those suffering from high levels of uric acid ( gout and kidney stones, but plant based sources may not be a problem).