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Choose Wellness -- Dec 2011
December 13, 2011
Greetings, best wishes

... and welcome everyone to this last Choose Wellness Newsletter for the year 2011.

It's getting V E R Y hot here in Brisbane which tells me that Christmas is just around the corner - again. It's only 6 months since last Christmas surely!

I have not been 'on top' of my newsletters this year and have sent out very few. .. my apologies, especially to all those who have joined recently and have not as yet received a newsletter from me. My sincere thanks for joining my list.. it's great to have you on board.

I'll try to do better next year though I do seem to be 'slowing down' in all areas, and have not been spending as much time at my computer this year as I did in previous years.

My main reason for this message is to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a New Year that brings you good health, happiness and everything you want for you and your family.

Since it is the festive season and the eating and preparing of food features so significantly at this time of year I have just a few things for you to think of when you are preparing your food.

These few tips come from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit, non-partisan research organisation dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

They make these suggestions:

Choose food low in added chemicals and pollutants - food can contain artificial additives, pesticides, hormones and food packaging chemicals that we don't want to eat so it is best to buy organic when you can or at least make sure the food you buy is as fresh as possible and cook with fresh rather than packaged and canned varieties

Use non-toxic cookware - it is safer to use cookware that is not 'non-stick' but if you are using a non-stick pan, don't heat the empty pan and use an exhaust fan over the stove

Store and reheat leftovers safely - you are sure to have lots of leftovers at this time of the year, and if you're like me they usually get stored in plastic containers. EWG suggest avoiding plastic when storing and don't microwave food or drinks in plastic containers, even if they claim to be "microwave safe." Heat can release chemicals into your food and drink. Microwave ovens heat unevenly, creating hot spots where the plastic is more likely to break down.

You can get the full information on these tips at the EWG website, just by clicking this link.

A Couple of Christmas Recipes

Because it's always so hot here on Christmas Day, we usually have a cold lunch instead of the traditional hot baked dinner. Mind you it's only in recent years that we've opted out of the traditional hot turkey, piles of roast vegetables and then the Christmas pudding with hard Brandy Sauce - always a favourite of mine.

This Christmas we'll be only a small family and we'll be having some fresh ham off the bone and lots of salads. I'll include here the chicken salad recipe and a great salad made with rice and nuts which will form part of our menu.

Warm Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

This recipe came from the Australian Women's Weekly - Oct 2011 issue

  • 2 teas sesame seeds
  • 2 teas sale
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 coriander stems
  • 4 (800g) chicken breasts
  • 1 butter lettuce
  • 200g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 100g snow peas
  • 1 (130g) Lebanese cucumber, peeled, halved sliced
  • 2 sticks (300g) celery
  • ½ small (50g) red onion, sliced thinly

Toast sesame seeds lightly in a medium dry frying pan. Remove and then half fill the frying pan with water; add salt, garlic and coriander stems. Bring to the boil; add chicken and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, in barely simmering water for about 10mins or until chicken is just cooked through, turning halfway. Remove chicken from pan, cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing or pulling apart into pieces.

Meanwhile, combine lettuce, broccoli, snow peas, cucumber, celery and onion in a large bowl or deep platter. Top with the chicken and drizzle with the Sesame Dressing and sprinkle with the toasted seeds.

Sesame Dressing

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tab soy sauce
  • 1 teas sesame oil
  • 2 tabs caster sugar

Combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well to dissolve the sugar.

Sliced mango with thinly sliced red onion makes a great accompaniment to this as a side dish.

Rebecca's Nut Rice Salad

Thanks Glenis for passing on this recipe.

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (cooked just until tender/not mushy - rinse in cold water - drain)
  • 3 tablespoons Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Red Capsicum (diced finely)
  • 6 eschallots - finely chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root - finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 100g Sunflower seeds
  • 100g Cashews
  • 100g Pinenuts

Lightly dry roast the seeds and nuts, mix with other ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Make a dressing with 1/2 cup Sunflower Oil, 4 tabs Soy Sauce, 1 tab lemon or lime juice and a crushed clove of garlic. Shake together in a glass jar and add half of the dressing to the salad ingredients just before serving. Taste and add more if required.

"The food choices you make have a big effect on your health and how your body looks and feels."

Time for a Laugh

Here are a couple of little gems from a couple of little kids.
  • TEACHER: Glenn, why do you always get so dirty?
  • GLENN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
  • TEACHER: Why are you late?
  • STUDENT: Class started before I got here

The Odds on Good Health

I've been subscribing for sometime now to 's Baseline of Health Newsletter and thought I'd pass on this recent article about "The Odds on Good Health".

Jon says ...

"Too often, writers on health, who should know better, make health claims that have no substance in reality. This is true not only of alternative health writers, but of medical doctors as well. As for the mainstream media, they are effectively brain dead when it comes to health and nutrition, have no opinions of their own that they are willing to express, know nothing of substance anyway, and for the most part, just print what the medical community tells them to anyway, so they don't really count." (strong words!)

  • Use these supplements and you won't get cancer
  • Follow this diet and you will cure diabetes -- guaranteed
  • Conventional treatment for cancer is the only treatment that works
  • Detoxing is snake oil
  • Chemotherapy cures cancer
  • If you smoke cigarettes, you die

Why are these lies? Because when it comes to health, absolutes almost never apply.

Continue Reading... to get the full article.

So much of how healthy we are depends on our lifestyle and our diet and if we can get by without taking medication, then so much the better. But when it all boils down .. what are the odds of our having a long and healthy life? - for a start we are all different, have different genetic makeups and are subjected to outside influences over which we have no control.

Perhaps if more research went into the cause and prevention of diseases and less into the treatment it would be advantageous for all?

Anyway my wish for all of you is that you 'beat the odds' and enjoy a long and healthy life.

"Refined, processed foods should be avoided or eaten in limited quantities. They offer no nutritional value and can be addictive leading to weight gain and poor health. "

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...till next time, don't forget that I love to receive your questions, comments or requests and I'd love you to send your favourite recipe or health tip, so please contact me if you have anything you'd like to contribute or any questions.

Until then keep well and remember

'healthy cells = healthy bodies'


PS Don't forget to share this Newsletter with your friends.

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