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Choose Wellness -- Feb 2012
February 12, 2012
Greetings, best wishes

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

2012 - what will it bring?

January is usually a relaxing sort of a month for me - I spend a couple of weeks glued to the TV set watching the fantastic tennis at the Australian Open, and some time in the garden pulling out the weeds that grow at an accelerated rate with our summer heat and the rain we receive at this time of year.

Now it's February - it's hot, wet, school is on again and the roads are heavy with traffic and Valentine's Day is nigh. So I thought it high time that I put together another 'Choose Wellness' newsletter for you.

You'll likely be given lots of yummy chocolate for Valentine's Day??

Chocolate makes the perfect gift for your Valentine

... but, never fear.

A recent study found that those consuming the highest levels of chocolate had a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared to those with lower chocolate intakes.

Though experts are quick to clarify that we should stick to moderate consumption of high-calorie chocolates, it’s hard to deny the cold hard facts that chocolate can be a healthy addition to our diets.

Hundreds of studies have shown that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that promote heart health and may prevent many cardiovascular-related conditions, but we’ve (Prevention News) dug up five more surprising health benefits.

  1. Chocolate May Help You With Maths
  2. Chocolate Fills You Up
  3. Chocolate Makes You Feel Better
  4. Chocolate Helps You Relax
  5. Chocolate May Help You Live Longer

Read on for details of these five new ways to justify eating all that chocolate.

I was sorting through some old magazines yesterday and found this recipe in a '2003 Delicious' - Haven't had time to try it yet but it looks rather good so I'll pass it on. If anyone gets to try it before I do, please let me know what you think of it.

Chocolate Fridge Cake (from Jamie Oliver)

You'll need:

200g digestive biscuits broken into small pieces, 100g pecan nuts, 100g pistachio nuts and 10 glace cherries.

Mix these together in a large bowl, and then combine 150g unsalted butter, 1 tab golden syrup, 1 tab caster sugar and 200g of good-quality dark chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Stir over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water, until the chocolate melts.

Add to the dry ingredients, mix together well and then pack the mixture down well into a container (25cm x 10cm) which you have lined with plastic wrap making sure that there is plenty of extra plastic over the top to make turning out easier.

Refrigerate overnight & then turn out. Dust with cocoa and cut into chunky slices.

This cake can be kept in an airtight container and improves after a couple of days.

"Take time to enjoy life. Walk in nature, go to the movies, spend time with family and friends, do an activity that is fun in order to help relieve inner pressures and stress."

What does 'organic' mean?

We all know that it's 'food' that fuels the human body and that we 'are what we eat'... so, it makes good sense to be very careful about what food we do eat.

Does that mean that we should eat only 'organic' when possible? ..and what does 'organic' mean?

The term 'organic' should mean that a food has been produced 'naturally'; that is without the use of synthetic or artificial fertilisers or pesticides and without being treated with any growth promoters, including hormones and antibiotics.

However, there is no consistent international agreement on what gets to be labelled as 'organic' before it reaches us in the store or supermarket.

The term is used more frequently than perhaps it should be and we just have to believe that if a product is labelled 'organic' then it is just that.

There has been a huge increase in interest in organic food, especially from parents of babies and young children, and people who are concerned about the long-term effects of pesticide residues in conventional food. Studies undertaken in the US have found that in blood samples of children aged two to four, concentrations of pesticides were six times higher in children eating conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables compared with those eating organic food.

It was found that reverting to an organic diet rapidly decreased the levels of pesticide residue present in their blood. The exposure to agricultural pesticides has been linked to various conditions such as hyperactivity, learning disabilities and behavioural disorders in children, memory problems, reproductive problems and mood disorders.

There is, so far, a lack of really substantive evidence directly linking agricultural chemical exposure to specific health outcomes but there is enough disquiet that many people are choosing not to take the risk, and to eat 'organic' when possible.

Warning against use of GM wheat

On 12 February, two farmers from the Canadian National Farmers Union (NFU) will arrive in Australia to explain why Canada rejected GM wheat in 2002 and share their fears about the future for wheat farmers.

Peter Eggers is one of 84 plaintiffs currently challenging the validity of Monsanto’s seed patents in a US court. Their aim is to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crop become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed. Matt Gehl, a young, fourth generation wheat farmer, is concerned about the ability of his generation of farmers to have a voice in the future of agriculture – a voice that is being marginalised as a consequence of increasing corporate control over agricultural research and policy.

Peter Eggers and Matt Gehl will be speaking at free public events around Australia.

I'll hope we'll get to hear what they have to say.

"Yogurt rules at reducing the inflammation that triggers arthritis (and a host of other chronic, debilitating diseases). Yogurt provides inflammation-fighting bacteria, shuts down inflammatory chemicals in the body and helps control inflammatory glucose and insulin. "

Should Universities teach Complementary medicine treatments?

Currently the 'Friends of Science in Medicine' group is lobbying universities to STOP teaching alternative medicines in universities. The Sydney Morning Herald conducted an online poll on whether or not natural medicine should be taught in Universities – this includes naturopathy, chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, iridology, energy medicine, tactile healing and kinesiology. The poll closed with a resounding 71% saying that Universities should STOP teaching alternative medicines - a very sad result I would think.

You can read more about this here.

University education provides important training for Complementary Medicine practitioners. These courses are renowned for their ability to create research literate practitioners who are able to provide high quality evidence-based therapies to the public and therefore work effectively in the health field. They also encourage students with an interest in research to continue along that path, adding a unique viewpoint to the scientific community. In addition, University education adds to the ability of Complementary Medicine to continue its vital role in contributing to the improvement of global health outcomes.

Do You Realise How Much Google Knows About You?

You may have seen that Google are proposing changes to how they collect information. Ken Evoy from SiteSell, a man who has my greatest respect, has started a petition asking for Google to INFORM FULLY and to ASK FAIRLY to obtain consent from users to give permission to use and combine their private information from all the services they offer.

The entire Internet needs YOUR support on this issue, which is explained more fully at...

It's worth taking a few minutes to read the petition letter. You can find it here. Ken has highlighted exactly why this issue is so important to each and every Web user.

Petitions by|Start a Petition »

...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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